NightLife:

NightLife:

Loss and Gain

By Wulffighter

Legal: Gargoyles aren't mine. However the Elder, Cliff, Ravel, Owl, and all other NightLife series characters belong to me. If caught using them with out my permission I will hunt you down and sign you up to All the Barney fan clubs!!!

Authors note: the Night life series was publish by a small publisher in the mid 90's I have done my best to merge the final unpublished story with the gargoyle universe. For those of you (that probably means all of you) who haven't read the NightLife series I have included this section to explain the unknown parts of the story.

The Trage: leader of the southwestern were-lines and brother of the Dark Angel, he is extremely loyal to Dark Angel; however he has an extreme bigotry towards hybrids that is in constant conflict with his brothers policies.

Owl: grand daughter of the Dark Angel, sucumbi/werewolf hybrid, being the personal bodyguard of the Dark Angel she tends to take her job extremely seriously to the point of flat of disobeying any order she feels will endanger him. However she still manages to have plenty of fun as she has a dangerous sense of humor (dangerous to anyone she doesn't like that is) and will not hesitate to make even the Dark Angel the brunt of one of her jokes. Loyal to the point of fanatical she has been with the Dark Angel since he found her being used as a plaything by a rogue werewolf pack. After partly recovering from the packs treatment she swore her life to his service, after 100 yrs he is still the only male she will tolerate touching her, even in the most casual manner, without asking her permission.

Cliff: first child of the Dark Angel as well as the first Were-Wolf, leader of the Dark Wolves; loves his father without question and has been know to kill anyone to question his loyalty. Fiercely loyal and totally trust worthy Cliff was named leader of the Dark Wolves after infiltrating Crae's stronghold and returning with the trolls own sword as prize. Brave and honorable he keeps his fathers executioners/bloodhounds in line so that his father only has to worry about giving the orders, because they will be there to see that they are fulfilled!

Raven: Second vampire, Prime adviser of the Dark Angel. Scared of losing his leader again he is always urging caution to the point of paranoia in all endeavors, a stickler for protocol he is constantly frustrated in trying to get the Dark Angel to conform to the traditional way of doing things. Suspicious of hybrids he is always trying to exclude Owl from events usually to his own dismay.

Dark Angel (the Elder, Etc.): Tomas Two-Blade, born in 1336 AD he was a common merc until an attempt at helping a stranger in a battle landed him a fatal blow. The first Dark Angel saved his life making him his heir, 500 yrs ago his sire tired of life and past the rule to a severely annoyed Tomas. Loosing his mate to the change and extremely angered by the treatment of the incident by his followers he disappeared for nearly 200 yrs leaving his followers to hold his empire together without him. Since his return his remaining followers have been cautious in their dealings with him, for he has had a radical personality change. Gone was the joking, friendly, openly kind individual they had known in his place was a cold hard near sadistically strict master that seemed to care only for keeping order. However the discovery of Owl 200 yrs ago loosened him severely allowing the leaders of the Bloodlines to finally break through the barriers he had place to keep out everyone to avoid the pain of further loss.

Prologue

"Com' on pull the god damned trigger you fucking coward!" he yelled at the blue clad man. As the pair watch from the shadows of a close by roof, only one is shocked by his words, as the other is well aware of the downward spiral the individual has been on for sometime. As the human stands, gun placed firmly between the kneeling gargoyle's eyes, staring into it's grinning face his gun starts to shake. One of the shadows moves as if to help the red skinned gargoyle only to be restrained by the other placing a hand on it's shoulder.

As the restrained being struggles to free itself the other continues to watch the scene that is going on below. And it can't help but to think back and think As I watch this drama play out I can't help but remember how it all began. And wonder if I should have done anything differently!

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Arizona 2 years ago

She blushed as she walked back to her apartment from class. Thinking of the present she had sent her very significant other.

I still can't believe I TOOK those yet alone sent them, she thought as she walked along, What if someone else opens it… What if somebody finds them after he gets them…? My God what if Mom or Sis finds them!!!

These thoughts were running though her mind over and over again as she walked down the street that lead to her apartment. However as she walked even to a campus park, that she knew well, she was jarred back to her surroundings by strange sounds coming from the park; and they seemed to be getting closer.

Glancing at the setting sun and remembering all the warnings about dark places at night, from her parents and sibs, she quickened her pace only to stop when a form flew out of the park to land at her feet with a pained grunt. She instantly went into a defensive stance only to relax slightly after a few seconds when she realized that whatever it was seemed to be unconscious. It's times like these I wish you were here beloved! She thought as she glanced into the park trying to see if she could see what had sent it flying.

As she started to edge around it she saw it was a man. As near as she could tell he seemed to be about 18-24 yrs old and was dressed very strangely. He was wearing a white shirt, black jeans, a ripped up sleeveless black leather duster and armored leather gloves that went to his elbow. But strangest was that he was carrying a cane... a very expensive looking one, silver and gems inlayed into a stem of metal and a wooden handle in the shape of a claw. As she leaned forward to get a closer look at him she noticed that his hair was streaked with several different colors.

As she studied him, trying to see if he had been hurt, he opened his eyes and started to brace himself as if to get up. She placed her hand on his far shoulder and pushed it to the ground. "Hold on you hit pretty hard I'm no expert but I think you could have internal injuries and that we should get you to a hospital!" at that he looked up at her with an I-know-something-you-don't smile and opened his mouth to say something.

But before a sound could pass his lips his eyes looked past her shoulder and his eyes widened as he suddenly raised his hand and placed it firmly on her chest. Now wait a dame sec bud…was all she had time to think before she was landing on her back about nineteen feet from were he had given her the "push".

What the HELL!!! Was the only thought going though her head as she sat up, and the sight waiting her stopped even that though. Not less the fifteen feet from her was a scene that would have done a horror movie proud.

Three… creatures were attacking the man. They were about 8 to 9 feet tall, their legs looked like they belonged on a rhino and were covered in fur; their upper bodies looked almost human if you ignore the red, purple, and green patches over grossly bulging muscles; arms that looked like they could pass for Goliath's legs ending in three fingered hands, all toped off with a head that looked like it belonged on the offspring of a dog and a shark.

Elisa wasn't kidding she thought as she sat in shock watching the strange battle going on in front of her weird things do happen when you date a gargoyle!!

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Ah Hell he thought seeing that the girl was still sitting there as Crae and the other Trolls advanced like I didn't have enough problems!

As the first troll pulled a lamppost out of the sidewalk he couldn't help but chuckle All this because I listened to Raven's advise and decided to visit the Trage Alone! Ha, Next time I bring Owl along no matter how big a freakin' 'security risk' and 'diplomatic insult' Raven thinks she is!!!

As he finished that thought he heard a whine and ducked as the lamppost passed through were his head had been seconds before. It honestly passed through the ends of his shoulder blade long hair, he then stepped forward, cursing the pain in his left knee and swings the cane like a baseball bat driving the end of it into the troll's short ribs. Then he jumped back and went into a defensive stance, as it bellowed in pain, and smiled at the seeming ineptitude of the attackers as blood started running from it's mouth. For the next few minutes all his world consisted of was dodging the attacks of the trolls and trying to lower their numbers to a fightable number.

Imagine them thinking that they could take me with a fron…. Where did the third one go! No sooner had the thought past his mind then he dived to the side as a post box sailed through were he had been. As he rolled up into a crouch and looked at the trolls he saw the one he had hit had the lamppost and was already starting it's downward arch towards his head. He brought the cane up crosswise just in time to stop the swing, but as it connected with his cane his left knee gave out with a loud 'POP' and he dropped and was trapped flat on his back with his cane nearly pressed into his chest. As he looked at the advance of the other trolls while he struggled to free himself he thought Now would be a good time for you to show up Owl. Yep anytime now about now WOULD definitely be fine!

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As she had watched the fight she was surprised at the man's speed for at times, as he dodged his attackers, he almost seem to disappear he moved so fast. As he jumped, kicked, dived, and punched, she noticed that at times he used the cane as a weapon at others he used just his bare hands.

She had just realized that she had been so caught up in the fight that she hadn't thought that maybe she should go for help when he dived to the side as she watched a mail boxed slam into a wall to her left. When she looked back she saw he was pinned to the ground with his left leg caught under him by one of the creatures as the others started over to finish him.

Even though she lacked the gargoyle need to protect she had been raised with a strong sense of right and wrong and standing by as someone is torn apart wasn't high on the right side of it. So reaching down to the fanny pack she carried she pulled out the present her sister had given her when she left for college and ran up to the one holding him to the ground.

As she got right up next to it she yells "Hey ugly" as it looks up at her in surprise she raises her hand and lets it have it square in the eyes with the bottle of mace. It swung blindly as it roared in pain, catching her square in the chest and sent her flying Maybe this wasn't such a good idea… she thought as she suddenly landed hard sending an intense pain though her lower body that caused her to scream in pain.

Damn this hurts she thought but gotta move that thing isn't gonna be to happy about that… But as she tried to move the pain flared up, nearly sending her into unconsciousness; if before it was a fire now it was a nova. As she opened her eye to see where the creatures were, what was causing the pain, and why she felt a warmth spreading across her body; she saw something sticking out in front of her blocking part of her view of what is going on.

She followed it with her eyes, to find where it was coming from. She whimpered in fear as she suddenly reached the base and realized that it was what was causing the pain. Because it was sticking out of her stomach and the blood running from the wound was causing the warm sensation.

As she looked up from the sickening sight of herself impaled she saw one of the creatures walking towards her and she started to cry. I'm so sorry Brooklyn looks like I'm gonna have to break my promise…as she watched it come closer she started to get tired and her vision began to dim. I love and will miss you, and I hope not to see you soon! Please don't blame yourself! The last thing Beth Maza saw before her vision blacked out completely was of several forms running out of the park as the creature raised it's arm to end it all.

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New York

Knock

Knock

Elisa looked over at the skylight at the knocking and smirked at seeing her love and his second in command. This wasn't the first time lately that Brooklyn had shown up at Elisa's first thing without invite or warning and judging from the looks Goliath was giving him, Brooklyn hadn't been invited this time either. She knew that Goliath was beginning to wonder what the hell was going on, and so had she for that matter, but she now at least had a good idea of why he was doing it now.

She walked over and opened the skylight "Hello Big Guy" she said as Goliath took her in a full winged embrace. As he released her she glanced over at Brooklyn only to find him seemingly very engrossed with a poster on the wall. "It's okay to look now." She said to him and smiled as he turned a darker shade of red as he turned to her and said "Ah… hello, Elisa"

"So Brook there anything I can help ya with?" Elisa asked Brooklyn with a causal tone. "N-n-no, not really" he said "why?"

"You've come over first thing almost every night for the last week, and with the weakest excuses I ever heard to boot, so I was just wondering why." She said with a smile as Goliath looked at her with a curious expression on his face. As Brooklyn started stuttering and sputtering trying to find a suitable excuse she walks over to her kitchen counter and holds up a package about the size of a package of postcards.

"Could this be what you're after?" she asks in a sarcastically sweet tone, it had arrived about 30 minute ago and all she had had the chance to do is look at the destination address. "Let's see Brooklyn Wyvern C/o Elisa Maza, yep sounds like it's for you alright, let's see return address…. "At this she trailed of as a look of confusion crossed her face "why is Beth sending you a package Brooklyn?" she asked as she looked up at the blushing young gargoyle.

"Aren't I allowed any privacy Elisa?" the red skinned gargoyle finally asked "My I have my package or are you planning on interrogating me about it all night?" although his tone had started clam enough it had ended in an angry growl.

Elisa was seriously startled at the tone of Brooklyn's response, he had never used that tone with her before and it worried her that her friend felt that way about her. Brooklyn felt terrible talking to Elisa that way and knew Goliath was gonna let him have it as soon as he got him alone but he definitely didn't need her messing with this part of his life.

Elisa tossed the package to Brooklyn, however fate decided to dish out a little punishment or his own natural bad luck just decided to kick in, because as the box landed in his hands the tape on the package gave way and the contents of the box spilled out on the floor at a paling Brooklyn's feet.

Elisa watched as the box spilled it's contents and frowned, it looked like it had been full of pictures. Why would he be so defensive of pictures? She wondered as one fluttered over to land face down at her feet. As she reached down to pick it up she heard a strangled whimper come from Brooklyn and looked over at him curiously only to see he was nearly wash pink and had his eyes fixed on the picture in her hand with a fearful gaze. "'Lisa…" he squeaked as she turned the picture over, still watching him wondering what the big deal was she glanced at the picture and froze.

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As she looked at the picture her color drained slightly and her eyes glazed. Meanwhile Brooklyn was quickly gathering the remaining pictures in the hopes of getting out of there before she recovered. However Goliath dashed that hope; as he noticed her condition he quickly walked over to his love and placed his hand on her on her shoulder and gave her a slight shake. Reaching for the picture to see what had caused this reaction from his normally unflappable love.

Brooklyn was nearly to the skylight when he heard Elisa's voice "HOLD IT RIGHT THERE MISTER!" and felt a hand grab his tail. At the feeling of her hand on his tail he froze and his heart drop to somewhere around his ankles. He slowly turned, half expecting to find Elisa's gun aimed at his head, to see one very annoyed detective standing behind him glowering and his leader staring at the picture with his mouth hanging open and his eyes the size of dinner plates.

Sigh this is were I get sent to the rookery for life! Brooklyn thought as he turned the rest of the way around. When he was totally facing her she reached out and grabbed the box out of his hands, walked over to her table and dumped the contents on it. As she started going through the pictures her expression kept getting darker and darker. He was so intent on her that he didn't hear Goliath until his hand landed on Brooklyn's shoulder and turned him to face his leader's glowing eyes.

"Would you care to explain this?" Goliath growled at his second, holding the picture up so he could see it. Brooklyn glanced at the picture and paled at the image of Beth and him in an intimate embrace. She could have warned me she was sending the valentine pictures too! At least they would have just killed me for the set she was gonna have taken. Now I'll be lucky if they just give me to Servarius as an early Christmas gift.

He looked back to Goliath and before he could stop himself said "If you don't know what that is maybe it would be best if you had a talk with Hudson!" at the look that crossed Goliath's face he realized maybe now wasn't the smartest time to be making wisecracks. Okay now I'm dead. At this time a sound caught his attention. Looking over at where Elisa sat he saw that she had pull a letter out of the box and was reading it.

"Hey, that's personal…Offf" upon seeing her reading the letter he'd started to go over and take it from her only to be pushed roughly on to the couch by Goliath. The hostile looks that Goliath sent him only made his growing sense of resentment, anger and hurt become even larger Hypocrite treating me like some type of pervert for something he's done himself! I final find someone that cares for me like I care for her and they act like I drugged her, beat her and raped her! He finally glanced over at Elisa to see that her dark expression had all but faded and she was blushing in embarrassment.

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As Elisa finished the last page of the letter she looked up and was shocked too see Brooklyn looking at her with a betrayed expression on his face. "Are you satisfied that I'm not some kind of monster or rapist?" the tone he used startled her as well up until now she had only heard him use it when talking about Demona.

"I didn't think you were a rapi…" she started but he angrily cut her off "Well what did you think Elisa? Huh? I saw your face when you grabbed those pictures. I guess I could understand your reasoning, "by now he had risen from the couch and was looking back and forth between them with glowing eyes "I mean how could anyone care for a red skinned gargoyle with a beak larger then lower Manhattan. "His gaze finally settled on Goliath, and the way Goliath stepped back from that gaze made her worried "I couldn't attract a gargoyless so how could I possibly attract a human??"

"BROOKLYN!!" Elisa finally managed to get his attention. However, when he whipped around to look at her, she wasn't sure that was such a good thing. Eyes glowing like small suns, lips pulled back like a cornered animal, hands clenching and unclenching. He looked ready to snap, and she could honestly understand his feelings he finally finds somebody and they treat him as if he had committed a crime, and apparently the only reason he could see was that he was the leased human looking member of the clan. But in all the times she had seen him angry she had never seen him like this it was worse than when Demona was brought up. He looked like at any second he was going to attack them.

Holding her hands out to her sides and making claming motions. Come on Brooklyn, Calm Down! Please! I don't want to have to explain to Beth why I had to shot you! "Brooklyn you know I know you wouldn't hurt anyone like that. I'll admit I was startled as hell seeing a picture of you and Beth like that. Look how would you react if you were in my place." She could literally see it as the clenched muscles in his upper body started loosening one by one. "You find one of your friend with pictures of both your little sister in erotic styles and of him and your little sister… being intimate and neither of them had said anything to you about a relationship in their lives let alone with each other. You'd be as upset as I was; wondering what was going on, for how long and why no one said anything?"

By this time his eyes were down to their normal angry glow. He still looked pissed as hell but at least he no longer looked like he was about to go over the edge. But the dark looks he kept sending Goliath had her worried her, he was know to hold a grudge and while neither of them had exactly handled this well Goliath's reaction had been totally out of proportion. And he had yet to apologize to the young gargoyle almost as if… as if he had though exactly what Brooklyn had accused them of.

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Arizona

As the man strained to keep the lamppost from crushing him, barely noticing as his knee knitted with another 'POP' and a grinding crunch which caused him to grunt of pain, he saw movement out of the corner of his eye and was startled to see that the girl he had pushed out of the way earlier was running towards the place where the troll had him pinned. What the hell does she… was all he had time to think before he had his answer. As she reached his side she yelled "Hey Ugly!", as the startled troll looked at her she raised her hand and sprayed something into it's eyes. As it dropped the lamppost and raised up roaring the man rolled away and to his feet only to hear a pain filled scream.

Thinking that the troll had the girl he looked to were the girl had been, expecting to find the troll beating her broken body, only too see the troll clawing at it's eyes choking and growling in pain as the others tried to help it. Confused he scans the area for her. What he founds left him both horrified and angry, she was lying about twenty-five feet from where she had been standing impaled on one of the legs of the ruined postboxes and, judging from the pain on her face, she was conscious and had tried to move. While he watched her she opened her eyes and stared uncomprehendingly at the metal post sticking out of her, then slowly following it down to her abdomen, only to let out a terrified whimper and stare at where it had exited her.

Movement made him turn to see one of the trolls heading towards the girl with a rage filled expression. Realizing that it was going to finish what the other had started, he ran towards it. After his third step he realized that he wouldn't make it this way. So as the troll raised its arm to finish her once and for all, he took a firm hold on his cane pulled back his arm and threw it point first at it.

The moment the cane had left his hand he gritted his teeth and moved. At the first step the world blurred. At the second it started to clear. At the third it was normal except that every thing was moving like a movie in slow motion. By the fifth step he had passed his cane, at the twelfth step he turned, braced himself and skidded to a stop right in front of the girl, much to the protest of his knee. As, from the troll's point of view, he just appeared in front of it, the cane passed through the troll's body to be caught by the man. As soon as he caught it he pulled back and hit the troll right on the jaw causing it to stagger back and fall clutching at it's lower chest.

Glancing to check on the other trolls he was surprised to see the Trage, and his people surrounding the two remaining trolls with weapons drawn. His surprise turned too understanding as he saw Owl's unmistakable form glide across to the Trage to speak. Just then another groan from the troll catches his attention. As he walks over to the troll he sees it's Crae and, as he stares down at him, he comes to a decision.

He can hear some of the Trage's people come up behind him. As they got closer he turn to them smelling that one has what he needs. At least I won't have to order someone to go get me some, Gods I wish it hadn't come to this!!! He thought as he walked over to one of the on coming individuals as he got closer he noticed that one of them was checking on the girl Good another thing I won't have to worry about. As he reached them he walked slower and after a second had a lock on the one that had what he wanted. As he walked up to him the child's face paled.

When he reached out and grabbed his jacket the young one flinched and nearly fainted. As the man notice this he realized how he must look and what the child must be thinking and said "Don't worry young one, I have absolutely no intention of harming you!" in a calming tone before reaching into the young ones jacket and pulling out a can. Then he turned away and walked back to Crae and squatted down just out of the old troll's reach. He knew he was in the right and no one would EVER question his motives but he felt the need to explain them both to himself, the people witnessing this and the being that had been his nemesis for longer then most could imagine.

"I could forgive your attack on me. Hell I probably would have forgotten all about it by the end of the month! But" at this he lifts the nozzle on the cap of the can looks at it as if fascination "when you bring innocents that have absolutely no idea what's going on into our little war I can no longer overlook it. That girl posed no threat and you were going to kill her? All she did was try to help a stranger and you thought that dissevered death? She attacked your man first, huh? "at this he started squirting the contents of the can over the prone form as it looked at him in anger, confusion, and building fear at the look on his face "The day a teenage HUMAN female with a can of mace is a THREAT to an adult male TROLL is the day that I know that I should stand down!! Because the end of the world is here!! I have bent over backward trying to settle this problem with you without any causalities, but you keep throw it back in my face!" at this the last of the contents of the can gurgled out and the man stood up and tosses the can down by the troll head "Tell me Crae what does death by FIRE mean to a troll?!"

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When he had thrown the can Crae had followed it with his eyes as it arch down to land by his head. It came to a rest just as the man had finished his question, it brought the meaning of the words on the can into sharp focus 'LIGHTER FLUID'. The sound of the match striking brought his head around in a snap to see the man standing there holding it up staring at it "Goodbye old troll. Be seeing you in HELL!" with that said he threw it.

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As he turned from the screaming, thrashing mass of burning flesh that had been his biggest problem for more years then he wanted to remember he saw the looks of shock, horror, and disgust he was getting from the people around him. I hope I didn't just stop one problem from the outside, just to start another with my own people!

The Trage walked up to him as he was lost in thought and put his arm around him and gave him a comforting squeeze "Sorry we couldn't get here quicker, we came the second the Hybr… Owl told us you were in trouble!" he looked into the others eyes with understanding. "I know you never wanted to have to do that but it's just as well. He was a very cruel being and would never have changed his ways."

The Trage's words remind him that he is still in public and that showing the doubt he was feeling about his actions would be taken as a sign of weakness. The last thing I need right now is to be challenged again! "Thank you, I had hoped you were wrong but… never mind, how is the girl?" at this he noticed the individual that had been checking on her was by the Trage talking to Owl in hushed tones. "How long do we have until we have to have her in a hospital?" he asked.

When the individual realized he was talking to them they turn. "We have as long as we need sir." He could now see that it was a Blonde girl about Owl's age and that she was quite obviously a hybrid. Even if she looked at the ground as if terrified she'd be killed if she looked at him, which annoyed him to no end. So reaching out and gently grasping her chin he lifted her face so she was looking him in the eye with her slit pupils and ice blue irises, which were full of a fear he had long hated. "What do you mean?"

She answered slowly as if afraid he was going to hurt her "I sorry sir, it hit an artery and did serious damage to most of her lower organs. Even if she had been at a hospital when it happened she wouldn't make it!" when she had finished her answer he looked deeper into her eyes, hearing her gasp as he pushed past them to the mind within. After assuring himself that she had spoken the truth, and knowing from experience that this had taken less then a second, he searched for the cause of her fear, already sure of what was causing it but needing to confirm it.

After he found the answers he sought he opened himself to her, letting her see him as only a few ever had. At first he felt her shock then her feeling of disbelief followed by a burst of emotion that was a combination of joy and years of pent up fear and frustration. After she had finished venting her emotions, he gently removed himself from her mind to see her tear streaked face looking at him with open joy.

Releasing her chin he turn to Owl and indicated with a jerk of his head for her to take the young female under her care. At Owl's curious smile and slightly raised eyebrow he chuckled and gave a slight shrug of his shoulders. Leaving the pair he pointed to two of the older of the Trage's people and indicated to follow him as he walked over to the girl. As they got closer he could hear that her heart had just about stopped beating and her breathing was so shallow as to be non existent, when he reached her side he turned to the two he had brought with him.

"Lift her off the post and lay her flat on the ground." they looked at each other then started to do as he said. When they had her flat on the ground he motioned them back and knelt beside her. "If not for you I would have died this night and I will not repay that debt by watching you die!" he whispered as he pulled back his sleeve, raised his wrist to his mouth and bit down leaving a deep wound. He heard startled gasps from behind him as he brought the wound to her mouth as his blood flowed into her mouth he saw her start swallowing weakly by reflex to keep from drowning. He kept giving her his blood until his wound closed and her heart and breathing stopped.

Turning he pulled down his sleeve and looked up at the many startled faces. "Clean up this mess, leave no trace we were here or of what has happened. I assume you know the drill?" At the Trage's startled express he raised his eyebrow and tapped his cane handle feinting impatience, which got him moving very quickly. "At once Dark Angel!" As he heard the Trage use his title he grimaced as he saw Owl clamp a hand over her mouth and dropped his head to massage his eyes. Gods I hate that title!! I have hundreds of them why in the name of all that the gods hold holy do they constantly have to use the one that makes me sound like some kind of demented religious fanatic!! Looking up to see the confused look on the Trage's face he sighed. I'm going to get a gods be damned headache from this I just know it!

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"At once Dark Angel!" As the Trage turned issuing orders to his people he saw two things that greatly confused him. The first was the Dark Angel grimace and cover his eyes with his hand and shake his head, the second was his pet Hybrid covering her mouth obviously trying to keep from laughing her head off. For some reason the second scared him worse than any battle ever had.

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New York 2 hrs later

As Elisa slowly calmed his second-in-command Goliath stood back and thought on what had happened I can't believe I thought Brooklyn capable of doing those things! The worse part was he was partially right I was judging his appearance, just not the way he thought I was. Being the least human appearing of the clan it had been hard to think of a human finding him attractive enough to engage in mating of their own will. The fact he hadn't been able to attract Angela hadn't entered the equation at all!

While Brooklyn calmed to a much safer level he knew he had to apologize to his second but he didn't know how with out sending the young gargoyle back into the killing rage his love had just pulled him out of. As he stood think of what to say he became aware of the dark looks Brooklyn was sending his way and the speculative glances Elisa was sending him. I had better say something soon or I may have both of them mad at me for the rest of my life. "Brooklyn, " At the sound of his name Brooklyn looked over at him "I apologize for the way that I treated you. I admit that I… thought the worst when I saw that picture and realize that I should have given you more credit. And ask for your forgiveness!"

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Brooklyn couldn't believe his ears; even as he had been saying it he hadn't really believed what he'd been saying. Now Goliath comes out and all but says that he was right, it was nearly enough to send him back to the edge and right over. I always thought that if any of them truly didn't care about how I looked it was him! But he's just like the others, why doesn't he just start calling me a bird face and get it over with!! It was bad enough that every time something went missing I was blamed or if there was a prank played it was usually on me. Now my leader thinks that I can't attract a female without resorting to rape or worse.

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While he fought back the hurt and pain he had struggled with most of his life, Elisa was staring at Goliath in shock. How could he have possible have thought that about Brooklyn? I mean after all the only time he's been anything but loyal was that Cloisters incident and that was only because Demona tricked him!

Looking at Brooklyn's face she could see the emotional war going on in him played out on his face as he tried to handle the fact that his leader had thought him capable of that kind of thing. She felt her own features settle into an angry mask as she watched as an emotionless mask took its place. As she rounded on Goliath ready to take a chunk of his hide for his thoughtlessness concerning Brooklyn's feelings, she was startled by a loud yowl as Cagney loudly protested her stepping on his tail. He then ran across the room, over the coffee table, in to her bedroom and under her bed.

As Elisa stands there claming down from the scare that Cagney had given her, she realized that in the cat's mad dash for the safety of the bed room he had hit the remote on the coffee table turning the TV on. Reaching for the remote, to turn off the muted television, a scene that looked vaguely familiar came on to the screen.

As the reporter droned silently on in front of the partially destroyed street and building while Police, Firemen and EMT's that could be seen in the background Elisa thumbed the mute button. After his first sentence she wished she had left it muted.

"-updating the story of the hour. I'm standing in front of the site of the bombing at Flagstaff University that took place just hours ago. Althought the blast could be heard for two miles, and seen for nearly twice that, I can now confirm that luckly there was only one casualty." As they brought up a picture of the casualty, Elisa felt her blood freeze and her mind go numb "Beth Maza a student here at the university was found horribly burned at the site of the bombing, although earlier there was some speculation as to whether or not she could have been the bomber the initial questioning removed her fro-" Elisa stared at the television for several seconds after Goliath had turned it off not noticing that there were tears running down her cheek or even that it has been turned off and not really caring.

As she stood there a loud thump caught her attention. When she turned around she found Brooklyn on his knees staring at the TV, with tears running down his cheeks, rocking back and forth whispering. Seeing this caused her cop training to break through her shock "Goliath grab the blanket from my bed! Hurry!" as Goliath ran to the bedroom, to get said blanket, she slowly approached the young gargoyle. As she got closer she could hear what he was whispering "…she promised…she promised…she promised…" When she was close enough she put her hand on his shoulder. He slowly turned his head and looked her in the eye. The emptiness she saw in his eyes scared her more then his greatest rage ever could. "sh…she promised she'd be back next month! she promised she wouldn't leave me!" the broken child like tone to his voice told her how bad it really was.

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She can't be gone! She… she was the ONE, she was coming back next moth to tell Elisa and her parents… She can't be Dead!! She said she wouldn't leave!! Those thoughts ran thorough his head over and over forming a barrier between himself and the news that he had just heard on the television. Feeling a hand on his shoulder he turned to find Elisa standing beside him. As he looked into her eyes, and saw the grief lying there, he felt the barrier he had created shatter like a dropped plate. And as it crumbled, and tears started to spill down his cheeks like a river, he felt the weight of it crack the fragile core that was his sanity!

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California next day

She took a deep breath of air, sat up and clutched at her stomach. She stared in total astonishment at the smooth unbroken skin of her abdomen where the post had been sticking last she remembered. Shaking she looks around, staring uncomprehendingly at the room she was in. What am I doing here? This isn't a hospital, and I should at least have stitches after that…this is getting to weird, I swear I smell the ocean!

Seeing clothes lying on the chair beside the bed she sat the rest of the way up and hung her legs of the bed. As she reached for the clothes she nearly fell off the bed as a wave of weakness flow through her Damn it What the HELL is going on! Grabbing the clothes she started to pull them on. However she found herself trembling from exertion and covered in sweat by the time she had them half on. Why am I so weak! I feel like I'm running a marathon just from putting on my clothes!

As she sat catching her breath after she was dressed she noticed something in the pocket of the pants. Pulling it out she found a pair of sunglasses and a note; opening the note she read it:

Hello,

If no one is here when you wake, go to the library someone there will see to your needs.

DA (Tommy Please!)

P.S. Put on the sunglasses and for gods sakes whatever you do DON'T GO OUTSIDE!!!

Finishing the note she stared at the sunglasses What the hell does he mean Don't go outside and why should I wear these stupid glasses! Getting up she stumbles to the door. Reaching for the knob she thinks I got to find someone who can tell me what's going on-"AAAAaaaaaaahhhhhhhh" she screams as she starts to open the door and a light brighter than a spot light pours through it. Slamming then turning away from the door, falling to her knees, and pressing her hands to her eyes she swore and then rubbed at her eyes trying to get the spots to stop. Who in their right mind puts a spotlight in front of a door. At least I know why he wanted me to put on the glasses. Reaching down she picked up the glasses from were she had dropped them when the light had hit her.

Slowly opening the door she shielding her eyes with her hand and squinted through tearing eyes as she searched for the source of the light. When she found it she just stood there and stared in shock at the bare lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. What-the-hell-is-Going-ON! Walking down the bare hallway, on shaking legs, she found a set of stairs leading up. Seeing no other way, she started to climb them. Halfway up she had to resort to crawling, because her legs didn't have the strength to hold her up.

Reaching the top she collapsed against the doorframe, but being covered in sweat being the only outward sign of her exhaustion. Why arn't I gasping for breath… for that matter when was the last time I took a Breath! Having nothing better to do while she waited for to regain her strength. She held her breath and started counting. When she reached 60, without felling any shortness of breath she was getting nervous. By the time reached 500 she was terrified. Nobody can hold their breath this long… NOBODY!

Standing she found she was at the center of another hallway. Pinned to the wall in front of the door was a hand written sigh with one word one it Library -. Looking at the sing she thought At least he doesn't expect me to find it on my own!

As she neared the end of the hallway she heard voices coming from the end door. Finally some who can answer my questions! Hurrying her pace she opens the door only to find the man she had tried to help holding another man a good 3 ft off the floor one handed. Now this in it's self she found no real problem with. However the fact that he; 1) was standing a good foot above the floor. 2) had a pair of wings that looked to belong on an angel. 3) had eyes glowing the color of dusk where the stray that broke the camels back and the last thing she felt before the darkness claimed her was a pair of warm arms catching her.

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"…Have you or have you not been deliberately ignoring direct orders from your leader!" Cliff yells straight into the Trage's face more then a little impatient with the subject. I imagine when I ordered him to accompany me to my home he wasn't expecting this. Two-Blade thought as he sat in the chair causally watching as the young Were was taken to task by the head of his "personal guard". I wish they would just call them what they are EXECUTIONERS!

As he watched the interrogation he almost felt sorry for the Trage. Three hours and still giving the run around. I wonder how long until he cracks? How ever his answer to the question drove even that bit of pity out "No I disregarded the ravings of a once great mind gone mad! EQUALS HA! Hybrids are freaks of nature that exist only to serve the true or be destroyed!" he growled out with a look of disgusted rage on his face. He suddenly froze, obviously just remembering where he was and why. Everyone in the library had frozen at his outburst, his own men staring at him in shock at his admission of treason.

The sound of my boot touching the floor as I lowered my leg, from the chair arm, echoed through the silence with the menace of a death's bell. Leaning forward I whisper "So you openly admit, in front of witnesses, to willfully disobeying orders, to treating with unnecessary cruelty the hybrids of your section and to questioning my sanity in public! Then so be it! I hear by strip you of rank and sentence you to temporary mind wipe so you can learn the errors of your ways!"

As the last word left my mouth the Trage makes a break for it. I'm surprised to see his own people move to head him off. Thanks but I got it. Three steps later I have him hanging, his throat in my hand, his feet dangling a good 3 ft of the ground. "Understand this Michael, I would mind wipe you permanently but I know your loyal and that mean a lot." As I talk my eyes start to glow "however this hatred you have for those of mixed blood can't be overlooked anymore!"

Hearing the door open Two-Blade turns to see who is there. The girl from the previous night stood in the doorway. As he watched the little color she had drained from her and she collapsed in a faint. Owl grabbed her from behind to keep her from hurting herself. Throwing the unconscious body at Cliff so he can see to the carrying out of Michael's sentence, he landed beside the girls.

He raised an eyebrow in inquiry to an obviously embarrassed Owl. She just shrugs and says, "I had to feed and use the restroom! Alright?" looking at the healer that had been helping since the attack, seeing the smile on her face he looked into his granddaughter's face and giving her a half smile that made her blush to the point he feared she might faint of blood lose. "Next time you need to ahh… 'feed' just tell me and I'll arrange a substitute for your duties." Seeing the healer was blushing even more then his granddaughter he couldn't hold it any longer and bursts out laughing, leans over and ruffles the healers hair "You treat Owl right 'Missy' or missing a few duties will be the least of your worries!"

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Waking up she finds herself on a leather couch, a TV in the corner blaring on about a bombing. She barely notices until she hears herself listed as a casualty. WHAT THE HELL…I'M NOT DEAD!! She didn't realize she was yelling at the top of her lungs until the screen went blank.

Turning she found the man she had saved standing in the doorway a sorrowful look on his face. He wasn't dressed as strangely as he previously was now he was dressed in a gray tee shirt and black jeans. "I had hoped to talk to you before you found out about this." He looked at her for a moment then motioned to one of the chairs. It took her a second to realize he was asking her if he could sit. She just stared at him. not knowing what to do she had been thrown to much data to quickly and her mind was nowhere near caught up.

Finally he walked over turns a chair so the back is facing her and sits in it. Resting his arms along the back of the chair put his chin on them. "So Beth … its Beth right? How're you feeling?"

She stared at him a moment before answering "f-f-fine" she seemed startled at the stutter. "Why are they saying I'm dead?"

At this he scratched his head and looked at the blank TV screen. "Probably cause I told them to!"

She stared at him in shock for a few minutes before whispering "Why, my friends, my family they'll all think I'm dead!"

Seeing a storm building he gentle grabbed her hand and pressed it to her throat. "You are!" seeing her first expression go from skeptical to puzzled too frightened. He knew she understood "lesson one: we're not monsters! We're different from everybody else but not monsters! Lesson two: we're all equals no one is better then anyone else. Lesson four: whoever you were before is dead! It's best for everyone you leave them that way!"

Getting up and walking to the door he felt her eyes on him the entire way. Turning back to her at the door he saw a very frightened young woman. "Tomorrow we will start your teaching hopefully you'll give us a chance before doing anything drastic." Turning to go he stopped and looked over his shoulder at Beth and grinned before giving the traditional greeting "Welcome to the night Beth Maza, Hope you bring a little more life into it!"

And with that he was gone!

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To Be Continued…