Chapter Eight

Okay everyone, this is(sadly)the final chapter of the story! And just so you know, something weird is going on and changing most of my question marks to exclamation points, so if there's an exclamation where it seems like it should be a question...it's not my fault! Thanks!

When the kids woke up from their nap, the gang had had a chance to relax and regroup. Roger was sitting on the couch with his guitar, Mimi next to him. Maureen and Joanne were attempting to clean off the counter, arguing with each other about where to put things. Mark was running around trying to pick up toys, and Angel and Collins were nowhere to been seen. Thomas, Sam, Kristy and Lucy all walked over to the couch.

"Hey sleepy heads!"Mimi greeted.

"Angel and Collins went to go get you some dinner. They should be back soon,"Mark explained as he tossed Big Bird into the corner.

"Maureen! Don't just dump stuff on the floor like that!"Joanne snapped.

"Well what am I supposed to do with it? There's nowhere to put this crap!"Maureen snapped back.

"Crap!"Lucy repeated happily.

"Oh, no honey, don't repeat after Maureen, that's not a good idea..."Mimi warned, lifting Lucy up onto her lap. Sam and Kristy plopped down on the floor, sitting cross legged before Roger. Thomas crawled up onto the couch next to him, watching him with admiration as he played the tune to "Musetta's Waltz"

"Don't you know any good songs?"Kristy demanded. Roger stopped, looking at her.

"Like what?"he asked.

"Like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!"Kristy said.

"Or Yankee Doodle!"Sam added.

"London Bridge!"Lucy cried. Mimi laughed as Roger let out a deep breath.

"Okay...London Bridge it is,"he said. And he began playing a new, rather interesting version of 'London Bridge' on his guitar. The kids all clapped and sang along, as did Mimi, bouncing Lucy on her lap. Mark looked over at Mimi and Roger surrounded by all the kids. He grinned.

"Hey, guys..."he hissed to Maureen and Joanne. They looked up. Mark motioned to the couch.

"Awww!"Maureen sighed. "That's priceless! I never pictured Roger, of all people, being so good with kids!"

"You know, he and Mimi having kids some day might not be such a crazy idea after all,"Joanne agreed.

"Yeah. As much as he likes to pretend he doesn't, Roger really does have a big old heart under there,"Mark added. He slowly snuck over to his camera, grabbing it and silently winding it up, filming Roger, Mimi and the kids secretly...

"Dinner time!"Collins and Angel came bursting through the door, the way they always did. The kids all jumped up, and Mark quickly threw his camera down.

"What did you get, Collins?"Joanne asked, pulling up a fourth chair at the counter.

"What else? McDonald's!"Collins laughed, holding up the Happy Meals bags. Joanne sighed.

"Great, let's get them all wired up again..."she sighed. "There is just no getting through to you people!"

"Collins! I thought we were boycotting McDonald's!"Maureen cried suddenly.

"Hey, you try finding another restaurant in the East Village that kids can eat from!"Collins argued.

"And that we can afford..."Mark added.

"FOOD!"Lucy yelled, leaping off of Mimi's lap and running over to Collins.

"She's been living with Mark and Roger all right!"Angel joked. The kids all gathered around the counter as Collins passed out the Happy Meals.

"Everyone throw out your toys, we don't support the child labor used to make them!"Maureen cried, running around snatching the little plastic cars and dolls from the kids. Suddenly Greta, who had been sleeping peacefully, woke up, letting out more of her hideous screams. Mark winced.

"...there goes my quiet evening..."he sighed. He walked over to the small bassinet that Joanne had set up for Greta, picking up the small, flailing baby. "She hates me! She absolutely hates me! I can't even hold this baby without her bursting into tears!"he groaned.

"Well that's because you're holding her all wrong!"Mimi cried suddenly. "Look, you have to support her head, like this..."Mimi ran over, taking Mark's hands and rearranging them until he was holding Greta right. At that moment, Greta's sobs turned into whimpers, and eventually died out altogether. Mark looked from Greta to Mimi in shock.

"How did you...?"Mimi shrugged.

"It's a girl's instinct,"she replied. Mark grinned widely.

"That was amazing!"he cried. Mimi just laughed, walking back over to where Roger was sitting, across from Joanne and Maureen who were now happily making out. The kids all watched them curiously.

"Are you guys sisters? 'Cause you don't look like sisters..."Thomas commented.

"No, they're homosexualists! It means they kiss other girls and its okay!"Kristy announced very matter-of-factly. Collins nearly squirted vodka out his nose, and Mimi and Angel fell out of their seats laughing. Mark's jaw dropped.

"Maureen! What did you TELL them!"he shrieked. Maureen just grinned.

"Well, they were gonna find out sooner or later! Why not sooner? They're learning, Mark!"she replied.

"It's nothing to be ashamed of, kids!"Angel said, picking herself up off the floor. "It's fine if you're a boy and you like boys, and the same with girls."

"What if you don't like either?"Thomas asked curiously.

"Well Thomas, then you're like your Uncle Mark, and you masturbate-"

"ROGER! I think the kids can stop learning right about now!"


After dinner, the group all gathered together in the living room again. Roger played more songs for the kids, who sat around him excitedly. Lucy sat with Mimi, who stayed beside Roger. Angel sat on Collins' lap, and Maureen held Greta as Mark filmed the sing-a-long. Joanne stood over Maureen, enjoying this gentler side of her for a change. It was truly a sight that no one who knew these people would expect to see.

At around 9:00, there was a knock on the door. Mark answered it to find Cindy there, beaming as usual.

"Hey Mark!"she greeted. The kids all looked up...and went running to the door.

"Mommy!"they cried, all hugging their mother.

"Oh, daddy and I missed you all so much!"Cindy said, kneeling down to hug them all back. "Now go get your stuff so we can get home!"The kids all ran off to grab their sleeping bags. Cindy turned to Mark. "So tell me honestly...how were they?"

"They were perfect,"Mark replied.

"Oh, really? I'm so glad things worked out!"Cindy said excitedly, bouncing a little. "Now I can make you guys official babysitters!"The looks on the other's faces was priceless, and Mark had to stop himself from laughing.

"Yeah, well, I think they had fun here,"he replied. The kids all came to the door, sleeping bags in hand. Maureen walked over, handing Greta to Cindy carefully.

"Was she any...trouble?"Cindy asked, suddenly frowning at the duct taped diaper...

"None!"Mark said, forcing a grin. Cindy looked around the loft at the odd group of baby sitters one last time.

"Well, thanks again. All of you. I'll call you later, Mark! Come on kids..."And Cindy lead the kids out the door.

"Mommy, Uncle Mark's friends are SO cool!"

"Yeah, Roger taught me to play on his guitar!"

"And we got to moo at the bad guy!"

"Angel was a BOY, but he wears dresses!"

"We learned so many new words that we need to tell you and daddy..."As soon as the door closed behind them, the bohemians all let out a sigh simultaneously.

"Okay...we seriously need to get drunk!"Collins announced.

"Life Cafe?"Mark asked.

"Let's go!"

ONE WEEK LATER

"SPEAK."Roger and Mark's voices rang out on the answering machine. There was a beep...

"Hey, Mark, it's Cindy...look, I'm not sure what exactly happened over the weekend, but ever since the kids have come back, they've all been acting so strangely! Sam keeps putting on Kristy's dresses, and he won't wear his pants! And the other day Kristy told all the girls in her class it was okay to be 'lesbimums', and she keeps telling me that she wants to marry a girl and...and Thomas won't stop talking about guitars, and your friend Roger! He keeps putting on rock music and jumping around...And Lucy hasn't stopped moo-ing since she came home, and she's been saying some words that I'm pretty sure she didn't know before! Greta won't stop crying whenever Rich picks her up now, I think she misses you...and the kids keep protesting everything Rich and I tell them! They moo at us, Mark! OUR KIDS ARE MOOING AT US! Mark, please call me back, I don't know what to do!"In the background of the message you could hear a screaming baby, lots of 'moo-ing' and a boy's voice yelling 'But daddy, I wanna wear the pink dress to school!', not to mention loud rock music blasting and shouts of random swears. As the message ended, Roger and Mark exchanged grins.

"How long before she lets the kids come back?"Roger asked.

"Oh, I'll give 'em until Greta is 13, at the soonest,"Mark replied. And the two laughed.

Perhaps La Vie Boheme was just not meant for children.

LA FIN

So that's the end of the story! I'm glad people liked it so much, and I wish there was more I could add...but after a while, these kids would start to get annoying! Thanks for all your inputs and ideas, and making this such a fun story for me to write!