Title: The End

Author: Girl Who Writes

Rating: PG

Fic Variations Prompt/Claim: Work / Mimi Marquez.

Spoilers: Movie

Warnings: Language

Words: 651

Count: 5/5

Summary: Maybe she could have been one of those girls who got clean, got healthier and got out, maybe if Roger wasn't halfway across the country and Angel was in the cold ground. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, no wisdom, no comfort.

Author's Notes: The final of my August Fic Variations claim. I tried to make them all fit together, but I don't know if I managed it. When I put them up on my website, I might put them in order. We'll see.

Have been on a brief fic hiatus and found this on my harddrive. I hope you enjoy it, and hopefully I'll have some new stuff to put up in a week or so.


Mimi's last day at the Cat Scratch Club wasn't official. Maybe on a completely subconscious level she knew she wasn't going to be coming back there, but she walked in, waving her worn out paper I.D. card and tripping upstairs to the dressing rooms.

Her dressing table is a jumble of things; she hasn't worked for the last few weeks because of rehab. The manager had been indifferent about her absence, telling her flat out she'd have to make up the hours as soon as she came back.

But he'd seen lots of girls with drug and alcohol problems since he'd worked at the club – girls who would beg days and weeks and even months off work to get clean and healthy and male a fresh start. There were the girls who came back to work, still junkies and addicts, and worked harder for longer, trying to make up the money they've lost, spent, wasted. They'd wait a few months and take more time off, returning to work the same, thinner, ill and walking on the edge of a precipice.

Then there were the girls who did the right thing, who took time off and got clean and healthy, and were brighter. They'd come back to the club, healthy and lovelier, and a few weeks, a few months later, with some money in their back pocket, they'd quit, trying to get out of their underworld.

Maybe she could have been one of those girls who got clean, got healthier and got out, maybe if Roger wasn't halfway across the country and Angel was in the cold ground. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, no wisdom, no comfort.

She's lost weight, as she tugs the thin squares of fabric over her head. The shadowy outline of her ribcage is clear against her pale skin. The stilettos pinch as she stands up, pinning her hair back with clips and grabbing a tube of lipstick. It was sticky, cheap and Mimi dropped it in the bin. She could get herself a new lipstick, but she didn't believe that.

Her set felt longer, the lights felt hotter and her mouth was dry. The shoes were rubbing her feet raw; must've grabbed the wrong size. Her joints ached as she twisted around the bars, smiled at the patrons; money was tucked into her shorts, into her top - she offered flirtatious smiles and grabbed their glasses of cheap alcohol, downing them in one mouthful.

She tripped off stage, exhausted and sore, back into the dressing rooms. The uneven floor sent her stumbling forward, the stiletto heel snapping clean off.

Her street clothes felt cold and musty as she tugged them on, pulling her hair off her face, and reaching for the bottle of water – she couldn't remember how old it was – and took a sip.

It was strange as she cleaned up her dressing table, sliding her photograph of Angel into her purse. She'd be back tomorrow night. She would.

There was a cracked plastic compact she'd kept forever, with her name in stick-on crystals. The powder was long gone, but underneath the powder tray was forty five dollars for emergencies.

She threw the compact into her bag and got up to leave, not saying anything to anyone.

The air outside was cold, and Mimi huddled into her coat as she began the walk home, to a few hours of restless sleep, a mug of cold, stale coffee and another day; the same day, over and over.

She wasn't coming back here again.