Characters: Dexter, Sylar
Word count: 3000
Table/Prompt: mission_insane's Phrases/It's all fun and games until someone loses and eye and heroes_faves Crossover Challenge.
A/N: This bunny has been bothering me for a very long time and I guess I needed this challenge to finally attempt it. I'm glad there was a 3k limit, I could've gone on more. LOL Thanks to my wonderful betas for putting up with me, flwrpwr_vampyre and pyjamagurl. I owe you guys tons.
How do you catch a ghost?
Oh, I don’t mean a literal ghost; they don’t exist after all, but someone that doesn’t live in our world, someone that lives outside of it. I’ve heard of such a ghost and he…peaked my curiosity.
No one knew who he was, no one even knew what he looked like but in him, I felt a kindred spirit. He killed for enjoyment but there was something else too, something that even I couldn’t see and I had to know what it was.
He’d killed three people so far. Left their cooling corpses behind, the only common thread was that the top of their heads were cut off and their brains missing. I had no idea what he was doing with them and I really didn’t care. For all I knew, he was frying them up and having them for dinner. I do know that wild speculation ran through the department, especially when the FBI called us and asked for our help.
Since when do the Feds ask us for anything?
But they did this time and that’s what caught my attention. At least we had a name to go with the boogeyman. Sylar. I tried looking the name up on the internet, to see if there was any kind of meaning behind the name. The only thing I found was that it was a brand of watch. Who would name themselves after a watch? It made no sense.
I tried to find a pattern and there didn’t seem to be any. A businessman, a real estate agent and a school teacher. They had nothing in common, nothing. They didn’t go to the same church, didn’t shop at the same stores, no shared doctors or dentists…so where was the pattern? There had to be one, there was always one.
When I tried to ask the Dark Passenger, he only chuckled at me, sitting back and enjoying the show. If he knew anything, he wasn’t going to tell me and I was on my own. I know he was intrigued though, otherwise I wouldn’t be wading through all this material, trying to see something that wasn’t there.
I’d almost given up on figuring things out when the call came in. There’d been another murder and it must’ve been impressive because the whole department was buzzing like bees. I really wanted to get a look and I lucked out, being tapped to go as there was a good amount of blood splatter. Not that there hadn’t been before but my…extensive knowledge was needed.
It was truly a work of art and I stood in the middle of the room, staring at it and trying to take it all in. One man had done this? Impossible, there has to be a gang involved, it’s the only way it could be done. The Dark Passenger only chuckled again, shifting and paying attention.
There were two bodies but only one was missing the top of its skull. Why? Why one and not both? Giving my head a shake, I started to get to work.
The woman lay in the middle of the floor, skull cap lying neatly next to her head, brain missing, blood pooled around her. There were no bloody footprints, no bloody fingerprints. Nothing to indicate anyone had been here, which seemed to be how he operated. How he left behind no DNA, no marks in the skull to match to any kind of instrument, I don’t know but I’d like to. Such neat cuts, surgical, clean, no marks so how did he make them? I wish I could ask.
That’s what I meant, neat and messy at the same time. Neat cuts, messy blood everywhere yet no clues. And I loved it. I turned to the other body, inhaling slightly at the sight, excitement running through me. This was why it was not possible for there to be only one man involved, even though what little evidence we had pointed to it.
I had to be careful, blood still dripped from the body pinned to the ceiling, knives shoved through arms and legs and torso to keep it from falling. It was sliding down the skewers but slowly. The blood moving so freely meaning the victims hadn’t been dead long. A neighbor was being questioned and I heard her say that they’d come home at 5:30, she’d heard screams at 6:00 and the police had arrived 15 minutes later. Forty-five minutes tops to do all this? No way could it be one person.
I did my job, processed all the samples, well, most of the samples. There’s a few that came home with me so I could study them. They told me nothing. Normal, every day blood. So what was it that Sylar wanted with his, their, victims?
I couldn’t figure it out so I took to roaming the streets. Rita worried about me working so hard but I explained to her that there was a killer on the loose and he was terrorizing the city; that everyone was working overtime. I don’t think she quite bought it but she didn’t argue either.
I went to every crime scene, followed the last known steps of every victim and yet there still didn’t seem to be any logic to it all. I was getting frustrated and even the Dark Passenger was unsettlingly quiet. How was I going to find him if I couldn’t figure out what he was doing, how he was picking them?
Then I found it. No one had connected the dots because no one was looking in the right place. I had gone to the last victim’s house yet again, slipping inside and looking at everything to try and find that light switch that would tell me I was on the right track. Latex gloved fingers skimmed over shelves, over tables and then, finally, over the bookcase.
Activating Evolution by Dr. Chandra Suresh. It wasn’t much but it was the first clue of anything and I would of course look in to it. I slipped back out of the house and went home to do research.
There wasn’t much online about the good doctor. A few things and then his obituary. There was a small article about his son, Mohinder, but nothing very useful there either. Okay, at least it’s a start.
Turning everything off, I lie down and try to sleep but it wouldn’t come. The Dark Passenger was whispering in my ear, telling me that I was missing something; that I wasn’t looking in the right places. Could I find the next person that Sylar was going to go after? I had to.
The next morning found me with still no idea of what to do. It was while I was driving to work, my mind wandering during the usual chaos of traffic, that it came to me. Even though the elder Suresh was dead, the younger one might know enough to help.
Dropping off the requisite box of donuts, I looked up the number for Mohinder Suresh and call. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but the smooth, wary, voice on the other end of the phone wasn’t it. I didn’t blame him for being leery talking to anyone and I wasn’t sure he was going to help me until I mentioned that I was with the police. That seemed to do the trick.
Listening carefully to everything he told me, I started to get an idea of this ghost I was chasing. Sylar was smart and manipulative and would do anything it took to get what he wanted. When I asked what it was he’s after, Dr. Suresh hedged and told me that he had no clue but I could tell he was lying, it’s in his voice but it didn’t matter really. It would help but I didn’t really need to know.
What I did need to know was where his next victim is and Dr. Suresh gives me three prospects. He also warns me not to even attempt to try and bring Sylar in which I agree to. I had no intention of bringing Sylar in; I’m going to take him out. Hanging up the phone, I turned back to my trusty computer and looked up the names.
One of the three was in jail, on the other two there wasn’t much except addresses. Upstanding citizens of our fair city but I didn’t think that would do them much good. So, which one do I follow? He would go after both, I was sure of it, so either one would do. Looking at the addresses, I picked the one that was furthest away. Less chance of running in to anyone I knew while I staked out the house.
The rest of the day dragged on and finally I was able to leave. It’s pizza night at Rita’s and I called her, telling her that I’ve got a big case and I’ll be working late until it’s solved. She wished me luck and told me to be safe. Of course I will be it’s Sylar that should worry.
The first night yields nothing, nor does the second, third or fourth and I was starting to wonder if I had been wrong, that he had left the city and gone on to greener pastures but the Dark Passenger urged me to wait, to watch, so I did.
The fifth night brought reward for my patience. It was dusk, that twilight time when shadows were reaching out skeletal fingers, trying to grab at you and drag you into the darkness. I really had been sitting here too long.
He was brazen, walking up to the house in daylight hours and not waiting for dark. He wasn’t what I expected either. I expected more of a monster and maybe he is but he looked…normal. Okay, maybe not normal but someone that normal people would trust, that they’d let their guard down around and that’s probably the point. People trust me, after all, and I’m one of the worst monsters there is. It’s how he’s gotten away with what he’d been doing for so long that continued to nag at my conscious. I had to know how he did it. Maybe I could even learn something.
But I saw no weapon, no bag of tricks and I frowned. How was he doing this? Granted, he might have a syringe in his pocket to drug them like I do but even then; he’d need a partner to display some of the bodies the way he does. Maybe his partner comes later, after they’re drugged. I would have to be careful and if I did have to chase down a second person, I would make sure to get the name before I finished my job.
Getting out of my car quietly, I slipped through the shadows up to the house. I wished it were darker but you had to work with what you had. Don’t get caught. Harry’s warning chanted through my mind as I made my way to the side of the house, out of sight of the street and neighbors. It’s a good thing our dear Mr. Santos liked his privacy.
I could hear voices inside. One confused voice rising slightly in fear, the other smooth and calm almost amused. It helped me to at least have an idea of where they’re standing. I tried to look through the window but the angle wasn’t right and I couldn’t see anything. I fingered the syringe in my pocket and tried to decide what to do. This might be my last chance to catch him, so it was now or never.
Harry always said to plan but sometimes you just couldn’t, circumstances wouldn’t allow for it and this appeared to be one of those times. If I was careful enough, it wouldn’t matter. I made my way to the back of the house and slipped inside, trying to be as quiet as possible.
I managed to move up behind Sylar, listening to him tell Mr. Santos that he had something he wanted. I don’t know what it was nor did I care. My only concern was how to knock Sylar out without Mr. Santos seeing me. I stood in the shadows, trying to figure it out when there was a scream that cut off almost instantly.
Looking around the corner carefully, I saw Sylar kneeling next to the chair Mr. Santos had been sitting on, something covered in hair by his knee. It took me a few moments to realize what it was, the top of Mr. Santos’ skull. How had he done it? There hadn’t been the sound of any saws or an ax. There was no way he could’ve done such a precise cut in such a short amount of time.
But that was for later. Right now came my golden opportunity and I took it. Two quick strides and I was behind him. He was already starting to turn, a look of annoyance on his face when I jammed the needle into his neck and depressed the plunger. Annoyance turned to anger and he raised his hand, but before he could punch me, he fell against dearly departed Mr. Santos. Goodnight Mr. Sylar.
For as tall as he was, he wasn't that heavy and I managed to get him out to my car without anyone seeing. I knew I didn’t have long before the drugs wore off but at least we’re not far from the workshop I set up for tonight’s endeavor. A five minute drive there and in very little time I had him on the table and wrapped up.
It’s a good thing I was quick because surprisingly he was already waking up. How was that even possible? He threw off the drugs in about 15 minutes, he should’ve been out for at least another 30 and I wasn’t quite ready for him to be awake. Well, they do say that necessity is the mother of invention and I knew how to wing it if I had to.
Nothing to do but start. Picking up my scalpel, I walked over to the table and smiled down at him. “Hello Sylar. You’re not an easy man to find, do you know that? But now you’re on my table and it’s time you learned that you can’t go around killing people.” Holding the scalpel against his cheek, I was about to start my cut when he did something very unexpected.
It wasn’t a laugh out of fear, it was a genuine laugh of amusement and I pulled back my hand, blinking down at him. Well. “I’m surprised you find this funny. You do realize that you’re about to die, don’t you?”
“I’m not going to die any time soon. Who are you, how did you find me?” The smile never left his face and I raised my eyebrows. Was he in that much denial or was he just that delusional? There was no way he could escape so I guessed there wasn’t any harm in telling him how, so I did. His smile widened, especially when I mentioned Mohinder Suresh.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Mohinder finally did something smart.” Why was he so confident? I didn’t understand but I shook it off and reached down to cut again.
That was when I started to wonder if I had lost my mind. There was a sound like something ripping and I paused, looking to see where it was coming from. My eyes widened slightly at the sight of the plastic around Sylar’s legs slowly starting to split apart. The split moved from the plastic on his legs to the plastic around his arms to the plastic around his body. I was still standing there, dumbfounded as he pushed it all off of him and stood up.
Next thing I knew, I was being slammed back against the wall. He never touched me, he doesn’t even move. “What the hell is…how?” I asked in a soft whisper. He answered me with a grin.
“I’m special. Didn’t Mohinder tell you that? There are others out there that can do things too and I want what they have.” I slid up the wall until I was looking eye to eye with him. I was about to die and there was nothing I could do to stop it, I was powerless and…I didn’t like it. The Dark Passenger was snarling and Sylar tilted his head at me, studying me. The look on his face shut my shadow up instantly and that terrified me. Look at that, I am capable of emotions after all but only when it’s my life on the line.
A step closer and I could feel his breath against my cheek. I closed my eyes, waiting for the final blow but it didn’t come and I opened my eyes to look at him. He was still watching me intently and there was a small flutter of hope. “You’re like me.” He said quietly. “Not powerful but…you have a monster pulling your strings.” His finger reached out and skimmed across my forehead and I shivered.
“You found me when no one else could; you might be fun to keep around. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any kind of a challenge.” Sylar chuckled and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. Challenge? What kind of challenge could I be to a creature like this?
“What are you?” I finally managed to get out as he stepped back and turned away from me. He didn’t even look at me.
“I’m the next step in evolution; Mohinder should’ve told you that. It was nice meeting you…Dexter. I can’t wait until our next meeting.” His bare feet didn’t make a sound as he walked away and all I could do was stare after him, trying to figure out how he knew my name and what the hell I’d gotten myself into.
When I finally dropped down to the floor, sitting there confounded, I wondered what our next encounter would be like.
I was looking forward to it.