Title: Entertaining Angels Unaware
Summary: Monica and John find something a bit more magical about Halloween thanks to her neighbor. (Not a major Halloween fic - that holiday just worked best).
Author Notes: I have got to stop listening to Martina McBride! Every time she has an awesome song I find I have to write a fic based on it – first was Concrete Angel and now this one. This was inspired by her latest release "God's Will" as well as the music video – so I guess some credit to this goes to Martina McBride as well. Lyrics (in italics though not necessarily in order) are definitely not mine – I only wish I could write such amazing and powerful songs! And I know some are going to say no 6 year old would be so um, wise... but it's fic. Also, Happy Birthday to Tracy - I promised you a new DRR fic and here it is.
I've been searchin', wonderin', thinkin'
Entertaining Angels Unaware
The air was crisp and clean as Monica Reyes inhaled deeply then sighed. It had been a long, stressful week sitting in the basement of the Hoover Building. Even her partner had gotten on her nerves – a highly unusual thing. Reaching into her coat pocket, she grasped her keys and unlocked the front door. Her heavy eyelids slid shut as the piercing shrill of her cell phone broke the solitude that was her apartment.
"Reyes," she mumbled, shutting the door behind her.
"Monica, I hate to bother you but..."
A small shiver ran down her spine at the sound of the deep, gravely voice. With just a hint of a New York accent and a tinge of Southern twang, John Doggett's voice could make her do just about anything – almost. "John, it's nearly eight on a Friday. Why are you still at the office?" she asked.
"I had to finish up my reports," he told her matter-of-factly. "Which would be why I'm calling. I forgot to have you sign off on one and Kersh needs it first thing Monday morning..."
Picking up her keys once again, she headed for her front door. "I'll be there in about half an hour."
"No, Monica, wait. It's my fault. I'll stop by your place on the way home and have you sign it then I'll drop it by here tomorrow."
She chuckled softly. "John, I happen to know my apartment is not even close to being on your way home. It's easier if I just come back there."
"Yeah, but you're already home. Just stay there and I'll be by later." He paused. "Unless you have plans..."
Smiling, she shook her head. Even after all but spelling it out for him many months back in her SUV in front of his house, it amused her how he still did not seem to pick up on how she felt about him. "No, John, no plans. Have you eaten yet?"
He yawned into the phone. "No."
"How about if I order us Chinese and you can pick it up on the way over here?"
She could hear him shuffling some papers in his desk.
"I guess just get my usual. I should be there in... forty minutes?"
"Take your time, but don't take too long – I'm starving!" she teased. Placing the phone on a nearby table, she slid out of her coat and yawned. Maybe John had not been on her nerves as much as she had thought.
Monica had just unbuttoned her pants as she headed to her bedroom to change when she heard a soft knock on her door. Re-buttoning, she looked through the peephole before opening the door. A large smile had already grown on her face when she looked down at the small six-year old boy standing before her. "Will, what are you doing here?"
"Miss Monica, I was..." He lowered his eyes, embarrassed. "My mom doesn't know I'm here..."
Kneeling down to his level, she lifted his chin so she could see his eyes. "What is it?"
"Well, tomorrow is Halloween and my mom has to work and I was wondering if... well... I'm sorry, nevermind." Slowly he used his tiny, metal crutch to turn himself around but Monica stopped him.
"Do you want someone to take you out trick-or-treating?" she gently asked.
"I don't have much of a costume and my mom told me not to bother you but..." he rambled out in one breath.
Monica smiled brightly at him. "I'll tell you a secret, Will," she whispered. "Halloween is my favorite holiday and I haven't been out trick-or-treating in a long time so actually you're doing me a favor."
The little boy's eyes sparkled and he grinned. "Really?"
A creak down the hall indicated his apartment door was being opened. "Will!" his mother said, relief evident in her voice as she approached him. Looking at Monica, Amy smiled. "I'm sorry if he bothered you..."
Standing up, Monica shook her head. "No bother at all. Actually, I was wondering if maybe I could take Will out trick-or-treating tomorrow?"
Amy glanced down at her son then back at Monica. "I'm sorry. I told him not to ask you."
"No, it's not problem. I'm glad he did. It's been a long time since I went out and he said you have to work tomorrow night, so if you wouldn't mind..."
Thinking about it for a moment, she once again glanced down at her son. "I should be mad at you, you know."
Will remained silent but his eyes hopeful.
She again looked at Monica. "Are you sure about this?"
Monica's eyes met Will's. "Only if I get a cut on his candy."
He laughed. "Count on it."
Shaking her head but smiling, Amy picked Will up. "That would be wonderful. Thank you, Monica. I don't think we could have asked for a nicer neighbor."
Will reached over and wrapped his arms around Monica's neck. "Thank you, Miss Monica."
His smile was as bright as the August sun
When he looked at me
Monica had just closed her door when there was another knock. Figuring it was Will or Amy, she opened it without looking and was slightly surprised to see John standing there, arms filled with Take-out Chinese food and a few folders.
"Mon, think you could take something before it all falls to the floor please?" he practically begged.
"Oh, sorry." She grabbed the two larger bags off food and took them to the kitchen. John showed up a few seconds later and looked at her. "What?"
"I thought I told you to stay home and relax. You're still in your work clothes."
"I got interrupted by a Halloween invitation for tomorrow night," she told him without offering any further information. "I'll be right out. You know where everything is."
John stared after her. Less than an hour ago she had said she had no plans and now suddenly she has a date for Halloween? With a heavy heart, John went about getting plates and setting out the food. He was not aware she had returned and was quietly watching him from the doorway.
He jumped. "Geez, Monica, sometimes I swear you are really a ghost the way you sneak up on people!"
She laughed at him, walking over to pick up the plate he had made up for her. "Sorry."
Picking up his own plate, he followed her into the living room and sat next to her on the couch. "What did you want?"
Pushing the food around with her fork, she hesitated, unsure if she should even ask him. "What... what are you doing tomorrow night?"
He shrugged. "Nothing really. Giving out candy I guess," he answered before taking a mouthful of pork-fried rice.
"How long has it been since you went out for Halloween?"
"I think I got too old for parties long ago."
Monica smiled and ate in silence for a few moments.
Curiosity got the better of him. "Why do you want to know?"
John's intense, pale, blue eyes narrowed at her and he placed his dish on the coffee table. "You don't ever 'just wonder' without a reason." He then took the dish from her hand and held it away so she couldn't reach it.
"John, I'm starving," she pretended to whine.
"You get it back when you tell me what you're thinking."
"I really was just wondering," she laughed, reaching for her food. "There was nothing more to it."
He raised an eyebrow.
"Really, John. I was just curious. Now... gimme my food or you aren't getting my signature on that report."
Grinning like the Cheshire Cat when the plate was back in her hands, she replied, "I know."
Will's mom had to work two jobs
Struggling with one unruly lock of chestnut, Monica finally gave up and decided that her version of a cat would have a loose curl hanging in its face. Double-checking that her whiskers were still drawn on, she adjusted her black sweater and opened the front door. A whirlwind of emotions filled her when she looked down at Will.
"God bless us. Every one," he recited in his best English accent while grinning at her. Replacing his usual metal crutch was a dark-stained wooden one. His outfit clearly reflected the London of Charles Dickens' famous novel.
"You look wonderful!" Monica exclaimed. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Amy swallow hard. It could not have been an easy thing to not be able to be there for him like she so desperately desired to be. "Do you have time for a quick picture?" she asked Will's mom.
"Sure." Taking her son's other hand, she led him inside Monica's apartment while Monica retrieved her camera. She knelt down and said, "Now, you be good. Listen to everything Miss Monica tells you and don't eat any candy until I look at it first."
Will touched his mom's cheek. "You worry too much, Mom."
Amy pulled him to her. "It's because I love you, Will."
"I love you too, Mom."
Wiping away a tear, Amy stood up when Monica returned.
"Okay, smile." Monica snapped the release and picture-time was over. "I'll give you a copy as soon as I get this developed." She fought back tears as she watched Amy kneel before her son and straighten his tattered jacket.
"Remember what I said. I'm so sorry I can't take you out tonight," she whispered as she hugged him.
"I know," he softly replied.
Thanking Monica once more, Amy left. Monica turned to Will and smiled. "Anywhere you especially wanted to go?"
Nodding, he grinned and led her out the door.
And we'd all laugh like I hadn't laughed
Since I don't know when
Monica stood back from each house and watched as Will struggled with his wooden crutch to reach his destination. She had offered assistance for the first few houses but he finally asked if she would let him do it on his own. It amazed her that a boy so young was so determined.
He would tell her jokes, silly jokes, as they walked from house to house. She told him a few silly jokes that made him laugh so hard he dropped his bag of candy at one point.
They reached the last house on the block. While the porch light was on, the house itself was old and neglected. They reached the walkway just as a small group of young teens stepped off the porch.
"Old people shouldn't be allowed to pick out candy," one of them mumbled.
"Yeah, she must think it's still the Depression or something," complained another.
As they walked off, Will looked up at Monica then made his way up the walk. Monica remained a few feet back but close enough to hear.
The old, warped door creaked open and an elderly woman with pale, yet bright green eyes smiled brightly. "Why look at you!" she exclaimed. "You are simply adorable."
With his usual wide grin, he said, "God bless us. Every one."
Yet Monica noted the change in his tone this time. It wasn't playful or giddy, as he had recited it at every other house. This time he was saying it to her. Will to an elderly stranger.
The woman placed a large handful of candy in his bag. "You have been the nicest trick-or-treater I have had all night and I'm getting tired. Enjoy."
"Thank you, ma'am!" His eyes grew wide with excitement then he looked up at her. "God does bless you, you know," he quietly said.
"I know." With a smile, she watched Will climb down the stairs and shut the door only when she was sure Will had safely reached Monica.
"Wow, Miss Monica, Mom will be so surprised."
"Not to mention your dentist!" she teased. "I have one more place I want to take you before heading home. Are you up for it?"
At dinner he'd ask to pray
And then he'd pray for everybody in the world but him
Standing at the door, Monica said, "Meow" when the door finally opened.
Doggett had to blink in assurance he wasn't imagining things. "Well, you certainly look like the cat that ate the canary," he chuckled. "I thought you had a date tonight."
She looked down and Will stepped out from behind her. "John, meet Will." Her eyes found his once again. "My Halloween date."
Glancing at Will briefly, he looked back at her and shook his head before returning his attention to Will. "Nice to meet you, Will. I think I may have something for that bag of yours," he told him, reaching to the side of the door and handing him a number of large Hershey bars.
"Thank you, Sir." He looked up at John. "You're Miss Monica's friend, aren't you? The one who's at her apartment a lot."
Both Monica and John slightly blushed.
"He's my partner at work," Monica told him.
"Oh." Will sounded truly disappointed.
John smiled at him. "Besides, it seems Monica already has a date."
"Oh, no. It's not," Will stammered. "She just took me out trick-or-treating cause my mom had to work. I..."
Giving John a quick, light-hearted glare, Monica touched Will's shoulder. "He's teasing you, Will. And I think for doing that, he should share what candy he has left with both of us or he may find that Monday morning might not be so enjoyable at work."
"Okay, okay." John handed her the rest of the bowl.
Wrinkling her nose at him, she dumped the bowl in Will's bag. Monica had just opened her mouth to say something when they all heard the soft sobs of a girl across the street. The FBI in John and Monica sent them over to her with Will right behind.
Monica reached her first. The girl appeared to be around twelve years old and was dressed in a light blue princess costume. "Are you okay?"
She sniffled. "Yeah. My older brother's friends just thought it would be funny to steal my candy."
Monica looked to John, wordlessly asking if he had anymore candy but before he could answer, Will walked over to the young girl. "I have more candy than I will ever be able to eat." He reached into his bag and took a handful of candy then handed the bag to her.
A lump formed in Monica's throat. "Do you have a bag so they can split it?" she whispered to John.
Swallowing the lump in his own throat, he nodded and went back to the house.
"John went to get a bag," she told the youngsters. "That way you can split it."
Will shook his head. "It's okay."
Returning with an empty pillowcase, John handed it to Will.
The girl smiled. "Thank you so much but you really don't have to do this. I'll get home and my mom will yell at my brother and then he will have to give me his candy..."
Continuing to split the candy, giving her the most, Will shook his head. "No one should go home empty-handed on Halloween." He handed the larger bag-full to her. "Happy Halloween." He smiled brightly for her.
Wrapping her arms around his neck, the girl cried. "Thank you. It's nice to know there is someone like you in this world." She looked up at Monica and John. "You have a great son." With that, she ran down the sidewalk towards her home.
Gently touching John's arm, Monica stifled a yawn as Will did the same.
"You two had better get home before you turn into pumpkins," John teased.
Monica crouched down to Will's eye level. "That was a really nice thing you did for her."
He shrugged. "I may not have a lot but I have a mom that loves me and the greatest neighbor in the world." He yawned again then added, "And no older brother to be mean to me."
Picking up his bag of candy, Monica stood up and the three walked back over to John's house, stopping at her SUV. After getting Will settled in the front seat, she walked back to the driver's side where John was waiting for her.
"Why didn't you tell me?" he asked her before she opened the door.
"Because it's fun watching you get jealous." She paused. "John, last night when I asked you when the last time was you went out for Halloween... It's been since... Luke, hasn't it?"
"You should get him home," he responded, reaching over to open the car door for her but she stopped him.
"John, I'm sorry. I... I didn't know. I suspected, but..." She sighed. "If bringing Will over..."
Smiling, he shook his head. "Bringing Will over was the best thing. I'm glad you did it but it is getting late and you do need to get him and yourself home!" Opening the door, he stepped back and let her slide onto the seat. "Goodnight, Will."
"Goodnight, Mr... uh..."
"John. You can call me Mr. John if you want."
Nodding, Will said, "Goodnight, Mr. John and thank you."
Monica looked at John once more. "Goodnight, John. I'll call you tomorrow."
"And for the record, I wasn't jealous," he said, grinning, just before he closed the door.
Before they moved to California
His mother said, "They didn't think he'd live"
John had sensed something was wrong when he had called Monica that morning to double-check on what time she wanted him there for Thanksgiving dinner. He suspected something was wrong when he saw the moving truck pull away from her apartment building as he pulled up. He knew something was wrong when he saw her standing against the open doorway in tears. He shared her pain when he pulled her into his arms and felt her cling to him.
"What's wrong?" he softly asked.
Her sobs prevented her from responding so he gently urged her back a few steps and closed the door behind them and continued to hold her until her tears subsided. He looked at her without letting her go. "Monica?"
John's eyes widened. "Are they alright?"
New tears filled her eyes and she shook her head.
Taking her hand, he led her to the couch and sat down beside her. "What happened?"
"I... I never asked what was wrong with Will. I figured it was just something with his leg and that was it. But... He was so sick, John. He was sick and I never knew."
A familiar ache hit John's chest. In just the month since Halloween, John had spent a little time with Will whenever he was at Monica's. Some nights when Amy had to work late, Monica would ask John to come over and the three of them would play board games. No child could ever replace his own son, Luke but Will was the first he had spent time with since the loss of his son.
"Please tell me it's not that bad, Monica."
"They left just before you got here. I didn't know they were moving at the time you called me. Apparently they found a specialist in California who may be able to help but..." A tear slid down her cheek. "Amy pulled me aside and told me that... they don't think he will make it."
John just stared at her. 'They don't think he will make it'. The sentence cut through him. Maybe it was him. Maybe he was a curse. Before that thought could go further Monica handed him a piece of paper.
"Will wanted to give this to you himself but they couldn't wait. I told them you were on the way but..."
He looked at the folded piece of paper and his heart pounded. Slowly he opened it and felt the tears fill his eyes. Will had drawn a picture of the three of them on Halloween night standing on John's porch – complete with Monica dressed as a cat. On the bottom, written in green crayon, was a note that said, 'Thank you, Mr. John, for the best Halloween I've ever had. God bless us. Every one.'
"He drew one for me too," she whispered.
His blue eyes searched hers. "Come here." Once again, he pulled her close.
She wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned against his chest. "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
"I don't know. Usually I'm the one asking you those type of questions and you usually have an answer."
"I wish I had one now," she admitted.
"Did you get a number to keep in contact?"
"No. They don't have one yet, but Amy promised to call as soon as they get out there." She snuggled against him further.
Tightening his arm around her, he said, "I would like to talk to Will when you get it."
"I'm sorry, John."
"Sorry? For what?"
She sat up. "If I had known... I wouldn't have put you through this."
John released her and cupped her face in his hands. "Monica, you have nothing to be sorry about. I'm glad you introduced me to Will. I'm glad I got to know him. If it weren't for him we wouldn't be where we are now," he reminded her. "I'd probably still be spending my weekends sitting at home wondering if you were going come in on Monday telling me you met the man of your dreams over the weekend."
Monica smiled at him. "But I did meet the man of my dreams. He was just too blind or stubborn to do anything about it."
"See, and if you hadn't teased me about having a date on Halloween I never would have come to my senses. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I saw him standing there." He swallowed hard. "I still can't get over him that night sharing his candy with a complete stranger."
Monica covered his hands, still on her face, with her own. "John, about Thanksgiving dinner..."
He leaned over and kissed her. "It's okay, I'm not hungry either." Letting go of her, he leaned against the armrest of the couch and she moved over and leaned fully against him. He slid an arm around her shoulders. "I'm thankful I have you," he whispered while nuzzling her hair.
"Me too." Taking his hand in hers, she asked, "Do you think we can go visit Will in California?"
"I'd say that isn't even a question that needs to be asked."
"I love you, John."
John smiled. "I love you too, Mon."
She snuggled against him even more and he pulled the blanket that lay across the to top of the couch down over them. It may be a quiet Thanksgiving filled with sadness but they were together and together they would get through whatever happened with Will.I met God's Will on a Halloween night
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