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Angels Walk Among Us

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Story Title: Angels Walk Among Us

Type of story: oneshot

Main Characters: Martha, Jack, Charlie

BTTB rating: T

Genre: Angst, Death, Romance

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Mention of rape.

Summary: Martha finds out that Angels Walk Among Us

Death is nothing. I am still with you. I laugh at the things you do and when you cry it brings tears to my eyes also.

Martha paused uncertainly at the top of the dimly lit alleyway and peered down. There were usually strong glares of street lamps highlighting the entire lane, but it seemed that at least two of the bulbs had died out. Because of the bad lighting, her squinting eyes could barely make out the back entrance of her estate at the bottom. Feeling a prickling along her spine, the hairs rose on the back of her neck at the thought of walking down there alone in the dark and she chastised herself sharply.

“Don’t be silly,” she admonished herself. “Either you walk down here, and be home in a few minutes, or you turn around and go back to Roman's, showing yourself up as a scaredy-cat.” It seemed a decision that didn’t bear thinking about so she took a deep breath and stepped cautiously into the lane-way, allowing herself to be swallowed up by the darkness.

I revel in your successes and feel disappointment for you when you fail.

Her footsteps echoed loudly against the utter silence, and as she neared the halfway mark, she felt eyes on her. Raising her eyes from the ground, Martha suddenly spied a tall masculine figure leaning against the wall, hands stuffed casually in his pockets.

Her footsteps slowed nervously, and she could feel her heart thumping fearfully, banging against her ribcage. What was a lone man doing in a dark alleyway at eleven pm on a Friday night.

She shut her eyes tightly and said a short forceful prayer. “Please God,” she prayed. “ Please don’t let him come near me. I don’t know what his intentions are but Please God, I beg of you, keep me safe.” Martha had never been religious, not before. That was a job best left up to Geoff with his intentions to be a minister some day. However now, it seemed appropriate to move to prayer, feeling suddenly unsafe. And it wasn't just because they were in an alleyway; no, there was something unsettling about the manner in which his piercing blue-eyed gaze was fixated on her, and Martha shivered, pulling her coat more tightly around herself.

Do not mourn me for I haven’t gone anywhere. If you try hard enough, you will find me again. I am merely temporarily lost.

Opening her eyes once more, after the rapid pray, she saw immediately that the suspicious figure was still in the same position, eyes staring at her unblinkingly. She took another deep breathe and, eyes lowered, walked past him rapidly, her shoes slapping loudly against concrete pavement, and echoing all throughout the quiet lane.

Once she reached the estate, she looked back once to see his eyes boring into her, stance reversed so that he was still facing her. Turning back, to see her back door, and an inviting light shining inside her home, Martha took to her heels and ran, racing to safety as fast as she could. Breathe caught in her throat, as she reached out blindly for the handle, twisting it with ease and flinging herself indoors.

Only when the door was slammed shut safely behind her, did Martha relax, leaning into the door, as she tried to calm her breathing.

"Everything ok?" Hugo appeared in the doorway from the sitting room, looking at her with concern. Martha only smiled weakly in response, nodding once. "I'm fine, she answered him, moving to the sink and pouring herself a glass of water.

Taking the glass, she then joined Xavier and Hugo in the lounge, sitting down to watch the movie that they were already in the middle of viewing. She soon got over her fright, and forgot about the man in the alley. She also forget to say thank you to God.

Take note of the world around you, nature at its basic, for if you speak to me, I will reply through the elements.

Next morning the headlines on the newspaper hit her in the face. “TEENAGE GIRL RAPED IN ALLEY IN COMMUNITY OF SUMMER BAY.”

Martha's heart skipped a beat and her eyes skimmed over the article, resting briefly on the words “11pm, full length trench-coat’ and ‘in for questioning’.”

Dropping the paper on the counter top, splayed open still on the same article, she reached for the phone with trembling fingers. Stabbing out one of the most familiar numbers in the fore front of her mind, Martha soon heard the comforting tones of Charlie Buckton as she said, "Yabbie Creek Police Department."

Quickly skimming the events of the previous night, Charlie immediately asked Martha to come to the station to fill out a report, which she promptly fulfilled.

Afterward, Charlie asked would she mind looking at a few men that they had in for questioning in the small chance that she would recognise one of them as the man in the alley from the previous night; proven now to be the same alley that Martha herself had walked down alone.

She agreed without hesitation.

It proved to be a safe bet, for as the men filed in for their line-up, Martha recognised the man from her lane immediately, and pointed him out to Charlie who said something quiet to the cop beside her, and he nodded, leaving the room quietly.

I still talk to you and hug you when I feel lonely. The only difference is that you don’t always see or hear me.

After being pulled from the line-up, he confessed to the rape almost as soon as the questioning started. Charlie didn't quite understand this, as he had so far pleaded innocent whilst being interrogated. But it seemed his resolve had broken now, and he knew he was out of luck with a witness pointing him out, for he said, "It wasn't something that I had ever seen myself carrying out."

When asked why he chose that particular female, however, he looked confused, answering, "I don't know what you mean," in sullen tones. "I stood in the alley, alright, and waited for a girl, any girl, to come along! He was still young himself, only nineteen years old according to his fact-file although his height of 6"2 gave him leeway to appearing much older, and intimidating.

Charlie repeated the question but the rapist replied honestly that the girl he had attacked was the first lone girl he had seen all night.

Bewildered by his answer, and slightly suspicious, she then emphasized that a different girl, with dark hair, had gone down the alley, passed him and run into the estate roughly thirty minutes earlier that night, before the attack.

The rapist’s brow furrowed and then cleared. “I know the girl you’re talking about. She had on a red fleece. But she wasn’t alone. There was a man walking next to her," he answered quietly, closing his eyes over. A quiet smirk spread across his face, as he added tauntingly, "Ironically enough, it was a cop! There wasn't much hope of me touching her with a six foot pole, having a guy like that at her side, now was there! Recognised him too, that dark haired guy, thought he died recently, but I guess not!" He looked over at Charlie, leering at her now, as he added sarcastically, unless you guys have learnt how to bring people back from the dead, that is!"

If you cannot hear me then close your eyes tight and look into your heart for that is my home now, and I will never leave you again.

On the other side of the interview window, Martha's face was a picture of disbelief before crumpling into tears as his words hit home.

“I prayed,” she wept quietly, cupping her hands over her face as the tears fell with free abandonment down her cheeks. “I prayed for God to take care of me and he did. He sent Jack down to protect me!"

On the other side of the interview glass, Charlie looked perturbed, before standing up suddenly and leaving the room without another word. Entering Martha's section, she caught the last few words that the bereaved widow had said, and stopped in her tracks, speechless at the thought of what Martha had just said.

Remaining just inside the door, Charlie waited silently, not wishing to interrupt, even though she knew that what Martha thought must have been a mistake, for there was surely no way that Jack could come back down to protect her. Once her knight in shining armour, he was gone now, and would not be there to save her again. Everyone knew that that was impossible.

No matter what any one else may say, I am always with you!

At last, Martha smiled tearfully, but with a bright shimmer in her eyes, and she felt a sudden peace settle on her shoulders. "I guess angels really do walk among us!” she spoke out, drawing Charlie into a hug, but over Charlie's shoulder, her eyes were seeing another reflection in the interview window glass; of a man who was there, yet not there, and stood next to Martha, one hand on her shoulder as he smiled at her lovingly.

"I love you Jack, she whispered silently, mouthing the words, and then, in the reflection, saw him nod at her, with that familiar look of pure love on his face, before his image faded right before her very eyes.

Not even death can separate us. I am always with you, and will be forever - until you come to join me.

Hope you enjoy. This was inspired by a mixture of one short story that I wrote previously [on the topic of angels walking among us] and a thoughtful piece I wrote on death. I edited and merged them, to form this, a one-shot of Jack & Martha, showing how he continues to watch over her even after his death.

The blue writing is Jack's - thoughts, I guess.


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