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Natalie (Conversation III)

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                                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. Tracy and Vachon also survive. This story may be archived wherever by whomever.

                                Wade Everett, a new detective is temporarily assigned to the 96th and Nick; he's found out what Nick is.

NATALIE

 OUT, OUT, DAMNED LACROIX!

Natalie & LaCroix

            Hit the road Jack and don't you come back 
            no more, no more, no more, no more. 
            -- Hit the Road Jack, Ray Charles

            “Uhh,” Natalie inhaled when she looked into her living room and saw Lucien LaCroix standing there, obviously waiting for her to acknowledge him. <<Just like the arrogant son-of-a-bitch, doesn’t even knock,>> she thought.

            She said, “Isn’t there something about having to ask permission to enter a home, or is that just another of those superstitious rumors?”

            “Hello to you, too, my dear,” LaCroix said with traces of irritation and sarcasm.

            “Save it, Lucien,” she said, and he raised his eye-brows at hearing her pronounce his first name, “I’m not interested and you are not welcome. But as I haven’t the ability to throw you out, say what you came for, then leave."

            “Very well – there seems to be an epidemic of forthrightness among you humans recently – Leave Nicholas alone, stop working on this useless ‘cure’, and stop interfering with him, me, and our Community. Is that brief enough?”

            “Yes.”

            “Good, I am glad you agree—“

            “Oh, but I don’t, you old reprobate. You’ve said your piece; now, get out of my house, and I’ll thank you to knock any time you think you need to come back,” Natalie spoke with increasingly, narrowly controlled anger.

            LaCroix’s eyes flecked with red and gold.

            “Don’t bother to try intimidating me with the red eyes and fangs. I know all about them and I’m not concerned.” She picked up a pencil from her desk and used it as a pointer to emphasize her comments.

            “Rudeness does not become you, doctor,” LaCroix said.

            “Do I look like I care, Lucien? Do you honestly think I’m going to listen to a thing you say? You left me on the floor of Nick’s loft to die, to bleed out, you – You didn’t even call the paramedics.” She (unconsciously) gripped the pencil hard in her fist and took a step towards him. He bared his fangs and began to hiss.

            “Stop it! You aren’t going to do anything; you’ve been warned by others, and I know I’m under several layers of protection, so: LEAVE MY HOUSE, NOW, DAMMIT! And don’t ever come back here!” She was practically shouting now.

            In an instant, LaCroix was behind her breathing heavily on her neck. She didn’t bother to check if his fangs were out, she simply turned towards him, and jabbed the (sharpened) pencil into his chest. He gasped and stepped back, his face turning whiter than usual.

            Natalie, still holding on to the pencil, pulled it out with a heavy jerk. She shook it in front of his face and continued angrily, “When Nick is around, I’ll be civil to you – and I will expect you to be civil to me – God knows why he still loves you, but he does --and for his sake, I won’t try to stake you.”

            LaCroix looked at her in disbelief. He just didn’t believe that she would have the gumption, nerve, gall, to face up to him like this. He was quite taken aback. If he had had more time to think, he might have tried to say or do something.

            “Let me put it this way: I’ve got matches, a sharp stake, and PMS, now what silly, little problem did you want me to deal with?”

            "It was I, Doctor, who took you to the Emergency Room. Did you think you walked there on your own?" LaCroix said as dryly as he could manage. He then turned and left in a blur.

            Natalie gaped at what the vampire had just said. In all the confusion and horror of that couple of days, she had totally blanked it out of her mind. She honestly did not remember who had gotten her to the hospital; she never expected it to be LaCroix. [Morning After – WD, the events that followed Last Knight.]

            Natalie slammed the pencil down on her table. Then she went to her cupboard, got the bottle of scotch and a glass she kept there for ‘medical’ emergencies, poured herself a shot, and downed it in one gulp. She poured herself another shot, sat down at the table and set the glass down. She couldn’t hold the glass because she was shaking so hard. But the good thing about this was that it was from anger, not fear.

            “Two inches lower and it would have gone through your heart, you (*)(&%^*#*&^@, and you know it,” she said aloud to herself. She was beginning to understand how furious Wade must have felt at the vampire, and how on earth did Nick put up with it?

            <<I wonder if dried garlic over the windows and window sills would work to keep him out? And, I’d better sharpen some more pencils. Who’d have thought that would work?>> she thought.

            "Sydney!" she shouted. The cat had jumped onto the table and was dutifully lapping up the scotch from her glass. She grabbed him and put him on the floor. "Bad cat," she said, but she started to chuckle too.

Wade & LaCroix

            Wade was sitting at the far end of the bar in the Raven. He spied LaCroix coming in and sitting at the other end. He got up and walked over to the vampire and sat down next to him.

            “I understand that you had a run-in with Dr. Lambert, Lucius.”

            LaCroix turned to face him and snarled.

            “Sorry,” Wade said and got up to leave.

            “Wait, Detective,” LaCroix said. “My apologies, I should not have growled at you, although I do suspect that half of what the good Doctor said and did was as a result of your interference.”

            Wade smiled, “Probably. Want to tell me about it?”

            “Not particularly, my Youngman. Do not start analyzing me. I do not play those parlor games," he said and then appeared to become lost in thought. Wade Shrugged; he recognized this from Nick’s doing it.

            Coming back into focus, LaCroix looked at Wade suggestively and asked, “Would you care to engage in another game of chess, my boy?”

            “No, thank you, Lucius. Not now, anyway. I’m not sure you would maintain my control if I were in your apartment. Bring a board and pieces out here and we can play in one of the booths at the back.”

            Then Wade offered, “We could try to grill each other as to what everyone is up to.” He grinned as he saw LaCroix actually relax a bit.

            “That might just work, detective,” LaCroix gave him a small smile.

Nick & Natalie

            "Are you serious!" Nick exclaimed.

            "Very," Natalie said, "I'm not putting up with him anymore – at least in my own apartment. My own apartment! He's got his nerve. I won't have it!" she shouted.

            "Nat, take it easy. I'll talk to him –"

            "No! Don't. Not yet. I need to talk to him again. I was rather rude, and —

            "But even so, Nat –"

            "No, Nick, let me handle it. Just because *I* can't stand him doesn't mean you have to get involved. You have enough troubles with him on your own; you don't need to take up mine as well. Plus, if you haven't noticed, Mister-I'm-Responsible-for-You, you are not responsible for me. I'm a grown-up, and I can take care of myself. Been doing it for a couple of years now, Nick."

            "Natalie, I have no doubt that you can take care of yourself – I've seen that – but LaCroix is something else. I don't suppose I could order you not to approach him," whereupon Natalie gave him one of her dirtiest looks, "and I can't whammy you, will you at least let someone else go with you. Vachon would do it for me."

            "It's taken care of, Nick. I've asked Wade to go with me."

            Nick lifted his eyebrows.

            "He's dealt with LaCroix before, and strange as it may seem I think they like each other."

            "Natalie, that may be true, but it wouldn't stop LaCroix from draining him if he felt like it."

            "Maybe so, Nick. But remember he did actually shoot LaCroix. He's got to have something going for him."

            Nick sighed. "Just be careful? I . . . I care . . . I love . . . I . . . ," Nick stuttered. He actually looked like he was blushing.

            Natalie didn't say anything; she just leaned over to him and kissed him on his forehead. "I know," she said softly.

Wade & Natalie

            "You want me to what!?"

            "Take me to the Raven and wait there with me while I talk to LaCroix," Natalie repeated.

            "You do realize that you've gone stark-raving mad, don't you?"

            She sighed. "Wade, I know he's dangerous, but I do need to talk to him. Really. And, he and I are not on particularly good terms at the moment."

            "You and the rest of the world. Well," Wade hesitated, "but, o.k. It's your funeral. And, it just may be, you know."

            "But he likes you, god only knows why."

            "Gee, thanks, Nat. I suppose it's 'cause I look tasty!"

            "Wade! Don't be dense. God only knows why LaCroix does anything, but he seems to have taken some sort of shine to you –"

            "I know, Natalie, but consider: he likes Nick too and broke his jaw the other day to prove it."

            "Look, I not asking you to be my knight in shining armor – that position has been filled," she winked, "I just need a, a, witness, or someone to tell LaCroix to stop.

            "Will you help me, Wade? All you have to do is stand there so he doesn't make me dinner."

            "Yes, Natalie, of course."

Natalie & LaCroix. At the Raven

            "Mikloš, would you let M. LaCroix know that there's someone here who would like to talk to him? Thank you."

            Mikloš disappeared into the back and reappeared a few moments later, followed shortly by LaCroix.

            "Detective Everett. To what do I owe the pleasure?"

            "Sir, I'm quite sure it's not a pleasure," Wade said and he raised his hand a bit and signaled.

            "Someone else wants to talk to you and has asked me to intercede on their behalf. Other than that, I have nothing to do with this." Natalie joined the two of them.

            "I see," LaCroix said sternly.

            "Monsieur LaCroix."

            "Doctor Lambert."

            The frost in the air was palpable.

            "If you will excuse me," Wade said, and he moved somewhat further down the bar to give the two at least a semblance of privacy.

            "Monsieur, I was very angry when you visited me and I was quite rude. I want to apologize."

            "Thank you, my dear," he said precisely and coolly. "Your apology is accepted. Is there anything else?"

            Natalie started to say several other things, but stopped, decided to keep her own counsel on this, and merely said, "Yes, thank you for taking me to hospital," and reached into a pocket and pulled out a small wrapped package and placed in on the bar within easy reach of LaCroix.

            He picked it up an inspected it, then unwrapped it, took the top off the box, and looked inside.

            "Well, this is unexpected, Doctor." He looked at her expectantly.

            "You're welcome," she said, disregarding the fact that he hadn't said 'thank you', and, "Thank you for speaking with me." With that she turned and walked over to Wade and indicated she wanted to leave.

            "That was it?" he asked, puzzled.

            "Yes. I was rather rude to him the other day; frankly, I lost my temper. I decided that it wouldn't be good to leave that as the last impression. A little fence mending of a sort, or as much as you can do that sort of thing with him."

            "Hmm, yes, I know what you mean. What did you give him?"     

            "A token. C'mon, let's go before he gets all emotional and weepy."

            Wade rolled his eyes, "Hmmph. Nick once said you had a dark sense of humor."

            They were walking toward to exit when Nick entered.

            "Hello." Nick appeared at their sides.

            "Oh, good, this is where I bow out, Natalie. Nick, I leave the floor to you." He smiled, bowed to Nick, and left the area.

 

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