Title: Brother and Sister
Pen name: Gaijin Vamp
Beta name: Ehee
Virgin writer: no
Disclaimer: All familiar characters belong to Charlaine Harris. The fairy tale, "Brother & Sister" is traditional and world wide.
Teaser: Two brave youngsters survive in the wilderness despite the magic used against them. Years later a vampire finds them, and what will he do?
Once upon a time, a brother and sister named Jason and Sookie lived happily at home in the country with their Gran and her brother, Uncle Bartlett. Their parents had died when Sookie was four and Jason was seven. Though Gran and Bartlett were quite old, they were healthy and active, and between the two of them, took good care of the two children.
When Sookie was twelve years old, Gran fell down the porch steps, hit her head on a rock, and died. After this, their Uncle Bartlett started changing. He became meaner to Jason and sweeter to Sookie. He started saying strange things to Sookie, hugging her closer to him, and she was becoming frightened. She could hear his thoughts, and they scared her. After talking it over with Jason, they thought that Bartlett was trying to chase Jason from their home, so he would be left alone with Sookie.
Bartlett was now their legal guardian, and they were too sheltered to know they could report him to the local Sheriff, so Sookie and Jason decided to run away. They took water, sandwiches and cookies, and while Bartlett was sleeping, ran into the woods surrounding their house. Bartlett may have been old and in charge, but the children had grown up playing in the woods and knew all the trails and places to hide.
The first night they walked as far as they could until they were too tired to go any farther. They hid in a cave and slept until the afternoon of the next day. When they awoke they ate their sandwiches and drank their water. They wanted to go farther into the forest because they were still too close to their home and were afraid that they would be found. As they walked they got thirsty, and they came to a stream. Before he could drink, Jason and Sookie heard the stream speaking to them. "Anyone who drinks of me will turn into a tiger." Sookie was afraid that her brother would turn into a hungry tiger and eat her. She begged Jason not to drink from the stream, and Jason, even though he was used to getting his own way from Gran, agreed to wait.
That night they found a hollow tree to sleep in while the moon made its way across the sky. When they awoke it was already light. They ate their cookies, but Jason was thirsty and the cookies only increased his thirst. So Sookie and Jason started off again hoping to find a stream where they could find safe water to drink. They tried to follow the sun west, hoping to find themselves in another state where they'd be free of their uncle.
While the sun was high in the sky, and the heat was burning their flesh, the brother and sister came across another stream. This time Sookie heard the chanting, "Whoever drinks of me will become a wolf." Just as frightened of wolves as tigers, Sookie convinced Jason not to drink from the stream, even though he was feeling nauseous and faint, he did love his sister and didn't want to eat her.
The next day they rose to find it was even hotter than the previous one. They had no more food left and both of them were hungry and thirsty. They walked slowly and ate some berries they picked along they way. But it wasn't much, and did little to appease their hunger and thirst. They fell upon another stream that burbled and glittered in the sun. Sookie and Jason heard similar words to what they heard before, "Drink not of me or you will become a deer." A deer didn't sound so bad to a desperate Jason, so he leaned over to drink the water his body needed.
Before you could say any magic words at all, the air around Jason became hazy, and when it cleared, a pretty little stag stood in his place.
Sookie just sat on the ground and cried. Her brother, whom she loved, and whom she thought would be there to care for her, was now a wild animal. Or maybe semi-wild, because he didn't run away, and kept pushing her with his nose, like a dog does when he wants something. 'I suppose,' Sookie thought, as her tears stopped, 'he wants to keep moving so we can find a safe place to stay before nightfall. He must be just as afraid as tigers and wolves as I am.'
So Sookie pulled herself together, and taking the ribbons from her hair, tied them together, then around the stag's neck, to make a leash for her brother.
In a dense part of the forest they came upon a pretty babbling brook. The sun shone through the trees and sparkled on the water. Fish jumped up, and she thought she might be able to catch one to eat. There was soft moss on the ground, wild blueberries and blackberries were everywhere.
"This seems like a good place to stop, " Sookie told her brother. "The moss is soft enough to sleep on outside while it's summer and we can build a house. Well, maybe I can build us a shelter." This stream had nothing to say, so Sookie drank her fill. She was sorry Jason hadn't waited, and now she had a little deer to take care of on her own. Tired out from the walking and the stress, Sookie laid lay down on the moss and went to sleep. The stag curled up next to her, and although he was nervous being out in the open, he also slept.
The next morning, sunshine woke them up. Sookie ate enough berries to fill her stomach, while her brother munched on sweet grass. She decided to explore her surroundings. She asked her brother, "You must have an animal's senses now, can you smell any humans here? Or old dried wood, like in a house?"
Jason stuck his nose up, and tested the scents in the air. He started walking and pulled his sister with him. After a little while, there was another clearing, with a tiny house in the center. It wasn't a gingerbread house or a pretty little cottage, it was a rough, basic hunter's hide-away. The lock on the door was old and rusted, and Sookie thought that whoever had built it must be long gone. The lock was hanging from nails that had been falling out of the wood for years, so Sookie finished the job by pulling the lock off, and slowly opening the door.
The inside was full of dust and not much else. There was a cot in a corner, with an ugly green, orange and brown afghan, folded up on one end. Sookie laughed to herself. 'That's one way to get something that ugly out of the house!' A fireplace was on the wall opposite the door, a table and two chairs were in the middle, and there were a few housewares on a shelf; silverware, plates, cups, pots, an ax, some fish hooks and line. To Sookie it looked like heaven. Now she wouldn't have to worry about building something, and she could plan for the winter without using up her strength.
By the time it had gotten cold, Sookie had baskets full of dried berries and wild fruit. She had caught fish using the line and hooks that were left in the cabin, and dry-smoked dozens of them for food for the winter. And she had found sassafras for tea, loving the root beer-like taste. For Jason, she used the knife she found to cut wild grasses when they dried out in autumn, and stacked them under a lean-to that she built attached to the house, along-side of the wood she gathered for fires to keep her warm. She didn't want to kill any of the forest animals because her brother was one now, but fish, she didn't mind so much. She was resourceful, and managed to build a box in which to keep her dried fish outside in the cold. She made a flat cover and put stones on top, so other animals couldn't steal her food. The only thing Sookie missed, besides people, was books. But she was kept so busy from sunrise to sunset, she probably wouldn't have had time to read.
And so that winter passed, then another and another. Sookie kept track of the winters by marking the door jamb on the day of the first snowfall. Three had passed before she noticed how much bigger and stronger her brother was. She was also starting to feel very lonely. It was autumn and she was sixteen now. Perhaps she would be courting if her Gran hadn't died.
Sookie didn't have much in the way of clothing. She took skins from dead animals when she found them in winter if they were relatively untorn by wild beasts, and used the fishing line to sew simple clothes, using the knife to make holes in the skins. The skins lasted longer than cloth, so as long as she treated them properly, she didn't have to replace them.
That year, when the leaves had turned to bright red and gold, Sookie and Jason heard the horns of hunters out in the forest. It was a full moon, and for the first time Jason couldn't control himself; he had to run. Sookie was afraid for her brother. After more than three years living in the woods, she knew what kind of animals were out under the moon. But Jason bayed and cried that he had to go. Giving in to his desperation, Sookie opened the door and let him out. He promised he would return before dawn, and would knock three times with his hoof to let her know it was safe to open the door.
Sookie worried the entire time that Jason was gone. She worried about wolves, bears, tigers and, because she heard the horn, humans. She heard Jason's knock just before dawn. She opened the door to find him exhausted but ecstatic. The hunt was everything he imagined it to be, and he was determined to go again the following night.
Jason slept most of the day, then ate grass and young leaves close to the cabin. When the moon rose and the hunter's horn was again heard, he was anxious to leave. Sookie tried to convince him to stay home, but his blood was on fire for the chase. When he found his way home again, it was earlier than the night before, and he was bleeding from a gash in his shoulder. Sookie cleaned his wound, made from an arrow, crying while she worked. Jason ignored her pleas to promise her to stay home that night, and once he was cleaned up, he went to sleep.
When he arose, Sookie tried pleading with him again. But it was the last night of the full moon, and his blood was boiling. Jason felt feverish and had to run. She let him out the door and sat down to wait, dreading the end of night.
Unbeknownst to the siblings, Jason had been followed home by one of the Sheriff's minions on the second night. The scent of blood made it easy to track him. She hid in the bushes on the other side of the clearing, and saw him knock three times with his hoof to gain entrance. She also noticed the beautiful young woman dressed in animal skins who opened the door for the stag. And she thought that her Sheriff would be interested in the story she had to tell.
The Sheriff was indeed interested. The forest was in his jurisdiction, and unknown beautiful maidens always intrigued him. He went back with his minion, Pam, the third, and following night. When he saw the stag leave the shack, (because that's what it was) he told Pam to return to his hunting party and tell them that they were not to harm the stag. Chase him so they could enjoy the thrill of the hunt, but they were not to shoot a single arrow at the young deer.
Eric Northman was the Sheriff of Northern Louisiana. He was very old, and second only to the Queen in power. He had a good rapport with the Queen, and was left alone to run his area like a small fiefdom. Intrusions into his area were few and very far between. No one wanted to be on his bad side. He quietly walked up to the door of the cabin, and knocked three times.
Sookie was surprised to hear her brother's signal so soon after he left. Maybe he was more tired than he thought from his injury, and decided to come back. When she opened the door she was shocked to see Sheriff Northman taking up her doorway. She tried to close her door in his face, but he was too fast and strong for her, and held it open whilst he spoke with her.
The Sheriff didn't want to scare the girl, so he tried to glamour her. But as he was focusing on her eyes, she was shaking it off. Her little body was shaking too, and he stepped back, a little, hoping she would calm down.
"Who are you? What do you want? Where's my brother?"
"Please don't be afraid, little one. I will not hurt you. I am Eric Northman, Sheriff of the Vampire State of Northern Louisiana. Your brother is out for his run. He is safe. I've instructed my minions to watch over him. You know this is a dangerous time for him to be out, don't you? There are were-wolves and were-tigers hunting under the full moon."
Sookie stared at this being. She had read of vampires in novels, but thought they were just fiction. She thought that were-wolves and were-tigers were fiction, too. Suddenly, she was conscious of wearing animal skins, and being disheveled, in front of this beautiful man, the first man other than her brother she had seen in more than three years. And he was beautiful: 6'5", blond, with strong masculine features and a physique that she remembered seeing chiseled into statues, in the Art Museum in Shreveport.
"Are you really a vampire? You're not just in books? Are you going to kill me?"
"Vampires made themselves known to the human world two years ago. I'm certainly not going to kill you! I want to know your story. How long you have lived here. Why you are living in my woods, and how your brother was bewitched into a deer. Will you invite me in so we may sit and talk together?"
Sookie was frightened, but she was also enthralled with the stranger. She was brave. She had to have been, to run away, then make a new home in the forest. She spent a few minutes thinking about the question. Eric stood silently, while she made up her mind. "OK. Come in. Close the door, it's cold. You can sit on the chair."
Eric looked and at the chair and smiled, "I don't think I can sit on the chair, it might break under me. I will sit on the floor, and you may sit on the chair."
Sookie smiled a little in return and sat down. She didn't know what to do now, as she had no experience with humans other than Jason, and he wasn't human anymore.
Eric coaxed the story out of her. How they ran from their uncle, and how Jason was bewitched when he drank from the stream, and how they managed to live hidden for the past three years. He was transfixed. How this little girl could have managed on her own for three years with no companionship other than a stag, and remained sane, was astonishing. "Sookie, would you and your brother like to come and live with me? You will be safe. I will protect you, and I will find a witch to undo the spell on your brother."
"Would you? You could find a witch to do that? I could have Jason back? Oh, thank you! Jason and I would be happy to live with you. But what about my uncle? What if he finds us? He's our guardian."
"He won't find you. And even if he did, he will not get to you. You are old enough to make your own decisions now. You won't be forced to go back to him. I will take care of you."
'Why, Sheriff? Why are you doing this for us?"
"Because you are brave and resourceful, and I think you deserve it."
"Someday I will be able to to show you how grateful I am, but for now I can only say 'Thank you.' When will we go?"
"As soon as your brother comes home, little one. You can explain to him, and we will leave. But we must go before daylight, vampires cannot be out in the sun."
As soon as Jason made his way home in his stag form, Eric put Sookie on his horse, mounted in front of her, and placed her small arms around his waist. Then they raced back to the mansion where he lived. They arrived at the mansion with just enough time for Eric to show Jason to the barn and Sookie to a room with it's own private bath.
"Sookie, there is food in the kitchen, and you may visit with your brother tomorrow during the day. Just don't leave my property. I have guards to protect both of you, and I will see you tomorrow night when the sun goes down. Someone will deliver clothing for you in the morning. It will be left in a bag outside your door. I know you will want to bathe indoors, in hot water, when you rise."
Eric turned to go, and Sookie stopped him with a hand on his arm. "Thank you Sheriff. I don't know what to say..."
He turned back and smiled at her, "Call me Eric. Get some sleep, little one, I'll see you later." With that, he kissed her gently on the forehead, and went down to his sleeping chamber for the night.
Sookie couldn't believe her good fortune. She didn't want to get into the beautiful soft-looking bed without washing. So she took a shower and washed her hair, using real shampoo for the first time in almost four years. She promised herself that she would have a nice hot bath the next morning. Looking through the cabinets, she found a hair dryer, so she dried her hair and braided it. She found a large men's t-shirt in a drawer, donned it, and went to bed. Clean and relaxed, she went right to sleep.
The sunrise didn't awaken Sookie as it usually did. She was cozy and warm, the room was dark, and it was vampire quiet all around. When she stretched and woke up, she was surprised before she remembered where she was and what had occurred the night before, but she didn't feel afraid. She thought that it might be foolish of her to trust vampires, but it was her human uncle who had frightened her, not the Sheriff and his followers. When she looked at the clock on the night table it said 1PM. 'Oh my goodness,' she thought, 'I've slept so late. Maybe I'll skip the bath for now and go see how Jason's night was.' Walking into the bathroom she did what had to, adding brushing her teeth with a new toothbrush to her routine. She brushed out her hair, and let it hang in waves down her back.
She opened her door a little way, and found a bag, just as Eric had said she would. Dumping it on the bed, she found underwear, t-shirts, blue jeans and sneakers, all in sizes that looked like they would fit her. Everything fit pretty well, so she left her room, and went downstairs to the ground floor to find the kitchen.
As she looked for the kitchen, she inspected the ground floor of the house, walking through a game and TV room, a formal living room, a library, a pretty dining room, and then she found the kitchen; new, sparkling and apparently unused. She opened a stainless steel refrigerator and found it filled with supplies; True Blood, milk, bread, eggs, cheese, and cold cuts. There were even fruits and vegetables in the lower bins. Everything she would need to make a fast meal. She took out things for a sandwich and a glass of milk. It had been more than three years since she had eaten bread and milk, and she was afraid it would make her sick. So she ate slowly and not very much. Then she washed her plate, took two apples and went outside. There was a tall man standing guard at the door, and he turned to her when he heard it opening.
She tried to listen to his thoughts, but they were all twisted and snarled, like a ball of yarn after a kitten has played with it.
"Miss, can I help you?" his voice was kind, though she couldn't tell from his thoughts if it was true or not.
"I would like to go to the barn to see my brother."
"Of course. The King told us that you would. I'll take you there." He moved away from the door and started walking, Sookie kept up with him.
"My name is Sookie, what's yours?"
"My name is Jonathan. I am one of his Majesty's day guards. We have all heard your story already. You are a very brave young lady."
Sookie just threw him a look, brave or not brave, she didn't know. She was just trying to protect herself and her brother.
The stable was in the back of the property, near the woods. She saw her brother grazing on sweet hay as she approached. He must have caught her scent, because he lifted his head, and waited for her by the fence. Even though he was physically a deer, he kept his human brain, so Sookie was able to communicate with him telepathically. While he had to think at her, she often just answered him in speech. But she decided to be safe and not to trust everyone she met in their new situation. So she just thought at Jason, and they carried on a conversation, the guard unknowing.
'Jason how was your night? How were you treated?'
'Fine, Sook. I was placed here in the paddock. Someone brought me water and hay, and I ate until I was full. No one bothered me. How about you? Were you safe?'
'Oh yes, Jason. I took a shower with lots of hot water and washed my hair. Then I used a dryer to dry it, and went to sleep in a big soft bed. The room was dark and quiet, so I just woke up. I just ate a sandwich and milk. And I've brought you an apple!'
'So the vampire didn't try anything? Ya know, like Unc...'
'No, Jason. He seems very kind. You know, I can't hear vampires at all.'
'Really, Sookie? Then how will we know if they're lying to us?'
'The usual human way, I guess... I think we'll be able to tell. We'll use our intuition... Let me find a brush, so I can take care of you. You ran through a lot of bushes last night, and you're a mess.'
After she finished brushing her brother, she sat on the grass in the sun for a while, enjoying the day. She didn't have to gather food for the winter, so it was like a holiday for her. The sun was setting when she said 'Goodbye' to her brother, and went back to the house to eat something and to talk to their savior.
Four Years Later
Sookie and the Sheriff were married and were the parents of a pretty baby girl. No one knew how the Eric had managed to impregnate Sookie, because vampires cannot reproduce. They thought that the magic might have come from Sookie because she was a telepath, but never bothered to ask anyone. They were just happy to have little Adele, and counted their blessings. Even though Jason was still a deer, he was safe, and they could 'talk' together.
Bartlett had died and left his small fortune to a distant cousin, Marnie Hale Stonebrook. When she found out, Sookie was happy to leave the money to Marnie, and forget about her awful uncle completely. She had never met her distant cousin, and was so happy in her life, that she felt no need to. But on the other side of the Sheriff's territory, Marnie Stonebrook was plotting to win a larger prize than Bartlett's inheritance.
Marnie Stonebrook applied for the job as a maid in the Sheriff's mansion, just to get near to his wife. One day, while the vampires were sleeping, Marnie sneaked into Sookie's room and put her under an evil spell. She put her daughter, Yvette, in Sookie's place and hid her body in an underground dungeon that she found. It didn't look like it was used since Vampires had gone public, but there was enough silver incorporated in the walls, that the Sheriff would not be able to tell that his wife was there and not in her bed. Once her daughter was secure as the Sheriff's wife, she would use Sookie's body for magic spells. There were spells that needed human body parts, and they were very hard to legally obtain.
Adele's nurse became worried because Sookie had stopped playing and feeding her daughter. She kept to her bed at all times, and let no one approach her except for the new maid. The room was always dark, and even when the Sheriff visited his wife and child, Sookie never left her bed, keeping the covers over her head. The nurse, who was a smart RN, worried about the young mother. She knew there was diseases like Post Partum Depression that afflicted new mothers, and thought that there might be all kinds of ills in the supe world that she wasn't aware of. But the Sheriff was indulgent, and told her to give his wife anything she wanted. He had no idea how to treat her, and didn't want her to further withdraw.
One morning, just before dawn, the nurse saw a specter approach the crib. It looked like the new mother and she reached into the crib, picked up the baby and suckled her at her breast. The specter returned every night, and the nurse was sure it was Sookie, but she had no way to convince the Sheriff of this. But one night the ghost spoke and she knew she had to take action. The vision sobbed as she took her child into her arms, and whispered,
"How fares my child.
How fares my dear,
I'll come twice more,
Then no more appear."
The nurse decided that the Sheriff must know about this odd occurrence. Especially since it seemed there was a deadline involved. So the next night, as the sun set, she went to the Sheriff's court to approach him. As humans were not well thought of by vampires, she wasn't sure that she could gain an audience, but the Sheriff was so worried about his wife, that he allowed her to approach. The nurse told the Sheriff the story, and he decided to go to his child's room that night and hide, and wait for the phantom to reappear.
While the nurse sat in her usual chair some distance from the crib, Eric hid behind the heavy drapes that kept the warmth in the room. Close to dawn, the specter appeared and after feeding her daughter, repeated almost the same words that she had said the night before,
"How fares my child,
How fares my dear,
I'll come once more,
Then no more appear."
Eric was so overcome, that he burst from behind the drapes and took her into his arms. "My dearest wife, how I have missed you!"
Sookie, in that moment, was freed from the spell and looked as healthy and beautiful as she ever did. "Yes, my husband, I have missed you too. I am so happy that you discovered this falsehood."
Sookie then told Eric everything that the witch had done. Eric was so enraged, that he took his sword from it's sheath and ran into his wife's room where the false wife and her mother slept. Without giving the witch any time to cast a spell, he cut off both their heads.
It was almost dawn now, and the Sheriff needed to go to his rest. He took his wife, their child and her nurse, with him to the basement, which had extra security and was light tight for vampires, and told them to stay there until he awoke. He had just enough time to show Sookie and the nurse the bathroom and kitchen before he felt sleep overcoming him. The nurse and baby he put into one room together, and his precious wife he brought to his own room. While he was awake, he did not wish her out of her sight. The last thing he said as he went to his daily death, was that he loved her and he would not let anything else bad happen to her ever again.
When Sookie awoke, she went to find her baby. She was grateful to the nurse for saving her and caring for her child. They found something to eat, dressed, and waited for the Sheriff to rise. When he did, they went out to see her brother, who Sookie had been worried about. To their surprise, the guards had a naked man tied up in the barn, and were waiting to see the Sheriff. Sookie was overjoyed, for when the witch had died, the spell had been broken, and her brother turned back to human.
The family returned to the mansion to look for clothes for her brother, and to start the new beginning to their lives. And they lived happily ever after.