No Day But Today
DISCLAIMER: I do not own RENT or anything affiliated with it.
Mimi watched in silence from the bed as Roger stared out the window. It had been a year since her near-death experience, and Roger still tended to be depressed this time of year. She'd done everything she could to help him, but nothing seemed to work.
"Baby, come to bed," she said, getting up and walking up behind him. He turned to wrap his arm around her.
"I was just thinking…" he began.
"I know. It'll be a year next week," she said. "You've been depressed ever since Halloween. Please just talk to me." Roger turned around and hugged her to his chest.
"I'm so sorry… we'll talk in the morning, okay? I promise," he said. He kissed the top of her head and led her back to their bed. They both laid down and Roger held Mimi as they both fell asleep.
Joanne watched silently from the couch as Maureen bounced off the walls. She'd been like this ever since they'd gotten home from the Life Café, where Maureen had eaten more sugar than she thought was humanly possible. "Maureen, please. Just calm down for a little while, before you hurt yourself," Joanne said.
"Oh, Pookie, you're no fun! C'mon, dance with me!" Maureen called.
"Maureen, it's three in the morning. If you don't go to bed, you're going to wake up in the morning sick to your stomach with a massive headache," Joanne told her.
"I didn't have any alcohol, baby. Just a lot of sugar."
"You've never heard of a sugar hangover?"
Mark lay in his bed and stared up at the ceiling. It had been a bad year for him. He'd dated a girl named Jennifer for a while, but she'd left him after she found out that his two roommates were HIV positive. His mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and it wasn't looking good. She'd been in the hospital for several days already, and his father had been calling constantly. Mark had a bus ticket home for the next morning. It was the end, and everyone knew it.
The phone began to ring, but Mark didn't move to answer it. That's what the machine was for. "SPEAK."
"Mark, it's Dad. Things are looking worse… Jeff's on his way to get you, he'll be there about six." Mark got up and went to the phone. He picked it up.
"I'm here, Dad."
"How is she?" Mark asked.
"It'll be cutting it close for you to get here in time. She's been asking for you," his dad said.
"I know, Dad. I've been trying to get there, but its hard. I had to get a loan from Joanne to buy a bus ticket."
"Just get here, Mark. That's all she wants," his father told him.
"I'll be there, Dad. Tell Mom I love her, and to hold on. I'll be there as soon as I can."
Roger opened the sliding door of the loft and went in. "Mark? You here?" he called. Collins came out of Mark's room.
"He left, man. Went home," Collins replied, holding up a letter. "He left this for you. Says he'll be back as soon as he can make it. It's the end."
"I didn't know things were that bad… I knew she was sick."
"He kept it inside… you know how he is. He tries to keep everything in," Collins said.
"Yeah. Especially after Jennifer." Roger sighed. He ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. "I wish there was something we could do for him."
"I don't feel so good," Maureen moaned. Joanne smiled and shook her head.
"I hate to say it, but I told you so," she replied. Maureen shot her the evil eye. "Go back to sleep, baby. You'll feel better later."
"Have you heard from Mark?" she asked.
"No. I called Roger this morning, and he said that Mark left in the middle of the night. Apparently it's really bad," Joanne told her. "Mark didn't tell them how bad it was."
"He's always keeping things bottled up. Roger of all people should know that." Maureen sat up and sighed. "I'll call his parents house later tonight, see what's going on."
"I have to go," Joanne said. "I'll see you tonight."
Mark stared out the passenger window of Jeff's car. The two of them had never really talked much. He was Cindy's husband, but he and Mark never really spent any time together, at least not until today.
"Cindy and the kids have really missed you. We were all hoping you'd show up the past couple of Christmases," Jeff said. Mark sighed.
"Money's been tight. Shit's happened," Mark replied. He wasn't really in the mood to talk, but Jeff didn't seem to be getting the hint.
"Mark, Cindy and I would have helped you out if you'd asked," Jeff said. Mark just nodded.
"I've just had a lot to deal with lately… Roger and Maureen needed me."
"Maureen broke up with you," Jeff reminded.
"For Joanne, yeah I know. Especially seeing as I was the dumpee. But that doesn't mean that she isn't still my friend," Mark replied. Jeff just shook his head.
"You two broke up more than two years ago, but she still has you whipped."
"I'm not whipped. Just overly helpful, to the point of masochistic."
Maureen rummaged through a bag, trying to find the paper that she'd written the Cohen's phone number down on. She really wanted to check on Mark, but the stupid sugar headache was preventing her from operating like a normal human being.
"Hey Maureen, I'm home!"
"I'm in the closet. I need your help," Maureen replied. Joanne walked in and surveyed the mess. "I can't find the damn number." Joanne just shook her head and pulled a Post-It note off of the wall.
"I put it on the wall, right next to your coat. So you wouldn't forget," Joanne told her, handing over the paper.
"Oh. Thanks," Maureen said, looking down at the number. She got up out of the floor and went to the phone. She dialed as Joanne began cleaning up her mess. After three rings, Mark picked up the phone.
"Hey Marky! It's Maureen."
"Oh thank God… someone with a brain," Mark sighed. Maureen shook her head.
"Scarsdale's that bad?" she asked.
"Yeah. She… she went this morning. We talked some. Or, I did at least. She really couldn't… I'll be back as soon as the funeral's over," he said.
"Roger's worried. And Collins. We all are," she told him.
"I'll be okay. I'll see you guys soon."
A/n: What do y'all think? My first RENT fic, so please bear with me. I'm still having to keep the libretto handy, just in case I screw something up.