Last Knight Story

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Synonyms: LK story
Related: Post-Gauda Prime, fix-it, denialfic
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In Forever Knight fandom, the term Last Knight story applies to a genre of fan fiction which is defined in relation to the series finale, "Last Knight".[1]

From a fan perspective, the episode was controversial because it concluded with the apparent death of three of the main characters (Nick Knight, Natalie Lambert, and Tracy Vetter). Furthermore, the immediately preceding episode by air date, "Ashes to Ashes", had killed off two additional characters (Javier Vachon and Urs). In all, therefore, five characters died—or, at least, appeared to die—in the last two episodes of Forever Knight. Fan reaction to the finale was almost uniformly negative. Almost inevitably, there came an outpouring of fan fiction.

In response to the trauma of the series finale, fans found writing to be cathartic. Indeed, many Last Knight stories are first fic attempts (often an author's only fiction). Other writers produced multiple works with a variety of different revisions of canon, recurrently driven by the need to negate the ending of the series. Fans who write/read LK stories are not unaware of their own motivation, and often include introductions like these:

  • "I wrote this this morning after "Last Knight" aired. I cried throughout the entire episode...however I feel that it was a very powerful way of ending the series. (sob, sob, it can't be over...it just can't! :-( . [ ... ] Anyway, this is my final farewell to Forever Knight...now please excuse me while I go rewatch "Last Knight" and bawl my eyes out again."
    — excerpted from the introduction to Kim Sefcik's "Final Farewell"[1]
  • "I'm a relative newbie at Fanfic, so please, remember that and try to be kind. It was inspired by my hatred of the ending of "Last Knight". I hate it, hate it, hate it! So in a complete state of denial, I offer you this."
    — excerpted from the introduction to Arletta Asbury's "The Apartment and What Happens Next"[2]
  • "This is my attempt at a better ending to Last Knight. I wrote this in an effort to get rid of the bad taste it left. It's been lurking on my hard drive since then (Feb.'97) and hasn't been beta-read. It's been revised once and spell checked so it should be readable. This is my first fanfic so please don't flame."
    — excerpted from the introduction to Emma Lighton's "Next Evening"[3]
  • ":-((( This is just how I think it might end, in some alternate universe in which Last Knight wasn't just a nightmare. ;-)"
    — excerpted from the introduction to Michelle David's "And After..."[4]
  • "Forgive me, all. I've just watched LK for the first time since the first time. I had to write something. Well, maybe I didn't have to but I did anyway."
    — excerpted from the introduction to S. Clark's "Last Knight and Then Some"[5]
  • "Okay, I evidently, still haven't worked through all my Last Knight issues. So here we go again."
    — excerpted from the introduction to Val Wirth's "The More Things Change"[6]
  • "Yeah, it's yet another story to correct that silly thing TPTB tried to feed us..."
    — excerpted from the introduction to Lynne Levine's "Afterlife, a Last Knight Continuation"[7]
  • "Yet another take on Last Knight, if y'all can stomach it...."
    — excerpted from the introduction to Caroline LaRoche's "Last Knight/First Night"[8]

Only a minority of fan writers accept the events of the episode, yet still contrive ways to write sequels. The most common response is revision: to write a story that alters the conclusion of the series by saving one or more of the characters who were killed off. There is also pure denial fic that negates the entire episode as a dream or hallucination. Other fan writers simply ignore the series finale entirely, and write stories set after the events of the other episodes of Season Three as if "Last Knight" had never been made.

Within Forever Knight fandom, no type of Last Knight story is considered to be set in an AU.

Revisionist Last Knight stories take various forms, depending on which apparent death or deaths the author wishes to deny. Typically, LaCroix refuses to stake Nick Knight in the final scene of "Last Knight". In some stories, Natalie Lambert (who was drained by Nick) is taken to hospital, either by Nick or by LaCroix, where her life is saved by medical intervention. In other stories, one or the other of them deliberately brings her over when she is at the point of death by giving her some of their blood. Alternatively, she wakes alone in the loft, having inadvertently been brought across simply by Nick's bite.

In addition to "saving" Nick and/or Natalie, authors of Last Knight stories may also contrive ways to alter the fate of one or more of the other characters who died at the end of the series: Tracy Vetter, Javier Vachon, and Urs.

All stories based on Last Knight are equally considered to be Last Knight stories, whether they take a revisionist approach or are straightforward sequels that accept the events of the episode.

Virtual Seasons

Two distinct virtual seasons (V4S and FK4) have been written to continue Forever Knight into a fourth year. From a literal perspective, both ought by rights to be considered Last Knight stories, in as much as they must, by their very nature, continue the series after the date of "Last Knight". Nevertheless, they are not usually treated as such. The term "Last Knight story" is normally applied to single works (or works with sequels), rather than entire seasons of new episodes.

Notable Last Knight stories

Forever Knight fans have probably written more Last Knight stories than any other single genre. Among them, the following are particularly noteworthy.

(This list is nowhere near complete. It's drawn from the "Last Knight stories" category at the Forever Knight Wiki; but they only have maybe a third of FK stories indexed yet, at most.)

LK Never Happened

In one way or another, these stories avoid the events of "Last Knight". (However, they were written post-series, so it's not that the authors were jossed by the finale.)

  • "A Final Farewell" by Laurie Cohen Fenster
    Natalie goes to Nick's apartment after having the most awful dream.
  • "A Final Goodbye" by Amanda Sullivan
    Sixty years later, Nick returns as Natalie is dying. (AU splitting off after "A More Permanent Hell", so LK never happened.)
  • "First Knight" by Nancy A. Taylor
    Parallels to LK, but on the eve of the new millennium.
  • "Last Knight Plus One" by Stephanie Babbitt
    LK was a hallucination caused by Divia's poison when she attacked Nick in "Ashes to Ashes".
  • "Last Knightmare" by Erika Wilson
    All was a nightmare of LaCroix's pre-"Ashes to Ashes" allowing him the chance to correct every error.
  • "Next Knight" by Marcia Tucker
    A dream—but also a wake-up call.
  • "Persistent Prophecy" by Susan Bennett
    Natalie wakes up in hospital with a head injury after a car crash.
  • "A State of Grace" by Jean Graham
    An alternative finale: starts with Nick trying to comfort Natalie after the death of her friend Laura.
  • "Tracy's Last Knight" by Cousin Mary
    Still struggling with the memories suppressed by LaCroix after "Ashes to Ashes", Tracy is shot by Dawkins and lies hallucinating in hospital.

Sequels

The following stories either continue after the canonical events of "Last Knight", or provide an inner perspective justifying the characters' behaviour.

Revisions

The following fan fiction contrives one or another way to revise canon in order to continue the characters' stories.

Natalie survives as a human

  • "The Phoenix" by Nancy W. Bonilla
    Natalie struggles to adjust to life without vampires, not knowing that Divia's evil lives on in Nick and Vachon until she is asked to help save them.
  • "Birthdays" by Nightlady
    A year and a half after waking in hospital, Natalie returns to the loft.
  • "I know You're Out There Somewhere" by Laura Ruggiero
    Natalie wakes in hospital to realize that Nick is gone and she must search for him.
  • "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" by Mel Moser
    Five years later, the return of Tracy and Vachon starts the slow return of Natalie's memories of the night a vampire nearly killed her.
  • "Last Knight - the next chapter" by Karen Gunther
    Natalie copes with the disabilities she suffers after the attack, while Nick watches her from afar.
  • "Next Mourning" by Bethany Ford
    Natalie wakes in hospital for a blunt conversation with LaCroix.
  • "Perchance to Dream" by Amie LaRouche
    Though LaCroix takes Natalie to hospital, she is not unaffected by Nick's bite.

Natalie becomes a vampire

  • "A Bloodsucker, A Whining Pest, and LaCroix" by Maria Lane
    A slightly different solution....
  • "Consequences" by Christina Kamnikar
    LaCroix employs his ingenuity.
    • "Spare Me This" by Christina Kamnikar
      Shipped by coffin to South America, Nick and Natalie finally really talk. (sequel)
  • "Crossing Over" by Kathy Lawson
    Natalie makes her choice.
  • "First Day" by Christine Hantzopulos Hunt
    On the borders of death, Natalie realizes that Nick became mortal just before LaCroix staked him.
  • "Ladies of the Knight" by J.T. Marechal
    Janette discovers that Nick's splashed blood has brought Natalie over.
  • "Matters of the Heart" by Laurie Cohen Fenster
    LaCroix is far from a fool.
  • "POV" by Dianne T. DeSha
    Natalie's thoughts during and after the final scene.
  • "Shattered" by Gehirn Karies
    LaCroix goes abroad with...a very precious trunk.
  • "Trio"[11] by imajiru
    After LaCroix has taught Natalie, the three of them must find a new modus vivendi.

Both Mortal

  • "Few Regrets" by Kristine Ward
    Two years after becoming mortal and marrying Natalie, Nick is bored.
  • "First Night" by Lisa Wolters
    Nat played possum/Nick turns mortal.
  • "That's It?" by Susan Bennett
    How to fake out an old vampire. (comic)
  • "A Time to Heal" by Mary Combs
    Natalie wakes up in hospital two months later to find that Nick became mortal and LaCroix is gone—but there is still something that she doesn't remember.

Natalie dies/Nick lives

  • "Eve of All Saints" by Mary Combs
    Natalie dies, and Nick has to adjust to his newfound mortality.
  • "Past Night" by Marcia Tucker
    Nick discovers that, like LaCroix, he is far too old and powerful.

Miscellaneous

  • "Corners of the Mind" by Amy R.
    Four years later, Tracy's memories start to return. (Canon in terms of Nick/Nat, but Tracy survived her head injury.)
  • "The Grand Inquisitor" by Erika Wilson
    After two thousand years, Nick is utterly mad when Natalie returns.
  • "Last Knight/First Night" by Caroline LaRoche
    Vachon revives in his grave, and hence can bring Tracy over when she is shot.

Parodies

References

  1. The text of this article derives heavily from the article, "Last Knight stories", in the Forever Knight Wiki.
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