Falling

All the King's Horses
Part I: Chapter 1

Her blond hair glittered under the glaring winter sunlight, her pink coat complimented her coloring, reminding him the moment he saw her that the attraction wasn’t going away. Two days had only caused it to grow, not lessen. Her pale pink lips were full, she wet them and looked at her watch. She was waiting for him. And he should go over there to say hello.

But he couldn’t. Not yet. Something had him rooted in place studying her, the wonderful way she smiled, the light and love that sparkled in her eyes, it left him staring in wonder at her beauty. Then again, beauty didn’t seem to do her justice, as if the fact that she looked amazing in anything—or nothing—wasn’t enough, she had this huge heart, filled with love, caring and understanding, she was open, honest, full of life and a certain nervous energy around him lately. He should have known better.

But he couldn’t seem to stop himself anymore than she attempted to stop him. Two weeks had passed since The Kiss—with capital letters, thank you—and she hadn’t stopped her new nervousness around him. Endless apologizing didn’t make it go away, and apparently neither would time. The jury was still out on what had set about her nervousness. It could be The Kiss or it could be the fact that he somehow managed to screw up his plan to not see her and ended up seeing… a lot more of her than either had ever intended.

The position he was in was uncomfortable to put it lightly. Heartbreaking to put it honestly. He loved her. That realization had taken plenty of time to come around and slap him in the face. And oh, how it had slapped him. Literally. Her hand lightly touching on his cheek may not have been to strike him, but it should have been. What kind of angel kisses a woman with a boyfriend?

Then again, what kind of angel falls in love with a woman he was supposed to be making sure was happy with her boyfriend? It had to be some cruel joke that the universe was playing on him. His mission was to reunite the couples that had been torn apart by Caleb in Port Charles. He was supposed to not only step back and watch her happy with Jamal, he was supposed to push her toward him if she happened to start having her doubts. This was quickly becoming the hardest job of all. Not even Kevin and his mystery woman had proven to be this challenging.

This was probably his punishment for breaking the rules. She knew about him, and he made no effort to lie to her. He couldn’t have lied to her if he wanted to. It was refreshing to have someone that knew his truth, and amazing that it was her that knew it. Even if that weren’t the case, even if he hadn’t been completely entrapped in her spell, then just one look in her eyes, filled with childish curiosity and wonder would have brought the truth rushing forward from him. He should have seen it sooner.

She walked around slowly in a circle, a bundle of nerves and confusion, overflowing emotions. The snow covered evergreen stood proud in the background. The wind caused the branches to wave at him. And he was powerless to stop the thought of her beauty from once again entering his mind.

She smiled lightly, her eyes darting to the sacks sitting next to the bench, then again to her watch. He was late. The thought rang out through the air as if they had both spoken it. Her pacing resumed, snow crunching under her boots as she went along, trying her hardest not to look down at her watch again.

“It’s ok, Alison,” she spoke aloud. “He’s not going to stand you up. Not that he could stand you up. Standing someone up like, means a date or something and this is so not a date. I mean, even if he wasn’t like a perfect angel, literally, and you weren’t with Jamal then it couldn’t be a date because he’s leaving like really, really soon, and you do not need that, Alison. I mean, you know that you’re going to miss him enough as it is.” Again her eyes landing on her watch and a small curse passed her lips. “Come on, Rafe, I kind of need you here.”

He took a step forward, a smile tugging at his lips. A smile that always seemed to fight to have its way with him when he was near her. “I’m right here.” Rafe finally gave in and smiled when she spun around quickly. “I told you I’d be here, here I am.”

Alison smiled back at him shyly. “How much of that did you hear?”

“Does it matter?” he asked, crossing to her quickly before stopping in time to give her plenty of room to breathe. Being in her personal space had never served either of them well in the past. Maybe her pull wouldn’t be as strong with a little bit of distance.

“Yes! I mean, no, I guess not.” She blinked before laughing at herself. “I know you are like super busy, and you probably don’t have time for me to just go off on you again like I did before, because I rant like endlessly sometimes, and you... know that I guess, so if you… like need to leave or something, I don’t want to keep you from something important. Like making sure all these people I care about are happy and smiling and… and in love again.”

“You’re important too, Alison.” Rafe paused, his smile fading slightly into a more serious expression as he took another step closer to her against his will. “Especially to me.”

She tried to force a smile as she broke the eye contact. “Right. You… You know you’re like really important to me too, right? Cause you’re like my best friend lately, and I guess I should just get used to not always calling you when something happens, and I really shouldn’t spend so much time with you because after that kiss Jamal has been really, really jealous, even more than before. But you’re hard to stay away from, because I care about you. And this is all just really new to me, you know?”

“Not really,” he muttered, cocking his head to the side slightly. “But I do know it’s very new to me. I’ve never had a friend before.”

“I’ve never known an angel before.”

“Maybe it’s the angels that lose there, Alison.”

“You shouldn’t be so sweet to me. I mean, I just may have totally and completely ruined everything for you! Which is really awful of me, because you’re out there trying to do all this good, and my big mouth just keeps getting you in trouble, as if you don’t have a hard enough job as it is. I know, all you have to say is, ‘way to go, Alison.’ I’m so, so unbelievably sorry.”

Rafe just smiled. “What happened?”

“I was talking to Livvie, and she said something, and I don’t remember what it was, but her and Jack got back together, which I’m sure you already know, and she wanted to know if you had anything to do with it. And I was like trying to dodge the question, you know? But it was hard, because she can always tell when I’m lying. So I told her that if you pushed them in the right direction then she should thank you. And she said that if you did then she would because she was really grateful. But Jamal was listening in and made some really rude remark about you being an angel, cause I sort of blurted it out during an argument because he was accusing you of having a thing for me, what ever that means, like angels do that, then again I never thought an angel would kiss me. Anyway, it’s not like he thought I meant you were a real angel or anything, he thought I was talking about your personality, which you really do fit the profile because you’re sweet, kind, caring… Livvie thought that I meant you were a real, real angel though, maybe it’s not such a stretch for her cause she married a vampire or something? So she ran off before I could-”

“Alison, would you please take a breath before you pass out?”

She inhaled quickly before rushing on again, “So she ran off before I could like stop her or try and tell her it wasn’t true or something like that, and I think she went to tell Jack. I don’t know though, and I don’t know if anyone is going to figure it out or if everyone is and it’ll be all my fault. Cause you know, I just slipped that once to Jamal, and he is so insanely jealous of you because he thinks I’ve got a cr- Anyway, I’m so, so sorry.”

“It’s ok, Alison,” he promised, smiling at her once again. “No one is going to find out, for all they know the only weird thing about me is that I’m a slayer.”

“You’re not weird… Well… Not really…”

Laughing softly, Rafe shook his head. “Don’t worry, Alison. You aren’t going to hurt my feelings. Are you ok?”

She seemed to drop to the bench beside them. “No. Jamal has been a total jerk lately, and I know that I deserve it, but still it’s hard to deal with. He’s so mean lately… To me and to you…”

“Hey, don’t worry about him being mean to me. I deserve it. You don’t. Got it?”

“You do not deserve it! You’re an angel! You’ve been my friend and you were like so great to me, and I’m alive because of you! He’s just…”

“Jealous.”

“Yeah,” Alison sighed. “He’s jealous because I kissed you. He slept with his ex-girlfriend, found out he had a child with her, and I totally supported him while he was going through all that with Hope, you know? And I even let the mother of his child live in my house with us! And he’s jealous because of one… ok, two little… or not so little kisses. He’s jealous and the first thing I do is call you, or try and find you so I can see you.”

He sat beside her, once again careful to keep a distance. “You’ll work it out with him.”

“What if I don’t want to?” Alison whispered, turning her head to look at him. “What if I’m tired of being in a relationship that is so much work?”

“Anything worth having is worth fighting for?” Rafe suggested lightly.

Alison dropped her head on his shoulder. “I just want it to be easy for a while, you know?” A tear slid down her cheek, and he brushed it away with his thumb. “I just want something that’s easy. I’m tired of fighting.”

Rafe wrapped his arm around her shoulders, hugging her in an attempt to comfort her. Silently he cursed the happiness that seemed to rise within him at her words, he crushed it, focusing on the pain her tears sent through him instead. “Just be happy, Alison,” he murmured, placing a kiss on the top of her hair. “Jamal makes you happy.”

“Not lately,” she sobbed, turning her body slightly to be closer to him. “Lately you’re the one making me happy.”


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