September: English 101

And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you're alive

And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

         "Iris", by the Goo Goo Dolls

September 5
     Well. It's been awhile, hasn't it? Haven't tried writing a journal since.... what, fifth grade? Well, aside from the assigned one for seventh grade English, but that doesn't count. I need to get my thoughts out, not scribble down something to satisfy the teacher. I mean, I can't really go to my counselor and chat about my gargoyle problem. I'll end up in the loony bin. And much as I like Lizzie, she's my roommate and that's it. She still can't even get a handle on my fantasy reading, not that I've been doing much of that lately. It's hard.
     It amazes me - bugs me - how much of my life's been taken over. It's like every other thought is about them. I'm not eating as much as when I shifted all the time, I'm seeing a hell of a lot more daylight, staying up past 11 never used to make me this tired..... I left the gargoyles behind, but it's like they followed me anyway. Two years of my life, and it's not my life anymore. It's gargoyles, gargoyles, and more gargoyles.
     When did it happen? When did I lose control? When I stopped being scared of heights, when I was happy playing vigilante beating up the bad guys, when I started to prefer wings over sunshine?
     Sevarius didn't take my humanity. I gave it away.

September 9
     Well, wasn't I just little Miss Sunshine and Warm Fuzzies? Note to self; don't write before bedtime that time of the month. Get WAAAAY too dramatic. Although it is true. I'm obsessed. I look at windows and start rating them for how easy it'd be to get in or out, wandering between buildings I start thinking how the wind tunnels would be great for gliding, and, well, Cascade isn't nicknamed 'Most Dangerous City in America' for nothing. But I've managed to keep from patrolling or getting involved. It's hard sometimes. Much as I want to avoid that part of me, I am partially a gargoyle. That means the whole clan, protection thing. But like they say, admitting you have a problem if the first step to a cure.

September 16
     Dammit, I'm doing it again! Argh, I thought I was getting better! Ok, so maybe it wasn't a gargoyle thing so much as a Good Samaritan thing.
     Yeah right. I wish.
     Ok, so it was middle of the afternoon, and I was hurrying to get to my Anthro 101 class. I was right in front of the Hargrove Hall fountain when there's this shriek behind me, something about a purse, and then this guy blasts past on roller blades which really didn't go with the pink purse he was holding. Next thing I know, I'm tackling him. We both slam down, I get a few good licks in, and he went down for the count. A few minutes later, security and some cops show up, it turns into a circus, and I miss class while the cops take my statement. And for some reason, Ms. Loar didn't want to take that as a valid excuse for being absent. At least I got the notes.
     This sucks. My gargoyle side's still coming out, and I'm gonna fail.

September 21
     Normal. I remember normal. Pretty much described me before..... damn, I'm doing it again! It's all Before Gargoyles and After Gargoyles. Have to stop doing that. And anyway, it described me AG too, for the most part. The public part. I mean, honestly, I certainly don't look anything other than average. My social life was never anything to make a fuss about; few parties here and there, general hanging out with friends. School wise, got along with most people, avoided most of the cliques, and was generally considered a quasi-brain (not enough computer knowledge to make Geek). Grades bit higher than the average, but after meeting my parents most people could figure out why. Hell, even the family; older brother, Dad being a firefighter, Mom spending most of her time volunteer work or whatever.
     That disappeared with the cancer thing. I mean, bald teen girls just are not the standard in little ol' CT. And then.... well, then it was AG. 'Nuff said. I'm getting back there, though. It's slow, but I'm getting there. Haven't tried to take down any more purse snatchers for one (not that there've been any, but there hasn't been the urge to go out looking for them either).

September 25
     Oh holy shit. This is so not my day. First off there's the whole Friday equals class overload thing. Then I slept in, so I had to scramble to get to Calculus, and then found out I forgot my homework. Ms. Loar had a pop quiz in Anthro, and I think I bombed that. To top it all off, Lizzie (lucky little @#^$% - she's only got a 2 pm art thing today) got curious about what I was writing in here. I nearly had a heart attack when I came in on her reading this. Thankfully, she thought it was fiction or some sorta coping mechanism (ah, my roomie the psych major) for cancer. I'm still trying to decide which is worse; her taking the garg thing seriously or thinking I'm nuts. Can't there be anything in my life that's simple, clear cut black or white? Ok, aside from the fact that Ms. Loar hates my guts. I think I'm gonna avoid TA's from now on.

September 30
     I'm dating again.
     Huh. I'm not sure if that has too much, or too little description for my life. I mean, Tate and I were pretty steady from the start of school, not that we knew it. Before that, there was Fred, and no guy's gonna go out with a bald, bloated, green tinged girl with a tube in her chest. I mean really. Before that.... nothing really serious.
     Not that this is. I'm not ready for that. But Jeff is pretty cool about it. He's pretty willing to accept the whole messy breakup excuse, and all told, that's pretty accurate. Bloodstains are a bitch to get out.
     I just need a calm, normal relationship with a guy who's not going to grow extra limbs or turn into a killer next time I turn around.
     Something normal.

October: Bonding Time

I close my eyes when I get too sad
I think thoughts that I know are bad
Close my eyes and I count to ten
Hope it’s over when I open them
I want the things that I had before....
I wish I could count to ten
Make everything be wonderful again

     “Wonderful,” by Everclear

     “Hey.” Someone punched Steve lightly on the shoulder. The blue gargoyle waved it away, eyes remaining glued to the television screen.
      “Hey,” the voice insisted again, this time accompanied with a rude shake of his shoulder.
      “G’way, Frank,” he mumbled.
      “Nuh uh,” his brother answered. “It’s important.”
     He made a faint raspberry. “Can hold till the commercial break.” He glanced quickly to the VCR’s clock. “Got one coming up in a few minutes.”
     Frank sighed and thumped down beside him. “Okay. You sure?”
      “Shut up, ok?”
      “Yeah, right, who am I to doubt you know when there’s a commercial in Baywatch.”
     When the show finally took a break, Steve tore his attention away, shaking away the glazed look in his eyes. “What?”
     Frank nodded over to the corner window. Tate was curled up in a chair, staring out the window with a look of pain and longing.
      “He’s doin’ it again?” Steve asked.
     The lavender male snorted. “Again means he stopped at some point.”
      “Damn. He needs to get laid.”
      “Considerin’ Jay’s on the other side of the country, I’m thinking that’s what has him so bummed.”
      “Ok. Plan B then.” The brothers shared a look and evil smile. “We get him drunk.”

      “Look, I don’t wanna do this,” Tate whined for what was the sixteenth time by Frank’s count.
      “Tough shit,” Steven informed him, tugging his brother’s arm to lead him further into the woods. “Duck,” he said seconds before Tate’s forehead connected with a low hanging branch.
     Tate stumbled to a stop, mumbling curses and rubbing the skin above his blindfold. “Dammit, will one of you just tell me what the hell is going on? Not to mention letting me see?”
     Frank juggled the coolers he was carrying, then gave up and handed them to Steve. “Nope,” he grinned, taking Tate’s arm and leading him on a somewhat safer path towards the hidden grove. Tate sighed, grumbled some more choice phrases, but followed. Several stressful minutes later, in the ‘hidden’ safety of their private grove, they removed Tate’s blindfold. He looked around, taking in the central fire pit; long rejected radio; patchwork, tarp covered armchairs that had seen several pervious lives; battered coolers; and other signs of a solely male habitation.
      “Very nice,” he commented dryly. “Can I go home now?”
      “Nope!” Frank chirped, settling down in one of the ancient chairs.
     Steve pulled out a bottle and tossed it to Tate, who caught it on instinct. “Least not till you drink this.” The blue gargoyle grinned evilly. “Though we’d prefer you totally, two hundred proof drunk.”

20 minutes and a case of Miller’s later
      “Whatcha doin?”
      “Thinkin.” Tate took another pull on the beer bottle. There was something hypnotic about the flames eating away at the logs.
      “Oh come on,” Frank sighed, while Steve just groaned and shook his head. “She ain’t the only female in the world.”
      “She is to me,” he said, taking another decisive swig.
      “I used to feel that way about Catherine Zeta Jones,” Steve finally said after a moment’s silence.
      “Oh? Why’d you stop?”
     The blue gargoyle took a drink. “Saw Entrapment. She is damn fine, but... chasing Sean Connery?” He gave an exaggerated shudder. “That’s just gross.”
     The brothers shared a laugh before descending back into a contemplative silence.
     Frank broke the stillness. “Ya know those chick flicks where guy meets girl, and then girl dumps the guy?”
      “What if instead of ending back together in some sappy clichéd way he ended up blowing up with world or something?”
     Tate tried breathing beer up his nose. When he could finally speak, he managed, “I’d like to see that. I really would.”
      “Hell, find me a girl, gimme the ten bucks, and I’ll do it for real!” Steve laughed.
     Frank paused, then made a show of searching his pockets. “Sorry man, all I got is some ones.”
      “Damn. Oh well. Maybe next time.” Steve flashed a sly look at Tate. “Or you could try, bro.”
     The green gargoyle made a face. “So not interested.”
     The other two shared a look. Three guesses why. “Here.” Frank tossed Tate another beer. “You aren’t nearly drunk enough.”
      “Uh, I don’t know my limit.”
      “Then tonight’s the night to find it. Trust us.”
     Already halfway drunk, Tate shrugged and popped the top.

the next night
a.k.a. 2 coolers later....

     Seconds after the trio’s waking roars, Tate rolled over and let out a miserable groan. “Found his limit!” Steve cackled with such evil enthusiasm that Frank couldn’t help but to laugh along.
     Tate groaned again and managed to glare at them with a bloodshot eye. “Shut up.”
     Frank chuckled, then nodded in the direction of the house. “Go on home. I’ll take care of Tate.”
      “Sure?” his blue brother asked with an arced eyeridge.
      “Yeah, I don’t mind. G’on.” Shit, I am way to obvious. Don’t ask, just go... please.
      “ ‘Kay,” Steve said with a shrug. He waited till he was starting away before beginning to mumble to himself. “Not my business, have a nice little chat, won’t be the first time.... don’t let him get too gloomy, kay?”
     The lavender gargoyle shook his head and grinned around the touches of his own hangover. Steve could be an ass most of the time, but he had his moments.
     He looked around and sighed. Not to mention his brother was a genius when it came to avoiding cleanup. To kill time while Tate got to his proverbial feet, Frank started to pick up the clearing. When that was accomplished, he finally approached his brother, who was still lying face down on the ground. “How ya feel?”
     Tate made a face. “Like I took on Nicole in one of her pissy moods.”
     Frank winced. Now that was bad. “Could be worse.”
     His brother grunted, obviously thinking otherwise.
     What the hell. Can’t get much of a better opening. “You’re lucky.”
     Somehow Tate sensed that they weren’t talking about his hangover anymore. “Bullshit.”
      “Dammit, don’t gimme that. You had your chance, and now that’s over. But it’s a helluva lot more than the rest of us have had.”
     Tate looked up blearily, head tilted to the side in a silent request for more input.
      “Come on,” Frank sighed, running a hand through his hair. “You got to be human, get the girl, and generally be the hero. But that’s over now. End of game, insert another quarter or get the hell out of the arcade. Let Jay go and get the hell on with your life.”
      “What would you do... if you ‘had your chance’?”
      “Get real. I got at least as much talent as any whole boy band put together. If they can make it, I damn sure could. But since I happened to have been hatched with wings, it ain’t gonna happen. All that talent, and it’s doing me flat out shit. You at least can use yours.”
     Tate made a rude noise. “What talent? Getting myself into trouble? Stopping crooks? I’m nothing special, hell, I don’t have any talents.”
     The lavender male shook his head in amazement. “Tate... bro, you gotta gift. You can be human most any time you want. You can see the sun, live with them, hell, be one of them, while all we do is get to see the same shitty side night after night.” He paused to give Tate a tiny, bitter grin. “It’s something we can literally only dream of. Don’t let that gift go to waste ‘cause Jay couldn’t handle real life. There are other females out there, and plenty of them can deal with us, and reality, better.” Seeing Tate’s protests rising already, he held up a hand. “Just give it a night for that thought to sink in, ok? Then you can tell me I’m full of shit. Just not until then.” Frank stood with a faint sigh. “Whatever you do decide, remember you’re allowed to let the martyr thing go and be selfish once in awhile. I hear they call that being human.”

     Tate stood in front of the bathroom mirror, the first light of morning streaming into the window. He stared at his reflection for a long time, trying to find life’s answers in his human face. But as hard as he looked, there was nothing save questions in the mirror. Finally he gave up, shrugging as he turned towards the kitchen for a snack. I wonder, he thought idly with only a trace of guilt, how many girls hit the bar scene by noon?

November: Anthro 101

I've seen a rich man beg
I've seen a good man sin
I've seen a tough man cry
I've seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie
I've seen the good side of bad
And the downside of up
And everything between
I licked the silver spoon
Drank from the golden cup
And smoked the finest green
I stroked the fattest dimes at least a couple of times
before I broke their heart
You know where it ends, yo, it usually depends on where you start

     “What It’s Like,” by Everlast

     This place is getting old. The same type of people with the same type of experiences, over and over again. There are only so many ways to get high or fucked, no matter what today’s youth thinks.
     I’m so bored.
     Oh, it was all right in the beginning. So much to learn and absorb. Some of the older professors had had... extraordinary memories, virtually unique experiences in this modern, jaded world. Some of the artifacts they found, medical advances made, places visited, discoveries brought to light..... Mmm. Delicious. Truly spice in a bland world. Sadly, no one else is left that had near the experiences.
     Same old memories.
     I do wish I could’ve met my... predecessor. He was only a TA, working on his doctorate before proclaiming his dissertation a fraud. A police observer, anthropology student, described as a “neo-hippy free sprit”... his memories sound fascinating.
     But now he’s a cop, a detective. Bad news for any non-cops. I don’t dare go near him. Mores the pity. I would love to taste his memories.....
     No! I can’t do that! I nearly died last time that happened! Cannot risk it. A few more weeks, a few more of peoples’ memories, and then... time to move on.
     Perhaps a few of my students have more interesting experiences. Maybe, instead of the troublemakers, the more straight laced ones....
     What memories would an innocent hold? Something to think of when I move on. It is intriguing. That makes me hungry.
     What memories should I taste next?

Many thanks to Datafage, for his work proofing and keeping me looking halfway intelligent! Also, much groveling to MC for her feedback and keeping me on task. Oh, and the chick flick thing. }:) Heyas and cookies for the Repeat Offenders, subtle encouragment for Fleur to write some more ;), and a big "Hi!!!" to Karen (who hopefully knows why). Thank you!

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DISCLAIMERS: All characters belong to me. You can't use them without my permission. But if you ask, you're most like to get it. But you still have to ask. The gargoyle race in general and a bit of gargoyle lore are owned by Buena Vista and therefore the Great Mouse, used with great reverence, respect, and without permission. Baywatch belongs to... er... someone not me. Rainier, Cascade, the dis mess, and a certain unnamed hunk - er, I mean, anthropologist are property of Pet Fly Productions (and Paramount). This isn't intended as copyright infringement. Various random brand names and music selections are not mine, you'll know 'em if you see 'em. Soundtrack is done by Goo Goo Dolls, Everlast, and Everclear, all without permission, no infringement, no profit, yadda yadda.