I do not own Gargoyles or any of the original characters. But the original characters in this ficverse are mine and may not be used without permission. Thanks.

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Destine Manor; Three Months Later:

Lana sighed, as she swept up the last of the dust from the floor of her grandmother's cellar. She could kill Jarred! If he hadn't kept pestering mom about helping him with his stuff then she wouldn't have said it was time for them to learn to do things by themselves… Starting with chores!

Well, that and the fact that she used all her grandmother's make up without her permission. Adults could be so strict when they wanted to be.

"Lana?" Darlene called from up the stairs.

"Yeah?"

"You've got mail."

"Oh great, I… WHAT?"

"You heard. So get your tail up here and read it!"

Lana blinked. How could she have mail? She hadn't been in contact with any of her friends from L.A. since they left and none of them knew where she was or what had happened to her.

Curious, she dropped the broom and made her way up to the living room where the senior members of her family were waiting.

Demona, Darlene and Angela, who was visiting, were sitting down in the living room drinking tea. Angela looked up at the arrival of her half niece and gave her a warm friendly smile. "Hello Lana. How are you?"

Lana mumbled, as she flicked the dust out of her hair "all right I suppose."

Angela gave Darlene a questioning look. Darlene just shrugged so Angela turned back to Lana. "I have something for you."

"Oh?" Lana said, interested.

"Some letters from Brooklyn and Lexington" Angela smiled again and handed her two neatly folded letters. One of them had a heart drawn in the corner of it.

Lana mentally rolled her eyes and thought. 'Gee, now I wonder what these could possible be?' Instead, she said "thanks" to her aunt and left the room to go to her own.

Demona watched her leave before turning to her firstborn. "What was that all about?"

Angela gave a thinner smile than before. "Brook and Lex have been working up the guts to ask Lana out," she said. "They finally decided to try writing a letter. That way, they won't stutter every time when they speak to her."

"I've never noticed them stutter when talking to Lana?" Darlene said, confused.

Angela laughed. "When you saw them, they weren't talking to Lana, more like they were talking about themselves."

Demona grimaced. "Yes, those two acted like a pair of hatchlings when I saw them drooling over Lana. It was sickening and most un-gargoyle like."

Darlene gave her mother a curious look. "Didn't you once tell me that after you first started to learn magic, you summoned a great beast by mistake because you were trying to impress Goliath?"

"That's quite enough out of you!" Demona barked, her cheeks going as red as her hair.

Angela and Darlene giggled like two teenagers before quickly shutting themselves up at the look their mother was giving them.

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Lana sighed, as she read Brooklyn's letter after reading Lexington's. "Same old, same old" she said. The letters were more or less the same, as they explained to her about how beautiful she was, how they enjoyed her company, how they would like to meet up again some time… And then they made a quick little mention about the latest invention they had created or the last bad guy they had thrust up for the police.

'Don't these guys ever give up?' She thought, mildly amazed by their persistence. She wondered if she would start receiving boxes of candy and flowers next? She wouldn't mind that, as it had been ages since she had even tasted a sweet bit of chocolate. Her grandmother thought candy was just a stupid human indulgence that ruined their teeth and that shouldn't be encouraged.

'Spoilsport' Lana thought angrily. She hated being trapped in this form more and more each night.

"I hate my life," she thought out loud and wondered again where her life had gone wrong. 'And to top it all off… The only two guys available for a date is one who looks like the devil after he's had an unsuccessful nose-job and another who could play the role for the green goblin in Spider-man.'

"LIFE SUCKS!" She practically screamed.

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Eyrie Building; Training Room:

"No offence my dear, but your performance is rather slow tonight." Xanatos occasionally mentioned, as he and Fox circled each other like a pair of wolves fighting for the kill.

To which Fox responded by giving him a quick kick to the chest and literally sweeping the feet right from under him.

"Just had some things on my mind" she replied, as she straddled his hips and sat down.

"Oh, like what?" Xanatos bucked and threw her off of him.

Fox did a 3/60 turn and landed on her feet like a cat. "Oh, small things like Alex, business, dad… Demona."

That last name made him halter for a few seconds. "Demona? Why would you be thinking about her?"

Fox charged toward him. "Actually, more like her family."

"Darlene and her kids?" He jumped her "why?"

After a few seconds of scuffling, Xanatos finally had the upper hand and straddled her.

Fox bucked, but Xanatos had secured himself on top of her. "I guess the idea of Demona actually having a family without betraying it in some way is still new to me. Plus I've seen the way Goliath looks at her daughter."

Xanatos smirked. "But Fox, I know Goliath and Angela are close, but don't you think… "

Fox bucked again while Xanatos was talking, distracted, and threw him off. "That's not the daughter I was talking about and you know it David Xanatos!"

Xanatos recovered and then they were circling each other again. "Sorry, hon, but the idea of Goliath looking at anyone besides the detective is beyond me. He rarely takes his eyes off her."

"Same with Darlene." She made to grab his arm in a pitch-lock, but Xanatos beat her to it. "I mean come on! You've gotta admit that she's beautiful."

"Sure she is, but more beautiful than Elisa Maza in Goliath's eyes? No way! He'd kiss Demona before he would ever say that."

Just then, Owen came in with some refreshments.

"Actually… " Xanatos said, "I've been wondering about something myself, but not about the lovely Mrs Anderson."

He called Owen over, "Owen?"

Owen stepped forward, as stoic as ever.

"How would you say Mr. Castaway has been doing since his… visit with the Gargoyles?"

Owen raised an eyebrow.

Xanatos shrugged. "Well it has been a while since that business happened and I haven't seen or heard anything of him on the news or in public ever since."

Owen replied "all in all… "

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Castaway's Home:

Castaway smiled as he preached his sacred words of righteous. "Gargoyles are the enemy! They are a plague that must be wiped out at all costs!"

His men soaked up his knowledge like a sponge. He felt his chest swell up with pride as his men continued to listen, entrapped by his speaking.

Suddenly, his men started to giggle. Castaway ignored them at first, but then they pointed at him and burst out laughing uncontrollably.

Castaway blinked in surprise and looked down on himself and saw to his horror that he was wearing nothing but a huge diaper. Castaway screamed and turned to flee off the stage, but where there should have been an exit; there was a wall of bars. He turned to try the other side, but all around him were bars like a cage or… Castaway froze… a playpen?

The men's laughter got louder and more uncontrollable, so much so that the room felt like it was beginning to shake. It was only a short time later when Castaway realised that it really was shaking. He looked up and saw the ceiling came away as the roof was torn off its hinge revealing a long red beak grinning down at him.

Brooklyn grinned down at him, wearing a nanny's bonnet and holding something in each of his claws.

"Does baby waby wanna play with his favourite cuddly toys?" The giant Brooklyn boomed at him and held out two giant stuffed toys that looked remarkably like the beast dog Bronx and the short green one called Lexington.

Brooklyn dropped the toys onto the floor, causing another miniature earthquake, but that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was when the toys opened their eyes; they took one look at him, smiled and began chasing him all around the playpen.

"GET AWAY FROM ME!" Castaway screamed in terror, but they just continued their endless chase.

Suddenly, it was as though his diaper was beginning to grow and swell up like a blister. The weight of it caused him to slow down and then fall over, right onto his back.

"HELP!" Castaway yelled for assistance, but his men were all still sitting in their seats laughing at his predicament.

The two toys came over and grabbed his flailing arms and legs, held them down securing him while the Bronx toy started licking his face and Lexington began tickling him under his chin.

Brooklyn swung his leg over into the giant playpen and then the other, never once taking his eyes off of him. He smiled, but then that smile turned into an ugly obscene smirk as his face began to swell up along with every other part of his body. His torso expanded like a balloon, the top of his beak shrank back leaving him with a large pointed out chin. His colouring faded from a dark crimson red to a pale aqua blue.

Before long, Castaway found himself staring up at a happy smiling Broadway.

"Boogaloogaloo!" Broadway called down while pulling faces at him. Castaway was too shocked and terrified to answer, as he feared what might be about to befall him.

Broadway grinned and patted his stomach before turning around, bending over into a sitting position and started to lower himself onto Castaway.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Castaway screamed, his worst fear confirmed. He struggled against his captors, but their grip was like steel and the Bronx toy never stopped licking him whereas the Lexington one never stopped giggling and tickling him.

The blue gargoyle's giant butt started to pick up speed as it came down faster and faster upon him. In an instant Castaway saw his whole life pass before his eyes and all the while, the men never stopped laughing.

"HEEEELLLLLLLLP MEEEEEEE… "

[SPLAT!]

Castaway woke up screaming and didn't stop until the sun rose five hours later. "HELP! BIG BUTT'S AFTER ME!"

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Eyrie Building:

"…I think that under the circumstances, he's doing quite well." Owen said, though the Puck in him was laughing so much that he wasn't sure if even Owen's wooden face would stay in place for too long.

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Goliath stood near the battlements of the castles high tower complementing. He had been thinking about Demona's daughter Darlene for quite a while now and he desperately wanted to ask her something, but was unsure of how she would respond.

'Will she laugh?' He wondered, but shook his head in amazement at his stupidity. Anyone would think he was still a hatchling by the way that he was going on. He would just ask her and she would answer him either yes or no.

He only hoped Elisa wouldn't find out. That was the last thing he wanted.

"Goliath?"

'Speak of the devil' he thought and smiled as she came up the stairs towards him. "Good evening Elisa."

Elisa paused and gave him a look that he couldn't quite read.

Goliath swallowed a little. Did she notice that something was wrong with him? "Elisa? Is something the matter?"

"You tell me?"

"Pardon?"

Elisa crossed her arms and looked directly into his eyes. "Goliath, for the past few nights you've been giving me the run around. It's like there's always something else going through your mine whenever we're together."

Goliath gave a nervous smile. "I'm just… preoccupied with certain events at the moment."

"What things?"

"Wellll… Demona's family for one."

Elisa raised an eyebrow. "Darlene and her kids have been with Demona for 4 months now!" Elisa said. "What could you possibly have to worry about with them?"

"I, err… I just want to make sure that Demona isn't going to use them for some scheme of hers. They seem like honourable people and don't deserve to be part of any of Demona's plots."

Elisa slowly smiled. "You're never going to trust her again aren't you?"

Goliath grumbled and Elisa took that as a no.

"Forgive my Elisa, but I really must go"

Elisa gave him another odd look. "Go? Go where?" She asked.

"Just… somewhere." Before Elisa could ask him any more questions, he leapt from his perch and glided away.

Elisa felt like grinding her teeth together.

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Destine Manor:

Darlene carefully laid her youngest child Gem down for her late evening nap and stretched her sore limbs…then a noise sounded from behind, startling her.

Darlene spun around in surprise and saw Goliath gently tapping the windowpane on her balcony. She blinked and went to open it and let him in.

"Greetings Goliath" She greeted him "what brings you here? Wanna discuss more warrior lessons about the kids?"

"No." Goliath seemed a bit uncomfortable so she decided to lighten the mood.

"Want a drink?" She asked and moved to the glass cabinet in her room and got out two bottles of gin and tonic.

"Huh?" Goliath replied "oh yes, thank you."

"Ice?"

"Please."

Darlene poured both of them their drinks while Goliath smiled down at the sleeping form of Gem and gently stroked her cheek.

Darlene handed Goliath his drink. "Sooo… " She asked, "what brings you here to the home of your worst enemy?" She knew about his history with her mother and thought that adding a little humour might help ease matters. Little did she know that Goliath's hatred of Demona was strong and probably everlasting?

Goliath however didn't say anything and just quietly sipped his drink. "I came here tonight wishing to ask you something."

"Oh?" Darlene leaned forward a little, intrigued.

Goliath rubbed the back of his neck, seemingly uncomfortable. "It's rather personal."

Darlene put her glass down. "What is it?" She asked "come on, it can't be nearly as bad as you're making it out to be?"

Goliath put his drink down too and took Darlene's hands into his own two massive ones. "Well… "

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Lana made an almost perfect on her balcony… without falling flat on her face again.

'I'll never get the hang of this' she grumbled, miserably.

Then she looked around and cursed. 'And to top it all off… I didn't even land on the right friggin balcony.' She found herself standing on her mother's one and was about to hop off and go to her own when she heard voices coming from inside.

Curious, she leaned over and listened. She recognised the voices of that of her mother and Goliath? Now what would he be doing here? They had had their warrior lesson with Hudson earlier this night.

She peeked in and got the surprise of her life. Goliath was actually kneeling in front of her mother, holding her hands as though he were… No! That couldn't be?

With Lana's full attention now on the scene before her, she watched as Goliath spoke to her, but his voice was so quiet now that it was impossible to understand him.

Suddenly, her mother got up and actually kissed Goliath, seemingly on the lips and hugged him around his neck.

'What is going on?' Lana thought frantically. It couldn't be what she thought it was, could it? No! It hadn't been that long since her father had died and her mother wouldn't be so heartless and cold, she couldn't…

They did look awful friendly in there though… too friendly.

"No" she hissed, tears springing to her eyes, "no, you can't… "

Before she broke the window in her despair, she turned tail and soared away.

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The next night, the whole clan filed into the Great Hall, including Elisa and the Xanatos family. Each one was wondering about what was going on? Goliath had told them all to be there before they had gone to sleep the previous morning saying that he had something important to announce to the clan.

Suddenly, the main door opened and Demona stood there with a smug look on her face and her family behind her. The silence in the room was so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop on the other side of the room.

Darlene came around from behind her mother and gave them all a warm smile. "Hey everyone! How are you?"

Out of respect for her, the clan smiled back at her, but they never took their eyes off her mother…everyone except for Brooklyn and Lexington that is, who were busy looking at Lana, giving her warm smiles and friendly winks. But Lana did not seem to even notice them, as her eyes were downcast and looked miserable.

Jarred jogged in, swinging his toy sword and challenging Hudson to a sword fight. Hudson chuckled and complied, but kept his sword unshed for fear of hurting the lad, not to mention slicing his plastic sword in half. While Bronx tried to jump the little blue hatchling and give him a slurping bath.

Angela and Broadway hurried over to where Darlene was and after saying hello, she handed baby Gem to her sister. Angela happily fondled her little niece before handing her over to Broadway. Since his last attempt at babysitting, which was a time that he'd like to forget, he had grown quite capable at taking care of little ones.

After everyone had entered the room, Goliath gave them all a broad smile and stood before them. "My friends!" Goliath announced in a proud voice, "I have asked you all here tonight for a special announcement. As you all know, Darlene and I have been spending a lot of time together… "

No one noticed the icy glare that Lana gave him while he spoke.

"… And during that time, she and I have talked much about a variety of things including… " Goliath actually blushed "… mateship."

Suddenly, Lana seemed to explode with anger. "YOU FILTHY CREEP!" She screamed.

Darlene gasped and stared at her daughter along with Goliath Demona and the rest of the entire clan.

Lana didn't seem to notice or care. "YOU COULDN'T WAIT COULD YOU MOM? YOU COULDN'T WAIT FOR DAD TO KICK THE BUCKET SO THAT MAYBE YOU COULD TRY YOUR LUCK WITH THIS GUY HERE!"

Darlene appeared completely confused and aghast at what Lana seemed to be inciting. "Now wait just one damn minute young lady, I… "

"I saw it all!" Lana yelled, tears streaming down her face. "I was at your balcony. I saw him propose to you and you kiss him!"

Darlene paused and blinked. Goliath seemed to be complimenting over whether to help calm Lana down or do a runner.

"How could you, mom?" Lana cried. "Dad's only been…gone, a short time and you went after…that!" She pointed to Goliath and sneered. "I suppose I can understand the attraction. I guess being a human, dad didn't have the capabilities to satisfy your every need did he?"

Darlene then marched right up to Lana and slapped her around the face.

Lana just glared at her, red eyes and all, and kept silent.

"Are you finished yet?" Darlene asked her daughter coldly. When Lana didn't reply, she said "good, now if you'll kindly listen to me… " Darlene began to explain in length what Lana had obviously missed out when she had been listening in onto her mother's private conversation.

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Destine Manor; Previous Night:

Darlene put her glass down. "What is it?" She asked "come on, it can't be nearly as bad as you're making it out to be?"

Goliath put his drink down too and took Darlene's hands into his own two massive ones. "Well… "

He looked into her eyes and sighed. Darlene was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. "What is it?" She asked.

"I wanted to ask you about your marriage to your late husband?" Goliath said, looking uncomfortable, as he knew how painful this had to be for her.

Darlene was silent for a while before finally replying. "What about it?" She asked emotionlessly.

Goliath sighed again. "I don't want to pain you with any memories of your late loved one, but the fact is… You're the only gargoyle I know who has ever mated with a human and frankly… " He shifted uncomfortably "I need some advice."

"Advice?" Darlene blinked. She certainly hadn't expected this of all things. Goliath, thee Goliath, was asking her for advice.

"Yes, you see… I am planning on asking Elisa to be my official mate, but I am unsure of how to go about this?"

"How do you mean?" Darlene asked, sympathetically.

Goliath groaned. "If it were a simple proposal to another gargoyle then I would simply announce to her and the clan my intentions and ask her to be my mate, but… There is so much to consider."

"Like what?"

"Well for one thing, I'm not certain if she and I will ever be able to bear hatchlings together. Elisa has not mentioned this but underneath it all, I strongly suspect that she is eager to have a child of her own someday."

Darlene smiled gently and rested her claw on Goliath's. "Most people do, but I'm not going to lie to you Goliath. I only got my children because I was human at the time, but… Well, for a human and a gargoyle to mate are one thing, but to procreate together? I honestly don't think it's possible."

Goliath sighed. "I know. I've always known… I mean, there have been other gargoyles who have fallen in love and mated with humans before, but… None as far as I know, have ever produced any young ones." Goliath rubbed his eyes, "I fear Elisa is in for one huge disappointment."

"I think she knows that already, but I really don't think it matters."

Goliath looked at her. "Why do you say that?"

Darlene smiled. "Goliath… If she wanted to have an ordinary life, where she would be a married woman with kids and everything… Then why is she staying with you?"

Goliath opened and closed his mouth.

"The answer is simple of course fool! Because she L-O-V-E-S you!" She spelt the word out simply, like taking to a hatchling. "It doesn't matter to her that you're not human or that you might not be able to have kids with her or even take a walk in Central Park during the daytime… That stuff means nothing to her! It's YOU that she loves, YOU that she cares about and YOU that she wants to be with, no matter what!"

Goliath opened his mouth. "But what about… "

Darlene raised a claw. "No buts mister!" She answered angrily, "you love her, she loves you and that's final! Nothing else matters, only that!"

Goliath wanted to speak more, but… what else was there to say? Elisa herself had told him that all that truly mattered was their love for one another and here he was, wasting his time, talking to someone about something that he already knew, but didn't have the guts to admit.

"You speak the truth." Goliath smiled, "thank you Darlene. You've helped me more than you will ever know."

Darlene smiled back at him and then hugged him, placing a kiss on his cheek. "Let me know when the wedding is."

Goliath blushed brightly from the kiss, but couldn't stop smiling. "I'll do more than that… Will you be there when I ask Elisa and announce to the clan my intentions?"

Darlene grinned. "Wild elephants couldn't keep me away, but… "

"No!"

Darlene looked oddly at him. "What?"

"I know what you're going to ask Darlene and I will not have Demona there!"

Darlene frowned. "Goliath! She's my mother so either she comes or I don't go at all. I'm sorry, but I just can't leave her here all alone just because you don't feel comfortable with her."

Goliath growled and clenched his fists, but he finally relented and sighed, giving up. "Very well, but if she makes any trouble whatsoever then she goes. No buts, no questions, nothing, understand?"

Darlene crossed her heart with her claw and Goliath unintentionally found himself starring at her bosom. He immediately turned away, blushing even brighter than before.

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Now:

Darlene finished her tale with a cold glare at her daughter who was now staring silently at the floor, not daring to look up at her.

"Happy?" Darlene snapped at her firstborn "or do I need to explain myself further?"

Lana whimpered. "I'm… I'm sorry mom… When I saw you and Goliath, I… I thought… "

"It doesn't matter what you thought Lana!" Darlene snarled, "you shouldn't have been sneaking around at other people's windows and listening in to their private conversations. What are you, a peeping tom?"

Lana sniffed and wiped her eyes, but Darlene was far past caring.

"We're leaving now!" Darlene announced and grabbed Lana around the arm and matched her right out of the hall. "I am terribly sorry for this Goliath," she said, "I promise you that it won't happen again."

"It's alright Darlene. I can understand Lana's suspicion though she needs to work on her detective skills much."

Darlene dragged Lana out of the room, followed by Demona and the others. Jarred gave everyone a small wave goodbye while Gem, carried by Demona, cried as if she sensed something was wrong.

Elisa walked over to Goliath. "You were going to propose to me?"

Goliath sighed and shifted on his feet uncomfortably. "Yes, though this wasn't quite the way I had intended."

Elisa then threw her arms around his neck and kissed him full on the lips. Goliath could only blink, as he stood there with his arms hanging at his sides and Elisa in his face, literally.

Brooklyn whispered into Broadway's ear. "I'm guessing that's a yes."

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The journey home had been deathly quiet. Lana had just glided back to the mansion without so much of a whisper though she kept sneaking glances at her mother, but she wouldn't even look at her.

Demona kept silent and just cradled Gem in her arms while Jarred lacked behind, not wanting to get in the line of fire should things become messy.

Eventually, they returned home and Darlene roughly pushed her daughter inside and then waited for everyone else to get in before slamming the door shut.

"Darlene," Demona said, "though I appreciate your anger. Would you mind kindly not taking it out on my house?"

Darlene just glared at her. "Mother, would you mind taking Jarred and Gem downstairs for something to eat, as we never got to stay for the party."

Demona sighed. She was rather glad that they had gone, as seeing Goliath pair off with that spiteful human was more than her stomach could take.

She took Jarred's hand and led him out of the room.

Darlene then looked back to Lana, crossed her arms and said "well?"

Lana gulped. "Mom… I am so, so, sooo sorry about what happened tonight. I swear I didn't mean to blow up like that in front of everyone. I just… "

"BUT YOU DID!" Darlene interrupted, furious with her offspring. "How could you make a fool of yourself like that, and me? And what were you doing spying outside my room anyway? I didn't raise you to be an eavesdropper Lana!"

Lana looked indignant. "I didn't mean to eavesdrop. I was trying to get these stupid wings to land me on my balcony, but I ended up on yours and then I heard you and Goliath talking and I… I… I guess I… "

"You guess you got curious." Darlene said, as a matter of fact.

Lana's wings dropped a bit, as she looked miserably to the ground. "I'm… "

"Save it!" Darlene said "and wait here while I go make a telephone call."

Lana looked up curiously at her, wondering whom on earth she'd be calling?

Darlene was gone for less than a few minutes and when she returned, Lana did not like the look in her eyes.

"Wha… what's happening, mom?"

Something that Lana might have mistaken for a smirk appeared briefly on her mother's face before disappearing all too quickly. "I was apologising to Goliath about what happened tonight. You should be glad to know that your little stunt earlier didn't ruin things too badly. Apparently Miss Maza was so happy about Goliath proposing that she forgot all about your temper tantrum."

Lana sighed with relief.

"Don't get too comfortable Lana." Darlene said, leaving Lana with a little feeling of cold dread. "I've also spoken with him about your punishment."

"My… " Lana began, but shut up at the look she was getting.

"You will help out by going on patrol with the clan for the next week, but don't worry… " She said after seeing the look of fear on her face "… I've arranged it so that you'll be patrolling some of the more quieter areas in Manhattan."

Lana nodded, feeling slightly relieved. She couldn't, for the life of her, wonder how the clan could do it with fighting all those criminals night after night?

Darlene pointed to the door. "Go to your room for now and stay there for the rest of the night. Maybe it'll give you time to think about what you've done and learn how to control your temper."

"Oh… yeah." She said, as she walked away, thinking, 'well that wasn't so bad."

"OH!" Darlene snapped her fingers and said, "I almost forgot…. " She waited until Lana was facing her again, "I asked Goliath that he would spare one or two warriors to help out on your patrol and give you some pointers." She paused at Lana's curious look and smiled. "It turns out that Brooklyn and Lexington are available and will be more than happy to help you out."

Lana's jaw dropped so far that she looked like a goldfish. She was going to have to spend the whole week with Brooklyn and Lex? The green goblin computer geek and the elephant man possessed by the devil! "NO WAY!"

Darlene raised an eye ridge. "I wasn't giving you a choice Lana, but don't worry. Goliath has ensured me that they'll behave and that both of them are looking forward to spending their time with you immensely. They even have a few more stories that they forgot to share with you the last time. Now won't that be fun?" She said the last part with a small smile and Lana felt the full fury of her mother come to life.

"Mother… " She said quietly. "You are… heartless."

Darlene just grinned. "Why thank you Lana… Now you know where you get it from. Now… Room!"

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The Following Night:

"You see Lana, I patrol the city every night." Brooklyn boasted, "it's a tough job but… Somebody's got to do it."

Lana just smiled at him and Brooklyn took this as an invitation to glide a little closer to her. He didn't get far though, as Lexington immediately came up in-between them and began adding in his own memoirs.

"Yeah, I've flown helicopters, fought the pack, fairies… "

'Fairies?' Lana thought absent mindfully though she wasn't really listening. She had been putting up with these guys for over two hours and was ready to commit murder. They never shat up! They seemed to enjoy torturing her by talking about themselves, endlessly.

'No one deserves a fate like this.' She moaned.

"Hey! You okay?" Brooklyn asked, concerned. Lana had to smile at that for it was nice to know that they cared. Lexington was already at her other side, ready, in case she fell.

"Yeah, I'm fine." She replied. "Just a headache."

"Do you… " Brooklyn actually turned a shade redder. "Do you want me to carry you?"

Lana mentally rolled her eyes. "No thanks."

She wondered if Brooklyn was mentally cursing his rotten luck? As for Lex, he didn't offer, but then he was too small to carry her so that was most likely the reason. Though he was gliding really close to her, almost too close for her taste but she just kept a smile on her face.

Suddenly an updraft blew up against her and she found herself being blown back. Out of instinct, her wings flared up and her tail accidentally brushed up against Brook and Lex's sides. She said sorry, but judging from the happy looks on their faces, they certainly didn't seem to mind.

'Terrific.' She inwardly moaned. "Now I'm never going to hear the end of this."

She had to admit that after spending some time with them, she had grown used to gargoyle physiology and began to appreciate the beauty of some of them. Brooklyn did have some nobility about him, even with that big beak of his. Lexington had a kind of sweet puppy dog look with those big expressional eyes of his that made him look like a character from a Japanese anime. Each of them had lean, quick and muscled bodies though Brooklyn's arms were longer and more elegant. She had to admit that she was curious what it would be like to be held by him?

Lana felt like slapping herself round the face. What the hell was wrong with her? She couldn't possibly ever consider mating with a gargoyle, despite the fact that she was one now.

'WHOA!' Did she just think the word 'mate?'

'Man oh man.' She thought. 'I seriously need to get my priorities straight and get human again.'

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Destine Manor:

Demona had just lay Gem down for her nap, but the little one was fussy tonight. She had been crying so hard that her skin was beginning to go dark blue. She had finally given up and had gone to find Darlene. Sometimes, the only thing that will quiet a little one down was a kiss from her mother.

She had gone to look for her daughter, expecting to find her in her room, but no such luck. She was about to go downstairs when she saw the light on in her study. She crept up to the door and looked in. Darlene was there, looking through her private papers.

"Just what do you think you are doing?" Demona exclaimed angrily, but quietened down when she saw, which papers she was looking at.

Darlene looked up at her with the paper in question and held them out to her mother. "You know all along didn't you?" She said quietly, almost accusingly.

Demona bit her lip. She did want to go through this now, but it looked as if she had no choice in the matter. Her daughter had her cornered so she simply replied, "yes."

Darlene sighed. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised?" She said, "I mean, you never were good at sharing anything were you?"

Demona looked, indignantly, at her. "I shared my life with you after I gave you life. I gave you everything and then you betrayed me!"

Darlene hissed and looked away for a moment, her thoughts full of mental pain. Then she looked back.

"So you decided to get even by pretending that the statue wouldn't work and that we were all trapped in our gargoyle forms?"

Demona growled, but didn't answer.

Darlene lifted the paper from her mother's journal, which she had genuinely, by accident, found and read. It described the statue of Lilith and the conditions with which it could be used.

"I've read all of it and it says that any gargoyle who protects is a true gargoyle." Darlene spoke. "You didn't want to use any of the clan to turn us back because they were your enemies. I can understand that. But, I read your entries and they say that because of my devotion to my children and my willingness to protect them… That more than qualifies me as a true gargess. So… I could have used the statue at any time and changed us all back to normal the first day I came here!"

Demona snarled. "Normal… NORMAL! You talk as if being human is normal. In case you've forgotten my dear daughter, you were never a human to begin with and whether you like it or not, your children are not human either, at least not completely."

Darlene opened her mouth only to shut it.

"You will forever be and always be a gargoyle Darlene!" Demona declared. "You may change your appearance, but let me ask you this… When you were human, every time when you wake up, is it in the morning or the evening and do you wake up with a smile like the humans say… Or do you wake up roaring?"

Darlene bit her lower lip.

"While most humans enjoy the sun and love to sun bathe… Is that your favourite thing to do or… Is it gliding in the night sky with the wind beneath your wings?"

Darlene felt hot tears stinging her eyes. It was true. Although being turned back into a gargoyle had been a shock, to her as well as to her kids, she had also felt a certain feeling of relief.

Demona looked into her eyes. "Tell me Darlene! When you were living your supposedly dream life… Were you ever truly happy? Did you ever go through one day or night not wishing that for one moment, you could be outside soaring through the skies? The full strength of your gargoyle body, once again at your command."

Darlene did not say a word but inside, her thoughts were all a jumble. She had thought that being human again was what she wanted now for her and her children more than anything, but now… Now, she wasn't so sure. To be human again would probably mean leaving her mother again and this time, there would be going back because once they made a wish to Lilith, the kind that they had in mine, then there would be no going back. They'd be human forever, with no way of ever becoming gargoyles again.

Was this what she truly wanted?

Demona didn't say anymore. She just stood there and waited for Darlene to answer her, but instead… Darlene just put the statue down and walked out.

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"Never again!" Lana hissed loudly, as she stomped into her grandmother's house and made her way to her room. After two hours of endless patrolling where nothing even remotely interesting had happened, as well as listening to Brooklyn and Lex prattle on about all their conquests and victories, and watching them pose themselves. She was ready to call it a night and go to sleep… Human style!

As she stepped in, she heard her grandmother talking loudly in her study. After what had happened the last time when she had eavesdropped, she decided to play it safe and just go to her room.

She was just about to go when her grandmother stopped talking and a moment later, her mother walked out of the study with a distant look on her face, like she was complimenting something.

"Hey mom." Lana said sarcastically. "You'll be pleased to know that I completed my patrol with the guys and I didn't enjoy one single nanosecond of it!"

Her mother didn't respond and just continued walking down the corridor where Lana could hear the cries and wails of Gem.

'Okay, that was weird.' Lana thought.

"You'll be pleased to know that your punishment might be cut short." Demona's voice spoke directly from behind her, causing Lana to jump in surprise.

"Huh?" Lana asked.

Demona have her a hard look that Lana could instantly tell that she wasn't please. "It would appear that your mother has found the means to change both you, your siblings and herself back into humans."

Nothing! Absolutely nothing could ever compare with the awfully powerful joy that Lana felt at that precise moment. If her grandmother hadn't have been there then she would be singing and dancing in the nude now.

"Really?" Lana breathed out, scared of being lied to.

Demona just glared at her, making Lana cringe and back off. "You know I rarely joke Lana… I suggest you take it up with your human mother!" With that, she turned and marched right back into her study and slammed the door.

Lana waited a few moments and just before she was about to give a loud whoop of joy, Demona's head popped out of her study. "Oh and Lana?" She said. "If you say or do anything that even sounds remotely happy… Patrolling with Brooklyn and Lexington will be the least of your problems, understand?"

Lana gulped, gave a half-nervous smile and ran down the corridor to her Gem's room.

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'Why am I even questioning myself?' Darlene thought. 'This is what I wanted, what I now have… It's what the children want and what they'll need to have anything even resembling a normal life."

She kept repeating those words to herself, as she slowly rocked Gem on her lap. She looked at her precious little Gem, which was why they named her that, and thought. 'She'll never be truly happy in this form. There are no other gargoyles around her age and when she grows up, she'll be all alone. She might even die that way with no mate, young ones or anything." She knew that this was a real possibility… And yet! She couldn't help, but feel that she was sacrificing a great part of herself and her children.

"What am I to do?" She asked out loud. She knew what Lana would say, as she had been particularly verbal about their current status from day one and she was definitely NOT happy about it. And she would certainly not be sad about not ever seeing the clan again; particularly the two only single ones in it.

But as for Jarred… She wasn't so sure about him? He seemed happy enough and he had been spending a lot of time with Goliath and Hudson recently. She had figured that Jarred would end up looking up to those two. Hudson was a marvellous teacher and Goliath… Well he was the leader, so it was natural that Jarred would look up to him… Not that he had any choice as everyone had to look up to him.

"By the dragon!" She swore, something that she had not said in a long time. "What am I to do?"

She thought and thought more about it and then finally realised that there really was only one thing that she could do.

Suddenly, the door sprang open and Lana came in, practically bubbling with excitement. "Is it true?" She asked excitedly. "You've found a cure?"

Darlene sighed. 'Thank you mom,' she thought sarcastically.

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One Hour Later:

Darlene summoned the whole family into the living room… Everyone that is except Demona who had refused to have anything to do with what she called was her ruination and disgrace. That and the fact that Lana was looking so disturbingly happy, it made her want to choke her.

Darlene sighed, as she sat down and wondered how she had ever come to this? Jarred was sitting on a footstool, Lana was standing and Gem was sleeping in her cot.

"Kids." She said. "We have a situation."

Lana never stopped smiling, which made Darlene all the more uncomfortable, but she could understand her daughter's reluctance to accept the gargoyle way of life since it had no shopping malls or credit cards in it.

"What's wrong?" Jarred asked.

Darlene sighed again. 'Here goes nothing.' She thought and then spoke. "I've found a way to make us human again."

There was silence in the room. Jarred didn't speak, but just looked at her with a blank expression on his face. Lana was now smiling even brighter than before.

"What do you mean?" Jarred finally said, to which Lana snorted and banged him on the head.

"What do you think it means pea-brain?" She said. "It means that we're going home… and everything going to be the way it was before."

"No Lana." Darlene said sternly. "I can tell you one thing and that it will definitely not be the way it was before. The bank has no doubt taken possession of our house, along with everything else that was in it. We can't go back there and I can't get a job because I have no green card or job skills of any kind."

Lana looked a little unsure at last. "So… What's that mean? Are we going to be living in the dog house?"

Darlene smiled. "No, we're not that far down yet. But… There are other things to consider too."

"Like what?"

Darlene sighed. "Your grandmother… talked to me earlier today about what I was doing and as much as I hate to admit it… She was right about some of the things that she said."

"Which was?" Lana asked nervously.

Darlene looked at her daughter sadly. "Lana… I'm a gargoyle! I always have been and I always will. When we were living in L.A. I couldn't have been happier. But… as happy as I was, I realised that there was something missing from my life. When we came here to New York, I realised what it was."

Darlene then stood up and did a little twirl around the room, showing off her gargoyle beauty. "This is what I was missing. It's more than just what I am. I should have known that I couldn't get my gargoyle blood out of me just with a magic spell…Because it's also who I am!"

"Why are you telling us this?" Lana said quietly.

Darlene looked helplessly at her offspring. "I'm saying that… that I can't go back to a life that is no more than a lie. If I do then I'll be regretting it for the rest of my life."

Lana lost her nervous look, which melted into shock and the downright fury. "So what you're saying is… You're just going to force us to stay this way for the rest of our lives!"

Darlene waved her hands at them. "No… I could never do that to you, but neither can I just send you home on your own. So here is my decision… " She watched as Jarred leaned forward keenly to listen while Lana just stood glaring at her.

Darlene sighed and spoke. "I've decided that for now, we will continue to live as we are now… as gargoyles. But only until you both are all grown up. After that, you'll be given the choice to either remain as you are, or be changed back."

Lana screeched. "NO! IT'S NOT FAIR! I WANT TO GO HOME, I WANT MY LIFE, MY SCHOOL, MY FRIENDS, MY… "

"Lana!" Darlene stood up and glared at her daughter. "My decision is final and my terms are not open for discussion."

Lana's face turned dark blue with rage and her eyes flared red. Finally, she turned around and stomped out the room with her tail violently thrashing about.

Jarred yelped as her tail hit one of Demona's Ming vases and grabbed it just in time.

"LANA!" Darlene called, but Lana didn't even acknowledge her calls and ran out of the room and then the house.

Darlene groaned and wiped her eyes. She knew that Lana wouldn't have taken it well.

"Mom?" Darlene looked down at her only son.

Jarred looked at her with those big brown eyes of his that she so adored. Just like his father.

"What is it Jarred?"

"Are we really going to get to stay being gargoyles?" He asked innocently.

Darlene paused, wondering how he felt about this? "Well yes… But not until you're older like I said."

Jarred smiled brightly and jumped up onto the couch and began jumping up and down on it/ "Never ever!" He cried out. "No way am I ever gonna be human again! Being human is boring. This life is waaaaaaaaaay more fun!"

Darlene stared at him. "So I take it that that's a maybe?" She asked.

"What is going on here?" Demona's voice practically screamed from outside the room.

Darlene turned to her mother who was scowling at Jarred and his obvious disrespect for highly expensive furniture. "Hello mother." She said. "I have some news."

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Lana soared through the skies, her anger fuelling her speed. Her rage at that moment knew no boundaries.

"IT'S NOT RIGHT!" She screamed to the heavens. "IT'S NOT FAIR!" For the next hour or so, all she did was fly through the air screaming and screeching those same words again and again until finally she calmed down and landed on one of the rooftops.

"It's not… " Lana began again, but she stopped halfway and broke into tears. The unfairness of the night had taken its toll on her. She had been within one inch of finally getting her real life back and in an instant; it had been taken from her. She hadn't realised that life could be so cruel.

She didn't know how long she had been lying there crying, but it had certainly attracted the attention of someone else.

She didn't even hear the sound of whoever it was, land on the rooftop with her. She didn't know there was anyone there until they touched her shoulder.

Lana gasped in surprise, spun around and saw… At first she thought it was Goliath, until he came into the light. It was a gargoyle obviously and it looked just like Goliath, but his wardrobe was so like totally more modern and his colouring was all wrong. He had dark blue skin, white hair and the scariest pair of red eyed that she had ever seen. It was like looking at the devil.

"I beg your pardon. I didn't mean to startle you." The stranger was speaking with Goliath's voice; maybe this was Goliath after all? For all she knew, maybe gargoyles shed their skin like a snake and it was that time of the year for Goliath?

"Uh… Goliath?" Lana asked, hesitantly.

The strange look-alike chuckled. "Not exactly my dear." He held out his hand to help her up, which she gladly accepted. "But it's easy to mistake me for him considering the resemblance."

Lana nodded. He looked just like him, but… There was just something so… so… devilish about him. She just couldn't put her talon on it.

The stranger looked at her, assuring her that he was merely checking for injuries, but even so, Lana unconsciously covered her chest with her hand. She felt so naked with the way that this guy looked at her.

He was very handsome though. She preferred his colouring to Goliath's and she so preferred his taste in fashion. The silver metallic armour and bright red loincloth were way more into the 21st century. She often wondered why the gargoyles didn't update their image? They had been wearing those clothes of theirs for what, over a thousand years? Definitely time for a shopping trip.

"Are you one of Goliath's clan?" She asked curiously.

The stranger's wings bristled at that, but the expression on his face never changed. He replied. "Sadly no. I am a… offspring of some sort from his clan, but they rejected me long ago."

"Why?" Now she really was curious. Goliath and his clan didn't seem the type who would turn away a fellow gargoyle.

The stranger paused and looked up to the sky for a second. "Let us just say that… we came to a disagreement and leave it at that."

"Uh, okay." Lana said. The guy obviously didn't want to talk about it so she thought it best to leave it at that. "Oh, my name's Lana by the way."

The stranger bowed to her, took her hand and kissed it. "Very pleased to meet you." He purred. "I am Thailog."

Lana smiled and blushed. "It's very nice to meet you too."

"You can never imagine how nice it is for me." Thailog smiled and kissed her hand again.

To be continued…