Fandom: Dresden Files/Dexter Crossover
Word Count: 1050+ words
Notes: I did say it was morbidly tempting. No spoilers, as such.
The Miami light made everything orange. Or, at least, that’s how it seemed to me - my eyes used to grey clouds and having to close up against a blustering wind. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the heat, either. It radiated off every surface, creating waves of steam. Wearing my duster would have been foolish under the circumstances, and I have to admit, without my duster, I felt naked. I wasn’t naked. I was wearing khaki pants and a light blue shirt. The kinds of clothes which I usually tend to avoid. But you have to make concessions when you’re on holiday. That’s what Murphy called it, anyway. Really, she was following a lead for a case back in Chicago. Murphy does that. She needed my assistance as a consultant. So far, I hadn’t been much help.
We were at a Miami police station. Murph was in an office, talking to the person in charge, Lt. Maria LaGuerta. She knew exactly how to ask the suspicious questions without making them sound remotely suspicious. It was a skill I had often reflected would be useful for me too, but I’m not adept at subterfuge. I was standing, waiting by a desk, trying not to twiddle my thumbs and failing. I was aware of a shape hovering just beyond the corner of my eye and turned around to see a man around my age, light brown hair and casually handsome features. I’m not averse to stating when other men are handsome, and he was.
Most people avoid looking me in the eyes. I think it’s an instinctual reaction. Few would be immediately aware I’m a wizard. Perhaps they’re aware of something on some level, but it’s a notion half-formed, not conscious. I’ve never really questioned it, I find it makes my life considerably easier. At least it doesn’t make me seem like I’m the aloof one all the time. I already have the reputation of being particularly cantankerous.
He didn’t avoid my eyes. He looked straight at them and held the shared glance between us. I noted how his irises were deep green before seeing beyond mere substance. When you make eye contact with a wizard, you start a soul gaze. I can see what is in your innermost core – your fears, your joys, your secret shames. In return, you can see mine. There can be few secrets between two people who have gazed into each other’s souls. It’s often an uncomfortable experience. I have soul gazed with over two dozen people, each time seeing things no man should. It’s a life, of sorts.
What I saw in his soul chilled me, deep down, in a little compartment I usually keep reserved for painful memories. Actually, no, it wasn’t so much what I saw, although I can’t say it was all that pleasant. I have seen some horrendous events and actions in my time, the blood wasn’t as disturbing as it could have been. It was what I didn’t see that made me want to recoil back and punch him in the nose. I don’t run, I never have. When I am fearful, I attack. I wanted to attack him.
There was a lot missing in that man's soul. It was terrifying. He was cold, mechanical, unfeeling. He did not fear much at all. I usually find that this is the best way to understand someone – look into their fears and know what it is that stirs them. He did not fear death. He did not want to be found out, but he wasn’t at all worried about what would happen to him if he was. He wasn’t afraid of tax audits, or romantic rejection, or clowns.
He didn’t love anything either. There was no collection of memories bathed in human connection. He didn’t love his foster sister, who worked in this very same building. He didn’t love his foster father, who had taught him the methods he needed to do what he did. He didn’t love his foster mother, who had done her best to nurture and care for him. I saw all of this, there was no conscious concealment. Sometimes, people have the ability to resist being read. There was a barricade at one point, blocking off an area which I guessed concealed something which was hidden even to his own examinations.
The only other time I had ever seen anything remotely like it was locked in a soul gaze with Chicago crime boss Johnny Marconi. And even his soul had contained more useful knowledge with which to gain the measure of a man. This person, with his calm smile and assured confidence, was a killer, and he didn’t care. He didn’t kill out of anger or glee. He killed because he thought it was some kind of purpose, but there was no internal emotional motivation. It was unsettling.
I’ve read about these things. In the papers, usually. The commonly held definition of sociopath didn’t exactly seem to fit, but it would have to do. Standing before me was a sociopathic serial killer. And when our eyes disconnected, when I pulled back and tried to establish my bearings once more, he smiled at me – as if nothing had happened, and went into his lab. He worked for the Miami police.
It might surprise you to know that I was not compelled to rush into LaGuerta’s office and inform her she had a cold-blooded murderer on staff. It was not my place. I deal in magic. He dealt in science. And while the two are not mutually exclusive, in fact, they share many commonalities, it was an important distinction. We were from two very different worlds. This man killed, yes, but he killed other killers. He murdered those who had not been brought to justice through the official channels, and that wasn’t very much different to what I do, so it would be the height of hypocrisy to rat him out.
Instead, I sat down in the chair near the desk and swung around a few times, hoping Murphy would be back soon. I could feel him staring at me through the half-open blind of his office, and even though I knew I would never be a target, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it created a tumultuous storm in the pit of my stomach.