Only a Moment Away

by Gray

Author's Notes:
        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. 
 Thanks Tom.  

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.   “New beginnings...right?”          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,  smiling.           “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  daughter.         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.           “Yes, time.”         

        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 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,
 Detective, --”
        “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
 his body.”  
        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
 ulterior motive.”  
        “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
 her hip.
        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
 few inches. 
        “ 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
 his. “Right?”  
        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
 about you.”
        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
 to go.
        “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
 few moments.  
        “Elisa, what was the point of all this? Why did you want us to meet
 you here?”
        “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
 anxious curiosity.
        “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.”  
        “ 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
 Clan continues.”"
        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.    

                                                    The End...?