Alrighty, new story. Yay. Okay, since I finished this story before I posted it, I just decided to put it all up at once, because it really flows better if there aren't really big gaps between the chapters. But review anyway, even though you don't need to to get me to post more of it!

Disclaimer: I don't own Rent


The chill was sharp against Roger's face as he stood, staring at her grave. He hated how numb he felt about her death. It was wrong that he should feel so little grief. When she died, the feeling that had spread through his chest was more like relief. No more of this pain. For either one of them.

She had suffered so much in the end. Maybe weighed ninety-seven pounds, circles under her eyes, skin grayed and ashy. And that was just physically. When Mimi's health had declined, so slowly at first and then more and more rapidly, like a snowball rolling down a steep hill, going faster and faster, getting bigger and bigger, something inside of her soul changed. The light that had been in her eyes was put out once she was confined to a hospital bed. The light that had shone out so brightly was snuffed and whatever Roger said, did, or even sang could not bring it back. A candle with no wick simply melts when exposed to flame.

It happened one month, one week, and six days ago. She slipped away and she was glad to go. The body she had once pushed to its greatest extent was no longer of any use to her.

Roger understood, somehow, her desire to leave the world before she felt worse.

He wouldn't want to go through it either.

It had hit Mark hard, because he didn't understand. Roger had come to accept how humans fit in in the life cycle. Everyone dies. It is just a matter of when and how. Mark would never understand that. He was still grieving Angel when Collins slipped away, and Collins when Mimi did. He himself slipped into a depression, crying for hours in his bed at night, trying to stifle the noise of his sobs, but to little avail. They had kept Roger awake. He could see in his mind, poor Mark, curled under his covers, clutching at his pillow, crying crying crying. Sometimes Roger would get up from his bed and slip into Mark's, hold him until he was asleep, wipe away his tears.

Just because Roger had not felt as much about Mimi's death as he should have, didn't mean he didn't miss her. He did. A lot. Her carefree lifestyle, her hair in the moonlight, her kisses, her touch. He thought about her often.

But he still felt numb.

And he returned to her grave a lot, trying to stir up some sort of emotion. It was emotion he lacked, it was as though his heart was cold and unfeeling now. Not even death could penetrate it. April Angel Collins Mimi. Then Roger. Himself. He would be next.

Collins died just weeks before Mimi. Before his death, it had seemed he would outlive her. That he would live for a long while yet.

But after Angel died, Collins's health started slipping more quickly than Mimi's.

Roger wished he could say the same about himself and Mimi. He would have given anything to have had such a connection with someone that her death would cause him to start on the road to his own. But no. In the time she had been gone, Roger had felt fine. Maybe even better than he had before.

But just because Roger had not felt as much about Mimi's death as he should have, didn't mean he didn't miss her.

"I love you, Mimi," he whispered. "I'm sorry."

He looked at the stone her name was carved on for another moment, then turned around. He wanted to visit Collins and Angel, just for a moment.

Their graves were right beside each other. Collins family, who just seemed to appear out of the woodwork as soon as he was dead, wanted him buried where the rest of his relatives were, in a Catholic cemetery on the other side of the city. It was Mimi, sick as she was at the time, who managed to convince his old mother and his aunts that he would rather be buried here. With his Angel. It took a hell of a lot of convincing. As it turned out, only his mother even knew that he was gay.

Soul mates, that's what Angel and Collins had been. There was a deep connection there, that though Roger had loved both April and Mimi, was never present with either one of them.

"You guys are lucky," he said with a small smile. "Together forever. I don't doubt it." Roger allowed himself the mental picture that he loved so much. The one where Angel was an actually angel, standing behind the two graves with his wings extended, his arms around Collins's waist, both of them smiling and waving at Roger.

With a sigh, Roger turned around and headed for home. Mark would be wondering where he was pretty soon, and Roger didn't want to talk about it.