Getting Dizzy - Chapter One

Author's Notes: This was just a quickie to fill the rest of my notebook and I thought I'd post it to see what you guys thought. This is dedicated to all the Rentheads! (heheh, Rentheads.)

Disclaimer: The characters all belong to Jonathan Larson, I'm just torturing them a little. I'll put them back when I'm done, I promise! Also, I came up with anything you don't recognize :crazy grin:

Don't forget to review! Review! REVIEW! REVIEW! FOR THE LOVE OF RENT, REVIEW! :twitch:

Warning: Mark-bashing ahead. :evil laugh: Mwa ha ha!


"I don't get why you can't just come home with me instead of staying here!" as he spoke, Mark Cohen waved his hand at the trashy club surrounding himself and Maureen.

She put on a pout and tossed back another shot. The woman twisted a strand of her curly, brown hair around a finger of her left hand.

"I'll be home later, Mark," the passed through her soft lips easily.

The sad thing was Mark knew she was lying. It was their one year anniversary and he wanted to spend a romantic evening at home. Of course, she wanted to go out to this sleazy hellhole.

So what had they done?

Gone to the sleazy hellhole.

The place was chock full of assholes, too. They were either checking out his girlfriend or trying to bait Mark into a fight.

"Look, can we please go?" asked Mark after he was taunted by a guy for the seventh time.

Maureen looked at him with cold eyes.

"Why do you want to leave so badly?" she demanded, "Do you not want me to have any fun?"

Mark opened his mouth to reply, but she wasn't done yet.

"God, I am so sick of this control freak shit!"

He gaped, anger engulfing him.

"You're sick of it?" his voice rose an octave. "What about me? It's our one year anniversary and all I wanted to do was stay home, have a romantic evening, and cook for you, but no! You always have tom have your way, and if you don't, then you pout and whine until you do!"

Mark stopped to take a breath and she pounced on the chance.

"Well then, if you're so miserable, then leave!" she exclaimed, eyes blazing. "Or better yet, I'll leave! Joanne is waiting for me anyway!"

She stood up, threw a few one dollar bills on the table and sashayed her way out of the bar, leaving Mark sitting there, dumbstruck.

'She left me…' he thought numbly. 'She left.'

Mark got up and made his way through the crowd blocking the doorway.

"Excuse me. 'Scuse me," he muttered, bumping into a couple of people.

One was a large man with a square, scarred face. He was wearing tight blue jeans and a flannel work shirt. His brown hair hung damp in his face.

The other one was a slightly smaller man with a pointed chin. He wore khakis and a sleeveless black shirt. His blonde hair was covered with a blue bandanna.

They spun around to look at him.

"Hey, watch it, buddy!" the guy in flannel ordered.

Mark backpedaled in an attempt to go around and ran into the blonde guy.

"Didn't he just say to watch where the fuck you were going?" he demanded, grabbing Mark by his blue and grey scarf.

"I'm sorry, okay?" he muttered, trying to free himself. "I just want to go home."

"Yeah, well, I think we need to teach you a lesson," Flannel Guy said.

Before Mark knew what was happening, Flannel Guy was slugging him repeatedly in the stomach, knocking the breath from his lungs. He bent double, in an attempt to learn to draw air back into his body. Blonde Guy grabbed Mark and forced him upright. People were beginning to stare.

"Please don't do this," Mark said, still panting.

His only response was a hard blow to the face that made Mark crumple to the floor, where they began kicking him and laughing.

"Eric! Jim! Not tonight, assholes!" someone yelled.

The assault stopped and Mark heard a muttered, "You were lucky, bitch."

Mark watched the booted pairs of feet stomp away towards the bar before attempting to move himself. Why wasn't anyone trying to help him? Didn't they see he hadn't done anything to deserve that? He'd even apologized for bumping into them for God's sake.

Carefully, Mark got to his feet, wincing at the pain in his chest. He was vaguely aware of a salty-sweet taste in his mouth, accompanied by a coppery smell. Blood, lovely. He felt his lip swelling and groaned.

Favoring his chest, Mark made his way to the door and into the night. He gasped when the cool air hit his sore face, it felt so good.

He thought fleetingly of heading back to his and Roger's shitty apartment, then quickly dismissed it. He wasn't ready to discuss what happened tonight.

"She left me," his voice came out, thick with raw emotion.

And Mark began to walk, shoes crunching on the snow beneath them.


It was late afternoon when a loud thud woke Roger from a sound sleep. There were a couple of soft taps on the door.

"Mark, can you get that?" he rolled over in bed and realized just how quiet it was in their loft.

"Mark?"

Silence. He tried one more time.

"Mark, are you here?"

"Roger, will you open the freakin' door?" came Mark's voice from outside the hall.

Something wasn't right about it though. It sounded weak and thready. Roger was up in a flash and running to the door. He unlocked it and slid it open. He managed to catch Mark before he hit their filthy floor.

His face was pale and his lips were blue and swollen. He could feel how cold his friend was even through his jacket.

"Shit! Mark, what the hell happened?" Roger asked, holding him up.

"S-she l-left m-m-me," Mark stammered, shivering violently.

"What? Maureen?"

Mark nodded, his body shuddering harder now. Roger pulled his friend closer against his chest in an attempt to warm him some.

"Can you stand?" he asked.

He didn't get a response.

"Mark?" the guitarist tilted his friend's head back to see his face. Mark's eyes were closed tightly and his breathing came in short puffs.

Roger, still confused, gathered his friend into his arms and picked him up bridal-style to carry him to his room. Mark's clothes were wet.

"Jesus, were you out in that snowstorm last night?" he asked aloud.

"Mmhmm," came a tired reply.

"Why?" Roger set him on the bed, but didn't let him lay down.

"Didn't w-wanna come home."

"Lift your arms for me," Roger ordered, once he'd relieved his friend of his coat.

With no question, Mark did as he was told. He was too tired to argue and just wanted to sleep. His red-and-blue sweater was peeled off. When the hem of it was over his head, he heard a noise between a growl and gasp. The sweater was pulled the rest of the way off, and Mark was wearing nothing but bare skin.

"Mark, what the hell happened?" Roger waved a hand at his friend's heavily bruised chest and shoulders.

His eyelids dropped tiredly and he wrapped his arms around himself to try and warm up. Of course, they had no heat left in them though.

"It's n-nothing," he murmured. "Just a s-scuffle last n-night.

Roger snorted. Mark didn't fight. He was the one that usually needed rescuing.

"'Kay, raise your legs," he said and Mark complied.

The guitarist undid the button and fly, then looked up at Mark as he pulled off his scuffed tennis shoes. He removed Mark's soaking jeans as well, leaving his friend shivering in his underwear. Roger tossed them across the room, where they landed with a 'plop!'

Roger reached behind Mark and pulled the blankets back, removing the film maker's glasses and putting them on the bedside table.

"Now lay down," he demanded.

Without question, Mark followed the order, his eyes staring off into blurry space. Roger drew the covers over the shivering body, worried at the lack of protest. He was also concerned about the shivering. It should have stopped by now, but it hadn't and Mark's lips were still a pale blue. Through the blankets, he could see his friend rubbing at his arms.

"Sh-shit, Roger, I c-can't get warm," he stuttered.. "I think I'm h-hypothermic."

"Hypo-what?" asked Roger.

"H-hypothermic. M-my body's too c-cold."

Roger racked his brains for a solution. He came up with the idea of a hot shower or bath and he suggested it.

"C-can't," came the shakey reply.

"Why?"

"Something about t-tricking my b-body into thinking it's okay to p-pump blood through f-frozen veins. It c-could be fatal."

"Then what can I do?" asked Roger, sitting down next to Mark, thinking hard.

"The b-best way is s-supposed to be body heat," Mark replied through clenched teeth, his voice sounded weaker.

Without another word, Roger took off his own shoes and crawled under the blankets. His hand touched Mark's stomach and it shocked him to feel how cold even that was. He hadn't warmed up at all since coming inside.

Roger pulled an unresisting Mark to him, pressing his back to his own chest, trying not to cringe at the sudden feeling of ice. HE tangled their legs together and wrapped his arms around him.

"Better?" he asked.

There was no reply for a minute, then--

"Mm, yeah. Thanks…" he replied, feeling warmth starting to collect under the blankets.

Mark's head felt fuzzy. He wanted to sleep.

But he couldn't.

Not if… he was hypothermic…


He felt like he was being burned alive.

Mark must have fallen asleep after all. Roger too. They were still tangled together. He glanced out the window. It was dark out.

And he was way too hot! Carefully, to avoid waking Roger, he disentangled himself and got up. He wiped sweat from his face and padded into the living room, where he opened the door to the fire escape.

He let the cold air wash over him. Mark started when he remembered that he was wearing only his boxers and grabbed a blanket off the couch. He wrapped it around his waist and stood by the window again.

Mark frowned. Something wasn't right with his stomach. It was queasy. His limbs hurt, along with all the bones in his body.

A sharp pain entered his head, enough to make him cry out. He fell to his knees, moaning and holding his temples. There was an awful, salty taste in his mouth. A warning.

He crawled to the kitchen trash can in time to empty his stomach contents into it. (which wasn't much)

When he was finished, Mark's head was throbbing in tune with his heart. He was laying on the floor, holding his stomach and whimpering softly, eyes closed tight.

"Mark?"

He heard his friend's voice, but couldn't answer at the moment. He felt footsteps coming closer.

"Mark?" Roger called. "Jesus, Mark! What the hell--!"

He felt cool hands on his chest and opened his eyes with difficulty. God, they felt swollen shut. The only response he could muster was a soft moan.

"Come on, Mark, sit up for me," green eyes met his own, full of fear and worry.

"Mm, Maureen?" asked Mark, but he knew that was wrong.

"No, man. It's Roger."

"Oh."

"Come on, up you go," he sat Mark up and lifted him into his arms again.

"I got sick," Mark's voice was slurred and unsteady.

"I know,. It's okay."

"…in trash can…"

"It's okay, don't worry about it," Roger assured him.

Roger set him down on the bed and wiped Mark's mouth with a towel that was on the floor. He put a hand to his forehead.

"You're burning up," he stated, shaking his head.

Mark nodded, wincing at the pain that simple movement caused. Roger pulled the blankets over his friend's flushed body.

"Stay here. Don't get up again, okay?" he asked.

The film maker nodded and Roger left. He dimly registered the sound of a closing window. A shadow was in the bedroom doorway. Someone was there.

"Who is it?" he asked.

The shadow moved and in walked Maureen, holding a dog leash in her hand. She wore zebra-striped spankey pants and a rainbow tie-dyed sports bra. On the other end of the leash, there was a little, lime-green elephant that came to about her knees. She nodded at it.

"Meet Jermain," she said, smiling.

"Er…Hello, Jermain," Mark said to it.

The little elephant smiled and trumpeted.

"Nice to meet you, Mark!" it said brightly.

"He… talks?" he asked Maureen.

"Mmhmm!"

Both of them, Maureen and Jermain, suddenly unfolded neon pink angel wings from their nacks and flew around the room once.

"We gotta go! Joanne's waiting!" Jermain squealed.

They flew through the five-story window with no shattering glass, as if they were ghosts.

"Maureen! Come back!" Mark cried weakly, getting up and going to the window.

He flung it open and followed them.


Author's Notes: Thank you for reading and don't forget to review! I love you all :still twitching: