Author's Note: Dedicated to my wonderful friend Amanda who has never failed to show her support, no matter how bad the story! PS: I do not own Rent, for anyone who cares about disclaimers.
Shaken Hearts and Sour Soups
"I still can't believe you're wearing that stupid thing," Maureen scoffed, nodding towards the familiar scarf wrapped around her ex's neck.
"Why not? It's cold out and it keeps me warm."
"You could buy another scarf."
"I can barely pay the rent!" Mark objected, "Besides, I like this one. Remember when I got it?"
"How could I forget," Maureen rolled her eyes, "I gave it to you for your birthday."
"I still can't picture you knitting."
"Well," Maureen admitted, "I didn't exactly knit it."
"No. I found it at a church rummage sale and was like, eh, what the hell? Why not!"
"But you said…"
"No," Maureen corrected, "You assumed I knitted it for you. I just didn't bother correcting you."
"Oh," Mark didn't know what to say, "Guess I don't have to wear this anymore."
"Wait, what? Mark Cohen, don't tell me the only reason you wore it was because you thought I made it for you!"
"Yeah well, I thought it was special."
"It was. I saw it, and I thought of you. That makes it special. And what makes it even more special is that you have worn it since."
Mark adverted his eyes away from hers and played with a fraying tassel. Maureen's phone suddenly sounded and she quickly checked it.
"It's Joanne. I'm late for our date. Thanks though."
"For keeping it. That's pretty cool of you, Mark," Maureen said, picking up her bag and heading towards the door. Roger looked up from the pot of soup he had been fixing, smirking.
"Shut up," Mark ordered.
"Don't tell me what to do," Roger said, insulted, "Besides, I'm not the one with the wanger for the lesbian."
"I do not…"
"Ha!" Roger laughed, "Made you look!"
"You are positively the most immature person I know!"
"Thanks," he grinned, "That means a ton to me, really, Marky-boy. Now, keep it in your pants and hurry and eat your soup or else it'll get cold."
"Okay, mo-om," Mark rolled his eyes as he headed towards the kitchen counter.
"You still like her, huh?"
Mark stared into the soup as if waiting for it to answer for him.
"For the record – yes, I do still like her. But you know what, she and Joanne are happy – well, sort of – but that isn't the point. The point is, if she is happy, then I am happy as well."
"Keep telling yourself that."
"Says the man who couldn't get April out of his head for years."
"Excuse me?" Roger asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Over the line?"
"Way, way, waaay past it."
"It's okay. You'll find your girl."
"How do you know?" Mark asked, tasting the soup.
"Just a tad. So, how do you know?"
"Because," Roger shrugged, "Everyone has someone out there for them. You know what Angel told me once? She said that people are made in pairs and sometimes it just takes awhile to find your match."
"I miss her."
"I miss her too."
"Angel, you dumb-ass!" Roger rolled his eyes, "But if she were here, she'd tell you to," Roger switched his voice to a poor accent, "get off your ass, chico, and get out there. Don't let nothing stop you. Find your girl."
Mark smiled, "Thanks."
"Hey, thank her, not me," Roger stared at the soup bowl, "Is it really that salty?"
"It's like you served me a bowl of ocean water."
Roger took a sip of the soup, "Eww," he said, flinching, "Pizza?"
"And Mark, I know you'll find someone."
"I know. Thank you."
"Don't mention it."
"Really, it means a lot."
"Yeah well, keep talking mushy and you'll wind up with this bowl of soup on your head," Roger threatened, but couldn't help but smile. He had Mimi, Maureen and Joanne, Collins had his guardian angel, and Mark…well, Mark would have someone too – one day.