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12 November 2007 @ 09:05 pm
Fic: Demons, ch. 9  
Title: Demons
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1878
Pairing: Mick/Beth
Disclaimer: Do I look like I'm made of money?
Author's note: Here it is. The grand finale. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Not every single loose end it tied up here, I wanted to save some for the epilogue. I love reading reviews, so please let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Chapter Nine

Mick and Beth drove to Valhalla for the second time in as many days. Like the first, it was conducted in silence. Mick’s thoughts were still very much with the letter from his mother that Beth had found. How could she have known? Mick never took Coraline to meet his parents. There just wasn’t time; that whole period was such a whirlwind. Mick had called to tell them he was getting married and planned to bring home his new bride home after their honeymoon. That plan, of course, went out the window when Coraline sired him.

If his parents did find out about his vampirism, Mick was sure that Ernst was behind it. How Ernst had found out was anybody’s guess. A horrifying thought struck Mick. Did Ernst have something to do with his mother’s death? The coroner had said the circumstances were suspicious. Why hadn’t he looked into it sooner? If that was true then Ernst was going to get that much deader. Comforted by that thought, Mick concentrated his attention on the road. He never noticed the black Impala following him three cars back. They pulled into the cemetery a few minutes later.

“It would be a waste of breath to ask you to stay in the car, wouldn’t it?” Mick asked.

 Beth looked at him with a look that said “you have got to be kidding me.” “Pretty much,” she replied.

“That’s what I figured.”

Beth reached into the backseat and pulled out a large shovel. Climbing out the car, she slung it over her shoulder and started towards the cemetery path, leaving Mick in her wake. Mick caught up with her a heartbeat later.

“You know,” he said, “that would have been much more impressive if I wasn’t a vampire.”

Beth sighed. “You can’t let me have any fun, can you?”

“This is fun.”

“OK, fine. You win. Lead on.”

They continued through the cemetery in silence, Mick listening intently for any signs that they weren’t alone.

“Here we are,” Mick said as they approached the Portal.

“Have I mentioned that this is one of the ugliest monuments I have ever seen?” Beth asked.

“I don’t think you did.”

“Well, it is. Where do you think we should start digging?”

Mick searched the surrounding ground, looking for signs of disturbed earth. He didn’t really see any; however, he did notice a depression in the earth on the right side of the base.

“There.” He pointed. Beth handed him the shovel. “Why me?”

“You’re the one with the super strength.”

“Why does the guy always have to do the digging?”

“Why does the girl always have to stay in the car?” Beth countered.

“Touché.” Mick took the shovel. “Just be on the lookout for anything suspicious.”

“OK.”

Mick began digging; the ground was slightly soft from recent rains and gave easily. After a dozen or so scoops, the shovel struck something metallic.

“There’s definitely something here.” After clearing away some of the surrounding dirt, Mick got down on his hands and knees to pull out what appeared to be a metal box from the hole.

“Thanks for doing my digging for me,” came a nasal sounding voice from behind him. “Saves me the trouble of getting my new threads all mussed.”

Mick was up in flash. Shoving the box in to Beth’s hands, Mick instinctively placed himself between her and the young man in front of him. The man looked young, around twenty or so. Mick wasn’t fooled; he could smell the vampire from where he stood. The man wore an expensive looking brown suit. He looked dapper.

“Now, now, let’s have none of that. There’s really no need for violence. Just hand me the box and I’ll be on my way.”

“Do you seriously think that’s going to happen?”

The man sighed. “Not really. But I thought it was worth a try.”

“What’s in the box?” Mick asked, even though he already knew.

“I think you’ve already figured that out, detective.”

“The headgear of the Red Baron.”

“The very same headgear that I took from his cold, dead body eighty-nine years ago,” said the man that could only be Robert Ernst.

“How’d you loose it?”

“Ah, that’s where the story gets interesting, Mr. St. John.” At the look of surprise on Mick face, Ernst continued, “Yes, I know you’re Andy’s boy and that you’re a vampire.”

“How do you know that?”

“All in good time. The answer to your first question is simple. I lost it in a game of poker.”

“A game of poker?”

“Is there an echo? Yes, poker. With Andy, no less. You see, he discovered me in a Parisian pub just after the armistice. He was quite shocked to see me, of course. I was presumed dead, after all. However, I fed him a story of harrowing capture and escape from the Germans. He then challenged me to a game of poker, for old time’s sake.”

“Are you always this pretentious?” Mick interrupted.

Ernst glared at Mick. “As I was saying, we played poker. Having run out of francs, I wagered the only thing I had on me of any value.”

“The headgear.”

“Precisely. However, one royal flush later, it was gone. I went in search of Andy in the days following but he had already been shipped back stateside.”

It couldn’t be that simple; there had to be a catch. “So why are you just coming back for the headgear now? What took you so long?”

“Wanderlust, mostly. I never like to stay in one place too long. Every once in a while I would get the urge to search for your dad but that proved to be nearly impossible due to my limited resources.”

Another piece clicked in Mick’s head. “That’s why you went to Josef. To get funds to search.”

“Right again. Technology nowadays is expensive. I told Josef some sob story, commiserating about Lola. He couldn’t give me the money fast enough.”

Of course, Lola. Josef’s weak spot. Someone who had been sired by Lola would have no problem invoking her memory to get what he wanted, especially if that mark stood to gain from such a transaction.

“But that doesn’t explain why you went after the others,” Beth interjected.

“Ah, she is a quick one!” Ernst looked from Beth to Mick. “I can see why you like her. You see, my dear, Andy was not alone that night of our little poker game. Our squadron mates were there as well. I thought that if Andy had told anyone about where my headgear was it would be one of them.”

“And they would tell their children,” Beth finished.

“Exactly.”

“They didn’t know anything, did they?” said Beth.

“They were most decidedly unhelpful. I disposed of them. You, on the other hand, have been quite helpful.”

Mick had only the barest of warnings. As Ernst lunged at him, Mick managed to shove Beth to the ground. Unfortunately doing that forced Mick to turn his back on his attacker. Ernst’s lunge drove Mick to the ground and threw the loose dirt into his face. Momentarily blinded, Mick tried to roll to the right but Ernst had him pinned. Calling on his reserves of strength, Mick’s eyes turned white, his fangs descended and he let loose an unholy growl. Mick shoved his right elbow back into Ernst’s chest, causing the vampire to loosen his hold on him. Mick used the reprieve to drag himself to a standing position.

Ernst rose, snarling and baring his own fangs. He wasted no time, throwing a right cross at Mick’s head. Mick managed to duck and aimed his fist at Ernst’s stomach. The older vampire doubled over and Mick brought his knee up towards Ernst’s head. He connected with a dull crack. Ernst fell back hitting his head on a large headstone.

Beth watched the two vampires tussle with wide eyes. There was something graceful in the way they moved. Time seemed to slow don as Beth watched each punch and kick hit home. Then Beth’s heart leapt into her throat when Mick turned to see if she was all right. She didn’t have time for his injuries to register; she shouted, “Look out!”

She was too late. Seemingly unfazed by the blow to the head, Ernst leapt at Mick, causing them to go tumbling past Beth down a row of graves. They grappled fiercely, each trying to get the upper hand. It was no use; they were too evenly matched. Beth looked around frantically for something, anything. Then she saw it. The shovel. Pushing herself up, she ran towards the overturned earth and wrenched the shovel out of it.

“Mick,” Beth called.

Mick was pinned under Ernst, trying desperately to throw him off. He turned his head and saw Beth running towards him with the shovel. Mick attempted to ward her off; it was too dangerous for her. Somehow, she got the message and stopped. Instead, she threw the heavy shovel with all her strength. It landed a couple of feet away from Mick. Part of the wooden handle shattered against a granite headstone. Mick reached for the shard but it was a few inches too far. He head butted Ernst and got enough space to reach out and grab the makeshift stake. Mick shoved it directly into Ernst’s heart, paralyzing him. Ernst’s momentum carried his body onto his back. Mick got up, picked up the shovel and stood over Ernst’s head. With all of his remaining strength, Mick shoved the blunt shovel through Ernst’s neck, severing his head from his body. Beth ran over to Mick as he stumbled from the force of the shovel blade coming into contact with the ground.

“I’m fine,” Mick said, his breathing heavy.

“That was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in my entire life. Are you sure you’re OK?” she asked, placing a hand on his chest.

“Yes. I’m fine. This is nothing.” He was still breathing heavy, but his minor cuts and scratches were already healing. “A glass of blood and a few hours in my freezer is all I need. I’ll be good as new.”

“Freezer?” Beth asked.

“I’ll explain later. Go back and fetch that box. I’ll take care of this.”

Reluctantly, Beth did as he asked. Mick checked all of Ernst’s pockets and found both his car keys and another set that appeared to be from a safe deposit box. Beth returned carrying the box.

“Let’s get you home,” she said. Pocketing the keys, Mick led the way back to his car. As they walked, he left a page for the Cleaner to pick Ernst’s body, preferably before the cops showed up.

“Do you want me to drive?” Beth asked, as they reached the Mercedes.

“No, I got it.”

“Are you saying that because you’re fine or because you don’t want me driving your car?”

“Both.”

“Well, if we run off the road, don’t say I didn’t offer,” said Beth as she climbed in the passenger side.

Mick smiled at her. It was one of those impish, shy smiles that she loved so much. She knew then that whatever the world had to throw at them she and Mick would face it together and defeat it.

Epilogue to come…
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big_ednabig_edna on November 13th, 2007 03:49 am (UTC)
huzzah!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on November 13th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
jenthegypsy: Moonlight - Attack Modejenthegypsy on November 13th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC)
applause!applause A great ending for a story well told. You did a wonderful job with the fight scene, but I'm not really surprised. Every component of your fic has been just right ~ characterization, dialog, the bones of the mystery, the action sequence ~ all rolled up into a neat and tidy ball for us to play with.

You've had some great exchanges between Mick and Beth throughout, but I'm gonna take this particular one and cuddle it forever:
“Why does the guy always have to do the digging?”
“Why does the girl always have to stay in the car?” Beth countered.

I loved it when Beth delivered that line in the show, and you made it that much better with Mick's lead in.

I've enjoyed this completely! Looking forward to the epilogue, as a bit of desert after the main course.
michellemtsumichellemtsu on November 13th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)
I loved that line in the show as well. I knew I wanted to include it somehow. Glad you liked my interpretation of it.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. :)
Quick to scar, slow to heal.: iShakefemmephantom on November 13th, 2007 05:10 am (UTC)
Great ending, and I loved the Mick/Beth banter. So them, and so fun.

I really enjoyed this story, and I hope to see more from you.

Can't wait for the epilogue.
michellemtsumichellemtsu on November 13th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading. I think the banter is my favorite thing. I'm happy you enjoyed it!
heartagram_lala: Moonlight - Mick handheartagram_lala on January 9th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
lol at the line about mick not wanting beth to drive his car, men and their cars, lol.

this is awesome =d

the fight seen was really well written, i could see it happening perfectly