Disclaimer: I've got an autographed Rent poster, the cute tote bag and a few CD's, but other than that, yeah, nothing.

Also, I made up a first name for Mrs. Davis. She sounds like an Amy to me.

It had been two weeks and finally Mark had the courage or whatever to call Roger's mom. The number had been in the letter he left, (which must have been written ages before he died because Angel was in it), which was now taped to the wall. A reminder, he thought, but really it was just there next to his guitar because for some reason Mark still liked to think that Roger was going to burst through the doors at any second and say, "Marky, you're such a sucker."

Of course he wasn't going to. Of course Mark was alone. Of course Mark was on the verge of insanity.

Of course.

No one picked up the line for a few minutes until an excited, childish voice answered, "Hello!"

"Um," Mark stuttered, "Hey."

"Hi!" The little girl on the other line answered.

"I-Is Roger's mom there?" Mark stuttered again. There was a second of silence and Mark was about to loose his nerve and hang up when a semi-familiar voice rang clear through the phone.

"Hello?" Amy Davis said, "Roger?"

Mark felt like he was choking, suffocating, dying. "No."

"Oh." There was a long pause and Mark felt his nerve disappearing again, vanishing off into thin air like Roger and his laugh and his music. Gone.

"Um," Mark stuttered again, feeling his eyes burn. Fuck. "It's Mark. Mark Cohen. Roger's..." His throat closed up and he was choking again.

"Roger's roommate!" Amy supplied. She sounded so fucking happy. Mark hated himself desperately and hated Roger even more for fucking making him do this to his mother. For doing this to all of them. For getting himself sick and dying.

Mark closed his eyes tightly. Fuck. This was not Roger's fault. This was not Roger's fault. This was not Roger's fault.

"Yeah," Mark said. He felt his fingernails digging into his palms and thought of Roger's calloused hands and painted fingernails, of his plaid pants and his gelled hair. "Listen. It's...it's about Roger."

"Roger?" Amy asked, and Mark felt anger surge through him so powerfully his knuckles turned white against the phone. Yes, fucking Roger, and if you say his name one more fucking time I'll have to believe he's dead.

"He's gone." Mark choked out, tears burning as quickly and fiercely as the anger.

There was a long pause. Mark wiped angrily at his eyes and contemplated hanging up before his thoughts were invaded by Roger singing in college and kissing Mimi and hugging Collins.

Amy sounded like she'd misunderstood something. You didn't, Mark wanted to shout. "What?" She asked suddenly, sounding a little angry, "You mean he's back in Santa Fe?"

Mark wanted to scream or rip out his hair or smash every inch of Roger out of his mind so the thoughts and the songs haunting his dreams and the memories would stop flashing in his mind at all the inopportune times. So that maybe the memories wouldn't have happened at all, so that he wouldn't ever have known the searing feeling of companionship and understanding that had domineered his life since forever.

And people wondered why he detached. And people wondered why he shied away from affection. Coward, he heard Roger hissing in his ear, echoing throughout the emptiness of the loft, fucking coward.

"No," Mark said instead, feeling slightly sick. "No. He's gone."

There was a dumbfounded silence on the other line, and Mark didn't want to have to fucking spell it out for her. He hadn't even had a chance to spell it out for himself yet, he didn't want to go out broadcasting it. But Roger had asked him to, it was one of his last wishes, well, fuck last wishes, Mark wanted to scream again. Fuck you and the fact that you're fucking dead. Fuck the part where I loved you more than anything, that I took care of you for years and that you fucking died on me. Fuck you.

"Fuck!" Mark swore aloud, temper snapping so suddenly he leapt to his feet, nearly shouting into the phone, "Goddamnit, he's dead! "

There was a stunned silence and Mark felt worse than dirt. He'd yelled at his dead best friend's mother, yelled the news that her son was dead, at that.

"Fuck!" He swore again, feeling the tears burn back behind his eyes. Not a single one fell, though, he'd made sure of that. For two weeks. Not a single fucking tear. He didn't know how he'd lasted so long. "I'm sorry!" He shouted. "I'm --" The line went dead.

Mark stood in a stunned silence for a second. His eyes flickered over to the guitar in the corner. There wasn't a speck of dust on it. It was still tuned. He'd replaced the strings three weeks before. The letter was crumpled on the edge and stained with Mimi's tears. The power cord was and crinkled because he'd tripped over it on his way to the phone. The table had last week's newspaper on it. The couch was duct taped and a string Roger had been tugging at was hanging down one of the legs. An empty cup, previously filled with Roger's last, bitter, sugarless pot of coffee sat by the hotplate. A piece of paper with lyrics and drawings scribbled all over it sat by the coffee.

Roger was gone. Roger was not coming back. Mark walked carefully across the loft, feeling like he was treading on the glass of his emotions, teetering impossibly between the past and the present. He walked to the middle of the kitchen and just stood for a second. He felt something building up in him, something like tears or sadness or god forbid, actual emotion. He turned and leaned against the counter carefully, feeling the heat radiating off the hotplate. He looked down at his hands. They were shaking, itching, burning.

The hotplate flew across the room so suddenly and with such force that it snapped clean in two and ripped out part of the socket in was attached to, sparks flying. His hands burned but, fuck, the pain felt good, the pain was distracting him and he threw the ring off the table and smashed through the contents of the half empty cabinets, shattering a jar of pickles and sending peanut butter splattering against the wall. He could see welts and his vision was getting blurry as he threw the last bottle of Stoli and a six-pack of beer, his mind chanting Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger until it was just another sound amidst the smashing of the shot glasses and the snapping of the plywood cabinets. Roger Roger and the cheap little fridge was ripped off the wall and sent careening across the loft, Roger as the broken microwave oven smashed against the door and the plexiglass shattered into a million shards, Roger Roger Roger Roger was the only sound in the world as the trashcan was thrown at the sink, Roger Roger Roger was all that mattered when the sink was being clawed at, tugged at, until the cheap faucet actually snapped in two and his hands were stained with blood and burns and his chest constricted so painfully he'd rather be dead, Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger Roger as he took a knife by the blade and started on the pillows, on the mattresses, on the paper and on a box of unused film, Roger, and he was running out of things to destroy.


Mark sent himself flying back into the kitchen, picked up the coffee cup and was about to send it flying into the door, too, when he stopped so suddenly his stomach collided with the countertop and he felt momentarily sick. And then for some reason time just decided to stop.

Mark watched his shaking hand as it reached for the cup and brought it level with his eyes. Mark watched his shaking hand as it tipped the cup so he was looking at the last dregs, the last bit of sugar and creme and bean remnants shifting to the bottom of the cup. The last dregs being washed away by water, dripping down the walls of the cheap glass, clinging to the ridges in it. His vision went blurry again and he tasted salt and sadness and it registered. Tears.