A/N: Not sure where this came from, but here goes! As always, feedback is wonderful.

Set pre-Rent, is Mark/Maureen, and works in either the musical or movie world.


Roger was in rehab when she brought home the dreaded blue box. She entered an empty loft and placed it carefully on the bathroom sink, staring at it a good twenty minutes before reaching forward and ripping open its contents.

Shit was the first thought that ran through her brain.

She did what the box said, managing despite her fraying nerves and set the stick back on the sink's edge. Three minutes seemed like forever and she leaned against the tub, her eyes fixed at the loft's sliding door, hoping against hope she could finish this before Mark came back.

Nothing budged and the seconds ticked away. She counted carefully in her head – she was never one for wearing a watch – and finally, finally, three minutes were up. She turned and was ready to face whatever the slender piece of plastic would tell her.

Then, oh yes, only then, was when she heard the lock turn, the door slide open. Her eyes widened, her brain screaming. No, this couldn't be happening. This only happens in the movies.

Perhaps then it was ironic that she was dating a filmmaker.

"Maureen?"

There were sounds of keys being tossed on the table, a bag dropping to ground. She scrambled a moment, wondering what to do with the object in her hand, and not realizing that she hadn't even bothered to look down for the results.

Mark appeared in the doorway a moment later, his camera in hand.

"Mo? You all right?"

No, she was not all right, she wanted to scream. She was absolutely far from all right. One of her friends was dead, killing herself in this very bathroom, and another one was miles away in a drug rehab, she was cheating on her boyfriend, and here she was, possibly pregnant.

There, she'd said it. Not out loud, but still she'd thought it. Christ, she'd thought it.

"Maureen? Um, you're scaring me."

Hadn't he noticed what she had in her hands? Was he blind? No, he was Mark. Poor, clueless Mark. The same guy that turned the other cheek when she came home smelling like foreign cologne.

Which, of course, brought her to another thought – was it even Mark's? Oh, god, if she had to be pregnant, it had to be Mark's. She could not have gotten herself this screwed.

Mark stepped into the bathroom, setting his camera down. He put a hand on her shoulder. It was when he looked down at her hands that he did a double take.

She heard him swallow. "Um….is that…" he stammered.

She sighed. "A pregnancy test? Yes, Mark, that's exactly what it is. What clued you in? The box?" The sarcasm crept into her voice before she could stop it. She immediately regretted it when Mark let go of her shoulder.

"Wow…" She turned and saw him blink and shake his head. Not the reaction she'd been expecting at all. Then again, she wasn't sure what she expected. Support, probably. Mark was a sweetheart. A doormat, yes, but that wasn't really why she stayed with him. He was pure, still had a tiny bit of innocence in him that she loved, that she craved. She'd taken his virginity and though it took time for her to train him, that innocence was still there whenever they had sex. No matter how many other men she slept with, that was the thing that was always missing. She wasn't sure if it was a good thing or not.

"So…?"

He was back at her shoulder, peering down into the sink.

It was then that it hit her. She hadn't looked. In just a second she would know.

A glance down. A glance at the box.

"No, I'm not." She was surprised at her voice as she said those words. It was soft and slow, releasing something that almost sounded like regret.

"Oh." Mark's disappointment was clear and he was quiet a moment. "Well…that's good, right?"

"Yeah," she agreed, her tone still muted. Mark picked up his camera and heading back into the living room.

She let the stick drop into the garbage and thought about following him. Would Mark have been happy with a baby? Would she have been happy with a baby? She thought she knew the answer, but again the tiniest sliver of doubt hit her.

She stared into the mirror and looked at the reflection staring back her. No, she couldn't be happy. Maureen Johnson wasn't mother material. She couldn't support herself, let alone a child. She liked tight clothing, and the stretch marks alone would be horrifying. She couldn't imagine getting up for 3 a.m. feedings or attending PTA meetings. She couldn't be responsible for another human life.

Still, she picked up the box and pursed her lips. She stole a glance out into the living room. Mark was sitting on the worn out couch, paper in hand, writing as if what had happened hadn't happened. In a brief moment of concern, she contemplated asking him if he was all right.

But she didn't. There was use discussing what could have been.

Instead, she tore the box into small pieces and put it in the trash, covering it with toilet paper and leaving no evidence in plain sight.