Title: Happy Beginning
Word Count: 1,106
Disclaimer: Still own nothing.
Summary: Pre-Rent. Roger just wants to be left alone. However, when you're friends with Maureen, you don't have that choice.
A/N: So, I had this little idea in my head and thought I'd write down. This oneshot is the result. I sort of have my own Rent lore in my head, the story below being apart of that. Before meeting Mark in New York, Roger and Maureen were best friends, having grown up together and all... This is actually the beginning of everything (to me anyway -laughs-), the fics Say It and Perfection excluded. Those were for friends and don't really flow with my made up lore.
Roger sighed. He turned over in his bed, burying his face in his pillow. What a day... Closing his eyes, the dirty blonde tried to will himself to sleep. Blissful darkness began to take hold... until he heard a tapping. Wha...?
“Roger, open the damn window!” He heard someone call. Oh God... He got up with a grumble and went to the window. He removed the blinds, groaning at what he saw.
“What do you want, Maureen?” Roger sighed as the brunette climbed in through the now open window. When she was fully in the room, she collapsed on his bed with a huff.
“You could be a little nicer, you know,” she scoffed, “I just climbed through a ficken window!” She glared at him.
Roger smirked. “You didn't have to. See, there's this thing called a door you could use.” Maureen sat up, offended.
“Where's the fun in that?” She furrowed her brows, tilting her head to the side. Roger gave another sigh.
“As much as I love your antics,” he moved over to his bed, shoving the brunette out of his way, “I really want to go to sleep.” He sprawled out, kicking Maureen to the foot of the bed.
“Sleep?” She asked incredulously. “But it's only nine.” Was it just Roger or did Maureen seem concerned? Must be just me.
Burying his face again, he mumbled, “Long day.” It was quiet for a while, which should have worried Roger if he wasn't so tired. He was falling asleep again when the bed shifted, waking him. He peered over his shoulder and stilled at what he saw.
Maureen was sitting, just sitting, on the corner of the bed, staring at her hands while she twirled her thumbs. She looked like she was debating over something, her expression torn. Roger blinked a few times.
Finally he spoke. “Okay, ” he began, startling her, “what is it?” The blonde sat up and scooted closer to the girl. He placed his arm around her shoulder. “Come on, Reeny.” He smiled.
Maureen made a face. “Ugh, God, Roger, don't ever call me that again.” She shuddered. “I don't know how I ever responded to that.”
Roger laughed. “Hey, we were six.” He pointed out. She smiled, too, leaning into his embrace. “Really, what is it?”
Maureen sighed. “We're bigger than this place.” She whined. “We shouldn't be stuck here, unknown to the world.” Roger rolled his eyes.
“Well, that's the way it is. And I don't think you're unknown,” Maureen was about to protest, so he added, “well, in Hicksville anyway.”
The brunette sighed. “But that's only here. Plus, you need to be known, too.” She jabbed her finger into his chest. “We were made for fame and glory.” Roger snorted. “We were!” She whined. Roger batted her finger away.
“Sure we were. Just like we were made for perfect families.” He stated sourly. He felt Maureen still. Here we go.
“Roger,” she peered up at him, “what happened?” The dirty blonde remained silent. She frowned. “Roger Michael, you tell me what happened this instant or I'll – ”
“Jeez, Maureen, you sound like a mom.” Roger sighed, cutting her off. The brunette rolled her eyes.
“Just answer the fricken question.” Roger inwardly smiled. Same Maureen.
Sighing, he answered. “It's my birthday.” Maureen blinked at him. They didn't say anything for a while. Roger just stared at Maureen staring at him with a confused expression.
Finally, she spoke. “Uh, Roger?” She started slowly. “That's supposed to be a good thing.” Roger gave a short, unhumorous laugh.
“Sure, for everyone else. For me, not so much.” He leaned back, unintentionally taking Maureen with him. They laid there for a good while, Roger occasionally running his fingers through her hair and Maureen playing with the ends of Roger's shirt.
Maureen sighed. “C'mon, Rog,” she pulled at his hem, “tell me what happened.” She sat up, her soft curls falling messily around her face. She peered at her friend. Roger didn't move. Maureen huffed. “Do I have to beat it out of you?”
Roger glared at her. “Go ahead. Wouldn't be my first today.” He spat, turning so he wasn't facing the girl. Maureen grimaced, closing her eyes in regret. She opened them, gazing at the far too small boy beside her.
“Shit, Roger...” she began, “I'm sorry.” She didn't know what else to say. “...Why?” She waited. Nothing happened. Thinking Roger fell asleep, Maureen was about to get up when he spoke.
“Same as always.” He whispered. “He had a bad day at work, came home drunk, and saw me.” Maureen watched as the blonde's body started to shake slightly. “I wasn't even doing anything, just my fucking homework!” He stated harshly, still whispering. Maureen just sat there, her hand on his shoulder.
They stayed that way for a while longer, Roger's frame no longer shaking. Maureen sighed as she pulled herself off the bed. Roger lazily peered at her, wondering what she was doing. She pulled something out of her back pocket. “Here.” She offered it to him.
Sitting up now, Roger took it warily. “What is it?”
Maureen rolled her eyes. “That's the reason to open it, Rog. For an A student, you're kind of dense.”
The blonde glared at her as he opened the envelope. Inside was a birthday card and a picture... of a guitar. Roger furrowed his brow. “Um, thanks?”
Maureen laughed. “That's your birthday present, stupid. It's at my house; you can get it tomorrow.” She smiled as she sat down, her arm hugging his shoulders. Roger stared dumbly at the picture.
“You... got me a... guitar?” Roger managed slowly. Maureen giggled and nodded. “Shit, Maureen!” He pulled the brunette into a tight embrace. “I can't believe it. I don't even know how to play.”
“That's what practice is for. You're smart; you'll figure it out.” She took the photo from him. “Besides, this is it, what'll bring you glory.” She grinned at him, excitement gleaming in her eyes. Roger couldn't help but feel the same; he's always wanted to play an instrument.
“Damn,” he snatched the picture back, “I don't think I'll be able top this for your birthday.” Maureen laughed as she pulled him backward, lying on the bed.
“Date me and we'll call it even.” Roger looked at her, quirking an eyebrow. “Oh, and be the best. Got a deal?” She offered her hand expectantly. Roger stared at her hand for a minute before smiling.
“Sure.” With that, he leaned in and placed a kiss on Maureen's lips. Maureen blinked in surprise, only to smile as she kissed him back.
“Happy fifteenth birthday, Rog.”