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Title: Stormy Weather
Author: Jenthegypsy
Characters: Mick, Beth, Josh
Rating: PG
Prompt: kymba's request - Josh pressures Beth to move in with him; Beth asks Mick to lay down in bed with her; we get an explanation as to why Mick sleeps in a freezer. Cookies were also promised if "uber smutty dreams" were included.
Disclaimer: I do not own Moonlight. Heck, I don't even own my car yet. Just borrowing the characters and keeping them warm safe until the writers come back.
Bummer: Part 1 of 2. Sorry about that.

A/N: Many thanks to my dear friends hereswith and hendercats for their encouragement and suggestions on this ficlet. The first step into a new fandom is always scary. Thanks, you two, for the hand holding. &hearts

A/N-2: If you aren't familiar with the song, "Stormy Weather", you should have a listen - I think it would be on Mick's list of favorite blues songs. You can hear the great Ethel Waters' rendition here.




Stormy Weather

Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather
Since my man and I ain't together,
Keeps raining all the time.

Life is bare, gloom and misery everywhere
Stormy weather
Just can't get my poor self together,
I'm weary all the time.
So weary all the time.

Can't go on, everything I had is gone
Stormy weather
Since my man and I ain't together,
Keeps raining all the time.

"Stormy Weather"
Harold Arlen - 1933


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When you've lived as long as I have, you begin to realize that the Universe exists for the sole purpose of screwing around with everything in its path, a kind of never-ending, tongue-in-cheek prank against all manner of life, especially human - and those of us who used to be so.

I hadn't seen or heard from Beth in a week, not since the night I blew up Lola and her legion of nearly-dead undead. Maybe she'd had time to process the whole Black Crystal experience and to realize that being around me was dangerous, that I really was a monster, something to shove back into the closet and lock the door on forever. Maybe she'd decided to forgo the excitement of tagging along with a blood-swilling private eye in favor of quiet nights at home with a safe and stolid Assistant D.A. Whatever the reason, I'd apparently gotten what I wanted...Beth, out of harm's way - far away from me.

Yeah...I know. That's not really what I want - not by a long shot. Still...would it have killed her to tell me goodbye?

Fighting the urge to dial her number for the tenth time in half as many days, I stepped out of my clothes and climbed into the freezer for another sleepless night - and by night, I mean day.

It's not like I would have left a message anyway.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

All Beth wanted was a long, hot bath, a quart of Mr. Woo's extra spicy Kung Pao Chicken and an entire bottle of wine, followed by no less than twenty-four hours of blissful sleep in her own comfortable bed. For the past week, she and Steve had existed on spit baths in gas station washrooms, cold cheese pizza, Cheetos, bottled water and alternating cat naps caught in the back of Steve's van. Hard hitting investigative journalism took its toll on vibrant young reporters, especially ones who dug in, like a dog with a bone, once they'd gotten their teeth into a story. Beth had caught a few lucky breaks, made some luck of her own, and exposed a city-wide, high-stakes gambling operation that was run by retired state workers out of a warehouse in the bowery.

And, for the first time since she'd met him, she had done it all without Mick St. John.

As she walked up the stairs to her apartment, she found herself wanting to call Mick, to share the details of the exposé, the excitement she felt as the pieces fell into place. Mick understood the chase, the adrenaline rush of the finish. Josh...not so much.

Beth sighed as she turned the key in the lock, not looking forward to calling Josh. He would want to come right over, to fuss over her and kiss her cheek as he tucked her into bed. She didn't want a gentle kiss on the cheek, she wanted the excitement they had shared in the beginning, the electricity coursing through her with his every touch, like she felt now when she touched Mick...and sometimes, when she didn't. Just watching him move, or listening to his voice was enough to...

"Josh!" Beth stepped back as her apartment door opened from within. Josh was standing there, flight bag over his shoulder, briefcase in hand. His face registered something like surprise, and something like guilt.

"Beth," he said, "I thought you were going to call when you'd finished up. I didn't expect to see you here."

"Really Josh? The last time I looked, I lived here." And you didn't. "What are you doing?"

"I just had to grab my bag. I've got to catch a flight out to Vegas in an hour and don't have time to get to my place and back again." He leaned down to kiss her cheek.

"What's in Vegas?" Beth asked, unable to muster more than a weak smile. Something wasn't right between them, hadn't been for several weeks, since Mick had saved Josh's star witness in a murder case and Beth had saved Mick by forcing him to feed on her in the desert. Yeah, that was about when the chasm opened between them; they'd been in a free fall ever since.

"I'm taking two depositions in the Tolliver case." Josh fidgeted with the shoulder strap to his flight bag, focusing on Beth's chin rather than looking her in the eye.

"But I thought Samuel was handling those for you," Beth said evenly. "Has something changed?"

Josh looked at Beth, cool and unblinking. "Yes, Beth, something has changed." He transferred his briefcase from one hand to the other, glanced away and back again. "I need some time to think about what's going on here," he pointed first to her, then to himself, "between us. And so do you."

Beth's mouth opened to protest, but Josh shook his head. "You've got a new job, Beth, and new...friends...which take up most of your time now. When we do manage to get together, more often than not your phone rings and you're off to the morgue or to cover some case with St. John."

"That's not fair, Josh. You have cases which distract you, things that have to be seen to, investigations that just can't wait..."

"I'll tell you what can't wait anymore, Beth, and that's us. You need to decide what's more important to you, your future with me, or BuzzWire...and your P.I. friend."

"A future with you, or my job?" Beth neatly dodged any further mention of Mick. "Are you serious? You're giving me an ultimatum?"

"I'm giving you breathing room, Beth." Josh moved past her in the doorway, turning to face her from the hall. "I'll be back in three days. We'll see how things stand then." He stepped forward, bending slightly to kiss her forehead. "Goodbye, Beth."

~~~~~

Instead of a long, hot bath, Beth had a quick shower. Instead of Mr. Woo's delectable Kung Pao Chicken, she had a bowl of cereal and a pint of Haagen-dazs Mayan Chocolate ice cream. She did have the wine, which complimented the ice cream nicely, then crawled into bed.

~~~~~

Vampires have a tendency to sleep like the dead. I'd say it comes from having a clear conscience, but that's not true in most cases. Take my friend Josef - no conscience whatsoever, yet it would take an army to wake him. As for me, I never had a problem sleeping... until Beth. At first I couldn't sleep because she was always around - waltzing through icy fountains at two in the morning, showing up at the morgue, acting as liaison between a runaway witness and the guy who was protecting her - that kind of thing. I couldn't stop myself from thinking about her. Now I can't sleep because she's apparently moved on with her life...without me.

I still can't stop thinking about her.

Sleeping is something I hadn't been doing for the past few days...or nights. Insomnia gets old, even for a vamp. So here I am, just when the night is coming alive for the undead, settling in at home with a decanter of A-positive and a splash of O-neg, just to take the edge off. Brooding, Josef would call it.

I guess I'd have to agree.


~~~~~

He stared into the flames, lost in reverie. The decanter was empty, and his glass now held two fingers of twenty-five year old single malt - neat. It wasn't a long journey from brooding over dinner to brooding over the scotch she had given him as a thank you for saving her life. Not a long journey at all.

He stopped, glass half raised to his mouth, listening. It was amazing what a little alcohol in your blood could do, what it could make you think you were hearing. Like the subdued ding which announced the arrival of the elevator to your floor, or the soft swoosh of the doors opening and closing again. Like the sound of one small woman walking slowly down the hall, or the swirl of air as a delicate hand was drawn up to knock.

For the second time in one day, a door opened for Beth before she had laid a finger on it. The symbolism of this particular door opening was not lost on her.

"Beth." Mick hesitated, as though not entirely sure she was really there. He stared at her, bemused. If he were very quiet, very still, maybe the vision would stay...at least until he sobered up a little. He chalked up one more strike against being a vampire - an extremely low tolerance for alcohol.

"Are..." he began, just as she said, "I..."

"...you okay?" he finished, to her own, "...need a place to stay."

And there it was. Just like that, they were back. Genuine smiles and small chuffs of breath mingled with feelings of relief and welcome and gratitude at being here, now, together. The crazy flush of caring that had run deep between them since the night they met, the one that made them think of each other in terms of trust and friendship and always, held them there in the doorway for minutes...an eternity.

It was Beth who broke the spell, always Beth who found her footing first.

"I need..." she began again.

"It's yours," he said, stepping back. "Please, come in."

~~~~~

TBC

Comments

( 6 reviews — Review )
neuriel
Nov. 22nd, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
If he were very quiet, very still, maybe the vision would stay...

My God, that's probably the most poignant thing I've ever read. I'm heartbroken for Mick -- and not quite sure why. Amazing writing!
jenthegypsy
Nov. 22nd, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
I'm heartbroken for Mick -- and not quite sure why. Isn't that the truth? Sometimes I think it's because he is trapped between worlds; he isn't human any more and he won't let himself be a vampire. Like Josef said, some day Mick is going to have to stop hating what he is.

Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words!
micksvamptramp
Dec. 7th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
so lovely, so realistic, so true to the characters! Great work!
MORE! MORE! MORE! (Please????)
kaitechase
Jul. 22nd, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
Wow. I loved this, and I really enjoyed your writing style. Mick and Beth are perfectly in character. And nice cliffhanger ^_^
jenthegypsy
Jul. 22nd, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm thrilled to have a review on this story after so long - I'll have to shake the tree and see if I can get that muse back to finish the tale!
kaitechase
Jul. 22nd, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
No problem! I look forward to reading the rest ^_^
( 6 reviews — Review )