Make your own free website on Tripod.com

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

XmagicalX

 

 

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

precinct."

"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

this guy.

 

 

"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

location."

"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

time."

"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

twisted way--"

"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?"

"Why, then?"

"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

theory?"

"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