The Net: Guardian Angel

A/N: This is a short one shot for the tv show, partly AU as the parts not dealing with the Praetorians would never have happened on the show. I know this is a stretch for a story, but just go with it, please? I came up with the idea after watching the movie trailer for "Guardian: Cemeteries and their Sentinels" which is a new book project by Angi Sullins and Silas Toball. It can be found at www(dot)duirwaighgallery(dot)com as well as other inspirational videos, and mystical and fantastical works of art by many great artists.

WARNING: This is not a happy story, and there is a character death. To me, this story symbolizes the end of my writing fanfiction for The Net. It's time to move on to bigger and better things and no one seems interested in anything else I've written for this show recently. I'm still thinking about writing the sequel to Still Running, entitled I'll Be Your Angel but that will probably be my last piece. If anyone wants me to work on it, let me know! Otherwise, newer projects, namely fanfic for CSI, will take precedence.

I welcome all comments, except flames, and I would love to hear what you think! If you stop by to read this, please don't walk away from it without posting your thoughts. I need to know that what I'm doing here for one of my most favorite shows is appreciated. Thank you! And I'm sorry this A/N was so long. Here's the story. I hope you like it.

Jacob awoke with a start. Feeling soft grass under his hands he slowly got to his feet. Looking around, he realized it was nighttime and no moon was out. His brain felt as if it had been in a deep fog for a long time and he shook his head to clear it. Events and people he knew came whooshing back to him.

"Where am I?" he asked himself, turning around where he stood, wary of walking anywhere least he bump into something. "Angel?" he called.

Remembering her beautiful face, her angelic voice, his heart hurt not knowing where she was or what had happened to her. He prayed that she was ok, wherever she was. He hoped Sean hadn't finally gotten her.

"Angel?" he called again, louder, uncertainty filling his voice as he began to worry that something had gone terribly wrong.

"A light might help," came a deep voice from the darkness Jacob didn't recognize.

A light appeared, bright, white, held aloft in a man's raised hand high above his head of silvery grey hair. He was wearing a long white cloak, a hood running down the back. He looked at Jacob.

"Do you recognize where you are now?" he asked.

Jacob looked around again, now able to see headstones lined up in neat rows. In the distance he could barely make out a few old trees and several statues amongst the graves. He turned back to the man, a feeling of horror coming over him.

"Who are you? And what happened to Angela? Where is she?"

"I am called The Messenger," the man said. "I was sent from Heaven to tell you what happened."

"What? What do you mean? This doesn't make sense. Is it Halloween? Is this some kind of sick joke?"

"This is no joke Jacob Gabriel Resh!" The Messenger almost seemed angry before his features softened and he continued, "Do you remember the last battle with the Praetorians?"

Jacob's mind flooded with the memories:

He and Angela had been in his basement working, to find the Praetorians while his Nana baked chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen upstairs. It wasn't supposed to go down like it did. They were supposed to find the Praetorian Headquarters, but instead the Praetorians had finally located Sorcerer.

His computer system warned him that it had been hacked. Angela made a quick call to Mariano while Jacob tried to divert the hack. But time didn't afford them anything and Jacob was glad Mariano had furnished them with guns the last time they'd met.

He heard Nana call his name in a frantic voice before bullets rang out and he knew she was gone. The Praetorians came down hard and swift with no mercy. Jacob and Angela hardly had time to reach for weapons and cover themselves.

When Mariano and his men finally arrived all hell broke loose and Jacob was separated from Angela. Looking up from dealing a death blow to a Praetorian, he saw Sean Trelawney with his gun aimed at Angela, ready to fire. Jacob screamed her name and ran for her with all of his strength and will.

He dove into her, knocking her to the ground just before Trelawney pulled his trigger. She wasn't moving as he covered her body with his own and sent a return shot in Sean's direction, watching the man fall to the ground.

The rest of his memory was blank.

"She's dead?" he asked The Messenger, not wanting to believe it was true.

"Have a look at yourself."

Confused, Jacob looked down at his hands. They were so pale he could see the grass beneath his feet through them. His wide eyes sought The Messenger's and the cloaked man pointed toward a gravestone next to Jacob. He turned and read:

Jacob Gabriel Resh

1981-1999

"The best Sorcerer an Angel could ever want."

"I'm dead," Jacob tried to come to grips with the news, but couldn't. "Where's Angela? What happened?"

"You saved her life and she's been watching over you ever since."

The Messenger shined his light higher and Jacob saw two stone hands resting on his tombstone. A robed and hooded stone figure stood behind his tomb, her head bowed, strands of hair falling out. Around her waist, a sheath had been buckled, a grand sword at her side.

Bending down on one knee to see her face, a lump formed in Jacob's throat. She held an expression of resolute will and a softer expression of eternal sadness.

"Angel?" he whispered.

The features were so much like her that Jacob's heart began to crack at the fear that coursed through him.

"Tell me she survived them," he begged the cloaked man behind him.

"She did. Angela Marie Bennett is her sole identity now. She came to visit you everyday for the first six months after the fight."

Jacob's eyes widened again. "She did?"

"Everyday. But during one of her visits the graveyard's Gatekeeper told her about the Seven Guardian Stars aligning and how other tombstones came to have Guardians."

"What do you mean?" Jacob asked, finally prying his eyes away from the statue at his grave and turning back to The Messenger.

"I know this might be hard to understand, but after death some people have Guardians to protect them while they rest. It's usually for the Guardian, because they can't stand to be parted from a loved one."

Jacob looked back at Angela and wondered how this stone figure had come to be here, at his grave, looking like her. Had she really, actually loved him? Was this really her?

"A simple ritual is done. Angela came to the church and asked to be your Guardian."

"MY Guardian?" Jacob was surprised.

"She said that the great Sorcerer needed a Guardian she was the one for the job. I got her the robes and sword she would need. I taught her how to used that sword. She practiced hard with dedication everyday before and after visiting you for another six months. She made sure she was ready by the first night of the alignment. And she was. She's more deadly with that sword than anyone else I've taught," The Messenger paused, as if remembering their swordsmanship classes together. He continued, "the ritual requires that she stand here, as she is now, for all seven days before she turns to stone as your Guardian. But should anyone attempt to do harm on you she'll break free to protect you and return to frozen stone again afterward."

"How...how long have I been...been...dead?"

"Some people wake up instantly after death, some take weeks, months, others take years. You've been gone two years. She's been your Guardian for one."

"Why isn't her name on the stone too?"

"She is neither dead nor alive. She just is. And she will be until her years on earth are up. When she would normally pass on had she not done this, she will meet you in the next world, no older than when she turned to stone. When she does, her name will be added beside yours."

"She did this for me?" Jacob asked, still in shock. "For me?"

"She loved you very much."

"She never said anything," Jacob's voice was low as he turned back to Angela, resting a hand on hers. "And neither did I."

Upon closer look he saw wet tracks running down her face from her eyes. She was crying silent tears for him.

"Angel?"

Her hand felt soft, the way he remembered them when they were both still alive, though it still resembled the grey stone. With the sound of stone grating on stone her head came up and she looked him in the eyes with a blank stare that was somehow still her. She moved her other hand on top of his.

"Angel, I love you. I'm sorry I never told you before," Jacob whispered.

I know, Jacob. I love you too and I'm sorry I never said anything either. Her lips never moved but he heard her beautiful voice talking to him all the same.

"I'll be waiting for you."

I'll be there as soon as I can.

Her hand lifted from his and came to rest against his face for a moment before falling back to its place on his tombstone. Her head bent again and he no longer felt the soft skin of her hands but the rough stone.

Tears tracked his face where her hand had been.

"How long would she have lived?"

"That, I cannot tell you, for even I do not know."

There was a long pause as Jacob stared at Angela's stone form, hands resting on his tombstone, her head bent, tears dripping from her face to land with heavy splashes onto his stone.

"Do you have any more questions before I must go?"

Jacob thought for a moment and shook his head.

"Then I wish you the best."

The Messenger's light went out but a new light brightened in front of Jacob. It came from Angela, about where her heart should have been, Jacob guessed, a feeling of wonder coming over him.

"She has found the light from within that I told her to look for after you'd woken from your long sleep," The Messenger's voice explained in the darkness behind Jacob. "That light is for you. And only you will be able to see it once I'm gone."

Jacob only nodded. After another long pause he felt a breath of hot wind and knew The Messenger was gone, finally leaving him alone with Angela's stone form. He placed a hand on each of hers, and, with tears coursing down his cheeks he looked up into her resolute face. Among the hardened will and eternal sadness he found another expression that hadn't been there before: eternal love.

Feeling her warm light seeping into him through his hands, he smiled through his tears.

"Thank you, Angel. Thank you very much."

The End

A/N: Please do not forget to post a review. Thanks.

If you would like to read more fanfiction for The Net(tv show, not the movie), especially I'll Be Your Angel (the sequel to Still Running), please let me know! If I don't have requests for new works, none will be produced.

I thank you all who have read and loved my stories for this show through the years. Thank you for taking the time to read them and to post comments and reviews. They were all wonderful and gratefully received. I don't know what I would have done without them to keep me writing. Thank you guys! Thank you very much!

And please don't hesitate to read some of my other fanfiction if you're interested. There is one chapter fic posted for the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, two stories for Walker Texas Ranger, and two for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation(WARNING: mostly slash) with more to come in the future, as well as the possibility of other shows new and old alike.