Title: 21 Candles
Author: Malanna (with a huge assist from Master Beta and Mistress of Snark, Gallathea)
Support Stacie Auction Winner: Konfetti and S Meadows.
Ficlet Challenge: Write the SVM version of the John Hughes classic film 16 Candles. Warning: major humor and parody ahead! This is definite AU/OOC.
Musical Inspiration: 80's new wave, of course!
The Stackhouse family home in suburban Shreveport, Louisiana was abuzz with activity. Jason, the eldest son of Corbett and Michelle Stackhouse, was getting married tomorrow, and all manner of relatives were arriving for the occasion. Michelle was tearing through the house like a tornado this morning, doing last minute cleaning, while Corbett tried in vain to stay out of her way and make it to work on time.
However, Sookie Stackhouse, Jason's younger sister, had far more important things than her brother's wedding on her mind. Today was her 21st birthday. She looked at the fake ID she'd been using for the last four years with some affection: Wanda McRackerton (yes, the guy who constructed her alternate identity was a smartass), 30 year-old organ donor from Montana, was retiring today.
Sookie stood staring in her full length mirror, evaluating herself. She was hoping to see some difference, something to say she was a real woman now.
"Nope, I still look exactly the same," she said exasperatedly into the phone, her best friend Amelia on the other end.
Sookie pursed her lips, blowing out a puff of air. There was still one way she she hadn't become an adult yet – she was still a virgin. She'd always had this notion of waiting for the perfect guy, but Mr. Right had yet to show up. To say she was getting frustrated with waiting would be an understatement. She should've bought stock in Duracell for as many batteries as she went through. Worse yet, her brother knew damn well that an envelope from "Open Enterprises" meant a new Good Vibrations catalog, and he teased her about her "mail order boyfriends" constantly.
"Well, what'd you expect, Sookie—a magical tattoo that says 'buy me an Appletini; I'm legal'? Besides, it's not like you don't already have boobs, Miss McRackerton," Amelia laughed.
Sookie flopped on her bed. "I don't know, I was just thinking I should look more mature somehow."
"Maturity is all a state of mind, Sookie. You need to redecorate your room – I hardly think pink walls and frilly lace curtains qualify as an adult woman's style."
"Yeah, maybe you're right," Sookie huffed. "Okay, I better get downstairs. My family's probably pissed I haven't let them wish me a happy birthday yet. I'll see you in class."
Sookie hung up the phone, stopping for one last look in the mirror before heading off to her classes at community college.
"You need to get laid and have a kick-ass birthday," she said to herself, taking a deep breath.
Linda, Michelle's sister, was at the bottom of the stairs fighting with her two kids; Hunter, age eleven, and Hadley, age nine.
"Mom, Hunter hit me!" Hadley whined.
"Did not, puke-breath!"
Linda grabbed both kids by the arm, keeping them separated. "Cut it out you two, or you're going to miss your cousin's wedding tomorrow!"
"Promise?" Hunter grinned.
Sookie waited on the stairs for the kids to be scuttled out the front door to their school bus. It annoyed her that her Aunt Linda and her cousins always seemed to be here, even though they had their own house just three doors down.
"Michelle?!" Corbett yelled down the hallway. "Where's my briefcase?"
"Right here!" Michelle said as she came into the hall, pulling the briefcase from under the entryway console table.
Sookie smiled at her Dad, waiting expectantly.
"Don't forget," Michelle said as Corbett made for the front door. "The grandparents are coming this afternoon."
"How could I forget?" he asked, clearly not thrilled. "Are we still having dinner with the Norrises tonight?"
"Calvin and Maryelizabeth, yes, at seven o'clock. You better learn their names since they're about to be our in-laws."
Corbett looked over at Sookie, "Do me a favor. When you get married – elope to Vegas. Get married by Elvis or something."
Sookie stared blankly at her Dad, watching him walk out the door without another word.
"Sookie, make sure you come right home after your last class. Your grandparents will be expecting to see you," her mother said.
"Is that all you have to say to me?" Sookie asked incredulously.
Michelle huffed, anxious to get back to cleaning, "What would you like me to say, Sook?"
Sookie narrowed her eyes a bit, "Nothing, nevermind," and stalked out the front door.
Unbelievable, her family had forgotten her birthday!
After spending the afternoon getting her new (of age) driver's license and window shopping, Sookie arrived at Shreveport Community College. She'd signed up mostly for night classes so that she could get a job during the day, which she had yet to actually do. She'd headed to the commons area to stow some things in her locker and meet up with Amelia.
"They actually forgot your birthday? Wow," Amelia said, leaning against the lockers next to Sookie.
"Yep, not one word."
"Why don't you remind them?"
"No way. They're all too busy obsessing over Jason's wedding," Sookie grumbled. "Besides, I'm practically invisible to most people anyway, why should my family be any different?"
"Well, I'd stow it away for future use. That's some major guilt ammunition to finally get a car," stated Amelia.
Sookie shut her locker, and the two headed down the hall toward class. "I wasn't expecting a car or anything, but I mean, it's my 21st birthday for christ's sake – I should be having some really killer party or something. They could've at least wished me a happy birthday."
"Well, maybe you'll find some hot guy at the dance tonight," Amelia said, sliding into her desk behind Sookie.
"I don't even know if I'm going. A sorority sponsored dance is not exactly my idea of a great birthday. Plus, my grandparents are coming into town."
"Aw, Sook, c'mon. Try, at least. It's better than sitting home sulking."
Before Sookie could respond the professor was walking in, and Sookie dug out her economics book from her bag. She tried for a few minutes to pay attention to the lecture, but couldn't keep her mind off what a crappy birthday this was so far. As the class droned on, Sookie felt Amelia poking at her side, handing her a note.
Sookie opened it, furrowing her brow that she was still doing things as juvenile as passing notes in class. She grew even more annoyed when she realized what she was looking at. It was some sort of sex quiz. Oh well, at least it was a distraction.
She went through the first few, writing down her answers, but paused as she came to a particularly interesting set.
5. Have you ever done it with a Vampire?
Sookie had been intrigued by the vamps ever since they'd come out of the proverbial closet a few years back; she had chosen to schedule most of her classes at night with the faint hope of meeting one. She'd even done a little poking around on the Internet to see what she could find, and after being assaulted by an endless barrage of pop-up windows, she found video confirmation of some of the discussions she'd overheard: vampires had stamina. Hooboy, did they have stamina. And they could do this thing with their fingers, and... Sookie felt herself beginning to flush red. Time to answer the question and move on.
She penned in her negative answer and read the next question.
6. If your answer was no, would you, given the chance?
Heck yeah she would! She'd heard from several girls at school that sex with vampires was incredible. She wrote down a simple 'I guess so,' though, not wanting to seem overly eager.
7. If yes, what Vampire would you do it with?
Sookie tapped her pen repeatedly against her lower lip. She knew exactly who she would pick. In fact, he was sitting in the next row of desks, a couple seats back.
She casually turned her head to peek back that way, staring at the incredibly gorgeous vampire. He must've been at least six and a half feet tall, with gorgeous, long blond hair, and the most amazing blue eyes Sookie had ever seen. She had no idea how old he was, but from his looks and muscular frame, she could imagine him having been a Viking warrior.
To her horror, he turned his head and caught her staring, probably with a dazed and dreamy look. She made some pathetic attempt to look like she was scratching her chin against her shoulder and quickly turned back around. She felt like such a loser, sometimes.
Sookie stared back at the paper, taking a deep breath, and finally wrote down her answer.
She grinned to herself. Wouldn't he be the perfect guy to make a woman out of her. It'd be even better if it happened on her birthday – that would make up for all the other things that had happened today.
8. Does the Vampire know you would do them?
Oh yeah, that wouldn't be embarrassing or anything. She could just walk up to him and say, "Hi, I'm a human and a virgin, but I'd love to lose it to you." Sookie shivered at the mere thought and penned 'NO!!!' - underlining it several times.
She finished the quiz and folded the note back up. Pretending to stretch and yawn, she held her hands up over and behind her head, dropping the note back to Amelia.
Eric had been watching Sookie since he caught her looking at him. It wasn't the first time he'd seen her staring, and he found himself intrigued by the blond human. There was something about the way she looked at him...
As she tried to drop a folded piece of paper on the desk behind her, Eric watched it miss its target, landing on the floor. He peeked at the girl seated behind Sookie to see if she noticed it fall, but her head was buried in a magazine. Eric leaned forward a bit in his desk, snagging the note with his foot and sliding it toward him. He reached to pick it up and quickly tucked it inside his econ book, intending to read it after class. He was too curious about that girl to pass up the opportunity.
"What do you mean, you don't have it?!" Sookie asked in a panic. She and Amelia were leaving their economics class.
"I swear I didn't get it," Amelia said apologetically.
Sookie threw her hands up. "Great, just great."
"What's the big deal? You didn't put your name on it, did you?"
"No, but there was something really embarrassing in there, and I don't want it floating around for just anyone to find!"
"Why? What'd you put?"
"That I'd do it with a vampire," Sookie said, turning beet red.
"You didn't! Who?"
Sookie glanced around to make sure no one was looking, then said in a low voice, "Eric Northman."
"No way!" Amelia exclaimed. "Eric Northman? He doesn't even know you're alive."
"I know, but it's supposed to be like my ideal," Sookie huffed.
"Well, yeah, but still. Besides, he's dating Pamela Ravenscroft. No way can you compete with her."
"I know," Sookie sighed. "She's so damned perfect and beautiful you just want to hate her."
"Yeah, but you can't, cause she's actually nice. I heard she even organized some big blood drive for the Katrina relief efforts, and she volunteers at the hospital to help recent amputee victims learn to walk again," Amelia said, sounding totally impressed.
"There's got to be something wrong with her. Maybe she's a closet lesbian or something," Sookie laughed.
"Well, she is kind of shallow in some ways – at least, that's what you'd gather from her shopping obsession. I bet she's spent a fortune on all those twin sets and Manolo Blahniks," Amelia snickered. "Still though, you might as well keep dreaming, Sook."
"Well, I will. It's all I've got right now," Sookie lamented.
The two girls chatted a bit more before parting ways, and Sookie promised Amelia she'd try to make it to the dance tonight. Amelia encouraged her by saying Eric would probably be there, making Sookie roll her eyes, but secretly feel an excited shiver at the thought. As she headed for the city bus stop, Sookie couldn't help but imagine the possibilities. In person, she wouldn't have to deal with the pop-up windows.
Eric was also wondering about Sookie later that day when he went to meet his friend Clancy at the gym. The two often practiced sparring after classes. Eric had been very surprised when he read Sookie's quiz, and he couldn't seem to stop thinking about it.
"Hey Clancy," Eric said as they were warming up (why vampires needed to warm up, Eric had no idea, but Clancy always insisted on it.)
"Do you know Sookie Stackhouse?"
Clancy thought for a moment, stretching. "That blond girl from econ?"
"Yeah," Eric said, removing his wooden practice sword from the bag.
"What about her?"
Eric began to practice his forms, keeping his voice casual. "What do you think of her?"
"I don't," Clancy said with a dismissive tone.
"Come on, seriously."
Clancy eyed Eric, "I dunno... she seems weird, always going around with that bizarre smile stuck on her face."
"I think she's pretty," Eric shrugged. "She's always looking at me... different from how other girls look at me. Almost like she's in love with me or something." After a moment of awkward silence, he added, "And she smells damn good."
"She smells like virgin," Clancy smirked. "What do you care, anyway? You've got Pamela. That chick is hot, and she's gotta be a tiger in the sack."
Eric rolled his eyes at the young vampire. "Maybe I'm looking for more than just a good fuck."
"Like what?" Clancy stared at him blankly.
Eric sighed, "Nevermind."
The two sparred for awhile, but Eric couldn't concentrate. He wasn't particularly looking forward to the dance tonight, having grown bored with the same old partying and fucking. He was seriously considering breaking up with Pam, and with what he'd learned about Sookie, that idea was looking more and more appealing. He wondered if Sookie would be at the dance...
... maybe tonight wouldn't be so bad.
A/N: This fic was written as part of the Support Stacie auction, in which fanfic authors offered stories written to the winning bidder's personal specifications. The auction raised over $25,000 in total to help support a fellow author battling cancer. To learn more about this cause and about future auctions, please visit:
supportstacie (DOT) net
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or stories from the Southern Vampire Mysteries – they belong solely to Charlaine Harris. No infringement is intended.