Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

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Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby Catmoon » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:15 pm

Note: Next in the "For Francis" series. ;)

Title: Echoes
Author: Cat Moon
Rating: PG13
Genre: Mickbeth
Warning/Spoiler: Takes place after Fleur de lis, in an alternate universe because I wrote it after that ep first aired.
Disclaimer: I do not own Moonlight, it's characters or situations. I make no profit and do not intend any copyright infringment.
Summary: Another take on what could have happened right after FDL.



Echoes
By Cat Moon


If you said "Jump!" I'd say "How high?"
If you said "Run!" I'd run and fly
Just for the chance, just for the moment
Should the moment pass us by
Ask me once I'll tell you twice,
You know I'll ignore the world's advice
if we could be together for a while

--We Could Be Together, Debbie Gibson


Mick wearily let himself into the darkened apartment. He was shell shocked, so many thoughts and emotions churning in his head and gut that they cancelled each other out and he was only numb. All he wanted to do was curl up in the freezer and sleep for a month – even if it was only early evening. It had been a rough day.

Understatement.

He stood in the middle of the living room for a moment, unsure of what to do next. His mind was responding sluggishly. Sleep? Feed? He glanced over at the steps. What was he going to do about the stairs?

Where Beth, the innocent child he’d protected all these years, had…

Don’t go there.

Maybe he could move. No, this would be his penance, to continue living here. To see those stairs every day, walk up and down them again and again. Always reminded that this was where, because of him, she had gotten blood on her hands.

“I’m so sorry,” he whispered to the empty room, the end catching on a sob. Where did he go from here? They were more connected now than ever before, bound together by the dark insanity of his world that she had been dragged into. He couldn’t think of leaving her, not after this. Yet how much more would she be forced to endure, and how much longer could he continue putting her in danger and still live with himself? Maybe it was already too late. Everything had happened so fast, it was almost impossible to believe that from the time they first spoke at the fountain, till now, was just a few short months.

He relived them in his mind’s eye; memories were so much more vivid now that he was a vampire, heightened just like his senses. It was a blessing and a curse. Seeing Beth walking through that fountain, stunned anew by the beautiful woman the little girl had turned into. Hugging him after he’d saved her life, for the second time, so warm and trusting and grateful. He should have stayed away then. What, a week later, she had walked in on him when he was crouched on the floor with his blood, a monster. Shocked, but… not the revulsion he’d expected. It hadn’t taken long for her to show up at his door again, asking questions, curious, trusting. That had been his undoing.

The things she had seen and dealt with after that should have threatened the sanity of anyone, but she took everything thrown her way with amazing strength and spunk that blew him away. Maybe he’d been so far gone on her that he’d missed the important signs. He couldn’t get his mind to work well enough right now to figure it out, all he could do was remember how she had offered him her blood in that motel bathroom. A precious gift to save his live. It was common knowledge that humans could develop an attachment to a vampire who fed off them, but he’d never heard of it working the other way around. Until now. Although he was ashamed to admit it, he’d done his share of freshies at Josef’s during his ‘wild 80’s’. None had ever affected him like Beth, a drug that once running through his veins was impossible to shake. He never stopped fighting, for her sake, but in the end it hadn’t made a difference. The teasing and the flirting he so enjoyed, he’d told himself was harmless… until the night she came to him high on vampire blood and higher on him. Out of everything that happened, the one small thing that stuck out vividly in his mind was seeing her walking up his stairs… those stairs. Not the first time, dressed to kill and beckoning him into forbidden territory. No, it was the memory of the second time he cherished. Seeing her so casually at home as she started upstairs to freshen up, wearing only his shirt. The satisfaction, the sense of possession that had flooded him at the sight should have been a big red flag. Instead he held it close to him, like a harmless fantasy.

Then, just when the lines between fantasy and reality were starting to blur for him… Coraline showed up. She always had an uncanny way of knowing just the perfect time to screw with Mick for maximum effect. He knew Beth’s memory of her kidnapping was close to the surface now, despite her blank look when asked if she recognized ‘Morgan’. What had possessed him to ignore that, and tease Beth about being jealous like it was just some meaningless joke?!

On the heels of that little adventure in obsession, Beth finally confronted him with the truth, acknowledging that it was Coraline who had taken her, and Mick who had saved her.

She called me her guardian angel.

The memory of that night could still bring tears to his eyes. She didn’t care that he was a vampire, a blood swilling monster, had basically stalked her for years, and ‘murdered’ his ex-wife – she still thought of him as an angel?! Any normal person would have been freaked out, spitting mad… Beth had cried and kissed him tenderly. And sealed their fate. Final nail in the coffin sounded like an apt pun, even if they did sleep in freezers nowadays.

This brought him to the present. They’d both been obsessed, playing out this insane script written by fate. Unbelievably, Beth more so than him. Yet he let her go unchecked, out of control, doing everything she told him to as if he had no will to say no to her. He let her down, failed in his duty as guardian angel. He didn’t deserve the title anymore if he ever had. The out of control train that had been speeding off the track for the past few months finally crashed into the side of the mountain.

Mick forced himself to look at the steps. The final scene. Beth, her face filled with rage, betrayal…and terrifying jealousy… plunging the stake into Coraline’s human body.

What have I done?

Despite the devastating thoughts, something else was approaching his awareness. Slowly, delicately, like the first spring flower pushing its way up through the snowy ground, the truth reached out of the darkness: except for a few kisses he’d been unable to resist, he felt little of the burning, out of control emotions that were the trademark of his relationship with Coraline. The only obsession he felt was with finding the truth about the cure. And the person who had control over him now, who was on his mind constantly, who bypassed his ability to think straight and rendered him unable to say no to her, the person who made him want the cure so badly that he would have done anything to get it…

It was Beth.

Mick couldn’t stop the grin from breaking across his face. He sagged against the couch in boneless relief, feeling free for the first time in decades. The intensity was gone, the sickness cured. Coraline was still a big thorn in his side, for several reasons, but her hold over him was blessedly loose. He felt like he could breathe again.

They would get through this rough spot, too. And maybe things would really work out for them after all. He could almost believe in happily ever after now.

Finally starting to feel hungry, Mick pushed away from the couch and bent to pick up the file folder left abandoned on the floor in the night’s chaos. He flipped through the photos, shivering a bit to see the proof of Coraline’s stalking them in all the shots of the two of them together. She had definitely done her homework, and extra credit, too.

Too bad you underestimated our bond, baby, he told her silently. There was a smaller photo stuck to the back of another; he carefully peeled it away to reveal the subject… and froze, all happy thoughts wiped from his mind like a bucket of ice had been dumped on them.

It was an old, faded, black and white shot. A young boy grinned widely at the camera. He was standing on a sidewalk, beside a 1920 Model T hard top sedan.

The boy was Mick St. John.


The end.
11/24/07
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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby coco » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:29 pm

Catmoon I love this one too. Thanks for posting it here :D

It was an old, faded, black and white shot. A young boy grinned widely at the camera. He was standing on a sidewalk, beside a 1920 Model T hard top sedan.

The boy was Mick St. John.


Still gets me every time :)
Last edited by coco on Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby francis » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:37 pm

Always reminded that this was where, because of him, she had gotten blood on her hands.

I was stunned to detect that it was not because Coraline was hurt that Mick is in a twist about his stairs, but the fact of what it means for his innocent Beth. He still has her on a pedestal.
until the night she came to him high on vampire blood and higher on him.

He admits that she wasn’t only high on B.C. but that there was attraction from her side, too. Wonderful. But he didn’t act on it, stashed the memory away, never told her that he was attracted to her too.
Why does he give himself the blame for everything? She’s an adult after all. During all of his internal rant I had the feeling that he was still not quite there, not really treating her right.
But then he had this epiphany that she was different to Coraline, and that he was finally free to love her. Maybe now he will start to see Beth as a real partner, not someone he has to protect and keep safe and unblemished.
The shock at the end – I could really feel it. If he really felt bad for stalking Beth, what is that compared to Coraline stalking him. Does history repeat itself, or will he be able to get beyond that and give Beth a choice, many choices actually? Because if he doesn’t, if he keeps up with the thoughts he had in the beginning of this, he will do no better than Coraline, in a way.

Thank you for posting this again here.
And because you posted this for ME (thank you so much!), I wish for „Cheers to Fate“ next.
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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby Catmoon » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:27 am

Coco: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it (and the twist at the end...).

Francis: Very good analysis fo the story and Mick, thanks. As for that other... Hmm, I thought that Genies only granted three wishes? :lol: Ok, next up, Cheers to Fate.
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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby Fleur de Lisa » Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:18 am

This is so lovely--deep and introspective and transformative. You have Mick hitting just about every possible emotion here.
Steps he needs to take in order to move on with Beth. Then that ending--wonderful.
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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby wpgrace » Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:31 am

Wow!!

Cat! Another one I had never seen!! How many of these did you write?

So cool. She's a far better stalker than he'll ever be, huh?

LOVED this!!!!
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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby Catmoon » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:56 pm

Wpgrace & Fleur de Lisa: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed. This one was a bit of wish fullfillment, how I would have liked to see Mick react to what happened. I'm sorry, but that was just so ignored on the show but glaring to me. Beth comes face to face with the traumatizing event of her childhood, visits the room where she was kept that's still exactly the same... flips out and stakes Coraline only to find out she's human and serious wounded. Oh well, no biggie, right? I will always maintain that seeing what happened to Sarah isn't the only reason Beth decided to go back to Josh.
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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby Moonlighter » Tue May 26, 2009 5:49 pm

Catmoon wrote:Too bad you underestimated our bond, baby, he told her silently. There was a smaller photo stuck to the back of another; he carefully peeled it away to reveal the subject… and froze, all happy thoughts wiped from his mind like a bucket of ice had been dumped on them.

It was an old, faded, black and white shot. A young boy grinned widely at the camera. He was standing on a sidewalk, beside a 1920 Model T hard top sedan.

The boy was Mick St. John.

This was a re-read for me. Still great as ever, and that last little bit -- If I were a cartoon, my eyes would have bugged out from my head. :gasp: Brilliant twisting surprise there, Cat.
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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby Catmoon » Wed May 27, 2009 10:39 am

Moonlighter wrote:This was a re-read for me. Still great as ever, and that last little bit -- If I were a cartoon, my eyes would have bugged out from my head. :gasp: Brilliant twisting surprise there, Cat.


As I always say, it's a great compliment when people re-read an author's stories, and it's especially nice when they take the time to comment again as well. So thanks! :thanks:
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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby jen » Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:16 am

Stunning, Cat!!

Congratulations!

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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby susieb » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:56 pm

Brilliant! :hearts:
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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby redwinter101 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:32 pm

I'd missed this until now - so I'm delighted to see it back in active topics (I must spend some quality time parked in your office, catching up).

Musing Mick is always a winner for me and he's true to form here. I love that you have him realise how Beth's reactions to the early revelations HAD to lead to some kind of "event", in this case, stabbing Coraline. I also loved that he feels himself free from Coraline - and I believe utterly that emotion only lasted for a few precious moments.

Awesome ending. Absolutely awesome. On a similar theme, although a very different type of story, have you read "Night Moth" by Shadow? That also deals with Coraline stalking Mick as a child. It's a fascinating theme and it's beautifully set out here.

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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby jen » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:50 am

That ending gets me every time.

Well done, Cat!!!

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Re: Echoes (PG13, oneshot)

Postby jen » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:52 pm

OK

Not only are you the absolute queen of charming, flirty, early MickBeth but you also have a real talent for dissecting their early atraction.

Still, that last line is absolutely chilling.

Well done, Cat!

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