Title: Truths

Author: Girl Who Writes

Feedback: beloved

Pairing: past Mimi/Angel, implied Collins/Angel, Mimi/Roger

Word Count: 980

Rating: PG

Genre: Angst

Summary: The thick stack of photographs - of Angel in and out of drag, wrapped around Mimi – makes Mimi want to go to Angel, to wrap her arms around her and remember all the good times.

Notes: First place at livejournal's speed rent. I'm not sure I like this at all, but I can never turn down a shipper challenge. Really, I just can't not try and write something. So I apologise if this doesn't meet the criteria and even more so if it's utterly awful. The song lyrics are from Switchfoot's "Dare You To Move".

Spoilers: Movie and musical.

Warnings: Language

Disclaimer: Property of the Jonathon Larson estate, I make no profit.

Maybe redemption has stories to tell

Mimi found the photograph in an old shoebox, tied with an old piece of ribbon, and that made her cry because Angel was the only person she'd ever know who tied photos together with ribbons. She usually just stuffed them in the middle of books and into boxes, out of the way.

The photo is bent down the middle, and Angel's feminine script has faded on the back of it – Mimi can just make out the words - 'Together, June 1986.' Angel's wearing her black wig, one of her handmade skirts and her arms are looped around Mimi's waist. It was like any of Mark's filmed scenes of them, beaming into the camera, sisters in arms. But the photograph was different – before HIV, before Collins and Roger – when it was just 'Mimi and Angel'.

There's other photos, taken by a friend of Angel's who is long dead now, at the bottom. There's Angel in jeans and a sweatshirt, pressing a kiss to Mimi's lips, running his fingers through her hair. The thick stack of photographs - of Angel in and out of drag, wrapped around Mimi – makes Mimi want to go to Angel, to wrap her arms around her and remember all the good times.

"Mimi? Are you okay?" It's Mark, pushing open the door and coming in carrying two mugs of tea.

"I'm fine, Mark." She sticks the photos back in the box.

"You've been crying." He leaves the cups of tea on the dresser and sits down beside her, his arm around her shoulder.

Mimi shrugs and wipes her eyes on the sleeve of her sweatshirt. "I miss her so bad, Mark."

Mark rubs Mimi's back in reassuring circles. The hurt hasn't gone for Collins or Mimi after two years. There's still an raw look in Collins' eyes, and something tragic when Mark sees Collins sitting alone at the apartment he used to share with Angel.

Mimi wouldn't share this with Roger; Benny had been enough of an insult, but if she told him the truth about Angel… she doesn't want to see their love cheapened by the look in Roger's eyes when he learns his girlfriend was in love with a drag queen. But Mark is different. Mark is the self-proclaimed witness, and everything will just die if he doesn't know about it.

She pulls the photo from the haphazard pile, the ribbon forgotten in the bottom of the box. It's one of Angel out of drag, in jeans, arms tight around her, and you just know that the next photo involves a kiss. Mark takes the photo from her and examines it, a tense expression on his face.

"That was just before she was diagnosed," Mimi doesn't know what to do with her hands now Mark has the photograph. "I thought Angel was my savior. I just loved her so much. She could fix anything wrong with me. Except…"

Mark's arm around her tightens and she cries onto his shoulder. "I shared needles and she got sick at Christmas one year. She took the test and it was positive and it was all my fault."

Mark looks at the photo, as Mimi sobs against his shoulder. Guilt and regret and love, all pouring out. The faces in the photo are so much younger, so much brighter. He puts the photo back amongst the pile.

"Did Collins ever know?" Mark asks, knowing there is no real way to ask that question, but something he needs to know.

"Angel told him everything. That after everything... we wanted each other to be happy, and Angel couldn't be that with me the way I was," Mimi wipes her eyes again. "And I thought I'd be happier without her trying to convince me to stop. I was happier knowing she could have a life outside of the fuck up that was me. I just never really thought that she'd never be there."

Mark leans back and hands Mimi a cup of tea. "Don't punish yourself for this, Mimi," he says, glancing at the other photos in the box. "She loved you so goddamned much. Every time you left her hospital room, she'd tell us all that we had to look after you. You and Collins; she wanted Collins to live and you to be happy and clean."

Mimi's eyes are red as she stairs at the milky tea. "She never blamed me, either. We cried together and woke up the next day and even thought everything had changed, it was exactly the same as before. And I fucking hate myself for letting her down. And I hate myself more for still loving her after I did all that shit to her."

"Mimi," Mark shakes his head. "Everyone says you never forget your first love, and you never fall out of love with them."

"Like you and Maureen?" Mimi sniffs.

"Ugh… yes, me and Maureen," Mark smiles a little. "I still love her but no way in hell would I ever go back to her. And if Angel was still here…"

"Collins was – is – her soul mate," Mimi offered a watery smile. "Thanks Mark."

"Go wash your face," Mark takes her cup from her. "Roger and Joanne think we need to get out, go for dinner somewhere. We've been stuck in the house for too long."

Mimi nods and gets up, leaving the photos scattered on the floor. Mark slides them neatly back into the box, the last one being one of Angel spinning Mimi around, both of them laughing hysterically for the camera. There are track marks on Mimi's arms and dark circles under Angel's eyes. And on the back, in faded writing, 'Mimi and me, November 7th 1987'.

Mark leaves that photo on the dresser, the box next to it, and goes back upstairs.

Between how it is and how it should be