Title: It's Always the Weird Stuff
Fandom: True Blood
Rating: PG-13, language
Summary: Tara and Lafayette reunite at Merlotte's amidst the backdrop of a typically insane night in Bon Temps.
Lafayette's hips were mid-swing when the door to the bar opened and Holly and Arlene gasped and went still. There was a chance that it was human customers entering the bar. It wasn't common these days to get 'breathers' coming in after dark, but it did happen occasionally. However, when Lafayette saw Holly's jaw clench and Arlene's eyes widen in fear, he knew that it wasn't rednecks that were too drunk or stupid to be at home that had just wandered in.
"We ain't got no Tru Blood here, and we's silvered in the blood, so ya'lls could as well just keep moving," Lafayette began, forcing more confidence into his voice than he felt as he began to turn around.
"Ain't no Tru Blood anywhere, and we both know you ain't put none of that shit inside of you cause it'd ruin your complexion and you vain as fuck," Tara said, her voice reaching Lafayette a few seconds before he was able to see her face.
"Hookah," he breathed out without thinking, and his hand fluttered up to press against his heart as his lips curved up ever so slightly.
The truth was he'd been beginning to wonder if Tara ever planned on speaking to him again during his natural life, so despite the fact that he could now see that she wasn't alone, he was glad to see her.
"Lala," Tara drawled. Her voice was dry and bored, but after she spoke her lips curved up into a small smile and Lafayette breathed out a sigh of relief. "Been a while," she continued, and when Lafayette tilted his head to the side and shot her a disbelieving look, Tara's small smile turned into a grin.
"Bitch, get over here and give your cousin a hug," Lafayette said opening up his arms and in a second Tara was standing in front of him. "You ain't gon' bite me is you?" he asked, and Tara rolled her eyes dramatically.
"If I can resist biting Sookie, I can resist biting anyone," Tara muttered, and off to the side Sookie muttered, 'I'm not exactly sure that's comforting.'
"You gonna hug me or not?" Tara asked, lifting an eyebrow at Lafayette who kissed his teeth at her and then leaned forward to wrap his arms around her, drawing her into a tight hug.
"I love a good family reunion," Eric said, drawing the attention of the occupants of the bar away from Tara and Lafayette and over to him.
Beside him Nora smiled.
"But we're not here for the company. At least not yours," he continued, smiling at Arlene and Holly before directly his pearly whites at Lafayette.
"We're looking for Sam," Sookie said, moving further into the bar and taking a seat on one of the barstools.
"Not here," Lafayette replied slowly, eying Eric, Pam, Jessica and the other vampire woman who he didn't recognize. "He ain't been here for a while now. He a busy, busy man."
"Do you have any idea when he'll be back?" Eric asked as he looked around the empty bar looking bored.
"Couldn't say," Lafayette replied.
"That's a shame," Pam drawled smiling at him. "I guess we'll just have to wait then," she continued, turning her hawk-like gaze and predatory smile on Arlene and Holly. "Tell me ladies, what do you have on tap?" she asked.
Arlene took a step back looking like she was going to pass out but Holly crossed her arms and stared back at Pam refusing to be intimidated, or at the very least to show it.
"Pam," Tara said in a mildly chastising tone as she turned to look at the blonde. "You're scarin' 'em."
Pam smiled cutely at Tara and drawled, "I know," and to Lafayette's surprise, Tara smiled for a second before she narrowed her eyes and glared at Pam.
"It smells heavenly in here," Nora breathed out, sniffing the air, slowly making her way over to the pool table and the bending down to sniff at it. "It smells like … babies and sunlight," she continued and Arlene took another weary step back. It always made her uncomfortable to hear vampers talk about babies.
"Nora, please," Eric said with a touch of exasperation, drawing her attention back over to him.
"But…" Nora began.
"I know," Eric sighed. "I can smell it too, but it's faded. The source of the scent is long gone. Please, control yourself," he said and Nora looked at the pool table longingly for a second longer before sighing and walking away, moving back over beside him. "Should we wait to be seated?" Eric asked, turning to look at Lafayette.
"Help yo'selves," Lafayette replied, sweeping his hand grandly around the empty bar.
"Tara," Pam said as Eric, Jessica and Nora moved over to an empty booth by the window, "a word?"
"I'll be back in a minute," Tara murmured to Lafayette and then she turned and walked over to Pam, easily accepting the blonde's hand on her back as Pam led her over to an unoccupied part of the bar.
Lafayette angled his head to the side, watching them thoughtfully, his gaze only straying for a moment when Arlene cut in front of his vision and hurried out of the bar.
"Is it just me," he murmured taking a seat next to Sookie, "Or is bitches getting along?" he asked, his eyes still on Pam and Tara as they came to stop by the pool table and Pam leaned in to speak into Tara's ear.
Sookie smiled and shook her head.
"You don't know the half of it," she muttered, still shaking her head.
"And what's that supposed to mean?" he asked, fixing his gaze on Sookie.
"They're together," Sookie said, not seeing a reason to keep quiet about it since Tara and Pam hadn't made any effort at all hide it. "Together together," she continued, "not maker and progeny together, though that way too I suppose," she went on, her brows scrunching together for a second before she shrugged.
"Together together," Lafayette repeated dubiously.
"I've seen Pam's tongue in her mouth," Sookie said bluntly. "Yeah," she added when Lafayette's eyes widened and he angled his head to the side so that he could see Pam and Tara.
As he watched them, Tara reached out for Pam's hand and took hold of it, and Pam smiled at her softly before leaning down to brush her lips against Tara's cheek.
"Right," Lafayette muttered, looking away from the two vampires and leaning back against the bar. "Has she lost her fucking mind?" he whispered harshly, mindful of the superior hearing the vampires had as he turned to look at Sookie.
Sookie was silent for a second as she too turned to look at Tara and Pam, and then she sighed softly and turned back to Lafayette.
"I know it seems weird but … they seem happy together," she said slowly, watching Lafayette carefully. "They're very … devoted to each other."
"She made you negotiate while Tara was lying on the ground …"
"I know," Sookie said gently, trying to calm him down. His voice had started to rise and she didn't want any of the vampires turning their attention towards him. "But the bond between a maker and their progeny is immense. I might have had to bribe Pam to turn Tara, but Pam's been looking after her all this time, and she nearly got herself killed protecting Tara. It might not make much sense to us, but they've obviously … bonded."
"Bonded," Lafayette repeated rolling his eyes. "More like …" but he stopped speaking suddenly when Tara and Pam began to move towards them, Tara coming to a stop in front of Lafayette and Sookie while Pam moved further into the bar to join Nora, Jessica and Eric at the booth they'd seated themselves in.
"Could I get your help with something in the back?" Lafayette asked once Pam had slipped into the booth beside Jessica.
"Don't work here no more. Do it yourself," Tara replied but when Lafayette simply continued to stare at her, she sighed and muttered, "Fine," and followed him into the employee's only area of the building.
Sookie sighed, rested her elbows on top of the bar and then placed her head in her hands.
"You look like you could use a drink," Holly observed. "I could use one too," she added, glancing over at the table of vampires. "What do you say? On the house," she continued returning her gaze to Sookie.
"That's the most beautiful thing I've heard in days," Sookie sighed. "Thanks," she said offering Holly a smile a second later and Holly smiled back before setting about fixing them both a drink.
"So, Tara …" Holly said as she placed two tumblers on the bar top.
"Yep," Sookie sighed.
"That woman tried to kill her," Holly said, remembering the way Pam had zeroed in on Tara in the cemetery, like it was her personal mission to end Tara's life.
"Yep," Sookie sighed again.
"Water under the bridge?" Holly asked sounding bewildered despite Sookie's earlier comment about the bond between maker and progeny.
"Something under the something," Sookie murmured, and Holly smiled which drew a smile from Sookie too, and then they were laughing as they lifted their glasses, clinked them and shot them back.
"Another?" Holly asked.
"Oh yeah," Sookie replied. "I've got to leave with all'a them," she muttered.
"Hookah, have you lost your mind?" Lafayette asked immediately after he closed the door to Sam's office. "She got nice titties n' all, but that woman tried to kill you!"
"Watch it Lala!" Tara said, rounding on him, her finger out and pointing at his face.
"Watch what? The truth? Cause that's all that's falling from these pretty lips," he said, knocking Tara's finger out of his face. Vampire or no she wasn't pointing no finger in his face. "She threatened to eat you, fuck you and kill you, and a bitch can only hope that she meant it in that particular order," Lafayette fired at her.
"That was a while ago," Tara muttered, looking away from him.
"Hookah that was two weeks ago!" Lafayette replied and Tara sighed deeply and then zoomed over to Sam's arm chair and plopped down in it.
"I know, alright," Tara muttered petulantly, glancing up at Lafayette for a moment before she looked away again. "I know. Ain't nothing wrong with my memory, okay? I remember what she did. If I close my eyes I can remember the feel of her fingers around my neck," she sighed before scrubbing at her eyes with her hand. "But … it's different now. We're different now."
"Tara," Lafayette breathed out, scrunching up his face in disbelief. "You sound like a goddamn battered woman," he said waving his hand in front of him before shaking his head. "She changed," Lafayette sing-songed, "she sorry," he continued. "She promise she won't do that no more. Her attempted murder days are over," he went on, before turning around to lock his gaze on hers again. "That woman tried to kill you, not to mention the times, and that's 'times' plural, she's kidnapped me."
"Ah, fuck," Tara exclaimed, closing her eyes and tilting her head back tiredly. "She's my maker Lafayette," she said lowering her head and opening her eyes so that she was looking at him. "Youmade her my maker," she continued, her eyes turning hard for a moment. "I'm connected to her now. Her blood changed me," Tara said emphatically. "We're tied to each other … forever," she said deflating a little bit, collapsing back into the chair.
Tara closed her eyes and dipped her head down into her hand, hiding her face for a moment as she thought.
"I tried to hate her at the beginning," Tara said looking up again, "but I needed her and she took care of me. She was a bitch, but she was thereand … and I couldn't help getting to know her," Tara said, looking up at him hopelessly. "She seems so cold on the surface, but she's full of feelings, you just need to know what to look for and suddenly she's in closed captioning," Tara said smiling, remembering when she had started to really see Pam, to really understand her, and how it had changed everything. "She's smart, Lala, in this really practical way thateveryone needs but most people don't have. And she protects me," Tara sighed. "And I don't just mean teachin' me about vampire stuff. When I'm working, I can feel her eyes on me and I know she's watching, I know I'm safe, I know that she'll tear apart anyone who fucks with me," Tara said fiercely. "She nearly got herself killed for me. I did something stupid and she took the blame. Ain't nobody ever taken the blame for me before Lala, ain't nobody ever cared that much," Tara blinking back tears as she clenched her jaw with the effort not to cry. "I remember the things she did before, but I don't feel them anymore. All I feel is her arms around me, holding me together when I thought I would fall apart. All I feel are her fingers stroking my cheek like I'm the most precious thing she's ever seen. 'You and me,' she said," Tara breathed out. "And she meant it. She means it. I remember Lala, I remember and so does she, but we don't feel it anymore. We just …" she breathed in and out deeply. "We just want to be with each other."
Lafayette perched himself on the edge of Sam's desk and dropped his head down, shaking it from side to side for a moment as he tried to process everything Tara had just said.
"That's fucked up," he said eventually, looking up and over at her.
"I know," Tara said, and then she shrugged. "But what am I gonna do? I need her. I love her," she whispered shakily, overcome for a second as she admitted it out loud for the first time. "I'm happy. I never thought those words would come out of my mouth again when I woke up in that hole in Sookie's backyard, but I'm happy. Probably happier than I have been since I was real young, too young to realize how much the world sucked and that it just gets worse the older you get," she breathed out. "You don't gotta throw me a party, or come out with us for mannie-petties. Just … let it be. I been fighting for things my whole life, every goddamn day. Don't make me fight with you," Tara said pleadingly. "Please, just let it be."
Lafayette exhaled noisily and turned his head away from her before standing up and pacing around the room for minute.
"Bah," he breathed out in frustration, tearing his bandana off of his head as he did. "Fine," he sighed, turning to face Tara again. "Fine," he repeated throwing his hands up in the air. "Congratulations on your new vanilla bitch," he muttered.
He still didn't like the situation one goddamn bit, but he knew that there would be no reasoning with Tara over this. Even though it was insane, her feelings for that woman were strong, and all fighting her on it would do was chase her away again, giving her an opportunity to start ignoring his texts again. If what Tara was saying was true then he was happy for her and wished her the best, but he needed to get a better read on the situation and on Pam to believe that, and to do that he needed to be in Tara's life. She was his cousin and whether she wanted him to or not, he was going to look out for her as best he could, and if that meant he had to suck it up and smile at the blue-eyed devil who's coffin Tara was sharing, then so be it.
"Thank you," Tara said, and when he met her eyes he could see how much she meant it.
"You're welcome," he said, releasing a long suffering sigh, and Tara smiled and then laughed.
When Tara and Lafayette left Sam's office and headed back to the public area of the bar, they heard raised voices and quickened their step.
"Get out!" Sam was yelling at Eric, pointing at the door as he did.
"We can help," Eric said, lifting his hands placating as he spoke in his usual calm and reasonable tone.
"What, like she did?" Sam asked pointing towards Pam. "I asked you to help Luna."
"I said it then and I'll say it now. Who the fuck is Luna?" Pam asked as Tara came up beside her. "And did you fail to notice that I was cuffed when you made your request?" she continued. "I was in a fucking cell too! What the hell was I supposed to do? Whistle and summon my woodland friends to steal the guards jangling keys?"
"She didn't know who you were talking about and was in no position to help," Eric interjected before Pam could become any more indignant. "But we can help now," he continued, looking over towards the bar, and that's when Tara noticed that there was a woman's body lying on top of it. "My blood can heal her," Eric continued, "or Tara's," he murmured, glancing over at Tara for a second before focusing on Sam again. "It would be better, wouldn't it? Coming from someone you know. From someone you trust," he breathed out, and Sam's eyes cut over to Tara and held on her for a moment.
"It won't turn her?" Sam asked Eric, but he was looking at Tara when Eric answered, trusting that he could read her reaction to whatever Eric said better than he could read Eric's.
"She weakens, but she is not yet at death's door. The blood will restore her, not turn her. She will remain as she is," Eric stated.
"It's true," Tara said, nodding at Sam reassuringly. "Her hearts beating slower than normal but it's regular. And while she smells sick, she don't smell like death. The blood won't change her."
Sam was still and silent for a moment, staring past the vampires that surrounded him and then he nodded.
"Do it," he declared and Eric stepped forward. "No," Sam said holding out his hand to Eric. "Tara."
"Very well," Eric replied turning to look at Tara before his eyes slid minutely to the side. "Pam."
Pam nodded and placed her hand on Tara's back, then leaned in and whispered, "It's alright," before she pressed her lips to Tara's temple. "I'll be right beside you."
"I don't know how much to …" Tara began uncertainly.
"I'll be right beside you," Pam repeated in the same soothing tone. "It'll be alright," she said again and Tara nodded, took a deep breath, and then began to walk toward the bar.
"Give me your arm," Pam instructed when they reached the bar, and Tara immediately lifted her arm and presented it to Pam. "I'll make the bite so you don't go too deep and feed her too much," Pam said as she stroked her thumb over the veins at the base of Tara's hand. "Once you're cut, place your wrist to her mouth and I'll tell you when to pull back," Pam related and Tara nodded.
A moment later Pam's fangs distended, and the sight of them made Tara's pop as well which brought a smile to Pam's lips.
"Shut up," Tara muttered, and Pam chuckled silently before she lowered her mouth to Tara's wrist and bit down then dragged her teeth to the side, ripping Tara's veins open.
"Go on," Pam said lifting her thumb to her mouth to wipe at the corner of it where some of Tara's blood had settled.
After making sure that Luna's mouth was open, Tara lowered her wrist and pressed it against Luna's mouth, then held it there as she turned her head to look up at Pam who smiled at her reassuringly.
"Okay, pull back," Pam said a few moments later, and Tara pulled her arm back and looked down at her still bleeding wrist.
She was considering what to do about it, but then Pam's hand moved underneath hers, cradling it. Pam then pressed her bloody thumb to Tara's wrist and smoothed it over the cut she'd made and almost instantly the wound started closing.
On top of the bar, Luna made a soft sound and Sam rushed over to her side. Tara slipped her arm around Pam's waist and guided her away, giving Sam more room and some privacy as Luna began to regain consciousness.
Lafayette watched as Pam and Tara moved aside and then came to a stop near the first set of booths. When they stopped walking, Pam dipped her head down slightly and whispered something to Tara that made Tara smile up at her, and Pam lifted her hand to fondly stroke Tara's cheek before Tara tilted her head up and kissed the blonde, slowly and softly.
Lafayette sighed and slumped down onto one of the bar stools.
"They're cute, huh?" Jessica said, nodding her head over in Pam and Tara's direction like a proud momma bear.
"Adorable," Lafayette sighed, slightly disturbed to find that there was a very, very, very small part of him that meant it.
As much as he loathed Pam, he couldn't help but admit that it had been a very, very long time since he had seen Tara so relaxed and … content. He still thought that Pam was a vicious monster, but it was clear that she cared for Tara, and he hadn't thought her capable of the tenderness he was witnessing between them now, which made him realize that there were perhaps some aspects of the blonde that Tara might have had the opportunity to see that he hadn't yet.
"Pam's been a really good maker," Jessica said, clearly picking up on the fact that Lafayette was less than pleased with the situation. "She's really devoted to Tara. You don't need to worry about her being a deadbeat girlfriend," Jessica continued earnestly. "Tara makes her giggle. I didn't think Pam could make sounds like that, but Tara brings all kinds of sounds out of her and I've already realized that sounded dirty," Jessica continued in a rush, before looking away from Lafayette in embarrassment. "I just mean that, you know, they've been good for each other."
"We'll see," Lafayette murmured, but there was a part of him that already suspected that it would turn out to be true.
After all, hadn't he said it the day before? It was always the weird stuff that was the best.