Making Butterflies
By Citizen Downspout citizen_downspout@hotmail.com

Summary: Alexander Xanatos is dying and nothing can help him.

Disclaimer: Gargoyles is owned by the Walt Disney Company, not me. I have not been authorized to use
these characters. I am doing this for entertainment purposes only. I am making no profit from this. Don't
sue me, because I don't have any money. Death can't be claimed, but this personification of her is mine.
Please do not use it without my permission.

***

Alex woke up feeling hot and cold at the same time. He crawled out of bed and slowly walked into the
hall. He felt so tired and nauseous.

The young boy stumbled down the hall until he reached his parents' room. Timidly, he opened the door
and made his way to their bed. He watched his mother's sleeping face for a moment before speaking.

"Mama?"

Fox's eyelid's fluttered and she smiled at her son.

"What is it, sweetie? Bad dream?" Her gentle smiled twisted into a concerned frown as she saw her son's
face form a grimace of pain. In an instant she was beside her son, holding him to her and gently stroking
his hair. Her husband sat up at her sudden movement and watched mother and son in concern.

"No, mama. I didn't have a bad dream. I jus' don' feel so good…"

Alex's little body shook and he vomited before slipping into unconsciousness.

"David…"

"I'll get the doctor right away."

***

He was in an open field. It was the brilliant green only found in crayons. The green was dotted with little
pink and yellow flowers. He felt a blanket around his shoulders and he pulled it tightly around himself. He
felt so cold, but so peaceful. He just wanted to sleep…

"Alex…"

Somebody was calling him. He looked over to his left. There were his friends… His family… Mother,
Father, Detective Maza, Owen, Lexington, Bronx… They were reaching for him, calling his name. He
watched them, but didn't feel like going over there right now.

"Alex…"

That voice was different. That voice was hollow. He looked to his right. A young woman stood there. She
was smiling and holding out her hand. Her skin was a light gray and her hair was black. Her clothes were
shades of gray. Alex knew this, but all he saw were her eyes. She had none. Where her eyes should have
been were two empty holes. The blackness seemed to stretch on forever, but if he looked closely he could
see little yellow-white dots of light. Stars… he thought.

"Alex," she said again, flexing her slim fingers towards him.

Alex started to reach out his hand and step towards her.

"No," she said. "It is not time yet. Not yet."

He sat down and looked back to his friends and family, then turned his head to the woman only to find that
she had disappeared.

***

"Fox, it has been too long. He isn't waking up. The doctors can do nothing; Puck can do nothing. It's a
miracle he's lived this long. Fox, our son is--"

"No, David. Don't say it. I can't hear it now."

They looked over at where Puck sat by Alex's bed, determined to save the boy. All the magic he had tried
had failed, but he was certain he could do something if only he had enough time. Puck watched the uneven
rise and fall of the young boy's chest and squeezed Alex's cold fingers. Time was something he couldn't
have…

***

The young woman walked down the street. Her skin was a light gray and her hair was black. Her clothes
were shades of gray. She had no eyes. Where her eyes should have been were two empty holes. The
blackness seemed to stretch on forever, but if one looked closely they could see little yellow-white dots of
light.

She rarely made personal appearances anymore. It was hardly necessary, but she had decided that this one
required that she be there. She stopped in front of the skyscraper and her dark gray lips twitched into a
bitter smile.

She approached the security guard.

"Let me pass," she demanded in her hollow voice.

"Lady, I can't do that," he responded. "Hey, you feel well? You look kinda sick…"

She glared at him.

"Let. Me. Pass."

She reached out and brushed her fingers across his forehead. The guard slumped to the ground,
unconscious but not dead.

***

"Mr. Xanatos?" an empty voice said.

"Who are you?" Xanatos demanded.

"I… I am the End. The Grim Reaper. Death."

Xanatos looked crushed. "You have come for Alexander."

"Yes."

Fox appeared behind her husband. "You can't have him."

Death appeared mildly surprised, but recovered quickly. "I am afraid you have no choice in the matter,
Mrs. Xanatos. It is time. Where is your son?"

Fox lunged for her, but passed right through Death's body.

"Very well, I shall find him myself."

***

Death entered Alexander's bedroom quietly, but not quietly enough.

"Is it time all ready? I thought it would take longer…" Puck whispered.

"It is time." Death said. She moved forward silently and placed a hand on his shoulder. "I am sorry. He
is so young…"

Puck looked at her hand. Her skin burned like fire but was ice-cold at the same time.

"There is no way?" he asked.

Death released her hold on his shoulder and reached for Alex. Puck grabbed her wrist and held it firmly.
Xanatos and Fox appeared in the doorway.

Death looked at the child again. "There is a chance…"

"Tell me!" Puck demanded.

"You are allowed to play a game for his life. It is a small chance. I have never lost."

"I know that. And I can't cheat either. But I will play."

Death smiled at him then clapped her hands. In a flash of light they were gone. Fox rushed to her son and
held his sleeping head to her.

***

Alex sat in the middle of the field, family on one side and the strange woman on the other. Suddenly,
everything was gone. He was floating in nothingness. He started to cry but then he felt the ground
underneath him again. He was in his bedroom. There was the strange lady and Uncle Puck.

What was going on?

***

Puck looked around then back at Death.

"You challenged me. As challenged, I have the right to choose the game and playing field," she said.

"What are the rules?"

Death smiled coldly and went to Alex. She pulled the boy into her lap and hugged him. Puck stepped
forward, arms stretched to take the boy. Death held up one hand.

"No. He must come to you. This is the game I choose."

Alex looked around him in confusion, and then smiled up at Death.

"Hello," he said. "I'm Alex. Are you a friend?"

"I can be your friend if you want," she replied. "We could do all sorts of fun things, and never have to
worry about silly things like physical bodies and gravity spoiling our games."

"What sort of games?" Alex asked, intrigued by these promises.

"Can you make butterflies?" she asked. He shook his head. "How about these?" She raised one hand and
curled it into a fist. When she uncurled her fingers a large purple bubble rest in her palm. It floated
towards Alex, who giggled and popped it. The gooey purple liquid smelled like chocolate and tasted like
cherries.

"That's a very good trick," Alex commented. "I would like to be your friend."

She smiled then looked up at Puck. "Your turn," she said simply.

Puck knelt down in front of the boy. "Alex, what about our lessons? If you leave I can't teach you
anymore."

Alex considered this. "She can teach me," he finally said.

"What about your mother and father? What about Lexington?"

Alex frowned. "They don't have time for me anymore. They don't care anymore."

Puck was beginning to feel it was hopeless. "Right now, they are worried out of their minds. Your mother
hasn't stopped crying since you became sick."

Alex wrapped his arms around Death's waist and looked away.

Puck was losing and he knew it. He felt his eyes fill with tears at the thought of losing this boy and failing
his family.

"What about…" Puck took a ragged breath and Alex glanced at him. "What about me, Alex? I'll miss
you…"

Alex didn't move. Puck looked down and felt the tears slide down his face. Alex looked back up at the
woman then at his tutor. He slid off her lap and went to Puck, wrapping his arms around the fey's neck.

There was a flash of light.

***

Alex stirred and opened his eyes. Fox cried out in relief and happiness and hugged him tightly. She glared
over her shoulder at Death.

"Get out."

Death did not move.

"There is nothing you need to do here," Xanatos said coldly. "Must I have security escort you out?"

"I assure you, Mr. Xanatos, that I can find my own way out."

Death turned to Alex who was watching her intently. She smiled at him and held out her hand, curled into
a fist. When she uncurled her fingers there was not a bubble in her palm but a delicate butterfly with blue
and silver wings. The butterfly took flight and landed again on Alex's arm.

"We know a lot of things no one else does, Alex," she told him.

"Things about making butterflies and bubbles," he replied.

"And how everything must end eventually," Death said softly. "Even me."

"Eventually," Alex agreed.

Without another word, Death rose and left the room. Xanatos and Owen exchanged a look and followed
her into the hall, but were greeted by a silent empty hallway.

The End