Disclaimer: RENT and its characters do not belong to me.
Author's Notes: Well…this is the last chapter. I want to thank all reviewers very much. I apologize if the aquarium I use doesn't actually have some of the stuff I said, but the link to the website won't work on the computer I'm using.
Italics are flashback.
Mark shook. When Roger went through withdrawal, he would scream and kick things. Mark would shake and cry. Mark had realized quickly that begging got him nowhere; Roger was not a pushover, and he was far stronger than Mark. Having a fit like Roger used to just wasn't an option and never occurred. Except for one time, about two weeks into everything.
Roger turned the page of his magazine with a bit of a contented sigh. He had been home for two weeks, helping Mark. To him it seemed a bit easy. He couldn't remember much about his own withdrawal, other than the fact that he had been miserable, but Collins had relayed some of the stories of what he had done. What was happening with Mark, wasn't what had been described. Mark wasn't throwing tantrums among other things…Mark was currently sitting under the kitchen table again, refusing to be touched. That was one of his things. There were periods where he would cling to Roger as though his life depended on it, and then he would shove Roger away and refuse to even talk to him. Roger did his best not to care; he knew the attitude wasn't really Mark. Besides… they were two weeks in and things were already starting to look up in terms of the behavior. Roger was starting to think that he was wrong in assuming how seriously Mark had been addicted.
And then Roger got hit in the head. With a book. It fell into his lap and the title appeared to him. The Complete Kama Sutra. That was definitely Maureen's book. Which could only mean one thing since the door was locked.
"Mark?" He closed the magazine and stood to turn. Mark was standing by the door to his room, looking rather upset. Roger's first hint was the book that was thrown at his head. His second hit was the way that Mark was now throwing a shoe at him. This time Roger was prepared, and he knocked it out of the way with his hand before hurrying over.
Mark didn't have anything else to throw at Roger. Instead, when Roger started coming at him, he started going to Roger, charging into him, and pounding his fists against his chest.
For a moment, Roger just let Mark hit him. It let Mark get things out, and it wasn't exactly hurting either of them. But after the brief moment of allowing the violence, Roger used his hands to grab Mark's fists, holding them together and lowering them a bit.
It was this action that caused Mark to have a switch in emotion. He stared at Roger as his fists were lowered, and then he started to cry, his head going forward and falling into Roger's chest.
Roger was slightly taken aback by this entire episode, but he did his best to maintain control. He slowly lowered himself so he was sitting on the floor, bringing Mark with him, and shifted so that he was no longer holding Mark's hands, but holding Mark against him, murmuring soothing things into his ear.
"You weren't under the table with me." Mark announced after a minute of this behavior. He didn't move his head, so his voice was muffled by Roger's chest, and the crying.
"I didn't know you wanted me there."
"I want you there when I'm under the table."
"I'll come with you next time Mark."
Mark pulled back and wiped his face a bit, the emotional roller coaster ride coming back to the beginning. He was starting to become somewhat rational once more. "I'm sorry that I threw that stuff at you."
"It's OK." Roger hugged him again.
"It would have just been two shoes. But I couldn't find the other one. My shit isn't very organized right now." And he put his head back down onto Roger's chest, content on sitting there.
But that had been one time. And now things were finally good again. Mark was clean, and all the symptoms of withdrawal had finally left him. So today it was time for a celebration.
Roger had taken his leftover money from his cross country trip and brought Mark to Brooklyn, to the aquarium. It wasn't his scene, but Mark got a kick out of that type of thing, and this day was for Mark so it didn't matter to him. As it all turned out, it had been fun. Mark had developed a particular obsession with the penguins. They had probably spent at least 45 minutes, just watching the penguins, play in the water. Although Roger didn't understand it, he had to admit that the smile they brought to Mark's face was something that he hadn't seen in a long time. And they had both gotten amusement out of the fact that one employee had explained to them that one of the male penguins, named Roger, was desperately trying to mate with any penguin that came near him.
Which brought them to where they were now. Getting ready to go back home, with Roger exiting the gift shop, holding something behind his back as he went to meet Mark.
"What did you do in there?" Mark asked as Roger came up.
"I wanted to get you this." Roger pulled out a small stuffed penguin. Mark took it in his hands. "I know that it's kind of dumb, but it seemed like the kind of thing you would get a laugh out of and I just wanted to get you something…I'm really proud of you." The withdrawal had been good at improving his soap opera moment skills.
"Thanks." Mark smiled a bit, thumbing at the penguin. "I think I'll have to name him Roger."
"That's real cute Mark." Roger wrapped his hands around Mark's waist, bringing him in closer, a contact that they were both used to now. "But if you think that's gonna make me let you bring him into bed with us you're wrong. I draw the line at the scarf."
OK, so that's the end. Thoughts?