A/N: This takes place just after the final episode of Season 5, True Blood. Written for but never submitted to the “I Write the Songs” Contest. One-Shot, Totally AU.
Sookie curled up on a sofa in the den of the safe house and tried to pretend she wasn’t thinking of a thousand different things a minute. The events of the past two days were a blur of blood, fear, confusion, terror and…Eric. She huffed to herself. Blood, confusion, fear…of course all those roads would lead to Eric.
She scrubbed her hands over her face and snuggled back under the blanket as best she could. She had been offered any one of the many guest bedrooms in the surprisingly large house, but for some reason right then she was content to take up residence on a sofa in the den.
Soon the drone of voices from the other side of the room relaxed her enough to slow down all the crazy memories racing through her over-taxed brain. Eric and Nora were arguing over which survival plan had the best chance of succeeding, and Pam and Tara were probably still making goo-goo eyes at each other as they half-heartedly participated in the war-games discussion. Jessica, however, was most likely in the guest room with Jason who had been glamoured when it became loudly apparent that his brain was still damaged…well, more damaged than usual.
Jason’s concussion and its bizarre side effects worried Sookie and Jess both, but he refused to take Jessica up on her offer of blood to heal the injury. Although his extremely weird behavior was a definite concern, Sookie had so many other problems on her plate that she just had to let that one go for now.
And just who the hell is this Warlow, she fretted to herself. Who was he, and what exactly did he want with her? How was she going to get away from him?
She didn’t see how often Eric’s eyes wandered over to where she was huddled up under the blanket, but Nora did. As much as the female vampire wanted to eat the part-fairy girl, she had finally realized just how much her “brother” cared for the girl. Hell, with the way he acted around the little blonde tart, he might actually believe that he loved her, assuming vampires were actually capable of such a stupid notion. Even though she, herself, refused to believe in such nonsense, it appeared that her handsome brother-by-blood apparently did. Mentally shrugging her shoulders, she politely kicked the big blond Viking under the table to regain his attention. Love or not, they had a survival to plan. He could play love-sick fool later.
Sliding his blue eyes back to his sister-by-blood, Eric regarded her coldly for a moment, then smirked as he shook his head. Trust his annoying little sister to regard all “human” emotions as rubbish and concentrate solely on vampire matters. But, she did have a point.
“Nora, we only have two options, and you know it. We can either stay here in my home territory to regroup, prepare, and fight, or we can flee. You know I vote we stay and fight.”
Nora’s eyes involuntarily flicked over toward Pam and Tara who had yet to fully join the conversation, then back to Eric. “But we have no back-up here. It’s just us against God only knows what that bloody Bill turned into. Is he still Bill? Is he now Lillith? Billith? I don’t even know what to call him anymore!” Nora rolled her eyes in frustrated exasperation.
“I’m calling him dead at the first opportunity,” Eric stated succinctly. The tall, blond Viking vampire was sick to undeath of anything and everything relating to the fuckwad formerly known as Bill.
While in desperate times past the smaller, darker vampire had pulled through surprisingly well considering his innate lack of character, the fact remained that Billith had never been much more than a thorn in Eric’s side, and that was on a good night. In the end he had only returned to try to save the fuckstain for Sookie, and look how well that had ended. At least the exasperating, lovely, temperamental part-fairy finally knew Bill’s true self, and maybe now she could get the hell over him. His eyes automatically flicked over to said fairy, and noticed her emotional discomfort.
Sookie sighed and plumped up her pillow as she tried to wiggle even farther back into the comfortable sofa cushions. She couldn’t understand what the vampires were saying, but the lull of their voices was oddly soothing. She didn’t know that Eric was sending her subtle waves of comfort and peace, but she did notice that she was slowly calming down and, surprisingly, becoming a bit drowsy.
She let her mind wander, and soon found herself remembering one of her Gran’s favorite songs as a couple of the lyrics floated through her head.
I want security, yeah
Without it I had a great loss
Security, she decided, was a good thing, and she had suffered great losses without it. She wiggled her feet around in the huge but clean socks Eric had loaned her after her shower. She hazily considered how she’d never actually felt secure when she was around Bill…Billith…who the fuck ever he was now. She’d felt excitement and affection, puppy love, certainly, but never secure. But…with Eric, being held close to his chest was like finding her own safe haven, like coming in out of the storm into a warm, dry home where she would be protected.
Problem was, the only times in recent memory that he’d held her so close was when they were in some sort of danger. Sookie scrubbed her nose with her sleeve-covered hand as she tried to redirect her thoughts to a happier place.
Her beloved Gran had always made her feel secure, like everything was going to be ok just because she said it would. After her parents had died, her Gran had taken in two lost, scared, and emotionally wounded little kids without one single qualm, and had raised those two little kids to the very best of her ability with all the love in the world.
She’d also made the best pecan pie, Sookie thought with a sharp pain in her heart. She missed her Gran so much. A few moments later, though, she felt herself relax a bit more, and sighed.
Then her brain had to kick in again.
Warlow. What the hell is a Warlow, she asked herself for the hundredth time. In a perfect world, she decided, Billith would take out Warlow, then change back into Bill, then just go way to Peru or somewhere…and stay there and rot.
Eric’s sudden chuckle pinged into her consciousness, and she tried to stifle her corresponding grin. She wouldn’t exactly admit to loving the sound of his laugh, but it did cheer her up in some way that she couldn’t define. So, ok, what if his laugh was contagious, what of it?
Yeah, he absolutely irritated the living hell out of her more often than she’d like, and his high-handed routine got old fast, but at heart, she knew he truly was only looking out for her best interests. Usually. Sometimes she wasn’t so sure, but hey, at least she was still alive, and she could definitely credit Eric for that several times that she knew of. At least he’d never used her again like he had with Russell Fucking Edgington, and that was a good start, right?
Why couldn’t they just get along, she wondered. Why did everything always have to feel like such a power struggle between them? Why couldn’t they just talk? Why was there always some sort of fight or…she sighed. She just didn’t understand him most of the time.
It then occurred to her that maybe part of their problem was that they really didn’t know each other all that well. True, they knew the most important things, and they knew that they could trust each other, but what about the little things?
But, really, just how well did you have to know someone to love them? And what did she really want from him?
That’s all I want from you, oh now
And a little love that will be true, oh
Ugh, why couldn’t she get that stupid song out of her head? She didn’t need love, at least, she didn’t think so. And certainly not from Eric of all people…no matter how much she wanted him.
Gaaagh…why did I just now automatically think of fuckin’ Eric, she demanded of herself. It’s all that damn song’s fault.
It wasn’t like she loved him…hell, she didn’t even like him half the time, and he certainly didn’t love her, either. If he did, he’d have…Sookie broke off her mental diatribe when she started remembering all the things that Eric had, in fact, done for her….all the ways he’d protected her, many of which could so easily have had potentially lethal consequences for him. But he’d protected her anyway.
Hell, she finally admitted to herself, he’d even tried to save ‘the being formerly known as Bill’, not for himself, but for her. Only for her. In the past there were so many times that he’d done so much for her. Only for her.
She covered her face with her hands. Maybe it was just the stress of the past few days catching up with her that was making her think such ridiculous things, like maybe he loved her, too. Yeah, it was the stress talking. That, and she was starting to get a little bit hungry, too. And tired. So very tired.
As she slowly dozed off, she allowed herself the realization that maybe she did, in fact, truly love Eric, and that it was ok to do so. Neither one of them was perfect, but things seemed to make a lot better sense when they were together than when they were apart. The corners of her lips turned up slightly. Why fight so hard against what she secretly wanted most of all? She was so tired of fighting. What would be so wrong with being with Eric, anyway? He made her feel safe. And protected. And, even when they were fighting, loved.
Eric jerked his gaze back toward the sofa. The convoluted jumble of Sookie’s emotions was confusing the hell out of him. She was calmer because of his influence, sure, but the blend of uncertainty, confusion, mild anger, regret, slight fear, fatigue, and love made no sense to him.
He refocused his attention on Nora and the plans, but kept a part of his attention on Sookie, and a while later, he breathed an unnecessary sigh of relief when she’d finally fallen asleep.
Her last emotion was love.
As dawn approached and the final plans for the night were instigated via his hidden cache of untraceable phones, Eric gathered Sookie into his arms and headed for his secure quarters.
He tucked his sleeping fairy into his large bed, locked down his rooms, and took a quick shower. As he lowered himself to rest beside the woman who owned his heart, she turned toward him in her semi-conscious state. He hadn’t meant to wake her up, especially since he knew her to be exhausted.
“I’m right here, Sookie. Go back to sleep.”
He was mildly surprised when she moved over to him and cuddled into his side, but as usual, his arms automatically reached for her and drew her closer.
Sookie felt his strong arms sliding around her and holding her close, and remembered the happiest and yet saddest part of her Gran’s beloved song.
Those sweet tender lips you know they tells me that
You’re the one for me
Darling, how can I forget
How can I forget
As she slid her hand up Eric’s bare chest, she realized that she was home. She knew then that not only would she never forget, but that if he would have her, she’d never have a reason to. As she gently stroked the side of her thumb back and forth over his nipple, she came to a firm decision.
With a sigh that released a lifetime’s worth of fear, distrust, and hesitation, Sookie shifted her head so that her lips were above his heart.
“I love you, Eric. You’re my security, and if you’ll still have me, I would be proud to be yours.”
A red tear of joy slowly leaked from the corner of Eric’s eye as he held his Sookie even closer. Sure, they had a lot of things left to talk about, and some things to definitely argue about, and their survival wasn’t exactly guaranteed, but for that single moment in time, all was right in his world. As he pulled her up across his chest, he replied in the only way that was eternally binding for him.
The Song: Otis Redding – Security