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Pro Terra Sancta
a Good Friday ficlet
March 21, 2008
Last modified March 24, 2008
by Amy R.
G. Please see the endnote for disclaimers, credits, and all that good stuff. This fanfiction is a tribute to the television series Forever Knight.
Friday, April 9, 1993, 4:00 AM
"Cut and dried," Natalie waved a manila folder. Nick noted that she now wore a nice fuchsia suit, rather than the scrubs he had seen her in just hours ago, and wondered about the whole clothes-changing situation at the Coroner's Building. Did they have a locker room like the precinct, or what? "The tox screen supports your witness."
"Thanks, Nat." Schanke accepted the manila folder, glanced through and nodded. Then he stood and dropped it on Nick's desk. "Yep, it's all over but the reporting, Knight. And today I am leaving that to you."
"What?" Nick asked. It was more than his turn, he knew. He had gotten Schanke to write their last three reports, trading subtly but shamelessly on saving his partner's life in that safe-house bombing a few months back. Nick loathed paperwork. "Why?"
"Sheesh, do you not listen to anything I say?" Schanke grabbed his overcoat from the rack, reminding Nick of his earlier curiosity as to why Schanke hadn't left it in the locker room as usual. "I am out of here on the express train to beddy-bye the moment the clock ticks over. I have to cram in as much sleep as possible before gallivanting off to church with the family in the primo early-afternoon slumber hours today."
"Oh, that's right," Natalie said. "It's Good Friday, isn't it? I didn't know you were that observant."
"I'm not," Schanke huffed. "I mean, yeah, okay, holy day of obligation, if you're into that sort of thing. But come on, I work the night shift now, right? I'm off the hook? Nope. Jenny was interested in the whole deal this year, and Myra says we have to 'encourage' her" -- Schanke made quotation marks in the air with his fingers -- "in her 'spiritual development.' I pointed out that we indispensable public servants don't all get the four-day weekend that schoolgirls and saleswomen do, but did they listen to me?"
Nick smiled. He could tell Schanke's complaints ran only skin deep. The annoyance was real, but pride trumped a little lost sleep.
"Hey, Schank," Nick reached for his wallet. "Do they still do that thing where the Good Friday collection goes to the maintenance of Christian pilgrimage sites in the Holy Land?"
"Yeah, I think so. Why?"
"Put this in for me?" Nick handed him a fifty-dollar bill.
"Wow. Sure. Uh, just checking, but did you mean to give--?"
"Yeah. I did."
"Okay. Your business." Schanke put the bill in his wallet and checked the clock on the wall around the corner from Captain Stonetree's office door. "That's it. I am out of here, dudes and dudettes!"
Natalie laughed as they watched him weave around less-hurried people. When the door swung shut behind Schanke, she turned back to Nick with her eyebrows raised. "Maintenance of pilgrimage sites in the Holy Land?"
"It's an old tradition."
"As old as you?"
"Not nearly. Old enough, though." He shrugged. "It's for places like the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Church of the Nativity--"
"I know what a pilgrimage site is, Nick." Natalie smacked his shoulder lightly. At least, it seemed light to him. "I meant, what does it mean to you? Of all the things you don't talk about, that's probably top of the list." She looked around and dropped her voice. "You fought on a Crusade for those places, right?"
"Yeah." He looked up into her face for a long moment. Nick found there what he always had; he could trust her with as much of it as he had ever trusted anyone. Maybe more -- of that dusty, bloody mess that had never entirely let him go. "We meant well, Nat. I swear, we meant well. I'd been to Wales, but most of the foot sergeants hadn't been outside the villages where they were born, and even the knights often hadn't been beyond their home provinces. I can't speak for those in the command tents, but--"
A uniformed officer walked by.
"Why don't I come over to the loft when I get off shift?" Natalie asked. "If you'd like to talk more, that is."
"I would like that." Nick hesitated. "We both know you always come to my place because you can leave during the day, and I can't. But would it be all right if I came over to your apartment, instead, this time? Talking this one through . . . it might be easier where things are, uh, more human."
Natalie's expression softened, but her practicality took the lead. "You're more than welcome to stay the day on my couch, Nick, if you think we can secure the curtains enough. No blood in my place, though. I'll make you as many protein shakes as you want, but absolutely no blood. Not cow, not anything."
"It's a fast day anyway, isn't it?" Nick grinned.
Natalie smacked his shoulder again. She headed for the door, then looked back. "Don't forget to finish that report, first. You've got less than three hours to sunrise."
Nick sighed. He really, truly loathed paperwork.
Mr. Parriot and Mr. Cohen created Forever Knight. The Sony Corporation owns it. I intend no infringement. Please support all authorized Forever Knight endeavors! (Did you know we can now purchase individual first-season episodes on "Amazon Unbox"?)
Characters and situations in this fantasy fanfiction are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to real people is purely coincidental. (Vampires don't exist. The "pro Terra Sancta" collection on Good Friday does, though; it's implemented at each local Bishop's discretion.)
Circumstances. Despite its original air date, "For I Have Sinned" happens in Lent, obviously. For this piece, I'm presuming that was Lent '92, and this is a year after, with "Hunters" (the explosion at the safe house) between. We see Schanke's Catholicism in "For I Have Sinned." There is no canon on Myra's religion. Her employment by Skin Pretty as an award-winning salesperson is from "False Witness."
The Crusades. In a "Last Act" flashback, Erica prods Nick about the Crusades with what she sees in his blood. In a "Dance by the Light of the Moon" flashback, Janette calls him "brave Crusader." In a "Be My Valentine" flashback, Fleur begs for stories of "the Crusades -- the adventures!" Lacroix refers to "the Crusades you have endured." And of course the final "The Queen of Harps" flashback, in Wales, is what sends Nick on Crusade. But Nick doesn't talk about it himself on screen. Not with anyone.
Paperwork. "Think of the paperwork if you drop him!" Schanke exclaims in "Last Act." Both Schanke and Tracy take Nick to task over their shared paperwork from time to time.
Many thanks to Mary C., who shared a thorough proofreading in very short order. And my gratitude to Elisabeth, who let me know that Good Friday (as well as Easter Monday) is a public holiday in Canada; I changed the story to match. Thanks also to Loreal and Walt, who advised that the piece was worth posting. With all their kind help, I turned this piece around faster than any since FK was still on the air. Errors, of course, are all my own!
I wrote "Pro Terra Sancta" on the night of Good Friday 2008. I posted it to fkfic-l, titled "A Good Friday Ficlet," on Easter 2008, and archived it here that night. Please do not archive, post or distribute this story. You're welcome to link to it here, on my FK fansite.
Thank you for reading! Your comments and constructive criticism would be valued. Please email me or comment on my Livejournal or Dreamwidth. Again, truly, thanks for reading!
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