Title: Actual Reality (3/3)
Word Count: 1,649
Disclaimer: I wish, but alas, do not own.
Summary: Mark has to deal. There's only one problem: Mark doesn't deal well.
A/N: So, here is the final part of this little fic. This gave me quite a lot of trouble, but I think it turned out fine...
Part One Part Two
Roger and Mark walked back into the loft in silence. Mark hadn't said much since they were in the Life Café. Roger was worried, thinking it was a bad idea to have a reunion so quickly. He was just so relieved to finally have Mark back in his life that he wanted to share it with everyone else. Speaking of which, he should probably call Benny, just to tell him Mark's all right. The musician hated Benny, but the landlord was still Mark's friend.
“Hey...” Roger began, scratching the back of his neck, “are you okay? You've been quiet since we ordered.” Roger leaned against the door frame, arms crossed. Mark sighed as he sat down on their dilapidated couch. He pinched the bridge of his nose.
“I'm just tired.” He said, looking Roger in the eyes for the first time since Roger shoved him against the wall. “I didn't expect them to know what I did.” Mark spoke quietly, looking away from the guitarist at the end of his speech. Roger quirked an eyebrow.
“What do you mean ‘what you did’?” Roger asked, moving toward the filmmaker. Mark tensed as Roger came near him. He adverted his eyes, not wanting to admit it to the musician aloud.
“That I, that I, uh, took advantage of you?” Mark struggled with his words, stuttering under the heated gaze Roger gave him. “I wasn't ready to face them yet.” Mark stared at his hands in his lap, twisting them nervously.
Roger stared at Mark for a while, making Mark all the more uncomfortable. The filmmaker wanted him to say something, anything, instead of just ignoring the situation like the others did. Well, he didn't really want to deal with it, but he didn't want the gang to treat him like a fucking saint-come-home when he doesn't deserve it.
“Mark,” Roger finally spoke, “You think I'd actually tell them?” He asked incredulously, his anger flaring the tiniest bit. Mark looked up questioningly, eyes wide. “Why would I want them to know? That's between us, just us.” Roger sat down, looking at Mark with serious, caring eyes. Mark just sat there with his mouth agape. No one knew? Are you fucking kidding me?
“But...” Mark tried to recover, “What about Mimi? I heard you tell her I wasn't... wasn't sick.” He stated hesitantly. He was sure he heard right. He even noticed the way Mimi glanced at him, that worried, skeptic look in her eyes.
Roger furrowed his brows before he remembered. “Oh, well, I kind of, uh... lost it... after I realized I kicked you out.” He admitted sheepishly. “I ran to Mimi and just, just told her everything. Well, everything I remembered, which wasn't much.” He looked away, somewhat ashamed that he told.
Mark was quiet. A bittersweet relief washed over him. Roger doesn't remember. He didn't remember. Mark didn't know if he should be happy or not. Roger didn't say anything, feeling all the more embarrassed by the moment. Mark just sat there in silence, refusing to open his mouth lest he say something he'd regret.
After a while, Roger cleared his throat. “Well...” he stood up, scratching his head, “I think... I'm gonna hit the sack.” He quickly walked to his room, stopping abruptly at the door frame. “I'm sorry, Mark.” And he was gone.
Mark watched him leave, staring at the spot where Roger had occupied, incredulous. He was sorry? He was sorry! What. The. Fuck.
He sat there for a few more minutes before getting up with a long sigh. He went into his room, coming face to face with his camera. A staring contest ensued, one Mark was sure to lose. The accusing object glared up at the blonde, its lens shining with a secret. Mark walked forward, trembling. He reached for it, his skin feeling as though it was on fire when it made contact.
Picking it up, he gently ran his hand to the crank. Mark hesitated, his hand tenderly gripping the crank. Then, in a swift movement, Mark ripped the reel out of the camera. Placing the camera rather roughly on his bed, Mark ran out into the main room, reel in hand.
He stopped dead center in the room, trying to calm his nerves. Mark knew what was on that reel, and it would destroy him. Roger, too. Hands shaking, Mark stared down at the reel, his heart racing. He had to destroy it, erase all evidence of his horrible betrayal to his friendship with Roger. Looking around the room for a tool that would do the job, Mark spotted a rusted hammer hiding behind a random box by the phone. Still clutching the reel, Mark sped to it.
After obtaining the tool, Mark glanced back and forth from the hammer and the reel. He had never destroyed any of his film before. They were all a part of him. The better part. The filmmaker gently knelt down, placing the reel hesitantly in front of him. Gripping the hammer's handle tightly with both hands, Mark raised the object directly above the evidence.
Mark stood that way for a while. The hammer began to tremble, yearning to bring itself down on its awaiting victim. Mark didn't know if he could do it. He lived for his films; could he really destroy a part of himself? You all ready did. Mark blinked. What's stopping you now? A little voice chided inside Mark's head. So hard to break a reel yet so easy to use a friend... Mark shook his head, trying his hardest to rid himself of his demons.
But it was true. Why couldn't he break this dumb reel? Was it really easier to break the trust of his best friend? Drawing in a breath, Mark let the hammer fall with all its might onto the reel, smashing it again and again, feeling the tears threatening to fall.
Why did he have to do something so stupid? With each stroke of the hammer, Mark remembered a frame from that night. Smash. Mark positioned himself on top of Roger's erection. Crash. Without preparation, Mark thrust himself onto Roger's length. Crunch. Roger reaching out to Mark, trying to cease the pain. The hammer stopped falling.
Mark just stared at the broken pieces of reel, panting a little. He let the hammer slip from his hands as he remembered Roger that night. The musician had placed both hands on Mark's hips, trying to stop him. He looked at Mark with those intense emerald eyes. Mark remembered being scared that Roger snapped out of his drunken stupor, but that wasn't the case. Roger merely rubbed soothing circles on Mark's skin with his thumbs, his eyes never leaving Mark's.
“No, don't hurt,” Roger had said, his eyes alight with emotion, “Not like this.” Roger let his hands gently roam over Mark's sides, stopping on his chest, above his heart. Roger looked at Mark with something in his eyes that Mark would have never thought his best friend would direct at him. “I love you too much to hurt you like this.” Roger leaned forward, bringing Mark downward with his hands to meet him halfway for the sweetest kiss Mark had ever experienced.
Mark choked as he remembered Roger's gentle actions. He remembered pushing Roger away from him, slamming the musician back down on the bed. He remembered taking charge, riding Roger as Roger closed his eyes, panting. He remembered Roger arching off the bed, warning Mark he was close. Mark remembered the worried look in Roger's eyes as Mark kept going, determined to get the virus within him. Mark remembered Roger climaxing, sending Mark himself over the edge. Mark remembered how Roger held him close as he hurriedly fell asleep, the exertion too much for his drunken state.
Mark looked at the shattered reel. That's how he felt. Roger had confessed his love while he was intoxicated. Mark knew it wasn't just a random thing Roger decided to say. Roger always speaks what he really feels when he's wasted. Mark couldn't wrap his mind around it. Roger loved him, was in love with him. And Mark betrayed him, used him. God, why did he do it?
Tears fell from his eyes. Mark was surprised, but he couldn't stop himself. He cried, something he hadn't done in seven years. He sobbed, hugging himself as his wails racked through his body. Why did he have to fuck everything up?
Roger watched the scene from his door frame, the noise from the hammer colliding with the floor drawing his attention. He was shocked, to say the least: Mark was crying. No, he was flat out sobbing like a baby. He felt helpless; he wasn't the comforting type. That was Mark's job. He just stood there, looking on as Mark clutched himself, rocking slightly. Roger just couldn't move.
Try as he might, Mark could not stop crying. He was crying for everyone now, years of pent up emotion flooding out. He cried for April, for Angel, for Collins, for Mimi, for himself. Mostly, though, Mark cried for Roger. Roger was a great friend, one of the best anyone could have, and Mark just threw that friendship away. He didn't deserve it, didn't deserve Roger's embrace or his calming words. He definitely didn't deserve Roger's love.
Mark cried all into the night, Roger watching the whole time. Mark didn't want it. All the times he tried to encourage Roger to live on, Mark was secretly glad it wasn't him. Now, he'd have to live with it. But... he didn't have to accept it. Right now, sure. Mark let himself feel sorry for himself, wishing he was in a nightmare, hoping against hope he'd wake up healthy. Tonight, Mark will allow the irreversible to consume him.
Tomorrow, however, he'll escape reality. He'll escape the virus, Roger, and himself.
Like I always do...