Title: Forever Sunnydale
Genre: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Forever Knight Crossover
Disclaimer: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Oz and Anya don't belong to me. They belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and 20th Century Fox. Likewise, Nick, Natalie, Tracy and LaCroix don't belong to me. They belong to James Parriott, Barney Cohen, and Sony/TriStar. I'm just borrowing them for a while....
...and they'll all be returned when I'm done putting them through the emotional wringer. I'm not making any money off of this, so don't sue. No copyright infringement is intended.
Corinne and Abernathy's Occult Bookstore do belong to me.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I took this story out last night, and decided I'm finally going to finish it. This story was originally begun prior to Buffy's season four, making use of supposed spoilers about Giles becoming a UC-Sunnydale Professor of Demonology. As such, it takes place in an alternate universe Buffy season four. Buffy and Willow are at UC-Sunnydale and are roommates, Willow and Oz are still together, Xander and Anya are dating. In my story, UCS has a Department of Occult Studies (or Department of Demonology) and a Library of Demonology (of which Giles is librarian).
"In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer."
"He was brought across in 1228. Preyed on humans for their blood. Now he wants to be mortal again. To repay society for his sins. To emerge form his world of darkness, from his endless Forever Knight."
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dr. Natalie Lambert was stacked the last of the papers on her desk, leaving the list of pending tests in the middle of the desk for her replacement to see in the morning. She had gotten things as well-organized as possible before she left for the week-long medical conference in the United States. Slipping on her coat and slinging her purse over her shoulder, she picked up the conference brochure, entitled "Unusual Autopsy Findings," and headed out the door. She turned out the lights and glanced at her watch. Good. She had time to stop by the loft and see how Nick was doing with the latest protein shake before turning in for the day. Nick was taking her to the airport, so she would see him tomorrow anyway, but she wanted to make sure he was following doctor's orders - not that he ever _really_ did.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Walking over to the refrigerator, Nick smiled. Natalie had said she would stop by on her way home from work. Just being in her presence always made his day brighter. Opening the refrigerator door, he looked at the contents. On the left were several bottles of cow's blood in various states of emptiness. On the right was a plastic container filled with thick white...glop. Yet another one of Natalie's famous protein shakes. Ugh. The thought of trying another one of the tasteless concoctions brought a wave of nausea. He reached towards the nearest green bottle, then stopped himself. He should at least _try_ to drink the protein shake, especially since Natalie was likely on her way over to find out how he did with it. Grimacing, he grabbed the plastic bottle and shut the refrigerator door. Pulling off the cap, he steeled himself, then took a sip.
"Blech!" was his first reaction, but then...he took another sip. This really wasn't all that bad, especially compared to the previous ones. Maybe they were making progress. If the shakes kept improving at this rate they might eventually become edible.
He heard the grinding of the lift machinery as a visitor approached. He listened for the familiar sound of Natalie's heartbeat. She was the only one who had the combination for the lift, so it should be her.
Protein shake still in hand, he walked over to the door to greet his best friend.
Opening the door to the lift, Natalie stopped abruptly as she saw what was in Nick's hand. "Okay, who are you and what have you done with Nick Knight?"
Nick simply laughed.
"Is that a protein shake you're drinking or do my eyes deceive me?" Slipping out of her coat, she walked over to peer in his plastic container.
"Your eyes aren't deceiving you, Nat." Putting one arm around her shoulder, he took another sip. "Actually, of all of the dreadful concoctions you've made for me, this one isn't half-bad."
Smiling, Natalie looked up at him. "Are you sure you're not a pod person?"
"Nah," he joked. "You've just been watching too many old movies."
"Most of them with you, might I add," Natalie said, gently poking him with one finger. Then, turning serious, she slipped out from under his arm. "I'm glad you don't completely hate this one."
"It's almost digestible."
"Great! Then I'll make up some more to leave with you while I'm gone this week."
Nick put one hand on Nat's back and led her over to the couch. "I'm not so sure about that conference, Nat. Have you heard about this Sunnydale place you're going to?"
"It's a small California town on the coast, with beautiful beaches and sunny skies. What more could an overworked coroner want?" Sitting down on the couch, they turned to face each other.
"How about a town _without_ the highest mortality rate in California. There are more deaths per capita there than in downtown Los Angeles, Nat. And they're weird deaths, too...a lot of them unexplained, and many more mysterious disappearances. There are multiple wild animal attacks, and incident after incident of gang violence. There's practically an epidemic of gang violence involving PCP. That's drugs, Nat! Not to mention the local high school was blown sky-high after graduation...and most bizarre, sketchy reports of a giant snake trying to eat the students."
"Giant snakes, Nick? Unexplained deaths and mysterious disappearances? Have you been watching 'The X-Files' again?"
"This isn't a joking matter. I'm worried."
"I'm a coroner who lives in a town with a high vampire population. I've been taken hostage, dated a serial killer, and been threatened by a 2000-year-old Roman general. How much more dangerous could Sunnydale be?"
When she put it that way, Nick supposed, it did sound kind of ridiculous to be worried about a town with crime reports that included giant snakes.
Scooting over on the couch, Natalie snuggled into his arms. Nick hugged her closer. "I'll be fine, Nick, really." She reassured him. "Too bad you can't come with me to protect me," she teased, looking up at him.
He brought his head down to plant a quick kiss on her lips. "Actually, so far Tracy and I don't have a lot of work to do this week -- no new cases. But we've been so busy lately I have paperwork to catch up on." He paused, looking pensive. "It would be nice to get away, though - but not to someplace called _Sunny_dale."
"Sounds a little too sunny for vampires, huh?" Natalie said, grinning.
"Definitely." He smiled back.
"At least that's one thing I won't have to worry about." She said, laughing. Turning to him again, she said. "Hey, we don't have any videos, but why don't we see what's on the old movie channel on cable. I'd like to spend my last day in town here with you."
"I took tonight off to escort you to the airport, but don't you need the sleep?"
"I can sleep on the plane," she said.
Reaching for the remote, he flicked on the TV.
"'Bringing Up Baby,'" she said. "And it's just starting. Just what we need, a happy romantic comedy." Snuggling in his arms, she settled back to watch the movie.
University of California - Sunnydale dorms
Sunnydale, California, USA
"Wake up Sunnydale! It's a beautiful day here on your FM dial. Wake up and smell the sunshine!" In the UC-Sunnydale dorm room, the radio alarm blared its cheerful greeting. One hand slinked out from under the pile of blankets, grabbing the alarm clock. With a swift motion, the alarm clock was ripped out of the wall and flung across the room. It hit the wall with a satisfying thunk, followed by a clatter, as parts of the now-broken alarm clock rained down to the floor. Rid of the obnoxious noise, the purveyor of the destruction, Buffy Summers, snuggled back under the covers.
In the other bed, her roommate, Willow Rosenberg, stirred. "This means we're going to have to get another alarm clock, doesn't it," she murmured sleepily, removing the extra pillow she had pulled over her head to drown out the annoying DJ.
"Mmmm," Buffy was already asleep.
"I guess last night's patrol really tired her out," Willow said softly, pushing back the covers to reveal her fuzzy pajamas. What time was it anyway? Willow looked over at the table between the two beds. "No more alarm clock," she sighed. "I hope it didn't make another dent in the wall." Although it probably didn't make as much of a mess as the time Buffy staked the alarm clock. They were still finding plastic pieces from that one. Sliding her feet into her fuzzy slippers and grabbing her towel and shampoo, she headed the hall down to the bathroom.
Buffy dimly recognized the sound of the door as Willow left the room. She hadn't _really_ gone back to sleep, because she couldn't afford to miss another eight o'clock class. But she had come in all sweaty last night and taken a post-patrol shower; so she could skip the morning shower get a few more minutes of sleep. "Slaying and early morning classes do _not_ go together," she muttered, cursing whoever had scheduled a required class at that horrible hour. She tried to crawl back beneath the covers, but was thwarted by the sunlight streaming in between the cracks in the blinds.
She pushed the covers back, still lying on her bed in her tank top and boxer shorts. She really hated these post-patrol early mornings. Last night's sweep of the cemetery had been brutal. She had faced three dumb but vicious vampires last night and returned to her dorm room at 3am, exhausted.
Sighing, she crawled out of bed as Willow walked back in the room.
"Morning," Willow said, unwrapping the towel on her head and letting her short red hair down. "Rough patrol last night?"
"Big mean vamps. Thankfully also very stupid. Nothing I couldn't handle." Buffy replied, pulling a pair of black pants from a drawer. "Not like last week, with those two weird slimy demons a the Sunnydale Hotel. It's going to take them weeks repair the damage from that corrosive slime."
"Yech," Willow shuddered, thinking of the icky green goo that had destroyed significant parts of floors four through seven. She pulled a comb through her hair. "I'm glad you're okay." Putting down the comb, she turned to look at her friend. "But Buffy," she began tentatively, "about the alarm clock."
"I know, Will," she interrupted. "That's the second one this week."
"Maybe you could work on not reacting to mornings with violence," Willow suggested.
"I'll try," Buffy promised. "And I'll pick up another clock today."
"Get a heavy-duty one this time, something sturdier," Willow recommended.
"Come on," Buffy said. "We need to get going if we're going to make our classes."
Nick's Loft, Toronto
The itching of his nose woke Nick. Reaching one arm up to scratch it, he encountered Natalie's curls. He recognized the soft weight of her body on his chest. They had fallen asleep on the couch watching old movies, Nat curled trustfully in his arms. Looking up at the clock, he realized they had been sleeping for hours. And Nat still had to go home and finish packing her luggage before he took her to the airport.
"Nat?" he said softly, giving her a gentle shake.
"Mrgh," she murmured, snuggling closer.
"Nat." This time his voice was louder, his shake firmer. "You need to wake up."
"Five more minutes," she mumbled. She was having this wonderful dream about spending the night in Nick's arms, being held close all night long, and she didn't want to wake up.
"Nick?" The voice finally registered in her mind. It wasn't a dream? Drifting into consciousness, she became aware of her surroundings. She and Nick were in each other's arms, but fully clothed on his couch. They must have fallen asleep during the movie marathon.
"Nat, you've got to get going pretty soon if you want to have time to finish packing and not be late for your flight."
"What time is it?"
"Already?" She bolted upright. She'd have to hurry to make her plane on time. She grabbed her flats from the floor, slipping them on her feet. "I have to go. I've been so busy at work, trying to get the office ready for my absence that I haven't even started packing for my trip."
Nick followed her over to the door and helped her into her coat.
"Thanks for the movie marathon. It was fun," she said.
"Anytime." He lowered his head for a quick kiss on the lips. "See you at six."
Slightly dazed from the kiss, Natalie could only repeat "Six. Right," before heading out the door. As the lift doors shut behind her, she started to think. He had kissed her. Not a serious kiss, but more than a brotherly peck on the cheek. Did this mean anything or was she reading too much into it? "I don't have time to think about this," she said, emerging into the sunlight and heading for her car.
After escorting Natalie to the door, Nick headed for the stairs, up to get a couple more hours of sleep before he had to pick Nat up to take her to the airport. The ringing of the phone stopped him.
"Yeah, Nick Knight. I'm either in bed or incommunicado," came his voice on the answering machine.
"Nick, it's Lily Toffler. I have some information you will find very interesting. We may have a lead on finding the Abbarrat."