this is really pretty random. i had the idea after reading a questionably strange book, and i was trying to decide what to do with it and who to give it to. in the end, i decided to give it to Angel because i am just so very in love with her. although in retrospect, this is rather Mimi-ish. ah well. btw, my school is doing "The Wiz" for our musical. i love that show, and i'm planning to audition. Ease on down, ease on down the road!

Mimi leaned out over the railing on her fire escape. The smoke from her cigarette curled lazily into the air, mingling with the fumes from a trash-can fire below. She took a drag and sighed, letting the smoke drift out in a cloud of grey. She always smoked on the fire escape because she hated when her apartment got clogged with fumes. It only made her cough when it was minus the actual cigarette.

"Hey chica, down here!" cried a voice. Mimi jumped and looked down. Angel was waving at her from the sidewalk directly below, and Collins was just catching up from down the street. Mimi waved back.

"Hey! Come on up! Collins, Roger's expecting you!" Collins groaned so loudly that Mimi could hear from two stories up. Angel looked up again.

"See you in a sec!"

"Kay!" Mimi turned and climbed into her apartment, first throwing her cigarette over the edge of the fire escape (not in the direction of either Angel or Collins). She waited for the familiar thump of footsteps. Seconds later, she heard them and opened the door. Angel jumped in, turning around and slamming the door shut before Mimi could even get a glimpse of Collins.

"Um, Angel? Something wrong?" Mimi asked. Angel sighed.

"Collins…well, you know how Roger's expecting him?"

"Yeah, but I don't think Roger's mad or anything."

"That's where you're wrong, hon. Let's just leave it at this; Collins is going to take any chance he can to run for the hills, so we're going to close off the exits." Outside they heard footsteps stop outside the door.

Then Collins' voice called, "I take this to mean you want Roger to kill me, right Ang?"

"I'm doing it to give you backbone, honey. Anyway, it's your fault that you stole his…you know. This is for your own good," Angel sweetly replied. Mimi, meanwhile, was having a small laughing fit. Collins sighed audibly.

"Mimi, I want you to always remember me as I was. Angel, I love you even though you're leaving me to a fate worse than—"

"Collins, just go talk to the man!" Angel prodded. Collins stomped his feet in reply, then tentatively headed up the stairs. Mimi managed to stop giggling long enough to peer out the window at Mark and Roger's fire escape. Empty. Collins could expect a welcome committee.

"Nice, Angel, real nice," she laughed, coming back inside. Angel grinned and started removing her coat. Mimi looked, turned away, then whirled around to stare.

"Um, Angel?"

"Yeah? Oh, by the way, Mo and Joanne are coming over later; remember they said so last night? Just telling you to be prepared, because—"

"What the hell are you wearing?" Angel crossed her arms defensively.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean…this." Mimi reached forward and touched the neck of the turtleneck shirt Angel was wearing. Angel rolled her eyes and swatted Mimi's hand away.

"I'm cold, damn it. This was the best I could do." Mimi was still staring.

"Angel, how do you even own a turtleneck? You hate them. Every time you see someone wearing one, you go on for ten minutes about how ugly they are. What the fuck are you doing wearing one?" Angel ground her teeth together.

"Mimi, let it go. For my sake?" Mimi sighed and shrugged. Inside, she was considering the obvious possibility that Angel was hiding something. Angel nodded emphatically and turned around to put her coat on the dresser by the door (Mimi had found a new dresser and decided to use that one as a full-service table of sorts). As she did, Mimi leapt forward and pulled down the neck of her turtleneck. Angel shrieked and whirled around, pushing it back up. But not before Mimi had seen the ring of purplish, bruise-like splotches that encircled Angel's neck.

"Ha! I knew it! I so totally fucking knew it!" crowed Mimi, doing a little dance. Angel sent her a killer glare, leaning back against the dresser and crossing her arms angrily. Mimi took no notice of her, fully indulging herself in the glee of her discovery.

"Mimi, you can really be a louse sometimes," Angel groaned. Mimi grinned at her.

"A louse? Better than a suckerfish, which is obviously what's attacked you!" Angel's eyes widened.

"Make one more crack like that, and I'll make sure they never find your body." Mimi giggled.

"I've got Angel Dumott Schunard issuing death threats. Score!" Angel couldn't help it. Her glare wobbled and morphed into a smile. Mimi bounced up and down happily on the balls of her feet. Angel sighed.

"You're so annoying…why the hell do I put up with you?" Mimi shrugged.

"Because I'm incredibly awesome. And anyway, I'm not the one with a necklace of hickies." She emphasized the word hickeys pointedly. Angel rolled her eyes and looked at Mimi for a moment. Then she moved forward and touched a strand of brown hair on Mimi's therapy.

"You were an evil little girl…now I get to do some therapy." Mimi nodded happily. Angel had a stress reduction system; when she got too fed up with something, she would do one of two things. The first was stab a Nerf football with a pen. The second was braiding Mimi's hair. Mimi was familiar with the drill. She turned and climbed onto the bed, sitting cross-legged and facing the wall. Angel clambered up to kneel behind her and pulled her hair out of its ponytail, shaking it out and separating it into the three strands. She expertly threaded them together. Mimi grinned at the wall.

"Why the hell did you wear that shirt to hide them? If I were you, I'd have put them on display." Angel snorted.

"You've already done that, girl." Mimi giggled.

"That time was a fluke, I was drunk. Anyway, I had only a couple, and they weren't nearly as impressive as yours! Roger needs lessons." Angel ground her teeth together to keep from laughing. She had finished a long, ropy braid, and now she undid it and started making three smaller ones.

"'Impressive' is hardly the word I would use."

"What word would you use? And Angel, I've noticed you haven't actually said the word yet. Don't be scared, it's really easy. Hick-ey. Now say it with me." Angel shook her head, then remembered that Mimi couldn't see her.

"I'm not scared of saying it, I just don't. Hold still." Mimi stopped swaying back and thought for a moment.

"Still, I guess you're allowed to be scared of saying the word. Those are class-A ones, hon! I've only seen babies like that in high school. Ow! Stop tugging!"

"Stop being a jerk," Angel replied tartly. She began to braid the three little braids gently, almost as if her gentleness was an apology for her words. Mimi wasn't fazed, however. She had a good subject that irritated the hell out of Angel, and she wasn't letting go of it.

"So…when'd you get them?" Angel stopped and leaned forward to glare at Mimi where she could see her.

"If you don't shut up about—"

"Angel, calm down. I'm your best friend and I care about you, okay? I'm just asking as a matter of simple curiosity, and I promise I won't make fun of you. Anyway, I tell you about Roger and me, right?"

"More than I'd ever want to know, yes," muttered Angel, sitting back and undoing all the braids. Now she started on a giant French braid, slowly weaving the strands of hair together. Mimi sat patiently, knowing that Angel knew the question was still unanswered. If Mimi waited long enough…

"Last night. After we got home from the Life, okay?" Angel told reluctantly. Mimi whooped.

"Last night and they look like that this morning? Jesus, Angel, you two are—" Angel poked her with one fingernail at the nape of her neck.

"I'm in a prime position to cause you a lot of severe discomfort, Mimi, so watch what you say." Mimi smiled and shrugged. Angel resumed her braiding. But Mimi couldn't resist.

"Were they a prequel to something else, or like, the aftermath after the main attraction?" Angel made a sort of choking sound that was a cross between an attempt not to burst into a laughter and moan of irritation. Mimi giggled. Angel managed to clear her throat.

"Oh my god, Mimi you're unbelievable," she said hoarsely. Mimi smirked.

"I know." There was another moment of silence. Mimi waited for Angel to reply to the question. She didn't.

"Angeeeeel…"

"Aftermath, okay? Aftermath!" Angel was really annoyed now, especially with herself and that fact that she was answering Mimi's questions. Mimi squealed.

"I knew it! And they go all the way around; it looked like you had a necklace of them or something, like I said…I give him a lot of credit."

"Oh, you—you are not giving my boyfriend credit! Now can we please talk about something?" Angel said emphatically. Mimi sighed.

"If we must. I find this topic interesting…" From above, they heard a sudden "DON'T YOU DARE RUN, YOU SON OF A—GET BACK HERE!" Then there was the clomping of running feet. They went by Mimi's door, and as they did both Mimi and Angel heard Collins yell, "I'm-going-to-meet-Maureen-at-the-lot-see-you-bye!" The two friends exchanged looks.

"I'm guessing Roger took whatever Collins did pretty well," said Mimi with raised eyebrows. Angel nodded.

"Oh, of course." Then she started to undo the French braid.

bah, so random. this is a weird fic, i know...BUT WHO THE HELL CARES?? WEEEEEEEEEEEE!

so...much...damn...espresso...