Watching Over Me: A Dream Is a Gift

Author's Note: This story was written for this contest type thing called a Fic-a-thon. I recieved a set of guidelines one what had to be in the story and some other things. This is what I got:

Challenge #13:
Genre: Romance, humor, and drama.
Rating: T.
Likes: A girl who loves anything that's out of the ordinary and knows how to have fun without drinking, drugs, smoking, sex (the no sex part is important!), or something likewise. Who she ends up with is up to you, but I'd like it if she had a rival in love. A hidden secret...big twist.
Dislikes: Perfections in characters. Too much swearing. I'm okay with insinuations and mild curses, but "F" isn't necessary. Too much sexual innuendoes.
Words/phrases to use: "If you don't dream, you're wasting eight hours a day."; "Of course I know him. I threw him into that lake once."; "Humph, and they call me weird."

Hope you enjoy it! Please leave me a review and say what you think!

"It's your own fault I'm yelling at you!"

"No it isn't! I don't know why the hell you're screaming at me!"

"You know well enough! You're cheating on me with that woman at your office! Don't tell me it's not true! I know it is!"

"Would you shut up already and give me a second to defend myself from the crap you're spewing at me?"

"No I won't! It's not crap! It's true!"

I sighed as I passed by the kitchen where my parents were arguing. They always argued. Every day my dad does something wrong or my mom does something wrong and they launch into a big fight. Sometimes things are thrown when it gets bad.

We live in a little two bedroom apartment above a beauty salon in the middle of town. The owner of the salon rents it out to us. It works for me. I'm only a five minute walk away from my work and the owner, Roxanne, is my friend. Plus, Roxanne's threatened my parents with kicking them out of the apartment if they argue during her business hours. She says it scares her customers away. So that means I only have to worry about fights from seven to nine in the morning and five to eleven at night. Not great, but better than all day long.

I stopped at the little mirror next to the door to adjust my hair a bit. I pushed back one auburn curl out of my face, toyed a little bit with the blush on my cheek, and gave myself a little smile. I still didn't look so happy.

"You jerk!" My mother shrieked. There was crashing from the kitchen. A plate met its death against the floor. The little smile disappeared. No wonder I didn't look happy. How could anyone in a home like this?

My eyes moved to the little cross above the mirror. "Please God." I whispered, my eyes closed, my head bent. "Please anyone who's listening up there, guardian angel, anyone, please help my parents find peace and love each other like they used to. Help them accept their differences and be happy."

"Go to hell!"

My prayer was abruptly ended by my dad's rebuttal to my mother's fit. Just another day in the Noel household. Nothing special.

"I'm leaving for work!" I shouted, pulling on my coat and opening the door. There was no reply. I didn't expect one. My parents probably hadn't even heard me call that I was leaving. They were still yelling. It was times like these, heck, I always wondered how they managed to, one, stay together this long, and two, get married in the first place.

Closing the door behind me, I shuffled down the stairs, coming out in the front of Roxanne's shop. She was getting it ready to open, sweeping some locks hair off the floor.

"Plates today?" she asked me, sympathetically.

I nodded. "Unfortunately. I'll stop by the Home Goods store on the way home to buy replacements. How many do you think they'll go through today?" I gave her one of my small, sad smiles to go along with the bad joke.

"I hope not many more." Roxanne replied. "For your sake and the fact that they've only got five more minutes before I go shout at them to stuff it. It's almost nine and they have to stop arguing then. I'd say buy two more plates after work. Have a good time at work today, you hear? You deserve it."

"I'll try." I said, walking out of the shop. "Thanks."

The walk to my job at Scottie's Record Shop was peaceful. It always was. Usually the only sounds were the cars passing me on the street. Occasionally there was a siren, but not today.

I pulled my coat a little closer to myself. It was supposed to snow later today. That was something to be grateful for. It was December 23rd. The snow would still be around for Christmas at this rate. A white Christmas. I'd never seen one before. Maybe this year would be different.

The sweet sound of The Eagles greeted me as I pushed the door open to the record shop. I had taken the job at the beginning of November as a way to earn money to buy Christmas presents for my friends and family. They would all be getting cds this year. I got ten percent off everything at the store for being an employee. When I had interviewed for my position I had told Mr. Scottie, the owner, that I was only planning to keep the job until January. But now I was having second thoughts about the arrangement. Maybe I would keep the job. My parents couldn't pay for me to go to college. Maybe I would just stay here and work my way up to a management position.

"You're late."

I looked up to see David, the owner's son, sitting behind the cash register. The clock next to him read 9:01.

"Sure." I replied grinning. "I admit it. I'm late. One minute late. Are you going to dock my pay an hour?"

"I should." He replied teasingly. "Nah, it's okay. We only do that to the junkies that somehow manage to get a job here."

"You kid." I said, walking behind the counter, and pulling my nametag out of the box where I had left it yesterday. "There's no junkies in this town except for those jerky rich kids that go to the private high school and they don't need a job."

David looked around the shop quickly to make sure there were no customers here before planting a quick kiss on my cheek. "Go out with me." He prompted.

"No." I said shaking my head. "It's not right for a girl to date her employer."

"I could make your employee discount twenty percent." David offered, putting his hands on my shoulders. It was purely a joke, said to make me smile, laugh, and accept his offer, but I knew that he would definitely get it for me if I accepted. He knew why I had taken this job. To tell the truth, I did want to accept his offer. He was sweet, he was funny, and he was incredibly good looking with his sloppy brown hair covering his bright green eyes. It didn't hurt that he was tall either. I liked tall guys.

"No." I repeated, laughing.

"But why not?" He was making puppy dog faces at me now. He had no clue how much I wanted to say yes.

I laughed more. "I've got work to do. I'm too busy to go out on a date." With that I grabbed a box of cds that had to be put out on display and started to put them in their correct places.

Now, Scotties was a well respected store in town, but even with that reputation, it was pretty quiet all morning. One or two people came in each hour, looked through the cds, found one they liked and bought it or didn't and left.

This was the normal time that the weirdoes came in, when it was quiet. And they never did disappoint. At exactly 10:32, a high schooler walked into the shop. He went to my school. I think he was a freshman. Well that didn't matter. He was wearing the most ridiculous outfit I had ever seen. A tie die t-shirt, remember it was the middle of the winter, without a coat, with neon green pants and pink converses.

People had always commented that I dressed strangely. I had always liked black and I almost always wore a t-shirt with a band name to school. But I always wore a necklace with a cross. I'm not talking about gothic crosses; I'm not a Goth, just your average everyday cross. I'm religious, so what?

The weird kid ended up buying some children's music. "Humph." I said as he left. "And people call me weird.

"You're not weird." David said walking up to me. "You're just special."

A little before noon business started to pick up. Lazy as ever, this was also the time that David decided that he would put the cds out and I could take over as the cashier. I didn't mind that much. In fact, I liked working as the cashier. It was much better than fishing through a giant box of cds, finding the one you needed and then filing it in the right spot, not to mention, un-mixing the cds that were already out there that people had put back in the wrong spot. David thought that was much better than selling people things. He wasn't much of a people person. One or two people he could manage, but a whole line of people at a check out counter? Nope.

The line in front of me seemed to go on forever, but it ended finally. The store was still full, and although none of the shoppers were ready to buy yet, I knew they would be soon. I took the break to pull out my water bottle and take a slug or two. Putting cds away and working at a cash register sure works up a thirst.

"Um, excuse me miss?"

Looking over my water bottle, I saw the most exquisite piece of male specimen I had ever seen. With blond hair and blue eyes he looked like college aged model. Maybe he was a model. After all, there was a mall only a few miles away. Something told me he wasn't a model though. He was just too… special for that.

"Can I help you?" I asked, putting my water under the counter again quickly.

"Yeah. I'd like to get these cds." The blond guy replied, giving me a smile. He placed a large stack of cds on the counter.

I blushed involuntarily and started ringing him up, busying myself with typing in the cds' barcodes. I noticed that he had bought a little bit of everything. Two cds of Christmas music, one of gospel, one rock, one pop, two classical, one jazz, a hard rock, and a few soundtracks to movies that had just come out, not to mention one imported cd all the way from Scotland.

"Nice selection." I commented.

"Yeah." He agreed. "I'm studying music at the community college just outside of town."

"That's interesting." I replied. "I was thinking about majoring in music when I got to college, but I can't."

"Why not?" He sounded generally interested.

"I, uh, we couldn't afford it." I changed the subject. "So you're a…"

"Sophomore." The boy finished, nodding. "What about you? You said you were going to study music next year so you're a senior in high school I'm guessing?"

"That's it." I replied nodding. "My name's Grace Noel. What's your name?"

"Gabriel Armon." He answered. "Nice to meet you Grace."

"You too." I snuck a quick glance behind him. There was no one behind him in line so we could keep on talking. Good. I liked this guy and he seemed to like me too. I could always use another friend.

"So what kind of music do you like?" Gabriel asked me. "Were you the one who put on the Beatles cd a few minutes ago?"

I nodded. "That I was. They're one of my favorite bands. I prefer classic rock to the modern stuff. It sounds nicer."

"So you're not much of a hard rocker?"

"No. Are you?"

Gabriel pulled the hard rock cd out of the pile he had placed next to me. "A little is nice now and then, but mostly I just like keeping up with the times. I mean, there's nothing wrong with it, but like you said, classic rock just sounds nicer."

I shuffled through his pile. "Looks like you're more a quiet music guy. Classical, gospel, jazz…"

He shrugged. "I guess I am." He replied, "But don't forget the rock, pop, and the soundtracks."

"True." I replied. I finished ringing him up, I had stopped for a few minutes while we had talked. The bill came out to over two hundred dollars. Gabriel handed me a credit card, looking totally unfazed by the amount of money he was spending. Maybe he was one of those rich kids from the town. Seeing that they went to private schools their whole lives, I didn't know any of them having gone to public schools.

"Yo Grace!" someone shouted. I looked up to see Billy Lucasa walking into the store.

"Hi Billy." I replied, nodding to him.

"You know him?" Gabriel asked.

"Of course I know him. I pushed him into that lake once." I said, pointing to a picture of a lake in the next town over that hung behind the counter.

"Pushed him into a lake?" Gabriel repeated, an eyebrow raised.

I laughed. "We've known each other forever. Our mothers are good friends. When we were six I pushed him into the lake because he put gum in my hair."

He laughed. "I'll remember not to put gum into your hair then." There was a bit of silence as we both listened to Love Me Do, which was playing on the stereo at the moment.

"Hey, do you have time to hang out?" Gabriel asked me as I handed him the credit card back and put his cds in a bag.

I blushed and looked back at the clock. It was a little after noon. "Yes I do." I replied and turned to David who was working in the back corner of the store. "Hey David." I called. "I'm taking my lunch break."

"But the store's packed!" David insisted, looking over at me from the display he had been working on.

"I'll work extra hard when I get back." I replied. "I promise! And besides, you owe me my lunch break now. It's part of my agreement for working here! I take a lunch break at noon!"

David sighed. "Yeah, yeah, you've got me there. Just be back on time, okay? I haven't forgotten that you were late this morning." He flashed me a grin.

"Sure thing." I replied, grabbing my purse.

Gabriel met me at the door. "So where do you want to hang out?" I asked him.

"Panara." He replied. "It is your lunch break after all. My treat."

Panara was a little sandwich and soup place across the street from Scotties. It wasn't exactly expensive, but it wasn't the cheapest eating place around. "I couldn't do that." I said shaking my head."

"Why not?" Gabriel asked me, walking towards it. "I promise you it's not a problem for me. You could buy the most expensive thing on the menu and I wouldn't be set back a cent."

"Are you trying to tell me you're rich?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

"No." he replied, "I'm just trying to tell you that money means nothing to me."

I had to agree with him. He had spent so much on cds already.

We talked as we crossed the street. Something told me that I could trust this guy. He was nice and he hadn't tried anything yet. I had known plenty of college guys who, if they had gotten the same chance as I had given Gabriel, would have tried to get me back to their house, apartment, or flat already. Gabriel on the other hand had only asked me out to lunch. Maybe I had found a good old fashioned guy.

Panara is probably the most popular restaurant in the town. It's sort of like a fast food place. You go up to the counter to order your meal, but you don't get it right at that moment. They prepare it, which only takes one or two minutes seeing that it's a sandwich and soup joint, and then call you up to get it when it's ready.

I was surprised to see that Panara wasn't very busy. I was expecting it to be, I mean, it's the middle of winter, on a Saturday at noon. Wouldn't that be a crazy time for a place like this? Maybe just not today.

"Go find a table." Gabriel told me. "I'll order. What do you want?"

"Really." I said shaking my head. "I can pay for myself. It's fine."

"I insist." Gabriel told me with a small smile. "What do you want?"

I finally decided on a turkey and mozzarella sandwich with Pepsi. Gabriel went off to order it and his own meal and I found a nice table for two next to the window.

He returned a minute later, taking the seat across from me and putting my Pepsi in front of me. "It's almost Christmas." Gabriel commented when he saw that I had been looking out the window to the sky. "Hoping for snow?"

"More than anything." I replied smiling. "Well no…"

"What do you want more?"

I looked away from Gabriel, not saying anything. My home life was private. Gabriel seemed to be a nice guy, but that didn't mean that he had any business knowing about my wish that my parents would find peace.

"You can tell me." Gabriel told me softly. "I promise I won't tell any one."

"I don't know." I admitted. "It's just a little private. That's all…"

"Armon! Mr. Gabriel Armon?" someone called from the counter. Our food was ready.

"I'll be right back." Gabriel said, getting up and walking towards our waiting food.

He returned a second later, placing my sandwich in front of me, next to my Pepsi.

"It's just a dream." I blurted out. "What I really want will never happen. I'm crazy to want a dream so much."

"If you don't dream you're wasting eight hours a day." Gabriel told me seriously.

I smiled. "My mom used to tell me that when I was little."

"Your mom's right." He replied. "So what's this dream of yours?"

I took a bite of my sandwich, thinking about whether or not I should tell him.

Gabriel sighed. "Listen." He said, "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."

"Thanks." I said, giving him a shy smile.

"You see, your eyes tell the whole story."

"What?" I was confused now. Was that supposed to be some sort of pick up line? If it was, it definitely was lame.

Gabriel looked a bit nervous now. "Uh, you see I already know what you want."

"How?" I asked. "And what do I want. Tell me if you know."

"You want your parents to make up and stop arguing." He told me.

"How did you know?" I asked, completely caught off guard. "Are you some sort of stalker?" I knew that he had been too good to be true. Guys just weren't this perfect. There was always a catch.

"I'm not a stalker." Gabriel said quickly. "I promise you that. I'm not."

"Then how did you know?"

"Do you believe in guardian angels?" he asked.

"Yes…" What a strange question.

"Well," Gabriel laughed nervously. "I don't exactly know how to say this without making it sound strange to you."

"Just say it." I told him.

"I'm your guardian angel."

And for some reason when he said this I did not doubt him. It made sense. Why I had trusted him. Why he was so perfect. And I had always known I had one. I just didn't know that I would ever meet him.

"Gabriel." I said. "Like the angel Gabriel…"

Gabriel nodded. "He's actually my dad."

I blinked. "How old are you?"

"A thousand years old." He replied. "It's pretty young for an angel actually. You're the first mortal I have to watch over. So I'm sorry if I'm not so smooth about the whole thing."

"It's fine." I told him, laughing a bit. "You've been perfect so far. You've just got to work on introducing yourself as a guardian angel better. I was nervous there for a while. So why are you here? Is there something you have to tell me? Something I have to know? Or do? I'm guessing guardian angels don't visit the people they're guarding that often."

"Definitely not." He agreed. "There's something you have to know. He's heard your prayers and they shall be answered. Your parents will forgive each other and be happy."

This was the best thing I had ever heard. "Really?" I asked. "Is it true? Will they be happy again? Will they really forgive each other?"

Gabriel nodded. "But remember your definition of their happiness might be different from their own." He told me. "But you must be happy with this news."

"I am." I told him grinning. "You have no idea how happy you've made me, how perfect this holiday will be. Thank you. Thank you."

"That's what I'm here for." Gabriel said smiling. He got up. "Oh, and take David up on that offer of his. He's a nice guy. He'll treat you right."

And with that said, Gabriel left. I watched him walk out the door and then down the street. I watched him until he seemed to disappear. Or maybe he really did.

I turned back to my sandwich and thought about what had happened. Who I had just met. It was unbelievable. Everything I had told him he already knew. How could he not? He was my guardian angel.

Finished with my sandwich, I pushed my trash into the garbage and headed back to Scotties. By then the afternoon rush was over. It was just David and me again.

"Have a nice lunch?" he asked me.

"Yes." I replied. "A little more than I had bargained for, but it was nice."

"Oh?" David questioned. "How so?"

I shook my head. "Never mind."

We lapsed into silence. The cd that was playing ended. David walked over the stereo and took it out, putting the Eagles cd that had been playing when I had walked in that morning back it.

"Hey David?" I asked.


"When you asked me to go out with you this morning…" I said trailing off.

I had caught his attention. "Yeah, go on."

"Is the offer still open?"

He grinned, walking over to me. "Of course it is." He put his arms around my arms, placing his head on my shoulder. "Wanna go out tonight?"