Moonlight To Dawn

Title: Moonlight To Dawn (1 of ?) Author: Lindyrb Rating: R (Just to be safe) Pairing: Mick/Beth Spoilers: None Disclaimer: CBS owns Moonlight. They've got all the neat stuff (like Alex's phone number...) Summary: This starts about a year after where we currently are in the series. Mick and Beth are together, but now they face the challenges of loving and living in a world that doesn't embrace them together. Please read and review - Feed the Muse!

Chapter 1: Changes in Attitude

It's not as though it happened suddenly and without warning. In fact, of those who knew about it, the only two who seemed surprised were the two people involved. Their relationship had moved in starts and stops, propelled by a connection deep within their souls, but hampered by supposedly significant others and that pesky little vampire/human issue. No matter – eventually the love had been undeniable and no-longer-significant others simply fell by the wayside.

Things progressed quickly then, moving from the occasional "sleepover" to Mick's clothes being crammed into one end of his closet to make room for the boxes and armloads that moved in along with their owner. After all, his place was bigger, had better security and a certain special fridge in the kitchen.

Beth stretched and rolled over in bed, reaching to her right, finding the space empty. With a smile, she crawled out of bed and padded to the next room and peaked in, seeing the green "Engaged" light on the large unit in the middle of the room. Knowing he'd sense her presence moving around the condo, she continued down to the kitchen to make herself something for breakfast.

Going to the fridge, she pulled out the egg whites, some cheese, salsa and leftover turkey. She turned on the stove and dumped all the ingredients into the skillet, adding a handful of mushrooms as an afterthought. Popping a couple pieces of bread into the toaster, she smiled as she heard Mick pad into the room.

As he slipped his arms around her, she jumped. "Hey! You're still cold!"

"Sorry," he grinned unrepentantly. "We expecting company this morning or are you just hungry?"

Beth shrugged, "Just hungry. I guess I'm kinda nervous about today."

Mick nodded. They'd thought long and hard, and finally had decided to go for broke. Today, they were having Beth's only living relative, her mom, over for lunch. She lived in Portland these days and had only been told a couple of weeks ago that there was somebody very special in her daughter's life. Beth had told her his name was Michael, that he was in law enforcement, and that they'd moved in together. Other than that, she'd explain the next time her mother came to visit. Mom had promptly booked a flight and would get in just in time for lunch.

Mick and Beth knew the moment she walked in and saw Mick they'd have no choice but to tell her the truth. Marilyn Turner would definitely recognize the man who'd saved her daughter all those years ago. And he'd be there – looking exactly the same. They'd tried to think through how to handle every possible reaction and had finally admitted they'd just have to play it by ear.

Mick grabbed a glass from the cupboard and pulled open a false front to reveal a small stainless steel door. Opening it, he grabbed a pint of blood and closed up the hidden storage place.

"What time does she land at LAX?" asked Mick as he poured the fluid into the glass.

"I pick her up at 11:15, so we should be back here to our place by noon at the latest," she said, taking another bite of breakfast. "She's reserved a room at the Hilton down by the Beverly Center, but we're just going to come here first. You'll be here, right?"

"Of course, Hon….we'll do this together." Mick sipped his breakfast and shook his head. He'd had to tell Josef about their plan to tell Beth's mom about their world. Josef hadn't been thrilled. Actually, he'd been downright pissed. But eventually, he'd calmed down, figuring that if Mick could handle Lola, he could find a way to do damage control if necessary on a middle-aged woman.

Finished with breakfast, they tidied up the kitchen and got dressed for the day, stealing occasional kisses and touches. Before long, it was time for Beth to leave for the airport. With one last kiss and his murmured words of support, she headed out.

Beth stood at the entrance to the baggage claim area, waiting for her mother to appear. She took a deep breath and couldn't help wondering how things would turn out by the end of the day. She had no doubt that her relationship with Mick was for life…or longer. They'd talked about turning Beth, but hadn't come to a decision yet. Mick was adamantly against it, Beth wanted to leave their options open. That issue was still under discussion.

An attractive older blonde woman came down the escalator pulling her carry-on behind her.

"Mom!" Beth waved and moved through the crowd to hug her mother.

"Sweetheart! You look wonderful!" her mother said, giving her a hug. "Where's this mysterious Michael? Isn't he with you?"

Beth laughed, "Boy, you don't waste any time, do you, Mom? Mic...Michael's back at the condo fixing lunch for us."

"Well, all I brought was this carry-on. I figured if I need anything else, it'll give us a good excuse to go shopping."

Chatting about family, who was graduating, who had what malady this month, they climbed into the car and headed north on the I-405 exiting on Santa Monica Blvd. Soon they were passing the Beverly center where they turned into an underground garage that belonged to a beautifully restored art-deco style building. Taking the elevator to the top floor, Beth led her mother to the private entrance of the building's penthouse.

"Well, I'll certainly say this is the nicest place you've ever lived. Michael must be doing well to be able to afford a place like this. What did you say he does?" her mother asked.

Turning to her mother, Beth took a deep breath and looked her in the eyes.

"Mom, there's some things I need to tell you. Things that I couldn't explain over the phone."

Her mother looked worried. "He's not married, is he? Or into something illegal?"

"No, no….nothing like that," assured her daughter. "But Mom, when you meet him, please keep an open mind. We'll explain everything, I promise."

With that, she unlocked the door and led her mother into the foyer, parking her carry-on over to the side. Going to her mother, she took her hands and led her to the couch, sitting next to her.

"About a year ago, I was investigating a murder and ended up working with a private investigator who helped me solve the case." Beth caught her mother's eyes, explaining " I had this strange feeling that I knew him, but couldn't quite figure it out. Over the next couple months, we kept bumping into each other on various assignments. He obviously recognized me, but refused to tell me from where."

"It took him saving my life for me to finally make the connection. And when I did, it didn't make any sense. When he explained it to me, though, it was more fantastic and unbelievable than anything I'd ever dreamed of."

With that, she stood up, pulling her mother up and turning her around to see Mick standing behind them.

A gasp escaped the woman's lips and she grasped her daughter's hand. "But you're….this isn't possible. Beth? You know who he looks like? I mean…I could swear he's…."

"I am, Mrs. Turner," Mick said gently. "I know this is very confusing, but we can explain."

"Mom," Beth said, sitting her back on the couch, "you raised me to be open to new experiences. Please keep that same openness here, ok?"

Unable to tear her gaze from the man in front of her, she shook her head, "You're Mick St. John, aren't you? But it's been more than 20 years and you look exactly the same. I don't understand!" She turned to her daughter, "And you said his name was Michael, and that he was in law enforcement!"

"Actually, my name is Michael…..Mick is just my nickname," said Mick with a grin, moving to sit across from the two women. "And I'm a PI which is kinda like law enforcement."

"But that doesn't explain….how…I mean, you were nearly ten years older than I was when you saved Beth. Now, you look like you haven't aged a day. I mean, you're nearly 30 years older than Beth….or you were….," she said with a bewildered look at both of them.

Mick leaned forwards and earnestly looked in the older woman's eyes. "I know it confusing. But first, please understand one thing. I love Beth. More than I've ever loved anyone before. And Beth loves me. That's the one thing I want you to hold on to as we try to explain everything else."

Marilyn looked at her daughter and couldn't miss the loving look she was giving the man across from them. Looking back at Mick, she saw a matching look radiating from his face.

"All right," she nodded. "I'll keep that in mind. Now explain."

Taking a deep breath, Mick started. "I was born Michael Patrick St. John here in Los Angeles on November 24th…in 1922." Not giving her a chance to interrupt, he continued, "I served in the Army during WWII as a military intelligence analyst over in Europe. When the war was over, I found a job as a junior investigator in a PI firm. Within a couple years, the old guy who had owned the firm decided to retire, leaving me with my own client list. Not long after that, I met a woman….she was beautiful, classy. Her name was Coraline and I couldn't believe I was lucky enough to have her interested in me. Within a couple months, we decided to get married….actually, she decided and I agreed. We got married down at the courthouse…she said she didn't like churches…and then we went to a nice hotel where I'd rented the honeymoon suite.

Everything seemed so perfect. But just as we started to get….close….she started talking about how she had this incredible gift to give me and how now we'd never be apart. How I'd belong to her and we'd have all of eternity to enjoy each other. I mean, I thought she was just talking. Then everything changed."

Beth could see his hands tremble as he took another deep breath. She wished she could go to him, but knew she had to stay next to her mother who was staring at Mick with a mixture of disbelief and confusion. Beth caught her lover's eye and gave him a reassuring smile. Calmed by her contact, he told about that night.

"She had been kissing me…on the face, the shoulder, the neck….then suddenly I came face to face with hell. She grabbed me- she was so strong, I couldn't get away. And without warning, she suddenly bit me….hard….on the neck. The pain was incredible and I felt such a strange sensation. The last thing I remembered before passing out was seeing her….her eyes were yellow and her teeth…she wasn't human.

When I woke up later, I knew immediately something was wrong. There was no pain, but I just felt different. I noticed that my senses of scent and sound were more acute. And then I saw Coraline sitting in a chair next to the bed. 'What the hell did you do to me' I asked. That's when she told me what I had become. What she had made me – turned me into – against my will."

Mick looked Marilyn straight in the eye. "That was my dear wife's wedding gift to me...she turned me into a vampire, Marilyn."

"A VAMPIRE?," The woman burst into laughter. "Right….what kind of joke is this? I want to know the truth, NOW!"

"He's telling you the truth, Mom," stressed Beth. "I know it seems like a sci fi story or something, but it isn't." Seeing her mother's continued disbelief, she spoke to Mick while continuing to look at her mother. "Mick, you have to show her. Mom, please don't be afraid. Mick would never hurt either of us."

Holding Marilyn's gaze, Mick allowed the change to come over him. The familiar sensation of the lengthening of fangs, the rush of adrenaline and the glazing of his eyes took over his being.

Across from him, Beth felt her mother's body stiffen in shock, pulling back as far as she could, gasping at what she was seeing. Moving quickly, Beth put her arms around her mother, grounding her in reality.

"It's ok, Mom….just breath," she murmured.

Taking a deep breath, Mick restrained the animal within, returning to his human features. He made no movement towards the shocked woman, giving her time to assimilate what she had just witnessed.

"What the hell are you?" rasped the pale woman on the couch.

"Like I said, I'm a vampire, Marilyn. Yes, I exist. I'm real. But you have no reason to fear me. I'd never harm you, or Beth, or any innocent person."

"And when you rescued Beth…"

"I was already a vampire. And the woman who took her…..was Coraline. I thought I killed her when I rescued Beth. Unfortunately, she survived….she showed up a few months back, but hopefully she'll leave us alone now."

Beth and Mick watched her mother struggle to make sense of everything she'd seen and heard in the last five minutes. After several minutes of silence, she looked first at Mick then at her daughter.

"If what you're telling me is true, then you….what happens when the moon is full or if you go outdoors in the sun or if Beth wore a cross or…."

She was startled to hear both of them chuckle. "Well," explained Mick, "I got Beth a cross inlaid with coral and turquoise for her birthday. Well, it is set in white gold, not silver. I don't do well with silver. As for that moon stuff, it makes for great movie plots but it's just that…fiction."

"And sunshine in small doses isn't a problem for Mick. But he makes sure he has a good sunscreen on if he works a case during the summer," grinned Beth.

"But you drink blood? You bite people?" She snapped her head to look at her daughter, "Has he bitten you? Are you one too?"

"NO!" said Mick forcefully. "She's not a vampire. She's as human and beautiful and alive as the day she was born."

"No, Mom, I'm still just me. Yes, Mick drinks blood to survive, but he usually gets it from the blood bank."

"You didn't answer the question about whether or not you'd bitten my daughter," she said firmly to Mick.

Mick answered honestly, "Yes. I've bitten her."

"But it was an emergency, Mom, and it was only after I insisted," exclaimed Beth. "He was so sick and was going to just lay there and die and I refused to allow him to be so stupid. I knew he wouldn't hurt me or turn me."

Marilyn blinked, looking at first one then the other. "How about we go back out in the hall and you tell me he's married and a member of the mob," she laughed weakly.

Beth laughed and hugged her mother. "I know it's a lot to take in, but it'll be ok. I really love Mick and we're very happy together."

Mick leaned forward and extended his hand to Beth's mother. Hesitantly, she reached out and took his outstretched fingers. With a reassuring smile, he stood up and pulled her to her feet.

"It'll be ok, Marilyn. I hope you'll be able to feel comfortable around me because I plan to be part of Beth's life from here on." Eager to lighten the mood and change the subject, Mick grinned, "Anybody hungry for lunch?"