This takes place during the "Avalon World Tour"
Once again they aren't mine, they never were and chances are never will be… what a damn shame…
Ever wonder how Elisa's memories came back between "Sentinel" and "Bushido"? I never could buy into the aspect that they just returned and everyone was happy about it. This is my take on what happened between the two episodes and for me explains the reasons for some of the changes in Elisa and Goliath's relationship later on down the road.
Special thanks to everyone who taken the time to read my stuff especially Pony dw321 (no this isn't the one I promised… I swear it's coming though), Joseph B (who's read my stuff on not one but two site), Angel H and Shadow Gargoyle. Thanks for providing much appreciated feedback, tea and crumpets for everyone… on me!
Hope you like and happy reading! J
***** ***** *****
The skiff floated silently over the calm, mist covered water. Goliath steered the small craft understanding he had little choice or control over their destination. He watched over his weary band of travelers and sighed. Angela and Bronx sat in the center, each looking over the side for some indication of land, or more to the point, home.
He allowed his gaze to drift over to the bow of the skiff and as he did, felt his heart grow heavy. He glanced over at Elisa with what he hoped was a neutral expression but he knew the concern was more than evident on his face. She sat quietly at the front looking out at the vast ocean of water before them.
Goliath noticed that she had been making it a point to not look directly at him for sometime as they drifted aimlessly and she hadn't said a word for hours. If it weren't for the sound of the water hitting the sides of the skiff, the silence would have been nearly deafening.
Elisa had yet to fully regain her memories and the loss was taking its toll on all of them. Goliath was confident that once she was away from the Sentinel they would return. When two days went by and she'd yet to regain them he was less sure. But the third day she was able to remember most things concerning her life: her family, cat, partner and her job as a police officer now had meaning for her. But there were still gaps in her memory and much to Goliath's dismay most of them concerned the Clan and her connection to them.
The result of not having any clear memories of her traveling companions had caused her to withdraw from them. She related that she believed and trusted them, but the problem seemed to revolve around the fact that she had no idea why she did. As a result, she would respond when questioned but other wise remained quiet and lost in her self-imposed silence.
After a few minutes, Bronx huffed deeply and growled at something in the distance. All three turned in the direction he was looking and realized the mist was breaking. Within moments small rocks could be seen jutting out of the water and shortly there after, land became visible.
Goliath maneuvered the skiff closer to the shore as Bronx jumped out, splashing water everywhere. The dog-beast tugged at the rope tied to the bow and pulled them the rest of the way to shore. Elisa stepped out and surveyed the surroundings, "I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess this isn't home…"
Goliath grumbled softly, "No… it would seem Avalon has seen fit to send us on another journey…" he slowly surveyed the land, "Come, let us see what the land has to offer…"
The group circled the island slowly searching for some indication as to why they had been brought to this place. The area was small and therefore it didn't take long for them to discover they were alone and other than the high out cropping of rocks near the far side of the island, the land was nearly devoid of landmarks.
Angela slowly appraised the pair standing before her. She hadn't been around the two of them for very long but she had seen enough to understand there was more to this situation than Elisa's memory loss. It was obvious that, prior to their run in with the Sentinel, the two of them had a great affection for each other. The problem seemed to stem form the fact that Elisa didn't appear to be in any particular rush to remember this aspect of their relationship.
She smiled to herself as her father took a protective stance behind the human woman. Elisa was standing at the edge of the shore looking out over the still ocean while Goliath stood several yards off to the side looking very much like the Guardian himself.
Angela had seen this type of defensive behavior before between Princess Katherine, Tom, and The Magus. She recalled watching the three of them while she was growing up on Avalon and the situation seemed somewhat similar. The Magus would follow behind Katherine and Tom, watching and always remained within close proximity in the event of some unseen threat.
Abruptly, Elisa turned to the two gargoyles behind her, noting that both of them were looking at her as if they each wanted to say something. She shook her head slowly, she had been hoping to avoid another series of questions based on subjects she had no memories of and allowed a heavy sigh to escape her lips, "OK… so what are we doing here?"
Angela shifted slightly, clearly embarrassed to be caught staring, and looked across the deserted beach, "Maybe it's a mistake…"
"No," Goliath countered, "Avalon has sent us here, so there must be a reason for it. If we are patient the answer will show itself…"
Elisa inspected the land absently and listened to the conversation between the gargoyles with half an ear since her own thoughts, or lack there of, were more of a concern to her at the moment. It was frustrating to feel that she was so close to finding what had been taken from her, but at the same time the memories were still elusively out of her reach.
Angela watched as her father made a movement towards Elisa but stopped short when the woman turned back to look out over the ocean again. She was getting the impression that he wanted to talk to Elisa but was reluctant to do so. Perhaps if he were placed in a situation where he didn't have a choice he might be more inclined to speak with her…
She coughed softly and looked over to Goliath, "I think I'll take Bronx down the shore and see if we can't find something edible on this island."
He nodded slightly, "Very well, but use caution…"
She smiled tentatively at him, "I will… " She intentionally dropped the 'Father' portion of the statement understanding that he had other things on his mind at the moment. "Come on Bronx…"
Goliath returned her expression with a tight-lipped grin of his own and watched as the pair moved down the shore towards the far side of the island. Turning back to Elisa, he noticed she was already making her way towards the outcropping of rocks and moved swiftly to catch up with her.
"Elisa…" he called out.
She turned abruptly and snapped at him, "What?" From the reaction she got, she realized this was obviously not a tone she took with him very often, if ever. She tried to smile at him, "Sorry… I guess I'm still a little stressed."
He stood beside her, "There is no need to apologize…" He looked to the rocks several yards down the beach, "May I… walk with you?"
For an instant he thought she was going to say no, but something, just behind her eyes shifted as if she were grasping at wisps of smoke, "Sure…"
Elisa slowed her pace slightly as they walked across the sandy shore. Every once in a while she would look over at the large gargoyle and on more than a few occasions she caught him looking back at her. They spoke little, the sounds of the tide coming in sounded far and distant despite the fact that they were only a few yards for the water.
Elisa hesitated and pulled her NYPD Detective's badge from her pocket and looked at carefully. She clearly remembered the day she received it and the cool metal felt comforting in her hands. She slowed her pace even more and finally stopped, flipping the shield over in her hands.
Goliath took a few steps more before turning to her. He noticed the way she held the small gold shield, it as if it were a talisman to the life she led before and he wondered what memories it held for her. He knew much about her life but there was still so much more he wanted to know.
"The badge, it holds special memories for you…?" He asked softly.
She nodded slightly, "Some…" she paused and gave him an inquisitive look, "But there's something I still don't get…"
Despite what the Sentinel had told them, it appeared there might be some lasting effects from the mindsweep. Goliath was desperate for Elisa to remember her life and was willing to do what ever it took to have them returned. He gave her a questioning look, indicating she should continue with her question.
She reached out and placed a pausing hand on his arm, "Tell me why I trust you…"
Elisa could feel him shuddering under her touch and, to her surprise, he pulled away abruptly. She had no idea why he was behaving in this way and it bothered her more than the loss of her own memories because she had the distinct impression he was hiding something from her… Something that might have to do with the reasons why she trusted him.
"You want to explain what that was all about?" She questioned.
He flinched slight under the harshness of her gaze and was at a loss for words. Her touch coursed through his body like an electric current and he had no idea why it would affect him in such a way. She had touched him hundreds of times before and never once had it caused the intense feelings he felt just then.
I love her.
Suddenly he understood why he reacted in such a way and the realization made him take another step away from her. He turned slightly unwilling to allow her see how the contact had affected him, "Elisa…" His voice echoed slightly in the quiet, "It is as I told you before, there has always been trust between us…"
Elisa glared at him for along time before deciding she was right, he was hiding something.
"Yeah, right..." She replied icily. "From where I'm standing it looks like maybe you left something out of the earlier versions…"
She turned and proceeded to move down the beach, not bothering to check and see if he was following her. She knew without looking that he was directly behind her and something in her brain told her it was imperative that she remember soon as there was a great deal at stake.
Something that had to do with her and the lavender gargoyle walking behind her.
What she didn't understand was how the two had become intermixed. It was a situation that bothered her more and more by the minute.
They continued in silence until the reached their destination on the edge of the island. Goliath observed with some concern as Elisa began climbing up the stone face of the small mountain of rocks.
"Be careful…" he warned.
She glanced down at him with a slightly irritated look but continuing to move up the rock face, "Oh, lighten up already…" She returned her attention back to her climbing, and murmured, "Have you always been this overprotective?"
Goliath said nothing, but instead began climbing up behind her. Once they reached the top, Elisa sat and looked down and carefully peered down at the rocks and beach below, "Wow… it didn't look this high from down there…" she whispered.
She glanced back to where Goliath stood behind her, "So are you going to answer my question or not?"
He held her gaze for a moment before looking away, "No I have not always been this overprotective..."
"Could have fool me…" Elisa turned away and resumed her aerial inspection of the beach below, "and that's not the question I was talking about. I think you know that…"
"There was a time…" Goliath took a deep breath before continuing, "Elisa, I have not always…"
"You have not always what?" She finally looked back at him and cut him off with a sweep of her hand, "Look, Tiny…"
He held up a pausing talon, "It's Goliath…"
"Fine, whatever. Goliath…" She once again craned her head around flinching at the discomfort from having conversation in this position, "Could you at least sit down before I break my neck trying to talk to you like this?"
He moved to sit on the rocky ledge noting that some of her humor was surfacing, perhaps it meant she was getting closer to regaining the memories of her past life. And of him.
Elisa gave him a soft look, as if to prepare him for the blow she was about to deliver, "I know you mean well, but I think the holes in my memories," she paused and continued in a lower voice, "might have something to do with you…"
Goliath was stunned by the words and the look she gave him was equally haunting. For a moment, he swore he could see tears in her eyes. But in the next instant, they're gone, as if they'd never been there in the first place. He placed a tentative talon on her arm, "Elisa, you once told me I had to trust someone, now I am asking for you to trust me… your memories will return."
She shook her head sadly, "The Sentinel said the sweep would only effect false memories and I believe that. I know that at some point in my life I trusted you, but what if…" She stared at him for what felt like an eternity and eventually she found herself unable to continue and looked away. She spoke so softly that the words were almost unspoken, "Did it ever occur to you that maybe I don't want to remember you?"
His response came without preamble but something in the tone of his voice made Elisa look over at him, "Why?"
He took a deep breath and gazed at her not knowing exactly how to approach the subject, "You will remember what we had… what we still have…"
Elisa felt something tug at the back of her mind and without thinking, rose to her feet, "What exactly did… do we have?"
Goliath rose to his feet as he watched her pace on the rocks. She was no longer concerned with the height or their location and he was becoming concerned with her proximity to the ledge, "Elisa…"
"No, if it's an issue of trust, then tell me what we had!" She was desperate to understand what he said but at the same time she felt the urge to get away from him and in her effort to do so she lost her footing.
Elisa felt herself slip back on the gravel but Goliath quickly reached out and caught her arm, thus preventing her from falling to the beachhead below. She quickly grasped his other hand as he pulled her to safety.
"Jesus… if you hadn't been here…" Once she regained her footing, she looked up at him with relief, "Thanks Big Guy…"
Goliath still held her close concerned that she might slip again, but pushed her back slight when he heard the words she spoke and cut her off as he felt his heart race into his throat, "What did you call me…?"
"What else would I call you?" Elisa paused, trying to collect her thoughts as well as her breath, "I called you Big Guy…"
He smiled broadly at her, "Yes… you did…"
The realization hit her like a ton of bricks and she decided it might be best to move back slightly before she fell off the ledge again. "Holy… its back…everything is back!" She exclaimed. She looked up at Goliath with a slightly embarrassed smile, "Why is it that you are constantly having to keep me from falling of ledges?"
Goliath inclined his head slightly at her, "I told you once before I would always be there to catch you…"
"Yeah, well it's probably a good thing..." Elisa shook her head and cautiously looked over the edge again, "What the hell possessed you to let me up here in the first place?"
He picked her up gently so that she could cling to his neck, "Come, it would be best if I carried you back down…"
Slowly and methodically he transported her to the beach below and soon they were on the lower edges of the rock formation. Goliath located a relativity flat area and they sat down side by side.
They sat without speaking for a few minutes. Finally Elisa could stand the silence no longer, "Thanks for putting up with me… I know I said and did something's that weren't too cool…"
"You were not yourself… and you were carrying a heavy burden…"
So were you… Elisa thought to herself. Instead of voicing the statement she looked down the shore to where Angela and Bronx were. After a few minutes Elisa raised her hand waived at them. Although it was too far to read their facial expressions, she had the feeling they were smiling back.
Things were going to be all right.
Elisa could feel the exhaustion pouring out of her body and she ached from the lack of sleep. Her intention was not to drift off but she could tell it was going to be a loosing battle. Without thinking, she leaned over and rested her head against Goliath's shoulder.
Goliath expected her to pull away as she normally did when they got too close but when she didn't move he gazed down at her; a strand of loose hair had fallen over her face and he reached over to brush it from her eyes.
It was a gesture born of pure affection and Elisa sucked in a breath as his touch blasted through her body like a gunshot.
I love him.
It was a frightening awareness, but nonetheless, she knew it was true. She had never felt a need like this before but Goliath's innocent touch charged through her body like the current of a live wire. The brief contact felt dangerous and risky but somehow very erotic… and most likely not intended to elicit the response it had.
It was becoming clearer to her that once the mind sweep wore off, not only did her memories return, but the ones she had been denying surfaced as well. Without warning, more memories poured over her as she recalled how often they had touched in the past, even when it wasn't necessary… and she remembered how much she enjoyed the contact.
A very real part of her needed to increase the distance between them but she found herself unable to move. She felt him stir and for a moment she thought he was going to do what she found herself unable to do; move away.
Instead he shifted slightly so that she could stretch out fully on the rock ledge with her head resting on his leg.
"It's all right, Elisa," he said softly. "Rest. I will watch over you."
She favored him with a reserved smile since both of them knew she could have just as easily removed her jacket and used it as a headrest. She was about propose as much when she caught the look in his eye. His expression spoke volumes but at the same time revealed nothing to her.
Cautiously, she repositioned herself against him and shifted around until she found a comfortable position on the rocky ledge.
Elisa quickly decided sleeping on Goliath when he was flesh and blood was more comfortable than when he was stone. He was big, hard, muscled, and felt better than any pillow she could have imagined. By laying in this position, not only did she have an excuse to stay close to him, but it also served as a way to hide her earlier reaction.
She understood why he had flinched at her touch earlier and knew if he were to see the way his touch had affected her, there would be no avoiding the subject and it wasn't a conversation she was ready to have.
Not now… maybe not ever.
None the less, she smiled and relaxed as the weariness took over, "Thanks for looking out for me Big Guy…You are my best friend…"
***** ***** *****
Goliath held Elisa as she slept. He filled his lungs with the cool night air and smiled.
My best friend…
The words now held a whole new meaning for him. The knowledge that Elisa's memories had fully returned warmed him, and for the first time since they had been pulled from her, he felt himself fully relax. Perhaps this was why Avalon brought them to the isolated island; to give Elisa the opportunity to fully regain what she had lost.
But it was more than just the time to allow Elisa to recover. Something within him had been healed as well. For over a year he had felt like something has been missing and only now did he feel like the empty space had been filled.
He was no longer alone.
He ran a talon hand through Elisa's hair gently as the night breeze picked up. Glancing over the beach he could see the skiff swaying slightly in the water and further down the shore, Angela was tossing a stick to Bronx. The two of them play in the water, unaware that he was watching them.
The sight of his daughter filled him with much pride. Not because of what she would mean to the Clan but because of what she was to him. Finding the Clan's children on Avalon was a gift born from fate. No matter what, the Clan would go on and he no longer had to worry about their continued survival.
It was a burden that had been removed from his shoulders and one he gladly relinquished. But at the same time, it forced him to acknowledge certain changes that had been taking place; ones he could no longer deny.
There was a time when he believed losing Demona was the worst thing that could have happen to him. It had been a dark time in his life, but nearly loosing Elisa to the Sentinel had somehow been worse.
Goliath marveled in the concept that Elisa had more of the gargoyle spirit than Demona would ever have. She had always put the needs of the clan before her own. In another time, she could have been the Captain of the Guard and those she led would follow her to the ends of the Earth.
She would have fought to the death to protect them.
But more over, Goliath believed she would fight to the death to protect him.
In the deepest parts of his soul, he knew he would not have been able to survive in Manhattan were it not for her. Elisa had kept him grounded when the rage took over and he found himself toeing the line between all he believed in and the revenge he desperately sought.
Elisa was more than his friend, she was his… somehow this woman had become his foundation, his lifeline. Where would he ever find another who would accept him the way she did?
The answer was simple; he wouldn't.
I want her. I didn't want it to happen, but… somehow it did.
He knew he couldn't tell her and he wasn't even certain she felt the same way and he didn't want to jeopardize the bond they had as friends. The question was would her friendship be enough?
A year ago he would have said yes.
Now he wasn't so sure.
Could he ever really expect to become Elisa's love? He feared it was never going to be that way between them, if for no other reason than because he had broken all the rules and fallen in love with a human.
Not just any human… but Elisa.
He was pulled from his reprieve by Angela and Bronx walking over to him. He smiled at his daughter as they approached but was reluctant to do anything that might wake Elisa. Bronx lumbered over and gave a soft growl of concern and nosed the sleeping woman lightly.
Goliath pushed him back, "No Bronx, let her rest…" he whispered.
"Is everything OK?" Angela inquired softly.
"Yes, Elisa is fine…"
Angela felt a gin spread over her face, "I'm glad to hear that… Father…"
Goliath said nothing but returned her expression before looking out over the scene before him. It was now high tide and the mist from the water was beginning to creep up the shore, indicating that it was time for them to leave.
He carefully shifted around so that he could lift Elisa and carry her to the skiff without waking her. She shifted in his arms without truly waking and threw a sleepy arm around his neck and snuggled in closer mumbling incoherent words into his throat.
He pulled her closer and turned to Angela and Bronx, "Come… it is time for us to continue our journey…"
Carefully, he lay Elisa on the bottom of the skiff and pushed off from the island. Silently he sent a message to the fates of Avalon, Thank you for sending us to this place… and thank you for returning Elisa to us… and to me….
No one noticed that as the mist closed in the tiny island seemed to disappear... as if it had never existed.