After what has been close to forever ( I am so sorry for the intense delay in updates, but I started working on other fanfics/went to handbell camp/did summer reading/etc) here is the fifth installment of SNAFU. Mark is obviously pissed that Roger stole his camera, so he's playing a little quid pro quo with him

As usual, I do not own RENT and I never will. Anyway…

Part 5-Striking a very wrong chord

Why did Roger get so pissy and upset when his cousin returned to drop off his hat? Sure, he had hired him to scare the shit out of Roger by being a French tourist, but Roger dyed his hair pink, but he stole Roger's….there was no doubt about it, the little pranks in the loft had turned into a full-fledged war.

Mark fumbled for his glasses, amazed that they weren't covered in shaving cream or some other form of detritus. He sat up in bed and mulled over his roommate's demise, wondering the perfect form of revenge.

A particular scene in Roger's "Christmas" footage stuck with his mind. The kidnapping of Roger's beloved Fender, Musetta. Childish, he knew, yet also highly effective. Besides, Roger had given him the perfect idea. Luckily, he knew for a fact his roommate had been dragged to a Life Support meeting fifteen minutes earlier and would be gone for a good portion of the day. Quickly Mark set the wheels turning in his head to action and waited eagerly for his roommate to return home.

Roger's Life Support Meeting lasted for a good chunk of the day, but in the end he felt much better about himself. This painstakingly established self-confidence, however, crashed down around his ears when he entered the loft.

If someone had held up a photograph of the loft and asked Roger, "What's Wrong with This Picture?" he could have pinpointed every detail in a second, from the fact that Mark was absent, the coffeepot was not in its usual place, the couch had been moved, the fridge was covered in a hundred Post-It notes, and—horror of all horrors—Musetta was missing.

Our hero nearly burst into tears when he realized that his beloved Musetta was gone. However, his newly acquired Life Support skills told him that Panic is no good! You must calmly assess the situation and pinpoint your options. If these were the skills he was learning to cope with HIV perhaps he was in the wrong meeting.

First, Roger took several deep, hyperventalitive breaths and strode calmly over to the refrigerator. He didn't even need to analyze the untidy scrawl to know that Mark's handwriting decorated the nauseating arrangement of paper squares on the refrigerator door. The squares read, "Your precious instrument has been kidnapped. If you want to see her intact and in tune again, bring a ransom of ten pounds each of Starbursts and double chocolate muffins. Otherwise, she will be sacrificed to the almighty God of Bohemia, Maureen. Sincerely, a Kidnapper."

I am a fucking idiot. Roger realized. He should never have given Mark the idea of kidnapping his guitar, though the blond was bright enough to come up with it on his own.

Now the question remains, how do I get enough Starbursts?

The Post-It notes on the fridge were not Roger's only instructions. Over where dearest darling Musetta's case had been was a note made from a paper bag saying, "Bring the ransom to the tree in Central Park. You know the one."

Yes, Roger knew the one. The tree he had to take a leak on two weeks ago and he accidentally sprayed this old hag's poodle and she beat him over the head with her pocketbook for twenty minutes before forgetting why she was hitting him and then offering him candy. That tree.

He scrambled around the loft, gathering spare change before realizing he could just hit the ATM Collins had rewired. Anarchy was a beautiful thing indeed.

After withdrawing enough money to purchase the required ransom, he hit a supermarket to purchase the food. The Starbursts were easy: all he needed was to grab several bags and take them to the produce section and weight them on the scales, He needed about seven or eight bags of the square candies to meet the required amount. Getting the muffins was another matter entirely. He needed to visit the bakery and hopefully they had enough muffins to supply his demand.

The fellow working at the bakery counter had a days' growth of beard and appeared short-tempered. Roger gulped. This was not a good day for a kidnapping.

"Uh, excuse me sir? Could I have ten pounds of double chocolate muffins?"

The man didn't even grant Roger the courtesy of a glare. He was too busy filling an order for two dozen cream puffs for a man who worked on Wall Street.

"Hey! I need ten pounds of double chocolate muffins!"

This got the fellow's attention. He turned around slowly, his eyes fixed in a dull yet icy stare at Roger. "Grab your own fuckin' muffins, I'm busy"

"Please, I need ten pounds of double chocolate muffins! This is really important!"

"Yeah, so is a ten pound sewer rat. Why do you need ten pounds, anyway? How bout talkin' in terms of quantity, huh?"

"I don't know how many muffins are in ten pounds, but I really need them badly. I won't go away until I get the muffins. I'll wait here all day or until the cops drag me out."

The baker raised an eyebrow at him. "Hold on a sec, will ya?" he said to the man in the business suit, who tapped his foot and sighed. "Why the hell do you need these muffins anyway?"

Roger gulped. He didn't want to exactly explain to the baker why he needed ten pounds of chocolate muffins, but since he didn't foresee the task being this difficult, he had no choice but to tell the truth. "It's part of a ransom. My guitar was kidnapped. By my roommate. Who will appear in the obituaries soon, if all goes well."

The baker peered more closely at Roger. "Hey, wait a sec, I've seen you before. You were that kid performin' at the club the other night! What was your name again?"

"Davis. Roger Davis. With the Well Hungarians."

"Rog? Roger Davis! I haven't seen you in years! How've you been!" Another voice called from the aisle of the supermarket. Great, someone I don't even remember from high school or a band or what the fuck ever. "Hey, man, what's with the Starbursts and the muffins?"

Five minutes later Roger was running down the chips aisle laden with twenty pounds of ransom, a bright red flush on his face and a desire for murder in his eyes as a crowd of admirers chased him, trying to steal a muffin.

After paying for his muffins and candies, he dashed to Central Park in the hopes that he wasn't too late to save Musetta. The hope of fondling her precious polished wooden body was his only impetus for all this humiliation.

At the appointed tree he saw nothing but a guitar case and a Post-It note, upon which was scrawled "I'm watching you right now. Take the guitar, leave the ransom and leave."

Singing hallelujiah, Roger picked up the case and cuddled while making soft cooing noises. "My baby, my precious widdle baby did mean old Marky hurt you? Awww, it's okay, Daddy's here to protect you, yes he is…." His reunion was interrupted by the squawking of an old lady waving her handbag about. "You're the ragamuffin that peed on my doggie! Get back here you scoundrel!"

Roger ran screaming through Central Park, carting Musetta around and dodging Frankie the dachshund. He was so occupied leaping over bushes and avoiding trees that he did not see Mark skirt around the park and vanish into the supermarket Roger had just left.

He strode up to the baker and tapped him on the shoulder. "Did you get it, Jack?"

Jack the baker turned around and thumped a cassette into his hands. "Every word and gesture."

"You gave him a hard time, right?"

"Yep. The skinny guy with the blond hair asking for ten pounds of chocolate muffins, right? Name's Roger?"

"That's the one. Thanks, man, I owe you one."

"No, you owe me the tape. Now hand it over, I need something good to watch tonight."

Mark dug around his pocket, procured a tape, and handed it to Jack. "Here, don't lose it. I'll need it back."

"Thanks, man," Jack grinned. "I can't wait to see the 'Roger is a Sex God' show."

Reviews would be much appreciated, and I apologize again for the delay! (bows deeply)