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Imperfect Contrition (the "Skeletons in the Closet" Remix) 1/2 [X-men AU; Original Five]

Title: Imperfect Contrition (the "Skeletons in the Closet" Remix)
Author: ficwize
Summary: A killer stalks mutantkind.
Rating: R
Fandom: X-men AU (comics verse)
Spoilers and/or Warnings: Contains some violent and sexual content.
Title, Author and URL of original story: A Confession by alara_r



I knew the minute he walked through my door that he was trouble. I knew that without reading his mind, a talent that I do possess. He was six feet of blond haired, blue eyed, blue-blooded trouble. Expensive clothes emphasized his physique, broad shoulders and lean tight legs.

I should have trusted my first instinct and shown him the door. Instead, I sifted through the thoughts in the front of his mind. He was Warren Worthington the Third. I could practically see his name glowing in his mind.

I didn’t pry, I'm a lady, after all. Sometimes. When it suits me. Besides, I had time to let him explain himself.

"Good afternoon." I tilted my head and smiled at him, but I didn't move from behind the desk. "Can I help you?"

"Yes, I believe you can. I have an appointment with Mr. Gray." He gestured to the name etched into the glass of my front door. J. Gray. It was right under the name of my business. Phoenix Detective Agency. "Can you please let him know I’m here?"

My smile widened. "I'm afraid that's not possible." I pushed back from the desk and crossed my legs, skirt riding up slightly, and followed his eyes as he looked. Men, blue-blooded or not, were almost all the same.

"Why not?"

"Because J. Grey isn't a man at all. You're looking at her. Or at least, you're looking at her legs."

He had the grace to look embarrassed as his eyes snapped up to meet mine. "I'm sorry. I assumed…"

"Yes." I stood and crossed to stand in front of him. "You did assume, Mr. Worthington. The Third." I hid my smile at his expression. "What can I help you with?"

Not many people surprise me, but he did then. He grinned. "I've heard that you have keen deductive skills, Ms. Gray. I'd like to hire you to investigate a delicate problem for me."

"Hire me for what?" I looked at him skeptically. "No offense, Mr. Worthington, but I recognize your type. You have enough money to hire the best for whatever problem you have, delicate or otherwise. You're on the wrong side of town for your type."

"True." He didn't deny that he had money. I liked that about him. Instead, he moved to sit in the overstuffed chair, draping himself in it so that he looked like he was at a fashion shoot, shoulders titled forward as he studied me. It made him seem endearing, though it did nothing to hide the breadth of his chest and shoulders. Not to be outdone, I returned back to my chair and eased into it. I didn't have to read his thoughts to know that he liked what he was seeing. "I can hire the best and that's why I've come to you."

I laughed. "I'm a good detective, Mr. Worthington, but…"

"Call me Warren."

"Warren," I amended. "But I'm not the best."

He smiled again. "For this problem, Ms. Gray, you are. I need someone who can be trusted with sensitive information."

"If you're looking for a good shrink, I can suggest some. I've known a few in my day."

"That's not what I need. I assure that, despite what you're likely to hear over the next few days, I am in full possession of my faculties." He fell silent and shook his head, expression suddenly serious.

I kept quiet and waited for him to collect his thoughts. Most of the time, you can figure out more about a person by the way they talk to you than by what they say. Warren rubbed his eyes and then took a deep breath. "Let me be blunt, Ms. Gray. I'm going to make an announcement tomorrow that will undoubtedly have repercussions well beyond what I can foresee." He paused and I felt a flash of uncertainty and fear, along with determination. "But I can't… I won't hide anymore."

Frowning, I studied him closely, resisting the urge to push past the barrier I could feel in his mind. "What are you hiding?"

Warren stood up and turned, the long coat he wore swishing about his knees. For a minute he stared out of the window. I waited, knowing that the trash bin across the street wasn't that interesting, unless of course Chrystal the Hooker had found a mark and was blowing him against the wall. Again.

Hey, the neighborhood wasn't great, but rent was cheap and a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Apparently, Chrystal wasn't out there, because Warren turned back around to face me. His expression was grim and I wasn't sure if he was speaking to himself or just thinking very loudly. "I don't suppose it matters if I tell you a day early."

Slowly, he shrugged out of his coat. "I have been hiding a secret Ms. Gray. For a very long time, and I'm tired of hiding." Deliberately, he folded the coat in half before carelessly tossing it over his shoulder so that it landed on the chair, heedless of its expense. He stepped forward and I tensed as his fingers went to the buttons of his shirt. "I am not going to hide any longer, but once my secret is out, I know that I will be painting a target on my back."

"I don't do body guard work."

"Ms. Gray, I can hire hundreds of body guards if I need them." He finished unbuttoning his shirt, revealing a harness that stretched across his shoulders. I couldn't help but notice that he seemed a lot slimmer and my suspicions about his secret mounted. "I'm not looking for another hired gun."

Warren met my eyes as he dropped his shirt to the floor and unfastened the harness. "I'm looking for someone who is going to understand."

I'm not a precog, but it took every ounce of restraint I had to let Warren continue with his show. I struggled to swallow, my mouth inexplicably dry. "What is it you want me to understand, Warren?"

He smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes. Instead, he looked sad. "What it's like to be a mutant, Ms. Gray." He dropped the harness and two wings sprang out, nearly as tall as he was. They were covered with white wings and my fingers itched to touch them. They were beautiful.

I stood up and moved towards him slowly. "What makes you think I'd understand that?"

He reached out to touch my hair, the red strands slipping through his fingers. When he spoke, his voice was husky. "Your reputation precedes you. Your success rate is extraordinarily high, too high for it to just be luck. And you don't walk away from mutants who come to you for help."

"How do you know this?" My voice was steady, but I was shaken.

"I didn't pick you out of the phone book, Jean." Warren dropped my hair. He didn't speak aloud. You're a mutant. Just like me.

I couldn't help it. I flung him backwards with my telekinesis and he stumbled into the wall, but he didn't fall. He smiled again, the same sad smile. "I'm going to announce that I'm a mutant to the whole world. We shouldn't have to hide what we are."

"You're a fool." I turned away from him, but he stepped forward and touched my shoulder. I stiffened and he dropped his hand.

"Maybe, but I’m not going to be ashamed of what I am anymore." His words struck a chord and I turned to look at him again.

"Aren't you?" I couldn't help it. I looked through his thoughts. I could see his whole past, laid out before me like a map. He met my eyes steadily, watching me trip through his memories. Deliberately, he showed me the day that he woke up and found feathers in his bed. I saw him standing in the bathroom, sobbing as the bones of his wings broke through his skin. I saw, through his eyes, as he reached back and felt them – the alien appendages that would forever mark him as different.

"I was." He whispered, reaching up to touch my face. "I was afraid."

"And now?"

"I don't want to be afraid anymore." Warren dropped his hand. "At least," he paused, "not of myself."

I could see into his head. He meant it. "I'll take the job."

********************


I shook my head at Warren. He was fully dressed again and we were sitting in the corner booth of the bar down the street from my office. The beer was cold. That was about the only good thing to be said about that. It was cheap, too, but since Warren was buying that didn't really matter so much.

"You want me to investigate a serial killer." Even to me, my voice sounded flat and disbelieving.

"Yes." Warren sounded earnest, worry flickering in the depths of his very blue eyes.

"You're afraid you'll be a target."

"Yes." Warren's finger tapped the rim of his pint glass. "I think the killer is targeting mutants."

"Why haven't I heard of this?" I was skeptical and I was also starting to wonder if Warren might not be as bright as I'd originally thought. "A mutant serial killer would newsworthy."

"Not if he's only killing mutants." Warren's voice was bitter. "Then the government would have no motive to stop him. He's doing their dirty work and they get to keep their hands clean."

I took a sip of my beer, thoughtfully. "I'm not sure how many mutants you've met, but they're not all that easy to kill. What makes you so sure?"

Warren reached into the leather briefcase he'd arrived with and pulled out a manila folder. Sliding it over the table, he lowered his voice. "Are you familiar with the theory that a side effect of the X-factor mutation was to make carriers susceptible to strokes?"

I nodded, opening the folder curiously. It was filled with coroner's reports and I looked up, surprised.

Warren was staring at the top report. "It has taken me a great deal of time and money to track these down, Jean. And while on the surface, it does appear that all of these people died from strokes, I don't believe that's the truth."

I looked down at the report. It was about a man in his early twenties, a priest. His name was Kurt Wagner and he'd been found dead in the confessional of his church, presumably from a stroke. I flipped the page and had to stifle my shock. His picture was on the top right hand corner and for a priest, he resembled nothing so much as a demon. Blue fur covered his face; his eyes were yellow. I glanced over the report and saw that he had only three fingers on each hand and a tail.

Talk about your irony.

The cause of death clearly showed that he'd died of a stroke. I glanced up at Warren and shrugged. "So?"

"Keep reading." He suggested, finishing off his beer and glaring at the table broodily. Shrugging, I turned through the last few pages, until I came to a second report. It had been prepared by someone different and a sticky note at the bottom of the page had a handwritten diagnosis.

Cause of Death: NOT a stroke. Subject was murdered.

I shook my head. When I had been younger, I'd had an affinity for science, but life had gotten in the way. "Okay, so someone thinks it was murder. Based on what proof?"

Warren hesitated and I felt a flash of uncertainty and guilt, but he took a deep breath. "I've hired an expert to redo the autopsies."

I narrowed my eyes. "Legally?"

He met my eyes squarely, but his face flushed. "Do you want the honest answer?"

Suddenly, I didn't. "No. But I take it your expert knows what he's talking about."

"Yeah. Hank always knows what he's talking about."

"Hank?"

"Henry McCoy. Doctor. Ph.D. And several other initials." Warren shrugged. "He's as smart as they come and, like you, he has a vested interest in finding out the truth here."

So he was a mutant. "I want to talk to him."

Warren smiled. "Good. Because I'm sure he'll want to talk to you. I can set something up in a day or two…"

I was already shaking my head. "No. You're going public tomorrow. Is he local?"

Warren hesitated. "Local enough. Give me a minute." He stood up and pulled a cell phone out of his pocket. He stepped away from the booth to make a few phone calls and I flipped through the other reports in the file, a chill breaking gooseflesh along my arms despite the warmth of the bar.

There were hundreds of files. Hundreds of dead mutants, all diagnosed with stroke, all carrying post it notes with MURDERED scribbled on them. Pietro Maximoff. Ororo Munroe. Remy LeBeau. Neal Sharma. Emma Frost. Mortimer Toynbee. Irene Adler. Kevin Tremain. St. John Allerdyce. James Logan.

The list went on and on – all dead from strokes, all otherwise healthy. I couldn't see anything they had in common, not age, not race, not nationality. Nothing, except they were all mutants.

I bit my lip. How was he finding them? How did he know?

Warren sat down heavily across from me and I startled, surprised to realize that I believed him. There was someone out there hunting mutants. I’m not sure what my expression revealed, but Warren's eyes widened. "Are you all right?"

"When do I get to meet Hank?"

"Four hours." Warren scribbled an address down on the folder. "He'll meet us there. I'm sorry, but I've got to go for a while. I'll be there tonight, though."

Nodding, I accepted the folder. Warren paused again. "I'll pay you for your time, and if you find this guy, I'll pay you a reward."

I smiled, but it wasn't pleasant. "Finding this guy will be a reward all on its own."

********************


Four hours didn't give me a lot of time, but it gave me enough. Warren may have hired an army of behind the scenes experts, but I had a source that I trusted more than any of his.

He wasn't hard to spot, taller than most of the others in the room and always sitting alone. I made my way over to the end of the bar and slid onto one of the empty stools on either side of him. "Hey, Slim."

He glanced over at me, eyes unreadable behind the red sunglasses he always wore and nodded. "Red."

I sent an impulse to the bartender and he appeared in front of me. "Tea, please. And another beer for him."

"Why aren't you drinking?" He turned so that his back was pressed against the wood of the bar and studied the crowd. "You working?"

"Always." I copied his movements and scanned the room. Opening my mind to the random loud thoughts, I spotted the two men that were the cause of his concern. "Are you?"

His lips quirked up in a wry smile. "Always."

"Drinking on the job, Scott? I thought that was against the rules. Or does your promotion to detective mean that you get to ignore the ones that you don't like?"

Scott shrugged, the movement lifting his shirt and revealing the revolver tucked into his trousers. "I'm technically off duty." He glanced over at the two men who were plotting their next robbery, but I ignore them. There was plenty of time to stop them. I had bigger targets in mind.

"I need your help." The admission cost me, but it got his undivided attention and that was something I needed at the moment.

"On what?"

I pulled the manila folder from my purse and handed it to him wordlessly. Of all the cops I'd ever met, Scott was the smartest. I watched as he flipped through the contents, steady and sure of himself, and waited for him to draw his own conclusions. While he read, I studied him.

His face would have been handsome, if it weren't so closed off and foreboding. The glasses that constantly hid his eyes didn't make him any more approachable either. There was a hardness that coated him. Of course, I found that a little irresistible. It had taken me two years to finally etch a notch into my bedpost, but it had been worth it.

Now, we were friends and occasional lovers. I wasn't sure if I would get more from him. I also wasn't sure if I wanted more from him. Once, just once, I had dipped into his head and seen his past. Years in foster care. Years dealing with the criminals that he fought so hard now to put behind bars. Scott was a good man, but he was a dangerous one, and I’m not talking about the reason he wears the sunglasses.

I glanced over and saw him looking at me. His expression was completely blank and I tensed. Poking through my thoughts, Jean?

No. Should I be?

He slapped the folder shut, mouth tensing into a frown. "I like you, Jean. Don't get involved in something over your head." He handed me the folder and stood up to follow the two would-be thieves to the parking lot. This is over your head. Let the police handle it.

"Like they give a damn about us, Scott." I was bitter, having seen first hand how the system handled the so-called mutant problem. Scott was lucky that his superiors accepted his doctor's excuse that he had an eye condition that required the sunglasses. If they ever found out the truth, he'd loose his precious badge in a second, and if he weren't really lucky, he'd end up behind bars.

Criminals don't do pretty things to former cops. They also don't care much for mutants.

This isn't about you, Jean. Scott paused and looked back at me. His jaw was tense and irritation clouded his mind. Stay out of it. It's not your concern.

You're wrong. It is my concern. And yours.

Don't. His mental tone was warning and he turned to come back towards me. Don't threaten me.

"I wasn't." I spoke aloud, soothingly. Scott was a good friend, but he was a dangerous enemy. I didn't want that. We were already clichéd enough, the cop and the private eye, uneasy colleagues. I reached out and slid my hand over his chest and he caught my fingers, pressing my palm into his chest.

I wasn't sure if the lust that flared up was his or mine, but when he leaned towards me, I met him halfway. I don't want you to get hurt, Jean. His mouth was warm on mine and I heard one of the other patrons snicker, but we both ignored him.

You think there is a killer, then? Scott froze, but he didn't back away, his breath ghosting over my lips.

Yes. I've wondered about it for a while. He reached up to brush my hair, a movement eerily reminiscent of Warren's earlier. I shivered, but not from fear this time. The Feds are looking for him. Keeping it quiet, so that they don't start a panic. But you're right – they don't care. I don't know how you're involved, and I don't even want to know how you got those reports, but stay out of it, Jean. Please.

I kissed him gently, the stubble of his five-o-clock shadow scraping along my jaw. I can't.

He sighed and stepped back, lost in thought. Finally he looked up at me again and I wished, for the thousandth time, that I could see behind his glasses. Talk to the Iceman, Jean. He might be able to give you some leads. And be careful. Aloud, he said, "Bye, baby. I'll catch you later."

I grinned. "Not if I see you coming."

********************


Squinting in the glare of the streetlight, I double checked the address Warren had scribbled on the folder hours before. I'd barely had time after finding Scott to go home and change before rushing across the city to my meeting with Hank. I had parked my car a few blocks away, preferring to walk. Even in heels.

The click of my shoes echoed down the alley, but I didn't feel anyone nearby so I was unconcerned about attracting unwanted attention. The building was in the medical district of the city, unsurprising considering what I'd found out about Worthington's involvement in pharmaceuticals. Thanks, Al Gore, for the internet.

I heard a car engine seconds before I felt Warren's mind as he arrived in front of a building half a block down the street from where I stood. I ducked into the shadows, curious to see what he would do. He drove an expensive car, unsurprisingly, but it wasn't as flashy as it might have been. A second person was in the car with him, and I tilted my head and watched as they both climbed out of the car. The second person, whom I assumed was Hank McCoy, wore a trench coat that hid more of his body that Warren's did. Dr. McCoy was a large man, even broader through the shoulders than Warren, but he moved gracefully.

They didn't see me and went into the building without lingering overly long in the parking lot. I could see Warren open the door and hold it open for the doctor and then they vanished inside.

Scott's warning flitted through my thoughts, but I pushed it aside. This is what I did for a living. I investigated whatever it was that my clients wanted investigated. The fact that this client wanted something that hit a little closer to home, well that didn't change anything. .

Squaring my shoulders, I went to the door where Warren and Dr. McCoy had just entered and pushed it open. The plaque told me that I was entering Worthington Labs on Dock Street. A thunder clap told me that I'd made it inside just in time, as rain drops started pelting the ground behind me.

"Ms. Gray." Warren's voice as neutral. "Thank you for coming. I'm sorry to arrange a meeting in such an unusual place, but Dr. McCoy requires privacy."

I held out my hand to Warren and he squeezed it briefly before I turned to meet the mysterious doctor. It took my considerable self control not to gasp when I saw his appearance. Instead, I held out my hand to him. "Dr. McCoy, I see why you wanted privacy."

He smiled, the blue fur of his face reflecting the dim overhead lights, his mouth opening to reveal sharp looking canine teeth. He wore glasses and the image that sprang to mind was nothing so much as a cat in glasses. Well, a blue cat in glasses.

"Ms. Gray." His voice was warm and cultured and his hand was warm. His palm was furless, but the tufts that spilled over the back of his hand were surprisingly soft. I smiled and he returned it. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

"I suppose that will depend on how much I am able to help you."

He chuckled. "True."

Warren walked over to another door on the side of the sparsely decorated lobby and opened it to reveal an equally conservative conference room. "Let's talk in here." He held the door open for me and Dr. McCoy and we settled around it with little fanfare. A small fridge at one end of the room held several bottled waters, which Warren liberated for our use.

I pulled out the file that Warren had given me and spread its contents on the table. Taking a deep breath, I looked at Dr. McCoy. "All right, doctor. Please, explain if you can how our killer works."

"I have spent the last two years studying our killer's moves." Dr. McCoy launched into his explanation and missed the sharp look that I gave Warren. Two years? He had been investigating this for two years? "I'm sure that I don't have to explain my own personal interest in the facts at hand. Indeed, I have been studying the correlation between the X-factor mutation since I first attended medical school.

"Strokes, also called brain attacks, happen when the arteries leading to the brain are blocked or rupture." Hank pulled out a second folder and opened it to reveal a diagram of the human brain. "When the brain does not receive the needed oxygen supply, the brain cells begin to die. In the United States alone, strokes are responsible for nearly 150,000 deaths a year and are the leading cause of adult disability."

He picked up a red pen and drew a few marks on the diagram. "Between homo superior," he glanced up at me and clarified, "mutants, and homo sapiens, there are very few differences in the brain. But, mutant brain waves are slightly different."

I nodded and waited for him to get to the point. "The mutant gene seems to affect the way that impulses are sent through the brain, the electrical system if you will. I theorize that certain types of mutations, particularly those that affect the carrier's ability to interact with another's cognitive functions, also enable the carrier to short circuit another's brain waves."

"You're talking about telepaths, Dr. McCoy." My voice was flat and I cast Warren a hard look.

"Yes." The doctor looked at me, the glare on his glasses flaring as he paused. "Are you familiar with that particular mutation, Ms. Gray?"

I smiled humorlessly and answered him without opening my mouth, careful to make sure that Warren heard me as well. Intimately, I'm afraid.

"Oh." The doctor's eyes opened wider and for a moment I wondered if he were afraid of me. Then he leaned forward to stare into my eyes. "If it's not too forward of me, I would be interested in running some non-invasive tests on you at some point."

I blinked, surprised, and shook my head. "Maybe, once we've dealt with the current situation."

"Of course." Dr. McCoy sat back and glanced at his notes, giving me the distinct impression that I had derailed his thoughts.

"You believe that a telepath is responsible for these murders?" I asked, prompting him back on topic.

"Oh, yes." He shuffled through some papers until he found one that held a line graph. "You can see here the disproportionate numbers of mutants killed via stroke, as opposed to this line here," he tapped the paper, "which shows the percentage of humans killed by stroke."

"All right." I raised an eyebrow. "But you just said that mutants have different brain waves. Doesn't that support the theory that perhaps we are more susceptible to strokes?"

"Not at all." He sounded delighted that I was following him so easily. "To the contrary, all of the experiments I have run indicate that we should not be affected any differently than normal humans. And yet, that clearly is not the case."

I sat back, pushing the papers away from me, and thought hard. "So, it is your argument that there is a telepathic killer who is using his mutation to cause strokes in mutants."

"Yes."

"Two questions, Dr. McCoy. First, how does he determine who is a mutant? And second, why would he target his own kind?"

Dr. McCoy took off his glasses and polished them thoughtfully. "I believe that the answer to the first question likely lies in the strength of this particular telepath. If he - assuming it's a man, of course – is strong enough to alter another mutant's brain waves, then I suspect he is also strong enough to detect the difference in them from a normal human's brain waves."

He pushed his glasses back on and pursed his lips. "As to why, Ms. Gray, I have no idea. I believe that is a question more suitable for you to answer."

********************


I was so lost in thought as I left my meeting with Warren that I barely picked up on the presence of someone else before I bumped into him. Instead, I drew up short, TK ready to come to my defense, before I saw him raise his hand and quietly call out to me.

"Jean, it’s Scott."

"Scott! What are you doing here?" I sounded angry, but it was only because he had scared me. He stepped from the shadows where he'd been lingering and shrugged.

"Making sure that you're okay."

"I can take care of myself." I snapped.

"I know. But, I still wanted to check on you." How was I supposed to argue with that? I let it go.

"How did you know I would be here?"

"The address was on the file you gave me. I took a guess as to the time." He smiled at me, pleased to show off his detective abilities. I couldn't help it; I smiled back. He was so cute when he was smug. He craned his head to look past me.

"So, Warren Worthington."

I quit being amused, remembering again that Scott almost always had multiple motivations for his actions. "What about him?"

Scott looked at me, rain pelting his face and sliding over his glasses. "He's your client?"

I shook my head. "You know better than that."

He shrugged again, and changed the subject. "What's your next move?"

"Getting out of the rain sounds like a good plan right now." He smiled again, the corner of his mouth lifting slightly, and I forgave him for being nosy. After all, I'd have done the same thing. He glanced back down the street and I was momentarily glad that Warren and Hank had already pulled away.

"Did you learn anything interesting?" Scott moved so that I could fall into step beside him and walked beside me as I went back to my car.

I debated whether or not to tell him about Hank's theory, but the flash of his gun reminded me that he was out on the front lines and I felt a quick flash of guilt. "Yeah. Get in the car and I'll tell you about it."

Obediently, he climbed in the passenger side and I slid behind the wheel and cranked the engine. I put the car in drive, and when he didn't say anything, I pulled out onto the street. As quickly as I could, I explained Hank's theory that it was a telepath. Scott listened in silence, tensing as the implications hit him.

"We'd never be able to prove that in a court of law. And we'll never find him."

"Yeah." The windshield wipers squeaked back and forth on the glass as I pulled to a stop at the light. "He probably alters the memories of anyone who sees him, so that you don't even know that he was there."

Scott looked at me sharply. "Is that possible?" The unspoken question resonated in the silence. Have you done that, Jean?

Irritably, I flipped on the turn signal. "I'm sure it is. If a man can level a mountain by looking at it, erasing a few memories doesn't seem so beyond the realm of possibility."

He ducked his head and sighed. "Jean."

"Yes, Scott?" I didn't bother trying to keep my voice neutral and he sighed again and looked out of the window at the darkened windows of the warehouses we drove past. It was times like this that I wished he didn't know so much about me. He'd at least told me upfront that he'd investigated me a few weeks after we'd met.

It had been a theft case, the thief a mutant who could look like anyone. I'd been hired by the jeweler who had been hit and Scott had been working for the Police Department. After a few heated arguments about where I did or did not have the right to intervene, we realized that our thief was none other than the jeweler-look-alike. It hadn't been that difficult to figure out once we found the jeweler's body in his basement.

I didn't have to pry very deep into his thoughts to know that he was thinking about my past illness. You were in the New England Psychiatric Hospital for eight years. I don't know how you got out.

I didn't bother answering him. If he wanted to accuse me of something, then he'd have to do it directly. I hadn't spent nearly a decade learning to barricade other people's thoughts from my mind just to let him invade it so easily. I turned into the parking lot of my apartment building and killed the engine of my car.

"How am I supposed to get back to my car?" Scott asked, mildly.

"Walk." I suggested, getting out and slamming the door. He caught up with me before I punched in the code that would let me enter the building, his hand circling my arm. I resisted him for a minute before I turned.

"I'm off tomorrow." His voice was husky and I raised an eyebrow in silent question. "I could stay the night."

"You could." I agreed, coolly.

"Please?" He asked and I sighed. Actually, it didn't sound like that bad of an idea to me. I was still spooked by the idea of a serial killer and Scott had a gun. It wouldn't make that much of a difference in this case, but it still felt better than not having a gun.

Wordlessly, I stood aside and let him squeeze past me. He hit the call button on the elevator and we waited in silence until the doors beeped open. I could still see the rain falling outside as the doors slid slowly shut and I shivered. Scott put an arm around my shoulders and I relaxed into him, feeling the damp heat of his skin under his wet clothing.

Like I said, I'm not a pre-cog, but it didn't change the fact that the feeling of impending doom pressed down on me as heavy as the clouds outside. For what it was worth, I was glad I wouldn't be spending the night alone.


Continue to Part 2/2
Tags: character: bobby drake, character: hank mccoy, character: jean grey, character: scott summers, character: warren worthington, fandom: x-men, original author: alara_r, rating: r, remix author: wizefics
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