Pairing: Josef Kostan/Mick St John
Word Count: 2,600 (approx)
Spoilers: Season 1 in its entirety
Notes: Includes the liberal use of videos and graphics. All graphics and videos are mine, unless otherwise stated.
From the time of Polidori, and his thinly disguised tale of a relationship with Lord Byron - written under the guise of a 'Vampire' story - Vampires have held a distinctly ambiguous, and homoerotic tone.
Moonlight continues this tradition with (paraphrased quote from a fellow Moonlight Fan) "Two of the slashiest TV characters I've seen in decades".
Meet Josef Kostan and Mick St John (affectionately known as 'the boys')
(Seriously, they so need to be holding hands in this picture.)
Josef and Mick are Vampires. In Canon, Mick's 'one true love' is either Coraline Duvall, or Beth Turner – depending on which side of the dockyard you ship. Josef has his own female interest with Sarah, his doomed girlfriend whom he accidentally put into a coma when he tried to turn her into a Vampire, or Simone, a 'willing freshie' (Vampire talk for humans who willingly donate sustenance to a hungry Vamp) he may have developed feelings for. Take your pick.
There's one relationship though, that stands out above all the rest. One that perhaps isn't so obvious at first glance, but which makes more sense than all other relationships put together. I'm talking about the immortal, and eternal love of Josef Kostan and Mick St John.
"My Best Friend, Josef"
Josef is Mick's BFF. He’s also somewhat of a ‘mentor’ figure to Mick. At 400 years old, give or take a few years according to a phenomenon that has come to be known as 'Moonlight Math', Josef is roughly 310 years older than Mick - placing Mick's age at 90, or thereabouts.
Like all good ‘buddy’ stories, they seem to spend an inordinate amount of time affectionately sniping at, and bantering with one another - all the while grudgingly admitting their mutual respect.
Josef & Mick Dialogue in Episode 1 – No Such Thing as Vampires:
(Inside Mick's loft, Josef is on the armchair, feet on the coffee table and glass of blood in his hand)
Josef: It's about time you got back.
Mick: Make yourself at home.
Josef: I did, and poured myself a drink (Josef raises the glass of blood in his hand). You seriously drink this stuff? What is it? Like not-fat, soy, vegan blood?
Mick: If you don’t like it… (goes to take the drink off Josef)
Josef: (indignant) I didn’t say that.
Mick: Are you sure?
Josef: Get out of here. (Josef lies back in the chair, as Mick walks past) Ah, I assume you don’t have any freshies around? (muttering to himself) Yeah, of course not.
Mick: Am I supposed to know why you’re here, Josef?
Josef: Hey, Look. I know you have morals and scruples and that's fine - sort of. But you are not the man I on occasion pretend to respect if you don't get this under control. I hear you have a soft spot for the mortal ones, a fascination with all the charming things they do while listening to the tick tick tick of their own looming demise. That's fine. That's good. Everyone needs a hobby…
Mick: I said, I’m on it.
Josef: Good. Because if that reporter actually finds out who we are, she gets a Pulitzer prize, and we join the list of extinct species.
Mick: (furrowing his brow) We’re on the same side.
Josef: Sorry, not questioning your loyalties.
Mick: Yeah, good…
Josef: …Yeah, Vampire Solidarity, rah rah rah and all that.
Mick: Hey, and don’t forget – I’m your only friend who doesn’t like you just for your money.
Josef: (as he’s walking out the door) That’s true, sad, but true.
Watch the entire scene here
They also spend an inordinate amount of time standing around, and making eyes at one another.
...if you don't want people to mistake you for a couple.
You should probably try to refrain from looking at one another...
Or even, this...
Two more for good measure...
Here, hold my hand...
Trust me, there's plenty more where those came from. When they're not glancing lovingly at one another, Josef is doing his level best to look anywhere but directly at Mick's face.
All jokes aside, let's look at why this pairing works.
"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same"
Josef is a 400 year (or thereabouts) old Vampire. It is conceivable that he has had both male and female lovers in his (many) lifetimes. When it comes to Mick St John, a lot of people seem to have trouble with the idea of Mick being same sex attracted due to his upbringing as an American male during the 1920's and 30's. I don't necessarily believe Mick is as much of a stranger to the concept of Male/Male relationships as what might otherwise be thought. Before he rescued Beth (in Canon), and became the "Vamp in shining armour", by Mick's own admission he had a 'dark' side, perhaps even a side that leant itself to a certain amount of sexual experimentation. As a human he also served in the army on active duty, seeing combat in World War Two - where situational homosexuality was known to occur. Later, Mick also worked as a musician. It's conceivable then as well, that this may also have exposed him to certain ideas, if not experiences.
Josef and Mick are both Vampires and I personally consider Vampires to be "outside the realms of human constructed notions of sexuality." Although they move within the mortal world, by their very nature they are also removed and separated from it, therefore I don't see them necessarily applying socially constructed mortal ideas to themselves. You only have to read the works of people like John Polidori, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, and Bram Stoker to see the same principals at work.
For all its perks, Immortality has to be a lonely existence. Mick's love in Canon, Beth, is human; she will die one day - I can't see Mick ever turning her. Mick struggles with his Vampire nature; even if he did get over his whole "Vampire angst" spiel, I think part of what he Mick loves in Beth is her humanity. I find it hard to believe he would ever want to lose that, especially not by his own hand. Josef and Mick already have a close bond of friendship. Over time (perhaps decades, perhaps centuries) I can see Mick and Josef being drawn to one another more, and more. Until by design or default, they end up together. I see Mick's relationship with Beth as a candle that burns brightly for a few moments in time and then is extinguished, Mick's relationship with Coraline (his other Canon love interest, notable for its all consuming passion) as a spark that ignites and burns everything in its path, and Mick's relationship with Josef as a slow burning flame that goes on for ever.
Beyond these points, Josef and Mick just compliment each other so beautifully; they bring out the best in one another, they are each others Yin and Yang. Testament to this can be found in their more than fifty year friendship with one another.
Jason Dohring, who played the character of Josef Kostan is quoted as saying,
"At one point I imagined him (Josef) being like Mick - you know what I mean? In that he's not sarcastic, he's a good guy...and then that changed at some point, and he lost the integrity. And then that's kind of why he kind of, you know, admires Mick, and can look up to him."
(Jason Dohring on his character 'Josef Kostan' at the Polaris Press Conference 2008)
Scenes of Note
I won't include all scenes here, seeing as I'd like to encourage people to actually watch the show, and choose for themselves what they find noteworthy.
Episode 1 - No Such Thing as Vampires
Things to watch for:
- The expression on Mick's face as he's following Josef inside.
- Josef's tongue in cheek comment about Mick working out. "Ah you look good, you working out? Little bit huh."
- The way Josef gets up and close and personal, and uses the 'hands on' approach when he's talking to Mick about embracing his inner Vampire. "Sooner or later your inner Vampire is going to demand to be fed, and then what?"
(video courtesy of Murphski07 on YouTube)
Episode 2 - Out Of The Past
Things to watch for:
- The cheeky expression on Josef's face when he tells Mick he's 'got a few hours to kill'. He's offering to help Mick take out a bad guy, but there's a double entendre in there somewhere as well.
- Josef's obvious concern straight after that line. It's clear he cares about Mick.
- The slight quaver in Josef's voice when he realises Mick might be in danger (also note the slightly teary eyed look he gets)
Episode 3 - Dr Feelgood
Things to watch for:
- The smile, and expression on Mick's face when he's listening to Josef recount the story of the Buddhist Monk.
- Josef and Mick's interaction, and (not so) subtle tenderness with one another.
Episode 7 - Dead Ringer
Things to watch for:
- The expression on Josef's face when he tells, 'begs' Mick to let Coraline go.
Episode 10 - Sleeping Beauty
This episode deserves a special mention for the sheer amount of Slash potential it throws at you.
Scenes of note include:
- Mick balling his eyes out to Beth, when he thinks Josef has been killed in bomb blast, and Beth replying 'Yeah, but Josef was different'.
- The expression on Mick's face when he walks into his apartment to see Josef, alive and well, sitting behind his desk, dressed only a bathrobe.
- The disapproving look Josef gives Mick when he notices Beth, and closes the aforementioned bathrobe that was gaping open only moments before.
- The fact that by, deduction of logic, it would appear that Josef keeps a change of clothes at Mick's place. In the next scene he's wearing something entirely different to what he had on when his Office came under attack.
- Josef telling Mick, 'Well I got lonely man, you know that'.
- The scene at the end, when Mick tends to Josef's wounds, and they bicker like an old married couple, and then proceed to make eyes at one another, whilst discussing love and relationships.
And then of course you have moments like this -
Mick: I'm going to bed.
Josef: And what am I supposed to do?
Episode 16 - Sonata (Final Episode, unfortunately)
Things to watch for:
- The expression on Mick's face just after he's walked in the door.
- Josef's body language around Mick (00:14 - 00:18)
- The little 'conversation' between Simone and Josef when Mick walks away with his back turned to them.
- The look on Mick's face when Josef offers him Simone's arm. He hardly takes his eyes off Josef.
- At around 1:29, when Mick takes Simone's arm, watch his finger purposefully stroke Josef's.
- Watch Josef's hand when Mick is feeding, the way the back of his hand strokes Mick's palm, the little cut off thumb stroke along the back of Mick's hand.
- Notice the way they're both pretty much focused on each other, and the act of feeding.
(video courtesy of Scarabaeus37 on YouTube)
And last, but by no means least...
The 'Re-turning Scene' - Episode 13 Fated to Pretend.
I'll let this scene speak for itself.
(video courtesy of Glorann3627 on YouTube)
Apart from the pairing just making sense, and the sheer weight of subtexual evidence that can be used in support of a relationship between the characters, the pairing of Josef and Mick is also a very versatile one.
There Must Be 50 Ways To Ship This Pairing...
(or at least 3 that I can think of offhand)
1) OTP - No matter what happens, Josef and Mick are destined to be together for all Eternity.
2) Dry Docked Ship - Josef and Mick had a relationship in the past, but are not currently involved in the Canon time period of the show.
3) Starboarding - Josef is in love with Mick (or vice versa); that love is unrequited.
The Fandom (or at least those communities that are still active)
"It's not like there's this big Clubhouse where we all hang out" (Mick St John - Episode 3)
The Moonlight Slash Fandom has been picking up a little bit more of late. Currently I am the main writer, and vidder for the pairing, but there are other writers and artists contributing on a semi regular basis also.
Most of the Fanworks, and other creative endeavours for the pairing of Josef & Mick, can be found via these links:
The Moonlight Slash Community on LiveJournal
Josef + Mick Moonlight Fansite on MySpace, Facebook, Livejournal, and Tumblr
(I run all of these sites/pages. I am attempting to find, and archive - with permission - all available Josef/Mick works of Slash)
http://www.myspace.com/jock_fansite (please note: this site hasn't been updated in a while due to technical difficulties)
Examples of Fan Works (Videos)
I don't have permission from the creators of other Fanvids to include them with this manifesto, so I will be using my own work as an example. Please be aware I am still fairly new at this - vidding, that is.
"I'll stop the world and melt with you..."
Josef/Mick set to 'Vienna' by Ultravox
Josef/Mick set to 'I Will Possess Your Heart' by Deathcab for Cutie
Josef/Mick set to 'Days Go By' by Dirty Vegas
Josef/Mick set to 'Melt With You' by Modern English
Josef/Mick set to 'Where do I Begin' by Chemical Brothers
More Vids can be found on the Moonlight Slash Community LiveJournal via the 'Fanvideo' tag.
Recommended Fanfics for the pairing of Josef & Mick
(please note, I'm only including those fics that can be accessed without community membership)
Anything by Judy_Adams, Swas (aka Tam, or Tamurile), or mscatmoon is well worth reading. Their work can be found via either of these links.
There is also a fantastic piece written by Miriam Heddy, titled 'An Idea With Legs'
Other works of note:
Honey by Solaris (PG)
Albatross by Miss_Vacant (PG13)
The Hangover by JKsrose (PG13)
Beware of Bottles by Entangled_Now (NC17)
Heat Wave by Candlewaxdreams (NC17)
Turning Point by GhoulFang (NC17)
Josef and Mick - True Love, True Eternity, Forever...Literally