Written by: CI and KP
After they had finally arrived back Home, the first thing Andrew realized was that his two friends wanted to go their separate ways and he was shocked as well to realize that he wanted to be alone as well. He continued walking until he found a place to sit down and think, and soon he reached a beautiful tree which he slumped down underneath.
Although he knew that Patrick was finally at peace, and that he was safe in the Father's arms right now, that didn't do anything to comfort the angel right now. The look that Paddy had given him before he had walked away with the Angel of Death, and the last words he whispered, would forever be etched in Andrew's mind and guilt tore through him like never before. He was in far too much shock to cry anymore, and even if he felt like it, he knew that he had cried enough today to last him the rest of his existence.
As he sat down underneath the tree, Andrew wrapped his arms around his legs and rested his head in his folded arms; he was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn't even see Rose walking slowly towards him, sadness showing plainly in her blue eyes.
Sitting down next to him the older angel looked at him sadly, plainly see the pain etched across his handsome face,
"How are you doing, honey?" She asked gently. Seeing him shrug his shoulders, she continued softly,
"We heard about what happened, Angel Boy. I'm sure the three of you did the best you could for Patrick, but you know as well as I do that our messages from the Father aren't always heard in time."
"I know," He whispered, shaking his head,
"I keep going over it in my head, again and again trying to think if there was anything more we could have done…Monica and I had only found out that morning that Paddy was even there…we barely had time to make a difference, before he…" He lowered his head once more in grief.
"I know, honey," Rose sighed sadly as she reached over and wrapped a gentle arm around his slumped shoulders,
"This wasn't part of His plan, Angel Boy; you do know that, right?"
"I guess..." Andrew whispered hoarsely, not once looking over at her as he continued staring straight ahead,
"But I guess I'm supposed to feel that way, right?" He lowered his head briefly to his arms and wiped the wetness off of his cheeks before he finally looked at his friend for the first time,
"How are Brady and Cindy handling all of this?"
Rubbing his shoulders soothingly, the elderly angel was silent for a few moments as she prayed for the right words to say, as she didn't want to cause Andrew to leave and be alone when he was so upset,
"Sweetheart...I have some more news I need to tell you. Tess and Carla are informing your two charges right now, and I need to tell you."
"This doesn't sound good, Rose," Andrew whispered, his eyes steadily meeting hers,
"Just don't tell me this assignment isn't over…I'm not sure any of us could take anymore right now…"
"No, honey, the assignment is over and you all three have time off," Rose reassured him. Drawing in a deep breath, she decided not to put it off any longer,
"As you can well imagine, Cindy and Brady are devastated as well. Tess and I saw Cindy earlier and well, Brady says he is finished with angels as he put it. We're being asked to honor his wishes, which means none of us will be attending the funeral. I'm sure he's just upset, Angel Boy and this will all blow over.."
Unable to hold back the tears that were forming in his green eyes any longer, Andrew turned his head sharply away from his friend and former supervisor and whispered shakily,
"So we may never see them again..."
"Angel Boy, don't say 'never'-"
"You said so yourself that they're through with angels," Andrew uttered, his eyes now looking up at the sky,
"You know that this type of thing has happened before...with Carol and Patrick, after Wendy died. They pushed us away...and now Brady and Cindy; Rose, why is this happening...?"
Shaking her head, Rose allowed her tears to trickle down her gentle face as she gently turned her younger friend's face towards her so that they're eyes met,
"I don't know, sweetheart; if I did, I would most certainly tell you..."
"I can't believe this…Monica and I have been a part of this family for close to 50 years, Rose and suddenly, that's it? It's over?" He uttered sadly.
"Just for the moment, honey. Brady just needs some time and is looking for someone to blame when in reality, there really is no one to blame. But better he blame angels than his family as they need each other right now. You just hang onto your Angel Girl right now, and Kevin as the three of you need each other. You'll see each other through all of this, I promise you will." Rose encouraged.
"I hope so, Rose," He whispered,
"I really hope so…"
As she gently wiped the tears away from his handsome face, Rose sighed softly before wrapping her friend up in her arms and holding onto him tightly, wishing that her arms could take away the pain he was feeling, but also knowing that only the Father Himself could do that.
Monica looked up to the sound of the familiar voice and nearly burst into a round of fresh tears at the sight of Tess standing beside her. Rising to her feet from where she sat by the clear blue crystal lake at Home, the little Irish angel headed as quickly as she could to her former supervisor and was almost immediately wrapped up in a tight hug,
"Yes, baby," Tess whispered softly, holding onto her former charge tightly,
"I'm so sorry, sweetheart, I'm sorry you had to witness that."
"It…It was horrible, Tess," Monica sobbed brokenly,
"The whole last two months have been horrible and I don't understand most of it…we went to help Angel and it all wound up going so terribly wrong…"
"It seems that way, Angel Girl, doesn't it?" the older angel tried to soothe her younger friend, but it wasn't helping much and now to have to tell her this other news which would surely further break her already broken heart,
"Sweetheart, I'm afraid I have some more bad news…"
At those words, Monica felt herself stiffen up and she slowly pulled away from Tess and looked at her through blurred vision,
"What more could possibly go wrong?"
"Angel Girl, I think we should have a seat..." Tess offered as she placed a hand on her 'Angel Girl's' back and ushered back over to the edge of the lake where Monica was sitting before she arrived,
"Baby, I wish I didn't have to say this, but I have no choice..."
Noticing that the younger angel didn't say a word, Tess continued, her voice laced with deep sadness,
"Baby girl, Rose and I stopped by the Sullivan's after we heard about Paddy...Monica, Brady has come to the conclusion that he doesn't want any angels around the house anymore, and that he's through with them. I am so terribly sorry, Angel Girl, but that also means that we can't go to Paddy's funeral...none of us can..."
For several moments, Monica just starred at her friend through tear-filled eyes, before she spoke, trying to keep her emotions intact,
"Did we do something wrong, Tess? Did we fail this assignment?"
"No, Angel Girl…none of you failed-." Tess began but Monica cut her off.
"Doesn't Brady know that?" She demanded, rising to her feet, her entire body shaking.
"Deep down inside, I'm sure he does, baby, but he is grieving right now and angry…" Tess tried to say as calmly as she could, sensing her Angel Girl was anything but calm at the moment.
"Well, he isn't the only one!" Monica cried out, her grief and guilt causing her temper to explode,
"He doesn't have any right to keep us away! They're our family too!"
"I know you've always felt that way about them, Monica, you and Andrew both, but that doesn't make it the truth. They are humans and you are an angel and we have to honor what is being asked."
"Well I can't do that!" The Irish angel yelled, looking up at the older angel with angry eyes,
"I'm not staying away from Patrick's funeral or from the rest of the family-"
"Oh yes you are, Angel Girl," Tess interrupted, her voice though in control, was also filled with sympathy,
"Baby, you remember what happened when Wendy died, when we went against the Hendrickson's orders to stay away. The Father doesn't want that same mistake again-"
"So you think Brady's going to have a heart attack if I come? Is that it?" Monica snapped back, brushing back her former supervisor and started stomping away, but stopped as Tess called after her.
"I didn't say that, Monica; but you will be going against God's orders as well if you go to the funeral!" She firmly replied, wishing the younger angel would turn around and look at her,
"Brady is upset and angry right now, and we just need to give them all some space and then maybe he'll be thinking more clearly!"
So angry and hurt she could hardly see straight, Monica walked away, only stopping long enough to toss tearfully over her shoulder,
"And of course it is all about what Brady wants!"
Sighing softly, Tess turned away, knowing that had not gone well at all, not that she had expected it to, she only hoped Rose and Carla were having better luck.
"I can't believe this," Kevin uttered as he looked at Carla incredulously,
"They're done with us? We don't get to see them anymore?"
"Just not for now, Kev," Carla replied sadly, watching her friend worriedly,
"They've been through so much and they need a little time."
Running a hand through his brown hair, Kevin placed his head in his hands and shook his head miserably,
"This is completely my fault...all of it is my fault, Carla..."
"How can you say that, Kev?" The little blonde angel asked gently as she knelt down next to him and rested a hand on his shoulder,
"None of it is your fault-"
"Oh it is, Carla," The youngest angel whispered in reply as tears clouded his brown eyes,
"You weren't there when I betrayed Andrew for the second time in 2 months...when I betrayed both of my friends, and turned my back on them. Things could've gone much smoother if only I had trusted Andrew..."
"Kevin, I don't see how any of this stuff ties in…" Carla began, her green eyes filled with confusion.
"Let me spell it out for you, Carla," Kevin began sadly, looking into his friend's eyes,
"When Andrew had been burned, look at the horrible example I set for Paddy in dealing with Amy. Had he been reassured about going to her, instead of watching me avoid Andrew, maybe he would have made peace with what happened to Amy and have accepted part of the responsibility for it instead of getting so angry and lashing out at everyone. He did the same thing I did, Carla, don't you see that? I lashed out at Monica and Tess when they tried to talk to me about seeing Andrew, so what would make Paddy think it was not perfectly acceptable to do the same thing?"
Carla sighed sadly as she nodded her head,
"I wish I didn't, but I see your point…"
"Then I left them both because for some reason, I thought Thorn was cool, and Andrew winds up arrested and Monica is nearly stabbed to death and had we all just stayed together, there would have been more time to focus on Paddy. Instead we wind up with a day and half before he takes his own life, Carla!" Miserably, he lowered his head into his hands,
"And I know that Andrew nor Monica holds it against me, but I hold it against myself."
"You're right, none of us hold it against you, Kev...but sooner or later, you're going to have to forgive yourself," Carla gently told him as she rubbed his back soothingly,
"You won't be able to move on if you don't, and neither will Andrew and Monica. I know that they blame themselves as well..."
"Everything has just fallen apart, and I don't know if it will ever be the same again," The youngest Caseworker weakly replied, wiping at his face with his shaking hands,
"I know that God can do anything, and I know that He's forgiven me...but I don't have it in me to forgive myself..."
"Then I'll help you, Kev," Carla whispered through her own tears,
"I'll help you."
Written by: CI and KP
Cindy sat, sheet white in the car as she and Brady headed home from the hospital, having just identified the body of their only son. She was trembling from head to toe and silent tears streaked her cheeks and she was amazed that Brady had been able to remain strong, though his expression was clouded with grief and anger. Trying to find her voice, she spoke up softly,
"Tess and Rose were by earlier…they said Paddy killed himself…that Andrew and Monica tried to talk him out of it, but he wouldn't listen…"
"Cindy," He interrupted her gruffly,
"I never want to hear the names of any angels mentioned in my house, my car or my presence again. Are we clear on that?"
Shooting a tearful glance his way, she replied,
"They're my friends, Brady…for God's sake, Monica is all but my sister-."
"They were your friends and she was your sister," He replied angrily,
"Not anymore. Friends and sisters don't bring this kind of trouble wherever they go!"
"They didn't bring any trouble! They tried to help, Brady and you know it!"
"No, I don't know it!" Brady snapped, banging his hands down on the steering wheel and was about to continue when he saw his wife flinch and turn tearfully away from him. Hesitantly reaching a hand out, he touched Cindy on the shoulder as gently as he could,
"I'm sorry, Princess-"
"No, you're not sorry," Cindy shoved his hand away and glared over at him,
"What in the name of Heavens has gotten into you this past month? You aren't the husband I married anymore; and now you're telling me who I can be friends with. If you don't want them in your existence anymore, then fine. But you're NOT going to tell me who I can and can not see."
His face turning beat red, Brady inwardly fumed as he fought to keep his temper under control,
"Cindy, they were sent to HELP Patrick, not cause him to...to kill himself!"
"They didn't!" Cindy screamed as she found herself hyperventelating,
"How dare you even say such a thing about them, Andrew and Monica of all angels! I love them so much, and I've known them since I was a little girl! They did all they could without giving away their identity, and Patrick was high on drugs for Pete's sake! I saw the looks on Tess and Rose's faces when they showed up on our doorstep this afternoon...they were devestated, and so are Andrew, Monica and Kevin, just as much as we are!"
"Well, they should've tried harder," Brady fumed as he turned his eyes away from her and started to turn on the ignition and start the car up, but Cindy put her hand out and stopped him.
"We're not going back until we have settled this-"
"Yes we are," Brady interrupted, pushing her hand away and starting the car up again,
"We're getting out of here. Wendy and Angel are waiting back at the house." Shooting a quick glance at his furious wife, Brady sucked in a shaky breath as he saw her turn her head sharply away from him and looked out the car window,
"If you don't want to talk like a civilized human being, then that's fine with me," She whispered angrily, her tear-filled blue eyes never looking at him,
"Just take me home."
"You want to be that way, that's fine with me!" Brady snapped, as he pulled the car out of the parking lot.
"I just can't believe how soon you forget things! Our son is dead, Brady, and nothing is going to bring him back, ever! But for me to lose those angels as well might be more than I can handle! Have you forgotten how Monica gave herself to the darkness to spare our two daughters? Or how Andrew talked that monster into taking him as hostage and letting you and Angel go? Or how about the way they were there the whole time while dad was dying?" Cindy stated bitterly.
"Andrew never would have had to bail Angel and I out had Monica not walked into the man's office that day to tell him off, or have you forgotten that piece of it? Every time I turn around one of them is in trouble!" Brady snapped back at her,
"I've nursed Monica back to health more times than I can count when she has gotten herself into trouble, and lets talk about how anytime something is wrong with Andrew, the whole house stops, despite the fact that my daughter is pregnant and my son is completely out of control-."
"They tried to help through all of that!" Cindy flared, her expression one of pure fury,
"Kevin tried to talk to Patrick, Andrew tried to talk to Patrick! The problem is that he was as stubborn as his father is!" Immediately regretting saying anything negative about her son, Cindy lowered her face to her hands and began to sob once more.
Sighing softly, Brady reached over to lay a hand on her shoulder,
Angrily, Cindy slapped his hand away,
"Don't touch me!" She hissed at him as she turned her face away once more.
"Fine," Brady remarked darkly, his jaw set in anger,
"But I meant what I said. From this day on, they are out of our lives."
Unbeknownst to either human, as the car fell silent, the little Irish angel sitting in the back seat, tears streaking her face over all that had been said, vanished from the car and their lives.
Wendy gently rocked Angel in her arms as both girls sobbed brokenly over the news of their brother's death. The twins had been up in Wendy's room for the past few hours, and neither had come down to face their parents or Amy's father after they had left for the hospital. In all honesty, Wendy was rather furious at her father at the moment; she hadn't meant to eavesdrop over their heated conversation earlier, but the teenager had heart every angry word coming out of her father's mouth about him no longer accepting Andrew, Monica, Kevin or the rest of their angelic friends in the house.
"This can't be happening..." Angel sobbed brokenly in her older sister's arms as she never lifted her head from where it rested on her shoulder,
"Wen, this isn't happening..."
Biting her lip as she wasn't sure of what to say at the moment, Wendy just buried her own face in her sister's hair and continued rocking her. Minutes ticked by before the blonde teen finally spoke up, her voice trembling madly,
"I'm going to miss them all so much...every last one of them...Paddy, Andrew, Monica..." Her voice broke off on a sob as she was unable to continue.
"Why would he k-kill himself like that? How could he be so selfish...?" Angel wept as she weakly pulled away from Wendy and looked through blurred vision at her,
"Wendy, what are we going to do...? We've...we've lost everything now..."
Before her twin sister could reply, the sound of shouting came from downstairs and both girls leapt off of the bed and raced to the bedroom door, opening it a crack so that they could listen. The words their mother spoke sent chills up Wendy's spine, and her heart once again filled with intense anger towards her father.
"Look, I for one have had it up to here with you, Brady!" Cindy snapped and the twins could tell from upstairs she she was trying hard to not burst into a round of fresh tears,
"I'm not about to stay in the same house with you, not after all of this! So if you don't mind, I'm heading to a motel for the next few days-"
"You want to talk about me not acting like a civilized human being, Cindy?" Brady shouted after her and watched as she turned sharply around to face him,
"Take a look at yourself! You can't even try to talk without yelling, while I've been trying to be reasonable-"
"ME? Brady Sullivan, our only son just commited suicide a few hours ago, and all you want to do is tell me who I can be friends with and who I can't!" Cindy snapped back, her voice tear-streaked and flushed red,
"You can't order me around, you got that? You want to talk about this being 'your house' and all that crap? Well, fine! It is your house, because I'm not coming back until I know full well that you're back to the husband I used to love!"
"That's fine! You go if you want to, but you aren't taking the girls!" Brady snapped back.
"You just watch me!" Cindy retorted through her tears.
Tears racing down Wendy's face, she furiously shut the door and turned the key, before turning back to Angel,
"They want to act that way, that's fine," She said, choking on a sob,
"But neither one of them are coming in here until they work this out."
Sinking down to the floor, Angel pulled her knees up to her chin and wrapped her arms around them, crying violently,
"I…I don't understand…Paddy…."
Sitting down on the floor with her sister, Wendy wrapped her up in her embrace once more,
"I know, Angel, I know…" She uttered, stroking her sister's hair.
"I want the angels, Wendy….I want Monica and Andrew…they'd be here for us instead of yelling at each other…" Angel whispered, covering her face with a hand,
"Our brother is dead and they're down there screaming…do they think we can't hear them?!"
Struggling to find some way to calm them both down, Wendy rested her cheek against her sister's hair,
"What do you think Andrew and Monica would say if they were here right now?"
Her breathing hitching from crying so hard, Angel tried to think, catching on to what Wendy was trying to do,
"I…I think they'd tell us…that God loves us and He loves Paddy too and that Paddy is happy now…and they'd be…they'd be holding us really tight, Wen…and letting us know it was okay to cry…"
"And those words are true," Wendy whispered to her sister as she closed her own tear-filled eyes,
"No matter how hard they are to believe, they're true. Andrew and Monica have been in our existence for our entire lives, and we've learned to believe them. It's perfectly all right to cry, Angel...just let it out, okay?"
Choking on another sob as she buried her face into her sister's shoulder, Angel weakly asked,
"What about you?"
Drawing in a trembling breath, Wendy whispered back,
"My heart is broken too, Angel..." Feeling her twin sister wrap her arms around her in return, the girls rocked each other back and forth on the floor next to the door and sobbed. They didn't look up until they heard the knocking on the other side of the door and Brady's voice sounded.
"Wendy! Angelica! Come out, all right?"
Noticing that Angel was about to stand up, Wendy pulled her back down by the wrist and whispered,
"We're not letting them in, okay? Not until he and mom settle this bickering..."
"Girls?" Cindy called out as she tried to turn the door handle and finding it locked,
"Girls, open the door okay?"
"No, mom," Wendy uttered tearfully,
"Not until you and daddy stop bickering…"
Turning to her husband, Cindy's eyes flashed with anger,
"Now see what you've done! Like they aren't upset enough already!"
"What I've done?!" Brady started to snap back, but he was interrupted by Wendy's angry, tear filled voice.
"Just stop it, okay?" She all but screamed through the locked door,
"Whatever you're fighting about, just stop it! Angel and I lost our brother today and all you two want to do is scream at each other! You're not the only ones hurting over this; we loved him too! So stop being so selfish and be our parents because we need you!"
Fresh tears welled up in Cindy's eyes as the sound of her two daughters sobbing on the other side of the door. Swallowing her anger, she turned to her husband and spoke quietly,
"You and I…we can't do this right now. We still have two little girls in there that need us and we have a service to plan and things to do. Though I'm not happy with you right now, I can try to push it aside for their sakes so we can at least get through the next few days. Can you at least do the same?"
His face still red with anger, Brady backed away from his wife and the locked door and whispered,
"So you want to just drop this, is that it-"
"For now, Brady, yes!" Cindy snapped back, narrowing her eyes at her husband,
"Right now, I care more about our daughters then you, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes for them. Are you with me or not?"
Clenching and unclenching his fists, Brady glared angrily at his wife before answering her coldly,
"Fine." With that, the human turned on his heel and headed towards their study, closing and locking the door behind him. As he disappeared from sight, Cindy released the rest of her tears as she turned her blue eyes back to her daughter's bedroom.
"Girls, can you please come out now?"
Exchanging a look with her sister, both of them knowing that very little had gotten resolved between their parents, Wendy stood up and unlocked the door.
Hearing the door unlock, Cindy opened the door, fresh tears filling her eyes at the sight of her two daughters, their eyes swollen and red from crying. Sitting down on the bed, she opened her arms to them,
"Come here, my babies," She whispered, her voice catching in a sob, as both girls went to her and she closed her arms around them both,
"I love you both so much…"
"Mom, what is going on with you and dad?" Wendy sobbed brokenly.
"We're just going through a rough patch right now, sweetie, that's all. We all react differently when something like this happens, and I think your dad is just so mad right now, he doesn't know what to do."
"He's mad at the angels, right?" Angel wept as she clung tightly to her mother, burying her face into her shoulder,
"I heard all the things you two have said...and Wendy heard dad say that-that we can't s-see them anymore..." She choked on a sob and her shoulder shook violently.
"We ARE going to see them again, despite what your father says. He's not going to tell us who we can and cannot see, all right?" Cindy answered, looking at each of her daughters.
"I miss Andrew so much, mom..." Wendy pulled away from her mother's gently embrace and wiped at her heart-broken eyes,
"He and Paddy...Mom, why did Paddy have to go and kill himself? Why couldn't he see how much we l-loved him..."
"I don't know, sweetheart," Cindy shook her head miserably,
"Only God does...but know that it has nothing to do with the angels-"
"That's not what daddy says, although I don't believe a word of it," Wendy interrupted bitterly, her eyes showing anger towards her father,
"I don't want to be around him right now; not after the things he's said..."
"Wendy, you have to remember that your dad is grieving right now too and he still loves you both very much. I don't want you girls avoiding him as he needs you both right now as much as I do. He is not upset with either of you and we all need each other right now. Are we clear on that?" Cindy asked gently, looking at each of her daughters.
"Yes, mom," Angel whispered tearfully,
"And maybe soon he'll change his mind about the angels, though I really wish Monica and Andrew were here right now…"
"Me too, baby," Cindy whispered sadly,
"But lets give daddy some time and I'd really like you girls to go and see him. I think he needs that right about now."
As Angelica nodded her head in agreement and started slowly towards the door and towards their father's study, Cindy frowned in concern as Wendy stayed seated on the bed,
"I'm not seeing him, mom," She replied firmly, folding her arms across her chest,
"Wendy, please don't make this any harder then it is..." Cindy started, rubbing her forehead with her fingers as she shook her head in despair,
"Your father needs both of you-"
"You may think he needs us, but he doesn't," The teenager stated bitterly, shaking her own head stubbornly,
"You and Angel can keep him." With tears streaming from her blue eyes, Wendy leapt to her feet and bolted from her bedroom, leaving Cindy alone.
Written by: CI and KP
"Hey, Angel Girl, I've been looking all over for you," Andrew remarked softly, his green eyes filled with sadness as he approached his best friend, who he had found walking in one of Heaven's beautiful meadows,
"I should have known I could find you here."
Monica looked up at him, her eyes red and swollen from crying, though she had no intention of telling him the things she had heard in Brady's car earlier. She wasn't supposed to have been there anyway and she was not about to hurt Andrew by repeating it,
"Why were you looking for me?" She asked softly, wiping at her eyes with the back of her hand.
"Kevin is with Carla right now as far as I know and we've been given time off. I was thinking of heading to the cabin. I just wanted some quiet time alone with you after…after everything that has happened…" He finished, blinking back tears at the painful reminders.
Lowering her head, the Irish angel was quiet for a moment before she spoke up softly,
"Andrew…I really think I need to be by myself for awhile…"
His eyes widening at her words, Andrew felt like he had been punched in the stomach, but he refused to look hurt at the words she spoke,
"Did I...do something, Monica? Because if I did, I'm sorry-"
"Andy, no," Monica choked on a sob as her heart broke at the pain evident in her best friend's gentle eyes,
"No, you didn't do a thing. I just...I just need time by myself here, not down there on Earth..." Unable to see the pain in his eyes any more, the Irish angel turned around and started walking in the other direction, but she sensed Andrew still behind her, trying to catch up with her.
"Monica, please..." She heard his pleading voice behind her and it caused her to stop walking, although the tears never ended,
"Please, Angel Girl...please, just tell me what I did so I can make it right again..."
Turning to face him and knowing she owed him more of an explanation than she had given, she reached for his hands as she tried to steady her voice,
"You didn't do anything. Please know that and believe it, my friend. I would tell you if you did, but you've been wonderful," Blinking back more tears, she tried to find the words to explain,
"You know, I've always considered it to be a gift to be able to look into your eyes and know what you were thinking or feeling, until now…" Unsure of how to continue, she squeezed his hands tightly as a sob escaped her.
"Mon, what is it? Please tell me so I can help," Andrew pleaded, not wanting anything between them right now as he needed her so badly at the moment.
"Right now, I look at you and see all the things I'm feeling and they hurt twice as much, Andrew. We just went through the same horrible time together and because of that, I don't think I can even begin to heal being with you…" She bit her lip as her tear filled eyes looked away from him, hating the pain in his eyes.
His hands trembling slightly in shock over what he was hearing, Andrew slowly released the Irish angel's hands and was silent for a few moments before whispering sadly,
"That's how you really feel then...?"
Her heart breaking, Monica forced herself to nod her head and she lowered her auburn head to the ground,
"Yes. It is..." She looked up briefly and let out a choked sob at the tears streaming from his green eyes,
"I'm so sorry, my friend...I'm so sorry..."
Gulping, Andrew tried to remain as calm as possible as he whispered sadly,
"So am I, Angel Girl..."
As the two fell silent for a few tense moments, Andrew waited until she looked up at him, her eyes filled with deep sadness, until he spoke up again,
"Whenever you want to talk again..." With a shrug of his shoulders, he turned his eyes away briefly to hide his tears,
"Just tell me..."
Reaching out to grab his arm before he could walk away, the little Irish angel looked up into his handsome face,
"I never meant to hurt you with this…please know that."
"I guess…I guess I just took for granted that we were going to get through this together, Monica," He replied as steadily as he could,
"Just like we always do…"
Nodding her head, the tears never ending, she drew in a trembling breath,
"It's just been too much this time…I just don't think we'll be good for each other right now. Just give me a little time, that's all I'm asking for, Andy…it just hurts so badly right now and I know it does for you too, so how can we possibly be any good for each other at the moment?" Taking a step closer to him, she reached up and wiped at the wetness on his cheek,
"I love you so much…"
Nodding his head weakly, Andrew closed his eyes as he memorized the feel of her gentle hand on his cheek before he took a hesitant step forward and gave her forhead a soft kiss. As the tears made their way down his pale cheeks again, he looked through blurred vision into her own saddened eyes as he replied,
"I love you too, little one." As he was about to turn around and walk away again, he felt his best friend grasp onto his arm again and turn him around to face her.
Before he could say anything else, he felt her throw her trembling arms around his neck and hug him as tightly as she could. Choking back a sob of his own, he wrapped his arms around her waist tightly and gave her a tight squeeze before forcing himself to pull away from her. Taking a deep breath, the older angel looked one last time into his best friend's face and said,
"I guess I better get going now."
Sobs shook through her as she watched him go, almost tempted to change her mind about her decision. She knew she had hurt him, knew he wanted her with him right now, and deep down inside, she knew she should be there, just as he always was for her. What made it even harder was that such a large part of her wanted to be with him, was lost without him, but her grief ran so deep right now, that she just didn't see how she could possibly help him and as he was suffering as well, she didn't want him feeling like he needed to be constantly comforting her.
She only prayed that this hopefully brief separation would have no ill effects on their friendship as that was one loss she could never bear.
With a trembling hand, Angel knocked softly on the door to her parent's study and called through,
A few tense moments passed in silence before the teenager knocked again and spoke up a little louder this time,
"Dad, can I come in?" She put her hand on the doorknob and tested it, but found it to be locked tight. Waiting impatiently, the teenager stood outside the door until she heard the sound of the door unlocking and she watched as it opened slightly.
Pushing the door open, Angel walked in and saw her father sitting in the leather chair next to the window, his eyes turned away from her as if he was ignoring her presence. Trying to get him to talk once again, Angelica spoke up for a third time,
"Dad, are you all right?"
As if finally hearing her voice for the first time, Brady was pulled from his reverie as he looked over at the youngest of the three triplets. Her eyes were red and swollen from so many tears and there was an apprehensive look on her face. He was struck for a moment by the fact that she looked right now as if she were 8 years old again; unsure and afraid, and he had to remind himself that not only was she not 8, she was also pregnant.
Managing a sad smile, he motioned for her to come closer and when she did, he caught her up in his strong arms, as he felt her give into sobs against his chest,
"I know, sweetheart, I know," He whispered, his hand running through her blond hair gently.
"Daddy…I'm going to miss him so much….Paddy….why…." Angelica shook her head as she buried her face deeper against her father's chest.
"I wish I had answers for you, baby," He replied wearily, holding her tightly,
"We're all going to miss him, Angel."
"Everything is changing..." The teenager wept brokenly as she clung tightly to her father,
"N-nothing is the same anymore, daddy..."
"No...it isn't, baby girl," Brady replied wearily as he let out a deep sigh, not sure what else he could say to comfort his youngest daughter when he himself was such a mess at the moment. He had taken all of his anger and frustrations out on his wife for the last few hours when all she wanted was for their angelic friends to come back to them; and on top of it, he knew that Cindy wasn't sure of how he could react the way he did when their only son had just recently committed suicide,
"Just go ahead and let it out, sweetheart. Daddy's got you."
Slumping onto Brady's lap, her trembling arms still wrapped tightly around him, Angel sobbed brokenly like she was a little girl again even as her father whispered reassuring words to her; but even as she wept, the teenager didn't miss the tears in his own voice.
"I love you, baby," Brady uttered, grateful for the fact that she had come to him and had not questioned his decision on the angels right now. His emotions felt too raw to even think about them right now and right now, he decided, despite all the other turbulence in his life, his only concern for the moment was Angelica.
He held her for a long time, before he realized she had cried herself to sleep. As gently as he could, he stood up, still cradling her in his arms and walked down the hall to her bedroom. As he laid her down and pulled the covers up snugly around her, he leaned down and kissed her forehead gently,
"I love you, kitten," He whispered to her, before he turned off the light and left her room, leaving the door open a crack in the event she would need him.
As he headed back to his study, Brady looked over at the door to Patrick's room, which was closed, and his grieving heart wondered how long it would be before he would have the courage to open the door and see where his only son had once resided.
Later that evening, Andrew stepped through the doors of the cabin and immediately felt the quietness around him. Usually when the older angel came here, he felt a comfort and a sense of peace, but now that he wasn't here with his best friend or Kevin, or any of their friends, he felt nothing except lonely. The drive to the cabin had been the longest he could remember, with no chatter coming from his two charges as they both were off on their own right now just like he was.
Still wearing his jacket, Andrew shut the door tightly behind him and just looked around the cozy living room; the Father already had a fire burning in the fireplace for him, and he immediately felt the warmth of the cabin. But despite all that, he didn't find any comfort in it, as his best friend wasn't here to share it with him. His heart aching tremendously, Andrew sat down on the living room couch and lowered his head, finally allowing the tears to escape them.
He had tried to understand why Monica had wanted this time off by herself, and he didn't want her to see how hurt he really was when she gave him the news, but he didn't understand it at all. Not one bit. They needed each other right now; all three of them, and instead, they were off on their own, except for Kevin who was most likely with Carla right now.
His mind slowly went over the events of the last several weeks, from the very beginning to today. He almost smiled when he remembered how light hearted they had all been when they had first arrived at the Sullivan's, not sure at all as to why they were there. They had just come off six months of difficult cases that had hardly given them time to breath and they had been looking forward to the change of pace. His best friend had been particularly content that first evening and he had not seen her that way in quite some time or since then, now that he thought about it.
But then everything had picked up speed; Monica's nightmares had started, and they had found out what happened to Angel, Paddy threatening Keyser, and then the hostage situation with the fire. Andrew still shuddered at the memory of it, the pain and the fear he had felt, but tears came to his eyes once more when he thought about the loyalty of his best friend, as she had been there almost every moment. He had been in excruciating pain for three weeks, but for those three weeks, Monica had watched him suffer with the pain. Did she blame herself for confronting George Keyser?
He knew he was trying to pick apart every little piece of this for answers to her sudden need to be alone, because he knew her well and this was not like her. She would always seek him out when her heart was heavy and they often hurt over the same things, because what hurt one, hurt the other, especially since they often seemed to share one heartbeat. Many things had rattled them both over the last few days; Thorn and his abuse, his own arrest and her being turned over to the gang members. Was she right? Had it all just been too much this time; more than they could deal with together? But he so wanted her here.
Rising to his feet, his legs shaking slightly, Andrew made his way over to the fireplace mantel and gazed at the few pictures sitting on top of it. The first few were of him and his two charges at Disney World a couple of years ago, and the angel was unable to hold back a chuckle any longer as he saw a photo that Kevin took of him in the Mickey Mouse ears, with Monica standing right behind him, her hands on his shoulders and her tongue sticking out. On her auburn head, she wore a pair of Minnie Mouse ears.
The tears stinging his pained green eyes, Andrew looked at the rest of the framed photos and he saw that the rest of them were mainly of the entire group: Him, Monica, Kevin, Tess, Rose and Carla. One of them showed all of them standing in front of the Christmas tree a few years ago, all of them wearing bright smiles and Santa hats. Andrew's arm was wrapped tightly around his best friend's shoulders as she leaned pleasantly into him with a bright smile on her face, while with the other, he held Kevin in a gentle headlock.
Not really sure if he could look at them any longer, the angel turned away from the pictures as he wiped at his eyes; as he was about to turn around again, his eyes grew wide as he saw Tess standing right behind him, watching him the entire time. His shocked expression quickly became one of relief and even sadness as he saw his older friend and supervisor standing there,
"Tess...I didn't know you were here..."
"Rumor has it, you don't really want to be alone right now, baby," Tess remarked with a knowingly look in her dark eyes.
Andrew managed a tearful smile as he sat down on the couch and waited for Tess to join him,
"No," He replied softly, his green eyes holding sorrow over so many things,
"I thought I'd be getting through this the way same way I usually do…by the Father's perfect grace and…"
"And the help of your Angel Girl," Tess finished for him, reaching for his hand and giving it a squeeze,
"All three of you are going through this in your own way right now, honey, and are trying to work out your own issues with the last two months. Kevin is with Carla right now and that isn't a bad thing. There's a little angelic friendship growing there…"
"Well, let's hope it does better than some others are right now," He remarked sadly.
"Angel Boy, you know that none of this is any reflection on your friendship with Monica. I think she just knows that you need to talk about what happened, and right now, she wants to do anything but that. What Patrick did has left you all in a state of shock, and you're all just handling it differently."
"It was horrible, Tess," Andrew whispered, at the mention of Patrick, his mind was now traveling back to those few moments that seemed to last forever,
"One minute he was waving that knife at Monica and I and the next minute…." Unable to say the words, he continued softly,
"I felt like I couldn't breath…like there was no way it had just happened and I couldn't figure out how it had all gone so wrong…Monica couldn't stop screaming…Kevin, he didn't know what to do…none of us did…"
Sympathy flooded Tess' eyes as she listened to her 'Angel Boy's' words, but she didn't say anything as she knew that her friend needed to get this out. Instead, she gave his hand a reassuring squeeze and urged him to continue.
"It just seemed like a whole nightmare, and that...and that before we knew it, we would all wake up and Patrick would be with Brady and Cindy, safe and sound in his own bedroom. But it wasn't...it was real, Tess, and I didn't know what to say to comfort anyone, much less myself..." The younger angel continued sadly, tears stinging his green eyes.
"But he's Home with the Father now, baby boy," Tess soothed as she released his hand and ran her fingers through his blonde hair soothingly,
"And nobody can hurt Paddy again."
"But as a supervisor, Tess, should I have known what to say to make Kevin and Monica feel better?" He uttered, still trying to understand the actions of his two charges right now.
"Andrew," Tess began with a shake of her head,
"What could you have possibly said that would have made them or you feel any better about what had just happened? Sometimes baby, even as supervisors, we need to accept that there are not words of wisdom for every situation. Some things are just terrible, Angel Boy, and no words are going to make it any better for anyone."
"I suppose you're right," He replied heavily, getting up to walk over to the other side of the room, unable to shake the heaviness in his heart,
"I guess I just didn't expect things to end up…like this."
"Nobody expected it to end like this, sweetheart," Tess shook her head sadly as she also rose to her feet and made her way over to her friend, laying gentle hands on his shoulders,
"You hear me, Andrew? Nobody. And nobody could've stopped that boy's actions; he had free will and he used it in a horrible way, but it is in no way anybody's fault. You did the best you could do, baby..."
"Then why does it hurt so much, Tess?" Andrew uttered, his voice thick with emotion,
"Our entire lives have changed in 2 short months, and they may never be the same again..."
"No, they may not," The oldest angel agreed as she gently turned him around so that she could look into his tear-streaked face,
"But the Father does promise, honey, that He will take all of this tragedy and turn it into something good."
"I just wish I knew how…Brady wants us out of their lives, that family has been through so much, Kevin seems to be avoiding me, and my best friend is bottling this up, which she usually does when she doesn't want to deal with it…" He ran a hand tiredly through his hair,
"It's just one huge mess."
"But it will get better, baby, if you just give them all some time; Brady, Kevin and your Angel Girl too. She's going to come to you eventually; you know that in your heart…" Tess reminded him gently.
"I thought I did, Tess. I also thought she'd be here if I needed her," He replied sadly.
Tears filling her eyes at the younger angel's words, Tess lowered her head as she wasn't sure what she could say now to comfort him. He really seemed to have his mind made up about Monica's actions; but Tess took a deep breath and prayed silently for the correct words to say to her friend,
"And she will, baby. But until then, I'm here for you, and so is Rose. You've got to trust me, Andrew, your Angel Girl will come to you..."
Noticing that he didn't say a word to her, Tess watched as he turned his green eyes away but she didn't miss the tears now streaming from beneath them. Her heart aching for all of her friends, human and angelic, the older supervisor reached out and gathered him close to her for a few moments; but she could tell from the stiffness in his body that he didn't believe a word she said.
Written by: CI and KP
Philip watched from a distance for several minutes as the Irish angel walked aimlessly through the grass, the warm breeze blowing her shoulder length auburn hair away from her face to reveal an expression of complete heartache.
The newest angel knew she wanted to be left alone and he knew she had declined going to the cabin with Andrew yesterday, but he wasn't sure that either decision was a good idea. He approached her slowly, seeing she was deep in though and not wanting to startle her,
"Do you mind if I walk with you for a bit, little angel?" He asked softly as he fell in step beside of her.
Her eyes flickering recognition, she slowly shook her head, though she didn't look up,
"No, I don't mind."
"I could be wrong, but I get the impression that you don't really want to be alone as much as you think you do," He offered softly.
Monica shrugged her shoulders as she lowered her head to the ground, the tears slowly making their way down her face,
"I really don't know, Philip..."
"Monica, if I know you at all, and I do...I KNOW that you don't want to be alone," Philip gently pushed, walking slowly beside her as his eyes remained on her,
"I know that you really want to be with Andrew right now; the Father told me..."
Her shoulders slumping at the name of her best friend, the little Irish angel folded her arms across her chest and whispered dejectedly,
"Of course I want to be with him, but..."
"But?" Philip laid a gentle hand on her shoulder and waited until she finally looked up at him for the first time,
"Little angel, you can talk to me. But what?"
"It's hard to explain," Monica whispered, another tear slipping down her cheek,
"Its all just been too much, Philip…all of it. From what happened to Angel to what happened to Andrew to that man taking Angel and I hostage, to everything that happened on the streets with Thorn and Kevin and Hotrod and Paddy…I can't deal with it all; I don't even feel like my mind can comprehend it all and I keep trying to…and the things Brady said yesterday in the car-."
"Whoa, back up a step, sweetness," Philip interrupted gently,
"No one was to go near the Sullivan's right now…"
"Well, I did, but they didn't know I was there…" Choking on a sob, she tried to continue,
"He said terrible things, Philip, mostly about Andrew and I…I'm not even sure I ever want to go back down to earth again…it's all so hurtful and violent, for humans and for angels and with all this going on in my mind, how can I possibly be of any help to Andrew right now?"
"You can help him just by being there with him right now, sweetness," Philip gently replied, his hand still on her trembling shoulder,
"He needs you just as much as you need him-"
"But I don't want him feeling like he needs to comfort me, when he's hurting just as much, Philip," Monica interrupted through her sobs,
"Don't you see? He doesn't need that right now...and I just-I just can't go back on Earth. Not now...I'm not about to run into the Sullivan's; I've made the decision that I'm going to abide by their wishes and stay out of their existence forever..."
"Monica, I don't think they'll want you out of their existence forever," The other angel shook his head as he looked into her eyes, concern filling his heart for all involved in this mess,
"And if you just go be with Andrew right now, maybe you'll be surprised that you two CAN help each other through this. You've always been able to in the past..."
"But what if we can't this time?" She whispered brokenly,
"And I don't want to dump all of this on him; I don't want to burden him in that way…"
"And you know that anything that is in your heart, whether it be good or bad, he wants to know about. You have never been a burden to him, anymore than he has been to you and you know that's the truth," Philip told her softly, seeing the indecision in her eyes,
"Yes, you hurt him yesterday, but he has never stopped wishing you were there with him now and the cabin is of God, little angel, and you are not going to run into the Sullivan's there," Taking his hand off her shoulder, he continued,
"So why don't you let me take you to your Andrew, as we both know that is where you want to be? Go and make this right and then help each other through all of this," Watching her face, he extended his hand to her, waiting to see if she would take it.
Andrew had been unable to sleep the night before after Tess had left the cabin, and now the angel lay on his back on his bed, his green eyes staring tiredly up at the ceiling, taking in every little detail of it. Despite how early it was in the morning, and how tired he was, Andrew still couldn't seem to sleep. Each time he closed his eyes, memories flashed in his mind of the last few months and he was forced to open his eyes again and stay awake...plus, he didn't want to miss Monica in case she decided to come here. But so far, that had not happened.
Rolling over onto his side, Andrew hugged the pillow to his chest as his eyes turned towards Monica's bed that was next to his, the bed that had been moved to his room all those years ago when his best friend was frightened from reoccuring nightmares. For a brief moment, he closed his weary eyes and imagined her there with him right now, hearing her gentle laugh and her beautiful Irish voice. Sighing softly, Andrew opened his eyes again and unable to look at the bed any longer, he turned over onto his back once more and continued examining the ceiling as if it was the most interesting thing in the world.
He was so focussed on his thoughts that he didn't even heard the quiet sound of the front door opening from downstairs and soft footsteps coming up the stairs. The angel didn't even look up as the bedroom door opened with a creak and Monica's head poked in, her brown eyes red-rimmed from crying, and a heart-broken look on her pretty face.
"Monica…" He uttered as he sat up, both surprised and a little guarded at seeing her here so soon, but at the same time, she looked as much of a mess as he felt.
Trying her best to meet his eyes, despite the shame she was feeling about hurting him, she spoke up, her voice trembling,
"I hurt you…and I'm sorry. Hurting you is something I never want to do…and I feel horrible…" Her words caught on a sob as she tried to continue,
"I thought…I thought maybe it would be better if you had some time to deal with things without me because….I didn't want to burden you because you were hurting too…but then I made things worse…"
Crying openly now and not even able to see the tears and compassion in his eyes, she looked away, the look on her face one of complete despair,
"I…I'm a mess, Andy and I don't even know how to begin to deal with any of this…but…but I know I can't do it without you…"
As she broke down completely, Andrew felt the tears falling from his own eyes, as he sat up enough to grasp her hand and guide her into his arms, where he cradled her tightly against his chest,
"And I don't want to do any of it without you either…" He whispered hoarsely to her as her sobs shook through them both.
"I'm sorry….I'm so sorry…" She choked out the words over and over again as she felt his love enfold her, her heart breaking once more for ever having hurt him at all with her own stubbornness.
Andrew nodded his head numbly as he held her as tightly as his arms would allow,,
"I know..." He weakly responded, closing his eyes as he rested his chin on the top of her head.
"Why did this have to happen at all..." The Irish angel sobbed against her best friend's chest as her hands clung tightly to him as well,
"Oh Andy, why...?"
"I don't know, Mon'; I really don't know..." Andrew shook his head in reply as he let out a shaky sigh,
"I'm trying to figure all that out myself, really."
Feeling the heavy grief inside of her best friend as well, Monica buried her face into his shoulder blade and only held onto him tighter,
"I wish I wasn't...so s-stubborn; I'm so sorry I let you c-come here by yourself yesterday...I really am..."
His arms still wrapped around her shuddering frame, Andrew whispered hoarsely into her hair,
"I know you're sorry, Angel Girl; but I'm so thankful that you're here now...I couldn't have gone through this without you; you're my dearest friend and we both need each other..."
"I need you so much…" She whispered shakily, never lifting her head,
"I don't…feel like we've been able to…to deal with any one thing through all of this..b-before something else was happening. I mean…even when you were in the hospital, and we were…trying to deal with all that…Angel wanted an abortion and Kevin…wouldn't see you and P-paddy….he wouldn't see Amy…it was never one thing…I feel like we somehow lost control…"
"I know. I know," He uttered through tears, wishing he could think of one positive thing to say to help them both,
"I would like to believe though, that Brady is going to change his mind about us being out of their lives, Angel Girl. Maybe once the shock has worn off, he'll realize the truth and-." He stopped as he saw his best friend shaking her head adamantly.
"No…I'm done," Monica stated tearfully,
"I don't care what he decides…I'm done. I'm not going back there…"
Finding it in himself to pull slowly away from his best friend, Andrew held her by the shoulders as he looked through blurred vision into her sorrowful brown eyes,
"Mon', you can't mean that-"
"I can and I do," Monica nodded her head as she wiped at the never-ending tears in her eyes,
"I heard what Brady said about us in the car yesterday, and I made my decision then and there, Andrew-"
Frowning, Andrew held up his hand to silence her gently and after she fell quiet, the older angel asked, his voice still heavy with emotion,
"You went to see them? Monica...we were told not to..."
"I know, Andy, but I couldn't help it," The Irish angel sobbed as she looked into her best friend's shocked face,
"Not long after we came back home, I was in the car when Brady and Cindy were driving home from the hospital and they were fighting...and Brady was saying the most terrible things about us both that I will never forget, and even if he may change his mind, I'm not going to see them again. I'm leaving their existence for good since that's what he wants."
"Angel Girl, you know that Brady is only reacting out of anger-." Andrew began tearfully, wanting to change her mind on this as if he couldn't, the loss would be terrible, for both she and the Sullivan's.
"And every time he gets angry, he orders one or more of us out of his house!" She snapped through her tears, not angry with Andrew, but just angry with everything at the moment,
"Well, from here on out, he gets his wish."
Drawing in a deep breath, Andrew knew that there would be no reasoning with her at the moment; they had both been through too much and were too emotionally drained and the last thing he wanted to do was spark a fight with her right now when they were both vulnerable,
"We don't have to talk about this now. We'll have plenty of time later when we are both feeling more up to it." He offered wearily.
Instantly regretting her tone with him, Monica drew in a trembling breath and reached her trembling hands out to his,
"I-I'm sorry I snapped at you, Andy...I'm sorry about alot of things lately..."
Andrew lowered his eyes to the bed and nodded his head miserably,
"It's okay...we're both a mess right now, and one of us is going to have to snap one of these days, you know?"
"But I don't want you to think I'm angry at you..." The little Irish angel uttered weakly, the tears once more coming to her eyes,
"I-I'm just so angry about everything that's happened...and I just want it to be over with; I almost want the three of us to be back at Disney World where there were no worries, and nobody was angry and hurt..." Her voice broke on a sob,
"I miss those days were things weren't completely out of control..."
"So do I, little one," He whispered to her, wrapping her in his arms once more, as he tried to think clearly,
"I propose that before we do anymore talking, we both try to get a little rest. I didn't sleep all night last night, and you look wiped out as well."
"Can I stay here with you?" She whimpered softly, sobs still causing her to tremble.
"Of course you can," He whispered tearfully to her, realizing that she had not been away from his side at night since before the fire.
As he laid back down once again on the bed, Andrew reached an arm out and waited until she had curled underneath his arm and wrapped an arm around his waist with her head resting against his chest. Her sobs starting to quiet, Monica whispered weakly,
"I love you. I just love you so much..." Almost immediately after she said those words, she felt her eyelids growing heavy and she fell into an exhausted sleep.
By mid-afternoon, Wendy was sure that if she didn't get away from both of her parents, she was going to scream. Despite what her mother had told her 2 days ago after they had arrived back from the hospital after ID-ing Paddy's body, the teenager heard both of her parents arguing downstairs again and their loud voices were drifting up to the second floor quickly.
Cringing and her heart filling with intense anger towards them, Wendy leapt off of her bed and was about to head downstairs when Angel walked in, her voice tear-streaked and her lower lip quivering,
"Wen, they're at it again..."
"I know," The slightly older twin mumbled, narrowing her blue eyes towards the door,
"And that's why I'm going down there right now before I go crazy." Gently brushing past her sister, the teenager marched down the hall and towards the staircase.
Brady and Cindy were in the middle of a heated argument when the sound of their daughter's voice stopped them as they turned their heads to face her.
"Stop it!" Wendy all but screamed, her entire body shaking with grief and rage,
"Don't you two ever quit? Do you even consider for one lousy minute that there are two other people living in this house who actually know how to grieve without screaming at each other? This is the time we should be a family, but you two are so selfish, that you can't see that!"
"Wendy, please-." Cindy began, but her furious daughter cut her off.
"No, mom! I'm sick of this! You've both got Angel in tears! It's bad enough we just lost our brother, but now we have to listen to the two of you attacking each other constantly. Maybe Paddy was the smart one! He got out while he could; before it all fell apart!"
"Wendy Sullivan, how dare you even say that!" Brady shouted, but his daughter cut him off before he could continue.
"How dare I?!" The teenager snapped back, glaring at both of her parents,
"How dare YOU! I would much rather do what Paddy did then live with you two for one more minute! You're not even thinking about us right now, you're just thinking about your own selves, and your bickering! Well, I for one am not going to put up with any longer; I'm calling Amy and staying at her house for a few nights!" She turned on her heel and started to march upstairs, but her father reached out and grabbed her arm before she could go any further.
"Now look here, young lady," Brady snapped, his eyes narrowed in anger,
"You're not just going to head over there without our permission-"
"Watch me, dad!" Wendy pulled her arm away from his grasp,
"I'd rather be anywhere then with you, and that's what I'm going to do!"
As she stormed up the steps, she was totally unprepared to see Angel standing in the hallway, tears streaking her cheeks,
"Please don't leave me, Wendy," She pleaded through her tears,
"Angel, if I don't get out of here for awhile, I'm going to explode," Wendy tried to explain, her sister's tears tearing at her heart,
"Come with me, okay?"
But Angel shook her head,
"No, I can't…I'm starting to show and I don't want anyone to know about the baby and I can't leave mom and dad here to kill each other…" Wiping at her eyes, she begged once more,
"Please stay with me…"
Wishing more then anything that Angelica would agree to come with her, but also knowing that her sister was more stubborn then she was, Wendy shook her head miserably as she weakly whispered,
"I can't, Angel-"
Choking on a sob, Angel covered her mouth with her hand as she mumbled,
"You're coming back, though...right?"
Wendy wrapped her twin sister up in a tight, long hug before she nodded her head, shame already filling her for leaving Angel alone with their parents while they went at each other's throats,
"Of course I'll come back. In a few days you'll see me again; I just need to get away from them for a few days. It's not like I want to leave you, Angel..."
Tightly clutching her sister, not wanting to let her go, Angel realized that she didn't really have much a choice then as she miserably nodded. Finally feeling Wendy pull away, Angel let her go and whispered through her tears,
"I love you, Wen..."
"I love you too, Angel," Her sister replied as she wiped at the tears on her own cheeks. Attempting a weak smile, Wendy gave her sister's shoulder a tender squeeze before she brushed past her to go into their parent's study to call Amy.
Written by: CI and KP
"You've been sitting out here forever," Carla remarked softly as she walked down on the sand and sat down beside of Kevin,
"If I'm going to help you at all, Kev, you have to start opening up about what you are thinking about."
"You know what I'm thinking about, Carla," Kevin remarked with a heavy sigh,
"I'm thinking about what a big jerk I am and how I treat my friends like second class citizens. There I was taking up for Thorn and the whole time, he was trying to figure out how to hurt Andrew and Monica."
"But there was no way you could have known that, Kevin," Carla replied softly,
"Had you known, you would have stayed with them."
"But the first rule Andrew set was that we stay together and we all agreed," Kevin stated firmly,
"It took me less than 24 hours to break the one rule that was established and it could have cost them everything."
"Kevin, you were human those last few days," Carla pointed out gently,
"You were a child for Heaven's sake, and children are stubborn. The Father made you that way, Kev, and you thought that Thorn was a nice, cool guy."
"But he wasn't," Kevin glanced in her direction before turning back to the ocean in front of them,
"He turned out to be anything but..."
"And you knew that before things got even worse, Kevin," The slightly older angel continued, her green eyes boring into his,
"Andrew forgave you for those things, and so has Monica. They love you, Kev, and nothing will change that-"
"But I let Andrew down once again, too, Carla," Kevin interrupted, lowering his head in shame,
"And although he's forgiven me, I can't forgive myself for that. What I did the first time was completely unforgiveable, and I decided to take advantage of his forgiveness and test it again. I'm an idiot, Carla; not even you can deny that..."
"Kevin, we all make mistakes; some of them terrible mistakes," Seeing his same stubborn expression, she decided to use the two angels he was so upset over as her example,
"You know, Andrew must have walked away from Monica at least 4 times, when she needed him. Each time he came back, he was sorry and she forgave him, because she loves him and he came back because he loves her. But every time it happened, the trust had to be re-established to a degree and then it would happen all over again. Now I don't know if Andrew was intentionally taking advantage of the fact that he knew she would forgive him, nor do I think you did it intentionally either. But it's the same thing, Kevin."
"How so?" He uttered weakly though he did see the similarities.
"Friendship is delicate, Kevin and has be treated as such, but it takes time to learn that. It took Andrew and Monica years to learn it and to have what they have now. It didn't happen overnight and dozens of mistakes were made along the way, some of them downright painful mistakes, which caused one of them to suffer, but they learned from them and so will you."
"I take it you're telling me that you want for me to go to them," Kevin whispered, turning his dark eyes away from his friend. His heart leapt into his throat at the thought of facing both of his friends again,
"Kevin, you have free will just like anyone else," Carla pointed out again, sighing heavily,
"You can do what you want; I just want to point you in the right direction, my friend, that's all. It won't do you any good if you just continue sitting here, feeling guilty; you're going to need to talk to them sooner or later..."
"But how do I start?" Kevin weakly asked, feeling tears welling up in his eyes all over again.
"Just take it one step at a time, Kev," The little blonde angel smiled slightly in his direction,
"Just one step at a time..."
Kevin stood in the doorway of Andrew's room, his blurred vision upon the two sleeping angels. He had to smile when he realized Monica had come here as well, as he had heard she had wanted to be alone and now, one by one, like an estranged family, they were returning home to try to work through the pain of the past few weeks.
"I really love you guys," He whispered softly.
Hearing a voice, Andrew slowly opened his eyes and with the hand that was not wrapped around his best friend, he rubbed his eyes wearily and looked over at the door,
"Kev?" He asked softly, just as Monica began to stir in his arms.
Nodding his head weakly, the youngest angel closed the door softly with a click as he stuffed his hands in his pockets and made his way across the room,
Hearing Kevin's voice in the back of her head as well, Monica slowly stretched out and rubbed at her dark eyes before she slowly lifted her head off of Andrew's chest and looked tiredly over at Kevin. Her eyes grew wide as she saw him standing there, his face tear-streaked and the mask of pain was identical to the ones on both her and Andrew's faces as well,
"Kev...I thought you were with Carla..."
Lowering his head sadly, the youngest Caseworker made his way over to the bed and took a seat on Andrew's other side, his eyes looking down at his sweaty hands,
"I was...but she and I had a long talk, and I finally realized I needed to come here and talk to you both, you know?"
"What's going on, Kevin?" Andrew asked gently, getting the feeling that though Kevin was suffering with the pain of all that had happened, this was something different.
Still not looking up, Kevin began quietly,
"I know you've both forgiven me, at least, I think you have, but the truth is, I haven't forgiven myself for leaving you guys when you left the train yard that day…It was wrong of me and you two suffered for it. Had I been there, things might have happened differently…"
"Kevin-." Monica began softly but he stopped her gently.
"There's more to it than that, I'm afraid. Patrick…maybe things wouldn't have happened as they did if I had set a better example for him after the fire. He avoided Amy, the same way I avoided you, Andrew and Paddy lashed out at everyone in anger, the same way I did with you and Tess, Monica…." His voice trailed off as tears threatened his eyes,
"I didn't think about it at the time, but that's the truth. He saw an angel acting like a dumb jerk, so why wasn't it okay for a human 14 year old kid to act the same way?"
Andrew's heart ached as he saw the tears filling his youngest charge's eyes, but he remained silent as Kevin continued slowly.
"I don't really know what I can do to make it up to you both," He whispered weakly, the tears trailing down his face,
"But I'm going to try and change...I promise. I just love you guys so much, and I hate what I've done. God forgive me, I hate myself for what I put you two through..."
His heart now breaking, Andrew glanced over at his best friend before turning back to Kevin and reaching his arms out to him. As the older angel hugged his youngest charge tightly, Andrew finally found his voice, even though it was quiet,
"Kevin, when we said that we forgave you, we meant it, Wonder Boy...and we love you like crazy, kid. Nothing will ever change that."
"That's what Carla said," Kevin replied with a heavy sigh as he hugged Andrew tightly.
"Carla's smart, and she was right," Andrew continued, feeling his own eyes tearing up again,
"Kev, we all make mistakes...Monica and I have had more then our share, and so will you. Just because you made these kinds of errors doesn't mean that we hate you, because it will never happen. As for Paddy...you were going through a difficult time as well, you know? You couldn't have known what would have happened in the coming weeks...you couldn't have known that he would have run away and taken to the streets."
"But I still should have handled it better…" Kevin wept softly,
"You are my friend and that should have been all that mattered and for that, I am so sorry."
"It's all forgiven, Kev," Andrew uttered softly, giving his charge one more tight squeeze before releasing him,
"I don't want you beating yourself up over it any more, okay? It's over."
Nodding his head tearfully, Kevin then looked over at Monica, surprised to see tears streaking her cheeks,
"Monica, when I heard that Andrew had been arrested and you have been turned over to gang members…I felt positively sick inside. I had treated this all like some game and you were so afraid and I understand why now…had I stayed with you, I wouldn't of let anyone hurt you…I don't know if I could have stopped Andrew being arrested, but…at the very least…you would have been safe had I not been such an idiot…"
Not knowing what to say, but deeply touched by his words, the Irish angel reached and hugged her younger friend tightly as she found herself sobbing once more.
Tears fell from his own eyes, as Andrew watched his two charges cling tightly to one another, both of them in tears,
"Oh Father," He thought to himself,
"Your angels are hurting so much and so deeply…help me to help them and help us to help each other, please, Father…the pain is so raw right now…give us soon the gift of your peace…"
Reaching out, he pulled his two younger charges up against him, as if they were still both those small children of a few days ago,
"We're going to get through this, you two," He whispered shakily, holding them both tightly,
"You both believe that," He squeezed Kevin's shoulder reassuringly as he kissed the top of Monica's head,
"I love you both so much and whatever it takes, we will get through this, okay?"
Nodding his head against his friend, Kevin clung tightly to both Andrew and Monica as he whispered weakly,
Several hours later after Wendy had left for Amy's house to stay with her and her parents for the next few days, Angelica sat alone on her bed, her knees drawn up to her chest and the tears continuing to stream from her baby blue eyes. Although she knew that she shouldn't be feeling anger towards her parents like her sister was, as the night before she had felt the grief deep inside of her father, the teenager could no longer push that anger aside and she felt it churning within her.
But as she suddenly felt her mother take a seat on the bed next to her, Angel forced that anger aside for the time being, as she wasn't about to snap like Wendy had done. Lifting her head silently, the teenager just stared at Cindy for a few moments before her mother spoke up weakly.
"I'm sorry about earlier, baby. I'm sorry you and Wendy had to hear all of that..."
"But is dad sorry?" Angel asked quietly, turning her blue eyes away from her mother.
Cindy sighed softly, her heart aching for her daughter as well as the rest of her family,
"Sweetheart, daddy is having a lot of trouble dealing with things right now and we all react differently. Your dad right now is reacting with anger and that is a normal emotion for what has happened."
"Why do you take up for him when he acts this way, mom?" Angel whispered, feeling tears burning in her eyes.
"Because I love him, Angel," Cindy replied softly,
"Even if I don't like him so much right now, I still love him."
Angel nodded her head as she fell silent once more. She had spent the day feeling incredibly lonely since Wendy had left her and she was trying very hard not to be angry with her sister,
"Mom…I really miss the angels…I miss Monica…"
Cindy smiled as she drew her daughter into her arms,
"She always was your favorite, the same way Andrew was Wendy's and Kevin was Paddy's…even though all three of you love them all, you each seemed to pick one from the time you were little. I miss them too, baby and I so wish they were here."
"Won't daddy at least let them come to the service?" Angel pleaded hopefully,
"They tried so hard to help Paddy and they must be heartbroken over not being able to…"
"Honey, I can't ask that of your dad right now and I don't want to make Friday any more stressful than it needs to be…" Cindy tried to explain.
"What if I ask him?" Angel offered weakly,
"They can sit in the back…daddy can pretend they aren't even there. I just really want to see them…"
Cindy let out a weary sigh,
"You've always had a way with your dad, Angel, so if you want to ask him, that is your decision. Just be prepared for 'no' and please, don't get angry with him if that is what his answer is. You're the only one he seems to allowing to touch his heart the last few days, and I don't want that taken from him."
Angel's face held stubborn conviction to get through to her father as she nodded her head weakly,
"I'm going to talk to him right now..." Pulling away from her mother, the teenager rose to her feet and headed towards the doorway. She glanced in his study, and upon not seeing him there, Angelica headed towards the staircase and moments later, she found her father standing with his back facing to her in the living room. His eyes were focused on the framed pictures on the mantel above the fireplace, and right now, it appeared he was looking at a picture of Patrick.
The teenager cleared her throat as she still stood in the doorway, and finally spoke up,
"Dad, can I talk to you for a few minutes?"
Turning around, his hands behind his back, Brady's face held many different emotions as he responded coolly,
Suddenly feeling unsure as she realized her dad had been caught up in memories of Paddy, she lowered her head for a moment, trying to find the right words.
Seeing his daughter's obvious distress, Brady spoke once more, his voice kinder,
"What is it, kitten? You know you can talk to me about anything," Sitting down on the couch, he beckoned to her to join him.
Sitting down beside of him, Angel tried to find her voice,
"Daddy, I know how upset you are right now, and that your upset with the angels too, but…couldn't they at least come to Paddy's service? Please, daddy? They loved him too and Paddy loved them…"
Brady sighed heavily, knowing if it had been Cindy asking this question, he would be blowing up right about now, but this was his youngest daughter, who already had so much on her plate and he wasn't about to lash out at her,
"Angel, you have no idea what you are asking of me…"
"But I do, daddy," She whispered, looking up into his eyes, her own holding unconditional love for him,
"I don't know what happened out there on the streets anymore than you do or if the angels are to blame. But I do know that Paddy would want them there on Friday and if you decide they can't see us anymore, I'd at least like to be able to say good-bye." She lowered her blue eyes as she felt tears fill them.
Brady lowered his head and rubbed his forehead to try and hide the expression on his face. Truth be told, he didn't even want the angels there at Paddy's memorial service on Friday; he was so angry at them, and he felt like they didn't deserve to have his daughters say 'good-bye' to them. But as he raised his head and looked into Angel's saddened blue eyes which were flooded with hot tears, the human sighed heavily as he contemplated over all that she was asking,
"Please, dad?" She continued pleading, her eyes holding deep sorrow,
"Why can't we at least get a chance to say good-bye? They're still my friends, even if they aren't your's anymore." Her voice broke on a sob as she lowered her head to her hands.
Brady was silent for a few short moments before he nodded his head and reluctantly replied,
"All right then. But I'm only doing this for you and your sister, because I love you two like crazy..."
Not missing the fact that her father deliberately left her mom out, Angel nodded her head as she forced a trembling smile on her face,
"Thank you, daddy...thank you..."
Written by: CI and KP
Andrew felt beyond nervous as he hurriedly got ready Friday morning for Paddy's funeral. He had been in awe ever since the Father had told him they were permitted to go to the service, but had advised them to steer clear of Brady, unless the human approached them first. His stomach was in knots, which made it difficult to tie the knot in his tie, but he finally calmed himself down enough to do so.
The atmosphere at the cabin had not improved much thus far over the last two days and he was starting to feel like a black cloud was hanging above them, and he could only hope that today might be able to start the healing process for the three of them.
"Kev? You about ready?" He called, giving a knock on Kevin's door.
"I'll meet you downstairs in a minute, Simba," The youngest angel called back, his own voice showing traces of a bad case of nerves.
Nodding to himself, Andrew then approached Monica's door and knocked softly and hearing her reply that the door was open, he walked in and stopped short at seeing her still in her pajamas, curled up in the chair by the window,
"Angel Girl, we need to get a move on or we're going to be late…"
Not looking at him, she drew in a deep breath,
"You don't need to worry about being late as I'm not going. I meant what I said the other day, Andrew. I'm done."
His stomach churning once again, Andrew felt like he couldn't breathe for a few minutes as he stood rooted in the doorway. After a few minutes of silence, the older angel spoke up, his voice choked up,
"Do you at least want to say good-bye? The Father told me that Angel really wants to see you..."
The Irish angel lowered her head sadly as she drew in a shaky breath. Yes, she did really want to see Angelica one last time, and even Wendy; but she wasn't about to show her face in front of everyone else, not after she had already made her decision,
"I can't, Andrew...you and Kevin will have to go without me." She finally lifted her head and looked through blurred vision at her best friend,
"I'm sorry. Please, just tell Angel I'm sorry."
Andrew gulped as he slowly made his way into the room and stood next to her, laying a gentle hand on her head and stroking her tangled auburn hair,
"If you're absolutely sure, little one...I wish I could make you change your mind, but I know I can't right now..."
"I'm sure," Monica whispered, wanting him to just go before she started crying,
"Go on. I don't want you and Kevin to be late. Give the girls my love…"
Seeing the tears welling up in her tired brown eyes made it nearly impossible for him to leave her, but he knew he had to. He wished he knew what she had heard said in the car that day, but she had so far refused to tell him. Whatever it had been though, had been hurtful enough to keep her from Angelica when she knew the teenager wanted to see her.
Bending to kiss the top of her head, he sighed softly once more,
"I'll tell them. You know where we'll be if you change you mind…"
"I won't, but thank you," She replied tearfully. Waiting until he left the room, closing the door softly behind him, she then dissolved into quiet sobs over the loss of a family she had loved so much.
As Andrew made his way back down the stairs, he spotted Kevin sitting on one of the chairs in the living room, his head hanging and his dark eyes downcast. Sensing the presence of his supervisor, the youngest angel looked up and frowned slightly,
"She's not coming," Andrew replied, lifting a hand to wipe the moisture away from his green eyes, which held as much sorrow as Kevin's did,
"But I can't push her, though...she's really determined to stay away from the Sullivan's, even Angel." He ran an exhausted hand through his blonde hair and let out a heavy sigh.
Seeing the deep pain evident in his friend's eyes, Kevin drew in a deep breath and rose from his chair,
"Well, let's get this over with then..."
Andrew and Kevin slipped into seats in the back of the chapel beside of Tess and Rose, just minutes before the service was due to begin and Andrew felt Tess immediately reach for his hand.
"How are you holding up, babies?" She asked softly.
"As well as can be expected, I suppose," He replied shakily, looking up front at the closed casket and seeing the Sullivan's all sitting together in the front row.
"Honey, where is your Angel Girl?" Rose asked, her blue eyes showing concern.
"She's not coming," Andrew responded, deciding to leave it at that.
"What do you mean, she isn't coming?" Tess demanded in a whisper, her expression one of confusion,
"She was adamant about not staying out of their lives when I told her what Brady had said."
"Something else happened, Tess," Andrew replied wearily, his own concern for his best friend making him not want to discuss this right now,
"I don't even have all the details, but I wasn't about to force her…not after all we've been through." Relief filled him as the service then began to start, which caused Tess' interrogation to stop and Andrew turned tear-filled eyes to the minister, saying a silent prayer to the Father to just get him through the next 30 minutes.
The service seemed to last longer then 30 minutes, and every now and then he felt either Tess or Rose squeeze his hand, and Andrew occasionally stole a glance over at Kevin to see if he was handling this all right. With a deep breath, the angel turned back to the service and he let it out slowly as it was just coming to a close. After a few more words from the pastor, the four angels listened as the service ended and everyone rose quietly to their feet to head out of the church and to the graveyard where Patrick's body would be put to rest.
As Andrew rose shakily to his feet, he felt a pair of eyes on him and he turned around to see Wendy and Angelica staring at him and the rest of his friends. Glancing over to make sure that Brady wasn't watching them, the angel stood back as Wendy made her way quickly over to him, her eyes flooded with tears. With no words spoken from the teenager, she had all but flung her arms around him and clung to him like a lifeline,
"I'm so glad that you're here..." She buried her face into Andrew's jacket as she allowed more tears to come.
As he clung tightly to his human friend, Andrew gave a shaky sigh before looking over her shoulder at Angel, who was watching them silently, her own baby blue eyes filled with pain.
"I don't know if we're ever gonna see you again, Andrew…" Wendy sobbed brokenly,
"And my brothers gone and it's all a mess…"
"I know, sweetheart," He whispered, his own voice choked, as he saw Cindy slowly approaching them as well, while Brady remained at the front of the church at his son's casket,
"But your dad is upset right now and he may change his mind later, once this shock has worn off a little bit," Reaching his hand out to Angel, he felt her grasp it as he pulled her close as well.
"W..Where's Monica?" She whispered, her voice trembling.
Keeping one arm wrapped around Wendy, Andrew reached out to stroke Angel's hair,
"Honey, she couldn't make it, but she wanted me to tell you both how much she loves you…"
Burying her face in Andrew's shoulder, Angelica clung to him as she whispered brokenly,
Closing his green eyes as he silently prayed for the right words to answer his human friend, Andrew drew in a shuddering breath before replying,
"Monica...she's just so upset over all that has happened, and by having to stay away from you all...that she feels like she can't show her face here. She's really sorry, sweetheart..."
"I-I wanted to say good-bye to all of you," Angel sobbed as she closed her tear-filled blue eyes,
"Tell her that...that I love her, and that I'll miss her...I'll miss all of you, Andrew..."
Andrew nodded his head sadly as his tears spilled down his cheeks,
"I will, Angel. I promise I will..."
Looking over the twin's heads, Andrew watched through blurred vision as Cindy made her way to him, her own face streaked with tears,
"Oh Andrew, I'm so glad you guys came..." She choked on a sob as she embraced the angel tightly,
"We wanted to be here, Cin'," Andrew uttered, hugging her as tears streaked his cheeks,
"We're so sorry about Paddy. We did all we could, I promise you we did…."
"Andrew, I never doubted that for a minute," She replied through her tears,
"Patrick was stubborn…he always was…he…" Breaking down again, she nearly collapsed had Andrew not caught her,
"I can't…I can't lose anyone else, Andrew…I can't….and I'm going to lose you and Monica…I can't….I just can't….and I can't believe she didn't come today…."
Holding his breath for a moment, Andrew slowly let it out as he whispered into her shoulder,
"I-I'll talk to her again tonight..."
"But it may not do any good, Andrew," Cindy shook her head as she continued holding onto her angelic friend,
"Today may be the last time we'll ever see you all...and I'm going to miss you so, so much..."
Watching over his friend's shoulder as Wendy and Angelic exchanged final hugs with Kevin, Tess and Rose, Andrew gave Cindy a tight squeeze before replying,
"We're going to miss you too...but maybe it won't be forever; maybe Brady will come around..."
"I'll be praying," Cindy squeezed her eyes shut, not wanting to release the angel just yet and head back to Brady,
"God, I'll be praying..."
"We will be too, sweetie," Andrew whispered as he squeezed her tightly once more, not wanting to keep Brady waiting much longer as he didn't want any more stress added to this day for this family.
Moving once more to the twins, he hugged them both tightly,
"I love you, guys. We all do and you both remember that okay?"
Both girls sobbing openly, they nodded their heads as Wendy spoke up shakily,
"Will we ever see you all again, Andrew?"
Closing his eyes, he replied the only way he knew how,
"If it's in God's plan, Wendy, then yes, you will."
"We have to, Andrew…" Angel burst out softly,
"We need you guys….mom and dad fight all the time now…about you and Monica…about Paddy…about everything….and…and there's no one there to tell Wendy and I it will all be okay…"
Forcing back his own sobs at those heart breaking words, Andrew hugged her to him,
"Talk to God, Angel, okay? That's what we've always taught you and He's always there and will always listen, even when angels can't…"
"Girls, we have to go," Cindy whispered, watching through tears as the twins pulled away from the angel, both crying uncontrollably, as her blue eyes met with Andrew's one last time,
"Pray." She whispered simply.
Andrew nodded his head,
"Are you all right, Wendy?" Amy's mother asked several hours later as the Richards family and Wendy drove home from the gravesite after having laid Patrick's body to rest,
"You've been awfully quiet back there for some time, sweetheart..."
Shooting a glance next to her at Amy, who's head was facing the window of the car, Wendy lowered her own blonde head and shrugged her shoulders,
"I don't know, Mrs. Richards...I'm thinking about so much right now..."
"We saw you saying good-bye to some friends after the memorial service, Wendy," Mike Richards jumped in, looking sadly through the review mirror at the teenager and his own daughter,
"Would you like to talk about it?"
Her head still lowered, Wendy let out a shaky sigh as she avoided Mr. Richard's sympathetic look,
"I've just lost everything these last few months..."
"I know how hard this must be, honey," Anna Richards replied gently.
"My mom and dad are fighting all the time now," Wendy whispered miserably, trying to force back the tears,
"And the friends I was saying good-bye to? They are sort of counselors and were supposed to help Paddy, but because he killed himself, my dad blames them. I've known them my whole life and now dad doesn't want us to be friends with them anymore. My brother is dead and Angel…" Her voice trailed off, unsure of whether or not to tell Angel's secret.
"What about Angel, sweetheart?" Mark asked softly, seeing the tears brimming in Wendy's eyes.
Wendy gulped as she glanced over at Amy, and saw that her friend was now facing them, a look of pure agony on her scarred face from the fire. Feeling the teenager reach for her hand and give it a squeeze, Wendy drew in a shuddering breath and blurted out,
"Angel doesn't want you all to know...I wanted her to come with me when I called you guys the other day, but..."
"Honey, it's all right; you can tell us," Anna reassured, glancing over her shoulder at the teenager,
"If you would like to keep this between us, then that's what we'll do, okay?"
Giving her head a jerky puppet's nod, Wendy drew in a shaky breath before speaking up again,
"Angel's pregnant...she was-she was r-raped 2 months ago by her math teacher..."
Anna drew in a sharp breath as they pulled into the driveway,
"Oh Wendy…" She uttered softly as she heard the teenager dissolve into heart wrenching sobs in the backseat. Exchanging a look with her husband, Anna got out of the car and opened the back door, pulling Wendy into her arms as the girl completely broke down,
"It's okay, sweetheart. Let it out, honey."
"Let's get her inside," Mark said softly as he reached for his own daughter's hand, seeing the tears in her eyes, as Anna led Wendy into the house and over to the sofa where they sat down.
Anna's eyes held concern as she held onto the usually strong teenager as she cried uncontrollably as the minutes ticked by, seemingly no end to her grief. But Anna only let her cry out her pain, wondering if this was the first time she had really broken down since all of this had happened.
The minutes passed slowly as Anna continued to hold tightly to Wendy, and just as she thought the teenager was never going to stop sobbing, she felt the even breathing of the girl's chest and knew instantly that she had cried herself to sleep. Not wanting to disturb her, Anna just kept her arms wrapped tightly around her daughter's friend as they sat on the living room couch.
Written by: CI and KP
By the time Andrew and Kevin had arrived back at the cabin, the older of the two instantly realized that Monica had still not come out of her room and he feared that her grief was just continuing to grow by the second. Turning towards his youngest charge, Andrew laid a hand on his shoulder as he said weakly,
"I'm going to check on her..." As his friend nodded his head in reply, Andrew headed quietly up the stairs and towards her room.
As he knocked on the door and got no reply from Monica, Andrew opened it a crack and saw the room empty and dark. Realizing that she must be in his room, the angel closed the door behind him and walked the few steps towards his own room, opening it quietly and slowly. His best friend's name on his lips as he opened it up, he stopped short as he saw her fast asleep on his bed, her arms curled around his pillow and her pretty face streaked with tears.
Sitting down quietly on the edge of the bed, Andrew reached over and gently brushed the backs of his fingers over her cheek, watching as a tear escaped her closed eye. Knowing that she must be dreaming, probably reliving some horrible moment of the last two months, he leaned over and kissed the side of her head,
"Sweetheart?" He whispered softly, watching as she slowly opened her red-rimmed brown eyes to look up at him. Knowing he had to get her to open up to him, to tell him what had been said in the car that day, he continued running his fingers through her hair,
"How are you doing, baby?"
Her dark eyes immediately welling up with tears, she answered in a voice that was not quite as loud as a whisper,
"Not so good, Andrew," She admitted, feeling unable to even move due to the numbness that had settled over her. Trying to put what she was feeling into words, she just felt powerless to do so,
"I just….I just….hurt…"
"I know, Angel Girl," Andrew sighed tiredly as he closed his green eyes,
"We all do..." He opened them again after a moment and saw that she had also opened her eyes to finally look up at him.
"I...I'm sorry I didn't come...but I couldn't..." The Irish angel whispered, her brown eyes now locked on her best friend's,
"Did you tell...Angel...?"
Nodding sadly, Andrew choked back his own tears as he continued stroking her cheek with his fingertips,
"Yes. I did...they didn't quite understand, little one; and to be honest...I still don't..." Watching as she turned her eyes away from him, Andrew lowered his head as he forced the next words out,
"Baby...I have to know what Brady said in the car...I know it hurts, but I have to know so that we can at least start to heal from this."
"Why should you be hurt by his words as well, Andrew?" Monica whispered tearfully,
"It was one thing to hear Tess say he didn't want to see us, but…to hear someone I loved say those things….please, don't make me tell you…"
Hating to force her, but needing to know in order to understand, he replied gently,
"Sweetie, you have to get it out. You can't keep it inside of you like this. Don't worry about me, okay? If it hurts, I want to hurt with you…"
The tears already trailing down her pale face, she spoke up after a moment in a trembling whisper,
"Cindy…she tried to take up for us, but Brady…he said we brought trouble into the house all the time…he said we were supposed to help Paddy and not cause him to kill himself…" Her voice caught in a sob as she struggled to continue, only the feel of Andrew's gentle touch against her face giving her the courage to do so,
"Cindy tried to remind him of the good things we had done…like saving Wendy and Angel from the demons…and you giving yourself over to Keyser so that Brady and Angel could go free…Brady told her that had I not confronted him that day in his office…you never would have had to save them…he said that I was always getting into trouble and that…that the whole house stops when something was wrong with you…" Unable to continue, she broke down at the memory of the horribly painful words.
Andrew's heart broke at the words she spoke that Brady had said in the car that day, but he took a shuddering breath and grasped his best friend's hand so that he could pull her tightly into his arms
"Let it out, Monica..." He urged her weakly.
"I didn't want to hurt you with that," The Irish angel trembled in his arms as she clung to him just as tightly,
"He said...terrible things, Andrew..."
"Yes, he did," Andrew nodded his head miserably as he rested his cheek against the top of her head,
"And yes, those words do hurt...but we can help each other through this; we always have..."
"I never want to see him again," Monica shook her head forcefully as she grasped at the back of her friend's jacket with trembling fingers,
"But I-I'm going to miss A-Angel and Cindy so...so...much..."
"And they said they were going to miss us just as much," The older angel whispered back as he finally allowed his own tears to fall down his handsome face again,
"Mon', I'm so sorry you heard all of that..."
"I..I didn't want to believe any of it was true, but some of it is…" She sobbed brokenly, burying her face against his chest.
"Angel Girl, don't do this, please?" He pleaded with her, already knowing what she was thinking; what she had been thinking but had not voiced in nearly two months. He knew the wounds had to be stated in order to heal for all of them, but he wasn't sure if he could bear this one,
"You did not cause that fire, okay?"
"He…He would have been in jail, Andrew…he would have been in jail!" Monica cried out, nearing hysteria,
"He…he never would have gotten B-Brady and Angel….he never would have gotten YOU! I know…I know you don't blame me…but it's still the truth…and I'm sorry…I'm just so, so very sorry…"
"Monica, please..." Andrew continued pleading as he grasped her by the shoulders and gently pulled her away from him so that he could look deep into her eyes,
"Do not do this-"
"Andrew, what part of 'Do not go to him' don't I understand?" The younger angel wept as she looked up at her best friend,
"I should have known that the Father had a reason, and I found out that reason the hardest way of all! By almost losing my best friend!" She put a hand over her mouth, feeling like she was going to throw up any minute over the realization of just how much wrong she had done the past few months,
"I-I don't know why I continue doing these kinds of things...but I do. And when it happens, it ends up hurting you just as much, and that's never something I can handle, Andrew!"
"Listen to me," Andrew began, even as she tried to pull away from him, but he firmly took her face in his hands and repeated the words more forcefully,
"Listen to me!" As she stopped struggling, though the tears continued to fall, he began speaking to her, trying to make his trembling voice as soothing as he possibly could,
"I love you; nothing on this earth changes that and had you any idea of what could have happened, I know you would not have gone to him that day…"
"But you told me not to!" She sobbed hysterically,
"You told me 'no'!"
"I'm not finished," Andrew told her, his hands shaking as he continued to hold her face in them,
"You were more than honest from the start of this, Monica. You told me upfront that you lacked control when it came to what had happened to Angel. Do you remember that? You told me not to let you do anything stupid and I failed you with that. I knew you were struggling and I didn't see it in time. You are not taking the responsibility for this, do you understand? I'm not going to let you, Mon'," Tears fell from his eyes as he watched her sob,
"Angel Girl, don't you know how much I love you and that I know you would never, never allow any harm to come to me if you could avoid it?"
"Yes..." Monica's shoulders shook violently as she tried to organize her thoughts for her to speak clearly,
"I mean...I think so...Andrew, sometimes I'm not really sure! I know how much you love me and all, but...but..."
His voice trembling, Andrew interrupted quietly,
"But what, Monica?"
"But...sometimes I think that the things I do are...are unforgiveable, Andrew!" She continued sobbing as she tried to get the words out without hurting him again,
"And I wonder if-if that would be the end and you wouldn't be able to forgive me...I love you so, so much, Andy, and I can't face the rest of my existence without you! I would never hurt you intentionally, but I can't help wondering at times if...if sometimes I go too far, and you'll give up on me someday..."
"Not ever," Andrew whispered without hesitation,
"Sweetheart, I want you to hear this and remember it, okay? There is nothing…NOTHING that you could ever do that would cause me to give up on you, or to stop loving you. You are my whole world, little girl. As much as I love all our friends, you mean everything to me…everything! There is nothing you could ever do that I would ever consider 'unforgivable' because I know your heart and how beautiful it is and how the only way you could ever hurt anyone is unintentionally. Yes, you can be impulsive at times, but it is one of the things I love about you and nine times out of ten, that impulsiveness works in your favor or the favor of your assignment," Brushing at her tears with his fingertips, he continued,
"I don't ever want to hear you doubt the depth of my love for you, okay? In it's own way, it's like the Father's love for us…it is unending and unconditional and that fact is never, ever going to change."
Trying to gain control of her emotions as she took in all he had said, Monica struggled to speak through her tears, but Andrew stopped her gently.
"Calm down first, baby girl, okay?" He whispered, pulling her gently back into his arms as he rubbed her back and laid gentle kisses on her head as she struggled to calm herself down,
"It's okay, little one…it's okay…"
Still struggling to gain control of her mixed emotions, Monica fell silent as she just allowed her best friend to hold her tightly, and as she wrapped her arms as tightly as she could around him, she whispered miserably into his chest,
"I-I love you so much..."
Giving her a loving squeeze, he kissed the top her head as he whispered back, his voice still laced with tears,
"Ditto, Angel Girl."
Cindy paced the floor in the bathroom that night, her stomach in knots, as she glanced at her watch once more. She hadn't planned on doing this tonight, but she had felt unable to wait until morning. The not knowing was tearing her apart, though she hoped the only for concern was that she was so stressed as her life seemed to be falling apart around her. Another glance at her watch indicated she needed to wait another minute.
Today had gone better than she had expected it to. The gathering at the house after the service at the grave site had been strained but bearable. Colleagues and friends from the hospital had more or less taken care of everything from setting up the food to cleaning up afterwards. The only things missing had been her daughters and the angels.
It had been wonderful to see them at the service, Andrew's compassion and gentleness exactly what she had needed in those moments following Paddy's service, but she had then missed them twice as much at the gathering at the house. She was still deeply troubled by Monica's absence as well, it just not being like her angelic sister to stay away like that, and Angelica had felt the loss just as greatly.
Angel had retired to her room in tears once they had gotten home and had remained there until she had cried herself to sleep, while Wendy had left with Amy and her parents. Sighing softly, Cindy knew she couldn't blame either of her daughter's for isolating themselves from the rest of the family right now, as things had changed so much. She and Brady were at it constantly and he had taken to sleeping on the couch the last few nights. If the argument wasn't about the angels, then it was about Paddy or the girls, and it was quickly becoming more than Cindy could bear. Her husband was not handling this well at all and it was quickly putting a wall between them and she no longer felt strong enough to try to knock it down.
Looking at her watch once more, she picked up the small plastic applicator and felt herself sink to the floor in despair.
It was positive. She was pregnant and she had never in her life felt more alone.
Written by: CI and KP
A few days later, Wendy knelt shakily down next to her brother's gravesite and looked through tear-filled blue eyes at the words that were engraved on the stone:
"Beloved brother and son, friend to all.
We love and miss you, Paddy"
Lifting a hand to wipe at the moisture underneath her eyes, the teenager wasn't sure of what to say right now, so she was just silent for a few minutes. Finally, she was unable to stay quiet any longer and she whispered softly to Patrick's grave,
"Oh Paddy...why did you have to go and do that...we miss you so much, big brother." She looked down at the boquet of flowers in her trembling hands before laying it on the grave,
"I...The family isn't doing so well right now, Paddy. Mom and dad are constantly fighting, and I've moved out of the house for a few d-days because of it..." Wendy sniffed and felt more hot tears welling up in her eyes, but she didn't move to wipe them away. Instead, she just ran a hand over the stone and continued speaking shakily,
"Dad has kicked the angels out the house also...he-he forbids us to ever see them again..."
With a choked up sob, Wendy removed her hand and covered her face with them as she wept,
"Why did you have to kill yourself, Patrick Sullivan? Didn't you know how much we loved you and cared about you? You just had to take your own life now, didn't you?"
The sound of her father's voice caused her to bristle noticeably as she hastily wiped her hand over her eyes to clear her tears. She remained silent though, waiting to see what he would say.
"Honey, can we please talk?" He asked gently as he ventured a step closer. He had barely spoken to his daughter since she had left the house several days ago and he wasn't very happy with this estrangement from her.
"I have nothing to say to you unless you are ready to let the angels back into our lives and you stop fighting with mom," She replied as calmly as she could, though she kept her back to him.
"Wendy, we don't need angels in our lives to be a family," Brady stated, immediately being put on the defensive.
Just at that one simple remark, Wendy felt anger like she had never felt before as she whirled around to face him,
"You don't think so? Have you taken a real good look at our family lately, dad because in case you haven't, let me tell you what I see! Angel being pregnant is the least of our worries, as right now she is so depressed, that I'm worried about her! Did you know that, dad? I'm not even there right now and I know because I call her every night. She's miserable and its work to even get her to talk! You are sleeping on the couch because you and mom can't even be in the same room together without fighting! Paddy is dead and instead of being there for your family, you keep looking for someone to blame! How about blaming Paddy, daddy? He's the one that did this; no one else! You want to call us a family? A family that doesn't need angels right now? I don't know, dad, it seems to be we should be the poster children for Divine Intervention at the moment!"
Brady's face flushed a deep red as he took a deep breath and forced himself to not snap back at his daughter,
"Wendy, you don't really know what your mother and I are discussing-"
"It's not even discussing!" Wendy snapped, forcing back tears as she wasn't allow herself to cry right now in front of her father,
"It's called yelling! You guys don't even seem to CARE that there are other people around who are effected by this too, and just because you're mad at the angels doesn't mean the rest of the family are! We NEED them, dad; things were always better when they were around!"
Brady sucked in a sharp breath at her words and he folded his arms across his chest, determinted to not lose his temper,
"Honey...they were sent to try and help your brother, and instead of doing that, Patrick wound up dead-"
"He killed himself, daddy! Andrew, Monica and Kevin didn't put the knife in his hand and force it on him, telling him to go ahead and die!" Fuming, the teenger whirled around and stomped away, deciding that she couldn't talk to her father about this right now. She was far too angry, and if she continued, she may say something she would regret.
"Wendy!" Brady called after her, but his daughter never turned back.
Unable to sleep that night, Monica slipped from her bed and padded quietly downstairs, surprised to find Kevin sitting in the chair in front of the fire, his dark eyes staring listlessly into the flames. Grabbing the afghan from the back of the couch, the Irish angel sat down on the floor near him and stated quietly,
"You couldn't sleep either."
"No," Kevin replied softly with a small sigh as he regarded her in silence for a moment,
"I keep going over things over and over again in my mind, trying to see all the things I could have done differently."
Nodding her head in understanding, she watched the flames flicker in the fireplace,
"Nothings really helping though, is it?"
"Not really. Though I don't see how it can help when I know that some of the things I did caused other things to happen that maybe would not have otherwise," He remarked sadly.
"I know what you mean," Monica stated softly, drawing her knees up to her chin,
"I think that if we had done a few things differently, this would have had a totally different outcome and maybe Paddy would still be alive…"
"And maybe we wouldn't be banned from the Sullivan's lives for the rest of eternity," Kevin finished for her as rested his cheek in the palm of his hand, his tired brown eyes focused on the fireplace,
"Maybe I wouldn't still feel like a total jerk..."
Looking up at her younger friend, Monica laid a gentle hand on his knee as sadness once again filled her eyes,
"But neither of us can change the past 2 months."
"That's what I hate the most," The youngest angel whispered softly,
"Not being able to change my actions. If only I could re-wind my life the past few months, I would've done so many things differently..."
"But unfortunately, we can't," The Irish angel uttered, removing her hand and turning back to the fireplace in font of them,
"Tell me, Kev...did you learn anything from this whole assignment?"
Kevin appeared thoughtful for a moment even as pain continued to flicker in his eyes,
"Two things mostly, I think. I've learned to never think that my actions are going unnoticed by someone they matter to, like with my refusing to see Andrew and Paddy then refusing to see Amy. I also now know that having you and Simba trust me, is one of the most important things in my existence and I don't want to ever betray that again," Looking down at her, he saw understanding in her brown eyes,
"What about you?"
Sighing softly, she turned her eyes back to the fire once more,
"Two things as well, but they tie in together. The first is that I know I have to work on my temper, as it tends to get me and others around me into trouble when I lose it. It was my temper that took me to George Keyser's classroom that day, and Kev, I just can't stop thinking about how if I had just listened to Andrew and the Father, and not gone there, the difference it would have made. He would have been arrested that day, there never would have been a fire, you never would have had trouble facing Andrew, maybe more attention would have been paid to Paddy," Drawing in a shaky breath she rested her forehead against her knees,
"I just want to feel better about all of this, and for the life of me Kevin, I don't know how."
"Me neither, Cupcake," The youngest angel replied with a heavy sigh, reaching out and resting his hand on his co-worker's back, rubbing it gently,
"Right now, I just feel so numb after everything that's happened, that I don't even feel up to praying about it..."
"Why not?" Monica whispered as she never lifted her head.
"Because...because I don't know what to say," Kevin replied after a few moment of silence,
"This is all such a jumbled web and I've got so many mixed feelings..."
"We all do, Kev." Andrew's tired voice sounded from the staircase and both angels looked up to see their friend joining them. Taking a seat on the couch behind Monica, Andrew rested his head against the back of the couch and lifted his green eyes to the ceiling,
"We each have our own mixed feelings about all of this...but telling the Father about it is the best thing we can do right now..."
"You don't really sound so convinced, Andrew," Kevin remarked, his eyes on his supervisor.
Shrugging his shoulders, Andrew replied tiredly,
"Couldn't sleep, just like you two. Got alot on my mind as well."
"Why do you not sound convinced about talking to the Father?" Kevin asked softly.
"Maybe because even though I've been talking to Him, I'm not feeling anymore relief than you two are right now," He replied sadly,
"I keep thinking that maybe if I can at least help you two, it would help me, but so far that isn't working either."
"Unfortunately, it wasn't one of those bad cases that cocoa and popcorn and a night in front of the fire can fix," Monica whispered, never raising her head,
"This one was much worse than that."
"Yeah, it was," Andrew replied softly, his heart heavy not only with his own grief but also with his concern over his two charges. It never took Kevin long to bounce back from anything, but this time, he hadn't so much as seen a smile from his youngest charge in days, not even a half-hearted one. On top of that, despite his talk with Monica the other night, she had said very little since then and had gone back to sleeping in her own room and though he hoped she was just trying to work some thing out, he had a feeling her emotions were still very mixed, both about the fire and his ability to forgive her.
"Andrew," Kevin's voice broke into his thoughts,
"You know what Monica and I most regret about this whole assignment….is there anything you regret or feel like you've learned?"
Andrew fell silent for a few moments and the only noise heard in the living room was the crackling of the flames in the fireplace. Feeling Kevin's eyes still on him, the older angel finally turned to face him and drew in a deep breath, trying to put all of his jumbled thoughts into words,
"Well...I have learned the past 2 months to trust the Father in everything. The fire is the best example I can give..." He sighed heavily as he lowered his head,
"I was having so much trouble trying to figure out why He was allowing it to happen to me, but I just needed to be reminded to trust that He knows what He's doing and that something good will come out of it. You helped me with that, Kev..." He attempted a tiny smile in his youngest charge's direction before it disappeared,
"As for things I regret..." Andrew drew in a shaky breath before letting it out slowly,
"I regret letting you stay with Thorn that second day on the streets, Kevin. If only I hadn't made Monica and I leave that day, regardless if he threatened us, maybe we could've had more time to talk to Paddy. Because we got separated in the first place, which was one of the rules I set and broke in two days...we only got a chance to talk to Paddy once and now...we've lost that chance. Yes, he's with the Father, but that doesn't change the fact that the Sullivan's are now heart-broken and angry...they've been through so much already and I hate seeing them continuing to suffer."
Monica felt tears filling her eyes as she listened to her best friend's words of regret as guilt once again flowed through her. She had snapped at Thorn continuously that horrible morning and once again, had she just been able to control her temper, there may not have been any threat and Andrew wouldn't have felt the urge to leave to protect her. She couldn't bring herself to state this out loud however, for the same reason she hadn't been sure of whether or not to join him at the cabin to begin with; she was just so full of regrets and guilt over this whole thing and Andrew had already taken so much time for her already.
"Well, I'm glad I was able to help with something, Andrew," Kevin replied softly,
"And I broke that rule too…I should have gone with you that day, but I already told you that…"
"And I've already told you it's forgiven, Kev," Andrew replied wearily,
"We both learned something that day, I guess."
Rising to her feet, Monica walked over to the door and took her jacket down from the coat rack,
"I'm going for a walk," She offered shakily, her need to escape and clear her head becoming more and more urgent.
Before either of her friends had time to reply, the Irish angel bolted quickly out the door and shut it behind her. By this time, Andrew was already on his feet, determined not to let his best friend go out there alone, especially at this time of night. Shooting a quick glance at Kevin, the older angel ran towards the door and threw it open, but found that Monica was already halfway down the road, her pace quicker then he had ever seen it before.
Andrew leaned his head against the doorjam for a moment, wanting to go after her, but chose not to as he finally closed the door back up, but leaving it unlocked for when she returned. As he turned back around and saw Kevin looking sadly at him, the older angel leaned up against the door and sighed softly,
"She's more stubborn then the both of us combined..."
Kevin shrugged his shoulders and let out a sigh before speaking up,
"Are you staying up to wait for her?"
Nodding his head, Andrew moved back to the couch and took a seat on it, lifting his hands to rub at his exhausted green eyes,
"Yeah...so I might as well crash out here until she returns."
"Do you want company?" Kevin asked softly, rubbing at his own tired eyes.
"I'm okay, Kev," He replied, seeing the exhaustion in his youngest charge's eyes,
"Go on up to bed."
Nodding his head, he moved to hug his supervisor tightly, seeing the deep sadness and worry in his green eyes,
"Eventually, we'll all be okay, Simba, you know?"
"I hope so, Kevin," Andrew replied with a sigh,
"I sure hope so."
As he watched his charge head upstairs, Andrew leaned his head back once more, knowing sleep would never come now. Closing his eyes briefly, he whispered out loud,
"Father, give me the wisdom to deal with this, please? I know that You know that your angels make mistakes, but this time, the mistakes were just all the more crucial and though they can't be undone, please help me to take away the guilt as it feels like more than any of us can bear right now," Opening his eyes once more, he settled back to wait for his friend to return.
Wendy didn't arrive back at the Richard's home until later that night and by the time she walked through the front door, the teenager was surprised to see Anna waiting up for her in the living room. Although she looked exhausted, the woman also appeared concerned,
"Honey, where have you been?" She asked, rising to her feet and walking over to Wendy.
"Out." The girl replied, shrugging out of her jacket and looking down at her feet,
"I went to Paddy's grave earlier this afternoon and ran into my dad...but I didn't feel like returning here for the day, so I just walked around."
"Until past midnight, Wendy?" Anna raised an eyebrow and laid both hands on the girl's slim shoulders,
"Honey, I was worried about you...I know Mark and I aren't your parents, but we were really concerned."
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Richards…I was just upset and lost track of time, I guess," Wendy replied with a tired sigh.
"I can understand that, sweetheart, but your parents have entrusted you to us for the time being, so we need to treat you as one of our own for the moment and that means knowing where you are and you being back here at a decent hour," Seeing distress in Wendy's blue eyes, Anna softened her tone,
"We care about your well being, Wendy, and we don't want anything to happen to you. That would be more than we could bear and certainly more than your parents could bear. I have no problem giving you space to grieve, I just ask that you check in with us is all. That's fair enough, isn't it?"
Wendy nodded her head,
"It's more than fair, Mrs. Richards and I really am sorry," A thought struck her then and regret filled her tired face,
"I missed my nightly call to Angel too. Did she call here for me?"
"No, honey, she didn't," Anna replied softly,
"She's probably sound asleep by now anyway."
Wendy sighed in exhaustion as she lowered her blue eyes to the carpet,
"I guess I'll be heading up to bed as well...I'll give Angel a call in the morning and apologize." Lifting her eyes to the woman's, she sighed again as she spoke somewhat tearfully,
"I'm really sorry about that, Mrs. Richards..."
"It's all forgiven, honey," She reassured as she gave the teenager a gentle hug,
"Don't you worry about it; just worry about going upstairs now and getting some rest. You look like you need it more then I do."
Nodding her head, Wendy pulled away and attempted a half-hearted smile at Anna,
Leaning down to kiss the girl's forehead, Anna smiled sadly at her,
"It's our pleasure." With a sigh, she watched as Wendy brushed past her and headed towards the staircase and the next thing she heard was the sound of the bedroom door closing. Sitting back down on the couch again, Anna raised her eyes to the ceiling and spoke aloud to the calmness of the living room,
"Lord, please be with Wendy and her family right now during this more then difficult time. They need to feel Your comfort and love more then anything right now, and I am trying to bring it to young Wendy, but You are the real Healer and I lift them all up to you." Sighing heavily, Anna continued,
"And I also lift up that dear girl's friends...she told us about them in the car the other day after Paddy's memorial service, and right now I pray that you'll bring Brady around and make him see that none of this is their friend's fault, and that You always have a plan. Thank you, Lord. Amen."
Written by: CI and KP
Andrew was close to getting ready to throw his own coat on and head out to look for his best friend, when finally, at nearly 4:00 in the morning, the door to the cabin quietly opened and he saw Monica slip inside. As she hung her jacket back on the rack, Andrew, who had been ready to tear into her out of fear over her having been gone so long, stopped himself.
He could tell she had been crying and his heart ached over the look of complete despair on her face. He knew that all angels made mistakes and that they often felt terrible for making them, but he also knew she was punishing herself far harder than could ever be warranted and he was determined that it be stopped before the sun rose again in the sky. The guilt was keeping her from healing from Paddy's death and the hurt inflicted by Brady's decision, as she couldn't seem to move past the things she had done wrong.
As she hung up her jacket and slowly turned around, Monica's swollen eyes grew wide,
"Andrew…what are you still doing up?"
"Waiting for you, Angel Girl, and I was beginning to get worried," Seeing her lower her eyes, he sighed softly and indicated the couch,
"Sit down, Mon'. We need to talk."
Fear sparked in her dark eyes as she tried to protest,
"I'm really tired, Andrew…please, can't it wait…?"
"No," Andrew replied, his voice showing a hint of sternness,
"It can't wait. We need to talk now and neither one of us is getting any sleep until we understand one another perfectly."
"Andrew, please...not now," The Irish angel whispered miserably as she tried to make her way past him, but he caught her arm before she could head up the stairs.
"Monica, we really need to talk...now." Andrew interrupted, his voice a little bit firmer. Seeing his best friend sigh in exhaustion and then nod her head, the older angel inwardly gave a sigh of relief as she reluctantly took a seat on the couch and he sat down next to her. Reaching for the Irish angel's cold, trembling hands, Andrew rubbed her fingers with his strong ones to warm them up before speaking,
"Angel Girl, I think you know what I want to talk to you about..."
"Andrew, we already discussed this the other day," Monica weakly interrupted, lowering her eyes to avoid her best friend's gaze,
"You know how I feel about myself after all that's happened-"
"And that's why we have to discuss this again now, and I want for you to listen to me well, little girl, because it's important," Andrew gently interrupted her this time, giving her hands a tight squeeze.
Finally lifting her brown eyes to meet his, the little Irish angel drew in a shuddering breath and replied,
"I guess I really have no choice right now, huh?"
Smiling slightly, Andrew shook his head tiredly,
"Not really, Angel Girl."
Sensing that he was waiting for her to speak, she gazed sadly down at their joined hands,
"I can't get past it, Andrew. In two instances, when I lost my temper, first at George Keyser, then at Thorn, it was like a domino effect…one horrible thing led to another and the next thing we knew, Paddy was dead…"
"They were mistakes, Monica," Andrew told her gently,
"And you know what? You're going to make more of them; we all are. Yes, I've asked you before to work on that temper of yours, but honey, I don't expect you to be able to turn it around over night. Thorn made you feel threatened and vulnerable, two things you hate feeling, with good reason and I'm glad to see a bit of fire in you in those kinds of circumstances. Thorn brought out the worst in me too, partially because for the same reasons you don't like to feel threatened and vulnerable, I hate seeing anyone putting you in that position. I reacted in anger, both when I hit him and when I made the decision we were leaving," He drew in a deep breath, praying he was getting through to her,
"As for Keyser, we've been over this and over this, sweetie, and I think you're forgetting someone very important in that whole situation," Seeing her finally look up at him once more, tears and curiosity in her tired eyes, he continued gently,
"Rachel. Her family had been left in limbo for 20 years wondering what happened to her and had you not walked into his office that day, you never would have seen him and you never would have remembered that it was he who killed that little girl right in front of you. Rachel's family now knows the truth. The Father took your actions that day and turned them into something good for a family who had suffered for 20 years. Monica, that has to be worth something to you. It's worth it to me and to the Father as well as for that girl's family."
"Maybe so, Andrew, but...look at all the bad things that have happened because of it-"
"Angel Girl, let's stop there for a minute, okay?" Andrew gently interrupted, releasing her hands and bringing them to her face so that their eyes met. Waiting until she finally met his green ones, the older angel continued slowly and gently,
"We have got to stop dwelling on the negative and think of the positive, Mon. Sweetie, that little girl's family now has peace, and that never would've happened if you didn't face Keyser like you did! Yes, bad things did happen since then, but the Father turned it into something good and He's healing Rachel's family now because Keyser is now in prison."
The little Irish angel lowered her head miserably and turned her head away from her best friend,
"I guess I still don't understand how you're always able to forgive me so easily, Andrew...I don't know if I'll ever figure it out..."
Reaching for her face again, Andrew turned it towards him and blinked back a round of tears as he replied lovingly,
"I can forgive you because I love you. I LOVE you, Monica, and I can always forgive you. Remember this, little one: None of us are perfect. All right? None of us, and we're going to continue making mistakes and all, but the good thing is that we learned from those errors and we're going to try and do better next time. Please understand where I'm coming from, Monica..."
"I'm trying…" Monica whispered tearfully, the tears now making their way down her pale face,
"But I get so scared sometimes…I'll realize I've done something stupid, or I've taken advantage of our friendship…and I just wait for it to be over…"
"For what to be over, sweetheart?" He whispered, before reality hit him,
"For us to be over? For our friendship to be over?" He drew in a sharp breath with the realization that still, after all these years the old fears could resurface…or maybe, deep down inside of her, they had never left. Tears escaping his own eyes, he spoke softly,
"That will never happen, Angel Girl. Our friendship is a gift the Father gave to us and there are so many things about this gift I'm still learning, Monica, and I'm not about to give up knowing about those things; things about you and things about our friendship. This gift leaves me in awe all the time, and after all these years, what I know beyond the shadow of a doubt is that our friendship has no limits or boundaries. There has been no situation thus far that our friendship has not been able to reach, no matter how terrible the situation is. You have always been, and will FOREVER be, my Angel Girl and my best friend," Seeing grief in her eyes, he knew he was finally close to the surface as he finished in a loving whisper,
"My love for you is unconditional. It doesn't fade away with each mistake. Now you just need to accept the fact that some things, little girl, are never going to change. No matter what else changes, this.." He indicated with his finger, the two of them,
"Never goes away. This friendship is here to stay and there isn't anything out there strong enough to tear it apart…I won't allow anything to tear us apart."
Monica was quiet for a moment as soft sobs shook through her, before she tried to speak,
"Thank you…so much has changed and I…I was just afraid of losing you…just like…just like the…Sullivan's and…Paddy….oh God, Paddy…."
Tears of pain and relief raced down Andrew's handsome face, as his dearest friend finally got past her guilt and began to release the grief over what Paddy had done. Pulling her into his lap, he enfolded her in his arms, giving her the time and the comfort to release the pain.
"Andy...I miss him so much..." She sobbed brokenly as her best friend cradled her gently in his arms and she buried her face against the nape of his neck, her own arms clinging tightly to him,
"I just miss him so m-much...it brings back memories of W-Wendy Hendrickson..."
"I know..." Andrew whispered into her hair as he allowed his own tears to fall unashamedly,
"So do I, little one..."
The minutes passed slowly as the two angels clung to each other like a lifeone, and Andrew continued to rock her lovingly in his lap like she was a little girl again. As the older angel closed his green eyes tightly, he let out a heavy sigh before lifting up one last prayer to the Father to help see them through the next few weeks and months...whatever they may hold.
"Angel?" Cindy said softly, entering her daughter's dark bedroom, her blue eyes filled with worry. Angel hadn't uttered a word in two days since the funeral and had barely come out of her room. She was picking at her meals, eating enough for one, yet alone not enough for the baby she was carrying.
Getting no response, Cindy sat down on the edge of her bed and lovingly brushed a wisp of blond hair from her daughter's eyes,
"I'm worried about you, sweetheart."
Closing her eyes, Angel sighed softly, only wanting to be left alone. Her world was closing in around her and her grief over so many losses was more than she could possibly bear at the moment and she wasn't about to open up to her parents, who were more concerned with fighting with each other, then they seemed to be with her lately,
"I'm fine." She forced herself to whisper,
"No need to worry about me."
Frowning in concern, Cindy removed her hand and put it in her lap as she replied,
"Honey, you know as well as I do that I have a right to be worried about you. You're barely eating enough for only one person, and you're carrying a child inside of you right now; you're not talking to anyone and you haven't come out of your room since the funeral. Baby, please, talk to me..."
"Why should you be worried about me, mom? It seems I'm the least of your concerns right now, when you're just continuing to bicker away with dad," Angel mumbled, never once meeting her mother's eyes,
"I don't see why I should come out of my room. After all, do you just want me to listen to you guys tear at each other's eyes out there? I don't think so..."
Cindy's eyes widened in horror at her youngest daughter's words and it took a few moments for her to find her voice,
"Angel, please don't do this-"
"Do what?" Angel snapped, finally looking Cindy's way and narrowing her blue eyes,
"First, you want me to talk and then when I express my anger, you're telling me not to. Make up your mind, mom!"
Trying to remain as calm as she could, Cindy drew in a deep breath,
"Angel, I know things are tough right now-."
"Tough?" Angel replied, angry tears filling her blue eyes,
"Tough doesn't begin to sum it up, mother. Paddy is dead, you and daddy just fight every time you are in the same room together, my sister barely lives here anymore, the angels aren't allowed here anymore, I'm supposed to go back to school in two days and I'm showing and everyone is going to know I'm pregnant…so where does that leave me, mom?"
"Sweetheart, we can talk about this-," Cindy pleaded, but Angel interrupted her.
"Don't you get it? I don't want to talk to you, mom! I want to talk to Monica…or Andrew or someone who isn't going to sit here and tell me how God has a plan and then walk out of the room and start yelling at dad! How can you listen to me when you can't even listen to each other!"
Choking on a sob, Cindy tried once again as she reached for her daughter's hand,
"Baby, you know what your father said-"
"See? There you go again!" Angel shouted, yanking her hand out of her mother's grasp and sitting up straight on the bed,
"Just go, mom! Go! I don't want to talk to anyone unless they're here to tell me that I can see Monica and Andrew again, or to tell me that you and dad are going to stop fighting with one another! Just GO!"
Cringing at her daughter's words, Cindy rose shakily to her feet and nodded down at Angel,
"I'm sorry, Angel...I really am sorry, sweetheart..." Turning around, the woman headed slowly for the door, but not before saying one final thing to Angelica,
"I'll try and talk to your father again about the angels, but I can't promise you anything..." She stopped as she noticed that Angel was now ignoring her; her daughter was now curled up on her side and her back was to her as she face the wall. Sighing sadly, Cindy blinked back tears before turning around and leaving the room.
"Tess? Rose? What are you two doing here?" Andrew asked, late the following morning, as his two older friends appeared as he was cooking breakfast. His two charges were still fast asleep and for the first time in days, Andrew was feeling a little bit of relief. With Kevin and Monica both beginning to accept the mistakes they had made, he was hoping that the three of them were finally going to turn a corner in healing. His best friend had cried herself to sleep in his arms early this morning and he had carried her up to bed, before getting a few more hours sleep himself. He had checked on them both when he had woken up not long ago and had found them both sleeping rather peacefully for the first time in days.
"We came to check on you three, honey," Rose replied, as she moved to hug him tightly,
"And we have a bit of news for you, but before that, how are things going?"
Embracing his friend and former supervisor back tightly, Andrew smiled slightly as he felt Rose give him a loving squeeze before releasing him,
"A little bit better then yesterday, which is good...things weren't pretty last night, though; but the three of us stayed up and talked, and hopefully now, we're starting to get past some of this guilt..." The youngest angel shrugged his shoulders as he lowered his green eyes.
"That's good to hear, baby," Tess smiled at him as she moved forward to hug him tightly as well,
"That's really good to hear."
Pulling gently away from his older friend, Andrew then looked up and once again smiled slightly at them,
"So what kind of news do you have?"
Exchanging looks with one another, Rose grasped onto Andrew's hand and led him over to the kitchen table where the three angels took a seat,
"Sweetheart, the Father just gave us some news that He wanted us to share with you." Looking once again over at Tess, the Search and Rescue angel then turned back to her former charge,
"Andrew, this was never expected, but the Father feels that it's time. You, your Angel Girl and Kevin are once again assigned to the Sullivan's. In spite of what Brady has done and said, and in spite of how he feels right now, the entire family needs the three of you there. You see...Cindy's pregnant again, and she hasn't told Brady yet or the rest of the family; and the girls aren't doing well at all." She stopped as she saw her friend's green eyes widen in shock, but he didn't say a word. Giving his hand a gentle squeeze, Rose continued,
"The Father wants you three to head back there tomorrow morning. Now, I can't promise you it will be pretty...but it has to be done."
Trying to take all of this information in at once, Andrew's jaw dropped as he looked at each of his friends,
"We're supposed to go...back?"
"Yes, baby," Tess sighed softly as she reached for his other hand,
"You're all back on this assignment."
Written by: CI and KP
"How can you ask this of me?" Monica cried out, as the argument caught fire once again,
"Brady wanted us out of their lives, and now we're supposed to go back?"
"It's where we've been assigned, Monica," Andrew replied as patiently as he could, exchanging a look with Kevin,
"It's asking a lot of any of us after all that has happened, but it's where God wants us to be."
"Well, I don't know if I can do it!" She replied, her Irish voice heavy with frustration.
"Are we being assigned to anyone in particular, Andrew?" Kevin asked wearily, trying to change the subject momentarily in order for his two friends to take a breather.
Andrew ran a hand through his hair, knowing this was not about to go over well and he was still questioning it himself,
"We're all going to be helping with the girls," He began carefully,
"Kevin, you're going to also be a bit of damage control, depending on where further help is needed, as I'll be assigned to Cindy and Monica to Brady…"
"What?!" Monica's eyes widened in absolute disbelief,
"This has to be a joke!"
"Would I joke about this, Angel Girl?" Andrew asked tensely. He hated this whole situation; it was too soon for them and they weren't ready, but they were also God's servants and this is where they were being called to be.
"Well, I won't do it, Andrew! I won't!" She retorted, crossing her arms in front of her, unable to believe this whole situation.
Andrew took a deep breath, not liking what he was about to say, but knowing he had to say it,
"The way I see it, Monica, is that you have two choices. You either deal with this and do what is being asked of you…or you can walk off the assignment," Seeing tears spring to her eyes, he continued,
"I know this is hard, especially after the things Brady said, but I can't give you permission to refuse the assignment. You have to do that all on your own."
"How can you do this, Andrew?" Monica whispered, regretting her own words as soon as she spoke then just by seeing the look in her best friend's eyes.
"I'm not doing anything to you, Monica, and you know it," Andrew replied tersely,
"I did not pick and choose this assignment, and I am not joking around about this. None of this is my plan, and if I had a choice, I wouldn't go back there either. But the Father Himself is sending us there, and that's where we're supposed to be."
The Irish angel's face flushed red as she lowered her brown eyes away from Andrew and she fiddled with the pillow she held in her hands,
"I still don't want to do this..."
"None of us do, Monica," Kevin jumped in, looking at his Irish co-worker,
"None of us like it, but Andrew's just telling us what the Father told him...we really have no choice, do we, Andrew?"
Sighing tiredly, Andrew lowered his green eyes to the bed and replied heavily,
"As I said, you really have two choices: Walk off the assignment, or accept it. But of course, you have free will just like I do...and I'm hoping you'll make the correct choice."
"You know I'm in, Andrew," Kevin sighed heavily,
"Like it or not."
Andrew managed a small smile in his youngest charge's direction,
"I appreciate that, Kev'," He replied, before turning his eyes back to his best friend and raising one eyebrow.
"I didn't even go to Paddy's funeral because Brady didn't want us around…" Monica remarked irritably.
"And that was your decision as well," Andrew reminded her, trying to keep his own short fuse under control after the past two months.
Her arms still crossed stubbornly, Monica bit her lip and turned her auburn head away from her friends, going over everything that was being said,
"Andrew, I cannot do this...I just can't! Why can't you understand that I cannot go back there?"
His patience starting to run thin, Andrew drew in a deep breath and tried to keep his voice as steady as possible,
"Because I don't want to see you walk off this assignment, Mon. Remember how Sam gave me a choice after Paddy ran away? I wasn't about to put either of you in a situation on the streets, where you were capable of getting hurt; but I knew what had to be done, and that accept the assignment. So what's your choice, Angel Girl?"
Clenching and unclenching her fists, Monica rose to her feet and looked down at her best friend and supervisor, knowing full well she was going to be disappointing him once again, but unable to keep the words from coming,
"I'm not going." With that, the Irish angel turned on her heel and hurried out of the room.
"Monica!" Andrew shouted after her, his patience completely worn now. Though he had given her a choice, he had fully expected her to pick the right one.
"Simba, maybe you two need to cool down a bit?" Kevin suggested, wincing a bit as Andrew went out the bedroom door after the Irish angel,
"Oh man, this is so not good…"
Finding her in the living room, staring angrily out the bay window, the supervising angel leaned up against the wall and watched her in silence for a moment before speaking,
"I can't believe you are doing this."
"Doing what?" Monica replied, her voice tinged with anger,
"What Brady wants? What he asked for? I'm just staying out of his way, Andrew…I wouldn't want to cause anymore trouble for them or anything. Just be careful nothing happens to you lest the house stop…"
"Monica, I am not the enemy here, and you know it!" The older angel raised his voice a notch, although he tried to keep it as under control as possible,
"Of course Brady wanted us out of their house, but the Father is calling us back! Brady Sullivan isn't God, Monica!"
"I never said he was!" The Irish angel replied, her back still turned to him,
"But what am I supposed to feel when I keep getting pulled in many different directions, Andrew?"
"Mon, I'm not pulling you in ANY different directions! And neither is the Father! You're allowing yourself to take all of his words to heart, and NOT allow yourself to believe that he'll come around! That family needs help, and we're the only ones that can give it to them! I can't believe that you're actually refusing this...Tell me, Monica, what am I supposed to tell Angel this time when she sees the rest of us back, but not you?"
"You seemed to do just fine at the funeral!" She snapped back, knowing in her heart she wasn't really angry with him, but she hadn't felt as if she hadn't had any control over her emotions in weeks,
"I'm sure you'll think of something!"
"I'm not lying to her if that is what you are asking!" Andrew retorted, his eyes flashing anger,
"If she asks, she gets the truth-."
"I never asked you to lie! You said this was my decision but yet you won't lay off when I make it!" Turning to face him, her own eyes flashed fire.
"Because I don't want to see you blow this!" He snapped, venturing a step closer to her,
"And that is what is about to happen!"
"Why are you pushing me like this?" Monica cried back as she looked through narrowed eyes at him,
"I'm not going back there, and I don't care if I blow it! So lay off!"
Andrew glared furiously at his best friend and shook his head hard, unable to stop the angry tears from falling from his eyes,
"Fine. If that's how you're going to play this, then so be it. Do what you want, Monica...just do what you want..." Brushing past her, the supervisor grabbed his jacket off of the coat rack and headed out the door, slamming it behind him.
Slumping against the front door after her friend had left, Monica drew in shuddering breaths as small sobs escaped her; she closed her eyes briefly, but opened them again as she heard Kevin's footsteps sounding from in front of her. Looking up, the Irish angel met Kevin's startled brown eyes and before she could speak, the youngest Caseworker spoke up,
"Why are you telling him to lay off when you know he's right, Monica?"
Falling silent for a moment as she felt the anger draining from her, she shook her head sadly,
"I don't know, Kevin. I know he's right; he generally is," Wiping at her eyes with the back of her hand, she drew in a shuddering breath,
"I need to go and find him. I can't leave it like this…"
"What are you going to do about the Sullivan's?" He prodded gently as he reached for her jacket and handed it to her.
"I don't know," She whispered sadly,
"I'll figure that out when I talk to Andrew."
Not far from the cabin, Andrew took a seat on a flat rock over-looking a stream of water. Wrapping his arms around his legs, the angel rested his chin on them and tried to take as deep of breaths as possible after what had just occurred with Monica back at the cabin. Yes, he was still angry with more; more angry then he had been in a while, and he knew that if he didn't get away from her, he would say something he would regret forever and he didn't want to go there.
Sighing sadly, Andrew kept his eyes on the water as he thought back to the words his best friend had said, and he couldn't believe that she would actually refuse this assignment after all that had happened. Although he didn't want to tell her a few minutes ago, after Monica had yelled that she was being pulled in many different directions, Andrew himself felt like he needed to be in too many places at the same time. Especially the last two months. And to hear her say such things caused him to grow even angrier and the angel couldn't keep his temper in check much longer.
"There you are..." The familiar Irish voice sounded from behind him, but Andrew didn't look up. Instead, his face flushed red with frustration all over again and he fell silent.
Seeing the anger still present on his face, Monica drew in a deep breath, knowing she had to make this right and preferably without a repeat of what had just happened at the cabin,
"I…I know you are furious with me at the moment and I'm sorry. I don't know where all that came from. No, you aren't the enemy and I was treating you like one and that wasn't fair of me…."
Getting no response from him, she sat down tentatively next to him, but careful to leave room between them, as she felt unable to read the look on his face,
"Go ahead and say what you are thinking," She stated softly.
Still not facing her, Andrew attempted to find his voice and when he did, he tried to keep it as steady as possible, despite the anger he was feeling,
"You're right. I am really angry right now, and you know why." Shooting a quick glance at her, the older angel then turned back to the water,
"After all that we've been through...not only the last few months, but also these last few years...I do not understand how you could say the things you did back there, Monica." Here, he turned and faced the younger angel, shaking his head in frustration and disappointment,
"How long have we known the Sullivan's? At least 50 years?" Seeing her nod her head, Andrew continued sternly,
"To hear you say you're going to walk off of this assignment leaves me more then disappointed, Monica! I was hoping that you would make the right choice, although of course the Father gives us all choices; but I didn't expect you to say those things..."
"I know there's more you want to say. Right?" The Irish angel lowered her head in shame as she waited for him to continue.
"Yeah, as a matter of fact, there is," Andrew replied, his voice laden with disappointment in her,
"One minute you're upset over the mistakes you made over the last few weeks and now today you don't even bother to think twice about making another one. You say you're going to work on your temper and today you don't think twice about losing it with me. Make up your mind, Monica. You're either working on these things or you aren't…there isn't any middle ground here," Knowing his words were hurting her, but also that they needed to be said, he continued sternly,
"And don't talk to me about being pulled in different directions, when I've been in a tug of war through this whole thing with you. Every time you've lost control, it resulted in my feeling like I needed to be two places at once, whether it be with you and with the Sullivan's or with you and with Kevin when he stayed at the train yard after you ticked off Thorn so badly, it was no longer safe for you to stay there. I know we've been over these things and they are forgiven, but on the same token, don't go telling me how you feel pulled in different directions when you've been the one doing the pulling."
Still staring down at the ground, her lower lip trembling, Monica could only whisper up a soft and miserable,
"I'm sorry…I'm so sorry…"
"Deep down, I know that you're sorry about it, Monica," Andrew replied, his voice still stern,
"And I will forgive you for it...but do something about this, Monica! You have got to..."
"Or you may never trust me again..." The Irish angel whispered tearfully, hoping that wouldn't be the case.
Shrugging his shoulders, Andrew glanced at her briefly before looking up at the sky,
"I don't want to think about never trusting you again, Mon'...I never want to see that happen..." Lowering his green eyes, the angel blinked back a few tears as he continued,
"But it could, though...and Father forgive me if it does ever occur, because you're my best friend in the entire angelic realm, Monica, mistakes and all."
Tears of shame racing down her face, Monica managed to finally speak softly to him even as she kept her head lowered, feeling unable to face him at the moment,
"Thank you for being so honest. Even though it hurt, the truth usually does and I needed to hear it. You're right, of course, about everything. I just didn't see it before now. I never meant to make it so hard for you on this assignment, but I think deep down inside, I knew I was. I'm sorry for only thinking about how I felt and not how you felt and that isn't the way a friend should act. I'm not going to make excuses as to why I said and did the things I did as you've heard enough of those," Trying to swallow the lump that had formed in her throat, she struggled to continue,
"I never want to lose your trust and the possibility of that ever happening breaks my heart, Andrew, but I know if I ever did, I would only have myself to blame. I'll work on my temper, I promise I will…and I won't walk away from this assignment. I think I'm just afraid of facing Brady and equally afraid of losing my temper with him, but I'll do my best not to…I'll do my best to make you proud of me again, no matter what…"
"I would like that a whole lot, Mon," Andrew nodded his head as he attempted a small smile for both of their sakes,
Not really sure of what else to say, Monica watched as a few tears escaped her best friend's eyes and her heart broke once more. Reaching trembling arms out, the little Irish angel almost hesitantly wrapped them around his shoulders as she whispered again,
"I really am so, terribly sorry, Andrew..."
Gently embracing his friend back, Andrew nodded his head against her shoulder before he slowly pulled away for a moment to look into her face,
"I need a 'cross your heart' promise on what you just said, though, Monica. Everything that you just told me, I need for you to cross your heart...are we on the same page, Angel Girl?"
Nodding her head miserably, Monica bit her lip and replied shakily,
"Cross my heart."
"Thank you," Andrew replied softly, reaching to gently swipe a tear from her cheek, before he took her hands into his own and squeezed them reassuringly,
"You know I love you and that I wouldn't ask these things of you if they weren't important."
"I know," She whispered tearfully, holding his hands as tightly as she could,
"And I love you too, more than I think you know sometimes and I'd do anything to keep from losing you or your trust, Andrew…but…"
"But what?" He asked softly, looking into her eyes.
"But I might not be able to change some of these things today…I mean, I cross my heart promise that I'm going to try, but…I might need some help sometimes…would that still be okay?"
A smile playing on his lips, he cupped her cheek in his hand,
"Yeah, little girl, that would be more than 'okay'." His heart bursting with love for her, he pulled her back into his arms and hugged her tightly.
"Are…are we okay?" Monica whispered shakily, holding him tightly.
"We're going to be, Angel Girl," Andrew smiled, resting his chin on the top of her head,
"I think we're going to be just fine."
Early the next morning, Andrew walked up the steps of the Richard's household where Wendy was currently staying at and with a deep breath, rang the doorbell. Kevin and Monica were still waiting in the car while their supervisor talked to the teenager and told her that they were assigned to her family once again. Glancing over his shoulder at his two charges, he smiled slightly at them before turning back around to the sound of the front door opening, and Anna Richards poked her head out.
"Hello, Mrs. Richards. Is Wendy available?" Andrew asked kindly, knowing that this woman probably didn't even recognize him as he only caught a glimpse of her at Paddy's funeral.
"Why yes, she is. Are you one of the friends she was telling us about?" Anna asked gently as she opened the door and invited Andrew inside much to his dismay.
"Must be," The angel grinned at the woman,
"Things have just been so hectic in her household, and I need to talk to her if it's all right..."
"She's up in the guest room...I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name," The human gently responded.
"Andrew." He replied and a few moments later, Andrew was knocking softly on Wendy's bedroom door, and after he received the call to come in, the blonde angel gently opened it up, spotting her sitting on the windowsill, her blue eyes overlooking the backyard.
"Hey, sweetheart," Andrew greeted her carefully, taking a step into the room.
With a gasp, the teenage girl whirled around, her eyes instantly clouding with tears,
"Andrew?" Bolting up from the windowsill, she hurled herself into the angel's arms, holding onto him tightly,
"I can't believe you're here! I've missed you so much…and Andrew…things are so much worse.."
Rocking her gently in his arms, he nodded his head,
"I know, Wendy, which is why we've been reassigned to your family."
"What?" Pulling away slightly, she looked up into his eyes,
"The three of you have been reassigned to us? All three of you?"
"Yes, honey. Monica and Kevin are waiting for me in the car to head to your folks house," Leading her over to the bed, he sat her down and then sat down beside of her,
"What I need from you, is for you to come home. We need you all there for things eventually get worked out," Wrapping an arm around her shoulders, he looked into her tearful eyes,
"Sweetie, will you please come home tonight?"
Though she looked undecided for a moment, she finally bravely nodded her head,
"As long as you promise you three are going to be there and you're not going to let dad chase you away."
"God has placed us there, Wendy, and no, not even your dad will be able to chase us away. I'm not promising you that this is going to be easy, but I will promise you that we are going to be there and that God is going to be there for all of us."
The tears falling freely from the teenager's blue eyes, Wendy choked on a sob as she threw her arms around her angelic friend once again and held onto him tightly,
"I've missed you so much, Andrew...just so much..."
Smiling tearfully, Andrew returned the hug and ran his hand through her blonde hair,
"And I've missed you too...we've missed all of you, sweetie."
Still refusing to let him go, Wendy rested her head wearily on his shoulder as her friend rocked her gently in his arms,
"I love you, Andrew; I love you so, so much..." The teenager and the angel continued sitting on the bed for the next few moments and finally, Wendy felt him gently release her and look into her teary blue eyes.
"Would you like for me to wait out in the car while you get packed? Or do you need any help?" Andrew asked her gently as he lifted a hand and wiped at the tear streaks on her cheeks.
"I'll be out in a few minutes; I need to let Anna and Mike know, and say good-bye to Amy. You go on ahead," She replied with a tiny smile as they rose to their feet, but before her friend could leave the room to head back downstairs, Wendy caught him by the arm and looked up into his green eyes,
"Andrew?" Taking a deep breath and letting it out, she said quietly, her voice laced with more tears,
Written by: CI and KP
"I can't believe you all are here," Cindy uttered once more, as tears fell from her eyes.
"The Father sent us, not that we would have been anywhere else," Andrew replied, as Cindy pulled away from him and turned to Monica.
Hugging her angelic sister tightly, Cindy drew in a trembling breath,
"I've missed you all so much….and things are such a mess right now…"
"We've missed you too," Monica whispered shakily, trying to ward off the anxiety she felt about being here. Though she had missed Cindy and the girls, the thought of confronting Brady and at the same time, keeping her promise to Andrew, made her feel sick inside. Though she and Andrew had been more or less okay since their discussion yesterday, there was still some residual tension in the air which had been slowly starting to fade, and she knew she couldn't blow this.
"And we're going to work on fixing this mess," Kevin piped up,
"It may not happen overnight but we'll do our best."
"It definitely won't happen overnight," Cindy whispered wearily, pulling away from Monica and taking a seat at the table,
"Not with as hateful as Brady has been."
Not missing the shudder that went through his best friend, Andrew reached for Cindy's hand,
"We know about the pregnancy, Cin'," He told her gently.
"I haven't even told Brady about it," She remarked, wiping at her eyes,
"And since he has been sleeping on the couch, he has missed the morning sickness I'm already having that I never had with the triplets," She sighed tearfully,
"I have a feeling this is going to be a rough pregnancy and I don't even know if I'm going to have him with me through it all."
"Is he at work?" Monica asked quietly.
"No, he hasn't gone back since Paddy died…neither of us have yet," Cindy explained shakily,
"He hides in his study most of the day and if I even so much as walk in there to try to talk to him it results in an argument…"
Pushing back her chair, Monica rose to her feet. Though she wanted to see Angel, she didn't want Brady to stumble upon them being here as she would rather face him on her terms and not his,
"I'm going to let him know we're here," She stated, her voice as controlled as she could possibly make it.
Feeling Cindy squeeze his hand tightly, Andrew glanced at his friend and smiled reassuringly at her as he placed his right hand over their conjoined ones and gave it a squeeze in return. With a heavy sigh, the older angel turned his green eyes to the staircase and watched his best friend walk up them and he lifted up a silent prayer that she would be able to keep her temper in check with Brady as she talked with him.
On Monica's part, she took a deep breath as she finally neared the closed door of Brady and Cindy's study and it took all of her strength to even lift her hand and knock softly on the door. After several moments, she realized Brady must not have heard her, so she lifted her hand again and rapped louder on the wooden door.
"Come in." The human's voice sounded from the other side, and the little Irish angel didn't miss the irritation evident in his voice. Closing her brown eyes and lifting up a prayer of strength, Monica pushed the door open and poked her head in. Noticing that he was sitting at his desk, his eyes turned away from the door, Monica took a deep breath and walked slowly and hesitantly into the room.
"Hello, Brady..." She greeted him in a quiet whisper.
As Brady looked up, his eyes darkened at the sight of the angel as his face immediately flushed red with anger,
"What the hell are you doing in my house?" He demanded, rising to his feet and moving to stand in front of the desk,
"I thought I made myself perfectly clear that none of you are welcomed here anymore, so what part of that did you not understand?"
Trying not to flinch, Monica responded as calmly as she could,
"We've been assigned here, Brady. It's really no secret that your family is in trouble and we've been asked to intervene-."
"Well, thanks, but no thanks, so you and your angelic friends can see yourselves to the door! You got that?" Brady snapped, taking a threatening step closer to her.
"I'm afraid that isn't possible, Brady," She replied, refusing to be intimidated by him,
"God has placed us here, whether you like it or not. I understand that you are angry, but Andrew, Kevin and I did all we could to help Patrick…he just didn't want to listen-."
"I'm not so sure you three could help anyone!" Brady exploded, his anger now unleashing at the ones he had been most angry with,
"You say you 'helped' him? Tell me, is this similar to the way you all helped Cindy's twin sister the night she died?"
Forcing back a snappish remark at the human, Monica clenched and unclenched her fists before replying calmly,
"What happened with Wendy was the same thing that happened with Patrick, Brady, and Cindy has told you that. Andrew and I tried to get through to young Wendy, but she was so drunk that she decided to not listen to us...she disobeyed your in-laws and there was not a thing we could have done-"
"She was RAPED, for God's sakes, just like Angelica was! But none of you stopped that either, so don't tell me that you 'helped'!" Brady thundered, taking another step closer to the Irish angel,
"Now get out of my study, out of my house and get out of my life! Do you understand, Monica?!"
"She said that she couldn't, dad," Wendy's voice appeared in the doorway and Brady whirled around and saw both of his daughters standing in the doorway. Andrew was in between them, an arm wrapped around each girl's shoulders and he looked as freaked out as Monica did at the moment, although he was trying to keep his cool as well over the things he was saying. Before Brady had time to reply, Wendy continued,
"None of the angels can 'get out of your house', like you put it...they're assigned here to help us, and that's what they've been trying to do since day one..."
Looking angrily from Andrew to Monica, Brady spoke up again his voice controlled,
"Wendy, Angelica, go to your rooms."
"Dad, you're not being fair!" Wendy replied angrily.
"NOW!" Brady barked, pointing to the door.
Drawing in a deep breath, Andrew looked down at the two teenagers,
"It's okay, you guys. Do what your dad says. We'll be in to talk to you in awhile."
"You're not leaving, are you?" Wendy pleaded, exchanging a look with Angel, who was on the verge of tears.
"No," Andrew replied calmly, as he gently turned and guided the girls out of the line of fire, before turning back around to face the situation in front of him.
Monica fought the urge to flee the room as well, though there was nothing she would have liked more. She was already feeling overwhelmed, both with Brady's anger and the lingering conversation between she and Andrew yesterday still all too fresh in her mind. She felt terrified of saying the wrong thing, but she also knew Brady was her assignment and she had to say something,
"You can't just make them disappear, Brady, when their opinion differs from yours. They are a part of this family as well and have a right to express what they are feeling."
"But this is MY house and what I say goes!" Brady roared, glaring at each of the angels as Andrew walked up behind the Irish angel and placed comforting hands on her shoulders,
"And I may not be able to make my daughters disappear, and I can surely make you two-or three-disappear-"
"Actually, you can't, Brady," Andrew interrupted, his voice cold, though in control,
"I think you've forgotten that we're angels sometimes...we're not human; we're sent from God Himself, and He WANTS us here, whether you do or don't..."
"You know, you may be angels, but you sure don't act like them!" The human snapped back, glaring angrily at his former friends,
"You practically killed my only son, and now you won't leave! You three are murderers, and I want you out of my home, out of my life, and away from my wife and daughters! I don't care what you have to say any longer!"
"Brady, if you would just calm down and listen to what happened out there, you'd better understand…" Andrew began, but was immediately cut off.
"I have no desire to hear anything you have to say, Andrew! You're a supervising angel and you and your charges were assigned to my son and now he is dead, end of story! You've all caused more trouble than you could possibly ever be worth and I can't figure out why God, if there even is one, would allow murderers to be reassigned to their victims families!" Brady raged, his anger out of control,
"You helped kill Cindy's sister, and that girl in the park…what was her name? Rachel? Just stood by and watched her die too, just like Patrick!"
"We did not stand by and watch him die, Brady!" Andrew raised his voice slightly, although he still kept under control, although he was starting to feel rather angry as well towards the human who used to be his friend,
"Monica and I tried and tried again to talk him out of doing it, but he pulled a knife on us, Brady! What were we supposed to do then?"
"I'll tell you what you could've done! You could've grabbed it!" Brady snapped back, glaring angrily at the two angels.
"You weren't there, Brady; you didn't see what was going on!" Monica jumped back on, determined to not let her best friend take all the rap for this,
"We had no idea that Paddy had found out who we were really until he was too late-"
"Look, I don't want to hear anything else, have you two got that?!" Brady thundered back, taking another threatening step closer to the two angels,
"Now get out of my study or I'll personally escort you out!"
As Andrew turned around, Monica in front of him, he suddenly felt himself shoved from behind. Stumbling and catching himself, his jaw tense with anger, he heard Brady say,
"I want you both out of this house now!"
"You're way out of line, Brady!" Monica seethed, no longer able to control her anger after the physical attack on her best friend. Though she knew she was risking much more than she wanted to right now, she had been holding her tongue for as long as she could,
"You're so intent on only seeing what you want to see that you've become blind to everything else that is going on around you! Did it ever once occur to you that we loved Paddy too? No, of course it didn't, because all you see is that we were unable to help him! Well, you didn't help him either and you know why? Because Paddy had free will and he abused it in a terrible, heartbreaking way, for all of us and that's the truth! Now, you could either see this and move on with your life with your family, or you can continue to harbor this self righteous anger of yours that is putting a wall between you and your family, but if you do that you will lose more than a son; you will lose everything!" Trembling, even as she wondered if she too, were about to lose so much of what was important to her, Monica's eyes met Brady's steadily,
"Now, I'm not about to explain to you about Cindy's sister or about Rachel as neither of them concern you; you weren't around for either of them, but I will say that if love could have kept them alive, they would still be here; just like Paddy, but it wasn't to be, so just accept that!"
"Get out." Brady stated, his voice dangerously low, but before he could say anymore, Cindy's voice interrupted him.
"No, Brady, you get out." Cindy stated calmly, though her eyes were tear-filled as they met with his,
"I was going to take the girls and go, but no. We're not the ones destroying this family, you are. So I want you to pack your things and get out. If and when you are ready to act like the man I married, you can call me, but not a moment before."
Silence fell upon the room for a moment, before Brady grabbed his briefcase from the desk,
"Fine." He stated angrily, as he brushed past all of them and left the room.
Her heart pounding loudly in her chest, Monica closed her eyes for a moment. She at least knew she had spoken the truth, even if it was in anger and what frightened her most is that despite everything, she wasn't sorry. Turning around, she headed out of the study, not daring to look at Andrew, afraid of what she would see there.
"Monica?" Kevin asked in alarm as she came down the steps and he saw how her face was flushed.
"Brady's leaving," She stated, her voice controlled,
"Cindy has asked him to go."
"What happened up there?" He asked, having heard the loud voices for the last several minutes. Watching his friend as she made her way to the back door, he repeated,
"Plenty happened, Kev'," She replied, her voice still holding a tinge of anger, as she opened the back door,
"And I may have just lost one of the most important things in the world to me, and I'm ashamed to say that I'm not even sure Brady was worth losing it for." Without another word, she closed the back door firmly behind her.
His brown eyes widening in absolute shock, Kevin drew in a shaky breath and headed quickly to the stairs, but not before he heard thunderous footsteps sounding from above. The next thing he knew, Brady had come racing down the stairs, shoving the young angel out of the way,
"Get out of my way!"
"Brady-" Kevin started, but the human interrupted angrily.
"The next time I come here, you all had better be out of my house and out of our existence!" Brady pointed an angry finger at the youngest angel, all the while glaring at him,
"Or you will be sorry..." With that, Brady turned on his heel, a suitcase and his briefcase in each hand, and stomped out the door, slamming it behind him with his foot. The next thing he heard was the sound of the car starting up and roaring out of the driveway.
Unable to just stand there any longer, Kevin raced up the stairs, soon finding Cindy and the twins in the study, and Andrew was seated on the desk, his head in his hands,
"What in the world just happened in here...? Did I just hear what I think I heard?"
"He's gone for now," Cindy stated firmly, ignoring the tears that were racing down her face,
"I've had all I can take, Kevin."
Shooting a worried look at his supervisor, Kevin struggled to find words,
"It's going to be a little tough to fix a family with one member missing though, isn't it?"
"He doesn't want to fix anything!" Wendy cried out, her blue eyes showing anger,
"He'd rather yell than listen to anything anyone has to say. All he sees is how he feels!"
"Well, he obviously wasn't happy with us being here," Kevin remarked tentatively,
"He pretty much said as much to me on his way out the door. I tried to stop him but he wasn't listening…" He glanced over at Angel who looked as if she was going to burst into tears at any given moment.
Cindy looked over at Andrew, who had not uttered a sound and she approached him,
"It's better this way for right now, Andrew. He was making this house unlivable, with or without all of you here."
"This whole thing is just a nightmare..." The older angel whispered as he lifted his head and looked up at his human friend,
"A living nightmare that doesn't seem to have an end in sight."
Wrapping an arm around the angel's shoulders, Cindy gave him a squeeze as she closed her blue eyes tightly,
"Well, he's out of the house now; and maybe...just maybe...he'll also have some time to think about all that he's done the last few days. Because if he doesn't...to tell you the truth, divorce is definitely on the "maybe" list right about now..."
Silence filled the room and the only sound that was heard was that of Angel sobbing brokenly in her sister's arms. Finally, Kevin broke the tense silence, his voice filled with shock,
"You two can't get a divorce, Cindy..."
"I don't want to do it, Kevin, believe me," Cindy choked out through her own tears,
"But if Brady doesn't change, I am not going to live with him any longer. He's being a royal jerk, who doesn't care about anyone except for himself."
"That's just it, Cindy," Andrew replied wearily,
"I think his grief is just coming out in anger…I think he really does care, he is just incapable of showing it right now. Don't go and do anything rash just yet, okay?"
"The ball is in his court, Andrew," She replied softly, looking over at her two daughters, her heart filling with sympathy as she saw Angel's tears,
"C'mon, you two, lets go in the other room and have a talk, okay?"
"I don't want you guys to get a divorce…" Angel sobbed in misery, feeling as if her whole world was falling apart.
"I know, sweetheart, and hopefully that won't happen, but on the same token we can't keep living like this," Cindy replied with a sad sigh.
As the three humans headed out of the study and towards the twin's bedroom, Cindy stuck her head back in and said quietly to her remaining two angelic friends,
"If you need anything, just hollar." As they nodded their heads, the trio disappeared behind the bedroom door, closing it behind them tightly.
"Where'd Monica disappear to?" Andrew finally asked, rising to his feet and looking out into the hallway, but not seeing her anywhere.
"I think she went outside, Andrew," The youngest angel replied quietly, his concerned eyes on his supervisor,
"Are you all right?"
"I don't know if I'll ever be 'all right' again, Kev, if everything keeps going like it is..." He replied, his voice thick with emotion,
"But I need to go and check to see if Mon is at least holding her own...that was an ugly scene that went on in here with Brady..."
"Sure sounded that way," Kevin replied, his eyes holding sorrow over Andrew's words,
"Don't lose faith in this, Simba," He stated gently,
"What's that human saying? 'It's always darkest before the dawn'? If that be the case, the sun should be rising soon."
"I hope so, Kev," He replied as he headed out the door,
"I really hope so."
Written by: CI and KP
Monica sat on the patio chair with her knees drawn up to her chin as she shivered slightly in the fall breeze. Her anger was beginning to wear off, but she was trying to hold onto it for fear of what else she would feel once the anger at Brady was gone.
She had no idea if she had crossed any lines with Andrew or not, she only knew she had been unable to remain calm any longer. She had tried, really tried to not let her temper take over, even at all the ugly things Brady had said, but when he had pushed Andrew, she had snapped. She still didn't feel sorry in the least, nor would she apologize; Brady Sullivan had been way out of line and he had needed to be told that was the case.
Hearing a door, she looked up, her eyes widening in surprise as she saw Andrew, before she gazed down once more. She could tell he was upset, she just didn't know if it was at the situation, at her, or both and she decided to remain quiet until she knew.
Noticing that she wasn't about to say anything, Andrew sighed deeply before taking a seat in the patio chair next to his best friend and bringing it as close to hers as he could get,
"Before you ask, I'm not upset with you, Monica...I can tell by the look on your face that you're thinking just that, Angel Girl."
"I tried to hold it in," She spoke for the first time, her eyes looking out at the pool,
"I tried so hard...but when he pushed you..." With a shake of her head, she felt the anger returning to her and she cringed slightly,
"That was the last straw. He had it coming for him..."
Silence passed between them for a few moments before Andrew laid a hand on her knee and whispered,
"He was getting out of line, that's right, Mon." He sighed heavily before he continued,
"I'm proud of you, though, Angel Girl. Although he said some very hurtful things, you held your temper as long as you could and I'm more then proud of you for that."
She closed her eyes for a moment as relief flowed through her, as she almost wanted to break down at his words. Reaching for his hand that was on her knee, she held it tightly in her own as she drew in a deep breath,
"What is it, Mon?" He asked gently, seeing the troubled look in her eyes.
Moving her other hand to hold his in both of hers, she began quietly,
"I keep thinking about yesterday and that conversation we had by the stream and…the whole time I was up there with Brady, I was just afraid. Afraid of saying something wrong or of getting angry and I felt so overwhelmed…I just don't want to…I'm afraid I'll say or do something to cause you not to trust me," She finally stated, looking up into his eyes.
His face flushing slightly at the reminder of his words the previous day, when he had told his best friend that it was a real possibility that he could lose his trust in her someday if she didn't control her temper like she said she would, Andrew gave her hand a tight squeeze before he replied quietly,
"But you're trying really hard, little girl. I could see it plainly up there just a few minutes ago. But also remember what I told you yesterday: This doesn't have to happen overnight, Monica; you said so yourself that it wouldn't, and if you make a mistake and lose your temper for a moment, that's okay. You're giving this your all and that's all I care about."
Lowering her head, Monica tightened her hold on his hand before she brought it up to her cheek and kissed it,
"I'm sorry he pushed you, though...he-he was so out of line, Andy...just so out of line...Nobody has any right to do the kind of stuff he's been doing lately." Looking into his own sad green eyes, the younger angel whispered,
"And I hate to say that I don't regret saying what I did to him...I don't; but I have to admit, that I'm even starting to grow frightened of Brady Sullivan. He's...he's not the Brady we used to love, and I don't think I'll ever love him again, not like I used to."
"Don't say that, sweetie," He told her gently,
"The Brady we know and love is still under there, I'm sure of it. As far as what you said to him, it was all truth, Monica, so you have no need to feel sorry and maybe something you said will make him think a little bit."
Looking up at him once more, the little Irish angel rose to her feet and wrapped her arms around him tightly as she kissed his cheek,
"I can tell you're down about this whole thing, Andrew, and I just want to remind you of how wonderful you are. No matter how bad things get, you still find the good in the situation and I love that about you. Mostly, thank you for being so patient with me. I know how trying I can be, but you make me want to be better and that's to your credit, Andrew."
Sighing softly, Andrew wrapped his arms around his friend in return and rested his cheek against her hair,
"I needed to hear that, sweet girl..."
Silence passed between the two angels for a few moments as Monica continued to hold tightly to her dearest friend. Resting her head against his shoulder, she then whispered reassuringly to him,
"I'll always be here for you too...just like how you're continuously with me; I know that you need a friend as well, so if you need a shoulder or anything..."
"I know, Mon," Andrew replied with a heavy sigh as he only tightened his hold around her,
"There's no need to thank me, my friend," Monica whispered, running her fingers through his blond locks lovingly,
"That's just the way things are," Pulling away, and still seeing sadness in his emerald eyes, she took his hand in her own,
"C'mon, lets go for a walk."
Andrew looked hesitant for a moment,
"We should probably get back inside, Angel Girl. Cindy might need us and you haven't even been able to talk to Angel yet…"
"You know what? All the problems waiting for us inside there will still be waiting for us in an hour," She told him gently,
"Right now, you need to step away for a bit. If you feel that strongly about it, go and clear your head and I'll stay. The important thing to me right now is that you take a little time, Andrew."
Squeezing her hand gently, he managed a smile,
"No, you're right. Everything will still be here when we get back and there is nothing I'd like more right now than a walk with my Angel Girl."
Despite the situation, she managed a grin up at him,
"And I promise it will be stress free."
Raising his eyebrow playfully at her, thinking about how good this brief banter between them felt, he replied teasingly,
"With you? Now that would be a switch," Winking at her, he caught her around the neck with the crook of his arm and pulled her closer as they headed out the gate and he decided to make the most of this gift of an hour before they had to return and face the pain of this assignment.
Cindy took a seat in the chair across from her daughter's bed and drew in a deep breath as she faced Wendy and Angel, who also took a seat across from her. As they sat side by side, the human looked down at her hands before looking up at each of the girls,
"Wendy, Angel...there's some things we need to talk about, and I think you know that..."
"You and dad can't divorce, mom!" Angel cried out as tears escaped her eyes once more,
Reaching out and grasping onto her youngest triplet's hand, Cindy sighed wearily as she squeezed it tightly,
"Baby, we're going to have to wait and see what happens. Right now, your father's attitude has been totally uncalled for, and I'm not about to have him in the same house with us until he decides to have an attitude check and is back to the man I married. But I'm not giving up on him just yet, Angel, all right? I'm just saying that a divorce is on my "maybe" list at the moment..."
"What do you want to tell us, mom?" Wendy whispered miserably as she kept her head lowered to her hands.
Sighing heavily, Cindy reached for Wendy's hand as well and held it tightly in her own before attempting to find her voice once again,
"Girls...I haven't told your father this; but I know that I should at least tell you. I'm pregnant again; I just found out a few days ago."
"That's just great!" Angel burst out, her expression anything but happy,
"Why is it that when our family is falling apart, you decide to have more of us?"
"Angelica, this wasn't planned and I was as surprised as you are-." Cindy explained tiredly.
"So how on earth are we going to do this without daddy?" She cried out, sobs tearing through her.
"We'll do just fine." Wendy replied, a hint of anger still in her voice,
"We've been without him for a week and if need be, we can continue to be without him."
"What do you know, Wendy?!" Angel cried out, jumping to her feet, her eyes tear-filled and angry,
"YOU haven't even been here! We haven't been 'fine'! I haven't been 'fine'! Nobody in this family is even trying to keep it together! At the first sign of trouble, you just leave! In the same week, I lost my brother, my dad and my sister and do you know how that feels?! I have a baby growing inside of me too and no one has even mentioned that or asked me how I feel!" Looking at her mother as sobs continued to wrack through her, she continued,
"You and dad have done nothing but fight and Wendy, you leave…where did that leave me? I'll tell you where! Alone! Just like always! I know it must be a terrible embarrassment to you that I'm pregnant and I'm sorry for that! But it doesn't change the fact that I'm scared or the fact that everyone has been so busy fighting or running away to even care! I don't know what your definition of 'fine' is, Wendy, but that certainly isn't mine!"
"Angel, I'm not embarrassed by you because you're pregnant-" Wendy started, but her sister interrupted in anger.
"Yes, you are, Wendy, and don't try to deny it!" The teenager harshly said, looking from Cindy to her twin and back again,
"Now if you'll excuse me, but I'm going to be ALONE for a while, which is nothing new, as I've been ALONE for a long time now!" In a huff, she turned on her heel and started to bolt out the bedroom door, but nearly collided with Andrew and Monica, who were just coming up the stairs.
"Whoa, Angel," Andrew gently grasped her by the shoulders and looked into her furious blue eyes,
"Sweetheart, are you okay?"
"Just peachy," The teenager replied back sarcastically as she tried to move past the two angels, but Andrew continued to stand in her way.
"Honey, why don't you, Monica and I have a little talk downstairs?" The handsome, blonde angel gently offered, wrapping an arm around her trembling shoulders,
"I don't think you should be alone right now..." Almost expecting her to object and pull away, Andrew was surprised and relieved when she didn't. Glancing over at his best friend and seeing her take Angel's other hand in her own, the trio made their way downstairs and into the living room.
As they sat down on the couch with Angelica between them, Andrew kept his arm around her trembling shoulders as she continued to cry as Monica reached for her hand,
"Angel?" She began softly,
"What happened, sweetie?"
"I…I may as well be invisible," Angel sobbed brokenly,
"I feel that way all the time; at school, at home….first sign of trouble here and Wendy runs off to Amy's house and all mom and dad do is fight, and now she's talking about getting a divorce…not even you guys were here till today, except for the funeral…." She turned eyes filled with hurt to Monica,
"You didn't even come…why didn't you come? I begged daddy to let you guys be there…"
Seeing the deep guilt in Monica's eyes, Andrew spoke up softly,
"Honey, Monica was trying to work some things out for herself that day, about Paddy. We all were, but sometimes-."
"Sometimes," Monica interrupted him gently, her thoughts going back once again to the talk by the stream yesterday,
"We get so caught up in how we feel, we forget how badly others that we love are hurting too. It happens to angels too; it happened to me. I should have been there, Angel and I'm sorry that I wasn't. I've been selfish a lot lately, I'm afraid and have hurt some friends that I wish I hadn't," Her dark eyes met Andrew's briefly over top of Angel's head,
"And I think maybe that is the same thing that is happening here, Angel. It's all too easy to get caught up in how you feel; not you exactly but maybe your mom and Wendy. They don't mean to hurt you, sweetheart, and like me, they may not have even realized they did until you pointed it out."
"But were you so upset with dad that you just didn't want to face him?" Angel uttered miserably as she held the angel's gaze,
"That really hurt, Monica! Andrew, Kevin, Rose and Tess showed up, but when you didn't...I felt more alone then ever!"
"I'm sorry, Angel...I really am..." Monica whispered as tears threatened her brown eyes once more,
"Will you please forgive me for being selfish and not even thinking of your feelings?"
Silence passed between the two angels and one teenager before Angel slowly pulled her hand away from the Irish angel's grasp and looked down at her feet,
"I'm going to have to think about it...I'm not happy with hardly anyone at the moment, especially mom and Wendy, and..." She shook her head sadly as she rose to her feet, her eyes still on Monica,
"And I'm just going to have to think about it. Excuse me." With that, the girl turned around and headed toward the front door, her sobs heard plainly as she closed it behind her.
Andrew watched sadly as Monica lowered her head to hide tears as he moved closer to her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, hearing a sob escape her as he did so,
"Hey, c'mon now. You know she's just upset, sweetie. She feels like her whole world is falling apart right now and she's lashing out at anyone she can."
Resting her head in her hands, Monica tried to find her voice,
"What am I doing here, Andrew? So far, I've been completely ineffective to help anyone…"
"You helped me outside a little while ago, little one," He whispered reassuringly to her, knowing that wasn't going to help her much.
"But Brady and Angel…." She replied miserably,
"I don't know…maybe I'm as selfish as he is…"
"Now don't you even think that, Monica," Andrew firmly interrupted as he gently took her by the shoulders and turned her face him so that their eyes met,
"You are not selfish; not in the least, and deep down I think you know that, too. Who have you been thinking about through practically this entire disaster? The Sullivan's and your friends, and how you can help them. That's not selfish at all, Angel Girl..."
"But I never got a chance to say good-bye to Paddy at the funeral when I had the perfect chance; Angel begged Brady to let us come and I blew that chance, Andrew!" The Irish angel's shoulders slumped and she hung her head in misery,
"Now Brady and Angel hate me-"
"They don't 'hate' you, Mon!" Andrew interrupted, his hands never leaving her shoulders,
"They're upset and angry, but they don't hate any of us-"
"Oh yes, they do, Andrew," Monica interrupted this time as she lifted her eyes and looked into his concerned face,
"Everything that's happened these past few hours with Brady and Angelica...if that's not evidence that they now dispise me, then I don't know what is."
"Monica, you are so wrong about this," He pleaded with her.
"No, I don't think I am. You even said it yourself, Andrew….I lose control of my emotions and it results in a mess; with you, with Brady, with Angel, because I only think about how I feel. I wasn't thinking about how to help them…I was trying to refuse the assignment as of yesterday, once again, because of how I felt," She drew in a trembling breath as she looked away once more,
"I don't have any right trying to tell them how to solve their problems and Brady was partially right….he does need angels, but not this one…"
"Monica, you promised me that you would try-"
"I know, Andrew...and I did...but I c-can't," Guilt tearing through her like never before, Monica faced her best friend once again and bit back a cry at the disappointment and pain showing on his face about her broken promise,
"I'm so sorry..." Without any more words, the Irish angel rose to her feet and headed out the same door that Angel had just moments ago and slammed the door behind her.
"Monica..." Andrew didn't have it in him to raise his voice and as he rose to his feet, he looked out the window and saw that his best friend was already gone,
"Monica...why...?" He whispered in misery as he felt like he couldn't stand up any longer and his legs collapsed underneath him as he slumped back down on the couch.
"Andrew...what happened?" Kevin appeared in the doorway and his face was a mask of worry as he saw the tears on his friend's face, and the disappointment and pain in his eyes.
"She walked off the assignment, Kev..." Andrew whispered back, his voice filled with shock,
"Monica just walked off the assignment."
"She what?" Kevin cried out, horror etched on his face, afraid of what this would mean not only for the assignment, but for the friendship between the two angels.
"She walked off the assignment," Andrew repeated once more, trying to keep the many different emotions he was feeling under control,
"She broke a promise to me and just left."
Swallowing hard, Kevin tried to smooth things over, not sure if it would help or not,
"It's been a hard few months, Simba, for all of us. Maybe she just needs a little time.."
"She broke a 'cross my heart' promise, Kevin, and she-she even admitted it," Andrew choked out as he turned his eyes to his youngest charge, the look on his face one of total confusion and horror,
"She's gone, Kev...GONE."
His mouth still hanging open in complete shock, Kevin slowly made his way over to the couch and took a seat next to his friend, not really sure of what to say right now. A tense silence passed before the youngest angel whispered,
"Did she say where she was going...?"
"No...and right now, I'm too angry and confused to even go after her," Andrew shook his head slowly, as he couldn't believe what had just happened here.
His heart pounding loudly in his chest, Kevin could see the anger creeping into his supervisor's green eyes,
"I take it that a 'cross my heart' promise is a big deal?" He asked softly.
Rising to his feet and knowing he had to be alone for awhile, Andrew replied tensely, as he turned to leave the room,
"To break that promise breaks trust and that is exactly what just happened here."
Written by: CI and KP
Brady Sullivan threw his suitcase and briefcase down on the bed at the cheesy motel he had rented for the night and slammed the door shut behind him. He was beyond furious; he was angrier then he had ever been in his life. What right did Cindy have to kick him out of the house, especially after he had stated that the angels were no longer welcome in their existence? And what did Monica and Andrew think they were doing, showing up on their doorstep, telling them that they "couldn't leave"?
"I hope I never see them again," He growled angrily to himself as he sat down heavily in the chair that was leaned up against the wall,
"Cindy, they're going to be sorry if they're still here once I come home..."
As he spoke those words to himself, he remembered the other words his wife had spoken to him right after she had kicked him out of their house...telling him not to return home until he was back to the man she married. Who did she think she was, talking to him like that? He was trying to help them, for God's sakes, and here she was, throwing him out of the house when it was three angels that deserved it.
"Two of them will still be there, Brady, if and when you return."
The sound of Monica's voice caused him to whirl around to face her, his dark eyes narrowing at the sight of her,
"I thought I told you to stay out of my face, Monica?" He snapped at her.
Her emotions completely raw, she faced Brady angrily,
"I'm soon to be out of it, Brady, don't you worry about that, but not until you've heard a few things! Got it?" Seeing as he was getting ready to reply, she decided not to give him the chance just yet,
"First off, everything I said earlier was true. You are destroying your family and pretty soon you are going to be left standing with nothing! Your anger over losing your son is taking over your life and therefore is taking over the lives of your family, and they are all hurting right now, but you refuse to see that! Wendy went to stay with Amy because of the fact that all you did was fight with Cindy! Angel is pregnant and terrified and not getting the reassurance she needs because you and your wife are too caught up in trying to decide who is right and who is wrong! At this point, Brady, you haven't just lost a son; you've lost a wife and two daughters and if you would just quit being so stubborn you would see that!"
"Shut up," Brady hissed angrily, but Monica interrupted.
"I'm not finished, and I think you need to be quiet and listen once, because you're not going to get the last word this time," She snapped as she glared at him in hatred,
"Ever since your son died, you have done nothing-absolutely nothing-but place blame on those you supposedly love...and although we're no longer part of your family or your friends anymore, you mainly place blame on the angels who all along were trying to HELP you! Did we ever say that we didn't want to help you? I don't think so! We've been wanting to do that all along, but ever since the death of Paddy, you have done nothing but make this more then difficult! All of a sudden, it's become YOUR house, YOUR life, and YOUR choices! What happened to the Brady everyone used to love? Did he die along with Paddy?"
"You say you all wanted to help, Monica but my daughter winds up pregnant and my son is dead!" Brady all but yelled at her.
"Because people have free will, Brady! They always have and they always will and we cannot interfere with that! Free will is a gift from God and to ever take it away would be to take away the gift! Surely you can understand that! I have known Cindy's family for over 50 years, Brady and have loved every single member of that family and have even thought of them as my own! Do you think for one minute that Andrew or I would ever allow harm to come to any of you if we could help? Do you think for one minute that it didn't break our hearts when Cindy's sister died or when Paddy died? It did, Brady! It still hurts, the same way it is still hurting you, but we're not placing blame on anyone! It will hurt for the rest of your life, but it's your choice at to whether or not you have your family around to help each other through it!" Tears burned in her eyes as she met them with his,
"Your family is about to grow again, Brady. The question is are you going to be there to see it."
"What are you talking about?" Brady asked, his voice not as loud or as angry as before.
"Cindy's pregnant, but she hasn't told you because of the way things have been between you. God is good, Brady, even now. He knows your loss, but He still brings new life, into your world because He loves you!"
"Pregnant?" Brady gasped and his eyes never left Monica's as she angrily nodded her head.
"Yes, she's pregnant; she found out a few days ago, and she's not very happy about it because she wants her loving husband back," The Irish angel continued, now feeling like she was going to have a break down,
"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to do what you asked of me to begin with." With that, she disappeared from the motel room in the blink of an eye, leaving Brady speechless for the first time in days.
As he slumped down on the bed once again, his face turned pale as he leaned his head in his hands,
"Oh my God...oh my God, what have I done? God, what have I done?"
Late that night, Andrew sat alone out by the pool, his thoughts a million miles away. Despite the cold November night, he felt too numb to be able to feel the chill, as his mind went over and over the things that had happened today. His anger had faded somewhat, leaving him feeling more hurt and disappointed by his best friend's actions, despite the fact that he was trying to make sense of them.
Ever since he had gotten his memory back all those years ago and had promised her he would never again walk out on her, there had been no broken promises between them. The "cross my heart" promises went back to the days when they had first become a part of the Hendrickson family, and for her to break one now, less than 24 hours after making it, when dealing with the newer generations of that family, left a bitter taste in his mouth. He knew that today had been hard, and yesterday as well with the tension there had been between them, but he still couldn't excuse the fact that she had broken her promise and walked out the door. Cindy and the girls had been devastated to hear the news and he had watched as Angel almost physically seemed to withdrawal further into herself when he had told her.
But putting aside all the reasons he needed her here for this family, what hurt the most is that right now he was feeling like he meant so little to her that she would do this without barely a second thought. Monica had taken a matter of about two minutes after talking to Angel to make this decision, unwilling to even try to fight to regain Angel's trust and apparently not really caring if she betrayed his. Deep down inside, he knew that she did care, as he had not missed the pain in her eyes before she had gone, but to not even bother to try to talk it out didn't sit well with him at all right now.
As the angel pulled his knees up to his chest and out of the water of the pool, Andrew rested his cheek on them just as he heard the sound of the patio door opening and he barely lifted his head as Cindy came outside and took a seat next to him. They both were silent for a few moments, before the human spoke up, her voice still tinged with complete sadness,
"You've been out here all evening. Are you going to come back inside?"
Shaking his head, Andrew finally spoke, his voice cool,
Gently laying a hand on his arm as he turned his head away, the woman spoke in a sad whisper,
"I know how hurt you must feel after this afternoon, Andrew...I'm sad as well about what happened, but I can only imagine your feelings in all of this..."
"I just can't believe it happened at all," He replied softly,
"Of course, I'm having trouble believing a lot of things right now…"
Cindy was quiet for a moment, studying his face worriedly,
"Andrew, just be careful, okay?"
Turning his eyes to her, he replied softly,
"What are you talking about, Cin'?"
Looking down, she continued gently,
"It's very easy, as I have well found out, to let things get completely out of control, no matter how special your relationship is. Now, I may be the last person on the planet right now to be giving advice, but I've known you and Monica my whole life, Andrew and what you two have is beyond special…I think your relationship exceeds human understanding at times…all I'm asking is that you are careful and that you remember that."
"I will, Cindy," Andrew replied quickly and soon let out a heavy sigh,
"But I just don't understand...she made me promise all those years ago that I would never ever walk away again, and I kept that promise. I told her that was the last time I would ever do it, and it hasn't happenes since then, no matter how tempting it is." He lowered his blonde head to the pool as he continued speaking, his voice filled with emotion,
"And now she goes and breaks that promise to me, after she told me less then 24 hours ago that she would try." He shot a quick glance at his human friend,
"She's always going to be my best friend, Cindy; but how in the world am I going to regain my trust in her after she broke the one promise to me that we've promised each other never to break?"
"It may take some time, Andrew," She remarked quietly, wondering if she would get the same chance with Brady,
"I'm sure her intentions today were not to lose your trust, though she may have known it could happen. This whole thing has just been so overwhelming for all of us…" Hearing the sliding glass door open, Cindy drew in a sharp breath as she saw Brady standing there. Even from the distance between them, she could see sadness etched across his handsome face as their eyes met.
"Cindy…" He began softly, his voice thick with emotion as he lowered his eyes for a moment,
"Though you have every reason to say no, I was hoping maybe we could talk…"
"Talk or yell, Brady?" Andrew said tensely, unable to face one more thing going wrong today, as his eyes narrowed at the human.
But instead of snapping back, Brady met his eyes briefly with Andrew's as he replied,
"Talk. I promise both of you that. After being reminded of a few things, I know I've been a complete jerk and I owe a lot of apologies," Looking back to his wife, his dark eyes pleaded with her,
"I promise, baby…I just want to talk to you."
His green eyes narrowed, Andrew gave a quick glance over at Cindy, not sure if he should trust what Brady was saying or not. Before he could speak, however, he felt Cindy place a hand gently on his back and his friend looked into his eyes,
"It's all right, Andrew." She whispered, turning her own eyes hesitantly to her husband,
"Go on back inside; we'll be in in a few minutes."
Nodding his head slowly, the blonde angel rose shakily to his feet and as he passed Brady, Andrew shot the human a warning look before turning his back and disappearing through the sliding glass doors. Brady lowered his head in shame after the angel had gone back inside the house and although he wanted to just take his wife into his arms and hold her, he decided to just keep his distance for the time being,
"What do you want to talk about, Brady?" She also rose to her feet and headed over to one of the lawn chairs to take a seat,
"I hope that you're back to the person I married, because if not..."
Approaching her slowly, instead of taking the chair next to her, he knelt down in front of her and carefully took her hands in his own, grateful when she didn't pull away,
"I am so sorry," He whispered, tears already welling up in his eyes,
"And I know that doesn't even begin to cover the things I have said and done, but I have to start somewhere. I've said terrible things, to you, to the girls, and to the angels, and I regret all of it, Princess. Every last hateful word. When Paddy died, it felt as if something had died in me too and all I could feel was the anger over what happened. I hurt all of you and I want to make it up to all of you, given the chance," Tears now making their way down his face, he continued shakily,
"I want my family back, Cindy, but I'm not going to come in here and demand it, so I'm asking you…give me another chance? Please? I already know I'm going to spend the rest of my life making up for the last few weeks, but I want to spend the rest of that life with you, and my daughters, and our friends who just happen to be angels. Will you allow me to do that?"
Tears welled up in Cindy's eyes as she listened to her husband's apologize to her. She closed her blue eyes as she attempted to find her voice, and found it to be rather quiet and filled with sadness,
"I...I'll try, Brady...but I've also got something to tell you..."
"I know about the baby, Cin," Brady gently interrupted, giving her hands a gentle squeeze,
"I know you're pregnant...and we'll go through that together if you'll let me, Princess..."
Her eyes widened in shock at his words,
"How did you know?"
Brady shook his head slowly, not wanting to tell her that Monica had come into his motel room earlier and given him a piece of her mind,
"That doesn't matter right now...except that I had a little divine intervention when I didn't want it."
"It seems we have a lot to talk about," She whispered shakily.
"That we do, beautiful," He replied, rising to his feet and extending his hand to her, hoping she would take it,
"So what do you say we go inside and get started?"
Meeting her eyes with his, a tearful and small smile appeared on her face as she took his hand, and whispered softly.
"That's the best suggestion I've heard all day, Brady."
Written by: CI and KP
Monica sat at the kitchen table at the beach house in the early hours of the morning, when the sky was it's darkest before the dawn. She had made no attempt to sleep, or even to make coffee as she tried to come to terms with what she had done today in walking off the assignment. She wasn't even sure of what had caused her to go and see Brady one last time, other than feeling angry and needing to get it out of her system, but now that the anger was gone, all that was left was the horrible pain of knowing she had betrayed Andrew.
He had kept his promise to her over the years, to never walk out again when things got tough, and today she had done little better. Things had gotten tough and she had given up and left and she had no idea how she was ever going to face him again. The pain and disappointment on his handsome face tore at her heart, as she tried to make sense of why it had all happened.
Finally, her mind exhausted and the pain welling up inside of her got to be too much as she rested her head on her folded arms and sobbed brokenly over what she had lost. Minutes ticked by before she realized she was no longer alone and looking up through blurred vision, another sob escaped her as she saw the Angel's Angel sitting across from her,
"I…I must really be in trouble if they sent you, Sam…" She managed to choke out, covering her face with her hands miserably.
His arms crossed in front of his chest, Sam nodded slowly, not really looking forward to this lecture he was abotu to give. He had grown rather close to this Irish angel over the past few years, and she had also seemed to grow rather fond of him as well; but now, after getting the news of how she had walked off of her assignment, leaving Andrew to fend for them both...and also hearing that she had given Brady a piece of her mind, he knew one thing and that was that he wasn't happy in the least,
"I would say 'yes', Monica. Trouble is probably the understatement of the century."
"I-I'm sorry I did it, Sam, but I couldn't take it anymore-"
"You hadn't even talked to Angel for 5 minutes, Monica, before you walked off the assignment," Sam interrupted, his arms still crossed as he looked sternly at the weeping angel,
"Let me ask you this. How do you think that made Andrew and the Sullivan's feel?"
"They're disappointed in me, I know that..." Monica choked out as she lowered her eyes to the tabletop,
"And a part of me wishes I could take it back, but nothing is ever going to be the same again and I couldn't take it anymore."
"I think the decision as to whether or not things will ever be the same again is up the Father, don't you?" His voice was firm as he continued,
"And unless seeing into the future is one of your gifts, I don't see where you have the right or the knowledge to make that judgment. If I recall correctly, your gift is truth, preferably spoken in a kind, loving way and I'm not sure of what happened to those two things today, Monica. An intentionally broken promise is very much like a lie and you've hurt Andrew deeply with that today. He was relying on you and you chose to just walk out. You know Andrew would have been more than willing to talk it out with you; he always does, but you never gave him the chance. As for your tone with Brady, the nicest thing I can say is that you did indeed speak the truth, but your anger and hatred for him right now is more than a problem…"
"I know…I know…" Monica sobbed miserably,
"You're not telling me anything I don't know…but I don't know how to fix it, Sam! I've made too many mistakes this time…I've lost Andrew's trust…"
"For the time being, yes, you have, Monica," Sam sternly replied, feeling some sympathy for the younger angel in front of him, but also knowing that the words he spoke was the truth and he couldn't let her get away with her earlier actions,
"Why, though? You didn't think twice about leaving today-"
"I was scared, Sam! I was hurt!" Monica cried as she looked at the Angel's Angel through blurred vision.
"Well, how do you think the others feel? They're hurt as well, and the Father said he needed the THREE of you on this assignment, not just Andrew and Kevin," Sam interrupted, his eyes narrowing slightly,
"Yes, Angel hurt you with her words, but she has been feeling lonely these last 2 months over all that has happened, and also with what has been going on with Brady and Cindy, along with her siblings. And I hate to say it, but you also hurt her more today when you walked out on the case. Andrew once again had to explain to her why you did it, and she doesn't understand."
"But I c-can't go back there..." The sobbing Irish angel whispered in misery,
"I can't face them after what I did; Andrew is never going to forgive me, and he'll never trust me again!"
"I would think by now you would be very well versed in Andrew's ability to forgive," Sam replied, raising an eyebrow at her knowingly,
"As far as his trust go, that may take some time and that is up to you as to how important having his trust is. You broke two promises to him; to not walk off the assignment and to try and control your temper. Brady didn't make you angry after you arrived, you showed up there furious with him."
"I..I think I was more angry with myself at that moment…Brady just seemed like a good target," She admitted tearfully,
"Does Andrew know?"
"About your attack on Brady? No, not yet and it should be up to you to tell him about it," He sighed sadly as she lowered her head into her arms and sobbed once more at the thought of having to tell him. Softening, he reached across the table and took her hand, watching as she looked up once more,
"Monica, the hardest thing for anyone to do, whether they be human or angel is to admit to someone they love that they've done something wrong. However, it is also the start of being able to fix what is wrong; between you and Andrew and between you and the Sullivan's. The healing has to begin somewhere and in this case, it has to begin with you."
Monica nodded her head tearfully, her dark eyes showing her complete distress,
"I'm so ashamed, Sam," She whispered sadly.
"I know you are, Monica," Sam replied with a heavy sigh, as he removed his hand from the Irish angel's,
"Which is why you need to take the first step and fix this as soon as possible..."
Her lower lip quivering madly, Monica looked up briefly at the Angel's Angel,
"C-Can't you tell him...or someone else...?"
Narrowing his eyes at the little Irish angel, Sam once again crossed his arms in front of him and leaned back in his chair,
"You know the answer to that. Nobody is going to tell him except for you, Monica. Now, I can give you 24 hours to think this through, but by then I expect you to return to that family...and both the Father and I expect you to tell Andrew the entire truth." He looked straight into her eyes and said firmly,
"Is that understood, Monica?"
Forcing herself to nod her head, the Irish angel wiped at the tears on her pale cheeks as she replied miserably,
"Yes..." With that one single word, she then watched as Sam nodded his head before disappearing from the kitchen.
Monica drew in a trembling breath as she rested her hand on the doorknob of the Sullivan house a few hours later. Though Sam had given her 24 hours, she knew that would only result in making her crazy and not coming here at all was not an option. She knew what she wanted to say to her best friend, and only prayed she could get through it without breaking down as she didn't want him forgiving her out of sympathy because she was crying. He deserved better than that.
Opening the door and entering the house took every bit of courage in her and she was surprised to see Andrew sitting in the chair near the window and one look at him told her that he had not gotten any sleep last night either. She watched miserably as he looked up at her, surprise flickering briefly in his green eyes, before he lowered them once more.
Forcing herself to move, she approached him and knelt down to the floor in front of him, praying for the right words to say as she stared down at her trembling hands. She was silent for a moment before she finally spoke, her voice just a whisper,
"Andrew, I walked out of here yesterday and that was wrong of me…but it didn't stop there…" Monica swallowed hard, wanting to get this part of it over and out in the open,
"I then went to Brady in his motel and…and proceeded to tell him how it was. I felt hatred for him in those minutes and that was pretty evident in the way I acted as my temper was completely out of control…" Looking up at him, she continued, her voice trembling,
"I disappointed you, hurt you and betrayed your trust in me, and I have never felt more terrible, more ashamed or more afraid than I do right now…"
She stopped for a moment, waiting to see if he would say anything, but he never turned to face her and he never spoke. Sucking in a shaky breath, the Irish angel reached trembling hands out and rested them on his knees before finding her voice again,
"I know that 'I'm sorry' doesn't cut it this time, Andrew...I went too far this time, and-and I know that you must feel that I could care less over whether you trust me or not, but I do...it's one of the most important things in the world to me, and I've never been sorrier..." She choked on a sob as she forced herself to continue,
"I don't expect you to forgive me immediately; I don't, Andrew. But I really am sorry..."
"Weren't you sorry the other day, too, at the stream, Monica?" The older angel spoke up for the first time, his green eyes still turned to the window and his voice laced with hurt and disappointment,
"You were sorry then when you promised me that you would try."
"Yes," She admitted miserably, trying to think of what to say to soothe his hurt and disappointment in her,
"I was and I threw it all away yesterday. I think…I thought that one by one I was losing them…Wendy, then Patrick and Carol and now Paddy and then when Angel said what she did, though she had every right to say it, I felt her slipping away too and it just got to be too much. I'm not trying to make excuses…I was wrong and I know that and there is no way I can take it back, but I just want you to understand…"
"I knew what you were feeling and was more than willing to talk it through with you, but you didn't leave enough time for that," Andrew stated coolly.
She closed her eyes for a moment, willing back tears,
"I know. The other thing I know is how you felt yesterday, because it's how I felt all those years ago when you would leave and I can't believe I would do that to you knowing how terrible it feels. You promised me all those years ago you would never do that again and you've kept that promise and I can't even keep it for one day. Things have been so good between us since that time and I hate myself for jeopardizing our relationship like this…" Struggling to keep her composure, she continued weakly,
"And I don't want you to give me your trust back, even if you were to feel so inclined. I'll earn it back, Andrew…I promise I will…"
Instead of replying, Andrew just nodded his head sadly as he briefly turned around to look into her tear-stained face,
"Go on up to bed, Monica," He said quietly, his voice choking up slightly,
"We'll talk more tomorrow."
Still kneeling down next to him, her hands still on his knees, the Irish angel tried to meet his green eyes with hers as she responded,
"Don't you need some sleep...?"
"Don't worry about me," The supervisor shook his head tiredly as he sighed heavily,
"Just go and get some sleep, okay?" He turned his head back to the window and leaned his head back against the chair, wishing that she would go before he completely broke down.
Her heart breaking and knowing she would never be able to sleep with things the way they were, Monica felt the sobs welling up inside of her,
"Andrew, please…" She pleaded with him, watching as he kept his eyes focused on the window. Knowing she couldn't keep it inside much longer, she shakily rose to her feet,
"I am so sorry…just so sorry, Andrew…and they aren't just hollow apologies. Believe me, no one is more disappointed in me than I am right now, for hurting one I love so much…I wish I could take it back…I'd do anything to take it back…and you have every right to be angry…but I can't bear for things to…end like this…" Unable to hold the tears back any longer, she turned and bolted into the kitchen, where the sobs tore through her violently as she leaned against the wall and eventually sank down to the floor.
As she lowered her face into her hands, her sobs slowly quieted as she heard the weeping on the other side of the kitchen door. Her heart shattered as she knew that her dearest friend couldn't hold in his emotions any longer, and she wanted more then anything to throw herself into his arms and hold him; but she knew that wasn't possible at the moment.
Finally rising to her feet once again, the Irish angel ran towards the staircase on shaking legs and threw open her bedroom door. As she shut it tightly behind her, Monica didn't even realize that Kevin had poked his head out of his own room, his brown eyes filled with deep worry for his two closest friends and co-workers.
As he debated over where to go, whether he wanted to check and see what had happened downstairs or see if Monica was all right, Kevin decided to head towards the staircase and just as he reached the landing, he watched through tired eyes as Andrew walked exhaustedly through the kitchen door and leaned his head up against it.
Taking a deep breath, the youngest angel spoke up, his voice rather quiet,
"Monica came back?"
Watching as Andrew simply nodded his head, Kevin drew in a deep breath, knowing by Monica's sobs and the way Andrew looked right now that things were anything but good between his two friends,
"So, what are you going to do?"
Running his hand over his face to wipe away most of the tears, Andrew shrugged his shoulders,
"I don't know, Kevin."
Chewing on his lip for a moment, the youngest angel decided to throw caution to the wind,
"Well, I do know that you being down here and her up there isn't going to resolve a thing. She's obviously sorry, you're obviously miserable, so what is there not to know?"
Drawing in a shaky breath, Andrew collapsed in one of the kitchen chairs and rubbed at his tired eyes,
"What I don't know is how to handle things right now, Kevin...after all that's happened, after all the broken promises, I just need to wait till tomorrow to talk with her some more..." He lowered his tousled head into his hands and forced himself to take deep breaths,
"I hate myself for even suggesting that, but it needs to be done..."
Kevin gulped as he listened to his friend and supervisor, not sure of how to respond. Finally, he took a seat in the empty chair next to Andrew and looked into his tired face,
"Tell me, though; have you had a wink of sleep these past 24 hours?"
Andrew shook his head tiredly,
"No. I can't sleep with all that's going on, so I gave up trying..."
"Well, it seems you have two options," Kevin replied, deciding to try one more time,
"You either try to get some sleep or you go and try to work this out with Monica."
Andrew was quiet for a moment before he nodded his head,
"I'll see you in the morning then, Kevin."
Watching his friend and supervisor head up to his room, Kevin hung his head sadly, knowing neither of his friend's were going to see any rest tonight, or anytime soon until this was resolved.
Written by: CI and KP
Wendy rubbed her eyes sleepily as she padded into the kitchen the following morning. The teenager hadn't gotten any sleep the night before, her mind so focussed on what had occured with Angel and her parents and she couldn't stop thinking about any of them; and hearing the words her father had spoken to Andrew and Monica made her even more angry and she didn't know whether or not she'd ever be able to forgive him for his actions.
Hearing clattering in the kitchen, she pushed open the door, fully expecting her mother to be in there fixing breakfast,
She opened her mouth again, but stopped suddenly as she saw her father in front of the stove, a spatula in his hand. Her blue eyes widened in shock at seeing him home and she kept her hand on the door knob as she whispered cooly,
"Good morning, Wendy," He greeted her, attempting a friendly smile his daughter's way.
"What are you doing here?" She asked coldly, trying to feel out what the situation was.
Sensing his daughter's anger at him, and totally understanding it, Brady set down a plate of eggs and toast on the table and indicated for her to sit down. She looked undecided at first, but then took a seat, her wary eyes on him,
"Wendy, honey, I know I've been a total jerk the last few weeks and that no amounts of apologies can begin to make up for it, but I am sorry. I had a few things pointed out to me last night that made me realize that I stood to lose my family if I didn't get myself straightened out and that is something I never want to see happen," He blinked back tears as he continued,
"I love you girls and your mom and I don't want to lose any of you, and for the record, I happen to love the angels too and the things I said about them were wrong. I'm just hoping you can one day find it in your heart to forgive me, sweetheart."
Wendy tilted her head to the side and frowned slightly as she examined her father,
"Do you really mean this, dad...or are you just saying it to make yourself feel better about it?"
Brady lowered his head in shame as he took a seat in the chair next to his daughter and reached for her left hand,
"I mean it with my whole entire heart, sweetheart. I love you, Wendy; I love all of you and I was a royal jerk. I'm not afraid to admit it and I don't expect you to forgive me right now, but I hope that you'll try...and realize here and now just how much I love you."
Tears welling up in the teenager's soft blue eyes, Wendy smiled slightly in her father's direction as she nodded her head,
"I'll try hard, daddy...and I love you too."
Opening his arms to his daughter, Brady breathed a sigh of relief as Wendy moved into them and he hugged her tightly,
"Thank you, sweetheart. I couldn't ask for anything more."
Walking wearily into the kitchen, Andrew breathed the first sigh of relief he had felt in days as he saw Wendy embracing her father, despite the fact that he felt a little unsure of Brady's feelings about them being here. Though the human had said that he had some divine intervention last night, Andrew was sure that it had not been Monica based on what she had told him last night, and he wondered who else had paid Brady a visit.
Seeing Andrew come into the kitchen, Brady released his hold on Wendy and rose to his feet, meeting the angel's eyes,
"Andrew…I owe you an apology as well. I'm sorry for the things I said to the three of you and I know in my heart you all did all you could to help Paddy. I guess I was angry over losing my son and that anger got the better of me."
Andrew stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans and lowered his head, his green eyes still filled with exhaustion, fatigue and sadness. Finally, he lifted his eyes and met them with his human friend's again,
"It's fine, Brady..."
"No, it's not fine, Andrew," The human shook his head hard as he made his way over to his angelic friend,
"None of what I did was 'fine', and I said really hateful things to all of you...and I really am sorry." He stopped for a moment before asking softly,
"I hope that you can find it in you to forgive me someday...?"
With a tired sigh, the angel attempted a weak smile as he replied back,
"I can do that, Brady."
Breathing a sigh of relief, the human felt like another weight had been lifted from his shoulders as he made his way over to the blonde angel and hugged him tightly,
"Thanks, buddy. I really appreciate it..."
"We're just glad to have you back to normal, Brady," Andrew replied, returning the embrace,
"You've been missed around here."
"Well, I owe the little eye opening to a certain little angel with an accent and a temper that matches mine," Brady replied, indicating for Andrew to sit down as he cracked more eggs into a pan.
Andrew looked up sharply at Brady's words and then sighed,
"I'm sorry she was so out of control, Brady…she knows better-."
"Andrew," Brady interrupted, with a shake of his head,
"Though I can say it wasn't the sweetest conversation I've ever had with her, had she been her usual self, I'd of had her for dinner. I was furious when she showed up, but she didn't let me get a word in edgewise and for the first time, I really heard what you guys had all been trying to tell me. Though I'm ashamed to admit it, had she not been equally as furious, I don't think I'd be standing here right now fixing you breakfast."
"You mean, she was the only one that talked to you?" Andrew whispered, his green eyes widening.
Glancing over at his friend, Brady nodded as he set a place of scrambled eggs and toast in front of Andrew,
"Yeah...and she's pretty good at it, too." Seeing the miserable look on the angel's face, the human placed a hand on his shoulder and asked,
"Are you okay?"
Picking up the fork and moving the eggs around on his place, Andrew forced a nod as he glanced up at his friend,
"Yeah...yeah, I'm fine. I just didn't realize that she was the one that had talked to you..."
"Are things okay with you two, Andrew?" Wendy asked gently as she reached for the angel's left hand.
As he put a forkfull of eggs in his mouth, Andrew thought about the question for a few moments and as he swallowed, he turned his pained green eyes to the teenager and replied quietly,
"Hopefully soon they will be..."
Seeing the pained look in her friend's eyes, Wendy reached across the table and rested her hand on his arm,
Snapping out of his thoughts, Andrew pushed his plate back and stood up,
"I'm sorry, Brady…I'm not all that hungry at the moment and I think I need to clear my head…"
"Sure, buddy," Brady replied worriedly, watching as the angel retreated from the kitchen,
"I wonder what that is all about…"
Shaking her head in concern, Wendy sighed heavily,
"I'm not sure, but I do hope he's right and that everything with everyone is going to be fine soon."
Smiling at his daughter, Brady rested his hands on her shoulders,
"We're all going to get there, sweetie. One step at a time."
Andrew made his way out onto the front porch and took a seat on the bottom step, resting his head wearily into his hands. All of a sudden, he was starting to feel light headed, his thoughts continuing to travel to his best friend; yes, she did betray his trust two days ago, but he had never expected to hear from Brady just now that she was the one who had gone into his motel room and gave him a good talking to.
"It's all such a mess..." He mumbled weakly to himself, his forehead leaning into his palms,
"Oh Father, give me strength..."
"He will give it to you, Angel Boy," Rose's soothing voice came from in front of him, but he never lifted his head as he sensed her take a seat next to him on the step,
"But you also know you have to talk to your Angel Girl before things get any worse. Tell her the truth, honey; tell her your true feelings, and then both the Father and I promise you that He will start to heal both of your hearts." She rested a compassionate hand on her friend's shoulder as she spoke.
"It's all so confusing, Rose. She never should have spoken to Brady like that, but it was the one thing that worked…" Andrew uttered tearfully.
"The Father can take anything and make it into something good, honey," Rose reminded him gently,
"Even the fiery temper of a certain angel who is feeling as lost and alone as you are right now. Talk to her, sweetheart, and be honest with her. If you don't communicate with her, all the growth your friendship has done the last several years will be for nothing and you don't want that."
"No," He uttered quietly, shaking his head,
"I love her far too much to want that. I've just always trusted her, Rose. So many of the times we've fought in the past have been my fault or both of our faults and this is different. This was a promise; a promise she made me keep years ago by given me an ultimatum, to either promise her not to leave again or to leave her existence for good."
"And you did keep it, Angel Boy," Rose pointed out, her eyes steadily meeting his sad green ones.
"But I can't help feeling betrayed by what she did, Rose," Andrew shook his tousled blonde head as a frown crossed his handsome face,
"I can keep the promise, but she can't? I don't think that's fair..." He drew in a sharp breath before running a hand through his hair,
"And I know what I'm saying isn't fair, but...it's how I feel..."
"And you have a right to those feelings, honey, and you need to tell them to Monica. All of them," The oldest angel gave him a gentle smile as she lovingly rubbed his back,
"You can do it, Angel Boy; I have all the faith in the world in you..."
A sad smile crossed his face at her words as a few tears also escaped his eyes,
"I appreciate that, but it's just so hard...I don't know how to begin."
"If you just stay honest, Andrew, the words will come, and they may hurt at first, but you have to sort through the damage to find the silver lining sometimes," She told him gently as she stood up to leave,
"Just don't wait too long, honey. Silence builds walls, and then you both have a much bigger problem."
He nodded his head as he watched her go before he rested his head in his hands, silently praying to the Father for strength and the right words to say.
Monica knocked tentatively on Angel's door that morning, trying once again to summon her courage. Though she felt positively numb inside over her relationship with Andrew, and had decided against venturing downstairs today, she no longer felt like sitting in her room in tears when she had other bridges to mend, and maybe mending one would somehow help her. Her conversation with Andrew had left her broken hearted and sleepless, but despite the pain, she had still hurt Angel as well.
Hearing Angel call out for her to come in, the angel opened the door and walked inside, closing the door behind her,
"Angel, can we talk, please?"
The teenager looked up in surprise before she looked away, a hurt expression on her face,
"I thought you left," She said coldly.
Monica lowered her head in shame as she came into the room and shut the door softly behind her. Taking a seat next to the girl on the bed, the Irish angel drew in a deep breath as she attempted to put her thoughts into words,
"I did, Angel, but I realized just how wrong I was. I would like to explain it to you, if you'll let me..."
"I first would like the answer as to why you hurt us twice in two weeks?" She demanded, her blue eyes filled with hurt,
"First, you didn't show up for Paddy's funeral and then you left because I was angry for the time being...Andrew told me that you thought I hated you. How could you even think that, Monica, how?"
Her face flushing crimsom, the Irish angel fiddled with the bed sheet as she opened her mouth to reply,
"I had so many conflicting emotions going on at the moment, sweetie, I wasn't thinking clearly. I was also so upset over what was happening with your father; I know that doesn't give me any right to walk out like I did, especially when you needed me..."
"You're right, it doesn't," Angelica cooly interrupted, narrowing her eyes.
Knowing this was not going well and already feeling completely beaten down after trying to talk to Andrew and having been awake for what seemed like forever, Monica found herself forcing back tears once more,
"I'm so sorry, Angel. I made a mistake, a terrible mistake, not just once, but twice and I know I hurt you…I hurt a lot of people I love and I'm willing to take as much time as it takes to make it up to all of you. I just hope you can one day forgive me."
"I told you the other day, I would think about it," Angel replied, her voice almost angry,
"I still feel the same way, but that doesn't mean you're gonna take off out the door again, does it?"
Closing her eyes against the painful words, Monica replied softly,
"No. I'm not leaving again. I promise you that," She managed to say, though everything in her just wanted to flee this house and never look back.
"I guess we'll see then, won't we?" Angel turned her eyes away from Monica and back to her bed,
"But I would like to be alone right now, Monica, all right?" Lifting her eyes briefly, she added,
Unable to mistake the frustration laced in her voice, the Irish angel let out a heavy sigh as she rose to her feet and looked down at the teenager,
"All right. But when you want to talk again-"
"I know, I know, you'll be here," Angel interrupted almost sarcastically as she hugged a pillow to her belly, now ignoring Monica completely.
Sensing there was nothing else she could do right now, Monica nodded her head sadly before turning around and disappearing out the bedroom door, the tears now falling from her brown eyes.
Written by: CI and KP
An hour later, Andrew slowly walked upstairs and hesitantly knocked on Monica's door, praying he had the strength to say the things he needed to say and not make matters worse than they already were. Not getting an answer, he quietly opened the door and sighed softly as his eyes came to rest on his best friend.
She was curled up in the chair near the window, the angel bear clenched tightly up against her chest. Her face was buried in the soft, white fur as quiet sobs caused her shoulders to tremble. Her bed had either been made or not slept in at all, and like his own, he was fairly certain it was the latter of the two. As he walked over to the side of the bed closest to her and sat down, she never noticed him until he spoke her name.
Looking up and seeing him, another sob escaped her as she looked away for a moment, unsure of how much more she could take, but she also knew her dearest friend had a right to say what was on his heart, no matter how awful it made her feel, not that she thought she could feel much worse,
For a split second, he wished he could forget the whole thing ever happened and just wrap her up in his arms, but he knew eventually, the hard feelings, if left unsaid, would catch up to him and that wouldn't be fair to either of them,
"I need to say a few things, Monica, and I need to be honest. I also need for you to listen and to answer a few questions. Do you think you can do that?"
Though his voice wasn't angry or cold, it did lack it's usual warmth when he talked to her and Monica nodded her head jerkily as she choked out in a hoarse whisper,
Andrew sucked in a deep breath and he lowered his eyes to his folded hands before looking back up and facing his best friend, not looking foward to the words he was going to say,
"First of all, Monica, I want to tell you that I'm glad you came back last night; I really am. And I am glad that you were able to get Brady to return home to his family...but with that being said, I have some other things to tell you." He fell silent for a moment before he looked straight into her tear-streaked face,
"I don't understand why you decided to leave to begin with. I thought you knew that I was willing to talk it over with you, but you barely gave me the chance to. You also broke a 'cross my heart' promise, Monica, and you know well that's a big thing..."
"I know, Andrew, and I'm so sorry about it..." She started, but stopped as her best friend and supervisor held his hand up and silenced her.
"I'm not finished yet, Mon," He interrupted and waited until she nodded her head in agreement before continuing.
"Especially after you gave me an ultimatum all those years ago about my leaving you and I'm not saying you were wrong to do that, but I kept that promise to you and will continue to keep it. But imagine how I feel when you can't even keep it for a day, Monica. We had just had a conversation the day before where you mentioned being afraid of losing my trust, but you couldn't have been that afraid of it for you to walk out of here the other day," He drew in a deep breath as he saw the tears welling up in her swollen eyes once more,
"The last thing I ever wanted to have was a trust issue with you; you more than any other angel, Monica and now we have one and I'm not sure of what to do about it."
"I'll earn it back, Andrew…I promise I will," Monica wept softly,
"Just give me the chance…"
"But what do I do in the meantime and why did it mean so little to you to betray it in the first place?" He asked, trying to hold back his own tears over his own hurt and her obvious pain over this.
"I-It didn't mean so little to me…it means everything to me," She cried out, knowing she was reaching her breaking point and she didn't know the answers anymore,
"I was feeling so guilty and so useless…like I couldn't do anything right…."
"I told you over and over again, Monica, that I had forgiven you about all of it," Andrew interrupted, finally giving in and allowing the tears to fall from his pained green eyes,
"I even told you after you talked to Brady when we first arrived the other day how proud I was of you. And you even talked to Angel not that long after! I knew how guilty you felt, but she needed some time; and I was willing to help you through all of that. But you wouldn't let me; instead you just broke the same promise you asked me to keep all those years ago. I know that you said my trust means everything to you, but...but it doesn't FEEL like it, Monica. After all we've gone through, I don't understand why you won't let me help when you feel horrible...you've got to let me and not walk off the assignment!"
Monica bit her lower lip as she continued clutching the white angel bear to her chest, the tears neve failing to end,
"W-What can I do to earn back your trust...? I want it back so much, and I'm so horribly sorry..."
"I can't even think about that yet," He replied, wiping at his eyes,
"But I want you to answer the question. Why wouldn't you let me help you when you felt that badly? I'm your friend, I'm your supervisor, in both cases, it is my job to help you and I want to, but you slammed the door so fast, I couldn't! I would rather have had you here, taking the time to talk things out with you, then for you to take off in the middle of this, after promising not to. So, why has this suddenly become an issue?"
"Because…I-I didn't want to pull you anymore…when you said I had been doing that, I could see it was true…." She struggled to explain.
"Talking to me is not pulling me in two different direction, Monica and you know the difference," He countered, trying so hard to understand.
Suddenly, she couldn't take it anymore. Nothing she said seemed to be making a difference, to him or to Angel, and she was starting to feel as if she would be sick as her stomach was so in knots,
"Andrew…Andrew, please…two minute time out, please….because I can't…I can't…." Unable to continue, she lowered her head and cried harder than she thought she ever had in her existence before. She didn't know what else to do or say as nothing was helping. She knew he just wanted to understand, but she was suddenly too overwhelmed to even think straight anymore.
Andrew lowered his head miserably as he heard the heart-breaking sobs escaping from his best friend and he wanted more then anything to go over to her and wrap his arms around her and comfort her, but something in him stopped him and he knew that he couldn't do that just yet,
"I really wish I didn't have to say these things, Monica..." He whispered dejectedly as he wiped at his eyes once more.
It took the sobbing Irish angel a few torturous moments to finally reply to his comment when she looked up at him through blurred vision,
"You say what needs to be said, Andrew..." She let out a hiccup before attempting to continue,
"No matter h-how much it hurts..."
"I just want you to make me understand," He replied softly, looking over at her,
"I need to understand this, Monica, because right now, I'm not sure that I do."
Looking away for a moment as the sobs continued to wrack through her, she tried to dig deep within herself for any other reasons she had done what she had. Closing her eyes as a truth hit, her, she struggled to speak through her tears,
"I knew I was going to blow it, Andrew…it was only a matter of when…when we talked the other day…and you told me you were proud of me…remember….remember I told you how afraid I was of saying or doing something wrong?" Opening her eyes, she saw him nod his head,
"Everything I had done wrong so far…with Mr. Keyser, with Thorn…with not going to the funeral…you said you forgave me for, and I know that you did…but…I never…I never forgave myself for them…I knew I had already failed in all the ways that c-counted and I couldn't get all those things out of my head…and when I made that promise to you…I wasn't feeling good enough about myself to believe I could possibly not screw it up…not after the mistakes I had made so far….I wanted to keep that promise…I did…but the whole time I kept hating myself for the things I had done….mostly to you, with the fire and everything else…" She gasped for breath, trying to get the words out between sobs,
"I blamed myself…and I still do….so when things went so wrong with Brady the other day…and then with A-Angel…all I could think was that I couldn't do this…that I was failing anyone and everyone…and suddenly it seemed less painful to just fail it all and walk away…than to keep making mistakes and making it worse…but now, I've made it so much worse…and I don't…I don't know how to fix any of it anymore…." The words finally out as the truth settled deep in her heart, she lowered her head once more and gave in to more tears.
Feeling like his heart was being ripped from him at the words spoken from his best friend's mouth, Andrew lowered his head to hide the many tears in his own eyes before several minutes passed and he spoke up once more,
"I wish I knew how to fix it too, Monica..."
"I-I just want you to give me another chance, Andy..." The Irish angel spoke through her sobs, never once looking over at him,
"I can't live without you, and I will spend the rest of my existence making it up to you i-if you'll forgive me...I swear that I will try harder next time..."
A tense silence filled the room as Andrew slowly started to understand where his best friend was coming from and why she had done what she did. On shaky legs, the older angel slowly rose to his feet and made his way over to where Monica sat with her head in her hands and her shoulders shaking with heart-breaking sobs. Tears running like rain down his own handsome face, the blonde angel slowly knelt down in front of her and rested his hands on his knees,
"I think...I'm starting to understand what you mean, Monica..."
"I-It all felt so overwhelming…I couldn't…I didn't know how…." She stopped trying to speak, the pain so great it was consuming her as she only cried harder in her frustration.
Unable to stand it a moment longer, Andrew rose to his feet and pulled her into his arms, but she was shaking so badly, she could hardly stand. Sitting down in the chair, he pulled her into his lap and held her tightly up against him, feeling her clutching him with a desperation that took his breath away.
"I-I'm sorry….I'm so sorry…please, Andrew…." She choked out, beginning to cough from the violent sobs that had been flowing through her the last several minutes.
"Shhh," He whispered, his own tears streaking his cheeks as he spoke to her,
"We're getting somewhere now, sweetie. I needed you to tell me the truth so I could understand why you did what you did," Her painful sobs beginning to scare him, he held her tighter,
"Calm down, Mon'. We're going to get through this, okay? You're not going to lose me, not now and not ever. That was never the issue here, Angel Girl."
"I thought...I thought..." She stuttered through her sobs, but was unable to continue as she tightened her grip on him.
Shaking his head, Andrew rested his chin on the top of her head as he ran shaking hands through her tangled main of auburn hair,
"No, you are not losing me, Angel Girl. And things are slowly starting to look well with the Sullivans, so we are going to get through this, Monica. We all will..." Finally finding the strength to gently pull away from her, he rested his hands on the side of her face and met his teary green eyes with hers,
"Do you understand me, Monica? We are going to get through this, you, me and everyone else. Trust me, okay?"
Breaking down into fresh sobs, the Irish angel nodded her head,
"I trust you with all my heart, Andy...with all my heart and soul..."
Nodding his head as she continued to cry, he pulled her back into his shaking arms as his mind thought back to some of the conversations they had been having lately. She had admitted before blaming herself for the fire and though he had thought he had gotten her to see that she hadn't, he had been wrong and he knew that like the horrible day on Erin's porch, it could take time for her to forgive herself. She had also admitted the sudden fears she had felt about doing something unforgivable, so maybe he should have seen this coming. His friend had been putting so much pressure on herself to do better and when it had failed with Brady and Angel, she had given up; not so much on him or on having his trust, but on herself. It didn't change things, but he did now understand and that came as a great relief to him,
"Shhh," He whispered, rubbing her back gently,
"Please stop crying, sweetie. We'll work on this together, Monica, okay? You and I have just hit a bump in the road, just like we have in the past, but we're going to work through it."
"J-Just say you forgive me?" She pleaded tearfully, her face pressed against the nape of his neck as she clung to him, afraid to let go,
"I-I don't know if A-Angel ever will now, but please…"
"You talked to Angel today?" He whispered sadly, his heart breaking for her, despite the fact she had been the one to leave.
"Y-yes…and it didn't go so well either…I know I screwed up, but…I don't want to lose everything that is important to me because of it…You don't have to trust me right now, Andrew…but please…please forgive me…I'll earn your trust or spend the rest of my existence trying, but I have to know if you forgive me…."
Forcing herself to pull away, her tear-filled eyes looked into his. Noticing he was about to say something, she stopped him, afraid of what he would say and her blurred vision missing the love in his own teary green eyes,
"I'll do better…I'll never walk away again…I promise….I cross my heart promise a million times over, Andrew…because I never want to feel this terrible again…I never want to hurt you like this again...just please forgive me…"
Andrew was silent for a few minutes as Monica continued to look into his own sad eyes, going over everything she was saying in his head. He had always been able to forgive her whenever she had made errors in the past, but today was different. Drawing in a deep breath, the older angel silently lifted up a prayer to the Father, asking Him to help him be able to forgive his best friend for the broken promises she had made to him; the last thing he wanted to do to her now was hurt her even more.
Letting out the breath he had been holding in, the older angel nodded his head as he felt the Love of the Father pour down on him. Attempting a weak smile at the little Irish angel, Andrew reached his hand out and laid it against the side of her face as he finally replied,
"Yes, I forgive you, Angel Girl."
Sobbing in relief, Monica threw herself back into her best friend's arms and clung to him as tightly as she dared to,
"Thank you...thank you...oh Andrew, I love you so much..."
Written by: CI and KP
Later that day, Angel finally ventured out of her room and downstairs, coming to a stand still when she saw both her mother and her father talking in the living room. Her blue eyes widened at the sight of her father not only being here, but not yelling at anyone either,
"Daddy?" She whispered tearfully.
Brady looked up from where he and Cindy were involved in a relatively serious discussion, with a tired look on his face, though he smiled warmly at her,
"Hey there, kitten. I thought you were going to sleep all day."
"No, I've been up…what are you doing here? I thought…" Angel felt rooted to where she stood, almost afraid to think that something might be turning around in their lives.
"I was wrong about a lot of things, sweetheart," He replied softly, getting up to walk over to her. Laying his hands on her shoulders, he looked into her eyes,
"I'm so sorry about everything, Angel."
A small, shaky smile crept across the teenager's lips as she felt her eyes brimming with tears as she listened to her father apologize,
"Really, daddy...? You and mom aren't..."
"No, baby, we're not going to get a divorce," As he spoke, Brady stole a glance over his shoulder at his wife before turning back to Angelica,
"We're going to work this out, Angel, and although it may take a while, it will all be okay in the end. I hope that you believe me and that someday you'll find it in your heart to forgive your old man..."
The teenager still looked slightly uncertain, but as she looked deep into her father's eyes and saw the regret and sorrow showing there, she started to realize that he was telling her the full truth and he really was sorry,
"So you're not angry with the angels anymore, dad?"
"No, kitten," Brady shook his head as a few tears escaped his dark brown eyes,
"I'm not. I love the angels very much, just as much as I love you, your sister and your mother. I will always love you, and I will spend the rest of my life making it up to all of you if that's what it takes..."
"I don't think it will take that long, daddy," She whispered tearfully, as she wrapped her arms around him tightly, relief flowing through her as she felt his arms encircle her. As she finally pulled away, she looked up into his eyes, a hint of fear showing in her own,
"I wanted to talk to you both…I have for a long time now, but things got so crazy…"
"Angel?" Cindy's eyes shone with worry as she watched Brady take her hand and lead her over to sit down between the two of them,
"What is it, honey?"
Angel lowered her head for a moment before she began speaking quietly,
"You know I want to give the baby up for adoption…I don't want to keep it as it would always feel like a reminder of…well, you know…"
"I think that's a wise decision, sweetie," Brady replied softly, waiting for her to continue.
"But…everyone at school knows what Mr. Keyser did, they just don't know who he did it to and…" Her cheeks flushed with shame as she tried to continue,
"I'm starting to show and I don't them figuring it out…I don't think it would take them long…I mean, the girl with no friends is suddenly pregnant and all…"
Brady exchanged a look with his wife as he took in all that Angel was telling them and he felt another feeling of sadness in his heart for his youngest daughter. But before he could say anything, she continued,
"I-I can't go back to school looking like this..." She indicated to her larger belly as she spoke,
"Everyone's only going to tease me continuously and I can't handle that...especially not now after Paddy..." She choked on a sob and was unable to continue.
Sucking in a sharp breath, Cindy reached for her daughter's trembling hand as a thought suddenly struck her and for the first time in a while, a smile spread across her face,
"Sweetheart, if you strongly feel this way, then I've got an idea. I'll explain it to you and then you can tell me what you think, all right? Both of you." Here, she looked up at her husband and was relieved to see them both nod their heads.
"Okay, mom..." Angel whispered, looking deep into her mother's soft blue eyes.
Exchanging another look with Brady as she wondered if this was a good time to bring this up with them trying to put their marriage back together, she continued softly,
"With both of us working, we can surely make it if I cut down to part time in order to home school Angel until the baby is born. Now, I don't know if there is any certification involved in that, but I can find out and we can take it from there. That way, you'll still be ready for high school next year."
Angel's eyes filled with tears as she looked at her mother,
"You'd do that for me, mom?" She uttered, her voice choked.
"Angel, there is nothing I wouldn't do for you. You should know that." Cindy replied softly.
"I think it's a great idea," Brady agreed, as he reached for his wife's hand, feeling sadness when she pulled it away after a moment and he knew it was too soon,
"I'd rather you take it easy anyway, Cindy, especially since you've been having a lot of sickness with this pregnancy."
Lowering her eyes away from her husband, Cindy wordlessly nodded her head before she reached for Angel's hand once more and held it in her own,
"But you don't have to worry about anything, sweetheart. Your dad and I will take care of everything, and you do not have to go back to school."
Weeping openly now, Angel flung her arms around her mother and embraced her with all her strenght,
"Thank you so much, mom...oh God, thank you..."
Gently rubbing his daughter's back as she wept in Cindy's arms, Brady looked over Angel's head at his wife and gave her a gentle smile and felt at least a bit of relief when she grinned slightly back at him.
Monica sat alone in her room early that evening, her heart still feeling unbearably heavy. She was still struggling with her own guilt issues about many things, but mostly her thoughts were on the fact that she knew deep inside that things were not right between she and Andrew, nor would they be for some time. She hadn't had the courage to ask him earlier where she stood with his trust in her as she hadn't felt strong enough to accept what she was sure would be the answer. Though he had stayed with her until she had cried herself to sleep, she had awoken a few hours later alone and had decided she was in little mood to speak with anyone.
A soft knock at her door caused her to look up tiredly as the door opened and she saw Brady peek in. Sighing softly, she motioned him into the room, knowing she had things to say to him as well.
Walking into the room, Brady didn't miss the fact that the little angel looked beaten down at the moment and he could clearly see sadness in her brown eyes,
"Do you have a minute, Monica?" He asked her gently, watching as she nodded her head and rose to her feet,
"Listen, I wanted to do two things here. One is to apologize to you for the way I've treated you. I've already talked to Andrew and Kevin and told them the same thing. I've been an idiot for weeks now and hateful to all three of you, when hate is the furthest thing from the truth as far as what I feel for you guys. The other thing is that I wanted to thank you for the things you said the other night. I may not have wanted to hear them at the time, but I needed to. You laid it all out for me and I could finally see the truth through my anger."
Monica's brown eyes widened in surprise as she faced the human and it took her a few moments to be able to reply,
"You want to...thank me...?"
"Yes, little angel, I do," Brady let out a heavy sigh as he took a seat on her bed and motioned for her to sit down next to him. As she hesitantly did so, the human looked deep into her sorrowful dark eyes as he spoke gently,
"I really don't think if you hadn't laid into me like you did, I wouldn't be here now, Monica. If you had let me get a word in for even a minute..." He shook his head as a flush rose to his cheeks,
"I fear what I would have done, as I was so furious...but I really am sorry for the way I treated you all. I had no business to do such things, and I hope that one day, you'll be able to accept my apology and learn to trust me again."
She was quiet for a moment as she gazed down at her hands, unable to believe that once again she was fighting tears as she couldn't believe she had any left inside of her,
"I'm the last one on the planet, Brady, who should right now not be accepting an apology or not trusting you," She said softly with a sigh,
"I shouldn't have laid into you like that…I was upset over other things I had done and I was just looking for a target at which to aim it, and you were that target. For whatever it's worth, I am sorry, though I'm glad on the other hand that it helped you. Are you and Cindy better?"
"I'm hoping we're going to get there," Brady replied sadly,
"We aren't better yet and she has some issues with trusting me that I completely understand. I guess it's just going to take some time," Worry in his eyes, he reached for her hand, surprised when she clasped it tightly in her own,
"Cindy told me what happened, honey and I'm sure all it is going to take with you and Andrew is some time too. You and I have made some terrible errors in judgment and facing up to those we hurt is hard, but we'll get through it."
"I wish I could just turn back time, Brady, and take back all of those horrible errors..." Monica's voice shook as she spoke, trying with everything in her to keep her emotions under control,
"I may have lost my best friend's trust forever, Brady-"
"No, I don't believe that it will be forever," The human gently interrupted as he laid a finger on her lips and silenced her,
"As I said, it will just take some time. We both know how sensitive both Andrew's and Cindy's hearts are and they were both wounded by this whole thing; we just need to be patient, little angel, okay?"
Biting her lip to hold back tears, the Irish angel nodded her head numbly before speaking again in a voice so quiet Brady could barely hear her,
"I'm still sorry for not controlling my temper the other day, despite what you just said. I'm an angel, Brady, and angels weren't supposed to act that hateful..."
Brady couldn't hold back a chuckle as he looked at her,
"Sweetheart, if you had spoken to me in this tone, I'd have made a meal out of you that night," Only seeing a very faint smile on her lips, he sighed,
"But I understand what you are saying, okay? And though you don't have to apologize, if it makes you feel better, then apology accepted."
"Thank you," She whispered sadly,
"And thank you for allowing me to still be a part of your family, Brady."
"I wouldn't have it any other way. It wouldn't be the same around here without Heaven's messengers floating in and out of our lives, you know?" Still seeing the deep grief in her eyes, Brady wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, a little amazed that she was even allowing this conversation after all he had done, but yet, on the other hand, they were both facing the same uncertainties with those who meant the most to them,
"If you need to talk, you know where to find me, okay?"
Nodding her head numbly, the Irish angel attempted the smallest of smiles in his direction,
"Thank you," She repeated hoarsely through her tears as she watched Brady rise to his feet and squeeze her shoulder gently,
"I'll see you later, okay...?"
Smiling reassuringly back at her, the human nodded his head before heading to the door,
"Yes, you will, little angel." With one final encouraging smile in the angel's direction, Brady walked out the door and softly shut it behind him.
"Are things okay with you and Mon?" Andrew's voice sounded from his own bedroom door and Brady turned around to face his friend and wasn't surprised to see a look of concern etched on his face.
"They're all right now," He replied with a nod of his bed before frowning slightly and asking a question of his own,
"But I guess the question right now is, are you all right?"
Sighing tiredly, Andrew looked down at his feet before looking up at the human,
"I will be, Brady...but right now, I need to have a talk with Monica as well..."
Knowing full well what this conversation would be about, Brady's face filled with sympathy as he patted his friend's shoulder reassuringly,
"You'll do fine, buddy, I know it." He then offered a smile in the angel's direction.
Smiling slightly back, although there was still a trace of sadness in it, Andrew headed towards his best friend's room as he replied over his shoulder,
"Well, I guess I better get this over with..." After his friend had disappeared down the stairs into the living room, Andrew drew in a deep breath before knocking softly in Monica's door.
Written by: CI and KP
Monica looked up from where she continued to sit on the bed as she saw Andrew walk into her room and she hastily wiped at the tears on her cheeks, wanting to appear braver than she felt right now,
"Did you get any sleep?" She asked shakily, wondering what he wanted and feeling terrible for even thinking that, but she somehow knew this wasn't going to be a social visit. Not after all that had happened.
"Some," Andrew replied softly, sitting down on the bed next to her, watching as she lowered her eyes,
"How about you?"
"A little," She remarked, her hands working nervously,
"I just have so much on my mind, but you know that, and I'm sure you do too."
"Yeah, you're right," He replied quietly, looking down at his own hands. A tense silence passed between the two friends and angels before Andrew broke it, deciding to get this over with as he knew it would be hard enough on both of them,
"Angel Girl, there's some more things I need to talk with you about, and none of them are going to be easy to say or hear, for that matter..."
Her hands starting to grow sweaty, the Irish angel looked into his serious green eyes as she whispered shakily,
"What else do you need to talk with me about?"
"Monica...this is really hard for me to say, so I'm just going to say it and get it over with," He started, already feeling his heart racing and his forehead beeded with nervous sweat,
"You know that I've forgiven you for what has happened these last few months; you know I told you that yesterday, right?" He watched as the Irish angel nodded her head and he could plainly see the fear and worry written all over her face,
"With that being said, Angel Girl, I have to tell you that...that my trust in you has been broken; it broke the day you walked out of this house, Monica, and although it's all forgiven, it will take some time for you to earn it back." He lowered his head for a moment as he forced back tears from his eyes,
"This is the hardest thing I've ever had to say, Monica, but I think you know why I had to say it..."
Though she had expected this, she never knew it would hurt so badly to hear. Lowering her head, she blinked back tears, as she found her voice,
"I understand," She whispered shakily.
"You know I never wanted it to come to this, but though I've forgiven you everything, I can't make myself ignore the things you did. Even overlooking the broken promises, which I can't do, you didn't listen to a lot of things I said through this whole assignment, but followed your own agenda. The angels that work with me, whether they be my best friend or not, I have to be able to trust with what I ask of them, and you've pushed it too far this time…" He drew in a shaky breath, never having known words that were harder for him to say.
Feeling a lump rising to her throat, she struggled to speak beyond it,
"So…what does this mean exactly? I mean, in our relationship, both working and not…"
"I'm not sure exactly," Andrew whispered sadly,
"On assignments, I may give Kevin the tougher parts of them as I can't risk you walking off or doing what you want to do. It's not that I want to continually have to watch you on assignments, but what choice have you left me? I've always given you both the freedom to handle things your way, but I don't feel like I can do that right now with you…"
"I...I understand why," Monica struggled to reply as she felt her eyes welling up with hot tears again,
"You have every right to do this...how long do you think it will last, though...?" She asked hesitantly.
Andrew shrugged his shoulders sadly as he looked down at his hands and noticed for the first time his knuckles were turning white from clutching them together so hard,
"I don't know to tell you the truth, Monica," He sighed heavily as he looked sadly up at her,
"It could take as long as a few years...it depends on how things go, really."
"I know how much this must hurt you too..." The Irish angel whispered as she was able to hear the emotion and sadness in her best friend's voice.
"It does...I don't want to do this, Angel Girl, but I have no choice in the matter," His shoulders slumped as he forced back tears from his emerald eyes,
"This assignment is just about over and after that...on our next assignments, things won't be the same for a while..."
"And what about us?" She whispered, almost afraid to ask,
"You're…you're still my friend though, right?"
"Yes!" He all but cried out, not ever wanting her to think any differently. Taking her by the shoulders, he forced her to look at him, tears escaping his eyes as he watched hers fall like rain,
"Yes, Monica, yes. Though the trust issues are still there in our friendship, you are still my friend, still my best friend and I don't want you doubting that for a minute. Yes, things are a little strained right now and they will be, but I am still here for you. We learn from our mistakes and I learned from mine, so don't go and make yourself sick over this or anything like that, okay? In fact, I want to help you through the things you are not forgiving yourself for, if you just keep opening up to me about them, but I don't want you thinking for one second that you are not my friend."
A sob escaped her as she looked away for a moment,
"I just wish I could take it back…I'd give anything to be able to do that, Andrew…knowing I've betrayed you hurts so much more than I ever thought it could," Covering her face with her hands she shook her head,
"This has been such a horrible day…"
"I know..." Andrew choked out as his own tears came harder,
"I know...it has been for me too, Angel Girl." He watched as she lifted her head wearily and looked him straight in the eyes.
"I-I don't know if you want to right now, but...but can I just hug you right now...? Please, Andrew?" Monica wiped at her eyes with the back of her sleeve and felt them only to be replaced by brand new ones.
Feeling like his heart had been stepped on that she even felt she had to ask that question, the older blonde angel nodded his head as he scooted closer to her and almost immediately felt her clinging tightly to him and her sobs shook through her,
"Of course you can, Monica," He replied, his voice thick with emotion as he kissed the top of her head and rested his cheek against her shoulder, his shaking arms holding her as tight as possible,
"Of course you can..."
"So, you all don't know when we'll see you again?" Cindy asked softly the next day as the three angels prepared to leave their home after nearly two months. With still feeling uncertain of her still strained relationship with Brady, she would have preferred to have them around awhile longer.
"No, Cindy," Andrew replied softly, his green eyes still showing exhaustion after another sleepless night,
"We have a little time off and then back to work as far as I know."
Sighing softly, she nodded in understanding,
"We're just really going to miss you is all," She said sadly, wrapping her arms around the supervising angel and hugging him tightly.
Wrapping his arms tightly around his human friend and kissing her cheek, Andrew sighed heavily before finding his voice again, though it was quieter then usual,
"We will be there for the birth of your child, though, Cin. That much we can promise." After a few more moments, he gently pulled away from her hold,
"And we love you all, don't ever forget that..."
"We won't forget it," Cindy bit her lip to hold back a sob,
"And we love you guys, too." After she gave Andrew's cheek a final kiss, the human then turned towards Kevin and Monica while Andrew turned to the twins.
As Cindy hugged Kevin good-bye, Brady turned to Monica and sighed, still seeing so much pain in her usually bright eyes. Wrapping her up in a tight hug, he whispered softly to her,
"You know where to find me if you need to talk, little angel, because I understand exactly what you're going through. Just do your best to keep the lines of communication open with Andrew, okay? Don't shut him out, honey, especially not now."
"I'll do my best, Brady," Monica whispered, tears filling her eyes once more,
"You and Cindy are going to be all right…I just have a feeling you will be with time…"
"So will you and Andrew," He replied, pulling away to look into her eyes and seeing doubt there. Winking at her, he added,
"I just have a feeling too."
"I'm going to miss you so much, Andrew," Wendy uttered tearfully as she hugged her friend,
"Please come back as soon as you can."
Giving his human friend a tight squeeze, Andrew held her tightly for a few minutes before releasing her,
"I promise we'll come back and visit; I'll miss you all so much..." As he hugged Angelica close to him as well, he then released both of the twins as he saw his best friend approaching.
"Angel..." Monica whispered miserably as she looked at the teenager and was relieved to see that at least some of the anger towards her appeared to be gone from her blue eyes,
"Angel, I hope that you'll think things through in the coming weeks about forgiving me; I understand how you must feel, but I just pray that you will think about it..."
For the first time in weeks, Monica saw the hint of a grin on the teen's face and she held her breath as Angel nodded her head,
"I'll try really hard, Monica; I can promise you that."
"That's all I can ask for then," Monica replied, waiting to see if Angel would move to hug her. When she didn't, Monica reached for her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze before turning away and all but running into Wendy.
"She'll come around, Monica," Wendy said softly, moving to hug the despondent angel tightly,
"Thank you for everything the last few months."
"Give your dad a chance, Wendy," She replied, pulling away and forcing a smile she didn't feel,
"Tell Andrew I'll be outside," She added, seeing him talking to Brady.
As Wendy nodded her head and offered her a sad but reassuring smile, Monica brushed past the small group and headed out the front door and towards Andrew's car. As she reached it, instead of getting inside to wait, the little Irish angel leaned up against it and rested her head in her hands. She let out a deep sigh before looking up at the robins blue sky,
"Father, I know that I have asked for Your forgiveness countless times, but please forgive me for all that I have done wrong on this assignment. Although I know that Andrew has forgiven me...it still hurts to know how much I hurt him as well, and I don't intend on doing that again. Please just bring everyone involved in this assignment peace that only You can give..."
As the angel lowered her auburn head, she felt tears fill her brown eyes once more as she felt the Father's love pour down to her heart and she knew that someday, whenever that may be, things would eventually be all right.
CI and KP