Sookie was exhausted from the night. It had been really nice of Lafayette and James to hire her the famous Turkey Fryer of the South for their dinner but it did leave her making everything else. She didn’t have the heart to tell them no, when she really should have but it had been like that for a while now. Sookie would never regret saying yes to being their surrogate, the whole experience of pregnancy was amazing but it was exhausting. The constant touching of her belly was a nightmare for the telepath whose ability amplified with the contact. Then there were the questions. The constant questions about the baby daddy, because in the small minded community of Bon Temps it was more acceptable for some random man to have knocked up Sookie Stackhouse than for the token gay vampire couple to be having a baby. She tried to correct them constantly but their minds revealed it often enough, the two men could never equate to be capable fathers in anyone’s mind. For once she had just stopped trying to fight everyone’s assumptions on Thanksgiving and played right along that John Everyman was the baby’s daddy. It was just easier that way.
This wasn’t her idea of Thanksgiving anyhow, as nice as it had been not to fuss over a turkey it wasn’t a true Stackhouse Thanksgiving without Adele’s famous fried chicken. As she sat herself down in her Gran’s comfortable reclining chair she groaned with the loss of that particular dish at the table that night as Jason had scoffed it up before she was able to get a single bite. Annoyingly indigestion caused her to taste the results of that deep fried monstrosity instead. That irksome and vain John Everyman just stole her damn seat at the head of the table leaving her the empty one next to it and her Southern manners couldn’t politely excuse her from tasting the man’s ‘fine’ product.
“I should have used the pregnancy card,” she grumbled to herself while flailing a little to get up in search of some saltines. “Should have told them to have their own Thanksgiving feast while I was at it. Fucking John Everyman.”
She sighed with relief when she located her sleeve of crackers even though it appeared Jason had struck again and had raided her special pregnancy stash leaving the top few to become stale. Her whole body was, however, extremely grateful as her upset baby and stomach quieted down with the salty injection.
“Bed,” she thought to herself as she finally let fatigue overtake her “Screw all the dishes that still need to go in the fridge.” As she neared the object of her desire promising a soft sleep it seemed Sookie was reminded how futile such thoughts were as fate took that moment to remind her just what a cruel bitch it truly was in the life of a fairy hybrid telepath while the phone rang for attention.
“Fucking hell,” Sookie muttered softly to herself as she answered while taking in the late hour of the night.
“Well fucking hell to you too,” the voice on the line tittered as her otherworldly senses had easily picked up her internal monologue. “You mind if I pitch that to Eric as our new greeting. It describes the atmosphere here so aptly.”
“No,” Sookie whined when she recognised the voice.
“You seriously mind?”
“What? No, I assume you’re calling,” Sookie exhaled rather audibly not really wishing to finish the sentence that would confirm that her selfless acts for the night were far from over, “about Niall?”
“Points for Tinkerbelle,” Pam returned dryly. “The place has been closed for half an hour and he refuses to leave, you’re going to have to come pick him up.”
“No,” she whimpered as the thought of reaching the comfort of her bed seemed to become more elusive by the minute. “Can’t he just sleep it off in your dungeon or something?”
“Like I’d put my prize poodle at risk like that,” Pam huffed out in protest. “Last time we tried that I found him dry humping Sarah while she screeched like a bitch in heat. Damn seductress, she’s not allowed any pleasure by the guidelines of the AVL nor are we allowed to do anything but dispense her blood and you know how hard it is to keep that Fairy granddaddy away from her, even when I’m in the room.”
“Pam I just can’t ok,” Sookie pleaded. She couldn’t deal with this tonight. Niall’s obsession with Sarah Newlin was getting out of hand. He was wasting away hundreds of thousands of dollars for her company spending minutes talking to her but never touching her under Pam’s watchful eyes. When his money ran out for the night he would drink himself to misery on spaghetti spiked Bloody Marys. Till inevitably Sookie was sent to pick him up.
“I spent days slaving away on my feet, cooking and cleaning so everyone could have a perfect Thanksgiving when all I wanted was some fried chicken. I need to sleep those few hours that the baby isn’t kicking my insides to pieces. Please can’t he stay with you?” Sookie appealed once more.
“Hold on,” Pam informed as the receiver went silent and a vague mumble of voices was heard in the background. Sookie beseeched to all known deities that the blonde vampiress would deal with Niall just this one time so she could get some rest. “Eric’s on his way.”
“What no!” she replied with horror at the thought. The house was a bomb site and she hadn’t dared look at herself in the mirror but Sookie was pretty sure she looked far worse than the remnant mess of her enforced party.
“You know you should really use that word more often with the people around you instead of just with me and my maker.”
“What?” Sookie asked in confusion as she wondered how quickly she could clean up the chaos that surrounded her.
“No,” Pam clarified. “It really isn’t that hard of a word. Look where it got you tonight. Did you ever tell any of those friends no?”
“No,” she answered meekly.
“Good you’re practicing,” Pam preened with pride. “Life’s a shit ton easier if you tell the right people to fuck off now and then.”
“Can I still tell Eric not to bring Niall here?”
“No,” Pam intoned sotto voce. “With my maker’s lead feet he’s probably already halfway there.”
“Oh,” Sookie sighed with deflation. “All right, thanks for the advice Pam.”
“Yeah, whatever,” she returned. “I have to go feed Sarah and take her out for a walk. See you in fucking hell.”
“Well fucking hell to you too,” Sookie greeted back in return to the dial tone. She pulled the red quilt from the couch and decided to wait outside on the porch swing hoping that would stop Eric from entering the disarray that was her home. It didn’t take long for her drive to light up with the beams coming from the luxury two-seater. She waddled down the porch to greet them with a small wave. The nausea that she had only so shortly tampered down unfortunately chose that moment to release itself as she took in the rank odours of Niall. While she had prided herself in projecting away from the car she hadn’t calculated that to be the path where a concerned Eric suddenly stood.
“Oh my god,” she screeched out in horror as she took in the contents of her dinner painted all over Eric’s chest. Forgetting all about the state of her home she urged him inside to clean up. Eric insisted for her to take it easy by carrying Niall in after dispensing his soiled shirt. It was an odd sight, mostly because the image of him reminded Sookie of the man she was once picked up from the side of the road when he was walking shirtless with no memories. Just in jeans, just like now. Eric took little offense when Sookie apologised for the mess as he gently deposited the fairy prince on her sofa. Sookie covered him with the quilt and offered Eric the use of her shower and the clothes he had once worn.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Sookie when Eric emerged all cleaned up in his basketball shorts and sleeveless hooded shirt. Even his hair flopped around without the usual products in place. She was nervously trying to stow away all the messes when he stilled her hands.
“Sookie let me?” he offered. Despite her lessons with Pam to use the word no more in her vocabulary for the first time that night she found there was no desire to express that particular word to Eric. She gave a brief nod at which he guided her to a chair before he set to put away the last of the dishes.
“Thank you Eric,” Sookie said with melancholic eyes as she remembered the domestic bliss those amnesia days had been. On some level it felt cruel to be visually reminded of it in such a detailed representation now, but for the first time that night she was truly thankful for something.
Sookie woke to familiar cooking smells, ones which she never thought to experience again unless she created them herself. She couldn’t remember how she had ended up in her bed but the modest amount of sleep she had been gifted with had been a godsend. As she emerged from her bedroom she was shocked to discover the whole house had been put to right again, not a surface was left untouched by cleaning products. High handed but oh so welcome for once. The only evidence of the hell that was her previous night was the sight of her grandfather contentedly sleeping on her sofa mumbling Sarah’s name now and then.
She was perplexed at the sight of Eric still in his borrowed attire standing in her kitchen preparing her grandmother’s famous fried chicken while carefully studying her Gran’s recipe cards.
“What are you doing?”
“Cooking,” he answered simply.
“I see that,” Sookie acknowledged. “Why?”
“I remember you told me about this holiday when I stayed here. That the thing you liked most was that your grandmother would always keep a batch of fried chicken behind that you would eat together for breakfast the next morning,” Eric explained. “There were none to be found.”
“You didn’t have to do that,” she said touched as tears started staining her eyes. Pregnancy or Eric induced, she wasn’t quite sure. Sookie realised she didn’t have any chicken left in the fridge which meant that aside from cleaning her whole house he had gone out and miraculously procured it on Thanksgiving. “Why?”
“You really have to ask me why?” he said tersely as the last of the chicken was set to drain of its fat. “Isn’t it obvious? Why I continue to live in Shreveport when I can afford to be anywhere in the world? Why I continue to run a nightclub I despise? For fuck’s sake… Why I allow your grandfather to pay his way with Monopoly money night upon night?”
“Why?” she whispered.
“The vampire is a good man and he loves you,” Niall bellowed from the sofa before falling back to sleep again. Sookie’s eyes pleaded to his for confirmation of the statement that seemed so unceremoniously thrown into the room.
“Because I came here without a thought or a cent to my name and I all I desired in that moment was you. Simply to love you,” Eric offered in explanation as he brushed away the tears that were staining her face. “I’d trade everything I have just to experience that again. For it to last beyond a few nights.”
“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
“You might have said no,” he confessed softly revealing the insecurity that had marked his personality so strongly back then.
“Well apparently I have difficulty using that word,” she said with a small smile as she leaned into him. “Just ask Pam. Then ask me. Make me an offer I can’t refuse, give me a reason to never want to utter the word no again when it comes to you.”
His mouth hovered just above hers, the words came deep from his throat with a husky rasp, “Be mine?”
Her lips answered as they both decided words were superfluous and always would be between them. Their bodies communicated far better than anything else ever would as the tentative touch of the lips deepened to a desperate kiss. Strong and urgent but always honest.
Niall’s head rose from the sofa as he took in the lovers disentangling from their intimate embrace. A smile was plastered upon both their faces as they completely forgot the regal presence in the living room.
“Does this mean I get to be with Sarah now?” he enquired, bursting them from their contented bubble.
“NO!” they barked as a united front. Niall gave a small pout and pretended to be extremely disheartened as he sank back into the sofa. However, a mischievous grin encompassed his face as he texted his blonde vampiric partner in crime that it had been a complete success and that he would now be holding her to that three-way in hell.
A/N: Thanks to violetsdream for suggesting Sookie be the surrogate for Lafayette and James’ baby and beardy nobody to just be a nobody. And thanks for VAlady for reminding me of book Niall’s infamous line.
Just to prove how much of an impact James made on me… #trueconfession I started this piece three times having to look up his name and without fail getting utterly distracted with other things each and every time… but thankfully I found inspiration for another piece involving Six Flags…