He Prefers White Lilies over Roses

BY : Kuronohime
Category: 1 through F > Dexter
Dragon prints: 5343
Disclaimer: Done for purely non monetary purposes. I do not own Dexter or the franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters Showtime network

A/N: I'm a very irregular viewer of Dexter, but every once in a while when I've watched the show I have became more

and more interested in the dynamics between Dexter and Astor. Astor has her growing pains and father issues and

Dexter is just completely inadequate to handle emotional stuff. So I just took the idea a little further and wondered

how it would play out if Astor, as an adult, was still holding a grudge against Dexter for failing to protect her mother.

How would two people of the opposite sides of the emotional spectrum clash. How would an emotionally crippled Dexter

cope with a young woman full of passion and anger. And naturally, I'm a hopeless shipper! So, it was a slow day and

instead of writing one of my gazillion unfinished fics, I decided to write this one.



There had always been a thing that just rubbed her in the wrong way about Dexter. There was something artificial

about him. Something clinical.

She hadn't seen him in years, but he didn't seem to have changed any since her last visit. His dirty blonde hair was

kept neatly short and he had maintained his good physical shape over the years. For whatever reason, Astor didn't

know. She remembered from childhood that keeping fit had always been an obsession for Dexter. Long runs on the

beach, daily workouts and a healthy diet while most his peers were munching away their health with doughnuts and

whatnot. Drinking heavily was also an occupational feature among the people in law reinforcement. But Dexter rarely

joined them in this nightly after work ritual. Actually she couldn't recall him ever drinking. Ever loosening up. Ever really

living.

Dexter had gotten up from the car and was walking towards her with that phony smile plastered on the well-preserved

face of his. He looked well under his actual age. Probably because he never really displayed any facial expressions to

get any wrinkles. But, truth to be told, Dexter seemed more authentic whenever he didn't try to feign a smile. When he

did, it always seemed to Astor like he was an animal, trying to mimic something unobtainable to him emotionally. He

mostly got the mechanics of a smile right, but beneath the surface there was nothing. When he approached her and gave

her an awkward hug, she could see his eyes up close. Exactly as they had been in her childhood, void of any emotion.

"So, how was your trip? Here, let me help you with these." Dexter said as he let go of her and lifted up three heavy

luggage.

"Fine, thank you." She replied without returning his smile and they both walked back to Dexter's station wagon.

Astor climbed in to the passenger's seat and studied her surroundings. The interior was very orderly, as one could have

expected of Dexter. Even though he had a son of ten years, it was not evident inside the car. There were no toys lying

around, no juice stains on the sheathings or crumbs of chips between the back rest and the seat that were the typical

trademarks of a family car. No, instead everything was carefully vacuumed and washed. The air inside was a mixture of

detergent and bleach. It smelled essentially just like Dexter.

There was a muffled bang and the car swayed slightly as Dexter slammed close the trunk. He then entered the car and

Astor turned her face away from him.

He sighed and muttered something like "This is going to be one joyride" under his breath and Astor couldn't have agreed

more. He put on the radio and they both sat there, silently, listening to an insipid stream of music as they drove to his house.



"Okay, this is your room. It's next to Harrison's. I hope you like it." Dexter gave her that empty smile and anticipated that

she would reply. He was bad with social cues, as always. He dumbly stood there before figuring out that she was not in the

mood for conversing. With him, at least.

"So, I'm going to make dinner. Come and eat when you're hungry."

She humph'd and closed the door of her room in front of his face. God, she needed to find a place of her own. Pronto.

Astor threw herself on the guest- well, on her own bed and blankly stared at the pale blue ceiling. The choice of colour was

so like him. Nondescript, non-offending and - clinical. All the walls just oozed his essence. His smell. She could hardly muster

up an appetite in that room.

She rolled on the bed and reached out to open a window that was next to it. Hot and humid Miami air hit her face and slowly

filled the room. It was a nice view across the yard. Lanky palm trees swayed in rhythm with the wind next to the pavements.

The sky was clear and the sun shined down on all the idyllic houses that were painted in that same warm earthy red color as

Dexter's.

'Mom would have loved to grow old in here' she thought. Sudden melancholia hit her. The reason why she disliked visiting Dexter

was only partially because she wasn't particularly fond of him, but mostly because it all reminded her of the life that was

prematurely taken away from her mother.

She inhaled deeply, trying to fight off the ghosts of all the tears she had wept in the absence of her mother. She got up from

the bed.

Where was the bathroom again?



Astor washed her hands and splashed some cold water on her face. It was hot, alright. She had lived for two decades in Florida

and still found it hard to get used to the heat waves. She closed the tap and her eyes were caught by a Batman toothbrush that

was placed in a matching mug by the sink. Astor couldn't help but smile at it. The only human sign she had seen in the whole

house. Harrison was currently staying at his friend's place. Dexter had told her how Harrison had been excited about sleeping in

a tent by the yard of his friend's family. Still most of his trivial prattling had gone by her in their car drive.

Astor turned to leave and unlocked the door. Something rustled behind her and she turned back. The noise was coming from the

air vent. A mouse? When she got closer to it, it stopped. She stood there a while and gently tapped on the hatch. The rustling

started again and she quietly wedged the hatch open. She peered inside and was expecting to see a colony of mice, but instead

she was surprised to see a box, covered with dust.

"What..?"

She picked up the rectangular wooden box. It had a clasp at the end and it was really heavy. She tried to open it, but it needed a

key. Just as she was about to put the box back, the biggest cockroach that ever lived jumped at her.

She let out a shrilling shreak and in her moment of panic dropped the mystery box. It fell on the tile floor with a splendorous smash.

Astor grabbed whatever randomly was in the reach of her hand and swatted the little vermin with a Spiderman towel.

It took her a couple seconds to even out her breathing and when she had gotten over the initial adrenaline shock, she looked down

at the damage at her feet.

The box had cracked in two, but luckily the contects seemed to be intact. The lock was lying all over the floor in little bits and pieces.

Splinters of hard wood had scattered everywhere.

Astor carefully kneeled to observe what kind of dark secrets of Dexter had the box contained.

She frowned and picked up a glass slide with a perfectly circular drop of blood caught between the two slides of glass. There were

dozens of slides like that and she understood why the box had been so heavy. Why did he keep a collection of blood samples?

Was he sick? But most of all, why would he stash blood samples in the bathroom if it was his own blood?

One question merely spawned another and she had no idea what to think of the situation when the bathroom door swung open.

"Astor! I heard a…" Dexter stepped in, but stopped in his tracks.

Astor turned to look at him. It was the first time she saw him exhibit a true, unadulterated and intemperate emotion. It was sheer terror.



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