A (Virtual) Christmas Story
by Mel Moser


Brushing the snow off his shoulders and coat, Nick finally had to
use his key when Nat didn't answer the door. He knew she was inside,
he heard her familiar heartbeat. It was a cold, but beautiful
snowy night, and he was late in getting here.

"Nat?" He asked, opening the door. Looking around, he almost
didn't see her at first. Curled up on the sofa underneath an
afghan, she had fallen asleep with her PC laptop on her lap.

Nick joked to himself, chuckling. He noticed
how adorable she looked as she slept. The glow of the lights of
Christmas tree and the blazing fire in the fireplace gave her
a lovely glow that made it impossible for him not to kiss her lightly
on the temple as he leaned over and removed the computer from
her hands.

Turning the laptop around, he was surprised to see that it was
not work she had been doing, but rather reading a story.

"A Christmas Knight" Nick read off the screen, then stopped.
Browsing the lines quickly, he was able
to tell that it was a story, something to do with the Virtual
Season. A story about him, and Natalie, and the other people
in his life, and a murder mystery. But more importantly, a
Christmas Story.

Taking the laptop, he saw that it was still connected to the Internet.
He set it on the coffee table and knelt down in front of it, captivated
by what he was finding. He found other stories, more stories about him
and Natalie, about Janette, LaCroix, Tracy, and even Schanke. Sidney?
There were stories about Sidney. Where was that cat anyway?

Nick looked around the apartment and saw the cat sound asleep under
the Christmas tree, amidst a pile of presents.

Looking back at the computer, by pointing and clicking, he found more
wonderful places about him and his friends, his search for mortality,
people that loved this show called Forever Knight and did marvelous
things in it's name, such as charities, chatting online, belonging to
and posting messages to lists, making friends, having parties, and yes,
writing stories.

Looking over at his sleeping Natalie, he wondered how long she
had known about this online world.

Then an idea occurred to him. He smiled.

It took him a second, but he soon found the little email program and
only a second longer to figure out how it work. Typing quickly, he
addressed the letter, entered a subject and typed a few quick lines
before signing it and pressing the send button.

There. That ought to do it, he thought to himself.

A few minutes later, all of FK online fandom, little email boxes beeped
as they received a new message.

--------

To: Forever Knight Fans
From: Nicholas Knight
Subect: A present for Natalie

Dear friends,

I want this Christmas to be an extra special one this year. After
the Last Knight debacle, Nat and I still have a few things to work
out. I've seen some of the wonderful stories you've written about
us, and was wondering, do you think you could write a few extra
special ones for Christmas?

Thanks,
Nick

P.S. What is JADFE?

--------

After reading a few more of the stories, Nick exited from Windows.
The volume must have been turned up on the PC speaker, for there was
a short dialogue that played as the PC prepared to shut down.

"We will be together." He heard his own voice say, followed by
Nat's love-filled one, "Forever." His heart ached a bit, remembering
that particular exchange and what had followed.

Powering off the laptop, he turned around to see that the sound of
the computer must have awakened Nat.

"Nick?" Nat asked, still a bit groggy. "What are you doing?"

"Oh nothing." He tried to give his best innocent look. "Merry
Christmas, Nat." He leaned over and kissed her tenderly on the lips.

Nat blinked at him in surprise. "Uh, Nick," she smiled as
she whispered, "Christmas is not for a few more days yet."

"I know." He whispered back, mischievously. "But I have
a feeling it's going to be extra special this year."

Giving her another deep, but more passionate kiss, Nick slowly
opened the blanket and joined her in snuggling on the sofa, the
soft glow of the Christmas lights and gently falling snow outside
making it seem very much like Christmas Eve.

*finis*