Title: Favors
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Angel, Mimi. No pairing.
Notes: One possible take on how Mimi and Angel met.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters. I intend no copyright infringement. This is a work of love, resulting in no profit to myself, except for feedback. Feedback is love.

Favors


BEAT beat-beat beat-beat beat beat beat. BEAT beat-beat beat-beat BEAT. BEAT-a beat-a BEAT-a beat-a BEAT-a beat-a BEAT-a beat-a beat-beat beat BEAT.

My eyes are closed, and I'm completely lost in the rhythm of my drum and the city. On nights like this, I'm not really drumming for the passersby or for the change and occasional dollar bill they sometimes toss on the ground beside me. Sometimes, like tonight, I just need to beat. Tonight, it's all for me, and it is fabulous.

I'm so absorbed in the beat that I don't even notice I have company until I'm surrounded. I can feel their presence looming over me before I even open my eyes. Without stopping the motion of my hands on the pickle tub, I glance up to see four men of medium to large build standing over me. Their heads are all shaved, and a couple of them sport some rather interesting tattoos. Nothing I would choose, of course, but I suppose it's a matter of taste. The one directly in front of me—clearly the leader of this crew—sneers down at me.

"What do we have here? A faggot in a dress?"

I smile up at him. I've been doing this far too long for this one man to hurt my feelings. "Very good, honey, I'm wearing a dress. Now would you mind backing up a little bit? My adoring public can't see me with you all in the way."

The man seems so surprised by my reaction that he actually does back up a few steps. Then he comes forward again. "Listen you little freak, no one wants to see you. Get your queer ass out of here before something really unfortunate happens to it."

I stand, grabbing my pickle tub and raising an eyebrow with a small smirk. "You offering, darling?" I lean toward him as though interested.

He jumps back again as though I've thrown red-hot coals in his face. "What! You--"he sputters. "Fucking freak. You bet I'm offering." He raises his clenched fists. They are scarred as though he's done a great deal of this kind of fighting.

This is definitely not my scene, and it's clearly time for me to make my exit. I slip between two of the men with my tub, so that I am standing safely outside of their circle where I am now in plain view of the public. "Oh, honey. I don't have to prove myself to you. I am more of a man than you will ever be, and more of a woman than you will ever get. Ciao." I toss my hair over my shoulder as I turn away from them to cross the street. There is a well-lit nightclub there that looks like a much safer environment than my skinheads' corner. I'm making my way toward the entrance when I am stopped in my tracks by a clapping sound.

I glance up. At the corner of the club, in the alley between it and another building, is one of the dancers, a young woman—girl, really—on her smoke break. Her cigarette is held between two fingers on her right hand and she is looking at me, smiling, and clapping. I grin and wave, crossing the street toward her. I look much more confident than I feel, I'm sure, but I can still feel the eyes boring into my back from the far side of the street. It would probably be better for me to at least pretend I know someone here, and that I have friends.

"Hey, chica," I call.

She looks curious, but doesn't respond until I'm leaning against the building beside her. She glances sideways at me, still smiling a little. "Do I know you?"

"Not really, honey," I smile apologetically. "But if you can pretend to be my friend until my buddies across the street find some other way to piss out their testosterone, I would be eternally grateful."

"I don't know…" There is a mischievous glint in her eye. "Sounded like you were handling those guys pretty well."

I laugh. "Yeah, until Cuddles over there with the swastika decides that I'm just way too mouthy to be allowed and comes over here to take care of me." I bat my eyes at her winningly. "Pretty please? With whipped cream and candy sprinkles? I promise—I'll be a perfect lady." I wink at her, and she laughs.

"Oh, you are too much. Come on." She drops her cigarette to the ground and stamps it out. "My break's over, but I don't think anyone will mind if you hang out backstage until closing. So long as you behave yourself." She winks.

I hold up the first three fingers of my right hand. "Scout's honor."

She leads the way down the alley toward the back entrance to the club. "I'm Mimi, by the way," she calls over her shoulder.

"I'm Angel."

She turns, hand on the edge of an unmarked door that's been propped open by a bit of rubbish. "Angel." She smiles. "I like that."

I return her smile. "I like Mimi, too."

"Thanks." She cocks her head at me quizzically. "Angel?"

"Yes?"

"Can I ask a favor?"

I laugh. "How can I refuse? What do you need, honey?"

She laughs, and it's a nice laugh. "Nothing major. Mind walking me home? I live in a walk-up on 11th and Avenue A, so it's not that far. It's just that some of the guys around here get a little grabby after hours, and it would be really nice to just walk home without being treated like a whore for once."

"No problem, chica. I would be honored."

She smiles gratefully at me and holds the door opened to allow me entrance to the Cat Scratch's backstage area. I smile as I precede her into the club. I like this Mimi girl, and I have a feeling about people. She and I—we're going to be great friends.


fin.