(Hello there! I've got a new "Moonlight" fan fiction for anyone who's interested. I always knew I wanted to write more in this fandom, especially seeing as how the show was cut short before so many things could be explored, but I had to wait until the right story could form itself in my head. I do hope you'll read, enjoy, and let me know what you think. I don't own the show or any of the characters, though, I just like wondering what might have been if the show had gone on…)

Forever Waiting

By: TutorGirlml

As he closed the heavy oak front door behind Mick and Beth, Josef Kostan couldn't help letting out a relieved, exhausted sigh. Though he would have let them stay – Heaven knew they had shown up in just the nick of time to save him, and whatever Sarah's farce of a life could be called as well. He was grateful, but drained beyond all reason, and certainly not up to entertaining with his typical Kostan wit and wicked charm. Leaning his forehead against the cool, solid surface for a moment, collecting himself again, Josef reflected that perhaps continuing on alive did neither he nor Sarah any favors…but he could not bear for something to steal her breath away as long as he still survived and had a chance to bring that spark of life – her spirit – back to her. He couldn't bear to think about what became of her beyond this world if he failed.

Turning, he began to climb the wide, curving grand staircase with heavy step, his powerful hand, still helpless to do anything of real benefit for her, trailing along the handrail. It suddenly felt very late, and he felt excruciatingly tired – and old. He felt every one of the centuries he had truly lived, in a way that he seldom did, as he walked along the hallway of the beautiful house he had designed and intended to be his and Sarah's together – but that she had never even seen. She had been there since the change; he had brought her to the opulent bedchamber and spent years begging and waiting for her to awaken and see the luxury he had meant to give her…but she never had.

As he reached the doorway, Josef couldn't help stopping to look at her – beautiful even in her hideous half-life, half-death. There was still a dewy, luminous look to her rosy cheeks and her youthful face which remained unchanged – that much had worked as it should have. Yet, in all those years since that horrible night when their dreams had become his nightmare, he had never seen her open those playfully twinkling, adoring, innocent eyes again. If she opened them now, would they be filled with the true knowledge of what he was and hatred toward him instead? He felt that he would certainly deserve whatever she might think of him and feel towards him – horror, resentment, bitterness, or even complete revulsion. In all honesty, he would suffer anything, gladly, if only to have her recover her soul and be alive to think and feel. Even if she did hate him for the monster he had tried to warn her he was. At least she would be herself and no longer a sleeping, lifeless doll – the mere body of the woman he had loved beyond all sense.

After all this time, Josef could only reason that this was what came of "love". He had tried to push Sarah away, had never wanted her to care for him so deeply, nor had he wanted to care so much for her. Mick had thought him all playboy cad – a rich, spoiled rake – all the years they had known each other. In truth, Josef had only hoped to keep his friend from the same pain and guilt he now carried.

When Beth came into the picture, Josef had sensed only too well what Mick was feeling – what he wanted but knew could never be. However, just as Sarah had done before her, Beth pushed past any defense or barrier the tortured vamp she loved tried to put in her way. She wanted them to be together, was willing to take her chances and kept trying to convince Mick that they could successfully tempt Fate.

Maybe that was why he had finally revealed his most jealously guarded secret – his Sleeping Beauty. He would not presume to preach to anyone of the moral grey areas in his and Mick's very existence, or to say that he knew any absolutes of right or wrong. Still, he couldn't stand to let two other star-crossed lovers play their cards without knowing the possible outcome, the reality of the tragedy, if tragedy was to be their lot. He had seen Beth's impatience and need for more from his friend, and he had seen Mick's resolve weakening. Josef didn't begrudge them their chance at happiness – if anyone had struggled to deserve a miracle and redemption through love, it was Mick. He just couldn't let Mick blindly follow in his footsteps if Mick was unaware of the potential catastrophe.

Josef turned off his emotions, except in occasional, unguarded moments with his friend, or when he sat with Sarah herself (at least what was left of her). He had to, or the guilt would devour him whole. Mick did have that ability – wouldn't survive even as a shadow of himself if something happened to Beth at his hand. Mick wouldn't survive it. When they had left his lavish apartment that evening, Josef didn't know where either of them had stood. He sensed a flip-flop in each one's stance concerning being with the other. He could only hope Mick didn't hate him for eternity if meeting Sarah had scared Beth away. Even if that was what occurred, Josef knew it was better for Mick to hate him than to forever hate himself.

He had traveled, almost without conscious thought, back to the silent boudoir, and to Sarah's side. He knelt there, taking her cool, soft hand in his larger one, wishing beyond all measure that he would feel a pulse in the delicate wrist, a twitch of movement in the long, graceful fingers, but there was nothing, as there had been nothing for nearly fifty years now.

Had he been greedy? Had his desire for them to have everything, be everything to one another, and to have until the end of time to revel in their love, done this to her? He knew it was so, and it nearly broke him every time he gazed upon that heavenly face. Yes, she had begged him to change her, but she could not have grasped the risk she was taking. He should have known better, and his punishment lay before him, reminding him that his wrong could not be righted.

And yet, through all these years, as decades passed, as time slipped by them both and left them unchanged, as he made millions he no longer cared to spend, fed from freshies who no longer gave him pleasure, and dreamed at night only of someday escaping to oblivion if she was there, Josef had never let her go. There were ways he could have ended her suspended being; he knew all to well that even the immortal could die. Yet, he had never unplugged the machines, never stopped the liquid in the tubes that nourished her, never raised a stake over her motionless breast, never set a match to the whole haunting monument to thwarted love and his foolish pride.

For some reason, he couldn't stop hoping that there would be some way to free her. To reverse the damage. A kiss to break the spell; if the Sleeping Beauty allusion held. Sarah couldn't be lost forever; it was too cruel a curse for one so kind and good. It was a naïve, sentimental, romantic wish, and a very un-Kostan-like. At least, very unlike the Josef Kostan that the world knew.

Still, as he knelt there, gazing on the somehow peaceful-seeming face of his beloved, Josef knew her life, and his, would always hang in the balance. That he would never give up even the barest of chances for her recovery. He smoothed an errant curl from off of her pristine forehead, then leaned to kiss her brow. He would be forever be at Sarah's side, forever waiting…