Beneath a Fairy Moon

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Beneath a Fairy Moon (formerly New FK story)

Beneath a Fairy Moon

This is a WIP. It also contains a "Last Knight" spoiler. Thanks to my friend David for beta-reading. This also features an alternate universe set in the fantasy genre. It's not a Xover. The fairies, dwarves and other fantasy characters are the products of my over-active imagination.

Disclaimers: I don’t own the recognizable characters from Forever Knight, which was created by James Parriott and is currently owned by Sony Pictures. Any original characters in this fic are mine. Please don’t use them without permission. This fic takes place immediately following the episode “Last Knight.†Permission is granted to archive.

By Emily M. Hanson

* * * * *

As LaCroix raised the wooden stake that was about to become the instrument of Nicholas’ destruction, Natalie sat up abruptly and screamed, “No!†In a single fluid motion that was so rapid it would have been impossible for a human to make, she stood up, grabbed the stake from LaCroix, and plunged it into his heart. She hissed, displaying gleaming ivory fangs and eyes that were as silver as the fencing foil Nick kept near the fireplace.

The Roman vampire staggered briefly, then looked at Nick through crimson eyes. “Nicholas, do something about this!â€

“Why should I?†he replied. “You made me believe Nat was dead, when in reality she had been brought across. I nearly didn’t give her the chance to survive because of you.â€

LaCroix gasped again, clearly in agony. He tore the stake from his chest, but the splinters of wood that remained dug into his heart. “Nicholas, I implore you, help me!â€

He snarled, “Go to Hell!â€

The defeated General replied, “I’ll see you there,†as his body disintegrated into ashes.

There were a few moments of silence as they watched. “He’s gone,†Nat said. “He’s actually gone. I can’t believe it, Nick.†The look of concern on his face prompted her to say, “Don’t worry. You brought me across. I’ll be all right. We’ll both be all right, now that LaCroix is finally dead.â€

“Yeah, but your eyes…â€

“What about them?â€

“They’re silver. That’s not normal for a vampire.â€

Nat’s eyes widened as her fangs receded, but they retained their silver color. Nick watched her with growing concern. “What?†she asked.

“Your eyes aren’t going back to their old color right away. It might be just temporary. I’m not sure. I’ve never seen anything like this happen before.†He realized that soon, she would be very hungry. “Come on. Let’s get you something to eat. I have some supplies in the fridge.â€

She took a step forward. Suddenly the room shimmered, changing as she moved. In an instant, she found herself in the kitchen.

“Natalie? Where are you?†If the rise in his voice was any indication of his emotional state, he was nearly frantic with worry.

“I’m here, Nick,†she called. “You’ll have to teach me how to control that vampire speed. That’s amazing.â€

He shook his head. “You literally disappeared, Nat.â€

She gaped at him. “That’s impossible. It goes against all the laws of physics.â€

He chuckled. “And flying doesn’t?â€

“Okay, you’ve got a point,†she conceded. “But what happened?â€

“I don’t know. I’ll try to find out. You should have some of this.†e poured some donated blood into a wine glass. “There’s more in the fridge. Don’t go anywhere. I’m going to make some phone calls. If the doorbell rings, don’t open it, especially if it’s a mortal. Come and get me instead.â€

She nodded.
 

arc-en-ciel

Hell's Angel
Joined
Nov 7, 2001
Messages
47
Really good so far...

My curiosity is definitely piqued. Can't wait to find out why her eyes are silver instead of gold, and how she managed to (briefly) vanish into thin air.
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Finally got some time to work on this! Here's the end of the first part:

*****

He went into the other room, picked up the phone, and dialed. On the other end, Aristotle answered. “Hello?â€

“It’s me.â€

“Knight? What is it?†In the background, the sound of him typing away could be heard.

Nick quickly briefed him on what had just happened and added, “Anything you could find out about Natalie’s condition would be most helpful.â€

“I’ll do what I can,†Aristotle promised. “In the meantime, you both should get some rest.â€

“I’m definitely planning on it,†he replied. “Thanks.â€

In the kitchen, Natalie sipped from her glass of blood wine. She was beginning to feel afraid. If she wasn’t a normal vampire, what was she? Nick didn’t seem to have any idea what was happening to her. If her eyes remained silver permanently, what hope did she have of having any kind of life? Wearing sunglasses all the time was not her idea of normal. Perhaps she could get colored contact lenses, but wouldn’t her eyes still look a bit odd? Hopefully whoever Nick talked to would have an idea, at least.

He returned from the den and kissed her on the forehead. “I called Aristotle. He said he’ll do his best to research your condition. Hey, your eyes are back to normal.â€

Natalie breathed a sigh of relief. “I was getting kind of worried there,†she admitted. “So you really don’t know anything about this?â€

“Honestly, Nat, I’ve never heard of this happening. Whatever it is, it’s probably very rare. You should get some rest.â€

She nodded. “That sounds like a good idea.â€

As Natalie curled up on the couch, Isabelle watched from the mantle on the fireplace. She was a tiny creature no larger than an acorn, with hair as fair as the summer sun and wings that shimmered in the dim light. She wore a gown made of the finest spider silk, and no shoes because she didn’t need them. To date, Nick had never noticed her. Vampires, though more graceful than humans, were often as shortsighted as most mortals. Their other senses were very good, but most vampires still didn’t see things that were right under their noses.

Isabelle had been assigned to the dwelling as punishment, for she had once fallen in love with a vampire, an unforgivable sin among her kind. Fairies could change shape into human form at will, and shrink to the size of an acorn -- their natural form -- in the blink of an eye. Nicolas de Brabant intrigued her. The arrogance of most vampires disgusted her, but this one was unique for his remorse and compassion. He had made his beautiful companion into a fledgling, and she displayed some rare qualities.

If Isabelle recalled her vampire lore correctly, Natalie was extremely gifted. How the vampire community reacted could be a cause for concern. The fairy fluttered up to one of the ventilation cracks and vanished. Her queen would be interested in this development, and might reward her for bringing the news.

* * * * *

A figure wearing a dark, hooded jacket stepped off an airplane and entered Toronto’s airport. He glanced around momentarily. Man oh man, it was good to be home again. It had been far too long. The sweet smell of freshly-baked doughnuts wafted through the air. He stopped at the concession stand long enough to buy a bag of doughnut holes, then headed outside and found the nearest taxi.

“Where to?†the taxi driver asked, turning around.

“Uh…†the passenger blanked for a minute. It seemed that his recently-regained memory was failing him again. He remembered some details about his life, like the fact that he was a police officer and worked at the 96th precinct, and that he was married. But he couldn’t remember other things like his name, or whether he had any kids, or where he lived in Toronto.

He had vague memories of being in a classic ’62 Cadillac with another man who was tall and blond…his partner, maybe. There wasn’t much of his life that he remembered, but it was odd what details he could recall. What bothered him was the gap between his last memories. He’d woken up several weeks ago in an alley in New York city, wondering what in the blazes he was doing there when there was a bomber to catch. Then he’d seen the date on a newspaper and realized that there were many months missing from his memory. What had happened during that time? He didn’t know, but he was determined to find out.

“Take me to the police station,†he said finally. “The 96th precinct.â€

“Do you have an address?â€

“No, sorry.â€

The taxi driver nodded and radioed back to the office for an address. They found it within two minutes. Then he pulled away from the curb. His passenger glanced out the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of something familiar besides the skyline, but didn’t recognize any of the surroundings until they approached the precinct.

“Thanks,†the hooded man said and paid the driver in cash.

“Want me to wait?†the driver asked.

“Nah. Go on.â€

“All right.â€

Captain Reese looked up from his desk as the hooded man walked in. There was something vaguely familiar about him, but the captain couldn’t put his finger on it. “Can I help you?†Reese asked.

“Maybe.†The man pulled back his hood. “I was hoping you knew my name.â€

Color drained from Reese’s face as he realized he was looking at the ghost of Knight’s dead partner. “You’re supposed to be dead. The plane went down with you on it. Your remains were identified. What the hell happened?â€

“I wish I could remember. What’s my name?â€

“Don Schanke,†he replied. “My God. I can’t believe this is happening.†Then suddenly, Reese chuckled. “I wish I could see the look on Myra’s face when she finds out you’re alive.â€

“Myr

“Your wife.â€

Don fingered his wedding ring. “Has she remarried?â€

“No. Why don’t you have a seat? I’ll get you some coffee myself.â€

“Thank you, Captain.â€

Don sat down. It was definitely good to be back, even if he was still a little fuzzy on the details.

* * * * *
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Thanks! Hopefully, I will get time this weekend to work on it. :)
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Part 2

Nick fumbled for the phone as it rang. Still hazy from the remnants of a dream, it took him a moment to recognize his captain’s voice on the other end. “Yeah?â€

“Knight, are you awake?†Reese asked.

“I am now. What’s up?â€

“You’re not going to believe this. I nearly had a heart attack myself when I saw him walk in here. He’s no more dead than you or I.â€

That point was debatable, Nick thought. “Who?†he asked.

“Your partner, Don Schanke.â€

He nearly dropped the phone, cursing under his breath as he did so. Had he actually heard Reese correctly? Surely that was impossible. Don Schanke had been a mortal. Unless he’d been brought across at the last minute before boarding the plane or something, there was no way he could have survived.

After all, Nick had found his body…or had he? Much of the body had been burned. They’d done DNA tests to be certain, but as he recalled, it had been 78% positive. Still, that was enough of a match to ID him, since Schanke had been spotted boarding the plane. Nick wondered how reliable the witnesses’ information had been. Could the dead passenger have been a look-alike?

“Sorry, Cap,†Nick apologized a moment later. “But you can’t be serious. How could Schanke have survived? The only way he could have made it is if he hadn’t boarded the plane in the first place. You saw the wreck, as well as I did.â€

“I’ve never been more serious in my life. I can’t explain it either, Nick, but he’s sitting right in front of me.â€

“How?â€

“He doesn’t know. The last thing he remembers is arriving at the airport to catch the plane that blew up.â€

“Listen to me, Captain. This is very important. Is there anything unusual about him? Anything at all?â€

“Other than the fact that he’s alive and well, no.â€

“Can I talk to him?â€

“Sure.†Nick heard a brief rustling as the phone was transferred.

“Hello.â€

He was stunned. It was certainly Schanke’s voice on the other end. “I don’t believe it. Is that really you?â€

“That’s what I’ve been told.â€

“You have no idea who I am, do you?â€

“Well, I remember riding in a ’62 Cadillac with a tall guy who had blond hair and was allergic to sunlight.†That last detail had just popped into Schanke’s head. Hearing Knight’s voice must have jogged his memory. “Was that you?â€

“Yeah,†Nick replied. “Yeah, that was me, Schank. Do you remember anything else?â€

“No, but I’m sure it’ll come back to me in time. Your voice is starting to sound familiar, though. Man oh man, it’s great to be back.â€

“What happened? Do you remember anything?â€

“The last thing I recall is going after the bomber. Was he ever caught?â€

“Oh, yeah. He’s behind bars as we speak.â€

“That’s good to know.â€

It was a relief to hear Schanke’s voice after all this time. However, Nick couldn’t help but wonder why now? What had happened? There was a mystery that needed solving.

“Okay, Schanke. Take care.â€

Nick hung up and went upstairs to check on Natalie. She had already fallen fast asleep.

â€Sleep well, my love,†he whispered.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, in the fairy queen’s throne room, Isabelle curtsied before Queen Jasmine, who looked mildly bored. She was extraordinarily beautiful, even for a fairy. Long raven-black waves of hair framed a face with ivory skin and violet eyes.

“State the reason for thy presence,†the queen ordered. “We are short on patience, as thou knowest.â€

“My queen, I am grateful for your time. My news is most urgent. Nicolas de Brabant has made his companion, Natalie, into a fledgling. She displays the rarest of vampiric talents which has not been seen in over a millennia, and has great potential. He has also destroyed his sire, LaCroix.â€

“As expected,†Queen Jasmine replied. “We shall ignore thy offensive use of human slang for now. We acknowledge the importance of this information. Continue to watch the vampires. Let us know if anything of importance occurs.â€

Isabelle curtsied. “As you wish, my queen.â€

* * * * *

Natalie awoke shortly after sunset. As she opened her eyes, she felt an immense hunger. Was this what it was like to be a vampire? Always hungry for blood? She couldn’t help but feel remorse, if that hunger was what Nick felt constantly. No wonder he had been unable to give up blood, despite her previous insistence that it was bad for him. Perhaps vampirism had a metaphysical cause, as well as physical. That might explain some things, such as why vampires could fly.

She got up and reached for her jeans and shirt, which Nick had folded up and placed on the dresser. The clothes rubbed like sandpaper against her newly-sensitive skin. She was definitely going shopping as soon as she could. No wonder Nick wore so many black silk shirts.

She found him downstairs, sipping a glass of cow’s blood and staring at the fire. Natalie’s first instinct was to run because fire was bad, very bad, and it could kill her. It could kill them both. In the firelight, her eyes suddenly shifted to silver. “Nick…â€

“It’s all right,†he replied, noticing her reaction. “It’s just your survival instincts kicking in. That’s very natural.â€

She nodded, allowing her common sense and reason to battle the fight-or-flight reflex. “Is it always going to be like this?â€

“At first. As you age, you’ll learn how to control your instincts. Captain Reese called while you were asleep. You may want to sit down for this.â€

She sat slowly, wincing as the jeans chafed her skin. “What is it?â€

He took a deep breath. “Schanke’s alive, Nat. He has amnesia, but he is alive. I talked to him on the phone.â€

Nothing could have prepared her for this. Stunned, she gaped at Nick for a few moments. “That’s impossible,†Natalie finally answered, finding her voice. “Nick, you know that’s impossible. Unless…â€

“He came to the police station in the daylight. He can’t be a vampire. I don’t know what happened to him, but I swear I’ll get to the bottom of it. I owe him that much.â€

She nodded. “I’m hungry, Nick.â€

“I know.†He picked up the bottle of cow’s blood that he had put on the end table next to the couch and poured her a glass, which he’d set out because he had expected her to be hungry. “Drink.â€

* * * * *

From her fireplace perch, Isabelle watched. This was an intriguing development. The fairy had been in Nick’s loft for some time. She had seen his sorrow when he thought he’d lost Schanke before. How could his body have been misidentified? Perhaps there were other powers at work here.

A spell could easily have disguised the body long enough for it to be identified falsely. Surely no fairy would have anything to do with such a spell, as it would likely bring serious harm upon their kin. The dwarves usually stuck to their metalworking, and wanted nothing to do with the goings-on of mortals and vampires. But gnomes were the tricksters and pranksters of the fairy realm. Perhaps they had something to do with it. Until she had proof, however, Isabelle could not make any accusations. She would simply have to watch further until she learned more.

* * * * *
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Thanks. I plan to work on it some more this weekend and hopefully get another chapter done.
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Part 3

* * * * *

It had been a long day for Don Schanke. He’d arranged to have a meeting with his wife and daughter. They had talked for hours. He hated to see the ecstatic look on Jenny’s face to be replaced by dismay, when he had to tell her that he didn’t recognize her. But, as he’d added, it might have been because she’d grown so much. He and Myra had to explain all about amnesia to Jenny.

Since it was likely that Schanke’s memory would come back if he was in familiar surroundings, the police had accepted him back. Nick Knight had just lost Tracy Vetter, his partner. However, Knight was willing to take Schanke as a partner again for a while, since it might jog his memory and Don might be able to recall what had happened to him.

That evening, Nick walked into the bullpen to find Schanke chatting amiably with other cops and enjoying doughnuts that someone had brought in. He felt a slight pang of jealousy, for as a vampire, he couldn’t enjoy the camaraderie in the same manner. Nick would always feel the hunger within. It was like a serpent coiled in the shadows, ready to strike. He hoped that Natalie would be able to deal with it better than he had in the past.

“Hey, Schanke,†Nick said.

Don turned around. “Do I know you?â€

“Nick Knight, homicide.â€

“So you’re my former partner, the one with the ’62 Caddy?â€

Nick nodded. “That’s me.â€

They shook hands. “You’re also allergic to sunlight and garlic, right?†Don asked.

“Yeah,†he answered.

Schanke chuckled. “Are you sure you’re not a vampire? Just kidding,†he added when he saw Nick’s stone-faced expression. “It’s all coming back to me now.â€

“Great. Do you remember anything about what happened the night of the plane crash?â€

Don shook his head. “Nope. That’s still a blank.â€

“Ok. Uh, what do you say we go for a ride and cruise around town for a bit? Maybe seeing some familiar sights will help.â€

“Yeah, that’s probably not a bad idea.â€

“Knight,†Captain Reese said, coming out of his office, “I need to speak to you.â€

“I’ll see you in a bit,†he said to Schanke, then followed the captain. “What is this about?â€

Joe sighed. This wasn’t going to be easy. It never was. “I’ve got some bad news. Commissioner Vetter is not happy about recent events, as you can imagine. He’s calling for a full investigation into what happened to Tracy. The folks from Internal Affairs are going to be breathing down our necks for the next few days. I’m placing you on desk duty until this is over and done with. We all know it wasn’t your fault, but the commissioner wants to find out exactly what happened. So I need you to take it easy for a while.â€

“I understand.â€

“This would be the perfect time for you to find out what happened to Don Schanke. See if you can get him to remember anything, even the smallest details, of the night that plane went down.â€

“You got it, Captain.â€

Reese turned to leave, but then thought of something else. “Oh, and let Natalie know we’re all pulling for her to get better.â€

“I will.â€

Nick left the captain’s office and found Don munching on a doughnut. “Ready to head out for a while?†he asked.

“Yeah, sure,†Schanke answered. “I gotta tell you, Knight, this is starting to look familiar. But it’s like there’s something else niggling at the back of my mind, but it won’t come loose. I get the feeling that maybe if I leave it alone, it might work itself free after a bit, but prying at it won’t do any good. You know what I mean?â€

“Well, I had amnesia once for a short time,†he replied. “Maybe you’ll be able to remember after a while.â€

“I hope so.â€

* * * * *

In the Caddy driving around town, Don tried to picture himself as a detective, doing things that cops did. But he didn’t get very far that way. It wasn’t good enough to imagine being himself. He had to remember. Nick pulled over in a dark section of town about a block away from the Raven.

“Anything look familiar?â€

Schanke shook his head. “No.â€

“Look at me,†Nick said, capturing his heartbeat.

Unable to do anything else, Don turned around in his seat. “What are you doing?â€

“Helping you remember. Listen to me. Think back to the night of the plane crash. You’re about to get on the plane with Captain Cohen. What do you see?â€

Fully hypnotized now, Schanke replied, “I’m watching the captain as she boards the plane. I take a step towards the ramp.â€

“What happens next?â€

“I see something out of the corner of my eye, like a flash of light or a sparkle. It’s only there for a second and then it’s gone. I’m smelling perfume or something and feeling really light-headed.â€

So someone had gassed him? Well, that explained a few things, Nick thought. “Keep going. What happens next?â€

“I fall asleep. Next thing I know, I’m in an alley in New York, wearing beat-up old clothes and sleeping in a cardboard box.â€

Interesting, Nick mused. Someone had gone to all the trouble to kidnap him, possibly to take him out of the way, and then leave him stranded with no memory. Could it have been a vampire, one of the Enforcers, perhaps thinking Schanke was getting too close to the truth? He didn’t know.

“When I say awake, you will be completely alert. You will remember all the details about yourself and the people you know, and you will not forget them again.†He took a deep breath. “Awake.â€

Don snapped out of it. “Wow. That was amazing! Wait a second…does this have anything to do with you being able to fly? I remember you told me to forget about it and to wash the Caddy. Can you believe it? Man oh man, Knight! Where’d you learn all that? Vampire school?†Schanke chuckled, but then caught his breath as he realized what he’d said. “Uh…wait…forget I said that. I don’t know that you’re a vampire. I don’t believe in vampires. Um…don’t bite me? Okay? Please?â€

Nick sighed, realizing that he had made a terrible mistake in allowing Schanke to remember everything he’d known. The intention was to cure his amnesia, but the poorly worded hypnotic suggestion had been taken literally, of course. “Schanke, I don’t bite.â€

Don gaped at him for a moment. “You really are a vampire, aren’t you?â€

Nick let out a huge sigh of frustration. “Yeah. Now that you remember everything you’ve ever known, do you remember who kidnapped you?â€

“I don’t know. I never saw them, I swear!â€

“Great. Just great.â€

There was something in Schanke’s statement made under hypnosis that was very odd. Why would he have seen a flash of light out of the corner of his eye for only a second? Perhaps it was light from a belt buckle or something similar? Maybe there was something after all. But what? Something niggled at the back of Nick’s mind, and he realized that he understood what Don had been talking about after all.

Schanke was growing more nervous by the second. Would he become the vampire equivalent of fast food? No, his gut instinct silently assured him. There was no reason to not trust Nick. His partner, a vampire, had saved his life on more than one occasion. Maybe this was why Nick hadn’t told him. Partners had to trust each other, no matter what.

Nick started the ignition. “Come on,†he said. “Let’s head back...unless you’d rather take a cab than ride with me.â€

“No, I’m fine. I trust you.â€

Nick looked at him. “You’re sure?â€

Schanke nodded. “I won’t tell a soul, Knight. Not on my life.â€

“Good, because I’m not the one you need to worry about.â€

“What’s that supposed to mean? There are other vampires around here?†Don asked as the Caddy pulled away from the curb.

“Yes.â€

“How many?â€

“I can’t answer that.â€

“How old are you?â€

“Older than you think. I was born in the 12th century.â€

Schanke’s jaw dropped. “That’s uh…†he did a quick calculation, “that’s 800 years ago!â€

“Yeah,†Nick acknowledged.

“What’s your real name? Where are you from? I’m guessing somewhere in, ah, Europe? What the heck did people do in the 12th century, anyway?â€

“They lived just like people do now, but without all the gadgets and gizmos and stuff. Some things never change.†He proceeded to answer Schanke’s questions. “I’m from the region of Brabant, which is now located in Belgium. My real name is Nicolas de Brabant. I fought in the Crusades in the 13th century. I’ve fought in other wars since then, but my true battle is with myself.â€

Don was silent for a while, contemplating this information. “You were a knight…an honest-to-God medieval knight.â€

Nick nodded.

“And now you’re a homicide detective. I guess it makes sense, in a bizarre sort of way. You seem like the kind of guy who wants to do the right thing, to keep the peace and help people out.â€

“Don’t forget, Schanke. I’m not human. I was once, but I’m not anymore.â€

“I think you’re wrong,†Don said, thinking back over the past few years, in the memories that had just been dredged up. â€think you are human, but you just don’t want to accept it.â€

“Schanke, I can fly. Sunlight makes me implode. I drink blood…cow’s blood, but it’s still blood. I can move faster than the mortal eye can see. I’m ten times stronger than a normal man. I have fangs and my eyes can glow in the dark. You still think I’m human?â€

“Maybe not at first glance, but inside, you’re a lot more human than some of the bad guys we’ve put behind bars.â€

That was an incredible thought. Could he dare to believe it? Nick didn’t know. In any case, he figured that going back to the police station was probably a good idea. As the Caddy made a left turn, neither of its passengers glimpsed the tiny winged figure that was following them.

* * * * *
 

Smitty

Schmeh Heee!
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
36
Good stuff. :)

Not so sure about this fairy business, but hey Schanke's back. So I'm happy.
Bring Janette back and I'll be even happier. :D

-cs
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Thanks. This was basically one of my ideas for a new AU. I wanted to start a new series because I had run out of ideas for the Schanke's Return series & so I thought what-if & did some research on mythology. My fanfics tend to be AUs or Xovers, which could also qualify as AUs. :)
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Part 4

* * * * *

Nick and Schanke returned to the station to find someone from Internal Affairs waiting for them. It was a long interview and an even longer evening. Schanke had to pretend he still had amnesia, but that a few things were coming back. If it became known that he had regained his full memory, there would be a lot of questions as to how, and the last thing Nick wanted was the Enforcers -- the vampires who enforced the Code, which included not telling humans about vampires, among other things -- on his case.

Meanwhile, Natalie was bored. She put an old movie into Nick’s VCR and poured herself a glass of cow’s blood. About halfway into it, she found herself feeling drowsy. It wasn’t that the movie was dull, but rather that as a fledgling, her body was still going through some physical changes to adapt to her new situation, thus requiring more energy than usual.

As she began to drift off, Natalie thought she saw a glimpse of something moving on Nick’s fireplace mantle.

“Probably just a spider,†she told herself.

But there it was again! She opened her eyes and followed the flicker of movement, and to her astonishment, saw a tiny female hiding among Nick’s antiques that were no doubt older than her grandmother, Nana, would be if she were still living.

Isabelle gasped. Natalie had seen her! The fairy glanced around and, seeing a hiding spot, ducked behind a picture frame that held a photo of Nick and Schanke, taken when they’d won the “Partners of the Month†award.

Natalie got up off the leather sofa. “Are you still there?†she asked softly, trying to catch a glimpse of the mysterious being. “It’s all right, I won’t hurt you. Really.†She couldn’t help but wonder if the whole thing had been a figment of her imagination, but then Isabelle shyly crawled out from behind the frame. Natalie gasped. “A fairy! Please tell me I’m not dreaming.â€

“You are not dreaming,†Isabelle replied and introduced herself, since not doing so would be most impolite. “I am Isabelle of Elfhame, known by mortals as the fairy realm.†She blushed. “You were not supposed to see me. I must have underestimated your senses.â€

“Tell me, what are you doing here?â€

“We, the fairies, take an interest in mortal affairs from time to time, particularly if they affect our own kind.â€

“Do you also take an interest in the affairs of vampires?â€

Isabelle nodded. “Sometimes. Nicolas de Brabant is most intriguing. You see…†she lowered her voice, as if someone might be listening in, “I have reason to suspect his mortal friend, Don Schanke, was kidnapped by gnomes. I cannot fathom their purposes, but they are the most devious creatures of all the fairy races.â€

Nat was surprised. “You mean, he was kidnapped before the plane crash several months ago? I suppose that would explain it, but how do you disguise a dead body? The test results from the autopsy proved that the DNA was his. And yet, he’s alive now.â€

“That could have been done with an illusion,†Isabelle replied.

“An illusion? You mean a magic spell?†It was hard enough to believe in the existence of fairies, but now she was expected to believe in magic as well?

“Yes. Though no fairy or elf would have done it, since it would have brought ill to us all. The dwarves and goblins don’t care about mortals, or any outsiders, for that matter. Therefore, it had to be a gnome! They delight in playing tricks and pranks of all sorts, and don’t care about any harm that might come to them as a result.â€

Natalie pinched herself, just to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. “Assuming that this will turn out not to be a dream, what do you want me to do?â€

“Therein lies the problem,†Isabelle admitted. “We must find the culprit. A crime such as kidnapping a human is intolerable to fairies, not to mention the disgrace of disguising someone else’s body with magic is most offensive.â€

“Ok, how do we do that?â€

“I have an idea, but I want to explain it to both of you at the same time.â€

“Nick comes home from work just before dawn,†Nat replied.

The fairy nodded. “I shall wait. I cannot stay long after sunrise, for I must sleep then. We have one thing in common, Natalie. Sunlight is intolerable to most of my kind. It turns our flesh to stone.â€

“Fine. I’m exhausted,†Nat replied, yawning. “I must sleep.â€

“You are newly brought across,†Isabelle remarked. “You need rest. I will awaken you when Nick comes.â€

Natalie dozed off in front of the TV.

* * * * *

Nick came home just before sunrise as usual to find Nat sleeping on the couch. It was a welcome sight, compared to sitting in front of the Internal Affairs investigator for three hours for a grueling interview. Suddenly, he caught a glimpse of something nearby. Turning around, he saw a tiny winged figure. He gaped in astonishment.

“Who and what are you, and why are you here?â€

Isabelle introduced herself and fluttered over to the sofa, whispering something into Natalie’s ear. The fledgling sat up.

“Nick, I just had the most wonderful dream…Isabelle?â€

â€Yes, it is I, and no, you’re not dreaming. Listen closely, both of you. I believe it was no human or vampire who kidnapped Don Schanke. There is a way to find the culprit.â€

“What? How?†Nick asked.

“The path to the dwarven kingdom lies through the sewers. There you will find a dwarf named Shale Copperstone. He keeps in regular contact with the gnomes because they provide him with certain supplies for his metalworking. The route to the gnome kingdom is hidden, and they set many traps for unwary outsiders, so you will need a guide to get there.â€

“Gnomes and dwarves?†Nick said incredulously. “I’m sorry, but how do you expect us to believe all this? How do we know you’re not a hallucination of some sort?â€

“When you were mortal, did you believe such things as vampires existed?†Isabelle replied.

“No.†He sighed. “You have a point.â€

“Go down to the sewers,†Isabelle replied. “You will know when you find what you’re looking for. I’m sorry, but it is sunrise. I must go now.†With that, she vanished.

“What do you think?†Nick asked Nat, who was staring wide-eyed at the space where Isabelle had been.

“Perhaps we both drank a little bad blood last night and had a mass hallucination? I don’t know, Nick. If vampires are real, who’s to say that fairies aren’t?â€

He nodded. “I think we should go, but we’ll rest first. We won’t be able to leave until after sunset, anyway. I’ll call in sick later.â€

“Don’t you think you should talk to Schanke?â€

“He’s had enough of a shock…oh, that’s right, I haven’t told you. He knows about us.â€

“About vampires? I thought he had amnesia.â€

“He did. He doesn’t anymore.†Quickly, related the events of that night to her.

“You whammied Schanke to get him to remember who he is, but now he remembers too much? Oh, Nick. What about the Enforcers?†Natalie asked.

“We’ll deal with them later. Right now, we need to deal with this. Okay?â€

She nodded.

“Go and rest now.†He kissed her on the forehead. “I plan to get some sleep, myself.â€

* * * * *

To be continued.
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Part 5

Beneath A Fairy Moon

By Emily M. Hanson

See part 1 for disclaimers.

* * * * *
Part 5

It was just after sunset when Nick and Natalie headed into the sewers. They were cold and dark, but the vampires could easily see without the need for flashlights, and the cold didn’t bother them. The stench was just barely tolerable.

“Do you see anything that looks like a secret entrance?†Nat asked.

“No. We’ll have to keep looking,†Nick answered.

A few minutes later, the tunnel split off in opposite directions.

“Should we go right or left?†she wondered aloud.

“Doesn’t matter to me.â€

She looked in both directions. Darkness filled the tunnel on both ends. Neither vampire could hear anything except the sound of water flowing past them. As Nat took a step towards the left tunnel, the image of lightning flashed in her mind. She gasped and took another step, but was temporarily blinded by the sight of lightning again. “No!â€

“Are you okay?†Nick asked, concerned. “What is it?â€

“I can’t explain it,†she admitted. “I think someone’s warning us to stay away.â€

“What do you mean?â€

“I saw lightning flash, but it was in my head. I’m getting the definite impression that someone or something doesn’t want us to go that way.â€

Nick looked at her. “Why?â€

“I don’t know and to tell you the truth, I don’t really care to. If something can do that, then I don’t want to know what it is.â€

“All right, we’ll go the other way. Nat, are you sure you’re all right?â€

She nodded. “I’ll be fine, Nick. Let’s go.â€

They went down the tunnel. Several hours passed as the vampires roamed through the sewers. It was approximately 11:00 PM when they sat down for a short rest. As Natalie took a drink of cow’s blood from one of the bottles she had brought along, Nick glimpsed something that he might not have seen if he hadn’t taken the time to sit down.

There was a faint gray outline around part of the wall across from them. It barely contrasted with the rest of the wall and thus would have escaped notice from mortal eyes, but was visible to a vampire. Nick’s eyes glowed yellow as he discerned its shape.

“What is it?†Natalie asked.

“Look over there,†he replied. “That has to be what we’re looking for.â€

She did. “That can’t be it. It’s too small. How are we supposed to fit through there?â€

He shrugged. “Crawl, I guess.â€

Nat sighed. “Do we have a choice?â€

Nick didn’t answer. Instead, he stood up and pushed on the wall. As he did, cracks of light appeared through the gray outline. Natalie got up and pushed on the wall as well. Finally, the bricks gave way and crumbled, revealing a very surprised dwarven sentry. The vampires’ expressions changed to shock and then astonishment.

“No!†the guard exclaimed, brandishing an axe that was nearly as big as he was. The stocky dwarf was nearly four feet tall. He ducked through the hole in the wall as he stepped into the sewers. “I’m sorry, but your kind isn’t welcome here. Go away.â€

“Wait,†Nick replied. “We’ve been sent by the fairy Isabelle.â€

“A fairy sent you? Impossible. Everyone knows that fairies hate vampires, and for good reason. You’re far too meddlesome for your own good,†the dwarf responded.

“How else do you think we found your secret entrance?†Nick replied.

“By accident? I don’t know, and I don’t care. Go away!â€

“We’re not like other vampires,†Nick insisted. “At least give us a chance.â€

“Hmmph,†the dwarf snorted. “I’ll believe it when I see it. What is your reason for coming here, vampire?†Granite practically spat the final word and glared at Nick.

“We need to speak with Shale Copperstone.â€

The dwarf laughed. “Fat chance of that happening. You’d best come back in a century; you’ll have better chance of meeting him then.â€

“Why is that?†Natalie inquired.

“Because of the wedding! Shale’s sister Emerald is marrying the king’s son, Logan, in thirty years. He’s working on his wedding gift, which by tradition has to be a battle-axe worthy of the king’s armory. But word has it that his supplies are running low and he may have to journey into the realm of the goblins to stock up. That could take weeks, and it’ll take him years to finish crafting the weapon.â€

The vampires exchanged glances. “What if we volunteered to help bring back the supplies?†Natalie inquired.

“You wouldn’t stand a chance in the goblin kingdom, not without a guide. They’ve got tricks and traps to skewer vampires as well as anyone else.â€

“If we talked to Shale, do you think he might come with us?â€

Granite looked at Natalie. “You’re persistent, aren’t you? Very well. I’ll let you enter, but you will both be on your best behavior and you’ll be under strict watch. Don’t try any funny stuff. We dwarves are just as good with crossbows as we are with axes.â€

“We won’t,†Nick promised.

The vampires entered, ducking through the hole. Granite led them through the tunnel, with was perfectly sized for a dwarf but rather awkward for them. The tunnel ended abruptly after several dozen feet. They found themselves in a large cavern, lit by oil lamps that the dwarven miners carried. The light reflecting from various crystal formations created a spectacular effect. Even Nick gaped for a few moments, marveling at it all. The miners did their best to ignore the visitors, but a few returned the stare.

“Try not to gawk too much. It makes you look stupid,†Granite suggested. “Come on, I’ll take you to my cousin.â€

“Your cousin?†Natalie asked.

“Aye, Shale’s my cousin. Dwarf mines are more than just mines to us. They’re also our homes. You’re the first outsiders to have visited the city of Vulcanis in over five centuries. This way.â€

“Why is it no one else has ever found this place?†Nick asked. “You’d think the sound would carry.â€

“Ah, but that’s the beauty of dwarven engineering. The walls are solid rock, and the areas which border on human territory are reinforced with magic to hide them. It’s a wonder you were able to see through the illusions at all.â€

“Yeah, well, we’re not exactly human.â€

“True,†Granite agreed. “But not even the carouches living in the sewers have discovered us yet. They’re probably too focused on finding juicy rats to munch on. Well, let’s go.â€

It took them nearly half an hour to reach the lift that would take them down to the area where the living quarters were. Dwarven mothers quickly pulled their children aside as the strangers came through. One little girl, with blonde hair in braids and blue eyes, looked up and smiled at Nat. “You have pretty eyes. I thought vampires were supposed to be ugly.â€

The child’s mother looked at her daughter sternly. “How many times do I have to tell you? Don’t talk to strangers, especially…†and she used a dwarven word that neither Nick nor Natalie could understand, but it was obviously not worth repeating.

“It’s okay,†Nat said. “We’re not here to hurt you.â€

“I know,†the girl said. “I see things, sometimes, in my dreams. I saw you and Nicolas†-- she pronounced it the French way -- “fighting a bad man. He was using magic.â€

“Magic?†Natalie looked at Nick.

“Could be a wizard or something, I suppose. Anything is possible.â€

“He’s not a wizard. Wizards are good. Sorcerers are bad,†the child insisted. “I think this bad man was a sorcerer. He wanted to use you for something, but you wouldn’t let him. But the only way to defeat him is with the raven. Use the raven.â€

“Okay,†he replied. “Thanks for letting us know.â€

The little girl nodded and ducked behind her mother’s skirts and was promptly hustled back inside, away from the strangers.

“That was definitely interesting,†Natalie said. “What do you think it means?â€

“I think we’ll know when we need to, and not before.â€

“You’re probably right.â€

They followed Granite to the home of Shale Copperstone. Dwarven homes were carved into the earth itself. They were caves, but the dwarves had amenities such as running water, heat, and electrical generators. They weren’t primitive by any means. As far as the vampires could tell, the dwarves were at least as advanced as humans in terms of engineering, if not more so, since dwarves had been around longer.

There was a laptop on a table with blueprints spread out around it. A dwarf with flame-red hair and a long scraggly beard hunched over the computer. He kept mumbling in his own language and rubbing his eyes as if he was tired.

“Shale? There are some visitors who’ve come all the way from the surface to see you.â€

“Go away. I’m too busy doing inventory.â€

Granite sighed. “Well, you heard him. I’m sorry it turned out this way, but it’s probably best if you go.â€

“Wait,†Nick said. “Let me talk to him.â€

The guard nodded. “Good luck.â€

Nick approached the dwarf. “I hear you’re short on supplies and need to acquire some more.â€

The dwarf looked up in shock. “You’re still here?†He sighed. “Aye, I need supplies. What is it to you?â€

“Well, it just so happens that my companion and I need to go to the gnome kingdom to find out what happened to a friend of ours. We could come with you.â€

“What sort of friend would this be?†Shale asked.

“He’s human and he’s a very good friend. He was abducted several months ago. We thought he was dead, but it turns out he’s not. We need to find out who used magic to disguise the body that we thought was his, and who the body really belonged to.â€

The dwarf looked disgusted. “Why would anyone use an illusion to disguise the body of a mere human and abduct him?â€

“I don’t know. That’s what we need to find out.â€

“All right. You’ve gotten me curious. If someone from the fairy realms used magic for such a dishonorable deed, we must find out who it was. They need to answer for their crime. Have a seat. I’ll gather the supplies I need, and then we can leave. Granite, you’re welcome to come along.â€

The guard shook his head. “I have to get back to my post. Tumblestoncovering for me. You know him, he’s always nodding off.â€

“Fine. Go. I’ll see you later.â€

The guard nodded and left. Nick and Nat sat in silence as Shale bustled about, gathering many things and putting them into a leather backpack. Finally, he picked up an axe. Its blade had a bluish sheen under the light.

“This is Nightbane. It was handed down to me from my father, who got it from his, and so on. I’m not entering the goblin lands without it. You never know what you’ll run into there.â€

He set the axe down and swung his backpack over his shoulders. Nightbane gleamed as Shale picked it up again.

“How far is it?†Natalie asked.

“That depends on where we end up going,†Shale replied. “This way.â€

The vampires followed, wondering where the road would take them.

* * * * *

More to come!
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Part 6

Heh heh...my plot bunny was niggling me tonight. Got more done than I thought I would. Luckily, my beta-reader was online and did a wonderful job of getting back to me quickly.

Beneath A Fairy Moon

By Emily M. Hanson

Standard disclaimers apply. See part 1 for details.

* * * * *

Part 6

Back at the precinct, Don Schanke wondered why Nick had called in sick. It didn’t make sense. He was a vampire, and vampires didn’t get sick. Schanke dialed the number at the loft and got the answering machine, telling him that Nick Knight was either sleeping or incommunicado. Schanke couldn’t think of a reason unless Knight was spending quality time with Natalie, which was certainly possible, though he wouldn’t have called in sick. At least, the Nick he knew wouldn’t have done that -- he’d simply have asked for the time off. Something had happened.

â€Nick’s a big boy. He can take care of himself,†Don muttered under his breath, and started in on a stack of files that were given to him so that he could catch up.

But the more he thought about it, the more he wondered what was going on. Finally, overcome with curiosity, Schanke stood up and put on his coat. Eight hundred year old vampire or not, Knight owed him an explanation. He headed to the loft.

* * * * *

Isabelle was relaxing on the armrest of Nick’s black leather sofa when Schanke came in. She awoke startled and nearly panicked, then quickly fluttered to the fireplace mantle.

Don blinked, having seen something out of the corner of his eye but not knowing what it was.

“Nick? Natalie? Anyone home?â€

He glanced around and saw nothing out of the ordinary. It had been months since he was last here. Don saw the antiques on the fireplace mantle. He realized some of them were probably older than they looked, given how old Knight was.

“Man oh man, there are sure a lot of antiques around here.â€

The fencing foil over by the fireplace caught his eye. Just for fun, he picked it up and stabbed an imaginary opponent. Suddenly there was a flash of something nearby. Schanke turned around.

“What the…who’s there?†But there was no response. “It was probably just a fly or something,†Don muttered. “I guess I could just wait here until Knight gets back.â€

Sitting down on the sofa, he searched for the remote control and found it. There was an American football game on one of the sports channels. It shouldn’t be too long until the vampire arrived, Schanke figured. If anything, he would have to return by sunrise.

* * * * *

Nick, Natalie, and Shale Copperstone were traveling on a long dirt path. They had followed a tunnel leading out of the Dwarven city and further into the fairy realm. The sky was a skein of indigo and violet silk dusted with stars. A full moon provided silvery light. Rocky mountains towered above them, shrouding the land in gray shadows. It was strangely silent. For a long time, the only sound was their footsteps.

“The moon is beautiful,†Natalie finally remarked.

Her eyes were glowing silver in the moonlight, but she didn’t appear to be aware of it. Nick looked at Nat with mixed feelings. She was certainly beautiful; there was no question about that. But Nick worried that there might be some harm to her from whatever it was that made her so different. If anything bad happened to her because of it, he would be at fault for bringing her across in the first place.

“We’re not in Toronto anymore, are we?†she asked.

“No. You are in the fairy realm. Few humans have found this place, and even fewer have survived to return to their own lands. There’s an ancient saying: beneath a fairy moon, anything can happen. You should be on your guard.â€

They traveled for several miles underneath the starry sky, encountering nothing of significance until they reached the first gnome outpost. The gnomes were of short stature. Their bodies were not as ugly or misshapen as one might expect based on fairy tales, but rather they were smaller, thinner, and paler versions of the dwarves. The gnome guards wielded silver daggers with emeralds in the hilts, which seemed to glow with inner fire beneath the moonlight.

The gnomes spoke in English, although their understanding of the language was poor, since they didn’t have much contact with humans.

“Where come you from? Where go you to? Why come dark ones into our realm?â€

Shale stepped forward. “I come from Vulcanis to trade for metalworking supplies. These two have come to aid me. They do not seek to do you harm.†He reached into his pocket and pulled out a few copper coins, the traditional cost of doing business when dealing with gnomes, especially guards.

The gnome grunted. “If you are not correct about the dark ones, eager will we be to spill your blood. Go south. The village by Darkwood Forest lies that way. You will find a blacksmith there. No doubt, he will be willing to trade for good copper.â€

The dwarf nodded. “Much obliged. Thank you.â€

Natalie’s eyes turned silver as she glanced at the emeralds on the daggers. “They’re beautiful.â€

“Watch your tongue, Dark One,†the nearest gnome sneered. “They be ours, not your own.â€

Hurt, Natalie shook her head. “I know that. It was just an observation. I don’t wish to steal them.â€

“Dark ones with silver eyes are rare like emeralds. Perhaps we could try to take this one. Our chieftain would be pleased,†one gnome remarked.

“You fool,†his companion growled. “You don’t want to mess with dark ones. I’ve seen what they can do.â€

“Vampires have been here before?†Nick wondered aloud. “When?â€

“Centuries ago, there was one ancient of your kind here. My grandfather told me about him. His name was Lucien, like the light -- but dark he was instead.â€

This information was indeed new. LaCroix had never told Nick of his incursion into the fairy realms. What had come of it? Intrigued, Nick asked, “What was he doing here?â€

“Looking for his love.â€

“Love?â€

“Yes. His love was lost, and he came here to find it, but left the fairy lands empty both of hand and heart.â€

Nick looked at the dwarf. “Did you know about this?â€

Shale shook his head negatively. “‘Tis the first time I’ve heard such tales. Do you know this Lucien?â€

The vampires exchanged glances. “I don’t know,†Nick replied. “I don’t think so.†He sensed that giving too much information away now would not be a good plan.

“We should get moving,†the dwarf declared “After all, we have a long journey ahead of us.â€

They continued south down the long road that lay ahead of them.

* * * * *

More to come soon, I promise! If my plot bunny keeps niggling me and I get spare time, I might actually get this finished this week. :D
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Ummm...well, this is an AU fic, and it will probably get stranger still. I blame it on the plot bunnies. Mine tend to be odd little ones.
 

EmilyH

MN Sci-fi Fan
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
356
Part 7

Beneath A Fairy Moon

By Emily M. Hanson

Standard disclaimers apply. See part 1 for details.

* * * * *

Part 7

Several days had passed since Nick had called in sick. Schanke had gone to the loft to see if his partner was there. He’d also been to Natalie’s place. Despite his efforts, neither of the vampires were anywhere to be found. The thought crossed his mind that they had gone to someplace remote and private so they could have a romantic getaway. But wouldn’t they have called, if for no other reason than to check in so it wouldn’t look too odd? He couldn’t put his finger on it, but something didn’t seem right.

A silver moon hung in the sky, full and round and bright. There was something about the moon. Schanke gazed at it for a moment as he stood in the street below Nick’s loft. Just then, he heard something in the alley behind him. Don turned around, peering into the darkness. Then he heard the sound of someone mumbling under his breath. “Hey! Who’s there?â€

The mumbling stopped in mid-sentence. “No one,†came the reply from a voice sounding as dry and cracked as the paint on the building. But there was an odd sound to it as well, almost like the hypnotic tone Schanke now associated with vampires. “I’m nobody. Go away. Leave me alone.â€

“Hey, come out where I can see you.â€

There was a muffled sigh and then a flash of searing light that should have blinded the detective. In the brilliantly lit alley, Schanke could see a shadowy figure of someone much smaller than himself, no taller than a child, but a man from the sound of his voice.

Suddenly, Don felt a tingle dance upon his spine, and then a shimmering light surrounded him.

“What the…†he wondered aloud. “How’d you do that?â€

“That’s your shield, not mine!†the mysterious figure exclaimed, pointing a gnarled, twisted finger at him. “You humans aren’t supposed to be able to do that in this realm. This changes everything!â€

“Wait a minute, if I’m human and you’re not, then what are you?â€

“Mind your own business!â€

The mysterious stranger mumbled something and a glowing doorway appeared at the end of the alley. Then he stepped through the portal and vanished along with it.

Schanke ran into the alley and glanced around. It was as if there had been no one there to begin with. Feeling very confused and frustrated, he headed up the stairs to the only place he could get some answers. Isabelle flew away from Nick’s window, having witnessed the entire scene.

“Anyone home?†Schanke called, entering the loft. When there was no reply, he added, “Where the hell are you when I need you, Nick? You’re the only one who probably has any clue as to what just happened out there.â€

“Actually, he is not the only one,†Isabelle said.

Don looked around. “Who’s there?â€

“You might want to sit down first,†the fairy advised him.

“No. Just tell me who you are.â€

“All right.†She fluttered into view and perched on Nick’s coffee table next to the remote control for the window blinds. “My name is Isabelle. And yes, I am just as real as you are.â€

Schanke’s jaw dropped. It took him several moments to remember to close his mouth as he gaped at her, completely flabbergasted, for what he was seeing could not possibly be real. Vampires were one thing, but this was completely and totally unreal. “You’re a fairy?†he finally asked. “This can’t be happening.â€

“I’m afraid it is.â€

“Okay, right, and I’m Count Dracula.†That was a bad example, Schanke thought, but it had just popped into his head. “You’re really real?â€

“Yes.â€

“Man oh man oh man, I knew I shouldn’t have eaten that souvlaki earlier.†He sat down on the leather sofa and looked at the fairy again. Her hair was golden, and she wore a white dress made of silk, and she actually had wings. “Okay, assuming you’re real, do you have any idea what just happened to me?â€

“I have a theory.â€

“Which is?â€

“It was no human or vampire who kidnapped you and made your loved ones believe that you were dead.â€

“Don’t tell me, I can guess…was it aliens?â€

Isabelle sighed. “No. I think it was a gnome, and he may have been working for the one you met tonight.â€

“That guy was a gnome?â€

“Precisely. He was also a powerful sorcerer, apparently.â€

“Okay. Let me get this straight. Not only are fairies and vampires real, but gnomes are real too?†Schanke asked.

“Yes,†the fairy replied.

“What else don’t I know about?â€

“There are many creatures walking this earth and the realms beyond human ken that your people have only begun to dream of.â€

“Okay, so why would a gnome want to kidnap me?â€

“That is what I hope your friends, Nick and Natalie, will be able to find out.â€

“Do you know where they are?â€

“Oh, yes. They are in the fairy realm as we speak, searching for clues as to who your abductor may be. There is something else that happened tonight that you should know about.â€

“Which is?â€

“When the gnome attempted to cast a spell to blind you, did you not see the effects of magic around you?â€

“Uh, you mean all that light?†he asked.

“Exactly,†the fairy answered. “Whatever spell was used in your abduction must have had side effects. The more powerful magic gets, the more unpredictable it becomes. I believe you have what we call an affinity for the moon.â€

“What?†He looked startled. “I’m not a werewolf, am I? Please tell me that I’m not going to get all furry now.â€

“No,†the fairy replied and giggled. Her laughter was like wind chimes. “No, you are not a werewolf. You were able to use your newly-acquired talents to create a shield of moonlight, though. You only need to learn how to control the ability.â€

“Okay.†Schanke sighed. “So how do I find Nick and Natalie?â€

The fairy’s ows raised. “You should wait for them. The fairy realms are too dangerous for a mortal to visit alone.â€

“You could take me there,†he suggested.

“It would be much better for you to wait here,†she argued. “Besides, I can show you how to use your talents if you let me.â€

“All right,†he agreed.

* * * * *

To be continued, assuming I can catch these plot bunnies before they go wildly out of control.
 
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