Ready for You

Chapter Sixteen

By The Versatile Scarf

A/N: ... -guilties- Life's been hectic >> M'sorry.

Yeah. There's M/R. Sry.

Thank the fandomsecrets community on LJ for giving me inspiration to write again.

Warnings: Slash (non-explicit) Song: I'll Find My Way Home - Jon and Vangelis

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and if you're asking me when i'll say it starts at the end

The intimacy that greeted them as they passed from the land of sleeping to waking went far beyond physical gratification. The touches were clumsy, whispers against skin and cloth. One of them murmured something, though neither were quite sure which. Eyes slipped open--green saw nothing but wall, and blue were greeted with a dim blackness. Roger's chin was tickled as Mark pulled back a bit, realization hitting the both of them right between the eyes. The rockstar's arms fell away, having encircled the smaller man sometime during the night. Mark cleared his throat, nervousness evident, though Roger's expression.. Roger's expression was cool, unassuming. He'd expected anger, but got nothing more than a mildly intrigued raising of eyebrows.

Obviously, Roger was not yet fully awake. There was a shade in his red-rimmed eyes, masking the spark that had returned after years of addiction. There was a calm in his face, looking out of place. Mark was used to a danger. It wasn't something that strangers could spot in the unshaven visage of the once vibrant musician, but when one had spent so much time looking into it... In person, projected, in his mind's eye.. Mark had been able to spot the threat. It lingered around his cheekbones, mostly. Cheekbones, the area between his eyes, and the soft skin beneath his chin.

"Sleep well?" Came the voice that had once entranced countless young women. It chipped at the ice around Mark's heart, and his eyes softened, no longer holding the look akin to a deer caught in headlights. His head bowed forward once more, pressing into the soft fabric of Roger's shirt, and he inhaled. The other smelled of alcohol, cigarette smoke, and the city at night, the scent clinging desperately to the worn fabric, testament to his activities the previous evening. He smelled much as he had back in his days in the Well Hungarians, save the stench of sex. One could practically smell the diseases ravaging the insides of his groupies. There was none of that here. No dried sweat from a depraved tussle cloying his senses.

Mark smiled ruefully, expecting to be pushed away at any moment but keeping his hands tangled in the other's shirt nonetheless. If he was going, he was taking some of it with him. "You were home late."

"Yeah."

Nothing more than that. Just.. 'yeah'. The rumble he felt as vocal chords worked was comforting, and he wanted more. A simple 'yeah' didn't exactly suffice.

"Where were you?"

"The Life."

More.More. His grip on the shirt was stretching it out past its limits. Soon it would tear.. and neither of them seemed at all concerned about it.

"What were you doing." Mark's voice had become husky, though not in an attempt to be sexy. His throat was constricting. Forming words was becoming harder and harder. Pulling back once more so that he could actually see the musician, he breathed in through his teeth, detesting the hissing sound it created and yet doing nothing it stop it.

"Mike called. Asked if I wanted to have drinks with him at the Life, so I went. I left you a note, but I guess you didn't f..."

Mark didn't really know why Roger had stopped talking. Suddenly everything seemed to be too quiet except for a loud rushing in his ears. Oh hell, he had to break this silence, but his lips wouldn't emit any sort of sound. His vocal chords had died away, leaving nothing more than wheezing noises that were caught behind his teeth and refused to go any further. There was a barrier. Something..

Oh. It was Roger's lips.

against his.

Holy shit.

x-x-x-x-x

"Well?"

Joanne's gaze was firm, inquiring, but gentle. Mark appreciated the last part, really he did, but the question was just..

"I don't have much of a choice here, do I?" The filmmaker murmured, eyes drifting to the window. New York. His home. Yes, he'd lived elsewhere, but this city was where he belonged. And now? Joanne and Maureen were telling him they were leaving. They were going back to the West Coast, and Roger was apparently going with them. Why it hadn't been mentioned before was causing him more trouble than the actual act itself. He stared back at the woman who held a steaming mug between her hands, ignoring the brunette sitting beside her.. and the one sitting beside him.

The distance he and Roger had established seemed awkward after last night; after this morning. It seemed forced. It used to be that they'd sit side by side without a second thought. Now there was an entire cushion between them, and that fucking cushion was like an ocean.

Or the distance between California and New York.

"Of course you have a choice. I mean, the loft is still here. It isn't like New York is going to disappear."

That may have been true enough. New York wouldn't just crumble to the ground.

But Mark's New York would most certainly vanish. How they didn't see that baffled him. What had happened to him the last time he'd found himself alone? Had that been nothing more than a passing fancy? Oh, Mark's gone insane, tee-hee, who's looking forward to lunch? So now they were returning to California so he could go crazy again, right??

He wasn't being fair. They had a life out there, all three of them. He'd abandoned them years before, and did not deserve to expect that they'd drop everything to return to this shithole. Yes, he was their friend (or had been), but they had a home out there. Other friends, he was certain. Roots, no matter how short, had begun to form, and he wanted them to tear them out of the ground?

But it still hurt.

"When are you guys leaving?" He murmured, voice small, scared. Roger's hand gave a funny little twitch that he caught out of the corner of his eye. Had he been thinking of reaching toward his loftmate to offer comfort? Or was it early-onset palsy?

"A week from now." They'd already had this planned. Fuck, they probably already had the plane tickets back, and had arranged for a way to get from the airport back to their home. Joanne and Maureen had a house together, from what he'd heard, and Roger lived in an apartment just a few streets away. All three of them would leave New York behind again. Leave him behind ag--

Wrong, Mark.

".. where would I stay?"

"We have an extra room, Marky." Maureen now, smiling brilliantly within bright red lines. The contrast hurt his head, but he didn't look away. "It's got a bed, a dresser.. I mean, it's been a storage room, but we could find other places for that stuff." Her gaze flickered to her lover. "I mean, it would be a good reason to actua--"

"You'd stay with me."

Roger wasn't looking at him as he spoke, but it was obvious who the statement was directed at. There wasn't room for argument in that tone. He'd been silent since the conversation took this earth-shattering turn, apparently deep in thought.

"Roger..?" Joanne now, concerned, uncertain.

The musician shrugged off both of those feelings. "The apartment's big, and I'm living alone. There's a room that's empty. I mean.. except for the spiders." Another shrug as Maureen pulled a face. "But it... it's just big." The second time the word 'big' was said, Mark knew it meant 'lonely'. When Roger said 'empty', he wasn't just talking about the single room. They'd been roommates for years. It was only natural for that to resume.

but...

"All right."

Mark wanted to grab those words and shove them right back in his mouth. How could he agree so readily? He hadn't even thought it over, not really.

"I think I can pack up in a week."

Who the hell was this, talking through his mouth!?

"D'you think you'll be able to get another plane ticket? Or could I get one for a later flight?"

No, no, wait! This was his home! He'd just left the west coast! What the hell was he doing going back there??

"We already bought four tickets, Mark." Maureen was smiling. It didn't hurt anymore.

What the fuck?? Was he smiling too? His cheeks felt stretched.

"Like I said before--I don't have any other choice, do I?"

"Hm.. nope!" Brightly. "You'd better stock up on sunblock."

And that was the last that was said of it.

x-x-x-x-x

"So.. California." The hand running through blonde strands of hair didn't cease. In fact, it seemed completely disconnected from its owner.

"Mm."

His eyes rolled upward, trying to catch a glimpse of the other. Nothing, of course. It was dark, and his glasses were on the bedside table.

Silence for a short while. The hand ghosted over his forehead, neck, and ears. The touch made him shiver.

"... Roger... what... what is this?"

"I don't know." Sharp, but not angry.

"Don't you think we shoul--"

"Mark, I mean this in the nicest way possible. Shut the fuck up."

So Mark shut the fuck up, closed his eyes, and waited until the hand stopped moving to turn on his side and curl up against the sleeping form. Maybe he did need to stop over analyzing things. Just not question it anymore.

But hell.. this was very different than believing Roger hated his guts.

A lot better, too.