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Title: Multiple Choice
Fandom: Dexter
Prompt: #24, Skinner Box
Rating: PG13
Warnings: None besides the fandom.
Summary: Welcome to Dexter's dreams.
Spoilers: Spoilers for S1.
Word Count: About two hundred.

Every night, his heart rate rises to a barely sustainable level. Every night, stress markers in his bloodstream shoot into ranges not unfamiliar to field doctors in war zones. Every night, his body suffers the tension of a fight-or-flight reaction so tightly controlled every muscle is sore the next morning. Every night, he dreams it as he lived it. In silence.

For the first five weeks he sees things through his own eyes. His back against a corner of the big container, seeing everything and refusing to understand. Shacking with every scream. Puking when the blood first touches his shoes.

Then he dreams as his mother saw it. This particular nightmare only lasts a week before his mind rebels, threatening to break under the strain of the chainsaw and the now-faceless man.

There comes a week of dreaming he is another boy. Somebody else in the container that sees everything, too, including Dexter's face. But there was no other boy, and he misses him too much to remember him.

So he settles for dreaming he is the man with the chainsaw. It's not a deliberate choice: it's the only one.

His body knows peace for the first time in months.

With time, he stops dreaming. Even forgets he used to dream.

The first time he holds a knife, the feeling is thoroughly comforting. He knows what happens next.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
So that's how it works. Damn.
Mar. 13th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
It's a theory, at least. I suspect reality is going to be scarier.
Mar. 13th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
Holly fuck man. Holly. Fuck.

This is frighteningly brilliant. It's simple (well, no. only it is) and it makes sense and damn. Damn.

Also, this...

he misses him too much to remember him.

Beautiful. ♥
Mar. 13th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
:D Thanks so much!
Mar. 13th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)


And now I have a bunny for a Bruce story on these same lines. Oh, dear.
Mar. 13th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
Mar. 13th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
I'm so behind in my fic reading, but I clicked this cut and HOLY CRAP. You are astonishingly good at these; if it wasn't a totally creepy sentiment I would be expressing my desire to keep your brain in a jar and feed off the sweet, sweet thoughts that emerge from it.
Mar. 14th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
*g* *g* *g* I feel flattered!
Mar. 13th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
Damn. And also eep! This is an awesomely, terrifyingly plausible theory on why Dexter is who he is. ♥
Mar. 14th, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm very glad this looks plausible; that's always a delicate thing in fics like this one.
Oct. 6th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
I'd been trying to figure out how Dex went from that boy to a killer, since it seems like it should be the other way around. But this...this makes sense.

I miss Brian.
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
I miss Brian. Me too.

A question: where are your icon's image and quote from? I like them very much.
Oct. 7th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
Smallville, Alicia. She was my favorite character, a mildly psychotic teleporter. She was obsessed with Clark (thought he was a meteor freak like her) and he told her that he thought they needed to slow down, make some boundaries. She replied, "People like us don't need boundaries or limitations."
Oh Alicia! I would never limit you! Love me instead!
Oct. 7th, 2008 01:14 pm (UTC)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


cass, can you not

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