Outline by Laura "Ad Astra" Ackerman and Kathy Pogge.
Written by Nicole Biggers and Kathy Pogge.
Previously on Gargoyles...
Goliath: "I have trusted you from
the moment we met. You were my first friend in this new life. You have grown
to become much more," he said simply. "If I could fight this battle for you
I would gladly be your champion. If our positions were reversed, I know that
you would be mine."
As the last remnants of blood-red
sun melted below the great western horizon, a low crack was barely audible in
the warm night air. Seconds later, the crack became a shatter as thousands of
stone shards fell to the ground. Accompanying the almost musical sound were
the defiant roars of waking beings, all of which were almost drowned by Goliath's
own powerful bellow. He clenched his fists above his head, wings snapping up
and back, daring the night to challenge him. When at last his primal instincts
were assured that it would not, he stepped from his post, high above the others.
Hearing a noise behind him, he turned and faced a voluptuous blue female.
"Good evening, my love," purred
the fiery-haired gargoyle. Before he could react, she placed her hands on his
arms and was drawing herself closely to him in an affectionate embrace .
Startled, Goliath stepped back,
looking out over the horizon. He sucked in his breath to find only rolling hills
and mountains on one side, and open sea on the other. In the castle below, orange
lights illuminated the darkness warmly. Something was wrong, terribly wrong...
The other gargoyle saw his confused
expression. "My love," she said. "Why do you gaze at me so? Does something trouble
you? Are you injured still?"
Goliath shook his head. "Injured?...I
have no memory of being injured." He noticed that several other gargoyles had
climbed up to his parapet to join them.
The beautiful blue gargoyle stepped
forward again, and this time, Goliath did not make a move to retreat. She put
her arms around his waist and looked into his eyes, her own sparkling with humor.
"Yes... just how did you get hit by a falling tree again?"
The surrounding gargoyles laughed
good-naturedly and made a few similar remarks of their own. His sharp tongued
brother with the crooked horn, brought an especially hearty round of laughter
with one of his quick witted jibes. Goliath, though he remembered nothing, found
himself becoming a little embarrassed, and more than that, confused. There was
a swirl of images in his mind, and he could not place them together in any sensible
manner. His thoughts seemed a hazy fog, and the few things that he could pick
out were strange, and somehow very real, though he knew they could not be. Perhaps
it was all a product of his accident. Something about a falling tree, it seemed.
As the other gargoyles realized
that he was not joining in the fun, the jokes died out, and they looked at him
strangely. He felt a need to explain, if only clear his own mind of the matter.
"I have had the strangest... dream," he began slowly, hesitating to name it
as such. It was confusing, but it stuck in his mind in such a way that it could
easily be mistaken for a memory. "You were all in it, but... different." He
turned suddenly to the female by his side. "And you... my love," the words stuck
in his throat. "You were changed most of all."
The fiery hair flickered for a moment
in the wind like a candle, then righted itself to its usual state of disarray.
As the gentle breeze passed, Goliath thought he detected a glint of the sparkle
he had seen before. She slipped an arm through his, and pressed the opposite
hand against her chest. "I?" she asked, her eyes widening in mock surprise.
"Changed? Surely I will be a gargoyle always. But, tell me. What form did I
Before he knew it, her arm was no
longer entwined with his, and she stood before him, in the middle of a circle
the others had formed unconsciously. His dusty blue rookery brother showed a
hint of a smile, as did the milky brown female at his side. They seemed to be
The blue female looked from one
gargoyle to another, conspiratorially. "A cat, perhaps?" she asked, turning
back to him.
Goliath was slightly confused. That
wasn't what he had been speaking of in the least. "No..." he began. But he spoke
"Oh," she interrupted, her eyes
narrowing in joyful anticipation. She frowned, pretending to think. A moment
later, she looked up and paced slowly around the circle once, her stride high
and dramatic. "A dog, then. Of course!"
"No, my love," he began, then stopped,
not knowing what to say.
She turned suddenly, and looked
into his eyes. "Let me guess once more," she said. "Was I a... human?" There
was a chorus of laughter around them.
Goliath took another step backward
in horror. The image of a pale-skinned human with flaming red hair flashed before
his eyes. "No!" he half-roared.
The female saw the confusion and
shock still riding in his eyes, and ended her jest quickly. "Come," she said,
addressing the group with a smile. She took Goliath's arm once again. "Let us
depart. There is much to do this night, and we each have our duties."
The others departed quickly over
the edges of the parapet, smiles on their faces, leaving only the flame-haired
gargoyle and her mate to exit down the stairs.
"My love," she continued, once they
were alone. "What kind of a dream would affect you so?"
For a moment, he struggled to piece
enough together to make his explanation at least slightly sensible. "I lived
on an island, called... Manhattan. All the clan was destroyed but for a few...
and you ... were very ...different." He hoped in emphasizing the word that he
could convey his point somehow. "There was a human," he stopped, his thoughts
failing him. Goliath looked down upon the female, and hoped she had understood.
To his surprise, her eyes had filled with tears, and glistened in the moonlight.
"Demo-" he began, then stopped himself, shaking his head. What had he been about
to call her? He could not remember. "My love," he began again. "What is wrong?"
"Do you not know why this ceremony
is taking place?" she asked, distress in her voice.
Goliath looked about himself in
confusion. "Ceremony?" Did his mate believe that they were performing some sort
of ceremony that he knew nothing of? He hoped he had not forgotten something
that was of importance to her.
"Do you not remember? Ten years
ago tonight the Vikings attempted to take possession of our home, and together
our clan, with the humans, defeated them!"
The lavender gargoyle raised his
brow in surprise. Why did he not know this tale? Surely, it was something to
be remembered. Instead, a single image came into the foreground of his mind:
he, standing on his mate's daytime post, holding her shattered remains... he
shook his head to rid it of the terrible thought. She stands before you! He reminded himself firmly.
The gargoyle with the golden headpiece
saw that her mate remained disturbed. "Goliath!" she said, gaining his attention.
Tears filled her eyes once more, and she stood back from him, ashamed. "That
night, the Captain and I had conspired to betray the castle... the clan. We
realized, almost too late, that we had been tricked, and that we were going
to be betrayed ourselves. We were able to warn everyone in time to organize
a counter attack." She hung her head. "Goliath, I have told no one of this.
When the Captain died fighting for the castle, he became a hero. How could I
ruin his reputation?" She hesitated, then forced herself to speak. "How could
I admit that I had betrayed the clan?"
Goliath pulled his mate to his body.
"You did not betray the clan, my love. What you might have done does not matter
now. What matters is that you chose good over evil in the end."
She sniffed. "You love me still?"
He ran a hand through her hair,
pulling it away from her eyes. "I love you still," he said quietly. "My Angel
of the Night." Suddenly, he was filled with an overwhelming joy. A joy that
she was not as he had dreamt her, but that she was once again his, and they
were in love again. His dream had not been real, he reminded himself. He folded
his wings around both of them, creating a cocoon-like shelter from the cool
evening breeze, and kissed the top of her head tenderly. "Tell me the rest of
the tale, my love."
"After the battle, you and I stood
guard together while Princess Katharine and the Magus were wed so that she might
be safe from Constantine. Since that day, gargoyles and humans have lived side
by side, in peace. I thought once, Goliath, that gargoyles could not exist in
peace and safety while humans inhabited our world, but I see the folly in that
thinking now. Peace would not have come with the destruction of the humans,
for there must be peace inside the soul before it can be turned outward; and
if I had destroyed the humans, how could I have ever known that peace?"
"You speak truly, my love." Hearing
those words, relief flooded his soul. any doubts he had held previously about
the dream being more than a nightmare were washed away completely. His love
had not chosen the path to evil, he was sure of that.
She went on, now with a smile. "Tonight,
we celebrate the dedication of Princess Katharine's first born child; he is
to be guardian of the clan." She hooked her arm though Goliath's once again
and steered him towards the stone stairway. "I must go, my love. I have duties
to attend to. Come with me."
Goliath began to agree, then hesitated.
"I wish to be alone for a time, my love," he told her honestly. She nodded in
consent. "Will you review with me what I am to do tonight before you go?"
"Very well." Quickly, she related
to Goliath his own duties, knowing that soon she had to attend to her own. "Now,
love, I must go," she said. They shared a brief embrace, and Goliath was left
to his own thoughts.
Something was bothering him. He
knew that he should be completely content, and, to a certain degree, he was.
But something was missing, and he could not identify it. There was a hole within
him, as if something had been taken out of his life; something very important.
* * * * *
Elisa stuck her head out of the
"I'll be right there!" she called,
though she knew the person on the other end of the line could not possibly hear
her. Hastily pulling a towel around her body and cranking the shower faucet
off, Detective Elisa Maza ran for the phone.
"Yes?" her voice was efficient;
she spoke so not to whomever was on the line, but in response to the insistent
tone of the telephone.
"Hi Elisa," greeted a more laid-back
tone. "It's Matt."
"Oh, hi. What's up?" Elisa swung
her wet hair over her shoulders and wrung it out, cradling the phone on her
shoulder and holding the towel with her free hand. Matt never called unless
he had important news.
He got right to the point. "I found
Jason. I thought you'd want to know right away."
Elisa dropped her long hair and
switched the phone to her other ear with the freed hand. "Bluestone, if you're
joking, I'll..." she threatened.
"Would I joke about something like
this?" He countered.
"All right, I'm listening."
"They've got him over at Rikers
Island. Under the name Simon Templar, for some reason."
"Someone has a bad sense of humor,"
Elisa commented dryly.
"Am I missing something?" asked
Matt, a little confused. This whole business was making him very suspicious.
"Never mind. I'll tell you later.
"I got you a visit, tonight. They're
letting you in after visiting hours."
Elisa was surprised. "How did you
manage that?" She had been trying to locate Jason for months now, he had inexplicably
disappeared after Jon was apprehended, and no amount of digging on her part
had shed any light on his whereabouts.
"Well, I figured as long as I was
asking Chavez for favors, I might as well go all the way."
"You got this through Chavez?" That
was an even bigger surprise, knowing her boss.
"Hey, she trusts me," Matt responded
"Implying that she doesn't trust
me?" There was silence on the other end of the line, and Elisa could see Matt
shrugging in her mind as surely as if he had been standing before her. "All
right," she conceded. "When am I supposed to be there?"
* * * * *
With a crack and a deafening chorus
of roars, the clan of Castle Wyvern, Manhattan, awoke. With a shout of joy,
Lexington shook the remaining fragments of stone from his leathery green skin.
"Ten minutes, and I'm battling dragons with the best!" He leaped from his post
Next to him, the bluish gargoyle
sustained a more haughty, dignified air. "Oh," he said. "You mean in ten minutes
you'll be punching some keys connected to some other dweeb's computer."
"Hey!" protested Lexington. "They're
not dweebs. You're just upset because you can't make it to level X."
"Only a dweeb would want to make
it to level X," stated Broadway, clearly directing the insult at the shorter
The green gargoyle hopped on one
foot, frustrated. "Goliath!" he wailed. "He called me a dweeb!" He looked around.
"Lads!" called a voice from above
The two younger gargoyles turned
their faces upward simultaneously in the pale moonlight. Hudson was leaning
over the edge of the top parapet next to the still, stone figure of Goliath.
"Uh-oh," muttered Broadway as they
both climbed quickly to join Hudson. When the duo reached the top, they both
looked a little sheepish; they had been too busy arguing to notice that everyone
had left them, let alone the fact that Goliath had not awakened from his stone
"Well," said Brooklyn darkly, "now
that we're all present and accounted for, what do we do?" Seeing the uncomfortable
looks on both Broadway and Lexington's faces, he knew they were now seriously
regretting their argument. Brooklyn felt the small hand of Graeme slip into
his own, and he squeezed it tightly.
Angela, her brow furrowed in worry,
tapped her father's solid figure gingerly, then looked into his face, frozen
in a thoughtful gaze. "It... looks like he's still asleep," she spoke softly.
Bronx came up beside her, stood on his hind legs, sniffed at Goliath, and whined
unhappily. Nudnik who had galloped off in search of food, returned subdued and
sat at Ariana's feet looking worried.
"Don't worry, Angela," Broadway
dared to say, "I'm sure he'll be all right."
The lavender female smiled sadly,
taking his hand. "I hope so," she said.
Brooklyn sighed. It never felt right
to assume leadership of Goliath's clan. "I'll get Xanatos," he announced finally.
Passing Graeme off to Sata, he descended
the stairway into the castle. He didn't have to look long for Xanatos; he bumped
into the man coming around a corner in the hallway.
"Good evening, Brooklyn," said Xanatos
smoothly, straightening his tie. "I was just going to see Goliath. How are the
"Fine," he replied grimly. "Look,
we've got a problem upstairs," Brooklyn continued abruptly changing the subject.
"If you want to talk to Goliath, it's probably gonna be awhile. He's slept in."
"Perhaps you would care to inform
me of the situation, Brooklyn," replied Xanatos, puzzled. "I have absolutely
no idea what you're talking about."
"Right. Well, come on."
* * * * *
Two hours after she hung up the
telephone, Elisa's Ford Fairlane pulled to an unusually easy stop in the parking
lot at Rikers Island Prison.
Pulling the key out of the ignition,
she patted the dashboard with her other hand. "Nice to take it easy for a change,
huh?" Then, under her breath: "I just hope this is easier than I think it's
going to be." In response to her touch, something in the interior of the dash
made a solid "clunk."
"Wonderful," Elisa dead-panned.
"I just can't win with you, can I? You and that mechanic." The detective recalled
briefly one of many lectures Joe Yeats, the tall, lanky mechanic with the young
Clint Eastwood looks, had given her on taking care of the classic car. "At least
it runs," she replied to his imagined reproach. "unlike most vintage vehicles
I could name."
Briefly, the thought of Goliath
and what he might think about her coming here passed through her mind, but she
pushed it out immediately. Whatever opinion he had about this didn't matter.
It was her decision alone, and she had made a promise.
"I want to help you, if you'll let
Already, she had failed in that
promise. She had been so busy after the clock tower bombing that she'd only
had time to visit Jason in the hospital a couple of times, and then only for
a few minutes. Then, the last time she had gone to visit, he had simply been
gone. When she had at last tracked down the cops who had been assigned to guarding
his room, they only shrugged and said they thought he had been taken to Rikers.
But when she checked the lists of prison transfers Jason Canmore hadn't been
on the lists.
None of it made sense. "Why would
they be hiding him?" she mused aloud. "They couldn't think that Jon would try
to break him out. Jon's been hospitalized ever since his arrest. Then again..."
She shrugged to herself. "maybe they're worried about Robyn."
She entered, surrendered her firearm,
and showed her I.D. and badge to the guard. She was escorted to the warden's
office, given a visitor's badge and asked to wait. Half an hour later the warden's
chief deputy entered.
Elisa rose and cleared her throat,
her impatience getting the better of her. "I'm here to see 'Simon Templar',"
she said, her voice laden with a humorous sarcasm.
"This way," growled the man as he
escorted her down a long and very noisy hallway.
* * * * *
Xanatos examined the still form
of Goliath for a few moments before speaking. "I hope you don't think I had
something to do with this."
"And why shouldn't we?" questioned
Hudson, only half joking. There was an undertone of seriousness to his mild
words. "Ye did replace me with a statue once, did ye not?"
Xanatos shrugged emotionlessly,
raising his eyebrows. "I suppose you have a point. All I can say is that I have
absolutely nothing to do this. We might ask Owen if there have been any security
breaches in the past twelve hours. I believe he's down in the nursery."
Brooklyn nodded. All right," he
nodded. "Sata-chan, you and the beasts stay here and guard Goliath. Broadway,
go get Elisa. This is her night off, so try her apartment. Everyone else, with
* * * * *
Xanatos strode to the door of the
nursery, an irritated Brooklyn behind him. Somehow, in the course of coming
down the stairs, Xanatos had managed to assume the lead position, and it frustrated
the gargoyle to no end that the man could have that much subtlety.
At the door, Xanatos stopped and
turned. "Well," he said, and twisted the knob. Inside, on a large play mat,
a startled Owen, minus glasses, looked up in surprise. He was on his hands and
knees, Alexander Xanatos sitting on his back, giggling wildly. "Ho'sey!" Alex
laughed, pounding the man's back with small, pink hands. "Ho'sey!"
In the doorway, in spite of the
seriousness of the situation, Graeme and Ariana looked at each other and immediately
burst into uncontrollable laughter. However, when their father spun around and
gave the two a severe look, the wide smiles disappeared.
With a single motion, Owen stood,
catching the boy safely with his good hand and placing him on the floor in the
process. Stiffly, he retrieved wire-rimmed glasses from his shirt pocket and
slipped them on. "Yes, sir?" he asked his master at last. His voice was tinged
with slightly more annoyance than usual, indicating his supreme mortification
and loss of dignity, although the change was detectable only to Xanatos' ear.
"Ah, yes. Owen." Xanatos wore only
a hint of a smile. "It seems we have a problem. Goliath has not awakened from
his stone sleep. Would you check security for us and see if there have been
any violations today?"
Owen adjusted his glasses and seemed
to consider the request. "Yes, sir." He left the play mat and went to a section
in the wall, carefully stepping around the scattered toys so as not to trip
and injure his pride further. With a touch, a panel slid down to reveal a complete
Xanatos stepped into the room, and
the gargoyles followed. Seeing the hidden equipment, he raised an eyebrow. "Who
authorized this?" he asked, although he suspected he knew the answer already.
"I did, sir," replied Owen dryly,
beginning to punch keys single-handedly. There was a slight whine of irritation
in his voice, as if to say, 'must my every move be questioned?' "I felt it essential
to the completion of my duties, as I have been spending a large portion of my
time in the nursery." Before Xanatos could comment, he went on. "Other than
a slight glitch in the video monitors, there have been no abnormalities today.
"It has to be Demona, then," accused
Lexington, interrupting the servant. "There's no other explanation."
Brooklyn looked thoughtful. "She
does possess knowledge of sorcery."
"Aye, Lad, that she does," Hudson
spoke up. "And this looks t'be the work of sorcery t'me."
Angela stepped back from the group
in anger, fingering the locket her mother had given her. "There's no proof of
that at all!" she exclaimed. "Mother has given up on plaguing the clan. And
Father. Why won't you accept that?"
"Old ways die hard, Lass," the old
warrior told her tenderly. "There's no sense in taking chances."
Angela said nothing, but she gave
Hudson a hard look.
From the console, Owen cleared his
throat. "Other than routine deliveries," he began again, "There has been only
one unscheduled visitor to the building today: Mavis O'Conner came by this afternoon
to open negotiations on the purchase of the East Bay warehouse."
"Really," remarked David. "Why didn't
she go through the regular channels? Surely she has a broker to deal with such
Owen didn't get a chance to respond.
Angela's head snapped up, and her eyes flared. "I don't trust her," she stated
suspiciously. "Mother doesn't like her either. She's always asking questions."
Beside her, Lexington nodded in
consent. He opened his mouth to second Angela's suspicions then closed it quickly.
His eyes narrowed and he tucked Angela's comment away to mention to Nicholas
"Listen," interrupted Brooklyn.
He didn't want this to turn into an accusation session. "It doesn't matter who
did it. The important thing right now is to find a way to get Goliath back.
Now, while we're waiting for Elisa, let's put our heads together and see what
we come up with, all right?"
"Whatever you say Brooklyn." Angela
murmured. They headed back outside in silence, each trying to figure out a possible
answer to the puzzle.
"Father?" questioned Ariana gravely
as they entered the hall, "Goliath's gonna be okay... right?"
Brooklyn opened his mouth to answer,
but his son interrupted him. "Of course, dummy!" said Graeme in an all-knowing
manner. "Goliath can do anything."
"Boy, I hope so," murmured Brooklyn
under his breath.
Xanatos, Alex in one arm, held the
door with the other until all had exited. He halted Owen briefly. "Oh, and Owen?"
said the billionaire with a slight smile, "I'll be sure to knock in the future."
* * * * *
With a solid thump, Broadway landed
on the balcony of Elisa's apartment. He rapped loudly on the window. When no
one answered, he pushed the pane open and slid down to the floor. "Elisa?" he
called hesitantly. "Elisa?" There was no response.
He stepped further into the room,
and a piece of paper laying on the coffee table caught his eye; that was where
Elisa usually left notes. Picking it up, he breathed a silent sigh of relief.
The note wasn't in cursive. He hated it when Elisa wrote in cursive.
"Guys," he read aloud to
himself. "Matt found Jason. Visiting him at Rikers. Be back in a while, Elisa."
Broadway groaned. If he came too close to Rikers, they would probably start
shooting at him. He was going to have to circle until Elisa heard his call.
Briefly, he fingered the little radio transmitter they used for communications.
"Thank goodness I wore this thing", he murmured to Cagney as the big gray cat
sauntered into the room. "I hope Elisa wore hers. Otherwise I'll be in for a
long wait and sore wings!"
* * * * *
Elisa was surprised to find herself arrive, not at an interrogation room, or
even a jail cell, but what looked like a large gym, or dining hall. What had
been one, anyway. As she stepped through the door, she was met with large pieces
of specialized exercise and medical equipment, as well as a bed and table in
one corner. In another corner, a man in a wheelchair sat with his back to her,
against what looked like a large lever. On one end sat a series of weights.
The man pushed down on the other end, lifting it again and again rhythmically.
The warden closed the door behind Elisa alerting the man in the wheelchair
to her presence. He let the large weight down slowly, then turned swiftly on
"Hello, Jason," said Elisa quietly. Her eyes met his, across the room.
He wheeled himself halfway across the concrete floor before speaking. "So,"
he said. "You didn't forget about me completely." He spoke now in his true voice,
accented. There was a slight hardness in his tone, and his eyes burned an electric
Elisa strode the rest of the distance to meet him. "I'm sorry Jason," she said,
true regret in her voice. "You have no idea how hard you are to find. I've been
trying to locate you for months. No one seemed to want to admit they knew where
Any anger that remained drained from his face. "I knew somethin' was going
on," he said slowly. "M' lawyer won't tell me anythin; nothing' about a trial,
if I'm going t' get one at all." He paused, then turned his chair to face the
bed in the corner. "Here, sit down," he said, gesturing. They sat facing each
other for a moment in silence.
"How are... they?" asked Jason, referring to the clan.
Elisa shook her head. "Still heavily medicated."
"I don't know, Jason, she escaped about a month ago."
Jason looked alarmed. "What?!"
Elisa moved in closer so that she could put a hand on his shoulder. "She must
have bribed somebody. According to the report, one night she missed bed check.
They haven't seen her since. She's been a model prisoner, so they didn't notify
Matt or me right away. I just found out about a week ago. That's one of the
reasons I came to see you. Do you have any idea where she might have gone?"
Jason looked resigned. "No, Elisa. And I nae I would have told you if I did.
She's my sister."
"I know, but it's my job to ask." She looked down at her fingers, then around
the large room, and at Jason. She could see easily through his white tee-shirt
that he was still very well muscled, and from all the equipment in the room,
it looked as if he intended to stay that way. "How's your therapy been going?"
It was Jason's turn to turn his eyes down. "It's all right, Elisa," he said
slowly. "I've had a lot of time t' think about things." He was silent a moment,
then, "Elisa," he whispered intently, keeping his eyes on his hands, "when ye
told me there was someone else..." he paused for a long while, and Elisa shifted
uncomfortably, causing the bed to creak. "When ye told me there was someone
else... It was Goliath wasn't it?" Before she could pull away, Jason caught
Elisa's hand and held it tightly. His piercing blue eyes came up and stared
deeply into hers, and Elisa found that she could not look away.
Elisa pulled away, and he let her go. There was a high, barred window on the
other side of the bed. She went to it, and stared out at nothing. She knew she'd
have to have this conversation someday. At last, she turned around and faced
him, the bed between them. They locked eyes. "Yes," she told him plainly. "It's
He looked away, fists clenching in frustration. "If things had been different,
if gargoyles had never come into either of our lives, would I have had a chance?
Elisa," he softened his voice until it was barely audible. "Elisa, I have t'
Elisa turned to look out the window again. "I don't know," she said at last,
her back to him, "I really don't know. I don't deal in 'what ifs', Jason. I
never have." Elisa sighed deeply, eyes closed, then turned to face him. "Things
are what they are, Jason," she told him softly, confidently. "And I wouldn't
change that for a thousand years."
Jason's hands were still knotted into fists, and his eyes had gained an inward
look. He did not respond.
Elisa stepped around the bed and walked quietly to the door, first stopping
a moment to lay a gentle hand on his shoulder. She knocked softly on the solid
steel, and a guard let her out. Before the large door slid shut again, Elisa
Maza leaned in. "I'll be back, Jason. Soon." she said.
* * * * *
Outside in the parking lot, Elisa stopped to resettle her pistol into its holster
and tidy her hair. Unlocking her car, she had slipped into the driver's seat,
and cranked the ignition before she heard the urgent call coming from the small
communications device she had dropped the previous evening on the seat next
"Elisa?" called Broadway's nearly hoarse voice. "Elisa, where are you? Elisa!"
"I'm here, Broadway. What's up?" she answered efficiently.
"Tell me where you are. I'll explain on the way."
* * * * *
With a heavy creak, Goliath pushed the solid door open. Inside the little room,
encased somewhere behind the grand audience chamber, two slightly nerve-wracked
people made final preparations. Goliath, not wishing to disturb them, stood
just inside the door, waiting to be noticed.
The Magus, robes and white hair flying, paced the room furiously, checking
and re-checking his wristwatch every few seconds. He seemed more than a little
distracted. In a corner, Princess Katharine was bent over a fussing baby, attempting
to pin the child's diaper. As Goliath watched, the infant wriggled furiously,
unintentionally causing himself to be stuck with the pin. Outraged, he began
to squall, his face turning beet red. The gargoyle judged this to be the time
to announce his presence. He cleared his throat.
The thin, white-haired man nearly jumped out of his skin. "Oh, Goliath," he
said. "I thought perhaps you had forgotten."
"No," he replied shortly.
The Princess lifted the now diapered child to her shoulder, patting his back.
"Shh," she whispered, then, to Goliath: "We are ready. It is time."
Goliath nodded and they exited the little room, walking side by side in the
hallway leading to the courtyard. A quartet of honor guards fell into step behind
them. All were silent, until the princess spoke.
"I am honored to do this thing t'night, Goliath," she told him sincerely, looking
into the face of her son. "There is no higher callin' that I would wish for
my child than to serve your clan." The Magus put an arm around his wife, expressing
his silent agreement.
"As our clan shall serve you and your son, my lady," he returned seriously.
"Tonight we make a bond to stand the test of time."
"I thank ye."
"And I..." Goliath cut himself off. Off of the main hallway, the door to an
adjoining room had been left open. Inside, on top of a high-backed chair, rested
a television remote control. The gargoyle put his great hands to his head, swaying
"Goliath!" exclaimed the princess.
He felt the Magus' stick-like form suddenly beneath one arm. "No," he protested
at the support, now standing firmly upon the solid stone beneath him. Coloring
slightly, he shook his head. It was a little embarrassing to have had the Magus,
small man that he was, support his own large form. "Please, I am fine."
"Are ye certain, Goliath?" the lady asked worriedly.
The lavender guardian glanced back into the open room. The remote was gone.
Frowning, he turned back. "Let us continue, my lady."
Every one of castle Wyvern's inhabitants had assembled for the ceremony in
the courtyard, all clothed in their finest. As Goliath, Princess Katharine,
and the Magus strode out into the center of the clearing, a hush fell over the
A large podium had been assembled for the ceremony, and the Magus climbed upon
it now. "Tonight," he announced, his voice loud and ringing, "We forge a bond.
A pact, between human and gargoyle, that shall last a millennium!"
A great cheer went up throughout the crowd; the sound of a new beginning, of
old hatreds and fears being cast aside. Together, Princess Katharine and Goliath
stepped slowly onto the platform. The child in the woman's arms remained surprisingly
silent, serious, and somehow, kingly. Goliath thought it befitting of the moment.
They stood opposite each other, and once again the crowd stilled. This time,
there was not a whisper to be heard
The princess held her son tightly, then carefully stretched her arms out and
passed the child to Goliath. The gargoyle took the baby in his arms, tenderly,
and looked into the young face, so alive and new and full of innocence. There
was nothing but wonderful promise in such a face. He looked up, and the woman
before him knelt at his feet. The Magus, as well, joined her. They bowed heads,
"Goliath," she began in her heavily accented voice. "On behalf of my firstborn
child, I pledge fealty t'you and yuir clan. I and m' family will serve ye always;
my child shall serve and protect you and yuir clan."
Goliath knelt with them. In the corner of his eye, he saw two higher- ups in
the court trade glances. "My lady," he said. "My lord. On behalf of my clan,
I pledge fealty to your son, your family, and all who inhabit this castle. From
this day forward, our two worlds shall be one."
"Well spoken, Goliath," Katharine whispered softly as they stood.
The gargoyle raised the child above his head. "This child is Idante," he announced
in a mighty voice that was almost a roar. "He is our enduring protection. The
pact is made!"
The crowd roared and seethed and sang with joy. Goliath smiled.
Next, the elders of the clan, including Goliath's mentor, gently urged the
youngest of the gargoyles up onto the stage from the right. On the left, a blonde-haired
boy dressed in a squire's attire proudly led the human children to meet the
gargoyles. The little ones, human and gargoyle alike, giggled and hid behind
each other, both bashful and awed that they were receiving so much attention.
The young squire, suddenly nervous, looked over at Princess Katharine. She
smiled and gestured for him to step forward. He did so, and a small, delicate,
female gargoyle joined him in front of the little crowd. Goliath's eyes widened.
Her skin was the color of his own, but her build was that of .... He sucked
in his breath. The hatchling had to be his daughter. Momentarily, he let human
customs, strange as they were, prevail, and swelled with pride. She had been
chosen, of all the other hatchlings, to perform the ceremony he knew would follow.
In fact, it had already began. "I, Tom," piped the young squire, reciting his
lines carefully, "Do swear on behalf of myself and m' kind, to serve Castle
Wyvern and all who dwell here. I take you and your people to be my sisters and
brothers for all m'life."
It was the little lavender gargoyle's turn now: "I swear," she echoed, "On
be..." she paused, trying to remember the difficult word. "On behalf," she began
again proudly, "of my sisters and brothers, to serve Castle Wyvern and all who
dwell here. I take you and your kind to be my brothers and sisters for all my
The two embraced, smiling, and there was another cheer from the crowd. The
children on the stage, not understanding completely what was happening, but
knowing that it was something important, giggled and jumped up and down excitedly.
"They know no differences," Goliath said to himself under the roar of the crowd,
watching the humans and gargoyles play together. "They know only that they are
friends." He sighed contentedly, if not somewhat wistfully. How soon they would
grow up and lose their innocent view of the world. "They are our future," he
whispered. "We must protect them."
"Goliath, my love."
The gargoyle looked outward, turning his sights away from his thoughts, and
saw that he stood alone; the ceremony had ended. Or, almost alone. He turned
to see his fiery-haired love approach.
"Why are you out here still? Everyone is inside, feasting. If you do not hurry,
the food will be gone." She smiled, teasing.
Goliath furrowed his brow. Had he really been standing out here in the middle
of the court, thinking, for so long? How could he not have noticed everyone
going inside? Again, as he had so many times this night, Goliath shook his
head. "Let us go," he rumbled seriously.
The female took his arm lovingly, and they proceeded to the enormous dining
hall. Immediately, his ears were filled with a roaring of a thousand voices,
as every joyful sound mingled to form a lulling music. His attention was called
away from the sights of the crowd as his love spoke to him. "Here," she said
tantalizingly. "Taste this." She held up a small, dark lump of something solid
and placed it delicately between his accommodating lips. He chewed and swallowed
obediently, then nodded. It was sweet, sugary.
"Chocolate," she said, indulging herself with a lump of her own. "My favorite."
Suddenly, she pressed her head into his large palm and rubbed luxuriously. "Oh,
Goliath," she said, "Tonight shall be a night to remember for generations."
"Yes," he said, absently, letting his hand drop to her warm shoulder. He was
looking the other way, towards a cluster of young gargoyles and humans; among
them, his daughter, their daughter.
"Goliath?" called a voice in the back of his thoughts.
He turned his attention back to the puzzled female. "Look," he said to her,
in explanation. He pointed over the heads of several dozen crowding humans,
to the lavender hatchling. "She is of us," he told her quietly, under the roar
The gargoyle with skin blue as the night sky looked at him strangely. "I do
not understand, my love," she said in a tone which meant she was willing to
"Us, my angel! Our egg. Can you not see the resemblance?"
"She is the clan's, Goliath," the female beside him began patiently. "No more
'ours' than that green hatchling over there," she said, pointing to a youngster
doing her best to imitate the formal conduct of her elders, and almost succeeding.
"Lineage is a human custom. Perhaps spending too much time with the princess
and the Magus has affected you...?" she hinted.
But Goliath was not listening. "I wish to speak to her, my love," he said.
"Come with me; we shall meet our child."
"My love!" His mate protested. However, she let herself be led to the ring
of young ones.
"Daughter," began Goliath, addressing the lavender female. This in itself was
nothing strange; any adult would have summoned a younger female using the same
The tiny female jerked her head up in shock, her eyes wide. The clan's leader
did not usually speak to the younger gargoyles unless it was to announce something
to them all, as a group. She was also frightened a little by the cold presence
of Goliath's second in command, and found herself more than slightly intimidated.
However, she gathered her wits with a deep breath. "What do you wish of me,
Leader?" she spoke confidently.
Goliath smiled privately at this display of courage, regretting at same time
that he inspired such terror in the younger generation. "Do not worry, little
one," he rumbled softly, noticing suddenly that the other hatchlings, as well
as the human children, had backed away and were gone. "I wish only to meet you.
I was impressed by your speech earlier this eve."
At this, she relaxed a little, and even smiled. She looked at him expectantly,
bright eyes shining. "Thank you," she piped.
"Among your friends," he said, crouching down to her small height, "do they...
call you anything? Have you a name?"
"Yes," she answered immediately. "Angela. But don't call me Angie!"
Goliath chuckled amiably, and placed a loving hand upon the child's head. "No,
Angela," he said, "I will not."
Angela beamed, amazed at finding the towering giant not so strange and terrifying
The older gargoyle was about to continue the conversation when he felt an impatient
tug on his arm. Above him, his love was insisting that they go. "We have promised
to stand by Katharine and the Magus when..." her voice faded from his hearing
suddenly as her head turned in the direction she wished them to go.
The lavender gargoyle sighed and patted the little one's dark hair. "Go and
be merry," he urged her. Politely, she curtsied and was gone. "There is so little
time for it," he added to himself quietly, thinking of the responsibilities
and dangers she would, inevitably, face in the future.
He stood, and faced his mate. "Now," he said, dismissing the previous event
from the conversation, "What have we promised?"
"To stand beside the Magus and his wife to welcome the visiting nobles. This
Dutifully, Goliath followed his mate down several empty hallways to a medium-sized
room which had been temporarily dubbed the "reception room." Normally guests
were presented at dinner in the great hall, but as it was currently in full
use, a quieter place for introductions had been deemed necessary.
Goliath strolled comfortably through the crowds of humans and gargoyles; before
leaving to attend to her own duties, his love had refreshed his memories of
his own, and he had several hours before he was to fulfill any of them. Though
he knew tensions between the two races had been almost non-existent for a long
while now, his dream seemed to be causing him to see things in a new light.
He basked in the glowing friendliness that abounded within the walls of the
castle, feeling a contentedness which was almost uncomfortable; he knew the
reason for this to be the fact that he had not felt so for quite a time. The
gargoyle chastised himself for taking such things for granted, then marveled
at the ability of a single dream to change his perspective so greatly.
Entering the great open courtyard, his eyes took in numerous bonfires and tables,
all set up in preparation for the feasting which would take place later that
night. The occupants of the castle abounded here, and he let himself be carried
along in what seemed to be the main traffic flow through the courtyard. Suddenly,
as he was turning to avoid a large woman traveling purposefully in the opposite
direction, a flash caught his eye.
He stopped in mid-stride, not even registering that he had caused a slight
backup as a group of people who had been walking behind him collided with his
solid form. Several hurried "Pardon me's" were voiced, but Goliath heard nothing.
His attention was riveted by the gleam of metal across the courtyard.
The blade of a knife, flickering with reflected firelight. It was the small,
delicate blade of a woman's weapon; and indeed, a woman held it. Her slender
hand held the carved handle loosely as she turned it, boring a small hole in
the makeshift oak table she was leaning against. As Goliath followed the milky-chocolate
skin of her hand upward, he was surprised to find it connected to garment not
unlike that of the castle guardians; different only in that it was styled to
her own, feminine proportions. Without taking his eyes off the woman, Goliath
stepped out of the main flow of people. Her hair, like his own, was dark and
long. She stood next to a man, a guardian as well, and as he watched, she opened
her mouth to laugh. Despite all the commotion around him, the low, beautiful
sound was the only one to reach his ears.
She spoke, and though Goliath could make out no specific words, he could see
that she returned whatever jest the man had made with a quick remark, lifting
the point of the small dagger to punctuate. She was, he thought, beautiful.
Perhaps later, when the feasting began, he would meet her. "But...," he caught
himself, jerking out of his daze. "What strange thoughts are these?" He muttered
aloud to himself. Though humans were amiable and friendly, he had never found
any attractive in the least! He shook his head, but could not get the image
of the woman out of his mind. Tonight was most definitely filled with confusing
Perhaps he needed some air. It was pleasant, yes, to be among humans and gargoyles
alike, but at times, he simply needed time alone to think. He sighed and began
walking towards the nearest wall, already beginning to slip into a mode of thoughtfulness;
so much so, in fact, that he did not see the trio of young gargoyles coming
"Here ya go, boy!" cried the smallest of the three, olive-green in color.
The gargoyle beast which accompanied them rushed for the youth, who was waving
a large ham above his head. Before he could claim his prize, however, the green
gargoyle hurled the chunk of meat to his nearest companion, a large aqua-blue
"I've got it!" the receiver exclaimed, grinning broadly. Immediately he tossed
the ham to the third member of the group, who caught it easily with a rust-colored
"Sorry, boy," he said in his low voice, seeing the beast lunge past the other
gargoyle's empty hand.
"This way!" called the green member.
The other two rushed in his direction as the gargoyle with the meat launched
it once more into the air. This time, the tiring beast had been watching carefully.
He leaped for the ham and caught it in midair with a contented grunt. However,
when he landed, he did so squarely on the chest of Goliath, sending the lavender
gargoyle reeling backwards and pinning him to the ground. Unaware that he had
done anything wrong, the gargoyle beast took his prize and retreated to a safe
distance, beginning to eat.
For a moment, the trio froze in horror, staring at Goliath, their leader, who
lay on the ground, stunned. At last, the blue-green youth made the first move.
"Goliath," he asked, "Are you all right?" He offered a hand.
The other gargoyle did not take it, and, having recovered his wind, got to
his feet. For a moment, he said nothing, while the three cowered in his unrelenting
gaze. Then, "If you three do not stop acting like hatchlings, you'll all be
sent to the rookery. Where you will miss the party."
At the last foreboding sentence, the youths' faces froze once again in horror.
"We're sorry!" They cried as one. "We won't do it again!"
Goliath gave an irritated sigh. He realized he was being harsh "Very well,"
he rumbled. "Go, and make yourselves useful."
"Yes, Goliath," they chorused, and moved on quickly.
The older gargoyle deepened his frown and resumed his walk to the stone wall.
The going this time was easy; the denizens around him seemed to have realized
that he was not in a proper mood, and avoided him. He reached the wall at last,
and dug his claws into it. The gargoyle had scaled it nearly to the halfway
point when he heard another crunch of stone below him. Looking down, he saw
that the gargoyle beast, having finished his meal, was following him eagerly.
"Very well," he said, more to himself than to the beast. "You may come; what
I require is silence, and you have no speech."
At the top of the high wall, Goliath helped the beast over the edge and onto
the walkway, then turned to look out over the ocean. Already, his head had begun
to clear, and the strange dream had all but disappeared. A guard, keeping watch,
strolled past him, and Goliath even went so far as to return the friendly "hello."
Next to him, the gargoyle beast gave a friendly yelp of joy and dashed from
side to side, excited but not wanting to leave Goliath's side. "What is it,
boy?" asked the lavender gargoyle absently, looking about for the cause of the
His eyes fell on a female gargoyle of pumpkin complexion coming towards them.
She smiled, almost childishly, and pointed to the contraption, a large wooden
box loaded with gears and springs perched awkwardly on her head. "My brother!"
she called. "It's finished! I..." she stopped short as Goliath grasped her face
between two large hands. "What?"
"You are alive!" rumbled Goliath in joyful surprise.
"And what else would I be?" she half-smiled, placing her hands on his wrists
and removing them from her face. "Oh, yes! That other... uh, device. You said
it would kill me yesterday when I went to try it out." For a moment, the box
on her head teetered on the edge of falling, but only pushed the large pair
of goggles which seemed permanently attached to her head down over her eyes.
She replaced them quickly with a short sigh of frustration, then went on. "Well,
you've no need to worry. I killed it instead. It wouldn't work!" She grinned
Goliath smiled slightly, and his head cleared momentarily. Of course she
wasn't dead! How could she be?
"I must go, my brother," she said, interrupting his thoughts. "This device
must be perfect before I present it to the Magus. He likes to look at my projects,
but he's a very harsh critic. Good night, Goliath!" with that, she passed him,
waving once over her shoulder.
Goliath watched her fade into the crowd, and smiled - even chuckled slightly,
when a BANG! erupted from the middle of a group of humans. The cluster
scattered, and left in the center of the walkway was the gargoyle and her contraption,
which now sported several new holes and broken, protruding springs. She turned
and waved again, assuring him with a slightly reddened face that she was all
right. She gathered the remnants of her project, and disappeared once again.
It was wonderful, Goliath thought as he watched her, to be living as he was.
Peace, friendliness, and justice flourished at the castle. He had his friends;
his Angel of the Night. Could he ask for anything more? Yes, his
mind seemed to answer. "But what?" he asked himself aloud. Enjoying himself
with the humans, he had almost forgotten about that emptiness inside of himself.
Almost. Now, he returned to it again, attempting to figure it out, but he only
frustrated himself further.
Goliath was so deep in thought that he jumped when a voice spoke behind him.
"Good evenin,' lad," said the hearty voice of his mentor. "Ah, there ye are,
y'scoundrel," he laughed, speaking to the gargoyle beast, who had been sitting
patiently behind Goliath. Now it stood and scratched furiously, then looked
up expectantly at the older gargoyle. "I've been searchin' for ye," he said.
"Hello... Old friend," rumbled Goliath slowly.
"Did I interrupt your thoughts, lad?" asked the other politely, a hint of a
smile on his face.
"I was hoping to escape for a while from... things," he replied indirectly.
"But you are never an unwelcome sight."
"Och, walk with me, then," the old soldier urged.
They fell into step around the battlements, the gargoyle beast bounding excitedly
about them. A second beast, a yellow male, then a third, a female, joined them,
gamboling at their feet. They were comfortably silent, enjoying the night together
as only old friends could, the only interruption that of the beasts' joyful
growls and barks.
That, even, proved to be too much for Goliath, who was trying to think. "Heel!"
he commanded sharply. Immediately, the beasts fell in place behind him, tails
turned downward at the reproach.
Next to him, the old gargoyle laughed heartily, both at Goliath's unnecessary
sternness and the gargoyle beast's hurried obedience. "Bronx is as excited as
any hatchling, tonight," he remarked. "And have you ever seen Argus and Boudicca
Goliath stopped in his tracks; he had to mentally stop his jaw from falling
open. "What?" he asked incredulously.
The leathery brown gargoyle furrowed his brow. "I said that these beasts here
are as excited as any hatchling tonight, with th' celebrations." He pointed
to his feet. Only the two male dogs trailed behind. The female had vanished.
Goliath stared at the gargoyle beasts, then ran a hand across his eyes.
"Are ye sure you're all right, lad? That lass of yours mentioned that you had
a strange dream. Perhaps that tree was a little heavier than we suspected."
Goliath shook his head, frowning. "I just need a little time."
"Yuir certain, then?"
"Well, I'd better be on my way. They'll be likely t' have my head if I'm not
on time." With that, the elder gargoyle strode off easily, raising his voice
in a hail as he spotted a human he needed to speak with up ahead. The gargoyle-beasts,
tails wagging excitedly, opted to follow the brown gargoyle.
Alone again, Goliath decided to head up to his spot on the topmost parapet,
where he could be completely alone in the time left to him. However, before
he even reached the doorway, he bumped into a young man. Though he did not recognize
the wiry human, the boy seemed to know him.
"'Hello!" he exclaimed, holding out a hand and smiling widely. "What a night,
eh?" he commented amiably.
"Ah," began Goliath, reaching to take the offered hand. However, the boy's
attentions had shifted, and he used the hand instead to slap the gargoyle heartily
on the shoulder.
"Knew you'd say that," he laughed, continuing to go in the direction he was
bound, walking backwards. "After the ceremony," he called. "Come down to the
kitchen, if ye'll be able t' get away. Eat and drink t'last a lifetime down
there. Bring th' young blue one, if ye like. G'night!" With that last hail,
he turned and ran, hurrying for whatever destination he was bound.
Stunned, Goliath stood still for a moment, digesting the whirlwind of a young
man. At last, he smiled, and continued on his way, feeling almost as if he were
the only being in the castle without somewhere to be. Of course, that would
not last long.
Up on the parapets, he was once again able to gaze out over the entire scene
that was the castle; so amazingly beautiful and calm from such a height. Shifting
his focus, his eyes widened to see the female knight who had struck him so oddly
earlier that evening. She was leaning against the rail on the high wall on one
of the battlements, apparently taking a break from her duties. She leaned halfway
over the edge, watching the water below. The bonfires in the castle lent an
orange tint to her raven hair, which now, in the open air, blew wildly about
her, as if she herself were the very North Wind.
Goliath shook his head. He looked around, and realized that he was crouched
on the edge of the parapet, as if he had been preparing for sunrise. How
long had he been sitting here, staring at her? He asked himself and realized
he did not know. Before he had time to puzzle the matter further, a joyful bark
reached his ears. The lavender gargoyle looked up just in time to see a gargoyle
beast approach the female from behind. At his bark, she spun, startled, and
lost her balance. Almost in slow motion, her slender form pitched over the side
of the stone wall, arms reaching for some hold, though they found none.
Instantly, Goliath was down and after her, wings catching the wind without
thought as he hurtled himself from the high tower. Quickly, as he reached the
wall, he folded his great wings back, streamlining himself for speed. So swift
was his action, in fact, that he almost missed the woman, who had stopped herself
halfway down the wall. Without wondering how she had done so, the gargoyle dug
his talons into the stonework, sliding several feet before coming to a stop
next to her.
He saw now that she had halted her fall by sticking her knife in among the
stones. His face showed silent approval at her quick thinking. She now hung
by the small weapon, gasping with relief and adrenaline. Looking over at the
gargoyle, she managed a quick smile, then gave a short, startled cry as the
knife gave slightly under the crumbling stone. A few dislodged fragments fell
and bounced off the side of the castle on their way down to the sea below.
Following the stone shards with his eyes, Goliath was momentarily taken aback
at how far below them the sea actually was; the distance seemed to fall away
beneath him. Had it always been so far? Immediately, he pulled his thoughts
back to the matter at hand. This was not the time to ponder such matters.
Easily, he caught the woman by the arm and tossed her onto his back. "Hold
on," he said simply, and began to climb.
Her arms cinched tightly around his neck; had he been a human, he would have
choked. He could feel her fear almost palpably where her trembling body touched
his own. "I, I don't believe this," she stuttered in spite of it, both at her
clumsiness in falling over the edge and at the fact that she was still alive.
Yet this comment did not dispel her nervousness, and her arms closed around
him even more tightly. The sea below them frightened her now; it had almost
been the end of her, and she did not want to fall again.
"Trust me," he rumbled; it was almost a command. As he climbed, her light frame
on his back, pulling slightly at his hair, Goliath was filled with an almost
overwhelming sensation of déjà vu, although, of course, he could
not say that any of this had happened to him before. And yet, the feeling persisted,
and he began to associate it somehow with the empty feeling that had plagued
him throughout the evening, though he knew not why.
At the top of the wall, Goliath, only after sliding over the edge to safety,
lifted the still clinging woman from his back and set her firmly on the ground.
Once she realized that she was no longer in danger of falling, the female guard
stepped back, slightly abashed. "Thank you," she said in her soft voice. "I
am in debt to you."
"It was... nothing," he responded awkwardly.
For a moment, she simply looked at him, then smiled slightly. She shot a glance
over a shoulder. "Um, looks like things are starting down there. Maybe we'd
"Ah ... yes," Goliath returned quickly.
"Well, uh, goodnight," she said, turning to walk away.
"Goodnight," he trailed off, looking after her. She turned for a moment when
she reached the doorway, her large, dark eyes meeting his. Then she was gone.
He glanced at the bright stars above and sighed; he was due to be down with
Princess Katharine and the Magus.
* * * * *
The two gargoyles slipped quietly into the room through hanging curtains, which
brought them to one side of a large banquet table. Seated on the same side was
Princess Katharine, holding the child Idante; next to her, an empty seat remained,
meant for the Magus. As Goliath pulled a large chair obviously intended for
him from the table and sat down, he noticed that in the center of the room mingled
twenty or so humans, all attired in the best that gold could buy.
Next to him, Katharine leaned over and whispered to Goliath and his mate, also
seated. "I'll be makin' an announcement t'the noblemen here, as soon as the
last has arrived. I just hope the Magus gets here in time!" Nervously, she glanced
at the empty chair at her side. "I've no idea where he is."
The large double doors on the other side of the room clunked woodenly and opened
at the weight of two doormen. "Ah," observed the princess. "They've arrived.
We'll have t' start without him, I'm afraid. Here, Goliath. Hold th' babe."
Quickly, she passed the child to a mildly surprised Goliath, and stood.
For a second, he glanced down at the boy's face. So much hope, promise.
Smoldering ashes and crumbled remains filled his vision.
The child smiled up at him and gurgled happily. "No..." he whispered. He dumped
the tender armful into his mate's lap and stood clumsily. Dimly, in the back
of his mind, he heard a ringing voice, announcing the arrival of the last nobleman:
"Lord David of Bar Harbor, and his lady wife, Jeanine. Attended by their manservant,
Sir Owen, the Indispensable."
Goliath lurched from the room, feeling ill. As he stumbled through the empty
hallways, taking random turns, he spoke to himself frustrated. "Life is good,
perfect," he urged his disobedient mind, clenching a fist. "Why must I be tortured
with such false visions? Why these dark thoughts?" He remembered his sadness
at the thought of little Angela growing up. "Why should she not grow up in peace
and innocence?" he demanded of himself. His mind was not forthcoming with answers.
And then there was the knight. The woman. She was the only thing that seemed
clear in the muddle that was his mind, but at the same time, unfitting. He knew
her not; why should he be fixated with her so? Somewhere, they had met before:
this, and only this, was certain. He clutched at the thought, determined that
it would not escape him.
Promptly, Goliath found himself in one of the many arch-like doorways which
were connected to the main dining hall. On his right was the low dais, which
had been decorated with one in many tables scattered with platters of food.
There was no room for chairs; everyone stood. The small stage being higher,
he could plainly see all who stood upon it. For a moment, his troubled eyes
remained unfocused, until at last he caught a familiar glint: the female guardian's
small dagger, which she was using to peel a piece of fruit. As the first time
he had seen her, she leaned gracefully against a table. However, she now wore
a slender, well-fitting velvet dress which glowed softly of rubies. A delicate,
masterfully-crafted belt hung about her waist, and contained in it a decorative
hilt for the knife.
For a moment, a head of white hair obscured his vision; the missing Magus.
Only then did Goliath notice the trio of adolescent gargoyles standing beside
The large one grinned happily, gathering an armload of food. Apparently making
a joke, the small green member took an empty basket from the table and offered
it. To his surprise, his companion accepted it, oblivious to the jibe, and began
to fill it with food. Rolling his eyes, the rust-colored gargoyle turned, as
if to seek entertainment elsewhere.
A gentle, taloned hand alighted upon Goliath's shoulder, and he turned his
head to see his mate; she had followed him.
"Tell me, what is wrong? You look as if your mind has been caught in some other
The gargoyle rumbled lowly, and was about to respond when he glanced back to
the dais. Quickly, his eyes found the one with the basket: with a polite, willing
expression, he had begun pouring wine for the Magus and the woman. He had pushed
the basket further up his arm to get it out of the way, but in one moment, it
slid down. In a crash of silver and a splash of wine, the dark red wine saturated
Goliath saw blood.
The green-blue gargoyle, attempting vainly to regain his offset balance, bumped
the female knight, who stepped backwards. For a moment, she herself teetered
on the edge of falling, and did not succeed in regaining composure. For a slow
moment, she grasped at the white, outstretched hand of the Magus, and missed.
With a deafening roar which seemed itself to clear a path, Goliath was on the
dais, and the knight was in his arms. In the background, her dagger clattered
loosely as it hit the stone.
He crouched to leap with her, out of the hall. He knew not where. Somewhere,
to someone who could heal her, stop the bleeding. As his wings billowed, the
gargoyle felt a gentle, confident hand upon his face, and he stopped.
"Thank you," she said quietly, firmly, swinging one leg to the floor. "For
catching me. Again." She smiled, and he met her soft brown eyes.
In an instant, he knew she was well. There was no blood. Only sticky, sweet
wine, which now stained his own skin. And somehow, she knew. She understood,
though he himself did not. "You... we... us," he stammered, confused.
The beautiful woman put a tender hand to his lips. "Thank you," she said again,
quietly, and stepped from his arms. Breaking the moment, she looked around,
then down at her stained garment. "I think I'll go change," she announced.
The green-blue gargoyle, deeply mortified, set down his basket and bowed deeply.
"If, ... if you would allow me, milady, I will escort you to your room," he
said tentatively, making it a question.
"Certainly," she said, taking his arm and smiling kindly at the clumsy gargoyle.
"No harm done."
He watched her, frozen as the two stepped down from the dais and through an
open archway. In the background, the healthy buzz of the crowd slowly climbed
as everyone returned to what they had been doing.
"Oh my," said the Magus, next to Goliath.
The gargoyle turned to the thin man, who was peering at his wristwatch.
"I was supposed to... Katharine...oh, pardon me, Goliath," he rushed. With
that, he was pushing through the crowd to the doorway Goliath had entered through.
Goliath turned, absently, to follow him with his eyes. Instead, a fiery mane
obstructed his view. He forced his eyes to focus on her puzzled face. "Goliath,"
she said gently, managing to hold all annoyance from her voice. "What has come
over you? Wine was spilled upon the human's dress; she lost her balance." She
gestured to where the woman had stood, "But that did not require such alarm!
Beyond that: what sent you from the reception room so quickly? Katharine is
worried, as am I. Are you certain you are well?"
"Ah, my love," he rumbled apologetically, "I am distracted tonight; by what,
I must confess I do not know. Strange, horrible visions fill my head without
reason. I can only hope another day's sleep will bring things right."
"These images. From your dream?"
"Yes; they hold my mind. The trials I have faced in Manhattan seem so terribly
real," his brow furrowed, remembering. As he spoke, his dreams became more clearly
defined; organized. "Compared to them, the events of this evening seem no more
than a wonderful dream."
"This... 'Manhattan' would seem to be a terrible place, Love. Why would a nightmare
world hold such attraction for you when you are so happy here? Should you not
want to forget it?"
"This is the reason for my confusion," he answered. "I do not know why. But...
things were not all bad. Most of the humans hunted us, but a few... were very
kind." At once, the female guardian's face flashed before his eyes. He noted
this, but pushed it to the back of his mind for later contemplation with a shake
of his head.
The female gargoyle did not resign her puzzled expression, but lay her head
against Goliath's chest. "I do not understand, my love," she said, "But I will
wait until you have puzzled this out for yourself. In the meantime," she added,
"Perhaps you might keep this to yourself? The rest of the clan is beginning
"You are right, my angel. Tonight is a night to celebrate, and we shall. These
worries can wait for tomorrow, for future cares have future cures. Tonight,
we have no cares."
Smiling, the female lifted her head and smiled. "All is well, then, love. Let
us walk about the entire hall, and greet everyone!"
And so they did, laughing and talking and feasting with every being, known
or unknown, for all were friends on this night. Yet still, throughout it all,
Goliath's eyes remained distant, and at times he was forced to ask people to
repeat what they had said. At last, halfway around the room, his mate excused
herself, saying she had something to attend to. Goliath, distracted as he was,
did not ask what, and they agreed to meet in the courtyard in a half an hour.
Without the female at his side, Goliath found it increasingly difficult to
focus on the conversation at hand. When at last he leaned to secure a piece
of fruit and found the bowl which held it to be plastic Tupperware, he politely
retreated from the cheerful group and headed outside. On the way, he glanced
to his left and glimpsed a shock of flame-red hair. The female was speaking
with his mentor; both looked concerned. He could guess easily the topic of their
conversation, but did not interrupt them, knowing that his love was only concerned
for him. He would wait for her where she had specified.
The courtyard had, once again, filled with humans and gargoyles, bubbling over
from the crowded dining hall. Upon the platform which had earlier been used
for the ceremonies, a band of musicians played a lively tune. In a loose circle
around them, a few dozen beings stepped and whirled to the music with joy. For
a moment, before they spun lightning-like back into the fray, Goliath glimpsed
a smaller pair among the group: his daughter and the young squire, dancing together.
He smiled faintly for a moment, and then the expression was lost as his eyes
fell upon another older couple. It was the female guard, paired with a tall,
red-haired knight. They remained for a time on the edge of the crowd, and Goliath
observed that the woman had changed out of her stained gown. She now wore a
beautiful yellow dress, which, he was certain, must be the color of the rising
sun, as he had so often strained to see as the dawn imprisoned him in stone.
The dress, though lovely, was strange to his eyes, unlike any that he had seen
the other women of the court wearing. The golden-brown skin of her shoulders
remained visible, trimmed delicately with material which seemed just to balance
on the brink of sliding down her arms. She wore similarly colored gloves that
ended at her upper arms, and the skirt of her dress fell gracefully outwards
in all directions.
"My brother!" greeted a deep voice warmly. "Surely I have never known a happier
night in my life. It is good that we can share it."
Goliath turned to see his dusty-blue rookery brother. His mate was not at his
side; evidently she was detained elsewhere. "Brother," he said, without really
hearing what the other gargoyle had said. "Tell me; who is that man, dancing
with the woman in the golden dress?"
"That one?" the gargoyle pointed just as the two slipped back into the crowd,
and Goliath nodded. "Sir Matthew the Bluestone, comrade in arms to the Lady
Elisa. Why do you ask?"
Goliath shook his head slightly, dismissing the question. "Yes," he said to
himself. "Elisa..." the name rolled gently from his tongue. "Elisa," he said,
* * * * *
Hesitantly, Elisa touched Goliath's stone form. "Goliath," she called quietly,
hoping somehow that her voice would wake him. She snuck a quick glance at Angela,
and saw that the young female was on the edge of tears. Sata, children clinging
to one side, took Elisa's glance as a cue and moved to comfort the girl. Brooklyn
simply looked frustrated.
"We can't think of anything," he said as Elisa, Hudson, Broadway, Lexington,
Xanatos, and Owen tightened into a small ring. He shot a sideways glance at
Angela and lowered his voice. "I don't like to suggest this, but we might have
to drop in on Demona. She's stayed away from us for a while, but at this point,
we have to accept the fact that she's not exactly an angel."
"Or an Angela," whispered Broadway. "If we ever find out who did this, I'm
gonna rip them to pieces."
"You and me both, pal," muttered Elisa. She looked up meaningfully at Xanatos.
"Yuir forgettin' we've another suspect as well: This Mavis O'Connor," interjected
Hudson, attempting to diffuse the tense situation. "The lass has said she doesn't
trust her. In any case, we might need t'drop in on Demona even if she didn't
do it. -Yuir also forgettin' that she knows sorcery."
Xanatos cleared his throat. "Perhaps that won't be necessary," he said.
"Meaning?" Elisa shot. Inside, her heart was being torn apart, but she wasn't
about to let Xanatos in on that fact. She masked herself instead with anger.
"Meaning Alex might need to have his magic lesson outside tonight," he returned
calmly, raising an eyebrow and glancing suggestively at Owen.
The manservant lowered his eyelids slightly as if the world in general bored
him. "Point taken, sir," he half dead-panned, removing his glasses. "If I could
have the boy...?"
Lexington, who had been holding Alex in a wind-sheltered place between his
wings, carefully surrendered the child, who already bore a very strong resemblance
to his father, to Owen's single arm.
The man lowered his head momentarily, and blonde hair grew long and snow-white.
"Whew!" exclaimed a voice seconds later. "The stiff-man act has its high points,
but it can really wear on a guy. You're becoming less and less exciting, David
m'boy, since you dropped the evil villain bit. Let me out more often and I'll
see if I can drum up some excitement, hmmm?" He smiled widely.
Xanatos ignored the jibe, but Elisa stepped in to fill his place. "Get on with
it or put your glasses back on and go shuffle papers."
"We-ell," he returned haughtily, levitating Alex and spreading wide his arms,
"If you're going to put it that way... Look here, Alex m'boy," he whined, pointing
to Goliath. "See the funny glow? Yesss, I thought so," he stroked his chin thoughtfully
then shrugged. "Well, lesson over." He levitated himself and Alex upside down
and the boy giggled happily.
"What?" Elisa protested, stepping forward. "Aren't you going to do something?"
Puck shrugged again, bouncing slightly in midair. "He's asleep," he explained,
as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "You could try kissing him,
I suppose." He levitated himself to eye level with the detective and grinned
wickedly with delight.
Elisa turned her back in disgust, folding her arms. "This is no time for jokes,
Trickster." She turned to face him again. "I don't know which one of your split
personalities I dislike most..." she trailed off when she realized that the
whole clan was looking at her expectantly. Elisa's face reddened, but when she
saw Angela's hopeful look she crossed the stone circle to Goliath. Lifting herself
to fit easily into his lap, she remembered how just that morning she had sat,
leaning against him and waiting for the sun to rise...
* * * * *
Goliath crouched on the edge of the parapet, still, although he had not yet
been turned to stone. Elisa, approaching quietly, saw that his eyes were distant,
and knew that he was thinking of things long past. She stood at his back for
a moment, watching as his shoulders rose and fell minutely as he breathed, and
wished, as always, that there were some way she could console him. Almost always,
Goliath's mind was focused on the present, but there were times when he allowed
himself to drift back to his former life and all that it had held. She sighed
quietly, wishing that there was some way she might ease his pain.
Hearing her soft breath, Goliath turned slightly and rumbled in welcome.
She climbed up onto the battlement next to him, and he shifted, putting his
arms around her to keep her from falling as she placed herself in his ample
lap. They sat for a while, watching the brightening horizon, until at last Elisa
said, "Penny for your thoughts."
The gargoyle rumbled softly, deep in his chest, and Elisa pushed her ear against
his skin to feel the warm, satisfying vibrations. "I... was thinking. Of old
friends, long gone." He clenched a fist. "At times..." he stopped, unable to
find the words to finish.
Elisa put her hands, small in comparison, around his fist, and it relaxed to
her gentle touch, then moved to caress her face. "You wish you could be back
there," she finished quietly.
"Yes," he said reluctantly, letting out a breath.
The detective pushed herself to an upright sitting position so that she could
look the gargoyle in the face. "Goliath," she began, placing her hand over his,
"If... you ever want to tell me about them you can."
They were silent again, and when the sun at last shed its first rays upon the
land, Goliath's eyes were still far away.
* * * * *
Elisa touched his face, cold and hard in the moonlight, and her heart hammered
in her chest. Maybe it would work. "Come back to us, Goliath. Come back to me,"
she whispered fiercely, and kissed him, pressing her lips against the smooth
Nothing happened, and she slid from his lap, disappointed and a little embarrassed.
"I guess that only works in fairy tales," she sighed as her eyes slid to the
Offended, the fay trickster gave her a reproachful look and turned back into
Owen, Alex still hanging in the air. Xanatos, who had been standing back slightly,
dove for his son as Puck's magic dissolved. He landed on his stomach, but felt
no weight impact his outstretched arms.
Owen coughed lightly. "Sir?" he offered the child, whom he had caught expertly
with one arm. Xanatos, feeling no need to be ashamed for attempting to protect
his son, stood and took the child without even dusting off his suit. Owen calmly
returned his glasses to their rightful position.
The billionaire suddenly had the odd impression that he was being repaid for
his earlier intrusion in the nursery.
Elisa ran a hand through her thick hair and went with Broadway to sit with
Angela, knowing neither of them wanted to think about what came next.
* * * * *
Ignoring the questioning glance of his rookery brother, Goliath made his way
across the courtyard, his eyes fastened upon the spot where she had last been.
When he reached his destination, he stood upon the spot and cast his gaze about,
searching for her among the revelers. For a moment, he caught a golden glimpse,
and then it was gone. "Elisa," he called again, urgently.
The crowd parted before him.
Not ten feet away, her lovely face smiled up at him. Before he could move,
she hurried to him, grasped his hands, and pulled him into the crowd as a new
tune began. They spun, almost dizzyingly, and the rest of the world blurred
in the background. She smiled again, and met his eyes. This time, she did not
look away. They danced on and on, into forever, it seemed, and Goliath was content
to forget everything but the woman before him. At last, sadly, he sensed that
the music had begun to descend, and spoke.
"You," he began softly. "We have danced before."
But she cut him off without a word, and Goliath did not care. He had found
that which filled the emptiness within, that which made him whole. They drew
close and kissed, and nothing else mattered...
* * * * *
Elisa gave another worried sigh that ended in an exclamation of surprise as
Goliath's stone form cracked and broke into a thousand pieces. With a tremendous
roar, he seemed at once to expand upward and outward, causing the others around
him to duck to avoid flying shards of stone.
Goliath, only slightly bewildered, stepped from his post and went to Elisa,
who leaned thankfully against him. Tears clearing from her eyes, Angela stepped
up to her father and was welcomed with a comforting arm. Inside, a huge weight
lifted from the girl's chest. "Everything's all right!" She announced joyfully.
Next to her, Broadway was the first to give voice.
"He always was slow at recognizing a good thing," he said, looking at Elisa.
The newly wakened gargoyle purpled slightly, and Hudson widened his eyes at
Broadway. "The lad's right, y'know," he said, mildly.
"What happened? Are you all right?" The clan's voices mingled together as relief
gave way to curiosity.
Goliath put a hand to his head and rubbed it. His mind was still a little muddled,
but he was now certain of what was real and what was not. "I am... not quite
sure. I had a wonderful dream, but I knew... somehow, that I was not meant to
be there." In turn, he looked at each member of his clan. "But you were all
there," he said slowly. At last, his eyes rested on Elisa, and remained there.
"You... brought me back. Led the way..." he rumbled, drifting off as they met
gazes. Again, for Goliath, the rest of the world seemed to drift away.
Angela, as discreetly as she could, slipped out from under her father's arm
and went to Broadway, smiling gently. She tugged at his hand.
In the moment of silence that prevailed, Hudson quickly motioned everyone down
the stairway. Angela's smile widened, and she followed on the heels of the elder
gargoyle. At last, only Goliath and Elisa remained, alone.
* * * * *
Garlon stood, watching from afar, sickened as the woman and the gargoyle embraced.
His employers would not be happy. Eyes now no more than slits, he pulled a cellular
phone from his pocket and pressed the auto-dial button. Almost immediately,
there was an answer.
"Yes?" demanded a sharp, anticipating voice.
"He has awakened."
* * * * *
"Blazes!" the dark-haired woman punched the "off" button viciously, then tossed
the cell phone over her shoulder in disgust. So intense was her anger that she
let it clatter to the floor, spilling its electronic insides. Her eyes glowed
green, and she turned to the dark man sitting calmly in the straight-backed
chair by the fire. "It dinnae work," she told him, fuming. "I knew that I needed
more time t' perfect th' formula!" She clenched her fists, nails biting savagely
into her palms. "You were in such a hurry..."
"Tut-tut, my dear Mavis," he interrupted coolly, the flickering firelight illuminating
his face eerily in the dark room. "...There is always another night and a new
* * * * *
"Elisa," Goliath breathed softly, holding her now at arm's length. "Elisa,"
he said again, as though it were some magic incantation which would grant him
his heart's desire and for him, it truly was. "Elisa, I," he stopped short,
words incapable of expressing his emotions. He reconciled himself at last to
the fact, and put a gentle hand upon her face, moving it down her cheek to lift
her chin. Her dark brown eyes, filled with assurance, met his own. "It was...
so easy to believe you nothing but a dream, my sweet Elisa," he found himself
She smiled and fell into his arms, and he held her tightly, knowing that somehow,
impossibly, she understood. Of course, he suddenly realized. It is love which
makes us understand; love which eases pain; love, which conquers all. Before
they fell into a moonlit silence, he spoke once more: "I love you, and that
is something I would not change for a thousand years."