Disclaimer: BtVS belongs to Joss and SVM belong to Charlaine Harris.
Summary: How the heck was Sookie supposed to know that one little word could change so much?Spoiler warnings: This fic covers BtVS through Season 7. More importantly, however, it follows the SVM books and not True Blood, which means some plot points are different as the show has gone in such a different direction from the books. It also takes place after Book 3. As Season 3 of True Blood is still on, there might be some spoilers or inconsistencies with the show, though as of now they’re pretty mild. Still, fair warning!+++
Sookie was exhausted. There had been a steady stream of customers all day at Merlotte’s, and while she didn’t mind the tips, she didn’t particularly enjoy running around like a chicken with its head cut off the entire time. Thankfully, she was finally nearing the end of her shift, though in her opinion it just wasn’t coming fast enough.
She stared up at the clock behind the bar, willing it to move faster. She had never shown any talent for telekinesis, but who knew? Maybe she just needed a little practice. It was worth a shot, anyway.
Five minutes later and on the verge of straining something, she was fairly confident she was limited to telepathy. It was the final insult, as her mind reading had done nothing for her today but barrage her with the thoughts of her customers. Thanks to the drunken college students from Ruston and the handful of truckers that stopped in, most were lewd images featuring herself in a variety of positions she wasn’t even sure were physically possible.
Normally, she was used to blocking out other people’s thoughts, but she wasn’t on top of her game tonight. In fact, she was far from it. Aside from being tired, her wounds from her little adventure in Mississippi hadn’t fully healed yet, and those were only the physical ones. The emotional wounds were still raw, and they cut a whole lot deeper. Because of this, it took more concentration than usual to block out everyone’s thoughts, and she was often unsuccessful; hence her personalized Kama Sutra manual.
Yeah, this night definitely
couldn’t end fast enough.
“Honey, why don’t you go home for the night? I can take care of your tables.”
At the sound of Arlene’s voice, Sookie gave a start. She hadn’t even realized that her friend and fellow barmaid had come up to stand right beside to her. She didn’t miss the way her friend gave her a thorough look over, though. Apparently, she looked just as bad as she felt, because she didn’t need to read Arlene’s mind to see the concern there.
Still, Sookie didn’t immediately jump at the offer. She hated to leave Arlene with closing up. Then again, she only had two tables left; some locals delaying their trip home for the night and a sweet old lady who was staying in town for one night on her way to New Orleans…
She felt herself wavering. At the thought of curling up in bed an hour earlier than planned, she made up her mind.
“Thank you so much, Arlene,” she said gratefully as she gave her friend an impulsive hug. “I’ll make it up to you some time soon, I promise.”
Sookie went into the back room and retrieved her purse. Then she quickly made her way out the back door and into the parking lot. She couldn’t wait to get home. Of course, it would seem a little empty without a certain vampire there.
An involuntary pang went through Sookie. She had loved Bill, probably still did, and she missed him, plain and simple. She could swallow enough of her pride to admit that. There was no way she was taking him back, though, not after what he did. She could only swallow so much, and she was liable to choke if she tried any more.
Besides, Bill and his betrayal were just the beginning of her troubles. Her goodbye with Alcide was less than platonic. To say that the shadow of his ex-girlfriend wasn’t hanging over them was a huge understatement, however. On top of that, Sookie was itching for some revenge, but she had a feeling that wouldn’t sit too well with Alcide. There was a chance it wouldn’t work anyway. Payback was a bitch, but Debbie Pelt was an even bigger one.
And then there was Eric. Out of all three men – and she was using the term loosely here – she definitely thought life would be better if the Sheriff of Area 5 was out of hers. She was sick and tired of his ‘favors’, which always seemed to end in bodily harm to her. And she definitely could do without his obvious sexual interest in her – even if she was pretty sure sex with him would be mind blowing, if the way kissed was any indication. All it meant was that he had power over her.
Sure, she got to flex a little human control when she rescinded his and Bill’s invitation into her home, but even that was cold comfort. She knew it wasn’t the end, and that didn’t sit too well with her.
“I wish Eric would find someone else to fixate on,” Sookie absently muttered under her breath as she searched her purse for her keys. “Preferably someone who can put his gorgeous Viking self in his place.”
“Well, this is going to be interesting,” a voice drawled behind her. “Talk about two birds with one stone.”
Sookie whirled around, only to see the sweet old woman from inside Merlotte’s now standing not six inches from her. That in itself was fairly alarming, but Sookie barely noticed; she was too busy focusing on the woman’s face. Humans didn’t have faces like that.
Before she could react, however, the woman/creature said something under her breath – right before she disappeared. That was the good news. The bad news was that there was now a big, swirling vortex in her place, or at least what Sookie imagined a vortex would look like, never having actually witnessed one before.
It was only a few feet in diameter, and it hovered about 10 feet off the ground, illuminating the dirt below it with blue electricity. Still, it made very little sound, which made the situation downright surreal.
Mesmerized by the light show, Sookie just stared, momentarily forgetting the potential danger in front of her. She was quickly reminded, however, when the vortex seemed to expand at an alarming rate, almost extending over her own head.
Startled, Sookie immediately threw herself back. Unfortunately, she tripped over her own feet in her haste and ended up falling onto her butt. So much for vampire blood improving my coordination,
she winced as she felt her body groan in protest.
Before she could pick herself off of the ground, the vortex let out a blinding flash of light. Instinctively, Sookie threw her arms over her face for protection. It was unnecessary, though. She heard something fall out of the swirling blue mass, landing on the dirt with a soft thud. Then, as quickly as it had appeared, the vortex disappeared.
It took a moment for Sookie’s eyes to readjust to the dark again. When they did, she gasped in surprise, for there, just a few feet in front of her, was a girl. By the looks of it, she was probably about Sookie’s age. She was also blonde, very pretty, and very slender – the kind of slender Sookie would never be – which was probably why she could actually fit into the gorgeous designer clothing she had on.
Most importantly, however, she looked just as confused as Sookie felt. That was reassuring.
Before Sookie had a chance to drool over the leather boots or break out the peace pipe, however, the girl noticed her on the ground – at which point she immediately whipped out a stake and held it up menacingly.
Sookie was stunned. For starters, she couldn’t figure out where the hell the girl had managed to hide the stake in that tight-fitting outfit of hers, not without giving herself some splinters in uncomfortable places. Then there was the weapon of choice itself, which couldn’t be coincidental. And although Sookie thought of herself as pretty scrappy - especially when her life was at stake - and she clearly had the weight and height advantage, there was a dangerous air around the stranger. The thing that really got her, though, was the fact that she could not read the girl’s thoughts; not a single one.
She knew she should’ve been scared, but for the life of her, all Sookie could feel was indignation, which was well on its way to full blown anger. She hadn’t even fully healed yet from the last near death experience, and her life was already in danger yet again?
Sookie threw her hands up in frustration as she looked up at the sky.
“You’re kidding, right?”+++
A/N: This idea came to me as I was working on my other SVM/BtVS fic. It’s marked ‘complete’ for now, though I’m considering expanding it into a larger fic (big surprise, right?), as I already have a few ideas kicking around on where to take this from here.