DISCLAIMER: Gargoyles isn't my copyright, this is a not-for-prophet story.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: You don't have to have watched the show to understand this story, everything you need to know's explained as you go. Also, I don't refer to events as you'd see them in the show, the past events of this story and personal histories of the characters are different enough that knowing those things from the show won't make much of a difference one way or the other.
FEEDBACK: jess27[at]live.com (I'd love to hear from you.)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Jessica Knight
It was a Thursday late in April. In Manhattan, the night was mild and balmy with a clear sky above her. The moon was full, and Detective Elisa Maza, NYPD, had a lot on her mind as she drove home that night. She'd just come off investigating a murder in the uptown financial district. It was obvious the victim had been a money launderer, obvious to her at least that he'd also been working for Tony Dracon, a local mob boss who thought he was above the law. Trouble was, so far anyway, he was right about that. Unless she got very lucky, there was no way she'd be able to tie him to this, if he was even the one who called for the hit. For all she knew right now, Dracon might not have been her victim's only client, or it could even have been a rival of Dracon's making a move (though that last scenario was a stretch at best). Regardless, whoever pulled the trigger had been a pro, no question. Single gunshot to the back, cameras caught nothing, no witnesses and no evidence except the bullet itself. She'd spent hours trying to find something - sent uniforms out to canvas the area, talked to everyone who she thought might have seen anything. Nothing. The ballistics would be back tomorrow, but that would probably be a dead end without the murder weapon to match it too. In short, she was feeling like she'd wasted an afternoon. She'd became a cop because she came from a family of cops, sure, but she'd also done it because she believed in what she was doing. In things like justice, a civil community, right and wrong, protecting people. The reality was, you had to work hard for those things, and, from her perspective, it seemed like you only ever got them half the time.
All of which meant that she was definitely in the mood to go home, get something to eat (she was in the mood for pancakes for some reason, even though it was past dinner time), then curl up on the couch with her cat and watch TV or read a book for a while. Get a little lost in someone's imaginary world where the heroes always won in the end, the bad guys always ended up in jail, little boys didn't lose their dads, and happily ever after was just a clever plot twist away.
That's what was weighing on her most, really. The man who was shot? The money launderer? He'd also been a single father who'd lost his wife in a car accident two years ago. He had a five year old son. The man's girlfriend had brought him with her when she'd come down to the office building after getting the call from the police. The little boy had been quiet as a church mouse, wouldn't meet anyone's eyes for more than a second. Sure, his dad had been a crook probably, but his son hadn't done anything and he'd had to live through losing both his mom and his dad. She wondered if Tony Dracon had even hesitated a little bit because of that, or if he'd even cared at all. He probably hadn't. People like that rarely did.
She was a little distracted with her thoughts, running the case over in her head again, when she stopped at a red light. It was a one lane road. A little after twelve o'clock at night. Her window was down and there weren't too many cars around at this hour. The moon was right straight ahead of her. She found herself looking at it while she waited, then she heard a crash and a body fell with crushing force onto a parked car across the street in her field of vision. "Holy..." She couldn't quite believe she'd seen that, but she got out of her car anyway. The light turned green and the one car behind her honked.
"Police!" She yelled at the driver of the car. "Knock it off!" She looked up at the building above where the body had fallen from. There weren't any lights on up there, but she heard sounds of a struggle and saw a flash of something through the window on the top floor. She hurried back into her car, shifted it into drive, and hit the gas hard, jerking the car forward and making an illegal turn to park by the curb in a red zone across the street by the building where the disturbance was happening. She checked her sidearm under her jacket and grabbed her assault rifle and a crowbar from her trunk, then headed for the building. The building had a coffee shop/bistro on the bottom floor; it was closed for the night. The top floors looked like offices. The door to the stairs was locked, so she used the crowbar to pop the lock. Luckily the door was weak enough to give and she didn't need to use her gun to get inside. The department would get a bill for the repairs no doubt, her captain wouldn't exactly be thrilled, especially if she got there too late or couldn't make any arrests, but if someone's life was in danger up there, she didn't really have much choice.
She rushed up the stairs at a run until she got to the third floor. This door was already broken down, glass on the floor. She discarded her crowbar and went through, keeping to the shadows and staying quiet, but moving as fast as possible. She heard the sounds of struggle again and something that sounded like growling, but not from any wild animal she'd ever heard before. It kind of made her shiver a little, actually, but she kept going anyway, fleetingly wishing she'd called for backup and not really all that sure why she hadn't thought to other than that she was just tired and in need of sleep. It was a stupid mistake, really. But it was too late to go back now, obviously. If she did, whatever was going on in there might be over by the time she made it back, and that could mean someone might end up dead who she could have saved.
There was another crash and a man crying out in pain and more of that unearthly growling. She came to a room with desks and furniture and file cabinets, mostly all strewn about in a state of disarray and ruin. There were men garbed all in black and grays, state of the art body armor and night vision goggles. And there was... this woman, this... creature - human looking, but with wings like a dragon, claws, shadowy skin, glowing red eyes. Still though, definitely a woman. They had an electrified net over her and were poking her with what looked like... electrified javelins.
It was such an unreal tableau, she couldn't even guess where to begin to reconcile it with reality, really, but whatever that woman was and whatever her attackers thought they were doing, Elisa knew one thing: It was cruel and it turned her stomach to see it. She couldn't know for sure she was doing the right thing of course, but really, as a cop, if you see someone getting attacked, you help them and deal with the rest later; you don't stop to ask if the person getting beat up started it. You just don't.
She stepped out of the shadows, leveled her assault rifle and shot at one of the javelins. Her shot hit the mark just above one of the black-clad men's hands. He jumped back as shrapnel and sparks came from the destroyed weapon. "NYPD! Drop your weapons, hands on your heads, now!"
The scene before her seemed to freeze for a moment as everyone in the room stopped what they were doing and looked at her. It didn't last long though, the whatever she was in the net took the opportunity to charge at the man Elisa had disarmed, grab him, and throw him at the others.
The mystery woman struggled with the net over her, trying to get it off.
"Switch to rubber bullets!" One of the men shouted the command.
Elisa took aim and shot one of them who was drawing a gun in the shoulder, reset her rifle, took aim and fired at another of the men who was aiming at her, hitting him in the shoulder as well. She ducked to the side and rolled, using her rifle as a club and hitting another of them in the belly with all the considerable force she could leverage behind it. It knocked the wind out of him and made him double over, so she'd hit him at the right angle. She got up and hit him over the head with the butt of her rifle next - Hopefully he'd be out cold.
She looked over and saw the woman with the wings finally get free of the net. Two of the men with the electrified javelins were advancing on her while another was leveling a gun. She didn't have time to use her own gun, so she charged him with it and used it like a battering ram. He fired just before she crashed into him. Elisa's heart sank a little at the sound, knowing she might have failed and the woman with the wings could be hurt or even dead because she hadn't been fast enough. Even rubber bullets could kill if they hit you in the wrong place. She crashed to the debris-strewn floor on top of the man.
"What sort of crazy are you, lady?" He said to her, getting leverage and pushing her off him.
She'd lost her rifle - Elisa heard the sound of it being reset and realized with dread that the man she tackled had it now instead. She looked and saw him leveling the gun at her. Luckily, the way she'd landed, she was able to kick out with her left leg and knock off his aim. She made a desperate tackle for him next, knowing she was too far from cover to do anything else before he could aim the gun at her again.
"Get off!" He told her in frustration as they struggled for possession of the riffle. He proved stronger than her though, and she didn't have good leverage or a good angle on her hold and he managed to pin her to the ground, the rifle like a crossbeam over her chest holding her down. "That thing's a monster, can't you see that?" He told her.
"Yeah, well, you'll forgive me if I don't just take your word on that." She said back. The way he had her pinned though, she knew she might be in real trouble.
"Whatever lady, boss said no witnesses anyway." He began to push the rifle up towards her neck. She had a hold of it too, but had no leverage, was at a bad angle, and he had more upper body strength. It was only a matter of time before her hold gave out, only a couple more seconds probably. She'd consider going for the cheap shot and kneeing the guy's groin, much as she didn't like to use a tactic like that, but she had to figure with all the body armor he was wearing, he'd have a cup. Plus, her legs weren't free enough for her to try that without him figuring out her intention and probably moving to counter. So there was really only one thing she could think to try. She spit in his eye.
He cursed and his hold faltered as he instinctively reached for his face to wipe the saliva away. She grabbed her wrist and pulled, bashing him in the head with her elbow, next hitting him in the neck with the side of her closed fist on the way back, and then clapping her hands over his ears as hard as she could.
He swore loudly.
That last move would probably cause him long-term damage, it could even be fatal sometimes, but she didn't have better options. After all, he'd made it clear her life was in imminent danger from him, so that meant there was no way she was pulling any punches.
She rolled him off her and yanked her gun out of his hands then struck him with it in the head as she had one of the others.
She got up and looked over to see the woman with the wings break one of her attacker's necks and drop him on the floor. All of the armed men were down. A couple were still conscious, she counted one gone, which worried her. The winged woman turned on her, her eyes flashing red. She growled a little. "Human." She said.
Her voice startled Elisa and made her shiver a little. She did relax just a little though, realizing the woman could at least talk and she hadn't just rescued the equivalent of a wild animal that might attack her. The way the woman looked, she might do that anyway, but Elisa had the rifle still, and her hand gun, though she was hoping she could reason with the woman rather than have to use either. "That's me alright. Are, um, are you okay?" She asked. "Do you, I mean, are you hurt? Do you need... well, I'm not sure if a doctor could help you, but..."
The woman's eyes stopped glowing and she just sort of looked at her curiously. "You helped me... why?" She asked, holding her shoulder as though it were wounded.
"You looked like you needed it?" Elisa ventured. "...look, I'm not going to pretend I know what's going on here, who you are, you know, with the wings and everything, but you were being attacked, and it's my job to help. Your arm looks hurt..."
"It will heal." The woman told her. "...you're... strange, for a human." She said, sinking down to the floor, apparently struggling to stay on her feet and failing.
Elisa dropped her rifle and went over to her. "Hey..." She came over next to her without even really thinking it through weather it was a good idea or not. "Hey... they really did a number on you, didn't they?" She said, kneeling down next to her and touching her arm.
The woman hissed at her, her eyes glowing red again. "Stay away." She warned, causing Elisa to fall onto her butt from where she'd been crouching.
She couldn't help it, it felt like her heart had leapt into her throat, her pulse sped up, she was scared. "Hey... I'm... I'm sorry okay."
The woman smiled just a little at that. "...I suppose I should thank you... for what you've just done for me." She said, not meeting Elisa's eyes.
"...It's the job, like I said." Elisa repeated, sitting up, but keeping her distance this time.
"Perhaps - Most of your kind wouldn't see it that way, in my experience... What makes you different, I wonder?" She asked, halfway between curious and suspicious.
"...whether that's true or not, I couldn't answer you anyway." Elisa told her, yawning unexpectedly. "Sorry, long night." She explained.
One of the men groaned and Elisa looked, he was getting up. "'xcuse me a moment." She got up and went over to the guy, wrestled him to the floor and cuffed him to a support beam. "You're under arrest." She told him simply. "...So, I don't suppose you'd be in the mood to tell me what exactly this was all about, would you...?" She asked the woman.
"Demona." The woman said. "My name is Demona."
"Demona." Elisa repeated, going back over and sitting cross-legged in front of her. "My name is Elisa, Elisa Maza. I'm a detective with the 23rd precinct." She knew maybe she should be more cautious about this, but Demona didn't seem to be hostile, much - Though she was clearly dangerous, or could be if she wanted to be. The bottom line was, she was mostly just going with her gut on this. Truthfully, it all seemed just slightly unreal to her. Like as though, when she hadn't been paying enough attention, she'd stepped into another world - One like her own, but... with obvious differences. She was tired - She'd been up since five AM, running around the city for one reason or another. She hadn't been getting enough sleep the last few days in fact, and she'd just been in a fight for her life; her adrenalin was pumping. She knew that wasn't exactly a state that lent itself best to critical thinking. So she was just going to go with it for now, and hope it started to all make a bit more sense as time went on. "So, care to tell me your story?" She asked.
Demona studied her a moment. "I came here looking for... information, on a personal matter. These men were waiting for me. If you hadn't shown up when you had, I likely might be their prisoner by now." She explained.
"Do you know why they were after you? Who sent them?" Elisa asked next.
"I have a... strong suspicion." Demona confessed.
"So, who's the suspect?" She asked.
Demona seemed to consider whether or not to answer for a moment. "David Xanatos." She told her.
"...okay..." She immediately recognized the name of course - He was one of the wealthiest, most influential men in the city. That he would be involved in something that was, to say the least, shady, came as no great surprise to her. Rich men rarely got to be rich men by playing by the rules. "Do you know why?"
"I imagine I would have been destined for a laboratory somewhere." She replied, not telling Elisa that there was more to it than that of course.
"Okay... that makes about as much sense as anything I suppose... And, the wings and everything?" She asked. "Did those... come from a laboratory somewhere, or did you come by them naturally?"
"...Naturally. Humans aren't the only species that call this world home, detective... At one time, there were many like me." She explained in a softer voice. "Whole clans..."
"...what happened to them?" Elisa asked.
"Your kind." Demona told her accusingly, her eyes growing hard. "Humans have always hunted us."
"That's..." Elisa couldn't quite think of anything to say to that. She looked into the other woman's eyes. "You're telling the truth, aren't you?"
"Traditionally, my kind do not lie... though, I have had to learn over the years." She confessed. "There are not many of us left, I think." She admitted.
"...well, I somehow don't think bringing you down to the station to give a statement would do anyone any good, least of all either of us. But, are you sure you don't want my help?" Elisa asked. "I'm not sure what I could do, but... I want to try, if you'll let me. I know some first aide at least, I dated a nurse for a while..." She told her.
They heard sirens in the distance.
"Sounds like someone called in the disturbance." Elisa observed.
"I need to leave." Demona told her, getting to her feet and groaning a little from the effort.
"Can you, um, can you fly?" Elisa asked.
Demona looked at her and a hint of a smile crossed her lips. "I can manage." Though, privately, she was less than completely sure of that. She still felt dizzy from all the electricity they'd pumped through her.
"...one of them got away, you know." Elisa told her. "I counted when I first came in. One of the two men I shot in the shoulder is missing. Could they have... reinforcements? Nearby?"
"...In other words, you suspect a second trap?" Demona looked to her.
"They had to know this was a risk." She allowed. "It's not out of the question they'd have a second team nearby, either as backup or as a failsafe. A man like Xanatos could certainly afford it."
"What do you suggest?" Demona asked, a little amused.
"I'm not sure." She considered. "If it were a trap, they'd be expecting you to leave by air."
"They would at that." Demona conceded, privately considering that, indeed, it wouldn't be out of character for Xanatos to plan something of the kind. He'd know he'd never get a better chance once she knew his intentions. He'd know this was his best opportunity. "Perhaps..." She looked at the conscious mercenary whom Elisa had cuffed.
"...you don't want him to overhear what you want to tell me?" Elisa asked.
"It would be better if he did not." Demona confirmed. What she was considering doing was going to be a risk, if a tactically sound one that Xanatos wouldn't see coming. Of course, the seemingly sincere Detective Maza could, herself, be a trap of some kind. It seemed unlikely of course, but then humans had caught her off guard with the depths of their cunning before, and the idea of a human who would come to her aide as Elisa Maza had just done and not look upon her with distrust or any more fear than the respect for her blatantly superior physical strength seemed nearly as farfetched. Never the less, her instincts were telling her that the detective was not deceiving her, was in fact being nothing less than wholly genuine, as strange a concept as that was for her to readily accept.
Elisa looked between him and Demona, then at the other men. He was the only one awake, the others were either unconscious or dead. Ideally, she wished she had more handcuffs of course, but she'd only brought the one pair. "Let's go to another room then, I don't think they'll give us any more trouble until the squad cars arrive." She went over and offered Demona her hand up.
Demona looked a little unsure but then reached out and took her hand, getting to her feet. It was interesting to Elisa how Demona seemed to wrap her wings about her like a cape.
"This isn't going to be all that easy to explain, you know." Elisa commented as they walked from the room and she held the door open for the other woman. "Everything else wouldn't be a problem, but the claw marks, that's a tough one."
"...you seem resourceful, I'm sure you'll think of something." Demona said as they came out into the stairway.
"Watch your feet, there's glass..." Elisa watched as Demona walked on it with no worry evident.
"My skin is more durable than yours is." She explained.
"Evidently." Elisa allowed. "Which way are we going?" Elisa asked, referring to up towards the roof or down towards the street.
"Down." Demona told her.
"If you're sure." She said. They walked down the steps to the second floor. "Okay, this should be far enough away; he won't be able to hear."
"Against my better judgment, I'm trusting you, Elisa." Demona told her, looking meaningfully into Elisa's eyes and closing her hand around a bracelet that she wore on her wrist. She closed her eyes and spoke. "Let form and being bend, for daylight world, let me amend."
As Elisa watched, sparkles of light danced and around Demona and she... changed. Soon, she was a human woman, with red hair, and, Elisa noted, not very many clothes on.
Demona opened her eyes and their eyes met - Elisa recognized her. "You're Dominique Destine?" Dominique Destine was the owner and C.E.O. of Nightstone Unlimited, a rather large global corporation known for its work in research and development as well as for its rather extensive charitable endeavors. Elisa remembered seeing an interview with her on the news a few weeks ago in fact; she'd been impressed, as she recalled.
"Very few people know my secret, Detective Maza. Can I count on your... discretion?" She asked.
"I um, how did you do that though? Change like that?" Elisa asked.
"Magic. A spell, given to me by... a friend, for my protection." She told her.
"Magic now..." She shook her head a little.
"My secret, Elisa. Will you keep it?" Dominique pressed, moving forwards towards Elisa, her eyes letting Elisa know that she was very serious about having an answer.
Elisa sighed and closed her eyes. "I'll give you the same deal that the lawyers and therapists give."
"In other words, as long as I don't tell you I'm planning to commit a felony, you'll keep my secrets?" She asked before Elisa could explain.
"Pretty much - That good enough for you?" She asked.
"In fact it is. Thank you, Elisa." Dominique told her, appraising Elisa thoughtfully again. There was the sound of cars pulling up, sirens shutting off, car doors opening.
"Um, I think this is the part where I offer you my jacket?" Elisa observed, looking down at the other woman's state of dress. "Unless you can, you know, wave your hand and conjure up some less conspicuous clothing?"
"I'm afraid not." Dominique took off her circlet and anklet while Elisa took off her coat. "...thank you." She said as she took Elisa's jacket and put it on.
Looking at the other woman, bare foot with just the scrap of cloth covering her below the waist, Elisa rethought her approach. They could say she was kidnapped and... was the victim of an attempted sexual assault - It was about the only way to explain things that people would maybe believe - but putting the other woman through the media frenzy that would likely follow seemed, to say the least, not a very kind option. "On second thought, maybe not..." She looked around and tried the door to the second floor offices. It opened onto a hallway. The offices themselves would probably be locked, but apparently whoever had locked up last night had thought the lock on the downstairs door would be enough. "I um, your choice. Hide here and wait for me, or try our luck getting to my car through whatever's out there like this." She offered.
"Mm, no, I believe I'll take the better part of valor, thank you." Dominique answered, going to the door, her hand on the doorknob. She looked into Elisa's eyes again and held her gaze a moment more, just to assure herself of her choice to trust this woman again, and then she turned and closed the door behind her, sitting down on the floor against the wall so she couldn't be seen through the window in the door that was higher up. She heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Elisa Maza identifying herself to her colleagues, telling them the crime scene was upstairs. Then more footsteps as they all went up to the third floor. It was all somehow anti-climactic, she thought to herself. A part of her had been sure, even though her instincts had told her otherwise, that the police detective who'd come to her rescue would betray her in the end. That part of her still thought that, in fact - That either this was all some sort of trick, or that Elisa's good intentions wouldn't last. No human's ever had, where she had been concerned, and she had been alive for a very long time. Too long, she sometimes thought.
She let her eyes close. She really was very tired from her ordeal tonight. The net and the prodding she'd taken from those electrified spears had taken more out of her than she'd wanted to let on. And now that she'd magically shifted to human form, she feared it was taking even more of a toll.
She let her thoughts drift back to what had happened moments before. Elisa Maza was obviously a very capable woman, to have taken on so many and won through as she had. And there was just something about her eyes... she had such beautiful eyes. Honest, reliable, open, true, even brave... Rare qualities, in anyone, but even more so in a human. As she fell asleep, she thought, Elisa Maza reminded her of a gargoyle... Maybe that's why she'd been so willing to trust her somehow...
It was sometime after one, getting close to one-thirty at night, and Dominique found herself in Elisa Maza's car, heading to the other woman's apartment. She was having trouble staying awake - Really they both were, she could tell that much at least. "Long night, detective?" She asked absently.
"I've been on my feet since five, yeah. A cup of peppermint tea would be heaven. I wish that coffee shop had been open so I could've got one." Elisa replied, yawning.
"Just don't crash the car, and it'll be fine." Dominique commented, yawning herself - Evidently it was contagious. She closed her eyes. Tea would be nice, she had to agree (or coffee - a chi latté preferably, she reflected). In any case, Elisa was taking her home to her studio apartment. Apparently, she had a guest room for when her sister would come to the city. Her sister was away at college now. Elisa's home was close, her own home was on the other side of the city, and Elisa apparently trusted her enough to extend the offer of sanctuary. She supposed it made sense - Elisa had to know she'd given her plenty of opportunity to kill her back at the office building, so why wouldn't she trust her now if she had been able to trust her with her life then? She supposed also that she could have declined the offer and asked Elisa for some change to use a pay phone to call for her driver, but she felt that would be testing the limits of even Lockland's discretion. And she didn't want questions being asked. The less you left yourself exposed, the less chance there was that you could be hurt. No, she'd trusted Elisa Maza this far, she thought she might just as well trust her a bit further. Besides, something in her just wanted to know, she admitted to herself - Once and for all, if was it possible to find a human who was really worthy of her trust. She'd gotten to know a good many humans over her lifetime, mostly in recent years as she'd been magically disguising herself as one of them, thanks to Titania's gift. None of them had impressed her with their character that very much (a few might have at least shown themselves to her to not seem to possess particularly morally objectionable character traits, and there was one she currently almost considered something approximating a friend, but that was all). The last human she'd really trusted in the way she was now trusting Elisa Maza had, well, she supposed she would have died long ago but for the bargain that had been struck between them, but that hadn't made his betrayal sting any less. If she were to befriend Elisa Maza now, she wondered, how long would she have to wait until she felt betrayal's familiar sting?
In any case, somehow she thought it would be worth her time to find out one way or the other - She'd found herself wavering in her long-held beliefs in recent years, wavering in her convictions, and it just wouldn't do for her to lose what had given her her edge. She had plans, after all, and there were those she needed to protect. If Elisa were part of some treachery somehow, she would find the end of it best by playing along for now. If she befriended her and Elisa proved untrustworthy, then she would have her answer and her convictions would be proven true again, her doubts assuaged. If, on the other hand, Elisa proved to be what she seemed, then... then that would be a pleasant surprise, she supposed. However it turned out though, the bottom line was that Elisa Maza now knew her secret, and that was potentially very dangerous to her. No matter the risk though, killing a woman who'd just saved her from captivity was out of the question for her - Her honor wouldn't stand for it and neither would her heart. No, the wise course of action was to keep Elisa close until she had a better idea of what the detective having that knowledge might mean for her.
They pulled into a parking space in the small underground garage under Elisa's apartment building, and Elisa turned the key to shut the car off. "Well, we're here." She observed, looking over at Dominique who was blinking her eyes open. She considered the woman next to her a moment and found herself somehow fascinated. Oh, she was sure in the morning when her brain was no longer sleep-deprived she'd probably wonder just what the heck she'd gotten herself into (magic, intelligent life on Earth that was other than human, corporate intrigue, billionaires, armed mercenaries, kidnapping attempts, and who knew what else - it was a long list), but for some reason she had a feeling she'd made the right call about this, about Dominique. Somehow Demona, or Dominique Destine, just seemed like... someone who could use someone on their side for once. Someone who... had been alone for too long. That, at least, was something she could relate to. Less so the wings and magic and everything of course, but whatever it all meant, she had a feeling, her life had just gotten considerably more interesting. And as far as she was concerned, that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. She'd just have to see what happened. Tomorrow. "Sleep, here I come." She said.
"Seconded." Dominique groaned as she got herself up and opened the passenger side door on Elisa's car. She got to her feet, but she realized her body was stiff and ached all over. Being human, compared to the raw power, energy, and vitality she'd always felt as a gargoyle, was always something of a letdown to her - Now, more so than usual, obviously. But Elisa had been right of course, leaving by taking flight as a gargoyle was a risk that, as it turned out, was unnecessary. Of course, this could all be a trap, a web of lies Elisa was spinning, she knew that. But if it was, it obviously wasn't to capture her. She hated to admit it, but Xanatos's mercenaries would probably have gotten the better of her. They'd caught her by surprise and had been very efficient hunters. No, if Elisa were working a deception, it was to gain information or to gain her trust for something longer term. Which meant, she was almost certainly safe with her for tonight at least, whether Elisa's intentions where as honorable as they very much appeared to be or whether they were not.
She took a few steps, but found herself feeling dizzy and using the car to steady herself. Elisa was there though. "Here, let me help you." She offered.
Dominique regarded her thoughtfully, the sound of Elisa's voice strangely comforting somehow. "If you must." She quietly acquiesced, letting Elisa put her arm around her and, in turn, leaning against the other woman for support as they walked in the building proper and went to a stairwell.
"Sorry. No elevator. We're in for little of a climb." Elisa explained. It was an old building (if well maintained), so it didn't have things like elevators - That was one of the reasons she could afford the rent on her salary. That, and it was rent controlled.
"I think I can manage." Dominique replied with a little of a rueful smile, thinking to herself how easy it would be to climb these stairs as her real self. She could do it in less than thirty seconds, without a doubt. As it was, it seemed to take an interminable length of time, and she had to fight to stay conscious all the way there. She didn't complain or even groan once though, willing herself to maintain at least that much dignity in front of her new... ally, protector, she supposed. A strange feeling, she considered. It had been... a very long time since anyone had played that role in regards to her ...It was nice, even allowing that she couldn't bring herself to completely trust the feeling quite yet, or the person who'd evoked it in her.
They moved in silence to her front door, which was one of only two on the top floor. Elisa opened the door for them, and they walked through together. Once inside, Dominique found herself looking around curiously. It was a fairly big place, she realized. Not nearly as big as her own of course, but it was nice. There was a high ceiling, a sunken living area, and an angled wall that was almost all one big window. The subtle scents, clean and welcoming, evoked pleasant feelings in her too. Everything was neat and, while not exactly elegant, very beautifully and thoughtfully laid out. It was apparent Elisa had taken her time with it and took pride in her apartment. It definitely had the feeling of a sanctuary, a... home. At her feet, she felt something furry and warm bush up against her leg. She stiffened and looked down, seeing a gray cat who was purring a little.
"Cagney likes you, I think." Elisa smiled to her.
"You have a cat..." She observed. Well, obviously Elisa had a cat, she internally chided herself a little for saying something so perfunctory. Of course, she felt like she was about to pass out from exhaustion, so perhaps it was understandable that she found herself at a loss for eloquence.
"Do you like cats?" Elisa asked, her own mind rather running on fumes at present. Cagney meowed to her and went towards the kitchen, obviously wanting a refill on her food or water - She'd get to that after she saw to her guest.
"I... never thought about it one way or the other." Dominique admitted as they walked towards a hallway.
"Not a pet person, huh?" Elisa replied.
"...my... I have a dog. I like his company very much." She admitted.
"What's his name?" Elisa asked.
"He doesn't have one." Dominique told her honestly.
"Huh, why not?" She asked as she opened the door to her guest room for them.
"My kind, traditionally, don't name things - I didn't used to have a name either. Not until... much later in my life." She confided.
"Really? So... why 'Demona' then?" She asked as she sat her guest gown on the bed and sat next to her tiredly. "Not that it's a bad name; I think it's actually... kind of pretty."
"You think so?" Dominique asked, intentionally avoiding answering the question. "How peculiar..." She observed, laying back on the bed on her back. "For a human, you're very unusual, Elisa Maza... it's... refreshing." She admitted tiredly.
"Well, thanks... I think." Elisa yawned and heard Cagney meow from the other room. "I need to go feed my cat, I think. Do you, um, do you think you'll need any help, um, getting ready for bed?" She offered a little reluctantly. Not that the idea didn't have a certain appeal, it just... didn't seem appropriate somehow. Like she felt she somehow had to offer the disclaimer 'just to be sure - you know I'm gay, right?', as much as it bugged her that she felt she had to think about things like that. It wasn't like she'd even gone out on a date in... she didn't know how long.
"I can manage..." Dominique told her, groaning and sitting back up. She thought of offering Elisa her coat back, but didn't say anything... feeling a little embarrassed for having needed it in the first place, honestly.
"Okay then..." Elisa got up and made to leave.
"Detective Maza..." Dominique spoke as Elisa was at the door.
"Yeah?" Elisa turned back to her and their eyes met.
"I... thank you. For... just... thank you." She said, feeling... Trust did not come easily to her, and the feeling lay uneasily in her even more so having expressed it out loud. It struck her then just how vulnerable she really had left herself where Elisa Maza was concerned tonight - and a big part of her couldn't help but feeling she'd made a mistake somehow, one that she would soon come to regret.
"You're welcome." Elisa smiled to her easily and then left to feed her cat, closing the door behind her.
Dominique looked at the door a moment, and then got up to check it. It was unlocked. She knew it would be, she'd checked that it was the kind that only locked from the inside before entering, but she just felt... she had to know for sure.
She felt heavy on her feet, and still kind of dizzy. Though, she noticed, she was feeling just a little bit better from the walk up the stairs and everything, if still very tired. She caught herself yawning again, and looked down. She took off the heavy belt she had at her waist and let it drop to the floor. She'd left her circlet and anklet in Elisa's glove compartment, she realized. She took off Elisa's jacket and put it on the bed, then went on to take off her tunic and armlet, setting the armlet down on the nightstand, leaving only her bracelet on (she could take it off an remain human, but she would need it to become her gargoyle self again, so she always kept it on when she was like this). She looked down at the jacket on the bed and picked it up, putting it on again. It was comfortable and she felt chilled, even though it wasn't cold here. She walked over to the window and opened the blinds. The window looked up at the building next to them, more apartments, some with lights on, some not, and above that she could see some of the sky, the moon nearly out of view.
Xanatos had made his play last night, very soon she would... react. She would hunt him, as she had been hunted. And there would be no Detective Maza there to come to his aide when she finally cornered him, she would make very sure of that. In the beginning, she had made an alliance with him when he'd come to her and told her that he knew her secret, as it was to their mutual benefit at the time and she'd wanted to get to know him to find out what his weaknesses were, and his plans, but he was greedy, as were most humans in her experience, and she'd known it only a matter of time before the alliance would run its course. The signs had been readily apparent in recent months, and she'd distanced herself from him and his interests, yet still, she honestly hadn't thought he would take such a... direct approach.
Elisa had been right before though, that he would have had to have been relatively sure his attempt on her would work, otherwise, he would have to have known her reaction. Which would, of course, mean he would be expecting her retaliation when it came. Xanatos was cunning, even by human standard, so whatever action she took, she knew she would have to consider very carefully - preferably it should be something that even Xanatos would not expect of her. She signed wearily and turned away from the window. She was tired enough to sleep, though her thoughts now were somehow disquieted in a way she didn't fully understand.
She hugged her arms around herself and looked down at the bed she'd been given. She wondered when, if ever, she would be able to truly just... rest. Without having to be so careful of everything she did, without having to look over her shoulder for the next one waiting to stab her in the back. Somehow though, she couldn't help but feel, if not safe, then less at threat here. It wasn't a particularly rational thought, she knew, and perhaps it was simply exhaustion, but somehow, as she lay down on the bed, not bothering to get under the covers, she couldn't help but remember Elisa Maza's eyes the first time she'd seen them tonight. The look in those eyes, then and after... somehow Dominique just couldn't, on an instinctual level, bring herself to really distrust the woman (no matter how much she thought she should distrust her; on principle, if for no other reason).
As she fell off to sleep with the other woman's jacket still on, she scoffed at herself for the foolish thoughts. None the less though, she felt herself relax more than she would have liked, and when she slept, she slept soundly.
Across the hall, Elisa was just going into her own bedroom after feeding Cagney and making herself a small cup of peppermint tea. She was tired, but peppermint tea before bed was a ritual for her; she had it every night, and she wasn't about to stop now.
She sat her tea cup down on her dresser and noticed Cagney walking in and jumping up on her favorite chair, curling up into a ball, and starting to doze contentedly. Elisa wondered, not for the first time, what life must be like for a cat. She wondered if everything was a mystery to be solved, or an adventure to be had, even mundane things. Cagney sometimes left that impression, though sometimes not (Cagney was a house cat after all, and fond of her comforts).
She got undressed next and then took a last sip of tea and went to bed, not feeling like finishing off the cup. She reached over and turned off the light on the nightstand and then snuggled in for sleep. Images of glowing red eyes, of Demona... and Dominique, played across her mind's eye. She was too tired to really try to figure out how she felt about it all, but somehow, the idea that there were mysteries like that out there in the world for her to solve, and that one of them was sleeping in the bed just across the hall, was a comforting one.
She'd gotten to thinking lately that maybe life had shown her all it had to offer and she would just have to learn to live with it. Now, well, maybe this was proof that that wasn't true after all?
When Dominique woke and she looked at the digital clock under the window, she saw it was almost ten in the morning. It surprised her that she'd slept so long. And, she considered, it was also a surprise how well rested she felt. When she tried to stretch out her body a little though, she quickly realized she was still quite sore in many places, so she only did a few more (more gentle) stretches before she lay back down and relaxed on the bed and considered her situation anew.
That nothing had happened to her overnight of course was somewhat reassuring, not that she'd expected anything to happen. Or, truthfully, a part of her always seemed to have thoughts like that when it came to humans. Putting that aside though, what she was going to do next, that was the question. She'd made vague plans last night, both to stay close to Detective Maza until she could find out more about her, find out if she could really trust her to keep her secret or not, and then there was the matter of David Xanatos to contend with - She would be a fool to let matters with him rest over long. To do so would only be to invite further attacks such as what had happened last night. And Xanatos was a man with many resources to spend and the cunning to use them in the most... effective of ways. True, she couldn't afford to be hasty about this, but also true was that the longer she waited, the more dangerous the situation would become.
She had a number of options she could choose from for the how of it, but, whatever she decided, she knew she would have to be creative about it in order to catch her enemy at anything like a vulnerable moment, and she knew also that she had responsibilities now and that it would be best to bring the matter up with her clan first... and, she considered, she would have to speak to Elisa of this a little as well. She needed to know where things stood between them first before she made any plans - Like it or not, Elisa Maza was a factor to be considered in her life now, and might be for quite some time to come. Not that she found that prospect entirely unappealing, because somehow, she didn't. Somehow, she was... looking forward to seeing the detective who'd come to her rescue last night again.
She shook her head ruefully at herself. "Still so foolish, after all this time, it seems." She said softly to herself. It seemed, one way or another, she'd set herself on this course. And there would come a resolution, of that she was sure. What she was less sure of, however, was which way she wanted it to turn out.
She sniffed the collar of Elisa's jacket, which she was still wearing, and found the subtle scents pleasant. There was the hint of some perfume, one she couldn't recognize.
She sat up, took the jacket off, and laid it on the bed, looking down at it thoughtfully.
"Mm." She shook her head a little and got up. The closet was open and it was apparent that Elisa's sister, Beth (she recalled the name Elisa had mentioned to her during the car ride over), kept some of her clothes here when she was away. She considered appropriating some of them, but she hadn't asked permission so she thought it might be somehow inappropriate. The only other option was what she'd come with of course. She went over and picked up the scant clothing and considered it. She always felt a little... exposed, somehow, dressed like this as a human (not that she would let it show). She decided though that was probably an unnecessary reaction in this case. Besides, back at the office building yesterday, in the stairwell, she'd been surprised to notice Elisa's subtle reaction to her as a human in this attire. She was curious to see if she'd been right in guessing the reason for it.
So she set about getting dressed in the clothes she usually wore as a gargoyle. She had to admit, aside from the slight feeling that they left her too vulnerable as a human, she still felt most... herself, wearing these. Even after all the time she'd had to get used to it, it was still a little disquieting to her to actually be a human and not a gargoyle. This actually helped with that some.
Dressed, she tested the door and was again reassured that it wasn't locked or sealed. As soon as she opened the door though, she immediately noticed the scent of food, which made her realize how hungry she was. Of course, it could be poison, she was a little disgusted with herself to consider. She really didn't like thinking things like that so incessantly about Elisa, but when you'd been hunted on and off for over a thousand years, it just came as second nature to her where humans were concerned. And usually she was more than fine with that. For some reason though, it was bothering her now in regards to her host, she couldn't deny that it was. In any case, practically speaking, for obvious reasons, she knew it was extremely unlikely Elisa Maza had poisoned the food she was cooking, so she dismissed the concern as unfounded and found herself quickening her pace to where the pleasant scents were coming from.
Elisa looked up from her food preparation and smiled. "Hi." She greeted her.
Dominique noticed again the subtle way Elisa took in her appearance. She smiled a little to herself, satisfied that she'd been right, and intrigued a little by it too somehow. She could remember only a few times in her life when she'd been looked at in just that way - It was nice, and it spoke very well of Elisa's character as well. "Good morning, Elisa." She greeted her in return, walking over to join her in the kitchen, standing on the other side of the counter and meeting her host's gaze.
"Did you sleep well?" Elisa asked, a little caught in Dominique's eyes somehow. There was just... something there, like a question, or maybe more than one.
"...I did, thank you." Dominique replied. "Is... some of this for me?" She asked, referring to the food.
"It is. You're hungry, I hope?" She asked. "Otherwise, I'm going to be stuck with leftovers."
"As it turns out, I am." Dominique replied, glancing over to the table, which had been set for two. "Can I... help? Preparing the food?" She asked, not having really thought about it before asking the question.
"No, it's alright. I'm almost done anyway, and you're my guest." She explained.
"Alright... I'll just keep you company then." Dominique replied easily, coming around the counter and inspecting the food curiously. "You're vegan?" She asked, noticing no meat or dairy products among the meal.
"Yeah, I hope that's alright?" She asked.
"Fine." Dominique replied. It was becoming something of a trend lately, she guessed, in certain circles, though she was at a loss as to why. Food was food though, as far as she was concerned, and this smelled like very good food. She wondered away to the other side of the small kitchen then, thinking of how to ask her next question. "Can I ask... how are you dealing with... everything that you've learned, yesterday?" She asked, leaning against the counter on the other side of the kitchen and looking at Elisa from behind.
Elisa put down what she was doing (putting things on plates to take over to the table) and turned around to regard her guest. "I suppose I do have questions..." She allowed.
"I would be suspicious if you didn't." Dominique replied.
"...Um, why do I have the feeling there's something more specific you want to know?" Elisa noticed.
Dominique smiled a little. "You are perceptive, I like that..." She said a little softly, walking back the few steps across the kitchen and taking a bite of food from one of the plates and popping it in her mouth, pleased with the taste.
"So?" Elisa asked, apparently a little amused with her.
"I suppose I just find it..." Dominique shook her head a little and looked off across the room at nothing in particular. "I don't trust easily, Detective Maza... Elisa." She said, looking over and meeting her host's eyes again. "I suppose, I'm just looking for... reassurance. That my secret will be safe with you, that I can... that you really are as trustworthy as you seem to be." She explained, for some reason finding herself being very careful of her words.
"Oh, well... I guess that makes sense, or I'm sure it does." Elisa said a bit abstractly, actually feeling a little hurt somehow, though she realized it was stupid to feel that way. Maybe this whole thing was stupid for her to have gotten mixed up in with the first place. She felt she hadn't really had a choice though. In addition to it plainly having been the right thing to do, the fact that it was also plainly in her job description (well, aside from the taking the assault victim home with her part), and that the she found the whole thing completely interesting and exciting, she had to admit to herself, she always did have a soft spot for strays too. That's how she ended up with Cagney after all, not that Dominique could be compared fairly to a house cat. Add it all up with the way Dominique took her breath away a little, and she hadn't really had a chance.
"Don't misunderstand me, I'm... I'm very grateful for your help last night, it's simply, it was simply very unexpected, that's all." She explained, looking away from Elisa again.
"It's all right." Elisa said. "...maybe we can answer more of each other's questions while we eat? ...I wouldn't want the food to get cold." She asked, trying to rally her mood and self-assurance.
Dominique smiled a little. "The food does smell very good." She allowed, picking up the plate she'd stolen food from just before. "May I?" She asked.
"Please." Elisa replied easily, watching her guest take up her plate of food and start to walk towards the table. She couldn't help but smile a little too, to watch her. She was a very attractive woman, she'd have to be thick in the head not to notice, especially with her dressed like that. More than that though, she had to admit, there was just something, some sort of... spark... that was just there for her. It was something she hadn't felt in... it had been almost a year and a half now, hadn't it? Since then, she'd gone out a few times, dated that nurse, Rebecca, for a few weeks, but her heart just hadn't been in it. She and Rebecca were still on good terms, they talked sometimes even, it was just... She shook her head and followed after Dominique with her own plate of food. The drinks and things were already over on the table waiting for them.
They sat down too and looked at one another. "You know, I do have some clothes you could borrow." Elisa smiled softly to the other woman.
"Oh... is the way I'm dressed... bothering you?" Dominique asked, a sort of bemused curiosity in her voice.
"Not at all. I just thought I should offer." Elisa explained, taking a bite of her food and swallowing. "So... how about this: A question for a question?" She offered, realizing suddenly she actually was very curious to know more about the woman across from her, as well as what the implications of her very existence might be.
Dominique considered that for a moment while she chewed a bite of food. "That sounds... equitable." She agreed. "You can have the first one, if you like?" She offered, curious as to what that question would be. A question asked could be as telling as a question answered, after all.
"Okay... I guess, where are you from?" She asked.
"...Scotland." Dominique answered. That certainly wasn't a question she'd expected. "Wyvern Hill... in present day Lochaber Ward." She supposed that was all the answer she truly owed, but, looking into Elisa's expectant eyes, she felt compelled to expand on the matter. She sighed a little. "There used to be a great castle there, now abandoned and in ruins. Humans built it, but my kind, my clan, had lived there since long before... The humans struck an... accord with us... We would guard them at night, and they, in turn, were to guard us during the day... I was born there, in 938. The castle was sacked in 994, and I fled, thinking myself the last survivor of my clan..." She told her with simple honesty.
"You weren't though?" Elisa asked.
"...As it turned out, no." Again, Elisa's perceptiveness was somehow a pleasant surprise. "My lover, he had escaped as well. And found me, weeks later." She admitted. The bittersweet thoughts of Goliath evoking a familiar, if now distant, swirl of complex emotion in her.
Elisa smiled a little. "At least you weren't alone." She offered. "What happened to him?"
Dominique smiled a little wistfully. "Long gone... he died in a battle, protecting me." She fought the familiar bitter twist of grief that came from thinking of that time. His death had not been at all... easy... on her. But, Goliath, by that point, had been old... had lived a full life. Worse... much worse, was that they'd also had a son, who'd been young... though old enough to fight. She had lost him that same wretched day as well, to a spear thrown by a human. The grief and rage she'd felt at all humans over his loss, she wondered if she would ever truly get over it... If she could, if she had or not, regardless, it was one subject she wasn't going to talk about with Elisa, not now at least. If she told that story... there would be no hiding the hate in her eyes, and, somehow, the idea of Elisa Maza seeing that side of her was... not a pleasant thought.
"...I'm sorry." Elisa told her simply.
Dominique smiled, just a little, at that. "My turn?" She asked. There was much more to that part of her story of course, even than her son's death, but now was not the time to go into any more of it with her new human... acquaintance.
"...tell me about your day yesterday. Why were you out so late?" She asked, judging it a simple enough question that might tell her more of the other woman than might be obvious. And it had the added advantage that if Elisa were somehow other than she presented herself, her answering this question might reveal it. Of course, once she was back at her home, she fully intended to have Elisa Maza investigated thoroughly by all the means available to her. It was only prudent.
Elisa considered that a moment. "My shift usually starts at six, but I came in early to catch up on some paperwork." She explained, smiling a little. "I've been busy lately, and I sort of let it pile up." She admitted with a just a hint of shy embarrassment evident. By her apartment, Dominique could tell Elisa liked to keep things, if not overly neat, then... in order. It showed she had a certain need for... control, which Dominique could certainly sympathize with. "My captain wasn't too thrilled about that, but she understands."
"So, you were inside doing paper work all day... 'on your feet'?" She teased gently.
Elisa smiled. Was it just her, or was she being flirted with, just a little? Or, maybe 'played with' would be more accurate? She wasn't quite sure how she felt about that. If it was even true. "Uh, no. I've got more sense than that, thank you. If I'd stared at paperwork that long, I think I'd have been getting a ride to the nuthouse, in a nice padded truck."
"What then?" Dominique asked, frankly, enjoying herself. She couldn't remember the last time she'd enjoyed talking with someone so much, besides Una of course.
"What is actually a who - A lowlife by the name of Tony Dracon." She explained.
"I've heard of him." Dominique replied. "You were... hunting him, I take it?" She asked.
"You could say that, I guess." Elisa closed her eyes a moment then opened them. "I... with a job like mine, you hear allot of stories, you know? My dad never came home. My sister says she falls down a lot, but I don't believe her. There was a fire, my whole life up in smoke. I guess I must just have been careless. My daughter, she hung out with the wrong crowd, got messed up with drugs, now she's pregnant and she doesn't know who the father is, but the boy who gave her drugs won't leave her alone. My husband never came home, someone shot him for his wallet. Why can't the police do anything? Why can't you... it's my job, it's the police's job to protect our community. Protect the people who can't protect themselves. Well, a lot of those stories I keep hearing? One of the names that keeps coming up when I look into them?"
"Tony Dracon..." Dominique supplied.
"Tony Dracon. So, I guess I just decided to make him my personal project. When I have the time." She looked down at her plate. "Today, around eleven, I got called in on a murder. No proof, probably won't ever be any proof, but I'm... I'd really be surprised if Dracon wasn't behind it. So, I did what I'm supposed to. I was a cop; I talked to witnesses, followed leads..."
"Find anything?" Dominique asked, her food forgotten, she'd let herself get so wrapped up in Elisa's voice.
Elisa smiled softly. "Nope, 'fraid not." She reported, taking a sip of water. "But, today's another day, you know?"
"I do know." Dominique replied, smiling a little and taking a bite of food. She couldn't help it, it seemed. She was really starting to like this human somehow. "You... the way you talk... you sound like a gargoyle, Elisa."
"A gargoyle?" Elisa asked, unsure how to take that. "Like the statues?"
Dominique regarded her thoughtfully a moment. Somehow she'd thought she'd have said the name to her last night, but she realized she never had and Elisa had never asked what her kind were called. She'd never asked a lot of questions that she would think most humans would ask, come to think of it. "It's the name humans gave to my kind long ago. Gargoyles. The statues you speak of, I imagine we are where they take their inspiration... does that count as your question?" She smiled a little to her host.
"...only if you want it to?" Elisa offered.
Dominique gazed into her eyes a moment. "No, I don't. Ask me something else, detective." She offered, curious as to what she would ask next.
"Okay... magic. How does it work?" She asked.
"Hmm." Dominique shook her head and laughed under her breath just a little. "I don't know if even Oberon's Children know that." She confessed. "But I can tell you what I do know, if you want?" She offered.
"I'd like to know." Elisa said honestly. "And what does the faire king from Shakespeare's play have to do with it, by the way?" She asked further, taking a bite from her plate absently.
"Oh, Oberon is very real, Elisa." She smiled, feeling just a bit of mischief take hold of her. "Would you believe me if I told you, that I've met his ex-wife?" She asked, with a hint of teasing in her voice. Internally, a part of her was telling her to stop enjoying herself quite so much in this little game she was letting herself play with the fascinating detective across from her. But another part of her told her 'where's the harm?'.
Elisa closed her eyes, shook her head, and smiled a little. "Now you're just having fun with me." She accused.
Dominique shook her head. "Afraid not." She told her simply. Of course there was quite a story to be told about how exactly she knew Titania, but that wasn't the sort of thing she was going to get into just now either.
"Okay then." Elisa replied, taking a sip of water. "So, you were going to tell me about magic?" She asked.
"I was, wasn't I?" Dominique observed, chiding herself for having gotten a little lost in Elisa's eyes somehow. It was actually a little off-putting, a little disconcerting, the effect this human was having on her. "My first exposure to it came from the humans at Wyvern. There were two sorcerers there over the years. The elder, I convinced to teach me some of what he knew. I thought, if the humans could do this, my clan was vulnerable to them if one of us could not." She admitted.
"Makes sense." Elisa ventured.
"My teacher then, he told me that magic was like... sunlight dancing on a lake, making sparks, or what look like sparks. Water is the only thing in the world that can do that... until a human makes a mirror. Or, I suppose, a more modern analogy would be lightning and electricity, wouldn't it?" She told.
"So... it's a force of nature, like fire or electricity then?" Elisa asked.
"Only less of an obvious one, yes, that was his explanation. That one need only find the means to harness or direct it, to make it yours." Dominique confirmed. "Oberon's children, on the other hand, seem to think it's... what makes us alive. Where the soul comes from, what makes everything."
"What do you think?" Elisa asked.
"...I think that it is like life in one way at least, that it's a mystery who laughs at anyone foolish enough to try to guess at what its nature is." She sat back and closed her eyes a moment. Really, she doubted if even Oberon himself could do more than guess on the subject, if he were compelled to real honesty in the matter. Not that she'd ever met the man for herself of course, nor did she particularly ever wish to.
"Is that the same principal as not having names for things?" Elisa asked.
Dominique opened her eyes. "...I suppose so." She agreed, never having thought about it that way. Surprised Elisa had. "...my turn?" She asked, a small smile on her lips.
"I'm an open book." Elisa offered.
"...Yesterday, at the office building... why did you take my side? I heard what the human said to you while you were struggling with him. Why did you trust in me, and not in them?" She asked with simple curiosity, wanting to hear Elisa's reasons in her own words.
Elisa closed her eyes a moment, shook her head, and smiled a little. "I told you, it's my job." She said, taking another bite of food.
"Is it really?" She asked.
"Standard operating procedure. If a police officer comes across someone being attacked, you help them and ask questions later. There's really no great mystery to it." She explained, leaning her chin on her left hand and watching Dominique's eyes with open interest.
"I very much doubt most other humans would have seen it that way." Dominique replied.
"Well, I do." Elisa told her simply.
"...Why?" Dominique asked.
"...I suppose just because it makes sense to me? I don't believe that one being's soul is of any more value or of any different quality than another's... That's one reason why I don't eat animals I guess." She explained softly.
"Not that you're comparing me to an animal, I hope."
"Actually, I was comparing both of us to them." Elisa pointed out.
"As long as you're being fair minded about it." Dominique replied back, looking down at her plate and moving some food around a little. "No, that's... that's quite a good way to look at the world, I suppose." She said thoughtfully, looking up into Elisa's eyes and getting a little lost in them again somehow. "It's... very beautiful, in fact." She complemented her, swallowing reflexively because she felt her throat a little dry somehow.
"Thanks." Elisa replied simply, still holding Dominique's gaze as though there were nothing else she'd rather be doing in the entire world.
Dominique looked down at her food again and then took a bite and realized that her heart was beating a little faster than it should and she looked at Elisa again who was watching her curiously. Suddenly she felt a little warm. It was a little of a shock for her to realize why. That she was actually attracted to the woman across from her. She shook her head and made herself clamp down on the unexpected feelings. Right now wasn't the time to even consider anything about why she was feeling this way. They were having a perfectly pleasant conversation; there was no reason for that to stop.
"...my turn?" Elisa asked, taking a bite of food and looking at her a little curiously.
Somehow that made Dominique smile a little. "Go ahead." She said, having lost interest in her food momentarily. It was good food, just not as interesting to her as the woman who'd made it apparently.
Elisa had the momentary impulse to ask if the other woman was seeing anyone, but she felt awkward with the impulse and squelched it, asking instead: "What's um... what's your favorite kind of music?" She asked a little helplessly, honestly having come up blank on what to ask next.
Dominique looked at her a moment then started laughing.
Elisa laughed a little too. "Sorry." She told her.
"Don't apologize, I've been told I need to develop more of a sense of humor anyway." She wiped a little moisture from her eye. "You um... do you really actually want to know what kind of music I like?"
"Sure." Elisa said, thinking she might as well stick with it, she still couldn't think of anything else, which was kind of dumb, she could have sworn she'd had a thousand questions all lined up at one point. If she had though, they'd all escaped her. And anyway, somehow she didn't really want to be... interrogating this woman like she would a suspect. Belatedly though, it did occur to her that she could have asked something about the corporation that she owned or what exactly she'd been doing at the office building. For whatever reason though, she found she didn't really care that much to know. She couldn't help it, she just found the woman across from her trustworthy. To her mind, there was just no way Demona/Dominique was a villain in all of this. Maybe it was that spark she felt whenever their eyes met - Whatever it was, she just knew she wanted her guest to like her, think she was interesting and fun, not just a cop who took her work home with her. "Is that so hard to believe?" She asked with a little of a smile.
"No... it's just, I mean that, no. I've... always liked flute music, or, played with a fiddle... or a violin. Old songs... happy ones." She admitted. "My son..." She started to say, but then stopped herself, shocked that she'd said that out loud. She'd... she didn't, it was so unlike her to have...
"...You have a son?" Elisa asked softly.
"...Had. I... I had a son. He liked music... he could play..." She found herself unexpectedly shedding tears and she wiped the tears away and angrily backhanded her plate and glass of water off of the table in front of her, got up, knocking her chair over as she did, and walked away, bracing her hands on the kitchen counter. On the inside she was seething, mad at herself, mad at the world, but mostly just mad at nothing, because really, deep down, she knew, just by having lived with this for as long as she had, that there was nothing really that her anger over this could affect, nothing at all, that's what made it as bad as it was.
It was in this state that she felt a soft hand on her shoulder. "It... it'll be okay." Elisa's soft voice said.
Somehow that set something off inside her and she spun around and grabbed the other woman by the shoulders and backed her up against the counter, growling at her as if she were still a gargoyle, the look in her eyes was unforgiving, but somehow she just felt powerless and hated it. And then she found herself kissing Elisa, roughly, as if she were demanding something from her.
Elisa was stiff against her, her body ridged at first, but then she relaxed and began to kiss her back.
Once she actually realized what she was doing, Dominique stopped and stepped back, looking into Elisa's eyes with a surprised yet open honesty. "I don't know why I did that." She told her with quiet candor, looking away from Elisa.
"...you like me." Elisa said back simply as an explanation.
Dominique looked back up into her eyes at that.
"It's generally the only explanation." Elisa told her quietly. She wasn't flirting or anything, she just said it because it was true. Honestly, she wasn't at all sure how she felt about what had just happened. She couldn't deny the attraction was definitely mutual though, or that she felt warm all over and that her body was telling her to just go with it, maybe kiss Dominique back. Of course, that wasn't going to happen. For one thing, that was obviously the last thing the woman in front of her needed from her right now.
Dominique just looked into Elisa's eyes. "...you..." She felt it happening, and told herself to stop, but she ended up kissing Elisa again anyway. This time there was no stiffness or resistance, Elisa just welcomed the advance and kissed her back as long as she kept kissing her. She moved a little closer, pressed her body closer to the other woman's and closed her eyes tightly, tilting Elisa's head back a little more, their tongues playing against one another like it was a game, or a dance, just between them, Elisa obviously just letting her take what she wanted from her, giving back only gentle affection and honest desire. It was... it was thrilling was what it was, if she were honest with herself. She was hardly thinking, hardly letting herself think, she just seemed to want this more than she was willing to stop herself. Still, she couldn't help the feeling that she was making a fool of herself, no matter how good it felt, how much her whole body seemed to just come alive for this.
When she stopped the kiss, Dominique found herself out of breath and looking intensely into Elisa's eyes. "I just... you..." She growled a little and pushed herself away from the other woman, her fingertips coming to her own lips, brushing them just slightly as if to tell herself that what had just happened had actually been real, and she met Elisa's eyes again. "Damn you, say something." She pleaded with her quietly, feeling almost ashamed of herself for what she'd let herself do.
"I..." Elisa smiled a little and titled her head to the side. "What do you want me to say? I mean... it's... it's obvious I like you back, isn't it?"
"I..." Dominique smiled a little herself. "I suppose that generally would be the only explanation, wouldn't it." She said quietly, leaning back against the counter on the other side of the kitchen. "Unless you put something in the food?" She joked feebly.
"'friad not." Elisa smiled crossing her arms in front of her so she was holding her elbows with the palms of her hands.
"But you... you would welcome my advances?" She asked matter-of-factly, barely believing she was having this conversation. She hadn't seen her own actions coming, at all, but now that she'd acted as she had, she would have to be deluded not to recognize what she was feeling for the woman across from her. It had been more than nine-hundred years since she'd really felt anything like the intensity she seemed to be feeling now, but she knew what it was. She knew what it could turn into, if things developed between them. And honestly, it was more than a little daunting to consider.
"I..." Elisa looked away a little shyly. "Yeah, I think I would... I know I would." She admitted.
"You've only just met me." Dominique told her. "We aren't even the same species."
Elisa looked up and met her eyes. "You're the one who kissed me, are you worried about those things?" Elisa asked.
"Yes, actually." Dominique admitted.
"Not enough to not kiss me, apparently. Twice." She pointed out.
"...apparently." Dominique admitted, again, feeling more than a little ashamed of her actions.
"Look... you're not the only one with issues in this, if that helps..." Elisa admitted.
"...what do you mean?" Dominique asked, not able to help looking at Elisa with a little suspicion.
"I... I'm not... I don't really want to talk about this right now, but..." She spoke quietly. "I was in love with someone. It's been a while since it happened, but... she died." There was something of a hard edge to the words, some clinging remnants of bitterness at this too. "...I'd be lying if I said I was over it." She met Dominique's eyes. "So... you know, if you... if you want to, um, pursue this, between us... I'd appreciate it if we could, you know, kind of... go slow for a while. Maybe... maybe we could go out on a date?" She offered a little hesitantly.
Dominique didn't answer right away, she just found herself studying Elisa a little, as well as trying to get her head around the conversation she found herself having. Part of her was telling her to run, but her legs wouldn't listen, nor would her racing heart or tingling skin. This was real, the way she was feeling, as completely disturbing as the idea was to her, she couldn't deny it. "...I would like that." She finally said in a quiet voice.
Elisa smiled softly to her. "...okay then." She smiled a little more. She touched her lips a little like Dominique had done. Dominique was... just amazing to kiss, no doubt about it. "I guess it's a date."
Dominique pushed off from the counter and came over to her. "What I am, it truly doesn't make a difference to you?" She asked.
"I don't see why it would." She told her honestly, touching Dominique's forearm and sliding her hand down it a little to take her hand. "Differences are good in a relationship I think, it makes things more interesting."
Dominique smiled a little. "You're bisexual then?" She asked with something of a soft challenge in her voice.
"I..." Elisa smiled and shook her head a little. "No, I'm not." She admitted, meeting Dominique's eyes again.
"So, not all differences, just some then?" Dominique ventured, wanting more insight into the woman in front of her. Needing it.
"I never thought about it like that but ...I suppose so." She confessed.
"How can you be sure then?" Dominique asked softly, moving closer so their lips weren't all that far apart.
"...I don't know." She responded honestly. "I don't think it's the same thing though. I've never been attracted to a man... It's not as though I have been and said, 'wait, I can't be with him, he's not a woman.'... So, like I said, I don't see how you being a gargoyle would be an issue for me... Is my being human an issue for you?" She asked, meeting Dominique's eyes again.
"...I..." She looked away and walked a few paces away. "It really should be. If I had any sense, it would be..." She said, confessing her true feeling on the subject.
"Why?" Elisa asked.
Dominique turned around and smiled a little shakily. "Because, as long as I've lived, and I've lived a very long time, I've yet to meet a human whom I could trust. Anyone with sense who saw that pattern would say I was a fool to have kissed you just now." She told her honestly, not able lie to her.
"...but you did it anyway." Elisa replied simply.
"But I did it anyway." Dominique acquiesced to the simple truth.
"So you must think I'm trustworthy." Elisa assessed.
Dominique looked away. "If you're not, you've apparently got me fooled." She admitted.
Elisa walked up close to her and took her hands; Dominique met her eyes and had to fight with herself not to kiss this woman again. What was going on with her? She reached up and caressed Elisa's cheek with her hand. Elisa's eyes fluttered closed a moment, then they opened and their eyes met again.
"Do you think I'm trustworthy, Elisa?" Dominique said. "If I were in my true form right now, my claws could easily slit your throat, as close as I am. That doesn't frighten you?"
Elisa smiled. "I go to work every day with a room full of people carrying guns, all of them trained to use them. If I couldn't trust people who could kill me whenever they wanted, I wouldn't be able to do my job." She told her, wanting to kiss Dominique herself, and able to easily tell Dominique wanted to kiss her again too. It would be so easy, she thought, just to get lost in this woman. Her eyes, the way her voice just seemed to settle into her and tug at her heart, her smile... the way it felt to touch her, be touched by her, to just be around her... this was the real thing all right. She'd realized that when Dominique had kissed her, if not the first kiss, then for sure the second.
"...You have an answer for everything, don't you?" Dominique accused lightly, though privately she did resent Elisa a little for it somehow.
Elisa just kept looking into her eyes and then moved towards her and their lips met. The kiss was sweet and tender, yet spoke of real passion. Dominique held Elisa to her, Elisa's hands rested around the backs of her shoulders, their bodies just fitting together like... like destiny. Dominique found herself deepening the kiss, wanting more, almost demanding it. Elisa pressed back and Dominique found herself backed up against the refrigerator door. Her head felt like drums were pounding in her ears, though she couldn't hear them, just feel them. Everything felt warm inside, like she was burning but it wasn't hot. She couldn't think anything more than she didn't want this to stop, she wanted more, needed... needed more.
So, when Elisa finally broke the kiss and stepped back, Dominique found herself moaning a little at the loss and staring into Elisa's eyes, having to exert great effort not to go to her again and take her in her arms again and force her to keep kissing her, keep touching her. She... she wanted to mate with this woman, she realized, wanted to tear her clothes off and be with her.
Elisa, for her part, was fairly mesmerized by the look in Dominique's eyes. Fierce, wild, wanting - like they wanted to just take her. Her heart was beating fast in her chest, but she wasn't afraid of that look - Just the opposite, in fact. That look called to her, made her feel... like home... More than she'd felt with her own family, or even... even with Margot. It was not just a little crazy to feel that way, of course. Dominique was right, they'd only just met, and, really, she didn't know very much about her. But this was a feeling, and you couldn't tell an emotion what to do, that's just not how it worked. Though she'd be lying to herself if she didn't admit that it made her feel guilty to think those things - Like she were betraying Margot somehow.
Dominique's hand wondered up her waist and Elisa shivered a little. Dominique moved forward off the fridge a little and kissed her on the cheek gently. "You wanted to go slowly..." She said, touching Elisa's hair.
"...What do you want?" Elisa asked softly.
"...To strip you of your clothing and have you now, in whichever bed is closest." Dominique admitted in a soft voice that spoke of hunger. "I've... I don't think I've ever... I don't think I'm thinking straight right now." She said.
Elisa laughed just a little. "I'd certainly hope not."
"...What... Oh, a play on words." Dominique smiled faintly. "It wasn't intentional."
"I didn't think it was." Elisa replied, touching Dominique's hair. "...and if you..." She swallowed. "I don't think I could manage to say no, if you really wanted to do what you just told me you wanted to do." She said.
"...Well, at least it's not just me then." Dominique replied, stepping back a little and moving past Elisa to put a little distance between them. She leaned against the right side counter and their eyes met again. "You're right though, it's... it's best to wait. Take things slow." Dominique looked away, again, feeling a little foolish somehow.
Elisa smiled softly. "...I didn't expect this to happen either, when I invited you home with me." She admitted.
Dominique looked up and met Elisa's eyes, again surprised at how perceptive she was. That was just about exactly what she'd been thinking, that this was all so... so unexpected. Her falling for a human like this, she... she wouldn't have thought herself capable of it. Yet she so obviously was. She could be sure this wouldn't be the death of her of course, only Macbeth, or perhaps a child of Oberon, could be that to her. Yet, a part of her knew, with bleak certainty, that this would not, could not end well for her - That however true Elisa's intentions might be, that she'd end up betraying her in the end, end up hurting her. Everything hurt her, in the end, didn't it? Why would Elisa be any different? Still, what else was she to do? Looking into Elisa's eyes now, feeling the deep emotion they stirred in her, she knew with certainty that she'd hate herself if she didn't give Elisa the chance to prove her wrong.
"So... what are your plans for today then?" Dominique asked, smiling just a little at herself for asking that right at this moment.
"Oh, um... I'll have to go in to the station later, give a statement about what happened, file a report... Any time an officer discharges their weapon in the line of duty, the paper work is hellacious. I think they make it that way partly so we'll make sure to think before we resort to it. If for no other reason than the headache it'll probably give us later... other than that though, I should have the rest of today and tomorrow off." She told her.
"And, this report of yours...?" Dominique asked, annoyed that she felt she had to hedge about the subject like this, but wanting Elisa to set her mind at ease.
Elisa smiled softly a little. "Don't worry, I won't mention your name even once, either of them, I promise." She assured her.
Dominique smiled, actually a little shyly, at Elisa. "That would be appreciated." She said, thinking that this attraction she felt might have its benefits, if it assured Elisa's silence. It wasn't pleasant thinking in those terms, but she had responsibilities - Had others, not merely herself, that she had to keep safe.
Elisa smiled back more, charmed even more by the way Dominique had just looked at her somehow. "Well, there's not really another good option for it I can see. If I told anyone about you being there, it would be hard to explain it without telling them you were a gargoyle. And you were the victim in all of this - it just... it wouldn't be anything like fair to put you through something like that. You know, unless that's what you wanted..."
"No, I think not." Dominique smiled a little.
"The mercs though, the ones that were left anyway... I guess they could be a problem, but I kind of doubt it." Elisa explained. The reasons they'd stay silent were fairly obvious. Loyalty to their rich (and apparently dangerous) employer for one, that her fellow cops would think they were nuts if they told anything like the truth about Dominique Destine and their reasons for going after her like they had for another. If they kept quiet on the other hand, the most they'd face would be armed breaking and entering, maybe resisting arrest, destruction of private property, and a few other things. If their lawyers didn't pull something shady to get them off, they'd probably only get a year or two. Their gear had been mostly non-lethal ordinance, and she'd done a lot more damage to them than they had to her, so assault or attempted murder of a police officer wouldn't be in the offering unless maybe Elisa pressed the issue, and the whole thing was so much a hornets' nest that she figured it would probably be best for her and Dominique both if she played the whole thing low key and kept out of it as much as possible. "They'll probably keep quiet about the whole thing and let their lawyers do the talking."
"That sounds about right... listen, Elisa..." Dominique pushed away from the counter and went closer to the other woman, a little hesitant to do so because she wasn't sure about her ability to control herself if she got closer to Elisa again. Her scent, the temptation to touch her, what looking into her eyes seemed to do to her, the vivid memory that she couldn't shake of what it had felt like to kiss her... it was an intensely tempting combination, but she moved towards her anyway. "I want to... to thank you again. What you did for me yesterday... I won't forget it, I promise." She told her softly.
Elisa smiled a little, their eyes locked together. "I'm... I'm just glad I was there..." She answered back, just as softly.
"You... can be there for me again, this afternoon, once your duties are complete... Come to my home? Spend the day with me? We can... have the... You mentioned a date?" She asked, running her hand through Elisa's hair a little and swallowing her desire to kiss her again. She felt shaky inside, doing this, saying these things, but she wanted to spend more time with her, wanted to... wanted to bed this woman, very much. Like she had no one else, not since... since Goliath.
"Yes." The word leapt from Elisa's mouth unbidden. "I, yes, I'd like that... very much." Elisa admitted, moving just a little closer to Dominique, resting her hands on the other woman's hips. Dominique smiled and it sent a shiver of pleasure through her. The effect that smile of hers had on her... the smile faded though, and soon Dominique was kissing her again, and she couldn't help but respond to it, melt into it, yearn for the contact, even though her mind told her it was too much too soon.
For Dominique, it was like this... this sweet gravitational pull, and she couldn't get enough of it. She couldn't fathom the twists and turns in her emotional state that made this so for her, she couldn't make sense of the whys, but it just felt so... so right to her, like breathing.
When the kiss broke, Elisa struggled for words with the way Dominique was looking into her eyes so intently and touching her cheek and hair so... so like a lover who, a lover who... completely adored... and desired her... "Did... are you still hungry? You... had enough to eat? For breakfast?" She asked a little helplessly.
Dominique smiled to her. "I'm not hungry... not for food at least." She said. "Maybe... maybe I should call, um... call a cab, to take me home?" Dominique asked her.
"I'll drive you, I have time." Elisa offered.
Dominique considered that a moment. "Alright... detective."
Elisa swallowed and fought the urge to forget everything and start kissing the bare skin of Dominique's neck. It had been so long since she'd... her and Rebecca had a few times, but that... She stepped back and shook her head, smiling a little. "You're way too tempting for my own good, I think." Elisa said a little sheepishly.
Dominique laughed, closed the small distance between them, and kissed her gently, just briefly. "We're... we're about the same size. Do you think I could borrow some clothing? For the drive?" She asked, swallowing, feeling a kind of fluttery excitement inside at the idea of spending more time with this woman. It made her feel even more the fool, but somehow, it didn't matter to her all that much that she felt that way. At least, it didn't matter enough for her to change her behavior.
"I, sure. Of course. Um, come on." Elisa took her hand and led her down the hall to her bedroom, Dominique following silently along.
In Elisa's room, Dominique sat on the edge of the bed and looked around curiously while Elisa opened her closet. The room was like the rest of the house, orderly and simply pleasant to be in. And, like the rest of the house, there were certain cultural influences she couldn't help but notice as well. "I'm curious what your ancestry is..." She spoke.
"Oh, okay... well, my mom, Diane, she's a Nigerian immigrant, came to the states when she was five, and my dad, Peter, he's Apache, Native American - That side of the family's from Arizona, originally. I mostly just grew up here, in the city, though. And, um, sorry, I don't really have that much to choose from for clothes." She admitted. "Jeans and a tee-shirt okay?" She asked, offering her an exact match for the blue jeans and black tee-shirt she'd had on yesterday. Today, this morning, she'd just been wearing shorts and a shirt with an NYPD logo on it that Dominique got the impression she'd slept in.
Dominique got up and took the clothing, curiously going over to see Elisa's closet herself. It had a few other articles of clothing in it as well, an interesting blue halter-top for instance, but mostly it was just the same outfit over and over: black shirt, blue jeans. Dominique smiled. "It's fine." She said, finding this an endearing trait for some reason.
"I've never liked having to worry about what clothes to wear." Elisa explained.
"Until I started living as a human, I never varied my attire either. It is bothersome; though you're the first human I've ever met who thought so too." Dominique replied, taking off her shift first while Elisa sat and watched her, then her belt, letting it fall to the floor, leaving herself essentially nude, except for her bracelet and armlet.
Elisa smiled a little dreamily at the sight. "You're beautiful..." She complemented her simply.
"Thank you." Dominique smiled back to her, pleased with the complement. She went over and got the pair of jeans and got into them one leg at a time. They fit well.
"Oh, um, you can borrow some underwear too, if you want?" Elisa offered a little belatedly, getting up and making to go back over to the closet.
"No, it's fine. It's only for the drive, after all." Dominique replied, walking over to her, having fastened the jeans at her waist, her chest was still bared, much to Elisa's appreciation. She wanted to touch the other woman's breasts, honestly, but didn't. "Here." Dominique said, touching her shoulder. "You should get dressed as well, don't you think?" She asked, her eyes a little playful somehow.
Elisa smiled gently. "Alright." She agreed simply, taking off her shirt and stepping out of her shorts next. She looked at Dominique then and saw her just standing there with the NYPD logo shirt she'd just taken off in her hands. Her eyes were hungry and intense, their gazes met and Elisa swallowed reflexively. "I..."
Dominique turned away, not having quite expected her reaction to seeing Elisa unclothed would be so intense. She somehow hadn't expected Elisa to be so at ease about it in her presence, but the other woman, for some reason, just seemed to automatically trust her. Dominique still wasn't sure she'd figured out why. "I've decided... I'm going to wear this shirt of yours. You... you don't mind?" She asked, not looking at Elisa. It was a small statement of intimacy, wanting to wear the shirt her... her prospective mate... had just been wearing, but she wanted to, she couldn't deny it.
"No, of cause not." Elisa said, impulsively going over to her and holding her waist from behind. Dominique stiffened a little at that, turned around, and kissed her again. Their skin touching, bared chests pressing together, Elisa heard a moan and wasn't sure if it was her or Dominique. She pushed away and smiled shakily. "Sorry." She said, feeling heat rise to her cheeks.
Dominique growled a little, sounding frustrated. "Apology not accepted." She told her, shaking her head and smiling a little to Elisa in an attempt to show that she wasn't truly upset with her; she put Elisa's sleep-shirt on and left the room abruptly after that, not saying another word.
Elisa watched her go and wanted to go after her, but instead, she put her clothes on quickly, got some extra shoes and socks for her houseguest turned perspective girlfriend to wear, picked up Dominique's discarded clothes from the floor to take with her, and went out to go find her.
She found Dominique in the dining room, cleaning up after her earlier... reaction, at the table. Neither of them said anything. Dominique was apparently shy of her now for some reason, and Elisa found it cute. Elisa went over and got what was left of her own breakfast and put it into the refrigerator. She turned and found Dominique walking over to the couch with Cagney in her arms and sitting down. Curious, Elisa followed and sat down beside her. "I got you some shoes..."
"You... your jacket is still in your... sister's bedroom." Dominique informed her. "I slept in it last night." She admitted, feeling foolish yet again for admitting to that.
Elisa smiled, somehow finding that image very appealing. "It's yours, anytime." She said, flirting just a little.
"Your... this cat seems to like me." Dominique observed softly as she gently scratched Cagney's chin and the cat purred happily.
"...Did I do something wrong? In the bedroom before?" Elisa asked, wanting to put Dominique at ease again.
"Of course not... it seems like you do everything right, in fact. I'm simply... unsettled... by all of this, I think." She admitted. "It has been... a very long time since I have felt this way about... a very long time since I have felt this way." She told her, again wondering exactly why this was true, exactly where these feelings she had for... for Elisa, were coming from. Elisa had saved her life, been brave and strong, and she... she was very beautiful, even accounting for their difference in species (despite the obvious differences, gargoyle and human bodies were quite similar in... layout, after all). And perhaps Fox had left her with... more of an... appreciation for another woman's company in bed than she'd had before, but still, even with Fox, or Obsidiana after her... For someone who had lived a thousand years, she was actually relatively inexperienced in matters of the heart, she had to admit. There had been Goliath, her first love, her mate, and then after her son's... after his death, she hadn't wanted to ever take another mate, ever have another child, for fear of losing them as she had her son. Not that there had been many eligible prospects during the time after of course, either male or female. Humans had hunted her species to the brink of extinction, there had been times she'd feared she was the last in fact. Then, not that long ago, she'd met Titania, and made that bargain, the bargain that would later lead to her mentoring her daughter, Jeanine, who'd insisted on being called Fox. And the name had fit her, Dominique had to admit.
Fox had taken her on so many adventures... gotten her into more trouble than she would have thought possible, and taken her to bed more than once along the way whenever the mood had struck. Fox had always been the aggressor though. Not that she'd objected... it had felt... truly wonderful, to feel so close to another being again. As Titania's daughter, she'd even been able to change herself into a gargoyle, which had been a very welcome consideration for her. Still, what they'd had, it wasn't love, and it had never been. 'Friends with benefits' she supposed was the popular term for it now. An exceedingly pleasant and mutually enjoyable diversion. Fox had been... a very talented lover. But, be that as it may, Fox had never really loved her, and Dominique certainly hadn't felt about her like she was now feeling towards Elisa. Obsidiana... that, she didn't even want to think about right now. Sufficed to say, it was a failure on her part, not Obsidiana's - one she still felt guilt over. No, this was so clearly entirely different than either of those situations. Her heart was beating faster, there was a catch in her throat, and she was more than a little at war with herself over what she should do about it.
"Hey... I can relate." Elisa said, taking her hand in hers. Their eyes met and Dominique smiled to her softly. "We can just... take this slow, see where it leads, okay?" She offered.
Dominique swallowed. She didn't want to go slow, she wanted to kiss Elisa again, maybe kiss her hand first, capture her lips in another hot kiss, lean her onto her back on the sofa they were on, let herself do what her heart and her instincts were telling her she very much wanted to do... To take her... make love to her... Her head and her good sense, for once this morning, managed to win out though. Elisa wasn't ready for that, she could tell, and really, neither was she.
For one thing, she had to... to be more sure of Elisa. For herself, and for her clan. Sure of her own heart, and sure Elisa really was what and who she seemed. Sure the risk she wanted to take would be worth it. "Yes." Dominique said, bringing Elisa's hand to her lips and kissing it. "I would like that." She told her.
It was a simple gesture, but Elisa found her heart melting for this woman even more because of it. Her heart was beating faster, and she felt warm, not just under her skin, but in her heart as well. Warm and fuzzy, like a love song cliché. Well, she never had been one to take the easy route in life, had she? Falling in love with a thousand year old gargoyle who could do magic and carried all the baggage that she apparently carried was probably just par for the course, she figured. This would be her fourth time falling in love in her life. The first was as a teenager, they'd flared hot then crashed and burned over something stupid. Her second love had been unrequited and painful. Then there'd been Margot Yale, whom she'd met when she'd first joined the force. She'd been a district attorney. Pretty, smart, well off, from a good family. High maintenance, hard to really get to know, but past all that, she really cared about her job, just like Elisa, and once Elisa had gotten past her defenses, they'd fallen for one another hard. Margot's family had hated her new love interest, and they'd gotten not insignificant levels of grief from some of her fellow officers over their relationship too. But they'd gotten through it, made it work, gotten to a good place... No, falling in love had never been an easy thing for her, and when it went wrong, when it ended, it always hurt, but in the end, she wouldn't have traded any of those experiences away, not a chance. No, she'd never turned away before, never been a coward at love before, and she wasn't about to be one now. "So..." She said, still feeling a little breathless from the look in Dominique's eyes and the impact of her simple kiss. "Shall we go?" She offered.
See you next time...
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