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"Guardian Angels and the Keys of Music"

Guardian Angels and the Keys of Music

Chapter 1: Amazing
Chapter 2: Cryin'
Chapter 3: Fallen Angels
Chapter 4
Chapter 5: Angel

Guardian Angels
and the Keys of Music

Part One: Amazing

"I believe angels live amongst us... it's just that sometimes we're too blind to see them"
- Kert Lowell

Warren Worthington dipped and glided though the sky. Once again thanking God because he had his real wings back. But there was no joy in soaring with the birds and sweeping through the clouds.

His dark mood was taking all the pleasure out of flying today.

Shaking his head, trying to clear all thoughts from it, he swooped down below the clouds. He was over Central Park, and could see that there was some sort of concert going on.

He flew lower to see two women and three men in their teens up on stage playing for all their hearts. They were playing one of Elvis's old songs, with a new, 90's, beat, and they were doing a good job of it. The crowed that had gathered were cheering on for all their worth.

Warren frowned slightly. The last concert he'd been at, was when Professor Xavier had been shot. That brought back even more unpleasant memories he wished to stay buried. This certainly wasn't what he needed.

He flew higher, but the music followed him, and for some reason, he couldn't bring himself to fly away. Instead he circled the park listening as the band turned to an Aerosmith song.

I kept the right ones out,
And let the wrong ones in,
Had an angel of mercy to see
me though all me sins.

How many times had he pushed away people who cared about him? How many times has he shunned away from those he loved, because he felt like a monster? Letting the real monsters get close?

How many times?

Too many.

And yet, the X-Men had always been there for him. His friends to the end, even when he felt he was going to brake, and his soul die. They were always trusting him even when he couldn't trust himself.

There were times in my life,
When I was goin' insane,
Tryin' to walk through,
The pain.

But his friends had stuck by him. They had tried to help, tried to see though his pain to the old carefree Angel that he had buried deep in his mind. Even now, with his wings back, he couldn't bring himself to be so carefree again.

He had been a pawn to Apocalypse for too long.

Apocalypse had called himself Angel's "father". He had sold his soul, his very being to the man for wings that had never felt right. Could never feel the same. They had been a burden more then a help. Before, flying had been like nothing, his wings weightless. But with the dead weight of mettle on his back, it had been all he could do to keep standing sometimes.

And the thought that in just an instant and a flap of the wings he could cut a man to shreds, had never been one of comfort.

Once he'd even cut off a man's head in the heat of battle when he'd come up behind Warren. He'd never quite forgiven himself for that. He never quite forgave himself for a lot of things he did when Apocalypse gave him his mettle wings. And he may never forgive.

When I lost my grip,
And I hit the floor,
Yeah I thought I could leave
but couldn't get out the door.

Just like he'd never forgive Gambit for the part he'd played in the Mutant Massacre. For bringing the Marauders together, and then setting them lose on the Morlocks. It was his fault he'd lost his old wings. His fault he'd nearly lost his very soul to that monster!

Warren frowned. He had come up to the skies to fly with the birds in order to forget all that had happened, not remember. But the past dies hard, and, he realized, as long as he lived he would never forgive and forget.

But Angel knew one thing for sure. If he ever saw Gambit again, if he had somehow survived Antarctica, he would kill him. He was sure he'd have no problem seeing the life slip from Gambit's eyes.

His hatred was that strong.

I was so sick and tired,
Of livin' a lie,
I was whishin' that I
Would die.

Had Gambit somehow wished for himself to die? Was that why Rogue had left him in Antarctica? Because his own hatred for himself was so great, that is passed on when she'd kissed him?

Warren knew what it was like to wish for death. He had wished for it himself many nights. Wished he could somehow gather the nerve to walk in on a FOH meeting, and let them kill him. Wished that in battle he would be one of the ones not standing.

Death was a wish made by many, but most still cherished life enough not to ever go through with their own destruction. Perhaps that was why he had never done anything to end his grief. Maybe he loved his life still. Maybe the loss of his wings really wasn't worth dying for.

Or maybe he was too much of a cowered to go through with it.

That one last shot's a Permanent Vacation,
And how high can you fly with,
broken wings?

Warren almost laughed when that bit of the song reached his ears.

How high? High wasn't where you got with broken wings. It was low. So low, that he had met the devil face to face, and made a deal with him. A pact that cost him his soul, and now he would never be that same Angel who had been one of Xavier's first students.

He had his real wings back, but he would never be the same, the world around him had changed too much.

Life's a journey not a destination,
And I just can't tell just what,
tomorrow brings.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow brings life, or death. That was a certain. Tomorrow was a hell you just haven't lived through yet.

Had the world changed? Or had he?

You have to learn to crawl,
Before you learn to walk,
But I just couldn't listen to all that righteous talk.

That sounded like something Ororo would say. Actually, once she had said something to that very affect. But he would never listen. He wanted to be alone, let his grief over come him, and live with it alone. He never told anyone of the turmoil going on inside his head. He built his blocks so the Professor, Jean and Betsy couldn't see what was going on in there.

So they would never see his hurt, his pain. Maybe... it would have been easier if he had let them help him. Maybe his hatred for himself wouldn't be so strong. Maybe his hatred for Gambit wouldn't be too much for him to bear.

I was out of the street,
Just tryin' to survive,
Scratchin' to stay, Alive!

Warren searched within himself and tried desperately to see the Cajun's point of view. Did the younger man hate himself for what happened as much as Warren hated what was done to him? Did he know the pain of coming to wake at night from a dream so horrible, so awful, it made him cry out in pain just from thinking about it?

Did he know what it was like to feel his soul slip away from him into a monster's grip? To feel the pain and torment of what he'd done on his back? His own personal cross to carry?

Could Gambit ever know what it was like to feel his life slip away like that?

Did he know?

It's Amazing,
With a blink of an eye
you finally see the light.

Warren blinked.

Did he know? Did he know what it was like?

He dropped from the sky, and landed softly on his feet. Lifting his face up to the sun, his eyes closed, he felt the star's warmth.

Does he know? he asked himself again. He started to laugh, uncontrollably. Does he know?

Gambit sold his soul to a devil too. Not Apocalypse, but Sinister. And he didn't even know what he was doing when he brought together the Marauders. Angel knew what he was doing when he let Apocalypse create his wings.

What had the two gotten out of their pacts with devils? Nothing. Hatred for themselves, and many lives lost, including their own. Loss of the ones they loved. But nothing had been gained. Nothing had been saved in their souls.

It's Amazing,
When the moment arrives
that you know you'll be alright.

Warren dropped to his knees. His hands came up to hide his face, and his laughter quickly turned into tears. His brought his wings around him like a blanket, and he cried. He had dammed a man already dammed, like himself.

They were brothers, he and Gambit. They had both known the hardships of greed and for a short time, both had become monsters. Both hated themselves for it. And both tried to redeem themselves.

And Angel, in his own heart, his own mind, had condemned Gambit for what he'd done in the past. All without thinking about what he'd done since then. How many lives has Gambit saved since he became an X-Man? How many times had he saved Archangel?

Yeah, it's Amazing,
And I'm sayin' a prayer
for the desperate hearts tonight.

How many times had Gambit pushed away people who cared about him? How many times has he shunned away from those he loved, because he felt like a monster? Letting the real monsters get close?

How many times?

Too many.

The X-Men had taken Warren back after his lapse with Apocalypse. They took him back in, and forgave him, and yet, they all have condimened Gambit. They all have decided he is an X-Man no more.

And yet, was what he'd done any worse then what Warren himself had done? Should he be dammed more when he had shown time and time again that he was a true X-Man? A real hero?

Warren let the last of his tears dry, and he looked up at the sky, at the birds dancing on the breeze. Why couldn't he get any comfort in flying with them?

Could it be because his own conscience couldn't let him?

"Remy." He whispered to the sky. "Wherever you are... you're still an X-Man."

Except for a few joggers, a few people having picnics or playing with their children, and one winged man, Central Park was empty. It had been empty all day.


Continued in Chapter 2.


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