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Moment of Truth

  by Selena
  I just wanted to take this oppurtunity to leave a personal note. Thank you so much to Deb, Carla, Sherri, and Andy for asking me exactly what I wanted to hear. "Where's the sequel to ‘Everyday Angels'?" <grin>

A gunshot sounded and for a moment all was silent. Then a scream cut through the night…

"Derek!" Kym screamed. "Derek!" She dropped to the floor on her knees. "Derek!" The precept of the San Francisco Legacy house lay unmoving on the floor, a bloodstain spreading slowly across his chest. "No!" Philip wasn't sure who screamed. He didn't care; right now all he wanted was to get to Derek's side. "My God," he whispered. "Please help my friend." Time seemed to move in slow motion. Rachel ran over to Derek, and Alex appeared to be frozen to her spot while Nick ran after Hitchcock. Xavier laughed his horrible laugh and tightened his grip on Gabrielle's throat. "I've got you!" he cried. "I've got you!" The two slowly vanished into nothingness.

Nick Boyle ran outside into a moonless night. He chased after Hitchcock as fast as he could, but the older man was surprisingly quick. "Get back here you bastard!" Nick shouted. "Nobody shoots Derek and gets away with it!" Hitchcock turned around. "My dear boy, I just did!" with that he hopped into a motor boat and sped away. Nick didn't even pause to catch his breath. He turned around and raced back to the house. Please don't let Derek be dead.

("She went running through the forest screaming, ‘No God, don't take him from me.'"*)

He's dead. Alexandra Moreau thought numbly. Don't try to kid yourself Alex. Nobody bleeds like that from the chest and stays alive for more than a couple of seconds. He's dead. She felt as though her heart had been ripped out of her chest. "He's alive!" Rachel cried. "His pulse is very weak, but it's there." She looked to Philip. "Call 911." He nodded and raced off. Kym was in no condition to do anything; she was holding Derek's head in her lap and slowly rocking back and forth. "Kym," Rachel said seriously. Kym looked up at her, her large eyes sparkling with tears. "You have to stay calm, honey. Derek needs you to be calm." Kym nodded. "Alex," Rachel called. "I need you to come here." Somehow Alex managed to walk across the room, although she had no idea how. "What can I do?" "Apply pressure to the wound, but not too much," Rachel said briskly. "You don't want to puncture the heart." Alex placed a tentative hand on Derek's chest. Nick ran into the house. "How's Derek?" he shouted. "Alive," Rachel answered. "Where the hell is Philip?"

The priest ran into the room. "Right here. The helicopter is on its way." Kym Gardner-Rayne was oblivious to all that was happening around her. She closed her eyes and began to pray. Our father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name…

The members of the San Francisco house, minus Rachel, sat in the waiting room of St. Teresa Memorial hospital. Rachel was bugging the ER doctors, trying to get all the information she could. "Mrs. Rayne?" Kym stood up. "Yes, I'm Kymberlee Rayne." "I'm Dr. Defoe," the man replied. He's just a baby! Kym thought. True, the doctor couldn't have been a day over twenty- five. "How's my husband?" Dr. Defoe's eyes were serious. "His condition is not good ma'am. The bullet entered his left shoulder and struck dangerously close to his heart." Alex gasped and Nick put an arm around her. Kym closed her eyes for a moment. "Is he alive?" "Yes, but at the moment he is in a coma." "Will he survive?" Philip asked. Dr. Defoe sighed softly. "I'm not sure. His condition is critical." "Can we see him?" Nick asked. "Briefly," the doctor laid a hand on Kym's arm. "I'm terribly sorry ma'am." She nodded. "So am I."

Let me go! Gabrielle cried. Never! Was Xavier's reply. You are mine now! No! I have to help them! Xavier shoved her down. You can't help them now. They shall pay. Gabrielle fought her way free and shot back up. Go back to hell! I will kill the rest of them! Xavier shot back. You can't stop me! ("Yo solo buscaba anhelba el segundo el instante de hacerte de feliz."*) ("I only searched for the instant to make you happy."*)

Kym sat by Derek's bedside, holding onto his limp hand and listening to the beep of the monitors. "You can't leave me," she whispered. "Please Derek." Derek Rayne was in a state of conciseness somewhere between life and death, yet he could hear every word his wife was saying. I won't leave you, he promised silently. Can you hear me, Kym? Kym lifted her head and studied his face. "Derek?" Her face fell and she began to cry softly. He reached out and tried to stroke her hair, but found that he couldn't touch her. I will find a way, he vowed. No you won't. Xavier said coming up behind him. I have a job to do. Say good bye to Kym. No! Derek shouted. Never! The fallen angel sneered at him. Oh do you love her? Do you care for her? Would you die for her? Yes, Derek replied firmly. All of those things. This made Xavier angry, for he hadn't expected Derek to agree with him. You may get your chance!

Philip Callaghan was on his knees saying a silent prayer when Alex entered the chapel. "I thought I'd find you here," she said, sitting down beside him. "Where else would I be?" he replied sadly. "I was just asking the Lord t' spare Derek's life." "I'll put in a good word too," Alex whispered. "God-" the woman's voice broke and she began to sob. Philip did his best to comfort her, although he felt like sobbing himself. "It will be all right, Alex. God knows that Derek is a good man." She looked at him with her tearstained face. "I hope so, Philip. The house will fall apart without him."

Nick Boyle was pacing the hallway like a caged animal. He hated being here helpless. The police had been and gone but Nick knew that they would never find Hitchcock. The man was too slippery. He's probably halfway to Africa by now. Nick thought and he kicked the wall in anger. Why didn't I kill him when I had the chance? If Derek dies I'll hunt Hitchcock down and kill him. I swear I will.

"Mrs. Rayne?" Kym didn't turn at the sound of the voice. "Yes?" Dr. Defoe approached her. "You should go home and get some rest." Kym shook her head. "No, I'd rather stay." The doctor placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "You aren't doing yourself or your husband any good by becoming exhausted. Kym knew he was right. She rose, leaned over, and kissed Derek's forehead. "I'll be back first thing in the morning, promise," she whispered. "Oh Derek, I love you so much." Another kiss. "Sleep well."

The members of the San Francisco chapter entered the house quietly and with heavy hearts. "I came as soon as I heard," William Sloan greeted them. "Hello William," Kym replied wearily. He nodded. "Kymberlee. Dr. Corrigan called me. At least someone had enough sense to." Nick rolled his eyes. "Don't even get started. We're not in the mood." "I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Boyle, but the future of this house is something we must discuss," Sloan said evenly. "We don't know the future of this house," Alex snapped impatiently, "Right now Derek is still alive." "However, he could die at any moment," William retorted firmly. "In which case Kym takes over as the precept of this house." "No." They all turned at the sound of Kym's voice. "If Derek dies I do not become precept. If Derek dies then I leave the Legacy." She started up the stairs. "I hearby dub Nick as Derek's successor." Sloan went to call to her but a look from Philip stopped him. "You leave that poor girl alone. She has her own demons to wrestle with. You deal with the Legacy's."

Gabrielle was trying to get back to San Francisco but it wasn't easy. Her struggle with Xavier had left her very weak. I have to get to them. Gabrielle thought desperately. Please don't let me be too late!

"And in other news Dr. Derek Rayne, chairman of the Luna Foundation and founder of the Winston Rayne Hall of Antiquities was shot today in his home on Angel Island. Dr. Rayne was rushed to St. Teresa Memorial Hospital and he is in critical condition." Rachel turned off the television and sat down on her bed. Oh, God, why Derek? "Mommy?" Kat appeared in the doorway. Rachel looked up. "Yes, baby?" The little girl sniffled. "Will Derek be okay?" "I hope so, sweetie," Rachel opened her arms and Kat flew into them. "I hope so." "If he dies he'll be with Daddy and Connor, right?" Kat asked. "Yes," Rachel replied. "Absolutely." "Well, he won't be too sad then," Kat paused. "But everybody else will be really sad." "Yes," Rachel agreed. "Everyone will be really sad." The mother and daughter sat in silence for a long time. "Mommy? I want to go to the island. Can we go to the island?" Rachel was so glad that she asked. "Yes, baby, we can go to the island."

"How long are you planning to keep me here?" Derek asked Xavier. "As long as it takes to kill the others," Xavier answered with an evil grin. "Who do you think I should start with? The priest? Or your pretty wife, perhaps?" "Leave them alone," Derek pleaded. "You have me, why do you need them?" The angel-devil considered. "You are not dead. My job is not complete." "So kill me!" Derek was willing to do anything to save the people he loved. Silently Xavier reached into the precept's chest. Derek felt an overwhelming pain. He couldn't breathe and began to gasp. BEEP! A nurse came running into the room. "Dr. Defoe!" she screamed. "Code blue!" The doctor rushed in. "Dammit, get a crash cart in here!" And then there were people bustling all around. Derek didn't know who was saying what, he could only see Xavier's horrid face. "We're losing him! Two hundred…charging…clear!" Derek felt a jolt of electricity shoot through his body. "Let's go again. Two hundred…clear!" Once again Derek jumped and felt the pressure on his heart disappear. "I've got a pulse," one of the nurses said. "Thank God," Dr. Defoe set the paddles down. Yes, Xavier hissed. Thank…God.

("You give me a ladder now, I surely believe I'll climb, it don't even matter now, nobody can take what's mine!"*)

"Good night, Kat. Sleep well," Rachel kissed her daughter's forehead. "Night, Mommy," came the sleepy reply. Rachel closed the door and stepped into the hallway. "Hello." The psychiatrist jumped about six feet. "Oh, Kym! I didn't see you." Kym's eyes were sad but she managed a small smile. "I'm sorry." Rachel looked upon her sympathetically. "Are you all right?" Kym sighed. "I don't even know anymore. I'm glad that you and Katherine came to the island," she closed her eyes. "You know, I always wanted a daughter of my own." "Oh?" Rachel knew from experience that it was best if Kym kept talking. If she kept it all inside for too long it would eventually explode and come out in a much worse form than this. "Yes," Kym smiled softly. "I used to dream about it. I even had a name picked out." "What was it?" Rachel inquired. "Oh I changed my mind weekly." "When I was pregnant I used to change my mind daily. I wanted to be sure that my child had the perfect name," Rachel smiled at the memory. Kym sounded decidedly less sad. "I always liked the names Julia and Maria." "Those are lovely names," Rachel encouraged. "Neither of them really goes with Rayne," Kym suddenly burst into tears. "Not that it matters anymore." Rachel wrapped an arm around her. "Shh, shh, it's going to be all right. Everything will be all right." "I hope so, Rachel. Oh God, I hope so." Rachel comforted Kym as best she could. "It will. Just have a little faith."

("And I carry the flame and I play my part. As long as he's calling, calling my captive heart."*)

Derek took deep breaths and tried to get his heart beating normally again. Xavier was sitting across from him smiling. "Let…me…go," Derek gasped. Xavier laughed. "Does it hurt Derek? Are you in pain?" Without warning he suddenly morphed into Kym's form and stepped over to the precept. "Poor Derek," Xavier said, using Kym's voice and stroking Derek's hair. "Poor, poor, Derek." The face that looked so much like Kym's leaned over and kissed him; but instead of kissing the demon began to suck the breath out of him. Using all of his strength Derek pushed it away. He sputtered and panted trying to get air back into his lungs while Xavier kept chuckling. "Terribly sorry," he said. "But I just couldn't help myself." Derek began to pray for someone to help him.

Nick sat in the control room staring at the computer screen. He was running a check on the names Gabrielle and Xavier and coming up with nothing. "Perhaps a Bible would be of some help," a soft voice with an Irish lit suggested. Nick turned to face Philip. "You think?" The priest shrugged. "It might. Try the Old Testament." Nick did so and sighed. "Nope, nothing. Now what?" Philip sat down, feeling defeated. "I wish I knew," he replied. "We have to do something!" Nick burst out. "We can't just sit there." "I think," Philip said. "That all we can do now is wait for Gabrielle to show herself again."

Katherine was resting comfortably in a deep sleep. She wasn't dreaming at least yet. Kat knew that she would be dreaming soon. It was something she could just tell. Just the way that Derek could tell that something bad was going to happen. Derek…

Katherine… who was calling her? Kat, come over here quickly. Derek knew that he didn't have much time. Xavier might be gone at the moment but there was no telling when he'd be back. Katherine… Kat walked toward the sound of the voice and found herself in a hospital room. "Hello?" she called. "Is anyone here?" "Kat," Derek called weakly. "I'm over here." She ran over to him. "Derek? I thought that you were shot." "I was," Derek extended his hand toward her. Katherine stayed away. "How come you're in the chair but your body's on the bed?" Derek sighed. "My body is very weak, sweetheart." Katherine took a tentative step forward. "Will you die?" "I honestly don't know. But I do know that I don't have much time before Xavier gets back," he replied. Kat climbed into his lap. "Was he the scary man fighting with Gabrielle?" Derek squeezed her hard. "Yes, honey, that was the one. Where is Gabrielle? Katherine I must know." "I don't know," the little girl said tearfully. "I haven't seen her." She threw her arms around Derek's neck. "Derek please don't die!" Derek hugged her back. "I don't want to. Katherine, will you do a favor for me?" Katherine nodded vigorously. "Yes." "I want you to tell Kym that I love her," Derek said seriously. "Okay?" "Okay Derek. I promise!" Katherine felt herself slipping away. "Derek what's happening?" "You're waking up. Good bye Katherine. I'll try to get to you soon!" Derek called, praying that she would remember.

Alex Moreau just couldn't fall asleep. She was absolutely sick with worry. She had admired Derek for so many years that to lose him would be like losing her role model. Not to mention losing someone that she really cared for. Derek was such a secure, levelheaded person. If he was gone then she might very well lose sight of reality. And the ability to care for someone.

Kat awoke from her dream with a start. She blinked the sleep from her eyes and thought for a moment. Suddenly it all came rushing back to her and Kat jumped from her bed to go and deliver her message.

Kym lay awake, staring at the ceiling. She had tried several times to sleep but had had no luck whatsoever. It just didn't seem right to be sleeping in this bed while Derek was lying in some hospital bed, struggling to stay alive. "Kym?" a small voice said. Kym sat up and looked around. Kat was standing at the foot of the bed. "Oh, yes honey?" Kym said. Katherine crawled onto the bed and scurried to Kym. "I had a dream," she announced. "A nightmare?" Kat shook her head. "No, not a nightmare. Derek says he loves you." Kym turned her head sharply toward the girl. "When did you talk to Derek?" "In my dream," Kat replied. "You saw Derek in your dream?" Unlike Rachel, Kym knew that the child's gift of the sight might have enabled Derek to contact her. "Uh huh," Katherine answered. "He said that it was very important to tell you that he loves you." "What else did he say, baby?" Kym had to know. "Well…" Katherine said, trying to remember. "He said that his body was very weak and that he didn't have much time." "He isn't going to live much longer?" Kym cried. "No, no," Kat said hurriedly, not wanting to upset Kym. "He said that he didn't have much time before Xavier got back." "Xavier," Kym paused. "That angel-devil creature. Is he keeping Derek there?" "I don't know," Kat said with a frustrated note. "He just said that it was very important to tell you that he loves you and that he'll try to get to me soon." Kym reached out and hugged her. "All right, well, when you see Derek again will you tell him that I love him and miss him very much?" "Yes," Kat answered. She liked being the messenger. "Okay," Kym said, stroking the child's hair with tenderness. "Why don't you try to get some more sleep, okay?" "Can I stay here?" came the inquiry. "Of course."

Victory! Gabrielle thought as she appeared in the foyer of the castle. Now where is everyone? She looked around for someone, anyone. It's nighttime, Gabrielle realized. They're all asleep. She went quickly to the stairs and hurried up. "Katherine?" Gabrielle called. "Katherine, where are you?" Kat sat up as she heard her name being called. "I'm in here," she called, glancing fearfully at Kym who was still in a deep-exhausted sleep. Gabrielle appeared before her. "Hello, Kat. You have spoken to Derek, yes?" Kat nodded. "Yes. He asked about you." "Yes, I know," Gabrielle replied. "Xavier is keeping him there." "Where?" Kat asked. "Between life and death," Gabrielle answered seriously. Kat felt fear tightening in her chest. "I don't want Derek to die." "Nobody does," Gabrielle agreed. "He's not ready yet." "So what are we going to do?" Katherine demanded. "I'm not totally sure yet," Gabrielle admitted. "But Xavier must be defeated." Kat sighed. "But you don't know how, right?" "As of this moment, no. But I will figure it out," Gabrielle assured her. Kat sighed again, suddenly seeming much older than her nine years. "Please hurry up. We aren't doing to well."

("I don't want to wait for our lives to be over."*)

The next morning Kym sat beside Derek's bedside holding his hand and searching for any signs of life. "Come on, honey," she whispered, stroking his cheek. "Come back to me." A nurse came in to check Derek's vitals. "No change," she announced to a disappointed Kym. "Talk to him," the nurse who's nametag read Carmen Rodriguez said to Kym. "Tell him stories, try to bring him back." She left quickly to attend to her other patients. Kym decided to take her advice. "Remember when I was seventeen?" she said, struggling to keep her voice steady. "You said that you would always be there for me, but I didn't believe you. I tried to find other people, but I realized that you were the ultimate, I was comparing everyone else to you." She sighed. "Oh, Derek, can you even hear me?" "Studies show that some comatose people actually can hear the voices of their loved ones," said a voice. "And I think that you're the most loved one that Derek has." Kym turned around and smiled weekly. "Hi, Philip. How are you?" "I'm fine," Philip said. "Just came by to pay a visit to everybody's favorite precept." "What did Sloan say when he found out that I'd gone?" Kym asked. The young priest shrugged. "He yelled and said he thought you to be as irresponsible as your husband." "That's quite a compliment," Kym once again squeezed Derek's hand. "Oh, Philip, I just wish that he would respond!" "I know," Philip replied. "Would you do a favor for me?" she asked. "Of course," Philip responded immediately. "Would you bless Derek?" Philip was surprised. "The last rights?" Kym nodded. "Please?" "Yes," Philip said. "If that's what you want." "It's what I want."

Derek felt so incredibly weak. He had heard Kym's voice, but had been unable to respond. But he wanted to; he wanted to so much. Just to let her know that he was all right, more or less. Xavier approached him and snarled. "I have to get rid of that sniveling little wife of yours." "Don't touch her!" Derek protested weakly. "Oh, I'll touch her all right," Xavier went to grab at Kym. Derek tried to object but was suddenly overcome by a feeling of great peace. He looked and saw that Philip was saying a blessing over him. The priest splashed holy water, some of which landed on Xavier. The fallen angel began hissing, and stopped advancing toward Kym. He held up his arm, where the water had splashed, and Derek saw that it had been eaten away as though it had been doused with acid rather than water. He was suddenly afraid. "He dies too!" Xavier roared. "They shall both perish!" "No!" Derek shouted.

A low moan came from the figure on the bed. Kym eagerly leaned over. "Derek? Derek?" The Dutchman didn't move, didn't open his eyes, didn't speak. Philip was immensely disappointed. He had hoped that Derek was waking up, that he would be all right. Kym felt hot tears burn in her eyes. "Come on Derek. We know that you're there." "Come back," Philip encouraged. "We need you." But the precept still said nothing, still lay motionless. Philip shook his head sadly. It appeared as though Derek was going to take his sweet time to recover from this one.

Nick raced around the island as fast as he could, trying to run some of the anger and frustration out of his system. God dammit! He thought. Why this, why now? He had yet to tell Nina what had happened that night. What was he supposed to say? "Yeah, well, Derek is in a coma and all we can do is wait for an angel to come down from heaven to help us." She'd have him committed, locked up for life. Not that it would matter. Sloan had come in and taken over and there was nothing that Nick could do about it. That fact ticked him off, royally. Nick wasn't even sure why. He knew that Sloan had to be there, but something about the man coming in and taking over just rubbed Nick the wrong way. He ran even faster, as though that could someway bring Derek back and end this nightmare. Nick ran and ran, and tripped over Gabrielle. "Oof!" he said as he hit the ground. "I'm sorry," Gabrielle said, as she extended her hand to help him up. Nick thought that he must have blacked out. The young woman standing in front of him had long golden hair, and the bluest eyes he had ever seen. Plus there was the fact that she was glowing, or at least she seemed to be. "Who are you?" Nick stammered. Gabrielle smiled. "Hello Nicholas." Nick just stared up at her. "Hi. Who are you?" "I'm Gabrielle." "Gabrielle…" The angel! Nick scrambled to his feet. "You have to help us!" he cried. She nodded gravely. "I know something must be done." Nick reached out and grabbed her hand. "Well, okay, now you can help." "I don't know what to do." He stopped abruptly. "You don't know what to do? Derek's life is in jeopardy and you don't know what to do?" "I'm sorry," Gabrielle apologized. "I know that Xavier must be stopped." "I know that to!" Nick shouted, furious. "Nick?" "Nina!" Nick whirled around. "I'll, uh, I'll be right there." He quickly turned back to Gabrielle. "Don't go anywhere!" She looked at him with her transparent blue eyes. "I won't." Nick quickly hurried over to his girlfriend. "Hi!" he exclaimed, a little too enthusiastically, as he hugged her. Hi," she replied. "What's wrong?" "Nothing," Nick said. "Why would anything be wrong?" Nina looked at him with concern filled eyes. "I heard about Derek. Why didn't you call me?" Busted. "There is nothing that you could do," Nick answered truthfully. "I could have been here!" Nina was amazed at his blase. "Kym is my friend, you are my friend." "Well, I'm fine." Nina glared at him. "And how is Kym doing?" Nick hesitated. "Not too good," he admitted. "There, you see!" "But not terrible!" he protested. "She's at the hospital right now. Philip is with her." "Great. I should be there!" Nina said. "Do you want to go?" Nick asked her, glancing over towards where Gabrielle had last been. She was still there, hiding behind some trees. "Yes," Nina decided. "Take me." Nick gestured that Gabrielle was to go to the house. "Let's go." ("I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour. I'll be there for you like I've been there before."*)

"Kymmie!" Nina cried. Kym turned and saw the two of them entering. "Hi, guys. What are you doing here?" Nina gave her old friend a hug. "You actually thought I'd let you go through this alone?" Kym hugged her back. "Thank you." "How is he?" Nina asked. Kym's eyes were incredibly sad. "Holding his own." Nina placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "I'm sure he'll be all right." Kym sighed listlessly. "I just hate to feel so…helpless." Nick wasn't sure how much more of this he could take. "Where's Philip?" he asked. Both women looked at him, as if just realizing that he was in the room. "He'll be back in a moment," Kym murmured. Nick nodded. "Can he do anything?" "He blessed Derek." Another nod from Nick. They both knew that they couldn't talk about it, not with Nina in the room. "Have they caught the man that did it?" Nina asked quietly. "Hitchcock? No. And I doubt that they ever will," Kym said, once again squeezing Derek's hand. Philip stepped back into the room. "Hello, Nina." "Hello, Father Callaghan," she replied. Philip continued. "Kym, Alex said that she'd come by in an hour. I really think that you should try to get some fresh air." Kym nodded numbly. "Okay." The handsome priest leaned over to Nick. "There's an angel waiting at the house for you." "I know," Nick whispered.

Rachel watched in amazement as Gabrielle played a quiet game with Katherine. Aside from the glowing and the wings she looked just like a normal teenager. "Gabrielle?" Rachel said. The angel turned toward her. "Yes, Dr. Corrigan?" "Before you showed yourself," Rachel was careful to word this carefully. "We noticed that some of our things were being moved. Did you…" Gabrielle blushed furiously. "Oh, yes. I am so sorry! I was just playing some jokes." She's just like a child! Rachel thought. A little girl. "It's all right," Rachel said gently. "I was just curious " I was sent to protect you," Gabrielle said with a quivering voice. "I didn't do a very good job." Kat patted her hand. "Maybe you still can." "Yes," Gabrielle nodded firmly. "I can if I stop Xavier." Rachel sat down between the two girls. "Well, how can we do that? Is he afraid of anything?" Gabrielle thought for a moment. "God, I suppose. Purification, maybe." "What can kill him?" Katherine wanted to know. Gabrielle looked at her helplessly. "Um, well, consecration. Divine intervention." "An act of God," Rachel said. "We're sitting here waiting for an act of God." "I'm afraid so," Gabrielle murmured. "Wait a second. I seem to recall a spell that might work." "What?" Rachel asked eagerly. "The spell of Santa Alejandra. I don't remember all of it, but perhaps it's in one of these books." "Let's start looking!" Rachel said, feeling hope for the first time.

When Alexandra Moreau entered the hospital Kym was the only person sitting there. "Hi," Alex said softly. "Alex, hi. I'm glad you're here." Alex stood awkwardly in the doorway and tried to smile. Kym rose and briefly kissed her husband. "I'll be back in a little while," she whispered to him. "Do you think he can hear you?" Alex asked softly. "Philip said that it's possible," Kym replied. "So I guess I'll just keep talking ." She quietly escaped, leaving Alex alone with Derek. "Just keep talking," Alex murmured. Well, she thought, it certainly can't hurt. "Hi Derek," Alex whispered, approaching the bed. "How are you?" No reply, not that Alex expected one. "Gabrielle is back," Alex said trying to sound cheerful. "She may have a way to stop this thing." Derek still didn't respond and Alex felt her heart begin to wilt. Why didn't he wake up and come back to them? "Derek," she whispered in a soft voice, stroking his hair. Tell him, a little voice inside of her whispered. There's no better time then right now. Alex took a deep breath. "I have a confession to make," she told Derek. "I love you. I've loved you for years." She cringed as though she feared that Derek would suddenly awaken. When she saw that there was no chance of that she continued with her confession. "I've always wanted to tell you, but I was just scared. And then you married Kym and it was too late." Her voice trailed off. "I don't know why I never said anything," she said finally.

Derek simply sat in shock. To say something in his defense it was a rather large revelation and he was very weak.

Alex simply sat and stroked his hair. "I'm sorry," she whispered.

Kym sat in the bright sunshine listening to the sound of the ocean. But she really didn't feel the sun's warmth or hear the calming surf. She was just too worried. If Gabrielle couldn't stop Xavier… She will! Kym thought. Stop thinking about the bad things. There is always a way. "Kym!" she heard Nick shout as he ran over to her. "Kym, I'm glad I found you." "Hello Nick," Kym said in a lifeless voice. The young man's face was bright. "We found it. We found the spell." Kym was listening.

""Okay, now we need an emerald," Gabrielle instructed. Rachel stopped in her tracks. "An emerald?" The angel nodded. "Yes, we need an emerald." "Well, how big does it have to be?" Rachel asked, thinking of a ring that she had. Gabrielle held her hands out to approximately the size of a baseball. "Oh, one about this big should be okay." Rachel looked at her doubtfully. "I don't think that we have an emerald of that size." Gabrielle looked up from her reading. "No?" The psychiatrist shook her head. "No." "Well," the angel paused, absently twirling a strand of her blonde hair. "Do you know where we could get one?" "Nope," Rachel replied. She felt defeated. "Now what?" Gabrielle frowned. "Now we wait."

When Kym and Nick entered the hospital room, all was quiet. Alex was still there, sitting by Derek's bed. She looked up as they entered. "Hi guys," Alex said wearily, as though one hour had drained her. "Hi, Alex," Kym said softly, approaching the bed.

("Didn't we almost have it all? The nights we spent until the morning. The ride with you was worth the fall, my friend. Loving you makes life worth living."*)

"Alex," Nick said, not raising his voice above a whisper. "Could you stay here for a while longer? I need to take Kym back to the island for a while." "Have you found anything?" Alex asked eagerly. When he nodded she closed her eyes and whispered. "Thank God." They both turned to Kym who was still standing by the bed. "Kym, we should go, honey," Nick said gently. She nodded and walked over. "Let's go." They both smiled at Alex and left.

Philip paced the hall impatiently. What was taking Kym and Nick so long? "We're here!" Nick called out in a singsong voice as they entered the castle. "Where have you been?" Philip cried. "I've been goin' crazy!" "We're sorry," Kym apologized. "Nick was driving," she added, like a child looking to shift the blame. "Was not!" Nick picked up on the game. "Were too!" "Was NOT!" "Were TOO!" Philip had to laugh. "All right, all right! Stop it you two." "She started it," Nick muttered. "Nuh-uh," Kym retorted. Philip laughed until his sides hurt. It felt good; he hadn't laughed in so long. "You two…" Rachel poked her head into the hallway. "What's so funny?" Philip was laughing too hard to answer and Kym and Nick just smiled and shook their heads. Rachel smiled back but was quick to add, "Let's get serious." That quieted Philip almost immediately. Kym and Nick lost their smiles and they all filed into the library. Gabrielle smiled as they entered. "I heard you laughing," she announced. "That's good. You all need to keep a sense of humour." Kym nodded. "You found something, yes?" "Yes," Gabrielle replied. "But we need an emerald," she added hastily. "A large one." "We thought that you might know if Derek had one," Rachel said. "Yeah, in the basement right next to the diamonds and sapphires," Kym muttered. "Hmm?" "Nothing," Kym said, louder this time. "I'm quite certain that there are no spare emeralds lying around." She paused and thought for a moment. "Wait a sec!" Kym ran up to the suite that she and Derek shared. When she threw the door open she stopped dead in her tracks. She could still smell the scent of Derek's cologne. His jacket was draped over a chair. No! Kym thought, fighting a flood of tears. I can't cry anymore. I have to be strong. Kym grabbed the item that she was looking for and ran back downstairs away from the memories.

("Y solo a que me queda de tu amor, solo fotos y recuerdos."*) ("And all that I have left of your love, only photographs and memories."*) "Will this work?" Kym asked Gabrielle. She was holding an emerald necklace, the emerald was no where as large as the one that Gabrielle had wanted, but it was still a huge emerald. "Where did you get that?" Philip inquired. "I've had it for many years," Kym said, rather uncomfortable. "It was a birthday gift from my father." Nick whistled. "Happy birthday, sweet sixteen." Rachel knew that the subject of her family's money made Kym feel awkward. "Never mind, Nick. Will it work, Gabrielle?" The angel nodded. "Yes, I think that it will. But we can't do the spell here in the house. I don't think that it's strong enough." "What do you mean, strong enough?" Nick asked. "Every house has a presence of good and a presence of evil, just like every person has a presence of good and evil," Gabrielle answered. "In this case, I'm not totally sure that this house's good presence overcomes it's bad." "Where would be a good place?" Philip mused. "A church," Gabrielle replied immediately. "A church is the best place we could possibly go." "Then let's go," Nick said. The Legacy house went into uproar. All of the members ran around in circles. "Get everything together," Nick shouted. "I want to get this over with as soon as possible." "Where's m'holy water?" Philip yelled. "Can someone call Alex back here?" Kym asked. "Who will sit with Derek?" Rachel called down from the landing. "I want to," Kym replied. "I want to be there in case he wakes up." "Do we have any inscencse?" Gabrielle asked, managing to get a word in edgewise. "I have some upstairs in my bureau," answered Kym. They all stopped and looked at her. "I like the smell of it," Kym said defensively. Nick grinned. "Sure, sure, everyone wants their bedroom smelling like a church." Slam! "What on earth is going on in here?" William Sloan roared. Nick rolled his eyes. "Hello William. You almost missed us." The ruling precept was upset with the ex-SEAL's cavalier attitude. "And just where are you all going?" "To save Derek," Nick replied, relishing Sloan's annoyance. "How do you plan on doing that?" William's voice gave away his frustration. "Gabrielle has discovered a spell that might work," Kym cut in. "Is that so?" William raised an eyebrow. The lithe blonde angel nodded and moved to stand behind Nick. There was something about Sloan that seemed to frighten her. "Well, that's good," William said. He didn't want to scare her. Kym picked up her car keys. "I'm going to the hospital," she announced. She then proceeded to hug everyone. "Good luck and be careful."

"Alex." She looked up and the sound of her name. "Hello Kym." Kym smiled at her. "Your presence is requested at the castle. We think that the spell might work." Alex's face brightened. "Really?" Kym nodded. "Gabrielle seems to think so. But they need you back at the house." Alex rose. "You'll sit with Derek?" "Of course," Kym lovingly touched his forehead. "If he wakes up, I want to be here." Alex smiled weakly. "I understand. I would feel the same way." There was something a bit off in Alex's voice. Kym couldn't quite place it. What was it? Sadness maybe? Loneliness? Alex picked up her jacket. "Wish me luck." Kym impulsively hugged her. "Good luck Alex. Be careful." Alex hugged her back. "I'll try."

"Your friends are going to try to stop me," Xavier informed Derek. "I know," the precept replied grimly. "I think I may play with them," Xavier said wickedly. "Please don't." But Derek was too weak to make any real argument. The fallen angel rose to his feet. "But I want to play." Derek tried to jump up, to stop him, but Xavier held him in place. "Stop." With that one word Xavier laid a hand upon the Dutchman's forehead. Derek felt the overwhelming presence of evil enter his body and he was pushed back to his chair. He tried to rise, to fight Xavier but the pressure was too great. No! Derek thought. But he simply did not have the energy to cry out, to tell Kym to warm the others. All he could do now was pray.

The members of the San Francisco Legacy house entered St. Bartholemew's Church with a sort of sacred silence. As they approached the altar Nick felt the holiness of this place overwhelm him and he was filled with peace. However that feeling wasn't too last long. "Hello, dear friends," Xavier said, apropos of nothing. "Sorry to keep waiting." Philip held up his crucifix. "You can' do anythin' here in this site of God." "No?" Xavier said in mock horror. "No," Philip answered with less conviction. "FATHER Callaghan, I can and will do what ever I want!" Philip shook his head and tossed holy water at the fallen angel. "In the name of God I command you, be gone!" With a roar that was pure evil Xavier lifted the young priest off of his feet and threw him against the wall. "Philip!" Alex cried. Xavier laughed. "That felt suprisingly good." "Ahh!" Alex screamed. She grabbed Philip's cross and ran up to Xavier pressing the sacred item into his face. Xavier howled, but still remained undaunted. He grabbed the cross and hurled it across the church. It slammed into the window above the baptismal fountain and shattered it. Wordlessly, he grabbed Alex by the back of the neck and slammed her forehead against the side of the altar. She crumpled to the ground. Nick had been watching this whole scene with horror. He and Gabrielle were in the balcony section of the church preparing things for the spell. Nick had warned his cohorts not to try anything until he was ready, but apparently they hadn't listened. Nick heard the sickening crack of Alex's head smashing against the altar. "Stay here," he said to Gabrielle. "Wait!" she cried. "You have to read the spell."

"Oh for the love of…" Nick grabbed the book and began speed-reading. Rachel Corrigan looked around her fearfully. Alex was in a heap near the altar and Philip was slumped against the wall. Xavier approached her. "Hello…Rachel," he said in a soft voice, almost a whisper. The young doctor trembled. "Are you going to try to stop me too?" Xavier asked, reaching up to stroke her hair. "I can't let you do that. It is the Legacy that must be stopped, not me." With that he yanked Rachel's hair. "Good bye, Dr. Corrigan." "No!" Nick yelled, pounding down the stairs, magic tools in hand. "Foolish boy!" Xavier's voice was like thunder and Nick was knocked off of his feet. Xavier took advantage of this split second and began to choke Rachel. She fought and scratched and kicked, but eventually fell unconscious. Nick recovered from his fall just in time to see Rachel pass out. I'm all alone, he realized. He then looked up and saw Gabrielle looking down from the balcony. She couldn't help him. Nick knew what he had to do. His moment of truth had come. "Xavier!" he shouted. "Yes, Nick?" Xavier answered. Nick began to recite the spell that he had so hastily learned. "Lord of darkness, Lord of light, hear my prayer this dreaded night." Xavier remained unimpressed. "An angel of evil has come round here, his darkness is close, too very near." Xavier's features began to twitch. Nick held out the emerald and continued. "And so my God I ask thee, in this jewel to imprison he!" "No!" Xavier cried. He was pulled toward the stone. "No! You can't stop me! I will be back!" Then there was silence.

Derek Rayne felt the agonizing pressure being lifted. He was vaguely aware of a hand holding his own. The precept opened his eyes. "Derek?" Kym whispered, feeling her heart leap into her throat. "Honey?" she gripped his hand tighter. "If you can hear me squeeze my hand." Derek squeezed her hand. Kym jumped up and peered into his face. He managed a weak smile. "Derek!" Kym kissed him. "You're awake, you're alive!" He tried to lift his arms to hug her and cursed his own weakness. Derek did, however, manage a weak, "Hello." Kym pulled back and looked down at him. Derek saw the tears in her eyes. "Xavier's gone," he whispered. She nodded and placed a finger to his lips. "I know."

Nick stood stunned for a moment. "Nick!" He looked up and saw Gabrielle beaming down at him. "You did it!" she cried. Nick looked down at the emerald where Xavier was imprisoned. "Yeah, I guess I did," he said, a slow smile coming over his face. Then he remembered his friends. Nick was kneeling by Philip's side when the door to the church banged open. "Mr. Boyle!" Sloan marched in. "What on Earth is going on here?" "You missed it all, Mr. Sloan," Nick replied. "But before I tell the story would you mind helping me with Alex and Rachel?"

"So you were just trapped there?" Kym asked incredulously. Derek nodded and the nurse removed the thermometer from his mouth. Doctors and nurses had been buzzing in and ever since Derek had woken up. "You're all set, Dr. Rayne," the nurse announced cheerfully. "I'll leave you two alone." Kym smiled. She hadn't let go of Derek's hand for the whole period. "I'm glad to be awake," Derek whispered. "I'm glad you're awake. And I know that everyone else will be too," she glanced at her watch. "I wonder where they are." At that exact moment Nick entered. "Hi boss," he said to Derek. "They said that you were awake." "Yeah," Kym said with a grin. "He's awake and clamoring to go home." Nick gave his boss's arm an affectionate pat. "Yeah, well, they can't keep you down for long." "That's right," Derek agreed. "Where is everyone?" "Outside and dying to see you," Nick replied cheerfully. "Oh, but Sloan's here," he warned. Derek cast an accusing glance toward his wife. "You never told me that William was here." Kym cast her eyes downward. "I didn't want to upset you," she said guiltily. "Well, Derek," William said, entering the room. "Hello, William," Derek replied, preparing himself. "How are you?" Sloan asked carefully. "I'm doing all right," the Dutchman answered. "He's doing wonderfully," Dr. Defoe announced, breezing into the room. He briefly listened to Derek's heart and breathing. "It's incredible. Dr. Rayne, you have made a miraculous recovery. I swear, it must have been an act of God." "Something like that," Derek murmured. Then louder he said, "So when can I go home?" Defoe laughed. "Soon, very soon. What, do you want to get back to work already?" "I wouldn't object," Derek said. Kym laughed. "I would! Derek, even when you come home you aren't just going to jump back into everything right away." He glared at her defiantly. "We'll see about that." "I guess we will."

One Month Later

Derek laughed out loud when Kym presented him with his ‘going back to work gift'. The two were standing in the garden when Kym gave him the emerald that Xavier was trapped in. "For you," she had said. Derek put an arm around her. "And what am I going to do with this?" Kym leaned against him. "Hmm, I don't know. Keychain?" "Paperweight," Derek suggested with a laugh. "Doorstop." "Doorknob." That made them both laugh. Kym sighed. "You know, at one point in time, this was a very valuable piece of jewelry." "It still is," Derek replied. "Only now it has sentimental value." At that moment he happened to glance toward the veranda. Alex was standing there watching them. Derek had said nothing to anyone about Alex's confessions. He wasn't entirely sure what to say, so he decided that it was best not to say anything at all. However, Derek did cast Alex a smile. She hesitated a moment but then smiled back. Her eyes were sad.

"Do you have to go?" Katherine asked. "Yes, I'm afraid so," Gabrielle replied. "But I don't want you to go!" Kat cried, throwing her arms around Gabrielle. The angel stroked her hair. "I'll look in on you from time to time. I promise." She looked up. Nick was standing in the doorway. "We're going to miss you," he said. "You really helped us out." "Just doing my job. And I'll be looking in on you too, Nick," Gabrielle warned. "I'll be ready for surprise inspection," Nick laughed. "We should get everyone and tell them that you're leaving," Philip said. "I've said my good byes," Gabrielle replied. "Well, almost." She hugged the handsome young priest that she had grown so fond of. "Good bye Philip." "Good bye, Gabrielle. Thank you." Tears filled her eyes but Gabrielle knew that she couldn't stay. "I want all of you to close your eyes, please." They all did as she asked and when they opened them Gabrielle was nowhere to be seen. "She's gone," Kat whispered, sniffing. Philip knelt and gave the little girl a hug. "She'll be back," he said.

THE END

SONGS THAT I BORROWED:
"Painters"- Jewel "Rosas"-Thalia "Ladder"-Joan Osborne "Captive Heart"-Selena "I Don't Want To Wait"-Paula Cole "I'll Be There For You"-The Rembrandts "Didn't We Almost Have It All?"-Whitney Houston "Fotos Y Recuerdos"-Selena

1997 by Selena All characters with the exception of Kym Gardner, Nina Camile, Gabrielle, Xavier, Dr. Defoe, and Nurse Rodriguez are copy righted and belong to MGM entertainment.