It was smooth skin and his fingers tangled in dark curly hair and soft lips and the scent of vanilla. It was her hand wrapped around him, and her teeth nipping at his neck, and him moving inside her, and her fingernails scoring stinging red lines on his back. It was her parted lips and closed eyes, it was soft moans and halting breaths, it was the brush of skin and friction and fucking.

And that's all it was, no matter how many nights he had her over, no matter how many times it happened, no matter what Mark said.

"Maureen's been staying over a lot lately," Mark said, with that too innocent, too casual tone he only used when he was getting at something. Roger, not in a mood to have one of those conversations when he had just woken up, just looked over at Mark with a dark expression as he poured himself coffee.

"Yeah..." he answered slowly, an edge to his voice that said clearly, Your point? He started to walk to the table, thought better of it with Mark sitting there, and instead walked past him to sit on the couch and take a sip of his coffee.

"You like her." Mark said it not as a question, but a statement. All it took was that for Roger to figure where this particular conversation was going, and he started wishing fervently that there were some way he could divert it somehow.

"I guess." He shrugged noncommittally, everything in his demeanor announcing that he had absolutely no interest in talking about this. "She's a nice girl."

Mark sighed and leaned forward, which Roger only saw out of the corner of his eye, what with his own gaze fixed intently on his coffee, but he could guess at Mark's expression that intent, studying expression he got when trying to figure out a puzzle. Problem was, that puzzle more often than not was a person, and he seemed to think the solution was getting them to admit something, or... whatever.

"That's not what I mean, Rog. I mean... you've had her over a lot, and you seem to really like her..."

Roger sighed and turned to give him a glare. "Look, Mark, if you're not going to come to a point any time soon, could you maybe speed it up a little?"

"You love her."

Roger almost choked on his coffee, staring at Mark in absolute disbelief. "Mark, are you– What?"

"No, you do. I mean, maybe you don't think you do, but... I've seen the way you look at her, and I've never seen you stay with one woman for this long before, and–"

"Wait, wait, wait," Roger interrupted, holding up one hand, "just tell me one thing."

"What?"

"When did you turn into a woman?"

"I'm just trying to–"

"I don't believe in love. I believe in fucking. And whatever you think, that's what's going on here, and both of us are fine with that. Now if you're going to be a lunatic, then that's entirely–"

He cut off immediately as Maureen stepped through the bedroom door, looking sleepy and her hair completely wild but absolutely beautiful all the same. Roger's expression softened immediately, a smile lighting his face. "Hey."

Maureen flashed him a smile of her own with a soft "Hey," before walking across the room, stepping on the hems of her overlong pajama bottoms, to get herself coffee. Roger's eyes lingered on her the whole way, that same faint, gentle smile on his face. Mark cleared his throat to draw Roger's attention to him after a minute.

"So, you were saying?"

Roger glared at him, expression shifting back to its previous annoyed hostility. "Shut up."


"I'm sorry, Roger."

Roger turned to shoot Mark a look, his expression angry and annoyed and faintly murderous. "For what?" He didn't want to talk about this, didn't want to have this fucking conversation, with Mark or anyone else, and he knew exactly what it was Mark wanted to talk to him about, but just now he didn't have nearly the energy to deal with Mark's compulsive need to talk everything out, to dissect a situation until everything about it lay bare and exposed before him.

"Well... about Maureen," Mark said awkwardly. He stood in the door to Roger and Maureen's room – well, probably just Roger's room now, though where Maureen would stay now that she and Roger weren't together anymore, no one had really decided, because no one wanted to talk about it. Roger refused to look at him, still lying on his bed and staring up at the ceiling as he had been when Mark walked in.

"Whatever." The dismissive tone hurt, even hearing it from his own mouth. Like it was that easy to sweep away a year and a half of her skin against him, her lips on his, her fingers on his skin, her eyes and the faint vanilla smell of her and her smile, her laugh, and...

No. None of it mattered, it was old news, and it was gone, and it wouldn't come back. And he was fine with that.

"I could talk to her if you want," Mark ventured slowly. "I mean, I know she's mad at you, but she's bound to calm down eventually, and she loves you. She really does."

Roger remained silent for a moment, quietly studying the cracks in the ceiling, and then sighed and sat up to look Mark in the eyes. "There's no such thing as love. And I don't need you to talk to her for me. Maureen can go fuck herself for all I care. Now get the hell out of my room before I kick your ass."

Most of the time Roger didn't mean any of the threats he made, but those times he did, Mark recognized that tone, and he quickly retreated from the room, closing the door behind him. Roger let out a slow breath and fell back onto his bed, closing his eyes and doing his damnedest not to think about dark eyes and dark hair and a wicked smile, and just what it would sound like to hear the words he'd never heard from her, "I love you, Roger," or what it would be like if he had ever said the words himself.