Warning: Slash Themes.
This story follows/is related to Kaylee's excellent story, "Any Kinda Breath." This is not the official ending. Kaylee hasn't written the end to "Any Kinda Breath" yet, sadly. This is in no way suggesting that Remy is going to die for sure at the end of "Any Kinda Breath." No one knows yet.
Posted with her permission.
Nothing worth rating -- they're in love, not in bed. --L.

I, Robert
(or) the kinda vows he dreams about

by Lise

"I, Robert Drake, do take..." He tried to blink back the tears in his eyes unsuccessfully. He rubbed a hand against them, and focused on the green grass beneath his feet. On his newly polished shoes. He'd had little occasion to wear this suit. He always said he'd be married or buried in it, and until now he'd been trying to avoid both. Either option was alright -- both meant union with his love. His other half. The body in the ground in front of him that he needed, wanted to cradle, had cradled as he died...

He choked on another sob, started again with fingers clenched. "I, Robert Drake, do solemnly swear, in richness and in poverty, in sickness and in health..." His words faltered painfully at that. He couldn't finish that sentence. Didn't even want to. He couldn't keep back the sobs, though he desperately tried. A ragged breath, drawn in between pinched, white lips. Another. It felt so cold today.

"I, Robert Drake, take thee to be my lawfully wedded..." He rolled that phrase around in his mouth, trying it out in a thousand different ways, tasting the longing and bitterness and sour all at once. For as long as he'd been alive, Bobby had thought the words would be difficult to say. Frightening. Breathtaking. Because he was scared.

Not because he wanted to curl up with misery.

"I, Robert Drake, promise to love and to hold..." He gripped the single flower in his hand tightly, as if it might salve the wound in his chest and make it easier for him to breath. In and out. He looked up at the blue sky, and then back at the dew covered grass. Moist. Chilled. More tears formed in his blue eyes, and he let them spill out onto his ashen cheeks, too numb to care if people saw him crying. They had thoughtfully given him his space after the funeral. He was a stranger among them now, grief creating a thick curtain between him and everyone else. Perhaps soon he'd go and join them again. Maybe. He felt so chilled right now, and the shivers started again. His head remained bowed, focused on the plot of ground in front of him.

He'd called ... called Jean-Luc eventually, to ask for permission for the burial. He thought it would be the right thing to do. Some of the team hadn't even thought it was the right thing to do, bury him here -- and he forced away the face that swam in front of his eyes immediately. Warren wasn't welcome today as far as he was concerned, even in his mind. Hypocrite -- and his mind was poisoned by his whispers and his eyes. To ward off the nasty thoughts, he fingered the engagement ring on his right hand absently, stroking the hard surface of the minute gem -- his silent, watching companion.

"I, Robert Drake, do swear -- that you're an asshole for leaving me..." He bit back the venom in those harsh words, suprised and ashamed. He never wanted to resent, never wanted to taint the memory of the body lying in the ground in front of him. There was enough resentment and hatred of him floating around already.

He placed the magnolia onto the headstone carefully, lovingly, and ran one finger along the cold stone. He tried to feel his fiance within it, tried to feel his warmth and companionship. He brought the damp fingertip up to his face, and held it there, staring. Nothing but dew stared back at him, and he let more tears fall. The engagement ring followed. He wouldn't need it anymore. He was saying his vows today.

"I, Robert Drake, swear to love you the rest of our..." and stopped. A startled gasp -- that one bruised his ribs, it hurt so much. There was no way he was ever going to be able to erase the pain of the last few weeks from his mind, as he watched the only person he truely loved die little by little. After the decision to stop treatment, there wasn't much left. Comfort. Support. Slowly watch the illness claim the body that he craved today just as much as the first time they had kissed. There wouldn't be a day he wouldn't crave it.

Bobby whispered brokenly to the spot where he imagined a peaceful face lay, "We were going to get married. Now I have to say the vows all by myself." He took another strangled lungful of air, savoring the feel of it entering his body, holding the breath until he felt dizzy. He breathed for both of them now. He continued, "I don't know if I can do this ... live..." He could see the mansion in the background, beckoning. There was a wake going on, supportive friends, caring. Warmth. He should be attending. He was the widow-to-be of honor.

None of them understood.

"I, Robert Drake, I ... I..." He balled his hands up and pressed them into his eye sockets, internally begging for the blissful numbness he had felt the majority of his life. It wasn't forthcoming. If anything, the hollowness in his gut was all the more painful for the sorrow it shared accomodations with. He managed to whisper, "I miss you so much already, Remy." His hands clasped together in front of him of their own volition, trying to ward off the grief, but it did no good. The slender, comforting grip that he so desperately needed, reached for in every thoughtless moment -- it was gone. Each time he realized it, he had to face the sharp shock that Remy was gone.

He felt the tremors in his stomach, tried to watch them impassively. His mind examined them -- came to the conclusion that they were the physical reaction to grief. He tried desperately to stay level headed. He felt the air go into his lungs. He forced himself to look at the square block of stone again. The magnolia, white and smooth, sitting atop it, fragrant petals, each guards to memory. The small ring, almost hidden from view -- easily overlooked. He would not feel this trembling. He would not let them see these things. He would not let Remy down by--

Thinking his name called up his face. Seeing the blurry memory of his perfect face was too much. Already, it was blurry. Already. The trembling became too strong to stand. Bobby sank into the grass, not caring about his suit anymore. He closed his eyes, and fought to keep from blubbering. He put his head in his hands, and mumbled, "I miss you."

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