That some relationship exists between the two of them is canon. They met in the flashback to the episode "Only the Lonely", some two years before the present-day events of the series premiere, in circumstances that revealed to Natalie that Nick was a vampire. She quickly offered to try to learn more about his condition, sure that she would soon be able to offer a cure. Some time later, Nick joined the Metropolitan Police, making them colleagues. However, from the start of the show, a romantic interest in one another was a common subtext in scenes between the two of them.
Nevertheless, any romance between the two of them remained unresolved by necessity. Forever Knight was the type of television show that has fixed character dynamics that alter only in response to a change in cast. In such structurally static series, it is essential that sexual tension not be resolved, since doing so would alter the very character dynamics that make the series work. For this reason, writers could never more than hint that each was attracted to the other. Although there were a handful of episodes in which more was suggested, it was always necessary to equivocate or backtrack in order to return the status quo ante.
To maintain the plausibility of the situation, a rationalization was introduced, making use of a common attribute of fictional vampires. Through the various flashbacks in which Nick loves and then kills other mortal women, it is intimated that, whenever he tries to make love, he ultimately winds up draining the woman's blood, killing her. Indeed, in one episode, "Love You to Death", LaCroix explicitly says that it is impossible for Nick to love a woman as a mortal man would. Nick repeatedly tells Natalie that a romantic involvement with a mortal woman would be too dangerous. If we assume (not without reason) that Nick and Natalie do, in fact, love each other, then this explains why the two of them must not attempt to consummate the relationship: Nick dare not make love to Natalie lest her life be endangered. In fact, in the series finale, "Last Knight", Nick and Natalie do attempt to take things further and kiss passionately; but he bites and drains her, leaving her dead or dying on the floor of the loft.
Episodes of InterestEdit
Of particular interest to fans of the relationship are the following episodes:
- "Dance by the Light of the Moon": Natalie is clearly upset by Nick's interest in a stripper who is suspect in a murder; and, at the end of the episode, Nick apologizes to her by leaving a red rose and a bottle of perfume on her computer.
- "Only the Lonely": Nick is clearly jealous when Natalie dates someone else, though he later tries to conceal it. Natalie, on the other hand, keeps thinking of him while dating the other man, and is upset when he gives her new romance his blessing.
- "Be My Valentine": Natalie gives Nick a pill box as a Valentine's gift, and the two share a kiss. When she assumes a dinner invitation comes from him (when, in fact, it is from LaCroix), Nick is desperate to save her. In order to alter LaCroix's intention of killing her, he denies that he loves her, and leaves her with no memory of events.
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.
Fans of the Nick/Natalie pairing have formed a faction called the Nick and NatPackers. 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 favour Nick bringing Natalie over therefore split to form the Dark Nick and 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.
- Stories focusing on a romantic relationship between Nick and Natalie can be found listed alphabetically in Category:Nick/Natalie fan fiction.
- Stories in which the relationship between Nick and Natalie is predominantly professional or non-romantically friendly can be found in Category:Nick & Natalie fan fiction.
The following essays discuss the relationship between Nick and Natalie.
- "Why I'm a Dark NNPacker (or, Submission, Abuse and Control? In *my* OTP?)" by Melissa Treglia
An analysis of the abusive aspects of the relationship between Nick and Natalie.
- "The Delicate Wildflower with Iron Roots: Why NN's Relationship Still Works in Spite of Themselves" by Melissa Treglia
A discussion of the Nick/Natalie relationship in terms of the Japanese image of the Yamato Nadeshiko (a subtly manipulative feminine ideal).