Title: There Was This Girl
Fandom:
RENT.
Pairing:
Implied Mark/ Maureen. Implied Roger/ April. Implied Benny/ Random woman.

Notes and Disclaimer: Here's something not nearly as morbid as my first story. It's goofy and light-hearted, and for that reason, it bothers me a little. Call me evil, but I feel more comfortable writing sad than happy. Pardon Roger's interruptions throughout the story. I just didn't want Mark to gush too much.

I still don't own anything, as it belongs to the late, great Jonathan Larson.

Enjoy.


-Roger-

As soon as I climb off the ladder and under the curtain of hanging towels and sheets that serves as the wall to the bedroom I share with Mark, I know that something unnatural's happened to him today. Something completely out of the ordinary has presented itself to the most normal person in the loft, and it's clear as anything just looking at him.

See, there's this thing about Mark that you've got to notice when you're living with him: he'll never tell you exactly what's going on, but you can always catch the general gist of it from his body language. If he's really excited about something, you'll see it right away; he'll have this queer sort of half-sideways grin on his face and won't seem to be able to sit down to save his life. If there's something bothering him, chances are, Mark will sit up in our room, right on the edge of his mattress, and scribble down plot points or character backgrounds for some script he'll never look at again. That, or he'll take his camera and go on long walks, come in and out at strange times, and then actually sleep eight hours and wake up perfectly content in the morning.

Sometimes, I swear to God, he's such a little girl.

But today- I just don't know. Today, I really can't tell what's up with my camera-savvy friend. I can't read him.

When I get to my feet and move to the side of his mattress, on which he's all sprawled out, Mark stares right past me. Living in New York, you get used to stuff like that pretty fast, but when talking about Mark, who, very much like my mother, insists on asking things like, "How was your day, Roger?" and "Did your bassist show up today, Roger?" no greeting is rare and strange.

He's got this weird look on his face, too, and I can't figure out what sort of weird look it is. It isn't overly happy or upset or anxious. It isn't overly anything. It's almost that expression that you put on when you shut your hand in the car door but don't want anyone to know that you're in pain. If it is this sort of look, I've got two guesses as to why Mark is staring off into space:

Either someone kicked him in the nuts, or his camera is broken. It's more likely the first than the second, as I've always had this feeling that losing his camera would hurt Mark even more than a swift kick to the groin, and he'd probably lay in bed and cry for hours afterwards.

He's not crying, though. Just sort of laying there, his legs straight out in front of him, his arms resting casually over his stomach. If it weren't for the fraying sweater and the threadbare cords, he'd look just about ready for a casket.

"Mark." Slightly irritated at his silence and, admittedly, just a bit curious as to what's running through his head, I stick the toe of my boot into his ribs, and he snaps out of it quickly, squirming and knocking my foot away from his side. He doesn't throw anything at me or whine that I kicked him, but draws himself up so that he's resting on his arms, turns his head towards me, and addresses me with little more than a, "Hm?"

"What, Mark? You don't say hi anymore?" I'm not really angry, and from the smile starting to break on his face, he knows it. "What's so hot on your mind that you don't have anything to say to your best friend?"

"Sorry, Roger. I was just thinking-"

"Yeah, no shit." I relocate the brilliant yellow milk crate that serves as Mark's nightstand so that it's right under me, and I seat myself with my elbows on my knees, looking way more interested than I really am. "Okay. I'm listening."

"No, it's-"

"Something that's spacing you out. A lot. Come on, Mark; you bug me about all of my moods. Now it's your turn to confess."

He sits up some more, his eyes worried behind his thick glasses. "You really think I'm bugging you? Roger, if you don't want to talk about something, just-" I cut him off with a stony glare, and he lays back again, probably to avoid looking me in the eye. I love that I can do that to people, and it shows in my smirk.

"Well, Benny and I went to this bar, just to-"

"Uh huh."

He pouts. I grin. Sorry, Mark, but you're boring me already.

"We -no, just Benny, really- Benny was looking for a.. just someone to-"

"Okay, Mark. I got it: Benny was looking for a few beers and a one-night-stand, so he dragged you out to some bar because chicks dig gay guys."

"That's about it," he says, his face reddening significantly. He didn't catch that. More likely than not, he didn't hear anything past 'one-night-stand.' Or maybe that's me talking.

"So... we were sitting at the bar, but we weren't really drinking anything. Benny kept making eyes at all these girls, and I was just sort of... you know- sitting. Not drinking, but just sitting and-"

"Mark." Whatever this is, it had better be good, for all the dancing he's doing to try to get around the final story. "Come on."

"There was this girl, Roger." Suddenly, there's this elated little blonde kid laying in front of me with a monstrous grin splitting his blushing face. I don't think I've ever seen someone smile like that and actually mean it, and I can't help but grin at the look on his face. I lean down towards him and take his bony shoulders in my hands, shaking him as I probably would if he told me that he was getting married. Or better:

"Jesus, Mark- you got laid!"

He struggles and pries himself out of my hands, flopping down onto his back while trying to hide the laughter behind his scowl.

"No, but-"

"But she makes you horny." I get kicked for that, but it was worth it.

"No!" Yes. A breath, and now, the smiley kid's back. "But Roger, she was beautiful. More than just hot, you know? And cute. She was gorgeous, with this long, curly hair and a great smile-"

"And tits the size of-" Now he hurls a pillow at me, which was a mistake, as I return it to him by whacking him upside the head with his own weapon, enjoying every minute of his futile resistance.

"I'm telling April you said that." See? What a girl.

"She'll live, and I'll still get laid by someone other than my right hand."

He glares daggers at me, flipping me off until I make a move to grab his finger, when he sets his arms back over his chest again. For a very long moment, he keeps his little smile on his face, but it morphs into another huge grin while the film reels turn in his head.

"You should have seen her, Roger."

"I don't know, Mark; if all this is true, I might follow Benny's lead and go looking for a one-night-stand. What's this girl's name?"

"What? I -"

"Dude, I was joking." God, he can be high-strung. " I'm not going to steal your girlfriend. I just want to know the name of this wonder-chick."

Mark looks at me like I suddenly wasn't the undeniably sexy, bad-boy rock star that I am, wringing his hands nervously as he pushes himself up and shakes his head from side to side.

"How would I know her name, Roger? Do you really think I could talk to someone like her? She's probably got a boyfriend. Two, maybe! I mean, this girl-"

And that's about where I walk out on him, shoving him onto his back and shaking my head as I climb back down the ladder, remembering a new rule to Mark Cohen's body language: If Mark's head is in the clouds, if he's got a dreamy sort of look in his eyes, if he doesn't say hello, and if he smiles and sighs even when I call him boring, gay, and horny, then Mark is suffering from severe puppy love and should be left alone to come off his cloud, lest I have to listen to him gush for another half hour.


More Notes: Review and make my day?

I might continue this so that it follows the relationship between Mark and Maureen for a while. But I might not.