A/N: This little rambling drabble was inspired by two gorgeous Flickr photos, which for some reason I can't link to here. So, if you want to see the beautiful pics, head over to my profile for links.

To the photographers of these photos, thank you so much for helping a poor starving writer break her terrible writer's block last week. Not that either of you are reading this. XD Still, I like to give credit where credit is due.

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She remembered that once someone had called her an angel.

It hadn't been a particularly significant moment. Some of her obscure relatives had been over at her house for a family gathering. She hadn't been very old, perhaps seven or eight. Nine at the most.

An angel, the aunt or cousin or grandma or whoever had said, smiling down at her fondly. A perfect angel. Beautiful, talented, and everything.

She'd basked in the compliment, had gone about grinning for the rest of the day. Not that she thought herself an angel. Even then, she recognized the fact that she tormented and teased others too much to be considered an angel. But that didn't stop her from relishing in the praise.

By the next day, she'd already forgotten about it. She was complimented far too much to remember a specific compliment like that. She was so used to being acclaimed, in fact, that the individual ones usually ceased to have an effect on her after any longer than twenty-four hours or so. She hadn't ever thought back on that day since.

Not until today.

Courtney didn't know why she had remembered this today. Why, of all the things that could have possibly reoccurred to her, this was the one that she suddenly recollected. But she was slipping from reality, after all. And slipping, as she had learned – feeling as though you were being compressed, drowned, suffocated, pushed together and pulled apart all at once – well, it did some funny things to you. Such as recollecting tiny incidents from the past that she hadn't thought back on in years.

An angel.

She walked over to the window listlessly, staring out at the world outside. Birds flitted, cars slid by, people walked along. The sun streamed in through the curtains and window panes, warming her face. She hadn't been outside in a good month or so. But that was fine by her. She didn't want to go outside. Avoiding everything was so much easier. Yet, the one thing that she wanted to avoid most was herself. And that was the one thing she could not escape no matter how hard she tried.

A perfect angel.

It was hard to have the rug pulled out from under you just when you were at your top. Correction, when you had been at the top your whole life. She'd had it all. The looks, the skills, the attitude, the friends, the life.

Beautiful, talented, and everything.

What would that woman have said if she could see me these days? she thought with a bitter smile. I'm certainly no angel now.

Although, I never really was.

But now, there's not even a façade of one. No way to even pretend. No way to fool anyone.

She pushed her face against the panes. The glass against her face felt smooth and cool. She breathed in and out slowly, watching the glass fog up.

Then again, perhaps she could still be an angel. A fallen angel. After all, all angels must fall eventually.

An angel.

She had done more than fall, though. She had completely toppled over. Not only that, but she couldn't resurface. The dirt on her face wouldn't wash off. The bruises on her back wouldn't fade. The blood – the blood of others that she had shed – wouldn't unspill. She wouldn't, couldn't, get back up. It was too much to bear, too much for her to go on flying with.

A perfect angel.

-Fin