But may I make just one exception? I would like to commend to your enjoyment the beautiful "Theory of Lost Things" (PG-13, 3000 words, Nick/Urs, flashback Janette) that leela_cat wrote to match my very own fkficfest prompt. Her story is well-written, thoughtful, canon-aware and lovely, building a rare pairing with delicacy, grace and realism. It also immensely satisfies me, personally, reconnecting me with a possibility that once shone in my love of FK, but which became tarnished through no fault of its own. I don't expect that this pairing calls to many the way it calls to me. I do think that the story makes its own striking case for a choice that could have broken free of third season just in time to earn all the characters a different chance at happier fates. The story filled me with enthusiasm for what could have been.
Nominally, Nick/Urs is the "Les Miserables" couple faction. I don't think anyone ever subscribed to the faction exclusively, or even secondarily. Or tertiarily. It was kind of a joke, I think. The brief period in which Nick/Urs seemed a viable potential direction in canon was not yet stabilized from the earthshaking changes of the start of the season, and was swept away quickly by the graver concerns of the rest of the season. When FKFic-L War 7 came in the summer of '96, almost all the factions had their hands full overtly bringing their characters back from the dead and covertly feuding over which character was most to blame for LK (warning: do not reopen those wounds), and poor Urs didn't even have a faction in the game. No one played as an Urchin. natmerc rounded up those of us she could into a motley band of multi-factioned "Friends of Urs" just to get Urs among the resurrected. Nick/Urs was a pretty deflated concept. Too much fannish work shoring up the story was needed urgently elsewhere.
I believe that possibilities for Nick and Urs growing together are inherent in "Hearts of Darkness," and I believe that I saw this from the first viewing, as I learned how much they might have in common -- in loneliness, in caring about what other vampires don't dare care about, in issues of trust, in music... They have great differences as well as great commonalities, but I felt that the characters had a possibility for understanding that might grow differently and more deeply than the possibilities of other characters. And then of course I read this impression back to "Black Buddha, Part 2," when Lacroix (deep in his "Lite" phase) pitches Urs to Nick like a salesman with a hot prospect ("innocent goddess" -- what was he thinking?), so obviously ("Lite") attempting to put new bait on vampirism's hook now that Janette has gone. In early third season, Nick clearly does not consider himself romantically involved with Natalie and so does consider himself free to fall in love elsewhere (cf. "Blackwing").
Then of course the rest of third season happened, closing one possibility after another. Separately, outside canon, the expectations and preferences of the fandom as a whole influenced individual interpretation. Where it seems that half the population is N&N and half UF, springing Nick loose for an IB story may be a bit of an accomplishment, never mind Les Mis.
Curiously, Lacroix/Urs became a mainstay of secondary couple interpretations, on the strength of "Ashes to Ashes," while Nick/Urs remained among the rarest pairings of recurring characters. This strikes me as sad, because, as I see it, Lacroix and Urs have little to offer each other besides the continuation of their respective pathologies, while Nick and Urs could perhaps offer each other growth and hope.
In first season, several other vampire characters -- Sofia, Alexandra, Erica -- explicitly share Nick's conviction that there are moral problems with vampirism. In second season, it's down to Serena with explicit concerns and Feliks with an implied hint of concern. Come third season, it's only Nick and Urs.
I've seen a few serious Nick/Urs stories, but few even of them that are thoroughly pro-Les Mis -- that is, not setting up the characters to fail in service of another interpretation, or in adherence to canon. I tried my hand at a gen story starring Nick and Urs ("Kindred Spirits") many years ago, but I have no skill writing romance. leela_cat gave me the opportunity to read something that I had wanted to read for so long that I had actually forgotten how the wanting felt. Reading it and thinking on it have been a lot of fun.
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