A/N: I wrote this for a Speed Challenge at rent100. It was really long, so I broke it up into smaller chapters.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
"Mimi, what's this?" Roger held up a small plastic bag full of white powder. He had been waiting for her at her loft since last night. He wasn't expecting her to be out all night.
Mimi looked at him, her long, black curls were knotty and hanging in her face. Her clothes were a bit torn. She hadn't gotten home until this morning, claiming to have worked an extra shift at the club. Her hand reached for the bag as he answered, "It's nothing, Roger, I just…"
"Just what?" he held his arm high, out of her reach. "Just thought you could slip into your old habits under my nose? Why not, you defeated death once, why not push your luck and try again. You're only invincible on the high, not for the consequences."
She pushed a lock of hair out her eyes. "No, Rog, you just don't get it. You don't know what…"
"Oh I don't know what the addiction is? What the high is like? How the fuck do you think I got the way I am?"
Mimi cringed. She had lied when she said she was pulling a double shift. She had gone out with some girls from the club and shot up. The high and the alcohol had gotten to her head, pushing April out of her mind. Sure, she didn't know April, but she knew what April did to Roger. Roger didn't like talking about her. Sometimes Mimi thought that he loved April more than he loved her. "Roger, I'm sorry, I forgot. I had a rough day at work."
"Yeah, your work is really hard," he snapped. He tossed the stash at her feet. "Talk to me when you want to be honest with me."
"Roger, wait," she stumbled after him, but the door slammed before she got out an apology.
"What's your problem?" Mark looked up from his camera when Roger stormed into the loft.
Roger let out an incoherent mumble as he plopped on the couch. All Mark got was "Mimi" and "using again."
"Mimi's using again?"
"I think so," Roger looked at his best friend, fear dancing in his green eyes. "I found a stash in her room. She got back really late, and I can tell she got high or was drinking."
"Did you fight again?"
"Yeah," Roger nodded. "We've fought like twenty-four times this week alone. I just don't get her anymore."
"I'm sorry, Rog," Mark replied. Sympathy really wasn't in his voice. It was more empathetic than anything.
Roger picked up on it. "What do you know?"
Mark looked up, hurt. "More than you think."
"Sure," Roger nodded sarcastically. "You know exactly what it's like to grow up without a dad, and have a mom who could care less about you. You barely graduated from high school and got kicked out on your ass when you were eighteen." Roger's eyes had gone from faded green to a stony emerald as the sarcasm poured from his vocal chords. "You have no idea Mark. You had the ideal American family. Your mom packed your lunch everyday, your dad played catch, your sister and you got along perfectly. And to top it all off, you had a cute, little kitty and a white picket fence in the suburbs. Tell me Mark, what's it like to fly on an airplane to Disney World at age nine and meet Mickey Mouse? I'm dying to know."
"I was eleven," Mark corrected. Mickey Mouse actually scared him more than the three hour flight.
Roger rolled his eyes. "You don't know how lucky you are. I've never been on an airplane. I don't think I've gone past fucking Delaware. Your mom calls every four seconds to make sure her baby isn't starving. Mine called once last Christmas to make sure I wasn't dead and she didn't have to pay for my funeral. She didn't actually care how I was."
"That's not why my mom called the other day," Mark sniffed. "That's why I wasn't home yesterday."
"Aw, how sweet," Roger mocked, "a Cohen family get-together. You just don't get it, Mark."
"No, Roger, you don't get it," Mark stood up and headed for his room. He stood at the door, facing Roger. "I don't even want to talk about it. I thought I could tell you, but I guess not. Your problems are so much worse, you wouldn't care. Go wallow in self pity. Just leave me out of it."
Roger just sat there, baffled. Mark had never snapped like that. But wasn't he right? Weren't Roger's problems worse? After all, Mark wasn't dying.