A/N: This was one of the first stories I wrote. I
guess it's PG, no explicit anything, but implied violence and m/m sex.
For some reason, I can either write slash, or I can write Lacroix as the bad guy. Since I'm incapable of doing both, I figure I should warn everyone that Lacroix is almost painfully nice in this one. Well, comparatively....
Oh yeah, I don't own them, yadda yadda.
Jenkins smirked as he saw Detective Knight enter the precinct. Man, he hated that guy. Toronto's Wondercop, Mr. Perfect. Yeah, right. He knew better.
"You guys aren't gonna believe what I saw on patrol last night."
Several other officers crowded around, eager for gossip. Jenkins was a beat cop, sure, but that just meant that he came back with interesting stories.
"I'm down by the lake, ya know, where the kids go when they don't want their parents getting involved in their getting involved?" Sniggers met that statement. "Well, I see this car there, just one, so of *course* I know there's *something* going on."
He paused, to savor the moment, and draw out the agony. And to check on the location of one Supercop. 'Safe- he's across the room. No way can he hear me.'
"Well?" demanded one of his listeners. "That can't be the whole story."
"Well, I went over, figuring, ok, time to send some kids home to daddy. Only it's not kids. I shine my flashlight in, and this guys looks back at me- he musta been bout forty or so."
"No shit!" said one officer, surprised. Grown men didn't tend to make out in cars.
"Yup," Jenkins replied, grinning savagely. "But that's not the best part. I looked to see who he's with-"
"Could I have a word, officer?" A strong hand on his arm made the polite request a command. Jenkins turned angrily, a vicious retort dying on his lips as he looked into the calm face of Nick Knight.
'Damn. Guess I was talking louder than I thought.' Sullenly he followed as Knight led him into an empty interrogation room and shut the soundproof door.
"Just what was all that about?" Knight asked quietly, letting a hint of anger show.
Jenkins gulped. He knew that this man hadn't earned the nickname 'Knightmare' for nothing. He had read Knight's arrest record. Jealousy flared up again, and he retorted, "Just a little story. You know, sharing. *Everyone's* personal life gets shared."
"_I_don't_share_" Knight replied coldly. Jenkins felt the hair on the back of his neck rise. "I thought we told you to forget about it."
Reese came out of his office to see what the commotion was. Whispered conversations abounded, and attention seemed to be focused around one of the interrogation rooms. He frowned, thinking. He couldn't remember anyone being brought in tonight.
"Hey Trace- what's going on?"
She shrugged. "Nick grabbed Jenkins in the middle of one of his stories and hauled him off to the interrogation room." Heated voices, unintelligible, rose from the soundproof room. "Sounds like they're ready to kill each other. Wonder what's going on?"
Reese moved to intervene, but was preempted when the door flew open. Jenkins stormed out furiously, with an enraged Nick close behind. Tracy stared- she had rarely seen her partner in that state. Whatever Jenkins had done, it was pretty bad.
"My private life is just that-" Nick was saying "-private!"
"Oh yeah," Jenkins heard himself retort. "Just so long as no one finds out you're a fucking faggot!"
A deadly silence fell over the room. Shocked faces turned from Jenkins to Nick, and back again. In any other situation, it would have been comical. As it was, the tension in the air was almost painful. Tracy could see her partner clench his hands as though trying not to strangle the other man. Jenkins glared back at him.
Reese rushed over to diffuse the situation. "Knight, my office. Now." Nick glance at him, looked back at Jenkins, then strode into Reese's office, slamming the door behind him. Reese spared only a glance to ensure that his order had been obeyed before turning his attention to Jenkins. "If I were you, I'd book off now. Take a few days. Let this cool. And the two of you better talk this out. *Without* bloodshed, Jenkins."
"Don't worry, *Captain,*" Jenkins spat as he stormed out. "I won't be back."
Reese eased past the still form before his desk and sat. Work had resumed outside, albeit much subdued. Now he had to deal with his detective, which, he suspected, would be the hardest part. Knight never spoke about his personal life. Of course, that was his decision. Unfortunately, that left his open to gossip and rumors. Like this.
Knight glanced at him unseeingly, then turned his eyes back to the window. He seemed lost in his own thoughts, as if Jenkins had brought back memories he didn't want to dwell on, but couldn't escape.
"Nick, you've got to talk to me. What the hell just happened out there?"
For a minute he thought Nick wasn't going to acknowledge him. His body was tense, as if he was fighting the impulse flee a confrontation. Suddenly he sighed, a sound of- defeat? surrender? and his body relaxed. He ran a hand through his curly hair.
"Last night..." There was a long pause, to the extent that Reese began to wonder if Nick was planning on finishing.
Nick sighed again. "Last night Jenkins got up close and personal with my personal life."
Reese looked askance at his detective. Every instinct in him was screaming that there was more to it than that, but he didn't want to pry. A worm of a thought twisted into his mind. 'No. Nick gay? He can't be. He and Natalie seemed to be- but they never- but- Jenkins can't be right.'
Nick looked at him then, directly at him. He must have seen something in his face, because his eyes hardened and he said bluntly, "He saw me with my lover. Happy?" He rose angrily, and would have stormed out, but Reese reached out to restrain him.
"Nick, wait." Nick stopped, one hand on the door knob. "Can we at least talk like civilized adults?" Nick turned back, waiting. "I'm sure you don't want to talk about this, but could I at least get some background on the near murder that was going on out there? We're supposed to solve homicides, not cause them." Reese was trying to lighten the atmosphere, hoping to calm his anxious detective.
It worked. Nick cracked a small grin and slid back into his chair in surrender. "All right. It's stupid, really. Jenkins was patrolling down by the lake last night. You know- where the teenagers go to-" Reese nodded his understanding. "He was gonna chase off some kids. He found us instead." Nick laughed hollowly, but his face had a glow as he remembered the events of the night before. "My- partner- and I got a little carried away. I wasn't thinking." His features hardened. "I *thought* Jenkins agreed not to talk, but when I came in tonight..." he trailed off, anger seeping into his voice again. For just a second, Reese could have sworn his eyes *glowed.*
'Nah,' he thought, shaking off the momentary image. There was a moment of silence.
"So where does this leave us?" Nick asked quietly.
"That's entirely up to you," Joe replied, pleased that his detective was thinking rationally. "Jenkins gave the impression that he's not coming back. It's your call. Stay, leave- whatever. Take a few days, if you want. Just- don't make this a hasty decision because some jerk couldn't keep his mouth shut."
Nick nodded. "Thanks, Captain. I think I'll book off, it that's ok. I need to talk to Lucroix."
Nick smiled warmly, and Reese was amazed at the transformation from pissed to pleased. "Yes." He rose. "Thanks for being so calm about this, Cap. Not everyone reacts so- forgivingly."
Reese shrugged, then also rose and came around his desk. "Hey, whatever floats your boat. If it doesn't affect your work, it doesn't matter to me." He shook Nick's hand, and watched from the doorway as the detective grabbed his jacket and exited the precinct. Knight would be okay. Reese looked around the room, taking note of the various expressions on his officers' faces. Some of them might be problems later, but he'd let Nick deal with that on his own time.
"Hey, Captain? Where's Nick going?"
Reese briefly debated telling Tracy what had transpired in his office, then decided that it wasn't his call. "I told him to book off. He needed to cool down."
"Great!" she exclaimed, exasperated. "I get stuck with the paperwork again!"
Nick drove straight to the Raven, letting the cool night air wash over his face, cooling his ruffled emotions. The events at the station had startled him and, now that he thought about it, enraged him. Now that he thought about it, however, this could be a blessing in disguise. If everyone thought that he had been simply hiding a secret lover, they wouldn't look for a deeper, more sinister secret. Yes, this could be a gem. He needed to discuss this with Lucroix.
Who was he kidding. He just wanted to see his ancient lover.
From his broadcast booth Lucien Lucroix felt his son's approach and was curious, then worried, at the mass of emotions that assaulted him. He knew that Nicholas had been upset by the interruption the night before, but he had sent the officer on with altered memories and finished their endeavors rather pleasantly, he thought.
Lucroix frowned, pausing unconsciously in his broadcast. Was it possible that the man had recalled the encounter? That would have caused his son difficulties at work this evening, and certainly would account for the ill emotions he had sensed earlier.
Recalling what he was supposed to be doing, Lucroix returned to the show. It was really pointless to ponder the causes. Nicholas would be arriving shortly, and no doubt would tell him exactly what had transpired.
The sudden surge of *Nicholas* caused Lucroix to raise his pale head in pleasure. He smiled tenderly at his offspring, a strange expression on the usually vicious face, and indicated that he would be out in a moment. He ended his monologue and programmed the CD player to play a selection of songs which would follow the theme of the show for the night- and prevent his needing to return.
Exiting the booth, he extended his arms to his son. "Nicholas, mon amant."
Nicholas fit into his arms like they were made for each other. Their lips met, tenderly at first, then with a growing passion. Lucroix broke away reluctantly, suddenly aware of their audience, vampire and mortal alike. Nick looked around guiltily, like a teenager caught necking by his parents, a goofy grin on his lips. He looped his arm through Lucroix's, craning his neck to look at his partner.
"Nicholas, something has changed," Lucroix said, amused. "You are not usually so...free, in public. Might I ask..."
"You remember our unwanted guest last night?"
Lucroix growled. Nick laughed, and signaled the bartender to bring them each a drink. "Well, turns out he's a resistor. He 'outed' me to the precinct tonight."
Lucroix grew concerned. "Mon amant, is this a problem?"
"No, mon coeur, I don't think so. In fact, I think this might be an aid." Briefly, he explained the plan he had come up with on the ride to the Raven. Lucroix grew thoughtful.
"It could work, I suppose," he admitted. "I admit, it is not a role I had seen myself playing, but- it could work. And it would also stop those dratted _females_ from hanging on you." He said females like it was a dirty word. Nick laughed, taking a sip of his drink.
He had finally realized that he didn't _really_ want to be mortal. He just didn't want to have to fear suddenly killing his mortal friends in a blood frenzy. Feeding regularly prevented that. He enjoyed not having to dodge bullets. He liked flying. And the strength and heightened senses were nice too. Not seeing the sun was a shame, but nothing's perfect.
He drew himself back from his reverie to focus on his lover. He smiled at the thought that Lucroix was jealous of the women who tended to hang on him.
Lucroix noticed the smile. "What's that for, you demon?"
"Oh, nothing. But maybe you should come in to the station and stake your claim." Lucroix raised an eyebrow. "Come on, Lucroix," Nick coaxed, sidling up against him. "I want to show you off." He began tracing kisses down his lover's neck, murmuring between kisses. "I- want them to see- how wonderful you are- and how lucky I am- that you're mine- forever." As Nick's lips reached Lucroix's collarbone, his lover grasped his chin and gently forced his head up to meet his eyes.
"You are terrible, you know?" Nick nodded assent, his eyes gleaming. "I think," Lucroix continued softly, his voice turning seductive, "we should continue this upstairs."
"Oh, indeed," Nick replied, his voice low and full of promise.
"I will meet you at the station, then?" Lucroix asked. He and Nick were standing near the end of the bar, sharing one last drink- bloodwine for him, pure blood for Nick, since he was on his way to work. There were only a handful of customers this early in the night.
"Sure. I need to swing by the loft first. Give me an hour. I'll be there at nine, so why don't you come by around ten?"
"Certainly." Lucroix finished his drink and handed the empty glass to the bartender. He was surprised by Nicholas' lips meeting his fiercely, his tongue demanding entry. He complied, wrapping his arms around the younger man, trying to draw his son into himself, loathe to release him.
After a minute, they reluctantly broke the embrace. Nick smiled. "Just wanted to give you something to look forward to." 'And something for your customers to ogle,' he thought, noticing the shocked looks on some of the faces around the room. Others were amused, some frankly encouraging. One man gave him a thumbs up, and winked encouragingly. Nick grinned in his direction.
Lucroix turned to see what his child was smiling about. Feeling nearly giddy with emotion, he put a possessive arm about his lover, drawing him near, and walked him through the club to where the caddy was parked beside the curb. "Later, then," he said, depositing another kiss on Nick's beautiful lips. Nick smiled, and drove away reluctantly. Lucroix watched until he could no longer see his son's pale head. With a sigh, he reentered the club to record the night's show.
Nick pulled up in front of the loft and got out. He left the engine running- it would only take a minute to run in, grab a change of clothes, and run out. He fumbled with his keys as he walked to the door, lost in his memories of the night before. Perhaps he wouldn't have chosen the events to have happened, but they had, and this might all turn out for the better.
Ignoring the security locked door, he headed for the other. His mind still focused on thoughts of Lucroix, and the pleasure they had shared the night before, he paid little attention to the world around him.
He never heard the shot, didn't notice the slight twinge of the dart in his neck until quick steps approached behind him. The dart's drug somehow slowed his reactions to nil, and he still hadn't fully turned before a sharp blow to his head brought pain and darkness.
Tracy didn't even look up as a shadow crossed her desk. "Finally, Knight, it's your turn to do some paperwor-" She trailed off as she looked up into the face of the man beside her desk. It obviously wasn't her partner. Older, perhaps forty, with short, pale blonde hair and ice blue eyes. His pale features were emphasized by his extremely expensive looking black silk shirt and pants. He was attractive, in a sinister way. She gulped. She remembered seeing him at the Raven a few times, when she was there with Vachon.
"Can I help you, sir?" she stammered.
"My name is Lucien Lucroix. Detective Knight told me to meet him here at midnight. He does not appear to be present. You are his partner?" The man looked at her suspiciously.
Tracy stood and extended her hand, determined not to be intimidated by this man.
"Yes, I'm Tracy Vetter. Nick was supposed to be in.." she looked at the clock, "holy cow, an hour ago! He's _never_ this late without calling!" She picked up the phone and dialed Nick's cell phone. No answer. She tried his loft, with the same result. Worried now, she rushed over to Reese's office, barely registering that Lucroix followed her.
Reese was just hanging up the phone. "Yes, Tracy?"
"Cap, Nick never arrived. I'd like to go over to his place, see if anything's wrong."
Reese nodded. "Ok, but be careful."
"I'm going with you."
Reese looked past the detective to the pale man in the doorway. "Who are you?"
Lucroix strode into the room and offered his hand. "Lucien Lucroix."
Joe recognized the name. "You're Nick's.."
Lucroix smiled. "Yes, I'm Nick's- partner, I believe is the term these days. He wanted to show me off, I believe his words were. But you'll need my help getting into the loft, if that is necessary."
"Fine. But you listen to Tracy about police procedure. I don't want any trouble."
"Of course, Captain Reese. I will behave."
During the tense drive Tracy and Lucroix spoke little. She was still a little shocked to discover that this man was- well, *with* her partner. All the time she had worked with him, and she hadn't ever suspected-
All thoughts were cut off when the loft came into sight. The caddy was parked casually in front of the building, still running, as if the driver was just inside for a moment.
Lucroix leapt out of the car, Tracy following more slowly. She walked over to the car, but could see no signs that anyone had forced Nick out of it.
Lucroix headed towards the loft. His sensitive eyes saw what human eyes might have missed. He stopped short, then knelt, reaching out a shaking hand to almost, but not quite, touch a set of keys.
Nick's keys. A small patch of hair and blood pooled nearby, and a crowbar, stained red from the night's work, gleamed in the dim light.
Tracy gulped. "Don't touch anything," she ordered shakily, then dove for her radio, requesting a forensics team and backup. She returned to Lucroix, wondering if she was going to have to try to comfort this strange man.
Lucroix shook himself and rose. He stalked to the security panel and punched a code.
"What are you doing?"
"Nicholas has a strong liking for privacy and security at home, detective. He has a state-of-the-art security system here- including cameras. I want to see who did this."
Tracy followed him inside, after radioing to the precinct what was going on, and that they might have a possible lead. They rode the lift up, and she followed him over to the control panel for the system.
"Wow, how does he afford all this? Cop salaries are ok, but they're not *this* good!" she murmured reverently. Lucroix ignored her, concentrating on bringing up the correct portion of the tape.
"There," he said, almost snarling. They watched as Nick searched for his keys, then staggered almost imperceptibly.
"A dart gun," Tracy said. "Probably drugged him first, to make it easier." Then she gasped as the assailant came into view, swinging the crowbar at Nick as he tried to dodge. "Ohmigod! It's Jenkins!"
Lucroix whirled on her angrily. "You know this man?"
"He worked with us. He's had a grudge against Nick for some strange reason, and last night he stormed out after the whole gossip fiasco. The guy's crazy, but we never thought he'd do something like this!" She watched in horror as Jenkins dropped the bloody tool and dragged the unconscious man out of range of the security cameras. The picture went black. "He's completely insane. Even he's a good enough cop to know not to leave evidence like that at the scene of a crime."
Lucroix looked at her strangely. He gave a short, barking laugh. "You are a strange woman. Oddly enough, what you said convinced me. He must be out of his mind. I won't kill him for this."
Tracy decided to ignore that.
Nick woke to a pounding headache. Blood trickled down his temple and obscured his vision, but he seemed to be in a large empty room. A basement, he guessed, based on the dampness and the smell. His next observation was that he was completely naked, his arms handcuffed to a point high enough above his head that he had to stretch to keep his arms from being pulled out of their sockets. He was dizzy, dazed, and confused. 'What happened?'
Footsteps caught his attention, but when he turned his head vertigo assaulted him and he gasped. A mocking laugh greeted his reaction.
"Not so high and mighty now, are we, detective?"
Nick frowned slightly, trying to force his muddled thoughts into coherence. He knew that voice, but who was it?
The answer came a moment later, when Jenkins stepped into view. His eyes were wild, and held no traces of sanity. "I figured, you wanted to play exhibitionist at the lake, I'd let you give a private showing. Heck, I'll even help." He sauntered over to a metal table in the corner which would not have been out of place in the Spanish Inquisition.
Nick winced at the malice in the madman's voice, trying to find strength enough to break free, but the drug, whatever it was, was preventing him. He cringed as Jenkins approached him, then lost the little coherent thought he had to pain.
"Man, I can't believe Jenkins would do this."
"Captain, he's crazy. He doesn't know what he's doing. The only advantage we have is that he's also not planning. He probably took Nick right back to his house."
Reese thought for a minute. Tracy was probably right. If Jenkins was foolish enough to leave evidence on the scene, he might have brought his captive back home.
"All right, we'll try there first.
The teams crowded around the house silently, looking for some evidence that this was the place they were seeking. Reese's radio crackled.
"Captain, I don't see-"
The report was cut short by a piercing scream. Nick's scream. That ended all discussion. As one, they moved in, Lucroix following like a shadow. He had refused to be left behind, and they had quickly realized that Nick might want him there.
There was a commotion at the back of the house. Jenkins had heard their entry and rushed out the back door. The officers followed in hot pursuit. Lucroix ignored them, rushing down the basement steps to where he could feel his son's agony. Besides, the vampire team he had told to meet him would take care of the whelp should the police fail. Nicholas needed him now.
At the sight of his son's dangling body he was enraged, and momentarily regretted his command not to kill the perpetrator. Tossing aside the thought, he levitated up and broke the handcuffs, gently lowering his lover's body. He removed his coat and wrapped his son in it, cradling him gently in his arms. Nipping his wrist, he held it to Nick's lips, until he felt life return to the still form.
Nick fed for a moment more, then pulled away reluctantly. He reached up to draw Lucroix down for a deep, loving kiss. "Thank you for everything, mon amant," he murmured hoarsely, his throat still rough from screaming. Lucroix felt tears come to his eyes, but Nick reached up and brushed them away. "No, Lucien. I'm all right. I'm with you."
"Forever, mon coeur."
Jenkins stumbled and fell. Before he could get up, two officers had him. He laughed maniacally as they cuffed him.
"It doesn't matter anyway. I win, don't you see? I win! I finally beat him! He's dead! Hahaha!!!" He continued to laugh hysterically as they led him away. Lights came on at various houses down the street, and people came to doors, but the officers simply ignored them.
"Captain? You don't think- he's not- serious? Nick's not-"
Reese felt a chill settle in his belly. They hadn't searched the house yet. If Nick was in need of medical attention, he could be critical by now. "Shit. We didn't even think-"
The officers took off at a flat out run for the house. They burst in through the still open back door. Once inside, they stopped dead, uncertain where to look. Low voices drew their attention to the stairway. Reese walked uncertainly over to the door.
"Captain. Would you kindly tell me what time it is?"
'He's worried about what time it is?' "It's about 3:30. Why?"
"I was just making very certain that there was no difficulty with the sun. Nicholas seems to have lost track of time. He was a bit nervous."
Reese almost fell over in relief. "He's okay?"
"Why don't you come see for yourself?"
Reese carefully descended the dimly lit stairs into a scene from a nightmare. The cellar looked like a torture chamber from a bad movie. He shuddered, then focused on the couple before him.
Lucroix was seated with his back to the banister. He had Nick cradled in his lap, wrapped in his overcoat and, apparently, nothing else. The younger man was asleep, his head nestled into Lucroix's shoulder, hands against his chest, like an overgrown child. His face looked more peaceful that Reese had ever seen it.
"He looks- calmer, than usual. You're good for him. I'm glad he's got you," Reese said, before he could stop himself. "I-I'm sorry, it's none of my business."
Lucroix smiled wickedly. "It's quite all right, Captain. I expect Nicholas will be pleased to hear it." His face sobered, took on a sad quality. He stroked his lover's hair gently. "Not all of his friends think that way when they- find out about us. It has- broken us apart several times before."
Reese stood awkwardly, feeling very out of place with the two lovers. "Um- am I to take it that Nick's making this open knowledge? I mean- um- if he was- well- um-" Flustered, he broke off.
Lucroix was tempted to torment the poor man, but Nick stirred, then cracked his eyes open.
"Hey, Nick," he replied, relieved. He had been half afraid that Jenkins had done some serious damage. Nick seemed coherent though, if a bit weak.
"I heard that. Yeah, I figure it's the best thing at this point. After everything that's happened, the truth is probably best."
Reese nodded. "Think we can get you out of here?"
Nick struggled to sit up, then gave up. He glanced down at himself, as if only then realizing how he was attired. He grinned weakly. "Even if I could get up, I don't plan on giving the neighborhood a free show."
"I could call for assistance-"
"I will carry him," Lucroix interrupted. Reese looked skeptical.
"It's ok, captain. It won't be the first time." Reese hesitated, then nodded. Nick squirmed to the side to allow Lucroix to climb to his feet, wrapping the coat more firmly around his body. When Lucroix crouched beside him, Nick raised his arms to encircle his lover's neck and hold himself steady while Lucroix lifted him easily. Reese wouldn't have believed it if he hadn't seen it. Nick certainly wasn't a small man, but Lucroix carried him as if he were a child.
The officers in the kitchen stared openly as the couple passed them, taking no notice. Reese paused for a moment.
"Ok guys. You have to work with the man, so get a grip now. Obviously the two are in love. If that's a problem, you better work it out on your own time. You have to keep a professional relationship. Got that? You _are_ professionals, right?"
That seemed to shame them. One by one they nodded, then followed the couple out the door.
Nick sighed in relief as the last of the officers closed the lift door behind them. He knew they needed to take his statement, and he had wanted to get it over with, but he was tired and wanted to be alone with Lucroix to recover. Jenkins had nearly killed him in that horrible room, and he didn't want to dwell on it.
Lucroix heard the pleading in his son's voice. With vampiric speed he was at his side, holding him, cradling his head against his chest, stroking his hair. "Shh, Nicholas. It's alright. I'm here. I will never leave you. I love you."
"Love me, Lucien. Please." Nick looked at him with desperation in his eyes. His hands began to rove over his sire frantically, igniting their ancient passion, a healing passion which they both needed. It was an affirmation of life- such as it is.
Ok, sappy ending. Sue me. Um...not really, you won't get much. Oh, and in case you didn't notice, I decided to take some liberties with the loft. :)