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21 March 2011 @ 11:07 pm
Hell is Around the Corner Where I Shelter  
Hell is Around the Corner Where I Shelter: A Being Human Fan-Fic; Part 1/3
By: Megan
Synopsis: After begging for his own demise at the hands of his best friend, George, Mitchell finds himself in a unique afterlife where a series of trials are placed before him by an assigned guide - to see how his life would have transpired if he had not died and his life if Herrick had never turned him into a vampire... and how Annie particularly factors into each. But do those on the other side have more sinister intentions, even if they remain unseen? 






In all honesty, Mitchell did not know what to think when the end finally came. Herrick never gave him the answer to his reincarnation after his death at the hands of George, or if there had been an afterlife in-between. Now, after everything, he was actually glad that he never discovered the how or the why of it all. Maybe in all actuality the afterlife was different for each and every vampire. Maybe some were granted one and some were not; maybe for some it would just be the great big “end”. Perhaps that was a mercy – considering the crimes committed by all of his species – whether they were done out of compulsion or desire, whether the murderer was remorseful or malicious. All he remembered now was the last breath of hers on his lips, the sting of the point of the stake as it ripped into his chest, and the look on his best friend’s face – a hint of a smile, perhaps hoping as Mitchell did, that he would finally be at peace.

It wasn’t the end.

He found himself in the lobby of a hotel. Vast and elaborate; completely empty and devoid of any noise. The drop of a pin would have been welcome at that point. The silence was all too uneasy. The man that appeared before him on the stairwell was old and, despite his foreboding appearance, seemed quite warm in his worn clothes – a top hat and an odd-looking forest green trench coat. Mitchell asked him for answers, and unlike in the movies, he wasn’t given the trademark it is not time for that yet or you do not get to ask questions. What followed was a simple tilt of the old man’s head as he said “Why, of course.”

He explained the use of trials – there wasn’t any visiting of the rooms again. “You will see how your life would have carried on if you had not died and your life if you had never been requited as a vampire. This is a requirement.”

Mitchell was taken aback. “What the hell does this have to do with anything? Repentance, punishment, guilt? This doesn’t serve a purpose.” As confused as he was he was equally frightened with what he would see – tearing a school yard apart as he had theorized in his final conversation with George? And what would have become of a simple human life besides – one devoid of his best friend and the love of his life?

The old man smiled. “I don’t make the rules.” Mitchell asked if this was required of other vampires as well, the answer was that he had no right to know. Alright then, he thought. Some clichés do still stand.

Despite the promise that visiting the rooms would not occur, Mitchell could not help but feel a bit of dejavu when he was led up the stairwell and following the old man’s lead and turning to his right, found himself in a long hallway with a series of doors. Only now he was… alone. Suppose this is how it goes…. Mitchell opened up the first door he came to.

He was standing in the attic of their house in Barry. Looking at himself through a transparent mirror, the other Mitchell standing by the window, looking outside. And by the door was… Annie. He could tell by the way he was dressed and her demeanor that it was not the same night when he had come back to the house. Actually… Mitchell didn’t know what time it was exactly. It felt like watching a scene in a movie completely out of context. Only it was him instead of some grotesquely paid leading man and a very drained and very pissed off looking Annie.

“I’m at the end of the line with you.” She was standing with her body leaning against the door of the attic, as if her tiny frame could prevent him from escaping. Mitchell looked over at the other version of himself, which turned from the window to land his gaze on Annie. “This isn’t your choice to make.”

“Like hell.”

“How long do you think you can keep me locked up in here?”

“I don’t know… until we think of something else…”

Annie was walking over to him now. She was trying to reason with him, and he wouldn’t have it.

“It isn’t a consideration. It’s about time one of us went down to the kitchen took one of the legs from the chairs and sharpened it and had George come back up here and finish the job. And all of you have more important things to think about right now. Like Wyndham and the other vampires…”

“Which is another legitimate reason why we need you around. Why do you think I stopped him from taking you? I didn’t even know I possessed the power to stop that man from walking out the door with you. But I did. And you know them Mitchell. You know how they work, how they organize these things…”

“You know I couldn’t fight them if I tried! If anything I would just end up becoming a useful weapon! Just give me a pint of fresh blood and I’m of the hook!” His voice had risen at least several octaves. Mitchell knew what the other version of himself was doing. All of this desperation was going to lead to some grandiose performance to hurt her enough to get her to leave him – or at least go down those stairs and do as he requested by asking George to finish of the job. Whether it was out of anger or not Mitchell knew he wouldn’t care – it’s not like in this alternate universe he knew there would be an afterlife in the first place he thought ruefully. No time for guilt then.

Annie snapped at that, wringing her hands. “Do you really expect me to believe that? I’m sick about hearing about how you are some demented animal when it’s just what the blood makes you. Yes, I want justice. I’m mad as hell at you but I can’t hate you… it’s exhausting. Especially when I know it’s not you who does those things…”

“Oh it’s most definitely me. A predator. That is what I am Annie.” There it was - the trademark “I’m A Monster” speech.

“No matter how many times you tell yourself that I don’t even think you can believe it for long. That’s a part of you – it’s not all of you. Sometimes the darkness in you is going to win out – but I’m never going to believe for even a second that it is going to swallow you whole. You want peace? You want death? You told George giving that to you was brave? I know now it’s not. Brave is fighting. Fighting that urge and it’s hard and it’s painful, and it’s everyday. And we can do it together…” Mitchell saw her walking closer to the other version of himself now, until she was only several away from him.

“You said to me that night we could never go back to the way we were…” His morale was weakening, Mitchell could tell. Now he was resorting to excuses - trying to use her own words against her. When did she become capable of making him so weak at times like this?

“And we can’t! Of course we cant! But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be here. Mitchell – I’m beyond tired. And I’m beyond scared. Right now I feel like I’m standing on the top of those stairs again and sooner or later I’m going to fall down and there is not going to be any coming back. You think that this is simple? You think that there’s an easy answer? You have no idea… I asked you in that cell if you knew who you were in love with. And right now I really don’t think you do. I still love you so much and I know what you’ve done because I saw it with my own eyes in that police station. The newspaper clippings and the photographs and the letters from the families. God, I wish I wished you dead. I really do. But I don’t. I can’t. I don’t know what’s coming next. All I know is that even though it is always going to be hard, and it’s always going to be painful… in the end it’s going to be us. We’re going to be left standing.”

Mitchell stood there, looking at her, looking at them seemingly on the road to something better… or just damned worse. Despite the well of emotion rising up inside him at hearing Annie speak those words of encouragement and the pride Mitchell took in her relentlessness – she was still the woman he loved, and those qualities being one of the many reasons why he loved her. It was perhaps a small mercy that he allowed George to end it when he did. He refused to convince himself otherwise.

“Passionate isn’t it,” Mitchell turned to find the old man standing behind him, “Her plea to convince you not to commit suicide to the detriment of your poor friend George’s psyche?” Taking his eyes of the man and once again turning back towards the mirror, Mitchell discovered it was gone. Vanished.

“Where did the room go?”

The older man shrugged. “That window of time has closed.”

“How much more of this do I have to see?”

“I suppose however much they want you to see.”

“They?”

“My bosses. I told you, I don’t make the rules. Now, shall we?”

The wall where the mirror had stood before had morphed into another endless corridor with doors on either side. Motioning for Mitchell to follow him, the man took the lead guiding the vampire where to follow. After what seemed ages, both finally came to a halt at a door on the left side of the hallway.

“After you.”

Mitchell went through the door, finding himself behind an identical mirror once again, looking into a foreign interior. The room resembled something out of the Better Homes and Gardens magazines when advertising the picturesque Bed and Breakfast. He saw Annie at a little dresser, putting on earrings, fixing her hair.

“Morning,” Mitchell saw himself entering the room looking more put-together than he had in the past year. But who knew what time he was seeing now?

“What are you doing?”

Annie looked up at him, and rolled her eyes. “Trying to look at least a bit presentable, Mitchell. I’m solid enough for humans to see me again for who knows how long, and I’m going to do the best I can at holding down a normal job.”

“Hey, I’m not complaining as long as it makes you happy.” Mitchell walked over to the dresser, trying to put his arms around Annie’s shoulders but she ducked and escaped his grasp trying to make a run for the door.

“And you have to be to work yourself in about…” Annie turned around to check the clock, “… I don’t know, ten minutes?”

“Trust me, they don’t even know I even exist.” Mitchell managed to meander around the room fast enough to stop Annie from getting through the door, blocking it with a large smirk plastered across his face. She sighed, trying to stifle a laugh.

“They will when they check and see your time slot is empty when you were supposed to clock in.” Annie declared obstinately.

“Well, lets just make it later.” Annie tried to get a hand on the doorknob, but Mitchell had already snaked an arm around her waist and held her pressed against him in an unbreakable embrace.

“No Mitchell! You’ve got work!” Annie’s morale was weakening, and she was getting extremely frustrated at how much he had just changed her mind with Mitchell taking her by the waist and lifted her up. Her thighs spread on instinct, legs locked around his hips and her arms around his neck.

“Work? Doesn’t ring a bell.” Mitchell rumbled with a merging smile, brushing Annie’s curl’s behind her ear as he leaned his head upward in a gentle press of their mouths. One arm locked around her backside kept her up against him as he turned on his heel heading to the bed.

“Two minutes! Only two minutes!” Both of them fell on the bed now. And the whole picture of happiness had faded to black as the mirror dissolved into nothingness.

Mitchell stood still with his back to the man, staring into the mirror that was no longer there. A cold misery had immersed him while, unexpectedly, a sense of breathtaking anger swept over him, eating away with an unfamiliar suddenness. Perhaps because he had known deep down that all that was shown to him was too good to be true and he had known something more had to be going on, something that would make his new sense of happiness with Annie in these visions understandable. And now it all made sense. They were playing him. They had to be. They were just manipulating him, and why the fuck hadn't he figured that out? He'd known.

“I see what this is now. I understand. These trials, they’re just variations of torture. Showing me these visions that don’t contain an ounce of truth. Well, you failed. This is ridiculous.”

“The two of you together have exactly forty-three years, two days, ten hours, and eleven minutes from that moment.” The old man stated.

“What?” Turning to the man, confusion lined Mitchell’s face.

“Until it happens.” The man said matter of factly.

“What happens?” Mitchell’s voice was thin and sharp.

“You’re assassinated by Herrick’s henchmen. I don’t quite understand the details; it’s all very vague. You see, vampire politics have never quite interested me. You two are coming out of the café and they just clobber you to the ground like that. Annie, of course, is inconsolable. But the both of you have a good run of it in that universe. More time than most couples ever dare to hope for. Thing is, the only reason that you think these visions we allow you to see are simply fabrications – it’s just to protect yourself.”

“And what would I want to protect myself from?” Mitchell exhaled, trying to expel the rigidity that had been gripping at him. With a clenched jaw and carefully controlled ease, he turned away from the man, pointedly dismissive as he headed out the door of the room, finding himself in another hallway again. However, he could not shake the old man, who followed him.

“Well, for one the idea of the potential happiness that could have been had for the both of you – but the reason that sticks out like a sore thumb is that I believe you can’t even wrap your head around the simple conception of the idea that you would receive Annie’s forgiveness, because you don’t believe you would have earned it. How am I doing?” The guide was now getting a bit too glib, and it was rubbing off on Mitchell’s patience. If he weren’t so pre-occupied with the supposed information the old man was spewing at him, he would probably have taken him by the neck long ago.

“It was not her forgiveness to give.” Mitchell said mournfully. He still remembered that night when Annie kissed him. Do you forgive me? He had been foolish enough then to think that her blind faith could save him.

“Well, the two of us know that is not entirely true, is it?” Dammit. Couldn’t he just shut the fuck up?

“I thought you were only here to lead me to where I needed to go.” Mitchell whirled back to look at his guide, insisting in a stressed voice, which was impassioned for the first time since he had found himself in the lobby at the beginning of this journey.

“Right you are. Speaking of which…” Another door had appeared. The old man gestured for Mitchell to enter.

Keep in mind none of this will be real. Whatever they say. Mitchell just couldn't make himself believe any of it . . . until now, anyway.

To be continued...
 
 
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hologram.: pic#104426889havens on March 22nd, 2011 04:46 am (UTC)
MEGAN. MEGAN.

This is so fantastic! I love the idea of Mitchell having to see multiple potential lives he could have had. I love that it's torturing him. I love the boy, but he needs some of that. I love that Annie is in most of these visions. I really, really love this. It's so good!

No really, I mean it. Oh curly-haired otp, the angst you birth is so addicting.
wtfsignmeup2wtfsignmeup2 on March 22nd, 2011 09:39 am (UTC)
I really loved this, can't wait to read the next chapter!
izbetterthanuizbetterthanu on March 22nd, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
oh my so many feelings. i'm a bit overwhelmed, not gonna lie. i've even put happy music on to prevent the depression but fail. can you maybe blackmail your way in the writing room for S4? Toby must have some skeletons in his closet. if we could obtain them... XD

this was 100% in character. so much so that i kind of gave me a visual of Aidan doing his lines haha. i mean some parts are accurate like whoa:

His morale was weakening, Mitchell could tell. Now he was resorting to excuses - trying to use her own words against her. When did she become capable of making him so weak at times like this?

“Work? Doesn’t ring a bell.” Mitchell rumbled with a merging smile

I believe you can’t even wrap your head around the simple conception of the idea that you would receive Annie’s forgiveness, because you don’t believe you would have earned it

If he weren’t so pre-occupied with the supposed information the old man was spewing at him, he would probably have taken him by the neck long ago.

these parts hit me the hardest because i could just see Mitchell's train of thought so vividly and because the slightest hint of happy Mitchell gives me nostalgia. and you just know that's how he really is :(

i loved both the angst and the fluff. my heart! please to be keeping me posted. this is so good <333
mylittlestorys: Annie/Mitchellmylittlestorys on March 22nd, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
Wow, I am absolutely loving this! This is so in tune with Mitchell and Annie. And I could totally visualise this as an episode. Seriously looking forward to reading more!
Lisaliwa14 on March 22nd, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
This is amazing.
showmeitsrealshowmeitsreal on March 22nd, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
djfakdjf OH MY GOODNESS TO BE CONTINUED WHAT IS THIS, I NEED MORE NOW!!

You have just captured the characters SO well and this is such an interesting story idea, ughh please write more soon!

brb, crying over my favey otp some more now... <3
Obsessive Writerladymond on March 27th, 2011 08:52 am (UTC)
Desperately waiting for the next chapter
I hope you know I've been checking your tumblr every day since you announced you were working on this fic. And now that I've read this a couple of times I can't wait for the next part.