Whoohoo!! Over half way on the one-shot list!!! Glad you guys like them so far and I hope this one joins your favorites! I know it is one of mine!!! (But that's just the history major in me!!!)
There is sooooo much I could have put into this one, but I didn't want it to read like a history textbook, they're boring, I know I read one a week!!! A lot of the events are not in chronological order, because conversation doesn't tend to flow in order. Josef is on a rant and so he is saying whatever comes to mind it whatever order that is!
I don't own any right to Moonlight and I make no profit. Rated PG (some language).
This one's for you moonlightfan4eva… Enjoy!!!
Mick handed Josef a glass of blood and scotch and sat down on the couch. Josef sniffed the glass and looked at it.
"Brought out the good stuff, huh?" Josef asked, grinning.
"Yeah," Mick replied, absently. "I figured it being New Years and all…" Mick trailed off, depression clearly evident in his voice.
"Hum." Josef sipped as his glass, "Once you've scene a hundred, they all just start to blend together. I wondered why you had invited me over tonight. Not going out with that hot reporter of yours?" Mick jerked his head up and glared at Josef. "Guess not. Pity it's one of the few night that being out late is socially acceptable." Josef took another swig of his drink and stared out Mick's apartment over the city. "We'll have a great view of the fireworks from here, though."
Mick looked away from Josef. Clearly he was not interested in talking about the celebrations going on around the world. For everyone else New Years was a time of rebirth and new beginnings, but for Mick it was a yearly reminder that he would be here for the rest of eternity. No new beginnings in site.
"I remember the first time I saw fireworks. It was in London. My small homeland was not rich enough to afford the expense. Scared the living daylights out of me. I was only four…" Josef trailed off. He was trying to fill the silence with any kind of conversation. "Of coarse they weren't as sophisticated back then. More noise, less color. Still…it was quite a spectacle. Elizabeth did like to show off her power and money."
Mick's head perked up. "You mean Queen Elizabeth?"
Josef smiled, "Yep. She died shortly after I was there. I don't remember much, except that she was old and kind of scary."
Mick laughed. Josef met Queen Elizabeth and he thought she was scary. Well, that's one Mick didn't expect to hear again. Although…in four hundred years I'll be the one telling some young upstart about World War II… Mick became depressed at the thought and started brooding.
Josef felt Mick's retreat back to the dark side and tried to lighten the mood. "I remember playing with a hoop and stick when I was young." Mick looked at Josef, quizzically. "Yeah, I know it's lame now, but it was the height of fashion then. We had dice and cards too, but they were for older men. I had a few wooden toys and my sister had a doll, but none of it compares to an Xbox."
"I didn't have anything like an Xbox growing up either," Mick commented. Josef waited for him to continue, hoping he would come out of his depressed state. Mick smiled and said, "I had a couple cars and some blocks…Oh and I remember playing jacks. I was really good at it…and marbles too!"
Josef watched as Mick's eyes glistened with memories of the past. "Have you ever played since?" Josef asked.
"No," Mick said as if it was the stupidest question he ever heard. "Why?"
"Well, with your vampire speed and visual comprehension, you'll probably be better," Josef said. "Although you still couldn't beat me. I've got three more centuries of practice on you."
"Oh yeah?" Mick asked.
"Yeah," Josef responded. The two smiled at each other and broke down laughing. "We'll have to have a tournament sometime."
Mick smiled at him, setting his glass on the table. "Sure. What else do you remember?"
"What do you mean?" Josef asked.
"I mean, what else to remember from back in the day? What new inventions did you like? What things did you think would be the wave of the future?"
Josef smiled. "Mick, you can't imagine the changes I've seen."
"I bet I can. I lived though the space age. I remember when the only option for a sole to your shoe was rubber or when orange juice couldn't be powdered and when baby diapers were cloth. I mean, I've seen the development of computers, the internet, cell phones…I think I'll understand."
Josef shook his head. "You forget I lived thorough all those things too, Mick. And I was born before the Industrial Revolution. No motors of any type. I remember the first cars, I owned one for Christ sake!"
And so started the Josef Konstantin obsession with motorized vehicles… Mick thought.
"Jesus, Mick. When I was a kid the fields were planted by a man with a horse and a plow and they were harvested by hand. I saw the fall of slavery and the factories of the Industrial Revolution. Hell, I could be considered a founding father of America. I've been doing business on a global scale since before the word globalization existed. I am modernity." Josef paused to catch his breath.
Mick looked out he window. The fireworks had started. Apparently they had entered the New Year.
"I was there for the first phonographs and the transistor radio. I watched them dig canals, lay train tracks and pave roads. I saw man fly. I've seen super sonic jets and submarines. I ridden on every type of transportation invented, including the Titanic. I've seen dictators rise and fall, I've seen nations created and destroyed. The map has changed so much from when I was born, I wouldn't recognize it." Josef took another pause to take a sip of his drink. The fireworks had finished and the only evidence of the celebration was the large cloud of smoke that hung in the air.
"I am history. I'm a walking museum exhibit. I've watched as the West was conquered and the Indians driven off. I've watched as every frontier was conquered. I've seen more wars, and more death then anyone should have to." Josef paused for a moment trying to get his emotions in check. "Do you know where the greatest achievements have been, over all those centuries…Where the most money was spent on research and development? Do you?"
Mick had a feeling he knew where this was going, but he shook his head 'No.'
"Guns, ammunition, bombs, warheads, anything military. Mankind's largest accomplishment…the destruction of the earth." It was Josef's turn to fall back into his chair, depressed and sulky.
Mick didn't have answer for that. "We haven't blown ourselves up yet," he tried to comfort Josef.
"That's not the point, Mick. I want to live for at least another four hundred years, but at the rate things are going I don't know if that will happen." Josef looked out the window again.
Mick tried to think of something to change the subject. "Well, think of all the things they invented to make your life easier. Like communications. How did you do business before telephones?"
Josef smiled weakly, "We wrote letters. It took weeks to deliver on horses. Trains really helped speed up the process and made it reliable. The telegraph was amazing, but those are minor compared to refrigeration."
"Yes, Mick. You were lucky to be turned after the invention of the freezer. Before, it was damn near impossible to get a good sleep. There are still some deep subterranean ice caves that cater to older vampires in Europe, but with the ease of freezers and air conditioning, why bother?"
Mick chuckled at the thought of Josef lying on some subterranean ice sheet in some 16th century get-up. "What was the clothing like? Did you ever wear those frilly collar things? Wasn't that Elizabethan fashion?"
Josef's smile faded. "I hated those collars. Made feeding a damn nuisance. I was so glad when they went out of fashion. Again, you have no clue how good you have it, jeans and T-shirt and you're good to go. Of course I never had to wear a corset, but I had to remove a few in my day and let me tell you, it's not easy."
Mick laughed. "What'd you think of television?"
"Mick, by the time T.V. was invented I was well past being phased by new technology. I've learned to adapt, but when push comes to shove and all the computer systems of the world crash, I can still do math and I can care for myself."
"Yeah," Mick agreed. He remembered when everyone feared that Y2K was going to shut everything down. "I bet you would say that electricity has been the best invention, huh?"
Josef smiled. "Electricity has done a lot to power our lives, but I can still read by candle light. No, electricity is not my favorite invention." Josef finished his glass and stood up. "Well, this has been a fun evening reminiscing. We should do it more often. How about next year?"
Mick smiled and stood to escort Josef to the door. Mick handed Jose his coat and asked, "So what is your favorite invention?"
"Fire alarms. You don't know how much better I sleep at night because of them."
I have a favor to ask of you wonderful reviewers. I would like to hear what line you liked the most. You don't even have to type a comment just cut and paste the line. I really like to get feedback on what part you liked so I can include more like it in the future!