This was written for my friend Mae. Mae, I hope you liked it, I certainly had fun writing it!
I don't own Rent.
"Uh Mark, what are those?"
Mark stopped two feet from the safety of his room and closed his eyes. His sleep-fogged mind hadn't thought that Roger might actually be awake and out of his room yet, despite the fact that it was after noon. Roger didn't do mornings, normally. He didn't turn around. "They're boxers, Roger. Do we need to go back to preschool and learn about how to dress ourselves?" He tried to keep his tone irritated and sarcastic, completely natural. Yeah, the situation was completely natural.
"I can see they're boxers, but where did you get them?" Roger's voice was light. Amused. Curious.
Damn. "I bought them. At a store. That sells boxers. Because I needed some. Now, I'm going back to bed." He tried to make a dash for his room.
"Hey, wait a second." There was the sound of something, presumably Roger's guitar, being placed on the table, then the slap of Roger's feet hitting the ground as he vaulted over the back of the couch as he usually did. Mark froze and bit his lip as he heard Roger approach. Shit.
Roger's voice was just behind him. "But they're plaid, like my pants!"
Mark curled his bare toes into the floor. He could feel himself turning red. "It's what was there. Roger…"
But Roger wasn't listening. "It's the same plaid! The same plaid my pants are made of!"
Mark slowly swung around, sure by now that Roger wasn't going to drop this. Roger was like that, picking up on something and not letting go until he had found out every detail. He wasn't always like this, sometimes he was completely oblivious to what was going on around him. Mark had counted on him being in one of the oblivious moods.
Roger was standing close, closer then what Mark wanted him to be at this moment, looking tousled and lazy and oh so gorgeous in a pair of battered low-rise jeans and nothing else. Probably not the view to help him regain control of the situation. Definitely not the view to help him hide his attraction to his roommate. He fought with it every day, telling himself that Roger's friendship was too important to him, that Roger needed a steady friend, what with first April, and then Mimi dying. He didn't need Mark throwing himself at his feet—who knows what that would do to him. Probably crack him for good, although he hadn't retreated quite so far into himself after Mimi had died.
Mark swallowed and looked back down at his feet. In the top of his view, he could just see Roger's bare feet. "I hadn't noticed," he mumbled, hoping he could make an escape back to his bedroom soon.
Roger snorted. Suddenly, he reached forward and curled a finger under the waistband. Mark's head jerked up, eyes wide, but Roger only pulled it out, then let it snap back at him, stinging his hipbone. "Didn't notice? I only wear those pants every other day, and have for the past two years!" Roger exclaimed.
Mark scrubbed at his hair with one hand, a nervous habit. He wished that the sting hadn't focused his attention on that area of his body. This could get awkward really soon. He cleared his throat. "Yes, well… Now that we've established that these are new boxers, that they are plaid, and that you wear pants every other day and have for the past two years, I'm going back to bed," he said, keeping his eyes on the floor. He swiveled around on his heel.
Roger's voice stopped him once again. "Hey wait! You haven't explained why you bought boxers that are like my plaid pants!"
Mark closed his eyes and desperately thought of plausible reasons why he would have done such a thing. It had been such a stupid idea! He should have known that even Roger wouldn't be oblivious to it. But he hadn't been able to resist when he had seen them. They were the same plaid as Roger's beloved pants. Then Roger's warm arm was draped over his shoulders, and their hips were pressing together as Roger leaned into Mark's side. Mark froze.
"Is Marky ashamed of his underwear?" Roger said into his ear in a teasing voice. Every muscle in Mark's body locked, and he trembled from the tension. Roger's arm was a warm weight across his back, and the hand curled around his shoulder tightened as Roger pulled him closer to whisper into his ear, "Maybe you're trying to say something with them?" Somehow Roger's warm breath brushing across his cheek felt good, even though it was stuffy in the loft.
With difficulty, he reached up and brushed Roger's hand off of him. "Why would my underwear being saying something?" he asked, taking a step to the side and looking over at his roommate. He immediately closed his eyes briefly, trying not to think of what that could mean.
Roger shrugged, sliding his hands in his pockets and causing the already-low jeans to ride even lower. Mark's mouth dried, and he desperately tried not to stare. He focused on his bare toes again.
"Maybe they're saying you're jealous of the amazingness that is Roger Davis, and that you desperately wish you had my fashion sense, or my pants." Mark glanced up at that to see his roommate rocking back and forth on his heels, grinning widely.
Oh yes, he wanted Roger's pants all right. He wanted them so he could burn them. That way Roger would have to stay in the loft all the time, pantless. With an effort, he forced himself away from that line of thought. He snorted, "As if. You have no fashion sense, amazing or otherwise. Your wardrobe consists of the plaid pants and a baggy shirt, or those jeans and a t-shirt, and both ensembles are completed with that old leather jacket you've had forever. Two outfits do not constitute fashion sense."
"It does when those two outfits are hot," Roger countered. When Mark just continued to stare at him, he taunted, "Marky's jealous. Marky wants my pants, but knows he can't pull them off, so he has to settle for boxers." He looped his thumbs through his belt loops and tugged on his jeans. There was no way he could be wearing anything under them. Mark tried not to react. He just tried to look sleepy and grumpy and not-wanting-to-continue-this-please-Roger.
Roger, however, chose to ignore this look. He grinned cheekily. "Come on Mark, admit it. You want my pants."
As glad as Mark was that fun-Roger was back, instead of angry-Roger or depressed-Roger, he gladly could have shoved fun-Roger off the fire escape right now. He tried to force a scowl. "I don't want your pants, Roger. You're like a five year old!" He turned around, getting another two steps closer to his room before he was stopped again—this time by a pillow hitting him square in the back.
Roger chortled from over by the couch, another pillow already in his hands. "Someone is grumpy this morning," he said, flinging the other pillow.
Mark caught it, eyeing his roommate warily. This was hyper, even for Roger in one of his moods. "What have you eaten this morning?" he asked.
"Collins brought over powdered sugar donuts this morning," Roger answered, "I had fallen asleep on the couch, so he woke me up. I saved you two."
Mark glanced over at the counter and groaned. "You ate six sugar-covered donuts?" He noticed something else. "And coffee?" He ran his hand through his hair again. No wonder Roger looked abnormally awake and happy this early. "Roger, you're horrible," he said, half-heartedly throwing the pillow back at Roger.
Roger grinned yet again. "You're just jealous again, boxer-man."
Mark groaned and turned around yet again. "I'm going back to sleep. Go…play in traffic or something to get rid of your energy." It was surprisingly easy to hide behind the banter—he had been doing it for years after all.
The slap of bare feet was all the warning he had before he was tackled from behind. "Ooof," he said, pitching forward. He didn't fall though, kept up by Roger, who lifted him bodily off his feet and swung around.
Mark flailed and grabbed at Roger's arms, but he couldn't dislodge Roger's grip, and he had no leverage, as he was horizontal. Not even his feet could touch the ground. He could feel Roger's bony hip digging into his stomach.
He barely had time to think about how nice Roger's arms felt around him before Roger threw him over the back of the couch. Mark landed with a strangled yelp, then a louder one as his roommate landed on top of him, pinning him to the couch. Mark shoved at him. "What are you doing? Let me up!" he demanded.
"No, I have you right where I want you," Roger said. Mark only had time for one wide-eyed look before Roger started tickling him in the ribs. Mark bucked wildly, protesting between gasps. "S—S—stop!" he panted, "Ro—ger s—stop!" All his squirming did nothing to dislodge his roommate, who kept tickling mercilessly. Somehow, Mark managed to twist around onto his stomach, trying to shield his ribs from Roger's attacks. But this only trapped his hands under him, and Roger was still sitting on him. No matter how hard he thrashed, Roger wouldn't come off.
He managed to wriggle one hand free. Reaching around, he pummeled blindly at Roger, who grabbed his wrist. He twisted it up, trapping Mark's arm to his back. Mark twitched, but couldn't get free. He could sense, rather than see, Roger leaning over. "You give up yet?" he asked just above Mark's ear.
Mark gave on last futile thrash before he buried his face in the threadbare couch cushion and groaned, "Yes, fine, I give up. Just get off."
Roger poked at his side again, laughing as Mark gurgled and twitched. "I can't hear you," he said.
Mark ground his teeth together. This was like a scene out of his nightmares, except…he was enjoying feeling Roger on top of him too much. He could feel himself being turned on. He turned his head to the side. "Fine. I give up!" he said louder, "Now get off." His protest was half-hearted, he wasn't sure he wanted Roger to let him up now. Wearing only boxers, it would be hard to hide his growing erection from his roommate.
"Now say, 'I want Roger's pants,'" Roger said instead of getting up.
Mark craned his head around and looked at Roger incredulously. Roger grinned, a trifle evilly in Mark's opinion. Mark sighed. Could this get any worse? "I want Roger's pants," he grumbled, "Now. Get. Off."
"No," Roger said. He released Mark's arm, but before Mark could do anything, Roger slumped down on top of him. Mark froze. Roger's head was lying in between his shoulders, and he could feel Roger's bare chest pressed against his back. Worse, he could feel Roger's stomach moving as he breathed. Mark shuddered in spite of himself. So much for going back to bed—he was going to have to go take a cold shower after this. "What are you doing?" he asked, in a slightly choked voice. Well, he could pass that off as not being able to breathe. Roger was heavy after all.
Roger shifted. "I'm comfortable. I don't want to get up. You're warm." He reached up and ruffled Mark's hair lazily.
Mark surged upward, sending Roger tumbling back. He flipped over, pulling himself into a sitting position with the couch arm. "That's it. No more sugar for you. Ever. Not if it makes you like this. Do you have any idea what you're doing to me?" Mark growled at Roger, who was sprawled at the opposite end of the couch in a jumble of arms and legs.
Roger sat up slowly, a predatory expression on his face, looking all the world like a big cat on the prowl. He got his legs situated under him so he was kneeling. "Who says I don't know what I'm doing to you?" he asked, grasping Mark's ankles. One sharp jerk and Mark was flat on his back, again, and Roger was back over him, supporting himself on his knuckles on either side of Mark's torso. Mark tried to sit up, but Roger placed one large hand on his chest and simply pressed him back down.
Mark stared up at his roommate, stunned. Roger smirked back. "Maybe I know exactly what I'm doing to you, and I like it," he continued. Before Mark could react to that, Roger's lips crushed down on his in a rough kiss. Mark's eyes flew open, but then Roger's tongue was probing, and suddenly his mouth was open and Roger's tongue was there, and then he was kissing back, his hands getting a life of their own and coming up to grip Roger's hair and hold him down.
It only ended when the hand on his chest drifted sideways without his knowing it, and then Roger's thumb suddenly circled his nipple. Mark gasped and nearly jackknifed off the couch. Roger saved him from falling, grabbing him and sliding him back into place. Then he settled himself down on top of Mark again, supporting himself on his elbows. Mark managed one semi-coherent sentence, breathing heavily, "We can't."
Roger arched an eyebrow, a trick Mark could never manage. "We can," he said, "And if what I'm feeling is any indication, you want to." He ground his hips to illustrate his point, and Mark moaned. "You can't say you don't like this either." He fastened his mouth to Mark's nipple, and Mark nearly bucked them both off the couch again. Roger didn't let up, and Mark couldn't find the will to stop him as Roger licked and kissed both nipples and then up to the tender skin behind his ears. He could only clutch at Roger's back and make a variety of interesting noises, some of which cause Roger to chuckle against his skin and redouble his efforts. The whole time Roger was rolling his hips against Mark's; it was just enough pressure to make him moan and writhe in an attempt to get Roger to speed up. He could feel Roger's erection too, and that made it worse. He could barely keep from screaming.
"Fuck…Roger…" was all that Mark could manage to say as he panted under his roommate's ministrations.
Roger paused, then whispered near his ear, "I don't think either of us is ready for that, but if you want more…"
Mark's brain briefly screamed at him to consider where this was going. The possible consequences to this, to their friendship, how Roger had known about him. But then Roger reached down between them and grasped Mark through his boxers, and Mark couldn't think at all. Roger stroked him a few times, and then worked his hand under the waistband. Mark froze, and then arched back with small cry as Roger's bare hand closed around his erection. His hips thrust upward against Roger's hand. Oh God, it felt so good. Every bit as good as he had imagined, every bit as good as Roger's smirks had always promised it would be. But if Roger didn't let up soon, he was going to come and oh god he didn't know if he wanted Roger to let up or not, but they were in the living room on the couch for goodness sake.
"Roger…fuck…I'm going to…we need to…" he still couldn't manage a decent sentence, too focused on Roger's hand.
Roger paused again, and then grinned down on him, squeezing gently. Mark gasped. "Always worrying, Mark. No one's going to come in…and I'm prepared." He pulled two condoms out of his pocket. Mark goggled. Two condoms? That meant Roger had planned this…
Roger peeled Mark's boxers off, looking him in the eye as he did so. Mark didn't protest or say a thing as Roger slowly put the condom on him. He could only stare. Then Roger reached for his own pants.
"No," Mark said hoarsely, "Let me." Roger smirked and held his hands up. Roger was kneeling so far over him that he didn't have to lean up to reach. He slowly unbuttoned them, and slid the zipper down. He slid them down Roger's hips before he allowed himself to really look. This seemed too unreal. Roger stood up suddenly, precariously balancing on the couch cushions as he wriggled the rest of the way out of his pants and tossed them to the floor. Then he reached down and yanked Mark's boxers the rest of the way off and threw them to the floor on top of his pants. Mark looked at the pile of clothing lying innocently on the floor. He was naked, on the couch, with his roommate. Who was also naked.
When he looked back up, Roger had already put on his own condom and was back over top of Mark. Mark turned his face back up to be met with another crushing kiss that forced all the air from his lungs. Roger's hand came up to grip the side of his head, Roger's long fingers tangled in Mark's short, spiky blond hair. Mark pulled him lower; he needed the full body contact again, needed to feel Roger's warm skin pressed against his. Roger settled on top of him, and his leg was between Mark's, his thigh rubbing against him. Mark moaned against Roger's mouth and began working his hips up and down Roger's thigh, needing every ounce of friction he could get.
Roger let go of Mark's head and his hand grasped Mark's hip, pinning him down. Mark groaned, straining to writhe, to be able to rub against Roger again. Then Roger's hand grasped him again, working him faster. His mind was about to explode, not sure whether to pay attention to Roger's kisses, or Roger's hand, and fuck, it was too much, too much sensation, too much contact, and his world exploded. He arched up hard into Roger, into Roger's hand
He lay prone under Roger for a few moments breathing heavily. It was a few moments of bliss that were unrivaled by anything he had ever dreamed up. Roger had moved from his mouth to his neck again, and Mark moaned at the feel of Roger's teeth gently scraped his skin. Somehow, he found the energy to run his hands down Roger's sides and grasp Roger's erection. Above him, Roger stiffened and groaned as Mark began to stroke him, pushing Roger up slightly to have room. Abruptly, his energy came back, because this was Roger he was feeling. Roger who was panting heavily against his neck, Roger who was thrusting against his hand. He sped up, and Roger lasted only a minute or two longer before stiffening above him, his teeth biting down into Mark's neck, marking him, but never drawing blood.
Finally Roger collapsed, his face still pressed against the side of Mark's neck, his body stretched full length on top of Mark's. They stayed silent for a few minutes, and Mark closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of Roger breathing and the warmth of his skin. Then Roger stirred and slowly sat up, drawing Mark up with him. Mark watched with hooded eyes and a flushed face as Roger got up and disposed of his condom before getting up to do the same. He couldn't meet Roger's eyes where Roger was leaning on the counter, watching him. Roger hadn't said anything yet, and the silence stretched between them.
Then, abruptly, Mark yawned so largely that his jaw cracked. Roger grinned and reached out to grab his shoulder. "Back to bed with you then," he said, turning Mark around and steering him towards Mark's bedroom. Mark craned his head around to look at him incredulously. Roger smirked, "You just about dislocated your jaw, and you're shaking. You need to sleep."
Mark's voice cracked as he almost shouted, "You …you ….molest me on our couch, and then all you can say afterward is that I need to sleep? What was that? What does it mean…for us? I'm shaking because I don't know, and I don't know what to do." What had that interlude meant to Roger? Was it a one time thing, a brief fling for him? Or had he somehow changed how he felt for Mark?
Roger's hand tightened, and then for the second time that day he was grabbed from behind and hoisted into the air. Before he could protest he was tossed down on his bed, landing facedown amid the rumpled covers. Roger's weight landed beside him a second later.
"It means," Roger purred into his ear as he gathered Mark against him, "that I finally noticed what has been obvious to everyone else for a long time, and decided to act on it. It means we both obviously enjoyed that, and we should do it again sometime soon. It means that I've loved you as a friend for a long time, and I think it's developed into something more."
Mark froze where he was unsuccessfully trying to squirm around to face Roger. "You what?"
"I love you, as a friend, and as something more." Roger's voice wafted across Mark's neck.
Mark went limp in Roger's hold, burying his face in the pillow. This couldn't be happening. It was all a dream that he would wake up from depressed and having to face another day with Roger and trying to keep his secret. But there was Roger's breath on his cheek, and Roger's arms wrapped around him, and Roger's voice saying, "Mark? Mark…what's the matter?"
He pulled his head up. "Let me turn around," he said.
Roger's arms tightened, his thumb rubbing against Mark's wrist. "Why? You fit so nicely this way."
Mark growled. "Let me around so I can see you." Roger's arms loosened, and Mark wriggled around so he was facing Roger. "Say that again."
Roger looked at him a moment, then smirked, "You just want an excuse to gaze into my eyes." Mark opened his mouth, but Roger cut him off. "I love you," he said, and kissed Mark gently on the lips.
Mark bit him. Not hard, but enough that Roger jerked back, an astonished look on his face. Mark struggled to untangle himself and sit up. "You finally decide to notice me, so you hype yourself up on sugar and have your way with me on the couch? And you expect me to just accept this? With no explanation, no warning?" he shouted. This was what he had been dreaming about for the last couple of years, but to have Roger just suddenly say he loved him, he couldn't deal with it. How did he know that Roger wasn't just joking with him? He couldn't think, couldn't reason, almost couldn't comprehend his feelings with Roger wrapped around him. He rolled over and out of Roger's arms, crawling to the edge of the bed, scanning the floor for some clothes.
Roger hit his lower back like a ton of bricks, knocking the air out of his lungs and pinning him to the bed. Mark rolled and flipped Roger off of him. Roger promptly grabbed him again and hauled him back to the middle of the bed. Mark gave up escape for the moment, turning and going for Roger. It developed into a full-scale wrestling match that lasted for several minutes but ended up almost the same way it began: Mark facedown on the bed with Roger's knee in his back and Roger leaning on his wrists. Mark struggled but finally had to concede defeat, going still under Roger.
"You know, this isn't the best way to win me over," he mumbled into the covers.
Roger's voice was low and rough, "No, but you didn't believe me when I acted nice." He sounded confused, angry. "I'm not playing with you, Mark. I'm serious. I love you; I think I have for a while. You obviously feel something for me, or you wouldn't have stayed through all the shit I put you through. Now, it took me three years to realize this, and another month to act on it, and damn it, I'm not letting you say I'm not serious, and I'm not letting you go." His fingers tightened on Mark's wrists in evidence of this.
Mark squeezed his eyes shut and tried to think. Roger sounded serious, and angry. Maybe he was telling the truth. "Okay, let me up." Roger didn't move. Mark sighed, "I believe you, alright? Let me up so we can talk." There was a pause, and then Roger slowly released him and crawled off.
Mark pushed himself up and turned around, setting back and straightening his glasses. Roger was sitting in the center of the bed, looking at him intently.
"Well?" Roger said harshly.
"Well what?" Mark shot back, unaccountably feeling on the defensive.
"Well explain to me why you don't believe me." Roger didn't look happy. His whole body was tense, as if ready to spring, and Mark felt the urge to flee. He knew he'd only get dragged back though, so he forced himself to stay put, trying to build up mental defenses against his roommate. He had loved his roommate since the third month he had been in the loft, but he wasn't going to be used, and he wasn't going to allow Roger to just play with him. The idyllic bliss that he had felt while enjoying the feel of Roger's skin on the couch was gone, washed away by confusion, disbelief, and anger.
He glared back at Roger. "Before today, there was no evidence that you saw me as anything other than your roommate, how am I supposed to believe you suddenly love me?"
"After what happened out there?" Roger gestured back to the other room, and the couch.
"There's been other boys before, back when you were with the band," Mark countered. Roger continued to stare. "Don't look at me like that! When did you suddenly decide you…loved me? And how did you know about me?"
Roger snorted, "I may be oblivious to a lot, but not everyone is. Collins mentioned you to me a while ago. Maureen's mentioned it, and Joanne confirmed it. Hell, Mimi even said something before she…died." Roger smiled a little, and gave a small, choked laugh. "She said she'd come back and scratch out the eyes of any girl I was with, but she didn't think she could be jealous of someone that I had cared about before I had even met her. And you know April never really warmed up to you—she always told me you got more than your share of attention from me." He paused, looking down and running a hand through his hair before meeting Mark's eyes again, "And I did a lot of thinking, especially when you had the flu real bad a month ago, about how much you…meant to me."
Mark scooted up to the head of the bed, letting his head rest on the wall. His mind was reeling. Collins? Maureen and Joanne? Mimi? They all had known? And they had told Roger? He closed his eyes. Suddenly Roger's actions were cast in a new light. If he had known for a while, and had actually thought about it… He opened one eye. "You knew for a month before you acted? That's rather slow for you." He kept his tone as light as he could.
Roger relaxed slightly in front of him and cracked a small smile. "Yeah, I didn't know how to do it. Had to think about it for a while. I didn't want to risk ruining anything." He didn't add like almost just happened, but it hovered in the front of both their minds.
Mark studied his roommate carefully. Roger was really anxious that he wouldn't listen. Mark finally completely believed him. He reached out with his foot and shoved at Roger. "Some planning. Sugar donuts, attacking me while I'm half asleep, and manhandling me to the couch. Lots of finesse there, Rog," he teased.
Roger flushed, "I had a plan, but Collins' sugar donuts kinda ruined it. I couldn't control myself."
Mark chuckled, he couldn't help himself. They were naked, on his bed, and discussing donuts. Roger chuckled too, relaxing the rest of the way. "So am I forgiven?" he asked.
Mark sobered. "No…I mean…yeah…I mean…" He sighed. "Roger, I'm sorry I blew up. It's just, you sprung this on me really suddenly, and I—I couldn't handle it." He couldn't meet Roger's eyes again.
"Hey man, it's okay. I was out of control." Roger moved around to lean against the wall beside Mark. He leaned against Mark cautiously. When Mark didn't shove him away, he slouched lower, resting his head against Mark's ribs and putting his arm over Mark's waist.
After a minute, Mark relaxed. It would take some time to get used to being able to react to Roger's touch—he had been repressing his reactions for so long he still froze automatically. He put his arm around Roger's shoulder. "I love you too, Roger," he said quietly. Roger froze. Mark couldn't see his face because it was hidden by his hair, so he hurried on. "I really do. I only got mad because I've loved you for so long, but I'd pretty much accepted that you would never love me back. Don't play with me. If this is just going to be a…a fling for you, then tell me now."
"No." Roger's denial was quick and loud. He tightened his hold on Mark's waist, pulling himself closer. "No, this isn't a fling. It seems like you've been my friend for forever and a day; I couldn't just move on. Whatever time I have left, I want to spend it with you." He tugged on Mark, who obligingly slid down the wall. Roger immediately wrapped himself around Mark, laying half on top of him, his head on Mark's shoulder, arms around his waist, and one leg thrown over top of Mark's.
Mark looked at him. Roger's eyes were closed, and his breathing was steady. Had he really gone to sleep that fast? Mark reached his hand up and gently began petting his hair. He considered this new position. He had earlier gotten sleepily out of bed alone and resigned to staying that way for the foreseeable future. Now he was back in bed, but with Roger wrapped around him like a breathing blanket. And in between had been…one of the most mind-blowing experiences of his life, as well as one of the most explosive arguments he'd ever had.
"Mark." Roger's mumble made him look down again. His roommate hadn't moved or opened his eyes, but his words vibrated against Mark's chest. "Mark, that feels nice, but if you keep it up, I'm going to want more, and I've run out of sugar."
Mark raised an eyebrow. "Already?"
Roger just raised his head and grinned before lying back down.
Mark settled down, his arm resting on Roger's around his waist. He had just closed his eyes when Roger spoke again. "Hey Mark? You never told me why you bought those boxers."
Mark groaned, "Go to sleep Roger!" Roger just laughed.
Thank you everyone who read this! Reviews are loved and appreciated!