Okay, guys, this is for KAYLEE'S BIRTHDAY!!! YAY! Okay, so it was LAST Sunday, but this story took longer to write than I expected . . . *giggles* It kinda got away from me... ;)
Anyway, this is a Mooks story--what? You haven't READ Kaylee's Mooks series?! You should be ASHAMED! Go! Now! I hereby order you little heathens to go and read it! I don't know where it's archived, but I'm sure Kaylee will know. :)
Anyway, this is for Kaylee, for her birthday, and yes, she said I may send it (I got a Kaylee-blessing. *giggles*). It's supposed to be one part, but I had to break it into three. Sorry. :)
DISCLAIMER: Marvel doesn't want this Bobby and Remy, I'm pretty sure. But just in case, I'm not making any money off this. Anyone who steals this Bobby and Remy will ... well, I'll send you to Kaylee to be dealt with appropriately. Now there's a threat. Heh.
And feedback. To me. To Kaylee, for general good Mooky-ness. It's all good. ;)

A Special Kinda Birthday
by J.B. McDonald

Jubilee fairly bounced in through the front door and down the hall, arms loaded with mail for the various X-Men in residence. Whistling, she glanced through the papers, tossing the junk mail into the garbage before letting several magazines flop down on the den table.

Swiftly, she rifled through the rest of the mail.

Ororo Munroe. Not going in that direction, she thought, dropping the envelope down on the table. Rogue. Nope. Hank. I'll leave that in his room. Remy, she paused, turning the package over in her hands before finally shrugging. Taking that. Jean. Dorky mailman stuck this in the wrong box ... Logan. Her face split into a grin at the last one, and she snatched all the letters that were destined for the mens' wing and tucked them under her arm, bouncing down the hall and then up the stairs.

"Hank!" Jubilee shouted, giving a cursory pounding on the door before bursting into the empty room. She plopped the mail down on the bed, then continued on her way.

Remy's room was next -- Logan had secluded himself at the far end of the hall -- and Jubilee hammered on his door before waltzing in.

"Ack!" she said, rather eloquently considering it was an 'ack.' Jubilee twisted back out of the bedroom, closing her eyes tightly against the image within. "Can't you two hang a warning outside your door for poor souls like me?" Jubilee shouted, leaning back against the wall. "That is downright traumatic! Bad enough with Scott and Jean at it all the time, now you two have to start ... it's like seeing my parents!"

Remy's head poked around the doorway, a bemused smile in place. "You could learn to knock," he pointed out.

"You could get a room!"

"We're in a room," Remy answered, red on black eyes looking at Jubilee rather blandly. "What'd you need, peti'e?"

Jubilee handed him his package wordlessly.


Remy took it and disappeared back inside the bedroom, the door closing firmly.

Jubilee leaned against the wall for a long moment. Oh, sure, she'd heard that Remy and Bobby were ... ah ... 'an item,' but walking in on the item-ness in action was quite different. And the image of them practically making out (kissing), sprawled on the bed (sitting), half clothed (fully dressed) wasn't leaving her mind very quickly (anytime soon).

Jubilee sighed and shook her head forlornly. What good gossip. She really needed to visit more often.

That decided, she turned and continued down the hall toward Logan's room.

"Oh my God," Bobby muttered, head cradled in his hands.

Between his fingers he could see Remy standing by the door, head cocked, red-hued mahogany hair falling to one side. "You okay?"

Okay. Ha. He could feel the heat from his blush all the way down on his neck, and if it were possible Bobby was pretty sure that the tips of his hair would be pink, too.

"Oh my God," was Bobby's answer, though he did finally look up. "Did she have to burst in then?"

Bobby watched as Remy smothered a laugh, folding long legs gracefully to sit back down on the bed.

"I'm sure she'll knock next time," Remy said, red on black eyes sparkling. He reached up and brushed a rebellious strand of tan hair out of pale blue eyes, then scooched -- somehow making even that look graceful -- back on the bed until he could lean against the headboard.

Bobby sighed and flopped backward, not even bothering to try for graceful, figuring he could at least go for ... well, floppy. His head and shoulders hit something bony -- knees? -- and he pulled back up almost immediately. "Sorry," he murmured, glancing back to be sure he hadn't hit Remy too hard.

Remy was looking at him, cringing in sympathy, slender fingers reaching out to touch the back of Bobby's head. "You okay?" Red eyes sparkled mischievously. "Knees ain' a very good pillow, Bobby."

Bobby smiled, even as he felt the familiar heat of a dull blush try and creep up his neck. "I noticed. Didn't mean to smack you."

Remy blinked, then shook his head slightly as if to clear it. "I'm sure my knees'll live," he said, smiling to take the sting out of the words. "Lay back down. But watch y' head."

Bobby looked at him uncertainly, was met with a disarming smile. "My head's heavy," he pointed out.

"I t'ink my legs can handle it," Remy said, almost managing not to chuckle. Hands reached up and grasped broad shoulders, tugging downward insistently.

Hesitantly, Bobby laid back down, head guided this time by Remy's hands to land on muscular thighs instead of hard knees.

"Tell me if your legs go to sleep," Bobby said, turning to look up at Remy.

Remy nodded wordlessly, picking up the brown box Jubilee had brought in.

"What's that?" Bobby asked curiously.

"Don' know," Remy answered, and proceeded to open it. A smile spread slowly across lean features as he pulled out several bright envelopes, then a small package wrapped in colored paper.

"What's all that for?"

"Hmm?" Remy glanced up from one of the envelopes, then shrugged. "It's not'in'."

Bobby didn't press the issue, watching instead as Remy pulled free several cards and read them, chuckling quietly at one. They all were set down carefully on the bed, and Remy opened the brightly colored gift.

Slowly, checking Remy's face frequently to make sure it was all right, Bobby reached out and picked up the top card.

"As your elder, I'd like to give you my two cents on your birthday," the outside read. Bobby opened it, and smiled at the two pennies glued to the inside of the card. "Happy birthday!"

Bobby closed the card without reading the note within, and glanced up at Remy. "It's your birthday?" Duh. People don't send birthday cards randomly, a little voice inside him said.

"Oui," Remy answered quietly, glancing from the present -- a book titled "Hacking For Dummies" -- down to Bobby.

"Oh," Bobby said when it became apparent that Remy wasn't going to elaborate. Bobby glanced back up. "Happy birthday." He felt like he should've known.

Remy smiled, looked again from the book to Bobby, and bowed his head slightly. "T'anks."

Bobby looked back down at the card. He should have known. He wasn't sure how he would have known, but that was one of those things that people who cared about each other knew, right? And he hadn't known. "Do the other X-Men know?" Bobby asked finally, flipping the card in his hands.

Those red eyes looked at him, almost warningly. "Non. De ot'er X-Men really don' need to know."

"Oh," Bobby sighed. "But what about cake and ice cream? And everyone needs presents," Bobby answered, grinning brightly.

Remy chuckled and shook his head. "We eat cake an' ice cream even when it not someone's birt'day. And I don' need presents -- I can buy my own t'ings, t'anks."

Bobby frowned and gnawed on his lower lip. People who really cared for each other should give presents. All the time, but especially on birthdays. That was just the Thing To Do.

But, on the other hand, what did you get a thief who bought whatever he felt like buying?

"Bobby," Remy's voice cut into his thoughts as though reading his mind. "I don' need presents. No presents."

Blue eyes carried a frown as they looked up into serious red ones. "But--"

"Non. No presents. Oui?"

Bobby scowled again and gnawed on his lip before looking back up at Remy. "But it just seems that--"

"Stop dat," Remy said, smiling gently. "No presents." One of those hands came out, sweeping knuckles down the side of Bobby's face. "An' stop chewin' on y' lip." An eyebrow quirked upward. "Dat's my job," he said with definite cockiness.

Bobby smiled slowly, frown smoothed instantly away, then pasted a pitiful look on his face and gazed forlornly up at Remy. "But you're falling down on your duties."

Remy chuckled in That Way and set the box, book, and cards aside. "Well let me jus' fix dat li'l problem..."

A rock fell victim to Bobby's sneaker as he kicked at it, then watched it bounce across the dirt and plop into the water. The plop wasn't nearly as ploppy as he wanted, and another rock sailed through the air to join the first. ::Bobby?::

He jumped at the voice in his head, then chastised himself for it. "Hi, Jean."

"Are you feeling all right?"

He saw her walk up out of the corner of his eye, her green sundress billowing in the slight breeze. "Sure."

"Which means no," Jean translated with a smile. "What's wrong?"

Bobby squirmed, remembering the very seriousness in Remy's gaze the day before when he'd insisted the X-Men didn't need to know about his birthday. "Nothing," he muttered at last. Blue eyes looked out across the pond, and his chest rose and fell with a deep sigh.

"How about I guess?" Jean asked, a laugh in her gaze.

Bobby considered that, then shook his head.

"It must be something pretty serious."

Blue eyes slid toward Jean, then Bobby shook his head once more. "Not really. I mean, I'm just making more out of it than I need to..."

"Bobby," Jean said, linking her hands before her, "I won't tell anyone."

Bobby hesitated, torn between wanting advice and not wanting to betray Remy's trust -- no matter how little a thing it seemed. "Not even Scott?"

"Not even Scott," Jean affirmed solemnly.

Bobby hesitated for a long moment. It was Jean, not the X-Men. Jean wouldn't tell. She promised. Bobby took a deep breath and answered all at once, "It'sRemy'sbirthdayandIdon'tknowwhattodo."

Jean nodded and opened her mouth to answer, only to be interupted.

"Andhesayshedoesn'twantanyonetoknowandhedoesn'twantanypresents--andwhat doIgetamanwhobuyswhateverhewantsforhimselfanyway?" As though exhausted by his confession, Bobby collapsed onto one of the pillars on the dock.

Jean almost laughed. Almost. "Why doesn't he want anyone knowing?"

Bobby lifted one shoulder in a helpless shrug.

Jean smiled to herself, propping her chin in her hand. Scott didn't like having his birthday celebrated either, though Jean usually overrode him on that. "Throw Remy a private party," she finally suggested. "You two can celebrate without the whole mansion finding out."

Bobby looked thoughtful, nodding slowly. "Yeah," he said after a minute. "I could do that."

"And if he doesn't want presents then you don't have to get him any."

Bobby squirmed and rubbed his arm. "That's not right," he sighed.

Jean watched him.

"I mean ... it just seems like ... well, some people don't want presents and that's okay, but Remy ... I should do something..."

Jean smiled slightly and shook her head. "Well, I can't help you there, Bobby. You know Remy's interests better than I do."

Bobby squirmed some more, then dropped his head into his hands. "He's not exactly easy to buy for. As far as I can tell, he just buys whatever he wants. And if there's something he can't afford ... well, I certainly can't afford it if he can't." Bobby sighed, drooping.

"What about something more personal?"

Bobby looked up, hope lighting his face. "Yeah?"

"Maybe go out to dinner ... or on a picnic, or do something Remy really likes." Jean took a seat on the piling across from Bobby, folding her legs up indian-style and balancing with her telekinesis.

Bobby's face had fallen again. He watched the progress of an ant idly, worrying once more at his lip. His watch beeped, and he turned the timer off after fiddling with the buttons for a moment. "Danger Room," he muttered, then stood. "Thanks, Jean," he called, raising a hand in a wave.

"Good luck," Jean called back. She grinned hugely as Bobby walked away, then she stood and started toward the boat house.

Bobby toweled his hair dry as he walked into the bedroom. He gave one last swipe with the terrycloth, then balled it up and threw it toward the laundry basket.

It missed, and landed on the floor in a purple heap. Bobby eyed it, as if able to will it to get up and put itself in the basket.

The towel laid there in direct opposition to his will. No doubt mocking him and his telekinetic talents. Bobby was sure he had them. Telekinetic talents, that was. They were just buried very, very (VERY) deeply, and someday they would pop out, and then he would never have to clean his room again.

Bobby left the towel relaxing on the floor and headed for the dresser, pulling out a clean blue T-shirt and swapping his slightly dirty one for it. The slightly dirty one ended up reclining next to the towel, and Bobby glared at them both before grabbing Remy's hairbrush and tugging it through his shaggy hair. He needed a haircut, but after Jubilee had offered to try out her new hair-cutting skills on anyone, he didn't dare mention it until she left. He loved Jubilee like a little sister, and like a little sister he didn't trust her anywhere near his hair while she was holding scissors.

Bobby set the brush down, closed the dresser drawer, and glanced at the card laying there. A birthday card. For Remy.

Bobby cocked his head and picked it up, glancing inside. It looked somewhat personal, so he set it back down.

Birthday. Birthdays needed presents. It just wasn't right to not get presents. Especially if you didn't get them from someone close to you. And Bobby was close to Remy, right?

You didn't know it was his birthday, that constantly criticizing part of him noted. Maybe you aren't as close as you thought.

Of course he was close to Remy. They were living in the same room, right? And sleeping (among other things) in the same bed.

You know him so well you can't even think of something to get him. You're so "close," and yet you haven't a clue.

Bobby scowled at himself and pulled his shoes from the closet, stuffing his feet into them without bothering with socks.

"Hey, Bobby," Remy said as he walked in.

Bobby smiled up reflexively, the voice inside him silencing. "Hey yourself. So what's with the 'Hacking For Dummies' book?"

Remy chuckled and picked it up off the nightstand, tossing it just short of Bobby.

Bobby picked it up off the floor and opened it, glancing inside. The book was filled with signatures and notes, some of them novels in themselves, many of them poking fun at something written within.

"Wow," Bobby said at last. He'd never seen so many names in his life. He knew he didn't have that many people to sign anything for him. "That's a lot of people." After a long moment he closed the book and glanced up at Remy, who was watching him. "Who are they?"

Remy stepped around the bed, bending to take the book from Bobby's outstretched hand and then helping the young man up. "Dey're mostly from de T'ieves Guild," Remy answered. "My fam'ly an' friend's."

Bobby glanced again at the book. "I thought you weren't allowed in the Thieves Guild anymore."

Remy nodded, walking with Bobby toward the door. "Oui. But dey still my fam'ly."

Bobby frowned as Remy tossed the book on the bed. "But you can't see them?"

A strange look crossed Remy's features, but was gone so quickly Bobby wasn't sure he hadn't imagined it. "I c'n see dem if dey come here. Problem is, dey're too busy, or I'm too busy." Remy shrugged. "Don' work out ver' often. Let's go eat, neh?"

Bobby glanced back at the book as Remy headed out the door. Discussion closed, if he had read Remy's tone right. And he had.

Unable to see your family. How miserable.

Bobby grinned.

"Somet'in' funny?" Remy asked as they started down the hall, passing Hank as he mumbled into papers and bumbled along.

"Just got an idea, 'sall," Bobby answered, trying to smother his smile and failing miserably. "Um, Remy, I gotta go. Tell 'Ro not to wait dinner on me, okay?"

"Okay," Remy answered, looking completely bewildered.

"'Kay. I'll be back a little later." Bobby grinned and raced ahead, drumming down the stairs and grabbing his brown leather jacket from the hall closet before tearing out the door.

Remy looked after him, confused, then shook his head slightly and continued on into the kitchen.

Bobby scowled at the screen, typed for a minute, index fingers punching at the keys, then frowned again. This wasn't going to work.

Blue eyes narrowed in concentration, and his fingers stabbed some more at the keyboard. Nope. There was no way around it. He needed more money.

Bobby sighed and leaned back in the hard library chair, then switched screens to check his e-mail. No new messages. Bobby checked it again, just to be sure, and then had to accept that there really were no new messages.

It had been five days since he'd had his Idea, and he'd been unable to get a hold of the right people. In fact, he wasn't even sure if he had the right address, but it was the only one he'd been able to find. After spending an entire day looking through their room, searching drawers and little black books and all manner of other things, he'd finally picked up Remy's wallet and searched that, coming out with an address buried in the back. He'd written a letter, including his phone number and address, and e-mail address, but there hadn't been any contact.

At this rate, his Idea was never going to work. The people weren't showing, he didn't have enough money, and Remy was starting to get suspicious.

First problems first, Bobby thought, switching screens once more. Assume they'll contact you, and figure out how much money you'll need. Bobby's quick blue eyes glanced over the figures on the screen before him. He reached up absently to correct a typo, then left his fingers there, ticking gently against the keys. He needed a lot more money. If he took those three tax jobs ... and his friend said he could get Bobby a temporary position at that restaurant ... Bobby gnawed on his lip. It just might work.

Bobby switched screens and checked his e-mail again.


What, you expected things to change in the ten seconds since you last checked it? he asked himself sarcastically.

Oh, shuddup, he answered himself, and checked his e-mail again, just for spite's sake.

Bobby sat up straighter when a message arrived, and he clicked on it quickly.

"Aren't you one of those X-Men Remy plays with?" the message opened. "What is it you need?"

That was it. No signature, no nicities. Bobby didn't mind in the slightest. He cracked his knuckles and gleefully started to reply.

Remy kept his back turned as Bobby stumbled in, closing the bedroom door quietly before stripping off shoes, jeans and T-shirt and pulling on sweats. Remy cracked one eye, glancing at the glowing red lights of the clock next to him.

Two thirty. AM.

Beside him, the bed creaked under Bobby's weight, and the blankets shifted to allow another body beneath.

Remy rolled over, resting his head on his arm. "Where've you been?" he whispered into the silence. For over a week Bobby had been disappearing shortly after dinner and not coming home until the wee hours of the morning. Time spent at the mansion was mostly working on several tax jobs he'd taken, and Bobby woke fairly early every morning either for Danger Room sessions or to disappear once more.

Bobby mumbled something incoherent in response to Remy, and rolled closer, curling himself into the taller man's chest.

"Bobby," Remy whispered, touching a bare shoulder gently.

There was no answer, and Remy pulled back slightly to look down at the other man's face. Bobby was sleeping.

Remy frowned and thought about waking him up, but didn't have the heart to do it. He laid back down and shifted Bobby more comfortably against his chest, then buried his face in soft brown hair and closed his eyes.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow, one way or another, he'd get some answers.

continued >>

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