Keep Myself Awake- The Doofus And The Idiot
There is a place in anger where to rip and tear is an outlet and a relief. There is place beyond that where the rage grows so cold that no action is sufficient to achieve relief. Niall taking Sookie from his arms placed him there. He was frozen in rage and something else. Something that he found inexcusable and unforgivable in everyone around him and doubly so in himself.
Retreating into his logical pragmatic mind that had helped him survive for centuries, he tried to understand what had happened that led him to this place where fools and cowards went to die.
Her name was a pox and poison to his soul.
Her name was balm to every scar and wound he had ever endured in his long undead life.
I must kill her.
I must protect her.
I must do something because I cannot continue to exist in this quasi hell that I have found myself in since she ended the witches curse with her perfect love and perfect trust.
He remembered the look on her face as she came to him, so peaceful and sure that he would not harm her that she convinced him with her touch and a few words that no magic could make him do anything that would harm her.
Then he remembered how calm she had felt when Hallow confronted them leaving the cemetery. Again, perfect love and perfect trust in him.
And he had failed her. She had been cursed and he could not save her, not from herself, not from Niall, not from him and his reckless ways. What had he been thinking propositioning the witch in front of her seconds after she had indicated that she could hear him?
She gave him perfect love and perfect trust and he gave her failure and pain.
She was better off with the Fae.
“TAKE ME BACK!” Sookie screamed as loud as she could, but the man whose name she did not know either could not hear her or did not care. “I WANT TO GO BACK TO ERIC!” When she was with Eric she could make her body respond at least a little, now it was just a meat prison for her mind and soul that would not move or obey her commands to speak.
“ERIC! ERIC!” She screamed his name over and over but he did not come. She sat down in her fake kitchen, which seemed to be some sort of construct in her mind from the spell and cried.
“Don’t you give up on me, stupid vampire!” she whispered between sobs as she held herself and rocked back and forth.
Fifteen minutes after Niall left his office his phone rang.
“Come to the residence that you took Sookie to last night. Come alone. Come now.” Eric hung up after the click and debated whether or not to go.
In the end it was his need to do something that pushed him into motion.
When he arrived at his home he found her on his sofa still sleeping. She was alone in his house, but there was a note on the table beside her sleeping form.
“I will give you until sunset tomorrow to break the spell. You have everything you need to do it yourself. Do not engage the witch. Doing so will bring harm to Sookie. If you fail I will take her with me to Fae forever.
Eric crushed the note in his hand and knelt beside the couch, placing his head on her sleeping chest again. He heard her sigh at his touch and knew that she knew he was there. He was right there and had no idea how to reach her. Rising, he slipped under her on the sofa, laying her body along the length of his, turning her head to the side and wrapping his arms around her to hold her closer to him.
“I’m not as good at this as you are, Sookie. You busted two curses at once that night and I can’t even figure out how to do one.” Not really expecting her to answer he asked, “What do I do, Sookie? How can I help?”
“Want me?” she mumbled.
“Want you to what, Sookie?” he asked, hanging on her every murmur. She growled then, faintly, and took a deep breath.
“Do…you…want…me?” she asked slowly, each word getting fainter as she spoke.
Was this a trick? He had offered himself to her in the kitchen in their shared dream and she had told him to keep his clothes on. If he said that he wanted her, would she stop talking to him? If he told her he didn’t then would she stop talking to him?
He did not know what to do.
“Truth,” she whispered, straining to be heard.
The truth. She wants the truth. Better to be hung for the lion he truly was than for the sheep he would be pretending to be. He took a deep breath, dragging in the scent of her sunshine hair in case this was the last time he ever got to be this close to her. Then he just went for broke.
“The truth, Sookie Stackhouse, is that from the moment you walked into my life I have wanted nothing and no one else. I have killed for you, followed you, taken bullets for you, I have protected you, and given you my blood.
“When the witch told us that you were my heart’s desire I had only known you for several hours, and still I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was right. When you came to me with love and trust in your eyes and offered me your life, making even me believe that you were safe with me, I knew why I held you above all others.
“When I was buried between your thighs and all my memories came flooding back I knew that I love you, Sookie Stackhouse. I always had. I always will.
“You were right that night, it wasn’t the spell, it was how we felt about each other that saved us in that moment that could have easily gone so horribly wrong. But you made it ok. You always make everything ok.
“Do I want you? Fuck, I don’t know how do anything else! If Niall tries to take you from me tomorrow night I will fucking kill him, or he will kill me and then at least I will have some peace from this monstrous love you planted inside me that is eating me up one piece at time while you lay there and do nothing but suck air.
“Damn you for making me feel this way, Sookie Stackhouse! I lived for a thousand years and relished every moment before I met you and now the True Death sounds like a fucking vacation!
“Wake up you miserable little bitch! Don’t you leave me in this unending hell all alone! WAKE UP AND LOVE ME, TOO!”
He heard her sniffle then, and felt his shirt growing wet from her salty tears.
“You really are a doofus, Eric Northman,” she whispered turning her head to look him in the eye.
“What’s a doofus?” he was so shocked to see her awake it was all he could think to say.
“A doofus is someone who yells at someone when he tells them that he loves them.”
“Ah, then I guess you would be right. I am a doofus,” he said softly, bringing his hand up to wipe her tears away. “Are you really awake, Sookie or am I just dreaming again?”
Rather than answer, she kissed him, slowly and as she lingered he crushed her to him and took control of the kiss, pushing all his love and frustration into that one connection he had with her. When he broke the kiss he looked into her eyes and asked, “Will you be a doofus now, too?”
“No, I’m just going to be an idiot.” He frowned, not understanding.
“Why an idiot, Sookie?” She sighed and started placing tiny baby kisses all over his face.
“Because only an idiot could love a doofus.” He crushed her too him, kissing her face now as she had done his.
“So, from here on out I will be your doofus, and you will be my idiot!”
“More often that we could possibly imagine, I expect,” she told him as she hugged him tightly.
Niall watched them whisper lovingly to each other for a few more minutes and then he took his leave from the corner knowing that he was leaving his granddaughter in good hands with the Viking. He wasn’t sure he understood the love that existed between them, but he could tell that it was real, not only because it broke the spell, but because hearing the Viking declare his love for Sookie had broken his own heart just a little.
It called to mind when he had once felt that same way, in another time and in another place.
She was in the middle of kissing him and pushing up his shirt when she remembered that she was still mad at him. “Wait, wait!” she said pulling back.
“What?” he was practically cross eyed from her kisses and now that he could feel her again in the tie they shared he had felt her go from loving to angry so quickly it made him dizzy. “What have I done now that has angered you so?”
“What of her? She is not here,” he motioned to the room around them. “She does not hold my heart like you do.”
“Then why did you offer yourself to her? As though it were nothing at all!”
“Because it was as you say, ‘nothing at all.'” She sat up then, distancing herself from him.
“Is…is it nothing at all when you offer yourself to me then?” He growled, how could she not understand? How could he get her to see? Perhaps she was just too young, or perhaps, I am too old, he thought as he struggled for the words that would convince her once and for all where she stood with him.
“I would have done anything to get you back.”
“Including sleeping with Olivia?” she pressed, her arms crossed, her face pinched in anger.
“Yes. Or I would have killed her, neither would have mattered to me.”
“But then how can this,” she said motioning back and forth between them, “be different than that?”
“I don’t know, but it is, and surely even you know that! Is it not different with me than it was with Compton? Is what we have between us not different for you as well?” he demanded.
“We’re not talking about me, Eric. We are talking about you boinking that damned witch!”
“Yes and no,” he sighed then and sat up to try and find better words. “If I had been the one that was cursed what would you have done for me? What did you do for me?” his tone softer and pleading, begging her to find some understanding in her hard angry little heart. “When Hallow had me strapped in silver your first thought was place yourself between us and face her down with no thought for your own safety. You gave yourself to me completely to ease my suffering from her magics and you broke not one but two spells with the love in your heart.
“Is it too much for you to understand that while I didn’t do it as well as you did, I was trying to do the same things for you, in my own way?” When she didn’t answer him, he tried one last time to understand what was in her heart. “Do you wish to take it back, Sookie? Are you sorry for what happened between us?”
“Don’t you ever say that to me, Eric Northman! I wouldn’t trade that moment or those feelings for anything else in the world!” She had come across the couch now and had her finger pointed into his chest. “Don’t you ever say that to me!”
“Then why can’t you understand that I would have done anything to have another moment like that with you?” he yelled back at her, pushing his chest into her finger.
“I do understand, damn it,” she yelled back getting right up in his face, “I just don’t fucking like it!”
“Oh, and you think I do when you run off and jump in front of a witch, or a stake, or a murderer, or a crazy maniac bent on burning vampires in the sun? DO YOU THINK THAT IS SO FUCKING EASY FOR ME? BECAUSE IF YOU DO THEN YOU ARE WRONG!”
“YOU’RE BEING A DOOFUS AGAIN!”
“YES I AM! I LOVE YOU, SOOKIE STACKHOUSE! IN A THOUSAND YEARS ONLY YOU HAVE PAINED ME LIKE THIS, BURNED ME FROM THE INSIDE OUT UNTIL THERE IS NOTHING LEFT OF ME EXCEPT A SHELL THAT YOU LIVE INSIDE OF!”
“AND HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL? YOU THINK IT’S EASY FOR ME TO SEE YOU SURROUNDED BY WOMEN WHO WILL DO ANYTHING JUST TO GET YOU TO NOTICE THEM. TO SPEAK TO THEM? TO FUCK THEM? AND YET HERE YOU ARE WITH ME! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FEEL ABOUT THAT? HUH? YOU’RE OLDER THAN ME, MORE EXPERIENCED AT EVERYTHING THAN I AM, AND THE ONLY THING I KNOW IN ALL THAT IS THAT IF YOU DON’T LOVE ME BACK I AM GOING TO BURN INTO NOTHING! THE THOUGHT OF SOMEONE ELSE TOUCHING YOU MAKES ME WANT TO STRANGLE THEM AND YOU FOR LETTING THEM! WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?” He leaned in closer to her face, his lips almost touching hers and he whispered to her.
“I think you are being a doofus, Sookie Stackhouse.”
He kissed her then, she expected it to be furious and demanding to match the angry tone of his yelling but it was soft and compelling, gentle and loving. It took her breath away. It took her anger away. It took all her doubts away. He moved to kiss her neck, another tender assault that passed through her walls effortlessly. “You said in the cemetery that you had to keep yourself awake and not live in in the dream of what might have been,” he told her in between kisses. “Let me give you that dream, Sookie. Dream it with me for every moment that we have.”
She pulled him up and kissed him then, overwhelmed that not only had he heard her, but he had actually listened to her. “Every moment we have,” she vowed to him when the kiss ended.
“I will show you the world,” he promised her.
“I will teach you how to keep your pants on when you aren’t with me,” she promised him.
“Hrm, I’m with you now,” he pointed out to her.
“You better be with me always, big boy,” she told him.
“Always,” he promised.