Title: "Love Unfurled"
Author: Pirate Turner
Dedicated To: My beloved Jack -- Happy Valentine's Day, my heart!!!
Rating: G
Summary: Elisa races to be with Goliath in time for Valentine's Day.
Spoilers: None
Warnings: Het
Word Count (excluding heading): 2,061
Disclaimer: Detective Elisa Maza, Goliath, Hudson, Brooklyn, Broadway, Lexington, and Gargoyles are & TM Disney, not the author, and are used without permission. Everything else is & TM the author. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.

Elisa burst through the door to the roof at a run and finally slowed her pace when she saw the sun had not yet finished setting. Her chest heaved, and she panted slightly. She had become accustomed to running long distances, but it was the bags she carried that had taken the extra toll on her body. She laid them down and turned to watch as her new family began to return to life.

She had had to work all day, and her assignment had even kept her from being able to watch the sunrise with Goliath. She always thought of him when they were apart, but today he had been on her mind even more often. Much to her surprise, she had caught herself doodling a picture of him at one point that afternoon when she was supposed to be doing the paperwork required to close the case.

Other women got to be with their lovers all day on this day. Even those who worked for a living had generally seen their loved ones that morning before work, but Elisa had been alone all day. Oh, she had been surrounded by people off and on all right, but still, even in a crowd, she felt alone for Goliath was not with her.

She wondered if people had celebrated Valentine's Day when Goliath had lived before. She had wanted to have a chance to research the matter and to see, if it was celebrated, exactly how so but had stayed too busy all day long to manage even a few minutes of alone time on the computer. She had determined that, regardless of how they might have once celebrated it, she would teach them how her people celebrated it and had stopped by her house and the store before coming on to greet them.

As she walked around the younger members of the clan, Elisa caught sight of something hanging in Goliath's hand. She started to walk closer but then stopped as the rock around him began to shatter. Amongst the crumpling of his rock form, Elisa managed to make out the red thing that dangled from Goliath's hand. It was a red bag with hearts drawn on it that she could not even begin to fathom how he had managed to come by it. She also did not know what the bag might contain, but that mystery did not hinder the joy that filled her heart in the slightest.

Rather or not Valentine's Day had been celebrated in his time, Goliath had clearly thought of it and had been waiting to give her her present when the sun had claimed him. He had held on to it all day, hoping that she might come by and find it. Elisa found herself unable to contain her happiness as Goliath stretched.

Goliath was barely beginning to clear the fuzz from his brain when a high-pitched squealing met his ears. He grunted in confusion and turned toward the voice that he recognized as belonging to his beloved Elisa. He had barely spotted her when she flew into his arms. He wrapped his muscular arms around her and held her gently, his wings folding around them. "I am," he puzzled, "not quite certain as to what I owe this pleasure, but I am glad of it."

"Oh, Goliath!" Elisa exclaimed, laughing. "You remembered!" Even if the holiday had been celebrated in his time, she had certainly not expected him to think of it, let alone remember the date!

"Of course I remembered," he said, realization dawning. "I love you, Elisa, and I'd never let the chance to show you pass me by." He hugged her tightly to him but remained careful not to hug her too close lest he harm her.

Part of her could have stayed in his arms forever, but Elisa had always been a very curious woman. Her curiosity was one of the attributes that had made her such a good Detective. She peeled reluctantly out of his embrace and grinned up at him. "So what did you get me?"

If a gargoyle could blush, Elisa knew that Goliath would have been blushing. She heard Hudson laugh and wished they could have a moment of privacy. She was contemplating just how to get Goliath to take them on a flight, inconspicuously, when he held the bag out to her.

Elisa took it with the thought that she would only give it a peek and then further investigate it when they were alone. The long box she saw, however, sent all thoughts of waiting scrambling from her mind. "Goliath," she breathed questioningly as she slowly withdrew the box. She had to force her hands not to shake as she opened it. A simple gold chain winked up at her; it held a shining, brown stone. She looked up at him, questions in her eyes. It was beautiful but not at all what she had thought it might be.

"For protection," he murmured, watching her face carefully for signs of how she liked the gift. "It is a stone often used by your people for . . . "

Excited voices drowned out his next words as Broadway exclaimed, "Chocolates!"

"Hey, don't eat them all!" Brooklyn complained. "Leave some for me!"

Elisa turned quickly, knowing that the young gargoyles had found her bags of gifts. "Boys, come out of there!" she demanded. "That's not just for you; it's for everybody!"

Goliath stood, still holding the Valentine bag he had so carefully procured to carry Elisa's gifts -- there was also a small box of chocolates, a rose, and a card --, and watched as Elisa raced over to rescue her bags. Already the three youngest had her gifts scattered and wore the marks of chocolate all over their mouths, hands, and wings. Elisa reached them just in time to swoop in and grasp two heart-shaped boxes. They were bigger than those scattered across the ground, and the first one she grabbed dwarfed its companion. She grasped several smaller bags as well.

The young ones looked at her in disappointment that quickly cleared when she told them, "You can have the rest. Happy Valentine's Day." She had to smile at their antics despite the danger they had put Goliath's and Hudson's presents in. She gave Hudson the same greeting as she quickly pressed the medium box of chocolates and a candy-filled bag into his hands on her way back to Goliath.

"These are for you," she told him, smiling apologetically as she offered him the large box of chocolates and two bags of other chocolate candies that she could only hope he would like.

Goliath took the gifts and looked at each in turn. His brow furrowed as he gazed down at one of the bags. "Kisses?" he asked, his deep voice rumbling.

She smiled. "Chocolate kisses."

"Hmm. I've never had a chocolate kiss before. Surely they can not be anything like a real kiss?"

Elisa's smile turned into a big grin. "No," she told him, "not really, but they are sweet. I like them, so I thought you might like them too."

He pulled to open the bag, and Elisa quickly placed her hands on top of his for she could easily see the bag ripping open and candies scattering everywhere. "Here, let me," she said and opened the bag. She then carefully removed the silver wrapping from around a kiss and held it up to Goliath.

Goliath glanced to make sure that Hudson had the young ones otherwise entertained before smiling back down at Elisa and carefully, gently wrapping his mouth around her finger. He held her for a moment, his tongue sending delicious shivers thrilling through her, before slowly dragging his mouth off. He took the kiss with him and chewed it tenderly. "Mmm," he commented approvingly when he had finished.

Then he looked at her with a serious expression. Though she had not released the box that held her necklace, she also had not made any further comments about it. He was beginning to fret that he had disappointed her. "Did you like your gift?" he asked.

"Oh, yes!" she cried. "I'm sorry, Goliath! It's jut that, with everything else happening, I forgot to tell you I love it! Thank you!" She thought of asking him to put it on her but did not know if the size of his hands versus the tiny latch of the necklace would allow him to; to save him the embarrassment and difficulty, she declined to ask. She questioned instead, "Did you like the kiss?"

He nodded. "But not more than I like this kiss." He leaned down and kissed her. Even then he was gentle as he remained always careful not to hurt her. Elisa's eyes fluttered close as heat spread through her. His tongue did not quest for hers, but still passion flowed from his lips touching hers and filled her through to the very tips of her toes.

"I know you're tired," he spoke regretfully when he pulled away.

She couldn't deny it for she wouldn't lie to him, but instead she told him, "That's okay. There's only one way I want to spend my Valentine's Day."

"How?" he asked.

"With you," she replied. Her eyes shone as she gazed lovingly up into his dark orbs. "Maybe flying through the night sky? The stars are always beautiful this time of the year."

Goliath grinned, took a step back, and surprised Elisa with a graceful bow. "As my lady wishes," he said, "so shall she receive." Then, with reflexes as smooth and swift as only one of his kind could possess, he scooped Elisa off of her feet. She thrilled as she always did when he lifted her into his arms.

"Hudson," he called, "we shall go out for a while this evening. Care for the lads, won't you?"

"Certainly, me boyo," came the response, and then they were off.

Elisa quickly forgot she was tired. She soon forgot all the worries of the day and the cases she had yet to finish. She forgot everything but Goliath and the love they shared as they flew together through the night. She nestled deeper into his warm embrace and knew that this -- being held in his arms with her ear pressed against his chest, listening to his valiant heart's quickened beat -- was where she belonged. Her entire life had led her to the moment when she had met Goliath, and now her entire life's meaning was clear: She was supposed to be with him. Come what may, she was supposed to love him and be loved by him, just as they were doing.

"What are you thinking?" he asked quietly. She had grown so still that other males might have thought she had fallen asleep, but he knew she remained awake, though peaceful. He was glad to be able to give her that peace.

"How much I love you," she told him, "and how much I want to spend many, many more Valentine's Days with you."

He sighed deeply, and she felt the rumble of it against her body. "How I wish I could promise you that!"

She cupped his face and stroked him reassuringly. "I know you do," she told him, "but I'm not asking you to. We face danger every day of our lives."

"Aye," he said regretfully. "But I will give you what I can, Elisa. Do you see where the stars end?"

"No."

"That's because they go on forever and never end. Do you see how they glisten, how they shine?"

"Yes."

"My love for you shines every bit as beautifully, my dear Elisa, and goes on forever just as the stars do. Never shall it end. No matter what happens, I will always love you. Happy Valentine's Day, my beloved."

He kissed her forehead gently, then pledged his love and sealed his promise with a passionate kiss upon her sweet lips, and as Elisa's heart and body sang with the reactions his gentle words and fiery kiss brought from her, she knew, too, that what he spoke was truth. No matter what happened, they would always love each other and, she fully believed, in the end, would remain together. {I love you, too,} she thought but waited until the need for oxygen made her lungs burn to the point that she had no choice but to pause their kissing to tell him aloud.

The End