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Memories of Love
Not that long ago I made mention of a couple comic book pages I found (page 1, page 2) somewhere or other, and how much they bothered me.  Bothered me because the things this fictional (for a given value of it, given the nature of the mutliverse) Elisa said were things I'd used as excuses to myself, before I changed.  The conversation between her and her version of Goliath reminded me of one my Goliath and I had.

It was about a month after I'd been changed into a Gargoyle...

Following what might have been called an extensive two-week bootcamp, learning how to climb, glide, fight, and not trip over my own tail under the alternating tutilage of Hudson and Goliath, I started joining the Clan in doing patrols of the city.  Always sticking close to Goliath.  He was a rock of certainty, such a solid presence when everything else had gone all crazy on me.  I was still very confused by what had happened to me, even if I had tried to make something positive of it.

A whole month.  I'd gone a whole month without seeing the sun.  A whole month of turning to stone.  A month of wings, a tail, talons, fangs, and glowing eyes.  Of senses that were so much stronger than the human ones I'd had that sometimes it threatened sensory overload. 

At least the nightmares had passed.

It was also a month of awkwardness.  Goliath and I... there'd been plenty of moments of stares that had gone on too long.  Of awkward silences.  Of nearly saying something, but instead saying nothing at all.  Of pretending their wasn't anything either of us wanted to talk about.

So it was that one night, after the Trio had already left on their patrol route, that I stopped Goliath before we left for ours.  "Goliath," I said, "we need to talk.  About us."

Goliath looked away, clearly uncomfortable.  "I do not understand."

"Don't play dumb with me," I snapped.  "You know what I'm talking about.  I still remember what you said that night.  You said I was beautiful."

"Elisa, I am not certain this is appropriate..."

"Dammit, Goliath, we are having this conversation."

"Very well," he rumbled.  He was still uncomfortable, but saw no way out.  It was fairer that way, considering I felt the same.

"Good," I said.  "Now tell me, please, how do you feel about me?"

"You are a friend and valued member of this Clan, Elisa.  And were even before recent events.  There is no one in this world I trust more.  It is only with your help that we have even survived in this world.  Your bravery, your loyalty, your intelligence, you have a great number of qualities anyone would admire."

Great.  This was a pattern of behavior I recognized all too well.  Going well out of his way to avoid talking about something.  Well, he wasn't getting away with it.

"You know that's not what I'm talking about.  Goliath, how do you feel about me?"

"Elisa, I have already..."

"Do you love me?"

Goliath looked away.  "I have been... reluctant to have this conversation.  Even now, I am unsure it feels propper to me.  Your life has been torn from you, turned upside down.  To presume anything, to even approach the subject..."

"You didn't want to seem like you were taking advantage of me.  It's sweet, Big Guy.  Really.  But I'm ready for this."

I took a deep breath.  "Because I know I'm in love with you."

"You... are?"

"Almost from the moment we met.  Please, please don't take this the wrong way..."  I looked away from him this time, ashamed.  "But I tried to deny that.  Tried to convince myself that there could never be anything between us.  Until last month, I could at least hide behind the idea that you probably didn't feel anything like that for me but..."

"Then you know," he said.  "You know that I love you as well."

"Is it...  is it only because of this?  Would you still love me, really love me, if I became human again?"

"Would you?"

"I...  I don't know," I admited.  "There's a part of me that wants a normal life.  A house.  A white picket fence.  Barbeques on Sunday afternoons.  Children."

I kept going.  "And then there's the part of me that doesn't.  That says 'to hell with it.'  Screw the details.  Find a way to make it work."

And I kept on.  "And then... then there's one more part."

"What?" Goliath prompted.

"Before I say... Please, answer me this: would you want me to stay like this?"

He shook his head.  "I admit, I find your form pleasing to the eye.  And I have no small measure of delight that you might truly share these nights with us.  But I have seen the pain you have endured, and I would do anything to spare you that pain. Some small, selfish part of me does desire that you remain as you are.  But what I want is immaterial.  I only want you to be happy.  And to know that whatever form you take, I will always love you."

I pulled him closer to me, rested my head on his chest.  "Just what I'd hoped you'd say.  Goliath, both of us have to face facts.  This is permanent.  I'm a Gargoyle now and nothing can change that.  Maybe this is just fate's way of helping us to be together."

"Elisa...  But this life you desire..."

"My life stopped being normal the day I fell of a castle on a skyscraper and had a Gargoyle swoop down to rescue me.  It was never going to be normal, no matter what else happened."

I looked up, into his face.  "I don't know what's going to happen to me, Big Guy.  But I know I want to go through it with you."

He leaned closer and I pulled him into a kiss.  It was strange, almost awkward, and when we broke away, he seemed confused.  "What was...?"

An amused grin split my face.  "It's called a kiss, Goliath.  Don't you..."

He shook his head.  "No.  Gargoyles prefer to stroke each other's hair or horns, or rub browridges..."

"You mean every time you've touched my hair you've been..."

"Elisa!  I..."

"I'm teasing.  C'mon...  We've got places to be tonight.  And I do mean we."

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"Between you having a guy like Goliath, and me having a guy like Ben, I'd say we've been pretty lucky."

"We definitely did, Faye. Definitely," Elisa says, with a smile. Not to mention both of them having their guys around when everything went to hell in their lives.

"Been alright, Elisa?" No doubt they would still be in bad shape if it wasn't for them.

"Well enough, Faye," Elisa says. "Waging what almost amounts to a war and keeping up our regular protection is just starting to wear us all down, I think."

"But how are you doing?"

She fidgets. "...Better. Ben helped me move to his apartment, and we kept each other company. ...Anything I can do?"

Gargoyle Kakyoin: *GargKakyoin closes his eyes and focuses on the recital, trying very hard to ignore the constant shifting. Once it's all over, he opens his eyes and...Wolf. Damn. He might as well get it over with. Then again, he was probably putting too much thought on it. It wasn't like it was permanent. Elisa is accosted by a wolf-Surely no doubt as to who it is.*

"Oh for the love of... That."

Gargoyle Kakyoin: White picket fence, huh? *GargKakyoin snickers.* Might be kind of hard to fly over. You might wanna just settle without a fence.

"I'm not so concerned about th--it anymore. Home is wherever the Clan and Goliath are. Besides, when else am I going to get a chance to live in a Castle?"

Gargoyle Kakyoin: Very good point. A castle is definitely pretty ritzy. Speaking of which, I've never been in a castle before. Is it like how they always show castles on T.V.? Suits of armor all over the place and tapestries and everything?

This is one of those memories I think should be treasured, for the strong emotions it obviously has for you. It reminds me of some of my own memories. That mention of Goliath stroking your's very touching.

"It is one of my most treasured memories. Laying everything in the open, really recognizing the way we both felt... It was the start of something wonderful."

That's a good thing. I always did prefer being open and honest with people; at least then you don't forget which lies you told. Sorry if that sounds a bit down. My own journey to recognizing what I felt was a bit rockier, but I still remember it. Those kinds of moments should really be remembered. I can tell you and Goliath have something strong together.

"I certainly won't say that everything turned to sunshine and roses after this, but it was certainly one of the biggest steps on the road to acceptance and happiness. But yes, what we have is very strong."

Naturally it wasn't instantly easy after this, but it definitely seems like a good initial step.

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