Title: Because I Love Him

Rating: R for subject matter and language.

Pairing: slightly implied unrequited M/R, nothing major.

Summary: No one understands the violence inside. Marks POV. (one-shot)

Disclaimer: I dont own RENT, it belongs to Jonathon Larson.

A/N Another lovely, depressing story. Tell me what you

think.

Everyone seems to rely on me, as if Im the

dependable, steady one. They dont see the violence

inside me.

Roger cuts himself. There are pretty little lines

running like neat patchwork cris-crosses all over his arms.

I remember that when I found out, I was half-mortified and

half-curious. I didnt want to see him doing that to himself,

but I always wondered, you know, if it helps.

He said that it did. We talked about it one night; I

asked him ''why?''

''Sometimes'', he said, ''theres just too much inside

you, the pain is too great. Its ripping your soul out. And

so, you know, you need to make the outside show whats

inside. That way you can see it. When its in you, its just

this invisible shadow thats eating you alive. If you can put

it on your skin, wear it, you have a kind of control.''

I remember reading that skin tells a story. I

wonder what mine would say. Nothing major, probably. If

Rogers skin told a story, it would be a long tragedy. He

has the old track marks, the older scars from high school,

when he cut himself a few times; the newer scars, and

some recent cigarette burns. Lately, his body looks like a

fucking war zone. Hes waged this war against himself. I

shouldnt think its beautiful, but in some sick and morbid

way, I do. I hate to admit this, but I wish I was strong

enough to take vengeance out on my skin...I cant, I just

keep it all inside, let it tear up my spirit.

I reached out and put my fingers very lightly on

his arm. He didnt flich. ''Does it hurt, when you do it?'' I

asked him this, absent-mindedly tracing the patterns that

the scars made. ''Yes and no,'' Roger replied, ''its a

paradox, really. Sometimes, it hurts, and thats good,

because you want the pain--you need it, to feel alive, feel

anything. Other times, I dont feel it until much later.''

''Do you feel ashamed at all, that you do...this?'' I

looked deeply into his green eyes, possibly too deep,

because he turned his head away slightly, so I couldnt

really read his expression. I think that he thought I was

asking too many questions, but he patiently responded,

''No.''

Ironically, that was one of the best nights we had

in a long time, just sitting there, cross legged on the floor,

looking at his scars. Maybe it was because Roger was at

least talking to me, and not shutting me out completely.

Ive often wondered, can you hate someone and

love them at the same time? What the fuck is love, really?

Is love needing to take care of someone, or is that

codependency? Is love feeling happy when someone is

with you, even if they yell at you, and make you feel

horrible; just because theyre there? Is real love...painful?

Is it like fire; beautiful, yet destructive? For it to be pure

love, does it have to be violent, consuming; does it have to

cause you pain? I dont know.

But sometimes, I know I feel like being dark, and

moody, and cutting myself apart. But, see, I cant do that.

Because thats just not the way it works. I have to take

care of him. Maybe its my fate, but this is what Im stuck

with; the part I have to play. I dont really know how its

going to end. So, what do I do? Its cutting me up on the

inside. He is...hes making me bleed on the inside. Hes

my disease, and hes killing me...because I love him.

Once, Roger cut a word into his arm, after Mimi

died. The word was ''Fear.'' He said he didnt even know

why he did it, it just seemed to mean something at the

time. Maybe fear is killing him. Maybe we put our internal

struggles and diseases out in the open; if we write them

on our skin, etch them into flesh, then we have some

power over them.

If I could cut, Id carve his name into my arm and

watch it bleed, so I wouldnt have to bleed on the inside

anymore.

A/N Lovely, right? Review if you want, you dont have to,

but Id appreciate feedback.