Title: Fine Line

Author: Girl Who Writes

Feedback: is beloved

Pairing: Mimi/Roger, Mark/Mimi friendship

Word Count: 685

Rating: PG-M

Genre: Angst, Tragedy

Summary: She can do this – go to the hospital and stay there until there's no longer a reason to stay.

Notes: I swore to myself that I wouldn't go here, that it's cliche and overdone, but I did, and I can only hope it is a different take on the scenario Written for livejournal's speed rent. And I just started the first chapter of a long Rent fic gasp. Yes, a multichapter Rent fic by me. Shocking, I know :D

Spoilers: Movie, Musical

Warnings: Language

Disclaimer: Property of the Jonathon Larson estate.


She leans over the toilet, feeling breakfast rush up. Her head spins as she chokes, her hair hanging in her face. The bitter taste of vomit lingers in her mouth, and even after she rinses her mouth out with water, it lingers – she can smell it on her clothes, in the air, the sour scent. She reaches for her toothbrush, looking at her pale face, the dark circles under her eyes. She looks like death, and that thought makes her want to cry.

A knock on the bathroom door interrupts her self-pity. "Mimi, are you ready to go?" Mark. Waiting to go to the hospital – Maureen and Collins have kept up the vigil by Roger's death bed (and that thought makes her want to hurl for an entirely different reason) so that she and Mark could get some sleep.

She didn't sleep, she worried. She cried a bit, but she doesn't want to admit that. Roger is dying, and won't see out the week, and her doctor blankly told her that her T-Cell count was surprisingly good.

Oh, and that she's pregnant.

Babies are not something that Mimi ever thought about, really. She was the youngest of her family, and when her mother started a family with her stepfather, well, she was gone before she really cared about them. Babies are for healthy, happy couples who wear matching sweaters and have a large yellow dog; for people who have jobs and heat and drink wine with dinner. Not for people who go to the clinic every other week, who take pills to cheat death for another day and certainly not for people who burn their eviction notices, their screenplays and their songs for heat when the landlord shuts the power off.

She ignores Mark's concerned looks and takes her coat from him. She can do this – go to the hospital and stay there until there's no longer a reason to stay. She had reassure Roger that Angel's up there waiting for him and that she'll love him for the rest of her life.

She won't tell him that it'd be great if he could stick around another seven months to see his kid. Because there's only so much forgotten regret before there's nothing but long lists of regret.

She's sick in the gutter again, outside the subway, and it's Mark who pulls her hair off of her face and rubs her back with an indescribable expression on his face. He offers her a crumpled paper napkin to wipe her face on, and they get on the subway.

Angel used to say 'Everyone makes mistakes', and Mimi has to have an award winning list of mistakes in her life, starting with the drugs and ending with unprotected sex with the man she was going to spend the rest of her life with. Or so she thought. Now it's the rest of his life, and it's getting so bad that it could be over in a few hours.

There's an easy solution, her doctor gave her pamphlets and sent her on her way. Two HIV+ parents? A death sentence for any baby. Daddy would be dead before the baby was born, and Mommy would probably follow soon after. Neither had any blood relations to speak of, so it would be left up to Mark, to Collins, to Maureen and Joanne, to take pity on the dying child.

And for all she knew, she might see the baby's third birthday. The baby might not.

Mark watches as she cries silent tears, staring off into space and takes one of her cold hands in his and offers her a grim smile. Roger demanded he look after Mimi, watch her, and he's put the pieces together. He's not going to confront her about it until next week, because there is a fine line between living and dying, and it fucking hurts that something that could be potentially crazy and wonderful is as painful and unfair as it is.

And, even if she doesn't notice, it is Mark who holds her up as they make their way to the hospital room.