AN: This is just a scene that I couldn't get out of my head. I'm not a native English speaker so I apologize if there are to many faults in here. Normally I only write for my own amusement but I figured I could try and post something for once. Constructive reviews would be very appreciated.
Obviously I own nothing or this would be in the show.
When Sookie descended the metal stairs from the roof to the maintenance attic she just wanted to go back to her room, crawl into bed next to Bill and sleep the day away. Those plans were unfortunately ruined well before the self-closing door had slammed shut behind her.
The main corridor of the attic was short and bleak with a speckled gray vinyl flooring and bare concrete walls painted white. Several locked steel doors lead away from it marked with Electricity Central, Elevator, Heating and other things that she paid no real mind to.
Something, or rather someone, was breaking the monotony of the hallway. Just a few steps away from the bottom of the stairs Eric had settled down and he was currently smoking slightly from the diluted sunlight that reached him through the open door. The old vampire didn't seem to notice the deadly rays as he stared emptily at the wall in front of him.
The blood tracks stood out clearly against the pale face and Sookie could see yet another crimson tear make it's way across his cheek before falling on his black shirt. The dark color left no evidence of how much blood had been spilt but Sookie had the distinct felling that had it been white the stains would have grown rather large by now.
"Eric?" she carefully lowered herself to the floor next to him, spreading her skirt around her crossed legs. There was no answer to the implied question and his face remained as emotionless as always. Without the breathing of the living he could have been taken for a statue if not for the falling tears.
She could just have stood up and walked away then, he didn't even seem to realize she was there. And even if he did: Why should she care? This was the (literally) cold-blooded bastard who had tricked her into drinking his blood and forging a bond she did not wish for. Yet that thought was just an annoying fly that was waved away as quickly as it came to life. Sookie was still a human and no matter what she would normally feel for the man next to her it wasn't important now. In this very moment he was just as worthy of her care as the next guy that she happened to stumble across crying for a family member who committed suicide not ten minutes ago.
The object for her newfound and most likely temporary tenderness was sitting with his back against the wall and his legs pulled up. He had his arms around his stomach like it was aching, or as if he was trying to keep his internal organs from falling out. The latter was a feeling that she could relate to from the time when her grandmother had died and the twinge of pain that always accompanied any thoughts about that dutifully showed up.
Carefully reaching out Sookie grabbed a hold of Eric's right arm and pulled it loose from the embrace. There was still no reaction but he let her do it which had to count for something, if he had wished to keep it to himself she'd have needed a crowbar to move it. Placing his arm across her lap she entwined the fingers of her left hand with his. Had it not felt so out of place she would have closed the small gap between their bodies and pulled him into an embrace, or at least put an arm around his shoulders. Instead she deliberately laid the length of his lower arm on top of hers and placed her right hand over their joined ones letting her right thumb lazily stroke the back of his hand. It was the only embrace she could give him and she doubted he would have allowed any more comfort.
She sat silently for hours, shifting her position slightly when her body was aching to much to ignore. Most of the time she was lost in thoughts as well, staring at the same blank wall as Eric but all the while she continued to remind him of her presence with the slight movement of her thumb and her warm skin against his cold one.
Sometime during this time it occurred to her that he could probably sense her feelings and for the first time since learning this she didn't mind. If feeling her sadness and care for him made him feel even a little bit better then she could give him that. Sookie was well aware that not many would do something like this for a man that they hated, but she was not like most people. Had she stood up and left she wouldn't have been able to meet her own eyes in the mirror for weeks. Not that selfishness was her main reason to remain in the attic.
It was sometime around lunch that her humans needs became to much to ignore. She had postponed going to the bathroom for hours and it was no longer a choice to remain seated. The thirst and hunger she could live with for a while longer but it might be wise to deal with that as well if she was on the move. As she started to withdraw her left hand from Eric's she got the first sign of awareness from him since he had left the roof. His hand was suddenly gripping hers like a man hanging from the edge of a roof with 40 feet of air beneath his feet.
"I'm a human Eric" she said turning to him, the rest of his posture hadn't changed. "I have to eat and drink and visit the bathroom. I won't be long and I will come back here as soon as I'm done." He showed no reaction to her words but let go of her hand when she pulled it back.
When Sookie stood up it felt as if the blood returning to her feet was filled with white hot needles. For a second the room swam in front of her and she almost sat back down before her blood pressure righted itself and she could set off towards the stairs to the top floor.
The movement had made her bathroom situation almost unbearable and she had to stand with her legs crossed to avoid an accident in the elevator. Luckily she soon reached her floor and after fumbling for a second with her key managed to unlock her door. The bathroom was situated straight out of the hall so she ignored Bill for a moment and dived through the door.
Washing her hands Sookie took a look at herself in the mirror. Her blonde hair was slightly ruffled but she didn't look as pale and tired as she had feared. Quickly redoing her ponytail she felt ready to go out and meet her boyfriend.
As it turned out there had been no need to try and look nice for Bill. He was fast asleep, or dead if you were fussy, and hadn't noticed her at all. Sookie was relieved that she wouldn't have to explain her long absence and soon departure to the sometimes overbearing man, then she felt guilty for feeling like that. Bill only wanted her to be safe. That he had been able to rest in the first place was a good sign, apparently he trusted her to be able to handle herself for once.
The continental breakfast was still being served. Most of the humans who lived at the hotel had picked up late habits so as a service breakfast was available most of the day. Feeling chilled from her lack of sleep Sookie swapped the checkered dress for a pair of soft jeans and a sweater before once again leaving Bill alone in their bed.
Sunlight was filtering in through the uncovered windows in the dining room and whispered that in the normal world another day was in full swing. Getting a paper bag from the girl who managed the breakfast Sookie filled it with yogurt, fruits and bread to get her through the day. After getting the promise it would be done in five minutes she ordered a hamburger for lunch, it took seven.
Back in the elevator Sookie had only a vague idea how the meal had tasted, she had just wolfed it down and been on her way. The important thing was that she was no longer hungry and she had enough food and water to last her through most of the day. Unfortunately the toilet problem wouldn't be solved so easily but if it came to it she would just have to sneak away again.
In a way it surprised her that she was prepared to do this for Eric. It was even more surprising that it was needed, that he was actually sitting up there waiting for her to return and wanting the comfort she provided. Maybe it was just a game, yet another way of tying her closer to him, but she didn't think so. Something in his actions was devastatingly real and vulnerable that she was willing to take the risk of him bluffing just to be able to be there for him if he wasn't.
Thirty minutes had passed since she left when Sookie once again opened the door to the attic. Eric was still in place, and she didn't think he had moved an inch since she left. Startlingly the sound of the closing door seemed to draw him out of his mind and into the real world because he turned to look at her.
The tears seemed to have dwindled down to nearly nothing but maybe that had happened before she left. The blood on his face was slowly drying, leaving the tracks brown and flakey. For the second that he allowed their gazes to meet Sookie could discern a bubbling hot pot of emotions hidden from view behind sturdy walls. All the thoughts she had read didn't help in the slightest to figure out what the feelings was. Maybe it was because they felt so out of place in the normally indifferent blue orbs. Then he snapped his eyes away and went back to study the white wall.
Walking up to him Sookie sat down on his left side this time, close enough that their shoulders were touching. When she held her hand out she was happy to see him offering his own. She would have though he would allow her to take it but not that he would give her such a clear sign she was actually wanted.
They sat like that for what could have been whole hours or mere minutes, time was of no matter. Sookie was thinking of nothing and everything at the same time, unseeing eyes resting at the white screen.
It wasn't until she got hungry and reached for an apple and some bread that she realized something was wrong. An intended quick glance over at Eric turned into a full stare as she watched the new trail of blood seeking its gravitational way down his head. This time it was coming in a small rivulet from Eric's ear. Sookie reached out and touched the cold liquid, getting it on her fingertips. She then stretched her hand out and held it up obstructing Eric's view of the wall in an implied question.
"Vampires need to rest during the day" he offered after a few seconds. His voice sounded normal, smooth and strong, but it held none of the implied danger that would usually accompany it.
"You should try to sleep then, I will stay if you want me to."
"I couldn't close my eyes even if I tried." Sookie knew that feeling as well.
"Will it kill you?" she had better be prepared if she was going to witness her second suicide within twelve hours.
"No, not today."
Sookie thought that maybe she should try and keep the conversation going. Try to either get him to talk about it or get him to think about something else. But she couldn't come up with anything to say and he didn't offer anything more either so she let it slide. Instead she wiped the blood off on the hem of her jeans and bit into her apple.
Somehow the day slipped by, a day that at the same time had been the longest and the shortest in Sookie's life. While the sunlight had been cascading down from the heavens outside inside she had caught up with herself, had done all the thinking she had postponed and it felt good. When the sun set and Eric stood up and left for the roof she almost wished that the hours could have been longer.