AN: I wasn't going to admit this at first because I thought it sounded weird, but I feel comfortable enough with my readers to be honest. Tess was my all time favorite character from TBAA and I love her. So, creating Ashlee was my weird way of building a relationship Tess, plus I always wanted to know what it would be like if I got a chance to work with her.

AN2: This isn't Ashlee's first story. I will eventually upload a prequel. Also, this story takes place two years after the series finale. So, Tess was brought out of retirement in order to be Ashlee's supervisor.


Ashlee's brief description and history

Ashlee has dark skin and wavy black hair. She appears to be in her late teens to early twenties, even though she was created forty-five years ago. She worked in records for thirteen years, annunciations for twelve years, and search & rescue for twenty years and was just recently promoted to casework. Because of her background experience, she believes she knows everything she needs to about humans and wouldn't want anyone to tell her otherwise.


Disclaimer: I only own Ashlee and the idea. I also own Tess's nickname for Ashlee (which is "precious angel" or "precious" for short) and Ashlee's nickname for Tess (which is "Tessy")


Summary: When Tess's assignment was just to take Ashlee, her new caseworker, to the home of her next assignment, she didn't anticipate having to chase the young angel through a forest. Meanwhile, Ashlee is assigned to help a young woman who is haunted by a dark past. How will the young angel be able to help her assignment when she too is haunted by the same past?

Prologue

The young angel quickened her pace as she continued to run through the dimly lit forest with tears streaming down her face. She just wanted to be alone right now.

She glanced quickly behind her, checking to see if her supervisor was still following her.

"Ashlee!"

Her suspicions were confirmed when she heard Tess call out her name.

She glanced back again to see that Tess wasn't too close behind her. Fortunately for her, Tess's human form wouldn't allow her to run as fast as the younger angel. This gave her enough time to round the corner and climb a very tall tree that was covered with enough leaves that would enable her to hide from her supervisor.

The elder angel came to a stop when she rounded the same corner Ashlee did a few moments ago.

"Ashlee!" She called out the name of her charge when she could no longer see her, praying that she would receive an answer.

"Tess, please!" Ashlee pleaded with her supervisor in a tearful voice. "Just leave me alone!"

Tess glanced up at the sound of Ashlee's voice. She knew her charge had to be in one of the trees that surrounded her. She just wished she knew which one.

"But you have assignment."

"I don't care! Now, leave me alone! I just want to be left alone!" She said in a demanding tone. She knew Tess was probably going to scold her for her attitude, not to mention running away before Tess had a chance to explain what her assignment was. But she didn't care. She wanted to be alone and Tess needed to respect that.

As for Tess, she was trying her best to keep her temper intact. She knew Ashlee was upset about something, but, as Tess had to constantly remind her, her attitude towards the eldest angel was not going to be tolerated. Neither will running away while receiving instructions for her assignment.

As Tess was about to try to get through to her charge again, she could feel the Father telling her to give Ashlee some time alone. She reluctantly obeyed and walked away. She prayed that the Father would take care of her precious angel and that He would see her through whatever it is that's bothering her.

When Ashlee saw her supervisor disappear from her place on a high and very thick branch, she slumped down into a fetal position and began crying her heart out.

"Father, please!" She prayed through her tears. "Please bring me home. I want to come home. I can't do it. It hurts too much." She paused to release a couple of more sobs. "Please, just bring me home." With that, she broke down completely.

TPOH

Ashlee was awoken by the sound of a deer sprinting pass her the next morning. She shielded her eyes from the sun rays beaming down on her. She soon realized that she was no longer in the tree.

Instead, she found herself lying on the ground of the forest, covered by a red blanket and her head resting on a pillow. She didn't know how she got there, but she knew she couldn't have fallen because there wasn't any visible sign of cutting or bruising and she didn't feel any pain coursing through her body.

She was startled by someone's hand suddenly landing on her shoulder. She soon realized who it was and forcefully pushed their hand away.

"Tess, please. Just leave me alone." She pleaded with the eldest angel, refusing to look at her. Her voice was weak from sleep, but full of bitterness as well. She didn't want to talk to anyone, especially not to Tess. Her supervisor wouldn't understand.

"No, I will not leave you alone." Tess said from behind Ashlee, her voice full of finality. "It's fine if you don't want to talk to me right now, but I'm not going away. I'm going to wait right here until you talk me, even if it takes all day and you know I will wait all day if I have to."

Ashlee released a frustrated sigh. "Why won't you just leave me alone?! And besides, why are you wasting your time with me?! Shouldn't you be helping your assignment?!"

"No! Because she is your assignment. The Father assigned her to you and you're going to be the one to help her."

"God has a million angels that could help her. So, why should it matter if I decide not to?"

"So, I guess you want me to inform the Creator of the universe that His orders are being disobeyed because Ashlee is suffering from a personal problem that she, I might add, refuses to talk about for whatever reason." Tess said in a tone Ashlee knew all too well.

The youngest angel knew Tess only said that not to be mean, but to make a point. She also knew Tess wouldn't have said it if she didn't care for her. Ashlee wouldn't admit this out loud, but that was one of the things she loved about her supervisor. How the eldest angel spoke the truth even if no one, human or angel, wanted to hear it.

The two angels were silent until Ashlee broke it with a sniffle, indicating that she was going to start crying.

"I can't help her, Tess."

Tess responded to this by gently turning Ashlee towards her and pulling her into a loving hug. The youngest angel tried to pull away, but Tess was way stronger than she looked. Ashlee struggled again, wanting to break free, but Tess only held her close, refusing to let her go.

It wasn't that Ashlee didn't want Tess to hold her, far from it. The young angel would jump at any opportunity she could get to cuddle with her supervisor, but she really wanted to be alone right now.

Ashlee tried again to pull away, but with no success. It was apparent that Tess wasn't going to let her go.

"Tess…" Ashlee said in a whine. "Please let me go."

"I can't do that, Ashlee."

"But I'm fine. I just want to be left alone."

Tess shook her head. "You are not fine. I know something is bothering you and I'm not going to leave you until you tell me what it is."

Ashlee released a frustrated sigh. She wanted to tell Tess what was on her mind, but she didn't think her supervisor would understand. Another part of her thought that Tess would stop loving her if she told her the truth.

She shook her head. "No, Tess. It's too complicated. You wouldn't understand." She said, tears evident in her voice.

"I want to understand, but I can't if you won't talk to me." She paused to see if her charge would respond, which she didn't. "Precious, you know you can tell me whatever it is that is on your mind, even if you think it sounds silly." She said with nothing but love for the young angel in her arms.

Something in Ashlee's spirit told her that Tess was telling the truth and that she could tell the elder angel what was on her mind, but something else was telling her otherwise.

Ashlee shook her head. "I can't, Tess! I can't!" Ashlee began sobbing at this point. "I can't tell you!"

"And why not?"

"Because if I tell you, then you'll stop loving me." She said, breaking both hers and Tess's hearts.

It was then that Tess realized the reason Ashlee wouldn't talk to her. It wasn't because Ashlee didn't think Tess would understand or that she didn't feel comfortable sharing her thoughts with the elder angel. It wasn't even because Ashlee didn't think Tess would love her after she told her what was on her mind. The reason Ashlee wouldn't talk was because she was feeling guilty about something. Tess didn't know what that something was, but she had no doubt that has something to do with Ashlee's assignment.

Tess, who was fighting back tears of own, held Ashlee close in a reassuring manner. "I promise you that whatever it is that is on your mind, even if it's something that's going to make me angry, it will not cause me to stop loving you. I will always love you no matter what you do. Now, what is it? What has my angel baby so upset?"

Ashlee put her arms around Tess's neck, snuggling deeper into her supervisor's loving and protective hold, as the elder angel combed her finger through Ashlee's raven hair. Ashlee buried her face into the Tess's shoulder as the tears continued to fall from her eyes.

"I can't do it, Tess." She choked out between sobs. "I just can't."

"Can't do what?" She asked, encouraging Ashlee to continue. "What can't you do? Tell me, baby. Tell Tess what happened."

"I can't go back there, Tess. It hurts too much." She said, referring to the house Tess took her to yesterday, where Ashlee's assignment resides.

The elder angel nodded, beginning to understand why her charge was so upset. "So, you've been to that house before." It was a statement, not a question.

Ashlee nodded as more tears began to course through her body. "It was my fault! It was all my fault!"

"What was? What happened in that house the reason you're so upset?"

Ashlee continued to cry as she began pouring her heart out to her supervisor, telling her about what happened in that house and the mistake she made five years ago.