|Just A Dream
Author: MuchoBoho PM
PreRent MarkMaureen. Mark has trouble hiding his feelings for Maureen, hilarity and alcohol ensue. Disclaimer: I wish were amazing like Jonathan Larson and could come up with characters like this, but sadly, none of the Rent characters belong to me.EnjoyRated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Mark C. & Maureen J. - Words: 8,966 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 7 - Published: 04-22-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2906750
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Pan out on the loft, this little space that five bohemians now call home. Roger Davis, rock star extraordinaire; Tom Collins, anarchist; Benny Coffin III...well, we don't know what the hell his game is. Then there's me, Mark Cohen, scrawny little Jewish kid from Scarsdale, who has been trying to make a documentary for so long that shit like this keeps occupying his mind even when he doesn't have his camera.
Mark shakes his head a little, trying to get himself to not think like his life is one of his crappy little films. Sometimes, however he just can't help it, he just gets into one of his moods. Now happens to be on of those times.
Then of course last...but sure as hell not least, Maureen Johnson. How could I forget Maureen Johnson. The extremely sexy performer that has been in my mind since she moved in. He thinks as said girl walks by, flashing a small smile at him as he stares off into space. Her recognizing his existence brought a bit of pink to his face, and he mentally huddles into a little ball. Now he remembers why his thought process always resembles that of when he is behind the camera. He is so afraid of his own feelings, that he prefers the comfort he finds when observing life, not actually living it.
He stretches his skinny arms out, groaning slightly as he stands up off of the couch he had been occupying. He looks down to his right where his trusty camera was sitting right next to him. He picks it up and tries to think of what he could try to catch today. Lately, he hasn't had much luck when he looked for shit, so he figured he'd just walk around the loft with the camera on and something might turn up. And hell, it's not like his room mates weren't used to it by now.
So here we was, walking around his tiny loft with his camera to his face, the lens pressed against his glasses. The first person he encounters is Roger, who smirks at his dorky friend.
"Jesus Christ Mark, do you fucking sleep with that thing?" Roger says with a laugh.
Mark laughs as well, he's known him long enough to not take his comments seriously. "Just remind me to edit that part out later, I don't wanna be exposed if this thing ever gets big..." Mark answers back to him. He felt it was a rather large dream to think that any of his films would make it big.
He tried to interview Roger a few more times before he put his hand to Marks camera and pushes it away, threatening to break it if he doesn't get it out of his face. Not wanting to risk harm to his camera, he turns away and nearly runs into Maureen again. Marks face goes slightly red as she smiles at him again. Before either of them can say anything, he raises his camera to his face and says in his usual documentary voice.
"Zoom in on the beautiful Maureen Johnson," Mark says as Maureen starts to do vogue moves into the camera. "So, how does it feel to be a great performer, such as yourself."
Maureen laughs softly. "Aw Marky, you're cute." She says as she kisses him on the cheek. She then says back into the camera "I must be going to my amazingly glamorous job at the Life Café. I'll check back with you two later." She says, her tone somewhat bitter as she mentioned her current job. She clearly wanted to do something more exciting, more, well artsy.
She picks up her bag and tosses it over her shoulder as she walks out the door, leaving Mark slightly stunned, standing stock still in the middle of the loft. He struggled to talk for a few seconds, but gave up and just stood in silence. This silence was broken by Roger letting out a loud laugh.
"Wow Marky...you're funny, you know that?" Roger says, laughter still in his slightly raspy voice.
Mark had to clear his voice slightly before he could speak again. "What do you mean by that?" He asks defensively
"'Zoom in on the beauuutiful Maureen Johnson...'" Roger says, putting an added emphasis on the word "beautiful" and bursting out into laughter. "If that girl had been paying the slightest bit attention to you after she kissed you, she would have seen a kid who was completely obsessed." He finishes, his voice saturated with laughter.
Mark's eyes widened behind his glasses, was it really that obvious, and to a guy like Roger. He didn't seem like the most observant type. Maybe when April isn't sucking his face, he's rather observant. "Um...uh, I don't know what you're talking about Rog." Mark says finally, his voice shaky.
Roger smirks at him. "Of course you don't, Marky, of course you don't..." He says as he laughs once more. He gets up and walks back into his room. Mark heard Roger's voice from the other room say. "I'm gonna take a nap...you wake me, you fucking die.."
Mark sighs as the only other person currently in the house besides him is made inaccessible, unless he wants to die or have his camera smashed. He supposes that now he'll have to actually go around looking for something interesting to film.
October 17th, 8 P.M. I can't believe the day went by so fast...yeah fuckin right. He thinks bitterly as he stumbles tiredly back into the loft after a long day of walking around New York. One would think that, as crazy as New York is, Mark might find something interesting to film. Perhaps everything happens two minutes after he leaves the area. He makes a mental note to try to leave the loft a few minutes later, just to try something new.
He throws his coat onto the floor, then put his camera on a desk. He cups his hands together and breaths into them, trying to warm them up. It was cold as hell outside, and he had spent the entire day out there with his hands exposed to the cold air. He throws himself onto the couch with a groan. He did not notice, however, that someone else happened to be occupying the couch as well.
"Awww, sounds like little Marky's had a bad day." Mark heard Maureen say softly. He looks at her, slightly flushed. She didn't seem to realized as he was also pretty flushed from walking around all day. Here's your chance Mark, say something. Something intelligent...anything , just say words..
"I-uh, well its..um, not really bad, just umm...long. And not as productive as I would have hoped." Mark says, stuttering over his words terribly. Well...it was words...kinda
"Well," Maureen says, thinking a bit. "It can't be long before you find something. This is New York, and you're very talented, so don't lose hope." She finishes smiling warmly at him.
She thinks I'm talented... Mark thinks, all memories of the bad day vanishing from his mind. Who cares if he didn't get all the footage he wanted, she thought he was talented.
"Marky, are you ok?" Maureen's voice breaks him out of the haze he was in. It was at this moment that he realized he had been staring out into a random direction as he got lost in his thoughts. He quickly tried to compose himself, his face turning slightly red.
"Yeah, yeah I'm fine um...I'm just tired, long day you know." Mark says, chuckling awkwardly trying to clear the air a bit.
Maureen gives him a sympathetic smile. "You should go take a nap, we don't want Marky to be too exhausted, do we?" She says, pinching his cheeks slightly.
"Yeah...that sounds like a good idea, I'll go take a nap." Mark says weakly, his cheeks turning red as her fingers touch his face. He was all of a sudden feeling very uncomfortable. He didn't want to leave Maureen's presence, but he didn't think he could stand it to stay. So he stands up, makes an attempt at a smile but doesn't manage it because, as he was backing away he bumped into the edge of the couch. He falls over backwards feeling completely embarrassed.
"Oh, are you ok?" Maureen says, getting up to walk over to him, but Mark jumps back up laughing awkwardly again.
"I'm fine, don't worry about me. I think my equilibriums off or something..well, I'm going to sleep. Night Maureen." He says, all the words spilling out of his mouth. As he walks into the room he hears Maureen's voice from the other room.
"Sweet dreams Marky..." Mark shivers slightly and flops onto his bed. He doesn't even bother to get undressed, he knew he wasn't gonna be able to fall asleep any time soon. He can't believe the effect that Maureen was having on him. He shakes his head, trying to rid it of all thoughts of Maureen.
Don't even think it Mark, there's no chance in hell she'd want you. She's too sexy and beautiful and funny, and you're...Mark...
And with that depressing thought, he takes off his glasses and puts them on the bed side table. He tosses and turns, trying to make himself comfortable. He realizes that going to sleep on an empty stomach wasn't the best decision he could have made, but he didn't want to go back out there. So he undresses, putting on his pajamas and crawling back into bed. There he stayed, with visions of Maureen floating through his head until he finally drifted off to sleep.
Mark awoke the next day very drowsy, not having had much sleep. It took him so long to get Maureen out of his mind long enough to drift off and when he did, he had dreams about her. Which is why, when he did finally lob himself out of bed and get dressed then walk out to find Maureen walking around in nothing but a towel, he thought he was still dreaming. He could have sworn that he had just nodded off again until she saw him and spoke.
"Morning sunshine." She said with a bright, cheery smile, completely unaware that Mark's jaw had dropped upon seeing her like this. "Have you seen my brush Marky?" She says once again.
Marky forcibly brought himself out of his Maureen-induced stupor long enough to mumble an incoherent jumble of words. "Iughmigtvesenitround..." Mark says looking around for it, face bright red and turned away from Maureen so she didn't see the effect that she had on him. Unfortunately, he turned his head too fast and his glasses fell off.
"God damnit..." Mark mumbles as he bends down and tries to pick up the glasses, waving his hands blindly. This was when Maureen walked over and bent down to pick them up for him. She arches her back forward slightly, picking them up and handing them to him. When Mark puts them on, the first thing he sees was that his face was right in front of her breasts, and that her cleavage was showing slightly. Mark's mouth goes dry then he looks up at her beautiful smiling face with a slightly choked "Th-thanks..." before getting up quickly and turning around, once more.
He spots the brush lying on the couch and picks it up. He hands it to her, trying to look at her as little as possible and to keep his body slightly turned away, trying to mask the fact that he was now extremely hard. She walks over to him smiling and taking the brush.
"Thanks much Marky." She says happily, kissing him on the cheek. He actually let out a small moan when this happened, but she seemed not to notice. Then she walked away, brushing her hair. God, even that seems sexy when she does it...
A minute after Maureen walks away, Collins walks into the loft from the door. He sees Mark and smiles at him. "Hey Mark, good mor.." Collins broke off as he looked at Mark's face, which was just staring blankly at the wall. He waves his hand in front of Mark's face before speaking again. "You ok man? You look like you just saw a ghost."
Mark finally realized that Collins was there, got rather startled when he waved his hand in his face, then looked at him. "That's defiantly not what I saw..." Mark says finally, the vision of Maureen in the towel driving him into a haze again.
Collins looks at Mark concernedly. "Oook...Mark man, what's going on. You're acting strange."
Mark tries to regain composure and speak in his normal voice. "Nothing's wrong at all. I'm fine, absolutely fine..." He says, forcing a smile onto his face. Of course he was far from fine, he can't get Maureen out of his head even when he sleeps. Of course, he wouldn't want Collins to know that. Collins is very cool, and would probably give good advice if he asked, but he would also probably mess with him for a few minutes before the advice would come.
"You know what you need man?" Says Collins after a long pause.
What Mark thinks is: I know exactly what I need Collins..."What is that?" Is what he actually says.
"You need alcohol, and lots of it." Collins says with a sly smile.
That wasn't exactly what Mark was thinking but it didn't sound like a bad idea at the moment. Of course, he wasn't much of a drinker. Hell, he never realized this, but he hadn't gotten drunk once since he moved to New York. He looks up at Collins.
"Yeah...yeah, alcohol sounds like a good idea...but you're buying, I'm broke." Mark says.
Collins smiled at him, now he was gonna be able to get out of Mark what is wrong with him.
As they walked over to the nearest bar, Mark's mind started going through the documentary like process again. Pan out on New York City in all of it's splendor. The shinning lights and the billboards and the skyscrapers a sort of trademark for this gigantic city. Now zoom in as two young men walk to the nearest bar to get wasted...another trademark for this city...
Mark and Collins walk into the Life Cafe and go straight to the bar. Collins smiles at the bar tender. He wanted to make sure he was on good terms with the bar tender as he didn't know how long this was gonna take.
"Um, gimme two beers...to start with.." Collins says, finishing quite unsurely. How much of a drinker was Mark. Him and Mark never actually sat down and discussed his childhood, so he wasn't sure if he could hold his own. He didn't look like the type, but if there was one thing he learned from living in New York, things were not always as they seemed to be. Well, Collins thought We're about to find out, aren't we...
A half an hour and a whole lot of beer later they were both pretty drunk, but Mark more so than Collins. It had gotten to the point where Mark, who was not always open with him, had abandoned all reservations and had his arm slung around Collins' shoulder.
"You know Colleen, you sir are a true friend.." Mark says rather louder than necessary. He was stumbling over his words and, when he said the word "true" he had accidentally spit in Collins' face.
Collins, who wasn't drunk enough to lose all sense of inhibitions looked at him rather concernedly. He now knew that Mark could hold down as much alcohol as his little sister. He wipes his eyes before speaking again. "And...why is that, may I ask?"
"Only a true friend.." Again, spitting on the word true, "Only a true friend would get me drunk off my ass..you were right." Mark says, again a lot louder than needed, considering Collins was right next to him. "This..." Mark says, throwing his hand up a bit too wildly and nearly fell off of the bar stool. Luckily, Collins grabbed him before he fell. "Thankies...anyway, this is exactly what I need to get my mind off of Maureen!" He says, giving Collins a hug that nearly knocked Collins off his stool a drew a funny look from the bar tender.
Jesus, maybe it wasn't such a good thing to take him dri...Collins thought before something about what Mark said hit him...Wait, did he say Maureen? Things are starting to come together. He decides to go along with it and returns Marks hug.
"Yeah...what were you saying about Maureen?' Collins says in a passive tone, as if it didn't mean much to him. While on the inside he was thinking about the news he was so close to hearing.
"Maureeeeeeeeeeeen..." Mark says dreamily, a smile fades onto his face. He just sits there staring off into space for about half a minute, Collins looking at him, once again concerned for his health. "Hehe, Reeny..I think I'm in love Colleen..I think she's 'the one'" He says making air quotes. His balance was rather horrible, so he nearly fell over again when he wasn't holding onto anything.
This hit Collins as very strange. Normally the guys that Maureen attracts are the "God I'd do anything to fuck her" type. Mark, though obviously drunk off his ass, seems to generally like here and would mostly likely take care of her and be good to her. Collins, seeing some of the filth that Maureen brings home starts to consider that this isn't such a bad thing after all.
Before Collins knew it, Mark was downing another beer and had begun to sing. "Maureeeen, I just met a girl named Maureen and suddenly I don't remember the words to this fucking sooong..." Mark was belting out. After the initial shock of him singing was over, Collins had to admit he had a decent voice and it would probably be better if he wasn't drunk.
Collins looks over at the bar tender, expecting him to give them a look or telling them to get the hell out, but he dismissed it with a glance. This is New York, Collins reminded himself, and stranger shit had happened.
They keep on drinking and talking for about another half hour. By this, we mean that Mark keeps talking about Maureen and how much he wants her and downing beers like water. After a while, Mark really starts to feel it. He turns to Collins.
"Hey Colleen.." Mark says, his voice low and his face looking like he was gonna be sick. "I thimk I've'ad enuff to drink for tiday...I don feel so well.." He says before getting up suddenly and running into the bathroom. The bar tender looks at Collins and shakes his head.
Collins waits for about five minutes until Mark walks out again. He is staggering slightly and doesn't look like he could make it to the door of the bar. He stumbles over to Collins, who had started to walk over to him, and falls onto him, flinging his arms around his neck so he doesn't fall. "You know...I feel better now..."
Collins laughs hearing this. "Come on Mark, I think it's time to go home now.." He puts Mark's arm around his shoulder, then puts his arm around Mark's waist and helps him walk as they head back to the loft.
They finally get back to the loft. Collins was breathing heavily from the task of half carrying Mark all the way home and up to their floor. He nearly throws Mark onto the couch and flops down onto it next to him. He looks at Mark who was half asleep, his eyes shut and his head tilted back
"Hey man, you ever get drunk like this before?" Collins says, looking at a comatose Mark.
"I...I caneven member..." Mark says, his words still slurred from all the alcohol. He turns to Collins with a smile on his face then pulls him into hug. Collins was rather startled by this impromptu hug but goes along with it seeing he is drunker than hell. "Thanks a lot Colleen...thank you sooooo much for doing this for me.."
Collins patted his back a few times before responding. "No problem Mark...but I think it's time you'd gotten a little sleep.." He waits for Mark to respond, then hears snoring. He pushed Mark off of him and realized that Mark was a few steps ahead of him. He looked like he was out and wouldn't be waking up for a very long time. "Pleasant dreams guy...I hope it all works out.." Collins says softly before standing up and walking to his room, leaving Mark asleep on the couch.
Mark finally wakes up. The first thing that he realizes is that his head felt like it had split in two. Now I know why I never got that damn drunk... He thinks. The second thing he realizes is that he was still on the couch. The couch was also occupied by two other people, Roger and Collins.
"Have a nice nap Marky?" Roger says in his usual raspy voice. He was grinning ear to ear looking at him. Mark was suddenly wondering why he was so happy.
"What's going on...what the hell time..or day is it?" Mark says tiredly. He had just looked out the window, it was mercifully dark out side. If he had the sunlight in his eyes he couldn't imagine how that would feel.
"Same day, Mark, and it's 9:00. Your ass was knocked out, we tried waking you earlier but you wouldn't budge...Anyway, we wanted to talk to you about something..." Collins said, his tone turning serious.
Mark groans. "Its too early for serious shit, can't it wait till morning..." He trails off, the oddness of this statement striking him as soon as the words leave his mouth. "Anyway...what's going on."
It's Roger that speaks up this time. "We both know you like Maureen.." Roger says, and is about to continue when Mark cuts him off.
"Wait, how-how do you know?" Mark says defensively. He didn't think he had been that obvious.
"You told me when you were drunk off of your ass.." Collins says.
"And, anyway, it was obvious as fuck anyway. Everyone knows it...except Maureen of course.." Roger says, his voice full of laughter once more.
Mark couldn't think of anything to say. All he could think was that his theory that he was being subtle had just gone out the window. Even through all of this, however, he felt relieved. At least Maureen didn't know. It was bad enough that he felt weird around her, he didn't want her to feel uncomfortable as well. He knew the idea of Mark Cohen, scrawny little Jewish kid from Scarsdale, liking her would make her uncomfortable.
"So...what is it that you wanted to talk to me about?" Mark asked. He couldn't think why they were so concerned with his life, what it had to do with them.
Collins was the first to speak. "We can guess that you haven't mentioned to Maureen about how you feel, we know you well enough. But we both agree that it would be a good idea for you to...well, go after her.."
Mark wasn't sure that he had heard him correctly. He looked at them. Roger and Collins were looking at them, their expressions serious, this wasn't a joke, they weren't messing with him. He couldn't believe that they actually cared enough to give him advice such as this. However, as touching as this moment was, he had to end it short.
"I can't do that. There's no way in hell she would like me, and I don't want her to feel uncomfortable around me, especially since we live in the same house.." Mark says sadly. It hurt him to say this out loud, but he knew it to be true. He didn't see it going any other way.
Collins and Roger weren't deterred by his view of the situation. This time it was Roger that spoke up.
"We both think that you would be very good for her. I mean, face it, all the guys that she attracts are assholes and dick heads...and those are the pleasant ones." Roger says, his tone once again serious
"I can tell that you would actually care for her. You would actually like her, and treat her good. And that's something she deserves, and could use more of..." Collins says.
Mark was completely dumbstruck and at a loss for words at what they were saying. He didn't think they noticed him much except for the fact that he pays part of the rent. But here they were, telling him to go after Maureen, because it would make them both happy.
"So..." Collins continues "What are you going to do about this? Your feelings for her, I mean.." He finishes, looking right at Mark.
Mark was rather flustered by this. He honestly isn't sure what he's going to do, he hasn't thought that far yet. "I...I don't know..."
"Well, you consider what we've said. Think about it for a while, hopefully you'll know what to do." Said Collins once more, and with that they both left the room leaving Mark to his very confused thoughts.
The next week went by with Mark constantly thinking about what Roger and Collins had told him. Yes, he would love nothing more than to be with Maureen. That would be the best thing that ever happened to him. But he knows that it would never happen, she's too good for him, and he's really not her type. She would like buff, cool, smooth guys not geeky awkward scrawny little guys like Mark.
Still, he considered all that they had said. It all made sense when they put it to him like that, but being a film maker, he learned long ago that things that sound good don't always go so well in practice. He kept arguing with himself over this week, and he found himself wandering aimlessly around the loft. He finds himself bumping into someone, he didn't see who it was, but the force of the blow knocked him down, this person must have been in a hurry.
"Oh, I'm sorry Marky! Are you ok?" He hears Maureen say, his face goes red. "I'm just in a hurry, I'm late for work. God I hate it some times.." She said, and he could tell by the look in her face that she really meant it.
Mark forgets how embarrassed he was in her distress and looks at her. "Why, what's bad about your job?" Mark asks lightly.
"Oh, the job is all well and good, but...I want to do more. I want to have a job that means something, not just waiting tables at some small cafe." Maureen says. He noticed how passionate she was when she spoke, it made it seem like everything she said was important, was right and justified. He found himself loving the sound of her voice like music soothing his ears.
However, he couldn't help her if all he did was sit there and gawk at her. He wanted to get something done to help. "Well, I know it's not the best job, not a big start. But hey, it's not too bad..." Mark says, his voice calming.
"How so? It's a dead end job that means absolutely nothing to anyone. If I left, anyone could take my place and no one would know the difference." She said slightly dramatically.
Mark considers this for a few second. He then speaks slowly, trying to word what he was feeling correctly. "Well...the thing is, what you do does make a difference.." He met a skeptical look from Maureen. "Just think about it. The Life Cafe isn't just some Johnny Schmuck coffee restaurant on the corner, like a Starbucks or a Dunkin Donuts. The Life Cafe is a independently owned restaurant, not some huge corporation. It is an embodiment of all everything bohemia stands for. And you bring beauty and charm to people who chose to dine there instead of at a McDonalds. You, Maureen, are very important..." Mark said. He meant every word he said. He didn't think that anything that Maureen did wasn't important, not with the passion that she had for life.
Maureen looked him over for a few seconds, considering what he was saying. Then she smiles and gives him a hug. "You know, Marky, I feel better already." She says, kissing him on the cheek. Marks face when red once again. "You're a great guy, you know that right? I don't understand why you don't have a girlfriend. Well, I'll see you later tonight." And with that, she picked up her purse and walked out with Mark gaping at the wall.
She...she...she just said...woooow. A wave of euphoria spread through him and walked over to the couch and lay down onto it, staring up at the ceiling a huge smile crept onto his face. There he sat for a few hours thinking about Maureen non stop, it was the best day he had in a long time.
The next day he had told Collins what had went down between him and Maureen. Since their initial discussion, Mark has found in Collins someone he could confide in when things were on his mind, mostly stuff about Maureen. So, as soon as he saw Collins he told him what had happened.
"That's great Mark, really..." Collins says, laughing slightly at Mark's enthusiasm at such a small event. He hadn't often seen Mark get so excited over much besides his filming, he was happy that Mark finally found something else that could make him feel like this.
"I know, it's amazing...I..I really like her Collins, more than I've liked anyone ever before.." Mark says softly, finally saying what they both had known for the past week. Somehow, it sounded different when it was said out loud though.
"Yeah, I can tell. You got it bad Mark." Said Collins, but he was smiling. He was really rooting for Mark on this one, it would be good for both of them and he knew it.
Mark laughs, some what embarrassed. He knew too well how bad he had it. You know you have it bad when every thought, awake or asleep, is devoted to one girl. "Yeah...yeah I do."
Collins smiles warmly at him for a few seconds. "Yeah, you'll be alright..." He says before patting him on the shoulder and walking away.
Maybe Collins is right. Maybe we would be good together...yeah, me and Maureen. That could work. He beamed at the thought of it. He spent a few hours just picturing them together, the smile never fading from his face.
He had made up his mind, that the next time he saw her, he was going to talk to her about how he felt. He was actually going to ask her out. Now that's a scary prospect He thought, But it has to happen, and I guess the worst she could say was no. He reasoned himself. Or she could say no and laugh in his face, taunting him mercilessly. His smile faded slightly. No, she wouldn't do that, she's too nice...instead she'll taunt me mercilessly to all of her friends behind my back... He thought once more. His smile had faded and he hit himself in the head for his thoughts. Roger, who happened to be passing by looked him over, rather confused.
"You ok Marky?" Roger asked, rather worried for his friend.
"Yeah...but I think my thoughts hate me..." Mark says.
Close on Mark, who is sitting in the dark. It is late at night and Mark Cohen isn't out having fun, he's not going to a club, he is just sitting on the couch waiting for someone to come home. Unfortunately, this someone doesn't always come home at nights, sometimes staying out for a few days on end...No this isn't the life of a normal New Yorker, just typical for this little Jewish guy who's got it bad for a girl who is way out of his league.
Mark thinks all of this, his expression stony as he sat there, staring at the wall. He had been sitting there waiting for a few hours for Maureen to come home so he could talk to her. This was his normal routine for the past couple days. He wouldn't go out or do anything other than shower and change his clothes, afraid he might miss Maureen. Even filming took second place to her at this moment, she completely occupied his mind, leaving no room for anything else. It was getting harder, however to stay awake. It was getting very late and he hasn't had much sleep in the past few days.
Roger and Collins had been rather worried for him, he looked as tired as he felt. Earlier that day, Roger had come up to him.
"I have to tell you Mark, you seriously look like something death spit out." He had said, sounding very concerned in a way that Mark had never seen him. "When was the last time you had sleep?"
Mark, who was rather out of it and not really paying attention at the time, just muttered. "A few days..or weeks or something...I dunno.." To this Roger told him that he hoped that he could get some sleep tonight then walked out of the loft, his guitar on his shoulder.
He was staring off into space when suddenly the door of the loft opened and he nearly jumped off of the couch. He looked up to see that finally Maureen had come back, he felt so relieved that he could barely contain his joy.
Maureen notices him sitting on the couch and smiles. "Hey Marky, you're up rather late." She says brightly, walking over to the couch and sitting next to him, groaning slightly as she does. She kicks off her shoes that had exceptionally high heels. No wonder she was so happy to sit down.
Actually, I was waiting for you...Mark thinks, but can't say it. Somehow, even though he told himself that he was going to do this he couldn't get the words out. "Yeah I'm...I'm not tired." Mark says instead, which couldn't be further from the truth.
"You could have fooled me." Maureen says, looking concerned at him. "You look exhausted baby..." She said in a motherly, nurturing way.
She cared, she actually cared. Now would be a good time to tell her...anytime now. He thought encouragingly to himself. But it didn't do any good, he couldn't say it, and he felt ashamed of himself.
Apparently his shame showed on his face, because she looked at him still more worried. "You sure you're ok Marky? You don't look so well." She said.
"Yeah, I'm just...thinking, yeah..." Mark said slowly, mentally beating himself up for having so little spine.
"That's much more than most of the guys I know can say. What are you so deep in thought about?" Maureen asked interestedly.
Mark shrugs, trying to think about what to tell her. "Just about life, and how things are going...which isn't so hot at the moment..." He says truthfully.
Maureen smiled at him. "You know, you're a lot deeper than most guys around here." She says, still smiling at him. "Why don't you have a girlfriend Marky?" She asks playfully.
"You say it like it's my decision.." Mark says rather bitterly. He hadn't meant to say it, and it almost sounded like it was directed at her. She didn't seem to take offense, instead she looked at him interestedly once more.
"What do you mean?" She asked, genuinely interested in what he had to say, she hadn't really talked this much with him at all since they moved in, and this seemed like he was actually going to be opening up.
And before he knew it, Mark was spilling his guts saying every insecure thought that had popped into his mind for the past few months. "I mean, I never chose not to have a girlfriend girls just don't like me. I'm just not appealing, I don't know what they want. Every girl I know says they want a nice guy, and I'm a nice guy. But no girls want me, I'm that friend that they really like as a friend. They like me so much as a friend that they could never see themselves with me. Because girls don't want the nice guy! They want the extremely buff asshole that will verbally, sometimes physically slap them around and treat them like shit." Mark says, all of this spilling out of his mouth so fast he couldn't even consider stopping. "I mean, I don't know what I do wrong. Am I ugly, am I boring, am I too geeky? Is it the glasses, is it the camera, I need a clue!" He says, his voice rising steadily through out this whole speech. He was breathing slightly heavily, and he suddenly felt bad. He basically yelled at Maureen just then, he gives her an apologetic look.
Maureen looks at him, sympathy etched all over her face. "Marky, there's absolutely nothing wrong with you. I'm sure you'd be a wonderful boyfriend, any girl would be lucky to be with you." She said soothingly, she hadn't seem him like this before, and she didn't like it too much. But there was something about it that made him seem more...likeable, more human.
"I don't see how that's true. If any girl would be lucky to have me, there must be a looot of unlucky girls out there." Mark says, looking down.
"Marky..." Maureen says. She gives him a hug and kisses his cheek. "Don't think that...maybe you just haven't found the right girl." She says, shrugging.
I found the right girl, I'm looking at her right now...she just doesn't know it and I can't tell her. Mark thinks. He looks at Maureen after she breaks the hug. "Thanks so much Maureen...I'm still feeling kinda crappy, but you did help...I really appreciate it and I want you to know that I really like you..." Mark said hurriedly. "Y-you're a good friend.." He finishes, his voice faltering. She flashes him a warm smile. Feeling completely exhausted he half collapses onto her shoulder, his eyes closed. He felt so at peace, feeling her soft skin, breathing in her smell and her patting him comfortingly on the back.
"You're a really good friend too..." He heard Maureen say, as if from a distance. He was so tired he felt like he was drifting off to sleep. Mark raises his head off of her shoulder, looking at her.
"Maureen...be honest...do you think I could stand a chance of getting an amazing girl. Someone who was beautiful and smart and funny and fun to be around." Mark asked, hoping that she might pick up the hint.
"Well...I don't see why not..." Maureen says lightly, looking at him.
"I...I bet you could never see yourself going out with a guy like me, could you..." Mark said, looking at the floor.
"What do you mean, there's nothing wrong with you, you're a great guy..." Maureen says, then looks at him. She thought she picked something up, but wasn't sure. "Are you trying to tell me something Marky?" She asks softly.
"I...I...I" Mark sputtered out, not able to find the words. He knew he had to say it, it was now or never. "I like you Maureen...I really really like you. It's at the point where I can't even say how much I do. Every waking moment, I'm thinking about you. Even when I sleep, I fucking dream about you. And I know it's stupid and I know you think I'm nuts and that you could never feel the same way about me but...there it is.." Mark says, forcing it out of himself. He actually felt much better now, having it out in the open, but he also felt vulnerable. He looked at Maureen, who wasn't saying anything.
"Mark I...I don't know what to say..." Maureen says softly.
Mark sighs deeply, he could hit himself right now. He shouldn't have told her, she's better off not knowing. Now she's gonna be all awkward around him. She doesn't like him, how can he be so stupid as to think that she would. "You don't have to say anything Maureen I know you do.." Mark was saying, but was cut off by Maureen putting a finger to his lips.
"Shhh..." She whispers softly. Then she leans in slowly and kisses him softly on the lips, his heart beating a mile a minute. She puts a hand on his cheek, bringing his face into hers, her tongue sliding along his lips.
Mark was stunned when she broke off from the kiss. He couldn't think, he was so surprised by what had just happened. "Maureen I.." Mark began, but she cut him off once more with another kiss. This one was deeper, a bit more needy. He had never felt like this with any other girl. She wraps her arms around him and lies back on the couch, pulling him on top of her kissing him passionately.
"Mark," Maureen says after breaking off from the kiss. "I really like you too." She says grinning.
Mark just smiles at her and captures her mouth in a passionate kiss, feeling truly happy for the first time in a long while.
"Marky...Marky wake up..." Maureen says, shaking him slightly.
Mark opens his eyes, a wide smile on his face when he saw Maureen. He was still lying on the couch and she was standing over him. Still half asleep, he wraps an arm around her and pulls her into a kiss, passionate and full of desire.
"Mmm.." Maureen tries to say something through the kiss. She breaks off and looks at Mark rather surprised, Mark still gazing at her with a smile on his face. "Umm...good morning to you too Marky...not exactly what I was expecting..." She says, still rather shocked.
Now Mark was looking at her confused as well. "You weren't expecting? What do you mean...didn't we..didn't you?" Mark says, then mouths wordlessly for a few seconds. Then his eyes went wide. "Wait...wait a second..when did I fall asleep last night?" He asked, praying to God that what he was thinking wasn't true.
"Umm...You hugged me and told me that I was a very good friend. Then you fell asleep on my shoulder...why? What's going on Marky.." Maureen ask, for at that moment Mark basically punched himself in the head.
"Damn it! It wasn't real...you were...then I was...and we...god damn it.." Mark moans, burying his face in his hands. This couldn't be happening, it seemed to real. He actually thought that it had happened, he actually thought that she had liked him, wanted him. He had been so happy a few seconds earlier, but now he felt like everything was falling apart.
"Mark...what's going on here?" Maureen asks exasperatedly. Mark doesn't answer, just buries his face into the couch. "Marky...you just made out with me, I think I have the right to know what's going on.." Maureen says, almost jokingly.
"I...I..." Mark said. But now he was afraid to say it. He had already gone through this and it turned out well. At least he thought it did. Now he's staring at the girl he's wanted for so long and he doesn't feel he has the guts to go through with this again. "I.uh, had this dream...and it seem veeery real." Mark said finally.
"And...what happened in this dream." Maureen asked. Mark shakes his head. Maureen looks at him, she could tell whatever it was disturbing. "If you're worried about the kiss, don't. I've had much worse experiences in my life, you were just disoriented...If it helps, you're a good kisser." She offers, smiling at him, hoping that this would help in some ways.
Mark looks at her. He was a good kisser? "...Actually, that does help kinda. I've been rather worried...But that's not the point. The point is, I had a dream...and it was with us. I didn't even notice it was a dream but.." Mark cuts off, it was gonna be hard saying this but he might as well say it. He didn't give himself many options when he kissed her like that. "I told you how I felt about you. I like you Maureen...I like you so much, I can't stop thinking about you and it's been this way for a very long time.." He gulps, trying to rid himself of the lump in his throat.
Maureen sat there quietly, nodding through the story, listening intently. "Yeah, and then what happened..." She asks.
"Then you kissed me...and told me that you liked me too..." Mark says. He pause for a second, then laughs bitterly.
"What's so funny?" Maureen asked, rather confused at this change in mood.
"Nothing...just throughout that whole thing I felt so good about my life. I kept thinking, 'this is too good to be true.'" Mark says, choking back tears. "Turns out it was. One of the happiest moments of my life and it wasn't even real."
Maureen stares at him for a bit. She felt so bad for him right now. She herself had never gone through this before. "Oh Marky..." She wraps her arms around him and pulls him into an embrace. She patted his back soothingly. She leans out of the hug looking at him, her eyes watery as well.
"I can understand that you don't like me either. I find it hard to like myself sometimes." Mark mutters softly.
Maureen looks into his eyes. "You don't have to worry Mark..." She says, her face turning slightly red. "I like you too Mark." She says, kissing him softly on the lips. "I would have said something, but I wasn't sure how you would feel about it...and I honestly thought you might be gay.." She says awkwardly. She smiles apologetically.
Had Mark not been so relieved and surprised, he might have been offended that she thought he was gay. Instead, he just gazes at her, not able to believe that this was actually happening. He threw his arms around her. He had gone through so many stages of delight, then hopeless, then back to happy he was emotionally drained. All of this happening just minutes after waking up.
Maureen laughs softly, holding him close. "You have no idea how happy I am Marky." She says before kissing him once again.
Mark kisses her back, deepening the kiss not wanting to lose this feeling of utter happiness. It was almost too good to be true. Wait...wait a second...this can't be happening again, can it? Mark thought, panicking slightly. He breaks away from the kiss looking at her. "This isn't really happening is it? I'm dreaming again aren't I?" He says, looking rather hysterical.
Maureen raises an eyebrow at him. "Marky...this is real. This is actually happening, can't you tell?"
"I thought the other dream was real too!" Mark said a little too loud, he was really loosing it. He didn't want to have to go through this again.
"Baby..." Maureen says softly, one hand cupping his cheek. "You don't believe me? This is real, I promise you.."
"A dream would promise me too...it seemed so real when I was asleep but then it wasn't. How do I know you're not really a dream who thinks she's real but actually isn't?" Mark says, pointing a finger at her.
Maureen looks at him, eyebrows raised. "You're confusing me Marky...I don't know what to tell you.." Maureen said, at a loss for words. "How about this...you take another nap...you look half dead anyway, and when I'll wake you up and give you a kiss, that way you'll know it's real. That work for you?" She asks, hoping this might calm him down. This wasn't a cute hysterical that she had seen of him last night, this was rather alarming.
Even in Mark's state, he couldn't think of a reason that this couldn't work. He opens his mouth and tries to formulate words, but it didn't go so well. Instead he just nods and smiles awkwardly.
Maureen was relieved to see him agree with this. "Good...now you take a nap baby." She says softly, kissing his forehead. "Honestly, when was the last time you got a good nights sleep...in any case, have pleasant dreams.." She says smiling warmly at him before leaving the room and letting him sleep.
Mark watches her walk off. If this turns out to be another dream I...don't know what I'll do... He thinks desperately, but immediately felt exhausted. The lack of sleep, coupled with the wide range of emotions felt within the first few minutes of him waking up made it easy for him to fall back to sleep again.
Mark wakes up a few hours later to the feeling of a soft weight on his body, lying still on the couch. He opens his eyes and finds Maureen lying down next to him on the couch, she kisses him softly. Mark grins widely, more relieved than he could express in words.
"How do you feel baby?" Maureen asks happily.
Before he replies he looks up to see that he was not alone in the room. Collins and Roger were there, Collins beaming and Roger more of a smirk but friendly and happy nonetheless. He flashes them a quick smile before looking at Maureen, planting a small kiss on her lips.
"You know what...I've never felt better..."