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Remembering the Past

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Remembering the Past
by Lucinda


Anya sighed, and kicked at a rock. Being mortal, being human again sucked. She was weak, fragile, powerless, and she had all these emotions and insecurities again.

"Everything's different now. The world's changed, and now I have to adjust to it. I can't just skip back to Arashmahod anymore." She pulled her jacket closer, and shivered. Looking upwards, she felt slightly relieved that the sky looked almost the same as when she'd been human the first time, back when she wasn't Anyanka, but simply Aud.

A group of winged shapes soared over, shapes that could only be gargoyles. She hadn't seen any of those since she'd been mortal...

The small group split, and pairs of them turned to go left and right, leaving one that kept moving straight, which happened to be towards where she was watching. Her uncle had always hated them, although she'd never quite understood why. Her father had just said it had to do with something when they were younger, and chuckled, but still...

Other shapes, similar but oddly stiff moved towards the lone gargoyle, their feet trailing smoke. Bright red lasers shot out, and the single gargoyle tried to dodge them. But there was only one gargoyle, and three of the robots, and he eventually tumbled downwards.

Anya gasped, and moved closer to the water, her heart racing. There was a huge splash, and she heard some colorful words, rather creative ones in old Scottish. She absently wondered if that was even anatomically possible, watching as the gargoyle pulled himself onto the dock. He had fine muscles, and was a lovely bronzish tan, with a gray beard and a scar over one eye. He looked like a very impressive old warrior, even with the laser burns on his wings.

"Hold still, I think I can work a charm to keep the robots from seeing you." She placed one hand on his shoulder, kneeling in the spreading pool of water. Closing her eyes, she whispered the works, calling on old powers to hide this brave warrior from his unworthy foes.

The robots circled overhead for a few moments, rather like vultures. Finally, they departed, heading back towards the towering skyscrapers of downtown.

"Never did I think I'd owe any sort of thanks to a Viking." His voice held a thick Scottish accent, and traces of bemusement.

"There used to be gargoyles near my home, a long time ago. They were protectors, they tried to keep us safe." Anya closed her eyes again, and tried not to shiver. "But things... The world's not the same as when I was young, and I suppose you just... you reminded me of a time when everything was simple. I knew the rules, how to stay safe. And now... It's not the same."

"What happened, lass?" His voice was gentle, and he slowly stood up, offering her a hand to her feet as well. "How did things change so much on ye?"

"It's complicated." Anya sighed, thinking about the way most people would react to her experiences. But maybe a gargoyle would be different. Maybe... "Actually, how did a Scottish gargoyle end up in New York?"

"Complicated explains that as well." He sighed, and rubbed at his head. "There was a raid by Vikings. In some of the resulting... mess, the few remnants of our clan were blamed for something we had no control over, and we were cursed to be stone until the castle rose above the clouds. Now, it sits on the top of one of yon steel mountains, and we... we're in this world, a thousand years later."

Anya sighed. "That... yes, complicated fits. I spent a thousand years granting vengeance to scorned women, and ended up... human again. I don't like it very much."

"Vengeance? Ah, one of those." He nodded, and sighed as he looked over the city. "I'm getting too old for this."

Looking over him, she smiled. Maybe he was a bit past the prime of youth, but he still looked impressive to her. And there were a few things that she'd heard whispered about the local clan when she'd been young... "You don't look that bad to me. Maybe a hot shower and something to eat would help? I've got a hotel room... nobody pays any attention to anything there."

He rubbed one shoulder, and nodded. "They couldn't hurt. Lead on, lass."

"Call me Anya." She smiled, taking his hand. Maybe she could learn the truth of some of those rumors about gargoyles...

"Well, Anya, I'm called Hudson." He offered a small smile, perhaps trying not to startle her with the occasional gargoyle fangs.

"Follow me, Hudson." She tugged him back towards her car. "And you're one of the best looking older men that I've run into in quite a while."

Judging from his shocked and intrigued _expression, she just might discover the truth of some of those rumors after all. Maybe there were advantages to having a very interesting night after all.


end Remembering the Past.