Happy New Year!
Since it's been a while, here's all the info:
Title: The Soiled Dove
Author: Victoria P.
Summary: In answer to the Elseworlds challenge, Logan, Marie et al. in 1950s
New York. Think noir.
Disclaimer: The characters herein belong to Marvel and/or Fox. This piece of
fan written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Rating: R - language, sex, violence, character death
Archive: Sure, just let me know. I like to see where my stuff lives.
Feedback: Please? I'll give you a shiny nickel... Well, not really, but it
helps me write, so let me know what you think.
Notes: There is actually a bar called the Soiled Dove in Denver. It is not a
strip joint and bears no resemblance to the bar in this story.
I owe more than I could ever repay to my betas, Dot, Jen, Meg and Pete, and
a huge debt to James Ellroy, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Andrew
The Soiled Dove
Once they were in the car, Scott tried to conceal his anger, but it was
useless. Jean always seemed to know what he was thinking, even when no one
He apologized, Scott, thats all, she said, her tone conciliating.
His knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel. The bastard
shouldnt have even spoken to you. And you certainly shouldnt have
What was I supposed to do, Scott? Walk away? You know hed follow. That
would look really great, to have him stalking me across the squadroom, in
front of everyone. They all know what happened. Its no secret.
Hed thought it could get any worse, but it just had. No one -- except
himself and Logan -- knew what had actually happened, and it wasnt his
proudest moment. When Logan had fallen down on the job after Jean broke off
their affair, Scott could have covered for him, but he didnt. He could have
saved Logans job, but he didnt. And that still haunted him.
I suppose youre right, he said tightly.
I apologized to him as well, she continued softly. He jerked his head
around to look at her. Watch the road, Scott!
Sorry, he muttered. Why the hell did you apologize to him?
Because I could have said no, and I didnt. Her voice was small in the
spaciousness of the car. It was the first time theyd ever discussed it so
openly. Im sorry, Scott. I truly am. I had everything I ever wanted and
was too stupid to realize it. I thought I wanted something dangerous,
something wild, but I didnt. I only ever wanted you, Scott, and I didnt
know how to stop it once it started. It was --"
I dont want to hear what it was like, Jean. It was a growl worthy of
It was a mistake, a terrible mistake, she was crying now, openly crying
instead of hiding in the bathroom, or burying her face in her pillow, as she
d done two years ago. Im so, so sorry.
He pulled the car to the curb and took her in his arms. Im sorry, too.
Sorry that I couldnt be what you needed me to be. Sorry I ignored you and
made you turn to Logan. But thats over now. Its done, he was vehement,
its done and we got through it. Its only made us stronger.
Do you really believe that? she whispered.
I have to, he said. Please tell me you do, too. He was pleading now,
begging the way he hadnt when hed found out. When hed finally confronted
her, hed been as cold as ice, but the fire was there now -- the fire shed
always known was in him, but that had somehow been banked over the years --
and she responded to it eagerly.
I do, Scott. I love you so. She kissed him passionately. And, I have some
news for you. She looked down at her abdomen almost shyly, took his hand
and put it there, though there were no outward signs yet. His eyes followed
Jean? he breathed, voice full of wonder. Are you--"
Were going to have a baby, Scott. Her tone was as awed as his. He turned
the car off and kissed her again, this time reverently. She turned toward
him and they slid down on the seat, wrapped around each other. He was slow
and careful and she responded in a way he hadn't seen in a long time, with
soft gasps and sweet moans. They celebrated their good news on the front
seat of the car, parked on Sixth Avenue at 56th Street
They were late to the dinner, but neither of them cared very much.
After Drake was finished questioning Marie, Logan bundled her into a cab and
they went back to his apartment.
"Do you want to go out to eat?" he asked, when they arrived. She looked down
at herself, still in his pajamas, and shook her head. "No, I guess not. I
have some steaks in the icebox. Will that do?" She nodded.
While he cooked, she showered. He gave Ororo a call at home, told her to
watch out for strangers and stay away from the office tomorrow. He had a
feeling things were going to get ugly quick, especially if Summers went
after Lehnsherr tonight.
They ate in almost complete silence. He'd never been much of a talker, and
she was exhausted. It wasn't uncomfortable, though. At least, for Logan it
wasn't. He was busy trying to imprint her on his memory -- her scent, the
way she looked, the way she moved, and her voice on the rare occasions when
she spoke. He was also trying to control his reaction to her. It couldn't be
right -- a man his age lusting after a nineteen-year-old girl. He was old
enough to be her father, and God knows, that freak had done enough damage.
After they ate, he washed the dishes and she dried. Still, they didn't talk
much, but every accidental brush of her hand against his was fraught with
tension. He found himself trembling from her slightest touch.
Finally, she said, "I'm tired, Logan."
He'd asked her to drop the "mister." It didn't sound right to him. He didn't
remember much of his life before the war -- it was as if he'd been born the
day he woke up somewhere in the Canadian Rockies. He'd lived like an animal
for a while, before being found by Mac Hudson. Then he'd gone to work for
the Canadian government, as if he'd been born to the job. He was a killer.
He'd been an assassin, which is how he'd wound up working with Summers --
the man was a crack shot and cool as ice under pressure. They were the
perfect team to carry out covert operations during the war. They'd
complemented each other, and that had carried over into their policework.
Until Jean came between them. He'd been unwilling to stay away from her, and
unable to handle losing her, and it had cost him his best friend and his
But he had apologized to Jean, and with that he had let go of his past. He
had the strangest feeling that Marie was his future.
"Okay, darlin'," he said, "you can have the bed. I'll be out on the couch if
you need me."
She smiled tiredly and shuffled off to his room. For a long time he just sat
in the living room, his beer growing warm on the coffee table, thinking
through what to do about Marie, LeBeau, Xavier and Lehnsherr. Finally he
turned out the lights and fell asleep.
She woke rapidly, ready to run, and then she realized where she was.
Strangely, she felt safe with Logan, though he looked like a ruffian and was
obviously a little shady. When she'd asked him about his business, he'd
said, "I'm the best at what I do, Marie, but what I do isn't very nice." And
she hadn't pushed him for details.
She could hear him groaning in the living room and wondered if he was being
attacked. Grabbing the baseball bat standing in the corner, she tiptoed out
to the living room.
He wasn't under attack. At least, not by anything she could see. He was
asleep, obviously in the throes of a nightmare. He thrashed and moaned on
the couch, and he'd thrown off the sheet, so that his chest was bared. She
put down the bat and moved toward him, softly calling his name. She reached
out a gloved hand and stroked his cheek. He came awake in a flash and had a
hand around her throat before she could react.
He blinked, clearing the sleep from his eyes, and released her immediately.
"I'm sorry, Marie. I'm so sorry," he said, sinking back down on the couch,
rubbing his forehead.
She sat next to him, one hand rubbing her neck where hed grabbed her, the
other tentatively on his shoulder.
Its okay, Logan, she said, patting him awkwardly, her voice a little
Its not okay, Marie. Dammit--" he closed his eyes, sorry. I could have
hurt you badly, killed you even.
But you didnt. Her hand moved to his back, more assured now, gently
rubbing the spot between his shoulder blades. The silk of her gloves felt
good, but he wanted to feel her skin. He took her other hand and pulled
lightly at the glove.
Why do you wear these?
It was her turn to close her eyes. She stopped touching him, pulling her
hands into her lap and twisting them together. She licked her lips and he
said, You dont have to tell me if you dont want to. Its all right. He
didnt need to be a genius to figure out it had something to do with her
No, she said. I, I want to tell you. Youre the only one who knows any of
this. He put one hand on her shoulder, pulling her against him. The other
hand, so much larger and rougher than hers, he laid over both of hers,
stilling their agitated motion. She smiled faintly up at him, eyes bright
with unshed tears. After my father -- after he started coming to my room --
I was only twelve -- he, he told me I was bad, that I was dirty and that I
couldnt touch anyone, least of all him. He always made me keep my clothes
on while he, while he
I had to stay covered up so I wouldnt soil him, or,
or Claire. Claires only fifteen. She blinked rapidly and Logan sucked in a
breath. This was the first hed heard of a younger sister. I pray every
night hes not doing to her what he did to me. He probably isnt. Claires
good -- she's clean. She wouldnt come with me when I ran away. And I couldn
t tell her why
Im the bad one, the dirty one.
She jerked away from him now, upset. You probably shouldnt touch me,
either. Bad things happen to people who do, Logan, and I dont want anything
bad to happen to you.
Hey, he said softly, none of that is true, Marie. Its all bullshit. He
She gave a watery giggle. You dont have to apologize every time you cuss,
Logan. Im a big girl, I can handle it.
He shifted uncomfortably. Yeah, well, *hes* the freak, kid. Hes the one
whos sick, not you. Fathers dont do that shit to their daughters. Not good
fathers, anyway. He rubbed her back the way shed just done for him, and he
could feel her relax under his hand.
She curled up against him, pulling her legs onto the couch and putting her
head on his shoulder. Soon she was asleep. He sighed and wondered what he
was going to do about his growing feelings for her.
He was mostly asleep himself when he heard it. Gunfire. He thought he was
dreaming, that his nightmares had returned, and he tried to ignore it. Then
there were footsteps on the stairs and muffled voices and he was too slow,
There were three of them and as the two men -- Blondie and Swamp-boy, he
noted somewhere in the back of his mind -- knocked him out with a billy
club, the third person grabbed Marie. The girl struggled but her attacker
was strong, and forced the chloroformed rag over her mouth. The last thing
he saw before he passed out was Marie collapsing and the third kidnapper --
it was Raven Darkholme -- wrapping her in a blanket.
Then the darkness took him.