One of these long nights, she was going to have to ask just what it was that Lacroix had told people had happened to Nick to explain his disappearance. She was fairly certain that Natalie's death had been explained away with a terrible car wreck, but what had been done where Nick was concerned? Had he 'died' in the same accident with Natalie? Had he left town after everything that had happened recently? Was he supposed to be dead or alive?
It had not been too important to know before now, not with Nick doing his best impression of a hermit over the past year. Now, though... Now was an entire other kettle of fish, as the saying went.
She had been right after all: seeing Urs out and about, free of the elevator where she had died a year ago... It had been just the impetus Nick needed. It wasn't an overnight change or anything, but he was definitely looking more like the Nick who had been her partner and less like a ghost of his former self, pun most definitely intended.
Honestly, if she hadn't known better, she might have assumed that he was a ghost like she and Urs were, given how little interaction she had been seeing from him, how little he had been involving himself in basic day-to-day activities. But she had known better: some things were too much for a person, whether they were human or vampire or otherwise, to easily bounce back from - and the year that culminated in her death and Natalie's death and nearly Nick's own death, to say nothing of Don Schanke and Captain Amanda Cohen and even Vachon, definitely fit that bill. God, but did it fit that bill.
That was starting to change, though. It was small things really up until now, but tonight... Tonight had been a pretty major leap forward. After all, they had finally gotten Nick out of his loft. Granted, it was just to the parking lot, but still, it was a great first step.
They were testing both her and Urs' range tonight. As far as she could guess, it was continuing to expand, though for how long she couldn't begin to say. Personally, she wondered if this was similar to what bungee-jumping felt like: going further and further out, until there was that sick snap and then a feeling of being snatched back to relative safety. That was, after all, very much what these experiments were like.
And finally, there was that sickening tug, the one that meant she had reached her limit, at least for tonight. As long as she stood where she was, everything hurt, even the breathing she continued to do out of habit alone. If it were possible for her to throw up, she would probably do it. Falling back a step or two eased it, though, and she breathed an unnecessary sigh of pure relief. God, she always hated that.
Urs was still walking, though, which was interesting. The blonde vampiress managed to keep going, in fact, until she was nearly the same distance from Tracy as Tracy was from Nick. That was good, at least. Now that she was free of the elevator. Urs had some range. Good.
Glancing over her shoulder, she was startled to see an actual smile starting to bloom across Nick's face. It had been a while since she had seen one of those. She wasn't going to comment on it, though, and risk it disappearing altogether. Instead, she merely commented, "It's about, what, fifteen or sixteen meters now?"
"Closer to seventeen, I think," he returned, "and Urs maybe another twelve."
That gave them nearly forty meters to work with, which was too bad, all in all. She shot Nick an answering grin and start back towards the building. A pained sound behind her made her slam on the brakes, however, whirling back to face Urs. The other blonde woman was doubled over, looking like she had been punched hard in the gut.
Faster than her eye could follow, Nick was at Urs' side. She had half a second to wonder at how that didn't seem to help at all - and then she too was off and running towards Urs... only to slide to a careful stop after only a few steps. Her moving closer had apparently taken care of the problem for Urs the same way that moving closer to Nick helped her..
Well, it wasn't that many nights ago that she had been thinking they needed to find someone to bind Urs too, like she seemed to be bound to Nick. It looked like it had somehow managed to happen anyway without any input from anyone, only Urs had managed to end up bound to Tracy. It worked, in a way, as surprising as the revelation might have been.
"I think that's enough for tonight," Nick commented. From the expression on his face, he had made the same connection that she just had. More than that, he didn't exactly seem displeased with the idea.
Good. No, this was definitely really good. Tall, pale, and creepy - Lacroix - would be putting in his nightly appearance before much longer. There would be the inevitable cajoling-phrased-as-orders for Nick to move on from the city. This was one of the rare things she would agree with Lacroix on. She did have a couple of conditions, though, and maybe it was time to bring them up.
Out of deference to Urs, they used the stairs these days. Urs in particular seemed to be ready to be back in the loft, and that was all right: she remembered feeling the same way the first time she discovered her range. As it was, though, she found herself walking up the stairs behind Nick, silently weighing her options before she spoke.
"Nick?" He stopped a step or two above her and glanced back questioningly. "Now that we're all settled, me and Urs, if you want to leave Toronto next time Lacroix asks, it's fine. I just have one request before we leave."
She took a deep breath to steel herself before answering, "I want to say goodbye to Screed and... and Vachon."
25 January 2014
I said this to Katsuko while I was writing this, but I never expected to like writing Tracy Vetter. I enjoyed the character well enough when the show was on air (and when I could locate my VHS tapes of the show from where I recorded it off TV), but I never expected to like writing her. Season Three was the first season I got to watch as it aired; I caught Seasons One and Two in reruns, and it took me quite a while to track down the Nick Knight movie with Rick Springfield.
I'm just going to continue to be proud of this little series and the fact I'm setting rules for my ghosts that are separate from the "Dead of Night" episode ones.
And yeah, that's about it. See you in other stories.