I don't own Rent, though I wish I did…

"She looks like a wet puppy!" A girl anxiously exclaimed. She had curly reddish brown hair, and an extremely annoying voice. I just glared at her.

"You sure have a habit of bringing in strays, don't you Mark?" A guy with strawberry blonde hair, Mark they said, was the one that found me, just sitting on the sidewalk in the rain, soaked to the bone. He said I should go home with him, and I not so politely cursed him out. Now he just sits there blushing.

"We should get her cleaned up and into some clean dry clothes; she looks like she's going to freeze." A black lady with curly brown hair said. I guess I did look kind of wet. Black shirt, black pants, white sneakers and green socks, all pretty soaked, and it was pretty cold.

I should introduce myself. My name is Reiki, which is a boy's name, but it's okay for me. My real name is Rebecca, but I changed it. I'm not really that tall, maybe 5'6" at most. I have dark, dark hair that matches my dark, dark eyes, which are surrounded in black eyeliner with light blue eye shadow. My style is definitely dark, I guess, because of what I was wearing today and the clothes, now wet, in my backpack. The girl (yes, she is about the same age as the others, but she acts like a little kid) took me into a bedroom, and there was a projector and a bunch of film reels in it. I didn't think this was her room, so I asked whose room it was.

"Oh, this is Mark's room, he's a filmmaker." She was digging through his dresser to find something for me to wear. She finds a dark blue shirt and some plaid pajama pants, gives them to me, and leads me to what I guess is the bathroom. She tells me to take a shower and wash my hair then put on the clothes and she'll brush my hair and stuff. I have to admit, the shower feels warm after being in the freezing rain for a long time.

I get out of the shower and put on the clothes that the girl, she never told me her name, gave me. I leave the bathroom and go into what I'm guessing is the living room, where everyone else is sitting talking about me. They don't realize that I'm standing there and I'm not about to let them know that I'm listening to their conversation.

"What are we going to do about her Mark; she looks like she's fourteen!" The girl said. She's wrong about that. I'm sixteen years old.

"I don't know Maureen; we don't know her name, where she lives, or even if she has any family!" That guy, Mark, he called the girl Maureen, I guess that's her name.

"But Mark, what if she really doesn't have anywhere to go, we can't just let her live with you and Roger." The black lady said that. I guess the guy with the dirty blonde long hair was Roger.

"What do you mean we can't keep her? Damn it Joanne, she's not a freaking puppy that we can just give away!" The blond haired guy, um, Roger, yelled at the black lady, I guess her name is Joanne?

"Yeah, and we can't just leave her on the street. It's not right." Mark, I think, said that. I think I should make my presence known to them now before they get into a yelling match about me.

"It's okay. If you don't want me to stay here, I can leave. Let me just go and get my things." I turn to the direction of where I remember Maureen put my stuff, when I feel a hand clamp on my shoulder.

"You're not going anywhere, at least not right now. You were practically freezing to death when Mark found you; we can't let you go back out in this storm." That was Roger talking to me. I turn around and gather my courage.

"I can tell that you don't want me here. I was on my way to my Aunt Lisa's house anyway, so I'll just go, and I'll give you the clothes back another day."

Mark walks up to me. "If you were on your way to your aunt's house, then why were you sitting on the sidewalk crying?" He smirks at me while he's saying this, and that's the last straw. I storm out without my bags and leave the apartment. I barely get out of the building when I feel a pair of strong arms tighten around me.

"You're not going anywhere. I said you were staying, and I mean it. Forget about what Mark says, he can be an asshole sometimes but he really means well. Please, come back." It was Roger.


"What? What does that mean?" Roger is kind of confused now, so I guess I should explain further.

"My name is Reiki. I'm 16 years old, and I ran away from home. I can't go back; nobody realizes how bad it was for me there. I have… I have…" Then a beeper goes off. I instinctively look at my waist, and then realize my beeper is in my backpack. Oh god.

"Roger, time to take your AZT!" Mark yells from the top of the stairs. Roger gives me a look and I follow him back up the stairs. When we get back, I go look for my back and pull out my bottle of pills. I shake out one and go and ask for a glass of water.

"You?" Mark asks. I look at him and everyone in the room looks at me in shock. I guess they heard my beeper go off in my bag.

"Me. You?" I counter that question so amazingly that I can't believe I did it.

"No, I do. You have HIV?' Roger has this disease?

"Yeah, I got it a real long time ago. I don't wanna talk about it, so don't ask."

"Reiki, don't get like that, I wasn't going to question you. I don't have that much of an honorable past myself." Mark looked at Roger in shock, I guess because of my name and because Roger actually knew it. I looked around and noticed that Maureen and Joanne had left, so it was only Mark, Roger, and I.

"You're name is Reiki?" I nod. "Well, you may have figured this out, but I'm Mark Cohen."

"And I'm Roger Davis, rock star extraordinaire." I laughed a little, then yawned.

"Come on, it's time to go to bed. BOTH of you go to bed now." Mark said to Roger and me. Mark said that I could sleep on his bed, but I insisted on sleeping on the couch. I tried but I couldn't fall asleep, so now I'm sitting here on the windowsill, waiting for my beeper to go off.


Short, ne? I don't know how long the next chapter will be, because this chapter took me a long time to write!