Waiting to be Dead and Gone
Weekly challenge #11
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest man."
Eric Northman's office at Fangtasia was unusually crowded for a Monday night in early May. The head vampire of Area Five was kicked back in his office chair, feet on the edge of the desk, managing to look powerful, bored and sexy all at the same time. He was wearing his standard uniform: jeans and T-shirt, and he tapped his fingers idly on his desk as he waiting with growing impatience for the final guest to arrive before he could start the yearly meeting.
Already present was vampire Bill Compton, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed and sporting an outfit that could have been torn from the pages of Golf Weekly. Bill wasn't big on showing his emotions, but tonight he was visibly tense; like a person whose fate hung in the balance.
Sitting in front of Bill was Pam, Eric's child and second in command. She glanced at the door a few times, but mostly she just amused herself by snickering quietly and keeping a little, knowing smile on her face. Eric caught her eye once, and gave her a warning look, but she just winked at him. That didn't sit too well with the Sheriff. It was obvious Pam knew something he did not, and Eric was not accustomed to being in that position. And he didn't like it.
On the other side of the room was an assortment of Supes rarely grouped together: Sam Merlotte stood sulking in between Quinn and Alcide. The three shifter men looked uncomfortable, and they took turns casting sideways glances at one another and pretending to cough. The previous year's meeting - specifically the outcome of that meeting - hadn't gone well for a few of the shifters, and none of them were expecting to be much happier this time around.
Rounding out the group in the office was Victor Madden, King Felipe' DeCastro, and Niall Brigant, who was wisely keeping his fairy scent well masked from his vampire associates.
Finally, the sound of running footsteps could be heard coming down the hall. All eyes turned to the office door as it swung open, and a very out of breath Sookie came in. She stood still a moment, and cast her eyes around the room, quickly realizing everyone had been waiting on her. She smiled her crazy, nervous smile and shut the door quietly.
"Sorry, sorry!" she said, sounding embarrassed. "Car trouble."
Victor looked disgusted at the excuse. "Well, it's your universe, Sookie. Be as late as you want."
"Be nice," Pam warned.
"What's the point?" Victor asked, nearly pouting. "I'm going to end up being the bad guy anyway, right?"
Pam looked shocked. "Well, how would I know? You know the rules; we'll all find out together."
Victor scoffed and waved his hand. "It's inevitable. I'll be the bad guy again."
"Oh, come on, Victor!" Pam said in a soothing voice, "You were never the bad guy...you were just doing your job when you killed all our vamps, and threatened Eric and Sookie with death."
"I know that!" Victor lamented. "But this one here," he waved a hand at Eric "has so many admirers you can hardly fart in his club without some fangirl starting a thread on the Wiki to speculate about your ulterior motives."
"I think you're exaggerating," Pam said, but she was smiling.
"Really? Tell me, have you read any FanFic this past year? My God, those crazy women have me doing everything short of playing pool with Satan himself!"
"Actually," Sookie said helpfully. "I did see some FanArt just like that a few days ago..."
Victor make a choked noise and started to cry tears of blood, and put his head in his hand. "But I'm a nice guy! I really am! Why don't they like me? Why?"
Felipe' patted Victor's arm, and shook his head at his Lieutenant. "Now, now, my friend, we'll talk about this later. Remember that I, too, am not trusted by the Maker's fan base."
"I'm sure you will both get to be real stand-up guys this time around," Sookie said in a comforting voice, though she didn't sound entirely convinced of her own words.
Eric stood up then and stretched leisurely, keeping his eyes fixed on Sookie while he did so. Bill, Quinn and Alcide noticed this, and they all three rolled their eyes. Pam laughed. Victor was still sniffling.
"Eric," the King said, his voice impatient. "Can we kindly get this meeting started?"
"Certainly," Eric said, smiling. The Sheriff had the confidence of a man destined to survive, as though he had been given assurances from fate herself.
Felipe' looked a little displeased at having to make a request of one of his subordinates, but the fact was this was only the second time Felipe' had had to attend such a meeting. Eric was far more schooled in the protocol involved, having already attended eight such discussions before.
"Sookie, can you get the lights please, my lover?"
Sookie flipped the switch on the wall behind her, while Quinn made a snorting sound.
"Getting a little ahead of yourself there, aren't you Viking?" the Weretiger said. "My lover? It's still anyone's game, the way I see it."
"We'll know soon enough," Alcide chimed in. "Tonight is the release."
"Some of us might know already," Pam said, very, very quietly as she pulled a nail file out of her Coach bag. Filing her perfect nails was a game Pam played when she was bored; by the time she had the last nail filed down, the first one had already grown back and she could start again. Hours of fun for a vampire.
Eric ignored the chatter and walked over to the far side of the room where his day guy, Bobby, had installed a large projector screen. Eric pulled it down, and then went back to his desk where an overhead projector was waiting, complete with a little control button on a long cord.
"Okay," Eric said. "We all know why we're here. As has become our tradition these past many years, we gather together for one final night of companionship before our lives are changed forever, and in some cases," Eric paused for dramatic effect, "lives are lost. Forever."
"Very ominous," the King whispered.
"He does that every year," Sam whispered back.
Eric clicked a button and a photo appeared on the screen of a lovely, middle-aged woman with curly hair and an award-winning smile. A hush fell across the room.
A respectful silence ensued, and Eric let the moment linger before he continued reverently.
"Our Maker has placed pen to paper once again, and on Tuesday, May 5th...."
"Ahem," Bill interrupted from the darkness. "She actually placed finger to keyboard, not pen to paper."
Pan choked back a laugh, and Eric glared.
"We should try to be accurate," Bill insisted, "Out of respect for our Maker and the century in which she lives."
"Suck up," said a mumbled voice.
"What was that?" Bill demanded. "Who said that?"
"I did," Sam said, stepping forward into the light of the projector. "Drop the act, Compton, we all know what you're doing."
"Really?" Bill asked, stepping forward. "And what is that?"
"You've been pissed off for years," Sam stated, "ever since the Maker decided to give you some depth."
"I never wanted to have depth!" Bill said, his voice ice cold. "I wanted to have Sookie!"
"Been there, done that," Sookie said under her breath. "I even got the T-Shirt, see?" Sookie unbuttoned her jacket to reveal a white cotton tee with blood red writing that said "Bite me Bill'.
Bill smiled brightly and his fangs ran out.
"I got it in the mail this week from the marketing people at HBO," Sookie went on. "It was free, and I didn't have anything else clean."
Bill's smile faded. Eric walked over to Pam and whispered for her to make sure Sookie got another Fangtasia tee before she left.
"See?" Sam continued, smiling victoriously at Bill. "Even Sookie knows its over. And you still think if you kiss the Maker's ass enough, she'll erase everything that happened and you'll get Sookie back. Is that the plan?"
"You mean like a big re-write?" Alcide asked skeptically.
"Why not?" Quinn said with a shrug. "Alan Ball's doing it."
"I won't need a re-write!" Bill thundered, then looked at Sam with disgust. "And I have a better chance than you do, shifter. You have been quite clearly relegated to friend status."
"Sookie is mine," Eric said in the bored voice of a man tired of repeating himself. A lot. He walked over and flipped the lights back on. "I don't see why you two are even arguing about this. Everyone knows I get the girl."
"I don't know that," Quinn said, looking Eric in the eye. "I think I'm still in the running here."
"Give it up, tiger," Sam said. "There isn't even a T-Shirt for Team Quinn; you're as good as toast, babe."
"Does anyone want to know what I think?" Sookie asked.
"No!" all the guys said together.
"Can we please get back on topic here?" the King asked, and he sounded very Kingly when he said it. Everyone went back to their previous positions slowly, and there was much mumblings under breath.
Sookie flipped off the lights again and Eric clicked the button on the projector remote. A new picture popped up, a fun and colorful drawing of a blonde woman flanked by two vampires.
"This is the cover of the new book," Eric said, and he grinned smugly. "As you can see, Sookie is represented, and here I am on this side....." Then Eric's voice lowered considerably. "And we also seem to have Bill."
"Looks like a little triangle," Victor said. He had stopped crying but his face was stained from the blood.
"To a novice eye, it might indeed appear that way," Bill stated, and all faces shifted to him. He walked to the screen and made a grand, sweeping gesture. "You can clearly see that Sookie's hair is covering her eye nearest Eric, like she is blind to him. But look here...she is seeing me clearly. This is quite significant, I believe."
Pam shook her head.
"Eric's fangs are out," Felipe' said, stepping closer to get a better look at the image.
"Sort of like I'm about to attack someone," Eric said, staring right at Bill. "Maybe someone who is trying to get his hands on my woman."
"What is Sookie holding there...?" Felipe asked, and he turned his head to the side, squinting at the photo. "It looks like..."
"Uh, it's nothing...nothing," Eric said hastily, and he clicked the button, quickly changing the photo on the screen. He cleared his throat, and Pam laughed out loud.
"Busted," she said softly.
Eric ignored her. "Moving on. This is a list of stores that will have the Maker's writing on sale at midnight. I would like to suggest we all go together. There might be some unpleasant events for some of us, and we should all put aside our personal feelings and try to be supportive of one another."
Eric looked at Pam. "Did I get that right?"
Pam didn't take her eyes off her nails. "Yep, pretty close. Dear Abby would be proud."
Bill raised his hand slightly, looking smug. "I actually already ordered my copy through Amazon several months ago."
"Why am I not surprised," Eric said dryly.
"You said there might be something unpleasant?" Sookie stated suspiciously. "You don't think one of us is going to die do you?"
The room was silent, and then Victor started crying again.
Bill stepped forward and looked at Sookie, placing one hand over his heart. "If the Maker requires it, I will gladly die for you, my darling."
Sookie's eyes went wide with fear. "Eric, you don't really think the Maker would kill Bill?"
"Wasn't that already a movie?" Alcide whispered.
Quinn shook his head. "Different Bill, I think."
"Sure she would kill him," Pam piped up. "Having a main character go out in a blaze of glory is great for sales and drama. But HBO might actually help save him."
"Oh, yes. Bill is really popular with the TV series fans. It might hurt the show if the viewers knew Bill was killed off in the books."
"People do seem to love show Bill..." Alcide said with a shrug, and there was a general murmur of reluctant agreement throughout the group.
"And the Maker did make changes to her writings after the TV series was released," Quinn said in a mysterious tone. Much ooohing and ahhhing ensued, and chatter of possible conspiracies drifted around the room for a while.
"Some of the readers are still pulling for me, too, you know," Bill said finally, sounding a little defensive.
"The underdog always has a following," Eric stated, crossing his arms over his chest and smiling broadly.
"I only know of one underdog," Bill said, staring across the room at Sam.
"Sookie and I had sex through our clothes," Quinn announced loudly, and everyone instantly fell silent and stared at him. Then they stared at Sookie.
"Well, that was way out of left field," Pam said. "Kinda hot, though." Then she went back to her nails.
"Look," Sookie said, holding up her hands. "None of us knows anything until Midnight, okay. I may not be having sex with any of you!"
"Wouldn't count on that" Pam said quietly, and all heads whipped in her direction.
"Do you know something, Pam?" Eric demanded. "Did you disobey my orders?"
"No!" Pam said. "Not exactly...."
Alcide pointed a finger at Pam and shook it, and his eyes went wide. "Spoilers! She read the spoilers!"
"Pam!" Eric boomed.
"I'm sorry, Master," Pam said, looking abashed. "I just couldn't not click..."
"Is this true?" Sookie asked, and then her eyes lit up and she grabbed Pam's arm. "You have to tell me if you know something!"
"Do I die?" Victor asked, stepping forward.
"Am I still more handsome than Jimmy Smits?" Felipe' questioned.
"Does Sookie finally 'see' me, Pam?" Bill asked, making little quotation marks with his fingers.
Pam stood up, and backed against the wall while the group stalked her.
"Just hang on everyone," she said, looking worried. But they kept at her.
"Am I still just a friend?" Sam asked.
"Am I going to have to shave my legs!?" Sookie demanded.
"Does she yield to me?"
"Does she forgive me?"
"Does she make a choice?"
"What happens with Jason?" someone asked and the rest of the group responded with who cares?!
Just then, Niall stepped into the middle of the fray and reached out his arm to Sookie. She ran to her Great-Grandfather and wrapped her arms around him. Niall smiled at her, then he allowed his fairy smell to permeate the room.
Every Supe in the room instantly ceased what they were doing and turned to the Fairy with bared fangs and hungry eyes. Niall moved with Sookie to the wall, winked at the group, then flipped off the lights.
Growls and groans and the sounds of tumbling bodies and chairs was all that could be heard from the empty dance floor at Fangtasia. Niall had simply popped he and Sookie out of the office before things got too ugly. Niall was giggling wildly with the chaos he had created, and Sookie looked at him with a shocked expression.
"They might kill each other!"
"I doubt it will go so far," Niall said with a smile.
"You knew exactly what was going to happen, didn't you?" Sookie asked.
"It's possible I may have forwarded a copy of the Maker's writing to Pam......"
Sookie laughed out loud. "I'm real surprised at you! As old as you are, and you're still playing games! So tell me, Grandfather, did you read what was written?"
"I did. I must say, my dear, a few things I read were quite fanciful. Utter nonsense, some of it."
"But will it be fun?"
"Absolutely!" Niall winked. "A little nonsense now and then, after all, is relished even by the wisest man."
Ok, it's 3:43 am here...to post or not to post....will I regret it in the morning? Probably, but what the heck! xoxo