Angela was laid out on the couch, a large quilt covering her.
Once she had gotten into some familiar clothes, she seemed to relax and within moments, she was asleep. The trio of boys refused to leave, so Goliath stood over them as they all called their families and let them know where they would be.
The last thing he needed was a group of irate parents at his door.
With Angela resting comfortably, and home, he finally allowed himself to relax a bit. While the boys brought out the small table and began quietly playing cards, Goliath made himself a cup of coffee and went outside to the balcony.
He took a few sips, feeling the caffeine hit his system, then felt a presence behind him. Without turning, he said, "Hello, Elisa."
There was a rustle, and a surprisingly soft thump as she came to rest on the balcony beside him.
"How is Angela?" She asked.
Goliath was amazed. After all that she'd been through herself, her first concern was about the welfare of his daughter. "She is fine," Goliath answered softly. "She is sleeping now, but she should be back to her normal self in the morning."
Elisa gave him a small smile before bowing her head. "I am so sorry, Goliath," She said, and he could hear how the emotions were adding a touch of huskiness to her voice. "I would never have put you… any of you… in danger by choice."
"I know," Goliath said, turning to face her. Gently, he set his coffee down on the low stone edge. "It had never crossed my mind to blame you."
"Maybe it should have," Elisa said sadly. "They were tracking the tapes. One of them had a tracker on it. If I hadn't left them here…"
"Elisa," Goliath said, putting his hands on her shoulders firmly. "You are not to blame for the actions of these people."
What a turnaround, Goliath thought suddenly. To speak to one woman who wouldn't accept responsibility for her own actions, then speak to Elisa who was wanting to shoulder the responsibility for everyone.
"Maybe I should go," Elisa said softly. "My just being here will put you all at risk for this to happen again."
"Not likely," Goliath said. "David Xanatos is going to jail for funding the operation. Everyone that was in the laboratory has been arrested as accessories, and those supposed 'doctors' that caused you all so much pain are going to jail for illegal practices as well. You are safe."
"For how long?" Elisa burst out. "How long until someone else tries?" Elisa turned to gaze at the city. "This time is so strange. No one knows of Gargoyles, and as such, I will consistently be thought of as a monster to be caged and studied."
"We will all do our best to make sure that does not happen," Goliath assured her. "There is no need for you to go anywhere. Besides," He said with a gentle smile, "You will need friends to help. And here," He gestured to the apartment, "You have five. And that is just a start."
Elisa raised a corner of her mouth in an uneven smile. "Are you sure that you want me around?"
Goliath raised a hand to cup her cheek. "Yes. Please, say you will stay."
Elisa's eyes grew round for a moment, before she closed them and leaned he cheek into his palm. When she opened them again, he could see the uncertainty in her eyes.
"If you're sure," Elisa said, and Goliath knew he'd finally convinced her.
"Stay here today," Goliath said, reluctantly lowered his hand… and wasn't that something he would have to think about later? "Sunrise is approaching quickly. You would not make it to the clock tower."
Elisa nodded. "I will."
The two of them spent the last of the night time sitting outside, and talking.
When sunrise came, Elisa lowered to kneel on one knee, her wings caped around her shoulders and her head bent as if in deep thought.
Goliath picked up his lukewarm coffee and took a sip as he watched the sun rise.
It was a new day, he thought with a smile. It was time to start a new chapter in their lives, one that included Elisa in it.
It was sure to be interesting, with secrets to keep and adventures to be had, but he welcomed it.
*Author's note: If you're still reading this, and have stuck with me this far, you have my undying gratitude. While this one was SUPPOSED to be a short, just-for-fun story, it completely took on a life of its own. That being said, I had an absolute blast with this one. Special thanks to Jackie, who not only kept hounding me for more, she was willing to have many a late night of brainstorming this one out. Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed! I promise I will get back toy regular fics soon. Take care everyone!