Major spoilers for all seasons of Dexter to S4, then VERY AU. Warning, character death!
See earlier chapters for disclaimers etc.
On Twisting the Hellmouth
On Archive of our Own
“So... who does want the case?”
“Let’s see… NCIS, the FBI, Miami-Dade and half a dozen other police departments, the Governor, the DA, probably the CIA and the fucking Secret Service. They all want a piece of this, and they’re all going to be blaming us if it goes wrong.”
“You can’t be involved. In fact, you can’t even be in the precinct until things are resolved. I think you’re going to need to start looking for another job. Every case that Dexter was ever involved in will be going under the microscope, and you can’t be part of the process.”
“It’s going to be difficult carrying on working in law enforcement. You’re a suspect in a murder case. Even if you’re cleared the defence will probably bring it up any time you give evidence.”
3319 Meadow Lane, Miami
I’ve always known that my hobby was likely to lead me to a sticky end, but I’d always thought of it as a relatively fast process; what was actually happening was more like a slow descent into quicksand… or, staying with the stickiness metaphor, tar pits. The net was probably closing in on me – or at least I guessed it was – but I was out of the loop, and had no idea when the hammer was going to drop or if I should start running. Three more metaphors in one sentence, a personal best... But I digress.
Any evidence they had was circumstantial. Without witnesses or a smoking gun it ought to take a lot to convince a DA that there was a good case. I had to hope that I would have a little warning if it happened.
The obvious solution was to run, of course; I had forged passports and money hidden in one of the walls of the apartment, and I could probably go back there and get it, shake off any pursuit, and find my way out of town. The snag, of course, was Rita and the children. I’d gone through too much to discard them casually, and there was no way I was going to be able to take them with me. I don’t really understand love as such, though sometimes I think I’ve come close, but I would be happy to kill for any of them. If things were as bad as I feared they were going to be hurt; I wasn’t going to make it worse by turning them into fugitives.
Four days after my suspension began Debra was called in to the precinct; a few hours later she sent a uniform round to pick up her bags, with a message that she was going to be out of town on police business for the next two or three weeks. I guessed that she was under orders to stay well away from me.
That evening Mitchell’s wife and son were on TV, finally talking to reporters. It seemed that the cosy family life I’d thought they had was a sham; he’d ruled his family through fear, crushing their spirits and running every facet of their lives. I was glad that I’d killed him without trying to learn from him.
“We need to talk,” said Rita, switching off the TV.
I spooned some baby food into Harrison’s mouth; he chewed enthusiastically, waited for me to remove the spoon - then spat most of it out onto the tray of his high chair. I wiped it, trying to think then said “I guess we do.” She'd been quiet for the last couple of days, and I had a feeling that she was putting things together for the first time.
“Did you want to run this family like that, with me and the kids too scared or brain-washed to say a word against you.” She gestured towards the TV, and I guessed that she meant like Mitchell.
“No… never. I just want things to be good for you and the kids. A safe home.”
“Safe? Safe?” Her voice rose. “Safe from what? From you?”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Ridiculous? You have an apartment you were supposed to have sold, and there’s dead people’s blood in it. That’s not ridiculous!”
“I know, but I told you, someone must be trying to frame me.”
“The way you framed Paul?” I'd hoped that she'd forgotten that. “Who do you think is framing you?”
“The real Bay Harbor Butcher, I guess.”
“Cut the crap, Dexter.”
“I said cut the crap. God, I've been stupid, believing all your lies and excuses!”
“Should we be talking about this in front of Harrison?” I asked.
“He doesn't understand.” I'd never seen Rita quietly angry like this before; an incandescent rage that for a moment made me think she had her own Dark Passenger. I wondered if they'd have more in common than we did. “You know what my life with Paul was like. I can't go through anything like that again, neither can the children. I think I still love you, but I think you'd better move back into your old apartment until this is over.”
“You heard. I can't keep this from Astor and Cody completely, they'll figure it out eventually, but I don't want them to be around if the police come for you.”
“You think I’m guilty?”
“How the hell would I know? I think you might be, and that’s bad enough. I’m pretty sure that Debra does too, why else would she leave like that? I don’t think you want to hurt me or the children, that isn’t what you do, but I can’t trust you, and I can’t be around you until this is over, one way or another.”
“And when it is?”
“If I’m wrong I’ll apologise, and we’ll try to make things right. If I’m right, it’ll be one less thing for you to worry about.”
“And if I don’t agree?”
“Then I think I’ll have to take out an injunction. Do you really want to give the courts another reason to dig into our lives?
I didn’t, of course. “I’ll get packed.”
Three hours later I was driving back to the apartment, with at least two cars on my tail.
Intercontinental Hotel, Miami
“How in hell are you still here?” asked Tobias Fornell.
Gibbs shrugged. “Things are quiet in Washington right now, and Vance is juggling the other teams to cover us. Abby isn’t happy, but she’ll get over it.”
“Admit it, you’re only here because you’re too stubborn to leave the local police to handle the case.”
“Oh, they’re handling most of it; we’ve just been lending a helping hand.”
“Of course you are. Where is the rest of your team, anyway?”
“Keeping an eye on our suspect. Want to eat?”
“What’s good round here?”
“One of the Miami detectives recommended a Cuban place in Little Havana, I was thinking of giving it a try tonight.”
“That works for me. On the way there we can talk about what’s happening on the case.”
“I’m surprised you’re interested,” said Gibbs, getting his jacket. “Isn’t it a little embarrassing for the Bureau that Frank Lundy turned out to be right about Trinity?”
“It’s embarrassing for Deputy Director Adams; he’s the one that stopped the investigation and told Frank to retire. That didn’t earn him any brownie points, which means that the next Director is more likely to be someone else, someone who doesn’t have his head up his ass. The rest of us want to give Ziva a medal, even if she didn’t know she was taking out Frank’s killer when she shot her.”
“I’ll remind you of that the next time I need a favour.”
“I’ll just bet you will.”
Miami-Dade Crime Lab
“You’d think they’d want us in on this,” said Detective Sergeant Frank Tripp, “but I’m getting nothing. Have you heard anything?”
“All I know,” said Horatio Caine, “is that they’ve found evidence that might mean that one of their forensics people was the real Bay Harbor Butcher, and that it ties to a lot of other cases, but beyond that nobody is saying much.”
“About what I heard. Any idea who it is?”
“Officially I’ve heard nothing, but they’re reviewing a lot of blood and genetics work, judging by the files we’ve been asked for, and that means it’s either Dexter Morgan or Vince Masuka.”
“It isn’t Masuka,” said Tripp. “He was in court this morning, giving evidence in a rape case, they’d have to suspend him if he was a suspect.”
“What about Morgan?”
“Still on medical leave; Vince mentioned that he’s snowed under covering for him.”
“You’d think that by now he’d be back at work.”
“Draw your own conclusions. I certainly have.”
Caine took off his sunglasses and said “I think Morgan’s been doing a little blood work of his own.”
Outside 8240 Palm Terrace
When you’re a spy, you expect to spend a lot of time waiting for things to happen, or working to make them happen to your own schedule. It’s usually a lonely business. But everyone had scrambled go get eyes on Dexter Morgan when he moved out of his house, and tonight there were at least four groups of people watching his apartment. Sam and I were parked outside the apartment block – we’d bribed the super to make sure nobody tried to clamp us or tow us away. Fiona was watching from an apartment we’d rented a few hundred yards away, across the water, where she had a good view of the back of the apartment. She had a Nikon with an 800mm lens, which she was putting to good use any time Morgan came in sight of the windows, a shotgun mike which wasn’t going to work very well at that range, and a Remington 700 sniper rifle which I fervently hoped would not be needed.
Ziva and an NCIS agent I didn’t recognize were in her rental, watching from the other side of the parking lot. I was pretty sure Gibbs was somewhere in the vicinity.
The police presence was a large camper-van, parked where it was easy to keep binoculars on Morgan’s apartment. It was obviously meant to be seen, which meant that there was probably at least one other watcher, and cars patrolling the neighbourhood.
A nearby car contained the FBI presence, our old friend Blane and a woman I didn’t know. We studiously ignored each other.
With that many in sight, there were probably more I hadn’t spotted.
“Makes you wonder where the residents are parking,” said Sam.
“There are still a few empty spaces.”
“Not many. It’s nearly eleven, by midnight there’ll probably be a dozen more cars wanting to park.”
“We’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.”
My phone rang, the caller ID was Fiona’s. “Michael, Morgan just passed the window. He’s wearing a suit; I think he must be headed out somewhere.”
“Okay.” A couple of minutes later the apartment door opened, and soon a procession was headed across town, winding up outside a busy bar as Morgan parked and went inside. And there we had the inevitable problem; Morgan knew what Sam and I looked like, probably Ziva and her pal, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he knew Blane and most of the cops on the case. Fortunately Fiona arrived in her own car while we were figuring things out. As far as we knew he had no idea who she was.
“Don’t talk to Morgan and try not to catch his eye. We need to know what he’s doing there, nothing more.”
“I’m not an amateur, Michael.”
She called my cell and left the connection open, so that I’d have some idea what was going on, and went inside.
“He’s drinking a coke,” Fiona murmured into the hands-free microphone, “I think he’s waiting for someone.” In a louder voice she added “And get the large size, you know that XL slips off if you use too much lube!” There was a time when anyone seeing a lone woman sitting at a bar and muttering to herself would assume she was crazy or drunk. These days everyone assumes she’s talking to her broker, lover, or pimp - or two or more of the above, of course. She asked someone for a glass of red wine.
A car stopped outside, and someone I thought I recognised got out. I couldn’t put a name to the face, neither could Sam. He went inside; a moment later Fiona said “Son of a bitch.” There were some confusing noises then I heard the call disconnect.
When you’re a serial killer, and a lot of other people suspect that you’re a serial killer, an anonymous note under your door which asks you to meet for a business discussion feels like it’s probably going to be a trap. I was curious and decided to go along with it anyway, to a point. I was alone and unarmed, apart from a Swiss Army knife with a 2” blade, but just before I left I called Batista and left a message on his voicemail, telling him that I thought the real killer might be trying to trap me, and hoped that it would give him time to get to the bar before I did.
I waited five minutes or so, and tried to guess who was following me; was it the two men in rumpled suits who came in a minute after I did, and seemed to be arguing about baseball, the brunette in the sun dress nursing a red wine and apparently running her sex life via a hands-free cell, or one of the other five people who came in while I was waiting. Eventually someone else came in, a bald stranger with heavy beard stubble who looked around, caught my eye, and gestured toward an empty table. I hesitated for a moment, then joined him.
“Mister Morgan,” said the stranger, “thank you for coming.”
“What’s this about?”
“Mister Morgan, we’re aware of your current... ah... difficulties. I’m here to suggest a career change would take advantage of your skills, and might make these problems go away.”
“Career change, mister…?”
“Kort; Trent Kort. I work for the CIA.”
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