Mark lifted the ringing phone before the answering machine had a chance to take over. While normally he'd screen any calls, Angel had been waiting in the loft for nearly half an hour, and Mark decided not to take the chance of Angel overhearing a potentially embarrassing message. Again.
A familiar voice sounded in his ear, and after listening for only a few seconds, he turned around, holding out the receiver.
"Angel, it's for you...it's Collins."
With a lift of her well-plucked eyebrow, Angel stood and walked over to the phone.
"Hey baby, why aren't you here yet? We're going to be late, and I'm all dressed up and everything!" She paused, listened, and her face fell. "Oh...no, no, I understand, of course you have to stay. No, I don't want to hear another word, Tom Collins." Another pause. "OK baby, I'll see you when you get home. Love you too. OK, bye now."
Angel hung up the phone, biting her lip for only an instant before carefully arranging a bright smile on her face.
"One of the other professors got called away for an emergency, and Collins has to cover his afternoon class."
"What about the party?" Mark questioned. "I know how excited you were about it."
"Well, I'm not about to go by myself. Besides, what kind of nut plans a costume party in the middle of the fucking afternoon? Any sane person would know enough to have it at night so we wouldn't run into these kinds of problems." Angel let out a faint sigh. "Well, it was fun visiting the two of you. See you later."
Mark suddenly spoke again. "What time is it, anyway?"
Roger, sitting on the couch flipping through the Village Voice, glanced at his watch. "Around 12:30, why?"
"Maureen mentioned something about a show playing today, a free matinee open to the public. I think it starts at 1. Angel, you should go to that instead. I'd go with you, but 'darling' Alexi called and I have to go to work." He rolled his eyes before launching into a familiar complaint about his overzealous boss.
"You could just quit, you know," Roger said without looking up from what he was reading. As such, he missed seeing Mark stick his tongue out at him, though he was probably smart enough to anticipate the sentiment anyway.
With a quick shrug, Mark scurried out the door.
Angel stood thinking for a moment, before a mischievous look appeared in her eyes.
"Roger." she said firmly.
He looked over at her.
She strode over to the couch. Grabbing his hand, she pulled him to his feet in one smooth motion. "You're going to escort me to the show, that's why."
She smiled as his mouth hung open.
"Wait...Angel, hold on. I know nothing about musicals, I mean, you should really go find Maureen...or Mimi...hell, even Benny!"
He caught sight of the look on her face.
"OK...Benny was a bad suggestion. But, someone else, at least."
"No time," Angel said with a smirk. "If we don't leave now, we'll be late."
"But...I'm not even dressed to go see a show! I mean, isn't there a dress code or something?"
Angel blinked, then looked down at her own attire. Feeling more than a little adventurous earlier, she had enlisted Mimi's help in finding a costume. Knowing Mimi's love for the feline species, Angel hadn't been at all surprised when her friend insisted she attend the party as Catwoman. And this was not some prissy, pansy-ass costume. Not for Angel Dumott Schunard. No, Angel was willing to bet she was the sexiest damn Catwoman this city had ever seen! It was just too bad she didn't have her TomCat alongside her.
"Well...then I'd say we're both going to be in trouble!" No mere dress code would keep Angel from living large!
"Now, let's go!"
Having run out of excuses, Roger decided to simply shut his mouth and followed her. Hell, it was about time he started living again. Even if life meant going to see 42nd Street in the middle of the day with a drag queen dressed up as a cat.