Author: Cassandra for: Moonlight

Disclaimers: The characters of Moonlight do not belong to me at all. Only taking them out for a fanfic test drive. I promise to return them when I'm done. I don't need the entire Moonlight fan community hunting me down for wanting to keep Mick St. John…

Rating: R/M (Just to be safe. Have I ever written something not rated M or R?)

Timeline: Up to Sleeping Beauty although I don't plan on involving the Morgaline (Morgan/Coraline) storyline.

Darker Seasons

In all the world and all its riches
You and I have made it through the night
We will survive.
The Great Divide – The Kin

Prologue – One Dark Night:

He knew, just looking over the side, he already knew it was going to be disastrous. He quickly looked over his shoulder once more, his eyes scanning the roof he had come from, wondering frantically whether he should even have taken this route. The building beside him was just as ominous in the darkness, the path ahead just as treacherous. He would make it, of that he knew.

But she would not.

"Mick," she whispered and her voice was just as panicked, just as frantic. And as he looked at her, his blue eyes sweeping her face he felt coldness settle on him at the paleness to her skin. She was scared. He had told himself long ago that he would never let her feel fear again and now it was touching her features and it angered him.

The bruises surrounding her mouth and eye infuriated him.

She drew closer, reaching out thoughtlessly to him and he took her hand without a thought of his own. Always natural for him to be near her, to be within reach. Her hand was cold in the brisk night and while he felt the cold he was unaffected.

She was icy to the touch.

"I can't make that," she said to him in a faint breath, her eyes darting over the edge of the building to the ground five stories below. "I can't make that, Mick, I can't make that-"

"I know, I know," he said to her quickly, drawing her closer and shushing her murmurs. "I know you can't. But we need to go this way."

She was already shaking her head, her lips parting. "It's too far down, I can't-"

"You can," he said to her and he lifted his other hand to her face, wanting to quiet her once more, needing her to hear him and understand him. "We don't have time, listen to what I'm about to tell you-"

"Mick-" she whispered nonetheless and she did fall silent, her eyes flying to his face, her expression coming close to crumbling.

He nodded to her slowly as she hushed, training his eyes on hers and comforting her with the mere gaze. "When we do this I'm either going to dislocate or break an arm. Which means you-" and he silenced her soft protests, his thumb sweeping across her lower lip, gingerly avoiding the bruise there, fingers curling toward her neck gently. "You have to hold on to me because I'm not going to be able to hold on to you. Do you understand?"

She didn't reply, her face pinching.

"Beth, do you understand?" he repeated, staring at her intently from a distance of mere inches. "Do you get what I'm telling you?"

She inhaled and as she did so he became aware of the fine trembling running through her then. His hands tightened, the one holding her hand and the other hovering over her jaw.

"Yes," she murmured mutely.

He nodded once more, fighting the trembling that threatened to take over him as well. His eyes darted back the way they had come and just as he did so he heard a door burst open, locks snapping and metal literally bending. He grimaced inwardly and dragged his eyes back to her as she threw a frantic look over her shoulder, her blond hair flying in the light of the moon.

She was beautiful. Even in fear.

"Come on," he ordered and he took a step onto the edge of the roof, his eyes traveling down the five stories to the ground below. He could see in darkness, even the dimly lit darkness of the street below and he took in the horizontal flag pole three stories down, took in and instantly measured the distance once more. Looking back toward her quickly he drew her close yet again, his jaw clenching as she made a small sound upon stepping onto the edge.

"Just tell me what to do," she said to him faintly, her eyes trained on him, only him in the perpetual darkness of the night.

He pulled her against him, reaching down for her other hand and she allowed him, her lips parting once more as she was suddenly molded to his frame, as he lifted both her hands and linked them around his neck. And the question flew through his head, unbidden, uncalled for.

"Do you-" he whispered after a heartbeat of a moment.

"I trust you," she breathed, gazing at him.

And in that eternity of a moment he wanted to kiss her. He realized dimly that it was the single most absurd thing he could possibly want then but it was what he suddenly desperately needed. He lifted his hand to her face once more, staring at her achingly, his lips parting to speak.

She held herself rigid as if waiting.

He hesitated, hearing them coming, smelling them and sensing their fury. He wound an arm around her waist, allowed it to settle there as if it belonged there. As if it had always belonged there. And she waited still, her face upturned to his.

With a rueful inward chuckle at himself, he grasped the senselessness of his thoughts. His blue eyes focused on hers once more, aware of the complete dilation of her irises in the darkness, aware that her eyes dilated the same way whenever he came close to her. Now they dilated in fear, in panic. And if they lived through this he would kill every single vampire that had ever caused her to fear, that had ever put her through this to begin with. His jaw clenched wordlessly, his arm unconsciously tightening around her waist. "This is nothing," he said to her, meaning for it to come out lighthearted, to comfort her.

And her lips pressed into a solid line, her expression finally giving way as tears rose in her eyes. "This is everything," she replied, and she ducked her head against his collar, her arms tightening around his neck, her frame molding to his.

He lifted his gaze up blindly, staring over her shoulder achingly, barely seeing their pursuers in the far distance. She was right. This was everything.

With that last thought, his arm rigid against her waist, he lifted her against his frame, her legs instantly rising and winding around his waist, dragging his body to hers as if meaning to unite them. He felt her fear, felt her trust and his eyes drifted closed, inhaling her scent, her natural human scent and hovering in it.

And without another word, with barely another thought, he took a step back and fell.