Summary & Description of the “Rules”:
Inner is an Eric-POV re-offering of Season 5 of True Blood with an Eric/Sookie endgame in mind.
If you have read my other stuff, you know that I’m an unabashed Sookie/Eric pairing person, so I am going to warp Season 5 toward an E/S HEA, despite any idiocy that happened during the season. (I will be ignoring the happenings of Seasons 6 & 7.)
This story is especially for my dear Scorp77/CDB33. (Any puns are especially for her.) Scorp was my initial inspiration for writing this story, as she wanted me to “fix” what we were seeing on the show. And I love a good challenge.
Here are the rules that I set for myself for this story:
- Rule 1: I cannot “change” a plot point handed to me by A.B. and his flunkies—like make Tara stay dead/not undead or make Eric not have sex with Nora.
- Rule 2: I have to somehow make use of what I am given to lead toward an E/S endgame…no matter how separated from that idea A.B. and his flunkies went at times. That means, I can “twist” things and “interpret” them as I wish, but I still cannot “change” them.
- Rule 3: I can add “deleted scenes” at will—as long as they don’t interfere with the overall plot of the show. In other words, if a scene doesn’t logically fit, I can’t just randomly throw in an Eric/Sookie reconnection or—um—sex scene.
- Rule 4: I can do whatever the heck I want with this story AFTER the season finale, except I cannot have the characters build a time machine to erase what happens—or wake up after having “dreamed” the whole season (can anyone say “Bobby Ewing?”).
I don’t own the characters in True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. So neither copyright infringement nor offense is meant. I simply want to make the characters do what I wanted them to do for a while. I am especially “unownerly” when it comes to this story. You will recognize a lot of the dialogue throughout as being quoted from Season 5 of True Blood, though I’ve tried to use Eric’s thoughts to make this story “different” from its source. That said, I claim no ownership to the quoted material and have placed it in bold so that it is set apart from my own words. Finally, I don’t own any of the pictures I have posted in the text. These are screencaps from the show and originate from HBO.
To Sephrenia for the Story banner and the character banners for this story! They are truly inspired and inspiring!!!
To Kleannhouse, always a wonderful Beta for me, who volunteered to be my second pair of eyes for this story.
ERIC NORTHMAN POV
“Fuck Sookie Stackhouse,” I said to myself as I flung a particularly nasty piece of Nan Flannigan goop into my trash bag. I briefly looked up from my “speed cleaning” and caught sight of Bill talking to Jessica on the phone.
I shook my head and went back to my task. We didn’t fucking have time to have drawn out conversations right now! And that was why I wasn’t going to be calling Pam—well, that and because I was fucking pissed off at my progeny right now for trying to kill Sookie with a rocket launcher.
Kids these days!
“Fuck Sookie,” I said to myself again. Not half an hour before, she’d rejected me—rejected both Bill and me. I looked up at Bill again, shaking my head. If someone would have told me a week ago that I would have things in common with Bill fucking Compton, I would have doled out the true death to him or her, but much can change in a week’s time.
Being more than a thousand years old, I knew about the fickle nature of time better than most beings in the world. I knew that it could progress without real change for a century. I’d languished in the drudgery of endless, mindless routine.
But I also knew that time could speed up and that many changes could happen seemingly all at once, and the previous week had been one of those periods.
Yes—my attitude about Bill Compton had changed, partially because of what we now had in common: Sookie Stackhouse. Both of us loved her—of that I was certain. I knew my own mind, and though I hated having this particular emotion, I was not one to lie to myself. And I could recognize easily that Bill loved Sookie too.
In addition, we had both fallen in love with her “accidentally.” Bill had been sent by the insipid bitch-queen, Sophie-Anne—may she rest in many, many pieces. I smiled at my own mental pun as I sprayed a bit of cleaner onto Bill’s desk. Bill’s orders had been to find out about Sookie and seduce her if she was a good prospect for the queen’s little “collection of interesting beings.” He was to confirm that Sookie was telepathic and then manipulate her into going to the queen by using glamour. When glamour didn’t work, Bill had been ordered to use his blood. When that didn’t work as quickly—or as well—as Sophie-Anne wanted, Bill was ordered to make Sookie fall in love with him. But Bill had accidentally fallen in love too.
Falling in love with Sookie had been an accident for me as well. However, falling in lust with her had been purposeful—though, paradoxically, uncontrollable. Hell, with the way Sookie looked, the way she smelled, and the way she defied me, it was fucking inevitable!
But falling in love with her had not been part of the plan.
However, if I were honest, my love for her had been coming on for a while now. And that fact just pissed me off even more!
“Fuck Sookie Stackhouse,” I thought to myself yet again.
That fucking slap in the basement of Fangtasia had probably been the first thing that had started to change my lust into something different—something more. Of course, getting my blood into her in Dallas hadn’t helped matters. Even now, I fucking adored the feeling of my blood travelling through her body.
I closed my eyes and savored the feeling as I flung more Nan parts into the trash.
Yes—I fucking loved the feeling of my blood in Sookie. Even now, it was moving inside of her, telling me where she was and what she was feeling.
I knew that she’d stopped at her Gran’s grave before traveling home. I knew that she was heartbroken.
“Fuck Sookie,” I said once more. She fucking deserved to be heartbroken!
She had made me love her! She’d been the one to look both so fucking strong and so frightened in the Fellowship Church in Dallas. She’d been the one who put aside her revulsion in mere moments to suck silver from me when she’d thought I was dying. She’d been the one to take my hand and send me her concern on the morning that Godric had met the sun. How she’d affected me so much that morning after taking just a bit of my blood was still a fucking mystery to me.
Yes—it was all her fault! She’d cried in my bar after Bill had gone missing. And that was just one night after she’d stood defiantly in front of me in the basement of Fangtasia as I’d stood naked before her. She’d never been afraid of me—though I’d tried to make her that way many times. But no—Sookie Stackhouse wouldn’t fucking cooperate!
And then she’d disappeared for a whole fucking year! And I’d been left with an empty feeling.
Not quite love—not then—but close.
But she just had to fucking come back! Of course, I’d wanted her to come back—badly. But at the same time, things would have been easier if she’d just stayed in the fairy realm.
“Fuck her,” I said to myself once more.
When she’d come back, life had been breathed into me again. But she had also pissed me off!
I’d bought her house and fixed it up, but did I get a thank you? Not from Sookie Stackhouse.
Where were her supposedly legendary Southern manners then?
Everyone else, including her precious Bill Compton, had given up on her, but did she show any fucking appreciation to me? No—not Sookie Stackhouse.
She’d once more denied and defied me. And it had once more made me want her even more.
Yes—Sookie Stackhouse had been a battering ram against all of the barricades I’d placed around my undead heart for as long as I could fucking remember.
And when the necromancer had taken away my memories—well—that was when all those barricades were brought down. And I both loved and hated Sookie for being there when they fell.
I looked up at Bill again and dragged the back of my gloved hand across my forehead. My erstwhile king was still on the fucking phone, and Eric Northman was no one’s fucking maid! Sure—the Nan mess had to be dealt with, but I didn’t want to do it a-fucking-lone!
Bill almost rolled his eyes as he hung up, but then picked up a pair of gloves and dug into the blood stains on the carpet.
I sighed and continued cleaning Nan off the walls.
Strangely enough, despite his annoyingly long phone conversion, I didn’t mind Bill right then—at least, not so much. The Civil War veteran had proven himself a decent strategist during the necromancer episode, and we’d teamed up to fight her together and to save Sookie’s life.
“Fuck Sookie,” I said to myself. I didn’t even want to think about how close she’d come to dying!
I, once again, raised the back of my hand to get my bangs out of my face; they were beginning to fall because of the activity of the night. However, Sookie loved running her fingers through them, so I didn’t want to cut them.
“Fuck Sookie,” I thought yet again, this time with a growl.
Bill and I had even more in common after tonight. We had both been rejected by Sookie, and we’d teamed up again to end Nan. Sure—we’d also done it because she was going to kill us too. But there were maneuvers that could have been made to ally ourselves with Nan since she’d been “fired” by the Authority.
Yes—we could have, perhaps, avoided killing Nan. But she knew about Sookie. Neither Bill nor I had needed to speak to each other to know what we were going to do. It had been an easy choice for both of us. Kill Nan and make sure that Sookie’s abilities remained a secret.
Bill and I had made a good team—again.
I knew that I should have hated Bill—hated him because he was competition for Sookie’s affections—because Sookie loved him. But I couldn’t bring myself to hate Bill.
It was—as it turned out—pretty fucking hard to hate someone who had saved your life. Sure—Bill had reported my amnesia to the Authority to begin with and had, therefore, been the reason behind their death sentence for me. But I couldn’t really blame him. I would have done the same thing.
Except that I would have killed Bill.
But Bill hadn’t killed me.
In my state of amnesia, I had been willing to let my monarch take my life with no struggle. Hell, Bill’s ceremonial stake had been poised. My last requests had been made. But Bill had not killed me. Bill had acted with honor and had let me go—even though he knew that I was going to go straight to Sookie. To the woman he loved too.
Bill had proven himself not to be petty. And I wasn’t about to be shown up by him!
I’d been taught better by both my human father and my vampire father.
Plus, truth be told, none of this was Bill’s fault. It was Sookie who should have made a fucking choice between Bill and myself—rather than chicken shit her way out of the responsibility. I understood that she loved us both and was confused by her conflicting emotions. I’d been beaten down by that knowledge, but I had understood. However, Bill had gotten his fucking chance!
Had Sookie given me a chance? No. Not a legitimate one. Once I’d gotten my memories back, she’d just assumed that I couldn’t or wouldn’t love her. Or maybe she thought I wasn’t “good” enough. If that was the case, then she was fucking delusional! I was a Viking prince, the son of Godric, and a vampire sheriff. Plus, I fucking loved her! Those things made me fucking good enough!
And if Sookie couldn’t see that I was the better man for her—better than Bill—then fuck Sookie!
I joined Bill on the floor to scrub the carpet.
Yes—I had come to like Bill, at least almost. I couldn’t blame my “king” for wanting Sookie. It proved he had good taste. I almost laughed at my horrible pun, but when I discovered that I had some Nan hair in my own hair, I scowled and plucked it out. I needed a fucking shower—posthaste!
However, I kept scrubbing—trying to scrub the sound of Sookie’s rejection away from my memory—my perfect memory.
Sookie Stackhouse was a fucking coward. What we had shared—the profound love—was there for the taking, but she had walked away from it. I closed my eyes as I leaned my weight into eradicating the vampire remains from the carpet.
I had wanted to give Sookie the world—to give her my world—but she’d rejected me. And, in addition to my pain, I had to feel her pain. I had to remember her stricken face as she’d left me.
None of that was Bill’s fault. Bill was never real competition for me, and if he was—well—then Sookie wasn’t making the right choice for herself.
Sure Bill had a kind of power. He was a king, after all. Well―at least he had been until this night. And he was “nice” enough. But I knew he wasn’t the best choice of mate for Sookie, and I even liked the guy—almost.
Yes—Bill had seemingly held onto more of his humanity than I had, which might have attracted Sookie more at first. But with that humanity, Bill had also held onto his propensity to lie in order to “protect” Sookie in some kind of misguided and slightly misogynistic fashion—which he labelled as chivalry. And that was not something Sookie would ever want.
Sure, I had lied to and manipulated Sookie—a little—but I’d owned up to it, and I’d never fucking patronized her. And Bill had. And he would again. Bill wasn’t the man for Sookie; I knew that just as I knew that a mixture of vinegar and ammonia was the best way to get blood out of carpet without leaving the scent behind.
I knew who was the right man for Sookie—the right partner. It was me.
And she would be the right partner for me as well—if she could simply give us a chance.
“Fuck Sookie,” I thought again. “Fuck her for making me love her.”
I shook my head and went for some more cleaning towels. Did she even deserve me—especially given her wishy-washy ways?
I sighed. I knew that question didn’t fucking matter. Deserve me or not―love me or not—she had me.
I just didn’t have her.
“Fuck Sookie Stackhouse,” I thought.
To make things even more impossible, I knew in my gut that she did deserve me—just had I sure as fuck deserved her! She was fire itself. She was heat. She was the fucking sun. She’d saved my life—more than once. She’d stood up to me—more than once. She’d been there during the darkest hour of my life—when Godric had chosen to end himself—and she’d not even flinched.
She’d also been there when I was at my most vulnerable—when I didn’t even know my own fucking name. Again, she’d not flinched. She’d simply fallen in love with me.
And I’d fucking loved her back. I still loved her.
I sprayed and scrubbed at vampire speed, even as I continued to think at the same fast rate.
She had chosen me in the cubby when we’d exchanged blood—or at least chosen the version of me with amnesia. But when I’d gotten my memories back, she’d turned from me. I knew that she’d had more of Bill’s blood by then; thus, I knew rationally that the fresh infusion was enough to cause her confusion.
But I didn’t want to think rationally—not when my feelings were anything but.
I sighed as I scrubbed. Sookie had to be frightened by the power of what was between us. I sure as fuck was, and I was a thousand years old!
Hell—I’d never heard of a vampire and a fairy sharing a “blood fantasy” together. Humans could share V-trips, but what Sookie and I had experienced after our exchange had been different.
Totally unique—like the woman herself.
Maybe if I bided my time, she would return to me. After all, what we had—the bond that we had begun—was strong. Given the fact that it was only one-third of the way to complete, it was overwhelmingly strong, and it took all of my effort not to let it dictate everything I did.
But I wasn’t about to use our bond to make her choose me—not that I even could. Her fairy blood seemed to counter most of the things that vampires could do. We couldn’t glamour her. We couldn’t really influence her with our blood either—except for a spattering of dreams, which we weren’t really even in control of.
I knew that firsthand.
And I wouldn’t try to control her anyway. It was sometimes tempting, but I wouldn’t. I wanted her to come to me.
Because I fucking loved her—respected her.
“Fuck Sookie,” I thought again.
I closed my eyes. Yes—that was exactly what I wanted to be doing: fucking Sookie. She had felt like Valhalla to me. She’d been warm around me, almost uncomfortably so. But it was such sweet discomfort. Our first time in the woods had been a wonderful exploration, and I’d been unable to take my hands or mouth or eyes off of her, even as I’d buried myself into her again and again and again.
That night in her home—no our home—we had continued fucking. Actually, that wasn’t true. I’d never simply fucked her—at least not like I was used to thinking about “fucking.” I didn’t like the pedestrian phrase, “making love,” but I knew that that was exactly what we’d been doing.
Yes—we had made something that night. Maybe it was a foundation. Maybe it was a time of transcendence. But it had definitely been love.
And then after we’d formed the first leg of a bond—a bond that could become permanent with two more exchanges—we’d been truly transported.
Sex with Sookie was—simply put—the best sex I’d ever had, and I’d had a lot of sex. I also knew why it had been the best. I’d not held back any essential part of myself from her. Even with my memories gone, I had given her everything. And she’d returned herself—fully.
But then—later—she’d panicked and left me.
“Fuck Sookie,” I thought.
I felt her clearly, even in that moment. She was driving home from the cemetery. That thought comforted me a little. It wouldn’t do at all for her car to be so near to Bill’s home when the Authority sent more people for Bill and me. It had been bad enough that she had still been close by when Nan was there.
It had been only thirty-four minutes since Bill and I killed Nan, but a much larger force from the Authority would come by the next night, which was why Bill and I needed to clean up and to get the fuck out of Dodge.
Since the potential problem of Nan’s spilling Sookie’s secrets was now tied-up in trash bags, Sookie would be safe enough as long as she stayed away from vampires, which I knew that she would now. I supposed that was the one good thing about her rejecting both Bill and me.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I felt her arrive home—arrived at what I’d been thinking of as our home.
“Fuck Sookie,” I thought as I pushed aside the ache she’d created inside of me.
I looked down and saw that I’d been scrubbing the same spot until the carpet was almost threadbare.
I shook my head to clear it. I needed to stop thinking about Sookie. She’d made her position clear. She didn’t want me. And she obviously didn’t want the potential of what we could be together, so fuck her!
Suddenly, I felt a spike in her fear, and Bill looked toward the front door, where I was automatically looking too.
“Sookie,” Bill said aloud.
“Fuck Sookie!” I said for the hundredth time that night, but this time, I said it out loud.