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.
Calendar Series -- APRIL byWalt Doherty
Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed
Nothin' seems to fit
-- Raindrops keep fallin' on my head, B J ThomasNick stopped in at the Morgue to see Natalie.
She nodded to him, "Well, you're certainly looking somber. Are you taking your dressing cues from LaCroix again?"
"What? What do you mean, Natalie?"
"Well, look at yourself in the mirror – and I know you can."
"Nick, if you were wearing any more black, you'd be LaCroix."
"Oh, yeah, well . . . . April isn't a kind month for vampires."
Natalie stopped what she was doing and looked up at Nick. She said, "As someone I know aptly said: 'And'?"
"Well, usually there's Easter – not a fun time for any of us vampires – all those crosses. Then for me, personally, you remember the Black Buddha – the Titanic sunk on the 14 th of the month, and possibly the most significant item: April 19 th is National Garlic Day!" Nick shuddered.
"So," replied Natalie, "you dress in mourning for the whole month? That's a little extreme, even for you. Wait a minute," she caught a hint of a smile on Nick's face, "what are you up to?"
Nick gave in and broke out into a hearty laugh, "Nat, I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. There's nothing dark going on, I just haven't got my laundry done and these are the only clean clothes I had in my closet."
"Oh, you! You're getting as bad as your partner!" she said in exasperation.
"Well," Nick continued, "if it's any consolation, April 19 th really is National Garlic Day."
"Hmmpphhh! I'll 'garlic' you if you don't get out of here! or did you actually come in here for something?"
"Well, 'actually' I did. I came in to see my favorite coroner."
Natalie started to smile, and Nick continued, "but I see that Dr. Conner isn't in, so I'll –" Natalie threw her stapler at him. With his reflexes, he caught it easily in one hand.
Grace Balthazar Natalie's chief assistant, came into the room and saw the end of their 'discussion'. "Now, children," she said in her best teacher voice, "play nice. Dr. Lambert, here are those reports you needed. How do you do, Detective Knight?" She hoped that the very formal address and greeting would distract the two and get them acting professionally again. It didn't work. They both looked at Grace and started laughing. Grace shook her head and muttered as she left the room, more to herself than anyone else, "I think I liked it better when their relationship was strained.
"Actually, yes. Anything on the Malone autopsy?"
"Sorry, not much to go on. Pretty straight-forward. He was shot. It killed 'im. Whoever shot him, shot him from the front. When you find someone, there should be blowback. Oh, no defensive wounds of any kind. There may be something with the gun, was it theirs? Anyway, that's in trace. What's the wife's reaction?"
"Seems pretty distraught. Her heartbeat and blood pressure are up, but not in the way they ought to be for someone who is grieving. It may be shock; I'll check her again later."
Nick was in the Malone's apartment talking with one of the other detectives on the squad. The Malone's apartment was gorgeous; Nick had seldom seen anything so well appointed.
"Pirelli! How's it going, Angelo? Find anything interesting?"
"Nick," he nodded. "I don't know if this means anything but the clothes hamper was full."
Nick raised his eyebrows at Pirelli.
Pirelli laughed, "Don't look at me like that. You said interesting, well, look around this place. It's pristine, a place for everything and everything in its place. I half expected the clothes in the hamper to be folded and carefully placed there. They must both have been neat freaks. It seems out of character with the rest of the place, and it's the only thing that strikes a wrong note. No idea what it means though."
"Yeah, there is that," Nick said.
"Mrs. Malone, what happened that you found the b—I mean your –"
"It's alright, Detective." She drew a heavy breath and wiped her tears with a hanky, "I had just left for work and had got to the train station when I realized I'd left the papers I needed on the desk in my office in our back bedroom. I came back to get them and found –" She stopped for a moment, wept softly for a minute, finally gathered herself together and continued, "David on the floor there. I didn't see or hear anyone or anything. I called you right away."
A technician came over and asked Mrs. Malone for her hand. She looked at Nick questioningly. He told her, "GSR – gun shot residue – it's just routine, Mrs. Malone –"
"—Aprille, please," she gave him a faint, weak, weary smile.
"—uh, Aprille. To eliminate you right from the beginning, you see. You haven't been skeet shooting or something have you?"
"No, detective," she replied a bit more steadily.
"Did you or your husband own a gun?"
"No, Detective. Oh, wait, yes, David had one he got years ago. I haven't seen it for ages."
She seemed to be calmed down and regained what composure she might have lost. A tear flowed down her cheek. Nick noticed that her heartbeat and blood pressure elevated when he talked with her and dropped after he had turned away. Was she hiding something, he wondered?
He said to his partner, Wade, "Her responses were book perfect. That's the problem. Nobody follows the book that well or close."
"But nothing you can put your finger on?"
"You suspect her?"
"There doesn't seem to be anyone else, and she was fairly forthcoming about their relationship being a little rocky. 'Good but ups and downs' is how she put it. But it was too studied a response. And too weepy."
"Or, no proof, in other words."
"Right, no proof. There was something wrong with that apartment too, but I can't put my finger on it. We may need to talk to her again."
"Mrs. Malone," Nick handed her another hanky, "your suitcases were all packed?"
"Yes, we were leaving on vacation this afternoon. I was just going into the office to drop those papers off, Detective." Again, she smiled weakly at him. She looked as if she had been crying again.
You were close to your husband, Mrs. Malone?"
"Yes. We had our problems, but we always worked them out. We were looking forward to a week in Mexico on the beach." She hid her face preferring not to show her grief. She added, "Please, call me Aprille."
"Thank you, uh, Aprille," Nick said.
Wade asked her, "What time was it you left for the office, Mrs. Malone?"
She didn't correct his address but gave him a sad look and replied, "about 8:30, detective, give or take a minute."
"And you returned here, Aprille?" Nick asked.
"Yes, Detective Knight."
"You can call me, Nick, if you like, uh, Aprille."
She sighed again, "Thank you, Nick, that's very kind." She did not even look at Detective Everett. He might as well have been on the moon. "It was a quarter after nine.
"What was?" asked Detective Everett.
"When I got back, Nick," she again ignored the other detective.
"It was only 45 minutes and now I'll never see him . . .," she covered her faced with the hanky and wept softly.
Natalie told Nick, "That doesn't make sense – well, it does barely, but . . . ."
Nick said, "O.k. Out with it."
"The time frame is tight. He could have been dead as little as 45 minutes, but really, an hour or an hour and a half seems more likely."
"But you can't rule out the 45 minute minimum."
"Not right now, no."
"Hey, Nick," Detective Everett said.
"We checked her alibi; she called the office a little before her husband was hit, but it was to say she'd be coming in to drop some papers off. Originally, they were going to leave on their vacation about the time he was killed. Plus, have you noticed that every time she looks at you, she gets weepy? And, she just plain doesn't see me."
"Yeah, it doesn't seem Kosher, does it?"
"And, by the way, her co-workers didn't seem to think that she and 'David' were all that happy."
"Mrs. Malone," Nick said, "uh, Aprille, can you think of anyone who might . . . ." His voice trailed off .
She shook her head and started crying again, softly, but nonetheless sounding heartfelt.
Wade thought, God, what's with the water works? She's starting to give Niagara a run for its money. He kept quietly by taking notes while Nick did the questioning.
Nick held her hand and questioned her gently and softly. Wade thought that Nick must have had a lot of experience in dealing with distraught witnesses.
"What made you suspicious, detective?" asked the Captain.
Wade said that she cried only when Knight was around. That made the waterworks seem artificial.
"And all I saw was waterworks," added Nick. "After a little it did seem like it was too much, like she had read the manual on how to appear grief-stricken.
"She cried too much. And, when Wade pointed out that it was only when I was there . . . well, it made me curious as to what else might be off.
"Then I remembered what Pirelli said about the clothes hamper. And I put that together with something Natalie said about my clothes."
"She thought I was dressing too somber, but it was really just because I had run out of other clean clothes," Nick continued. "Mrs. Malone was dressed for work, but they were scheduled to go on vacation, either then or later that day. In either case, why dress up just to drop some papers off at the office?
"Suppose that Mrs. Malone wasn't on her was into the office, but had put her on business clothes because those were the only ones readily available? She then tried to make it look like she had been on her way into work and only discovered the body so soon 'cause she came back for something. She must have figured that she couldn't be suspected of shooting him if she hadn't been there.
"She ignored Wade, thought he was just a flunky for me, which was fine by me, it made her less careful. But when the 'Aprille showers' became a mite too obvious, Wade and I decided we should look into that. That didn't cinch it, but it made us look into other things that we might have overlooked. The selective crying was the initial clue. The inappropriate dress was the real thing.
"They had had a fight. Why it reached the point of gun shots, I don't know, but it seems to have been building up over time.
"Anyway, forensics found the clothes in the hamper had minor GSR on them, and there was a load of laundry in the washer just sitting there. I think she believed she could just hide a few things and with her distraught widow act, nobody would look too deep, at least at her."
Wade considered Mrs. 'Aprille' Malone and thought, said quietly, "She's a born actress; she's going to have any men on the jury eating out of her hand."
"Well, I suspected her early on. She smelled wrong," Nick said to Wade.
"Smelled wrong? Your vampire senses could be a great advantage, Nick."
"Ah, not really. Yeah, we vampires have an exquisitely developed sense of smell, also her heartbeat and blood pressure were off. But these things were only enough to raise a little suspicion. They could have been due to genuine angst."
Wade said to himself, and you know angst, Nick. Aloud he asked, "But couldn't you whammy her?"
"Yeah," he said, "but that's not always conclusive either, plus it can't be used as evidence. As it turns out, I didn't need to. I believe she wanted to confess, and I think, in the end, she cried as much for herself as anyone else."
"All our cases should all be this easy," Wade said.
"Be careful, don't jinx us! You just know if you say that too much, we'll get inundated with these things." He grinned at his partner.