AN: Thanks to everyone reading this story. There’s a little of Bill in this and I hadn’t realized how much attempting to write him would feel…well…icky. Anyway, I hope I did them all justice, including Bill. 🙂
Eric walked through the front door of Fangtasia. They were closed these days so there was no need to sneak in the back door. The crowds were gone and there were no fangbangers to avoid. The Hep V epidemic had pretty much shut down most vampire businesses and many human-owned business in towns where there was a significant vampire population. Hep V, via infected vampires, had decimated many a town around the world. Eric, himself, had had the misfortune of contracting the disease when he was in Europe licking the wounds that the death of his sister, Nora, had left.
When he left Louisiana, he had a huge gaping wound in his heart. He had always struggled with his emotions during his long life, but frequent reminders from Godric had gone a long way to dampen them. But Sookie, fuckin’ Sookie….she had brought all of his emotions to the surface during that time they had together. From their first meeting, she had stirred feelings in him, and as those feeling grew through all of their meetings and her kindness to Godric….and to himself, it was that blasted week that had knocked his world off its axis. All of his defenses were removed during his time with her. His heart was exposed — he was exposed. And he was ill-prepared for the level of pain that awaited him.
When Godric had died Eric was devastated, but not incapacitated. However, Sookie’s influences caused him to feel so much more intensely. The loss of Nora compounded by the door Sookie closed and the genocidal attack on his kind had left him inconsolable. So he went away and lived as though he didn’t care.
Eric had accepted his fate. He had practically orchestrated it himself with his blasé
approach to life after he destroyed ‘vamp camp’. Live or die — he hadn’t really cared. He traveled through Scandinavia and Europe fucking and fighting along the way, and he had gorged himself on willing donors, of which there were many, without a care to their health. He hadn’t seen the point, at the time. He had already died on the inside; he was just waiting for his body to follow.
That left him infected with Hep V by the time Pam found him. She was able to drag him back with the thoughts of revenge, but as they approached Louisiana, thoughts of Sookie drifted into this mind. He had wanted to see how she was doing, but couldn’t muster the energy to put up with the grief Pam would give him, so he made up some story about going to see Bill. He figured, at the very least, Bill would be able to give him any news on Sookie. Any other time, going through Bill for anything, especially Sookie, would have been the last thing he would’ve wanted to do, but he was dying. It wasn’t time to hold onto to anything other than the revenge Pam promised, so Bill was getting a pass — ‘bygones’ as she would say.
But seeing Sookie’s face made him want to live and he was struck by it. He hadn’t really anticipated seeing Sookie at Bill’s home, but now that he’d had, she did what she’d always had, gave him fucking hope.
Now looking back, he scoffed at how things had turned out. His will to live was revived by the thought of Sookie and now that he’d had the cure, she was more out reach than she’d ever been. Bill had found the ultimate connection to Sookie — they would be tied by his death. Once the deed was done, there would be no freedom from the knowledge that she, through her blood, had killed him.
Fucking Bill Compton. He and Eric couldn’t be more different. Outside of the obvious physical differences, Eric had always enjoyed being a vampire, being true to who he was. That was in sharp contrast to Bill who had worked so hard through the years developing his tormented, tortured vampire persona. It was a facade that worked well for him in certain situations and he used it often as the Queen’s procurer when the job took him to the human world. If only people knew the truth; if Sookie knew the truth — things might have been different. Regardless, it seemed their differences were fated to continue. Where Sookie’s tie to him would be life, Bill’s tie to her would be death.
Eric made his way to his office. The place was a shambles after the earlier fight with the Hep V vamps, but they were gone and Fangtasia was once again his. It was unclear what exactly that meant since the vampire businesses were far from booming, but it was his shithole and, more importantly, it was home.
He crossed the threshold and sat heavily in his chair. He was tired. There had been so much that had happened in the last week since Pam dragged him back to Louisiana. First on the list had been Sarah Newlin. That bitch. She really needed to die for unleashing Hep V, but, as it turned out, she was the damn cure. So there would be no killing Sarah. Guess there goes the new book title for Bill O’Reilly, he snickered to himself.
It ended up working out for him. Through the course of hunting Sarah down, he and Pam discovered that she had drank the antidote and that her blood had mutated continuing to process the rare antibodies. A quick bite later and his Hep V was gone. He had wanted to kill her, to end her for her role in Nora’s death and the plague that currently infested his world, but it appeared she had other enemies. Enemies who were great in number and not without some skill. After much consideration and prodding from Pam, Eric decided that revenge did not outweigh his desire to live. He and Pam were in the middle of a storm with the Yakuza and Sarah, and if he was going to fight, he’d rather do it from a more advantageous vantage point. To that end, he decided it was his time to walk away, at least for now.
Leaving the memories behind, Eric looked around and decided that he might as well start cleaning up. One of the perks of being a vampire was speed, and he had it in droves. A thousand years undead meant he was incredibly fast, so cleaning up the mess wouldn’t take him that long. Ordinarily he’d just hire someone to do the cleaning, but the climate was such that vendors fell into the same category as patrons — absent. Eric sighed as he heaved himself out of his chair, cursing the day he was born — Virgo, he liked it neat.
Sookie had made her way home after her meeting with Eric. She felt drained and confused by all that had transpired, and he had her questioning what she was doing with her life. Bill — damn him. She had poisoned him and now he was dying, and the worst of it was that there was a cure and he had refused it. Why? She couldn’t wrap her head around it, and if she was being honest, she didn’t think there would ever be a reason that would remotely make sense. To think of it made her so angry, but that anger did nothing to assuage her guilt.
She made her way to the phone and called Bill. “Hey, how ya feeling?”, she said in a quiet tone.
“Sookie….I’m so glad to hear your voice. I was worried for you, sweatheart. There are still Hep V vampires around. I don’t like the thought of you being where I can’t protect you.”
“Bill, I’m alright. I can take care of myself and, besides, I wasn’t alone. So there’s no need to worry. Are you feeling any worse?”
“Oh…good…good, I’d rather you not be alone. May I ask who you were with? Someone who could protect you, I hope.”
“Bill, I’m fine. I’d really wish you wouldn’t worry about me. You’re the one who needs looked after. Now what can I do for you? Can I bring something…some blood? Are you hungry?”
“No, Sookie. I’d rather not eat. I have no interest in prolonging my death”, Bill said.
She felt gutted. Why couldn’t he take the cure? Why was he so determined to die? Did he not understand what this was doing to her. Tears filled her eyes as she said “I understand. Why don’t I come over and keep you company.”
A smile broke on Bill’s face as he said, “That would be lovely. What would I do without you, Sookie.”