Signs of Destiny, Part #2
CASTLE WYVERN. -
Goliath awoke with a bone-chilling roar, scattering stone chips along the ground. The rest of the clan also burst awake, each of them roaring and snarling as they yawned and stretched to greet the night, but as before they turned to stare at Brooklyn, still amazed by his presence. Goliath barely noticed as Elisa and Xanatos arrived.
*Broadway stepped up to Brooklyn. "Who are you?" he asked suspiciously.
"Awe, c'mon, it's me! Brooklyn!" the red gargoyle said. "We're rookery brothers, remember?"
"You can't possibly be!" Broadway looked at him directly but somehow still wasnt ready to believe his own eyes. "You're too old to be my rookery brother!"
"Hey, I can prove it! Remember when we first woke up in Manhattan, that night you, me and Lex were out on the town and Lex went joy-riding on that motorcycle and accidentally smashed it into that brick wall?"
Goliath scowled. "You did what?"
"He has to be Brooklyn!" Lexington was hopping from foot to foot, too excited to notice his clan leader's disapproving look. "We swore never to tell anyone about that!" He threw his arms wide and found himself eagerly embraced. Broadway finally grinned and swept them both up into a bear hug. The rookery brothers were soon thumping each other on the back and laughing.
Everyone else stood back and watched as the Trio had their little reunion. It was almost too much to take in. Xanatos turned to see Goliath's reaction. The gargoyle leader looked almost panic-stricken for some reason.
In the excitement, the little gargoyle beast got away from the male hatchling and danced around Bronx's feet. The older gargoyle beast sniffed the smaller creature, roughly a third of his own size, and pinned it down with one massive foot. It yipped as Bronx proceeded to give it a thorough bath with his rough tongue.
"Hey!" the boy gargoyle protested, "Leave him alone!" He tried pulling Bronx off his pet but he underestimated the big beast. Bronx neatly tripped the youngster and sat on him without missing a lick.
"Oooomph! Somebody's been getting extra helpings of kibble!" he complained as he tried in vain to free himself. He glared at his giggling sister. "The least you could do is help, Ari-chan!"
Hudson smiled indulgently and came over to lend a hand. "Get off, Bronx. Ye'll flatten the lad." He smacked the gargoyle beast on the flank and Bronx obediently moved aside. The old gargoyle helped the youngster up. "They call me Hudson. What's yuir name, lad?"
"Graeme." He thrust a thumb over his shoulder. "And the gigglepuss over there is my nee-chan, Ariana."
Nee-chan? Hudson repeated, puzzled.
Oh. Sorry. That just means big sister in Japanese, Graeme explained. Shes older than me by a few hours.
Ah, said Hudson.
Bronx finally let the little beast up. After a good shake it promptly came over to sniff Hudson's leggings. He chuckled and bent down to scratch his ears, watching his stub tail twirl around like a propeller. "And does this wee rascal have a name?"
"Not yet," Graeme admitted. "I'm waiting to find just the right one."
"I still like 'Fu-dog,'" Ariana said, as she came a little closer and looked shyly at Hudson. "It's cute."
Graeme snorted. "And I still say it sounds like it came from a really cheap Japanese cartoon."
"You LIKE cheap Japanese cartoons!"
"Yeah, but --"
"Now, now," Hudson chided. "His name will come to ye sooner or later. Until then, I know many things about gargoyle beasts." He patted Bronx's broad head, nodding encouragingly as Ariana reached out to scratch behind one of the older beast's bat-winged ears. "Ask me anything." The old gargoyle smiled indulgently as both hatchlings began to chatter away at him.
The Trio were still reminiscing about old times when Xanatos couldn't stand the suspense any more and interrupted. "Brooklyn," he began, "What happened to you?"
"And are you going to introduce us?" Fox added, glancing at the female gargoyles standing at Brooklyn's side, silently studying them all. The jade female seemed protective of the younger white female.
"Well, the long and the short of it is that the Phoenix Gate decided to take me on an extended vacation," Brooklyn said with a laugh. He smiled at the white female and held out his hand to her. "I went to more places and times than I care to remember but the most important ones were the trips to 16th century Ishimura where I met Katana, my mate, and her mother, Sata," he squeezed her hand, "and the future where my children Graeme and Ariana were hatched." He looked proudly at Katana and at the children who were talking to Hudson. "This is my family."
"Your family?" Goliath asked, clearly shaken.
"Yes, Goliath. I've been gone a long time." He laughed. "I know that only five minutes passed for you here, but I've been traveling for twenty years."
"We have been traveling, Brooklyn-san," Sata spoke for the first time, her voice low and gentle but tempered with steel. "Might we know your clan?"
Katana smiled at him.
Brooklyn smiled sheepishly. "Of course. Me and my gajin manners again, sorry." He introduced his family to the various members of the Manhattan Clan, the Xanatos family and Elisa. When he came to Goliath, both Sata and Katana bowed deeply from the waist and held out their sheathed katanas.
"Kon-bon wa, Goliath-sama. I offer my sword in service of the clan," said Sata.
I too offer my sword in service of the clan, Goliath-Sama, Katana echoed warmly, also speaking for the first time. Her voice was similar to Satas but it was gentler, softer.
Goliath glanced at Brooklyn, who nodded. "I accept, Sata, and Katana was it?
The female nodded.
Goliath continued. I am honored, Katana, Sata. Please be welcome in our clan." He returned their bows with one of his own.
Sata nodded respectfully and returned her katana to her belt with her shorter wakizashi sword. Katana did the same. "Arigato goziamasu, Goliath-sama.
Katana smiled up at him, a somewhat knowing look in her eyes. My children and I are glad to finally meet all of you. Brooklyn has told us many stories of his clan," she glanced at her mate and smiled, "so many, in fact, that I feel I know you very well."
"Hoo boy," Broadway said, making a face. "Only good stories, I hope."
Brooklyn and Katana looked at each other and laughed.
Lexington couldn't help it; he simply had to ask a question. "Where'd you pick up your pet?" The little creature was scampering from person to person, sniffing and yipping excitedly.
"Somewhere in ancient China," Graeme answered, picking up the small beast. "Don't know exactly when."
Brooklyn winked at him. "Any other questions?"
"Well, um, Brooklyn, what exactly happened to you?" Elisa asked, holding a stack of papers in one hand while maintaining her hold on Goliaths large hand with another. "You look different."
Brooklyn shrugged. "I don't remember much about the trip except that the Phoenix Gate sort of . . . grabbed me and threw me around the time stream. I went all over the world and beyond, but that's a story for another day. It may have taken me twenty years, but I'm home now." The clan looked at each other in mild concern as what he said sunk in. "Guys! I'm really not any different!" Brooklyn laughed. "Just older!"
"What do you mean, 'you don't remember anything?'" Lexington asked quizzically.
"That's exactly what I mean, Lex. I don't remember anything except a few shattered fragments about Sata, Katana and the kids." He looked at Goliath. "And you."
Goliath and the others blinked. "How . . ." Goliath began, but Lexington cut him off.
"Yeah but...." Lexington abruptly turned to Sata, Katana, Graeme, and Ariana. "Do any of you remember anything?" he asked.
Graeme and Ariana looked up at their mother as she put a hand on each of their shoulders. "No, Lexington-san, I'm afraid not," Katana answered calmly. "It is odd, but after many trips through the Gate, one's memories become clouded. A strange phenomena, but one to which we've grown accustomed."
Lexington scratched his head in puzzlement. Their answers didn't make sense but he decided to let the subject drop. For now.
So, how old are your kids now, Brooklyn? Elisa asked. They dont look much older than ten years.
Yeah, agreed Fox. That would mean you had to have met Katana immediately into your journey wouldnt it?
Theyre actually nine years old now, Brooklyn explained a little uneasily. And no, I didnt meet Katana immediately into the journey. I didnt meet her until . . . uh, almost five years after I started, I think.
Truly? wondered Hudson, surprised. But, gargoyle eggs . . .
Take ten years to hatch, I know, Brooklyn said. But . . . these two didnt take that long. In fact, they only took a year to hatch. We really cant explain how that happened except that maybe the magic of the gate sped things along, but thats just an assumption.
No way! Lexington cried. Thats impossible! Howd they survive? I mean, theyre only nine! Thats like, a humans age!
Ariana frowned. So? Were still old enough!
Now, now, Ari-chan, Sata chided gently. If were right, your aging rate will slow as you grow older.
Is that a guess too, then? wondered Xanatos.
Brooklyn sighed. Unfortunately, yes. Ive had a few other guesses about what caused their early hatching but Ive never been able to find out for sure. He shrugged and knelt down to tickle Ariana. But, I guess it doesnt matter. Its just good being a dad. Neh, Ari-chan? Eh? Eh?
Ariana squirmed and giggled as Brooklyn tickled her sides.
Hah! Ari-chans still ticklish! Graeme laughed, and promptly received a sharp rap over the head from Arianas bo-staff.
So are you, doofus! And I know youre really secret spot!
Hey! Graeme retorted, rubbing his head.
Sata cleared her throat impatiently and the two children stood straighter and tempered their spirits immediately.
Gomen, baa-san, they chimed together, and everyone else just looked at each other, hardly sure how to take everything that theyd heard.
"Tell you what, Brooklyn. Let's take Sata, Katana and the kids on a quick flight around Manhattan," Broadway said good-naturedly, trying to brighten the atmosphere around them. "Show them your old stomping grounds."
Brooklyn fingered the pouch on his belt. "Well . . . I don't know."
"Tou-san? Can we?" Graeme asked excitedly.
"Please?" Ariana chimed in.
"Dinner won't be ready for another hour," Fox said. "We thought we'd make an occasion out of it. Owen has the kitchen staff making all your favorites."
"That's nice of you and Xanatos, thanks!" Brooklyn looked into the anxious faces of his children. "Well, okay then. We can go just as soon as I check something."
Brooklyn opened his belt pouch and pulled out the Phoenix Gate, twinkling eerily in the moonlight. "Hmmm . . ." he said thoughtfully, holding it between his palms. "It seems to be inactive at the moment."
A thought occurred to Elisa and she walked over to Brooklyn, putting a hand on his shoulder. "This isn't over for you yet, is it?" she asked softly. He met her eyes for a few seconds and then looked uncomfortably away.
"We do not know, Elisa-san," Sata answered for her daughters mate. "The Gate sends us where and when by its choice, not ours."
"Like all of Avalon's magic," Angela said. "It sends you where you need to be."
"I'm glad it sent us here, for however long that might be," Brooklyn said, smiling back at them all. "It's great to see everyone in the clan back together again." A shadow crossed over his face and he stared sadly at the worn talisman in his hands.
Goliath stepped closer for a better look. Upon closer inspection, he could see that the Gate looked very fragile, cracked and pitted in many places. "May I see it?" he asked. "It seems changed from the last time I saw it."
"Sure, but be careful. It's gotten pretty erratic lately." Brooklyn held it out as Goliath reached to take it.
At the moment that both the present and future clan leader touched it, a bright crack like a lightning bolt opened on the surface of the Phoenix Gate. Goliath and Brooklyn jumped back and the magical talisman fell to the flagstones, smashing into powder on impact. Brooklyn's family huddled around him, staring at the shattered artifact.
"Tou-san?" Ariana asked in a tiny voice. "Is it over?"
Brooklyn nodded and tucked his daughter into the crook of his arm. "We're here to stay, sweetheart."
Relieved, the time-dancing gargoyles turned away to join the others for the tour of the city as Xanatos and family returned inside to prepare for the coming banquet. An errant breeze stirred the pile of ashes, swirling the loose particles on top until they resembled a cloud of black smoke, drifting away into the late autumn sky. Owen came out with a dustpan and brush, scooping up the remains of the Phoenix Gate. He stood and started to go back inside when he abruptly stopped in mid-step. Dipping thumb and forefinger into the ash, Owen carefully rubbed a small bit between his fingers and sniffed it, the wrinkles in his forehead deepening.
A rumble of thunder caught his attention. Owen looked out towards the coming storm on the horizon and frowned.
* * * * *
"C'mon, Tou-san!!" Graeme yelled, standing with his sister on the castle wall.
Brooklyn had the empty pouch in which he'd carried the Phoenix Gate in his hand, looking at it with an expression of relief and regret. "Just a minute, Graeme," he said absently.
"How's about I look after the kids?" Lexington volunteered. "I'll keep them out of trouble."
"Well, I guess that's all right. Thanks, Lex." He yelled at the twins. "You mind your Uncle Lex! Understand?" Brooklyn waved at them, smiling as Lexington took the two kids out gliding ahead of the others.*
Katana smiled and wrapped her arms around him. It is good to know he has a bright future, is it not?
He turned and nuzzled their beaks together. Yeah, it is. He closed his eyes and stroked her cheek. Yknow, I dont deserve you.
Katana raised an eyebrow ridge. "This is very true."
From the topmost part of the tower, Goliath watched the pair with a scowl. It was nice to know Lexington had a bright future? What was that supposed to mean? Was the dream Puck had cursed him with coming true, or was reality stranger than his imaginings? It probably wouldnt have bothered him so much if Brooklyn hadnt returned looking like he was now. Now that he thought about it, Brooklyn also said earlier that he was glad to see the clan back together again. Did that mean the clan would break apart, or did it mean something else entirely?
Goliath growled in irritation. He was not in the mood for this.
Goliath turned at the sound of the voice, only barely aware of the light footfalls of his human love. "Elisa . . ." he said almost absently, turning as he stepped down to enfold her with his wings.
"Are you going to be all right?" Elisa asked as she wrapped her arms around his massive waist.
Goliath sighed. "I am beginning to wonder," he said softly. "That nightmare on Avalon suddenly seems far too real for me, and now the appearance of the journal . . .
Elisa blinked up at him. Journal?
. . . and the news broadcast last night with that human, Lyath Wyvern, Goliath continued, not hearing Elisas question. This new museum and the gargoyle artifacts they claim to possess . . . It is like a puzzle being put together before my eyes but I cannot identify the pieces. He shook his head. I dont understand what is happening.
"Well, I don't know about the rest of that, but I can help a little with the Wyvern family part, Elisa told him as she reached up really reached up to caress his cheek. I brought some stuff youll want to see. Theres even video footage of the Quarrymens attempted break-in last night.
Goliath rumbled in his chest.
*"Hey, lovebirds!" Broadway bellowed, and Goliath and Elisa turned to him in surprise. "Yeah, all four o' ya! You coming or what? Brooklyn, your kids are halfway across town!"
"Oh, yeah . . ." Brooklyn said with a laugh. "We'd better catch up to the kids before Lex tells them about the Brooklyn Bridge."
"Why is that, Anata?"
"Oh, let's just say I kind of stretched the truth a bit."
Katana gave him a puzzled look as they leaped off the castle wall after the others. Though distracted, Goliath followed and carried Elisa in his arms.*
Throughout most of the tour, Goliath remained quiet. His face remained in a tight, troubled frown. The past few days, everything happened as if on cue. It was no coincidence, but it was still unsettling. Who or what was trying to get his attention?
I sensed the flare in the Phoenix Gates power before I even realized what it was. I felt its power as Owen did, and I have never been sensitive to magic before. What is different now?
Sighing, Goliath landed with the clan at the clock tower as they continued their tour. There were many memories in this place, some good and some bad. Some of the most recent involved an attack by the Quarrymen while he and Elisa were out on their first real date, or when hed come here alone to gather his thoughts when even the silence of the library was not enough for his troubled mind, but at the moment it was not a welcome sight. Hed seen the clock tower destroyed in that dream months before it even happened. That was a prophecy that came true. Brooklyns armor seemed to be another prophecy coming true, but exactly what that prophecy was, he didnt know yet.
Still, looking around the place filled him remorse. So much of what had been their livelihood was gone; the kitchen where Broadway had kept his snacks and made their meals, the spot in the center of the tower where Hudson lounged in his chair with the television set, and the small library near the stairs where both he and Lexington often spent time reading. It was all gone, even their old perches.
Goliath leaned against a pillar of metal sticking out of the ground and looked up at the high ceiling, now a piece of disheveled rubble that leaned to one side, no longer the majestic collection of arches that Goliath had grown to admire. He could see the sky through the holes where the stone roof collapsed long ago. The stars twinkled in such a way that he felt compelled to join them. He even thought he heard them speaking to him as well. Many of the books he read stated that many of the stars in the sky are not actually stars, but rather other planets and galaxies shining billions of miles away. It was a new mind boggling concept to him, and either way, the stars always seemed out of reach.
"Goliath . . ."
Goliath started and straightened, looking around quickly. He didn't recognize the voice, but he heard it as plainly as if it came from someone standing right next to him.
"Hey, Goliath!" Brooklyn called suddenly, and Goliath jumped.
"Brooklyn! Och, don't do that!" Goliath barked, feeling like an idiot.
Brooklyn chuckled as he landed beside his leader. "Sorry. Getting a little spacey again, huh?"
Goliath studied Brooklyn a moment, and then looked at the remains of the clock tower. "Just . . . thinking."
Brooklyn studied him carefully, a strange look in his eye. "Maybe we can talk about it later?" he suggested, his tone strange, as if he knew something Goliath didn't.
Goliath eyed him a moment then nodded. "Agreed," he said, and after rejoining the others and lifting Elisa into his arms, he turned to leap off the building to glide towards home, Brooklyn following right behind him.
*After leaving the ruined clock tower, the clan soared down over the mall that Brooklyn, Angela, and Broadway had been to the night before. Brooklyn grinned and soared downward. Everyone followed in puzzlement to find the red gargoyle breaking into the pretzel stand. Brooklyn tossed some coins down and took two pretzels out of the stand. He crooked a finger at his children.
"Do you remember what I said we'd do if we ever came to this time?"
Graeme and Ariana said nothing but began to grin in anticipation.
Brooklyn laughed and handed them the treats. "Eat up, kids. These are the best pretzels in the world!" The twins gobbled up the pretzels, making satisfied noises and licking the salt off their fingers.
Elisa, who still resided in Goliath's arms, smiled up at her love, but there was a strange sadness to that smile.
Sata sighed. "Brooklyn-san," she said in mild exasperation, "You will spoil their appetites for dinner!"
He arched an eyebrow ridge at her. "And feeding them raw octopus in Tokyo didn't?" Katana rolled her eyes at them both and Brooklyn chuckled as he turned back to the twins. "Well, kids? What do you think?"
"I don't know, Dad..." Ariana started and Graeme finished, "I think we like pizza better."
"Eeew," Lexington commented.
"All this talk of food is making me hungry! Come on, everybody! We don't want to be late for dinner!" Broadway said cheerfully. He took Angela's hand and vaulted off a wall. The rest of the clan took off after them. Brooklyn and Katana were the last to leave. Sata hovered above them protectively, watching them. It was a moment frozen in time for Brooklyn.
"You know, Katana, the last time I was here, I was feeling sorry for myself and wishing there was a way to make my dreams come true."
Smiling, Katana eased under his arm. "And did they?"
He rubbed his brow ridges against hers. "You know they did."*
Above them, Goliath observed their happiness with a frown and wondered what it was he was dreading.
* * * * *
CASTLE WYVERN -
*"Is everything ready?" David Xanatos asked his aide Owen Burnett impatiently, tapping his foot on the floor.
"Yes, we wouldn't want to have an empty table for our guests when they arrive," Fox said, coming from the nursery where she had put Alex to bed. Her dress was fresh off the catwalk from Milan, her perfume custom-blended to accentuate her own pheromones, and her ensemble's total effect would put the average man into heart palpitations. Fortunately, her above-average husband, darkly handsome in a tailored tuxedo, matched her nicely.
"Everything is prepared, Mr. Xanatos. I've just finished seeing the last of the kitchen staff out," Owen replied coolly. He had changed from his workday suit to the proper tie and tails of a butler. He glanced up, eyes mildly unfocused.
"Your guests are returning, sir."
Goliath and the others landed softly on the parapet nearest the Xanatos private apartments. The French doors were slightly ajar and all the gargoyles smelled the aroma of the banquet waiting for them. Xanatos always went all-out when he entertained, whether his guests were fellow Illuminati, business tycoons or gargoyles. This occasion was no exception. The dining hall was displayed with the best china, polished silver and candelabras covered with candles.
"Come in," Xanatos called out as he seated Fox, "You're just in time." He sat down at the head of the table, smiling like a cat that ate the canary.
The clan was shocked for a moment then they all took their places, letting Brooklyn and his family sit near Xanatos. They were, after all, the guests of honor. As Xanatos and Fox chatted with Brooklyn about what happened, Owen politely and efficiently served everyone. He stood a respectful distance from the table, the image of the perfect servant, but his sharp ears and eyes took in everything.
"Interesting," Xanatos commented after Brooklyn finished his story, "I knew the Phoenix Gate had power, but . . . It's too bad it had to be destroyed--err, I mean--"
"David!" Fox glared down the length of the table.
All the gargoyles looked between their host and hostess with expressions of worry and concern. Although the clan accepted Xanatos's offer of sanctuary, they never forgot his betrayal so soon after their awakening in Manhattan.
"I mean . . . it's a shame that the magic of the Gate was destroyed in the process." Everyone let out a sigh of relief and Xanatos attempted to change the subject. "So, Brooklyn, has Goliath thought of any changes?"
"I'm not sure what you mean," Brooklyn answered in puzzlement.
"Did he say anything about stepping down?" This caused quite a commotion in the dining hall.
"You mean Brooklyn would be the leader?"
"I don't understand!"
"Okay, okay. Everyone settle down," Xanatos reassured. "I just wanted to ask if Brooklyn would still be second-in-command, now that he's been the head of his own clan for such a long time. Just a thought."
Goliath spoke up then, "It depends on what Brooklyn thinks. I'm open to suggestions."
"Well, I don't think so..."
"But you've been a leader for a long time!" Lexington put in, his mind working now.
"I don't think so, Lex. Goliath will always be my leader, no matter what." Brooklyn looked at Goliath, offering him a meaningful smile. It left Goliath wondering what it was Brooklyn saw in and what he had experienced.
Goliath smiled at his decision. "I'm glad you're not so eager to take over my position," he said. His comment broke the ice that had settled uneasily like fine dust over them all. Everyone had a good laugh and said no more about it. Brooklyn gave a meaningful look at Goliath that had "thanks" written all over it.*
After the exquisite dinner, the Clan thanked their gracious hosts and drifted apart to enjoy their own pursuits. Goliath and Elisa went to the library to have some time alone. Elisa had noticed how disturbed Goliath looked and wanted to know if everything was all right and besides, she still had news to give him.
As they sat down together on the couch, Goliath enfolded Elisa in the length of his wings and held her close.
"Penny for your thoughts?" Elisa asked softly.
Goliath rumbled a sigh. "Im not sure where to begin, beloved. It is a combination of a lot of things, some of which I have already explained to you.
Elisa nodded. The news broadcast and that swordsman, yeah. Why does that bother you so much?
Goliath sighed and hesitated. I . . . am not entirely certain, beloved. Ive just felt something in the air these past few nights and some of what has happened somehow seems to fit with it. I cannot say exactly how or why. Yet, this news of a man who has gargoyle artifacts . . . I find myself wondering if theyve found anything on that which consumes my mind the most.
Like what? Elisa asked and Goliath frowned.
Like there is something I am being called to do, Goliath rumbled thoughtfully. It is as though my clans past is merging with our present. How and why I do not know, but, I feel that those artifacts might hold the answer for me exactly. If I could just see them.
Elisa frowned then stood and went to the table. Goliath watched her in surprise and then followed. Well, heres that information on the Wyvern family I told you Id bring over. Theres nothing of suspicious nature in there at all, unless youre a Quarrymen, but what I was surprised about is the fact that their family history goes all the way back to Castle Wyvern.
Goliath glanced at her in surprise then turned back to the paper work.
Theres hardly any mention of Lady Dragon or Odomus, though, Elisa noted. Lyath Wyverns the one who gets all the page detail. Apparently, hes the one who spearheaded the investigation, the gathering and the display, and or storage, of said gargoyle artifacts, and apparently theyve found a lot. Some seem to have been in their family for ages. Theres paintings, statues . . . all sorts of stuff.
Why were they in New Jersey? Goliath asked somewhat suspiciously.
Something about living in Avalon, Elisa replied thoughtfully. He claims to have lived there with his daughter and son, but no one ever reported seeing them.
Goliath raised an eyebrow ridge at that. It says here Lyath Wyvern is proficient at writing books. Hmmm, it seems they mostly deal with gargoyles.
Elisa nodded. You know, Lex mentioned earlier tonight how odd it was that Lyath Wyverns manor was called The Guardians Manor. It seemed significant to him. Why is that?
Goliath glanced at her. The name Guardian? he asked and she nodded. Its because he is among the first of our ancestors. The Guardian was once the ruler of Atlantis and among the first gargoyles to walk the earth. He led the gargoyle race as a new empire until the destruction of Atlantis, and then, as far as our legends tell us, gargoyle-kind simply split apart and went different ways. Many of the legends say we were once human.
Elisa raised her eyebrows in surprise at that, but Goliath shook his head.
Ive never been entirely certain of the truth behind that myself, honestly, he muttered thoughtfully as he put the files down. I have heard too many stories and too many different interpretations. Where the truth lies has been hidden from us.
That doesnt make it easy, Elisa noted.
Goliath shook his head. No, it does not, he mused and sighed. Still, I would like answers. The Wyvern family seems honorable by all accounts and yet I cant help but be suspicious, particularly of that swordsman.
You mean Kenshin Himura? said Elisa, and Goliath looked at her.
Kenshin Himura, Elisa replied. Hes a long time friend of the Wyvern family, of Lyath Wyvern in particular. Hes older than he looks too. Anyway, hes Japanese and an expert Kempo and Kendo artist, serves as a bodyguard to Lyath Wyvern although Lyath Wyvern looks capable enough to rip a guys arms off if he needed to and hes a working partner for the dojo theyre renovating on the top floor of the building. No one really knows what his sword school is though. Hes never hinted to it or displayed it, but when he does . . . well, the people end up unconscious. Hes fast no one is able to see him move.
Goliath hummed thoughtfully at that. Is he another piece to this large puzzle then?
Elisa shrugged. I have no idea, she said as she wrapped her arms around his waist. All that I found out was what weve talked about and what youve read. All the hints that they share a past with gargoyle clans would seem outrageous to anyone else, but not to us.
Goliath nodded his head in agreement.
Elisa sighed and grew quiet for a moment. "What is it about Brooklyn that worries you so much?"
Goliath looked at her uneasily. I . . . had a nightmare about him and the clans future while journeying through Avalon. He looked somewhat the same as he does now, but Lexington . . . and Broadway . . . He shuddered. It was that nightmare that prompted me to . . . get rid of the Phoenix Gate.
The dream? Elisa questioned. You mean the one Puck gave you to try and get the Phoenix Gate?
Elisa blinked, very surprised. "Do you want to ask him about it? Puck, I mean?"
Goliath shook his head. "No. Not yet at least. I want to make certain first that I am not losing my mind."
Elisa smiled and kissed him. "You? Losing your mind?"
Goliath smiled and embraced her. "Perhaps you're right. Still, I do worry."
Elisa grew thoughtful at his last statement, but said nothing. From that moment on, they simply remained together, enjoying each other's company and neither of them realized that Brooklyn, the new Time Dancer, and his mate Katana, were watching them.
Earlier, they were walking about the castle watching the others as they settled in. Lexington and Graeme were playing computer games together until Graeme and his sister rushed out to the courtyard to play with their pet and Bronx. Brooklyn and Katana watched them along with Sata before going in search of Broadway and Angela, in the kitchen as usual, and then Hudson who resided in the recreation room. All were happy. Yet, as they watched Goliath and Elisa, a strange significance started to burn within them. Pride and concern grasped them. The time stream was changing even now, slowly restoring itself as Goliath's powers rose up from within him, signaling others who knew the signs that his destiny was fast approaching.
"Is it finally over?" Katana asked her mate.
Brooklyn looked into his mate's eyes a moment, then sighed as he turned back to watch Goliath and Elisa. "I don't know, Koishii. For good or for bad, we're here - and the dance goes on." He pulled Katana into an embrace and enfolded her in his wings. "For Goliath, though, it's just beginning."
"How long before it finally happens?" Katana questioned.
"It won't be long now." Brooklyn looked at the table where Elisa left the papers. The clan didn't know it yet, but the Wyvern family was also the clans family.
* * * * *
As dawn approached, all the gargoyles took their places. Goliath took his position at the highest tower and below, Brooklyn helped Katana to the new perch they shared while the twins settled onto theirs. Nudnik, the little beast who had just gotten his new name a short while ago, stayed close to Graeme and squirmed like a mad rat. Sata stood next to Ariana, chatting pleasantly with her. Broadway and Angela found their positions and Hudson adopted his traditional pose with his huge sword held ready to kill. The only one who seemed even a little unhappy was Lexington, although few took real notice of it. He looked away from the others, hiding a tear of loneliness and jealousy as the couples of the clan prepared to roost together.
Brooklyn, however, couldnt help but gloat as he looked up at Goliath just before the sun rose. "Well, Goliath, he called jovially, it looks like I outdid you. On your world tour, you brought back a daughter. I brought a family and a pet to boot."
Goliath's mouth twisted into a grin. He was beginning to see that this was indeed the Brooklyn of last night and every night before. His attitude would never change . . . hopefully. However, there were still so many unanswered questions--questions that Brooklyn apparently didn't want answered until later. In time, the clan might learn exactly what happened on his trips. It is better not to force the information out of him, Goliath thought, looking down on the happy Brooklyn and his family. The clan would know of Brooklyn's travels through time soon enough.
Sighing, Goliath knelt at his post to await the dawn and granted Elisa a good-day kiss. She gave his hand a squeeze before stepping back . . . and then the suns warmth brushed his flesh briefly before he solidified into stone.
AUTHORS NOTE; So, did anyone figure out who the swordsman was before I literally named him in this chapter? If youre an anime freak, you would have. ^_~
Things to remember though; Anata means beloved in Japanese, so does Koishii. Anata is spoken by the wife and Kioishii is spoken by the husband. Tou-san means dad or father, Kaa-san means mother. Daijoubu is Are you alright, Its alright and so forth.