After the fallout with Eduardo, Dustin found himself at a loss. Mark was clearly hurting (although, to anyone else it might look like he didn’t care at all), and Dustin didn’t know what to do. None of his clever jokes seemed to be working, which was an alarming sign anyway, because really how could anyone not see how hilarious he was?

He tried to get Mark to join in a Mario Kart tournament with him and the interns, fully intending to let Mark win, but he just stayed holed up in his office. He even considered going to Sean to get something to help Mark feel better, but decided drugs wouldn’t help (and wouldn’t his guidance counselors be pleased?).

Finally he just decided to go over and make Mark talk it out. He’d resort to trust falls if that’s what it took! Determined, he strolled casually (read: burst loudly) into Mark’s office. Everyone else had gone home, because it was Friday and they were normal people with real actual social lives.

“Mark!” He called, “Marky-Mark! We’re going to make you better if it takes all night and all the redbull in your ridiculous office fridge! You-“

He stopped when he saw Mark wasn’t at his desk. Instead, he was sitting on the couch on the other side of his office. He wasn’t even working, something that was enough to make even Dustin shut up. He was just staring at the coffee table in front of him, where there were some papers. When Dustin walked over, he was that they were forms from the lawsuit.

“Mark?” Dustin said quietly, because unlike some people thought (Chris), he was capable of speaking softly. He put a hand on Mark’s shoulder.

Mark jumped a little, as if just now realizing Dustin was there. He looked up at him, and then reached up and put his hand over Dustin’s.

They stayed like that for a long time.