Disclaimer: All of these characters belong to someone that's not me.
Author's Note: This story was written in response to a challenge at trueblood_las on Livejournal. The challenge was "Everything I do, I do it for you."
If Sookie was honest with herself, she'd be able to admit that, even if Bill hadn't betrayed her repeatedly in some of the worst ways possible, they'd still be done. More than anything else, it was because his recent actions scared the bejesus out of her. She could look the other way on a whole bunch of his weird vampire crap, but when it came down to killing off people she almost liked when they weren't really trying to harm her, she had to put her foot down.
It was insanity that Bill would expect her to smile and nod and go along with him killing Pam. She honestly enjoyed Pam's company, when the vampire wasn't acting solely like Eric's lackey.
Even Eric himself wasn't entirely awful all the time...
Sookie froze at the thought. She'd been making dinner, and now the knife hovered over the chicken breast she'd been preparing, stalled while her mind tried to wrap itself around the new information.
Eric had been right, in those moments when she was too angry and broken to hear him.
Bill wasn't doing anything for her benefit. He could tell himself he was until he rotted away, but that wouldn't make it true.
She cared about Eric. She'd fought it tooth and nail, and she didn't really like him most of the time, but she didn't want him to die, either. At least, not for the crime of tasting her blood.
So if Bill killed Eric and Pam, he wasn't doing it for her. He was doing it to protect his own interests. He'd been insecure about her relationship with Eric since the first time they'd seen each other, even before any words were exchanged. And Pam would be the first one to retaliate if Eric died, so Bill needed to take care of her as well.
Sookie shuddered. Bill's voice whispered through her mind. "I'm doing all of this for you, Sookie. They have to die to protect you."
She cut into the chicken a little more violently than was strictly necessary. Killing people for her was the same as killing people because of her. And she wouldn't want their deaths on her conscience.
Bill had an obsession with her, with keeping her safe, and she knew that no matter how effectively she'd kicked him out of her life, that wouldn't stop him if he got determined enough. She knew the dangerous places an obsession could take a person, just like she knew that sometimes, horrible things happened to the one being obsessed over.
She couldn't hide from him in her house for the rest of her life...
Three sharp knocks on the door startled her so badly she jumped and let out a little scream, managing to give herself a long cut in the palm of her hand. She wrapped it in a paper towel and then approached the door cautiously.
He can't get in here, Sookie told herself, trying not to think about all the ways he could make her come to him if he'd slipped that far into his obsession. She slowly opened the door just a crack, then breathed out a sigh of relief and opened it further to reveal Eric. Funny, a month ago, relief would have been the last thing she'd have felt at his presence.
"Eric? What are you doing here?"
His gaze shifted to the paper towel, which was quickly turning red with her blood. His eyes dilated slightly with the scent, then he looked back at her face. "I felt your distress. Then your fear. I wished to ensure that you came to no harm. Are you all right?"
She stared at him for a long moment, fighting to say the words she needed to force out of her throat, no matter how wrong it felt to say them. Eric waited patiently, arms behind his back as he studied her. Finally, Sookie said, "I'm afraid of what Bill might do next. What do I need to do...to get your protection?"
Eric almost snorted. Wasn't the fact that he was here proof that she already had his protection? But she'd given him a unique opportunity, and he had to take advantage of it. He looked back at the paper towel on her hand. "How about you don't let that go to waste, and then we'll call it even? You'll be safe."
Her eyes locked on his, Sookie unwrapped the paper towel and raised her bleeding hand to his lips.