Disclaimer: I do not own RENT or any of the original characters. I do, however, own the characters I create (duh).

AN:This was an idea I had floating around in my head for a while, I don't know if I'm going to continue it. Reviews would help me make this decision! Let me know what you think!

Chapter 1: The Audition

"Shit," she said as she glanced at her watch. She had just dropped out of high school. No she thought dropped out isn't the right way to put it… Her mother couldn't afford to keep both her and her younger brother in school. Jose deserved a chance. He's so much smarter than I am. So three weeks ago she had packed her few belongings and made her way to New York City. She didn't have a place to stay and was squatting in a vacated lot with twenty other people.

Now she was on her way to a job interview, her tenth that week. No one would hire her, a sixteen year old high school drop out. Every time she lied about her age, but no one would believe her.

Stopping in front of a building, she pulled out a worn, grimy, tattered newspaper clipping. This is it…

She walked through the doors and followed the signs on the wall. Entering a large room, she surveyed her surroundings. Tables and chairs were scattered around the floor. Bars lined the edges of the room. Neon lights flickered on the walls. A large stage was in front.

"Hey little girl," a big beefy guy with arms the size of trees said, "this is no place for kids."

"I'm here for an audition," she said hopefully.

"How old are you?" he raised an eyebrow behind dark sunglasses.

"Eighteen."

"You don't look a day older than fifteen."
"I'm eighteen," she replied stubbornly.

He sighed, "Do you have the clothes?"

"No," she looked at her feet, scuffing her shoes on the floor. Her big toe poked through a hole in them.

"You can use the extras back stage. Auditions are technically closed, but for a sweet thing like you…" he grinned.

Taking a hint, she purred, "Thank you."

"Hey! Charlie! I've got another for you."

"Auditions are closed. You know that Antonio."

"This one is worth taking a look at."

"Fine. Name?"

The beefy guy named Antonio looked at her.

"Mimi Marquez," she said.

"Mimi."

"Be ready in five minutes!" Charlie called.

Antonio led her to the dressing area and then left her. Mimi grimaced as she looked at the options. All of the clothes were skimpy and would barely cover her. This is what I get for auditioning at the Catscratch…

She settled on the black one that looked like it would cover her the most. She threw on a pink silk robe and a pair of spiked heeled boots. Hooker boots. She wobbled a bit before getting the hang of the shoes. Here goes nothing.

She made her way to the stage entrance and called, "Ready!"

Music started and Mimi paused for a minute to sway her hips to the beat. Tossing her hair, she put a coy smile on her lips and made her way on stage. A railing separated the upper level of the stage from the lower. To the beat, Mimi straddled the railing, hooked her ankles together and lay back. Oh my God, I'm going to fall! She untied the robe and used what little stomach muscles she had to raise herself up from the bar without using her hands. As she arched her back and let the robe slid off her arms. Swinging her self back over the railing, Mimi made her way over to one of the poles and slid down.

For another five minutes, she flaunted about the stage, showing the owner of the strip club more of her than she ever wanted to show a man. As the song ended, Charlie leaned forward and asked her, "Honey, how many places have you done this at?"

"Five," Mimi lied without blinking. She had never done this before.

"I could've sworn it was a thousand. You're hired. Be back here at six tonight, your shift ends at two, with a twenty minute paid break every two hours. The Catscratch is elite in this town. You get thirty an hour plus tips. Don't ever let me catch you drinking or fraternizing with the clients any more than is necessary. Other than that, I don't care what you do. Do you have an outfit of your own?"

"No," she gulped. Thirty an hour!

"Until we can order you a custom outfit, use the spare on hanger number 47. Take it with you, tonight you can put it in your locker and leave it here."

"Thank you."

"Those boots are yours until we can get you new ones. Be here by five thirty so that you can get yourself ready."

"I will." Charlie dismissed her. She went back and found hanger 47. It was one of the skimpiest outfits and was red with rhinestones.

At five thirty, she made her way to the employee's entrance. She used her new key and found her way to the dressing room. Fifteen other girls were in front of mirrors, applying heavy eyeliner. Mimi, without a dime to her name didn't have any makeup.

"You must be the newbie," a busty redhead smiled. She had startling green eyes. "I'm Gretchen. Everyone out there," she jerked her thumb in the direction of the stage, "knows me as Bella."

"Mimi. I don't have a stage name."

"We'll call you Kitten, for now. How old are you?"

"Eighteen."

"You can't fool a pro like me. How old are you really?"

"Sixteen."

Gretchen grinned, "Don't worry, I started at fifteen. They don't care. As long as you can lie well enough to fool the cops. Do you have your outfit?"

Mimi held up her hanger.

"Best get changed. We go on in a bit."

Glancing around, Mimi's eyes widened as she saw girls changing in the dressing room. Mimi tucked herself into a corner and quickly changed. Once she had on her clothes, she felt as naked as she had when she was changing.

Gretchen called her over, "Let's do something about your face. You're pretty, but you need to look like a whore on stage. Pretty won't do."

Mimi sat still as layer after layer of makeup was added to her face. Gretchen fluffed Mimi's hair until she actually looked like a whore.

"Is that actually me?" she asked looking in the mirror.

"No," Gretchen, no Bella, her demeanor had changed. "That's Kitten staring back at you."

"Let's go girls," a tall blonde said.

"Franki, or Candy out there, she's the leader," Bella explained. "Follow my lead. Tonight is free dance. Tomorrow you get to learn some choreographing. Just remember, when you are out there, you are Kitten. Mimi is at home reading a book."

Mimi nodded and followed the other girls.

The night seemed to drag on forever. It took all of her will power to not flinch when the men in the crowd touched her bare flesh to slip her tips. Mimi was repulsed with herself. Never had she thought that she would stoop so low.

It's just for now…I'll quit as soon as I have enough money to live on.