Title: Oblivion
Corinna Lael
Like motha's milk, baby!
Word Count:
Angst, I suppose.
Mark thinks back on one of Roger's habits, Post-Rent.
Notes: 426
(it's a shortie)
Special Thanks:
To Kate across the hall for lending me all her deep-sea epics. Damn you, Horatio Hornblower! You're taking away from writing time!
A bit depressing, I think.
Oh, please, I'm in debt! I own NEGATIVE stuff!

April had always known the secret to getting her way with Roger, Mark knew. Whatever she wanted, if he said no, she'd get him drunk. He'd do whatever she asked then, Mark always knew. Smack never worked for that; he felt too good to listen. He wouldn't listen to anyone when he was on that shit, not even Mark. But Mark vividly remembered gritting his teeth, biting his tongue to keep himself from trying to pour all the vodka down the drain. He never believed that Roger couldn't see how April was using him, couldn't see how vulnerable he was making himself.

Mark understood now, years later. He understood how it felt to want that oblivion so badly that you'd do anything for it. Roger had always made sure Mark knew how lucky he was to have the gift of life, to be the one to survive. More than anything, he wanted to know his best friend, the love of his life, would live, would have the life none of the rest of them ever would.

And Mark lived. Day after day he lived, each wishing he could be in the ground. Day after day he cursed Roger for giving him everything he had ever wanted, then selfishly dying. And day after day, he drank, slowly descending into a stupor.

He wasn't obvious about it, just like he wasn't obvious about his loss. He married, built a family. Went back to medical school, got his doctorate like the good Jewish boy he used to be. The first baby, a girl, had his eyes. The second, a boy, had Roger's name. Their mother never questioned the love he obviously felt for his old 'friend,' never asked about the pilgrimmages to the graveyard. And as long as he never drank in front of the children, as long as he kept it his dirty little secret, Rebecca never said anything about the empty bottles that turned up in her recycling every morning.

Everybody happy. And as long as he made sure he only missed Roger at night, everyone would stay that way.