A/N: Okay, this is . . . IDK. Sad. Cliche. Depressing. Also, it's M/R friendship. I think. Disclaimer: I don't own RENT - kudos to Jonathan Larson.
The first thing Mark thinks as he reaches the landing outside the loft is, Did I leave the door open? Then, he notices the person lying in the open doorway.
"Shit!" he hisses, carelessly dropping the bag of groceries he'd been holding. He hurries to the person-shaped lump in the doorway. "Roger – what the hell are you doing out here?"
Roger smiles blearily up at him. "Hey, Mark . . ."
"Roger," Mark sighs, kneeling beside him and moving to help him up. "You were supposed to stay in bed."
"I wanted to go up to the roof," Roger says obstinately. "But I guess I . . . fell."
Mark purses his lips. "You're going back to bed."
Roger shakes his head, and clings to the doorframe for support once Mark gets him up. "I'm going to the roof."
He gives Mark a pleading, weak look – and Mark caves.
"Fine," he says quietly, moving to loop an arm around Roger's waist. Roger's thin arm curls around Mark's shoulders, and the two of them slowly progress up the stairwell that leads to the roof, Mark supporting Roger and Roger panting shallowly with effort.
Finally, they reach the roof, and Roger sags slightly. Mark grabs him, though, before he can drop completely, and guides him over to the pile of boards and random junk that's been up out here since they first moved in years ago. Mark tries to guide Roger onto the pile, but instead Roger flops onto the ground, and leans with his back against the pile. Mark sighs and slides to the ground beside him, their shoulders brushing.
The sky is tinged with pink and orange, the sun hanging low above the skyscrapers in the distance. Roger looks for a second, then smiles.
"Perfect," he says softly.
"Yeah," Mark replies. "Real nice."
For a moment, there's silence between the two of them, except for the sound of a car alarm going off nearby and the soft rasp of Roger's breathing. Suddenly, Roger speaks.
"Mark?" he whispers.
"Do you think it looks like this in Heaven?" Roger asks softly, not looking at Mark, but instead at the sky.
Mark gives him a quizzical look.
"The sky, I mean," Roger murmurs. "It's orange and pink and . . ." he pauses, tired from simply speaking. "Beautiful."
Mark looks at Roger for a long moment. "Yeah," he says finally. "I bet it looks like that in Heaven."
Silence falls again, and both of them stare at the horizon, watching as the sun slowly slides downwards.
The car alarm in the distance stops, and then the only thing Mark can hear is Roger's wispy breathing. Mark glances sideways, and Roger's eyes are closed, his lips parted slightly. Then, his eyes open again, and he meets Mark's gaze, his eyes unreadable for a second. A tiny, sad smile flickers across Roger's face, and suddenly Mark knows what Roger's trying to say without words. Goodbye. Goodbye, Mark.
Roger's eyes flutter closed again, and his breathing slows and quiets until there's silence. It's just Mark, Roger, and the sunset. Mark slowly reaches out and takes Roger's pale hand, but there's no answering grasp. He looks at the horizon once more, hot tears welling up.
The sun sets, and Roger's gone.
And Mark cries, and watches through blurred eyes as the last dregs of orange drain from the sky.
A/N: . . . Mm. Not too happy with this. Thoughts? -goes to weep over my poor departed Roger-