Elaborate Lives by Miaka Neko Elaborate Lives
By Miaka Neko ()

Disclaimer: Aida belongs to Elton John, Disney, Hyperion Theatricals, etc. Not me. (Not me! And who'd have guessed I'd throw my-sorry). Rent belongs to Jonathan Larson and other cool people (why am I disclaiming Rent at the start of an Aida 'fic? There actually is a reason). Enjoy!

Prologue Part I

Note: If you have extreme Rent-phobia, this part isn't vital to the story, so just skip down to Prologue Part II. However, it does frame the story (much like the actual museum scene in the show)

"Roger!" Mark yelled. The filmmaker was nearly out of breath by the time he caught up to his friend. The sign above him read Egyptian Wing. "Where the hell have you been?"
Roger turned around. Why was Roger wearing all white? Mark suddenly wondered. Hadn't he been wearing a tank top that morning? "Um, do I know you?" Roger asked.
Mark let out a sigh. "I'm Mark Cohen, you're Roger Davis, this is a museum, and you left to go out with Mimi and left me to realize that you left all the equipment for the gig tonight at the loft."
Roger, or rather the stranger held out his hand. "Um…I'm Ryan Weiss. Who is this Roger guy anyway? This is the second time today someone's called me that."
Mark held out his own hand in disbelief, but didn't have the energy to shake Ryan's-no, Roger's!. Dammit, he hadn't walked this far for this! "Okay, I just walked through all of the East Village and back trying to find you, even though that meant I had to walk past Maureen four times-four! Please, just a little bit of gratitude here!"
"Are you okay?" Roger asked. "Here." He took out his driver's license. The profile matched Roger's exactly, but the name was as Roge-uh, Ryan claimed. Mark looked awkwardly up at Ryan, unsure of what to say. From the heat in his face he was sure he was turning some very interesting shades of red. "Um, you wouldn't happen to know someone named Mimi, would you?"
"Well, yeah, she lives with me-" Ryan met him with a strange look. "Um, not like that, Roger is my roommate and Mimi lives with Roger-and so does our friend Collins. It's uh…not what you think."
"Well if you see her, could you apologize to her for me?" Uh-oh, Mark thought. "I think I was a bit rude to her when I told her to stop hanging on me. She thought I was this Roger guy too."
"Sure…" Mark mumbled. Mark knew the Davis family, and they had mentioned nothing about Roger having a twin who got separated at birth. "Too weird," he said under his breath.
Ryan looked down at his watch. "Sorry, I have to go, there's a film starting downstairs. Hope you find your friend!"
"Hey!" Mark yelled. "Did Mimi say where she was going?"
"No, but I saw her with her boyfriend later on. It must have been that Roger guy."
"Thanks!"

"There you are," Mark grumbled. At least this one was wearing a tanktop.
Roger looked up from the Egyptian weapons exhibit. "Mark, what are you doing here?"
"Trying to find you," Mark said, leaning against the sign on the case which said 'do not lean on the glass.' "You do realize that you left all your equipment at the loft, right?"
"Well, yeah, I wasn't planning on hauling it through my date with Mimi. Why?"
Fuck, Mark mouthed. "Because I haven't done anything since 9 except to find you. I had to walk past Maureen twice-twice!"
"And you know you enjoyed it," Roger smirked. "Thanks anyway. Besides, now you get to enjoy the pleasures of Ancient Egypt."
After I parted with my precious $6.50, Mark thought. "Right now I think I liked you better when you still hated the world," Mark said grunted. "What happened to Mimi?"
"She said she left what she was going to wear tonight at Maureen's. Women."
"Wome-Whoh, shit!" Mark yelled.
"What?" Roger asked, looking up.
"That…that woman…" Mark pointed to a glass case containing a statue of a female pharaoh. "Doesn't she look like Maureen?"
"A little," Roger said, looking up. "Whoh, you're right. You should tell Maureen, maybe she can incorporate being a descendant of pharaohs into her next performance."
Mark reached into the pocket of his pants and pulled out his wallet. "Hey, do you think if I sent my mother a postcard I could get out of calling her for a while?"
Roger thought about it. "Maybe, but you know your mother." He looked down at an inscription of one of the artifacts. "Historians guess that whoever died here must have had some importance, considering how far it was buried under Egyptian sands-who the hell writes this stuff, anyway? And what is this thing?"
"It's a tomb, moron," Mark said. The museum needed to learn how to turn off the air conditioning. It was November, and Mark was freezing.
"The inhabitants were most likely buried alive?" Roger asked dubiously as he read the inscription further. "Owch. You'd have to do something pretty bad to have that happen."
"Yeah, but what if you didn't?" Mark suddenly asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, let's say if you walk down Avenue A, you get buried in a tomb. But if you walk down Avenue B, you get the girl of your dreams."
"Well, you could always move out of the East Village-"
"Seriously, though. Dying in a tomb couldn't have been the only way for those people. I mean, if they had done just one thing differently, what would have happened?"
Roger shrugged. "With a little bit of luck, they wouldn't have gotten buried in a tomb. Are you feeling okay, Mark?"
"Yeah, I think so. It's 6 already, we should get to the gig."

"Who actually buys this stuff?" Roger asked as he looked at a pair of Eye of Horus earrings.
"The evil corporations of the world automatically assume that if they put crap out there we'll buy it. According to Collins, at least. Take McDonald's, for example. So, which one should I get?"
Roger dubiously rotated the postcard rack. "Hmm, what about the Egyptian Wing?"
Mark shrugged. "I looked, but I didn't really see anything of the stuff we had seen. Wait, here's a flower vase." He picked up a postcard. "It's worth a shot-aww, shit."
"What?" Roger asked.
"I dropped my wallet," Mark groaned. "I'll meet you at the gig, okay?"
"I don't mind waiting, you know." Roger said. "Besides, I think I'm going to get the earrings for Mimi."
"You're going to be late," Mark warned. "Besides, I think I left it on the Egyptian wing and that's on the third floor. It'll take too long." And I really don't want to watch you and Mimi make out for any longer than I had to.
"Fine," Roger said as Mark put back the postcard and walked off. "Later!"
Mark took back his thoughts almost as soon as he had thought them. Mimi wasn't just Roger's girlfriend, he was Mark's friend as well. But nothing more than that. No, he wasn't jealous of Roger. Mark sighed. So why do I hate everyone so much lately?

It must have been by the Maure-pharaoh statue, Mark thought. Of course, that's where I looked to see if I had any money for a postcard. He looked around. That was where he had left his wallet, but where was the statue?
"There," Mark said, seeing his wallet on the ground. Thank God, he thought. He was low enough on cash as it was.
"Hey, is that yours?" a security guard next to him asked.
"Yeah, sorry," Mark said, showing his license. "I dropped it on the way in." He looked up to find himself looking at the weapon's exhibit-except it seemed larger than before. "Hey…what happened to the statue of the female pharaoh?"
The security guard gave him a strange look. "What are you talking about?" he asked. "We have some Ramses stuff, but the Cleopatra exhibit doesn't come in until next month."
"You know, it was the one next to the tomb-"
"What tomb?"
Mark looked around the room. The tomb was gone, along with the statue. "Holy shit…" he said.
"Please don't swear, sir-"
Mark didn't hear him as he walked towards the area where the tomb and statue had once been, right next to the weapons exhibit. There was now only some information about the pharaohs of that time. "I think I just walked down Avenue B."
Suddenly, the world was swirling together, getting dark…
Mark's vision was gone by the time he passed out.

Sorry for the extensive Rent crossover, but somebody needed to realize that things had been changed so I figured it might as well be Mark instead of Random Person A. The next part will be exclusively Aida-this and the end of the story are about as much Rent that you're going to see. Did anyone get my actor humor regarding the Radames reincarnation and Roger (as well as Maureen and Amneris?) Umm…please review? Tell me what you think!