Dear Diary

by Christine Morgan

Author's Note: the characters of Gargoyles are the property of Disney and
used here without their creators' knowledge or consent. 

June 20, 1999 Dear Diary,         Well, this is it. Tonight's the night. Tonight I'm going to do it. Ha- ha, Miss Ferguson, you have looked with wonder at your last dawn. This time tomorrow, I'll be perched out there with everybody else. I'll find out what it feels like to turn to stone and back. And on the longest day of the year, too. Which means the shortest night.         No more worrying about alarm clocks, that's for sure!         Mom and Dad arrived late last night. I'm glad they came, but I kind of wish they hadn't, too. It was easier without Mom asking me "Honey, are you sure?" She must have asked me twenty times today, Diary. Dad just asked me once, and when I said I was, that was good enough for him. I guess it's harder for mothers to give up their babies. But Aunt Mary knows what it's like, sending Tom away like she did.         At least the clan doesn't ask. They know I wouldn't be going through with it if I didn't mean it. Or, I suppose it could be that they're just so excited to have another female that it hasn't even occurred to them to ask.         Hudson in particular is really into the hatchlings-playing-at-his- knee idea. He's been telling Angela all about what the clan females used to do to prepare for the breeding season. What foods they'd eat, what positions they'd use -- I am not kidding here, Diary, so help me God! He wants a full rookery and is telling us every trick he knows to make sure we each lay lots of eggs.         I bet that's part of why Mom's worried. She thinks I'm not ready to handle the responsibility of a baby yet. And she's probably right. But the thing is, the eggs are going to take ten years to hatch, and by then I will be ready.         Laying the eggs, though ... and I know I'm putting the cart before the horse here, Diary, but it's just something that's been on my mind. Fox keeps telling us that it's not so bad, and Mr. Xanatos' (why is it, I wonder, that after all these years and no matter how many times he's told me it's okay, I still can't call him by his first name, even in my own private diary?) medical team says they've come up with some painkillers that should be effective on garg physiology.         It's kind of creepy to think that they're basing all their conjectures on Dr. Sevarius' research and theories. The one that particularly makes me shiver is his idea that when it comes time to lay the eggs, a female gargoyle's pelvis is built to unhinge like the jaws of a snake. That hurts just thinking about it! But, given the size of the eggs -- when Goliath held his hands apart and said, "about so big," I thought I was going to die on the spot! -- even if they're soft-shelled at first ... ouch!         Fox says that some things that seem horrible to think about become perfectly reasonable once labor hits. Suddenly, she says, an epidural or an episiotomy doesn't seem so bad. Anything to get it over with! Still, the idea of my pelvis unhinging is, as Birdie would say, a "real leg-crosser."         Anyway, tonight's the night. It'll be a relief to use Hecate's Wand for the last time. I'm just so glad Mr. Xanatos doesn't mind me putting it aside. Patricia will grow up learning how to control magic, so she'll be able to use it without (hopefully!) repeating my colossal blunders. Just as long as I can do this one last thing right! Owen says I'll still be able to use all the other spells I've learned, so I'll still be useful as a sorceress and still be able to work on the Xantasia upgrades. And still be able to cast my illusions. Best of both worlds. If I ever get too homesick for humanity, or if Lex and I and any of the others want to go out, we'll be able to.         One thing I'm not looking forward to is getting my wings pierced. But it's the only way to have reliable clothes. Fox worked up some other designs -- and poor Lex tried them on without a word of complaint, the sweetheart! -- but nothing fits well enough to trust. And I am not going to go out on patrol for muggers when there's a chance my outfit will fall off!         So that means a piercing. Lex had it done when he was just a hatchling, like some people have done to their babies. Still hurts, but there's no chance to worry about it beforehand. Me, I get to worry. After all, I know how sensitive Lex is right there where his wings meet his sides.         Birdie tells me not to be a baby, that it's no worse than getting your nipples pierced (as if I'd have any idea how that feels, or any interest whatsoever in finding out!). She offered to take me to the same guy who did her tattoo and navel ring, but I had to turn her down. The last thing I want is some "flesh artist" named Big Rudy coming at my wingsides, thank you very much! I'll let the doctors do it, and if they can shoot me up with Novocain, first, so much the better.         I've been thinking a lot the past few nights about what Lex and I saw when I cast the time-travel spell. That's not a future I want to see, but things keep happening that build toward it. I even do things that I know will contribute! Here I am, planning to become a gargoyle just like in the video Sebastian showed me! If I stayed human, that future could never come to be! But I want this so much ...         Here I am, planning to breed ... and what if I do lay two eggs? What if they are a boy and a girl? If we gave them different names (Mulder and Scully?), would it avert that future?         Or is it like that physicist guy's theory, the one that said the simple act of observing a particle will change it. What was his name? Heisenberg! Whatever you observe, you change. Is time like that? The past is fixed -- both Goliath and Xanatos say so. What about the future? Have we already changed it just by witnessing some of it? Have we already made it so it can never be?         Maybe it's more like in that book, Lightning. "Destiny struggles to reassert the pattern that was meant to be ... Sometimes, happily, it fails ... Sometimes, happily, it succeeds." Maybe, if we do it right, we can have the good parts of that future and avert the bad ones!         But the more I think of it, parts of that future just can't come true. That male, Moray, the son of Demona and MacBeth? Come on!                 *               * June 22, 1999 Dear Diary,         Missed writing last night, but I didn't have time. Too much else going on!         For starters, Diary, please forgive my handwriting. Funny how I never thought about my pinkies until I didn't have them anymore. And the rest of my fingers are a little thicker, a little more widely spaced. My hands don't feel right yet. So I'm a little clumsier than I used to be, at least for the time being.         In case you haven't guessed, it's over. I did it! Sitting before you now, Diary, is a small grey gargoyle with web-style wings like Lex. I still have hair, though -- despite all the other changes, I wouldn't want to go bald! It's the same color and length and everything, except that I also have my crest. It sort of rises out of the top of my skull and sweeps back like a pterodactyl's, and I have to watch out until I get used to it because Elisa said something to me and I nearly put her eye out turning around too fast.         Wonder of wonders, the spell worked without any problems at all! I was terrified that I was going to goof and turn everyone but me into a gargoyle, or turn the gargoyles into copies of me, or any one of a number of horrible thoughts, but last night, I lucked out. Or maybe the fact that Owen insisted I do it all by myself in a windowless room with iron plates embedded in the walls had something to do with it.         Just as well, really, because I didn't want an audience. I had to be ... well, naked, after all. Last time I did something like this, when Birdie and I went to the concert with Broadway and Lex, the spell ruined our clothes. Funny, it didn't work that way the time I accidentally turned everyone into animals ...         They were all waiting for me when I came out wrapped in a blanket. The others hadn't seen me like this before, and I hoped they'd approve. I mean, I make for a small gargoyle. Smaller than Lex, and skinny. Not slender-but-strong like Elektra or sleekly muscled like Angela. Just plain skinny. Before any of them could do more than get a quick look, though, Fox and Birdie and Lex hustled me off to the med suite.         Lex held my hand while they made the incisions. They sprayed me with a numbing agent first, and used a laser scalpel so there wasn't any bleeding, and it was all over in no time. Hardly hurt at all. Then Fox gave me a pretty pale-green tunic-thing that fastened behind my neck, with a loincloth-style skirt and a belt of braided silver cords. It doesn't look too bad!         Oh, I forgot to mention my feet. That's also going to take some getting used to! I always feel like I'm going to fall forward, like I'm balanced on my toes (which I am). Does wonders for the calves, though.         So, once I was all set, Lex proudly escorted me back to the others and formally presented me as his intended mate. Goliath and Hudson looked me up and down, then finally nodded and smiled.         Mom cried.         Dad looked a little sad too, but he patted me on my crest and told me they were just glad I was happy. I think in some way, too, they were glad. They both liked Lex a lot, but I think it made them nervous to know that their daughter was ... well, doing it with a gargoyle. Now that I was one too, it was easier for them to take.         Aunt Mary handled it best. Like I said before, Diary, she sort of knew what it was like. She'd put her son on a boat and sent him off into the mist with nobody but a princess and a wizard and a pile of eggs for company and never knew if she'd see him again.         Elektra and Angela hugged me and called me "sister," and Brooklyn made me blush by pretending to thoroughly check me out -- then I thought maybe he wasn't pretending, and blushed even more.         But for the first time ever, I really felt like I belonged. Growing up, I'd always felt different from the other kids and had no idea why. Then, when I found out about Mom's past, how she was born in 10th century Scotland and got sent through time by Avalon, and how that whole experience had resulted in me having magical talent, I understood why I felt different. Because I was different.         Not anymore! Sure, I got along well with the other students at the Sterling Academy, but I wasn't really like them either. None of them were majoring in magic. And Birdie ... well, Birdie's Birdie. My best friend, but still very much a puzzle to me.         After everyone had a chance to congratulate and welcome me, I went on my first patrol with Lex and Goliath. I got the speech about Manhattan as our castle, which I had heard before but for some reason it meant more to me now.         Which makes me wonder, Diary. How much of gargoyle instinct is biologically based? I never had much of an urge to go out of my way to protect anybody before, or be a warrior. Really, me as a warrior? What a laugh! But that time after the concert, when the Quarrymen attacked Ebon, I jumped right in without hesitation.         So, ha-ha, I just flew back from Central Park and boy, are my wings tired! It's not as easy as it looks, and I bet it'll take me a long time  to get the hang of the updrafts.         Later, when I could move my arms again, Hudson gave me some lessons in how to fight. Elektra asked to join us because she'd never considered herself much of a warrior either. Of course, when Hudson pitted us against each other, she cleaned the floor with me.         Alex told me I should use my magic, but when I said that would be cheating, Hudson shook his head. Would it be cheating for him to use his sword against an unarmed foe? Would it be cheating for his foe to use a laser cannon against a gargoyle with a sword? We have to use whatever advantages we have, he said. And I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to combat, magic is going to be the only advantage I've got!                          *               * June 23, 1999 Dear Diary,         Okay, this whole turning to stone thing is just plain bizarre!         This morning, I got up on my perch with everybody else -- looong way down, Diary, so I was terrified that I'd be standing off-balance and fall and then it would be good-bye, Aiden, hello, gravel. But obviously, since I'm here alive and writing, I didn't.         Still, it was scary. Standing there waiting for the sun to come up, and then everyone else got into their usual poses. I just stood there. I mean, it doesn't matter how much I might gnash my terrible teeth and wave my terrible claws (thank you, Maurice Sendak) ... I am just not going to look fierce.         It started with a prickling all along the back of my neck, and then my arms and legs and tail felt heavy, and then I couldn't breathe. That was the worst part, being sure that I was going to suffocate. I panicked a little, but by then it was too late to move. Everything went blank, and the last thing I was aware of was that sound, the same sound I'm used to hearing when Lex turns to stone, except this time it was coming from inside my own head. Louder, the way chewing is.         The next thing I knew, I was awake but still unable to move. I remember when I was in grade school, the kids used to smear Elmer's Glue all over their hands and let it dry, and then when we curled our fingers, it would split and break and peel. That's what this felt like. Or a whole-body facial, cracking off at once.         Whenever I've slept in the same position all night, I always woke up feeling stiff and achy. I thought the same thing would happen this time, but I was wrong. It's such a sense of sudden freedom, Diary! All that weight dropping away, the air rushing into my lungs, every part of me feeling revitalized. Now I know why they roar when they wake up. They just can't help it.         Though I am going to have to work on my roar. It's pretty pathetic.                 *               * June 24, 1999 Dear Diary,         Tonight it's official -- Lex and I are mates!         So are Broadway and Elektra, and Angela and Brooklyn. Hudson conducted a ceremony at midnight, in the old clan tradition. It wasn't anything really fancy, but it meant more to me than any big affair with tons of flowers.         We all gathered on the highest tower, Mom and Dad and the Xanatoses and Birdie and Elisa and everyone. Even T.J. was there! That surprised me; he usually has as little to do with the gargoyles as possible and when he heard I was going to become one, he thought I was crazy. He's loosening up a little, though, at least around Brooklyn and Lex. I guess going out drinking with them, then getting in trouble and having to spend the next two weeks scouring the rookery from floor to ceiling did a little male bonding.         Speaking of T.J., he and Birdie are sort of going out now! I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since they seem perfect for each other. They are even talking about sharing an apartment. But more about that later, Diary, I'm too excited about the ceremony!         We all stood up there with the wind blowing around us, the sky overhead so clear I could see the band of the Milky Way (and for Manhattan, that's all but unheard of!). Brooklyn was nervous and kept passing  it off with jokes -- he was finally making the Big Commitment! Even though everyone had been referring to him and Angela as mates for months now, he has to be dragged into it kicking and screaming, poor guy!         Oh, his throat's all better now. For a while there, the doctors thought Jericho might have done some permanent damage to his larynx, but he proved them wrong. The only noticeable difference is that his voice is a little lower and huskier, but Angela says she thinks it sounds sexier, so that's all right (just between you and me, Diary, I think she's right, but don't tell Lex I said so!)         Broadway and Elektra were the most excited of us all. They're so sweet it makes your teeth hurt, but so much in love that nobody minds. What really surprised me was to find out that they were waiting until they were formally mated to actually mate, if you know what I mean. Saving themselves for marriage.         But then, Lex and I hadn't ... well, you know ... since I became a gargoyle. There'd been just too much else going on, teaching me about patrols and "The Gargoyle Way" (Goliath says it just like that, so you can hear the capital letters), and spending time with Mom and Dad. So, in a way, tonight was our first time too. Our first time again. Whatever. All I know is -- how many girls can say they've lost their virginity twice, and really mean it?         So anyway, we all stood in front of Hudson while he told us what it meant to be mates and what it meant for the future and survival of the clan. He got all gruff and sad while he was doing it, too, and I got one of those right-between-the-eyes sorts of realizations that showed me for the first time what a full, long life Hudson had lived before he even came to the 20th century. He'd been young once, like we were, young and full of hope. But if he'd had a mate, nobody had ever mentioned it in my earshot.         I thought Goliath might go somber too, but he was standing with Elisa, so lost in her eyes that it was like they were reliving their own wedding. Elisa and I had a long talk last night because she wanted to make sure I was happy and wasn't having second thoughts now that I'd spent a couple of nights seeing how the other half lives.         I don't know if she was jealous or not. She's hard to read sometimes. She told me she was a gargoyle once, for a short while back when they first met Puck (before they found out he was Owen), and Goliath was a human for an even shorter while, but both of them knew in their hearts that it wasn't the answer. Not for them. Their love is strong enough to sustain them in their separate worlds, while mine was strong enough to let me make this sacrifice for Lex (those are Elisa's words, by the way, Diary; I don't see it as a sacrifice at all!)         Lex and I swore to love and honor and protect, which strikes me as a much better bargain than "obey," and he took me in his arms -- another thing that's going to take some getting used to and some practice is embracing each other, since our wings sort of get in the way -- and said that he and I were one. And I replied "now and forever," and that was that. Married, or as close to it as gargoyles come.         And then, well, Diary, you know I don't like to kiss and tell ... but it was better than it's ever been before!                 *               * The End