Author's Note: This is just en epilogue, so it isn't very long. And it's written from a perspective I've never written in before. I'm so proud. I've been thinking about this for a long time. When the idea for this story came to me, I was listening to the CD and I started thinking that it would be great to use these songs, but I wanted to use "Mercy" so much. Then, I thought that "Say (All I Need)" would be a better end. And then I thought of an epilogue, but then I said to myself, "Then it wouldn't be a 3-parter." And, well. . .Here I have an epilogue. Enjoy!!

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Epilogue: Mercy

The lights dimmed and the curtains pulled away. The crowd cheered. The guitar player and drummer where set on stage. Phoebe looked absolutely lovely at the piano, her smile wide and oh-so pleasant. And. . .


The entire table in center, sat still. The rest of the crowd wasn't sure how to react either. What happened to the singer of Dreaming Out Loud? Was Helga recruited in her place?

"What are you doing up there, Helga?" Harold laughed.

"Yeah," Sid chided, "Did you lose your way?"

Stinky laughed, "Yeah," he echoed, "Have you sauntered off in the wrong direction?"

"Shut it, you losers!" Helga shouted into the mike. The crowd groaned, some covered their ears. "I. . .I'm the singer of the group. Up until now, I'd been wearing a disguise."

Everyone stared up at her.

Her angry scowl appeared on her face. "I'll prove it!" she shouted, startling the crowd. She motioned to the band with her hand and a familiar sound filled the room. Phoebe played the piano for a bit and then Helga sang. The lyrics were familiar, too. It was the song the group first played at The Song Bird. That heavenly voice. . .

The guitar played and then Helga stopped.

Every mouth in the audience was open wide. She motioned again and another, softer familiar sound played. The second song.

Her voice was gentle and oh-so lovely. Lila was touched, truly touched by Helga's voice.

"Helga!" everyone at Lila's table exclaimed.

"It can't be!" Rhonda shouted as she stood.

"Then," Stinky said turning to Arnold, "that means-"

Arnold laughed, shrugging. "I'm in love."


People spoke all at once, their minds exploding.

"Ya got a problem with that?!" Helga warned.

No one knew what to say, but then there was an explosion of voices and a wave of questions tumbled out of everyone's mouth.

"It's wonderful!" Lila said finally, a tear in her eye. "You've got a beautiful voice, Helga!" Helga wasn't the only one surprised by Lila's sudden exclamation. "It could only belong to you. It makes sense."

"Are you listening to yourself?" Rhonda asked. "It's Helga!"

"Its mind blowing," Nadine said.

"It makes perfect sense to me," Lila said, never once taking her eyes off Helga, making the other girl a little uncomfortable. "Please, sing for us again, Helga."

People began to sit, waiting. Helga turned to Arnold. When he nodded, Helga motioned to the band. The guitar player began first, softly touching the strings on his guitar. The crowd sat still, taking in a deep breath, waiting on edge of their seats to hear Helga's voice again. Maybe, they thought, they had it wrong. Maybe it wasn't Helga's voice they had all been dazzled by.

Helga began to sing with a gentleness that was uncharacteristic of her, but it was so fitting. Lila knew just by looking that this was Helga's true self. The girl that stood on stage with a gentle song was the real Helga Pataki, the one that had been hiding behind the tough exterior that everyone else knew. This was Helga Pataki. The real Helga Pataki.

The guitar took off and the drums played along as Helga ended her second verse and went into her third. "Angel of Mercy. . .How did you find me? How did you pick me up again? Angel of Mercy. . .How did you move me? Why am I on my feet again? And I see you. . .whoa. . .whoa. . .whoa. . ." She held the note for a moment.

The music slowed a bit. The guitar played softly and then the drums picked up the pace as Helga sang again.

"I wanted to love. . .its all my fault now. . .A tragedy for sure. . ." Her voice took off as she sang the chorus. "Angel of Mercy. . .How did you find me? How did you pick me up again?"

She held on to the mike and closed her eyes as she sang from the heart. Every word dripped with the emotions she felt and every emotion she sang was conveyed to the crowd. Lila glanced over in Arnold's direction. They hadn't been together for very long, Lil could safely assume this, given the fact that Arnold performed the previous Friday and by then already knew who Helga truly was. But even so, his positive personality really let Helga open up her soul. Now she bore it all in front of them. Lila could tell Helga's Angel of Mercy was Arnold himself.

Good for you, she thought. You deserve this happiness. Arnold will be good to you.

"Whoa. . .whoa. . .whoa. . .I feel you. . .whoa. . .whoa. . .whoa. . .ooo. . ."

She opened her eyes as she swayed her hips. "I'm so lost in you. . ." her eyes fell on Arnold and he looked right back, their eyes locked in a loving embrace. "A tragedy seemed to be over now. . . .A tragedy it seemed to be. . ." She dove into the chorus again, her eyes never leaving Arnold's.

"And I see you. . .whoa. . .whoa. . .whoa. . .ooo. . .And I feel you. . .whoa. . .whoa. . .whoa. . ." She let her voice soar. It was like a caged bird bursting through the open door of it metal constraints and spreading it's wings wide and flying off into freedom. "And I feel you. . .oh. . .oh. . .whoa. . ." Her voice was so raw with emotion that it was amazing and then it softened. "I feel you. . .oh. . .oh. . .oooh. . ."

There was a silence that fell upon the crowd when Helga's song ended, but her voice remained lingering in the air. No one wanted to speak. They were awed by her and they also wanted to catch the sound of that lingering voice before it completely faded away.

Lila didn't know who started it, but the crowd began to applaud and rise. Their cheers reached deep into Helga's heart and pulled with them a gratitude that Lila had never seen before. Tears formed in Helga's eyes. "Thank you," she said into the mike, though to Lila it seemed as though she meant it more to herself.

"And don't you ever mention this around me again!" she shouted into the mike, but the crowd's joy and approval of her almost washed over the sound of her voice.

From here on out, Lila hoped that Helga would sing again. It would be a shame, she thought, if the world didn't hear the sound of your voice again.