The Quick Fix
by: Susan B.
June, 1998
based on characters from Forever Knight, etc.
PG13. This was just too irresistible.
Nick entered the Raven and strode quickly over to the bar. "Where's
Vachon?" he asked the surly black haired bartender. The bartender
scrutinized the trenchcoat clad blond for a moment, then shrugged
his shoulders. He nonchalantly turned around and started lining up
his liquor bottles. Nick was about to say something when the sound
of a familiar voice spurred him to turn around. Lacroix stood
before him, dressed in his usual murky black.

"Nicholas," Lacroix crooned eagerly.

"Lacroix," Nick acknowledged with a nod. "Have you seen Vachon?"

The old vampire grinned. "Not since yesterday. Why?"

Nick hesitated. "Nothing that would concern you," he finally
responded. 'You're not going to screw up another shot at my
mortality,' he thought.

"Everything concerns me," the eternal busybody commented as he
motioned to the bartender for a drink. The bartender complied
immediately and placed a glass of bloodwine on the counter. Lacroix
sipped, nodded his approval, and gingerly set the glass down. He
returned his attention to Nick as he pulled a small white envelope
from his pocket and offered it. "Vachon left this for you."

Nick snatched the item from Lacroix's hands. "I suppose you have
already read it," he snapped, expecting its contents to be heavily

"Certainly not," Lacroix replied defensively. "It is still sealed."

Nick turned the envelope over and noted with some surprise that it
was still sealed. He quickly stuffed it into his pocket. "I have to
go," he said.

"So soon?" Lacroix whispered. "What is your hurry, Nicholas?" He
motioned towards the door. "There are hours of darkness yet."

Nick didn't answer. He simply left. After Nick was out the door,
Lacroix chuckled and retrieved another white envelope from his
clothing. This one had obviously been torn open. He lit a corner of
the envelope with a match, held it over an ashtray, and watched in
glee as it burned.
* * * * *

Unable to resist the temptation, Nick ripped open the envelope the
moment he was safely in the caddy. He read the note aloud. "Dr. E.
Black, 128 Pine Street. Good luck, Vachon." Nick sat nervously and
reflected on the situation. Tracy had been right, he thought.
Vachon was an invaluable source of information about anything and
everything. If anyone knew who held the key to mortality, it was
Vachon. Of course, Lacroix probably knew too, Nick believed; but it
wouldn't serve his master's purpose to divulge such information.
After all, to admit a cure for vampirism would be to admit a
greater power. Odd that Lacroix had never understood that the fear
of two sticks in the shape of a cross had obviously already
confirmed that point. Nick dispatched the written information to
memory and used the cigarette lighter to burn the paper to ash.
Smiling, he started up the car and drove home.

It was three in the morning when Nick arrived at the loft. He
considered calling Nat. "No," he decided aloud. "She wouldn't
understand. She'd bawl me out for going after the quick fix again.
I'll see Dr. Black first." Nick proceeded to the telephone table
and opened the thick phone book. He found Dr. Black's office number
and dialed. The answering machine revealed the doctor's office
hours were ten to seven. "Rather odd hours for one of us," Nick
commented. He decided to leave immediately at sunset that night,
which would give him about half an hour to get to the doctor's
office before it closed.

Tired, but too excited to sleep, Nick turned on the television and
watched the hockey game he had set his VCR to tape the previous
* * * * *

Nick arrived at the doctor's office at 6:30 in the evening and
scanned the waiting room. It was a small room furnished with eight
overstuffed blue chairs and a glass topped coffee table laden with
magazines. The floor was carpeted in beige to match the walls and
ceiling. The reception area was behind a glass wall, and a closed
door led into the core of the facility. A grey haired mortal man of
about sixty was in the waiting room. As Nick sat down, an elderly
nurse in a white smock suddenly emerged and called the other man
into the back. Nick sat alone and anxiously awaited his turn.

Moments later, the nurse appeared standing behind the reception
counter. Nick stood and walked over to her. "My name is Knight. I'd
like to see Dr. Black," he announced.

"There are no more appointments booked for this evening," the nurse
stated flatly. "Is this an emergency?"

"Of a sort," Nick offered.

The nurse walked to the filing shelves along the back wall and
thumbed through files for a moment. "Are you one of Dr. Black's
patients?" she inquired. "I can't find your file."

Nick smiled. "A new patient."

The nurse handed him a blank form. "Fill this out and bring it to
me with your health card when you are done."

Nick waved his arm in the air. "Is all of this really necessary?"
he asked the nurse. The burden of bureaucracy in modern society
never ceased to annoy him.


"This ...not ...really ...necessary," Nick said monotonously.

"No, no, of course not," the nurse responded, snatching the blank
form back from Nick. She instantly disappeared from the reception
area and reappeared at the door to the waiting room. "Come in," she
trumpeted. "You can wait in Room 4. The doctor won't be long."

Nick followed the nurse and thanked her before entering the
examination room. As he waited inside, he heard the Doctor and
nurse outside the door arguing about his chart, or lack thereof.
Suddenly the door flung open and the doctor entered. He was a young
man of about thirty, with long brown hair and gold wire rimmed
glasses. He was undeniably mortal.

"What can I do for you?" the doctor asked.

"Vachon gave me your name," Nick replied. "I want to be human

"I don't recall anyone named Vachon," Dr. Black responded. "Oh,
wait a moment. Yes. A Vachon called me yesterday and filled me in
on your case." The doctor held out his hand. "You must be Nick." He
chuckled. "I must say, wanting to be human again is a rather
interesting way to put it."

Nick grinned. "What other way is there?" he asked as they shook

"Well, it has worked a miracle on me!" the doctor laughed. "I was
never convinced that modern medicine alone could do the trick. I've
always opined that much of the problem lies in the mind."

"My own doctor has some leanings in that direction as well," Nick
offered. 'Well, the mind part anyway,' he added to himself. "You've
used it yourself then?"

"It's what made me the man I am today," Dr. Black replied.

Nick was curious. "How exactly does it work?"

"Very simple, really," the doctor responded. "In a nutshell, it
brings you back to life by increasing the blood flow. Your partner
can take it too. It's perfectly safe for females."

"But she's not dead," Nick said.

The doctor grinned and nodded his head. "I know where you're coming
from," he remarked slyly. "That can make a relationship extremely
difficult. Very frustrating."

"And you're absolutely certain it will work?" Nick asked warily.

"It works in 70% of all cases," the doctor replied in earnest.

"And the other 30%? What happens to them?"

"They simply remain as they are."

"Dead," Nick commented sadly.

"Precisely," the doctor agreed. He unlocked the wall hung drug
cabinet and took out a small bottle of pills. "This is it," he
said. "You understand of course, that you didn't get this from me."

"Perfectly," Nick answered. "The enforcers." He fished his
chequebook out of his pocket. "How much do I owe you?"

The doctor handed Nick the bottle. "Three hundred will cover it."
He continued talking as Nick wrote the cheque. "Take one each
night, and see how it goes. Come back to see me in ...let's say two

"Do you think it will take that long?" Nick asked, surprised.

"I think you'll start to notice the change the very first time you
use it," the doctor reassured him.

* * * * *

Nick excitedly left the doctor's office and drove back to the loft.
The minute he arrived home, he retrieved a bottle of cow blood from
his fridge and poured a glass. He opened the pill bottle and stared
in admiration and awe at the twenty-odd blue, diamond shaped pills.
He eagerly shook one into his hand and swallowed it, chasing it
down with a large gulp of the blood. As he stared at the bottle, he
contemplated taking another. "Perhaps it will work faster if I
double the dosage," he pondered aloud. At that moment he heard the
elevator lowering in answer to a call. "Nat!" he exclaimed. He
quickly downed a second pill, then rushed upstairs to his bedroom
to hide the rest of them.

Nat was already in the living room calling out his name as he came
racing down the stairs.

"What's up?" she asked interestedly, noticing the extra guilty
expression on his face as he tore down the steps.

"Nothing," Nick reassured her. He reached the bottom step where she
stood and kissed her cheek. "I'm just happy to see you."

Natalie leaned over and glanced up the stairs behind him. "You
don't have someone else here do you?" she asked, half teasingly and
half seriously.

"Of course not," Nick replied. He kissed her quickly on the lips.
"We have a date for a video, don't we?"

"Yes, we do," Nat acknowledged. She removed her coat and flung it
over the railing. "What did you get at the video store anyway?"

"I'm sorry, Nat. I forgot," he admitted sheepishly. "We can go over
now if you like."

Nat waved her arm in the air as she walked towards Nick's video
collection. "Nevermind," she said. "I'll find something here." She
rummaged through the videos, selected one, and stepped over to the
VCR. "This one brings back memories," she remarked as she popped
'King Kong' into the machine. They sat down together on the couch.

As the movie wore on, Nick found himself becoming more and more
intoxicated with Nat's closeness. Rather than the pink turtleneck
and black slacks she was actually wearing, he kept picturing her in
that nightshirt she had worn the first time they had watched 'King
Kong'. Increasingly, he found himself imagining what she had looked
like underneath it, imagining himself touching her in ways and
places that were nowhere near her jugular. The scent of her blood
seemed to take on secondary importance as he realized that his own
blood was indeed starting to flow.

Nick reflected on the first signs of life that his cold, lifeless
body had produced in almost eight hundred years. He was only a tad
concerned that those signs only appeared in one particular region.
But that region was, after all, the quintessence of life, not

Nick was lost in silent contemplation as the movie ended. When Nat
remotely turned off the VCR, the sound of the television seemed to
increase ten decibels. The eleven o'clock news was on, and a photo
of a diamond shaped blue pill snapped Nick to attention. The
newscaster was caught in mid?sentence, " ...rush to obtain Viagra,
the medical marvel they claim can give even a dead man an

Susan B.