last01standing: ([BtVS] Hush)
[personal profile] last01standing
Title: Sketches Traced in Sand
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Deb, Dexter, Lundy
Notes: for yuletide
Summary: Deb, post season 4



Sketches Traced in Sand


When Deb was a kid, she drew pictures in the sand. Traced the thin outlines in the grit of the surf; her family in a row, four smiling faces staring out at the water, a rainbow, a sun. A pair of stick people holding hands, the tips of their arms crossing in skewed X.

Her mother declares them masterpieces in miniature and they conspire on a method of lifting them from the sand to hang in a museum. “We’ll figure it out tomorrow,” Harry tells her, ushering her back into the car as Dexter trails silently behind them.

They come back the next morning, the sun the same in the clear blue sky, the sand still blistering hot, the waves their typical Miami calm.

But the sand was as smooth and unmarked as it was when she started.

***


Dexter doesn’t let go of Harrison for twenty hours. He doesn’t say a word for thirteen. It’s the first time she’s seen Dexter truly out of control. Even two years ago, when she was with Frank the first time and Doakes was killing people under their noses, harassing Dexter on the side, she’d never thought her brother was anything but in control.

She sits next to him hand on his shoulders and they both know. They both know it’s Trinity. Trinity got Frank. Trinity got Rita. Trinity is still out there. “I’m so sorry, Dex.”

“Not your fault,” Dexter says. “It’s mine.

“You can’t think that, brother! You can’t.”

It’s Frank’s fault if anything but she can’t bring herself to say that either. He told her he’d gone to Dexter for consultation and Trinity must have connected the dots. Frank to Deb to Dexter to Rita, lines traced in blood with shaking fingers

She thinks instead of Laura Moser and her two sons. One a killer, one a victim.

Dexter clutches Harrison to his chest and she thinks his son may be the only reason he hasn’t already broken.

***


Her first and only real date with Lundy comes two months into the Bay Harbor Butcher case. They take lunch at one in the afternoon and a little sandwich shop by the harbor. The water laps up quietly against the dock and Frank’s hand sneaks onto her thigh as she steals a chip off his plate.

It’s not romantic but Deb doesn’t do romantic. Deb does quick fucks in the night with guys she picked up at the gym. Deb does serial killers twisted into something resembling perfection.

So Deb tells herself that it’s not romance and it’s not love and tries her best to focus on the case in front of them and not the hand sliding up her thigh or the feel of Frank’s breath on her neck. The tightening in her chest is probably heartburn and not something she hasn’t felt since the ice truck killer went down on one knee.

***


This is Deb’s perfect Sunday:

She is at a picnic and the sun is shining. Dexter and Rita and the kids are swirling around but she’s at the grill with Lundy laughing beside her. None of the smiling faces of the children look a thing like her and she doesn’t want them too. Little Harrison looks impossibly like Harry even though the blood ties don’t exist.

“You’re burning the burgers,” Frank whispers into her ear. He sneaks in over her shoulder and presses his body to hers as he reaches for the spatula. Deb turns into him and the spatula drops to the grass as she presses their lips together.

“Debra, the burgers are going to burn if you keep this up.”

“Let ‘em.”

It goes like that for a few minutes before Dexter’s voice invades her ears. “Get a room, guys. My kids are here.”

“I think it’s sweet,” Rita calls from the grass.

Deb laughs into Frank’s mouth.

***


After the shooting she dreams.

She dreams of the shooting itself though, horribly vivid things that are more like a replay, the same scene over and over in her head in grisly detail. Strangely, these dreams don’t bother her. She’d done this once before. Relived the ice truck killer drugging her drink and tying her up until it had made her almost physically ill. She talks to the mandated department psychiatrist and tries to explain how she understands the trauma. She sees shit like this every day on the streets. She works in homicide and can compartmentalize like a pro. She isn’t quite Dexter who could work the most gruesome crime scene and come out hungry on the other side but she’s pretty fucking close.

The other dreams are worse. The dreams that are just ordinary. The ones about the stupid, pointless things: Her and Frank in the office, at the beach, in her bed. They’re the dreams that sneak up on her, whispering false promises that say, I’ll still be here when you wake up.

She knows how to deal with trauma. She doesn’t know how to deal with this.

***


Outwardly, Dexter doesn’t change. He’s still her dorky big brother. Still the blood spatter guy for Miami-Metro but she starts seeing these cracks. Flashes of anger aimed at Quinn or LaGuerta or some random suspect on the street. Moments of quiet where he looks like he’s going to vibrate out of his skin.

With the kids he moves with infinite care, patience that never ends. The court sends a worker around product of Paul’s parents and tries to prove him an unfit guardian. Dexter is picture perfect, what every father should be but Deb can see the cracks in the facade.

“I think I loved her,” he tells her in an unguarded moment, confusion written all over his face and she thinks of Lundy and gunfire and how she should have...

“Of course you loved her, you doofus,” she snaps. “You two were the perfect fucking couple.”

Dexter nods and stares at his hands.

***


“You know he’s still out there,” Deb says as they watch them slowly fill Rita’s grave. “Dex, we’re going to catch this son of a bitch.”

Dexter doesn’t change his expression, doesn’t blink. “There’s nothing I can do,” he says monotonously.

“Don’t say that, Dex. You know how many bastards like this you’ve put down over the years?”

Dexter’s face is pale, the knuckles on his free hand white and clenched into a fist. He shifts Harrison in his arms, staring at Astor and Cody standing next to their mother’s grave. He moves over toward them and mutters, “Not enough.”

***


She draws pictures in the sand with her toes, eating a cucumber sandwich as she stares out at the surf. Stick figure Dexter and Rita standing next to Frank and her. Simple lines of mouths twisted up into simple smiles.

The drawings are gone before she finishes her sandwich, the water cool against her bare feet.

They never catch Trinity.

(end)