And yes, we have door prizes! Everyone who arrived at the ficathon with a complete, fully-formatted and queued story before the deadline, please find your drabble (traditional-style: exactly 100 words) below!
While the Other Survives
for twilight2000 (Prompt: Nick/Nat. What if LaCroix didn't kill everyone in LK…?)
Nick sometimes berated himself for not leaving Natalie in a hospital, but that would have delivered her, hostage, to Lacroix. Instead, half-dead Natalie and newly-human Nick had seized Lacroix’s inaction to stagger into the sunrise and run for their shattered lives. Every day, a new place. Every night, barricaded against Lacroix’s pursuit.
Afflicted worse than O’Neal, Natalie healed incompletely. Stripped of his powers, Nick made mistakes. They had each other, wholly, at last. But Nick wanted so much more for Natalie than this shadow existence.
It could end only one way, Nick determined. Him or Lacroix: one had to die.
Breakfast in Bed
for greerwatson (Prompt: [The Schankes.] A cop's life, a cop's wife...)
"Why do I have to get up so early?"
"Because it was your idea."
"I changed my mind!" She flopped her pillow onto her face.
"Your mom only turns 40 once. I just got home and she'll be leaving soon."
Muffled, "I hate your job."
"I know. But you're gonna love chocolate cake--"
"For breakfast!" they chorused.
Jenny rolled her eyes. "Not as good as Bill Cosby, Dad."
"Okay, pumpkin. Let's pour milk, light candles, and surprise your mom."
One of her favourite memories, chocolate, laughter, and love through thin walls.
Myra touched the stone. "I miss you, Don."
No Place Like
for leela_cat (Prompt: [Nick, Feliks.] I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself -- Maya Angelou)
“When I heard about your inestimable maker,” Feliks clasped his hands behind his back, “I thought, it’s too long since I’ve seen Nicholas in person.”
Nick sat in his old friend’s new house, surrounded by cardboard boxes. “As if you would abandon your gardens just to visit me.”
“London had grown stale,” Feliks admitted, settling into an armchair. “It was time. But I do want to learn who this new Lacroix-free Nicholas is. I have high hopes.” Feliks held Nick’s gaze as long as Nick would let him. Gently, Feliks asked, “Can you be at home in yourself at last?”
A Good Decade
for merfilly (Prompt: Janette, Lacroix, Nick. Watching wearies the watcher.)
It had been a good decade, filled with silks, elaborate hats, and music both haunting and lively.
Kissing while dancing with Nicolas' hand at her back was merely the precursor to the passion of their feeding and joining.
Blood tasted better, that decade.
Lacroix joined them at the opera, eschewed the parties once his prey was chosen, and baited Nicolas.
Their rows escalated until they disrupted every day's sleep, sometimes twice.
She shoved a bag and jewels into Nicolas' hand and pushed him out the door.
He paused, gratitude on his face.
"Just...go," she hissed, and turned to face Lacroix.
for waltd (Prompt: Nick gets on the wrong side of the captain and has to get back in his/her good graces.)
“Got a minute, Cap?” Knight asked.
Reese gestured the detective into his office. He couldn’t help frowning. Earlier, Knight had disagreed with him in front of Commissioner Vetter and two fellow precinct captains. Reese admitted that Knight was right on the facts, but that wasn’t the point. They couldn’t work together if he couldn’t depend on Knight to recognize his own team.
“Tracy explained it to me.” Knight shut the door behind him and spread his hands. “I don’t have good instincts for . . . politics. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
Reese sighed, relieved. “That’s all it takes.”
The 27th Airborne
for sholio (Prompt: Nat and Schanke have an adventure together.)
"Sorry, Schank. Gotta keep pressure on this."
"Release your hostages and give up quietly."
"Who gave Nicky-boy the bullhorn?
"Shhh. Stay still. Nick will get us out."
"Course. He flies."
Nat looked up from pressing her jacket to his thigh. "You're delirious."
"No. Seen him. Not ungrateful. Lucky." His eyes drifted closed.
Nat turned. "You'd better listen to them, or you're going to have murder on your hands!"
The man with the Superman mask turned his gun on her.
Nick crashed through the skylight, tackled him, and disarmed the other.
"Told you. Flies," Schanke mumbled. "Won't tell."
Only the Medium
for lastscorpion (Prompt: Nick/Janette. Time keeps on slipping into the future.)
Janette stared at her smartphone.
Once, Nicolas had hired minstrels to serenade her. Early in his pianoforte enthusiasm, he had composed a sonata for her. Later, he had lured her down onto piano benches beside him to turn his sheet music, partners in performance. He had cranked gramophone handles to spin cylinders, then platters, for her amusement. Radio requests and mix-tapes had had their moments.
Now, he tweeted a link to a password-protected playlist. She sighed as she clicked. But then the first track brought her his voice; the second, his fingers on his instrument; all, his mind on her.
For All Time
for pj1228. (Prompt: Lacroix/Natalie. "You’re fascinating creatures.")
She couldn't ask Nick about the dreams. She still wore turtlenecks to hide scars he could not bear.
Her sleep was filled with gladiatorial games, smoky ballrooms of people dancing, battlefields with bloodied corpses, Nick flying against starlight, sight beyond sight above Big Ben, heartbeats thrumming arhythmically behind it all.
Always a white rose just out of reach.
It could be a side effect of her brush with death, of Nick's bite.
Then a white rose appeared on her desk.
Nick stared. Didn't ask.
She looked at him and said quietly, "I think it's an invitation."
As Many Facets
for gnosticdiva (Prompt: Jenny Schanke. All grown up and a chip off the ol' block.)
The Tosca program listed her under “townspeople,” but Jennifer felt as flushed with success as any diva when she took her first bow at Four Seasons Centre. She had been growing, working, straining toward this almost since she could remember, before her school chorus, back to her dad’s cassette tapes. Stravinsky, Parker, Lennon . . . even polka. She never tried to disentangle her love of music from her love for him.
Jennifer’s herd of relatives waited outside the back door; they applauded when she appeared. Her mother engulfed her in a flower-bearing hug. “Your dad would burst with pride.”
We'll Have to Get Together and Talk
for deire (Prompt: [Nick, Natalie, Janette.] "Oh, no, my dear Nicholas, you are not pinning this on me.")
"No! Nicolas, I am not your personal safe house."
"Thanks, Janette." He kissed her cheek, ran.
But Natalie blocked the stairs. Near the door protecting her.
"So, it's not just me he doesn't listen to?"
"Oh, definitely not. Nicolas has never listened." Janette leaned on the bar. "To anyone."
"Is it women?"
Janette considered. "No, he is the same with men who disagree."
Nick interrupted, "I am not--"
"Shush." Natalie sat by Janette.
"You should have seen his rows with Lacroix. Sometimes," Janette leaned forward, "they would throw furniture."
Nick called from the door, "You two have fun, then."
Red in Tooth and Claw
for lafenris (Prompt: Nick, Perry, Jody Fraser... Nick has to temporarily dogsit…)
The golden retriever lapped up animal blood willingly enough, Nick had seen, but so would Lacroix, deprived of another appellation. Gentle, tail-wagging Perry preferred to feed on humans. Guide-dog training could not purge that; regret over Ralegh should not disguise it.
Jody had filled a bowl on Nick’s kitchen floor with medically-discarded human blood. Nick leaned against his counter, arms crossed. His mouth watered; fangs strained; mind churned. When Perry woke, the dog snarled possessively before gulping it all and looking for more.
Jody now faced the same impossible choice Nick once had. He would try to ease her way.
Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law
for foxy11814 (Prompt: A master vampire has come to Toronto and is showing some interest in Nick. Lacroix isn’t having it.)
A shadow fluttered against the waning moon.
Lacroix's lip curled. He could feel it, rippling through his nostrils, the scent of one who smelled and desired Nicholas.
Only he or Janette could smell of that particular desire.
He followed aged sandalwood musk. Once he would have searched pure, inky night. The city lights distorted his hunt.
He found the interloper in a cemetery, as might happen in those films Nicholas so enjoyed. Ah, irony.
It was the work of an instant, and only too bad there was no body to display, labelled as warning to others.
This one is mine.
for malinaldarose (Prompt: Nick/Natalie. An evening at the movies.)
Natalie cried on Nick’s shoulder across the divided movie-theater seats. Nick stretched his arm around her and told himself that he should have expected this. While film-festival tickets surely trumped last year’s belated birthday card and flowers, he had seen King Kong reduce her to tears. He knew how Natalie let herself find, in movies, the release that she denied herself in the real life she lived so fiercely.
Nick rested his head on Natalie’s. Tears were almost like blood; trust akin to possession. Emotions they could not otherwise share flowed freely, for a moment, in the flickering silver light.
Music of the Night Sky
for brightknightie (Prompt: Nick/Janette. Lightning storm, lightning light.)
Thunder rumbled its way through the air, through his chest.
"Nicolas! Whatever are you thinking?"
He stood away from a crooked old tree on the blustery heath, feeling the impact of every raindrop.
He had not felt so alive in 600 years.
"Nicolas!" She tugged at his arm. "Come inside!"
The lightning filled the sky, pink around the edges.
"Is it not beautiful? When did you last see the full shape of land so distant?"
She stilled. Watched.
"Night brings such beauty as mortals rarely know."
"Indeed." She leaned into him. "But you will replace my gown."
for sure_i_am (Prompt: Natalie & LaCroix. A face-off … set pre-season 3.)
While the mall conveniently corralled prey, Lacroix mused, he would prefer to hunt less placid quarry. At least his errand was brief. He stepped into the electronics shop for a new modem. To his surprise, he found himself face to face with: “Doctor Lambert.”
Startled, she threw back her shoulders and met his eyes. “I won’t pretend I don’t know you.”
“Of course not.” Lacroix inclined his head. “That ruse is for Nicholas. It pains him that you’ve forgotten; and you, that you recall, yet dare not say.”
“You’re a psychopath, you know.”
“Yes.” Lacroix smiled. “And what are you?”
for lastscorpion, this game’s one pinch-hit writer (Prompt: Years pass. Jenny Schanke grows up. LaCroix is still not dead.)
Jenny turned. "Hey! My dad's a cop."
The man chuckled. "I'm afraid your verb tense is incorrect. Your father was a police officer."
"You knew Dad?"
She opened her bag. "Could I--"
"You may not interview me. And despite your...nostalgic little project, I must forbid you seeking out his partner."
"Forbid?" She laughed.
He stepped closer. "Do not search for Nicholas Knight."
"Do not search," she repeated.
Then he was gone.
Jenny smiled up at the sky. Dad had laughed at his own "silly" bedtime stories. The journalist in her always wondered.
Definitely time to redouble efforts.