by Eric McCann (Small contributions by Monique Kraft)
circa October 1998
Nick sat through the nightly briefing - same old, same old.
Reese finally said the word he and everyone else was waiting
for... "OK, people, dismissed."
As they got up to leave, Reese stopped several of them by calling their
names. "Knight, Schanke, Torres, hold on a sec." The rest of the shift
filed past them, and Reese motioned them closer. "You three are overdue
for your medical checkups." As they started to protest, he cut them off.
"No groaning, we need these done. And we need it by the end of the week."
Nick didn't like the sound of this - Nat normally did his checkup,
but she was gone to a conference in the States for another week and a half.
He only had three days to get a checkup done. "Uh... Cap..."
"No 'Uh, Cap's', Nick. I know Natalie normally takes care of you,
because of your "skin condition" or whatever it was, but you'll
just have to find someone else. These have to be *done* and in,
or we'll be forced to cut off your insurance. And we can't have a cop
on the streets without life insurance." He put his hand on Nick's
shoulder. "Look, Nick, it's policy... either you get checked out,
or you fly a desk."
Nick sighed... maybe a whammy would get him out of it. "OK, cap.
I think I can find someone." He had no idea where though....
Later that night, as he and Schanke were driving along, he had a
flash of insight. "Schank, I've got to stop by the coroner's office
for a minute."
"What for? We don't have any reports... and Natalie's not there."
He gave his partner a knowing grin.
Nick grimaced at him. "We're just friends, Schank. Besides, I have
to talk to Grace." He drove them over, and went in to talk to Nat's
"Hey, Nick. Natalie's not back yet, you know."
"We're just friends..."
Grace gave him one of *those* looks. "Uh huh. And I'm a four foot
tall white woman. Something I can help you with?"
"Well, I need to get a checkup done. Natalie normally does that..."
"I know. We have to keep drool towels handy for her around that
time too." She smiled lecherously at him.
Nick looked at Grace without understanding, then he shrugged. "Anyway,
I was wondering if you knew of anyone else she would trust to
do something like that.. with my condition and everything."
"Hmmm." Grace thought for a moment. "Doctor Eisen is pretty
good. I'm sure he'd be glad to help a... 'friend' of Natalie."
She grinned. "And, he's on call at the hospital tonight as well."
"Great! The sooner I get this done, the better."
"OK, let me make sure he's not in the middle of someone..." Grace
picked up the phone. "Frank? Yeah, it's Grace over here at the Coroner's
office. Listen, we have a friend of Nat's here... no, still got a pulse... yes...no, it's pretty simple. Just needs a checkup for... no, nothing
needs to be extracted." She stopped for a moment and looked at
Nick, grinning. " No, I'm pretty sure he's not pregnant. Frank...
Frank, hold up a sec. He's a cop, he needs a checkup done. Routine
checkup, that's all. Can you give him a few minutes? OK...."
Nick looked at Grace warily. "He can fit me in?"
"Yep. He'll be waiting for you at the hospital."
"Thanks, Grace." Nick walked out the door, got into the Caddy and
drove to the hospital. When he and Schanke got there, Don stayed in
the lobby and searched for a cigarette vending machine while Nick sought
out Dr. Eisen's office. When he found it, he opened the door - "Hello?"
"Come in, come in! You must be Natalie's little friend." Nick
raised an eyebrow at this. "Please, please, sit down. So, you're
Nick. Go ahead, take off your coat. Don't worry, this won't take
Nick took off his coat. This guy was really irritating... but maybe
he could shorten the visit. "So... Frank, was it?" (listening for
his heartbeat... *THUMP*THUMP*) "How long have you been a doctor?"
Frank looked at Nick - and thought he felt something tugging at him,
but shook it off. "I went through class with Natalie, but I stayed
longer to specialize."
//Great - a resister.// "Specialize?"
"Yes, I've been a gynecologist for two years now."
Nick just sat there. "A what?"
"Gynecologist." Frank looked at Nick. "Oh, I see what you're
thinking. Don't worry, I still know where all the *other* parts are and
what they're supposed to do. Now..." He turned around, then
turned back and tossed a paper robe at Nick. "Go in there," he
said, pointing at the examination room, "and change into this.
I'll be in a minute." He walked over to his desk as Nick headed
into the room. "Oh, and if you don't really know what it does...
don't touch it, OK?"
Nick suppressed a growl. "OK, no problem." He opened the door and
went inside, then found a screen to hide behind. He undressed, and put
the robe on, then stepped out and went to sit down. The paper robe flew
open as he walked over one of the air conditioning vents.
He avoided looking at some of the diagrams on the wall. He thought to
himself, 'I really did *not* need to know about... ugh, that's... I think
I'll just look at the floor.' He did this until he ran into a table with
an open drawer and looked around, when he was sure that no one was watching
he opened it. He pulled out a large metal contraption and studied it
"What's this thing?" He held it in his hand and realized that it looked a lot
like a futuristic gun. He held it to his side, twirled around like one of the
cops on TV and whipped the 'gun' out and up into the air at a make believe
suspect. "Freeze! Nick Knight, Metro Homicide!"
As his hand squeezed around the 'trigger' the medical device opened up like
the mouth of an alligator. He stared at it for a minute and dropped it the
second he realized what it was probably for! He hurriedly made his way back
to the table after gingerly placing the device back in the drawer. He took
another look around, then went to sit on the table. As he did, the paper
robe flew open - "YEOW!"
Frank came in just as Nick jumped off and readjusted his robe."I'll be back
in a minute. Make yourself comfortable... but don't touch anything."
"Thanks." Nick hoisted himself up on the examining table, it was comfortable
but not exactly plush. He looked to the edge of the table and saw some metal
fittings sticking out, he tugged on them until they extended like arms. He
cocked his head, and wondered what they were for. They looked like the
stirrups on his old saddle, he slipped his feet inside. "Nice fit." He twiddled his feet inside the stirrups until they were nice and tight.
Suddenly he heard someone approaching the door and panicked, he tried to pull
his feet out but they wouldn't budge. ""Damn! I knew I should have taken off
my shoes!" He struggled more and accidentally fell forward in his haste.
Doctor Frank opened the door and shook his head in disappointment. He stood
watching Nick as the vampire hung upside down, his feet caught impossibly
backwards in the stirrups, and his paper robe hanging over his head.
"I told you not to touch anything, Detective." He let out a chuckle, and
helped free Nick from the stirrups.
Nick started having second thoughts about his promise not to kill, but held
Himself back for now. "Thanks," he said, as his feet were freed, but then nearly fell onto the floor in his haste to cover his embarrassment. He got up, straightened his robe, and sat back down. He wasn't sure what to do with his legs, the flimsy paper robe didn't give much leeway for anything so he just crossed them.
"Sooo, detective. Just need a checkup? Feeling any pain, dizziness,
"No, no, no..." He went through the regular questions almost
mechanically. He held back his reactions as his knee was tapped,
and his other physical reactions were checked, with several "Hmmms"
coming from Frank. Finally, it was over.
Frank looked up at the rather... odd detective. "Well. Your temperature is
low, you have such a slow heartbeat it's ridiculous, blood pressure is non
existent - despite that, you're in great shape." He shook his head. "There's
only one thing."
Nick, who had gotten up and was already half dressed, peeked out from behind
the screen. "What's that?"
"Your eyesight. You're going to need glasses."
Nick just stood there, dumbfounded. "Glasses?"
"Yes, Detective." He looked at Nick. "Contacts would work, too. There are
several options. Just take this to any optometrist," he said, handing Nick
a slip of paper. "They should be able to take care of it.
Nick finished dressing, stuffed the paper into his pocket, and shook Frank's
hand, gingerly. "Thanks."
Nick came out to the car, stuffing his shirt into his pants.
"Well, Nick!" Schanke said, seeing him coming out of the hospital. "That was
a long 'consultation.' And Natalie wasn't even there. What *ever* will she
Nick just glared at his partner. "Schanke... shut up and drive."