Fears of the Subconscious
by Dave Galloway

This story is based an characters created by J. Parriott and B. Cohen
for the TV series Forever Knight.

Reaching across to the coffee table, Nick picked up the remote. Natalie
sighed as Nick stopped the tape and thumbed the rewind button.

"That was a good movie." said Natalie.

Nick looked over at her with a smirk on his face and replied "You just like
looking at Mel Gibsons butt on the big screen TV."

Blushing slightly at Nicks comment, she looked him in the eye and said
"That's just a fringe benefit." They both laughed together.

He realized how much these nights spent together watching movies and doing
everyday 'mortal' things with someone you love meant to him. Reaching over
as the laughter subsided, he cupped his hand around her cheek. Surprised at
this Natalie grew serious and looked at him. Catching her gaze in his he
said, "You don't realize how much this means to me Nat. The time we spend
together, the time you spend trying to find a cure for me ... you don't
understand the depth of my love for you."

Finally hearing those words from Nick, her eyes teared up. Placing her hand
over his she said, "Nick you don't know how long I've waited for you to say

As they leaned over towards each other to kiss, the sound of breaking glass
startled them into an upright position. Before they could fathom what
caused the crash, LaCroix stood at the back of the couch behind Natalie.

"Remember our agreement Nicholas." He spoke as he placed his hands on
Natalies head and turned it. She was so surprised she had no time to utter
a word, though Nick could see her forming his name on her lips.

The sound of her neck snapping shocked Nick out of his trance, as he
realized that LaCrox just killed her. His fangs dropped and his eyes flamed
red he screamed "Noooooo" as he lunged over the couch at his master.

". . . either asleep or can't come to the phone right know, please leave a

Realization struck him as he found himself sitting up in bed. Tasting his
own blood, he touched the slice in his lip with his tongue from where his
fang cut it. He found it already
healing. His eyes faded back to normal, as he fully realized that he was in
his room, and it had only been a dream.

Hearing Natalies voice, he flew down to pick up the phone before she hung
up, to confirm to himself that she was alright.

" . . . called to remind you to try that new shake I left with you."

"Nat, I'm here!" he quickly replied as he pick up the phone.

"You sound odd Nick, are you alright?"

"Yeh, I'm fine Nat. I was just concentrating on my painting," he lied. He
he tried to shake off the feeling of helplessness that the dream brought on.
"I didn't realize the phone had rung until I heard your voice." He said as
he wiped the blood sweat from his forehead.

"Oh, okay. Anyway, as I was saying to your machine, you WILL try the shake
first WON'T YOU." She said in the 'if you don't do it I'll be so pissed
off' voice that only women can give the right inflection too. It was 'THE'
tone of voice, that let the person on the receiving end know that there were
sever consequences for non-compliance.

"Yes, I will Nat." he relented. With a smile coming to his lips he added in
a joking voice, "It's a good thing that they haven't come out with vid
phones yet, or I'd swear you would make me drink it right now just to make
sure I was following Doctors orders."

"Don't think I wouldn't do it too." She replied in the same tone of voice
to let him know that she was taking the comment in a good-natured way.
"Bring by the empties after shift, and I'll top you back up."

Wrinkling his nose up like he had smelled something bad, Nick grimaced, then
quickly replied to her, "I will Nat. I'll see you later tonight."

"Okay Nick, see you later, bye."

"Bye Nat," he said as he hung up the phone.

Sensing that it was about an hour until sunset, he decided he might as well
go have a shower and get ready for work.

Starting to go back towards the stairs, he stopped and looked over to the
kitchen. Slowly he walked over to the fridge and pulled out the sealed cup.
Wincing when the chemical odour of the shake reached his nose after removing
the lid, he took a breath to prepare for the taste before swallowing a
mouthful. Giving a whole body shiver like any mortal who had swallowed
something bad, he put the cap back on the cup and started to put it back in
the fridge. He hestitated before the cup touched the shelf, brought the cup
back out, peeled the top off it and swallowed the remainder of the shake as
fast as he could. He closed the fridge door to resist the temptation to
immediately down half a bottle of blood to rinse the taste from his mouth.
Finally he went over to the sink to rinse the cup out and put it with the
others to take with him when he left.

As he walked to the stairs he thought Nat would be pleased with his efforts
to follow her schedule. After all the back sliding lately, he felt a need
to prove to her that he appreciated what she was trying todo for him. The
thought of being mortal and being with her, brought back the feeling of
helplessness as his mind replayed the vision of LaCroix snapping her neck.
Feeling the shake lurch in his stomach, he made it it to the bathroom before
he threw up all over the floor.

Stopping by the Coroners Office before going to the Precinct, Nick spotted
Grace as he approached the Lab. "Hi, Grace. How are you this evening?"

"Hello Nick. What brings you by, offical business?"

"No, not this time anyway. Is Natalie in yet?"

"No, I haven't seen her yet. Can I take a message for you, or did you want
to wait for her?"

Feeling a bit let down, he had really wanted to see her to expell that last
doubt that the nightmare had instilled in him. He sighed, and looked over
at Grace. Giving her a half-smile he replied, "I really should get to work,
could you give her this and tell her that I'll drop in later when I get a
chance?" He lifted the plastic bag he carried and placed it in her hands.

"Sure, no problem. Have a good evening Nick."

"Thanks Grace, you too."