Meeting God we stand in line, not alone
Nowhere to go
I'm not leaving, not going
I'm not kissing you goodbye
On my own, I'm nothing, just bleeding
I'm not kissing you goodbye

She flies. Not knowing where she is going, but rather forced away from the house by the invisible force of hatred, she flies, as ashes fall behind her and the air trembles with the heat of her wings. Her tears fall fast, both from her sadness and from the cold air that hits her eyes like a whip, forcing her to swerve haphazardly between trees, hills, buildings. Jade keeps avoiding the obstacles in her path, not quite sure of the reason why: wouldn't it be better simply to collide, to stop everything in its tracks? She is no longer an angel, no longer immortal. She can die at any time.

And these obstacles keep beckoning, a call for the end of sorrow, the end of pain, a peaceful relief: a call for nothing. Right now, Jade is surrounded by everything, a rush of emotions, none of them positive. How welcome would nothing be?

"Well done, Jade," whispers Death. "It is a rarity, I think, to meet an angel who admits to her own faults, such faults that would guarantee a very painful… fall. I have to commend you."

"Go away!" Jade sobs, trying to get away; but wings of fire do not carry people at speed. She plummets downwards, filled with terror.

"You can't escape now, Jade," Death says, its calmness taunting her. "I'm right behind you. Always following you, always speaking to you, always speaking to everybody. Death is omnipresent, Jade. People die everywhere. People like you."

"Or Vicky."

Jade turns to face Death, her wings struggling to support her now that she is stationary.

"Or Vicky," Death slowly repeats Jade's words.

"Is Vicky dead yet? Or is she still being tortured by you, just like you're torturing me?"

Silence.

"Tell me!"

"She's alive, in the loosest sense of the word."

"What do you mean?"

"She's alive, just as you are alive. Incapable of feeling any emotion except the deepest sadness, barely able to fly, let alone do that which normal human beings take for granted. When she speaks, her voice is flat; her words have no meaning besides what you find in a dictionary. Her sentences do not come from the heart, but are simply stock phrases."

"This conversation, it means nothing. You're speaking in clichés."

"Her heart is dead, both physically and emotionally. That is what happens to the Fallen."

Jade's mouth opens, but she is unable to speak. Realising this weakness, Death continues.

"The Fallen. Sometimes they don't even know it themselves, only letting glimpses of their broken hearts through…"

"No, you're not. I threw myself in front of…"

"… and they realise. Just for a split second, they realise what they have become. They realise that they are not angels; they are servants of the Devil himself. It is, perhaps, tragic that they cannot see the fire in their own wings, when others around them cannot help but point it out…"

"Vicky, I'm sorry…"

"Save it, Jade!"

"… and thank God, the Fallen don't realise. If they did, they would be completely consumed, perhaps too soon for them to recognise their faults. If they realise before they fall, perhaps there is still a chance for redemption. But if not…"

"Don't fall, Vicky! Once you've fallen, there's no going back!"

"… then it is only a matter of time. Only a matter of time before they lose all sense of humanity. They do the cruelest things, the Fallen…"

"I'm so sorry, Vicky." Jade's voice, Jade's hand, Jade's saving grace. Her strong grasp, keeping Vicky from her fate. "I didn't mean for this to happen."

Let her go.

And Vicky falls.

"… and yet they're never aware of the traps they're backing themselves into…"

"I can't make that promise."

"… only seeing their own troubles…"

"You were just being selfish, as usual!"

"… not possessing the heart or soul to acknowledge the true humans, the ones who do have feelings, emotions…"

"I didn't mean… I didn't think…"

"… those who do speak their own words, rather than empty phrases…"

"Well, then, you obviously can't mean a word of it."

"No!" Jade wails, her voice frantic. "I mean every word!"

"… and it is then that they cannot return."

"Get out! I don't ever want to see you again!"

Words, actions, a flurry of thoughts, flying at Jade like a swarm of wasps. No matter how hard she tries to beat them away, tries to avoid the truth that tears at her stone cold heart, she cannot.

She realises.

It is only after ten miles of constant flight that she realises her wings are burning.

"I was Fallen all along."

Death smirks, hands twitching as if it wants to applaud Jade.

"Congratulations. You've finally realised. God isn't stupid Jade. Rather like me, He is omnipresent. Remember that word? He is everywhere, all the time, even in your own thoughts. He knew that you killed yourself, from the very second you ran away from that inquest. You were never an angel, Jade. You were constantly falling. And it looks like you've hit the ground at last."

"Why was I in Heaven? Aren't the Fallen instantly condemned to Hell?"

"Because Vicky was crying for you. God is not just omnipresent, He is kind. Kind enough to bring one of the Fallen into Heaven, if it would be enough to cheer a broken heart."

"But if He knew that I killed myself, why did He not know what Vicky had done? Surely she would have Fallen at the very moment I died."

"Because Vicky repented! You should realise that! The very moment you died, she was struck with the most unbelievable grief! It was only when you fought that she ceased to regret letting you die. It was only then that she fell."

"I'm sorry for killing myself!"

"Not sorry enough, it seems."

Death begins to back away from Jade.

"Wait."

Death pauses.

"Yes?"

"Where is Vicky?"

"She's still on Earth, trying to save herself from the inevitable condemnation. Perhaps, for now, she has enough strength left in her to cling onto the edge of humanity. She'll fall eventually, of course. But you, on the other hand… you're weak already. You can barely fly for all the time you've been falling. I'm afraid it's goodbye for you, Jade."

Death reaches again towards Jade, preparing to take her in its cold grasp, but Jade fights back.

"NO!"

"You cannot stop your own death, Jade…"

But there is a glimmer of humanity left in her, the weak glow left from a dying candle. It is enough for her to push Death away.

"I'm not dying yet!"

Vicky is calling her. A seemingly futile cry for help, but one that carries such weight in it.

"I'm not leaving Vicky!"

Death backs away, a look of steely determination in its eyes. While Jade flies off, her wings burning as furiously as ever, it reaches into its black robes, and turns over the hourglass it finds there.


A/N: I hope you liked reading that chapter. I, for one, am absolutely exhausted. XD In my typical manner of shameless begging, please review!

SONG: Kissing You Goodbye – The Used