When Graeme Met Lucy?
A TGS-based story
By C.S. Hayden
Characters from the "Gargoyles" show are the property of Disney and Buena Vista Television. All other characters are from The Gargoyles Saga fanfiction series.
From TGS: "When The Bough Breaks, part 2" --
Manhattan -- April 5, 1999
"You just want to get back to your little girlfriend," Ariana teased, sticking her beak out at him and grinning. "Graeme and Lucy, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-"
Graeme curled his lip and growled at his sister. "Lucy's just a kid I know in London, gigglepuss. That's all!"
Lex smiled knowingly. "Hey, Graeme, if you want, you can have the computer when we're done. I've got some reading to do anyway."
"Really?" An eager smile curled around Graeme's beak. "That would be great! Thanks, uncle!"
"Told you!" Arianna crowed. "Graeme's got a girlfriend! Graeme's got a girlfriend!' She danced away as her brother glowered at her with faintly glowing eyes.
Sata clapped her hands sharply twice. "Attend, please!! Ari-chan, please do not tease your brother. Would you like him to tease you about your Sailor Senshi penpals from Japan?"
Ariana pouted and idly rubbed the toes of one foot on the ground. "No, Mother." She sighed and glanced at her brother. "Gomenasai, Graeme-kun."
"As you very well know, there are many formalities to be observed before we handfast your brother," Sata continued seriously, tapping a talon on her chin, "We will have to employ a suitable go-between and there will, of course, have to be formal introductions to Lucy's family and, naturally, their natal horoscopes absolutely must be compatible and-" she stopped and smiled serenely at the horrified expression on her son's face.
Ariana tried futilely to hold back her own giggles. Lex looked away biting his lip and eyes dancing with amusement.
"Poor Graeme-kun," Sata said as she ruffled his thick black hair, "Cannot your unworthy mother have one little joke?"
# # # # #
From TGS: Pendragon -- "Night of the Weird"
The Marter Estate, somewhere outside of London, Spring 2000
"Caspian?" Griff called across the cavernous dining hall where the younger gargoyles were clearing away the remains of the evening meal. "Have you seen where Brianna has gotten off to? She was talking to Lucy earlier."
The golden unicorn-headed gargoyle looked up from the conversation he was having with Rosalind and a few other of his rookery mates. "Uh, oh," Caspian said with a grin. "Sounds like Lucy's found another victim to watch that Soupy Cyborgs movie with again."
Rosalind narrowed her eyes at him and snorted. "I still say either you or your mother must have enchanted that video tape. At the rate the child watches the thing, the bloody tape should have worn out by now."
Brianna pursed her lips and squinted at the television screen, her many braids slithering like snakes. "An' that one there, which one is that?"
Lucy answered confidently, "That one's Speed Bump." Leo and Una's white lioness of a daughter was sitting besides her on the couch cross-legged with a large bowl of popcorn on her lap.
"Th' really fast one?"
"No, silly, that's Texas Jack." Lucy rolled her golden eyes. "Speed Bump's power is to make himself really, really flat. Graeme likes him because Speed Bump is the clever one that's always building things."
"I dinnae know how ye keep them apart, Lucy, truly I don't," Brianna admitted. "Still, it is an exciting show." She began humming. "An' such a catchy theme song!"
"Yup!" Lucy said, shoving a handful of popcorn in her mouth. "It's aces!!" She offered the bowl to Brianna who helped herself to a few fluffy kernels and ate them in ladylike nibbles. Lucy studied her out of the corner of her eyes for a few minutes before blurting out her next set of questions. "So what do you like most about London so far, Auntie Brianna?"
"Well, since ye've asked so nicely," the Caledonian gargoyle replied thoughtfully, "I like th' music, an' some of th' things on th' television, an' chocolate, an' I rather like you." Brianna tweaked the end of Lucy's leonine nose.
"What?" Griff exclaimed grandly as he stepped into the darkened rumpus room. "Don't I get a mention in there?"
A trill of musical laughter like birdsong answered him. "Don't be silly, Griff. I treasure yuir love far more than chocolate."
"That's rare praise, brother," eagle-headed Michael said as he followed Griff into the room. "I'd make the most of that, if I were you."
"Lucy?" Caspian's voice echoed in the hallway before he popped into the room. "Oh, there you are. Your boyfriend the digestive biscuit is beeping you on the computer again."
"He is NOT my boyfriend," Lucy said as she hopped off the couch. She scowled up at her big brother. "And don't make fun of him. Graeme is a perfectly lovely name."
"OoOoOo!" Caspian widened his eyes and wiggled his fingers as he followed her into the hall. "I'm SO scared!"
There was a sudden muffled thud followed by a loud "Ooomph!!" Caspian groaned.
"I told you!" Rosalind said as she walked past the open doorway, shaking her head. "You don't want to muck about with feline reflexes, Cas. Your little sister is developing one mean gut punch."
"When I catch that little furball, I'll -"
"Cas, you can hardly walk." Her laugh began to fade as they went down the hall. "Serves you right for picking on her, really."
# # # # #
Part I: First Date
Ishimura, 2001 -- The World Gathering
While their parents gathered to speak of gargoyle alliances, the younger crowd made their own form of diplomacy. Lucy found herself in the company of a young Ishimuran named Midori, a pale green female with double-pronged horns and cropped shocking pink hair who favored jeans to kimonos, and a beaked red-skinned tomboy from Manhattan named Ariana who carried a bo staff around with her. With her snow white fur and golden hair, Lucy imagined that the three of them made quite a colorful sight.
Things were very different in Ishimura than they were in London. Lucy nearly had kittens when Midori steered them directly into the center of town, and even more so when the human townspeople acted as if the three young gargoyles were merely ordinary teenagers. She didn't dare step a toe out of the magic shop back home -- the British public was still uncertain about sharing their streets with gargoyles and gangs of Minions and Vampyres still popped up occasionally. If Lucy hadn't stowed away on the plane, she would have been left behind at the Marter estate with the rest of her rookery for safekeeping. Her parents, Leo and Una, had been furious but by the time she had been discovered, there was no point in sending her back.
Learning that both of her guests loved animated cartoons, Midori suggested a trip to the local cinema. Lucy had seen some anime in her native England but nothing compared to seeing it on the big screen, even if she didn't understand the Japanese dialogue. The artwork and the music left her breathless.
"You're right, Ariana," Lucy commented as they left the theater. "I've never seen anything like it. They're not my Super Cyborgs, but this Sailor Senshi show could really grow on me!"
Ariana giggled. "You sound like my brother. He's obsessed with that show!!"
Ariana narrowed her eyes as she glanced back to see who was bellowing. "Speaking of which, here comes his loudmouth self now."
"Brothers!" Lucy snorted. "You should see what I have to put up with Caspian and Aslan!"
A young green male that could only be Ariana's brother - they looked nearly identical save for color and gender - came up the sidewalk with a teal male with a three-pointed forehead crest and blue-black hair neatly tied back at the nape of his neck. Lucy remembered seeing them earlier with the other young gargoyles gathered in Ishimura before Midori and Ariana had invited her to the movies. Although she had no problems chatting up her own rookery brothers, Lucy found herself being strangely shy around other young males her age. Unconsciously, she took a step behind the other two girls.
"What's up, bro?" Ariana called. "You missed the Sailor Senshi movie."
"Please, like I'd want to see that chick flick." Her brother rolled his eyes. "We've got something better to do. Toshi here," he gestured to his companion, "is organizing a ball game. Are you up for it?"
"Yes, please, Ari-chan -- we would be honored if you and your friends would join us," Toshi said with a slight bow even as he tossed a baseball from hand to hand. "Your brother has been telling me of your stick skills."
"Stick skills?" Lucy asked curiously in spite of herself. "What's that?"
"Yeah, when Ari hits the ball," her brother mimed swinging a stick, "it's yippee-yo-ki-yay and it's outta here!"
Ariana shrugged. "What can I say? It's a talent."
"Wait a min -- 'yippee-yo-ki-yay?'" Lucy's eyes lit up. "Ariana just mentioned it but I wasn't sure if we were talking about the same show -- you really do watch Super Cyborg Assault Armadillos, don't you?"
He answered her with an enthusiastic grin that went from one side of his beak to the other. "Yeah!! Who do you like best?"
"Oh, Texas Jack -- he's absolutely fabulous!"
"Speed Bump for me. I'll take brains over brawn any day."
"Really?" Lucy blinked. "But what about speed and cunning? I was on the SCAA forum the other day and --"
"You go there too?" His eyes lit up. "Cool! What's your screen name?"
"Lucylion -- it's not very original, I know." She gave a little self-conscious shrug. "Anyway, I was on-line the other day and --" In mid-sentence, she realized that her fellow Super Cyborg enthusiast had become strangely silent. She looked at him curiously. "What?"
Ariana's brother was staring at her with his mouth ajar, hardly breathing. He swallowed painfully. "Lucy?"
"Yes?" She raised a brow ridge cautiously.
"Lucy from London, lives with her parents and a little brother? Has an older brother that's married and he's a bit of a twonk?" He pointed at her tunic. "You wear that dress because you think it makes you look like Posh Spice."
The fur on the back of Lucy's neck stood on end. She'd always been the tomboy of her rookery so she'd never told anyone how much she admired the stylish pop singer except for one person. "H-how do you know that?"
"I'm Greenbeak." He managed a nervous smile. "It's me, Lucy -- Graeme. What is it Caspian likes to call me -- digestive biscuit?"
Lucy put both fists to her mouth and screamed, oblivious to the startled looks from the others. Staring wide-eyed at him over her knuckles, her heart pounded in her ears. Not once in all the time she'd been chatting on the Internet had she ever imagined this. Graeme's only personal comments had been that he was part Japanese and that he had a twin sister, not that he was a green-skinned gargoyle with a beak. Likewise, she'd only replied that she was blonde and had two brothers. Species had never come into it at all.
"Hey!" Ariana broke the spell as she stepped between them with a scowl. "Graeme, you baka -- what on earth did you say to her?"
"Ari-chan," Graeme said carefully, "this is Lucy."
Ariana rolled her eyes. "Duh! I know that."
"No..." Graeme shook his head. "MY Lucy."
"You're kidding!" Ariana drawled out, excitement growing on her face. "No way!" She glanced at their stunned expressions and grinned wickedly. "Jalapeña! Wait till Mom hears about this!" Playfully, she punched her brother in the arm. "You've been chatting with her for what, two years now, oniisan, and you never wondered what she was doing up in the wee hours of the morning?"
Graeme started to smile sheepishly and ruffled the back of his hair. He looked so shy and sweet and adorable -- just the way she'd always pictured him -- that Lucy couldn't help herself. She threw her arms around him impulsively and hugged him tight.
"Graeme!! All this time - you've been a gargoyle like me!!"
Gingerly, Graeme returned her hug. "W-what's the odds of that, eh?"
"A million to one!" Lucy grinned as she stepped back, practically bouncing on her toes. "Oh, Graeme! I never imagined!"
"Me neither!" His voice cracked and he ducked his head self-consciously.
Lucy continued excitedly. "I thought you were a human boy!"
"You never said anything that made me think you were--" Graeme threw out his hands, gesturing at her. "-- I mean, look at you!" He grinned. "Fur and feathers and freckles and all!"
"Look at me?" Lucy laughed and tweaked his beak. "Look at yourself! I thought your screen name meant you kept parrots or something!"
Graeme blushed sheepishly, his green cheeks turning a reddish-brown.
# # # # #
Watching the spectacle from the sidelines, Ariana shook her head and said to Toshi and Midori in Japanese, "We might as well go ahead and play ball without them. Those two are off in their own little world now."
Midori blinked her lovely almond-shaped eyes and murmured politely, "Do I understand correctly, Ari-chan? Lucy and Graeme met over the Internet but never really knew that they were gargoyles?"
"That's right!" Ariana laughed. "Come along, and I'll tell you the whole story." She smirked over her shoulder as she and the others walked away.
Graeme barely noticed. He was still too stunned to do anything but stare at Lucy. His chest felt unbearably tight -- he never dreamed that he'd ever meet Lucy in person, much less expect her to one of his own kind. A thousand questions crossed his mind. "How did you get here?" he stammered numbly. "I mean, London is a long way from here, and?"
"I snuck on board the plane," Lucy admittedly guiltily. "Michael, he's our clan leader, he had my parents come along as delegates and I really, really wanted to go. They had to take their time getting Kylie -- she's the elder from the Caledonian clan in Scotland -- aboard so while they were busy, I slipped in. By the time they found me, it was too late to turn back." She grinned breathlessly. "What about you?"
"That's easy," Graeme answered, "my mother, Sata, is originally from Ishimura. She's wanted to visit for ages so when we had the chance to come, we took it. Ariana and I are the only two kids our age in Manhattan so this is one of the few times that we get to meet gargoyles our own ages."
"I've got eight in my rookery and two brothers besides!" Lucy snorted. "I was glad to get away!"
She smiled and Graeme found himself staring at her again. He'd always had a mental image of Lucy in his head but he was slowly replacing human features with smooth white fur lightly dappled with tan spots, wide golden eyes rimmed with green, and fluffy feathered wings. She was just as friendly in person as she had been online and much, much prettier than he'd ever thought possible.
"Graeme?" Lucy waved a hand in front of his face. "Are you all right? You're lagging."
He laughed at her joke. "Oh, my mind goes in all directions, you know that."
"Yeah." Lucy looked around. "The others have gone on without us, I think. Do you suppose we should catch them up?"
"Huh? Oh, right -- baseball." Graeme rocked back and forth on his toes. "We don't have to play baseball if you don't want to." He cocked his head towards a noisy storefront. "The arcade's open until midnight."
"Really?" She looked past him curiously. "They'd let us in?"
"Of course," he answered, sticking his hand in his pocket and coming out with a folded wad of bills. "I've got cash and they've got a two-player Super Cyborg game with our names on it." He tilted his head and waggled his brow ridges at her. "C'mon? you know you wanna?"
Lucy cast her eyes away shyly for a few moments and then grinned. "All right then."
# # # # #
"Toshi is sulking," Midori giggled as she and Ariana walked back into the main compound. "He was counting on Graeme playing shortstop but your brother never showed. Where do you suppose he and Lucy went?"
"Who knows?" Ariana snickered back. "Knowing Graeme, they probably went off to play video games. He and Lucy do that online for hours if they can get away with it."
Midori jumped up on a stone bench to look around. "I don't see them here," she reported. "But, look! There's your mother -- should we say hello?"
Smirking a little at the wistful hero worship in her new friend's voice, Ariana replied. "Sure, why not?" The majority of the Ishimura clan held Sata in awe. When the Phoenix Gate had whisked her and Brooklyn away in the twelfth century, Sata had become a kamior ancestor spirit of the clan. To have her walking and talking among them was like a legend brought to life.
Sata was waiting in the courtyard with Sakaki, the butter yellow mate of the Ishimuran leader, and an English gargoyle that resembled a white unicorn. The adult females were anxiously counting heads as the juvenile gargoyles made their way inside to take their early morning meal. Sata called out as soon as Ariana was within earshot.
"Ari-chan! Is your brother with you?"
"No, Mother," Ariana answered with an impudent grin. "Graeme's off with his girrrrrrrrrrrrlfriend."
"Ariana, really!" Sata regarded her daughter sternly. "You are so like your father sometimes. You know very well that--" The jade green gargoyle stopped in mid-sentence and stared over Ariana's head. "What is this?"
Graeme and Lucy were coming up the path from the ornamental gardens, chattering away animatedly. He said something that made Lucy laugh and she stumbled into him as she giggled, resting her cheek against his shoulder for a moment. Ariana bit her lip as she took in her mother's stunned expression. As Brooklyn succinctly put it, it took something of world-shaking proportions to surprise Sata.
"Graeme-kun!" Sata said sharply in Japanese. "Where have you been? Your sister has been back for some time. And who is your friend?"
The English gargoyle was also staring at the young couple with a similarly dumbfounded look. "Lucy! There you are!" She turned and called into the nearby building. "Leo! Never mind! Our girl turned up out here."
"Lucy? Her name is Lucy?" Sata regarded the unicorn-headed gargoyle with wide almond-shaped eyes. "This is your daughter, Lady Una?"
"Yes," Una drawled out slowly, "and did I hear you correctly? Your son's name is Graeme?"
Sata nodded, her eyes drifting from the approaching youngsters and back to her English counterpart. "By chance, does your daughter spend a great deal of time on the computer?"
"More than we like sometimes," Una admitted. "Lucy has this ...friend she talks to all the time."
"As does Graeme." Sata put her hand to her mouth. "You don't think?"
"You don't suppose?"
Ariana and Midori both burst into impudent giggles. "Oh, Mom!" Ariana blurted out. "You should have seen it when Lucy and Graeme figured it out earlier for themselves! It was SO great!" They were both still chortling when the subject of their mirth walked up.
"Geez, gigglepuss," Graeme told his sister disgustedly. "What's up with you?"
"Mummy!" Lucy called out, pulling him with her. "You'll never guess what happened in a million years!"
"Oh, I think Lady Sata and I have figured it out," Una stepped down onto the path and held out her hand to her daughter's companion. "You must be Graeme - I've heard a lot about you but I never thought to meet you."
"Ah!" Sata bowed deeply. "This is a most auspicious meeting! I know how much Graeme enjoys talking with Lucy on the computer. For them to meet like this - it must be karma!"
"Mother?" Graeme said warily. "What are you talking about?"
"Oh, chibi-saru-kun!" Sata put her hands on Graeme's shoulders as she gushed in Japanese. "It is nearly the time of year when your father and I exchanged vows. It is a perfect time for a handfasting!"
Graeme cast a desperate glance over his shoulder at Ariana and mouthed, "Help!"
His sister giggled and slipped away into the crowd.
"It is so wonderful that you wish to follow in the Ishimuran traditions," Sata continued in English. "Sakaki-san, is there a tea house available? I must perform Chaji for our guests." She reached out and put an arm around Lucy's shoulders as well.
Sakaki glanced at Graeme and Lucy and then smiled conspiratorially. "Ah, Sata-sama does you a great honor, Lady Una. Her skill as a tea master is legendary."
"I've always wanted to see a Japanese tea ceremony," Una answered agreeably, unaware of the subtleties of the situation. "What do you say, luv?"
"Yes, please!" Lucy exclaimed enthusiastically.
Graeme made an inarticulate sound in the back of his throat and his eyes glazed over.
Ariana reappeared with Brooklyn and Leo, a broad-chested Londoner with a lion's head in tow. Brooklyn shook his head as he summed up the scene taking place before them. "Well, you were right, Ari-chan," he told his daughter. "Sata's fitting him for his wedding kimono even now."
Leo merely raised a brow ridge. "Brooklyn," he said gravely, "I don't know suppose there's a pub around here? I feel a need for a pint."
"That's an excellent idea," Brooklyn said, returning the brow ridge lift. "Watch my back, Leo, I'm going in." He maneuvered his way in through the crowd of females and neatly retrieved his son. "Excuse us, ladies. We'll be back in a while."
"Brooklyn?" Sata blinked at him. "Where are you going?"
"Leo wants to have a word or two with Graeme." Brooklyn squeezed his son's shoulder. "Male bonding."
"Yes," Leo rumbled. "A father's prerogative. Lucy is my only daughter, you know."
"Oh, gods?" Graeme whimpered under his breath.
"Buck up, lad," Leo said amiably as soon as they were out of hearing range. "I'm not going to bite you. We just thought you looked a little overwhelmed in there."
Brooklyn laughed and ruffled his son's hair. "We'll just let Sata get all that matchmaking out of her system. Don't worry, Graeme, she'll come to her senses soon enough."
"Too bloody right," Leo agreed. "Una's been in a tear ever since my son Caspian slipped off to Caledonia to take his vows. I won't have her marrying off Lucy any time soon."
"Then," Graeme said in timid relief, "I'm not in trouble?"
"Son," Brooklyn said wryly, "once you get involved with females, you are always in trouble. You might as well get used to it."
Leo chuckled. "Amen!"
To be continued in Part II...