Categories > Theatre > Rent > Dance Card

Dance Card

by Charis 2 reviews

"You're both alpha bitches, and you can't figure out who's going to be on top." Eventually, halfway. [Rent movieverse.]

Category: Rent - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst, Romance - Characters: Joanne, Mark, Maureen - Warnings: [!!!] [X] - Published: 2006-06-09 - Updated: 2006-06-09 - 1105 words - Complete

Dance Card
by Charis

Disclaimer: /Rent /and all associated characters belong to people far cooler than me. I'm just borrowing them.

Notes: Holiday gift for Fey. My first attempt at even non-explicit slash of any variety. Movieverse.

"We have nothing in common."

"You're both lesbians," Mark quips. He's at least a little drunk, which is probably the only reason he says it. The fact that she's a few sheets to the wind herself is probably the only reason she doesn't do more than glare at him in response.

It's not true, either; Maureen is proud of her bisexuality, but sometimes Joanne thinks it'd be more apt to say her lover would sleep with anything -- male, female, or otherwise. For all her promises, Maureen loves being looked at, and as if it's some kind of validation for her, she just has to flirt back to see what response she gets. To someone like Joanne, raised to respect monogamy, even casual flirtation is frustrating.

Is it that she's insecure herself, wondering what Maureen wants with her? Is it that she and her partner have too much in common, on levels far below the superficial? She's had to fight to be open about her sexuality; with her career, it'll never be possible to flaunt it like Maureen does, but she decided long ago that she wasn't going to hide who she was, and damn the consequences.

Alpha bitch, Mark said, the last time she called him up to complain -- called him up and then came over and got drunk and fell asleep on the couch out here in his apartment, because he's the only other one who really understands the Tango Maureen. You're both alpha bitches, and you can't figure out who's going to be on top. And he'd laughed then, trying to make it sound wicked but really coming off more like the embarrassed little Jewish boy he still was, and she'd laughed with him, because it hurt less.

She misses Maureen, and it's more than just wanting a warm body next to her in bed, or someone to wake up to. If she wanted companionship, she could find it -- no matter what the others think, she's had her share of admirers. But it's Maureen she wants, and sometimes she wonders why the hell she can't bend first.

Alpha bitch, she thinks, remembering Mark's words. She's used to being on top, and it's hard to give up control, even a little -- especially with someone who won't give and take. She looks up at the ceiling and sighs.

"Pass me another beer."

He obliges, and they sit staring out at the New York skyline, until the phone rings.

- x -

Later, when Mark's gone to bed and she's safely ensconced on the couch with blanket and pillow (too drunk to drive home, she said, but the news has rendered her sober and she really just doesn't want to face her empty bed again, especially tonight of all nights), she thinks about Angel, lost to them now, and poor Collins all alone, and Roger and Mimi's arguments, and she misses her Maureen more acutely than she has in a very great while. The city dances and glitters outside the big windows, and she wonders if Maureen's out there, and if she's with someone else.

She tries to tell herself that she'd be happy as long as Maureen is happy, but that sort of thing is only true in stories. She's human, and she's selfish, and she wants her girl back.

After a restless eternity of chasing sleep, she drifts off to the memory of Maureen's laugh.

- x -

When Roger slips in later that night, Joanne is smiling in her sleep.

- x -

In the morning she goes home and immerses herself in her work. Later, Maureen calls, and for all her intentions, attempted reconciliation becomes argument, and she hangs up in a fury.

To spite her parents, she wears her Doc Martens into the office, though no one there cares.

- x -

The funeral's a week later, and she spends the bulk of the time between working -- that is, when she's not trying to help Collins out. She's not sure just how she got herself mixed up with this group -- they're much more Maureen's kind of people than they are hers, but there's an unquestioning acceptance there. She fits in, even with everything.

Maureen's been around a lot too, and they've pointedly ignored each other for the sake of the others; Collins deserves better. She keeps glancing over her shoulder when she thinks the other woman's not looking, though, and at one point she finds Maureen watching her. Colour rises in those pale cheeks, an embarrassed flush, before they both hurriedly turn back to what they're doing.

They're civil until the funeral, when all the tension that's been building explodes. It takes Collins' heartbroken appeal to make her realise what she's done, and the realisation makes her sick. She catches a flash of guilt in Maureen's eyes, and wonders just how her girl's changed in their time apart.

Her girl. It's funny to still think of Maureen that way.

That evening, she's about to pick up the phone when there's a knock at the door.

- x -

This time, they do not argue. And this time, Maureen listens when Joanne talks, and doesn't kiss her until she's done -- and at that point, Joanne realises she doesn't care much about talking right now.

They'll work it all out eventually, the give and the take and the intricate steps of the tango, and they'll figure out who's going to lead when, and how to compromise and get along outside of the bedroom. But that can wait until morning. Right now, she just wants to savour the reunion.

She relearns Maureen's body that night: smooth skin that shines in the diffuse light coming through the curtains, wild curling hair soft as she tangles it about her fingers, dips and hollows and curves. She remembers: what makes her hiss, what makes her writhe, what makes her fall apart /just so/, and it's not about being on top, because halfway through Maureen pushes her onto her back and returns the favour, and in the end they shatter together and it's beautiful, and she wonders why she ever let this go.

As she curls up next to Maureen in the aftermath, she remembers those reasons, but she promises herself that it'll work this time.


"Shh." She bunches the pillow up to get more comfortable. "Get some sleep."

"I missed you," Maureen whispers, and then, almost hesitantly, "I love you."

Joanne laces her fingers through Maureen's and smiles.

- finis -
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