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 The Reverend and the Angel [PG 15]

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PostSubject: The Reverend and the Angel [PG 15]   Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:20 am

[Note: If the rating is not correct, please let me know. It's mainly for language]



Title: The Reverend and the Angel
Rating: PG-15
Main Character: Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan
Disclaimer: I have never met the band, this is purely made up from my imagination.
Summary: "Raphael always used to say the special die young..."

Jimmy Sullivan was one of those special ones who was too beautiful, too wonderful for the world to handle for too long. The angels of Heaven have been waiting for this special son to return home. For when the Almighty calls his special ones home they have a special place in the realm of the Angels.

Of course, there are those who mourn one so special back on earth, but death is never goodbye. Jimmy will come upon this truth on his journey through Heaven.

With the help of an unusual guide and his angel companion, The Rev will learn how to let go, and know that peace will be his, forever more.

This is his tale.

A/N: I wrote this shortly after Jimmy passed away, this was my tribute to him. May he Rock In Peace.

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PostSubject: Re: The Reverend and the Angel [PG 15]   Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:22 am

“Raphael always used to say the special die young.”

“Hah, how would he know? It’s not like he’s ever actually died.”

“Oh, and you have?”

“Yes, indeed. Last I knew I was travelling on the river Thames and the next I knew this bright light flashed in front of my eyes.”

“The Thames, eh?”

“Yes, Raziel. I was born in England.” Feathers ruffling in the light breeze two beings sat by a still expanse of water. The one who had just spoken spread his wings, turning his head to preen at several quills that had come out of place. The other figure shifted his weight, his wings twitching slightly against his back.

“But, Timothy. You don’t have a British accent,” the one called Raziel, commented. Timothy, the other being, made an indistinguishable noise in the back of his throat.

“No, really,” Raziel continued, dangling a long limb in to the pool. Ripples appeared where he made contact. “Did it disappear when you passed to the other side?”

Timothy laughed in his quaint way. “Other side? Is that what you call this place?”

“What would you have me call it?” Raziel tilted his head a questioning look on his face. Timothy just shook his head. His companion snorted. “Would you rather I called it Heaven?”

Timothy muttered, “This place is what it is. But, it’s only a resting place for the souls until the new world is formed. Anyway, we should not be talking of that.” He turned to stare into the pool. “He is coming home, and we need to think of that.”

Raziel withdrew his foot from the water allowing the mirror-like surface to settle once more. As it stilled an image began to form upon the silvery plane. A young man gazing bemused up into the heavens, bright blue eyes filled with an inexplicable sorrow.

“Name?” Raziel asked in a low voice. Timothy shrugged his wings, tucking them back behind him.

“They called him The Rev. I do not think he is a Believer. However, he has a good heart. There is nothing about him that would invite righteous judgment on him.” He paused, then chuckled as if he was reading something in the face of the man. “His name is James Owen Sullivan. Or just Jimmy...or as I have just mentioned, The Rev, drummer of Avenged Sevenfold.”

They both looked down into the open, innocent countenance of Jimmy Sullivan. He scanned around himself; he was standing in a clearing, all alone. Raziel leaned forward, frowning as much as was possible for him.

“Who is to welcome him?”

Timothy shuffled his feet. “We have debated that for several Passings, and the Almighty came to the conclusion that, perhaps I would be best.” Passings were how the citizens of Heaven marked the passing of non-existent time. After all, Time was an illusion that existed only on Earth.

Raziel growled, “You?”

“Yes, me. Something about a certain sort of attachment to my kind.”

His companion threw his head back and let out a long, loud bark of laughter. “Who would fall in love with your kind? You’re huge!”

Timothy rolled his eyes and stepped away from the edge of the pond, shaking out his feathers. “Mock all you like, I do not see you being chosen to meet with one of our own returning unto the fold.”

The other being stopped laughing and slowly shook his head. “I am not a great welcoming party. You have that down to a fine art. Besides the fact you are a little unexpected.”

Timothy smiled a sly expression in his deep black eyes. However, he made no other remark, instead, turning to make his way to the gates. Raziel watched him go, smirking before rising up into the air with single flowing motion of his wings. He would observe from above.

Watching Timothy at work was always a wonder to behold, considering he was a little eccentric, and this would be the pinnacle of his Heavenly duties. Definitely not something to be missed. After all, when the Almighty called one of his angels’ home it was always a big deal, and the coming of The Rev would be no exception. He was especially revered amongst the angels; a rare soul who loved all who came into contact with him and changing their lives for the good.

No, this was one homecoming not to be missed.

* * * * *

Okay...this is fucking weird... Jimmy blinked as he stood in what he could only describe as a great big cloud of nothing. There was not even the slightest hint of walls, or anything to signify he was anywhere at all. If that made any sense. It didn’t make sense to him. Not that he had ever really pictured what the afterlife would look like. Even though, he had known for certain that he would not live a long life.

He pushed that thought from his mind. It was far too close to him, and right now he just wanted to figure out where the hell he was.

“You’re not in Hell.”

Jimmy flinched a little, glancing around as he tried to locate the whereabouts of the invisible speaker.

“You can’t see me. Well, not yet. You have to walk forward ten feet.” The voice had a strange quality to it, as if the sound was being swallowed just before it escaped the speaker’s mouth. There was also an accent, but he couldn’t place it.

“Who are you?” Jimmy asked into the whiteness feeling a little foolish. He was used to acting crazy, but this was at an entirely different level. Talking to voices he couldn’t see. But, then again he had never died before.

The voice sounded amused when it answered, “Walk that ten feet and you might see. Unless I fly away.”

Jimmy absently drummed his palms against the tops of his thighs before taking several steps forward. He halted when he noticed that the cloud was deepening, taking on a distinctive golden glow. Then what the voice had said registered on his mind.

“Are you an angel?” his voice tightened as he asked the question, eyes darting from side to side, continuously attempting to find the source of the other voice.

The voice said, “Of a sort. Come on, few more steps.”

Jimmy took four more long strides, and then came to a stop. The cloud had begun to drift, spreading apart to reveal a pair of massive gates. He gazed up their length; they were made of black, wrought iron, nothing like he had expected.

“Um...are these the gates of Heaven? They’re nothing like what they show in movies...”

The swallowed voice informed him with a slight edge, “This isn’t the movies, sonny. And no, these are the Angel Gates.”

More confusion ghosted across Jimmy’s face. The voice explained, “Heaven’s Gates are for the general populace. You are not one of them...”

Jimmy scrunched up his face, flicking several strands of dark hair from his eyes. This was all just too confusing. He looked around noting that the Gates were the only discernible object in view for what seemed like miles; if there were anything to measure by. Which there was none.

“All will be explained in good time.” As if the speaker had read his mind. Jimmy felt rattled. This was definitely nothing like he had expected.

“So, do I get to see you, now?”

“I guess so. Here I am.” There were the sound of feet, but Jimmy saw nothing. “Ahem...down here.” Jimmy started when he looked down.

“Holy shit!” His jaw dropped, a clichéd act, but he couldn’t help himself.

The being chortled, “I don’t know about shit being holy. But. Go ahead and say it. You’ve said it once about my cousin, might as well get it over with.”

Jimmy just worked his jaw unable to get his head around the being standing at his feet. Words wouldn’t come. He just stared incomprehendingly at his former invisible guide. It stood with neck arched slightly, beady black eyes gazing calmly up at him, bill pressed together in a thin line. Squeezing his eyes shut, he shook his head hard thinking maybe he’d wake up and all of this would be a dream.

“This is not a dream, sonny. Open them eyes. And I will introduce myself.”

Jimmy cracked one eye open, gazing warily at the creature before him. “You’re...” his voice cracked. He tried again. “You’re a fucking duck.” The disbelief in his voice was evident.

“My name is Timothy Mallard. Duck Esquire. And, I don’t fuck.” The duck seemed to be amused by Jimmy’s reaction. Jimmy was incredulous.

Blinking hard, he asked, “Ducks have names?”

Timothy bobbed his head. “Of course. Our parents name us after we hatch. That’s the way of things.”

“Your parents,” Jimmy repeated, numbly.

He had to try and get his mind settled. This couldn’t be happening. But, then again, everything after his former life was bound to be new. Still, this duck was a shock. It would, of course, have helped matters if it were just your normal garden variety pond duck. But the bird was bigger even than the one Jimmy had chased on film. And he’d called that duck a ‘stallion duck’. Timothy Mallard could put that fowl to shame. He was practically three times the size of the living duck.

“We are still living,” Timothy said.

Jimmy’s eyes narrowed. “Can you read my mind?”

“You could read mine, if you wanted.”

“But that doesn’t answer-”

“Yes, I can. I will refrain from doing so if it makes you uncomfortable, though.” Timothy stretched his neck up, turning his head to one side so he could look Jimmy directly in the eye.

He blinked surprised at the empathy in that shiny black stare. The duck’s face was surprisingly expressive for a bird. Jimmy hadn’t thought that they were capable of showing emotion, since their features weren’t structured like a human’s. But, he had gotten that wrong, evidently.

“Um. Thanks, I guess.” Jimmy bit his bottom lip, rubbing the tip of his finger at the point where he used to have a piercing.

Timothy lowered his head, ruffling his feathers. “Come on. We cannot stand out here forever.”

Jimmy shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans, wriggling his fingers and nodding for Timothy to lead on. “This should be interesting...”

* * * * *

Through the gates, Jimmy followed Timothy across an expanse of white, clouds swirling at their feet; his eyes taking in anything that broke the horizon. Lights flickered in the distance, and shapes sprung up from the ground, towering rocks made out of a substance he couldn’t place. As they got farther and farther away from the great Angel Gates the light became increasingly brighter.

“Uh...what is that?” Jimmy halted; pointing beyond his guide to what was a still beacon of light ahead of them.

Timothy turned his head back to the man. “That? That’s just Raziel making like a lamp. Don’t mind him, he’s always doing that. It’s his way of welcoming you home.” The duck added, “He’s an angel. It’s what he does.”

Jimmy snorted. “Right. And you’re a duck angel?”

Timothy began ruffling his feathers as he turned to continue walking. “Truth.”

The tall man shivered, rubbing a hand across his face as a thought came to him, which he voiced in tight tone. “This...this is not where I fucking wanted to be...”

“No, of course not, sonny. But, it was your time.” Timothy cast a kind look at the drummer.

Jimmy felt himself tensing at his statement and he snapped, “Don’t fucking tell me that.” He paused trying to stem the uncharacteristic feeling of anger inside him. “I’m sorry...I don’t know what the fuck’s wrong with me.”

Timothy tilted his beak up. “Anger is a normal reaction to this. Come, we’ve plenty of time to talk. I’ll introduce you to Raziel.”

As they approached the light, Jimmy could see a figure forming in the place of what had appeared to be just a glowing light. Raziel was as tall as he, lean as a sapling blowing in a breeze. His long limbs were pale and the glow was emanating from his body like a shining layer of skin. Deep-set golden eyes were flashing out of a sculpted face like one of those Roman statues of old. A warm, cocky smile graced the angel’s face. Jimmy began blinking as he took in the figure before him.

Raziel grinned even more. “Greetings, Jimmy. We’ve been waiting a long time for this day.”

“You have?” Jimmy’s face took on an expression of confusion. “Why would you be? I’m not that important.”

Timothy shook his head. “To the Almighty you are.”

Lines appeared at the corners of his eyes as they were crinkling in an even more bemused look. “The Almighty? Who the fuck is that?”

Raziel chuckled, answering, “Depending on whom you ask the Almighty could be God, Allah, Yahweh, Jesus, the Mother Goddess...and a myriad other recognised and unrecognised deities.”

Frowning, the drummer scratched at his chin, before saying, “Who do you say He is?”

Raziel’s tone took on a serious edge. “He is the one true ruler of Heaven and Earth. Almighty, Alpha and Omega, everlasting Father, one true Word-”

“Don’t go on, Raz,” Timothy interrupted the angel’s flow of words with a sharp quack. The angel gave him a tiny scowl, barely a twist of his lips, but then he turned smilingly to Jimmy.

“Sorry, I guess you don’t want to hear all that.”

Jimmy, shrugging his shoulders, replied, “Doesn’t bother me.” He pointed out, “I did ask.” Which wasn’t to say he was any more interested than if he hadn’t asked. Obviously both beings heard his thoughts because they raised their eyebrows at him.

Timothy scowled. “You do not have to lie to us, be as honest as you like. We can tell anyway.”

Jimmy let out a sigh, “Wonderful.” Crossing his arms over his chest he adopted a bored expression. Raziel ruffled the robe he was wearing, it was visible now considering the glow around his personage had dimmed a little.

“Well, Timothy, are you going to continue this tour, or shall I take over?”

Timothy lowered his head and opened his beak making a long sibilant hissing noise. Jimmy looked down at him in surprise. Raziel just guffawed, eyes sparkling.

“That was not meant as an insult my erstwhile companion.”

Timothy straightened running his beak through his feathers. Then he lifted his head toward the tall man.

“Come along, sonny. Let us away from this lamp stand.”

Raziel waggled his eyebrows. “I will take that as a compliment.”

“You do that,” Timothy retorted before waddling away from the angel. Jimmy gave him one last look before following the great bird across the clouded expanse.

* * * * *

“So, this is the afterlife?” Jimmy mused aloud as Timothy lead him through what now appeared to be an enormous hall. It was adorned with white silk drapes and seemed to have materialised from thin air, because the drummer could not for the life of him remember walking through any doors.

Timothy turned beady black eyes toward the drummer. “This is just the beginning of the afterlife, if that makes any sense. There is so much more to the afterlife than just life in Heaven.”

Jimmy grimaced faintly, “So this is Heaven?” He didn’t know whether he liked that premise. His guide smiled as only a duck could.

“Yes, sonny. This is Heaven. The Heaven they speak of in that Holy Book which graces the table of many American homes, and the drawers of many a hotel around the world.” Timothy halted so he could look up at the drummer. “You do not like that?”

Jimmy sighed. “I don’t like any if this. I just want...” His voice trailed away as he thought of the family and friends he had left behind. He hadn’t even been able to say goodbye to them. It happened so fast, there was no time. He had not been prepared for any of this.

“That is the way of things, sometimes.” Timothy read his mind again, his tone gentle. Jimmy clenched his jaw, his eyes darkening.

“Doesn’t mean I have to fucking like it.”

“No, of course not. However, there is a solution.” Timothy shook one webbed foot then tucked it back scratching at himself.

Jimmy was curious at his guide’s suggestion. “And that is?”

Timothy saw the guarded look of hope in the drummer’s eyes. “Don’t get me wrong, I can’t resurrect you or anything, but I can give you a chance to let them know that you are going to be all right, and that this isn’t the end of your time with them. They will see you again.”

Jimmy’s eyes flickered impatiently. “So, how do we do that?”

Timothy scanned the area then nodded over in the distance. “There is a pool where we can see things...”

“Things, hey? How intriguing.” Jimmy rolled his eyes. The duck sniffed.

“Well, it allows us to watch anyone we have a mind to focus upon. We saw you in it earlier.”

“Oh.” Jimmy shuffled his feet, frowning at that thought. Then he tried to force his face into a more characteristic expression. He didn’t think he’d frowned so much in his twenty-eight years of life.

He said nothing more just waited for Timothy to show him the way. He wanted to see how this would all pan out before he said too much else. He hadn’t really had a lot of faith back on earth, and he definitely had no idea what things would be like on the other side. All the movies about people going to heaven and being able to still converse with their loved ones, it all seemed so farfetched to him. Still the idea that he could somehow get a message across to his family and friends was an enticing one and he wanted to do that if it was indeed possible.

Timothy waddled along, he was quite a sight to see, heading for the large pool of water that was glistening on the horizon. As they got closer, Jimmy could see that the surface was still, so much so that it looked like a huge sheet of glass lain on its side. He joined Timothy at the edge and looked down into it, finding himself staring back at his own perfectly clear image.

Blinking, he glanced at his guide. “It’s just me...and you?”

Timothy chuckled and leaned forward, dipping the tip of his bill slowly into the water. As ripples began to expand from where he touched the surface, the image began to change.

Jimmy swallowed hard as he found himself gazing upon the inside of his childhood home. His mom was sitting in the living room with his sisters in front of the television. They weren’t watching it, though. They were just sitting there obviously thinking of him. He wasn’t quite sure how he knew that, but he could almost feel their thoughts being directed toward him. He glanced sideways at Timothy.

His guide lifted his head, black eyes calm. “Your father is on his way home. They’ve been keeping to themselves mostly, except when your friends come around to see them. You were all so close.”

Jimmy murmured, “They were my brothers.”

“Still are, sonny. Just because you are here and they are not, that changes nothing.” Timothy looked back into the pool. "And there’s your father now.”

Jimmy returned his gaze toward his family, recognising his dad who was now sitting next to his mom hugging her close. He bit his bottom lip, chewing at it, before asking, “So, what do I do?”

Timothy leaned back on his feet. “Tell them whatever you wish to tell them. They will sense it, in their hearts and it shall ease them.”

Jimmy scrunched up his face. “So, I just say it? Out loud? That’s fucking weird.”

“Go on. Time’s a–wasting.”

“I thought time didn’t exist up here?”

“Figuratively speaking,” Timothy amended.

Jimmy nodded then looked down at his family. “Mom. Dad...I don’t know how to say this. Shit, I’m never usually at a loss for words...but, this...this is hard. I love you both so much...and you two as well, sis’s time two.” He smirked faintly. Then got sad again. “I know you’re gonna miss me. But, we’ll meet again in the next life. I promise you. So, just go on supporting each other, cry a bit...’cause I know I’d cry like a baby if one of you had passed before me. And, we’ll see each other soon. I...I’ll be watching over you guys...always...love you...”

He stopped unable to go on, feeling his own eyes getting wet. As he watched them, though, he saw them stop for a breath and touch their hearts, looking up and around. And then each of them seemed to gather themselves, small smiles appearing on their faces. He sighed and looked at Timothy.

“I can feel them...they seem...more at ease.”

“And, that is the point of this whole exercise, sonny.” Timothy ruffled his feathers. “Now. You’re friends.”

He touched his bill to the water again, the surface rippled wider this time, changing to a view of what had to be Matt and Val’s backyard. Jimmy remembered being there not so long ago for his friend’s wedding. What a beautiful few days that had been. Val had been resplendent in a beautiful white gown and Matt hadn’t looked too shabby in his suit.

Jimmy blinked. There were a lot of people there and they were all in the large swimming pool that took up one quarter of the yard. He glanced over each person’s face; Brian, Johnny, Zacky, Matt, Val, Michelle, Gena, Lacey, the Good Charlotte boys, Tal, Jason and Matt Berry, and...Leana...his fiancée. His heart seemed to seize in his chest.

“Oh, God...” Jimmy’s voice shook. “Jesus...” He clutched at his hair. “I can’t believe I left them all behind...” He swallowed rapidly, Adam’s apple bobbing furiously. “My friends....my family...” He trembled. “Leana and I were going to get married this coming year...Fuck, I can’t believe I left her...”

Timothy, in his wisdom, said nothing. He knew there were no words that could be spoken to soften the pain Jimmy felt. Instead he lifted his bill from the water and sank down into the grass by the edge, watching the drummer as he watched the people within the pool.

Jimmy silently observed as his friends formed a ring in the swimming pool, liking arms around shoulders. It was reminiscent of the one they had formed on Matt and Val’s wedding day. He still remembered that. Chuckling, he also remembered how he had told Michelle and Brian that he was jealous of them and then given them a big hug. Memories like that pained him.

He took several deep breaths and glanced at Timothy. “Same thing?”

The duck nodded. “Yes. Go on, sonny.”

Jimmy moved to sit at the edge of the great pool, eyes moving over his friends, wondering where to begin. Before he could begin though, he caught a word drifting from within the pool, a recognisable rasp, saying his name. Frowning, he focused upon Matt, finding himself zooming in to the tattooed singer's figure, he becoming as clear as if he was standing n front of the drummer. And then he could hear what he was saying.

Jimmy. Jimmy is my best fucking friend in the world. He’s all our best friend. Anyway, do you remember that one time when he got caught shoplifting in the mall? Fucking riot that was...no regard for authority whatsoever...but we loved him, man... we always will love him...

Jimmy felt as if Matt was staring straight at him; he felt tears welling in his eyes, saw tears in Matt’s own.

Clenching his jaw, then relaxing it, he spoke softly, “Matt...fuck...that was your fault. If you’d been keeping watch I wouldn’t have got caught.” He laughed softly. And then was surprised. Matt’s image blinked and the singer looked around himself.

Jimmy? What the Hell? No it wasn’t my fault...

Jimmy stared. Timothy sat forward looking equally surprised.

“He heard you? That’s different...”

Jimmy bit his lip hard, not responding to Timothy’s comment, but to his friend’s. “No...that was your fault...”

In the vision he could see the others all giving Matt weird looks. Matt pressed a hand over his eyes for a moment and murmured. I must be going crazy...

Jimmy swallowed hard; he couldn’t let this opportunity go to waste. Enough silliness. Even though it hadn’t even been that much considering the amount of whacky and crazy shit he’d gotten into when he was alive.

“Matt...Matt I need you tell the guys something. Each one. Okay? Can you focus...don’t let them distract you.”

He watched as Matt pulled away from the others holding up his hands to prevent them from pushing at him. They were all trying to talk to him, asking him what the hell was up with him. He held them back, closing his eyes.

I’m listening...fuck...you’re not a ghost or something?

“Try angel...I guess...sort of...I’m not really sure.” Jimmy leaned forward looking down at his friend, knowing Matt could only hear him, and not see him.

An angel...do you have wings?

Jimmy laughed. “Not that I know of. Anyway...I, um...wanted to say a few things.”

Matt pressed his back against the edge of the swimming pool, crossing his arms and gripping his elbows tightly. Shoot.

Jimmy squeezed his eyes shut for a long moment, then opened them again, clearing his throat. “Okay. Le...tell Le I love her...and I’m sorry I left her. I...I want her to be happy...so...let her know that if one day she wants to...y’know...find someone else....I...I won’t mind. We’ll see each other again in the afterlife.”

Matt nodded slowly. Right.

Jimmy continued. “Tell the other girls I’ll miss them all...but like I said we’ll see each other again. They’re each so wonderfully special...and I’ll always be thinking of them. Tell Val she is like one of my own sisters...she looked after my ass so well on tour and shit. I’ll always be grateful for that.”

Matt nodded more; Val had joined him and placed an arm around his waist, gazing anxiously at him. He smiled at her absently still listening.

Jimmy rubbed at his eyes before going on. “Tell Brian...tell him I love him like fuck. He’s my best fucking friend in the world...you all are...but...fuck...it was him and me forever. Tell him I’ll give him a royal fucking party when he hits the afterlife...which I hope isn’t anytime soon...I don’t think Heaven could cope with the both of us in one go...any of you for that matter...” He was on a roll now, not waiting for Matt to indicate he’d heard.

“Tell short shit...he could try growing some more...even though I don’t think that’ll work. He should keep banging that bass...’cause no one plays bass like he does. I’ll miss his shortness...and his...beer, wine...little shit.” Jimmy laughed sadly.

Matt just kept nodding, tightening his own arm around Val’s shoulders.

Jimmy turned to look down at Zacky. The guitarist was floating on his back with one eye on Matt. “Zacky...Zacky needs to lose some weight and work out...haha...yeah right, ‘case round is a shape. Tell him I love his fat ass. And that there’s plenty of the sugary stuff up here in Heaven. Or at least I’ll find him some for when he comes up way into the future.” He closed his eyes tight finally turning his sights to Matt.

“Shadows...Matt...fuck...you are one fucking fearless leader. You know that? You’re fucking amazing...the best singer...the best leader...without you...I don’t know. We wouldn’t have made it, y’know? You’re the best. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Just...I don’t know. I won’t stop thinking about you...or all the guys. I’m gonna bug you all the time, y’know that?”

Matt chuckled, his low raspy laugh catching at something in Jimmy’s heart. You bastard, I wouldn’t expect anything else from you.

Jimmy sighed, shaking his head. “I know it’s going to be hard...but the band, Matt. I know you guys might need a huge break, or whatever...but finish the album. Record it...let the kids hear it. For me. ‘cause y’know, if you don’t...I’ll come and kick you up the ass...or some shit. If I can do that...I’ll find a way...” He paused then added, “’Cause like I told you so many times...it’ll change the world...people need to hear what we’ve been working on. Fuck...I’ll play the drums in Heaven if I have to. I’m sure they have a big-ass drum kit set up for me here, somewhere.”

Matt hugged Val close, smiling. She tilted her head at him. He just kept smiling pressing his lips into her hair and murmuring Jimmy’s name.

Jimmy felt a smile pulling at his own lips. “One last thing, Matt...tell the GC boys and Tal and the Berry’s...tell them I’ll be watching them too...just you watch...I’ll be pulling pranks on them from up here. ‘Cause I bet you I’ll find a way.”

Matt laughed out loud, hazel eyes sparkling. I bet...so, if I feel like someone’s watching me...it’ll be you, you bastard?

“It will. And, I’m not a bastard...I’m an angel. An angel. Got it.”

Got it. Matt laughed, finally giving into Val’s questioning look. It’s Jimmy...Jimmy’s okay...and damn have I got a message for all of you...

Jimmy drew back from the pool, the sound sliding away as he observed Matt drawing his friends close, telling each of them what the drummer had told him to say. He felt a peace, calm come over him and somehow he knew they would pull through. Together as a family, because they were more than just friends, they would keep on living holding the memory of Jimmy forever in their hearts. And he knew now that they knew he was okay as well. Even though he hadn’t said as much.

Sighing, he looked over at Timothy. His guide smiled as only a duck could, inclining his head toward the man.

“Come, we will leave them for now...time for you to join us in your new life.”

Jimmy stood from the pool casting a final glance, for now, toward his friends, then as their images faded away, he turned toward the rest of Heaven, ready to see what the afterlife would bring him. And knowing that his friends would ever be on his mind and in his heart.

Amen.
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The Reverend and the Angel [PG 15]
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