A New Order
by Fur and Fantasy
NC-17 for M/M
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

Lord Soron of the Darshar, one of Her Majesties last Gargoyle agents on Earth, settled lightly on the roof of a tall building a few blocks away from the clock tower atop a police station as the daylight dimmed in Manhattan.

He settled his intricately tattooed wings around his shoulders and waited for the sun to set, his eyes locked on the stone form of the Clan Leader of Wyvern. His breath quickened as Goliath shed his stone skin and roared as he stretched, sending fragments in all directions.

He took a deep breath, steadying himself for anything that could come of this first meeting in over a thousand years and spread his wings.

With a roar of announcement he launched into the air, beating his wings to gain the proper altitude and began the twisting dance asking for admittance into this protectorate, and for Goliath to join him.

Goliath watched as Broadway and Angela went inside the Clock Tower, and Brooklyn and Lexington took off for their usual evening patrol.

"Lad, that's a Darshar up there and high ranking one would be my guess." Hudson said as he and Bronx walked up next to Goliath.

"I'm aware of that, but he seems to be alone and he has made the proper request for admittance and a meeting. It would be rude to decline." Goliath said evenly, though he was sure it wouldn't be the only Darshar he wanted to see. A thousand years was too long to expect Soron to still be alive, even if he would 'live a long time'.

Hudson put his hand firmly on Goliath's shoulder. "Have ye forgotten that we're at war with them?"

"I've forgotten nothing, but it was a thousand years ago, perhaps they wish an end to the fighting." Goliath said, thinking that if they could've ended the fighting a thousand years ago he wouldn't have had to hide his relationship with Soron, and just maybe things would have been different with a Gargoyle warrior awake on that fateful the day.

"Perhaps, but if ye mean to accept this meeting I should come as well, just in case." The tone of voice clearly indicated that the 'in case', was 'in case of treachery'.

"Hudson, the Darshar has requested my presence and he did so where the entire clan could see him. That strikes me as a foolish way to set up an ambush, and while the Darshar were many things ... they were not fools." Goliath said firmly, trying to end the discussion before it became an argument.

"Aye, that's true enough. Very well Goliath, go if ye must but be on your guard. You can't trust a Darshar, that won't change ... not even in a thousand years." He turned and went inside the Clock Tower with Bronx.

As he watched the old warrior go inside he spoke softly. "Old friend, we once thought the same thing about the humans and we were wrong about some of them." He smiled, thinking of Elisa.

He looked up at the circling Darshar and roared his acceptance as he launched upward. There were good thermals in among the buildings and he quickly reached the Darshar's altitude. As he caught sight of the distinctive tattoos and the well-remembered face he nearly forgot to maintain altitude.

As the two of them landed on a nearby rooftop, he looked in amazement at the Darshar. "Soron? Is that really you?" His deep voice was a mixture of disbelief, astonishment, and some amount of happiness.

The dark skinned, black haired male nodded at his near mirror and flared his wings open, displaying the markings on them. "It's me, long time, no see, love ...."

Goliath reined in his enthusiasm remembering what a disaster had come of the last reunion with a love from a thousand years ago. He looked at Soron, who seemed not to have changed at all during a thousand years. "But how? It's been a thousand years ..."

"Remember I told you I'd live a long time, because of what I am?" He waited for the Gargoyle to nod. "A Darshar Noble, like me, can expect to see ten thousand years or more. I'm still fairly young, at thirty-five hundredish. I've missed you."

Goliath was completely stunned. For several minutes the only movement was when he blinked in stunned amazement and the wind in their hair. He wasn't surprised by much anymore, but this was definitely something. "Thirty-five ... thirty-five hundred?"

Soron nodded.

"Okay, that explains how." He gathered his wits. "But what brings you to New York?" Goliath thought about what Hudson had said, perhaps a thousand years wasn't anything to beings that lived for ten thousand. He hoped not, since his clan wasn't nearly large enough to continue the war. He couldn't afford to lose any of them.

"Looking for you, mostly," he smiled hopefully, "and the Queen has finally been reborn, and she's in this area."

Goliath thought about the reborn comment a moment and figured that ten thousand years wasn't forever, so dying had to happen at some point ... the rebirth he wasn't so sure about. "Soron, Clan Wyvern protects Manhattan and you are the first Darshar to enter it. Are you sure your Queen is here? New York is far from a normal place to find Gargoyles, Darshar or otherwise." He smiled ironically. "And often not a safe place to be one."

"I am sure," he nodded emphatically. "I can feel her presence growing stronger in her new body." He smiled in anticipation. "It won't be too much longer before she realizes her power and place in the scheme of things."

Goliath paused for a moment, and then put both hands on Soron's shoulders. "All that aside, I am glad to see you again."

"As am I." He hesitated before brushing his wings over the Gargoyle's shoulders. "Is there someplace a little more ... private ... if you're willing."

Goliath thought for a moment and realized his usual 'private' place, the library, would require going through the clock tower. And that would require explanations he wasn't ready for, at least not yet. Then he remembered a place Brooklyn and Lexington had mentioned, which was private and not that far.

He nodded to Soron. "Yes, follow me." He launched into the air, and waited for the Darshar to follow. Some time later they reached the top of one of the taller buildings, which was completely covered by an elaborate garden and walled all around. He landed in the park like center of the garden.

Soron looked around. "This is private?"

"Yes, no one comes here save some of the younger members of my clan on occasion and a friend of theirs." He watched as an artificial fog bank surrounded and obscured the rooftop from observation. "A friend who also values privacy."

"Do you still have to hide what we are?" Soron's voice was sadly soft as he closed the distance between them and wrapped the Goliath in a triple embrace of arm, tail and wing.

"You asked for somewhere more private ..." Goliath said as he accepted the embrace and sighed. "I don't know how your clan sees things, but mine still thinks there's a war. And there's too few of us now for me to risk dividing the clan ... to pursue my own feelings." Though he didn't mention it, he also wasn't sure how Elisa would deal with it. Sometimes humans could be very possessive about love, even the best of them.

Soron nodded against the Gargoyle's neck and slowly traced his jaw with soft lips. "My clan could have cared less a thousand years ago, much less now. I'd always hoped it could be over officially as well during your lifetime. There is a great deal we can offer each other, especially now."

Goliath traced Soron's jaw gently with one clawtip. "Perhaps it can end, though I don't think any alive remembers how it began. But I will need to explain things to my clan; if we are to be together I need my clan to understand and accept that the war is over ... not merely because I as Clan Leader say it is."

He looked into Soron's eyes. "I would like to not have to hide what we are any longer, but as Clan Leader there are things I have to consider other than what I want personally."

"I understand," he licked the Gargoyle's fingertip when it strayed close to his lips. "Your desire to do what's right is one of the things I love about you." He teasingly slid his tail up the inside of one muscular leg as he unbuckled Goliath's belt, even as he held the large male close with his wings. "I waited over a thousand years to be open about being your mate, I can wait a few more."

"Enough serious talk, we have a thousand years to catch up on, and only all night. At least to start." Goliath grinned, clearly pleased, as he slid his tail along the inside of Soron's leg and relaxed. He earned a playful laugh when he couldn't figure out exactly how to remove the Darshar's clothes once the belt was gone.

"Let me," Soron chuckled as he pulled the Crusader-like robe over his head and dropped it to the ground.

"You've picked up a few more scars." Goliath whispered as ran explorative hands over the flesh he hadn't dared even dream of touching again, amazing once again at how similar their bodies were, but a different kind of similar from what Thailog was like.

"Cost of survival," Soron groaned and closed his eyes Goliath cupped his balls, then tentatively ran his tongue along the hard shaft above them. He draw and shuddering breath and tugged his mate's wing.

"Something wrong?" Goliath asked uncertainly as he stood.

"Gods no," he whispered. "Just want something else." He tugged the Gargoyle's shoulders to get him to lie down and sank to his knees between lavender thighs. "I haven't been with a male since we last met ... I just want what I can't get with a female."

"Oh," Goliath drew a sharp breath as an experienced hand and mouth closed over his erection and balls and willingly surrendered to the sensations his mate was so eager to deliver.

He shivered as the night air cooled his flesh as it slid from Soron's mouth and the Darshar pressed him to the soft earth with his body, returning the heat as they moved against each other, rubbing sensitized skin and hard muscle. He lashed his tail to one side to wrap it around his mate's waist, intent only on pulling them tighter together.

A low, rumbling growl and loss of rhythm gave a few moments warning before Soron grabbed his mate's hair and forced the Gargoyle to face him for a bruising, open mouthed kiss that swallowed their roars.

For a long moment after their mouths parted Soron lay quietly on top of Goliath and tried to catch his breath. He finally rested his head against the broad chest under him and whispered, "gods I've missed you."

Goliath relaxed, holding Soron while he caught his breath. "And I you. Indeed I never thought to see you again. For a change, I am pleased to be wrong about something." A brief sigh escaped involuntarily, before he could suppress it. Despite the depth of Demona's betrayal, she still haunted him from time to time ... usually at the wrong time.

"I wasn't so sure of my reception ..." Soron hesitated, intently focused on laying Goliath's hair out just so. "I caught the gist of what happened with your female, and Xanatos, when you awoke. I'm still sorry I wasn't there."

"Why would you doubt your reception? Just because I can't be as open as you want yet, doesn't mean I want you any less."

"With what happened with your female ... and the time it took me to get here ... I wasn't sure you'd be able to believe me when I said I still love you," Soron sighed, "and in all honesty, a thousand years is a long time. I wasn't sure how I would react if you turned away, or said yes."

"After a thousand years I didn't expect you to get here at all, so the fact that you are here at all makes it easy for me to believe. And as for what happened with her, I refuse to let her destroy something I wanted a thousand years ago ... and still do.

He looked into Soron's eyes. "Besides, a thousand years was only the space between breaths from my perspective." There was a twinkle of humor in his eyes. "But I'm honestly surprised that you didn't find someone else in that thousand years ... as you said, it is a long time."

"I gave you my word not to take another male without your consent." Soron actually looked hurt. "Just because I couldn't ask doesn't break those vows."

Goliath sighed apologetically. "I'm sorry, I guess a thousand years has been longer than I thought, for me to have forgotten ... but in all honestly, I wouldn't have expected you to wait for a night that might never have come. When the spell was cast, there was no guarantee that any of us would ever wake again." He sighed remembering someone else who was going to wait as long as it took, and wondered what had happened to him.

"You were asleep, love," he could only shrug, "that it lasted a thousand years, or ten thousand, or only till dusk, makes no difference to my vows. I knew you were alive, and that is all that mattered. Is still is."

Goliath nodded and changed the subject. "As for Demona and Xanatos, we dealt with them as needed. Yet they remain a threat, both plotting and scheming sometimes together, sometimes separately. But we have some friends and allies here in New York." He brightened for a moment, then became more subdued. "I hope to resolve this 'war' issue before too long, there are two I would like you to meet; Angela, my daughter, and Elisa Maza, a very good friend." He sincerely meant that, though he would need to talk with Elisa beforehand, so as not to surprise her with the recent development.

"I look forward to it," he smiled half-heartedly, "and I have a few I look forward to being able to introduce to your and your clan as well."

Goliath looked up at the fogbank thinking that it gave the rooftop a kind of 'timeless' quality. "Soron, though I wish I could stay till morning, I can't be gone too long or my Clan will begin to worry. Hudson, the previous Clan Leader, was opposed to my meeting with a Darshar ... and his worries will influence the rest. Of all my clan, I think he will be the slowest to accept that there isn't a war any more." He smiled at his mate. "There will be other nights, but I wouldn't want to jeopardize the future by acting rashly now."

"I hate feeling like a thief with you, but you are right." Soron sighed slightly and stood with a nod. He gathered their clothes and looked around. "I don't suppose there is water here? You should probably not return smelling of mating, or me."

Goliath nodded. "According to the description I was given there should be a pool in this park, somewhere. I guess it's just a matter of finding it, since this is the first time I have been here."

After a brief search, they discovered there was indeed a pool, which was sculpted to look like a pond with a fountain in the middle.

Goliath waded into the pool, after turning to look at Soron as he washed the evidence of their activities away. "Only until the time when this secrecy is no longer needed." He said quietly in voice that was part promise and part anticipation as his mate joined him to ensure that even in this covering up, they had a few last moments of contact.

"I think this day will be the hardest of the last thousand years," Soron swallowed as they shook and scraped the water from their skin and dressed. "Not knowing when we'll be able to touch again, and knowing you're awake."

Goliath landed on the balcony near Hudson, who was waiting. "Waiting for me, Hudson?"

"Aye, lad. Ye were gone quite a while, I was beginning to think maybe that Darshar had led you into an ambush."

"No trickery at all, old friend. But there was a thousand years to cover, and old feud to discuss."

"The war, ye mean."

"Yes, that. After a thousand years, it may be time to reconsider such things. But I want to discuss it with the entire clan, so it will have to wait till tomorrow night, since Lexington and Brooklyn will probably not be back until close to sunrise."

"Aye, they always do cut it mighty close. Too close, if you ask me."

"Close indeed, but that extra time has spotted things of importance on occasion."

"True enough. So, do 'ye think this Darshar can be trusted? If it's peace yer talkin' about then we need to be able to trust the emissary we're talkin' to ... as far as 'ye can trust any Darshar." The old warrior's doubt was solid as a rock.

Goliath repressed a smile. "Yes, Hudson. I think we can trust this Darshar. And I think we may find they aren't what we've been taught to believe."

"Perhaps, but be careful ... this would not be the first time that peace was the bait to a trap."

"Yes, Hudson. But we have enemies enough, if we can remove one fight isn't it worth the risk?"

"I suppose yer right, Goliath. "

"I hope so."

Detective Elisa Maza climbed into the clock tower and froze as she caught sight of a shape moving on the balcony. As she moved carefully closer to the catwalk and the door outside, her gun at the ready, she could make out a shadow that looked far too much like Goliath's, but it was still daylight. It also didn't seem to be taking any real care to remain hidden from sight.

She carefully worked through who it could be; Thailog was as much stone during the day as Goliath; there wasn't any of mechanical sounds that would be present if it was Coldstone; there was only one which ruled out SteelClan, since they worked in groups. Xanatos in his armor was a possibility, though above a police station in broad daylight was a bit open for that. And the outline of the wings was far too fluid to be any armor or robot she'd seen.

The only solid conclusion was that it was something shaped like Goliath who didn't turn to stone during the day. It was too long until sunset to wait for the Gargoyles to wake up, and getting back up was out of the question ... too much up here that would cause too many questions. She couldn't risk the intruder being hostile to the Gargoyles since they were asleep so she'd just better deal with it.

She pulled the door open, dove onto the balcony drawing a bead on the intruder. "Freeze, Police!" She ordered, even as she wondered why Goliath never mentioned a twin brother as the black skinned, black haired Gargoyle with tattooed wings twisted on one foot to face her, his eyes wide in shock.

Neither moved for several heartbeats, then the Gargoyle shifted to place himself between her and Goliath's stone form, his wings spread wide.

"Why are you here?" He demanded with wings flared.

"You're trespassing on Police property, and invading my friends' home, so what are you doing here?" She countered, thinking that almost every time an unknown Gargoyle showed up it turned into a fight ... at least at first. Though it looked like the intruder was actually protecting Goliath's stone form from her.

Soron's eyes narrowed as he regarded her. After a small flicker of his fingers he nodded and relaxed slightly, folding his wings over his shoulders into the cape as so many of them did. "I was just ... checking in on Goliath. I am no more his enemy than you are, Elisa."

It took some effort not to react to the stranger knowing her name. But she was too experienced to lower her guard too quickly. "That's good to hear, but who are you? And how do you know my name?" She asked.

"I am called Soron." He nodded fluidly, and with a good deal of respect, to her. "I know your name because I checked with a cantrip, and I take you as a friend because Goliath has mentioned you as such."

Before the Gargoyles entered her life, Elisa might have been thrown by the 'cantrip' bit, but now ... it just wasn't unusual enough to throw her. Her instincts as a detective were telling her that this Soron was on the level and not an immediate threat at least. She carefully holstered her gun, without taking her eye off of Soron.

"Cantrip, huh? Must make introductions a snap. Well, we shouldn't hang out here on the balcony. People are supposed to think my friends are just part of the building decor. If we're going to talk further we should move inside, out of sight." She indicated the open door, and waited to see what the large newcomer would do.

Soron glanced at the setting sun and sighed. "As much as I'd like to be here when Goliath awakes, the rest of Clan Wyvern will be less than pleased to see me." He turned to leave with a last, sad glance at the clan leader's stone form. "I'll come by after dawn if you wish to talk."

Elisa looked at the setting sun. "Seeing as we have a large common interest," she smiled at Goliath's sleeping form, "I think we should. So after dawn then?" When Soron nodded, she chuckled. "Never thought I'd be arranging a morning meeting with a Gargoyle."

"And I never thought I'd see him flesh again." Soron nodded back at her before he stepped up to launch. "It's good to know he has friends again."

She watched the dark Gargoyle spread his wings and blinked as he launched. Not only did his form go partially translucent, but he beat his wings like a large bird would to gain altitude, not as the glider she knew the others to be.

She watched as sunset was followed by usual Gargoyle wake-up routine of shattering fragments, stretching, and roaring. What was different was instead of the normal Gargoyle departures they all went inside after greeting her. She noticed that Goliath remained on the balcony, and thought he seemed a little ... isolated.

She walked up to him, and put her hand on his muscular arm. "What's wrong, Goliath?"

"Not wrong, just something from the past we have to deal with, and I do not think it will be easy."

She gently pulled on his arm until he was facing her. "This wouldn't have anything to do with a Gargoyle who looks a lot like you, except he has this really exotic set of tattoos on his wings, would it?"

He nodded quietly. "The Darshar, yes it does." Then he realized what she had actually said, and gently guided her to the far corner of the balcony. "You saw him?" He asked anxiously.

"Saw him, talked to him. He said his name was Soron, and he seemed to be a friend of yours. But there's more than that isn't there?"

Goliath nodded reluctantly. "Our clans have been at war since before the Castle was built. No one, not even Hudson, remembers why we are; just that we are. Soron has told me that the Darshar do not know why there is a war, and I believe him. Now I need to convince my clan to accept that there can be peace between the clans." He paused for a moment. "No, more than accept, I need them to believe in the peace and to understand that it can only benefit both clans."

Elisa leaned supportively against the big Gargoyle. "This is important to you, isn't it?"


"Personally, I mean. There's something between you and Soron. I can tell, from the way you both talk. I mean, he looks enough like you to be your twin." She suggested quietly.

The big warrior shook his head. "No, not twins; the Darshar are a separate race of Gargoyles."

"Okay, so not family. But there's definitely something, and it's something big, because you're avoiding talking about it. Goliath, after all we've been through together, is this secret so big that you can't trust me with it?" She asked, hating to put him on the spot, but her instincts told her that he wanted to tell her, but needed encouragement, even if it felt more like blackmail.

"No, nothing's that big Elisa." He hugged her close, wrapping his wings around her. "Soron and I were, and are, lovers."

She snuggled up against his broad chest. "That was the big secret, Goliath? This is New York, it's not a big thing." She said supportively, though she wondered what this meant to what was between them.

"Elisa, our clans are on opposite sides of a generations-old war. Having a lover who is of an enemy clan is forbidden, even to Clan Leaders." He said quietly and sadly.

"So that's why ending this war is so important to you, so you two can really be together."

"Yes, I want an end to hiding what we are to each other." He said quietly.

"I can understand that, I wish it were so easy for us." She said wistfully, any further comment cut off by a passionate kiss claimed by Goliath.

He looked at her. "But what Soron and I are to each other, does not change what we are to each other." He relaxed when she smiled in response.

Goliath watched as Hudson, followed by Bronx, went to watch television. The meeting had gone as expected; Hudson still didn't trust the Darshar even though he had no reason for the war save that the previous Clan Leader had told him there was one; Angela didn't understand why there was a war, and therefore didn't see any reason not to have peace; Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington had no real experience fighting the Darshar and saw no reason to continue fighting a war that the enemy wasn't even interested in. Lexington had made a good point that it would be better to make friends of the other Gargoyles, than enemies.

He walked up to the Balcony to see Lexington pointing out a silver jet-helicopter to Brooklyn.

"Look, Xander's back." The little gargoyle said excitedly.

"Cool, think the VR will be up tonight?" Brooklyn wondered aloud.

"Are you kidding, he enjoys it as much as we do."

"Let's see if we can be there when he lands." Brooklyn suggested as he launched from the balcony, followed closely by Lexington.

Goliath smiled at the younger two, and made a mental to note to meet this Xander at some point. Although the two had vouched for him as a friend and ally, it was the Clan Leader's responsibility to check such things out personally.

"Good morning, Elisa." Soron's deep voice startled her as he landed with a very light thump for his size on the clock tower's stone balcony, only moments after the others had turned to stone. "Shall we go inside?" He bowed to her as he caped his wings gracefully.

"Good Morning, Soron." Elisa said pleasantly as she opened the door from the balcony. "After you.

"Goliath confirmed that he does know you, and that you're a friend." She stopped and smiled slightly. "Actually, he said you're a lot more than a friend, lover was the actual term he used." She paused slightly, and sighed. "Which makes me wonder, are you going to have a problem with Goliath having a human lover?" She paused for his reply, and wondered what made her be so blunt about it; then she realized that she was still worrying about losing Goliath to an old love.

"You?" Soron arched an eyebrow, and then chuckled. "No, I don't. Darshar don't deal with it quite that way." He motioned her to take a seat and settled against a heavy table himself. "Who he chooses as female companionship really isn't my business. Just as my vows to him only affect my options with male lovers, I make no claim on his choices with females."

Elisa smiled and relaxed. "That's a rather liberated approach, very reasonable." She shook her head. "Sorry about being so blunt, but I had to compete with Goliath's past once before and it wasn't pleasant." She said lightly, trying to forget that Demona could still show up at any time to cause trouble.

"There is nothing to apologize for, Elisa," he smiled gently. "Asking directly is an approach I appreciate when possible. It leaves so much less to chance of misunderstanding. Is that all you wished to know of me?"

Elisa smiled. "This war that Goliath mentioned, I don't suppose you know how it got started, cause Goliath says his clan doesn't know. I mean that's a long time for a war to go on ... somebody must know." Before he could answer, she added. "Just to be fair, if you have questions that I might have answers to, please feel free to ask."

"Thank you," he nodded regally. "As for the war, and I honestly have difficulty considering it that, all my clan knows is one night about sixteen hundred years ago we were no longer welcome in Wyvern's protectorate, and they were being quite unreasonably violent about it. It was never a territory we were in much anyway, except for those who had blood ties there, so the official policy became of one 'avoid if possible, don't antagonize whatever you do'." He shrugged. "If there is more than that on the Darshar side, no one still living knows it, or recorded it. "I am quite curious, what happened that managed to drive them from the castle? I didn't think anything could do that."

Elisa looked at Soron. "One word Soron, Xanatos. He bought the castle and brought it here to New York, and put it on top of his Eyrie Building. When the Gargoyles wouldn't do his bidding, he took steps to remove them. Since he has legal control of the castle, it's simply too dangerous for them to sleep there. He's not above smashing them as they sleep. He hasn't stopped there, he still launches plans every so often to either control or destroy the Gargoyles. And as a Gargoyle in New York, he'll treat you the same way once he notices you.

"Xanatos can't stand not being able to control something, so he tries to destroy it so it won't remind him that he couldn't control it." The bitterness in her voice was deep, as deep as one whose soul is involved in a blood feud.

"Sounds like Demona." He considered for a moment. "I'll have to see about doing something about him ... can't be any harder than dealing with her."

"Demona and Xanatos work together, sometimes. According to reliable reports, Demona is immortal. And I know for a fact that she turns human during daylight, not to stone."

"I've known about the first for a while." He nodded. "The second is news, but she hasn't been my top priority lately."

"But if you know of a way to take Xanatos down, I want in on it." She stared directly into Soron's eyes. "I owe him." The need for vengeance was written plainly in her eyes, propelled by the fire of the spirit behind them.

"I believe the correct phrase here is 'taking the fifth'." He shook his head. "Even the parts that aren't technically illegal ... well, Darshar don't take prisoners in war. Especially not in this kind of war." His eyes glowed a silvery blue for a moment before he controlled his temper.

Elisa chuckled. "I see you've been reading up on the legal system. Okay, I guess it's probably better that I don't know. As long as he goes down, that'll be enough ... I guess." She sighed quietly. "It's not like Derek died."

"Who's Derek to you?" He asked with a neutral curiosity.

"My brother." She said quietly. "He calls himself Talon, now."

"Oh," he blinked, "well that explains a few things."

Elisa looked at him intently. "Explains a few things, about what?"

"Well, like why he hates Xanatos so much, though I haven't gotten an explanation out of any of them yet, and how agitated he got about my coming here." He smiled a little apologetically at her. "I adopted the four of them a few months ago when one of my agents found them in pretty bad shape. I haven't gotten one word about any of their pasts from them, but he's said your name a couple times in his sleep. I stopped asking after a little while, it wasn't very relevant, really."

Elisa was on her feet. "What? Where is he?" She forced herself to calm down, a little. "They were human originally, until a scientist named Anton Sevarius, who works for Xanatos, mutated them into what they are now. He wanted to use them as weapons against the Gargoyles. It worked for a little while, even." She looked at him. "Is it possible for me to see Derek?"

Soron nodded. "They're currently living in my main base of operations, and if he's willing to see you, then by all means you may." He sighed softly. "But he is an adult, and he if wishes no contact with his past, that is his choice. I will ask if he is willing."

"Thank you, and we've had contact since the change. He's even managed to face our parents." She sat back down, wishing that Goliath was awake instead of a stone statue on the balcony.

An uncertain, light touch on her shoulder brought her face up to see Soron kneeling in front of her, concern rather open on his face.

"You haven't let go of the guilt yet," his tone was soft, but certain. "That's not healthy."

Elisa looked at him. "Guilt, what are you talking about?" She started to get angry. "I tried to warn him about Xanatos, I told him it was a bad idea but he didn't listen."

"That is what I am talking about." He refused to react to her anger. "That anger is guilt you haven't let go. It does no good for you or anyone else." He regarded her. "Do you hate your brother?"

Her anger turned squarely at Soron. "How dare you suggest that! I love my brother. Any hate is reserved for Xanatos for what he did." She got up and angrily stormed across the room, thought she couldn't find a door to slam between them, which is what she really wanted.

A strong hand stopped her short. "If you love your brother, and you do not feel guilty over what happened, then why is there such hate in your scent and aura when you speak of him?"

Elisa couldn't figure out what this Gargoyle was trying to accomplish, but he was making her really ticked off. How dare he try to tell her what she felt about Derek. "Like I said, I hate Xanatos for what he did to my brother, and for the way he tried to use my brother. Maybe that's what you're seeing, and maybe you just need to recalibrate. In any case, I've had quite enough of this conversation. You don't know me, or how I feel about my brother."

She remembered she did have a door to slam, the one that would take her back down to the police station where she wouldn't have a Gargoyle with delusions of being a psychologist to deal with. She headed for the safety of work.

"I will tell your brother you'd like to see him." Soron's voice reached her retreating back as he turned to leave himself, shaking his head sadly.

Elisa spent several hours doing meaningless paperwork before heading home to grab a little sleep before she was 'really' supposed to be at work. But it kept nagging at her, why had that strange Gargoyle said that she hated her brother ... that was absurd, wasn't it?

Soron stepped out on the balcony and rested his head on Goliath's shoulder. "I'll give you that much, love, you're taste in stubborn firebrands hasn't changed a bit in eleven hundred years. I just hope this one learns before it destroys her, or us." He ran a gentle hand along Goliath's stone mane before turning to leave. "I didn't understand in time to save Demona, if she was ever savable, but damnit, this one is. And she's a good match for you. Better maybe even than I am for you."

He shook his head and concentrated, bringing a bright, oval portal of light into existence a wingspan in front of him and stepped through, letting it dissolve behind him.

Soron's let a sigh of relief out as he walked into his home, the gray-white marble and gold glistening in the perpetual morning light relaxed him tremendously, as did the high magical background radiation of the Den Realm.

"Master?" A light, concerned female voice brought his head around to face the speaker; a tall, well-rounded Martian Mouse in a harem dancing costume with blondish-brown hair, blue fur and gray eyes. "You seem distressed."

"It just didn't go very well, Yarla." He sighed and accepted the goblet she handed to him. "Goliath's new mate is hurting, and taking that hurt out on those close to her."

"Another Demona?" She quivered.

"I dearly hope not, but the danger is there." He handed the goblet back and shook his body out. "Where is Talon?"

"In the aviary, as usual." She giggled. "He's quite the flyer."

"So I have noticed." He nodded and walked towards the aviary, and took off once he entered the large open space.

"Morning Talon." Soron smiled brightly at the sleek, bat-winged Panther as they came even in the wide blue sky.

"Morning Soron." The panther said evenly.

"I saw your sister Elisa earlier." He watched for a reaction, good or bad, carefully. "She wants to see you."

"She does? When?" The panther's face lit up. Then a funny look crossed his face. "She still seeing Goliath?"

"I'm not sure when, she wasn't sure you'd want to see her at all." Soron kept his own expression neutral. "And yes, she is still Goliath's mate."

"Of course I want to see, she is my sister after all." He smiled. "Good, nice to see she didn't let a good one get away. I mean, after the four of us did our level best to kill them, Goliath still invited us to join his Clan. I don't mean to push or nothin', but how soon do you think you can get this set up? I don't want her to worry, she will you know." The panther was very enthusiastic, as well as being genuinely concerned about Elisa.

"I can ask her the next time I see her, which will likely be tonight."

"Thanks, Soron. Man, it'll be good to see her again." The panther flew lazy spirals in the air as Soron returned to the white marble palace below.

Goliath glided discretely down to the ledge outside Elisa's apartment. Seeing her home, he knocked gently on the window. She looked up, smiled, walked over and opened the window.

When he stepped in she put her arms around him. "This is a pleasant surprise." She purred.

"I can see. I had expected to see you at the Clock Tower but you never showed, and Bluestone was by himself this evening."

"My night off." She said casually.

"Odd, I thought tomorrow was your night off."

She looked at him in mock frustration. "Okay, yah caught me. I took a night off, mental leave."

"Oh, is there a problem?" He asked concerned, since it was not like Elisa to take an unplanned day off.

"Just your friend playing games with my mind this morning."

"My friend?"

"Soron, I forget how we got on the subject but he started asking me if I hated my brother. It's a stupid question, right? So why is it bugging me?" Elisa said, a little irritable.

Goliath smiled gently. "He has a knack for disturbing settled patterns of thinking. Though usually it is for the better."

"I guess, but it doesn't help that he said that my brother and the others had been hurt and that he was looking after them." She sighed. "I didn't ask too many questions, cause that's when he got me all confused. If you see him, maybe you could ask ... he might not try and derail you."

"I don't think he was trying to 'derail' you," Goliath said gently. "He just saw something that intrigued him ... he's like that. But if I see him, I will ask."

She hugged the big Gargoyle. "Thanks, I just wish you'd been awake when I was talking to him. But right now, I think I need to try and sleep ... seeing you took a load off my mind."

Goliath looked at her and decided that she did indeed need sleep. "Perhaps you should, and I will see if I can find you some answers. Sleep well, Elisa."

She watched him glide off into the night sky before returning to bed, hoping to dream of Gargoyles without tattoos.

Goliath returned to the rooftop park he and Soron had shared just last night. As the fog closed the outside world off, he closed his eyes and tried to settled himself before mentally reaching inside himself as Soron had taught him, and chant the simple spell Soron promised would get his attention, and bring him as quickly as possible.

Mythyrra, Mythkee, Queth ne ko-shee
Goliath si Gumrab tsuuas nem quisii ka.

As the last sounds died, he absently wondered how quick it would be. He nearly jumped when Soron's breathless voice gasped behind him.

"What's wrong?"

"What's wrong is that you managed to upset Elisa enough that she didn't go to work, which is almost unheard of. She is very sensitive about her brother and his well-being, and your suggestion that she hates him has disturbed her a great deal. Is her brother okay, and more importantly were you trying to upset her?" Goliath tried not accuse, but Elisa's upset had disturbed him, she was usually quite calm.

"I was not trying to upset her, and Talon and his clan are fine. No worse for the wear as far as I can tell." He settled his agitated wings before continuing. "And I asked if she hated her brother. Almost as soon as the subject came up she asked to see him, and her scent and aura radiated guilt and hatred.

"Talon is part of my adoptive clan, and I will not lead him into a trap if I can help it. I merely wanted to be sure she did not intend to hurt him." He softened considerably and sighed sadly. "And I see in her exactly what Demona and I were like after we lost you. My sisters made me see what I was doing did your memory no honor and myself only harm, but I could not save her. I don't want you to loose another love to guilt and hatred.

"I'm sorry if I distressed her, I was only trying to help."

Goliath nodded and relaxed. "I'm sure she will be glad to hear that because she has been through a great deal trying to keep her relationship with her brother, and keeping him connected to their family despite the change. Any anger is directly solely at those responsible for hurting her brother, and no other. I'm sure you meant to help; you simply hit a very sensitive topic. A topic made more sensitive by the fact that when Talon and I first met he tried to kill me, deceived by Xanatos into thinking I was responsible for what had happened to him. Elisa ended up putting herself between Talon and me.

Goliath smiled slightly. "I broached the subject of ending the war with my clan, and most of them support the idea. It may take a little longer to convince the former Clan Leader though, but he has served the clan well for many years, so we must give him more time to accept that the war is going to be over."

"And Elisa's brother agreed to see her." Soron smiled and closed the distance between them and shiver ran down his spine. "You had me scared there, for a minute. You just don't call."

"Well, you're not the easiest to find on short notice ... and it was important to Elisa." Goliath smiled. "Or was that your way of saying I should call more often?"

"I wish you would," he pulled the Gargoyle close and trailed light kisses up his neck. "It's enough to make a male wonder if he's wanted sometimes, you know." He chuckled softly. "You realize you have never come to me? Never asked me ... never made the first move." He shuddered and closed his eyes. "I wondered for a thousand years why you didn't call me when you were under attack. Why you didn't call before you were turned to stone, even if just to say goodbye."

Goliath sighed remembering that hectic time. "When we were under attack, there was no need we could handle it. We would've handled it if we hadn't been betrayed. And then I can't claim to have been thinking clearly, such loss and grief ... and one clan member to worry about who couldn't join us, though he wanted to." He sighed. "I had the Clan to worry about, and it was all I could manage. I'm sorry."

"What is done is done," Soron murmured, "and if you had called me, you would have never met Elisa. As for Nathan ... I saw a group of his kind come for him a few years later. He went home with them."

Goliath nodded. "Thank you, letting him stay behind was not something I was happy with, but there was nothing to be done about it. Hopefully, things worked out.

"I suppose everything happens for a reason, but I did not mean to leave you wondering for a thousand years." He moved closer, and took Soron in his arms enfolding him in his wings tenderly.

"I know," he burred his face against Goliath's thick neck, "my saving grace was that I still had a clan ... my sisters heard me, took care of me and helped protect you until I could think again." He shivered, his voice nearly cracking. "I think it's still sinking in just how badly I've missed you, Goliath."

Goliath held Soron close. "I'm still getting used to the fact that you're really here. I hadn't realized how long you meant by long and had figured you gone somewhere in the thousand years. I grieved alone, but I am glad to see it was unnecessary."

"Too many regrets ...." Soron's body stiffened before he looked up, his face unreadable. "Would you like to see my home? Once I show you how to get there, you can find me any time, or just take sanctuary there for a while if you want."

Goliath smiled. "I think I'd like that, just make sure its night ... I'd hate to turn to stone on arrival."

"You won't, love." Soron almost purred, though it came out more of a pleased rumble. "It's a Den-Realm, I make the rules. No turning to stone for you."

Goliath nodded. "I think I like the sound of this already."

Soron nodded nervously and handed Goliath a small black and silver stone on a thin chain. "I'll teach you the gating spell to get there without this, but the stone will make it easier. Concentrate on having it open a path to my home."

The Gargoyle nodded and did as instructed. After a few moments a swirling oval of shadow opened before him, about a wingspan away.

He looked at the results and then turned to Soron, and put a hand on his shoulder. "Something is bothering you, what is it?"

"You've never seen my home, the way Darshar live ... it's very different from what you are used to." He managed to smile weakly. "Come, my heart isn't going to stand many more of these choices."

Goliath nodded and followed, though he did wonder just how different it could be that it worried Soron. They stepped out into a night soaked forest clearing, and he hadn't even have time to register his surroundings before his attention was drawn to a nearly hysterical, tall female that looked like a blue mouse with red antenna that came running up to them.

"Master! Master Soron! The sky ..." the harem dancer gasped out.

"It's night time, Yarla." He spoke gently with a reassuring hand on her bare shoulder. "Goliath isn't used to daylight, so I had the sun set for a while. It will be back."

"Yes, Master." Her attempt to sound confidently accepting didn't quite make it. "I will fetch wine for you, Masters." She bowed at both of them and escaped.

Goliath watched the retreating 'mouse', and turned to Soron. "Just what was she? I've never seen anyone like her, not even on Avalon." His tone was one of great curiosity.

"She's a Martian Mouse from another dimension." He chuckled softly. "I rescued her from a slave harem when I was about three hundred, and I have yet to get her to stop me calling me 'Master'." He paused and looked around, then at Goliath. "Well, what do you think?"

The Gargoyle took the question to take a good look around Soron's home. They were standing on the edge of a large forest clearing, and he could hear the ocean not far away, and forest animals all around. All in all, it seemed a very nice place, and quite normal.

Then he turned his attention to what must be Soron's actual home ... though the word palace came more to mind looking at it. It looked like the pictures he had seen in books from a place called India, built in solid, glistening white stone and gold.

He looked at the forest. "The forest seems very normal, and very nice. Reminds me somewhat of the area around where Wyvern originally stood." Then he looked at the palace. "It reminds me of pictures I saw of a place called India, it is quite different from the castles and towers I'm used to. But not all the world is castles and towers, perhaps you'd like to show me what it looks like inside ... the outside is very pretty." Goliath was a little uncertain of what words to use, since he wasn't used to such places, and Soron was clearly uneasy.

The Darshar managed a slightly relieved smile and lead the way inside. "We're in what is call a Den-Realm by the Bastet, who taught me how to create it. They're bound to an owner, though it doesn't have to be the one who created it." He talked as they walked through wide, open corridors and rooms made of the same white marble and decorated mostly in geometric and organic carvings even more ornate than the outside.

"This is a fairly accurate representation of the Royal Palace in Raussurin, where I grew up, before the Queen and her daughter were assassinated." Soron sighed slightly as he looked around at the walls he rarely saw anymore. "Den-Realms form as a reflection of their owner, they create an environment the owner feels comfortable in."

"Wine, Masters?" Yarla politely bowed at Soron without letting the contents of the tray she was carrying shift in the slightest.

"Yes, thank you." Soron took both goblets and offered one to Goliath with a hesitate smile. "It is the finest the Empire has to offer."

Goliath graciously accepted the goblet. "I understand the need to feel at home. I still find myself missing the halls and battlements of Castle Wyvern and it is in the same city." He sipped at the wine tentatively, finding it had a smooth, rich flavor with just a slight bite to it. "It is very good." He said sincerely.

He remembered something. "When I journeyed in Avalon we discovered that time passed differently there then in the real world. How is it with these Den-Realms? Not that I'm in a hurry."

"I can make it, but not usually." Soron inclined his head and chose a particular hall with a purpose. "I generally leave it to the defaults the realm selects. There is a very spectacular view of the dawn I would show you before you leave." His tone left little doubt he meant something special by the invitation.

Goliath smiled. "I would like to see that." He said accepting the entire invitation without hesitation and followed the Darshar through the palace at a reasonably fast pace that still allowed him the opportunity to see what was there.

Soron eventually lead them to a wide, delicately carved balcony that overlooked the sea and a beach glittering silver-white in the moonlight. He turned to face his mate and took the goblets, setting them on a finely wrought silver and crystal table in one corner.

"Remember when I said I wished we could give our vows properly for my clan?" Soron asked as the beginning of a false dawn rose over the sea.

Goliath nodded.

"This is what, and where, I was referring to." Soron slid his wings around Goliath's body, and under the Gargoyle's wings. His nervous excitement was clear in his black eyes as he guided his mate to the edge. "Face the sun, Goliath," his voice started to tremble. "If you do not wish to be my mate for life, if you have changed your mind or are not sure, face me."

Goliath suppressed a little nervousness at the fact that the sun was rising, but faced it quietly. "Soron, I have not changed my mind, and I am sure. I do wish to be your mate for life." He said with complete certainty, wishing only that his own clan could be present ... but those vows would have to wait, until his clan could accept Soron.

Soron nodded against Goliath's shoulder and sped his wings, opening his mate's in the process, to face the full glory of dawn. He bent his wings down into a position that, with another Darshar, would leave both their name-tattoos visible as the sun crested the horizon. A position the Gargoyle recognized from the last time they had spoken of vows and a life together.

The Darshar's voice was solemnly ritualized as he spoke a slight variant of what he had told Goliath under a full moon over a thousand years ago.

"Before the Goddess of Day
"As before the Goddess of Night
"And all who respect The Queen
"I acknowledge Goliath of Wyvern once again
"As the male to share my bed and life
"To him and him alone I grant the right to deny or accept my lust of another male
"Let all who care know Soron of Rakurr and Goliath of Wyvern are LifeMates
"Let no one challenge our bond without challenging our clans
"For under the light of sun and moon and before all who would see we have chosen each other
"And there is no law greater than this."

Goliath felt he should say something, but he felt somewhat clumsy next to Soron's ritual. He thought for a moment. "By the power of love, which outlasts time and all things, I, Goliath of Wyvern acknowledge Soron of Rakurr as my LifeMate, the male with whom I choose share my bed and my life. Before all the powers of life and light I take this Bond, and grant him the right to deny or accept my lust of another male."

He wondered for a long moment, if that could possibly have sounded as clumsy as it felt. He never had been fond of long speeches. A gentle kiss on his neck brought a shiver as the first dawn of his life stole his attention, after dreaming of it nearly as many nights as he did the one behind him.

"I like your vows," Soron's approving tone was unmistakable as the bottom edge of the sun rose from the sea, bringing drawn to morning. "How long can you stay, in real world time?"

"They will not expect me back until just before sunrise, since they expect that I am with Elisa. I didn't tell them that, but it is what they would expect. But we all return by sunrise, unless we have said otherwise. I'm not sure how long it is till sunrise, however." He said, the tone of voice clearly indicating that he wanted to stay as long as he could.

"Several hours yet." He paused, concentrating. "You will need to return shortly after sunset here.

"How is Elisa?" A tone of light concern laced Soron's voice.

"She was concerned about her brother, and a little disturbed. But I told her I would look into things, and that calmed her down enough that she decided to catch up on her sleep. I expect she will be fine by morning, she's a survivor. But I will check on her tomorrow evening, just to be sure." Goliath said matter-of-factly.

"When you do, would you ask her when would be a good time for Talon to come by, and a meeting place if she prefers elsewhere? I said I'd ask, but I suspect she'd rather see you than me for a while."

"I will, and I'll do what I can to smooth things out. I think it's actually a good sign, that you confused her. If she actually disliked you, she wouldn't care what you thought."

"That's nice to know." He slid around to face Goliath and enclosed them in his wings. "I'd hate to have your other mate dislike me. It makes things much more difficult than necessary."

Goliath nodded. "It would indeed." An slightly ironic smile crossed his face briefly. "I would not want to have to deal with another angry female mate."

"Angry isn't too bad, it's the insane ones that are scary."

Goliath nodded and changed the subject. "Several hours? That is plenty of time, for many things." The big warrior said with a significant look at his LifeMate.

"That it is," Soron slid his tail up Goliath's leg, and under his loincloth. "Plenty of time to celebrate."

About two hours after sunset, a sleek silver jet-copter with a stylized red phoenix logo on its side flew across the New York skyline. Though well-known to those familiar with the corporate choppers operating in the city, it had not been seen in almost six months.

On board, Alexander Greystone, an athletic young man in his mid-twenties consider a voluminous stack of reports that had been handed to him when he boarded the chopper after arriving at LaGuardia from Heathrow. "Give me an epic struggle of good versus evil." He muttered. "But powers of light and life spare me from the horrors of paperwork."

He shook his head in amusement, realizing that the paperwork was a necessary evil but one that he fortunately could delegate out most of. He put the stack back in the case it arrived in, and set his laptop in front of him. The machine booted up and the rotating phoenix logo appeared on the screen. After verifying his identity and authority, the machine gave him access to the security files, which he was far more interested in.

Scanning them he discovered that things had been tolerably quiet in his absence, barring a few events which he was already aware of. He was still very annoyed at Xanatos over the entire alien Steel Clan affair, but was satisfied that the damage resulting from its demise cost the Machiavellian industrialist plenty, even for him.

He heard a 'mrrow', and looked down to see a small red-brown tabby housecat looking up at him. He nodded, rolled up his sleeve and noticed that the 'cat' portion of the Stoneguard emblem on his arm was glowing soft red. "I wonder what's up and about in Manhattan tonight." He said quietly as the housecat vanished.

He made a few quick gestures and a glowing cantaloupe sized sphere appeared before him. A few more gestures and the sphere glowed in swirling patterns of light and color. Satisfied, he dismissed it with a wave. "Darshar in Manhattan, how truly interesting ... I wonder what is up with that?" He said quietly.

He touched the intercom button on the arm of his chair. "Change course, I want to go to Highland Towers directly, no need to stop at the Phoenix Building first."

"Yes, Sir, Mr. Greystone. Highland Towers, ETA 5 minutes." A young, professional male voice replied.

As the silver copter set down on the helipad atop the heights of Highland Towers, Alexander could see two figures waiting patiently, out of sight nearby. He smiled happily, he had missed the two young Gargoyles during his trip overseas.

As he cleared the wash of the copter's blades, Lexington and Brooklyn came running up to him. He grabbed them both into a friendly embrace. "Lexington, Brooklyn it's great to see you both. Anything interesting happen while I was gone, that I don't know about?" He said, adding the last because they'd both seen him during the Steel Clan affair.

"Yeah, but can we talk inside?" Brooklyn said quietly.

"Any chance of getting the VR up tonight?" Lexington asked excitedly.

The tall, dark-haired, fair skinned human smiled. "Of course, and I never took it down. We can probably get some game time in before sunrise."

"Cool." The little gargoyle said, as both of them followed him inside.

"So what's up?" Alexander asked as the three of them settled in comfortably in the large living room / personal theater of his home.

"Ever heard of the Darshar?" Brooklyn said quietly.

"I know they're a separate clan of Gargoyles, and that there was some unpleasantness between Wyvern and Darshar in the past. Not much more than that though, there's little recorded about them." He said thinking that even the Great Library didn't have much on them.

"That about covers it, except the unpleasantness was, well, a war. Though Lex and I never actually fought any of them, we were raised to know that we weren't supposed to trust them, and such."

Xander sighed. "The usual things taught to the young during a long conflict, it seems both our species do that. I take it something changed recently."

"Yeah, a Darshar showed up yesterday and talked with Goliath for a while, and now Goliath tells us that the Darshar don't want the war any longer."

"That's a good thing, right?" Xander asked tentatively.

"Of course it is, but Hudson's being real stubborn about it." Lexington chimed in, from where he was looking at the VR game menu. "Hey, a couple of these are new, aren't they?" He said excitedly.

Brooklyn nodded agreement. "Of course it's a good thing, guess I'm just worried about the way Hudson's taking it. And it's kinda strange how quickly Goliath warmed to the idea of peace."

Xander looked over at Lexington. "Yes, there are a couple of new ones." He walked over next to Brooklyn. "It's not really that strange. Goliath's responsibility is the good of the Clan, and currently Wyvern has enough hostiles to deal with. So if he can change an enemy to a neutral, or possibly even a friend, then I'm sure he will." He smiled. "I would, in his position."

Soron licked his lover's ear as the Gargoyle recovered from their latest mate-game and murmured. "As pleasant as this is, we need to return to the real world."

Goliath smiled lazily. "Yes, I suspect we can't leave things complete alone for too long."

"As pleasant as that sounds on a personal level," he chuckled and helped Goliath to his feet. "Neither of us can afford the fallout. The pools are this way."

Soron embraced his LifeMate as closely as he could one last time as they dressed, clean and dry again. "There are two way to return to the real world." He instructed as they drew away from each other, then guided Goliath through the palace to a door with heavy shielding, visible and not, guarding it. "You can walk through this door, and will find yourself in my home in the real world ... which is a very long way from New York, off the coast of Madagascar. My servants there know of you, and will assist you as necessary if I'm not there, including contacting me no matter where I am.

"Using the SeekerStone," he pointed to the small black stone he'd given Goliath earlier, "is the better way. Just like when you came here, concentrate on where on Earth you want to go. It is keyed to a building outside the clock tower and Elisa's apartment for now, but can take you anywhere you know fairly well.

"If you think she will be awake, please go to her apartment, I'd like to give Talon an answer as to when he can see his sister."

"Do you know what time it is in New York now? That will have a great deal to do with whether she will be awake or not."

It should be about an hour before dawn." Soron smiled. "I wanted to give you plenty of time to get back to the clock tower. We can cut it closer other days."

Goliath nodded. "Then I will have to talk to her after sunset today. I'll let you know when I have an answer for her brother." He stepped back to 'activate' the SeekerStone, and with one last look at Soron stepped through to New York. "Until tonight." He said simply.

When Goliath landed on the clock tower balcony half an hour before dawn, Lexington and Brooklyn were still not there. Goliath wasn't entirely surprised since their friend Xander had returned from a six-month absence.

Minutes before the sun rose, the two younger Gargoyles landed on the balcony and quickly got ready for the sun to rise. "Sorry we're late." Lexington said hurriedly.

The sunrise cut off any further discussion.

"Master?" Yarla stepped up to him as the portal disappeared. "Lady Sashria is requesting you presence in the new capital."

"Any reason given?" He regarded the tall blue Mouse with red antenna calmly despite the disquiet the request gave him.

"No, Master," the harem dancer handed him his formal outer robes, "but she did sound pleased."

"Call me if Goliath comes by." He instructed and called up a portal to Sashria's temporary office overlooking the growing construction that was the new Capitol complex. "You wished to speak to me?" He asked respectfully of the pitch black Darshar with wings more decorated than his when she turned away from a light gray male with black hair and few tattoos beyond his name.

She smiled brightly at him and spread her wings in greeting. "I wanted to congratulate you on your marriage, and a pending peace treaty with Wyvern. That's quite an accomplishment."

"Thank you," he nodded, not quite sure what to make of her friendliness.

"I also wanted you to check the accuracy of the plans for the west wing of the palace." She frowned. "You're the only one available that remembers it very well."

"Of course." He inclined his head and followed her over the partially finished city to the glistening marble complex that would become the new Royal Palace, still wondering why she was being so nice to him.

Xander stood on the balcony, watching the city as Lexington and Brooklyn finished the current round of the Virtual Reality game he'd brought back from Europe. He looked at the waxing moon and sighed realizing that it'd be full the next day, and there was no way for him to be in another dimension this time. He'd avoided the three nights of the full moon for over a year, by being in the Great Library on those nights, but he'd spent too much time out of dimension lately, it wasn't an option.

"Cool game, Xander." Lexington's voice said happily from behind him.

The tall human turned and smiled. "I'm glad you like it. Getting close to sunrise though, Goliath will be getting worried." Xander said quietly. He didn't really care if they slept on his building, but he was sure their leader wouldn't be happy about their absence.

"Yeah, we usually cut it too close according to Hudson." Lexington said as he hopped up on to the balcony wall. "See you tomorrow for round six, right?" He said anxiously looking forward to it.

"Lex.." Brooklyn said in a quiet warning voice. He knew that his smaller friend had forgotten that Xander was never around for three days a month, the first of which was tomorrow.

"What?" He turned to look at Brooklyn, and then realized what his friend was trying to hint at. "Oh, right. You're not going to be home tomorrow, are you?" He asked Xander.

Xander was honestly surprised they paid enough attention to notice his monthly absence, since it wasn't like they were at his place every night, though sometimes it was close. "No, I'll be here." He said quietly. He didn't want to talk about why he wasn't usually, but lying to his friends wasn't something he did.

"Cool, see Brooklyn, we can play tomorrow." Lexington said eagerly.

Brooklyn had seen the hesitancy in Xander's admission of being home. "Will it be okay, Xander?" He asked trying to respect whatever his friend didn't want to talk about.

Xander sighed deeply. "It might be better if you didn't guys. Not that I don't enjoy your company, but it just might be safer for you not to be here."

Lexington nodded reluctantly. "Well, I guess we can wait a few days." He said trying to hide his disappointment. "See you Friday then." He said before launching for the glide back to the clock tower.

Brooklyn looked at the human who'd become a good friend over the past year. "What's wrong, Xander? What do you mean safer?" He asked, feeling a bit worried about the usually unshakeable Xander.

"I'm not sure, Brooklyn. I just know that bad things happen to some members of my family around full-moons, and for once I can't hide in the Great Library till its over."

"Bad things, what like a werewolf?" He guessed, since that was the one moon connected 'bad thing' he could come up with.

"Don't know. I just know that the head of my Clan for generations has often come to bad end on nights of the full moon. Unfortunate, unexplained accidents and the occasional death at the hands of outraged villagers, or so it's said. We know why there's a problem, but we're not sure what happens. We've always gone to great lengths to be by ourselves on those nights, so we don't hurt anyone we care about." He explained reluctantly.

"Xander, if there's really a problem I should be here. You're my friend, and friends stick together. Besides, I'm tougher than a human, I can handle whatever it is." He said tenaciously.

The tall, athletic human sighed deeply. "Brooklyn, it could be something very dangerous, especially to Gargoyles. That wouldn't be surprising considering the nature of the curse."

"Curse? You mean like magic?"

"Very much so. Actually it was cast on an ancestor of mine about 500 years ago." Xander said quietly.

"You can't get rid of it?" Brooklyn asked tentatively. "I thought you knew something about magic."

"I do know something." He said smiling. "But this curse is too closely tied to what my Clan has stood for, for almost a thousand years."

"You've never really talked about your Clan much before, Xander. A thousand years, huh? That's going back a ways."

"No, I haven't. Not much reason too, I'm the only one left." He said quietly.

"The only one?" The gargoyle asked surprised.

"Yep, we were never a very big clan. And our choice of occupation was a hazardous one."

"What's that?"

"Easier with a few displays. Come on, I'll show you. There's still enough time before dawn." He led the gargoyle back through the apartment into the main living room where a large shield hung. The shield had a gray background with a black stylized castle behind crossed swords. "The crest of Clan StoneGuard." Xander explained.

"StoneGuard?" Brooklyn asked quietly. "Never heard of them, must be after we went to sleep."

"Very much so. StoneGuard was formed from residents of Castle Wyvern who returned several years after the tragedy. They decided that the tragedy had been the fault of humans, and that they owed it to the sleepers to watch and protect until the spell was broken."

"The sleepers? You mean, us?" He asked incredulously.

Xander nodded. "Yes, the original agreement had been that the humans would guard by day, and the gargoyles by night. Because of the spell, day had been extended into night and some of the Castle residents felt that the oath still had to be upheld."

"But they couldn't know how long it would be."

"No, they didn't. And they didn't care. Because of humans, a great tragedy had befallen the Gargoyles and they felt a need to try and repay the debt at least in part. For nearly a thousand years they guarded the castle, warding of the curious, and those who take the castle for their own use. It didn't hurt that the castle had developed a haunted reputation almost as soon as it fell, a reputation StoneGuard went to great lengths to encourage."

"So, where'd the curse come in?" Brooklyn asked, not sure he was going to like the answer.

"About five hundred years ago, Dracira, the earth witch, came to Wyvern. Part of her power was the ability to animate stone statues, and she found the sleepers to be perfect for her plans. StoneGuard confronted her, foiled her plans and in the end my ancestor forced her to swear an oath to never again seek to control or harm any of the sleepers. "

"On the first night of the first full moon that followed that conflict, she appeared at the StoneGuard camp. She cast her curse on the man who had forced her to swear the oath. Her curse was in a language that none of us have ever been able to translate, though we've tried. All we are sure of is that it's a transformative curse tied to the full moon, and triggered by our duty as StoneGuard."

"Duty as StoneGuard? You mean, you set it off when you saved Lex and me?" The gargoyle was shocked. "You didn't know that when you jumped in, did you?" He asked hopefully.

"Brooklyn, every leader of Clan StoneGuard has known about it for five hundred years. We simply accept that its part of the risk we take, and part of the cost of paying of the debt we owe for what happened. I knew I was drawing the curse and I'd do it again. Especially now that I know the two of you."

Brooklyn was completely stunned. He'd known that Xander had taken a few risks for them, but this was hard to believe. He needed to think. "Xander, I better get back ... its almost dawn." He said hurriedly.

"Agreed, Brooklyn."

"Can I come by tomorrow, anyway?" He asked quietly.

"I don't know what will happen, but if you want to ... I think I'd like the company." He said reluctantly.

"Right." He said launching off toward the clock-tower, racing to beat the dawn.

"Be careful, my friend. I don't know what becomes of StoneGuard when the new moon rises." Xander said as he turned and walked back inside.

Alexander stood on the balcony of his office at the top of the Phoenix building, watching the sun sink toward the horizon. Normally, he looked forward to sunset since some of his closest friends awakened then, but this day was different. Sunset meant he was that much closer to moonrise, and whatever would happen then.

The young executive felt the distinctive tingle of approaching magic, and quickly invoked his magical defenses. He knew no other wizards in the area, and was leery of unknowns. The coming moonrise had him on edge already; a strange wizard was not what he needed to deal with.

There was a ripple in the air, and a reasonably young woman with dark black hair, ivory white skin and gray eyes wearing a long black dress appeared. On her shoulder was a large raven, and in her right hand she held an elaborately carved wooden staff, shod in wrought iron. "Greetings, StoneGuard. I am surprised to see you still present on this night." She said in a regal tone, which matched her bearing.

"Dracira, I'm really not the mood for your games. Why don't you go away before I demonstrate what Merlin taught me? I assure you, you won't enjoy it." He said darkly, glaring at the raven-haired woman.

"StoneGuard, do you think me foolish enough to truly be here? I know well that your clan has sought my demise for five hundred years, I would not be so careless as to give you an opportunity." She laughed, a weird, almost musical sound.

Alexander gestured abruptly, and a swirl of lights enveloped the woman causing her to distort and warp, like a film being projected on wind blown screen.

"Enjoy your victory such as it is StoneGuard, for tonight is mine!" She said triumphantly before the image vanished.

Alexander stared at where she'd been standing. "Victory? I don't think so Dracira, maybe this time your curse will meet its match." He said quietly, hoping that his strange and convoluted heritage would provide some shield against the curse. He picked up his laptop and briefcase, and headed for the door, tagging the intercom as he passed it. "Sandra, tell my pilot to stand by, I'm returning to Highland Tower."

An hour after sunset, Brooklyn and Lexington were sitting on a building not far from Highland Tower watching their friend's home.

"Brooklyn, he said it might be dangerous. I think he really doesn't want us there." Lexington said, though the little gargoyle was worried, he was inclined to respect the human's apparent desire to deal with whatever it was without having to worry about them.

"Lex, he's saved us a couple of times, and I don't think he really wants to be alone. He won't admit it, but he's afraid." The reddish gargoyle said, still stunned by finding out that Xander had activated the curse by protecting them. On top of that, he was still trying to deal with the fact that he found himself attracted to the human. He figured that if Goliath could be with a human, then it should be okay for him. Assuming, of course, that Xander would even be interested in him that way. It wasn't like there was a rule against it.

"Maybe I'd better go back, just in case whatever it is keeps you away past sunrise. One of us should be at the clock tower to explain things to Goliath." Lexington suggested.

"Good thinking, Lex." Brooklyn agreed. "I might end up sleeping at Highland Tower."

"Just be careful, Brooklyn. Even Xander doesn't know what's going to happen." Lexington said, putting his hand on the crouched Gargoyle as he stood to take flight. "See you back at the clock tower."

"I will, Lex." He said watching his small friend glide away.

Alexander stood in his living room looking at the heraldic shield of his clan. He knew he could probably lift the curse, but it would mean renouncing the oath his clan had upheld for a thousand years. More importantly, it would be saying that the sacrifice had made for his Gargoyle friends wasn't worth the price. He thought for a while and then decided that come what may, he would remain true to who he was, and the honor of his clan.

"Hello, Brooklyn." He said without turning, as he heard the doors from balcony open.

The Gargoyle jumped. "How'dya know it was me?" He said surprised.

The tall human laughed quietly. "Only two people come to visit me through my balcony doors, and I can tell you and Lex apart by the way you walk. Not hard, considering how much smaller he is."

"That's a good trick, but can't walks be imitated?" He asked curious about this interesting talent of Xander's.

"I'd know the difference." He said simply.

"So, when does whatever happen, happen?"

"Moonrise, I think. Still about two hours." Xander paused, turned and walked over to the reddish Gargoyle. "Thanks for coming, Brooklyn. I didn't really want to be alone, but I couldn't ask anyone to take the risk."

"Friends look out for each other, and you've done that for me and Lex. He wanted to come, but we figured one of us should go back to the clock tower just in case the other got caught here past sunrise."

"Good thinking. Now the tough part ... waiting. Care for another game of chess?" He smiled, the Gargoyle had taken fairly quickly to the game one night when the VR had been down, waiting for a replacement chip.

"Sure, I will beat you ... eventually." Brooklyn grinned, he'd been uncertain about the game at first, but now he enjoyed the challenge of trying to out think Xander.

"Probably." Xander chuckled, as he set up the board.

Half an hour later, Xander was sure something was bothering Brooklyn. The Gargoyle had made several errors that he hadn't made since Xander had taught him to play. Xander knew his own game would be off, as distracted as he was; but he didn't expect his friend's to be as well.

"Brooklyn, is something bothering you?" Xander asked quietly, while contemplating his move.

"What makes you think something's wrong?"

"You're making mistakes you never make." He took a rook that Brooklyn had left unprotected. "Like leaving your rook in the open like that. Something's affecting your concentration. You know you can talk to me, Brooklyn." He said encouragingly.

Brooklyn nodded. Xander had listened when he'd been upset when Angela had chosen Broadway over him, and other times too. This was more difficult though. "I know, Xander. This is different." He said, hesitantly.

Xander nodded. "Is it something about tonight?" He asked carefully, worried that Brooklyn might be feeling guilty about the curse, even though he wasn't responsible in anyway.

"Not really." The Gargoyle said pretending to study the chessboard. "Can I ask you something personal, Xander?"

"Of course, Brooklyn. If I don't want to tell you I'll say so, but there's no harm in asking." The tall human replied easily.

Brooklyn hesitated trying to find a good way to phrase the question, when his eyes wandered across a painting of Wyvern Castle hanging on one wall. He'd never seen it before, so he figured it must be new.

Xander noticed the hesitation, and then saw his friend's fascination with the painting. "It's new. It was a gift that I just got around to hanging today."

"Looks just like the castle, when it was in Scotland that is. Who's the artist?" He asked taking the diversion.

"His name's Stephen, he's good but still rather unknown. He saw the Castle in Scotland about ten years ago, and using some older references painted away some of the damage the years had done. He gave it to me, on my birthday, but I've been away so I just got around to hanging it."

"A friend of yours, then?"

"A good friend, he'd like to be more, but the chemistry just isn't there." Xander said quietly.

"Cause you prefer women right?" The Gargoyle asked quietly.

Xander chuckled quietly. "No, actually I prefer men, but there's just something missing between Stephen and me. For one, I don't think he could handle the weird aspects of my life."

"Like Gargoyles?"

"Hardly, you guys are some of the more sane parts of my life." Xander said reaching to pat the Gargoyle on the shoulder.

Brooklyn relaxed a little at the touch. "Would you ever consider being with a Gargoyle, as a mate?" He asked very quietly, not looking up at Xander.

Xander turned to look at the teenager. Suddenly, Brooklyn's unease began to make sense. He reached over the board with one hand to gently tip Brooklyn's muzzle up so the Gargoyle met his gaze. "Are you asking if I find you attractive, Brooklyn?" He asked very gently.

The Gargoyle nodded silently.

Xander got up and walked around to put his arm around his silent friend. "Then the answer is yes, I do find you attractive. But I thought you were interested in females."

"Still am, but there's no rule against being interested in both ... is there?" He asked worriedly.

"Not that I'm aware of, Brooklyn." The tall human chuckled. "So no Gargoyle taboos on male-male relationships?" He asked curious.

"Only real restriction is on being with a member of an enemy clan. That's forbidden."

"I don't think that's a problem."

"Me neither. I know this wasn't the best night to ask, but I've been working up the courage for months." The Gargoyle said quietly.

Xander smiled. "Actually, its probably as good a night as any. Though I think we'll have to wait till we see what happens before going anywhere with this. So, have you ever been with a male before?"

"No, never thought about it till Angela picked Broadway. I was so obsessed with her till then, I never thought about anyone else." He started to explain.

"You don't have to explain, Brooklyn. Things happen, when they happen." He said gently.

The reddish gargoyle nodded. An uncertain silence fell across the room, until Xander gently guided the Gargoyle over to the couch, sat down next to him, and put his arm around his shoulder gently pulling him close. Brooklyn stiffened for a moment and then slowly relaxed into the embrace.

Xander smiled, and placed a gentle kiss on the Gargoyle's muzzle. "We'll figure this out, it'll just take time." He said quietly, as they waited.

"Evening guys." Elisa greeted Clan Wyvern after she shut the trap door.

"Evening, lass." Hudson said he settled in front of the television.

"Evening, Elisa." Goliath said as he hugged her. "Are you feeling better?" He asked concerned, after how upset she had been.

"I guess." She shrugged as he guided her out to the balcony and some privacy. "One unscheduled night off was more than the Captain likes."

"I'm sorry that Soron upset you. He was only trying to look out for Talon and the others." He said quietly. "Speaking of Talon, Soron told me that Talon'd like to see you. When and where is up to you."

Her eyes widened for a moment, then she smiled. "As soon as I get off shift, and where he lives, if it's possible."

"I will speak with Soron, after you go to work." The large Gargoyle smiled. "I don't know where Talon is living, but I will ask. Hopefully, it will be possible."

"It is, if you trust me enough." Soron landed lightly next to them. "They are staying in my den-realm."

Goliath jumped slightly, caught off guard by his mate's unexpected appearance. Seeing none of the others in sight he decided to risk embracing Soron. "Good evening, Soron."

"Good evening, love." The Darshar smiled as he wrapped his wings around Goliath for a moment.

"Aren't you taking a hell of a risk?" Elisa regarded the pair with a mixture of jealousy and softness.

"The only ones of Wyvern that could see through my cloaking spell aren't here." Soron shook his head.

"Who are they?" Goliath asked curiously. "Not that I knew you had a cloaking spell up." He said with a quiet smile.

"I wanted you to see me." He smirked. "Angela and Brooklyn both have the capability, if they're trained."

"Interesting." Goliath said quietly. "Well, Brooklyn took off with Lexington, like normal since Xander returned, and of course, Angela is with Broadway. I believe they were going to a concert in the park. Fortunate, that both of them took off early." He smiled.

"I wouldn't have landed if they hadn't." Soron chuckled, then turned to face Elisa. "When do you get off shift today?"

"Six am."

"Meet me in your apartment?" He offered. "We can leave from there."

"Sounds good to me." She smiled. "It's been too long."

As moonrise approached Xander became restless, somewhat akin to the manner of an animal in the zoo. It was not the cool, calm Xander than Brooklyn was used to seeing. The strange quiet in the penthouse home was broken only by the tall human's nervous pacing.

Brooklyn could feel Xander's tension practically radiating from the man. He found his own tail flicking nervously about at his heels until he couldn't stand it anymore. He put himself right into the human's path, "Getting worked up can't help anything. Maybe talking would?" The Gargoyle asked hopefully.

Xander smiled. "Actually, it's just the waiting. I hate waiting for something I can't do anything to prevent, or prepare for. I just have wait for this transformation, what ever it is, to happen." He said feeling a bit frustrated. He put his hand on the Gargoyle's shoulder. "But you're right, I shouldn't get worked up. Glad one of us is thinking straight here."

Brooklyn smiled almost shyly as he gathered up the courage to run the back of his hand against Xander's forehead, brushing away a few strands of hair the human had unlodged in his pacing. "Is there anything I can do to help? Want to play another game or something?"

Xander smiled. "Not a bad idea, Brooklyn. Might be just the thing to keep my mind off other things." He said as he turned for the chess board. As he turned, the clouds parted and the full moon shown through brightly illuminating the room. Before the gargoyle's eyes, Xander stopped in midstride, looking for all the world like a stone statue.

Brooklyn blinked in surprise and quickly moved forward, his talons wrapping around one of Xander's shoulders as he worriedly asked, "Xander? Hey, you okay?"

The contact revealed that Xander was in fact stone.

Brooklyn's muzzle dropped open in shock. He pulled his talons away from Xander like the human was on fire. But he wasn't. Stunned by what he saw the Gargoyle slowly walked around the now stone human. It was just like had happened to Eliza before, Xander was stone at night!

Slowly the Gargoyle reached out a hand and ran it along the human's chin. He pulled it back and slowly shook his head, "Not good. Definitely not good."

Brooklyn continued to walk around the immobile Xander. He forced himself to take a few deep breaths as he studied the statue. But after a few minutes it was pretty clear nothing else was going to happen.

The Gargoyle took a few steps back from Xander and rubbed a hand along his snout. He growled softly, "Wow ... Didn't think I was that boring of a date. Nice to know I can charm someone to stone."

Brooklyn shook his head at himself and almost despondently dropped unto one of the room's couches, his wings crumbled at his sides. This had to be the curse Xander had been talking about, but what could he do about it? Maybe it'd wear off soon, or with the daylight. He should be here to watch and make sure. And even if he had to stay the night, the clan would know where he was.

Growling worriedly again the Gargoyle settled down to wait just a few feet from his stone-cold friend.

A sudden cracking of stone snapped Brooklyn's eyes back to the statue. Though the statue was still stone there was a pile of stone dust around it, and it now had wings ... Gargoyle wings, almost as large as Goliath's.

Brooklyn was on his rather over-sized feet again in an instant, his eyes wide in amazement. The Gargoyle glanced from Xander's frozen face to the new wings and then back. "What the...?"

Cracks appeared in the stone, and the stone flew off, leaving new stone, and this repeated at a rapid pace creating a small whirlwind of gray dust which obscured vision and lasted almost fifteen minutes. When it was done, Xander had been replaced by a Gargoyle who's face resembled both Xander and Goliath, who was about a half-foot shorter than Goliath but similarly broad chested. But it was still a stone statue.

Brooklyn had sat himself down at a bar to wait. And somehow or another he'd ended up with half a bottle of Jack Daniels next to him as he waited and worried. He'd watched in amazement as Xander's form slowly changed from one to another. And more than once he'd been unable to stop himself from moving up to the statue and gently touching it in awe. If that really was Xander he was totally a Gargoyle now.

A pretty damn attractive Gargoyle too, even if he was eerily like Goliath. It was hard to admit, but Xander was cuter like this than he was as a human, and his size almost made he match for the clan leader. But Brooklyn couldn't help but feel nervous by the transformation and what it could mean.

He took another drink and slowly shook his head, "Some curse..."

Suddenly, the stone began cracking and the Gargoyle stretched and roared as though awaking at sunset. He started to move, failed to realize where his wings where and caught them on a table, spun off balance, attempted to correct, seemed to forget he had a tail and whacked it on the sofa, and somehow managed to end up sprawled on the overturned sofa looking most distraught.

"Clumsiness, my ancestors were killed by clumsiness." The Gargoyle muttered from the sofa.

For a moment Brooklyn could only stare, beak open in shock, at the Gargoyle's loud return to flesh and his subsequent comical fall. The red Gargoyle quickly jumped down to his feet from the stool he'd been sitting on and dashed over to the fallen couch. Almost fearfully he placed his talons on top of the overturned couch and leaned over to look at the fallen Gargoyle. He couldn't help but stare down at the mess of legs, arms and wings as he asked hopefully, "Xander?"

There was a brief pushing and the Gargoyle on the sofa managed to push himself so he was lying on his back looking up at Brooklyn. "Man, I'm glad no one was videotaping that. Yeah, it's me, Brooklyn." He said quietly. "Given that I just fell over a sofa, I'm not sure I trust my perceptions. What do I look like to you?" He asked curiously.

Brooklyn tried to say something but no words came out. He slowly shook his muzzle, his eyes crawling over Xander's new body. He chuckled softly at a loss and then forced himself to try again. "Maybe you should get a mirror Xander. It's kinda hard to explain but you ... well ... you look like a Gargoyle!"

Xander thought about it, and then carefully stood up. He turned and made a series of intricate gestures, after which a full length mirror in a frame appeared. He looked himself over carefully. "Remarkable, you're right I do look like a Gargoyle, somewhat like Goliath I think." He said quietly. "I am just glad I wasn't standing near a cliff or tower window like a lot of ancestors liked to do on the night of the full moon."

Brooklyn kept a few feet away from the new Gargoyle as he slowly walked around him. He snorted softly at Xander's comment, "Do you feel any different?"

Xander nodded. "I feel like I'm learning to walk again. There's this extra 'me' I'm not used to, wings, tail. Aside from being a terrible klutz at the moment, I'm still me.

The Gargoyle slowly moved forward and hesitantly placed a paw on one of Xander's shoulders. He turned the other Gargoyle and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. He swallowed something in his throat, "Deja vu all over again. Here, let me help you walk it out a bit."

Brooklyn led Xander a few steps and asked quietly, "I take it this is the curse you talked about?"

Xander gratefully accepted the assistance. "I guess, no one's ever recorded what happened. 'Cause no one's ever survived, which based on the initial clumsiness and some humans hostility to Gargoyles I can see being the case." He said quietly. "Deja vu? You've dealt with this before?" He asked curiously.

Brooklyn shook his beak and chuckled, "Yeah. An enemy of my clan sent one of the fae against us. He turned the entire clan into humans, and all the humans in the city into Gargoyles. It was kind of fun being a human at the time, but it was a little ... weird too. So I guess I'm becoming a pro at this," the Gargoyle smirked.

Xander nodded. "Changed the entire city into Gargoyles?" He shook his head. "That had to have been Puck." He chuckled quietly. As they walked slowly Xander slowly gained confidence in keeping his extra limbs. "Brooklyn, I'm really glad you're here, this would've been tough alone. Though this is way better than what I expected. Once I adapt to the form, this could even be pretty cool.

Brooklyn couldn't help but grin a little, "It could be way past cool. I can teach you to glide and introduce you to the rest of the clan. And besides that ... you look really good as a Gargoyle!" The Gargoyle's blush was unnoticed considering how red he already was.

Xander smiled. "Nice to know the form came out looking good. It's probably 'cause I was with a good looking Gargoyle when it happened." He said with a mixture of slight humor and real sincerity.

Brooklyn looked away in embarrassment, but there was a smile on his beak. After a few more steps he quietly asked, "How long are you going to stay like this? Or do you even know?"

Xander shook his head. "I haven't a clue, to the best of my knowledge no ones ever survived the first night before."

Brooklyn frowned, "That's not a cheerful sign. We'll just have to make sure to keep you away from any open windows for a while."

"Well, that and unfriendly mobs. I know a few of my ancestors died due to those. But up here that's not a problem."

Brooklyn shook his head with a small smirk, "I can sympathize. Our clan gets that all the time. You'd think a city obsessed with pride parades and that Cats play would be a little more open. Oh well, just remember not to go out unless you've got a big trench coat."

Xander shook his head. "The human race is rarely consistent in its behavior." He shrugged, and then headed out the door toward the large helipad. "I want to see just how big these wings are, without knocking things over."

Once on the helipad, he stretched his arms and flexed his new wings to their full extension. He looked off to either side at them, fairly impressed. He chuckled. "I think I just sprouted my own personal hang glider."

From the doorway out to the helipad Brooklyn smiled in amusement and chuckled softly. He too couldn't help but admire the new Gargoyle's impressive wingspan and broad shoulders; Xander's wings were almost a match for Goliath's. With his wings spread out to the skies, Xander's real size suddenly occurred to Brooklyn.

His tail flicked softly in envy as he stepped out of the doorway. "They're a lot of fun. But they can get in the way, you should get used to clasping them over your chest."

Xander nodded and tried a few different arrangements before he settlement on sort of wearing the wings as a cloak. "Like this?" He asked, turning to face Brooklyn.

Brooklyn smiled softly and stepped forward. Carefully he took each one of Xander's wingclaws and laid them on top of each other. The small little appendages clasp instinctually at each other, but it still took some getting used to get them to each other. The Gargoyle took a step back and whistled half in joking, half in appreciation. "Ready for a night on the town."

Xander smiled. "So, how difficult is gliding?" He asked adventuresomely.

The Gargoyle shook his head and looked back at Xander, "It's not too bad. If you don't mind that falling and smashing against the asphalt part." Brooklyn smiled, "Really though, if you wanted I could show you. It just takes some practice."

"We've still got six or seven hours till sunrise, plenty of time to practice." He grinned enthusiastically. "Demonstrate away."

Brooklyn grinned slowly. He shook his head amusedly at Xander and quickly moved to one of the balcony's ledges. He hunched down on the stone rail and called back over his shoulder, "All right, here goes ... Gliding 101. And that's the first rule to remember, we can't actually fly! Just glide on air currents. Like this."

The Gargoyle suddenly jumped off from the ledge. He pulled his wings close to his body and let himself simply dive downwards a good hundred feet or so. Then with a sudden flourish he spread his wings wide, turned to follow a gust of air, and soared his way up and around the building. A few seconds later he made a pass over Xander and gracefully swept his wings just over the Gargoyle's head.

Brooklyn landed almost on the exact spot he'd taken off from. But at the last second the claws on one of his oversized feet missed their mark and the Gargoyle almost went plummeting back off the building again. He wrapped his tail around the rail and caught himself, but he could help a smirk at his own expense, "Great, now here come the jokes about this being a 'crash' course."

Xander had been watching intently, and when he was sure his friend had recovered he walked over. "Do you suppose you could repeat that? I'm not sure I got the bit at the end there where you shoot off the building and grab the railing with your tail?" He smirked broadly.

Brooklyn smiled good-naturedly and then grumbled about something about smart-ass monkeys that turned into Gargoyles. "You should be glad you turned out so cute, I'm not above taking the odd human out for a nighttime building dive. But seriously ... would you like to try? I'll be there right with you."

Xander walked over and perched with his claws, he looked down and noticed he had claws which he had somehow overlooked, while he looked over the edge of the building. Xander grinned, and decided to get a better idea what the wind currents were doing in the stone canyon below.

"Intellego Auram," he whispered.

He was pleased when the shifting air currents became visible and understandable. Recalling his lessons in hang gliding and paragliding, he dove from edge of the building heading for a low, yet fast rising thermal. He shot down fast, it was quite a rush the feeling of falling and yet knowing he could stop at any moment. But he kept his eye on his thermal and continued diving.

Brooklyn had expected to have to coax Xander into the air, just like Goliath had had to when Elisa had been transformed. Somehow it just figured though that the teenager would fall for a male just as headstrong and adventurous as himself. All the young Gargoyle could do was get an abortive, "Hey! WAI-," off before Xander suddenly dove.

Around the 10th floor, Xander extended his wings fully and rode the fast thermal up the face of the skyscraper skimming it, like a plane flies nap of the earth. As he reached the top of the building, he turned a bit clumsily back toward Highland Tower, and came to a somewhat rough landing on the Helipad.

The Gargoyle gritted his teeth in worry, hunching and preparing to dive after Xander when the new Gargoyle suddenly snapped his wings open. Brooklyn watched in amazement, his claws furrowing deep into the stone rail, as Xander actually managed to not only find a thermal but catch it almost instantly. As the Gargoyle pulled himself up through the air and then swooped down through the air Brooklyn could only gape.

When Xander finally made his rather rough landing Brooklyn was whistling quietly. "That was amazing! It takes months for most hatchlings to learn! And you found a thermal your first try!"

Xander bowed politely. "Thanks, Brooklyn. Actually, it's a lot like paragliding, one of my hobbies, and watching you showed me how it differs from paragliding. Though spotting the thermals in Manhattan is a lot different than doing it over the Red River Canyon. Have to work on the landing though, that was pretty rough."

Brooklyn grinned slightly, he'd thought the landing had been pretty good. Or at least the part of it where Xander had skidded to all fours, his tail whipping out to get balance and showing a nice view of the Gargoyle's rear. He forced himself to stay the 'eacher though. "Actually it's often best not to try and land like that just cause you don't always know who's on the roof. Grabbing hold of a good fistful of granite can stop you just fine. And then you can climb up the building and look around."

Xander nodded. "I only land like that on rooftops I own." He grinned. "So we've a good five hours till sunrise, plenty of time to get some more practice in." He said a bit eagerly, still on an adrenalin rush from the first flight.

Brooklyn chuckled and gave his wings an encouraging flap. "Okay. I'm game. Where to?"

"Hmmm. Not too far, don't want to get caught away at sunrise. The Phoenix spires will do, I think I'll stick to buildings I own tonight." He grinned.

Brooklyn shook his head, "It's good to be king. Okay, you go first and I'll follow. Just in case I have to catch you of course." The Gargoyle grinned.

"Okay, just try to keep up." Xander smirked as he dove off the tower and caught an upper thermal. Along the way, Xander played, seeing what various wing configurations did, how he could gain speed and altitude best, and what methods of turning seemed smoothest. More than once his experimentation caused him to lose control for a moment, but he managed to recover with a decent amount of grace and a grin that said 'I meant to do that.'

Brooklyn made sure to keep his smiles hidden and stayed close at hand. More than once convinced the handsome new Gargoyle was going to get himself killed by slamming against a building. Still Xander had amazing skill for a beginner and held his own.

When they reached the spires of the Phoenix Foundation building, Xander leaned heavily against them. "Gliding is more work than it looks." He said looking at Brooklyn.

The Gargoyle flapped his wings a few times and then cloaked them around his shoulders. "It definitely can be here. All the buildings make you work really hard. And you're probably tired from the transformation too. You need a good stone sleep. Or a meal?"

"A meal is a good idea. I've been so wound up, I haven't eaten all day. Come on, let's go inside. Corwin's a great cook." He said as he headed for the rooftop elevator in the side of the one spire.

Brooklyn followed quickly after Xander, reminding him, "Hey! I hope Corwin's open-minded. You're a Gargoyle now!"

Xander grinned. "Corwin's special, its hard to explain but he sees the 'real' person past all the surface noise and appearances. Doesn't matter how the outside changes, I still look the same to him." He said quietly as he punched his security code into the access panel.

Brooklyn shook his head softly but kept quiet, he trusted Xander knew what he was doing. The former human had more than a few ties with strange people, and seemed to have more access to the magical than even Xanatos.

Suddenly two Doberman guard dogs came charging around one corner of the building.

Xander knelt down and stared at them. "*Quiet, guys. It's me, Xander. You know me.*"

The two dogs stopped and looked at him uncertainly.

"*Come on, you know who I am.*"

They approached and sniffed him uncertainly, and he scritched them in their favorite places. They licked his face and then wandered off. He stood up and waited for the elevator.

Brooklyn smiled, "Nice dogs. I'll have to introduce you to Bronx sometime."

As the two of them moved into the elevator Brooklyn asked suddenly, "How have you made all the money to build all this stuff?"

Xander smiled as the elevator started to moved. "A lot of it I inherited. The Greystone's are a very old and wealthy family, and I also inherited the Phoenix legacy, another inheritance which has been building over centuries.

Brooklyn nodded quietly, thinking Xanatos would probably be disgusted. But then again he had the Illuminati to kick off his career.

"And I'm no slouch myself, I've a good feel for financial markets and how they move; when to sell and when to buy. I've been building on the inheritances since I was eighteen, though most of the buildings I inherited and remodeled."

The door opened and a tall man in a tuxedo was standing there to greet them. "Good evening, Xander. Dinner for you and your companion?" He said in a deep, rich and very polite voice.

The teenage Gargoyle froze, his entire body tensing as he waited for the man to react in typical human fashion at a Gargoyle suddenly standing before him. Surprisingly though the man didn't so much as bat an eyelid.

Xander nodded. "Yes, Corwin. That would be appreciated, in the family room."

"Of course, sir." He said, and left them.

Xander led Brooklyn into a large room with plush brown carpeting, warm, gold-brown couches and chairs, a large fireplace and an even large entertainment center. Though designed for many, it was clear the room didn't see very many people.

Brooklyn carefully watched Corwin leave, quickly asking Xander, "The guy didn't even blink, you've got good help around here! Has he met Gargoyles before, or is he just cool?"

Xander smiled, as he leaned against the back of the sofa. "Corwin is simply impossible to surprise, nothing bothers him. Steel Clan could show up in the hallway and he'd just insist that they leave, but he'd be completely undisturbed."

The young Gargoyle slowly shook his head, a wry grin on his beak, "What is it with all the cool butlers in this city? Vogel, Burnett and now Corwin. I swear they must go through training worst than the marines!"

Xander chuckled. "I don't know, Corwin just is, he does his job better than anyone else can even think of doing it. He's not only a butler, but he manages to be a chef, and a tailor as well." The big Gargoyle said appreciatively. "All I know, is he looked after me when my parents died, until I was old enough to take control of things myself."

Brooklyn put a hand out and squeezed Xander's shoulder warmly. "I know what that's like. It's good to have family."

Xander smiled at the teenage Gargoyle. "Family, and those closer than family." He said as he put his hand on Brooklyn's shoulder and smiled warmly.

Brooklyn smiled uncertainly, but there was a deep warm feeling in his chest. The Gargoyle reached his own hand up and carefully laid it on top of Xander's. He squeezed the new Gargoyle's large hand, "Now that you've got the duds for it, maybe we can go on a date sometime."

Xander smiled. "I certainly hope so, once I don't tire so quickly." He said quietly.

Brooklyn almost beamed, but he forced himself to try and sound nonchalant. "Dinner should be good for now though. I'm as hungry as Broadway!"

As if on cue, Corwin walked in pushing a cart with two round covered trays on them. He set the trays on the large table in the middle of the room, and took the covers off revealing them to be pizzas worthy of the best restaurants, what Brooklyn found truly astonishing was the fact that Corwin had actually put the toppings on that he liked, without having to ask.

Xander pushed a button and rotated one section of the wall to reveal a well stocked refreshment center. He grinned. "Soda, water, stronger things though I don't recommend them, and what isn't here is probably in the kitchen." He bent over and came back up with a two large bags of chips. "Perfect to go with pizza." He said grinning.

Brooklyn chuckled softly and grabbed a soda from the Xander's stock. He didn't bother with the tab, but simply popped the can open with a talon. He walked up to the cart and took a hungry smell, "I'm glad Broadway already has somebody; he'd love you."

Xander smiled, as he grabbed a slice of pizza. "Wouldn't change who I prefer, Brooklyn." He said, eating hungrily. "Food was definitely the right idea."

Brooklyn nodded enthusiastically and dug into the pizza with relish. After his sixth or seventh piece the Gargoyle wondered, "Feel better?"

Xander smiled as he finished his piece. "Much better, and there's still time to make it back to Highland Tower, though you don't have quite enough time to make the clocktower. I hope you won't get in trouble for being away past daybreak. Your being with me has really helped a lot, I just want you to know that." He said sincerely.

Brooklyn smiled almost bashfully and shook his head at Xander. "It was my pleasure. I mean it, I wouldn't have missed your first night as a Gargoyle for anything! And don't worry about my clan, one night away won't kill anybody. Lex will let them know I'm okay."

Xander nodded. "Good, I wouldn't want to get you in trouble. Let's head back, I don't want to 'sleep' at work." He smirked, as he headed out of the room. "And Phoenix Foundation is definitely more like work."

Brooklyn chuckled softly and followed the Gargoyle out. A few minutes later the pair of them were gliding through the cold winds of the city, the younger Gargoyle careful to keep close to his new pupil just in case.

A short while later as the first hint of dawn began to touch the sky, the two Gargoyles landed on the balcony of Xander's home at Highland Towers. Xander carefully touched a couple of buttons, which activated a shimmering field around the balcony.

"That should keep anyone from getting curious." He smiled.

Brooklyn ran a talon along the forcefield, letting it crackle as he slowly shook his head. "Nice toy. But ... do you usually get visitors coming unannounced on the roof?"

Xander chuckled. "It also has a built-in holographic image, no one will see that there are two Gargoyles here. But, I do have the occasional unwanted visitor." He said quietly.

The Gargoyle's eyes turned towards Xander, some part of him wondering if adventure was endemic to rich humans. Still the Gargoyle let it drop given the excitement he went through practically nightly. Even this night.

Brooklyn smiled softly; suddenly realizing he could have an adventure with many less enjoyable people. Seeing a bright halo of light along the horizon, the Gargoyle suddenly quipped, "Heh, first date and I'm already turning to stone with the guy. Wonder which one of us is easy..."

Xander's reply was cut off by the sudden transformation to stone.

"Good morning, Elisa." Soron's deep voice preceded his appearance through the open window in her apartment half an hour after she'd returned from her shift.

"Good Morning, Soron." Elisa said pleasantly, grateful as usual that civilian clothes were her uniform. "So, how far is it to where my brother is staying?" She asked curiously.

He concentrated and a shimmering black portal opened nearby. "Just through here and to the aviary."

She looked at the black portal, then at Soron and back to the portal. Her detective instincts told her the dark Gargoyle was on the level, so she stepped through.

She blinked several times to help her eyes adjust to the dawn twilight, then blinked again to make sure she wasn't seeing things as a six foot tall blue mouse with red antenna came into focus.

"Wine, my Lady?" The harem danger offered a goblet to her as Soron picked the second one up from the tray she carried.

"This is Yarla." The Darshar smiled. "She lives to serve and make life more comfortable for those here."

Elisa accepted the goblet. "Thank you, Yarla." She said easily, before turning to Soron. "A few years ago, I might have been surprised. Not any more." She grinned.

"That is a good thing," he smiled and led her down the white marble and gold palace hallway. "The life of a Gargoyle's mate is not a simple one."

"Who wants simple?" She laughed. "I could've had simple, but it just wasn't as attractive." She smiled as she followed him.

"Many do." He rumbled with a touch of humor as he opened a heavy wooden door with beautiful inlays of birds and forest scenes. "This is the aviary, Talon's usually indulging his love of flying."

Elisa smiled. "Some things never change. He's loved flying since he was a child."

"I just never had the wings to back it up." The voice came somewhere from the side of Elisa and Soron. They turned toward the voice to see a black panther, complete on two legs and with wings, slowly moving towards them. A shorter cat woman walked behind him, her eyes large and watchful.

Elisa grinned. "Not that that ever stopped you from finding other ways to get in the air." She smiled warmly, as she walked toward the panther. "It's good to see you, I've been worried." She said sincerely.

"I'll leave you to the family reunion. Just call if you want anything." Soron smiled at them before he turned to leave.

"Thank you, Soron." Elisa said, turning to smile over her shoulder.

Talon watched Soron go, slowly turning his eyes back to his sister, almost as he if afraid to finally be back with her after all this time. The mutate spoke softly, his voice a little reserved, "It's good to see you too Elisa. It's been way too long."

Elisa hesitated, and then gave up any attempt at reserved and put her arms around her brother and hugged him. "We need to see each other more often, Derek." She said deliberately using his human name, as a way of saying he was still her brother, and appearance didn't matter. "Especially, if you're going to be staying with Goliath's boyfriend." She grinned.

Talon's defensive stance broke for just a moment, his large cat eyes swelling even further. They darted towards the door that Soron had just walked out of and then back to his sister, "Soron is ... Goliath's boyfriend?!"

Elisa nodded easily. "Boyfriend, mate or whatever you want to call it. Yeah, I found out the other night. I guess they've been dating since the Dark Ages. Apparently, it's perfectly normal for Gargoyles to have a mate of each gender."

Talon blinked a few times in surprise, slowly shaking his head. He heard a light chuckle behind him and Maggie laid a hand on his shoulder. The panther gave a small sigh, "Gotta love the new century. I think Claw wants to try that too."

The cat shook his head again and then suddenly smiled, "This oughta make family get togethers just that much more interesting."

Elisa chuckled broadly. "Oh yeah, I hadn't thought about introducing Goliath to the folks." She grinned broadly. "Mom, Dad this is my boyfriend, and my boyfriend's boyfriend." She mimiced doing introductions. "Think I should dial 911 in advance?" She laughed lightly.

Talon had to chuckle softly at that. "Yeah you might want to wait a while. They still think you're normal, you show Goliath to them and suddenly Beth with be the normal child. Beth, the only child not dating outside her species ... or former species."

Maggie shook her head, "I think they'd be better than that. Once your father actually started breathing again that is."

"Mom take her trip to Africa yet? It's ... been a while since I saw them last." The cat sounded for just a moment like Derek used to. Always busy with his life but also always sorry when he missed a family gathering.

Elisa smiled. "The trip got postponed twice, it's supposed to be two months from now, assuming it goes off as scheduled. Everyone else is pretty much the same. Beth is in her last year at college, though she's talking graduate school now. They ask about you, and I find creative ways to duck the question. Are you planning to visit them anytime soon?" She asked gently, without any real accusation.

Talon looked away, his ears flicking a little against his skull. He sighed softly through his slitted feline nostrils, "I need to. I miss them a lot it's just..." The mutate's wings drooped slightly, "It's a little awkward when Dad asks how I'm doing and I tell him that I had to chase off another mutate in a turf war. Or that I managed to keep us all from starving with a night raid at a neighborhood market. At least things are better here ... I should try again with them I guess."

Elisa hugged the panther tighter. "Yes, you should. When they don't hear from you they assume the worst. At least if you don't feel up to facing them, tell me something to tell them, that will keep them from worrying about you. As mother reminded me, you may be a big cat with wings but she's still your mother, and it's her prerogative to worry about you." She chuckled lightly. "I think she's dealt with it rather well actually."

The mutate couldn't help but smile. He gave his sister a hug back as he slowly snorted in a mixture of amusement and amazement, "A little too well. She privately asked me last time I brought Maggie over if I was going to make her a grandmother. Practically asked me when the kittens were coming."

Maggie gave one of her patented little smiles but stayed silent.

Elisa smiled. "Yeah, well grandchildren are her big interest. She and Dad have suggested several times that I should see more of Matt. At least with you there's the possibility of grandchildren, or would that be grandkittens?" She grinned. "I'm pretty sure that's not a possibility with my love interest."

Talon ran a paw across his eyes, "Kittens ... Not what I expected but hey."

He forced himself to change the subject, "How's the clan?"

Maggie spoke up too, "And Brooklyn?"

Elisa couldn't help but smile. "The Clan's doing well, actually added one member you might not be aware of: Angela, Goliath's daughter. She and Broadway are dating. Brooklyn's fine too, no real change there." She smiled.

She looked at the panther. "So what have you been up to lately?" She asked, with sisterly curiosity.

Talon shook his head, "Not too much." The mutate turned a little, gesturing towards the thick woods, "This place is a little bit of heaven. Since Soron brought us here we've just been trying to enjoy it. It's a great change of pace from living in the sewers."

Maggie quietly agreed, "It's wonderful, if a little weird. But at least Claw's getting a chance to heal properly, and he seems to like all the water."

"It'll be easier knowing you're in a place like this. Even if Soron did give me a bit of a run around at first. For some weird reason, he thought I hated you, apparently 'cause I'm still ticked at Xanatos." She shook her head in amusement. "Go figure. Still, it looks like he's doing good by you guys."

"I might have had something to do with that. Soron has heard me talk about that bastard before." The Mutate almost growled something else, but he restrained himself. "But yeah, Soron's great. If it weren't for him we'd be on the streets and Claw'd be dead. He's weird as hell, but then look who's talking." Talon grinned as he did a mock bow.

Elisa grinned. "Oh, I don't know. If you weren't my brother, Maggie might have some competition." She chuckled.

Talon gave a mock snort, "With my luck I'd end up with somebody who'd get me declawed. But until then I'm enjoying life. Want to look around?"

"Derek, I'm a detective, of course I want to look around." She grinned. "But seriously, I'd love to see your home." She said with a smile.

The Mutate linked his wings together over his shoulders like a cloak and half-stepped back. He waved out a paw and leaned down like a butler, "This way my lady." He grinned as Elisa chuckled and then quickly followed after her.

The rather oversized elevator opened just barely in time to let its two occupants out without there being a rather awkward mishap. Neither of them seemed to notice it however, one of them far too occupied with getting where they were going as the other one watched him in amazement.

The first man walked with such precision and purpose, his stride sharp and fast, that the other man might have sworn the tall blonde was made of wood. The stone-faced man could have cared less what this ill-mannered intruder thought, he was simply trying to get rid of him and back to his duties.

"The castle's courtyard is this way Mr. Carter. I'll show you to the parapets myself."

The shorter man had to hurry to catch up to the tight-lipped aide as they moved quickly through the dark castle. He tried to make nice, "Please call me John. I don't believe I caught your name ..."

So gently nobody could have noticed the assistant gave a snort of derision. "Burnett. Owen Burnett, personal aide to Mr. and Mrs. Xanatos."

Carter nodded quickly, jotting something down on the small pad he kept incessantly shoving in everyone's faces. "And where are the Xanatos' exactly?"

His heels clacking on the stone floor in annoyance, Owen suddenly stopped to hold a door open for the reporter. The two of them had moved into the cool midday winds above the city before the aide responded, "They are away on business in Egypt. Hopefully securing a legacy of some ... definite longevity."

The aide didn't stop moving for even a moment at the gorgeous sight of New York City splayed out before them. Instead he continued his almost breakneck speed up a flight of steps as he continued, "However I am more than fully capable of answering any of your questions as long as we can make this short."

The man tried to smile affably, "Of course!" He reached the top of the steps that led to the parapets along the castle's walls. "All the pictures I've seen showed Gargoyles in the parapets, what happened to them?"

The merest fraction of a smile on his lips the immaculate aide replied, "They ceased to hold Mr. Xanatos' fancy so he had them destroyed."

Feigning disbelief Carter slowly walked along the small wall, "Really? He destroyed all of them? Even after all the expense of shipping them over from Scotland?"

Owen blinked before he could catch himself, caught off guard by the reporter's knowledge. The small hint of a smile instead changed itself into a frown, "Mr. Xanatos does not tolerate things ... and people that cease to interest him. I'm sure he'd already have found reason to end this interview for example."

The aide's eyes returned to the reporter just in time to catch him standing up from what looked like a quick kneel. The man tried to cover it up by accepting the barb, "Point taken Mr. Burnett. Perhaps you could give me a copy of that dossier you mentioned earlier? That's really all the information I should need."

If that were true, you would not have insisted on coming up here yourself, Owen pointedly thought but he kept the words in. Instead he nodded quickly and then sharply turned around. The man was no reporter, so why was he here?

With his usual brisk, rude efficiency Owen managed to get rid of Carter in a handful of minutes, a thick dossier detailing the building's history and design in his hands. The moment the man was gone Owen moved into Xanatos' personal office and activated a small monitor.

A moment later he was staring at an image of the 'reporter' John Carter kneeling quickly as Owen's back was turned. The man was palming a fragment of stone skin obviously left by one of the Gargoyles during their stay.

Alone Burnett allowed himself a real frown, one that practically cracked the wood of his face. His cell phone was instantly in his hands as he placed a call straight to David Xanatos.

Though she often didn't seem to, Captain of Detectives Chavez truly did enjoy her job. It kept her busy, it provided at least a livable income and most of all it gave her a chance to feel like she was actually doing something good for what she considered to be her city. Most of the time she just usually didn't let any of that show through her businesslike demeanor.

Today she tried to take it a little easier though, it never paid to scare off the new recruits, especially ones as attractive as this puppy-eyed new one. She even allowed herself a smile at his last comment, "You are gungho ... pretty typical of our force. Never knew a cop who didn't want to start as soon as possible. Let me just find you a partner."

"Thanks," the new recruit called as the Captain already swiveled around in her chair to a filing cabinet set in one corner. She pulled out an active duty roster sheet of detectives with new partners in the last few years. It looked like ... Maza and Bluestone. They were up for the next break-in of new muscle.

But which one to assign Conniver to?

Normally Chavez would most likely have chosen Maza hands down. Not only did she have years of experience and one of the most level-head of any of her regular detectives but she was a little more ... normal than her partner.

And though the Captain probably wouldn't have admitted it, she'd been waiting for Elisa to find someone. The detective couldn't do much better than the dark haired and quiet man sitting across from Chavez.

But the detective was acting a little strange lately. Spending a large amount of hours at work but off the clock. Seemed she was always at the clocktower precinct office these days. She hadn't taken any time off work in almost two years either, excepting that incident with her gun.

Maybe this would be a good chance to get her to relax. No four-month vacation, but maybe a long talk with her after the Captain got Bluestone out of Maza's hair for a few days.

With an almost imperceptible nod of her head Chavez suddenly turned herself around and flashed a smile at Conniver. "I've got just the detective for you, somebody pretty new to the department too. Detective Matt Bluestone. I'll put you both on dayshift for a few days until we get you a steady partner."

The Captain stood up and quickly walked around her desk, holding the door open for the young man. "I'll introduce you Detective Conniver, I'm sure you'll get along fine."

The man nodded agreeably, before flashing the Captain a smile that would have melted her heart just a few years earlier. "Thanks a lot Captain ... and please, the name's Jason."

Some would say that the Gargoyle known as Demona hasn't been in a good mood for over ten centuries. While that isn't true, she most certainly comes across that way. Today was no different, for she actually was in a bad mood. A very bad mood.

Two days ago a small shipment the Gargoyle had been expecting hadn't arrived. In fact it had been ambushed and spirited away. For almost 48 hours the Gargoyle had raged at anyone stupid enough to be near her as she desperately searched for the culprits. She found nothing.

The shipment had contained the Medici Tablet en route from a bank vault she'd established in Florence. And now it was gone. Right along with five hundred years of preparation to destroy the human race.

Only the near-insane will to survive that Demona possessed allowed her to veil her anger and try and salvage the damage. Which was the only reason why a Miss Dominic Destine was holding this interview today. She needed an assistant. Maybe then she could hunt down the fool who dared steal from her.

Normally Destine would have let the head of NightStone human resources conduct the interview but this position required a little more ... discretion than any other. Thus she decided to do the interview herself.

And she was impressed. Luckily for Robyn Corry.

The blonde young woman smiled ever so slightly, "I can start this very minute if necessary. I'm available for all holidays and weekends and I'm not afraid of working nights."

Destine smiled indulgently, a few teeth showing in a feral grin, "I never work nights. I need my beauty sleep." Pushing a hand through her hair to illustrate the would-be executive suddenly noticed the sun sinking in the background of the City's landscape.

Quickly she stood, putting a winning smile on her face. She offered a hand, "Congratulations Robyn, I'd like to welcome you to the NightStone team."

Robyn returned Dominic's smile with a small smirk but the efficient young woman rose in a single fluid motion and lightly shook her new 'employer's' hand. "Thank you Miss Destine."

Collecting a small folder Dominic ordered quickly, "I want you here tomorrow at 7:30 sharp." The would be executive paused and indulged herself in a joke, "Enjoy your last night of good sleep."

Robyn smiled widely this time, her eyes flicking towards the last small rim of the setting sun just as Dominic turned for the door just behind her desk. Quietly the young woman spoke up, "One last thing if I may Miss Destine."

Dominic paused in her tracks but her eyes caught the sun disappearing. "Not now Robyn, I have business." The businesswoman took another few steps and was actually in the doorway before she was stopped by a hand suddenly hauling backward on her shoulder.

"I insist."

Practically snarling Dominic turned towards Robyn, "What the hell are you-"

She was cut off as a blaster suddenly entered her vision. Robyn's eyes were turned toward the last rays of setting sun and she said quite sharply, "This will only take a moment."

Destine growled and suddenly swung an arm up to shove the blaster away. Robyn cursed in Gaelic, her eyes flickering back to her target. The businesswoman had a look of pure hell on her face and she pushed herself forward ... only to stumble just a foot away. A convulsion racked her body as the last of the sunlight disappeared over the Manhattan skies. Robyn's eyes went wide and she took a step backward, blaster back up and trained with both hands.

Dominic Destine seemed in the throes of a fit, her body hunched and tensed as she suddenly screamed. Her skin shifted color and her entire form seemed to expand. Her expensive suit was ripped to tatters as muscles bulged and a slender pair of wings suddenly erupted from the creature's back. A few seconds more and Dominic Destine was no more.

There was only Demona.

Robyn's eyes narrowed to slits as she suddenly recognized the hated creature. She'd been right.

The hunter gave a sudden scream of rage and fired her gun at point-blank range. Pain still flooding her senses, only the instincts she'd honed for over a thousand years enabled the Gargoyle to dodge the blast.

Her eyes blazing a bright crimson Demona twisted herself around, her tail flying like a whip and slamming into Robyn's side. The human slammed against a wall of the office, another shot blazing out of her blaster to torch a priceless painting.

The Gargoyle pounced with all her usual subtlety but the human surprised her, recovering just in time to step forward into the attack. Her hand smack hard into the Gargoyle's face and stopped her in her tracks. A moment later she followed it up with a brutal kick straight to Demona's chest.

The Gargoyle was actually lifted off her feet. She fell backwards, limbs scrambling to right herself. She got to one knee just in time to feel the barrel of the hunter's gun press cold and hard against her foreridge.

Demona growled with centuries of hatred, "You're a hunter!"

Robyn sneered at the creature, her voice suddenly changing to a deep Scottish accent, "And you're dead demon!"

Demona's eyes narrowed and she moved as quickly as the wind. A sudden duck, a tail swipe to the hunter's legs and a hand swipe to grab hold of the gun. This time there wasn't even enough time for the gun to go off as Demona yanked it from the hunter's grasp. With a predator's growl she crushed the gun between her talons.

A second later Robyn was pinned against the wall, her legs off the ground as Demona roared into her face, "How did you find me human?"

Robyn struggled desperately, both of her arms pinned, but all she could do was futilely kick the demon's midsection. With a cuss she growled at the creature, "The same way we knew about your plan monster! We intercepted one of your transmissions from Paris!"

Demona's eyes swelled in shock, "What?!"

Somehow the hunter actually managed a smile, "Your plans are nothing but ashes. We found the Medici Tablet and smashed it! And we found out all about you and your clan. You won't be killing anymore humans demon!"

Demona's roared in pure animal rage. She pulled her head back in a howl and then suddenly backhanded the hunter. "No! You couldn't have!"

Robyn spat blood from her mouth but she yelled defiantly back, "You're dead demon. It end's tonight!"

The Gargoyle simply snarled and pulled back a hand, letting her talons splay for a mortal strike. One of the great glass windows of the office suddenly erupted inwards in a shower of glass shards. The wall just beside Demona exploded as a blast from an energy weapon discharged with lethal precision.

Demona was thrown to one side and Robyn was freed from her grasp. The hunter sank to the ground, back against the wall, as she coughed and covered her eyes.

But Demona wouldn't lay down. Shakily she got to her feet just in time to greet her new attackers.

There were two more hunters hovering a dozen a feet away on powerful hovercraft. They wore the blue, black and red suits that had for so long hunted the ronin Gargoyle.

The Gargoyle hissed in motionless horror, "Nooooo!"

The lead hunter roared back at her, "Believe it demon! It's over!"

An energy cannon roared and Demona was almost lifted off her feet. The shot tore through her midsection, burning the wall behind her. The Gargoyle shuddered, her eyes suddenly ceasing to glow.

Another shot rang out. Demona's body shivered in agony, her wings drooping to the floor behind her. She swayed sharply to one side and suddenly fell. But instead of sprawling against the ground she managed to turn the plummet into a lunge.

Jason Canmore, leader of the three hunters, growled in surprise. He kicked his hovercraft forward, wildly shooting with its energy cannon.

But Demona had dodged behind her thick oak desk. Jason screamed in anger as he blasted through it but by then he already saw a flicker of a dark turquoise tail moving through the doorway just behind the desk. An instant later thick steel doors slammed down from the ceiling.

"NOOOO!" The hunter howled in denial. He opened up with no abandon on the door only to see it simply take his shots and shudder softly.

Jason screamed in rage behind his hunter's mask, jumping off his craft to land kneeling in the debris of the room. He threw himself bodily against the door, pounding futilely even as Robyn shakily rose to her feet.

The third, more cautious hunter, kicked his craft into the room just a moment later, watching his brother in shock. He too slid off his mount to help his sister. He suddenly flinched though as the speaker in his ear started speaking.

"Jason, security has been alerted! They're heading up here already!"

The hunter showed no sign of being heard. Instead he was desperately searching for a seal around the door, something he could pry or blast open.

Robyn tried, moving slowly forward and trying to place a hand on her brother's shoulder, "Jason, John's right! We need to go now before we have more trouble to deal with!"

The eldest brother whirled around, "No! The demon is in there! And we have to make sure she dies!"

Shaking her head the woman tried to reason with her brother. "Jason you got her twice! Look at the floor," she swept a hand downward. There was a thick trail of blood amid several thick Gargoyle footprints. "She's bleeding to death. She's got to be dead."

The hunter shook his head violently, "We have to know for sure!" He tried to turn toward the door only to have his smaller sister turn him back around in a fit of rage.

She suddenly slapped him across his masked cheek. "Later! We have to go!" They could already hear guards moving cautiously through the halls, calling in shock to each other.

Biting his lip beneath his mask John reached and pulled a gas grenade off his vest. He tossed it quickly through one of the holes Jason had blasted in the wall.

Slowly Jason nodded. "Damnit alright! Let's go ... John!"

A few seconds later the three of them were back in the air, Robyn holding close to John. Guards entered the room just in time to catch the three of them speeding away, Jason's eyes still locked on the door the demon had escaped through.

On the other side of the door, only a half dozen feet from the thick steel door, Demona was quite dead. A pool of her own blood was slowly spreading out for feet in every direction.

Still, something in her still lived; a spell cast almost a thousand years ago ensured that. Ever so slowly the Gargoyle returned back from the brink. She pushed herself up out of her own blood to huskily cough her lungs clear.

She hurt like hell, her office was ruined as were her plans to destroy humanity, but Demona was soon very much alive. And her eyes were glowing in hatred.

Only a few hours later the hunters' airship rang with the force of Jason Canmore's denial.

"We should have stayed! We should have made sure!"

Robyn Canmore, now in her uniform complete with black mask and red slashes, shook her head slowly. "She's dead brother. She's got to be! And even if she isn't, we can still track her down again."

John sat the at the airship's controls, "Won't she just go into hiding like before?"

The female Canmore opened her mouth but her elder brother interrupted her, "Nay, not if we don't let her." The hunter's eyes brooded darkly, "If we can find her daughter, and her clan, she won't be able to run. She'll have to come to their aid."

Robyn shook her head slowly and spread her arms, "But where do we find them?"

The eldest Canmore growled, "They have to be in the city still. John found stone skin at Xanato's Headquarters. And there've been dozens of sightings in the last two years."

Pushing herself up from the console she'd been leaning on Robyn asked quietly, "And when we find them?"

Snorting ever so softly Jason turned his back to his siblings, "They're Gargoyles. We kill them."

Robyn's mouth pulled into a sharp line but she slowly nodded her head. John looked from one sibling to the other and then just sharply blurted out, "But is that right? We know the demon is evil, but are all of them?"

Jason exploded, whirling around and moving straight towards his brother. He yelled right in the younger Canmore's face, "The only good Gargoyle is a dead Gargoyle! Our father hunted the demon thinking she was the last! Every Canmore knows what the hunt means; ten years or ten thousand the hunt doesn't stop until the last Gargoyle dies!"

Quietly Robyn walked up behind her brother, trying to calm him with a firm hand on his shoulder. But she nodded slowly at what he said, her eyes on John's. "He's right John. You saw the demon's tape with the rest of us. She was going to kill everyone, the whole world! Just so her and her clan could rule the world. She had to die ... and so do they. We can't risk letting even one of them live to do it again."

The youngest Canmore lowered his head, "Aye ... it's just ...."

With surprising gentleness Jason spoke up, "John, the demon mentioned a daughter. She has a daughter! Can you imagine what the world would be like with two of them? We have to stop them!"

John closed his eyes. When he opened them back up a fire burned there. He looked up at his siblings, "Aye, you're right."

Jason clasped his brother's shoulder and squeezed it lovingly. "Now we just have to find them. One night till hunter's moon ..."

He turned towards an electronic map of the city. The hunter's hand balled up into a hard fist. "They'll pay. For dad and what they tried to do. Till the last Gargoyle."

Two other voices agreed making it a dark chant. "Till the last Gargoyle."

The sun slowly sank over New York's skyline just in time to disturb a dream Brooklyn would have given most anything to see real. A bottle of wine drunk, a nice warm breeze and their loincloths off, Brooklyn and Xander had been...

With a roar to greet the new night (and maybe relieve a little frustration) Brooklyn's stone skin cracked and then flew off from his flexing body. His eyes slowly loosing their glow the Gargoyle shook himself and quickly looked over at his still-stone friend.

A few minutes later, a bright red crossed swords insignia glowed on Xander's forearm, and then he roared, and the stone flew off scattering in every direction. As his eyes slowly lost there glow he shook his wings and looked around.

"Whoa! What a rush!" He said, looking at Brooklyn. "Beats rolling out of bed in the morning." He grinned.

Brooklyn couldn't help but grin and chuckle with pleasure, "It's timing sucks, but it's damn fun to watch the pigeons scatter. And it's great for what ails ya."

"Yeah, I read about that. Stone sleep healing, it's called in old records." He said, and then looked down at the still glowing swords. "Oh, just wake up and already there's a problem." He shook his head.

Brooklyn quirked his head and stared at the strange glowing tattoo. "What is that? Something wrong?"

Xander nodded. "It's called the guardian mark, the head Clan StoneGuard always has it. Actually, there's three parts to the mark; the swords indicate a danger has entered the protected area; there's a cat that indicates something of interest, related but not necessarily a threat; and there's the shield which indicates one of the charges is actually in danger that requires my assistance."

"Now I just have to pin down what threat has entered Manhattan, a little magic should help with that. But first I need to eat, good thing I keep breakfast stuff here at Highland. You hungry?" He asked as he turned to go inside.

Brooklyn's eyeridges scrunched together in confusion. He slowly followed after the new Gargoyle. "So something dangerous is nearby? Dangerous to who?"

"Dangerous to those I'm responsible for." Xander said as he rustled the kitchen cupboards. "The guardian mark is kind of an early warning system, as our numbers have dwindled we've had to rely more on magic to do the same job. Now there's only me, so I use quite a bit." He said quietly. "It feels like an old threat returning, so it's probably something my clan has fought before."

The Gargoyle took a seat on the kitchen counter, quite aware he didn't have any place in making food. He quietly asked, "How serious is it? Should we go warn my clan?"

"I think maybe I'd better figure out who it is, before breakfast." He said as he sat down in a chair in the dining room, held out one large hand and made a few gesture with the other. A glowing, multi-colored sphere appeared in his hand which he stared at for long minutes, before dismissing it with a wave."

"It is definitely serious. The Hunters have arrived in Manhattan, a problem I thought left behind in the old world, perhaps even finally dead over centuries. But they are quite dangerous." He said quietly. "My clan has fought them repeatedly over the centuries, and we heard tales of their doings abroad but lacked people or resources to pursue them."

Brooklyn's eyes went wide, "Hunters? What sort of hunters?"

Xander sighed. "The only kind that would concern my clan: Gargoyle Hunters. A hatred passed from generation to generation as far we've been able to determine, though we've never determined the cause. I don't want they're like now, but they've always been resourceful and capable, which was necessary for humans who chose to hunt Gargoyles."

Brooklyn's beak gaped, "They hunt us?" His mind raced, "MacBeth called himself a Hunter according to Goliath. He was after Demona. Maybe there's going to be another attack like there was before."

The Gargoyle suddenly stood up, "Shit, we've got to tell Goliath about this."

"Probably a wise course of action. Not quite the circumstances for a first meeting, but I guess there's no helping that. Have you told Goliath anything about me before this, or am I just a name?" He asked evenly.

The young Gargoyle nodded slowly, "I think he knows a little. Enough to know you're a friend and I ... can explain the rest to him. I need to go back to the clan soon anyway." Brooklyn's shoulders slumped ever so slightly, "I suppose now is as good a time as any."

"I'll come with you." He said firmly. "And there will be time for other things, don't worry." He said putting a reassuring arm, around his young friend. "Unless you'd rather tell them, and introduce me later."

Brooklyn shook his beak with more conviction than he felt, "No, this is too important. We shouldn't waste time." Having said that the Gargoyle still put an arm back around Xander and squeezed the Gargoyle, reassuring both of them.

Xander nodded. "Very well, then we should probably go before too many of your clan disperse for evening activities." He said heading for the Helipad.

Brooklyn looked after Xander for a moment and then shook his head. He followed the Gargoyle just a moment later.

As Xander stood at the edge of the Helipad preparing to leap off, he turned to Brooklyn. "Best you lead, since we are approaching your clan's home." He said with a little uncertainty.

Brooklyn swallowed something in his throat but nodded. A moment later he took a running leap off the building and started toward home, a grim line on his lips.

Xander followed keeping his eyes open for anything that might clue him into the Hunter's presence. He wished he knew something more recent about them, but his clan's resources had gotten stretched thin, until recently

Brooklyn landed on the clocktower's terrace a little slower than usual. Carefully cloaking his wings about his shoulders the Gargoyle stepped through the entrance into the actual living quarters. "Uh ... we're hooooome."

Lexington walked out to see what was going on. "Oh, hi Brooklyn." Then he noticed the large, unfamiliar and yet somewhat familiar Gargoyle behind his friend. "Who's the new Gargoyle, Brooklyn?" He asked uncertainly.

Brooklyn gave his brother a small worried smile. "Uhh Lexington, meet Xander. The new Xander that is." The Gargoyle shrugged at Lexington's double-take and tried to explain, "The curse wasn't exactly what I expected."

Xander chuckled deeply. "That'd be an understatement, but at least it was better than expected." The big Gargoyle clarified. "The whole gliding thing is so intense."

Lexington walked up to take a closer look, and then he spotted the slight glow from the guardian-mark. "Wow, it is you isn't it." He smiled. "This is so cool. So what brings you by here all of a sudden Xander, something up?"

"Just slightly. Maybe you'd better find Goliath, Brooklyn. I'll wait here with Lex." The big Gargoyle suggested, already feeling a little uneasy about his sudden appearance.

The red teenaged Gargoyle quirked his head a little, "Oh joy, so I getta tell the folks." Brooklyn shook his head and turned towards the entrance to the clocktower. "Wish me luck!"

Brooklyn folded his wings around his shoulders as he moved into the clocktower and almost warily looked around.

Goliath was sitting reading when Brooklyn walked in. "How did your evening go?" He asked as he set the book down.

The Gargoyle forced himself to half-grin but he still kept his head low almost sheepishly. "Uhhh ... pretty good. Sorry I didn't come back before dawn, it's just that..." Times like this Brooklyn desperately wished his loincloth had pockets he could shove his hands into.

How exactly do you say something like this?

Just blurt it out he told himself. "My friend Xander is now a Gargoyle and is waiting outside. And apparently he thinks there's a group of Gargoyle hunters in town and gunning for him. The same type of hunters as MacBeth was."

Goliath just looked at Brooklyn, and shook his head. "Your human friend is now a Gargoyle?" Goliath asked a bit incredulous. "Just how did that happen?"

Brooklyn felt incredulously like shuffling his oversized feet. Instead he took a breath, "It's part of a curse that's affected his family for a long time. The curse makes him uhhh ... kinda like a wereGargoyle I guess." Brooklyn shrugged with a nervous smile. "They're mages, but they're protectors like us!"

If Goliath hadn't been sure Brooklyn was serious, he would've laughed. Not because it was funny, but because it was simply so bizarre. "Well, I had been planning to talk to him. This seems as good a time as any." He said as he stood and put a hand on the younger Gargoyles shoulder. "Let's go talk to your friend."

Brooklyn quickly nodded and fell in line behind his leader ... and quietly hoped the two of them would get along well enough to make all this work.

Lexington and Xander were talking quietly about something, as Brooklyn and Goliath came out. Lexington nudged Xander when he spotted the other two.

Goliath's eye ridge rose slightly at the new Gargoyle that looked even more like he did than Soron. He walked up to the Xander and extended his hand in the human greeting. "It is good to finally meet you."

Xander found himself feeling a little intimidated. He'd heard about Goliath since he was a child, but meeting the Gargoyle awake was something else entirely. He shook the Gargoyle's hand firmly. "It's an honor, Goliath. Though I wish there wasn't the urgency hanging over the meeting."

The Clan Leader raised an eye ridge and glanced at Brooklyn. "What urgency is that?"

Brooklyn almost bashfully looked back at his leader, shaking his beak slowly. His hands were clenched uncharacteristically together behind his back as he listened to Xander intently.

"Have you ever heard of the Hunters?" Xander asked as he moved into his Guardian role.

"No." Goliath shook his head slightly.

"It was during the Long Sleep, so that's not surprising." He nodded. "I'm not certain how it started though every story my family has encountered indicates that it started with Demona and a small family in Scotland. Somehow a feud got started, and the details of almost a thousand years of strife aren't that important, but it became the blood duty of this family to hunt, not just Demona, but all Gargoyles."

Goliath remained silent but for the low rumble of anger and slight red glow in his eyes as Xander continued.

"My Clan has clashed with theirs repeatedly over the centuries, and it was never an easy fight. As twisted by hate as they are, they're also cunning and resourceful, and deadly." He paused for a moment. "They're also in Manhattan. I presume they've been drawn here by the rumors and sightings."

"Do you know where these Hunters are?" Goliath demanded with an uncharacteristic display of temper without present threat.

Xander shook his head. "Beyond the fact that they're within the boundaries of Manhattan, no. If I knew that I'd have said so. The Guardian attunement doesn't give addresses, it's more of a warning." He said evenly, not fazed the least by the display of temper.

Brooklyn suddenly piped in, "MacBeth talked about hunting too. Maybe there's a connection. Or MacBeth called for 'em."

"Perhaps, MacBeth is a funny one. He had an alliance with Demona at one time, according to the family history. It went sour at some point, though no one's quite sure why. Betrayal is the common suspicion, though who betrayed who first, is anyone's guess." Xander added.

"Thank you for the warning." Goliath nodded with a last rumble before he smiled slightly. "Though I understand it was also a pleasant reason that brought you here tonight."

Against his will Brooklyn almost flinched.

Xander nodded. "Well, it has been a kind of relief that the family curse turned out to be not at all what we've feared for centuries. In fact I'm beginning to think a good share of the deaths were due to clumsiness." He chuckled. "Takes some getting used to. Though the gliding is a really intense experience. I mean, I've flown hang gliders, and paragliders and ultralight aircraft, but there's nothing that matches gliding with your own wings." He said with a very broad smile. "I know, probably old news, but I've only been a Gargoyle for a day so it's still pretty new."

Goliath smiled understandingly. "Yes, it is. Are you a Gargoyle forever now?"

"I'm not sure." He said openly. "No one's ever survived long enough to find out. I'm the first to survive the first night. And that's largely 'cause Brooklyn stayed with me through the transformation." He smiled.

The young Gargoyle grinned. "You should have seen my face when he suddenly turned to stone ... and then this popped out!"

"Must have made him that much more appealing." Goliath chuckled softly.

Xander chuckled softly, as he realized Goliath was pretty certain what was transpiring between Brooklyn and himself.

Brooklyn must have realized it too as he was boggling quietly next to the new Gargoyle under his leader's approving gaze.

"You two do make a good pair." Goliath smiled. "It's good not to be alone."

"Thank you." Xander smiled. "And you're right it is." He agreed as he put his arm across Brooklyn's shoulders. He'd thought about it before, but had refrained since he wasn't sure how Goliath would react.

At the feeling of Xander's strong arm moving around his shoulder Brooklyn tensed for a second. And then finally let himself relax. He pressed his neck back against the warm skin and then slowly put a hand around Xander's waist.

"Just don't get caught out in the sun." The big lavender Gargoyle smirked slightly before turning to go inside.

Brooklyn couldn't help but unsuccessfully stifle a sudden giggle as Xander chuckled.

"Certainly not. That would lead to very interesting statues." The Guardian smirked.

Xander spotted the quietly spinning, multicolored sphere sitting on the railing of the balcony, and winced. He made a few discrete gestures at it which if noticed looked like 'shoo', and 'go away.' The only thing the gestures accomplished was drawing Brooklyn's attention to it.

A New Order

NC-17 for M/M
Het Level is Low
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Very Low
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

159 KB, Story is Closed-Unfinished, Series is Closed-Unfinished
Written September 12, 2001 by Rauhnee Ranshanka, Todd McCall and Lailokos

Setting: Darshar, Gargoyles TAS

Primary Races: Darshar, Gargoyle, Human

Contents: Furry. Het (M/F). Slash (M/M).

Pairings: Goliath/Elisa Maza, Goliath/Soron, Xander/Brooklyn

Notes: Goliath's summing chant:
BondMate, LifeMate, hear me and come.
Goliath of Wyvern seeks your presence now.

Blurb: After over a thousand years apart for all sorts of reasons, Goliath's first lover arrives to see if he has any kind of a warm welcome coming.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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