I should probably be working on some actual writing or one of my other unfinished fics but the plot bunnies and muse will not leave me alone on this. These is not beta'd so any mistakes are my own and are justifiable because I am allergic to constructive criticism.
I do not own the source material, which belongs to Miss Harris and Alan Ball. This will mostly consist exclusively with the canon from the show, but I may slip some book stuff in. This goes AU real quick y'all and I am going to mess with the timelines for the episodes and everything, but hopefully it won't be so confusing. Also I should mention this is my first fic for True Blood or SVM so I am still trying to get a feel for the characters, so if they seem a little OOC that's just me not getting it. Enough jabbering, onto the fic.
Bill Compton had to be the stupidest vampire in the world. To be fair he was the only vampire that Sookie Stackhouse had ever met, but if he was any indication on his kind the old adage 'with age comes wisdom' was a load of crock. Maybe he just wasn't good at reading social cues cause of the being a vampire thing.
The night had started smoothly enough. Merlotte's had pretty decent traffic and she was expecting to clean up in tips. Her best friend Tara had phoned, telling her she was coming in for a drink and confessing that she had lost another job. No doubt Sookie would hear how it was all Tara's racists boss's fault. Sam, Sookie's boss, had conspicuously (thank you word of the day calendar) been making eyes at her. Sam was one of her dearest friends and, though he thought he hid it well, was very much enamored of his blonde employee. Sookie had no interest in him whatsoever and since he never made a move she was content to just ignore it. She really didn't want to have to worry about finding another job if Sam took her rejection of him bad. Lately though it was getting harder to ignore him.
"He smells how ripe you is," Lafayette Reynolds, Merlotte's flamboyant cook and Tara's cousin, had said. He had taken a big sniff of her himself as he said this. Sometimes it was hard to believe Tara and Lala were related.
Then her coworker Dawn had, smiling, told her the Rattray's had just sat down in her section. Sookie wanted to release a few choice expletives, but her Gran had raised her a lady, so instead she plastered her 'Crazy Sookie' signature grin. Her cheeks had already been hurting before this.
In the short time it had taken her to get the Rattray's order she had wanted to punch Mack Rattray in his sweaty mug and slap his wife Denise for good measure. There inner selves were just as ugly as their outsides. She had tried to put her shields up but the Rattrays were loud broadcasters. Being a Christian and having been raised by a woman like Gran Sookie tried to see good in everybody. She felt that she would have better luck finding a leprechaun and his pot of gold before she found a single redeeming quality in Mack and Denise. They never even tipped her.
"Ugly, disgusting….Rats!" She used the customers' nicknames as an expletive. She posted the order. "If you drop some of it on the floor that's alright with me, Laff."
"Kitty's got her claws out tonight." He winked at her. He gave her a pep talk, in his disturbing and graphic way.
"Your cousin's up front." His cocky grin and demeanor dropped.
"Oh, hell. I will spit in the Rats' food if you keep her crazy ass up front for me. I'm getting my party on later and don't need her to con me into dragging her angry emo ass with."
"Lala," Sookie admonished, though she put on her sweetest smile. "She just lost her job and could use some cheering up."
"She could use a IV full of lithium."
He didn't really mean it and Sookie already heard in his mind that he would take Tara with him if she wanted. He and Sookie knew better than anyone what it was like to grow up with a less than loving parent.
Lafayette had a couple orders in front of her's so she went to the bar to fill the pitcher of beer that one of her other tables were thinking of ordering once she got back to them. Tara was sitting at the bar, nursing a beer and surprisingly trying to talk Sam into giving her a job as a bartender.
"Tara's very personable," Sookie said.
Sam and Tara looked at her, both knowing this was bullshit. Tara was as personable as a rabid pit-bull. Tara smiled though. If anybody could convince Sam to give her a job, outside herself and her personableness, it was Sookie. Sam was looking at Sookie and her sweet smile and listened to the exact same thing Tara had just said but only now seemed to understand. Men.
"She works hard and knows her way around the bar already."
And if anybody should know how to handle a drunk it's me.
"Oh, Tara," Sookie reached out to her but stopped at seeing the scowl on her face. Tara hadn't said that out loud. "Sorry." She quickly picked up her pitcher of beer, ready to make her retreat. "You should hire her though, Sam. You're always complaining that you're stuck behind the bar 'cause Terry can't hack it." Sam apparently thought Sookie's reference of Tara was enough, because by the time Sookie had dropped off the beer and picked up the Rat's order and left it at their table, Tara was behind the bar serving Jane Bodehouse.
Reaching out cautiously and seeing that all her tables were content Sookie moved back towards the bar.
"It really was an accident," she said. They both knew what she was talking about.
"Shit, bitch, I know that. Just haven't seen you mess up like that in awhile." It had been awhile. Tara explained about her parting of the ways with her last job. Sam was sitting on a stool at the end of the bar, reading a newspaper. "Probably waiting for me to screw up so he can yell at me." Also obviously eavesdropping.
"I don't know anyone who would be crazy enough to instigate a fight with you, Tara."
Instigate; another word of the day. Just then Lafayette walked up from the back to get himself a cup of coffee. He stopped short.
Guess I spoke too soon? Sookie thought.
"Hooker, what the hell you doing here?" He obviously meant behind the bar not there in general since Sookie had already told him Tara was present.
"I'm working. Which is what you should be doing," Tara shot back. Her voice and stance were hostel but she was really just playing.
"Oh hell no. Sam must be out of his goddamn mind giving you a job. You should not be allowed to work in no situation where you actually gotta interact with people."
The two continued to cut into each other while Sookie laughed and Sam rolled his eyes. Sookie's eyes watched a couple from her section get up and exit and she was just about to go to retrieve the cash they had left on the table when someone else entered the bar. This wasn't unusual. The man didn't look strange at first glance. He was average height, with shaggy dark hair complete with sideburns. From where she stood by the bar Sookie couldn't see what color his eyes were. He looked abnormally pale, but even this wasn't what made the breath catch in Sookie's throat. The man was glowing.
This shocked Sookie so much that her shields automatically fell down. She cringed and readied herself to be blasted by whatever glowing men seemed to think about. But nothing came. She even pushed a bit. Zip, nada, bupkis. She could feel the man's mind, but nothing came from it. It was a complete void. She watched as he walked past the bar and sat at an empty table. In her section.
"You guys!" She turned to the others. It apparently had been Tara's turn in the tête-à-tête because she scowled at Sookie's interruption. "I think Merlotte's just got its very first vampire!".
Sam had watched the vampire with as much concentration as Sookie had. He made a loud sniffling noise. He was in fact sniffing the air.
"I think you're right, Sook."
Tara and Lafayette exchanged a look. Had their boss just done whatever the hell that was?
White people are crazy?
Sookie could hear Lafayette think. The two cousins decided to ignore their boss's what-the-fuck moment and turned their attention to the table and the so-called vampire.
"Dead boy needs to learn how to dress," were the first words out of Lafayette's mouth. Sookie snorted.
"What? He looks like a Gap ad for hobos. Ain't vampires supposed to be all sexy and sleek and shit?" He headed back toward the kitchen.
Sookie just shook her head at his parting shot and took her notepad and pencil out of her apron.
"Sookie, where the fuck you going?" Tara stopped her midstride by grabbing her wrist with more force than was comfortable.
"Going to take his order," she said, as if it wasn't obvious. She pulled her wrist free.
"We don't have any True Blood," Sam said, coming to stand on the other side of her, his voice as harsh and cold as ice. His body language did not scream cuddly either.
"Well I'll be sure to tell him that when I go to take his order." With that she flounced off.
She hadn't doubted Tara would be paranoid about vampires; she was paranoid about normal people. Sam though was a surprise. She had thought he was for Vampire Rights. She and her Gran were genuinely for the VRA and Sookie had been secretly waiting for this day since vampires had come out of the coffin two years ago. She was so excited and nervous with the prospect of meeting her first vampire that, in hindsight, she must've really seemed crazy.
"Hi!" She was grinning like an idiot. "I'm afraid we don't have any of those True Bloods. I mean we did but no one ever came in so Sam, the owner, had to throw them out when they expired. You're our first…" She lowered her voice. "Vampire."
The man…vampire looked gob smacked for a minute and Sookie was afraid she had offended him. Finally he smiled. His smile reminded Sookie of a snake. Tempting Eve with the apple. His smile grew wider as he looked her up and down. He did so quickly, but not quick enough for her taste and she was glad that she couldn't read his thoughts when she noticed he seemed to linger a few extra seconds on her rack. Apparently even dead men were the same.
"Am I that obvious?" He finally spoke. His voice was deep and not entirely unpleasant. His accent was Southern.
"Oh, no…" Though he was still smiling, almost smirking really, he seemed to be unnerved that he was found out for what he was. "Only me and my boss knew. I don't know how Sam knew." This was just one of the many things she didn't know about Sam, which didn't bother her. She didn't want to ask him too much about himself not wanting to come off like she was interested in more than a boss/friend type relationship.
"And you?" the vampire asked. She was looking in his eyes. They were blue, not a remarkable blue but they looked old. His smile had vanished and his voice seemed even deeper and stranger. Sookie felt something that at first she thought it was a itch. After a minute she realized it wasn't on her head, but inside it. Was the vampire trying to get inside her mind?
Well that's just rude! She blinked and her smile fell away.
"Anything I can get you?" she asked with a lot less sweetness than normal. Sookie felt the presence in her mind dissipate and the vampire looked shocked and just a bit guilty. He quickly recovered and his smile was back.
"I could take a glass of red wine, not to drink, just for a reason to stay." His smile grew wider, as though what he said was some sort of joke for her to laugh at.
After what I think you just tried, don't count on it, Buddy.
Sookie stomped her way back to the bar. Tara was serving Detective Andy Bellefleur a beer; his first of no doubt many of the night. She could feel Tara watching her out of the corner of her eye.
"You have something to say, just say it Tara."
"Girl are you crazy getting involved with vampires?" Andy choked on his sip of beer. "Mind your own damn business, Andy!"
"I'm not involved in anything with anybody. I took his order," Sookie snapped. Tara raised her eyebrow.
"What the fuck did he do to you? I will get Sam to throw him out! Hell he already wants to."
Sookie shook her head. She didn't want him getting thrown out and treated like dirt just because of her. Her Gran would tan her hide if she ever learned how rude she had been, unjustified mind hocus-pocus or not. "Nothing. He just gave me his order." And really that's all that he had done. Maybe she was just be judgmental.
"He's just…" Sookie took a breath. "Creepy."
"Course he's creepy. He's dead!"
"That's not what I meant."
She finished pouring the wine.
"Fine he's creepy. Looks like he ain't got no taste in people either." Tara scrunched up her face. "Did I just make a goddamn pun?"
Sookie would have answered and laughed but she looked back over at the vampire's table. Mack Rattray was leaning over talking to him. Sookie grabbed up the goblet of wine and hurried as fast as she could back to the table without spilling the ruby hued liquid. The Rattrays were the biggest racists around, and for a small southern town like Bon Temps that was quite a feat. There's no way they would be open minded enough to want to be friendly with a vampire out of the goodness of their hearts. Sookie was pretty sure Mack and Denise had no such goodness in them. No good could come of the Rattrays talking to that vampire.
"Here's your wine, sir." She had plastered her crazy grin back on her face. Mack still dangled over his booth and narrowed his eyes at her. "Anything else I can get you?"
The vampire smiled, a nice smile overall but Sookie couldn't help thinking creepy, creepy, creepy!
Sookie then did something she never thought she would do. She intentionally listened into the Rattrays. Mack wanted to order another beer because he was thirsty but also so he could get rid of her. Denise called her a bitch, which was nothing new, and wanted to get back—Holy shit! They were going to drain the vamp. Apparently they were both sellers and users of V, the newest drug of choice. Sookie read in Mack's mind that they had already drained and left for dead at least one vampire.
"We could use another pitcher of beer," Mack said.
"In a minute," she replied.
That really would have gotten her smacked by her Gran. Who cared though, it's not like they were going to give her a tip anyway. She had to warn the vampire.
"I apologize if I was short with you earlier." She relaxed into a more natural smile, the one she used to try and get her older brother Jason to do something for her. "It's just been a rough day is all." She may be batting her eyelashes a bit.
"It's quite alright, Miss…?" Yep, the smile was definitely a smirk. What was he being so smarmy about?
"Stackhouse. Sookie Stackhouse."
Sookie had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing. Bill! Vampire Bill. She must've not been hiding her reaction well because his smile faded a bit.
"Don't mind, Sookie, Mister," Mack said. "She's crazy."
Sookie glared at Mack and took the towel she used to wipe down tables out of her apron. She pretended to see a spot on the table near the vampire's arm. She swiped at the imaginary spot near the Bill's elbow.
"I'm not exactly Miss Popular in this area, but I'm a safer bet than most people around here," she whispered leaning in close, hoping Mack couldn't hear from his perch. She looked the vampire right in the eyes, then deliberately and quickly flicked her gaze to the Rats and back. His smile grew wide again.
Thank God! Sookie thought. He got it. The last thing Sam needed was to have a vampire drained in the bar's parking lot. She pulled away from him quickly and took a large step back.
"Well if there's nothing else, I gotta get back to work?"
She gave him her crazy smile again and hightailed it away. She scooped up the cash from her empty table and quickly wiped it down. Turning around she caught a sight and smiled. Sometime in the last two minutes her brother Jason and his two best friends Hoyt Fortenberry and René Lenier had come in and got a table near the back. Sookie approached the table and Hoyt noticed her first. The shy young man smiled and nodded. René gave her a 'hey Sookie'. Jason didn't seem to notice her.. He stared intently at his hands, which were lying flat on the table. Sookie furrowed her brow and looked at the other two men who just shrugged.
"Jase?" She put a hand on his shoulder. He jumped about a foot in the air.
"Jesus Christ!" He saw who it was. "Cripes, Sooks. Don't sneak up on people like that." He quickly shrugged her hand off.
"Jumpy much?" She laughed. He didn't seem to see any humor in it. She couldn't remember ever seeing her brother like this. He was the golden boy, never giving a care about anything or anyone either; one of these days his tomcatting would get him shot. Speaking of which Dawn came up behind them with a pitcher of beer.
"Sookie, I know you aren't stealing one of my tables."
She said it sweetly, with a smile, but there was a hard edge to her voice. Jason seemed to perk right up when he heard Dawn's voice. The two had been off and on for a while. René was the only one of the men at the table to be in a stable long-term relationship, with Merlotte's other waitress, Arlene. It didn't seem for a lack of trying though in Hoyt's case. Sookie knew he was a sweetie, which seemed to be his problem. None of the girls in town liked the nice guy.
"They're all yours, Dawn."
She made her way back to the bar and stood next to Tara. Tara was staring in the direction Sookie had just come from. She spoke without taking her eyes off of Jason, whose eyes were focused on Dawn's ass. Tara had been in love with Jason since they were all little children. Sookie loved her brother but she knew that if anything did happen between him and her best friend it would most certainly end with Tara in tears, and possibly Jason dead.
"What's wrong with your brother?"
Boy wasn't that a loaded question.
"Don't know." She had never seen him like this. She could of course easily find out by taking a quick look in his mind but she had made a pact with herself a long time ago to try as hard as possible to never invade the minds of those closest to her.
Tara finally got fed up of watching the Jason and Dawn show and turned her eyes somewhere else.
"Wonder how big a tip he left you," she said.
"Who?" Sookie asked.
"That vamp." Tara pointed. Sookie turned around and sure enough the table Vampire Bill had been occupying was empty. She did a double take. The Rats table was empty too.
I ended this chapter here because otherwise it would have ended up being about twenty pages probably. I am house sitting this coming week so I should be able to update soon. There will be Eric goodness if not in the next chapter than definitely the third.