Don't Say a WordPosted by shotaphile on 2006.05.31 at 17:26
Current Mood: amused
Current Music: Sweet Transvestite--Rocky Horror
Pairing: Gordon/Mark. That's right, you heard me. No, I didn't stutter. Gordon/Mark.
Spoilers: Go see the fucking movie, no better yet, go see the show, the movie doesn't have "Christmas Bells", which is totally the shit.
Warnings: Strange pairing. First of it's kind, as far as I know. *shrug* I tend to do that a lot. Not much language, but a little. SLASH. As though that's a big surprise when I'm writing it...
He was there everyday, Paul said, it was only a matter of time before he got to know the other members. Paul probably hadn’t counted on it taking quite so long, but Mark was anything if not “dedicated” to his camera and as such, hadn’t had much experience in the ways of just talking with other people, with strangers, before. Roger would be the first to argue that Mark wasn’t shy by any means, one did not dance on tables when one was shy, but he as much as anyone, more than anyone, understood why Mark had such a hard time at these meetings, and why he kept coming back regardless.
Gordon couldn’t, or wouldn’t understand. “If you’re going to come here, you’re going to talk, this isn’t some Monday night sitcom for your viewing pleasure.” Neither a cruel, nor a kind delivery, but a delivery and nothing more, as Gordon was most apt to.
The wayward comment had been enough to startle Mark into setting down his camera, still rolling, and recording nothing more interesting than a wide-span shot of chair legs and human legs, though he reasoned after that it was as fair an image of humanity as any, of which he never quite found the time to explain to anybody else. Collins had been sure Mark would leave, flee, Angel had all but prepared herself to run out after him, and Roger had gone so far as to leap to his feet and advance threateningly on the New Yorker that, as Roger would later maintain, “should have kept his damn mouth shut.”
Mark was simply puzzled. He wasn’t sure what sort of “pleasure” he was supposed to derive from these visits. What sort of pleasure Gordon seemed to think he found in the constant reminder of the mortality of his friends, his family, himself. Was this pleasure present when he reminded Roger to take his AZT? Would it still be there when he no longer had anyone to remind? He had so many questions, but Gordon didn’t have the answers, at least, not the answers Mark wanted to hear. So he held his tongue and Roger, and watched some invisible point two inches above Ali’s left shoulder, listening to the gentle whirr of his camera as it slowly came to a stop.
Silence had ensued, though not for very long. “This,” Gordon started in again on Mark, who had quietly gone back to fiddling with his camera, winding, and wiping at the already spotless lens. “Is just what I’m talking about. This silence. Your goddamn silence.” Paul wondered briefly at the language, a trait Gordon had never displayed before, never needed to display before. “Do you think it’s helping anything? Do you honestly think that, just because you don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist? That we don’t?”
That struck Mark wrong somehow, it wasn’t the people he had a problem with, it was… but then, Gordon wasn’t stupid, he knew what the real problem was. And he could probably put it into better words than Mark. But would he, and would Mark listen?
“We’re here. Now. This isn’t the time for elegies or silent remembrance, we’re not dead yet, we’re not a memory.” Gordon wasn’t mad, just wary. He’d gone through the same doubts, but he’d gone through them. And it was more than a little disconcerting to him to think that someone without AIDS had the same problem. So he was trying to get through that too. Mark needed to hear this from someone else, because he had lost the strength to say it long ago. “Stop preparing yourself for the end, regretting the beginning, when are you going to live in the middle?”
“No day but today.” The words were so soft past Mark’s lips that only Roger and Angel really heard him, and Roger still found himself doubting if he had heard right. He forced himself to look around the room and recognize that every person gathered there was dying just a little bit faster than him, and that his heart didn’t have to die with them.
And while Mark’s words fell flat, their meaning came shining through in that simple gesture, and Gordon never felt the need to ask Mark just what had been said, because in the long run, the words weren’t what really mattered. He smiled, a sharp twist of the lip that seemed painful and probably was, but Mark couldn’t help but smile back, his smile just a little bit clearer, a little bit healthier, but that was a given, really. The meeting went on, and only Roger seemed surprised when Mark stayed behind to speak more with Gordon, when he continued to do so at subsequent meetings.
It was difficult for the others too understand why Mark would want to put himself through that again, let another dying person into his heart, but Mark had never had much self-preservation to speak of, and now, at least, he would speak of it at all. He couldn’t discriminate between “healthy” relationships and “unhealthy” ones, only what felt right to him. And Gordon felt right to him. Long, arduous arguments about the best way to fold socks felt right to him. Candlelit dinners on the rooftop in the middle of January that always ended up being starlit dinners when the candles just wouldn’t stay lit felt right to him. Ending up somewhere in Connecticut with nothing but two dollars between the two of them because they’d just hopped in the car and drove felt so incredibly right to him that it hurt sometimes.
Gordon never underwent any miraculous transformation from embittered to jubilant, but it seemed he found it easier to smile, perhaps because he’d finally found something that was worth smiling about. Through it all he was the stabilizing force, a welcome change for Mark, who all but flourished when finally given to opportunity to let himself soar. He would practically force the filmmaker into tears at funerals, but Mark always came to his defense later, admitting that he felt all the better for it, and he would continue, until his dying day even, to remind Mark to speak his mind when he wanted, to cry when he needed, to get mad when he damn well felt like it.
Mark had never quite known the right thing to say, because, as Gordon had constantly reminded him, he didn’t have AIDS. But Gordon had always forgiven him for saying the wrong thing, because anything was better than that awful silence.