What brought a Viking to his knees

He didn't try to resist them anymore. Although he would've never believed it, torture had finally worn him down. Pain, a sensation he'd always thought could go fuck itself, had now fucked him. Hadn't he been so pathetic and weak he would've laughed at the irony of it all. A Viking succumbing to a little pain, giving up instead of fighting... There really was a first for everything.

He squinted through tender eyelids as the AVL guards marched down the corridor towards his cell. He couldn't move, just couldn't get his feet under him. The celldoor opened with a clang and then unforgiving hands pulled him up by his arms. He couldn't do a thing to stop them. They cuffed his wrists before they dragged him out from his confinement, though the bonds weren't really necessary anymore. There was no more fight left in him. He let them lead the way, weak body and heavy limbs following where they pushed. Their hands held a tight grip on him, holding him up, their fingers digging into soft skin. He didn't even notice. A door opened and Nora emerged, easily falling into step with them. His gaze immediately dropped to the floor. He couldn't look her in the eye. He was elder, he was stronger...he should've fought harder... The whole situation was wrong. Why would she want to see him like this? Why did she take pride in his surrender?

Nora walked beside him, heels clicking with every step. He concentrated on the sound and let everything else drown out. Click. Click. Click. But then another set of doors opened and he was pulled back to harsh reality.

He was led through the doors, between two pillars and instantly recognized the room as the Authority's grand chamber. He'd been here recently, he remembered vaguely, though he wasn't quite sure when or why. His memory was in fragments and completely jumbled, as if it had been tampered with somehow.

"Your sister and I can only keep you alive for so long," Bill addressed him. "The others wanted you executed already."

He was led to the centre of the room and dropped onto his knees. His whole body was vibrating from aftershock, tremors from the torture still eating away at him and he fell forward - almost tumbling over with exhaustion.

"True Death will come very soon if you do not accept Lilith. As it will for all non-believers," Bill continued.

Eric finally looked up - tired eyes meeting Bill's with as much defiance he could muster. His body was completely broken and he was still reeling from having spent hours and hours suffering at the hands of Salome. He had to try his hardest just to keep his eyes locked on Bill. He was sure he looked quite pitiful, but at least he wasn't afraid. A thousand years on this Earth had stripped him of all fears of death. Although he didn't want to die, he would meet the True Death without fear, this much he knew.

"So let it come. What does it matter to you?"

Bill held his gaze, his eyes almost caring. "You saved my life. In return we will save your soul." He held a small silvery box in his hands and Eric looked on as Bill opened it. The content of the box revealed itself to be a familiar looking brass pipette. It was the very same pipette Eric had seen Roman use when he first arrived at the AVL. He tensed. He would not drink the blood of Lilith. He would not.

"No." His voice was soft. He was so tired. "I refuse." He knew they would force him, two against one. He did not stand a chance against them.

"Shh..." Nora knelt beside him and he felt her palm pressing against his forehead. Her touch was light but he knew it would grow harder should he try to resist. "I'll do it with you," she said. Sister offering to walk a dreaded path beside him.

"No."

"Yes." Her voice was calm but offering no leeway whatsoever. He knew he was fighting a losing battle.

"No," he pleaded softly.

Her touch was harsh as she seized him by the jaw with her other hand. His head was pulled back hard and there was nothing he could do to stop her when she forced his mouth open.

"Aah... Aah." He gagged around her fingers, too weak to do anything. "...Aah.."

Bill reached out, releasing a few drops of Lilith's blood into Eric's mouth and down his throat. The blood was potent and it wouldn't take more than a couple of drops to get the desired effect.

Nora clamped a hand over his mouth as soon as the blood had entered it. He coughed and gagged again, trying to break free from her. But she was much stronger than he was now.

"We'll meet her together," Nora said, her hand pressing harder over his mouth. Then she opened her mouth and swallowed down the blood offered to her by Bill. Eric's heart sank and his coughs died down as he succumbed to her will. His body relaxed gradually, though still allowing Nora's smothering hand over his mouth.

"Take it in. She is in you." Her voice held no triumph, only empathy. Empathy for what - he wasn't sure.

She didn't release him until the blood had taken hold completely, the drug raping his mind, stripping him of free will and making him see and feel things he knew weren't true. He turned his head away from her, crushed.

XXoneXXoneXXoneXX

They strapped his wrists to the chair inside the torture cell. It was the same cell he'd been in before, when imprisoned alongside Bill and Nora. Only this time he was alone. ...The same cell where Salome had interrogated him about Nan Flanagan's death. He could only imagine what kinds of fun she had lined up for him here.

He was still seething, furious with Bill for betraying him and angry with himself for trusting him in the first place. Not too long ago he would've never put his own life in somebody else's hands. He'd lived for centuries and knew better than to trust anyone. Still he had let his guard down and allowed himself to trust another person, or vampire. It would not happen again.

He knew he was right too. Lilith's blood wasn't Lilith's blood because Lilith didn't exist. The blood was merely a ways to brainwash any vampire who drank it. Who stood behind it, he did not know or particularly care about. He'd always tried to stay away from politics and had planned to keep it that way by simply leaving the AVL and letting the Authority members 'politic' it out amongst themselves. But they had caught him during his escape. And he didn't know why he was of any importance to them - but they seemed dead set on converting him, whatever good that would do. He knew for a fact that nothing good could come of it. He would never allow anyone to force their fanatic ideas onto him. They could try all they wanted - be it torture or threats of True Death - they would never succeed.

He was wrong as it were.

Salome slithered into the cell, standing a little to the side as the guards prepped him for her - strapping his feet and torso to the chair and hooking him up with the IV with silver in it. He was completely calm and did not fear what would come. He'd been tortured many times before and pain didn't bother him. He knew it always passed eventually. But Salome was an inventive torturer.

When the guards stepped away from him there was a clicking sound and through some sort of mechanism the chair changed into a table underneath him. Salome walked up to him, stopping by his feet, and Eric raised his head to look at her.

"So what now?" he asked, wondering just how persuasive she was going to be.

She gave a small smile but did not answer him. Instead she reached under the table for something and Eric twisted slightly in his bonds to catch a glimpse. She was holding a wooden box in her hands.

"When I was human, I attended a lot of dinner parties," Salome said. "The tables were always well-laid with big candelabras, beautiful flower arrangements, linen cloths, the best of food and fruit-"

"Well, that sounds nice and all," Eric interrupted, "but what has this got to do with anything?"

"If you'd just let me finish," Salome replied calmly. "...There were chrystal glases, which were hard to come by back then..." She paused - obviously for effect - before continuing. "...and silverware."

She smiled slightly and Eric almost rolled his eyes at her. "You know, I've really missed those kinds of dinner parties, actually enjoying taste of real food and wine, eating with silverware like royalty."

She opened the wooden box and produced a pair of leather gloves and a set of silverware. Eric looked on in silence as she put on the gloves. There was nothing to say or do at this point, just prepare to endure. Salome leaned over him, her hair brushing over his face. Her fangs were out and she was holding a silver fork and knife. "Buy me dinner?"

Eric swallowed and offered a fake smile. "Sure."

The pain was all too familiar to him. Silver burned no matter the weapon and stabwounds from forks were no different. His eyes fell on the forks protruding from his body and watched through a veil of pain as another fork went in. Salome stabbed and let go, leaving the forks inside him and allowing the silver to burn through the wounds. The knives cut deep and were too left inside him. First the pain of being cut and stabbed into, then an onslaught of pain from burns that just wouldn't ease up. It was hardly comfortable and Eric endured in silence, all the time wondering when she would stop, take a pause. His entire body was tensed up, writhing in pain, but his mind was still at peace. He could take it. He'd had worse and she would get sick of this eventually and find another way to work on him. He would welcome the change.

As if challenged Salome stopped suddenly and glanced at her watch.

"Daytime," she announced. "Time for a nap."

Eric released a breath he hadn't known he was holding, expecting her to remove the silver so he could heal up at least some before nightfall and the next torture session. But she stepped back without so much as touching him and looked at him with a solemn expression. "Don't worry," she said, "you won't be bored. The day will pass in no time, I promise."

She reached for a remote control and pressed down on a blue button. The container with the silver iv hummed softly, and startled Eric watched as the silver liquid slowly travelled through the iv tube towards him and the needle in his arm. The liquid went in and engulfed him like fire. He bit back a cry and closed his eyes against the agony. Jesus.

Eric sucked in a breath as his body tried to cope with the new pain.

"This should keep you occupied for the day," Salome said. She pulled out one of the knives from his stomach and licked his blood off of it. "Thanks for dinner. I'll see you at dusk."

Eric sucked in another breath as his body strained against his bonds and against his will. The silver that went into his arm and through his body triggered the bodily response of an electrocution and it was almost unbearable.

After a while came the bleeds but he hardly registered the sticky liquid as it flowed freely from his ears and nose. His entire body was on fire but he was dead set on holding on to the sanctuary in his mind, the small box of peace.

He was pretty out of it when she returned. This time she brought Bill with her. Eric peered at them through hooded eyes, his body stiff with agony. Bill picked up the remote control and pressed another button. It stopped the iv and Eric's body collapsed in instant relief.

"Eric, all this could stop If you would just let Lilith into your heart," Bill said softly. Eyes caring and thus totally confusing Eric.

"No." Eric rasped in response. He let his head fall back slowly onto the hard surface underneath him, savoring the reprieve. "If you're so stupid you can't tell lies apart from the truth then by all means stay here and praise your damn Lilith, but let me go and let me take Nora with me."

Bill shook his head. "Can't let you do that. We've been chosen by Lilith to do her bidding."

Eric blinked. "Come on! Why are you buying into this bullshit?"

Bill didn't respond. He came to stand beside Eric and leaned over his bleeding body. "It would be easier if you just accepted it. Lilith wants you." He started pulling out the knives and forks from Eric's body and Eric groaned softly as the wounds finally closed up.

"No." He'd always been defiant.

"It will sadden Nora to hear of this," Bill said. He nodded to Salome and stepped back towards the door. Eric followed him with his gaze. "I will come back later. Think about it, will you?"

Eric shifted his eyes to the ceiling. He never wavered in his beliefs, he would not surrender. Suddenly the iv container hummed again and he cried out when his body cramped up against the fire coursing through him.

He didn't know how much time had passed. He only knew his ears and nose kept bleeding. He was not allowed any rest at all. Day or night - no difference to him. They didn't pause the iv drip again and the neverending pain was starting to eat away at his secret sanctuary. He clinged on to it like a baby to its mother.

As time passed Salome proved even more creative. Eric laid still on the table, trying not to react to the pain anymore. He needed all his strength to stay sane. He hardly moved as the UV lights hit him again, only blinked in agony as it sizzled on his skin. He hadn't been offered a moment to heal and so the burns on his body were bad.

Salome changed pace again and he was suddenly released from the table only to be silvered again. He dangled helplessly from the ceiling in his silver bindings when the wolves descended upon him. Russell's werewolf friends most surely. They chewed on him and drank from him until there was almost nothing left. By then he was so out if he didn't even notice their sharp teeth digging into bone.

After what seemed like forever he was finally offered a moment of reprieve. His eyelids were tender from the UV lights, his mind reeling and his body heavy and shaking. He gave a small sob of relief and immediately loathed himself for his weakness. He was so tired and all he wanted was a moment to recuperate, to find his way back to his sanctuary. But they wouldn't allow it.

Before long Salome appeared in the doorway again. This time holding a syringe.

"No." He hadn't said much since they had brought him here but now he found his voice again. "No."

"Hush." She slithered towards him and gripped his arm with a cold hand. "This will only take a minute." The needle went in and the syringe emptied inside him. It didn't take long before the hallucinogen took hold and Godric appeared to him.

"Godric...Nora...," he breathed, sinking into unconsciousness.

The next time Salome came he begged her "no more" and was finally left alone. They moved him to a regular cell and released him from his bindings. He laid on the floor in aftershock, not able to move.

When the guards came for him, he didn't resist. He was brought to the chamber and then the Viking fell to his knees.

A/N: This was my take on Eric's surrender in S05E10. Hope you enjoyed! And please don't be shy...Review!

THE END