Disclaimer: A) I don't own Maureen, Benny, or any of the other RENT characters. B) The third little overgrown drabble was written by my Alex-dear, but I decided to include it because it was written as a companion piece to the first two. So there.


i.
You watch her, twining men and women around her finger, breaking hearts as she flirts her way through life. You could lose yourself in her smile. You could drown yourself in her eyes. She is a goddess of seduction and destruction. You know this, you've seen what she does to hearts and lives, but you'd risk everything for the chance to hold her, just for a little while.
But she never looks at you like that. You're her friend, the one she drags to sing duets with in karaoke bars at one in the morning. Later, you're "the enemy of Avenue A", the yuppie scum who sold out and abandoned his friends. She's the goddess of someone else's world, and you know you can't have her. Still, you keep watching, though now from a distance, now no longer her roommate, her friend, her anything. You'll always be watching her.

ii.
"His name, we have learned, was Benny."
And she turns to glare at you, her silent gaze accusing and disdainful. For a second, you're transfixed, unable to move, to breathe. You haven't seen her since you left the loft, and even with that angry, betrayed look in her eyes, just seeing her again is enough to make your heart rush, that old feeling of not being able to think straight around her. You try to catch her eye, your own gaze begging for forgiveness. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to leave you, didn't mean to hurt you, I'm sorry, be my friend again, I miss you, please believe me, I'm sorry...
But she turns away and starts speaking once more, and your heart sinks.
"And although he once had principles, he abandoned them-"
You know what she means. You abandoned her.

iii.
"His name, we have learned, was Benny."
You turn and glare at him, you bite your tongue and warn your body not to appear weak at all. You meet his gaze for a brief moment, and you tell yourself not to let him know how long you spent crying for him, how much you longed for him. You hold yourself rigid, careful to ignore the pleading look in his eyes, the silent begging for forgiveness. You are strong. You're over him. The silly girl who lusted after her roommate and pushed him away because of it has long since died.
Then the moment is over, and you turn back to your audience, you turn your back on him like he did to you.
"And though he once had principles, he abandoned them..."