Title: Playing Bartender

Author: Marty

Feedback: Yes, please!

Pairing: Mark/Joanne (friendship)

Word Count: 642

Rating: PG-13

Genre: General/Humor

Summary: Roger has a new job bartending. A distraught Joanne knocks on the door to the loft, seeking advice. And Mark… pretends to be a bartender?

Notes: My first (attempt at a) Speed Rent story… let's see how far it gets

Special Thanks: Everyone… I've been looking around here for a while…

Spoilers: None

Warnings: This story probably really sucks. It's the first bit of RENT fanfiction I've ever written. So don't be surprised if you end up crying because it is the crappiest story you've ever read.

Disclaimer: RENT isn't mine. Mark's scarf isn't mine. For all I know, the bag of Tostitos with "a hint of lime" I just ate wasn't mine (probably my brother's). Anyway you look at it, RENT isn't mine.

Added notes on 2/23/06: There originally was a break in there, but stupid QuickEdit took it out. And if I was a compulsive potty mouth, I'd be swearing at it right now.But I'm not. And it's there now, so that's all that matters!

Joannepounded on the door of the loft. "Hello? Anyone there?"

Mark answered the door. "Joanne? What the heck are you doing here?"

She sighed. "Umm… is Roger here?"

Mark seemed taken aback. "Roger? No… he's out at his new job, bartending at that new club down the street… The… Lunar? I don't know…"

Joanne laughed. "Yeah, I can just see Roger talking to everyone about their problems while getting them drunk…"

The two walked over two the couch, and sat down. Joanne snorted as Mark sat on a spring.

"Roger the shrink." Mark replied, rubbing his sore butt. "So, why were you looking for Roger? Wait, don't tell me… who's going to sue him?"

"No one. Actually, I was making sure he wasn't here… He gets weird about things like that."

"Okay, you've known us for ages, and you still can't spilt it out. Just say it- Roger's a sarcastic, nasty bastard when it comes to listening to what other people have to say."

Joanne whispered, "He's not the only one."

Mark immediately got up. He left and went to his room for a moment. After what seemed like ages, he came back with several empty film reels. He stacked them up, and made the splintered table in front of the couch rise a bit.

"Welcome to Club Loft, only the newest bar in Alphabet City. What would you like this evening, Miss?" he inquired, a smug look on his face.

"Mark," Joanne replied, curious, "what are you doing?"

"Playing bartender. What would you like this evening, Miss? The drink of the night is Budweiser." Mark repeated.

"And what other options do I have?"

Mark coughed, "Budweiser."

"Okay, I'll take a glass of that."

The filmmaker left to go to the unorganized kitchen. Joanne heard something (Was it glass?) crash, and a scream of, "Shit!"

Mark came back in, carrying a Styrofoam cup filled with beer. His left hand was bleeding a little. "I'm sorry; our last glass just broke in the kitchen, and our next shipment doesn't come until next week."

Joanne felt bad. "Mark… sorry about the glass, I… Hey, wait, where'd you get the beer, anyway?"

"An associate of mine at The Lunar managed to get a little for our friend Maureen's birthday party last week," Mark said with a wink.

"Maureen…" Joanne, groaned, rubbing her temples. She took a swig of the beer. Half of the cup was gone already.

"Wow," Mark replied, eyes wide. "What did Maureen do to you?"

"You know how she made the ensemble of that… that show last month?"

Mark nodded.

"I walked into the apartment an hour ago, and found her asleep in the bed with one of the dancers."

"There she goes again… cheating. It got to the point, when we were dating, when I would say that I was going to the store or something. I'd leave my camera on while I was gone…" he said, shaking his head.

"And?" Joanne asked, knowing what the answer would be.

"I did it six times, and four out of the six someone (other than Roger) was asleep here…"

"Why am I not surprised?"

"So," Mark said, "what did you do?"

"I stormed out… she had to leave for a show tonight, so I guess I'll be coming home to an empty apartment."

"Oh, really?" Mark replied. Joanne could see the light bulb go off in his head.

Maureen opened the door to the apartment. "Hello? Pookie?"

Joanne heard footsteps. "Shhh!" she whispered to Mark, trying to smother her laughing with a pillow.

"Pookie? Are you here? Seriously, I need help!"

More footsteps. Joanne stopped giggling with Mark.

"I just talked to Roger. Marky's missing, and Roger found blood and broken glass in the kitchen at the loft."

Maureen opened the bedroom door. "There you are, I… wait, who is that? MARK?

Author's notes: I wrote this for speedrent. The prompt was "bar". Did you get the ending? To get back at Maureen, Joanne and Mark PRETENDED to be in bed with each other… Anyway, review please! It was written pretty fast, so I'm sorry if it doesn't make sense.