Forever Knight – the Continuing Story.

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. Also, Vachon survived Divia in "Ashes to Ashes". This story may be archived wherever by whomever.

Wade Everett is a good-looking, capable, smart-ass, and gay homicide detective who's sometimes full of himself. He's temporarily assigned to the 96th and Nick while Nick's partner, Tracy (who also survived LK) recuperates. He's found out what Nick is.

Birthdays

Calendar Series – JANUARY by Walt Doherty

You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too--yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time

-- Birthday, Beatles

Birthdays Future Yet to Come -- if only by a few hours

"Are you out of your mind! This is absolutely insane, Nat. Besides everything else, all those candles represent fire which is something all of us are afraid of."

Natalie laughed.

"Nat, it's not funny!" Nick said loudly.

"Actually, it kind of is. Have you looked closely at those candles? They aren't fire, they're electric – tiny little batteries."

"Oh . . . oh. But, hey! It's still eleven, count 'em, eleven humungous birthday cakes. Didn't the bakery think something was up?"

"Yes, actually. They think it's a big celebration at an 'old folks home' in Etobicoke. They're celebrating 'cause they've got ten oldsters turning eighty this year. I didn't think they needed to know that it was really one oldster turning 800 . . . And anyway, the last one only has 78 candles."

"Oh, yes, and that makes me feel sooooo much better; it's not 878 after all."

"Oh, lighten up, Nick. They really are for a party at the retirement home; it's for all the residents, their families, and their friends. They're making a big deal of it this year, and this is your contribution."

"My contribution?"

"Yes, didn't I tell you that? Of course, I did," she said quickly, passing over and counting on his confusion. "But this last one is for us for the party at your loft."

"Um-hm. And, when did I plan that?"

"Last week, when people finally realized that the first is your birthday. It seemed like a pretty good idea for a New Year's party even if it is mostly a day early. But everyone'll be awake at midnight to cheer the new year in, so they can cheer you happy birthday as well. So sit back, relax, and you can cut the cake."

Nick just shook his head. Sometimes when Natalie got an idea in her head, she became a force majeure. He might just as well try to stop a hurricane.

He thought of another objection, "but what about food, and, and drinks? Yeah, drinks?"

"Taken care of. There's a big table of different snacks, canapés, and appetizers. And Vachon will be handling the bar."

"What?"

"Well, Nick, we can't just have bottles of blood hanging around! So, Javier will discretely hand out glasses of blooded wine to our vampire friends and straight spirits to our 'more-or-less' human friends.

"And, having just wines available will help keep the drinking down. Plus, Mikloš has arranged for rides for anyone who's indulged a little too much. Everybody's happy."

"You seemed to have everything taken care of. Eisenhower could have used you when planning D-Day."

"That's a compliment, right?"

"Uh, yeah, right. Of course it is!"

"Who all have I invited, may I ask?"

"Oh, the usual suspects. Most of the people at the division, a goodly number of people from the Raven –"

"The Raven! How did you –"

"Oh, calm down, Mikloš asked for me, and Lucien made some suggestions. AND passed the word around that the only drinking would be from glasses.

"A few people from the morgue, too. Grace will be over here early to help out. The morgue attendants want to help out, too; they don't want to be considered dead weight," she said with a straight face.

Nick looked at her and said, "Where did you come up with that one?" He looked a little sour.

"I thought it was funny."

"Grace isn't bringing her sister-in-law, is she?"

"I don't know, Nick. Why?"

"You don't want to know, Nat. Trust me on that. Well, since the party is a fait accompli, let me help set up. What are all these huge snowflakes?"

"Oh, placemats. The theme is 'Winter', not birthdays – despite all the candles, and not New Year's, although we'll all watch the year come in."

Nick asked her, "About the cake, how are you going to explain 78 candles?"

"You're 39 and they put twice as many as they needed? Actually, I'll just say it's so everyone can have a candle and when I was putting them on, I got carried away."

"If they believe that, they should be carried away. C'mon, what else needs to be set out?"

"Leave all that for Grace and company. But you could put the kiddie gate up at the top of the stairs. We don't want anyone wandering around, especially up there," Natalie said.

"And, we've got coat hangers and racks on the elevator landing; so, I think we're all set."

Birthdays Past

Flashback – Brabant – birthday party

"A penny for your thoughts, Nick," Natalie asked.

"I was just remembering a birthday when I was a kid -- I mean, really a kid. Things were so different then. It was easier coming from a well-to-do family, but nothing like it is today. My mother didn't do the baking, the cook did. The cake wasn't really a cake like today; it was more of a sweetbread. We didn't have much sugar, refined sugar, we used honey and you know, as good as it is, it cooks up differently. No candles – on the cake I mean. Now that I think of it, it was more of a family 'outing' than a birthday party for me. Mostly we celebrated saints' days. Usually, a birthday was just another excuse to go to church for half the day.

"We were in the fields outside Brabant – actually a couple of miles away, but it was never a name that ended up on the maps anyway. There was a long table with foods on it, and lots of servants hiding in the background. It was a full meal, too. Hams, roasts, veggies. Yuck! Some things never change. No potatoes, though! New World product.

"There were some special visitors, too. The local bishop, but I think he was a relative. I think maybe my father was trying to mend some allegorical fences and do some diplomacy; he was just using my birthday as an excuse. Which was fine with me, I got a lot of attention, someone even had an orange. It was quite a delicacy then – there was no refrigeration like today, no transportation systems like now. Somebody must have brought it with them from Spain. It would have to have been at least a week old; I don't know how long they last without refrigeration."

"You didn't have any refrigeration?"

"Oh, yes. Ice boxes. Winter ice cut from the rivers and canals, stored in dark barns with lots of trees around for shade and insulation. Basically the ice was all covered with straw to keep it from melting. I guess it worked. Mostly we ate things as they were available. Food preserving was a necessity not an art, and most of the preserved stuff tasted like it.

"That's why I remember the orange; it wasn't preserved. Not that it was all that sweet either, but it was o.k. I remember my mother taking all the peelings and giving them to the cook – a lot of the flavor of an orange is in the zest.

"Now that I think of it, that birthday is so special to me now because it was just an ordinary outing. It' so mundane now, but it's something I'll never have again. Unless you're successful in – well, you know.

"It was one of the few times I spent a lot of time with my father. He was some sort of lord of the manner – I think he might have been a representative of the Duke. Anyway, it seems like he was always either away on the Duke's business or some business venture of his own. He was going to take me with him to Genoa, by boat, when I was older but I ended up in DeLaBarre's service and from there the Crusade and, well, he was dead before I got back, and other things happened." Nick sighed.

"You know, it couldn't have been my birthday. It's as cold in January in Brabant as it is here. Maybe it was Fleur's birthday. No, no, I remember it was my 'cake'."

"I thought your memory was perfect"

"No. Anyway, not for things before. Ha ha, I'll bet it was like the Queen's birthday. It's held during the summer when the weather is good, not on her actual birthday. Anyway," he said wistfully, "it was a nice day".

Meanwhile back at the ranch

Reese said, while putting on his coat, "Great party, Nick. I didn't realize how big your place is. Must cost a fortune to heat! Anyway, thanks for hosting."

"My pleasure, Captain," Nick replied.

"Yeah, thanks Nick," said one of the other cops. "I wanna talk to you about having a fundraiser here – this is a great place, and plenty of room!"

After many other 'thank yous' and 'nice places' and so on, Nick and Nat were finally alone. Natalie flopped down on the sofa.

"Well," she said, "no major disasters. And we found out who can sing and who can't for the 'Happy Birthday'."

"True enough. Thank you, Nat. I'd never have believed we could pull this off."

She looked at him sternly and said, "What you mean 'we', Kemo Sabe!"

Nick smiled, "And just when did you watch the Lone Ranger, little girl?"

"Oh, visiting relatives in the States. On cable re-runs. And, you're avoiding the question."

"Yes, I am. Anyway, thank you for everything, Natalie. It was really nice."

Birthdays Present

Birthday presence, or later that day, in fact on the way in to the night shift.

"Jeezus! how fast is that guy going?" Wade said.

"Dunno, but we'd better pull him over. Driving that recklessly, he's going to cause an accident." He put the police light on the dashboard, pulled up next to the speeding car and motioned the driver to pull over to the kerb.

"How do I know you're a cop—" the car's driver said. Nick flashed his badge at the young man.

"Good!" was the guy's response, "you can help. Do you have a siren? My wife's delivering and we got to get to the hospital right away!"

Nick looked in the back as the young women cried out.

Nick shouted over to his partner, "Wade call dispatch. Ambulance, baby, now!"

He turned to the young, about-to-be father and said, "Kid, it's too late for hospitals. Go over to my car and get some blankets from the trunk; my partner's got the keys. Now!! Do it!" It wasn't so much that Nick needed the blankets as it was to give the expectant father something to do. And get him out of the way.

Nick threw open the car's back door.

"O.k., young lady, I'm a police officer, and I've done this before, so there's nothing to worry about. What's your name?"

A shaky, scared voice replied, "M-, Marge."

"O.k. Hi, Marge. I'm Nick. I always think it's good in these situations to introduce each other 'cause we're going to be rather intimate for a little," he said trying to distract her and cheer her up a bit. "What's your husband's name?"

"That's Freddy, is he . . . where is he?" she began to look somewhat panicked. Nick replied, "He's at my car getting blankets, Marge. How far apart are your contractions? Oh, Freddy, get around to the other side of the car and hold your wife's hand."

Nick took a deep breath through his mouth, he tried to avoid smelling anything like the blood although he knew there was little real chance of that. The motions of delivery would be enough to distract him, he hoped. He stopped thinking about it and returned to the project at hand.

Birth Day Present

Later at the hospital, Nick and Wade were looking in the nursery window at the 'new kid on the block' along with the new dad.

Freddy said to Nick, "See him there. Yeah, you cutie," he directed to his son. To Nick he said, "Mr. Knight, I'd—"

"Please, Freddy, after what we've just been through, I think you can call me 'Nick'." Nick grinned at the man.

"Uh, right, Nick. I had a little talk with Margie, and, well, let me introduce you to my son, Frederick Nicholas Johnson! The 'Frederick' is me, of course, the 'Nicholas' is for you."

"Freddy, you don't have to—"

"I know, but it's about all we can do to thank you. And, really, it's a blessing, 'cause otherwise we'd have to name him after my wife's uncle, Percival, and while that's a good name, it's not what we wanted, so you're doing us a blessing if you let us name him after you."

"Sure, Freddy, it'll be my pleasure. I guess I can share my name with the little man along with my birthday."

Freddy said, "You were born on the first? Today's your birthday? " (1)

"Ha! No, today is little Frederick Nicholas's birthday. It's just an anniversary for me. And now, just think, the young man's first birthday present is getting my name." Nick shook his head.

Wade piped in with, "Is that a good thing or a bad thing!"

Freddy said, "A good thing, definitely." And he added, "Nick would you think about being his godfather?"

Nick blanched (hard for a vampire to do), gulped, and sputtered, "uh, ah, --"

"It's o.k., you don't have to, but think about, o.k.?"

Nick wondered at this. Wasn't there some irony in having a vampire for a godfather? Would he be able to attend a christening? This would bring on a whole new world of problems, but then, the kid looked soooooo cute. But on the other hand, that's what babies do, isn't it? Look cute and get you to do things against your better judgement.

Oh, Lordy, he thought to himself, What's LaCroix going to think! Do I laugh or cry?

Nick sighed, again, and thought he would have to talk with Natalie about this.

(1) Nick's birthday (form the episode "Hunters") appears to be Jan. 1.