Mark pushed his film equipment aside, momentarily distracted by the light sound of feet scuffling against hardwood. He sighed, staring at his unfinished work for a minute before dragging himself to his feet, moving slowly and apathetically towards his roommate's cluttered cubicle. He scrubbed at his eyes, trying to ward off the fatigue that resulted from a non-stop servitude of his own transgression.
He paused before entering Roger's bedroom. It was always difficult to determine if the musician wanted to be alone or not. Mark hesitated for only a moment, deciding that if Roger were in a sulky mood, the worst he could do was tell him to fuck off. He twisted the doorknob, and cursed under his breath when it didn't budge. He slammed his shoulder against the solid wood, stumbling into the room awkwardly when it swung open with abnormal ease.
He regained his balance, swaying on one foot for a moment and then placing his hand on the doorframe to steady himself.
Mark blushed at his own incompetence. "We need to get that door fixed." He muttered pathetically.
To his surprise, Roger smiled brightly. "Yeah, I know."
Mark leaned against the wall, taking in the many fabrics strewn across the room with some astonishment. "You having a slumber party or something?"
Roger ducked his head, staring at his feet. "Yeah, sort of." He perked up a little, as if an idea had suddenly slapped him across the face. He smiled again. "Come on, you can help me."
Mark started to back away from the unusually cheery man. "I really need to get back to work -"
Roger scoffed, grabbing onto his forearm. "Man, you work too much, and you don't even have a job that requires working."
"Well, yeah but -"
"Shut up and get your scrawny little ass over to my closet. Find all the blankets and sheets you can find."
Now it was Marks' turn to scoff. "Yeah right. I'm not stepping anywhere near that closet. The last time I opened it I was nearly killed by a mysterious bowling ball."
Roger narrowed his eyes. "Do it, Cohen."
Mark relented with a roll of his eyes. He pulled the closet door open and dug through its contents, cringing a few times when he came across some food item that was way past its expiration date.
He stole a glance over his shoulder, watching with mild amusement as Roger bustled around the room hurriedly, picking up any sort of loose fabric he could lay his hands on. He suddenly paused in his trekking. "I'll be right back." He muttered, and then scurried off into the living room.
Mark shook his head slightly and, at last, pulled an old blanket from the back of the closet as well as a light, feather pillow. He tossed them onto the floor, jammed the closet shut, then plopped down onto the bed and waited for Roger to return.
It was only a few minutes before the musician came trotting back in, arms full of pillows and old bed sheets. He dropped them onto the floor, smiling at his handiwork.
"Mind telling me what you're doing?" Mark asked.
"Huh?" Roger looked up, as if he were just noticing his friend's presence. "Oh, right. You'll see." He bent over and picked up one of the blankets.
Mark watched curiously as the rocker pinned the ends of several sheets to the walls with thumbtacks, and draped the billowing middles over a few kitchen chairs he'd dragged in. He did the same with the remainder of the covers, and placed a few pillows here and there for added embellishment.
In the end, Roger's mystery project turned out to be a fort, made completely out of blankets and pillows. The musician seemed satisfied with the miniature stabilization, and he looked at Mark sheepishly.
"It's a fort." He said quietly, and smirked.
Mark nodded. "I can see that."
There was a long stretch of silence. Finally, Roger plucked a pillow from his bed, grabbed a small box from his nightstand, and perched himself at the fort's entrance. He looked up at Mark expectantly. "You coming?"
Mark blinked. "Wait…you want me to go in there?"
Roger nodded eagerly.
Mark suppressed another sigh. Sometimes, he figured, it was best to humor Roger on his good days, when the aftermath of Mimi's death wasn't affecting him as much. He got down on his hands and knees, and plopped down beside his friend at the entrance.
Roger grinned. "Ladies first."
Mark smiled a little, and wedged himself into the tiny crawlspace. He shuffled through the makeshift tunnel until he got to the clearing Roger had constructed. A second later, Roger came crawling in after him. By some miracle, they both managed to squeeze themselves into the fort. Roger handed him the pillow from his bed.
Mark eyed it skeptically. "What's this for?"
"It's for your head, dumbass." Roger said without vehemence, nudging Mark with the pillow.
Mark accepted the offer, and laid his head on the cottony lump, making sure there was enough room in case Roger wanted to use it as well.
There was, and Roger placed his head on the pillow too. Their heads touching on the cushion, Roger held up the little box he'd brought with him.
"What's that?" Mark questioned, not recognizing it.
Roger clutched it protectively. "Do you really want to know what's in it?"
Roger flipped the lid off the box, and pulled out a deck of cards.
Mark stared incredulously at it. "Pokemon?"
Roger glared. "What the hell is wrong with Pokemon?"
Mark cowered a little. "Nothing. It's cool."
"I know." Roger agreed. "I've had these for so long. Since I was a kid, I think."
"I used to collect them." Mark admitted. "But I ended up giving them away, I guess. I don't really remember."
Roger flipped through the deck nonchalantly. He pulled a card out. "Hey, look. It's Pikachu."
Mark squinted at the card, trying to see it clearly. "That's the electric rat, right"
Mark sighed. "As generic as that little guy was, I don't think I ever had one."
"Here," Roger held the card out above Mark's head. "You can have my Pikachu."
"Thanks, but I don't really need it."
"Take my Pikachu, damn it."
Mark took the card quickly. Roger continued to flip through the cards, pulling some out at random and explaining their significance. Mark found it ironic that he himself didn't know very much about the franchise, yet Roger, the rock-n-roll musician, knew everything there was to know about it.
"Oh, oh, oh!" Roger became excited. "Holographic Charizard! Fuck yeah!"
Mark laughed at his friend's enthusiasm.
Roger kindly handed him half of the cards, and together, they sifted through them and had a very intellectual conversation.
Joanne stomped the snow off her boots as she entered the loft, sniffling a little as the cold air fiddled with her sinuses. She stepped to the side to allow Maureen entrance into the drafty apartment as well.
"It's quiet." Maureen observed as she discarded her hat and scarf onto the sofa. "Mark? Roger? You guys here?"
"Shh!" Joanne hissed, placing two fingers over her girlfriend's mouth. "They might be sleeping. If they are, we'll come and visit later."
"Sorry, Pookie." Maureen mumbled, smiling innocently.
Joanne glanced around the seemingly empty loft. She walked around for a minute while Maureen shuffled through a pile of magazines by the bathroom door. Just as she was about to leave, she caught sight of the partially-ajar door to Roger's bedroom. She frowned, and stepped closer. Pushing the door open quietly, her eyes widened at the sight.
Some kind of makeshift fort had been built from several blankets. And sticking out from opposite sides of the tiny fortress, were two pairs of legs. She stifled a giggle, and was about to call Maureen in, but before she could say anything, Roger's voice sounded.
"Look at my Squirtle. It's all blue and stuff." He said cheerfully. "And its cute little bald head."
Joanne's jaw hit the floor, and her eyes widened.
Mark laughed from underneath the blankets. "Nahh. My Weedle is cooler – and bigger."
"Look at this Muk." Roger whispered invidiously. "I never saw purple goo before."
"We should have a battle."
"Totally. What do you want to use?"
"Uhh. I'll use my Mankey, and Machoke. You?"
"I'm using my Voltorb, unless it explodes or something."
Joanne shook her head, retreating from the room quickly and shutting the door behind her. Maureen stood a few feet away, watching curiously.
"Are they in there?"
"Mhmm." Joanne walked to the front door quickly. Maureen trailed after her.
"Well, can I see them?"
"Not right now." Joanne shook her head. "They're having a private moment."
AN: I have no idea when Pokemon was invented, so let's just pretend it was back in the RENT time period, okay? ;)