Previously, on Gargoyles ...

by Constance "Eilonwy" Cochran


Gargoyles is owned by Buena Vista/Disney. Cupid is the property of

Special thanks to all who have participated in various newsgroup
debates, comment board discussions, and "Gargoyles"-oriented
conversations over the years. Tip of the wing to Amy "It's his eyes"
Schechter  and Kellie "It's survivor's syndrome" Fay for their comments in
particular, and to Tara O'Shea--Tara, you're Cupid's next door neighbor,
and you lent him tapes of the all the episodes. Hope you don't mind.

Dedicated to all tv shows  "too good to survive."

"Ooooh. Uh-oh. No, don't trust _her_, body that could stop a chariot but
she'll flambe your heart, my large purple compadre...noooooo." He
clapped his hand to his face, grimacing in a way that suggested he was
enjoying the drama of it all immensely despite the anguish.

** "You and I are one, now and forever," the deep voice intoned from the
speakers on the stereo tv.**

"Mm-mm," the watcher shook his head. "I am so glad that this is, after all,
only a tv show. Zeus would fry me for THAT relationship. Good line.
Gotta remember to tell someone to use it.  You and I are one...' Chicks
definitely like that sort of thing..."

The doorbell rang.

"Awwwww!" He hit pause and swung his legs off the couch, then bounded
to his feet. For a second he lingered to glance at the frozen video image.
"Niiiiice drawings. Haven't seen arms like those since Adonis." The bell
demanded attention again. "Coming, coming!"

He opened the door.

"Claire!" Trevor managed a smile that showed his teeth clenched and
moved the door inward so it was open only about a foot. Meanwhile, he
blocked her view of the living room. "How wonderful to see your
enchanting face at my door."

"Cut it out, Trevor. Um...can I come in?" She put her head to one side,
biting her lip in that way that was so cute. She was dressed grunge, in
jeans, a windbreaker, and ratty sneakers. Her hair was clipped back with
a barrette.

He squinted at her appraisingly. "Let's see now. Eyes dry, hair neat, no
smolding air of vengeance and rage...nope, can't be a fight with the

"Whatcha doin'?" She stood on tiptoe to look past his shoulder.

"Oh, no." He put his hand on the doorjamb, blocking her view with his
arm. "You're bored, aren't you? Honey out of town?"

"Well..." she pursed her lips. "Not bored. I just happened to be in the
neighborhood--what are you watching?"

At that opportune moment, the pause timer ran out and the picture and
sound started up again. Claire's eyes widened. "Trevor...are you
watching...a cartoon?"

"It's...uh...for a special project." He swallowed. "The champ wants me to
take notes on Keith David's voice inflections. Champ says he's the next
Keith David."

As inexorably as a freight train, with delicate force like a very small
tornado, Claire ducked lightly under his arm.

"Please, come in," he said to the now empty hallway.

Claire flopped onto the couch and crossed her legs. "Oh, this is animated
by Disney, isn't it?"

"Yes." Trevor sighed and sat down next to her as she shrugged out of her

"Trevor, that's so cute. You like cartoons? Oh, I loved  Sleeping Beauty'
when I was a little girl. I know, I know," she added, holding up her hand,
"it's awfully anti-feminist. And the subtext of the kiss wakening the
sleeping...anyway. But most people outgrow the compulsive need to
return to the rituals and stories of childhood...most normal people,
anyway." Then her eyes found the stack of tapes piled next to the tv
stand. "Trevor," she pushed on, without hardly a beat, "We've discussed
this before. About the boundaries between fantasy and reality. It's
perfectly healthy to enjoy a tv show or a movie. But this...this is what,
dozens of hours worth of watching here...where did you get these tapes

"Borrowed them from my neighbor. Nice girl. Watches a lot of tv with her
roommates. Who are, by the way, Claire, grown adults with jobs and
significant others and have no problem discerning fantasy from reality."

Claire made a "sure, right, whatever," face, and grabbed a handful of
m&m's from the open bag on the coffee table. She looked curiously as
the screen. "The animation's not bad, but Trevor, isn't this sort of thing for
little kids?"

Trevor choked.

"You mean before Goliath's lover betrays him, causing the massacre of
his clan, or after Katherine and Tom start living in sin on jolly old Avalon?"

To his immense satisfaction, Claire blinked.

"Don't be too shocked, Claire. It was a common-law marriage."

"So, these characters are going to be killed off?"

"Not all...but...let's see... him...that one, fighting the Viking...that
one...well, not exactly, he comes back later..."

Claire looked smug. "Disney happy ending."

"...reassembled from bits of stone from his own form mixed in with bits of
his lover and his rival. You'd like him, suffers from MPD. And a computer
virus, but that's another story...and oh, sure, now that I've _spoiled_ half
the plot for you..."

"Shhh." Then, defensively, she added, "I'm _curious_. Cartoons provide a
window onto society. Also, I want to see if this is the sort of show that
might do harm to young minds," she added, pointedly not looking at
Trevor. "And yes, I am bored. I have a PhD, I am a successful,
independent, intelligent woman, my boyfriend is away in New York, and I
am bored...omigod! Are they going to show...on screen...oh. No, just the
shadow." She shuddered with the sound of mace crumbling stone. "Still,
that's awfully..."

"Wait, it gets better," said Trevor.

     *         *         *         *         *

**The gargoyle knelt over the rubble, noble head bowed in disbelief and
shock. His hands cupped the fragments of stone. "Angel of night..." he
spoke, voice cracking, like the stones, with grief...**

"That's her? His lover?" Claire leaned forward. "Omigod, that's
so...interesting," she finished, sitting back and folding her hands neatly in
her lap. "Death. Violence. In cartoons. Themes of grief and loss...perhaps
there is more to this than I thought..."

     *         *         *         *         *

"Okay, can you say,  displaced gratitude'? He saved her life. He's
different. Xenophilia. But I can't buy that those two are going to work as a
couple, Trevor. It's not realistic."

He ripped open a bag of chips. "How narrow-minded of you. Opposites
attract, and all that..."

"They're not even the same SPECIES."

"Hey, it's not like we're talking about a Leta and Zeus thing here. Boy, did
Hera hit the roof about that..."

     *         *         *         *         *

"You were right. MPD and a computer virus. He makes you look very

"Why, thank you, Claire. Next to Demona, you're just a sweetheart."

     *         *         *         *         *

"The first time I saw this, even then I had a feeling about them. Can I call
it or what?"

"He...he has no scruples. He's ruthless, conniving..."

"...he just handed over lightning-bolt take-over-the-world power to save
her life. That man's in love. With I could take credit for THAT one."

Claire put her head to one side consideringly. "He does have a
certain...charisma..." she dropped her face into her hands. "What am I
saying?" she wailed. "He's a cartoon character!"

"And a very handsome one, too," Trevor crooned to her comfortingly,
patting her on the shoulder. "Don't worry, Claire, the attractiveness of the
human--or not--form has been captured by artists from the ancient
Greeks--lovely people, very adoring--to Rubens. The celebration of the
beauty of the figure in ink and paint. Demona may be psycho, but she
can shoot my bazooka any time."

"You're sick, Trevor. Very sick."

     *         *         *         *         *

"Now, that's a woman. Okay, so she doesn't have Demona's dangerous-
road-ahead-curves. But those eyes. That blue-black hair..."

"Now I think I am impressed. An intelligent, beautiful, female character
AND she's a good guy. The other women on this show seem to have an
amoral streak...except for the princess, but she's not around much."

     *         *         *         *         *

Trevor blinked away the tears that stung suddenly in his eyes.

"What?" Claire turned to him quickly in concern. "It is Tom's story? I must
admit, that was well done. Convincing character study, mother/son
separation...which explains why he wants Katherine, an older woman..."

"No, it's not that." Trevor sniffed. "The island. Kind of reminds me

"Really," Claire said, voice and facial expression serious and
compassionate. "Tell me about it."

"Oh, no," Trevor's depressed look was replaced by panic. "You're not
shrinking my head today. We've got a few dozen more episodes to go."

"A few...dozen? Trevor..."

"But they're half-hour episodes, not an hour. More's the pity."

"...Trevor, I am NOT going to sit here all day and into the night, watching
some cartoon!"

     *         *         *         *         *

"Oh, honey," Trevor addressed the lovely animated female human on the
screen. "Wake up and smell the flowers. He loved you! And you...yeah,
you, pasty-faced-magic-boy. Grab life by the Grimorium. Tell her how you
feel, or she's gonna marry the blond kid."

"Hm." Claire's forehead furrowed. "She's choosing brawn over brains.

"Do I detect a hint of sympathy for our long-suffering friend the Magus?"

"He's sensitive. And kind. He stood by her...and he has a nice voice."

     *         *         *         *         *

** "Oh, Magus, what have ye done?" **

Claire blew her nose into the tissue Trevor handed to her.

"Tears, Claire? For drawings?"

"Yes. So sue me. He died...without ever telling her how he felt..." her
eyes welled up. Then she coughed. "Let's get this stupid series over with,

     *         *         *         *         *
"What are you doing?" Claire said, as an informercial popped into the
place of the animation and Trevor hit the "fast forward" button. "Aren't we
going to watch the next episode?" She picked up the now potato-chip-
grease stained episode list printout that had come with the tapes. "Let's
see...we're up to...The New Olympians. Hey, Trevor, why can't we watch
that? It's more mythology. That's really interesting--"

"Nah. We can skip it. Not much happens. Original Star Trek rip-off."

"But Trevor, I thought you wanted me to have...what was it you called it?
The full Gargoyle experience'?"

"I just don't like that episode, okay?"


"It's nothing."


"It's embarassing. Let's just go on, okay?"

     *         *         *         *         *

Outside the apartment windows, night had settled like cloaked wings over
the windy city. Trevor picked up a slice of the gooey, deep-dish pizza they
had ordered in.

"Survivor's Syndrome," Claire reduced the three gargoyles on screen,
speaking with her mouth full.

"Brooklyn," Trevor raised his soda can at the tv set. "I salute you,
eternally rejected questor for true love. I could teach you a few things..."

"The little one. The computer geek. He seems stuck in latency. The crush
on Angela doesn't count, he may be just competing with his brothers."

"You obviously haven't read any fan fiction," Trevor said with a smirk.

"I don't even want to go there," Claire said.

     *         *         *         *         *

An empty pizza box sprawled across the coffee table with an air of
wanton abandon. Empty soda cans and beer bottles lay scattered about
the rug and on the couch. By the clock radio, it was approximately 2 am.

The end credits of the episode began to roll as Trevor patted Claire on
the shoulder. "Easy there, doc, it's just a tv show."

Claire heaved another sob, face hidden in yet another kleenex. "I could
kill that rat Puck!" came the muffled, angry declaration.

"Note to self," Trevor muttered. He eyed the bottle of beer Claire had just
finished, picked it up, and rolled it into a corner, where it hit the wall with a
clink. "No alcholic beverages during  Future Tense.'" He waited until she
had dabbed her eyes dry. "Ready to go on?" He inquired, fingering the

"Might as well," she said with a shuddering sigh. "It can't get much darker
than that, right?"

"Just hang on for the ending, okay? I promise, you won't be

     *         *         *         *         *

"She's afraid."

"Of what?"

"That he won't find her attractive. Because she's frail, human. Whereas
his great love was once Demona--"

"--the epitome of female gargoyle physique," Trevor finished for her.

"Yes. While, ironically, he fears rejection because he knows he looks
different, to her, despite certain attractive humanoid aspects of _his_

     *         *         *         *         *

** "...and I just want to go on record as saying...hell-o..."**

"Wow." Claire sat up straight. "He has...incredible eyes."

"Um...Claire..." Trevor waved his hand in front of her face. "You're getting
drool on the remote..."

"Now those two would make a good match."

"What?! She's in love with Goliath."

"Jason's a cop too. She obviously finds him attractive. And she and
Goliath could never raise a family, have kids."

"They could adopt. Besides, there's something you don't know about

     *         *         *         *         *

"So, is this show still on?" Claire asked as Trevor fast forwarded to the
next episode.

Trevor hit  'play'.

** "One thousand years ago, superstition and the sword ruled--" **

He hit fast forward, skipping the intro to save time.

"Sort of," he said, "it's running in repeats. But there aren't any new
episodes. It got the big axe."

"But...but didn't...didn't people like it?"

"Yes," Trevor said softly, "yes, they did."

"That's sad," Claire said.

"Yeah," said Trevor. "Cancellation bites."

Claire shivered.

     *         *         *         *         *