I wrote the first draft of this back in June, when I had seen the first few episodes of Season 1, way back when they first aired, and that was it, so this is basically a random, offshoot AU with general series spoilers - from the beginning of Season 1.
Sookie was taking advantage of the quiet night - and the fact that there had been very little trouble, supernatural or otherwise, around Bon Temps lately - to take a more leisurely walk home, rather than driving. Besides, Jason had borrowed her car for moving something or other - she hadn't asked beyond finding out that his truck needed some repair work before it could be driven again.
She couldn't help herself, taking a glance at the old Compton house on her way towards it - so maybe she had taken the long way home - she was returning her gaze to the road when she registered what she had seen.
After a brief - admittedly very brief - moment of debate with herself, she turned her head back, though she didn't stop, to look again, taking in the sight that was . . . almost odd, even now.
There was Bill, sitting on the oversized wooden bench that was a relatively new addition to the wide, covered porch attached to the house, and lying next to him was a very familiar dog, with a white and reddish-brown coat. She bit her lip, her gaze darting towards them and then away rapidly, unable to keep herself from looking over at them again.
Sam was already stretched out on the comfortably smooth bench, but just as she passed by, he sprawled further, panting slightly in the sauna-like night air, in an attempt to catch some trace of a cool breeze.
Bill caught the small movement and the slight sound of fur sliding across the warm, pitted wood and looked down, quirking a hint of a smile at his lover. After a moment he tugged Sam over until he was resting partly in Bill's lap and stroked less-than-warm fingers through the silky fur, circulating air and cooling the skin beneath that thick coat.
Sam grinned at him, tongue lolling out in a way Bill would have to remember to tease him about - gently - later, before pushing upwards and twisting to lick the side of Bill's face. That done, he nuzzled his somehow still cool - and wet - nose into the hollow beneath Bill's ear, taking a few light breaths while he was there.
Bill chuckled quietly into the thick ruff as he dug his fingers into it, scratching affectionately. Sam whined encouragingly, then dropped back down into Bill's lap heavily, too tired and hot to want to exert himself at all, his tail absently thumping every so often. Bill never looked away from the - somewhat unusual - form of his lover, as they just . . . sat together, enjoying the hot summer night as best they could.
Sookie took a few quick breaths and ducked her head as she finally left the Compton house behind, not really wanting to see any more.
It wasn't that she was truly unhappy, herself; Eric took good care of her, after all. She laughed quietly, with a touch of bitterness she knew had not been there even as recently as two years ago. Of course he did. She was an invaluable tool for him - there was no way he'd screw that up. Eric was far too clever to do anything that would upset her to the point that she might balk at using her abilities as he wished.
Sookie couldn't resist another glance, and turned her head a little, sliding her gaze sideways. She caught a glimpse of the couple she had been seeking - however painful the contrast to her own life might be - and smiled reluctantly.
She didn't have anything like their relationship, and she doubted she ever would - certainly not as long as she was with Eric, and that was unlikely to change any time soon. After all, short of any spectacular mistakes on his part - unlikely - Eric would have to choose to end whatever their relationship was, and she was far too useful for him to allow that. He wasn't exactly the cuddly, fluffy romance type, even if that was just as simple as curling up together on the porch for an evening.
The worst part - the part that stung the most? - was that she could have had exactly that - with either of them. All she would have had to do was intimate that she had chosen one, or that she might, and he would have fulfilled every little desire in her heart - and she thought that much of what she wished for, like this that she could see them doing now, would have come naturally to either male - perhaps would have been his own desire as well.
The house, with the wrap-around porch and the entwined lovers there, passed out of Sookie's sightline as she stepped up to unlock her front door. She found herself feeling perversely glad that she couldn't read Sam's thoughts while he was in any form other than his true, human one, any more than she could read a real animal's mind - even as she wished she could see what it was like to be held like that, caressed and petted and . . . indulged, lovingly. Truly, simply loved.
A part of her, hidden somewhere deep within, knew, though, that it would break her, even were she capable - to see that, to feel it, perhaps, and know that it wasn't truly yours? Would never be? That was . . . too horrible to contemplate.
As Sookie turned to close her door, she paused and turned back, looking one last time - at least for tonight - at what could have been. The view was dim and faraway, across the cemetery, but she could see the general shape of them, and memory could supply the finer details - Bill's adoring smile, the affectionate press of Sam's head against him...
It was decidedly bittersweet, she concluded. She was, of course, glad that they had found each other - that they were happy together. Blissfully so, if she was any judge. On the other hand…
Sookie sighed, closing the door gently and shaking her head.
After a brief, surprised pause, she dragged a blanket from the hall closet to drape over her brother, who appeared to have passed out on the couch. Not literally, though, thankfully. Sookie was fairly certain he was just sleeping.
That done, she patted Jason's head absently on her way past him. She climbed the stairs, heading to her own cold- Sookie stopped in her tracks, laughing at her own silliness in spite of herself before correcting the trend of her self-pitying thoughts. To her solitary bed - Eric hardly ever came here, and even more rarely did she get him for long enough to curl up and rest with.
Sookie sighed, letting herself into her room and yawning as she went about her night-time routine. It wasn't long before she was able to climb into her bed, settling down with only a single longing regret troubling her.
We all have to deal with the choices we make for ourselves, Sookie reminded herself, curling on her side under the quilt her great-grandmother had made, no matter how much we wish we could change things... That's just not how life works.
I hope you enjoyed my odd little journey into Sookie's head, and that it made some sort of - preferably in character - sense.