A/N This story takes places after the death of Bill Compton during the final episode of True Blood. The events of the show after Sookie left the cemetery (Pam & Eric’s New Blood infomercial, and Sookie’s pregnant Thanksgiving) did not happen.
It had been 18-months since the true death of Bill Compton. Jessica and Hoyt had travelled to Vermont and had their marriage legalized, and were living in the mansion that was now owned by Andy Bellefleur. Andy and Holly Cleary had married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony, and even Jason and Bridget had eloped to Las Vegas.
However, Sookie was despondent. She went about her day to day activities with no emotion whatsoever. She continued to work as a waitress at Bellefleur’s, and although she did her job efficiently, everyone noticed her lack of feeling.
Lafayette had become so worried, he made the decision to visit Fangtasia. Not to his surprise, Pam didn’t seem to care at all, but Eric was definitely concerned. He went to Sookie’s place one evening to try and speak with her. She let him in her home without a word, and went back to staring out the living room window.
“Sookie, your friends are worried about you. Is there nothing I can do to help you get over this depression?”
She sighed, and turned to look at him. “Eric, listen, I appreciate that everyone is concerned. I’m well aware that they all think if I can just get over the memory of Bill, I’ll be fine, and move on and be happy.”
“Will you? Move on and be happy?”
“No,” she answered, shaking her head. “I won’t. And that’s all anyone seems to care about. No one seems interested in actually understanding why. Although, to be perfectly honest, I don’t exactly know myself.”
If she hadn’t had his attention before, she most certainly did now. “Sookie, I admit, I’m not sure I understand what you mean.”
She laughed a little, a harsh, bitter sound, and the smile didn’t reach her eyes.
“Do you have any experience being around pregnant women, Eric?”
He arched his eyebrow, curious as to where she was going with this question. “During my human life, yes. But not at all since Godric turned me.”
“I remember this one time, when Arlene was pregnant with Colby. She couldn’t stop crying, no matter what she did. Whenever anyone would ask her what was wrong, she’d say she didn’t know. Although I didn’t necessarily know it at the time, I found out later it was the hormonal changes her body was going through. She literally couldn’t help it.”
She took a deep breath, before turning to face him. “That’s what I feel like right now. I feel like my body and emotions are going through some weird changes, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it, and I don’t understand it.”
Eric felt his heart drop into the pit of his stomach. She couldn’t possibly mean…
“Sookie, are you, with child?”
“Oh, heavens no. I’d need to have sex in order to be pregnant, and that hasn’t happened since…Bill.”
Eric felt relief wash over him. If Sookie desired motherhood, he would be glad for it to have happened. However, he couldn’t recall ever hearing her speak of a desire to have children of her own.
“No matter how much I want to move on and get over Bill, it’s as if something inside won’t let me. I know that part of it is my guilt over his death. The rest of it, well, I’m just not sure.”
Eric shook his head slightly as he began to speak. “Sookie, what happened to Bill is not your fault. He had the cure right in front of him, and chose not to take it.”
“I know that. But he wouldn’t have been in that situation at all if I hadn’t infected him. Besides, it was me who killed him. Literally.”
“Only because he asked you to.”
Sookie’s eyebrows rose. She was not aware that Eric knew about Bill’s request.
“I was there that night in the cemetery, Sookie. In one of his less moronic moments, your brother called Fangtasia, and told me what Bill asked of you. I never came out of the shadows because I did not want to intrude upon your privacy. However, I wanted to be there for you, in case you needed me.”
Sookie felt tears well up in her eyes, and reached out to take Eric’s hand.
“I am proud of you, for not allowing someone else to dictate whether or not you gave up that which made you fae. I don’t imagine it was easy for you to tell Bill no, but you did it with grace and dignity. Yet, you still had the compassion to help him during his time of need.
“And that’s what it was, Sookie. Compassion. The same as if a terminally ill family member had asked you to end their suffering. Bill had made peace with his decision, it’s time you did as well.”
“But why did he have to ask me to do it? Why couldn’t he have just walked out into the sunlight? He HAD to have known how hard this was going to be for me!” Sookie said, tears now falling down her cheeks.
“I honestly don’t know. But what’s done is done, and there’s nothing we can do to change that.”
“That isn’t exactly accurate,” came a voice from the hallway.
Sookie gasped and turned to the voice, while Eric got to his feet, using his vampire speed to put himself between Sookie and the newcomer, fangs out.
“Niall!” Sookie exclaimed.
“Young one,” Niall said, entering the room slowly.
“Eric, it’s okay. He won’t hurt me. I forgot the two of you have never met. This is Niall Brigant, he’s my faery great grandfather.”
“What do you mean it’s not accurate? Do you have some sort of magic with which you can change the past?” Eric asked him, still standing in front of Sookie.
“First off, vampire, put your fangs away! I refuse to speak with you while you’re prepared to eat me.”
Eric retracted his fangs, and then sat next to Sookie, pulling her into his side. “Explain,” he said with authority.
“There is a way, using a very old, very magical trinket. And, Sookie, before you become upset with me for not using it before, know this. I did not know that there were any left in existence until recently. It is called a Cluviel Dor.
“If you use it, Sookie, it will allow you to go back to any point in time, with full memory of everything that has happened since that day. However, you would be the only one who has that memory. It would be as if the entire world, save you, never moved on from that moment. However, it has a slightly different effect on vampires.”
Sookie took Eric’s hand in hers again, suddenly worried.
“What do you mean?”
“How many vampires have had your blood?” Niall asked.
“Eric’s the only one who still lives,” she said.
Niall shook his head. “I do not mean only vampires who now live. I mean all vampires who have ever had your blood.”
“Um, Eric, Bill, and Russell Edgington. That’s it.”
“Well, once time reset itself, if any of those vampires were to have your blood again, the magic of the Cluviel Dor would pass from your blood into them, and they would also regain their memories.”
She sat up straighter and smiled. “So, if Bill drank my blood, he’d remember everything that ever happened between us? We could be together without making the same mistakes all over again?”
Eric’s face remained blank, but his heart ached as she spoke.
“Yes. But remember, once you changed one thing, nothing afterwards would be guaranteed to stay the same.”
“You’re talking about the ripple effect, right?” she asked.
“Yes, that is correct.”
Sookie sat silently for a few moments, contemplating what to do. Should she use this Cluviel Dor to have a fresh start with Bill? Surely, if they were able to start over from scratch, from the moment they first met, with memories of everything that happened between them, they’d be able to make things work, right? They’d have to find a way to get Sophie Anne off their backs right from the beginning. But, she was certain it would be worth it.
“I’ll do it. I want a fresh start,” she said with conviction.
“Sookie,” Eric said, “think about this carefully. Remember, you said you felt as if something inside of you would not let you move on from Bill’s death? I believe it is Bill’s blood causing you to feel this way.”
“But that’s impossible. It’s been a year and a half since I had Bill’s blood, there’s no way it’s still inside me.”
“We don’t know that for certain. Your Fae nature may be causing your body to hold onto it longer than a human’s would. Also, it is possible the Hep V virus inside you is changing something about your body chemistry.”
“Eric, I know you just want to make sure I’m okay, but this is what I want. I’m sure of it. I need this second chance. It’s the only way I can free myself of this guilt.”
Eric sighed, and stood. “Fine. If this is what you truly want, I won’t try to stop you. Just promise me you will use your knowledge to not allow Bill to take you down the same path to misery again. I need to know that you will be happy.”
“I promise. I have no intentions of making the same mistakes twice.”
Eric nodded somberly, and left. He had no desire to watch Sookie make what could be the biggest mistake of her life. In his mind, all she was doing was giving Bill and Sophie Anne another chance to take possession of her. But, it was her life; she was allowed to do what she pleased with it.
“Alright, so how do I do this?” Sookie asked, turning her attention once again to Niall.
He produced a small object from his coat pocket. It was small and round, and looked similar to a make-up compact. It was a beautiful pale green color, and was trimmed in gold. Sookie felt drawn to it the moment she laid eyes on it.
“All you need to do is clasp it in your hands while you go to sleep. Keep replaying over and over in your mind the moment you want to return to. When you wake, everything, save your own memory, will have reset back to that exact moment in time. That includes your own body as well. If you go back far enough, you will have never consumed vampire blood. Take care, Sookie, before deciding whether or not to take any this time. Use your knowledge wisely.”
Niall stood and moved to where Sookie was sitting. He gave her the Cluviel Dor, kissed her on the forehead, and disappeared.
“Well goodbye to you, too,” she mumbled quietly.
For a few moments, Sookie simply sat, rubbing her thumb along the surface of the Cluviel Dor. She was sure this small, beautiful object was her ticket to happiness with Bill. Finally, she stood and made her way into her bedroom. She changed into a fresh nightgown, and went into the bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth.
When she was finished, she crawled into bed, and cradled the Cluviel Dor in her hand. Over and over in her head she thought of the night she’d first met Bill. She drifted off to sleep with a smile on her lips, excited for what the morning would bring.
Sookie woke to the smell of coffee and bacon. She sat up for a moment, slightly disoriented. She was no longer in the room she’d taken over after her Gran died, but back in her childhood room instead. She felt something slide off her lap, and looked down to see what it was.
Once she had the object in her hand, she immediately remembered. The Cluviel Dor! It must’ve worked. She’d gone back to the day she first met Bill. First things first, however, she wanted to see Gran. She quickly dressed and made her way downstairs to the kitchen.
“Well, miss sleepyhead, I was wondering when I’d be seeing you today!” came the familiar voice.
With a bright smile on her face, Sookie charged into the room and pulled Gran into a fierce hug, making the older woman gasp, then chuckle lightly.
“My goodness, Sookie, what on earth is this about?”
After a moment, Sookie let go, and pulled back to smile. “Um, I had a horrible dream where you died. I guess it just made me real glad you’re still here!” she improvised.
“Well, unless the good Lord has something else in mind, I have no plans to go anywhere soon.”
Sookie couldn’t help but laugh. She sat down and ate a plate full of bacon, biscuits, and hash browns that Gran sat on the table for her.
“I’ve got some things to go do, so I’ll be off now, hun. I don’t know whether or not I’ll be home before you leave for work this afternoon.”
“Okay, Gran. Have a good time!”
Once her Gran had left, Sookie went into the living room and sank down on the couch. She took a moment to breathe deeply, inhaling the familiar scents that filled the house. It had been so long since she’d smelled her Grandmother’s cooking and perfume; she’d forgotten how wonderful the combination was.
After a few moments, she allowed her thoughts to drift to her reason for being here, Bill. She was surprised to find she didn’t feel nearly as excited as she was the night before. There was actually a feeling of dread building in the pit of her stomach.
“What is wrong with me?” she asked herself aloud. “Shouldn’t I be chompin’ at the bit to get started on my second chance?” But, somehow, she couldn’t make herself feel that way.
She wondered if the magic of the Cluviel Dor had not worked correctly. She thought back to everything Niall had told her about the trinket, wondering if she’d missed something he said in her excitement.
And that’s when it hit her. “If you go back far enough, you will have never consumed vampire blood. Take care, Sookie, before deciding whether or not to take any this time. Use your knowledge wisely.” She must feel this way because she’d never had vampire blood!
She decided that, for the first time in her life, she’d be able to make this decision rationally, without outside influence. She lay down on the couch and closed her eyes.
She allowed the good memories of Bill to wash over her. Meeting him for the first time in Merlotte’s. The peaceful silence of his mind. The night he came to her house and spent some time talking to Gran about life during the civil war. The walk they took together afterwards, during which they shared their first kiss. When he spoke at the Descendants of the Glorious Dead meeting, just to make her and Gran happy. The night he took her to Fangtasia, just so she could try to figure out who’d killed Dawn and Maudette. The emotional support he’d given her after Gran’s death. The first time they’d made love. How he’d babysat Arlene’s kids with her, and had been so good with them.
She remembered the first night they’d spent together in the hotel in Dallas. It was the first time they’d ever been able to actually sleep in the same bed together. He’d been such a huge help to her when MaryAnn took over the town after they’d gotten back from Dallas. He even allowed Sam to drink his blood so that they could defeat her. Then she remembered the night he’d taken her to dinner, and asked her to marry him.
She tried so hard to think of happy times after that night, but was unable to. Sure, there were moments, but they were few and far between. And, those moments served to help Bill as much as anyone else, so she didn’t really think they should count.
Then, she thought of the bad things. How he’d killed Uncle Bartlett when she thought it was unnecessary. How he’d lied to her about having to turn Jessica. How he’d arranged for the Rattrays to beat her just so she’d need to take his blood. His true reason for returning to Bon Temps, in order to procure her for his queen.
Allowing his maker to manhandle her at the nest in Dallas. He’d slept with Lorena in Mississippi, and then taunted her about it on the phone when she’d tried to “rescue” him. He almost drained her in the back of the van after she’d saved him from his sadistic maker. And then he’d done nothing to clue her in as to what was REALLY happening with Russell Edgington.
Then there was everything that’d happened at the Authority’s compound. He’d told her everything they’d had was a lie, that she was an abomination. She’d wept when she thought he’d died after drinking the blood of Lillith. Instead, his body reformed, and he’d tried to kill everyone who was there attempting to save him.
She didn’t think it would be completely fair to blame him for all the destruction he’d caused after becoming “Billith.” After all, he’d been under the influence of something horrible. But, he wasn’t completely free of blame either, because he’d put himself in that situation. He’d been willing to see her turned and married to Warlow against her will, a slave for all eternity, simply because it suited his purposes.
She slowly came to realize that, several times during their relationship, she’d begun to separate herself from him, had tried to get away. Every time, something would happen and he’d feed her more of his blood. Some of the times, he’d just been opportunistic and took advantage of the situation. Others, he’d caused himself.
She thought back to all the times they’d made love. She came to realize that quite a few of those times, she’d been under the intense influence of his blood. She couldn’t decide if she’d consider it rape or not, because, at the time she’d been willing. At the very least, however, it was certainly sexual assault.
Then she thought back to the promise she’d made Eric before using the Cluviel Dor. “I have no intentions of making the same mistakes twice.” She knew now that she would be keeping that promise by not entering into another relationship with Bill.
And that’s when she realized something she hadn’t before. She was experiencing that lovey dovey feeling she’d expected to feel when thinking about Bill. But, it came when she thought of Eric. She closed her eyes once more and allowed herself to picture his face, and felt butterflies fill her tummy, and goose bumps cover her flesh. She couldn’t stop the smile that crept up over her lips, or the slight flush that colored her cheeks while she remembered making love with him.
She was still in love with Eric. He was her one true love. It just took her being completely free from Bill’s influence to realize it. She knew that she had no time to lose, because Bill would soon be searching for her for his queen.
She looked at the clock and bolted upright when she saw it was already late in the afternoon. She was due at work in just over an hour, and sundown would be only an hour or so after that. She quickly ran to the kitchen and dialed the number for Merlotte’s.
“Merlotte’s. This is Sam, what can I do for ya?”
“Sam, it’s Sookie. Listen, I know it’s kind of last minute, but, I’m not going to be able to make it in tonight.”
“Are you okay? Is it your Gran?”
She smiled a little at his concern. “No, we’re both fine. I’ve just had something really important come up, and I have something I need to do right away.”
“Well, alright then. I’ll find someone else to cover your shift. You sure there’s nothing I can do to help?”
“No, this is something I need to do for myself. Thanks, Sam!” she said and hung up.
She made her way upstairs and into her bathroom. She took a shower, and made sure to scrub and shave until her skin was silky smooth and baby soft. She made up her face, using a bit of powder, eye liner, mascara and lip gloss. Then she dried and curled her hair until it fell in soft waves around her shoulders.
Sookie went back into her bedroom and opened her closet, flipping through just about everything she owned. At first, she grabbed a dark blue, form fitting dress. Then something caught her attention, and she smiled, putting the blue dress back. She reached over the pulled out the white dress with red flowers that she’d worn the first time she’d been to Fangtasia. She instinctively knew this is what she needed to wear.
After putting on some red pumps, she left a note for Gran that she’d been in Shreveport instead of working, hopped into her car, and set off for Fangtasia. She knew if she could just get him to drink some of her blood, he’d remember everything, and they’d be able to be together.
The more she thought about it, though, she realized it wouldn’t be as easy as it seemed. This Eric had never met her before. If she just randomly walked into his bar and asked her to bite him, he’d probably wonder as to her motives. He’d probably wonder if she was trying to get him to break the law and bite her on purpose. Then, she remembered the night she’d met Malcolm, Liam, and Diane at Bill’s house. She remembered the human that Malcolm has brought with him had been infected with a virus, and was trying to use it to kill vampires. Perhaps Eric would think she was doing something similar?
No, she couldn’t just walked in and ask nicely for him to bite her. She’d need a plan, and a good one at that. She spent the rest of her drive deciding what to do.
When she arrived at Fangtasia, she was surprised by how busy it was, considering the sun had been down for less than an hour. She was not, however surprised to see Pam checking IDs at the door. She locked her car, grabbed her license out of her purse, and made her way to the short line. Once it was her turn to get in, she handed her license to Pam, and did her best to pretend she’d never met her before.
“Mmmm, well aren’t you a pretty little thing,” Pam said softly.
“I guess, if tan and blonde is your thing,” Sookie answered. She hoped Pam would appreciate the snark and let her into the club without any trouble.
“Oh, my master will like you. Go on ahead, blondie,” she said, flashing a bit of fang.
“Thanks, Pam,” she said smiling. She was about to walk away when Pam grabbed her wrist and held her back.
“How do you know my name?” She no longer sounded playful.
“Oh, um, someone I know has been here before and she told me.” Sookie made up on the fly.
“Impossible. I never tell humans who I am, it destroys the mystery. Now, I’ll ask you again, how do you know my name?”
This time, Sookie felt the slight pressure in her head that signaled Pam was trying to glamour her. For a moment, she thought about pretending it worked, and feeding Pam a more believable lie. But, at the last second, she figured she’d play with Pam instead. What easier way to get to see Eric.
“That doesn’t work on me. If you really wanna know, you’ll have to ask Eric,” Sookie said with confidence.
She very suddenly felt herself being pulled into the club and through the crowd. She’d expected to see Eric sitting on his throne, but was surprised to find it empty. Instead, Pam pulled her straight down the hallway toward Eric’s office.
To her horror, the door was shut, and there was a feminine moan coming from inside. It hadn’t occurred to her that there was a possibility that Eric would be having sex with a fangbanger in his office! She felt a tug on her heart, and forced the tears in her eyes not to fall.
Pam knocked lightly, and then entered the room before waiting for an answer. Sookie was relieved when her eyes took in the scene before her. Eric was sitting in a chair with his back to her, a tall brunette standing next to him, her arm raised. Eric was feeding from the woman’s wrist. The moment Pam and Sookie were both in the office, he immediately stopped.
“What is it, Pamela?” he asked.
Pam looked at the woman he’d just been feeding from and simply said, “Leave.” Once the woman was gone, Pam reached over to slam the door shut, and shoved Sookie into a chair.
“This human here seems to know my name. When I tried to glamour her to find out how, she told me she’s immune to glamour, and that I should ask YOU how she knows me.”
Eric stiffened slightly and turned to look at Sookie. The moment their eyes met, Sookie felt a rush of energy flow through her body. It was almost as if she was face to face with him for the first time in years. She’d forgotten how sexy he looked with long hair.
Eric took his time and let his eyes roam over her, licking his lips slightly once he was through. “Well, as delicious as she seems, I can’t say that I’ve ever seen her before.” He stood and walked over to where she was sitting, and crouched down so they were face to face. “So, tell me, how do you know Pam?”
Sookie almost giggled when she realized that he, too, was trying to glamour her. “I already said that doesn’t work. You might as well stop wasting your time.”
Eric stood and looked at Pam. He said something to her in another language, and she didn’t seem very pleased by whatever it was. A moment later, she left the office, leaving Eric and Sookie alone.
“Explain, before I decide to use a more colorful manner of persuasion,” he said coldly.
She decided to lay it all out on the table. “The reason I know things about you and Pam is because we have met before. Now, before you go telling me that you’d remember it, let me prove myself.” She waited a moment, and continued when Eric nodded slightly and walked around his desk to sit down.
“Your maker’s name is Godric, and he turned you when you were wounded in battle. You have a vampire sister named Nora who works for the authority. You turned Pam when she was working as a madame at a brothel. Your human family was murdered by werewolves who were following the commands of a vampire, and you’ve sworn to somehow, someday avenge them.”
Eric was suddenly face to face with her, snarling with fangs out. “How do you know these things?”
“Bite me, and you’ll figure it out,” she answered. She knew she was taking a huge risk, but really couldn’t see any way around it.
Eric learned back a tiny bit, and stared into her eyes. After a moment, he smirked a little and leaned in. “Be careful what you wish for,” he said, and bit.
Sookie was shocked a little by the initial pain, but then was filled with the most overwhelming feeling of pleasure. She lifted her hand to cradle the back of his head and stroke his hair. After a moment, he pulled back, moving away from her. For a few moments, the only sound in the room was that of Sookie’s breathing.
Finally, Eric turned to look at her. “What are you? Your taste is different from anything I’ve ever had.”
Sookie felt scared and confused. “You don’t remember me?”
“I already told you I’ve never seen you before. Now answer my question, What. Are. You?”
This time, she couldn’t stop the tears from falling. “No, oh no,” she cried. “This isn’t happening. You were supposed to remember everything.”
She heard Eric take a step towards her. “More,” he growled.
Suddenly frightened for her life, Sookie looked up, raised her hand in the air and shouted “No!” A small burst of light came out of her hand and hit Eric, knocking him backwards onto the floor behind his desk. She stood to look at him, afraid she’d killed him. He lay still on the floor, but since he hadn’t exploded into goo, she figured he was just knocked out.
Sookie immediately ran out of Eric’s office, back through the club, and out the front door. She had to get away. Nothing had happened the way she’d planned! She got into her car, and immediately headed for home.
She wasn’t very far outside the Shreveport city limits, however, before she had to pull over. Her tears were coming so quickly now she wasn’t able to see the road. She got out of her car, and walked to a patch of soft ground just inside the tree line. She collapsed to her knees and wept.
“Why?” She yelled. “Why didn’t it work? Niall, please, tell me. You said he’d remember!”
She heard a loud noise, and turned towards it, hoping to find her Great Grandfather. She was terrified, however, at the sight of Eric not 30 feet away from where she was. She quickly stood to try and flee, when he shouted, “Sookie, wait!”
She’d just turned her back to him, when she stopped. “Wait,” she thought to herself. “I never told him my name.”
She once again turned to face him, and saw a look of pure love on Eric’s face. And she knew, it had worked. He did remember her! She immediately ran into his arms, and he pulled her close to his body.
“I’m so sorry I shot you, Eric,” was the first thing that came to her mind.
He chuckled softly. “It’s alright. I actually think it’s what I needed in order for the magic to restore my memories. I’m sorry I didn’t remember you the moment I tasted you. But I promise to never forget again.”
“You say that now, but just wait until the next witch comes around,” Sookie said jokingly, and they laughed together.
After they hugged for a moment, Eric put Sookie down, but left his hands on her hips. “What happened? I thought you were going to go straight to Bill and get your happy ending.”
“You were right, Eric. Bill’s blood was still influencing me. Once I used the Cluviel Dor and went back in time, my body was finally completely free of all vampire blood. And, now I finally know the truth!”
“And just what is the truth, Sookie?” he asked.
“I never really loved Bill. Sure, I was attracted to him, and I can’t deny that in the beginning I really did feel affection for him. But, he spent so much time manipulating me. Now that I know the truth, I could never be with him again.”
“I am glad to hear it. And, may I ask, how do you now feel about me?”
Sookie stood up on her toes and pressed a soft kiss to his lips. “I love you. I choose you, Eric.”
He smirked in that way that made her knees weak, before capturing her mouth in a deep kiss. She finally broke the kiss when she needed to breathe, and gasped softly as he trailed wet kisses down her neck.
“Wait, we still need to figure out what to do about Sophie Anne,” she said, hating to burst their bubble.
“There’s only one way to keep her away from you. An older, stronger vampire needs to claim you before she has a chance to touch you,” Eric answered. He pulled back and looked into her eyes, “Sookie Stackhouse, will you be mine?”
She smiled. “I already am.”