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White Christmas, Dark Christmas
By Shadowstar

Disclaimer: If you think I own Nick, Nat, and the rest of the FK crew, you’re sadly mistaken.  I borrowed them, hugged them, squeezed them, called them George, then gave them back like a good girl. Seriously, Forever Knight belongs to Sony Tristar, Barney Cohen, and James D. Perriot.

Authors Note: This story was written specifically for the DarkNN Christmas story contest, so by extension, it is definitely DarkNN!  My thanks to my gorgeous beta readers, Stacy and Christy.  Oh yes… Nunkies, sorry, but I was DarkNN first! (Hm.  Y’know, DarkNN should make you happy… a new daughter or granddaughter for Nunkies *and* he gets Nick back…) Archive?  Sure! Permission granted for the FTP archive, my site, Stacy’s site, the DarkNN archive and contest site, the FK fanfic archive, FK archive #2 and jadfe if it becomes necessary.  All others ask permission first.  

As usual, this takes place in an alternate universe in which Schanke is still alive, Nick isn’t totally opposed to being a vampire as long as he has Nat, and there’s talk of Nat joining him on the other side… I guess this can be seen as a sequel to Christmas Medley, though it’s not completely necessary to read it first.  Last Knight *did* happen, only slightly differently—since Tracy doesn’t exist as Nick’s partner, she’s still alive and ignorant of vampires.  Schanke didn’t die in her place; Nick and Nat just went a little too far with almost fatal consequences.

~*~*~*~

Nick stroked Nat’s hair sleepily, relishing the feel of her warm body against his cooler one.  They had risked being together so seldom that it was still almost a novelty to wake with her in his arms.  He hugged her to him and hoped that some day he’d never have to let her go.  “Je t’aime mon coeur, ma Natalie,” he murmured.

Nat’s eyes fluttered open and she gave him a heart-stopping, sleepy smile.  “Evening,” she said with a short yawn.  “I just had the *strangest* dream.”

Nick wrapped one of her curls around his finger, fascinated by the silky texture and the way it sprang back when he released it.  “Let me guess,” he said teasingly.  “You went to the North Pole and found an elf?”

Nat grinned and shook her head.  “Nope, but I did see LaCroix and Janette dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus.”

Nick threw back his head and started to laugh at the mental picture.  “LaCroix as Santa Claus,” he managed to gasp out as blood tears started rolling down his cheeks.

“Don’t forget Janette as Mrs. Claus,” Nat reminded him.  She poked him in the stomach.  “Complete with white wig, red polyester dress…”

Nick simply laughed harder, unable to stop. “There’s no *way*,” he gasped.

Nat grinned unrepentantly.  “I know,” she said.



Nick hugged her tightly, then looked at the clock and groaned.  “We’ve got to actually get up if we’re going to make it up to the cabin,” he said.

Natalie kissed him softly, then slid out of bed.  “Are you sure that Myra and Schanke are okay with us using the cabin?” she asked.

Nick put his hands behind his head and watched her start to dress.  “Yeah; They’re going to spend Christmas with Myra’s family.  When I mentioned that I was planning on taking you somewhere for Christmas, Schank *insisted* that we use the cabin.”

Natalie picked up her hairbrush and started to run it through her thick curls. Nick got up, took the brush from her, and started brushing her hair, stopping once or twice to kiss the top of her head.

Nat tipped her face up to look at him, then reeled him in for a kiss.  Nick broke the kiss off and caressed her cheek. "We'd better get going," he reminded her softly.  

Nat wrinkled her nose.  "You're the one who's not dressed yet," she pointed out.

Nick grinned, grabbed his clothes, and got dressed at vampiric speed. "Ready to go?" he asked.

"Showoff," she said.  "Yeah, I'm ready." Nat stuffed her feet into a pair of shoes and headed downstairs.

Nick followed, helped her into her coat, and soon they were on their way to Schanke’s cabin.  Nick had made sure to pack the caddy the night before with everything they needed for a protracted stay, so there weren’t any stops they had to make along the way.

They drove along, listening to Christmas carols on the radio as Nat leaned against Nick’s free shoulder and wrapped his arm around her shoulders.  Soon, he would never be parted from her.  Soon, he would have his Natalie with him throughout all eternity.

Nat tipped her head up and kissed the underside of his jaw, then, without speaking, settled her head back on his shoulder.  Nick shivered slightly at the contact, and struggled to keep his attention on the slick roads rather than on his Natalie.

Nat stared out the window, watching the scenery pass by.  “Nick, look at that,” she said, pointing towards an upcoming church.  There was a large nativity scene outside, blanketed with a coating of white snow that made the whole thing gleam and sparkle under the lights.

Nick glanced over and smiled.  “Looks pretty, doesn’t it?” he asked.

Natalie nodded.  “Yeah.  Looks like I’ll be avoiding churches from now on, though,” she said.

Nick placed a quick kiss on her forehead.  “Maybe not—we can try the one we went to last week; it didn’t particularly bother me…”

“I guess,” Nat said noncommittally, and then fell into silence.  She reached out and turned on the radio.

The Nightcrawler’s rich voice filled the air.  “My children of the night, tonight during this season, I wish to speak of love, true love.  Some believe that such a think does not exist, but those are the people who have not yet found their… one true love.  Oh yes, I assure you, it does exist and happens only once.  When you find it, hold on to it for eternity and never let it go.  Luck to a dear friend of mine this night for holding on to his true love.  Let us hope for eternity…”

Nick shut the radio off.  “He offered to help, you know,” he said softly.  “He offered to bring you across himself to make sure it would work.”

Nat buried her nose in Nick’s collar and inhaled.  “I thought he might after he visited me in the hospital,” she murmured, her voice a bit muffled by his coat and shirt.

Nick kissed her hair again and listened as her breathing evened out and she fell asleep.  He drove for another hour, enjoying the soft sounds she made as she slept, until they arrived at the cabin.  He pulled up in front of it and carefully lowered Natalie on to the seat before he got out, went around the car, and picked her up.  Carefully, he took her up to the porch, opened the door, took her inside, and lowered her on to the king sized bed.  It was a matter of minutes at vampiric speed to unload the car and put all the supplies away.  

Nick pulled out a few bottles of blood and drank them, determined to satiate his beast before he tried to make her his.  He walked over to the bed and kissed her softly.  Nat’s eyes fluttered open and she kissed him back.  “Mmm,” she said with a happy sigh.  “That was a nice way to wake up.”

Nick flashed her a charming smile.  “Anything else you want to do as your last night as a mortal?” he asked.

Nat wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.  “How about that?” she asked a trifle breathlessly after she ended the kiss.

Nick’s eyes were gold and his voice had roughened and deepened.  “Plenty of time for that… later.” His eyes turned back to their normal blue color as he leaned in to kiss her softly.  

“We could build a snowman and then I could have a big cup of hot chocolate,” Nat suggested.

Nick brushed a strand of hair back from her face.  “I haven’t done that for, oh, a century or so,” he admitted.  

Together, the couple stood up.  Nick helped Nat into her winter gear and they went outside. They spent some time building a vampire snowman.  Nat even produced some reflective yellow plastic from somewhere to use for his eyes.  Nick laughed when he saw the finished product.  “All it needs is a topcoat and a military haircut, and we’d have SnowLaCroix,” he said with a teasing grin.  He looked at the sky.  “Nat, I think we should go in--it looks like the snow might get worse.”

Natalie nodded and they headed inside.  The cabin’s resident Brownie, who had heard Nick’s comments about the snowman, poked his head out of his little house, laughed at the snowman, and with a shooing motion, he brought the snowman to temporary life.  The snowman, who now had the intelligence of a dog, shook himself and shuffled over to the window to peer inside.  Unfortunately, the window he chose was the one that looked into the bedroom, so the snowman had a good view of the proceedings.

~*~*~*~

Nick and Nat sat side-by-side on the bed.  “Nat, um, I wanted to make this pleasurable for you, but--"

“After last time, you’re scared that you’ll take too much,” Nat finished.  She reached up to caress his cheek.  “I understand; we’ll have time for more later.”

Nick kissed her softly.  “I promise I’ll be gentle,” he said as he brushed her hair aside.    Tenderly, he bit into the side of her neck.

Nat only felt a tiny prick, then a slight sucking sensation before she was hit by a wave of emotion from Nick--fear that he would go too far, love for her, and acceptance of his vampiric life as long as she was with him.  His cool arms cradled her close as he drank.  She saw memories of his mortal life, the beginnings of his life with LaCroix and Janette, but most of all his years in Toronto with her.  It was all laced with his overwhelming love of her as everything went dark.

Nick stopped and licked the last few drops from her neck, then bit his wrist and held it over her open mouth, dripping the life-giving liquid in it.  “Come back to me, ma Natalie,” he called softly.  “Come back into my darkness to be my light.”  He gave her more of his blood.   “Mon coeur, ma vie, ma lumière dans le ténèbres come back to me,” he begged.

Slowly, Nat opened her eyes and smiled at him, then clutched her stomach, and her eyes glowed amber.  Nick handed her a bottle of donated human blood and watched as she downed it, then handed her another.  After her fourth bottle of blood, she slowed down and looked at him.  “So am I?”

“Yes.”  Nick kissed her, releasing the passion he’d been holding in check for so long.    Carefully, he caressed her new fangs with his tongue, smiling when they extended for the first time.  “Now it’s time for our first lesson,” he said teasingly.

“And that would be?” Nat asked breathlessly.

Nick kissed her again, then trailed kisses over her face and down her jaw to her neck.  “The joys of bloodsharing,” he growled.  

Nat giggled, pulled him down on to the bed and kissed him thoroughly.  “And now we have all the time in the world…”

~*~*~*~

Outside, the snowman shuffled to the door, opened it and went inside where it was more than a little warm.  The next evening, Nick and Nat spent some time wondering where the large puddle inside their door had come from and how the various un-snow bits and pieces had managed to get inside, but they had other, better things to occupy themselves with.

End.

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