There Is Always Magic!
by StormyNite
circa February 1997

February 1

Nat was horribly tired when she finally switched of the computer screen
and shut down the computer. It was 4 am and her shift should have been
over an hour ago. She let her eyes lock
with Nick's and finally understood what he needed. She pried Jonathan off
her shoulder to make him look at her before she spoke.

"Jonathan, you have to look at the man, sweetie. Nick won't let him hurt
you and neither will I. You trust us right? " She made the small child look
at her when she spoke. "Right?" He shook his little blonde head okay and
faced the struggling officer in Nick's grasp.

Jonathan, is this the man you saw dump the pretty lady in the park?"
Nick increased the pressure on the man's arm, yet kept his voice calm to
keep Jonathan from becoming hysterical again.

Jonathan pointed his finger at the officer and shook his head yes. He
then turned and hugged Natalie's neck for dear life.

"Come on, Officer. We have some talking to do." Nick shoved the
patrolman ahead of him but never released his grasp. As the reached the
door, Nick turned to watch Natalie and Jonathan for a moment until Nat's
eyes met his. He mouthed the words "I'll call you later." She nodded
in understanding and Nick pushed his suspect out the door.


Natalie had placed Jonathan in bed several hours ago. She read him a
story and sang him a lullaby until he finally drifted off to sleep. Any
noise he heard caused him to jump and stare at the lift. He awaited
Nick's return. She was sure of it. If he would only speak. She had
checked him out personally and had a friend who was a pediatric
specialist go over Jonathan as well. He was perfectly capable
of speaking, but her friend informed Nat that some times psychological
trauma at his age could do anything. She felt watching a dead body
dumped in front of you to be sufficient cause for trauma induced
auditory problems. She was certain Jonathan would recover in time,
given love and support. Nick phoned earlier to let her know that Officer
Simone had confessed to the last murder and rape but not the previous two.
He would be late and not to wait up; she waited anyway.

Nat had fallen asleep in bed with Jonathan sometime after 3 am. She had
left a note for Nick to wake her when he arrived. At 5:30 Nick stepped
into the loft, both relieved and saddened. The case was solved and their
excuse for keeping Jonathan no longer existed in the eyes of the court. He
and Natalie would be forced to give him up to the system. He didn’t think
he had the heart to do that. The child had become such a part of their lives
that they even made plans for Valentine Day at home with the "Muppet
Babies" on tape and pizza from Carl's. Neither he nor Nat wanted to spend
time without Jonathan. It was like he was a part of
them now and the thought of someone else taking him ate at his soul.

Nick found Nat's note and went upstairs to find them fast asleep. Odd
that he didn't feel jealous seeing them lying there. This had been the
happiest 13 days of his entire 800 years of existence. He only wished....

Nat opened her eyes to find Nick standing in the doorway with such a
look of sadness that it gripped her heart. She knew where his thoughts
were just as hers had been hours before. Their time with Jonathan was
almost over. She promised herself she wouldn't cry, but this was much
harder than she ever imagined. Nat slowly got out of bed and covered
Jonathan to his chin with the sheet and then ran to Nick's waiting arms.
They just stood silently holding each other as they watched him sleep
peacefully. After almost 10 minutes, they proceeded downstairs for Nick to
eat and make some decisions.

Nick poured himself a glass of bloodwine and put the kettle on for tea.
Nat sat at the table watching him silently until he brought the tea and
blood to the table. They both sat staring at their cups. Nat finally
broke the silence.

"What was his excuse, Nick?" She let her blue eyes meet his.

"Is that what you really want to talk about, Nat?" He questioned her
with not only his eyes but his hand as he gently pulled hers into his.

"No" She whispered. "What are we going to do, Nick?" She prayed he
had an answer to the problem.

"I honestly don't know, Nat." Nick stood up and slowly walked to the
fireplace. "I called Jane at Social Services and asked her if we could
keep him...adopt foster parents...anything. She said in a couple
of years maybe, but for now he has to go back into the system. You have to
take some course and be approved by the Province in order to be a legal
foster parent and we don't qualify, even if we were married." Nick turned
toward the fireplace and stared at the now dead embers as he ran his hands
through his hair.

Nat followed him to the fireplace and wrapped her arms around him from
the behind. She placed her head on his back and let the tears flow.
The wetness soaked Nick's shirt and tortured his heart. He pulled her
around to the front and folded her into his arms and wept with her.

Feb. 14

This was to be their final day together. Nick and Natalie managed to
get the day and night off to be with Jonathan. Jane was to pick him up
in the morning. They were determined to make it through this. They
promised Jonathan that as soon as they finished the foster program, they
would get him back. Not knowing just how much he understood of the
whole situation, they decided to play it by ear and help each other
through the rough spots. Jane promised to do her best in getting them
priority spots on the foster parents waiting list.

They had done everything together today. Breakfast, games until the sun
went down, cleanup, and packing. At sundown they went shopping for the
right ‘Muppet Babies’ movie and the perfect Valentine Day snack food. At
8 pm a dozen long stem red roses were delivered for Nat and a bubble
balloon stuffed with a valentine bear and candy for Jonathan. Nat and
Jonathan presented Nick with a perfectly wrapped heart. Jonathan helped
Nick rip the bows off to see what was inside. Inside the package a pocket
watch lay in bright red satin. The outside cover was embossed with a
knight in shinning armor. Nick smiled in delight. "It's beautiful, Nat.
Thank you." He leaned over and gently kissed her lips which brought a
smile to Jonathan's face.

Jonathan reached into the box, pulled the watch out and popped open the
case as they kissed the second time. He placed it gently in Nick's
hand. Nick stared at the picture on the inside cover. It was a picture
of Nat and Jonathan in the sun at the park. She had her arms around him
as he sat between her legs near the city park lake. The sun exaggerated
Jonathan's blond hair and made it appear almost white while it gave fire to
Natalie's auburn hair. Nick stared speechless at the picture and a single
blood tear escaped his eye. Jonathan brushed it away and climbed into his
lap. "Thank you, Jonathan. I shall keep it with me always." Nick reached
for Nat and pulled her as close to him as possible while keeping Jonathan
on his lap.

Being a typical child, enough was enough with the sappy stuff, so he
grabbed the remote and hit play for the ‘Muppet Babies’ video. Jonathan
quickly gave up sitting on Nick's lap and opted for 3 feet in front of the big
screen TV as the baby Kermit and Miss Piggy started their fourth song.
Nick pulled Nat closer as they cuddled on the couch with Jonathan and Nat
munching on separate bowls of popcorn. Jonathan hummed and swayed
along with Miss Piggy on the last verse which caused both adults to start
chuckling at his antics. It was such a peaceful domestic scene, Nick felt for
the first time in his 767 years as a vampire that a normal life truly was
possible. As Kermit finished his final song and the babies marched arm
and arm into the back yard to play, Jonathan screamed and doubled over in

Startled by his sudden scream, Nick and Nat were immediately at his
side. The small bundle sat on his knees gripping his stomach as he
screamed in agony.

Nat immediately pulled him onto her lap to check him out. "Jonathan!
Tell me what's wrong." She felt his head and it was cooler than usual
yet he began to perspire. He continued moaning and she palpitated his
abdomen the best she could with him struggling the whole time. He was
incredibly strong and fighting her the whole time. Nick tried to calm
him as he held his arms while Nat checked him over, but the efforts
where futile.

"What is it Nat? What's wrong?" Nick couldn't stand the pain he saw
torturing this small child's body.

Natalie was scared. She couldn't find a cause and he seemed to be
getting worse. "I don't know Nick? I don't think it's his appendix,
but we're going to have to get him to the hospital." She tried to get
Jonathan to focus on her voice as he moaned and clutched his stomach.
"Jonathan, we're going to take you to the hospital, honey. We going to
get it fixed." She turned to Nick who was already reaching for child in
her lap.

With incredible speed Jonathan bolted from their reach and screamed
"NO!" He collapsed to the floor in pain as the word passed his lips.
Nick got to him first as golden eyes met Nick's blue ones and the child
spoke clearly.

"Help me! Please help me!"

Nick fell to his knees in front of the child, not believing what he saw as
Natalie screamed.

"No! Jonathan...No!" She searched Nick's face for answers but he could
not take his eyes off the little blonde tike he had grown to love.

Not knowing what else to do for the child in front of him, Nick opened his
wrist and let the blood flow freely. He pulled Jonathan into his lap and
offered his wrist to the child.

"No, Nick...Don't...!" Natalie reached for them but was too late.

Jonathan latched onto Nick's wrist and sucked gently at first and then
harder until the blood flowed warmly down his throat. As Nick's blood
poured into Jonathan his pain ceased and his life's knowledge became
Nick's. As he drank, Nick folded him closer into his arms and let him
feel his love. Nick turned to meet Natalie's tear-filled eyes as she
sat beside them on the floor.

"He's my son, Natalie." Nick whispered in awe as he let his eyes return
to the blonde child slowly gaining strength from his father's blood.
Nick returned his eyes to Natalie and touched the tear flowing down her
cheek with his left hand as he spoke. "He's OUR son Natalie...OUR
son...born in love. He's our future." He waited for her to understand.

Realizing what part of her had known all along, she wrapped her arms
around both of them as Jonathan regained his full strength and finally
pulled away from them seated on the floor. The emotion and loss of
blood weakened Nick as he watched his son stand and move a few feet
away from them.

Jonathan smiled as he watched his parents holding each other as they sat
on the floor. A soft light appeared above the skylight and drifted down
into the loft, changing it to a warm soft glow encompassing Jonathan as he
stood. Flashes of bright lights twinkled in the glow as Jonathan smiled and
giggled at the twinkling lights dancing around him. Joy was written on his
face as he began to disappear into the mist.

Nick started to move toward the mist and his son, but was stopped by
Nat's hand on his arm. "He has to go, Nick." She whispered through her
tears. "It's not his time's not his time." She watched in awe
as her son locked eyes with her one last time and then his father's.
The mist became thicker and the lights brighter as Jonathan laughed in
joy and finally waved good-bye.

They sat on the floor holding each other afraid to speak as the mist
became a ball of light and disappeared through the skylight from which
it came. As the light completely vanished, the crystal sweetheart rose
appeared in the spot where Jonathan had stood. Natalie slowly picked up
the rose and placed it in Nick's hand and then kissed him softly before
she spoke.

"I asked for a sign of our future." She stared at the rose as it glowed
pink in Nick's palm and finally faded back to clear.

Nick gently lifted her chin and kissed her gently at first and then more
deeply. He folded her into his arm, never wanting to let her go. He
let her warmth and love fill his soul as he buried his face into her
hair and caressed her back with his empty hand. Finally he rested his
forehead on hers as he whispered the words they both needed to hear.
"Jonathan is our future, Nat...OUR future together."

Natalie smiled and took the rose from Nick's palm as she admitted what
she knew all along. "Racine was right, Nick...When there is love...There is
always magic!"

The End