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.

This takes place after, or perhaps during, Tasked Force, Moving On, etc.

*Traced* – Conversations II Walt Doherty

_Meanwhile Back at the Caddie_

- - - - -
Sweeter than sugar, kisses like wine (oh he's so fine)
Don't let him under your skin, cause you'll never win (no you'll never win)
. . .
Stay away from him, stay away from him, don't believe his lyin'
No you'll never win, no you'll never win, loser's in for cryin'
-- Sweet Talking Guy, the Chiffons
- - - - -

Nick and Wade were on their way to another crime scene when Dispatch called to tell them Johnson and Rasmussen caught the call on their way in.

With that, Nick slowed the car down and turned towards the curb and parked.

He said to Wade, "Good, that gives us a little time to talk about something." He turned and looked directly at Wade, "what exactly did you and the Captain talk about in his office and your little 'walk'?"

"Ah, Nick, you know I can't talk to you about that. But I will tell you one thing: you know what my job is, the Cap wanted a status report. And, I've already told you what I would be saying. 'Detective knight manages his stress level more than adequately.'

"Anyway, you're not stupid either, so I know you know just by the fact that you asked. You just want confirmation, kiddo. Well, you got it.

"Now I want to talk to you about a thing or two. You haven't seen or talked to M. LaCroix in the past couple of weeks; in fact, since the night we went to the Raven together, right?"

"Right."

"Good. I think you should go see him – just a short, little visit, just to say 'hello'. But there are two things I'd like you to do: one is to take him a small token present. The other thing is: start addressing him by his first name; call him 'Lucien'.

"The little gift shows you still care, the 'Lucien' puts you on an equal footing. And, if he starts to complain, cudgel you, or get cranky, just excuse yourself because you have to get to back to work.

"Also, you might start thinking about inviting him to dinner sometime. Yeah, yeah, I know, just go to the Azure and have a couple of drinks and talk over old times. And think about asking his advice on some small things, let him know that while you may not follow what he tells you, you will listen and consider it."

"Treat him as an equal instead of an enemy," Nick said simply.

"Got it in one! I said that you weren't stupid."

"Wade, I hope you know how hard this is for me."

"I have an idea, and remember, I never said it would be easy. Now, can we get back to the station?"

Nick pulled the Caddy away from the curb and started back.
.

_Are You Paranoid If Someone Really Is Out to Get You?_

- - - - -
I see you looking over your shoulder
Tell me who do you think's out there
-- Fear, Bon Jovi
- - - - -

On the way back, Wade brought up another subject.

"Nick, maybe you better pull over again. About the Captain's little talks with the both of us – and, by the way, he assumed I knew; that's why he talked to me. Doesn't it seem to you that he's going above and beyond to let us know you have his support? Or, am I just being paranoid?"

"Reese doesn't usually mince words; so, you may be on to something. And he did kind of go way around to get to the point."

"Another thing, you know I was sent here to evaluate the Division and how Reese is handling it, but another 'duty' was to look at and evaluate you. Not that you've done anything wrong, although you have bent the rules more than a little. I think there was some genuine concern about your stress levels especially with your solve rate so conspicuous."

"Should you be telling me that?" Nick asked.

Wade shrugged.

Nick continued, "You think it might be more than just the routine shifting you around?"

"It's not that clear. But the Captain was clearly giving you his support. He practically told you outright that you'll have no problem staying on the night shift. Do you think it's possible that someone higher up is out to get you?" Wade asked.

Nick thought about it for a minute. "Not that I know of. I know I've made waves, but I don't think I've stepped on anyone's toes. Except . . . ."

"Don't stop now! 'Except'?"

"Commissioner Vetter was not at all happy with me when Tracy got shot, even though IA cleared me. IA was also going to give Trace a reprimand – she shouldn't have been where she was. The Commissioner managed to squelch that, which was o.k. by me. Tracy really should have held back, but she was backing me up and, if bullets didn't go through me like a hot knife through butter, she wouldn't have been hurt at all."

"Yeah, but then you'd be dead."

"Yeah, well, there is that. Do you think the Commissioner could still be sore at me?

"Possible, but I don't really know what he's like or capable of. You should ask Tracy. When was the last time you saw her?

"Last weekend, I stopped off at her place to bring her up to speed on our cases. I'll give her a call and go see her later. If something is coming down, it would be nice to be prepared."

"Mmmmm. Yeah. o.k., and I've got an idea I need to talk to Natalie about. Drop me off at the morgue and you go call Tracy."
.

_Semper Paratus (Always Prepared)_

- - - - -
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine.
-- Marine Corp Hymn
- - - - -

"Hi, Natalie, Grace," said Wade.

"Hello, Detective," said Grace.

"Hi, Wade," said Natalie, "how are you and isn't Nick right behind you?" She turned aside and said to Grace, "Grace, these are finished. Would you please take them down to Central Processing? Thanks. Now, Detective Everett, what can I do for you?"

Wade explained to Natalie his and Nick's suspicions that something might be up. Natalie asked him, "What can we do, though, other than keep our eyes and ears opened?"

"I was thinking you might ask that. Nick has been a little careless about keeping his vampire a secret – The Captain's assumed it, Grace has figured it out – maybe someone else has and wants to test it some way. Wouldn't the easiest way be to call Nick to a mandatory meeting downtown in the middle of the day for something or other? Heck, it could even be to get an award."

"Well, I suppose. I thought nobody there was that smart, but . . . well, you look like you've got something in mind."

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I do," he said.
.

_Tracy Elements_

- - - - -
Now the time has come there are things to realize
Time has come today
Time has come today
-- Time Has Come Today, Chambers Bros.
- - - - -

Nick stopped at Tracy's apartment and talked to her about what he and Wade had considered to be going on.

"Tracy," he asked, "do you think there is a possibility that your father could be coming after me for what happened to you?"

"Ten minutes ago, Nick, I would have said no, but with what you've outlined, it wouldn't surprise me. He'll often take things into his own hands – look how he got me transferred to that day shift job in the financial crimes unit.

"Don't worry about him, Nick. If he tries anything, I can go to work on him. With both the Captain and me backing you up, and Wade, too, what can he say? You've never seen my 'But, Daddy, I want that' pout, have you? It's almost as good as your little boy look."

"Now, wait just a minute, Trace—"

Tracy cut him off with a laugh, "—oh, I've seen you try that on Natalie, and me, too for that matter. Has Wade caught on to you yet? Seriously, Nick, you guys let me know what you need me to do, and you can consider it done. It'd be great to have something else to work on other than finishing _your_ reports and all the physical therapy."

"Speaking of which," Nick asked, "how's it going?"

"Oh, slowly but surely. I think I'm ready, but they aren't going to take any chances with the Commissioner's daughter. I should have taken that job in London, or even Hamilton."

"Well, I for one, am glad you didn't. You're a good cop and a great partner. You're right about the other thing, too; I should have trusted you. Especially after seeing how you dealt with Vachon and Screed."

Tracy burst out laughing.

"I didn't think it was funny," Nick said, a little put out.

"No, no. I was just thinking about when you caught Vudu and Javier had to 'vamp' you. I can still see your eyes glazing over. How did you manage to not break up?"

"It was pretty serious, Trace. Even now, the Community is at odds about how many of my friends know about them."

"Well," she said, "just let them know how handy it is to have some friends on the police force, especially ones who can go out in the daytime, too."

"Thanks, Tracy, you're a brick!"

"No, you're 'Nick the Brick'. Just call me 'Trace the Ace," she said smiling broadly.
.

_Ex Post Facto (After the Fact)_

- - - - -
Oops!...[We] did it again . . .
[We're] not that innocent
-- Oops I Did It Again, Britney Spear
- - - - -

Tracy: "But how did you manage it?

Wade: "I asked Natalie if she could whip up another batch of the lytoveuterine-B, maybe tweak it a little so it didn't make him euphoric as it did before. Still, when you know you're going to have that reaction, you can prepare for it a little."

Natalie: "We stocked some ampoules here, there, and the other place – namely the Caddy's glove compartment, Wade's pocket notebook, my purse, Nick's desk."

Nick: We wanted to be ready at the drop of a hat if I had to go downtown and sit around and wait while the sun came up." He smiled broadly, "Worked! And at least now that everybody's seen me in the daylight, they can't go claiming I'm a creature of the night anymore; now, can they? Plus I ate a candy bar from one of the machines in the corridor; those things are nasty," he said making a face. "How do people stand them?"

Tracy: "But won't that sort of show Nick's 'skin condition' is somehow better and maybe he can work days?"

Natalie: "That's possible, but one/ Nick likes the night shift and it's hard enough to get and keep good people on that shift. And two/ the piece de resistance is that during the whole thing, Nick got redder and redder and redder and finally had to put his coat on with the hood over his head for protection. He didn't start burning or smoking, but he did get very red and looked like he was beginning to molt. We wouldn't want one of our best detectives out of commission due to severe sun burn, now would we? Anyway, it showed he could show up someplace during the day, and that his skin condition was real." Natalie smiled at that.

Wade: "Handy little drug, that lytoveuterine, especially for a 'creature of the night'."
.

_Mixed Notes_

- - - - -
So get ready, so get ready, 'cause here I come
(Get ready, 'cause here I come)
-- Get Ready, Temptations
- - - - -

"Look, I told you before I worked with a magician – remember how I took your watch and wallet? Don't worry about it, but try not to jump when I jab you – I'm just going to stick the needle in you and empty it. We should be able to avoid getting caught on the video."

"I wish there was more I could do."

"There is, just act natural. They're going to search you, so it's important that you not have anything on you. But if you need to ditch something, wink at me or something and let me get between you and the cameras. Or, better yet, just put whatever it may be in your front coat pocket and I'll pick it! Yeah, I like that, but we shouldn't have to. You don't have any of the stuff on you. And remember, if I can't do it, Natalie will."

.

"We're here to take Detective Knight to the hearing. Detective, you ready?"

Wade said, "I'm going with you."

"No, sir. No one is allowed in the car except the prison—ah, detective Knight and us. Smith will drive, I'll sit with the Detective. May we go now?"

"Yeah, let's get this over with," from Nick with an anxious look on his face.

"Don't worry, Nick, I'll follow right behind you."

"We'll be going into restricted areas, Detective Everett, so why don't you just meet us in the court – ah, conference room?"

"Detective, " Wade said sweetly, "I'll be right next to you all the way. Those 'restricted areas'? *I*'ve got clearance, so don't give me – or Detective Knight – any crap, got it?" That last spoken a bit more forcefully than needed, perhaps.

.

"They tried to get me alone for a few minutes – God only knows what they were up to," Nick said to Natalie and Wade outside the conference room.

"What do you think they had planned?" Natalie asked.

"No idea."

"Personally," Wade said, "I think they wanted to drug you up themselves – a little extra protection."

"Hi, guys!" Tracy said brightly, surprising everyone.

"Tracy!" "Hi" "Hello"

"That special clearance I got," Wade said, "covers me and a guest. Guess who my 'guest' is"? He smiled broadly.

He turned to Tracy and asked, "You look a little ragged, is everything o.k.?"

Tracy smiled broadly, too. "It's only a little bit, but I'm glad to be of some help. A couple of goons tried to kidnap me as I was leaving for the meeting."

.

_Flashback to Tracy, earlier_

Tracy was prepared. So much had been going on with Nick, Wade, and the others that she was constantly on guard these days. Plus, Vachon usually had an eye on her. The whole thing was a little wearying, but – seeing what was going on now – apparently worth it.

Before they knew what had happened to them, Tracy had her gun out and had shot the first man, then she flipped the other over onto his back and, it seems, broke his ankle in the process. She called the assault in and held the two men under her watchful eye and gun till the cavalry arrived. She gave a quick report to the sergeant in charge and left to meet Wade, Nick and the others.

Tracy noticed Vachon in the background, and nodded knowingly to him. He nodded back at her, impressed with her abilities and prowess. An awful lot of people, he thought, underestimate Tracy, including whoever set these goons on her.

_Back to the present_

"I took care of them, and I figure that it'll make my father think twice about doing anything more drastic. And hey, if they ask about the shooting, well, who knows better than me, right? And, trust me, Dad will not correct me," she laughed. "He knows better."

.

"I know you got special clearance, Wade," Natalie said, "but how, and otherwise why are you here? I mean other than support?"

"Natalie, I just about used up all the favors I could collect on to get that clearance pass, and add in a little judicious arm-twisting and pulling of rank. Anyway, I'd be here to support Nick no matter what, but they handed me a subpoena when they came to pick up Nick so I had to show up. I think they think they can ask some embarrassing questions. Little do they know . . . ," he leered evilly.

"They aren't the only ones who can dig up dirt. I figure I can get a few licks in before they stop questioning me. I think the commissioner is going to be in hot water with someone after this is over. I mean, it's one thing to hold this kind of hearing, but when nothing comes from it and it turns out to be a complete waste of time? Well, like the Queen, some of these guys are not going to be amused."

"Especially when we come across looking totally innocent and above board," Nick chipped in.

"They'll wonder if my Dad is losing it," Tracy added.

"Well, let's hear it for the good guys," said Natalie.
.

The Commissioner

- - - - -
But I don't feel like dancin'
No sir, no dancin' today.
-- I don't feel like dancing, Scissor Sisters
- - - - -

From a previous conversation Tracy had with her father:

"Fine, then, Dad," Tracy said between clinched teeth.

"As much as I get irritated with you trying to run my life, I do love you, and I appreciate what you try to do for me. I don't like it, but I know – or, at least, I thought I knew – where it was coming from. But what you want to do to Nick. That's unconscionable, Dad, and I'm not going to stand by and let you do it.

"I'm really going to miss talking to you, but you're forcing my hand. If you go through with this, I will call a press conference and publicly denounce you. And, I'll see to it the rumor gets out about what I'm going to do. You know I'll do it, so it's up to you, Daddy."

The way she said 'Daddy' made him wince; it sounded like a curse.

He didn't say anything, he just glowered at her. Things had already been set in motion.

She turned away from him and left.

.

Reese came out of the interrogating room and spoke to Nick and Tracy. "Oh, you're either gonna love this or hate it. It's about the guys who went after Tracy." He turned to Tracy, "It's bad enough that one of the guys is a cop, on your father's staff, Tracy, but they're both saying it was a set up by your father. They're fighting to see who can 'sing' the loudest."

"You know, Captain, I think my Dad has finally lost it. The divorce, Bruce, my getting shot, he's gone round the bend. I can't believe that this is something he'd do if he were in his right mind."

"You may be right. The Crown called his office and talked with his lawyer. We're going to keep this as low-key as possible. We'll let him come down to the station, sign some papers, and go back home. Maybe resign quietly."

"Thanks, Cap. That'll make things a lot easier."

"Don't thank me Tracy, thank the Crown; they don't want any scandal either. Everyone is more saddened by this turn of events. Now the two men who tried this, will go to jail."

Nick chimed in with, "I can't believe they went along with it. Did they really think they'd get away with it?"

"Who knows," Reese said, "Maybe the Commissioner was more than a little persuasive. Anyway, it's all over for now."

"Yeah," said Tracy somewhat dispiritedly, "all except the clean-up.

Reese saw Wade talking with Natalie and waved him over.

"Wade, how did you find out about this 'meeting'?

"Oh, a little bird . . . ."

"Yeah, right," the Captain said with a sly smile, "which means you've got contacts downtown, too."

.

Tracy said, "Cap, Nick, I'm going to go call my Mom, I'll see you later. Wade."

"O.k.," Reese said, letting her go. He turned to Nick and asked him, "Are you o.k. with all this? You were the ultimate target after all. They were only going to keep Tracy away from the hearing."

Nick answered, "Since I never knew they were actually after me, I guess I'm o.k. with it. I'm just sorry Tracy has to go through all this. I know what it's like having a difficult father."

There was more than a little irony in Nick's last statement.
.

_Unknown Friends_ (Talk about getting by with a little help from your friends!)

- - - - -
You get by with a little help from your friends
-- The Beatles
- - - - -

A little later Nick asked Wade just how did he find out about the 'meeting', since although it was planned out it seemed to have been spur-of-the-moment.

"Ah, that. Nick, I'd tell you to sit down, but you're a big boy, I think you can take it. Nick, since I figured out what you are, I've been keeping my eyes and ears more open that usual. "

"Yes, but –"

"Patience, man, patience. I do have some contacts downtown, not only because of my credentials, but because I've found out a few things about a few people."

"Ha! A little judicious blackmail?'

"As a matter of fact, no. Nick, Metropolitan Toronto is a big place and the police force is altogether a large one. Has it ever occurred to you that I'm not the only one in the city who's figured out what you are?"

Nick looked at Wade wonderingly – what the heck was he talking about?

"Nick! Large police force. You don't know every vampire or every person. My friend, there – may – be – others – who – know – you – are – a – vampire; -- and -- you – may – not – be -- the – only – vampire – on – the – police – force.

"Not the only one who knows on the police force," Nick repeated.

"And," Wade said, "one of them knew what was going on, wanted to help, and let me know."

.

"Well," Nick started to say, "I'll be d—"

"—If you say 'I'll be damned', I'll hit you up the side of your dense head! Look, we got a break, we got a little help from some friends we didn't know we had. Accept it and be grateful."

"I – uh, I will. Wow, who would have thought –"

"Apparently not you," Wade said drolly..

"—there'd be others who've figured it out. Does LaCroix know?

"Doubt it. He wouldn't stand for it, now would he?"

"Ummm, yeah there is that."

"Well, look, let's get back to the Division ourselves. Apparently there's someone else who believes you're a part of the no-longer-want-to-be-a-creature-of-the-night group. Maybe you should start your own support group?"

.

"Wait! How can there be anyone else?"

Wade replied, "How? Sure you can sense the presence of other vampires, and even 'vampire hunters', but can you know individually every single person whose figured out what's going on? C'mon, there's 5 million people in the Toronto area even at one hundredth of one percent, that'd be 500 people. That's enough to hold your own convention."

"And, surprise, surprise! Some of them;" he lifted his hand and began to count off, "want to do public service – help another cop out. It happens, you know."

"It's a big enough a revelation that 1/ there were vampires, 2/ that I figured out you were a vampire, and 3/ I want to help you out. Why should you be surprised that there might be others who would like to help, too?

"And, maybe, just maybe, there might be another vampire who wants to help. Y'know, just because LaCroix doesn't want you to become human again doesn't mean that there aren't some others who do – maybe they'd like to be 'cured' themselves."

"You know these vampires?" Nick said.

"No. I'm just supposing. But why not?"

:-)

End Traced