A/N: I do not own Rent.
Sunshine Hopes, Moonshine Dreams
Angel Dumott Shunard sat down at the dining room table, a bottle and a glass in her hands. She poured some of the liquid into the glass and took a swig. The sensation burned her throat and stung her eyes. It felt amazing. A way to forget.
Angel had always been the strong one. She would march up to any guy and get in his face, she would toss back whatever life threw at her, her attitude was "F-You-Assholes!" and no one could stop her. She screamed attitude as she walked down the sidewalks. Her wig was always perfect – not a hair out of place – and her makeup was always pristine. She constantly was trying to look her best. She was unstoppable, right?
But she was dying. No matter how hard she tried to act strong, be tough, she was almost to her breaking point. She was human – if she was cut, she would bleed, if she was hurt, she would feel that pain. She wasn't invincible, despite how her friends talked about her and praised her. "Oh Angel is so strong! Oh Angel I wish I could be as tough as you." Bullshit. It was all bullshit.
Angel poured herself another glass, ignoring the sound of the door opening. Collins walked it, put his coat on the rack, and rushed over to where his Angel sat.
"Angel, what are you doing?" He demanded, taking the bottle from her.
"No!" Angel objected, "Get your own!"
"Angel, honey, what is this?"
Angel stood from the table and sloshed towards the bedroom. She couldn't believe that Collins had seen her like this. He had been scared of losing her and she couldn't let him down. She had to be strong for him, even if she was the one breaking. Shutting the door behind her, Angel collapsed onto the bed, hugging her knees to her chest.
"Angel," Collins opened the door and sat down on the bed next to Angel, "What has happened? Are you alright?"
"What do you think?" Angel asked, brushing away a tear. Collins laid down and wrapped his arms around her tiny waist, he kissed her neck.
"Baby, I know this is hard for you, but you don't have to do this…"
"I-I am so embarrassed."
"Because…you saw me like this. I am supposed to be tough and strong for you and for Mimi and for Roger and for Mark and for Joanne and for Maureen…"
"Oh baby," Collins kissed her again, "You don't need to be so strong. Sometimes it does a person good to get things out. You know, I am terrified of losing you. I know you are terrified too. The thing is, I'd rather be scared with you than scared alone."
"You have a point," Angel sniffled, "But I just don't want to let you down. I know I will die before you and you will be here without me. It kills me to think about that day when you come home and know that I will never sit on that couch or stand in that kitchen. Baby, I know, believe me I know. I am also so scared. I don't want to leave. There's so much left."
"What do you mean?"
"I want to do so much more, Collins. I want to go to Paris, I want to go shopping on Fifth, I want to go to Italy, I want to eat caviar, I want to be a mommy, I want a puppy, I want to be an astronaut, I want to be lawyer, I want to model, I want to…"
"Baby, I will buy you a picture of the Eiffel Tower, I will take you shopping on Fifth, I will make you spaghetti, I will buy you a goldfish that can lay eggs, I will get you a puppy, I will find you a moon rock, you can argue with me all you want, you can pose and I can take pictures…"
"Sweet," Angel rolled over and stared into Collins' eyes, "Thank you so much. You are the most amazing, generous person I know. I love you."
"I love you too."
"I still want to be a mommy though."
"I'll buy you that puppy, although I am not sure I can trust you around puppies since that Akita."
Angel smacked him playfully in the stomach.
"Alright," Collins laughed, "I am sorry."
"You really want a baby someday, don't you?"
"I do, honey. Can you imagine me with a baby?"
"Poor kid would be decked out like a pageant-baby 24/7."
"Now that's cruel. She may be glamorous but I am not doing that to her!"
"What would you want to name the baby?"
"Thomas," Angel smiled with a sigh.
"And if she is a girl?"
"Shut up," Collins grinned, "Seriously."
"Seriously? I don't really know. I am not good with these things."
"Well," Collins announced, "I think you'll be a good momma."
"I sure hope so," Angel smiled, "But it's just a silly dream. It can never…if we were to…I just…the paperwork…the deadline…I would never live to meet her, or him."
"Angel," Collins smiled, "Don't think like that. Look at you – you are beautiful."
"What?" Angel laughed, "Yeah right."
"You are. Beautiful, strong, true, tough, smart, sweet, caring, loving…"
Angel giggled, "You lie."
"You know it's the truth. Please, Angel. No more vodka, no more drinking. I can't stand to lose you before your time. Don't hurt yourself, please, beautiful. You are worth more than you give yourself credit for."
"Thank you," Angel snuggled into him, "No more drinking."
"You are stronger than that."
"What did I ever do in my life that made God think that I deserved someone like you?"
"You were you."