By Princess Alexandria
Prompt: First Date: section 49
I watched as Dr. Lambert took the blood I'd managed to steal from Goliath while he was too stunned to notice. "Break." Dr. Lambert stared into my eyes meaningfully. I heard the shuffle of talons on the floor behind me and the doctor glanced back.
I looked back to see Demona glaring at the doctor and my opinion of the human went up when she didn't back down or cower. Dr. Lambert just touched my arm gently. "Lilith, go out and do something fun, or relax. Our night is over, the results won't be back for hours."
"But Malibu." I protested quietly. I saw regret in the doctor's face at my words.
"I'll give him an extra dose of the experimental antidote." The doctor said quietly and I nodded. That hadn't helped Brentwood last night, and the tests were still inconclusive. It was just all we had. "I wish you all didn't turn to stone." The doctor spoke and I could hear some helplessness in her voice as well. "It just makes this so much more complicated."
"I know. I'm not all that fond of it either." I sighed and glanced at Demona, the only one of us free of that inconvenience.
"I guess I have to take a break." I told her. I was still uneasy about not working, but I did understand why I'd need a break. My mind was just frozen and wrapping around the same ideas constantly. I needed a fresh perspective.
I felt like I was abandoning my brother as I stared at the table I'd worked at. I glanced around at the various researchers still hard at work and then back at the doctor. Doctor Lambert's eyes seemed to say she understood, but that this really was for the best. I sighed heavily and turned back to Demona. My mate.
Demona had been amazing for me through all of this. I stared at her even as she took a step toward me. "Well, if you're taking a break, I could really use a glide." Demona's eyes seemed to open up and I could see how stressed she was, just being here, and not doubt her arguments with Goliath were wearing on her. I felt a bit guilty for putting her through it, so I nodded and moved with her toward the door.
She took my hand once she was close enough and I felt her squeeze it comfortingly. I held hers tightly, grateful I wasn't alone.
We had to go past the room I'd found her and Goliath arguing in to get to the only opening window on this floor. Not every floor had one, but Fox had explained that she'd had it put in for the clan, since this was the medical floor. As I passed that room I glanced in, almost expecting to see Goliath still staring at the wall in shock, but he wasn't there.
"I'm sorry I'm forcing you to be here." I spoke quietly in front of the opened window. "I know it can't be easy."
"I don't want you to have any regrets here Lilith." Demona spoke gently and I look over at her. She caressed my hair, which was partly in my eyes again. "If they can be helped, I know you'll do it, but if they can't, you've tried. No one here can say you haven't tried." Demona sighed and I thought her eyes were sad. "Our clan might be a little small for you, and I know you care what this clan thinks. It couldn't hurt to show them you aren't evil."
"I'm very happy with the clan I have." I spoke softly and moved my hand up to caress her arm as it stopped caressing my hair. "Very happy." I spoke more firmly.
She smiled just a little. "So am I." She moved to the window. "Try and keep up. You haven't really trained anymore than racing back and forth from home to here. I don't want you getting rusty so soon after making such strides."
My back ached a bit from being hunched over a microscope for so long, and I hadn't even noticed it until my wings were pulled tight by the wind. I stretched my wings and did a corkscrew just to prove to myself I still could, before I found Demona in the distance and grinned as I realized she was racing away from me, and apparently we were playing tag.
As I turned the corner of a building I gasped and did my best to slow down as I found Demona doing that turn she was so fond of and I looped as fast as I could with a laugh as she was suddenly chasing me. "Rules, there have to be rules!" I yelled out as I started to race away.
"There are rules, I just don't share them with you." Demona yelled out and I loved that hint of laughter in her voice. I took a sharp turn around the building to the side of me and pulled up as fast as I could. If even for a moment she didn't know where I was it would buy me more time to get a little more distance on her. She was faster in the air than I was, I needed all the help I could get.
I was holding my own, at least for a while, but somehow she managed to come down from above me while I was checking to see how close she was. Her arms wrapped around me, trapping my wings to my body and I gasped for a moment, before I felt her start to hold me up in the air. "I was worried you'd be rusty, but you are only a little slower." Her voice whispered into my ear and I relaxed into her hold. "Lilith?"
"I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have you." My voice cracked and tears started to fill my eyes as the past week or so caught up with me.
"Oh shh." Her arms tightened around me and I felt us descending. "I'm here, and I'm not going anywhere." As the rooftop got closer I had to shift, but as soon as we were down I turned around and pulled her to me, burying my head on her shoulder. "Oh Lilith, I know this is hard on you. You have no idea how grateful I was that you weren't sick as well." I was hugged tightly and I sighed, content to be here. We rarely had time for this, I was so busy.
I can't believe I hadn't been held like this in days. How did I survive them?
She just held me, caressing my hair every so often, and made no motion to let me go. I used that to my advantage by not letting her go either.
"We aren't far from Nightstone." Demona told me and I wasn't sure why for a moment. "I could order us a nice dinner and we could just sit in my back office." Her back office had a large couch and a television. "We could just do nothing for a while."
She pulled back and seemed to study my face. "We could watch a movie, or just talk." Her hand caressed my hair. "You're my mate and we've never dated." My eyes widened. "I want fond memories of sitting up all night talking with you, and glides over the lake in the moonlight." My heart ached at her words, but it was a good ache. "I want you to know that even though there are options out there for you, that I am the best one to be your mate. I was upset when Goliath found another like us. I don't want there to be doubts Lilith."
"I have no doubts." I told her quickly. I'd never once considered the Japanese female. True I hadn't met her, but I felt no need to.
"I'll never age, I will always be as I am now." Demona spoke quietly. "I am welcome in no clan other than the one I made with you. It is possible that our clan will not grow in your lifetime."
"I don't think I'd want to share you with a clan." I told her and I believed it. We had all our nights if we wanted, to be together. Lately that hadn't been true, and that was because I had a responsibility to the other clones. They were clan and not clan to me. We came from the same place, but they didn't live with me and I didn't want them too. They took all of my energy and while I liked feeling accepted now, I just couldn't imagine what my life would have been if I'd accepted my role in their clan by being Thailog's whore. I'd never have a free moment, because the males needed so much care and always would. "And I'm not even a year old. If my age, my lack of real experience, doesn't concern you, why would your age concern me? I am much younger than anyone who might even consider me. For me, forty years or a thousand are all the same. I can't comprehend either of them." I stared into her eyes. "I don't need to date you, I have already chosen my mate."
She smiled just a little. "Mates can date as well." She sounded just a little amused. My first thought when she said that was that she'd date someone else, but then it dawned on me that mates date each other. I really hated my programming, it left so much out. Of course, I wasn't made to date. The way our relationship became sexual was more in line with my understanding of the whole process, but then she liked to push me past my programming. I loved that about her.
"We're dating in your office?" I asked, unsure of that. It seemed strange.
"Well, I'd take you to a play if the humans weren't everywhere, but they are. I'd prefer a human free evening." There was a hint of sarcasm in her voice, but I knew she'd prefer every evening to be human free. I just nodded. Her office was nice, so was her house. But her office was close and that made it the winner.
I felt guilty about having fun when I should be working, to be making personal plans made me feel like I was abandoning the others, but I still had hours of my enforced break and I couldn't imagine anything else I'd rather do than spend it with Demona.
We took off and this time Demona had her remote so the window of her hidden office opened for us. I had to pull my wings in very tight to make the landing and I shifted fast so I didn't find myself ramming into the opposite wall. I was a little proud when I managed it and looking over at Demona she was just grinning at me, as if she knew my thoughts.
"I'll just make a call for our dinner. I have the local restaurants trained to deliver at security and they leave it on my desk if I'm not in my main office." Demona explained and I just nodded. I watched her move to her second desk and use the phone. Words about chow mein made me smile, I liked Chinese food, but she didn't know how to make many dishes at home. I only got Chinese food when she was tired after a bad day at work. She wasn't likely to be a little grumpy tonight so it would make this treat much better.
I moved to sit on the couch and just watched her call security with their instructions as well. She looked so powerful giving orders and I loved watching it. She hung up and gave me a quizzical look, so I just blushed, because I still hadn't learned how not to do that, and looked away.
"I expect we will have food in about thirty minutes. They know better than to make me wait longer than that." Demona spoke and walked toward me and the couch. She was so graceful even just sitting down looked beautiful when she did it. "None of my sisters ever looked at me the way you do." She spoke softly, her voice a hint deeper than normal. I moved to stare into her eyes. "I doubt I will ever tire of the way you look at me."
At that moment, the way she looked at me had my heart pounding. There was naked affection in her eyes. I didn't know what to say about her words, but I wanted to cuddle into her. If the seat didn't make it so awkward I would have. Instead I just reached out and took her hand. I had no words, so I didn't try and speak. She seemed to understand.
"I suppose on our first date we should talk." Demona spoke, her voice a bit rough and I looked up to see hungry eyes. She didn't look like she wanted to talk, she looked like she wanted something else entirely. I wanted that too. "Dinner is on the way." She reminded me and I sighed. We really shouldn't start something yet, if a human would be dropping dinner off in the other room soon. This was our first date, but I found the structure a bit frustrating.
Prompt: credit – section 50
My eyes were a little wide as I stormed into the lab. Sunrise was coming soon, way too soon, but I had to share my idea with the doctor. Demona was right behind me and I glanced at her, taking in the confidence she projected. She sure didn't look like we'd spent time talking, eating dinner and then mating on her desk, on her couch, and on the floor. She looked perfect, and I tore my eyes from her to focus on the thought I'd had.
"Lilith, you're never here this late." Dr. Lambert glanced at the clock, and she was right. I should be nearly home, or failing that safely tucked into Demona's secret office. If my post-coital mind hadn't drifted and Demona hadn't said what she did I would have stayed in her arms until nearly sunrise, but I had to be here. Demona should be credited with my breakthrough, but there was no way I'd share how exactly it happened.
"Stone, the secret is in the stone." I told her quickly. I had no time to communicate and I needed her to work through the day when I couldn't. "It's like cancer of the stone. The stone is growing uncontrollably." My voice was a bit loud as I spoke as fast as I could. The analogy was imperfect but I had little time for exact words. "We need to study the stone I turn to and compare it to the others. It isn't in the blood, it's in the stone."
"Wow, I guess a break really does help." Dr. Lambert's eyes were wide. "How can we study that?" She asked me and seemed to be considering it herself.
"We need to capture the stone from our awakening and study it." I told her. My mind cringed at another need. "We need to study Brentwood too." That would be desecration, he'd need to be scrapped and studied, because he would not give off stone fragments, he would not wake. I didn't think my suggestion would go well with the clan, but in order to save the others we needed to do some rather disgusting things to the dead.
"She is prepared to stay here for the day." Demona spoke up and I glanced at her. Demona couldn't stay, not with humans who didn't know her secret around. I was nervous about this, I felt unsafe. "If anything happens to her, it will be your head I go after first Dr. Lambert."
It was late and I saw her glance at the clock. "I need to go Lilith." She sounded pained.
"I'll be okay." I told her, but I was nervous. I did what I could to hide that, because I had to do this.
"I'll call Fox and inform her of this," Demona's eyes burned into the doctor as she talked to me. "but don't mistake me human, I know how to make the remaining seconds of your life feel like eternity, if you allow any harm to come to Lilith. She may have the cure in her, but if you break this golden egg you won't be able to hide."
Dr. Lambert seemed a bit nervous then. Demona turned and stormed out and I stood there for a moment watching, before I turned back to the doctor. "We don't have time. You need samples today and it wouldn't hurt to get samples from Brentwood before the sun sets."
"Hector," Dr. Lambert's voice rose. "Get up to the castle and…" She started to rattle off all the things that needed to be done. I took that moment to take a deep breath. Every word she said reassured me she understood what needed to be done even better than I did. Once Hector took off to do as he was told, Dr. Lambert started issuing other orders and the two other researchers starting adding to it, as assistants scrambled to do what they were told.
I was able to think for a moment, and I remembered Demona's words, said in jest as we cuddled. "Don't fall asleep, I would really hate to spend my day trapped in stone and fully conscious of it, even if it is in your arms." It was teasing, but it had filled me with horror as I realized it was my inspiration for this last ditch effort. I shook as I suspected how Brentwood really died, trapped and not strong enough to break through the stone. He would have suffocated and been unable to move.
"Oh god, please wake up tomorrow Malibu." A tear fell from my eye as I whispered that.
"Let's get you set upstairs. It will be easier to collect samples from your wake up call if you all are together." Dr. Lambert told me and I nodded. She started for the elevator, but I pointed to the window. I didn't have time to take the stairs, and the elevator was so small.
I noticed a few surprised faces as I glided over the castle walls, and I saw the doctor watching me, as well as Elisa as I took a look around.
"I don't feel extra tired." Malibu told me and I nodded as I took a spot right next to him. We both had tarps of some sort to stand on and he looked down at his curiously and I just sighed. I had to do this for him. A tear traveled down my cheek as I held my pain in, knowing he was afraid, just like everyone else, that he wouldn't wake up.
As the sun started to rise I couldn't fight it anymore. I curled up into a small ball and pulled my body tight to protect myself. I knew Fox was around, but she wasn't here, and Demona couldn't be here. I had to protect myself as best I could. Maybe getting a tarp around me for collection would be easier, I comforted myself on my cowardice as the sun came up.
I roared and stretched my wings out. The bag startled me and seeing nothing but white almost made me panic, but I stopped myself just short of shredding my way out. I started to remember. I could see light through the bag, and I found hands untying something and fresh air. My heart was hammering, and nightmares of my creation played behind my eyes, but I fought my instincts and didn't rush the bag down. I could hear some growling and ripping, so I knew Delilah wasn't as successful as I was at controlling herself. I knew that her bag still held her stone, the folds would hold it, but we'd need more of mine. I couldn't fight like she was.
It pooled under me and I saw Fox looking at me in concern. Her eyes moved to the side and the doctor was pulling the bag down off of Malibu. "No!" I yelled out as I saw the stone.
I had taken a step out of my own stone shards and the doctor was up and running. I barely paid any attention to her as she made her way to the wall, but when she turned with a hammer in hand and wide eyes I knew I'd been right. I ran up to Malibu, but the human doctor had managed to beat me there, she raised the hammer and someone shouted as she started to bring it down.
"Don't!" I yelled to Brooklyn, but he wasn't listening, he was moving fast to stop the doctor. I pounced on him, doing my best to keep him away. "Do it!" I yelled to Dr. Lambert, even as more clan converged on us. We didn't have time to explain much. "He's still alive!" I yelled out, hoping to stop them long enough to save my brother.
The hammer rung as it struck stone. I'd look, but Brooklyn was squirming and fighting. "Traitor!" He yelled out. "Killing your own clan." The hammer sounded again.
"That's it, breath." The doctor's voice called out and I could no longer hear everyone rushing our way.
"Oh my god!" Someone sounded stunned, and Brooklyn appeared to notice, because his fight left him. I sat back on my legs and looked up to see Malibu's beak free and he was still encased in stone. I could see bloody cuts and the crack that the doctor had her fingers in as she tried to pull more stone away from his face.
I was the second gargoyle to rush to aid her. Hudson brushed the doctor to the side and reached in himself to pull at the encasing stone.
"We need to get him out. His chest can't move enough to take a good breath." The doctor explained and I picked up the hammer she'd used. I might break his ribs, but that heals, I thought as I pulled my hand back and slammed the hammer into the chest of the male. I could hear crying, but I focused on the crack and hit him again, doing my best to just hit him hard enough to crack stone. Crumbles of stone started to fall as his chest expands and then contracted. I'd done it.
"Help." Malibu's voice was weak and I reached into the cracks and startled to pull stone off of him. I heard the hammer scrape the ground and barely glanced down to see Goliath's hand pick it up.
"Just hard enough to break stone." I told him as I focused on Malibu's chest and torso. I heard the hammer fall and felt Malibu's body tense. His flesh was under my hands. Goliath dropped the hammer and I heard him cracking stone off of Malibu's back. I hope he was thinking enough to hit Malibu between the wings and not on them.
"Easy lad." Hudson spoke to Malibu as I felt Malibu try and struggle. The weakness in his body and the extra thickness of the stone making it obvious he needed help. "We'll get ya, just take it easy lad."
The cuts and cracks on his skin oozed blood, but I had to ignore that for now. A large piece over his stomach gave way as I pulled and I almost tossed it to the side, but suddenly there was a human there. "Give it to me." Dr. Lambert spoke and I froze to make sure I didn't toss it at her, since my body had been about to do that before she spoke. I handed the stone to her and Dr. Lambert called out.
"Jeremy, get this to the lab now. Run every test we did today on it." I watched another human move forward, before turning to my work again. We worked as a team, Goliath, Hudson, and I, ripping Malibu free. As his torso was completely free he collapsed and he was heavy with stone as I caught him.
"Lily." His voice was tearful as he stared at me, scared looking. I tried to give him a reassuring look.
"We'll get you out of here." I told him as Goliath helped me lower him to the ground. We started to work on his extremities and I started to be able to feel the eyes on me. I looked up to see all the clones and Wyvern clan staring. Most had very wide eyes. I focused down at Malibu, who was staring at me. "Everything will be okay." I told him, as I started to work on one of his hands.
After he was free he was put on a stretcher and I stayed kneeling on the ground, feeling exhausted as I watched the doctor wheel him away. He was weak, and had several scratches, some of which I had given him on accident while freeing him.
I should go to the lab and find out the results of the work they'd done during the day. I should go make sure Malibu was comfortable, but I felt like my muscles wouldn't support me if I moved. I just sat there and stared at the doorway. Tears started to obscure my vision. No one here seemed to realize yet that they'd just stood by as Brentwood died. I wasn't here, but I would have done it too. No one had any idea.
"Baby?" Fox's voice was soft and I felt human hands rest on my shoulders. I turned just a little to the left to be able to see her. I started to look around and noticed the Wyvern clan still about, many glancing at me or the stone bits on the ground near me. The other clones were my concern though. I turned the other way. "Delilah took them downstairs." I glanced up at Fox and blinked. My eyes hurt and felt scratchy. I glanced around again.
"Did Dr. Lambert discover anything?" I asked with a scratchy voice. I had to get to work, I'd wasted enough time.
"She says your insight might be the breakthrough they were looking for. They just needed to check the stone fragments and see." Fox told me, but she pulled me into a hug and I leaned against her. "Are you okay?"
"I'm," my words trailed off. They would have been a lie. "He almost died." I spoke more quietly, thinking of his desperate eyes as he stared at me as if I could fix it. He was counting on me, not the doctor, not the others, Malibu was counting on me. I'm the one he'd begged for help, even though it was Hudson freeing his face. It was me, and I was terrified.
"If you hadn't figured it out, and had Dr. Lambert testing on Brentwood, he would have. He has tonight because of you Lilith." Fox spoke and I cringed. Would it have been better to let him die? What would it do to him to go into stone sleep again tonight? If we didn't come up with something tonight, would he survive another waking like tonight? I took a deep breath, and all the weight on my shoulders, that had left oh so briefly when I was in Demona's arms, returned.
I didn't want to go downstairs and see him stare at me with those eyes, those eyes that begged for my help. Still I shifted and Fox let go as I moved to stand up. "I wish I wasn't the smart one." I whispered, upset with the burden on me. "I need to get to work, and I don't feel all that smart. Why couldn't they have made me a doctor?" I turned to glance out at the sky and the city. "This is a nightmare." I stared up at the moon and took a few deep breaths. I wanted Demona, but what could she really do? I had to work.
"Lilith, this isn't all on your shoulders. I hired the best." Fox spoke and I turned to her. My lips bent in a small humorless smile, knowing Fox was right in one way, but the clones weren't looking at the human doctor to fix it, they were looking at me, their sister, to make it all okay again.
"Thank you for that. Dr. Lambert is great. She really is." I muttered as I stared at my hands and how I was gripping the castle wall as I stared over it into the night. I turned back and noticed all the bags had been removed as well, the samples of the stone on everyone was in the lab. I never even noticed them do it. I must have really been out of it. I sighed.
"Lilith, I'm sorry I assumed the worst." Brooklyn's voice was a shock and I looked up to see he'd moved closer to us. I wanted to feel something, anger, pain, but I couldn't feel anything. "I have to give you credit. You are doing everything possible, I can see that. You might have been blinded by Demona, but no one can say you don't stand by your clan."
I stared at him a moment. I couldn't thank him for that, if he'd left the dig at my mate out I could have, but there was no way I could accept that comment as given. If I did, it would mean his credit to me meant nothing, because I wouldn't be standing by my clan. Demona was my clan, more my clan than these people I was here to save actually. "You know, Delilah hated me on sight." I spoke quietly as I addressed him. He looked puzzled. "She was programmed to, but she learned to push past it. That's hard to do. She deserves some credit for managing it." He looked stumped now. "Funny how you've programmed yourself and you can't get past it."
I took moment to share a look with Fox, and glanced around at the others. No one stared at me with suspicion now, and that was new. I moved forward, to get back to work. I had a lot to do before the sun rose.
Demona would look in the lab for me first, she knew where I'd be.
"Look at this." Dr. Lambert spoke and I turned to see her standing in front of another microscope. I also saw Demona leaning against a table watching me. I hadn't even seen her come in. I gave her a small smile, but Demona waved her hand and I knew she understood how important my work was to me. She was giving me permission to just continue what I was doing.
"What is it?" I asked as I moved to look at what had Dr. Lambert calling me over. I stared down at the slide and the skin on it. I blinked as I stared harder. "Whose is this?" I asked, because the cells weren't like the ones in my microscope at the other table. The sample I had been looking at was from Hollywood.
"That is the latest skin scrape from Malibu." Dr. Lambert sounded a little smug and I looked up at her, before staring back down at the slide. I blinked and leaned back as the doctor put another slide in the microscope.
I sat back and stared at the microscope without looking through it. "He's responding to the treatment isn't he?"
"Yes he is. I want to start injecting the others. We may have it Lilith." Dr. Lambert spoke and I felt like my heart was ready to explode with joy. I yelled out and picked the human up, spinning her around in spite of her alarmed yelp.
I turned to see Demona's eyes slightly wider as she stared at me, but she tilted her head and smiled. I grinned and turned back to the lab, before looking at her again. "He might make it." I told her and my voice was shaky.
I was hugged and held her tight. "Oh god, this evening was horrible." I whispered to her.
"I heard." Demona held me and I just stood still for the comfort for a moment. When I started to pull back she stared into my eyes.
"Lilith, we'll need more of your blood for this." Dr. Lambert spoke and I blinked, breaking my shared gaze with my mate and turned toward her.
"I'm on it." I told her and moved to find the needles. I was used to giving blood often now. It was finally going to pay off.
The lab was a storm of activity after that. I helped to produce the serum, and Dr. Lambert explained everything I didn't understand as she oversaw it all. It took three hours to have four vials ready.
Delilah watched me as she was injected. She nodded softly and gave me a weak smile. I turned to leave her room after that. She had tears in her eyes and I thought I'd respect her privacy.
Once all the clones were treated, and the doctor had plans to treat them again right before sunrise, I found myself standing in the hall. I took deep breaths and felt my body shaking a little.
"I was wrong, you are a warrior." Demona spoke and I was startled to see her appear in the doorway near me. "You fight with a syringe and test tubes, but you do fight, my love." I bit my lower lip just a little and she moved to touch my hair. "You've done all you could, more than I thought possible really. Maybe it's time to go home?"
"Home sounds good." I felt exhausted, the weeks of work and the emotional rollercoaster catching up with me.
We started to walk and I approached a sensitive topic. "Dr. Lambert said she's going to be working in the city for a while. She thought she could apprentice me, since I can't go to school."
Demona turned sharply and stared at me. I could see the no on her lips and I lowered my head. "I could have her visit Nightstone if that is what you want." Demona spoke and I jerked my head up to stare at her. "You want to be a doctor?"
"I want to understand, and go beyond my programming." I admitted. "I don't ever want to feel like I wasn't given enough again. I want to learn, learn the normal way."
"Okay. I'll let the human work with you, but if she says a word, breaks one of the many vows I'll make her give us, she won't live long." Demona spoke and I wondered if Natalie Lambert would want to teach me with such a threat over her head.