Type: Slash, Uncon, Snark, Friendship, Angst
Fandom: True Blood [Showverse]
Pairing: Alcide Herveaux/Sam Merlotte
Setting: Some time after Season 3 Episode 8 "Night on the Sun".
Word Count: 5316
Summary: Alcide is passing through Bon Temps since his first unexpected meeting with Sam Merlotte, luckily for Sam, since the Hotshot were panthers have come to Merlotte's for revenge, not taking too kindly to what the shifter had dared to do to their leader Calvin Norris. Alcide fights them off and tends to Sam's unconscious body, who comes around to learn that Alcide has also made the necessary repairs to whatever was damaged during the fight at Merlotte's. The two go on to bond a little, but Sam's ways go against the grain and Alcide ends up pissed off. The chemistry is building, neither of them realise it.
Warnings: Not spiteful smut, no cheap thrills here. Rated PG-13/R for use of expletive language throughout the series, and mature themes such as mentions of nudity and the intended development of homoerotic interest (in this chapter) also including sexual references and descriptions. Due to episode setting, consider yourself warned of potential spoilers. This is a co-write so keep that in mind whilst reading and expect slight perspective shifts from time to time. Alcide is written by Jaxon666 and Sam by Varrosgirly. We love comments, but we don't love armchair critics. Thanks!
Sam's eyes were too heavy to open, but he felt warm water around him, and someone cleaning his face. It stung, and he growled, but couldn't move away. He felt weak. That's right, the Hotshot pack had come for him, the bar had been closed for the fair; payback for how badly he'd beaten Calvin. He blacked out again before he could see who was taking care of him now, couldn't even smell them, or he could but he was too exhausted for it to matter.
He awoke clothed but still a bit weak, lying on the couch. At least he could open his eyes to look around. Sam sat up on an elbow, wincing and then laying back down. But he saw Alcide in his kitchen, speaking on the phone in his lower pitch. A memory came to him, when he was lying in the middle of three of those inbred hicks beating him, Alcide had come in just before he lost consciousness. Well now he definitely owed the guy.
Sam pushed himself up, groaning as his skin stretched around his wounds, clenching his jaw and trying to move past the pain. He had a bar to run, after all. What time was it anyway? A beer was pushed into his hand as an answer to his silent question, and he looked between it and Alcide with a raised brow.
"What's this for?" He felt a little foggy.
Alcide was frozen between expression and non-expression for a few long moments; wasn't it obvious? For men, beer was the answer to most things, wasn't it?
"Yer a man. Reckon you deserve it after the ass-whoopin' y'took. That an' more after it." Did Sam really prefer pain pills? Alcide prevented himself from grunting at that thought.
A two-natured who carried a mostly human spirit was quite an oddity for him to deal with, frustrating even. Almost like he wanted to teach Sam a better way to be. He sat down opposite Sam, keeping his distance for now but still seeming so comfortable in a home he wasn't invited to that it felt like he was right next to him. Of course, his remarkable size did something to close in the distance kept between them, too.
Almost shaking his head at Sam's sensitive response to the injuries he'd received, Alcide tried not to look at him in a judgmental manner. He did however realise that they were both two very different kinds of animal. To him, those wounds weren't far from being superficial; he'd done a days work with worse. Not Sam's fault though. He was who he was without a choice in the matter.
"You'll heal up just fine." the rugged werewolf stated, a particular certainty in his gruff voice demanding no room for doubt.
The shifter didn't feel like he'd heal up very well, but he knew that it was just a matter of days, possibly less. Still, Sam hadn't been beaten like that before, except for the time with Maryann, and he'd had to drink vampire blood just to live through that.
"Thanks," he muttered, taking a very long drink of beer. It did make him feel better, if only just for the familiarity the beverage brought him.
"I need to call my waitresses, I don't even know what the bar looks like," he held the cool bottle to his forehead. It would have to be closed if he couldn't get someone to cover for him. He was starting to feel better, as if being awake was helping his system heal at a faster rate, though compared to humans, it was already fast.
"I appreciate what ya did. I'd be damn near dead if you hadn't shown up."
Alcide was a little uncomfortable accepting Sam's thanks, so he did so with a downward tilt of his head, and no words at all.
"It's already night. I took care of it." A man of few words, which could trouble those who preferred detail, especially in matters like these.
It might have been better to explain to Sam that Merlotte's had been closed for today, the staff called way in advance of coming in to work, and repairs to damages made in the bar last night, tended to.
"You'll be on yer feet again tomorrow. For now, you just enjoy what's left of yer day off."
"I slept a whole day?" Sam was alarmed by that, wondering just how bad he'd been that his body had shut down for so long.
Though he spoke in a casually friendly tone, there was still something about Alcide that assumed authority. He didn't so much make a suggestion, as insist a course of action. Every time he spoke he seemed to grunt in between sentences. It was uncertain whether this was a natural affectation, or whether he was annoyed.
"Dinner's in the oven. An' I cleaned what was left of yer clothes." he revealed, unashamed of it and not thinking the tasks of cooking and cleaning to be womanly, which might have come as a surprise. Alcide may have been born with too many manly genes for one body to contain, but he wasn't in truth a machismo asshole. The wolfiness just made it seem that way.
Alcide must have been the one who was washing him before. He barely recalled that, either. But the werewolf had been doing more than he realized, it seemed. Sam didn't even know how to start showing his gratitude.
"And made me a dinner?" Well there was just another thing to add to Sam's growing list of reasons to really like Alcide.
It was too bad about his clothes, though. They had to have been absolutely wrecked. Which reminded him, "I just wanna check out the bar real quick. I don't think it was in too good a state last night." The panthers had thrown bricks through the windows before coming in, and he recalled a number of chairs, tables, maybe even part of the bar, being ripped into and used as weapons. He'd resorted to the same method once he realized how serious they were on their revenge.
"I guess I help people when...they need it." Alcide found himself obliged to explain away any falsely assumed reasons for his natural proclivity towards being a good Samaritan.
He did only come to the aid of others if he found them deserving; those with a good heart and good intentions. Sam seemed to be such a man. It made sense that he and Sookie were friends. Hopefully not everyone in Bon Temps followed suit, otherwise the place would be the death of Alcide. Contrary to popularly displayed dishevelled response when the matter arose, Alcide liked being a wolf, and alive.
He nodded at Sam, not about to handle him with kid gloves and insist he rest more before walking about. It wasn't like he'd lost a limb. He wasn't a child. He'd been beaten up but that was no big deal. It wasn't the way of a wolf, least of all one who had never been outcast from the pack, to nurture weakness in others.
"You want I come with, or you good on yer own?" he asked, looking indifferent about everything, including the narrow probability that a piano could fall from the sky and land on his head.
Sam shrugged, standing in place for a moment after he rose from his seat.
"I think I'll be fine," he said, walking for the door. He was a little stiff, but he could move. Nothing missing, nothing broken, maybe a couple fractures, but not too bad. "I'll just take a couple minutes." It was good that he lived just beside the bar, made things easier for him all around.
When he made his way into the bar, Sam wondered for a moment if he remembered the events wrong. Nothing was broken, out of place, or even within a hint of it. But then he got the scents: multiple people had been in here today. The strongest scent belonged to a wolf. The one who now sat in his trailer, as a matter of fact.
"Alcide," Sam was just making his way back into his house, the delicious scent of steak filling his nose. It smelled amazing. "Damn, that's real nice to come home to," he joked a little, taking a plate from his cabinets. "But I...I don't even know how to thank ya for my bar. That would've been a lot more work than I could've finished before opening."
"It wasn't nothing." so Alcide's correct use of English was as lacking as anyone else's in Bon Temps, perhaps a little better usually, but what he had meant came across all the same.
"You good now? I can get outta your hair." Alcide changed position and looked alert as he sat up, eyeing the belongings of his that he could see and paying mind to where his other laid down possessions were, in advance of collecting them and taking off. He did have a life to get back to, not that it wasn't one he had complete say in. He didn't even follow the orders of his packmaster indefinitely. He stood up and started to take a few calmly paced strides towards the door.
Sam sat at the table with his plate, watching Alcide with a difficult expression. On the one hand, he did like his privacy, especially when he was vulnerable or going through something very personal. On the other, Alcide had been very helpful, beyond what he could have been expected to do.
He knew Alcide was a lot like him in that he helped people who needed it, for some inexplicable reason. He didn't know why he'd go to such a length for him; almost as good as a stranger, and a shifter no less, which surely had something to do with how the world looked for a were.
"You can stay a while if you want. I mean, if ya have stuff to get back to, I don't wanna keep ya from it." He didn't want to seem ungrateful, but he didn't want to seem needy. Sam was far from either, actually. Wasn't he?
"Hey uh, can I ask what happened after ya came in?" He barely remembered the moment when the wolf had arrived, let alone anything that followed.
Stopping dead in his tracks to listen to all of what Sam had to say, Alcide grunted more loudly than usual. The animal within often rose to the surface without Alcide's will or permission, and for others around him at the time, it could cause some confusion. It made Alcide seem far more aggressive and antisocial than he was. He calmed his thoughts and stared at Sam for a while, in consideration.
"They'd already been fightin' before I got here. Yer lucky I called by and broke it up. Looks like they were out for more than blood." disgust was riddled throughout Alcide's features and words as he spoke of the werepanthers he'd had to deal with last night.
They were mannerless, filthy creatures, little more than rabid mongrels really, perhaps in most ways much less. He didn't consider them part of his kind at all, nor part of the food chain; who would even eat them? Nasty, weak and desperate creatures. Cowards. He also didn't approve of the unfair aspect of one man being attacked by a group of men. More honourable to fight fairly, one-on-one, like a real man should.
"They won't be back botherin' you. Panthers ain't too sharp but they know enough to know not to shit where a wolf does his eatin'." Alcide reassured Sam, in case he was concerned of a repeat attack. "You need me t'stay?"
Sam had been worried about the Hotshot gang coming back, they were druggies and violent simpletons, at that. The fact that he'd now been completely reliant on a were for the past 24 hours or so did not sit as badly with him as it would have once upon a time.
"I don't want ya to think that I'm helpless or nothin'." Sam took a bite of his steak, grinning at the taste of it. Alcide was a great cook, on top of handyman and rescuer. And now he couldn't help but feel a little helpless, but that was just how things were between their species, even if they were similar in general ability.
"But I wouldn't mind the company. Not sayin' you have to." Sam wasn't sure if he was breaching some protocol or anything, but he liked the guy, and it didn't hurt to feel as safe around him as he did right now. Alcide was a nice person, and slowly changing the shifter's mind on weres, if just a little.
Alcide shrugged, thinking that compared to him and with everything that had gone on in the last day or so, Sam was helpless. Still, he wasn't here to emasculate the friendly eatery owner, so there was no point arguing those points, especially since it was obvious Sam was not as thick-skinned as Alcide's pack-mates. It wouldn't just roll off his back. He was slightly annoyed. Usually when Alcide spoke to one of his kind and asked them a question, he got an answer. One that was not indirect. Yes or no. Sam didn't get that yet, he'd been pretending he was human too long to know how things went.
"Don't gotta do nothin'." but that wasn't the point. "Guess I'll head out. See you 'round Sam. Call me if y'need anythin'." and with that, Alcide turned and started making way towards the door once again.
"Can ya stay?" Sam looked uncomfortable asking outright. He never asked, people always assumed, or asked him, or he just let them be.
"You've done a lot for me, and I ain't really done anything back." Partly because he'd been unconscious the majority of the time. "You want another beer?" Sam stood, going for the fridge. He'd finished his own beer and was keen for another.
Alcide stopped at the door and grunted again, before dropping his stuff to the floor. Seconds later he returned with a beer that he'd helped himself to, as well as another one for Sam, overtaking him. That was his only way of responding to Sam's request, socially. The huge werewolf than sat on the long sofa, nearer to Sam's seat, his remarkable weight causing him to sink into it instantly, a moody expression filling his face. He removed the caps of both beer bottles with the palms of his hands, no need for a bottle opener.
Sam needed to learn how to interact with two-natureds better, especially the pack kind.
"Thanks," he reached for the beer, leaning back in his seat and relaxing.
"I know we're kinda from different species and all, but if you wanna come down for a beer or somethin' sometime, that'd be alright." Sam smiled awkwardly, unsure if it was Alcide's wolf or alpha status made him see things differently.
"Okay." Alcide remarked, rather than an upbeat thank you.
Even for a graceful wolf, it was not in Alcide's first nature to make good with the warm and fuzzy sort of friendship pleasantries Sam offered at present. He looked over Sam as he finished his plate, thinking that it was only right that the shifter enjoyed his well-cooked meal. From reading his slightly timid body language, Sam was still concerned for his injuries, thinking that maybe some were more serious than the eye could see.
"You ain't broke nothin'. Yer tougher than you look." and Alcide had checked; a perfect reflection of his particular kind of species and honed skill set, that he knew how to.
He nodded, pushing his empty plate away.
"What were you doin' down here in the first place?" Sam could have understood a visit to Sookie; she might have been getting into her own trouble. But why Alcide had come to the bar?
"I'm not sayin' I ain't glad you came in when ya did." He took another drink, letting out his own grunt, still feeling the various dull aches around his body.
"I go where I want. Ain't always a reason." Alcide had heard Sam's questioning before, in relation to why he was where he was, and he liked it just as much then as he did now, even if he knew there was no harm meant by the question.
Alcide's head retracted and he gave a look of troubled curiosity as he tried to fathom what Sam had meant in asking if he was alright. Then he figured, almost smirking at his realisation, although smirks weren't usually this warm were they? He raised his hands and turned them in and out again, looking at them.
"You're alright?" Sam didn't doubt that Alcide could hold his own against the panthers, but he couldn't have come out completely unscathed. The shifter noticed some scratches on the wolf's hands, pointing them out.
"These here are work related. Ain't no panther ever hurt me. You don't need to worry none about that.", Alcide confidently stated, glugging back half his beer in one go, not even a little exasperated afterwards, Adam's apple pumping back and forth as he drank the chilled golden ale.
In this moment, Sam couldn't help feeling completely human. Alcide was all animal, save for his current form. It made him feel inadequate as a two-natured being, like he was going about things in the worst possible ways.
"Can't say the same," he smiled, resting his arms on the table, "But they didn't attack at random or anythin'." He sighed, twisting the beer bottle on the plain surface, watching the liquid slosh around inside.
"I lost my temper at Calvin Norris, hurt him pretty bad. I dunno how they got him out to the hospital in time, but he was okay after that." Of course Sam didn't know that Lafayette had force fed vampire blood to the panther leader so he would survive. He would have been a little more understanding, maybe, despite his own life-saving encounter with vampire blood.
"Probably had it comin'." Alcide replied, without kind sentiment.
"It's done now anyway." and by that he meant there'd be no further consequence on either side. Fair enough; it sounded like there'd been an ass beating both ways now, but even if the panthers did still feel raw about it, there was no way they would risk warfare with weres. Not only were weres at the top of the food chain individually, but they were more loyal to their pack-mates, and more strategic in their conduct. Other two natureds steered well clear of trouble with them. Funny how in the strictly animal kingdom, wolves were barely considered competitors amongst the leading predators.
"Temper aint gonna go away while you keep pretendin' yer one o' them.", Alcide offered his advice, and considering where it came from, he might be the best to give it. Then again he might be the worst.
"It's how I learned to survive in the world," Merlotte shrugged, looking at nothing in particular, "I didn't get a pack." Sam truly did feel pathetic in that moment. An orphaned shifter, one who could hardly take care of himself unless it was with humans. "And I only lose my temper when I ain't thinkin...or when I'm drunk."
He drank when he was angry, was it possible he did that so he could release and not feel guilty later on for what he did? That couldn't be it; he usually felt the guilt after his drunken hazes ended.
"But you're right...I been actin' like I'm human for a long time. Only time I even feel like I'm what I am's when I'm runnin'."
"You need you a woman." and that much was obvious Alcide thought, but aside from being half-serious in his manly criticism, it was actually more important than one might think for a two-natured to have a mate. It kept them tethered, gave them a release. He wasn't sure about shifters, but werewolves fucked in a way that made bunnies seem lacklustre.
"Wouldn't hurt if you went on more runs...or mixed with more o' yer type. You can come with me when I'm 'round these parts, I guess. If you want." once again, Alcide found himself playing caterer to the hopeless, which in turn made him more hopeless than any of the lost causes he tended to, didn't it?
Sam laughed, a short chuckle, and nodded once in agreement.
"Had women...never worked out quite right. One of 'em was a shifter too, and that was a nice time." He'd been happiest then, until she led him straight to the bitch who'd hunted him down. And then there was Tara, but she was hardly a reasonable candidate for a mate. Sam would find one, eventually. Hopefully.
Alcide's offer made the healing shifter perk up the slightest, almost unnoticeable bit. Surely the wolf would have picked up on it.
"You sure I wouldn't be intrudin'?" Sam didn't know if packs all ran together or not. Maybe they did, but not all the time. The entire hierarchy of it was confusing.
"I'd appreciate it. I don't really have someone to run with." Well, Tommy didn't count. He'd almost gotten ran over when they tried that. And his mother...no. Never. So that left Sam alone, again, in letting out his wilder side, not much more than once a month, besides when he needed to check up on someone or help out.
"Hell man, you seen me naked as the day I been born first time we spoke proper. Think we're passed intrudin'." one of Alcide's lighter, more humorous moments, and rare at that.
Nudity didn't generally bother Alcide, least of all around other men or others of his kind, but he knew enough to know that Sam would find humour in what he just said. There was after all, a portion of humanity within Alcide himself, however overshadowed.
"Maybe I can teach you a thing or two. That kid brother o' yours...he needs a different kinda teachin'." and by that Alcide meant that he was only a few more brief meetings away from kicking the little shit's ass, so Sam could consider that a warning. Alcide was much more of an actions kind of guy, rather than words. Few of them often understated the actions to come. People learnt that quickly.
"Ain't a lesson worth teachin' that Tommy'll listen to." Sam thought Alcide must have had to speak with him during the day, so who knew what had been said or how long the wolf had put up with the boy.
He sniffed at the air all of a sudden, breaking away from conversation without warning.
"Wounds need redressin' soon." yep, the towering werewolf could smell that. Maybe Sam really could learn a thing or two from him, but then that was never really in question.
Sam felt more at ease, to the point of holding a smile, with Alcide speaking in ways he could see into, in some way. Fair enough, Sam would take up the offer the next time the opportunity was presented.
He glanced down at himself, lifting his shirt to look at the gauze and wrap covering his injuries. They did look a little stale.
"Thanks, I'll get on that in a few minutes I guess." He couldn't really ask or expect more from Alcide. And now that Sam really focused on the scent of the air, he could sort of notice the difference, a kind of sickly, tart scent. He'd been so humanized that he was ignoring basic senses now. "You're right, there are some things I need to learn. Or just remember."
It amused Alcide that Sam didn't realize how much he had to learn, in terms of his second nature. It was so obvious to one such as the werewolf, who had been raised to embrace and master it, that the shifter was barely attuned to the beast within him at all, aside from giving it physical forms. That was one small part of being the kind of thing that they were.
"I'm gonna regret this, ain't I?" he sort of joked, glancing at Sam Merlotte from the corner of his eyes, head turned away for scathing effect.
"Maybe in time I can introduce you to some of our women. Right now, you'd stick out like a 'tard with a helmet." of course no offence was meant, and that much with Alcide was always clear when in effect. He was simply unable to water down the truth, and if he was to introduce Sam to his pack-mates, or even other two natureds he knew, they would see the shifter as somewhat of a lame beast, a retardation of both natures, not good enough in either one, just from assessing his disposition and physical behaviour. Life was hard enough as it was, being accepted by weres as a shifter.
"Well I'd hate to be an embarrassment. I'll try not to drool on myself if the time ever comes." Sam smirked, tipping the bottle to his mouth, and he noted how it was tasting better with each sip.
"Drink up. What are you, a youngin?", no sympathy for Sam's wounds then. Unethically manly belief that a good alcohol binge cured all that could ail those with testicals.
The bottle was half raised to Alcide in a mock toast, but Sam was amused, even by the unflattering truth. Sookie, and definitely Jason, saw him as something beyond human, but they had no clue how it was to the rest of the world.
He may have been in extreme pain last night, and even earlier today, not that he remembered, but he was feeling pretty good. Not nearly good enough to go on a run later tonight, but he could move about as he needed.
"I wanna thank you again. I know I did already, but you just helped me out, a lot."
"Already did, Merlotte. Drop it." Alcide visibly tensed for a second, when Sam made with the warm and fuzzies again. Hopefully that would stop soon, because Alcide couldn't bear it. One thanks was almost too many. Two made Alcide feel like he was growing a vagina.
As soon as Sam was done eating, Alcide stormed over to him and grabbed his plate, taking it to the kitchen and bringing out more beers in what seemed like record time. He went to pass Sam his fresh bottle but then smiled and paused, realising that the shifter's hands weren't nearly as large or firm as his, opening the cap for him and offering the bottle a second time, no matter that Sam's previous one was unfinished.
"You wanna pay me back for what I done? Be good to Sookie. And stop takin' shit from people, family included. And wouldn't hurt if you kept me in mind for any work you need doin'." Alcide broke the ice again with a blend of seriousness and comedy, a secret weapon he whipped out once in a while, and yet ironically by his expression it seemed that he didn't personally find himself humorous.
"I'll keep it in mind. Thought about puttin' a waterfall garden in the back," but Sam's face read sarcasm, clearly.
"When's the last time you even done got yourself fucked, Merlotte? All I can smell in this place is teenage hormones an' a whole lotta sex B.O. that sure ain't yours...on account that you know what soap is." it sounded like Alcide didn't approve of the puritan lifestyle.
Normally, Sam would have stopped at two beers, but he was not doing anything worth keeping stone cold sober over, so he didn't care. Alcide treating him like a complete weakling, though, that made him bristle just a bit. He could open his own beers, but he said nothing. It could just be a wolf thing.
"Well damn. Funny, Tommy's the only other one askin' me that kinda question." Sam finished off his beer, sliding the empty bottle across the table before starting on the new one.
"It's been a while. I quit hookin' up with women I don't know a long time ago." He needed to talk to Tommy about bringing girls here, obviously. Sam thought they were past that, but the kid just didn't listen.
Like a hawk and not a wolf, Alcide noticed a bitter look fleet from Sam's eyes for an almost immeasurable amount of time, though it might as well have been spotlighted and lasted a minute.
"You got somethin' you need t'say to me, Merlotte?" he asked firmly, with a bold gaze, eyelids clutching at his eyeballs like the claws of a lion to fresh meat.
"We aint exactly the same you an' I, but I'm pretty sure y'need it just the same. Fuckin'. Even if y'don't feel like yer want it." briefly, Alcide found his hand placed around his own package, and removed it with subtle motion and no sign of panic.
"The humans got their bi-polar. We got blueballs." he informed.
"I just-" Sam sighed and shrugged, "-I can open a damn beer bottle on my own. I know I ain't as fast at healing as you, but I ain't a child." Sam's eyes were drawn to Alcide's hand, just as briefly, but his own motions were much less smooth. He'd just gotten over the dreams about Bill and wasn't sure how to handle it.
"So I lose my temper cause I don't get laid." He took another long drink from his bottle, wondering just how Tommy fit into that. Maybe he was just a little fucker who didn't do anything conventionally.
If Sam hadn't have been so injured and pathetic, Alcide may have just found himself giving him a slight of physical warning himself right then. Letting his deep growl stew over and run its course this time, Alcide stared the shifter out whilst waiting to calm. Fortunately Sam did nothing to provoke him further.
"Yer just a kid Merlotte. Yer age as a man don't match what else y'are." Alcide snarled, still pissed off that a shifter had dared to get cross with him over a beer bottle cap.
That really wasn't his speed at all. He fought over women, or to establish dominance. Getting his fuse short over a superior animal helping him in a time of need? Sure he might not love being vulnerable himself, or humbled, but if he somehow got so mad at a situation like that, that he had to do something about it, he'd be duking it out, not making prissy remarks.
"I'm'a git goin' now. You watch yourself Sam Merlotte, an' I'll be seein' you soon." it was probably best that Alcide leave anyway, before he got unnecessarily angry at his new shifter friend, and made a foe out of him.
Sam had noted the change in the air, the change in Alcide's posture, before he realized why they had happened. When the reason was brought out, though, he was fully reminded that they were two very different creatures, raised in two very different ways. If he was going to be learning, running, and drinking with Alcide, then he was going to have to get used to how things went around a wolf.
He nodded to Alcide once before the wolf left and polished off his beers. Sam went to the bathroom to change his wrappings, groaning more out of instinct than actual pain as he removed the sticky, tarred bindings. After, he stared at himself for a good long while in the mirror, seeing only a human form and the man who wore it. This had to change. He slid into his bed, determined to renew the Sam Merlotte everyone had come to know. It couldn't hurt, when the Sam Merlotte he'd become kept running into so many problems, right?