Notes: Written for speedrent Challenge 150, after lurking from day 1. Uses Challenge 62 (Mark/Maureen fic). Conversation based on actual events, actions given an artistic rendering. Title changed a bit from original LJ title.

Disclaimer: Yeah, all I own of Rent is a few CDs, a DVD, and a Playbill from the Shubert theater.

That Unicorn and Leprechaun Stuff

"So, how did you know her again?" Mark asked, as the two of them walked out to the parking lot.

"Had a class with her last year," Maureen replies, unlocking the doors to her red Oldsmobile. "I sat behind her, and her hair was always on my desk. It was kind of annoying, actually." She giggled a little as she pulled out of the school driveway.

"Maureen, don't speak ill of the dead!"

"I wasn't speaking ill of her, pookie, simply stating the truth. I do feel bad for thinking her annoying, of course, but that's how I'll always remember her, I can't help it."

They kept relatively quiet until they reached the Cohens' driveway. Normally, Mark would simply kiss Maureen and get out of the car. Today, however, it was different. The two of them sat there a little bit longer, just looking at each other. Finally, Mark sighed.

"You know, all of this has gotten me thinking. I mean, it could have been any of us in that car. Roger, Collins, me, or even, God forbid, even you."

"Yeah," Maureen replied, with a dull, sad tone to her voice.

"This is why I read so much. I just can't deal with all this shit in real life. Reading can transport you somewhere else, make you someone else. Real life is scary, but at least if a book gets too overwhelming for you you can close it and put it away for a while."

"Wow, that was deep."

"Yeah, guess it was, wasn't it? Who knew?"

Maureen leaned in and kissed him, very innocently. "Just know that whatever happens, I love you. And you should stop reading that unicorn and leprechaun shit, I think it's rotting your sweet young brain."

"There are no unicorns or leprechauns in them!" The blond boy turned and stuck his tongue out at her mockingly. She retaliated by tickling him in the stomach, sending him into a giggling fit, grabbing her and pulling her into a crushing hug, her hands still caught between them. Once she had freed herself from his grasps, there was another kiss, not quite as innocent as the last one. Mark left her with one more chaste peck and a quick "see you tomorrow!" before getting out of the car and running to his front door. Normally, she would have questioned his hasty departure, but at the moment she was so happy she couldn't even consider bringing up anything that might start another argument. She simply watched him go inside, then put the car in reverse and backed out onto the street.

Maureen was halfway to her house when it hit her. Did I just tell Mark I loved him?