Hello all my wonderful readers! Found little bits of time to get this chapter done, I'm not sure how (I worked retail during the crazy Christmas shopping season…somebody shoot me…and now I'm back at college with a new job on top of it, so life's been a little hectic). Thanks for so many great reviews on the last chapter, they made my days! Yes days, because they were rather spread out over time, and chapter 6 has had the most reviews of any chapter so far! OK, I've rambled enough, so without further ado, here is the chapter you've all been waiting for!
Since I forgot the disclaimer on the last chapter, here's two: It's not mine, it's Jonathan Larson's. It's not mine, it's Jonathan Larson's.
Mark awoke and immediately regretted it. His head was pounding, thanks to a massive hangover, and the light streaming through the window seemed to be so intensely bright that it made his headache twice as bad. As he squeezed his eyes shut again, he realized that he didn't quite remember how he got to wherever it is that he now was. Without opening his eyes again, he assessed his location. A strong, heavy arm was holding him tightly around the waist, and he could feel something breathing against the back of his neck. He almost panicked, but then remembered where he had woken up every morning for the past week or so, and the panic was replaced by a warm, fuzzy feeling in his chest. It was Roger's arm around his waist and Roger's breath against his neck, so he was most likely in Roger's room, in Roger's bed.
In Roger's bed. I wish the connotation that usually accompanies that phrase applied here. No, I'm not sleeping with my best friend, we're just slumbering on the same mattress, under the same sheets, giving me more sexual frustration than sexual comfort.
Although, Roger's arm holding so tightly to Mark was somewhat comforting. Mark snuggled back under the covers and closer to Roger, if that was even possible, and tried to remember what had happened last night. The Life, dragging the couch to the roof –Oh crap, we're gonna have to go bring it back down-, Stoli, fireworks, more Stoli, lots of giggling, and things starting to get fuzzy from there.
Wait, there was something about kissing…Angel asking me something, and then there's fuzziness, and then me and Roger staring at each other. Was it Angel asking me something about kissing, or the other way around? I don't remember kissing anybody…but why is staring at Roger the next thing I remember? Did Collins make some convoluted joke about male sexuality preferences? Ugh, must…try…to…remember…wait, something about kissing and being gay? Is that right? Or does kissing make one gay? Or maybe it was about kissing someone, like Roger…
And suddenly memory came flooding back to Mark. He had admitted to thinking about kissing Roger. His heart started racing and he forced his eyes open, despite the bright light. Not only had he admitted it, but Roger had heard it! His only hope was that Roger had consumed enough Stoli to clog his memory and he wouldn't recall that particular piece of information that Mark had so unwisely decided to share.
Mark cautiously crawled out from under Roger's arm and stumbled from the room. He headed straight for the bathroom medicine cabinet to retrieve some aspirin for his headache, and chased the pills with a few huge gulps of cold water. He stared at the reflection in the mirror, his face looking tired but flush. He needed to think. He had to have a plan if Roger remembered what had been said last night. Mark headed for the fire escape, and noticed that the couch was back in the main room with a note attached.
Morning boys! Hope you had a fun night (wink wink). You owe us big for bringing this piece of junk back in for you at such an ungodly hour. Call us later. –Collins & Angel.
Wink wink?! What is that supposed to mean?
Mark launched himself out the window that Collins and Angel had left open and onto the fire escape balcony, where he had a lot of thinking and planning to do.
Roger awoke with a headache similar to Mark's, but much less sharp. As he pried his eyes open, he realized that his arm, which had been clinging to Mark all night, was clinging to an empty sheet.
Mark. Last night he said he wanted to kiss me. Now he's gone?
After Mark's revelation the previous night, and the wide-eyed staring match between the two boys, Mark had simply passed out. That's it. Staring at Roger one moment, flopped on the arm of the couch the next.
There's no way he could remember what happened. I'm so stupid. But still, what if it wasn't the alcohol talking, what if he really has wanted to kiss me and it was just the alcohol taking away all better judgment and inhibition?
Clambering out of bed and untangling himself from the bedsheets, Roger followed the exact same route Mark had minutes before, stumbling into the bathroom for some aspirin and gulping down some cold water. He then moved onto the next step of the hangover remedy: coffee. Switching on the decrepit coffee pot, Roger pulled a mug out of the cabinet. A flash of movement by the window caught his eye, and he was relieved to see Mark sitting on the fire escape, feet dangling off the edge. Roger pulled another mug from the cabinet and shortly filled both up with the steaming, bitter liquid.
Roger carefully climbed through the open window, making sure not to spill any coffee, and greeted Mark with what was a fairly normal greeting.
"Hey." He offered a mug to Mark, who smiled and gladly accepted it. They sipped in silence for a few minutes, each waiting for the combination of aspirin and caffeine to take effect and chase away the hangover symptoms. A thousand thoughts swirled through Roger's head, but before his mind was made up, his tongue took over.
"So, how much of last night do you remember?"
Mark's heart started racing for the second time that morning. He definitely hadn't had sufficient time to come up with a story or an excuse, so he answered as vaguely as possible. "I'm not really sure, parts of it are still coming back to me." It wasn't a complete lie, but he'd been awake long enough to remember everything that was going to be remembered without the aid of stories or hypnosis. "What about you?"
Roger thought for a minute before answering. He could keep Mark guessing, or he could start putting things out in the open. He chose the latter.
"Everything. Didn't quite have enough Stoli in me to black out."
Mark thought his heart was going to thunder its way out of his chest and down over the edge of the fire escape. He remembers everything. He heard everything. Mark squeezed his eyes shut and gulped, then forced out a chuckle.
"So, ah… yeah, I say some pretty crazy things when I'm that crunked. Kinda makes my brain work a little different, ya know?"
"How different?" Roger wasn't giving this up without a fight. "Like, 'I'm thinking things I would normally never think' different, or 'Things are making more sense this way' different?"
"Well, you know, a little of both, but things did seem to be making a lot of sense last night." Mark glanced hopefully at Roger to find those emerald eyes locked on him, and all of a sudden he couldn't tear his eyes away.
"Mark," Roger began, his brow slightly furrowed as if he was in some sort of confusing pain, "exactly what do you remember from last night? I'm talking details."
Shit, here it comes. He hates me. He never wants to speak to me again. He'll kick me out, I'm toast. "Um, well, I remember it getting dark, and you looking out over at one spot in the sky and saying the people over there always had a really good display. And I remember Collins making a toast to explosions and finishing off the first bottle, and then things start going in and out."
"Anything from later? Once the fireworks stopped?"
Mark was bracing himself for the worst. He just wants to hear me say it. He wants me to soberly admit it, and then all Hell will break loose. May as well get it over with.
"Uh, I remember, kind of…giggling with Angel about something…and we were whispering, and then it sort of goes blank, and then the last thing I remember is staring at you." Mark couldn't bring himself to say it, out loud, so he hoped Roger would buy the innocent little lie.
"Do you know what you were laughing about? What you said?"
Mark felt like he was being lectured like a kindergartener, and in combination with his still-throbbing head, it was enough to send him over the edge.
"God, YES! I remember what I said! I said I'd thought about kissing you! I'm not proud of it, Roger, so please stop questioning me!" Mark screamed.
Roger winced as the torrent of words flew at him, and once Mark had exhausted his frustration, Roger looked a little bit hurt. Afraid that it had, in fact, been the alcohol talking, Roger asked one last question to put his mind at ease. "So is it true then? You've…you've thought about it?"
Mark took a few deep breaths before replying. "Yes, I've thought about it. I'm sorry. God, this makes everything…maybe I should just go." The words rushed out, and before Roger had comprehended everything that was said, Mark was striding toward the door, camera in hand.
"Mark, wait! Can't we talk about this?"
"What's there to talk about? Everything is gonna be awkward now, so I…I'll just find another place, and I understand if you never want to see me or speak to me again. Just know that this friendship, it means…meant, a lot to me."
Roger was overcome with emotion, and was not willing to let Mark get any closer to the door. "Mark, what happened? Yesterday morning you promised you'd never leave, and now you're hell-bent on getting out the door?"
Mark gulped and looked down without replying. Roger continued.
"What if I told you things wouldn't be weird? What if…" Roger's voice got very small, "what if we could make this work?"
Mark was utterly confused, and the look in Roger's gorgeous green eyes was one of hurt, one that Mark had not seen since they lost April. "Seeing as how you like girls, I really don't see how that is possible," he muttered.
Roger gently took a step forward, a step closer to Mark, so that there were only inches between them. Cautiously, not making any sudden movements for fear of Mark scampering away like a jackrabbit, Roger brought his hand up to caress the strawberry-blonde hair above Mark's ear. Mark's eyes became locked on Roger's, and he watched in wonder as the taller boy smiled ever so tenderly before replying.
"Who ever said anything about me only liking girls?" Mark's eyes widened in amazement, but soon snapped shut as soft lips blanketed his own. The kiss was soothing and unobtrusive, and after only seconds, Mark pulled back to stare again at Roger, this time looking for explanation.
"You…" Mark touched his own lips in wonder, his eyes slightly out of focus, and Roger chuckled lightly. The filmmaker blinked a few times before gazing into Roger's eyes. "You wanted this too…" Neither were sure if it was a question or a statement, but before either of them had a chance to consider it, they were locked together at the lips again.
It was like a firestorm in Mark's brain. Everything seemed to be searing with heat and desire and above all, the knowledge that Roger wanted to feel the heat as much as he himself did. Mark fervently pushed Roger against the wall and was pretty sure he felt Roger smile against his lips. Hands held and brushed through hair, arms held tightly to anything they could grab. Lips pressed against lips, tongues caressed tongues, and for a few fleeting moments, they were one person, locked together in fiery passion. Mark couldn't tell which body parts belonged to him and which to Roger, and the surge of emotion left him dizzy and weak at the knees.
I wonder how many fan girls have felt like this without even kissing him…No, I've definitely got a better deal than them.
Mouths broke apart, but every other body part still clung to each other, not wanting to let go.
I never want to let go.
Roger leaned their foreheads together as they smiled blissfully and said the only thing he could think to say.
"You can't possibly imagine how long I've wanted to do that."
And to his joy came Mark's response: "You can't possibly imagine how much I think I love you."
A/N: Eep! I'm so giddy from having written this! I know it's been a while between updates, but I have good reason. Most of my chapters are written bit at a time as I get ideas and inspiration. When I write without inspiration, the result is crap, and I owe it to you guys and myself to not write and post crap when I can do much better, even if it takes a while longer. So bear with my delays, and remember quality over quantity! Reviews would make my day.