Date:    96-12-24 19:09:11 EST
Present to My DKL Friends.
(This will be posted to FKFIC-L - you get first dibs! Enjoy, mes amis...)

"Storm Watch"
A Forever Knight/Dark Knightie Story
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Date:    96-12-24 19:09:11 EST
Present to My DKL Friends.
(This will be posted to FKFIC-L - you get first dibs! Enjoy, mes amis...)

"Storm Watch"
A Forever Knight/Dark Knightie Story
Copyright, 1996
by Marcia Tucker


    He blew into the Raven ahead of the storm, his eyes briefly flashing murder before the veil of control fell. Casting a quick glance about, Nick Knight noted that the approaching storm had discouraged the night's patronage to the club. There were few mortals, rather more vampires, more than a couple of which glanced his way with widened eyes before discreetly turning back to their supposed glasses of red wine. Despite the dark atmosphere and weirdly strobing lights, Nick saw as if in daytime, casting his sharp gaze about for one individual in particular. Suddenly the midnight blue eyes fixed, not on the individual's normal post to one end of the bar, but on the radio booth at the far end of the club. Target, acquired.
    He never noticed the hasty swath that cleared way for him through the sparse crowd, bodies moving effortlessly aside as if guided by the gentle push of wind. A few pairs of eyes followed him, sides were nudged with elbows, and eyebrows raised. To the denizens who dared to witness, the passage of Knight was intriguing to no end, considering this particular vampire's history of mortal aspirations. Carefully noted were the slight flare to his nostrils, the tight focus of his gaze ahead, the powerful set of his shoulders, the clench and unclench of fists.
    Sliding to a stop at the door of the radio booth, Nick Knight hesitated patiently, knowing an invitation would be forthcoming. Sure enough, he felt a slight but unmistakable "something" in the mental link he possessed with the occupant of the booth. The corner of his mouth making an ironic twitch, he entered the booth, closed the door behind him, and leaned back on the door, crossing his arms over his chest.
    The booth's occupant kept a smirk off his mouth with effort. "Nicholas," Lucien LaCroix murmured, glancing up the length of his son's tall form. "It's quite a night to be out, isn't it? I believe I heard thunder earlier."
    There was a bit of white showing above Nick's eyes, another sign of the high tension in his body. He looked at his maker. "It's glorious, LaCroix. The wind whipping at your clothes, the cold smack of rain on your face, the delicious electricity in the air..."
    "The ions in the air, Nicholas," LaCroix corrected him mildly, then glanced back down at his radio console. He'd switched over to a taped commercial, but as this could take longer than commercials could comfortably be used, something else would have to do in the interim. A tape of a pre-recorded session was begun as he continued. "Your vampire body reacts to the presence of charged ions in the atmosphere. They send your senses singing - quite a 'charge' at that."
    "Yes," Nick agreed, sighing, and closed his eyes, again letting the singing still in his system surge. When he opened his eyes again, they were gold. When his lips parted, there was a flash of fang.
    LaCroix stood hastily to stand before his son, who met his eyes - also gold. "You feel the power, don't you, Nicholas?"
    "Oh, yes," the younger vampire agreed, his voice raspy. "I feel powerful." He emitted a soft snarl, then his glance fell past his master, upon a bottle sitting on the far edge of the radio console. Nostrils flared again in recognizing an unmistakable delicate odor. With a couple swift steps, Nick had retrieved the bottle, tipped it up and drank.
    LaCroix made a huff of surprise as Nick had brushed past him, then half-raised his hand toward his son, stopping when he turned and saw what he was doing. "Nicholas..." he started to say, then remained silent, his hand falling back to his side, watching him with intense interest. Savored him, memorizing the sight as if it were one he hadn't expected to see and might never again.
    Nick brought the bottle back down, his eyes closing, and held the bottle against his chest as he let the heady libation pervade his being. It was, of course, human blood, incredibly delicious, filling his veins with warmth and liquid power. For once Nick did not let himself think about what it was, where it was from, what it meant for him to drink it - all of that did not matter at this moment. He was a vampire who fed on human blood, alive, free, and powerful. For once any guilt he might have felt was distant, or at least not allowed to intrude at this moment of permitted indulgence.
    His link with his master tingled as well, for he was hyperaware of LaCroix's eyes on him, of the intense regard boring into his back. The gaze did not irritate him, not this time. The approval of his master he even welcomed, allowing a rare moment of harmony between them. It... felt good.
    LaCroix was loathe to break the mood, wanted it to last forever if possible, thought of ways he might be able to encourage his Nicholas to stay on this path. He came over to stand at his back, inches away, leaning just close enough to whisper in his ear without touching him. "Is this... so terribly bad, Nicholas?" he asked, his voice pitched to caress carefully.
    "No," came back the immediate answer, unthinking perhaps. Very good.
    "Your senses are alive, sharpened..."
    "Yes..." Nick opened his eyes slowly, though they were still hooded and Other.
    "Yours to control, to own."
    "Oh, yes." Knowing LaCroix for as long as he had, Nick knew full well what the other was trying to do, and he almost smiled. In fact he felt far too good to let the other's tactics concern him.
    "You know, Nicholas, you could do much good with your powers."
    The blond head turned around, and Nick, with blue eyes again, stared at LaCroix, who was surprised yet thrilled to see a faint smile on his son's wide lips. "I could, couldn't I?"
    LaCroix returned the smile, his eyes normal as well. "But you've always known that. And you already do that. You just... don't allow yourself to acknowledge it." There, he'd said it. His smile faded as LaCroix waited for the potential explosion.
    Nick studied his master's eyes for a moment, then relaxed minutely. "I guess I don't." He looked down at the bottle again, then took another drink.
    <This is more than I could have hoped for,> LaCroix thought, drinking in the sight of his son feeding. <Dare I dream of more?>
    The blood drained down the inside of Nick's throat, burning with life and fire. Life - his life, the lifeblood, the essence of life for his species, that which embued him with power. That power felt so wonderful and seemed to stiffen his control, enslaved to his will as it should be. The painful hunger that was so a part of his everyday life was distant, an echo, and it was occurring to him that keeping himself in a state of constant hunger by drinking only steer's blood had been an unnecessary danger to the mortals in his life.
    A third deep swallow, then Nick was handing the bottle back to LaCroix. "Thank you, LaCroix," he murmured, a faint hint of amusement in his voice. Not at LaCroix, but at himself. He turned to go to the door when he felt the other's hand on his arm. He looked up.
    "Anytime, Nicholas," LaCroix replied, smiling with open pleasure at his son, who, for once, did not squirm to be so regarded.
    Back out in the club area, a couple pairs of eyes looked after the tall, handsome blonde vampire who appeared considerably more relaxed than when he'd come in. Nick halted and turned sharply to regard one of the pairs of eyes, looking down at the deep brown eyes of the female vampire they belonged to. To her relief, he broke into a smile, and even looked her over with evident pleasure. "Ah, I don't dance much, but..." Winking, he held his hand out to her in invitation. She accepted, grinning.
    The other pair of eyes watched a moment longer from the door of the radio booth, then withdrew. "Weather gods be praised," he murmured, and returned to his console. Activating his microphone, he took up the radio program, a new vibrancy evident in his voice. "This is the Nightcrawler, mes amis, on a wild night of nights! A storm is brewing... and I couldn't be happier!"

The End

Marcia Tucker / scfimarci@aol.com