Any author's notes from the person who wrote this gift fic have been removed to prevent any identifying information being revealed. The individual author can post this story to their own profile, complete with intended A/Ns, after the 26th December. We hope this gift fic is enjoyed by all – but mostly for the person it was written for. Thank you to this author for taking part in the first Sookie's Secret Santa fic exchange. Due to the number of participants it will be impossible to post all of the stories in one day - don't worry, everyone will get their gift before Christmas Eve :o)

Santa's little helpers

Blakes Boogie & Jan of Arc xx

Title: A Matter of Survival

For: Ericfancier

Summary: What happens in the hours after Nan's death at the hand of the King? How will unlikely allies form an alliance to face what is coming. Rated M for sexual situations and slash.

"Fuck!" Bill Compton wiped the blood spatter from his face off on the sleeve of his now ruined suit. He looked down at the remains of Nan Flannigan, covering his once beautiful mahogany desk; the strings of Vampire guts were likely going to ruin the finish he thought to himself. "That did not go the way I had planned." He let the equally bloodied stake drop down on the mess; it made an uncomfortable thud as it landed.

"Exactly how did you think it was going to go your Majesty?" The comment was not as snide as it could have been, as Bill had expected it to be considering its source: Eric Northman.

"I had expected to be able to reason with her."

"Seriously Bill? You knew as well as I how this was going to end. Although, I must agree, there could have been a significantly better venue for the deed." Eric looked down at the human bodies at his feet, slightly less messy than Nan had become, but also donating their own supply of blood to the floor and area rug.

"I'm going to get someone in here to clean this up right now." Bill moved out from behind his desk and made for the door, Eric stepped in front of him.

"That is precisely not what you are going to do right now. What you are going to do Bill is listen to me, and do exactly what I say." The voice commanded respect, and at that point Bill was almost willing to listen.

"My guards are completely trustworthy. And I can glamour them after Eric."

"I am not taking any chances, this is my life at stake right now as much as yours. We will do things my way. First, I am going to get rid of your guards and then you are going to go to your room and burn the clothing you are wearing right now. I will take care of these bodies, and clean up the blood. You aren't stupid enough to have surveillance in your office are you?"

"Of course not." Bill responded with indignation.

"Good. Then once you are changed, go down to your security office and destroy the footage of Nan arriving and glamour the guards who saw her."

Eric went to the office door and opened it just a little, addressing the captain of the guards outside it.

"The King has heard a noise outside his window, gather your men and go and investigate."

"I don't take orders from you Sherriff." The man responded with a curt military snap.

"Get going Macintosh!" Bill yelled from inside the office, his voice got the men running, and once the foyer was quiet Bill gathered himself up and dashed for his suites, Eric for the laundry area, where he expected the bleach and cleaning supplies were.

Once bringing back enough black garbage bags to hold the bodies he quickly dismembered, and the sought after bleach and towels Eric set to work restaging the office. At his speed it took him only minutes to clear away all the blood, to dump the contents of Bill's desktop into another bag, and to likewise hide the rug and the cleaning rags. A can of gasoline in the gardener's shed provided the accelerant for a decent bonfire out in back of the vast mansion. Two guards, doing their ordered patrol stopped to view it, but Eric's powers convinced them that their employer had ordered that as well, and they quickly forgot the nature of it once Eric captured their eyes with his. He stayed until he knew the bodies were well engulfed; having witnessed enough cremations in his time to gauge that point. Only then did he venture back into the house, noting smoke coming from one of the chimneys. He smiled to himself noting that the King had done exactly what he had been ordered to do. Bill was waiting for him in the office.

"You've destroyed the footage?" Eric closed the office door, the guards had still not returned and they were alone. Bill was leaning against his now empty desk.

"Pulled the hard drives myself and reduced them to powder." Bill was gritting his teeth, obviously tense.

"Good." Eric nodded.

"And the bodies?"

"Roasting on an open fire." The smirk did nothing to remind Bill of the Christmas song Eric had stolen that line from.

"You did a good job on the office Eric. Thank you."

"We have larger problems then someone finding blood in your office Bill."

"So it would seem. Do you believe someone will come looking for Nan?"

"For Nan, and for us, depending on what she revealed to them, or was made to reveal to them. It is unfortunate we were unable to ascertain what our position is. Therefore we will have to assume the worst, that the Authority believes we are working against them."

"And how do we convince them otherwise?"

"While still working to undermine them? Carefully Bill, very carefully. For your part you need to continue to pander to them, play your part as king and dutiful servant."

"And if I am questioned about Nan?"

"Then you may tell them that she did indeed come to speak to you, but when she informed you that she had resigned from the Authority and began to speak to you of sedition that you threw her out."

"I understand."

Eric was starting to appreciate the way Bill was bending to his instructions. It gave him hope.

"We have been thrown together against both our wills Bill, by Nan, and by the damned Witches, so we have to make certain that we work together, and involve as few other people as we can."

"Should we tell Sookie what is going on?"

"Absolutely not. If you love her as much as you profess to then you will stay out of her life, just as I will." Eric clenched his jaw at that thought, it made his heart ache to think of going on without her, but he was a pragmatic man, and he knew that it was the only way to keep her out of the Authority's sights. Nan had learned of her powers, and had possibly even surmised her heritage. But whether or not she had shared that information with anyone else was still unknown, though Eric doubted that she would have. She would have wanted to keep that ace in the hole, to use against Bill and himself if nothing else, to bend them to her will knowing of their feelings for the mortal. That was no longer a threat, and Eric intended to keep Sookie as far from harm as he possibly could.

"And now what?" Bill found himself at a loss, and that feeling unsettled him greatly. Having to rely on Eric Northman did not help to comfort him.

"A cover story, one that will explain why you and I are going to be spending a great deal more time together, privately, for the next little while."

"More than just the fact that you are my Sherriff?"

"Far more than that." Eric took a few steps towards Bill who had remained leaning against his desk, hands clutching the edge.

"What are you doing Eric?"

Eric brought up both his hands, resting them on the sides of Bill's face, using enough strength to hold him there firmly, but not to break his jaw, much as part of him wanted to do it. Bill had been a puppet of Nan and of the Authority, and it sickened Eric that he had sold out the way he had; sold out a Queen, sold out his Sheriffs, and how he had even ordered Eric's true death. The fact that Sophie Anne's death had actually been helpful to Eric, and Bill's last minute change of heart over the execution hardly dulled the rage that simmered in Eric for the attempt. He channeled that rage into his next action, dropping his fangs and forcing his mouth against Bill's, knowing the younger Vampire had no way of escaping his grasp and his intentions.

It was not a gentle kiss; it was a war between them, fangs slashing tongues and lips, force seeking to bruise and tear rather than to convey love. Roars rose in both throats, rage shared and then torn apart as Eric forced Bill away from himself, but still up against the desk. His hands went to Bill's shoulders, pushing him to his knees. Bill's bloody grimace looked up at Eric, black eyes boring holes in Eric's face.

"What?" He cried out, voice laced with anger and confusion.

"Drink!" Was Eric's order, borne on a snarl, while his hands went to his waistband, undoing the buttons and zipper, revealing his manhood to Bill.

"I will not, I am your King!" Bill bellowed upwards.

"I do not recognize your authority. And the woman who made you King is now dead, how much longer do you think the Authority is going to recognize your title Bill? How much time before they come for your crown? You need my support, and you will do exactly what I ask you to do. Do not doubt that I know exactly how to rid myself of you if you stop being useful."

"Eric?" Bill's eyes grew wider, which actually began to please Eric.

"Drink!" He ordered through clenched teeth, lips curled back to demonstrate his seriousness.

Eric felt hands take him carefully, he did not watch Bill, he didn't need to. He felt the slick of his lips, hesitant but focused, and he barely winched when the fangs cut him. Then the feeding began in earnest, and the blood rushed and Eric felt himself grow hard as Bill's lust for the blood, the powerful blood, took over his initial revulsion at the act.

Eric let his eyes close as Bill took over, drawing hard on the wound, and in turn Eric's rod, swirling his tongue over it, thrusting it back and forth in his mouth. Bill had some skill, Eric was willing to give him that as he relaxed and enjoyed the feeling of the attention to himself.

It might have been the blood it might have been the adrenalin of the past hour's activities, it might simply have been Eric's voice and the commands, and Bill's own desire to step back from all his responsibility for a moment, whether he could admit it to himself or not, but Bill found himself becoming aroused at the feeling of Eric's rod in his mouth, and by the effect his own movements were having on the powerful Vampire in front of him. He began to draw his teeth, not his fangs, up and down Eric's smooth shaft as he sucked on him, and smiled as he heard the obvious moan of pleasure slip from Eric's lips. With one hand he reached out to cradle Eric's sac, kneading it carefully, one extended finger stroking just behind it, his own arousal straining against his pants almost painfully, but he ignored it. Brushing his tongue over the soft skin, teasing the slit at the very top, tasting the salt of the advanced force made Bill feel at once delirious, and yet satisfied. Hands lit on his head, guiding the rate of his movements, speeding them up, forcing the spear faster and faster in and out of his mouth, and then he felt Eric's muscles tense in his grasp. With a roar Eric spilled himself deep into Bill's mouth, convulsions pushing him even farther within.

When he had stilled, Bill pulled away, dropping his chin, licking the blood from his lips and stood to face Eric. He had no smirk on his face as he rose, simply parted lips, waiting to see what would happen next, his own needs throbbing.

Eric's hands came up at preternatural speed, spinning Bill around and yanking open his pants, which were quickly slid down to the floor, his engorged cock springing free. Those hands then guided Bill's own to rest on the desk again, forcing him to bend his back to Eric. Hips pushed against him and a chest folded over him, holding him in place securely, then Bill felt the sting of Eric's fangs tear at his neck, his own blood now spilling into Eric's mouth. He wanted to move his hands to attend to his own erection but Eric held them firm, grinding against his naked bottom. Bill knew that Eric was hard again, and he knew, or imagined, or hoped for what he thought was to come, it was hard just then to form the coherent thought.

"Keep your hands where they are." Eric whispered as he took a quick break from his own feeding, and moved his hands to rest them on the flesh of Bill's backside, using a knee to part Bill's legs. Fingers whetted by blood and saliva began to caress his most intimate places, delving against his opening, pushing gently which made Bill moan in turn, and try to rub his own hips against the desk for any form of relief.

"Still." Eric hissed and Bill stopped immediately, feeling Eric's fingertips breach him, working around to stretch him slowly and deliberately. He moaned again. The fingers vanished, replaced by what he knew was the head of Eric's cock, smooth flesh, still warm from the feeding guided to him, and he forced his body to relax, to receive, as Eric darted against him, just pushing inside as Bill cried out again. A little further, and then a pause, time to adjust to the girth, grinding and deeper and the moans would not stop, Bill bucked against Eric, driving him within.

Eric began to work, withdrawal and thrust, back and forth, each time with a pause at the apex, to feel the grip and savor the arousal it brought. Deeper and deeper, the moans tempting him like Fairy blood, his hands finally reaching around to grasp Bill's own swollen member, which prompted the deepest moan yet, as Eric's hands drew Bill's hips firmly back against him, imbedding himself fully, and roughly. The rhythm that ensued, of Eric pumping against Bill's flesh, while at the same time tugging against his rock hard cock brought both men closer to their peaks, all the while Eric drawing from Bill's neck intermittently, while Bill's grip on the desk kept him steady against the strength of the thrusts.

It was another roar from Eric, and the tension of his hands that held Bill hard and fast against him that preceded his second orgasm, and only then did Bill release himself to come as well, spasming against Eric's grip, dropping his head with the blissfully released tension, a weak cry slipping from his throat. Then the pressure of Eric's body was gone. He turned slowly to find him arranging himself back in his trousers and Bill did the same, suddenly unable to look Eric in the eye, for all the passion he had felt only moments ago. When he did look up Eric was staring at him, ice blue eyes daring him to meet them, lips curled in a smile.

"If anyone asks you why there is no security footage for this night you can tell them you had a guest, and you needed your privacy."

Bill nodded.

"If you do what I tell you we will both survive this Bill." And Eric approached him again, taking his chin in a tight grip and pulling Bill into another kiss. This time it was softer, there were no fangs, no blood, only tongues mingling with each other and lips vying for purchase. Bill let his hands drape around Eric's waist gently and coaxed the other man closer to him.

"Will you be returning to Shreveport tonight Eric?"

"No, it is too late, and I need to see to that fire. I will stay here with you."

"As you wish." He let the man go, a shudder tracing up his spine as he did.

"I will be back shortly."

The fire continued to burn brightly, and needed no further fuel. The gardener, unaware of any sinister purpose to it had added in some raked up leaves and trimmed branches, which streaked orange as they were consumed. Eric watched the flames lick at the sky and the sparks dance against the black. He intended full well to survive whatever was to come. And he was prepared to do whatever it took to manage it.