Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/1/15

Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/1/15

Postby darkstarrising » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:49 pm

Hi all :wave: ,

'Home is Where the Heart Is' is a continuation of the Moonlight / H50 crossover series that started with The Long Journey Home. Two more stories followed: Affairs of the Heart and The Faceless Ones.

'Home is Where the Heart Is' picks up about six months after the end of 'The Faceless Ones'. I think/hope there's enough background provided in this story so that it can be read without a lot of knowledge of the earlier ones.

H50's season five finale was harmless/ambiguous enough relative to the Steve / Catherine relationship, but what happens to it in season six remains to be seen. So, I present my little story which centers around a threat to the vamp community that Mick and Beth have to resolve but includes a plausible reason why Catherine stayed in Afghanistan.

This chapter wraps up the story as Mick and Beth head home now that Catherine is safely back on Oahu and the aftermath of her return. So, without further ado, I hope you enjoy the final chapter of 'Home is Where the Heart Is'.

Rating is PG-13

As usual, I don't own any of the characters from either Moonlight for Hawaii Five-0, but dearly love to play with them. The one quote from Moonlight was authored by Gabrielle Stanton and Harry Werksman.

Home is Where the Heart Is

Chapter 6

Just before dawn

When they drove Catherine to McGarrett’s house the night before, Mick figured one of two things was going to happen. If the lovers’ reunion went well, he and Beth would leave them in peace and prepare to head back to LA the next morning. If not, Beth would take Catherine home while Mick had a long talk with Steve.

Beth thought Steve would welcome Catherine back with open arms. Me? I wasn’t so sure. A wounded ego can make a guy do stupid things. So Catherine’s staying away hurt Steve. I get that. In my mind, he got what he deserved for leaving her alone in a dangerous place.

When Catherine said she was ready to reconnect with Steve, Mick enlisted Danny's help to make sure she wasn’t walking into an explosive situation. Mick, Beth and Catherine waited outside the house while Danny and Steve talked, a conversation the St. Johns were able to hear. In his own artful way, Danny had teed up his partner for a positive reunion. When the detective appeared in the front door and smiled, that was Catherine’s cue to come in.

Hate to admit it, but Danny’s smarter than he lets on…that bit about ‘commitment issues’ pretty much nailed McGarrett’s problems. Colossal stupidity? Only if Steve reacted badly when Catherine told him the real reason she stayed away. Trust me, if I’d had to talk some sense into him, he’d have listened.

Hearing Steve’s heartfelt apology to Catherine for leaving her on her own, Mick conceded that Beth had the better measure of the man and it was safe to leave the two lovers alone.

Now back at the guest house, Beth started packing up while Mick alerted Josef’s pilot they’d be heading home in a few hours. He then called Akemi to arrange for a final visit with Kimiko, one of those awkward formalities Mick knew was necessary to stay in her good graces. After that, they’d check in on Steve and Catherine on their way to the airport. He expected each visit would be brief, but for the second time that night, Mick was in for a surprise.

Once they arrived at the compound, Mick and Beth were taken to an unfamiliar room where Kimiko and Akemi were waiting. If the stark, windowless room wasn’t unsettling enough, the appearance of the two women was. Dressed only in a loose robe, Kimiko appeared somber, while Akemi looked distressed.

Kimiko greeted her guests. “I know you are anxious to return home, but I would ask that you remain a little longer while Akemi and I attend to some business.”

Perplexed, Beth asked. “Business?”

“Yes. I wish you to witness my punishment.”

Images of what Kimiko’s ‘punishment’ might mean flashed through Mick’s mind. He’d seen Josef dispense vampire justice many times and was certain it was something Beth shouldn’t witness, at least not yet. “Ah…with all due respect, Kimiko, punishment for what and why us?”

“As I told Akemi, I realized some time ago the danger Ulani posed. As head of this family, it was my responsibility to end that danger. I failed to do so, an error in judgment I must now pay for. As is my right, I have chosen you as witnesses to assure my family that I have been appropriately chastised.”

Kimiko drew a lacquered box from a drawer, then opened it. Inside was an instrument straight out of a medieval dungeon, a short whip, whose lashes were tipped with metal shards. “This is a variation of a hoippu, and the metal you see is silver. Thus, not only will I feel the sting of the lash, but it will not heal for several hours. I find this …fitting…considering Ulani’s methods.”

Kimiko approached Akemi, then held out the whip. “As shisha, it falls to you to execute my punishment, for I trust no other to do so. You will punish, but at the same time protect me, should others wish to take advantage of my weakened condition. For a shisha, this is one of their most difficult and important duties. Do not fail me.”

Mick’s mind was racing; Kimiko had chosen Beth and himself to witness her punishment as a second line of defense knowing they had no intention of overthrowing her. While he admired her strategy, there was no way in hell he was going to subject Beth to this horror. “I have my duties as well, Kimiko. The most important one is to protect my mate, so no, we won’t witness your punishment.”

While Mick engaged Kimiko, Beth turned her attention to the distraught shisha. If she did as commanded, Akemi would suffer almost as much as her mistress.

Discreetly gaining Akemi’s attention, Beth respectfully approached Kimiko. “If I may ask, is this the only way for you to be punished?”

Kimiko inclined her head, surprised by the question. “It is the way of our ancestors, one we know will cause sufficient pain to ensure failure never again occurs.”

Beth pointed to the whip in Kimiko’s hands. “You say that this will inflict physical pain to prevent future failure, but perhaps there is another type of pain that will serve the same purpose.”

Hearing this, Akemi seized on the opportunity Beth presented. “My mother, you say it is my duty as shisha to punish yet protect you. Did you not also tell me that to survive, we must adapt to the changing world without compromising our honor?”

Kimiko considered this, then agreed.

An idea began to take shape in Akemi’s mind. “While we revere our ancestors and respect their ways, we do not live in the past. We have adapted to the modern world and thrive among our human brethren, all because of your strength, wisdom and business acumen.”

‘Business acumen’ was about the last thing Mick expected Akemi to say, but Beth didn’t seem surprised at all.

Akemi continued. “When our unfortunate sister, Ruby, spoke of her plans, you agreed to develop them. You were driven not so much by their benefit to human kind, but by the potential to profit from them.”

While she remained silent, Kimiko’s expression changed subtly.

“You told me it was my duty to help you maintain your honor, and so I will. As is my right, I choose another form of punishment. First, you must fulfill your duty and destroy Ulani, ending a threat to our family. Second, you will surrender all of Ruby’s plans to your chosen witnesses. Your pain will not only be a loss of wealth, but the lingering knowledge their master Kostan will profit instead.”

While Mick was stunned by Akemi’s alternative, his admiration for her went up a few notches. He wasn’t the only one.

Kimiko said nothing for a few moments, then bowed to Akemi. “I accept your punishment, finding it most fitting and wise. I chose well when I made you shisha, Akemi. Go, gather the information and give it to your brother and sister. I will retire to my chamber to contemplate my sins.”

Shortly after Kimiko left, Akemi led Mick and Beth into one of the gardens, where several of Kimiko’s family had gathered. When Akemi informed them of Kimiko’s punishment as witnessed by Mick and Beth, a few appeared surprised while others nodded approvingly.

A little while later, Akemi was presented with a flash drive, which she then handed over to Beth. “I am forever in your debt, my sister. I would have been honor-bound to perform the task as my mistress commanded. Thank you for sparing me.”

Beth drew Akemi into an embrace. “Take care of yourself, Akemi, and of our mother. She needs you.”

Turning to Mick, Akemi said. “I have failed in one task, my brother. It appears my ‘poker-face’ isn’t what it should be.”

“You’re doing just fine, Akemi. I couldn’t be more proud of you.”

Akemi then bowed to the couple. “May you have a safe journey home and know that whenever you return, you will always be welcome here.”

**********************************************************************************

McGarrett’s house – dawn

Steve was just coming downstairs when Mick and Beth arrived at the house. “C’mon in, but keep it down. Catherine’s still asleep.”

Beth glanced at the stairway. “Catherine is a strong woman, but she’ll need time to recover from everything she’s been through.”

Mick looked pointedly at Steve. “Everything.”

Steve had the good grace to look abashed; any scolding he received was deserved. “I know and I’ll do whatever she needs or wants to recover.” Seeing Mick acknowledge his pledge, Steve continued. “Catherine told me what happened to her, but I get the feeling there’s more than even she knows. Care to fill in some of the blanks?”

“Such as?”

“Like how you two just happened to be here when she got into trouble? And how did Danny manage to get to Afghanistan and back so fast?”

Mick started the explanation. “Blame your partner for bringing us out here. He’s annoying at times, but rises to the occasion when he has to.”

“Tell me something I don’t know.”

Beth continued. “Danny was concerned about you. He called us saying you needed a distraction, something to take your mind off Catherine’s absence. What he didn’t know, was that there was a very real, very dangerous situation that we needed your help with.” Beth shot her mate a look. “Had it not been for Josef’s curiosity, though, we might not have found Catherine in time.”

“Yeah, Catherine said something about owing Kostan big time. Care to elaborate?”

Mick snorted. “Besides flying his jet half way around the world and back, Josef coughed up four million for mercenaries.” Seeing Steve blanch, Mick reassured him. “Hey, he’ll whine, but trust me, Josef can more than afford it, especially for such a good cause. Besides, I have something to make it up to him.”

Beth checked the time. “Speaking of jets, we have a flight to catch. Josef is anxious for us to get home.”

“Us or the jet?”

“You have to ask?” Beth embraced Steve, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “Stay safe, Steve, and don’t be afraid to love Catherine. Life is short – make the most of it.”

Mick extended his hand. “I’ve been where you are. Trust me, I wish I had gotten over my fears about Beth a lot sooner.”

Steve took Mick’s hand in his. “I owe you both a lot, not just for coming out here, but for helping Catherine. We still have a lot to talk about, but at least we’re talking.” Steve glanced up toward the room where his lover was sleeping. “I just wish I’d known what she was going through. She shouldn’t have had to face that alone.”

Tightening his grip, Mick locked eyes with his friend. “You’re right. So next time, be there for her, OK?”

Steve winced, grateful Mick didn’t break his hand for good measure. “I will.”

After his guests left, Steve made breakfast and took a tray to Catherine, now sitting up in bed.

“Wow!! Breakfast in bed. What did I do to deserve this?”

“Just being you.” Steve put the tray on the table, then sat on the edge of the bed. “I meant what I said last night, Cath. We still have things to work through, but that doesn’t change how I feel about you. I love you and want to be with you for as long as you’ll have me. Breakfast in bed is just one small way of showing it.”

“You have other ways of showing it, sailor?”

“You know I do, but….”

“But nothing, mister. Despite what Beth thinks, I’m not that fragile.” Catherine’s voice dropped to a whisper. “I need you, Steve. We need to heal and like you said, we can only do that together. I think making love is a good place to start.”

Steve lay down and drew Catherine into his arms. Worried about hurting her, he just kissed her at first. Seeing the longing in her eyes and feeling his own, their kisses became more passionate and soon, the two were entwined in gentle lovemaking. The healing of both heart and body had begun and for the first time in a long time, each of the two felt whole again.

***********************************************************************************

LA – Josef’s Estate - evening

By the time Mick arrived at the estate, Josef was practically seething. “Nice of you to finally get here. Where’s your better half?”

“At home, resting. The trip was pretty hard on her.”

“You should have thought of that before you dragged her off to the hellish tropics.”

“Worrying about Ruby and Catherine took a greater toll than the heat.” Mick went on the offensive. “Besides, I didn’t drag Beth anywhere. Why are you so agitated, anyway?”

“Agitated? Let me see. The two of you fly off to Oahu, on my jet, no less, without telling me a damn thing about why you were going to see McGarrett. Do you know how much of my extremely valuable time I spent figuring that out, not to mention the four million for the mercenaries and God knows how much for jet fuel. Oh, and by the way, I now owe Takeo one and believe me, that viper is going to make me bleed for it.”

“And you enjoyed every minute of it, didn’t you?”

A smile tugged at the corners of Josef’s mouth. “If you must know, not every minute.” Josef poured two drinks, handing one to friend. “Wanna fill me in?”

“McGarrett or Ruby?”

“Both. Start with your Hawaiian twin.”

“McGarrett knows he owes you. He didn’t fully appreciate how much he loved Catherine until she was gone. If he’d really lost her…” Mick did an eyebrow shrug “Anyway, she’s back and the two of them seem to be working out their future together.”

Josef smirked. “Remind you of anyone?”

“O yeah, and I told him how much I regret dragging my feet about Beth.”

Damn, and I thought the earth would tremble if you ever admitted that. Hopefully McGarrett won’t blow it this time.”

“Not likely. He’s stubborn, not stupid. Besides, Danny will be all over him if he does.”

That’s a hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Still, I’m impressed that Williams managed to accomplish what he did. Maybe I underestimated the man.”

“Maybe. Speaking of which, Danny wanted to thank you for everything you did. Seems you’re not just a ‘heartless, blood-sucking bastard’ after all.”

“I’m touched, but doesn’t he know I have a reputation to maintain?”

“Wouldn’t matter. At this point, he’s so grateful he might offer you a vein.” Mick grew serious. “By the way, another one of McGarrett’s team knows about us. Took it better than Danny did.”

“Meaning?”

“Grover didn’t pass out, but he’s not sleeping real well.”

“You’re comfortable with this?”

“Yeah, more than he is. Grover’s like Danny in his ‘by the book’ approach, but he’s beginning to understand there’s more than one book.”

“Good. Another ally on Oahu can’t hurt.” Josef took a drink. “What about Ruby? You said she’s no longer among the undead.”

“About that.” Mick then described the legends of those turned with silver in their blood. “Kimiko was surprised you didn’t know about them.” The PI locked eyes with his friend. “Did you?”

“You wound me, Mick, thinking I’d hold out on you like that.”

“Yeah, well it’s sort of a habit with you.”

“Believe me, had I known about something like that, I’d have told you. That’s not to say I haven’t heard about vamps who went around the bend. I thought it was because they were turned against their will or had some moral dilemma with their undead condition, you know, killing humans and drinking blood.”

“What about your buddy Sergei? If he knew, maybe he sent Ruby away because he didn’t want to deal with her.”

“Not a prayer. I’ve known Sergei for centuries, Mick. He’s a kind man, sort of like you, not typical vamp material. If he had known, he’d have done everything in his power to help Ruby.” A sad smile crept across Josef’s face. “Sergei’s also a hopeless romantic, something else you two have in common. It seems he’d fallen in love with Ruby but wasn’t certain she felt the same. When she left, he took it to mean she didn’t. He’ll be devastated when he finds out what happened to her.”

“How much are you going to tell him?”

“Everything. I trust him almost as much as I trust you. Besides, if he loved her, he deserves the truth. It might ease his pain to know that Ruby didn’t leave him, insanity took her away.”

Mick eyed his friend carefully. “Something else bothering you, Josef?”

“Unfortunately, yes.” Josef knocked back the rest of his drink. “I was hoping that silver wasn’t the villain in this little drama. Now that we know it was, it’s given me some ideas, none of them good.”

“Wanna share?”

“Kimiko said that silver had to be in the human’s system before they were turned, right?”

“Yeah. So?”

“What if it doesn’t? What if you could drive an otherwise ‘good’ vamp mad by injecting him with silver? Or worse, turn a ‘bad’ vamp into one hell-bent on mayhem?”

“Are you serious?”

“Deadly. We know that silver has varying effects on vamps. Touch it, you’ll burn. Drink it, you’ll get sick. Drink enough of it, you’ll die.” Josef grew thoughtful. “But that’s not what happened to the vamps on Ulani’s hit list. They ingested very low levels of silver, so low they couldn’t even detect it. Each time they fed, the silver built up, ultimately poisoning their bodies. What if it did more than that? What if it affected their minds as well?”

“OK, for the sake of argument, let’s say you’re right. Short of using a vamp as a guinea pig…”

“Which you know I’d never do…”

“How do you prove it?”

“With Thomas Morton – the vamp that turned Ruby.”

“Morton? The last time we saw him, he didn’t seem hell-bent on anything. He was too terrified thinking you were going to hand him over to the Cleaners.”

“Knowing what I do now, I should have handed him over to the Cleaners. I should have torched him myself.”

“Meaning?”

“When we saw Morton, he’d had his system flushed and a few days to recover, possibly suppressing the silver’s effect on his mind.”

“Nice theory, but what makes you think silver affected his mind in the first place?”

Josef spun around. “When she first approached me, Ruby told me she had three separate encounters with Morton during her captivity. Initially, he tried to make his feeding pleasurable for her, then got rougher. The last time he didn’t give a damn about the pain he was inflicting. What does that tell you?”

“That he was getting off on the fantasy and got carried away. C’mon, Josef. You and I both know vamps sometimes give in to their baser nature.”

“Speaking from experience, are we?”

“You know I am. I’m pretty damn sure you’ve done a few things you’d rather forget.”

“More than a few.” Josef refilled his drink. “You’re probably right, Mick. I guess I’m just being paranoid again.”

“Hey, it comes with the job.” Mick tossed a flash drive at his friend. “This might make you feel better. A present from Akemi.”

“Don’t you mean Kimiko?”

“No.” Mick then described the alternate ‘punishment’ Akemi had come up with for Kimiko’s failure to end Ulani. “Honestly, I think Kimiko would have preferred getting tossed into a volcano rather than giving you this.”

“What’s on it?”

“Some of Ruby’s ideas for helping mankind. With the right resources, they could do a lot of good.”

Josef scowled. “I’m not running a charity, Mick.”

Mick finished his drink. “Never said you were. Whether you profit from them or not is up to you.”

Josef eyed the flash drive with new appreciation. “By the way, tell Beth I liked her article, especially how she very credibly blamed the whole thing on humans. It must have pained her to tell only part of the story.”

“Maybe a little, but even as a human, she wouldn’t have exposed us. Now that she’s a vamp, she’ll do everything she can to protect us all.” Mick grew serious. “You should be proud of her, Josef.”

“I am, Mick, for that and so much more.”

Mick turned as he was leaving. “Just so you know, I’m taking Beth on vacation in a day or two.”

“Vacation? You just got back…”

“That was work. This time…let’s just say we’ll be out of touch for a few days.”

“Ah, hanging the proverbial tie on the doorknob, figuratively speaking. Don’t worry, I won’t bother you. Give Beth my best.”

After Mick left, Josef placed a call to LA’s head Cleaner. “Locate Thomas Morton. Bring him to me as soon as possible.”

Halfway across the Pacific, a similar order had been given to find Ulani. Even if she wasn’t honor-bound to end Ulani, Kimiko knew it was time to end her vengeful reign of terror.

*********************************************************************************

Mick and Beth’s loft

When Mick returned home, Beth was waiting for him on the rooftop. Handing him a glass of blood, she asked how the meeting with Josef went.

Mick swirled his blood before taking a drink. “Pretty much what you’d expect. Josef ranted for five minutes, then calmed down. He was a bit disappointed that you stayed home. I think he wanted to personally congratulate you on your article.”

“Honestly, with everything that happened to Ruby, I just couldn’t face him right now. If he knew about the legends and didn’t tell us, I don’t know what I would have said to him.”

“Probably something we’d both regret.”

Did he know about the legends, Mick?”

“No, and I believe him. But he thinks there could be another problem, one even Kimiko isn’t aware of.”

When Mick explained Josef’s theory, Beth was horrified. “O my God! Please tell me Josef’s not going to use some unsuspecting vamp as a lab rat.”

“Doesn’t have to. There’s a rat already out there, but I get the feeling he’s about to be trapped.” Mick drew his wife into his arms. “But that’s something for Josef to handle. Beth, I’m proud of how you handled everything on Oahu. You faced Ruby’s death with compassion. You helped Akemi and Catherine with some tough decisions. You even kept Danny from panicking.”

“He is excitable, isn’t he?”

“I’ll say. Seriously, you may be a vampire, but your heart is still human. Do whatever you can to keep it that way.”

Beth gently stroked her husband’s face. “Hey, I learned from the best.”

“Right now, forget about the evil in the world. Forget about everything except the two of us.” Mick gently kissed his wife. “Feel better?”

“Mmmm….a little.”

Another kiss. “What about now?”

“Not quite there…” Beth started to unbutton Mick’s shirt. “Maybe if we took this somewhere a little more private…”

As if on cue, Mick’s phone rang, but instead of answering it, he tossed it off the roof.

“What if that was important ….”

“Hey, there’s always going to be some crisis, but right now, the only thing that’s important is us. I love you, Beth, and I’ll spend eternity proving that starting right now.”

“And just how do you propose doing that?”

“By taking you to someplace cold, without crime and where Josef can’t reach us.”

Beth’s eyes grew wide. “Tell me it’s not the North Pole…”

“Not quite. A little island off the coast of Scotland. There’s only one cottage there and it’s ours for a week. We leave in two days.”

“Two days? I don’t know if I have the right clothes!”

Mick grinned wickedly. “With no one around for miles, who needs clothes?”

********************************************************************************

Oahu – 5-0 Headquarters – Monday morning

The rest of his team was already in 5-0’s headquarters when Steve arrived. Danny was on the phone in his office, while Chin, Kono and Grover were analyzing information on the central console.

Smiling broadly, Chin was the first to greet his friend. “Well, well, well. Looks like someone had a good weekend.”

Blushing slightly, Steve looked away. “Yeah, you could say that.”

Chin!!” Kono swatted her cousin before addressing Steve. “Seriously, how’s Catherine? Is she going to be OK?”

“She’s doing better, but still needs some time to recover. Her memory is back, at least most of it.”

“Is she going to stay on Oahu? Will she come back to 5-0?”

“Yes to the first. As for the second, I don’t know and right now, neither does she. Catherine’s going to take some time and figure out what she wants to do. Working Naval Intelligence as a civilian is a strong option, but there are others she’s considering .” Steve grinned. “In the meantime, she’s agreed to move in with me, so she won’t be a stranger.”

Chin just beamed, while Kono gave Steve a big hug, whispering. “I’m happy for you, boss. Both of you.”

“Mahalo, Kono.”

All this time, Grover remained silent, eyeing his boss warily. “Not to rain on your parade, Commander, but is your creepy doppelganger still around?”

“No. He and Beth are back in LA.”

“Good.”

Steve grew serious. “Don’t be too quick to judge Mick, Lou. He didn’t ask to be a vampire. He’s just trying to make the best of it by using his skills to help others. When you get to know him better, you’ll understand.”

“If you say so.” Grover walked away, shaking his head and muttering to himself.

Chin clapped Steve on the back. “Don’t worry. Lou just needs a little time to adjust. He’ll come around.”

Seeing Danny was off the phone, Steve entered his office where his partner greeted him. “Ah, the goofy grin is back. I hope that means what I think it means.”

“Yeah, it does.”

“Sooo, you and Catherine….”

“We’re going to take things one step at a time, but now we’re going to take those steps together.” Steve approached his partner, extending his hand. “Danny, I can’t thank you enough for everything you did. I can’t believe you went back to …”

“That miserable, stinking snake pit.” Danny took Steve’s hand in his. “Yeah, but let’s not make this a habit, OK? I got sand in places that should never see sand and I still don’t know what day it is.”

Steve drew his friend into a warm embrace, whispering. “Mahalo, brother.”

Danny returned the embrace, relieved to know his partner was at last healing. “You’re welcome, brother.”

********************************************************************************

A few days later

Two thousand miles apart, a pair of centuries-old vampires knelt before the respective heads of their communities. One knelt of her own accord, offering a sword to her mistress. The other, her sire, had been dragged into a subterranean chamber, bound in silver chains, then thrust to his knees by grim looking Cleaners.

On Oahu, in the presence of her family, Kimiko addressed the woman before her. “Against your will, your were burdened with this existence, Ulani. You never found peace with earthly immortality, instead letting anger poison your heart. While vengeance was yours to have, the taking of innocent lives to achieve it was not. The time has come to end this cycle of vengeance that has brought dishonor on yourself and your family. Have you anything to say?”

“Yes. I do not wish to leave this world stained by dishonor. I beg forgiveness, from you, my mother, and from my family. Let my life be forfeit, in atonement for the innocent ones I have taken. I beg you, restore my honor and end my pain.”

Sadness clouded Kimiko’s face; this woman was as much a victim as villain. “Take comfort, Ulani, in knowing the one who took your life will soon pay with his own. With his death, yours will be avenged and your spirit can at last find peace.”

Ulani nodded, then bowed her head. The blow was swift, the pain brief. Not long after, a light breeze scattered Ulani’s ashes across the island she once called home.

Across the Pacific in LA, Josef silently studied the vamp before him, seeing little difference to the one he banished six months ago. Yet there was a dangerous glint in Thomas Morton’s eyes that Josef hadn’t noticed before. Whether this was the true nature of the man or a sign of silver’s effect, Josef couldn’t be sure, but he wasn’t about to take any chances.

Knowing his life was on the line, Morton kept a civilized mask in place. “I don’t understand why I’m here, Mr. Kostan, certainly not like this. Six months ago, you said I was free to go wherever I wanted.”

“Yes, as long as you stayed out of LA. Yet here you are.”

Morton struggled to maintain his composure. “What are you playing at? You brought me here!!”

“Playing? I assure you, Thomas, I am not playing.”

“Then tell me what I’ve done to be treated like a criminal.” The mask momentarily slipped. “Tell me what I’ve done that you haven’t.”

Josef grasped his captive’s hair, yanking his face upward. “Tread carefully, Thomas. While your destruction is all but certain, its method is still up for grabs.” Releasing him, Josef continued. “I don’t pretend to be a saint. Few vamps do, although some try to make up for past sins. Sadly, you’re not one of them.”

“Why should I be?”

“For our kind to survive in today’s world, we must rise above our nature, at least most of the time. You, on the other hand, seem to be sinking ever lower. Over the last six months, you’ve been kicked out of as many cities, for what the Cleaners describe as ‘increasingly bad and dangerous behavior’. And by dangerous, I mean for the rest of us. You’re here to explain yourself.”

For a moment, Morton said nothing, hoping to find an answer that might save him. “Perhaps I have made some mistakes recently….”

Josef scoffed. “If by ‘mistake’ you mean abusing humans, you’ve been making them for centuries. The difference is that you got away with it then and you can’t now.”

“Hypocrite! As if you’ve never made mistakes.”

Josef’s eyes grew cold. “On the contrary. I made a spectacular one six months ago. I let you live despite your crimes against human and vampire alike. That mistake is about to be rectified unless you can convince me otherwise.”

Hearing this, the mask shattered, and the vitriolic stream of curses only confirmed Josef’s fears. Thomas Morton deserved to be destroyed not only for what he’d done, but for what he was becoming – an out-of-control rogue. Even if Morton was a victim of silver’s poisoning, his continued existence was a threat, one that had to end. With a glance, Josef signaled the Cleaners, then watched as Thomas Morton was engulfed in flames. In a matter of minutes, nothing remained of him but ash.

The threat, Josef feared, lived on.

*******************************************************************************

Epilogue

Josef Kostan’s Estate – a few weeks later

Josef rose to greet his guest. Out of curiosity more than anything, he’d agreed to this private meeting, and was now anxious to see what transpired.

Small talk was minimal, yet still allowed Josef time to appraise his guest. He could sense no fear, only something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. Caution or respect, perhaps?

The visitor had only one request; to see Josef’s files on Steve McGarrett, specifically those involving his trip to Afghanistan and his last encounter with Wo Fat. The request was granted on two conditions; first, that his visitor would tell no one of this meeting and second, that Josef remain present while the files were being examined. His visitor agreed.

Josef studied his guest as images of McGarrett’s bloodied body flashed across the screen. What Wo Fat had done elicited one response, the Taliban, quite another.

Oddly enough, his guest exhibited less revulsion than expected. In its place was something else, though. Not sorrow, exactly. Guilt, or perhaps regret?

Surprising, really, but then again, so was his visitor.

When the review was complete, the visitor stood, thanked Josef and started to leave, stopping only when Josef spoke. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

“I don’t think so.”

“O, but you are. My terms, specifically for not telling McGarrett you were here and why.”

“You said we were to tell no one….”

“No, I said that you were to tell no one.”

“All right. What do you want?”

“McGarrett owes me. My terms are that his debt is now yours.”

“Agreed. Again, what do you want?”

“When I need you, you’ll make yourself available. I could use someone with your…talents.. from time to time.”

“Be careful, Mr. Kostan. Appearances can be deceiving. For all you know, you’re making a deal with the devil.”

“Thanks, but I’ll offer you the same advice.”

His visitor looked Josef in the eyes and saw the truth of the matter. Leaving the estate, they wondered how badly they were going to get burned.
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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/

Postby allegrita » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:12 am

Wow, this chapter had me enthralled, weepy, laughing, cheering, worried, and totally mystified by turns! I love this ending. The scene between Steve and Catherine... just... sigh... :happysigh: I wish so much we could see that onscreen. But thank you for giving it to us in print. It's lovely, and it feels so true to them. (And it totally gave me a tear.) :hug: Mick's admonition(s) to Steve felt so true, as well. Mick knows about commitment issues, and he knows that a failure to commit can lead to heartbreak. I'm glad Steve heard what he--and Beth--had to say. :hearts:

I love the way you tied up the various storylines so seamlessly... until that deliciously mysterious ending! Yayyyy, that means another story might be coming! :yahoo:

Thank you for this wonderful tale. You gave me a lot that I've wished for from 5-0 (in vain, most of the time, alas) and you gave us more time with our heroes from Moonlight, too. :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:
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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/

Postby r1015bill » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:09 am

Oh dsr, you're setting us up for another story, aren't you!

I was expecting a very happy ending - and I suppose it was - but who is the guest visiting Josef?
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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/

Postby darkstarrising » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:46 am

allegrita wrote:Wow, this chapter had me enthralled, weepy, laughing, cheering, worried, and totally mystified by turns! I love this ending. The scene between Steve and Catherine... just... sigh... :happysigh: I wish so much we could see that onscreen. But thank you for giving it to us in print. It's lovely, and it feels so true to them. (And it totally gave me a tear.) :hug: Mick's admonition(s) to Steve felt so true, as well. Mick knows about commitment issues, and he knows that a failure to commit can lead to heartbreak. I'm glad Steve heard what he--and Beth--had to say. :hearts:

I love the way you tied up the various storylines so seamlessly... until that deliciously mysterious ending! Yayyyy, that means another story might be coming! :yahoo:

Thank you for this wonderful tale. You gave me a lot that I've wished for from 5-0 (in vain, most of the time, alas) and you gave us more time with our heroes from Moonlight, too. :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:


Thanks, alle :hug: Glad you enjoyed the story so much. I, too, would like to see some advancement of the Steve/Catherine relationship, but I'm not holding out any hope we're going to get it in Season 6 or ever.

Writing this story, I saw a lot of parallels not just between Mick and Steve, but between Beth and Catherine as well. Both women are strong, independent, fearless and were at some point conflicted about who they loved. Both tragically lost men they loved and to some degree, carry some guilt about it.

As for another story - only the muse knows for sure and right now, she's not saying :devil:
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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/

Postby darkstarrising » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:55 am

r1015bill wrote:Oh dsr, you're setting us up for another story, aren't you!

I was expecting a very happy ending - and I suppose it was - but who is the guest visiting Josef?


Thanks, Rhonda :hug: Another story? Right now the muse is napping, but I never know when she'll wake up and start to chatter. As for who Josef's guest is, I can think of at least two possibilities :whistle:

As for the 'happy ending' - believe me, I'd like that, too, but the way the characters have been written in the series, I just don't see it happening. This story leaves Catherine and Steve on a positive note, but one that is intentionally vague as I don't have a clue what Peter plans to do with to Catherine (have her stay, have her leave, kill her off, go insane, join a convent). :shrug: The possibilities are endless, but I'd be surprised and thrilled if the couple got a HEA
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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/

Postby librarian_7 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:26 am

I had to wait on this for some quiet, undisturbed time. It was well worth the wait.

As others have said, you managed to wrap up all the plot lines nicely, but without the slightest evidence of rushing, or forcing anything. And I love the way you worked out the "punishment" of Kimiko. Had the initial plan of punishment taken place, it would have been most brutal and unpleasant. More than once in my own stories, I've neatly written myself into a corner, and it's a pleasant feeling indeed to escape that sort of situation.

Moonlight and Hawaii 5-O are such unlikely shows for a crossover, but you've really made it work brilliantly. I'll close with one constructive comment--

WRITE MORE.
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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/

Postby darkstarrising » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:25 pm

librarian_7 wrote:I had to wait on this for some quiet, undisturbed time. It was well worth the wait.

As others have said, you managed to wrap up all the plot lines nicely, but without the slightest evidence of rushing, or forcing anything. And I love the way you worked out the "punishment" of Kimiko. Had the initial plan of punishment taken place, it would have been most brutal and unpleasant. More than once in my own stories, I've neatly written myself into a corner, and it's a pleasant feeling indeed to escape that sort of situation.

Moonlight and Hawaii 5-O are such unlikely shows for a crossover, but you've really made it work brilliantly. I'll close with one constructive comment--

WRITE MORE.


Thanks, Lucky :hug: Glad you enjoyed the story and liked Kimiko's punishment. Poor Akemi, the gentle soul who no one thought of as a shisha. Yet she is wise and finds a punishment that is not physically brutal in the least, yet the 'sting' of having to give Josef something he will profit by will be a pain that will last far longer than anything else that could have been done to Kimiko.

Yes, I have myself in so many corners I could build a house!!! Sometimes, though, it's nice when I can escape them.

As for writing more, I'm doing that just now, but not of the ML universe.
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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/

Postby reinbeau » Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:00 pm

Another great story DSR. Thank you for sharing your talent with us! :smooch:

The perfect set up for another. There will be another won't there?? :cheer: :giggle:

I love the places your imagination takes us. You are a real pro. :woohoo:
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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/

Postby darkstarrising » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:41 pm

reinbeau wrote:Another great story DSR. Thank you for sharing your talent with us! :smooch:

The perfect set up for another. There will be another won't there?? :cheer: :giggle:

I love the places your imagination takes us. You are a real pro. :woohoo:


Thanks, reinbeau!! :hug: Glad you enjoyed this crossover story and thanks for the compliment :flowers: . As for whether they'll be another, that's up to the muse :whistle: and whenever she starts whispering again, I'll let you know.
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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is -Chapter 6 Complete (PG13) 9/

Postby Lucy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:58 pm

Please tell me there is more.....
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