A/N: *Peeks out from beyond the grave* Hey, remember this? I know, I know, I fail a thousand fails for letting this die, but what can I say, Trueblood canon pissed me off and the idea of carrying on in the same vein just didn’t appeal to me. Now though, I need to start wrapping all my fics up so I’m trying to finish what I’ve started. I hope you still remember this, and I hope to continue with it. Reviews and messages are my crack, so feel free to supply 😉
I marched out of Fangtasia pure livid with him, with myself, with the whole damn situation. I got into my car and drove off, probably breaking a few road rules on the way home to boot. I hated this whole thing, I hated that I would even have to ‘fight’ or ‘protect’ myself from anything. What had my life come to? Where had the girl who hung out with her grandmother every night, read a book before bed, and dreamed of a better life, where had she gone? Why was she replaced with someone with glowing fingers and microwave powers and a thing for vampires?!
By the time I got home, I had gotten over the majority of my mood-swing, thankfully finding my house empty, empty of humans and Supes for once. I ran myself an extra hot bath with some of my real expensive bath salts and just decided I was not going to think about it all anymore that night, I was going to be that girl who read a book and went to sleep before dawn and got up at a reasonable hour.
Floating in my bath, it dawned on me though, exactly what he had done.
That bastard had tricked me, again!
I inhaled deeply, trying to get over my anger and relax, it didn’t work.
He had tricked me into blasting him, to make his point. To make me angry, to make me microwave his ass across that basement.
Ugh, I hated him.
Except I didn’t hate him, I loved him. I hated myself for loving him.
Well that was not true either. I decided to stop thinking so hyperbolically, try, and Zen myself out.
I sighed deeply before pushing myself fully under the water; only my nose was left peeking out to breathe. The rushing of the water in my ears, the stark silence otherwise was so welcomed for my poor tired brain.
Everything that had happened to me would and probably should have meant I was certifiable, long before Bill Compton even entered my life, and somehow I was still standing. I was a little shakier now, but I was still there. That had to have been for something, right?
However, was I a fighter like Eric seemed to think? I knew his fixation with my fae side was there, but I always assumed like Bill, it was all about the blood. As things stood, I wasn’t so sure anymore.
I knew one thing though; I had to stop comparing the two of them. They might both be vampires, but that is where the similarity begins and ends, and I just had to stop. Of course, it would be difficult, Bill, whilst being a vamp had been the one and only man I had ever been with before Eric – the differences there were endless as well.
I sighed again, frustrated with myself that I had been unable to stop think-vomiting in my head.
I imaged happy thoughts, like clouds floating as I sunbathed, or how the sun felt when summer finally arrived, getting prettily packaged mail, Eric and I in that imagined Swedish forest.
That was another thing, what the heck was THAT about? I never had shared dreams or blood trips with Bill… there I go again… but honestly, we were in Swedish Narnia together, and then we were in my Gran’s bedroom.
My head was starting to hurt.
I pulled myself out of the water, stood up and turned on the shower to wash my hair, in the hopes I could wash all the men right out of there.
No such luck.
When I walked into my bedroom wrapped in my favourite fluffy white towel I was greeted by Eric sitting on my bed.
“God damnit!” I squealed as he frightened the life out of me, sitting there all innocent and still.
“What the hell are you even doin’ here Eric? How did you get in?”
“You haven’t signed the papers yet, you might want to get on that. I came to see you, we need to talk.”
“Like hell we do. You need to leave.” This reminded me so clearly of my first night back, where he just stormed right in and eyed me up as if I was a free steak dinner with all the trimmings.
“No, don’t do that whole ‘Sookie’ thing with me Eric.”
“But it’s your name…”
I rolled my eyes.
“Yes I know that, but I also know that it means you want something from me and honestly after you tricked me into getting pissed at you back there, I don’t think I should be giving you anything.”
“Glad you caught that, you know, after you calmed down that is.”
“I really wish you’d stop doing that.”
“Tricking me,” I said as I walked further into the room, he stood up, sometimes when he wanted it to his height swallowed up the whole room. “It’s not nice.”
He smiled slightly before setting his mouth again.
I rolled my eyes, putting on my robe facing away from him, and slipping my towel out from underneath. I was covered up by the time I faced him again, and judging by his face it was to his disappointment.
“Yes, it just isn’t nice.”
“You think I aim to be nice?” He said as if confused.
“Sometimes you can be, naturally, sometimes it seems as if you force yourself to be this … badass.”
“I’m just sayin’… nicer you is … well, nicer.”
“Nice isn’t worth anything, Sookie.”
“No one is ever really nice, nice is a non-word. Nice is something someone made up so your real personality could be criticized. Be real, real is better than nice.”
I sighed at his need to correct me.
“Sometimes I think you’re really full of –“
“See, that wasn’t so nice, was it Sookie? It was real though, what you really thought.” He smirked.
“Stop tricking me. Blood, anger, stupid conversational topics… stop.”
“I know lots of tricks, what can I say?”
I rolled my eyes.
“Such as? Should I start calling you a magician now?”
“Better than some of the names I imagine you call me….”
With that, I smirked, he wasn’t wrong.
“Well, I guess you can fly, that’s a pretty impressive trick.”
“That is no trick, I assure you. It is a skill, one sought after by many a vampire… and a human.”
With that, he placed his hands at my sides, and I almost moved away, but then suddenly there we were.
I looked down at my feet, dangling with the rest me just as my head tipped my ceiling.
“Not every vampire can do this ‘trick’, just like not every human can blast balls of fire from their hands, Sookie. What you are is more; I just want you to …”
“What? Be all I can be? Does Uncle Sam want me for his army now?”
He lowered us slowly back to the ground.
“Maybe not Uncle Sam, but the war that I feel is coming sure could use a fae on board.”
“The one Bill and I may have thrown a lot of gasoline on, that war. The one that has been bubbling under the surface since vampires first came out of the closet.”
“Yes, oh. So I don’t have a lot of time, we don’t have a lot of time before they eventually summon us –“
“Bill and I and whomever else they choose.”
“You mean me, they could summon me?!”
I did not like that idea one bit.
“They are an unpredictable bunch at best, I know little of them, and only what I am told. Nevertheless, yes. There have been rumours about a fairy girl, ever since Russell and his TV debut, and before him Sophie-Anne and her relentless search for one of your kind.”
“But the only vampire I killed was Lorena and that was in self-defence. Even if Bill and I are through, he has to admit that at the very least, it saved his life!”
“They might use whatever excuse they can find to … study you.”
“I know, I will do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t come to pass, Sookie. But –“
“But, you need to work with me here, if they take you… if someone claims you as theirs…”
Then it dawned on me, Pam’s words.
‘You’ve got to be someone’s or you won’t be.’
I inwardly cringed at the idea of being ‘claimed’ against my will. Fucking vampire politics!
“Are you asking me to be –“
“No.” He said sharply, cutting me off. It stung a little, I won’t lie.
“You’ve made it clear that you’d rather not, and as I said I have no desire to push you into anything.”
I appreciated that, I did not fully understand everything that was happening or being thrown at me so fast, but I appreciated his openness.
“What do I have to do then?”
“Get dress, something comfortable, we’re going to take a little trip, and we’re going to practice.”
With that he turned quietly and left the room, walking at human speed down the stairs leaving me there to get dressed.
Why did we have to trip anywhere? I just wanted to go to bed!
I took my time walking around her house, not that I needed to memorise it because like everything Sookie related it was now engrained in my memory. While she was gone, the amount of time I had spent at this house, the many nights I had spent there alone were almost too many to count. I doubt I would ever tell her that though, I assumed she felt it high-handed of me to have bought the house in the first place, but then she had thanked me sincerely and made me think otherwise. Of course, she was probably just being her default setting Sookie that was polite even in the worst of circumstances. My guess it was how she was raised.
Either way, I had hoped that once she got passed her anger at me, at the situation, she would appreciate the pains it took to restore certain details to her Grandmother’s house that I assumed she would have liked to have held on to.
The hallway, the rug, the chair, the sofa, the staircase, it all looked so normal to the naked eye, but to me it was full of memories of a time when I was without most of mine. Things had changed so fast with her then, all because I was less than I really am. All because I was able to be gentle and soft and loving without fear of rejection or consequence, I knew that is what she wanted, the old Eric. The Eric that was not weighted down by the years, by the bullshit, by the world.
I wasn’t sure I could ever be just that for her, for anyone, ever again, but I hoped in time that her admitting to me that she even had wanted the old me before the memory loss would be something she would consider again. Until then I would happily wait, that is unless the Authority decided to deliver the final death to me in which case all I would have is those cherished memories.
She came down the stairs then, dressed in tight black leggings and a long hoodie, pink and black running shoes on her feet, her half wet hair swooped up into a high ponytail. She smelled so clean and lovely, even though she always smelled pleasant due to her fae smell, fresh fae smelled even nicer.
“Where are we going?”
“Somewhere with space to practice, I’ll get you home at decent hour, I promise.”
“It’s nine at night, to some this is the decent hour. But I guess being a vamp; it’s any time before dawn, right?”
I chuckled as I opened the front door.
“Um, where is your car?” She asked looking around from where we stood on her newly waxed porch.
“Oh I didn’t bring it.”
“Okay, we’ll take my car …”
The idea of squeezing myself into her tiny yellow car was not appealing at all.
“I thought we could fly.”
Her eyes widened.
“Eric I don’t know…”
“It’s perfectly safe, I assure you.”
She looked as if she was curious, most people were, but she also radiated fear.
“I won’t drop you if that’s what you’re scared of.”
“I’m not scared of that…”
I wondered if she was scared to be close with me in such a way, I knew sharing something so intimate with her was a risk, but at this point when it came to Sookie, I found myself willing to risk a lot.
“How do we do this then?” She asked, seemingly coming around as we descended her steps to stand on her new gravel path.
“However you would prefer. I can carry you any way you are comfortable with, you choose.”
She seemed to think it over for a second before she stepped up beside me.
“I can’t choose, just pick something that will make me feel like I’m not going to fall hundreds of feet to my death, mmmkay?”
I smirked at her wording. She had such a way with words.
I picked her up effortlessly bridal style, she was secure in my arms but it also meant she could see. Instantly her hands gripped around my neck, so tight that had I had to breathe I doubt I would have been able to.
She nodded before she gulped. I found it most amusing.
“Just… just go slow, okay? Really slow for a vampire… be like a Sunday driver on sleeping pills.”
I nodded and we took off painfully slowly, her grip tightened even further, something I didn’t think possible.
She would shut her eyes and then open them again wonder. She muttered a few ‘wows’ to herself, but she and I didn’t speak in conversation until I landed us in a large clearing, about fifteen minutes later.
We were in a recently ploughed wheat field, lots of open flat space, and miles from any real life.
“Where are we? We past Shreveport a while ago, I don’t know how many miles per hour Engine Eric does.”
“We’re pretty far out. However, it is fine. We just need to get in some target practice.”
“Me.” I said simply, taking off my jacket and laying it on the ground.
“I want you to practice you fae light on me, I want to see what you’ve got, so if the time comes what you’ll have you may be forced to use to protect yourself.”
“What if I kill you dead, like forever-dead.”
“How do you know?” She asked rather indignantly.
“Well, I don’t but I have a theory about your light.”
“Your intentions mean everything, whatever you intend you channel through your light. For example, when you hit me, and the spell broke, I assume your intention was somewhere in that region?”
“I guess so; I mean I just wanted it all to stop. All of it, you trying to literally rip Bill’s head off, the whole mess, I just wanted things to go back to… oh. Normal.”
I nodded then.
“See? You intended for everything to go back to normal, which included me.”
I stood and braced myself.
“Okay, shoot me.”
“Think of something, you want to hurt me, you want me to fly across this field at your hand.”
She looked suitably terrified at the prospect.
“Just think up whatever you need to, to get the light to blast.”
She cracked her knuckles as if that made a difference, before she held out her hands and three short, sharp, blasts of light came flying.
They hit me but I did not move.
She tried again. This time I could see the anger in her face, whatever she was thinking might have been doing the trick because this time the first blast hit me and threw me back a few feet, the second one burnt into my skin like silver, and the third flipped me sideways landing me on my face.
When I got up and looked back at her she was standing open mouthed.
“Holy hell!” She said coming up to me. “Are you okay?” It was cute; she almost looked like she wanted to check.
“I am. That worked well, let us try again. This time I am coming to harm you and you really don’t want that to happen, so, give me all you’ve got.”
“Eric, I don’t know, what if something goes wrong, I don’t have a handle on what my microwave fingers can really do yet.”
“Hence this. Now come on.”
She folded her arms.
She sighed, I almost did too. Instead I did something mean, I pushed her to the ground.
She looked up, pissed.
“What the hell was that for, you big jerk!”
“Get pissed at me, get angry, come on!”
“Well I AM pissed.”
“Great. Aim it at me.”
She sighed again, stepping back.
“You are a very strange vampire you know that? Most of ya’ll try to avoid getting hit by things you can’t fight, you welcome it.”
“I’ve taken worse, believe me. Now hit me.”
It took her a second, but she did it this time I went a little father and my whole body ached in ways I had not remembered it being able to as a vampire. She was packing some serious heat, if only she knew how to yield it.
“This time,” I yelled from across the field, “I want you to hit me, as a moving target. I’m going to keep moving and I want you to keep trying to find me, see how it works out.”
“Okay.” She yelled back but I could see from her face even where I stood she thought this was pointless. I hoped I had a point, I hoped that helping her harness her powers would help her, would save her should the chips fall in such a way that I would be unable to.
I took off and so did she, her aim wasn’t bad but my speed was better. The fence to the field took a hit, sparks flew but it didn’t catch fire, and by the time I reached Sookie again she looked tired, if I had to breathe I would have been winded running around that field at the speed I was.
“I suck at this.” She said rejected as I took my place by her side.
“You don’t you just need practice, that’s all.”
“And what, practice makes perfect? Perfect little light-ball killing machine.”
I chuckled, as I took as seat next to her, the dried up dirt not really concerning either of us, since technically I was already covered in it from landing on my ass so often during our training.
“Thank you though, for trying with me. Even if I’m not exactly sure of the point of all of this, it can’t hurt.”
I nodded, not really accustomed to her thanks, and even at that, I was never one for false modesty so I just kept my mouth shut.
“We will do this again tomorrow night.”
“Uh no, I have a job.”
“Still?” I asked incredulously and it seemed to annoy her, I was hoping to banter with her so I continued. “You’re a terrible waitress…”
Her mouth went agape in rage.
“Well, I mean I don’t know of your waitressing skill but you never show up for work, I’m surprised the Shifter hasn’t fired you, if you worked for me you would have been fired.”
“I… you’re a jerk you know that.” She spat, pulling herself to her feet. My got she was exhausting emotionally at times.
“I do. And you’re highly strung, sit down.”
I pulled her hand and she landed smack on her ass with a bump.
She just glared at me.
“This isn’t fun anymore, I want to go home.”
“So you admit, exploring your powers was fun.”
“I never said that, maybe knocking you on your ass all night, maybe that was the fun part. Seeing the unflappable Eric Northman threw around like a rag doll.”
I reined in my temper, no one, Supe or Human would have the nerve to say such things to me without fear of death. The fact that she did so, so flippantly was annoying, but then again this was the girl that marched into my office demanded more money for a job than I had offered and then proceeded to slap me across the face as if I were some trick in a nightclub she was quarrelling with.
“What’s the matter, Eric? That jaw of yours sure is tense.”
“Maybe I’m resisting the urge to drain you, Smartass.”
With that, she tried to look at me seriously but failed and burst into a fit of laughter so hard that she fell backward onto the now crushed wheat remains.
Then all of a sudden, crying.
I was over a thousand years old and I was still as confused as I was as a teen. No two women were ever alike, even twins, and I had tested that theory many a time.
She sobbed, and hiccupped, but I did not touch her or ask her if she was all right. For one thing it was perfectly obvious that she was not in fact all right, and if she wanted to talk about it, this being Sookie Stackhouse, I knew she would if she had wanted.
I had no interest in pushing in this instance. Instead, I sat and I let her cry until she had seemingly finished. Sitting up she wiped her eyes, fixed her ponytail and stood up.
“Take me home.”
It was not a demand so much as truth. She knew I would, no questions asked now. Therefore, I scooped her up softly, and she pulled herself tight to my body and I took off.
I glanced to the house hidden in the darkness less than a mile from the field. Perhaps another night I would invite Sookie to my home, for now, she needed her own and I understood that even if I didn’t fully yet understand all that was plaguing her thoughts.
Until then I would do my best to make her feel safe, even if all that meant was tucking her up into her bed alone and making sure she slept.
We had time to fix everything else, not a lot and not as much as I needed but I would make do. We would make do.