A/N: Hey everyone! I've only discovered Rent about a month ago, but am now officially obsessed. I've been wanting to write a Rent fic for a while, but I was only struck with inspiration this morning. This fic is based off actual events in my crazy life. I hope you guys enjoy and I would appreciate any feedback you may have! Like I said, I'm new, but I have a definite appreciation for this amazing movie/musical...which I'm going to see in August when Anthony and Adam reprise their roles!!! (sorry...just a little excited!) anyway, enough rambling...
Disclaimer: Obviously, I don't own anything. I would never try to take credit from the amazing Jonathan Larson.
Roger Davis stepped cautiously into the loft's tiny shower, whispering a silent prayer to himself. Showers at the loft were always an adventure. Water temperature varied daily and you never knew what you were going to get.
Once inside, he immediately huddled into the far corner, plastering himself against the wall. With a determined sigh, a big hand, rough and calloused from years of playing the guitar, reached out and turned the shower knob. Quickly retracting, he assumed his previous position, as far away from the steady stream of water as he possibly could get.
After letting the water run for a minute or so, Roger's hand once again reached out, this time, testing the temperature of the water. His heart surged when he felt that he prayer had been answered. The water was moderately warm. Warm water was not a daily occurrence at the loft, so when it did actually happen, it was cause for celebration.
Roger quickly moved from his safe-haven corner into the middle of the shower, letting the water run all over his body. He stood there for a moment facing the water, eyes closed, savoring the moment, and before he could stop himself, he began whistling subconsciously. For a second, he thought the warm water somehow provided him with inspiration, and another great song was descending upon him. However, after a few measures, he realized that his new tune once again reminded him of "Musetta's Waltz."
Roger shrugged off the thought. Okay, so maybe he wasn't going to compose a hit at that very moment, but who cared? He had warm water!
He slowly turned around so that he could wet his hair. Then out of nowhere, the warm water was quickly replaced by what felt like ice cubes being pelt at his back. Roger's eyes shot open in shock and he quickly jumped back to his corner, trying to regain his composure after that little surprise.
Shaking his head, causing his wet hair to stick to his face, he let out a dejected sigh. He knew it was too good to be true. No good thing ever lasts long in Roger's world.
Bracing himself, he stepped slowly into the water, which was so cold that it sent shivers down the musician's spine. But the, however, before he could reach for his shampoo, the water suddenly turned warm again.
Roger's eyebrows furrowed together in confusion. That was a first. Usually the water in the loft had two temperatures: cold and freezing. Once in a great while it would be warm, which always quickly returned to to cold. It had never went warm to freezing to warm again.
He decided not to question a good thing, so he shrugged his shoulders and went with it. Maybe it was his lucky day. He was definitely going to sit down and try to write a song after his shower.
But then, no sooner then he had dumped some shampoo in his hand, the water switched back to freezing.
"What the hell?!" he exclaimed loudly, rushing back into the corner, shaking the shampoo off his hand.
He narrowed his eyes at the water, studying it, as if he might be able to figure out the temperature phenomenon. He reached out to test the water. His eyes widened when it was warm again.
He scratched his head in thought. He could not come up with any reasonable explanation to the bipolar water, so instead he stepped back into the water.
This time, he could not even enjoy the warmth because in the back of his mind, he was just waiting for it to turn cold again.
And as it turns out, his premonition was right. Not more than 30 seconds later, the water returned to freezing.
"This is ridiculous," Roger thought to himself, jumping back from the water. But, sensing a pattern, he ran his hand under the water. It was still cold, but about 30 seconds later, it turned warm again.
He kept his hand there. 30 seconds of warm water, the cold for 30 seconds. After two more cycles of the same thing, it hit him: Mark.
Mark. That pasty, pumpkin-head had to be behind it all. Not that Roger was accusing him of anything. Maybe his roommate was just trying to do the dishes with warm water. But after he thought about it for a moment, he knew that wasn't it. Between the two of them, they only owned about 4 dishes, all of which Roger had washed himself the night before.
Roger was determined to get to the bottom of it, but first he had to finish his shower. Now that he had a handle on the pattern, he formulated a plan. Once he felt the water go cold, he quickly shampooed his hair, counting to 30. Once he reached 30, he jumped back into the water, which, of course, was warm.
Thinking he had 30 seconds, Roger wasn't in too much of a rush to get the suds out. However, this time, Roger was wrong. The water turned cold in 5 seconds. But then 5 seconds later, warm again. Roger kept jumping in and out of the water at 5 second intervals, but finally, after about a minute, he had had enough.
He shut off the water, grabbed a towel and stormed into the kitchen were he found Mark sitting at the table, reading The Village Voice with a coffee mug in hand.
The filmmaker, not looking up from the paper, spoke to Roger, not noticing the current state the musician was in. "Hey, Roger, listen to this: Benjamin Coffin III, co-partner of-" he read aloud from the paper before he was interrupted by a very loud throat clear from Roger.
Hearing that, Mark finally looked up from his paper, taking in the sight of his roommate. Shampoo suds were still clinging to his hair, water droplets were falling off his body, forming a puddle at his feet, and a less-than-amused look was plastered across his face.
"What the hell are you doing?" Mark asking, unsuccessfully trying to hold back his laughter as he snorted into his coffee.
"I don't know, you tell me," Roger replied, crossing his arms in anger, staring down his roommate.
Mark's head tilted to the side in confusion. "You want me to tell you what you're doing?" he asked slowly.
"No, you skinny little twerp. I want you to tell me what the hell you're doing," he said through gritted teeth, trying to be patient and trying to resist the urge to gather Mark up and hurl him off the balcony.
"I'm reading the paper," was Mark's answer, trying to sound innocent.
Roger, however, wasn't buying it. For one thing, Mark had avoided his eyes when he replied, a sign that the filmmaker could be lying. But also, his voice had cracked a little. Oh, he was definitely lying.
"So anyway," Roger began, deciding to play his little game, for the moment at least. "The reason why I am currently only half-showered is because it seems like the water is playing a little game of 'Hot and Cold'. Do you happen to know anything about that?"
Mark's head was down, eyes once again focused on the paper in front of him, but Roger could see the corners of his lips begin to turn up. "'Hot and Cold'? What do you mean?" he asked, not looking up.
"The water seems to be warm one second and the mysteriously turn cold the next." Roger clarified, still playing along.
"Roger," Mark said with a sigh. "How long have you lived here? The water never stays warm for long," he said, almost scolding Roger. But Mark's face began to turn red. Roger had been roommates with him long enough to know that that happened either when Mark was lying, or when he was trying to hold back laughter. In this case, it was probably a combination of both circumstances.
"Yeah, true. But the funny thing is, that it kept alternating. Warm. Freezing. Warm. Freezing. Warm. Freezing. You know, like someone was turning it on and off," he said, looking suspiciously at Mark.
"I was doing the dishes," Mark said, obviously lying straight through his teeth.
Roger inwardly chuckled. How naive did Mark honestly think he was. "Hate to break it to you buddy, but I did the dishes last night."
"Oh yeah," Mark said, looking up at Roger thoughtfully. "You remember that?" he asked, scrunching up his nose.
Roger's only reply was a smug nod of his head.
"I'm caught, aren't I?" Mark asked pathetically.
"Did you really think you would get away with it?" Roger asked.
"Not really," was Mark's honest reply.
"Would you like to tell me why you thought it would be a good idea to purposefully turn the hot water on and off while I was in the shower?" Roger asked, feeling proud of himself that he was a big enough man to let the little nerd explain.
Mark shrugged his shoulders. "I was bored."
Roger's eyes widened as he looked at his roommate incredulously. "You were bored?!" he asked, not quite sure he heard him correctly.
"Yeah. I thought I'd have a little 'good clean fun'," Mark answered, letting out a peal of laughter he had been holding back the whole time.
Roger's face turned red too, only his was out of anger. He lunged across the table at the filmmaker. Mark sprung back from the table, knocking over his chair in the process. He then took off across the loft, laughing, with Roger chasing behind him, yelling obscenities.