This was not, Mark mused, the best way to end a date; picking glass out of his carpet and mentally racking up the cost of replacing the shattered windowpane. It was beyond repair. Mark had a knack for knowing when things were broken past fixing; it came with being a natural pessimist- 'there's no point even trying.'
This was not how Mark expected to end his evening.
Granted, he would have been even more surprised if the outcome had been favourable, because life hated him and things never worked out like that. Any glimmer of happiness- no matter how brief- was such a rarity now it actually began to disturb him.
But he didn't expect her to throw the lamp out the window.
Neither had he expected her to shout 'I hate you!' in volumes loud enough to wake half of London.
That had been a surprise.
At least, Mark tried to console himself, she had been insane before he knew her. It had not been obvious at first, spotting said insanity, because she really had been very pretty; but the fact she kept crying and wiping her eyes and rocking backwards and forwards with this very dead look on her face whilst Mark gingerly handed her a tissue had tipped him off somewhat.
She had always been insane. She had a problem. It had nothing to do with Mark and his sub-par skills at being a pseudo-psychiatrist; he had handed her a tissue. That had to count for something.
People didn't smash windows because you gave them tissues.
People smashed windows because of deep-rooted childhood problems, or repressed trauma, or any number of emotionally scarring events which had absolutely nothing to do with Mark Corrigan.
You didn't make her insane, Mark.
You're not that bad.
"I don't see why you couldn't have fucked her," said Jeremy, sat on the sofa. He glanced down at Mark with his arms folded, doing a rather good impression of a self-important twat; which was amusing, because he always looked like that. Whenever any other expression graced his features, it never heralded anything good. Though, this expression never heralded good, either.
Nothing in Mark's life heralded good. Everything was out to get him.
Jemery probably thought he was rather important and powerful because he was sat on the sofa whilst Mark was crouched on the floor cleaning up glass, but at least Mark was wearing socks; that meant he won at something.
...That sounded awfully petty, even in Mark's own mind.
"Jeremy," said Mark, trying to sound patient, "she needed help. She kept crying and talking to herself and- and, if I'm honest, she was making me feel very uncomfortable. You don't have sex with people like that, you make them cups of tea and pat them on the back."
And check them in to see a psychiatrist.
That would also help.
"That doesn't mean you didn't have to have sex with her," Jeremy repeated petulantly.
A sigh. "Well, we're not all like you, Jeremy; some of us actually have compassion and respect for our fellow man. If it can move you don't mind what you stick your penis in, do you?"
Besides, Mark had no desire to have sex with a woman who wouldn't stop crying. It wouldn't do much for his self esteem; he'd spent the entire experience worrying- even more so than usual.
"You don't get it, Mark- you're being so selfish."
"I'm being selfish?"
"Yeah," Jeremy nodded, still looking sour, still doing a very good impression of self-important git-ish-ness. "Lily told me her friend was having it really bad; she couldn't find anybody who wanted to go out with her-"
If she cried like that with all the other men she's met I wouldn't be surprised, unless any of them were particularly enchanted with her impression of the Niagra Falls.
"-and I thought 'oh, Mark'll go for it. He's lucky to get any, so he can't be too picky, and then that'll cheer Chloe up and Lily can stop worrying about her.'"
"Oh, so that's how it is, is it? I'm the fallback option? 'No normal girls want to date Mark, but it's okay- he can have the psychopath who breaks windows; it's the best he'll ever get'?"
"Yeah, something like that." And Jeremy shrugged easily, as though he'd made an innocent comment on the weather, and not said something rather offensive. "And if you'd fucked her everybody would happy and Lily would think I'm amazing for fixing her friend up with someone, and then I'd have lots more lovely sex with Lily without her getting any of this weird guilt over her weird friend. It was a genius plan. And you ruined it. Way to go; big fucking yay."
It was as Mark crouched there, hands frozen over the dustpan and brush, that the full impact of Jeremy's words sunk into him. And he would have been very angry, too, had he not been so completely desensitised to Jeremy's general idiocy.
The thought he could not truly get angry at Jeremy anymore was rather depressing. Had staying with Jeremy for so long truly drained him of all feeling and emotion? Was he becoming a zombie?
But he couldn't work up the necessary frustration a normal person would have felt. Instead, he felt a vague indignation; the same kind of feeling one would get if they had just lost at a video game, or burnt their toast, or done some such other trivial thing which had far less of an impact on their life and future happiness and self esteem than this did.
"What? So... so you knew she was mad this whole time and you didn't tell me? You just threw me to this crazy person and- and this is so incredibly like you I am not even surprised, and that is mildly depressing."
"Hey, I didn't know she was that bad. I thought she'd be one of those people who just stared blankly at the wall for a while; I didn't know she smashed stuff, too."
"Not just stuff," Mark said darkly. "I was worried for a few seconds that she was going to break me."
"Well, she didn't. You're fine. And this could have been avoided, you know."
"I don't want to hear it," said Mark tiredly. "I would make you pay for a new window, but as I know you can't it would be foolish to ask. But you can at least get off the sofa and help me clear up."
"Oh, fine," said Jeremy, heaving a great sigh; a sigh of one who had seen much and suffered many hardships. Mark had half a mind to snap at him that he didn't deserve to sound so upset; being upset was his right and his right alone. Jeremy was undermining his misery! But the feeling faded no sooner than it had arrived.
Absent-mindedly, half lost in his own thoughts and wondering why he was not quite as angry as the situation called for, Mark reached out to hand the dustpan and brush to Jeremy, and-
Somehow, without his noticing, he had managed to cut his finger on a sneaky piece of glass embedded in the carpet (why did they even have a carpet? It was a magnet for filth and dirt and potentially dangerous, pointed objects- they'd be better without).
"Oh. You're bleeding," said Jeremy, watching the blood ooze down Mark's finger in a disinterested way, as though he were watching a documentary on TV.
"Yes, well done. Your powers of observation never fail to amaze." He frowned. "I'm sure Chloe would be overjoyed to witness this; you did hear what she said, didn't you?"
"Something like 'I hate you, you're horrible, go die in a fire?'"
"That would be the abridged version, but yes; they were words to that extent."
"At least you know she cares."
"Yes, but I don't want to know a girl- no, make that anybody- who cares that much," said Mark. He paused, still watching the blood from his finger, a pensive expression on his face. "Come to think of it, all the girls you've introduced me to during the past month have been rather... over-caring."
"Is that a bad euphemism for insane?"
"Bonkers does sound more charming but, in a word, yes. Do you remember that one who tried to steal all or cutlery?"
"Ah. Lovely Lola. Of course I remember; she was charming, really. You didn't fuck her, either. What if she was 'the one'?" Mark couldn't fail to note the slightly mocking tone in Jeremy's voice- not that he had any right to mock Mark, when he was constantly falling in 'love' with women who invariably left him, for whatever reason.
Maybe it would help if he didn't go for women who were already married.
There was some comfort to be found in the fact they could be pathetic together.
"I was too busy trying to keep her from stealing all our personal possessions. I doubt 'the one' would have a pathological obsession to illegally acquire as many spoons as possible," said Mark in a tired, resigned voice; resigned to what, however, he wasn't entirely sure, and he didn't like to speculate. It was too depressing. "Is there a reason all the girls you've introduced me to are mad, or do they just flock to you naturally? It's more than a little bit aggravating, and if you-"
But Mark didn't finish.
Make that, couldn't finish.
That was new for Mark; when he felt like ranting, he would have his rant- it was the only thing that made him feel better, somewhat. But it was a tad difficult to talk with somebody else's mouth on yours.
Jeremy was kissing him.
Jeremy was kissing him.
It didn't matter how many times Mark's brain processed it, or what words/syllables his internal voice placed emphasis on; no matter which way he put it, it still failed to make any sense- it didn't compute- and his only logical explanation was that he had gone insane, or this was a dream (why would he dream about this? Oh God don't answer that question. He'd never thought about Jeremy like that, certainly not, not even during his half-asleep half-awake moments when his mind wondered to things he wouldn't even consider when he was one hundred percent alert, or even eighty, seventy percent alert...)
But dreams didn't feel nearly so real. Denial could only get you so far, and if you took it too far you'd go insane; Lily's charming friend Chloe had been a perfect example of that.
Mark didn't want to end up crying whilst some random stranger handed him tissues and he threw things through windows, he already had enough problems.
This was a problem.
A rather big problem, actually.
Except, some part of Mark's brain- the resigned part that could no longer muster the strength to protest against the many miseries life threw in his path- was thinking 'this is you, you can't afford to be fussy over who kisses you or you'll be alone forever, and maybe you should have had sex with Chloe because then Jeremy wouldn't feel his chances with Lily were fucked and he wouldn't be doing this- but at least Jeremy isn't crying; that's something, that's certainly something'...
And, really, it wasn't so different from kissing a woman. Not really. When he tried to shut off his constant stream of thoughts (he was always thinking- although it would be more worrying if he never thought at all, like Jeremy) he decided it wasn't that bad.
Except, reality shouted at him, this was Jeremy, the distinctly male Jeremy who embarrassed him and ruined his life on a frequent basis, and he was kissing him, and this was very strange and out of the ordinary which was basically 'strange' but phrased a different way, and he really should stop this before his brain melted and-
Good plan of action.
So Mark broke away- he most certainly had not been reciprocating, not at all- and just sat there, staring at Jeremy, and Jeremy looked rather unconcerned as though he hadn't just been kissing him and this was awkward because Mark didn't know what to say (how did normal people instinctively know how to hold a conversation?) and he'd never really been in this situation before. People generally didn't force themselves on him; usually, they were trying to get away.
So he decided to go with inarticulate confusion.
Sounding like an idiot was not the worst thing he could have done in that situation.
How did Jeremy manage to look so calm, though? It was making Mark feel as though the last few seconds had been a figment of his imagination- and if that were the case that would be worrying, too, because then he'd have been having inappropriate thoughts about his flatmate and best friend whilst he was one hundred percent awake and not halfway in-between a dream where his thoughts were not his to control.
"What?" Jeremy asked. "You didn't get with that girl, and I bet Lily'll leave me after you pretty much fucked over her already incredibly fucked up friend. But there's no point in both of being sad and miserable, is there?"
He spoke in such a matter-of-fact way it was disturbing.
"Besides, what are the chances you'll really find 'the one'? I mean, normal girls hate you, and you consider yourself above the crazy ones. So it's a lose-lose situation, you might as well give up. Besides, what about me? I won't throw anything through the window." Jeremy paused, thinking. "Unless you really piss me off. Actually, that would be kind of funny, just to see the look on your face."
"Yes, but, Jeremy, I-" Mark opened and closed his mouth like a goldfish, words coming out in no particular order, making no semblence of a meaning- just jumbled sounds and phrases, noise pollution. What did he want to say?
"It's totally fine, Mark," said Jeremy, rolling his eyes. "You'll be fine. I promise it'll be totally, one hundred percent fine. You can just sit there and be all boring and stuff and I'll try to make it enjoyable."
He didn't say no.
Why wasn't he saying no? Should he say no? Well, obviously, yes- that was what he should have done before- but Jeremy was getting closer again, and Mark couldn't open his mouth, not even to spew forth unintelligible nothings, and what should he say? Was there any suitable response to give when your friend had made advances on you that were weird and unwelcome but not quite as unwelcome as you'd thought they'd be and, on the bright side, at least he wasn't breaking things, at least he wouldn't throw anything through the window and, and-
And, oh, sod it.
This was too complicated.
Kissing wasn't complicated; at least, not for other people. For other people it was apparently something fun, something enjoyable, like tennis (except that wasn't fun either, but it was marginally less embarrassing)- but kissing was better than talking, and Mark couldn't talk.
Well, he couldn't kiss, either.
Thinking was becoming steadily more difficult, too.
But Mark did know this.
This would be the last time Mark let Jeremy help with his love life.
a.n: I just watched episode 4 of series 7~ It really was very good XD homg I love Peep Show. And Jeremy/Mark. I swear that pairing is canon, I swear it XDD
Homg I should be writing for my big fandoms people care about, but I am in /love/ with Peep Show and there really isn't enough Jeremy/Mark fic (or Peep Show fic at all o:) and mine isn't too great but maybe it'll encourage more people to write aheheh XDD
Oh yus. The characters 'Chloe' and 'Lily' and real characters- or, more like, 'Chloe' is a song composed by seleP using the vocals of vocaloid 02 Lily, who is badass XD. It's a cheerful yandere song about a girl who murders people and the like XD I love vocaloid almost as much as Peep Show XD~ -has to include Vocaloid in everything she does ever for some weird reason, even in completely unrelated fandoms because i'm a weirdo- XD
But I was listening to the song Corruption Garden composed by caz with vocals by Vocaloid 02 Megurine Luka almost exclusively whilst writing this. XDD Nobody cares!~~
The songs I listen to whilst writing are generally completely unrelated to what I actually write, anyway XD