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Discussions - Chapter 18

 
 
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Discussions - Chapter 18

 

By Kudara

 

Disclaimer: All the characters appearing in Gargoyles are copyright Buena Vista Television/The Walt Disney Company.  No infringement of these copyrights is intended as this is a not for profit fan fiction work.  All original characters are the property of the author.

 

Warning: none

 

Notes:   This is now definitely an AU story if it was not before since I have altered the events of an episode.  Dominique Destine’s home, and the character’s Candice and Gregory are from ‘The Gargoyles Saga’ world and adapted for use in this story.  Episode events mentioned in this story are from “To Serve Mankind” season three.

 

Rating:  Teen

 

Feedback: Always welcome, feedback is what encourages me to keep writing.  Please let me know what you like and what you dislike about the story.

 

Revision History: 10/17/08

 

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Friday, December 26th 1997

 

Night – Main Dining Hall, Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

“Well that was certainly entertaining,” David Xanatos commented after Kendra Canmore left the castle, drawing scowls from several of the gargoyles and Detective Maza and a grin from his wife.

 

“It was also rather informative,” Owen added.

 

“Speaking of informative,” Xanatos sounded much less amused as he turned toward the blonde haired man.

 

“Yes, sir,” the fey in human form straightened, “I noted the night we watched the broadcast of Kendra Canmore’s fight with the Quarrymen, that I had seen the same level of grace and deadliness in only one other being.”

 

“What?”  Goliath took a few steps forward toward the Xanatos’ and Owen, it was the first he had heard of this.

 

David gave a casual shrug, “It was a comment Owen made later that night to Fox and I.”  A slight frown formed, “What does that have to do with the control spells on Demona?”

 

“Because from that same being is one other time that I felt the same type of a…” he hesitated searching for the right words.

 

“Aura of threat,” Elisa supplied quietly.  Everyone turned toward her with surprised expressions except for Goliath, whose eyes widened in remembrance.

 

“Indeed, that term will work nicely,” Owen noted after a quick intent look at the detective.

 

“From the were-jaguar that threatened my mother,” Fox Xanatos said her tone and expression ambivalent.

 

“Yes,” the blond man confirmed, “I felt the same type of threat from the were-jaguar that delivered the spirit’s message.”

 

“But she’s human,” Broadway said looking confused, “I mean,” he hesitated looking toward Elisa, “we’re pretty sure she’s human right?”

 

“She is human,” the answer came from David Xanatos instead of the detective, “her parents were Robert Canmore and Maria DeSantos.  We know the Canmore line is human, and as far as I can tell, the DeSantos family is as well.”

 

“You’ve done a background check on her,” Maza commented sounding as if she weren’t quite certain whether or not she approved.

 

“After Owen mentioned the resemblance in how she fought to the were-jaguar, yes,” he confirmed, meeting the detective’s dark eyes frankly.

 

Elisa stared back at him for a moment before nodding her acceptance.  She turned toward Goliath, “Well, I guess it wasn’t that I was tired,” she said meeting his dark eyes.

 

“No I felt it as well,” the lavender male confirmed, “It was…unexpected.”

 

“Kendra was right then,” Fox commented to Owen, “you mentioned the spells because you think she and Demona can deal with the Weird Sisters.”

 

Owen nodded, “Considering what the were-jaguar was able to do, it does not seem unreasonable to believe they will.”

 

“And if you’re wrong,” asked David.

 

“Then the Weird Sisters will not be pleased with any of us,” the blonde man said grimly.

 

 

Night – Library, Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

“That certainly didn’t go quite as planned,” Elisa commented as they entered the room.  Rows and rows of books surrounded them and she felt herself relaxing, the two of them had spent many enjoyable evenings in this room discussing current events and the books Goliath read.

 

“No,” the lavender male’s deep tone was a curious mixture of rueful and wary.  “Kendra Canmore was not as I expected.”

 

The dark haired woman turned toward him, her curiosity peaked, “What did you expect?”

 

Goliath hesitated a moment, his face thoughtful as he considered the question.  “I am not certain,” he admitted, “perhaps for her to be more like the other Canmore’s, certainly for her to be more like other humans.”

 

Elisa’s head tilted to the side as she considered it, “The family resemblance is there, but no, she’s not really like the other Canmore’s, and no, she’s not really like any other human I’ve ever met before,” she agreed dryly.

 

Goliath rumbled his agreement, “Most humans are afraid of us, she was not.”

 

“She’s been around Demona,” Elisa pointed out, “it’s not like she hasn’t seen a gargoyle before.”

 

“That is true, but it does not explain the certainty in her eyes that she could defeat me if we battled,” his eyes betrayed his bewilderment.

 

“Maybe she’s just overly confident,” the detective suggested, walking over to him and placing a comforting hand on his thickly muscled forearm.

 

“Perhaps,” he allowed, staring down at her, “Or perhaps Puck is correct and she is more than she appears to be.”

 

Elisa didn’t immediately respond, at one time she would have scoffed at such a suggestion, but after what she had seen during the past two years…  “I don’t know, we haven’t seen any evidence that she can transform, but then we haven’t really been looking for it,” she finally responded.  A low rumble from him was all she got as a reply.  “How are you doing?” she asked, finally broaching the subject she had really wanted to address this entire time.

 

He turned curious dark eyes her way, “I am fine.”

 

She sighed, “I mean with what Kendra Canmore told us tonight.”

 

“Ah,” he breathed out the sound, his expression turning melancholy as it often did when he thought of his lost clan.  “Do you believe she was right,” he finally spoke, “that the Magus was behind many of the things the humans said about us?  That he was…” he searched for the correct modern phrase, “stirring up trouble for his own purposes?”

 

“I don’t know Goliath,” Elisa responded quietly, “I remember thinking when we were on Avalon fighting against the Archmage, Demona and Macbeth, that the amount of guilt he still felt seemed rather extreme for the spell he cast on you guys to make you sleep.”

 

“But perhaps not if he felt in some way responsible for the clan’s massacre,” Goliath finished her unspoken thought.

 

“No, not for that,” she agreed, “he pretty much devoted the rest of his life to protecting the clan’s children, and he never felt worthy of approaching Princess Katherine with his feelings for her.”  Goliath responded with a slow nod of acknowledgement, looking lost in his thoughts.  There was something had been bothering Elisa ever since Kendra mentioned it, and now seemed a good time to bring it up, “Why didn’t you tell me that you guys helped build this castle?”

 

Goliath frowned, “Does it make that much of a difference?”

 

Elisa was silent for a moment, “Yes it does,” she finally responded, “it makes the way Princess Katherine and her people treated the clan even more wrong, and knowing the threats Demona was hearing I understand better why she was so angry and afraid.”  He stared at her in astonished surprise, “Oh I’m not saying that what Robbie and Demona did was right, it definitely wasn’t,” she hastened to assure him, “or at all well thought out,” she added in a lower tone, “Just that I understand her motivations better.”

 

He frowned, “Even if she does not bear the entire blame for what occurred, what she did was wrong.”

 

The detective stared at him, taking in the sternly judgmental expression on his face.  She suspected she knew whose condemnation Demona feared so much that she decided to keep silent that morning rather than admit what she and Robbie had done.  “Was Demona ever as calm as she seems now?” she asked, changing the subject.  It was another question that tonight’s conversation with Kendra brought up in her mind.  If the Weird Sister’s spell had been the cause of Demona’s temper, then why did it sound like she had been just as easily angered back then as she had been before the kidnapping?  The detective had always assumed that Demona had always been the short-tempered, bloodthirsty gargoyle she was familiar with before Demona returned from Canada with what seemed like a radically different personality.

 

The lavender male looked slightly bewildered by the change in topic, yet he gave it due consideration before giving her an answer.  “I do not remember her becoming so easily angered when we were younger.  It was only as the Princess began treating the clan less well that her temper and patience with the humans became so short.”  Elisa didn’t know what response she had been expecting, but that answer was not particularly helpful.  “Hudson was correct,” he continued, “it was only after Prince Malcolm died that things started to become strained between the clan and the humans.  The Prince never allowed his people to forget why they were there and what we had done for the King.”

 

“I’m sorry,” she said to him softly.

 

Goliath looked at her in puzzlement, “Why?”

 

Elisa explained in the same soft tone, “That the humans living in this castle acted so badly toward the clan.”

 

“You had nothing to do with that, Elisa,” he responded firmly.  “You have no need to apologize for them.  You have been a true friend to this clan and are now a part of it.”

 

“Still I wish you hadn’t experienced that,” she said staring into his eyes.

 

Silence fell between them until Goliath said, “I did try reminding the princess of her father’s promise to the clan.”

 

Elisa’s dark eyes widened in surprise, “Let me guess, she wouldn’t speak to you,” she remarked.

 

“That was true the second time, but not the first,” Goliath replied.  ”The princess was afraid of me, but she listened and relations between the clan and the humans of the castle improved for a while.  Unfortunately, they did not stay that way.  When matters grew worse again, I went to speak to her again, but she refused to talk with me a second time.”

 

“Was the Magus one of her advisors by then?”  The detective asked.

 

His dark eyes narrowed thoughtfully, “Yes,” he rumbled, his expression hardening, “the princess had made him one just a month before.”

 

The detective shook her head, “I guess we’ll never know what his role in everything was exactly,” she commented with a frown.  “All we have is Kendra’s speculation, and what Lexington, Broadway, and Hudson witnessed him doing.”

 

Goliath clenched his hands, “I do not understand why I did not hear these things, and I do not understand why Lexington and Hudson did not come to me and tell me what was being said by the humans.”

 

Elisa looked up at the huge male, “I think I can guess why the humans of the castle didn’t say anything in your hearing.”  He looked down at her inquiringly, “You’re rather large; I doubt they wanted to risk making you angry.  The younger gargoyles would have been less intimidating, as would have Demona.  Hudson probably thought what he heard had nothing to do with the clan and Lexington probably felt too intimidated to come to you with what he heard, he was fairly young then.”

 

“They are all young,” he rumbled angrily.

 

“I know,” Elisa replied.  They had talked before about putting such pressure on the trio so early, but Goliath felt he had no other choice.  Brooklyn had to be able to lead the clan if something happened to him.

 

“Why did Demona think I would not protect the clan’s children?” he asked with a somewhat plaintive tone.

 

Elisa stared at him sadly, seeing the bewilderment in his dark eyes, “I don’t know the answer to that,” she responded quietly.  She had some suspicions, but she didn’t really feel like discussing with him what might have already been going wrong in his prior relationship.  “Goliath,” Elisa paused, not really certain how to phrase what she needed to tell him, but she didn’t want to be someone else that kept things from him.  “What did you think of Kendra Canmore’s statement that she’s gay?” she fought to hide her grimace at the weak question.

 

He gave her a puzzled look, “It perhaps explains Xanatos’ insistence that she and Demona are mates.  Apparently it is not only those who are bigoted against gays that make the assumption that those who are friends with gays must be gay as well,” he commented.  “Why do you ask?”

 

As astute as his observation was, it was not the one Elisa had hoped he would make, “From what I observed in the restaurant they seem very close to one another and Demona looks very happy with her.”

 

Goliath frowned, giving her a searching look, he shook his head with a sigh, “You are beginning to believe that it is true as well,” he stated.  “Clan sisters are close and act affectionate with one another, it is natural and it does not mean that they wish to be mates with one another,” he sounded upset.

 

“So you think Demona’s treating Kendra Canmore as a clan sister?”  Elisa thought back to the interaction between the two women that she had observed and couldn’t help but be dubious of his explanation.

 

“Yes,” he responded firmly, “as odd as it seems that she would accept a human as clan, Demona is treating Kendra Canmore as a clan sister.”  He gave an irritated rumble, “That is the only explanation for her behavior since gargoyles are not gay,” he stated quite firmly.

 

Elisa stared at him, there was no doubt in his tone, and it was clear from the stubborn, annoyed expression he had that he was not pleased that she was now wondering if Demona and Kendra were involved in addition to the Xanatos’ and the Tattler reporter.  It was becoming clearer to her that his ego and pride were becoming heavily involved in his belief that Demona could not possibly be interested in another female.  Of course who would take it well that their ex, who had previously only been with you and your clone, was now involved with not only someone of a different species from you but a different sex from you as well.  Elisa winced in sympathy, put like that it did sound rather ego bruising.  In a mollifying tone she said, “I didn’t realize that clan sisters were so close.”

 

Goliath visibly relaxed, “They are,” he confirmed.

 

Elisa nodded, choosing not to argue the point anymore, she had mentioned it and he had chosen not to listen, he couldn’t fault her if it turned out to be true.  Her eyebrow rose as she realized this was probably exactly what had happened between Demona and he over her concerns about what the humans in the castle were saying about the clan.  Only then, his refusal to take direct action against the humans, no matter how well reasoned, had not been something the scarlet haired gargoyle felt she could accept, not when the humans’ threat expanded to the rookery where her own unhatched egg rested.

 

 

Night – Western Tower, Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

With a sigh, Angela wrapped her arms around her knees and then her wings around her body as she curled up in the deep casement of the tower window and looked out over the city.  Broadway hadn’t wanted to leave her alone and it had taken her awhile to reassure him that she was all right; she just needed to be by herself for a while to think. 

 

She remembered her last sight of the Magus’s body resting upon the slab where King Arthur had slept the centuries away.  He had looked so peaceful, so much like he was only sleeping, the sorrow that had always seemed to weigh him down finally gone.  He had always been so kind and gentle with them, and so patient as he taught them to read and write and do mathematics.  It was hard for her to reconcile what Kendra had said he had done, and what Lexington, Broadway and Hudson had confirmed they had overheard him doing, with the gentle man she had known for all her life.

 

She recalled the one time she had seen him cry, he had been watching her rookery brothers and sisters play.  She had been off to the side resting and had looked over and noticed his anguished expression and the tears.  Concerned she had went over to him, “Magus?” she had whispered quietly, not wanting to draw attention to him. 

 

She had startled him and he hurriedly wiped his tears away before turning to face her, “Angela what did you need?”

 

She had stared at him uncertainly, “Why were you crying?” she had finally asked, keeping her voice low.

 

He had sighed, looked over at her brothers and sisters, “I wish your parents were still alive to see you, they would be so proud of all of you.”

 

“Oh,” she hadn’t known quite how to respond.

 

“We’ve done the best we can, but there are only three of us.  You should have your parents and your older brothers and sisters to look after you and teach you,” his voice grew harsh, self-condemnatory.

 

“But we don’t,” she laid a gentle hand on his arm, “We have you, and the Princess, and Guardian Tom instead, and I think you’ve been the best foster parents anyone could wish for.”

 

He had stared at her, the sadness in his eyes only deepening, “You truly deserve your name, for you are like an Angel in your kindness, but of all of you I deserve your forgiveness the least.”

 

She sighed in exasperation, “You made a mistake in casting the spell to put our clan leader and the others to sleep, because you believed Goliath had killed the Princess.  That doesn’t make you unforgivable to me, not after all that you’ve done for us, all the kindness and care you’ve given us.”  He had given her a look of such great sadness, shook his head and then walked away making it clear he had wanted to be alone.

 

Angela drew in a shaky breath of the cold night air, now she suspected she knew why he had felt such terrible guilt over what he had done.  It had not just been the sleep spell he had cast on the remaining clan members, but what he had done before that.  She still didn’t understand though why he had said that he deserved her forgiveness the least of all of her brothers and sisters.  The Magus couldn’t have known that it was Demona who had conspired with Robbie to let the Vikings into the castle.  None of them had even known that her mother had survived until Demona had attacked them along with the Archmage, Macbeth and the Weird Sisters.

 

Kendra had told her not to forget what he had done for them just because of what she had learned, and she wouldn’t.  It would take awhile though for her to reconcile what seemed like two entirely different people: the kindly teacher she had known, and that had given his life to protect her and her brothers and sisters; and the mage who spread lies and stirred up the humans in the castle against the clan and schemed against the Captain of the Guard to increase his standing and favor with the Princess.

 

No wonder her mother had stared at her disbelievingly when she told the scarlet haired female about how the Magnus had treated them during the two months her mother had spent in the Labyrinth, Angela realized.

 

 

Night – Battlements, Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

Perched within one of the battlement embrasures, Brooklyn stared moodily out over the city.  Kendra Canmore had certainly not been anything like he expected.  Commanding, confident, she had walked in and promptly taken over the meeting, using it to address the issues she had wanted to address and not even given the clan the opportunity to bring up their own concerns. 

 

Her scathing comment about him being ruled by his fear still stung, more so because he knew it was true.  Over the past few days Goliath, Elisa and Hudson had all pointed out the same thing, only more gently.  He had let his fear of being hurt by Demona guide his actions and thoughts, refusing to even briefly consider that what they had been hearing might possibly be true.  He had never considered what chance Demona’s scheme of using the Grimorium to control Goliath and take over the clan had of succeeding until Kendra had pointed out how unlikely it was that the plan would work.  Now that he thought about it without letting his anger over it cloud his mind, it seemed obvious to him that there had never been any chance of the clan accepting Demona as their new clan leader.  He remembered what Goliath had looked like, and all one had to do was take one look at the lavender male to see that he was controlled in some manner. 

 

That the rest of the clan had never thought about it either was only scant consolation.  Brooklyn was fully aware that Goliath had chosen him to be the clan second because he was better at planning and tactical thinking than either Lexington or Broadway.  He snorted self-depreciatingly, tactical thinking, he had hardly been showing any signs of that lately, no wonder Goliath was so disappointed in him.  It was a good thing Elisa didn’t have wings or he probably would have already found himself demoted in favor of her.

 

He recalled Kendra’s firm response to his questioning that the Weird Sisters had been responsible for Demona’s actions in some way.  “Claiming?” she had said staring at him, “no I’m stating.”  There had been no hesitation, no sign of doubt in her eyes or tone, and then Puck had dropped his little bombshell about seeing control spells on Demona.  He hadn’t known what to think about that piece of information an hour ago and he was no closer to sorting out his thoughts on it now. 

 

“If you had been a puppet on their strings for a thousand years,” Kendra’s words echoed in his mind sending a shiver through him.  He remembered his shock and horror when he learned that the three fey had conspired with the Archmage to kill Angela and her rookery brothers and sisters, making it brutally clear they were hardly as moral as they had pretended to be during the events of that night Demona had turned the city’s humans into stone.  As much as he hated Demona, he wouldn’t wish that on her, if only because of the use the Weird Sister’s might make of anyone in their control.  Like forcing you to attack and try to kill your own child?  His mind reminded him of what he already knew the three fey had done to Demona.  “Yea, like that,” he whispered to the night air.

 

“Like what?”  Elisa’s gentle question startled him; he hadn’t realized anyone else was out here with him.

 

He turned his head, the clan’s human member was standing a few feet away, “I was just thinking about how the Weird Sisters tried to make Demona kill her own daughter,” he admitted.

 

He saw her flinch slightly before she grimaced, “Yea, that makes all of…” she waved her hand vaguely, “what we’ve heard about control spells on Demona sound possible.  I certainly wouldn’t put it past them.”

 

That summed it up pretty succinctly, Brooklyn thought.  “Trusting Demona…  I don’t know if I can again,” he admitted reluctantly.

 

“What about trusting her only slightly,” Elisa inquired.  The reddish male turned puzzled eyes her way.  She sighed, looking at the battlements around them.  “Brooklyn how do you feel when you think about trusting Demona?”

 

His wings closed tighter around him at the question, “Sick to my stomach,” he reluctantly answered.

 

Elisa nodded, “She hurt you pretty badly.  It’s not surprising that you don’t want to risk being hurt like that again.”

 

Brooklyn frowned; there was more to it than just that, “Isn’t that my instincts telling me that it’s a really bad idea?”

 

She tilted her head slightly to the side, “Maybe, maybe not,” she answered after a second, confusing him.  “I fell off these battlements twice,” she said, and Brooklyn frowned wondering what that had to do with what they were discussing.  “Goliath saved me both times,” she said.  Elisa took in a deep breath and took a step closer to him and the beaked male looked on in concern as he realized from her tense posture that she was afraid.  “It took me quite a while to be able to walk up those stairs without feeling like I was going to throw up I felt so sick to my stomach, and even though I knew it was irrational, I felt like these stones were going to reach out and grab me and pull me over them.”

 

Brooklyn got down from the embrasure where he had been sitting as Elisa forced herself to take a step closer.  He took her by the arms and gently pushed her further back away from what was obviously a terrifying drop for her no matter that the parapet was almost three feet high at its lowest.  “You don’t need to do this for me,” he said quietly, “I get your point.”

 

She looked up into his dark eyes, “Sometimes when something hurts or frightens you badly enough you just want to avoid it, because if you avoid it then it can’t possibly hurt you again.  It’s not bad reasoning, but it doesn’t mean that it’s certain you would get hurt in the same way again.”  The beaked male scowled, but he couldn’t disagree with her, what she was describing was too close to how he felt when he thought about trusting Demona.  “Brooklyn, I’m not certain I trust that Demona has actually changed,” oddly, given the topic she smirked, “even though seeing her knock back a margarita today certainly helped.”

 

“Huh,” he said, blinking at her, unable to believe that she had just said what he thought he heard her say.

 

“But I’m willing to give her the chance to prove that what we’ve heard is the truth,” she continued as if she hadn’t said anything odd at all.

 

“Wait, go back to the margarita,” demanded Brooklyn.

 

Elisa chuckled at him, “Demona went to El Parador today with her friends, that’s where I spoke to Kendra.  I was quite shocked when the waiter delivered a pitcher of beer to the table and margaritas to everyone but Robert.  She looked happy and relaxed and was smiling and laughing with them,” the detective grimace, “at least until Kendra spotted me.”

 

Brooklyn stared at her as if she had grown a second head, trying and failing to imagine the scene she was describing.  He knew Demona had to eat; he just had a hard time imagining what her words were describing.  “Are we sure this is actually Demona,” he said weakly.  Elisa chuckled in response, which was encouragement enough for him to continue, “Maybe there’s one of those pods from that movie we watched the other night up in Canada with the real Demona in it.”

 

“And we have pod Demona?”  Elisa smirked, “it’s almost easier to believe,” she allowed.

 

Brooklyn felt relieved, at least someone understood what he was feeling, “Brooklyn,” the dark haired woman said, “Goliath doesn’t expect you to trust her without proof.  He’s just asking that you make the attempt to not let your hatred of her blind you from seeing that something significant is going on and to keep an open mind about what it might be.”

 

The clan second gave her a slow nod, “I can do that.”

 

 

Night – Destine Manor, Forest Hills Gardens, Long Island

 

“So,” Kendra finished describing what had happened during her meeting with the clan and paused to stretch, her arms above her head and her back arching.  It had taken her awhile to go over everything that was said and her observation of their reactions.  “I think I managed to get everything accomplished that I wanted to accomplish,” the black haired woman commented sounding satisfied.  Demona had interrupted her only a few times, once to laugh hard enough to hold her sides at the description of the brief altercation between her and Goliath.

 

Demona smirked, “Oh to have been a fly on the wall as humans say, I would have enjoyed watching that.”  She turned more serious, “Do you think Brooklyn listened to you?”

 

Kendra gave the question some thought before responding, “I don’t know if he believed everything I said, but I think I shook his self-absorption enough that he’s at least questioning himself.”

 

“That at least is a beginning,” Demona commented, her eyes betraying that she was thinking once again about what she had done to the reddish male and regretting it.  “So Puck noticed the anger spell and the control spells, but didn’t mention them to the clan or Xanatos’ until now,” she changed the subject.

 

Kendra nodded, “I don’t know whether to be flattered or suspicious of his faith in our ability to deal with the Weird Sisters.”

 

Demona’s brow ridge rose, “Knowing Puck as I do, I would be suspicious,” the gargoyle said dryly.

 

“That’s what I suspected,” Kendra agreed wryly, “I wonder if he suspects the truth somehow.”

 

The scarlet haired gargoyle frowned, “I don’t know how he could,” she said puzzled.

 

“No, neither do I,” Kendra said thoughtfully.  She shook her head, “In other news…I got Lexington’s email address to give to Robert.”

 

Demona gave her a surprised look that turned thoughtful, “That’s a good idea,” she commented after a moment.  “They do have similar interests, and it will help reassure the clan that I’m not trying to hide Robert away from them,” she ended with a wry grin.

 

“He said something interesting to me as he was writing it down,” Kendra said giving her an intent look.  Demona glanced at her curiously, wondering what Lexington could have said to cause this reaction from her mate, “He asked if we had been out dancing again lately, and mentioned something about hearing about it in a chat room.”  Demona’s eyes widened in surprise, “Unfortunately,” Kendra continued, “Goliath and Elisa came in and he didn’t say anything more.”

 

“A chat room?”  Demona repeated, “But…” her voice trailed off confused.

 

“The only kind of chat room he would have heard about that one night we went out would be a gay chat room,” Kendra informed her, “and since I announced to the clan that I was gay, it makes sense that he would try and let me know he was as well.”

 

“Hmm,” Demona said thoughtfully, “perhaps he and Robert can meet somewhere neutral like you’re apartment?  It does have a balcony large enough for a gargoyle to land on, I noticed that the day you showed it to me.”

 

“I’d let them talk by email for a week or so and then bring that up, Goliath and Brooklyn’s asses are probably still smarting right now,” Kendra commented with a smirk.

 

Demona shook her head and laughed quietly, “I do wish I could have watched somehow,” she said with a regretful sigh and a not entirely nice gleam in her green eyes.

 

 

Sunday, December 28th 1997

 

Just before dawn – Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

“I’m sure Goliath and the others will be alright lass,” Hudson reassured Angela as he leapt up on his favorite spot to sleep during the day.

 

“Do you think Elisa’s informant was right and they found new gargoyles?” the lavender female asked as she did the same.

 

Hudson shook his head, “I don’t know lass.  I’m sure they will be back early tonight to let us know.”

 

Angela’s worried gaze turned back to scan the horizon for her father and the trio even as dawn froze her in stone sleep.

 

 

After sunset – Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

Angela waited thirty minutes after waking up before contacting Elisa to tell her that Goliath and the trio had not returned from investigating the reported sightings of new gargoyle statues the night before.  Then she and Hudson, who had carried Bronx, had met up with Elisa and Matt Bluestone, who were both on duty tonight, to investigate the building where Goliath and the others had gone to search for any sign that there were new gargoyles in the city.  They had found nothing suspicious and no sign of the rest of the clan or any sign that gargoyles lived there, and a call over their radio about an armed robbery interrupted any further searching.  Before Elisa left with Matt to respond to the call, she cautioned Angela and Hudson to be careful, she didn’t want to be looking for them as well.  Angela and Hudson had flown over the city for a while looking for the other clan members, she had suggested going back to the castle to see if Xanatos had heard anything when she noticed how tired the older gargoyle was looking.

 

The lavender female didn’t know what to do now; she didn’t want to just wait here at the castle hoping that her father, Broadway, Brooklyn and Lexington would show up and she didn’t want Hudson to overextend himself helping her search for them either.  Owen and David Xanatos were at some meeting that Xanatos swore he couldn’t afford to not attend, and Fox was taking care of Alexander.  Xanatos had promised to help look for the clan as soon as he got back, but in the meantime, no one was searching for her clan.  Her dark eyes narrowed, her father and Brooklyn wouldn’t like it, but there was one other person she could ask for help.

 

“Destine residence,” her mother’s voice answered after three rings.

 

“Mother, I need your help.”

 

“What’s wrong Angela?”  Demona’s tone turned concerned.

 

“Goliath, Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington are missing and Elisa’s on duty tonight and Xanatos is at some meeting he couldn’t miss,” she was aware that she was babbling a little, but she couldn’t help it she was scared for her father and Broadway and the others.

 

“When did they go missing?” her mother asked as soon as she stopped speaking.

 

Her mother’s voice was steady and confident and Angela felt herself relax a little, “Last night, Elisa had a tip that new gargoyle statues had shown up on one of the buildings in the city and father and the others went to investigate.”

 

“Which building?”

 

Angela gave her mother the address, “But we’ve already been there and didn’t see any sign of them.”

 

“We’ve?” her mother asked.

 

“Hudson, Bronx and I met Elisa and her partner there and we searched for them, but then Elisa and Matt got a call about a robbery and had to leave.”

 

There was silence for a moment from her mother’s end before Demona replied, “Even though you’ve already been there we’ll start at that building.  It’s the only place we know they’ve been, and I have a few ways of searching for them that Detective Maza doesn’t.  Can you meet Kendra and I on the roof of Nightstone in thirty minutes?”

 

“Yes,” Angela frowned, wondering what her mother was planning to do.  It sounded like she was going to use sorcery.

 

 

Night – Destine Manor, Forest Hills Gardens, Long Island

 

Azarel suspected he knew why Ms. Destine insisted that none of the security team be too close to her home at night.  If what he and his family thought was true, he couldn’t blame her.  The redhead would hardly want the world to find out that Castaway was right and she could turn into a gargoyle at night.  That didn’t mean though that he was going to permit such a large security hole to jeopardize the woman and her friends safety, it just meant that he was the one who did the sweep through her back yard at night.

 

Crouched behind a tree to keep himself out of sight of anyone looking out the mansion windows, he scanned the area for any sign of intrusion.  With his night vision goggles on, the world was black and green to him, there was no sign of anyone else in the large yard but him.  He glanced toward the mansion and movement caught his eye on the second story balcony.  He stared, it was one thing to suspect and another thing to actually have those suspicions confirmed, and there was not one but two of them. 

 

Azarel ducked behind the tree and froze remembering his father’s comments about how good a gargoyle’s sight was at night.  He didn’t want either of the two females to know that he was there.  Cautiously he lifted the night vision goggles from his eyes and waited a second for his vision to adjust before peering around the tree.  One of the gargoyles had scarlet red hair the same shade as Ms. Destine’s and azure blue skin, the other female was almost uniformly black in color, and her wings appeared to be feathered instead of bat like wings such as the red-haired one’s.  If this wasn’t the same gargoyle that his father had met as a boy 53 years ago, then they were probably related, because this female looked exactly like his father’s description of the gargoyle named Demona.

 

 

Night – Roof of Nightstone Unlimited HQ, Lower East Side Manhattan

 

Angela and Hudson stood on the roof of her mother’s company scanning the skyline.  Surprisingly, Hudson hadn’t argued with her decision to ask her mother for help, though he had insisted on going with her.  They had left Bronx behind to guard the castle.  “There,” Angela saw the winged outline first and pointed it out to the older gargoyle.  Then her eyes widened as she realized that she was seeing not one but two winged forms in the sky.  “There’s another gargoyle with her,” she exclaimed in surprise.

 

As Demona and the newcomer landed on the rooftop, Angela stared at the strong looking female, who was much more muscular than either Demona or she, taking in the dark sapphire sleeveless belted tunic covering midnight black fur, glossy black feathered wings, feline features and long flowing black hair.  The new gargoyle did not have a brow ridge Angela noticed with surprise, and then she stared harder.  The feline gargoyle had familiar amused blue eyes and a smirk on her lips.  “Kendra Canmore?” she said disbelievingly.

 

“Very good,” came the approving and amused reply, it was definitely her mother’s friend.

 

“What sorcery is this?”  Hudson asked, staring at Demona suspiciously.

 

“Not sorcery,” Demona corrected him calmly, “but the spirit’s magic.”

 

“This allows me to assume this form,” Kendra held up a medallion of dark stone set in silver so that the older gargoyle could see it.  On the medallion was inscribed the form of a cat.

 

“The spirit,” Hudson said in a surprised tone, giving the winged feline appearing woman an intent stare.  His eyes shifted from Kendra to Demona and back again, “Hmm,” he murmured sounding thoughtful now, “very well then.”

 

Angela’s eyes widened as she realized what the clan elder was thinking.  Owen had told them the other night that Kendra Canmore was as graceful and deadly as she fought as the were-jaguar, that she was able to project the same sense of danger or aura of threat as Elisa had called it, and now she looked very like the were-jaguar with the addition of feathered wing.  The being Owen had described hadn’t had wings, but then he had been protecting humans from their fey tormentors, not a gargoyle.  The obvious conclusion was that the were-jaguar that had held Titania hostage while delivering the spirit’s ultimatum to leave the humans alone, hadn’t been a supernatural being, but a human given the power to transform with a talisman like the one Kendra was wearing.  Perhaps it was even the same talisman, Angela thought to herself.

 

The lavender female looked over at her mother.  Demona was wearing a similar medallion, only it was set in gold and the stone was reddish with white lines running through it.  The scarlet haired gargoyle took a step nearer, “Yes, the spirit gave me the gift of turning into a human whenever I wished,” she confirmed, touching the stone with one finger, though Angela had already guessed that once she saw the form of a woman inscribed on her mother’s medallion.

 

Angela met her mother’s eyes and they stared at one another, Demona was the first to break the silence, “Well, I guess we should go to the building you said they went to search last night and see if we can find any sign of your father and the trio.” 

 

The lavender female had seen the uncertainty and regret in her mother’s eyes and as the older female moved toward the roof’s edge, she realized that Demona was waiting for her to make the next move in their reconciliation, “Wait.”  Her mother stopped immediately, turning back to look at her questioningly.  “Thank you for coming to help.”

 

“Of course, daughter,” Demona’s eyes softened, “I understand you are worried about what has happened to them, this is very unlike Goliath.”  Reminded of exactly why they were there, Angela could only nod, all of her fears returning at once.

 

“I’d like to approach this building cautiously,” Kendra said as the four of them headed for the edge of Nightstone’s roof, “if it was a trap for Goliath and the others, then I’d expect there to be external surveillance on the building.  If it is there, I don’t want us spotted by it.”

 

 Angela paused, “How will we be able to tell?” she asked, remembering how small the security cameras at the castle were that Lexington had found.

 

“Aye the things are small and hard to find,” added Hudson, obviously remembering the same thing.

 

Kendra looked over at Demona inquiringly, “Do you think you could use your magic to recognize them?”

 

The scarlet haired gargoyle frowned thoughtfully, “Perhaps,” she replied after a few seconds, “let me examine the ones by the loading dock here.”  She took the last steps to the edge, “I’ll be back in a few minutes,” she paused briefly to say before gliding off the building.

 

The lavender female went to the parapet and leaned over looking curiously for her mother.  She immediately spotted her descending in a slow spiral down the side of the building.  A few stories above the loading dock, her mother’s wing dipped and she flew closer to the building.  Just before she would have impacted into the building’s side, Demona flared her wings bringing herself almost to a halt in the air as she reached out and dug her talons into the concrete.  Angela sighed enviously, someday she wanted to ask her mother for gliding lessons, Goliath was skilled glider, but he wasn’t as skilled as her mother.  Curious, Angela continued watching her mother wondering what spell she was going to cast to allow her to see the cameras.  Demona was just staring at the side of the building; she didn’t move around or do anything else except stare as if she were seeing something besides concrete and glass windows.  The next moment her mother pushed herself off the side of the building and began rising gradually back toward the roof.

 

“I can,” Demona confidently announced as she landed on the edge of the roof.

 

“Alright then,” Kendra said, “I’m thinking that the greatest concentration of cameras would be on the roof which is where Goliath and the others probably landed.  We need to get close enough for Demona to detect if there are any cameras without being seen ourselves.  Suggestions?”  

 

Angela glanced over at her mother uncertainly; she hadn’t expected Kendra to take over the leadership of their little group.  Demona however wasn’t paying attention to her; instead, she was looking in the direction they needed to go.  “If we glide northeast up…” the scarlet haired gargoyle started describing a path that would get them close to the building while keeping taller buildings between them and it.  Apparently, it was not only ok with her mother that Kendra led the group, but also it was something she expected.

 

Kendra was silent for several seconds, her brows drawn in thought as she stared down the street Demona had indicated.  Finally, she nodded, “Took me a second to think of what the buildings along that route might look like from the air,” she explained.  “That does sound like a good way to approach the building we want without being spotted,” she glanced over at Angela and Hudson, “either of you have another path in mind, or any comments about the route Demona suggested?”

 

Angela shook her head, the way her mother wanted to glide there sounded fine to her, it would keep the taller buildings between them and where they wanted to go until the last moment.

 

“Sounds like it will do the trick,” Hudson concurred.

 

“Very well,” Kendra’s tone turned briskly efficient, “Demona if you will lead the way.”  As their route brought them near where Goliath and the others had gone to investigate reports of gargoyle statues, Kendra pointed to the roof of the building they were approaching.  “We should land on this side of that building’s roof,” she indicated a building a block away.  “Hopefully it’s close enough that Demona can use the roof access for cover while she searches for cameras on the other building.”

 

“I believe it will be,” Demona responded, “and if it isn’t, we’ll have to think of something else.”

 

The group began rising slightly up to just below roof level and when they came to the building Kendra had indicated, they turned sharply toward it, rising to glide just over the edge and land with the walls of the access level between them and the building on the other side.  They landed in deep shadow and Demona hurried toward the corner of the wall to peer around it cautiously. 

 

Kendra caped her wings around herself as the three of them waited silently for the scarlet haired gargoyle to tell them whether there were cameras on the roof of the other building or that she would need to get closer to tell.  Angela eyed the woman’s glossy black wings curiously; though they were feathered like the English gargoyles she had met, their structure was like her own.  Instead of rising above her back as Una, Leo and Griff’s wings had, Kendra wrapped them around herself and clasped her wing fingers together across her chest to hold them in place.

 

Demona drew back from the corner she had been peering around and came back to them, a grim expression on her face.  “Just as you suspected,” she said to Kendra, “there are cameras all around the building’s roof.  We should see if the ground level is as well covered, maybe we can get in undetected there.”

 

“It was a trap then,” stated Hudson.

 

“That’s looking like a definite possibility,” Kendra concurred.  She went over to the edge of the roof and looked around, “Go up that alleyway?”  Everyone else came to lean over the edge near her and look to where she was pointing.

 

“That should work,” Demona agreed, “We’ll have to climb around the building because there’s not enough room to glide down and we don’t want to be seen by the humans on the street.”  It took them about ten minutes to make their way around and then down the side of the building, Demona stayed near Kendra, giving her low voiced suggestions which made it clear that this was not something the human in gargoyle form had done before.  Considering that it was Kendra’s first time, Angela thought the blue-eyed woman did very well, the lavender female hadn’t been nearly so graceful the first time she had tried climbing down the side of a building.

 

As soon as they stepped into the alleyway, Demona dropped to all fours and staying close to the building, crept forward slowly.  Kendra crouched down and watched the scarlet haired gargoyle intently, her cat like ears pricked sharply forward and her furred tail still except for the very end which flicked side to side and up and down in an irregular pattern.  Angela watched her wide eyed, this was the first time she had seen Kendra act so…cat like.  It made her wonder how the transformation affected the human woman’s thinking, if it did more than just make Kendra look like a winged feline.

 

Demona began backing up swiftly, turning as soon as she was a few feet away and hurrying back toward them.  “There are a few cameras by the door, but more importantly the building has subfloors, and that’s where I saw Lexington,” her tone was hurried, tense.  “He was being attacked by a mechanical cat.”

 

“We must save the lad then,” Hudson drew his sword and started down the alleyway.

 

“Stop!”  Kendra’s command was low voiced, but no less authoritative for it, and froze the older gargoyle in his tracks.  “Demona I believe you had something more to tell us?”

 

The scarlet haired gargoyle nodded, “There are several humans on the sub levels, we need to get in without being seen or we’ll have all of them to fight.  For now Lexington seems to be evading the mechanical cat easily, he hasn’t been hurt.”

 

“How do you know this?”  Angela asked bewildered, she hadn’t known her mother knew any magic spells to let her see through things.

 

“My magic,” Demona explained non-helpfully, “give me a moment and I think I can disable the cameras,” she leapt up on the building next to them and started climbing up.  As soon as she was a few stories up she began moving sideways toward the corner of the building, once there she paused a moment gathering herself before making a powerful leap that carried her to the other building.

 

“Stay here,” Kendra said to Angela and Hudson as she dropped to all fours, she crept forward, keeping near the building’s wall in the shadow to where Demona had paused to scout out the other building.  It wasn’t very long at all before she turned her head and motioned for them to come forward and then started running down the alleyway toward the other building. 

 

Obviously, thought Angela, as she and Hudson dropped and started running after Kendra, her mother had disabled the camera.  Demona had also managed to open the door and stood waiting by it as they quickly crossed the open space between the two buildings.  The door opened onto a wide well lit hallway with the occasional door and at the end an elevator.

 

“Down one?”  Kendra asked Demona quietly.  At the scarlet haired gargoyles nod she started down the hallway, “If there are stairs we should take those and not the elevator.”

 

“That would be best since there are people coming up it,” Demona tersely whispered back, “they must have already noticed that they lost their camera feed.”  They all saw the door with the words stairs stenciled across it at the same time as they approached the end of the hallway, Kendra reached it first and held it open as the others entered and then closed it completely behind them instead of letting it close itself.  Her mother was already headed down the stairwell; Angela glanced hesitantly toward Kendra, uncertain whether to follow or stay.  The black furred female silently motioned for her to follow Demona down the stairs. 

 

The lavender female didn’t know quite what to think about how well her mother and Kendra worked together, seemingly needing a minimum of conversation to understand what the other was doing.  The lavender female was still getting used to the idea that her mother actually had a human friend.  She had noticed the other night, when the human woman had talked to the clan, how much of a warrior Kendra Canmore was and had considered how that might have influenced her mother to set aside her normal dislike of humans to befriend this one.  Now there was another reason for her mother to accept the human woman, transformed, Kendra looked very much like a gargoyle.

 

Demona was waiting for them six flights of stairs down, “Lexington is on this level,” she whispered.  She looked back at the door and along the wall by it, looking as if she could see through them, “There’s no one in the hallway,” apparently she could.  Angela stared at her mother; she hadn’t known that Demona could use her sorcery to see through walls.  Had she always been able to or was this something new, the lavender female wondered.  Angela noticed Hudson staring at her mother as well; from the slight frown on his face, he didn’t seem certain what to think of this either.

 

“Will they suspect someone disabled the cameras?”  Kendra whispered as she eased the door open and stepped out into the hallway with a quick glance up and down it.

 

“There was only one and I burnt out the circuitry, so they shouldn’t suspect it was anything but a malfunction,” the scarlet haired gargoyle whispered back, pointing up the hallway.  “We need to go that way.”

 

“Good, I’d rather they not realize we’re here just yet,” Kendra commented.  She looked in the direction Demona had pointed, “Why don’t you lead since you can see which way we need to go and if there’s anyone coming.”

 

With a quick acknowledging nod, the scarlet haired gargoyle started up the long hallway at a quick pace.  Angela wasn’t sure why they weren’t running to rescue Lexington, and then she realized that her mother was scanning the hallway and occasionally looking behind them where Hudson was keeping watch as well.  They stopped in front of the third doorway from the stairwell, “There are cameras in the room,” Demona announced quietly.

 

“Can you disable them like the one at the door?”  Angela asked her mother.

 

“No, they’re too far away,” Demona answered with a shake of her head.  She waved them forward, past the doorway, “Move further down the hallway, I’m going to open the door and I don’t want us to be spotted.”  Demona reached out and gripped Kendra’s forearm stopping the woman from moving with them, “The mechanical cat will probably follow him out.”

 

Kendra moved to stand against the wall, “Bad choice for it if it does,” she responded lightly.  Demona smirked in reply and then she knelt and placed her hands on the door and wall next to the locking mechanism and stared at the door intently.

 

Angela wasn’t certain what to think of Kendra’s confidence, if Lexington could only stay away from the robot and not disable it, why did the human woman think she could defeat it?  She saw Kendra crouch slightly as Demona pushed the door open and stepped away from it hurriedly to avoid being spotted by the cameras inside the room.  Angela’s eyes widened as wickedly curved inch long black claws extended from Kendra’s fingers, light reflecting off of each as if they were made of polished stone or metal.

 

Lexington came running through the door at full speed skidding slightly on the floor as he made the turn in the hallway, “Lexington,” Angela called him and motioned him toward where she and Hudson were waiting.

 

A yellow spotted panther with glowing red eyes followed the web-winged gargoyle out of the room.  It only made it a few feet out of the room before Kendra moved in a rapid blur of motion slapping the robot on the side of the head with enough force to lift it off the floor and send it slamming up against the wall on the other side of the hallway.  The mechanical cat bounced off the wall already sparking and smoking and the were-jaguar slapped it again, catching it before it hit the floor and sending it spinning into the wall.  Angela watched in astonishment as another ripping swat sent the mechanical panther spinning even more rapidly to bounce off the wall yet again and she realized Kendra was playing with the robot as if it were a large toy.

 

The irritated clearing of her mother’s throat interrupted the winged were-jaguar’s fun.  Demona was standing with her arms crossed over her chest staring disapprovingly at Kendra as the robot fell to the floor sparking and twitching from its rough treatment, the fake fur along its sides ripped and torn.  Kendra looked over at Demona and vocalized a soft questioning churring meow.  Angela fought to keep from laughing, the noise the gargoyle looking woman had made sounded so cute and innocent as if Kendra were asking what she had possibly done to warrant such a look.  The lavender female could tell by the twitching of Demona’s lips that her mother was having the same difficulty, the scarlet haired gargoyle shook her head and pointed down the hallway.  The feline gargoyle’s upright ears flattened slightly as she turned in the direction Demona indicated.

 

“Ken..” was a far as a wide-eyed Lexington got before a black furred finger held up to dark lips indicated that he should remain silent.  Angela noticed, from the slight grin on the were-jaguars lips, that despite the flattened ears she didn’t seem all that abashed by her mother’s admonishment.

 

Kendra reached down and gripped his shoulder as she came up to him, “Later, when there aren’t cameras and microphones around,” she bent down and whispered to him.  “Glad to see you’re unhurt.”  The web-winged gargoyle glanced down the hallway toward the smoking mechanical panther and the room he had just escaped from and nodded.

 

Demona, who had been staring along the walls and down the hallway, suddenly hissed urgently, “Brooklyn is down this way,” she dropped to all fours and started running, swiftly passing all of them.  Realizing her mother wouldn’t be in such a hurry if the clan’s second wasn’t in danger, Angela dropped and followed behind Kendra who had already taken off after the scarlet haired gargoyle.

 

The hallway they were running down was very long, abruptly Demona slid to a halt midway along it, and Angela dug in her talons to keep from sliding into Kendra who had come to a stop as well.  The sound of gruff male grumbling behind her let her know that Hudson didn’t appreciate the abruptness with which they had stopped at all.  Demona’s eyes glowed red with anger and Angela stared at her, wondering at the cause of it, but the glow lasted only a second before fading as the scarlet haired gargoyle placed her hands on the bare wall, staring at it in frowning concentration.  The lavender female looked at her mother in confusion; there wasn’t anything here, just a hallway with no door nearby.

 

“What is she doing?” whispered Lexington after a moment.

 

Angela admitted, “I don’t know exactly, she did something like this when she unlocked the door to the room where you were.”

 

As abruptly as she had stopped, Demona stepped away from the wall and began running up the hall once again.  Kendra immediately started after her leaving the others a second or two behind before they reacted and began chasing after them.  Another hallway crossed the one they were running along, and Demona turned left down it ahead of them.  Angela turned the same corner to see the were-jaguar was standing in the middle of the hall holding up a hand for them to stop, her mother was kneeling by a door further up the hallway.  The lavender gargoyle heard the click from the door and saw her mother push it open and then run down the hallway toward and then past Kendra.  Demona stopped in front of Angela, Hudson and Lexington, “One of you should be up there to help him.  I doubt that he would trust me enough to let me,” the scarlet female said, keeping her voice low.

 

“I will,” Hudson said, already moving toward the newly opened door, the elder gargoyle got there just in time to offer the beaked male a helping arm as he limped out of the room.  It was only Kendra making a very emphatic zipping motion across her mouth, which prevented the clan’s second from saying anything when he spotted the black furred female.  The reddish male paused, and Angela could see from the widening of his eyes and the way his beak gaped open that he had just realized who the new gargoyle actually was, “Later lad, we’ll explain later when the walls don’t have ears,” Hudson whispered to him.

 

Demona wasn’t even paying attention to the clan second when Brooklyn spotted her and his eyes glowed briefly white in anger.  Angela frowned at him; at least he had the sense to mouth her name, instead of saying it aloud.  “Broadway is headed this way and there is a human male with him,” her mother whispered sounding confused.  Demona pointed at the wall, and it took a half second for Angela to realize that her mother meant she could see him in that direction.  Ignoring her mother’s worried, “Angela wait,” the lavender female started running back down the hallway they had just come up. 

 

When the lavender female reached the hallway crossing it she turned left and almost ran into the large teal colored male.  “Broadway,” she threw herself into his arms.

 

“Angela?” he sounded confused even as his arms folded around her, “What are you doing here?  They didn’t capture you too did they?”

 

“Well I didn’t expect to see you here,” the voice of the human in the scarlet robe was very familiar.

 

“Xanatos,” Demona hissed as she rounded the corner at the same time as the dark haired man removed the hood covering his head. 

 

The scarlet haired gargoyle was followed by Lexington and then by Hudson helping Brooklyn.  “Well I see everyone is here,” Xanatos said, sounding amused.  Kendra finally appeared around the corner, and Xanatos stared at the black furred gargoyle, “Who is the new…” his voice trailed off as he stared even more intently.  “Kendra Canmore?”

 

“We don’t have time for this I think we’re about to have company judging from the group that just got off the elevator on this level,” Demona hissed quietly, pointing down the hallway in the direction from which they had originally come.  “Where is Goliath being held?  We need to get him and get out of here.”

 

“He’s no longer here,” David glanced down the hallway a startled look on his face, the elevator Demona was referring to was not in sight from here, “we need to hurry to save him from what they’ve got planned.”  Angela stared at the dark haired, alarmed, what were these humans planning on doing to her father and how much time did they have to prevent it?

 

“How do we get out of here then?”  Demona turned to Xanatos, “they’re between us and the stairwell to the surface that we came down.”

 

Angela turned her head and looked down the hallway frowning, she thought she heard something from that direction.  Voices, she couldn’t hear the words but she could hear voices, she turned back to Xanatos noticing as she did that the other gargoyles and Kendra were also looking up the hallway.  “There are people coming,” the lavender female confirmed in a hurried whisper to the dark headed man.

 

“Back this way,” Xanatos hesitated no longer, turning and leading the way quickly up the hallway.  “There’s another staircase and elevator on the other side of the building.”

 

They were in sight of the elevator and staircase door when Demona hissed, “Hurry, there’s another group coming down the elevator, they’re almost here.”  The group broke into a run, Kendra sprinting swiftly to the front to hold the door open for them as she stared at the still closed elevator doors further down the hallway. 

 

Everyone was almost ready to breathe a sigh of relief as Kendra pulled the door shut behind Brooklyn and Hudson, who were the last to enter the stairwell, thinking that they had evaded detection when a shout in the hallway announced otherwise.  “They’re in the stairwell!”  Angela who was waiting on the steps with Xanatos frowned in dismay and prepared herself to fight.

 

“Damn it,” Kendra hissed as she grabbed the doorknob and held it.  Demona moved up by Kendra and knelt placing her hands on the doorway and door.  “Can you lock it?” the blue-eyed woman whispered to her.

 

“Done,” Demona rose, “let’s go.”  Kendra released the door and waved for the group to continue up the stairs.

 

“Open the door!”  Angela heard the angry shout from the hallway as she turned back toward the stairwell.

 

“I can’t it won’t budge,” another voice answered as she took the last few steps to the first landing.

 

“Shoot it then,” the first angry voice commanded.  Alarmed, Angela whirled, looking back down toward the door in time to see her mother wave a hand commandingly at the door.  The door seemed to blur for a moment before coming into focus once again.

 

The lavender female blinked, uncertain what she had just seen.  “Keep going, that won’t last for forever,” her mother whispered, motioning urgently toward the stairs.

 

Angela started up the stairs once again, wondering what spell her mother had just cast on the door and when exactly she had begun to be able to do so without a scroll or book or without saying any words.  “What are you doing, using the lowest setting?” the lavender female heard the angry yell drift up from below as she began running up the stairs once again.

 

They made it to the exterior door of the building without further incident.  Xanatos reached the door first and tried to open it unsuccessfully, “It’s locked.”  He didn’t sound very surprised, “They must have locked down the building when they discovered the escapes.”

 

“That door’s not going to stop us,” rumbled Broadway as he stepped around Angela.  The large teal male had a determined look on his face as he set himself to bust the door down.

 

“Broadway stop!”  Demona’s whisper was rather loud and urgent.  Broadway had already taken a couple of steps toward the door and had to set back on his tail to keep from ramming it.  “There are humans outside, three there, two there and three more there,” the scarlet haired gargoyle indicated different directions.

 

“The alleyways,” Xanatos, Kendra and Hudson all commented almost together.  The dark haired male grinned, “Glad we all agree,” he commented.  He turned toward Demona, “The roof?”

 

“Wait, how do you know there are human outside?”  Brooklyn asked suspiciously, “and how did you know they were coming down the elevator.”

 

“I recently acquired a spell to allow me to see through walls,” Demona answered him evenly, “but this is hardly the appropriate time for a long winded discussion about it.”  The reddish gargoyle glared at her, but it wasn’t as if he could disagree, Xanatos had made it clear they didn’t have a lot of time to waste.

 

Kendra glanced at him briefly before turning back to Demona with a grimace, “I’d rather leave as unannounced as we came in, but if that’s the only way…”

 

“Let’s go a few stories up, I can get us out one of the windows,” Demona decided, turning back toward the stairwell door.

 

“Are you sure,” Kendra asked her, her tone concerned, as the group turned started back down the hallway, “a window’s a lot of matter.”

 

“I can do it,” Demona responded confidently.

 

Angela stared at her mother’s back, as they hurried up the flights of stairs, not even trying to be quiet now as they raced against the group trying to break into the stairwell.  She had no idea what Demona and Kendra had been talking about, only that it was clear that the were-jaguar knew a lot about the magic her mother was doing now.  The lavender female breathed a sigh of relief as they exited at the fourth floor and closed the door behind them.  “That side of the building,” Kendra announced, pointing toward what Angela thought was north.

 

Demona set off in that direction working her way along the hallways with only a few pauses to scan along the walls before setting off again, “Here we are,” she paused at a door, putting a taloned hand on the lock for a moment before there was an audible click and the door swung inward to reveal a darkened room.  Her mother was getting faster, Angela noted as she caught sight of Xanatos staring at Demona and then at the lock with a worried frown.

 

The group stepped into the room and Demona shut the door behind them, without the light from the hallway the only source of illumination was the moonlight streaming in from the four large windows on the north wall.

 

“Stay over there just in case I don’t do this right,” the scarlet haired gargoyle pointed to one side of the room as she crossed over to the window furthest from where she had indicated they should go.

 

Kendra paused in the middle of the room, staring at the blue-skinned gargoyle, “I don’t want to be picking pieces of molten glass off of you,” she growled.  Angela paused and looked back at the winged were-jaguar; despite the growl, the lavender female could easily hear the sharp concern in Kendra’s voice.

 

“I don’t want you to either,” Demona gave the winged were-jaguar a soft, gentle look that stunned her watching daughter.  For another second or so the two of them stared at one another, and then the scarlet haired gargoyle tilted her head toward the other side of the room.  Kendra nodded and ushered the others on in front of her, the stern look on her face enough to dissuade even Brooklyn and Xanatos from arguing with her.

 

Angela watched in concern as her mother stood in front of the window and raised her hands in front of, but not touching it.  Kendra’s comment had given her some idea of what Demona was planning on doing and she was concerned about what could go wrong, she didn’t want her mother to be hurt helping her rescue the clan.  Her mother’s expression became peaceful, calm, even serene, and then the window began to melt from the center, a rapidly widening hole forming as the glass rippled and thickened at the edges.  It took only perhaps half a minute before there was an opening wide enough for them to exit.  The lavender female stared at the hole in the window, feeling a sense of incredulity at what she had just seen her mother do.

 

Demona turned toward them, “Broadway if you would get Xanatos, we should get going before they start searching every floor,” she said keeping her voice down.

 

“Uh,” the teal colored male pulled his attention away from the opening in the window.  “Sure,” he turned toward the human male.

 

“This should be interesting,” Xanatos commented wryly, “I hadn’t really planned on needing to escape with you.”

 

“Yes, and that’s something we will be discussing later along with why you seem to be associated with their kidnappers,” Demona commented staring at him, a hint of silky menace in her tone.  Xanatos stared back at her, his expression carefully unrevealing.  “In the mean time,” she turned away from him and motioned toward the window, “we’ll meet at Nightstone to start the search for Goliath.  I’ll be a little behind you since I’ll be sealing the window behind us.”

 

Angela watched as first Broadway carrying Xanatos and then Brooklyn and Hudson stepped up to the hole in the window and leapt out into the night air.  The lavender female looked over at her mother standing with Kendra Canmore; she didn’t want to leave her mother alone.  “Go on, I’m staying to guard Demona,” the blue-eyed woman assured her, “I’ll make sure that no one hurts her.” 

 

The lavender female’s eyes widened slightly at the serious way Kendra stated the last, it sounded like a promise.  “Alright,” her eyes shifted to her mother, “I’ll see you at Nightstone.”

 

“I shouldn’t be long,” Demona assured her.

 

Angela stepped up to the window, glancing at the rippled and thickened glass at the edges of the hole for a second before leaping out into the air and spreading her wings.  She dropped a few feet before catching the air and began gliding down the alleyway towards a street where she could see cars passing.  It took her a second to orient herself and then she realized why Kendra had insisted on the north side of the building, it was the side that was just one block away from the street and thus least likely to have many guards on the outside without them being noticed by passersby’s.

 

She knew she had told her mother she would go, but both curiosity and instinct were telling her to stay.  She exited the alleyway and did a quick turn above the street before gliding back into it and tried to duplicate the precision and grace of the move she had seen her mother make earlier.  She wasn’t nearly as skilled; Angela expelled a soft grunt of air as she used her arms and legs to keep from hitting the side of the building.  She could certainly do this better than any but Lexington and her father, but she knew she hadn’t done it nearly as well as her mother.

 

Angela quickly made her way across the side of the building until she could just see the window that she had exited.  Only her keen eyesight allowed her to pick out the darker patch against the concrete of the building next to the window.  The dark spot was Kendra with her wings slightly outstretched, but where was her mother?  She noticed the opening in the window was getting smaller and harder to see which meant that her mother must be…of course, Angela realized, Kendra must be covering her mother with one of her wings to prevent her from being seen from the ground.

 

Kendra launched herself from the side of the building, her back toward the ground.  Angela watched amazed as the winged were jaguar spiraled in a 180-degree turn as her wings gradually extend the entire turn and then snapping open on a strong downward beat as she leveled out.  It was only then, as Kendra came closer, that the lavender female saw her mother’s scarlet hair against the midnight black fur.  The winged were-jaguar hadn’t been covering Demona with one of her wings she had been holding her.  Angela stared, Kendra wasn’t carrying her mother in her arms.  She was holding her pressed tightly against her body, Demona’s back against the winged were-jaguar’s chest and Kendra’s muscular arms wrapped around her mother’s chest and waist.  Both Kendra and Demona’s faces turned toward where she was hanging on the side of the building as they passed her.  Angela leapt away from the building and followed as Kendra continued to gain altitude and then let go of Demona who fell only a few feet before unfurling her wings and soaring up to glide beside the winged were-jaguar.

 

The two weren’t gliding that swiftly and it was only a few seconds before Angela caught up to them.  Her mother looked over at her, “I thought you were headed with the others to Nightstone,” she commented sounding uncomfortable and perhaps slightly embarrassed.

 

“I wanted to make sure you both got out of there all right,” Angela responded quietly, she still wasn’t certain what to think of what she had seen or about how her mother had reacted to her seeing it.  She knew Xanatos and his wife thought her mother and Kendra were lovers, and she had seen the human newspapers claiming the same, but her father was so certain that it was not possible.  Between the look her mother had given Kendra earlier and what she had just seen, Angela had to admit to herself that she wasn’t quite so certain anymore.  Right now however, was not the time for her to wonder exactly how close her mother and Kendra Canmore were; the Nightstone building was just ahead of her and her father was still a captive.

 

“Now Xanatos what is going on, where is Goliath and what plan were you speaking about?”  Demona demanded as soon as they landed, striding toward the human in his scarlet robe.

 

“Xanatos told us already,” Brooklyn stepped in front of the scarlet haired gargoyle, forcing her to stop or run into him.  “We have to go stop him now,” he glared at her, “We don’t have time for Xanatos to repeat himself just for you.”

 

Kendra lifted her lips, revealing white fangs and growled at him threateningly, “Remember what I said last night about me having little patience with your pity party?”  Brooklyn stared at her, his angry expression turning wary as he took in her stance and the decidedly unfriendly way she was regarding him.

 

“Brooklyn,” Hudson rumbled disapprovingly.

 

Before the elder could say anything else, Angela stepped forward, staring at the reddish male challengingly, “I want to know.”

 

“They’ve got a mind control device on him,” Broadway said his eyes shifting uneasily between the clan second and Angela.

 

“And they’ve sent him to kill Egon Pax,” Lexington added frowning at Brooklyn.  The beaked male stared at each of his two rookery brothers looking betrayed.

 

“Egon Pax?”  Demona repeated sounded confused.

 

“Lavtonia,” Kendra spoke up, “he managed to get the warring sides to declare a cease fire.  Something no one thought could be done.  He’s in town this week to speak to the United Nations.”

 

“We do need to get moving,” Xanatos interrupted, “Goliath has already been sent to intercept President Pax on his way back to his hotel.  We need to stop him before he does.”

 

Demona and Kendra shared a look, “Very well,” the scarlet haired gargoyle replied, she gave Xanatos a narrow eyed look, “but you will explain later who imprisoned them and what connection you have with this group.”  She didn’t give him or Brooklyn a chance to say anything before turning and leaping off the Nightstone building, Kendra following immediately behind her.

 

“She came because I asked her to come help me find you and the others,” Angela hissed angrily at Brooklyn, “and you just had to act like a jerk,” before following behind her mother completely ignoring his surprised exclamation.  She had to focus on the air currents to catch up to the Demona and Kendra, right now she didn’t care what the other clan members were doing, she felt horribly embarrassed about how Brooklyn had acted toward her mother after everything Demona had done to help her and the clan tonight.

 

“There,” Demona pointed toward the roof of a building in the distance ahead of them.  “I’m seeing something that’s big enough to be a large gargoyle or a very large human.  Since it’s the only living thing of the right size in this area, I suspect its Goliath.”

 

Angela looked toward where Demona was pointing; the building was too far away for her to discern anything just yet.  She turned her attention back to her mother, Angela didn’t know what spell Demona was using to see living things, but it was obviously the same one she had been using to find the clan and to keep an eye out for the humans movements.  Her mother seemed to have gained several new spells lately.

 

“It is Goliath,” Kendra’s tone was relieved, “and it looks like he’s watching the traffic on the street below so he probably hasn’t gone after Pax yet.”

 

“We can’t let him get near this Egon Pax,” Demona said as they approached the building, “It will be impossible to persuade humans that gargoyles aren’t monsters if Goliath attacks and kills him in front of everyone.”  She pointed at the busy street below that the mind controlled male was watching so intently.

 

“I have to question why they’re even using him,” Kendra commented as they gained altitude so they could land on the roof of the building, which was now right in front of them, “wouldn’t it have been simpler just to hire an assassin if they only wanted Pax killed?  Whoever laid that trap wants more than just this,” she said as she landed, leaving neither Demona nor Angela any time to respond to her thought provoking comment.  “Goliath,” she called out commandingly to the large male near the roof’s edge.

 

With a growl the large male whirled around, his eyes glowing brightly white, “Must destroy Egon Pax,” the lavender male growled, sounding as if he were talking to himself.

 

Angela wasn’t certain that her father was even seeing them, “Father?” she called out taking a step toward him.

 

“Careful Angela,” Demona held an arm out blocking her way, “I’m not certain he knows we are really here.”

 

“Angela?”  Goliath sounded confused.

 

“Yes father I’m here,” she pressed against her mother’s arm and reluctantly the scarlet haired gargoyle let her pass thought she kept pace with her.

 

“No,” he howled, sounding tormented, “they can’t have taken you as well.  I will destroy Egon Pax!” he raged turning back to the roof’s edge.

 

“No, you won’t, because I won’t let you,” Kendra said challengingly.

 

“You cannot stop me!”  Goliath whirled back around to face her, “I will destroy him for killing my clan.”

 

“We aren’t dead,” Lexington came running forward, the rest of the clan and Xanatos having arrived a few seconds ago.  Broadway and a limping Brooklyn followed him.

 

“Goliath we aren’t dead, we’re right here,” Broadway said staring at his clan leader with a confused frown.

 

“Goliath, we’re fine,” Brooklyn added his reassurance to everyone else’s.

 

The large lavender male gripped his head in both taloned hands, groaning as if he were in pain, “No!” he growled, “you’re trying to confuse me, Egon Pax must be destroyed!”

 

“Got anything yet on what’s controlling him?”  Kendra asked, glancing over at Demona.

 

“There is a small chip embedded into his neck, that appears to be what they’re using to control his thoughts.”  The scarlet haired gargoyle pointed and Angela followed to where she was indicating, finally seeing something small and rectangular on her father’s neck.

 

“Can you destroy it?”  Kendra asked.

 

“Not without getting nearer,” Demona replied, sounding frustrated.

 

“Easy enough,” Kendra said and without any other notice leapt forward ducking gracefully under Goliath’s punch and then leaning to the side to avoid his follow up blow.  The lavender male whirled, fast for his size but Kendra was swifter, leaping over his tail and then seizing him from behind in an immobilizing hold, her arms wrapped around his and her hands interlaced behind his neck in one quick move.  Her wing hands seized the larger male’s wings and pulled them back keeping him from using them to buffet her.  “Now would be good,” she commented, her voice sounding slightly strained as she struggled to hold him.

 

Demona darted in, reaching out and touching the chip, Goliath groaned once and then whispered sounding confused, “Demona?”

 

“Yes, it’s Demona, Goliath,” she said as the chip came off and she took a step back from him and held the device up between her fingers examining it.  “I think you can let him go now,” the scarlet haired gargoyle remarked calmly.

 

The winged were-jaguar didn’t immediately release him, “You do see that your clan is alive and well and standing here with us?” she asked.

 

“Yes, now let me go,” Goliath said sounding annoyed as he flexed his arms and wings and discovered that he could not easily break her hold on him.  Kendra released him stepping back as she did so, the lavender male turned around, an angry look on his face and then he just stared, his jaw dropping slightly in his astonishment.  “Kendra Canmore?” he finally said, his disbelief very apparent.

 

“Funny how everyone’s saying my name like that tonight,” the winged were-jaguar commented to Demona, her blue eyes twinkling in amusement, “you’d think they’ve never seen me before.”

 

Demona smirked, “They do seem to be rather surprised don’t they,” she sounded smug.  She held out the chip to Goliath, “This is what they used to mind control you.  The circuitry is fused, it’s harmless now.”  He held out his hand and she dropped the chip into it, “There’s a symbol on it, but I don’t recognize it.”

 

“The Illuminati,” growled Goliath, “I had thought they had decided to leave us alone.”

 

“You’ve had dealings with them before then I take it,” Demona commented glancing down at the symbol on the chip in her ex-mates hand.

 

“Yes,” he clenched his hand, destroying the chip.  “What did I do?” he asked hesitantly, his tone holding dread.

 

“Nothing,” Demona was actually the first to answer, “We got to you before you had a chance to do anything.”  To Angela’s surprise, her mother’s voice held no superiority or gloating.  If anything, she actually sounded understanding, even sympathetic.  Of course thought Angela, perhaps that wasn’t surprising considering what Kendra and Puck had said the other night about the spells the Weird Sisters had placed on her mother to control her.

 

“You did nothing and none of the humans even saw you up here,” Demona crossed over to the edge of the building and looked down at the street for a moment, she turned back to Goliath.  “Which is good, because an attack on Egon Pax would have destroyed all the work you and PIT have done to persuade the general populace of the city that you aren’t a threat, and given the Quarrymen the ammunition they need to keep claiming we are monsters.”  She glanced over at Kendra, “You’re right, if all they wanted was Egon Pax dead they hardly needed to set a trap for the clan and use that chip on Goliath to make him their assassin, they could have just hired a human one.”

 

“Like you did just two months ago,” Brooklyn said pointedly.

 

Demona only glanced over at him briefly, “Exactly,” before turning back to the large lavender male, “so why did they go through all the trouble?”

 

“Two thoughts come to my mind,” Kendra said, drawing everyone’s attention to her as she walked over to stand beside Demona, “One they wanted to test their chip on a gargoyle to see how well it worked.  You would make excellent soldiers or assassins if they could be assured of their control over you.  Two, they wanted to destroy the progress the clan has made in getting humans to accept them.”  She shrugged, “It’s the why I can’t figure out on the second possibility.  Why would they care if people thought you were a threat or not?”

 

“Hmm,” Goliath rumbled, “Either are disturbing possibilities.”

 

“If it’s the first, maybe they’ll assume the chip didn’t work well once you got out of their direct control,” offered Kendra optimistically.

 

“Perhaps,” he agreed, staring at the winged were-jaguar.  His eyes narrowed on her, “How do you appear this way?”

 

Kendra held up the medallion, “The spirit gave me this, it allows me to transform into this form.” 

 

Her father’s eyes widened and Angela knew he had just made the same connection she and Hudson had made when they saw the medallion.  His eyes shifted thoughtfully between Kendra and Demona, “Interesting,” he rumbled.  He glanced around, taking in Xanatos and Hudson’s presence before turning back to his ex-mate, “What are you, Kendra and Xanatos doing here and where is Elisa?” he asked frowning.

 

“Xanatos helped me escape,” Broadway explained, “and then we met up with Angela, Demona and Kendra who had helped Lexington and Brooklyn escape.”

 

Angela took a step forward, lifting her chin slightly, “I asked mother to help because Elisa and Matt are on duty tonight and had to go to investigate a robbery.”

 

Goliath stared at his daughter for a moment before nodding; he turned his attention back to Demona and Kendra, “Thank you for helping them…,” he hesitated briefly, “and me.”

 

The scarlet haired gargoyle glanced over at her daughter, “Angela was worried about you, I’m just glad that no one was seriously injured,” her eyes passed over Brooklyn before returning to Goliath.  “I’d like more information about these Illuminati.”

 

“I’d like more information about how you melted the glass in the window, and opened and locked the doors, and were able to see though walls and doors,” Brooklyn looked determined as he limped forward, ignoring Angela’s glowering look at him, “I didn’t see any spell book or hear you say anything,” he asked suspiciously.

 

“The spirit is teaching me a different way of using magic,” Demona shrugged as if were of no particular import.  Turning back to Goliath she said, “Now, what are the Illuminati and if he is a member, why are you trusting him to keep the clan safe during the day instead of turning you over to them,” she pointed a taloned finger at Xanatos.

 

 
 
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