While I was busy hating everyone who didn't do the challenge WHICH IS DUE AT MIDNIGHT, I thought to myself, "Hey, it would be a good idea if I, oh, say, POSTED MINE."
Author: Jenny - bronzeoliphaunt
Sue: Helen - icklesourkiwi
Since I've never read any Rent!fics, I had no cliches to fall back upon, and therefore resorted to Classic Badfic. I hope you're nauseated! WARNING: OMG TEH ANGST!!!11one!1eleven1
Roger hummed absently and strummed his guitar. He sighed. Ever since Mimi’s death, he had been feeling . . . Oh, what was the word? He couldn’t put his finger on it . . .
Ah. Sad. There it was.
He sighed again. He would never love again. A, because he was dying of AIDS, and B, because of the horrible darkness that engulfed him. Benny had cut off the electricity again.
All of a sudden, there came a knock upon his door. In came Mark, with bird on shoulder, burdens heavy as a boulder, with a girlfriend named Lenore.
And quoth the raven, “Nevermore. Shall you love. Dumbass.”
After Mark, his new girlfriend, and their utterly depressing pet had left, Roger sighed a few times and wondered why life had dealt him such a cruel hand. It was then that another, sharper, softer, more meaningful knock was heard.
Roger laid his guitar on the table and dragged himself slowly to the door. With a sign, he opened it, remembering that fateful Christmas Eve exactly two years ago, and that even more fateful day about a year ago. The day Mimi had been torn from his life forever by the exceedingly cruel Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which should really be called the Awful Indication: Death Sucks.
The caller was a young girl, no more than nineteen. Her wide blue eyes were enhanced by altogether too much eyeliner and her short, spiky hair feel surprisingly gently around her face, a sharp contrast to Mimi’s pretentious puffball. She wore a black bra-shirt and miniskirt, complete with artfully torn fishnet stockings and knee-length combat boots.
Wow, he thought. Those boots have got it going on.
He cleared his throat, reminding himself unintentionally of the way Mimi had coughed when she was dying. “If you’re looking for Chicago, that’s down at the Ambassador. This is Rent.”
The girl laughed, fleetingly bringing to mind a braying island ass. “I’m Helen. Got a light?”
He reeled, suddenly seeing Mimi’s eyes flash on Helen’s face. “I know you! You’re . . . you’re shivering,” he realized.
“It’s nothing,” she replied, looking soulfully down at the floor. “When you dress nice you have to sacrifice . . . Would you light my candle?” She paused. “What are you staring at?”
He forced himself to meet her eyes. “Nothing. Your breasts in the moonlight.” He checked himself. “I mean, you look familiar.” She only nodded, slightly woozy. “Can you make it?” he asked, concerned suddenly for this beautiful stranger.
She shrugged. “Just haven’t had much sex today. At least the room stopped shaking, anyway-” She narrowed her eyes. “What?”
“Nothing,” he stammered, embarrassed to be caught looking. “Your whore-ness reminded me of-”
“I always remind people of,” she said dismissively. “Who is she?”
Roger looked down at the floor, tears filling his already angst-ridden eyes. “She died.” He turned away from her and walked back towards his only solace, his guitar. “Her name was Mimi.”
“You can love again,” she whispered softly, her eyes meeting his. Somehow, he was unable to look away as she came closer, a playful grin tickling her cherry lips. “Sorry ‘bout your friend. Would you light my candle?”
He came toward her, a slow smile growing on his face. Only inches away from her, he recoiled. “No!”
Helen’s smile faltered. He was again drawn to her gaze, so much wiser than Mimi’s had been, and yet so much more innocent. He recognized her boots and her fishnets for what they were: a veil to mask the pain inside. Mimi had taught him to live without regret, but that part of him had ended the day she died.
Was it possible that it had only been knocked unconscious?
Maureen, who had recently changed her name to Jenny, was giving a show that night. As Roger made his way to this year’s vacant lot of choice, he couldn’t help but remember when he had walked, laughing, to another performance two Christmas Eves ago.
He had walked with Mimi.
He tried to picture her, to recall her sweet face. Instead, all he saw was Helen, perfect in every way. Like Mary Poppins.
No! he thought rancorously. Imperfect. Flawed. There must be something about her . . . He scanned her mentally. The boots. Wild and sexy. He shook his head. The fishnets. Wild and sexy. No, trashy. Think trashy.
He sighed. It was impossible. The soft brown hair, the laughing eyes . . . She took life so much less seriously than Mimi had.
But no one took life as seriously as him.
Maureen Jenny stood with her arms stretched out, grasping at the air. “From there I wandered into a thick forest, and came suddenly upon a vacant boutique. When I saw the MARYKATEANDASHLEY sign, I knew why the boutique was vacant. But what I did not know -” She gave Roger a pointed glance - “Was why it stayed that way.”
Suddenly, she leapt into the air and waved her arms wildly. “It could be a fishnet boutique, or a military surplus store specializing in knee-high combat boots! It could be HOT TOPIC!” She looked his way once more. “All it needs to do is OPEN ITS DOORS!”
Some time later, Roger made his way home through the eerily silent alleys. He remembered when, two Christmas mornings ago, he had tread the same path with Mimi. She had whined a lot, now that he thought of it. Also, she wasn’t that pretty . . . Not when he had someone to compare her to. Plus, she just really annoyed him.
But still, it had hurt when she died. And now, to walk the same streets, years later . . .
He looked over at Helen, who squeezed his hand.And they totally got married and had lots of babies because Mark discovered a cure for AIDS.