Our Love Is Here To Stay

Author: Alexandra Lucier

Disclaimer: The angels in this story belong to Martha Williamson

Author's note: A major shipper story. If you're not a fan of shipper stories, I feel it is my obligation to warn you before you read away.

Chapter 1

"Yeah, that's good. See, you want to hold it like this, with your fingers over the laces." Andrew gently instructed his friend as he took her hand in his and guided it into the right position over the football she held in her free hand. She listened quietly to her friend as he taught her. It seemed the more she got to know Andrew, the more she liked him. He was sweet, kind and he was always there for her when she needed him. Of course, she had only met him a few days ago, but so far she was sure they would be the closest of friends.

"Good." Andrew continued as he released her hand and then raised his own arm in the air to demonstrate as if he was tossing an invisible football to someone down field, though they weren't in a field at all, but in an assignment's front yard. "Now, you're going to throw it okay? But you don't…uh…you don't push it really. You…you release it. Just, right where it arcs. Like this." He demonstrated as he reeled his arm forward in a gentle, steady motion, pretending to release a football as he did so. "Okay?" He glanced back down at his friend just to be sure she was following him and, to his relief, she nodded in understanding. "'Kay." She replied confidently as she held up the football in preparation for the toss. Andrew smiled at her determination and readied himself to run.

That was one of the many things he already loved about Monica. She always had an open mind to anything and was willing to try and learn as much as she could as fast as she could. She was only in her second year of casework, but in his opinion, she was going places already and he was willing to help her in any way he could as she worked her way up. He just knew they would be the best of friends if they weren't already. And he already knew they had many good times ahead together.

"Okay, now I'm going to go out for it and…" But Andrew never got a chance to finish his guidance, for Monica stopped him right there, as if confirming what exactly he meant by that. "Out for it?" She repeated in a bit of a perplexed manner but Andrew went on to explain so she was sure to understand what the football term meant. "Yeah, I'm going to go out for it, you get the ball to me and I'll just go for the goal." He explained quickly in a soft tone as he motioned with his hands as if to explain. Monica thought about this for a minute and, though she wasn't exactly sure what the point of football was, she trusted her new friend and decided to give it a shot anyway.

"Okay." She replied trustingly as she raised her arm once more for the throw again. Andrew smiled and readied himself as well. "Okay." He copied before turning his eyes back to the space on the lawn ahead. "Ready? Go!"…

…Monica stirred from her restless sleep as she slowly felt herself drifting away from that perfect little world in her dreams and awaking to the cruel truth of reality. For the dream she had been having was not even a dream at all, but a memory of a blissful time years ago that had long since expired. To her, the ever-returning recollections were nothing less than nightmares anymore, for she didn't know how much longer she could bear remembering them. So much had happened since those cheerful times. So much had changed. So many tears had been shed. But the tears as well, had long since run dry. Though it had been so long since Andrew's death, Monica's broken heart had never healed. It instead scarred over in a hardened, painful manner. But no matter how hard she tried, she could never make that scar go away. It was always there, covering the wound, just ready to tear open yet again and bleed out the memories and the tears. And Monica could never stop that from happening either. There was nothing she could do about it. All it took was a simple photo or recollection or song to bring back the memories.

On any other day but today perhaps, Monica would have been able to simply roll over and force herself to close her eyes and go back to sleep, for it was still early, the middle of the night in fact. But not today. Oh no. No matter how she tried, all Monica could think about was that five years ago today, Andrew had been there for her whenever she needed him. Five years ago today he had been there to whisper "I love you"s in her ear and hold her when she needed comforting. But not now. Now, and especially today, she was all too aware of the empty space around her. She was all too aware of her cheek gone unkissed for five years. She was all too aware of her hand gone uheld.

How she missed him. She just wished she could've seen him one last time before he died and had known he was going to die so she would've had a chance to tell him she loved him. Or tell him thank you…for everything. But it happened so suddenly. Everything changed in a matter of seconds, and, before you knew what was happening, there was just so much left unsaid and undone. Monica just wanted him back here by her side. She just wanted to hear his gentle voice one more time and feel his tender touch once more. He was her best friend. Before the shooting, she had never even considered how much she might miss him if he were gone. But now he was, and she still knew that she would give anything, even her very life, just to spend one more day at his side, holding his hand and speaking to him as if nothing had changed and they had never been apart. Just to see him smile at her one more time would be worth her existence.

But all this had already occurred to her years ago, and as she reviewed it for what must have been the billionth time in her head, she realized she would have to force it back into the depths of her soul where even she couldn't find it, or else she might break down into tears yet again as she had many times throughout the past five years. But the memories and emotion had dwindled away into almost nothing now, having it been so long and that scar inside her had hardened and tightened into something nearly unbreakable.

As this new concept gave her something of some, strange sort of peace, Monica forced herself into a sitting position as she raised one hand to rub the sleep from her eyes and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Reaching for her bathrobe on the closet doorknob, she pulled it on over her nightgown and made for her bedroom door as she flipped one of the many long tangles of her auburn hair over one shoulder in an attempt to get in out of her eyes as she made her way out into the hallway, and down the dark stairs into the kitchen. She just knew there was no way she was getting back to sleep tonight and so, she figured she may as well make herself some coffee. (Some things just don't change).

Flipping on the kitchen light, and allowing it to blind her for a short second, she then made her way over to the coffee machine and scooped in some coffee grinds out of the can sitting on the counter. But as she switched on the machine and realized there was nothing more for her to do but wait, she made the mistake of glancing out the kitchen window and up at the night sky. So dark and mysterious, but twinkling with stars like diamonds by the million. With a miniscule smile, she allowed her honey-brown eyes to fall upon what she could only assume was the Andromeda galaxy. It was then that she recalled something Andrew had once taught her about such a far away place. His guiding words still echoed so vividly in her mind that she had no trouble what so ever remembering that night so many years ago. "You know the Andromeda galaxy contains nearly half a trillion stars, but they're so far away that they look like only one." He had told her with gentle wisdom beyond his years as he had gestured knowingly to the planetarium roof that had been surrounding them.

It was then that she had recalled asking him, "Andrew, how big is the universe?" Of course, she had known that question was a silly one. For no one except their creator knew the answer to that, but she had thought it would be fun to ask him just for the soul purpose of curiosity at his answer. But Andrew had surprised her with his response, for it did in fact help her with her simple wondering. "Well, let's put it this way. Traveling at the speed of light, you could reach the moon, like that." He had snapped his fingers to demonstrate the speed of which he was speaking. "Now, keep going at that speed for another…ninety thousand years, and you just might reach the edge of our galaxy." He had informed her with a knowing smile as he turned his attention back to his friend and realized her never-ending curiosity was yet another thing he loved about her.

And, even now, as Monica stared up at the massive, universal sky stretched out all for her to see just out the kitchen window, she found herself wondering which part of it Andrew was in. Was he on the farthest moon of the farthest planet in the farthest galaxy? Or was he standing right here in the kitchen next to her? Of course, she knew the answer to that as well. Neither. But where was he now? What was he doing? Did he ever think about her too? Or did he even remember her name?

But just then, Monica was startled from her musings when a young voice from behind her made her jump in her spot by the window. "Mom?" Her daughter called softly in a quiet voice that sounded deafeningly loud in the silence of the night. Monica spun around to face Eliza and took only a brief moment to compose herself before managing a miniscule smile and responding in an only slightly surprised manner. "Eliza, sweetheart." She breathed airily as she tried desperately to focus her attention fully on her daughter. "What are you doing up?" She ventured somewhat meaninglessly, for at the moment, that wasn't really what she was concerned about, but she felt the need to change the subject before it even started.

Eliza was thirteen now and a spitting image of her mother. Her previously strawberry blond hair was even beginning to darken into a hansom red-gold and her hazel eyes had gained nothing but wisdom over the past five years. Monica knew already she would make a great caseworker, as she was close to becoming. She had a mind that was strong and a heart that was even stronger and she was already close to completing her first assignment, after which there would be a extravagant celebration for the force's newest caseworker. But until then, she would just have to settle with having an angel for a mother.

"I heard you get up." Eliza explained simply as she made her way across the kitchen in her own bathrobe and seated herself at the table. (They were actually staying in a temporary house so Eliza would have easy access to her assignment). "What are you doing up?" She inquired curiously as to her mother's strange behavior, but Monica only thought briefly about her answer before sitting down opposite her daughter at the table. "I…uh…I just couldn't sleep. That's all." She half-lied as she thought it best not to trouble her daughter with such things when she was in the middle of such an important case in her career. But it was clear enough that Eliza caught on to her mother's hesitant tone and she knew almost automatically that there was something more, but she decided it would be best not to press the matter further.

Instead, she stood from her seat once again and made her way over to the coffee maker, which had finished it's job for time being and, after grabbing two mugs out of the cupboard, she poured both her and her mother a cup. But as Eliza then made her way back to the table and placed the two mugs in front of each of them, she made a failing attempt to ignore her mother's scolding glance. "Eliza, you're too young to start drinking that stuff. I've told you before." She reproached with just a twinge of discipline reflecting in her Irish lilt, as she could never stand to be too stern with her lovely daughter, and had no choice but to smile and shake her head when Eliza said nothing in return and only raised the glass to her lips in obvious rebellion. Well, at least Monica knew her daughter had inherited more from her than just her features. Apparently it was her stubbornness as well.

But as the mother and daughter continued to talk in good company, Eliza found it was her doing most of the talking. Again, she didn't pry, but it was clear enough that her mother's mind was somewhere else. Somewhere far away…with her best friend.

Coming soon: Chapter 2