Title: Remains
Author: Lioness Black
Rating: G
Summary: Mark doesn't know what to do with the ashes.
Notes: I can't believe I wrote such a fic, but I sort of like it. Written for 100situations on Livejournal.
Spoilers: Post-Rent
Warnings: Character death!
Disclaimer: Not mine, just good fun.

Mark let the dust filter through his fingers. It really wasn't anything. Just grey. He wasn't sure what he expected to find when he opened the box, but the ashes surprised him still. They were soft, that surprised him, too.

Mark wasn't sure what to do with them. It felt wrong to keep them. That wasn't what it was about, was it? Shouldn't he be setting them free? Wasn't the purpose of cremation to not contain the remains to one place? For Roger to be be everywhere?

If we're going with that theory, does it matter what happens to the remains? Roger made it clear he wanted to be cremated, but he didn't give anything else after that. If he wanted to be scattered somewhere specific. It freaked Mark out when he thought of the box of dust as being "Roger" and not just "Roger's remains". It bothered him when Roger implied it, and even more now that Roger was gone.

Remains. What a horrible word. This wasn't Roger, it was just what remained. Remained of a life.

What remained of grilled cheese sandwiches, always a little burnt, but with perfect, crispy cheese. What remained of soft, mournful music played on acoustic guitar at two in the morning. What remained of high, manic evenings accompanied by black eyeliner, and the following crash in the morning with screaming and swears, everything smudged and blurry. What remained of huddling under blankets in the dead of winter to keep each other warm. What remained of throwing water balloons off the roof onto people. What remained of getting in people's faces about their muttered comments about his hair, friends, or life.

None of those things were in that box.

That's when Mark knew what to do. He slipped out the window onto the fire escape and up to the roof. It wasn't a very windy day, but there was more than enough to keep the fine dust from simply clumping up on the ground.

Mark opened the box and sat it down. He swung his legs over the ledge and sat carefully on the edge, watching the people walking around below him. He set the box in his lap and began slowly sprinkling the ashes out into the wind.

He had images in his mind of the dust getting in people's eyes and bothering them for a moment. He thought of it drifting into someone's water, making them pour it out. He thought of Roger harassing New York City with everything he had left.

For the first time in weeks, Mark started to laugh.