All the characters appearing in Gargoyles and Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles are copyright Buena Vista Television/The Walt Disney Company. No infringement of these copyrights is intended, and is not authorized by the copyright holder. All original characters are the property of Denigoddess2001. Kudos to the Great Gargoyle of the Galaxy...Greg Weissman
The Gargoyles Holiday
11/26/01 5:05:35 PM
Rating G
Genre: Holiday piece
Characters: Goliath, Elisa, Hudson, Angela, Brooklyn, Lexington and Owen Burnett.

Elisa stared at seven stone statues posed majestically in the rising sun. They faced the east with wings unfurled, fangs bared, and talons curved. Every stone contour showed them ready for battle. The Detective marveled how even as granite effigies they inspired a reverent sense of awe within her. A small smile tugged at her lips when she thought of the fierce, natural magnificence of them coming awake each night with stone shards on the wing in air.

Today, Goliath had chosen to perch with the rest of the clan. Rather than his standard stance of 'fierce defender of the night', he'd chosen his archetypal posture of contemplation. His wings were cloaked around him as a scholar's dark robes. He knelt forward on one knee and his arm rested comfortably. His strong chin found repose upon the arm. Elisa ran her chilled gloved fingers along the defined lines of pointed ear and square jaw. Even in his stone repose, he set her heart wildly beating.

"Okay, Big Guy, the holidays are coming and I've five days until Christmas." Teeth chattered slightly as her fingers traced across full lips of the stone guardian. "What does a girl get for seven gargoyles?"

"I'll just let my memories do the talking." She planted a quick peck on his chiseled stone cheek. "I don't know if you can hear me, Goliath. I have the next two days off and I'll see you tonight. I love you."

For the first time in almost a decade, Elisa felt renewed with a sense of purpose. She usually filled the void by serving and protecting New York as a Detective of the NYPD. For years she immersed herself in dangerous criminal investigations. Her life was neat, ordered and limited until one fateful night in 1995. [Three years later, old enemies like Xanatos are newfound...friends.] Elisa almost choked on the thought. [Maza, you promised yourself on Turkey Day not to harbor old grudges. Remember, Elisa: that was a different time and a different place in your life.]

"It's all about forgiveness and closure." She repeated the quiet words as she reached for serenity that her soul craved. "If Goliath can do it, then I'll learn how...for his sake and mine."

Snow fell gently from the New York skies. The hushed stillness atop the castle's highest tower invoked a deferential reflection within Elisa. Since letting go the past in Goliath's arms at Thanksgiving, a weighty encumbrance from her psyche found resolution. She gave herself permission to admit that love wasn't weakness but strength. Instead of telling herself she wasn't allowed to love Goliath, Elisa told herself each sunrise that he was Providence's greatest gift to her. Simply because she had fallen in love didn't make her less of a woman and a success. Finding and embrace the love of her life allowed Elisa new freedoms she had not yet imagined.

With hands in pockets, the elusive serenity she needed found it's way inside her thoughts and tugged at her heartstrings. She smiled and knew that everything would work its way to its natural conclusion. "Hey, life is good."

With renewed inspiration, Elisa jaunted down the tower stairs of castle Wyvern. If one listened, the faint strains of an alto voice singing "Deck The Halls" reverberated off stone walls. She sprinted across the great hall as her excitement grew. Each passing moment gave her more motivation to prepare for the holidays. [After all, I have seven people that need a little bit of holiday cheer.]

Her motivation was suddenly stinted when the quick moving object ran into the
unmovable force. Owen went flying backwards a few feet and paperwork fell around him like newly fallen snow. He awkwardly pushed his glasses back on the bridge of his nose and gave a stern glare at Elisa. "Detective, this is a private residence: NOT a race track. Do you see any black and white checkered flags hanging amongst the banners of heraldry?"

"Sorry, Owen." She knelt beside Xanatos' majordomo and assisted him in the retrieval of his paperwork. "I just had the best idea and I want to act on it a.s.a.p."

She handed him a pile of messy, unsorted paper. One blonde brow arched in amusement. "Oh, Detective? What might that idea be?"

"It's the holidays, Owen! When the holidays come, I go shopping."

"I must admit: you are displaying uncharacteristic cheerfulness and enthusiasm. Did you take a spill of the building? Perhaps, you bumped your head on Goliath?"

"Cute, Owen." She smirked at his subtle, but derisive remark. "But even you can't get to me today! What do you want for the holidays?"

"I don't celebrate the holidays, Detective." A bitter tone entered his voice. "I've little need for gifts, but I appreciate your ...kind thoughts."

"Let me guess...Yule? Solstice?"

"Something like that." He nebulous reply did nothing to dim Elisa's enthusiasm.

"Well, we can celebrate that too!" She jumped to her feet and extended her hand to the ruffled, stuffed shirt still knocked on his backside. He gingerly took her hand and came to his feet.

"Detective, you never cease to amaze me." He scrutinized Elisa with great care. "Are you sure that you didn't somehow bump your head. Perhaps, alien life forms abducted the true Elisa Maza and have left a capricious, joyful woman in our midst.
Then again, it could be too much pollution in the air."

"You're making a joke, Owen." She gave him a knowing wink. "You NEVER joke."

He pursed his lips in contemplation. He nodded slowly in agreement. "Detective, the holiday spirit is an transmittable disease that is infectious. It's contagiousness needs only the following things to become airborne: snow, presence, and goodwill. You have, undoubtedly, contaminated me the seasonal syndrome known as the holiday spirit."

"Happy Holidays to you, Owen." With those final words, Elisa made her way to the lobby.

"Same to you, Elisa." Was his whispered reply. He watched the Detective vanish from sight. "You deserve it."

Elisa decided to sacrifice a few hours of sleep for the sake of the holidays.
Morning rush-hour traffic did little to diminish her mood. She drove through the crowded streets of Manhattan with a smile on her face. [What do I get for each of them? It's not exactly like they need much.]

She made her way through the department stores and the discount places. She waited for hours in lines and she searched for seemingly impossible gifts. Bag after bag made its way into the trunk of her Ford Fairlaine. A few dollars made their way into the red bucket of a well-known charity. An extra gift or two went into a basket collecting gifts for needy children. Elisa made the best of her day. She fought the onslaught of drowsiness and carried the bags of gifts to the top floor of her penthouse apartment.

"Whoo!" The fatigue in her voice told her it was time for much-needed sleep. "What a day. A little shut-eye and I'll be ready for tonight."

Elisa quickly fell into slumber. She dreamt of one particular lavender leviathan. Her dreams let travel to a place of which her conscious mind rarely allowed the luxury. Goliath was a vision of an avenging angel as she watched soared over Manhattan's sea of Neon and halogen. She watched him land on a rooftop where they often met during Quarrymen days.

His wings flared in surprise when he saw his ladylove standing there. She looked wonderful wrapped in her plain black scarf. A smile crossed his rugged features as she ran to his waiting embrace. The cold of wintered faded as she felt the heat of his body pressed against hers. The dark wings of velvet and suede wrapped around her lovingly as part of a triple embrace. Talons entwined themselves in thick strands of ebony hair.

"Goliath, what are you doing here?" She cried merrily as he whirled her around in the late-afternoon sunshine. Freshly fallen snow crunched beneath his feet and his breath condensed as spoke.

"Elisa...even in my dreams you are with me." He deftly set Elisa on her feet. Elated abandon came from every atom of his inner being. Yet, he noticed the sun was high in the sky. Normally, when she entered his dreams, the sky remained dark and the moon shining brightly over the skyline.

"Hey, Big Guy, this is MY dream." She poked him lightly in the chest. "I went shopping."

He looked at the woman playfully defying him. The softness of her hair brushed along the edges of his talons. Her soft skin branded him with it's smoothness. Her mere presence allowed the lavender leviathan to realize that Elisa accepted their love without hesitation or reservation. He pressed a gentle kiss to her brow and held her close for fear she might vanish from his sight.

"Really?" He felt his ladylove snuggle closely to the broad wall of warmth that was his chest. "Why?"

"For you, the guys, Angela, and the egg." The thought of being a grandmother at thirty set well with Elisa. "Angela's heavy with egg and that loincloth doesn't fit her anymore. So, I decided to find some things she could wear."

"You need not spend your hard-earned money on the Clan, Elisa." He chided her gently. "We have little use for most things. Goddess has blessed us merely with your presence in our lives. For that, we are thankful."

"Liar." A playful punch in the chest reminded him that Elisa knew better. "Tell me that you've never wanted to look for a tree, bake cookies, drink cider, or do a thousand other holiday traditions. You told me once that Gargoyles often adapted Human customs. Who says we can't turn the holidays into a Gargoyle custom?"

"Holidays are meant to be spent with clan" Soulful eyes of onyx stared down at Elisa. The harsh reality of life set in between them. Goliath crooked one talon and gently lifted Elisa's chin so that coffee eyes met obsidian gaze. "Love, I do not want you to stay away from your family. Such ties are too precious to be severed. Your parents ...they need you."

"Then, they'll have to come to terms, Goliath, that we love each other. They have to get over their prejudices and realize that we're a couple. Mom's not so bad, but Dad..." Elisa shoved her hands in her pockets. It was an old habit for when things were difficult for her to express. This was no different. "Dad's impossible, Goliath. He told me to choose between them and you."

Goliath's dark eyes widened in shock. "Elisa, I had no idea that it had come to that."

"Neither did I." Dark tresses hid her expression from Goliath. "I love you and I found someone that makes my life more vibrant and alive. I'm not going to throw away the best person to ever walk through my life just because my Dad can't handle it. So, I told him to have a nice life and that I'd see him around."

"Elisa, are you sure that's what you truly want?" The small tremor in Goliath's voice did nothing to hide his uncertainty. "To be forever alienated from your family?"

"I truly want to be with the family that loves me unconditionally. I want to be with the family that understands love comes in many forms. I want to be with the one person that knows my heart and mind better than anyone else; that's you and the Clan, Goliath. It doesn't get much simpler than that."

"Yes." The resignation fell heavily between them. One talon made it's way to Elisa's cheek. Moisture froze immediately on lavender skin. Goliath gently turned Elisa to face him. He heard a sniff. Large hands framed her face and saw her eyes bright. "Elisa, you have lost so much..."

"Big Guy?" Her breath became a vaporous cloud between them. "Just kiss me and make it better. Remember this is just a dream."

"Gladly. Know from this kiss that I treasure you. My body worships you and my heart loves you truly and always." Goliath had grown fond of that particular human custom called kissing. Talons entwined more deeply in dark tresses. Gargoyle senses sifted through the city's scents for Elisa's particular signature fragrance. Today, the jasmine combined with lavender. He inhaled deeply of his mate's aroma. "Know that I cherish you now and evermore. I know you have lost much to gain ...clan and our love. I am humbled.'

His eyes closed but the vision of Elisa was firmly ingrained in his mind's eye. Her love was a creature in and of itself embossed upon his entire being. He was all things Gargoyle; primal, protective, and profoundly in love with his chosen mate. His tail snaked around her waist and carefully lifted her to almost eye-level. His hands moved from the silky jet tresses to the curves of Elisa's waist. With a low purr of love and attention, he held her as though she were made of the most delicate porcelain.

"I'll do my best."

Elisa reveled in the sheer strength that Goliath possessed as he deftly lifted her to him. She cherished the innate gentleness of her mate and protector. Now, she recognized the particular Gargoyle mating scent of Vanilla filling the air. For years, she had recognized the scent without understanding its significance. She considered herself fortunate to have her very own avenging angel here in her arms.

She lost herself in that kiss. The simple assurance that he would never leave her was evident in his strong embrace. His promise of fidelity was evident in the way he carefully held her. His concern for her well-being touched her heart as he kissed her gently and well rather than with the usual ardor befitting of the clan leader. Elisa longed to shout to the heavens that she was the luckiest lady on the planet.

That unique bond danced between them as their minds became attuned to every touch and each caress. It was as if every emotion Goliath felt reached out along some invisible strand of connection then enveloped her mind and filled her senses. Goliath's growl confirmed that he also felt the same overwhelming bond capturing his mind. Yet, she couldn't ignore the physical responses her body displayed from such a wonderful kiss.

Elisa felt a flood of warmth well within her. Fierce emotion became a powerful presence within her. She trembled from the sheer bliss of her mate's kiss. She felt protected and treasured within the loving warmth of his wings. The ignition of emotional depth manifested in a unity of being between them. In the back of Elisa's mind, she remembered how someone once told her that Gargoyle mates amalgamated and an extrasensory level of understanding.

An annoying beeping broke the ardent reverie of devotion and desire that burned between them. Elisa's eyes flew open at the sound. A clenched fist knocked the alarm clock from her end table by the bed. Fists pounded into the sheets. "No, no, NO! I HATE it when that happens."

So many times, she had dreamt of Goliath and it resulted in unspoken hopes coming true. Even in sleep, the connection gripped her heart and soul. It threw her body into a tailspin for the rest of the day. She hated her dreams and hopes being so unceremoniously shattered. Elisa knew that it would be a quick shower and change of clothes before she was at the castle. She looked at her window and watched the sun dip beneath the skyline.

He was awake.

Goliath felt the cold stone of last day's slumber against his skin. He stretched and felt the thin stone sheath break and fragment from his expanded wings, tail and limbs. His vociferous bellow filled the twilight as he came awake from his stone sleep. His body quaked from the onslaught of emotion that indwelled him. Goliath fell to both knees as the waves of Elisa's kisses robbed him of his strength [Even in sleep, she loves me.]

A quiet smile came to his face. Though she never spoke of her dreams, he knew the reverie they shared in sleep was no coincidence. Gargoyles dreamed while in stone slumber. When a mate marked her chosen with her brand upon his essence that unique recognition of body and spirit extended beyond the physical realm. Goliath breathed a deep sigh of satisfaction to know that Elisa was, indeed, his truest and best destiny.

[The schism between Peter and she troubles Elisa deeply.] Goliath's tail flicked in frustration. [Peter tolerated us when our clan simply befriended his family. Now, he abhors us because we dare to love on of his own.]

From their shared musing on the dreamscape, Goliath knew that Elisa desperately needed the feeling and presence of family around her. She secretly longed for peace and acceptance from her father. No greater holiday blessing for her would bring her more joy than her father's blessing of her love with Goliath.

"Lad, are ye all right?" A concerned voice filled the cool, winter air. Goliath turned to see his mentor, Hudson quirking his head in concern at the clan leader's behavior. "Are ye well?"

"I am well, old friend." He assured the wizened Gargoyle. "In fact, never

"I'd agree to that by the grin on your face." Hudson chuckled. He looked down to see the tent gracing the dark brown wool of Goliath's loincloth. "You must have been having quite the dream."

"Er...yes." Hudson rarely teased Goliath. He quickly cloaked his wings about him. "She came to me in my dreams, Hudson."

"Wishful thinkin', lad." Hudson shook his head. "Nae has a human ever linked to a Gargoyle in our way."

"I know it was Elisa reaching out to me." A note of defiance edged into his voice. "Who is going on patrol tonight?"

"I believe that Broadway and I are taking the first watch tonight." Hudson hid the smile that came from Goliath's abrupt change of subject. "Take the evening to go to Elisa, lad. You two have had precious little time together these past few weeks."

"I believe that I will."

Owen logged off his computer. He meticulously shuffled the last pile of paperwork and placed it in his briefcase. He straightened everything on his desk and left the office. He made certain that the lights were off and that his office door locked. Owen was a man that appreciated routine. He embraced ritual. Owen welcomed order and efficiency. The Xanatos' had left for Bar Harbor, Maine to visit David's father. Again, he was left alone in Castle Wyvern over the holiday season. Not even Alex was here to bring him comfort. [I shall make do as I always have. Owen Burnett has little need for such commercial trappings and overt materialism.]

[But Puck needs love and people around him.]

The geas imposed by Lord Oberon still held after three years. It stifled the
vivacious spirit of the Child that dwelled within Owen Burnett. He longed to be free of his mortal guise so that he could simply feel the freedom of magick about him. As long as he remained mortal, the heaviness of the mundane shackled Owen to a dull existence devoid mostly of pleasure but rarely of pain.

He knew exactly how his evening would progress. He'd eat a diner at a small French café up the street. He'd review the day's paperwork and implement the steps needed to initiate several company policies wanted by David Xanatos. At about eleven o'clock, he'd have a nightcap and listen to Chopin. By midnight, he'd be asleep. There was comfort in the familiar. [Service is often it's own reward.]

Elisa decided to wear something different that her usual black tee shirt, red leather bomber jacket and jeans. She dug out the hunter green sweater that she had worn on Thanksgiving. It was one of her favorites and Goliath like the color. She brushed the tresses of her hair until the cobalt highlights glistened in the light. She spritzed herself in a bit of jasmine perfume and she grabbed her coat. She and Goliath had no formal plans, but she had an idea or two.

She loaded several things into the trunk of her Ford Fairlane and chose a few
additions to travel with her to the Eyrie building. She prayed to the Powers-That-Be that Goliath and the clan would catch the holiday spirit much the same way as done by Owen. Her gut instinct told her that this would be a year for new beginnings.

"Angela, honey, be careful!" Broadway steadied his wife as she shook away the stone shards from her body. Heavy with egg for the past year, she knew that her time was close for birthing the egg. Broadway's paranoia caused him to have his mate perch farther away from the tower parapets. He rushed to her side to help her from her roost.

"Broadway, I'm with egg, not on my last legs." She never understood the change in his attitude since they found out that she was with egg. She knew time was close as she made her way to the rest of the clan.

"I just want you and our the egg to be safe." Her mate laid a large hand on her stomach. "I don't want anything to happen to either of you."

"Broadway, I love you." Touched by his tender gesture, she drew his brow to hers and rubbed his affectionately. "I'm the luckiest dame alive."

"Let's get out of the cold air. I have to go on patrol tonight, but I'll be back by midnight." He draped his wing around her to shelter her from the falling snow. "I made some roast chicken and stuffing last night for lunch. Warm some up and have some. Remember you're eating for two."

"I will, I promise." She watched Broadway turn to join Hudson on patrol. "Be careful."

"I will. Love you." He waved and leapt from the castle walls into the night.

She walked (more like waddled) inside the castle and to the kitchen. There she saw her father making serving himself some of the chicken and stuffing mentioned by Broadway. He sat down at the table and began devouring the wonderful whole chicken in front of him. A quiet laugh escaped Angela when she noted her father's appetite. "Did you save me any, Goliath?"

"There are six more in the refrigerator." He nodded in the direction from whence he came. He rose to his feet quickly when he heard a heavy sigh of fatigue escape his daughter. He took her by the arm and led her to one of the chairs at the table. "Sit and I'll prepare your dinner."

"I'm fine, just a bit fatigued." Angela protested.

"You're also close to bringing the egg into the rookery." A pointed talon was aimed in her direction. "It will be the first egg hatched for our clan in a thousand years. I'll not have my daughter putting herself in danger or her egg simply because she was hungry. Now, sit."

"Yes, Father." [Are all males this protective towards eggs?]

It didn't take Goliath to bring out another roast chicken. He piled Angela's plate high with stuffing, potatoes and vegetable. He was glad of the modern world's conveniences such as the microwave. Goliath carefully checked the temperature of each food to make sure it wasn't too hot for her. He then bowed as set the plate before Angela. His voice took on a distinguished lilt. "Dinner is served, Madame."

"This is what I call service." Angela eagerly began tasting her mate's scrumptious cuisine. "Thank you, Father."

He grumbled something that sounded something akin to 'anything for my little girl.' But Angela decided that such words were outside her father's character. She savored every delectable bite and knew that her father also appreciated Broadway's cooking. Feeling much more energetic after such a delicious meal, Angela cleared the table and placed the dishes into the dishwasher. Goliath helped by putting away the condiments and wiping the table clean.

A pensive look appeared on the young Dame's face as she watched her father work. [He's only a few years older than me, and yet Goliath is my father. We shared so much and I feel special because I know he's my father. I love the rest of the clan, and yet, I feel closer to this clan because I know of my parents.]

"Angela, what troubles you?" Goliath turned to see his daughter with a brooding expression so unlike her cheery continence.

"Father, I've been doing some thinking about the egg." She looked down and rested her hand on her precious egg within her. "I know it's the Gargoyle Way that biological parentage isn't known by hatchlings. I know it's the Gargoyle Way for the entire clan to be responsible for the hatchling's upbringing."

"Yes, Angela. That is the way it has always been done." Goliath agreed.

"I was raised by Humans and they felt more than just clan to me. I had a special love for Tom, Katherine, and the Magus that I didn't have for the rest of my clan." Angela shrugged. "When I came with you into the world, I respected you. But, then I found out that you were my father that changed everything. You weren't some distant authority figure that I merely respected. For the first time in my life, I felt ...special. I love you, Father."

"As I love you, Daughter." He pulled her to him. He gently stroked Angela's hair. "But I believe I know what this is about. You wish to acknowledge your parentage to the hatchling."

"Yes, Father. Broadway and I have decided upon a name. If it's a girl, she'll be Avalon. If it's a boy, we've decided on upon Wyvern." Angela's voice softened as she looked down at the bundle growing within her. "I want to be a mother, Goliath. I want my hatching, my CHILD, to know the kind of love that you have shown me. Katherine was like a mother to me. I don't want my little one growing up without knowing just how much Broadway and I loved him or her."

"But, Angela, you can still give that love to the we all will." Goliath reminded her.

"But there are no other hatchlings, Father." Angela countered. "There is only one. When you and Elisa have children, will she deny the child that she's its mother?"

"That will never happen." Sadness filled the clan leader's voice. "If it did, circumstance differ enough from this situation. Because the child would be half-human, it would be raised as a human. Yet, it would also have the love and guidance of its clan."

"Why can't we do the same for this hatchling?" Angela pressed her father. "I need to know that you'll support Broadway's and my decision to raise this child knowing its mother and father."

"It is that important to you?" He stared down at lovely Dame standing before him. With her courage and valor, she'd made him proud ...proud to have her as a part of his clan ...and proud to have her as his daughter.

"Yes, Goliath, it is."

"Then, I suppose this means that I will be the hatchling's. ...GRANDFATHER." The new perspective caused him to stammer out the last word.

"Grandpa Goliath." Angela giggled. "Pretty soon, you'll be ready to watch TV with Hudson every night. You'll complain about the cold and the rain and long for the good ol' days."

"I am NOT beyond my prime." He bellowed. "I still have five or six good breeding seasons left in me."

"This is the best holiday present that I could have possibly wished for!" Angela impulsively hugged her father. Flustered, his arms slowly returned the gesture. Not one for grand displays of emotion, Goliath's heart swelled three sizes knowing that he could give his daughter a special gift for a holiday so close to her heart. "Father, are we going to decorate for the holiday season"

"The Xanatos' have a tree in the main dining hall and there are festive decorations throughout the castle." Goliath told her.

"I know, I know! But, we need to decorate our living quarters. We don't have a tree, or a wreath...there isn't even a sprig of mistletoe in the doorway or a Yule log. Have you ever had eggnog? Or fruitcake or holiday cookies?"

"No, I have not." He admitted.

"Broadway has this wonderful recipe for Gingerbread cookies that he's been wanting to try." Angela bubbled with joy.

"I'm looking forward to it."

Goliath and Angela walked through the corridors of Castle Wyvern to the den where Bronx patiently waited Hudson's return. He looked in to see how the two Gargoyles were doing. There, he saw Broadway's crimson tail affectionately wrapped around Lex's waist. Lexington leaned into the comfortable warmth of Brooklyn's dark wing. Goliath's eyes widened slightly at the over display of affection.

"Father, I thought you knew." Angela whispered pulling shut the den door. "They're in love."

"I knew there were especially close. I did not think that they were. ...that close." He cleared his throat.

"Father, didn't you tell me to take love in whatever form it found me? You told me that was a popular clan saying."

"It is... still, there are females available from other clans..."

"Yet, you've chosen to be with one of another species. I've chosen someone that by some standards is not the most handsome or quick-witted. Brooklyn and Broadway chose to love each other more than brothers but as lifemates." Angela gave her father a smile.

"You speak truth, Angela." He shook his head in disbelief. "Yet it is difficult for me to accept. It is not the Gargoyle Way."

"Elisa's family is giving her grief over her lifemate choice." Angela's voice held a note of gentle caveat.

"Brooklyn and Lexington will never be banished from the clan for their love."
Goliath vowed. "While I do not understand their choice, if it brings them happiness, then let them love each other for the rest of their lives. That, daughter, is the Gargoyle Way."

"They've been afraid to tell you or let you know." Angela stole a glance in their direction through the crack in the door. "They know Hudson doesn't mind one way or the other. Broadway and I support them one hundred percent. But, they worry about your response."

"Why?" Goliath's genuine surprise caught Angela unaware.

"They don't want to disappoint you. They're worried that you might rescind
Brooklyn's position as second-in-command."

"Their love does not affect their abilities to perform their duties within this clan." Goliath assured her. "While I am ill-at-ease with such things, I am not one to question genuine love and devotion."

"I'm glad."

"In fact, we are going to settle this once and for all." Goliath pushed the door open and strode into the den. "Brooklyn, Lexington!"

"Uh, Goliath." There was a gulp. It came from Brooklyn. His protective instincts drove him to stand between Lexington and Goliath. "We didn't know you were there!"

His stern response caused Brooklyn to flinch. "When are you and Lexington going to do the honorable thing and become mates before the clan?"

"You mean...that you don't mind?"

"It bothers me that you have yet to do that which is right and become lifemates." Goliath's deep voice echoed off the gray stone walls. "I think that such a ceremony would be the best holiday gift you could give the clan ...and each other."

"Gift?" Lexington popped his head from the sofa. "You mean, you'd recognize us before the clan."

"Of course, that is what all clan leaders do for mated couples." Goliath waved non-chalantly.

"Cool!" Lexington's enthusiasm caused him to almost lose the blanket wrapped around his mid-section. "Thanks Goliath!"

Goliath nodded in satisfaction and cloaked his wings about him. As he left the den, a small smile tugged at his lips. There would be no condemnation for a heart's true path. It happened in Elisa's family. It was not meant for the Manhattan clan. Times were changing and it was a harsh, unforgiving world in which they lived. It had been a hard fight to win the acceptance of the Humans of their protectorate.

In this brave new world, Gargoyles had names and learned how to cook and use the Internet. They drove motorcycles and flew helicopters. They earned salaries as castle protectors and fell in love with human beings. In this new age, Gargoyles became mothers and fathers, wives and husbands. Goliath realized it was the Gargoyle Way to embrace tradition. He recognized it was also the Gargoyle Way to adapt in order to flourish. Gargoyle knew how to acclimatize to Humanity's influence without losing their understanding of the Gargoyle Way.

When he and Angela finally left, Brooklyn and Lexington stood dumbfounded staring at one another. Lexington quickly belted his loincloth while Brooklyn folded the blanket that protected his mate's modesty. He shook his head in amazement. "Who told him?"

"I think Angela did." Lexington looked in the direction of the departing

"Well, I didn't expect him to find out like this." Brooklyn admitted. "I'm a little embarrassed that he found us."

"Yeah, me too." A dark olive stain graced Lex's cheeks. "Brooklyn, I know that it's all new for him and for us...but, you know how I feel about you, right?"

"Yeah, I know." The crimson gargoyle leaned forward and took Lex's hand in his. "I love you and I want the whole world to know just how much."

Brooklyn reached inside a pouch hanging off his loincloth. He pulled out black velvet box and his hand trembled as he held it. "I wanted to do this on New Year's Eve, but I think things have changed."

"What is that?" Lexington's voice quivered.

"Open it." Brooklyn handed the small box to his Nightlove.

The green gargoyle slowly opened the box. Inside the box lying in blue satin was a simple band of platinum and a single peridot gracing the ring. Large hazel eyes grew bright with emotion as he glanced at Brooklyn and again at the box. "What is this?"

Brooklyn knelt on one knee before the warrior that had stolen his heart. "Hey, I know I'm not good at the mushy stuff, but I love ya, Lex. I made this when I studied those metallurgy videos I ordered off TV. I got the materials from Xanatos. I know it's kinda amateurish, but I hope you like it."

Lexington studied the polished flawlessness of the white and silver metal. He saw the brightness and clarity of the peridot. "It's beautiful, Brooklyn."

"Glad ya like it." Brooklyn spoke gruffly and found it hard to meet his lover's gaze. His talons trembled as he took the ring from the box and slipped it on Lexington's middle left talon. "I know rings and proposals are a like, ya know... a human thing. But, Lex! I'm crazy about ya. Will you... I mean, would you ...become my lifemate?"

"You bet!" Lex felt tears well in his eyes but he didn't care. He had no pride when it came to the Gargoyle kneeling in front of him. "You know I can't say no, Brooklyn."

"Good." Brooklyn brought his Nightlove's palm to his beak. He nuzzled the sensitive skin gently. "This night just got a whole lot better. Love you, Lex."

Elisa pulled up to the service entrance of the Eyrie building with bags and bundles in hand. She was glad that she didn't have to flash her security clearance to the guard. He recognized her and also helped her haul in most of the packages to the service elevator. She made her way up all 123 floors. As she came into the great dining hall of the castle, she spotted Owen making his way through to his bedchamber.

"Owen, stop!" She called out to him. He turned to see several large bags full of wrapped parcels surrounding the Detective. "Can you give me a hand?"

"Ms. Maza, you seem to have outdone yourself." He quipped. He walked forward and picked up two of the larger bags. "It seems that you've single-handedly restarted the American economy.'

"No, I just cleared out Macy's." She chuckled. "Can you help me with these?
They're going to the clan's quarters. Oh, and I want you to stick around."

"Detective, it's almost time for me to retire."

"Oh, come on, Owen." She protested. "It's barely eleven o'clock and you have the next week off because the Xanatos' are in Bar Harbor, Maine. Besides, a few of these are yours!"

"What do you mean?" His brows narrowed in suspicion.

"I went gift shopping for everyone and I bought you a few things I thought you'd might like." Elisa dragged the last bag down the corridor. "It's the holidays, Owen. No one should spend it alone. You helped me realize some very important things last month. It's your fault I'm doing this anyway. So, get out of that stuffed shirt you wear and help celebrate...Puck would."

[True. Damn the Detective, she's right.]

"I can for only a little while." He grudgingly gave her a nod.


The duo made their way to the living quarters where the Gargoyles called home. Goliath's dark eyes became wide as saucers when he saw Elisa and Owen lugging seven large plastic bags through the halls of Castle Wyvern. He ran to give them aid. "Elisa, it is good to see you. But what is all ...this?"

"Goliath, I brought gifts, stockings, candy canes, tinsel, a few greens and
wreaths....Happy Holidays!"

"Really??" A voice called out from behind Goliath. Angela squealed in delight as she ran forward and helped Elisa with one of the bags. "I haven't celebrated the holidays since I was on Avalon."

"I didn't know you celebrated Christmas." Elisa brows almost flew off her face as she began sitting parcels and wrapped gifts on the table.

"Neither did I, Angela." Goliath said gravely.

"It's okay. It's just been a long time." Angela eager dug through the bags and found several long strands of green garland. "We can do a hanging of the greens. Oh, Father! This is wonderful."

Over the course of the next hour, Goliath climbed several walls in the quarters and Angela handed him the pine garlands. Owen took the red velvet ribbon he found in one of the bag and made perfect red bows that adorned the garlands. Angela's tail raised well above her head to hang several strands of tinsel and quite a few wreaths. Elisa brought out each and every package and sat them in a corner. A small pout crossed her full lips. With hands on hips, she clucked her tongue in disappointment.

"What is wrong, My Love?" Goliath rested hands upon her shoulders. He playfully used the crown of her head as a chin rest.

She pulled away and looked up at her lavender lover. She motioned in the corner by the fireplace that seemed quite barren. "We need a tree, Goliath. It can't be the holidays without a tree."

"We also have need of a Yule log." He commented as he studied the empty hearth. At that moment, Lexington and Brooklyn entered the main chamber of the Gargoyle's living quarters.

"Jalapenia." Brooklyn gasped wide-eyed as he surveyed the drastic change. He noticed Holiday decorations adorning the walls. He saw the wreaths and the brightly packaged gifts in the corner. He saw the stockings hanging with care from the fireplace hearth. He saw the cheerful crimson and white candy canes hanging from the draped garlands. "So did Santa bring me a Harley?"

"Not quite." Goliath's deep voice chortled. The abrupt change of mood wasn't lost on his Second-In-Command. "As the second, it is your responsibility to find a proper tree. I'm counting on you, Brooklyn. Take Lexington and find the greenest, fullest tree that you can."

"Okay, fearless leader, no problem." Brooklyn gave him the thumbs-up sign. "But how am I gonna pay for it?"

"Allow me to remedy that small obstacle." Owen chimed. All turned their eyes to the efficient assistant that seemed so uptight amongst the holiday celebrants. He pulled out his wallet and gave Brooklyn a hundred dollar bill. "That should be a more-than-adequate tree. Call us if you require assistance in bring it back to the Castle."

"No problem. Lex, let's get going." A broad smile claimed Brooklyn's face. "I don't know what's going on, but I like it!"

"Cool, but weird." Lex shrugged. With that, they left on a quest for the perfect holiday tree.

"Elisa, I find that I must take my leave of you." Goliath saw disappointment flare in his mate's eyes. His eyes darted away from her gaze. "I have to return a book to Xanatos' library."

"Hurry back, Big Guy." She brought his palm to her lips and placed a sweet kiss against his skin. She thought she heard him groan. Elisa continued to place gift tags on the remaining gifts. When Goliath was certain she was otherwise preoccupied, he pulled Owen aside.

"I hope that you might advise me in the matters of buying gifts." The lavender leviathan blushed. "Will you help me?"

"I live to serve." Owen replied deadpan. "We can have the shopping done within a few hours if you wish."

Goliath made some lame excuse to Elisa that he and Owen had to check on one of Xanatos' warehouses and that they'd return shortly. He reminded Angela to advise Broadway and Hudson on the last-minute holiday celebration. She radioed the patrolling duo and told them not return empty-handed. She also advised them of Goliath and Owen's whereabouts so that they could get money to properly usher in the season with gifts.

It was the talk of the town for several weeks after that when three Gargoyles entered K-Mart and proceeded to shop for holiday gifts. At Wal-Mart, the Gargoyles and Owen attracted the attention of the security staff when a barcode accidentally caught on Goliath's wing. It took an extra half-hour of talk to convince the security guard that he wasn't' shop lifting anything. He motioned down to his loincloth and made the dry comment. "Exactly where would I hide it?"

Though the populace of their protectorate had accepted them, it would be a long time in coming before Gargoyles could shop without drawing unwanted attention.

By two o' clock, Brooklyn and Lexington returned with a blue pine long branches. The tree stood almost nine feet tall. Elisa mouthed the words 'ohmigod, it's huge' when she saw that it almost was twice as long as the two gargoyles put together. They looked at one another in confusion as they wondered what to do with it next.

"I think we're supposed to decorate it." Lexington studied the tree. "But how do we keep it from falling over?"

"You need a tree stand." Elisa took in the full beauty of the tree's branches. "You picked well."

"Thanks." Brooklyn scratched his head. "What's a tree stand?"

"It just so happens that we have one." Elisa rummaged through her bags. "Damn it! I bought one."

Bags and paper flew in a fury as Elisa dug through each bag until she held up the tree stand in triumph. "Ah-HA! I KNEW it was here. This is what we need."

Within the hour, the tree had been placed in the stand and watered. Several curses were uttered as spines and quills pricked the skin of one detective and three Gargoyles as they decorated the pine. Angela popped popcorn and strung it on string. Lexington almost toppled from Brooklyn's shoulders as they decorated the very top branches. Elisa placed the tree skirt around the base of the tree stand and placed all the packages around the bottom. Angela hung more candy canes and tinsel along the branches. The tree soon gave that small corner of the castle the feeling of a warm and cozy holiday nook.

Elisa pulled out a handmade tree-topper that her mother had crafted just a month before the schism in the family. It was a celestial lady that sported chiropteran wings of black gabardine with delicate folds of argent satin. Small excrescences of mother-of-pearl adorned her Nubian brow to simulate horns. The dark complexion of the celestial lady stood in sharp contrast with the hand-painted lavender eyes.

"Goliath, my mother wanted to me to give this to you." Elisa spoke quietly as she unwrapped the tissue. "She remembered your tales about Skylaris being called the goddess of Gargoyles. She said that you told her that when the Christ child was born, Skylaris let Thubin, the brightest star in the Draco constellation, burn brilliantly so that the wise men could find him."

Goliath held the effigy up on carefully examined the craftsmanship. He ran his large talons along the goddess' delicate wingspan. "It is lovely. I am... without words."

"I saw her before the blow-up with Dad. She told me that she wanted the clan to have this interpretation of Skylaris." Goliath carefully used his tail to place the goddess with her star atop the evergreen tribute to the holidays. "I know Mom feels bad about Dad's view on everything.... on us. I think this is her way of letting us know that she accepts us even if she doesn't understand it."

"I shall call Diane later and thank her for her gift to the clan." Elisa swore that the words came trembling from his lips. "For ...both priceless gifts that she has given the clan."

And it became a part of Gargoyle ritual and folklore that Skylaris brought the star to the heavens to guide sheppards, Wise Men and four Gargoyles to a small stable in Bethlehem.

"Wait! We can't forget the most important thing: mistletoe!" Angela gleefully hung a sprig of mistletoe and holly from the kitchen doorway. "There, now everything is perfect."

The doors to the den flew open. Elisa's jaw almost scraped the stone floor as she watched Hudson, Goliath, Broadway, and Owen enter with several more bags. Broadway pulled out several appetizers and holiday sweets. Goliath laid each package carefully under the tree. Hudson mysteriously disappeared into the next room while Owen set the table.

"Goliath, what's all this?" She motioned to the additional presents. "I thought that Gargoyles didn't have need for gifts."

"We live in a new age, Love." He tenderly stroked her hair. A tail playfully wrapped around her waist. "Angela has a great love of the holiday. We are family...and clan. This is one of the true meanings of the holiday...spending this special time with those whom we love."

"Goliath also made several shoppers happy. He took three children for glides above Wal-Mart, stopped six neo-Nazis from accosting three Moslem women shopping for their families and almost was arrested for shoplifting." Owen's face was pokerfaced and his British lilt neutral.

"WHAT!?" Elisa screeched.

"On top of that, he got locked in one of the stalls in the Men's room. His tail got caught in the automatic doors as we were leaving K-Mart and he let out one heck of a yowl-"

"Broadway." Goliath's tail lashed in agitation. His voice growled a warning for the blue Gargoyle to cease his narrative of shopping adventures. "Did you buy the eggnog?"

"Buy it? No way, Goliath! I'm MAKING it." He pulled out the
ingredients ..including four bottles of rum.

"At least it's not champagne." Elisa murmured seductively to Goliath.

"We could still play truth or dare." He nuzzled the back of her neck. He barely restrained himself from gently nipping her skin.

"Later, Big Guy." She promised. Her hand sneaked between them and grabbed her favorite package hiding behind a brightly wrapped box. Goliath suddenly bolted upright. She smiled at the goofy grin that spread across his face. She gloated in pure feminine satisfaction as a deep plum stain graced his chiseled cheeks. "I'll be unwrapping all the packages you brought."

By three-o'clock, dinner was on the table. The clan dined upon sweets, hams, and other fine dishes procured at Owen's favorite twenty-four hour delicatessen. Broadway's cookies came fresh from the oven and were soon gone. Most were imbibing his homemade eggnog in large quantities. However, one remained missing.
"Where's Hudson?" Lex asked his beloved.

"I don't know. Haven't seen him for almost an hour." Brooklyn nudged Angela. "Hey, where's Hudson?"

"I don't know. The last time I saw him, he was in the den." She turned to the clan leader. "Have you seen Hudson?"

"Perchance, he's still watching television in the den."

A search of the den and the other rooms of Wyvern produced not so much as a sign of Hudson. Worry set into the clan. Goliath drew the others around him. "Search every room in the castle if you must. We will find him."

Bronx wandered over to the hearth and sniffed. He posed in a still position and barked loudly. Lex soon was at his side. "What is it, boy? Do you know where Hudson is?"

Bronx loudly barked and whined. He scratched the heath of the fireplace. Lex thought Bronx was quite mad but he looked up the chimney. He heard a grumbling in Gaelic and saw the wiggling of a tan tail. More than one expletive echoed on the sides of the chimney. Lexington exclaimed excitedly. "He's stuck in the chimney."

Several minutes later and after several tugs on his tail, Hudson landed with a loud thud and a loud roar in the growl. He was covered in soot from head to toe. Elisa giggled when she saw that Hudson sported a red and white Santa cap and donned a red coat trimmed with white faux wool. A large black belt girded his middle. After him, several packages fell in an avalanche around him.

"What happened?" Angela asked.

"I got stuck." The elder gargoyle stroked his soot-covered beard. "I heard that a jolly little elf often climbed down chimneys with gifts. I thought that since we had no elf other than Puck, I'd try and play Santa Claus. I'm just a bit bigger than he is."

By five o'clock, presents were past. Yet, if one were to ask the menagerie what each remembered most about that wasn't the material things found under the tree. Elisa spent the holidays with family and clan that she loved. Angela received a gift in her father's blessing and support of her desires. She also saw the love and devotion of her mate for her welfare. Brooklyn and Lexington agreed that the particular holiday was special for both of them because fears were put to rest. They found acceptance from those they loved. Owen found that he still had the abilities to change people's lives with compassion rather than with conjuring.

It was a wonderful holiday. That is until Angela screamed. "Oh, no!"

Broadway took his mate's hand in his. "Sweetheart, what's wrong?"

"I'm in labor. The egg's coming."



Author's note: I hope that you enjoyed this piece. I know I enjoyed writing it. While I typed away, holiday carols played into earphones. I found inspiration in real life events. Be nice to ladies who are too frightened to shop during the day. It is a time of goodwill and acceptance those who may seem different than you. It is a time of good cheer. Happy Kanukkah, Happy Ramadan, Happy Kwanzaa, Bright Blessings and cool Yule, Happy Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas from Denigoddess2001.