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.

**THANKSGIVING**

Calendar Series – OCTOBER, II by Walt Doherty

(October again – The first Oct. story is about Halloween, this one is about Thanksgiving. Canadian Thanksgiving takes place the second Monday of October rather than the third Thursday of November as in the US.]

- - - - -

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free.
-- Traditional Quaker hymn

- - - - -

"I assume you'll be putting in to cover over the weekend days and Monday, Knight?" asked the Captain.

"Well, yeah. No family obligations, so I might just as well stay here and catch up on some of that paperwork you're always chiding me about, and it lets the guys who have families be at home with them, so why not?" replied Nick.

"O.k., then. Can you do Tuesday and Wednesday nights, too?"

"Sure, I'm already scheduled for Wednesday anyway, you know"

"Oh, yeah, right. O.k., Thanks, Nick."

"O.k.", "Thanks, Nick"? Ah, I hope he's not planning something stupid. How can I get out of it? Nick thought to himself.

Nick looked over towards Reese's office and saw Natalie coming out of it. He started to wave to her, but she turned and went down the other direction as if she hadn't seem him. Now, what's up. He knew he could catch up with her later.

He stopped by her office on his way home, but she had checked out early. He asked Grace, but she protested complete ignorance of everything."

Oh, well, he shrugged.
.

Come the Sunday before Thanksgiving, Nick booked in early so the men on the earlier shift could get going. He pulled out all the reports that needed doing, updating, revising, etc., got his pens, papers, and materials together. It was like preparing to lay siege to them.

He managed to get quite a bit done before 10 – the bull pen had been practically empty all evening allowing Nick some peace and quiet to get things done.

He stopped a few minutes before 10 – he had reached a break point so he decided to – even vampires can get a crick in the neck. Just as he was stretching his arms out, the phone rang.

Damn, he thought, a homicide call, and it was turning out to be such a nice night. Oh, well, this is what we get paid the 'big bucks' for.

"Knight," he said.

Confusion on the other end of the line.

"No, not 'good night'! Let me try that again: Hello, Officer Nick Knight here, Homicide, 96 th Division, may I help you?"

"O.k., I'll be there in about 15 minutes." He hung up and went to tell the Captain. Reese, however wasn't in his office. Nick Shrugged and left a message with the desk sergeant.
.

On his way out of the building, Nick ran into Captain Reese.

"Homicide call, Cap—"

"Wait, Nick. I know about the call, come with me downstairs before you run off." The Captain then made the minor mistake of having the hint of a smile on his face, which Nick caught. Then as they were going down the stairs, Nick thought he saw Natalie's coat disappearing into the Rec Room in the Division's basement.

Ah, ha. I've been suckered, he thought to himself. Out loud he said to the Captain, "This is all a set up, isn't it?

Reese started to protest, but he knew when it was too late to cover any tracks, besides they were only 15 feet from the Rec Room where "all would be revealed!"

He smiled, "Uh, well, yeah. Now move your butt in there, son, it's too late for anything else."

Nick, followed closely by the Captain, pushed the doors open and walked into the room.

Mostly adults, but a few youngsters were all crowded around one of the largest spreads Nick had ever seen. Turkey and all the fixin's, stuffing, dressing . . .

-- Nat, what's the difference between stuffing and dressing?
-- Doesn't matter, Nick, it's all the same.
-- but then, --
-- Just enjoy it, Nick. I'll tell you later.

. . ., cornbread, mashed potatoes, tomato salads.

And, dozens of casseroles, and the pies: apple, peach, cherry, mince, chocolate. There were at least six frozen turkeys on one of the tables, and enough canned goods to supply a small store. There were also large boxes of what appeared to be more food in the back, plus stacks and stacks of boxes and boxes.

And there in the back of the room above the entire spread in the back was a huge banner that read:

"THANKS NICK!"

People noticed that Nick had come in and most started clapping and different voices could be heard: Hi, Nick! Hey, Detective! Hello, Nicky-boy! and so on. Nick smiled and gave a generic wave to all
.

__France, 1790s – Flashback__

Nick grabbed Mathilde and rushed her to the back of the room where there was a secret exit door. He pushed her through, and followed quickly. He barred the door as soon as they were through.

"How knew you, sir, of this secret doorway?" she asked.

"I make it a point to find these things out, my dear. Now, come we must away quickly before the mob finds this or any other secret ways through the palace."

"But it is so dark, we have no candle, how can we –"
"I know the way, my dear, just hold on to my hand." They escaped on to the grounds.

The mob that broke into the palace had been delayed by the feast set out in the large dining chamber. It delayed their progress for . . . minutes, delayed its finding the Marquis in order to inflict their vengeance upon him. The delay was enough, however, for him, Nick, Mathilde, and a few retainers to get to the stables, mount the horses, and steal away.

The Marquis was a typical unknowing French aristocrat who had no concept of what the peasantry was going through. Nick questioned why he was bothering to save such an idiot, but he did, he felt duty bound, that damn noble knight streak in him. LaCroix certainly wouldn't have bothered.

In any case, Mathilde requested to be left at her parents' farm – she had had enough of the 'aristocratic life'. Milking cows may not be glamorous but it was honest and fulfilling, and she didn't have to deal with crazy palace intrigues. She wondered why such a gentleman as Chevalier de Nuit put up with it.

Nick led the Marquis and his remaining retinue to the roads to the east a la Suisse. The Marquis would have gone back for some of his more precious possessions but for the fact that his men mutinied and refused to go anywhere near the cursed chateau; they wanted out and they were getting there.

Nick had had his fill of the vacuous Marquis also. He sighed thinking about the sumptuous dinner that had been laid out at the chateau – he may not have been able to eat it himself, but he could appreciate the sheer beauty of it as well as the huge amounts of simply straight-forwardly edible foodstuffs. He wondered, not too deeply, as to who might have let the peasants know that there was enough food there to take care of them all for several months. It wasn't Janette nor LaCroix; they were in Italie somewhere. Surely it was not that strange Monsieur Chevalier de Nuit? Or, maybe, he smiled to himself, it was.

Nick wanted to head north towards Belgium for reasons more of nostalgia than anything else. Although he also thought that this would probably be a good time to remove oneself from France for a while. Revolutions can be quite nasty. And while not much could harm him, the mobs seemed to be quite fond of brandishing flaming faggots and guillotining heads, both of which could severely harm him. Yes, so a quiet corner of Germany, or perhaps the New World. Maybe he couldn't feast on the food, but the New World would have different and interesting smells, he thought as he rode east to the relative safety of the Swiss.

Be thankful for what you can get, he thought.

__End flashback__
.

Nick would have blushed if he could have. He turned to Natalie who was right next to him and said, "You knew about this didn't you?"

"Yes. In fact, I encouraged it," she added with a broad smile.

"You know I can't accept this from all these people—"

Natalie grabbed Nick's arm and twirled him away from the crowd and told him, "That's exactly what you will do, Nick. Accept this from everyone and be gracious about it. If it's more blessed to give than to receive, then you are helping these people be blessed by allowing them to give. Plus, they're all giving back to you! Don't you recognize all these people? These are all the officers and families that you have helped in one way or another for the past year. You did it all anonymously, so they're doing it anonymously back to you by having a big Thanksgiving Party. So, be nice, say thank you, and fill up a plate."

Grace had wandered over to them and had overheard Natalie's speech. She cleared her throat while looking directly and intently at Nick. Not being stupid, nor totally dense, he got the message Grace was sending telepathically: do what she says or I'll sit on you! He merely and meekly looked at her and said, "Yes, Grace. Thank you, this is very thoughtful and nice."

He turned back to Natalie and continued, "But all this food, no one'll finish all this."

"S'taken care of, Nick," Grace said, "Those boxes in the back are for packing everything up – only this front table is for us, everything else is going to the DownTown Homeless Shelter and to Father Rouchefort's parish hall.

"Hello, Nick." Captain Reese joined the crowd, "I hope you don't mind us using you as a way of getting donations. I thought you wouldn't mind, and everyone here wanted to chip in something – we've got the biggest haul we've had in years. A lot of people are going to have a good, square, meal thanks to you, Detective Knight!" And, he slapped Nick on the back while he went off to speak with some of the other officer.
.

'Myra! Jenny! What are you doing here?" Nick exclaimed spotting them across the room.

Myra said, "when we heard what was happening, we just had to be a part of it. I brought one of those huge turkeys and Jenny—"

"I baked three apple pies! One's here for us, the other two'll get packed for the shelter people. Mom and I are going to go down there tomorrow and help cook in the morning. You oughtta come, Nick, but I know you don't do morning," said Jenny with a big grin and a piece of turkey hanging from her mouth. She winked at him.

Myra said more quietly to Nick, "I was going to make this big speech, but I talked it over with Jenny and she thought that would just embarrass you. Of course, everyone in the Division would love it if we could get you to blush, but I guess that's a lost cause, huh? Anyway, instead of going on and on, just this: thank you, Nick for all you've done for us." And with that she grabbed him and hugged him tightly.

Natalie handed him one of his now common, red hankies.
.

Angelo Pirelli and his partner, Joe Paternoster, came over to say hello. Dozens of other cops, officers, departmental clerks, -- it seems like just about everybody who had ever worked the night shift had showed up.

"How on earth did you all manage to carry this off without my getting a clue? I know how the grapevine works around here; you guys can't keep anything secret!"

"Ah, that may well be true, Nicholas; I, on the other hand, can keep not only my secrets secret, but others' as well," intoned this stentorian voice, solemnly and precisely.

"LaCroix!" Nick said as he turned around quickly towards the voice, "What on earth are you doing here? And, what do you mean by keeping secrets?"

"Oh, my dear boy, I am here helping to do my civic duty in providing assistance for those less fortunate. Besides, it compensates one when one realizes that by providing sustenance for some of these people now, he need not feel guilt later when he helps himself to one of these midnight snacks." LaCroix grinned evilly; he knew how much talk like that irritated Nick.

Natalie piped up with, "I asked him to help, Nick, and he agreed. Now whether he helps himself to some of the merchandise or even a few merchants, I can't say, but he is supplying the trucks and transportation to get all this stuff to where it's needed. Thank you for that, Lucien."

Nick had a worried look on his face: Lucien? When did this become 'Lucien"? and he was being kind, decent, helpful. What's going on, he wondered.

"Quite all right, Doctor. And, Nicholas, you did not find out about this because I was asked to help keep the secret from you. Not really a difficult task, but as you are too obviously inquisitive at times, a well placed hypnotic suggestion to ignore certain goings on . . . "

"You whammied me!"

"Got it in one! Is not that the expression, Doctor."

"Yep. He gotcha, Nick."

"Well, I have assisted in my part, Doctor and I must get to the studio for my Nightcrawler broadcast, so I will take my leave." He gave a slight bow towards Natalie, then turned to Nick and said, "Nicholas".

Just after he left, Grace came back over, "Did he leave? I wanted to invite him over to meet my Aunt Gracie, he'd just love her, I know" . . . . .
.

Altogether, over a hundred people stopped by to have a bite of dinner and contribute something to the cause. It seems that the shelter and the Parish would have plenty for Thanksgiving, and maybe some for Christmas as well.

__Quick Flashback of Images from the Past__

Nick flashed on some of the kids and others whom he brought burgers home for, let sleep in his garage, 'bought' cast off clothes for, and generally looked out for quietly in his neighborhood.

__End Flashback__

And in addition to well-wishers there were enough volunteers to form at least three work crews to box, pack, load, and deliver all the foods to their different locations. This worked out well.

On his way out, Nick caught the Captain's eye. "God'll get you for this, Captain," he said.

"I certainly hope so, son, I certainly hope so," the Captain replied.
.

Nick stopped at the Radio broadcast booth. LaCroix continued to speak, but in a few moments he threw a switch or two and looked up at Nicholas.

"Well, my wayward son, what brings you by at this hour?"

"Thank you, Lucien. It was very nice of you to help out, even if it was just to preserve a future possible lunch," Nick said, but with a chuckle in his throat.

"Do not put it past me, Nicholas, I just may avail myself of one of the 'future possible lunches', but as you know I may have done in any case."

"Yes, but in any case, 'thank you'." And Nick turned an left. LaCroix had a half-smile on his face. Maybe you do catch more flies with honey than with salt, he thought. Nicholas came over here of his own accord. Hmmmm, the young detective may be right, he said to himself as he watched Nick retreat down the corridor.
.

Fr. Pierre stopped by the Division a few days later to thank Nick for the generous donations. Nick protested that it wasn't his doing at all, but the good Father just nodded knowingly. "Just say 'you're welcome', Detective Knight".

Nick smiled – geez was the whole world in on this? – "You're welcome, Detective Knight," he said.

Father Pierre laughed.
.

And later back at the loft:

"I was a little worried at how 'nice' LaCroix – I mean, Lucien – was being, but Detective Everett explained what he thought LaCroix was trying.

"But, you know, Natalie, these traditional Thanksgiving dinners are somewhat of a puzzle for me."

"A puzzle?"

"Sure, I don't really know what any of this stuff tastes like: Turkey, cranberries, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin are all New World products. We didn't have them in Europe till long after I was brought across. I've never tasted them."

"You know, Nick," Natalie said thoughtfully, "I never thought of it that way. Well, it's just another reason to keep working on making you mortal again," she said brightly and punched him lightly in the arm.

Nick sat at the piano and lightly played to Natalie:

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
-- Traditional Quaker Hymn

"Right now, I'm in the 'place just right'. At first, I wasn't too happy being the focus of things, but if it helps get the food bank restocked, well then, use my name all you want. Anyway, thank you, and thank everybody you know who worked on this. It was great."

"And, by the way, is there some way we can get Grace to stop trying to matchmake LaCroix, uh, Lucien, that is?" Nick and Natalie both smiled broadly at that.
.

The night of Thanksgiving when Nick got into the station, it was mostly quiet and mostly deserted, but there on his desk was a small piece of pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream on top, and a note: "I know you won't eat this – at least now – but try. After 800 years, what can it hurt? – Nat." And scribbled underneath was, "just chew it and swirl it around in your mouth, you don't actually have to swallow it, you know," with a big, round 'happy face' drawn underneath.

As he sat behind his desk, he thought he couldn't be fuller at the moment than if he had eaten a full, gigantic, and complete Thanksgiving dinner.

But then the phone rang.

"Knight," he said.

"What? Uh, no, not 'good night'; let me try that again: Hello, this is Officer Knight, that's KUH-nite with a 'K', Homicide Unit, 96 th Division, may I help you?"

:-)