A/N: This was written for the Rent100 livejournal community, where I had to write a story with the inspiration coming from the word red. This is just a little drabble, mini-story to stretch my writing abilities. Reviewing is appreciated.

Red

Angel used to paint her fingernail's red when she felt sexy, or so she said. Later, Mimi applied red streaks to her hair to go with a new dance, and Roger bought himself a new red belt to go with his new "rockstar image". Collins changed his beanie to a red one in honor of Angel even later than that, and Joanne and Maureen took up wearing red lipstick, "just for the hell of it".

For Mark, red had a different definition.

Red was the color of Mark's new girlfriend's hair, so red that when the sun hit it, it looked like her head was on fire. Red was also the color of the hickey Mark did little to cover up two weeks into the relationship, the scratches on his back the fourth week, and the new sweater she'd bought him on their two month anniversary.

Red was also the color of Mark's cheeks when his friends teased him about her, from their jaunts about his sex life, to the teasing about the look of admiration his eyes would get when he spoke of her.

Finally, red was the color of the centerpieces and the flowers in the lapel's of the men's jackets at Mark's wedding.

White, though, was the color of the smiles that were shared that day as hugs and kisses were shared, as they paired off and danced, or as they watched their best friend dance with his new wife, his cheeks aflame with the attention brought on him as he shared the best moment of his life.

Red, they realized, as they sipped wine and collected the moment to be stored in their memory forever, was also the color of blood, the color of life.

"To life," They had said, clinking glasses together.

Later, red would be color of the paper heart Mark's daughter brought home from school on Valentine's Day, and the bump on his son's head after he fell down.

It would be the colors of the lesions tainting Roger's and Mimi's and Collin's arms, and the color of Roger's guitar in the stark white of the hospital room.

It would be the color of his daughter's first car, and the flowers on the graves of his best friends. It would be the color used in the titles of his first well-received film.

Red was the color that defined a family's life, Mark's family, their family. Collins, Mimi, Roger, Angel, Joanne, Maureen, even Benny.

It was the color of survival and death, of anger, hatred and love. It was the color that changed their lives, and defined a future.

It was a color that defined them.