Okay, housekeeping items. First, and most importantly, I hate repeating myself so I'm going to say this once and once only, and it will stand as the disclaimer for the rest of this story. If you recognize it from TV or the books, I don't own it. It is the product of someone else's hard work, and I'm not going to try to take credit for it. If you don't recognize it, then I made it up and that's a whole other story Also, I have no Beta for this, so any mistakes are entirely mine.
Second: this is my first trip into True Blood land, just in case no one noticed that. Doesn't mean it will be the last, but it's the one that got stuck on a repeating loop in my head. That said, I have a lot of stuff rolling around in my head and a number of active stories, so no promises on regularly scheduled updates (although I've noticed the ADD plot gnomes do focus more on stories that get more reviews). I do promise that I've never abandoned a story before, and I don't plan to start now, so it will be continued if people can have patience.
Third: I've become quite the narcissist apparently, because nothing makes my day like checking my email to find reviews from you lovely readers. A note on reviews: It takes quite a lot to hurt my feelings, so if you have something constructive to say, even if it's critical, I welcome it. However, if you're just going to be mean for the sake of being mean, with no suggestions on how something could be improved, be advised that I will laugh my butt off at how cute it is that you think your opinion matters and use you as examples of arrogance/ignorance when talking to friends. Also, if you want a response to your review, please make sure to sign in so that I can actually respond.
Finally: Anything italicized will be a flashback, or at some point maybe just a thought. There will be entire chapters that are flashbacks, because that's just how this is turning out in my head, but that will be noted in the chapter title.
Anyone still with me on this, please feel free to now actually get to the first chapter of the madness that is my imagination.
He wanted to burn. To burn was bringing a peace he'd not felt in some time. And a human was with him, crying for him. It was no lie to say that in this action, a human woman crying over his death, he saw God. His hope was that Sookie was right, and that God would forgive.
He didn't know where he was. He knew only that he WAS, when he shouldn't be. His soul was once again in an immortal body. He was thirsty, and though he could see the wind blowing through the trees, he didn't feel the cold. A glance down at his chest revealed that even his tattoos were intact.
The thirst was making itself know. It made sense, he supposed. His body was demanding blood to heal completely. Closing his eyes, he listened for a nearby heartbeat. The area was dark, completely dark. There was no visible light, no fires from human homes. Wherever he was, he did not appear to be close to any human settlements. He might have to satisfy his thirst with an animal.
There. A rapid heartbeat and hooves pounding as the animal ran. Something had startled a deer and sent it running. He followed the heartbeat and was on the animal, draining it in seconds. He felt better for having blood in him. He could begin to think clearly, though he was still thirsty.
His first order of business was to find a human village. He knew instinctively that animal blood would not hold him long. HE must have human blood. Then he must find out how long he'd been gone, and determine where, precisely, he was. And he must find a safe place to go to ground before the sun rose, though he could feel that dawn was several hours off. He was certain it had not been full dark for very long.
He sniffed, carefully, for the tell-tale scent of a human village on the wind. The smell of unwashed bodies and so much waste was unmistakable. The odor nearly overwhelmed the scent of the blood in the largest villages. It was strange that he could smell nothing as he walked carefully. A vampire could never be too ware of human hunters.
The land was flat. Almost entirely flat. He didn't recognize this place. The small wooded area he left seemed to be the only woods for miles. He froze when he came upon something completely unknown. Cutting through the land, a giant swath of black. It could not be natural. Was it some polluted river? Might that explain why there were no humans around? Had they destroyed this land and moved on?
A cautious touch proved the black to be solid. What could it possibly be? It was cool to his bare feet, yet he could feel a remaining trace of earlier warmth. Strange. This thing must have been built by humans; no vampire would bother with such a task when it served no useful purpose. It brought to mind some of the stone-paved roads built by the Romans for their chariots. Could this be a road, though he didn't recognize the stone? Might it lead to a human settlement? Perhaps the humans of this country were more advanced than the savage tribes he'd hunted.
These stars were unknown to him as he walked the black path. Where was he? How did he come to be at this place? The questions rolled through his mind as he walked, unconscious of how much time passed, knowing only that his time until sunrise was waning. As he'd suspected the animal blood was fading. He must find a human, and soon.
The sight of lights growing brighter in the distance gave him hope that he was at least reaching a human settlement. Though unlike any light he'd ever know, they were not the stars, so they must be from humans. Unless they were witches—witches he knew to be wary of. Witches and vampires rarely lived in peace with each other.
The dull roar he'd heard for a short time grew increasingly louder. It was a sound foreign to his ears, but as it grew louder a light appeared at his feet, illuminating the black. A sound, even louder than the roar, threatened to deafen his vampiric ears and he turned to see a monster barreling down at him. He knew not what it was at it screamed at him, but it was no match for his speed, and he easily evaded it. It could only be some form of black magic that created such a being.
He waited until he was sure the creature was alone before continuing on the black. He felt drawn in this direction, as if he was meant to go this way. As if he was being called to something. He felt helpless to do anything against the feeling: a bond, pulling him towards the other end.
After an eternity, or was it only a moment, of walking through the empty darkness, he at last came to the human settlement. Everything was strange. He didn't recognize these dwellings. They reached into the night sky, touching the stars. Some of them were so tall he couldn't see where they stopped.
He didn't understand the words the humans spoke as they addressed him. He felt as if he should understand them but the tongue was foreign to him. It was frustrating; he was certain the knowledge was there, in his mind, but it seemed just beyond his grasp. He knew the comments were directed at him, as well as the disbelieving looks. They didn't matter. Nothing mattered—not the humans, not his state of complete nudity, not even his growing thirst—as he sped through the massive settlement towards the pull of the bond.
He finally came to a stop outside a strange dwelling. It was made up of multiple buildings, and the black spread into it. Filing the black were many of those strange creatures he'd encountered earlier, but they were silent and dark. At the moment, they appeared to be no threat.
Apart from the buildings was a large grassy field bordered with tress, and it was to that he went. Countless humans were seated on long benches, all facing what must be some sort of game. Even as he watched, misshapen humans in the most bizarre attire attacked each other on the field. Their shoulders and chests were grotesquely large, completely disproportionate to the rest of their bodies, and they used them to tackle each other. Their leggings were so tight he wondered why they bothered with them. Some sort of ball flew through the air, and one of the breathers caught it and began running for the end of the field. Now all the players were angling for this one human, as the observers cheered. What sort of people had he stumbled on that force their deformed to participate in such violence for their amusement? They were as bloodthirsty as the Romans, who delighted in the gladiators of the arenas.
It could not be one of those unfortunates on the field that he was so drawn to, and his gaze left the barbaric game and roamed the audience. He could detect no others of his kind with whom he might share a bond. Could it be that this bond belonged with a human? Even as he told himself it was impossible he had to consider that it was the truth. How else could he account for the need to come to this place, apart from a blood bond drawing him to his bonded? And if there were no vampires, it must be a human. But what human could he possibly find worthy of giving his blood? The blood was sacred; he would give it to no one but those he made. How was it that a breather had his blood? If he had formed a bond with a human, why had he not turned them?
His gaze landed on a human woman seated halfway up the seats, sparing half her attention for the game, giving the other half to a human she was in conversation with. He growled to himself at their proximity. This female was his; he knew it with absolute certainty, and she dared take a mate? The urge to snatch the human and spirit her away was nearly overwhelming. He kept himself hidden, but only barely. This settlement was too large to kill indiscriminately; he would be hunted down if he killed all the humans at this game, as he wished to do. He would wait until they were away from other humans to kill the man and take the woman.
His thirst would no longer be ignored. Now that he knew who he was looking for, the need for blood took precedence over anything else. Knowing where to return, he sped away from the game and back in the direction of the primary settlement. He had no difficulty in finding a lone human in an alley between buildings, although he spared a moment to wonder why, in a settlement with so many buildings, someone lived homeless in an alley. These people had more in common with the Romans than he first thought.
He returned just as the game was ending. To his surprise, no one on the field was executed. Those who lost walked off just as those who won, and the breathers in the audience poured out onto the field, embracing both the victorious and the defeated. He kept his attention fixed on his human female and the male. He would follow them to their home, and then dispose of the man. He was amazed when they followed a number of humans onto the black, and watched as so many opened up the sleeping creatures and actually climbed inside them. They came to live with the same roar he heard earlier, but they seemed to be completely under the control of the humans inside. He realized that these creatures must be some sort of machine, some form of conveyance. Yes, it must be so, as he now clearly noticed that they were wheeled.
The woman embraced the man, which prompted the urge to simply sweep in and tear him apart, but when they separated they climbed into different vehicles. Likely this man was not a mate then; no man would allow his woman to travel alone. This fact saved the human's life. Perhaps he was some kin to the woman.
With his ability to fly he was easily able to keep pace with the female's transportation unnoticed. He took care to note the route they took, as he would need to remember it so that he might find his way back when he needed to feed again. They were travelling away from the settlement, and the further they travelled the less populated the area. Good.
The vehicle pulled off the main road, and finally came to a stop in front of a rather isolated home. The dwelling brought to mind his maker's home, before he was turned. There were no lights inside the home, only lamps on the outside. It was pleasing to see that she was alone. Unless this was his home as well?
He waited out of sight, hidden by a tree, until she climbed from the vehicle and walked the pathway to the door. The temptation to follow was irresistible and he wasted no time in trying. Moving more quickly than a human would ever see he was behind her before she could open the door. She turned in surprise and dropped the keys, almost choking on a scream. The look she wore was sheer disbelief, and then she spoke.
This was impossible. Mercy decided she must finally have lost her mind. It was the only explanation. Godric had chosen to burn to death in the sun more than eight months ago; how could he now be standing in front of her unless she was hallucinating? Ethan had accused her of losing her marbles before; he must have been right.
But no; this was no hallucination. He was staring at her as if he wanted to sink his teeth into her and drain her dry. She'd seen that look on his face frequently in the last months she saw him.
He cocked his head to the side, curiously, but made no answer.
"How are you alive?"
It shouldn't be—she'd made the trip to Bon Temp to speak with the human who'd been on the roof with him in person. That visit was burned indelibly into her memory, as painful as if it was only yesterday.
The perky blonde insisted on being called Sookie as she led her to a table. She'd show absolutely no hesitation at meeting a complete stranger in a restaurant, and Mercy almost worried for the girl's mental health. This Merlotte's was possibly the most unassuming hole-in-the-wall she'd ever been to. It was practically empty, save for them and the employees.
"My name is Mercedes Wright. I'm—I was—"
"I'm so sorry!"
She found herself on the receiving end of a fierce hug before she could even get a word out. How had this woman-? Right. Eric said she was "special".
"That's one way to put it. Between hearing thoughts and finding bodies, and now my vampire fiancé's gone missing, special's putting it mildly. But you knew Godric?"
Mercy nodded in response.
"Eric said you were with him at the end?"
The blonde needed no more encouragement to launch into her story.
He still hadn't answered her. He looked almost confused when she spoke.
"Godric, its Mercy."
Again, his head cocked to the side and he looked at her, puzzled. Did he not understand? As the immediate shock began to fade, Mercy realized that his understanding was not her biggest worry at the moment. He was standing on her front porch completely naked. If any of her neighbors was to drive down the street right now….
She bent down to retrieve her keys, resolutely refusing to look anywhere but the ground, and then the door as she stood. After finally getting the door open, she ushered him inside and left him standing in the foyer as she hurried to turn off the alarm. She turned back to the entryway only to find him right behind her again.
"Stop doing that!"
The puzzled look was back briefly before he leaned in; nuzzling her shoulder as he murmured something she didn't understand. She stiffened when she heard him inhaling deeply. The blasted vampire was sniffing her! She heard the tell tale click that his fangs had dropped and hastily backed away.
"You better put those things away right now, mister! I didn't let you just bite me when you felt like it before, and I'm not gonna start now."
He looked hurt at her refusal, which was followed swiftly by determination, and he started stalking her around the room. The living room was massive, but it was filled with furniture that blocked Mercy's escape route, and she cursed his preternatural speed when he easily caught her. He pinned her into the leather couch and straddled her so that she couldn't maneuver away again. Content that she was contained, he returned to nuzzling her neck before moving onto her hair. Mercy thought about painfully nudging certain sensitive (and very exposed) areas just to prove a point, but admitted temporary defeat.
"You could at least put some pants on, kid."
It was no surprise that he didn't answer, as she was beginning to suspect he really didn't understand her. Instead he continued to pet her, and she heard him purring.
"Oh for goodness' sake! What am I, catnip?"
This was almost disturbing. In a decade, she'd never seen the vampire this affectionate. Even after Godric had finally taken her up on the invitation to make himself at home with her, he rarely did more than clasp a hand to her shoulder or arm. He'd only actually held her once in the ten years she'd known him.
"Alright, who are you and what have you done with Godric?"
This time there was no mumbling. She clearly understood that words were coming out of his mouth; she just didn't know the language.
"Okay Godric, I'm really going to need you to start speaking a language I can understand. English is preferable."
He at least paused in his petting as he looked up at her, but his expression was one of annoyance. From the tone of his voice, his response to her demand was a question, but Mercy didn't understand a word of it.
"Do you understand me, Godric? Do you understand English?"
The man was a linguist's dream. He'd forgotten more languages than she could ever learn in her lifetime. He'd been speaking English for the last seven hundred years; it shouldn't be possible that he didn't understand her. But he was staring at her as if she was the one with the problem, and he had yet to use her native language. Godric wasn't one for unnecessary pranks or teasing; he seemed to genuinely not understand. Mercy had to wonder what else he'd apparently "lost" when he came back from the dead.
"Godric, do you know who I am?" she asked, this time in French. He'd always made fun of her accent (even though it was practically nonexistent) but he should still understand her. All she received was another blank look before he returned to petting her hair.
"Oh, honey, what happened to you?"
She needed help. She knew she couldn't possibly figure out what happened, or help Godric recover his memory—if it would even be possible to do so—by herself. The question was who to call. Much as she wanted to call Isabel that might not be a good idea. Isabel was Sheriff now, which meant she reported directly to the King of Texas. And news of a vampire back from the dead? Mercy shuddered to think what the king might do to Godric if he managed to get his hands on him. No, Isabel wasn't a possibility.
That really only left one alternative though Mercy was rather loathe to make the call. Eric had made no secret of his dislike for her, accusing her of driving Godric to suicide with her humanity. Pissing him off by demanding to know where he'd been if he cared so damn much wasn't the wisest decision she'd ever made, but to the Viking's credit, he hadn't snapped her neck. All things considered, she'd gotten off easy with a warning to never call him for anything less than life threatening trouble and keep the hell out of his way.
No, she really didn't want to call Eric Northman, but he was her most likely ally in this. Pushing at the vampire who'd now decided that her necklace was more fascinating than her hair and was pulling at the pieces of abalone shell, she fumbled around her pockets until she could pull the cell phone from her jeans. He yelped when his fingers came into contact with the silver chain and burned. The look he gave her was one of unmistakable hurt, before he fixed his stare on the phone in her hands. Mercy ignored his curiosity as she scrolled through her contact and pulled up the one phone number she'd never planned on actually using.
"This is Eric Northman," he answered in a bored tone, and Mercy was reminded of how much she couldn't stand the man. How did anyone manage to sound so smug and utterly bored at the same time?
"Eric, its Mercedes Wright."
"Where are you and how much trouble are you in?"
She'd give him credit; he was incredibly loyal to his maker. So much so that he was immediately prepared to aid a woman he couldn't stand.
"It's not life threatening, Eric, but it's incredibly important."
"What is it?" and now he just sounded pissed off again. Frickin' arrogant Viking. He was gorgeous, and he knew it, and he'd taken personally the fact that she hadn't fallen at his feet on their first meeting.
"It's something you really have to see to believe. How soon can you come to Dallas?"
"I'm in no mood for games, human," he all but growled into the phone.
"And I'm not playing any, vampire. I give my word; you're going to want to see this yourself."
She could practically hear the debate going on in his head.
"I'll be there tomorrow evening. Did you move into his house?"
"Considering he left it to me, yes, I did. Come as soon as you can, Eric."
Well that was rude, she thought to herself when the Viking hung up on her, not even bothering with a farewell. Mercy focused back on the vampire still sitting on her lap, who'd managed to grab her phone. While he was momentarily distracted, she reached behind her for the afghan and pulled it down, then wrapped it around his shoulders. She hoped he would tire of sitting on her soon. He was heavy, with the bulk of his weight sitting on one part of her body, and she was in desperate need of a shower. Plus she had no intention of sleeping on the couch. She winced as he started shaking the phone.
"So not a good idea kid."
Godric was puzzled as he tried to work out the thing he held in his hand. His human had talked into it, and he heard another voice come out of it; a voice that was achingly familiar. Try as he might, though, he could not make the thing work.
That was only the latest of a string of puzzling events this night. Most disturbing among them was not the fact of his existence (he knew well that dark magic could accomplish all manner of impossible things) but that his human didn't understand him. She didn't answer when he asked if she knew what happened to him; at least not in a language he spoke. Surely they spoke a common tongue? But no, he switched from Gaulish to the Latin the Romans had spoken, but she appeared to recognize neither. He even attempted the Norse he'd only just begun to master, but even that yielded no comprehension.
The only explanation was one that worried him. Whatever had brought him back into life had returned only partial memory. He recognized the woman as his, but nothing of his surroundings was familiar. He did not even know his human's name. He must be missing a large portion of his memory, and no one removed memories for a benign reason. But he did not even know what he needed to protect himself and his human from.
She covered him with a blanket; his human was shy. He would have to break her of that. Clothing was such a recent novelty for him—never had he been as covered as his human was now.
"Why do you not wish to feed me, child?" he asked, but as expected received no answer. Why should his human shy at giving him her blood? He was so very thirsty, but didn't wish to frighten her. Not when she needed him to protect her. He was unsure whether he could glamour her into allowing him to feed when they didn't speak a common tongue. It didn't feel right to do so, at any rate.
His human was growing fidgety, and trying to push him off. He allowed it; curious to see where she would go he climbed off her. She pulled the blanket closed as she stood, effectively hiding his body from her view. Smirking, he shrugged the blanket off, letting it fall to the floor.
"You would choose now to embrace your inner man-child, wouldn't you?"
The words made no sense, but she was smiling, even if she still avoided looking at him. He allowed her to pass him and followed her, curious about this house. There were so many strange things, and so many rooms for a single person. She stepped into a bedroom, and he took in a massive bed. An entire family could sleep in that single bed. Or two people could make other great uses of it. Perhaps they could explore some of those uses later.
He turned at the sound of a door shutting to realize that his human had left him. The closing door was falling shortly by the sound of running water. It almost sounded like rainfall, which was most confusing as he would have notice any change in the weather. Hesitating only a moment, he burst into the room.
He froze as he took in his human standing naked inside an almost transparent enclosure, under and inside waterfall. Steam was filling the room, saturating everything in her scent, and he inhaled deeply. Without further thought he stepped in behind her.
Mercy spun around with a yelp when she heard the click of the door opening and closing. What the—?
She may not have understood his response, but she could see where his gaze was fixated, and figured it was either a compliment or an indecent proposition. The suspicion that it was the latter was all but confirmed when his mouth settled on her collar bone, his hands settled on her waist, and she found herself backed into the wall.
"Okay, Godric, stop right there. We really can't do this."
There were so many reasons why this was a Bad Idea. Mercy forgot every single one of them when he kissed her. It was the first time his lips had ever touched hers in such an intimate way. "Oh, the hell with it," she thought to herself. She'd spent ten years ignoring her subconscious want of this man, and after tomorrow night she'd likely never see him again. Just this once she was going to do what she wanted.