A/N: Originally written for LJ's Rent100, under the prompt "diamond".

Disclaimer: Don't own it.

Second Nature

They sat silently across from one another at a table at The Life, where the air around them reminded them of the past - afternoon tea, late nights after Maureen's protests, Sunday breakfasts. It smelled of stale coffee and BLT's, warm and crisp and a sharp contrast to the light, airy snowflakes that fluttered outside the window they were seated against. Mark pressed his arm against the windowpane, feeling the cold permeate through the sleeve of his sweater slightly. Across from him, Maureen had been using the heel of the salt shaker to crush the tiny granules of salt she had poured out into the table, arranging them into a diamond shape.

The silence they shared was neither awkward or totally comfortable. It was something they'd grown used to, especially lately, in the wake of Angel's death and Roger's sudden desire to travel across the country. With Joanne in Chicago on business, Collins in hiding and Mimi MIA, their little group has dwindled down to just two.

The waitress appeared at their table, placing two cups of tea on it's surface with a smile. Mark smiled back at her, making up for Maureen's lack of response to the woman's presence. The girl retreated back to her work, leaving Mark and Maureen alone once again.

In silence, Mark flicked two sugar packets and poured it into Maureen's tea, as Maureen reached over to Mark's cup and plucked out the lemon, dropping it into her own drink. The movement was fluid and second nature, and they barely thought twice about doing it, their minds clearly elsewhere.

"Thinking about Joanne?" Mark asked, the words escaping his mouth as he stirred her tea before stirring his own. Handing him a napkin, Maureen nodded.

"Yeah. You thinking about Roger?"

Taking a sip of his hot drink and wincing it when he burned his lip, he shook his head, "Everyone, really. Right this second, though, yeah, Roger crossed my mind. Be careful, it's hot."

"He'll be back," Maureen said in a not-so reassuring tone. Gesturing to her tea, she scrunched up her nose, "Can you blow on that to cool it off for me? You know I hate doing that."

Silently, Mark pulled her tea next to his own and blew cool air on it gently, watching out of the corner of his eye as Maureen went back to her salt diamond. She opened her mouth to say something but caught herself, breathing out deeply before biting her lip. Noticing this, Mark took a sip of her tea to test the temperature before sliding it back to her.

"What?" He asked, as her fingertips went to the lip of her cup. Her eyes immediately went to his, and he wasn't surprised at the vulnerable sound of her voice, because it's matched the feeling in his heart in the past few weeks.

"I'm scared, Mark," She admitted, eyes falling to her tea and hand idly playing with the salt shaker.

"I know," Mark replied, reaching over and waving his finger through the salt-diamond, destroying the little shape Maureen had made. Pushing the salt granules into the shape of a small heart, Mark half-smiled.

"I am too."