Disclaimer: Dexter is owned by Showtime and it respective writers and Illyria belongs to Joss Whedon
A/n: Spoilers for Dexter season 4 finale! You've been warned.
The first time Dexter meets her, he doesn't think much of her. Just another human. Another person with whom he is forced to pretend.
He's been forced into taking these group counseling sessions at the behest of Miami Metro after the death of Rita, and because Deb wouldn't let it go until he started going. It feels like the NA meetings all over again. Although it is the oddest feeling. Ever since seeing Rita lying in that tub, he's been... devastated. He's not used to it.
The frail looking girl smiles meekly as she addresses the group. Dexter does his best to look interested.
Rita and the kids, they made him more human. And now Rita is gone. And it's his fault that she's dead.Dearly Distraught Dexter
. That is a new one.
The Monster has feelings now. If he is to be honest he'd started having those feelings for a while now. Dexter still isn't sure what to make of them. They didn't make the hunger go away. They only succeed in making his lifestyle that much more complicated. He has real honest connections. Monsters shouldn't have those.
It is why Rita is dead after all. Dexter had gotten greedy. He'd wanted it all.
The young woman tucks a stray hair behind her ear, nervously, "Uh, hi ya'll..." her Texas drawl is unexpected, but it does little to invoke his interest, "Ma' name is Fred-- that is, it's Winifred Burkle... but I just go by Fred..."
She gives a little forced laugh that doesn't reach her eyes.
"Hello, Fred." the group therapist smiles in that kind yet oddly condescending manner, "Why don't you tell us about your loss?"
"Um, alrigh'. His name was Wesley. And he... well, he showed me how to live in this world..."
The shrink nods and addresses the group, solemnly.
"It can sometimes feel like that can't it? Please tell us more about Wesley, Fred."
The second time he meets her is, naturally, at the next meeting. However this time something catches his curiosity.
Fred is standing by the food just to be in the crowd of people and look natural. Dexter notices that she does not make any moves for the coffee, bagels, or donuts. Clearly she is just standing there to fit in with the others.
But that particular charade is not what catches his eye. That's typical behavior for the social creature trying to be a part of the group.
It's the stray comment of one of the other patients that provokes her into revealing herself to Dexter.
"So, Fred. I, um, maybe this is inappropriate considering where we are... but I was just wondering... ifyouwantedtogooutforacoffee?" the man flushes in embarrassment.
And that is when Dexter notices her mask slip, just for a moment.
No one else would have noticed. No one else but another monster. Her eyes. They were deadened, cold, and there is a flash of hostility behind them. Then it is gone, quick as it came. Dexter questions whether it had been his imagination playing tricks. His Dark Passenger hadn't been sated since Rita's death and by now it is screaming at him for a release.
"Oh, I'm sorry Kyle. I just.. it's too soon..." she shakes her head and seems to be forcing back tears.
If Dexter hadn't imagined it, then Winifred Burkle is much better at hiding than he is. She puts on a very convincing act.
His own mask is never fully in place, not really. Most people just think he is quirky and slightly socially inept.
Dexter knew that Debra suspects him, at least on some level. And after she'd discovered the Ice Truck Killer was actually his real brother, Dexter notices the wheels turning round in her head.
He wonders what he would do if she ever did figure out the truth.Rule # 1. Don't get caught.
Somehow Dexter thinks Harry would not have wanted him to hurt Deb, just so he could remain free. It is an absurd speculation anyway. He would never hurt Deb, not intentionally, regardless of the circumstances.
The more important question was: how would Deb handle it, if she found out?
His sister's mental state would more important than his own well being, if that situation ever played out. Finding out about Rudy had been hard enough. Knowing about him, though. It would kill her. And he wouldn't have to lift a finger to do it.
The third time Dexter sees Fred, it's on a hunt about two weeks later.
Gregory Stieglitz. Serial rapist and general all around sleaze ball. But that's not enough for Harry's Code. He's also murdered. Three prostitutes and one teenage girl. He'd buried the bodies, but Dexter had found them. In Gregory's backyard. Amateur.
That still fails to explain how he'd gotten off of the other rape charges. There is solid DNA evidence on 2 of the 5 charges against him. His lawyers, from some large multinational law firm got him off with out any chance of re-trial.
But no matter the quality of his lawyers, he is not escaping Judge, Jury, and Executioner Dexter Morgan.
Just as he's about to jump Greg in the park, that is when he sees her. Fred Winifred, but I go by Fred
Burkle. She is just sitting there at the park bench under a dimly lit street lamp.
Unfortunately, Dexter is not the only one to notice. Greg's eyes fix on the small form at the bench. Without even needing to see Greg's face, Dexter knows Mr. Stieglitz has found his newest target. He's closer to the bench than Dexter is to him. He doesn't think he can get there without being noticed. Too many streetlamps.
Dexter takes a step into the light because he has no choice. He can't let Greg do this. Dexter has his ski-mask and slaps it on. But he quickly ducks back, to watch in shock as the woman speaks. She knew that Greg was sneaking up on her!
"You reek of the Wolf, Ram & Hart." her words lose their Texan twang and her speech is cold and strange, even for Dexter.
Stieglitz stops in his tracks, frozen.
"W-What? How did you--?"
He pulls out a switchblade. Dexter thinks he should do something, but his curiosity gets the better of him. His Dark Passenger is equally intrigued by this new entity. Perhaps she is bigger game for him to pursue than Gregory. A new and better quarry.
Her head turns in an oddly reptilian fashion. The Dark Passenger watches intent. Greg steps closer, ignoring the warning signs.
"Alright, girl-y, I don't know how you know about Wolfram & Hart, but it ain't changing my mind none. Now, this is only going to hurt a little--" he chuckled to himself "--who am I kidding? It's going to hurt a lot."
She looks at him, curious. Certainly not the right way to respond to a potential assault.
"You are aroused. Are you intending to force yourself upon me, sexually?" she sneers and then smiles darkly, "I should like to see you try."
"Gladly, darling." he leaps. She grips him by the throat. Before he can lift the knife toward her, she lifts him clean off his feet. And then she rips off his genitals with her other hand.
His Dark Passenger quails, and Dexter's mind spins. She isn't an equal. She is an Alpha and he is weak in comparison. And like any predator is want to do when faced with a more capable opponent, Dexter cedes his prey and retreats.
The fourth time he sees her, it is on the same night. She's followed him. It's a feeling he hasn't experienced much in his life, but he is afraid
She shouldn't have been able to rip apart Gregory like tissue paper. It is not physically possible. The strength required for such a feet wouldn't even be possible for a professional body builder, let alone the frail looking female that is now waiting at his door.
He doesn't know what to do. Has the predator now become prey? Is she going to kill him? What is she, anyway?
Fred Burkle's mask is back up, but simply to mock him, he thinks.
"Oh, gosh. You were out late! Dexter, wasn't it? Yeah! I remember you from those groups therapy sessions..." she smiles in a way that Dexter knows is meant to be adorable, but it only makes him more terrified.
His throat is dry, his heart pounding. It's actually a nice change of pace, feeling panic like this. I was just like when all his handiwork had been dredged up out of the ocean two years ago. The terror made him feel more human and more alive.
"What are you?" he manages.
Her smile falters, then returns, "Oh, me? I ain't nothing but nothing!" she gives a dismissive wave of her hand, "What about you, Dexter?"
"I--I... what about me?"Real smooth, Dex
. It would be nice if his dying words are at least a bit more calm and collected than that.
The facade drops and her reptilian eyes gaze into his, "You were following that man. In the park. What are you, Dexter Morgan?"
The air is thick between them. Palpable.
What is he? Loaded question, really. But if these are to be his last words, they may as well be honest.
"I'm a serial killer who kills other killers."
She smiles. His Dark Passenger wants to turn tail and run, but by some miracle he remains in place.
Fred starts pretending again, the accent returning. Why she's doing this, he's not sure. Maybe the game amuses her.
"My understanding of the profiles of serial killers is that they have no valid attachments. Recluses or generally incapable of true connection to others. But what about you're wife? Did you love her? How'd she die, anyway?"
"I didn't kill her, if that's what you mean. I..."
Dexter takes the time to think about it. He so seldom talks to anyone outside of his victims about his true feelings. Oddly fitting that he would be doing the same when he'd become the victim himself.
"I think if were capable of love. I would have loved her."
She blinks several times and the mask drops. When she looks up, the cold predatory eyes sear into his soul and Dexter's spine chills. It takes him a moment to realize that the reason her stare is so intense is because she isn't blinking. She finally speaks and her words are unexpected to his ears.
He blinks back, dumbly, "You understand?"
Fred nods, "Wesley. Died in my arms. I cared for him. More than I should have. I have never had such emotions for anything, before him or after." she looks uncomfortable, "He made me... more human."
That last thought seems to disgust her, but it made Dexter feel a connection. Of course, he'd felt a connection with Trinity too. Look how well that turned out.
"Are you going to kill me?" he manages to ask calmly. He is proud of that calm.
Her head gives a sharp tilt, almost indignant, "No. If I wanted you dead, human, you would be lying alongside the sexual deviant in the park."Well, that was comforting... sort of. Not really.
"Well, what did you want, then?"
Dexter wonders if he would be able to kill this creature. Something tells him that if he tried, he wouldn't live very long.
Fred frowns, "I..." she steps forward and Dexter does his best not to shrink back and reach for the knife in his pocket, "I am intrigued by you, Dexter Morgan. You are not like the regular ignorant primitives."Primitives?
"Uh, thanks?" he responds with a confused shrug.
"I am afraid neither Winifred Burkle nor myself are particularly knowledgable on human courting practices. But, I believe the standard course of action is to invite you to coffee, or a movie?"
Dexter falters, "Wait. Are you asking me out on a date?"
"Yes." she replies firmly and the Texas twang starts to return, "Perhaps, we can talk about your wife and Wesley? That overly cheery therapist with the bad perm seemed convinced that speaking about them helps with the coping process."
"Uh... I just--" he was at a loss.
She wants to go out
with him? This is not what he expected. But something about her draws him to her, even if it simultaneously makes him want to flee in terror.
Dexter just nods.
"Yeah, sure coffee sounds good."
She seems happy with that answer, and Dexter wonders just what the hell he's gotten himself into now.