by Erin Griffin
Rating: PG-13/R-ish (attempted armed robbery)
Pairing: Selena Kyle/Carolyn Lance (Black Canary/Catwoman)
Summary: " 'Job?' Donny asked, 'Lady, I'm sure at this moment all of my job skills are shot to hell...' " Selena has to stop disaster for a desperate man in need of assistance in order to complete her task and make her way into the line for reincarnation. (First person, Selena's point of view.)
Disclaimer: I own noting, not this time. Wait, I own Selena's piece of paper... yup... good god, I need a life.
Author's Note: Hi-ya. Fourth in the Afterlife series, starting with Love Afterlife, Apartment Upgrade and Finding His Way
Going on missions like these weren't exactly a new thing for me. I'd been dead for over seven years, after all. What do you think I was doing all that time, knitting a 'Welcome to Heaven' sweater for Carolyn and Helena in front of that stupid TV? How boring. No, here and there, I'd get sent as a stand-in guardian, a substitute teacher, only for guardian angels. Hey, even they need a break. So, for a day or two I'd be assigned to follow someone around, make sure they stay safe. I knew about His tasks. He didn't assign them unless the angel was somehow connected, but looking at this fairly new building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, all I saw were dots. Nothing added up, and when my slip of paper said 'Donny's wife' and nothing more, I was puzzled to say the least. I stepped inside anyway, hoping the scene would become something I could easily play along with. It was a small building with six cubicles, and five of them were occupied. Was the sixth one mine? Was I 'Donny's wife'? I looked around as I heard angry footsteps behind me. I took a quick glance at the slip of paper in my hands, but nothing had changed on it.
I saw a young man, no older thirty, charge inside with a gun visible in his hand. This must have been Donny, but what was I to say about his wife? I didn't know anything about is wife. Was his wife the reason he was there, threatening the lives around me? This didn't make any sense to me, how was I connected to Tulsa, Oklahoma? I decided not to worry so much about the connection, and focused on the gun in Donny's hand. I slowly walked up to him. "I wouldn't take one more step." That made me stop moving.
"Are you Donny?" I asked, already knowing the answer.
"I'm a- well, a friend of your wife's," I told him, sneaking a look at the slip of paper in my hand. He caught the movement, however, and pointed the gun at my hand. I was relieved to see that it was what looked like a business card for a larger company. "She told me- uh- about your situation and told me where I might find you. Shall we talk outside? I'll..." I swallowed, looking fearfully at the gun even though it didn't bother me as much as Wade's knife had. "I'll tell you more about the job.-"
"Job? Lady, I'm sure at this moment, all of my job skills are shot to hell." Still, the young man lowered his hand, and I continued to feign nervousness."
"I'm sure, Mr.-"
"Donny. Just Donny." He looked around at the people who had covered themselves under their desks, and I was reminded of earthquake drills. He sneered at them, then turned his back and left, muttering something about 'seven years'. He put the gun in the belt holder, and roughly grabbed my arm. In life, I would have beat the shit out of him for even touching me, but in death, I was supposed to be helping him, so I pretended to be scared. I looked at the people behind me.
"Please don't press charges. He's a desperate man. I'll take care of everything." As soon as we were outside and down the street some, Donny let go of my arm, and when I saw his face, I knew that what I had said to those people in that office was true. I could kind of piece it all together. The people in the building fired him for whatever reason, and when he couldn't get another job, well, things turned out the way they had. He had gone back either to get revenge or to simply rob them. He sat down heavily on a bench by a bus stop and sighed, then put his head down. His shoulders shook, and I sat next to him and gently placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Oh God... I'm so sorry," he whispered, to whom exactly, I wasn't sure. ''I'm sure He knows,' I thought to myself, 'otherwise I wouldn't be here.' Donny looked at me and laughed bitterly. "Like I said, I just blew any chance I ever had of getting a job at your company."
"Actually, it's not my company, but I've got a lot of sway with the big guy who does own it though," I said, which wasn't true. I'd just hoped that the real Big Guy would help me make this true. I stared at Donny for a second, then smiled to help ease the tension. "Since I owe your wife- long story, maybe she will tell you some other time, as I am already going to be late for a meeting- Since I owe your wife, I'll make you a deal. You tell no one I'm not a natural blonde, and no one will know about this temper tantrum you had today." Donny let out an noise that was a half laugh, half sob.
"Why am I not a natural blonde?
"Heh- No, why are you being so nice to me after I could have killed you back there?"
"You're not the only one who's having trouble right now. The economy is so shitty that McDonald's won't even hire you. Everyone needs a little help here and there," I told him looking up at the sky, "you just have to know how to ask for it." When I looked at Donny, he had a look of awe, and I cleared my throat. "Anyway, call this number, ask for..." I looked at the card and saw the name of an assistant, "Catherine Strahling, and she'll set you up and tell you all the details."
"You're an angel. You've got to be."
"Hardly," I lied. "Knowing my track record, Satan's waiting to waltz with me." I smiled at the image. "You'll be fine. Get rid of the gun, Donny. If your son or daughter finds it, they'll get hurt," I said suddenly, not quite in control of my mouth then. Donny looked confused.
"S-son? Daughter...?" I felt a small chill, the first since I had died, but it made me smile.
"Call your wife." I looked up at the sky with a sly grin, then looked at my wrist. No watch. I looked around and saw a clock on one of the buildings down the street. "Oh shit, is that really the time? I've gotta scoot. I'm really going to be late for that dinner meeting if I get stuck in traffic. I think you'll be just fine, Donny," I said again.
"Thank you. You just saved my life- and I don't even know your name."
"You can call me a friend and leave it at that, can't you?" Donny nodded. "Than I bid you Adieu." With that, I walked away, down the street and turned the corner.
Before I could transport back to heaven or see if I had completed my task, I heard, "You're not a natural blonde?"
"Of course I am," I said. I didn't mean to snap at Elizabeth, but the thought of anything about me being fake made me mad.
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry. I wouldn't be down here if congratulations wasn't in order."
"Congrats?" I asked, frowning. "For what?"
"You're the first angel to stop and resolve a hostage or burglary situation in under fifteen minutes. Very well played, even though your acting skills could use some work. I would have known even walking down the street that you weren't scared of him. However, you caught on to the piece of paper quickly."
"Uh, about that..."
"Well, you pretty much figure out what is supposed to be going on, and your role in all of it, then the paper serves whatever need it is, a name, a number, an address, a sentence to say if you will it. I can only hope Carolyn can figure that out. Speaking of which, I was also supposed to tell you that once you're back up in Heaven again, you're going to feel Carolyn call for you. It is going to be strong, but whatever you do, you must stay put and let her finish her task. I'll get her when it is time." I nodded, and together we both turned to orbs and transported back to Heaven. The TV was off when I got inside and Wade was gone, most likely living on a replica of the country home he grew up in. I wished peace and happiness upon him as I waited for my love to return to me.