Author: J. B. Tilton PM
Lacroix has ended Nicolas' suffering forever. Or has he?Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 852 - Reviews: 5 - Published: 03-19-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2852196
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
By J. B. Tilton
Disclaimer: "Forever Knight" and all related characters and events are the property of James D. Parriott and Barney Cohen, except for those characters specifically created for this story. This is a work of fan fiction and no infringement of copyright is intended.
Lacroix has ended Nicolas' suffering forever. Or has he?
Lacroix stood over Nicolas holding the sharpened stake over his head. Nicolas knelt on the floor, cradling the near lifeless body of Natalie in his arms. Lacroix hesitated a moment, then brought the stake down with all his might, intent on granting his friend and protégé this one final request. Suddenly, at the last moment, Lacroix pulled the stake to one side, narrowly missing the younger vampire.
"No, Nicolas," Lacroix said, casting the stake aside. "It shall not end this way. All your existence you have turned from your troubles. Run to some far secluded place to avoid the repercussions of your actions.
"You came to me during the Crusades. Sick of the killing and hunting and bloodshed. I made you what you are. Freed you from the drudgery of a mere mortal existence. Gave you eternal life and the power over others.
"But not even that was enough. You turned from even that claiming you were no longer a killer. That you had to atone for your sins. Make up for the death and grief you had caused. Now, in your pathetic attempt to regain your mortality, you have once again turned from your responsibility."
"That's not the way it is," Nicolas cried, nearly in tears. "It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was only supposed to take enough to sate the hunger. But I couldn't stop myself. I've taken too much. Now she will die. Because of my weakness."
"All are weak," Lacroix said, pulling Nicolas to his feet. "Even we, the strongest of the creatures that walk the night, have our weaknesses. We must feed on the blood of others. We cannot walk the streets while the sun shines for fear of being consumed by it.
"Do you think you are the only vampire ever to have taken a life like this? To have destroyed that which was so dear to you? We are killers, Nicolas. We hunt mortals for their blood. And like it or not, you are one of us. You cannot simply throw away everything that has been given you because you are displeased with the results. We must each face our responsibilities no matter how painful they might be."
"But she doesn't deserve this," Nicolas said, looking down at the unmoving body of Natalie. "She's always only wanted to help. And I've repaid her with death. I can't even bring her across. I've taken too much blood for that. All I can do is stand and watch her die. It is too much for me to bear."
Lacroix knelt down and put his fingers on Natalie's throat. He paused for a moment, and then stood up again. "Her pulse is weak, but steady," he said. "It is true that you have taken more than a human can afford to give. As she is, she will die very soon."
He paused for a moment.
"But all is not lost," he continued. "She can be saved. Take her to the nearest hospital. They will be able to treat her. Tell them any story you wish. But if you are to save her, you must hurry. Her time is short. If you tarry for long, she will die."
"Are you sure?" Nicolas asked hopefully. "Can she still be saved?"
"They will give her a transfusion," Lacroix said. "If she is strong, she may yet survive. Your vampire abilities will allow you to get her to help much quicker than any mortal could. But when this is done, Nicolas, you must return to the fold. I have saved your precious Natalie for you. Just one more on a long list of debts you owe me."
"Thank you," said Nicolas, gathering up Natalie. "I won't forget this. I promise."
"I shall hold you to that promise," Lacroix said, as Nicolas took flight, heading for the nearest hospital.
"Aw, Nicolas," Lacroix said after the younger vampire had left, "how can you be so naïve after eight hundred years? To think you can make up for all you've done in a few short years of saving the pathetic wretches of this society? You will save your Natalie. And I will bring you back into the fold. You must eventually see that you are what you are. A hunter. A killer. And nothing will change that."
Silently the ancient vampire turned and took flight behind Nicolas. He secretly admired Nicolas for his determination to become human again. But Jeannette had shown that even returning to mortality does not clean away all your sins. Everyone, even a vampire of fifteen hundred years, must face the consequences of their actions. No matter how bitter or painful those consequences were.