Memory: An Internal Monologue

A Gargoyles story by Faechick

Lie down and give in to winter.
Because if memory is anything it is dirty banks of snow
or rancid ice bleeding into water.

So lie down, go gently, open your fists,
let small butterflies rise from your palms
and dissipate into spring.
  - from Sudden Music by Samuel Willoughby


Author's Notes: I'd like to thank my Beta, StringSlinger, for all his nitpicking and general snarkiness. His debates about my choices for this piece helped me flesh out where I wanted it to go, and also made me aware of how very attached I am to my particular version of Demona. This piece is set sometime after the finale of Season II.


Memory. It was all that she had for so long, all that had kept her going. Going - not alive; MacBeth kept her alive. But living isn't easy if you don't have a path to walk, and so Demona had clung to the only one she could remember.

Vengeance: the brightest path, and the shortest one to hell.

It wasn't enough anymore. She was weary of the battles and of the pain. Goliath believed her to be a monster, and to some degree so did Angela. The first time she had seen fear in her daughter's eyes - fear directed at Demona and her actions - she had suffered her second broken heart. Had she slipped so far? Had the mask she'd adopted so long ago become such a part of her self as to be indistinguishable from it?

Dealing with the Hunters had been the straw to break her back.

Demona's own hatred, Demona's own pain, had brought about the events that had almost cost her Angela. How could she have known a thousand years ago what her anger would bring? And yet, she should have known. Goliath was right to think her a monster - she had become no better than the humans she had so despised.

Memory, and the hatred it garnered, had betrayed her.

Even as she realized this, her memory fought her new awareness by pointing events out from her past, trying desperately to stay on the course she had set for herself. Visions accosted her of the revolution in France, the way the clan there fought so hard to help the people of Paris only to be butchered as dawn settled. She had been saved by her memories then - they hadn't always led her astray.

Could she really blame them for one misplaced step?

In the second World War, too, memory had protected her. Stalingrad had called to her - the Germans were just as bad as the Vikings had been, and she could take so many of them out without ever being hunted for it. They'd see the Russians as their butchers, and the Russians would see the Germans in the same light, and all the while she would be cleaning her claws in the shadows. Her memories had kept her angry enough to stay alive through the winter, then.

But did any of that matter now?

Her memories had served her well in times of war, and when gargoyles were still viewed as half-imagined beasts. Now, however, it was the dawn a new age, however cliched that phrase might be. Technology, with a little help from Xanatos, was making sure that the world saw gargoyles as people - a new race on Earth that wasn't really new at all. So far, nothing had happened like in the past. There had been no attempts at genocide over the past few months, if one discounted the Hunters. Goliath and the Clan were well, and had even become minor media stars.

History, it seemed, was opting not to repeat itself this time.

Perhaps she should do the same. Maybe it was time to take off the mask that memory had gifted her with, time to find herself again amidst the rubble of the child left alone so long ago. She could use Dominique Destine as her springboard; Nightstone Unlimited would suddenly become much more active in charities. She would garner praise, and could bask in how it felt to do the right thing.

For the first time in what felt like an eternity, Demona smiled.

Just as quickly as it appeared, the smile faded. Demona could use Nightstone to set herself upon a new road, but that would be the easy part. She would still have to deal with Goliath, and Brooklyn, and Elisa. To seek their forgiveness, to apologize, to bare herself in front of them with the hope that they'd allow her to be born anew; she wasn't sure she could do that.

Time had made her stubborn.

But, she would clamp down on her hubris, would smother it ruthlessly if need be. What was pride worth when compared with her soul? Or with Angela? How could she continue to push her daughter away as she had been before? Angela saw the light in her, no matter how dim it was, and so she would fight for that. She could be good again. She could let go of the monster that she had come to embrace in a mockery of exaltation. She could once again find real, true joy in the world.

Couldn't she?



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