A/N: I'm sorry for the depressing last chapter, and thank you guys for all of the reviews and not saying that you hate me…that much. XD And please do not hate me more now. This is the final chapter. I'm sorry, but I think that this is where it should end. Thank all of you guys soooo much for spending the time reading this, and giving me so much reassurance on my first story. It really has helped me throughout this whole process. You guys are great, and keep reviewing like you did to my story! Thank you! I can't say it enough.
Disclaimer: Jonathan Larson's.
It's weird to say that she's finally gone. These past few days have been so slow going, so full of nothing, it's hard to think about what they have entailed. Watching Mimi die peacefully, watching the doctor cover her delicate face with a sheet, coming back to the loft in complete shock, cleaning out her home when we had the time and the energy, watching the movers take her dresser away to some orphanage, or pawn shop or whatever the hell they do with it. It's all been bunched up, and I all I knew over those few days were Mark. Mark always seemed to be behind me, rubbing my back gently, kissing me kindly on the cheek, telling me everything was okay whenever I needed the comfort. How did I treat him so horribly when April died?
I remember night after night of shivering, pushing Mark away, telling him to fuck off. He was unaffected by it, he just kept coming back. He kept trying to help me. It wasn't until I was fully off the drugs that I began to really see that there was something more to our relationship. Something that could develop. There were clues before, but I couldn't really tell until I removed the clouds from my mind. There was something that I loved about Mark. Not admired or preferred, but truly loved.
Now that Mimi's gone it seems like we have nothing left to be worried for. There is nothing coming but…when I'm sick. I wonder how long it will be. I wonder that everyday. I wonder how Mark will handle it. He's stronger than me, so he won't completely collapse like I would. If Mark left me, I have no clue how I would live. So how is he going to do without me?
"How are you?" Mark peeks into my room, leaning his pale hand against the doorframe. I smile sadly at him, recalling all of the times he has asked me this question in the past few days. But I know it's because he cares. "Are you hungry? Joanne bought us some muffins if you want one. They're pretty good. She came over while you were in here."
"No, I'm fine. I don't want food now. I was just thinking." My eyes focus back on the wooden floor beneath me, where they have been for the past few hours. I was going to go to sleep when I came in here, sitting calmly down on my bed, and ready to shut my eyes for the night. But a part of me couldn't lie down. I never wanted to sleep again. I'm afraid I might never wake up. After seeing Mimi fall asleep to die, sleep seems unappetizing to me.
"Get any sleep?" He asks, creeping over to sit next to me on the bed and lying his hand on the naked skin of my back.
"No. I've been sitting here since I left." I sigh, and hope that he doesn't think I left him in the living room because I wanted to get away. That would be the last thing I'd want to do. Months and years ago maybe that would be the case. But after losing so many people and pushing Mark away, I'm ready to let him in this time.
"Oh. I'm sorry I didn't check on you earlier." He apologizes, and I turn my head to stare into his bright blue eyes. A smile spreads across his lips, and it breaks me. It breaks my heart, and every sane part of me I had. I don't even know why, but I begin to cry. Cry harder than I ever have. Mark pulls me carefully into his arms, my tears running down his shirt and thinning out warmly across my face.
"I'm sorry." I whisper against his body, as he cradles me softly, rocking slowly back and forth.
"Why are you sorry?" His voice is so calm and patient, everything that I need.
"I'm sorry that I'm going to leave you. I can't believe…"
"Roger, don't think about that." He quiets me from my future thoughts, from having a conversation that might change everything forever. But I know this is the time to talk about it, and I'm determined to get it out.
"No, Mark. I need to. Please just listen." I remove myself from his embrace cautiously, grasping his hands in mine after rubbing away all of the tears on my cheeks. He sighs, nerves and fear breaking his breath. I know he doesn't want to face the fact that I'm dying.
"What?" His eyes connect with mine as he waits for me to talk, and I gather all that I need to say.
"I love you." Is all I manage to say, and tears immediately come to his eyes. Shit. I was hoping to do this without crying. I pull him into me, our positions now reversed, and I kiss the top of his head. "Mark, don't cry." I tell him, and realize that I might have to comfort him in the years coming. Something I will have to get used to. Comforting Mark is something that I haven't done much. He deserves my comfort, but he has always been the one helping me through horrible times. I wasn't there when Maureen dumped him; all I did was try to get him to fall in love with me. Now for once, I'm going to have to learn to stop being selfish.
"I'm sorry. I just…don't want to talk about this." He whimpers, and I take in a huge breath.
"Mark, we have to. I want to do it while the feeling of Mimi leaving is this strong. Now I know how much it will hurt when I…go and I…" I run my fingers through his blond hair, smoothing down a jutting piece and finding his eyes. They are filled with tears, like an overflowing pool. I want to make them all disappear. Why can't I fix this? Why can't I get rid of this fucken' disease? This thing that has completely split everyone apart. This thing that will one day take me away from the love of my life.
"I don't know how…I'm going to…" He trembles in my grip, grasping me everywhere. It feels like he is trying to find me, like I am disappearing before him.
"You're going to go on." I say confidently, even though the thought of Mark with someone else is excruciatingly painful to me. He loves me. He shouldn't have to go on. He shouldn't have to forget about me. He shouldn't have to block my death from his mind while he tries to fall in love again.
"How? I don't even know what I would begin to do." Is he expecting me to answer him? Expecting me to lay out a plan for his life after me? I don't want him to go on without me, so how am I supposed to convince him he can? The vulnerable part of me is taking over.
"Lie back." I tell him, leaning backwards lightly as he follows me, until we are both lying on my bed. My lips cover him with kisses, his forehead, his ears, his cheeks, his lips. I pull his face up to mine so he can return them, his body pressed tightly against mine. Our mouths wrap around each other, feeling the familiar touches and breaths. He lets my tongue inside, sobbing at the touch of my hands on his hips. I break our kiss to comfort him, pecking his forehead. "Shh…Mark. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought this up. It was stupid and I'm just being selfish…"
"No, you're not. You're right. We do need to talk about this." He stops me, placing his finger gently on my lips. "This is all I have to say. I love you. And when you go, I have no clue how the fuck I'll survive but it will happen. It has to. And I don't want you to worry about me." He spits it all out, taking his finger off of my mouth to allow me to retaliate. But I can't. I can't speak. This is probably the most blunt conversation we have ever had. I admitted that I'm dying, he admitted it will be impossible to live afterwards. I can only assume that we will never speak of this again.
"All right." I whisper, not being able to raise the volume of my voice. He sinks back down against my body, his sobs dying slowly.
"Mark?" I say after a long silence, and he pricks his head back up quickly in shock. He might have been sleeping.
"Yea?" He gasps, tiredly resting his chin on my chest to look into my eyes while we speak.
"Did I ever tell you? While I was…going through…withdrawal?" My memory searches for an answer by itself, looking back through those days of pain and tears. Those days when Mark was by my side. But if I loved him after I came out of it, was it possible I loved him while it was all happening? It's possible Mark and I had sex while I was going through withdrawal. I would not remember a thing. I doubt it happened, but it very well could have.
"Tell me what?"
"That I loved you." I answer, and he rises off of my body, looking out at the moonlight.
"No…" His voice wanders away, as if he's lost in thoughts. "But there was a time that I thought you did. I convinced myself you did. It was stupid…" He buries his face in his hands, shaking it lightly. I lean over to place my hand on his shoulder, then kiss it gently.
"It wasn't stupid. I have always loved you Mark." He turns to face me, lightly pushing me back on the bed.A year and a half ago
"Mark!" I scream at the top of my lungs as I hold the needle to my skin, ready to puncture, ready to ruin all that I have worked towards. It's been so long since my last hit, so long. I need it. I really do. But Mark can stop me. He will. No, just do it. Shoot up. You need it. I need it. My body is tired, sick, wanting. I need this.
"Roger what the fuck?" Mark bursts through the door, knocking the needle out of my hand as quickly and carefully he can. His eyes are so full of hurt and betrayal. Like me shooting up hurts him more than myself.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." I whisper constantly, trying to make sense out of why I would do this. My mind has developed into two sides. One telling me I need heroin, and the other stopping my urges. Telling me I can make it through this. "Mark. I'm sorry." I say one final time, and he pulls me softly into an embrace. I'm used to this by now. Apologizing, hugging, explaining how I feel, then flipping out once again. It's all so repetitive. I'm sick of it, but I can't stop. I can't stop trying to shoot up. Mark is the only thing keeping me together.
"It's okay. Just don't fucking do that." He says harshly in my ear, and I nod violently in compliance. Even though I know that I will be trying to do it again tomorrow. "Why do you need it so much?"
"I…I don't know. I…Mark…I want to die." I gasp, sobs filling my body and the incessant pain overtaking my mind.
"No you don't. Roger, you can make it. It will stop soon. I promise." He rubs my back roughly, convincing me that I can indeed live through this fucking hell. His touch is so nice. He's the only one to touch me since April died. I miss April's touch. I miss intimate moments. I miss April. I miss being able to talk to Mark without heroin swimming through my mind. I miss our friendship. I miss our bond. I miss Mark. He's here, hugging my shaking body, and I miss him.
"Mark, don't leave. Don't give up on me." I mumble, trying to catch my breath. Mark puts his hand on the back of my neck, stroking it lovingly. But there is more to his touch than friendship. He's trying to comfort, but it's kinder, gentler, and softer, something I haven't felt in so long. I pick my head up, out of his grip, and look him deeply in the eyes.
"I won't." He tells me, and for a second I want to lean forward to his lips. It must be the pain. I just need someone that loves me. I can't just assume that Mark loves me more than a friend just so I have an excuse to live. "I'd never leave you Roger." I feel his lips connect lightly with the edge of my neck. Was it a mistake, or did he really mean to kiss me? It had to be a mistake. Mark wouldn't kiss me. Even though it wasn't on my lips, it's still a kiss. Isn't it? I shouldn't be questioning something that is all in my head. "Let's get you in bed. Okay?" I nod in approval, and he drags my limp body over to my worn out mattress.
"Thank you." I cough, closing my eyes and trying to find sleep. I need to clear my mind of Mark. There's nothing there. These damn drugs.Present
"I love you Mark." I whisper before drifting to sleep, holding him securely in my arms.
"Go to sleep Roger." He tells me, prompting a smile to come across my face. He doesn't need to say it.
Notes: Oh my God, I'm done. I cannot believe it. All right. breathes It's all right. I can make it. This has been so great, all of you reviewers have made my life over the past few months and thank you so much for reading and bearing through all of my paranoia and craziness. You have all made me become a better writer, and I appreciate that very much.
Thank you especially to everyone who helped me write this story, who told me that it was good when I whined that I suck, and who talked me through my times of writer's block. Thank you to Margerita for telling me to post this in the first place. If it weren't for you none of this would have happened! JTM! (Didja like the return of the muffin?) And to Carrie. Do I have to say it? You know what I want to say. It's. XD I thank this story for bringing me to you.