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01 August 2012 @ 10:02 pm
No Simple Highway  
Title: No Simple Highway

Pairing: Josef/Mick

Rating: Low Level NC17

Warnings: Trigger warning for mention of self harm related thoughts.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognisable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Summary: When Beth leaves him for not being Vampire enough, Mick turns to Josef, looking for a place to disappear. Instead he finds something he wasn't expecting. 



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Delta Airlines Flight 198 hit the runway with a jolt, before taxiing to a stop just outside departures. Mick looked out the plane’s window; rain had dampened the tarmac, the lights of Los Angeles airport cast blurry reflections in the small puddles of water. He waited for the rest of the passengers to disembark, trying to ignore the blood rushing in their veins as they filed pass him. He needed to feed. First things first, Josef would be waiting for him outside. Unconsciously Mick smoothed the wrinkles in his shirt, and combed his fingers through his hair, before picking up eight years’ worth of his life from the luggage carousel, and heading for the door marked ‘exit'.

“Travelling light I see,” Josef remarked as he cast a curious eye over the five suitcases that stood next to Mick, each one bulging at the seams. “What did you do, just upend each drawer?”

“It’s good to see you too, Josef,” Mick replied with a backhanded smile as he began loading the cases into the trunk of the car.

Two hours later they were headed along the I-5, en route somewhere between Cottonwood and Lakehead. His window wound down, Mick took the last few drags of a cigarette, and watched the passing landscape with only minor interest.

There is a road, no simple highway.

Something had brought him back here. He closed his eyes for a moment, and rested his forehead against the heel of his hand.

Between the dawn and the dark of night.

“Everything okay?” Josef asked with quiet concern.

“Yeah,” Mick nodded, lost in thoughts of winding trails, and uncertain pathways. “Beth left me,” he revealed then, drawing another cigarette from a crumpled pack in his jacket pocket.

“So I take it this isn’t holiday time then,” Josef tried to keep his tone light, making conversation in passing as he followed Mick’s directions, and steered the car towards the turn off marked Oberlin road.

“No. I’ll be…” Mick hesitated; he didn’t know what he was going to be doing, not yet. The cigarette dangled from his hand unlit. “There’s a motel about 5 miles up ahead.”

They’d driven to the middle of nowhere. Josef wondered why this stretch of road in particular. He pulled into the motel’s driveway, a dirt road leading up to a cinder block building, and then switched off the car’s engine. The paint had long since peeled from the motel’s roof and awnings, the surrounding area devoid of greenery, apart from the weeds that occasionally poked through the hard packed earth. Josef couldn’t quite place it, somehow it seemed familiar.

“I take it they don’t have room service,” Josef commented drolly as he climbed out of the car.

“Place is more or less abandoned, but there’s a working ice machine,” Mick busied himself unpacking as he pointed out the motel’s amenities. “The fridge is stocked with blood as well.”

Josef arched an eyebrow. “This place is vamp friendly?”

“Yeah, it is. Rooms here are pretty much the same; take your pick.” Mick gestured towards his suitcases, “give me a hand with those as well, I’ll go rustle us up some nourishment.”

“What did your last slave die of,” Josef tongue in cheeked, as he collected Mick’s luggage. Room 209 seemed as good as any, considering it was directly in front of him.

Mick returned with several bags of blood. “Sorry they only had AB negative,” he said apologetically as they both settled in on the room’s small double bed.

“Beggars can’t be choosers,” Josef shrugged and accepted the bag from Mick’s hand. “So what is this place, someone just randomly decided to build a vamp friendly motel in the middle of nowhere?”

Mick furrowed his brow and shot Josef a sideways look. “You don’t remember? Back in 71, we hid out here for a few days, there was an incident with a freshie.”

Josef looked around the room, noting the décor, or lack thereof. What remained of the curtains was a garish pattern of purple circles, two tattered vinyl chairs stood in the corner of the room, mismatched colours of green and red, the carpet was a psychedelic mix of oranges and brown.

He thought he understood now, this was a place you came when you wanted to disappear.

“Ah yes, I remember,” Josef grinned, remembering the moral superiority he’d gained over Mick that night. “You’d been a vampire for more than a decade, and you still hadn’t learnt not to play with your food. We had most of Tupman out to lynch us, because you decided to get jiggy with the Sherriff’s daughter.”

“It wasn’t all bad,” Mick scoffed a little defensive then, before raising a nostalgic smile. “Remember that trip we took to Las Vegas, just you, me, and freshies…”

“As far as the eye could see,” Josef gestured expansively. “We didn’t leave our hotel room for a month at least.”

“Those were good times,” Mick moved down the bed a fraction, curled up with his head in Josef’s lap, seeking comfort. “Do you think it will ever be that way again?”

Josef brushed Mick’s hair with his fingers. “You want to know if you’ll ever get over Beth, is that it?”

Mick reached for another bag of blood, and sucked hungrily at its contents. He didn’t want to talk about Beth, not yet; it was all too raw still. “I’m tired,” Mick said then, as he stretched out on the bed, and rested his head on a pillow.

Sensing Mick needed the company, Josef settled in alongside. One arm draped one arm over Mick’s shoulder, he listened to the sound of Mick’s breathing as it slowed, and then finally stopped all together. Moments later, in the quiet of the room, Josef too gradually slipped into the deathlike sleep of the undead. Several hours would past, before he awoke to the acrid smell of cigarette ash and embers.

“Do you think you might’ve opened a window at least, I’m gonna smell like a walking ashtray,” Josef mumbled with groggy discontent. Still rising through layers of sleep, he propped himself up on one elbow, and shook his head as he waited for his vision to come into focus.

Mick sat on the edge of the bed, sleeves rolled up, the glowing hot tip of his smoke pointed dangerously close to the skin of his forearm. He wondered what would happen if he were to make contact, just for a second, could he pull away in time, or would the scorching heat burn a neat little hole through flesh and bone. Maybe his entire arm would go up in an instantaneous blaze of fiery immolation, turn to dust before his very eyes. Would he eventually grow a new one? Was it even possible for a Vampire to replace a lost limb like that? He bought the tip of the cigarette even closer.

“Don’t be a bloody idiot,” fully awake now, Josef snatched the cigarette from Mick’s hand, and took a quick drag, before grinding it into the floor.

“You don’t smoke,” Mick muttered in a monotone voice.

“Neither do you, except when you’re trying to be all hey look at me; I’m stuck in a bad teenage angst movie.”

“You wouldn’t understand,” Mick made a dismissive sound in the back of his throat, before raising his voice. “I gave everything I had to her, everything I thought she wanted me to be, the humanity…”

“Everything but the Vampire.”

“Yeah,” Mick’s shoulders sagged with defeat. “Deep down I really thought she would have wanted the man who saved her, her Guardian Angel, not that other thing.”

Josef sat alongside Mick then, one hand rested lightly on Mick’s thigh, “Mick, that other thing was her Guardian Angel. You know you’ve spent so long convincing yourself that the Vampire part of you is a monster, you seem to forget it’s the Vampire that does the most good. Of course that makes you a complete anomaly among your entire race, and not exactly high on the list of party invites.”

Almost in spite of himself Mick laughed. Subconsciously he placed his hand on top of Josef’s, entwined his fingers with Josef’s own.

“Thanks.”

“You know it’s not like you get handed a guidebook when you’re turned, Mick. You’ve done the best you can; I’m just saying maybe it’s time to try a different approach.”

Josef always made everything sound so easy –- just change, let go, you’ve only got eternity.

“Yeah, like you did so well changing your approach with Sarah,” Mick regretted his words as soon as they were spoken.

Josef didn’t seem to respond at first, Mick wondered if he were going to let the faux pas slide, considering the circumstances. Maybe Josef would pretend not to have heard Mick’s words. Mick watched as Josef stood up then, and walked across to the window, preparing to speak. Maybe he wasn’t going to have that much luck.

“I never told you why I kept Sarah alive, did I?” Josef traced a finger along the muddied pane, wiping away a years’ worth of built up dust & grime. “And behold, the truth shall be revealed,” he muttered under his breath, low enough that not even Mick could hear.

“Because she was the love of your life, and you thought medical science might find a cure for her one day?” Mick tilted his head, his brow furrowed in questioning, “I mean that’s what I remember you telling me, am I missing something here?”

Josef turned, hands in pockets as he leant against the window sill. “Yes, well, there was that too.”

“I don’t…”

“You’re not the only one who’s ever been in love, and not had the feeling returned, Mick,” Josef interjected. “Maybe it was just easier for me to pretend I could get Sarah back someday.”

“Easier than what?” Mick side eyed Josef, wondering where their conversation was headed.

“Waiting for you to get over yourself.”

It took Mick a few moments for those words to register. He stared at Josef; slack jawed and incredulous as he stumbled over his words. “You were…? I mean I know we used to, but that was…I mean it wasn’t just us,” Mick hesitated; he couldn’t quite bring himself to use the word ‘love’. “All that time, you had feelings for me and you never said anything?”

“Not had, Mick,” Josef replied quietly. “Like I could have said anything anyway,” moving back towards the bed, Josef was gesturing emphatically then, “you had Coraline, and then Beth and I had freshies, and memories.”

“I never knew,” Mick shook his head, still coming to terms with Josef’s revelation; slowly he was beginning to see why he had come back, why this place in particular. “You should have given me a chance.”

“Maybe,” Josef shrugged with a nostalgic smile set in place. “Maybe I didn’t think I could. The only time you seemed to show any interest was when we were sharing freshies, you know, before you had your little epiphany, and got all self-righteous about drinking straight from the tap.”

Mick was beginning to understand why he’d come back here, why this place in particular. “Do you remember the last time we were here, that song they kept playing on the radio?” He asked as Josef re-joined him on the bed.

“The one you kept trying to learn on that beat up old guitar you used to carry around with you? Sure.” Another shrug and Josef lay back, one arm tucked behind his head.

“I was thinking of that song as we were driving up here, there’s a line in it that starts, ‘there is a road, no simple highway. Maybe you saying something wouldn’t have made things any simpler, maybe it wasn’t a road we were meant to travel, but you still should have given me a chance. I would have like to have known, Josef,” Mick stood up then, kicking off his socks and shoes as he began to unbutton his shirt. “I’m going to take a shower.”

Stripping down to his underwear, Mick headed for the tiny bathroom. The pipes banged and spluttered as he turned both shower taps on, and waited for the flow of water. Soap, he needed soap. Mick turned to find Josef standing in the doorway.

“So just to make things clear, that was an invitation back there, wasn’t it?” Josef waved the bar of soap in his hand, “Thought you might be needing this as well.”

“Thanks,” Mick smiled, a little sheepishly, as he took the soap from Josef’s hand. “And yeah, that was an invitation,” gesturing towards the shower, Mick spoke two words then. “Join me?”

Josef shifted into Mick’s space, half expecting him to back away as he drew his arms around Mick’s neck. “You sure about this?”

“I’m sure,” Mick’s hands shook a little as his fingers went to the front of Josef’s shirt. “We should have done this a long time ago.”

“Sans freshies you mean?” Josef raised one eyebrow and grinned as he took a step back, and finished the job of undressing himself.

“Just the two of us,” Mick felt Josef’s body next to his own as he bent down to adjust the shower’s temperature. And then they were both stepping under the spray, their lips pressed together as they tangled themselves up in an immediate embrace.

“Turn around,” Josef instructed when the pace slowed a little.

Mick did as he was told. He felt Josef’s arms draped around his shoulders then; Josef had taken the soap and was using it to lather circles across his chest.

“The whole way here all I could think about was seeing you again, you kept me going without even realising it,” Mick leant back, one arm snaked behind Josef’s head as he guided Josef’s mouth back towards his own.

Josef bypassed the kiss for a moment, his lips and tongue lingering along the line of Mick’s throat instead. “So this is thank you then?”

Mick let out a hiss of pleasure as he felt Josef’s fangs nipping at the sensitive skin. He shook his head, “No, not just thank you; there’s more to it than that…”

And if you go, no one may follow.

It was then Mick knew for sure just how sick of the loneliness he really was. In a world full of people he’d made the choice to become disconnected, chasing false hopes, and dreams of a humanity he’d long since left behind.

“…I don’t want to be alone anymore.”

“You were never alone, Mick,” Josef replied simply.

“Figure of speech, you know what I mean.”

“I know what you mean, but do you know what you’re asking for?” Josef felt Mick’s breathing hitch as he lathered the soap over Mick’s hips, his hand questing lower then. For a moment he concentrated on Mick’s inner thighs, letting his fingers brush against Mick’s balls. And then he was spinning Mick around, and pushing him against the cracked tile wall of the shower. “It’s taken me more than four centuries, and losing Sarah to realise that when a good thing comes your way you’d better grab hold of it and don’t let go. I’m not looking for casual, Mick, not with you.”

Before Mick could respond Josef was kissing him hard enough to stop the flow of oxygen – if either of them had needed to breathe. One hand placed beneath Mick’s buttocks, Josef urged Mick to draw one leg up, supporting its weight wrapped around his waist. The other hand he slipped between them, encircling both their lengths, his shaft pressed against Mick’s own as he began to ride up against him.

“Oh, fuck,” Mick groaned and held tight around Josef’s neck, his fingers digging into the muscles of Josef’s shoulder. Above them the water from the shower beat a steady rhythm over their skin.

"Tell me you love me.” For a moment Josef was tempted to say those words, he could almost hear Mick’s taciturn response. “Well I’m not ‘not’ in love with you.”

Words would have to wait; right now it was actions that were speaking louder. Josef guided Mick’s free hand onto his erection as the pace grew more frenetic. “That’s it,” he pressed his lips against Mick’s ear, whispering heated words of encouragement as they thrust into each other’s open fists. “That’s it, lover.”

They were in a race to the finish line, Josef made a mental note to draw things out more next time. He circled his thumb over the head of Mick’s cock – once, twice – and then he was taking Mick’s full weight, trying to hold him up as Mick came hard enough to lose his balance. Josef gave up when his own orgasm hit, letting Mick slide down the tiles, and onto the shower floor with him in tow.

“Jesus, I wasn’t expecting that,” Mick looked a little embarrassed as he extricated his fangs from Josef’s shoulder. “So I guess this is the part where I say ‘thank you’?”

“Considering you’ve just blown your load all over my hand, Mick, I think we can dispense with the etiquette lesson for now,” Josef parried, tongue firmly planted in cheek.

They each showered, and cleaned up then; taking turns under the water, before sharing the one towel the room had been provided with. Dried off they lay on the bed together, close, but not quite touching.

“So what happens now?” Mick asked. “With us, I mean.”

“Well I was kind of hoping we’d have more sex,” Josef grinned as he propped himself up on one shoulder, “different positions, you climaxing loud enough to wake the dead.”

“No,” Mick shook his head, before realising that might not have been the best lead in to an answer. “I mean yeah, sure, to all of the above, that isn’t what I meant though. What happens with us?”

“I thought I already told you my position on that subject,” Josef attempt at a casual shrug was belied by the pissed off tone that had crept into his voice. He'd wondered how long it would take Mick to do an about face on his whole 'of course I'm sure, I don't want to be alone' spiel. 

“You didn’t exactly give me a chance to respond, Josef,” Mick was verging on incredulous. “Less than three days ago, the woman I thought was the love of my life up and leaves me, because I’m too human for her, now I’m having sex with my best friend, who I find out has been in love with me for god knows how long, so excuse me if I’m a little uncertain about how things are supposed to proceed from here. I’ve never started a relationship with another man.”

“Hey, I’m sorry,” suitably chastised, Josef managed to stop Mick from throwing down the gauntlet, and storming off all together. “Look, it’s cool if this is just a rebound thing, we can just have fun for a while, or, you know, however long it lasts. No pressure,” Josef held up three fingers in a mock salute then. “Scout’s honor.”

Mick snorted a laugh, “Yeah, like you were ever a boy scout.”

“I could dress up as one, if you wanted me to,” Josef replied with far too much enthusiasm.

Mick found himself trying to picture Josef in a boy scout’s uniform; he pursed his lips at the image, “Very funny.”

“Or, you know, we could just take our time, and see what happens,” Josef lay back, a little surprised when Mick shifted into his arms. “Not like either one of us is going anywhere in a hurry, not for an eternity at least.”

There is a road, no simple highway.

“Yeah,” Mick nodded his agreement, and then settled in alongside, his head rested against Josef’s shoulder, one arm draped across Josef’s chest.

He was beginning to like the road they were on.