Here's my take on the 'what if they all knew' challenge.

Tough Jobs
By Judith Freudenthal
1995

The call on the radio said that there was a crazy man with hostages and an automatic weapon. Nick acknowledged.

Nick realized that he had gotten every dangerous assignment since they learned he was a vampire. Every loony with a gun, every criminal deemed too dangerous for mortals had been his job to bring in alive. He missed the old days when he was just one of the guys. Where his condition was thought to be an allergy to the sun.

At least now Schanke stopped bothering him about eating and had stopped eating garlic around him. Also less cracks about his quick disappearances, his 'going strange', and his other eccentricities (including the wine in the fridge). Nick smiled at the memory of it sinking into Schanke's mind what those bottles were. There were a few cracks about their 12 step case.

Nick entered the office building where the hostages were being held. The psycho gunman freaked and fired a few shots into Nick. This just pissed Nick off. Nick moved faster than the mortal eye could see. The gunman was in custody before he could blink. He was so terrified he watered himself. Nick delivered the gunman to the booking officer and left before he could receive any more assignments.

Nick flew straight to the Coroner's office. He had to talk to someone who's attitude hadn't changed when the truth was learned.

Another memory crossed Nick's mind - when Schanke realized that Natalie had known for quite some time. Nick could see that Schanke was trying to figure out exactly what their relationship was. It was obviously more than friendship, but he couldn't figure it out and it annoyed the hell out of him that neither Nick or Nat would comment.

Nick entered. He snuck up on Nat. She jumped. "You know I hate when you do that."

"Sorry."

"What's wrong?" Nat asked seeing that he was a bit depressed.

"Nothing and everything. I miss the days when I was just one of the guys. Although I like not having to lie about ...."

"Your skin condition, your diet....."

"Exactly. I hate only getting the psycho's. I miss doing a regular case."

Natalie just now noticed the holes in Nick's clothes.

"Sit down. It looks like I need to do some evidence removal."

"I almost forgot about that." Nick said as he sat down on her steel table.

"I kinda miss them too. Back then people thought we were a couple of mortals in love. Now they don't know what to think. They're afraid to ask, all but Schanke that is."

Nick's phone rang. He reluctantly answered. "Hello." "Yes, Capt." "I'm a little busy right now." "I'm having the evidence extracted right now. I'll get right on it as soon as I'm done here." Nick closed the phone and put it away.

"More work?"

"Yes." Nick said a bit depressed and a bit tired/weary.

Nat walked behind him and returned with a mug. "Drink." She said as she handed it to him. Nick sniffed and hungrily drank down the cow blood. "I thought....." "Well my supervisor somehow caught on to what we were trying to do and was mad. She threatened to fire me if she caught me at it again." Off Nick's look Nat said "but she can't say what I do off the clock in the lab you built for me. Besides you need it to heal and to finish your shift."

Nat removed the last of the evidence as he finished the last of the blood. She handed him the bagged and tagged evidence. They exchanged a quick kiss before he split.

This time it was a case of domestic and child abuse. Nick was sent in to disarm the husband and keep him from harming the wife and little children. He succeeded as usual.

Then it was off to thwart a bank robbery. No sweat. Then it was time to just make it home before the sun rose. All in all it was a light night's work.

Nick returned home downed his allotted amount and fell asleep exhausted on the couch. He had a hunch that tomorrow night would not be so easy.

He was right. Before he returned home he had brought in 20 dangerous criminals, half of them loonies.

The end

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