DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ!! The obvious... the characters of Disney's Gargoyles belongs to Buena Vista and Greg Weissman, creator and now comic book writer of the gargoyles-- again, look him up..
The not so obvious: Sata, Nudnick, Ariana, and Graeme are creations of the gargoyle fans that labelled themselves as the Gargoyle Saga, website can be found here at tgs. gargoyles- fans. org (spaces added for the few sites that delete website addies, IOW remove the spaces or google it) which began way back in 1997. Excellent read if one has the time as they took Weissman's ideas and interviewed him and all to get this awesome site going. Especially Timedancer as it explores Brooklyn going through a forty year trip that only took 5 minutes to everyone else. I flubbed a bit with that timeline in this story and with Brooklyn's mate-- as in the saga she comes from the past, plus I gave her a family name and I made it four months of missing time. (Bri-chan from Deviant Art made some excellent concept art on these characters.) They do now belong to me and yes, I'll admit I'm using them without permission, but I hope maybe this will direct other people to such an awesome site. And encourage people to seek out and buy the newer Gargoyle comics being produced by Slave Labor Graphics.
As for the other human characters, mine. All mine. You can find my own deviant account under kaltheinya.

A/N2: The Chance Encounters story, once again, was more of a pointless plot to have Owen get some action. There is a slight mention in it here but it's not really necessary to read at all. In other words, this is the real epilogue/sequel thing for Never Meant to Be. You can skip Chance Encounters but... well, the ending of that one kind of sets the "surprise" to this one.

What's Meant to Be: 5 Years Later

Brooklyn stood next to Goliath, watching his hatchlings as they glided around the castle. Unlike his younger self, Brooklyn stood proud and certain, a far cry from his awkward juvenile years, thanks to the Phoenix Gate. Goliath looked proud as well, satisfied that he had chosen himself a great second in command, although it was a bit strange knowing that Brooklyn was now a lot closer to his age than before.

Lexington and Broadway, he knew, also felt odd that their brother was now older than them. But they did enjoy being young uncles. The hatchlings were a handful at their worst, and having energy to keep up with them was the advantage that Broadway, Angela, and Lex had on them.

Brooklyn let out a satisfied sigh, knowing that things would be all right for a few more decades before things turned sour. Despite the heartache that will occur, he already knew the outcome of those events as well. Alex would become a great leader.

The only thing that going to the future didn't prepare him for was the upcoming reunion with an old flame.

Two days ago Elisa Maza had informed them that Roberto Quintanar and Gary Graham were arriving for a visit, as well as with Gary's four year old son.

Brooklyn continued to smile, but his heart wavered. Forty five years was a long time, and should have been enough to be completely over Roberto's abandonment, but... Brooklyn was forced to admit there was still a tiny bit of pain. Maybe, seeing Roberto, will help close that pain. Besides, had the man not left, he would have never been Hana Sata's mate nor would he have been the father of two, three if one added the gargoyle beast pup. It was hard to be angry at someone who made way to give him something that made him extremely happy. At the same time, knowing how the fates liked to work... if Roberto hadn't left, would the gate still have separated them? There were some pretty scary moments during his travels. What if it had taken Roberto with him? He could have lost him in time. Or Roberto would have returned as a very old man. So many 'what ifs.'

"Tomorrow night they will be here," Goliath suddenly said, almost as if sensing Brooklyn's thoughts.

"I better make sure the hatchlings will be on their best behavior, especially with a little one being around them."

"Are you okay with the idea of seeing him again?"

There was more to that question judging by the sound of Goliath's voice. Brooklyn took a moment to figure out how to answer the question. After all, Goliath and Roberto have only had five years to deal with the events.

"I am," he answered truthfully. "And I have forgiven you, Goliath. I've had time. However, I wonder if you've had time to forgive yourself."

Goliath sighed. "I hurt one of my clan members. My second in command. Even though we talked about it, deep down, I was not sure I understood my own actions, or explained it away to myself. Even now I have a difficult time doing so. I also wonder what life Mr. Quintanar has had since that time five years ago. Has he also found happiness? Has he forgiven me? We have plenty of enemies. I never meant to make one out of what could have been a great friend."

There was a moment of silence.

Their time together was interrupted by the cry of an enthusiastic youngling. "Papa!"

Brooklyn watched as his daughter Ariana dropped down from the sky. Following directly behind her was her brother Graeme. He couldn't help but smile at how much his own daughter looked like him. Where as he was uncertain with his looks while young, his "Hime-chan" would not have to worry about being teased.

"Momma wants to know if you'll join us for the patrol around the park tonight."

"I'll join you three in a moment."

The twins nodded and took off again, presumable to join their mother.

Brooklyn turned to Goliath. "I am sure everything will be all right, Goliath. I take it Elisa and Matt will be here, too?"

Goliath nodded. "As well as Owen. It seems Xanatos has business to attend. Fox is accompanying him. Alex is remaining behind. Fox claims she felt it might be nice for him to meet other children outside the school, even if it is a youngling."

Brooklyn smiled. "Gary with a hatchling. I never really thought of him as father material, although I suppose that's unfair considering how long I've only known him. I wonder how much he's changed."

"Well," Goliath said slowly. "Despite his gruff attitude, I did feel that he was extremely loyal to all his friends, even Roberto."

"That he was. He must be completely under his child's spell."

"Like you?"

Both males laughed as Brooklyn spread his wings and dashed for the edge to leap off. "Can't argue with that," Brooklyn responded as he went in the direction of his family.

X

Elisa grinned as she bounced the toddler on her hip. "He's an absolute doll!" she said, awed by the strange mixed appearance the boy in her arms took. He had managed to inherit hazel colored eyes and a tan complexion. His hair was a bit softer, similar to Elisa's, and almost completely straight. His doe like eyes matched Christina's when she pretended to be innocent. And his shy smile was similar to Gary's soft smile when caught unaware. However, the lips were fuller and the nose was a bit wider, most likely from the mother.

Lagging behind him was Roberto, also grinning.

"He's also a handful," he said. "Just like his dad."

"I am not," Gary's grin fell as the man shot Roberto an annoyed look.

"He worse!" cried out Gary's son, Marcus.

"See? Even the kid knows," retorted Roberto, sticking his tongue out at Gary.

"Grr. That's your fault. You turn him against me."

"Can I help it that kids seem drawn to me."

Gary smirked. "Cause you're more motherly? Yeah, I guess I can see that."

"Jerk."

Elisa laughed. "Not much has changed with you two, has it." She placed Marcus down as the little boy began to kick out his legs, a silent demand that he wanted down. Elisa found herself even more amused when Marcus ran past Gary, who was starting to bend down to catch him, and right into the legs of Roberto. Marcus grabbed him around the legs and looked up, beaming. Roberto chuckled and bent down, picking him up.

"Mine!" declared Marcus, throwing his arms around Roberto's neck.

Gary pouted. "I'm being abandoned by my kid. Story of my life."

"And the, uh, mother?"

Gary made a distasteful look while Roberto's smile became more forced.

Marcus scowled. "I have no mommy!" he shouted. "She died."

"Marcus..." Roberto admonished.

"Oh, I'm so sorry," started Elisa.

"Don't. She's not dead. Somehow Marcus got into his head to say that when anyone asks. He just doesn't understand that she chose to leave him behind, too, after my divorce. To be honest, I thought she would fight tooth and nail to take him away from me. I was surprised when I was granted full custody. I guess the bastard she chose over me didn't want to be bothered by kids. Haven't heard from her since. That was...two years ago?"

Roberto nodded. He smiled as Marcus planted a kiss on Roberto's cheek.

"Beto takes care of me like a momma!" he said.

Gary snorted, Roberto glared at him, and Elisa chuckled.

Gary turned back to Elisa. "To be honest, I was only upset at my failure of keeping the marriage intact. I thought I was in love with her before she got pregnant, then she showed her true colors after I got married. After some serious soul searching, I sort of fell out of love with her but tried to maintain the marriage so that she wouldn't look bad with her family."

Elisa couldn't help but noticed that Roberto held a strange and uncomfortable look in his eyes, and she couldn't help but wonder if there was more to the story.

"Well, why don't I get you guys to the hotel and than we can visit our friends."

"Think we can make it before sunset?" Gary asked.

"Oh, are we seeing the gaggles tonight?" asked Marcus.

Roberto chuckled. "Gargoyles."

"Gaggles... gag-oils..."

"Close enough."

"He knows about them?"

"Well, we have to prepare him. Can't expose our kid to monsters out of the blue now, can we," said Gary. "We think he understands. I would rather he see them in statue form first to see if he really is ready."

"Very well then. We'll make it in time, even if we stop by for a quick bite to eat."

X

Owen stood by the elevator that would take the group up to the highest part of the castle. Without batting an eye, he simply turned to Roberto and said, "Time seems to agree with you."

Roberto blushed, Gary rolled his eyes, and Owen was taken aback when the toddler, whom Roberto was carrying, stuck his tongue out at him. "I don't like you," he said clearly, before turning to smile at Roberto again and hugging him.

Elisa laughed at Owen's expression. "I've learned that little Marcus here seems to be very protective of Roberto."

"More like possessive. It's almost creepy."

"Gary..."

"What? I said almost creepy. It's not like I'm calling my own kid creepy. Just the level of ownership he seems to have taken on you. Makes me kind of jealous."

Roberto blushed again, and Owen and Elisa turned to look at Gary. He, in turn, stared at them.

"I'm the kid's father. Shouldn't I be the first in his life," he finally said.

"Oh," Elisa mumbled, for a moment certain that that was not what Gary meant. Then again, she could only reflect back to five years ago and how volatile the relationship between the two were. Things were said that could easily be misunderstood.

The elevators opened and the humans stepped in. A short moment later, the five were standing in front of the statues slumbering.

"So big!" said Marcus, in awe. His eyes were wide, but it was plain to see that there was a bit of fear in them, knowing that these giant statues were suppose to come to life at night. He looked up at Gary, who as holding his hand. "They don't eat people?" he asked, a bit timidly.

Gary smiled. "Only naughty boys."

"Gary!" snapped Roberto, who had moved towards the frozen forms of Brooklyn and his family.

"Sorry. I mean criminals. But they don't eat them, eat them. Just like to pretend that they might."

"So what do they eat?"

"Same as you and me, kid. Anything we cook. They like spicy stuff though."

"You mean they eat like pizza and stuff?"

"Yup."

"Oh." Marcus looked back at the statues with a little less fear.

Roberto, in the meantime, reached out and touched the beak of Brooklyn. "I can't believe he looks so much older," he murmured. "And yet, still young."

Owen stepped up beside him. "It's not just his looks. It's his way of being. He acts with much more maturity."

Roberto moved to the two smaller gargoyle forms. "They look like him," he said, running his hands down the sides of their faces.

"Ariana, the girl, took more after Brooklyn. Graeme, the boy, took his coloring from Hana Sata."

Roberto's smile was small and held a touch of pain.

"This is what I had hoped for him. To see the children, er, hatchlings... I always wanted to have children. But I knew with how my tastes went, well... I guess with Marcus I sort of have that experience."

"The boy does seem overly fond of you. I am a bit surprised that Gary lets you watch over him. I seem to recall that while he was loyal to you, he was against your preferences."

Roberto looked a little flushed and Owen's suspicions began to grow. He also began to plot to see if he could attain an answer.

"Gary trusts me," Roberto replied. "Plus he really has no choice. We've learned that any long periods of time separated from me, Marcus begins to cry. I think, because of his mother's abandonment, he just clinged to the next constant of his life. And since Gary and I are partners, well, it would be obvious that it would be me."

"Partners?"

"Uh, yeah. I returned to work at the office. Back to with all my colleagues. Things have changed there, too. For one, I now carry a gun with me at all times, and two, Mike refuses to let me take undercover cases unless its an absolute necessity. Usually when it involves children."

"So... have you moved on?"

"Eh?"

"I mean, with Brooklyn having his mate and children, I wondered if you moved on after that whole thing in Texas. I heard the bust went all right. Your two years of being the kingpin's right hand man and lover making things go smoothly."

Roberto shuddered. "Ugh. I can still feel him on me from time to time, the fat bastard. Moving on? Yeah, I guess I have. I don't have nightmares anymore. And I don't feel as ashamed that I allowed the feds to use me that way."

"But have you moved on romantically? Found yourself someone?"

"Well..."

Owen leaked out Puck's voice. "I'm still free, you know."

Roberto choked out a laugh. "God, you are such a big flirt. I'm... steady. It just seems surreal to me even though it's been... a little under two years now. I don't think I've ever been in a relationship sort of thing for that long. Although... I do like to think that... had things been different, Brooklyn and I would have lasted at least that long." Roberto looked at the family before him. "But at the same time, the thought of them not existing makes me even more sad."

There was little doubt about it. Owen could hear the sincerity in Roberto's voice. As Roberto mentioned, it was his fondest wish to have his own children. Wishing that their relationship could have been able to be continued meant wishing that Brooklyn didn't have his own children. Roberto was not the kind of person that would want to deny someone that privilege.

Owen placed an arm around Roberto's shoulder, leading him a couple feet away from the statues. "The sun is about to set. Don't want to get in the way of falling rock." Owen's stern face didn't change, even when he dropped his arm, hand grazing down Roberto's ass, earning an 'eep' from the latin male. He didn't even bat an eye when he noticed Gary staring at him suspiciously, although he was tempted to smirk when he realized that Marcus was glaring at him.

A moment later, the sun sank beneath the horizon.

X

Brooklyn could feel the roar yawn escaping as he stretched his wings and arms, breaking free from the rock. He could also hear the chorus of his family and clan roaring next to him, still amused by the childish growls that his hatchlings made. But in a split second, his heart skipped a beat as he remembered that tonight was the night.

And his breath caught in his throat as he realized that Roberto was standing in front of him.

Recovering, Brooklyn hopped down, pausing as his hatchlings gave out cries of delight and rushed past him, moving towards the small child that was hiding behind Gary.

"Oh, he's so cute!" Ariana was cooing.

"Are human babies always this small?" Graeme was asking.

"I'm not a baby!" said the human toddler.

Brooklyn couldn't help but grin. He recognized that glare anywhere. He turned back to Roberto and then glanced at Sata.

"Roberto-san," she said, moving forward to embrace him.

"Hana..." Roberto said softly.

"Please, call me Sata. We are allies." She then turned to Brooklyn and gave him a nod. "I will make sure the young ones do not over excite the human boy."

"Thank you," murmured Brooklyn.

He then took a real long look at Roberto, who was standing there looking unsure, but still as beautiful as ever. And though his heart beat a bit faster, Brooklyn was glad to realize that it did not ache. He was correct in his own assumption that he had healed.

"Hey," Brooklyn breathed out, hopping down from his perch to stand in front of Roberto.

"Hey, yourself," responded Roberto, softly. He glanced over to where the others were standing, watching as the Gargoyles surrounded Gary and Marcus. He was somewhat surprised to see Goliath catch his eye, and offer an apologetic smile and a nod.

Roberto let out a soft chuckle. "Glad to see that he doesn't hold my threat against me."

Brooklyn laughed as well. "The one about grinding him? He told me that when we finally had a chance to talk after you left."

Roberto winced. "I know nothing I say can really make what I did better, but trust me, I am sorry for any pain I caused you."

Brooklyn tilted his head. "What about you? Did you leave without any pain?"

Roberto shook his head. "I think I felt like I was dying as I left."

"So why leave in the first place?"

Roberto looked up at Brooklyn, hearing no anger in that voice. If anything, it was genuine curiosity.

"Brooklyn..." Roberto murmured. "Seeing you with her," Roberto nodded towards Sata, "...made me realize a few things. You were lonely, I paid attention to you, along comes a female that shows interest... Who am I to stop nature from taking its course? I had to give you the chance to have a normal gargoyle family. And if things didn't work out... I would have come back to you. At least that's what I told myself. But then I heard about the Phoenix Gate and how you and Hana, er, Sata, had children now... I couldn't bring myself to see you just yet. Gary was the one who pushed for me to come here."

"How is it for him? And where is his mate?"

"Gone. She left him."

Brooklyn looked horrified. "And she left her child behind?"

Roberto nodded. "Unlike you, humans seem to have an easier time rejecting their offspring to better their own lives." Then he added in a bitter voice, "Or to avoid any feelings of shame that their children's lifestyles may bring."

"Then in that case Demona is more human that she would ever care to admit."

"Demona?"

"You haven't had the horror of meeting her. Hopefully it will remain that way. In many ways, she abandoned Angela, too. Preferring her life of crime instead of trying to make things right. Now, come. I want to meet Gary's child."

Brooklyn and Roberto walked over to the crowd, where another human child had joined him. The new youth was babbling away at introductions, and Marcus was staring at him in wide eyed wonder.

"Who's this little guy?" Roberto asked. "Is he who I think he is?"

The little boy, with dark red hair and brilliant blue eyes looked up at him, smiled, and gave him a small bow. "Alexander Xanatos."

"Well, isn't he a polite one."

Gary grinned. "I can see both parents in him."

Marcus looked up at Gary.

"Alex said he wants to take me for a ... tor?"

"Tour."

"Yeah, that. Can I go?"

"Well..."

"I give you my word on taking good care of him," said Alex.

Ariana and Graeme jumped in. "Oh, oh, we'll watch over them, too!"

"Sure, go ahead."

"Please avoid anything breakable," said Owen, torn between wanting to follow the children as they ran to the inside of the castle and staying behind to talk with the adults. There were times he wondered when babysitting was added to his list of duties.

"Speaking of tours, when was the last time you visited New York?" Brooklyn asked Roberto.

"Since five years ago," Roberto responded.

"There are a few things that changed. Want to see?"

"Uh..." Roberto glanced at Gary, who just looked at him with an annoyed expression. He nodded once. Roberto turned back to Brooklyn. "Sure, I guess. If its really okay."

"Of course it is," said Hana, stepping forward. "You two have so much to talk about. I will go watch the little ones. While Alex-san is a remarkable and well behaved child, I am not foolish enough to deny that mine are not so careful."

Brooklyn chuckled as he gave his mate a quick hug. "Maybe we can all go out later in the evening, or tomorrow night. You will be here for several nights, right?"

Roberto nodded. "Yeah, we'll be here for most of the week."

"Then, shall we?" Brooklyn took Roberto's hand, leading him to the edge of the tower. He scooped up the human male bridal style, earning a startled yelp. Then he leapt from the edge and one could hear Roberto release another strangled shout that quickly faded.

Goliath turned to Gary, as did the others.

"So how is Jack and everyone else?" Broadway asked, as Angela leaned against him.

Gary smirked. "Funny how everyone seems to remember Jack's name. Guess it helps that he was the most friendly of us." Then he frowned. "Although my sister came in next but not quite as a clean type of friendly, if you recall. Either way, they are all good."

"I take it you have patched up any conflicts from before."

Gary grinned. "Oh yeah, in more ways than one. I can say for one thing, our older colleagues have certainly gotten more protective, which is annoying because we have gotten more experienced. I guess in their eyes we will always be kids. Mike is a captain now, and so is Stacey. Different divisions but we still tend to find ourselves crossing over and stuff. Roberto is also a sworn in officer, so it makes us all feel a bit more at ease that he now carries a gun for protection. Although he does opt for a taser instead. Not to mention he works more for the, uh, special task force as a consultant and therapist. Unofficially, of course."

"You mean that task force that kept everything hush hush after that raid at the docks," asked Elisa, for clarification.

"Yeah."

Gary took a step back when Owen turned into Puck. The Avalonian floated towards Gary, an impish grin on his face. "I'm more curious about how domestic the two of you and your child seem."

"Yes," jumped in Angela. "I was certain the child belonged to Roberto, not you. Even though... well... I mean I read up in science so I thought maybe he had..."

Gary grinned as how flustered the female gargoyle had gotten. "Well, my kid being of mixed race probably makes him look more like Roberto's, but the kid is all mine. Had a wife, she found someone more interesting, moved on. Roberto's been helping me with Marcus since he's more in tune with how children feel. Or at least that's what we discovered. We did move in together after my ex left. Made things easier, especially since we sometimes work opposite shifts. There is little need for baby sitters or daycare for Marcus."

Puck pouted. "Is that all?"

Gary smirked. "No. There's a whole lot of debauchery going on, too, when the kid is asleep. Is that what you wanted to hear?"

Elisa, Angela, and Puck snorted and laughed as the others balked, although Puck did have a slightly chagrinned expression on his face.

"You've changed," said Lexington. "You seem more... mellow."

Gary shrugged. "I'll admit I was a bit of an ass before..."

"A bit?" questioned Broadway, softly.

"...But I wasn't as bull headed as Mike, and yes, I've chilled since then. I guess Roberto's rubbed off on me more ways that I ever expected."

"I take it that's a good thing," Goliath added.

Gary nodded. "Yeah, I suppose. Although I'm sure Roberto will argue that I haven't changed all that much for the better. I'm happy with the way I am." The he gave a wicked grin. "And it still amuses me to drive him nuts."

X

"This is nice," murmured Roberto, leaning back against the male gargoyle. The building with the private park on top had evolved some more. Whoever the designer was had added more flowers and a working fountain which released a calming sound of trickling water. Both of them were sitting on the floor, leaning against on of the large statues of a maiden with a ring of flowers in her hair. Roberto rested between Brooklyn's knees, and the gargoyle has both his arms and wings wrapped around Roberto's waist and shoulder.

"So what was the real reason for you leaving?" Brooklyn asked softly.

"Er, I told you..."

"I can't help but feel that maybe there is more. Maybe even as far as admitting to something you don't want to admit." Brooklyn briefly tightened his hold.

"Guilt, I suppose," Roberto murmured. "I mean... you were becoming estranged from your clan, and I... I don't think I ever mentioned about my family, did I?"

"No."

"Well... when I told my parents I was gay... I was kicked out of my house. I was only fourteen. Didn't know better. Instead of going to the authorities, I lived with an older boy who tried to take advantage of me. Things kind of went south from there. But it was always the feeling of betrayal that my father made me feel that had me uncomfortable with who and what I was, I guess. He beat me bad before I left. And my mother... she did and said nothing. Looked at me once as I was dragging myself out the door... but quickly hid her face behind her Home magazine when she saw my father glaring at her."

Brooklyn tightened his hold on Roberto as he felt the man shaking.

"I always thought that my mother and I had this unbreakable bond. I was her favorite boy. I was the baby. I always listened to her, agreed to go shopping with her... maybe she felt like me being the way I was had something to do with the way she raised me. I'm sure my father blamed her, too. When she didn't bother to help me, or plead my case... I wanted to die. Having the love yanked from you so brutally... Maybe... maybe that's why... oh my God. But I did the same thing by leaving you! I'm so sorry..." Roberto began to openly cry, and Brooklyn shut his eyes, feeling tears drip from his own eyes.

While he no longer felt the horrible ache from before, Brooklyn could still remember the pain. But at the same time he felt an underlying bit of anger. He couldn't understand how human parents could be so quick to discard their own offspring like that. And they had the nerve to call his clan beasts!

Roberto gained control, his soft sobs becoming sniffles.

"Oh, God, I am so sorry about that," Roberto weakly apologized.

"You don't have to apologize," Brooklyn whispered. "I forgave you a long time ago. Well, a long time ago for me. I'll admit there was a point I was so angry that I started to hate you. But, as time went by, and I had the time to know and fall in love with Sata... I realized that by you stepping away, you gave me the gift of being able to have offspring. I also learned not to be so selfish. By wishing that you remained by me means not having Ariana and Graeme. I cannot imagine my life without them."

"I'm glad for you," Roberto said, turning his head to look up at Brooklyn. "You know, for the longest time I fought the urge to come back here on my own. Then, after a while, I was just too ashamed. I wasn't sure if I could face Ha, er, Sata-san. Maybe because even though I asked that she do her best to keep you from being unhappy, I was jealous and hated that she could give you that. And again, I was afraid that you hated me and would never want to see me. When Gary suggested coming here for a vacation, I was scared. And a bit confused."

Brooklyn chuckled. "I would be confused, too. I mean, in the end he was more tolerable about the idea of us, but still, he was similar to Detective Lee in that he didn't think it was right for a human and a gargoyle to be together."

"Speaking of which, how are Goliath and Elisa?"

"They're fine. They act like lovers without being lovers. I'm not sure what stops them."

"Maybe the same fears I had?"

"Possibly. So what else have you been up to? Does anyone hold your heart now?"

Roberto flushed. "Yeah, you could say that."

"What's he like?"

Roberto could hear a teasing tone in Brooklyn, and despite the question, he felt more relaxed. The teasing tone was, in a manner of speaking, sincere.

"He's protective. A bit of a grouch at times. But..."

"But?"

"Um, very passionate."

"Does that translate to 'giving a good ride?'"

"BROOKLYN!!"

An amused bellow of laughter followed the outraged cry.

X

"Come 'ere, munchkin!" Gary managed to grab his child before the reign of terror could take off again. His son let out the childish squeal of surprise and laughter as Gary tossed him upward and caught him in a hug.

Behind him Owen was struggling to hold up a rather large vase. Elisa moved to help him, as did Sata. The young gargoyle twins and Alex just looked on in awe.
"Nice save, Burnett-san," quipped Ariana.

"Yeah. Xanatos-san should give you a raise for being so quick on your feet," added Graeme.

"I'll pass the word to Dad."

The gargoyle children and Alex giggled, at least until their mother/guardian glared at them from around the vase.

Owen let out a sigh of frustration as something electronic on him beeped. He assumed, being dark, that it was one of the other gargoyles on patrol. Maybe he really should ask Xanatos for a raise, considering that he was now a messenger to the gargoyles.

"Burnett speaking," he replied, answering the com unit that had beeped.

"Owen. Let the children know I'm on my way home."

"That was quick," said Sata.

"Sure was," added Gary, looking a bit relieved. He looked down at Marcus. "And a good thing, too. You can be his trouble for the rest of the night."

"I no trouble. You trouble! I sleep at night. You wrestle!"

Gary flushed. "What the fff-er-heck does that mean?"

"Wrestle wrestle wrestle! You know! WWF!"

"You still get into fights?" Elisa asked, as the gargoyle twins laughed and began to chant "Smack down!" Marcus followed suit, making it difficult for Gary to have a good grip on him.

"Th-they're not as bad as before." Gary looked a bit embarrassed.

Elisa grinned. "Guess you guys still need some growing up."

Gary shrugged, a smile on his face. "But its more fun this way," he confessed.

Several minutes later, the entire crew made their way back up top, just in time to see Brooklyn and Roberto land.

"Beto!" cried Marcus, running to him. Roberto chuckled as he caught the toddler and tossed him up to the air. The gargoyle twins ran to their father, latching onto his legs as he struggled to make his way to his mate, who was watching with an amused look on her face.

Alex tapped Owen's hand.

"What is it, Master Alex?"

"Um, Puck, sir?"

Owen knelt down so that he was facing Alex, his tone being a bit more gentle. "Yes, little Master?"

"You once taught me to turn one of gargoyles into a human, right?"

Owen nodded.

"Can I do more than one?"

Owen transformed into Puck and gently coaxed Alex back into the castle, away from the rest of the adults and children. "What are you planning, young Master?" he asked, a bit suspicious.

Alex gave up on being polite and burst out with an eager request. "I want to be able to do stuff like a real family during the day! And now that we have a new person that knows about the gargoyles... I don't have normal friends. Everyone is boring! And since dad and ma won't be back in time for my birthday, I was thinking... Can I do a few more? I want to have a day with Ariana, and Graeme. But I know Brooklyn and Sata need to be there too 'cause it won't be fair!"

Puck frowned. "It is possible... But why not just try to wait for your birthday?"

"Because Marcus will be gone. And so will Mr. Roberto and Mr. Gary. And they're friends, too. But... oh, but it wouldn't be fair for the others.." Alex's enthusiasm shrivelled up as he bowed his head.

Puck sighed. "You don't have the power to do the entire clan. And being that I taught you the lesson, you probably will only be able to keep it up for a day if you do the few that you are able to handle. Then it will be a few more years before you can try again. But to do it now... it would be like training muscles, so that you will be stronger next time you attempt it. Then maybe you'll be able to do what I did to Demona, back when I was powerful. She becomes human by day every day of the year. However, it is rather painful for her."

"Will it hurt the others?"

"No. I did it to teach her a lesson. You do it as a lesson when you were an infant, and now you want to try as a gift from your heart. You know... you might even be able to transform them into humans for a full twenty four hours..."

"Cool!"

"But why don't we wait until tomorrow night to try?"

"Aw..."

"You need to gather energy, or you'll be sleeping the entire day away."

"But I have enough... energy... right now," moaned Alex, as he began to yawn.

"Sure you do."

"Oh, okay. Maybe I am sleepy." Alex rubbed his eyes. "I'll try it tomorrow night. First thing when they wake up!"

Puck smiled as he transformed into Owen. The one good thing about Alexander Xanatos was that most of the time, the child was well behaved. And, probably from Tatania's genes, regal-like in his actions.

TBC...

sigh This was suppose to be a one shot epilogue of sorts, but... while vacationing in Mexico without my laptop, began to scribble out ideas and now a whole new story is evolving. Won't be as long as Never Meant to Be but I'm looking at possibly four chapters, depending on length and available time. Starting up classes again next week so I figured I should at least post for a preview as what's to come. Let's just say I'll be bringing in a character I never had the courage to write on... but... she did inspire my Nightbloom character of the Mighty Ducks Animated series fandom I created. And Nightbloom completely evolved since then in my RP's and short comics...