She sat on the edge of the windowsill looking out over the night letting the soft breeze blew her dress around her ankles. The streets below were colourful and noisy as usual, cars drove past in a blur of white and red but she didn't mind. The sounds of the night reached out to her like the soft caress of a lover on a warm night. "Salena. Come in here child! What if you fell?" She could hear the love and fear that laced through her mother's words. "Yes mother," she sighed softly back. "What were you doing out there anyway? It's late, you should have been asleep by now." Though she loved her mother her constant worrying was extremely exhausting. "I was just enjoying the fresh air mother, I'll go to bed now. I'm sorry for worrying you." Feeling adequately chastised Salena stepped down from the sill and let her mother tuck her into bed and pull the covers up. Though she was 19 now, plenty old enough to not only put herself to bed but to live alone, her mother still treated her like she was a toddler and had done since her father and sister died in a car accident. Though it was suffocating she put up with it for the sake of her mother's sanity. For months after their death all her mother had done was sit around the house. She hadn't cooked, cleaned or even washed herself. Causing Salena to teach herself how to do so, allowing her mother this small luxury of caring for the only offspring she had left. Wistfully staring at the sky Salena heard her mother leave the room and return downstairs to turn the television on. She didn't sleep in their bed anymore, she could barely stand being in the room they had shared as husband and wife and it broke Salena's heart every time she went to bed. Waiting another half an hour Salena slowly lowered her feet to her cold wooden floors and crept to the window once again, sliding the latch open, and climbing back to her original post on the sill with her knees drawn up to her chest letting her dress slide over her knees to keep her warm.
Brooklyn had kept watch over Manhattan from this particular building for a little over three months now. It was far enough up that he felt safe from prying eyes and could enjoy the solitude but not so far that he was unable to hear or see the bustling streets below. Today he was feeling restless. His attempts at romance with Maggie weeks ago rebuffed, still stung him at times. It wasn't that he didn't understand that she had feelings for Derek, but he had thought she would at least accept him, but her reaction to him had been almost worse than her reaction to herself being turned into what she had seen as a monster. Sometimes Brooklyn wondered if Goliath's decision to stay here and protect these humans was the right decision. The amount of times people had screamed when they saw him, called a monster, a freak and the amount of times he had saved someone only to have them run in horror. Demona had a point when she said the humans were cruel, they could be. More cruel than even he had seen in his many years. But Goliath was their leader and he would follow his leaders decision, even if at times he didn't understand it. He looked down at the building across from him and saw a girl sitting in her window. He had seen her a few times before and often wondered what it was that she was searching for. He had watched her from dusk till almost dawn and had scarcely seen her move once many times, perhaps she should become part of the stone around her. Tonight Brooklyn continued his solitude and watched her from afar, her stillness brought him an odd sense of peace. Brooklyn wrapped his wings around him and sat down on the stone, settling in for a long night.
She could feel them again. Eyes watching her. It sent a shiver down her spine, not from fear but merely from anticipation. Salena knew someone had watched her for a little while now, but when she looked in the direction she felt it there was never anything visibly there. Deducing that if harm had been the intention they would've acted on it by now so she contented herself with having the company without the real intrusion of it. Tonight things would be different. Tonight she wanted to know who or what was behind those feelings and she slipped back inside to gather her coat and shoes creeping down the stairs past the room her mother slept in she peaked inside first. Her mother was laying on the couch with a pillow and wrapped in a blanket, there were a pile of screwed up tissues on the floor, she had cried again. Sadness flowed through Salena and she wondered if the risk she was taking now for her own curiosity was worth it. "I'm sorry mother, but I can't stay caged here anymore. I will be back soon I promise. I love you," her whispers floated through the still air and with that she was gone out the door. Sliding into her coat and shoving her shoes on her now frozen feet she checked for cars before stepping out and running across the road. Tonight. She had to find out tonight or she had a sinking sensation that the opportunity would be lost forever. Slipping around the building she began her climb up the fire escape fervently hoping she had not missed her chance.
Brooklyn looked to the stars, with all the lights from the city they weren't as easy to see from here as they were from the clock tower that was now their home. When he looked back at the window she was gone, the window shut and he could see no light. He sighed. Guess she decided to call it a night and head to bed, he didn't blame her it was unnaturally chilly tonight and even he who was naturally warmer than a human had felt necessary to close his wings around him. Brooklyn hadn't seen the cloaked figure dash across the street and was getting ready to leave when he heard footsteps on the roof behind him. He spun and froze. Surely this was not possible, he knew she had never seen him from her window yet here she was standing on the opposite side of the roof clad in a cloak and shoes. "Hello?" He could hear the tremors in her voice. "I'm not here to cause you trouble or anything and I'm sorry to disturb you. I'll go if you'd like, I'm sorry." The girl's voice seemed to soften with sadness and uncertainty. "No, it's okay. You aren't bothering me." Brooklyn's mouth seemed to speak of its own volition. "Well, then will you come out of hiding? I don't bite." He smiled at this but a little sadly, he didn't want to chance a friendship over before it began but it was only fair. "Okay but just promise me one thing. Please don't scream." He waited for her reply before stepping out from his shadow so she could see him.
Salena had finally made it. She had known someone was here, discovered it was a male someone and was now waiting for him to come out. "Okay but promise me one thing. Please don't scream." She heard the resignation in his voice, like he already knew what would happen. She waited. When he stepped out from the shadow Salena saw something surprising before her, he wasn't overpowering but he was larger than any human male she had ever seen. His skin was ochre in colour with long white hair which glinted silver in the light, he had a large beak shaped mouth, claws and talons for hands and feet. Wings spread out behind him and it looked like he had a tail as well. But it was his eyes that caught her attention above anything else, looking into them she saw pain and fear and hope all mingled together. He was clearly strong and not human, but she felt no real fear. "You don't scare me, though I have never seen anything like you before that lives and breathes. If you had wanted to harm me you would have, I have nothing to fear from you." Her voice was firm, confident. She did not know who or what he was, but she knew she was safe from harm at least. "My name is Salena. Do you have a name? What are you?" Salena felt her questions may make her seem rude or overly curious but one didn't learn the answer unless they asked the question her father had always said.
She hadn't screamed, or run away. Brooklyn felt the small glimmer of hope he felt increase and answered her questions with as much honesty as was safe for the clan. "Brooklyn.. I'm Brooklyn. I was given a name when I came to this city and I'm a gargoyle." Brooklyn wondered what had made her choose tonight to climb up here in this cold, in the middle of the night, and risk that he may not have been who he was. "What made you come up here?" The thought of a trap crossed through his mind and he immediately went on the defensive as he asked, "who else knows where you are?" "No one, I came alone. I don't know why I came up here, I wanted to meet whoever it was that has kept watch over me all these nights." "You knew I was watching you?" Taken aback, he had been sure she had never seen him yet here she was saying that she had known he was here. Clearly he needed to work on his skills if this human had noticed him. "No, well not you specifically. I just knew someone or something was." Brooklyn took a closer look at the human in front of him, she didn't seem like much. He knew underneath her coat she had a slim body much like Elisa, her skin looked soft and pale as snow, her hair was a deep blonde and her eyes were a blue that seemed to shimmer. Humans were a surprising race, she may not have looked like much and was clearly not very strong yet she had braved the cold and the night to come see a stranger she believed was watching her because of a feeling. What a perplexing creature.
Salena could feel the cold seeping through her jacket. Curses, why hadn't she thought to put some pants or a jacket on underneath it. Sensing his eyes on her again she felt a faint blush stain her cheeks as she watched him look her over. It wasn't that he was looking at her that way it just felt he was seeing more than most people did. Seeing her. "May I come sit with you? It feels a little strange having to talk to you from all the way over here." "Um.. If you like." Salena smiled and strode towards him the sound of her shoes on the small stones on the roof seeming like someone had turned the volume to its max. She sat down on the ledge a little awkwardly, there wasn't a lot of room for movement and the fall would have been a very long one. "So what are you doing up here every night?" "I watch the city, the people. Gargoyles protect, not destroy but humans seem to find that difficult to understand just because we look different. It is quieter up here, easier to think." "You know, you shouldn't judge someone just because they look different. I guess that's something both our gargoyles and humans tend to do." Holding up her hand to quell his protests she continued, "you judged me because I am human and so you thought I would be scared of you. It is fault it seems that covers more than just my species." Salena smiled as she said that last comment. Sure, humans judged others both human and non-human alike. But they were not the only ones to do so. Putting a hand on his arm she leaned forward letting the wind blow through her hair and looked up at the stars. "So, if you like, you could tell me more about yourself. I don't have anywhere else to be."
She was touching him. Brooklyn looked down at the slender fingers that grasped his arm as she leaned dangerously over the edge and smiled. Sitting down next to her he was careful not to crowd her overly much while he used his wing to shield her back from the cold air. She had been right about judging people, as Maggie had judged him a monster he had just judged this girl before she even got to show who she was. So Brooklyn sat with her and told her of his clan, their sleep for 1000 years and how they had woken up in Manhattan to an entirely different world than the one they had known. He enjoyed watching the expressions cross her face as he spoke, she smiled, frowned, looked confused and broke out into laughter at his description of the motorbike incident. He wondered, Goliath and Elisa were friends and she was a human, would he be able to have another friend. A flash of Maggie's face crossed his mind and he cringed inwardly. "What was that?" He snapped back to the current conversation, "what?" "I saw a strange look flit across your face and I just wanted to know what it was." Brooklyn looked at her, sitting on the edge of the building with her hands held in lap and looking up at him expectantly, she really didn't share much in common with Elisa except for the fact they were both human. "I had a friend, at least I thought it she was a friend." "Ah." They both fell silent for a while, each lost in their own thoughts.
"There's a quote I came across once. "Maybe it's true that we don't know what we have until lose it, but it is also true we don't know what we have been missing till it arrives" ." Salena watched as his face became thoughtful. She was enjoying this conversation, he was a good listener and she enjoyed the way he listened to what she said and thought about it before he quote suited him too, Salena couldn't remember the last time she had sat and talked to someone since the accident, all her friends from before had slowly drifted away from her it was difficult to know what to say to someone after they had lost someone and in the end she had given up trying to stretch herself between them and her mother. Being alone hadn't been so bad she told herself not even conscious that she drew her knees up to her chest defensively while thinking this. Suddenly the time caught her eye. "Oh my gosh it's almost 4am! I have to get home, mum will be up soon and if I'm not there she'll just freak out." Suddenly flustered she stood up quickly accidentally trapping the edge of her dress under her foot and then there was nothing. She hated falling, she had nightmares where she would fall and wake up screaming, this was no different and she reached out in a vain attempt to grab something while plummeting towards the ground below.
Brooklyn didn't think, he just reacted. He wouldn't let her fall even if he hadn't just spent the night getting to know her. Leaping off the building he folded his wings close to him allowing him to dive fast enough to catch her hand. "Hold on, I've got you." Brooklyn felt her wrap her arms around his neck tightly and bury her face in his chest and he chuckled, "it's not that bad when you aren't falling you know, why don't you try looking now. Don't worry, I won't let you fall." He felt her lift her face from his chest as she turned to look around them and smiled when he heard her gasp. "Wow. This is amazing." "You haven't seen anything yet, watch this." And Brooklyn proceeded to ride the wind currents higher and higher until it seemed like all of Manhattan was a distant memory with a mischievous grin on his face. Feeling her shiver he decided to call it a night, it looked like it would be dawn soon anyway and he needed to make it back to the clock tower before dawn. "I guess I should take you home now," reluctance tinged his voice but it was for the best. Holding her against his body he landed on the wall next to her window and watched her unlatch it and let herself in. "Will you come again?" Brooklyn met her eyes with his, wow but they were pretty eyes. "Brooklyn..?" "Huh? Oh yeah, yeah I'd like that." She leaned over and touched his face and he watched a small smile play across her features. That touch would stay on his skin for long into the day, he knew. And then, she was gone. Brooklyn shoved off the building letting his wings spread wide catching the air currents and lifting him up as he glided back towards the clock tower completely unaware of the huge grin on his face.
"Had a good night then have ya lad?" Hudson's asked with a sly look from the old gargoyle. "You could say that," he replied as he settled on his spot on the castle wall in preparation for sleep. Behind him the other members of the clan, Broadway and Lexington, looked at each other with a shrug before also taking their positions on the wall.