Chapter 43: Award-Worthy Performance

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.


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After Nora and I watched Godric die, we were helped to our feet by some storm troopers. Bill came into the room with some blood for us. Nora was clearly still shell-shocked, but Bill’s eyes were focused on me—judging me.

It was show time.

Act I: Convince Bill and Nora that I’d been converted.

I knew I needed to be careful. If I seemed too eager or too feverishly “holy,” the jig would be up before it got properly started.

I took the proffered blood and drank it quickly—as if I were a human who’d been languishing in a desert. Bill led Nora and me to the seating area. My sister and I sat next to each other. Bill sat across from us—still scrutinizing me.

“Are you alright?” he asked me.

“I didn’t understand,” I said shakily—honestly. I truly hadn’t understood just how fucked up Lilith was before I’d seen her tear through my maker.

“You saw Godric?” Bill asked. He’d obviously been watching us as we’d been on our “trip.” Thankfully, we’d taken less of Lilith’s blood than before, so we were already coming down from our high. Moreover, watching one’s maker die was enough to sober almost anyone.

“Lilith—she killed him,” Nora said haltingly.

Bill kept focused on me. “You have seen visions of Godric before now?”

“Yes,” I confirmed. There was no reason to lie. Bill had seen me speaking to Godric when we’d buried Russell in the cement. “Godric first came to me when I was burning in the sun outside of Fangtasia. He told me that I needed to forgive Russell. He told me the same thing when we buried Russell in the cement.”

I shook my head. “But it is not Godric’s place to grant forgiveness.”

“No. It is Lilith’s,” Nora stammered.

I looked at my sister. “You were right yesterday night—when you told me that Lilith would be the first to kill Godric for his blasphemy.”

She looked up at me with surprise. “Really?”

“How can it be denied?” I asked. “We both saw. Godric lost his way—just as you said he had.” I moved to get down on my knees before her. “I am sorry, Sister. I should have listened to you—and trusted that you would not have turned your back on our maker if Godric were still worthy.” I paused and let another red tear slip from my eye. “But his behavior in the end was indefensible.”

“Yes,” Nora whispered, though I could tell that she was beginning to doubt her own words from the night before.

“On the roof, before Godric died, he said that we—vampires—were unnatural. He said that we should not exist in this world, which was why he wanted to leave it.” I took Nora’s face in my hands, knowing that Bill was still watching the show. “You were right. He chose to leave us because of his false beliefs. I wouldn’t let myself believe that he was wrong. I didn’t want to believe. But Lilith has made me see.”

“Praise Lilith,” Nora said, though not as reverently as she had in the past.

“You are not bitter at Lilith—for ending your maker once more?” Bill asked from behind me.

I turned and sat next to Nora again. “Godric ended himself. The visions I saw were taking me down the wrong path—though I am glad that they led me to spare Russell.”

“But Russell killed your family,” Bill said suspiciously.

“You said it yourself—not two hours ago. I have clung to my human memories for a thousand years,” I said with self-recrimination. “And Godric allowed that—even helping me.” I shook my head. “I should have moved on from my human past. I should have let go of my vow to my human father as soon as I became a vampire. And I certainly shouldn’t have tried to end one of the strongest of our kind to avenge humans who turned to dust centuries ago.”

“You believe that?” Bill asked skeptically.

“I believe in the practical,” I responded evenly. “And I believe in the powerful. Through defeating him, Lilith has shown me that my maker was wrong, and—though it was difficult to see her ending Godric’s spirit,” I added, looking at Nora, “it drove the point home.”

“What point?” Bill asked.

“That you were right. Lilith has chosen me to be here—chosen me to be a caretaker of her cause.”

“What of your opinion that too much religion is a bad thing?” he asked.

“I had not been shown the right religion. I had not been shown a worthy God,” I said. “Lilith is powerful and real.”

“Just yesterday, you indicated that she’d been brought on by a drug-induced haze,” Bill reminded.

“I did. Yet I was so willing to believe that Godric was real. I was a hypocrite.” I paused, shaking my head. “And I was afraid of losing control,” I added, as if admitting that truth cost me something great. “But Salome was right. Lilith wants to share her power—with us all. You were right, too, Bill. As were you,” I said, looking at Nora. I smiled at her. “It’s time to put the Viking aside—to join the new century.”

My sister smiled at me, accepting my words. Still—I could tell that a level of uncertainty had entered her mind. Thanks to Godric’s sacrifice, I knew it wouldn’t be long before her thoughts became even more divided. I just had to bide my time.

“Brother, you’ve made me so happy,” Nora said somewhat flatly. I leaned over and kissed her. I think it was that kiss more than anything else that convinced Bill to believe that I was truly a convert.

I’d been picturing Sookie as I’d given it.

“I am glad you saw the light,” Bill said, standing up. “It is near dawn. Eric, why don’t you go feed,” he added paternalistically, as if he were suddenly in charge of me. “And, Nora, Salome would like to see you. There is to be a meeting soon after dark tomorrow, and Newlin is to give his interview.”

I nodded compliantly and rose, happy that Act I was over.

And the best actor award goes to?

Eric fucking Northman.

Thank you very much.


I’d taken a shower before I’d fallen into my day-rest, but I found myself craving another when I woke up. The sterile stench of the Authority was enough to drive someone mad. Plus, I needed to center myself—focus.

Thankfully, Sookie didn’t seem to be in mortal danger—for once—though she was agitated by something. Because she’d not awoken me with intense fear, I’d even managed to get a full day’s rest, which I desperately needed for the performance I was about to give.

Act II: Make amends with Russell fucking Edgington.

As I scrubbed myself, I knew that I would soon feel dirty again—after I did what I knew I must.

However, dirty was better than dead.

The night before, I’d been able to tell that Bill didn’t fully trust me yet, so I wasn’t surprised when he was the one who “picked me up” once I’d dressed.

“How are you, Eric?” he asked.

“Shaken,” I responded. “But resolved.”

He looked up at me as we walked down the hallway toward the meeting room.

“It will take me a while to get used to all of this,” I added, as if confessing a deep secret. “But—then again—you know how I am.”

He chuckled. “Yes.”

“What I must do now will be the most difficult thing,” I confided.

“And what is that?” he asked.

“I must make peace with Russell—if I can,” I returned evenly. “Part of me still clings to my human feelings for my human parents,” I disclosed. “I see no other way to break from them.”

“Part of me still clings to my human feelings as well,” Bill admitted genuinely. Given his own acting skills, however, I doubted that his sincerity was real. I certainly wasn’t going to chance it.

“Maybe some of them are not bad,” I said contemplatively. “In fact, some human feelings might even be,” I paused, “favorable.”

“Like what?” Bill asked, gauging me, studying me

“Devotion to our people. Self-preservation instincts. I think that Lilith would approve of those things.”

Bill nodded in agreement as Nora and Salome joined us in front of the meeting room entrance. Nora looked much more composed than she had the night before; however—because I had known her for so long—I could tell that something was troubling her. Or, perhaps, she had started acting too?

“Brother,” she greeted, giving me a kiss on the cheek.

“Sister,” I said, smiling down at her. “You look well. You fed?”

She nodded.

Salome looked at me with suspicion, but I could tell that she was buying my act. Likely, Bill had told her that it could be bought. Even more likely, he’d celebrated his own role in my conversion. He did so like to play the hero in a story.

Or the martyr.

In that moment, I would have almost preferred the latter role for him; however, I didn’t want to give up on Bill just yet—though I’d likely never really trust him again.

As we all entered the meeting room, I took a moment to look at the television screen. Newlin was on it. I stifled my distaste, hoping that I’d soon get to kill him. Vampire or human—it didn’t matter. Newlin was a fucking waste of space!

Salome asked how that waste was doing.

Splendid,” Russell enthused. “Finch is coming off nuttier than a fruitcake.”43.1

Russell was one to talk. He was the nuttiest fruitcake I’d ever come across—except for maybe Salome.

Gods! I was tired of nuts!

Salome laughed at Russell’s un-funny comment.

See? Both fucking nuts!

Kibwe looked at me, his eyes unreadable. “And what about our prisoner?”

He’s our prisoner no longer,” Nora said, looking at me as if proud of my transformation from defiance to compliance.43.2

I am pleased to report that our efforts with Mr. Northman have finally borne fruit. Eric?” Bill prompted, obviously expecting me to speak.

And I was ready for my monologue.

Marlon fucking Brando had nothing on me!

I humbly beg your forgiveness,” I said, addressing the others. “I refused to recognize what was clear—to all of us. Lilith came to me,” I continued, affecting a beatific smile. “And she destroyed my maker, whom I was worshipping as a false god. We are the children of Lilith. And it is her whom we must obey.” 43.3

I walked over to Russell and dropped to my knees before him before resuming my speech. “And to you—I give thanks for your mercy. And I forgive you for your sins against my family,” I smiled at him as if I meant it. “We are made again. We are brothers now in the eyes of Lilith. And as we are one in her blood,” I said more loudly, “we must lay down our swords against one another.”

I kissed the ancient vampire’s hand in supplication. As it turned out, a vampire could feel nauseated. But I hid that nausea well.43.4

Clearly, Russell doubted my contrition. He was right to. But—after a few moments—he went along. “If Lilith wills it, so be it. Even though you’re getting’ the better end of the deal,” he said.43.5

Oh—I knew that.

I was getting to live long enough to wait for Nora to come around.

Was I a good actor? Hell yes I was.


Bill had brought a clearly upset Jessica to the Authority compound at some point. I felt sorry for her. He’d obviously either ordered her to read the Book of Lilith or suggested it rather firmly. Either way, it seemed as if she would have rather drunk rotten blood than to have to read the volume in her hands. Clearly no actress, she was pacing behind me, her displeasure clear.

Several of the New Authority’s Chancellors were sitting at the conference table. I’d been named a Chancellor after my conversion; Bill had been named one the night before. However, I’d yet to earn my Level One clearance. I knew that would take a while, but I was patient.

And I was ready for Act III: Perform the role of compliant lackey.

I’ve ordered translations of the Book of Lilith in seventy languages. Every new vampire should be required to learn it,” Nora said fervently, maybe a little too fervently.

Interesting.

Well, the old vampires should as well,” I chimed in. “We want everyone to accept Lilith, don’t we?”43.6

Nora’s expression was ambivalent—at best.

Very interesting.

Are we seriously sitting here discussing education reform? Are we vampires or schoolmarms?” Russell asked.43.7

Uh-oh. It seemed that someone was winding himself up. I wondered what Salome would do about it.

She should have suggested a snack.

Or ask him what he’d prefer to do.

Or offered him more of Lilith’s blood.

However, she decided to speak—confrontationally. Uh-oh.

Her word is sacred,” Salome said zealously.43.8

How do you propose we seize our ‘rightful place,'” Russell asked using air quotes, “in the hierarchy of beings when we’re helpless as hamsters for twelve hours out of the day?”

That is the way we were created,” Kibwe said insistently.

But it’s not how we have to remain,” Russell returned.

Uh-fucking-oh.

I knew what was coming. I’d been expecting it. And dreading it.43.9

I could tell that Bill had been dreading it too, and that told me that he wasn’t completely lost. Fuck! It would have been easier if he had been.

The legends are true,” Russell crowed. “The blood of the fae allows us to daywalk. Compton, Northman—you’ve both drunk from the same fairy I have!” he said, looking at Bill and me in turn.43.10

And you know it lasts a few minutes at most before you fry,” I responded, trying to keep my tone calm.

At that point, Russell went off on a monologue of his own.

Uh-oh.

The Wright Brothers’ first flight lasted twelve seconds,” he said as if he were a fucking spokesman for United Airlines. “Did they turn to each other and say, ‘Twelve seconds is pretty good. Let’s give up and try something else?'” He went on fanatically. “I say we harness the fae blood! We study it. We capture another fairy, even, and breed them. If the Japanese can synthesize human blood, why can’t we do the same thing with fairy blood?”

Salome was the one to respond. Of course, she held to the “rules” found in the vampire bible. “Because we are of the night. The sun is forbidden to us.”

Bill and I looked at each other. We both intuited that the “arrangement” between Salome and Russell was about to end.

Uh-oh.

And Sookie would be the one in danger because of that.

Fuck!

Fairies are an abomination,” Salome continued, quoting the Book of the Vampyr. Yeah—I refused to call it the Book of Lilith—except when I had to.43.11

Their blood is like sucking on heaven,” Russell said longingly. “You know what I wish?” he asked, looking at Salome with the kind of malice only a three-thousand-year-old could muster. “I wish that I had just one drop of fairy blood to stuff in your pie-hole!”

I saved you, Russell,” Salome said threateningly. “I can put you back in the ground.”

Uh-oh. Not a good idea.

I watched as Russell threw Salome across the room as if she were a newborn. To him, she was.

Demonstrating that she was still quite loyal to her mistress, Nora launched herself at Russell, who grabbed her before she could strike him.

Bill and I both dropped fang—but likely for two very different reasons. My sister was being threatened. Bill’s new lover had been harmed.43.12

Oh, please,” Russell said, looking at Bill and me, “give me an excuse to kill the both of you. Or, hell, why not all of you?”

I didn’t figure he’d need any kind of excuse. His eyes were bright with madness and power as he leapt on top of the table.

I am three thousand years old,” he started.

Oh fuck! His accent had changed to reflect that age. That couldn’t be a good sign—for us.

I am stronger than all of you combined. How long did you think I would be your lapdog?” he continued, directing that question to a clearly upset Salome. “I offered you the opportunity to share in the greatest advancement in the history of our race, and the small-mindedness of your religion has literally kept you in the dark! You can have your Lilith. I will not be constrained by your god or anyone else’s!” 43.13

Nora and Jessica were both quivering in fear at the strength filling the room. I stayed still, not wanting to remind Russell that I was a potential threat to him.

I will have the sun!” Russell announced as he looked upward. Thankfully, in his haste to get that light, he jetted from the room, leaving us alive.43.14

Salome sighed loudly. “We no longer need him anyway. He was becoming a liability.”

“And—clearly—he was not a true believer,” Bill added, getting up and going over to comfort his lover.

Nora and I exchanged a look.

“He—he could have . . . ,” Jessica stammered. “I thought he was gonna kill us all.”43.15

“Lilith protected us,” I said as sincerely as possible, drawing looks from the others. “That is the only explanation for our escaping his rage.”

I didn’t believe that for a second. I knew that our “escape” was due to Russell’s tunnel vision and madness.

“Praise Lilith,” Bill said, giving me a nod.

“Praise Lilith,” the others echoed.

Inside, I was thinking something very different.

Fuck Lilith.

Fuck Russell Edgington.

I knew that he’d be going after Sookie now, but at least he’d not announced her name when he’d talked about fairies.

Still, Sookie she was now in grave danger—imminent fucking danger! As in as soon as Russell could fucking find her!

Meanwhile, I was trapped in an act.43.16


A/N: So I added quite a bit here, including the first two scenes above. I always thought it was odd that Bill seemed to believe that Eric had been converted by witnessing Godric’s “demise.” So I wanted to explain that better.

I hope you liked it!

Kat


 

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9 thoughts on “Chapter 43: Award-Worthy Performance

  1. I really felt for Eric in these episodes. I can’t imagine being forced to accept any religion, especially one that demands the subjugation and murder of others. Yes, Eric has killed, manipulated, and subjugated. But I think the circumstances were different.

    I can’t remember what Sookie was doing. Russell had the wolf cub (or husky) and Jessica was there. That girl has already experienced religion negatively. I think Sookie and the others will turn up soon.

  2. This is a re-watch of season 5 without having to fast forward through the boring *cough* Alcide /everything wolf and shifter related *cough* scenes!

    I also just realised that Eric leaned forward and hunched over in these scenes which he normally only did with Sookie.
    As for the good actor line – not if he’s pretending to be a human! ;D
    Look forward to more and awww at he’s sad little wibbly face there when he realised that Russell was going after Sookie. Behl looks like he is side eyeing him on top of his usual constipation face!

    Look forward to more!

  3. I can.t wait til nora comes around .i hate sissy bill ! Even in real life he claimed him and sookie is what made the show..phef ! His full of himself bull is so fitting …more please

  4. Eric deserves to win an Oscar that’s for sure!
    These scenes were so awesome…
    I can never forget Eric’s facial expressions wen he realized that Russell was going to go after Sookie…
    He’s so afraid.He’s close to panic.
    Just look in his eyes.
    Jessica, bless her heart,feels the same.
    Bill? Not so much!
    His progeny cares more about Sookie than he does!
    Can’t wait for more.
    Jackie69

  5. Maithanroisin’s comment made me laugh. His “wibbly” face. It’s such a good way of describing it.
    But seriously, he looked so panicked. It must have been so frustrating for him being stuck in the Authority and not being able to get to Sookie straight away. Bill just looked constipated as usual 😖
    Also an Oscar nomination for Eric Northman please! 🏆

  6. And the award goes to…….
    Me! No, seriously… Bill? No, he got the wooden spoon. Northman, Eric Northman. Woohoo!
    Love the extra bits. As usual. This is so much better. No annoying other characters, and more Eric. Perfection really 😍

  7. Yep… A thousand year old vampire converts in just under 24h to opposite beliefs… Which moron could fall for that? Bill perhaps? Oh well at least at some point they leave that dungeon and things might get interesting esp now that Sookie’s been talked about… Uh oh…

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