A/N: SCHOOOOOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER! YES! I am so happy. I just spent two and a half hours at a street fair and then we went to our friend's grandmother's, who's dog is THE CUTEST THING, and has THE CUTEST PUPPIES! But I already have two dogs so I can't have one. And then we went swimming. Hence this.
Disclaimer: I do not own RENT. I love it so so so much, but unfortunately I do not own. Jonathon Larson (the demigod, may he rest in peace) owns it all and we all applaud him for conceiving something so lovely.
It was one o'clock in the afternoon at the Johnson residence. Seventeen-year-old Maureen lay on the couch, bored, flipping channels incessantly. It had started off as a way of seeing what was on. Now it was just a form of amusement because sometimes the strings of conversation would form rather interesting sentences. Especially when a commercial for, oh, say Viagra ("It helps men feel…") right before a commercial for a blender ("The power of the three titanium blades…") followed by a zombie movie ("Digging into the rotten flesh on the dead bodies.")
Yeah; that was amusing.
Her mother was sitting in a chair, trying to do billing on her lap top and gritting her teeth. Then she threw her glasses down on the table, rubbed her temple, and sighed, "Sweetheart…is there somewhere you could go or someone you could hang out with to maybe, um…"
"Get out of your hair for a few hours?" Maureen suggested, and her mother nodded bashfully.
"I love you, honey, but you can get, uh, annoying sometimes," Ms. Johnson informed.
"I called Joanne and she said she'd be over but that was, like, half an hour ago. I dunno what she could possibly be doing," Maureen remarked, flopping back against the sofa. Joanne Jefferson was her best friend and lived in the same apartment complex as her. They also went to the same school, though took mostly different classes. Joanne was heading in the direction of business; law specifically. And Maureen had a penchant and aptitude for the arts that drew her in the direction of theatre.
As if taking a cue, there was a knock on the door. Maureen had told Joanne repeatedly that she didn't even have to knock anymore. She'd even been given a key she never used. But the other girl had been trained to always knock; never just barged in. This, in turn, aggravated Joanne's mother when Maureen insisted on doing just that.
Maureen hopped up, flew to the door, and threw her arms around the girl on the other side.
"Hey, Jo!" she cried. Joanne laughed and hugged Maureen back. They rocked exaggeratedly back and forth for a few seconds, and Maureen snorted when she heard her mother's relieved sigh from behind them. "What took you so long?"
"Well, I was trying to find my swimsuit," Joanne replied, pulling aside her tee-shirt to reveal the thick, floral strap of her bathing suit. "It's a nice day; I thought we could go swimming. Is that okay with you?"
Maureen grinned. "You, my friend, are genius."
Joanne grinned, smoothing down her shirt with mock pomp. "I do try."
Maureen waved Joanne in and told her to sit on the couch. She then turned to her mother and inquired through a pout, "Mommy? Can I go to the pool with Joanne?"
"If you can find your swimsuit in that war zone you call a room," she agreed.
It ended up taking twelve minutes before, with Joanne's help, Maureen found her swimsuit. She quickly changed into the rainbow bikini and grabbed a towel before hurrying herself and Joanne out of the room, down the hall, and almost out the door.
"Maureen, hun could you do something for me before you leave?"
Maureen exchanged a wince with Joanne and mumbled, "So close…" before turning slowly to her mother and putting on an obviously faked smile. "Yes, Mother dearest?"
Ms. Johnson rolled her eyes. "Oh, stop giving me that look. Just give Elsie some food, would you? Your brother forgot to do it this morning."
"But that's his job this week," Maureen groaned.
"Would you rather she go hungry?" her mother asked. "And besides, she's your cat, may I remind you."
With a sigh, Maureen wandered into the kitchen and dished up some wet food for her black and white cat; the feline's yellow eyes following her every move. Once she was done with this, she again seized Joanne's hand and literally ran out of the house before she could be told to do anything else. They only slowed down when they reached the chain-link fence enclosed pool area. Maureen actually didn't slow down fast enough and ended up crashing into the fence. Joanne winced in sympathy but there was a laugh from within the enclosure and Maureen rolled her eyes, knowing that laugh well.
"Ew, it's Tom," she whined, sticking her tongue out and wincing as though disgusted by the older boy. Thomas Collins was her half brother. He as older by a year and was from the marriage her mother had been in before she'd started dating Maureen's father. Neither relationship their mother had been in lasted very long.
"Ew, it's Maureen," he countered, making the same face back. They flailed their hands at each other like small children for a few minutes before Maureen stumbled back and fell down onto a reclining pool chair. Or, rather, fell down onto the person in the reclining deck chair. And she would have gotten up had she not realized who she was sitting on.
"Ow, Maureen; that's my ass," the person groaned and Maureen looked down, recognizing the voice with the Hispanic accent immediately.
"Oh, hi Angel," she greeted. She bounced on him once and the boy below her gave another groan of protest. Angel Schunard had been Tom's best friend for pretty much their whole lives. He lived one floor above them in the same building and was born only half a month after Tom. Maureen assumed they'd been put in the same playpen by their mothers one day and had hit it off. But she didn't know as she hadn't been born at the time.
"God, Maureen, you weigh a ton," he remarked, trying to flip over from his stomach-down position in the chair. In response, Maureen bounced up and down a few more times.
"Let's go, little sister," Tom said, getting up and tugging Maureen off Angel's behind. She kicked and flailed as she was carried in a fireman's hold to the edge of the pool and dropped unceremoniously in. And she resurfaced in the same fashion; thrashing, splashing and screaming expletives.
"Tom, you moron, this is the shallow end! Fuck, this water is freezing…!" Maureen ranted, scrunching her body into a ball and blinking repeatedly, blowing water away from her face and wrapping her arms around her knees. She bobbed like a buoy for a few seconds before she unwrapped herself when her head started going under again. "God damnit! When I get outta here you're dead!"
Tom had backed up to the table he and Angel had claimed, glanced at the Latino, and cried, "RUN!"
"Hold on a minute," Angel mumbled, grudgingly getting up and stomping over the table. "If my tan is uneven I'm blaming you, Tom Collins. Where did my shoes go?"
"You know, Angel, this whole 'fleeing the scene' thing doesn't exactly work when you take fifteen minutes getting redressed," Tom remarked as Angel pulled on his a blue polo shirt and a pair of jeans.
Angel rolled his eyes and as he rummaged around behind Joanne, Maureen saw her brother staring in what she thought was Joanne's direction with a strange expression on his face. She was under the impression she could label this look the 'Want me some of that' look. With a brow raised she smirked and swam to the edge of the pool.
"C'mon, Angel, seriously," Tom sighed, crossing his arms and tapping his foot. "I don't wanna stick around and be Maureen's babysitter!"
With one last withering stare in his best friend's direction, Angel threw his towel over his shoulder, and led the way out of the pool area. As they walked away, Maureen heard Angel remark, "Now what do you suggest we do?" before they were gone.
"That was interesting," Joanne remarked as she pulled her shirt over her head. She had gone for the more conservative route; a tankini with a little skirt bottom. She picked up the bottle of sunscreen. "Come here, Maureen. Let me put some sunblock on you."
"I don't wanna get out," Maureen whined.
"Maureen, you burn if you sit in front of a camp fire for too long," Joanne sighed. "Do you want nasty, leathery skin later in life?"
"No," Maureen replied grudgingly, lifting herself out of the pool and coming to stand in front of her best friend. Joanne squirted the cold lotion directly on her skin and she shivered. Then Joanne's warm hands were working it into her back and she gave a little sigh. At her best friend's touch, she felt a little stirring in her nether region and she squirmed in such a way to create a little friction between her thighs to satisfy the feeling.
She'd been having these feelings a lot lately. Feelings towards girls her mother told her to expect to have towards guys. She'd had them towards guys too, which confused her badly. But the most disconcerting part of it was that she had them towards Joanne; especially towards Joanne.
It only got worse when Joanne rubbed the lotion into her lower back. Her best friend's hands got close – oh so close- to her ass and she almost sighed in disappointment when she pulled her hands away and turned Maureen around.
"Do it for me?" Joanne asked.
"Joanne, you never burn," Maureen remarked. "I don't even think black people can burn."
"I don't want skin cancer either," Joanne grumbled, turning around. Maureen dribbled a little bit of the balm onto Joanne's shoulder and rubbed in, then onto the small part of her lower back which she knew probably wouldn't get above the water but it was better to be safe than sorry.
"Uhm…Maureen, I don't need sunscreen on my butt," Joanne told her, and her dark skin made it hard to tell if she was blushing but Maureen was pretty sure it was there.
"Sorry," Maureen mumbled, pulling her hands away from where her fingers had started to dip under the other girl's bottoms.
They stared at each other awkwardly for a few minutes before Maureen grinned and ran to the deep end, dive-bombing the water and resurfacing with a grin on her face. Joanne made her way tentatively over to the side.
Feeling she needed to say something, Maureen stuck with a safe, non-awkward topic.
"You know, I'm surprised you didn't run away screaming when you first met my family," she informed with a smirk from where she was leaning against the wall of the pool, pillowing her head on her hands. "Much less that you've been able to handle them for ten years."
"It would have had to be atleast three times bigger to make me want to run," Joanne replied.
"Ah, but what they don't have in size they make up for with their insanity," Maureen said, releasing the wall from her clutches and floating on her back.
Joanne tested the water by sitting on the edge and slipping her legs in up to her knees. Then she closed her eyes, took a breath, and threw her body off the edge, coming back up gasping. "Oh, gosh! You were right! It's really cold!"
"You should always trust The Maureen. The Maureen knows all," Maureen told her, laughing and paddling over to her. She let her eyes examine her best friend's arms for signs of gooseflesh and found the little bumps all over her mocha skin. Then her eyes, almost of their own accord, traveled to Joanne's breasts. Her nipples were peeked and showed obviously from under her suit top.
"Yeah, well The Maureen should stop talking about herself in third person before The Joanne smacks her in the face" Joanne laughed, smirking at Maureen. She furrowed her brows amusedly at Maureen's distracted face. "Hello? Maureen? What is it?" she trailed her hand in front of the brunette's face. Maureen jerked her eyes away.
"N-nothing," Maureen replied. To cover herself, she added, "just thinking. You know, I think my brother has a thing for you."
"Oh really," Joanne snorted, floating lazily backwards. "What's your reasoning?"
"Well, he was giving you the weirdest look…" Maureen started but Joanne snorted and shook her head.
"Highly unlikely," she assured.
"I bet you're just denying it because you have a thing for him," Maureen giggled, paddling in front of the other girl once again. "And that would be just too easy, wouldn't it? To have him like you back?"
"Ew; no," Joanne laughed. "Tom is like a brother to me. It's creepy that you even suggest it. And your brother…he's not my type. And trust me when I say I'm not his."
"We'll just see," Maureen remarked, narrowing her eyes playfully. Secretly, she registered the fact that she didn't want it to be true. "The – "
"Yeah, I know," Joanne laughed, "The Maureen knows all."
Maureen rolled her eyes and swirled around in the water to look at her mother where she was leaning over the fence of the fence. "Yes, Mother?"
"Your Aunt Idina called, honey," she informed. "She needs me to go over and watch Cousin Mimi and Benny for a few hours. You'll be okay by yourself, right? Tom's back at the apartment; if you get hungry ask him to make you something."
"Okay," Maureen chirped. She was just happy she didn't have to do anything. "Byebye, Mommy."
Ms. Johnson rolled her eyes and continued wandering towards her red minivan. Maureen made sure she was in the car and driving away before she suddenly grabbed Joanne and swept her into her arms, bridal-style.
"Wah! Maureen! What're you doing?!" she whined as she was carried around the pool.
"Rock-a-bye Joanne in the tree top," she trilled, rocking her back and forth. "When the wind blows, the cradle with rock! When the bow breaks, the cradle with fall and DOWN WILL COME JOANNE!"
At this point, she dropped Joanne back into the water and tried to sit on her. But the other girl flailed and managed to dislodge her before she accomplished that. When Joanne resurfaced, looking pissed, Maureen cockily finished, "Cradle and all."
"I'll give you three seconds to run as far away from me as you can," Joanne told her, eyes narrowed and poised to swim at her best friend with all her might.
"Okay," Maureen replied, shooting off in the opposite direction.
"ONETWOTHREE!" bellowed Joanne, and launched off the wall. They struggled their way around the pool, neither really getting anywhere because they couldn't gain purchase in the six-foot deep water. Finally, Maureen reached the steps of the pool and flopped onto them. Joanne pinned her down to it, straddling her.
Maureen suddenly felt as if she couldn't breath. Joanne was sitting right on her thighs, literally two inches away from that spot and she leaned her head back, whining while lifting her knees up and trying to dislodge her friend.
"You okay?" Joanne asked, sliding off Maureen at her moan. "What's up?"
"Nothing," Maureen sighed, tilting her head to the side to see Joanne better and twisting her mouth into a little smirk of thought and possibly consideration. Then she blurted, "Can I tell you something?"
"Huh?" Joanne asked, scooting closer on the step below the one Maureen was laying on.
Maureen bit her lip and debated for a few seconds whether she should say it before she admitted, "I think I might like girls."
"Oh," was all Joanne said, but Maureen could tell she was shocked. "So…like a lesbian?"
Maureen shook her head. It was a jerky movement, speaking of the adrenalin building up in the system from the admittance. "I don't think I'm a lesbian per say. I like girls along with guys. But I notice girls more, I think. So maybe I'm, like, bisexual leaning lesbian or something like that? Is that possible?"
"I think so," Joanne replied, and her eyes were still wide but the fact that she was still sitting there and carrying on a conversation with her reassured Maureen to the tiniest degree.
"Uh…you're not upset or anything, are you?" Maureen asked.
"No," Joanne assured, cocking the side of her mouth up in a small smirk. "I'm gay too, Maureen. Didn't…didn't you know?"
"No," Maureen gasped. "You never told me!"
"Oh…" giggled Joanne. "Well, uh, now you know, huh?"
"Yeah," Maureen replied. "Now I know."
There were a few more seconds of silence before Maureen again spoke. "Don't freak out, but I might have the tiniest crush on you. I'm not in love or anything; that would be stupid. Don't worry if you don't like me back. I just kind of thought you should know."
"First of all, shut up; you're babbling. Second…" Joanne crawled onto Maureen's step again and before she knew it, Maureen had a wet, happy Joanne sitting on her again. "Don't worry. I've had a thing for you for three years, now. You don't know how happy I am right now. I could sing."
Maureen fought back the urge to squeal and instead a huge grin snaked onto her face.
"Can I, um, kiss you maybe?" Joanne asked. Maureen nodded eagerly and Joanne swooped down, connecting their lips.
And they couldn't seem to disconnect them. Maureen leaned her head back and wrapped her arms around Joanne's neck, pulling her to closer. Water sloshed against their bodies, heightening their sensitivity in an exquisite way. And they opened their mouths; warm as a contrast to the water outside. Their hot tongues collided and intertwined and Maureen trailed a hand down to the top of Joanne's swim bottoms. Joanne's breath quickened as she felt someone else's hands so close to her most secret of places. Her nether region throbbed as blood rushed there and inflamed her flesh, making her sensitive.
Then, they heard the gate open and they tore away from each other. Maureen glanced over Joanne's shoulder to find Roger, another boy who lived in their building, blinking at them slowly.
"What are you looking at, mopey?" Maureen asked, rolling Joanne off her gently. The African-American girl's cheeks would have been absoloutly flaming if it wasn't for her coloring.
"You know," Roger said, tossing a beach ball at Maureen. "There are things called bedrooms for that. Use one."
"Aw, now Roger," cue entrance of the girlfriend; April. The redhead laughed and draped herself over Roger's shoulders. "We're not the most decent couple, either. Hey guys."
"Hi," Joanne and Maureen squeaked, and Joanne rushed out of the pool.
Getting that Joanne wanted to leave, Maureen got out. They grabbed their things and hurried away from the pool, walking back towards Maureen's building.
"I'm sorry about that," mumbled Maureen. "It got outta hand. My fault."
"Don't be sorry," giggled Joanne. "It was nice. Just…maybe we can find someplace private to continue?"
"You know it, babe," Maureen replied, grabbing Joanne's hand and running back to her building.
They crashed into the door and Maureen glanced around, looking for any sign of her brother. She found none and figured he'd gone up to Angel's. Amusedly, she whispered, "Ooh, that reminds me. Tom will be disappointed, won't he?"
"Shut up," Joanne grumbled, and Maureen simply laughed, pulling Joanne (and Joanne's lips) back to her.
They wandered blindly down the hallway, Maureen feeling for the first doorknob she could find. They tumbled in the door and Maureen leaned Joanne against the door when it was closed, kissing her heatedly. Joanne happened to open her eyes a bit and saw something that definitely didn't belong in Maureen's room. She pushed Maureen away and mumbled, "Ah…Maureen? This isn't your room."
She turned the brunette around to face the whole of what was her brother's room. Laying eyes on what Joanne was referring to, Maureen's eyes widened and she burst out laughing. There sat Tom and Angel, on Tom's bed, a shirtless Tom protectively hiding a blushing - and obviously naked - Angel.
"Is this place full of queers or what?!" was the first thing Maureen could think of to say. Tom chuckled and Angel giggled a bit, though still sinking further behind Tom and trying to make himself as small as possible. Joanne just blushed and let out a small whimper of a laugh.
"I stand corrected, Joanne," Maureen told her. "Tom will not be disappointed that you are a lesbian."
"Maureen…please shut up," Joanne groaned, hiding her face while Tom stared at Joanne like one of his beliefs had just been shot down and stomped on by the younger girl.
Maureen furrowed her brows at Joanne, glanced between her girlfriend and the couple on the bed an few times, then opened her mouth wide and incredulously cried, "You knew! You knew about them, didn't you?! Oh, how come you never told me!"
"Well, I knew Tom was gay," Joanne divulged. "He told me because he found out I was. But I didn't know about Tom and Angel. Now I think about it, though, yeah. I'm surprised I didn't see if before. You guys would be good together. Are good together, apparently. Very cute."
"Yeah, thanks Joanne," Tom told the babbling girl. He turned to Angel and inquired, "Ang…your mom ain't home, right?"
"Honey, I'm naked," Angel mumbled, pulling the sheet further up on his body as though to prove his point. "I'm not walking up to my apartment like this!"
It was implied that 'like this' didn't only include his unclothed state.
"You don't have to leave; we are," giggled Maureen. "Just try not to be too loud, you two."
Then she walked out, Joanne tagging along. They found themselves in Maureen's room again, Elsie staring at them boredly from atop the dresser. Maureen backed up to sit on the bed, pulling Joanne down so she was straddling her lap. It took a few seconds for the other girl to get comfortable but she got used to it.
"I still can't believe you didn't tell me about them! Gosh! This sucks." Maureen mumbled, resting her head on Joanne's shoulder and pouting at her. She continued to whine, "And my stupid brother and his stupid boyfriend just totally ruined the mood. Wait a minute…" She stood there for a few seconds as though her arousal would just fly back to her. "Nope…still not hot."
"It's okay," Joanne assured, smiling softly and grabbing Maureen's hand. "We don't need to go that fast anyway. Uh…we could…watch a movie?"
"Sofa-cuddling it is!" Maureen declared, leading Joanne to the other side of the room, where the old, beat-up couch was and laying on the sofa with her. They found one of the oldies movies to watch and Maureen turned the volume all the way up to sixty-five. "With the TV turned way up so we don't have to hear those two doing it in there." And, cue high-pitched whine. "Too late."
Joanne laughed and snuggled into Maureen. It wasn't foreign at all. It felt like they'd been doing this for their whole lives.
Maureen sighed happily. Sitting there and watching a movie with her new girlfriend felt completely natural.
She just might be able to fall in love with Joanne Jefferson.
A/N: This was my first MoJo. I am so sorry if I did anything wrong! I've only ever done Angel/Collins. I feel like I sort of started rambling around the middle. I've only ever done Angel/Collins, hence the little reentrance of my comfort zone at the end there. And I hated trying to remember to refer to Collins as Tom in this one. Old habits die hard, huh?
I hope you didn't hate it. But tell me what you didn't like, 'eh? Thanks, peeps!