"Desperate Times, Ramen Noodles"
"Winning Bets"
"The Land of the Beautiful People"
"Remembering Those Who Have Yet to Fall"

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Stars and Garters

Disclaimer: Warren and the Medlab and Remy belong to Marvel. Naomi belongs to me. This is set in a cross-over between Naomi-verse (completely continuity free) and KayleeJaya's Mooksverse (has some continuity).

Kaylee has not sanctioned this, and it's not by any stretch of the imagination really a part of the Mooksverse. Nor part of Naomi-verse. It's just a little statement by me.

No romance. At all. (It's got Naomi and Warren I mean, really, get of the grass! Ew!)

Disease references.

"I'm Miss Average."

Warren wondered briefly why it was that Miss Average felt the need to corner him when he wandered down to the medlab for something to stop his hangover, but he recognised the set jaw and squinty eyes of a woman determined to say her piece. What he didn't know and was thus not forewarned about was what happened when a normally reserved girl got like that.

"But there's something have to say," Naomi continued. "I heard about the other day." She squinted up at him expectantly.

Warren looked back down at her, a charmingly blank smile flashed. "What about the other day?" he asked.

Naomi sighed. "You must remember. When you were..." there was a noticeable pause for diplomacy, "talking to Remy about AIDS?"

Warren winced, then frowned. He'd been given enough crap about that one little, perfectly understandable mistake, and he wasn't going to put up with crap from this outsider about it. He took a deep breath and--

"It's like Legacy, and I don't understand how someone as intelligent as you could fall for the propaganda" Naomi said, neatly stabbing Warren's cutting putdown to uselessness, as only a compliment can.

"Huh?" A not quite as charming expression, this time.

"AIDS isn't a disease gay people have," Naomi told him solemnly.

"It's not?" Warren was beginning to have a feeling that he was missing something.

"It's not."

Warren was certain that he was missing something now, but he couldn't figure out what it was. He hopefully kept his mouth shut, thinking that perhaps that would lead to something slightly more illuminating.

Naomi evidently either realised that she wasn't making much sense or she settled more firmly into the saddle of her hobby horse. "You know most of the people who have AIDS are not gay."

"They're not?" Warren calculated the distance to the door.

Naomi, with the unconscious skill of a long time trivia buff shifted her weight and cut off easy escape. "No. Did you know that WHO recently said that thirty percent of fifteen year olds on one whole continent will be dead within ten years of AIDS."

Warren's eyes tore away from the door and fastened on Naomi in disbelief. "That's not right."

Naomi nodded. "F- Um, Damn straight, it's the truth. It's in Africa and that's boys and girls."

Warren's face crinkled, handsomely, in thought. "But ... I thought they'd almost found a cure?"

"They have. Plus the UN and WHO put together, and the treatment drugs are a fraction of their previous cost to those third world nations." Naomi shook her head.

"But ... then why are they saying that that many people will die?"

Naomi's voice was sad. "Because this is the continent where over 3 million kids a year die of an easily preventable disease each year."

"What? What disease? It must be pretty bad, if that many--"


"Measles? But that's like..." Warren's brain caught up with his mouth. "Oh."

"Yeah, a kids disease, that almost everyone is immunised against. Except over there." Naomi blinked rapidly. "Anyway, I just thought you should know."

Warren was now thoroughly confused. "Know what?"

"That it's silly to say 'He's gay, he must have AIDS.' It's kinda twenty years out of date by now." Naomi evidently realised where she was and blushed suddenly. "Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to harass you. Remind me never to get started on the idiocy of Australian political parties. I'd better go, I've got, um..."

Warren smiled, a genuine flash of humour. "Festy marines to go back to?"

Naomi groaned. "I will kill Bobby, yes I will."

On a note of mutual sympathy, Warren headed back upstairs, and Naomi went back to reading information sheets on chemicals and deciding if possible psychological alterations were better or worse than possible tumours on the appendages.

The End

Notes: The facts are true, so far as they were when I heard them, the WHO statement today, and the measles one a year ago in a book of statistics on immunisation.

The festy marines are from 'StarCraft' a game that's not nearly as much fun when your speakers don't work, I'll tell you that for nothing.

The information sheet is the MSDS sheet that laboratories are required to have on any chemical, as well as warning labels on the chemicals themselves. (In one lab I was in, they had a warning on the skim milk powder used in fluorescent assays (Dangerous: Causes sensitisation by inhalation)).

I meant it about the Australian political parties.

December 1, International AIDS Day. A screw up in the making, and a modern day Black Plague. We're talking similar proportions here, or worse, let alone in sheer number terms.