48 - "From The Mouths Of Babes"
Originally Written: March 2nd, 2001

August 16th, 2001
"Come on, Trini. Mama...ma ma ma...mama...mmmmmma...ma ma..."

"No. Do not listen to her, Trinity. Say daddy, daddy. Da da...dada..."

"Ma ma...ma ma...ma ma..."

"Daddy...dada...dada..."

The small child looked to both of her parents, perched on the bed of her parent's
bedroom, and watching as this copper-skinned woman and lavender-hued gargoyle,
laying across the canopied berth as well, vied for her first words. "Ba..."

"There, see!" Elisa screamed like a mad woman. "She said ma!!" She pointed to her
daughter, while shooting her eyes of chocolate fire to her husband.

"That was not ma." Goliath argued adamantly, glaring down on his slender wife.
"Trinity Hope," he turned his focus to the small girl, as his low rumble effectively
captured her short attention span, "say dada. Do it for me. Dada. Remember, I love you
more."

"Hey! That's blackmail." Elisa argued, rising up off Goliath's back and struggling to get
in front of him, attempting to block Trinity's view of her father. "Mama...mama.
Remember, I carried you inside of me for nine months, gave birth to you, breast-fed you,
gave you baths, was there every single DAY when you cried..."

"That is unfair." Goliath hissed facetiously, hearing his wife play on the fact he could
never be there to comfort the child when he turned to stone.

"All's fair in love and war, especially when it means Trinity's first words."

Goliath sighed, pulling back into a cross legged position. "Perhaps she is just not ready
to speak. Lexington has tried his luck as well, for it was he who helped Alexander when
he first spoke..." he trailed off, when speaking of the smaller, web-winged gargoyle.

"Goliath," Elisa started, almost solemnly, "do you think...Lex is going to be all right?"

Goliath passed dark eyes to her, containing the tiny reflections of her copper features
within the two crystal ebon spheres. "I...I truly hope so. He is clan, and my cherished
friend. I cannot accept the fact that I missed this...how I could have been so blind to his
pain."

"You did a pretty good job of covering up your pain." Elisa drawled. "So did he."

"Too good a job..." Goliath hissed, cursing himself for not understanding, and catching
what could have been a dreadful catastrophe, yet thankfully stopped before it went too
far. "And now, though it seems the worst is over, he still avoids me, and appears...sad,
for lack of a better word."

"Do you blame him? Besides, sad is better than suicidal, Big Guy."

"I am the leader of this clan!" he growled, wings snapping out from the docile resting
position. "It is my duty to help all those in my charge, and I failed him."

"Hey," she placed a warm hand to his broad shoulder, her simple contact ceasing what
anger flowed rampant, "you didn't fail anybody. He's okay now, and we'll help him
through this."

Goliath formed his composed lips into a half-smile. "Yes, " he conceded, "I suppose.
Perhaps Dr. Blackwell can help him...council him in his pain, as she did for me."

"Let's...give Rain a chance first." Elisa cut through, her tone fertive, shrewd almost, and
granted her husband and soulmate a wondrously delicious smile. "They've been
spending a lot of time with each other the last week and a half. I think, if there's anyone
who can help him, it's her."

Goliath laughed under his breath, sad, yet filled with undying faith of the power of
friendship. "I hope so..."

"But right now, our lives have to go on, and I don't think he wants us to dwell too much
on what he tried to do..."

Goliath nodded. "Perhaps if he is feeling better, he can aid us in our own dilemma. He
seems to do well with children, and when in their presence, at last forms a smile." The
lavender giant reached out to graze his talons across Trinity's long hair, receiving a chirt
laughter in response. "It may take a miracle for this stubborn Maza child to ever speak.
Or a few more months of progress..."

"Hey, I know she's only ten months old, but she's still way ahead of a normal human
child's development, thanks to her gargoyle metabolism finally kicking in." Elisa
countered her husband's logic for Trinity's silence. "She's almost gotten all her teeth,
she's almost walking on her own, she's feeding herself...well, kind of. She usually
launches it across the kitchen table, or gets most of it in her hair. Speaking of which, she
needs another haircut."

"You gave her one two months ago."

"And you only allowed me to take off a couple inches. Look at her, she looks like cousin
Itt from the Addam's family."

Goliath finally smiled, stealing his massive hands around Trinity's midsection, pulling
her close to his chest. "I enjoy her long hair, for she looks exactly like you, and is just as
beautiful."

"Oh sure," Elisa drawled, rolling her eyes, "here come the compliments."

Goliath simply laughed, a hearty laugh thundering through his chest, and causing his
daughter to bob up and down in his arms. She squealed and laughed as well, her wings,
poking through her shirt, flapping to display her contentment. The small girl was dressed
in a simple white T-shirt, with the words 'Grandma's Little Girl' in a bright pink gloss,
and dark blue jogging pants, with a hole cut out for her tail. She curled up underneath
Goliath's chin, and reveled in the warmth of his gargoyle hide.

Elisa's heart instantly melted, and she pressed a hand to her chest. "Ooh..." she
squeaked. "She loves her daddy so much." Elisa suddenly lowered her brow, and
snatched the child from the husband's talons, knowing he was quickly forming the ever
powerful father-daughter bond. And it would be she who coerced the first words spoke
by her firstborn child. "Mama, c'mon, squirt. Mama...mama mama..."

"No. Dada...dada..."

****************************************

"Well, Lex, I gotta thank you." came a cheery tone, an audibly boisterous voice that gave
suspicion to the actual owner. "This was an awesome holiday. I love Trinity, she is so
adorable. The second cutest baby on the planet, Crystal being the first."

Lexington looked back at the busily packing gargess, as she stuffed her belongings back
into her knapsack, preparing for her flight the next night. "You're welcome." he replied
softly, a subdued voice that had possessed him ever since the night these two
webbed-winged gargoyles had met, and his aborted suicide attempt.

He had become almost a ghost this last week, quiet, chaste, though he sometimes
accepted the numerous offers to talk with the members of the clan, especially Elisa, and
Goliath. The following night, the entire clan had been informed of what had happened,
and their support came in droves, to help sort out his conflicted feelings, though he
usually kept to himself, and of course, the castle's newest guest. "I'm sorry I wasn't
better company."

Rain looked up, and smiled to him, noticing the forlorn expression he was wearing still.
"Hey, you're both a gentlemen and a gas, no matter what mood you're in. You'll feel
better soon, Lex," she assured him, "just give yourself some time."

"Yeah...thanks."

"Awwww, my little brainiac is down in the dumps." she cooed, zipping closed her bag
and sauntering towards him. She stood over him, as he was still seated on the bed of the
guestroom. "I guess it's time for a little cybernized companionship, eh, Lex?" she
started, pointing at his computer. "Should I leave the room so you two can be alone? Or
do you want me to hold the keyboard steady while you...do yer business?" She started
laughing ferociously, as she had witnessed over the last week and a half, her companion's
great fondness for computers and technology, especially his sophisticated laptop. She
was pleased to see Lexington's lips finally force themselves into a slight smile. "Ah!
There it is...I knew I could coax that sucker out of you." She fell to her knees, and glided
a soft hand to his chin, directing his eyes to gaze upon her lavender gleam, a cosmos of
ultimate beauty and desire.

"You're...kind of annoying, you know that?"

"That's what Thrash always says." Rain countered. "But he's my brother, so he doesn't
count." They kept their gaze upon the other's, and somehow, the world around was
ground to an expeditious halt, with a flustered feeling growing within each of their
hearts, threatening to burst unimpeded with the power of the ocean tide.

Yet Lexington pulled away, the universe stolen from his sight. He sighed heavily, in an
anguished breath, much to Rain's chagrin. "I'm sorry..."

"For what?" she responded kindly, in an inflection so much like her mother, Aurora.

"I just...I don't know if I can do this..."

Rain slumped beside him, and pulled his hand into her grasp, massaging his knuckles
with her sharp talons. "I know you're scared to open your heart again. I know you're
afraid to be hurt. But I would never do anything like that to you. Whether we remain as
friends, or...something more, is all up to you."

"It's just..." he struggled, still admiring her shimmering skin, taking on different shades
of dark crystal green and deep ocean blue in the changing angles of light. "I want to...so
much...but every single time, I get hurt. Liz and I..."

"I'm not Liz." said Rain exactingly, a hard edge appearing in her soft voice. "She and I
have different goals in life. She wanted you as just a friend...I want you as...well...I think
you know." She released from him, and settled her hands into her lap. "I've always
wished for what you have desired as well. Someone to be with...but if you're not ready,
then I guess I'll just have to wait a little longer."

"I'm sorry."

Rain flared her violet glare towards him. "That's a habit I'm going to have to break you
of." she snapped, leaning against him. "Stop apologizing. You have nothing to be sorry
for." She tipped her chin upon his shoulder, flashing him her massive, pouty eyes.
"Nothing."

Lexington looked away, unwilling, or perhaps unable to peer into the dark lavender pools
of those damnable bewitching eyes. He felt ashamed of his actions almost two weeks
ago, of allowing himself to sink this far, where he actually considered leaving his life
behind in a bloody end.

"What is it?" she asked.

"I feel...embarrassed, almost." he whispered, as Rain looked down to her knees. "I can't
believe I...I..."

"Hey," she caught his chin with slender talons, "it's over now. It's been over for more
than a week, and I don't want to hear any more of this crap coming from your mouth."

"So, what, it's back to life as usual?!" he snapped, the beginnings of tears forming under
his wide eyes, where the intricate designs of bionic hardware could be seen in each onyx
pupil. "Back to whistling a happy tune after trying to kill myself? I know how the others
look at me, even after two weeks, it's pity in their eyes."

"I think it's compassion, and love for their family member, who's in pain."

"Do you know how the others probably think of me now? How can everything be the
same after...after this?"

"Nothing will be the same, and nothing will ever again. But that's okay. And your clan,
Lex, will never think any less of you. In fact, I think they'll admire your strength, in
having the courage to stop yourself from making a mistake, and facing your problems."

"Strength..." the word slipped from his tongue as if a biting anathema, "I couldn't handle
my life, I couldn't handle being hurt all the time, and so I chose the coward's way out.
Goliath is strong, Shadow, Brooklyn, Broadway...not me."

"You're wrong..."

"No! None of them ever considered suicide. None of them ever became so scared, so
sad, so alone...that they thought of taking their lives..."

"You sure?" Rain broke through, popping a brow, lifting into her blond bangs, the once
jovial smile lost to a solemnity unlike her. "What you, Elisa and Goliath have told me of
Brooklyn's journeys and being separated from his life and loved ones, Goliath's family
and blaming himself for his clan's death...do you think that suicide never crossed their
minds at one point in their lives?"

"I...don't know...I never thought any of them could even think about taking their own
lives..."

"I have."

Lexington stared at her, the actual thought of this boisterous, young girl contemplating
suicide beyond what he could imagine. "What?!"

Rain sighed, got up and slowly made her way to the window, with a grand view of the
battlements stretching on past her field of vision, and the turret shadows blurred the
cornice edges, where the natural violet hues and sharp raven tones settled into the night
sky. "You know, Lex, there was a time...I thought about killing myself too, though very
brief. When I was growing older, and the naiveté of a child wore off, and I found out
about the real state of the world than that of our isolation. For a short time, I thought it
might be easier on everybody, especially me, to end it all, rather than dealing with the
pain. So did Thrash..."

"Oh..." It squeaked out, against his wishes.

"Oh." she echoed, with a complacent expression, that soon swelled into a smile from the
ever brimming hilarity and spirit of life barely contained within her form. "But life is too
good. I have a family, a life, a purpose. And your life, Lexington of Wyvern, is too good,
to throw away just yet."

Lex rubbed a hand over his perfectly spherical scalp, resting his fingers on the base of his
neck, and the small patch of cybernetic systems barely jutting from the smooth skin.
"Yeah," he said, almost silently, "I guess...sometimes it can be..."

"Especially when a certain Canadian babe is gracing your shadowed towers." she joked,
with the trademark smile returning. "So why did you listen to me that night anyway?"

Lexington shrugged impassively. "It's not everyday a beautiful woman begs you to stop
from killing yourself. I guess, deep inside, I was waiting for an excuse to stop...waiting
for someone to show and prevent what I was about to do, and luckily...someone did."

"Are you still glad I did?"

Lexington sheepishly wiped away the fluid lining the bottom of his eyes, slightly
annoyed, and angry at himself for allowing anyone to continue to witness his pain. But
he soon found himself smiling, and had no idea why. "Yeah..."

"So...are you going to call Liz?"

"Huh?" The abrupt change in topics threw him for a loop, especially when concentrating
on the woman who had turned his advance down.

Rain lifted her arms into a shrug. "You haven't talked to her for the entire
summer...she's probably worried about you. Especially how you told me you ran out
from her apartment. You said she left a couple messages with you, but you never got
back to her."

Lexington sunk back into the bed, collapsing onto the quilt, the deep folds of the cottony
material fluffing upwards to surround him. "I don't know. I still can't get that
conversation out of my mind. She hurt me..."

"She didn't mean to." Rain appeared over him, her long bangs cascading upon his
features, nearly grazing against his nose and dancing across his sense of smell with the
aroma of fresh, earthen flowers. "She simply revealed her true feelings, and you only got
mad because it wasn't what you wanted to hear. The way I was told, is that you two have
been good friends for a long time, and it would be a shame to throw it all away,
especially with her leaving for college soon."

Lexington sighed, inwardly dreading going back to Liz, perhaps the catalyst of his suicide
attempt, and afraid of what she may think of him. Yet still, he had deeply missed her
friendship. "I guess." he whispered.

Rain kept her stance over him, twirling the light platinum strands around her fingers.
"Ares always told me once that, to help come to terms with the past, you have to face
your demons, that which haunts you. All of my clan still go to our old home on his
insistence, to visit with the past, and those who were killed in the massacre twenty five
years ago. It's become an annual thing, but the first time we went there, it was so hard,
to be faced with that...that night again. But it helped us, all of us, to come to terms with
it."

"Your dad sounds like a very smart guy." Lexington added, crossing his arms behind his
head.

"Yeah, he is."

"Are you sure you...have to go back tomorrow night?"

"Aurora worries. I thought she might have eased up a little when Crystal was hatched,
but..."

"You should be thankful," Lexington whispered sorrowfully, "that you actually have a
mother, even if she adopted you, to worry about you."

"Yeah, I know. So," Rain started, hopping onto the bed beside him, "this is my last
night. Anything special you want to do?"

Lexington curved his lips into a crafted smile, rare for him at this time, and Rain
tentatively lifted her brow, wondering what was running through that cybernetically
enhanced brain of his. "How about...we order in some Chinese food and watch the
movies we never got the chance to?"

Rain pulled back in a mock daze, slapping a hand to her open mouth. "Is this a date,
Lex?" she asked in a demure whisper, swooning playfully. "You're not going to take
advantage of me when I'm all hopped up on MSG, are you? I mean, you just said I was
beautiful."

"Don't get your hopes up...hockey puck."

"Bloody Yankee."

****************************************

"C'mon, Trinity," begged Elisa, entwining her fingers and bowing down before the
young hybrid, having tried for almost an hour to finally hear her daughter's first words,
"please...say mama."

Goliath wavered back and forth, becoming drowsy in the ongoing battle to persuade his
daughter to speak, especially to hear his own name. "No...say dada. Dada..."

As the parents continued their arguing, with Trinity caught in the middle, they never
noticed a small red-headed boy staring into the bedroom from the double doors.
Alexander had appeared, obviously bored, and perhaps seeking something to take his
mind off his uncle's pain. He was watching with a hand slapped across his mouth, in
seeing his friends' laughable attempts in trying to get Trinity to speak. He moved closer,
and appeared in full in the doorway.

Trinity perked up, in seeing her red-headed playmate come into sight, her chocolate eyes
brightening with the image of the young boy.

Alexander crept closer, and pressed a finger to his lips, hoping Trinity would understand.
Through the incessant bantering of Goliath and Elisa, he remained both unseen and
unheard to them, and in a twist of his features, formed an absurd expression, causing the
small hybrid to laugh with delight.

Goliath and Elisa merely thought she was at last warming up to their efforts, and it only
served to fuel their war.

Alexander used his powers to levitate a few of Trinity's playthings in the air, and the
young gargess placed her eyes to her toys being juggled in a haze of emerald energy,
erupting from Alexander's very own fingertips. She clapped her hands to show her
pleasure with a rousing hurrah, and Alexander soon flipped himself upside down,
hanging over the floor, his long crimson hair brushing against the carpeting. He was
obviously straining against this spell, hoping he would not fall.

Goliath and Elisa both noticed the sudden change in her demeanor, and both continued
even harder, without any clue Trinity was reacting to Alexander's inanity.

"Mama..." said Elisa.

"Dada..." said Goliath.

"XANDER!!!" yelled Trinity, her gentle screech echoing into the entire room. Goliath
and Elisa both fell silent, their mouths dropping to the bedspread. They wrenched their
heads to the side to look at one another, and both formed beaming smiles in hearing their
daughter finally voice herself.

"She talked..." Elisa gasped.

"Yes," Goliath agreed, a goofish grin spoiling his stoic facade, "her first word."

"Her first word!" she cheered. "Xander...Xander?"

"Xander?" Goliath echoed. "Who is..." Both he and Elisa slowly turned their caustic
gaze behind them, to see a sheepish young boy, who returned with a shrug. "Xander, I
presume."

"Sorry, Goliath, aunt Elisa." Alexander squeaked. "I didn't mean for her to say my
name, I was just...having fun. I just wanted to...after uncle Lex..."

Elisa sighed and smiled, seeing her daughter move past her in a swift crawl, nearing the
edge of the bed, where Alexander took her into his arms. "It's all right, Alex. I know
you meant well. The last week's been hard on all of us." She let her head fall limply to
her open hand, watching the two young children play together. Alexander led her around
on the carpet, allowing her the balance needed to complete her weary steps. "And far be
it for me...to get in the way of a future couple..."

Goliath stole a loose glare to her, and raised a brow ridge. "Do you think they will
actually end up together?"

"I don't know, but I guess I won't be worried. They adore each other. I hope that bond
between them will last for a very long time, and bring them the love and happiness they
deserve."

"A Maza and a Xanatos...stranger things have happened."

Elisa snaked into Goliath's arms, her lithe form coiling around him, with wings of the
deepest lavender tint curling around them both, all the while watching their daughter pad
lightly around the room with Alexander's help.

****************************************

August 17th
"I'm going to start up the helicopter, Rain," said Fox, as she passed by the smaller
gargess and a gathering of the clan near the door leading from the castle interior, "we'll
be ready to go in five minutes." She quickly strode across the courtyard and to the lower
level, where the castle's helipad was located.

"I'll be there in a couple minutes." yelled Rain. She trailed off in a slow tread, with her
bag packed and slung over her shoulders. Lexington followed behind her, with a
smattering of the clan keeping their distance as well. They all moved to where the sleek
black helicopter was powering up under Fox's supervision. Rain dropped her bag, and
turned to the clan. "Well, guys and gargesses, it was fun. Thanks for the pictures, Elisa."

"No problem. Tell the others hello for me." the raven-haired detective answered.

"Bye, Trini." Rain yelled to the tiny girl in Elisa's arms.

"Xander!" she screamed back, with Elisa shaking her head.

"God, now she won't shut up."

Rain chuckled, and then focused her attention to Lexington, the one she would miss the
most. "Thanks, Lex...for everything." she whispered.

"That should be my line." he joked morosely, his head left hanging down to the stones.
"If you hadn't have shown up that night...I don't know where I would have been. I owe
you my life."

Rain could not help but form a cocky smile. "Well..." They stood silently once more,
facing each other, before being interrupted by the rush of wind from the helicopter's
rotors. It brushed past them with a ferocious thrust, and pushed against Rain's billowed
wings, forcing her into Lexington's arms.

He caught her effortlessly, and in the attempt to steady her wavering form, wrapped his
arms to her side. A locked gaze would ensue, and a pair of abashed grins flowed through
them, until they suddenly broke apart. "Uh...thanks, Rain. For all you've done."

"You would have done the same, if our positions were reversed." She grabbed her bag
from the stones, noticing it had grown heavier with the gifts and pictures for her own
clan, and silently thanking the Xanatoses for their own gift of transportation to Ottawa.
"Well...I guess...this is it..." she said sadly, knowing her friend was holding back his true
feelings, to protect his own injured heart.

"Yeah...uhm, I hope we see each other again."

"Count on it." She pulled him back in her arms, and squeezed him with every ounce of
power possessed in her slender body. "Don't be a stranger, Lex." She started to walk
away from him, leaving so much unfinished and unsaid, and then, suddenly stopped in
midstride, halfway between Lexington and the helicopter. Her bag was discarded, and
she tore back to him in a mad dash. "Just in case you're confused about my feelings for
you..." She grasped both her hands to the sides of his face, and planted her supple lips
against his mouth. He resisted slightly, but soon became overwhelmed by the luscious
lips slanted across his. She held him there, in a passionate embrace to rival that of any in
history, and the rest of the clan looked away. She at last released him, and Lexington felt
his knees wobble, and his heart liquefy. "Bye bye, robotman." Rain skipped off to the
helicopter, and loaded herself into the co-pilot's seat, all the while staring out the tinted
window, to a still dazed Lexington.

Brooklyn approached from behind, and only with the strong rapping of a brick red hand
upon his left shoulder, did the smaller gargoyle break from his euphoric stupor, warming
his entire body, as if the flames had at long last been relit. "Well?" he asked, placing his
beak near his brother's ear. "What the hell are you waiting for?"

Lexington looked helplessly back to him, his eyes appearing ever larger. "W-What do
you mean?"

"That's an invitation if I ever saw one."

"But...I...I don't want to be..."

"Come on, Lex," Broadway called from afar, "go for it!"

He looked to the rest of the clan, especially Elisa, standing in front of her husband, who
perhaps knew this girl the best. She nodded, and cocked an ebon eyebrow, to effectively
display her choice for what he should do next.

Lexington quickly nodded his consent, and ripped from Brooklyn's side, towards the
helicopter. Rain emphatically opened the door and hopped down to the battlements, as
the olive-colored gargoyle slipped his arms around her neck, continuing their kiss from
moments ago. Longer, deeper, and filled with every pent up emotion surging through
him, his fear of losing his heart to this girl was instantly washed away, in the flavor of her
cherry bubblegum.

They pulled from each other to gasp for air, and Rain slumped against the steel finish of
the helicopter. "Damn..."

"I'm sorry," apologized Lexington, yet with a coy smile, "but I was...scared, I guess."

"And are you still scared?" she wheezed, trying desperately to regain her breath, and
calm her heart. "To trust me?"

He formed an odd smile, almost a cocky smirk. "I don't think so...not anymore."

"Good. Because I'll never hurt you, Lex. I promise you, here and now...I'll never hurt
you."

"I know that...now. And the kiss...it was worth the wait."

"You're telling me." whispered Rain, wearing a grin from ear to ear.

"I'll...I'll stay in touch."

"Good. Maybe you can visit me." She brushed a hand against his cheek. "It's not that
far away, Lex. Just half a night's flight, and we're together." She slipped a picture into
his belt, and climbed back into the cockpit, closing the door. She huffed a hot breath
upon the glass, drawing the shape of a heart in the steam with a single talon. With a
wave of her hand and a wink of her eye, the helicopter lifted off, leaving Lexington to
grow ever smaller from the young gargess' sight.

He stood there, until the machine was lost to the stars. And he traced a finger over his
lips, just realizing now...that he was chewing her gum. He pulled out the picture, and
laughed at that moment, when he found it to be of her, struck in a seductive pose. When
he turned back to the crowd, they broke apart, and nonchalantly walked away, whispering
nervous tunes, and casting their eyes to certain insignificant pieces of Scottish stone.

Elisa walked over to him, holding Trinity against her chest. "Are you going to be okay,
Lex?"

He looked at her, his friend, she who never betrayed his clan, or him, and the prime
example of the sweet rewards in the great risk involved when trusting someone with their
friendship, their very soul. "Yeah. I think so. Life goes on, right?"

"Right. Do you want to talk?"

"Maybe later." he replied, rubbing a hand through the thick scarlet tress of Alexander,
who had come running when his uncle and favored baby-sitter had relayed his farewells
to his new friend. "I've got...something to do..."

Brooklyn crept up beside Elisa, his entire beak a massive, crooked smile. He watched
the smaller gargoyle ramble past in a contented stagger, shake Trinity's chubby,
outstretched hand, and then called after him, "Where are you going now, Lex?"

"To call Liz," he answered back, with a large smile, "my friend."