A/N: Sorry I've been so long on this. Especially since this is such a short chapter. My uncle was visiting and we saw Spamalot and I've had no time to write. So let me say: I AM SO SORRY! The next update will be up in a day or two. PROMISE.

I dedicate this chapter to Bayleigh Anne and my anonymous reviewer.

JUST A REMINDER: all the dialogue (the stuff in the middle) is flashbacks. Everything else is Mark reflecting on the memories and is in present time. Also, everything in italics are stage directions.

Disclaimer: RENT is not mine – however much I would love to own Mark. Ohhh the things I would do to him… The play that this fic is based off of is, however.

Last time:

Roger: Don't ever change. There are too few of you in this world to begin with. (Lights go down. Mark gets up and moves towards her spot at DC.)

I never forgot that. Those last three lines. Never. They were always with me. When I was feeling down or helpless, feeling like I wasn't making any difference, I remembered what you told me. It kept me trudging on. It gave me hope that maybe I was making a difference, that maybe I was helping people. Maybe I was getting people to see the best of things, to see the truth in things. I think those three lines made more of an impact on me than any other words anyone would ever say to me.


Chapter 3 – The Good and The Bad

You've changed me – in a good way I mean. When I came to the city, I was scared and timid and shy. I felt so out of place. But being friends with you gave me confidence. The confidence gave me the determination to stay in the city and pursue my dreams; the same way you were. You were the single most determined person I had ever met. You were going to make it; you were going to be a music legend. You were going to write songs that you would play when you became famous and everyone would love. You were going to touch people with your poignant lyrics. Rog, you were the one who got me my first film showing where people first started to see my documentaries. (Roger is stage left. The first bit of dialogue Mark is still DC, just facing Roger.)

Roger: Hey, what're you doing next Thursday?

Mark: Me? Nothing. Why?

Roger: (Slyly) Oh, it's nothing, really. You just have your own film showing at that art store in SoHo you're always going on about.

I didn't believe you at first. I mean, you had no contacts in the art world – how could have gotten me a showing? But the happiness that shown in your eyes told me you were serious. A huge smile broke out onto my face and I threw myself into your arms.

Mark: (Runs to Roger and embraces him in a brotherly hug. Roger laughs at his rapture.) Oh my god Roger! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't believe you did this for me! (slight pause with a pensive look on his face) How did you do this?

Roger: (With a secret smile upon his face.) A magician can never reveal all his secrets can he?

You never told me how you got me that showing. I brought it up a couple years later, and you still refused to tell me.

Roger: It's in the past. It happened. You're a great photographer, and now people know it. That's all that matters.

Then you flashed me that smile of yours, the one you seemed to reserve just for me. My heart melted, and I let it drop. (Gets up as lights begin to fade.) That's another thing I have to thank you for. Not only did you rescue me, introduce me to my new family and a new love (which I can't regret, even now), you started my career. It's thanks to you that I am where I am right now.

(Pause. Mark reflects for a moment.) You always seemed so strong, so independent. You laugh as I say it, but it's true. There's this quiet strength about you. It's in your eyes; in the way you carry yourself. It's that very strength which I depended on so many times: when my father disowned me, when my films got rejected time and time again, when I was lonely or frustrated, when…when Maureen left. God, when Maureen left I relied on your strength to get me through the day. I thought the pain would never end; it hurt so bad and I had to constantly remind myself to breathe. I couldn't understand it – I had thought we were happy. I had thought she loved me. I didn't understand how she could cheat on someone she loved - even though some part of me knew she wasn't being true to me, her fessing up to it really hurt. I couldn't understand what I did – or didn't – do to make her…to make her…well, to make her a lesbian. Was I that bad as a boyfriend? Was I that bad a kisser or lover? I was doubting everything and had never felt so ashamed or low in my life. Your soothing presence and reassuring words kept me going through those dark days.

Roger: (comes DC to Mark, and holds him from behind) She's an idiot. You're amazing, Mark. You're intelligent, and extremely artistically creative and talented. You easily have the purest heart of anyone I've ever met. Don't let that bitch tell you other wise. You don't have a high enough self image as it is; don't let her lower it any. She's not worth it. That slut never even deserved you. You will find love again. And the new girl will realize what a treasure she found, and will treat you like you deserve. I promise. (Roger gives one last squeeze, before quietly walking away.)

I made you promise me that so many times. I didn't think then that it could ever be true.

End of Part Three

Sorry about how short this is. Think of this as a transition chapter. The next one will be longer – promise.

PLEASE REVIEW. It's only because of Bayleigh Anne and her quick review that I didn't have to resort to heroin. I would like to try for four reviews before I put the next chapter up. They don't even need to be long. Just a quick note saying if you like it or what I can do better on. PLEASE!