Title: Dog Tags
Disclaimer: I do not own Smallville or X-men
Summary:With her ability to see the past of objects by touching them, Chloe has made herself valuable to the Metropolis PD, and when Professor X asks her to help Wolverine remember his past, he isn't what she expected at all. But maybe that's a good thing.
Note: Smallville AU, Post Wolverine: Origins & X-Men 1.
Note: Written for My Paranormal 150 Prompt Table
PROMPT of the day: #82. Psychometry
As far as meteor powers came, Chloe had to admit that hers really wasn’t that bad.
Sure, it could get annoying sometimes, but she’d learnt to wear gloves until she’d been able to get a hold on her powers. It’d been fairly easy, all she had to do was learn what was her inner ‘switch’ to turning her powers off and on, and then she’d been able to nix the gloves all together.
And the power couldn’t be hurtful.
That was something she loved.
When she’d found out that she was a meteor freak she’d, well, freaked.
Every meteor freak she’d ever come upon had either ended up crazy or a murderer, and she’d been terrified that that was her future. But when the mutation manifested itself in images of the past of objects she touched, well, she realized how useful the ability could be, and that she could learn to live with this.
She didn’t know when it happened, but soon she was getting clients. How the fact that she could sense things from the energy left on things got out was kinda hazy, but Chloe found people coming looking for her at the Daily Planet asking for her help.
She kept on pushing them away, not wanting to become Metropolis’ own Miss Cleo, but it wasn’t until the mother of a child who’d been raped and killed in her own bedroom came to Chloe with a piece of the shirt her daughter had been using when the horrid happening had happened did Chloe give in and finally give into the eventual.
It’d been the most horrifying thing she’d ever had to go through.
The moment she’d touched that piece of shirt she’d had her breath knocked out of her as she was suddenly transferred in glorious black and white to that hellish night in which a young girl who had yet to reach her teens were tortured and brutally killed in her own bedroom. She’d been stuck in the memory as the piece of cloth she held onto was torn from the child’s body, and she wasn’t released from the memory until it was over, and the child was dead on her bed, the murderer escaping out of the window.
When it was over Chloe dropped the piece of shirt and reached for her garbage can as fast as her sickened reflexes would allow her, vomiting into it and crying. She felt sickened and tainted by the memories that weren’t her own but would torment her for the rest of her life, but she’d tried to pull herself together and describe the killer to the mother, and she also mentioned the small unidentifiable object that’d fallen from his clothes between the footboard and the chest next to the bed.
She hadn’t been able to sleep that night. Every time she closed her eyes she would see the brutal crime over and over again, and she swore to herself that she’d never do it again.
And then the next morning officer Rodriguez had appeared by her desk. Apparently the mother of the murdered child had gone to the police in charge of the investigation about what Chloe had seen, and while he was wary he’d checked where Chloe had seen, and they’d found a piece of evidence that he wouldn’t name, but admitted to its existence.
Officer Rodriguez then asked Chloe if she would go to the police station to give a description of the man she’d seen in the ‘vision’. She hated the word and asked him to never use it again, and officer Rodriguez had been all too happy to oblige.
He hadn’t liked using it much either.
With a sigh of resignation Chloe had taken her lunch break and gone downtown with the officer, describing in as much detail as possible the monster from the memory she’d obtained from the cloth to the sketch artist. Only when she was satisfied that the drawing was the perfect image of the beast, had she gotten up and left the station, wondering why the officers looked so disturbed.
It was only two days afterwards as she sat in a police conference and police Rodriguez told the whole room of reporters that the child rapist and murdered had been caught and had confessed to everything did she realize why Rodriguez and the sketch artist had looked so sick that day.
The man behind the bars was the child’s uncle.
Sickened by the psychos in this world, Chloe had written the piece with the unbiasness of a third party and had been shocked when the mother of the child had come to her desk the next day with flowers and tears thanking her. Chloe’s colleagues had been surprised and curious about this, but she’d managed to convince them that her article had touched the woman’s heart, and they’d left it at that.
The blonde had settled back into her own routine, thanking god that officer Rodriguez hadn’t mentioned the help of a ‘psychic’ in the press conference, and she’d thought it was all over. She’d done her own little part to help society and she’d tried to settle back into her old routine.
And then officer Rodriguez had come searching for her help two weeks later.
And she’d refused.
But there was a sadist murderer going from woman to woman, and Rodriguez said that there wasn’t any lead except for the murder weapon that’d been uncovered at the scene of the latest killing.
And somehow her humanity won against her common sense, and Chloe had agreed to use her ability once more. Once more she was forced to live a brutal memory she would later be unable to eat or sleep because of. But at least with her help another murderer and scumbag was taken off of the street, and put behind bars for good for his crimes.
When Rodriguez showed up at the Planet for the cases that they were going no where Chloe found herself giving in easier each time, and while Clark was against it, saying that she was driving herself sick because of it, Chloe became the silent helper of the Metropolis Police force.
Many times she was brought out to the crime scenes, and the officers who’d once snickered and sneered behind her back (and some to her face) about her ‘gift’, believing her to be one of the many loonies out there, were later converted to believers when her ‘shared memories’ all proved to be true and brought them to evidences overlooked and villains condemned.
And then she’d gotten to know Charles Xavier.
The man in the wheelchair had opened up a completely different world in which mutations were natural and those affected didn’t become psycho killers, and he’d helped her further her control over her powers. He’d become like her father, and while he lived in a completely different state as the Headmaster of his own school for mutants, they kept in constant communication.
There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for the man, so when he said that he was sending over a friend of his who needed her help she’d agreed without any reservation.
She’d imagined some nicely dressed ‘chap’ with imperial manners and a polite smile.
She hadn’t been ready for Logan.
From the moment he’d entered the Daily Planet she hadn’t been able to take her eyes off of him---just like everyone else. He was rough, animalistic, smoking a cigar and wearing leather. His manners were close to nonexistent and his smile was an appreciative leer as his gaze trailed up and down her body when she stood to shake his hand.
“So let me get this straight.” Chloe announced, glad that she’d gotten her own office by that time and didn’t share a cubicle with the others. “You not only had Adamantium added to your skeleton, but you lost the memory of who you are and how you lost your memory. And all you have to remember your own name by are the army dog tags that have Logan and Wolverine printed on them.”
He nodded, smoking his cigar despite the sign she’d pointed to that clearly said NO SMOKING.
“Yes, that’s about it dollface.” Logan announced, leaning forwards on the seat and outing his cigar in his own palm, not even wincing at what should have been very painful. “Professor X said that you were probably the only one who could help me.” He eyed her suspiciously. “How can you help me when professor Xavier himself was unable to get around the mind blocks in my head?”
“Well, for one, I’m not going to try to get in your head.” Chloe answered, leaning back in her seat, refraining from wiping at the air in front of her nose.
She hated the scent of cigars!
“Really? And how else are you going to figure out the secrets of my past?” He wanted to know somewhat mockingly.
“I see the past of objects, not of persons.” She motioned to his dog tags. “I’m going to need those.”
Taking in a deep breath, Logan pulled them off over his head and handed them to her.
Closing her eyes, Chloe tightened her hold on them, and all of a sudden she was taken to the glorious black and white, watching as Logan laid strapped to a machine, a breathing apparatus covering his mouth as he was submerged in liquid, military men watching the horrific procedure from above as the metal was fused with his cranium.
“Remove his memory.” The one in charge ordered, and then Logan broke loose and escaped the facility…
She was impressed by what the leather pants hid, but was too absorbed in the memories contained in the dog-tags to focus on that one carnal thought.
There was mayhem and murder and brothers and names, of experiments gone wrong, of a love lost, and of the moment in which it was all taken from him.
Gasping as she was brought out of the memory, Chloe dropped the dog tags on the desk and brought her hand to her head. That was the largest memory she’d ever absorbed, and her head was ringing from the experience. “You have a brother.”
Logan’s gaze came up at that. “What?”
“You called him Victor, and he called you Jamie, or James. He’s a mutant like you, but unlike your claws coming out from your knuckles, his fingernails grow like claws. He’s more animalistic than you, he has a darkness inside of him---a desire for blood…and a misguided love and resentment when it comes to you.” Chloe opened her drawer and pulled out a small box of Tylenol and popped two tablets into her mouth, reaching for a bottle of water and taking three large gulps of the cool liquid.
Logan leaned forwards on her desk, bringing his face uncomfortably close to hers.
She tried to ignore that. “You allowed yourself to be fused with the Adamantium in an underground military facility of Alkalai Lake. You thought that Victor had killed your girlfriend and you wanted to be stronger so that you could kill him, but it was all a ruse set up by Victor, Stryker, and your girlfriend to get you to volunteer for the procedure because anesthesia didn’t work on you and they couldn’t force you to do it like they had all the other previous mutants whom they’d kidnapped and forced to endure it only to have them die because of how horrific it was.”
Logan clenched his fists in his anger, his fists clenching, the tips of his blades sticking out of the skin of his knuckles.
“To be fair, your girlfriend only did it because her sister, along with others, were being held by Stryker and Victor in the facility, being experimented on. Stryker wanted to keep an eye on you and said that if she helped he would free her sister. He didn’t keep up his part of the bargain and she got killed in the escape.” Chloe’s head was killing her! The Tylenol was so not doing its work!
“How did I lose my memory?” Logan asked softly, not seeming too disturbed so far despite all that she’d told him.
“Stryker shot you in the brain with adamantium bullets. You regenerated, but the damage to your memory was done.” Chloe brought her hands to her head. “He wanted you to forget all that had happened so that you wouldn’t search him out and kill him.”
She winced and tightened her head on her forehead.
“Are you okay?”
Surprised that despite everything he was worried about her, Chloe tried to open her eyes and smile reassuringly at him, but her brain was hurting her too much. “My head’s killing me. Happens whenever I absorb a memory that’s not mine, and while those dog tags only have the memories of what you went through after you got them, well, it was still a lot.”
There was a moment’s silence.
“Professor X says that you aren’t a normal mutant. Not like us.”
She wondered about the change in topic.
“Yeah, meteor rocks from around here tends to create mutants out of normal people.” She couldn’t open her eyes yet, but at least the pain was going down slightly.
“It’s a good thing magneto didn’t know of this.”
Professor Xavier had told her about what Magneto had tried to do.
She nearly jumped when she felt his hand come down on her shoulder.
“You’re going pale.”
“I’m okay.” She whispered, keeping her voice strong despite the pain she knew was audible. “It’ll go away. It always does.”
There was a moment’s hesitation and then he pulled away, sighing loudly, standing up. “Can you remember Stryker’s first name?”
She shook her head. “No. I’m sorry.”
“No. You’ve given me more of a lead then I’ve had in years.” His voice was odd. “I’m going to head to this Alkalai lake and see if I can find a way into the underground facility you saw.” There was a pause. “If I find anything can I come back for you to look at it? Maybe you can get a better reading on it.”
She nodded, still unable to open her eyes due to the grueling pain. “Sure. No problem. Anything for Professor X.”
He was hesitating.
Why was he hesitating?
Logan didn’t seem like the type of man to hesitate.
He looked like a man determined.
But something kept him still in her office.
“Did I really love her?”
The softness in that voice gave her the strength she needed to open her eyes and she found herself smiling up at the man who gave off an animalistic aura, but with that one question proved that there was a man deep inside…and a good man at that.
His memories had shown her glimpses of that man, and the hope in his eyes grounded her belief.
“She was your life.” She told him, smiling softly up at him. “You would have died for her and you were hurt beyond measure when you found out that she’d betrayed you, even though you understood her reasons in the end.” There was a pause. “She was a lucky woman to have had a man as dedicated to her as you were. You are a good man Logan. A very good man.”
Logan gulped and looked away. “I’ll be back with whatever I find.”
“It’s a date then.” Chloe rubbed at her throbbing temples.
Logan then turned to her and gave her a slow smirk. “Sweetheart, with a face as pretty as yours its dangerous to say things like that to me.” And then with a wink he was gone.
Blinking in surprise, face hot red, Chloe brought her hands to her cheeks and shook her head.
He was only teasing you. Men like that tease women like you.
But she couldn’t help but get up and go to the window and look through the blinds at his ass, biting her bottom lip at how good he looked in those leather pants as he walked towards the elevator and entered.
Despite the headache she knew she’d had when he returned with more objects to ‘read’, Chloe turned back to her desk with a grin…
I can’t wait.