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A Forever Knight-mare

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Summary: An explanation for why the series finale of 'Forever Knight' happened the way it did, and a potential path for how things might proceed from that point.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Forever KnightGreywizardFR1315,7303142,25318 Mar 1018 Mar 10Yes
Disclaimer: All the 'Forever Knight' characters belong to Barney Cohen and James D. Parriott, not me. More's the pity.

Category: Non-Buffy crossover.

Time Frame: Immediately following the season three series finale.

Spoilers: None whatsoever.

Character Bashing: Nope, not in this one, because the creators and writers got it mostly right. Well, except for the series finale, of course.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: This was written for morganmare (amymorgan) for her successful bid in the January "Support Stacy" on-line vampire auction held at Majik's World of Fan Fic.

Author's Note 2: For those poor benighted souls who missed this show when it was televised and are not familiar with this series, you can find out more about the various characters at http://www.tv.com/forever-knight/show/812/summary.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forever_Knight. Some dialogue or description excerpts in the story have been lifted from transcripts stored at http://www.danaknight.com/EpGuide/index.html

Author's Note 3: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

~~~

Nicholas Knight's apartment
Toronto, Canada


As he stared down at the two bodies lying motionless on the floor of his son's apartment, Lucien Lacroix experienced something that he had believed he'd never again undergo after he'd been Turned, over 1,900 years ago – the devastating anguish one felt at the loss of a loved one.

Nicholas, his favorite of all his many children, lay sprawled next to the undeniably remarkable mortal woman who'd managed to capture Nicholas' affections and loyalty so completely, someone whom his at-times wayward child had clearly come to love during these six years he'd spent here in Toronto, since he'd apparently chosen to bring her across and share with her the same precious gift of eternal life that he and the others in their Community here possessed.

When he'd arrived here only a few short minutes ago, he'd found his son kneeling alongside the woman and concluded that Nicholas had apparently rushed in his efforts to bring her across and taken too much of her blood, since he had been unable to detect any signs of life in her unmoving body. The realization that he had failed and that this Natalie would not be joining him in the endless years that stretched before them had apparently broken his son's spirit, since Nicholas had then begged him to help him end his own life, proclaiming that if he could not share an eternal life together with her, then he would choose to share eternal death with her, instead – willingly accepting that fate, as long as they would be together, forever.

He had argued, fiercely but ultimately futilely, with his grief-stricken son for many long minutes trying to dissuade him from even contemplating this horrible folly, but at the end, he had oh-so-reluctantly finally agreed to assist him in his decision and he had been the one to thrust the wooden stake into his child's unbeating, but nonetheless shattered, heart.

He had no one to blame but himself, and that was something that he would carry with him for the rest of his now barren, unending life.

~~~

Elsewhere


Shaking his head to clear the fog from it, Nick looked around.

He was in his apartment, stretched out on his couch, as though he had just awakened from a short nap. And his memories seemed to be rather fuzzy; the last thing he could recall clearly was talking with Lucien about –

He wasn't quite sure what he had been discussing with Lucien, but he was quite certain that whatever the subject had been, it was of significant importance to him.

As he sat there, trying to grasp the fragments of whatever dream he'd been experiencing before awakening, he felt a strong, but nebulous and ill-defined, sense of worry concerning Natalie surge through him.

As he shook his head, trying to focus his thoughts and figure out exactly why he would be worrying about Natalie, he heard someone speak.

"Hello, Nicholas. It's good to see you. I've been waiting to talk to you for some time now."

Looking up to see who might be speaking to him, he gasped with surprise as he caught sight of a familiar figure.

"Schanke?" he whispered, as he stared, half in hope, half in disbelief, at the balding, smirking figure silhouetted against his apartment window. "Don? Is that really you?"

"No, it’s not," the man shook his head as he straightened up from his seat on the window ledge and took a step forward. "And I am definitely not your friend and former partner, Nicholas.

"No, your friend, Donald Schanke, moved on and faced his judgment almost a year ago by your reckoning," the other said. "You know that, Nicholas. I'm only using your friend's appearance – and it's with his permission, mind you – to make it easier to talk to you. If I tried to talk to you looking the way I normally do, I don't think you'd be able to keep your mind focused on what I was saying.

"Who are you? And what are you doing here in my apartment?" Nick demanded, a flicker of anger coloring his words at the abrupt denial of any spark of hope that his friend was back again.

"Just call me Gabriel, Nicholas," he heard the other man say as he took a seat on the arm chair opposite the couch Nick was currently occupying.

"Or maybe Gabe would be better, and I'll call you Nick," he suggested. "It sound more like something people who work together would call would each other, doesn't it?

"And I'm taking this opportunity that's come up because I'd like to talk to you and hopefully help you figure out just what it is you want to do – if you want to stay down here and help make things better, or if you really want to put an end to things and move on."

"What do you mean by that?" Nick immediately demanded, a frown furrowing his forehead as he tried to figure out just what might be going on. The 'man' across from him was acting as though he knew all about his past life – that he knew everything Nick had done since being brought across by Lucien, and everything he'd been trying to do to redeem himself since he'd realized the wrongs he'd committed.

And what was even stranger, this 'Gabe' was showing no indication of fear or concern, whatsoever, about the fact that he was a vampire. In fact, to judge by his behavior, one would think that other man felt as though he were in no danger whatsoever from him.

"I'm not, Nick," Gabe smiled at him, in an apparent response to Nick's thoughts. "I have no concerns about your possibly attacking me because I know that you have no malign intentions towards me, just like you wouldn't have any towards any normal human being you might encounter, so long as they had no evil intentions of their own."

"What does concern me, though, is that I'm still not completely sure whether you were really trying to kill yourself earlier tonight or not," the other man said.

"And then, if I do decide you weren't trying to commit suicide, I have to decide if you’re up to helping me try to save a significant portion of the human race."

~~~

Nick's apartment


As Lucien knelt there, staring down despondently at the bodies of his son and the woman his child had chosen above even eternal life itself, his attention was suddenly caught by the faintest scratch of movement.

Refocusing his awareness back on his surroundings, Lucien was startled to notice the slightest, barely detectable twitch of the little finger of Natalie's right hand as she lay beneath Nicholas' body.

His eyes widening with surprise as he saw her finger twitch again, he quickly jumped to his feet and rushed across Nicholas' apartment to the refrigerator, to pull it open and grab several bottles of the 'special' Raven Cellars bloodwine stored within before rushing back to crouch next to the faintly stirring body.

With the patience so arduously gained over the course of nearly two millennia of existence, Lucien waited for the moment when Natalie's now-golden eyes abruptly snapped open to gaze around her and lock onto him an instant before she lunged upwards at him, her mouth open and fangs extended as she sought to assuage the agonizing, near-mindless hunger filling her.

Effortlessly brushing aside her attack and catching her with one hand, Lucien used his superior strength to force her to sit on the couch as he carefully offered her one of the wine bottles he'd procured with the other. Frantically grabbing the offering and bringing it to her mouth, Natalie quickly drained it, then duplicated her action twice more before the light of rationality managed to finally illuminate her eyes.

"Oh my god," she gasped as she sagged back against the couch behind her and gaped at the white-haired man gazing so calmly at her. "I – I'm sorry for trying to attack you, Lucien.

"I – I couldn't help myself," she said, a horrified expression on her face as she contemplated what she'd just tried to do. "The hunger was just so – so overwhelming, I couldn't think of anything else except satisfying it.

"Are you all right?" she then asked, looking at him with concern. "I didn't hurt you when I attacked you, did I?"

"No," Lucien gave Natalie a somewhat superior-looking smirk as he shook his head on answer to her question, "I am fine. You didn't inconvenience me in the slightest."

"Oh good," Natalie sighed with relief at that reassurance, before her eyes moved to encompass the rest of the room and she saw the body lying at her feet with the stake protruding from its back.

"NICK!!" she screamed in horrified recognition.

"Oh my god, what happened to him?!" she demanded as she slid off the couch and onto her knees next to his body.

"Nicholas tried to bring you across as you had asked him to do, and after you failed to respond within the usual time frame, he believed he had failed you and begged me to stake him," Lucien summarized the events of the past hour in his typical cool and seemingly unflappable voice as he watched Natalie's face twist in horror as he informed her of what had happened.

"YOU STAKED YOUR OWN SON?" Natalie screamed in horrified outrage, an instant before she launched herself off the couch at him, her hands reaching out to claw out his throat.

Catching her outstretched hands and brushing aside her attack with an almost indifferent effort, Lucien shoved Natalie back onto the couch with an admonishing frown.

"Calm yourself, girl," he ordered. "My son will be fine," he then went on, apparently in an effort to reassure her. Seeing the disbelieving look on her face, he explained.

"When I staked Nicholas, I was took care to ensure that the stake did not completely penetrate his heart," he said. Seeing the confused expression this information caused, Lucien elaborated.

"As you undoubtedly know from your years of collaboration with Nicholas, our kind can only be truly killed by decapitation, fire or having a wooden stake penetrate our heart," he stated, and Natalie nodded her head in agreement. "And when we are staked, unless the stake is wood, then even having our hearts pierced will not kill us.

Lucien could see Natalie's thoughts racing ahead even as he spoke and comprehension already dawning in her eyes, and he mentally congratulated himself on Nicholas' excellent taste in women. Finding beauty and brains was not an overly difficult combination to locate any more, but finding those qualities wrapped together with both fiery passion and a will as strong as any he'd seen in all of his years walking this world was something exceedingly uncommon, and a find to be treasured for its rarity.

"Well, when I staked Nicholas, I took care to make sure that I do not completely penetrate his heart with the stake he gave me to use," he continued his explanation. "The result of a partial penetration of the heart, using a wooden stake, is that the recipient immediately lapses into what is best described as a comatose state or a death-like torpor.

"Mortal medical science would most likely refer to it as a form of suspended animation, since if the stake is removed and an adequate blood supply is available for sustenance, then the person staked will recover quite quickly," he noted, almost as a not-all-that relevant tangent remark, but Natalie's face immediately broke out into a wide smile as she realized that Nick would be back to his prime in virtually no time at all, once Lucien removed the stake from his heart.

~~~

Elsewhere


Nick looked up sharply in surprise upon hearing Gabe's last comment.

"What do you mean? What are you talking about?" he demanded as the frown on his face deepened.

"Which part of what I said are you asking about, Nick?' Gabe replied with a smirk. "My wondering if you're really trying kill yourself, or my wondering if you're up to helping to helping me save humanity?"

"I'm not looking to kill myself!" Nick immediately protested, an outraged look on his face. "That's a ridiculous thing to say!"

"Oh, really?" Gabe said. "What would you say it looked like you wanted to do, after you handed Lucien a wooden stick and asked him to stake you?

The thunderstruck expression on Nick's face upon hearing the other man's words made it clear that he was taken completely by surprise by that particular revelation.

"I did that?" he half-whispered. "I really asked Lucien to stake me?

"And he agreed to do so?" he added after a bare moment's thought.

"Yes," Gabe nodded his confirmation. "It was right after you drained Natalie – although it was at her request, I must admit – and you realized that your attempt to turn her failed miserably," he added pleasantly.

"YOU'RE LYING!" Nick roared, enraged almost beyond words at hearing his companion's comment.

It was only as he was pushing himself up from the floor and away from the corner of his apartment where Gabe had casually tossed that Nick realized he had evidently attacked the other in his rage.

"No, I would never do that – not if there were any other possible option available," Nick shook his head in denial of his considering doing anything such as Gabe had described.

"Oh, you did it, Nick," Gabe contradicted him, looking him directly in the eye, as if daring him to deny the allegation again. "I wouldn't lie to you about something like that."

"I – I – I can't believe I'd do something like that to Natalie," Nick shook his head dazedly in confusion. "Even if she'd asked me to – not if there were any choice available.

"And why would I want to do something like that – bringing her across – anyway?" he murmured half to himself in what seemed like a semi-rhetorical question.

"Natalie was trying to help me find a way to regain my mortality," he pointed out. "We've been doing that for the past six years, and she's been my staunchest supporter, despite the failures we've had.

"Her wanting to be Turned, and my agreeing to Turn her, after all of our efforts sounds like something only a crazy person would do," Nick declared vehemently.

"Yes, you're right, Nick. It does," Gabe agreed with small smile.

"And that's because you both were crazy."

~~~

Nick's apartment


"Do you have the bloodwine ready?"

"Yes," Natalie nodded in confirmation. "Four bottles, all ready for Nick to guzzle down, once he wakes up."

"Good. Wait for my signal before you approach and offer Nicholas the bloodwine, since he will most likely awaken in a feeding frenzy, much like you did went you first awoke a short while ago," Lucien cautioned.

"I am sure Nicholas would be quite distraught, after his efforts to bring you across, should he inadvertently injure you upon his awakening," he noted as he knelt by Nick's body and carefully grasped the stake protruding from his back.

"All right, then," he said, after a final glance at Natalie. "Let us proceed."

~~~

Elsewhere


"What do you mean, we were both crazy?" Nick angrily demanded upon hearing Gabe's statement.

"Exactly what I said, Nick," Gabe calmly replied. "Neither you nor Natalie were completely sane when the two of you made any of your decisions earlier this evening – you know, first, when Natalie decided to offer herself to you in an attempt to help you to revert to your human status, and then, after that effort failed, your effort to turn her into a vampire like yourself.

"And then you made the *big* decision," he said, "when you decided to kill yourself after you thought you'd failed to turn Natalie and that she was irrevocably dead."

The dumbstruck expression on Nick's face upon hearing that explanation made the being currently wearing Schanke's form laugh out loud.

"Oh come on, Nick," he said with a grin. "Why don’t you try and look at this as though this were a case you were assigned to investigate, and then tell me what you think, okay?

"Do you really believe that either you or Natalie were thinking completely clearly when you both suddenly agree to try to duplicate, overnight, Janette's actions that enabled her to regain her humanity – even though she very specifically told you that her efforts took place over the course of several months?

"Don't you also think that Natalie suddenly saying that she can understand and even sympathize with why her friend, Lora, committed suicide is just a bit out of character for her, given how ardently she argued with you two years ago, when you were contemplating walking out into the sunlight, yourself, after your friend, Erica, did exactly that?" he asked.

"And remember how upset she was with you last year, after your first partner, Schanke, died, and she found out you were thinking about leaving without saying goodbye to anyone – especially not to her?" Gabe continued his questions.

"But, do you really think that, if Natalie had been completely rational when the two of you were talking earlier today, she would have agreed to be brought across so quickly, despite Tracy having died, without first discussing the idea with you in at least a little bit more detail?" he asked.

"Although I must admit, her agreeing to be turned so that she could continue to be with you is actually quite understandable, since she loves you very much," Gabe commented, in a thoughtful tone of voice.

"All right, maybe we didn't talk things out the way we normally do," Nick reluctantly agreed, "but that doesn't mean that either of us was crazy for doing what we did."

"But I noticed that you also didn't try to insist that either of you were acting in a completely rational manner, either," Gabe observed with a small grin.

"Which, considering that you are usually very thorough and aren't generally inclined to ignore any problems you come across in your case, means that you at least agree that your and Natalie's behavior could be thought to be unusual enough that it should be looked at in at least a bit more detail – right?" the other man continued questioning Nick.

"Yes," Nick very grudgingly nodded his head as he acknowledged his agreement with Gabe's conclusions.

"Okay," Gabe smiled now as he rubbed his hands as though with anticipation, "now we’re finally starting to get somewhere."

Nick watched curiously as the being who'd admitted borrowing his first partner's appearance got up from the arm chair he had been occupying and began pacing back and forth in front of his apartment's shuttered window.

"Okay, detective, tell me what conclusions would you draw if you found significant amounts of a psychoactive drug, specifically one of the benzodiazepines, in the blood work of a suicide victim whose death you were investigating – a psychiatrist who was found dead in her bathtub with her wrists slit, and you didn't find any signs of anyone else present in the deceased's apartment?" Gabe asked as he momentarily paused in his pacing and faced Nick.

"My initial assumption would be that the victim had been taking advantage of her ability to write prescriptions to acquire narcotics and was abusing them," Nick replied after barely a moment's consideration. "It's something that happens on a fairly frequent basis among medical personnel of all types, you know."

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I do know that," Gabe nodded agreeably.

"And I also know that after you had evaluated all aspects of the victim's life, determined that she was a lonely, most likely overworked professional woman with no apparent lovers or indications of romantic involvement of any type, you would conclude your investigation and close the case.

"Right?" he inquired, lifting an eyebrow questioningly.

"Yes, that is most likely what would have happened," Nick agreed. "Although, judging by your questions and comments, I'm guessing that you're trying to tell me that Dr. Haynes' death was not a suicide."

"Oh, Dr. Haynes most certainly did slit her own wrists – there's no question about that, at all, Nick," Gabe stated with complete conviction. "But I can also tell you with absolute certainty that she didn't intentionally take any psychoactive drugs.

"So I suppose the question you need to ask is, who actually was responsible for putting the drugs in her system, and how did they do it?"

"That's a very good question, Gabe," Nick said, giving the other a narrow-eyed frown. "But right now, I'm more interested in knowing exactly what it is you meant when you said you wondered whether I'm up to helping to helping you save humanity."

"I meant just that, Nick," Gabe replied.

"There are some events that are going to be occurring in the very near future which are going to have a very significant effect on the way the human race develops," he explained, "and there are currently comparatively very few people available who are both physically capable and mentally resilient enough to be able to stand up against the things that are going to be looking to prey on humanity, and who can assist in defending the human race long enough for them to develop the strength to stand on their own against these – beings I'm speaking of."

"Exactly what do you mean when you keep referring to 'things' and 'these beings,' Gabe?" Nick asked, trying to understand exactly what the other meant.

"Well, I suppose I could just use the term 'demons,' Nick," Gabe told him, "but that usually makes people think of creatures from various movies and books and video games, and these things I'm talking about are, in most cases, very, *very* different than anything you might think of.

"The things I'm talking about originated on a plane of existence that is vastly different from this one in most aspects and they are so physically and spiritually different from the inhabitants of this plane that just being in their presence is a major strain on most people's sanity," he went on.

"In some aspects, I suppose they could be best compared to the beings that your H. P. Lovecraft wrote about in his stories," Gabe mused a bit thoughtfully. "In many ways, their interactions with the inhabitants of this plane do promote insanity and psychosis, although that is more of an incidental effect than anything done deliberately."

Seeing the expression of horrified disbelief on Nick's face at his words, Gabe waved a hand in dismissal as he said, "Oh, don't worry, Nick, there's very little chance of you or anyone else encountering this things in any sort of face to face conflict.

"No, the beings you would be confronting would be the minions of these creatures, since they can't manifest in this continuum for more than a few moments," he continued in what was clearly intended to be a more reassuring voice. "The – fundamental physical constants of existence, I suppose you would call them – of this dimension prevent them from embodying themselves here without enormous physical discomfort, so they've resorted to working through others and trying to get their subordinates to establish a foundation secure enough to allow them to begin making the changes they need to achieve if they're to succeed in their ultimate plans."

"And what might those plans be?" Nick hardly recognized the low-voiced, apprehensive voice asking that question as his own.

"Basically, to eventually cause an alteration in the fundamental physical constants of this universe sufficient to allow themselves to manifest long enough to initiate a complete collapse of this universe into its most basic components, which they could then harvest and utilize, in order to enlarge their plane of existence."

"That's – that’s insane!" Nick protested. "These creatures want to destroy this universe, simply so they can make their own universe bigger? That's genocide on a scale too big to even begin to envision!"

"From their viewpoint, it's completely logical and an entirely practical undertaking, Nick," Gabe shrugged. "And the timeframe they're working on is thousands of times longer than that of most beings alive, so it's not as though they're all that concerned about humanity becoming aware of it and taking whatever steps need to be done to stop them. People are usually only concerned with the things that are going to directly affect them in either their own or their children's lives.

"Besides, they’ve already done it to other universes at least six times before this, that I'm aware of."

"That's horrible! It's diabolic! It's almost unthinkable!!" Nick objected as he contemplated the idea of a species so evil that they could casually destroy entire universes, slaughtering any intelligent lives within it without any thought of remorse or regret, for the sole purpose of expanding their own.

"Actually, for them, it's business as usual," Gabe countered. "The Ghouls – that's the nickname I've personally given them," Gabe noted, "started working on changing this universe about thirty-five hundred of your years ago, so they're really still in the process of getting the foundations for what they need to do established here, before they can get to the real work they need to do."

"So why are you telling me this, then? What's in it for you, that you want these creatures stopped?" Nick demanded as he focused his full attention on what he'd just been told and began examining the information he'd received in the same manner as he would if it were a case he'd been assigned by Reese.

After all, any time he'd been given information about a case from an informant, it was either because they'd been paid for it, or because they had their own angle on the case. and they were trying to advance their own interests. And there wasn't any reason to think that the same type of situation didn't apply here, he reasoned.

"Good, you're starting to think rationally again, Nick," Gabe grinned approvingly at him. "As far as why I'm telling you all of this is concerned, one way of looking at the situation would be to say that the species I represent are pretty much at the opposite end of the moral and ethical spectrum from the Ghouls, and we find what they're doing as repugnant as anything you can imagine.

"Another reason for telling you is because we also believe that in a few thousand years, once your species has advanced to its next stage of development, your species will most likely to ally itself with us against the Ghouls," he went on.

"And since we also believe that we will eventually find ourselves in a face to face conflict with the Ghouls, we would prefer to have your species as an ally, rather than risk having you as a possible opponent," he concluded with a smile.

"Unfortunately, Nick," he then said as he glanced at the watch on his wrist, "we've pretty much run out of time for us to talk.

"Now, you're going to be waking up in just a few minutes, and you're probably going to be thinking that everything we've talked about is some sort of hallucination," Gabe cautioned Nick, "but what I'd like you to do, once you get a few minutes free, is think about everything we've talked about here – about how one of the benzodiazepines got into Dr. Haynes' blood; whether your and Natalie's behavior since the good doctor died is actually out of character, and if it is, why would that be; and, lastly, ask yourself just how was it your Sire's sire managed to somehow survive being decapitated nearly two thousand years ago and come back to hunt Lucien and start picking off his children, one by one.

"And you could also ask yourself whether the fact that you and your compatriots are some of the few people who would be able to notice whether there has been an increase in the number of violent crimes that might possibly involve supernatural connections in the past few hundred years could be a factor in why Divia started hunting the various members of your family.

"And here's few other things you might want to consider, too," he said, as he made a small gesture with his left hand. "Good-bye and have a good life, Nick.

"And maybe, if things work out right, we'll be seeing each other again in the future , too."

Before Nick could begin to formulate any sort of response, the area around him began to blur and grow fainter, and a kaleidoscope of scenes momentarily swirled around him as the color seemed to drain away from everything and his surroundings faded away.

– of arriving at Lora's residence and viewing her body submerged beneath the bloody water;

– of his picking up the journal from the end table it was lying on and reading through it after viewing Lora's body, and his thinking that something had been spilled on it when his fingers felt a somewhat oily texture to the journal's pages;

– of the expression on Natalie's face when she realized exactly who the victim she'd been called to examine was;

– of him later handing the journal over to Natalie and her desperately clutching it as they discussed her friend's death;

– and then, still later, Natalie's apparent emotional near-breakdown in the morgue when they talked about his thoughts of leaving the force and the pains that the continuing loss of their friends had caused each of them;

Those and several other memories all flashed through his mind before his consciousness mercifully faded away to blackness.

~~~

Nick's apartment


As he regained consciousness what seemed to be a fraction of an instant later, all he could focus on was the hunger that was consuming him. The pain that was carving its way through the left side of his back was agonizing in its intensity, but it paled to nothing when compared to the craving for blood that was permeating every cell of his body.

Opening his eyes, it seemed as though he was seeing everything through a red haze, and he could hear, as though from a great distance, Natalie asking him how he was feeling, but all he could think about was the overpoweringly heady scent of blood, which was nigh-irresistible in its beckoning. Ignoring the unintelligible babble of both the woman he loved and his sire, he frantically snatched at the green-colored bottle being offered to him and held it to his mouth so that he could gulp down its contents in a desperate frenzy.

Twice more he frenetically repeated his desperate actions before any semblance of control returned to him, and as he finally lowered the now-empty bottle, he could see both Natalie and Lucien watching him with worried eyes.

"Are you okay, Nick?" Natalie asked, her eyes filled with worry and concern as she looked at him.

"You didn't wake up right away, the way we were expecting you to, when Lucien pulled out the stake he'd used on you, and I was worried that you were really dead, but then you did wake up, and I was so relieved to see you moving even if it was just to grab the bottles of bloodwine and gulp them down, " she half-babbled as she moved closer, to check him for any possible problems.

"I'm fine now, Nat," Nick half-gasped as he tried to calm the brunette's fears. "I'm sorry you were worried, but I'm back and I'm fine now.

"And once we all rest up, there are some things I need to discuss with both of you," he added as he shifted his glance between his two companions.

"Things I think you'll both find very interesting."

~~~

Nick's apartment
The following night


"You're right, Nick, the pages of Lora's journal all show traces of having been soaked in a concentrated Valium solution," Natalie said as she settled down on the couch, offering him a copy of the lab report she'd had run earlier that evening while he carefully placed a goblet of bloodwine for each of them on one side of the coffee table and another for Lucien on the other side before seating himself next to her.

"The concentration was strong enough that constantly handling the journal would allow enough of the drug to be absorbed through a person's skin that it would most definitely affect them," she stated with unshakable conviction.

"Heck, the concentration was strong enough that our own repeated handling of the journal over the course of a few hours without any gloves on would have transferred enough Valium into us to make us start acting a little flaky, too," she then noted with a frown.

"And I suppose you're going to use that as an explanation for why the two of you acted as you did last night," Lucien half-smirked as he took a sip of his bloodwine. "Correct?"

"What was it that made you think of asking me to check Lora's journal, Nick?" Natalie asked, completely ignoring Lucien's question. "That's not something that someone would normally think of checking when investigating an apparent suicide."

"Remember, after I woke up last night, how I told you guys I had some things I needed to talk to the two of you about, once we all had rested and recovered from everything that had happened?" Nick said, as he half-turned so he was facing both Natalie and Lucien.

"Well, while I was in that coma, I had what I would normally have called some very curious dreams or, possibly, hallucinations…"

FIN

~~~

As I indicated above, this was my effort to explain the series finale of 'Forever Knight,' and try to do it without contradicting anything within the existing, established context of the series. I also wanted to provide a possible springboard for future FK stories, if anyone wanted to pick this plot bunny up and run with it.

Hopefully, it worked.

Let me know what you think, okay?

The End

You have reached the end of "A Forever Knight-mare". This story is complete.

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