A/N: Ok kids...this is the end of this one. Just two short chapters. Yup. I'm actually pretty pleased with the way it turned out (as sick as that may seem...) But yea...review? Excellent. And oh yea...for Becca and Cj and Lola because they forced me. ::nods vehemently::

A few hours later, the friends sit in a circle on the floor of the loft. Roger, playing with the tassels of the worn scarf, lifts his head and takes a joint from Maureen.
"Remember when...Remember that time he fell down the stairs?" Collins laughs and reminisces, taking the joint from Roger.
Roger chuckles and nods. "He was carrying all that shit and it was all over the floor." His words are broken with laughter. "Almost broke his camera."
Maureen leans back on her elbows and sighs. "He was so pissed at me, said it was all my fault." She giggles. "Then I told him I'd show him what was my fault and I threw a reel of film at the wall, it unraveled all over the staircase. Then I told him he was lucky it was the film and not his head." She reaches over to get the joint from Joanne and examines it. "We're gonna need another one soon." She giggles again and gets back to her story. "When I told him that, he wasn't mad anymore. He just laughed and mumbled something about his strength while he picked everything up."
Roger laughs harder as he again receives the joint from Maureen. "You had him so whipped."
Maureen counterattacks. "Oh please! Like I could have him any more whipped than you did!"
"I never" Roger exhales. "I never had him whipped."
The entire circle, minus Roger, burst out in laughter.
Roger chuckles and passes the joint, almost gone by now, to Collins.
"What?"
Collins shakes his head, still laughing, and inhales. He holds the joint in front of him and analyzes. "Only about one, maybe two left. Who wants it?"
Maureen and Joanne both point to Roger as he simultaneously raises his hand. They all know he needs it more than they do.
Roger obligingly takes it and lays back. Maureen stands, moving towards the kitchen.
"I'm gonna go get some food." She turns towards Joanne. "Pookie, I can use your card, right?" At the nod she receives in return, she smiles and heads to the door. "Who's coming?"
Collins gets up and pats Roger's knee. "I am, we'll be back soon kids, don't starve."
The two exit, and Joanne lays back next to Roger. She takes his hand and squeezes it. "How're you doing?"
He gives a half sigh/half laugh "I've been better."
"No shit."
"What am I supposed to do?"
She shrugs. "Nothing."
"Nothing?"
You're not supposed to do anything, because this isn't supposed to happen. Someone as young, and smart, and full of love as him...it's not supposed to happen." She hastily wipes her face with her free hand, and Roger looks at her, taken aback by this sudden flow of emotion. Seeing Joanne like this...crying...he realizes he's not the only person who's lost someone important.
"How're you doing?"
She breathes shakily. "Shitty."
Roger turns onto his side in order to face the usually combative lawyer. "You two had really gotten close, huh?"
Joanne can only nod until she gasps for a full breath. "He almost always ended up at my place. After filming, after fighting...we had so much to talk about; Maureen, you, his films, my cases, our parents...we just...connected."
Roger nods, fidgeting again with the soft tassels of the scarf. At a loss for words, he sits up and pulls Joanne up with him. He untangles their hands and hugs her.
The two friends share an embrace, and the smell of Roger-his hair, his shirt-floods Joanne's mind with memories.

"I just got some really great footage."
"That's wonderful, where?"
He giggles. "Home."
"You know Mark, I don't think I've ever seen you this happy."
"I don't think I've ever been this happy."
"Ok, c'mon, girl talk. What does he do that makes you...glow like this?"
He giggles again and nudges her shoulder. "Well, if you really want to know what he does."
She hits him with a red throw pillow. "You nympho! I don't want to hear about that!"
"Oh you wish I would tell you."
"Please."
He gives her a huge hug and kisses her on the cheek. "I love you Joanne."
"I love you too Mark." Slightly taken aback, she reciprocates his gesture. In the midst of his embrace she laughs. "You smell different."
He smiles, a purely happy expression. "I smell like Roger."

They pull apart, and both realize that the other is crying. They sit in silence, Roger rubbing his thumb against the worn fabric draped around his neck, and Joanne watching his hand caress the garment. Neither of the grieving friends know if any other item as simple as a scarf could hold so many memories.
Time passes almost completely unnoticed until the door to the loft opens again, and Maureen walks in, followed by Collins bearing a large pizza box and a paper bag, presumably from the liquor store.
Maureen flops down next to Joanne and gives her a kiss, noticing her tear streaked face, she inquires. "You ok pookie?"
"Yea, I'm fine." She gives a reassuring smile. "I'll be fine."
Collins places the pizza in the middle of the floor and opens it before removing items from the bag. A large bottle of vodka, a half gallon of orange juice, and a six pack of Coronas are placed on the floor next to the pizza. Collins pushes the Absolut and orange juice towards the girls and himself. "This, is for us." He slides the six pack towards Roger. "This, is for you."
He smiles politely and takes one bottle out of it's cardboard home. "Thanks."
"No prob. Now let's eat."
The friends eagerly dive into the pizza, but Roger sits back, insisting he's not hungry.

"Just eat. You're sick. You need your strength."
"I'm not hungry."
"I don't care. Eat." He gives a loving smile as he slides the bowl of soup at Roger.
Roger reluctantly takes a small spoonful and slurps it, glaring at Mark.
"That's better." He kissed Roger on the cheek. "I just want you healthy."
"Thanks."
"I love you."
Roger smiles contentedly. " I love you too." He turns from his soup to kiss Mark longer.


After another hour or two, Maureen, Collins, and Joanne decide it's time to get going.
"Roger, we'll see you later, ok? We love you."
Joanne plants a kiss on the musician's forehead. Maureen embraces him firmly, followed by a Standard Collins Bear Hug.
The three exit, and Roger calmly begins to organize himself. He sets the half full bottle of Absolut next to the couch, and walks into the bathroom. AZT, Valium, Zoloft. Each bottle almost full. He places the bottles on the couch and walks to the phone. He dials quickly, assuring an uninterrupted message.
"Hi, you've reached Maureen and Joanne. Leave us a message." The recording is toned down, due to recent events.
"Maureen, Joanne. Thank you, for everything you've ever done. I love both of you. Do me one favor? Remember how much you two mean to each other. Love you."
One down, one to go.
"It's Collins. Leave me a message. I probably won't call you back, but you can try your best."
"Collins. Just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me. I love you, and thanks for everything."
Roger seats himself comfortably cross-legged on one end of the couch. He opens his AZT, and starts with that, downing two or three pills at a time with a mouthful of vodka. He finishes all the meds and sits silent, thinking only of his inevitable reunion.
A voice fills the loft as the door opens intrusively.
"Roger, I just wanted to make sure you were--"
Maureen stops dead in her tracks at the sight she finds. Images and words swirl through her mind as she tries unsuccessfully to organize them. Roger, Zoloft, scarf, alcohol, tears, 'take as directed'. Labels zoom in and out of focus, until she finally comprehends and darts for the phone.
"Maureen-please. Don't."
She turns her head toward the musician, holding the phone to her ear, but having yet to dial.
"Just...don't." She slowly hangs up the phone and walks to the couch, under his trance.
He's crying.
"I just want to be with him. All I've ever wanted was to be with him. Just...let me be with him?"
He's pleading and sad and begging for understanding. All Maureen can do is stare and cry and nod, terrified at the fact that she knows what he's doing, and why. Scared to death that she knows she won't stop him.
"Stay with me?"
She nods numbly again, sitting on the other end of the couch and pulling him towards her. His head rests in her lap as he clutches onto Mark's scarf and reaches desperately for the neck of his guitar, just barely out of reach. Maureen leans forward, grasping the guitar and gently wrapping his hand lovingly around the strings. She strokes his hair softly, the only physical action she can muster, other than crying.
Tears are streaming down Roger's face, but he is silent as he feels his guitar in his hand one last time.
Maureen continues peacefully stroking his hair as she notices his eyes close slowly. Over come with grief, confusion, incomprehension, she whispers the only thing she can think of.
"I just came back to make sure you were ok."
He sniffles. "I am ok Maureen. I've never been better."
She holds her breath to prevent from sobbing aloud and kisses his forehead gently as he takes his last breath.