I've wrote essay's that were shorter than this hehe! Apologies for any spelling mistakes etc, this is me! Not my best fic, but just had to get the finale off my chest. Think I'm going to struggle to write happier ones for a while!
"Is a house really a home when your loved ones are gone?" Diddy - Coming Home
Annie often wondered what her life would have become had Owen not pushed her down the stairs, shattering her skull and her dreams.
The truth was she would have never possessed the courage to the live the life she wanted, not the Owen had planned out.
It was a harsh, upsetting truth, but one she grew to accept.
It wasn't until George and Mitchell moved into her little pink house on Windsor Terrace that she truly lived.
She was blessed, they all were, that this short fraction of their lives, despite the low points, were the happiest.
Was it fate their paths intertwined, brightening their lonely existence?
Right now it was too painful to ponder this or remember those happier times.
She kept strong, for the sake of George who was barely holding it together as it was.
There was plenty to keep her occupied; Wyndam's looming threat and a baby on the way. Nina had enough on her plate without adding a grieving ghost to the mix.
So she poured her anguish and heartbreak into mending their broken family, preparing for the new addition.
That didn't mean the days didn't hurt.
Not when she remembered the Mitchell who watched The Real Hustle and told them endless trivia about old movies, always with a reassuring hug and smile that devastated the darkest of days.
However remembering happier times only made the reality worse.
It pained her too much to visualize the content Mitchell of Bristol transforming into the destructive echo he had become.
Plus she had the nights for that, when George and Nina slept restlessly in a loving embrace and she could no longer keep Mitchell from invading her thoughts.
She did her best to forget, ignore the little reminders of him, but the night broke her protective shield.
It seemed impossible to stop remembering.
She thought being trapped in purgatory, imprisoned by her own fear, was the worst moment of her life. Oh she was so wrong.
Mitchell had crumbled before her eyes, a slave to his own self-destruction.
He was consumed by his hunger, his past and brutal, inevitable future.
They couldn't stop him; he couldn't even stop himself, barely clinging on to some thread of control as it was.
Ultimately, he would kill again. It wasn't a matter of if, but when.
In the end, the man before them wasn't Mitchell anymore. The man she loved was gone. He was an unrecognizable shadow of his former self.
This was the final chapter of his long life. They brought him peace. She accepted there was no other option.
And now she would never be at peace.
She knew it was silly to push aside her sorrow; it was unhealthy, as she overheard Nina express, always sweeping broken china and glassware courtesy of Annie's growing powers.
And god had she tried to forget, move on, remember he had killed and lied, and ignore the deafening chunk missing in her still heart.
The lies really did not matter though, their love and bond was forever.
She no longer questioned his love for her - that was not a lie.
The after effect didn't truly hit her until she found a lone fingerless glove, wedged between the cushions of the couch.
It hit her with so much force; she couldn't control the overwhelming crash of emotions as silent sobs erupted from her lungs.
She had not expected to fall in love, or be loved.
The touch of his fingers lingered on her skin, the way his hands caressed and explored every inch of her, lips pressing hungrily, desiring her in a way Owen never tried.
Mitchell wanted her entirely and her soul was his to have. Their relationship was bitterly short, but she relished every second of it.
When her tears dried, she placed his glove in the attic with the rest of Mitchell's possessions.
When she closed the attic door, she closed a chapter of her own life. Mitchell was gone and now was the time to move on.
She felt empowered and determined. She wanted to show that Mitchell's death was not in vain.
They would not lie down and let Wyndam destroy humanity.
He had asked the trio to pass on the message, to all supernaturals out there, that the time was now, a new year would begin.
And they did pass on a message, to all werewolves and ghosts and occasionally a rare vampire tired of their life, even supernaturals they did not know existed.
There was a delicate balance to hold and Wyndam and his followers were not to extinguish life just because they could, he was not God.
Word spread, fast, and finally maintaining this balance was not the sole responsibility of George, Nina and her.
Wyndam had underestimated them. Alive for a thousand years and had never witnessed a bond so tight and unstoppable.
It was a far cry from the girl murdered by her fiancé or the scared innocent whose curse defined him.
Wyndam was right, she was more powerful than she imagined, and that belonged to her, not him.
And finally, after blurry months passed, they could relax. Of course, one day, someone else like Wyndam would try again, but this time an army would be there to stop them. The unnecessary killings could end.
She sat on the leather couch in the B&B one evening, recalling that look of disdain on Wyndam's face, etched it to memory.
She watched George play aeroplane with the baby food while Nina fussed around their baby.
She smiled, feeling wholly content. Everything she needed to do was complete.
She suddenly felt like all her T's had been crossed, that in a good way she was no longer needed. She felt satisfied.
It was time.
Her door appeared, right in the middle of the Hawaiian wall scene - her original door.
George froze, realisation slowly dawning his tear filled eyes.
"This is it then" said Annie, smoothing her grey cardigan as she stood up.
"Are you sure? I mean…why now? We just…" stammered George, head swinging from Annie to Nina.
She nodded her head as tears streamed down her cheeks, tears of happiness and finality, "Yes", she sighed as George pulled her into a tight hug, his body shaking.
"I'm scared" murmured George into her hair.
"I'm not, not anymore" she whispered, pulling back to wipe tears from his red face.
"Now it's time for you to begin your life. You can do this George. Look after your beautiful family and don't regret anything that's happened ok? I love you" said Annie, desperate for George to believe her words.
He did, nodding his head, pulling her into another hug, "I love you too, you big lump".
Sniffing, they released and Annie turned to hug Nina, being careful not to squeeze the baby.
"Thank you, for everything" said Nina, wondering if they would ever meet again.
The baby cooed in Nina's arms, big blue eyes watching Annie with curiosity and wonder. Annie kissed the infants head and squeezed Nina's arm.
"Don't let George teach him how to play football, he is rubbish" laughed Annie, wiping her face dry with the sleeve of her top, as they chuckled quietly.
She moved to her door, stopping short to trace her hand down the varnished oak wood, dropping her hand to clasp the handle.
It felt cold, but it's a welcoming comfort.
"Will we see you again?" asked George, Nina clutching his waist supportively.
Annie looked over her shoulder and smiled softly, and she knew for certain George would be ok. He was lucky to have Nina, she would keep him good.
"Maybe not in this life, but I hope so" said Annie, nodding hopefully.
She turned the handle and white light spilled out, bathing her in a warming presence.
It felt right, she was ready.
Nodding, she took a deep breath and stepped through the door, into the light.
"And I don't know if I was awake or asleep when I wrote this.
All I know is you came to me when I was at my lowest.
You picked me up, breathed new life in me. I owe my life to you.
But for the life of me, I don't see why you don't see like I do."
Eminem - I Need A Doctor
The light was blinding at first and Annie covered her eyes, squinting to assess her surroundings.
The door clicked softly behind her and slowly the light faded, revealing another corridor, very different from the one she had seen in purgatory.
The walls were not covered in graffiti, it wasn't dimly lit, cold and echo filled. It was welcoming; walls cared for, old wooden floor boards polished to perfection.
Annie walked, unhurriedly, cautiously, through the corridor, stretching far into the distance, catering for an endless amount of doors – all completely different to its neighbour.
She jumped in surprise as shrill laughter escaped from the door closest to her. The corridor was not silent. A mummer of noise leaked from each door, winding though the hallway. She could hear the low hum of conversation from one door, music from another.
Curious as she was, Annie continued walking, complying with a persistent urge to keep going. She was searching for something. It was a weird feeling. She wasn't sure why, she just felt the push to keep looking.
And there it was, this one door pulling her closer and she stopped in her tracks. It was light blue with two stain glass panels and a polished knocker. She couldn't explain why she was drawn to this door, it felt…familiar.
Warily, she pressed her finger tips against the wood, listening for any noise but all was quiet inside.
She opened the door, revealing a large bedroom, bright with daylight from ceiling high windows. She stepped upon soft carpet, cream, matching the walls. There was a four poster bed opposite a coal fireplace, like something she dreamed about in the IKEA catalogue.
A cool breeze rustled her hair, and she shivered, pulling her cardigan tighter around her waist. She felt that – the cold breeze tingling her skin, could smell salt in the air.
These dormant senses stunned her for a second, confused and made her dizzy after feeling nothing for so long. She had grown accustomed to imaging what sensations should feel like, drawing from memory. But here it was real.
Dazed she peered over to the curtains billowing in the wind, opening out to a balcony.
She wasn't alone.
He stood with this back facing her, leaned against the balcony ledge staring out to a beautiful view of crashing waves, black rocks and yellow sand.
Now she felt dizzy for a whole new reason, gripping onto a chair for support, as a flood of emotions wracked her being.
Surely she was imagining this, he was gone, and she had seen him turn into ash before her eyes.
His body stiffened, sensing her presence, and turned around.
It was Mitchell. He stared at her with a scrutinizing intensity, unmoving, eyes surprised but still lingering with deep pain.
His gaze was breaking her soul, ripping her apart, all over again, and she closed her eyes to shut him out.
He whispered her name, laced it with hope or disbelief? She wasn't sure.
He stepped forwards, tried to embrace her but she pushed away. She had finally gone mad hadn't she?
"No, this isn't real. This isn't happening….you're just a figure of my imagination. I saw you turn to dust, you're supposed to be...gone" she stammered, ending her sentence with a flutter of her hand.
"I know Annie! At least that's what I thought, but apparently vampires have an afterlife too…an eternity of self loathing. Of course they would, it would be too easy to just disappear into nothing, where would the satisfaction be?" he murmured. He wasn't looking for sympathy, and he wasn't going to get any from her.
"How do I know if this is real?" she asked, more to herself than anything.
"Does it feel real?" he looked unsure himself, wondering if maybe he was imagining things too.
She nodded her head in response. It did and that's what scared her, this was really happening. He was really here; dressed in the same clothes he died in, still watching her with those eyes.
For a millisecond he looked relieved, a hopeful smile twitching his tired face, before his expression crumpled again.
She wanted to hug him, do anything to remove that expression from his features, but she wasn't ready.
"But then, why aren't you in…" she started but, the words hung on her shamed tongue.
"Hell? I was for a while, my own hell anyway and then I ended up here, wherever here is…" said Mitchell, sitting down on the edge of the bed.
He continued, picking up her confusion, "Where you end up, it depends on what you imagine here to be like. Some people envision their old houses, places of love and happiness, memories".
Annie looked around again, wondering why this wasn't their living room back in their little pink house in Bristol.
"I couldn't go back there, not after…" interrupted Mitchell, knowing exactly what she was thinking. He knew her too well.
She lowered her head, silently understanding. She was scared to ask her next question.
"What was your hell?" she asked timidly, but part of her wanted to know how he envisioned his punishment.
He looked down at his hands and pulled the fabric of his fingerless gloves, tugging at a loose thread.
"I wanted to meet every last soul I ripped apart, destroyed and drained of life. Only the ones who wanted to see me though, and there was a good few".
Annie knelt before him but still kept some distance between them.
He no longer looked tortured now, that was a relief.
"Did it bring some sort of redemption?" she asked, not for her, but for him. She was passed looking for justice now.
His eyes shot up from his hands to meet her gaze.
"I don't think anything will" he reached his hand out, nearly brushing the curls from her face, but stopped and placed his hand back on his thigh.
"Who are you now Mitchell?" she asked, tears pricking her eyes. He looked so lost and unsure because now he had nothing else to hide from.
"It's… just me now. The hunger, the desire, it's all gone, and for the first time in a hundred and seventeen years I have nothing to fight against. It's just me and my memories. I'll never make up for the things I've done Annie, I don't expect you to forgive me, I don't deserve it, not your love….but I'm lost without you. I miss you so, so much and it's breaking me, Jesus it is, not being with you, but I don't want you to be trapped with me here. I stole your chance to pass over the first time and I'm not going to let that happen again. You don't belong here".
She blinked, still not quite believing this was happening.
Tilting her head to swipe a warm tear from her cheek and saw the old TV in the corner, sitting on an antique desk, looking so out of place. She remembered watching the boys in the cage with Lia so long ago.
The TV was muted; the signal not great but she could see George and Nina on the screen embracing.
Mitchell had been watching them, watching her.
It was no coincidence he ended up here in this room, unknowingly waiting for her.
"I saw this room on Relocation, Relocation once, before I died", she began, smiling, remembering.
"I thought it was beautiful; beside the seaside. I imagined growing old here with a family and dog running across the sand – my home and peace".
She peered up at the man before her who was exactly that, a man; one repenting his sins, no longer a slave to his lifestyle.
He wasn't a vampire, not even really a ghost. Now they were equals – two essences eternally together. He was the man that she loved. He was free.
Shakily she placed her hand on his, tracing her thumb across his knuckle. He was watching her carefully, swallowing hard.
"I belong here Mitchell, with you. I don't think I'm supposed to be anywhere else. And you didn't steal my first door," she smirked, "I would never have left you and George like that, not when you needed me" she said and finally she broke down, gasping against sobs battling to surface.
"I didn't think I would see you again, I wasn't prepared for this" she confessed, touching his face, smoothing dark hair from his eyes, tracing the pad of her thumb across his lips.
It was truly eternal now.
What happened in the past was done. This was their future, a chance for a fresh start.
"Annie, love…all I want is you" whispered Mitchell, pulling her close to him, pressing his lips against hers. She sighed into his kiss, a mesh of tears, curls and hunger, desperate to fill that gaping whole in their hearts.
It was overpowering; he felt like she remembered and more than she new. The graze of his stubble against her skin was enough to drown her and she wanted more.
He pulled back, raggedly breathing, "I can feel you" before she brought him back, silencing him with the crash of her lips, unwilling to loose this connection.
There was no need to interrupt this moment with words, nor was it the time to ponder the mechanisms of this afterlife.
They had an eternity for that.
Time passed by them unnoticed here. Sometimes she questioned it but often Mitchell silenced her with a kiss.
Occasionally when Mitchell needed time to brood, Annie would wander through the corridor, meet new and old souls, some from her past like Gilbert.
However Annie was mostly occupied in bed with her love, mending souls, forgiving and understanding.
She marvelled in the feel of cool air prickling her bare skin, - finally able to peel her grey layers from her body – at the glowing blush that swept her skin as Mitchell watched her in awe. Like sleep and food, clothes didn't really seem like a necessity anymore.
He would kiss her nose, her collarbone, trace his tongue across her stomach, make her moan and sigh.
She wanted desperately to rake her nails down his shoulders, appreciate his toned form. He allowed her so, but pinned her fidgeting hands down, attention focused solely on her pleasure.
He wanted her to feel every little flourish of bliss, every ripple of excitement, desired her to re-experience what she had missed after two years of ghostly nothing. And god, did he know how. He made all her previous lovers look selfish.
She complied, purred against his neck until she could wait no more, pulling them together to reach a point beyond satisfaction.
She would trace a delicate finger across that lopsided grin of his, reserved only for her, and feel wholly content.
She was home.
Once she believed being a ghost was a punishment, a true lonely and cursed existence.
It was before - not anymore.
And one day, after a long and fulfilling life, George and Nina would cross over. There would be tears, hugs and resolve.
Until then, they had plenty to occupy their time as they waited.
She was complete.
Thanks for reading! :D