(A/N: I feel like I should explain this a little bit so I am. Among my friends, there is the perfect Cangel couple, although neither of them appreciate how much we tease them about it. So, of course, it gave me the idea to do this. Most of what'll happen are based off of my two friends, but I'll try to keep it so the characters are how Jonathan Larson made them to be. Enjoy!)
Tom Collins looked around the music room uneasily. He'd seen the table for the Friends Support group, also known as "the gay club" by others, mainly because most of the students there happened to struggle with their sexuality. And that was exactly why he was here: he was gay. Not yet out of the closet, but he wasn't confused about it anymore. His friends would grow suspicious if they knew he came here. He wasn't too sure how Roger would react, and he knew that Mark would be accepting, as he always was, but it was his best friend, Benny, wasn't going to be accepting. All around the room were very different students. He only recognized one girl, Maureen Johnson, one of the several girls in his chemistry class. She was hugging and trying to kiss a blonde girl, who uneasily pushed her away. Maureen gave up quickly and spotted Collins. She squealed and ran up to him.
"Ah, Collins!" she cried. Collins grunted when her arms were thrown around him as she practically jumped on him.
"Um, hi, Maureen," he replied, hugging her back. It wasn't that he hated hugs, but he hadn't spoken more than twenty words to this girl all year, and it was the beginning of the fourth semester.
"I didn't know you were, well, you know..." She grinned and elbowed his gut.
"Thanks, but I'm just here out of curiosity," he said. "This club seems interesting, you know?"
"Oh, it's definitely interesting!" Maureen jumped a bit, always a hyper person. "Make sure you check in with the secretary."
"Only, like, the cutest guy ever!" Maureen cackled. "Angel's right down there." She pointed to the center of the room at a caramel-toned boy jotting down something in a notebook as the blonde girl talked to him. Collins nodded and walked down the stairs to the center of the room. He waited patiently as Angel finished writing and turned around.
"Oh!" he gasped. He put a hand to his chest. "Damn, you scared me!"
"Sorry," Collins apologized quickly. "I didn't mean to. I'm just, I'm new to this, and..."
"Honey, don't worry about it." Angel let out a tiny giggle. "What's your name?"
"Your name." He held up his notebook. "I'm the secretary. I need to get the names of everyone who comes."
"Oh, right! I'm Tom... Collins." Collins blushed. Angel giggled again and wrote down his name.
"Collins," he said. "I'm Angel." He held out his hand and smiled. Collins shook it back, lost in Angel's deep brown eyes.
"An angel indeed," he said without thinking. He blushed again. Oh my God, I did not just say that... he thought, panic filling his mind.
"You're cute when you blush," Angel teased. He pulled his hand away to poke Collins on the nose and wink. He then turned around and wrote the name of another member who just showed up.
"Kirsten, come on!" Maureen whined to the blonde. "I didn't mean anything by that!"
"You want to bring another date to the dance?" Kirsten snapped.
"You said you were okay with it!"
"On what planet should anyone be okay with their date bringing someone else!"
"The planet with Mormons?"
"I'm not talking to you today." Kirsten stood up and crossed the room. Maureen groaned and plopped down on a chair. Collins, not knowing what to do since he didn't know anyone else, sat down next to her.
"Girlfriend?" he asked.
"Yep," Maureen replied.
"Problems with her?"
"She's mad at me because I felt bad for this one guy who got rejected at lunch and I asked him to be my date for the upcoming Underclassmen Formal. I was just trying to be nice!"
"Wait a minute... does your date happen to be Mark Cohen?" Collins remembered watching Mark ask out a girl only to be flat-out rejected. He kind of felt bad for the little nerd, only because Benny and Roger both scored dates already, while Collins didn't plan on going at all.
"Yeah, you know him?" Maureen asked.
"He's one of my best friends. I didn't know you have lunch sixth period."
"We have the same lunch? That's great!" Maureen turned her chair around so she was sitting in it backwards, not caring that she happened to be wearing a skirt. "I've been sitting around the jocks, and all they do is talk about girls. I mean, I'm fine with talking about girls too, but there's no one to talk about guys with!"
"Uh huh." Collins wasn't going to come out to Maureen first of all people. He just nodded along with whatever Maureen continued to ramble about.
"Chica, your... everything is showing," Angel told the eccentric girl, trying his hardest to not look down.
"I know," Maureen said.
"Well, some guys, like me, don't want to see what's under it."
"Ang, what do ou want me to do about it?"
"Close your legs, Mo."
"Fine." Maureen turned her chair back around and sat cross-legged. "Better?"
"It would be if your tits weren't out in the open," Angel teased. Maureen pulled down the top of her already-revealing shirt, her bright pink bra now showing.
"Take me for what I am, baby," she said with a shrug.
"Guys, can we start this meeting?" the teacher, Mr. London, announced. Angel sat down next to Collins, and a Latina in a tiny dress sat beside him. Kirsten quietly made her way back across the room and took her seat again next to Maureen. Said diva propped her legs on her girlfriend's lap. A few small groups of other students were spread out across the other side of the room.
"First, I would like to welcome any new students," he started. "It's great to see new faces. Now, I'd like to explain how our club works. We are here to help out anybody who has any problems in the real world, such as family or relationship. I know that the stereotype is that this is a group designated for only non-straight students. Although a vast majority of gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender students - and any others I may have forgotten as well - make up this group, I assure you that we have a higher purpose than that. We're here to let you know that no matter what happens in the world, there are people who can help you. No one left out, not a person we can't help. We live by a motto here: No day but today. I want you all to take those four words to heart and make sure to use them in your daily life, because there truly is no day but today..."
Collins listened to every word Mr. London, or Paul, as he told everyone to call him, said and kept on repeating them in his mind, especially "No day but today." He didn't speak up, but he listened to stories told by others. One girl whose parents expected nothing less of her than to become a lawyer, graduate from Harvard, and even marry the right boy, despite the fact that they knew she was a lesbian. A boy shared how he had to drag his sister home from a very wild party and clean her up before their parents found out, then was blamed when they found out what happened the following morning. Kirsten and Maureen broke out into another fight, ending with Kirsten storming across the room again. Then Angel stood up, ready to share his own story.
"My mother is trying too hard to convince herself that I'm still straight," he began. "It has gone too far at some points. She's tried to set me up with Maureen and Mimi."
"For the record, it would've worked out between us," Maureen interrupted. Angel reached across Collins to smack her shoulder lightly.
"Anyway," he continued, "I sat her down the other day and asked why she continued trying to make me straight when she knew that I wasn't. She said, '¿Por qué no puedes entender que esto es sólo una fase? Hijo, esto va a pasar y que entienda que usted es realmente recta.'" Angel paused to take a breath. "Sorry, when my mother gets upset, she starts speaking in Spanish. In a nutshell, she believes that I'm going through a phase and I just don't realize it yet. I want to make her understand that I am who I am. I just... I don't know how." Angel sat back down and wiped away his tears. He put a fake smile on his face as the next person, Ali, talked.
He felt a hand take his own. He looked down to see Collins' hand, his thumb rubbing the back of his own. Angel smiled at the gesture; it was nice to have a friend who understood.
"Chica, I'm telling you, that boy isn't straight," Angel insisted as he pushed aside a pile of shoes in his closet.
"What makes you the expert?" Mimi asked as she bounced on the bed. Angel turned around, hands on hip with a frown.
"Honey, there isn't one person who hasn't messed up my gaydar yet," he said. "How dare you accuse me of being wrong."
"I know, Ang, you're good at guessing sexualities. But that doesn't mean every guy who joins Friends Support is automatically gay."
"Not all of them. There's, like, three who aren't."
"So what makes you so sure that this one is?" Mimi gasped. "Oh my God, you have a crush on him!"
"What? No I don't!" Angel picked up a shirt that had fallen down and put it back on an empty hanger. "He just understands. He knows how hard it is, I guess."
"Chica, don't you fool me, I saw you two holding hands during the meeting. Now spill."
"There's nothing to spill, Meems. He's a confused guy, and he's probably looking for a friend who can help him get through all of the shit that you get for being gay." Angel finally unearthed what he was searching for - a trunk. He opened it up to reveal his most prized possessions. Dresses, skirts, colorful and silky tops, a couple of wigs, pouches of makeup and accessories, and a pile of platform shoes tucked in underneath it all. It was what made Angel, well, Angel. And only Mimi knew his secret.
"What's on your mind?" she asked when Angel didn't immediately try on an outfit.
"I feel so..." Angel shook his head and shut the trunk. "Why is it that I can't be comfortable in my own skin? I can't be what I want because society frowns upon me. It's just not fair."
"Life's not fair," Mimi said, kicking the carpet. Angel shut his closet and looked at his best friend. He recognized the look in her eye instantly.
"What did Benny do now?" he asked.
"I don't trust that Alison Grey," Mimi said. "I know that they're lab partners, but I don't think they need to work together as much as Maureen says they are. What if he really is cheating on me?"
"He better not," Angel said. He sat down on the bed and hugged Mimi. "He's not worth it. Besides, I'll take my platforms and shove them down his throat if he is."
Mimi giggled and the two friends fell back on the bed. The door opened and footsteps could be heard ascending the stairs. They both shot up to see Angel's mother standing there.
"Oh, hello, Mimi," she greeted. "I didn't know you were over. I didn't mean to interrupt you and Angel."
"Mamá!" Angel whined.
"Sorry, hijo," his mother apologized again, although she seemed rather thrilled to see Angel and Mimi together on her son's bed. She left the room after winking at the teenagers.
"Wow, your mom is really..." Mimi began.
"...Yeah," Angel finished.
"Ugh," Maureen groaned as she plopped down to Collins in chemistry the next morning. "Isn't it so unfair that everything works out in Alison's favor just because her dad happens to be the damn teacher?"
"Uh, sure?" Collins replied. The students were rearranged so that Benny and Alison were sitting together. Yesterday, Collins and Benny were lab partners. Now, he had the luck of being stuck next to Maureen. He turned to see Roger sitting in the back of the next row with Mark. Of course they were sitting together; the two were nearly inseparable. He could see the lovesick look in Mark's eyes when he glanced at Maureen. He knew that Mark will talk about her all day.
"So, I didn't know that you, you know, were gay or anything," Maureen said. Collins' eyes widened.
"What?" he asked.
"Yeah, you're totally gay, right? I mean, I saw you holding Angel's hand during the Friends Support meeting. Do you have a thing for him? Oh my God, you totally have a thing for him!"
"Maureen, quiet down, would you?" Collins hissed. "I'm not gay! Just because I went to Friends Support doesn't mean I'm gay."
"Collins, don't lie to me. I know you are."
Collins groaned. He had a hunch Maureen wouldn't let this go. "Okay, maybe I am questioning my sexuality a bit," he confessed. "However..." He put his hand over Maureen's mouth before she said anything else. "...That doesn't mean that I'm dating Angel. Just because he's gay and I... might be too doesn't mean that we're together."
Maureen pushed Collins' hand away. "Sure," she said. "I'll believe that... for now." She grinned and pulled out her lab notebook. Collins shook his head and pulled out his own as well.