Hi everyone! This is my first Gargoyles fanfiction. It is slightly AU (Puck was only banished from Avalon forever, he never had his powers reduced) David Xanatos has a sister that he hasn't seen in years, and he's about to receive bad news about her and her family, resulting in a new member to his household... and she might have a few secrets of her own...
David Xanatos and his wife, Fox, left Alexander in the hands of Puck for his daily lesson as they headed to the offices. The man let out a rare sigh and looked at his watch. "All right, my dear. What's on the schedule for this evening?"
Fox had taken Owen's writing pad and was looking it over. "Well, in an hour you have to get to that meeting with the London Representative. Mr. Taylor already rescheduled four times, this is his last night in New York, and he has a dinner with the mayor at nine tonight, so you can't put that one off anymore. Once you're through with that, you just have to call John at R&D and see what he has for you. He called this morning with a couple concerns about that new project."
The billionaire nodded. "Not as busy as I'd feared. All right then, let's just quickly look through the paperwork needed for the meeting then, shall we?"
He and his wife entered the office and David immediately started riffling through the papers Owen had left on his desk earlier. His assistant had already organized them for him, but Xanatos just wanted to make doubly sure that nothing had been overlooked. He had millions riding on this deal and he didn't want it to fall through.
They had only been in the office for twenty minutes when his cell phone rang. He picked it up and answered it, hoping it was someone he could just blow off so he could get back to business.
His eyebrows elevated. It wasn't often he got a call from her. "Ah, Detective Maza. What do I owe the pleasure? I hope you can make this call brief. I have a meeting in forty minutes."
The detective sighed on the other end. "Do you know a woman named Elaine Johnson?"
He blinked in surprise. "That's my younger sister. I haven't seen her since she got married and had her daughter seventeen years ago. Why?"
David heard her breath hitch and then she let out another sigh. "Damn. I can't tell you how sorry I am to break this to you, Mr. Xanatos, but... Elaine and her husband, Craig, are dead."
"WHAT?!" David stood straight up from his desk with such force that Fox had to catch his chair to keep it from tipping over. "How and when did this happen?!"
"Elaine was killed by... her husband. Their daughter confirmed that. She saw it happen. And then their daughter had no choice but to kill HIM out of self defense. It happened yesterday."
David's head reeled for a moment. CRAIG had killed HIS baby sister?! The last time he'd seen the two of them, they'd seemed like a happy couple starting their new family. True, Craig wasn't Lauren's biological father, but he'd seen no evidence to suggest that he had cared... Then the detective's words caught up with him.
"YESTERDAY?! How come I'm only being informed of this now?" He asked, barely able to keep an even tone of voice. Fox looked at him in concern, knowing that her husband was very upset and she was now stuck listening to half of the conversation.
"Lauren didn't even KNOW she was related to you, believe it or not. Apparently her mother never told her what her maiden name was, and the only relative Craig has is a grandmother who's got Alzheimers and is on her last legs in a Colorado nursing home. We had to dig through her house and finally found her will that said in the event of their deaths, she was to be placed in your care. She was just as shocked as I was when we found out that YOU were her uncle."
"Elaine never told her about...?"
Elisa sighed again. "Listen, Xanatos. We talked to Lauren and Craig was a typical abuser. He isolated his wife from the rest of you and basically treated her AND her daughter like dirt. She was lucky she survived the attack."
David winced. "How is she?"
"Physically? A little beaten up, but she says she's had a lot worse. She'll need crutches for a week or so though. She has a cracked hip. The rest are just cuts and bruises. But emotionally..." He could almost see the detective shaking her head on the other end of the line. "I don't know what to tell you, Xanatos. She's been living with the abuse for her entire life and after what she just went through..."
"I understand." He thought for a moment and then bit back a curse. He couldn't cancel his meeting. The representative was probably on his way right now for one thing, and it had been put off for months. This was the last day Mr. Taylor was going to be in New York. "Unfortunately I can't cancel that meeting this late. I'll send Owen to pick her up and sign the necessary papers."
The woman sighed. "Okay. I'll let her and Matt know. He's trying to cheer the poor kid up right now. She hasn't slept in nearly two days and has been slamming back our coffee like crazy." There was a pause. "I'm really sorry about this, Xanatos."
"No apologies are necessary, Detective. Owen will be down there shortly. I trust I will see you later tonight?"
"You bet. Later, Xanatos."
David hung up the phone and let out a sigh. He should have known something was up when Elaine hadn't contacted him since the baby shower. But he had been so busy with his corporation he had shrugged it off as nothing. Now he regretted not trying to look her up.
On cue, Owen entered the office. "Mr. Xanatos, Alexander has been put to bed. I believe we have a meeting to get to..." He trailed off when he saw his employers posture and expression.
Xanatos gave him a wane smile. "I"ll have to tackle this meeting on my own, Owen. I need you to do something else for me." He then relayed to Owen and Fox (who had only half an idea of what was going on) what the detective had told him.
Owen's eyes rounded slightly, showing that he was deeply shocked by this. "I was not aware that you had a sister..."
"You've never met her and she just never came up in any of our conversations. The last time I saw her was at her baby shower when she asked me to be Lauren's Godfather."
Fox looked at him. "Was this the same Elaine that pushed you in the lake when you were seventeen?"
Another wane smile crossed his lips as he nodded. "That was my baby sister." Then he cleared his throat and stood up straight. "Owen, I need you to go down to the 23rd Precinct, take care of the necessary paperwork, and pick up Lauren. Tell her I am deeply sorry for not picking her up personally, but I had business that simply could not wait. But I will be out of the meeting in plenty of time to greet her when she arrives."
Owen nodded, his steely countenance back on. "Of course, Mr. Xanatos."
Xanatos looked at his wife. "Can you get a room prepared for when she arrives, my dear? Detective Maza said she hasn't slept in two days and I'm sure she's going to need her rest."
Fox nodded. "You got it." Then she blinked. "What about... the gargoyles?"
That made him pause for a moment as he glanced at his watch. Sunset was only an hour away. "Owen should still be preoccupied at the precinct at the time. Can you go up there and tell them what's going on? Ask them to stay up there for tonight, just in case?"
Fox almost smiled, imagining the looks on Lexington's and Hudson's faces when they found out they would have to go a night without their computer and TV "Consider it done. Now, you should get to the meeting."
David nodded, straightening himself once more. He had business to take care of first. He could grieve for the loss of his sister later.
Owen was greeted by Elisa Maza the moment he walked into the precinct doors.
"Right this way, Owen," she said, leading him to a desk filled with papers. She handed him a few forms and showed him where to sign.
Once he was finished signing the papers, he stood up straight once more. "Where is she, Detective?"
"She's with Matt. He's trying to entertain her by telling her about UFOs, Loch Ness and secret societies," she said with a small smile. "And Morgan's taken it upon himself to keep her coffee cup full and, no matter how many times she says 'no', he keeps offering her donuts. She's only eaten once that I've seen so far."
Owen kept his face impassive, though he winced inwardly. If she'd been here for over a day and she'd only eaten ONCE... "How is she?" he asked as she slowly started leading him to the back rooms of the precinct, away from all the hustle that was typical in a New York police station.
Maza sighed. "Well, she LOOKS pretty bad, but the doctor who came in said her injuries aren't as bad as they look. But mentally... if I were Xanatos, I'd think of hiring a psychiatrist. That girl hasn't cracked a smile since she came in here."
Owen nodded, understanding that her state of mind was more than likely fragile after the life she'd lead. If the abuse had been going on for her entire life as Detective Maza had indicated to Mr. Xanatos, then she would need serious support. Elisa opened the door to one of the back rooms which had a couch, a coffee machine, and a small fridge.
Bluestone sat one one end of the couch and a young woman with hair that was just a shade short of being platinum blond sat on the other end. The hair went half down her back. They caught the end of his narrative to her.
"And did you know that the statues on Easter Island were actually modeled after space aliens?" Then he blinked and stood up, seeing his partner and Mr. Burnett enter the room.
The girl looked up as well, and although Owen managed to keep his face neutral, inwardly Puck was both shocked and seething in rage.
Aside from a large welt on her right jaw, her left eye was swollen shut and was currently an alarming shade of purple. She had a bandage on her forehead just below the hairline that didn't fully conceal the stitches beneath it. But her throat... man sized hand prints were on her throat that had darkened to Goliath's shade. A set of crutches was leaning on the arm of the couch and Owen had a feeling more injuries were concealed beneath the sweatshirt and sweatpants she was wearing.
But then inwardly Puck stiffened as he sensed it. Owen was barely able to keep his features calm as the two of them examined each other. The fay thought for a wild moment that he must be imagining it, but there was no denying what he felt.
Magic, subtle but there, was emanating from this girl. Puck had a dozen questions race through his mind, not the least of which... was the girl aware of it as well?
Her one good eye, a sea of dark blue, looked at him unwaveringly as she took him in. She was trying to keep her expression neutral, but he could tell she was absolutely miserable and exhausted. Taking in the swollen eye once more, Owen made a mental note to get an ice pack for her first thing when they returned to the castle. He also decided to put his consideration of her potential magical abilities aside for the time being.
Only a couple of seconds had passed since he and Detective Maza had entered the room. Elisa smiled at her gently. "Lauren, this is Owen Burnett, your Uncle David's personal assistant. He's here to take you to your new home."
Owen cleared his throat and stepped forward. "Mr. Xanatos was deeply upset that he could not come here personally, but he received word of your unfortunate circumstances only minutes before an important meeting with a business associate from London. However, the meeting will be long over by the time we return to the Aerie Building."
The girl gave a small shrug and gave a barely noticeable wince at the movement. "I understand," she said, her voice quiet and sounding a little strained. Then, with Matt's help, she got back to her feet and positioned the crutches under her arms, looking as if she'd done this a hundred times before. Owen wondered darkly for a moment if she'd needed crutches in the past due to the abuse.
Elisa looked at Owen. "Tell Xanatos I'll be down later tonight."
Owen inclined his head. "Very well, Detective. Thank you both for taking care of Miss Johnson," he said, and saw the girl cringe out of the corner of his eyes. He stayed at her side and gently led her out to the limo. He decided it would be easiest on her if she rode up front with him rather than in the back all by herself. He opened the passenger side door and helped her inside before getting in on his own side.
The girl was looking around herself, her good eye a little wide as she took in all the little gadgets. Owen looked over at her.
"Are you comfortable, Miss Johnson?"
She cringed more noticeably this time. "I'm fine, but... could you please not call me that?" she asked quietly, her voice cracking slightly. She coughed a little and winced, holding her badly bruised throat. "I don't want to even remember that man existed, much less continue using his family name."
Owen blinked and then cringed inwardly. In a rare show of emotion, he allowed his face to turn slightly sympathetic. "My sincerest apologies. Is Miss Lauren acceptable?"
He could almost swear that the corners of her mouth lifted a fraction of an inch in amusement. "Miss Lauren is fine, Mr. Burnett."
Owen sighed in relief inwardly, seeing the barely detectable smile that had briefly crossed her lips. Then, after ensuring himself and his passenger were buckled in their seats, he started for the Aerie Building.
Lauren never said a word the entire ride. Respecting her wish for silence, Owen never attempted to engage her in a conversation. Once they parked in the underground garage of the building, the majordomo exited the car and came around to the passenger side to help her out. She wordlessly accepted his arm to help her stand up and then he handed her the crutches. He led her to the elevator and called for it.
"I'm afraid it might take a few minutes before the elevator arrives. There are 128 floors to this building and as you might imagine, it takes a while for the elevators to make their rounds."
She simply shrugged and then winced.
"Are you all right?" he asked in concern.
"I've had worse," was all she said in return.
After standing for only a moment, the elevator dinged and they went inside. Owen pressed floor number 126 and they started up. Lauren took advantage of the situation and rested against the wall as the elevator moved for them. He looked over at her and concluded she was exhausted.
When they finally reached their destination, Owen led her down a hall. She couldn't help but look around herself in some awe once again, seeing the interiors of a castle. Tapestries, suits of armor and ancient relics lined the walls everywhere she looked.
They finally stopped outside a large set of double doors. Owen knocked twice before entering. It was a large room with a T.V., and large computer monitor mounted inside the wall, along with a board filled with mechanical switches and dials. At the end of the room was a large metallic desk, a man seated behind it, a beautiful woman standing at his side. The moment they entered the room, the man stood up and both he and his wife came forward.
Lauren recognized the both of them, of course. She had been a fan of The Pack when she was younger and Fox had definitely been her favorite. And then she had seen David Xanatos more than enough times on the news to recognize his face at a glance. It still blew her mind to know that she was related to the both of them now.
Fox came up to her, eyes widening as she took in the visible injuries. David's face at first showed the same expression and then flattened as he frowned deeply. Then he cleared his throat.
"Owen, get an ice pack for Lauren, please."
The man nodded immediately. "Yes, Mr. Xanatos." He turned and left the room without another word.
Fox's face scrunched up in concern as she carefully examined the injuries. She took in a sharp breath when she saw her neck.
David looked at her and sighed. "Lauren... I haven't seen you since you were a week old. I had wondered why Elaine never got into contact with me again, but I was too busy with my corporation and..." He shook his head. "I'm... sorry."
Lauren suppressed a sigh. She had been a little angry upon learning that she had a rich and powerful uncle and he'd never even stepped in to help, but then... "It wasn't your fault that this happened, Mr. Xanatos," she said, her voice sounding more than just a little strained. She stopped and considered. "Or... I guess I should call you Uncle David now. It's weird... A few hours ago I had no idea I was related to you."
He smiled at her. "Whatever you feel comfortable with is fine with me. I know this must be pretty awkward for you." Then he motioned toward a couch that was set up against one of the walls. "Let's sit down, shall we? You look tired."
That was an understatement. She was pale, her hair was mussed, and there was a dark circle under her good eye. David and Fox both helped her to sit down and she let out a sigh of relief.
Owen entered the room once more, handing Lauren the ice pack. She took it wordlessly and held it against her eye, giving a noticeable wince as she did so.
David looked at his wife. "Is her room prepared?"
She nodded. "Yes." Then she looked at the new member of their household. "Do you have any clothes with you?"
She shook her head. "The clothes I'm wearing now aren't even mine. One of the cops gave them to me because my clothes were... torn and dirty."
Deciding he didn't want to know, Xanatos kept his mouth shut.
Fox smiled at her gently. "Well, I can't have that. I'll loan you a nightgown tonight and some clothes to wear into town tomorrow. I'm bringing you shopping, hon. How'd you like to meet my good friends Ralph Lauren and Gucci?"
Xanatos gave a mock sigh. "Oh God. There goes my credit rating."
The bare trace of a smile pulled at her lips again. "Sure."
"Okay, let's get you a nightgown and I'll bring you to your room." She looked at her injuries more critically this time. "And I'm going to help you change while I'm at it."
That made the girl fidget a little. She'd managed to convince Elisa that she could change on her own, but she had a feeling Fox wouldn't hear it.
Xanatos looked at his assistant. "Go with them, Owen."
Nodding, Owen helped Lauren to her feet and followed Fox out of the room.
Xanatos let out an immense sigh when he was alone and then left the room himself, heading for the top of the castle.
After quickly swinging by her room, Fox led Owen and Lauren to the room she had selected for the new addition to their family. She instructed Owen to wait outside as both girls went in.
The room wasn't anything special yet, but then again they hadn't really had the time to prepare it properly. There was a large bed up against the wall and a personal bathroom so she wouldn't have to wander out in the hall. Beside the bed was a nightstand and a phone.
Lauren looked decidedly uncomfortable. "You know, I really can change on my own..."
Fox shook her head, a knowing smile on her face. "I know what someone looks like when they're hiding the fact that they're in pain, and YOU are definitely in pain. I'm not going to have you making yourself more uncomfortable by forcing you to bend over backwards just to get changed. Don't even bother arguing."
Sighing, the girl set the ice pack Owen had set her down beside the phone and nodded, too tired to argue at this point. All she wanted to do was curl up in a little ball and go to sleep.
Fox instructed her to lift her arms as she took hold of the bottom of her sweatshirt. Lauren sighed and did as she was told, bracing herself for what she knew was coming.
Once the shirt was over her head, Fox let out a cry of alarm. Seeing that Lauren was wearing a sports bra instead of something less modest, she didn't hesitate for a second.
Lauren cringed, sitting on the edge of the bed. The servant opened the door without hesitation and rushed in at the horrified tone in his employer's voice. "Mrs. Xanatos?" Then he stopped in his tracks, seeing what had caused Fox's outburst.
Lauren's ribs and stomach looked like a Canadian sunset, an almost nauseating combination of dark blue's, greens, and purples. A long scratch went down her right side, a long red line that contrasted alarmingly with the rest of the surface injuries. Her arms weren't much better off. They too were covered in contusions and scrapes, from her shoulders down. Many of the bruises were unmistakable hand prints.
The girl erupted into tears, burying her face into her hands immediately.
Fox quickly seated herself beside Lauren and carefully wrapped her arms around her. She glanced over at Owen and was only mildly surprised to see his shocked expression. "Get Doctor Sato in here," she said quietly.
Shaking himself out of his shock, he nodded immediately and exited the room. He took out his cell phone and started to dial as he made his way up to the castle.
Even as he kept his voice calm, speaking to the doctor on the phone, inwardly he was thoroughly enraged. The evidence of what had happened to the girl was all too obvious.
Craig had thrown her around like a rag doll. That was the only way he could account for the horrendous injuries he'd seen on her. Puck's vengeful side was out in full force. He wished fervently that Mr. Johnson was still alive so he could teach him a thing or two about how to treat a lady.
He finished his conversation with Dr. Sato in only a few moments and emerged at the top of the castle where Mr. Xanatos was conversing with the Gargoyles.
"...so if you could just stay up here until we introduce you to her, it would be appreciated. It should only be for one or two nights..." Xanatos blinked and turned, seeing Owen. "Something wrong, Owen?"
Xanatos had picked up on his assistant's agitation immediately. It wasn't something most people would notice, but there was a slight narrowing of the eyes and furrowing of the brows. His frown was just a millimeter or two deeper than normal.
He cleared his throat. "I'm afraid so, Mr. Xanatos. It would appear that Miss Lauren's injuries are more serious than she led us to believe. I have just called Dr. Sato and he will be here within the next fifteen minutes."
Xanatos stiffened immediately and the gargoyles exchanged a few concerned looks. "How bad is she?"
"I am uncertain. However, I think it is safe to say we can add at least a few broken ribs to her list of injuries. Her body appeared to be covered with scrapes and contusions It is a wonder she was able to hide her pain as well as she did. She started... crying before I left the room. Fox is still with her."
Xanatos nodded and gave the gargoyles an apologetic look. "Excuse me." He quickly rushed back into the castle, Owen close behind him.
He rushed into Lauren's room and saw Fox holding her gently in her arms, rocking her trembling form. From this angle, Owen could see that her back was just as bad as her front and he had to stomp down another surge of rage.
The CEO was at Lauren's other side in an instant while Owen simply stood off to the side, feeling strangely awkward and a little helpless.
To their credit, the Xanatos' never asked why she had hidden the extent of her injuries from them. The girl was obviously accustomed to keeping her injuries hidden from view and more than likely hadn't wanted to burden her new guardians. Owen remembered her telling him that she'd had worse and sincerely hoped she had been lying.
His feelings of helplessness vanished when his cell phone rang. He quickly answered it.
"Yes?" A pause. "Of course." He hung up the phone and looked at Mr. Xanatos. "Detective's Maza and Bluestone have just arrived. I will go meet them."
Xanatos gave him a nod and the majordomo left the room, eliciting a very rare sigh of relief. He stood in front of the elevator and wasn't disappointed when they opened a moment later, revealing the new arrivals.
"Hey there, Owen," Matt said. "How's Lauren doing?"
"It seems Miss Lauren was downplaying the extent of her injuries. Dr. Sato should be here in a few minutes to examine her personally. Fox discovered the additional injuries as she was helping her change."
Elisa's eyes widened. "What?! Damn! So that's why she insisted she didn't need my help. I knew I should have had the doctor give her a full check up! The only thing she complained about was her hip!"
Bluestone looked at Owen in concern. "How bad is she, then?"
"The entire top half of her body seems to be suffering from extensive injuries. Contusions and scrapes, mostly. I suspect she has a few broken ribs, but until the doctor has examined her, I can offer no further information. Mr and Mrs. Xanatos are with her right now in her room. Miss Lauren was... very upset when we discovered her injuries."
Owen's phone rang again. He answered it and told the man downstairs to send Dr. Sato on up.
"Well, we're going to go visit with the guys," Elisa said with a sigh. "I'll talk to Xanatos later when this is all worked out."
Owen nodded respectfully and the two detectives made their way down the hall. He continued to wait outside the elevator for the other new arrival. A few short minutes massed before they opened and Dr. Sato stepped out, carrying his medical kit.
Owen wasted no time with greetings. "If you would follow me?" He started off down the hall without another word, confident that the doctor was right behind him. When they got to the room, Owen knocked once before opening the door. Lauren had stopped crying and was just letting Xanatos and Fox hold her. Her uncle was talking to her quietly.
Owen cleared his throat. "Dr. Sato is here." He stepped aside to let the doctor into the room.
Xanatos stood up to give the doctor a place to sit as he quickly started evaluating her wounds. The doctor cleared his throat and looked at the other three in the room. "It might be best if you left the room. I'm sure this is awkward enough for her as it is."
"David and Owen can go, but I'm staying with her," Fox said in a voice that dared him to object.
Dr. Sato nodded wordlessly. It would probably make Lauren feel a little more comfortable if there was another woman present in the room during the examination.
Xanatos and Owen went into the CEOs office. In a rare show of fatigue, Xanatos sat down heavily in his chair with a sigh. He had thought his night was going to be smooth sailing when he had only had two things on his schedule. Now it seemed the night would never end and it had barely begun.
"You know... it takes a lot to get me angry, Owen. But I tell you... If that bastard was still alive, I'd kill him myself for what he did to Lauren and Elaine..."
Owen nodded. "I understand your position completely, sir. Even I am admittedly... unnerved at this evenings events." He cleared his throat. "Detective Maza said she would like to speak with you later in the evening. She is visiting with the gargoyles right now along with Detective Bluestone."
Xanatos nodded silently. Then after a moment he cleared his throat and started riffling through his papers. "Well, I suppose I had best call John at R&D and see what he wanted to talk to me about. The sooner I get that over with, the sooner I'm free to worry about my personal dilemma's. The first thing I'm going to do when my business is taken care of is make the funeral arrangements for Elaine and... that bastard."
Okay, there was the first chapter! I'll try to update as soon as I can! Please Read and Review! It only takes a moment of your time :D