Title: Will It Be Me?
Author: Megan Faye
Disclaimer: I don't own Rent or NBC's Kristin. And yes, I know that Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel aren't sleeping together, and they never have or will. This is fanfiction only!
December 30, 2002
Maureen Johnson shivered against the wind and ducked into the hole-in-the-wall bar. She wasn't anywhere near her apartment building, or Avenue A for that matter. It didn't matter, though. No one was left. She wanted a drink.
The bar wasn't as crowded as others she'd been to in nights before. Not that she was a heavy drinker by any means; she just needed a drink tonight. She needed a drink where no one would recognize and pity her. She needed a drink where no one would put a hand on her shoulder and tell them how sorry they were, even though its been years.
What she wanted was to be ignored.
"O K U!" shouted a high-pitched voice. Maureen frowned at the "fun-sized" blond cheering at the screen.
Maureen looked at the short woman. She remembered seeing her at group grief counselling meetings that Maureen used to go to. Her name escaped Maureen for the moment as she took in the bar she'd stepped into.
"Sports bars," she muttered. Maureen slipped carefully onto a stool. "Something strong, and something right-fucking-now."
"Hang on a tick-tock, O Tall One," her perkiness said, climbing onto the stool next to her. Maureen sized her up; at most, she was 4 feet 11 inches tall, and was sitting on her knees on the stool. She was cute; long blond hair, tight jeans. The Oklahoma sweat shirt was a little much. "Bad day or not, we keep the ratings PG in Okies." Maureen noticed she wore a cross. She had to grin at the irony of a Bible-beater in a bar.
"Piss off, Betty Bible-Beater, I've had a day that would drive Jesus to drink." The blond gasped. Maureen sighed. She'd gone too far. Mark would have given her a pitiful look that would have told her to rein it in a step. Joanne would have frowned. She looked into the little blue eyes. This woman was just trying to be kind. "Its either drink, or jump of a bridge tonight, lady," she warned in a near-whisper, tears welling up. She mentally cursed at the lump forming in her throat.
"Can't be all that bad, now-"
"Let's see, New Years 1989, I had six very close friends; Angel, Mark, Collins, Roger, Mimi, and my lesbian lover, Joanne. After Angel died in October of 1990, Joanne I had managed to patch things up. But it didn't last long; Joanne died of Leukimia in '92. Roger and Mimi died of AIDS in 1996, only 5 months apart. Collins died in 1997. And I lost Mark in 2000; a truck made an illegal right turn, and hit him on his bike. Four of my six best friends died of AIDS, one from cancer, the other, a garbage truck. I just went tonight, the night before New Year's Eve, and put flowers on every grave. I am not even 35 years old and everyone I have ever loved is dead. I. Need. A. God. Damned. Drink." The bubbly blonde was tearing up.
"I am so sorry." And there it was; the sympathy she was longing to avoid. The bar-tender placed the drink on the counter. Maureen lifted the drink, but the tiny hand pushed it back down. "Before you drink, maybe we should take a walk. You don't really want that drink."
"Its 3 degrees outside, and I want it. Trust me; I want it."
"No, you don't. You just don't want to hurt."
"No. I don't want to hurt, but I do want to feel." The short woman slid off the stool and took the Maureen's hand.
"Put it on my tab," she said, pushing the drink back to the bar tender. "Come back to my place."
Maureen didn't question her when she was dragged back to the apartment; to be alone or not alone went through her head for less than a second and she followed. Not alone was far better than alone.
"I know its small, but I like it. Its bigger than the nook I lived in before. I could cook while I bathed." Maureen let herself half-smile. "My boss, Tommy, gave me a nice raise, but only if I agreed to move into a nicer place. He wanted me to be safe."
"Nice boss. Joanne was like that; always worried about my safety." Maureen sat on the couch, wondering why she went back to this apartment with a stranger. Joanne would have pitched a temper tantrum about muggers, rapests, hand guns, and 15 other things wrong with this. But Maureen knew that this short person was safe; she knew in her heart.
"I don't know the grief you are going through, but I know pain. You don't need a drink. You need a friend."
"And you think that's you?"
"No," she said. "I don't think its me. I know it is."
"My name is Maureen. Maureen Johnson," she added softly.
"Kristin Yancy." Maureen noticed that they were still holding hands. She let hers drop finally.
"So.....Kristin. Do you bring women home from the bar often?"she said, looking down and tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear.
"You're my first."
"So, are you even out yet!?"
"Out?" Kristin asked. It then dawned on her. "If you sleep over, Miz Maureen, it'll be in my guest nook." Kristin opened two root beers and handed one over. "At the bar, when I saw you, I knew you needed a friend more than a drink; you have a broken heart, and a broken soul. Alcohol doesn't fix those." Maureen guzzled her soda. "Talking about it all does, though."
"Its caffine free, isn't it."
"Its not any one event that makes me sad. Its all of them," Maureen said as she watched the sun rise from Kristin's window. The two had talked about love and loss the whole night, and now as the sun started to rise, Maureen had been able to feel like she wasn't as alone as she thought.
"I remembered seeing you at group counselling last year. You used to come a lot, but you never spoke."
"Didn't feel like talking."
"You weren't ready to share your friends with strangers."
"No....I guess not." Maureen sighed. "Why were you there?"
"My pastor asked me to help lead the women's groups. I've never lost anyone they way you have."
"Over and over......and over....."
"Know what I think?" Maureen glanced over her shoulder at Kristin for a moment before sitting on the couch with her. "I think that it has been ten years since you were in a relationship, and at least two years since you felt loved by anyone. You are lonely."
"But, Maureen, you are Not alone."
"You aren't alone anymore, Maureen," she said, resting a hand on Maureen's shoulder. "You don't have to be." Kristin pulled Maureen into a gentle hug as the dark haired woman broke in her arms. "You aren't alone," she whispered, over and over.
To those of you unfamiliar with NBC's biggest hit (huge hit. breast-implant huge.), 'Kristin,' ask the two people who've seen it. If ANYone gets that joke, I'll be impressed.