A/N: This is going to be short, because I know you are all simply waiting with bated breath to learn

Michael's fate, and what happens after. So... a big THANK YOU to all my reviewers, my readers, and my

overly obsessive compulsive TPD freak self. Without all of you, I'd probably be in a correctional center

myself. :)

Disclaimer: sing song voice guess what! I disclaim! Yay! Sorry, I should really try to liven it down a bit...

Previously in It's a Wonderful Life (just realized I subconciously stole that from Gilmore Girls... oh well.):

I felt a lump in my throat. A big huge glob of guilt. But there was still something not quite right. Quietly, I

said, "I want to see Michael."

Clarence just gave me a look, his eyes telling me to ask anything else but that. "Are you sure?"

I swallowed, but the big huge glob of guilt stayed there. "I'm sure."

There was complete silence while Clarence summed me up. "Yes. It's time," he said.

The world started fading out again, but this time I felt a strange sense of foreboding. It was no different

than the previous times it happened, but I guessed it felt different because Clarence was being so weird

about it. In fact, Clarence kept looking up at the sky (or what was going to be the sky, because the world

was starting to come back into focus) and muttering something unintelligible.

I felt the wind blowing against my back, and I smelled... low tide. Slowly, the sore feeling in my stomach

that I get whenever I'm nervous went away. Because I recognized where I was, for once. "Hey," I said to

Clarence, my voice full of self-pride, "we're on the Williamsburg Bridge, aren't we?" As an answer, I

received a dull nod.

Except I wasn't really waiting for Clarence to answer. "So. Where's Michael? He's got to be around here

somewhere, right? We'll see him in a bit, probably with Judith Gershner on his arm or something," I

bitterely said. In split second, my mind took me back to when I did exist. I visualized the two of them,

Michael and Judith, together. The perfect couple: both smart, both have the same interests, and Judith

isn't a princess.

I couldn't pretend like I hadn't been thinking of this, of what was Michael's life without mine. Did I affect

him in anyway? I had made Lilly insecure, made my parents miserable, made Kenny more pathetic,

made Tina more depressed, made Grandmere embarrassed, and who knows what else? Michael must

be affected somehow if his sister was in a correctional facility, and his parents had plummeted straight

down to two words: second mortgage.

Clarence drew in a breath, a bit shakily. But I took no notice. The thought of the two was making me feel

sick. Physically sick. And I knew it wasn't just the smell of low tide. Because I didn't feel this way before.

"Mia," he began, "you're not going to see Michael."

I turned around so quickly, I could swear I heard something crack in the back of my neck. "WHAT? But

this is what I've been holding out for, why I'm still semi-sane! I've been waiting to see what Michael is

doing, and I've been imagining all this crazy stuff. But you're not going to let me see him? So this is it? I

go home now, not knowing? Do I look appreciative of my life yet?"

"I'm sorry," Clarence said. And he did look truly sorry. "Allow me to explain, please. It's not that I'm not

going to let you see him. If things were different..." He started to look a bit wistful, but then he shook his

head. "The point is, it is physically impossible for you to see him."

I felt my eyes beginning to tear. "But why?" I sobbed. "Why can't I see him? What's keeping me from

seeing him?"

Clarence looked a bit impatient, but still truly sorry. "Mia, haven't you figured it out yet? I guess you

haven't. After all the clues, all the hints, I even had to stop you from talking to Lilly. She would have given

it away. Don't you see Mia?" He looked into my eyes, and smiled the saddest smile ever.

"Michael's dead. He threw himself off this very bridge, off this very spot that we're standing on. When he

was sixteen."

I could feel the world spinning underneath me. I felt nothing, only the beating of my heart as it rammed

against my ribcage. Then I felt someone grabbing me by both shoulders, giving me a little shake. "I know

you feel like passing out Mia, but you've got to hear me out if you're going to be truly appreciative of the

life you have... and the life that you give to others." When he said that, I started crying hysterically.

"Michael was the way you always knew him. He was smart, he was funny, and he was talented. But, he

felt no love from anybody, only pressure. Pressure from his parents to get good grades. Pressure from his

sister to be 'less of a jerk, more of a man'. Similarly, pressure from his friends, the few that he had, to be

cool, to get out more. Judith was his girlfriend, but she pressured him to be the perfect guy. He felt that

all anybody needed was for him to be perfect, but he also felt he couldn't give that to them."

While he was saying this, I slid down to the pedestrian path and sat down, crying with my head and arms

on my knees. I knew that this was not really happening, that Michael really didn't kill himself because I

didn't exist.

"You're wrong," Clarence said. "I know that you and everyone else back home didn't know, but Michael

was really considering doing this, except there was just one thing holding him back. And that was you.

You've never pressured him. The day that he thought of throwing himself off the bridge, he came home to

write a suicide note. But there you and Lilly were, watching that movie with Patrick Swayze you love so

much..." I laughed bitterly, in spite of my tears. "Dirty Dancing," I said. "Yes," he said, "that movie. And

you said to him 'Hey Michael, why don't you watch it with us?' Do you remember?" I whispered, "Yes.

And then he said he had some things to do..."

All of a sudden I had a terrible flashback: This morning, when Michael was pissed at me (or was he

hurting?)

I'll help you when the baby actually comes, okay? For now, I have some things to do.

Clarence interrupted my thoughts, saying, "And then what did you say in reply?" I thought back for a

while. "I said... I said 'Oh, come on, whatever it is can wait, right?' Or something like that." Clarence said,

"Yes. And he said in reply, 'Yeah. Yeah, I guess it can wait.' And that day you saved his life. Not exactly

because you asked him to stay, to be a part of something that wasn't stressful, but mostly because after

he said he'd stay, you smiled, and then he decided that you were something to live for."

Now usually, under any other circumstances, I would probably have gotten up and done a victory dance.

Because this proved that Michael Moscovitz did have some feelings for me. Or my smile.

But given the way it was brought up, I started bawling again. I closed my eyes and just cried and cried

and cried until I ran out of tears, and then there was a feeling of nothingness.

...

I'll leave you to pay your respects, but I will be back with the final chapter.

Fare thee well.