N/a: That's what you get when it's one in the morning and you really need a closure on that whole "Mitchell felt Annie being sent to purgatory" business.
Mitchell knows a lot of things about ghosts – poltergeists and auras, rent-a-ghost and haunting. He knows a lot about a lot of things, like his own little supernatural encyclopaedia. He knows too much, perhaps. And maybe that's why it comes at a surprise, that thing, not because he didn't expect it. But because it didn't know such a thing existed.
His bond with Annie.
He can't exactly point out when it started, can't remember when he noticed it for the first time. But it's there, between her and him. He can feel it at night, when he's trying to sleep. If he focuses on her, he can feel her downstairs, minding her own ghostly business, making tea nobody will drink, washing plates nobody will use. He can fell her moving from one room to another, and it's almost comforting, knowing she's here somewhere, no matter what.
If he focuses hard enough, he can even tell where exactly she's standing.
It's new, beyond his understanding. He quite likes it.
He sees the door and he feels it, deep down inside him.
She hugs him, saying her last words to him, and he can feel the bond between them, tighter than ever in his chest. He can feel it stretching, ready to break. It's painful, almost as painful as knowing he will never see her again. Because he will never feel her against, and it's worse. He's gotten used to it, this comfortable bond between his little ghost and him, and he doesn't know how he's supposed to live without that (her) now. How he's supposed to go through the dark of the night without her wandering in a corner of his mind.
Mitchell is a selfish man and, for a second, as he leans his forehead against hers, he thinks about not letting her go, about keeping her to himself, in the safety of the house.
But he's lived too long already and knows about the weight of immortality.
He doesn't want that for her. She deserves more.
So he lets go of her, of that thing between them she doesn't even know exist.
Everything is Herrick, and vampires, and Ivan and Daisy, and Box Tunnel 20.
Everything is red, blood, crimson, pain, black, lust.
It clouds his mind, inhibits his senses.
For a while, he forgets about the bond, forgets about Annie.
He's about to kill Lucy, all fangs and dark eyes. The pulsing point on her neck is perfect and all he wants to do is ending her life as painfully as possible. He doesn't want a quick death for her, she doesn't deserve that, she needs to suffer. And she's about to, when it happens.
The pain makes him scream, worse than a hundred of Herrick's stakes to his chest. For a moment, he can't even see, can't even hear, can't do a thing but accepting the pain as it comes.
He makes it to the door, as difficult as it is, but it's too late already. He can feel it. Or rather, can't feel it and here is the problem. He can't feel it, can't feel anything but a hole in his chest, even if he goes beyond the blood lust and focuses as hard as he can on Annie. He can't reach her mind. There's nothing to reach.
There's leaving Bristol and there's settling in the middle of nowhere. There's getting over the blood, rehab and relapses. There's hours spent in the attic not to run to the nearby village and kill everyone. There's blood, pain, thirst, murder impulses. There's George and Nina, forever worried about everything.
But mostly there's this nothingness in his chest, in his whole body and mind.
You never know what you have until it's gone.
He realises how much he relied on their bond, how much he neglected her over the last weeks. Because the bond was there and it meant Annie was there, and so he could come back to her eventually. It was like an anchor bringing him back to Totterdown at the end of the day.
And now she's gone and Totterdown is gone, and maybe he should just go too.
There's Lucy and Kemp, but mostly there's Annie.
When he kneels in front of the telly, fingers pressed to the screen, he hopes it will be enough to feel something, anything. But she's too far, in another world, and he can't feel a damn thing.
That's when he makes him mind. He's going to bring her back.
Even if it means going to hell and back. Literally.
He isn't sure at first. It's weak, uncertain, barely recognizable. He opens his eyes as to make sure he isn't dreaming, that this is really happing. Then he hears her calling his name, hears her footsteps, turns around to see her running toward him.
When her body crushes against his, cold and tangible, something happens in his chest. It's painful, but in the best of ways, the welcomed pain, the blissful one.
"Unbelievable," he mutters. It's all he has to say on the matter, even if he knows she doesn't get what he is talking about.
They materialise on the beach in Barry, and it doesn't take her long to acknowledge her surroundings. He doesn't want to let go of her, as if she would be sent straight back to purgatory without his arms around her waist, but he has to. He lowers his head, almost ready to see a thin string between their belly buttons, connecting her to him. But of course there's nothing, it's all here in his head.
It's more than enough.
He sleeps well for the first time in ages, soothed by her mere presence, by her silent footsteps in the corridor as she visits the house, by the weak scent of Earl Grey following her.
Of course, he still has his own demons following him and still needs to find solutions to the hundred of problems he's created. But Annie is back and he allows himself one night of peace. He deserves it.
He sits in the stairs, after the whole trying-to-have-sex-but-not-really fiasco, and feels her rent-a-ghosting next to him. He's become quite good at that, lately, like a second nature. Better than his qualities as a boyfriend, that's for sure.
And it's at that moment that he understands. He doesn't believe in soulmates, doesn't even believe he actually still has a soul. But it's not simply his own little ghost GPS. It's more than that, grander than that, the universe sending him a message than could only be clearer if Annie had a flashing arrow sign pointed at her head.
He though Lucy could help him, could be his second Josie. But it's never been about Lucy. Or about Josie for all it matters.
It's about Annie, has always been about Annie.
She could be good for you. And she is, indeed, and so much more. Mitchell doesn't believe in soulmates but it's the closest to what they are.
He still has his demons.
But, for a moment, he dwells upon the fact Annie and him are meant to be, meant to stay together. She'll be good for him, she'll help him be a better vampire, a better man. He'll be good to her, protecting her from the demons, outside the house and inside him, he'll make her afterlife a good one.
Her and him, for eternity.