The characters in Forever Knight were created by James Parriott and Barney Cohen and are the property of Sony/Columbia/Tri-Star. The stories here are fan fiction in which Nick and Natalie survive "Last Knight", the series finale – although this one could be set anytime after "Dead of Night". This story may be archived wherever by whomever.
REMEMBRANCE by Walt Doherty
Calendar Series -- NOVEMBER
Dona nobis pacem
-- Trad. hymn
Remembrance Day in Canada is celebrated on Nov.11. It is the equivalent to Veterans' Day in the United States.
Two people are walking down an airport concourse:
"But why the airport?"
"Oh, that's easy, there's a small but beautiful chapel here."
A longish pause.
"And? . . . . ," Natalie asked.
"Well, I like going there. There aren't that many outright religious symbols, so it's not uncomfortable, and, well, I can think, and, and, well, remember."
"That's nice, Nick, but there've got to be some places closer in in town."
Nick smiled, "Yeah, but this place is special and convenient for other reasons. Basically, I like it for its privacy, even though it's completely open. Since it's in an airport, the only people you'll run into there are passengers and those are usually from out of town."
"Ah," said Natalie, "you get a sense of anonymity. Nobody will recognize you."
"Right. I suppose it's not necessary, but I really don't need someone like Schanke asking me why I'll go to some chapel but not go to church with him and Myra. And I bet you a loonie if I set foot in anyplace in town, it would get back to somebody. If somebody sees me at the airport, well, hey, I was picking up or seeing off a friend."
"But going into a church wouldn't really bother you, would it? I mean you've been in Fr. Pierre's place."
"Yes, but let's not ask for trouble. If you'll remember, I passed out in there. Some vampires are bothered more than others. Look at Vachon – he lives in a church, even if it is an abandoned one."
"Ah," he said, "here we are." And he pulled open the chapel's door for Natalie.
It was a lovely little place. An abstract stained glass panel that could have been a representation of almost anything, a goodly number of candle holders, a small table, a few chairs, benches, and – for those who really needed them – a few pews. There were a couple of nice abstract paintings that seemed to have a religious theme – it's wonderful what you can do with subtle suggestion. Those and the soft lighting and muted colors made it a very restful place.
"This is really nice, Nick," said Natalie. "This is worth coming out to visit, although I wouldn't usually make a special trip for it."
Then she spotted it.
To the left of the entrance was a small, unobtrusive brass plaque when a small inscription which finished with "A gift from the de Brabant Foundation".
"Oh, you!" she said as she hit him gently on the shoulder.
Nick tilted his head and smiled a bit sheepishly at her, "Um, yeah, that's the other thing. Do you like it?"
"Yes, I do. And, I wouldn't say so otherwise, you know."
Nick reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a couple of small tea candles and went up to one of the tables which had been set up for the purpose of lighting and leaving small candles in honor of and in remembrance of loved ones. Usually they were for someone either connected to the airport because they had worked there, were a relative of someone who worked there, or someone who had some connection with an aviation accident – a nice way of saying they were killed in a plane crash. But anyone could light and leave one, in fact there was a small box of votive candles on a stand in the back with a donation box next to it.
Nick set the two candles he brought on holders and went to the back to get a few more.
Natalie sat in one of the pews and looked up at him, "For Schanke and Captain Cohen?"
Nick, looking a bit drawn, "More for 'Don', and Amanda too. Somehow, I feel closer to him thinking of him as 'Don' now, although he'll always be 'Schanke', too." He was quiet as he lighted several more candles.
"Is it alright if I ask who the others are for?"
"Sure. Someone I know once said 'Shared pain is lessened and shared joy is increased" (Spider Robinson, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon.)
"One is for Alyssa. When we had that experience with our own various ghosts (FK, 3rd Season Episode, "Dead of Night"), I promised her I wouldn't forget her. It's a small enough payment. Another is for my baby sister, Fleur – maybe by now she doesn't need them anymore, but it helps me." Then he placed an unlighted one in one of the holders.
Natalie looked at him questioningly.
"Janette," he said simply. "The fact is, I don't know whether she's actually dead or not. I wouldn't want to leave one if she were alive and I wouldn't want to forget her if she . . . ." He swallowed hard. "This seems like a good compromise."
Natalie got up as he was talking and walked towards the back of the room. He looked at her questioningly as she picked up a couple of candles herself.
"One's for Richard, of course, and one for 'Nana'."
Nick said, surprised, "Nana?"
"The spirit of forgiveness. I'm not sure I'll ever really understand what went on in her head, but I'm sure now that she did love Richard and me. And, I guess, after I get past all the resentment, I loved her, too."
She sat back down in the pew and Nick sat down next to her. They sat together in silence for a good ten minutes or more. Then, they more or less mutually stood to leave. Natalie turned to Nick and said, "Nick, thank you."
"For what, Nat?"
"For showing me this place. It's a lovely place and placing candles is a lovely thought. It – it really does give some comfort. You ready to go?"
"Sure. Want to stop for some hot chocolate someplace?" he asked.
"Yes, that'd be nice, but we go back to the loft, you could have something warm, too."
"I can manage without that, Nat. I've done so off and on for quite a while."
"Oh, indulge," she said.
He smiled at her, "You mean you'd actually let me . . . ."
"Oh, why not? Once in a while, I guess. Just don't let it become a habit." She winked at him.
"O.k.. The loft it is." And they walked out of the chapel together.