Chapter One

The sun shone brightly into Angel and Collins' bedroom. Angel slowly opened his eyes and looked around the room that surrounded him. He squinted enough to see the huge red numbers stating the time, exactly 9am.

Right on time again.

This had been the 5th time in a row that he had wakened up right at 9am. Insignificant to others, but completely significant to him. But then again, everything was significant to Angel Dumott Schunard, that's how he lived his life. The little things brought him the most joy, so much so that it gave him another thing besides his lover Thomas B. Collins Professor of Computer-Age Philosophy to look forward to. The two had been together for about a year and a half now, enjoying every moment of the time they had left. Even though they weren't living in the best of places the love that they shared for one another drove out all of the negativity that often tried to engulf their lives.

beep, beep, beep

Angel looked down at the small black beeper that reminded him that everyday was closer to his death and sighed. He gently moved out of Collins' grasp as not to wake him and swung his legs over the side of the bed. As soon as his feet with colored toe nails touched the floor Angel felt the temperature. Freezing. Angel winced at it but quickly regained his composure and grabbed the beeper.

"Good morning ol' trusty." He smiled.

He placed the beeper down and grabbed the newly filled prescription of AZT. A pro, Angel popped open the bottle with ease and expertly swallowed the pill without a drop of water. The street drummer had to learn very quickly about having to take his AZT without water. The streets often time didn't have any clean water anywhere, so he had to do what he had to do without it.

Angel yawned and stretched his arms, ready for a new day that from the looks of how brightly the sun was shining was going to be beautiful. He placed his bottle on the night stand and looked around for his clothes.

"On the floor in piles as usual" Angel smirked. After hanging out at the loft as they always did every Friday night or almost every night perhaps, the bohemians especially Collins and Angel had a few too many drinks. The lovers stumbled up the stairs to their apartment giggling and tearing one another's clothes off in the process. When they reached their bedroom they tore the rest of it off, throwing it every which way. In his drunkenness Angel began to take his favorite black wig off to throw it. Snapping himself back into reality for just a second Angel got out of Collins' grasp and gently placed his wig on his vanity and continued on with his lover.

The street drummer picked and sorted out the clothes of him and his lover. Tossing things to and fro he began to shiver. Slowly the chills began to get a little more intense which worried Angel greatly until he realized that he was still naked from the night's festivities. The street drummer walked towards the closet and threw on one of Collins' NYU sweatshirts and a huge pair of Collins' sweatpants from his college days. He always felt sexy in his boyfriends' clothes and took in their scent. Angel looked down at his newly painted toe nails and saw that his outfit still wasn't complete. Angel looked into the closet and pulled out his fuzzy baby blue slippers that Maureen had bought him for his birthday. Satisfied with his look Angel walked towards the door of their bedroom. As he walked, Angel scanned the floor for any trash or clothes that might have been on the floor seeing as though he was a semi neat freak.

"Ah ha!" He spotted one of his favorite bracelets on the floor next to his vanity stool and bent down to pick it up.

Collins' eyes fluttered open he was no longer warmed by his lover. Still groggy from the alcohol and love making he looked around and spotted his lover bending down.

"Now there's something I love to wake up to."

Angel's wicked grin came about his face as he turned around, a total sex kitten "I know, ain't I bootyful?"

Collins smiled "That you are. Come here sexy." The professor seductively motioned his finger beckoning his lover to come to him.

Angel placed the bracelet on the vanity and walked over to his lover. The street drummer sexily climbed on top of his lover and began to kiss him. The kiss began to deepen until Angel broke it "Maybe we should both go and brush our teeth before we go any further." Collins checked his breath "You're right." Angel leaped off the bed "Come on! We can do it together!" He took his boyfriend's hand and pulled him out of bed. The covers fell from around Collins and both bohemians looked down. Angel leaned his head to the side smiling as Collins blushed "Um, maybe I should throw some pants on first huh?" Angel shrugged "I don't mind either way. But if you did we could actually brush our teeth instead of others things." Collins smirked at his lover. As the naked college professor walked toward their closet Angel slapped his well built behind "Hey! Watch it there Miss Angel."

"Oh I'm watchin' honey, I'm watchin'"

Collins threw on some sweatpants and walked towards his Angel. He suavely grabbed his boyfriend and instead of kissing him, which Angel was actually expecting he pulled his lover in a huge bear hug. Slowly Collins began to lift Angel off the ground as Angel giggled "Collins! Collins! Put me down!"

beep, beep, beep

Collins's eyes shot up to the little black beeper similar to Angel's.

beep, beep, beep

The professor let go of his lover and routinely walked over to the bottle. He took a pill and swallowed it. He too had learned not to rely on water.

Angel walked up to him, grabbed his hand and they walked out of their bedroom.

Their apartment was small but extremely homey. They didn't need much to make them happy. It reflected both of their personalities greatly, but complimented each other quite well. As they walked towards the bathroom Angel stopped them in midst ride "Wait baby, we've haven't even eaten yet." The professor looked at his lover "Oh yeah." He remembered from the day before that he and Angel only had money for the necessities that were eventually used up on booze and chips for the party. They didn't have any food left in the house. Angel's eyes lit up "Breakfast!"

Shaking free of Collins' hand Angel ran to the kitchen and put on an apron over his head. Collins stood there dumbfounded.

He knows we don't have food in the house.

"Babe." He cautiously pressed. Angel looked back "I'll be done soon baby be patient!"

Aside from fashion and drumming Angel also was an excellent cook. Angel could make a gourmet meal out of seemingly nothing, a skill he learned from his Abuelita while she was still alive. His Abuelita Ann was everything to Angel, was truly the only one in his family that accepted, respected and understood him. She instilled in him a sense of self worth, self respect and love which poured out of Angel every second of everyday. Cooking was another way Angel could escape the world around him. All Angel Schunard needed was his friends, his drumming, his fashion, his food and most of all his Collins. If he had all five he was a happy camper, Angel must have had all five all the time because he was always happy.

The smell of food flowed through the apartment. After relieving himself in the restroom, Collins walked into the mid sized kitchen "God that smells wonderful Angel what in the world is it?" The street drummer gushed; he loved when others enjoyed his cooking "Did you wash your hands?" Collins nodded his head "Yes Angel I did." Angel smiled again "Good! And we're having waffles and bacon!" Collins nervously eyes his lover "That sounds wonderful baby, but how did you get the money? We don't have any." Angel stopped mixing the batter "I went to Tompkins Square Park and did some drumming yesterday. Anyway, some stock broker was looking like he went through a hell of a night and never went to bed. Why he was in Alphabet City? I couldn't tell you. Actually he did go through hell. He came home the day before and found his wife in bed with her assistant from work. Needless to say, he had drank himself into a sad stupor and poured his heart out to me. I listened of course, gave him advice and he threw $200 at me! So I bought us food for the house, a couple of things for myself and the rest of the money is yours!" Collins looked at his boyfriend in complete shock "Wow."


"So how much do you have left?"

Angel poked at the bacon never looking up "It's on my vanity, in Abuelita's box."

Collins went back towards the bedroom still is shock that they were no longer broke for the time being. Abuelita's box was a gorgeous jewelry box that was an heirloom through Angel's family. The jewelry had been used by all of Angel's grandmothers and was very special to the Schunard family. Since only girls were supposed to receive it, Angel knew he would never be able to have it. But he was wrong. A few months before Abuelita passed away she gave the box to her grandson saying that he was more worthy of it than anyone. Thrilled, Angel hid it from his parents and sister who would have pissed to no end. Angel still was very cautious with it but didn't mind because it was Collins.

Collins walked over to his lover's vanity that was neat and had jewelry on one side, one side make-up. There he found Abuelita's box and the money. The professor counted it. $90. For Angel Dumott Schunard that was pretty damn good.

I wonder how much he spent on himself if he got so much food. I bet he bought himself only one thing and used the rest of it for the house. Geez Ang, never thinking of himself. Gives himself one thing, but deserves the world.

Collins thought back to his past for just a moment. Never had anyone been like Angel. Never had he been with someone that would share money like this ever. Angel definitely was different, special. Collins put the money back in the box and walked out of the room.

The anarchist walked into the kitchen aromas filling his nostrils and making his mouth water. Collins watched his lover as he busily cooked and prepared their breakfast seemingly lost in thought. Occasionally Angel would use two wooden spoons to drum out a beat. Collins smiled "You're amazing you know that?" Angel stopped "I know that! You don't have to tell me Professor." Collins loved when Angel called him that. Angel winked at his boyfriend who walked over to him "No, I mean it Angel. You're amazing. You could have easily spent all of that money on whatever but you saved me a chunk of it." Angel kissed him "Of course I did, I had to take care of my man. Today for you, tomorrow for me." Collins looked down at the ground, bashful at Angel's response. "Come on baby! Breakfast is ready!"

Excitedly Collins ran over to his usual side of the table, sat himself down and folded his hands "I'm reading mama Angel."

Angel mocked a southern drawl "Well my darlin' here you are! Eat it while it's hot ya hear!"

Collins laughed "Yes mam!"

Even from early childhood Collins had learned that he was never supposed to eat without everyone at the table, so he waited until Angel sat at the table. They said a short prayer and began to eat.

The table was beautiful sight. They had two huge plates of waffles and bacon, two tall glasses of orange juice, and two cups of coffee. To make it all complete Angel had a tall vase of his grandmother's filled with fresh flowers.

No, Angel didn't buy himself very much at all.

Collins looked up from his plate "Angel this is beautiful. Thank you."

Angel was putting sugar in his coffee "You're welcome. Now eat!"

The two ate in a happy silence for a while enjoying the sun, good food and each other. But even though Angel was extremely happy at that moment, a part of him wasn't.

While Collins went to work during the day Angel would go visit colleges and universities around New York hoping to one day become a student of one of them. Angel always dreamed of going to college even as a child, but never thought that he of all people would be able to go. He still didn't know if he could or not, but he sure as hell was going to try. If Collins and Joanne went to college, why couldn't he? Before Collins would come home, Angel would take all of the brochures out of his bag and place them on the coffee table determined to talk to his lover about his dream. He often never got that chance because they were at the loft or making love somewhere in the apartment. He had quite a few brochures he found out. He even had visited up to three different schools already but fell in love with one in particular. New York Arts University. Sure it was hard to get into but Angel knew he had the pure, raw talent. He wanted to apply, but not before getting his lover and friends 100 support on the matter, he would need it.

Angel looked up at his lover who was filling his face "Tom?"

Collins stopped chewing; he knew Angel meant business when he said his first name "Yes Ang?"

"I want to go to school."

Collins swallowed his food "Are you sure you want to go to school with me babe? It might be pretty boring for you."

Angel lightly chuckled "No honey, I mean I want to go to school. I want to get a degree, make something of myself. I want to feel like I've officially accomplished something."

"Wow babe. This is kind of sudden, but I'm glad that you want to further your education."

Angel's face lit up once again "Really!"

Collins wiped his mouth with a napkin "Sure. I know how talented you are. Have you looked at schools?"

"Yeah I have hold on!" Angel ran into their bedroom and brought out his brown backpack. He unclenched the lock and dumped the brochures and forms onto the floor next to the kitchen table. "I have all of these!"

Collins sat on the floor with his lover, enjoying his happiness about the whole situation "So that is what was on the coffee table. Wow! There's so many of them. When were you able to get these babe?"

Angel started to separate the brochures by school "I went while you were at work."

As Collins looked through some of the brochures he eyes his boyfriend looking at one in particular "New York Arts University. I want to go there so bad and I know I've got the talent to get in babe. I know I do."

Angel handed Collins the brochure "Oh yeah NYA, the competition to get into this school is fierce Ang. You sure you want to go to this one?"

The street drummer lifted his head proudly "Oh, I'm sure. I'm more sure than ever."