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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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Elisa Maza

February 2011

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