Here There Be Monsters:
by Ryuu-sama (ryuu-sama@chickmail.com)
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Summary: A young writer named Mariana Wyverie arrives in New York with her cat
in tow, and the clan gets a new friend with some unusual abilities.

Disclaimer: "Gargoyles" and related characters are theproperty of Disney/Buena-Vista
Pictures. I use them with theutmost affection and respect and will put them back neatly
when I'm done playing with them. "You've Got A Friend" is by Carol King. The Strand
bookstore is a real place located at 12th and Broadway in NYC. It is unbelievably cool.
If you appreciate REAL bookstores and ever get to New York, check it out! Mariana
Wyverie, Wyvern, and other original characters are my creations and as such, may
only be used with my written consent. Okay, I think that's everything. Please don't sue.
I don't want to be sued. I'm a college student. I have no money!

Notes, thank-you's, whatever: So, welcome to my first attempt at Gargoyles fanfiction.
Wow, you're still reading this? You're braver than I thought! ^_^ I'm understandably
nervous about the reception that my baby's gonna get, but I'm rather happy with how
the story turned out. This is set after "The Journey" and assumes that TGC and TGS
never happened (Yes, I can warp time and space...THE POWER! THE POWER!!!!).
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Greg Weisman and the Gargoyles staff for
creating such an awesome show. I still miss it!
I'd also like to thank my best friend, Jynifer, for helping me with plot and character
development and her endless patience (see, Jyn? It's finally been posted!), and
my friend Spring for proofreading this one for me and for her encouragement and
enthusiasm. Thanks guys! I love you and couldn't have done this without you!
Oh, and one last note. Mari's name is pronounced to rhyme with "starry", NOT "fairy".
Thanks! Enjoy the story!

Distribution: Anywhere as long as my name stays on it.

Feedback: Please! I love the stuff! Good, bad, I don't care...I'll take whatever I can get.
Sad, isn't it? ^_^

******************************

Samuel Berkley of Berkley and Hill publishing looked up as his door opened.
A very pretty emerald-eyed brunette stepped in. She was conservatively dressed in a
navy-blue blazer and skirt and ivory silk blouse. Her hair was braided into a halo around
her head. She smiled at him.

"Mr. Berkley? I'm Mariana Wyverie. I believe we talked on the phone?"

"Ms. Wyverie, of course!" Samuel stood and gestured the woman to a chair.
"Won't you have a seat? It's a pleasure to finally meet you in person. My youngest
daughter was very excited to hear that you were coming to New York. She loves your
work."

She gave him a dazzling smile. "Thank you, Mr. Berkley. That's very kind of
you." She pointed to a framed photograph that sat on his desk of an attractive little girl
with wispy blond hair and wide blue eyes. "Is that her?"

"Yes, that's Caitlin. She just turned seven last week."

"She's a beautiful child. You must be very proud of her."

"We are, thank you, and please, call me Samuel, Ms. Wyverie."

She nodded and grinned. "Then you can call me Mariana. 'Ms. Wyverie'
makes me feel positively ancient!"

He chuckled. "So, how do you like New York so far, Mariana?"

Her expression became rueful. "I haven't really had much of a chance to
see anything. What with unpacking, organizing, and the chaos that has become
my day-to-day life lately, I'm lucky to find time to sleep."

"Well, how was the move?"

"Surprisingly pleasant," then a mischievous twinkle filled her eyes, strongly
reminding Samuel of Caitlin, "Of course, my mother gave me all the standard warnings.
She was rather horrified to think that I'd be living in the city all by myself."

Samuel let loose with a full-throated laugh. "My mother was the same way
when _I_ first moved here. That was... good Lord... all of twenty years ago!"

"I'll keep her advice in mind, but I haven't run into any trouble yet." She giggled.
"Not even any gargoyle sightings."

He quirked an eyebrow. "I don't think you'd want to see any of them. They're
supposed to be pretty intimidating."

"Supposed to be?" Mariana repeated. "You don't believe in them, Samuel?"

"Well, the whole thing is pretty incredible," said Samuel. "Do you believe in
them?"

Mariana smiled mysteriously. "I don't know, but I have seen some fairly
amazing things in my life. They certainly could exist." A wistful note crept into her voice.
"I think, sometimes, I hope that they do."

"But, they're monsters!" Samuel replied, surprised.

"There hasn't been any real proof of that, has there?" she answered.
"Anyway, even if they were, are they really any more monstrous than humans can
sometimes be? I've told you that I'm a Wiccan, Samuel. I've been on the receiving end
of plenty of abuse and misunderstanding. You and I both know that neither me nor my
beliefs are evil, but some people don't want to learn the truth or are badly misinformed,
and make a snap judgement based on an incorrect cultural stereotype. The same thing
has happened to many minority groups throughout history and it always ends in
someone getting hurt. So, who's the real monster? The gargoyles or their accusers?"

Samuel blinked, "You know, I've never actually thought of it that way."

Mariana gave a small, sad smile. "A lot of people never do." She sighed.
"Well, anyway, getting down to business..."

They talked for another hour about Mariana's new book, the marketing being
planned for it, and whether the move was going to cause any delays in its publication.
Finally, Mariana stood and extended a hand to Samuel.

"So, I suppose I've taken enough of your time." She turned that dazzling smile
to him again. "It's a been a pleasure to meet you, Samuel. Tell your daughter that I said
'happy birthday' and I'll be glad to sign a book for her anytime."

He shook her hand firmly, giving a wry smile. "She'll be over the moon. It was
wonderful meeting you, Mariana. I wish you good luck in learning the city!"

She grinned. "Thanks. I'll probably need all the luck I can get!" She left the
office and he sighed as the door closed behind her, musing over her somewhat
impassioned but obviously heartfelt speech in defense of the gargoyles. _If a woman
like that can find good in them, then maybe I'm just not looking hard enough_ . He
shook his head, clearing it. _Enough break time, Samuel. Let's get back to work.
Time to live out the American Dream._

He pressed the button on his intercom. "Renee, do I have any other
appointments today?" he asked his receptionist.

"Yes, sir. He's waiting now," answered Renee, with a slight trace of the
accent that confirmed a born and bred New Yorker in her voice.

"Well, send him on in"

**********************

Mariana stepped into the lobby of her apartment building with a full grocery
bag in each arm. She got to the elevator and regarded the "up" button and her full
hands thoughtfully.

"Hmm, this is something I failed to consider."

A small brown hand reached over and pressed the button.

"Here. Let me get that for you."

Mariana turned her head to find a slim, dark-complexioned woman with long
blue-black hair and clad in jeans, a black shirt, and a red bomber jacket standing
beside her. She gave a friendly grin. "I got this crazy notion that you might
need some help."

Mariana smiled back. "Thanks. Do you live here?"

"Yeah. My name's Elisa Maza."

"I'm Mariana Wyverie. I just moved here." Mariana laughed. "I'd shake your
hand, but that's a little tough right now."

Elisa chuckled. "No problem. It's nice to meet you, Mariana. Do you want a
hand with those?"

"Yeah, that'd be great. Thanks! Oh, and you can call me Mari." She handed
Elisa one of the bags. The elevator chimed and the doors slid open. They got on,
joined by a man and woman who were both, like Mari, clad in business attire. The
woman was clearly anxious and upset over something.

"Brendan, I wish you hadn't left this so late," the woman whined.

"I'm sorry, Margot, but mother couldn't schedule for earlier," Brendan replied.

"But it's nearly dark," Margot protested, "and I'm afraid that we'll run into more
of those gargoyle monsters!"

Elisa's lips tightened and her fist clenched. _I am getting _so_ sick of this kind
of thing!_ She opened her mouth, but before she could set the yuppie woman straight,
Mari spoke up.

"Um, excuse me..." Margot and Brendan both turned to the younger woman.

"Yes?" replied Margot.

"You think the gargoyles are monsters?" She didn't wait for an answer,
instead forging ahead, "Because, you see, they aren't. You're wrong and you
really shouldn't say things like that if they aren't true." She raised an eyebrow, clearly
challenging Margot to respond.

Elisa regarded Mari, surprised, in the shocked silence that followed that
unexpected, quiet statement. She wasn't the only one.

Margot blinked. "Are you _insane_?" she cried. "Those...creatures...blew up
the Twenty-third Precinct!"

"And why would they do that? I mean, it looks like they were living there.
Why on earth would they destroy their own home?" Mari replied reasonably, though
with a hint of rising frustration in her tone.

"They...they attack people at night!" Margot snapped angrily.

"Really? And what's your source on that, huh? Because I'm sure you must
have verifiable proof of those accusations that isn't based on hearsay, hysteria, and
complete and utter xenophobia!" Mari's voice was rich with sarcasm and anger.

Margot flushed and recoiled as though she had been slapped, gasping
impotently at the younger woman. Brendan was reduced to gaping in amazement,
but Mari wasn't finished yet.

"It seems to _me_, Madam, that you don't like them because they're not like
you. This is just my opinion, but I would consider that something to be proud of!"

The elevator chimed, doors sliding open, "Now, if you'll pardon me, this is my
stop." Mari swept out magnificently into the hall, head held high and green eyes flashing.
Elisa regained enough of her composure to follow Mari out. The doors snapped shut
hurriedly and the elevator began its decent.

She stared with disbelief at Mari who leaned back against the wall with her
eyes closed, taking a couple of deep breaths. The girl looked up at Elisa and grinned.

"What a bitch. And her boyfriend wasn't too much better."

Elisa found her voice again, "Mari, that...that was amazing!"

Mari blushed. "Actually," she admitted, "I just let my temper get away from me,
big time. And I think I've just made a couple of enemies."

Elisa smiled and patted her shoulder. "Maybe, but you've also made a friend,"
she replied. _Actually, she's probably made eight of them._

Mari shot her a grateful smile. "Thank you, Elisa"

"So, have you actually met any gargoyles?" Elisa asked, as they began
walking towards Mari's apartment.

"Who, me? Nah. I'd like to, though."

"Well, _that_ certainly isn't the usual reply," Elisa commented.

Mari smiled. "Well, no one's ever accused me of going with the crowd," she
answered mildly. "How about you, Elisa Maza? Are you like everyone else? What do
you do all day?"

"I'm a detective," Elisa replied. She grinned. "I'm with the Twenty-third Precinct,
in fact."

"Hmm, between 'winged menaces' and exploding clock-towers, I suppose you
must get your share of excitement."

Elisa rolled her eyes. "Tell me about it! So what do you do, Mari?"

"What, aside from arguing with xenophobic strangers on elevators?" Elisa
giggled appreciatively. "I write children's books. Kids make such a great audience. They
want to believe all sorts of things and they haven't already formed a whole bunch of
prejudices and preconceived notions about the way the world should be." Mari stopped
in front of a door and dug in her pocket for a key. "And we're here!" She unlocked the
door and pushed it open. "It might still be a little disorganized in here. I'm not completely
unpacked yet."

She flicked on a light switch and dumped her bag down on a nearby table.
Elisa looked around the small apartment. Aside from the boxes in the middle of the floor,
the place was spotless. The general mood the apartment exuded was comforting and
inviting. After a few minutes of being inside, Elisa could feel the day's stresses drain
away. She set her bag beside Mari's.

"This is nice," she murmured, half to herself, "it feels like home."

Mari heard anyway and laughed. "I try my best," she said. She walked over to
the kitchenette and opened the refrigerator. Pulling out a bowl decorated with silhouettes
of cats, she set it on the floor.

A soft meowing from across the room greeted her action. Elisa looked up to
see a small black cat standing in the doorway.

"Hey, nice cat." At her words, the cat stood up straighter and meowed loudly.

Mari laughed again. "She likes you. That's Wyvern. Wyv, this is Elisa."

Elisa looked up at Mari, startled. "Wyvern?"

Mari misinterpreted Elisa's surprise. "I know, it's a weird name for a cat, but
my family is originally from Wyvern, Scotland. I thought the name was kind of cool."

Wyvern sauntered over to Elisa and regarded her solemnly with eyes as green
as Mari's. The detective reached down and scratched between the cat's ears. Wyvern
purred and rubbed her head against Elisa's hand.

Mari shook her head. _You are shameless, Wyv, you know that?_ Wyvern
looked up at her and gave a feline smirk.

"She's really friendly, isn't she?" said Elisa, oblivious to the brief exchange. "So,
you're from Scotland, Mari?"

"Third generation, actually. I still have some relatives over there, though."

Mari turned away from Elisa as she spoke, causing the detective to see her in
profile. Elisa gasped.

Mari turned back, concern filling her eyes. "Elisa? What's wrong?"

Elisa shook her head. "I'm fine. It's nothing. It was just that for a second there...
you looked extremely familiar."

Mari looked puzzled. "We haven't met before, have we?"

"I'm fairly sure we haven't."

"Hmm...very weird," Mari said, reflectively. Then she grinned. "Well, maybe we
met in another life or something."

Elisa gave an amused snort. "That wouldn't be the strangest thing I've ever
encountered, trust me."

"Oh, I believe you. This _is_ New York, right?" She glanced out at the slowly
darkening sky. "Hey, want to stay for dinner? I'm a pretty decent cook."

"Oh, I'm meeting...friends," Elisa replied.

"Well, if they want to come over, they could. Any friend of yours..." Mari
shrugged. " Another time, I guess. It was cool to meet you, though."

"Oh, same here!" Elisa took Mari's hand. "We'll have to go get coffee or
something, sometime. Gargoyle sympathizers have to stick together, right?"

Mari blinked as Elisa's hand touched hers. _Darkness pierced with stars and
a cool breeze, warm, strong arms carry me, protect me, wings, the freedom of flight,
security, friendship, love, the memories of a deep kind voice, "I'll always be there to
catch you..."_

"Mari? Mari!" Elisa waved a hand in front of her face. "Still in there?"

"What? Oh..." Mari shook her head, clearing it. "Sorry. I just...got lost in thought
or something. It's, uh, been a long day."

"Apparently..." Elisa raised an eyebrow. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine, thanks." Mari smiled reassuringly. "You don't want to keep
your friends waiting, right?"

"I suppose I ought to be going. You sure you're all right?"

"I'm fine. Don't worry."

"All right. If you're sure." Elisa walked to the door. "It's nice to meet you Mari.
I'll keep in touch."

"Later, Elisa." Mari closed the door behind her, gently. She began unloading
the paper grocery bags. _She knows them. Elisa...she's met the gargoyles. _How_
does she know them?_

*************************

Elisa stepped out into the courtyard of Castle Wyvern to receive the
affectionate greetings of five gargoyles. In fact, Bronx almost knocked her to the ground
with his enthusiastic hello.

"Hey, Elisa. What's up?" Brooklyn restrained Bronx and gave her a hand up.

"Hey, Elisa!"

"Evenin' lass."

"Greetings, Elisa." Goliath gave her one of his rare smiles and gently clasped
her hand.

"Hey, big guy." She smiled at the other gargoyles. "Hey, guys. Where are
Broadway and Angela?"

"In the library," replied Lexington. "He found a book of Robert Frost poems."

"Oh, I've always liked his work. Sorry I'm late. I was getting to know a new
neighbor. She's pretty nice."

Brooklyn grinned. "Is she cute?"

Elisa chuckled. "Well, I got to listen to her passionately defend you guys to a
pair of complete strangers!"

"She did?" asked Hudson.

"That is good news!" Lexington exclaimed.

"Who is she?" Goliath asked. "Has she met any gargoyles before?"

"According to her, no. Her name is Mariana Wyverie. Apparently she just
moved here and is pro-gargoyle, sight unseen."

"Wow! I want to meet this girl," Brooklyn answered, smiling.

"She seems like a brave lass," commented Hudson.

"It is good to know that we have such human defenders," said Goliath.

"I know!" Elisa laughed. "I was amazed when she went after those two
people on the elevator, but she seems to sincerely believe that you're the good guys."

"Don't you wish more people did?" Lexington asked, ironically.

"It seems to be in the nature of most humans to fear differences," Goliath said.
"It is unfortunate, but true."

"But this girl is different," Brooklyn replied, thoughtfully. "I wonder why?"

********************************


A few weeks passed. Mari settled in and got used to the city. She learned the
intricacies of the subway, saw all the major landmarks, got to know Elisa better...and ran
into the Quarrymen for the first time.

She was walking back from the Strand, her favorite bookstore, and thinking of
hailing a cab when her attention was caught by a crowd of people being whipped into a
frenzy by a speaker clad in a dark blue uniform with a hood that obscured his face.
Behind him was a banner with a red circle and hammer motif that formed a stylized "Q".

"Will you let this inhuman menace destroy our city?" the speaker cried out.
"We must band together to fight against these monsters, these gargoyles who threaten
our homes, our families, our very lives!" He received a few jeers from the protesters on
the sidelines. "Somehow, we must make the human traitors who support these
monsters see the truth..."

"Get a fucking life, Castaway!"

"You Quarrymen are all fascist pigs!"

"The gargoyles aren't the problem, YOU are!"

A series of anonymous hecklers shouted out, interrupting the man's rant.
Mari's lips twitched in a tiny smile of appreciation.

_Well, it's good to know they aren't all bigots_, she thought. She looked up to
see an earnest-looking young man in the Quarryman uniform approaching her with a
stack of flyers. _Uh oh...I've got a baaad feeling about this..._

"Can I expect to see you at our next meeting, miss?" he asked, offering her a
flyer.

"Uh...no, thanks, you probably won't," Mari answered, edging away.

"But aren't you interested in eliminating the gargoyle menace?"

"Um, not really." She scanned the street. _Where's a damn cab when you
really need one?_

"Surely you want to make our streets safe again? These gargoyles are
dangerous monsters!" the young man spluttered, grabbing her arm.

"No, they aren't!" She yanked her arm away and stalked off down the street.

"How can you say that?" he cried out, while running after her.

"Leave me alone! I am _not_ interested!"

"They aren't even human!"

"Ja, mien fuhrer!" Mari snapped, twirling to face him, "And neither were the
witches, and the Jews, and the gypsies, and the Africans, and a whole bunch of other
people." They had managed to attract a small crowd of bystanders. The young
Quarryman gaped at her as she continued; "I've seen your kind before, many times. In
the Crusades, in the Inquisition, in the Burning Times, in the Shoah...any time that hatred
and fear overtake common sense, there you are. I refuse to be one of you, so take your
flyers and your hate and get the hell away from me!" The bystanders broke into applause.
That's when she realized they were mostly PIT Crew members.

"You tell him little sister!"

"Like, my god, that was so cool!"

"You go girl!"

"Fight the fear!"

An elderly woman stepped in front of Mari. She had tears in her eyes. Mari
looked at her curiously.

"I was liberated from Treblinka," she said, pushing up her sleeve to display the
blue tattooed numbers. "May I shake your hand?"

"I'm...honored, ma'am," Mari answered, close to tears herself. She gave a
shaky smile and clasped the woman's hand firmly and warmly to the obvious approval
of the onlookers and then walked away to hail a cab. The young Quarryman, sensing he
was outnumbered, didn't follow, but his eyes narrowed unpleasantly, memorizing Mari's
features. He turned away.

"Watch your back, gargoyle-loving bitch," he muttered, "You will pay for your
treachery, I'll make sure of that." He rapidly vanished into the crowd.

**************************

Mari got to her apartment and dropped herself and her parcels on the couch
with a sigh of relief.

Wyvern hopped into her lap, turned around a couple of times and curled up.

Mari stroked the cat between the ears. "Comfortable, Wyvern?"

Wyvern purred and gave a feline smile. _Mmm...very._ She gazed at Mari.
_But you aren't. What's upset you so much?_ Her mind-voice radiated concern.

Mari sighed and gave a small grin. "It's nothing new, I guess. I just had a run-in with one of those
Quarrymen bigots on the way home. He tried to recruit me to the 'cause'."

_I take it he was a tad unsuccessful, then?_

Mari snorted. "Me? As one of those jerks? Not likely!" Her expression became
downcast. "How can people act like that? Haven't we learned?"

_Mari, you can't let it get to you_, Wyvern said, reasonably. _You've said it
yourself. Somebody's gotta be the jerk and this time it's them._

A reluctant smile touched her lips. "That's true, I suppose. Still, I don't know
why, but I _know_ the gargoyles are good. They aren't here to hurt anyone! Why can't
those jokers figure that out?"

A rippling thought, the mental equivalent of a chuckle, filled the cat's "voice".
_Not every human is a witch, my dear. They can't use magic to _know_._

"Elisa's not a witch, as far as I know, and she _loves_ the gargoyles." Mari
closed her eyes, savoring the beautiful rush of emotions that the gargoyles seemed
to evoke in her friend.

_Elisa is pretty special, I'll admit. I suppose you could always ask her about it._

Mari giggled. "And just how do I word that, exactly? 'Oh hey, Elisa, I forgot to
tell you, I'm a witch and I sensed all these memories you have of flying and gargoyles.
Do you think you could tell me how you met them?' She'd think I'm out of my mind,
Wyvern!"

_Well, you are out of your mind. That's true._

Mari rolled her eyes. "Oh, _funny_, Wyvern. Real funny."

*****************************

Elisa flipped on the television. "In today's news," the WVRN reporter said, "the
anti-gargoyles group known as the Quarrymen, held another rally here in Manhattan."
Elisa scowled. "According to the NYPD, the rally remained peaceful. Public sentiment
has begun to run against the group with claims of late-night violence, vandalism, and
harassment being placed on them."

"Like that's news..." Elisa muttered, remembering how she and Goliath had
nearly been killed by some of the group's members a few weeks back.

The image on the screen cut from the reporter to the rally. It focused away
from the main group and resolved on some bystanders on the fringe of the crowd. Elisa
groaned, catching sight of a familiar figure speaking to one of the Quarrymen.

"Oh god, what's she doing there? I thought she was on _our_ side!"

The audio picked up the last part of her comment. "...seen your kind before,
many times. In the Crusades, in the Inquisition, in the Burning Times, in the Shoah...any
time hatred and fear overtake common sense, there you are. I refuse to be one of you,
so take your flyers and your hate and get the hell away from me!" The bystanders broke
into applause. Then the picture cut back to the WVRN reporter. "In other news-" Elisa
flipped the set off.

Despite her apprehension for Mari, she couldn't help smiling. _The guys have
got to meet this one. She's amazing!_

A tapping at the skylight caught her attention. She walked over and opened it.
Brooklyn hopped down lightly and cloaked his wings around his shoulders.

"Hey, Elisa."

"Hi, Brooklyn. Just you tonight?"

"Yeah. Goliath said he would probably be over a bit later. I just needed to get
out of the castle. Lex just got a new video game he's absorbed in, so it's no use talking
to him, and Broadway and Angela were acting all lovey-dovey. It was getting kind of
nauseating."

"Well, I'm glad to see you too, Brooklyn," Elisa answered wryly.

"Sorry," he said, grinning apologetically. "Did you hear anything about that
Quarrymen rally this afternoon?"

"You just missed the news report about it. Mari was there, though, and got
caught on tape saying a few choice words about the Quarrymen."

"Ooh..." Brooklyn's grin turned slightly evil. "Nothing too unladylike, I hope?"

"Well...I only heard one expletative," Elisa grinned back, "albeit, a well-chosen
one. She is a rather outspoken girl. I just hope this whole thing doesn't get her in trouble
with those cretins."

"I'll mention it to Goliath. I bet the clan could keep a discrete watch on her for a
while. Of course, even if she did see us, I don't think it would it would upset her too badly."

"Are you kidding?" Elisa replied, laughing outright, "She'd probably ask for an autograph. I
think she's one of the clan's biggest cheerleaders right now."

"It's good to know we've got at least one person so strongly on our side, I
guess."

"Yeah. 'Now ain't it good to know you've got a friend...' "Elisa sang briefly and
slightly off-key.

Brooklyn winced. "What'd I ever do to you?" he said in mock protest.

*******************************

Mari awoke with a small gasp. She clutched at her quilt and took a deep,
steadying breath. She was certain her pounding heart was audible.

_What is it?_ Wyvern queried from the foot of the bed.

"I think we've got an intruder," Mari whispered. "I can sense another mind."

Wyvern was instantly alert. _Anyone we know?_

"I hope not. They feel...slimy." Mari made a disgusted face. "Wait a second."
She closed her eyes and let her awareness spread. "He's young...angry... something
about revenge..." Her eyes snapped open. "Wyvern, hide!"

_I am NOT leaving you-_ Wyvern began.

"Please, Wyvern," Mari hissed, "get somewhere safe. I can handle this. He's
not expecting to find a witch!"

_Oh, all right._ Wyvern hopped down to the floor. _Mari...be careful._ She
slipped under the bed.

"I will, Wyv," Mari muttered under her breath, "I will." She wrapped her fingers
around the baseball bat leaning by the bed and moved noiselessly to stand by the door.
She was immediately aware of her dry throat and pounding heart. _Let's see if _this
time_ I can get through this without any unnecessary violence_, she thought, having a
sudden flashback to her childhood.

There was the faintest of clicks as the doorknob turned and the door pushed
slowly inwards. A figure stood silhouetted in the entrance, looking towards the abandoned
bed.

"Hey, where-" he began.

A flash of light burst from Mari's hand, blinding him momentarily. As he fumbled
around, she swung the bat, feeling it connect with his head. He dropped like a stone.

She tossed aside the bat and ran out into the apartment, heading for the door.
Unfortunately, she hadn't counted on the second intruder. She ran headlong into him,
startling them both. He recovered first and seized hold of her, one arm across her throat
and the other pinning her right arm behind her back.

"You're a resourceful little bitch, I'll give you that," a cruel voice hissed in her
ear. "You just weren't resourceful enough."

_He's got a mental shield!_ her mind wailed. _Oh shit! What do I do NOW?_

The other one staggered out of her room, holding a hand to his head.

"Good. You caught her," he said, smirking unpleasantly. Mari gasped as she
saw his face clearly. It was the young Quarryman from the park. He snickered.

"So, you thought you could betray humanity and get away with it?" He drew the
quarryhammer from his belt. "I'm going to enjoy this..."

Mari went very still, her mind planning every instant of the next few seconds.
He approached her, the head of his hammer starting to glow.

Closer...closer...there! Lighting-fast, her foot shot out, catching him hard in the
crotch. In almost the same instant, she reached up and yanked the other man's arm
away; twirling and bringing the heel of her hand up to strike his jaw, hard. He fell and lay
still. Mari stumbled away, trying again for the door. Before she could go more than a
few steps, she felt a hand grab the end of her braid and painfully yank her back. Using
the only weapon she had left, Mari opened her mouth and screamed loudly, praying
someone could hear her.

*****************************

Brooklyn flew off from Elisa's apartment, giving a parting wave to Elisa and Goliath. He
was wondering where to go next when a piercing scream interrupted his musings. He
dove towards the source of the disturbance, an apartment a floor down and three doors
over from Elisa's. She'd pointed it out to him earlier as Mari's.

He landed on the small balcony and looked through the open windows to see a
Quarryman holding a glowing hammer over a pale-faced, terrified woman who had futilely
raised her hands to ward off the blow.

Brooklyn gave a snarl of pure rage and dived at the attacker, knocking him on
his back and sending his hammer clattering uselessly to the floor.

"Leave her alone!" His eyes blazed white fire.

"Monster!" the Quarryman cried. He squirmed away and dived for his hammer.

"Oh no, you don't!" the girl cried out.

Brooklyn gasped as the hammer flew away from the young man and into
Mari's hands. She walked towards him with it raised menacingly.

"Now go," she said, in a voice that shook with rage, "take your friend, go, and
never come back, or so help me, I'll-"

"You...you're as unnatural as him!" He backed away nervously as Mari's grip
visibly tightened on the hammer. Brooklyn moved to stand by her side, placing a
supportive hand on her shoulder.

"You heard the lady," Brooklyn hissed, "she wants you to leave."

Something about the way he clenched and unclenched his talons made the
Quarryman feel the need to depart...immediately. He quickly hauled his companion to a
flitter on the balcony and took off.

The light faded from Brooklyn's eyes as he looked back to Mari. A force
seemed to drain from her, transforming her from an avenging goddess to a young
and confused woman. She stared at the hammer in her hands, horrified.

"Mariana?"

"I could have killed him," she said, softly. "I- I almost killed him. I wanted...I
actually wanted to... to..." She threw the hammer away with a cry and buried her face in
her hands, sobbing.

"Oh no, don't cry...please don't cry." Brooklyn took her into his arms, stroking
her hair in an awkward attempt to comfort her. "I don't know how to deal with this... really,
it's all right. You're safe now, those creeps are gone and they're not coming back." She
clung to him, her face pressed against his shoulder, still weeping. He rocked her gently,
starting to panic.

Here was a very different situation then what he was used to. _Screaming
about "demons" and "monsters" might hurt, but I can handle that. On the other hand,
this..._"You didn't kill anyone. It's okay."

"But...but I could have! You don't understand! I almost did it _again_..." her
muffled voice babbled back at him.

_Again?_ "Shh...You didn't, that's the important thing. It's okay...I understand.
You were scared and angry and confused. It happens to everyone. It's going to be all
right, Mariana. Just calm down, okay? You'll be fine...you'll be fine."

His words seemed to be having some effect on her. She took a deep breath
and released her arms from around his neck. "Good...now take another couple of
breaths...all right..." He patted her back. "Okay. It's all right. Feel a little better now,
Mariana?" She nodded against his shoulder.

"How...how do you know my name? Did Elisa tell you?"

_Huh? She knows that Elisa knows us? How..._ "Yeah. She asked us to keep
an eye on you. My name is Brooklyn."

Mari gave voice to a shaky laugh. "That was nice of her. It turned out to be a
pretty good idea, apparently..."

Brooklyn gave a slightly relieved smile. "You weren't doing too badly defending
yourself, you know. I'm assuming you knocked that other guy out?"

She stepped back and gave a tiny smile. "Yeah." She paused and stared at
him for a moment. "No, Elisa didn't tell me about you. She doesn't know that I know."

"How did you know that I-" _Oh no, not another half-faerie...please, please not
another one..._

"Have you ever heard of something called psychometry?" He shook his head,
mystified. "Um, it means that I can touch people and objects and get impressions about
them. That's how I knew about you and Elisa, although...I expected you to be taller and,
uh, lavender?"

_She saw Goliath?_ "You can read people's thoughts?" he asked, starting to
feel distinctly nervous. _What else does she see...?_

"No, it's all right. Don't worry, I can't read any of your secrets! I'm just reading
the surface emotions. You got really confused after I asked you about Elisa and just now,
you got kind of worried. Elisa was thinking very strongly about gargoyles so when she
envisioned you, I saw you too. I promise, I can't read thoughts and I don't really want to.
Everybody has their secrets."

"Apparently, you've got a few more than the average human," murmured
Brooklyn. She gave him a sheepish grin. "Are you part fay or something?"

"As far as I know, I'm completely human. There have been others in my family
with magic, but none of us know where it came from."

"So what else can you do, aside from reading emotions and making things...
fly?"

"Well, I can heal, create light, uh, talk to animals...that's about it."

"That's...impressive. How did you learn all that?"

"I didn't. I was born with my powers and learned to focus and control them.
Some of my ancestors were burned as witches and my family has always been
considered, well, 'different', so I learned to keep my abilities a secret." Her voice became
sad. "If they," she gestured to the window, indicating the rest of the world, "knew about
me, they'd use those hammers on me too. I'm just as much of a 'monster' as you are,
right?"

Brooklyn clasped her hand, feeling a sudden kinship with the girl. "Well, us
monsters have to stick together, right?"

She smiled. "Right." She sighed. "You know, I swore I was never going to use
my powers to hurt another person after the first time."

"Mariana, it's all right. You didn't have much of a choice. What happened the
first time?"

"I...I was incredibly stupid." She shook her head. "I used my magic to play a
prank on a girl who bullied everyone in our high school. It got out of hand, and she nearly
died...all because of me! I can't be responsible for something like that again. I had no
_right_ to use witchcraft for such a petty reason!"

"I know lots of people who would have used it for that purpose and it wouldn't
have disturbed them at all," Brooklyn remarked mildly.

"Well, I'm not like other people, Brooklyn! Magic isn't for hurting! It's got to be
for something greater...a more noble purpose. I don't know what, but I know that mere
revenge _isn't_ it."

Brooklyn nodded and laughed. "You are one odd little human, Mariana, but I like
you."

"Thanks. I like you too, Brooklyn, " she impulsively hugged him, "and the
name's Mari, to my friends."

"Mari...that's pretty," he said, startled by the hug. _She's _really_ not insecure
about gargoyles at all, is she?_

"Oh!" She gave a sweet smile. "Thanks." She turned her head and a shaft of
moonlight fell across her features, illuminating them clearly for the first time. Brooklyn
looked over her visage and did a double take.

_That face...there's no way she could be...she's got to be a descendant! This
isn't possible...but she looks just like..._ "Princess Katherine?" he gasped.

"Who?"

"This is incredible, but, you...you look just like the ruler of the castle where I
was hatched. Her name was Katherine. Princess Katherine of Wyvern."

"Wyvern? Wyvern, Scotland?" Brooklyn nodded. "That- that's where my family
comes from...this is getting weird."

"You're telling me?" He shook his head in disbelief. "You could easily pass as
her twin sister!"

"Is it possible that I'm a descendent? Did she have any children? Was _she_
a witch? How long ago was this, anyway?"

Brooklyn held up his hands, warding off the onslaught of questions. "I don't
think she had any magic or children. It all happened a little over a thousand years ago."

Mari's eyes widened. "You-you're a thousand years old? But...you don't look
too much older than me!"

"My clan was asleep for most of that time."

"Huh?"

"It's a really long story."

_And he won't have much time to tell it, Mari. It'll be dawn soon._ Brooklyn
looked up as the voice issued out of nowhere. A small cat bounded through the shadows
and leapt into Mari's arms. She nuzzled the girl affectionately. _Thank the Lady you're all
right._ She looked over at the gargoyle. _Who's your new friend?_

"Your cat can...talk," Brooklyn said carefully.

"Uh, yeah. This is Wyvern. Wyvern, this is Brooklyn."

"And she talks."

_It doesn't take him long to get his mind around an idea, does it?_ Wyvern
asked.

"Wyv, don't start, please. It's been a weird night for all concerned."

"Yes. Yes, it has," Brooklyn agreed. He felt millions of questions bubbling up
inside of him, but an inner sense warned him that it was going to be a few hours at least
before they could be answered. "So, how do you do...Wyvern?"

Mari grinned at his tone. "Wyvern is my best friend. We've been together for a
long time. She can talk to anyone she wants to. I have no idea why or how."

_Now, a cat doesn't have to tell _all_ her secrets, Mari. You know that._
Wyvern shot a look at Brooklyn. _Is he okay? He looks sort of dazed._

"I-I...this is far more than I was expecting," said Brooklyn. "Wyvern is right, I do
have to go soon. May I come back tomorrow night, Mari?"

"Oh, of course. You're welcome here, anytime. What with saving my life and
all, I believe I can count you as a friend." She touched his arm and smiled. "Do you mind
if I tell Elisa that I've met you?"

"Go ahead." He turned to the sliding doors and stopped. "It was, uh, nice to
meet you, Mari."

She chuckled and gave him another quick hug. "Yeah, the feeling's mutual.
Bye, Brooklyn. I'll see you tomorrow night." They stepped out onto her small balcony
together.

"Goodbye, Mari." He leapt from the edge and soared off over the city. Mari
watched, an enchanted expression on her face, until he was lost to sight. She walked
back to her bedroom to change out of her nightclothes and straighten out her tangled
hair. Then she picked up Wyvern and left her apartment to talk to Elisa. They got onto
the elevator. Wyvern turned her face up to Mari's.

_So, have you figured out how you're going to word it?_ she asked.

"Well, not quite, but I'll think of something. I always do, right?"

The elevator dinged, stopping at Elisa's floor. The girl and cat stepped off and
walked to the detective's door.

_After this, who knows what's next?_ Mari thought, knocking. A slow grin
spread across her face.

Anything might happen...anything at all.