This is because of Tangerine and "Alegria", and the horrible, awful, sad, wonderful, incredible descriptions of the smells of blood and death (which spawned the line "Do you know what death smells like?"); also because of my Classics exam and how I'm not studying for it; also Kael and River discussing picnics; and of course KJ. Canon Mooks are KJ's babies; Bobby and Remy are technically Marvel's (and no profit is being made), but KJ deserves them. Let's start a petition.
Archiving: If you don't have blanket permission (Kaylee, Sascha, anyone else?) just ask :)
This would be somewhere amid, or slightly after, part two of Any Kinda Breath.
This has slash themes-- it's in the Mooks universe, after all :)

A Perfect Kinda World
by Lise

He fed Remy another grape, and grinned like an idiot when Remy's lips sucked in his fingertip as well. One of Remy's eyelids lowered at him in a teasing wink, and Bobby gazed at his long and liquid eyelashes adoringly. Those eyes held him mesmerized as Remy chewed, deliberately moistening his lips with his tongue with each and every movement of his jaw. Bobby gritted his teeth, narrowing his eyes at his lover. "If you're going to tease me like that, you could at least pass me my sandwich." Remy apologized with absolutely no sincerity, and handed him his ham on rye. Bobby took a bite as seductively as he could, trying to mimic Remy's teasing, and then inwardly sighed as he felt himself get mustard in the corners of his mouth. He moved to wipe it away, but Remy grabbed a napkin and dabbed away the offending substance first. His touch made Bobby drift away into a momentary daydream, where no one but the two of them existed and there was no cancer, and no hatred, and the sun was shining.

They'd gone to the chemo ward earlier that day because Remy wanted to talk to Marcus. It was Bobby's first visit, and he'd waited outside in the hall, and desperately tried not to weep at all the people who could have been Remy. Who might be Remy. Afterwards, Bobby had suggested they spend some time in the city, since Remy was feeling a little better. They'd bought some food and had settled down in a secluded corner of Central Park. Bobby still felt a little uncomfortable being so out in the open, but he tried, and covered up his discomfort with little jokes, and hoped that Remy didn't notice.

Remy chose that moment to lean over and kiss him. Bobby had a very satisfied grin plastered to his face before those lovely Cajun lips covered his. His sandwich forgotten in the grass, Bobby wrapped his arms around Remy tightly. Heaven was in his arms, and he intended to enjoy it. They really were the only two people who existed, and Bobby was blissfully unaware of anything outside of Remy's presence. He pressed himself to Remy's body, feeling every tight muscle, every thin bone, every curve, and every hollow. His hands ended up resting on Remy's back, and every nerve was singing. The world paused, holding its breath, as they became nothing more than two people very, very much in love.

The magic was broken with a couple of words.

"Hey, I smell a couple of fags. That one even looks a little pale, doesn't he guys?" The words cut through the honey perfection of the moment like a thousand tiny razors. Bobby, lost in Remy's embrace, felt slapped with a chill and a hatred he had to reign in carefully. It wouldn't be good to lower their body temperatures to below freezing, no matter how satisfying it would be. He managed to keep a tight reign on his powers as he broke away from Remy. He stood up, and looked the other man square in the eyes, letting all of his emotions leech into his pupils instead. The hostile response obviously surprised his tormentor, whose eyes widened. Impulsively, he took a step back as Bobby advanced on him menacingly. The man obviously didn't expect Bobby to try and put him in his place, which branded him a bully. Good. He hated bullies.

Bobby hissed, "Do you know what death smells like?" The man looked afraid, more so when Bobby leaned into his face and said dangerously, "I bet you thought he had AIDS just because we're gay. Do you know what lung cancer smells like? Do you know what happens when you get chemo, how much you retch?" His fists were balled up beside him, and his eyes were like ice. "I bet you don't. Guess what, asshole? I do."

Remy laid a hand on Bobby's arm, and the guys took that opportunity to run in the other direction. He turned back to Remy, and smiled a rueful smile. Sure, he shouldn't have done it, but...

"That felt good. Jerks." His cheeks were still flushed with anger, but as soon as he looked at Remy, his tone softened. He was frail and so strong all mingled into one, and there wasn't anything he could do to protect against those words. He sat back down on the grass and looked at the trees, peaceful and serene. Try as he might, he was still angry as hell. The last two minutes had ruined a perfect day.

Remy put a hand under Bobby's chin, and tilted it up so that their eyes met. He said quietly, "What's really wrong, Bobby?" Remy didn't seem to object to the scare Bobby had given them, but he wasn't smiling either.

Bobby sighed, and looked helpless. He looked into his lover's face, and wanted to kiss him so tenderly, show him how much all of the sickness and all of the horror in the entire world just didn't matter, it really didn't... "I'm just so angry. If it were up to me, a perfect world wouldn't have assholes like that." His voice lowered. "I guess it would have been better if I hadn't said anything."

The root of all his fear and doubt came back to him. He really didn't deserve Remy. He used to take so much for granted, every day, and now they had such precious little time ... The fear came back, and he tried to hold it in check. Remy needed him strong, not weak, because he was the one with the life threatening illness. He was the one who could die. Bobby thought suddenly, Please don't die, just please don't. His hands wouldn't stop shaking, and Bobby thought bad thoughts at them. They were traitors to his vow to be outwardly strong.

Remy looked at the anger, frustration, and overall helplessness in Bobby's eyes, and grasped his shaking hands gently. He whispered simply, "Cher, it's not a perfect world." The resignation in Remy's eyes was apparent, but so was the hope.

Bobby blinked backed the tears at the weakness in Remy's tone. It startled him, and warmed him, and scared him all at once. Bobby needed to get used to the way things really were -- the truth. He would be strong, and not cry just because some idiot made him hopping mad by leering at them and their happiness. He was the bigger man, right? At least, so Remy kept saying.

But what was the truth?

The words echoed in his ears again as Remy clutched his hands tighter. Bobby looked into his eyes, and saw that they were suspiciously shiny as well. He was so beautiful, and the sun on Remy's face lit up the whole universe. His whole universe. There really wasn't anywhere else Bobby would rather be, nothing else he'd rather be doing. He felt the world burst inside his heart, and he whispered back fiercely, "You're alive. I'm alive." He almost choked up as he said, "It's perfect enough."

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