Three's a Crowd

By Tim "Gabriel" Reynard

Disclaimer: Gargoyles and all related names belong to Disney, no
profit is being made, yadda yadda yadda.

Time: Somewhere between "Avalon pt. III" and "Sanctuary."                  "And through the tops of les maison along the Left Bank, you can clearly see Le Tour D'Eiffel!" the tour guide said with pride.         "Look at what?"         "The Eiffel Tower, Margot." Brendan sighed.  "It isn't THAT hard to pick up basic French."         "The Eiffel Tower has a hot dog stand in it, Brendan." Margot Yale said, in one statement condemning the monumental achievement of France to something akin to building a toy log cabin.         "So? They were good!" he said cheerfully.  He refused to let her ruin their vacation.  "And the view was spectacular."         "That's true." she admitted.  She squinted her eyes in the setting sun, looking at each quaint little house as they drifted along the Seine River.  "And I bet none of them has ever heard of French toast, either." she grumbled, remembering this morning's fiasco at the restaurant.         "We're just used to hearty breakfasts, that's all." chuckled Brendan.  A croissant and coffee is all they usually have.  I for one find it delicious."         "Not to mention taking practically years between the courses at dinner."         "Oh, quit your complaining. We're in Paris, the most romantic city in the world, sailing down the Seine River by the Eiffel Tower during the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen, and you don't even notice me."         She blinked and turned back, smiling at him. "Isn't that usually the woman's line?"         "What's good for the goose is good for the gander." he quipped.         "I'll goose you!" she grinned in mock indignation, snaking two fingers around his waist, aiming squarely for his seat.         "Mon Dieu! En garde!" Brendan said in the worst French accent she had ever heard.         They parried each others playful hands before snuggling into something a bit more intimate.         The tour guide glanced at the two Americans in the back, chuckled quietly and rowed on.         They passed slowly under several small bridges, the only sound being the splash of the row pole and quiet giggling.         Margot and Brendan suddenly ceased their play when they noted that for some reason the boat had stopped moving.  "Excuse moi, monsieur, qu'est-ce qu'il y a?"         "I asked him what was the matter." he hissed to Margot before she could open her mouth.         "Je ne sais pas!" the man stammered.  "Tout a' coup, il fait du brouillard!"         "He says he doesn't know, this fog came out of nowhere."         They all stared at the thick mass of mist that billowed and seethed as if it were alive before them.  The hair on the back of Brendan's neck stood up and Margot's nails dug into his forearm. The Frenchman began muttering quiet oaths.         The tension was a thick as the mist.  They heard the creaks and groans of another vessel and braced themselves.         Abruptly, as if appearing there by magic, a small vessel sailed quietly out of the mist striking the only slightly larger boat they sat upon, nearly upsetting them.  "Merde!" yelled Margot, the only french word she knew passing her lips finally.         The rowman worked to keep it steady and when his boat sat calmly on the Seine once more.  "Bonjour!?" he called in bewilderment to the vessel that sat a few feet away.         There was no sign of life on the boat.  They rowed nearer, coming to rest side-by-side.  "Hello!" Brendan said.  It was hard to see in the setting sun, but he swore he saw two people lying on either side of the boat.         He beckoned to the man to hold the boat steady, then stepped carefully into the vessel, which he noted, had a curiously bearded face on the bow.         "I want to see, Brendan!" said Margot.         "No! Don't come-" Brendan glared as Margot lightly skipped over. "...over here." he finished lamely.         The rowman lighted his gas lantern and shone it on the two prone occupants.         One was a large man, not so old as to be elderly, but certainly past a mid-life crisis.  Steel gray whiskers marked his face and chin, it was the same atop his head.  He wore a long black trench coat and Brendan was astonished to find some sort of black body armor beneath it.  Was this man a special type of french policeman?         He took a quick check of the man's vitals. They were slow but steady.  "This one's unconscious." he said. "How's your patient?"         Margot sniffed. "Aside from a terrible case of no fashion sense, she's unconscious.  Nice jewelry, though."         Brendan blinked twice at the red-haired beauty, who wore only a halter top with one strap and a tattered loincloth which revealed little to the imagination.  A gold horned circlet adorned her brow and similar bands encircled one ankle and one arm.  Her breathing was also deep and easy.         "I wonder what could've happened to them..." Brendan frowned.         "Well, we'd better get them onto our boat and to shore and then to a hospital." said Margot.  "Just to be safe."         "Sure, sure..." said Brendan, musing away at theories.         With the rowman's help, they carried the man, then the woman aboard their boat, propping them up along the side while the couple sat on either side.         As the rowman started for the shore, the sun finally sank beneath the horizon.         In unison, both figures let out low groans.         "This one's waking up!" said Brendan happily.         "She is too!" Margot said.         Their eyes grew wider as the man sat up, facing Brendan, eyes squeezed tightly shut and began scratching away like mad at his back twisting around like a whip, groans turning into sharp cries.         "Brendan!" shrieked Margot.  "This...this woman...her's bulging!"         She fell back in horror as the woman abruptly sat up, moaning in agony, eyes burning a strange red color.  She shrieked as the skin on her shoulder blades bulged grotesquely outward as if two burrowing worms were trying desperately to reach the surface of the earth.  The shriek turned into a cat-like screech as two wings burst forth and unfolded.         On Brendan's side, the man was crying out in pain over and over, screaming until Brendan thought his throat would be ravaged beyond repair.  His eyes were filled with pain and bewilderment, hands clutching at his stomach.  Before Brendan could stop him the man dove off the side of the boat, somehow trying to run from his pain as if it were a living thing that could be avoided if one just knew where to go, where to hide.  In seconds, Brendan had lost sight of him.         He whipped his head downward as something supple slid across his leg.  His mouth dropped open. It was a tail.         Attached to the monster that stood in front of his wife.         The monster had ceased it's shrieking and stood, blue skin gleaming in the crimson fire of it's eyes.  Margot was the one who was screaming now, though she shut up with effort at one fanged snarl from the beast.         "Monster!  Monster!" shrieked the rowman, swinging his oar. The thing caught it and pushed it back against the man with inhuman strength, toppling him into the water.         Brendan and Margot could do nothing but stare as it crouched and leaped farther than any man could hope too at a nearby bridge, nearly upsetting the boat.         Latching onto the side with it's claws which dug into the stone. it climbed over to the side of the road and disappeared into the night.         Brendan recovered first, going over to his wife and holding her rocking her back and forth as she trembled, her normally sharp gaze flooding with tears.         After a few minutes, they helped the rowman back in and paddled with their hands to shore, the oar being lost beneath the river.  Margot thought fiercely that this was THE last time she would be threatened by beasts and monsters wherever they went.  Brendan made a note to place a call to their travel agent. *****         MacBeth sputtered and swore as he climbed wearily from the banks of the river.  Dripping wet, he collapsed on a bench and lay there, staring up blankly at the moon.         Where in God's name had that anguishing pain come from?  It had been like pouring melted glass into his veins.  And yet Demona had been nowhere near.  Or so he thought.         And where in blazes was he?  The last thing he remembered was being so close, so very close to finally ending it all.  He had nearly finished his ancient feud with Demona.  Finally, after all these centuries, she was at his mercy.  And then he was talked out of it by Goliath and those three mysterious women who had cursed him with this endless, lonely existence...         Fishing out a newspaper from a trash can besides the bench, he found out he had somehow been brought to Paris.  At least he could have a bath and warm bed this night.  He had a chateau on this very bank.         He was so very tired... *****         Demona swore an oath that had not been heard on this Earth in 800 years as she landed on the roof balcony of a house.  She shook her head to clear it.  It felt like she was in a haze.  The last clear thing she remembered was being held down by three little girls...but that was impossible. No human, let alone children, could hold her.  Other memories swam through her mind, briefly breaking the surface, but before she could latch onto them, they sunk below once more.         ...A featureless white background, nothingness given physical form.  There was nothing around her...and nothing inside of her. Horribly, terribly alone.  Only damning voices, musical in their song...         ~Who betrayed your clan?  And who caused this pain?~         ~Who betrayed the castle to the Vikings?~         ~Who created the Hunter?~         There were other images as well. Other gargoyles.  A large island.  Horrible mocking laughter that reminded her of her deceased former master, the Archmage.         And two black eyes, a child's face that mirrored her own, innocence personified.  Who was she?         "This is insane." she snarled to herself.  "Do not be weak!"         "Oh, you're anything but weak, my dear." said a deep baritone voice.  She whirled at the sound of clapping. couldn't be...         "Quite a good show you put on out there.  Nearly gave those humans heart attacks.  I was flying nearby and well, large amounts of screaming have a way of commanding my attention."         "Goliath!" hissed Demona.  "Come out and face me, coward!"         "Not even close." said the figure, stepping into the light.         Demona gasped.  "What...what ARE you!?"         " Thailog." he said dramatically, red eyes mirroring her own.  He strode toward her and took her hand, kissing it clumsily.         She made no move to stop him, she was so stunned. "But you look...just like..."         "Like Goliath?" he said, grinning. "That's because I am his clone."         "A clone!" she said, whipping her arm away.  "Get away from me, you abomination!" she snarled at him.         "Why do you run?" he asked. "When it would be so much easier and better to get to know me..."         "Because you are inferior! A genetic misfit! Not a true gargoyle!"         He growled low in his throat.  "First of all..." he said, slamming his fist into the wall, punching a hole clean through. "I am not inferior in any way, shape or form.  And while I may not
be naturally created, I have hopes and dreams just like any other
        She sniffed.  "How did you come to be?"
        "Xanatos created me to be his version of Goliath...all the
strength and none of the morals.  I have the, shall we say, same
outlook on life that he does.  I also had no wish to be someones
slave and so I escaped, in the process nearly killing him,
Dr. Servarius Goliath AND his charming little human friend."
        Demona smiled slightly at that.  "A shame you didn't succeed."
        "Yes, they do prove notoriously difficult to slay, don't they?
But you would know.  Xanatos told me a great deal about you.  A
great deal indeed."
        Demona frowned.  This was not good.  "Exactly what did he
tell you..." she asked warily.
        "All in good time, my dear, all in good time.  I have great
plans for the both of us."
        "Your arrogance will cost you your life!" she snarled, eyes
        "Calm yourself and listen.  What would you say to the fact
that I stole twenty million from Xanatos himself?"
        She straightened. "I'd say you were either very lucky or very
stupid.  Probably both."
        He placed a hand upon his heart. "Ah, a woman with fire...I
like you." he grinned.
        "Don't get used to it." she shot back.
        "I have a proposition for you.  I promise it will be most
        "I'm listening."
        "Become allies with me.  Help me build a power base among the
humans of this world.  With your, ahem, human touch, you and I could
become supreme among the human cattle, using or butchering them as we
see fit."
        She startled at the voice of Goliath using the word butcher
when applied to humans.  "What do I get out of it?" she said, warily.
        "Luxuries.  All the funding you need to carry out whatever
you wish."  He smirked.  "You genocidal types need room for
        "Humanity is a stain on this earth that must be wiped clean."
she hissed, memories surging upward, then down again.
        "Perhaps." he amended.  "But in the meantime, I'd like to have
some fun with their bank accounts first.  What is your answer?"
        She considered his offer.  He was definitely Xanatos's progeny,
she could not deny that.  He didn't seem to have Goliath's insanely
naive views toward humans and towards the world in general.
        Thoughts of him being a clone were torn from their roots and
left to drift away.  He was quite attractive after all...
        Everything Goliath was not...
        Above all else, she would not be alone anymore.
        "I accept." she said quietly.
        "Excellent!" he almost hissed.
        "Come, my dear...the world awaits." he held out his hand.
        She took it slowly, biting her lip.  This was exactly as it had
been on the night before the Cyberbiotics airship raid...
        Forcing down old feelings, she spread her wings.
        And they both leapt off into the night sky.

The End.