Reality was sharply defined again. Hell, it was reassuring that it was reality, even if that had to be defined as a rather high class hotel room. Blair knew his wounds had disappeared, but it was replaced by a headache beaten only by his worst hangovers. "Shit," he moaned. "I hope this is a good sign."
"The elephants with ice pick shoes doing the conga through yer head?" Tate drawled in what sounded like equal pain.
"We're alive," Demona cut in. "That's a very good sign."
A sudden thought had Blair bolting upright with a multitude of curses. The gargoyles looked at him in confusion as he darted off to where his coat lay draped over the couch. He pawed frantically through the pockets, finally surfacing with his cell phone. He didn't even have to look, simply punched the speed dial and waited for an answer. On the second ring, the other end picked up.
"Ellison," Jim barked, sounding tired and rather cranky.
Blair sighed in relief and slumped down onto the couch. "Hey man, how you doin'?"
"A bit sore, but other than that, I'm doing good. How about you, Chief?"
He chuckled faintly. "My head's trying to split in half and I'm ready for some major shut eye, but that's about it. How's the kid?"
There was a faint pause before Jim spoke again. "She looks ok. Might even be waking up soon. I'd better go get the docs."
"Okay. We'll be there in a while, all right? We really need some time to recoup."
"See you in awhile, Chief."
Cascade General, 7 pm
Jim sighed in relief as the last nurse left Jay's room, shutting off the lights on her way out. God, what a night. Even the whole Sentinel deal was rarely this exhausting and/or freaky. He assumed an 'at ease' pose, grateful for the peace that had finally come.
Unfortunately, several minutes in, a peculiar sound within the room grabbed his attention and refused to let it go. Jim mentally shrugged and slipped inside, shutting the door behind him.
The girl was curled into a fetal position, a small lump in the bed, fighting so hard to keep from crying that even a normal man could have seen it. At the same time she appeared to be a total stranger from the person he'd convinced to come back, and also the epitome of that girl.
No, not girl, no more than Blair was 'the kid'. Both had seen too much, suffered too many times, to claim that innocence of childhood. Understanding swept over the Sentinel. That was why she was crying. She had just realized that herself. The tears were for What Had Been, and what could never be again. He'd had one of those moments of realization too, not too long ago, thanks to a rather cryptic spirit. What do you fear? I fear... being a Sentinel. What do you fear? I fear responsibility. Sentinel or not, your responsibility is to be accountable for your actions and to learn from your mistakes just like any man. Even knowing it was the right decision, it was a complete bitch to go through. And while he and Blair had had their friendship to see them through their crisis's, Jay appeared alone.
Appeared. Well, guess again, kiddo. He moved quickly, sliding past an IV line trailing into her hand with almost depressing ease to settle himself against the raised head of the bed. An easy movement pulled his legs across the bed. From there, it took only seconds to pull her close, giving her comfort in a simple embrace accompanied by soothing nonsense phrases. For a moment, she resisted, then the floodgates opened. After all they had shared, the memories they now both had, it seemed only natural to give and take reassurance through simple human contact.
The Sentinel quickly lost track of time, his world almost zoning on murmuring phrases and small pats on Jay's back. It was a cross between a moment and eternity before the pattern slowed, Jay simply huddling close, Jim still rubbing gentle circles on her back as he held her.
At long last, the almost painful silence broke.
"Do... do you ever wish you were... normal?" The question was quiet with pain and vague longing. Jim's hands stilled for a moment, then resumed their soothing circles.
"Sometimes," he admitted softly. "When things get real bad, too much perfume or noise, the sensory spikes, and I think I'd kill to not have the senses." He paused, memories of those bad times washing over him: being blinded by Golden, that designer drug which whacked out his senses; Blair's dissertation, which led to a media frenzy and almost driving them apart; even back as a child, when his father had called him a freak after he'd shown his abilities.
"Now how'd you know that was in there?" he teased gently.
"Figure you'd've jumped off a bridge if there wasn't one."
"Nah, not my style. Eating a bullet's the surest way." In a disturbing way it was comforting when that brought no response. It was good to admit that his senses had been driving him insane at the beginning, before Blair's influence. It was good to admit his (even at the time, very vague) plans without protests or attempts to headshrink him. "But the fringe benefits are worth it. If I was normal, I either never would've met Blair, or just killed him on sight." That managed to get a faint chuckle. "And it's not all bad. Some of the things I can do, sense.... Well, it is pretty damn amazing when I stop taking it for granted."
"What if... the fringes aren't worth it?"
He mulled over that for a second. "Then you find someone who can convince you that they are."
"I - I don't know if I can do that."
"Hey." He ducked down, forcing her to look him in the eyes. "A wise man once told me something very important." A faint grin tried to creep across his face. "When you save a person's life, you become responsible for them, a Blessed Protector, and you're responsible for them the rest of your life. You're stuck with me." Along with Blair, Demona, and Tate. You've got yourself a bunch of us around. Not sure if that's one of the perks or not, but believe me, we're going to find out. "I'm gonna help."
The hospital room quieted, filling with the beeps of mechanical equipment and the soft rhythms of the exhausted female in his arms. It was only interrupted by a near inaudible 'thank you' before Jay finally drifted off to normal, healthy sleep.
Her first conscious realization was that she was alone in the bed. Jim was gone. Damn. There had been such a sense of ease, of being safe then. That had been comfort she'd needed. A faint grin tugged itself into being. Want my Jim pillow. Oh yeah, he'll take that REAL well.
The second was awareness of a gentle hand lightly running over her brows. After the last caress, she took a deep breath and opened her eyes. "Tate."
The gargoyle turned human gave her a tiny grin. "Hey." His eyes shifted away and he licked his lips nervously. "I, uh... um, want some ice chips?"
She made a face. "Nah, taste nasty. Water?"
"Sure." He moved quietly but quickly, fetching a glass and helping her with the drink. That accomplished, he moved back to his seat beside the bed, allowing her a chance to take in the sunlight streaming past the window shade. Midmorning, maybe. Well, that explained the Tate as a human thing.
She couldn't take the silence much longer. "So what's up?"
Tate still didn't look at her. "Jim's playing sentry, Blair's taking a break and quizzing Demona on magic, and your mom's finally getting some sleep."
"What about me?"
She reached out and put her hand on his. The contact obviously surprised him, causing his eyes to flicker up to meet hers for a surprised second, then flitting away again. "How are you doing?"
Tate chewed his lip for a second before daring to glance up again. "Worried. Hurt. Praying to god you'd wake up, and that-that you don't...." He trailed off, swallowed. "I've missed you."
"Missed you too." Jay allowed herself a small, bitter smile. "Hell, even missed the gargoyle thing. But I'm still scared." She tried to catch his gaze. "I killed her. Whatever she was. Like I tried to do with that assassin. I can't handle that violence. I'm just not ready for that type of life, Tate."
"This is a rather sudden decision."
Jay snorted faintly. "Sudden nothing. I've been thinking about this since the day I ran here. I may be a part time gargoyle, but... I just cannot handle it. I'm sorry."
"Ooohkay," Tate managed, looking a little shell-shocked for a second. He quickly recovered, his face blanking to neutral.
"You're not ok with this, are you?"
He looked away and swallowed. "You know... how I feel-"
He managed to give her a faintly nasty look, tempered by the traces of a grin. "Jay, you asked my opinions, now shut up and listen." Smiling guiltily, she nodded. "Ok. I... still love you. And I think I'm pretty much stuck on that idea. And, well, it's a complete bitch but I'll wait. Whenever you get over the gargoyle thing is whenever. I'll wait however long it takes, but only if you whack me should I sound this soap opera-y again." It got a chuckle out of both of them. "Seriously though. The past few months have been pretty rough. Maybe if we start over, it'll work out. Whatever you do decide about gargoyles, fine. I'm - well - I can't really do jack shit either way. Just hope to hell you come back."
"I just need to readjust, get used to who I am and what the fuck I'm doing."
"Alright. I hear that."
"Believe me, I don't think I could get gargs out of my life now if I tried." It was her turn to look away. She had tried... and look where it got her. Hadn't worked too well. She was stuck.
"So. Now that we've resolved that, where do we go from here?" Tate asked, breaking the suddenly thick tension.
"I'm staying here."
He managed to keep from twitching at that pronouncement. Dammit all, no! Even more impressive was his success in keeping his disappointment off his face. Wait till later, THEN fall apart. "I don't think the hospital will appreciate a permanent resident."
At least he could still get a smile out of her. "I meant in Cascade."
"Yeah, I uh, figured."
"Tate." He kept back a bittersweet grin at that, even as he looked Jay in the face. Apparently they both remembered That Tone. "I didn't come here just because I was running. I like this school, the city's not too bad either. And getting some distance from the clan, well...." Jay looked away first. "That wasn't entirely a bad idea either. If you have to, consider this me trying to figure out how I fit in the scheme of things. I'm not gonna transfer to UCONN or whatever."
"That... makes sense." But hurts like hell. Four more years of this? I'm gonna go completely insane.
"Does it? I mean, I just can't take the joined at the hip treatment anymore, 'Jay and Tate, Tate and Jay'.... I can't be half of one entity anymore." She grinned faintly. "Consider it figuring out who and what the hell I am."
What about me? Dammit, I know you, I don't give a damn.... What about those of us who do know where we stand? Instead he managed a brittle smile. "That's cool. Nice you've decided where you're going." Tate abruptly stood and headed for the door. "They'll wanna know you're awake, and only one visitor at a time. I better go tell them." He slipped outside before she could respond, and his control slipped. Tate leaned against the wall, heaving breaths with head back and eyes closed against the moisture that threatened to fall. I can't take much more of this.
A gentle hand on his shoulder managed to pull his eyes open. Jim stood next to him, concern clear in his eyes. The gargoyle managed to summon a weak, bitter smile. "Life's a bitch."
The Sentinel smiled back, bad memories visibly dimming the humor in his eyes. "Oh yeah. So what's with the waterworks?"
He glanced back at the room. "She's staying. Even after all that, she's still leaving me."
"Hey, it's not like that."
"How the hell would you know?" He regretted the words immediately. It was all too clear how the human knew.
"I know she loves you. But she's scared too. Give her time, give her space, and she will come back to you."
Another feeble grin. "Somehow I didn't picture you as Mr. Sensitive. Or the one going around giving out heartfelt advice."
Jim smirked. "Yeah, well uh, Blair wanted a day off. He's usually the one doing the whole emotions thing."
This time the grin was more genuine. "Lucky you, huh?"
"Yeah. I just hope this doesn't mean I have to bounce around and lecture."
"Now that I can't see."
Tate shoved away the levity. "You said... earlier you said you'd keep her safe, protect her."
He nodded, eyes questioning the new train of thought.
"Will you keep that? Keep on protecting Jay? Please?"
Holding the half-gargoyle's gaze, the Sentinel nodded again. "You have my word. She'll be as safe as I can guarantee."
Cascade General, waiting room
"I am amazed at what you survived."
Too exhausted and confused to figure that one out, Demona just stared at the human in bewilderment.
Blair finally looked up from the notepad he'd been frantically scribbling in for the past hour or so. There was some strange, half familiar look in his eyes. "All that death, all that pain. I'm amazed you aren't - aren't holed up in a mental institution somewhere, gibbering to yourself. Lasting this long with a fraction of your sanity is an outright miracle."
The gargoyle-turned-human shrugged, unwilling to admit how many times she had come close to that edge... or the times she had gone over. "You learn. There is no other way."
"Still." His gaze shifted slightly, eyes seeing something from his mind. After a moment, he blinked, shook his head, and met her stare again. "You drowned, didn't you." The statement only increased that strange look he had.
"Yes. Several times."
He nodded. "So have I. Once, but that was more than enough."
The immortal blinked. She'd not expected that. "How?"
Once again he saw only the past. "It was last spring. I'd found another Sentinel. Alex Barnes. She was criminally insane - literally. I just didn't realize it. I mean, not consciously, but probably somewhere underneath it all I never really felt comfortable alone with her. Maybe it's because I'd Guide to a different Sentinel, maybe something inside knew she didn't have the true Sentinel need to protect."
It was like a jolt of lightning down her spine, to hear of the woman who had so badly failed to obey her nature. It hit far too close to home.
"Anyway. She and Jim got into this dominance turf thing, and...." He swallowed. "I was considered part of Jim's turf. So she found me at the University, and - and took me out at gun point to the fountain outside." He shuddered. "That has got to be the worst part of my life. Feeling the water, knowing what's going to happen to you, and you can't do a damn thing...."
"It's strange," Demona mused, her mind occupied with a woman - a human, at that! - she'd never met, but sounded so familiar. "Fire and water, two things we need to live, provide the worst deaths."
Sudden warmth on her hand instantly drew her attention back to reality. Demona looked down, to find the human had moved close enough to place his hand over hers. "Hey. Any time you need a friend to talk to about it, I'm there. Believe me, I'll understand." The gentle but heartfelt smile that followed held such blinding intensity that he had moved back to his chair before she could think again.
Of course, she had no idea what to think.
"Hello, you've reached the Illuminati. If you've called this number, you are an operative in deep shit."
"Don't patronize me. I'm not in the mood."
"You should be happy you're getting humor. For breeching protocol like that, you're lucky to be out in public!"
"Jay needed family. I did what I had to."
"Listen, you little bastard, I've been a loyal operative for more years than you've been alive. Don't toy with me. You'll only do it once."
"Why, is that a threat I hear?"
"Try a promise."
"Oooo, I'm shaking."
"Good. Now. Why can't I find any major members around here? There's only people even less important that you. Most of them don't even know they work for us."
"Well, our main figure left about three years ago after a divorce. It was natural and easier than to continue working with her husband."
"Why wasn't she replaced?"
"I'm afraid she was... and we had a few loyalty problems. They've been since removed."
"Then try moving a few of the loyal ones presently here up the ladder some. We need more of a presence."
"Who do you think you are, telling me what to do?"
"Your superior. Now if you'll excuse me, I have family business to attend to."
Topper paced back and forth restlessly, tail and wings moving in sync with his agitated movements. "I don't see why we're still here!" he finally exploded.
The Emir rolled his eyes, just like last time. The man was annoyingly unflappable. Cap just ignored him this go around, while Stella reached out a hand, stopping him with one gentle nudge on the shoulder. "We've done his will. He'll not betray us."
"How do you know that? I mean come on, he ain't anted up yet!"
"Do you really think you are my only business?" Anubis rumbled behind them. The four jumped and whirled around. The jackal headed god - again resembling a gargoyle - stood there, arms crossed and what Topper was willing to call an amused smirk almost present on his muzzle.
"So?" the beaked gargoyle challenged. "Not that I'm ungrateful for the excitement or anythin', but I'm ready for a little R&R now."
Anubis waited a heart stopping moment, then nodded. "So be it." With that, three doorways of glowing white light appeared.
Topper laughed as he took Stella's hand and they walked towards a doorway. "Step into the light!" he cracked as the world disappeared, solitude giving way to the comfort of company.
a little later, somewhere else
This time, he summoned her. He'd retreated from Avalon on the pretense of business, and now they lay together, simply enjoying each other's presence. At last he sighed in contentment. "It's done. They've won. And that means they can go on with that damn prophesy."
He looked down as his love snuggled closer. " 'Mmm'?" he echoed. "What does that mean? There is some prophecy, right?"
"Yeeees." When he glared at her, she smiled right back, shameless. "I'm not entirely certain it's about them. It's a fifty-fifty chance, actually."
He drew in a long breath, trying to restrain his temper. "Sadie...," he growled. "Oberon's girdle, woman! Do you have any idea the trouble if they aren't the ones involved?"
She darted forward, dropping a quick kiss on his muzzle. "No one knows, so that'll be none. We did good, lover."
Shaking his head in amazement, he almost unwillingly relaxed. "And how can you be sure?"
Sadie grinned evilly. "I Saw it."
"Well then." They sat in comfortable silence before another thought struck him. "Far be it for me to disparage your technique, love, but wasn't the bit about - ah, how'd you put it? Needing a "magician, a shaman, and someone close to her heart" just a bit contrived?"
Sadie snorted and whapped him on the arm. "I was working under pressure, alright? It's known as giving the best odds. And if you think you can do better, o great and scary death god, why didn't you do something about it?"
He assumed a haughty pose and imitated his Lord. "Because Anubis does not interfere with mortals, wench."
She tilted over from laughter. "Ooooh my," she finally gasped, "that sounds just like his smurfiness. Does this mean I have to be Titania?"
He laughed. "Please, do not. One of her is more than enough." Heaving a regretful sigh, he stood, shaking out his wings. "Sorry, my love, but speaking of Lord Oberon, I'd best go before he notices I'm gone."
They shared another kiss, then he stepped back to disappear in a green flash.
"Take care, Anubis" Sadie whispered into the night.
An equally faint reply sounded near her ear. "You know your wish is my command. May you finish protecting soon, my lady."
November 12 (the next Thursday)
Rainier dorms, 3:30 pm
Jay sighed and flopped down onto her bed, grateful for the mind numbing blankness of the empty ceiling. This has been the week from hell. It's been one long Friday the Thirteenth, and it ain't even Friday yet. After she'd come back from the hospital, everyone she'd run into had had one of two reactions: the pitying 'poor baby the psycho teacher killed your roommate attacked you and god I can't believe they still haven't caught her yet isn't it awful?' or the more unpleasant, suspicious 'your roommate died but you were the only one there and Loar was a great teacher so just what the hell really happened?' Either way, people were treating her like spun glass (poison contents optional). She'd been sick of that before the end of Monday's first class. Add in Lizzie's popularity, the Friday off for funeral services, and Jay was dreading the long weekend.
A knock on the door managed to draw a groan from her. God! Can't they let it go and go away? I was her freakin' roommate, not her best friend! Instead, whoever it was knocked again.
"Ok, ok, I'm coming!" Jay bellowed, dragging herself up and to the door. She opened it and her jaw dropped. "Jim? Blair? What are you guys doing here?"
The cops grinned. "What?" Blair asked. "We can't come and visit a friend?"
"Besides," Jim added, "someone felt the need to check out some old acquaintances."
Another thought managed to make its way through her shock. "How'd you get the code into the building?"
The grins changed to calculating smirks. "Like I said, he needed to check up on some old friends."
Their obvious duplicity managed to drag a smothered chuckle from her. That and most of the girls on the floor were in the hall, posing and/or drooling. "So what brought this on?"
"We've decided to kidnap you," Blair smirked.
"You're cops." Jay could see a good portion of the floor check the guys for handcuffs. "You're not allowed to do that."
"We aren't?" Jim asked Blair, who shrugged. "Oh. Well then. How does dragging you out to dinner sound? Our treat, apology for shitty life since... you know."
"What are you guys smoking?" she giggled, turning red even as she tried to figure out what they were doing.
"Hmm. Chief, you been playing around with those peyote buds again?"
The shorter cop pretended to shrink from the Ellison Glare. "No way man, you know I'm clean!"
"Well, nothing then."
She should've known better than to try to stand up against the team of Ellison and Sandburg, particularly when they were smirking like a busload of cats that had just encountered a milk truck. A few minutes later, she found herself seated in an old blue and white Ford 'hayseed' truck between the two, giggling along with their laughter.
"You two do realize when I get back I'll have a ton of questions about who did what to whom."
"Oh my god, you mean they might think we don't have honorable intentions? My god, Jim, what'll we do??"
"I don't know, I never even thought of that!"
"You are sick, sick men," she snickered.
The rest of the ride passed with similar banter, keeping her too distracted to figure out where they were going. About an hour and a half later, Jim pulled to a stop. More concerned with stretching her legs, it wasn't until they were all out that Jay actually looked around,
"Woooow," she breathed.
"Incredible view, isn't it?" Blair asked softly, walking with her to the railing before the drop-off.
They had traveled into the mountains and come to a rest stop that demanded the classification of 'scenic view.' Trees spread out before them, with Cascade as a background beyond that, city lights twinkling to life under the colors of twilight. A light breeze made things a touch more than cool, but wafted colorful leaves around them. Jay took in a deep breath of crisp air, letting it flow out with her problems. Tension finally eased somewhat. It was good not to be judged, watched. Just to be with friends, those she knew as well as they knew her- rather intimately. She could feel muscles ease for the first time in a week. "Woooow," she repeated.
Blair snuck a glance back at the truck. Jim was poking around the pile of equipment placed on one of the picnic tables. The former anthropologist cleared his throat and began to move towards the truck. "So, I'll see you two sometime Sunday night?"
That got Jay's attention. The girl spun and looked at him oddly. "Come again?"
He shrugged, pretending nonchalance. "I have a stack of paperwork you wouldn't believe waiting for me at the station. Besides, it's too cold for me to stay out all night."
The girl looked from him, to Jim, and then back again. "What's going on?"
"We're going camping."
She stared at Jim like he'd just declared it Easter Sunday. "In November?"
"At night!" the Sentinel agreed cheerfully, starting to put together a small, collapsible hang glider. He nodded towards it. "We glide in far as we can go, then hike the rest of the way to Cascade."
After a moment of gape jawed staring, Jay shook her head. "That's insane."
"Well, if you can't handle a weekend in the woods, I understand."
"Can't handle it? Come on, old man, you may be former army but face reality!"
"Old man?" he asked, sharing an amused, mock shocked look with Blair. "I get the feeling she doesn't think I can do it."
"Sounds like it, man. Go on and defend your honor against that one."
"I think I have to. Challenge accepted. Let's go."
Jay abruptly realized she'd been caught. A momentary inner debate, then she snickered and slipped off her shoes. "You are very sick men. Ok, you're on. Damn, I just hate ruining another set of clothes."
"Oh, that's right!" Blair yelped, rushing back to the truck. "We have a change of gargoyle friendly gear in here somewhere." When he finally surfaced with the bag, she stood beside him, bemused smirk on her face. "How many were in on this?"
He grinned. "Your friends. Tate had the idea, Demona provided the equipment - which you and Jim are testing, by the way - and your mom provided the clothes."
She stared at him for a second, then gave him a quick hug. "Thanks" was whispered in his ear before the girl pulled away, taking the clothes and disappearing into the port a potty. Several minutes of vivid cursing later, she stepped out, shivering slightly in the cold. After handing the refilled bag to him, Jay moved to the grass and stood facing the drop off and Cascade.
The metamorphosis was one of the most disturbingly beautiful sights Blair had ever witnessed. First Jay's skin darkened, going from a healthy peach to a cobalt blue. Her feet stretched out, toes melding into three claws, and the bone on her heel extended into a dew claw. The arch pushed her knees forward, emphasizing the spurs that erupted forth there. Behind her, a tail sprouted, the end flattening into a long, curving blade of bony material. Above that, the bat like vanes of wings spread, leathery panels filling in as the appendages grew. Her arms changed little, only growing a set of elbow spurs and the ring and little fingers melding together as the hands became more claw like. He couldn't see her face, but the horns now arching back over her hair and the pointed, extended ears clued him in that the change was total. Jay turned, presenting thick eye ridges and fangs in her shy grin.
"Wow," Blair managed.
The grin changed into a rueful smirk. "Yeah, it is pretty impressive, isn't it?"
Jim overcame his amazement first. "Sure is, but that's not gonna let you win this little trip." He tossed her a backpack. "Put - oh damn. That's not gonna work with the wings, is it?"
The gargoyle grinned and undid the straps, refastening them once the pack was between her wings. "Believe me, hang around a clan of full time drain spouts, and you pick up a few tricks."
"Well, I hope you picked up a few gliding tricks, 'cause I'm heading out! Catch ya later, Chief!" Jim called, abruptly picking up the glider and darting off the overhang.
"Hey!" Jay called, running after him. "Lousy sneak! Get back here!"
"Call me old, huh? Guess again!"
Her only reply was helpless but genuine laughter. Blair grinned and nodded to himself as he waved to the pair. It was the first time he'd heard her laugh. It sounded right. Life was heading back to where it belonged.
Thank you once more to the people that helped bring this into
Denis, the spawner of creativity daemons and Demander of Half Written Fic.
M.C. The cheering squad, problem solver, and Other Demander of Half-Written Fic.
Datafage. Proofreader Extrordinaire and Ego Booster.
Tyrethali. Advisor of Technical bits and problems from Body.
Mendon. Just because. ;)
Fleur, she who inspires, entertains during down time, and reminds me that yes, people do read this.
All the Repeat Offenders, particularly the ones who kept (keep! O.O) me updated with the problems plaguing Soul.
Hooorah! That was a fun saga (well, except for Mind, the evil section that would not be written, and Soul, the evil section that would not be posted in the archive), but I'm glad it's over.
Wait, who was that? The Characters.
Back up, I wanna try this again. Part 1, Mind
How'd we get here? Part 3, Soul
I want to read more! To get back to the fic archive
Let me out of here!!!! A.K.A. Home
PLEASE send any and all feedback -can't improve if I don't know what I'm doing right/wrong!- to: Norcumi@backtick.net
Gargoyles, Demona, Nightstone Unlimited, The Captain of the Guard, the Emir, this version of the Illuminati, and any other related material belongs to Disney, used without permission or profit, no infringement intended, so please don't sue. The Connecticut clan, Jay, Tate, Sadie, Topper, Stella, Lizzie, and Loar are my own (don't steal!). Pretty much everything else belongs to Pet Fly Productions and therefore Paramount, again the whole rant about no infringement, payment, and sueing.