Athor's Note: A recent cross-over fiction contest presented me with the opportunity to finally write a Forever Knight/Highlander cross-over. I was limited to 2000 words, so I couldn't develop the initial story as I wished.
In getting ready to post it here, I was surprised that I saw no cross-overs of these two franchises. I'd always thought of them as being naturals... maybe because I generally sat up onweekend nights and watched them back to back when they first aired.
Further, Geraint Wyn Davies also appeared on Highlander in the episode Turnabout. Both series used extensive flashbacks, although my word limit did not allow for one here.
Hope you enjoy.
Most people would never think of a morgue as home. But Natalie Lambert was not most people… she was one of Toronto's medical examiners, and except for a few isolated incidents, she'd always felt comfortable in this room of the dead. Her patients did not complain about the cool temperature, or about being kept waiting. Nor was there ever a problem about the need for additional tests. The dead did not bother her. They were puzzles in some case, waiting for her to solve the truth of their deaths.
As for the few unsettling incidents that had occurred in the morgue in recent years… one was the revival of vampire Nicholas Knight before her eyes… a life altering experience if ever there was one… the other had been more personal… but in the end… just as life altering. She'd been haunted by the spirit of her dead grandmother, until she'd come to terms with her own feelings of guilt about pushing the old woman away from her… not wanting to see her… before she'd died. Looking back now, both incidents had helped inspire Natalie to be an even better ME.
Slipping into the disposable scrubs, she glanced at the clipboard that detailed the four bodies awaiting a cursory examination. She pulled on her latex gloves and adjusted the faceshield as she pulled the zippers on the body bags to see what kind of work lay ahead of her.
"Barbara Chinoe," she read and glanced into the bag at the thirtyish woman whose face was a bloody pulp. "Forgot to wear a seatbelt and went through a windshield." Natalie sighed. Despite evidence to the contrary… some people refused to wear seatbelts.
She moved to the second bag. "Duncan MacLeod, hit by Chinoe's car." As she pulled the zipper down and noted the undamaged face of the man inside, she paused. For a moment she thought she heard a heart beat. Grabbing a stethoscope from a nearby counter she adjusted it around her neck and into her ears as she pulled the bag's zipper down further. The clothes were ripped and bloody… but her fingers could feel no wounds on the man's smooth chest, nor did she see any bruises. She lay the chestpiece on his chest thinking how cold the metal was. If he'd been alive, she'd have warmed it in her palm first… or blown warm air on it… but the dead seldom complain about the cold. Besides… she wasn't certain what she'd heard… but she knew it wasn't a heartbeat… it couldn't be… or could it? A vampire had one heartbeat every minute or so.
But just as she placed the chestpiece on his chest… she did hear a beat… moreover… he pulled in a ragged breath and arched his back… his formerly placid face seemed to reflect the pain of the moment of his death. Natalie gasped and stepped back.
"Vampire!" was her first thought. She fumbled for the cross she wore about her neck beneath her clothes and held it up. While Nick seldom fed on living humans anymore, other vampires did. MacLeod lay flat again and gasped for air. One hand rose and touched his forehead. Then he opened his eyes and saw her. He froze before glancing around, as if taking in his surroundings. Slowly he sat up and began to ease out of the body bag.
"I know this looks odd," he explained, "but I have a condition. I've been pronounced dead before." MacLeod pulled his legs free of the bag and swung them off the table, then scooted off. "Really… this has happened before."
Natalie held the cross up higher. "I know what you are."
MacLeod hesitated. "You do?" Then he stared at her crucifix. "And what am I… a vampire?" He began to laugh slightly.
Natalie reached behind her to her cellphone lying on the counter and punched in the code for Nick's phone. "C'mon Nick!" she thought… "Pick up!" Aloud she tittered slightly. "Vampires don't exist."
MacLeod nodded. "That's right. Vampires don't exist. I'm human… I just have a medical condition that…" He looked up as the morgue doors flew open and something came at him impossibly fast. MacLeod stared at the fanged face inches from his… and the glowing eyes.
Then the vampire… if that's what he was… looked at him quizzically and stepped back, releasing the hold he had on MacLeod's neck. "Duncan MacLeod," he said. "I remember you."
"You have me at a disadvantage," MacLeod said nervously.
"Nicholas Chevalier… or Nick Knight in this modern world. I made you forget our previous meeting… in Paris… in 1840." He turned. "It's all right Nat… he's not a vampire."
"Then what is he?" Natalie insisted.
"He's an immortal. They're about as elusive as we are." Nick averted his eyes from Natalie's cross. Hurriedly she stuffed it under her clothes.
"An immortal? You mean like live forever… never grow old… like Peter Pan?"
MacLeod smiled. "Something like that." Then he glared at Nick. "You messed with my mind?"
"For your sake as well as mine… and those of my kind. You were not prepared to listen to reason at that time… perhaps you are now."
"How did you get here so fact?" Natalie said as she removed the faceshield.
"I was already on my way. The Crime Scene Investigators determined that Chinoe's brake-lines were cut. Someone planned the accident."
"Chinoe?" MacLeod interrupted. "Barbara Chinoe?"
Nick faced him. "You knew her?"
"Not really." MacLeod shook his head, "I was supposed to meet with her. She'd contacted me about an ancient Mesopotamian clay tablet. I was in the business for a number of years. The tablet was for… a friend. Something I'd thought he'd enjoy."
"Another of your kind," Knight deduced. He flashed a badge. "I'm with the homicide department here."
"A vampire cop? Isn't that a little public?"
"Not really… I work the night shift." The vampire ran a hand through his hair as he paced. "Obviously someone wanted Barbara Chinoe dead… and maybe you as well."
MacLeod pointed at the other two bodies. "Same accident?"
"The Patel couple. They were in the other car. How am I gonna explain that one of the victims is alive and uninjured."
"You don't Nat… You just lose the body… and the paperwork. I'll take him with me. Obviously I need to investigate this case more fully." He kissed her cheek.
"Have you eaten?" she teased.
"One protein shake and one bite of very rare burger… hold the mayo… hold the bun," he winked. "Let's go MacLeod… I have a change of clothes in my car that you can use."
"I need my sword," Duncan said firmly.
Nick sighed, then nodded. "We'll make a stop at property. I'll convince Tolan to lose your sword."
Grinning, MacLeod lifted Natalie's hand and kissed it. "I'm certain I can rely on your discretion."
Natalie blushed. "Oh get out of here! Both of you! I have work to do!"
MacLeod followed the vampire cop out into the hallway. Strains of rock music emanated from the morgue as they left. Natalie had turned on her working music.
Thirty minutes later they'd arrived at Chinoe's gallery. One flash of his badge and Knight had gotten both himself and MacLeod past the guarded police barrier. The two immortals sifted through the mess in the office.
"Do you see that tablet?" the vampire asked.
Duncan shook his head. "It looks like the place was rifled."
Knight nodded. His nostrils flared as he tried to sense the source of an odor that seemed out of place. Crossing the room… he pushed aside some papers to find a ground out clove cigarette. He moved it slightly with his ballpoint pen. "Know anyone who still smokes these things?" he asked disdainfully.
MacLeod froze. "Graden Holtz."
MacLeod nodded. "He's a thief. A friend of mine's had numerous run-ins with him. He steals and sells to the highest bidder. And he doesn't care who dies in the process. He's a fiend for those things."
"So someone wanted this tablet… and Holtz stole it… but the accident?" The vampire's deductive skills came up short.
MacLeod likewise shook his head. "The only thing that makes sense is that Holtz knew I was coming for the tablet."
"Would he know the wreck wouldn't kill you permanently?"
Both men stared at one another as it dawned on them.
"The morgue…" said MacLeod.
"Natalie…" said the vampire. Pulling out his cellphone he tried to reach her. "Damn… she must have it off. Nick strode to the back of the office and threw open the window. He stood for a moment regarding the Toronto skyline… his vampiric senses fully extended as he tried to hear if she were in any danger. He heard nothing… but thinly and far away… he thought he could hear Natalie's music playing.
"You'll need me," MacLeod insisted.
The vampire paused only a moment and then clasped MacLeod in his arms. "Hold on tightly," he directed and then they were airborne.
MacLeod was nearly breathless in the experience. He could not fathom the reason that the vampire could fly anymore than he could fathom his own immortality. It just was. Faster than he would have thought possible, Knight flew through the darkness to land once more just outside the police station. He released MacLeod and then almost faster than an eye could blink moved inside and down to the morgue.
MacLeod followed him as quickly as he could, his katana in easy reach. If this were an immortal… he'd need it.
By the time MacLeod arrived at the morgue doors… he heard raised voices. Knight's gun was pulled and he'd taken a bead on a tall slender man that MacLeod recognized.
"Graden Holtz," He hissed, drawing his katana. "Let the woman go. This is between you and me."
"We don't do well before witnesses."
"Let the woman go," Knight said, his voice seemed pitched strangely.
Unable to resist the vampire's voice, Holtz dropped his arm, freeing Natalie, and pulled out his French cavalry sabre. "You should have stayed dead!" Holtz hissed as he and MacLeod began to circle.
"Get her out of here!" MacLeod yelled to Knight who was already seeing to the coughing Natalie.
"I can deal with him," Nick said rising, his eyes already turning blood red.
"No!" MacLeod insisted. "Holtz is mine! You cannot interfere!"
The red fury in Nick's eyes faded, but his lip curled. "Very well. See to it then." He helped Natalie to her feet, then led her out of the morgue.
MacLeod focused on his opponent. Holtz grabbed am occupied gurney and shoved it in MacLeod's direction… he hopped to one side to avoid it… but left himself open for attack. Holtz's sabre cut his left arm. MacLeod turned and managed several blocks while gritting his teeth at the pain of his arm. Finally he managed slice across Holtz's mid-section… causing the man to drop his sabre in surprise. MacLeod lay his katana along Holtz's neck. "Why?" he asked.
"Because there can be only one," Holtz replied.
Duncan turned away… pulling sharply on his katana so that it sliced cleanly through Holtz's neck. The quickening ricocheted off the stainless steel cabinet doors… so that he was struck again and again. Yet in the quickening were no answers.
He looked up as the last of it died away and grinned sheepishly at Knight and the doctor. "Sorry about the mess."
Natalie gazed around the room… looked at Nick and with a raised eyebrow said levelly, "Freak electrical problem?"
"Pizza's here!" shouted Natalie as she arrived at Nick's apartment via the elevator. She held up the two boxes with a wicked grin. "Extra garlic."
Nick slumped in his chair, sipping on his drink as he watched MacLeod and Natalie dig into the pizza. He shuddered at their obvious delight in the food.
"You never did tell me about 1840?" MacLeod suddenly asked as he reached for a beer.
Knight gave him an amused expression.
"I mean I'd like to know what you made me forget," MacLeod teased.
Nick shrugged and said with a teasing smile. "That, my friend, is another story."