DISCLAIMER: The Dexter characters are the property of Showtime. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2013 by Djinn. This story is Rated R.
This has major spoilers for Season Eight of Dexter (and previous seasons by extension) up to the episode, "Are We There Yet?".
Deb heard a knock on her door, opened it, and was stunned to see Hannah. “What? You got tired of breaking in?”
Hannah had the grace to look almost embarrassed. “I’m turning over a new leaf. The spirit of détente and all that.”
“Whatever. What do you want?”
“We need to talk.”
Deb moved so she was blocking the door more effectively. “No, we fucking do not need to talk. Talking to you is about the last thing on a long list of things I do not fucking want to do.”
“It’s about Dexter. And not about Dexter and me.” Hannah’s expression was one Deb didn’t think she’d ever seen on her face. The arrogance was gone. This was...fear?
“Okay. I guess.” Deb moved aside and let Hannah come in.
“By the way, this is a great house.”
“I rent, it’s not mine. And I’m a fucking slob in case you didn’t notice.”
“Well, I didn’t say it was a neat house.” Hannah grinned and Deb found herself responding to her, before she reminded herself that the woman standing across from her making jokes about her housekeeping had tried to kill her. <I>Had</i> killed others.
But she hadn’t killed her the last time she’d the chance. And that was worth something. Especially when Dexter and Harrison were both so goddamned captivated by this murderous bitch.
This murderous bitch who would probably end up being her sister-in-law. Deb hoped Dexter hadn’t told Hannah about her own feelings for him. That would redefine awkward in a family already skirting the bleeding edge of weird.
“Can I get you something to drink? I’m sure I have some rat poison I can add.”
Hannah laughed. “I deserve that.” She sat on the couch and shook her head. “You know Doctor Vogel, right?”
“Yeah.” Deb didn’t know how much or little Hannah knew about Vogel, so she wasn’t going to give anything away.
“She made the code for Dexter. He feels like she’s his...family.”
“I don’t think she is.” Hannah met her eyes; there was no bullshit in her expression, just pure concern. “We had dinner with her. Dexter, Zach, and me. Dexter took me back to my hotel and Vogel drove Zach home.”
“Dexter told me Zach’s dead. That the Brain Surgeon isn’t dead—we thought we got him.”
“Maybe Vogel let you think that. From what Dexter said, Yates didn’t fit the profile. But Vogel said it was over, and you two wanted it to be over, didn’t you?”
Deb looked down. Yes, she had fucking wanted it to be over. Saving Vogel from Yates helped put her back on a good path. She’d done something right.
Stopped a serial killer.
Saved a woman who was trying to help her.
Made up a little for what she’d done in that container.
“Who is this woman?” Hannah asked softly. “What do we know about her?”
We? They were a fucking we now? Jesus. “She was married. Her husband is dead.”
Deb shrugged. “What is it you’re accusing her of exactly?”
“Dexter thinks Vogel showed up because of the Brain Surgeon. But the Brain Surgeon didn’t show up until Vogel did.”
“Right. Why is she here? Here where her little prodigy lives and works. What if she’s here to give Dexter a chance to show her how well he learned the lessons she gave him.” Hannah smiled and let out a puff of air—Deb realized it was an angry laugh. “Gave him his Dark Passenger.”
“Gave it to him?”
“Sociopaths don’t love, Debra. I do. You do. We’re not sociopaths even if we’ve both killed people.”
Deb narrowed her eyes. Had Dexter told Hannah about LaGuerta? “Mine was in the line of duty.”
“Right, but still...” Hannah’s expression didn’t change. Maybe Dexter could keep a fucking secret from the love of his life. “Dexter waited until he was nineteen to kill someone. Waited years.”
“So? Our dad was holding him back.”
“You can’t hold back a psychopath. I know. I dated one. Remember?” She looked down. “I fell into it when I met Wayne. I murdered someone, gave into the violence, but I felt no pleasure once it was done. I didn’t want to do it again.”
“We both know you did, though.”
“Not the same way. With Wayne, it was stabbing. It’s so...personal. So intimate.” She took a deep breath. “I’m giving you this, Debra, because I want you to believe me when I tell you that I think Vogel made Dexter into a killer. <i>Made</i> him. Not molded his tendencies but gave him them.”
Deb frowned. “My dad was convinced Dexter would kill.”
“But who did he work with? Who convinced him? Dexter told me that your dad went to her with concerns. Dexter had a fascination with blood. He was born in it, just old enough to remember—even if it was in his subconscious—sitting in it for days, just feet from the body of his hacked up mother. The smell of that in a hot container. Deb—I think he was just a boy—perhaps a troubled one, but still just a boy—looking for answers. Not a monster. I think she made him into a killer. And I think she’s here to see just how well she did. And maybe this Brain Surgeon is another one like him. One of her creations.”
“As theories go, this is really out there.” She got up and went into the kitchen. “Soda?”
She tossed Hannah a bottle and grabbed a can of soda for herself. “Why would she do this?”
“Because she’s bored. She said at dinner the other night that boredom is the greatest enemy, not danger. And she kept harping on how Dexter and I have a bond.”
Deb laughed softly. “Yeah, she’s done that with me, too. Is always so surprised he can love a sister. Love anyone.”
“Do you know that she asked Dexter why he didn’t just kill you when you found out about him?”
“What? Fuck no, she didn’t.”
“She did. He told me. It surprised him she’d even ask. You’re family.” Hannah took a long pull from the water bottle. “He betrayed me for you. He loves you. He loves me, too. He loves his son more than anything. He is capable of emotion. I think he’s capable of empathy, too. It just hasn’t been developed because your dad didn’t think he had any and Doctor Vogel encouraged that.”
“You’re saying she made him into a killer?”
Hannah nodded. “And I think she’s going to take everything he loves away from him in this game—whatever it is—she’s playing. We need to get Harrison away from here.”
Deb studied Hannah. Saw only concern. “Do you love Harrison?”
Hannah nodded. “I was pregnant once. I had a miscarriage. I really wanted that baby. Harrison fills that void. Not in a ‘kidnap him and run off’ way, but just that he’s so sweet.”
“He loves you, too. It’s sickening, frankly.” She rolled her eyes at Hannah’s smile. “His grandparents are in Orlando. Jamie could for sure use a change of scene. But Dexter’s not going to buy it.”
“Whoever killed Zach left him in Dexter’s apartment. He’ll buy it, Deb.”
“It’s Deb now, is it?”
“I don’t understand what Zach was even doing there, in that hotel room in the Keys.”
“The intern Dexter mentioned...”
“Oh, fuck me. I thought he meant Masuka’s daughter. You mean he was taking on interns for...being a psychopath?”
“You make it sound so...dirty.” She smiled and took another pull of her water. “He was actually a nice kid, I think, if you don’t count that he’d murdered some folks. Dexter could have helped him.”
“I do not want to know this. I said it then and I’m saying it now. Fucking son of a bitch, what is wrong with all of you?”
“It’s not us. Vogel suggested Dexter take on Zach. When Dexter was going to take care of Zach in his usual way, Vogel said Dexter would feel something from this. A loss, sadness. But then Dexter didn’t kill him. So she had to do it for him—or whoever the Brain Surgeon is did it. Which of us will be next? She knows how much he cares.” Hannah frowned. “His neighbor had a new boyfriend. He was a suspect, right?”
“For a hot minute. He had an alibi.”
“Did it check out?”
“I’m not a cop anymore, remember?”
“What if he’s the Brain Surgeon? Vogel’s other son. Maybe even a real son.” Hannah stood up, started to pace. “I can’t snoop around too much. I’m wanted, after all. And Vogel knows I wasn’t all that warm at dinner.”
“You? Cold? No.” Deb laughed and rolled her eyes.
“I asked her what got her initially interested in studying serial killers. She said there was an incident but then backed off. There’s something in her past. You can find it. You can find out when she really got here—was it before or after the Brain Surgeon started killing, because Dexter said she was called in, but she looked very much at home in her little house.”
Deb thought about it. Vogel really did look cozy there and a lot of the stuff looked like hers not just the furniture and knick knacks that came with a furnished rental.
Hannah leaned back and shook her head. “Elbows.”
“Zach had his elbows on the table. She told him to take them off. It was the thing only a mother would do.”
“Or a bossy headshrinker. Do you think maybe you’re making too much of this? I’m sorry your little mini Dexter is dead. Oh, wait, no I’m not. He <i>killed</I> someone.”
“You tried to kill Dexter.”
Fucking dickhead—so much for Dexter keeping secrets. “Don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Hannah smiled. “Yeah, you do.”
“So what? You’re blackmailing me?”
“No. Dexter wouldn’t like it. I consider it mutually assured destruction. You turn me in, I tell on you.” There was something in her eyes that told her she knew more—but Deb really could not see Dexter trusting her with the details about LaGuerta. More likely Hannah was just a hell of a poker player.
“You said you wouldn’t hurt me since it would hurt Dexter, too.”
“There may be a limit to that if you turn me in.” She leaned in. “That pen Dexter gave you is all that links me to Sal Price. I’d be a free woman if you were to, say, get rid of it.”
“Not a police officer—you hard of hearing?”
Hannah pointed to the paperwork strewn on the table. “Looks like you soon will be again.”
“We’re getting off track. We can save our mutual dislike for later. Dexter...I think he loves Vogel. As a mother. The mother he wanted but never felt close to. He’s not going to want to believe this.”
Deb hated to admit blondie was right, but she’d thought the same thing. “So I check her out and you...?”
“She’s fascinated by me. I think she won’t move until she fully understands me—or thinks she does. I can make that happen, seek her help.”
“So, what? You’re going to go to therapy with her?”
“She did wonders with you, right? Maybe she’ll cure me.” Hannah’s smile was annoying times a million. “Although this would be a lot easier if I wasn’t a fugitive.”
“I’m not taking the fucking pen out of evidence. I didn’t take you into custody when I found you in the Keys. That’s the most you’re getting from me.”
“And we’ll work together on this. For Dexter?”
Deb nodded. “If we could just find the tapes of her sessions with Dexter. Those might shed some light on things.”
“I’m pretty good at breaking in if you know where they are.” Hannah looked pointedly at Deb’s sliding glass door.
“You are a fucking pain in the ass. I really don’t like you.”
“Do you like any women, Deb? How many female friends do you have?”
“How many do you have, you stupid bitch?”
“Bitch...okay, maybe. But I’m not stupid. And neither are you—I thought you were and that was a mistake.” Hanna put her feet up on the table. “So, when do you want to break into Vogel’s house?”
Deb closed her eyes and prayed to the god of fuck-ups on the road to redemption for strength. “I don’t want to break in.”
Hannah smiled and waited.
“We play it by ear. I’m not sitting in a car with you, staking out her house, in case that’s what you were thinking.”
“Would you recognize the man who was dating Dexter’s neighbor?”
“No. I’d barely recognize her, to be honest. Talked with her once.”
“There are probably pictures at the police station. How quickly will you be reinstated?”
“As a hire back. Providing I pass the fucking drug test”—Hannah’s eyes widened, but Deb ignored her—“next week, probably.”
“So I just lie low and you get your job back. And then we take it from there.”
“I feel dirty already.” Deb sighed. “What the fuck does he see in you anyway?”
Hannah smiled. “He just sees me. The real me.”
“And you see the real him, don’t you? It doesn’t bug you.”
Hannah shrugged. “He is who he is.”
And that was no doubt why Dexter would never choose Deb, even if Hannah were dead—or had never come on the scene at all. Because no matter what, Deb would always want the man she thought he was, not the man he really was.
But what if Hannah was right? What if the man he really was wasn’t the man he should have been? What if Vogel had fucked up a troubled boy?
Deb had an answer for that. She’d shot her captain to protect Dexter. This thing with Vogel was way more black and white. If Vogel got in her way, she would be fucking history.
“You look scary.” Hannah’s voice was full of approval, not fear.
Deb gave her the knowing smile that annoyed most people. “And don’t you forget it.”