Disclaimer: It all belongs to James D. Parriott, Barney Cohen, Paragon Entertainment, TriStar Television and unfortunately The SciFi Channel.
Summary: Sometimes what we desire is not always what it's cracked up to be. Sometimes the outcome of our actions is more than we can handle. Very AU, because we all know that the ending to "Last Knight" was bad, hell it was the lamest bunch of crap ever foisted on a group of fans, so lets just imagine it all ended this way instead.
I was challenged, therefore I wrote.
With a soft mechanical hum the shutters rolled away from the loft windows revealing the final minutes of a Toronto sunset. Colors first appearing in deep distinct bands swiftly ran together becoming muddled, giving way to grey lifeless twilight. The man before the window watched with the utter fascination of one who had not seen the sun pass high noon in eight centuries.
Currently using the name Nick Knight and working for Toronto's finest as a homicide dick, the blond vampire reflected in those moments before the sun died away on eight hundred years of losses. Nicolas de Brabant, crusader in the Holy Lands, lost his life and light to a consuming hungry darkness to which he was condemned. Murder, death and blood were his to deal with every night and the irony was not lost on him.
In the end his little coroner had come to him willingly enough; had made the request that finally weakened his resolve. He closed his eyes taking a deep unnecessary breath and remembered his first taste of her. Sweet floral notes over the salty iron bite of fresh blood. Her skin was soft, fragrant, delicious and so very cold when he had finished with her.
"Natalie." He whispered her name in despair.
The soft whoosh of displaced air gave warning of the arrival of another; another of his kind. Nick did not open his eyes; he knew the name of the presence that circled him on barely audible foot falls. He'd known the tread of those steps for all of his undead life. Lucien LaCroix was in life a Roman noble, victorious as a general of a great army; now in death the epitome of your worst nightmare.
"Nichola?" The question hung in the still night air between them. The long continued silence would have unnerved many a human, LaCroix was not human. He could wait out the stillness of the other, he could see Knight was caught up in his memories, let him live with them, because after all weren't memories their only baggage.
When Natalie had opened her eyes and looked upon Nick's worried face, he had sighed in relief. It had worked just as LaCroix had directed. No sign of the madness that had afflicted her brother at his turning shown in her clear bright eyes, only gentle wonder claimed her features.
"Nick?" She murmured as he helped her to her feet. She stared at her hands as if they had become something new and wondrous. Turning them slowly in the air before her face she marveled at their shape and textures a tribute to the infinite complexity of the human body.
"I feel," she hesitated, "everything, the air," she reached out grasping his leather jacket rubbing her hands over the smooth skins. Her mouth curved in a smile so genuinely delighted that Nick felt a sharp pang of regret. Her feeling of renewal would fade; preternaturally heightened senses would become as natural to her as breathing had been to her living flesh.
"I'm like you now, aren't I?"
The realization widened her eyes as she drew him to her, kissing him in a way for which he'd so longed. They'd made love then, right there like wanton courtesans on the floor before the windows, in the beams of moonlight. Both warm from her recently living blood, their bodies sharing a bittersweet dance of fulfilled longing, never to be quite the same again.
Nick stroked her hair as her head lay against his chest. Never again would she taste of sunshine, already her human warmth was cooling where their skin touched, but she did love him and he her, and it would have to be enough.
"Nicholas." LaCroix hissed attempting to break his reverie, but still he clung to the memory a few moments longer, keeping at bay the reality of the presence of the other vampire.
Finally even LaCroix could stand no more of being ignored. He rose from the leather sofa, circling the younger man frowning in contemplation. Something was amiss, no joy radiated from his son, only a closed and empty feeling. Disappointment was what he felt from Nicholas. When he spoke, his voice held more than a hint of sarcasm.
"You look distinctly unhappy for a man who has received what he so vehemently desired."
Nick could not refute the observation; he had desired Natalie Lambert for four years, since the day he'd woken on her autopsy table after being blown nearly to bits in a terrorist bombing. From that moment until last night he had acquiesced to her every attempt to make him human again, while resisting the temptation to love her, knowing painfully his less than successful record on turnings. Making a new vampire was not as easy as one might imagine. It didn't happen automatically as legends dictated. More often than not the one doing the turning could not control his blood lust and killed unintentionally.
Such had been Nicks experience in nearly every case. Lacking LaCroix's cold detachment spelled disaster in the attempts, and then there were the times when a newly made vampire went mad. Somehow their minds could not reconcile to the change and sanity was lost, leading to a short brutal existence. All of these aspects were his fears until the ancient vampire had offered a way to success. He had grabbed it like a drowning man grabs the rope that will save him.
"No, not unhappy," he paused, "a little disappointed maybe." He stopped when he saw the older vampire raise an eyebrow in surprise.
Surprise quickly transitioned to distain as LaCroix thought he understood what the detective's problem might be.
"Nichola," he sneered, "These silly human sentimentalities that you hang on to. Time and time again this discussion darkens our discourse. You have what you want, the good doctor wooed and won, the deed done satisfactorily.
"In the end is not the chase always more exciting than the goal attained?"
Spoken like the true predator he was, thought Knight, as he watched the exasperated curling of the former Roman general's lips. Lucien had not been a sentimentalist when still clothed in living flesh and he certainly wasn't one now.
"I think I am in need of a drink." His master intoned. "My only hope is that you have something suitable."
LaCroix turned elegantly on his heel fully intending to proceed to Knights kitchen to obtain a bottle of blood. He froze as he turned, his attention drawn upward to the landing of the lofts only bedroom. Dr. Natalie Lambert stood on the top step. Her long auburn hair fell in luxurious waves about her shoulders. The short robe she wore was barely decent, exposing shapely pale legs and voluptuous cleavage.
Fetching, was the first word that came to LaCroix as he gazed, but then he had always suspected there was more to the mousey little doctor than scrubs and gore. When he turned back to Nick, the detective was also staring, but with a slightly panicked tightness around his eyes.
Together they watched in silence the languid unearthly progress of the newly minted vampire. Down the steps, across the floor on silent bare feet to the kitchen she went. Bottles rattled, glass clinked against glass, liquid spilled into a wineglass, its heady aroma reaching their hypersensitive noses. Each sound distinct in its clarity on their preternatural hearing.
Nat reappeared making her way back up the steps glass in hand, turning at the top to survey the two men below. Razor sharp fangs peeked out from below her top lip as she favored them with a smile.
"Nick," she whispered, each syllable spoken as a silky invitation, "bring the bottle when you come up.
Knight felt the hair on the back of his neck rise with a momentary chill at her predatory stare.
Her eyes shifted to LaCroix as she said, "Lucien, there is another on the counter that should fill your needs."
She stepped delicately across the iron grating of the landing hips swaying seductively. At the bedroom door she turned once again. "Nicky, don't be too long." and then she disappeared into the bedroom.
After a moment's consideration the ancient Roman vampire turned back to his long time companion, his icy eyes held a curious sharpness. With lightening speed he reached for the collar of Nicks robe, yanking it back only briefly as the other jerked away from him. The view was long enough to give him the answer to Nick's discomfiture. Fading bite marks decorated the smooth column of the younger mans throat.
Lucien raised an eyebrow in silent question. Nick held his gaze for a few minutes then looked away as he said.
"Her appetites seem to be somewhat exaggerated right now…all of them."
Knight turned to gaze out the window at the twinkling lights of Toronto's skyline. He felt his master move closer and steeled himself for the anticipated lecture.
"What did you expect, feeding her only cold lifeless cow's blood? Human blood is what we thrive upon. It's sensations of life fulfill what our nature denies us. Don't deny her that satiation she'll find other ways to obtain it, as you've found out.
"Don't delude yourself, she wanted this life, live it with her." The shadow of a smile lingered in Lucien's expression as he stared at Knight, having suddenly found something in the situation amusing.
"We had a saying in Rome, my boy." He murmured. "Vae Victo."
"Woe to the conquered!" Knight spat, becoming acutely aware of being the subject of LaCroix's amusement.
"Conquered, vanquished, which ever would seem to describe where your relationship is currently heading. You've been chewed like a bone, drained on all levels, vanquished by the will of the fairer sex, whipped as a servant…"
"I get the picture." Knight growled. "It's your fault LaCroix; you're the one who gave me the formula to bring her across successfully. You're the one who told me how to keep just enough control so that I wouldn't achieve mortality, but enough to make Natalie a vampire."
The older vampire shrugged unconcerned. "Of course you would blame me."
He fell silent then, the minutes ticking away as a cold smile began to lift the corners of his mouth higher. A smile that did not reach the pale blue of his eyes in a look that had chilled the hearts of many both living and dead. He remembered pity, remembered it from two thousand years ago, he'd had precious little then and far less now. He might have bothered to feel it for Nicholas Knight had he chosen. Amusement, however was a whole other animal, it came their way rarely, something as amusing as Nick's delusion about Dr. Lambert's hidden desires needed to be savored, like fine wine.
LaCroix chuckled, "You whine too much Nicholas, you always have and it's tiresome. Would you rather have killed her, have me drive a stake through your heart as the writers had planned? This way everyone wins, the fans have what they want, I have what I want and you certainly have what you've wanted, plus we got to fuck over the producers. What's the down side?"
The grin on the master vampire's lips was growing ever wider. "Ah yes, I forgot, there's that little matter of enhanced appetites, what a shame that you've deluded yourself into thinking that a negative."
Finally unable to hold it in any longer LaCroix began to roar with laughter. "Nicholas, Nicholas," he sputtered helplessly, "What would you have me say? Though I hardly think that I would say this, if it makes you feel better here it is.
"If I had known it would end like this, I never would have told you."
Vae Victo, the singular form of Vae Victis, it translates the same "Woe to the Vanquished", in this case it applies to one and not many. The statement is attributed to Brennus, Chieftain of the Senones who sacked Rome in 387 BC.
A/N: before any vampire purists get up in arms, a word or two of explanation. The vampires in the Forever Knight Series were fully functioning in the sexual department, between themselves and humans if they could control the urge to drink all your blood. I'm not crazy about that idea, but its Parriott's world and who am I to screw with it any more than I have.