"Good for Something"

By Donny's Boy

Disclaimer: I own neither the characters nor the plot of Rent, and I am making no money from this story. I mean no harm.

Everybody's good for something. Roger's good for laughing—when Roger's drunk off his ass, he laughs at everything. And when drunk-Roger laughs, everybody laughs with him, because with laughing-Roger, everything's funny. Since Mimi's been around, there's been a lot of laughing-Roger, even when Roger's not drunk.

Maureen is good for keeping secrets. Nobody knows that at first. Everybody knows Maureen's a little … loud. A little flashy. But Maureen's had a lot of her own secrets. Maureen knows secrets. She knows secrets, and there's something in her eyes—a depth, a hint of seriousness, that nobody expects to see there—that leads people to tell her their own secrets.

Collins is good for hugs. Whatever somebody needs a hug for, Collins has got one ready: happy hugs, sad hugs, small hugs, big bear hugs. He knows when people need to be left be and when people need to be hugged. He's a big man, and his arms can fit around just about anyone. And just about everyone, even Roger, will let Collins hug them.

Joanne is good for yelling. Everybody ends up yelling at Joanne, at least once in a while. It's funny, because Joanne doesn't yell herself. No matter what people say or do, Joanne stays calm and controlled. "Control freak," says Maureen. It makes people want to yell at her, like Maureen sometimes yells, and Maureen yells at Joanne most often. But everyone's done it, and everyone ends up stammering and embarrassed afterwards. Joanne just smiles, then, and asks, "Do you feel better?" And everyone says yes. And they do.

Mimi is good for loving. Mimi loves, and Mimi is loved. When Mimi's around, she's hugging on everyone and kissing on everyone and smiling at everyone. Roger still can't believe how alive she makes him feel. How special. When Mimi looks into his eyes, he feels like he is the only person in the entire world. That feeling blows his mind almost as much as heroin used to.

Angel is good at helping people live. She has so much energy, it just comes bubbling out of her. It's infectious. Her laugh, her smile, her everything. Roger can't say he's never really lived after having a drag queen in a Santa dress dance on his kitchen table. That—that is living. Angel is always good at helping people live their lives to the fullest.

And Mark? Mark is good at helping people die.