Author: Er-BearG32 PM
Part 1 of a series that started with this piece 10 years ago. The rest was co-written by Kim and I.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship - Words: 14,276 - Published: 01-26-13 - Status: Complete - id: 8948094
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N- Just fyi, this was written over 10 years ago back when I started to write an entire series with a friend of mine, so my writing style has changed quite a bit. Honestly, when I look back on this many years later, I'm kinda embarrassed how this first part turned out since it was written just by me, so if there's any critiquing on this piece, please keep in mind that this has been finished for over a decade. I just wanted to post the series for those who are still fans of this show. (I can't believe I'm posting this… *blushes, runs and hides*)
"Monica's Promotion" - Part 1 of a series
Written by: Erin
Not a cloud was in sight as the large, red convertible drove quickly through the beautiful California town. The sun shone brightly down on the three friends gathered, chatting away, in the car as a gorgeous, snow white dove flew through the air and landed, cooing, on a high tree branch.
Laughter was noticeably heard through the warm, summer air as the large car stopped at a red light, its driver shooting a sideways, teasing glance at the auburn-haired female beside her. A blindfold was wrapped securely around her eyes to prevent her from seeing what was going on around her.
Shaking her head slightly and giving a roll of her large, brown eyes, the driver stepped on the gas as the light turned green and laughingly replied,
"Angel Girl, are you ever going to stop squirming here? Geez, Monica, calm down...we're almost there, Baby."
"Tess, I'm not known for my patience, you know?" the angel sighed impatiently as she planted her palms on the blindfold and softly patting it,
"What do you and Andrew expect me to be after you two appeared out of nowhere, order that I get dressed very nicely, place a blindfold on me, plant me in the car and drive for nearly an hour? Wouldn't you be losing a wee bit of your patience, too?"
His handsome face nearly red from laughing so hard, Andrew shook his blonde head and lightly patted his friend on the shoulder.
"But, Monica, I thought by now you would have developed SOME patience," he chuckled, removing his hand and folding his arms across the back of the Irish angel's seat and resting his chin on them,
"Wouldn't you, sweetie? I mean...after seven years of casework, I would have thought you'd have some patience with us!"
His green eyes twinkling, he watched as Tess once more shook her dark head, her beautifully curled brown-gray hair swinging about her shoulders.
"You know, Angel Boy's got a point there, Miss Wings," she teasingly replied, pulling the red car into a parking space at the entrance to the Country Club, making sure to park in a shady spot, but with a beautiful view of the mountains and lush, green lawn that spread out far before them. Grinning mischievously, the supervisor shut the engine off and turned to face her squirming charge.
"And speaking of patience, Angel Girl...we're here..." she began, unbuckling her seat belt and motioned for Andrew to help Monica out of the car. Opening the driver's side door, the angel climbed out of her cherished vehicle and headed toward her friends.
Giggling, she reached a hand out and grabbed hold of Monica's right hand, while Andrew supported her with an arm wrapped tightly around her thin waist and the other holding her left hand gently.
"Girl, you're shaking like a leaf!" Andrew burst out, chuckling slightly,
"Monica...everything's okay. I've got you; you know that, right?"
Pulling his friend closer to himself, Andrew rested his cheek on the crown of her head and kissed it lightly, glancing down at her.
Without turning her head completely, the Irish angel allowed her face to spread into a wide smile and let out a giggle herself. "I know you do, my friend," she softly answered, squeezing her friend's hand tightly,
"There's no doubt in my mind about that."
"I'm glad, honey," he gently replied as Tess reached for the front door of the main lobby and opened it wide for her two charges. Carefully ushering his friend into the large, beautiful lobby, Andrew walked down the hall, with Tess on their heels, and immediately took a right, stopping in front of large, brass double doors.
Still gripping the angel supportively and protectively, the Angel of Death gave a slight nod of his head to his supervisor, who immediately walked over to the doors and swung them open wide. Guiding the caseworker into the middle of the dark, silent room, Andrew suddenly stopped in his tracks and gently laid a hand on Monica's shoulder.
"You ready?" he whispered in her ear, moving behind her to untie the dark blindfold from her eyes.
"I've been ready for almost an hour, Andrew," the angel teased, giggling as she felt the blindfold come down from her brown eyes.
As soon as she faced the room, though, several lights turned on all at once, gentle jazz music filled the air and dozens of familiar faces appeared before her...and a banner that hung in the very back of the room that read, "CONGRATULATIONS, MONICA!"
Before she could take in all of her surroundings at once, a loud shout rang in her ears that nearly knocked her off her feet.
"What's all this?!" Monica gasped in surprise as soon as she found her voice. Looking wide-eyed around her, the angel took in all around her. Balloons and streamers decorated every area of the large, spacious ballroom, while a long table stood in the corner, piled high with food-including a lovely cake! Smiling widely, the caseworker inwardly laughed as she spotted a large coffee pot set up at the end of the table.
Still totally stunned and confused at what was happening around her, Monica turned and faced Andrew, Tess and the countless other figures in the room-most of them, from what she could tell, fellow angels.
"What's going on here?" the angel laughingly questioned, but smiling joyfully at the same time. After all, she loved parties! "What's the celebration for?"
Before she could say another word, Andrew walked towards her and wrapped her in his arms tightly, gently kissing the side of her head. Still holding onto his friend, the Angel of Death finally spoke up.
"Monica...we're all so proud of you. Just so proud, sweetie," he began, gently pulling back from the embrace so that he could look into her sparkling, brown eyes. "Monica, we're all here to celebrated because we have some awesome news for you..."
"What kind of news?" Monica piped up, eyes widening as she stared at her friend, then at everyone surrounded around her, questions and excitement shown in her eyes.
His mouth turning up into a small, loving grin, Andrew placed his hands on both of his friend's shoulders, gazing into her eyes as he opened his mouth,
"Sweetheart, the Father informed Tess and I yesterday that He has chosen to move you from casework to a supervisory position...Monica, you've been promoted to be a supervisor..."
Upon hearing her friend's words, excited tears brimmed in the Irish angel's beautiful, brown eyes as she let out an excited squeel and threw herself into Andrew's arms, nearly knocking him over.
"A supervisor?!" she squeeled as she clung excitedly to her friend, burrying her head in his shoulder,
"The Father promoted me to be a SUPERVISOR?"
Chuckling softly at her charge's excitement, Tess walked over to her friends and wrapped her arms around them tightly,
"That's right, Baby," she confirmed, kissing each of her young charge's heads as she tightened her strong arms around their shoulders,
"That's right...you'll be a supervisor to a new caseworker very soon. The Father knows you have the potential for this position; He's seen you work with us..."
"I can't believe this is happening..." the Irish angel whispered, feeling more joyful tears start to roll down her face,
Gently pulling back from his best friend's embrace, Andrew glanced around at the large crowd before them before returning his look to his fellow angels,
"Well...there's some more surprises in store today," he softly replied, grabbing hold of both Monica and Tess' hands,
"And-I also have an announcement of my own to make later on. To both of you..."
His green eyes suddenly turning serious, the Angel of Death turned to face his supervisor, meeting her surprised brown eyes, which grew wider at his words.
"You, too, Angel Boy?" she questioned, total shock showing on her face. "So do I, Babies..."
Her brow furrowing, Monica glanced at each of her friends, curiosity evident on her pretty features. What kind of announcements could her two best friends have? Were they announcements that could change their lives and friendships? Were they being promoted, too?
The questions ringing in her head all at once, the young angel moved her eyes around at the group before her and decided to push her concerns and curiosity to the back of her mind for the time being and have fun for now.
Allowing her cheerful smile to return to her full, red lips, Monica once more gave Andrew and Tess' hands one last squeeze before facing the crowd and piping up, her Irish voice ringing ou over the large room.
"So! Who wants some coffee?"
"Who would have thought that the time would come for me to be a supervisor this quickly, Tess?" Monica whispered, gazing thoughtfully down at the beautiful collage sitting on a table in the corner of the ballroom. A steaming cup of coffee sat in the palm of her hand as she leaned forward slightly, smiling brightly at a colorful picture of her, Andrew and Tess, taken several years ago after an assignment: Tess' driver's license photo.
Shaking her head at the memory, the angel turned and faced her supervisor, a twinge of sadness already tugging at her heart,
"Time sure has flown by, hasn't it? It just seems like yesterday when I became a caseworker...seven years ago, though..."
"And you succeeded well, Angel Girl," Tess lovingly acknowledged her charge, wrapping an arm around her shoulders,
"I wasn't surprised when the Father told Andrew and I that you had been promoted to supervisor...you have come such a long way, Baby, and I'm more than happy for you."
Touched deeply by her supervisor and friend's compliments to her, Monica carefully set her coffee cup down on the table next to the colorful collage and threw her arms around Tess, hugging her tightly to herself.
Tears of happiness welling up in her eyes, the Irish angel softly whispered in her friend's ear,
"Thank you, Tess...you don't know how much that means to me to hear you say that..."
Lovingly stroking the young angel's curled, auburn hair, the older supervisor whispered back,
"You know I love you, Monica...right?"
Closing her eyes for a brief moment, Monica gently pulled away from the hug and met Tess' chocolate-brown eyes, which were filled with full-time seriousness.
"I know you do, Tess..." she replied, grasping the angel's hands in her own and squeezing them tightly. "I know..."
Just as the Irish angel felt like she was going to start crying for good at the love displayed between her and Tess, she glanced over the older angel's shoulder and spotted Andrew heading towards them, a friendly grin on his handsome face.
Returning her friend's smile, Monica released on of Tess' hands and reached for one of Andrew's, gripping it in her own.
"Hey, Andrew!" she greeted the Angel of Death, feeling her heart and soul become more touched now that both of her best friends were by her side for the time being,
Glancing between his two friends, Andrew slightly raised a dark eyebrow and hesitantly opened his mouth.
"Uh...am I interrupting you two?" he asked nervously, looking at Tess for an answer.
"Of course not, Baby," she gently replied, wrapping an arm around her friend's waist and giving him a loving squeeze,
"We're your friends and we always have time to talk to you, Angel Boy, or available whenever you need us."
Giving a sigh of relief, the Angel of Death smiled thankfully at Tess before turning to Monica, who still held onto his hand.
"I really need to talk to you, Monica," he gently requested, once more looking back from her and Tess,
"If it's all right with you, Tess...can I steal her away for a couple of minutes?"
Lightly chuckling at her friend's nervousness, Tess lightly patted her "Angel Boy" on the back and grinned at him,
"Of course you can talk to her, Baby," she answered, leaning down to pick up the flowered paper plate on the wooden table that held small tuna sandwiches, fruit salad and several angel cookies,
"I'll talk to you two later when you return, okay, Angel Babies?"
Giving them each a peck on the cheek, the supervisor turned around and walked away, heading over to where Sam, Adam and Raphael sat at a long table, covered with a white, flowered sheet. Just as she neared the table, the angel allowed the tears she had been trying so desperately to hold in trail down her dark skin. She knew that she still had tonight left with her friends-her precious "Angel Babies"- but, after that, nothing would be the same...
And it looks like Andrew has a similar announcement to make, she thought sadly to herself as she finally neared her fellow angel's table. How will the three of us take all of this news once it comes out? Will there be hurt feelings of abandonment?
Sighing quietly, Tess raised her eyes to the ceiling, staring at the colorful balloons that had floated to the high ceiling.
Either way...I never knew how hard it would be to say farewell to your best friends...
The weather was still perfect looking by the time Andrew led Monica outside, a friendly arm wrapped tightly around her shoulders. A serious expression was displayed on the angel's handsome features as he led his friend over to a nearby fancy-looking bench and sat down with Monica still at his side. Gently releasing his hold on his friend, the Angel of Death gazed at the Irish angel beside him and reached for her hand, giving it a friendly squeeze.
Looking back into her best friend's gentle, green eyes, Monica returned the squeeze as her stomach turned, the same worriness she had felt about an hour ago when Andrew had told her and Tess that he had an announcement to make later that night...was that "later that night" now?
I guess all I can do right now is wait, the angel reminded herself, gripping her friend's hand tighter. If he's going to tell me now...I'll have to be ready. I'm sure we'll all be okay...
"Monica?" Andrew began quietly, looking intensely into the angel's dark brown eyes, watching them sparkle,
"Honey, I brought you here for a reason...I wanted to talk to you about something important...Well..." he paused, glancing quickly up at the blue, cloudless sky,
"Two things, actually...I'll be repeating one of the things I'm going to tell you to everybody later tonight, but...I have to tell you first. Even before I tell Tess..."
Watching and listening to her dear friend's words and facial expressions, Monica tilted her head and opened her mouth.
"What do you need to tell me, Andrew?" she gently questioned, her curiosity growing by the second and her heart pounding in her ears.
Without bothering to say another word, Andrew kept his green eyes on Monica as he reached out and wrapped her up in his strong arms, holding her as tightly as he could. Softly rocking her back and forth, the young Angel of Death ever so softly stroked the head of curly, auburn hair his face was buried into.
This would probably be one of the last moments he would ever have alone with his friend...and he wanted to make it last...
"Andrew?" Monica whispered in his ear, tightly clutching her friend's waist even tighter.
"Monica...I want you to hear this," Andrew began, still holding the angel lovingly,
"You have to hear this..." Gulping, the angel felt a few tears fill his friendly, green eyes as he forced his words out,
"Sweetheart, I want you to know how much I care about you and love you," he continued quietly into her right ear,
"You've been the best friend an angel could ever ask for...you've never given up on me over these past years when I was lost and hurting at times. I thank you so much for that...I know you'll make an excellent supervisor, Monica, and the angel that you'll be in charge of will be very lucky to have you for a teacher...I'm sure of it..."
"Oh, Andrew," Monica emotionally choked out, fighting back touching tears, but found it not possible,
"You know how much I love you and care for you, too, my friend. You'll always be my friend and you'll always have my love, no matter what." Gently rocking her best friend in her arms, the angel rested her head on his shoulder, wanting to hold him for a long time.
Softly sighing, Andrew braced himself as he rested his chin on the top of her head, knowing that he had to tell her now the announcement that he would tell the rest of his friends and fellow angels in the next couple of hours...
"Monica...what I need to tell you now...please always remember and know in your heart how much your friendship has meant to me over the years. And still will as the years pass...please remember it, Monica..." the pleading Angel of Death uttered tearfully as he only tightened his arms around his pretty friend.
Already feeling like she was going to burst and start sobbing uncontrollably at her friend's gentle words, Monica managed to get a hold of herself and nodded.
"I'll always remember, my friend," she softly answered, the tears already falling as she gripped her friend as tightly as she dared,
"I've always known it and I'll continue to know it, no matter what. I promise, Andrew..."
Reluctantly releasing his friend slowly, Andrew removed himself from the embrace and immediately grabbed hold of the Irish angel's soft, warm hands, the tears noticeable on his cheeks.
"Monica...sweetie...I've been transferred, too. The same day the Father told Tess and I about your promotion to supervisor, He gave me the news. After tonight...I'll no longer be an Angel of Death. I asked Him a few weeks ago if I could be moved to Search and Rescue, and...yesterday, He agreed. But...Monica...after this night...I'll no longer be working with you and Tess. I'll be working with a different supervisor...I couldn't take working as an Angel of Death any more, so...I-I don't know when I'll be seeing you and Tess any more..."
Monica found herself at a loss of words as she stared straight into Andrew's tear-filled eyes, listening to her friend's words...words that she knew HAD to be true. After all, Andrew would never lie to her about something like this...especially this...
"I'm sorry, Monica," Andrew's voice grew more quiet and a bit shaky as he tightened his hold on his friend's hands,
"I'm sorry, sweetheart...but I have to move positions...I just do..."
Feeling her body start to shake uncontrollably and the tears of sadness once more filling her brown eyes, Monica, without uttering a single word, threw her arms around her best friend's neck, holding onto him for dear life...as if she let him go, the angel would suddenly disappear and leave her. For good.
Sobbing her eyes out, Monica tightly gripped Andrew's shirt with her hands and buried her tear-stained face deep into his soft shoulder. The Irish angel let out one more pained cry as she felt Andrew's arms embrace her tightly back as he planted tiny kisses on her head, cheeks and forehead, himself starting to sob even more.
"Andrew..." Monica gasped out, glancing up to the Heavens, her tears falling freely,
"Andrew...no...no, don't leave me...please don't leave us...no..."
Unable to get any more words out, the angel shut her mouth and only continued to sob her heart out for her dear friend...the friend she would lose for certain after tonight...
"Monica...everything will be okay," the Angel of Death tried his hardest to promise as he shakily stroked Monica's waist-lenght, auburn hair with incredibly loving hands,
"I'm sure we'll all be okay...the changes that will take place in our lives will take some getting used to, but...we'll eventually get used to it. I'm sure, honey..."
"Andrew..." Monica quietly continued, hurt tugging at her heart,
"How-how could you leave me? How could you leave me...I'm going to lose you tonight..."
"Monica...Angel Girl, listen to me..." the blonde Angel of Death gently pulled out of his friend's arms to look directly into her teary, brown eyes,
"Things will change, yes. But, sweetie, listen...I'm sure I'll see you again. I don't know WHEN or for how long that time with you will be, but I'll make sure of it that today will NOT be my last time I'll ever see you for the rest of eternity. You and Tess are part of my life...and I'll always love you, no matter how apart we are. That's the truth, Angel Girl..."
Feeling her tears start up again, Monica threw herself into her best friend's loving embrace once more, wishing she would never have to let him go...let him go and watch him slowly say 'goodbye' to her...
"Andrew...I love you," Monica softly, quietly uttered, holding onto her friend's neck tightly,
"I love you..."
"I love you, too, Angel Girl," Andrew sobbed, his heart starting to break for his friend and her heart-wrenching sobs,
"I love you, too. You know I always will..."
No more words spoken between the two friends, they only continued to hold one another tightly, each one's thoughts travelling to the near future. A different future...a future that would take place without one another...
30 minutes later...
"...There they are, Tess!" Adam remarked, picking up his glass of sparkling apple cider and nodding toward the door, which Andrew and Monica were just now walking through. Adam grinned as he noticed that andrew had his arm wrapped securely around Monica's shoulders and his cheek laying on top of her curly head.
"I'll go over and let them know that Sam's about to make a toast, okay?" Adam turned toward Tess, who appeared to have a worried look on her face, and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder,
"I'll be right back..."
Moving his eyes toward his two friends who were heading in his direction, Adam rushed forward, a grin on his face.
"Hey, you two," he greeted them, wrapping a companionable arm around Andrew's shoulders, not noticing the two pairs of tear-stained eyes before him,
"Tess was wondering where you've disappeared to because Sam wants to make a toast to you, Monica, and he's getting impatient."
Lifting her tear-stained, brown eyes to meet Andrew's green ones, the Irish angel gulped as she realized that the answerr to her unspoken question was so visible in her friend's sad eyes:
Now was the time to let everyone know...and the start of changed lives for all of them...
"...I know you'll do excellent in this new position, Monica," Sam continued in a raised voice to be heard in the large room, the entire group gathered around one another in honor of Monica, who stood beside Andrew, keeping a tight grip on his hand,
"Myself and everyone here and, it goes without saying, the Father, too. We all have faith in you that you will be superior with your new charge. Here's to you, Monica."
The older angel lifted up his glass of apple cider, shot a wide smile around the group of angels and slowly lowered his glass, waiting for another to continue.
Andrew quickly glanced over at Monica and gave a deep breath, slowly releasing her soft hand. Giving his head a slight nod to assure her that now was the time, the Angel of Death raised his green eyes and searched for a face in the crowd.
Finally finding who he was searching for, Andrew caught an older-looking angel's light blue eyes and waved her over. The angel smiled brightly back at Andrew and threaded her way through the crowd to stand beside the young Angel of Death. Her bright, red hair trailed down her back, tied in a french braid and her skin shone beautifully; although she looked older than Andrew and Monica, she also appeared somewhat younger than Tess.
Watching the angel walk up and stand at his side, Andrew felt a few more tears spill from his eyes again as he faced the crowd, ready to do what he had done with Monica almost an hour ago.
"Uh...I have an announcement to make," he began softly, glancing around at his friends, his eyes landing on Tess and Adam,
"If you don't mind..."
Waiting a few seconds in the now quiet room, the angel sucked in a deep breath and tried his hardest to pull himself together for this.
"You all might be wondering who this woman beside me is..." he continued, nodding at the red-haired angel at his side,
"Friends...this is Rose. She's an angel, too...an angel I've gotten to know well these past few weeks. She-she's also one of the supervisors in Search and Rescue. And...my new supervisor, too...Everyone, the day the Father promoted Monica...so was I. I asked Him if I could be moved to Search and Rescue. And He agreed..."
Closing his green eyes, now flooding with hot tears, Andrew forced himself to continue on,
"After tonight, I'll no longer be an Angel of Death...I'll be working with Rose as my Search and Rescue supervisor..."
As soon as the words came out of the angel's mouth, a soft murmer was heard amongst the crowd and Tess' shocked voice ringing out over the other's.
"Andrew, you can't mean this," Adam interrupted before Tess could go any further,
"Man...you're telling us that you're leaving me as an Angel of Death? You AND Monica are leaving?! I don't believe this, Andrew..."
"Make that three leaving, Adam," Tess broke in on the flustered angel's words, feeling her heart breaking at the news that was being revealed before her. Her and her "Angel Babies" were being separated...and now it was her turn...
Catching the pairs of eyes that turned her way, the supervisor gulped loudly and tightened her grip on her apple cider glass, trying her best to keep her hand from shaking,
"Just yesterday, Babies...I was asked to become the director of the angel choir. And-I've accepted the position...I'll be moving from a supervisor to choir director starting in the next two days..."
Keeping her teary, brown eyes on Monica and Andrew's faces, Tess knew she would fall apart if she didn't have them in her arms in the next few seconds.
Quickly heading in her friend's direction, lightly setting her cider glass on a nearby marble table, Tess reached her two charges and, without saying a word, grabbed them both up in her strong, shaking arms and held them as tightly as she could ever hold anyone. Gently stoking each of her Babies hair at the same time, Tess quietly whispered in each of their ears.
"Angel Babies...always know how much Tess loves you both with her whole heart," she choked out, gripping them tighter,
"You both will succeed with your new lives and never forget: If you ever need me or if you two need each other badly, you'll know where to find us...Oh, my Babies..."
Still holding onto her best friend's necks, Tess looked sadly over Andrew's shoulder and glanced at Rose standing off to the side, grinning a bit sadly at the scene in front of her,
"Take care of my Angel Boy for me, okay?" Tess requeted, her voice getting choked up as she lovingly stroked the short, blonde hair of the Angel of Death.
Meeting Tess' saddened, brown eyes, Rose stepped forward a bit and spoke with her whole heart in a clear, friendly voice,
"I promise you, Tess," she answered earnestly. "Andrew will be in good hands. You have my word and the Father's on that one..."
As soon as the three angels released each other, each of them staring sadly into one another's tear-filled eyes, Adam sucked in a deep, sharp breath and marched, somewhat annoyed, over to where Andrew, Monica and Tes were standing. His hurt, blue eyes set on his fellow Angel of Death's tear-stained face, Adam, without really thinking, reached out as he neared and grabbed hold of Andrew's arm. Forcing his friend to look his way, Adam met Andrew's green eyes and frowned grimly.
"Andrew, can I talk to you for a minute?" the angel asked of his friend, his voice thick with annoyance. Without taking his eyes off of Andrew, he watched as his fellow angel turned to face Monica and Tess.
"I'll be right back, you guys," he softly replied, quickly reaching out and giving Monica's hand one last squeeze,
"This shouldn't take too long..."
"Take as much time as you need to, Baby," Tess reassured her young friend gently, softly rubbing his upper arm,
"We'll be right here when you come back from talking with Adam."
Offering a tiny smile to his supervisor, Andrew nodded his head before turning to face Adam once again. His fellow Angel of Death wore an all-too serious expression, with a look of anger mixed in with it.
Without bothering to say anything more, Adam kept a firm grip on his fellow angel's arm and practically dragged him out of the large ballroom, his blue eyes starting to flash with bitter anger. Dragging his friend down the long hallway until he was certain they were out of earshot from their friends in the other room, Adam suddenly stopped in his tracks in the middle of the bright lighted hallway. Finally releasing Andrew's arm, Adam faced him, frowning angrily in his direction.
"Andrew, what's the deal, man?" the angel roughly demanded, folding his arms across his chest and staring at Andrew,
"What's up with the whole 'I'm moving to Search and Rescue' thing about? You've GOT to be kidding, Andrew! You're kidding about this, man, right?"
Staring stubbornly into his friend's saddened, green eyes, which were stained with tears, Adam impatiently waited for Andrew to answer. When the words finally came out of the angel's mouth, however, they weren't as Adam had expected,
"I'm not kidding, Adam," Andrew responded sadly, lowering his eyes to the carpeted floor,
"I really am switching after tonight...it's no joke..."
"Andrew!" Adam cried out, grabbing hold of his friend's shoulders and roughly giving him a shake,
"Have you gone CRAZY here? Do you realized what you're doing?! Man, we'll no longer be working together anymore! And what about Monica and Tess? The day Monica's been promoted, you announce that you're switching, too!
How could you and Tess just LEAVE? Andrew...I don't even think I'll ever see you again! How could you? How could you be so selfish!"
As soon as the last words came out of the angel's mouth in a rush, Adam knew instantly that he had said the wrong thing...the "being selfish" remark rang in his head as he watched Andrew slowly lift his head up and stare at him, eyes wide and tear-filled. But, the shocked look almost immediately turned to total anger as Andrew furrowed his brow, narrowed his eyes and glared at Adam, hurt, furry, sadness and confusion all mixed in one shown in his green eyes.
"I'M being selfish?!" Andrew yelled, no longer bothering to keep his voice calm, still and quiet. Not now,
"I'M being selfish! Look who's talking, Adam!"
Totally regretting his self-centered words, Adam's blue eyes started to brim with tears as he hesitantly stepped toward his friend, an arm outstretched.
But, Andrew only moved farther back from the angel, obviously trying to get as far away from him as possible.
"How could you say that, Adam?" Andrew continued, his voice raising,
"How could you say that I'm being selfish when all you're doing is putting me down, telling me that you will never see me again and not even think ONCE what's best for me! Being an Angel of Death isn't for me anymore! I thought you of all angels would come to realized that by this time! But I guess not..."
"Andrew..." Adam started, coming closer to his friend so he wouldn't run away from him now. Oh, God, not now...
"Andrew-I'm sorry, man-"
"Oh, NOW you're sorry!" Andrew remarked sarcastically, glaring into Adam's eyes,
"After the damage is already done, THEN you apologize...at Monica's party! How could you even think of talking to me about me switching positions at one of my best friend's celebration party? How selfish can you get, Adam? Huh?"
Not waiting for a response from his fellow Angel of Death, Andrew quickly turned on his heel, tears streaming nonstop down his cheeks, and headed as fast as his feet would allow to the front entrance of the Country Club.
Adam, his own heart breaking at what he had said to one of his closest friends, took off after the angel before he could get very far and grabbed his shoulder, trying to bring him to a halt.
But, unfortunately, as soon as Adam's hand came in contact with Andrew's shoulder, the hurting angel violently shook his shoulder, sending Adam's hand flying.
"Don't even think about it, Adam!" Andrew shouted, shooting a dirty look, full of pain and betrayal, the angel's way,
"I thought we were friends! But, I guess I thought wrong, huh?"
Ignoring the desperate, pained look on Adam's face, Andrew whirled around and tore out the front door, the door slamming shut as he went.
"Don't even think about it, Adam!"
Andrew's shout brought Monica and Tess, along with several others, out to the hallway to see what all the commotion was about. However, as soon as Monica made her way to the hallway, she caught sight of Andrew's back disappearing out the front door and around a corner.
Turning shocked, brown eyes to Adam, the Irish angel watched as the Angel of Death practically slumped against the wall, stung terribly by their friend's words of anger. Speechless, Monica turned to her supervisor beside her, silent questions showing in her eyes.
Nodding her head slowly at her friend's request, Tess gestured with her head to the door, and without saying a single word, Monica ran to the door after Andrew, desperate to get to her friend and try to fix things before everything turned bad...
As soon as the young angel pulled open the large, brass doors and prepared for her search for her dear friend, Tess' stern, but in-control, voice rang out loud and clear.
"All right, Adam. What just happened there?"
The gentle breeze ruffled Monica's hair as she exited the Country Club in search of her friend. Her heart was beating wildly as she hoped that Andrew hadn't gotten too far...oh, God, she hoped and prayed that he wasn't far away...
Glancing up at the shining sun and the bright, blue sky, Monica quickened her pace as she rounded a corner and immediately caught sight of the fancy bench that she and Andrew had sat at together not very long ago. Only about an hour ago...
Tears of hurt for her best friend stung the angel's eyes as she stopped in her tracks and thoughtfully took in the sight. Was it really an hour ago since Andrew had told her his news? It sure felt longer than that...
Oh, God, what did Adam say to him to make Andrew lose his temper and run away? Monica desperately pleaded, her teary, brown eyes staring heavenward. Was it that bad?
Suddenly, before the Irish angel had a chance to ask more questions for answers up above, she felt a tug at her heart and a memory popping into her mind.
A memory she forever wanted only to forget...
Feeling like she was seriously going to throw up, Monica quickly made her way over to the familiar bench and slumped down in it, wearily placing her head in the palms of her hands. Trying to take as deep of breaths as possible, the angel's mind traveled back in time to one year ago.
One year that seemed like only yesterday...
The images flashed before her like a silent movie: Herself and Tess yelling at Andrew in the church; Tess telling their friend that they had been better off before he ever came around and that they didn't want his friendship; reading Andrew's heart-breaking note to them after he had ran away; both she and Tess realizing what their harsh words had done to Andrew; going after their friend and finding him; the accident; Andrew hanging on for dear life as he lay in a coma for a month; the hurt and pain after he had awaken and, after several days, remembered what had happened...and finally, Andrew's forgiveness to them...
The tears flowed faster than ever as Monica remembered that time and the lesson that she and her supervisor had learned: Be careful about the words you say. Verbal hurt is worse than physical pain...
Was that what just happened back there with him and Adam? she thought desperately, her mind whirling. Did Adam say something so terrible to Andrew that it made him run away from us? Again? Please, God, not again...I need to find him...I have to! There's not much time...
Slowly lifting her head out of her hands, the angel looked sadly around her, hoping for a clue as to where she's find her friend...and found it.
Her brown eyes stopping on a figure sitting at the nearby, sparkling lake, Monica kept her eyes locked on him as she immediately rose to her feet, and without hesitation, made her way as quickly as possible to her friend. Andrew's shiny, blonde hair ruffled with the light wind as he sat with his arms folded tightly around his legs, apparently deep in thought.
Walking quickly over to her fellow angel, Monica watched the figure as he let out a heavy sigh and rested the side of his head on his folded arms. Not wanting to startle her best friend at her presence, the angel silently sat down at Andrew's side, slightly clearing her throat in the process.
Watching her friend shift slightly and glance quickly at her, Monica saw the few tears in his green eyes...tears that appeared as though he was trying hard to keep from falling.
Without saying a word just yet, the Irish angel reached an arm out for her best friend and watched, her own heart hurting, as Andrew practically collapsed against her, letting the tears out freely. Taking the signal that it was okay to comfort him, Monica gently wrapped her arms around the angel's shoulders as he sobbed against her.
Lightly rubbing his back to soothe her friend, Monica lifted her eyes once again to the gorgeous sky and silently lifted a prayer of guidance.
Oh, Father...please give me the correct words to say here. I don't have very much time here-and I really need to get Andrew and Adam back together before this day is over...
"...Tess, I know that what I said to Andrew was wrong," Adam whispered horesly, lowering his eyes to the hard floor of the dining room where he stood with Tess in front of him,
"I realized it the second the words came out of my mouth...but I can't take them back. Believe me, Tess, I want to more than anything, but...it's impossible..."
"You're right about that, Baby," Tess agreed firmly, but lovingly, as she stared into the angel's blue eyes,
"You CAN'T take those words back that you told Andrew, Adam. And, yes, it was wrong; but I'm glad to see that you realize it. But, Adam, listen. You have to realize something here, Baby. You need to remember in the future that words have power. Monica and I learned it the hard way...do you remember that, Adam?"
Flinching a bit at the question, the Angel of Death forced his head to nod as he recalled what had occurred with Andrew, Monica and Tess a year ago. The horrible memory would always be fresh in his mind, no matter how hard he wished it to go away...
"Yeah, I remember that, Tess...I always will," Adam finally answered, raising his guilty-looking, blue eyes to meet Tess'. Gulping, he continued softly,
"I'll remember how much words sometimes hurt...it's just that-I'm going to miss you three so much, Tess! I'm no longer going to be working with Andrew as my fellow Angel of Death and who knows WHEN I'll ever see him again? You know how close we are, Tess! I mean-I'm happy for Monica and you, but...I can't be happy for Andrew! He's practically my best friend and it hurts to think about him moving to Search and Rescue..."
His voice cracking, Adam turned away as he felt hot tears sting his eyes. Sniffing a bit, the angel raised a hand and quickly wiped the wetness from his eyes with the back of his hand.
Coming over to her friend, Tess reached an arm out and gently wrapped it around his slumped shoulders. Rubbing his back gently, Tess whispered softly, tears rolling down her face as she spoke,
"I know it hurts to hear the news, Baby," she gently replied, sighing,
"It hurts me, too, to know that after tonight, I'll be separated from my Angel Babies. But...we both have to know something here, Adam."
Gently pulling away from the embrace, the older angel raised the palm of her hand and slid it under her fellow angel's chin, raising it to look at her.
"We both have to know that this is what's best for them. The Father wouldn't have moved us if He didn't think we were ready for it. He wouldn't. I know that this will be a huge change for ALL of us, but we can handle it. You also have to realize, honey, that we shouldn't be thinking about our feelings here; we need to think about how much Andrew and Monica want these positions and are ready for them and THEIR feelings. And-I'm sure you'll see Andrew again; just like I'm sure I'll see him and Monica again. None of us, but the Father, know the answer to 'When?', but I'm sure we will. You understand, Baby?"
Lovingly looking into the angel's eyes, Tess watched as Adam slowly nodded his head, the tears flowing fast down his pale cheeks,
"Do-do you think Andrew will ever forgive me, Tess?" he quietly choked out, his heart breaking at the very thought.
Tilting her head to the side, the older supervisor gazed sympathetically at the angel. Finally, after some serious thought, she spoke truthfully,
"I don't know, Adam," she answered sadly. "I'm not Andrew...only he will have that answer if you ask him it...I'm hoping and praying that he will. But-you'll have to go and find him if you want a real answer..."
"...Andrew, what did Adam say to you back there?" Monica gently asked as soon as her friend was able to get ahold of himself for the time being. Reaching for his hand and holding it lovingly in her own, the angel met his sad, green eyes and saw all the confusion in them.
Heaving a loud, shaky sigh, Andrew turned his gaze away from his friend for a brief moment before continuing,
"Adam...I never would have thought that he'd say something like that to me, Monica..." he began, the tears starting up again. "He-he told me that I was crazy for wanting to switch to Search and Rescue and leaving him behind. He told me that he'd probably never see me again and that I was being selfish for making this choice..."
Looking tearfully up at the Heavens, Andrew gave one last sigh before continuing,
"I lost my temper, Monica...it-it hurt so deeply to hear one of my supposed friends say something like that. I know I probably shouldn't have yelled back at him and take off like that, but-I had to, Monica...those words stung and the words kind of just...came out, you know?"
Shrugging helplessly, the angel lowered his eyes to the grassy ground and started fingering a beautiful flower beside him. Turning back to his friend for a second, the Angel of Death continued speaking his thoughts, tear after tear streaking his cheeks,
"I don't know, Monica...maybe Adam's right. Maybe I AM crazy to be transfered to Search and Rescue and leave being an Angel of Death. Maybe I shouldn't move...if this is what Adam wants..."
"Andrew," Monica interrupted, grasping both of her best friend's hands tightly in her own, tears falling from her eyes as she met Andrew's green ones, "Andrew, listen to me here, my friend. Listen."
Giving the angel's hands a warm squeeze, Monica opened her mouth, her gentle, brown eyes locked on Andrew,
"Andrew...my friend...this position is what you want, right? Just like I've been wanting for seven years to be promoted to Supervisor...and it happened! Andrew, please don't let the words of a friend destroy your dream. The Father doesn't make mistakes; when He agreed to transfer you to Search and Rescue, He didn't do it just for the fun of it. There was-and is-a reason, my friend. Yes, things are going to change-just like you told me not that long ago-but we will all get used to it sooner or later. I'm going to miss you and Tess alot after tonight is over and Adam will miss you; yes, there will be alot of goodbyes to make, but we all have to move on. Andrew...please...I want you to be happy after today. Do this for Tess and I. Do it for the Father, Who loves you so very much, my friend..."
Her voice getting choked up as she spoke, the angel gulped and continued quietly, her Irish voice soft,
"And, also, could you...could you forgive Adam, too? Please, my friend. I'm sure his words only came out like that because he loves you and will miss you terribly. But...can you find it in your heart, Andrew, to accept his forgiveness and move on? The past is the past, my dear friend...can you?"
Her brown eyes still on her friend, the Irish angel watched tearfully as Andrew lowered his head and closed his green eyes, tears flowing faster than ever before. Without uttering a word, exept for the sounds of heavy sobbing, the Angel of Death turned to Monica and grabbed her up in a bear hug, burrying his wet face in her curled, auburn hair.
Wrapping her arms tightly around her best friend in return, Monica rested her head on his shoulder, allowing herself to really cry since she had found Andrew by the lake. Tightening her thin arms around the angel, she whispered softly,
"I love you, Andrew...I love you so much..."
Resting the side of his head against her shoulder, Andrew quietly answered back, allowing his tears to trickle into his friend's long hair,
"I love you, too, Monica..."
The heavy doors shutting behind him, Adam left the Country Club's main building nearly a half hour later in search of Andrew...and ask for forgiveness.
If there was even a possibility for that now...
Heading as fast as his feet would allow him to go, the Angel of Death rounded a corner and glanced nervously around him, trying to find some sort of trace of his friend. Any trace at all...
Turning to his left, Adam suddenly stopped in his tracks as his blue eyes suddenly came upon two figures heading towards him from the nearby lake. Gulping loudly, Adam stepped closer and his heart just about leapt out of his chest as he recognized the two as Andrew and Monica.
Oh, God...will he ever forgive me? the angel thought desperately to himself. Or will he hate me forever...God, please...please let us be able to work this out...
Stepping closer hesitantly, the angel noticed that Monica was holding Andrew's hand in her own as they walked towards him. Watching closely as his friends finally came face-to-face with him, Adam sucked in a shaky breath as he looked into Andrew's red-rimmed, green eyes.
No words spoken between the three friends for a minute, Monica suddenly broke the tense silence as she glanced between Andrew and Adam.
"I'll give the two of you some space, okay?" she whispered, glancing up at Andrew and giving his hand a reassuring squeeze. Flashing one last grin to her two friends, the Irish angel released Andrew's hand and headed down the same path Adam had took earlier to the Country Club doors.
His gaze leaving Monica's retreating figure, Andrew stared at his fellow Angel of Death and heaved a loud sigh, not knowing exactly where to start.
But, suddenly, before he could say a word, Adam spoke up, his voice quiet and filled with regret.
"Andrew...man, you may not believe me when I tell you this, but I am so sorry for what I said to you back there...I'm so terribly sorry. You were right; I WAS being selfish. Not you, man...it's just that- I'm gonna miss you so much. You've been one of my best friends for who knows how long! But-dude, I really do want what's best for you, Monica AND Tess. It's just so hard to say goodbye...I haven't had to do it with a fellow angel and friend in quite a while. I guess I've kinda forgotten how to do it, you know?"
His voice cracking with emotion, Adam shook his head, not knowing what else to say to his friend. Feeling his blue eyes start to well up with more tears, Adam lowered his eyes to the ground, gazing at the pavement.
Knowing in his heart that he had forgiven his friend for his earlier, painful words, Andrew, without saying a word, headed towards the angel and grabbed him in his arms, hugging him tightly.
The tears flowing like rain, Adam wrapped his arms around his friend, returning the hug, and sobbed against his shoulder,
"I'm sorry, Andrew...I'm sorry, man..."
"I know, Adam," Andrew quietly answered, not bothering to wipe away his own tears as he allowed a small smile to tug at the corners of his mouth,
"I know...and it's okay. I forgive you."
As she once more walked through the large, brass double doors of the beautiful ballroom, Monica's brown eyes widened at the sight before her. The food tables were pushed off to the side against the cream- colored walls; chairs were set up in the center of the room while a movie projector sat in the aisle before a large movie screen. Every guest was gathered in groups, talking quietly to each other.
Monica's eyes searched the crowed and they landed upon Tess, who was heading towards her at a fast walk. A relieved smile shone on her features, although the Irish angel could tell that her supervisor's large, brown eyes were filled with tears. Her own eyes still brimmed with a few tears of her own, Monica walked up to her friend and grinned a bit.
"What's going on, Tess?" she questioned curiously, glancing over the older angel's shoulder and staring at Sam and Taylor, who were setting up the finishing touches of the movie projector and microphone. Focusing her attention back to her supervisor, the angel continued,
"What's the movie projector for?"
Glancing behind her at her fellow angels, Tess raised her shoulders in a curious shrug and answered the best she could,
"I'm not all sure myself, Angel Girl...after I talked with Adam for a while, I came back here and everyone was setting this up. Actually, Monica, no one would even tell me what's going on when I asked..."
Stopping suddenly in her explanation, Tess turned back to her charge and whispered softly,
"Now, forget about me, Baby...how'd it go with Andrew? Is Angel Boy okay after what happened with Adam?"
A smile spreading across her mouth, the Irish angel met her friend's brown eyes, allowing the few tears to fall down her cheeks,
"Andrew's doing okay now, Tess," she answered softly,
"As we were heading back here, Adam came by and I left him alone with Andrew so they could talk and, I must say, Tess, I really think things will be okay between those two. Not only do I admire how much of a forgiving spirit Andrew has, but I couldn't help looking back at them after I left. Tess...let's just say that it always makes me cry whenever I see Andrew hug Adam..."
"Well, those two Angel Babies are going to miss each other, Monica," Tess confirmed, meeting the younger angel's soft, brown eyes,
"Adam told me how much he's going to miss our Angel Boy after tonight and can't be happy for him...I admit, it IS hard to support your friends when they're about to leave you, but-I talked to Adam about thinking about what's best for others-our friends-and not our own feelings...I was hoping I got through to that boy, Angel Girl..."
Giving her head a slight shake, Tess looked over Monica's curly head and smiled tearfully at ths sight she saw walking through the large doors of the ballroom. Adam and Andrew were walking towards them, Adam's arm draped around Andrew's shoulders as they walked. Both angels were red-eyed from crying earlier, but looks of relief shone on their faces, along with slight smiles.
Her tears coming faster at the sight of her Babies, Tess headed towards her two young friends and reached out for them with outstretched arms. Taking both lovingly into her embrace, the angel whispered proudly into their ears,
"I'm so proud of you, Babies," she softly said, stroking their hair with loving hands,
"Tess is very proud of you both..."
Kissing each of their tear-streaked cheeks gently, the supervisor finally released her friends and smiled proudly at them. Just as she opened her mouth again to say something, Sam's strong voice came through the microphone at the front of the room and echoed through the large crowd.
"Okay, everybody! Can we have it quiet for a minute here?" his masculine voice boomed,
"I need all of you to have a seat up here if you will, please! Monica? Andrew? Tess? I need you three up here in the front row, my friends! Everybody, quiet down for now!"
His voice ringing out, the older and more mature angel tapped the tips of his fingers against the microphone and watched as the crowd separated and made their way quickly over to the waiting chairs, each one taking a seat. Smiling broadly, but a bit sadly, Sam kept his eyes on Andrew, Monica and Tess as all three sat down in the front row, Adam and Raphael joining them.
Satisfied with the crowed and what was occurring before his eyes, Sam gazed around the room and met eyes with his friends, old and new.
"Thank you, my friends," he more quietly continued, meeting eyes with Monica, Andrew and Tess,
"Now, you all know why we're here. Monica right here has been promoted to supervisor and-"
Suddenly feeling a slight twinge of annoyance, Sam groaned as he heard Raphael let out a piercing whistle and shout. Sighing, Sam caught the Mexican angel's eyes and kept the look on his face as he opened his mouth,
A quiet, short laugh rippling through the crowd at the young, Mexican angel's response to the announcement, Sam gave a roll of his large, brown eyes and continued,
"Anyways...as we all know, too, Andrew and Tess have also been moved to different departments after this night is over with. Monica, Tess, Andrew...you three will be missed terribly. But, before you three leave tonight, we have a gift for you. It was just going to be for Monica for her new position to Supervisor and her friendships with you two, but now...it looks like this present will be presented to three very special angels and friends who will always and forever hold a place in my heart."
Glancing, with tears starting to brim in his eyes, at the back of the room, Sam met Taylor's blue eyes and gave his head a slight nod,
Quickly taking a seat beside Adam, who sat beside Andrew, Sam turned his teary, brown eyes to the movie screen before him, his heart in his throat as the lights shut off and the room turned pitch black. The projector immediately turning on by the hands of Rose, Sam watched as a familiar picture appeared in front of him: Monica and Tess in the front seat of Tess' beloved, red Convertible and Andrew leaning forward from the back seat, his arms resting on the front seats and a large smile on his face. The tears now falling from his eyes against his will, Sam listened as the familiar song was heard as the slide how began:
"Because You Loved Me"/Celine Dion
For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful, baby
You're the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You're the one who saw me through
Through it all.
You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me.
You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand, I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love, I had it all
I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was
Loved by you.
You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark
Shining your love into my life
You've been my inspiration
Through the lies, you were the truth
My world is a better place
Because of you.
As the song played through the dark room, picture after picture appeared on the screen before the crowd of angels.
Memories...fun, exiting times...humorous times...
Andrew's green eyes flooded with sad tears as he felt Monica's hand grip his in her own and hold tightly. Squeezing her warm, soft hand back, the angel turned his attention back to the screen in front of him, his heart pounding rapidly as a photo of himself teaching Monica how to bowl was shown...miniature golf with Tess and Monica...teaching the Irish angel how to ride a 10-speed bicycle...a fun time with Raphael and Matt while playing Truth or Dare...
Lifting his free hand and wiping away the tears that flowed from his green eyes, the Angel of Death simply stared at the screen and listening as the song changed:
"It's Time For Movin' On"
We've travelled a long, long time together
And there have been alot of good things on the way,
But now, it's almost time for leavin'
And the things I feel inside are very hard to say.
But it's time for moving on, my friend; hold back all the tears and sorrow,
It finally is time, to go our separate ways.
And I want to wish you well, my friend,
As we search for new tomorrows.
Go, as you must, but please,
Don't forget the yesterdays.
Remember the dreams we dreamed together,
All of the joys we shared at getting to today.
Now just one time, before you leave,
Reach out, and take my hand,
And help me walk away.
For it's time for moving on, my friend; hold back all the tears and sorrow,
It finally is time, to go our separate ways.
And I want to wish you well, my friend,
As we search for new tomorrows.
Go, as you must, but please... Don't forget the yesterdays.
Beautiful music filled the air as Andrew stared, speechless as tears poured from his eyes, at all the pictures before him...pictures and memories of him and the two best friends the Father had given him...
A lump formed in the angel's throat as a pic of him and Monica appeared on the screen. The Irish angel's arm was wrapped lovingly around his shoulders as he sat on the edge of a hospital bed. From the time the picture was taken, Andrew knew for a fact that he was in human form...a black and blue bruise, not that noticeable anymore, surrounded part of his eye, while part of his arm was wrapped in a bandage up to his shoulder and held in a sling.
From the look of relief and love shown on Monica's gentle face and the way he, himself, looked, Andrew knew instantly that was a few a few days after the hijacking on the plane ride to Europe...
Blinking rapidly so his vision wouldn't blur any more than it already was, the Angel of Death continued to keep his gaze fixed on the screen as group pictures flashed before his eyes...pictures of him and his friends and past assignments...Monica and Audrey...himself and Petey before he passed on...and finally, just as the beautiful song came to a close, Tess' driver's license photo. A blown up picture of it...
All three angels stared up at the picture of the three of them together that day...and knew immediately, as the lights slowly came on, that this day really would have to come to an end. Their time together wouldn't last forever.
In just a few hours, they all would be going separate ways, leaving one another behind...and starting new lives...
"...The slide show was beautiful, wasn't it, Tess?" Andrew whispered, leaning up against one of the food tables and taking a small sip of his Diet Coke. Moving his green eyes around the spacious room, the angel took in every area, every figure, every friend. Letting a small, sad grin play on his lips, Andrew blinked back tears as he spotted Monica talking to Taylor while drinking a hot cup of coffee.
"That it was, Baby...that it was," the older angel agreed, leaning against the table beside her friend and taking a sip of her iced tea,
"Sam did a beautiful job at it...although those songs really tugged at my heart. They sure do describe the three of us, don't they, Angel Boy?"
Turning her brown eyes to her young charge, Tess watched as Andrew nodded his head slowly and lowered his eyes to the shiny floor, letting out a barely audible,
Tilting her head to the side, the supervisor gazed at her friend's handsome face and gently placed her arm around his shoulders, squeezing tightly,
"You okay, Baby?"
Quickly pulling his emotions together as he faced his older friend's loving, brown eyes, Andrew offered a small smile her way, but not before a few tears escaped from his green eyes,
"I'm fine, Tess," he answered in a soft voice,
"I guess...I guess my mind has been on everything that has occurred this afternoon...it's really going to happen, isn't it, Tess? After tonight..."
Hearing her young friend's quiet words to her, Tess could no longer hold back her tears. Feeling them trickle down her chocolate-brown skin, the supervisor tightened her arm around Andrew and rested the side of her head against his, letting out a soft sigh,
"Yes...it really will, Angel Baby. It will…and I want those last few hours with you and Monica to be special. Just like the last seven years have been special..."
Resting his head on the top of his friend's head, the Angel of Death let out his own soft sigh and grew quiet as he listened intently to the start of a familiar, beautiful song playing through the ballroom. Allowing his tears to fall freely down his cheeks, Andrew lifted his head off of his supervisor's head and looked lovingly at her, holding his hand out.
"Do you want to dance, Tess?"
Her vision blurred as she stared up at the younger angel, Tess gave a quivering smile and softly grasped her friend's warm hand in both of hers, nodding,
"I would love to, Angel Boy."
Gently guiding the older angel out to the center of the spacious ballroom, Andrew turned around and took his friend in his arms, holding her as they swayed to the beautiful song. Tightening her strong arms around the Angel of Death's neck, Tess lightly patted her friend's soft shoulder as she raised her tear-filled eyes to the high ceiling, taking in every word of the familiar lyrics:
"Remember Me This Way"
Every now and then
We find a special friend
Who never lets us down.
Who understands it all
Reaches out each time we fall
You're the best friend that I've found.
I know you can't stay
But part of you will never ever go away.
Your heart will stay.
I'll make a wish for you
And hope it will come true.
That life will just be kind
To such a gentle mind.
If you lose your way
Think back on yesterday
Remember me this way.
Remember me this way.
I don't need eyes to see
The love you bring to me
No matter where I go.
And I know that you'll be there
Forevermore, a part of me
Wherever you are
I'll always care.
And I'll be right behind your shoulder watching you
I'll be standing by your side in all you do.
And I won't ever leave
As long as you believe.
Oh, just believe.
Ooohh... This way.
The song slowly coming to a close, Andrew stopped dancing and just stood holding onto his supervisor and friend, his mind taking in the lyrics that had just played around him and Tess. Burying his face into the angel's shoulder and gripping her waist tightly, Andrew let out a choked sob, like a young boy being separated from his mother.
Gulping quietly, the young Angel of Death choked out,
"I'm going to miss you, Tess...I'm really gonna miss you..."
Ignoring everyone else around her, Tess rocked her friend in her arms, stroking his shiny, blonde hair as she sobbed herself,
"I'll miss you, too, honey...and remember, Angel Boy. If you ever need me or a shoulder to lean or cry on, I'm always there for you, okay, Baby?"
His shoulders shaking a bit, the angel whispered into his friend's soft shoulder, "I'll always remember, Tess...I'll never forget, I promise..."
5 hours later...
Night came before any of the angels knew what had happened. The hours flew by them so fast that by the time Andrew glanced up at the beautiful, silver clock hanging over the doorway, the angel sucked in his breath as he read the time: 9:00
His heart beating rapidly at the thought that Monica's party was just about over, the Angel of Death gulped down his last bite of vanilla cake and wiped his mouth with a napkin, tossing the plate in a nearby trash can. The napkin soon following, Andrew glanced around the room, his green eyes searching for an auburn-haired angel in the crowd.
Angel after angel were gathered amongst one another, several still eating while the rest were talking in groups. Tess and Sam stood off to the side, away from the others, talking with Rose while Adam was dancing with Celeste, both swaying to the instrumental song playing above.
His eyes searching the crowd, Andrew finally came upon who he was looking for. Monica stood, her back facing the group, staring out the large window in the back of the ballroom. The sky had grown dark in the lovely California town as the Irish angel stood motionless, her eyes taking in the dark.
Not wanting to startle his friend, Andrew walked quietly up behind her, opening his mouth.
Her curled head looking up into his face, Andrew noticed a few tears shining in her dark, brown eyes. Her lovely face looked sad and tired all at once, yet, at the same time...ready.
Gently laying a hand on her shoulder, Andrew gazed at her face, fighting back tears of his own,
"You okay, sweetheart?"
Turning her eyes away from her best friend's loving, green eyes, the younger Irish angel looked sadly down at her hands, which were clenched tightly together on the marble windowsill,
"It's almost time...isn't it, Andrew?"
Her quiet words taking him by surprise, the Angel of Death softly squeezed her shoulder as he sighed,
"It is, Monica...but that's not what I came here to ask you..."
Her eyes once again gazing up into her friend's face, Monica raised her thin, dark eyebrows curiously and removed her hands from the windowsill, not saying anything...but allowing her question to shine in her eyes. Her friend was always able to tell what she was thinking about...or worrying about...and never have to ask her why she was thinking it or questioning her thoughts...
No longer able to hold back his tears, Andrew moved his hand to her back and gave it a gentle rub before holding his hand out to her, just like what he'd done for Tess hours ago.
"One more dance? For old times sake..."
Her emotions coming to the surface, Monica allowed her tears to streak her cheeks as she wordlessly took the angel's soft hand and pressed herself up to his own body, tightly wrapping her arms around his waist as they swayed slowly, right beside the window, to the continuation of the jazz music still playing. The song was nice and soothing...but at the same time caused Monica's tears to trickle onto Andrew's white shirt and his strong arms to only tighten around her slim shoulders.
The next few minutes passed by very slowly for the two friends as they continued to hold one another through the instrumental music...each knowing that the time was nearer than ever for the party to end. And the goodbyes to begin...
As her heart continued to pound, Monica suddenly realized that the song had ended and that Andrew was starting to pull back from the embrace. Gazing tearfully into her friend's wet, green eyes, the Irish angel drew in several shaky breaths as she took in the handsome, gentle face of the Angel of Death.
Taking her hand tightly into his and giving it a reassuring squeeze, Andrew spoke up, his voice slightly trembling.
His voice suddenly lost in his throat, Andrew slowly led his friend across the ballroom, the tears dripping down his face as he watched his fellow angels gathering up their belongings and sharing hugs with one another. The room had grown dimmer as he headed forward, noticing that the music was turned off permanently and all the chairs and tables were no longer visible. Gulping quietly, the angel stopped in his tracks, still clinging to Monica's hand, as he watched Tess heading towards them, both of their jackets in her hands.
As she came face-to-face with her two charges, the older angel's tears trickled silently down her skin as she spoke quietly the words that she had anxiously been waiting to say...words that were now officially changing everything...
"It's time, Babies. It's time..."
Adam watched, his eyes brimming with tears all over again, as Tess walked up to Andrew and Monica and brought the two angels over to the departing group. The large ballroom, which only hours ago was filled with streamers, balloons, food and music, was not completely empty and the lights alot dimmer. Gulping, the Angel of Death fought his hardest to keep the tears in his blue eyes from trickling down his cheeks as he kept his eyes on his three friends...the three friends who would soon be out of his life in just a matter of minutes...
And one in particular who he would miss more than anything...
Heaving a loud sigh, the angel stepped forward, his eyes watching angel after angel step toward Monica, Andrew and Tess and giving them each embraces, the tearfull words "Good luck" ringing through the air every now and then. Slightly elbowing his way to his friends through the large, departing crowd, Adam finally came forward, his tears finally falling as he gazed at the angel's sad-but ready-faces and Sam reaching his arms out to Andrew, embracing the angel tightly.
"You take good care of yourself, okay, Andy?"
Sam's nickname for Andrew caused Adam's tears to fall faster, but he couldn't stop a light chuckle from escaping as he watched his friend roll his green eyes and say something he couldn't make out to his former supervisor.
Gently releasing each other, Sam gave Andrew's shoulder one final pat before turning to Tess and Monica, kissing them each on the cheek lovingly and wrapping his arms around them in a final hug. Adam kept his eyes on the older, wiser angel as he stepped away from their friends, whispered something softly to Rose, who was waiting off to the side, and quickly departed, his back disappearing out the ballroom door.
The tears not stopping, Adam turned back to the four remaining angels, his eyes glued on Andrew. Letting out one final sigh, the Angel of Death met each of their teary eyes and commented softly.
"This is goodbye then, huh?"
His words coming out more quiet than he had expected, Adam watched as Tess gave her curly head a nod, her brown eyes sad,
"It is, Baby...but not forever. The Father promises us that it won't be forever, okay?" she whisperesd, reaching out for the angel and giving his a quick, tight embrace and a soft peck on the cheek. Lightly squeezing his shoulder, the supervisor moved out of the way as she allowed him to face Monica and Andrew.
A trembling smile playing on his lips, Adam layed a gentle hand on the Irish angel's soft shoulder, leaning forward and planting a soft kiss on her tear-streaked cheek. Resting the side of his head against her's, the angel quietly whispered into her ear.
"Congratulations, Monica...I'll see you around, sweetie, okay?"
Giving her head a jerky puppet's nod, the younger angel reached her hand up to her fellow angel's tear-streaked face and layed a soft kiss on his own cheek,
"Take care of yourself, Adam, and I WILL see you around..."
Gently pulling back from the gentle touch, Adam gave her shoulder one last rub before turning his face to Andrew. No words were spoken between the two friends for what seemed longer than it actually was before Adam closed his tear-filled, blue eyes, reached his arms out and threw them around his friend tightly, allowing a choked sob to escape his throat.
Wrapping his arms around the angel in return, Andrew's own tears came harder as he softly talked into his friend's shoulder,
"Hey...I'll see you later, my friend. Okay, man? I swear I'll run into you again soon..."
Burrying his wet face into Andrew's shirt, Adam softly mumbled how he felt for his friend, not caring that he was turning mushy with the goodbyes,
"I love ya, dude..."
Closing his green eyes tightly, Andrew squeezed the angel back and gently whispered,
"Right back at you, my friend...right back at you..."
Knowing that he had to release the angel one way or the other, Adam slowly released his hold around Andrew's neck and immediately gripped his hand, squeezing it with all his strength. Meeting the friendly pair of green eyes before him, Adam choked out his final words.
Watching his best friend nod his head slowly and return the hand squeeze, Adam reluctantly released his hold, met Andrew's tear- stained eyes for the final time, turned away and disappeared.
Several minutes later...
Monica, Andrew and Tess, along with Rose trailing several feet behind, walked out of the Country Club into the dark night sky. Each angel of God stood still as they stared up at the beautiful stars in the sky, each one twinkling high up above. A silence pervaded the area as the three friends moved their gazes to one another, no one knowing what to say first.
Finally, after several minutes of silence, Monica's Irish voice rang out through the parking lot,
"I heard a saying once during casework that if you wish upon a star, your dream could come true...it may be just a saying, but-my only wish is that I'll be reunited with you two again soon..."
Her voice cracking, the Irish angel reached her hands out and grabbed hold of Andrew and Tess' hands, gripping them tightly,
"I'll love you two forever...and I'll never ever forget you. No matter what..."
The flood of tears starting up again, Andrew released his friend's warm, soft hand and held his arms out to her, his green eyes never leaving her pretty face. He knew in his heart that he would have to be the first to leave...the Voice of the Father was all-too clear. And, after all, Rose was waiting ever-so patiently behind them...
Not wasting any time, Monica let out a choked-up cry and threw herself, full force, into Andrew's waiting arms. Holding onto his neck as tightly as she dared to, the angel planted several tiny kisses on his wet cheek as she listened to her friend whisper into her ear.
"I'll always love you, too, Angel Girl...and I'll never forget you two either...you two are my heart and soul. How COULD I forget you?"
Feeling in her heart that her "Angel Boy" was the first to leave, Tess reached for her two friends and drew them into her strong arms, wishing there was a way she could hold them forever. After all...they were her "Angel Babies"...
"Tess loves you, too, Babies," she whispered softly to her best friends, gently rubbing their backs,
"Ol' Tess here will always be there waiting with open arms when you need me and you two will forever be in my heart...I promise, Angel Babies..."
Not knowing completely how well he would be able to do it, Andrew squeezed his two best friends one final time before slowly pulling back from the farewell embrace. Meeting each pair of brown, tear- filled eyes, the Angel of Death turned his head slowly towards Rose and gave his blonde head a slight nod and a quiet,
"I guess I'm ready, Rose..."
His hear pounding rapidly, the angel watched as his new supervisor gave him a loving, reassuring smile, a twinkle in her blue eyes, as she walked over to him, a hand outstretched. Gently taking Andrew's in her own, the Search and Rescue supervisor met his green eyes,
"Okay, Andrew...whenever you're most ready, honey..."
Moving his eyes back to Monica and Tess, the Angel of Death shakily reached his free hand out and lightly touched Tess' cheek. Without so much as a word, the angel leaned forward and kissed her forehead gently. Gently wiping away as many tears as possible, Andrew turned his gaze toward Monica and gulped.
This really WAS it...
Not knowing what else to say, the angel stroaked his best friend's tear-stained cheek and plated a loving kiss upon it. Smoothing her long, auburn hear away from her face, Andrew removed his hand and returned his look to Rose,
Taking her new charge's signal that he was ready, Rose flashed one final loving smile in Monica and Tess' direction before giving Andrew's hand a tight squeeze and ushered him away from the two remaining angels ever-so gently. The two figures walked, hand in hand, down the long path of the Country Club towards a beautiful light up ahead. Before either angel knew what was occurring, they slowly disappeared into the gorgeous, white light.
Not knowing whether her tears would ever come to an end, Monica sucked in her breah and turned to Tess, who was still staring in the direction her "Angel Boy" and Rose had disappeared in. After several minutes, the two angels faced one another, their brown eyes meeting.
"It's time, Angel Girl...you'll do excellent. Tess knows you will, Baby..."
Wrapping her strong arms around her remaining friend, the older angel stroked the waist-lenght hair of Monica as she whispered to her softly,
"Tess has to leave now, but always know this: You and Andrew will always be my Angel Babies and whatever you need, wherever you are, I'm here...just like if you need Angel Boy...he'll be there...You can do this, sweetheart; I have complete faith in you."
Planting a gentle kiss on the top of her now former's charge's head, Tess pulled back from the protective hug, gave her friend's warm, shaking hand a final squeeze before stepping away and began walking backwards towards a similar light that Andrew and rose had departed through. Flashing a supportive, tearul smile the Irish angel's way, Tess softly spoke as she continued walking,
"I love you, Baby Girl...and know that I'm so proud of you for everything..."
Without any more words, Tess slowly turned herself around and walked towards the familiar bright light.
And disappeared from sight...
Monica gulped as she stood, alone now, in the dark, deserted parking lot. Did this really just happen? Were Andrew and Tess really gone? For good?
Lifting a shaky hand to her brown eyes, the angel wiped away as many tears as she could, although she knew perfectly well she'd never get them all. Forcing her body to take a few deep breaths, Monica tried her hardest to pull herself together as much as possible as she turned halfway, her gaze landing on Tess' large, red Convertable still parked in the Country Club parking lot.
The tears brimming again, Monica watched the familiar car, images of wonderful memories of herself, Andrew and Tess taking rides in the large, comfortable vehicle...Tess teasing her about how she would never let her drive it...how the car was nicknamed Tess' "Baby"...
What's it still doing here? the question rang in the angel's head as she stuck her hands in her dress pockets. But, however, her question was immediately answered as she pulled out a set of car keys.
Tess' car keys...
Her heart pounding loudly, Monica suddenly realized what was happening: Tess had given her the car as a gift...her CAR...
Lifting her tear-filled, dark eyes to the stary sky, the Irish angel let out a quiet sigh, holding the car keyes close to her heart...just as Andrew and Tess were.
And always would be...
"Thank you..." she softly whispered alowd, lowering her eyes and slowly turning around...and coming face-to-face with a beautiful, younger-looking female. Her black hair hung in curls up to her shoulders while her dark blue eyes shone excitedly. The young lady wore a flowered, black skirt with a turquoise turtle neck to match. Black sandles were on her bare feet as she stood smiling a bit nervously in Monica's direction. As she opened her mouth, her words came out quiet and a bit of an accent.
"Are you Monica?"
The question taking her by surprise, the Irish angel lifted a hand and quickly wiped away the last of her tears before facing the lady...a very young-looking lady at that...
"Yes, I'm Monica," she replied softly, trying to keep her voice from getting choked up again.
Extending a delicate, perfectly manicured hand, the lady smiled widly,
"My name is Denise. I'm-I guess you could say that I'm the new caseworker...the Father said I could find you here..."
My new charge, Monica thought, shocked, to herself. It's happening now! Knowing deep in her heart that they really DID have to move on, Monica allowed a soft smile to play on her lips as she remembered Andrew's words of comfort earlier that day: That things would change, but they would get used to it and they all had to move on...
Oh, thank you, my friend, Monica silently lifted up a note of thanks to her friend as she faced Denise once more, smiling at her gently as she took the extended hand in both of hers,
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Denise. I'm Monica, your new supervisor..."
Just as the words came out of her mouth, the beautiful, white dove that had been perched on a tree branch the entire day, flew, cooing, off of it and into the dark, night sky up to the heavens and where he had first come from.
~The End~ OR IS IT?