Fandom: Rent
Disclaimer
: Please don't sue. I don't own *insert fandom name from above*... All I own is an overactive imagination.
Summary: Mark/Roger one-sided. Roger/Mimi. Ficlet. Mark watches Mimi, looking for answers. Roger notices.
Warning(s): slash (that's homosexual content for those of you who don't know)
Pairing(s)
: Mark/Roger one-sided. Roger/Mimi
Word Count: 1,007

A/N: Day 02 of "22 new fandoms in 22 days."
Story note: Um, I'm actually not a fan of Mimi, but there's no bashing.

o.o.o.o

Gaze
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt

o.o.o.o

"Mark." It was morning when Roger walked into the apartment for the first time that week. He'd been staying at Mimi's place. Officially, he still lived with Mark because most of his clothes were still in their apartment. They were rarely in the loft at the same time though, and while they had seen each other at the Life Café just yesterday, Mark couldn't help but brighten at the mere sight of him at home. It had been a while.

"Morning." Lifting up his bowl filled with dry cereal, Mark asked, "Here for the great food?"

Roger gave a short bark of laughter before sitting across from him, hands folded neatly on the table.

Mark continued to eat until he realized that Roger was just going to stare at him. Peering up, he asked, "What?"

His best friend only hesitated for a second before blurting out, "Do you like Mimi?"

The question caught him off guard. He didn't even know how to answer for a few seconds even though the response was obvious. He'd never seen Mimi in that way. "No. Why…?"

"You've been staring at her," Roger pointed out.

Mark opened his mouth before shutting it quickly and staring down at his cereal. He couldn't help it when his eyes tended to linger a little longer on Mimi whenever she was with them. It wasn't what Roger thought though. He wasn't interested in trying to steal her away or anything, if such a thing were possible. They were so obviously meant for each other.

He just couldn't help but try to find the reason why she'd managed to do the damn near impossible thing of bringing back the old Roger.

After April had died, it had been like Roger had died alongside her. He stayed in bed, didn't to speak, wouldn't even make eye contact, hardly ate and for a while, he even refused to take his AZT until Mark began to monitor his intake. Mark had had to monitor more than the AZT for a while; he'd had to force his best friend to eat, to shower, to sleep. He'd constantly been around just to make sure that Roger lived to see the next day. And that was what had changed everything for him, that constant fear that his best friend was going to die. Mark began to see how much he meant to him.

Much to his relief, Roger had eventually gotten better until he could finally stop nagging about food and sleep, and instead begin to focus on getting him to leave the house. He'd done everything from coaxing, bribing, and even physically trying to drag Roger outside. That had caused a fight that Mark could swear he still felt the bruises from. So, he'd stopped trying so hard. It wasn't that he'd given up. It was just that he'd come to realize that maybe he just wasn't the right person to help Roger no matter how much he wanted to be.

Taking care of him in whatever way possible had been the only thing Mark could do though. He'd been a bad friend after all. Not because he'd been unable to help Roger further, but because he'd wanted April gone. He hadn't wanted her to die, but he hadn't been able to stand the sight of them together, watch as she dragged Roger through addiction after addiction. He hadn't been able to stand to watch Roger care so much about her.

Then, after he realized why he'd been so selfish in the first place, he couldn't help but feel more guilty. He wanted his best friend in a way more than a friend should.

"She's noticed it, too," Roger stated accusatorily.

Mark knew that he was going to become confrontational in a few seconds. Roger was always confrontational when it came to girlfriends, and perhaps Mark had been a little too obvious. He tried to tell himself that he was alright seeing them together, and it was partially true; he'd hate to see what would happen if Roger lost Mimi as well.

"I'm not interested," Mark held up his hands defensively, "I swear."

Disbelief obvious, he could tell that Roger was seconds away from reaching across the table.

"I didn't even realize I was staring." Mark added, "She's not my type."

Roger scrutinized him, trying to figure out if he was telling the truth; Mark squirmed and wondered what exactly he was seeing. Could he see that his last statement had been more than a little true? There'd been girls in his past. Hell, there'd been Maureen for the longest time, but after her, there'd been no one else, no other woman, hell, no other man after finding out he was more than a little infatuated with his best friend. That knowledge and the fact that they were always together rather tainted any chance that he'd find anyone else.

After a few moments, Roger nodded and relaxed against his chair. He reached forward to steal Mark's bowl. "Fine. Just stop doing it. It's creepy."

Mark nodded mutely, letting out a relieved sigh.

"I think you just need to get laid. Mimi can hook you up."

"No thanks." Mark said firmly. "I'd rather she not."

"Oh, come on. Just find a girl," he cajoled, raising his eyebrows comically. "It'll give you some company. I'm going to move in with Mimi after all."

Mark looked at him in shock but forced a smile. He hadn't thought that Roger would really move out so soon, but it made sense of course. Mimi was everything to him. She was everything Mark could never be.

Standing up so quickly the chair clattered behind him, Mark grabbed his jacket, hastily saying, "Oh crap, I just remembered I told Maureen I'd meet her up." It was an obvious lie, but Roger didn't call him on it.

He was already at the door when Roger replied, "That's why you haven't found someone yet."

Pausing for just a second to smile bitterly to himself, he said, "Yeah. I'm sure that's why."

o.o.o.o

End ficlet

A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!