Past Perfect

Written By: Nicole Biggers and Kathy Pogge

Outline By: Laura Ackerman and Kathy Pogge


Previously on Gargoyles...

"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."

~ Goliath to Elisa "Perchance to Dream"


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... But what?

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 assume?"

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 anticipating something.

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 too slowly.

"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 shower.


"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. What else?"

"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 nonchalantly.

"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 excitedly.

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 being.

The green gargoyle hopped on one foot, frustrated. "Goliath!" he wailed. "He called me a dweeb!" He looked around. "Goliath?"

"Lads!" called a voice from above them, harshly.

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 sleep.

"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 kids?"

"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 me..."

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 me."


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 computer console.

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. How-"

"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 details."

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 later.

"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 dual wheels.

"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 blue.

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 you were."

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.

"All right."


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 Goliath."

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' ask."

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 to her.

"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 visibly.

"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 excited crowd.

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, eyes closed.

"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 life."

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 of voices.

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 listen.

"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 title.

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 at all.

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 way."

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 fulfil 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 travelling 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 thoughts.

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 his way.

"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 male.

"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 arm.

"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 beast's excitement.

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 fiendishly.

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 so frisky?"

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 better..."

"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.


Broken promises.

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 pair.

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 place."

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 red velvet.

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 to worry."

"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, out loud.


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...


Last Night

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 stone surface.

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 flagstones.

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 plan."


"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 saying.

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."


The End