A/N: Hey, I new to this fandom. I've stuck my nose in it a bit with a friend of mine through co-writing, but haven't posted anything. Go easy on me and see how I've done. I love Mark… And I've got this crazy idea of dabbling in very light Mark/Joanne… Who knows? Odd, I know, and totally not cannon, but being as I really don't like writing slash, it might just work for me. Might not work for anyone else… lol. Tell me how it is.

Over Tea and Coffee

"I just don't understand her sometimes," Joanne murmured as she took a sip of her coffee and waited for Mark to meet her eyes.

He did, finally, after taking a long sip of his tea. Two blue eyes focused on her and a smile perked his lips. "Maureen? You never will. She's impossible."

"But we love her."

Mark laughed, nodding. Joanne had offered to pay in return for this sit down, and now she was glad she had. The blond looked liked he'd skipped the last several meals by the way he all but gulped down the hot tea – both hands gripping the mug for the warmth – and swallowed the small pastry that had been placed before him whole. He was paler than usual, Joanne noted as she studied him, and his clothes looked a bit rattier than the last time she'd seen him.

"Something the matter?" he asked casually.

"You don't look well."

Mark laughed at her bluntness. "I'm tired is all," he answered with a wave of his hand. His grin faded when she shot him a disbelieving look and he hid behind his mug. "We've been tighter than usual around the loft."

"I'm sure Alexi would-"

"I'm not going back to work for that woman," the blond growled, his eyes narrowing. "I made that mistake once and don't plan to repeat it."

"So you'll continue giving up your own meals and health for Roger's AZT?" She allowed a small smile to perk her lips as he gaped. "Maureen wasn't that dense all the time she was with you. She's told me about what you did for Roger when he was going through withdrawals and losing April."

"Didn't we come to talk about Maureen? Not me."

Joanne shook her head. "Well, I came partially for that. She's been unbearable lately, but when she's not, she's worried sick over you."

"Maureen?Worried about me?"

"Believe it or not… She cares about you, Mark. Maybe not in the way you might wish or even in the way that she once did, but she does care. We both do, and that's tough to admit after some of my experiences with men." If Mark hadn't known her better, he would have though Joanne had blushed as she ducked her head and pretended to sip at her coffee. "You can't kill yourself to protect him."

"I know, and I'm not, I promise," the filmmaker said quickly. "Really, Joanne, I'm fine."

"My eyes tell me differently." She stood, placing the money on the table to pay for their drinks and pastries. Mark followed suit and found her standing right in front of him. She reached a hand up and cupped one side of his thin, pallid face, studying him. "Don't forget to watch yourself, Mark, or we may have to go to Roger. He doesn't want to see it, but if Maureen and I go to him, he'll have no choice."

"What good does that do? It keeps him from taking his AZT because he thinks I'm-"

"But you are," Joanne stressed. "There are other things to die of, Mark. AIDS may not have gotten its claws in you, but your desperate devotion to your friends will. Don't die before everyone else."

Mark opened his mouth to say something, but thought better of it. He watched her gather her bag and straighten her pants suit. "We should do this again, Mark."

"Yeah. You know where to find me."

"Make it a weekly thing then?"

"You don't have to make sure I'm fed, Joanne. You don't have to take care of me because Maureen-"

"Maureen asked me to talk to you. I'm doing this because I care about you, Mark. Same place next week?"


She waved at him and started down the sidewalk, leaving the blond to wander back to the loft in silence.