Disclaimer: I do not own, nor am I affiliated with RENT. Story is most definitely rated R and not for the kiddies or close-minded.

Notes: So much for not taking a month. Bad Fraulein! And writer's block up the wazoo and back. I'm not good at writing happy things, guys!!

So, grovel grovel, cringe bow stoop fall to all of your poor unfortunate readers that have to wait for my junk… and worship worship beg kneel sponge crawl to all the crazy good people that update regularly. I used to be one of them!! Really!! Still love me? Maybe?

Boy Porn??? oo

Chapter 18

-Lovers Wrapped Inside Each Other's Lies-

Mark is in the kitchen making tea. Maureen smiles at me. With a little caution she picks up my hand and gives my fingers a squeeze.

"How are you?"

I shrug, but can't help smiling back weakly.

"It sucks, Maureen, it really does. I still wake up feeling like I'm about to die some days." I look down. "But you know I have Mark."

She giggles. "Have him deep in your naughty fantasies."

I shove her off. "Fuck off. He wants to be there."

She smacks me in the shoulder. "Don't push me, I'm just kidding." She grins at me and moves in for the kill.

"So like, have you…"

"Fuck off, Maureen."

"What?" She asks, put out. "You always used to brag about your escapades, Roger."

I smile. "I love him."

She rolls her eyes. "You're such a sap. You know? You and Marky both. He's domesticated you. It's pathetic."

I shrug.

"So," She starts awkwardly. "You've been eating, right?"

"Fuck, yes Maureen."

"I'm just asking, Roger. I'm worried about you too. And I'm supposed to call Collins the minute I leave and tell him how you are, so you better start talking."

I roll my eyes. "I don't know, Maureen. I feel like shit, if you want to know the truth, but I'm trying."

She smiles at me in a way that's nearly sympathetic, then checks her watch.

"Shit! I was supposed to meet Joanne an hour ago!"

She jumps to her feet. "Sorry!" She squeals, and I almost pull away when she leans over and lays a quick kiss on my cheekbone. Almost, but I don't.

"Take care of yourself, alright?" Genuine concern.

I nod, but give her a pathetic smile. "You know I've always had Mark to do it for me."

She's out the door before I finish, without even a goodbye to Mark.

"Roger?" Mark comes out holding two cups of tea. "Where's Maureen?"

I shrug. "Joanne called, an hour ago." Mark smiles. I take the other cup of tea originally for Maureen and stare down into it. I'm not particularly fond of tea in general, but I lift it to my lips and take a small sip before pulling it away with disgust at the heat and the taste.

"You're impossible, Rog. Just leave it, I'll drink it."

I set the cup down on the table behind me as Mark climbs up beside me.

"How are you?" He asks, and I roll my eyes.

"Why does everyone want to know how I am? Can't you all go back to not caring?" I cross my arms and glare down at the floorboards.

Mark sighs. "First of all, Rog, we want to know because we're worried about you."

"You don't need to be."

"It doesn't change that we are!"

"Well, I'm fine, alright!"

Mark shakes his head. "It's not alright, Roger. You could kill yourself if you relapse."

"Fuck off."

Mark sighs loudly and jumps off the table. "Well if you're going to play that game then just sit out here and pout. I'll be in my room."

He leaves me and slams the door behind him. I watch him go, then sigh and rest my head in my hands. I have the same weird mood swings I had during the last parts of withdrawal after the physical pains were mostly over. I woke up cornered by self-doubt today, lying in bed for an hour or two after Mark had gotten up. I want to be good for him, and I want to have a reason to drag myself out of bed. The want is there, but sadly it's like my guitar that I don't really do anything with anymore.

Really is a horrible word because you can never 'really' mean it. A 'not really' as opposed to a 'no'. An opinion versus the fear of what having an opinion could mean. I'm afraid of having to actually re-enter society. I don't want to have to worry about things that I've been ignoring for most of my adult life.

I feel inadequate, I feel under appreciated and I feel the need to show people what it's like to have a perpetual reluctance to continue with existence. But I have no outlet, no audience. What do I honestly have? Nothing, really.

I feel like the world is humouring me by allowing me to exist. Maybe it should just let me give up. It could be kinder in the end if AIDS just kicked in now.

I use to tell myself I had to create a reason to live, that one would never be handed to me, but I've lost patience decaying in the background for so many years. I guess apathy can fail you eventually, but empathy could kill me. I could spend all day crying and would never get out. There's no way out of my mindset.

"Rog?"

I look up at Mark who smiles awkwardly and slowly comes closer. He lays his hand on my arm. I love that he touches me with such a strange curiosity.

"I'm sorry." He says.

"Why are you sorry?" I ask him harshly.

"Because I know what a brat you are and still insisted upon attempting to talk to you about how you feel."

"Fuck off."

"Roger."

"Sorry." I tell him. "I really am." That fucking word. I look up at him hesitantly.

He sighs. "Rog, I know this is hard for you. But it's hard for me too because I have to watch you suffer through it. You have no idea how much that hurts me."

"Yeah I do." I tell him. "Because I feel the same way about you."

"Well, act like it sometimes, Rog! Don't be such a bitch all the time!" I can tell he's frustrated and annoyed but trying to cover it. And failing somewhat.

He pulls himself up on the table beside me and puts his arm around me. "I love you, Rog." He says, pressing his cheek against mine and lightly kissing the corner of my mouth. I let him pull me closer to him and curl against his body. He rubs my back gently.

"Hey, come on. Why don't you lie down for a while, all right? You've been sitting out here all day feeling sorry for yourself." He suggests, getting off the table and taking hold of my hand.

"I have not." I say indignantly, refusing to move. Unfortunately, I've lost most of the strength advantage I usually have on him throughout all of this shit and Mark pulls me off the table with a lot more ease than he ever could have before. I fall against him and he catches me and steadies us, despite my almost knocking both of us over.

I feel Mark's hand on my face in the dark once we're in his bed. His other hand is on my stomach and inadequacy hits me hard. I feel like I've failed him by starving myself. I can't fathom his attraction to me at this point in my existence. I fucked it up, I had fucked up our relationship before it even began. I want to blame someone else, I want there to be a chance that I'm not always a complete fuck-up, but there's no one to blame. Can I blame Mimi for dying? Mark for not realizing what I was doing sooner? None of that is fair or makes sense. I look over at the outline of his face in the dark. Crucial questioning as usual.

"What are you doing with me, Mark? How can you stand looking at me?" I ask him quietly.

He sighs. "Roger, when have I ever abandoned you? You'll never fuck up enough to the point where I'm not going to want to see you again. I didn't leave you when you got yourself fucked up on heroin, I didn't leave you when you told me you were positive and I didn't leave you through all of this shit either. And I'm not going to."

He holds my hands tightly between us. "To a lot of people you're a statistic. You are your disease, but not to me. You're my best friend and you're my lover and I could never feel the way about you that you think I should." He brings our hands up to his mouth and kisses my fingers.

"Don't talk about us like that." I tell him.

"Like what?" He asks me.

"I'm not your lover."

"You could be, Rog. I want you to be. It's what I consider you."

"It makes me nervous."

"What does? That I accept you as you are? I know that does because no one else ever has, have they? I accepted you back in high school as Roger Davis the girl-crazed pretty boy that everyone loved, and I still accept and love you now. That's not going to change."

"I can't be that again, Mark. I'm not high school me anymore."

"I know. I don't want you to be high school you. I just want you to be you. It doesn't matter to me what you look like or what you think you don't deserve. I know you're crazy." He tells me, grinning. He kisses my forehead.

"Mark,"

He presses his lips against mine and I can't focus on anything except the hand sliding up under my shirt. I pull him so he's balancing on top of me and rest my hands on his waist. He presses his hips against mine and I can't stop myself from moaning into his mouth. He pulls my shirt over my head, breaking our contact for a moment, then lets his lips move down to my neck. He knows me too well too soon, knowing exactly which places along my jaw line and under my ear will trigger the reactions he wants from me.

I pull his shirt off and it knocks his glasses crooked on his nose. I take them off and drop them on the floor next to the mattress. He presses his lips against mine again with an intensity that is as exciting as it is unexpected. I try to match him when I start undoing his pants, but my fingers just get clumsy in my rush and I have to slow down.

When we finally push our pants down and away, I pull him down against me and run my hands down the length of his body, touching as much skin as is available to my fingers. The heat of his erection against mine makes my breathing come in shorter and more hurried gasps. When his hand reaches down to grasp me I go limp underneath of him and my eyes fall open, staring up at the ceiling in a blurry wonder of pleasure. He kisses my neck, his other hand on my chest and I release myself in his hand a few moments later. His lips are on mine again and after a moment's rest I'm pushing him off and onto his back and working my way down his body.

I push his hips into the mattress when I take him in my mouth and he lets out a soft gasp. I feel his fingers brush against my hair, but then he pulls them back. Knowing Mark, he's much too polite to just grab hold of my hair to show me what he wants. I reach for his hands and pull them back in the general direction and he gently winds his fingers through my hair, guiding me in a rhythm until I get the hang of it, then his grip loosens so that his hands are only resting on my head, and I'm leading.

When he comes he calls out my name, which is actually very good to hear someone do again, and relaxes into the mattress. I stroke his thighs gently, briefly, before coming up beside him again and lying with my head near his. He kisses me chastely, lovingly and our arms encircle each other.

"It's been a long time for you too, Marky." I tell him softly, and he nods slightly, already half asleep. I kiss him again and move closer.


Notes Continued: What do you think? An epilogue or should I try to add more. It basically feels somewhat finished, I don't really know though. If you have any ideas let me know, as you may have heard, I've been gang-raped by writer's block. Well, let me know and I apologize again!! But fall musical is over so I'll try to crank out some more crazies before anything else happens! Ok? Love me?