A companion piece to Second Thought but both stand alone. Thanks to everyone who's read that and left such sweet comments. This piece, which is essentially the same scene, but through Mick's POV was a joy to write and I hope you'll enjoy reading it half as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Spoilers: Mostly from 1x16, "Sonata," and minimally from prior episodes
Disclaimer: Moonlight is owned by Warner Bros but if it was owned by me, it would, hands down, get a second season
"Look, you've been saying for months now that things can't work between us, that we live in different worlds. And I didn't want to hear you but maybe you're right. You can't come back to my world… and I'm not ready to join yours."
"Wait." I stare at her, incredulous that such a thought even crossed her mind. "You think that this is what this is about? You think I'm going to want to turn you?"
"Wouldn't you? Eventually?" she replies tearfully. "What happens when I start to get old? Maybe then I'd want it too. I don't ever want to have to make that decision. Emma and Jackson made me realize that you were right. I don't…" She stops suddenly and breathes deeply, moist eyes seeming to dry in record time. "Think I can do this anymore," she finishes breathlessly, her gaze barely meeting mine.
I thought I was standing on pretty stable ground. I thought that after 55 years, I had finally come to some sort of peace with myself. But as it turns out, all it takes are those last eight words for my world to turn upside down again. I wonder if she knows how deeply her words cut into me, how the pain spiderwebs across my chest and to the rest of my body, paralyzing me. The look in her eyes says yes but the unsteady ba-bump of my undead heart insists otherwise. If she knows, why would she throw such cruel words at me? Words she must know I have been trying to say since the night I allowed myself to stumble back into her life, words that I finally put to rest when I agreed to try again.
By now I realize that I haven't given Beth a response yet. Words tumble into my mouth in a silent scuffle but all the right ones slip away and still, I say nothing. I feel the past months swirling away from me, all the experiences fading into memory. So I do what I've been told I do best—I run. But I only make it as far as the hall. Halfway down, it's as if I'm tethered and I've reached the end of the rope. I can go no further, nor do I want to.
I don't think I can do this anymore.
The full weight of her words is beginning to sink in. What it means for us, for the future. No more secret looks and stolen smiles. No more late night dinners and casual running into each other. We'll go back to our separate lives, back to the way things were before. And the best we can hope for is chance encounters. But what we had is not enough for me anymore. I learned to live again, to forgive. For Beth. And I'm still learning; according to Beth, it's a process, a path. But it's not a path I want to travel alone.
I wish I could I say I'm handling this gracefully but there's nothing graceful about an 85 year old vampire breaking down and crying. Crying! There's nothing graceful about trying to point the finger somewhere only to have it turn back to myself. It's my fault. My fault, my fault, my fault. I didn't trust her enough, I didn't tell her enough, and damn it, I didn't do enough to show her that we were worth fighting for.
She said we live in different worlds, worlds that she seems to believe can never overlap. I should have told her that even though I'm starting to find a place in my world, I would give it all up for a lifetime with her. But being so close to her, seeing the pain in her eyes made it hard for me to breathe, let alone think. My head spun, dizzy with my anguish and the residue of hers. More than that, I knew they were words she didn't want to hear, words she wouldn't have let me say. Because she's Beth and she's generous and giving and more than I deserve. She thinks this—the blood, the power—is what I want. But what I want is to be the one that draws sweet laughter from her lips and the one who can make her eyes light up just by being there. I want what Emma and Jackson had, what they still have—the 150 years of marriage, the double-wide freezer, and most of all, no regrets. I want eternity. With Beth.
And wait in the car means?
I would laugh if I didn't feel so weary and leaden, inside and out. Memory works in odd, sometimes even irrational, ways. Of all the images that could come to mind in this moment, it's comical that it's this one that does, unbidden. My own words, spinning round and round in my head, almost like a mockery. I get the feeling that there's something I'm missing, something I'm not seeing. The past months crowd around me, whispering, shouting, shoving.
At some point, you're going to have to stop me.
I just don't think we need to make this a big deal.
It's not impossible, it's inadvisable. It never ends well.
No, Beth… It's just the drug.
Now you know why it can never work.
It's like a puzzle with all the pieces hopelessly jumbled together and finding the right piece is like finding a needle in a haystack. I keep seeing Beth's face and the way she looked at me when she told me it was over. Like she didn't really believe it and neither did I.
And wait in the car means?
This time, the words explode in my head like a melody. It repeats itself, louder and louder, faster and faster, until everything blurs together and all that's left is clarity.
And wait in the car means?
Yeah, cause that worked out so well last time.
She knew I would walk away. She knew I would accept whatever decision she made about our relationship. She wasn't ending it. She was leaving things in the air. She was waiting for me to make the choice. And I walked out. I spent the last 55 years trying to close the door on forever. But I can't anymore. I can't close the door on Beth.
I tear down the hall and rap at her door sharply. I can hear her, just inside, but she makes no move to let me in. I knock again, more insistently. Without giving her sufficient time to respond, I push the door open and sweep in. She's leaning on the wall, crying, and I feel my heat twist for her. Oh, Beth. I'm so sorry.
"You wanna know what Emma and Jackson made me realize?" I ask fiercely. "That you were right. You were right all along. This isn't about being a vampire. Or a human. This is about us and how we feel about one another, right here, right now."
I hear her breath hitch and my own stops, watching her, waiting for her answer. That is, if she'll give me one. She lifts her head slowly. I dare to draw a breath.
"The night that we first met, or met again… whatever." Her voice is smoky with tears but I hear the careful contemplation in it, making it all the more beautiful and precious. "What was I wearing?"
I don't need to ask her what she means, or why she asks. I stare at her back and in my mind's eye I see her as she was that night. She was all confidence and determination as she strode across the cement and right through the fine white spray of icy water, shoes in hand. "Blue jeans, white striped shirt, cream jacket," I tell her softly.
She spins around to face me, wide-eyed and watching me. "What about my shoes?" Her voice is dry, perhaps even hopeful.
I smile. "You were barefoot."
She's close to crying again and beneath the fresh tears gathering at her eyes, I can smell the salty streaks already painted on her cheeks and jaw. "How can you remember that?"
"Because I love you." I realize it's the first time I've said it to her. And I want to say it again and again. I want to whisper it in her ear as my breath tickles her face. I want to shout it for all the world to hear. I love her. I love Beth.
She looks at me, letting me see the way her eyes shimmer with the reflection of my words. Then she surges forward and we're a tangle of arms and lips, speaking without words, showing instead of telling.
When we're this close, nothing seems impossible or absurd or ridiculous. We don't live in such different worlds, she and I. And maybe we can't ever cross the fine line that separates our worlds but as long as we're together, we can stand on that line. Together.