Beach Blanket Gargoyle
a story by ARTWerks, Inc./ Written by Stephen R. Sobotka, Jr.

Author's Disclaimer:

This is a original fan-fiction. The plot and story are my own, based on characters and situations from Disney's Animated TV series
"Gargoyles." This has been written solely for other fans of the show to enjoy, not to gain profit for the author. All characters, with
exception of one's I created, are TM and Copyrighted by The Walt Disney Co. and Buena Vista Television, and are used without
their knowledge. Please don't sue, since this was done as a tribute to the spirit of the original shows.

Author's Note :

Well, here it is! My entry into the Artist's Challenge for Avalon Mists! Take not, this story is set far, far into the future of events that
happen after my stories in "The DeGuy Saga" and "Generations Quest". This wasn't an easy tale to write, but I hope everyone enjoys
it in the end! Kudos to Christine for keeping a forum like AM open to writers and artists alike...even old procrastinators like me!

Enjoy the Ride! ; )


~ Pool Solarium, The Aerie Building, 20XX ~

Poised at the end of the 20-foot springboard, Alexander Xanatos cut an impressive figure; perfectly poised on the balls of his feet, his
arms pointed outwards in a line so straight you could level a building's foundation on it. Dressed in nothing more than a pair professional
swimmer's trunks, the eighteen year-old heir to the Xanatos Empire concentrated for a span of heartbeats...then, with muscles coiled like
piston springs, he launched himself into the air, turning head over heels several times before he ended up aimed straight down, knifing the
blue waters below in a picture-perfect dive.

From her place at pool side, Jessica DeGuy watched Alex's dive finish before she turned away with a languid frown. "*Sigh* gonna
cheer this time, 'Monique?"

From her place on a cabana chair, Dominique Macduff looked over the edge of her two-hundred dollar sunglasses for a second, before
she glanced back down at the latest issue of Manhattan Cosmopolitan in her lap. "Nah...he knows he's good."

Nodding in agreement, Jessica turned back in time to see Alex swimming effortlessly to the other side of the Olympic-sized pool. Dangling
her feet over the side, she lazily kicked at the little waves lapping at her toes. "Damn, I'm bored..."

"You said that two minutes ago," Dominique said archly.

Jessica flicked some water from the front of her lycra one-piece suit. "Yeah, but this time I mean it! There's nothing to do around here."

From the other side, Alex paused in the middle of climbing out of the water to look at his two companions over his shoulder. "You know,
for someone that lives in a high-rise with every conceivable luxury known to man, I find it funny that you're bored at all, Jessie."

Dominique dropped her magazine and looked frankly at Alex. "Then why are you here just splashing around in this oversized bathtub then?"

Clambering completely out of the pool, Alex snatched up a towel from where it lay on the top of the ladder. "For your charming company,
dear." He grinned at the gesture 'Monique shot back at him, then he let it fall into a frown. "But, I have to agree with you. With mother and
father out on a business trip to the West Coast, and most of the clan out on patrols, this place is as appealing as cardboard."

"So," Dominique asked, "what do we do about it?"

"Do about what?" From the entrance to the Solarium, David DeGuy walked in, dressed in his usual chambray-and-denim combination, looking
at each of the trio by the pool.

"Hi Davie!" Jessica chirped, smiling hopefully at her older twin. "Please tell me you've come to rescue us?"

David ran a hand through his dark locks in puzzlement. "Rescue you from what?"

"Total and complete doldrums! We're wasting away in here, with nothing to do but watch Alex do his Busby Berkley impression," 'Monique
said in that familiar sweet-and-sour tone; so similar to her mother's, when Demona was upset at something.

"Ah, I see," David replied. "Well, I can tell you the park and the local cineplex are out...too crowded for my taste. Plus, there's at least four
major conventions in town right now."

"Which means the city's going to be more crowded than ever," Jessie grumped.

Dominique threw her magazine down, sitting up to look at the others markedly. "Well, this is just dandy! We're four of the most influential and
well-off teenagers in Manhattan, and we can't even find some excitement on our own in a city like this! We should be able to come up with
something to do!"

"Yes," David agreed, "but just what is that something, I ask you?"

Just then, the youngest gargoyle, Deliah, came bounding into the room with a smile. "Hi guys! What's happening?"

Jessie continued to grump. "Nothing...and that's the problem!"

Deliah saw the looks on the other's faces, coming up alongside David - who managed a smile for their rookery sister - and frowned herself. "Ah...
well, I was just in the library, and I found this incredible book!" She pulled out a familiar looking magazine from behind her back; its wide, yellow
boarder framing a picture of a rather exotic looking locale on its cover.

Dominique rolled her eyes. "That's not a book! It's just a rag. Father gets a complimentary subscription from them every other year for some
work he did on ancient Scotland."

Deliah quickly thumbed the magazine open, saying, "Well, this one doesn't tell about's got these instead!" She opened the pages
up to a two-page spread, holding it out so everyone could see the picture of a lone island in the middle of a tropical sea. "It's talking about a
place in something called... 'the south seas'."

David nodded over Deliah's shoulder. "Nice picture! Looks like one of those islands Xanatos visited last year for a major corp-summit."

Jessica moaned, "Oh, man1 That looks completely un-boring!"

'Monique had to agree. "Now that looks like something...way better than anything around here at the moment."

Alex took one look at the picture and suddenly adopted a that looked very similar to the one his father used when he was hatching
a plan. "That's it!"

David glanced at his swim-suited friend. "What's it?"

"The means to aleviate some boredom! That is...unless anyone isn't ready to join me on a little...adventure?" Alex grinned at the others, clearly
throwing down a gauntlet before each of them.

David beamed, "Oh, you just know I'm not going to let you go off anywhere without me!"

Jessica added, "If it's anywhere other than here, I'm game! Right, 'Monique?"

The younger girl made like she had to think it over, then she sighed dramatically, "Oh, the shame that someone has to act sensible." She then
grinned ferally. "Too bad it can't be yours-truly! Count me in!"

Deliah looked from one human to the other. "What? What's going on?"

Alex snapped the towel off of his shoulders, tossing it aside onto one of the loungers. "Come on...we'll need to get some things from one of
the labs. I'll explain everything on the way down!"


Sometime later, the family's majordomo, Owen Burnett, had just completed a large stack of work in his office - stuff that Xanatos needed
done before their return - and had entered the main wing of the Gargoyle's Suite when he noticed something.

It was quiet. Too quiet. Terribly quiet. Awfully quiet...especially since he knew all of the younger members of the DeGuy, Xanatos and the
Clan were all in attendance this afternoon.

As if to confirm his suspicions, Bronx and Rat came ambling in from one of the other rooms; both gargoyle beasts whining in a piteous tone
that seemed to say to Owen, 'something's up, and we're not involved!'.

Pursing his lips, Owen quickly moved to one of the Castle's new auxiliary command panels, punching an activation key. "Computer...are the
'children' still inside the building?"

[affirmative, Mr. Burnett ~]

"Please locate them and show their locations on this screen." In a inkling, the screen quickly whirled a into a 3-D schematic of the Eyrie
Building. Two pips of color indicated the information he wanted, though it made the servant raise one eyebrow in surprise. "The castle kitchen
and Lab Number-Nine? Interesting..." Closing the terminal down, Owen glanced down at his feet, where both Bronx and Rat had stationed
themselves. "I supposed you two want to know where your masters and mistresses are?"

Bronx growled in an affirmative tone, echoed by Rat.

"Come along then," Owen sighed as he turned to leave the suite. A sudden feeling swept over him, giving him the notion that he was about to
get into a situation he'd be better off avoiding...


Deciding to go straight to the source, Owen and the two beasts arrived at the doors to Lab-#9. Through the thick metal doors, he could hear
the sounds of muffled voices, in addition to the thumps, clangs and bangs of equipment being moved around. Both Bronx and Rat nosed up to
the doors, snuffing and whining... giving a good indication that the quarry Owen sought were inside.

Owen frowned slightly. "Computer...unlock access doors at Level Ten, Panel Three-Six-Three-Eight-Two-Seven." After a second, the twin
panels hissed open, allowing Owen and the two beasts to slip inside...

...right into the middle of a scene out of a recent summer movie that Fox had recently told him about: some spy epic or some sort. Instead of
that one spy, however, he took in the sight of David and Alex as they bustled about the lab, pilling a collection of gear before the cloth-covered
shape that was one of Xanatos Enterprises newest creations. The gear included a collapsible, multi-occupant tent, some of the portable survival
packs...and an odd assortment of beach toys.

Staring with wide eyes for several moments, Owen finally cleared his throat loudly. "Alexander?! What is the meaning of this?"

The red-haired youth paused in pulling a long crate from one of the shelves lining the lab walls. "Oh! Hi Owen."

David set another case down by the pile, just as Bronx and Rat trotted over, snuffling at his hands. "Hello, Owen? What brings you and the
boys down here?"

"I was about to ask you the same question, David," Owen answered. "What are you planning to do with all of"

"Well..." Alex started to reply, when the three girls came in from a side door. Jessica had two large duffels slung over her shoulders, while
Dominique and Deliah both had a large picnic hamper each. Between them, they carted a large ice cooler. "Oh, good! You got the stuff,

"All here, but I let 'Monique get your gear from your room, Alex," Jessica replied.

Alex made a mock glare at Demona's daughter. "Fine, get that stowed away and then come give me and David a hand with the rest." He quickly
gripped the crate and started dragging it towards the pile in the center of the lab as the girls trooped by, headed towards the covered object with
their items.

"Alexander!? I asked you a question, young man," Owen said, his voice rising in pitch just slightly.

Alex stopped and turned to look at his mentor. "Well, Owen...basically...we're 'borrowing' it."

"Borrowing it?"

"Yeah," the young heir replied. "You see, we're all bored to tears, what with all the adults gone off doing other things. So, we all decided to go
on a...small adventure. To find some beach-side land and have some fun. See?"

Owen crossed his arms. "I see...but that doesn't mean you must raid one of your father's labs in the process." He took note of some of the gear
near the pile. "Half of what you have here is untested equipment, which has yet to be cleared for release to the testing labs."

David grunted as he picked up the crate Alex had been dragging, shouldering it as he turned slowly towards the girls. "Well...Alex reasoned we
could test it for Xanatos. Sort of like getting free labor."

Owen started to protest, but Alex raised a hand to forestall him. "C'mon, Owen! Please don't raise a fuss. We're not taking anything that won't
be available on the general market six months from now."

"That may be," Owen countered, pointing towards the color covered object. "However, that is your father's new Experimental Light Sailing

"That's right," Dominique said, jerking back the cloth so she and the others could start lifting the gear aboard. "And it's better than going out
to charter a rental boat!"

Owen gaped for a moment, then scowled. "Be as it may, I cannot allow this to continue. Return everything to its rightful place at once."

"Aw, Owen! Why!?" Jessica said, taking a moment to chastise Bronx for getting underfoot. All of the moving around and loading was starting
to get him and Rat excited. "We're not going to do anything dangerous!"

"Jessie's right," Deliah said, "it's boring for us with everyone else gone."

"Besides, it's not like we're going off without supervision," Dominique countered. "Alex is twenty years old, for crying out loud!"

Owen started to say something, but Alex cut him off. "We weren't going to just leave without telling you, Owen...I mean, we have enough sense
to let the rest of the clan know where we're going to be. And most of the equipment has Dad's patented locator chip installed inside, so it's not
like we'd be that hard to locate in the first place." Stepping over to where the majordomo was standing, Alex looked Owen squarely in the eyes.
" me. We're only doing this for our own good."

Owen let his shoulders drop slightly. Sighing, he replied, "Very well, Alexander...I won't prohibit you from leaving on this excursion of yours."
Looking at the boy in return, he stated, "However, I want you to remain in constant contact with me here at the building. If any of your respective
parents knew about this, they would never rest until all of you were grounded for a month!"

Alex beamed. "Understood, my friend!" Turning back to the others, he nodded. "Let's get the rest of that gear aboard, shall we?"

David snapped Alex a mock salute. "Aye, Cap'm!" Together, he and Jessica started working on the pile in earnest, while Dominique and Deliah
lifted the gear aboard the craft to be stowed away.

Owen asked, "I must ask where you plan to have your trip? Especially since I assume you plan to use magic to get the boat there."

The others paused, every head turned to face Alex pointedly.

"Well," Alex said, rubbing behind his head with one hand, "that...I, um...I was going to ask if you could help us out on that score, Owen."

Owen's eyebrow shot up again. "Why am I not surprised?"

"It's actually very practical," Alex reasoned, "since I'll need to keep my own powers in reserve, should something go amiss...not that there's going
to be anything going wrong! But...

This time, Owen held up an outstretched hand to interrupt. "I understand, Alexander. Considering the clandestine nature of this...soirée, I am
inclined to agree with you."

Alex breathed a sigh of relief. "Then, you'll help us?"

"Only if I can at least have some measure of knowledge, knowing that were you go you'll at least be easy to find," Owen replied. Reaching up,
he removed his glasses, placing them into his shirt pocked for protection. With a sudden twirling motion, the majordomo vanished in a swirl of
green, eldrich light. A few seconds later, the half-smiling form of Alex's teacher and protector emerged from the light as it faded away. "And,
believe me, kiddo, when your fathers catch wind of this, I'll be lucky if I'm not fired or dismembered. Or both!"

Alex chuckled, while the rest of the clan youths struggled to keep their laughter smothered. "I understand, Puck. We all know what will happen
if we get into trouble."

"So, if you'll just make with the magic and get us underway," Dominique said archly, smirking at the elfin Fey from the bow of the craft. "You're
Alex's protector, right? So, protect him from another moment of sheer boredom, all ready!"

Puck flexed his fingers, unable to keep a grin from spreading on his face at that moment. "Don't you worry, sweetcheeks...I've got just the idea
on where to send you kids. It'll be the perfect place to go, and I'll guarantee that you'll never be bored for a single minute!"


High above the forest floor, among the exotic trees that grew like towering columns of green and brown, a lone figure sat admiring the colorful
blooms of a creeping vine that had managed to wind its way up from the ground. Dressed in a simple shift of white, with copper bands on her
forearms and upper arms and a strip of brown leather around her waist, she smiled as she savored the aroma of the blossoms, leaving them on
the vine instead of picking them as a human would have done.

"Such beauty," the light-aqua colored gargoyle murmured, leaning back to look out through the canopy to the moonlit night overhead. "Preserved
forever...thanks to this magical island, the Green will never fade from this world."


The female Guatemalan gargoyle turned at the sound of her name, smiling as her companion - dressed in his Mayan tunic and head-piece - swung
into view from the branches below. "Jade!"

"What brings you up into the canopy, sister?" Jade came to rest on the branch next to hers, resting the full of his weight on his talons as he sunk
them into the tapered trunk of the tree.

"The wish to enjoy this night," she replied, giving him a coy look. "Especially with a good friend."

He returned her smile. "I'd like that too...but, there's something we need to do first."


"Some strangers have sent up camp on a beach," Jade explained, "not far from where the new Green meets the sea. I was on my way to inform
Lady Rhiannon and Lord Kulkulcan, when I saw you up here."

"Strangers, you say?" Turquesa's ridged forehead wrinkled all the more. "What could they be doing out there?"

"I don't know...I only got a quick glimpse of their boat as they beached it," her companion replied. "Come, we should tell our Lord and Lady
about this at once!" Taking Turquesa's hand, he led her down the side of the tree, into the forest below...


A short time later, the two gargoyles arrived at the small clearing that served as the Mayan Seelie Lord's court on Avalon. As usual, he was in
attendance with the Lady Rhiannon - one of Oberon's fosterlings, and the entitled 'Lady of the Birds' - as well as several other like-minded Fey
that made up the bulk of Kulkulcan's court. One thing that surprised the two Guatemalans was that the Guardian's sole child, Rhianna, was
present as well; dressed in the much modern clothing that she'd acquired from her previous trips to the outside world.

Kulkulcan turned his face towards the two, smiling as he leaned back in his seat, fashioned after the old stones of his people's temples. "Come
forward, amigos...please, join us, and tell me why two of Oberon's Honor Guard come before us?"

Jade and Turquesa glanced at one another - since it had never been officially established if they were ever members of the Avalon clan after their
arrival years ago. At length, they both stepped towards the center of the court, both bowing in deference to the two Seelie leaders.

"Lord Kulkulcan," Jade began, unsure now as to how he would react to his news. "Lord...I have seen strangers land on the beachhead, not far
from where the Green meets the sea. Strange mortals in a ship like nothing I've seen before!"

The former leader of the Mayan pantheon arched his eyebrows in surprise. "Strange mortals? On Avalon's shores?"

>From where she sat in her exquisite dress of greens and blues, Rhiannon frowned. "Can you tell us what they looked like, Friend Jade?"

"I am afraid not, Lady Rhiannon," Jade replied. "They moved in when the moon was behind some clouds...I could not see them too well, but what
I could see was that they are setting up camp on the beach."

Both elder Fey looked at each other; the brown-haired female and the feathered serpent seemed to pass a silent exchange between themselves.
Then, Kulkulcan faced Jade and Turquesa again. "This is most irregular. To my knowledge-"

"And mine," Rhiannon added, "there are no easy ways for mortals to reach Oberon's for the aid of his magic and that of another member
of the Seelie Court."

"But, since they are there, they deserve investigation," Kulkulcan said at last. Motioning to the rest of the Mayan Fey and others present with his
great head, the Mayan lord dismissed them before looking at the two gargoyles. "I and Lady Rhiannon must report this to Lord Oberon. I charge
you, my friends, to go and watch these mortals. Either I or someone from Oberon will arrive to deal with them appropriately."

Both Jade and Turquesa bowed. "It shall be as you command, Lord." They both turned to leave, moving towards the trees, when something stopped
them just shy of their protective cover.

"Wait!" It was Rhianna, standing there in an abbreviated pair of short-leggings, a tunic and a light linen vest.

"Yes, Guardian?" Turquesa asked, not too eager to be delayed from their task, since one didn't dare leave a command from one of Oberon's get
uncompleted. "What do you wish of us?"

The russet-haired girl pleaded, "Take me with you! As much as Oberon should know of any invaders, the Clan needs to be told as well. This
island was invaded twice in past history...both times spelled death for members of my friend's family, and I'll not see them visited by a third!"

Both Guatemalans looked at one another in concern. "It will not be safe, Princess. Especially for a mortal."

 "You both run at risk as well," Rhianna countered. "Besides, I am my father's daughter, so I know how not to put myself into any serious danger!"

Jade sighed. "Very well, Guardian. Come," he said, bending low so she could clamber onto his back. "Hold tight, for we shall move fast. Vaminos!"
With that, the trio plunged into the trees...


~ On The Beach ~

David emerged from the tent, stretching his arms as he made a last-minute adjustment to his short, navy-blue trunks. Wearing nothing else, the
elder DeGuy twin had most of his young body on display; complete with all the muscles he had gained from his years of training on Avalon. Striding
down the sands from where the multi-person tent had been pitched, he walked towards the area where Jessica and Deliah were fiddling with the
propane stove; surrounded by the baskets and the cooler as they set up their improvised 'kitchen'.

Jessica paused in her unpacking of one of the baskets, looking up at her brother with an appreciative smile and a wolf-whistle. "Yow, Davie!
Looking good there. Right, Deliah?"

Though much younger than David or Jessica, Deliah nevertheless made a good mock growl of approval while licking her lips. "Hmm-mmm! He
does look good, doesn't he!?"

David made a show of posing, flexing his arms in a classic, body-builder's pose before chuckling. "Thanks...thought it's a shame the one person
I'd most like to ogle me isn't here."

"Why, David! I didn't think Rhianna was the sort of girl to ogle!" Dominique teased, looking back from where she was sitting on the sand, not
too far away from the campsite. Both she and Alex were dressed in brightly-colored wet suits - the type that most surfers wore - working on
putting together a pair of constructs that looked like a hybrid cross between a pair of water skis and a powered jet engine.

David shook his head, pausing in his reply when he spotted Bronx and Rat making a mad dash down the beach - their eighth circuit in just under
fifteen minutes - barking at the surf as an endless march of gentle waves rolled up onto the sand. The two beasts were definitely having the time
of their lives, kicking up a fine spray of wet grit as they barreled past the campsite.

Deliah, caught in the sand-shower, sputtered and shouted after the two beasts, "Fine! See if I don't pay you back later, RAT!"

Both DeGuy twins laughed at her words, as did the other two down on the beachhead. "Looks like the boys are going to get nothing but cold
kibble tonight," David grinned.

Brushing off the sand off of the front of the modified one-piece bikini she had on, the young gargoyle snarled ruefully, "They'll be lucky if they
get even that!"

With a grin, Alex hefted one of the devices he and 'Monique were working on into view. "Well, so I don't get lumped in with those two, I think
I'll give these new hydra-skis a try. Care to join me, Ms. Macduff?"

Getting to her feet, Dominique lifted her pair of skis to her shoulder, shooting Alex with a mock-pouting look. "Oh, you know I can never resist
an invitation from you, Mr. Xanatos! Let's get wet!" With that, she sprinted towards the water, the young heir just a tick behind her. In a flurry
of splashes and laughter, the two plunged into the surf and began swimming out into the deeper water to try their skis.

David laughed. "This was just what the doctor ordered," he mused. "A great way to beat the boredom, and we're sure to have at least some
fun here."

"Speaking of fun," Jessie said, shrugging in the bright, flower-patterned shirt she wore over her own two-piece suit, "just what do you have in
mind to do while we're here? It's going to be a while until dinner's ready."

"Well, considering Alex and 'Monique are hogging the bay, I think I'll turn inland and see what's in the jungle," David stated. Looking over at
where Bronx and Rat were cavorting on the beach, he raised his fingers to his mouth and whistled. "Hey, boys! Wanna go exploring with me?"

Looking up from their sandy wallow, Bronx barked once and got up to head towards the elder twin. Rat, however, snorted and rolled over,
exposing his belly to the full moon overhead as he worked himself deeper into the sand.

"I guess that's my answer," David said, reaching down to give Bronx a pat as he came alongside him and the girls. "Keep an eye out on the
others, okay? I'll be back before you know it. C'mon, Bronx!" Turning towards the forest, he took off at a run with the gargoyle beast following
close behind.

"Just be careful! We don't exactly know where Puck sent us," Jessica warned, watching as her brother slowly disappeared from view.

Deliah grinned. "Don't worry, Jess! David can take care of himself."

"I's, I just wish we'd taken a little more precautions before we came, y'know?" Turning back to face the orange-haired gargoyle,
Jessie sighed. "I dunno. It must be that little part of me that's like Mom. She'd always make sure the two of us were safe, no matter where
we were."

Deliah placed a gray-skinned hand on one of Jessie's. "I really don't think Puck would have sent us anywhere that wasn't safe for all of us."
Giving they younger twin's hand a squeeze, she leaned back and said, "Now, before the others get back, let's finish fixing this meal before us...
since I have a feeling they're all going to be very hungry by the time they get back!"


Deep inside the forest, Rhianna and Turquesa crouched in the shade of a tree anxiously, looking around while waiting for Jade to return from
a quick scouting mission. Brushing away a stray branch from one of the smaller plants around them, the young human asked her companion,
"Do you think Jade has run into trouble?"

Turquesa shook her dark-tressed head. "No...if he had, he would have found some way to warn us."

Rhianna nodded absently, her head filled with worry. A part of her was thinking this wasn't such a good idea, coming along without any sort
of additional help. Not that she didn't feel her two gargoyle companions weren't protection enough, but...

A rustle in the leaves overhead alerted them to the return of the male Guatemalan gargoyle, who quickly shimmed down the tree to join them.
"I've seen the camp!" he said.

"How many invaders are there?" Turquesa was on edge. "Did you see any weapons?"

"There's not many in the camp, my friend," Jade reported. "Actually, I could only see four. As far as their weapons...there must be some strange
ones, because I could not see any weapons of any sort in the open."

"That is...odd," Rhianna stated.

Suddenly, both gargoyles stiffened, their ears pricking up as they turned to face towards the beach. "Hsst! Someone's coming...through the
underbrush! Someone...large!" Jade hissed.

Turquesa motioned towards the branches overhead. "Quick, amigo! Princess! Hide behind those trees, over there!" Turning as one, the two
gargoyles vaulted for the branches overhead, quickly hiding themselves among the thick leaves. Doing as she was told, Rhianna darted behind
a small stand of trees, ducking down under a broad leafed plant to conceal herself. The sounds of something BIG, crashing through the
underbrush at breakneck speed came closer and closer...

Until a big blue-and-gray blur shot through a gap in the trees, tromped through where the trio had been standing, and continued on like some
runaway train.

A minute later, a tall, tan figure in brief trunks pounded through the gap, obviously chasing the blur. "Hey! Where do you think you're going!?" he
shouted, gasping for breath as he skidded to a stop underneath the gargoyles' tree. "Great! I just hope you tire yourself out before dinner, boy,
because I'm not chasing after you all over this place!"

Looking at one another, Jade and Turquesa both nodded silently. As one, they swung down from the branches, using their momentum to drive
the stranger to the ground.

"OOF! HEY!" David tried to rise, but each gargoyle had a hold of one of his arms.

"Don't move, stranger!" Jade snarled. "Move and you will be hurt...painfully!"

David tensed. "Unless you let me up, it's you that's going to be hurt!"

At that, Turquesa suddenly recognized who they were holding. "Dios! DeGuy!? David DeGuy???"

"Who else did you think?" David grunted.

At his companion's urging, Jade released the young man's arm, and the two of them helped him to his feet. "Great Sky! Please...forgive us,
Young David! We thought you were part of some invasion against Avalon."

The dark-haired youth blinked. "Avalon!? We're on Avalon?"

"Si, amigo. Where did you think you were?" Turquesa looked puzzled, because David started to chuckle.

"I should have known! That trickster...he wasn't satisfied just sending us to any old island!" Quickly, David recanted the tale of everything that
happened before he and his friends had arrived on the beach.

"Well," Turquesa grinned, "It seems that you gained an unexpected bonus then, eh? And all our worries were for nothing it seems, considering
we thought you were invaders."

"We? Who else is around here?" David asked.

Just then, a high-pitched shriek filled the air, accompanied by a playful spate of barking that heralded the sudden emergence from the undergrowth
by Bronx, who was tackling a rather surprised Rhianna to the ground before him. Pining her under his girth, he proceeded to paste her laughing
face with his tongue despite her half hearted protests.

"Och, STOP IT, you brute!" Rhianna finally managed to get her hands on both of Bronx's ears, tugging his face away with a grin. "You'll drown
me for certain unless!" Shoving back against his shoulders, she finally got the gargoyle beast to back away from her, allowing
David and the others to give her a helping hand.

"Rhianna," David said, smiling even though he suddenly felt a little self-conscious about his current attire. "It's, ah, good to see you...again."

Turning away from Bronx, Rhianna took one look at David, then blushed as her eyes widened to take all of him in. "Aye...'tis good to see you
as well!" With a grin - more to cover up her own embarassment - she asked, "D'you mind explaining why you're out here in this part of Oberon's
kingdom, in such a state?"

Rubbing the back of his head absently, David replied, "Well, it's like this, Rhianna..." And so he told her of the trip from the Aerie for him and
his friends.

"Ah, so that's the whole story then," she said at length. "Really, if you were that in want for something to do, you could have come to visit me
and Da up at the castle."

"We'll...keep that in mind the next time," David said with a rueful look. Then, he brightened. "Actually, since we're here now, why don't you
join us?"

"Join you?" Rhianna and the two Guatemalans looked at each other in surprise. "What, all of us here?"

"Why not?" David shrugged. "We've got plenty of food. Enough to feed an entire clan if need be! And we brought more recordings of that music
you like, Anna. As well as some gear to play in the water that's perfect for gargoyles, too. Besides, we're all clan here, so what do you say?" Even
as underdressed as he was, David still made a passable bow as he took Rhianna's hand. "Would you do us the honor of your company, Highness?"

Rhianna laughed in amusement, then shook her head unabashedly. "I could never refuse a request from you, my Champion." Looking to the two
gargoyles, she asked, "What say you, my friends?"

Turquesa and Jade were both in agreement. "A night to spend with such welcome company--," she said.

"Would be a shame if it was missed," Jade finished for his clan mate.


A short while later, while the small party gathered around a small firepit on the sand, four figures materialized on a cliff, not too far from where the
beach lay under the moonlight.

Standing between Rhiannon and Kulkulcan, the lordly figure of the island's master frowned down at the revelry taking place. "Odd...this does not
seem to be an invasion party. Were you two perhaps...mislead?"

At Oberon's side, Titania grinned as she witnessed the procedings. "Perhaps they were, my Lord. But, I believe in this case it was a simple case
of mistaken identity. After all, our grandson is among the fleet below, and I fear he is much into mindset of a revel, rather than an invasion."

Both Rhiannon and Kulkulcan were relieved, if still a bit perturbed. "I do believe, my friend," Rhiannon said to the Mayan Fey, "next time we should
investigate such matters ourselves, instead of worrying our Lord in such a manner."

Oberon waved her concerns aside, a hint of a smile forming on his usually stolic face. "Fear not, my foster daughter. We are not angered at this
time...such that you were correct to come to alert Us so quickly, as to give Us time to prepare for any situation that...could have arrived." Gazing
down at the party below - in which David had produced a modern music device, so that everyone could dance and enjoy the music - he nodded
once, adding, "Besides, it appears our heir and his...companions are enjoying themselves, and that pleases Us."

"Shall we join them, my Husband?" Titania looked at Oberon with a knowing smile.

"No, Wife...let them be at peace, and enjoy what pleasures Our island can provide for them," Oberon replied. Making an imperious gesture with
his cape, he said, "Come, fair Titania... Rhiannon and Kulkulcan. Let us leave and attend to...other matters." With that, the four Seelie Fey winked
out in a flash of green light, leaving the night as it was before: calm, peaceful, and filled with the sounds of surf and laughter...


The End