I write the songs
CHARACTERS: Eric, Sookie, Pam, Bill, Victor and Felipe
DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to Charlaine Harris, song title and any lyrics referenced belong to Gnarls Barkley.
PEN NAME: Elbly
BETA NAME: Janofarc
VIRGIN WRITER : NO
Song by Gnarls Barkley
"The flavor was like nothing I have experienced before. I could taste the sunlight."
Eric sat across the desk from Pam; the office was organized and uncluttered.
Pam said nothing, she just stared at him. Eric had come to appreciate her taciturn nature over the years; despite her intensely pink, and somewhat conservative apparel, the little she said was worth listening to.
As he blinked, Eric saw a world of blood before the office returned into view.
There had been a leather couch against the wall, behind where he currently sat. Eric regretted having destroyed it; he mused that gazing upon it would perhaps make his memories of Sookie's perfect, naked breasts pressed against the cushions even more tangible.
"Bill will, of course, give up his claim now." Eric was calm in his words, but it would have been clear to anyone, had they been listening, that there was a veiled menace behind them.
He had maneuvered his way into Sookie's attentions over the course of the previous months; Eric had been prepared to spend much longer on the project, but was glad that it had not been necessary. As a vampire, time meant little to him. He had seen so much of it, and he knew there would be much more to come, but his prey was mortal, and her time was limited.
Of course Bill had been obstructive, twisting reality to his own ends, spinning interesting and somewhat creative lies to Sookie. Eric had hoped that Sookie would come to realize how manipulative Bill truly was much sooner, but he could accept the awe such a figure must have had to her. She was young, Bill had much experience, and Eric had to hand it to him: he was cunning. He occasionally missed the naivety of human existence, but he was so very grateful for what he had gained when his life had been stolen from him.
In the brief instance his eyes closed, the walls of reality glistened in the sticky crimson fluid. Staring back at Pam, Eric could see that someone had missed a spot. It was there, behind her; what had once been a bright, blushing red was a dry brown now and so very small, but it was there.
Releasing the air that had become trapped in his lungs, Eric sighed. "There was something so pleasant about that place."
"Are you being poetic again Eric?" Pam asked.
"I was referring to the couch."
Pam nodded. "Because you had sex with her on the couch?"
Eric's lips twisted themselves into a disturbing wry smile. "It was a big couch. I remember you told me that even emotions had an echo in so much space. Or were you just being poetic then too?"
"This isn't about me."
"No." Eric's smile faded as the mark behind Pam caught his eye again. "No it's not."
"What were you feeling? Was it love?" she asked.
"No. Not love exactly. But something close." The mark was bothering him. "Does that make me crazy?"
Pam thought for a moment. "It makes you distracted, and that's not good at a time like this." She brushed her pale blonde waves from her shoulder. Checking her watch Pam looked at Eric and said "It's time. Felipe and Victor are here. "
There was a knock at the door and Pam called for them to enter. He had not heard them approach, but obviously she had.
He was so very proud to call her his.
A millennia of instinct forced his eyelids shut momentarily once more. The blood was everywhere. The couch. The floor. The walls. The desk. The chairs. Everything was coated.
A distant scream reached his ears.
It grew closer.
It filled the room.
It took over his mind.
It crippled his lungs.
It ended the world.
Pam was crouched next to him when he opened his eyes.
Everything was hazy, clouded in a mist.
He was sat on the floor, propped into the corner of the room against the walls, and without even fighting it, Eric was sure he was restrained.
"Do you know what happened?" she asked him.
Eric looked right through her; he couldn't admit it. If he said the words it would make it true, and it couldn't be true. He took comfort in Pam's presence. She had not left him, despite everything. The level of dedication she showed was something he was grateful for, but could not put it into words. He was sure she knew, from looks they shared, from all their time together; she had to know.
He nodded slowly. "Yes. I know what I did."
Pam didn't waiver; her crouch was solid, but it couldn't have been comfortable in such heels. "Do you want to talk about it?"
Shaking his head from side to side with great effort he replied. "No. I can't."
"You will have to eventually."
Oh, he knew that. There would be questions to answer, but not now.
Eric tilted his head back against the wall and let out a wail. He wanted to mourn Sookie; his Sookie.
She wanted to reach out to him; tuck the piece of hair behind his ear that was stuck to the side of his face with a mixture of sweat and tears, stroke his cheek, rest a hand on his shoulder, anything that would make a connection. But there were rules she dare not break and lines she would never cross.
Pam remained, unflinching, ever supportive.
"How's his progress?"
"It's slow, what do you expect?"
"Do you want me to spend time with him?"
"In his lucid moments he doesn't trust you Bill. I won't repeat some of the things he's said, but they don't paint you in a good light."
Bill nodded as he held in the frustrated growl building in his chest. Pam always had been too protective of Eric for his liking, and Eric's fascination with Sookie had been unhealthy, that much had been clear. His progress with Sookie had been slow, but it had been moving forward.
"Will he be fit to stand trial?" he asked. "It's what her family wants. It's what Sophie Anne wants."
"Sophie Anne knows where she can stick her wants! As for the absentee Grandfather and the brother who is somewhat lacking in the cognitive department? I'm sure they do. Are they suing too?"
Pam sighed in irritation. "Well that's made my day. Thank you."
He stared out at the moonlit gardens; the formality and structure of them was as dull and rigid as the rest of this environment. Even out there on the bench, under the stars, he felt caged.
The logic of Pam's words forced their way through his mind.
The wound hadn't healed. Sookie bled out.
If the wound hadn't healed, of course she would have, that was logical; but why hadn't it healed? What had gone so wrong?
He touched his finger to his teeth, then ran his tongue against them.
What had gone wrong?
His shoulders sagged. His head lolled forwards. His heart broke and tears found their dry salt beds on his unwashed face.
They had been sat here, together, what was it? Three days ago? Four? Longer? He had no idea. But they had been, what? Happy? Contented? At peace?
It had been months since he'd first seen her, sat huddled with Bill in the corner, sipping gingerly from her glass and looking around anxiously. She wasn't like the rest of them; there was an innocence about her that just did not fit in his world. Her guardian had been loathed to let them talk, but Pam had been very insistent.
He remembered her distrust; it irked him then and it irked him now. Bill had been so manipulative, so persuasive, so nice.
There was no doubt that he had chased her, had gone out of his way to assist her in every way he could. It had given him a purpose, a level of meaning, an interest to fill his dull existence; a respite from the monotony that surrounded him that he hadn't even noticed until she had appeared. Eric wondered if the gods had sent her as a curse – to show him what life could be, so full of hope, promise and light, only to snatch it away again, leaving him to his dark lonely void.
He hoped she was at peace now.
Victor sat beside him. "It's a beautiful night Eric."
Eric just nodded. Closing his eyes, he allowed more tears to cascade down his cheeks.
How long had it been, he wondered, since Sookie had sat where Victor sat now? Eric could ask, but he would not show his weakness, not to Victor, not to Felipe, not to any of them… well, maybe Pam. Yes, he could ask her, but would he remember what she said? Or would it be yet another hazy memory that floated in the background and refused to be recalled? There had been so many of those lately.
"It's time." Victor held out a small cup half full of an insipid red liquid.
Eric turned away and stared at the evening primrose; glowing so beautifully, it reminded him of his lost Sookie – a glimpse of sunshine in the moonlight.
"You can drink this, or we can go for the other option, but I don't think you want the other option, do you Eric?" Victor said encouragingly.
Eric took the cup and downed its contents, much to Victor's relief.
"Come on, Nan's being interviewed on the TV tonight. I know how fond of watching her you are." Victor nodded towards the door.
Eric's slack posture made him appear deceptively shorter than his six foot, four inch frame could manage; the sigh that left his lungs shrank him even further. Victor wanted to go inside where it was warm, but he couldn't leave his charge. Eric liked the cold, but there was no fight in the diminutive giant. After signaling his agreement, with his head bowed, he padded after the white suited guard like a large gelded puppy.
The distance to the building was short, but the walk was long; Eric's movements were slow and labored. Nearing the door, he lifted his head and caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window.
"What is it Eric?" Victor asked, a hint of anxiety in his voice. Eric had been calm for days now; another incident would not go down well.
Eric stared intently at the window.
She was there, in the garden.
They had lied.
A spark of anger and frustration caught in his chest, but were almost instantly dowsed as Sookie softly shook her head, and raised a finger to her lips.
He turned to see her, to cast his eyes on the human he wanted so much.
The garden was empty.
"Eric? Are you okay?" Victor asked, edging towards the safety of the building.
"I'm fine." Eric responded sadly. "I just…" He looked at the window again, but the reflection was gone. "She's gone." Once more, tears escaped the flooded confines of his eyes, and formed glassy trails down the contours of his face.
"She has." Victor confirmed. "Did you want to talk about it now?"
Eric shook his head.
"Okay then. Let's get you washed up first, huh?" Victor opened the door, and Eric stepped through into the dull glow of the fluorescent light.
Pam sat at her desk and shuffled the paperwork in front of her; she hated this part of her job, it wasn't what she was good at, but it was a necessary evil.
Picking up the Dictaphone and selecting the relevant file, she began her report.
"Patient's name: Eric Northman. Date of birth: unknown. Age: approximately thirty to thirty five years." She released the button and sighed.
She had been on duty when the police had brought him in and had given one of the nurses the go ahead to knock him out with a shot of Accuphase. It was four days later, when he finally came out of sedation, that her life changed forever.
Pam pressed the button again. "Diagnosis: Patient has an antisocial personality disorder with psychotic symptoms. He is sociopathic and displays strong signs of nyctophilia and a philia of blood, additionally he experiences both a phobia of sunlight and of physical contact with silver. The patient has strong fixed beliefs in his existence as an immortal who can only survive by imbibing the blood of other human beings. He also holds a strong conviction in the existence of vampires. General sexual preference towards females, although has been known to flirt with men when lonely." The flow of her words were those of a well practiced public speaker.
Eric was her special case. She had worked with him for three years, and she was as much a part of his life as he was of hers. There were other patients, but none of them fascinated her as much as he did. Seemingly he had no history, no identity save the name he gave them, no family, no life, nothing, just the clothes on his back and the delusions in his head. He had taken to her instantly, insisting that she was his child, that he had made her. In some respects he would turn out to be right: Pam had now written countless papers on her 'vampire' and had made quite a name for herself through him.
Getting him to eat had been an interesting challenge, so strong were his beliefs in his condition. They had had to start him on blue meat, and he would suck on it like a babe at its mother's breast, but eventually she had been able to convince him, through his fantasy, that a synthetic blood had been developed. And so Eric existed on protein shakes spiked with red food coloring, with the occasional proper meal when he would comply; even his medication was given in soluble form, dyed with food coloring.
Pam continued her report into the Dictaphone, stopping for breath from time to time.
It had been two months since Eric had killed Sookie Stackhouse, a paranoid schizophrenic patient who had been brought in for assessment. Their relationship had been one she had championed; both of them seemed to be showing responsive signs to treatment with the support of the other.
How he had managed to get her alone, Pam did not know. There were rules and procedures in place and someone like Eric should never have managed what he did, but tragic incidents happen.
She doubted she would ever be able to forget the sight that had faced her when she'd been called to her office that night. Eric had been sat on her leather couch, trousers around his ankles, covered in Sookie's blood, cradling the pale lifeless body. The wounds on Sookie's neck had been indistinguishable in the blanket of crimson; it covered everything. Her hair was matted, the floors were slippery, the walls awash, all from the fluid that had once kept this pretty girl alive. He kept saying that she would be fine, she was just resting, his saliva had closed the wounds – a new piece of information about his world that Pam could add to the tragic puzzle that was Eric Northman.
He had been restrained, knocked out with more drugs, the office cleaned and redecorated, the stained couch removed, but still the horror of that night remained.
A tragic incident.
Bill had been less than helpful. It had been his professional opinion, as Sookie's psychiatrist, Eric should not be allowed contact with Sookie. He said she was too vulnerable, too easily coerced, too naïve. Pam had felt it would do both patients good. Sookie had paid an unacceptably high price for Pam's mistake. Now the district attorney, Sophie Anne Le Clerq, was baying for Eric's blood, but he was in no fit state to stand trial.
The button clicked again. "And therefore it is my opinion that this patient is a danger to himself and to the public and it is recommended that he remains under our strict supervision indefinitely."
Pam put the Dictaphone on the table.
It was done.
Eric's freedom was gone.
Eric sat in his light tight room. It was a simple space, just a bed and a closet; he didn't need much more. It was not what he had been used to, but he had experienced worse. His hands resting behind him on the bed, he stared at Felipe who stood in the doorway, still trying to piece together everything Pam had told him; very little of it had made sense, and that frustrated him.
"Do you need anything Eric?" Felipe asked. So far Eric had not caused any problems, but the signs were there that any minute he might 'kick off'.
Eric shook his head sharply. He wanted nothing more than the irritating Spaniard to be gone.
"Alright, well I'll be outside, you just let me know."
Eric's eye contact with his white suited captor was intense, but it was nothing Felipe had not experienced a thousand times before.
The door was closed slowly and as he sat down at the desk, Felipe checked the monitor to see what the patient was doing.
"Everything okay?" Victor asked, strolling over with a cup of coffee. The two nurses had been with Eric as long as Pam had, and regularly took the night shift by choice. They both knew they had come to the end of the road with this patient; he had fixed them in his mind as 'the enemy' and there appeared to be no convincing him otherwise. "What's he up to?"
"Just staring at the wall. I hope he keeps it up, he's been working out again recently and he's really packing a punch." Felipe still had a bruise from the last time Eric was restrained.
Victor wandered off to check on other patients, Felipe picked up his book and Eric, unmoving, stared dead ahead.
"Don't say a word. Don't move your lips. You can hear me, right?" Sookie's voice asked him.
As Felipe had closed the door she had been there, behind it, as perfect as she had always been, though a little paler; a finger held to her lips just as it had been when he saw her reflection a few days before. Eric's anger continued to simmer, but now it was joined by confusion, relief, frustration and happiness.
"But she's dead. You're dead. Pam said you're dead. Sookie bled out. The wound didn't heal. You're dead. Pam said." Eric's thoughts rambled and ranted.
"Shhhhhh…" Sookie soothed him; a soft smile graced her lips. "Sure I'm dead." She opened her mouth and fangs slid down. "I'm just not all the way dead." Her fangs popped back and she smiled again.
Her presence, her calm, her sweet, pale lips… Eric could feel the hot rage inside easing.
"Why did she lie?" he asked.
"Pam was protecting me, and you. She has a plan. Would you have wanted either Victor or Felipe to get their hands on me?"
Eric shook his head.
"Don't move too much Eric; they can't know I'm here. You don't want them to take me away do you?" her tone was on the verge of pleading.
"Sit with me?"Eric kicked his shoes off and put his feet on the bed. He shuffled himself into a position that would seem innocent, but would give him a better view of her. He had missed her so much; he didn't want to have to take his eyes off her for one second. "Pam said I was never leaving here. I was unsure why she thought I'd want to leave Shreveport completely, but for her to say I can't leave even for one night?… Obviously Victor was listening in. I should have known there was a reason. She is a good child. You have a lot to live up to. I'd wink now, but I guess I'd better not."
Sookie laughed in her thoughts and Eric picked it up. "Nice choice of words Eric. It's not like I'm alive so I can't 'live up' to anything." She smiled.
Eric smiled back, but a few short seconds later it faded. "You are real aren't you?"
"I'm as much a vampire now as you are." Sookie wandered over to the bed, sat down and rested her hand on his foot. Eric felt sad that he'd never feel the warmth from her touch again.
"Sometimes Pam says I'm not a vampire; vampires don't exist. I'm human. I need to learn these things." The tone of his thoughts was sad, clumsy and child-like; Sookie's smile began to waver at his words.
"You're looking at it all wrong Eric. You know what they will not admit to themselves. It isn't that you don't know enough, you just know too much. "
"Does that make me crazy?" he asked her in earnest.
"Probably" Sookie smirked, and caressing his ankles, she leaned in to kiss him.
The other side of the door Victor brought Felipe his mug of instant coffee. It was foul tasting stuff, but they both continually forgot to restock for the coffee maker.
"He still calm?" Victor asked.
Felipe looked at the screen. "Ahh… I think we should give him some privacy. Looks like his got his hand down his pants again."
"He does love to jerk off. Well, better that than raving or destroying stuff I guess." Victor handed Felipe the coffee. "Oh, just so you know… One of Pam's female patients, Tara, seems to think she keeps seeing Sookie around the place. Pam's going to love that one. It's probably best we keep it from Eric."
Felipe nodded. "On top of everything that guy's gone through, hallucinations are the last thing he needs."
Please Please Please - if you would like to review, DO NOT spoiler the story for others.
Thank you for reading x
A/N - I have discussed this fiction with members of the psychiatric health profession and have made it as accurate as possible whilst allowing for a certain level of artistic license. Should you have any queries or issues regarding what I've written, please do feel free to PM me and I will be happy to talk about it.
Please note that I intentionally wrote this so that there were two ways of interpreting this story - there is no right or wrong answer to the ultimate question: is Eric human? That's something I'm happy for you to decide for yourself.