Was a Tangerine Birthday Present! Though she's
innocent, honest, this was in no way her idea. Thanks to the people-who-know-who-they-are.
AlterU-post "Any Kinda Breath", sort of.
Most definitely isn't canon KJ Mooks, though done with her kinda-permission.
Warren tries to reach out to Bobby when Remy dies.
WARNING: Slash themes. At least PG:13, strong
People Kinda Change
I woke up this morning, and I was alone. It's not the end of the world, I
know, and it's not unusual, but somehow ... I didn't expect it from him.
I want to laugh at myself. 'I didn't expect it from him'. What kind of a
cliche did I walk into, anyway? I went to find him once I woke up, to see
where he'd ended up. Maybe he had training; maybe he wanted to make sure no
one saw the two of us, naked in my room.
All good possibilities. All ones I would have picked over the truth. I walk
into the kitchen, and gulp.
I can't believe it. He's eating Corn Pops out of that stupid Winnie the Pooh
plastic bowl, crunching them down like there's no tomorrow. I thought maybe
there'd been a mission, or someone had been hurt, or something important at
I start off with a grin, "There you are. I was wondering where you went."
It was a patented Warren-grin, light, and undemanding, and when had it
failed? I thought it was a safe beginning, but apparently I stepped into a
no-no boundary somewhere in those two innocent little sentences. The reason
I know this is because he looks up at me, and I see an iceberg in his eyes
I've never seen before.
It's only a look. A look can't break hearts. He freezes me with his gaze.
I cough, and go over to the counter. My back is to him, at least for a
moment, and so I can't see his face ... and for that, I'm glad. I get a small
respite from the unfamiliar. I pour a cup of coffee into a mug, and inhale
the aroma. That problem done, another arises. Do I sit down, face the
stranger at the table, or do I go out of the room?
I choose to sit, because if he were a woman, I would sit.
If he was a woman, he would still have been in bed, and we would be engaged
in something far more interesting right now, but that's beside the point.
He doesn't look at me. I drink my coffee, black, and he keeps eating his
cereal and reading a book like I'm not even there. Well, this is new. I
stare into my cup, and don't think about the warmth that I thought I saw
within him last night.
I remember last night, and I know it wasn't a dream. I was giving, oh so
giving, and I know that because I never once made him do a thing. I bowed my
pride and my head and tried to connect to Bobby, and when it didn't work and
we ended up in bed, I tried to connect with his body, hoping his mind would
follow. He was hard beneath the sheets, and he issued a moan every once and
a while, but ... My god, did he ever smile?
I can't remember if he smiled. Why didn't I notice last night? It might as
well have been a dream.
Yesterday started out normal, your every-day run of the mill training and
practice session. And then, well, Bobby and I hadn't spent nearly enough
time together, so I offered to take him out for a nice dinner, some time
away from the mansion.
Would I have seen a strange look on his face if I'd looked hard enough?
Maybe I didn't want to, maybe I was stubborn enough to get the old
Warren'nBobby back that I never saw what was really there. It's all water
under the bridge, when you come down to it. We ended up in bed, that much
must be obvious. If you asked me, I don't actually know who initiated.
Normally, I wouldn't hesitate and say I did. But Bobby ... well, he's
changed, hasn't he?
Bobby might have initiated. It might have been his hand, reaching out oh so
hesitantly for my shoulder, instead of the other way around. He might have
whispered, 'Warren, I'm so lonely right now ... I don't know what to do
without him. I can barely believe he's gone...'
Is that my ego talking? I don't really believe that Bobby would have come to
me, of all people, to ease the pain of loss. So no, it must have been me.
Bobby wouldn't have risked everything we could get back by doing something
like last night. That's more like me.
I was really hoping to get some quality bonding done. Whether I'll admit it
or not, I miss him. Dinner seemed innocent.
A lot of things seemed innocent. Bobby does. He looks just like he's
always looked, eating from that stupid bowl. I sneak a glance at him, just
in case he's looking at me, or looking away, or looking...
But he's just eating his damned cereal.
I just ran out of coffee to drink. I can look into the bottom of my cup, and
see ceramic. Now what? Do I refill it, and in doing so, get up and
interrupt Bobby's breakfast? Do I try to find out why he wasn't there when I
woke up this morning, or do I simply go away?
The sheets were so cold, like ice. I was curled up on one side of the bed,
like if Betts were there, and his half was empty, and somehow, the chill
from his half had made its way onto mine. And it followed him out into the
kitchen this morning, because I can feel it in my bones right now when I
look at him.
When did Bobby get so cold? He was never like this before.
What would I want, if I were Bobby? I'm sitting here, in a cold kitchen at
the table with a one-night stand, and I just lost the love of my life to
cancer. I'm angry as hell, withdrawn, and just shared a magical experience
with one of my best friends.
Hell, what do I want?
"I think ... well, I think we should talk about it, Bobby." There, I said
something. At least I'm not staring at my cup, and wishing he was looking
at me. I try and ignore the subtle increase in my heartbeat, and the
trembling in my stomach. It's just because I'm hungry. This is just to get
it out into the open, where we can joke and laugh about it like always.
"Talk about what?"
That was said with a mouthful of sugary junk, nonchalant as hell. Bobby
didn't even look up when he said it. The potency is in what he didn't say,
even though it's crystal clear, all those flat cliches about casual sex,
just sex, nothing to discuss, no friendly touches in the morning. He didn't
even look up when he ... God. I don't want to be sick at the kitchen table.
I think I'd better leave.
I move to go out of the room, but turn slightly, to look at him and his face
before I leave. I didn't see the hardness there last night, but I must have
been stupid not to have. Anyone could see those wrinkles, that...
That's still just Bobby's face -- I'm just imagining the horrible changes.
He didn't really just say that. Bobby never would have said that. Any
minute now, he'll come over and laugh, and punch me in the arm, and say,
'Hey Warren, calm down, I was just hungry, and you sleep like the dead...'
I could handle that, I know. I wasn't hoping for anything else.
He puts his bowl in the sink, and rinses out the milk casually. I can't
stop glancing his way from the doorway. He passes me on his way to his
room, and he doesn't touch me, doesn't brush up against me as he does.
He didn't even smile.
That twist of his lips isn't a smile, the way the corners droop down even as
his eyes twinkle a little bit.
I don't think I ever saw Bobby without a smile, back in the old days. I owe
him a lot, both from those times, and from recently. I know he hated how
things have been lately. How painful it must have been for him, I can't
even begin to guess. I wanted to help, I really did.
I really care about him. I just want to know what's going on, but I guess I
overshot that one.
All those little signs -- were they there, and I just didn't see them? Or
did he change over night? Am I blind? I didn't notice anything different,
anything ... wrong. I thought that maybe last night had helped, a little
bit. He seemed more cheerful, certainly. Most people in my bed are, but
nothing is ... I mean, how can I explain...
I can't even guess what's going through his head. I used to be able to read
Bobby Drake like an open book. A picture book, even.
The only thing I'm getting now is smugness. But Bobby Drake is never
smug -- maybe when he's playing video games, perhaps in a snowball fight. I
didn't even know Bobby could wear that when it came to being with someone.
I've never seen him want to.... I don't know. He's rubbing my face in
something, and I have no idea what. He's never been smug before.
He never was with Remy.
So. I'm hiding out in the War Room, and Bobby's God knows where, and this
morning I woke up, expecting him to be beside me. That face in sleep I've
seen a thousand times, I know his sleeping face. And instead, I got a cold
bed, a colder shoulder, and it doesn't matter, really and honestly, but I
don't know where Bobby's gone.
Because that's not Bobby. Bobby isn't like that. I know Bobby. He's not ...
And now he's coming towards me. I missed him coming through the door, I was
so deep in thought. I almost wish I could scrunch down into the chair, but
first off, my wings are too big, and second of all, it's just not
Warren-like to face away from anything that's scary and painful and
surprising and might hurt like hell.
He wanders over to me, and I swear, I can't read his face. The dark circles
under his eyes -- were those really there last night? Last week? The whole
year? I couldn't tell you. His eyes are red, but I don't know if that's
from lack of sleep, or crying, or illness, or something else. I opened my
eyes this morning, and instead of my friend, I found a stranger.
I try and brace myself for a possible shoot down, but it just doesn't work.
I can't be wary around him. Aside from the cold demeanor, it's still
Bobby's face, still Bobby's mouth, still Bobby's...
Those aren't Bobby's eyes, but everything else is the same.
He says to me coolly, "I'm sorry if you had any misconceptions about last
What a line. I couldn't have said it better myself. I'd expect it of me. I
never expected it from him, even though logically, I knew it was coming. I
swallow, and shake my head. Those aren't Bobby's eyes. Bobby isn't like
this. He doesn't have this casual approach to sex. I might. I often do.
Bobby takes it seriously. He didn't once cheat, or even think of cheating,
on the love of his life. It never crossed his mind.
Sex means something to Bobby Drake.
He continues. "Obviously, I've been going through a lot recently. I think
I might have jumped the gun. You understand." He rubs a hand through his
hair, and I think I see the circles under his eyes get bigger. It must be
terrible to be him. I remember back to when Betsy almost died, and while
things aren't ... aren't the same as before with her, it's still tough to
But sex means something to Bobby Drake. He might not be able to handle the
idea, but he can't just brush off last night like it was nothing, because I
know it has to be something to him.
To his unspoken request to drop the subject, for now and possibly forever, I
nod. "Of course. Listen, I know last night wasn't maybe ... the best idea,
but you know ... I'm here for you, Bobby."
Only now does he smile, and I think it's colder than the blank face he was
using before. "Warren. Thanks."
But the words are hollow, and I know he won't talk to me anymore. Bobby
can't think that last night was nothing. He just...
How do you get from sweet and innocent to this? And why on earth did I think
that dinner would solve anything. I don't want to see him hurting like
that, but I guess there's not much I can do, is there? I tried so hard. I
sigh, and he leaves the same way he came. The same person that came in.
But that's not the Bobby I know.
That about sums it up, I think. Yep. That'll do.
I want to kill him, but I can't. That's not me, and I won't let it be me. I
won't go that route, no matter how much I want to wipe that happy smile off
his sleeping face.
What right does he have to be happy about life?
I burn inside, slowly, and it's eating me up. I look at him, naked, and I
look at me, naked too, and I feel so sick inside that I almost want to kill
myself instead. I don't believe this happened, at least I don't want to.
I still want to kill him. It would be so easy, to grasp his perfect throat
and squeeze the breath out, just take out everything on him. He seduced me
last night. He played on my loneliness and my grief and he got me into bed
for a one-night stand.
How utterly, perfectly Warren. I hate him, and I hate me, because we're in
bed together, and even though it's almost six in the morning I can't get
back to sleep because I hate us so much.
I get out of his bed. I might as well. Finding my discarded clothing is
almost too easy. I almost go into our ... my room, to change, but having to
face the ghosts in there is too much to bear. Remy's fingerprints are
everywhere in there, and I just can't look him in the eyes this morning.
Yes, I know he's dead, and it's just figurative, but being in there will
just remind me of what a bastard I am for cheating on him.
It must be cold this morning because I'm in nothing but boxers and a
tee-shirt, but I don't honestly feel it. It's strange, but I don't. I used
to notice warmth and heat, but I don't seem to need it anymore.
Maybe I don't want it anymore.
I still feel sick. In some bizarre way, I decide that cereal will help,
Remy's favorite. I go into the kitchen, anywhere to get out of Warren's
sight, and get a bowl down. It happens to be my Winnie the Pooh bowl, back
from the days of the Five. It doesn't really matter what I eat from; it's
all the same food going into the same wavery stomach.
It's being absorbed by the same blood, feeding the same body, allowing me to
flourish in the world.
It's quite quiet this early. I count my blessings that Scott isn't around --
he'd probably say something gentle and understanding, and make me want to
hit him for being so goddamned balanced about the whole thing. Yes, he
understands loss. Yes, I know he's here for me. Shut the fuck up already,
Scotty. He doesn't want me on active duty for 'a while yet', and it's
starting to bug me. I can hold my own with the team, and I'm still able to
keep up, even if it's not in top form. I don't need 'grief leave', for
crying out loud. I still have my sense of humor, I'm not fragile. Remy's
the one that died, not me.
Saints. It's enough to drive a man to another man's bed.
I know eventually Warren's going to come down here, and I'm going to hurt
him as soon as I open my mouth. Part of me doesn't want to, remembering how
kind he tried to be last night, but most of me just remembers his sneer when
he first came back and found out that Remy was sick. His attitude didn't
change much, until the bitter end.
I know he wanted to help, especially in the last few weeks. I won't say
it's to try and clean his conscience -- that would be petty ... but Warren,
old buddy, it was far too little, far too late.
And here he is, playing with the coffee, drinking it. I can see him trying
to decide what he wants to say. I barely even look at him. I'm trembling
with rage -- this is new. He dared to even consider the possibility that I
might want him, now that Remy's gone, and it blinds me with anger, that
presumption. I took it, too. I looked into his eyes, and didn't find
anything I was looking for, only emptiness. But I spent the night with him.
It doesn't feel as important as it did earlier this morning.
He tried so hard last night to be giving, and I know it. I see it in his
eyes this morning, he's trying to crucify himself for me, and I'm so
grateful for the attempt, really I am.
I just don't believe him, and I don't believe myself.
Warren, oh Warren, so you think we should talk about it, eh? What should we
talk about? The way you offered yourself to me as solace, and I took it,
wanting to show you emptiness, just to connect with someone with the only
thing I've got left? How Remy died in my arms, and we never got married,
never went to the beach one last time? How I never talk about him, because
I'm still angry with him?
"Talk about what?" The tone surprises even me, but I don't really care
anymore. His face falls, mine stays impassive. I can't believe you did
this, Warren, and I can't believe I did this. I want to apologize, but only
a little bit. I know he deserves some of this, and so does he. It's in his
What's in mine?
Yes, this is about enough of old Bobby and Warren, sitting in the kitchen,
hurt and angry and not speaking. I don't understand him at all, so I just
rinse my bowl out and leave. I can feel his eyes watching me, trying to
dissect me and figure out what I'm thinking. Good luck to you, buddy.
I don't care what you see anymore.
I go upstairs, have a shower, and try to rinse away Warren's smell from my
body on all the places he kissed. I realized that I was enjoying what he
did to me last night, and it makes me feel even sicker.
I get out of the scalding water to dry heave over the toilet.
It's a good thing no one heard that. I'd have Hank all over me for the next
week, and that can really ruin a guy's fun.
I dry off, get dressed, and decide to go find the bastard before he goes off
somewhere and starts crying -- mustn't have that. I don't want Scott to ask
me what's wrong, or Jean to try and analyze, or something.
He's in the War Room, playing Brave Little Trooper Against Mean Scary
Friend-Turned-Meany. But I know how fake you are, Wings.
I don't know what words I use, but I think they're fairly polite and calm. I
just want him to understand that this is NEVER happening again. I'll kill
him for sure, if it does. I don't want anyone to make me feel good like that
unless his name's Remy. His lower lip is trembling I think, and a pang goes
through my chest. If it were only that simple -- fuck, and then the world's
That's how you play things, isn't it Wings?
I'm not as angry as I was. It really shouldn't be that big of a deal, and I
don't want to make something a big deal when it's not. That's why I let the
anger drip away at Warren's pity fuck. That's all it was, and it was
supposed to make him feel better, plain and simple.
It's not that simple. Don't get any ideas. I'm not going to let Warren
Worthington the III give of himself so he can cleanse the past with Remy
LeBeau. Things just don't work that way. I'm not interested in taking your
comfort, and I'm not interested in being involved with you.
I guess he can read my eyes, if not my lips, because he looks at me
strangely. His expression makes me look in the mirror on the wall, and I'm
surprised to find my face.
That's just me, staring. That's just my nose, just my lips, and just my
eyes. I feel like me. I don't feel any different, and for some reason,
that's even more wrong. I should be ... changed, somehow. But I'm just me.
I miss Remy so much I want to die at least half the days I'm still here, I
want to put a fist in Warren's face for expecting that he could ease my pain.
He offers me a friend. An ear, a shoulder. I smile, knowing what it really
is. I'm too tired to hit him, and it's just not that important, so I just
say, "Thanks," and leave.
I almost want to break down and cry, because he'll never be able to
understand, but it's not quite possible anymore. I physically felt Warren's
hands on me, and I felt the tears hovering behind my eyes because he wasn't
Remy, but they didn't come. I didn't want to feel happier because he
touched me, but for a fleeting moment -- own up to your sin, Bobby -- I did.
And it's burning in my gut. I can feel emotions, like fog, but I'm not going
to cry because Warren's not Remy.
I cried at the funeral, and that was enough.
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