Summary: Sookie's telepathy goes haywire & she collapses at work can Eric & her friends save her in TIME? Also not so friendly visitors are looking for her, what do they want? -Eric/Sookie heavy in future chapters (Post-D&G)
Rating: T for language and suggestion
Spoilers: Set after 'Dead & Gone', may include some things from 'Dead in the Family' & 'True Blood' later on.
A/N: See bottom note for all quotes/references. And I'm gonna try doing this fic from multiple person's POV. Also I'm gonna use a mix of the show and the book's version for some of the characters, like Terry and Tara. Also other people thoughts are in 'italics' and this '-' means that train of thought got cut off.
Sookie was tired of being a waitress. She had a killer headache, and as result she was having trouble blocking out people's thoughts. Her cheeks hurt from maintaining the signature manic smile on her face. Her feet hurt from being on them all dang day. Her right arm was throbbing from having to carry a heavy food laden tray around. All in all, she was pooped.
She smiled at Hoyt and told him, she'd be right back with his sandwich. 'Man oh man, Sookie's got a fine behind, heh heh, that rhymed." She ignored his thoughts about her ass as she walked over to the kitchen. 'Needs salt-' 'I can't believe I lost my phone-' 'Why doesn't this crappy little town have a better mall? How am I supposed to find the perfect prom dress in-' 'Hello! Blondie! We need another pitcher of beer here!' Sookie also tried to ignore everyone else's thoughts, but it really wasn't working. Thankfully she knew Merlotte's like the back of her hand, she could do her job on muscle memory if she had too, also it helped that it was right before the dinner rush on a Thursday.
Sookie handed Hoyt's order over to Terry without saying a word. Terry was currently her favorite person in all of Merlotte's, because Terry wasn't thinking at all. He was just repeating the song 'Hallelujah' by the Vitamin String Quartet over and over. He thought it was soothing and she thought it sounded like happiness. He was doing his job just as mechanically as she was.
After receiving a grunt of acknowledgement from Terry, Sookie turned and made her way over to the bar where Sam was making small talk with her brother Jason. 'Maybe I'll see-'
"I need a pitcher of Budweiser for the guys in the corner booth." Sookie told her boss, interrupted their conversation rudely, but too tired to care. 'Next full moon I'm gonna-'
"Buck up cher, twenty more minutes and then you can get out of here." Sam verbally patted her on the back as he poured the beer. 'I hope she's okay, I don't know why she would want to get back to work so soon after being tortured.' Sookie said nothing in response, just nodded to Sam in thanks as he put the pitcher on her tray.
'Sookie looks like crap. I wonder if anyone else has noticed?'
"You look like road kill run over twice Sis, when you get home, you make sure t'eat a good supper 'fore you get to bed alright?" Sookie smiled at her brother's show of concern. He had really been trying to be more considerate of her feelings and caring towards her in general, unfortunately this was a new concept for him and he had yet to master it.
"That's real nice of you to say Jason, thanks!" Sookie responded sarcastically as she picked up her tray of beer and turned to leave.
"C'mon don't get all bent out of shape Sook, you know what a meant." Jason huffed and took another swig of beer. 'Snappy comebacks and sass are alls I ever get just for trying to be nice.'
Sookie quickly turned back and put down her tray and glared at her brother. Of course with Jason, all of his consideration and caring never translated into him actually doing anything for her, like say leaving the bar early to go home with her so he could cook dinner for her because she was so tired and it was a nice thing to do for one's only family in this universe…but not Jason, all he offered her were empty words. Sometimes Sookie wondered what her life would have been like if she had had the kind of older brother you saw on old T.V. shows like "7th Heaven", "Party of Five", or even "the Brady Bunch".
"What?" Jason looked at her with his big doe eyes, all quizzical and confused. Sookie just knew that the same look had probably made dozens of girls melt out of their panties, but it was a look Sookie had seen far too often on her brother's face and at this point it just plain pissed her off. So, she smacked her befuddled brother upside the head, ignored his question of 'Hey! What's the big idea?' picked up her tray and turned around to go do her job.
Sookie waited on her remaining table with little effort in the charm department, as she was literally counting down the minutes until her time there was up. Her head was really starting to throb and her muscles were aching and all her extremities were starting to tingle.
As her table of rowdy young men left, she wasn't surprised to see they left her a less than stellar tip in response to her less than stellar service. As she bussed the table the men had vacated she glanced over at the clock by the bar and was suddenly struck with the memory of reading from her quote of the day calendar that morning. It had said, "Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them." Before she had time to dwell on that thought, Sookie saw Holly walk in to Merlotte's carrying her five-year-old son Cody.
As Holly made a beeline for Hoyt, Sookie practically ripped her apron off. 'Overcooked should send it back-' She then went the bar and playfully threw the rag she had been using to wipe down the table, at her brother's head.
"I'm leaving." She announced to Sam, 'Not yet-' 'Sassy Smartass!' 'Thank God Hoyt can watch Cody tonight or-' 'I need more ketchup where'd my waitress-' 'Cody is such a cute kid—' 'Love those shorts Merlotte makes these girls-'
"Sook-" Sam started to say her name but Sookie just turned and ran for Sam's office. She just wanted to retrieve her purse, to get to her keys, to get in her car, to get away from everyone's thoughts, and to get the heck home while she was still conscious.
As she was exiting Sam's office, she bumped into Sam as he was trying to enter. Forcing her to take two quick steps back and almost topple over. Sookie braced herself by grabbing onto the door with one hand and stretching the other hand to help her balance as well as her left foot. Sookie shut her eyes tight and hoped not to fall. 'Whoops, almost lost my best waitress… again.'
Apparently her little weeble wobble act caused Sam to chuckle a little to himself. Which only annoyed Sookie more as she was having trouble staying upright due to the unrelenting torrent of thoughts traipsing through her brain. Frankly she thought that at this point, anyone who got in her way of her going home right that minute was obviously evil and in need of smiting. Sookie looked up at the ceiling half expecting a lighting bolt to zap Sam in the tushie.
'What's she looking at?' Sam copied her ceiling stare, but when it was evident that lightning was not going to be forthcoming she dragged her gaze back down to the kind eyes of her beloved boss/BFF. BFF in this case meaning Best Furry Friend.
"Hey Sookie before you leave, I need to ask if you can cover for Holly this Friday? She's got to be a chaperone on her kid's field trip and I thought the new girl, Gianna, could fill in for her…"
"But she nearly got fired yesterday for decking a redneck who grabbed her ass and won't be able to handle all the traffic on a Friday night." Sookie finished Sam's sentence, casting her gaze away from his face to stare at the wall. Yesterday was a day Sookie would rather forget and have everyone else forget too, especially Sam.
"So could ya…" 'Please say yes, please say yes.'
Sookie closed her eyes as she began to see black dots in front of her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose she took a deep breath and then exhaled slowly.
"Sure. What time do ya need me?" 'Oh thank god! For a second there I thought I was gonna have 'a real crisis on my hands, wait a second,' Sam tilted his head a little to the side. 'Does Sookie look a little flush?'
"I'm fine Sam, just been working since we opened, barely ate lunch, and I haven't exactly been getting a lot of sleep lately." Sookie looked into Sam's eyes and saw genuine worry for her welfare. Sookie smiled at his sincerity.
"You sure your up to it cher? I could find someone else if your not feeling up to it after…you know your recent ah—incident." Sam brought the back of his hand up to her forehead, 'her temperature's a little warm but its not a full blown fever, maybe I should get central air for the bar-' then he let his hand fall down the side of her face till he was cupping her cheek. 'She's pushing herself too hard and I'm not helping by enabling her'.
"You're not enabling me by giving me hours to work." Sam's head jerked back just a tad in surprise as she responded to the thoughts in his head rather than the words that came out his mouth.
"Cher, we all know that when you have issues you have to deal with, you don' t deal with them, you avoid them with other tasks so that your too tired to think 'bout your problems or anything else for that matter." Sookie closed her eyes and let herself relax into his touch.
"You can talk to me cher, or you can not talk to me, just make sure your not bottling up all that emotion you got." Sam grabbed her chin getting her attention, forcing her to look into his eyes. 'Her hearts so big, she keeps this up all that fear and pain is gonna make her explode'.
"You know what I take it back. Your not working tomorrow, your gonna take your day off as planned, and I'll call Tanya over in Hotshot." Sookie gave Sam a watery smile and then stepped forward to hug the man who loved her even though he knew she would never reciprocate the romantic feelings he had for her, even though she kept dragging him into vampire shit, even though she kept taking unannounced absences from work, even though she didn't deserve him.
"I'm not even gonna pretend to fight you Sam, cause your right, I'm exhausted and I don't think I should come in tomorrow, I might snap and have a meltdown in front of the customers, again." 'Yeah, yesterday was a rough one for us'. Sam continued to hold her tight, supporting all her weight as she let go of some of the stress she had been holding onto after the argument she and Sam had yesterday concerning Gianna the new waitress.
"You know you're the best part of my real family right Sam?" She and Sam pulled back from the embrace at the same time. 'God knows Sookie deserves a better family than just Jason.'
"Jason is making an effort, which doesn't mean a lot in reality, but does count for something." Sookie readjusted the purse strap on her shoulder, ready to just get home already.
"I guess…anyway, let me walk you out Cher." When she had arrived that morning the delivery truck had been in the back blocking the employee parking lot, so she had parked out front.
"I gotta run to the restroom before I scoot, I'll see ya on my way out." Sookie smiled as Sam pulled his door shut and walked back towards the bar where he would take up his usual station at the bar.
Once inside the bathroom Sookie went to the sinks and turned on the cold water. She cupped her hands and threw the icy cool liquid in her face. The cold made her gasp and the gasp from the cold made her think of Eric. It was a little after six now, the sun would set soon and then it would be dark. Sookie decided she'd call Eric and leave him a message to come over at eight. That way she could eat something and take a nice long bath before he got there. She was thinking a nice tranquil evening filled with some serious snuggling and maybe a full body massages and then after that maybe some full body sex where she didn't do any of the work. Now that sounded downright heavenly!
As Sookie exited the restroom and headed for the front, she steeled herself for the volume spike that was bound to occur when she was once again in close range of people en mass. She breathed deeply and then entered the room.
Sookie felt like she went from floating on water that was at a dead calm, to fighting to keep her head above water during a hurricane while wearing cement shoes whilst being attacked by a thousand stinging jellyfish.
'I don't like pickles—' 'I could marry a girl like Holly—' 'Hoyt's so cool I wanna be just like him—' 'Damn baby stop kicking me when I'm eating' 'Tara's so pretty, and the pregnancy's done awesome things for her boobs' 'I wonder if he noticed—' 'Can't I catch a br—' 'Don't-' 'See! I told-' 'Now—' 'Indefinable quality—' 'Green Lantern movie-' 'Oh no cher!'
And that was all she heard until she hit the floor with a resounding 'THUD'.
Sookie was in pain. It was overwhelming and not unlike her recent escapade with the fairies she affectionately called Thing 1 and Thing 2. However unlike the torture she received at the hands of the Things, this pain was akin to being dipped into molten lava fondue style. It felt like every cell—every atom of her being was on fire. She felt like her whole body fell asleep and then someone catapulted her body into the sun, because she had that pins and needles feeling everywhere and everywhere she could feel felt like the sun itself was licking her all over.
She was amazed that she didn't spontaneously combusted yet, she certainly felt like she was about to. In fact she was amazed she was able to form any thoughts at all, she was in such agony, but…she supposed that her time with Things 1 & 2, had increased her pain threshold considerably. Sookie knew she should be more afraid or worried about what was happening but it was like she was emotionally disengaging from herself, like a balloon floating away, but it was weird because she was still totally aware of the pain and in the moment.
She couldn't move. She couldn't feel any part of her body. She couldn't even open her eyes. She could hear though, of course that's the one sense she wouldn't mind losing for a while but as her Gran used to say, beggars couldn't be chooser. So, she tried to sort through all the thoughts and emotions and real sounds she was hearing in an effort to decipher what was going on.
"Watch her head!" That was Sam.
'Jackass!' "I am Jackass!" And that was Jason. They were carrying her, Jason at her feet, Sam near her head.
"Let's just lay her down real slow like on my bed." Sookie felt her self being placed on a soft surface; she assumed it was the bed in Sam's trailer in the back of Merlotte's. Sookie surmised she must have been unconscious for a bit because she remembered when she fell due to the telepathy overload, she was in Merlotte's. She sighed internally, lamenting the loss of the tranquil sex/massage filled evening she had planned.
"I'm gonna run back inside and calm everyone down and call Eric. Get him to get his undead ass over here the second the sun's gone." That was her Sam, always there for you in a crisis. 'Maybe I can even dig up Dr. Ludwig's number.' She felt a slightly callused hand brushing the hair out of her face, then she felt the hand lay flat on her forehead. 'Jesus! She's burning up!'
"Wait Sam, she's burning up, what should I do?" She felt another hand on her head. 'She was fine before.'
"Sam what do I do? Should I, should we give her ah, one of those ice baths? Tylenoll? Bayer? How are you so sure that this isn't related to her recent torture session? Shouldn't we call the hospital? Get an ambulance here?"
"Jason will you shut the hell up I can't hear myself think!" 'Jesus. Shit. Jesus. I don't know what to do. I don't know if-maybe an ice bath will bring her temp- what if she catches hypothermia—we definitely shouldn't be shoving pills down her throat—Call Eric & Ludwig—Ludwig first—hope Terry isn't freaking out all alone—Jesus. Not Sookie, not after all she's already—girl just can't catch a break—I love her so much—don't die'
"Go into the bathroom get a hand towel, wet it, ring it out put it on her forehead, and get one behind her neck, and behind her knees, and just sit here with her till I get back." Sookie felt Sam's hand cover her unresponsive one and then she heard him think 'Sookie if you can hear me you hang on you hear, you fight to stay right where you are. I love you cher. Your brother loves you. Eric loves you. Your friends need you. Don't leave us just yet.' Sookie could feel the bed shaking a little bit. She wondered if Jason was crying or just jiggling his leg or something.
"Don't you shake your head at me boy, get to it, I gotta go back inside to find the doc's number, just take care of her." Sookie heard Sam's footsteps and she heard the door slam against the frame as he left.
'Don't die Sookie. I know you can hear me. I love you, you're my baby sis, and I promise if you get better I'm gonna be a better big brother. I promise' Sookie really wanted to be able to call him a liar at that moment, instead she listened to him get up and go into the bathroom. She was listening to Jason open cabinets and then she heard him turn on the water.
And then she felt as if she was being suffocated. It hurt, everything hurt. She couldn't breathe; there was no air in the room. The pain was magnifying, getting bigger, stronger. She could feel her heart slowing down until it stopped completely. If her heart wasn't beating the flow of blood to her brain would stop and then-light. She saw a light so bright that it was blinding even with her eyes closed tight. It was brighter than the sun and twice as hot and also pink. And then it was gone and so was she….
"The future influences the present just as much as the past." –Friedrich Nietzsche
"OMG! It freaking worked!" A familiar peppy voice greeted Sookie as she came back to reality. She once again felt connect with her body. She was no longer in pain. The inferno that had been silently broiling her to death had disappeared and been replaced with a gentle breeze. This was good news if not a bit unexpected.
No longer was she paralyzed, she learned as she wiggled her left foot and twitched her nose. And no longer was she mute, "What work?"
It took Sookie more effort than it should have to force out those two short words, but she managed to do it. She heard a loud gasp in response to her whispered question. In fact she was fairly certain that she heard more than one gasp, although she could just be hearing things after inexplicably nearly dying.
"Holy crap! She's HUMAN…." Said the familiar voice as Sookie heard and felt someone sniff her hair. "Well, human-ish."
And that's when Sookie learned she was no longer blind as she opened her eyes and was greeted by a familiar face smiling down at her.
To Be Continued…Soon-ish!
A/N: REVIEW ME PLEASE!
Theories, likes, dislikes, questions, comments, encouragement, critique and declarations of undying devotion are all welcome so please don't be shy.
Also AUTHOR'S NOTE, so here are some quote/references I found at if your interested in self-edification or just curious:
1) "The future influences the present just as much as the past." –Friedrich Nietzsche
2) "Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them." –Dion Boucicault
ALSO SEE MY PROFILE PAGE TO VOTE ON WHO'S point of view THE NEXT CHAPTER SHOULD BE IN!S
Also just gave me a little chuckle I'd thought I'd share, following watching True Blood on SUN with the awesome Eric/Talbot sexy times, I wrote in the first paragraph 'Man on Man' instead of 'Man oh man'.