Disclaimer: I don't own Rent or any of it's characters. I also do not own the song which is "Beautiful Disaster" by Kelly Clarkson.
He drowns in his dreams
An exquisite extreme I know
He's as damned as he seems
And more heaven than a heart could hold
And if I try to save him
My whole world could cave in
It just ain't right
It just ain't right
"Roger!" Mark's shouting, hands gripping Roger's shoulder. "Roger, wake up!"
And Roger. Roger thrashes in his sleep, crying out for Mimi, crying out for April, and salvation. Hands swing out blindly in the dark and Mark gasps. Mark gasps when Roger's flailing hand hit him in the face, knocking his glasses onto the floor and out of sight.
"Roger!" Pale hands grip pale wrists and with blurred vision, Mark tries to wake his best friend. "It's just a dream! Wake up!"
He feels a line of warmth trailing down his cheek. Roger must have scratched him. It would explain the sharp, stinging pain he felt.
"Please, wake up!" Mark exclaims because he's not sure he can hold his own as Roger tries to fight off his inner demons.
And with a gasp, Roger's eyes snap open. His breath comes out loud and harsh, erratic.
"Mark?" the musician asks, his eyes darting around the dark room, his hands flexing in the filmmaker's grip, "What's going on?"
And Mark breathes a sigh of relief as he lets go of Roger's hands, "You were having a nightmare. I-I heard you from my room."
"Oh…" Roger said as he pushed himself up, "I-I didn't realize…"
"It's okay, Roger," Mark smiles, "You just scared me."
A short silence followed before Roger spoke again, "Did I do that?"
Mark furrowed his eyebrows unaware of what Roger was talking about until he remembered he was no longer wearing his glasses. The cut on his cheek served as a stinging reminder, "It's okay."
"I'm sorry," Roger apologized, "I didn't mean to…"
"I know," Mark answered, "Just, try and get some more sleep, okay? You're probably still tired."
Roger nodded and Mark climbed off of the bed, his hands groping the floorboards for his glasses. His fingers touched the cool frames and he snatched them up, quickly putting them on. He was almost out the door before he heard the musician speak again.
"Can you…" the words seemed to be caught in his throat, "Can you…"
And Mark bit his lip, knowing what Roger was going to ask him. And as much as he knew he shouldn't allow himself to get so close, as much as he knew it would tear him apart inside, he turned back and answered, "Of course."
Climbing into bed with Roger really wasn't as strange as people might have thought it was. Running his hands through Roger's hair as his best friend whispered in his sleep about the missing loves in his life didn't seem so bad when he closed his eyes and told himself to keep breathing.
And the way his heart felt like it was breaking really wasn't so bad when he reminded himself that Roger couldn't, wouldn't, feel the same.
Oh and I don't know
I don't know what is after
But he's so beautiful
Such a beautiful disaster
And if I could hold on
Through the tears and the laughter
Would it be beautiful?
Or just a beautiful disaster?
"Do you want to go out?" Mark asked, wrapping his jacket tighter around himself, "Maybe we can go to the Life?"
"It's too cold," Roger answered from his place at the window, "It's too damn cold out and it's just as bad in here."
"It'll take our minds off of the freezing loft and get us somewhere warm for a while," Mark tried again, this time picking up his scarf. It was fucking freezing.
"If you want to go out so badly, knock yourself out," Roger snapped, picking up his guitar and leaving the window, "I'm staying here."
And Mark couldn't help but feel a little hurt by the words thrown his way.
"Okay then," he whispered, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, "I'll see you in a few hours."
Walking out of the loft and breathing in fresh air was like a blessing. Mark mounted his camera on his bike and rode down the freezing streets, his breath coming out in clouds. And he kept riding until he couldn't push the pedals anymore because his legs were freezing and aching.
He opted to walk his bike, dismounting his camera and placing it in his bag. He wondered what Roger was doing. He wondered if he would ever stop thinking about Roger with his blonde hair and fallen angel looks. Mark wondered if he would ever stop feeling that strange tugging sensation in his stomach every time he got Roger to smile. He wondered if he would ever stop feeling the need to just hold and kiss his best friend.
But now wasn't the time to think about trivial things. Mark knew that. Roger had only lost Mimi only three months ago and it was still taking its toll. No, now wasn't the time to think about his absurd infatuation with his best friend and loft mate. He should be investing his time in making Roger feel better. He should be investing his time in spurring Roger on to create another song, just like Mimi would have wanted. He should be telling Roger to live, not for Mark, but for himself and for Mimi, who made him promise.
Yes, Mark would have to push aside his own feelings. But it was right. It was right because it was the right thing to do. Because loving your best friend really just wasn't acceptable. And Mark believed every excuse he made for himself.
He's magic and myth
As strong as what I believe
A tragedy with
More damage than a soul should see
And do I try to change him?
So hard not to blame him
Hold on tight
Hold on tight
"Shit! What happened?" Roger exclaimed when he saw Mark standing in the doorway all bloody hands and bloody faced.
"What do you think?" Mark asked, holding his bleeding nose with one hand, the other clutching his camera protectively to himself.
"Jesus," Roger was up and off the couch, pulling Mark toward it.
And Mark wished he saw this kind of emotion more often. He wished that he didn't see it only when he was mugged or getting himself into trouble. But that look of concern, just that one little look made all those butterflies he tried to ignore flutter with life in his stomach again.
Mark watched as Roger walked around the loft, gathering a clean towel and a bowl of warm water. With the items set on their beaten up coffee table, Roger pulled Mark's hand away from his face.
"You're going to have to let go of your camera," Roger said, "We have to clean your face and hands."
Mark didn't fail to notice that Roger was wearing gloves, the cheap kind that comes with hair dye. His heart skipped a beat, realizing that Roger was trying to protect him and he cursed himself for foolishly thinking that it made him special.
Putting down his camera, he allowed Roger to help him out of his jacket and take off his scarf, the white now stained with red. And he sat with his hands held out as Roger took a wet towel and slowly, gently began to clean off the blood that had started to dry and cake.
"You fought back," Roger said quietly.
"Yeah," Mark answered, "I couldn't just let them take everything."
"You should have just let them. You could have gotten really hurt."
"No, I couldn't."
"It's just a camera, Mark! We could have saved up and got you another one!"
The filmmaker shook his head and with one hand reached into the pocket of his jacket. He pulled out a small, familiar, white paper bag, stained with red. The bag had a name on it. Roger Davis. The look in Roger's eyes was… hard to explain, even for Mark.
"Mark…" Roger started, but couldn't quite finish.
And it was okay as they lapsed into silence.
I'm longing for love and the logical
But he's only happy hysterical
I'm waiting for some kind of miracle
Waited so long
Mark tossed and turned in bed, unable to sleep. The loft had been pretty much silent for the past couple of days, save for the sound of Roger's guitar.
Some nights, Mark can almost hear the workings of a beautiful song coming to life, but as quickly as it came, it died away leaving no remains. He tries to recall some of the nicer ones, hoping to help Roger recall them too if he could only just hum it. He wishes he could remember.
Somewhere in the loft, something drops to the floor and breaks. Mark sits up in bed and frowns. Without hesitation, he put on his glasses and walked out of his room. The livingroom light clicked on as his finger hit the switch.
Roger kneeled on the floor, picking up the remains of what used to be a coffee mug.
"Is everything alright?" Mark asked as he stepped closer.
Roger doesn't answer as he keeps picking up the pieces.
Mark sighs and kneels down next to Roger, reaching out his still bandaged hands to help. But Roger stops him and he looks at the musician confused.
"I don't want the glass to cut you," Roger said quietly.
"I'll be careful, Rog," Mark said, reaching his hand out again and this time Roger grabs his hand, causing him the gasp. "Roger!"
And Roger lets go as if Mark's skin burned, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry… Just… I can take care of this."
"Roger, what's going on?" Mark asked, holding his throbbing hand to his chest, "You've been up so much these past few days and I know that you were probably about to make coffee before you dropped that cup. What's up?"
"I just… it's nothing," Roger was obviously trying to avoid the subject.
"Roger…" and a part of Mark wished that there wasn't this unseen rift between them. It never used to be there before, but lately, it just seemed to be getting bigger and bigger.
"You don't want to know."
"Of course I want to know. How can I ever not want to know if something is wrong?"
"It's you, Mark."
And Mark didn't know what to say. But then he didn't need to say anything as Roger took his face into calloused hands and pulled him close. For a moment, they breathed each other in before their lips touched and Mark couldn't keep the feeling in his stomach from coming or the butterflies from fluttering. He couldn't keep his heart still.
He's soft to the touch
But frayed at the end he breaks
He's never enough
And still he's more than I can take
Roger looks so lost when he pulls away that Mark knows that all the happiness hi felt before could have just been false home. So he pushes it all away into the darkest corner of his mind and swallows.
"Please, don't hate me," Roger says softly.
And Mark pauses before answering, "How can I hate you, Roger?"
"Because it isn't right. It isn't right for me to want this," Roger said, sounding confused, "I'm sorry."
This time Mark, abandoning all caution, reached out and held Roger's face in his hands, pulling him close and kissing him. And he threw all if his need and want and passion into it because he needed Roger to feel what he was feeling. He needed Roger to know that he understood, even if it was all too soon and even if it didn't feel quite right just yet.
"Please, don't apologize," Mark whispered as he pulled away, letting his hands fall onto Roger's, "Please."
"Is this right?" Roger asked, "Can it be right?"
"Only if you think it is," Mark answered, knowing that it wasn't his choice to move forward.
And his answer came in the form of kissing lips and tangled tongues, gasps for air and moans of approval and appreciation.
Such a beautiful disaster
As time went by, Mark and Roger tired to close the rift and slowly they found success, slowly they found what worked. And some nights, they would stay awake talking about Angel and Mimi and April, especially on nights when Roger would wake up sweating and shaking in Mark's arms. And some nights they would lie in bed Mark's head resting on Roger's chest, comforting and protecting each other from the world outside.
Author's Note: Thoughts? Reviews? Criticism? I'd like to see what you think, good or bad. Thanks for reading everyone!