By Its Cover

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. This is a birthday present for a friend therefore I borrowed one of her OCs for the occasion. I hope she likes it and you do too.

Brooklyn was always amazed at how one could find a quiet place to think in Manhattan. With the noises of traffic and the sounds of busy New Yorkers moving about, it wasn't the kind of atmosphere conducive to thinking. But somewhere in the midst of it all, Brooklyn managed to always find some quiet spot to think. He needed that tonight. The clock tower was nice but sometimes he needed to feel the wind through his hair and get the air needed to clear his head. There was certainly a need for head-clearing tonight.

It had been a couple of nights since the incident involving Maggie. He couldn't shake it from his head. He knew he shouldn't let it get to him. There were always those that were afraid of his kind. It was something he had long since learned to accept. But this . . . this was different. He thought she would've understood. She was, after all, in the same position as he was. Neither his clan nor hers would be truly accepted by the humans. He thought that she would've understood that. But some things weren't so easily changed just because you woke up one day inside a new body. Sometimes being human was about more than just looking the part.

"I was stupid," mumbled Brooklyn as he crouched on the roof's edge and stared at the skyline. It was never easy when one attempted to do good and received a slap in the face in return. It was never easy when one loved someone only to watch it go down in flames. But, as humans were fond of saying, life went on. The sun continued rising and setting, the people continued moving up and down the street, and everything continued forward. He sighed again, realizing that he was never going to fit into this new world. He arched an eyebrow as his enhanced hearing told him someone was coming up to the roof. He should go and spare himself another scene but he remained motionless instead. Once they realized he was actually alive, they'd take the hint. He heard the footsteps hit the concrete softly, as if the person was nervous about being up here in the first place.

"Rooftop's taken," said Brooklyn as he turned and looked at the girl that was now standing on the roof with him. He began counting the seconds until she would scream and run away. Usually it took around five.

"I don't mind the company . . . if you don't," replied the girl hesitantly. She had heard some urban legends about gargoyles living in the city. Most people didn't put too much stock in the rumors, dismissing them as media sensationalism. She always prided herself on not being like most people.

"What's your name?" asked Brooklyn. Since she had passed the five second hurdle, he figured she might be in it for the long haul. Plus it was nice to have someone to talk to rather than kicking himself for love lost.

"Raye," replied Raye as she slowly moved closer to him and stood next to him, staring at the city before her, "Yours?"

"Brooklyn," replied Brooklyn, "Like the bridge." Raye nodded, only slightly put off by his presence. She would come up here often when she needed some time to be by herself. She lived a few buildings down in an apartment with her parents so it wasn't a long walk. Still, she wasn't used to having company up here and it wasn't like Brooklyn was normal company in the first place.

"Not to sound ungrateful or anything but how come you're not scared of me?" asked Brooklyn bluntly. Raye looked at him. She had heard stories about how the gargoyles tried to protect people. She didn't mind that they weren't human. In fact, she was surprised that they would even still want to protect humans considering how people could be towards what was different. She didn't want to be like them though. She had seen enough of the ugly things that human beings were capable of.

"If you wanted to hurt me, you would've done it," said Raye simply, "I heard about you guys. You don't seem so bad to me." Brooklyn arched an eyebrow and gave her a perplexed look. How was it that she could look so normal and still not be afraid of him while Maggie could be just the opposite?

"How come you're up here?" asked Raye.

"A girl," replied Brooklyn, trying not to sound too bitter about it. In some respect, he was though. He thought he had really loved her. Brooklyn didn't exactly enjoy not having a mate. Life was catching up with him and perhaps for the first time he thought he had found someone to spend it with. But it was just kids' stuff. He may have been old physically but mentally he knew he was still just a kid.

"Oh," said Raye.

"You?" asked Brooklyn. Raye thought about it as her hazel eyes moved along the edge of the rooftop. She didn't exactly like talking about herself. She figured it came from years of being made to feel invisible. It was hard to talk when no one listened. But now there was someone who would listen a little.

"I needed to get out of my home," said Raye quietly, "I come up here a lot when that happens. The view's really nice and it lets me think." Brooklyn nodded. He could sympathize with that.

"What'd she do?" asked Raye, "The girl I mean."

"It's hard to explain," replied Brooklyn truthfully. It was hard to explain. It wasn't just what Maggie had done. It was what she hadn't done and what Sevarius had done to her and what Brooklyn maybe should've done but didn't. It was all a tangle of knots inside his stomach that refused to go away.

"I think you humans call it 'being dumped'," offered Brooklyn.

"Yeah," agreed Raye with a nod, "I know that feeling." Her track record with relationships was non-existent but she knew a great deal about rejection, about being made to feel worthless. That was definitely something she could relate to.

"She was something just like me," said Brooklyn almost to himself, "but she still acted like a human." There was definitely bitterness there. It slipped out in between his words, oozing out of him like blood from an open wound.

"Not everybody is what you think," said Raye, "We have a saying, Brooklyn. Don't judge a book by its cover." He stared at her and couldn't help but smile. Maybe she was right. He expected Maggie to act differently just because she didn't look like a human. He had expected Raye to be afraid of him just because she was human. Maybe looking at things on the surface wasn't just a human problem. Maybe everyone did it sometimes.

"I like that," said Brooklyn as he nodded, "I'll have to remember that one." Raye nodded too. It certainly applied to her life. She wasn't what everyone else seemed to think. She wasn't the quiet, little girl in the back of the classroom that no one noticed. She still counted even if she had been made to feel like she didn't.

"I wouldn't have been scared," assured Raye, "I mean if it had been me instead of her. I wouldn't have been scared of you and dumped you."

"Thanks," replied Brooklyn as he smiled at her. He needed to get going. The sun was going to be up soon and he still had to get back home before then.

"I should go," said Brooklyn as he spread his wings, "It was nice talking to you, Raye." Raye reflexively blushed. She wasn't used to hearing that.

"Do you mind coming back here some time?" asked Raye, "You know, in case you need someone to talk to."

"That'd be nice," agreed Brooklyn as Raye moved away from the ledge to go back inside. Raye watched him take off and smiled. She didn't have the guts to explain to him the real reason she came up to the roof tonight. So many times she had walked to the edge of this roof and looked down. She had wondered about what kind of damage a fall could do and secretly hoped it would be enough, enough that if she took that one fateful step she could escape this nightmare of a life. But she hadn't been taking her own advice. She had been judging books by their covers too, assuming that everyone in the world was just like her parents or the kids at her school. Now . . . she didn't feel so bad because she knew that to at least one person she wasn't so quiet or weird or shy. Maybe all it took was one person. Maybe all it took was opening up the book and glancing at the pages one more time. She didn't have to read the whole book but just reading a couple pages helped her keep going because it proved that she was wrong and that there were good people still left in the world. Raye stared up at the sky in the direction that Brooklyn had flown off in and hoped he understood that now too.