Sincere thanks go all around. To my beautiful beta Becky, first one I've had
and the best thus far ;) To Signe, for eloquent moral support when I much
needed it. And to my sister and 'Leya, both of whom convinced me to send this
out. Hope you enjoy it!
Although this is technically a Sentinel/Forever Knight x-over, don't worry if
you're unfamiliar with FK--the emphasis is on TS, and there's only one major FK
char present. Even if it's confusing at first, all should eventually make
sense. I hope!
Warning: Title withstanding, this is quite dark. It's hard to do light
vampires, and since I've been rereading Anne Rice this is probably going to be
darker than I intended...might even deserve an 'R' rating. Depends how
squeamish you are about blood...
2nd Warning: If you're acquainted with both the shows, yes, I know the dates
don't match up. Sorry. Continuity's never been my strong point ;-)
DISCLAIMER: Sentinel chars are the property of Pet Fly. Forever Knight chars
belong to Parriott and various other ptb. Story by ERK (c) 1998.
A Dark and Endless Night
Afterwards he went west. Away from the rising sun, skimming just ahead of dawn
when he traveled. He paused briefly along the way before finally settling at
the coastal city. A short break, while he journeyed nowhere and everywhere.
He wasn't escaping from the police. Even when mortal, he had been in authority,
never submitted to it; now so long past that he was untouchable. Yet he was
fleeing all the same.
It wasn't the first time he had left behind a body for them to find, nor the
last. But perhaps it was the first time the crime truly touched his long-dead
conscience, his non-existent soul crying out with the pain of loss, of guilt.
An aching, empty hole in his very self.
Screaming until it was so loud he would do anything to silence it, anything to
fill the void, and neither law nor conscience could deny him his desire.
"I've been talking to Interpol," Simon Banks announced, throwing down the case
file. "This is just the latest. Started into Toronto three months ago, one,
possibly two of the Toronto PD's own dead by this monster. You can draw a line
across Canada and the States, a murder here, a murder there--and then we get to
Cascade and somebody got stuck. This is it, the buck stops here--I don't care
what's happened in other cities, nobody's getting away with this in my
"Yes, sir," Jim Ellison agreed wholeheartedly. He took no offense at his
captain's tone. Three homicides in one week put him in an equally pissed off
mood. And that was only in Cascade; learning that their string had a much
longer tail made it far worse. Given the distinctive nature of the murders, the
whole thing reeked of a serial killer.
Almost automatically he glanced at his partner. Blair was sitting
uncharacteristically still; his heartbeat had accelerated a hair with Simon's
words. It wasn't the captain's anger but what he had reported that disturbed
the anthropologist. Serial murderers touched a sensitive nerve, called up
unpleasant memories they'd both just as soon forget.
Of course in both their cases this made them that much more determined to catch
"I've never seen anything like this," the coroner confessed as they quizzed him
about the latest body. Jim went over it briefly himself, found nothing
extraordinary that enhanced Sentinel abilities could detect. Blair managed to
guide him through the process by keeping his eyes carefully averted from the
corpse. The pathologist, familiar with the two, made no comment on either
Ellison's hands-on investigation or Sandburg's greenish hue.
Cause of death clear: massive blood loss. "This woman's missing over three
quarters of her plasma," the doctor reported with a hint of intrigued
excitement. "For that much to be gone they must have been using suction of some
type--the heart wouldn't be able to pump it all out. Her veins are virtually
empty; some have even collapsed. That could be the true cause of death,
actually, even before the exsanguination killed her--far as I can tell it was
drained in a minute flat."
"There was no blood at the scene," Blair remarked from the corner of the room he
had retreated to.
"Yeah, I heard that. We're talking one slick customer. The corpse wasn't moved
from all I can tell--dirt on the shoes, traces on the clothing all match the
"They took the blood so neatly none was spilled," Jim said.
"In one minute, too," the pathologist reminded him. "Either this is a Red Cross
Blood Wagon worker with an extremely dedicated work ethic, or--" and his eyes
lit with unholy fire, "it's a vampire."
Jim glared down at his smiling face. "People are dead here."
"I know, I know. That wasn't a joke--I haven't shown you the best part."
Without any sign of discomfort he turned the dead woman's head aside, swept back
the hair to reveal the neck. "Look at this." One gloved finger indicated the
jugular. In specific, the pair of small round wounds perforating the skin, only
a few centimeters apart. "These are the only lesions on the entire body," the
pathologist said in a suitably hushed voice.
He broke the mood fast enough by adding, "Well, a couple paper cuts, but she was
a secretary after all. I've gone over it with a magnifying glass, and there's
no needle marks anywhere. Those," again he pointed to the wounds, "weren't
caused by a needle. Too big, too irregular. Could be from thorns or claws, but
I'm betting on teeth. Of course, they are far too small to account for this
kind of blood loss--but that never bothered Count Dracula."
"And the other victims had the same marks, same place," Blair reported wearily
later as they reviewed the other cases, those from both Cascade and Interpol.
He shoved the stack of files aside and tossed his glasses on top of them,
rubbing his eyes. "You know, Dan's vampire theory is sounding better all the
"It's hardly his theory," Jim replied sharply. "Every pathologist report we
have makes some such reference. What it means, Chief, is that we're dealing
with a guy that thinks he's a vampire."
"Yeah, and he's pretty damn good at playing the part, too. Wonder where he buys
his super-suction plastic fangs?"
"Sandburg." Ellison's frustrated growl brought Blair back on track. The
Sentinel softened slightly at his mumbled apology. "It's okay, Chief, we just
have to stick to this and forget the Gothic stuff for now. Commonalties in the
victims, that's what we need. Figure out how this guy thinks and we can get
inside his head, find him before he chooses his next victim."
"Dunno if he chooses them, man." Blair leaned back. "I mean, I know Lash--" he
swallowed, continued, "Lash took real care, picking out who he wanted. But this
guy, whoever--he's bringing them down so fast he can't be too choosy. Three in
six days doesn't leave much room for being finicky. And the types--"
"A secretary and two homeless men in Cascade," Jim recited. "All in the same
part of town. In the other cities, Canadian and US, a mix of vagrants, gang
members, couple of random others."
"He's taking them off the street, man. He just goes out at night and snags
whoever walks by. What kind of reason is in that?" Blair demanded. "I mean,
even Lash, he had a purpose, he was getting identities. Revenge, well, I don't
quite get it, but at least I see it, you know? And to some serial killers, it's
the true way to know a person, or to possess someone they 'love' in their
"And for some it's for the thrill of murder," Jim said grimly. "Which could be
what we have here. It's the death. Doesn't matter who, or where, just what."
"And how." Blair paused. "And when. Always at night." He went silent.
"I know it doesn't make sense," his partner spoke quietly. "It's something
you'll learn that you won't understand--I hope you never do. But some people
are monsters. No reason, no purpose. They just are. They do things and we
have to stop them. If we get too caught up trying to figure out 'why', when
there isn't an answer--"
"But what if there is?" Blair interrupted. His protest was soft. Jim waited
patiently for him to go on, "What if there is a reason?"
"Nourishment." Blair took a breath, went on before he could be cut off. "Blood.
Drinking blood, there's lots of cultures with rituals around that concept.
Animal blood and human blood. Human blood is always the most
powerful--sacrifices, and eating the sacrifices, and drinking the blood. Even
Christianity has the concept. It doesn't matter where the blood's from--well,
yes it does. Usually it does. But not always; the most important thing is that
it's from a human; if they're not picky about who..."
"Are we talking about a cult here?"
Before Jim could consider the possibility Blair responded, "No. No, look,
everyone agrees that this is one individual. Drinking blood for strength, for
power, for immortality..." He hesitated. Decided to continue before he was
stopped, "Vampires, the idea is ancient. It's in all sorts of cultures, all
over the world, these common elements. The blood-drinking, of course. But the
other stuff, too. Afraid of sunlight, great strength, live forever unless
they're killed. And that's hard to do.
"There's all the old European stuff, the nosferatu to Dracula, but there's so
much more, too. The ancient Meso-americans, Mayans and Aztecs, they had these
sort of demi-gods, jaguar men, people with jaguar teeth. And those peoples all
gave blood sacrifices to their deities. The Chinese--"
"What are you talking about, Sandburg?" demanded Jim. "Real vampires?"
"I'm just saying that we should be open to possibilities--"
"You sound like you're starring in 'The X-files'. I liked the cult idea better,
Chief." Jim shook his head. "These are all myths you're talking about--"
"And until I found you almost all I knew about Sentinels were myths."
Touche. Jim wondered how many times to come would Blair invoke that particular
clause. Aloud he snapped, "Open minds are one thing, empty ones are
another--honestly, that theory's just nuts. Simon would give us hell for
mentioning it, the rest of Major Crimes would laugh their asses off, and most
importantly, it isn't doing anything to get this solved."
Blair was suitably crestfallen at the rebuke. But his eyes sparked as he asked
of his partner, "What's up with you, man? Biting my head off for a passing
"Sorry." Jim was honestly apologetic. "I know you weren't really serious about
it, still, I don't want you to lose all the credibility you've deservedly gained
just because you're spouting your usual nonsense. Not everyone's immunized to
it like me," and he essayed a grin.
Blair shook his head. "No go. I want to know what's bugging you, man. You've
been digging into this case worse than ever, since Simon officially gave it to
us this morning you haven't stopped pushing. Don't you think half past seven's
about time for a break?"
Immediately he denied this, then saw the vindicated gleam in his partner's eye
and knew the truth would come out eventually. Surrendering, he explained, "We
need to do as much as we can tonight. The feds show up tomorrow morning to take
over; we'll be downgraded to assistants. I don't want to be making coffee runs
for a pair of suits while there's a killer loose in my city. I don't care where
else he's been or what he did there; all I need to know is that he's here,
killing people here, and I'm going to stop him. We're going to stop him."
"Tonight?" Blair's eyebrows raised, but he had no other comment.
Especially after Jim answered, "If we can." They both knew 'the sooner, the
better' took on a whole new meaning for cases such as this.
The Sentinel tapped the pile of files. "The three murders here in Cascade were
all within a couple of blocks of each other. It's starting to get dark outside,
that's the killer's chosen hour. I'm going to go to the locations where the
bodies were found, see what else I can find, and if I scare up some suspects,
all the better. You--" he hesitated. "You can drive. If you want to come."
"Yeah, right, I'm going to sit at home watching TV while you're drawing the eye
of a lunatic." Blair snorted. "Not likely, and I'll tell you now, I ain' t
keeping in the truck, either. In case you have some strange idea I'm going to
listen to you this one time..."
The desire to keep his friend safe and protected warred with his need for
backup. The need won. "All right. But if I find you suddenly following around
a pale wom