Recognizable dialogue has been taken from the episode(s). The scenes will weave in and out of cannon.
We don't accomplish anything in this world alone... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads form one to another that creates something.
-Sandra Day O'Connor
Annie found Mitchell in the kitchen, sitting at the table with his head down. "Hey." He looked to be dealing with a massive hangover and she wondered if he would prefer tea or coffee to help get him through it.
He raised his head to look at her. She could see the recognition in his eyes but there was no warmth behind his gaze.
"It's the ghost." He had an almost-smile on his face, as if he were telling a familiar inside joke.
Annie was not sure what to say to that and so she gave a soft chuckle and ignored it. "Did you have a friend stay over?"
He, in turn, ignored her question. "I kissed you once, do you remember?"
Whatever strange game he was playing at was beginning to worry Annie. "Yeah. Sort of." She had never seen Mitchell hung over before. Perhaps he avoided drinking to excess to avoid having to remember conversations like this one later. She shifted in place, not sure if she should go or stay.
"Ya know, sometimes I can hear you moving about in a different room." He stood and circled around the table, releasing a long breath. His movements had always been graceful, but there was something to them now that sang of a predator. "I just think about your body, under those clothes. I think about your skin." He leaned back against the table, facing her and a shiver ran through her intangible body. An echo of an instinct that she had not had enough of in life.
"What? Mitchell stop it, shut up." She pulled her cardigan closed without thinking, holding it close to her body like a shield.
"Do you want to kiss me again?" He stood and drew closer to her. "Do you want to kiss me?"
Annie was not sure what to do. The man in front of her was not her Mitchell. She turned and slipped through the beaded curtain into the other room.
They were the only two in the house and she had no idea when or if George would be back. The silhouette of Mitchell lingered in the doorway for a moment before following her through.
"Don't tell me you've never thought about it." His voice was taunting and Annie continued to back away until she ran out of room.
If she had been thinking clearly, she could have rent-a-ghosted away, like she had with Tully. But this was not Tully, this was Mitchell, and something was very, very wrong with him.
"Whatever's happened, whatever you've taken, or been done to you, I can help you." His slow pursuit soon caught up with her and she found herself trapped between his body and the wall, his arms caging her in. "Mitchell, please. Stop."
Something in her voice must have pierced the haze that he had been trapped in.
Her name fell from his lips, more a question than an acknowledgement and he stepped back from her, dropping his arms.
She slipped passed his trembling form, but could not make herself flee. He was in trouble and he needed her.
"Tell me what's happened." Her voice did not waver and for that she was grateful.
Mitchell fisted both of his hands in his hair and did not turn to look at her. "You need to leave. Now."
There was fear coursing through Annie, but she could not tell if it was for herself or for him. What she did know was that she could never abandon him, not like this.
He cast her a look over his shoulder, "Annie, please," and then sank to his knees on the floor.
She may have been able to keep the her voice from shaking, but she could not keep her hand steady as she reached out to touch his shoulder.
His head whipped up, too fast to be natural, and she watched his eyes flash black for a moment.
And she knew. She knew it was not alcohol, or drugs that he was strung out on.
She tried to pull her hand back, not sure if she could stomach the thought of her friend as a killer. Yes, he was a vampire. Yes, he had lived for almost a century, and in that time he had done vampire-y things. Somehow, she had always been able to compartmentalize that into Mitchell-of-the-past who was separate from Mitchell-her-friend. To see the two together was more than shocking, it was distressing and she did not know how to deal with that.
Before she could pull away completely, her wrist was caught in an unforgiving grip. "You want to help me?" The words were strained and seemed to be forced from him. "No one can help me."
He used his hold on her wrist to push her away and Annie went stumbling back to land on the floor. She was free. If ever she was to escape, it would be now. She watched him for a moment more before standing again.
Vampire or not, killer or not, he was her responsibility. If she turned her back on him and fled, if he went out into the world again to feed, it would be her fault for letting him go. She ignored the part of her that hurt to see him in pain, that heard the plea for help in his words. Whatever the reason, she had already made her decision, and there was nothing harder to change than Annie's mind once it had been made up.
She walked to him slowly, aware of how similar he was to a wounded animal in that moment and not wanting to frighten him. He had bent double where he was sitting, his head now resting on the ground with his hands in his hair again, perhaps trying to block out the world. She knelt beside him and leaned forward to wrap her arms around him.
He spasmed at the contact, probably having expected her to have left, but he did not pull away. She could have cried when he moved one hand to tangle their fingers together.
She did not know how long they would have before his darker side resurfaced again.
Annie sat up and pulled him with her. He would not meet her eye but she could see that his were red and puffy. She helped him to stand and together they struggled their way up the stairs. He hesitated at the top and she wondered if he was avoiding his room. Regardless, that was not her destination.
He let her lead him to George's old room, and she could feel his body tense up when he understood why she had brought him there. The cage stood, alone and empty, in the middle of the space.
Annie had no idea what was involved in detoxing a vampire, or how long it would take, but the one thing she was sure of was that he could not be allowed to leave the house. She only needed to convince him to step into the cage.
She stole a glance at him from the corner of her eye, too afraid to face him dead on. "I'll stay with you. I promise." She would never be able to force him in against his will. He would have to want to enter. "I'll bring you anything you need. You won't have to do this alone."
His body was shaking. She could feel it where her arm was wrapped around his middle. They stood staring at the bars in silence.
Just as Annie was beginning to fear that he would turn and leave the room, Mitchell staggered forward and threw himself into the cage.
She fixed the lock before he could change his mind and then joined him on the other side.
"The lock won't hold me in here when I try to get out." He sounded as exhausted as he looked. Now that she was paying attention, she could see the bags under his eyes, the paleness of his already pale skin.
"We'll figure something out before then." She would cement the doors and windows if she had to. There was nothing that she would not do for the people that she cared about, even when it came to protecting them from themselves.
"What about the full moon?" It was a comfort to hear her friend back in that familiar voice.
"George has changed in the woods before." They had time on that one as well. "I'll explain it to him. He'll understand."
They sat in silence for a bit before Mitchell spoke up again, his tone bordering on a tease. "You never did answer my question before. About us kissing."
She did not answer him then either, only smiled and leaned to rest her head against his shoulder, pressing her lips to the spot before she settled in for the long haul ahead of them.