Burying the Dead
by Victoria P.Subject: [glass_onion] Fic: Burying the Dead: 1/1 (XMM) Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 10:00 AM Title: Burying the Dead Author: Victoria P. [firstname.lastname@example.org] Summary: Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies. Rating: PG-13 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: a va sans dire. Notes: Thanks to Jen, Pete/Melissa, Dot, and Meg. Inspired by a Tony-Janice scene in last Sunday's "The Sopranos." Draw your own conclusions.
Burying the Dead
"I had control, Logan. I swear I had control." She took a deep breath, tried to calm down. Her palm was hot and sweaty against the cool plastic of the phone.
"It's okay, baby," he said soothingly. "Where are you?"
"Uh--" she closed her eyes tight and let the guy's memories surface. "Sixty-sixth and Third. Apartment 4E. I'll tell the doorman."
"Jesus, a doorman?"
"I didn't," her voice dropped to a whisper. "I didn't mean it."
"I know, baby. It's all right. I'll be right there. Don't tell the doorman." She heard the click as he broke the connection.
She surveyed the scene. Her latest boyfriend, one Roger Jones, was laid out on the bed, his tanned skin waxy and ashen against the rich emerald of the comforter, and his dark eyes open and staring blindly at the ceiling.
Rogue forced herself to take deep breaths. She'd had control. She'd perfected it. It wasn't like the other times -- she shivered and shook her head. Best not to think of that.
Logan was coming. Logan would clean it up. Logan would make it all better.
He was still keeping his promise to take care of her, and she loved him all the more for it.
She pulled her clothes and gloves on, occasionally stealing glances at the bed. "He's not going anywhere," she told herself. She wondered if this time, she should just call the police, tell them he'd had a heart attack in bed.
No, that wouldn't work. He was young, healthy, the starting second baseman on his company softball team.
With shaking hands, she wiped down every surface she could recall touching, and a few she knew she hadn't.
She could hear Logan's voice in her head, "No prints -- that's the first rule." Also, no hair and no fibers.
She found the dust buster under the sink and was vacuuming the sheets when a tap on the window made her jump.
Pushing back the window guard and peering out, she saw the gleam of Logan's teeth in the darkness.
She opened the window and he climbed through, a black, canvas bag in his hand. He wore black karate pants, a black turtleneck and soft, black leather gloves.
"Oh, thank God."
Logan raised an eyebrow. "Where is he?"
"The bedroom." He stalked through the one doorway in the small apartment, Rogue hard on his heels.
He looked at the body on the bed, still fully clothed. "Didn't get very far, did you?"
"I'm just saying--"
He heaved a sigh and said, "Why don't you just call it in anonymously? He had a heart attack during sex, you got scared and ran--"
It was funny how their minds ran along the same track. She licked her lips, unsure. "I--"
"Who knows you were dating?"
"You. Jubes and Kitty. Maybe Scott and-- Shit. Jean introduced us. She's bound to know--" She could feel herself beginning to hyperventilate.
"Jeannie's not going to know," Logan said, grabbing her shoulders. "And even if she did figure it out, she wouldn't say anything."
"No one's asked about the last three, have they?"
She winced. She hadn't meant to kill them. Her control was just a little spotty when she was excited.
"Sorry," he murmured.
"No, no. You're right."
When she'd discovered, after years of meditation and research, a way to control her skin, no one had been happier for her than Logan.
Until she'd broken up with him because of it.
It wasn't that she didn't love him. She did. In fact, she sometimes thought she loved him too much, which was why she'd had to let him go. She was afraid he'd stay with her forever, just out of his sense of obligation, and she didn't want that. She wanted him to want her, not to feel sorry for her, because she couldn't touch and nobody wanted her.
So, as soon as she was able, she set him free.
He hadn't seemed upset, which made her think she'd done the right thing. After all, he could have anyone he wanted, and in those first few weeks after the break-up, she was sure he had. He'd gone out every night and not come back until dawn, looking as drunk and haggard as his mutation would allow.
Hiding her irrational hurt over his response -- wasn't that what she wanted? For him to be happy? -- she'd begun dating a guy she'd met at a local pub.
And then, the first time they'd tried to have sex, she'd killed him with her skin.
Hysterical, she'd called Logan, who calmly and efficiently disposed of the body. She hadn't asked where he'd taken it, and he hadn't volunteered any information.
Twice more over the last six months they'd repeated the scenario, and Roger made four notches on her bedpost, she thought, somewhat hysterically.
Each time she was sure that her control would hold, but it hadn't yet.
She wasn't sure it ever would, no matter how much she kept telling herself she could do it. And she wasn't sure she could take any more accidents, though Logan's rock-solid presence whenever she was in trouble made it a little easier to bear the deaths on her hands.
"He didn't do drugs, did he?" Logan asked hopefully, his voice bringing her back to the situation at hand.
She shook her head. "No."
"Damn. I've got some coke we could have left, made it look like an overdose." He sighed again, and ran a hand through his hair. "Okay, heart attack it is." She nodded. Technically, it was true. She'd sucked the life out of him until his heart had seized up. "Did the doorman see you?"
"Yeah, I-- we told him it was our one-month anniversary when we came in."
"Jesus, Rogue, whatever happened to discretion? Keeping your mouth shut? Not letting people into your business? Haven't you learned anything?"
She closed her eyes and leaned back, sliding down the wall until she was seated, and put her arms around her legs.
He knelt next to her. "I'm sorry. I just --" He sat back on his haunches and stroked her cheek with one gloved hand. She could feel his warmth and strength through the supple leather. "Why'd you leave me?"
"I, I--" She swallowed hard against the hysteria threatening to overwhelm her. "I thought you wanted to be free. You know -- stay out 'til four a.m., see other women... I didn't want your pity, and once I could touch, I didn't need it."
"Pity." His voice was hard and disgusted. He shook his head and rose in one fluid motion, turning his back to her.
She closed and opened her mouth, the enormity of her mistake hitting her all at once.
She ran for the bathroom and vomited.
He was right behind her; he held her hair back so it didn't get in her way. He wiped her clammy forehead gently and handed her his hip flask when she was done.
The whisky burned going down, but it overpowered the taste of bile and settled her nerves a little.
He ran his thumb over her lower lip, and she found herself mesmerized by the green and gold depths of his eyes. She swayed toward him almost imperceptibly, but he shook his head.
"Let's take care of your friend, first."
She shook her head, suddenly knowing what to do. "Let the dead bury the dead."
He stared at her for a moment, then nodded once, decisively.
They went over the apartment one last time, removing all traces of their presence, before he helped her out the window and down the fire escape.
On the street, she found a working payphone a few blocks away, and dialed 911.
"The guy in apartment 4E isn't moving," she said. "I think he had a heart attack." She clarified the address and hung up before the dispatcher could ask her any other questions.
When she was done, she slid onto the motorcycle behind Logan, and wrapped herself around him, pressing her face to his back and inhaling deeply.
She understood now, that this was where she belonged.
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