Disclaimer: 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.
[Context Reminder: Here’s what’s going on with Sookie as the following scene occurs at the Authority. She entered the fairy club as Eric was talking to Nora in the previous scene. There, Sookie learns that her parents were killed because of the scent of her blood in their car. She reacts defensively—almost uncontrollably—and then tries to zap Claude with her light. In response, she gets zapped by several fairies and is knocked unconscious. Then, the fairies “test” her light and find out that it is finite. For the sake of this story, all of these things are occurring within the same few minutes as Roman’s death.]
There are some moments in life that are so unquestionably humbling that the only possible reactions are to crawl into a hole and die—or, in a vampire’s case, not to climb into a hole at daybreak and die—or to laugh and make the best out of a shitty situation.
Four minutes before, I’d been visiting Nora, and now I was hanging by the neck by a silver pipe that was burning my throat like a motherfucker!
Silver around my neck, of course, made me think of Sookie, and I probed our bond; her emotions had been fluctuating.
Indeed, she and I both seemed to know exactly when to get into trouble, for I’d felt her disbelief, anger, guilt, and pain, even as I’d been running to the meeting room to try to stop whatever it was that Nora wanted so badly to happen.
And then I had felt my bonded slip into unconsciousness. But I’d been powerless to do anything for her.
Fucking powerless in the whole situation!
It was no mystery how I’d gotten myself into my humiliating position. The mystery was why I was still undead at all.
THREE MINUTES EARLIER
Even as I’d wanted to double over because of the power of Sookie’s emotions and my own fears regarding my bonded, I’d zipped into the Guardian’s meeting room—only to find him prone on the table with Russell hovering over him.
Oh—and did I mention that Russell was wielding the ceremonial stake?
No prize for guessing how he’d gotten ahold of that!
Oh—and did I mention that Russell seemed fully fucking healed!
No prize for guessing who was responsible for that either!
Roman was strong and old, but he was no match for Russell!
Bill and I shared a look—a look that clearly indicated that we both knew how truly fucked we were.
Roman was an old vampire, and for just a second, he fought against the wood in his heart. He yelled out, and he raised himself up to look at his killer. Instead of bursting into bits right away, his flesh seemed to melt a little. Yes—I can safely say that Roman fought hard against his impending death.
But no vampire could fight the true death for long, and his body finally burst into sludge as his magic was used up.
If that were true, I hoped that she would never cry for me.
Time seemed to stop for a moment. All of the Chancellors—except for Salome—were caught up in the surprise and horror of Roman meeting his end and Russell being loose. Molly seemed even more shocked than the rest—likely wondering why her iStake hadn’t worked.
I took that moment of stillness to wonder three things.
The first was whether I should try to run. I answered my own question with a slight shake of the head. Running wouldn’t do anything for me. Even if all the storm troopers let me pass, my enemy would be on me before I took my first step.
The second was a more interesting question: Why hadn’t any of the Chancellors tried to save Roman as Russell held the stake poised over their leader’s heart. Was it shock? Fear? Or was there more to it?
My opportunity for contemplating the intricacies of microfiber—or anything else—was short-lived, however.
Dieter yelled out, “Level one protocol!” even as all the Chancellors did their best impressions of “duck and cover.”
I had no time to “duck” or “cover” before Russell pinned me to the floor, his three-thousand-year-old hands circling my throat. I knew that with one tiny squeeze, he could end me.
I heard an annoying electronic voice confirming Dieter’s order. And then I heard an even more annoying voice: Russell’s.
“You and me—together at last!” he said.
I growled as my fangs came down.
I would like to say that my life flashed before my eyes as I became certain that I was about to die. I would like to say that I recalled all the things that had been most significant to me. However, I saw nothing flashing but Russell’s eyes. And then I saw nothing at all as the effects of “level one protocol” kicked in.
My vision was generally excellent, but whatever strobe lights were in use befuddled my sight—and Russell’s apparently. He loosened his grip just long enough for me to head-butt him.
What followed was testimony of just how long a fight between a three-thousand-year-old vampire and a one-thousand-year-old vampire lasted.
In fact, it was embarrassingly short.
I propelled myself into him, and we hit the ceiling.
However, he simply laughed at my efforts and then threw me across the room like I was a wad of paper. I smashed into a wall, but even before I could fall to the floor, his hand was around my throat.
And then he was bending a silver pipe around my neck and securing me in the corner as if I’d been a “naughty child.”
And, to make matters even worse, he’d left me dangling.
Did I mention that I was humbled?
During Russell and my one-sided “fight,” I’d heard five voices.
The first was Bill’s; he was yelling my name in concern. How sweet. And appropriate.
I was concerned too.
The second voice I heard was Molly’s, yelling that she didn’t understand why her iStake hadn’t worked. Poor thing. She had no idea what was going on, and I was worried for her. I feared she wouldn’t last long under the new regime that would surely form.
The third was Dieter, yelling for the guards to kill Russell. Interesting. It was clear that he was not with Salome. I found myself starting to like him.
The fifth was Kibwe. “He will be tried for what he has done!” he yelled.
But “the general’s” words begged the question: what side was he on? Likely the one that would keep him undead.
The first voice had continued to yell for me, eventually asking if I was alive.
Who knew Bill cared so much?
Surprisingly, I was—indeed—still among the undead.
I almost yelled out, “Just hanging out!” However, I refrained.
Instead, I “listened” from the “balcony,” as even more hell broke loose—in both my bond with Sookie and in the room.
Sookie and my bond felt like it was vibrating with a gentle electric current. It warmed my body from my feet to my head, and it took away most of the pain from the silver pipe. I felt Sookie awaken, and I sighed with relief.
Moments later, Sookie felt hopeful and then impatient—though something about her feelings gave me unease. Along with her hope was the feeling I always got from her when she was trying to deny her supernatural side.
And I hated that fucking feeling almost as much as I hated her pain!
Meanwhile, my eyes had begun to adjust to the strobe lights, and I was able to see some of the happenings going on in the room; they were just as head-scratching as Sookie’s emotions.
The Chancellors were still cowering on the floor as Bill continued to yell my name and look around for me.
“Northman, are you alright?” Bill cried out.
I smirked. That depended on one’s definition of “alright.”
Was I humiliated? Yes.
Was I dangling helplessly in a corner? Yes.
Was I still alive? Yes.
Only one of those things was actually “alright,” however.
From my vantage point, I was able to see something very interesting, indeed, once the storm troopers burst into the room. Russell allowed himself to be taken without a fight. In fact, other than Roman and me, he didn’t engage another being in battle.
The storm troopers quickly netted a laughing Russell, and the lights in the room normalized.
In that moment, I had a choice to make. I could hang quietly or call out for help.
But what would I have said? “Hi—I’m in the corner! Get me down!” Or maybe, “Yo dudes, as much as I like hanging out with you, this silver pipe is ruining my ‘chill.'” Or, “I take the phrase ‘well-hung’ to new heights—don’t you agree?”
Dieter and Rosalyn were clearly still shocked by what had happened. They were definitely not Sanguinistas.
Kibwe looked only somewhat surprised as he kept an eye on Salome. Interesting.
And—as for Bill? He was still looking for me.
And he quickly found me—just hanging out.
Wasn’t it obvious from Russell’s sick laughter?
“The view from up here is spectacular,” I said as casually as I could.
“Eric?” Bill asked uncertainly.
“Yes?” I asked as if I didn’t have a care in the world.
“Should I—uh—get you down from there?” he asked.
“Don’t you dare!” I said, as if the very idea were scandalous. “Not until the spectacle is over,” I added, waving him off, even though I knew that I was part of that spectacle.
He chuckled. Russell laughed even louder.
A/N: I know this chapter is short, but the scene was short, and I didn’t think it would be realistic to develop much of a battle between Russell and Eric. Russell defeated him easily because he is three times’ Eric’s age. Still, I thought there was a little room for comedy in this scene as Eric’s “bolded” line at the end of the scene suggests. I decided to expand the exchange between him and Bill a tad. Also, I wanted to demonstrate how Eric was feeling Sookie during this period. I was continuously frustrated at the show’s makers for giving Sookie and Eric a bond in Season 4-only to have them not acknowledge it again. That’s one of the reasons why I really wanted to explore the inner workings of Eric. He DOES feel Sookie’s emotions b/c of the bond–at least in my version. 🙂