Categories > Theatre > Rent

La Mort Boheme

by DivinityCohen 3 reviews

Mark always believed that he would be the one of them to live through all of their deaths...

Category: Rent - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst, Drama - Characters: Mark - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2006-09-09 - Updated: 2006-09-09 - 2192 words - Complete

AUTHOR'S NOTE: If this is familiar it's because it was posted on FF.Net with the same title, warning about Character Death. Please review!!!


"This is Cissy Johnson with the channel 6 evening news standing at the location where only three days ago a tragic accident took place. The caution rope is still up around the area although the site has long since been cleaned. On this very corner only a few days ago an unknown bicyclist unfortunately met a tragic demise when a speeding car careened out of control and into the young man, no later than mid twenties early thirties. This scene was witnessed by..."

A small gray television remote narrowly missed the TV set, but did manage to hit the young women standing behind it. The young women throwing the remote was the infamous diva Maureen Johnson, the other was her lover Joanne Jefferson who was now nursing a fairly large bruise that had instantly shown up on her forearm.

"Maureen," she whispered compassionately. Maureen broke into tears in front of the girl.

"This is the seventh news station that is broadcasting this. You would think they would find some other poor sap to exploit. It's been three days." Joanne stayed silent as she walked over to put her arm around the other girl. Maureen sobbed into Joanne's shirt while Joanne held her closely.

"It's okay, sweetie. Let it out," she whispered, kissing her fiancée on the forehead. Joanne turned around slowly and clicked off the television set, interrupting Bob Harris's fifth interview about the incident. Joanne was still in shock by what had happened, she hadn't managed to wrap her mind around it quite like Maureen had, Maureen always was better at moving on to the next steps. Joanne slowly lifted the girl from her chair and got her standing.

"I know it's hard, but we have to meet the others. Go get dressed so we can leave for...Roger's place..." Joanne had to pause after that sentence. It felt strange, just calling it Roger's place. It felt unnatural. If Maureen had noticed the pause she didn't reflect it. She just slowly sauntered away, picking up a pair of black knee high shoes as she went. Joanne fell back into the chair and placed her head in her hands. It was going to be a long day.


Mimi Marquez ran a hand through her hair, parting it once to the left, once to the right, once down the middle, once not at all. She pulled it up into a ponytail, pigtails, let it hang loose, kept tightly in a bun. Nothing looked right, nothing felt right. She held a tissue to her eyes to avoid letting her mascara run down her face again, but she was to late.

Roger walked into the bathroom and could see his girlfriend struggling with a washcloth, breathily heavily and shaking with tears. He ran over pulled her into a comforting embrace which only managed to upset her more it seemed. She tried pushing him away but stopped mid-push. Roger took a step back, unsure of what to do in the situation. Suddenly the girl turned and grabbed him, throwing care to the wind as she pressed her face into his shirt.

"You'll need to change shirts," she sobbed. He put a hand on the top of her head.

"I know, are you going to be okay?" She nodded against him and slowly pulled herself back up. Quickly regaining her composure. Suddenly she looked upset again and turned back to the grimy mirror.

Roger watched as she scrubbed her makeup off and began reapplying for the fourth time. As he left the bathroom he could've sworn her saw her parting her hair again. Once to the left, once to the right, once down the middle, once not at all.


Tom Collins contemplated whether or not he should head into the loft for the first time in three days. Part of him wasn't ready to see the place again, that same part of him knew that no matter how much furniture was in their or how many people were in their it would still be empty. The rest of him knew that sooner or later he would have to face the loft.

He struggled with his emotions as he shouted up at the window of the apartment. He could see Roger walk out onto the landing and give him a weak smile. The man had a big black spot in the middle of his white shirt that was visible even from the street.

"Hey, can you toss down the key?" Roger nodded and threw the key down to the man. Collins caught it and made his way towards the door. He was stopped as Maureen and Joanne arrived. There was a moment of awkward silence that usually always followed the two's arrival, or at least it used to. It was broken as Collin grabbed the two in a big hug.

"You alright?" he asked Maureen softly. She nodded against him. "Ready to head up?"

"No," Joanne whispered. "But may as well..."


Benny felt awkward, standing outside that door. He couldn't decide whether or not the call over had been just a joke or if they really wanted him around. It didn't matter, he was going to show up one way or another. Roger may have forgotten their friendship but he hadn't.

There were footsteps behind him and he decided to knock on the door before anyone saw him having his emotional crisis. Roger answered him with a look of surprise as though he hadn't expected him to actually be their.

"May I come in?"


Everyone was now in the loft sitting on a mixture of chairs, coffee tables, and jackets that had been lain on the floor for comfort purposes. It was awkwardly silent throughout the group, something that rarely occupied the air. Usually Maureen would be making some feminist comment about the way the loft was kept, or Joanne would be busy trying to offer the boys money, or Collins would be going on about some anarchist viewpoint. Today it was absolutely silent.

Roger stood in the back of the room messing with something technological as Collins tried showing him the proper way to work it. There was an occasional sniffle from Maureen which was usually followed by the comforting "Shhh," from Joanne. And then there was Mimi and Benny who were just trying to pretend the other didn't exist. Finally Roger walked over and flipped the little 10 watt bulb off.

"There was something that was found at the scene know...that I thought we should all watch before we leave," he said as he flipped a little switch on what appeared to be Mark's old projector.

"The camera..." Maureen whispered.

An image came on the screen of the crowded loft, followed by a voice over commentary by their friend.

"Close in on the loft where Roger is announcing his engagement to Mimi with a grand party. Or a lackluster party, whichever you choose to call it." Mimi laughed once and quickly stifled it. "Pan into the face of our benefactor Joanne, who we told time and time again not to pay. Wave to the camera Joanne." The Joanne on the camera covered her face and turned away. "That's mature, ignore the camera man."

"Pan to Maureen who is busy stuffing herself, 'secretly' of course, and drinking what appears to be a diet coke. Bad Maureen, whatever happened to those anarchist beliefs of yours?" This comment was answered by an obscene gesture on the girls part. The camera quickly panned around again until it was facing Roger and Mimi who were stuck in a lip-lock so tight they looked as if they had been glued together. "I'll get back to them..."

"And last but not least in this motley little crew of ours is Tom Collins, who is also playing the 'What Camera?' game today it appears. Maybe I'll just continue this when everyone is more congenial."

The screen faded into black. It continued like this with little videos of the friends doing what they did best, just hanging out and being there for each other. There was video of the Life Support meetings most of them still attended religiously, there was a video of Maureen performing a medley of popular music with the lyrics changed to better fit her beliefs, there was even video of the ride to the hospital the day Roger nearly died.

And then there was the last one.

"January 7th, Mark Cohen commentary. Okay, I'm going to start today's video a little differently. Maybe eventually I'll film some clips to put this commentary over instead of just scenery as seen from my bike. First I'm going to try talking about my friends.

"Here's the thing, most of them are HIV+, only Maureen, Joanne, don't have it. Pan to me," the camera panned around and showed a close up of their friends face with one eyebrow raised before it panned back to the streets. "Amazed. How strange is it that I'm one of the survivors? I always half figured I would have killed myself by now." There was a faint laugh from behind the camera.

"So right now I'm heading for their Life Support meeting, it's a sort of self-help group where people living with AIDS go. I've filmed most of the meetings and have grown to realize that it's actually something deeper than that. This is a place where anyone can feel welcome, a real family.

"And that's who I'm describing," he rounded a corner. "My real family. Not those who's name I carry, those who actually care about me. First we have Roger, my roommate and longtime friend. He's a guitarist who is a lot better than I'd ever say to his face." Roger laughed, knowing perfectly well that it was true what had just been said. "He got HIV from his old girlfriend, who tragically took her own life, now he's dating Mimi."

"Mimi is an exotic dancer, so to speak. She also has it and she knows how to live with it. Not to mention make the illness look good."

"Then we have Collins, he is an anarchist if I have ever seen one. Nothing bad about that though. What would our society be without the Collins's."

"And Benny," Benny leaned forward, amazed to hear his name come up in the film about friendships. "Benny is a good guy, he just strayed a little from the path...part of me wants to strangle him for that, the other part wants to ask him to hang out again."

"And last but not least we have our diva and her lover. Maureen and Joanne. My ex, Maureen, is a diva. She needs her stage in front of her at all costs. And Joanne is what keeps her leveled to the ground. Chances of me ever really getting to know Joanne are smaller than I would like, but even I have to admit that they look good together." Joanne gripped Maureen's shoulder as the other girl tensed up.

"And that ends the sentimental mush." The bike rounded another corner and the sounds of sirens were heard. "What the hell..."

Mark's sentence was cut off as a car came into focus. The wheel of the bicycle came into focus and soon everything was spinning before the camera came to an ear shattering THUD on the ground. Not even a second later Mark's body, bent in a way no body should ever be, landed in front of it. The film cut off there.

The silence was deafening for moments before Maureen's wails cut it off. Joanne held her close to try and cut off the sounds of the sobs and she looked up apologetically at the others. There wasn't a dry eye around the room, Maureen's tears were barely noticed.

"The last film." Roger whispered as he helped Mimi from her chair.

"The last film." The others whispered, with an understanding in their voices, showing that they had just then realized what had truly happened.

"We should be going."


In total only six people were at the funeral, not counting the minister. The Cohen family had opted out of coming, believing that he would have preferred it that way. No one told them, but that was what the group believed too.

In the cemetery, only four headstones over from where their beloved Angel Schunard lay they stared at the new headstone. Roger held the video camera tightly in his hands before laying it on the casket. "Where it belongs," he whispered, the rest agreeing with him.

"Mark Cohen, the good die young." Collins read from the stone. "Never has a truer phrase been written then in this moment."

"It's missing something." Benny said. "I know what it is." They all watched as he pulled a pocket knife out and carved into the stone. He moved away and showed the group what was written. "This was the Mark Cohen that I knew."

In shaky hand carved letters were six words. La Vie Boheme. La Mort Boheme
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