Only a Moment Away
This is a story that has been playing around in the back of my mind for
some weeks. The premise of this came to me while musing over the
Timedancer story "Not a prison make" in which Brooklyn assists in the
creation of the first gargoyle four thousand or more years ago.
With the assistance of Ms. Krystiana Slinkey I was able to craft this
story so it works into a just slightly skewed version of the TGS: Gargoyles
story/timeline that has been posted over the `net these past months. This story
is part of a timeline wherein Ms. Slinkey's story arc, "To live again", takes
place just before Brooklyn is whisked off on his personal odyssey across time
(between "Equality" and "Out of joint" I&II). My thanks again Ms. Slinkey
for your assistance (however unknowing it may have been). My thanks also
to all of the rest of you writers who so inspired me to take up my pen again
after far too long.
This story takes place not long after the TGS: Gargoyles episode
"Prophets and angels". I'm placing my break away from the mainstream
history of the Wyvern Clan at this point because I was reading the TGS
episodes months before I found the fantastic fan fiction archive that inspired
me so. I could not just throw away all the work of the TGS staff that had
partially led me to write my story. All stories that follow this one will be in
my own splinter world. I hope all of you enjoy my contributions even half as
much as I've enjoyed your works.
Legalese: All the characters introduced during the run of the television
show `Gargoyles' are the property of Disney / Buena Vista and their usage is
for no profit except the further enjoyment to the readers of the Gargoyles
archieves. The characters introduced by the TGS staff are the creation of
those writers, and their use in my story is a tribute to those who wouldn't let a
good story die.
The brief excerpt from a song by one of my longtime favorite song-
writers that I used for the title of this yarn was a last minute thought on my
part. It is meant as a tip of the hat to him, not as a copyright infringement.
Prologue # 1 (an adaption from a work by K. Slinkey)
He grabbed Maza around the neck again and held her over the side of
the building. Angela dashed forward, seeing Iago/Brooklyn was preoccupied
with the stuggling woman.
He let her go.
Angela cried out her friend's name as she went to throw herself off the
building after Maza. Iago moved Brooklyn's body in her path to block her.
Angela struggled with him, trying to pass, to no avail. He knocked her to one
side. She half cried, half moaned “No”, then threw herself back at the one
who had murdered her friend.
‘So, this is it.’ flashed through Maza's mind so quickly she barely
noticed it. She remembered Goliath's promise to her; “I'll always be there to
catch you”. She didn't blame him, she couldn't. It had been her choice to go
with Angela. She was just saddened that she wasn't able to say good-bye.
As a colage of memories flashed across her mind Maza remarked to
herself about how long the fall was lasting. The wind rushed past her and she
closed her eyes, waiting for the ground to catch her.
There was a sudden jerk at her shoulders and Maza felt herself change
direction. She tried to get a glimpse of her rescuer but couldn't quite get her
head around. They finally landed on the ground level of the Cloisters. Maza
staggered a few steps, then turned to look to see who had followed her and
Angela. She gasped and took a step back in shock.
It was Demona.
Prologue # 2 (an adaption from the TGS:Gargoyles story `A Mid-Winter's Tale' with an
acknowledgement to the crew that put together that story. )
All of the sudden, the door to the courtyard opened and everyone at the
table fell silent. There stood Angela; smiling happily, and Demona. It was
hard to place the emotion on her face, but it was a sort of wistful regret mixed
with her usual scorn.
Everyone stiffened. Brooklyn glanced at his children, now quietly
standing behind Lexington. The web-winged gargoyle was watching every
slight move Demona was making. Brooklyn shook his head once. He had
lost his intense hatred for Demona while the Phoenix Gate was throwing him
across time but he was wary of the Demona of this time. Though she had
shown some promising behavior toward the Clan, the grudges Demona bore
the assembled party could lead her to unpredictable action. Brooklyn looked
at the other end of the table.
Goliath rose from his chair, frowning, but was beat out of saying
anything by Angela.
“I've spent the evening with my mother and she was simply escorting
me home Father.” Goliath nodded but didn't sit back down. Demona looked
at the gathered group for several moments, then turned to her daughter.
“Perhaps this was not such a good idea Angela. I will go now that I
have seen you safely home.” She went to leave but Angela grabbed her arm.
“No. Stay, cousin.” Brooklyn stood slowly as he spoke. Most of the
eyes in the room swung to him in shock.
Angela seconded the sentiment. “Yes, please stay Mother. Tonight is
for celebrating with Clan, family and friends. ‘No one should be alone on this
night’.”' Angela gave Goliath a meaningful look as she quoted him.
“Do you come in peace tonight Demona?” asked Brooklyn before
Golaith could respond to his daughter.
“Yes.” responded the azure gargoyle.
“Any parent in this room will agree with me in saying that our children
teach us at least as much as we teach them. They help us to grow in
unexpected ways as we try to guide them into becoming productive
individuals.” Brooklyn began to move around the table. “Angela has helped
her mother grow, to help her see there is more to life than all consuming
desire. If she hadn't changed, at least a little, then the Clan would be short
two, maybe three, of it's warriors tonight instead of having had a whole family
of Timedancers join it.” He smiled briefly at his mate before returning his
gaze to Goliath and Hudson.
“Demona has grown because of her association with Angela, but she
may have come as far as Angela can take her. If she is to continue to grow,
then it has to be up to us.” He looked around at his Clan-mates and shrugged.
Goliath looked at his elder, who nodded, then at Elisa's smiling assent.
He returned his gaze to Demona “If you come in peace for tonight Demona,
then be welcome in peace.” He gestured at the two empty chairs next to
Broadway and sat back down.
Brooklyn stepped up to Demona and stuck his arm out. Surprised,
Demona clasped his forearm reflexively. “It’s good to see you again.” he said,
“Hello Brooklyn.” She crooked an eye ridge at him and crossed her
arms. “I don’t know whether to thank you for your support just know or
knock you on your rump for the way you went about it.” Brooklyn irked her
all over again by chuckling for a moment. She growled low in her throat,
which only amused him further.
“It seems I'm destined to keep following in your footsteps Demona.
Goliath named me his second to fill the vacancy you left after our parting of
the ways. You were the first of us to wield the Phoenix Gate.” He turned
away for a moment and held his hand out. Sata stood and moved to his side.
“I was just gone for a little longer than you were. Demona, it gives me more
pleasure than I can possibly describe to introduce you to my mate Sata of
Ishimura. Beloved, this is Demona, Angela's mother.” The jade green female
bowed to Demona.
“Konbanwa Demona-san. It is good to meet you at last. Brooklyn has
told me a great deal about you.”
Demona was slow to answer. “...Really? Has he now?” She looked at
him, sullen questions in her eyes.
“Hai. Please, it would be an honor to have you join our Solstice
celebration. Come, I believe we have a place waiting for you.” Sata gestured
to the empty chair next to the one Angela had just sat back down in.
“Thank you Sata-san. I am the one who is honored tonight.” Sata
returned Demona's smile as the older gargoyle went to sit down next to her
Brooklyn took his mate's hand in his and gave her a quick grateful
squeeze. She smiled at him. “It will be well beloved.” She whispered.
“....ONLY A MOMENT AWAY....”
As the sun once again dipped to the west the shadows across
Manhattan's face grew and spread. Of course the last places touched by Sol's
warmth were the battlements of the castle nestled on top of the city's tallest
building. As night finally fell there the slumbering forms atop the ancient
fortress woke with their customary roars. From that point though, things took
a bit of a twist...
Goliath smiled on his daughter and old friends as he jumped down
from his perch to where they were gathering. They all greeted him warmly as
they always did, but while he was returning their hails his mind turned to she
who had captured his heart.
“I thought Elisa said she would be here to greet us when we woke
tonight. Did she mention a change of plans to any of you?” While he spoke
Goliath looked over the faces of the clan, seeing only his confusion mirrored
in their eyes. Out of the corner of his vision Goliath saw Owen Burnett
approach the group. Burnett, the executive assistant/Major-domo of David
Xanatos, looked as stiff and buttoned-down as ever in his usual pressed blue
suit and ramrod straight posture. He ahemed as the clan was answering their
leader's question in the negative.
“Good evening Goliath, everyone. How are you tonight?” All eyes
turned to Burnett as he spoke.
“We're fine Mr. Burnett. Yourself?” Burnett noted the narrowing of
several sets of eyes as the gargoyles regarded him.
“Aren't you supposed to be in your office doing whatever Xanatos
needs you to to help him and Fox take over the world?”
“Brooklyn!” That came from Goliath and Sata, the crimson-hued
gargoyle's mate. All of the clan knew of Burnett's alter-ego. Since Brooklyn's
return from his travels across time he had shown little affection for the
disguised fae. Before Goliath could say anything further to his second Sata
had grabbed Brooklyn by the arm and was walking away with him, speaking
to him quietly in a tongue Goliath didn't recognize. Probably Japanese, mused
the lavender giant as he turned his attention back to Burnett.
“My apologies Mr. Burnett.”
“No need for that Goliath, no offense taken. I'm sure Brooklyn meant
no insult.” Burnett fiddled with his glasses for a moment. “I have a message
for you Goliath, from Detective Maza.”
“Is she all right?” came from several throats immediately. Burnett
looked around at the expectant faces before continuing.
“I spoke to Detective Maza myself almost two hours ago. She sounded
like she was in good health. She asked me to pass on her apologies to you for
not being here when you awoke. She said she had an unavoidable meeting to
get to that would last past sunset. She did however ask for you, Goliath,
Angela and Brooklyn to meet her in the courtyard of Bellvedere castle in”
Burnett looked at his wristwatch quickly, “roughly ninety minutes. At seven
Goliath frowned and growled low in his throat to himself. “Thank you
for coming up here to pass on Elisa's message yourself Mr. Burnett. We
appreciate your help.”
Burnett gave a brief nod. “It was my pleasure Goliath” He turned
away and headed back to his office. Goliath turned to look at Hudson, who
shrugged, then Angela.
“I have no idea either father. Elisa must have something she needs to
talk about with us.” Brooklyn and Sata had returned to the group.
“I can only guess also Goliath. Maybe she picked Central Park
because she knew it would be easier for us to see her there after her meeting. It
would be just a quick break for us, and her, from our patrols.” Goliath
nodded at Brooklyn's words, and frowned again.
“Didn't Elisa say tonight was her night off?”
“That was what I was just thinking Lexington,” rumbled Goliath.
“It can't be anything bad Goliath." Broadway shrugged his wide
shoulders. “If it was really any trouble, Matt would be here to tell us about it.
“....Yes, you're right Broadway.” Goliath put aside the question of
Elisa's whereabouts for the moment. ‘If she's not at the castle, then...’ “We'll
go out in two groups. Brooklyn, Angela, you're with me. Sata, Broadway,
you go with Hudson.”
“What about us?” shot out immediately from Brooklyn's twin children,
Arianna and Graeme. Goliath looked down at them then at their parents.
“Well, we know Lexington-san has the night off from patrol tonight,
but he probably has plans.....” Sata looked from the twins to Lexington.
Brooklyn turned back to his leader.
“Elisa didn't make it sound like there would be any trouble when we
met her later. She asked for us specifically but she didn't say no one else could
come with us.” The twins suddenly smiled, hopeful. “I haven't had the chance
to show Arianna and Graeme the castle yet.”
“True. All right. Arianna and Graeme will come with us.” He knelt
down, looking the two children in the eyes. “You two will provide air support
for Angela, your father, and I. You will stay in the air when we three land at
the castle. If it is safe I will wave to you to come down. If it is not then I
know I can trust you to come back here for your mother and the others.
“YES!” Again, in unison, with the ritual tail slapping. Everyone
laughed or chuckled at their antics. Lexington, followed by Bronx, turned
toward the stairs leading down into the castle.
A moment later Sata, Broadway and Hudson were away. Angela and
the twins had just jumped off the castle wall when Goliath held Brooklyn back
for a moment. The larger gargoyles eyes glowed for a moment.
“Brooklyn, I do not want my apologizing for you to become a regular
Brooklyn bowed his head sheepishly for a moment and ran his hand
through his long white hair. “Sorry Goliath. Didn't mean to put you on the
spot like that. Won't happen again, I swear.” Goliath nodded and the two
leapt off into the night. The worry in the back of his mind resurfaced and
Goliath's joy at flight was dampened for a moment.
‘Please be well beloved, I'll be waiting...’
Almost an hour earlier....
“I must be nuts.” muttered Elisa Maza to herself again as she continued
to pace back and forth across the executive reception area of Nightstone
Unlimited, where she had been waiting for nearly forty minutes. The willowy
detective ran her hand through her sable hair nervously. ‘god, I never should
have had taken that cappochino that her secretary offered me. I was nervous
enough before I got here. Now I'm nervous, and wired. I hope to god this is
not a mistake. I don't even know if she will give me a chance to say anything.’
Maza shook her head. ‘She has to. This is way too --’ The elevator door
opened, breaking up her reverie.
Dominique Destine took three steps out from the elevator and stopped
like she'd hit a wall, her expression as she looked at Maza clearly displaying
her shock. She smiled wickedly as she recovered.
“Well now, this is a surprise. Detective Maza, to what do I owe the
pleasure of your visit? Especially all dolled up as you are.” Maza had doffed
her usual leather jacket and jeans for a dark skirt and jacket with a blue
blouse. Her answer surprised Destine all over again.
“I always dress up for special occasions.” She put her arms out at her
sides and turned around once, then approached Destine. “I left my gun and
badge in my car downstairs. No one knows I'm here. I need to talk to you.
Please, I think it's important.”
Destine stood there for a moment, regarding her as she tapped her
forefinger against her teeth. “All right Ms. Maza. You've got me curious
enough to give you a few minutes. Come into my office.”
She looked at her assistant as she passed. “Please hold my calls while
Ms. Maza and I ....talk about what brought her here.” The receptionist
nodded as Destine opened the door to her office and waved Maza inside.
Maza stopped next to the chair at the front of Desitne's desk as her
hostess moved around to her seat. “You are showing more courage than I
gave you credit for Maza. It's got me too curious to just shoot you dead where
you stand. I'll do that after you tell me why you're here. Have a seat.”
Maza looked at the chair a moment, then back at her. “If you don't
mind, I'll stand.” She caught the scowl that flashed across Destine's face and
held her hand up. “Right now I'm more nervous than I've been in more ten
years and I know if I sit down I'll be fidgeting up a storm right away.”
Curiosity immediately switched to alarm and Destine almost came out
of her seat. “Is Angela all right?!?”
“Yes. I saw her go to sleep this morning. This isn't about her, or
Goliath, or the Clan. This is about what we owe you.”
“Yes. Brooklyn and I. Six months ago, for me, you saved both our
lives. You started out that night meaning to save just him, but you saved me
too. You could have let me die. The Clan would have looked on it as a friend
who died in battle, and you would have walked away clean with the two
people you hate the most either dead or grieving.”
“Not all of the Clan.”
“What do you mean?”
“Not all of the Clan would have thought of it as ‘a friend dying in
battle’. Brooklyn would never have forgiven himself for killing you, and
Angela would have been devastated for not being able to save you. You see,
“You can call me Elisa, if you want.” That stopped Destine in her
tracks again. “Brooklyn knew what Iago was doing?”
“Yes, that was the way the spell worked. The owner of the host body
would be put in state like....I'm not sure I can describe it.” She thought for a
moment. “Imagine that you are a marionette, able to see and hear and feel,
but not able to move unless someone pulls on your strings for you. Iago was
the one pulling the strings, Brooklyn was the puppet.”
Paled, Maza finally did sit down. “My god.” She was quiet for a few
minutes, Destine watching her.
“Maybe that's why he did it.” Maza finally said to herself, almost.
“Why who did what?”
Maza looked back at her. “We were surprised at how friendly
Brooklyn was to you the night of the Solstice festival. Some of us thought
that maybe it was because of something he witnessed during his journey
through the Phoenix gate. I guess it was because of your exorcising Iago from
Destine shrugged. “He had to want it to happen as much as I did for it
to work. We worked on casting Iago out together.” She paused. “How is he
“He's happy. Who wouldn't be, with a wonderful mate, two great kids
and being back with his Clan after forty years away? He does seem a little sad
sometimes, when he thinks no one is watching. I think he misses some of the
people he knew during his travels. He cared very much about Pandora,”
“Oh, not that again.” Destine broke in. “Brooklyn must have made
that story up out of whole cloth.”
“You scoffed at it during the Solstice festival too, and looked away
from Brooklyn when he finished.”
“Yes. Of course. Your point?”
“You didn't see what he did right after that. He opened his mouth like
he was going to say something more and raised his hand. He changed his
mind at the last moment, didn't say anything and ran his hand through his hair
as he sat down again.” Maza stood up. “ He looked like he was about to tell
us something. Something important.”
“How did you come to that conclusion?” The scorn in Destine's voice
brought Maza's head back around to look at her.
“He was shaking his head as he sat down, and his eyes locked with
mine for a second. Then he winked at me, smiled sadly, and nodded his head
in your general direction.”
She was quiet for a moment again. “At first I thought he was going to
tell us something. Now the more that I think about it, I wonder if he told us
already. Both of us owe our lives to you, an immortal being. I don't know
how I could pay you back. I think Brooklyn did, and he wanted me to help.
That's why I'm here. I have a question for you.”
“Really? Am I to think you'll believe my answer?” Destine smiled
“I know enough about genetics that I think I know the answer already.
I just want to hear it from the best available source on genetic engineering.”
“A compliment?? By all the gods, I don't believe it!! Tell me the
truth, who are you and what have you done with Detective Maza?”
“Dammit, will you stop already? Something extremely important
happened to us and we BOTH missed it. Brooklyn tried to tell us about it and
we either scorned him or weren't paying attention to what he was saying.” She
sat down again and put her face in her hands.
Destine looked at her for a few moments, her face unreadable. ‘She
couldn't possibly be...’ “What was your question Elisa?”
Maza looked up at her, not caring that her enemy saw her tears.
“Genetically speaking, what's the difference between Angela, and...
“Just speaking genetically, the difference is Hollywood is a distorted
copy of one gargoyle; Broadway. Angela is formed from the gamete created
when Goliath fertilized one of my eggs.”
“He was made from one D.N.A. source. She from the mix of two
“Exactly. What is this all about Maza?” The dusky skinned woman
sighed and one more tear rolled down her cheek.
“Sometimes in the rush of events a small significant happening gets
overlooked. That's understandable, almost. With the various things going on
in our lives we missed a big, huge, significant event.” She looked at her
watch. “It's almost sundown. I have to go pick up something before I have to
meet someone in about half an hour. Also, you have to find a quiet place
to...change. I'm going to Bellvedere castle in the park after that. Could you
meet me there in about an hour?” She stood and started towards the door
without hearing the answer, surprising Destine one last time.
She started around the desk after the detective. “Wait Maza! You still
haven't told me what this is about. I can't just let you leave without telling
Maza stopped cold, her hand on the doorknob, and looked back at the
woman who was now only a few feet away. “I don't think I can just tell you.
For you to believe, you have to be shown. I'll see you there.”
Maza leaned against the wall lining the courtyard of Bellvedere castle,
waiting. The chilly wind that had sprung up after sunset was blowing her hair
around and making her wish she had thought to bring her earmuffs with her.
This early spring cold snap had caught her after she had put most of her winter
clothes away, of course. She was glad that she could put on the bulky
overcoat that she had borrowed from Matt Bluestone, her fellow detective and
partner. She was better off than some. A group of young people passed her,
looking at the castle. One couple caught her attention. They were both
dark-skinned. Her eyes had an Asian cast to them. She was leaning against
her friend for warmth.
“I don’t believe I thought this was a good idea.” said the dark-haired
woman, pushing her long wavy hair away from her face.” Maza couldn’t help
laughing quietly along with the woman’s companion.
“Not everyplace can be warm year ‘round Janelle. We don’t have
winds like this in South Cal. either. I’m no more used to it than you.” Maza
lost their voices when the couple turned around the corner. She again
congratulated herself for the foresight to borrow the extra things she was
‘This really doesn't feel too bad. I would have thought that these things
would have felt bulkier. They almost feel like street clothes, not much
different than a heavy sweater.’
“Elisa!” Maza looked up at the sound of the familiar voice. She
smiled wide as the two figures landed on the flagstones in front of her.
“Hey, furball.” Elisa walked over and gave her brother a big hug.
“Good to see you Derek. How're things treating you?”
“Great. Claw tried to glide again for the first time yesterday. Then
Saeko helped him back to his feet, not even her face saying ‘I told you so’. As
big as he is now, he hates feeling helpless; like he isn't pulling his weight.”
Derek Maza/Talon chuckled low in his chest. “I suspect he also had a
“Was Saeko suitably impressed?”
“Oh, I think so.” They both laughed at that as they separated. Maza
held her hand out to Talon's companion. “Hi. How are you?”
“Good.” She shook Maza's hand nervously.
“I'm glad you could come. I've been meaning to talk to you. That can
wait for a few minutes, though. Tell me what you've been up to.” Maza made
an effort to calm her companion's anxiety as they sat on one of the stone
benches. Slowly it began to work. Maza smiled at her brother and winked.
‘She should be here any minute.’ Maza looked at her brother. “Look
“Okay, Elisa, I get it. I don't think I'd want to be here for a session of
‘girl talk’ anyway. I'll see you back in the labyrinth later right?”
“You bet furball. Talk to you later.” Talon was up on the wall, ready
to glide away when Maza called out to him again. “Thanks Derek.” He
smiled and waved as he took off.
Maza looked back at the young lady sitting next to her. She was
looking down at the flagstones and wringing her hands. Maza crouched in
front of her and took her hands in her own. “Hey, hey, it's all right. I don't
want you to be nervous. There's nothing to be afraid of here. I just needed to
talk to you about a few things. That is, me and a....woman I know need to
talk to you. You don't need to be worried.”
“Yes she does.” Maza turned at the sound of Demona's snarling voice,
saw the gargoyle finish her leap over the wall on the opposite end of the
courtyard and point one of her usual blasters at the two of them. Maza stood
up between Demona and Delilah, who had also stood, but was unsure of what
to do. Maza put her hands up in front of her and started walking toward
“Easy, easy. Demona please, there's no need for that now.”
“Yes, right. I was wondering if you had lost your mind earlier
detective. Now I'm sure of it.” Maza continued to close on her as Demona
ranted. She stopped with the muzzle to Demona's weapon less than five feet
from her heart.
“Please, put that down. I didn't get us together just so you could kill
her.” Demona's eyes lit up and she growled. Delilah crept closer to the pair,
keeping Maza's body between herself and Demona's gun.
“Did you really think I wouldn't kill her on sight Maza!? You really
are a fool! She tried to kill my daughter!!! She's a sickening abomination that
doesn't deserve to live! I'm going to enjoy destroying her. Get out of the way
or I'll kill you first.”
Maza stepped forward. The muzzle was now right against her chest.
“No. She's not an abomination, she's a child. She's our child.”
That made both of them gasp. Demona's eyes blazed even more and
she shifted her stance so she had her blaster in both hands, the stock against
Maza had half-turned away and taken Delilah's hand in hers. “You
said it yourself in your office. The difference between a clone and a regular
child is that a child is created from the mixing of two D.N.A. sources. Yes,
Thailog and Sevarius may have grown her in a lab, but she was grown from
parts of us! A womb is just another kind of incubator.”
Demona's eyes had returned to normal and she lowered the blaster a
“I...am...your child...?” A whisper, with an even quieter wisp of
expectation and yearning behind it. Maza looked at her and smiled.
“Yes Delilah, you are our daughter.” She glanced back and saw
Demona was still trying to overcome the shock at her news. She hugged the
young gargoyle for a moment then faced Demona, her eyes glistening.
“Look Demona, Angela has been saying for months that we should
give you another chance. Here it is.” The gun dropped a little more. “Delilah
can't help the way she was created, or what Thailog meant for her to be. She's
here, she's alive, and she deserves a chance to live as much as anyone. You
weren't able to raise your first daughter, you can help raise your second, if you
want to.” Maza swallowed and gambled a last time.
“She hasn't really done anything to really deserve your hatred
Demona. If you want to shoot someone, then shoot me.” Delilah tensed up at
that. Maza glanced at her and shook her head. “Easy, relax.” She turned
back. “Let my hope live. Please.”
“What do you mean, ‘your hope’?” Demona's gun was pointed at the
ground and her expression was as softened as Maza had ever seen it.
“For months I've been wrestling with the assumption that because of
the choices I've made that I'd never be able to have children. I didn't care for
the idea. Like you, Goliath didn't have the chance to watch his child grow up.
I wanted him to be able to do so. I wanted to be able to do so, but if we stayed
together, it didn't seem likely that either of us would ever be so blessed. Then
Brooklyn told us about Pandora, and it got me to thinking about Delilah.
She's living proof that Brooklyn's story was true. Gargoyles and humans may be
genetically compatible.” Demona's eyes blazed red again. “That may have
been what Brooklyn was going to say after he finished his story at the Solstice
festival.” Maza moved close enough for her forehead to almost touch
Demona's. “He wanted you to have the chance to know Delilah, to watch her
grow like you weren't able to watch Angela. He doesn't want you to be alone
Demona gestured at Delilah as the glow in her eyes faded again. The
young gargoyle was watching them with saucer-wide eyes. “She's already full
grown Elisa. How could I --”
“She's not even two years old Demona. She may be a quick study, but
she still has very much to learn. Both of us could teach her. Both of us should
teach her, but you have to want to.” Maza turned away and walked over to
where she and Delilah had been sitting earlier. Delilah watched her go by then
looked back at Demona, both of them unsure of what to do.
Delilah took a step forward. “Mother...?” Breaking down, Demona
immediately drew her daughter into a tight embrace and she wept.
Maza had taken off Bluestone's coat. She took the hand units
belonging with the Xanatos body armor torso she was wearing out of the small
bag that she had brought with her and put them on. Pulling out her pistol,
Maza walked back to the gargoyles.
Demona saw her coming, holding a gun. She pulled Delilah aside and
pointed her blaster at Maza. “What are you doing!?!”
Maza froze. “Easy Demona. Watch.” She ejected the clip and moved
the slide to eject the bullet in the barrel. “It's okay, all right? We both know it
would be --” Her words were cut off by an all too familiar battlecry. All three
looked up to see Goliath diving at Demona.
Demona had an easy target. Without even bothering to check first
Maza tackled Demona, ruining her shot and taking Delilah down with them.
Goliath flew right through where Demona had been standing and landed a few
yards away. He immediately turned to renew his attack but was drawn up short by Maza's shout of “STOP!”
Demona's gun had bounced a few inches away when the three had hit
the ground. She was reaching for it, ready to sweep Maza and Delilah off of
her then start killing when she heard Maza yell and saw she was pointing at
Angela and Brooklyn had also landed. Their faces mirrored the
confusion evident in Goliath's expression. Delilah stood up.
Maza put her hand on Demona's gun hand as she moved off of her.
“Please, don't.” She picked up her automatic and stood. Demona moved into
a crouch, her hand still on the blaster. Goliath growled and took a step
“Mother, no!” exclaimed Angela as Maza moved toward Goliath. She
didn't have the chance to reach him before surprise wiped the anger off his
face. Maza turned to see that Delilah had placed herself between Goliath and
Demona, facing the lavender male and growling, ready to fight.
“Okay, everybody, let's take a deep breath and calm down. No one
here wants to fight tonight.” She turned to her beau and put her arms around
He looked at her. “Elisa, what has happened here?” Behind her,
Demona chuckled at Goliath's familiar tone of voice, knowing the expression
on his face without having to look at him. She stood, leaving the blaster on the
ground. Goliath's gaze switched between then, looking only more befuddled.
“It's all right Goliath, really.”
Maza walked to Angela and embraced her. “Hey Angela.”
Now Angela looked confused too. “Hello Elisa. ...We were worried
That brought more laughter. Brooklyn was smiling wide and keeping
his beak clamped shut to keep from howling. Maza noticed this. “Listen Red,
don't you dare start laughing at us. You know you're the one who set all this
up.” Brooklyn put his hands up and tried to feign innocence, with no success.
“What exactly has been going on here?!” growled Goliath again.
Maza smiled wide and walked toward Delilah, pulling Angela with
her. “Come here kiddo, I want you to meet somebody.” She stopped so that
they, Demona, and Delilah were in a circle facing each other.
“Angela Brigitte Wyvern-Destine, I'd like you to meet...” She looked
at Demona, who finished for her. “Delilah Hope Destine-Maza.”
They both turned to Angela and spoke in unison. “Your little sister.”
Goliath roared and Brooklyn quickly moved to restrain him. Everyone
else was focused on Angela. Her hands flew up to her mouth and she took a
half-step back, wide eyed. Delilah gave her a small smile and said “Hi.”
before the young gargoyle wrapped her up, arms then wings around her
newfound sibling. Demona embraced them both.
Maza walked over to Goliath, who was still struggling with Brooklyn.
“Easy Big Guy, easy. It's all right.” She embraced him again.
“What are you doing here Elisa? What is all this about!?!”
“Calm down Goliath, please. Demona, Delilah and I had to some
things to talk about. We were almost done when you three arrived.”
“But what were you talking about? Delilah is not Angela's sister.”
“No Goliath, she's her half-sister. They both have one parent in
common: Demona.” Goliath looked from his second back to Maza.
“We thought Delilah was a clone...”
“No Goliath, she's not a clone” This time Maza answered his question.
“A clone is grown from the cell of an individual person into a duplicate of that
individual. Delilah was made from the mixing of two individuals' D.N.A.,
like a normal child.” They looked at the two young gargoyles. “Just like
Angela has Demona's body, but with your coloring and hair; Delilah has
Demona's body, with my features and hair, almost.”
“You and Demona are Delilah's parents?!?” Maza nodded and smiled.
Goliath's anger left him. “I think I need to sit down.”
Brooklyn moved away from the couple and called up to the twins so
they would join the group. Maza looked Goliath for a moment after he sat
“Will you be all right here for a minute love? I need to talk to Demona
for a moment longer.” He looked at her and nodded. Maza moved back to
the trio of female Gargoyles. Angela hugged her this time.
“Oh, Elisa, this is the most wonderful of news. Thank you thank you
thank you!” Maza smiled at her.
“I'm not done yet Angela. Come on over here.” They moved back to
Demona and Delilah. Maza held her gun out, the handle toward Demona.
“Grab hold you two.” Demona and Delilah complied, their confusion
showing. “Everybody squeeze!” The three of them made the gun into a
twisted piece of scrap.
“I was wondering what the body armor was for Elisa,” commented
“Me too mother.” Remarked Angela.
Maza was still holding the gun out. “I'd like to have a truce between
us Demona, for our daughter's sake. Will you accept this as a symbol of my
desire for peace?”
Angela's breath caught in her throat. Demona tensed up and her voice
hissed out. “You ask for the impossible, Elisa. It would never work.”
“You've lived for more than a thousand years. What is that, six times
your lifespan? Angela died. I've died, more than once. Who can say what's
impossible? Is there really any such thing?”
“The Clan will never accept it, never trust me.”
“With good reason,” was tossed in from nearby. Angela threw her
father a frosty gaze. Maza ignored it. Demona shrugged; ‘see?’ She turned
“Wait!” from Maza, Angela and Brooklyn. Goliath glared at his
“I told you; this isn't about the Clan. All you've known for a thousand
years is anger, grief and loneliness. Haven't you had enough?” Maza moved
next to Demona, who was still poised to jump off the courtyard wall.
“Look at them. Can't you see how much they want you to be part of
their lives. There's no way I'll believe that you don't feel the same.” Demona
looked over her shoulder at Angela and Delilah. A brushing contact with her
mind drew her gaze beyond their expectant faces.
‘Nothing is forever cousin. You can either live in love with your
children, and their children, or exist in anger alone. Your daughters want to
help you, to heal your heart. Would you rather spend the next two hundred
years the same way you've spent the last thousand?’
Demona closed her eyes and bowed her head. Angela, then Delilah,
embraced her, their cheeks brushing hers, wiping aside the tears that had
started again. Demona's hands slowly reached out and took the wrecked pistol
from Maza. “For their sakes, I will try.”
“Yes!!” shouted the sisters as they embraced both females. The four
moved apart and Maza called out. “Goliath, come over here please. We need
you.” Maza didn't have to look to know that Demona's face had darkened.
Goliath joined the circle, standing between Angela and Maza.
“I can't say that I love all of you,” said Maza as she looked around at
the four gargoyles, “but because of who or what you are, all of you are
important to me.” She took Goliath and Delilah's hands in hers. “Our Clan is
made up of mostly unusual families. We've got Timedancers, mutates, clones,
warriors, protectors, and us.” She noted that Angela had joined hands with
her parents. “This group got it's start more than a thousand years ago.” She
was quiet for a moment, all eyes on her, waiting. “I hadn't made a new years
resolution yet, until now. My wish is that all of us are here to see this small
circle get bigger, and bigger still. We don't have to all be friends, but do we
really have to be enemies?”
The azure gargoyle looked at her one-time love, who had closed his
eyes and dipped his chin a little. “No,” she said. Angela closed her eyes,
overcome with emotion. Everyone else looked at Goliath. He was silent for a
“Elisa, what was the point of all this? Why did you want us to meet
“Delilah is my daughter. I wanted to be sure she knew she had a place
with my adopted Clan, if she so chooses. If her dream is to touch the sky, then
I want to help her make that come true.” She gave Delilah's hand a squeeze.
“I want her to be able to do whatever she wants to.”
Goliath finally he opened his eyes. “There are so few of us now Elisa.
In all the world there may be only one full Clan left. Rejecting Delilah merely
because of her origins would be ridiculous. Of course you are welcome
hatchling.” He smiled at her briefly. “In the ancient times our Clan did not
give any thought to parentage. Any gargoyle would be welcome in the Clan,”
he shifted his gaze to the female on the other side of Delilah, “unless he or she
showed themselves to be a danger to the Clan.”
Demona's eyes lit up and Brooklyn slapped his hand over his eyes.
Angela's eyes widened. “Father...” She faltered, unsure of how to proceed.
Tears began to drip slowly from the corners of Goliath's eyes. “More
than a hundred gargoyles died that last day at Wyvern. Of the forty-three of
us who survived the slaughter, forty-two were lucky. Hudson and I were
seconds from jumping off a bluff to the east of the castle when the dawn
caught us. If the Vikings had done a thorough job sacking the castle the trio,
Bronx, and all the eggs in the Rookery would have been destroyed too.” His
wings shuddered a bit, showing his anger. Angela's face showed her horror.
Demona jumped in before he could continue. “You should have taken
the Clan with you, like I advised you!!!”
“No, YOU should have taken the Clan with you. I left you to watch
over the others. You knew the attack was coming, that the castle defenses
would fail, but all you did was save yourself. You turned your back on the
Clan. You left your brothers and sisters, and our daughter, to die.” Angela
covered her face with her hands. Her sobs wracking her body. Goliath
gathered her into his embrace. “For you, it has been more than a thousand
years, but for us....most of us....” Goliath glanced at Brooklyn, who had
moved closer with the twins. His second wasn't crying, but his children's faces
matched the sadness in his eyes. “For us, it has been less than four years.
Even if I was willing to forgive you, I could not forget what you have done.”
He turned away, taking Angela with him.
Maza had to make the effort. “Goliath....” Her eyes flashed from him
to Demona, and back. Demona put her hand up to forestall her and shook her
head. “No Elisa, let it go.” She took the detective's hands in her claws. “You
did what you set out to do today. Our daughter will find her own way, as she
desires. That is enough for me.” She dropped her eyes and sighed. “If you
pursue this now, it will only hurt you.”
That stopped Goliath in his tracks. He half-turned back. “A good
effort Demona. You actually sounded sincere just now.”
Gasps from everyone but Delilah, even the twins. Angela broke away
from her father, crying all the more in fury, and ran to the edge of the
courtyard. She was off before anyone had moved.
“Delilah, go after her!” barked Maza. “Stay with her, no matter what.”
The young gargoyle complied at once. “You, don't you dare take another
step.” Goliath stopped as if her icy tone had literally frozen him in place. As
he turned to her the twins leapt off the courtyard to follow the half-sisters.
“That was completely uncalled for Goliath, and it was such a low blow
that I'm surprised her knees aren't bleeding. No!” She slammed his unspoken
defense back down his throat. “You had your say, now it's my turn. Yes, she
has been a danger to us, but she has changed. Angela has been a very good
influence on her, and I hoped Delilah would be too. If she was as bad off as
you think she is she wouldn’t have saved my life at the Cloisters weeks ago.”
“Our lives Elisa, and Goliath, she would not have visited you at least
twice a year for the first six hundred years we were cursed.” They all looked
at the red skinned gargoyle.
“What?” from Goliath, getting in just ahead of Demona.
“How do you know that Brooklyn?!?”
“I once had the opportunity to read a journal of MacBeth's. In it he
spoke of his pursuit of you. He told the story of how he used the threat to
destroy us to corner you. He wrote that forcing you to choose between love
and survival was the most shameful thing he'd ever done.”
“Goliath, your angel of the night didn't just turn into the harsh warrior
who confronted us upon our awakening overnight. She's fought to survive for
a thousand years, thinking that she was alone; the last of our kind. That
would harden anyone's heart, make them unwilling to trust. Just being tossed
around, on my own, for nearly ten years was disturbing enough for me. I
couldn't begin to imagine what a thousand years would be like.”
“This wasn't about returning Demona to the Clan Goliath. I knew you
would be completely against the idea, and that you had good reason for your
opposition.” Maza shrugged and looked at Demona. “Demona went out of
her way to save our lives, just so Angela wouldn't be hurt. It made Brooklyn
and I see her in a new light. She showed us that she wasn't completely a lost
cause.” Demona glared at her. “Sorry Demona, that didn't quite come out
“Apology accepted detective. Goliath, Brooklyn and Elisa felt they
owed me a debt. To settle things they wanted me to see that I had been
unknowingly blessed with another daughter. They were just unsure about
how to proceed, considering how Delilah was introduced to all of us.”
“Demona sneered at my story about Pandora. I could have shoved the
truth about Delilah in her face at the Solstice festival, but that probably would
have started a shouting match and ruined everybody's evening. Probably
would have wrecked all the good that Angela has done her these past months
too. I thought it better to let it go for a while longer. I hoped that eventually
you would figure it out all by yourselves. Elisa has been looking at me strangely
for more than a week. I guessed that she had worked it out. When I saw the three
of you here together, I knew she had.” He smiled wide. “It may be a little late,
but congratulations you two.”
Graeme winged down to a landing on the courtyard's short wall. His
father walked over to him. Goliath looked at the two females standing
together in front of him.
“We do not dream often Elisa. When we do it is usually to relive a
significant experience. Hudson was the only other one who got a good look at
what was left of our Clan before we pursued Hakon's Vikings. Then the
Magus cursed us. For a thousand years all I knew was the recurring memory
of crouching on the battlements, holding what I thought were her remains,”
Goliath held his claws up in front of himself. His eyes were closed but his
face displayed his pain. “All around me were the shattered bodies of our Clan,
gone forever.” He opened his eyes to see his tears reflected in both of
their eyes. Goliath and Demona looked at each other for a moment.
“Having Angela in our lives has changed both of us for the better. I
would be a fool to deny that, given the events since I stopped you from
committing suicide at St. Damien's cathedral and taking all of humanity with
you. I will not deny her the right to have you as a part of her life.” He took a
deep breath and let it out slowly.
“I will accept a end to the hostilities between us, but I do not think I
will ever trust you fully again. Elisa may be right, perhaps we do not really
have to be enemies.” His eyes flickered to the side as he felt Maza take his
hand in hers. “You said you were willing to try a better way. I am willing to
stand back and watch you do so.”
Demona nodded. “That is enough for me, today.” Movement caught
her eyes and Demona turned her head to see Arianna landing on the edge of
the courtyard next to her brother. “Excuse me.” Demona walked away from
the embracing couple, her wicked smile growing across her face.
Brooklyn was listening to his daughter's news when a blue arm
wrapped itself across his chest. He looked down for a moment then his head
flew back, his eyes lit up, and his wing that wasn't restricted by Demona's arm
snapped out to the side as the female gargoyle ran her claw lightly over his
spine between his wings. With his head back Demona was able to nip
Brooklyn's ear with her teeth.
“Dad..?” said the twins in voices mixed with surprise and a bit of
“You wonderful beast you,” breathed Demona into his ear. “The next
time you have to shove a truth into my face, I don't want you to wait, okay?”
Mild anger flowed from Brooklyn to Demona.
“Let me go please Demona.” She complied immediately. “You're
going to give somebody the wrong impression.” She actually giggled. A
smile formed on Brooklyn's beak as her turned to face her.
“Well, I think that's a new sound out of your mouth. Was that the
sound of a healing spirit Demona?”
She nodded. “Yes, I think perhaps it was.” Goliath and Elisa were
approaching, drawn by Demona's laughter. “It is too bad I will pay for it with
the pain I brought Angela today.”
“We have talked about the destruction of the Clan with her before. She
just hasn't heard the details in depth.”
“Where did she go Brooklyn? I need to talk to her.”
“That wouldn't be a good idea at the moment Goliath. She's not very
pleased with either of us right now.”
“Demona is right. You have to give her a chance to calm down and
cool off. She's safe where she's going.”
Goliath regarded his second for a moment, then nodded. “I am taking
Elisa out for a glide around the city. I will return before dawn.” The couple
turned and walked off.
Brooklyn couldn't resist. “Now kids, don't do anything I wouldn't do.”
Maza lost her stride as her laughter burst out of her. Surprised, Goliath
looked down at her, then back at Brooklyn. Demona had rushed over to the
edge of the courtyard and had her back to Goliath. The lavender gargoyle
didn't say anything, merely picked up his beloved and glided off.
Brooklyn looked at his children. “Okay you two, back to the castle.
Tell your mother I'll be along shortly and not to bother holding dinner for me.
Later all of us will come back for a good look at the castle.” The twins said
their good-byes and flew off.
Demona's shoulders were still trembling slightly in her mirth. “Ooohh,
that was vicious Brooklyn.”
He shrugged. “I couldn't help myself.” He put his hand on her
shoulder. “She will be all right Dee. Give her time.”
“I...do something for me please Brooklyn.”
“You bet. Name it.”
“I am almost done with preparations for my return to Paris at the end
of the week. I can't put it off. Tell Angela for me that I am sorry about how I
have hurt her. If she won't accept that, tell her I understand.”
She turned to look at him. “Two hundred years? Only two hundred
He held his hands up. “The future isn't set in stone. I've had glimpses
at what may happen. The river of time will flow in it's own manner. I can try
to guide it's course a little but I know it's folly to try manipulation of events on
a large scale. I would make things worse. I can tell you something though.”
He took her claws in his. “You and Angela will be a part of each others lives
for a very long time.” He embraced her and whispered in her ear.
“I have had the honor of seeing my children born. Before too long, you
will hold your descendants in your arms. After a thousand years cousin, our
Demona checked herself just before she brushed her brow ridge against
Brooklyn's. He felt her regret and loneliness for a moment as she stepped
away from him. He cupped her cheek and ran his thumb along her brow. She
leaned her head into his caress for a moment before Brooklyn dropped his
“Sata is a very lucky female.” She sighed. He flashed his wry grin.
“I tell her I don't deserve her a few times a month. I have no doubt
that I'm the blessed one in our mating.” Brooklyn sobered a little.
“Elisa was right Demona. Tonight was about showing you you aren't
alone anymore, and that you're free to live as you choose. Your children want
to love you. The Canmore's are in jail or in no shape to continue hunting you.
MacBeth has given up his vendetta against you. And, someone is on his way
here to you.”
“What?! Who is on his way?”
He held up his hand to forestall her. “I can't say anything more Dee. I
never met him myself, I just heard about him when I visited our ancient home
in Scotland. Sometime in the next century the Clan will reclaim the area
around where Castle Wyvern stood. Most of us living now will eventually
end up residing there. It will be a place for Clan gatherings for centuries to
come.” Demona nodded and smiled.
“All right. That is enough to know today.” She turned to go, then
turned back. “By the way...’Dee’?”
Brooklyn shrugged. “What can I say? I have a little trouble calling
you Demona now. I could call you by your human initials but Dee Dee
sounds a little juvenile. I think Dee suits you.” She nodded and smiled again.
“My best to Angela, Sata and the others Brooklyn. Thanks again for
“Listen, if you have a few minutes while you're in Paris, go visit
Michael and tell him Brooklyn said hello.” Brooklyn grinned wide at the
surprise on Demona's face.
“When I return you and I will have to sit down and really talk about
what you've seen during your travels Brooklyn.” she said after a moment.
“I'll be talking to you later cousin. Take care.”
Demona nodded and departed, heading for her distant brownstone.
Brooklyn watched her go and thought to himself: ‘She thanked me easily
enough. When the time comes I hope she'll forgive me as easily’. Brooklyn
glided south for a while then began to circle around and climb the updrafts
that would take him back to Castle Wyvern.
Angela did not return to the castle that night. The next night, after a
brief sweeping patrol, Brooklyn and Broadway went to the Labyrinth to talk
to her. The young couple was so wrapped up in the conversation that they
didn't notice Brooklyn leaving shortly before dawn. They spent the day frozen
in each other's arms.
The night after that was the weekly family gathering in the labyrinth
home of Derek and the other mutates. Goliath was able to get Angela aside
and talk to her about the scene at Belvedere castle. From nearby Maza
watched them embrace and she smiled. Peter and Diane Maza were glad to
see their children, and their families, but couldn't miss the nervousness Elisa,
Angela, and Goliath had been showing. Both were relieved to see their
daughter really smiling and enjoying herself. Diane pulled Maza aside shortly
“It's good to see you getting into the swing of things Elisa. Earlier you
were acting anxious. You were beginning to worry your father and I.”
Maza ran her hand through her hair. She looked around, seeing her
father looking her way. His face mirrored his mother's sentiment. She also
saw Delilah and Angela go into the small library off the main room. They
both smiled at her just before entering.
“You two have gotten used to the interesting friendships Derek and I
have developed over the last two years. We know that the family has a history
of ...unusual relationships.”
“...Yes. Elisa, has something happened between you and Goliath?”
Maza looked at her mother sharply.
“Mom! We've been over this.”
“And you've said you were good friends, trying to take it one day at a
time. Have you gotten to be...more than good friends?”
“It isn't about that. Uhm...” Maza couldn't help blushing, and tried to
ignore her mother's expression. “Some things have been going on this week
that had some of us pretty worked up, but I think most of that has been
“And...?” Maza chuckled at her mother's shrewdness.
“Couldn't get by you on my best day, could I?” Maza took her
mother's hand in hers. “The other part is that I had some interesting news
confirmed for me the other day, and I'm worried about how you and Dad will
take it when I tell you.”
Diane beckoned to her husband, who approached them. “Elisa has
some news for us. She's worried about how we'll take it.”"
“Is that what has been bothering you tonight? Elisa, you know we love
you, and we'll always be there for you. Without, hopefully, being too harsh or
She embraced them. “I love you too. Like I said, our family has a
history of unusual relationships. It gotten to the point where we almost need a
scorecard to keep track of all the people that have joined the Clan.”
“Has someone new joined the Clan Elisa? Is that why you're upset?”
“Sort of. Come on, I want to introduce you both to somebody....” The
Mazas followed their daughter into the library.
After a few minutes of eavesdropping Talon, Goliath and Broadway
joined them, bringing bottles of champagne with them to salute the new
addition to the Maza family and the surprised and ecstatic new grandparents.
Nearby, one of the others hoped to himself that everything else would
work out so well.