Disclaimer: I don't own Gargoyles.
This was written before I was told that due to the almighty word of Greg Weisman, Owen introduced Demona and Xanatos. Also, apparently I have Owen discuss too much of Puck's knowledge. Although my excuse is that Xanatos is pushing him, partly to push him and partially because he's excited over his new toy. Anyways, enjoy!
The door to Xanatos' penthouse office swung open. "It has arrived, sir."
Xanatos spun around in his swivel chair to face Owen. "Excellent, Owen. Bring it over here, I want to see it right away."
Owen walked up to his desk. "I am curious, sir, how you convinced the owner to part with it. The Grimorum Arcanorum is not an ordinary spell book."
Xanatos took it from his hands and leaned back in the chair, opening it to the first page. "Connections, Owen. My Illuminati membership has proven a good investment, don't you agree. Ars—" he read, starting to puzzle out the words.
"Sir." Owen interrupted, as urgent as the unflappable Owen ever was. "Are you sure you want to start randomly reading from a spell book?"
"You're right, Owen." Xanatos frowned. "Still, I'm eager to test out my new toy. Perhaps you would do the honors?" He held out the book.
Owen shook his head. "That is not within the terms of our agreement, Mr. Xanatos."
Xanatos grimaced. He had hoped he had found a loophole. "Are you sure? It is human magic."
Owen raised an eyebrow. "Is my assistance not sufficient?"
Xanatos shook his head. The deal that Puck had offered had been one wish granted by the Puck or a lifetime of Owen's assistance. Owen's mundane assistance. Why such a powerful being would want to restrict himself to human abilities would have been hard for a normal person to understand.
Xanatos, however, well understood the allure of a good game. "It is more than sufficient, Owen. Still." He looked at the book pensively. "Cancel the meeting with the Australian Ambassador tomorrow and hire me a Latin tutor. I believe it's time to add one more language to my repertoire."
"Certainly, Mr. Xanatos. Will that be all?"
"One moment." Xanatos flipped through the book to the pages at the end. They were of a different material than the rest of the book and the writing was faded instead of immaculate. "Ah. Owen."
"Yes, Mr. Xanatos?" Owen almost stood at attention, but then he always did. Xanatos admired that: a good act.
"These pages." He held out the book so Owen could see them. "Have them translated by tomorrow."
"Certainly. I will see to it myself."
"Good. The previous owner said something about a story in the back of the book, about creatures that turned to stone by day." That would be interesting.
One of his associates (Xanatos had never had partners, except for Owen) had scoffed at Xanatos' interest in magic and magical artifacts, calling it a senseless obsession.
He had been bankrupt by dinnertime the next day.
"Gargoyles, Mr. Xanatos?"
"So the story is true?"
"Ah." Xanatos stroked the book. "Stone by day, warriors by night—"
He was interrupted by a crash from the large window that looked out over the city from his office in the Eyre Building.
"They sound like interesting additions to my collection," Xanatos continued unperturbed, turning his chair around to face the window. "Owen, I thought I told you to schedule me an hour without any appointments so I could take the time to appreciate my new acquisition?" A gargoyle. How coincidental.
Xanatos didn't believe in coincidences.
A gargoyle with an AK-47. How old-fashioned, Xanatos Enterprises turned out far better weapons. Still, he pressed the button that activated the wall of bullet-proof glass that surrounded his desk in emergencies. Not that this was an emergency.
How interesting. He smiled at her and steepled his hands. "Though I'm always willing to talk to a lovely lady like yourself. Please, have a seat."
She pointed the gun at him. The information he had on gargoyles indicated they were intelligent. How disappointing to find this part of the legend was inaccurate. "Hand over the Grimorum, Human!"
"No, I don't think I will." He shook his head in that certain way that always infuriated his opponents. Although she already seemed infuriated. "I bought it, even if not exactly fair or square. If the previous owner sent you to recover it, I'm afraid the trip has been in vain."
"I work for no human!" She steadied the gun.
Owen glanced at him, clearly asking if he should alert security. Xanatos shook his head slightly. This was interesting.
If there was one thing he hated, it was boredom. Boredom was poison. He needed to keep his edge, his ability to deal with the unexpected. This was certainly unexpected. "Of course, of course, I can clearly see you're not the type to take second place to anyone." He bestowed upon her an ingratiating smile. "Please, sit down and we can discuss the reason for your visit like civilized people."
"Civilized? Humans? Don't make me laugh." She still lowered the gun. "It was a human who used that book to turn the last survivors of Castle Wyvern to stone! Now that I know you have the book I will not rest until I take it from you, break the spell and recover my clan!"
"Go ahead and try, if you think you can." He smiled again. So that story was true and he would now have the opportunity to test his mind against one of these creatures.
This day just kept getting better and better. "But surely two reasonable people such as ourselves can come to an arrangement? Owen, coffee for Ms," he trailed off, waiting for her to give her name.
"I will not break bread with a human! My name is Demona, and you should fear me."
"The company I founded is richer than several countries, Ms. Demona. I didn't bring it that far by being afraid of anything." He chuckled. "You seem to have some grudge against humans, but I assure I'm not an ordinary human."
"Your coffee, Ms Demona." Owen held it out on a tray. "Do you take sugar or cream?"
She hit it out of his hands, snarling. Her eyes glowed. It was rather pretty. "That must be a useful trick for a nocturnal creature. You intrigue me, Demona. We seem to share the same goal: I want to awaken the gargoyles at this 'Castle Wyvern' also."
"Why would a human want to aid gargoyles?" She spat the words out, showing her distrust and contempt for someone trying to trick her with such a transparent ruse.
"I could say something about wanting to help my fellow sentient beings, but I can see you're not going to fall for that."
"Perceptive. For a human." A little grudging respect there. He had her listening. Still mistrust, but that was all right. Very few trusted him.
He was still laughing all the way to the bank. "I have an interest in magical artifacts and powers. You want the book. Does that mean you can use it?"
"Of course." She was so prideful.
Pot calling kettle, but it took one to know one.
"Might I propose an arrangement, then? I let you use the book, and help you resurrect your people, and in exchange you make yourselves useful to me?"
"Aid a human?" He tail thrashed, but she was intrigued and considering it.
"Surely if it was a simple matter to recover them someone would have done it by now? The pages were added to the book around a thousand years ago." The time the coin was from.
"I know, human."
She had waited? All this time? Immortality?
Fascinating. His eyes narrowed a little. "With my resources, getting eye of newt or whatever is needed would be a snap."
"I am not without resources myself." She was clearly without any desire to be dependant on a human. She was starting to smile back. "Still, you might make yourself useful to me."
"IF they've waited this long, surely they can wait a little longer, but why should they have to when you can simply borrow the book from me instead of trying to steal it?" Trying and failing.
Even if she was older than she looked, which he really had no evidence for (other than his own theories, and he was usually correct)? Well, he had been mourning the lack of anything resembling a worthy opponent just yesterday.
"Why indeed?" She was clearly still planning to steal it.
He smiled at her, she smiled back. She reminded him of Fox, and a little of himself.
This would be fun.
She obviously knew he knew she would steal it at the first opportunity. That would make it interesting. He held up the book. "I believe these pages are the ones you are interested in?"
She snarled again. "I would know the Magus' hand anywhere!"
So she had known the writer? If she stayed around, that would give him time to ferret out the secret of her immortality.
"I have the book, you have the skills. I believe we have the basis of an arrangement." He smiled.
She glanced over her shoulder. Xanatos glanced at the clock. He had gotten up early to see the book as soon as it arrived: he had been aware for some time dawn would be soon. He had wondered if she would be enough of a fool to let dawn catch her here. It would have been interesting to see her if the part of the story about them turning to stone was also true.
"Owen, I would like to have an appointment with Demona sometime tonight."
"Certainly, Mr. Xanatos. What time?" he asked Demona, totally unfazed by her tail, wings and claws. He had probably seen much weirder.
Oh, to see only a fraction of what Puck had seen. Immortality. Excitement. This 'partnership' offered opportunities for both.
"An hour after sunset." She holstered the gun. "Until then, human."
She jumped through the window. Xanatos lowered the glass panel and walked over in time to spot a winged figure vanishing between lesser skyscrapers.
"An intriguing visit, Owen." He tapped the spine of the Grimorum.
Let others have their flashy cars and tall buildings. Xanatos had better ones.
Not only that, in this book he had the ultimate status symbol. A symbol of power that was a thing of power. The symbol was the thing itself. Wasn't that one of the laws of magic?
Also, surely, it was the key to gaining even more power.
He put the book down on his desk and rubbed his hands together briskly. "Owen, I want this in the most secure vault I have. When you're done translating, of course."
"Certainly, Mr. Xanatos."
"Castle Wyvern," he mused aloud. "A small, vicious, poisonous dragon. An intriguing name. Why not Castle Gargoyle?"
"Gargoyles were not something one advertised during that period, Mr. Xanatos."
"Ah, racism springs eternal." He chuckled. "Our visitor certainly had her prejudices. Literal racism, even."
"Yes, Gargoyles and humans are the first and second races."
"A very interesting woman." Xanatos adjusted the neck of his suit. "Let's hope the old Xanatos charm comes through again."
"I'm sure it will, Mr. Xanatos." It was hard to tell if that statement was ironic or not. Puck must be laughing his head off. It was good to know there was someone who appreciated all his games. Someone to show off to. "You asked me to remind you five minutes before your first appointment of the day."
"Ah, yes." Xanatos snapped his fingers. "The esteemed senator."
He turned to go, then took one last look out the window. He wouldn't be the first millionaire to import one, and wasn't the saying that a man's home was his castle?
And surely the gargoyles, adrift in time, would want to stay on familiar ground. It would give him another hold over them. Besides the fickle thing called gratitude.
The sun was just starting to peek over the horizon. "Yes, I think this is going to be a very good day."