Subj:    DK: Nearly Made War 7 Dk Story
Date:    97-04-21 18:59:29 EDT
From:    ScFiMarci
BCC:    Knightwave

Here's my almost DK/UF contribution to War 7... as you will see, the whole thing is about FUN! Something we're still forgetting, methinks!
"Go there? But of Course..."
A Nearly Made the War Post for the UF Loop
by Marcia Tucker
August, 1996

Time: early last week (Aug. 5ish?)
Place: Queen St. W. and Clairemont / The Loft
Scenario: Somehow someone (a hired Merc?) managed to get Nick to believe he was the Highlander, Duncan MacLeod.
Inside Explanations: Sandra Gray was trapped in a cellar with LaCroix in War 5. It was, um, embarrassing for her to say the least. Perri Smith and Catherine Boone are the Knightie Co-Leaders. Robbi Egersdorf is another Dark Knightie.
Comment: I do love to write LaCroix! But I'm still not a Cousin!! (Marcia was still protesting at this time - me)

    The tall, dark figure nodded curtly to the other. They were standing in shadows beside a building with a mural of a flying skeleton blowing a horn behind them on the wall. "I am here," the deep, sepulchrous voice intoned. "What is it you want? I assume this is about Nicholas."
    The other, shorter figure, wearing a long black coat and a black fedora, looked up slightly, not quite meeting the tall one's eyes. "You know he is in trouble," the low, feminine voice murmured.
    Eyes widened. "Yes."
    "He needs you."
    Lucien LaCroix considered carefully. He'd been asked by one of his own - a Cousin - to meet this mysterious woman here, and had only agreed when he'd learned that his son was involved. Despite the fact that this person was one of Nicholas's mortal friends, of the group currently infesting the loft. A "Knightie" as they styled themselves, though the Cousin had assured him that this was a "Dark Knightie" - something halfway toward his own camp. He liked that. Normally Knighties of any sort did not want anything to do with him. But, as his relationship with his son had changed of late, so perhaps might have changed the regard in which his son's friends would hold him.
    Well, at least this one, apparently. "I agree," he murmured thoughtfully. "There is much disquiet in his mind. But I am surprised that you would consider allowing me to help him."
    The Knightie glanced furtively toward Queen St. W., as if wary of spies. Certainly the club on this corner, "Sanctuary", was anything but if the wrong sorts should see her. She then looked back up, at last meeting the gaze of the tall, ancient vampire. "You are his closest friend. If he persists in this Immortal fantasy, he could lose his head. I didn't think you would like that."
    LaCroix smiled in faint amusement. "No, I don't suppose that I would. Very well. My minions can spare me for a short while." He glanced up as if preparing to take off.
    "Don't go there immediately," the woman said quickly. "I have to let the others know. Since this happened, we've been extremely protective of Nick. They won't let you go near him. Come to the loft in a half hour."
    He nodded. Pulling the fedora down, the woman stole off into the darkness.

    Knightie Central. The loft. Marcia entered, sliding the elevator door closed behind her.
    "Hey, Marci," called a couple of passing Knighties.
    Marcia waved hello at them as she shed the coat and hat. "Where are Perri and Cath?"
    Sandra pointed to the couch. But as Sandra made to move on, Marcia gently pulled her back by the arm, then whispered in her ear. Sandra paled. She whispered back, "Thanks for the warning - I'm out of here!" Gathering her purse, Sandra hastily got. No way would she want to be around when a certain tall, balding vampire showed up!
    "Perri, Cath, everyone," Marcia called to the Knightie leaders and those assembled. "We're going to have a visitor in a few minutes."
    "Yeah?" Cath inquired, looking concerned. Marcia seemed very nervous - not a good sign.
    "You guys can shoot me later," Marcia said quickly, "and I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to clear this first." She glanced up toward the skylight a couple times as she talked. "It was a sudden opportunity that came up. I had to take it. Nick needs help, *now*."
    "Marcia, you're babbling," Perri tried to calm her, speaking slowly. "You found someone who can convince Nick he's not an Immortal, is that it?"
    "Oh, yeah, but you may not like who it is."
    "Who cares?" retorted Allison. "Just so we can get Nick past this Highlander nonsense!"
    "So, who is it?" Maryann asked.
    Marcia looked around at her Knightie comrades. <They might do something worse than shoot me. They might feed me to the NatPack,> she thought morosely. "All right." She squared her shoulders. "LaCroix is coming."
    Stunned silence. Then, a delighted response. "How the hell did you manage that, Marci?" Robbi broke in excitedly. "Way to go!"
    "Wait, wait," Cath spoke up, and a dozen other Knighties also tried to speak until Cath shushed them. "Oh, Marcia, you have thought this through, haven't you?"
    When a couple Knighties giggled at the LaCroix paraphrase, Cath paled, realizing what she'd said. "Oh my God, did I say that? Anyway, Marcia, what were you thinking?"
    "I'm thinking," Marcia replied firmly, "that LaCroix is the only one who can help Nick get his head straight again. He's not going to hurt Nick anymore - not now that Nick is closer to him than he's been for a long time. For once I think we can actually trust LaCroix."
    They were astounded. Trust LaCroix? But she was right - the relationship between the two vampires had indeed altered significantly since the last War.
    Perri looked up toward the bedroom. "We better tell Dotti and Amy," she said, referring to the two "guards" who were upstairs sitting vigil on Nick, who was evidently still asleep. "Marcia, come with me."
    As Perri and Marcia ascended the stairs, the others milled around nervously to wait. "No wonder Sandra lit out of here," Allison noted to Cath, who nodded, worried yet resigned.

    "Say what?" Dotti exclaimed loudly, staring at their leader in horror. "No, way!"
    "Yes, way - look, he might help him!" Perri argued.
    "You Dark Knightie, you would think of something like this," Amy accused the other, glaring.
    "Hey, I'm loyal to Nick first!" Marcia declared hotly, facing off against her Favorite Adversary. (inside joke)
    "Yeah, right... you're also in that Unnamed group! You have friends who are *Cousins*!"
    Marcia rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Please, friends!" Perri implored them hastily. "Nick will be waking any moment, and..."
    There was a low noise from the bed behind them. The vampire did seem to be waking. At the same time, the Knighties heard a squeal of surprise from downstairs, then dead silence. They rushed to the door of the bedroom - but fell back immediately.
    Lucien LaCroix stood just outside the bedroom, majestic, observing them benignly. Downstairs, the assembled Knighties stared up in alarm. Most of them had regarded LaCroix as Nick's enemy too long to be comfortable in his presence now.
    He stepped inside the room as they made way, meeting Marcia's eyes for a second, then glancing over to the bed. Nick's eyes were still closed, but he was beginning to stir. LaCroix looked at his son long, then glanced at the others, particularly Dotti and Amy who stood in the way. "May I?"
    Dotti retreated hastily to the other side of the room, daunted. Perri and Marcia moved over to the opposite side of the bed from him, while Amy glared at LaCroix then took up a position at the foot of the bed.
    The corner of LaCroix's mouth quirked up in amusement, then he neared to stand beside Nick. Tentatively he reached out to brush aside the dark blond strands of hair on Nick's forehead. Then he called to him. "Nicholas - wake up, Nicholas..."
    Nick's eyes flew open with a start. "Sword - I need my sword -"
    The hand retreated. "Whatever for, Nicholas? I hadn't planned on a duel with you. I won the last one, remember - you might reconsider challenging me."
    The younger vampire, who did not seem to see the women surrounding the bed, sat up abruptly, shying away from the other of his kind. "It's against the game - no fair to fight me when I don't have my sword - no fair to take my head that way..."
    LaCroix chuckled, sending shivers down the spines of the Knighties. "Certainly I would not want to take your head, Nicholas - I quite like it where it is." (Controlling majorly UFfish thoughts - bad Marcia!)
    A look of panic crossed Nick's face. "I'm Duncan MacLeod, of the clan MacLeod..."
    "Oh, stop!" LaCroix had bent suddenly, grasping Nick by the jaw painfully. Amy and Dotti looked frightened, Perri really worried, and Marcia resigned. Of course LaCroix was going to do this LaCroix-style. "Look at me..."
    Nick couldn't very well do anything else, immobilized by the iron grip. He looked.
    "You are Nicholas de Brabant, a vampire, and my son," LaCroix stated determinedly, his voice low and harsh. He was close to vamping out, which he carefully controlled, thinking the Knighties might not appreciate that approach. Although he had a strong sense that Marcia would quite like it. Interesting. He pressed on. "You are most definitely not Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod. You are not *that* kind of Immortal..."
    Through the painful grip Nick muttered, "There - can - be - only - one..."
    "Stop that!" LaCroix shook Nick's head like a rag doll's. "You are NOT MacLeod, you are Nicholas de Brabant, now calling yourself Nicholas Knight, an erstwhile Toronto Metropolitan homicide detective, and a nearly eight hundred year old vampire! Come out of this senseless fantasy - NOW!" He shoved him backwards, releasing him.
    Nick frowned, then looked up, a funny expression on his face. "LaCroix?"
    The ancient vampire crossed his arms before him, regarding his protege with suspicion. "Have you come back to us, then, Nicholas? Still want a sword?"
    "What would I want a sword for?" Nick looked bewildered, then noted the circle of extremely relieved Knighties around the bed. "What...?"
    It was evident that the very powerful old vampire had somehow shaken loose the implanted memory and restored Nick's knowledge of his identity, either through their link together or through his own brand of highly efficient hypnotism. LaCroix relaxed minutely and sighed. "Nothing, Nicholas. Apparently since your memory loss some months ago, you're more susceptible to mental persuasion than I'd believed. I see I shall have to make time in the near future to give you a lesson."
    "Er, thanks - I think," Nick replied, still confused. He didn't seem to mind LaCroix being there apparently, much to the amazement of some of the Knightie observers, who watched them, stunned. Marcia was trying to control a smirk, and when LaCroix shot her a glance, managed to return the look soberly.
    "Good evening, Nicholas - we'll have a chat when this War silliness is over, shall we?" LaCroix murmured, edging toward the door.
    "Sure," Nick answered, slowly getting up. "I'll see you then."
    LaCroix regarded the Knighties gravely, then afforded them a slight bow before leaving the room, and evidently leaving by the skylight. Collective Knightie sighs went through the loft, upstairs and downstairs.
    Nick was still blinking in confusion, but he was obviously himself again. "What was that all about? You four look like you're holding a wake."
    Dotti, now that LaCroix was gone, rushed to his side. "But... that was LaCroix!"
    He ran a hand through his hair, then smiled down at her. "Yeah, it sure was. How did you manage to get him here - and why?"
    Hands pointed to Marcia. "Nick," she spoke up in her defense as he looked over at her in surprise, "you thought you were Duncan MacLeod! You wanted a sword, and, well, someone could have been hurt! LaCroix gave you some kind of a mental nudge, apparently."
    The corner of his mouth went up, to her relief. "It worked, I guess." He chuckled. "I definitely do *not* think I am Duncan MacLeod! Thanks, Marcia."
    Then he noted the looks on the faces of the others. "What?" he queried, and winked at Marcia. "I owe you - and LaCroix - one, I guess."
    "Let me drive the Caddy sometime?" Marcia asked quickly.
    Nick grinned. "Sure." Then to the group, "Excuse me, I think I need to take a shower."
    Downstairs again, the Knighties explained what had happened to the others, who were suitably amazed. Marcia, thinking that she'd finally cooked her goose, tip-toed in the direction of the elevator, hoping to escape until they'd calmed down.
    "Marcia," came the voice of Co-Leader Cath.
    The Dark Knightie turned, looking uncomfortable. They were all staring at her. "Okay, I'm dead, right?"
    Perri smiled. "No, you're quite alive. But we've got just one thing to say to you."
    Marcia gulped. "Yeah?"
    Cath grinned, picked up Nick's telephone receiver, and brandished it at her. "CALL FIRST!"
    Most of the others wore smiles now. The gamble had worked. "You got it, Boss," Marcia said with relief. Then she smiled a little more than gamely. "Next time I want to get LaCroix to come here to see Nick, I'll call *before* I talk to him!" Panic on a couple faces. "Just kidding!" She winked. The Knighties chuckled all around - in relief.

The End

(And I *did* get to drive the Caddy, at the end of the post dated 8/6 where we rescued Nick from a sealed in nursery in a warehouse!)