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Saga:  The Hades Wave

Title:  Confrontations

Crossover: Gargoyles/ X-Men

Genre:  Drama/ Mystery/ Angst

Rating:  PG-13 (Mature Themes and strong language)

Characters:  Wren, Demetrius, Demona, Scott Summers, Jean Grey-Summers, Remy

LeBeau, Logan, Professor Xavier, David Xanatos, Goliath

10/29/01 1:19:14 AM

 

 

DISCLAIMER:  I DON'T OWN GARGOYLES.  THEY BELONG TO DISNEY.  I DON'T OWN X-MEN. 

THEY BELONG TO MARVEL.  I AM DOING THIS ONLY FOR LOVE AND NOT MONEY.  PLEASE DO

NOT SUE. 

 

[Bracketed words indicate private thoughts or psionic communication.]

 

2:00 CST

Monday October 31, 2005

Samhain

Flight 613 Xanatos Airlines

 

 

Elisa fidgeted uncomfortably in her airline seat.  Even flying first class

aboard her employer's airline did little to relieve her avid fear of flying. The

enclosed space of the airline cabin reminded her of being inside a broom closet

without light.  She shuddered when recollection of her last trip of this

particular route came to mind.  The flight remained a ghastly reminiscence Wren

wished taken from her mind.  Whether by design or decision, Wren found

alternative routes from Linoma to NYC after 1997.  Usually, she flew via

Minneapolis or St. Louis.  She often found the train to her liking.  Anyway was

preferable other than through the air.

 

Demetrius' excited grin reached ear to ear as he eagerly stared out the window. 

He had asked for the window seat and Wren gladly let him have it.  She knew he

seemed childlike when taking in the miracles of modern technology.  He reveled

in the height, the speed, the sky, and the simple magic of riding above the

clouds.  "Wren, the view is beauteous, You don't know what you're missing."

 

"Oh, yes I do."  She muttered through gritted teeth.  "I detest flying."

 

"Aye, I also did when I first came across the Ocean to find you.  Waking at

sunset wedged in the cargo pit of Xanatos's jet was less that pleasant."

 

"It was a fourteen hour flight."  She whistled in amazement.  "How did you

manage?"

 

"I was stone, Beloved."  He flashed her a flawless smile.

 

[Stone.  How long has it been since you turned to stone?]  Her mind's voice

reached out along the bond of their empathic bond.

 

[It has been many moons, Milady.]

 

Wren recalled how on Caledon Isle how she raced eagerly from her office to the

castle parapets shortly before Sunset.  Her ebony warrior stood stoic and proud

in Kiarite stone.  His majestic stance inspired a tad of fear as she observed

him.  Awe always claimed her as she watched him break free of his stone skin to

greet the night.  Wren felt warm waves of sentiment as she remembered how it

pained her when he assumed his pose to greet the dawn.

 

Her greatest sadness came when he left her for slumber.  Demetrius often spread

his wings and curve his talons.  She remembered how he assumed a pose unique to

him.  He leaned forward with gabardine wings unfurled to their full length.

Talons curled in anticipation of combat.  His massive frame dwarfed the other

Gargoyles beside him.   His tail lashed furiously in anticipation.  Fangs borne

gave him an air of wildness that caused Wren's heart to flutter.

 

[I loved to watch you while you slept.  You were magnificent.]  She took several

deep, slow breaths to steady her rapidly beating heart.  She watched his eyes

fall to the floor; the feelings of awkwardness regarding his physical

handsomeness brought out his humility.  [Demetrius, do you miss your stone

sleep?  Do you miss being truly Gargoyle?] 

 

[I appreciated the regenerative factors.  Fear not, Milady.  My being by day is

Human.  My essence remains truly Gargoyle, I assure you.  I am glad of the

exchange so that we can be as one.] He turned to face her.  She stared at the

chiseled cheekbones and took in his ebony eyes.  Micro braids framed his

features.  Dressed in a turtleneck sweater and fashionably baggy jeans,

Demetrius had drawn more than his fair share of appreciative glances from

several ladies.  Wren pondered the possibility that he might be dodging her

question.

 

[I do not lie, Milady.]  She turned and found eyes of coffee searing a hole into

her soul.  [I am still truly Gargoyle.  Appearance and vessel matter not to me.]

 

[I know that your heart leads where your head should on occasion.  Come on,

Demetrius, have you ever truly considered what you've given up in the name of

love?]  Wren found herself unable to return his intense stare.  [You've chosen a

Human as your mate.  That isn't exactly Gargoyle protocol.  You've trekked

halfway across the globe to a strange land.  You've left your clan back on

Caledon Isle.  Again, this isn't typical Gargoyle behavior.  What about the form

we now share being neither human nor Gargoyle?  It wasn't exactly your choice. 

We could talk to our Puck and see if he could reverse it.  All in all,

Demetrius, has it been worth it?]

 

[Wren, you confound me.  What I have done is no sacrifice] He took her hand in

his.  Dark mocha skin contrasted sharply with fair alabaster.  [I am still a

member of Clan Wyvern.  I have also regained my rookery brothers and sisters.  I

have the love of clan, but also the love of a woman that has shown me grace and

gentleness.  Not many Gargoyles can know that kind of rare love.  It is a human

treasure habitually taken for granted I never thought to know love.  It eluded

me.  Neither dame nor woman tempted me until we met.  Now, I am ruined for any

other than you.  I have gained everything.]

 

[Why, Demetrius?] Wren dared to meet that dark gaze with probing hazel eyes. 

[Why do you love me?]

 

Wren heard the sharpness of his words in her mind.  She felt his deep emotions

of bewilderment and hurt wrap around her heart.  [Wren, when we met, you touched

me in ways I never thought possible. You gave me direction, purpose ...meaning.

Though I seemed a beast in your sight, you bravely reached out to me with your

kindness and compassion.  You gave me insight into existence.  You have brought

stillness to the infernos raging within me.  I found true friendship and

devotion when I met you.  Wren, why ask this now? I thought we had long since

moved beyond this doubt.]

 

"Demetrius," She spoke softly breaking their telempathic conversation.  "New

things have come to light about me.  I'm no more human than you are.  I know

that and I have to face that.  We both know that I have ...issues regarding my

mental health.  I don't want you to feel obligated to remain me because of

promises made in the heat of passion."

 

"Woman, you vex me thus."  He growled.  "Be you Daughter of Gaia or Child of

Oberon means little to me.  You are Wren Summers.  I adore all that you are in

this life.   Our devotion is unlike anything I have previously known.  We love

completely and well.  I still love you fiercely and without reservation.  I

shall never leave you. 

 

A large hand gently cupped her cheek and framed her delicate face. "Hindrances

are but a part of life, Wren.  We can confront them and find wisdom in the good

fight. Or, we can succumb to fear and doubt and wallow in pity. Whatever life

heaves in our path, we shall move beyond it.  I have faith in you and in our

love."

 

"I just wanted you to know that if you felt ...trapped, that you have an out.  I

don't expect you to stay with me with everything that's going on inside of me. 

I don't want my personal battles putting you at risk, Demetrius."  [There, I've

said it.  I actually had the courage to do the right thing.  Funny, I don't feel

very wonderful at the moment.]

 

"Gargoyles mate for life.  Wren, I am no fool enslaved to tradition, duty or

protocol."  He reminded her with rare ferocity.  "I may be Human by day and

Nightkind in evening, but my heart and soul remain true to the Gargoyle Way. 

Only death shall separate us, Wren.  Make no mistake; you are my mate until

time's end.  I am your mate until I draw my last breath.  My heart will not

allow me otherwise.  It loves you too much."

 

Wren's shame filled her. She berated herself for questioning the one true

constant in her life.  Not once had Demetrius left her of his own will.  He

never shirked from obstacles while she wanted to run and hide.   [He never gives

up and he never gives in.]

 

"How can I love you when you barely love yourself?"  The ebony Adonis sitting

next her asked in a baritone that nearly undid her in her seat.  "It isn't

difficult if only you would let yourself see it.  Now, shall I call for a life-

preserver?"

 

"I'm wallowing, aren't I?"  She gave him a wry look.

 

"Up to your eyes, Milady."  He chuckled.  "You said that these dreams are the

spirit of Elisa Maza reaching across the Realms to speak with you.  It is my

guess that the flashback you recently suffered was a side effect of Elisa's

attempted communications."

 

"I've thought about that.  These communications might have triggered things

inside my mind as a way of dealing with the intrusion.  I guess that Professor X

will know."

 

"Is Xanatos still meeting us at the Xavier Institute?"

 

"I think so.  Goliath will be there as well."  She flipped through her

organizer.  "We'll be meeting Mr. Xanatos shortly before sunset.  Given that we

change about that time, we're cutting it close.  We'll be landing at 5:30. 

Sunset is at 5:45.  Let's hope we're not late or we'll be commanding too much

attention.

 

"Is it not Halloween?"  Demetrius rubbed his chin in contemplation.  "We will

just be dressed for the occasion."

 

"You try explaining your wings and tail to Airport Security."  She hushed him. 

 

Her breathing grew increasingly shallow.  Her fair complexion became ashen. 

Demetrius felt nervousness become alarm inside her mind.  He noticed that small

pearls of perspiration adorned her pale brow.  "Wren, you fear flying?"

 

"I have since ...well, since that flight with Armand."  She watched him nod in

understanding.

 

"Think of all that we will do in Salem Center:  we will reunite you with old

friends.  We shall travel to the city and take in the marvelous splendors;

opera, musicals, Central Park, Castle Wyvern."

 

"It's going to be interesting."  Wren clenched the armrests of her seat.  She

hated flying! "From what Goliath tells me, there's no love lost between him and

one of the X-Men.  Somehow, he knows them.  I know it's through Adrienne.  He

doesn't think much of Wolverine."

 

"What will I think of your former teammates?"  Demetrius drawled. 

 

"I want you to meet one of my friends from school.  I think you'll like him." 

She grinned her best Cheshire cat smile. "He's really quite cute."

 

Demetrius's brows almost flew off his brow.  "HIM????"

 

>>>>>>>

 

They duo found their luggage and made their way through the numerous security

checks.  Wren found herself unnerved by particle disrupter sidearms and laser

rifles.  They were all in the name of Project Indigenous Wellbeing.  Since the

Brotherhood of Mutants had announced responsibility it's newest intent to

subjugate Humanity by any means, security was at an all time high.

 

Wren and Demetrius were ready to pass through the Genetic scanner, the latest

addition of new security measures set up as part of Indigenous Well-being.  She

knew the routine.  The guard would scan her.  Her genetic anomaly would appear

on his scanner.  He would ask her to step aside and ask for her papers.  Papers

presented and interrogation given.  She knew the routine too well.  Once, it was

decided that she was no threat; they might allow her to pass along with further

harassment.  She paid taxes.  She was a loyal American.  Only in America would

she be held under suspicion because her genetic signature matched a few

radicals.

 

"When the guards scan you, Demetrius.  Smile and just cooperate."

 

"Why would I not?"

 

"They're going to ask about my Mutant status rating.  They're going to pull me

aside.  They'll ask me where I'm traveling.  Then, they'll ask why.  I'll be

requested to present papers and identification.  Afterwards, they'll ask me how

long I plan to stay in the area.  If the guards STILL aren't satisfied, they'll

detain me and do a background check to see if I'm a member of any subversive

Mutant radical group.  I should be fine when they find out I'm a Delta class

mutant with non-combative capabilities."

 

"Why will these guards detain you, Wren?"  She found Demetrius' naïveté

refreshing.  "Simply not just because you are a Mutant?"

 

"That's precisely why they'll detain me." Wren's scowl did nothing to alleviate

Demetrius' growing concerns.

 

"But what of this Mutant Amnesty Act of 1999?"

 

"President Goldberg saw fit to give all camp survivors amnesty, however she

failed to remove many of the Gene Crow laws that are still in place."

 

"Gene Crow?"  Demetrius seemed truly at a loss by her words.

 

"Until the 1950's, African-American dealt with 'Jim Crow' laws.  They couldn't

eat with Caucasians; they couldn't use the same facilities or drink from the

same fountains.  They weren't allowed to be educated with them... just because

of a color concept.  Gene Crow laws are similar ilk, but made for Mutants." 

Wren spat.  Her anger boiled as she thought about the sheer hypocrisy still

canon in most states.

 

"How can a nation legislate Humanity?"  Demetrius exclaimed.  "Simply because of

one chromosomal anomaly-"

 

"That's all it takes.  We're considered different.  Because we are not common

and not understood, we are feared."

 

"And you are kept from being part of society because of your genetic status?" 

He shook his head in disbelief.  "Surely you jest."

 

"Not at all, Demetrius."  He watched her pale face flush with barely contained

resentment.  "We're not allowed the same civil liberties as normal humans. 

Insurance companies won't insure us because we're high risks.  We aren't allowed

in certain professions or in the military because we're considered security

risks.  We're scanned, detained, profiled for whatever reason suits the local

law establishment.  In prison, we have a higher mortality rate because we're

denied due process, medical attention...you name it!"

 

"Barbaric.  Have Humans learned anything in the last millennium?"

 

"Not much."  She gave him the harsh news.  "We're not welcome despite of the

supposed progress we've made.  So, most of us stay quiet about our disposition. 

We find jobs that don't do genetic screening.  We do what it takes to get by in

this world."

 

"It is unfortunate."

 

"Yeah, but that's life."  She sighed.  "Okay, I'll get off my soap box now and

quit wallowing.  But, I just wanted you to know what to expect."

 

They waited patiently in line as two guards used hand-held scanners at the

security gate to scan each individual.  She saw a person in line ahead of them

detained and taken to the side for further questioning.  The person didn't look

any different that anyone else.  He was a young man in his early twenties with

blonde hair and light eyes.  [I wonder what his mutation might be? ]

 

She abhorred those damned mutant scanners.  They upset her bioelectrical balance

and caused her extensive headaches and hot flashes for several hours after each

scan.  It was an inset defense to encourage Mutants not to fly.  She often flew

on private jets rather than commercial airlines.  Because of the urgency to meet

with Xavier and Xanatos, she and Demetrius were forced to book commercial

flights.

 

"Hold out your arms, please."  The guard instructed her.

 

She did as she was asked and Wren felt the cold radiation of the Mutant

Detection Scanner seemingly slice her to the bone as it passed along her body. 

The guard began at her head and slowly brought the scanner down the length of

her body.  She quirked a brow in disbelief when the scanner didn't beep and blip

in excitement.

 

"You're fine, Ma'am.  Go on through."  He smiled.

 

Befuddled at this strange turn of events, she mutely nodded and walked through

the gate.  She gathered her purse and other luggage from the security check and

patiently waited for Demetrius.  She glanced at her watch: 5:22.  Sunset was

less than a half-hour away and she didn't feel like sprouting horns and a Tail

in LaGuardia International Airport.

 

Wren watched as the guard scanned Demetrius.  To her relief, the buzzer remained

silent.  The young man thanked her lover for flying Xanatos airlines and wished

him a pleasant evening.  Her hazel eyes became the size of saucers but she kept

her wits about her.  Demetrius soon joined her side and he easily shrugged.

 

"That buzzer always goes off when I go through there."  She whispered.  "Why not

now?"

 

"Did you use your luckmagick to alter the reading?"  Demetrius asked in a hushed

tone.

 

"No, that's a class one felony.  Tampering with Security equipment like that

with my mutant abilities would get me thirty years to life without parole in

Ryker Island Mutant Holding Facility.  No thanks."

 

"Perchance Puck's change of us gave you shielding from the guard's scanner?" 

 

"I don't know.  Let's not second-guess our good luck.  Let's find our chauffer

and get to Salem."  She glanced nervously at her watch.  "We don't have much

time.  Let's hope they fulfilled our request for tinted windows."

 

As they walked hurriedly toward the area for limos, Demetrius spotted a sign

that read 'Sojourn and Champion."  He silently pointed it out and they walked

readily toward the person holding it.  Wren stopped in mid-stride when she saw

the person holding the sign. Wren stopped abruptly in her tracks and Demetrius

crashed into her. 

 

"I don't flamin' believe it."  She groaned as the ravishing redhead waved to

her.  "Of all people to sent to greet us.  Xanatos has a very perverted, twisted

sense of humor."

 

"Wren, what ails you?"  Demetrius laid protective hands on her shoulders.

 

'No way in HELL am I going to ride with her."  She hissed.

 

"Wren, your anger fills my mind as a flood."  His Scottish lilt weighed heavily

upon her ears.  "What vexes you?"

 

"The woman holding that damned sign is Dominique Destine."

 

"Who is Dominique Destine?"

 

"You don't want to know."  Wren growled.  Her eyes flamed a brilliant emerald as

they met with the green eyes of the ravishing redhead near them.  She saw the

quick look of surprise in those green eyes and then a knowing smile crossed her

full, scarlet lips.  "I can't believe Xanatos did this!  Her, of all people,

should NOT be greeting us."

 

"What grievance have you against this woman?"

 

"She's no woman.  By day, she is a human and by night she's a Gargoyle."

 

"She is Nightkind."  He exclaimed happily.

 

"Not even close.  That wench played a pivotal role in having your clan smashed

to Smithereens.  She was an accomplice to murder.  She hunted Goliath and the

New York clan relentlessly.  At night, she's Demona."

 

"Demona?  Surely you jest."   He replied sharply.  "Demona is of another realm."

 

"No, do you remember Goliath's second-in-command from the time before you

were... well?"

 

"Aye, I know of whom you speak.  She was his Angel of the Night and a brave

warrior."

 

"Brave, my ass.  She conspired with the man-at-arms in Castle Wyvern to turn you

and your clan to gravel. Now, she's here masquerading as a Human and expects me

to ride with her.  Like HELL!!"

 

"Wren, still your tongue.  People are listening."  He warned her.  She noticed

that her ranting caught several stares. 

 

"She made a truce with the clan after Elisa's death and she works for Xanatos

now, but I don't trust her farther than I can fly."

 

"But, you can not fly."

 

"Give the boy a gold star."  Wren smirked. Her lover's eyes widened in sudden

understanding of her acerbic annotations. "That tells you just how much I trust

Dominique Destine."

 

"You do not."

 

"Bingo."

 

"Wren Summers?"  A melodious voice flavored with a Highland lilt addressed her. 

Wren fought hard to choke back the venomous response she longed to give the

redhead in the flawlessly tailored business suit.  "Demetrius Nightkind?"

 

"Yes."  [Be polite, Wren.  If it kills me, I will be polite.]  "Dominique, this

is definitely ...a surprise."

 

"David thought it best that I greet you."  Dominique replied warmly.  "I'm sure

you must be tired from your trip.  Our limousine awaits."

 

"Lead on."  [Does this woman have a clue just how much I dislike her?]

 

Demetrius laid a hand on Dominique's shoulder and stayed her.  She turned and

looked at him oddly.  "Is something wrong?"

 

"Rookery sister, do you not know me?"  His question caused Dominique's brows to

rise.

 

She looked at him with a blank expression.  She surveyed Demetrius' tall,

powerful form from head to toe.  Then, her green eyes noticed his lavender gaze. 

Her green eyes widened and her audible gasp brought a barely contained smirk to

Wren's face.  Dominique's next question came out barely more than a horse

whisper.  "By the Dragon, you were one of Goliath's lieutenants, weren't you?"

 

"Aye, My Lady.  You and I fought many battles together.  We saw many patrols."

 

"How can this be?  Weren't you ..."   Her words caught in her throat.

 

'I take it you have not spoken with Xanatos or Goliath as of late."

 

"I usually don't speak to Goliath at all."  There was no mistaking the regret on

Dominique's face.  "But how?"

 

"By means of sorcery, Clan Wyvern knew resurrection this past year."  He viewed

Dominique's stunned response.  He watched her swallow away the lump in her

throat.  She trembled visibly for a few seconds.  Somehow, her voice lost its

suave confidence and barely came out more than a hoarse whisper.  "All of them,

alive?"

 

"But who?"

 

"It matters not."  Demetrius said gravely. 

 

"I wasn't told."

 

[Gee, I wonder why.]  Wren longed to speak her thoughts aloud but knew better to

keep her council.

 

"How is it that you are alive and well after all this time?"  Demetrius asked. 

"My mate says that you were part of our clan's destruction."

 

"Your MATE?"  The squeal in Dominique's voice was perfectly in sync with her

eyes turning to Wren.

 

"I see we have much to discuss."

 

"Yes, we do."  Dominique agreed. 

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

 

Once in the limousine, Wren watched in fascination as Dominique and Demetrius

grimaced.  They're astounding metamorphosis was identical.  Skin changed

dramatically in hue.  Fingers melded and became sharp talons.  Leaning forward,

wings burst majestically from their backs.  Eyes flamed with Gargoyle passions. 

Roars and Snarls filled the limousine.  Tails slithered from behind them.  They

stretched as if waking from a long sleep.

 

Wren was glad that her transmutation carried the element of subtlety.  She felt

the itching sensation on her brow that alerted her horns sprouted.  A heated

sensation let her know her ears became delicately pointed.  Gum sensitivity

informed her delicate fangs descended. A tingling in her hands meant that she

possessed ten talons.  The uncomfortable lump she sat on caused Wren to shift

her wait.  A slender prehensile tail of five feet burst free.  She chose to tuck

it cleverly by her side making no mention of it.

 

She sat less than four feet away from an azure demon with scarlet tresses. 

"Well, Human, I see that you aren't all that you appear."

 

"First of all, I'm a Mutant."  She took pride in correcting the Dame.  Wren hid

her laughter as Demona drew back stunned by the revelation. [I'm not lying; I'm

just not letting her know the whole truth.  For the most part, I'm still human.]

 

"A minor technicality."  Demona said with drawling sarcasm.  "You work in

Research and Development."

 

"Yes, I do."  Wren managed to be civil.  The tension between the two Dames

mounted. The silence hung between them as an impenetrable veil.

 

"So, you are the young Warrior's mate?"

 

"I am."

 

"She has fire, Young Warrior."  Demona turned to face the Sire next to her. 

"You've chosen well."

 

"Don't you still hate the Humans?"  Wren asked.

 

"I have come to find them both a blessing and a bane to our kind."  Demona

purred.  "If there were fewer of them in this world I would be quite satisfied.

But, they serve their purpose.  With Xanatos as an ally, I accomplish far more

than I did alone."

 

"What do you think of Mutants?"

 

"They garnish some sympathy from me."  Emerald eyes became crimson with the

strong emotion behind those words. Wren sensed sincerity coming from behind

jaded eyes and cynical voice.  "One or two have helped me in times of need."

 

"I'm surprised that you don't considered we mutants more of a threat because of

our unusual abilities." Wren's silky reply caused Demona to raise a sardonic

brow.

 

"You of all know what it is like to be abandoned by your own kind without family

or clan beside you." Came the smooth rejoinder.  "Mutants and Gargoyles share

much in common, Young One."

 

"I wished that all humanity realized that Mutants are human."  Wren carefully

studding the stunning redhead sitting near her.  [Could I have been wrong about

Demona?  How can she feel any concern for humanity when she supposed hates the

lot of us?]

 

"Consider your kind the betterment of your species. If Mutants are meant to

inherit the earth, then don't question your good fortune."  The Dame cloaked her

wings about her.  "I know your kind have no desire to hunt Gargoyles."

 

"Well, at least you're honest."  [So much for there being any innocence in her

soul.]

 

It was nearly an hour's ride from LaGuardia Airport to Salem Center. She made

sure the panel was secure between them and the driver. Dominique explained

Mutant concealment Technology.  She rode across from them in the back

brandishing a small device that looked suspiciously like a cell telephone.

 

"It's a wonderful little device devised by Nightstone LTD, better known as a

"mask.'"  She handed the device for both to examine.  "It sends out a high

ionized wave that interferes with the energy emission given off by mutants at a

chromosomal level."

 

"Genetic manipulation."  Wren said in understanding.  "Clever."

 

"Precisely.  It also transmits a particular frequency that often interferes with

most scanning equipment."  Dominique smiled a knowing smile.  "Thus, what

appears normal is actually a malfunction."

 

"How does it work against Sentinels?"  Wren warily studied the small device she

held.

 

"We haven't tested it yet against Sentinels, but we know it works on Gargoyles

in addition to mutants."  Wren gave her a nod of grudging respect.

 

Demetrius no longer took interest in idle chitchat.  "I must ask, sister.  Is it

true that you plotted our clan's destruction?"

 

"NO!"  She snarled and eyes blazed scarlet.  "Who told you such lies? "  Her

eyes veer toward Wren.

 

"I was told you collaborated with a human to let the Vikings take the castle

whilst we slept.  The damnable Norsemen took Wyvern and murdered the clan as

they slept.  Is this true?"

 

Wren remembered the Demona of the alternate dimension.  She remembered her

slyness and cunning.  The young mutant knew Demona possessed the attributes of

charm and guile. She knew that the vixen was a creature with a malicious nature

and an insane mind.  Wren observed the tension mounting between the two clan

siblings.  She knew confrontation was imminent. [How will she wiggle out of

this?]

 

"It is true I collaborated with a human to allow the Vikings into the Castle." 

The Dame folded her hands in her lap.  "But, I swear to you that I never knew

that the Vikings would destroy us.  I have spent a thousand years lamenting that

night, Young Warrior. It has been a heavy burden on my soul that I can never

remove. I found forgiveness only four years ago. I have paid the price of my

crimes for a thousand years.  Would you also damn me further? Would you take

that forgiveness from me?"

 

"I trusted you, Second."  He growled.  He gripped her chin and drew her forward. 

"I shall find out for myself if Goliath speaks the truth of you.  I shall know

if Wren's words are true.  You can not hide your true emotions from me, Second-

In-Command."

 

Wren felt Demetrius using his empathic abilities to rip past Demona's Gargoyle

Immunities.  She watched the Dame writhe in pain as he battered his way past her

psionic defenses.  Her choked gasps revealed the agony she experienced at the

cruel intrusion of her mind.   Green eyes locked with Lavender.

 

"Demetrius, stop it!  You're hurting her."  Wren grabbed his arm to halt his

assault.  With an effortless shove, he pushed her back into the seat.  "Don't

use your powers like this!  This is wrong."

 

"I shall have the truth, Demona."  He growled as his tail snaked around her

waist.  He brought his lips down to hers in a kiss that was meant to steal her

mind rather than fan her passion.  Wren stared on with mouth agape as her mate

behaved in such a cruel and bizarre fashion.

 

Wren felt the onslaught of pain, fear, rage, fury, anguish, guilt, and regret

course through her body.  Images of smashed hatchlings mingled with furious

onslaughts against human settlements.  A cowled hunter bearing talon scars

across his face combined with a thousand years of hatred and plotting.  The

smells of death and the sight of such bloodshed was more than what Wren

understood.  Air seemed thin and the pain grew with each passing second.  In a

desperate attempt, she wrapped her tail around Demetrius' wrist and gave a pull

that nearly wrenched his arm from his socket.

 

"I..know...the ...truth."  He panted.  His ridged brow was covered in a thick

sheen of sweat.  "They speak the truth about you, Demona.  I also ....know that

you are remorseful for your crimes...the truce holds truth."

 

"Demetrius, what in the HELL do you think you were doing just now?"  Wren

shrieked.  "Killing her isn't exactly the smartest thing you've ever done."

 

"Still your tongue, woman."  He roared.  "It is my right to seek truth regarding

my clan's demise.  I find it to be true and I find her words to be true."

 

"Stll my tongue!  This isn't the tenth century, this is the twenty-first!"  Wren

glared at her mate.  "Try that again and I'll use whatever means I have to stop

you.  What you did, Demetrius, is beyond wrong.  What you just did with your

empathic abilities is rape of the worst kind.  It's heinous.  Skylaris would

never want you to use your gifts that way."

 

"Don't worry about me, Young One.  I am well."  Demona sat upright as if nothing

had happened.  "He was a young and impetuous as a hatchling.  Little has

changed.  That's why Goliath made me Second-In-Command instead of your rash,

quick-tempered mate."

 

"Now we are even."  Demetrius folded his arms and looked out the window.

 

The remainder of the ride continued in silence.  Wren attempted to process the

bizarre turn of events.  The exchange between Demona and Demetrius went beyond

rational thought.  He confronted his murderer in the backseat of a limousine. 

Then, cleaved her psychic defenses in two to discern her sincerity regarding her

remorse over her actions.  Wren's temples throbbed with a massive migraine that

demanded immediate relief.

 

[Demetrius is gentle and loving.  How could he be so violent?  How could he be

so cruel?]  Wren stifled a sob.  She subtly scooted away from him.  His actions

made her feel dirty and violated.  Yet, it was Demona that suffered the effects

of his horrifying act of violation.  Wren's heart clashed with her mind.  Part

of her wanted to rend the Ebony Warrior limb from limb.  Another part of her

empathized with her mate.

 

"Demona, is there anything I can do?"  Wren found herself asking the azure dame

who looked worn and fatigued.  "Is there anything you need?"

 

"Nothing you can give me.  I don't need your pity."

 

"I wouldn't insult you that way."  Was the contrite response.   "Demona, you

have my concern and my compassion, but never my pity."

 

"I am alive and well."  Demona turned her attention to the wet bar and proceeded

to make herself a strong vodka martini.  "Thank you."

 

The limousine made its way to the driveway of the Xavier Institute.   Wren

watched warily as the wrought-iron gates swung open seeming of their own accord. 

Wren knew that she had passed through the gates of her past as the limousine

entered the Xavier estate.  An eerie trepidation gripped Wren's heart.  It

seemingly squeezed until her blood longed to explode from utter consternation.

 

She stoically gathered her wits about her and forced herself to look at the

mansion throw the passenger window.  The Dutch colonial mansion stood proud and

stately as a tribute to a bygone era known for it's intricate architecture. 

Framed by several mature hard oaks, there was a feeling of mystery and something

almost clandestine in the air.  She watched Demetrius brooding over Demona's

cutting remark about why he wasn't chosen as Second-In-Command.  Demona remained

pallid and ailing from the dark warrior's brutal empathic assault.

 

"Saints Preserve Me."  She whispered aloud.

 

>>>>>>>>>>

 

The driver opened the door for the Gargoyle trio.  Wren watched Demona saunter

from the limo to the porch.  Demetrius warily stepped from the care and

scrutinized the area.   Wren slowly emerged and stood still in the middle of the

driveway.  She walked each step to the main doors and remembered doing the same

action she repeated so many times.

 

[I remember coming here with Remy after the camps.  He carried me up these steps

in his arms.  We walked through the doors and he took me to Xavier's office.]

 

Wren realized that no one was there to greet them.  She found it odd that the

Professor had neglected such a common courtesy.  She remembered that Professor

Xavier meticulously observed social protocol.  "Follow me, we need to go to the

Professor's office."

 

"How do you know that?"  Demona eyes the apparent wealth articulated in the 18th

century home with its marble floors and high plaster ceilings.

 

"I used to attend school here at the Institute."  Wren slowly made her way to

the front door.  She pushed the latch and found it to be unlocked.  Intuition

screamed that all was amiss.  Her hand went instinctively to her annulus hidden

beneath her coat firmly attached to a key ring hanging from her belt.  Her tail

lashed nervously as she slowly pushed open the door.

 

The voices and lights down the hall brought her much relief.  She breathed more

easily and walked through the vestibule and down the corridor to the first floor

recreation room.  She quietly motioned for the others to follow.  They looked at

one another uncertain of what to do next, but they followed.  Wren stopped in

the doorway of the recreation room.  "Hello?"

 

Faces turned that she knew well.  Faces sported stunned expressions as they saw

her standing in the door.  She saw several people sitting around a table each

holding cards.  She knew each person there had his or her stake in a game of

five-card stud poker.  The one closest to her had broad shoulders, sandy brown

hair and wore designer red sunglasses.  The lady next to him had a mass of

titian hair tumbling over her shoulders.  On the other side of the visor-wearing

man was a stocky, hairy individual smoking a thick cigar.  The last individual

sitting next to him had chestnut hair, eyes of crimson and sported a tan leather

duster.

 

"Belle."  He whispered.  She cringed at the heart wrenching irony that he called

her his French pet name that meant "Beauty."  "You came home."

 

"Oh-oh."  [This isn't the response I was expecting.]  "Hello, Remy."

 

"Wren."  The visor-wearing man laid down his cards and rose to greet her.  "It's

been a long time.  It's good to see you.  You've ...changed."

 

She worked hard to hide her amusement at his reaction of her altered appearance. 

"Scott, it's good to see you too.  Are you still team leader?"

 

"Yeah.  You remember everyone here, don't you?"  He motioned to the redhead.

 

"Wren, it's good to have you here."  Scott's wife warmly replied to her.

 

"How could I forget Jean?"  [Truth being, I never knew her very well.] Wren

wryly remembered.  She turned her attention to the bane of much her existence

with the X-Men.  "Logan, you haven't changed a bit."

 

"Usually don't, Darlin'."  He puffed a hearty cloud of smoke from his cigar.  He

spoke without taking his eyes off his cards.  "You sure as hell have."

 

"You could say that."  Her deadpan response inspired a small "humph" from

Demona.

 

"You have horns and a tail.  You look like one of those damned hobgoblins."

Logan folded his cards slowly and set them down on the table.  His steely blue

gaze slowly rose from his cards to meet hazel eyes.  "What's up with that,

Wren?"

 

"Long story." 

 

She watched Logan put out his stogie in the butt-filled ashtray in front of him. 

"You hangin' out with em' too, now?"

 

"Hanging out with whom, Logan?"

 

"Those damned Goblins?" 

 

"You could say that."

 

"Figures."  He carefully slid back his chair.

 

Wren felt his disapproval grow more tangible with each sentence.  She half-

expected him to pop his claws and used them to skewer her in front of everyone. 

She chose to ignore his surreptitious comments and turned her attention to her

biggest joy and heartache.  She cursed the fates for blessing Remy with suave

manners, sexy voice, and devilish good looks.

 

He rose from the table and his crimson orbs met shy hazel.  For an eternity they

stared at one another in silence.  The entire world faded from sound and memory

and it remained only she and the man across the table from her.  Wren bit her

lips to keep heartfelt words from pouring forth.  Remy slinked around the table

with the grace and speed of a bayou cougar.  With arms wide open, he gave Wren a

tight hug that seemed to squeeze her breath from her.

 

"Mon ami, it's good to see you."  He patted her heartily on the back.  "Remy

wonder when you gonn' come home."

 

"It's been awhile." Her cryptic reply was an understatement.

 

"Girl, let me look at you."  He held her away from him.  He eyed one slow

sensuous inch at a time.  "You change da hair, you lost weight and you don' age

a day.  Life bein' good to you, non?"

 

"Life is very good."  She gave him a sincere smile.

 

He wrapped his arm around her.  "What bring you here to da Institute?"

 

"Business."  Wren grimly replied.  "We have business with Professor Xavier."

 

"He be watchin' re-runs of John Edwards in the upstairs recreation room.  He

said not to be disturbed/

 

"Crossing Over with John Edwards."  Wren thought the world had surely gone

insane.  [Since when does Professor Xavier watch television?]  "Riiiiiight..."

 

"No, I'm serious, Chere.  He be watchin' his nephew on da Sci-fi channel."

 

"Small world." Wren nodded.  "Can you let him know we're here?"

 

Remy held her close to him without saying a word.  He cocked his head

quizzically as he looked down at her.  She shivered with long-repressed

affection for the dashing Cajun holding her.   She dared to return his gaze.  He

seemed bemused at that moment.  He opened his mouth as though he wished to say

something and then thought better of it.  "Who your friends, Belle?"

 

"Friends?"  She repeated blankly.

 

"Oui."

 

"OH!  My friends..."  Wren felt like an idiot for forgetting about the others. 

She nodded to the winged Dame.  "Everyone, I'd like you to meet Demona.  She's

an associate for Xanatos.  The handsome heartbreaker standing next to her is-"

 

"Your mate."  Logan sneered.

 

"Yes, he is."  She was impressed that Logan was so astute.  "How did you know?"

 

"You have his stink all over you."

 

"Be careful, Logan."  Her emerald eyes blazed and came alive with fire.  "I

don't take kindly to your talk."

 

Demetrius wrapped his tail possessively around his ladylove.  "Milady, it is of

no consequence that this one chooses to affront me.  Mere words have little

affect."

 

"No, let Logan say what he wants to say."  She returned her attention to primal

fury standing before her.  "Go on."

 

"Yeah, Adrienne ran off with the Tinky-Winky." Logan derisive laughter sounded

coarse and cruel. 

 

"Adrienne married Goliath."  Wren corrected the shorter man with a tone that

warned him to cease and desist.  "Comparing Gargoyles to Teletubies is like

comparing you to someone with good manners.... Not even close."

 

"Oooh, da girl got it goin' on."  Remy smiled, unaware of the contemptuous

hostility brewing between Wren and Logan.  "I always knew you had spunk."

 

"No, he's insulting friends of mine."  Wren growled.  "I'm not here to exchange

insults.  We have an appointment with the Professor.  Television show or not, we

have urgent business that requires his attention.  Have Goliath and Xavier

arrived yet?"

 

"They're in the den wit' da Professor."  That Southern drawl was layered with

just a touch of Continental lilt.  It was enough to distract the angry woman

from Logan's biting comments.  "Come on, it's time."

 

>>>>>>>>>>

 

Wren and the others finally united with Professor X, Xanatos, and Goliath.  The

palpable strain between all concerned parties left Wren feeling waned.  Goliath

and Demona curtly nodded to one another.  Wren felt torn between her desire for

Remy and her heartbreak regarding him.  Demetrius seemed in full warrior and

mate mode.  He remained close to her.   She smelt his distinctive scent of musk

and vanilla permeated the immediate area. 

 

[He's marking territory.  Gargoyle jealousy is full overdrive.]  She felt his

tail entwine with hers.

 

They made their way to the War Room in the basement sublevels of the Mansion. 

Wren noticed little had changed in her three-year absence from the school.  She

took her place and noticed how everyone tried to avoid sitting next to people or

Gargoyles they considered not trustworthy.  Only Professor Xavier and David

Xanatos seemed immune for the initial discomfort. 

 

When everyone took their places, Wren scrutinized the individuals in the room. 

She found faces both dear and strange to her.  At the head of the table sat the

Professor with regal air and dignified delivery.  Scott sat to his right

followed by Remy, Jean, Kurt, and Hank.  On the other end of the table sat David

Xanatos.  Next to him sat Goliath taciturn and forbidding with wings cloaked. 

His best lieutenant, Demetrius, sat quietly beside him.  Wren felt cramped being

sandwiched between her mate and Demona.  The azure Gargoyle appeared the most

tranquil of the entire group.

 

The briefing was concise.  Wren reviewed her strange vision about the Space

Shuttle Venture. She informed the group of how it crashed into a mysterious

large river.  She recounted the eerie prophecy of the canister that contained a

substance that brought death to all in her dream: the humans, the fish, and the

wildlife.  She told the group how Elisa Maza told her not to drink the water or

eat the food.

 

"And you're sure that it was Elisa Maza who gave you this information?" 

Inquired the Professor.

 

"Very certain."  Wren said with absolute conviction.  "She gave me information

that only she and Goliath knew.  I feel that somehow this Oracle is linked to

this more than just as some sort of Spirit Guide sent to prophesy."

 

"Yet, she gave you no time frame, no other field of reference other than a

nebulous prediction?"  The Blue Behemoth codenamed Beast asked her.  Wren

nodded.

 

"Then we have our work ahead of us."  Acquiesced the Professor.  "Hank, I want

you to work with David and find out about all recent and forthcoming space

shuttle launches.  Scott and Goliath, I want you to research the term Hades and

all relevant information.  Jean, I want you to work with Wren to reconstruct her

dream in the Danger Room.  We need every available scrap of information.  Any

questions?"

 

The room remained silent.

 

"Then we shall convene here tomorrow at 0800 hours." 

 

To Be Continued...