Title: RENT (Or, No Day But Today)
Author: Shanna Seanachai (pulse@freepcmail.com)
Series: GW
Part: 4
Warnings: Mild Yoai
Disclaimer: GW belongs to Sunrise/Bandai. RENT belongs to the Estate of Jonathan Larson.
Pairings: Wufei/Trieze, Quatre/Trowa - slight.

"This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any real people (living, dead, or stolen by fairies). or to any real animals, gods, witches, countries and events (magical or otherwise), is just blind luck. Or so we hope."

If you want information on Rent you can go to a0 the official site (http://www.siteforrent.com) or the Benny Tour site (http://www.bennytour.com) - The former has some pictures and sounds...the latter has the script and tour dates.

--
When Trowa walked into the auditorium at eleven, Duo was the first thing he saw. He was perched on the edge of the stage, eating Cheese Puffs. He was reading the script, holding it in one hand, and trying to turn the page with the other, without getting cheese powder all over the pages.

"Hidy ho, Tro!" Duo called, his voice reverberating in the huge room.

"Why are you here?" Trowa asked, as subtly as possible.

Duo licked the cheese off his fingers and then wiped his hands off on his shirt. "I'm the assistant, remember? I'm supposed to help get you to open your mouth. Now, if you want my advice --"

"Why would I want the advice of someone who eats Cheese Puffs this early in the day?" Trowa retorted, smiling slightly. "Where's the teacher?"

"She's backstage. Come on - we've got a lot to go over."

Duo led him backstage, where the Drama teacher was stapling papers together at a small desk, and marking off things on a checklist, mumbling under her breath. Duo cleared his throat and she looked up. "Ah, yeah. Hello, Trowa. I'm glad you're here. Just one second, and we'll get to work."

She finished stapling the papers and capped the marker. Then she walked over to the electronics panel, and turned on the stage lights. She walked to center stage gesturing for them to follow.

"Now," she said, putting her hands on her hips, "Trowa, I want you to look out at the audience."

"There isn't an audience."

"Not right now - but on performance day, there will be. Just imagine it, Trowa -- this entire auditorium filled with tons of teenagers. Some of them will bored. Some of them will be loud. Some of them will be obnoxious. Do you know what your job is, Trowa?"

Trowa looked at her questioningly.

"To entertain them...to *distract* them. To make them *want* to watch! Now -- when you're watching TV, right, don't the actors have to be expressive, in order to hold your attention?"

Trowa was silent for a moment. "I don't watch TV," he said finally.

The teacher sweatdropped. "Well, OK...but you know what I mean, right?"

Trowa thought. "I guess so," he said doubtfully.

--

Trieze Kushrenada drifted down the hallway in the Right-Wing Dormitories. Number 24 was his Angel's room, he had found out...and he thought it might be time to pay him a visit.

He raised his hand to knock at the door, and suddenly noticed it was slightly ajar. He opened it cautiously and peered in.

Wufei was standing in the middle of the room, wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants. He had headphones on and the script in his hands. He was obviously listening to the soundtrack to the musical because he was mouthing words as he read. He stopped for a moment, looking confused, and rewound the tape. He pressed play again, and turned around so that his back was to Trieze. The other man creeped up closer. He could hear now what Wufei was singing softly under his breath.

"There's only us, there's only this...mmmm..." He started

to turn around again. "Forget regret, or life is yours to miss...uh...No other road...no other way..." He was moving his hand in rhythm with the music. Wufei turned to face Trieze, his head down. "No day...but today..." He looked up, and bumped right into Trieze.

"Aahh!!" he screamed, jumping back and tearing the headphones off.

"Hello, Angel...practicing, are you?"

"What are you...how did you...I didn't...my room..." Wufei gasped. He pointed to the door. "...Get out!!"

"Now, now, Angel."

Wufei scowled. "Listen to me, Kushrenada. I can't fight you at the moment - but I will *not* tolerate you intruding on my privacy. Now *get out*."

Trieze plucked the script from Wufei's hands. "Ah...'Life Support'. But have you gone over 'I'll Cover You' yet?"

Wufei blushed a peculiar shade of red.

"Well! I take that as a no. Then perhaps we should..." he began flipping through the pages.

"No!" Wufei pulled the script from his hands. "Just get out."

"Now, Wufei..." Trieze smiled wickedly. "Did you know there's a short dance sequence in that song? And it's a duet. You can't practice that by yourself!" He took the walkman from the boy's hand and popped out the tape. Wufei had listened to the song, and practiced it - out of obligation only, of course - but the thought of singing it now, in front of Trieze (hell - in front of anyone) was...mortifying!

Trieze read his thoughts all to easily for his comfort. "Now, my angel, if you cannot sing this in front of me, how will you ever be able to sing it in front of an audience? Where is - I see."

Trieze went over to the tape deck and fastforwarded to a spot on the tape. He pressed play and Wufei heard the familiar first strands of the preface to "I'll Cover You" come out of the speakers. He put one arm around Wufei's shoulders and held out the script, and began to read from it. "He'll be back. I guarantee."

"I - I've been hearing violins all night."

"Anything to do with me?" he smirked. "Are we a ... thing?"

He sounded so...ridiculous! Wufei found himself smiling in spite of himself. "Darling - we're everything!" the music started, and once again, Wufei's mouth started forming the words before he could even think of them.

"Live in my house - I'll be your shelter. Just pay me back with one thousand kisses. Be my lover - I'll cover you." He could still feel the heat burning at his cheeks, though.

Trieze tossed the script away. "Open your door, I'll be your tenant...don't got much baggage to lay at your feet. But sweet kisses I've got to spare. I'll be your lover...I'll cover you."

Wufei took a deep breath and heard thier voices intwining easily. "I think they meant it, when they said you can't buy love. Now I know you can rent it. A new lease you are, love...on life. Be my life..."

"Here's the dance part," whispered Trieze. "It goes like this..." Slowly and patiently he led Wufei through the steps.

"How do you know this?"

"I've been in this musical before."

"During other...'vacations'?"

Trieze smiled. "Yes. Now -" they were interrupted by Wufei's phone ringing. Wufei stepped away nervously. It could only be one of the other pilots - no one else had his number! What would they think if they knew he was here, dancing, with the general of OZ! "I'm sorry...if you..."

"We will have to finish this some other time, Angel." Trieze pressesd stop on the tape deck and returned the tape to him. "I will see you at the practice today, I suppose." And then...Trieze leaned forward and planted a quick, soft kiss on his forehead.

Wufei stood there in shock until he was brought out of it by the noise of the door closing.

"Holy...shit..."

--

An hour later and there were kids starting to drift into the auditorium. Trowa hadn't gotten very far. Well, they had at least gotten him to speak up a little. But his voice was still completely mechanical. Duo was beginning to think this was impossible, and even the teacher was starting to look a bit...pained.

"What are we going to do?!?!?" she hissed hysterically to him as they walked offstage.

"Don't worry, miss..."

"Don't worry??? He's one of the most important characters, and you're telling me to..."

"We'll have him do a scene. Maybe now that the band is together, he'll get a sense of..."

"This is going to be a disaster!" she groaned, and went off despondently to do some teacherly duties.

Duo ran around trying to get everyone organized, getting a sinking feeling all the while that maybe the teacher was right.

--

"All right, Quatre - we need you...and Trowa...and let's see...Duo, and Heero for back up." the teacher was pushing her hair out of her face and trying to juggle several stacks of paper.

"We're going to do "La Vie Boheme but only from Benny's line 'Mimi I'm surprised...' to the second chorus of 'La Vie Boheme'."

Quatre turned very pale. "I can't...I..."

"Come on, Quatre!" Duo took him by the hand and led up to the stage. "You'll do fine!" he said reassuringly. "Now...take your place!"

"But I can't...be so...mean!" But Duo was already gone. He looked around and saw Trowa not that far away. Trowa smiled at him a little, and nodded his head. Quatre smiled back and thought, I can do it. Trowa can do it, so can I.

The music started. "1, 2, 3...go, Quatre!"

--

Quatre: Mimi, I'm surprised - a bright and charming ...guy like you, hangs out, with these slackers (Who don't adhere to deals!). They make fun, yet I am the one attempting to do some good...or do you really want a neighborhood where people piss on your stoop every night?

--

So far, so good, he thought.

--

Quatre: Bohemia, Bohemia's a fallacy in your head. This is Calcutta! Bohemia is dead!

--

The music changed to a funeral dirge, and Trowa realized it was his turn. He saw Quatre smiling at him again, and he thought, if Quatre can do it...so can I.

"Dearly Departed...we gather here to say our goodbyes..." he mumbled. No...remember what the teacher said? Louder! "Here she lies...no one knew her worth - the late, great, daughter of Mother Earth." Quatre...encouraging him. You're doing great, Trowa, he mouthed. No, I'm not, he thought. A little louder. "On this night when we celebrate the birth, in that little town of Bethlehem, we raise our glass..." he took a deep breath and sang from deep down..."you *bet* your ass to...." all the air in his lungs going towards one simple action -

"La Vie....Boheme!"

The music changed abruptly once more, and he heard Duo and Heero chanting: "La VIe Boheme!"

And...now!

"To days of inspiration, playing hookie, making something out of nothing, the need to express, to communicate, to going against the grain, going insane, going mad..."

He remembered from the tape and the teacher's instructions to add a little thraot to the next lines:

"To loving tension, no pension, to more than one dimension, to starving for attention, hating convention , hating pretention - not to mention of course, hating dear old mom and dad!"

A little higher, now:

"To riding your bike midday past the three-piece suits, to fruits, to no absolutes, to absolutes, to choice, to the Village Voice, to any passing fad...

To being an us for once, instead of a them...

La Vie Boheme - La vie Boheme!"

--

He suddenly realized everyone was cheering.

"Yay, Trowa!" Quatre called as went over to him. "You did great!"

"So did you," he murmured, suddenly feeling very strange and red and self concious.

"That was cool, man!" Duo interrupted, slapping him on the back. "You really had your groove going! I knew you could do it! It was the music - tha's all you needed!" he decided, looking very proud of himself.

"Yeah," he agreed, looking at Quatre. "That was all I needed."

--

-end part four-