Saga: The Avalon Wars
Episode: Bright Xenith and Dark Abyss 2.0
Rating: PG-13 (Adult Situations, violence, profanity)
Characters: Wren, Demetrius, Timron of the Avalon Clan.

Disclaimer: I don't own Gargoyles. They belong to Disney. All Original characters belong to Denigoddess. The flashback to Caledon Isle is an expanded scene from my fanfic "Saints in the Night: Still of the Night 6.1." "The Gargoyle Way" is from a fanfic of mine by the same name. Please do not use without permission.

All adoring praise, comments and flames may be sent to Denigoddess2001@aol.com

Author's Note: I want to thank Sarah B. for her sharing of the "Wren" story with me. It is from Celtic myth and can also be found in the book, The Druidic Animal Oracle. I'd also like to thank Dorian, Sparrow, and Jason for their sharing of information on the Seelie Court and the Sidhe (pronounced SHEE.) I also want to give kudos to Timron for his imput on my fanfics. So, Timron, you've been immortalized upon the written page. Here's your fanfic debut, so to speak. Last but not least, Thanks Puaena, Sword Maker, and Demelza for giving me mucho mucho plot bunnies. They like me, they really like me (damn those plot bunnies!!!!!!!)


For everyone else...enjoy.

[Bracketed words indicate thoughts or psionic transmission]

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

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars--must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength To Love, 1963.


Upon the shores of Avalon…..

Wren knew that time passed differently upon Avalon's soil compared to other places in the world. She knew that as seconds became minutes upon the isle that days and weeks winded away in the world of Humanity. She watched as the Fae called upon their more terrestrial brethren from the deepest forests, seas and caves of the earth to join them in battle. Wren had long thought Elves to be only on Avalon, yet she saw endless numbers touch the magickal haven's shoreline. She knew that a new age was coming to pass as she watched her cousins with pointed ears and slender bodies pay homage to Oberon and his beloved Lady Titania.

Wren felt her anxiety grow with each passing day. She pondered the passage of time in the real world. Puck once told her that an hour upon Avalon was a day in the world of Men. She wondered if the passage of time had been the same for Demetrius. She remembered that comment in her rare moment of reflective contemplation. She stared at the stars brilliantly illuminating the black velvet sky.

"How much time has passed on Olympus?" She asked aloud to the stars. "Has the night yet passed for Ares and Demetrius? Has it been but minutes? Or has it been almost week as it has been here?"

She looked toward the constellation of Draco. She had heard the tales of how Skylaris had sent her Children to this world almost two million years prior to Wren's existence. She knew how Homo Sapiens were truly genetically engineered servants that had once served the DeMahri. She also knew the legends of how the god of Humans flooded the Earth to rid the world of the Children. How Skylaris had outsmarted him was of epic proportions: she turned her Children into Stone.

She remembered her days on Caladon Isle as she and Demetrius would sit around the campfire while he told her the ancient stories. His lyrical cadence of Scottish lilt and deep baritone were a compelling amalgamation that beguiled Wren. His stories, heroism and valiant mind-set were the first things to cause her to fall in love with him. She remembered how she had found him on the night before she ran away from the love that grew within her heart. He had kissed her and without her knowledge and consent, Demetrius had marked her for his mate.

She remembered that sweet, halcyon time upon Caledon's shores when she and Demetrius burked the the question of their deepening affection. Even in their veiled words were hidden questions they asked of one another regarding their innermost hearts. [If I had known what was in going to happen between us, I would have told him then and there.]

[Liar.] Her conscience rebuked her. Wren knew in those days she had been so timid of her heart and emotions that confessing her heightening affections for the ebon Gargoyle never would have come to pass.

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

Eight Months Prior on Caledon Isle, Late March 2005

It was a fair Spring night for Caledon Isle. Wren inhaled deeply the fresh scent of Heather growing upon the tors of the Island. The sound of the surf breaking against the beach struck a chord in her normal pragmatic soul. She longed for fresh air and good company rather than remaining in the staid enviroment of her office. She had told Demetrius the previous night to take a night's rest and they'd convene in three nights. She knew tonight was a Mating Moon and he was a Sire in his prime.

[He'll find a gorgeous Dame and they'll be going steady before the end of the night.] Wren mused as she neatly shuffled her night's research. A resounding melancholy settled over her at that thought. She ruthlessly supressed it as she gathered the Tome of Tacitus under one arm. [Fresh air does a body good, and my body needs a lot of good right now.]

She knew he had advised her not to walk the beaches alone. She cast a a glance skywards to see if he was one of the many Gargoyles engaging in a Mating flight. She recognized Kellyn and Evangeline soaring as one in the skies above them. She saw Goliath and Adrienne gliding. She heard the merry chase and the sounds of passion in the night and quickly averted her eyes to the trodden path that led to the bonfires on the beach. She knew those already who had mates would be there drinking mead and ale. They'd be carrying on good conversation that would povide an ample distraction from the pensive feelings beseiging her heart that evening.

She waved to Angus and Goliath's mother, Veda and they returned her greeting. She was about to join them with a smoky baritone laden with a Highland lilt beckoned her."Well Met, Milady!"

A surge of joy and anguish coursed through her when she heard that deep voice. She knew perfectly well to whom it belonged. She looked past the two clan elders to see Demetrius sitting alone tending a lone fire. Wren's brows rose in surprise at seeing Clan Caledon's most eligible bachelor sitting removed from the rest of the clan.

"Hey, did I not tell you to have fun tonight?" Wren teased to hide her unspoken delight at finding him without a Dame at his side. "All work and no play makes Demetrius a dull Gargoyle."

"I find I prefer other company." His lavender eyes never left the flickering flames of the fire. He used a stick to push around the log so that the flames crackled higher.

"So, where's your young Dame for love?" She recalled asking the strapping Sire. She held the large Tome of Tacitus under her arm and a thick folder of papers in the other. The Ebony Warrior motioned for her to come closer.

"Wilst thou join me this night?" He asked softly. Lavender eyes looked at her. They were hooded by argent hair and shadows casted by the fire.

[You don't have to ask twice.] The thought screamed in her mind. Wren then gathered her composure. [Wren, don't be foolish, walk away now! You'll only get hurt by being around him. Just make an excuse and return to the office; no harm done.]

Her feet betrayed her as they made their way to his fire.

She gave him a shrug and walked toward him. However, a rock jutting from the Earth seemed to think otherwise as it became an obstacle for her tennis shoe-clad feet. Wren found her body toppling like a felled tree. Instinct guided her to stretch forth arms and palms to break her rough fall. She impacted with the rocky soil as papers fluttered around them and the Tome of Tacitus landed with a resoundin THUD near the fire Demtrius tended.

A yelp of pain escaped her as her scraped palms stung from the impact. Demetrius rose quickly to set her on the log while he chased the papers and prevented them from falling into the fire. She rose to assist when he held his hand in air to stay her motion.

"Milady, still thyself whilst I gather the papers you require." He knelt down and gathered the scattered research he knew she worked so diligently to gather that day. She opened her mouth to protest and he halted her with a compelling glance that bade her acquiescence and yeilding to him. "As your assistant, it is both my charge and privilege to aid a fair gentlewoman facing adversity."

Demetrius' mellifluous delivery and dynamic demeanor left Wren effectively silenced. He placed the Tome and the papers beside her. "Let me see your hands."

She looked down at her abraded palms. Before she could utter a word, he held them carefully in hers. He dipped his white sorong in the tankard beside him and wiped away the dirt and gravel. Wren gritted her teeth as he tended her wounds.

"I am not one for strong drink on nights such as these." His voice was dark as he wiped away the last traces of debris. "It's only the finest waters of Caledon that grace my tankard."

"That surprises me." She raised an inquiring brow. "Normally, after class and after you've done patrol, you have a tankard of mead in one hand and an ale in the other."

"No spirit can quell that which burdens my heart this Moon." He held her hands in the the moonlight close to his face and examined them. "What I do next, Milady Wren might strike you as curious, but Gargoyle Mettle possesses an elixer to hasten the healing."

"I leave myself in your capable hands." She smiled wondering if she had gone made. The combination of his nearness and his touch left her unsettled.

He brought her bruised palms to her skin and Wren felt the gentle sweep of moistness across her stinging flesh. Hazel eyes grew wide and her entire body went rigid as Demetrius' long, smooth tongue danced across her palms. With each lap of his tongue, the inflamed flesh ceased to burn in pain. She felt his heated breath against her skin and felt her body quake as the intimate contact sent frissions of delight throughout her being.

He pressed two gentle kisses to her palms and studied her. She detested her lack of composure as his tender administrations left her fighting for breath. Her cheeks flushed crimson as breathless, urgent gasps escaped her lungs. He looked at her and she saw lavender eyes alight with brilliant violet fire. He stayed motioness only inches from her for what seemed an eternity. His eyes locked with hers and she thought he was...

[Trembling!? Summers, get a grip!] She abruptly drew her hands from his grasp. "I think the fall must have knocked the wind out of me."

"Did it?" He asked, his eyes never leaving her.

She needed to leave. She wanted to run. Wren felt mortification petrify her body and bolt her to that log. She nervously cleared her throat. "I didn't know that Gargoyle....saliva contained a healing agent."

"Aye." His eyes dimmed and Demetrius sat beside her. The spell was suddenly broken.

[Did he just GROWL at me?] She flinched as his tail lashed furiously like a hissing cat.

"I didn't know this." She spoke frankly. She looked down to see that her palms were already pink with healing. "Amazing. You are just full of surprises, Demetrius."

"As are you, Milady." He picked up the stick and tended the fire.

"So, I thought that you'd be flying high chasing the Dames." Wren kicked herself cheerfully as the words escaped her. [Why can't I just keep my mouth zipped? What is wrong with me tonight, damn it?]

"No dame pleases me, Milady." He smiled down at her. "I await for she who has captured my heart to know that she has done so."

"Unrequited love?" She asked. He nodded silently. His face became very grim and stoic. He sat in front of the dying bonfire and she shivered. She knew the feeling of loving unwisely all too well.

"I'm sorry." She laid a hand on his shoulder. "It hurts."

"As if the bloody English were disemboweling me." He cursed.

Taken aback by his uncharacteristic crudeness, Wren withdrew her hand.

"I can relate." She said glumly. She cruelly suppressed the growing feelings aside for the Ebony warrior. "It can tear a heart to shreds."

"You know the torment of loving one who knows not of your devotion?" He turned to her.

"All too well." Was the cryptic response. "People like me are meant to be alone, Demetrius. I dealt with it, I got over it and I moved on with my life. You could say that the Gambit just was a little too much for me. I didn't like the odds."

"He was a fool." Demetrius muttered.

"No, he wasn't. I just wasn't what he needed." She studied the dancing flames. Tears sprung forth as thoughts of a particular Cajun pricked her heart. Thoughts of regret regarding an ebony Gargoyle pierced her soul. One solitary tear traced a path down her cheek.

"Milady," Demetrius whispered. "I meant not to cause you grief with my brooding. I beseech your forgiveness."

"Don't worry about it. Don't you know that misery loves company?" The quip did little to stifle the sob that escaped her. She shrugged and forced a smile. "I guess I'm just a sentimental female."

Demetrius watched Wren as he saw her body shiver.

"Cold?" He asked quietly.

"Actually, yes." She trembled. She wanted to leave and just be alone to regain her composure.

"Here, sit here." He patted the ground in front of him. She looked and noticed that it was between his knees. Knees that were connected to strong, powerful thighs. Wren looked at the unassuming gaze his eyes held.

She shook her head vehemently. [I'd be sitting only inches away from his ....oh, boy.] Another flush of rose stained her cheeks at the steamy thought. "There?"

A merry twinkle entered his eye. "I am not a lech intent upon deflowering your virtue, Milady Wren. Sit betwixt my thighs so that my wings might warm you."

"What would the other Gargoyles think?" She asked with mocking smile. "That might cause a scandal."

"I care little what the others think of me. I care only that you are warm and safe." His smile disarmed what little resistance remained in Wren. His tail thumped the ground in front of him. "Are we not friends?"

"Of course!" [Hey, at least I can say that with complete honesty. What a first.]

"Be not bereft of faith in me. Let me offer you my hospitality." He held his hand out to Wren. His next words branded her with their gently entreaty. "Milady, allow my wings to warm you."

She agreed and sat in front of him. She could deny Demetrius nothing.

"Lean against me, Milady." Demetrius encouraged her. She cautiously did so and found the bottom of his wings draped about her to block the cold Scottish breeze. He leaned down toward her. "Better?"

"Yes." She told him. "Thank-you."

"I wish only to please you." He teased. She felt talons gently stroking her hair. Wren's defenses crumbled at his tender touch. She felt her entire body relax. It felt so good simply to be held. "You mere presence chased the demons away that plague me this night."

"You and that poetic speech of yours." She batted him playfully on the leg. She looked up at him and he winked.

"All the better to beguile the Dames, Milady."

"Dem, I hope your Dame comes to her senses and realizes what a special Gargoyle you are." She leaned her head against his knee as he continued to stroke her hair. "SHE'S a fool for not taking you up on your affections."

"Nay, she is no fool, but timorous lass whose heart lies shattered like stone skin at dusk. I ask the Dragon at the rising of each moon that she gain valiancy of heart and regain faith in love." He said cryptically. "Milady, have you wished for true love?"

"Love is for those who can pay it's price. But, I sometimes wish upon a star and wish for the perfect man to sweep me off my feet." Wren wistfully pointed to the one that she considered her own. "That's my star. It's called Thubin."

"Thubin?" She thought his voice cracked. "In the constellation Draco?"

"One of my favorites." She smiled up at him. He appeared stricken. "Demetrius, what's wrong?"

"N-nothing, Milady." [Since when does Demetrius stammer?] "You never cease to astound me. Thubin, as you call it, Milady, is the star dearest to the Gargoyle heart. It is also a star we ponder upon when we commune with our Goddess and send our thoughts to her. We also make wishes upon it."

"Well, wish that she sends me my perfect man." Wren grinned. She looked at the Dark Warrior and he rested his chin upon her head. It felt natural and right just to be with Demetrius at that moment. Wren promised she'd deal with the repercussions the following day.

"Wren, what if there is no perfect man?" He asked gravely. "Perchance no mere man is worthy of you."

"Then I'll buy a vibrator with batteries." She laughed. He didn't understand her meaning so she told him exactly what it was. He wondered if his blushing could be seen; black upon black.

The conversation became lighthearted and ribald after that. Then, she had read the Tome Of Tacitus to him. Demetrius told her stories of the star Thubin and legends of the great Goddess, Skylaris. He recited ancient oral tradition of the Gargoyle Way that gave her heart a warm, gentle feeling. The stanzas of the Gargoyle Way healed some of the pain her heart felt that night. That night had been a bright Xenith for Wren's hurting heart that Spring evening. The darkness mingled with the first rays of dawn. Regretully, she removed herself from his winged embrace.

"Tonight, Milady, shall I see thee?" His voice felt like silk upon her skin. She watched as crouched in a defensive posture with gabardine wings unfurled, fangs gleaming, and talons curled.

"You can count on it."

"Until Twilight descends, Milady, I shall hope you a good day."

"Dream good dreams, Demetrius."

Wren watched him become stone at sunrise. As she kicked dirt over the dying fire, she stared at the fierce and majestic granite Gargoyle facing the East. [Oh, Demetrius? What have we done? You're good for my soul ....just bad for my heart.]

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

Present Day....Early December 2005

[He always did have a head start on me.] She sighed. That first auspicious affection had changed the course of her life. With the passing of each season, she grew braver in her love for him. [Now, that he's gone..I have to be brave alone. Oh, Demetrius…. I miss you so much.]

A particular star called Thubin twinkled brightly in the heavens.

***********
Wren spent most of the day conversing with Lady Titania regarding her intrinsic abilities. The young woman wanted to cry out in frustration when she failed to accomplish the simplest feats of the Fae. Trees didn't talk to her and the beasts didn't sing. The ocean failed to acknowledge her beckoning and the wind refused to still. Fire refused burning upon wet ashes when Wren attempted to master the elements.

She felt more at ease when she watched the terrestrial Fae, those dwelling in the world of Men, make their bows from enchanted oak. The strings were fashioned from the finest saplings on the island. The shafts of the bows were crafted from the trunks of the steadiest birch and elm. Feathers of Pegasi and the British Gargoyles were fletchered to the tail of the shaft to allow the aim to remain true. Wren observed as her nimble, agile cousins shot arrows in with inhuman rapidity. Two arrows loaded while in bow astounded her.

She remembered the clanging of the forges from the previous night as Gargoyle and Elvin Weaponsmiths fashioned weapons of war. Atalanta crafted sword and spearhead, shield and arrow tip with her mighty Blacksmith's hammer. The Elvin blacksmiths wrought shirts of Oberon's metal. Wren had once called it Oberonite in her ignorance. The Humans called the metal Adamantium and the Elves gave it no name. When made into chainmail, each link retained it ethereal luster and sheen. It felt no heavier than silk to the touch of the observer.

Elves and Fae drilled relentlessly to perfect their fluidity in battle. Manna bolts of raw energy erupted from the Magickal Fae while the Terrestrial Elves sparred and fired their weaponry. Wren guessed their numbers almost three thousand strong. She felt the song singing in her veins with the passing of each hour. She heard the exhilarating melody of war surge in her blood.

She chose a young lieutenant of Veda's to spar with that evening. Wren remembered during her last stay on Avalon how he graced the Seelie court with his talent. He was a musician and singer of renown. Wren also found out quickly that he was a Warrior of consumate skill.

She watched the carmine Garoyle circle her with talons curved ready for his next attack. His swiftness caught her unprepared and unable to parry. Her slender, prehensile tail wrapped around his feet and upsurped him so that he landed solidly on his backside.

"Better, Wren." He commented as she helped to his feet.

"Not really, Timron." She glanced down to see four deep lascerations gracing her shoulder. "You nailed me."

"Nailed me?" He asked as he dusted the grass from his person.

"Your blow struck home. Let's face it, I'm not good at this."

"May I speak freely?" Cobalt eyes gave her no quarter.

"Like that has stopped you since I've known you?"

"You let your rage and desire for vengeance impair your responses." He studied the wounds. "You need healing."

"That'll come soon enough." She muttered. "All that matters to me is that I can take Ares down so that he never hurts anyone again."

"Take him down?"

Wren remembered that modern speech was often lost on Gargoyles. She sighed in exasperation. "In the plainest terms, Timron, I want Ares defeated, deposed, and preferably dead."

"You are a warrior and a protector; not a killer." He replied grimly.

"Heaven only knows what he's done to Demetrius." Her heated response and glowing eyes were enough to make the crimson gargoyle step back from her.

"You would become like him? An evil, twisted blackguard set on destruction and torment?"

"If that's what it takes to get him eliminated, that that's what I'll do!"

Talons lashed at her and Wren adroitly ducked. She didn't expect the elbow that found her midsection and left her gasping for breath. She fell to her knees and fired a bolt of luckmagick at her target. As Timron advanced, his foot caught on his tail and sailed over her.

"Do you know the story of the Wren?" He asked as he rose to his feet. She scuttled away from him and readied herself for his next onslaught.

"Okay, I'll bite. Tell me the story of the Wren." She let loose a punch that found his jaw. He staggered backwards but blocked her second blow and she backed away regathered her energies.

"Once a council of the Animals met to decide who would rule all the animal kingdom." Timron brought a wing about and she dodged it. "There were several there: Raven, Coyote, Fox, Eagle, Dragon, Sphinx and among others ..and Wren."

"Do tell?" Wren's five talons grazed his wings. He growled in pain.

"Indeed." Timron folded his wings and the edge of one soundly slapped Wren's face. "It was decided that whoever could fly highest would rule them all. All of them ascended into the air towards the sun. All fell behind except Eagle. He thought he rose highest and Oberon proclaimed him the winner. That was, until Wren came from under Eagle's wing and flew another hundred paces into the air besting the bird of prey."

"Nice story." She sat stunned from the blow of his wing. She shook her head to clear her blurred vision. She came about with a roundhouse kick that caught him in the back of the leg and brought Timron to his knees. "Your point being...?"

"Wren didn't win by strength or aggression. Wren won by trickery. You are a trickster, Wren and not a murderer. Even so, you are Fae but even you can't kill a god, especially Ares."

"I'll find a way."

"Then find a way to remove him without it costing your soul." Timron stopped and stood still. "If you descend into the dark abyss that's already claimed him, you might claim victory but you will be the one who has ultimately lost."

She watched Timron's tail lash about in an unexpected melee. Now, she was the one sitting in the grass with a smarting backside. "You've told me of Demetrius and that he went of his own accord with Ares to save your life. Would he want his mate to murder her soul just so she could exact revenge?"

Timron's words stopped her cold.

[Demetrius' heart would break if he knew that I'd become like that deified son-of-a]

"I declare this bout a stalemate." Timron interrupted her reverie. "You are not the bumbling baffoon you claim to be. Your skills are enough to best a warrior upon the field of battle."

"Then, I'm ready." She replied grimly.

"Let me ask you this, friend." Scarlet and platinum wings cloaked around the wily Gargoyle. "You have chosen to love a Gargoyle. You've become one mind, body and soul (if you've told me correctly) that you are now of the same blood and body through this mysterious ...DN...DN"

"DNA." She supplied.

"Yes, DNA." He nodded in thanks. "You seem to have embraced your Demetrius and all that he holds dear. You've told me that he adheres devoutly to the Gargoyle Way. Is it the Gargoyle Way to be lost in vengeance and bitterness? Is that what Demetrius would ask of you for his release?"

She had no answer for Timron.

"I must report to Gabriel for patrol." He bowed to her. As he turned to leave, he looked back at her. "Please consider my words before you take action."

"I will."

Wren sat alone in the grass and considered Timron's words. [Demetrius wouldn't act this way.]

She found his voice in her mind as she recalled the memories of that beloved night on Caledon Isle on a Scottish Spring evening. His voice came to her from the past and recited the words of which Timron spoke.


A Gargoyle is the epitome of courage.
A Gargoyle's heart embraces valor
In the face of adversity.

Fear shall tempt us
Yet, never shall the Gargoyle heart succumb
To the taste of cowardice.

When defeat looms and shadows battle,
It is the Gargoyle Way to take up the cause
And protect that which is right and good.

A Gargoyle's essence comprises integrity.
Talons protect the innocent.
A Gargoyle watches vigilantly for truthfulness.

Let Gargoyle Eyes see only good faith in others.
Be one of honor and virtue.
The Gargoyle Way succumbs to the heart's calling for righteousness.

Embrace all those in the clan
And those who touch the clan's heart.
Turn away none who seek and share the Gargoyle Way.

Love is the truest strength of the Gargoyle Heart.
A true warrior denies surrender to the temptations of self.
Life becomes corrupt, meaningless and empty when we deny our natures.

A Gargoyle abhors mercilessness
And stands ready as guardian and sentinel
For those without protectors or champions.

Gargoyle valor defends the frail and fragile.
A Gargoyle heart loves fiercely and well.
Gargoyle loyalty is without question.

It matters not to the Gargoyle heart that her charges
May be without wing or talon and know the light of the sun.
A Gargoyle's nature is to protect. It is our heritage.

Let your words articulate simple verity without distraction.
Let Gargoyle fury quash cruelty.
A Gargoyle's roar brings justice.

Justice knows no death
And let our hearts crumble to dust
Lest we betray our nature.

It is our way to protect.
It is our nature to serve.
It is our heritage to love fiercely and well.

The Gargoyle Way eternally shines
When the Heart burns brightest with the Fire of Love
And the Valor of Honor.

That is the Gargoyle Way. So mote it be.
As it is above, so shall it be below.
Let these words endure longer than the mountain stone.


"Oh, Demetrius.... I'm sorry." She whispered to the night air. "I've been so wrong."

The sound of a horn came from the distance. She looked down the hill to see three thousand Elves and countless Fae gathered in front of Oberon and Titania. Wren ran as quickly as her feet allowed her to join the others. Soon, she stood by Coyote's side as Oberon finished speaking.

"What's going on?" She asked the Trickster. "I missed it."

"You arrived just in time." He grinned. "Let's get ready to rumble. Oberon says we march on Olympus tonight."

Wren's stomach lurched in horror of that announcement.

TO BE CONTINUED....
[