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04 February 2008 @ 12:10 am
If Tomorrow Never Comes, ch. 15  
Title: If Tomorrow Never Comes
Rating: For Mature Adults
Word Count: 1198
Pairing: Mick/Beth
Disclaimer: Nope, still not mine!
Author's note: My apologies for the lateness of the update. Work issues distracted me. But I'm back. Thanks for all the comments! Enjoy!

Chapter Fifteen

Beth remained in the hospital for a week. Mick and Josef took turns staying with her. She hated feeling weak and fragile, but she just wasn’t ready to be alone yet. Beth did anything and everything to keep her mind occupied. She watched TV. She read. She played cards. Josef brought in some board games, including Beth’s favorite, Trivial Pursuit, for them to play. Her mind wasn’t ready to deal with what happened so she blocked it out, just like she had with the kidnapping.

There was one place she couldn’t hide though. The nightmares started again. This time, instead of Coraline and the fire, it was the abandoned shop and Hobbs that haunted her. She’d wake up in a cold sweat, clutching her pillow and whimpering in imagined pain. That first time, Mick was there. He climbed up into the bed and held her, stroking her hair. Beth drew comfort and strength from his presence. Mick remained there until she fell asleep again. Disentangling himself from her, Mick stepped into the bathroom and pulled out his phone. Josef picked up on the first ring.

“What’s up?” Josef asked without preamble.

“Beth had a nightmare.”

“So?”

“What do you mean ‘so’?” Mick asked angrily. “She hasn’t had a nightmare in months –“

“Mick, calm down. It’s not really a surprise considering Beth’s history. This isn’t the first time she’s been taken and terrorized. There’s bound to be some emotional scars as well as the physical ones. Just be patient with her. She has to work through this on her own.”

“I feel so helpless, Josef. I couldn’t protect her from this. It’s my fault.”

“Oh, no. Here we go again. You need to get it through your thick head: this is not your fault. If you don’t stop feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll never be able to give Beth the support to get through this. So get it together, my friend. I’ll be by this afternoon.”

Mick knew Josef was right. Beth needed him. “OK. Thanks, Josef.”

That pattern continued for the next several days. Beth never mentioned the nightmares to the doctors. She just wanted to go home. Finally, the doctors declared her ready to be discharged. Beth gladly shed her hospital gown and donned jeans and a T-shirt. Mick packed up the few belongings that managed to litter her room in the short time she was there.

“I’m going to kill Josef,” Mick said.

Beth looked over her shoulder and grinned. “Why?”

“For bringing all these games. Who would have thought a four hundred year old vampire would like board games?”

“You’re just upset because he keeps beating you.”

“Yeah, well, he’s got an unfair advantage,” Mick grumbled.

“You keep thinking that,” Josef drawled as he entered the room.

“Hi, Josef,” Beth said. To Josef’s surprise, she stepped in front of him and gave him a hug. Josef awkwardly returned her hug, his eyes looking at Mick questioningly. Mick shrugged and grinned at his friend’s embarrassment.

“So are you ready to get out of here?” Josef asked when Beth released him.

“You have no idea,” she replied.

“Well then, let’s go.” Josef walked back to where Mick was standing, suitcase and bags in hand. “Here, I’ll take those.”

A nurse showed up with a wheelchair. Beth looked at it with disgust. “Do I have to?” she asked plaintively.

“Sorry, Beth. Hospital rules. I’ll push you out,” Mick said.

Three of them arrived at Mick and Beth’s a half hour later. Mick got Beth settled in on the couch, while Josef brought the bags inside.

“You guys need anything?” Josef asked when he came back downstairs.

Mick looked at Beth, who shook her head. “No, I think we’re good.”

“Well, if you do, don’t hesitate to call. Honestly, I have nothing better to do.”

Mick and Beth spent the rest of the day snuggled up on the couch watching television. Beth’s DVD collection got a workout as they watched movie after movie. Mick found himself staring more at Beth than the TV, especially during some of the more intense scenes. Beth felt his concerned gaze, but said nothing. She knew what he wanted to talk about, but she still didn’t feel ready. She felt safe in his arms and that’s what she concentrated on. Finally, after the sixth movie, Beth yawned.

“I think it’s time for someone to go to sleep,” Mick observed.

Beth pouted. “Aw, do I have to?”

“Come on, Beth. Let’s get you upstairs.” Mick went to pick her up, but she stood, wincing slightly.

“I can do it myself.”

“Are you sure? You don’t –“

“I have to start somewhere, Mick. The doctors said I need to start walking around. I can handle it.”

“Alright, but I’ll be right behind you.”

Slowly, Beth made her way over to the stairs. She’d climbed those stairs a thousand times, but they looked daunting. Suck it up, Beth. You can do this. Gingerly, she lifted her right leg and steeped onto the first stair. It didn’t hurt as much as she thought it would. The next step was worse, as she had to put her weight on her right leg. It shook slightly, but supported her. Buoyed by that, Beth slowly made her way up the stairs. Mick remained a couple of steps behind her in case she stumbled. Beth made it to the bedroom without incident. She changed into a pair of pajama bottoms and a camisole, keeping her back to Mick as she did so. Beth climbed into bed and huddled under the covers. Mick knelt down next to the bed.

“You want me to stay here?”

Beth desperately wanted him to stay, but, like the stairs, she needed to start somewhere. “No, I’ll be fine.”

Mick looked skeptical. “OK,” he said uncertainly. “I’ll be right across the hall if you need me.”

“I know.” She smiled to reassure him. “Now get out of here.”

Mick kissed her forehead and left, shutting the door behind him. He was so proud of her. Despite everything that happened, she was determined to get her life back. She truly was the most extraordinary woman he’d ever known. Comforted by that, Mick entered his freezer room, closing the door gently. He removed his clothes and climbed into the freezer. It didn’t take him long to fall into a deep sleep. The next thing he knew a blood curdling scream pierced the air. Mick threw open the freezer and ran into the bedroom where he found Beth thrashing around on the bed. He threw the comforter aside and gathered her in his arms.

“Beth, wake up. It’s alright, I’m here.”

Beth woke up, clutching at him for dear life. Mick could practically feel the fear coming off her in waves. He rocked her gently as he stroked her hair. “Shush, you’re OK, you’re OK.”

Gradually, Beth calmed. “Another nightmare?” Mick asked.

“Yeah.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Want might be a strong word.” She looked up at Mick and saw the unconditional love in his eyes. He wouldn’t mock her for her weakness. She took a deep breath. Here goes, she thought.

To be continued…


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Current Mood: giddygiddy
Current Music: Luke Bryan
 
 
 
heartagram_lala: Moonlight - Mick syringeheartagram_lala on February 4th, 2008 09:00 am (UTC)
board games... sigh one is never too old, hehe, "your just upset he keeps beating you," "yeah well he's got an unfair advantage" best lines hun, made me literally lol

oh and "oh no, here we go again" i can so picture josef's face when he says that =P

awesome chapter, i love caring mick, oh and embarassed josef rocks!

btw, is mick still naked from the freezer =P

and =O at ur location, bad girl bad bad bad hehe
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 4th, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it!
heartagram_lalaheartagram_lala on February 4th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
question, would i be able to use the trivial pursuit game idea for a ficlet? i had an amusing idea =P ill of course credit you for the idea, hehe
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 4th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
Sure, go ahead!
heartagram_lalaheartagram_lala on February 4th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
thanks
Michelle: Moonlight I would have missed outmrs_boyscout on February 4th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
Does it make me a bad person that the only thing I focused on was the fact that Mick would be naked when he ran to Beth at the end? My mind is so warped!

Glad to see Beth taking baby steps to be on her own. Loved Josef in that hug. It's funny to think about him playing board games. Loved it!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 4th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
Then my mind must be warped too! :)
iansmomesq on February 4th, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
Awwww, Josef... woobie. :)

Great chapter, and I'm with them above. First thing I thought of was Naked!Mick coming out of the freezer.

We bad. We bad. :)

michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 4th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
Yes, you ARE bad! Actually, I was thinking the same thing! ;)
hopeformb01 on February 4th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Chapter 15
Very intense. Nicely done. Keeps the tension up, and really involves the reader in the characters.
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 5th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
Re: Chapter 15
Thanks! I'll try for more tension. I'm glad you're enjoying it!