Disclaimer: Jonathan Smith and Mark Gordon belong to Michael Landon. (Man, that is cool to say.) Anything else that you recognize is his as well.
A/N: I don't really have much to say about this story so far. I'm working on Chapter three now and I will update when I can. I just started back to college so I'm not sure how busy I will be in the following months. If you like this so far, let me know. If somebody out there enjoys it, I'll update it a lot quicker.
Death Takes a Holiday
"So where are we going next?" Mark Gordon asked as they drove down a sunlit highway. He wasn't sure where they were but it didn't really matter anyway. They would find whatever it was they were looking for. He had been traveling with his friend, Jonathan, an angel, for a few years and no matter where they were, The Boss would always find them.
"I don't know," Jonathan replied. Sometimes he didn't know what their assignment was until it was right in front of him. It didn't frustrate him as much as it bothered Mark but Jonathan had the patience that of an angel that Mark didn't have.
"Well, when are you going to know?" Mark asked him impatiently.
"I don't know. He'll let me know when he's ready," the angel replied in exasperation.
"Can you tell him to hurry up?" Mark told Jonathan.
The angel sighed and rolled his eyes. "It doesn't work that way, Mark. You know that."
Mark grumbled as they drove along. "Wish it did," he replied, hoping that his car wouldn't stall or that he would get a flat on this desolate road. He could remember numerous times that God would get mad at him for doubting what was planned.
They continued to drive quietly along while they came upon a quick turn on the desolate highway. Strange enough, a woman walked along on the left side of the empty road. There hadn't been a car in sight for miles on the bare highway and any sign of car trouble would have been quickly noticed by the pair. Jonathan caught sight of the young woman first and did a double take in her direction before Mark sped right past her. Before they had gone no more than fifty feet, the white Cadillac jolted to a halt.
The two passengers were pulled back against their seatbelts and as they gathered their bearings, Mark looked over at the angel in annoyance. "Thanks Jonathan. Could you please remember not to do that next time?" Mark has lost track of how many times Jonathan had stopped or moved the car without his consent. "Next time could you just ask me to stop, please?"
Jonathan looked at him as shocked as his friend was. "I'm sorry, Mark. I didn't do it this time," he said innocently. "She did."
"Who did?" Mark Gordon asked in confusion.
"She did. Death," the angel replied seriously.
"Death? What is this some kind of joke? You're an angel. Don't you take care of that?" Mark asked as the woman from the side of the road made her way up to Mark's window like a cop waiting to give out a ticket. Finding that she now had a moment to speak, she leaned into Mark's car. "I take care of the business end," she told him with a smile.
He jumped at the sound of her voice as he
grabbed his Oakland baseball cap in fright. "Watch it lady, you
nearly gave me a heart attack."
She patted his shoulder with a grin. "Not you're time," Death told him. "Besides, you won't be having a heart attack."
He was flustered by that "I what?" he asked with wide eyes.
The woman's brown hair was cut short below her ears and looked a bit too perfect for someone who was stranded in the middle of nowhere. She looked quite young but as Mark studied her blue eyes it seemed as if the woman was much older than she seemed. Death's appearance did not matter for to fit in, it would shift shape into whatever it pleased. For some reason or another, it had chosen to become a woman of nearly thirty. Her clothes were made of denim, the pants a shade lighter than the light blue jacket that she wore over a pale pink shirt.
"Hey, what are you doing here, anyways?" Jonathan asked as he leaned over his seat towards her.
"Didn't the Boss tell you?" she asked in response.
He frowned as he shook his head. "Only to tell me that you were here."
"I'm out on a little vacation time for good behavior," she told him with a wink. "I came to see that old man that's always cheating me," Death replied as she looked down the barren highway.
"Ah, old man Haskett?" Jonathan asked.
She nodded at him. "That's the one."
Mark was a bit confused as he looked between Jonathan and the woman at his window. "Wait a minute. You're Death. The thing that kills everybody. Why are you on a holiday? How does this work? And if you just touched me, why am I not dead?"
Death looked somewhat hurt at his remark. "I don't kill people, Mark. I'm just in their inevitable future. Why can't I take a break like everyone else? And you're not dead because you're not supposed to be. I can touch you if I want, I just can't take your soul yet."
"But you're Death. No one holds that job," Mark argued with the woman.
She shrugged. "That doesn't mean I can't take a holiday. The office is under control. If they need me they know how to get me. Besides, most holidays I usually end up on a job anyways," Death told him plainly.
Jonathan smiled. Death did have a way with things even if some of them were beyond its control. "Well, can we drop you anywhere? You need a ride to the Hasketts?"
The woman nodded at him. "I'd appreciate that, Jonathan."
Mark shook his head as she got in the backseat of his car. "I really can't believe this. I really can't."
"What can't you believe, Mark?" the angel asked as he read his friend's mind. "That Death is sitting in the backseat of your car?"
"And that it's a woman, Jonathan. I hadn't finished my thought yet. If you're going to read my thoughts, get them right," Mark told him dryly as he started down the road again.
"I can be whatever I want, Mr. Gordon," Death replied as she leaned back in the backseat of Mark's car.
"Yeah, well...Miss...Death. Say, what are we suppose to call you anyways?" He asked her as they came upon the outskirts of a town. "We can't go around calling you 'Death' all the time. I mean, I don't really mind but what are people going to say?"
"Mark's right," Jonathan commented, looking back at the woman. "Have you thought of a name?"
The woman closed her eyes for a moment as she thought. "I do not know," she replied slowly.
"How about something like Jane or Mary?" Mark tried.
"Eve," Death told them.
"What?" he asked. "Why Eve?"
"She was the first woman who died." The woman told them calmly as she opened her eyes to look at the road ahead of them.
"What about a last name?" Jonathan commented. "You might need to come up with one of those as well."
"Reagan," Eve replied quickly. "The last person who died. Car accident. Drunk driver," she told them as they came upon a fresh accident scene.
The car was smashed into a tree that had crushed the front of the car with so much force that it was impossible for there to be any survivors. In the distance, Mark could see an ambulance quickly coming upon the scene. Mark swerved as it threw him off balance. She or it seemed quite matter of fact about the whole matter. In a way, death itself was a matter of fact business.
Eve stared out the window intently as she saw the soul of the man being pulled towards her body. Reaching out towards the glass of the window, Death connected with the fingers of the man and absorbed him into her skin as if her hand was like a small vacuum. Closing her eyes, she could feel ever memory of the man's life wash upon her as she sent him away to be sorted back at her office.
"So who's this Haskett character?" Mark asked, changing the subject as quickly as he could.
"An old poker buddy that I've know since that second war everyone talks about. Met him over in Germany during an air raid. By rights, he should have joined those that died over there as well. He's been cheating me ever since then. First his own death and now at cards," Eve explained to them as she turned to watch the ambulance come upon the crash scene.
"So you're not gonna take him this time?" Mark asked.
"No, 'course not. Unless Jonathan's got some news that I didn't," Death replied as she looked towards the angel. He looked as if he was listening to something as his eyes seemed to stare right through the ceiling of the white car.
"I'm not sure," Jonathan replied slowly. "He hasn't said anything about it. Haskett was a name he mentioned though. He was being pretty vague about the whole thing."
Eve nodded. "I understand. He can be like that sometimes. Guess it looks like you'll have to tag along with me for a while, boys," she told them as they came into a small suburban town. "You're going to have to turn on the next road, Mr. Gordon. Third house on the right."
"So, how have you been?" Jonathan
asked the woman whom they now called 'Eve' as he changed the subject.
"It's been a long time since I've seen you last."
"Ah, yes," She replied. "I've been, well, I've been Death. Mortal things don't really affect me. Although one of the last worldly mortals that came into my office made me quite sad. She was one of those magician's helpers. Poor thing was cut right in half. Apparently, he wasn't that much of a magician."
"Do you get people like that very often?" Mark asked, somewhat chilled by the subject.
"Oh, rarely, rarely. It does break up the monotony," Death replied with a sigh.
"Don't tell me you're getting tired of it?" Jonathan asked worriedly.
"Of course I am! I've been doing this for centuries. Of course I'm tired of it. I had a little fun back in the day with the Black Plague but that was ages ago. Everyone's afraid of me, no one really likes me. That's why I'm taking this vacation," Eve replied, suddenly getting quite depressed.
"Does the Boss know?" Mark asked her curiously.
"Of course. He's my Boss in a way as well. No one thinks I have any feelings but all the humans coming into my office, sad or sometime happy, it all kinda gets to me after a while," Eve replied sadly.
"Well, I can understand that. I got kinda tired of seeing these people I couldn't help or that didn't want any help to begin with when I was a cop. Makes you feel kind of useless when you don't think you can help them," Mark told her as he turned down the road Eve had mentioned.
She nodded. "They don't want me to help either. Some of them even tell me it's my fault. They think they're going to live forever but they won't. Then because the Boss decided that they have to die sometime, they come and complain to me," she sighed. "I'm lucky I don't have an inferiority complex."
Jonathan smiled at that. Death with an inferiority complex, now that would be interesting. Without Death the world would get filled up with so many people that there wouldn't be enough room or food for any of them. As a matter of fact, there were already humans without food or places to stay but Jonathan couldn't tell her to work overtime. Death, or Eve, was already stressed as it was. If he told her to work faster there was no telling what she would do. Death was quite a powerful force.
"Oh. Good. He's home," Eve said happily as Mark pulled into the driveway of Joseph Haskett's home.
"Does he go away much?" Mark asked as he turned off his car.
"Only when his daughter comes to take him. That's become less frequent over the years though," Eve told them before getting out of the backseat of the car.
Mark looked over at Jonathan curiously. "Is this our assignment?"
"Mark, I don't know yet," Jonathan replied in exasperation.
"Well, let me know when you do. I like to know when my vacation ends and my work begins."
Jonathan smiled as he opened the passenger door of Mark's LTD. "Just enjoy it for now," he said before stepping out of the car. He had a feeling that he was going to know what he had to do very soon.