I've finally gathered up the courage to clean this thing up. It is really terrifying, having to face all this bad writing and realize it's my own. I'm not claiming to be great or anything, but I just can't believe this is mine : ) Anyway, so expect this to have a total overhaul. It's still not going to be perfect, but it's going to be a hell of a lot better. Thanks to everyone who actually sat through the original by the way, you guys are awesome.


...A crash from the kitchen, accompanied by the unmistakable smash of shattered glass. Running out to find Roger sprawled on the floor in a glittering sea of broken glass. The cabinet above his head was open and a carton of milk lay on its side, its contents quickly making their escape across the counter and onto the floor.

Mark gave a small groan and dropped his head into his hands, remembering that fateful day with horribe clarity. He recalled perfectly the panic that had gripped him. How he'd dropped to the ground beside Roger, feeling glass fragments dig into his legs and not caring. He'd tried to revive his friend but failed, and endd up making a frantic 911 call. The paramedics had taken him away in a stretcher, still unconcious and bleeding heavily from pieces of glass embedded in his hand where he'd been holding the cup when he'd fallen. He had looked so pale...

Angrily, Mark pushed himself out of his chair and paced restlessly to the small, dingy window that adorned the opposite wall. Not finding this as satisfying as he had hoped, he strode back to the chair and dropped heavily into it.

As suddenly as it had come, the anger fell away, leaving in its wake draining exahaustion. And more remembering.

...himself, standing helplessy in the kitchen after the paramedics had taken away Roger. Not knowing what else to do, he'd set to work cleaning up the mess. He scoured everything, including himself and his blood-soaked clothes. Anything to keep himself occupied.

Mark could see Collins' face when he entered the flat, responding to a hysterical phone call the filmaker didn't even remember making. Finding Mark on his hands and knees, scrubbing franticly at a spot of dark blood that refused to relinquish its hold on the cold linoleum. He hadn't even noticed that his legs had started to bleed again...

His mind ran through numerous trips to the hospital. Tests and checkups. The worried mutterings of doctors. Apparently, there was somethingy- something wrong with Roger's something-something else. It was basicly a complication with his HIV inffection that had caused his collapse.

There had been forms to fill out, then questions about the accident. When Mark revealed the details to the doctors, they immedietly ran more tests, accompanied by more forms.

Sighing, Mark lightly fingered his camera lying on the table. The familiar motion helped him feel a little calmer, a little more able to think clearly.

'Fuck. You should have seen this coming,' he berated himself silently. 'All these years without an incident, and I get too comfortable. Why should I be surprised that it finally happened?'

For a long time Mark sat there, his mind slowly turning to more and more morbid thoughts. The last light of day faded, leaving his little bedroom heavy in shadows. Mark made no move to turn on the light, prefering the dark. It hid from him the sinister piece of paper sitting on the table.

After a while someone knocked on his door. He didn't answer, and prayed they'd leave him alone.

No such luck.

'Somebody up there hates me,' he thought bitterly as the door opened a bit.

"Mark?" he heard someone call quietly. Then in surprise, "Jesus, Mark, why the hell are you sitting in the dark?"

He squeezed his eyes shut as the light switched on, then reluctently opened them again. He turned to the man now standing in the doorway, looking at him with concern.

"Hey, man, are you feeling okay?" Roger asked, taking a step forward before hesitating. He looked well, maybe a little on the thin side, but still okay. The only reminder of that day was his lightly bandaged hand.

"Yeah," the blonde grinned up at his friend, moving his hand casually to hide the letter on the table, "just zoning, I guess. It's been a long week."

It was a dirty trick, but Mark knew that mention of what they'd been through since Roger's accident would drive the musician away more surely than anything else he could say. And he was right, as the tall man adopted a guilty look and made a hasty retreat. He said something about dinner being ready soon, but Mark was no longer paying attention.

He watched the door close behind his firend's back before looking back down at the letter in front of him. His vision blurred suddenly with unshed tears. He didn't need to see the writing to know what it said, though.

Mark closed his eyes again, but found that he couldn't escape the words that were seared into the back of his eyelids.

His name in official, impersonal script adorned the top of the paper, followed by a bunch of medical gibberish. None of that was importent. No, what was important were the words at the bottom of the page. Just seeing them in his head, bold and final, made him feel cold. As he held back the tears that now fought to be free, he examined his life summed up in a couple of words.

HIV positve