A/N: This came to me in a moment of deep thinking. A lot of this is based on my identification with Mark.
WARNING: This is involves things like… SLASH. Some mild cursing. And a bit of infidelity. Rule breaking too. Also, this is un-beta-ed.
SUMMARY: Mark has many unspoken, unbreakable rules. Except when it comes to Roger.
DISCLAIMER: All these characters belong to Jonathon Larson and his surviving family. I only write down my own silly ideas and fangirl fantasies.
"Dialogue"Thoughts or Emphasis
Throughout my life, I have had many ideas and beliefs. I hold myself to them in the extremes. They are like rules. For example, I use to think things like black cats and open ladders were bad luck. I use to never even touch cats… Through a series of events, mostly because of Roger, I now don't think that. Cats are simply cats. Cute, cuddly, and noisy as hell. Sometimes I still avoid open ladders, though. Walking under one just seems like challenging your luck. I'd rather not.
Still, I have many beliefs that I have either adopted, like Angel's "no day but today," as well as forgiven some ideas, or developed new ones. I have gotten in rid of blaming things in my life. And I simply work to keep my ideals still positive. It's hard in cold and concrete New York, but, I chose this path—another sort of dogma of mine—and I'll see it through!
After having witnessed Angel and Collins pure romance, I have to come to several conclusions. One, you can't choose who you love. Two, love is truly genderless. Three, there are numerous forms of love. Four, sometimes love is the greatest thing that life will offer you. Then there is Joanne and Maureen's trials of love. Their story has only rooted deeper into me the opinion that cheating (while in a relationship) is utterly wrong.
I refuse to stay with anyone who has ever cheated on me. We can still be friends, of course. Maureen is still around, isn't she? But, if I am ever cheated on, I refuse to stay with the cheater romantically. I just believe that if you love me, you have committed all of yourself to me and only me. I know it sounds obsessive and sort of… stalkerish and psycho, but that is my honest to goodness belief. I am talking in the purely romantic spectrum; I mean, my significant other can have tons of friends outside of me as well as their own interests … but when it comes to matters of the heart—and sex—then the first person that my significant other should come to is me.
I don't care if it was a only one time. "You weren't there and I was lonely!"
"Oh they were an old flame!"
"I was weak!" "
"They approached me!"
I don't care about any of that. No, that one time, you were not thinking about me. If it happened one time, it can happen again. I'm just not doing it. No. Nope. Also, I won't be the one who is the "other man."
… Except with Roger. Uncouthly, I am sleeping with him. He's still with Mimi.
But that is the way it always is with him. Like with the black cat thing. He always gets me to change my mind. However, I suppose I am not really breaking my rules this time because I'm actually more of the "other woman."
It wasn't like I woke up breaking the rule either. It started slower, almost undetectable.
I love Mimi. I love Roger. I love to see them happy. I'm happiest when my loved ones are happy! Really, I am. I consider myself lucky in life. I may not have too much money, splendor, or even artistic recognition, but I could not imagine a better life without my friends in it. I even thought it would be cute to see Mimi and Roger together, you know? But, that was until I actually did see them together.
There they were, in the glittering winter snow, staring at each other with this expression of… well, love. Attraction. Romance. Adoration. Excitement. Ecstasy. All of that fun stuff I don't have, and that I suddenly crave.
I felt my stomach clench and my heart skip a beat. And not in the good way.
I was so overcome with this devastating feeling; I nearly toppled to my knees, hunching over to hold my heart. But, I'm a director, a filmmaker; I have trained myself to be impassive. So, I used my training for nearly a year. Eventually, you lie enough, chanting, "I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay" and you will be okay enough one day.
It took me a while, but at last, I admitted to myself. I love Roger.
Collins always said Roger and me had a strong bond. Well, we have known each other for quite a time. Then there was moving in together. April. The drugs. Her death. HIV. Everything. Life itself! It is natural to create a family, or a bond, or whatever when you go through all that with someone. Collins went on to say, "You two are the type that are on this imaginary line of deep friendship and love, ya know? You two love each other. But you'll never be in love with each other."
For some reason, his statement hurt that day. I could not respond and he and Angel went on to speak of other things in the crowded and muggy café. Not long after that, I had to quietly disagree with my friend. I am in love with Roger. That is it. All there is to it.
I don't want to be. I even thought maybe it was my curiosity, or just the idea that I wanted to be in love with someone, anyone. I went out with a guy later that week. It wasn't a horrible experience… but as he began undressing me, despite the slow warmth I had in my stomach, it was something that just did not feel like I assumed it should. I excused myself and left his apartment, scarf wrapped tighter around my neck so as to hide the growing bruise. No one noticed, expect Roger.
He asked how I got it. I think I paused too long, unsure of whether to lie or tell him the truth—well, not the truth about my feelings toward him. Then, a slight wideness came to his eyes. He figured it out on his own. After his initial surprise, he asked what happened. I sighed and fiddled with my camera on our couch.
"Nothing, actually. He was nice, but not my type I realized." Roger said nothing about the male gender pronoun. Just nodded. The conversation went to other topics.
Then a few months later, I was bent over my camera, working on something, when Roger decided that he wanted to be entertained. I can't quite recall how it came to be, but he was poking my cheek with his finger, whining about something or other. No matter how many times I growled, or squeaked with indignation, or slapped the hand away, Roger kept prodding at me. I would not have done this, but it was only the two of us, and I was fed up, and well…
I turned, staring up at Roger, who had a cheeky grin on. His finger was still in the air, hovering in front of my face. I wasn't thinking—or maybe I was, I am not sure—and I leaned forward, opening my mouth enough to let in his finger. Roger went stone still instantly as my moist lips and warm mouth traveled the length of his finger. By the time I got to the end, I gave his fingertip a deliberately slow lick.
I pulled back, feeling my face heat. I stared at him, he stared back, pupils dilated. A fluttering feeling rose in me, and I lightly encircled his wrist with both my hands, this time bringing the first half of his finger into my mouth, and pushed it with my tongue. I accidentally swallowed in nervousness, and Roger made a strangled noise. He ripped away from me and sprinted into the bathroom. The door closed with such a slam, it jolted me. I could feel myself aching down below, and I was mystified by the entire event.
Roger had continued talking to me, so I figured we were just sweeping the incident under the rug. Yet, I could not stop thinking on it. The feelings were too intense, and my longing for the guitarist tripled. Roger still talked of Mimi and they went out on the weekends, and by now, I had accepted my fate as nothing more than a friend.
It did not make me move on. I sighed, allowing myself to admit, that Roger is probably my one and only and I am simply never going to get over him. Isn't that just peachy? My true love and I can never be. Well, fuck my life.
I had other things to focus on. So I did… Up until I had a terrible headache. A migraine, really. It was just me and Roger, in the loft, and the last of the medicine in the bathroom cabinet. In a deadly combination of self-confidence and my refusal to take the medicine in case of emergency, we argued and wrestled. Roger was straddling me to the unheated floor. Not that I would have known, all of me was increasing in temperature rapidly.
"Just take the damn Advil!" he demanded roughly, holding the pills in his fingers.
"You can't make me!" I cried. He replied by thrusting his fingers into my mouth. I gasped, the tiny pills falling onto the back of my tongue. Automatically, I tilted my head back, and gulped them down. Roger's fingers were still inside my mouth. Both of us were panting. The worst part of me took hold—the longing and the desire to know—and I slid my tongue over the pads of Roger's fingers. My teeth grazed over his skin, and I soothed Roger with another lick. His fingers left my mouth, and I peered through droopy lashes and over the line of my thick glasses.
His darkening green eyes saw, and he swiped said glasses from my face. I reached up for them, and he roughly grasped my hand. He took my own fingers and messily, like he hungered for the contact, ran his large and hot tongue over the lengths of my digits. Embarrassed at my pleasure, I turned my head to the side. At first, I thought the action made him comprehend our situation, because suddenly, his tongue was no longer teasing me. I opened my eyes, unaware I closed them, and saw his spikes of dirty blonde hair sharpening out of the corner of my eye.
Then, I could hear his excited breath. I felt it wash over the shell of my ear. I scrunched my eyes tight as that tongue started tracing my ear, and his mouth sucked in my lobe. Being so close to my ear, I heard all the frenzied and stimulating sounds he was making. I tried to control the tremors and catch the pleased noises before they escaped from me. My hand flew up and did not know where to go except his broad shoulder. That had his teeth nipping my tender skin and I whimpered.
Roger was off me then.
I was lying on the floor, blurry eyes gazing at the ceiling. His body was sitting off the side, and he seemed at a loss, and I felt it all from the few inches away.
"What was that?" I asked stupidly, all the blood in my body rushing south.
"Arousal." Roger went to his room with that one word, much more calmly than I ever could have.
Again it was unspoken of, like many of my beliefs and rules. I contemplated telling Collins… and sort of did. Which only confused him. Soon, I dropped the entire thing all together. They were two separate accidents that were never going to be repeated again. I convinced myself of that.
Then, while at dinner with everyone, Maureen had brought up the inappropriate conversation about nipples. "I mean, why do guys even have nipples? Its not like they do anything," she blathered on. Jo tried to explain otherwise, but she just wasn't getting it. So Mimi had to chime in.
"If I were to play with your nipples, would you get excited, Roger?" she frankly asked. I felt myself frozen, not wanting to hear the answer, but unwilling to draw attention to myself by getting up and leaving.
"No one has tried before, but I doubt it," he answered bored. It made me want to try and prove him wrong… which only made me feel wrong and downright dirty.
I was quiet for the rest of the night. Which Roger noticed and commented on it as we walked home. "What's up? Cat got your tongue?" To which I laughed, and shrugged. Then we saw Mimi off to her place. Roger and I were in our living space soon enough. I tossed my scarf on the coffee table and Roger walked over. He hugged me from behind, "Really, what's up?" he asked again. I was comforted in a strange way.
"Nothing… I dunno…" I should have left it at that, but my words spilled forth, "Maureen's sort of embarrassing. Of course men are as sensitive as woman! I mean, ours don't do anything but…" Roger's hand, calloused from years of strumming his guitar, discovered its way under my shirt. Skilled fingers were dancing up my chest. "What are you doing?"
"You're nipples are sensitive… aren't they, Mark?" he breathed into the back of my equally sensitive neck. I bit my lip, unwilling to confirm or deny. That was my safest bet. Or I thought. His fingertips circled around the hardening nub. I closed my eyes, trying to breath evenly. He was stroking around the skin, pads creating a tickling friction. My legs weakened. He increased and decreased pressure. My impassiveness crumbled and my voice became breathy. Roger rested his chin my shoulder, possibly staring down at the mess that I was.
He between his thumb and forefinger he rolled the pert bud and I cried out in shame and pleasure. He tightened his hold on me, letting me sink back into him. I could feel his arousal press through his jeans and into my lower back. My eyes popped open, and I swallowed my sounds as best I could. I was unsuspecting when he pinched me, and jerked back, rubbing my pelvis over his excitement. He groaned, releasing me. I toppled over the couch, and remained there, gasping for breath.
That was the last time he left me.
The next time we had an encounter, there was no heat in the building. It was night. I was freezing. Shivering terribly, I finally swaddled the blankets about me and snuck into Roger's room. My stomach fluttered as he let me join him under the sheets. My heartbeat was playing a fast tempo of a love song. It never entered my mind to do anything but collect warmth to survive the winter.
Apparently, Roger thought otherwise.
"Thanks, Roger—" and his lips were on my neck, and I made a moan. A real moan. I had not been prepared. The moan was what did Roger in—he told me this later—he wanted to hear more.
He did, numerous times that night.
The next day, the heat was on. No doubt, Mimi had spoken with Benny. Roger was not as distraught as one would have normally thought. Mimi was apprehensive, but soon, she relaxed and Roger and she were still seeing each other. I admit, I was bitter for a few weeks. Collins noted it. Roger did not. I made sure he did not.
But he came home early one night. I sat in the window seat, frustrated, and scrubbing tears from my face. I was trapped, displaying my bitterness and need for the pretty boy front man. Roger simply took my face in his hands and licked the tears away. He had me up against glass that time, steaming up the cold pane.
Ever since then, he has had me whenever he wanted. On a lazy, lonely hour. After my morning shower. The dead of night. My lunch brakes. When no one was looking…
But there was still Mimi.
Yet, I always forgot. When he touches me… when I could touch him… that was all there was. All there is. Him and I. Me and he. Roger and Mark. Mark… Roger. No one else. Just us.
It goes against my one scared belief. A rule. No cheating. No cheaters. None of that… except, through a series of unexplainable—and probably inevitable—circumstances, we are. But then again, that's maybe because it's Roger. He always gets me to change my mind, break my rules. I don't even know why.
But, I am formulating a theory, and it may sound like justification, but… maybe… its because… he's not thinking of her. For that solitary moment… I'm the only one. Perhaps I might be wrong about this situation or the cheating thing or everything entirely. I don't know much anymore. But this is what I do know:
I am in love with Roger.
Roger is not entirely in love with Mimi.