It's rated T because it's Rent.
Disclaimer: I do not own Rent, only Mr. Larson does. R.I.P. (Note: this is the last time I will say this for this story.)
The boys were just hanging out, and having a smoke or two on a park bench on a Sunday afternoon while the sun sets, except for Mark. He's very adamant in the belief that smoke can cause cancer and all sorts of diseases but Collins and Roger pay no mind to his lectures about it. But just like them, Mark can be very stubborn, especially when it comes to his friends and in this case their health.
"--lung cancer and then when your old and senile they open a hole in your throat so you can breathe through a tube that goes in the throat. Not only that, but there's also a new study that shows teens who smoke daily have a quadrupled chance of attempted suicide and suicidal thoughts, and a tripled risk of self-mutilation, compared to teens who do not smoke. However--"
"Dude, does this kid ever shut up?", commented Roger while Mark kept on babbling nonsense, at least to Roger it was.
"I highly doubt that. He could go on forever when it comes to the bad effects of certain things", replied Collins as he took a swig of his cigarette.
"Don't you mean everything?"
"..not a cause of it. Hey! Are you guys even listening?" Mark had just about finished his lecture.
"Of course we are Mark." Collins was always one to support Mark, even if he didnt agree with him on some things.
However, Roger wasn't prone to be a yes-man to anybody. It just wasn't in his DNA.
"Oh yes, Mark. I am so depressed right now I feel like smoking. And as a matter of fact, me and Collins plan to hang out afterwards at my place and cut up our wrists. Care to join us?" Roger started to "cry" on Collins' shoulder moaning about how his life sucks and how he wishes he could end this miserable life to be in peace for once. While Collins just laughed and went along with Roger's little act.
"Come on you guys, stop it. That's not funny at all!" He really didnt understand what was so funny about this.
After a while of trying to control their laughter, they gave in to Mark's request and stopped "wallowing in their misery."
"Look, Mark. How do you even know that's true?" Roger just had to ask. For all of Mark's caring nature and concern for his friends, he can be pretty naive sometimes.
"What do you mean if its true? Of course its true! They made a study of it in Yale and it was published in the New York Times."
"So what? I can make my own study right now about the effects of popular music to young people by taking surveys and write up the results in the Village Voice. A paper holds whatever you put in it, Mark. Whether its true or false, remember that. So quit blurting out bull shit in front of my face before I shut your mouth for you."
Mark wasn't scared of Roger's illusive threats. He knew enough about him to know when he meant it or not.
"I'm just looking out for you, that's all. And if that's something I should be given a blow for, so be it."
"We don't need your protection, Mother. As far as I see it, if it was true how come no medical companies, organizations or the media have talked about it? If smoking was such a big deal, we'd have heard of it by now. Besides, were big boys. Right, Collins?", said Roger, smirking all the while.
Being the ever courteous one and conscious of Mark's deep feelings for his friends, he said: "Don't worry Mark. We'll be fine, we know how to take care of ourselves. And we can always quit if we want to."
Mark just rolled his eyes. Knowing full well from his dad's smoking habits, that its not such an easy habit to quit like throwing away leftover food.
"Besides, aren't you supposed to be with Maureen right about now?", Roger said.
"You know we broke up." He said it in such a tone, as if he didn't even want to go on that subject.To say Mark wasn't pleased about Roger's comment is an understatement. Ever since Maureen dumped him, he had been trying to find out what went wrong and why she decided to leave him. It really affected him, since it was his first ever real relationship with a girl.
Roger knew this, he knew all of it. But then again, this is Roger. Who finds it hard to understand that some humans don't have the emotional range of a teaspoon.
"Just because you two broke up doesnt mean you stopped stalking her?"
"I do not stalk her!"
"Okay, fine. You follow her around like a lost puppy asking questions about why she broke up with you, trying to win her back, and you even help her whenever she asks you for it. And lately that's all she's been doing."
"Sorry, Mark but even I have to agree with Roger here. It's been two months man. Let her go." Collins loves Maureen too, and he understands Mark likes her a lot but this is getting way ouf of hand even for someone like Mark.
"She just feels uncomfortable, with us breaking up and she's only asking for my help now because she's focused on establishing her career as a performer."
"Even so Mark, have some dignity man! Don't let some girl walk all over you just because you two used to be a thing."
"Speak of the devil." Collins turned his head around when he heard footsteps coming closer to them. It was Maureen looking all flushed and her hair a tangled mess of curls, as if she had been running. Even though it was only 75 degrees outside she was sweating a bit on her forehead, what with summer receding so that autumn can make his home soon.
"Hey Maureen, how's it hanging?" Collins got up to give her a hug, he was the most affectionate of the group and since her break-up with Mark, the only one who showed her his affection for her. Maureen and Collins have a really close friendship that even Mark and Roger can't understand. They just understand each other in a way the other two boys never could, even if they tried. Not to mention all the many pranks they planned together throughout their school years just brought them that much closer.
"Just got back from an audition. I was a running a bit late. That's why I have sweat on my face."
"How'd it go?", Roger asked.
"Well I thought I did awesome but of course they wanted someone who is bubbly, plastic and with blonde hair."
"Oooh, was she hot?" No prizes on guessing who was it that asked.
"But you are bubbly," Mark replied. "Why wouldn't they pick you?"
"Aah, Mark. Always the flatterer." Collins just nudged Roger for him to shut up.
"Well, yeah she was hot. Looking all sexy with her hot pants and tube top. But I was going for a more classier look, you know. Kind of like Greta Garbo but sensual too like Joan Crawford."
"Oh yes, very classy indeed." Maureen just glared at Roger and Collins had to nudge him again but harder this time. She was wearing a pair of skin tight leopard print pants with a white tank top, a denim jacket, and black stiletto boots.
"You look great Maureen. That guy is a prick for not picking you."
"So back to the topic at hand. Did you get it?"
She sighed. "No Mark, but thats not why I'm here."
"Then why are you here?"
"I was rushing all this way to give you some awesome news!"
"We have new neighbors in toooown." She said it in a sing song voice, smiling all the way.
"You came all this way just to talk about gossip?"
"Shut up, Roger! Besides, this includes a new chick." She just kept smiling and winking at him, while Roger just had to ask.
"Is she hot?"
"Is that the only question you ever ask about girls?" Collins was getting fed up with his stupidity. But really, this is what they do. Roger picks on Maureen, while at the same time defames women, she beats him up, Collins pulls them apart and Mark just films it while trying to keep the peace.
"No, I also ask for their number." Roger's smile faded since Collins took the opportunity to smack him upside the head. "Ow! What was that for?"
"For your utter stupidity and constant derogatory statements."
"In English, please."
Maureen hated when people interrupted her and especially when she was trying to get everyone's attention.
"Anyways! As I was saying, a new girl moved in with her family. She should be our age but she looks a bit younger. And she has some dark skin, like olives. I think she's Latina.
"Aah, screw it then. I don't date little girls."
"What's her name?"
"I don't know, Col. They were all heading inside the house when I got there."
"So you were snooping?"
"Mark! How dare you! You know me. I value and respect everybody's privacy." She said, with a swish of her hair.
Roger snorted. "Yeah, right."
Maureen pretended not to hear that. "Well look guys, I'm tired. I'm gonna head home now and take a shower. See y'all tomorrow at school. In the same place as always, right?" She looks at Mark. While there is no leader of the group, he's the most practical one and decides the important things to do.
As she left, Roger was left to ponder. Now usually, Roger doesn't mull over things too much unless its something serious...or if he is confused about something.
"Wait! We have school tomorrow?"
"Duh genius! Where have you been?" Collins just had to comment back, for all of Roger's belittling them through out the afternoon.
They sat there, in silence, thinking about Maureen's audition and what it really was for, the fact that school starts tomorrow, and a new school year. Which left Mark wondering...
"Hey guys, do you think this year will be any different?"
"I don't know Mark, why?" Collins didn't know what brought on for Mark to speculate about the future, much less when it involves school.
"Well, I have this feeling that things will change this year."
"Of course things will change. It's a part of life, its inevitable."
"Yeah but I mean that this year it will be a huge change...that might make a difference in our lives." Mark wasn't sure how to say it, it seemed like he had a gut feeling something different will happen this year, for them. He didnt know what exactly and he thought only women had this kind of sixth sense. But all Mark knew, was that he didnt like the feeling and hated being confused about things.
"I don't know about that. But whether the change is huge or not and if it'll make a difference for us, is completely relative." This is why Collins enjoyed being with Mark so much. They could talk about things like this, the things that matter, as well as the not so serious stuff and not let it get into an argument or affect their friendship.
"Well you guys, I'd love to sit here and continue listening to your talks about the meaning of life and all that, but I think I'll head home. After all, we do have school tomorrow, right boys?" Roger had a last smoke from his cigarette, threw it on the ground and with that, walked home.
"Yeah.. right," Mark said.
The truth was Roger had the same feelings Mark was talking about. And he didn't like it either...
A/N: I hope you all enjoyed that. It was just a filler and for you all to get to know the characters, kind of like a prologue. Not much plot, but it all starts in the next chapter. At least you get a peek into their daily lives and the utter randomness that they do. Haha.
Any suggestions, comments, or mistakes that I've made PLEASE let me know so I can fix them! I loooove reviews, they make me happy and make the bohos happy too.