Nick/Natalie

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Pairing
Pairing: Nick Knight/Natalie Lambert
Alternative name(s): Nick/Nat, NN
Gender category: m/f
Fandom: Forever Knight
Canonical?: canonical UST
Prevalence: common OTP
Archives: Mortal Love (NNPack faction site)
Descent Into Darkness (Dark NN faction site)
Other: factions: Nick & NatPack, Dark Nick & NatPack


Natalie Lambert and Nick Knight in "Night in Question"
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In Forever Knight fandom, Nick/Nat(alie) refers to a pairing between the characters Nick Knight and Natalie Lambert (who were portrayed by Geraint Wyn Davies and Catherine Disher).[1]

In Canon

The backstory to Nick's and Natalie's relationship is given in the Season One episode "Only the Lonely", whose flashback is set some two years before the present-day events of the series. On Natalie's 28th birthday, Nick's apparent corpse is brought into the morgue for her to autopsy; but it "comes back to life" as his recuperative powers kick in. She quickly offers to try to learn more about his condition, sure that she will soon be able to offer a cure. Some time later, Nick joins the Metropolitan Police, making them colleagues.

From the start of the show, a mutual romantic interest was obvious from their flirtatious behaviour in many scenes, especially when in private. As well, Natalie exhibited suppressed jealousy whenever Nick seemed attracted to another woman (even when simultaneously averring support for his pursuit of such romances on the grounds that it would be a very "human" activity).[2] Nevertheless, any romance between the two of them perforce remained unresolved, since Forever Knight was the type of television show that has fixed character dynamics that alter only in response to a change in cast, requiring that sexual tension not be resolved, since doing so would alter the very character dynamics that make the series work. Although there were a handful of episodes in which it was suggested that they definitely are in love (notably "Only the Lonely", and "Be My Valentine"), it was always necessary to equivocate or backtrack in order to return the status quo ante.[3]

To maintain the plausibility of the situation, it is intimated through various flashbacks in which Nick loves and then kills other mortal women that, whenever he tries to make love, he ultimately winds up draining the woman's blood, killing her. Therefore, Nick dare not make love to Natalie lest her life be endangered.

Fan Interpretation

There is some evidence in the series that vampires (or at least male vampires) in Forever Knight are impotent in terms of human sexual relations. In particular, in the episode, "Love You to Death", LaCroix explicitly says that it is impossible for Nick to love a woman as a mortal man would. Some fans take this literally, making it a further impediment to the consummation of Nick and Natalie's love as long as he remains a vampire—and hence a further motivation for her to find a cure for him. Other fans, taking into account episodes in which vampire sex involves biting, interpret the evidence to mean that Nick needs to consume some of his lover's blood in order to achieve climax—meaning that the critical factor is finding a way to ensure Natalie's safety. Yet other fans prefer to consider vampires perfectly capable of human-style sexual activity without blood-drinking.

Fans have attempted various ways of resolving the characters' dilemma in order to achieve a happy ending; but basically these boil down to three methods:

  • Nick becomes mortal.
  • Natalie becomes a vampire.
  • They find a way to control his bloodlust.

All three methods have been employed in fan fiction, with some fans passionately preferring one scenario over any other. In addition, there are a number of stories in which a tragic ending is preferred, often with Nick renouncing his love so that Natalie can get on with her life.

The Negative View

A minority of fans have seen negative aspects to the relationship between the two, in particular citing occasions on which Nick keeps Natalie in the dark "for her own good", or vamps out scarily to tease her.

[The episode "I Will Repay"] is actually the point at which I thought the show started to send up very interesting (though sad, disturbing, and ultimately tragic) warning flags about their relationship. Nick and Natalie, even this early, and no matter how much I wanted it to be different (even this early and on through the end) had, imo, a tremendously co-dependent, unhealthy relationship.

They were both from abusive backgrounds (which we knew of Nick already at this time, and suspected of Natalie based on a number of behavior patterns on her part). They both had boundary issues (Nat's request here in IWR, Nick knowing he can hurt her in FtB--and her letting him and then blowing it off). They were both terrified of losing the other, and would do things that they didn't believe in to preserve the relationship (Nat's request here, Nick's agreeing, Nat asking him to bring HER across in AMPH, Nat lying over and over and over on reports, Nat giving Nick more of the drug in "The Fix", and on and on it goes) because they were more afraid of the other not being there than they were of breaking their own codes.

I think caving here is very much like Nick--it's tremenously hard for him to say no (I can't think of a single example offhand) when a woman he loves cries. And as mcuh loss as he's faced, and as much as he holds onto things to try and prevent himself from having to face loss, I think that particular button, and the opportunity to save Natalie that, are something he couldn't quite refuse, even knowing the dangers.

Amy Hull, "Re: FK, Bringing Someone Across", post to FORKNI-L 27 August 2004

This is discussed at length in two informal essays by gnosticdiva on her LiveJournal blog:

Factions

Fans of the Nick/Natalie pairing formed a faction called the Nick & NatPack. It quickly became clear that, for many of them, the primary appeal was a romantic human-style relationship, meaning that—for the two to be together in a story with a happy resolution—either Natalie finds a cure for vampirism, or the two are able to be together safely while Nick is still a vampire. Those who favoured Nick bringing Natalie over therefore split to form the Dark Nick & NatPack, who see a happy resolution in the possibility of Nick bringing Natalie over so that they can be together for eternity in the vampire state.

List of References

  1. Much of the content of this article is drawn from the "Nick and Nat" page[1] in the Forever Knight Wiki.
  2. Early episodes in which Natalie shows tension—even when, in some instances, encouraging Nick to seek human romance—include "Dark Knight", "Dance by the Light of the Moon", and "Dying to Know You", thus setting the tone for the series.
  3. In "Only the Lonely", Nick never tells Natalie how much he dislikes her dating another man, nor does she explain that she would prefer to be dating him; and her new boyfriend turns out to be the murderer. In "Be My Valentine", although they declare their love, Nick has to renounce her to LaCroix in order to protect her, so Natalie is left with no memories of that evening.