NoV: Here's to my first Rent fic! (toasts a liquid that looks suspiciously like cran-apple juice) Be gentle in reviews. My characters may not be up to your normal standard of Rent-fiction, but they're still prototypes to me.

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Quote of the day:

"I miss New York. I still love how people talk to you on the street – just assault you and tell you what they think of your jacket."

-Madonna

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Another boring Saturday. The group was lazing around the loft with nothing to do but wait until the evening when they could go out and enjoy the nightlife. Maureen and Joanne were silently draped across the couch. Maureen was tinkering with a rubix cube, with her head resting on Joanne's lap. Joanne was browsing through the newspaper, twisted in an uncomfortable position, so the newspaper wasn't covering Maureen's head. Collins was napping in a recliner, his head leaning back toward the floor. He would definitely wake up with a cramp. Angel was drumming a beat on her bucket, sitting Indian-style on the floor (a very delicate maneuver in a mini-skirt.) Roger, with his guitar in his lap, was gnawing on a candy bar, staring whimsically out the window. Mimi was leaning against Roger's shoulder, wishing she had something to get her high, but trying to be good for Roger's sake. Mark, always the venturous one, was cleaning his camera lens, as if it were the crown jewels.

With a sigh and probably a mixture of withdrawal and hunger, Mimi stood up and began pacing the room. No one paid that much attention to her until she cried, "I'm SO bored!!" She huffed and glowered at the surprised faces staring at her. "Let's go do something, ANYTHING!!"

"Wanna go try on dresses at department stores?" Angel wondered, perkily.

"Not if we can't buy them!" Mimi whined. "It makes me depressed…."

"You just said you'd do anything!" Angel said.

"We could go have a few drinks," Maureen suggested, never moving from Joanne's lap.

"No," Mimi said. "If I start drinking this early, I'll never make it to work tonight, and I won't lie to you. I reeeeaaallly need the money."

"You could go with me to pick up some more film," Mark said. "I'm running low…."

"Mark, no offense, but if I wanted to be bored to death, I'd rather stay here and do it," Mimi replied.

"Speaking of bored to death," Joanne said, her eyes on her newspaper, "the museum's opening a new exhibit today. 'Margo Fletcher's Silk Hats.'"

Angel gasped and jumped up. "Margo Fletcher's hats are here??" she cried, looking over Joanne's shoulder to see if it were true. She gasped again. "Oh my god! We have to go!!!" The group, except for Collins who was still sleeping, stared at her. "You don't know who Margo Fletcher is?" Angel demanded, stomping a spike heel into the floor. "She's a genius! She's poignant, fabulous, perfect! She's a goddess!! If we don't go see the hats, I will kill myself," she promised.

Mimi shrugged. "It's better than sitting around here all day. I haven't been to a museum since I was a kid."

"Ooooh," Maureen mused. "Won't it be fun, pookit?" she asked of Joanne. "Paintings of naked ladies…."

"I'll go but just to make sure one of those naked ladies doesn't end up on our bedroom wall and you don't end up on the six o'clock news," Joanne said, folding her paper neatly and setting it down.

"Oh, one time I shoplift and you never let it go!" Maureen cried. "It was a fucking soda, not a priceless painting!"

"Don't start, Maureen," Joanne said, rubbing her temple.

"Come on, Rog!" Mimi said, now excited about the trip. She extended her hand to help him up from the floor.

"Do I have to go?" Roger wondered, letting himself be pulled up. Mimi had only to give him an evil look and he complied, saying, "Okay, okay fine. Let's go to a museum."

Angel pranced over to wake Collins. She gave him a shake, saying, "Wake up, sweetie, we're going to the museum!"

Collins sat up with a start, rubbing his sore neck. "What the hell?" he said. "Is this the apocalypse? How long was I asleep? What are you talking about, going to what museum?"

Angel gritted her teeth and said, "Margo Fletcher's hats, Collins!"

Collins immediately stood up. "R-right baby," he said, compliantly, having heard Angel's Margo Fletcher rants on many occasions, and wishing only to appease her hat obsession.

As the group clambered out the door, Mark sat watching them, still messing with his camera. He thought he was free. He thought they had forgotten….

"MARK!" Mimi yelled from the stairwell. "Get you ASS in gear!"

Other shouts of "If I have to go you have to go!" and "Come on Markie, it'll be fun!" spurred Mark to hop off his chair and follow them.

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Soon the eclectic group was staring up at the Romanesque granite building. All the fine treasures held within beckoned them forward and they walked up the fifty steps to the front entrance. Once inside, the loud noise of the street was replaced by soft tones of the classical music played in the lobby. Mimi and Angel, holding hands as their giddiness could hardly be contained, led the group toward the exhibits. As they passed a small jar that said "Expected contribution $5," Angel remarked, "Honey they need to be giving us the donation."

They all stopped and stood before the map of the museum, which told where and what the many fascinating displays were. No one but Mimi wanted to go watch Angel go wild over hats, so the two ran off by themselves to visit Margo's exhibit. Maureen dragged Joanne away toward the left corridor without a glance at the map, as if she could sense the naked ladies calling to her. Roger, Mark and Collins elected to start at the beginning and work their way through all the exhibits.

The beginning of the displays just happened to also be the beginning of time. The three friends looked around the room, which prominently showcased ancient weapons, cave drawings and a few life-size caveman and woman figurines.

"This is pretty weird without a tour guide," Mark said, reading a tablet that told about historians' concept of prehistory.

"Oh, hey, let's go get some of those headsets," Collins suggested. "You know, you plug it into these things," he indicated a virtual guide stand, "and it tells you what you're looking at."

"Yeah, that sounds better than the eerie silence," Roger agreed. "I'll go with you."

"I'd rather read," Mark announced.

"Okay, we'll be right back, dude," Roger said as he and Collins went back to the lobby.

Mark worked his way around the room, skimming through most of the guide tablets. He walked over to one of the caveman figurines and stared it at. He was eye level with the scraggly Neanderthal and after looking it up and down a few times, his curiosity got the better of him. It wouldn't hurt to touch the thing, surely not. He just wanted to know the texture the museum people had decided appropriate for a prehistoric man. Mark poked his finger to the man's shoulder. It was sticky. Really sticky. Mark began to panic when he couldn't pull himself away from it. He put his other hand on the mannequin's chest to try and get some leverage to force it away, but to no avail. Both his hands were now stuck. "What the hell?" Mark shout-whispered, not wanting anyone to happen upon this embarrassing situation. Why was this caveman so sticky? Had someone secretly covered it in super glue? Was he on candid camera or something? God, he hoped not.

Mark looked around the room in a frenzy, so very thankful that no one was around. Not wanting to go ask the museum people for help with their caveman attached to him, he pressed his knee against the caveman's thigh in a desperate effort to force it away from him. Struggling and grunting, he tried with all his might to push it off of him, but the thing was just so damn gooey! And now he had a new problem: his knee was stuck and he was losing his balance. The fall was inevitable. Mark had almost accepted it and didn't fight. He fell to the floor on top of the caveman, his face unfortunately landing on its sticky face. Lips against sticky lips. Now Mark was outraged. Why, God, why?? he shouted in his mind. Mark, unable to remove his hands, lips or knee began to violently thrust against the caveman, trying to will himself free.

That's when he heard, "Mark!" and froze. "Man, I know you haven't gotten laid in a while, but that guy's not even real." Roger and Collins stood, headphones around their necks, shaking their heads in disbelief at their friend. Mark was straddling a caveman figurine, had his lips pressed firmly against the plastic lips, and he appeared to be roughly humping it.

"We were only gone for two minutes!" Collins exclaimed. "If we had known you were this desperate….we would have fixed you up with somebody….good God…."

Mark, unable to look over at his friends, was getting angrier by the second at their accusations. Surely they were being sarcastic. "Umsta!" he tried yelling, meaning to say "I'm stuck!" but muffled by the current occupation of his lips.

"Did you just say gangsta?" Collins asked. "You think you're a gangster because you're making out with a plastic caveman?"

"ARRRGGH!!" Mark yelled, exasperated at the whole situation. He rocked back and forth, in a reckless attempt at freedom.

"Oh, he's stuck," Roger remarked, as if suddenly realizing that his friend wasn't really sex-crazed at a museum. He and Collins exchanged a mischievous look.

"Mark, wait here," Collins teased. "We're gonna go get your camera."

Mark yelled something indecipherable, but still nasty and irate.

"Calm down, Mark, we're only kidding," Roger said. He and Collins walked over, and each of them taking an arm, pulled with all their might to free Mark from the caveman. With a POP! Mark was free and the three of them went tumbling to the floor.

Mark jumped up, his face cherry-red, and glared at his companions. "You guys are jerks," he said.

"Hey, we saved you!" Roger dissented. "What if someone else had walked in here? You could have been arrested."

"You should be down on your knees thanking us," Collins taunted him.

"Let's get out of here. Maybe the dark ages aren't quite so sticky," Mark said, glad to put the situation behind him, but knowing he was in for weeks of endless teasing.

Roger and Collins followed him into the next corridor, where there were medieval weapons, tapestries and a few knight figurines. Collins remarked, "Uh, oh, we better not leave Mark alone again," to which Mark promptly flipped him off.

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NoV: okay, that's enough for one chapter. What do you think? I was laughing so hard writing the part about Mark assaulting the caveman. So, tell me what you think, remembering that the OOC-ness is due to my lack of experience and the fact that this is a humor fic and some characteristics are caricatured. Let me know what you'd like to see in coming chapters!

Next time: Angel and Mimi and the hats, Maureen chokes, and Roger picks up a new addiction.