Rating: T+ (suggestive themes and swearing)
Disclaimer: All characters regarding cartoon series herein are property of Disney® and Greg Weisman. I am just a bored individual with a mind of her own that's slowly growing out of control.
The phone rang for the tenth time in that hour. Elisa blindly reached over to her nightstand and unhooked the phone, not caring if she knocked it over in the process. A picture frame toppled over onto the pillows. She grasped it in a shaky hand and stared down at it. She sat in the middle of her bed with her knees huddled against her chest. The room was dark, save for the last rays of dusk peeking through her penthouse window. Tears blinded her vision as she looked down at her brother's once human form. She swallowed back a sob and clutched the frame to her chest. It was hard enough to accept what he had become. Derek had become Talon. He accepted his new life, as did she, and the rest of her family.
Yet Sevarius had other plans. It was earlier that morning that she had received from the lips of Xanathos himself that he, Maggie, and the rest had fallen ill to a viral mutagen embedded in the serum that the mad scientist had originally created. They had perished within hours of symptoms emerging. Talon had barely managed to fly to the top of the castle-laden skyscraper. Elisa had mistakenly slapped Xanathos for playing such a cruel joke when afterwards he presented her with the necklace that Derek always wore after his Confirmation as a child: a golden cross and a medallion of Saint Michael, his patron saint. Ironically, he was the patron saint of the police. After seeing it, the last two days had been a blur. She remembered the phone conversation with her parents… barely. Matt had stopped by to offer his condolences and to let her know that he had the streets covered over the next few days.
She was going to need more than a few days. Cagney hopped up on her bed and shoved his furred head against his mistress' leg. He meowed softly. She half-heartedly stroked the gray fur. The cat's golden eyes reminded her of the new set of eyes Derek had after his metamorphosis. The tears came again.
Lexington blinked down at the receiver of the phone as a busy signal greeted his long leathery ears. "It's busy, before it was just ringing…" He close the phone Elisa had given them
"It is not like her to not visit," Hudson murmured, giving his snow-white beard a long stroke. Bronx keened softly with worry. He gave the blue beast a gentle pat. "Perhaps she has been carried away with work? The lass has a tendency to work herself to the bone," he suggested.
"The crime wave is a big one this time around," Brooklyn murmured and jumped to the top of the stairs to head out to look at the city. The castle was now their home once more, but over the last several days they roosted in a nearby church to keep a closer eye on the city. The clouds often blocked the view, especially during this time of the year. "It's been crazy since The Hunter's Moon," the rusty gargoyle added. Broadway sat amongst a pile of books of which he had come so recently fond. He thumbed through a rather thick one labeled: The Secret Garden.
"That's never stopped her before. Actually, when it gets bad she usually asks one of us to cover her and Matt." A low rumbling growl of concern came from Goliath. He didn't open his eyes from where he leaned against the stained glass window of an angel. His caped wings hid the twitching agitation and worry his tail gave. His brow furrowed. It had been mere weeks since they last saw Demona. It felt like seconds to him. He still felt the warmth of sunlight on his lips from the dawn of that morning. His heart thudded in his chest. He had seen Elisa once or twice since then, not because either of them wished it, but circumstances with the anti-gargoyle movements and the crime wave, it made it difficult for either of them to find a safe time to visit.
"It has gotten rather cold outside," Angela began. "With all the work and with this weather perhaps she has fallen sick." Bronx whined again. "I miss her too, boy." She scratched underneath his ears. He rolled over onto his back as she graciously rubbed his belly. Goliath stepped away from the window and descended the stone steps with another sigh of concern.
"Regardless," he began, "it is not like her to not check in after two nights. Especially during these… times."
"Maybe we should go see her?" Lexington suggested. "Y'know, make sure she's okay?"
"I hate to arrive unannounced," the clan leader began. "But-"
Bronx flipped over and leapt down the stairs to snarl angrily at the shadow. It promptly faded when the redheaded detective emerged. The beast yipped happily and pawed at the trench coat of Elisa's partner. "Hey, it's Matt! How'd you find us?" Lexington grinned.
"What brings ye here, lad?" Hudson asked. "Ye are usually with Elisa." Goliath stayed unusually silent. There was something about Matt's eyes that bothered him. The detective kneeled to pet Bronx.
"That's who I've come to talk to you about. You guys were difficult to track. Elisa had an address scribbled on her desk. I took it on a hunch. Have you heard from her?" he asked. Brooklyn frowned, his concern masking Goliath's.
"You mean you haven't?" Matt shook his head.
"Not for the last two days. Not since…" He trailed off saying nothing. Goliath finally spoke.
"Since 'what'?" Matt lowered his eyes. They didn't know. He was a little shocked that he knew before they did. Elisa told them everything. He gave a large sigh before meeting the onyx eyes of the lavender giant.
Goliath soared on the updrafts over the Hudson River. The chilled wind stung even his hardened flesh as he flew with all the speed he could. His mind raced. Talon was dead. That was difficult to hear. Brooklyn especially took it hard when he learned that the others had met the same fate as he. He could only imagine how Elisa was feeling. His worry grew when she had not told any of them. She was apart of their clan, as much as she could be considering. She was practically the rookery mother save for the fact that Goliath had not taken a mate since Demona and her humanity. For some reason that detail didn't matter to him or the others as they saw her as an equal. At times they forgot she was human. The others came to her whenever they needed advice or questions about the new world. Angela especially. She saw her as a big sister and even let the word slip once or twice. He was glad that she had her to confide in now that Demona was clearly not able to fulfill that role. They loved Elisa as much as she loved them, perhaps more.
Lexington was usually the one she would talk to on the telephone, partly because his hands were the smallest to use the contraption. Broadway was rather clumsy with the last few. She would usually call right before dawn or stop by. Her failure to do so worried Goliath, not because she hadn't, but because of the last private conversation he held with her. It filled him with dread like no other feeling. He could understand the reasons as to why she might recoil, but to loose her completely, it would end him. She was the first human in over a thousand years that he trusted implicitly and on occasion, even more than his own kin. Goliath knew she would protect them with all the might of an angry goddess had she the power. She risked her own mortal life numerous times. She would even stay throughout the entirety of the day just to make sure they were all right.
By all rights she was a gargoyle, by nature anyhow. She may not have wings to soar or talons to bear, but she possessed the might, prowess, and spirit of one. It was that alone the only reason he needed to feel. His eyes closed, remembering the glimmer of sunlight in her brown eyes before the sleep of stone claimed him. Goliath had loved before and lost. It had taken over a thousand years for him to even begin to let go. He remembered as Demona eyed him down the sight of a gun how she discarded him, his vows as if they were an empty clip of a magazine. And again when the gate of the phoenix burned against his palm as he returned from the wedding. It still hurt even now. Goliath had vowed to remain encase his heart in stone.
It wasn't until he had almost lost her, that he knew that not even stone could seal off his heart. Elisa was human, but it did not matter. He would love her. Protect her. Honor her. Her and no other... even if she would not have him. He was not sure even still after the dawn of the morning they reclaimed the castle as their home. In the weeks that had passed, he had concluded that she might have been caught in the moment over the last few days. Regardless, his sleep had been nothing but desires of her in his arms: innocent or erotic. He felt his heart flutter forcefully in his chest as he recalled the latter part of his most recent dream. The mere mention of her name stirred something deep within him every time it met his ears. It was carnal, but at the same time a yearning. Something he longed for since he awoke from his thousand year slumber. He let out an exasperated sigh.
Whatever the reason Elisa had to keep this grave news from them would wait, in fact it did not matter. What mattered was that her loss was a loss she should not bear alone. No one should ever be alone during a time of grief. He knew that first hand. Elisa was unfortunate not to be graced with the curse of the sleep of a thousand years to cope. She had now faced it for two days. The two hours between his kin being sealed in stone and himself were agonizing. Two days... a lifetime. For now, he would be there for her. She was always strong. It was rare to see her in a moment of weakness. She brooded though quite a bit and her resolve rivaled his own. Even the strongest warriors have their breaking point.
The darkened penthouse windows peaked over shorter rooftops as he drew closer. His brow furrowed. He landed gracefully at the window and peered inside. Remnants of a fire in the fireplace flickered gently. Xanathos had taken the liberty of helping her to relocate as the number of anti-gargoyle movements was growing. It was larger and in a safer part of town. Cagney came to the window as he approached. He found the window unlatched as it always had been. He entered quietly. The apartment was not as warm as he would have expected. He picked the small animal up and stroked the fur gently as he looked about the darkened apartment. He found Elisa sitting huddled onto the couch, staring at the dying fire, unmoving and as still as stone. He swallowed almost unable to find his voice. "El-"
"He told you, didn't he?" she spoke up, catching the gargoyle off guard. Cagney leapt down and scurried into the kitchen. Goliath approached.
"…Yes," He kneeled beside her. She didn't move or look at him. Fresh tears spilled over her cheeks yet her face was of stone. Her resolve was impressive, especially for a woman. "Your partner was concerned," he started in his low voice. He noted it seemed to only come out when he was alone with her. "As were we," he finished. Elisa finally moved to the hearth and threw another log onto the embers. It caught rather quickly. Goliath noted how the fire flickered off her skin and swallowed.
"You looked cold," she murmured before sitting crossed legged in front of the fire. She knew he hardly let the cold bother him. She only wore her black shirt and her undergarments. "It's supposed to snow tonight." She felt a light gust of wind and heard an almost silent flap as his right wing curled around her right shoulder as he sat next to her. He felt her reach up and clasp the claw like hand of his wing.
"Lexington tells me it will be like a blizzard," he answered. He wanted to address the situation, but if talking about the weather eased her in the slightest then that was acceptable. At least she was speaking now. His tail flicked gently beside her. He was concerned, she noted. His tail always gave him away.
"I'm okay, Big Guy, really," she mumbled. Goliath sighed. Sometimes he hated the appendage. Yet there were times when he was glad to have it. He slipped it around her waist without much thought to what he was doing. When he realized it he decided to hold her instead, less his tail give his thoughts away yet again. He swore it had a mind of its own.
"My tail might tell you what I may be thinking, but you have no tail and I can tell when you are lying," he murmured. "You needn't." Elisa said nothing. She shuddered as a chill ran down her spine. She felt his wing reflexively pull her lithe body right to him. She did not resist. She squeaked in slight surprise. He swiftly gathered her in front of him and caped his wings around them, trapping her against his chest. He continued to stare into the flames without a word. His arms remained at his sides letting only his wings hold her. Despite the fact he was stone by day, he was warmer than any other blanket. He resisted the urge to hold her in his arms and stroke her hair. Such a gesture was reserved for a mate. A gesture he longed to do.
For some reason or another he thought of the stained glass in the church. One of them he had grown particularly fond of: the red and white-glassed angel burned into his mind. Every time he saw it he felt the urge to see Elisa. Then he remembered something that had happened recently. "Derek," he began in a low voice. His chin nudged the side of her head as he spoke. "Derek and I had a conversation several weeks ago. He told me of an angel that protected him. He called him Saint Michael." Goliath felt her stiffen slightly at the name. "In Christianity, he told me, he is depicted as the mightiest warrior of Heaven with great strength and that you humans have a prayer for him in time of need: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen." Goliath paused and looked down at the top of her head. "I asked why he wanted to talk about this particular angel. He said to me: 'because you are my sister's archangel. You may not have God's likeness or even believe in such things, but you protect her and defend her as if a god would'." He felt wetness drop on to his wing. He nudged her head again. "I said to him in response: 'whatever god has created this universe, we all have angels to protect us; some of them appear to us in the most unlikely of forms. Elisa may not have wings, but she is stronger than I could ever hope to be.'" He closed his eyes. "Whatever form it may take, we, the clan, shall protect you from anything and everything as you have protected us… I will do so with all that I have. Claws, fangs, wings… It does not matter if you have these or not. You are still apart of my clan… our clan. Your loss is our loss, my Elisa, and you needn't face it alone," he whispered. His eyes opened as she turned to look up at him. Her face was as still as stone, yet tears coarse down her cheeks. "You are always so strong for us," he whispered. She looked down and away.
"I have to be-" A sharp talon lifted her chin up with surprising gentleness.
"Not all the time." It held her chin, noting how soft her skin seemed to feel. With an almost pained sigh, he cupped her cheek and leaned his forehead against hers, wings enclosing around her more. Elisa gasped at the gesture. The expression on his stone-like features was saddened. The lilt in his sigh was feral and full of sorrow.
She had inquired to Hudson gargoyle displays of emotion after an outburst of Goliath's. It turned into a very long history lesson that for once didn't bore her to death. It inevitably led to the subject of mates. She wondered if Hudson had done it on purpose. Kissing, as they also did he told her, simple touches upon hair were as intimate as a kiss as well as the touching and nudging of foreheads. She noted that Goliath on more than one occasion had stroked her hair simply though. She thought he was lost in mere thought or concerned about her. Hudson had also revealed that such displays of affection were not often. When a gargoyle expressed such emotion, it was something very intimate. "Goliath…" she whispered.
"All warriors have their moments of weakness, though it is not weak to mourn the loss of the departed," he said, lifting his eyes slightly. Her brown eyes watered again gently. She tore them away. Memories of the past few days flooded her mind.
"A… virus," she managed to grit out through her teeth. "He hardly ever caught a cold, not since he was a kid!" she continued, slowly letting go of the iron grip on her sadness. "After all that's happened to him everything! And to just… die like th-that… it's… Dammit!" she gasped finally collapsing to sobs. She buried her face in his neck and she instantly felt arms around her, a claw deep in her locks of raven, and a tail curling around her waist possessively.
"I am… sorry," he murmured softly. "I wish I could do more to ease your sorrow... This," he paused and inhaled the scent of something floral and her own. "This is all I can offer," he breathed.
It was a long while before she quieted. She had settled in his arms, soft gasps escaping from her every now and then. When they did his claw stroked her hair generously. "Goliath?" she murmured softly.
"Hm?" His voice rumbled in her ear as it lay against his chest. She lifted her face and looked at him eye level.
"What do gargoyles do when one of them dies?" She asked meekly. His hand continued to keep burying itself and comb through her hair. It was the most he had ever touched her. He simply admired the way the dying firelight flickered against her hair.
"We simply turn to stone and do not wake," he replied softly.
"No funeral?" he saw the slight fear in her eyes.
"Not exactly." He stopped stroking her hair and fingered her cheek delicately. "The Magus long ago would cast a spell of protection. No magic or force can shatter the stone. It is considered sacred among our kin. To touch the guise of stone of a departed one before battle was good fortune." She lowered her eyes.
"W-what about D-derek?" she asked softly. Goliath thought a moment.
"I am sure 'Puck' will have come up with something. Xanathos seemed deeply troubled when we spoke last regarding your brother," he replied. "I do not think he would cause any disrespect toward you or him." He saw her frown slightly as she looked away. She was brooding again. He lifted her face again. "I shall see to it personally," he reassured. Elisa nodded slowly. They both fell silent. The faint popping of the fire filled the empty silence. Without some hesitation, Elisa slowly reached up and touched a lock of his hair. She had not noticed how soft it was. There was a look of slight shock in his eyes, causing her to recoil her hand. He caught it quickly. "Don't stop," he murmured. Elisa blushed heavily. Kissing was something she was comfortable with at least her eyes were shut; however, what they were doing now, she could not hide behind her eyes. She was not sure if he knew that she knew what the gesture meant to him. He closed his eyes and leaned into her hand, lips grazing her wrist. He longed for this. He dreamt of this for the longest time. Elisa swallowed and slipped her other hand on the other side of his head and stroked the mane slowly. His eyes opened just barely. She gasped at the kind of look he gave her.
One hand was one thing, but using two was something very, very intimate. She knew this. He closed his eyes again, almost purring, if gargoyles could purr. "… You realize what you are doing?" he asked almost breathlessly. Elisa swallowed.
"K-kind of," she whispered. Goliath chuckled and in one swift motion he had her beneath him. His wings unfurled completely as he nudged her lovingly. He felt his tail twitching. At times, even in his age, he had a difficult time controlling certain... outbursts.
"You are initiating a mating ritual, Elisa," he stated darkly. Her eyes widened.
"O-oh. Is that bad?" He leaned his forehead against hers again.
"… No." He swallowed. "There are times… moments that I… I wish I had been born a human," he breathed, his eyes opening.
"Really?" He nodded. He seemed to shudder as he felt her hands against his jawline.
"Aye… " He swallowed. He took both of his claws and buried them both in her hair leaning his forehead against hers. He could not be silent any longer. She gasped again at the closeness of him as he lowered himself down to her. "Human. Gargoyle. Demon… Angel. I love you. You and no other. More than the dawn and the comfort of the night. As the night brings terror, I will bring you sanctuary… as you do for me." He slowly slipped off of her and sat back, courage recoiling as quickly as the outburst came. She slowly sat up staying silent. "You are of my kin now. You may not have the wings of flight or the sleep of stone, but you have the might and heart of a gargoyle, and… to have you in my world as... friend… that is enough for me." Elisa slipped forward and wrapped her arms around his neck; he responded in kind, grasping her close and stroking the long locks without restraint. There was nothing she could think of to say right then. All she could do was act. Goliath let out what sounded like to her a pleased growl.
She knew and that was enough for him.
"Goliath?" she asked softly against his neck.
"Yes?" She pulled back slightly and nudged the bridge of his nose. He was surprised by her again bold gesture.
"It… doesn't matter to me if you're human or gargoyle. We are what we are." He lifted his eyes, smiling fondly at her.
"Derek was right."
"… You." He leaned over and pressed her mouth against his. Without a moment's hesitation he pulled her closer, claw grasping at a handful of her hair as he responded as gently, but as passionately as he could. She pulled away slowly. "Stay the night?" she asked. He felt his face burn heavily looking at her in shock.
"Not for that!" she laughed. She slipped further into his lap and nuzzled his neck gently. "Just stay." Goliath pulled her close and lifted her as he stood. He padded to her room and sat with her clutched to him on her bed. He closed his eyes as he felt her drift off to sleep. He would keep vigil for her tonight like he had always done for her, for his kin, and for the rest of humanity.
Archangel or not, it is my station to protect. Yet… it is my desire to protect you from anything and everything. For as long as I am stone by day and flesh by night, nothing… no one will ever take your sanctuary again.
"… Love you too, Big Guy," she mumbled and shifted in his arms sleepily. He blanketed her with his wing in response and held her until the horizon turned to pink. He felt the sleep of stone coming to claim him as he loosened his grip on her and his wing. He closed his eyes to sleep, but not before stroking a lock of hair as his mind fell into blissful slumber.
A/N: This is my first Gargoyle Goliath/Elisa pairing. It's more insight about Goliath; a character study of sorts, I guess. It's something I felt like writing in between the episodes and comic series. This takes place after the Hunter's Moon. It's sort of an alternate world in a way. I was feeling a little lonely and sometimes I wish I could have an archangel of the night like we all do deep down when we feel alone. It's stories like these that keep me from feeling that way I suppose. I might brew more of these later. Just little snippets of tenderness to keep the beasts away. I hope you guys liked it. I think this is the first one-shot I've ever done! Let me know what you guys think!