Title: Family Business
By: Cousin Mary
Fandom: Forever Knight
Disclaimer: FK is the property of James Parriott and Sony/Tristar, nocopyright infringement intended
Summary: Tracy meets her cousins for coffee
"Hey, we've all been there, Bethany. It'll get better," Tracy promised, patting her cousin's shoulder.
"I just can't believe I killed him." Bethany looked at her with red watery eyes. She shook her head and took a swig of her double mocha latte. It wasn't helping any, it just swirled with the stale pretzels in her stomach and threatened to come back up. "I mean, some cops go their whole careers without ever drawing their gun and I-"
"You're a Vetter, Bethy," Cory told her, as if that explained everything. "It was bound to happen sooner or later."
"Cory..." Tracy shook her head in warning. "She doesn't need to hear that now."
"Hear what?" Bethany asked, pushing a blonde curl out of her eyes and tucking it behind her ear. She looked to Tracy for an explanation, hiccuping back the new wave of tears that threatened.
"Cory's theory," the detective explained, rolling her eyes.
"Theory?" Cory tossed his head and laughed, the club's lights glinting off his shaggy strawberry blond hair. "Even you have to admit, Tracy, sometimes it's just fate."
"Fate?" Bethany Vetter snorted. "What you been smokin' Cory? There's no such thing as fate. So what? We all ended up cops. That doesn't mean anything."
"Doesn't mean anything except that we're born and bred to be cops, you mean," Cory pointed out. "Look, my dad's a cop, Uncle Sonny, Uncle Richard, Aunt Louise..."
"And Granddad, his brother..." Tracy ticked a few more off. Of course Bethany already knew they came from a long line of cops, they were the fourth generation of Officer Vetters... and even before that, they'd been town's guards and soldiers. "It really is the family business."
"It goes beyond that though." Cory pulled his chair closer to their small table. "Sometimes I think even if you spent your career behind a desk you'd still end up killing someone."
"Me?" Bethany's blue eyes widened, darting between Tracy and Cory with a somewhat panicked expression. "I didn't want to-"
"No, no, Bethy. He doesn't mean you, he means... us." Tracy shot Cory a dirty look. "It's just some stupid fairy tale the old men like to toss around. It doesn't mean anything."
"Don't kid yourself Tracy, we aren't any different then them." Cory sighed, gulping down the last of his rapidly cooling espresso. "You think because we're drinking coffee at a goth club we're any different from our dads sucking down brewskis at O'Malley's? In forty years it'll be our grandkids at an oxygen bar in Resida. The times change, family doesn't."
"So what you're saying is that we're all destined to kill people?" Beth laughed humorlessly. "That's a bunch of crap Cory."
"Look, all I'm saying is that we've all done it." Cory tilted his head. "That's why we're here tonight after all, because you did."
"Hey." Tracy whacked his arm. "Look Bethy, it isn't..." she trailed off with grimace before starting again, "It's not like it wasn't self defense! You did what you had to do. Just like any cop would."
"Yeah, I had too." Bethany nodded. "It was kill or be killed, blind alley, I had no choice."
"Yeah," Tracy agreed before her thoughts took a dark turn. "Of course, now you've got to ask yourself why you went into that alley. What were you expecting to happen?"
"They used to call it 'the Baptism,'" Cory blurted, almost as if couldn't hold it in, "the first time you killed someone in the line of duty."
"You weren't a real Vetter until you'd-" Beth swallowed hard. The family didn't talk about it like they had in the old days, chances were they wouldn't bring it up again, somehow they all still knew though. "Baptism."
"It gets easier," Tracy mumbled, well aware that she had the highest body count of any Vetter in the last 50 years, even though she'd only been on the force 6 years. "The first time, it's all you can think of... but then-"
"Then the faces start to blur," Cory finished for her with a sigh, looking down at his empty cup.
"Do you sometimes wonder if, I mean, maybe there's something wrong with us?" Bethany asked quietly. "Maybe we become cops, so we can be on the right side of the law and still..."
"Don't be ridiculous Bethy." Cory's laugh was a bit strained. He exchanged a look with Tracy, that wasn't a question either of them
particularly wanted to face tonight, or ever.
"We're cops, and we're good at it," Tracy stated matter-of-factly. "You're a good cop Bethany, you've got to believe that."
"And so we go on, just like our freakin' forefathers, just like our kids will." Beth slumped in her chair, destiny crashing down on her. "Forever and ever, until the end of time."
"True immortality," Tracy mumbled wryly under her breath.
Cory glanced at his watch, "Whoa, nearly 10. I gotta go, Anne's going to kill me."
"Yeah, I should get goin' too. Thanks you guys," Beth offered a small smile. "I really needed to talk this out."
"Hey kiddo, that's what we're here for." Tracy smiled, waving off her cousins as they started for their wallets. "Don't worry about it, on me."
"Never look a gift horse in the mouth, that's what I say." Cory grinned, jumping to his feet. "Same place next week? Or should we go back to O'Malley's?"
"O'Malley's for sure." Beth stood and gathered her things. "I don't even get why you picked this place Trace, it's sooo not you."
Tracy just smiled and watched her cousins make their way out of the club, their blond hair and beige coats contrasting sharply with the Raven's blacks and reds. Only once they were safely out the door, did she make her way to the bar to pay the tab. The bar itself was packed with regulars, regulars who'd heard every word.
She didn't say anything as she handed her credit card over to the bartender. Urs and Alma were watching from a few stools down, they stayed quiet. Vachon made as if to stand, then apparently thought better of it and simply blinked at her. Tracy met his gaze and gave a slight shrug. Once she had her card back, she left.
A long moment passed, a moment where the club itself seemed to hold its breath. Finally, Lacroix turned, giving his son a thoughtful look. "I knew there had to be a reason you liked her."
Fic: Family Business
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