Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners (and Mother Nature). Only the original plot is the creation of the author; however, no profit has been made from this work. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. The events in this story have been inspired by True Blood. (Sadly, I have no claim to the character Eric Northman, the actor Alexander Skarsgard, or the general badassness of both.)
Spoiler Alert:Don't read if you don't want to know about Eric's part in the last episode of Season 6 of True Blood.
Story Synopsis: While all hell broke loose in Louisiana, Eric Northman went home to heal from his sister's and maker's deaths. Will his decision to isolate himself lead to his own death? Warning: This is an outtake from the Season 6 finale of True Blood from Eric's POV (don't read if you don't want the spoiler). ONE SHOT.
A/N: I needed to make myself feel better about seeing my beloved Eric Northman—and his truly magnificent GP—burning last night. This is what I came up with. I hope you like it. I will be posting another chapter of my version of Season 6 (Funeral) soon, maybe even later today. Meanwhile, I had to get this out of my system before I could go back to the way I would make things.
No beta—all errors mine.
The book I'd been reading? Good, not great.
The sunbathing? Fan-fucking-tastic.
At least until my skin began to redden and smoke. That part was sucking.
What sucked even more was that I knew that I wouldn't have the time I needed to dig a deep enough hole to protect myself from the real burning once it started.
A thousand years and I was about to die. I felt every pore in my body wanting to give way to the sun. The older the vampire, the quicker the fire—that's what Godric and experience had taught me.
But there was something that vampires could do to prolong their dying if they were ever caught out in the sun—fight. A vampire could use his or her magic to fight the sun. Or the vampire could accept his or her fiery fate. In other words, a vampire could battle the sun as an enemy or "meet the sun" as a friend.
I could just let go.
Did one's life pass before his eyes when he was dying? Im-fucking-possible for a thousand-year-old. I'd lived far too long for the whole goddamned thing to be remembered. However, some thoughts—other than the steepening pain—went zipping through my mind as smoke began to turn to flame.
I'd come to the mountains of Sweden to get away—from everything. My maker's death had crippled me inside. The happenings at the Authority—what the aberration of Lilith did to the "ghost" of Godric—had put an end to all of the beliefs I'd always clung to. Nora's death had made me numb inside.
I'd needed a fucking vacation. I'd needed to "check-out" for a while.
I could just let go.
What was there left for me in Louisiana anyway?
Billith? Warlow? How could I defeat them—when they were god-like enough to overpower me, yet so un-god-like in their ability to overpower Nora's death?
Watching my beloved sister die slowly had been excruciating. Watching my own arm begin to burn in earnest was a scientific observation in comparison.
No. Going back to Shreveport—to Area 5—had not been an option for me after my rampage at the Vamp-Camp. My life had been toyed with too much in the great state of Louisiana.
What was I to have done there anyway? Reopen Fangtasia as if all was as it had been? Fuck no! I was done being on display and watching out for others.
I could just let go.
Sookie Stackhouse was not an option. Maybe in another life, but not in the one I'd been given. She'd made that crystal clear the last time I'd spoken to her. Oh—my blood had been calling me to her, but I had refused to fucking listen!
I wasn't her fucking lap-dog, not like Bill Compton had been at one point. I had made clear my feelings for her. She'd chosen another route. Of all beings, a vampire had zero reasons to cry over spilled milk.
Despite myself and despite the fact that my dick was now on fire, I spared a split second of concern for Sookie. I couldn't help myself. I'd literally felt the magic that had kept me in the sun leaving. That could mean only one thing: Warlow was dead. And—knowing Sookie as I'd come to know her—the situation surrounding that death had most certainly put her into danger too.
I put her out of my mind. After all—she was one of the reasons I'd come home: specifically, to get her out of my head.
I was beginning to flame up everywhere now, and I knew that I had to make my choice. To fight the power of the sun and hold my body together for a few more seconds? Or to just let go?
I should have been reading Hamlet on that mountainside. "To be or not to be."
Good fucking question.
Letting go would allow me to simply disappear into flame like Godric had. A dignified end. Nothing but a little ash in the snow would be left behind, and that would be covered by the next snowfall—due later that day.
Fighting would buy me an extra thirty seconds. Forty at most. Forty seconds of excruciating pain. There would be nothing peaceful or dignified about my "departure" from my body. I'd die screaming until my vocal cords and lungs burned away. I'd leave behind ash and blood and sludge—a fucking mess. But that would also be covered by the next snowfall.
Did it really matter what I decided?
Hold on or give up?
Live forty more seconds in torturous pain or just let go?
Since Nora had died in my arms, I'd felt dead inside anyway. Why not just check out? It would be easier that way.
Sadly, I never did easy well.
So I fought. God only knows why, but I fought because I wanted those forty useless, pain-filled seconds. Every. Single. Fucking. One. Of. Them. I wanted to die with a Viking-sized roar on my lips. I wanted to leave behind as big of a mess as possible.
Godric would have called it obstinate foolishness.
But I wanted to die feeling alive—rather than what I had been feeling since my maker and my sister had left me. The only "life" I'd really felt since Godric's death had been that memory-less week I'd spent with Sookie. That week had been full of life. But—in remembering myself—I had forgotten that part.
The best part: life.
Maybe that's why I still loved Sookie Stackhouse despite everything.
My skin turned completely to flame and began to flake away as I fought. I sank to my knees. I yelled out—as loudly as I could—my voice echoing and unheard by any other being because of the isolation I'd chosen for myself.
However, one thing heard my voice: the snow.
Contrary to what some may have believed, Swedish—though I often chose to speak it with Pam—was not my first language. My human people spoke a variant of what was now known as Old Norse—closer to Icelandic than modern Swedish.
A word from my first language was the only thing I thought of as I looked in wonder at the snow's answer to my call.
"Snjóflóð!" I yelled out loudly—in fear and awe.
I wish that I could say that I'd planned it—that creating an avalanche with my yell was a tactic I'd anticipated using to save myself "in case of emergency." Sadly, it was just dumb luck and an unseasonably large amount of snow—or maybe global warming—that caused the snow to become a rampaging monster.
A beautiful monster.
If I lived, I had already decided that I would tell Pam that I had planned the whole goddamned avalanche—just to avoid that "look" she was bound to give me for leaving myself in the open without a backup plan. To avoid that "look," I'd lie like a dog and tell her that I'd positioned myself in the perfect place to create an "escape route" from the sun with a simple yelp from my lips.
I wondered if she would humor me and at least pretend belief. I'd know soon enough.
For the last several hours, I had felt that she was on her way to Sweden. The insolent, defiant brat had been getting closer by the minute. I just hoped that she'd been able to get under cover when Warlow's magic wore away. Sadly, I was in too much agony fighting for my own life to reach through my bond with her to feel for hers.
However, I had confidence that she'd have an "escape route," just as I'd always taught her to have. And she was never one to blindly believe in something that was too good to be true—like vampires getting to sunbathe. It seemed that she was smarter than I was in that way.
I managed to hold onto what little was left of the magic in my body for the fifteen seconds that it took for the snow to reach me by thinking of Pam and my other progeny. I'd been extremely lacking in my care of Willa; in truth, I'd been uncaring—apathetic. Godric would have flayed me alive for that. Then—in the "good old days," at least—he would have done it again, just to drive in his point.
As I watched the last of my skin flake off, I thought that—perhaps—this whole thing was my maker's "lesson" to me from the "afterlife." That thought actually heartened me. It meant that I could still learn from my errors.
I also thought about Sookie Stackhouse as I waited for the snow to become my savior. I shouldn't have—given everything that had passed between us—but I did think about her. And those thoughts helped me to hold on.
Was I being given another chance? Was I being given that other life that I'd thought was impossible?
So it would seem.
Once the white monster got to me, it took only an instant for me to be covered by what seemed like a ton of snow. The flames engulfing my body immediately sizzled to a stop and the frigid snow blanketed me from the sunlight that was obviously a danger to me once more.
The first thing I did was to look for Pam in our bond. She seemed fine—now dead for the day, but fine. Willa, too, was fine.
Next, I did an assessment of myself. My skin was long gone—burned away everywhere. My hair—too—was no more, except for putrid, scalded tufts. I had some major tissue damage and some minor internal organ damage. My extremities had pretty much melted off. Fingers, toes, ears, lips, nose, balls, cock—all gone. And it was going to hurt like a son of a bitch to grow them all back.
I almost tried crawling back into the sun when I thought about the inevitable and unrelenting onslaught of "helpful comments" I'd be receiving from Pam about "roasted nuts" and "barbequed weenies." And the worst part was that I wouldn't even be able to get away from them—or from her—while I healed. Still—I knew that I'd love her all the more at the end of the ordeal. She may have been a bitch, but she was my bitch.
I sighed. It sounded like a raspy echo through my scorched vocal cords. The truth was that Pam probably deserved to have her fun at my expense, given how moody, secretive, and brooding I'd been since Godric's death.
I felt the intense weight of the snow against my body, but knew it wouldn't crush me. I'd be damned if I allowed it to! After all, cement hadn't crushed Edgington, and there was no way in hell that I was going to let that bastard best me—even in death.
I sighed again. Another echo.
I was buried too deep and in too weak of a condition to get myself out at nightfall, so I'd have to wait for Pam.
"Fuck," I gurgled aloud. I'd never live that down.
I was also too weak to even begin to heal myself. In fact, it would take me a long time to recover my full strength and to grow back the things that had burned off. Knowing my luck, the last thing that would grow back fully would be my cock. But it—and every other goddamned part of me—would heal.
Probably in about six months.
A/N: I hope you liked this short piece! I have other projects, so this will probably stay a one-shot. But it helped me feel "better" to write it. ;)