Title: Jim Morrison's Dead
Author: Victoria P. [email@example.com]
Summary: Motels, money, murder, madness
Rating: R, for the ever-popular mature themes.
Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool
Feedback: gets Mr. Mojo rising.
Notes: Thanks to Jen, Pete, Dot, and Meg. This is for Jen, who asked, "Is that the summary?"
Jim Morrison's Dead
She looked at the messy bed, the splintered furniture, clothes strewn about the room. The smell of sex and blood permeated the air.
"He's been here," she said tersely.
"What the hell was he doing?"
Logan eyed the room with distaste. "This was fun, maybe revenge. Not business. That's one reason he's being so sloppy."
They had watched the police take the body out several hours earlier, then he and Rogue had meticulously gone over the crime scene.
Logan might not have remembered much of his past, but someone had trained him well. They went over the room with a fine-tooth comb, and it was so very familiar to him in a distant way.
"They all think it's me," he said abruptly. She nodded. "But you don't."
"Why not?" His lips curled in disdain. "It's possible."
"You said it wasn't. That's good enough for me."
"You have no reason to believe me."
She tapped the side of her head. "You're not a rapist."
He nodded, noticing that she didn't say, 'You're not a killer.'
She carefully searched the sheets, leather gloves replaced with latex, looking for things the cops had missed. Looking for something to prove Logan wasn't the psycho cutting up young women on the hot, dry LA nights.
He'd been waking up from vivid dreams of blood and sex, different from his usual nightmares. He hadn't told her his fear was that they weren't dreams at all. He hadn't been this shaken up in years, and he didn't like it.
She was staring at the bed, brow furrowed in concentration, biting her lower lip. "Got it," she muttered, tucking something into her pocket and easing off the bed. "Let's get the hell out of here."
"What'd you get?"
She pulled a small, glassine bag from her pocket. It held a miniscule metal triangle. "He hit bone," she said. "He had a cheap knife."
He drew a deep breath, then regretted it, his nose and mouth filled with the foul stench of fear, blood and death that hung in the air.
"Told you it wasn't you," she said, taking his hand and leading him back to the car. "I don't know why you were so worried."
"How did you--" he broke off when she turned and raised an eyebrow. She shouldn't be able to read him like that. Not after so many years apart. "Find it," he finished, and they both knew that wasn't his original question.
"Erik left me with some skills," she said, walking around to the passenger side. He nodded.
He still couldn't believe she was here. When, in desperation, he'd called Xavier for help, he'd expected Scott, or Storm, or even Jean. When Rogue had walked into the bar, greeting him as if it had been five minutes instead of five years since the last time they'd met, he'd been blown away.
Up close, he could see that she was older, harder. Her eyes didn't have the same innocent glow they'd had when she was seventeen, or even twenty-one. He cursed under his breath, knowing he'd been the one to put that light out.
"That's why they sent you," he said now, breaking the silence. "Because you believed it wasn't me."
"One reason," she said.
"There are others?"
"I'm damn good at this, Logan. I'm not the same girl you knew."
Five years, he thought, easing the car into traffic. She'd insisted on renting the white Cavalier. "White is the most popular color for cars these days," she'd said. "And your bike stands out too much."
He'd allowed her to take the lead, still too surprised at her presence -- and how it made him feel -- to object.
They stopped at a coffee shop and he wondered when she'd lost the tendency to chatter endlessly about anything and everything. He found he missed it.
After ordering coffee and burgers, she pulled out a notebook. "Okay, we've got a white male, likes to cut. Uses inferior knives, possibly with limited knowledge of anatomy, since he hit bone when he was working on her."
"Or he got so excited he screwed up," Logan commented.
She made a moue of disgust. "He gets off on it, you think?"
Logan nodded. "The pain, the fear. He feeds off it, I bet. He fucks them while they're still alive." He thought for a moment. "Creed's still in prison, eh?"
"Yeah." Killing Mystique and capturing Sabretooth during their attempt to break Magneto out of prison had been one of the triumphs of Rogue's career with the X-Men; it had gotten her a leadership position on the team.
He'd trained her well, he reflected, watching as she scribbled in the notebook and munched on fries. She was together professionally, even if he'd fucked up her personal life.
"Five girls in two weeks, Logan. This guy's crazy. He's looking to get caught."
He snorted. "Marie--" she shot him a hard look. "I mean, Rogue, don't buy into that whole Profiler/Silence of the Lambs bullshit. He's doing it because he needs it now. He's addicted to the rush, the power it gives him." He thought about how it felt when he unloosed the animal in himself -- the freedom and energy, the sheer adrenaline high -- it was addictive. "That's why he's getting sloppy." He ran a hand over his face, through his wild hair. "I knew there was a reason I hated this town. Bunch a freakin' psychos."
She laughed and he felt his chest tighten. She was still the only one who could do that to him. He suddenly couldn't remember why he'd left her. It was on the tip of his tongue to ask when she said, "Did you get his scent?"
He shook his head. "Not good enough to track. Girl's blood was all over." She didn't ask, and he didn't volunteer, that he could probably find him if the guy got a hard-on in the vicinity. "What are we gonna do?"
She looked at him in surprise. "Find the bastard and --" she stopped and he nodded once. They understood each other. Or he thought they did.
They went back to the uncomfortable silence. He felt himself getting antsy under the steady gaze of those deep chocolate eyes.
"What?" he finally said, irritated that she could do this to him. He'd always had the upper hand in their relationship and now -- well, now he didn't know where he stood, because they had no relationship at all.
"I figured you'd be outta here by sunrise," she drawled. "None of your business. Let the cops handle it."
He opened his mouth and then closed it slowly. That had been his first reaction, once he knew he wasn't guilty. But the smell of fear in that motel room, and the sudden, vivid image of Marie's body being carried out of a random motel room in a similar state, had chilled him to the bone. He was going to kill this guy, and Marie -- no, Rogue -- was going to help him.
They headed back to the flat he was renting, and she outlined the plan to use herself as bait. She simply ignored all of his arguments, told him she was going out to buy supplies, and left. She came back two hours later with a number of shopping bags, which made him a little queasy.
When it got dark, she got ready. She stepped out of his bathroom and he had to work hard to keep his face expressionless.
Rogue was gone.
In her place stood some odd, exotic creature with short black hair and long black boots. Her dress was short enough to expose the tops of her stockings, and he felt the growl rise in his chest. This was a very bad idea, he thought.
"Let's go. The papers say the girls have all come from the Strip, so that's where we'll start."
And for the next four nights, they drove the city, searching for the killer. They were careful to avoid the cops in cars, patrolling the streets, and Logan took care of any pimps and other street toughs who wanted to get involved in their business.
On the fifth night, Rogue stood outside a topless joint called "Jiggles", long slim neck and perfectly carved face reflecting light in the shadows. He never saw a woman look so alone, so vulnerable, and yet so achingly strong.
She easily dealt with the johns and the losers who came out of the bar and hit on her. Logan waited nearby, all senses on alert for some sign that their guy was near.
And that night, they hit pay dirt.
He was, as Rogue surmised, a white guy. Mid-thirties, Logan guessed. Glasses, thinning blond hair, slight beer gut, and perfect teeth. He looked like a frigging dentist.
The guy leaned into Rogue and as they talked, Logan could tell he was excited. He closed his eyes and images of Rogue laid out before him, naked and bleeding, made him jerk upright.
Their killer was a latent telepath, broadcasting his sick fantasies to everyone in the vicinity. Logan had never thought himself particularly susceptible to other people's delusions, and he had a real bug up his ass about *anyone* messing with his head, but he was absurdly grateful this time to learn that those dreams hadn't originated inside himself.
When the guy moved to put an arm around her and she resisted, he pulled a large, serrated-edge hunting knife from his jacket pocket. <Christ, he's upgraded,> Logan thought as he lunged out of the car and tackled the guy. Used his own knife on him. Left him dead in a dumpster off Sunset, and then he and Rogue took off separately, agreeing to meet later, at the coffee shop.
She was lounging at a table, sipping coffee and reading a book when he walked in. "Hey."
"Hey yourself," she replied, looking up. "Saved you a seat." She pushed the chair out with her foot. He turned it around and straddled it.
"You all right?"
"Never better. You?"
"I'm taking the six a.m. flight back to New York," she said.
"I'll take you to the airport."
"You don't have to."
"Let's get the hell out of here," she said abruptly, rising and throwing some money on the table. She held out her gloved hand and he took it.
At his apartment they had sex, hard and fast, nothing like how it had been between them five years before. No words of love, no gentle caresses or cuddling in the afterglow. And he knew that whatever they'd had was gone. He'd killed it; she was giving him what he'd told her he wanted -- a good fuck and no strings.
He made her eggs around four, and then drove her to the airport, cigar clamped between his teeth like a stopper in a bottle, keeping in all the words he knew he'd never say. How could he tell her he'd been wrong?
In the car, they sat staring at each other for a moment before she picked up her bag. It was early yet, and no one was honking at them to move.
"Stay out of trouble," she said finally, turning to get out of the car.
He took hold of her arm and she faced him. "If they say I never loved you, you know they're all liars," he said, wanting her to know that truth.
She took the cigar from his hand and brought it to her lips, taking a deep drag. Then she leaned in and kissed him quickly, blowing the smoke into his mouth and retreating before her skin could react.
She smiled fleetingly, sadly. "Jim Morrison's dead, sugar."
She got out of the car and walked into the terminal without a backward glance.
"It's a super-strong mutant fish in love with you. Who knows how super-strong mutant fish mate?" - Clark Kent, "Black Pond" by Viridian5
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