sorry for the long wait guys! First my muse left me, than the internet went crazy, and school gives a lot of homework, and blah, but finally, here it is! THE LAST CHAPTER! So enjoy guys, and PLEASE review!
Light. That was my first impression. Dazzling, beautiful light. It was white, tinged with blue, and sparkling like a thousand diamonds. I blinked several times to be sure it was real. I felt so perfect here, so at home. My wings expanded, humming with energy, and I threw my head back, laughing with the pure joy of returning home.
Michael slipped his hand into mine and I turned to see he was smiling at me. Welcome back. He said quietly, reaching up to catch a stray tear that had slipped from my eye.
I bounced up and down on the balls of my feet, half flying, half leaping, pulling him with me. It was so beautiful here, so free and light. It was everything that I had lacked on earth. My spirit soared, bathing in the love, the pure angelic force of millions of angels. I could hear there gentle thoughts whispering in the back of my mind. There was no darkness here, no pain or fear. I spun in a circle, exhilarated. I felt more happy, more free, more myself then I had ever felt in my entire life.
Michael laughed as he watched me spin, sharing his own joy with me through our linked minds.
As I leaped and spun, he was pouring a steady stream of memories into my mind. On earth, this would have completely overwhelmed me. Now, his thoughts slid over mine with a cool, gentle touch, and I welcomed the onslaught of information. It made me appreciate him even more.
I was so free, so beautifully, blissfully free here. Time had no meaning; I simply existed, and that was enough.
Something tugged on my mind, a gentle, coaxing pull, and since it was safe here, I followed it, pulling Michael along behind me. I was led to a small angel, a young girl, with a head full of long, dark curls and eyes the color of the ocean. She turned to look at me, and a huge smile split her face.
I stopped short, staring. Emotion rose inside me, locked me in inescapable chains as I met her bright eyes, and the memories lashed out at me.
The young girl, screaming while Lucifer's hands closed around her neck…
The girl laughing hysterically while she chased me around
Her warm little arms wrapping around me in a hug…
The tears were cascading down my cheeks now. "Julia." I sang out through my sobs, holding out my arms. "Julia…"
She leaped towards me, fluttering her little wings twice before she was in my arms. Her arms wrapped around my neck and she clung to me, even as I pressed her against my chest and kissed her curls, stroked her wings. Now that I could remember, now that I knew her and I saw her, the memories of her torture were even harder to bear. I cried freely into her shoulder, both with the pure joy of seeing her again, and with the pain she had endured.
"Don't cry," She sang in my ear, her voice ringing like the tinkling of wind chimes, her voice soft and gentle. "You're here now. With me." She pushed away from me to give me a brilliant smile. "We've waited a long time, haven't we Michael?"
Michael smiled down at me, putting his hand gently on top of my head. "Yes we have Julia."
"I didn't think you would ever remember…" She says seriously her bright eyes shining with wisdom far beyond her years. "I would watch over you…I'm glad you're here now. It was lonely with you gone!" She shivered, but clearly cannot stay sad for long because she flips to her feet, wings glimmering behind her shoulders, and tugs at my hand. "Come!"
Laughing, I allow her to pull me forward.
As Michael again supplies a stream of memories, emotions and thoughts we had experienced together, I flew with Julia and Michael. Flying here, at my home was a completely different experience then it had been on Earth. The air(if it even was air) was firm and solid under my wings, humming past my ears with each stroke. The pure joy and freedom I had originally felt was multiplied times ten, and I found myself crying again. I flipped and twisted through the air, no worries of falling or being seen, no worries of getting hurt or falling.
I could be myself. Completely.
Michael caught me by the shoulders as I spun past him, stopping my wild descent. I stuck my lip out at him in a pout, and he laughed, reaching up to cup my wet cheeks, to push my hair out of my eyes. He looks at me for a moment, pure joy shining in his eyes, his face radiate and glowing with his angelic aura. Do you remember? He crooned to my thoughts, and I could tell he meant so much more by the question. He means, do you remember how much I love you? How happy we were? How we held onto each other during our earth years? How part of you seemed to be missing those years when you had forgotten, do you remember me?
I reached up and stroked his cheeks, running my hand across his strong jawbone, bringing my hands down to his shoulders and stroking his pulsing wings. He stared at me, tears in his eyes, of joy or pain I'm not sure-I hope it's joy. His lips move like he's about to speak, but nothing comes out.
I lean close to him and breathe in his scent. Everything feels right. Everything is so beautiful here, emotions throb through me: joy, joy, and more joy. And also a wild, throbbing energy that I had no name for.
I touched two fingers to his temple, a sign I remember we used to use when we didn't need words and wanted to join minds.
His lips part slightly in surprise. I grinned playfully. Yes! I shouted to his mind. I remember! And then I pull him towards me, engulgf him with my wings and my thoughts, and press my lips against his with a sudden need.
Just as flying was enhanced, our kiss is long, lingering, full of years of memories, and pain, or years of joy and hope, and the beautiful present. I break away from him, panting, my arms still around his neck.
He is crying, tears running down his cheeks and onto his chest, and he is smiling, shaking with laughter or joy. He reached up and ran his thumb across my cheek bone. I missed you. He whispers tenderly.
I pull him into a hug, and he wraps his wings around my whole body, holding me close. I bury my head against his shoulder and trace my fingers across his back, allowing a small trickle of energy to escape my fingertips. I missed you too.
And we remained like that for awhile, sharing memories and making up for lost time.
After a moment of silence, I ran my fingers through his charcoal hair. Can I see someone?
He caught my hand, twining our fingers together, and examined me for a moment, his expression pensive. Finally he nods, and pulls me up with him.
I fly silently along beside him, calming my wild heart beat and drying the tears from my cheeks. Michael stops and pushes me slightly in front of him, keeping one hand on my shoulder.
And then I see her.
Her hair is still long and flows to her waist. She wear a simple dress that stops at her ankles, and her feet are bare, just as she always preferred them. Her wings are large and beautiful, a simple periwinkle blue, and I can see they are humming with energy. When she turned to look at me, I can see that her eyes are still a brilliant grin. She stares at me for a moment, her mouth slightly open, as though she is unsure of what to do or say.
A grin spread over my face and I opened my arms.
She laughed and leaps towards me, pulling me into a hug. I cling to her, burying my face in her hair, and sweeping through her mind just to be sure that it is really her.
She pushed me away and glared good naturally. "I was wondering when you would get here!" It was strange to hear the singing language come from her lips.
I grinned, squeezing her hand. "It's good to see you."
Rachel glanced at Michael, smirking. And…
I caught the meaning behind her thought and punched her on the shoulder, just as I would have done if she was alive. Ew!
She laughed out loud, and I could have started singing at the beautiful sound of her joy. She was glowing with energy and light, she was herself. She was the Rachel I had missed for so many months.
I couldn't resist hugging her again. Have you met Raziel yet?
She laughed again. "Oh tess, I'm pretty sure Cassandra Clare made him up, but I'm working on it!"
I grinned at her, and then turned to look at Michael. I don't get to stay, do I?
His eyes turned sad and he extended his hand. Come, I need to tell you something.
I glanced reluctantly at Rachel, and she pushed me towards Michael, smiling. "As soon as I figure out how, I'll visit you. I promise!"
I smiled, and all I manged was a nod.
Michael led me up into the air until we were alone, and then he pulled me into his lap. It was more familier and comfortable then I ever thought it possibly could be and I relaxed in his gentle embrace, resting my head on his shoulder.
What is it?
He ran his hand almost absently down my cheek, tracing his fingers across my lips with a feather-light touch. He is going to come back, little one.
Sensing my alarm, he squeezed my hand. Not for many years, but Lucifer does not give up. As wielder of the Sword it is your duty to protect the world.
Tears burned my eyes at the prospect of leaving this place again, my home. But-
Tess. He put a finger to my lips as if I was talking with my mouth and not with my thoughts. I do not like the idea any more than you do. Trust me. But, little one, until all darkness and hate are dispelled, you must stay on earth. You agreed to this. I know you remember that now.
I don't want to leave you again, I practically sobbed, gripping his fingers tightly. I-
You have a life to live, my little angel. He said very gently. Gabriel needs you, the world needs you. And a couple decades is really not a long time for an angel.
He was just trying to cheer me up, I could tell. I buried my head against his shoulder, and he rested his cheek against my head, cradeling me like a child. I don't want to say goodbye again.
It is not goodbye. He said, stroking my hair. I will help you, guide you, as I always have. Lucifer will regret what he did to Julia and to us. Soon, he will return, and it will be up to you to drive him from the world and lock him down in hell along with the other fallen angels.
I pressed myself harder against him, inhaling his sweet scent, holding on to this moment for as long as I possibly could. Do I have to go back now?
He nodded, gently pushing me away from him. His eyes are sad, but I also see a promise in his expression, a vow that he means what he says, that he will never, ever forget me, and that he will help me, guide me, love me. He pressed his lips gently to my forehead. I love you.
And I don't have time to come up with a response before he is pulling me back down, grounding my spirit once again in my limiting human form, forcing me back down to earth.
I jerk away with a gasp, and sit for a moment, staring at my hands. The songs of heaven still echo in the back of my mind, and I closed my eyes, clinging to them. I wrapped my arms around myself and rock back and forth, becoming accustomed to this limited, yet so complex form of a teenage girl.
A hand came down on my shoulder, and I look up to see Gabriel. He knows, I could tell, his eyes are sad, understanding. "Are you going to be all right?"
I took a deep breath and nod very slowly, uncurling myself and laying back down. I thought about what Michael told me, how Lucifer is going to come back, how I must stay here and defeat him and all the other Fallen Angels, one final time. I feel ready, up to the challenge. I am no longer Tess, the scared teenager who was confused about who she was. I am no longer afraid of my destiny. With Gabriel by my side, and the love of all the other angels…Michael…Rachel…Julia…I know I can do this. Energy, healing energy crackles to life along my wings and arms, burning my palms and I close my eyes.
You will never beat me, Lucifer! I shout to all the darkness that still encompasses the world. It is time for you to go back to where you belong! Go back to your world of shadow and flame! I opened my eyes, and wrapped my fingers around the hilt of the Sword.
I may still be in the body of a teenager, I might still be weak from the last battle, but I am more calm and confidant then I have ever been, and I will stop the darkness and hate, and replace it with love, peace and joy. I will change the world.
Because I am the wielder of the Sword of Fire, and fire burns through all darkness.
I looked up at Gabriel and smile, a real, fierce smile, and reach out and take his hand. "Yes," I said in English, my voice strong and confidant. "I'm okay. I'm ready."
The Sword throbbed against my finger tips and I close my eyes, imagining Michael's arms coming around me, and his voice whispering in my ear, "You always were angel. You always were."
soo...what did you think? please review!