Rating: PG-13/R? (Suggestiveness and language)
Word Count: 2,411
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I just like to play in the sandbox.
Summary: Pre-Rent. Ever since Roger met April, he's been on a downward spiral. Mark isn't too sure on what to do.
A/N: Soooo, here's one of the supposed Christmas gifts I have on my hard drive. Late, I know!
Making his way through the den of decadence, Mark shifted his gaze swiftly around the scene, eyes scanning each deluded face. The filmmaker was beginning to get nervous. Girls that were barely clothed grinned at him, enticing him over to them, the somewhat innocent Mark appealing to their hunger.
Mark swallowed as a few of the guys even leered at him, some even giving lewd catcalls. Taking a breath to steady himself, he continued walking, looking for the person he came to get. Mark hoped he was still there and not dragged away by either his libido or addiction. If drugs and sex were the aim, there was plenty here.
“Hey!” Mark flinched as an arm wrapped around his shoulder. “Having fun, Small Fry?” Mark hesitantly looked at the face of the man who had caught him. His eyes widened.
The guy looked like he’d been to hell and back. His red hair was greasy and hung over his eyes. Cuts ran along the arm that had stopped Mark, and the guy had muscle on him. The brute was looking at Mark expectantly.
Mark swallowed, trying to regain his voice. “Um... Is Roger here?” Mark mentally slapped himself for saying the first thing on his mind. The guy quirked an eyebrow and gave a hard stare.
“Roger who?” He drawled. His eyes roamed over Mark, probably undressing him. Mark shivered.
“Rock God Roger of the Well Hungarians.” Mark knew well enough not to use last names. Besides, everyone knew Roger by that title. The brute was no exception.
“Oh, that Roger!” His eyes lit up. Pulling the filmmaker, he said, “Yeah, he’s this way.” As he was pulled through the hazy maze of bodies, Mark wasn’t completely sure he could trust the brute. But he had to find Roger.
After what seemed like an eternity, he brought Mark to a corner room. The brute knocked twice before entering, Mark in tow. Instantly, Mark had to force himself not to gag as drugs and sex filled his nostrils. He looked around the room, searching for Roger’s face. He didn’t find it.
But he heard his laughter.
Mark immediately turned right and walked toward the sound. Sure enough, there was Roger sitting in a circle of people who were either high or drunk. One of the girls passed a bottle of booze Roger’s way. On impulse, Mark snatched it away.
Confused as to why his hand was suddenly bottle free, Roger looked Mark’s way. After a little while of staring, a lazy smile crept onto Roger’s lips.
“Mark!” He cried joyfully. “You’re here.” He grinned a fool’s grin, snuggling into the pillows around him. The others lazily looked at the new arrival. The brute came up behind the filmmaker, startling him.
“So, you do know this Small Fry?” He addressed Roger.
Smiling proudly, the guitarist nodded. “Yeah, he’s my Mark.” Both Mark and the brute quirked an eyebrow. Roger chuckled. “My roommate.” The brute grinned.
“Oh, is that so?” His grin widened, placing an arm around Mark’s shoulders. “So, he likes to have fun then?” Mark got an uneasy feeling in his stomach at the look the brute was giving him.
Roger waved his hand dismissively. A snort was heard. “He’s more like Roger’s mother...” Mark squinted at the commenter. It was April, practically sucking off some guy. Mark frowned at her. Why did Roger ever decide to date such trash? “But,” Mark saw April grin mischievously, “he does like to have a good time. You should take him next door, Seth. He’ll be a good fuck.” April smirked as Seth pulled Mark into him more.
“Well then, guess I should.” Seth chuckled as he leered at the filmmaker. Mark knew he didn’t have a chance in getting out of this situation. There was no way he could take Seth in a fight, and Mark doubted Seth would listen to him if he refused. So, to his great dismay, Seth began to lead Mark away from the circle and away from Roger.
“Hey.” It was said in a low, dangerous tone, causing Seth to jerk to a stop. He turned around, bringing Mark with him. They, along with the entire circle, stared at Roger. The guitarist leaned forward, an arm resting on his raised knee. His emerald eyes glowed fiercely behind narrowed lids. For a moment, Mark was frightened.
“What is it, Roger?” Seth asked, irritation in his voice. April looked at Roger, somewhat bewildered. Roger stood up, his eyes still narrowed on Seth. He sauntered toward the redhead like a lion about to pounce. He stopped a yard away from the pair.
“Let him go.” Roger commanded quietly, grabbing hold of Mark’s arm. He gently pulled at the small blond, his eyes never leaving Seth’s. Rather hesitantly, Seth loosened his grip on the filmmaker. Using the advantage, Mark backed away from the brute. In fact, he backed away right into... Roger’s arms? Confused, Mark questioningly peered up at the rocker, who now had his arms crossed possessively around Mark’s chest.
“What’s the problem?” Seth asked, sneering at the way Roger was holding Mark. April sat up straighter, glaring at the boho boys. She yanked a bottle of liquor out from the nearest hand and took a big swig.
Roger placed his chin on Mark’s shoulder, eyes still narrowed. “The only one who’ll be fucking Mark is me.” Mark’s eyes widened as a blush hit his cheeks at full blast. Roger must be high. He has to be high. Seth looked surprised but didn’t comment further. Roger nuzzled Mark’s neck. Yep, definitely high. He only gets this touchy when he’s intoxicated.
“Um,” Mark managed to find his voice, “we should... go.” He timidly looked down, unable to face anyone. Roger nodded, pushing Mark forward. He knew he should mention April to Roger, but in the back of Mark’s mind, he wanted her to stay there and never come back to the loft.
As they left the place, Mark breathed a sigh of relief. Several people were saying slurred farewells to Roger, who nodded to them. Someone asked him something, making Roger turn to the person, but Mark grabbed the guitarist’s arm and pulled him out of there. He heard Roger whine but didn’t feel him pull back. Mark just kept marching forward, leading the musician back to reality. When they finally made it on the street, Mark breathed in some fresh air.
Roger, who was just walking blindly behind Mark, ran into the filmmaker when he stopped. Blinking for a few moments, Roger laughed. “Mark!” Roger draped his arms around Mark, “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?” Roger nuzzled Mark’s neck again, causing Mark to blush as a few passers-by muttered to themselves.
Sighing yet again, Mark shrugged out of Roger’s embrace and walked to the loft. Roger almost fell at the loss of support but quickly regained his balance, searching for his roommate. “Hey!” Roger called as he stumbled toward Mark. “Where you going now?”
Mark refused to answer him. He just wanted to go home to his bed. Why did he even go out tonight? Roger could handle himself; he was a big boy. “Mark...” It’s not like Roger needed to be watched constantly. “Mark.” So what if he was destroying himself? He could make his own decisions. “Mark!”
“What?” Mark snapped, annoyed yet relieved that they were finally at the loft. He pulled out the key and unlocked the door. Roger stared at the filmmaker as he opened the door and held it open for him. Roger didn’t move. “Roger,” Mark sighed, “get in the building.” Roger shrugged and obeyed, Mark following him.
They ascended the flight of stairs, Roger tripping every now and then. Right before they got to their door, Roger actually tripped over his own foot and fell face first on the floor.
“Fuck! Who the hell puts a wall here anyway?” Roger mumbled as he pulled himself off the ground. Mark shook his head, exasperated. They entered the loft, much to Mark’s relief. Collins was sitting on the couch, reading a newspaper. He didn’t bother looking up; he knew the story well.
“Hey, Collins!” Roger cried, waving at the anarchist. Collins waved backed, still not looking up. Mark walked to the sink and poured a cup of water. He turned and motioned Roger to him. Roger, blinking, walked to his friend. Mark thrust the cup of water into Roger’s hands and walked to the couch. “What is this?”
“Vodka. Drink it.” Mark said as he slumped into the beat up cushions. Collins chuckled as Roger did what he was told. “This isn’t funny, Collins.” Mark glared at the wall in front of him, not having the strength to turn his head.
“No, my boy, it’s not.” Collins finally put the newspaper down on the coffee table. “I’m actually starting to worry a little.” Collins snuggled into the cushions as well, his head inclining to Roger. “Where’s his girl?” Mark made a face.
“Back at the party.” Mark closed his eyes as a little shiver possessed him. Collins raised an eyebrow.
“He left her?” Collins looked to Roger, who trying to make his cup refill itself with liquid by staring holes into it. Mark cleared his throat in embarrassment.
“Not really...” He looked sideways, away from Collins. “He wasn’t really paying attention to her.”
Collins turned back to Mark, intrigued. “Go on.” Mark clenched his jaw, not saying anything. Collins rose an eyebrow. “If not April, who else was he paying attention to?”
“Asshole!” Roger’s cry startled both of them. They looked at him, confused. “He was an asshole, trying to cop a feel.” Roger furrowed his brow, crossing his arms, his cup forgotten.
“The hell?” Collins leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees. “Who?” Roger shrugged and pointed to Mark. Collins turned his gaze to Mark, who was blushing. “Spill it.”
“This meat head tried to have sex with me, and Roger stopped him.” Mark stated, averting his eyes. Collins stared in shock as Mark’s blush brightened.
“What the fuck?” was all Collins had to offer. “What the fuck?” Mark shrugged, still not looking anyone in the eye. Collins shook his head. “Why the hell did you go after him?” He leaned back, running a hand over his face.
“What do you mean ̔why’? To stop him, of course.” Mark answered. “He needs to stop.”
“Damn straight he needs to! But that doesn’t mean following him into the lion’s den. You almost got raped, fool.”
“No one was gonna rape him!” The pair once again turned their attention to Roger. Collins narrowed his eyes.
“Oh? So Mark was lying?” Collins sat up straight. Mark sighed as Roger tottered forward.
“Yes! ...No!” Roger furrowed his brow. “The guy wanted to, but I stopped him. Wouldn’t let him.” Roger nodded. Collins stared at the musician for a while.
“This is ridiculous.” Collins finally stated. He turned to Mark. “I don’t want you following him again.” Collins spoke in his “you better do this, or I’ll fuck you up” voice. Mark didn’t say anything. “So help me, you scrawny albino fuck face, if I find out you did...”
“Don’t yell at him!” Roger walked forward again, clenching his fists. Collins turned to the guitarist.
“And you!” Collins rose to his feet, “Stop putting him in danger.” Collins loomed over Roger. Roger, like the idiot he was, didn’t cower.
“Am not! What’s up your ass?”
“The fact that a smart kid like you is a fucking junkie. The fuck’s wrong with you?”
“Stop yelling, you two, or you’ll wake Maureen.” Mark interjected, looking nervously to his bedroom.
Collins sighed as he faced Mark. “She left thirty minutes after you did and hasn’t come back.” Collins watched as Mark’s eyes gleamed with knowing before he detached from reality. Sighing again, Collins spoke, “Look, Mark, I’m heading out for the start of spring semester in two days.” Collins sat back down, throwing an arm around Mark. “I’m worried you won’t be able to handle Roger when I’m gone.”
“I don’t need handling. I’m fine.” Roger muttered, indignant. He walked to the couch and plopped down, leaning against Mark. Mark tried not to blush as Roger scooted down the couch so that he could lay his head in Mark’s lap, sighing in content, ready to fall asleep.
Collins sighed again. “Mark, I’m glad you’re supporting him and whatnot – the boy needs a good friend – but this is getting out of hand, and you know it.” Collins peered at Roger’s now sleeping form. “Ever since he met April, it’s been nothing but sex and heroin for him.”
Mark scrunched up his nose at the mention of April. He’ll forever blame her for Roger’s condition. “I know Collins. He has to stop, or something bad’s going to happen.” Mark found himself gently rubbing his hand over Roger’s hair. Collins quirked an eyebrow but said nothing.
Instead, he sighed again, bringing a hand to the back of his neck, rubbing it. “Look, I know he does, but that is not a job for you. Roger needs professional help. Not to mention better company.” Collins huffed, and Mark knew he was referring to April. “I’ll talk to him tomorrow afternoon, see if I can knock some sense in him.” With that, Collins waved his hand in good night, leaving Mark with Roger sleeping on him on the couch.
Mark sighed, glancing down at Roger. The musician looked actually peaceful, something he hadn’t seen Roger look in a while. Mark knew he shouldn’t let him stay there, on the couch, but he didn’t have the heart to move. Maybe I’ll stay a little longer.
And before he knew it, Mark found himself falling asleep as well, sinking into the cushions, repositioning himself so that he was more comfortable with how Roger was laying in his lap. Why did my best friend have to get addicted to heroin? He wished to whoever was listening for a way for Roger to snap out of his stupidity.
Little did he know that an event that was to happen in just a few short months that would change everything.