Title: The Now

Author: Girl Who Writes

Feedback: is very loved

Pairing: Mimi/Roger

Word Count: 438

Rating: PG

Genre: Angst

Notes: Written for speedrent #83, but missed the cutoff (:kicks timezones:)

Summary: Mark watches from the door way, his camera in his hand, zooming in on the misery etched into every line of Mimi's face, and he stops filming.

Spoilers: Angel killed Benny's dog.

Warnings: None.

Disclaimer: Property of the Jonathon Larson estate. I'm just borrowing the characters.

Mimi sits on the bed they share, her legs folded underneath her, her hair hanging around her face in a curtain. The guitar lies on the bed next to her, where it was left when they all went out earlier that night. She looks at the guitar, the shiny red one he brought back from Santa Fe with him, and plucks at the strings, the guitar emitting a few sad, metallic notes.

Mark watches from the door way, his camera in his hand, zooming in on the misery etched into every line of Mimi's face, and he stops.

"Meem," he says quietly, leaving his camera on a box in the doorway; Roger never really bothered hunting down much furniture for himself; a bed and a bunch of crates and boxes for storage.

"Hey Mark." Her eyes are red from crying, and he sits next to her, wrapping his arms around her.

"You should get some sleep. Have you taken your AZT?" She's like the younger sister he never had. It's easy to take care of Mimi now; whatever she says about being old for her age is only a half truth; she's still a kid at heart to all of them.

"Yeah." She wipes her eyes with that back of her hand.

"He's going to be fine, Mimi. The doctors just want to keep him there for observation," Mark picks up the guitar and props it against the wall.

"I know." Her eyes are still red and she looks like someone has drained her of all hope and energy. It wasn't her fault that Roger was feeling like shit, but still insisted on coming out with them tonight, or that he keeled over in the middle of Maureen's protest. Dehydration, it could happen to any of them. It's happened to Roger before, and to Collins half a dozen times. But as Mimi starts moving Roger's discarded clothes from the bed to the chair in the corner, Mark knows why this hurts. Because one day Roger's going to keel over, maybe during one of Maureen's protests or in the middle of the Life café or playing his guitar on the roof, and it's not going to be dehydration; it's going to be spending his last days in the white and grey hospital room, in pain.

Mark can't look that far ahead. It hurts to look at the now and see the future, so he'll stick to the now, when it comes to the future of his family. They climb into the bed Roger and Mimi share, and lie awake in silence until the phone rings; Roger's coming home.