Title:Vamps

Author: Lindyrb

Rating: PG-13 (some suggestive things, but nothing really happens)

Pairing: Mick/Beth Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: CBS owns Moonlight. They've got all the neat stuff (like Alex's phone number...)

Summary: Recently on we had a thread going about What Moonlight Has Taught Me. I used some of the great ideas combined with a plot bunny I'd had about Beth writing a Vapires For Dummies guide. Here's the result!

Mick looked over from where he sat on his couch finishing up the report on his latest case. Next to him, Beth sat, feet propped up on the coffee table, tapping away on her computer. In the six months since Josh's death they had finally found their way back to the closeness they'd had before. Added to that was the calm assurance that their bond had been tested and found unbreakable. The two of them regularly spent evenings together working and enjoying each other's company, often falling asleep curled together on the couch, and they both looked forward to discovering where their relationship would go from here.

Several minutes later, Mick suddenly realized that the tapping had stopped. Glancing over, he grinned at the sight of the Beth, blonde head resting against the back of the couch. He carefully set his computer aside and reached over to catch hers just before it slid to the floor. Setting it on the table, he stood up and scooped her up in his arms, carefully carrying her upstairs to the newly purchased bed he'd installed a few months before. He'd finally bought it because Josef had been after him to have a bedroom for show. Yeah. That was the only reason.

Covering Beth with the fleece throw from the foot of the bed, Mick gently smoothed her hair back from her face, letting his fingers linger against her warm skin. Even in her sleep, she seemed to sense his presence and turned her face towards him, nuzzling his hand. With a smile, he tucked the blanket around her and slipped out of the room.

He stopped in the kitchen to pour himself a tall glass of A Neg and wandered back to his spot on the couch. Sitting down, he reached over and grabbed Beth's computer to shut it down. Protruding from the side of her laptop was the flash drive he recognized as the one containing her most sensitive files. He knew she had the files encrypted and noted that the encryption program was still open and running. Settling the laptop on his lap, he moved to close out of the drive when he noticed the title of one of the files.

Curious, Mick clicked on the file and waited while the drive flashed and booted up the file. His eyes widened as he read the title that appeared:

Vampires For Dummies: A Human's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Your Vampire

Mick sat stunned. Why would Beth be writing something like this? If anyone got ahold of it…but then he realized that it was only saved on the encrypted flash drive that she kept here at his place. More than a little curious, he quickly scrolled down and began to read.

If you have been handed this book, you have most likely been recently ushered into a world you believed to exist only in the imagination of fantasy writers. After all, there are no such things as vampires, right?

From one who has been in your place, my advice is this: Take a deep breath and open your mind to new possibilities. Forget the old wives tales and Hollywood movies. Most vampires live among us, standing next to us on the street, shopping in our stores, driving downthe street. The primary rule they live by is discretion. Their very survival depends on remaining undetected.And now you have been entrusted with this most ancient of secrets.

But what about my friend, you ask. He (or she) seems so…normal. So humanAnd so they are, but with a little something extra. This book will try to answer all the questions you will undoubtedly have.

As Mick continued reading, started to grin. Leave it to his Beth to find a way to find humor in any situation.

In the time I've spent immersed in the vampire community, or tribe, there are a number of things I've learned:

Vampires are not monsters. Even if they think they are.

Vampirism is the result of a virus that has no known cure. Those infected must learn to adjust to the requirements of their new life and both its restrictions and its benefits. That doesn't make them a monster anymore than someone who is bald or left-handed.

Vampires can eat garlic. If they ate. Food, that is. But they don't.

All vampires must consume about a pint of human blood each day. Very few actually hunt or harm humans to get their nourishment. Most either rely on blood banks or use the services of paid human volunteers, known as "freshies". I know from experience though, that they do appreciate a good double malt scotch.

Crucifixes are ok if you like that sort of thing. If you throw holy water on a vampire, they just get wet.

There are no religious restrictions. In fact, there are vampires at every level of organized religion. You'd be surprised…

Vampires can't fly, but they do have a wicked vertical jump.

And you thought only Superman could leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Vampires can't turn into bats.

But that would be cool, wouldn't it?

Wooden stakes don't kill vampires, they only paralyze them.

Believe me, pulling a stake out of someone's chest isn't as easy as you might think.

Sunlight is bad. Very bad.

Sunlight won't make them burst into flames, but it can make them very sick. And really, a moonlit walk on the beach is far more romantic than fighting crowds for a patch of sand on a sunny day.

Vampires make really bad liars.

Ask your vampire friend a question point blank then watch them squirm.

Vampires don't sleep in coffins. They do, however, require regular freezer time.

Which can lead to very cold feet in bed.

There are four things that make a vampire 'vamp-out': flight, fighting, feeding and fuwell, you know…).

You'll learn to recognize the warning signs. And when you see your vampire with silver eyes, whitened skin and - of course - fangs, don't panic. They're not mindless, immoral monsters. Today's vamps rarely injure humans, even those they feed from. In fact, the safest place to be may be in a vampire's presence. A mature vampire is of no danger to most people and can, in fact, be your 'guardian angel'.

Mick smiled and continued to read, chuckling at her observations, enjoying seeing his world through her eyes. He marveled at how Beth had been able to summarize the history of the vampire nation, explaining its origins, its political structure, and procedures such as turning, hunting and the relationship between sire and fledglings. She addressed vampire society including freshies, the Cleaner and included a glossary of terms, timelines, even key vampire figures in history.

But when he got to chapter six, his eyebrows hit the ceiling.

Sex and the Single Vampire

Imagine living forever. Or at least for centuries. It's time to develop your very real 'vamp appeal'. To learn ways to please lovers that even the Kama Sutra missed. And stamina- lots and lots of stamina!And while many vampires develop relationships with other vampires, some, against their better judgment, are attracted to humans.

Vampires get lonely too.

Fifty (or 500) years is a long time to deny yourself the touch of another. Eventually, just like humans, they'll seek out someone who makes their undead heart skip a beat. But they may be a little rusty when it comes to relationships. Remember, it's not nice to laugh when they try to fix you breakfast and set the kitchen on fire.

Sex between vampires and humans is unadvisable, but not impossible.

Your Significant Vamp may try to warn you against getting too deeply involved. They may even tell you that it never ends well. Thank them for their concern, be sure you have a turtleneck handy…then jump their bones. You'll be glad you did.

Vampires are used to being in total control, so sometimes they find humans…terrifying!

We're fragile, curious creatures that love and laugh, bleed and die, bear children and grow old. And we do it all without a net, without the safeguard of immortality. And sometimes that scares the crap out of them.

Perpetual coolness is the vampire's curse.

You know it's true. Vampires tend to be good looking, suave, smooth and sexy. You spend hours to look your best, and they can just roll out of the freezer and take your breath away.

When said with hand extended by a vampire to the woman he loves, "Come here" are the two sexiest words in the English language.

Just take my word for it.

Mick smiled as he read the last paragraph. He and Beth were still doing a tentative two steps forward/one step back dance around the whole subject of their relationship, but reading this made Mick think that maybe it was time to move things forward.

Over the next hour, he read the entire file, appreciating her writing ability and chuckling at her observations. He even admitted to himself that her 'manual' could be a valuable tool for vampires to give to their special humans. Mick snortedOh yeah, Josef would love that idea.

Mick was so engrossed in reading, that he almost missed Beth descending the stairs. Seeing Mick with her laptop in front of him, she cocked her head, curious at the broad smile aimed towards her. She padded over to the couch and curled up next to him, peering at the screen. Seeing what he was reading, she blushed and reached for the laptop.

"You weren't supposed to see that," Beth stammered. "No one was. I mean, it's really just for me. I'd never show it to anyone – you know that."

"I don't know," Mick said with an exaggerated sigh. "You obviously spent a lot of time on this. I mean, I'd hate for you to work on such an important article without any feedback. Like from a subject matter expert."

He cleared his throat with mock authority. "Like this section, where you describe how vamp appeal can be irresistible." He turned and captured Beth's gaze, enveloping her with waves of his own sexual attraction. "It's not always unintentional."

Beth suddenly found it hard to breath, unable to tear her eyes away from the man beside her. I wonder what the skin behind his ear tastes like. And I want to find out if he has any tattoos hidden….anywhere. With a moan, Beth rolled her head to the side, unconsciously baring her neck to the partially transformed vampire.

In seconds, the mood had changed from playful to sexually charged. Mick felt Beth's moan in parts of him he couldn't ignore and her long white neck lured him as surely as if she had her own brand of intoxicating appeal. Just one kiss…one touch…one taste….

Startled, Mick pulled back, shaken at how close he'd been to losing control. He'd been only a second from grabbing her and kissing her, caressing her…and she would have let him. He felt shame wash over him. He'd nearly done something he swore he'd never do – use his vamp appeal to seduce Beth, the one woman he'd sworn to protect from his kind.

Beth felt her heartbeat return to normal. So that's what his vamp appeal feels like! Beth smiled to herself. He'd never used it on her before and it had been irresistible in a way she'd never known existed. But at the same time, it hadn't felt as deep and true as what she felt towards Mick on a daily basis. Guess that should tell me something, shouldn't it?

Looking over at Mick, she sighed. Again with the vampire angst! Squaring her shoulders, she crossed the space between them and grabbed his arm, spinning him around to face her.

"Stop it, Mick," she barked. "Stop with the self-blame and the 'I'm-a-monster' crap."

Mick looked at her blankly. "Do you realize what I almost did to you? It would have been the equivalent of date-rape. The power a vampire has over its victims is as powerful as a narcotic. A combination of drug and hypnosis."

Beth narrowed her eyes. "So you've done this to me before?"

"No!" yelped Mick in surprise. "Never!"

"What about when I kissed you that night in the parking lot at Buzzwire?"

Mick shook his head emphatically. "No, I've never used it on you."

"Or what about that morning on your balcony after I found out you'd saved me all those years ago?"

Mick looked at her aghast. "No, Beth, never!"

Beth crossed her arms and smiled smugly. "So all those times I've kissed you, all the times I've been attracted to you, my falling in love with you. None of those were because you 'vamped' me?"

Mick stared at her, speechless. "…my falling in love with you…"

"You're….but you were…I never tried to…," Mick stammered. He clamped his mouth shut and took a deep cleansing breath, finally understanding the message Beth was sending. You've been waiting for her to be ready. Don't blow it now.

Beth watched Mick realize what she had said then watched as a lightness spread across his face. She knew she'd been giving him mixed signals since even before Josh's death. Just when Mick had seemed ready to finally move forward in New York, she'd scurried home to Josh. Then after Josh was killed, she'd alternately lashed out at Mick then turned to him for comfort. No wonder the poor man was confused. But now she was sure of what she wanted. Who she wanted.

Mick stepped into her personal space and gently grasped her arms. "You're sure?"

"Yeah," Beth smiled, moving into his embrace. "I'm very sure." She looked up at him. "Are you?"

"Oh, yeah," Mick grinned. Slowly, he leaned down and met her upturned lips in a sweet taste of heaven. He groaned as he felt her respond and lean into him, her hands grasping his shirt, asking for more.

Finally needing to take a breath, Beth broke their kiss and smiled at Mick. "So…are you willing to act as my editor on my project?"

"I might be persuaded," murmured Mick as he nuzzled her ear. "I think we should start with verifying your facts in Chapter Six."

Beth laughed and snuggled into his arms. "Sounds like a good place to start. Now I heard a couple of Josef's freshies talking about vamp stamina…"

Mick threw his head back and laughed as he scooped Beth up in his arms and headed for the stairs. "Are you planning on taking notes?" At Beth's giggle, he squeezed her in his arms. "Well, I've got several more points to clarify for you…"

The End