06/09/2001
Denigoddess2001@aol.com


What has gone on before... (Saints In The Night Part IV: MIDNIGHT CONFESSIONS) Demetrius stood alone in the night watching her form fade into the darkness. What he called friendship was deeper than mere affection and far more profound than meager devotion. This particular emotion came upon Gargoyles usually once in their lifetime. It went beyond lust and desire. It was bigger than need. It was the one thing that had eluded him at one mating moon in the past. It was the one emotion that he felt for Wren that had crept into his life and claimed him for her only. It was the one feeling that he dare not speak her name for he might die from the true bliss of it.
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DISCLAIMER: GARGOYLES DO NOT BELONG TO ME. THEY BELONG TO DISNEY. I DO NOT OWN HERCULES; THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS OR ANY CANON CHARACTERS MENTIONED THEREIN, THEY BELONG TO RENAISSANCE PICTURES. ALL ORIGINAL CHARACTERS BELONG TO DENIGODDESS2001.


SAINTS IN THE NIGHT PART V

Professor Xorbo sat at his desk staring at a small mahogany box inlaid with gold. After keeping this ancient relic hidden away for two thousand years, he felt confident enough to bring it out of hiding and study it carefully.

[I remember when the Chronos stone was a large gem rather than powder and fragments.] He recalled the day he had pulverized the gem with his bare hands to prevent Autolycus from abusing the stone's power. [It is simply too dangerous in the hands of mortals or gods.]

He knew that the stone's temporal distortion capabilities would prove dangerous in the wrong hands. Yet, in his attempt to destroy the gem, he had created fragments that carried the same ability for time travel. For centuries, he traveled the world seeking out the remnants of the Chronos stone. He gathered each fragment left remaining and placed them in the box made for him by Hephestus as a birthday gift. No god or mortal could open the box. That was a privilege meant only for Hercules..(in this day and age; Kevyn Xorbo).

A brilliant pulse of light flashed in front of his desk. The burst filled the room with such intensity that he automatically shielded his eyes. A dark, deep laughter filled the room while Kevyn remained temporarily blinded from the surge of luminosity. Only one person had a laugh like that and that meant trouble. He reached for the box and found it gone from his desk.

"Ares." He said with contempt. "What are you doing here?"

"Well, little brother, I've been waiting for a long time for you to let your guard down. You finally made the mistake of opening the box. I've been waiting a long time for this."

"Give it and it contents back at once." Keyvn demanded. "Those don't belong for you."

"You kill Zeus, become head of Olympus by default, hoard all the things meant for us by birthright, and you tell me that the Chronos fragments don't belong to me." Ares voice burned with scorn.

"Don't make me angry." Kevyn's voice carried an ominous tone.

"Or what? Are you going to cry?" Ares taunt caused his brother's blood to simmer inside his veins. "Not god enough to take it back."

"Just watch me." Kevyn warned him as he rose from the desk. Still blinded, he tried to make his way from around the desk to confront the god of war.

"Save the Dudley do-right act for the rest of the world." Ares chuckled. His hand radiated a golden aura that quickly formed into a luminescent sphere of energy. Like a seasoned pitcher at the World Series, Ares hurled it like a fastball at his brother. The energy bolt struck Kevyn with such force that he went sailing across the room and impacted against the bookshelf behind him.

"Now, I'm going to set things right, Hercules." Ares gloated. "I'm going to remake the world in my time and in my image. You're too much of a weakling to be head of the family. You don't have the stomach for what it takes to be king of the gods."

"Try me." The blonde professor warned him. He rose to his feet and headed in the direction of the war god's voice.

"You and what army?" He smirked. "See ya."

With that, Ares became surrounded in an aura of golden light. It reached out into the room as he took the fragments from the dark wooden box. "I have an appointment with history."

The light intensified and filled the room. Then there was only silence. Kevyn was left alone with his anger. He realized the dire turn of events left him in a grave situation.

"This means trouble." He said with growing dread.

He knew that his brother used the stones and traveled into the past with the intention of altering history. How simple it would have been to merely follow him. However, as king of the gods, there couldn't be a one law for him and one law for everyone else. Time travel was forbidden to the gods and Kevyn refused to break that law.

[The law that can't be broken can surely be bent.] His father had once told him.

[I can't travel back in time, but, I can send somebody back in time.] That revelation put a whole new spin on things.

"Let my sight be restored." Kevyn waved his hand over his eyes and the blindness dissipated. He retrieved a small mirror from his desk drawer. His stepmother Hera had used it for scrying and divination in eons past. Now, Kevyn used it for the greater good.

"Show me a mortal who can withstand the travel throughout time and retrieve the Chronos fragments."

The mirror's reflection shimmers as a mirage does in the hot desert. A blurry image appeared within the looking glass. Hercules waited patiently as the vision became clearer. There, he saw Wren and a strange creature standing in the vault kissing passionately.

"She managed getting a Gargoyle past me without me knowing? I have to have a talk with her." With that, Kevyn Xorbo became a living sheath of transmutated energy. It cocooned his entire form in living light. It fell away like spun webbing and in place of Kevyn Xorbo stood Hercules; champion of justice and ruler of the Olympian gods.

"I think it's time I paid her a little visit. I have just the job for her." With that, there was yet another flash of light and he vanished.

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

It was a typical night at the museum. Wren and Demetrius worked diligently cataloging the final items contained in the Museum's basement vaults. It felt good and right to have Demetrius at her side while she worked. It reminded her of halcyon days on Caledon Isle when they worked late into the night on lesson plans for Gargoyle's classes.

She appreciated their gentle bantering and heartfelt conversations. Too much tension and angst tainted their relationship as of late. Now, they doing what they did best; working as one cohesive unit. Wren stole a glance of the imposing figure working on the other side of the vault.

Demetrius stole her breath away with his captivating charisma. Noble, compassionate, sensual and forbidden, he was a forbidden treasure she dared not savor. Standing almost eight feet tall, he was an imposing figure. Broad shoulders cloaked regally in velvety wings gave him almost a manner of royalty. She knew well that those powerful wings unfurled equaled an eighteen feet wingspan.

His flawless chiseled features set her heart a flutter. She studied him carefully. High cheekbones, cleft chin, full and sensuous lips, gleaming white fangs embedded with rich dark amethysts; all those features combine were an intoxicating combination of alien beauty and pure temptation.

His ebony skin was the shade of hematite and contrasted starkly with his frost and silver mane. Garbed in a kilt of white and gold, he was unadulterated masculine perfection. Then, she noticed the four instead of five digits on his hands. Wren saw the calcariferous growths on his knees. His feet were talons with spurs on the back of the heel. His tail twitched occasionally.

'Tail, wing, talon and claw' was a common saying in many of the Gargoyle adages. It suited them well. It reminded Wren that he was anything other than human and thus, forbidden. She felt that empty ache in her heart intensify with that sad thought.

"Wren, what ails you?" Demetrius' smooth, rumbling voice cut into her melancholy musing. She looked at him and merely shook her head. "Milady? Speak to me your thoughts."

His careful urging was her undoing. She found the strength to banish the tears from forming as they did frequently when he entered her thought. She felt brave enough to meet his concerned expression. His tenderness caused Wren's heart to cartwheel in her chest.

"I was thinking how beautiful you are." She spoke candidly.

Demetrius dropped the clipboard in his hands. The harsh clatter did nothing to break the connection between them. His ears almost burned with her candid words. His throat filled with a lump that refused dismissal.

"Wren..." He said softly. "You're words humble me."

"We need to get back to work." She rushed hurriedly. Her cheeks flamed crimson. [What in Hades possessed me to blurt that out that I find Demetrius glorious beyond words? Me and my big mouth! Why can't I just bite my tongue?]

Demetrius crossed the room in within milliseconds. He used his empathic abilities, his heartmagick, to know her joy and melancholy. He stood only centimeters from her and looked down into startled hazel eyes. "Soon, Milady."

He chose to no longer wait for her to find bravery to embrace their weird and wonderful feelings for one another. He simply brought his lips to hers and closed his eyes. He felt those familiar tremors of liquid pleasure course through his veins as he patiently kissed her.

He heard her heartbeat quicken and her pulse race. Her heard her breath become shallow and rapid. Her scent changed from lilacs to that of cinnamon and ginger. More than a month had passed since they had kissed that night on the shores of Caledon. He had lived on that memory every night while he had remained alone at their home. Now, he reveled in her fragrance, her silky skin brushing lightly against him. He longed to savor her sweet taste.

He was ruined for anyone else but the Songbird before him.
She mewled as she felt his thigh brush against hers. He seized the opportunity to deepen the kiss and taste her fully. His taloned hands grasped her forearms and pulled her close to him. He needed her warmth to enfold him. He longed for her acceptance. He silently begged for her passion to fly free.

Wren was taken aback by his sudden passion. He was an incubus hell-bent on inducing her wanton tendencies. She laughed at her choice of words as she answered his silent entreaty. She decided to tread where she dared not tread before; Wren stood up on tiptoes and wrapped her arms around him and rejoined him. She let her lips and tongue imitate a far more intimate dance.

They heard a very loud thump in the floor above them. Both looked upwards and then at each other with questioning looks on their faces. But, Demetrius' endowments brushed enticingly against Wren's abdomen and she thought little more of the thundering bump she heard. She pressed herself closer to her Gargoyle and lost herself in his fervent seduction.

[He really does love fiercely and well.] She thought between catching her breath and tasting him more intimately.

He thought his knees would buckle from the sheer ecstasy of it. He growled and pulled his Wren closer. He deftly lifted her from the ground. His hard contours perfectly fit against her svelte feminine form. He felt the hunger to know her completely burn and sear him form the inside.

"Wren.." He rasped. "You undo me."

"Ahem..." Echoed inside the vault.

Two heads abruptly broke their kiss and snapped in the direction of the interruption. There at the vault's entrance stood a tall man with gold and honey hair falling to his shoulders. Garbed in a white vest and dark leather pants stood who Wren thought resembled her Professor.

Wren's cheeks blushed deep rose. Being caught like two teenagers in the front seat of the car was unsettling. She saw her employer's sardonic scrutiny of her reflecting in his eyes. Shame flooded her being. She remembered she neglected introducing the two muscular males in the vault.

"Professor... I know this looks bad." She hurriedly straightened her rumpled blouse. "Let me explain-"

He held up a hand to halt her embarrassed explanation. "We'll talk about it another time."

[I can't believe I just got caught making out like a teen-ager! This is why I can't get involved with a Gargoyle; especially Demetrius. He makes me do rash and dangerous stunts like this.] Wren knew what to anticipate next. Employees responsible for inappropriate behavior at the University were suspended or fired.

"Take another look at me, Wren." The voice beckoned her.

Mortified, she expected to see a bitter look of scorn and scathing disapproval. She mouthed the words 'omigod' when she noticed her employer seemed taller. He appeared to have an otherworldly appearance about him with his gleaming white tunic and burnished gold leather pants. [Is he ...GLOWING???]

"Kevyn?" She asked in amazement. "Is that you?"

"Kevyn is the mortal persona I use around here." The glorious golden man answered. "Actually, I answer better to Hercules or just Herc."

"As in Hercules...son of Zeus?" She squeaked.

"The one and only."

"Saints preserve me and have mercy." Wren gasped.

"By the dragon." Came another astonished whisper.

"You must be Demetrius." Hercules extended his large hand toward the Gargoyle. "Wren, you didn't tell me you had such unusual friends."

"I don't exactly advertise it." She wryly quipped. "I wanted to tell you everything. But, Demetrius' secrets aren't mine to tell. I was planning-"

"Wren, take a breath." Herc shook his head at the woman's rambling. He never knew that there was this side to her usually unflappable personality. "Just don't let it happen again."

"You truly are Hercules?" Demetrius managed to blurt the words. "The ancient hero and king of Olympus?"

Demetrius' mouth remained agape as Hercules shook his hand. "Yes, I'm actually Hercules...Greek hero of ancient myth and former star of 'Hercules the Legendary Journeys."

"You mean I'm working for a Greek god?" Wren couldn't quite move beyond the initial shock.

"Pretty much. But, you didn't tell me that you knew a Gargoyle either." He teased her with a perfect smile.

"Touché." She conceded. "Busted."

"We have a problem." Hercules said grimly. "I didn't mean to interrupt-"

"It'll never happen again, I promise." She replied too quickly.

"Not that kind of problem, Wren." He assured her. "This is a problem on a much larger scale. As Hercules, god of the Olympians, I am asking for your help, Wren."

"Did the hard drive crash on your computer again?" She asked. She knew that either as Kevyn or Hercules, the man was clueless when it came to computer hardware and maintenance.

"Not exactly." The blonde Adonis hedged. "A ancient artifact has been stolen from the museum and only you can retrieve it."

"Then, we need to call the authorities." Wren reached for her digital.

"Wait a minute. This is something that no mere mortal can handle." Hercules held her hand to prevent her dialing. "This is a job meant more for someone with your special abilities?"

"What do you mean?" Wren asked warily. "Start talking."

"My brother Ares stole something very dangerous."

"Ares as in Greek god of war?" Demetrius finally found his voice.

"The one and the same." Hercules nodded. "He caught me by surprise and stole some gem fragments known as the Chronos fragments."

"Aren't those mentioned in one of Gabrielle's scrolls we catalogued last week?" Wren asked.

"The one written by the Bard of Potedeia." Herc confirmed.

"Why are the fragments dangerous?" Asked Demetrius.

"They have the ability of temporal distortion." Hercules explained. "When together, they allow time travel."

"Uh-oh." Wren gulped. "And you think I can do a job like this? Sorry, Hercules. You have the wrong lady. I'm white-collar middle management, NOT yellow-spandex-wearing-caped-crusader. Talk to the Avengers. Talk to the X-Men. Hell, talk to Demetrius' clan. They're here in New York. Let them deal with gods. I'm retired."

"Discretion is essential to the success of retrieving the fragments." Hercules explained. "I know that you're discreet. I was a member of the Avengers... too much firepower for what I need. I need you and your special talents of distinction and observation for this quest."

"You want little old me to go after the Greek god of war after he managed to out-snooker another god." Her incredulous reaction seemed lost on the golden Greek god.

"Exactly. Ares caught me off guard and stole the fragments. Now, he wants to change history to suit his maniacal vision of world domination."

"That isn't good." She looked at the Greek god standing before her. "Can't you stop him?"

"Not exactly." Hercules shrugged. "It was a mandate of my father Zeus that no god travel through time. It's dangerous for gods to do so. I honor that law and enforce it. However, Ares considers himself above the law and now seeks to remake the world in his image."

"You are bound by law and honor?" Demetrius inquired.

"I have to abide by the laws I set for the other Olympians." Hercules walked to them. "However, it isn't forbidden for mortals to travel through time. I used a scrying device to show me a mortal that would be suited for retrieving the fragment from my power-hungry brother and set things right."

"So who's the lucky mortal?" Wren felt claustrophobic standing in the small, narrow vault.

"You are..I think you both are, actually." Herc answered.

"Oh, no. You're scrying device made a mistake." Wren retorted vehemently. "Not this girl."

"Wren, tell him the truth." Demetrius urged.

"No. Not in this lifetime. I thought we already figured that I'm not cut out for a heroine's life."

"What truth?" The golden Adonis probed for an explanation. "The mirror wouldn't have shone me your image if you weren't suited for the task."

"Oh, all right." She muttered. "If you must know, I'm a mutant."

"You're a mutant!?" Hercules seemed genuinely surprised. "The mirror never lies. You must be well-suited."

"Homo Sapien Superior in the flesh." She sighed. "My abilities include hyper linguistics and probability manipulation."

"That explains how you can translate almost any document I set in front of you." Hercules realized.

"Exactly. I've studied most of these languages only briefly. With my memory and my abilities, it's a snap to figure them out within minutes." Wren shrugged helplessly. "It's not like I can shoot balls of flame, levitate or read minds."

"Still, that's incredible." Hercules exclaimed. "But what do you mean by probability manipulation."

"It's a form of reality warping. Basically, it's luck control. I can alter reality enough to change odds and cause events to act in my favor." Wren nervously clasped her hands and tried to control the stammer in her voice. "I can also manipulate the energies around me to cause unfortunate things to occur...people tripping...serendipitous events that foil the evil villain...etcetera."

"So that's what Aphrodite meant that luck was coming my way!" Hercules exclaimed. "I don't know whether to throttle her or kiss her."

"Now, you know."

"Then, you could go back in time. With your abilities, you'd be able to get around Greece without any trouble and track down my brother. With your ability to change luck, you could get those fragments back."

"No way in hell am I traveling through time." She declared. "My adventuring days are over."

"If you don't go, the greater good will become the greater evil if Ares has his way about it." Hercules retorted. "Wren, you might be the only person who can do this."

"I don't want to. It's not my problem. If he wants to rule the world, let him. I've dealt with enough gods in my time to know that I'm not cut out for this sort of thing. I'm not the kind of girl who can win a battle against an opponent, let alone the god of war!"

"Wren, you do have Excelsior!" Demetrius gently reminded her.

"Shhh!" She hissed.

"Excelsior?" Hercules asked. "Who is Excelsior?"

She remained silent. She felt Demetrius' lavender gaze searing a hole through her. Hercules' stern blue eyes relentlessly stare at her. She realized there was no getting around this interrogation.

"Excelsior is a magickal weapon. It's an annulus. It's a bladed circlet that is deadly in battle when thrown. It always hits its target and it always returns to my hand. It's like a bladed Frisbee."

"You mean it's like this?" Hercules walked to one of the boxes on the floor of the vault. He dug through the packing in the box and pulled out a circular ring about the size of a dinner plate. It was a round ring only slightly smaller than Excelsior. In the middle was a handle that gave it the appearance of a ying and yang.

"Similar, but, a bit bigger. What is that?" Wren asked.

"It's a chakrum." Hercules held it up in the light. "It belonged to a friend of mine."

"Like what I saw in the old TV show "Xena; Warrior Princess?" Wren's eyes grew larger than saucers. "It's an actual chakrum?"

"Exactly. In fact, this is the original one used by my friend Xena." Hercules felt a tug of pride knowing that the old tales and deeds weren't entirely lost in the passing of the ages.

"I love that show!" She exclaimed with great excitement. "You mean she and Gabrielle actually existed?"

"Yes, they did." Hercules smiled as warm memories filled his mind. "They were brave women and good friends."

"Wren... tell him the rest." Demetrius urged.

"Fine." She cast him a glare that was as sharp as her annulus. "The annulus has the ability to kill undead and it allows its owner to travel from dimension to dimension. It doesn't have the ability to send me back through time."

"Amazing. It must have been forged by Hephestus." Hercules said in awe of her fantastic tale.

"No, not at all. It was forged about a thousand years ago by a gargoyle blacksmith named Atalanta." She laughed. "You know, I picked Atalanta's name because of a character I once saw on your show. Did your Atalanta actually exist?"

"Yes."

"Was she a blacksmith?" The line of questioning continued.

"Yes." Hercules sighed.

"Did she compete in the first Olympics?"

"YES." He stated firmly. "Wren, you are the person the mirror showed me. I can't go myself. Only you can go and you seem to be the best person qualified to regain the Chronos fragments."

"I'm not match for Ares." She gasped. "You must be nuts."

"I can't go. Olympian law forbids me. If you don't go, the world as we know it will cease to exist. The balance between good and evil will be changed. The world will be plunged into an apocalypse cause by my megalomaniac of a brother."

"Wren, it is right that you do this." Demetrius urged. "He will not expect a mortal to seek him out. Your weapon is forged from the metal of Oberon. Surely, it will hold well against him."

"I can't do it. It's just too much." She pleaded. "I don't want to. Ask someone else."

"Wren, there is no one else." Hercules asked.

"No."

"Wren, if Ares truly disrupts time and changes what is meant to be, then, my clan may be adversely affected."

"Let me sweeten the deal. I'll throw in a tour of Olympus and every Xena and Hercules episode ever made." Herc knew that she was contemplating heroism verses hedonism.

"Milady, my clan's very existence lies in peril if the God Of War assumes power. His kind use Gargoyles only to further their ends. Innocent millions will perish." Demetrius urged. "If that is to come to pass, then I shall never know you. I shall never ...love you."

That was the clincher. Wren's weak spot was Clan Caledon. Clan Caledon meant Demetrius.

"I don't want to go alone." She turned to him. "I'm not a hero."

"We shall go together. Where you go, I go." He repeated his vow to her. "I shall never leave you."

"I know." She smiled and brought her hand to cup his chiseled jaw. "I can't ask you to do this. It isn't your problem."

"Hercules, is it within your power to send us both through time?" Demetrius asked the god. He placed two large taloned hands upon the svelte woman's shoulders. "I will not desert Milady in time of need."

"I can. However, I have to warn you that I can't bring you back."

"What???" Wren shrieked. "You're not serious."

"I'm afraid that it's a one way trip because my powers aren't that strong." He told her grimly. "You can return to this time by using the recovered fragments. Simply hold them in your hand and concentrate on when you want to be. That activates the Chronos fragments and will pull you and Demetrius back to the present."

"And what if we can't we return?" Her voice seemed almost shrill. "We'll be trapped there."

"Seek out the temple of Aphrodite and tell her that Hercules sent you." HE reached around his neck and pulled out a golden shell hanging on a leather chord. "'Dite gave this to me for my birthday. Present this at her alter and she'll recognize it as my token to you. She might be able to send you forward in time."

Demetrius reached for the shell and placed it around his neck.

"Demetrius, I don't have a choice do I?" She asked him.

"Nay, Milady. Would you let evil be victorious if you can stay its power?"

"No." She replied in a small voice.

"Do you have your chak-, I mean annulus?" Hercules asked.

"It's in my purse by the vault wall." She told him. "I never leave home without it."

"Then, we mustn't waste another second." Hercules stepped in front of her. "Demetrius, take a good hold of her."

"Wait! He turns to stone at night." She exclaimed. "That could be a problem."

"The shell will keep him flesh while he wears it." Hercules touched the treasure and it sparkled briefly. "I made it so."

"I am grateful." She thanked the god. She took hold of her purse and retrieved the Annulus. Demetrius embrace her tightly in his arms. His tail snaked possessively around her waist. His wings protectively wrapped around her.

"We are ready, Hercules." Demetrius informed him. "Work your magick and send us forth into the past."

"Good luck to both of you. I know you can do this."

"I'm glad you think so." Wren quipped. "I'm scared out of my wits."

"I am with you, Love." Demetrius hugged her. "Always."

"That helps." Wren cupped his strong jaw. "Ditto."

He gave her a broad grin at the use of the almost magical word. It sent waves of warmth to him. [She mayn't be able to say the words; she is brave enough to know deep feelings.]

"And so it begins..." Hercules' voice faded with the wave of his hand. A bolt of energy surged from his hand and struck the duo as lightning strikes a rod. There was a burst of light, a thunderous clap, and a tugging sensation that pulled them somewhere. "Good luck to you both..."

The vault was gone. Hercules was nowhere to be seen. Instead, they stood at a crossroads where a half-decomposed body hung in a cage above them on a pull. Lush vegetation was everywhere and there was a sign written in Greek.

"No incantation...just a wave of the hand he works fast." Wren said.

"Indeed." Demetrius looked down at her. Are you well?"

"Disoriented but otherwise fine."

"I think we are here."

"I can't believe I let you talk me into this."

"I can not believe that you considered walking away from this." He retorted. "We have a god to find."

"Agreed."