Pre-RENT; the last time Roger sees April. "I used to dance," she says as she fishes a bottle of whiskey from the cabinet.

Inflexibility

The last time he sees her, they are alone. This is a rarity, so Roger savors it, not wasting a second. April skillfully avoids his grasp, though, teasing, other things on her mind except just sex. "I used to dance," she says as she fishes a bottle of whiskey from a cabinet. She has this ability to put herself on display with every move she makes – like now, dangling the bottle from her fingertips, a hand on her thin hip, the toss of her thick hair – so, he can believe that.

"Dance," he says, an eyebrow cocked with more than a little amusement. Most of the junkie women have, but he has trouble imagining his April (hard, determined punk-rock April) putting up with the men and the music.

She gives an unladylike snort and pours herself a drink. "Not that kind of dancing. Ballet, jazz, tap, all of it. Until my senior year of high school." She flexes her toes thoughtfully. "My teacher wanted me to go to college for it."

"I don't believe you," he says. "Ballet?"

April bites her lip as she tests the flex of each foot before drawing herself into each of the five positions, reciting each number aloud in French, eyes closed. She breathes out before steadying herself and opening her eyes. "What, you never wondered why I'm so flexible?"

Impressed, Roger applauds. She rolls her eyes. "Experience, I thought." He draws out the word, a joke between them. He gets a drink for himself now, leaning on the counter and watching her. "You are so much more experienced, after all."

Her tone goes flat, her gaze distant. "You're no slouch yourself." Something in the air has changed; it would only take either of them three steps to be close, but suddenly the distance between them is staggering.

"Why did you stop?" he asks, just to have something to say.

"I wasn't good enough."

He wants to touch her, but the gap between them has grown even wider, as though he's not even there anymore or she is somewhere else. Her eyes are half-lidded, her smile a mere fixture. She draws herself up, slowly, and for a moment, her arms curl above her head, her feet tensed and holding her aloft, back gently curved, the look on her face one of rapture. He is reminded of the first time he saw her, dancing to punk music, the human form of the music inside of him that has been aching to escape since the moment he picked up a guitar. Then, she falls.

He catches her from behind, securing her with an arm around her waist. Her body jerks, and he kisses her neck and cheek, discovering tears. She cries desperately, and he just says, "Come on. I scored some for the both of us."

"I'm sorry," she says, voice rough.

He shakes his head, strokes the line of bare skin between her jeans and shirt. "Don't apologize."

"I'm sorry." This time she's distant, and he gets the impression that she hasn't been talking to him at all. He wonders how long that's been going on, then tells himself he doesn't care. Now she's his. It's not his place to dig into her past.

He strokes his fingers up her arm, takes her wrist, curls her arm above her head like before. Her tears slow. "That's my girl."

Her arm drops. She turns and kisses him, fiercely. "I love you," he says, has to say before they get high, before they fuck, before their sick little routine is done. For once, she returns the sentiment, and just as easily, hands him the needle.

It never strikes him to be worried about her or her outburst. When he wakes, she's gone. He arrives home the next day to find her dead, long legs extended, a slashed arm curved lazily above her head.