Story Title: Unable to Stay
Description: Heart broken and morale low, the Gargoyles can stay in Manhattan no longer.
Warnings: Minor character death, Angst
Timeline: Shortly following the events of “The Mirror” Episode 18 of the Gargoyles
Author’s Note: This is the first of many. I always believed that Gargoyles should have been brought into the BtVS universe and this is my vision of how it could have happened. Comments and reviews are greatly welcomed as I am currently working without a Beta.
Standard Disclaimer: The Gargoyles premise and characters are distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc © Disney and created by Greg Weisman. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer premise and characters are distributed by 20th Century Fox, The WB, UPN and created by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy (Grr, Arg). The story, all names, characters and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons, places, buildings and products is intended or should be inferred. “This product is meant for educational purposes only.”
As the last of the stone broke away from his skin, Goliath stretched his wings out to their full extent with a roar of relief. He had spent the day with one of his wings half unfurled and his head turned over his shoulder thanks to seeing Xanatos emerge from the stairwell just as the sun had breached the horizon. Quickly gathering his wits about him, he spun in the direction of his family. The others were all whole and untouched save for Bronx. The only thing that remained of the smallest and most vulnerable of them all was a small pile of rubble. With all that was left of his family gathered around him, once again Goliath roared; this time in mourning.
Too many times he had emerged from sleep to find that those he loved were lost to him forever. Too many times he had been tricked into thinking that those he loved had been safe and protected when they had not. As he and the rest screamed their rage and grief at the night sky, his heart broke into pieces. His heart had already been fractured thanks to Demona’s betrayal and Elisa’s rejection. This last blow had been too much for him to take and now he knew that there was nothing left for him in the city of Manhattan. There was nothing for him anywhere, but he would not abandon his family, even in his own grief.
He moved away from the rubble so that he would no longer have to look at the remains. Silently, he folded his wings around his shoulders and crouched over the lip of the building. He blamed the few tears that fell on the wind that buffeted his face. As he gathered himself, he considered the options left to him.
From the corner where she had been curled up, Elisa stood and approached slowly. Her clothes looked dishevelled and her eyes were bloodshot but, otherwise, she appeared whole and unharmed. There were tear tracks staining her face and her voice was rough when she whispered, “Goliath, I’m so sorry.”
“Did you do this?” he demanded, his deep tone of voice rasping hoarsely. Like usual, his gravelly voice and stony countenance showed none of the emotions roiling through him. As a counterpoint, his tail slashed violently through the air with a whistling sound.
Surprised, Elisa took a step back from the gargoyle. She shook her head forcefully and raised the palm of her right hand as she vehemently said, “No!”
“Then you have no reason to be sorry,” Goliath stated. “We all know that this was Xanatos’ doing.”
“But, Goliath, what about Bronx?” Lexington asked. He was crouched down over the pile of rubble. There wasn’t a single piece of stone larger than the small gargoyle’s fist. “Do we know for sure that it was him?”
“What do you mean, Lex?” Brooklyn asked. “Who else could it be?”
Hudson approached from his own quiet corner to say, “We’ve mistaken mere stones for our people in the past. This could be a diversion. Perhaps Xanatos has Bronx and left these to make us think he is dead.”
Broadway and Brooklyn exchanged hopeful looks. It was enough to tug at what was left of Goliath’s heart. Silently, except for a deep resounding growl in the depths of his chest, he looked up to face the castle that he had once called his home. He considered storming the towering building for a mere instant before he gave up the thought. Xanatos was too powerful and now that he knew of their home above the police station, had too much hold over them. Come daybreak he could lose another. He would lose another.
“Why would he do that?” Elisa asked cautiously. She kept a close eye on Goliath as she placed a hand lightly on each Lexington and Hudson’s shoulders. After a pause, she offered, “I think that this is a warning. A warning to leave now or else. He picked a member of your family that, in his eyes is unimportant, and destroyed him so that you would know that none of you are safe here anymore. Maybe he thought that by killing Bronx he would not anger you as much as he would have had he killed anyone else.”
Goliath turned his gaze back up to the night sky. Even with his wings brought up tight around his shoulders, he was cold. It was a cold that came from his own soul and one that he knew would never be warmed. After a long time considering, he blandly asked, “Is there anything in your human laws that could help us, Elisa?”
“No. Bronx was a stone figure that Xanatos purchased. If he wanted to destroy all of you while you were stone there would be absolutely nothing I could do to stop him. And since gargoyles aren’t exactly on the endangered species list ... if he killed any of you while you weren’t stone I doubt anyone but me would care.” Elisa spun and slammed her fist down on the stone wall, welcoming the pain that came with the contact. She hated feeling so out of control and that was one of the stronger emotions that Xanatos brought out in her.
“Very well,” Goliath replied. He turned back to his family and looked them each in the eye. It was hard to see the pain of loss there but he faced it without flinching. It helped that he had lost his own emotions; unable to reach them where they were buried under the rubble of his broken heart. “Then I believe it is time for us to leave. Gather enough supplies to last us a few nights. We’ll be flying inland so we’ll have to ration our food.”
Broadway’s jaw dropped. “R-ration food?” he stammered out.
With a louder growl, Goliath spun to face the younger gargoyle. The first sign of emotion came into his voice since he had screamed up at the sky when he angrily demanded, “Do you question my judgement? My leadership? If so, face me now!” His wings rose to mantle up and give him added height.
Broadway flinched back from the larger creature, huddling against his rookery mates. All of them averted their eyes and whined softly. Hudson stood his ground and although he, too, averted his eyes and bowed his head in submission, he did not whine. His tail flicked nervously from side to side as he fought the urge to draw his sword. Having been raised by a human soldier, the weapon usually found its way into his hand without him even having to spare it a thought.
“You will do as I say for as long as I hold this clan!” Goliath growled out. He turned his back on the younglings to show that he did not feel threatened by them. Once calmer, he drew down his wings to wrap them around himself. “Now go. Get together the supplies. We leave in an hour’s time.”
“Goliath?” Elisa asked. Her voice was pitched to the soft and pleasant tone that she had been trained to use on suspects about to do something immensely stupid or monumentally dangerous. She had little hope that Goliath would change his mind about leaving but she had even less hope that he would make it alone in the world.
“What is it?”
Stunned at how distant the creature’s voice had become, Elisa hesitated before asking, “Where will you go?”
“The grimorum speaks of a place that I think we might fit in. A place where we might be safer on the other side of the continent.”
“What kind of place?”
Goliath looked at her sidelong. After a pause he said, “A place called ‘Boca Del Infierno.’”