"I can't kill you," repeated Aiden slowly. His knuckles turned white as he gripped the smaller teen's hand, and nodded; James gave a small smile in response, tossing his sweat-drenched hair from his eyesrk clouds that had hidden most of the sunset suddenly gave way to a burst of light, and James could see Tobreth's mansion return to its original form, its dark exterior fading to a more ordinary, modern white-pillared appearance.

Aiden rushed to James, enveloping him in a tight hug. Tears sprang into James' eyes, and he buried his face in the taller teen's shirt, unchanged since the day he'd disappeared. "It's over." The blond's voice was muffled. "You're okay."

"It is over," Aiden repeated. "We're both okay, and he's gone, and we have our whole lives ahead of us."

"Jamie?" James looked up at the sound of Aiden's voice as the elder teen's grip tightened around him. "I love you."

The blond nuzzled into Aiden's chest, inhaling his scent. It was comforting. "Me too."

Aiden sniffed.

"I can't kill you," repeated Aiden slowly. His knuckles turned white as he gripped the smaller teen's hand, and nodded; James gave a small smile in response, tossing his sweat-drenched hair from his eyes. "But he can."

James.

Aiden swiftly brought his arm forward, and James leapt toward Tobreth, sword lifted. He freed his hand from Aiden's, poising his weapon as he catapulted toward his enemy. The field was silent save for Tobreth's incredulous gasp as James thrust his angelic weapon forward, piercing the archangel's skin, sliding straight through his flesh, impaling his heart; he let go of his weapon, agilely flipping over his enemy. The silence around them grew oppressive, listening in on the angels' battle; Tobreth let out a minute cry of pain, and he, along with James' glittering sword, exploded into millions of blue-white sparks.

James, that's enough.

The blond straightened up, staring at the spot Tobreth had occupied. The dark clouds that had hidden most of the sunset suddenly gave way to a burst of light, and James could see Tobreth's mansion return to its original form, its dark exterior fading to a more ordinary, modern white-pillared appearance.

Aiden rushed to James, enveloping him in a tight hug. Tears sprang into James' eyes, and he buried his face in the taller teen's shirt, unchanged since the day he'd disappeared. "It's over." The blond's voice was muffled. "You're okay."

James, stop. James!

"It is over," Aiden repeated. "We're both okay, and he's gone, and we have our whole lives ahead of us."

Except we don't.

The blond smoothed out his jeans nervously, waiting for Aiden's visit. The two had been busy lately, nearly a year after the Angel incident. They were still as in love as ever before, but life sometimes has other plans; the pair had just graduated high school, both with honors, and were gearing up to go to college. They both wanted to attend the same school—for both each other and the education—and had decided that nothing, even if they couldn't be together as often as before, would get in their way.

Or so James hoped. Aiden had seemed less happy for a while now, which made him rather nervous. He hadn't changed much—he'd matured, was a little less childish but nonetheless still the mischievous, video game-loving boy he'd been before. Senior year was a little odd; school felt different, and Aiden and Jason were both a bit more distant than before. Aiden still loved James, though; he was sure of that.

Finally, the door in front of James opened. "Aiden! Finally! You're here! I'm glad, you take forever to see me now but I know you love me so it's all good except you're a little--" Something in Aiden's demeanor caused the the blond to stop midsentence. "Is everything okay?"

The elder teen did not meet his gaze. "Yeah."

"I can't kill you," repeated Aiden slowly. His knuckles turned white as he gripped the smaller teen's hand, and nodded; James gave a small smile in response, tossing his sweat-drenched hair from his eyes. "But he can."

Aiden swiftly brought his arm forward, and James leapt toward Tobreth who's Tobreth?, sword lifted. He freed his hand from Aiden's, poising his weapon Put it down! Put it down now, James! as he catapulted toward his enemy. The field was silent save for Tobreth's incredulous gasp as James thrust his angelic weapon forward, piercing the archangel's skin, James! sliding straight through his flesh, impaling his heart; he let go of his weapon, agilely flipping over his enemy. The silence around them grew oppressive, listening in on the angels' battle; Tobreth let out a minute cry of pain, and he, along with James' glittering sword, exploded into millions of blue-white sparks. We need to clean that up, fast! It's too much of a hazard here.

The blond straightened up, staring at the spot Tobreth had occupied. The dark clouds that had hidden most of the sunset suddenly gave way to a burst of light, and James could see Tobreth's mansion return to its original form, its dark exterior fading to a more ordinary, modern white-pillared appearance. James, get down from there!

Aiden rushed to James, enveloping him in a tight hug. Tears sprang into James' eyes, and he buried his face in the taller teen's shirt, unchanged since the day he'd disappeared. "It's over." The blond's voice was muffled. "You're okay." You really are okay. I promise. I promise, I promise, I promise.

"It is over," Aiden repeated. "We're both okay, and he's gone, and we have our whole lives ahead of us." Please, James. Let it go back to normal.

Aiden didn't visit James for a while. James wasn't quite sure why; Aiden loved him. Maybe he was just busy. Aiden had been trying to get a job since graduation, and ever since the Angel incident he was training in judo again, just in case anything ever happened again. He'd told James he wanted to make sure he could take care of himself as well as the blond.

Maybe he would call Aiden, just to check up on him. Yeah, that sounded fine. Not too neurotic or anything, just a little worried. James had been busy too, though it was mostly with reading and writing, and sometimes video games when he was allowed. He had had to cut back on them, especially after graduation, or he probably would have spent all his time playing.

The blond sighed, reaching back and running his fingers over his shoulder blades. It had been a while since he'd had to take out his wings.

A phone rang. Aiden was going to visit him. It was about time, after all; it had been two weeks, far too long for James' comfort.

"I can't kill you," repeated Aiden slowly. I would never kill anyone, James. His knuckles turned white as he gripped the smaller teen's hand, and nodded; James gave a small smile in response, tossing his sweat-drenched hair from his eyes. "But he can." James, you're okay. You're okay. Please be okay.

Aiden swiftly brought his arm forward, and James leapt toward Tobreth, sword lifted. No. He freed his hand from Aiden's, poising his weapon as he catapulted toward his enemy. James, calm down! Jamie, c'mon, just sit down. The field was silent save for Tobreth's incredulous gasp as James thrust his angelic weapon forward, piercing the archangel's skin, James, you're not a killer. sliding straight through his flesh, impaling his heart; he let go of his weapon, agilely flipping over his enemy. The silence around them grew oppressive, listening in on the angels' battle No, not a battle.; Tobreth let out a minute cry of pain, and he, along with James' glittering sword, exploded into millions of blue-white sparks. Let it go. Please, let it go.

The blond straightened up, staring at the spot Tobreth had occupied. The dark clouds that had hidden most of the sunset suddenly gave way to a burst of light, I know it's cliched, but let the light shine through, please, James! and James could see Tobreth's mansion return to its original form, its dark exterior fading to a more ordinary, modern white-pillared appearance. Ordinary. Ordinary. Ordinary.

Aiden rushed to James, enveloping him in a tight hug. Tears sprang into James' eyes into Aiden's eyes, and he buried his face in the taller teen's shirt, unchanged since the day he'd disappeared. "It's over." The blond's voice was muffled. "You're okay." You're okay. You're okay, okay, okay. You're fine, James. You're... you're not. You're really not...

"It is over," Aiden repeated. "We're both okay, and he's gone, and we have our whole lives ahead of us." Maybe it just is over. Not okay. Just over.

James couldn't figure out why Aiden had seemed so sad on his last visit. He'd seemed different ever since the two had began dating, but he couldn't put his finger on why he did. A bit more melancholy, he supposed. Maybe he was stressed from being alone so much at home? His dad did have to work out of town a lot. But that wouldn't explain why he seemed even more sad around James. It didn't really make sense at all.

James missed Aiden's scent. Aiden didn't come around too often anymore; the gaps between his visits were longer and longer, which made no sense to the blond. His bright blue eyes filled with tears at the thought of Aiden leaving him completely.

Alyssa didn't visit James anymore. She seemed to have given up on something. Maybe she was just trying to distance herself from him, from the reminder of the Angel incident. It wasn't fair. His own sister just ignored him completely.

… come to think of it, she had had the same sort of sad smile on her face as Aiden, the last time she'd visited. She'd moved out of their home soon after the incident, and shortly after that refused to visit him. He hadn't seen his parents in almost as long as he'd seen Alyssa.

It was time to take his medicine. His mysterious illness had seemingly come back, but not as severe as before; he could exert himself more, but it made no sense for him to be sick again. Being an angel should have fixed that. He wondered what was wrong with him.

He took his medicine. He had to get better, after all, and live. That's what the angel incident had taught him: live, for himself, for Aiden, for everyone.

"I can't kill you," repeated Aiden slowly. James, I can't. But... this is too cruel. His knuckles turned white as he gripped the smaller teen's hand, and nodded I love you, Jamie. I love you. I love you.; James gave a small smile in response You love me too., tossing his sweat-drenched hair from his eyes. "But he can."

Aiden swiftly brought his arm forward, and James leapt toward Tobreth, sword lifted. Jamie, that's enough now. That's enough. He's not there. He freed his hand from Aiden's, poising his weapon as he catapulted toward his enemy. That person isn't your enemy. He's here to help, I swear. I promise you he'll help you, James! The field was silent save for Tobreth's incredulous gasp as James thrust his angelic weapon forward, piercing the archangel's skin, sliding straight through his flesh, impaling his heart; he let go of his weapon, agilely flipping over his enemy. JAMES! Don't hurt him! He's not an angel! The silence around them grew oppressive, listening in on the angels' battle; Tobreth let out a minute cry of pain, and he, along with James' glittering sword, exploded into millions of blue-white sparks.

The blond straightened up, staring at the spot Tobreth had occupied. The dark clouds that had hidden most of the sunset suddenly gave way to a burst of light, and James could see Tobreth's mansion return to its original form, its dark exterior fading to a more ordinary, modern white-pillared appearance.

Aiden rushed to James, enveloping him in a tight hug. Tears sprang into James' eyes, and he buried his face in the taller teen's shirt, unchanged since the day he'd disappeared. "It's over." The blond's voice was muffled. "You're okay."

"It is over," Aiden repeated. "We're both okay, and he's gone, and we have our whole lives ahead of us." It has to be over. I can't do this anymore.

"... what?" James squeaked.

"I can't do it, Jamie. I just can't." Aiden's reply was barely a whisper as he fought back tears. He had to do this. He hated it. He didn't want to, but he had to.

"Aiden, what are you saying? You... you don't love me? Even after all that stuff with the angels, you--"

"Jamie, stop. That's enough about them," Aiden cut in harshly—maybe he was a little too harsh. James looked crestfallen. "That's just... enough. Please. Let me just... let me just remember this. Please." He wrapped his arms around the blond teen tightly, not wanting to let go. James let out a sob.

"Aiden, why? What's going on? Why can't you? Do... do I just remind you of it? Is that it? Please, Aiden, don't!" He pushed the brunet away. "I can leave my wings in forever if I need to, I can never bring it up again, I can pretend to be normal, I can do anything! Just don't... please don't leave!"

The elder teen didn't meet James' pleading eyes. "James... you can't. You... you don't. You just don't."

"Don't...?" James prompted shakily.

"You don't have wings." Aiden met James' gaze now. "You aren't an angel, James."

The silence around them grew oppressive, listening in on the angels' battle; Tobreth let out a minute cry of pain, and he, along with James' glittering sword, exploded into millions of blue-white sparks. James collapsed to the ground in the sterile room. "What? Why do you say that? Are you just going to pretend it didn't happen?!"

"It didn't, James! Why can't you see that? Your medicine isn't helping you at all! You're sick, James, don't you get it?"

"No, don't you get it? I'm an angel! You were one too, for a little while! You can't just pretend it never happened, not something as important as that, Aiden!" James climbed onto the table between him and the brunet, glaring at him with his hands clenched. "I'll show you the truth! I will! I will!"

But nothing happened. James stomped one foot, the reverberations echoing throughout the small room. He stomped again, frustrated—why weren't his wings coming out? What was wrong with him?! He stomped again and again, furious now at how unfair this was. Aiden couldn't go, this wasn't fair! Even if it hurt, he had to remember it all, it was so important to everything that had happened between them since that incident!

"James, calm down. Please, James. Please." Aiden was pleading now, tears flowing from his chocolate-brown eyes. "Just sit down, and we can get the doctor to get you another medicine, they think they may have figured out what's wrong with you and then you can take the medicine and you can come back home with us, with Alyssa and your mom and dad and I. You'll be okay again, James, I promise. But you have to do this for me. I can't keep going like this, not coming back and supporting you in this insanity. It's too much for me, Jamie."

"But I am an angel! Why can't you understand?" the blond demanded. "I had wings before! I don't know why they won't come out but they're there I swear they are and you have to believe me, Aiden, you know it, you were there! You got kidnapped after graduation and then I had to rescue you and--"

"I got kidnapped, James. But the police found me two days later, safe and sound; the guy tried to break into my apartment and took me so I wouldn't turn him in. Jamie, you got even more sick after that, James, it's not real. It's not real."

"No!" James screamed. "It is real! It's real and I'm an angel and I had to save you and we met Angela and we saw your mom again--" Aiden's jaw tightened. "--and she helped us save everyone! Everything is fine again! It all happened, don't tell me it didn't, because I know it did! It had to have!"

"James, it didn't."

"NO!" James' throat was becoming sore, his voice hoarse from his protesting. He collapsed on the table, pounding his fists furiously. "No, no, no, no, no! I'm an angel! An angel! I saved you and I saved everything and I had to get rid of that horrible Tobreth and--"

Aiden stood even as James continued. "Jamie... James." His voice shook, his vision obscured by tears. "I love you. I swear I love you."

The door behind him opened, and the men came in. The nice men that had been giving James his medicine, but he knew better now. These people were horrible, mean people, who wanted to force him to pretend nothing had happened. It wasn't right. It wasn't good. Why was Aiden doing this to him? Was it really so important to be "normal"? He screamed as loud as his fading voice would allow, the men forcing him down, forcing a needle painfully into his neck as he kicked and screamed and begged and hurt. Why was this happening? Everything was dimming, his eyesight blurring as finally reality took hold: he wasn't an angel. He wasn't even really a person, merely a shadow of what had once been.

Aiden bent down, pressing a kiss to James' forehead for the last time as the men lifted him.

"I love you.

Goodbye."