?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
26 November 2007 @ 07:46 pm
Fic: Winner at a Losing Game, ch. 5  
Title: Winner at a Losing Game
Rating: PG-13, for now
Word Count: 1253
Pairing: Mick/Beth
Disclaimer: CBS is the big kahuna.  I'm just a poor grad student.
Author's note: I'm back! I had a great Thanksgiving for those who care. I come bearing fic! Enjoy!

Chapter Five

Mick arrived back at his apartment still slightly dazed from Beth’s kiss. What brought that on? he wondered. They’d shared some intense kisses before, but this one was different somehow. It was possessive, almost feral. He hadn’t felt like that in a long time and wasn’t going to give it up any time soon. This brought him to Josef.

Mick didn’t know what Josef had said to Beth but he was sure that it was the catalyst for Beth’s uneven keel. One minute she doesn’t want him out of her sight and the next she’s trying to jump him. Figuratively speaking. So Josef had obviously struck a nerve. Mick pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed Josef’s number.

“You have something already? Remind me to give you a raise,” Josef said after the first ring.

“You don’t pay me. That’s not why I’m calling. I need you to come over here. Now. We need to talk.”

Josef was pretty sure what Mick wanted to talk about. “Look, Mick, I only--”

“No, Josef. Whatever you have to say, I want you to say it to my face. So get your ass over here. I have a case I’m working on.” He hung up.

There were very few vampires that scared Josef. When you’ve lived for four hundred years, you see many vampires come and go. Most of them, including himself, careened through life caring about nothing but themselves. Even then, they followed the path of least resistance. Mick was definitely outside the norm. Mick lived with a passion and intensity that Josef secretly envied. Mick cared about things beyond where his next glass of blood was coming from. He sought out confrontation, trying to make the world better. It made Mick a dangerous opponent and scared the hell out of Josef. Reluctantly, Josef headed down to his car and drove over to Mick’s fervently wishing he’d kept his mouth shut.

Mick sensed Josef outside the door before the other vampire knocked. Mick remained at his desk, hitting the remote to let Josef in.

“In here,” he called.

Josef stalked into the office, staring at Mick intently as he sat down in one of the leather chairs. Josef was determined to hold his ground. Having lived four hundred years have him wisdom and he knew what was best for his friend. Or so was the conclusion he had come to on the drive over. Making Mick believe it was something else.

Josef barely had time to settle in when Mick spoke. “What did you say to her?”

As he expected, Mick wanted to talk about the conversation he’d had with Beth. “The same thing I’ve told you a hundred times. This relationship won’t work. Why are you’re torturing yourselves with the idea that it will is beyond me.”

“But you haven’t. You’ve barely spoken to me about Beth for months. You’ve barely even spoken to Beth for months. Why now? What changed?”

Josef considered that. “The truth? This case you’ve got? Vampire married to a human? That’ll be you in a few years time. I saw the way you two looked at each other. You love each other enough to ruin your lives. I don’t want to watch you go down that road again.”

The same thoughts had been going through Mick’s mind for some time. He had ignored them, choosing to live in the present. “You don’t know that,” Mick said in a low voice.

“Yes, I do. What were you planning to do? Turn her? I know you, Mick. You could never do that. You couldn’t take away her precious humanity. Until you accept what you are, that is a line you will never cross. So, barring hell freezing over, your precious Beth will grow old and die. And she’ll take you with her.”

It almost worked. Almost. Josef saw the pain and acceptance cross Mick’s face. He felt bad for his friend, but this was for his own good. Mick looked at Josef with a small smile. The older vampire’s face fell.

“I can’t abandon her, Josef. I won’t. I’d rather spend one lifetime with her than eternity alone.”

“I was afraid you were going to say that.” Josef got up to leave.

“We’re not done here,” Mick informed him.

“Oh?”

“You explained the why, but not the what. I want to know exactly what you said her.”

For the first time, Josef looked uncomfortable. “I already told you. I said that you relationship wasn’t healthy. That’s it.”

“No, that’s not it. Whatever you said struck a deeper nerve than that.” Mick paused, thoughtful. “Surely you wouldn’t be stupid enough to threaten her.”

Josef made an almost imperceptible step back. Mick notice and came tearing over the desk with lightening speed. He hauled Josef up against the wall by the scruff of the neck, anger blazing out of his hazel eyes.

“You did, didn’t you? How dare you?”

“I was only looking out for you, Mick,” Josef gasped. There was fear in Josef’s eyes that Mick had never seen before.

“Why? Why would you say that to her? You have a problem, take it up with me. Leave her out of it.”

“I hoped she’d be the sensible one. I was wrong. Are you going to let me down so I can explain?

Mick let Josef down reluctantly. He wasn’t sure he wanted to hear Josef’s explanation. A big part of him wanted to drive a stake through Josef’s heart and let him stew for a while. Still he felt compelled to hear his friend out. Josef stood in front of Mick, slightly hunched over massaging his neck. He looked up at Mick with slightly fearful eyes. He took a deep breath.

“It started out just the way I said. I told her that your relationship was unhealthy. I asked her why she wanted to put you both through this ordeal.” He paused to catch his breath.

“What did she say?” Mick asked.

“We’d rather spend what time we have together than regret what could have been. That’s a direct quote.”

Just when you think she’s done surprising you, Mick thought. He grinned. “That’s my girl. I take it that wasn’t good enough for you?”

Josef looked down at the floor. There, he saw a framed photo Mick had knocked over when he jumped over the desk. It was Mick and Beth, sitting on Mick’s couch. Josef had never seen his friend so happy. He straightened and faced Mick.

“Not at the time. I told her that if she hurt you, I’d make her regret it.” The anger blazed in Mick’s eyes again. “Now before you get all stake happy on me, let me remind you that I was fulfilling the traditional, clichéd best friend role. Although now I wish I’d kept my mouth shut.”

“What’d you mean ’not at the time’?” Mick said through gritted teeth.

“It means that surrender is the better part of valor. I may not understand it, but I can live with it. In fact, I feel bad for the next person who tries to come between you and Beth.” He paused. “Are we OK?”

Mick search Josef’s face for a second. “Just one more thing.” Then he let loose a right hook at Josef’s jaw. As Josef staggered, Mick said, “Now we’re OK. But if you ever pull a stunt like that again, you’ll find yourself on the wrong end of a very sharp sword.”

Josef rubbed his jaw. “Fair enough.”

To be continued…
Tags: ,
 
 
Current Location: my happy fangirl place
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Current Music: Steelers vs Dolphins
 
 
 
michellemtsumichellemtsu on December 7th, 2007 07:02 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it!