Title: Angel Standing By
Author: WhiteRoses
Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters. Just borrowing them for a bit. Hope no one minds.
Summary: This is a challenge by iceprincess4ever. Title is taken from a Jewel song. AU/ M/L/ NC-17… I’m a dreamer after all. Liz has been doomed to follow her charge across the globe for hundreds of years. What will happen when she gets the chance to go back home? Will she succeed, fail, or worse… fall in love?

Prologue:

All through the night I'll be standing by you
All through the night I'll be watching over you
And through the bad dreams I'll be right there baby,
Holding your hand, telling you everything is all right

And when you cry, I'll be right there
Telling you that you were never anything less than beautiful
So don't you worry
I'm your Angel standing by


Even the casual passerby notices her. It is almost as if she glows with some sort of inner light. Peace shines in her face and her eyes emit nothing but love. Hundreds of years of wandering have brought her to this desert town. Now she waits, sitting quietly on a park bench, knowing perfectly well who is to come.
"Morning sunshine," Tess says sarcastically between generous slips of coffee.
"Morning Tess," Liz replied, hardly noticing Tess’s presence as she watches people walk by her.
"Geez," Tess muttered. "You could at least acknowledge my presence with a little enthusiasm. After all, I am the reason you get to be here in the first place. You ought to thank me for everyday that you wake up here.
"Oh yeah," Liz scoffed, rolling her eyes. "Chasing you around the past few centuries is my idea of fun."
Tess dumped the rest of her coffee onto the sidewalk, disgusted that it got too cold. "It could be if you would join in the party once and a while. Come Liz, lighten up."
Liz turned her head the other way. "That’s funny, coming from you and all."
"What has crawled up your butt and died," Tess taunted.
"I miss home," Liz sighed, looking at the clouds.
Tess’s eyes followed her gaze. "You know that we’re not missing much. Besides, here you have people, billions of them, walking around purely for your entertainment. What more can you want?"
Liz looked Tess straight in the eyes. "Salvation."
"Goody two shoes," Tess jested.
"Demon spawn," Liz retorted.
"I know what would knock that stick right out of your butt," Tess cooed. "I’m thinking that a little wager is in order."
Liz got up off the park bench, walking away. Tess quickly chased after her. "Come on, Lizzie Angel. It’ll be big fun."
"The last time you had fun, it destroyed a city," Liz scolded. "Or don’t you remember?"
Tess shied away with mock hurt. "I remember," she pouted. "A little shaking and everyone went running. Interesting to watch."
"People get hurt when you have fun, Tess," Liz stated. "And I will have no part in it."
"Even if it means saving someone in the process," Tess baited. It was the only trump card she knew she could play with Liz, and she would be damned if she was going to let this chance pass her by.
Liz stopped dead in her tracks. "What do you mean," she asked without turning around.
Tess flung an arm around Liz’s shoulders. When she was walking around earlier, trying to find Liz, Tess had spotted the perfect candidate for this little bet. "A guy," she told Liz, pointing down the street towards a local theme café. "A guy who has lost all hope. He is in despair, Lizzie dear."
Liz followed Tess’s finger with her eyes, landing her gaze upon a dark hair man. "How do you know all this," she asked, not taking her eyes away from him.
"Duh silly," Tess teased. "The same way you can."
"I don’t sense pain," Liz bit out.
"No," Tess conceded. "But you sense faith, or the lack there of. You can tell that there is none left in the boy."
"Why him," Liz questioned.
Tess shrugged her shoulders. "He’s a challenge. Add in the fact that he is a little on the hunky side, and I say we have a winner."
Liz looked over at Tess. "What are the terms," Liz asked, finally showing a bit of interest.
"Are you taking the bet," Tess goaded.
Liz smiled. "I want to hear the terms first."
Tess laughed. "You know me too well. Anyway, the deal is simple. You have one week.
"One week," Liz gasped.
"One week," Tess repeated. "In this time, you have to get him to step onto holy ground. By his own free will, of course."
"Of course," Liz remarked. "What happens if I win?"
"I’ll go back willingly," Tess informed her. "Take whatever punishment they give me, and let you off the hook. In other words, you get to go home."
Another little gasp escaped Liz’s lips, but she quickly regained composure. "What happens if I lose?"
"I get to stay, you get to stay…" Tess trailed off. "And we will have a few additional playmates."
"You mean," Liz started, but Tess cut her off.
"Yup," she said, nodding her head. "Not only do I get his soul, but souls of all his little buddies sitting over there."
Liz shook her head. "No," she exclaimed. "I will not do that. Their lives are not mine to deal away with."
Tess grabbed her by the arm. "Do you have such a little amount of faith left in you," she yelled. "Day after day, year after year, century after century, I have heard you lecture about the wonders of your faith. It’s ability to save, to heal, to cure what ails the world. And now you wouldn’t even prove it to me. Some servant you are."
A tear rolled down Liz’s cheek. "Fine," she whispered. "I will do it."
"Great," Tess chirped, her disposition brightening quite a bit. "No off you go. Only a week, you know."
With that, Tess ran off, leaving Liz staring. Staring at greatest task of her entire existence.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Aug-2002 10:00:44 PM ]