Summary: What if April didn't kill herself? What if Maureen didn't leave Mark? What if Collins didn't go to MIT? What if Benny didn't meet Alison? This, my friends, this.

Author's Note: Alrighty. This is my first fic, so please bear with me in trying to figure out this site/this story. I'm gonna be brutally honest and say I'm just going with the flow for this. I got the idea and really liked it, so I have a basic outline for what's gonna happen, but not quite in detail. Please R&R - I want your opinions on my writing style, the plot, the characterizations and stuff! That's it! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: These aren't my characters. They're Johnathan Larson's - the man, the muse, the mystery. I'm just borrowing them and screwing with their fictional lives, 'cause I'm cool like that!


Mark Cohen jogged up the stairs as silently as he could, laughing to himself. He reached the top and hid behind the connecting wall. He heard tiny footsteps pattering up the stairs behind him.

"Mark! Wait for me!" a high pitched voice echoed up the stairwell. Mark continued to laugh to himself and prepared for the attack.

"Where did you go now?" the feminine voice asked to herself, closer this time. Mark spun around, standing at the top of the stairwell, face to face with a small woman in the midst of reaching the top of the stairs. He picked her up and cradled her in his arms.

"Mark! Put me down!" she laughed. Mark kissed her, spun her around in a circle, and plopped her on the ground in front of him.

"I love you, Maureen Johnson." Mark said matter-of-factly, putting his arms around her small waist.

"I love you, too, Pookie." Maureen kissed him, pulling him close to her. The couple walked down the narrow hallway to a large steel door. Mark pushed the door open and Maureen slid under his arm, pulling him inside. She took off her coat and tossed it on the nearby couch, and Mark did the same.

The couple sat down on the other end of the battered couch. Mark put his arm around Maureen's shoulders and sighed.

"What should we do tonight?" she asked, turning to face him. She swung her legs over his lap and snuggled in closer to him.

"Whatever you like. We can watch a movie, we can make babies, whatever you want, babe."

Maureen rolled her eyes. "Make babies? I think you've been hanging out with Roger too much." She rested her head on Mark's shoulder.

"No making babies tonight, my friends." A deep voice came from behind them. Tom Collins, the anarchist-extrordinaire, emerged from his bedroom carrying a stack of papers. "If I'm in the place, there will be no baby-making." He plopped down on the scruffy, overstuffed easy chair placed close to the couch.

"Oh, please. It's happened before and you know it." Maureen laughed, batting Mark away as he attempted to kiss her neck.

"Ew." Collins simply replied, furrowing his eyebrows. He put his papers down on the old coffee table.

"What are those?" Mark asked, giving up on Maureen and gesturing towards the stack of papers.

"Essays. I told my students I'd mark 'em for next week. And seeing as they handed them in a couple months ago and I haven't touched them, I'd better get started." He grimaced.

"Good luck."

"Where's Benny tonight?" Collins asked, picking up the top essay and quickly flipping through it.

Mark shrugged. "I talked to him this morning. He said he was gonna go out after work, so he's probably wherever by now."

"Mmhmm. And Roger?"

"Rehearsal with the band. Or with April. Or shooting up. Or all three. Who knows." Mark replied, pulling Maureen closer to him.

"That boy has it coming." Collins said, shaking his head. "He thinks he's invincible. I used to be invincible, too. Now look where I am. AIDs. How does THAT work?"

Maureen made a face. "But we've got you, you've got us, and we're all healthy. Everything'll be okay."

Collins looked up at her and smiled. He didn't expect Maureen, the resident drama queen, to say something as heartfelt and touching as that. She was right. Everything will be okay.