Disclaimer: I don't own Rent or any of the characters or lyrics that I use unless otherwise stated.

Warnings: Dark themes.

Notes: All chapters after the prologue are Post Rent while the prologue itself is Pre Rent.


"Are you feeling better?" Collins asked, softly.

"Define better," Mark said as he pushed himself up, wincing.

"I can't believe he did that," Collins said, "It's not like him at all."

"It's the need for drugs. His cravings are clouding his judgment and just plain fucking with him."

"He won't remember this come morning, will he?"


"So you're not even going to ask for an apology?"

"Collins, some things are better kept quiet," the filmmaker's voice was shaky.


"Listen, I can't make him apologize for something he doesn't even remember doing."

Collins sighed and shook his head, "Well, at least he was considerate."

"Yeah. At least he was," Mark answered as he pulled the sleeves of his sweatshirt lower.

And the silence that came was a welcomed one. The two jumped when a loud bang was heard. Apparently, Roger had decided to try and get out of his room. Again.

"I barricaded it," Collins said, "Don't worry."

"Oh," came Mark's reply.

Collins shifted uncomfortably as the sounds from Roger's room persisted, "Listen, I need to tell you something."

"Go ahead."

Collins didn't know where to start. He actually felt bad for bringing good news to his friend, "I, uh, I got the MIT job. They said I can move on campus in two months."

"Collins, that's great!" Mark's face instantly lit up, even if the other man seemed uncertain, "Why aren't you happier? You've been wanting this job for a while now."

"Cause I'll be leaving you with that," Collins answered, jerking his hand in Roger's direction, "I don't want to do that to you. Not after this."

Mark simply smiled, pulling his knees to his chest as he did so, "Tom, it'll be in two months and in two months there can be great progress. You shouldn't worry about what'll go on here when you go to Boston."

"Cambridge, actually," Collins pointed out, causing Mark to laugh.

"It'll be fine," the filmmaker said, "So, don't worry about anything except looking forward to teaching at MIT."

Collins nodded and stepped forward to ruffle the younger man's hair.

All they could hope for was progress and normality and that was exactly what Collins hoped they would obtain by the time he had to leave.

Author's Notes: Yes, MIT is actually in Cambridge, Massachusetts... I'm anal like that. I mean... I really hope you enjoyed this so far! XD. ahem Please, let me know what you think of this. This is my first real chaptered Rent fic and hopefully I won't step on any toes as I write this. Thanks so much for reading, please leave a review or crit me or anything really. Thanks again.