Title: Knifing the Line
Paring: Derrick Averit/Justin Carie
Word Count: 5,260
Summary: Reason for Existing: Darkly Dreaming Dexter, and ‘Dexter’ on HBO, and an evil teacher I have that influences children to read and write and do all of those wicked things.
"We find the defendant, Derrick Averit, not guilty on the three charges of first degree manslaughter."
There was silence in the court room, a lack of motion full of surprise and horror. The judge recovered first, looking over at Derrick Averit with a certain distain and knowledge that comes from years of seeing this sort of thing on a daily basis.
"Then you are free to go. The state apologizes for this, Mr. Averit."
"No apologies necessary, your Honor." Averit's voice was strong and dark and behind the newly promoted Justin Carie someone start crying. He felt like crying himself. He felt like screaming and shooting the son of a bitch - everyone fucking knew it was him - in the back then laughing about it. But there was a woman crying behind him, and he couldn't bring himself to reach for his gun.
Three months before the trial started, Officer Justin Carie found the bodies of the three victims in a car just inside Salisbury Park. They were wrapped tightly in blankets in the trunk of the car, carefully tucked together - all three bodies clean and naked and lacking any blood whatsoever. Their licensees and valuables were stacked separately in the seats inside the car - along with a number - 8.
"Bodies, Bodies everywhere," Chef Kensington said quietly to Justin - more accurately Jay, who had been a homicide cop for a few months already and was assigned the case - in a tone that sat between amusement and horror. "And not a drop of blood."
There was, of cores, no blood to speak of. Each victim was missing a large amount of their blood, and their left pinky finger. Kensington hypostasized that this killer was making hands. There were fingers missing from victims left and right - all with the same MO as this killer.
No murderer to be accounted for though.
They did find a print thought. It was a five point match to Derrick Averit, a local clerk at a court house. Upon closer inspection, they found a hair and a fiber that matched Derrick’s head and coat in the car.
Unfortunately for the entire department, Derrick admitted once taken into custody, that he had his car stolen three days before the murder. He had reported it too. The link was formed between the suspect an victims then - seeing as Derrick was the clerk that assigned the three victims to judges that wouldn’t go easy on them even after they had tried to bribe him - the scum buckets that were involved in a sex crime, had stolen the car to get back at the clerk who wouldn't be bribed.
They pushed that little bit of information anyway - pulled the link between the car and the print all the way to trial.
Justin had been a simple 'carry boy', someone who escorted the defendant to and from, who took care of evidence and even testified as to how he found the car and were. Detective Jay hand told Justin - a friend for nearly seven years - that Derrick gave him that feeling, something that good detective's train and teach to find the bad guys. He said that Derrick just gave off a vive - one that screamed abnormal and off kilter and not right. So not right that it was almost scary.
Derrick, at age twenty-five, had a law degree and was studying medicine at a local university. Why, no one knew - Derrick said he had a passion for law and for medicine and hoped to one day combined them and become an lawyer for malpractice cases - but he had a smile, one Jay and Justin picked up on, that raised the hair on the back of their necks.
Derrick hand only talked to Justin once then - before the trial - he had asked for the time. Justin gave it gruffly, and Derrick simply smiled and said that 'Oh'.
"Why?" Justin found himself asking. There was no one around - no one listening, anyway - and Justin felt like hitting the...the kid beside him. This sniveling form of faking trash. Derrick turned, eyes light with surprise - but noticed the look in Justin's eyes. “Why’d ya kill them?”
Like layers of clothing, the foundation of what Derrick was to everyone unraveled away to reveal his monster. The thing that lived in him - the thing that Justin had picked up on the moment he had hauled Derrick from the cop car to the jail cell, the evil living inside of him that was so dark and dirty that it made Justin taste bile at the back of his throat. Suddenly there was someone else sitting in that chair where Derrick Averit had been sitting, something dangerous and deadly and hungry for things humans shouldn't be hungry for. It was icy cold and, perhaps the scariest part of all, was that it was logical. Very much so.
The thing, Derrick, was suddenly inhuman. So monstrous and not real that it wasn't any more. Its lips perked up, a cruel smile, and glee filled its eyes. Dark, ugly glee.
"A little death makes life more meaningful, Officer Carie. Especially for those who take it. Life, I mean."
It stood, a swift, carefully measured movement, and Justin felt like vomiting. He couldn't move. Derrick's eyes were set flat on his, as sharp as any knife he had ever used. Any doubt that the monster in front of him hadn’t done the killings vanished. "There are bad people in this would." He said, careful - softly. "People who would eat you alive. I try the best I can to make sure I eat them first."
"Averit! Court back in session!"
The shout broke over the hallway, and suddenly Derrick was standing in front of him. But he let Justin see him this time - see him slip back into his fake niceties, his plastic body and smile. Justin could smell it now, ugly self-created fakeness - so purely not human that it could blend it and be human.
"We'll talk later, Officer." Derrick said with a smile, than slipped back into the courtroom. He threw over his shoulder. "Whether you want to or not."
Justin excused himself from his post and threw up in the bathroom.
Upon hearing the innocent conviction, Justin felt a sickness creep over him. A sickness that ate at his being and made him want to shout that the fucking justice system had failed miserably and for fucks sake Double fucking Jeopardy was a huge issue now and why the fuck hadn't he come forward and said something about what that monster had said to him?
Because no one would believe it. The Captain would put a cap in his ass and tell him that making shit up wouldn't do anyone any good. And That would be That.
There was a killing the day Derrick got out, but his presence was accounted for. He was monitored entering his apartment building and did not leave. At all. There was a number 9 written on the chest of the next victim - a proper, old fashioned drug dealer who smelled like weed and had pictures of missing girls on his wall. Done the same way as the ones in Averit’s car had.
Derrick was off the hook. At least, on paper.
A month after Justin’s promotion to detective, after he had gotten settled, he found Derrick in his apartment.
Justin could feel it - the presence of someone that did not belong.
"Shut the door and lock it." Someone said from his far left. Justin had his gun in his bag and shit wasn't this the proper time to follow fucking protocol? Justin shut the door and locked it. "Drop the bag and move toward the middle of the room. Face down on the carpet."
Justin did. He heard someone move over to his bag and kick it - far off down the hall, too far to go for it any time soon. The shoes of the intruder were black, new working boots. The tread couldn’t be traces - it was still to shiny.
"Hello Officer." Said the voice, and Justin knew. And something close to terror - true terror, laced through his veins. Justin wasn't sure if he started crying then, but he was suddenly aware that his face was wet.
And all he could think was he should have called his mother on her birthday.
"Oh, Detective, sorry." Said Derrick, softly, circling around to stand behind him. "Give me your hands, please."
Justin did. Cold metal looped around them, carefully, and Justin felt a hiccup of terror force its way through his mouth. His own fucking handcuffs--
"Relax Detective." Derrick said, moving over and away. "You can sit up now. Relax."
Justin didn't move. He stayed exactly where he was. He heard Derrick sigh and move around to the front of him. Soft, glove covered hands lifted his face up to mead the lively, fake eyes of Derrick Averit. "You are not going to die today Detective. You do your job to well, and you've done nothing wrong. I want to talk to you. You need water?"
Justin kept his mouth shut. Derrick, after a moment, sat back on his haunches and wiped the trail of water from Justin's face. He flinched away. Derrick frowned.
"Well, alright, this is unfair. I'll agree. But I had a feeling that the only way you would ever listen to a word I have to say would be like this, when I’m in control of this situation. I thought this would go a lot smoother." Derrick noted, his frown wrinkling his forehead. "I also thought you would make me hit you. I'm glad you haven't yet."
"Son of a bitch-" Justin managed through clenched teeth.
"Quite possibly." Derrick said with a smile.
"What the fuck do-"
"-I want with you?" Derrick sat in front of him, crossed legged. His jacket was long and stuck out at odd angels. Justin didn't know if he had a weapon or not. "I want to talk to you, Detective. About helping you."
Justin laughed out loud. Derrick waited till he was finished, his smile still in place. "Helping?" Justin choked. "You fucking-"
"Shut." Derrick said, suddenly falling away, and that person - the one from the lobby of the court house that day - was sitting in front of him, suddenly a lot less reasonable and a lot more controlled. "Your mouth."
Justin did. The fear was back. It was trying to claw its way out of his mouth.
Derrick sharp eyes cut over Justin's face. Nothing fluttered in side that - nothing that could be considered helpful. "I am giving you a gift, Detective. I am offering my hand and help with your open homicide cases. I am someone who can find the people who have done so many wrongs and have yet to be punished for such crimes."
"Because you found me, you - Justin Aaron Carie, former address 34 Canford Street, Rockwell, mother named Sue and father named Daniel James - now have me. My knife, my mind, and my connections are yours now." Derrick smiled, the thing in him smiled, and it was long and creeping - thick and weighty. "Consider yourself lucky. I would have killed you if you were crocked."
Justin found his eyes widening. Derrick's slimy smile pulled itself onto his face before he could fill himself with his fake persona. "Yes, Justin, I am holding your family hostage in order for you to do this. We are making a contract, right now."
"This-" Justin spit. Anger was welling - fear and terror could only last so long. "This isn't f-"
"Fair?" Derrick was pulling of one of his gloves. He stood, rather quickly, and moved over toward Justin's coffee table. He licked his fingertips, thumb to pinky, and placed them all carefully on the glass table. He pulled his glove back on after that and turned back to Justin. "That should push the weight in more of your favor. You can expose me if necessary - tell everyone I broke into your house. That would get you a search warrant for my apartment, and there you would find what you need to link me to my other murders."
Justin felt something rush up his back and seize the back of his brain. Other murders.
"But," Derrick said, moving back to squat near the officer. "If you expose me before I kill without prompt - or to protect myself - if I stay on the leash I've given you and you hang me up to dry anyway, none of that will happen. And I'll find your father first."
Derrick pulled out a knife from his pocket - one long one, old and used and tarnished with the flecks of a thousand corpses. Justin wished. Oh how he wished. Surely a thousand murder one convictions would let this monster be killed a few times over. Would let hell spit him back up so that they could kill him again and again and again. Derrick placed a small card on the coffee table, next to the knife and his fingerprints.
"I am a man of my word, Detective." Derrick said slowly, carefully. "There will be one more death by my hands, and then I will belong to you. If I don’t hear from you in a week, then I’m taking a trip to Virginia."
Derrick turned then to look down at the older man. Then, and only then, did Justin fucking understand.
Derrick kicked him, hard, at just the right spot on his head. He woke up and hour later, his hand cuffs off, and the rug vacuumed around him, leading all the way to the door.
"Detective?” He answered. Justin felt his tongue swell. This was'nt right.
A sigh. "I know, Detective, it's hard. But please, what is it? I have work-"
"An old murder, two to three years. The vic was hung up on chains at a factor-"
Derrick hummed once, long and soft, before he spoke. "Check for the Vaciso family - The two younger sons. Dig around The Down Town, and check everywhere you possibly can there. You'll find blood in the attic - so much that it's sainted the floor. The slaughters were preformed there, so it's possible you'll find hair. From there you'll get fingertips. The brother you’re looking for normally spends times at the bars on Beckon Street. Are you writing this down?"
Justin was not, actually. "How-"
"That's old in the circuit, Detective." The monster on the line said. There was a smile in his voice. "A small fry on a big plate. Have a nice day."
Justin managed that first arrest - saying he got n tip from some random woman who couldn't hold her secret any more gave him the place to check out.
On his desk the next morning was a note that simply said 'Good work. Next time, don't call me a woman'.
In six months, Detective Justin Carie was the whispered name out Beckon Street - not to mention Hazard Way.
He got a call at six.
"Move." The voice said. Then hung up very quickly. Justin checked his caller ID - the only incoming call was from 'Yin' - Derrick. Justin thought it was kind of clever of him. Justin tried to call him back, but it went straight to voice mail.
Justin got the fuck up and moved. He started to cross the homicide office when he noticed them. Someone - anyway - with thick glasses on and a red jacket - moved into the room - and no one seemed to notice but Justin. She was tall - someone you would picture doing something like this - and her gaze swept around the room. It landed on him, and Justin hand only started to gather breath to shout when she pulled the gun. Two bangs, one imbedded in the wall next to his head - one snapping across his skin and cutting into his arm. Justin fell like a pro - all limp and quickly. Sound was suddenly a lost sensation - and shock oozed into him as his arm started to bleed.
There was a laps in time, Justin guessed, of two or three seconds, before another two bangs went off. And then nothing. Jay grabbed him and yanked him to his feet, shouting something - but Justin's left ear was shot from the close range bullet and panic hand taken his right ear captive.
There was blood on the window of the squad room - two sets, he would learn later - and the form of Derrick Averit was leaning against the doorjamb, bleeding from the chest. There was a moment, when the beast had been the only one inside Averit's body - his other slipping back and enveloped by the pain - when their eyes had connected and the beast had told him - told him to run but he hadn’t listen very well and now look what he had did, stupid ass, he had gotten both of them shot and where the hell did he get off doing that - and suddenly there wasn't anything in Derrick Averit's eyes other then impending blackness and Justin remembered that line - that a little death makes live all that more meaningful - and he thought that this would be good for them. Blackness ate at his vision and his blood wouldn't stop falling from his arm and Justin thought if we make it.
"That fuckers' alive." Sonya Kinning said. Justin picked his head up.
"You alive?" She asked. Sonya was tough, but bullshit like this - like losing a few pints and being very pale and very cold and having your partner have to help drag you to the ambulance - made her seam a lot more like a woman then her job did. He could have sworn she was crying before - but that might have been the meds.
"As alive as I can be."
"Good." She said. "Then we can lock that fucker up together."
"What?" Justin wondered at the meds he was taking. Had he blacked out for some of the conversation?
"Averit." She said, like he should know. He did. "We matched his cells to those under the vic from a while back – perfect match. New evidence. He's going to trial again."
"Double jeopardy?" Justin said. Sonya waved her hand.
"In light of new evidence." She said, waving her finger.
"He saved my ass." Justin admitted. "He's an informant. He's been helping for the past few months..."
Sonya's face stilled - her eyes becoming that black cop look people develop over the years. Flat, wordless expression of nothing. Nothing in or out. Just what was there. "What?"
That was the first time The Deal had ever been spoken of out loud - outlined briefly, keeping all the secrets intact. Simply stated 'if he helped me I would help him', not 'if he stabbed again I could stab him' or 'he's got my parents so I’ve no choice'. Derrick meant the first one - not the other two - that had been proven now.
"You saved my ass." Justin said. His arm was in a sling - finally - and it was getting better rather quickly.
Derrick didn't move. "That I did." His voice was soft and unhealthy. "I'm going to die for it."
Justin didn't say anything. He simply closed the door.
"They're pulling up the other murders. They have my blood now to match - they will, why not? I'm the fish that got away." Derrick picked his head up just enough to see Justin. "Did well though, for the time I was a good guy."
I understand you. I fucking understand you. I get it. I've gotten it. "Times not up yet, camper." Justin said. Derrick laughed, then choked and curled into himself. It was a strangely human motion - made the whole conversation seem more real. Justin's arm hurt.
"I'm pulling strings." Justin said. "I'm making you a good guy."
Derrick's fake face melted away a little - from the pressure of pain and of confusion. "...what?"
"You’re an informant. You've been working with the police for a few months and we've gotten more done with you then we have in the past three years." Justin said. "I can pull some stuff - ask the right people to do the wrong thing - to not look. Those murders have stopped. You're out of the box marked ‘Murdered’ and in the box marked ‘Informant’."
Derrick stared for a long moment - the monster swimming into view and wondering what are you doing, human? You have me now? Justin swallowed. "Your my informant who's been helping and you were coming in to give me some information. You tell no one what that info is - unless it's someone higher than me. Make up a case - say you just got information about it. Don’t say how, or why, just say you do."
Derrick stared, and Justin could see something whirl the gears in his head. He was thinking.
"Or - " Justin let something like a smile creep onto his face, something he had seen on its face time and time again. Something like cheerful glee that was to dark to speak of. "I'll let them have your blood, and we'll watch the barracuda go after you."
There was movement in the blackness, then a smile.
"Now you're playing the game right, Detective."
The DA had tried to pin the woman who open fired on the squad with Derrick - tried to move them together and form a connection. It was dismissed almost immediately - why would Derrick show up then, let alone get shot, to prove he wasn't guilty.
Derrick Averit was proved innocent of the charge, and then formally signed up as a informant for Justin's department.
Justin learned a month later that Derrick had lost his job as a clerk.
"What happened?" Justin stuck the phone between this holder and his ear, handing a file to Jay - who was eating a crawler on Justin's desk.
"It took them a month to let things settle down. Then they said that they couldn't have me anymore."
"Justice Mormit." The presiding judge on the case against Derrick for the murders of the three scumbags. "He was pushing for it for a few months. The second trial gave him more ground."
Jay mouthed something like 'Lunch' toward Justin. He nodded and waved toward where Sonya was fighting with a lab tech over some blood results. Jay moved off.
"Am I keeping you, Detective?" Derrick said. There was a sly smile in his words.
"Aah, well then, I must be the one to end this call this time. Class starts in a minute or two."
Justin paused. He carefully put his feet back on the floor. "Class?"
"I'm in college, Detective. I thought you would have remembered that." Derrick hung up.
Justin had a cramping feeling in his gut through the rest of the day.
"Detective?" Derrick stared. His hand was still firmly placed on his front door knob. "....what are you doing here?"
This is the most frazzled I've ever seen him, Justin thought. He let a grin hold his face. "I figure you've seen my apartment. Why shouldn't I see yours?"
Derrick looked a lot different in normal clothing. A sweatshirt and jeans instead of a suit. It look odd. "You're not going to handcuff me and kick me to the floor too, right?"
Justin didn't know how to take that. So he didn’t react. Derrick laughed and moved away from the door. "Come in, Detective."
The apartment was small and cramped. Justin let his eyes wonder over everything - the small black couch and the little TV and the nook that led into a smaller kitchen. A hall lead back into the blackness of another two rooms - a bedroom and an office, or the room where he kept his operating table and toys. Justin kept scanning the small space, over and over again, analyzing.
"It's an office." Derrick said from the kitchen. "And I don't keep my souvenirs out for everyone who strolls into my home to see, Detective. I'm not that stupid."
Justin felt something catch in his throat.
Derrick moved out to lean against the archway to the kitchen, a cup of steaming liquid in his hand, a small smile on his plastic face. "Hit the nail on the head, didn't I?"
"Yes." Justin said truthfully. Derrick laughed, a dark sound, and took a sip.
"No." Justin shuffled his feet, and Derrick laughed again.
"You have questions for me, Detective. Please, just ask them. It will make you feel better." Derrick slipped into a chair near the kitchen entryway. His table was clean and clear of clutter. "Feel free to sit too. You’re making me antsy. Hang your jacket up, while you're at it. It's not that cold in here."
Justin did that. The couch was a lot softer then it had looked. And it didn't ooze blood onto his clothes or anything.
"I've never killed anyone in my apartment, Detective." There was delight in Derrick's eyes. Something close to a mingling of both of the people in that body, coming very close together, coming very close to being one. It enjoyed watching Justin squirm and be completely uncomfortably, it enjoyed the company of someone who knew so it didn't have to pretend. "Much too sloppy. What do you want?"
"I'm not sure." Justin said, truthfully again. Derrick's eyes turned lighter, an eyebrow furrowing. There was a moment of quiet, a lack of real need to speak - before Derrick sat back and tucked his hands into his sweatshirt.
"I'm working toward being a mortician." Derrick offered.
"Embalmer, actually." Derrick pushed again, letting his head rest back against the wall. "Or I could work in a morgue, in the department possibly. I figure my knowledge should be used for something. It's not doing me very much good, sitting around my brain with no reason."
Justin felt his forehead knot up. "But-"
"I'm not sure." Derrick answered. "I'm taking classes in it now, actually. I've been involved in medicine my whole life."
That makes sense. Who taught you how to cut? Justin felt something move around his chest.
"My father." Derrick answered, eyes dark again. "He was a surging. But we're not talking about then. What is it, Detective? You want something from me. What?"
"How's your chest?" Justin asked. Derrick let his hand smack the table, leaning forward.
"What. Do. You. Want?"
"I don't understand how." Justin let his eyes fall. His shoes looked out of place on the brown carpet. "I don't get why. You're.....you just-"
"There's something wrong." Derrick stood, carefully, his movement's measured and steady. He tapped his forehead with a careful hand. "Something here that's been wrong for a while, since I was born, that makes it hard to exist. I have a hatred born in me - not learned - that makes me what I am. It cannot be changed. It is as concrete as your constitution to do what is Right and Good."
There was something scarily right about the situation, Justin thought. Derrick was very close, squatting in front of him, wearing almost the same face as he had the day that The Deal had been made. Vertigo surged up and made Justin's head ring.
"Your interested in me - my head, and the words I say. Because I don't think like you, and you don't understand why. Detective, it bothers you to know end that I get you, but you don't understand half of what I say when I say it. And it's there, were the comradely is. That's why your interest and concerned, because the Good part of you sees what's left of me and you instinctually want to help me get along because you don't understand what I am. You'll never be able to leave it be, and you don't understand why, and you don't know how to ask - so instead you'll ask me how my chest is and wonder how I learned to cut." Derrick smiled, something sincere looking - and for once it washed through Derrick's eyes. "Truthfully, Detective, you bother the hell out of me to - pardon my language - and neither one of us can seem to figure out why. I was beginning to wonder if I should keep up my end of the contract and continue to help you - but never mind that. I rather like this odd situation - it lets me learn and adjust."
Justin's head was spinning without him. Derrick move away and placed his hands carefully into his pockets.
"No," Derrick said. "I will not show you any of my trophies - that's something no one gets to see. No, I will not stop helping, but yes, I will duck my head a little bit and stay off the raider. I'm feeling fine now - I have an appointment tomorrow with a doctor to check on my progress. I'll leave you mail on how I am. I also have a test tomorrow, and I am planning on applying at a morgue in the near future. Now, on that note, I believe it's time for your departure."
Derrick opened his front door and smiled a little at the detective, then heading off toward a room down the hallway that Justin noted upon arriving. One of those doors closed with click that sang through the silence of the room - leaving Justin to show himself out.
Justin didn't speak until halfway through the next day when Sonya punched him in the face.
"Ow What the fuck was that for!?!" Justin's nose was bleeding. The squad room got very, very quiet.
"You fucking deserved it!" She shouted. Jay grabbed onto Justin's arm and Alex grabbed Sonya's.
Justin was knocked by that statement more than he was by the hit. "W-what?!"
"There is something fucking wrong with you! I was trying to clear your no-thinking, backwards fucking head! There's something fucking wrong with you!"
"Detectives!!" Kensington shouted, making the entire floor shut up. His presences filled the room - zapping the air from everyone's lungs. "That the hell is going on?"
"Kinning hit Carie, sir." Jay sad, being responsible. Kensington swept his eyes between the two officers, Justin's nose dribbling small drops of blood onto the station floor. Sonya's face was bright red with anger and embarrassment.
"Go home, Kinning. We'll see you early tomorrow in my office." Kensington said. "Drop downstairs to an ME, Carie. They'll have something for you. Get back to work!"
And with that, everyone started again. Jay let go of Justin carefully - Sonya ripper her arm out of Alex's hand, grabbed her jacket, and was out the door within the minuet. Justin wiped his nose with his hand and went in the opposite direction.
Jay rubbed his neck. Alex sight. "It was about fucking time. I was going to pop him in the face myself if he didn't snap out of it. What the fuck's his problem?"
Kensington shook his head. "They're children."
"Justin's almost thirty-three." Jay defended. Kensington laughed and move back to his office.
"Really," Alex pushed his partner with his elbow and picked up Justin's ringing phone. The ID say 'Yin'. He didn't answer it. "What the fuck is Justin's problem?"
"I don't know." Jay lied.