(Magdalena de Sang and her story are the only things that belong to me.)
Extra special thanks to Javanyet for her invaluable advice and support.
It had been a month since LaCroix, Magdalena, and Nick had returned to Toronto and life had become as normal as a family of vampires could expect it to be.
Nick's return to the precinct was without incident though Don Schanke had expressly forbidden his partner from zoning out citing that Nick had had a month to do so on his own time.
The disturbed masses had welcomed the Nightcrawler back with open ears and eager calls. While the Nightcrawler's broadcasts were as uplifting as a brain tumor Nick couldn't help but notice that his father's nightly monologues seemed less focused as if his true thoughts were a thousand miles away.
The younger vampire amusingly attributed it to the fact that Magdalena, with Janette's help, was moving into LaCroix's apartment and it was only by sheer luck that all of LaCroix's furniture wasn't thrown to the curb. Their debates over what was staying and what would be put into storage were quite entertaining to listen to as long as you weren't in the same room with them. Being the referee for two vampiric packrats was not appealing by any stretch of the imagination.
"You seriously need to try another station. I know a good polka channel." Schanke commented as he reached for the radio dial.
It took all of Nick's willpower to keep his eyes from bleeding to gold, "If you touch that dial this car's next stop is a telephone pole." Nick growled.
"Like you're going to risk denting your precious Caddy." Schanke huffed but withdrew his hand from the dial.
"Change the station and I will make an exception." Nick warned.
Schanke crossed his arms and tuned the Nightcrawler's banter out as best he could.
Satisfied with his victory Nick concentrated on his driving. As his father's distracted voice continued to ooze out of the speakers Nick came to a decision. It was time to pay dear old dad a visit.
"Sadly our time together has come to a close, gentle listeners. Until tomorrow this is the Nightcrawler wishing all of you pleasant dreams." LaCroix remarked after glancing at the old clock on the wall.
LaCroix switched off the microphone and audio equipment then finished off the glass of blood wine beside him on the table. His drink gone LaCroix rose from his seat and headed into the sound booth. He'd dismissed his assistant early so it was up to him to shut everything down for the night.
LaCroix was placing some audio cassettes on a shelf when suddenly something that felt like a spit soaked finger briefly poked into his ear. The cassettes went flying and the elder vampire let out a loud scream as his hand instinctively flew to his ear. The finger had vanished but the howling of irritatingly familiar laughter quickly replaced it.
"NICHOLAS!!!" LaCroix roared his eyes turning red with fury.
The air around his assistant's chair shimmered as his favorite child became visible. Nick was bending forward in the chair clutching his stomach as he shook with laughter.
"I fail to see why you're so amused." LaCroix stated his voice low and deadly.
Nick failed to notice the warning in his father's tone and wiped away the tears in his eyes, "You should've seen yourself, LaCroix. I thought there was a six-year-old girl in the room." Nick gasped in reply before a bout of laughter overtook him.
LaCroix furiously wiped his ear clean, "Insolent brat. I should turn you over my knee and tan your sorry hide."
Nick huffed, "Like you would."
"Keep laughing and we'll see what I will or will not do." LaCroix growled taking a threatening step towards his son.
Nick's eyes went wide then he held up his hands and plastered an expression of complete remorse on his face, "Relax, LaCroix. It was all in good fun but you're right it was uncalled for. I'm sorry and I won't do it again."
"So good to see that you're ready to act like an adult. Now pick up those cassettes you caused me to drop and tell me why you are here." LaCroix said smiling as he sat in the now vacant chair.
"Would it be enough to say that I just wanted to stop by and see how my father was doing?" Nick asked lightly as he picked up the cassettes and set them on the shelf.
"Nicholas, that didn't work when you were seven and wanted a puppy." LaCroix replied bluntly.
"You sounded distant tonight as if something was on your mind and something tells me it's not because Maman and Janette are purging your flat." Nick explained.
"You are correct in your assumption, Nicholas. You should know by now that I consider things such as furniture trivial when it comes to your mother's happiness."
"Yeah but something like that wouldn't stop the Nightcrawler from spreading his message to the masses. What is going on, LaCroix?" Nick demanded suddenly tired of his father being so elusive.
LaCroix rose from the chair and extracted a bottle and two glasses from a small fridge underneath the table. He poured a glass and passed it to Nick before pouring one for himself.
"LaCroix, please tell me."
LaCroix sipped his drink then stared deeply at the contents, "Your mother has been having nightmares, mon fils. They've been coming every other night since we returned."
"How bad are they?" Nick asked softly not wanting to believe that anyone as strong as his mother could be effected by nightmares.
"Bad enough to cause her to cry and thrash about in her sleep. When they first came just holding her was enough to calm her but now it's gotten to the point where my blood is the only thing that will soothe her." LaCroix answered.
"What does Maman say about all this?"
"That's what troubles me, mon fils. She says absolutely nothing at least not to Janette or myself. Has she said anything to you?"
"Non. This is the first I've heard about it."
LaCroix sighed and rose from his chair, "It shouldn't be like this, Nicholas. She shouldn't have to hide anything from me. How am I supposed to help her if she won't say anything?" he demanded.
Nick placed a comforting hand on LaCroix's shoulder, "Just do what you've been doing and if Maman needs your help she will ask."
LaCroix sighed and reluctantly nodded in agreement. Magdalena was every bit as stubborn and proud as both her husband and son. She also wasn't kind to receiving help where it was neither wanted nor appreciated. LaCroix could only hope that when Magdalena did ask for help it wouldn't be too late.
Two days later…
LaCroix bit back a snarl of pain as he wrenched his bleeding wrist from Magdalena's mouth. Magdalena growled briefly but calmed as her sated hunger and exhaustion took hold causing the younger vampire to drift into a deep and hopefully dreamless sleep.
LaCroix sighed as he licked the remaining blood from his newly healed wrist then took a handkerchief from the bedside table and dabbed Magdalena's face clean. Magdalena stirred slightly at the touch but did not wake.
Tossing the handkerchief aside LaCroix gently stroked Magdalena's face moving a stray strand of hair back behind her ear. Magdalena's latest nightmare had been much more disturbing than any of her proceeding episodes because instead of merely crying and whimpering she'd actually been pleading, begging some unseen force to spare a child.
Magdalena suddenly rolled onto her side with her back facing LaCroix before heaving a loud sigh then falling back to sleep. LaCroix began to lightly rub her back as he contemplated their situation, which was growing more worrisome by the day.
Contrary to popular belief, vampires were just as susceptible to nightmares as mortals and were more profoundly affected. It was one of the not so appealing side effects of eternal life and if not treated properly could prove more fatal than a stake through the heart. LaCroix had seen many weary vampires simply walk into the sun in hopes that they would be granted rest. Though what kind of rest the fires of hell offered LaCroix wasn't sure.
In Magdalena's case, LaCroix knew that she was much too strong to simply kill herself over a nightmare but that didn't mean it wasn't wearing on her both mentally and physically.
The normal treatment for nightmares among vampires was a series of whammies to make the vampire forget about the things that caused them distress. The catch was it could only be done with the vampire's consent otherwise the whammies failed to work. And until his wife lowered her pride long enough to accept help LaCroix was powerless to do anything. At least as far as his vampiric abilities were concerned.
LaCroix's hand stilled as a sudden thought occurred to him. He may not be able to erase Magdalena's nightmares but he could give her something much more pleasant to dream about instead. St. Valentine's Day was fast approaching and would be on a Thursday this year also the classes Magdalena taught only occurred on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. More than enough time for a long romantic weekend and LaCroix knew just the place.
Careful not to wake Magdalena LaCroix got out of bed, threw on a robe, and went to his den to make a few phone calls.