Nick's in the Shower
By Kris Willms
--------------------------
Forever Knight and the characters on the show are the property of Tri-Star,
and are used here for fanfic purposes only. All other characters are mine.

This story is my interpetation of what I believe the events of Last Knight to
be. If it were an episode, it would take place after it.
--------------------------

Time: About a week after the events of Ashes to Ashes, about midnight
Place: The shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto, Canada

"Boy, it's a lovely night, isn't it?"

The guy looked over at his date in response to her comment. It was a lovely
evening indeed. The moon was full and bright, glimmering on the water.
There seemed to be a million stars in the sky, and he had the girl he loved
by his side. It was the perfect scene.

He started to bend in closer. She began to do the same, knowing what he
wanted. Suddenly she heard something. She wasn't sure of what it was, but
she turned to see where it was coming from.

"Did you hear that?"
"Hear What?"
"That noise. There was a noise. I heard it."

Then, she heard it again. It was a muffled moan. She felt the uneasiness
slowly come over her. As she faced her companion, she could tell he felt the
same.

" I think I better get you home now. Will you help me pick up the blanket?"

Before he could finish the last statement, she was up and already to pull it
up off the ground. While they were doing this, ther was another moan. It
was still muffled, but less so that before. She knew this wasn't good,
whatever it was.

"It sounds human. Maybe someone's hurt. Should we call the cops or
something?"
"After we leave, I'll find a pay phone,and ypou can call till your heard's
content."

She turned back toward the sound to see if she could make out what was
producing the it. Suddenly, she thought she saw a small patch of dirt moving,
like something was under it. Her eyes were fixed to that spot.

"Okay, let's go."

He grabbed her arm, but she didn't move. He turned to see what facinated her
so. What he saw emerging from the ground were fingers-human fingers!

As if on cue, she let out a terrified scream. He would have stood there in
shock if it weren't for fear and self-preservation. He took of running,
half-dragging his date along with him. When they reached his car, he opened
his door and pushed her in with him practically on top of her trying to get
in. As soon as he was behind the wheel, he stared the vehicle and sped away.

"Screw calling! We're going directly to the station!"
-------------------

Time: Next evening; just after dusk
Place:Nick's loft

Nick stood under the warm water of his shower. Well, warm to a vampire, he
thought. If Natalie was to feel the temperture of this water, she'd probably
yell that it was freezing. Ah Natalie, if only she was here with him now at
this moment. What they could do. But it was to risky. Yes, he was growing
impatient with their platonic relationship, but he loved her too much to
chance her life. And now he was even more sure of it.

All of a sudden, he sensed a presence entering his loft, and he was pulled
away from his pondering. The visitor was a welcome one.

"I'll be out in a minute, Nat," he shouted over the running water.

"Okay."

He quickly finished his shower and stepped out of the tub. He grabbed a towel
and began to quickly dry the droplets from his body. After wrapping the towel
around his waist, he reached for a second one to dry his hair as he walked
out to the living room. Standing there was Natalie, with her back facing him
as she read the front page of the newspaper.

"It's amazing who they'll put in the papers lately."

She turned to hand it to him, and stopped suddenly when she saw his lack of
attire.

"Nice outfit. Plan to wear that to work?"

"I think the Captain may have a problem with it," he responded as he gently
takes the paper from her hands with a imply grin. "Why? Do you have a problem
with it?"

"It's just that I've never seen you like...this before."

"If it bothers you, I can go and..."

"Oh no! It's not that. You're perfectly fine. Don't mind me."

He smiled and turned his attention to the news. As he scaned though the
articles, he quickly glanced over at her. She was staring at him, and he knew
what was going though her mind. Shame on you, Nat. But he couldn't blame her.
He'd be thinking the same thing, situation reversed.

When he looked back down at the newspaper, he saw the story that had promped
her first comment. It was about the tomb robber found at the Raven. Natalie
could tell from his look that he had found it.

"So, what do you think?"

"It's not a bad picture of LaCroix."

"Be serious, Nick. Do you believe they actually refered to him as
'innocent'?"

"Of this man's murder, yes, he is."

'It's not a word I would use in reference to him. It also says the police
have no leads."

"Well, it's gonna be hard since our suspect was staked by me and the body
burned by LaCroix."

"How much longer do you think you'll be working on it?"

"Until Reese decides there's a case that we must take care of, and he either
reassigns it or closes it."

When he finished the article, he looked up to notice a puzzled look on her
face. "Penny for you're thoughts."

"It's nothing, really. I was just wondering why you were taking a shower.It's
something I've never seen you do before."

"Well, one usually takes a shower when one is dirty."

"So what did you do? Sleep in the mud?"

"Very funny, Nat." His amused expression faded into a sober one, "Actually, I
woke up sweating because of a dream I had last night. I figured it wouldn't
be good if I came to work covered in blood."

Natalie's expression became more serious as well, "That must have been some
dream. Care to take about it?"

"Not really," he said resitantly, almost stuttering, "Maybe later."

"That bad, huh. Well, when you're ready, we'll talk about it. Right now, I've
got to head off to work."

As she reached for the door and opened it, she turned toward Nick, "May I
recommend something warmer. I hear it's going to be chilly tonight."

Nick pulled the towel of the top of his head and threw it in her direction.
-------------------------

Time: Around 10pm
Place: 96th Precient

"Nick, are you okay?"

The voice of his partner pulled him back to the reality of the precient.

"Yes, I'm fine. Why do you ask?"

"You look like you're on another planet. Wanna talk about it?"

"It's nothing, really. Not even worth taking about."

She may not have known him very long, but Tracy knew how to read between the
lines with Nick. He was basically saying he didn't want to talk about it at
all, period.

He looked at her from across his desk, "You've been visiting the same planet
alot lately, too."

"I've just been thinking about someone."

"Vachon?"

Her jaw dropped, "How did you..."

"You mentioned his leaving..."

"I did, didn't I? Just that I miss him. I wonder about where he is, and if
he's doing well."

For him to hear her say this, and to know the truth made him heartsick. All
he could do was smile and say, "I'm sure wherever he is, he's okay."

"Thanks." And with that, she turned back to her work,"So, you find anything
new on our club owner?"

"Nothing here we don't already know. Anything on our grave robber?"

"Well, there's plenty of suspects, starting with the Egypian government.
There's no shortage of possibilities. But no connections yet to Mr. LaCroix."

Then Nick's prayers were answered.

"Knight, Vetter, drop what you're doing. I got something that requires your
attention."

Nick and Tracy turned off their computers and made a beeline for Captain
Reese's office. He handed Nick a sheet of paper.

"Here's the location. Some homeless guy or something. Dr. Lambert said it
would be right up you two's alley."

"Remind me to thank her when we get there," he responded with a tone of
sarcasism in his voice.

They left the office and went to their desks to get their jackets. Just as
they were about to leave, Captain Reese steped out again.

"Vetter, call on line 2."

"Can you take a message, Captain?"

"No. Number one, I'm not a receptionist. Two, it's your father. Three, he
says it's important."

"It's always important with him!"

Nick patted her on the arm, "I'll wait."

"No, you go. I"ll catch up."

"You sure?"

She shoke her head.

"Okay, I'll meet you there."
------------------


Time: Around 10:45pm
Place: Shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto, Canada

A feeling of dread came over Nick as he neared the crime scene. It was if
something wasn't quite right. There was a sense that he should know this
place, he just couldn't put his finger on it. As soon as he reached the
yellow tape, Natalie met him.

"Where's your partner?"

"She was detained, but she's on her way. So, what do you have that requires
our perticular attention?"

"Come with me and I'll show you."

As they made their way to the body, she filled him in on the details, "His
name was Erik VanOver, age 25. Was in the military, then got out and opened a
small produce store. Married, but was kicked out last night when the wife
filled divorce papers due to his numerous affairs. When no one else would
take him in, he came out here. The wife was contacted, and she's not too
grived about being a widow."

When they reached the body, she pulled the sheet back to reveil the victim.
The deceased was covered with bruises and gashes, almost animal-like. Nick
knelt down to inspect closer.

"Looks like he put up a fight with whoever got him."

"Whatever is more like it."

He spun around to face her, "What?"

"His killer is not human," she said as she rolled back the head to bring the
two puncture marks in the neck to view, "It seems someone was very hungry,
and was going to feed, no matter what."

The feeling he had when he arrived deepened. "Who found the body? I'll need
to talk to them."

"The body was discovered by a patrol that was out here since strange activity
was reported by a couple of teenages last night."

"What strange activity?"

Natalie lead Nick to a large hole in the ground several yards away from the
body. Nobody was near it. It loked like a grave.

"The couple, Karen Huber and Mike Davies, both 17, said they heard moaning,
and it looked like something was trying to get out. They were quite
persistant."

"Or someone was trying to." Then it hit him, like a brick wall at 60mph. He
knew why this place seemed so familar, "Vachon!"

"Wait a minute, Nick. Vachon's dead. He impaled himself. How could he come
back?"

"I don't know, Nat. But this is where Tracy buried him, and he's not here, is
he?"

"It's been about a week..."

"Which would explain the condition of our victim. Vachon would need blood
desparately, but would not be strong enough to control him without a fight."

"Nick, how could this be?"

"I'll have to find him and find out. I know where he'll be." Just then, he
remembered his partner, "You'll have to find a way to keep Tracy here tiil I
get back."

"Why? Could she be in danger?"

"I don't know at the moment. But at any rate, I need to see him first. Just
do anything you can to stall her. She may figure out what happened here."

"But I thought you told me LaCroix took care of that."

"He did, but she's a resistor, and this might bring it all back."

"Oh no!"

"Do anything you can to distract her. I'll be back as soon as I can."

Nick glanced over to see if anyone was looking in their direction. When he
was sure no one was, he took off into the evening sky. All Natalie could do
was stand there, baffled as to how they were going to get out of this mess.
-----------------



Time: Around 11pm
Place: Vachon's church

Nick landed on the front steps, and he already could feel a presence inside.
It was indeed Vachon. Quickly, he made his way into the church. Before he
could reach what was Vachon's living quarters, he was suddenly knocked
against the wall. Holding him there was the resurrected vampire, in a state
of vampiric rage.

"Where is my stuff, Nicholas!"

"LaCroix and I put it in storage. We didn't know what to do with it at the
time. You left no instructions in case of your demise."

"Why should I? I am suppose to be immortal, aren't I?"

"Apparently, you are. Now, if you don't mind, could you let me down."

He released Nick and began to regain his composure, "Sorry about that. It's
been a pretty rough two nights."

"I saw."

"Since you're here, I figured you did."

As Nick stood face to face with Vachon, he was aware that he was at a loss
for words. He didn't know where to begin with everything he was to ask. His
overwhelmed mind couldn't form a question.

He wouldn't need to. "You probably want to know why I'm here."

"The thought has crossed my mind."

"Actually, I have you and your partner to thank."

"How? For what?"

"Tracy for removing the stake and burying me. And you for the blood."

"The blood? How did you get my blood?"

"Don't ask me how, I was 'dead,' remember?"

"Are you sure it was my blood?"

"Nicholas, after 800 years, you, of all people, should know that the one
thing a vampire is sure of is blood and the identity of the mortal, or
vampire, it came from. I may only be half your age, but the blood was yours.
Of this I am sure. And it was in dire conflict with Divia's."

"How so?"

"While I lied in torpor in the ground, I would go back and forth between your
memories and hers. Then, before I awoke, I had the strangest nightmare. There
were people in it that are a part of your life."

Nick couldn't believe what he heard. Could this be the same dream he had the
night before? Before he could ask about it, Vachon, unaware Nick wished to
speak, continued.

"I also played a small, unintended part in that I somehow didn't quite get
the stake all the way through my heart. Not that I'm complaining. The earth
healed my wounds, your blood cleanse mine, and I'm a bad shot. That's why I
stand before you now, and I get a second chance at immortality."

It was a logical explaination. Yet, it also seemed a little too simple,
"There's something else, isn't there?"

"Whatever do you mean?"

"Something more helped to pull you out of an early grave. Something to give
you the will to live."

"Can't the simple will to live be enough?"

"After 800 years, I know better."

"You're getting at my feelings for Tracy, aren't you?"

"I don't know; you tell me."

He just let out a sigh. Why couldn't Knight just leave things alone? Why did
he always have to push the issue?

"Fine, my feelings for her DID play a factor. Are you happy now?"

Nick became sober, "Do you love her, Vachon?"

He was taken back by the question, "I never thought about it. I do care about
her deeply. Those feelings were strong enough to bring me back. Is it love?
I'm not sure."

Nick knew he had to tell Vachon about Tracy. He couldn't put it off.

"There's something you need to know about her since you were 'out of
commission'."

Vachon became apprehensive, "What has happened to her? What has happened to
Tracy?"

"Nothing, she's fine. As a matter of fact, she's probably arriving on the
crime scene now. It's just that, after you 'died', well, she was very grived
with no one to turn to, and..."

"What happened!" He grew impatient.

"LaCroix, at my request, took away the memory of your death, and let her
believe you had just moved on."

He was stunned. Words evaded him while he stood there in shock and disbelief.
Then anger began to replace them, and with it, he regained his train of
thought.

"How dare you!"

"I though it was best."

"For who, Nicholas? You had no right at all to take that from her!"

"She was in pain, and she had no one to talk to about it. I only had the best
intensions."

"I hear the road to Hell is paved with them!" He paused a moment to catch his
breath. "So, what? Am I not suppose to mention the 'death' thing to her?"

"Actually, you may not have to worry about that."

"Oh great! What does this mean?"

"She may remember."

"How? Did you, or did you not, tell me that you had LaCroix fix that?"

"He did. But she is a resister, as you know, and it may not be gone; just
surpressed. If it is, seeing your grave and the body you left may trigger
it."

"So why did you tell me all this?"

"I thought you should know."

Both of them stood in silence, not knowing what to say. Nick, taking a cue
from this, decided it was time to get back to work.

"I need to get back before I am missed." And with this, he was gone.

Vachon found a crate and collapsed onto it. If he were mortal, he thought,
he'd have a headache by now. He was having a hard time believing what he
heard. Is this what he came back to? Boy, can't leave these people alone for
a second.

"And the hits keep on coming," he muttered to himself.
------------------


Time: Around 11:05pm
Place: The shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto, Canada

If the sense of deja vu she was having were water, she'd be drowning in it,
Tracy thought. She knew this was the area Screed was buried, but something in
the back of her mind screamed that there was definately something else she
should know about this place. Something significant.

Natalie spotted her, and made her way in that direction. Tracy noticed her
approach and wondered why Nat was in such a hurry. She never had been before.
And where was Nick? He had to be here somewhere; she saw his caddy when she
pulled up.

"Tracy, you made it. Nick said you were delayed."

"Yes. It was my father. He wanted to talk about my mom again. He always picks
the worst times to call. I told him I had to go do my job and look at dead
bodies, I'd call him back later."

"How did he respond to that?"

"Not as I expected, but it got him off the phone." She looked around, "So,
where's my partner?"

"Ah...he had to run off. Said he wanted to look around a bit. You know Nick
and his hunches."

"Yeah, I do. So, where's our victim?"

"We're getting ready to load him up. We were waiting for you before we did."

"Oh goody."

Natalie walked her over to the ambulance and unzipped the black body bag.
Tracy began to examine the corpse intently. As she did this, Natalie watched
her, looking for signs that anything was coming back to her. When she found
the bite mark on the neck, her expression reveiled that it registered this
was the work of a vampire, but nothing surfaced; maybe Nick could be wrong.
Natalie relaxed.

"So, do you want me or Nick to fill you in on all the perticulars?"

"I'll get it from Nick. No need for you to stay for that. You've got work to
do."

Tracy zipped the bag, and let them load it in the back of the ambulance. She
stepped away, "I'm gonna have a look around while I wait for Nick."

"Be my guest. The body was found over there." Natalie pointed toward a bush.

"Thanks."

Tracy made her way toward the spot. She searched around, coming up empty.
Then she examined the plant for blood. There wasn't a trace. Then she began
to check the dirt below her. No blood there, either. For someone to die as
brutally as this man did, there was no blood to be found. It was definately a
vampire.

She turned her attention toward Screed's resting place. That feeling was
again screaming there was more to this place then meets the eye. And
something was pushing her to go over there. The next thing she knew, she was
standing along side his grave. She couldn't remember walking over, yet she
knew she had to of.

Just then, a pile of soil caught her eye. As she made her way over to
investigate it, she nearly fell into a hole. When she regained her balance,
she noticed that this was no small hole; it was more like a pit. On closer
inspection, it looked more like a grave. Suddenly, she felt a great wave of
memories and emotions all at once, as if a dam had broken down. She saw in
her mind the impaling, and the digging of this very grave. She now knew what
nagged her from the moment she arrived.

"Heaven help me, Vachon! Oh, how could I forget? I'm so sorry. So very
sorry."

Behind her, she heard someone. She turned to see Nick right there by her. She
tried to hide everything she was feeling.

"So, Nat said you were looking around elsewhere. Did it pan out?"

Nick could see in her eyes everything that was going on inside her mind. So,
he was right. She does now remember.

"Nope. Let's get back to the station, see where we stand, and wait for the
autopsy results."

"Can I meet you there a little later? I need to see an old friend right away.
It's important."

Nick smiled and patted her on the arm, "Take all the time you need."

Time: Around 11:25pm
Place: The Raven

Nick stood at the bar while he waited for LaCroix to finish his radio show.
He was amazed at how quickly LaCroix had restored the Raven. All signs of
havoc had been erased in a mere week. He looked around at the parishioners.
Business was beginning to pick up. It still wasn't near the crowds that were
in before Divia came to town to exact her revenge. It seemed news of her
demise didn't travel as fast as news her arrival.

LaCroix stepped out of the booth, his face expressionless, and went straight
to the bar. With a gesture, the bartender walked over a sat a goblet of blood
before him. He took a sip, then looked at Nick.

"Nicholas, what a pleasant surprise. I was thinking of going to see you, but
it seems I don't have to now. Then, I knew you'd show up eventually."

Nick didn't want to engage in small talk, "Vachon's alive. I've seen him."

The expression on LaCroix's face remained unchanged, "This would seem to be
good news, yet, one would not be able to tell by the tone of your voice. Does
it bother you that Javier Vachon is back among us?"

"Just one part of it bothers me. He says that one of the factors in his
'resurrection' was my blood."

"Do you doubt that it was your blood?"

"No, I believe it was. From what Vachon told me, it was definitely mine. But
I never gave him any blood. So where would he have obtained it?"

LaCroix turned his attention back to his goblet, "I am responsible for that."

Nick was taken aback by this response. He never would have expected this of
LaCroix, "How is that possible? How did you come to have my blood?"

Still eying his glass, he spoke," It's a rather long but simple series of
events, really. It all started on the night you had the great misfortune of
taking a bullet to the head. Seems part of hospital procedure is to take
blood samples. Obviously, we could not have them running tests on it, could
we? So, while Dr. Lambert was doing her part in saving you, I was forging
X-rays and paying a visit to the lab. I planned to return the samples to you
when you had recovered, so I put them in the freezer until then.

"Then we had the temporary dilemma of your lost memory. While helping you to
regain it, the blood was simply forgotten. There it remained in the freezer
until a few days ago. I rediscovered it while cleaning up after Divia's
little visit."

"That's the understatement of the 20th century."

"As I was saying, I was repairing things here when I found the vials. My
first thought was to return them to you. Then I remembered how you had
survived her attack. I never quite felt that Vachon was 'gone', though I had
already tried, and failed, to revive him."

"You tried? Vachon said nothing of your blood within him."

"I do not know why that would be. I do know that my blood could not help him.
So, when I saw yours, I decided to try again."

When he was finished, LaCroix took a long drink. Nick stared at him, trying
to figure out what was going on inside his mind. LaCroix put his goblet down
on the bar, empty, and motioned to the bartender.

"I suppose you would have liked if I had told you of this beforehand."

Nick sighed, "What's done is done. Just one question, though."

"And what would that be, Nicholas?"

"Why did you do it?"

LaCroix turned to face him,with a look of slight surprise, "Because it was my
responsibility. If it weren't for his association with me, and his presence
at the Raven, he would not have been targeted by Divia. I would have done the
same for Urs, but Dr. Lambert took care of her body. She never told you what
she did with it, did she?"

"It never came up."

"I suppose it's just as well."

A fresh goblet of blood was placed before LaCroix. "Like some?" he asked,
almost hopeful.

"No thanks." There was a short pause. "So, you say you were going to come and
see me. Why?"

"Nothing of any importance. Actually, it's really quite frivolous of me to
want to see you because of it."

"Try me."

"If it will amuse you, Nicholas. It was a nightmare I had last night. I am
not inclined to dream, and it was extremely vivid, as well. Because of this,
I decided it was possibly a little more than a dream."

Nick's expression went blank, "Vachon and I both had nightmares last night as
well."

"Really? How interesting. What happened in yours?"

"What was yours about?"

"I asked you first, Nicholas."

"Vachon didn't say anything about his dream, beyond having one. In mine, I
was losing everyone in my life. Tracy was dead, Nat was dying, you were
moving on..."

"And you asked me to stake you, with a walking stick, while you knelt down by
Dr. Lambert, whom you had just drained."

"Yes, that's right. How did you..." Then his eyes lit up, "You had the same
dream."

"That would seem to be the case. And one could also assume that Vachon,
seeing his happened the same night, had the same dream as well."

"Well, we won't know until someone asks him, will we?"

"He'll probably be present tonight. I'll speak with him when he arrives."

Nick looked at his watch,"Yeah, I need to get back to work."

"Busy tonight?"

"Just cleaning up the remains of Vachon's first 'meal' since returning from
the grave."

He began to walk toward the door. Not even a few yards away, he heard LaCroix
call his name. He stopped and turned to face him.

"Before you go, I have to ask one question."

"What is it?"

"In the dream, the last thing you said..."

"That you were my closest friend."

"Yes. Do you really feel that way, despite what we've been through?"

"Actually, it's because of what we've been through that I feel that way about
you."

And with that, Nick left.
------------------


Time: About 11:30pm
Place: Vachon's church

Tracy stood in the middle of the big, empty room. Empty, except for a crate
sitting in the center of it. There was no one anywhere to be seen. As she
walked, her footsteps echoed throughout the room. It made for an eerie
atmosphere. She sat down on the crate and began to talk to herself.

"Gee, Tracy, you must have been crazy to think he'd be here. That's what you
get listening to your instincts again."

"Gee, Tracy, I thought that's what cops did," said a mocking voice from above
her.

She spun around to see Vachon standing at the top of the staircase, carrying
a bag under his arm. With a smirk on his face he added, "Then again, I'm not
the cop here, so I could be wrong," at which he flew down beside her.

"Vachon!" she exclaimed as she jumped up to hug him. He placed the bag on the
crate and returned the gesture. They stood embracing for several minutes.
For an eternal moment, they each thought the other would never let go. A
week ago, they never would have believed they'd ever get this chance.
Vachon, feeling the hunger within him, decided it best to pull away. He
smiled warmly at her, then opened his bag.

She pointed to his package."So, what's in the bag?"

He pulled a wine bottle partially out to show her. "Just some grocery
shopping. I haven't been around in about a week."

"That's an understatement."

Then she just stared at him. Her eyes became very sad. She began to clutch
her hands tightly together. Vachon sensed that something was troubling her.
He knew there were a number of things it could be, after that talk with Nick.

"Silence is uncharacteristic of you, Tracy Vetter."

A tear ran down her check, "After I buried you,...I don't know. You were
dead, and I believed you were somewhere else. I believed you had moved on. I
had forgotten. I can't believe I did that."

Damn Knight, he thought. Now he had to clean up after his mess. Yet, he kept
this from showing in his expression. He gently took her head in his hands and
tilted it so he could look straight into her eyes.

"You didn't forget. You probably just suppressed it. The mind reacts
different ways to different situations. It was just the way your mind reacted
to my death."

"I'm so sorry."

"Don't be. There's nothing to apologize for. It's done with, and I'm back."
With that, he placed a tender kiss upon her forehead.

Then he smiled impishly at her as he pulled away. "And on that note, it's
dinner time. I'd offer you something, but..."

"Yeah, I think I'll pass."

He reached into the bag and pulled out one of the bottles. "I figured you'd
say that."

Vachon moved the bag to the floor. Then he offered the crate for her to sit
upon. She accepted. He sat on the floor next to her, opened the bottle, and
took a long drink from it. Looking at her he shrugged.

"I must apologize for not using a glass or something. At the moment, I don't
have any around. My stuff was put in storage by a friend."

She was about to ask who the friend was, but decided she didn't want to know.
"Don't worry about it. Sometimes I do it at home myself."

Vachon acted shocked, "Why, you wild thing, you. I never would have guessed
someone like you..."

She shoved him. "Very funny." She paused. "By the way, you haven't told me
something."

"And what would that be?"

"How you survived. I saw you impale yourself. I held the stake as you did it.
You shouldn't be here right now."

Now he acted hurt. "You don't want me around?"

"Yes, I do. That's not it. Something happened to bring you back."

"Bad aim," he stated matter-of -factly.

"You missed?"

"Yup, and removing the stake was quite helpful. Thank you."

"You're welcome. I couldn't stand looking at it in you. What about the
blood?"

"What blood?"

"The blood of the vampire that attacked you. You said it was killing you."

"Well, a nice nap in the dirt fixed that. Anything else you'd like to know?"

"No, I think that's it." She paused for a moment. "We found the body you
left."

"I'm sorry about that. If it's worth anything, he wasn't a very nice guy."

"He shouldn't have died, but I can't be angry with you. Can I?"

"I hope you wouldn't be."

Tracy just smiled, and said softly, "I'm just glad your back."

He took her hand in his. "I'm glad to be back."
---------------


Time: About 2:30am
Place: The city morgue

"Wow Nick, that was some dream. I don't know what to say," Natalie said in
amazement as she sat at her desk.

"You don't have to say anything. I just need to talk to you about it."

"And LaCroix had the same dream? And Vachon?"

"LaCriox did, but we're not sure about Vachon. It looks likely, though."

"All of you having the same nightmare; how is that possible?"

"Maybe when LaCriox speaks with Vachon tonight we'll have a better
understanding." He pointed to the corpse he stood next to, "So what's going
to be your 'official' ruling?"

"I believe I can call it an animal attack without raising any suspions. No
one would believe a human had done this." She paused, "Did you speak to the
widow yet?"

Nick walked over and sat himself on the corner of the desk. "I stopped after
I left the Raven. I don't believe she will miss him much."

Natalie looked a little saddened by the news.

"What's wrong, Nat?"

"It's just sad how two people can be so close at one point in time, then be
total strangers before you know it."

This was unlike Natalie, he thought. "So, what's really on your mind?"

She leaned in closer and smiled devilishly, "Whatever do you mean by that,
Nick?"

"I mean you don't go around getting misty-eyed over adultrous men. I know
you, Nat. There's something else going on, isn't there?"

"No, there isn't." Natalie stood up, all playfullness in her expression gone,
and replaced by a more professional demenor. "So, where's your partner?"

Natalie stepped away from the desk, but Nick positioned himself so she could
not go any futher. She wasn't going to get away that easy.

"My partner is probably still with Vachon. I haven't seen her since the crime
scene. And you are changing the subject."

His persistance annoyed her, but the look on her face remained unchanged.
"And your point, Nick?"

"My point is that something is wrong, and you aren't telling me."

They stood there in silience that seemed like an eternity for both of them.
Nick gazed deeply into her eyes, trying to probe them for any clue as to what
she thought. For any indication of what she was feeling.

"Was it the dream, Nat?" he said, almost in a whisper.

She felt as if she would brust into tears. Sitting back down in her chair,
she displayed a look of melancoly, "It is, Nick. You wouldn't bring me
across. You were going to just let me die, and let yourself be killed. I want
to be with you in life, as well as in what lies after."

"We will be. It was just a nightmare."

These words brought her rage to the surface. "Was it really? How do I know if
this situation was real, you wouldn't leave me to die? That you--?"

"Because I could not let you die!" he screamed. He then calmed himself and
continued, "Because I would not take that chance with your life."

Natalie was stunned by this outburst. She hadn't seen Nick this emotional
since that business with Jerry Tate. All she could do is sit quitely with no
expression what so ever.

Nick knelt down and placed his hands on her shoulders. Gently smiling, he
spoke quitely to her. "I do have faith, Natalie, I do. I also know that I
haven't been completely successful in the past with my control. Especially
when it comes to someone I cared about. Combine that with the fact I haven't
had a regular intake of human blood in a while, and it just spells trouble.
This dream, nightmare, whatever, was a reminder of that. I like to think of
it as a warning. Maybe this isn't the way to go about obtaining my
mortality."

She frowned, "And if it's the only way?"

He remained optomistic. "Then, it could be that we're not ready to take that
step. Either way, it's not time."

"I know your right, that we need to wait longer. There are times when it's
hard. After so many attempts, so many possibilities, so many failiers, we now
know of a way that has worked."

"And we know if everything else fails, there is a way. After all the tries,
we know it is possible. If there is another way, I want to find it. I don't
want to put your life at risk for my mortality. To be human again means
nothing to me without you."

The wheels in Natalie's mind were turning, calculating a plan. Her smile
demonstrated this fact. "Even if it means drinking my vitamin and iron
shakes?"

In response to that, he made a face you'd expect a child to make at the
mention of spinach. This only encouraged her more. "Well, Nick?"

Nick gulped hard, "If that's what it takes, I guess I'll have to."

He stood up, and Natalie followed his lead.

"Good boy. That's what I like to hear."

Nick glanced at the door. Boy, did he wish he were already through it. "I'd
better go before you have me agreeing to voodoo rituals or something."

She retorted, "So, if that's how you feel about it..."

"I've got to get your 'findings' to the captain anyway. The sooner we put
this one to bed, the better."

"See you at your place later?"

"You can even choose what to watch."

"One thing before you go."

"I'm afraid to ask."

She giggled a little. "No, it's nothing like that. I have a question about
the dream. I swear after this, I'll never bring it up again. I just want to
get one thing straight."

"And that would be?"

"You said before LaCroix was to stake you, you said he was your closest
friend. Do you really feel that way?"

"I do."

"So, what am I, chopped liver?"

"No, Natalie, your not."

"Then, what?"

"You are more than my friend."

He gave her a short, loving kiss on the check. Before she could say anything
in protest of his actions, he was gone. Damn his vampiric speed!

"Men," she stated as she stomped her foot on the floor.
-----------------


Time: A couple of hours before dawn
Place: The Raven

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was to convinced the world he never
existed." Kevin Spacey-THE USUSAL SUSPECTS

The silience was the first thing Nick noticed. He liked the quiet. The music
and the crowds weren't his style. He prefered to visit LaCroix at this time.

The second thing he noticed was who sat at the bar. Though they had their
backs to him, he knew who they were. LaCroix and Vachon sat talking and
drinking. Dispite that they seemed oblivious to his presence, he knew they
were aware of him.

"As I said previously, Nicholas would join us before the night was over."

Vachon turned to face Nick. "So it would seem."

Nick smiled. "So, I take it things went well with Tracy."

"That they did, no thanks to you."

"I thought it was for the best. I didn't think she'd be hurt by it."

"She was, and it's your fault."

Nick pointed to his master, "He helped. He's the one who made her forget."

LaCroix still sat with his back to Nick. "I did it as a favor to you. If you
could have done it, you would have."

"So, it's your fault." Vachon repeated.

Nick felt defeated, and his expression showed it. "So, will you ever forgive
my misjudgement?"

"This might take a couple of decades to forgive."

He smiled mischiviously at Vachon's remake, "I guess this means we're friends
still."

Vachon said nothing. His response was to offer Nick the seat between himself
and LaCriox. When Nick accepted, he turned back to face the bar. From out of
nowhere, the bartender placed a wine glass before Nick. He watched him as he
went back to cleaning up, then looked down at the drink in front of him. As
if given a cue, LaCroix spoke.

"It's cow's blood," he simply stated. Then a bit of sarcasism seeped into his
voice, "I would not think of serving you otherwise."

Nick decided the drink could wait. "So, what are we discussing?"

LaCroix lifted his glass, "The stuff that dreams are made of."

Vachon turned his head toward Nick, "Knowing that the two of you had the same
one explains alot."

"So, it was the same. But WHY did we all have the same dream?"

"The closest myself and LaCriox could come up with is that it have something
to do with all the blood."

"How so?"

Finally looking at Nick, LaCroix decided it was time to become seriously
invovled with their conversation. "It would seem while Vachon was in torpor,
Divia's blood affected his dreams. When our blood was introduced into the
mix, it produced the nightmare the three of us shared. Because it was your
blood that was overcoming hers would explain why it was your fears it played
upon the most."

"And may I say," Vachon interjected,"that if I can't be there, and you let
anything happen to Tracy, you WILL answer to me."

"I will answer to myself as well." He turned to LaCroix, "And what fear of
yours did Divia's blood bring to light?"

LaCroix turned back to the bar. "I do not believe we need to go into that,
Nicholas."

Nick took a sip of his drink. LaCriox didn't need to say anything to him. He
already knew. He'd seen a different side of him resently, the nutruring
father.
The great relief he felt within LaCroix when he saw him alive spoke volumes.
Not that LaCroix would ever express these emotions verbally. It was not his
style. Though he liked experencing this side of his master, he was glad he
was becoming his old self again. In an odd way, it was comforting.

Nick also felt it wise to change the subject. "Do we know why Vachon didn't
pick up on the presence of your blood in his system?"

Vachon decided to answer, "He played such a major roles in you and Divia's
lives, I didn't pick up on it. You and LaCroix share a great deal of history
together, and Divia...Well, let's just say she was obsessed with the big guy
there."

Nick felt a finch from LaCroix when he was refered to as "the big guy," but
he remained expressionless. He was indeed back to his old self again.

Vachon continued, "On top of that, his blood wasn't having a much of an
effect on me. Divia's poisoned me, yours healed me, so I knew. But LaCroix's
was just there." He looked over at LaCroix at the mention of his name, "Not
that I am ungrateful for what you tried to do. I wouldn't be here if it
weren't for you."

"Your gratitude is appreciated." He turned to face the two vampires, "Divia's
influence apparently has lasted beyond her demise."

Nick lifted his glass, "Let's hope it's now over."

Vachon did the same, "I'll drink to that."

Stepping down from his bar stool, LaCroix held his goblet out. "Gentlemen, to
an end...and a beginning."

The glasses were brought together in consumating the toast.
--------------

Time: Sunrise
Place: Nick's loft

"I can't tell you who's 'Knightmare' this was, but I can tell you that
'Bobby's in the shower..."
Nyar1 on the AOL FK boards about "Last Knight".

EPILOGUE

At the push of a button, there was the low hum of the shades being lowered.
Natalie sat the controls on the end table as Nick poured himself a drink. She
turned toward him, with a look of satisfaction.

"You're telling me that this nightmare was the result of Divia's blood in
Vachon intermingling with LaCroix and yours."

Smiling, he reached toward the counter for a bowl of popcorn. "That's it. A
reasonable explaination, ever by vampire standards."

With his drink in his right hand and the popcorn in his left, he walked over
to Natalie. When he was close enough, he handed her the bowl. She took it,
and thanked him. they walked over to the couch. As they sat down, Natalie
picked up the TV remote. Nick looked in her direction.

"So, what are we watching today?"

"Dallas."

"I've never heard of that movie."

"It's a U.S. TV show. Today they're showing the episode where J.R. gets
shot."

He turned to face the television. Soon the opening credits began. As he
listened to the theme music, he wondered why on earth Nat would ever watch a
show like this. he found the whole premise of the soap opera, daytime or
nighttime, absolutely ridiculous. Yet, females seemed drawn to them. Just
another of the mysteries that is woman.

A commercial came on, and Nick felt it would be a good time to speak. "Isn't
this the show that brought a character back by declaring that the previous
season was just a dream?"

"They did. Kinda silly, huh?"

"Silly's not the word I'd use. They really thought people would accept that
explaination? How absurd!"

Natalie just grinned wickedly, and threw a handful of popcorn at Nick.


THE END