Butterflies and Angels without Wings

The door to the house opened with a flourish as its third renter, Fred the guardian angel, got back from wherever it was that he had so obscurely been spending his time. Normally the happy-go-lucky Angel turned mail clerk turned P.A. rode back from work with Jane Bingham, his ward. Even though he was stuck on Earth, he had yet to learn how to drive. Today it seemed he had found his way home in some other way, seemingly walking.

It was late and Fred looked exhausted as he walked trancelike to the couch, still serving as his bed, where he flopped down on his back and stared at the ceiling looking dazed. He did not greet the fellow renter that was present: Stacey, Deb/Jane's besty. Stacey looked inquiringly at Fred. Something was obviously off. Everything it seemed had changed for him when he lost his angelic status. Little did she understand...

"I feel...strange...I think..." Fred stated sedately, his timbre unfeeling. Everything was different. Again. He tilted his head backwards and watched Stacey, who was standing at the breakfast bar, upside-down. Absently he put a hand on his stomach.

"Really. Strange...funny...I dunno..." his tone was listless, but his mind was anything but. There was a familiar pressure against his back...he missed it...not that anyone could see them, but now that he had them back, he wasn't so sure...

"It's a ticklish feeling... had it since noon...Maybe it was something I ate," as Fred spoke, the corner of his mouth twitched a little. Stacey thought of his lips. She still didn't understand what was going on with him, why he had left so suddenly after their kiss.

Intuitively she knew that she had something to do with his demotion to humanity and his departure. It was really only recently that she had begun to understand. When she had overheard Jane talking to Fred about her... about him... about what they had once shared together.

It was unsettling to think that she had forgotten that they had already been a couple, albeit for only two days. They must have been two wonderful days for an angel to have given up everything that he ever knew just so that he could be with her, Stacey, formerly called shallow.

All the same, she pushed the thoughts from her mind and focused on Fred's problem. He was still lying on his back with one hand on his stomach thoughtfully staring into space. Stacey smiled knowingly. She walked to the chair facing opposite the couch, and sat, folding her hands between her legs, and leaned forward eagerly.

"So. Who is she?" she asked perkily for the lateness of the hour, but it was only for show. Stacey still wasn't sure how to feel about him.

"Who, Denise?"

"Denise who?"

"DuPont. Denise DuPont,"

"From?"

"She's Caldwell's new client,"

"Ah. I see," Stacey's eyes widened sparkling. If she wasn't right for him, then maybe this Denise was. All she wanted was for him to be happy, but her heart still fell a little.

Fred no longer seemed so dazed. "What does Denise have to do with all this?" he asked, eyebrows arched, his newly alert gaze resting on Stacey as he sat up.

"When did she have her appointment?"

"Around lunch break. Caldwell wasn't there so-"

"You said that you first had butterflies in your tummy around noon, right?"

"Stomach, the proper term is stomach. Wait," Fred deadpanned. "Did you say Butterflies?" Stacey nodded quite seriously. "But what-"

"All I'm trying to say, silly, is that the 'tickle' in your 'stomach' began at lunch. What happened at lunch? You met Denise. Obviously she's the reason for it right?" she looked at him hard trying to get her point across.

"..."

"You are a classic case Freddy! You have the Love Bug, the Craze, whatever you want to term it - you're in love!"

"No,"

"What do you mean, 'no'? You have exhibited all of the classic symptoms of-"

"I said NO!"

"But I..." Stacey's mouth snapped shut at his hurt and angry glare.

"I am not in...I'm not in love," He turned on hell and with bare feet walked out of the door.


Fred walked around the neighborhood in distress till he feet were sore, which, if he was actually still human, wouldn't have taken long considering the fact that he had walked home barefoot from the Firm. Technically his feet weren't actually sore, because he, Fred, was once again a celestial being with wings protruding elegantly from his back.

Yet it seemed that since he returned from L.A. fully human he, even in his current form, had retained the human fallacies and attributes. It first it had been disorienting. Now he was fully unsettled. Gatekeeper of heaven to guardian angel to human and then back to guardian angel... it was a lot to go through all at once.

And there was still Stacey. The passion in his heart flared at the thought of her. The most perfect thing that he had ever seen in his long lived life. She, of all people, was the one to declare him to be in love with another. It seemed he would never get Stacey to feel for him how he felt for her.

But at the same time, there was now the question of his wholly human feelings for Denise. Did he love her? Well, he supposed, Stacey probably knew the side affects of love better than he. But the feelings that he had had for Stacey had shown themselves in totally different way.

He sighed heavily as he sat down rather dejectedly on a bench. "Do I want to bring her the MEAT?" he asked himself. And the thought was undoubtedly...

Loose dark chocolate locks cascading in ringlets down her shoulders...lovely sapphire eyes framed by long dark lashes... Long flowing and blonde tresses with wispy blonde bangs...large and innocent green eyes...pale skin with a healthy flush that looked about as soft as a flower petal, slim feminine figure...glorious laugh and full pink lips that touched his...

Denise.

Stacey...

"Maybe I have a human complex," he wondered aloud to himself, and looking up to heaven, "Why me?" and then after a moment, "I am such a workaholic!" he sighed again.

Fred closed his eyes and murmured. "Focus...soul's eternal joy... soul's eternal joy..."

He blinked and he saw her eyes.

"Stacey..."

"Hey,"

"Hey,"

Stacey sat down on the bench next to a very forlorn looking Fred. "Look, I'm no archangel..." he trailed off. She looked him over. His longish brown hair was mussed and his grey suit pants wrinkled. The purple tie was hanging untied around his neck and under the collar of his white button up. He had loosed the top three buttons. He looked positively beaten. His head was hung down and he was sitting hunched looking at his bare feet dangling just off the ground.

"Did you walk home barefoot?" Stacey asked him concernedly, leaning over to meet his eyes.

"Yeah, I did," He turned his head and looked out at the street lit by the glow of street lamps. All else was dark and stars filled the sky. Stacey looked foreword too, and as she did so, saw a single white and golden feather floating down to the sidewalk. It landed right at Fred's reddened feet, sore from the amount of walking he had done on pavement.

Stacey leaned down and picked up the peculiar feather. It was perfect in colouration, and there were no tears in the plume. It was flecked with gold, and the tip was wholly golden in colour, but the rest was a pure and flawless shade of white.

As she examined the feather, Stacey felt Fred's eyes on her. "Great," he said heavily. "I'm molting," Stacey looked up at him suddenly in response to his words.

"It's...yours?" She asked eyes widening.

"Yeah, I haven't lost a feather in eons. I only find loose feathers lying around when I am completely stressed out. Never otherwise. My wings are in perfect health," he said as if he discussed preening everyday.

"I meant, you have wings?" Stacey asked quizzical, "I thought-"

"No! I...I...crap..."

"I thought you lost your wings," she peered as him from behind the feather. Fred had just betrayed himself to her. She supposed he thought that she thought him crazy.

"How did you...?" Fred stammered, honestly looked shell shocked at her admission. "How...how..."

"I overheard you and Jane. And, um, well I... I sort of remember some of what you did. Um, you wrote me a poem, you serenaded me... um, we, um..." Stacey pressed a gentle kiss to his lips and he slid his arms around her returning it eagerly.

"Umm, yeah,um..." he mumbled awkwardly after she pulled away.

"What did you mean by Soul's Eternal Joy?" Stacey asked leaning her head on his shoulder, and pressing to his side on the bench. She was sure that it was past midnight already. Fred put an arm tentatively around her shoulders.

"Love of my life, soul mate, you know, the lord's lingo for celestial spouse,"

"Ahhh," came her airy reply. Stacey blinked a couple times sleepily. "Who is she?" she asked mid yawn.

It was a moment or so before Fred answered. "My soul's eternal joy is you," He gazed down at her lovely face. She was asleep. "It always was and always will be you, Stacey," Fred brushed her wispy bangs out of her eyes and gazed up to heaven once more in silent understanding and acceptance.

Stacey was his. Forever. Always. They might not always be together, but that would not change how he felt. How she felt. Fred sat there with Stacey for a long time, just looking up at his former, and once again, eternal home. Someday they could be together. And then it would be forever.

The butterflies were gone. In there place was genuine contentment. There was happiness, comfort. There was love. Fred's eyes glazed over as the street grew dark and the sky was black velvet with diamonds that glinted in his chocolate brown orbs.