All characters appearing in Gargoyles and Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles are copyright Buena Vista Television/The Walt Disney Company.No infringement of these copyrights is intended and is not authorized by the copyright holder.
Timeline – December 1996
Overview – Goliath and Elisa’s first Christmas together with a little Cagney thrown in to
keep things interesting
Rated – PG
Snow fell softly through the winter night, almost hiding the dark figure that glided through the flakes, on his way to visit the most important human in his life.Goliath’s wings dipped and flared, instinctively adjusting to the change in air currents.He was looking forward to this evening.Elisa had invited him over to ‘Trim the Tree’ with her.
His first reaction had been confusion.Why would she be pruning a tree at this time of year?His second was that Elisa didn’t have any trees, she lived in an apartment.Seeing his confusion, the raven-haired Detective had patiently explained.She was inviting him over to help her decorate her Christmas tree.That explanation had led to several hours spent in the Castle library researching this new human custom.Only him.He growled softly, no Clan, it would be just the two of them.
At the same time that the huge gargoyle was gliding towards her apartment, Elisa Maza stood by the skylight waiting for him, customary black t-shirt replaced by a red knit sweater.She was looking forward to tonight.She rarely had a chance to be alone with Goliath.She let out a sigh and crossed her arms.She still wasn’t sure what her feelings were or where they would lead.Like everyone, she had moments where she was sure it was love and others when she seriously doubted the feeling.Anyway, she thought re-focusing on the falling snow, tonight was just a time to have a little fun.It would be nice to have someone to help decorate and she was feeling the Christmas spirit more this year.After years of halfhearted efforts, a small tree, gifts for family and close friends and the customary family obligations, she really felt like it was Christmas.
There, the spot of light with the slender silhouette in the window.He dipped his wings, angling down towards the balcony.The huge gargoyle landed lightly his arrival throwing up puff of powdery snow.The skylight slid open and she stood beckoning to him.
“Hey Big Guy” she greeted “Now get in here before I freeze”
The big lavender gargoyle cracked a smile.Carefully, he shook his wings to dislodge the light accumulation of snow and stepped inside.Elisa shut the window behind him and found herself quickly folded into his wings.
“Ack!” she exclaimed escaping his embrace
Goliath froze.Had he done something wrong?
“You’re cold and wet” she accused with a glint in her eye as she tossed him a towel “At least dry off before you do that.”
Relaxing, relieved he hadn’t done anything that would offend her; he dried his wings and folded the towel, placing it on the coffee table as he followed her into the apartment.Elisa gave him a hug “Much better”
He smiled, wings wrapping around her.She seemed to have that effect on him.He found himself smiling more in her company that anywhere else.
“Ready to get started?”
The lavender male nodded, releasing her; curious about this ritual he’d read about.There was a meow from behind them
“Forget it cat” Elisa called to the gray feline sitting beside the window, clearly wanting out, as they went towards the front door.Cagney abandoned his place by the window and bounded over to the door, standing on his hind legs, paws on the door, looking back at his person and meowing again.
“No” said Elisa
He meowed again
Elisa chose to ignore her pets’ pleas and returned her attention to her guest.
Giving her a dirty glare, the gray cat dropped back to all fours, watching with narrowed yellow eyes.
Goliath turned his attention from the cat to the large pine tree that was propped up against the wall.It was large close to his height, with full thick boughs, tied with a white cord. He glanced from it to her then back again.
“How did you get it inside?” he wondered
“It wasn’t easy,” she admitted, shaking her head, “but I convinced Matt to give me a hand”
Her partner had asked why she needed such a big tree as they’d struggled to wedge the thing into the elevator and she’d just shrugged, saying that as a kid they’d always had a big tree.He’d rolled his eyes.Knowing you, she’d retorted, you probably have a 3-foot fake one.White too, was his smug reply as he hit the button for her floor.Then it had been her turn to roll her eyes.
Elisa mentally shook herself, returning to the present
“Now that you’re here, we can get it set up properly” she began “If you can pick it up” she knew a simple tree would be almost nothing for someone who could hurl small cars “And bring it into the living room, I’ll get the stand”
The big gargoyle nodded and grasped the pine by its trunk.It wasn’t heavy but it was awkward.Goliath didn’t see the gray streak that bounded passed his feet.
Elisa met him and knelt, directing him as she maneuvered the stump into the holder, quickly tightening the brackets.At her instruction, Goliath used his talons to cut the cord freeing the branches.She surveyed the effect and knelt again
“Would you hand me the clippers?” she asked, waving at the tool sitting on the coffee table.Goliath did as she asked, keeping an eye on the upright tree, not wanting it to fall on her.Elisa grunted, squeezing the tool with both hands, taking off a couple of the lower branches and rose, placing them and the tool, locked closed, on the coffee table.
“Well, what do you think?”
He was silent, dubiously eyeing the tree.Making certain that it wasn’t going to topple.Real trees had roots, this, this had a small metal stand.
Elisa grinned, dusting her hands off on her jeans as she rose.“It’s not going to fall over Big Guy” she assured.Well, she amended to herself, as long as Cagney doesn’t try to climb it.She glanced quickly around the apartment and spotted the gray cat doing his bread loaf impression on ‘his’ chair.He blinked and yawned, looking completely innocent.Like I’m buying it cat she thought sourly.
“Now what?” he asked the small human at his side
“I’ll water it then you can help me with the decorations” Elisa she said as she headed for the kitchen.That made sense he thought, you had to water cut flowers, so why should a cut tree be any different?
With the tree set up, the big gargoyle followed her down the short hall and accepted the boxes that were thrust into his arms.The good thing about help, she thought as they returned to the living room laden with decorations, is that it only takes one trip.“Now” she explained setting her boxes on the couch then helping Goliath with his “We start with the lights” Elisa rummaged through one of his boxes and held up a rather tangled string of tiny bulbs.She sighed; no matter how carefully she put them away the year before, they always managed to get tied into knots.Goliath raised his brow in question.“We have to untangle them first” He nodded and caught the string in his massive hands, careful not to crush the tiny bulbs.Each working from an end they managed to get the lights quickly unknotted.
Cagney watched from his chair, the sway of the dangling cord catching his attention.Standing and stretching, the gray cat leaped lightly to the floor.Pacing forward on soft paws, not noticed by his person or the big gargoyle as he crouched under the coffee table.
Large yellow eyes followed the jerky movement of the cord.Waiting, waiting…
“Cagney!” Elisa scolded as a gray paw batted at the dangling lights.He didn’t listen, or didn’t care, probably the latter.Quickly she lifted the string above her head “blasted cat” she muttered, cursing the fact that her hands were full.Goliath looked down at the intruder that was trying to eat the cord.Obviously, from Elisa’s reaction, the feline wasn’t supposed to be doing this.He grinned, his hands may have been full but.His tail swept under the table, chasing Elisa’s pet away.
Cagney scurried away from the strange living thing that had tried to attack him.Retreating to the safety of his chair.
She shook her head glaring at her pet “Let’s get them on the tree before he comes back”
Putting the lights on the tree was so much easier with help, she thought then grinned, even better when the help can almost reach around the widest part of the entire tree.
“No, here” Elisa laughed as Goliath wound the string tightly around the trunk “Just lay them lightly on the boughs so we can see them” she corrected.The gargoyle did as he was instructed and with one on either side of the tree, the lights took no time at all to hang.
Satisfied that the thing that had chased him was gone, Cagney again dropped softly to the floor creeping forward to crouch under the coffee table.
Cagney had returned but Elisa ignored him.Sometimes he would get bored and go away on his own.I suppose I could lock him in my room, she thought bending down to plug in the lights, but that would mean I have to catch him.And her cat had that amazing ability that all felines seem to possess that told them when their people meant to lock them away.Goliath had noticed the cats return as well and flicked his tail at him again.
Cagney backpedaled but stopped when the thing didn’t follow, again creeping forward and taking up a ready crouch.
Elisa noticed, “I wouldn’t do that” she advised her friend “he might decide that your tail is a toy and scratch you”
The lights came on and they stepped back to admire the twinkling multi-colored lights.She changed a couple of burnt out bulbs, thankful that she didn’t have one of those strings that when one bulb burnt out, the whole string went dead.Who ever invented those was an idiot; she thought returning to the boxes on the couch.Goliath joined her, admiring the sparkling contents.“Now” she said, holding up a couple of glass balls “These go anywhere on the tree, except on the lower branches or else my cat” she glared at the creature who was reaching a gray paw towards the lit tree.Cagney knew that tone and retreated to safety under the coffee table, blinking innocent yellow eyes at her “will play with and break them” she continued.Goliath eyed the cat too.And when he thought Elisa wasn’t looking, flicked his tail at him again.Elisa did notice and sighed inwardly.It appeared that Goliath was going to have to learn the hard way.
Each taking a couple of ornaments they began to hang the shimmering items on the evergreen.After a couple of trips back and forth, Elisa discovered that his wings made a great place to hang ornaments conveniently.He had started to object but she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.He could endure anything, even the itchy prick of the wire ornament hooks, for a kiss.
Cagney abandoned his waiting crouch and stalked over to the couch.Leaping up onto the cushions, he sniffed the boxes, occasionally rubbing a cheek against the corners.Peering over the edge, then standing on his hind legs with paws on the edge so he could see better.They were filled with strange smelling things.He dropped back to the couch and gathering himself, leaped in.His landing wasn’t what he’d expected.Crunchy soft.The gray cat sniffed and looked over the edge.Seeing his person otherwise occupied, he returned to his exploration.Something rolled against a paw under the strange stuff.He batted and it moved.Tail twitched and ears followed the noise.He pounced, claws scrabbling against the cardboard, intent on catching whatever it was.
Goliath’s sharp ears picked up the sound and he turned.
“What is it?” she asked following his gaze.A gray tail lashed madly and the box shook.At the sound of her voice, the sound stopped and yellow eyes regarded her; a piece of garland draped over one ear.He shook his head, dislodging it and sniffed
“Cagney” she groaned.It would have been cute; in fact it was, until he started trying to eat the garland.Then it was dangerous.“Alright cat” she fished him out of the box “you know you’re not supposed to eat that.”He squirmed out of her arms and leaped to the floor, glaring at her for interrupting his hunt, before stalking away.She sighed turning back to Goliath who had watched the exchange silently.As much as a pest as he was sometimes, she thought, she did love him.
“It would appear that all pets have their moments when they seem to delight getting into trouble” the big gargoyle observed.Elisa just nodded.
Several times, she caught her pet stalking an ornament, the tree or Goliath’s tail.Usually he was deterred by her voice or the snap of the gargoyle’s tail
“He’s going to get you eventually” she advised the gargoyle as Cagney retreated from his latest attempt.
Goliath just grinned and coiled his tail around his ankle.His entertainment gone, the feline left to find something else to amuse himself with.
Goliath found he was enjoying himself.Some of the ornaments were fascinating, so delicate and tiny.Elisa would explain when he asked about certain ornaments.Some were gifts or things that she’d collected over the years.Then she’d vanished back into the bedroom, returning a moment later with an unopened box.
“I usually buy at least one new ornament each year” she explained opening the box “Something that kind of symbolizes the last year” she withdrew the figurine.A couple sitting together in a boat “For new adventures and new love” she explained shyly, hanging the new ornament.He rumbled in agreement and draped his wings around her, arms lightly circling her waist.
“Is it finished?” he asked softly
“Not quite” she escaped his embrace and returned to the couch, picking up a small box that he had noticed her set aside.“I always leave this for last” she said softly as she opened it, withdrawing a coffee skinned angel with raven hair.It was beautiful he thought admiring the deep amethyst dress and white-feathered wings.
“Mom gave this to me my first Christmas away from home” she smiled and held it out to him “I’d like you to put it on the tree”
Goliath shook his head “I am honored you would ask Elisa, but it is your tradition”
“I can’t reach the top Goliath” she smiled
He remedied that situation, grasping her hips and easily lifting her.Elisa grinned hugely and set the angel on top “Now it’s finished” she said as her feet touched the ground again.
The big gargoyle nodded in satisfaction, eyes drifting back to the boxes on the couch. “What do we do with the rest?”
She frowned briefly “When I first moved out, I used to decorate the whole house, but with my job, I’m home less and less and it just seemed like a waste of time.”
She grinned and raised a brow “Well, it seems like I get a lot of visitors lately and now that I have help and don’t have to climb a ladder to reach the roof…”
He grinned in return, picking up a strand of garland “So where do we start?”
The rest of the apartment was quickly decorated.Wreath on the door, Candles on the counter and mantle, as well more lights around the window, safely out of Cagney’s reach.Of course, that didn’t deter the cat from attacking the cord as they were hung, she sighed as Goliath’s tail swept him away.The big gargoyle even came up with a nice arrangement of ribbon and the sawed off evergreen boughs to hang outside, to greet her winged visitors.
Goliath was returning an unused pine garland it it’s box when he spotted something familiar.Something he had read about.With a grin he hooked it on one wing talon and strode over to Elisa
“Where does this go?” he asked, extending the adorned wing
“What?” she turned saw nothing in his hands; the sly grin and looked up.Hanging from the wing talon was a cluster of fake mistletoe.I thought I got rid of that, she thought shaking her head in disbelief.Standing on tiptoe, Elisa reached up and kissed him lightly on the cheek.He rumbled and caught her “That’s not entirely right” and kissed her firmly on the lips.She felt her knees grow weak.Oh god, she thought as he released her with a smug grin.Quickly she regained her composure and she snatched the greenery from his wing.Still slightly stunned by the kiss, her mind wandered off at the possibilities.No, she told herself firmly, they had agreed to take it slow.Still, he was getting very good at kissing.
“Happy?” she asked with a grin.He nodded taking the plastic plant from her and hanging it over the fireplace as she returned to the couch and began to pack the unused decorations away, wondering where he’d learned about that.Probably from one of the books in the library, she decided.The purple gargoyle helped her put the remaining decorations back into the boxes then return them to the hall closet.
“So hot chocolate or cider?” she asked heading for the kitchen “Hot chocolate” he replied finding matches and lighting the candles around the room.The lights were turned out when she returned, leaving only the soft candle glow and twinkle of the Christmas tree. They settled onto the couch with their drinks and Elisa curled up to his side.Cagney had returned and was now sitting in front of the tree.His person watched carefully from her comfortable position under Goliath’s wing as he stretched his head towards it, sniffing.Sniffing was okay but,
“Hsst!” her harsh hiss startled the reclining gargoyle.
Cagney withdrew his paw, turning towards them and blinking slowly.Then with a bored yawn and back arching stretch, stalked away.
“Sorry” the woman apologized.Goliath rumbled and leaned back again, letting Elisa resume her position.Mugs were set aside and his dark wings completely enveloped her as they settled in to do some cuddling.The lavender giant nuzzled her hair, enjoying being alone with her.His tail twitched as Elisa tucked her head under his chin.
The sharp movement captured Cagney’s attention.The feline crouched watching.More jerky movement.He darted behind the chair, continuing to watch.A darker shadow slunk around the apartment, using furniture to hide his approach.He crouched beside the couch, eyes tracking the movement, waiting, waiting…
This was nice; Elisa thought, the perfect way to end a wonderful evening.She shifted, looking up at Goliath.His eyes met hers and he rumbled, leaning down.
Waiting, waiting, Now!
His low, soft rumble turned into a startled and pained roar, eyes flashing white.Elisa jerked back startled by his reaction causing, missing the gray cat that streaked away.
“What?” she asked willing her heart to stop it’s frantic beat and the ringing in her ears to cease
The big gargoyle growled, twitching his tail into his hands, glaring at the culprit.Elisa followed his gaze to her cat, who crouched behind his chair, contriving to look innocent of whatever he was accused of doing.She couldn’t help it.She laughed, earning her a dirty glare from both the gray cat and the lavender gargoyle.
“It’s not funny” he growled
“I’m sorry” she said wiping tears from her eyes “but I did warn you”
Goliath huffed, still looking sour
“Here, let me see.”He let her take his tail and examine it.Now she felt bad about laughing.Cagney had gotten him good.The lavender skin was marred by long bleeding scratches.“Bad Cagney!” she scolded the feline.He blinked, straightened and proceeded to groom himself.“Wait here” Elisa rose and came back with a cool, wet cloth.Taking the injured appendage in her hands again, she gently cleaned wounds inflicted by her cat.“There” she placed a soft kiss to the raw flesh “All better”
Goliath was not mollified
“Would you like a Band-Aid?”
“No” he grumbled twitching his tail out of her grasp
Elisa sighed and snuggled up to him “Now keep it off the floor so he can’t get it.”It curled around her waist.Well, she thought slightly startled; it’s not on the floor.
“So, what was Christmas like in the tenth century?” she asked breaking the silence they had fallen into after Cagney’s attack
“I don’t really remember.” He admitted, “Hudson might.But it was nothing like this.” He waved towards the tree “It was much more solemn and subdued.We never really paid attention, it was a human thing.”
“Did gargoyles celebrate anything at this time of year?”
“Yes” he replied softly, remembering
“You don’t have to tell me” she replied, not wanting to awaken old ghosts
He smiled “No Elisa, they were happy times, times best remembered.We celebrated the Winter Solstice.The longest night of the year, therefore the longest time we could stay awake”
“How did you celebrate?”
“With a great feast, all the best hunters would go out” he grinned in remembrance “there was a great competition as to who could bring back the biggest deer”
“Let me guess, you usually won”
He shook his head “No, that honor usually went to an older brother.Skydancing and many mated couples would sneak away to their own celebrations.”
“It must have been amazing to see the whole sky full of gargoyles,” she whispered
“Mmm” he nodded in agreement, eyes taking on a faraway cast “There were even some humans who would join us”
“Do you miss it Goliath?”
“Yes” he replied meeting her eyes, talons raking gently through her hair “But I have found happiness and a place here in this time.Thank you for sharing this with me.”
“Elisa?” he asked after a few more minutes of silence “What was Christmas like for you?”
“Well” she replied from his embrace “It was doubly exiting for me when I was young.With Christmas and my birthday so close together.Derek always complained that I got double presents.No matter how many times Mom and Dad assured him that he would get just as many on his birthday, he always sulked.”
“I cannot imagine Talon doing that” he rumbled
“Oh yes” she laughed, “Talon the panther-man, mighty leader of the Labyrinth, was once and still is my little brother.Sibling rivalry and all that.”
“So what else?” he was genuinely interested
“Well the three of us used to try and stay awake for Santa.Of course we never did see him.”
“The one who would bring children presents?” the gargoyle inquired remembering the name from his reading
“Would?” she asked playfully “He still does”
Goliath looked towards the fireplace, making her laugh
“Santa is my parents Goliath” she explained, “They still get each of us something that is supposed to be from ‘Santa’”
He nodded, not really understanding “What else?”
“Christmas concerts at school, Christmas dinner.” she explained “Mom used to let us help make a gingerbread house each year.Then the day after Christmas we were allowed to eat it.” That brought back fond memories of stealing candies from it in the days before they were ‘allowed’ to, hoping Mom wouldn’t notice.“Mom used to make us dress up if we were going out to visit or to church.The girls in pretty dresses with tights and buckle shoes and Derek in pants, a good shirt and sweater or tie.He used to hate it.”
“I have a hard time imagining you dressed up”
“Really?” Elisa rose and went to her bookshelf.Removing one of the photo albums and returning.Goliath sat up leaning over her shoulder as she flipped through it.
“There” she pointed “that’s me in third grade”
The little girl in the picture wore a red velvet dress with white lace collar and her hair done up in a ponytail, tied with a red ribbon.It was funny, he’d never thought of her as a child.The book was returned to the shelf after they’d flipped through it some more.“Of course the presents were the best part” Elisa sank back into his arms “We used to get up early and sneak into the living room to make sure that Santa had come, then go wake up Mom and Dad.” Her mother called it being woken up at the crack of dawn by unearthly shrieks and kids jumping on the bed.Of course she wouldn’t have it any other way. “No matter what, Mom and Dad always made sure we got something we wanted for Christmas.”There was a meow as Cagney leaped onto the couch, rubbing his head against his person, purring madly.Goliath glowered and growled softly at the cat.With a blink of yellow eyes, Cagney put his paws on the gargoyles chest.The two stared at each other for a moment then the cat resumed his purr, bumping his head against Goliath’s chin.Goliath pushed the cat away.
“Hey” said Elisa defensively “he’s trying to apologize’
The gargoyle heaved a sigh, still not ready to forgive him, and let the cat return.After a couple of good sniffs and head bumps, Cagney settled in their laps, purring happily.
Elisa’s eyes drifted to the skylight.Thick, heavy flakes drifted past the glass, swirled by the cold wind.There was already a good layer of the fluffy whiteness on the windowsill.As much as she didn’t want the night to end, “Goliath,” the human woman squirmed around to look at him “maybe you should head back”
He glanced at the window, noticing the big flakes, and then back to her “I think you are right”
Reluctantly they rose, Elisa picking up her cat and followed him to the skylight “Thank you Goliath” she murmured
“It was my pleasure Elisa” he replied stroking her hair “Will I see you tomorrow?”
“Count on it” she reached up and gave him a farewell kiss, cat making a disgusted noise between them, “Glide home safely”
He nodded and Cagney gave his own farewell meow.She couldn’t help but shiver at the cold gust of air as the skylight was opened and the gargoyle stepped out.The cat in her arms squirmed, sensing an opportunity to get out, but she held him until the window was closed.He managed to kick away and dropped to the floor with a thud.Then gave a disappointed yowl that his escape had been thwarted. Elisa smiled and watched as the dark silhouette vanished quickly into the falling snow.