Note: I don't own RENT or "When You Were Young" by the Killers…Ok folks here it is. I think I might take a short break before I start the sequel, cause I have so many one-shots begging to be written. But don't worry I will get going on it. And don't worry guys…it won't be Angel on her deathbed (see my one shots for that type of stuff te he). Just more serious issues than popularity in school. Ok now to this…guys I've LOVED writing this. And I'm so happy to bring you this last chappie. I've had the idea since…maybe chapter five so it's finally nice to share. And I'm so in debt to you, you kept me going. I love you all! (eats birthday cake and cookies)
Currently, the senior class of Scarsdale high school was waiting not so patiently for Valedictorian, Gina Hershaw, to finish her speech. The girl waved her hand in front of her face as if it would stop the multitude of tears running down her face. Between words she would take a deep breath which would echo through the microphone.
Angel sat on the bleachers looking down at Gina, "This is the girl that won over my baby? I can't believe they chose her over him." She whispered.
Mimi patted her friend's knee, "They didn't choose her Ang, Collins didn't do so well on his finals. And anyway…just cause she can write papers and take tests…definitely don't mean that she can make a good speech."
Lori tilted her head to the side, "I don't know whether to hug her or slap her."
Joanne rolled her eyes, "Slap her, please." Peter chuckled who was nudged gently by his wife.
Not accepting of the girl at all, Angel shook her head and said to herself, "He was on morphine. There should be some type of compensation for that." Sybil patted her shoulders gently. It was doubtful that Angel would ever forgive Scarsdale High for stripping Collins of his title.
"And…" Gina cried into the microphone, "I wanna say that I am honored to graduate with each and everyone of you. I will forever be indebted to you all for being there."
"The little people." Collins whispered to Mark who was sitting next to him. The filmmaker had to bite his lip to keep from laughing. Roger didn't bother to hold back. Loud laughter came from his seat a few away from Collins.
Gina didn't seem to notice, "And I have to say…"
"These graduation gowns are chaffing me! And these hats are soo uncomfortable." Maureen said a bit too loud. "I mean at least we could have gotten a better color than these horrible green…oh sorry Mrs. Kinsdale…" She rolled her eyes and continued to talk to the poor boy sitting next to her.
The principal came to the podium and clapped with a fake smile on her face. "Everyone our Valedictorian!" There was some enthusiastic claps and many not so enthusiastic. Angel started picking dirt out from under her nails defiantly, which caused Mimi to giggle.
"Now without further ado. The handing out of diplomas. Hailey Abernathy." She called out the first student. The whole student body stood up preparing to receive their own rolled up parchment.
"So what do you think it really is?" Collins whispered to Mark pointing to the diploma given to Hailey.
The filmmaker shrugged, "I always assumed that it said something about us graduating high school….What do you think they are?"
"My theory," Collins said, "is either paint by numbers or coloring books." He heard Benny groan at his comment. The gift of sitting next to Mark was cursed by the fact he was also close to Benjamin Coffin III.
Mark's face lit up ignoring Benny, "The X-men coloring book? Did you see that one? It looks so awesome-"
"Cohen!" Roger called out, "Be careful your geek is showing." Mark held his middle finger up at his best friend. Collins chuckled and looked up into the bleachers. There he saw everyone's respective girlfriends and Angel's parents. It was a nice gesture of them, and Collins loved them for it. Not that he didn't love them already, after all they did for him. Raising the love of his life being one of them. But still, their presence represented something else. They were replacing his parents who didn't show up. He held no hope for his father, in fact, Collins hadn't heard from his father since the night he left. Although he was sure of his father's absence, he dreamt that his mother would come. Perhaps she would stand at the bottom of the bleachers. Her eyes distant but on him.
Things didn't always work out like he dreamed.
"Thomas Boil." The principal called out. There was silence. Angel's breath hitched at the mention of him. Mimi took her hand quickly. "Tommy Boil…." The principal repeated. Mr. Cassidy ran up to her and whispered something in her ear.
"His ass in jail." Roger yelled so the principal could hear him. Dr. Hedlow glared at him and shook her head.
Collins smirked, well, it was the truth. It was good to know that the principal was up on current events…at least of her students charged with attempted murder and assault. Mark rubbed Collins back gently, knowing that his friend didn't need the comfort…but he offered it anyway.
"Benjamin Coffin the Third." The principal called out handing the diploma to the boy.
Mark leaned back to say to Collins, "You know he's going to Brown, too."
"I pity you." Collins mumbled and pushed his friend lightly, "You're turn next, boy."
"Mark Cohen." The principal said. Mark gulped and walked towards the platform. Collin was pretty sure that he heard the filmmaker mumble, "Please don't let me trip up the stairs." He didn't. He received the diploma to the applause of his parents and his friends. Lori being particularly animated, she stood up as if he deserved a standing ovation.
Joanne poked her in the leg. "Uh Lori." Her cousin looked down and blushed a deep red plopping herself back down onto the metal.
"Thomas B. Collins." The principal called. Collins smiled gently and walked forward. His smile spread as he heard a certain someone screeching from the bleachers. Angel was clapping and screaming at the top of her lungs.
Joanne blinked a few times and looked to Mimi, "You think she likes him?"
"I think she just might…and she might have snapped my eardrum for good." Mimi mumbled while Lori looked a little less embarrassed by her own actions. Her deep red face turning to a pink instead.
Just as the group recovered from Angel's screechings they had to deal with Mimi stomping on the bleachers.
"Roger Davis." Roger tried to look cool, maintain that bad ass aura that he was known for. After getting his diploma he joined his friends switching with the girl next to Collins. Mark unrolled his diploma.
"No coloring book." Mark sighed shaking his head and rolling it up again.
"Dammit." Collins mumbled, "They could have at least given us something to do until they got to the J's…and then after that." Roger smirked and pulled a thin plastic form from under his gown.
"That's what these were invented for." He mumbled before starting to blow up the beach ball.
Collins nodded with a smirk, "You've learned well my apprentice." He said bowing to him.
"What does that make me then? If he's your apprentice then…I'm your sidekick…now those are they same aren't-" Mark was interrupted by a fully inflated beach ball hitting him in the head.
Collins rubbed his friend's head sympathetically, "Poor Markie." He mumbled.
"Maureen Johnson!" The drama queen took the diploma and went closer to the guidance counselor to kiss both of his cheeks and wave to the audience. Joanne waved back a big smile on his face. Maureen's parents clapped heartily while trying to convince their son to clap for his big sister. His Lego's were more interesting.
The boys clapped while watching Roger's beach ball bounce through the sea of graduates.
"So when are you gonna make your move?" Roger mumbled to Collins who didn't respond. Instead he just winked at his friend.
Mark shook his head, "He worries me." Roger nodded in agreement.
"Robert Kinsman." Robbie slipped up the stage getting his diploma with a shy smile.
Angel turned to see a blond boy in the audience about their age stand up and clap. He blushed like Lori and took a seat waving discreetly at Robbie. The graduate turned towards the bleachers and saw the blond. A smile spread across his face and he waved back.
"Well…it's a step in the right direction." Collins mumbled to himself.
Maureen came to sit with the boys despite Mrs. Kinsdale begging her to return to her own seat. "Hey guys. I guess we made it, huh?"
"Barely." Mark snorted.
"Yeah but we got through." Collins said with a shrug, "Tomorrows another day. College and real life…what fun."
Roger smiled deeply, "I can sleep in for the rest of my life."
"Damn you." Mark grumbled, "8 am classes suck already."
Collins pointed to the podium, "Look guys." The principal stood up closer to the mic, "I have the pleasure of presenting to you, you're graduates." Cheers erupted in the football stadium and all of the graduated threw their caps into the air. All but one.
"Hold this would you?" Collins asked passing Mark his gown.
Mark sighed deeply averting his eyes, "Oh make it quick would you."
Maureen took the graduation cap off of Collins' head leaving his mesh cap on, "Have fun sugar." She winked at him.
Collins stepped out of the crowd of hugging students and ran out onto the open football field. Jaws dropped. People gasped. Collins laughed at the top of his lungs. He didn't even seem to mind that a few policemen were starting after him.
"Oh my god…Angel…" Mimi said grabbing her best friend's arm, "Your boyfriend is butt naked. Oh my God he's streaking…." She held back laughter but couldn't. Collins was running in the sun pounding his fists into the air.
Angel grinned proudly and stood up calling out for all to hear, "That's my boyfriend!"
As Collins passed the other graduating students some blushed, some looked away, and some noticed his scars. On his stomach was a raised discoloration left over from his surgery. Although this was the most noticeable mark on his body, students close up could see hickeys along his neck. His skin was a testament of love and hate.
"Hey kid!" The police officers called running after him now with full speed.
Maureen, Mark and Roger nodded to each other and ran after Collins keeping their gown and clothes intact. Collins turned around and laughed at the police officers tauntingly. Without any show of effort, he jumped the fence and ran up into the bleachers.
"My word." Sybil said her eyes stuck on Collins. Peter covered his wife's eyes with the program.
Collins ran up and stood right in front of Angel. "Hey there."
She grinned, "Hey yourself." Maureen, Mark, and Roger came up right behind him.
"Uh guys…" Mark mumbled pointing towards the police officers starting their way up.
"Oh shit." Collins mumbled taking Angel's hand and pulling her up. Joanne, Lori, and Mimi followed the graduates across the bleachers and down the stairs.
"Sorry Sybil and Peter! I'll make it up to you!" Collins called not wanting to embarrass his new guardians so.
Peter shook his hand, "I did it all the time in the 60's." Sybil laughed with the memory.
"I knew I liked your Dad." Collins mumbled kissing Angel's cheek. The teens ran towards the parking lot and all jumped into Roger's car. Roger at the wheel, Mimi in the passenger's seat, Mark on the right with Lori on his lap, Maureen in the middle with Joanne on her lap, and Collins with Angel sitting on his legs on the left.
Angel picked up a graduation cap and placed it over Collins' privates, "These are mine, thank you." She chirped.
The whole car laughed as Roger pulled away from the out of breath police officers.
"So…you think they'll tag the car?" Mimi asked looking back at them through the window and giving them the finger.
Joanne snorted, "Well if they didn't before they will now. Nice job, Mimi. Hey Roger turn up the radio." She said pointing towards it.
"With pleasure." Roger said with a smirk.
Can we climb this mountain?
I don't know
Higher now than ever before
No we can make it if we take it slow
Let's take it easy, easy now, watch it go
"So where are we going?" Angel asked.
"The moon!" Maureen called out.
"How about Vegas?" Mimi offered, "We can't gamble but Collins could streak for money." She teased.
"My body is here to serve…" Collins said pausing when Angel glared at him, "to serve Angel." He kissed her gently.
Joanne laughed, "Good save."
"Very good save." Maureen nodded in agreement, "Hey why are Markie and Lori so…quiet." She turned around to see Mark and Lori kissing with an intensity that shocked even her. "Oh my God! Our Markie's grown up!" The couple didn't seem to notice Maureen's comment and continued on with their kissing.
"Bout time." Roger chuckled turning onto the highway.
We're burning down the highway skyline
Back on a hurricane that started turning
When you were young
When you were young
"You guys are gonna come visit me right?" Joanne asked, "At Princeton? I mean…you gotta come. I'll be left on my own."
Maureen pouted and hugged her, "Poor Pookie."
"Of course we'll come." Mimi smiled, "It will give us a break. And then we'll go see Lori in New Jersey too…I think Mark will do a lot of that." She said titling her head towards him who was still making out with Lori.
"Probably." Collins mumbled with a laugh, "If they ever let go of each other in the first place."
Roger smiled from the front seat, "We'll all keep in touch. No question. After all that we went through together…ain't no way we'd grow apart."
"Amen." Mimi agreed reaching out to run her fingers through Roger's hair. They would make it through as a couple, she was sure. Now Roger could live for himself and not worry about the past that the High School tied him to. They would be free to love in the city.
Maureen and Joanne cuddled up closer and closed their eyes. They had no expectancies of making it through. They knew just as much as everyone else that their love was powerful but delicate. But Joanne hoped that they would learn from their mistakes. Maureen knew they would.
Angel rested her head on Collins' bare chest, "So what are your plans for the summer my love?"
Collins stroked his chin, "Hmm…hang out with these guys…maybe get a job…yeah I need to get a job."
"Do you think you'll have any time for you know…good stuff?" Angel asked batting her eyelashes.
Collins laughed in response, "I'll make the time."
"What about when you're writing all of these papers and I'm sewing like mad?" Angel asked wrapping her arms around him.
"We'll make the time. If we need to you can proofread my papers and I can help you sew." Collins offered kissing her gently.
Angel smiled through the kiss and then murmured, "You know how to sew?"
"Uh…you'd have to teach me that first." Collins replied with a smirk.
"You'd learn how to sew for me?" Angel asked biting her bottom lip.
Collins nodded, "All in the name of the good stuff….my God I'm turning into a member of your family."
Angel laughed hard and held him closer, "Well it works then…always thought you were my family. Now it's confirmed." They smiled at each other and leaned in until their lips touched. When they parted they smiled deeply knowing their love was never going to end.
Post: It's been a blast guys. Thanks so much. Next Story: Living arrangements, long distance relationships, and pre-first day jitters