Disclaimer: Don't own it.
A/N: This piece was written for Rent100 under the prompt "sunrise".
While Roger was a sulky drunk, Mark was a fairly sloppy one.
"Whoa, watch the curb," Mimi warned as Mark nearly tripped off of the end of the sidewalk, causing him to stumble. Luckily for him, the tiny girl was there to steady him, because falling could result in smashing his face on the sidewalk, or worse, embarrassing himself greatly.
"I hate drinking," Mark whined, as he took another swig of the bottle in his hand, " I HATE it."
Collins, who's laughter was the background music for the whole evening, came behind the filmmaker and clapped him arm around Mark's back to be his crutch, relieving Mimi of babysitting duty.
"You seemed to love it earlier," He said, as images of Mark dancing on the bar flashed through the collective group's minds.
Mark groaned and began to run his fingers through his hair feverishly, something he did regularly when distressed. Looking behind him, he watched as Mimi was swallowed up by Joanne and Maureen, who were reciting Wizard of Oz songs loudly on the top of their lungs. A few feet behind them was Roger, zigzagging slightly, beer bottle loose in his fingertips. He locked eyes with Mark briefly and Mark shivered under his gaze.
He didn't like the look in his roommate's eyes.
The walk was silent from there until they reached the loft's building - Maureen and Joanne had been warned by a passing police officer - "Be quiet, this is a neighborhood and it's 2 AM for Christs' sakes!". Collins and Mark were too busy collectively trying to keep Mark steady, and Mimi, obviously annoyed by the lack of attention her boyfriend was issuing her, was in a Maureen/Joanne sandwich, while Roger remained stagnant, lagging quite a distance behind the group.
It was an eerie silence that fell over them, full of kept secrets and unspoken worry - the relaxed, silly mood they had all had earlier had now dwindled away to a silent concern. No one knew what was up, but they all felt it.
"I'm just going up to the roof," Mark said as they arrived at their building. Mimi had already retreated to her apartment, and Roger to the interior of the loft, leaving Mark and Collins in the hallway.
"Do you want some company?" Collins asked, worry etched into his features.
Mark shook his head drunkenly, "No, it's okay. I just need to think."
Collins hesitated, unsure, but then nodded, eyeing the half-empty bottle in Mark's hand.
"Don't drink any more than that."
Mark, suddenly aware of the presence of a bottle in his hand, shook his head, took a final sip, and tossed it into an empty box that lingered in the hallway from when Mark and Roger's new roommate, Jake, moved in. Collins watched as Mark made his way to the roof, debating whether or not to follow. Deciding not to, he turned, and with a silent wish for everything to be okay, retreated back down the steps to check on Mimi.
It wasn't until sunrise that Mark, still somewhat tipsy, heard the roof door open. He didn't have to turn from his spot to know it was Roger's heavy footsteps.
"Are you okay?" Roger asked as he plopped down on the empty chair beside Mark. Mark, who's head was beginning to pound underneath his temples, nodded.
"Yeah, I'll be fine."
"You never drink that much," Roger observed, as Mark looked at him for the first time. Tired eyes met tired eyes and words were exchanged silently.
"Neither do you, at least, not any more." Mark responded, sighing. They sat in silence for a few moments, observing the sun through the metal frames the buildings served as the orange and yellow rays set Manhattan on fire around them.
"How long have you known?" Mark asked, eyes still on the rising sun. Roger looked over to his roommate, the glow of the sun making Mark seem awfully angelic.
There was no need to ask why, or how Mark knew. Roger should've known better than to assume Mark wouldn't notice, Mark knew him much too well for that.
"A week," Roger admitted, as Mark turned to meet his eyes. Roger couldn't handle the pain radiating out of the filmmaker's eyes, "I saw Dr. Stein a week ago."
"How long?" Mark asked, turning his gaze back to the sunrise.
"How long what?" Roger replied, even though he knew the answer.
"How long do you have?" Mark said softly. Roger flinched.
"Two months at best," He replied. Mark's eyes flickered to Roger and then back to the rising sun, unable to look at his best friend without crying.
Mark knew he would never be able to look at sunrises the same way ever again from that moment on, and as he heard the distinct sound of Roger collapsing into sobs, Mark couldn't help but cry too.