"I just don't understand why you won't come with me!"

"Why should I?"

"Um…gee…I don't know – maybe because you are my boyfriend and you should want to spend time with me doing things I enjoy!"

"Last time I went with you, you nearly bled me dry!"

"Well I won't this time, alright? Besides, I can't help it if I actually have tastes!"

"I don't see why you even need to go shopping in the first place? You have tons of clothes!"

"But it's fun!"

"You've changed."

"What do you mean?"

"Before, you wouldn't even care! You'd just thrown on what you had and knew you looked beautiful. It's like now you just want spend money!"

"That-that isn't true!"

"You know it is! Remember when you wore those scuffy sneakers for months even though they were tearing because you gave a lot of money to that shelter?"


"You've changed into someone I don't even know. You used to be selfless and give, give, give and now all you care about is you! Go shopping, Ange, and spend your own damn money. Just…go."

"Collins…it's not like that…I am the same person…"

"No, no you aren't. Please, get out of my sight."

Angel grabbed her bag and threw it over her shoulder, storming out of the tiny apartment she shared with her boyfriend. Collins stood, staring at the door. He almost considered going after her, but changed his mind.

Instead, he sat down on the couch and put his head in his hands. He had never yelled at her that way, nor had he ever told her to get out of his sight. But it was true, she had changed. Collins could remember a time when Angel never bothered with herself – it was all about others. She would save up her pickle jar money for weeks and end up donating to a charity (usually the one that helps homeless, LGBT youth), or giving it away to anyone on the curb with a coffee cup begging for change. She always said she knew what it was like to be one of them, and always was willing to help.

Now, all it seemed like she was interested in was shopping. She spent over two hundred dollars on their last shopping trip; that had really made Collins mad. He had tried not to show it, but it was pretty infuriating. What happened to her giving and her big heart? The things that made him fall in love with her?

As Collins was sitting alone back at the apartment, Angel was wandering the sidewalks. She wasn't sure where exactly she was going, but she was glad to be away from the apartment. Collins had no right to say those things to her. A girl can't help but spoil herself every once in awhile, right? And it wasn't as if she had changed. She was still the same Angel, right?

She walked further, passing a man on the sidewalk, a coffee cup outstretched with a few coins rattling around inside. She stopped, turned, and opened up her purse.

"Hey, honey," she smiled warmly, dropping in a few bills, "Hope this helps."

"Thank you."

"No problem. My name is Angel. I usually play my drums down the block. If you ever need anything, come find me sometime, alright, baby?"

"Thank you," the man smiled.

Angel couldn't help but feel fuzzy inside. She had missed that feeling and couldn't remember the last time she had felt so good about herself. Maybe Collins was right…

Angel spun around on her clunky red heel and marched back over towards the man on the curb.

"Baby? I am so sorry. I know that three dollars don't get you too far, so here ya go."

She tossed two twenties into his cup, "Buy yourself some food, get a motel room for the night."

"Thank you so much!" The man's grimy face lit up, "God bless you!"

"Sweetie, I'm nowhere near deservin' of his blessing. But I do what I can."

"You're an angel."

Angel couldn't help but reflect his joy in her own smile, "Thank you, honey. Have a good day, love."

She swung her hips excitedly as she headed back to the apartment. Her stomach did flip-flops at the thought of having to see Collins, but she had to admit that he had been right. Her pride would just have to take the beating.

Angel headed up the stairs to the apartment. She stopped at the door and fiddled with her key. She hated having to admit that she was wrong. She felt like a little kid about to face her punishment. Angel knew Collins loved her and could never hurt her, but she still felt apprehensive.

"Angel!" Collins ran over to the door as she came in. Then, as if remembering they had fought, he crossed his arms over his chest and asked, "What are you doing here?"

"I…I wanted to come and apologize."

Collins still had his arms crossed over his chest, but his eyes softened, "Really?"

"Yeah," Angel's eyes fell to the ground, ashamed, "I-I saw a guy on the street today and I realized that that used to be me. I guess I just got too carried away. I gave him my shopping money."

"That's my baby girl," Collins dropped his arms to his sides and held them out, offering a hug which Angel gladly accepted.

"I am so sorry," she apologized, "I don't know what I was thinking. I don't want to ever change. I want to be your Angel forever," it was by that time that the tears finally began to drip down her cheeks, "I only want to be your Angel."

"Baby," Collins held her tighter, "You will always be my Angel, no matter what. You will be my Angel forever."

"I am sorry I was so horrible."

"I said things…I didn't mean them."

"I know."

"No matter what you do, I will always love you and I will always want to be with you, alright? Do you understand me?" Collins asked, holding Angel's head between his hands. When she didn't say anything, he pressed his nose against hers, "Understand me, girl?"

"Yes," Angel smiled, pressing her lips against hers, "I love you so much, Collins."

"I love you too, Angel. Now, what would you say if I decided to take you to the vendor's and get you a new dress, huh? Would you like that?"

"Yes!" Angel's eyes lit up, "I'd love that!"

"Come on, before I change my mind."

Angel and Collins walked out the apartment hand in hand.

"Collins, I don't want to fight with you like that again," Angel admitted as they headed down the sidewalk.

"Sounds good to me. I was miserable without you, Ange. I…I didn't know if you'd come back."

"What?" Angel stopped in her tracks, "Thomas Collins," she put her hands on her hips, "Come here!"

Collins walked over towards her and Angel flung her arms over his neck, pulling him down to her, "I will always come back to you, okay? Understand me?"

"Yes, baby."

"Because that's what you do when you love someone enough – you endure. We may fight again, but we will get through."

"I don't deserve you," Collins turned her around, wrapping his arms around her from behind, "My beautiful Angel."

"You're such a flirt," Angel smacked him playfully.

"Hey, what can I say? You bring out the beast in me, baby."

"Ha," Angel snorted, "You're quite the animal, Thomas."

"Thomas is it?" Collins cocked an eyebrow.

"Yes," Angel grinned teasingly, "Thomas Andrew Collins!"

"Angel Dumott Shunard!"

She giggled, grabbing his hand in hers, "I didn't think it was possible to love someone this much without your heart bursting."

"I think mine just did," Collins grabbed Angel in his arms, and spun her around until she screamed with laughter, begging him to put her down.

Sure, they had their problems and they were far from perfect – but they were in love and that's all that mattered. Nothing else seemed important, just being in each other's arms, spending time with each other, and enjoying each other's presence. Everything else, just seemed nonexistent.