Disclaimer: Don't own it, not even a little.
A/N: Written for LJ's Rent100.
Kool-Aid Stained Lips
During the summer of 1989, Mark and Roger poured Kool Aid into their one and only ice tray and froze it to make Popsicles. The Popsicle "sticks" were tongue depressors Maureen had bought from a dollar store - leftovers from a protest she had planned that had involved lots of silver glitter, a series of dried leaves, and said tongue depressors.
They all sat on the fire escape that night, all of them together for the first time in months, the summer heat pinching at their skin. The fire escape was warm underneath them as the sun drifted into the invisible horizon. The talk was light hearted, friendly and not too deep, the summer evening calling for nothing but the comfort just sitting with your friends can bring.
"My sister is pregnant again," Mark spoke up when the conversation they had been having dwindled to a comfortable, amicable silence. Eyes turned on him as he continued, "She wants me to be the godfather."
Murmurs of congratulations and smiles waved through the group and Mark grinned tight-lipped, his eyes alerting Maureen to his apprehension.
"Are you okay with it, sweetie?" She asked, making Mark turn in her direction.
"Yeah, of course," He answered honestly, chewing on the Popsicle stick lightly, "It just got me thinking, that's all."
"About what?" Roger asked from behind him where he was seated with Mimi. Mark bit his lip, eyes drifting to his fingers.
"I dunno. It just amazes me that Cindy's had three kids already, that's all." He shrugged, eyes lingering on Angel's as she looked up at him with a knowing expression on her face, "She had Mia, her oldest, when she was 24."
And it dawned on the rest of the group right then, those of them who didn't realize what Mark was getting at at first, at least. Angel, who's knowing lopsided smile remained, reached over and rubbed Mark's knee. From beside him, Mark could feel Maureen's eyes on him, and could practically feel the thoughts running through her head. He turned his head to look at her, eyes taking in her kool-aid stained lips, looking sweet and utterly kissable before matching blue to green. Maureen reached over and placed her hand on his cheek, because she knew exactly what thought was creeping through his head.
"Maureen," He had once said, as they laid in bed one morning, Maureen's head on his chest. She breathed deeply in response, the noise almost sounding like a content purr. She could feel him hesitating by the deep breath he took, and she looked up at him with a soft smile.
"I want to marry you someday," He finally admitted with a blush, and before she could say anything, "I want to be your husband, and eventually, a father to our kids."
Maureen, at the time, was baffled and touched and blown away - Mark always had a way of saying the cheesiest things that somehow, out of his mouth, sounded poetic and heart wrenching, no matter what it was. She had replied with a deep kiss and a whispered, "I love you…", feeling somewhere in her chest that she had felt the same way.
But at the present time, sitting on the fire escape and watching his heart break all over again, she could read his expression because it was the same one he had that day.
And with a soft kiss to his cheek that went unnoticed by their friends, Maureen apologized the best she could.
Roger reached over and rubbed Mark's head playfully, climbing through the window to retrieve more Popsicles. Mark finally turned away from Maureen's gaze, looking out into the street below them, taking in life as it passed by them. He closed his eyes, drew a deep breath into his lungs, and finally opened them.
Life would go on - it always did.