Author's Note: This is the beginning of a longer piece that will probably be divided into a series of maybe four or five parts. Reviews are necessary because inspiration comes from the people who read and enjoy, so if you can, please review! Thanks... the next part should be up as soon as I see how this part goes over.

Disclaimer: Don't own it.

In Search of Sanctity

Back when things were easier, Mark would sit in his room, notebook in hand and thoughts running wildly as he created characters in his head, scribbling every once and awhile to get his ideas down.

After Mark's half-finished screenplays were tossed in the fire for heat that life-changing Christmas Eve, he had nothing left of his beloved ideas and stories except this notebook, which, until the moment he moved out of the loft, remained untouched tucked in between his mattress and the floor. Underneath that notebook sat his journal, a leatherbound novel-size book of blank sheets his mother had gotten for him when he moved out of his childhood home. He'd left it empty until he decided to abandon his screenplays and move onto his documentary, where it became one of the most important things in his life - the only place that he could be as vocal as he wanted about his feelings without worrying about being scrutinized.

Through Angel's death and Roger's ever-agonizing continuous fights with Mimi, Mark had his journal, in which he'd scribble in every night, sometimes as he cried, sometimes with a smile on his face, sometimes with a blank expression.

It wasn't until Collins died that this journal, which had held him strong through one of the roughest moments of his life, became nothing but a series of long forgotten feelings bound together under the hide of some dead animal. As Mimi had Roger and Maureen had Joanne, Mark felt utterly alone - he watched his friends mourn and attempt to move on, clinging to one another for support. When Roger and Mimi stopped fighting and Joanne and Maureen announced their second attempt at an engagement, Mark, who had always been the one who'd try and look for the best in things, couldn't get past the feeling that he was isolated.

And so began the drinking, a habit he had really only participated in the few times there would be a party at the loft, or on New Years Eve. It had started on the night of one of Roger's band's performances - Mark, pocket full of birthday money his mother had sent him - drank the night away, downing beer after beer, quickly becoming the life of the party. His friends immediately laughed with him as he stumbled around, making sarcastic cracks and flirting mercilessly with anyone who was in his reach. It was a night they soon wouldn't forget but Mark would, waking up the next morning with no recollection of what had gone on the night before. It was later that evening, as Mark was still nursing a headache from his hangover, that he realized that he hadn't thought of his loneliness in nearly a full twenty four hours. Between the partying and trying to remember what happened WHILE partying the night before, he hadn't even stopped to think of Angel or Collins or the "happy couples".

And to Mark, that spelled sanctity.

So after that night, he'd disappear, mumbling some excuse about going to film or see Maureen and not show up until five the next morning or so, smelling of alcohol and sweat. His nightly retreats went unnoticed for awhile, Mimi and Roger simply chalking it up as Mark trying to expand himself, but soon it got worrying. Empty liquor bottles began appearing in the trash, and when Roger peeked into Mark's room as his roommate slept, his eyes caught on the sight of a stash of different brightly colored alcohol bottles tucked in his closet.

Late that night (or early the next morning, depending how you measure your time) Roger went into Mark's room, completely aware that he was stepping on boundaries. Mark had been gone for several hours already, and his curiosity got the best of him.

With a deep breath, Roger's eyes swept over the surprisingly messy bedroom, eyes stopping on the bottles in the closet, before his gaze locked on a deep brown medicine bottle sitting, egging him on, on Mark's otherwise empty side table. Careful to watch where he stepped, Roger made his way over to the table, picking up the bottle and turning it to look at the label on its' side.

It was a bottle of Vicodin, written out to Mark. Roger recognized the doctor's name on it as one of the clinic doctors that belonged to the neighborhood 'Y', where Roger got his AZT and where they went whenever someone wasn't feeling well. With squinted eyes, Roger read that the fill date printed on the top was for three days before.

However, the bottle was empty.

Roger's eyes scanned the bottle, his gaze catching "Count: 30 pills" and "Take 3 times a day with food" and he realized his worst fears had come true - Mark had fallen into a similar trap that he had years before.

With a soft sigh, Roger buried his face in hands and cried.