Searching for the six-fingered man.
Bad MedicineAN: Just a little plot bunny that popped into my head the other day. Wondered if something good can come of it.
A Zephyrus Production
A Zephyrus Production
Summary: House believes that someone is killing the good citizens of Connecticut. The only problem is, no one believes him except a blood spatter analyst who seems to have more than a passing connection to the current case he and his team are handling. A House/Dexter crossover.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Prologue 1: Travelogue
One summer when I was twelve, Dad took Deb and I to visit a few distant relatives who lived in the foothills of the Appalachians. Kentucky was a nice enough place to visit, I suppose, but it never really left a good impression on me, just like Dadâ€™s hillbilly cousins. Travelling, on the other hand, was quite the experience. I experienced something that I can only describe as contentment as I stared out the window of our little station wagon and watched the landscape roll by. There was something soothing about the low rumble of the tires on the asphalt and the hypnotic sequence of white paint blurring into an almost seamless line on the road. I was going somewhere where no one knew me, where I didnâ€™t have to try to play the part that had been assigned to me when I was adopted by Harry Morgan.
With travel came the strange rituals that Dad insisted I participate in, though I didnâ€™t quite understand them; posing for photos in front of vivid landscapes and statues of people long dead, playing card games in the back seat and pretending to feel a sort of smug joy at winning, eating in diners of ill repute and lacking a concept of basic sanitation, and punching each other on the shoulder when certain vehicles were within our view.
Yes, the rituals and the whole family bonding thing never really appealed to me.
But actually travelling, relocating oneâ€™s self from place to place for the simple reason that you had not been there before, appeals to something in me. Perhaps it is simple curiosity. Or perhaps I grow tired of the same old faces and places that Iâ€™ve haunted since I was child. I have been perfectly content to stay in Miami, whatever my thoughts are on travelling. My entire life is here, after all.
Itâ€™s where Harry, my foster father, took me in from the scene of a horrible crime and raised me as his own son alongside his only daughter, Debra, and his wife, who died when I was still a young boy from cancer. Itâ€™s where my career is, working as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro PD. Itâ€™s where my family is. My loving wife Rita, her two children Astor and Cody, and my own newborn son, Harrison make their home in a nice suburban neighborhood. Not to mention the fact that Deb, the only other Morgan left in existence, is a detective, also working for Miami Metro. Our odd way of honoring our father, I suppose.
And lastly, but certainly not least, Miami is where Iâ€™ve been killing people since I was the tender age of 18.
But donâ€™t take me for your run of the mill sociopath. I am, in fact, a serial killer with a strict set of rules, passed down to me from Harry when he eventually saw me for what I was. The Code was designed to help me survive in a world where the most a serial killer has to look forward to is the chair or lethal injection before their 50th birthday. Most are caught long before they go over the hill, so to speak. Harry also taught The Code to me in an effort to channel my dark urges in a more productive manner. I do not kill the innocent. I only kill those who have committed murder and have found a way to cheat the system. Sometimes, I help them beat the system, if only to make sure theyâ€™re on the streets where I can reach them. My job at the Miami Metro PD makes that much easier than it would be if I didnâ€™t have access to inside information.
So yes, I am perfectly content to remain in Miami. Itâ€™s familiar. Itâ€™s comfortable. And I have more people to kill than I could possibly hope for to keep my Dark Passenger sated.
Thus it is with trepidation, not excitement, that I view the invitation in my hand to speak at The International Association for Identificationâ€™s 96th annual education convention, held in Princeton, New Jersey.
Despite my misgivings about leaving my hunting grounds, the idea of travelling is somehow beginning to appeal to my sense of nostalgia. Iâ€™ve been forced to evolve beyond my primordial state in the last several years. Iâ€™ve been developingâ€¦.well, I hesitate to label them feelings. Iâ€™m not entirely sure what to call them, but by becoming more human, I can more easily blend in and be the person everyone thinks I am. Perhaps it would not be such a bad idea to sate my curiosity about this new sentiment. Besides, I had had one wonderful weekend in Paris, but I was there purely for reasons that would have law enforcement falling all over themselves to clap me in irons. Paris was business, not pleasure. Well, it was pleasure of a sort.
But I digress.
Mr. Dexter Morgan,
You are cordially invited to speak at this yearâ€™s IAI convention in Princeton, New Jersey on October 30th, 2013. Your work on blood spatter analysis during your time with the Miami Metro Police department on several sensational crime sprees, including that of the notorious Ice Truck Killer, has not escaped the notice of the distinguished members of our association. We hope that you and a guest of your choosing will join us for 5 days of fun, excitement, and the mutual beneficial exchange of information that will enable forensics investigators worldwide improve their craft.
Please RSVP either by email or by phone, both of which can be found in the enclosed information booklet.
President of the IAI
â€œSo Dexter, since Iâ€™m your best buddy and all, Iâ€™m honored that you decided to invite me along with you.â€
I sighed internally at the bald Asian man behind me as I snatched the printed pamphlet from the tray. Vince Masuka was a fellow employee, valued at times (but not very often) for his perverted sense of humor and occasional keen insight on a case. He seems to somehow have come to the conclusion that he and I were friends, though I have firmly labeled him as an Annoying Acquaintance. I suspect that if I were truly human, I would have killed the little man long ago due to his ability to annoy the shit out of every person in a ten-mile radius just by opening his mouth.
I plastered a fake smile on my face, the one that had served me without fail ever since I was 12, and turned to face him.
â€œI dunno, Vince. I donâ€™t think Laguerta would be happy to see two of her best lab rats out of her reach for almost a week.â€
Masukaâ€™s eyes widened comically and his expression assumed that of a puppy that has had its leather shoe taken away from it and swatted on the nose. â€œBut dude, come on! This is Princeton! Think of all the hormonally repressed nerdy college girs just ripe for the plucking! The parties on campus are legendary!â€
I made a non-committal noise in my throat and brushed past him, pamphlet in hand. â€œIâ€™ll have a talk with Laguerta, but donâ€™t hold your breath. I doubt sheâ€™ll even let me go.â€
Ignoring Masukaâ€™s no doubt sulky reply, I stepped out of my little lab and made my way to Laguertaâ€™s office, smiling at Deb, who waved distractedly from behind her computer, and nodding genially to my fellow crime fighters. I knocked on the door a couple of times and stepped in when the Lieutenant bid me enter.
Maria Laguerta looked up from her ever present pile of paperwork and flashed me an easy smile. She had never quite let go of her attraction to me and I intended to take advantage of it.
â€œGot a minute, LT?â€
She set down her pen and rubbed the back of her neck. â€œYouâ€™d be doing me a favor.â€ She replied ruefully, glaring at her paperwork. I closed the door behind me and stepped in front of her desk, using my smile to its fullest potential. â€œWhat can I do for you, Dexter?â€
I dropped the pamphlet on top of her paperwork. When she picked it up to read, I launched my assault. â€œIâ€™ve been given an invitation to speak at one of the most prestigious forensics conventions in the country a week from tomorrow. I know its short notice, but I was hoping you might let me go, considering that I havenâ€™t had a proper vacation in years and that I put in at least more than 30 hours of overtime than the other lab rats combined in the last two months.â€ I finished off my rapid verbal assault with another blinding smile.
Laguerta eyed the pamphlet thoughtfully, skimming through the words without really reading them. I waited a few moments and then added, injecting the proper amount of brotherly concern, â€œAnd I think Deb could use a bit of a rest as well. Ever since sheâ€™s come back, sheâ€™s been working herself into the ground. I think that this is a good chance for her and I to actually spend time together as siblings, donâ€™t you think?â€
The LTâ€™s countenance softened at the mention of my sister. Everyone knew how close she and I were, not to mention the fact that everyone had also not quite gotten all of the pity out of their systems from when Deb had had the misfortune to become entangled, both literally and metaphorically speaking, with the Ice Truck killer. I myself hadnâ€™t quite gotten over the fact that I had killed the only family I had left in the world; my brother, the Ice Truck killer. Irony, I know.
Laguerta rapped her perfectly manicured nails on her desk, looking thoughtful. I was pretty sure that I had already talked her into it, but she needed to give the impression that she was reluctant to give into my request. It wouldnâ€™t do her any good if her reputation as a hardass was wrecked.
â€œI canâ€™t say Iâ€™m happy to let my best blood guy out of my sight, but I suppose that both you and your sister have earned a little break.â€ She slid the pamphlet back over to me. â€œStart the paperwork with HR. And if Morgan protests, tell her that Iâ€™ll bust her ass back to Vice if she doesnâ€™t go.â€
I saluted Laguerta with a slightly more genuine smile on my face. â€œYou got it boss.â€ I was halfway out the door before I added, â€œIâ€™m sure Masuka will have everything under control.â€
I think they heard her groan of misery in New Jersey.