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26 November 2007 @ 10:16 pm
FK Fanfic: "Billets Doux"  

This LJ retrospective on my FK fanfiction now comes to "Billets Doux," which is one of my few stories that have never yet appeared on FKFic-L, and one of a handful to which no one has ever responded.  I wrote it in the winter of 1996, and a friend kindly recruited it for the zine Tojours Lacroix, which came out in 1999.

There isn't much to "Billets Doux," beyond a neglected line of "Fallen Idol" -- Nick says Fleur wrote to him -- but while I'm inclined to make light of it, eleven years out, and supposedly long recovered from my LC phase, well . . . re-reading the story tonight brought tears to my eyes.  If it never pleases anyone else, I'm still glad I wrote it.

  •   Title: "Billets Doux"
  •   Length: ~1,200 words
  •   Date: Published in the charity fanzine Tojours Lacroix (1999)
  •   Rating: G
  •   Summary: Lacroix muses on his loss of Fleur and how it led to his loss of Nick.
  •   Setting: Indeterminate, looking back at 1229-1247 from many centuries later
  •   Characters:   Lacroix, Nick, Fleur
  •   Quotation: "He is what is left to me of her, and his hatred is what is left to me of himself."


 
 
 
greerwatsongreerwatson on March 16th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
I hadn't read this before, but I've been browsing through old fan fiction and came upon it. I, too, in one of the episodes of FK4, had Fleur writing to Nick—though in my version, he was still illiterate and had to get LaCroix to read the letters to him!

Recently, I have amused myself by inventing factions that never were. You, I would judge to be a History Buff and a Brabantine.
Amy R.: Fleur & Lacroixbrightknightie on March 21st, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading this little old story, and for letting me know you did!

>"I, too, in one of the episodes of FK4, had Fleur writing to Nick—though in my version, he was still illiterate and had to get LaCroix to read the letters to him!"

Which FK4 episode/story is that? I'm sorry, but I don't remember that incident, and I would think that I would... (I'm afraid that I read your FK4 in a bit of a hurry, to get it all read before voting in the "Forsaken Fandom Awards." "A Pure Woman" was my favorite, if I remember correctly.)

>"You, I would judge to be a History Buff and a Brabantine."

:-) That sounds just right. :-)
greerwatsongreerwatson on March 23rd, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
"Which FK4 episode/story is that? I'm sorry, but I don't remember that incident, and I would think that I would..."

Ah, I'm sorry. I misremembered the details of the scene. (And I'm the one who wrote it, too!) The letter actually isn't read—at least, not on screen. So the delightful image of LaCroix reading aloud to Nick is inaccurate. However, there is a letter. In fact, there are two: in consecutive episodes.

The episode I was actually thinking of is "The Arcane Art" (the 12th in the season). The scene is in the epilogue.
Nick and Natalie are talking, and he says, "It's hard learning to read as an adult." This leads into the flashback: Nick has just received a letter from his mother; and LaCroix orders him to read it to him.

Nick says, astonished, "Je ne connais pas la lecture. Voulez-vous que je demande au Père Matthieu qu'il fait la lecture de la lettre?"

LaCroix's responds, "Un prêtre! Tu es un vampire, Nicolas. Qu'est-ce que tu fais aux prêtres?"

Back in the present, Nick has obviously been telling this story to Natalie. She says, "It never even occurred to me...! Of course, I've read that in the Middle Ages most—" Then she realizes what she has just said and laughs, "Oh, read! Read in books! Oh, I'm a child of the twentieth century all right!"

She incredulously asks Nick if he really couldn't read! He responds, "Well, I could do a fancy sort of signature, all loops and scrolls. For signing documents. But my father was a knight of the old school. Reading was for clerks and merchants, not men."

Then he adds, "I learned, though. LaCroix insisted. He said no vampire could afford to depend on clerics and priests."
So, no: I didn't have LaCroix read the letter to Nick. However, I did have Nick originally illiterate—and LaCroix was not exactly irrelevant to the scene.

The second letter appears in the next episode, "Broken Hearts". In the flashback, Nick receives a letter from Fleur to say that their mother is dying. Nick does know how to read by this time. The notes say, "He is seated on a stool, reading the parchment. His lips move silently as he reads." I would have had him read it aloud under his breath, except that that would have complicated things by requiring me to write the letter instead of just reporting what it said—and it's a very full episode, requiring me to pare things down wherever possible to fit the time constraint. (One of the things about doing the scripts instead of prose fiction: you do need to keep track of time!)