Look Before You Leap

36 Things Fall Apart

LPOV

My phone rang waking me from my deathlike all day nap. I had to check caller ID twice, I was so surprised to see the name pop up. "Pam?"

"I found him," she said.

For a moment I was too shocked to say anything. "After all this time?"

"Yeah, he didn't make it easy. He was laying up in the French countryside, having a relaxing holiday."

"Why France?"

She laughed, softly. "Let's just say your sister wasn't the first human girl that Eric loved." She was quiet for a moment. "Well? Do you want to talk to him or not?"

"Oh," I said surprised. "Does he want to talk to me?"

"Eric doesn't really want to talk to anyone, but I'm asking you because you're the one that sent him packing."

"Yeah, okay." In the months since I'd last seen Eric I had calmed down significantly. We'd all been desperate; these were desperate times we were living in.

"Lily," Eric said. He sounded different, but at first I didn't realize why. "It's been a while."

"You missed Rachel's wedding." It was the first thing that came to mind and I just blurted it out.

"She married the werewolf? Good for her. I bet it was beautiful, she wouldn't have had it any other way." He laughed and it turned into a cough. That was when I knew.

"You're sick, aren't you?" I asked it as a question, not because I needed confirmation, but because I didn't want to be right.

"Yes, Lily, I am."

If I had still been harboring any negative feelings towards him they would have been washed away by the resignation in his voice. "How long?"

"About a month. Vampires are living longer with the disease now, unfortunately." I remembered how quickly Nora had progressed. My phone buzzed with a text message, but I ignored it.

"That's not a bad thing," I argued.

"You wouldn't say that if you were the one with the disease."

"Maybe they'll find a cure before…" I trailed off, unable to complete the sentence.

"There isn't going to be a cure, Lily."

"You don't know that," I protested. My phone buzzed again. "You're Eric Northman, you don't just roll over and let life fuck you in the ass. Where are you? I'm on my way."

"Don't bother, Lily."

"Give the phone back to, Pam."

"We're flying into Baton Rouge," he told me. "Sarah Newlin is still alive, we're going to find her, and then we're going to make sure the job finally gets done correctly."

"I'm coming with you."

"I had a feeling you might say that."

There was a shuffling as the phone changed hands. "I'll text you when we land," Pam said hanging up. I looked at my phone to see I had received three text messages and a phone call from Jason.

I called back. "What is it?" I asked.

"Have you talked to Sookie?" He asked.

"Not since we got back from Saint Alice, why?"

"I've been trying to call her for an hour, I drove over to her place and she isn't here. It's dark out, the Hep V vamps could have gotten her."

"Have you called everyone else?" I asked.

"Yeah. Rachel and Alcide are on their way back from Shreveport now. Me and Violet are on our way to pick you up, alright?"

"Yeah, okay, I'll see you in a few."

It was barely ten minutes later when Jason honked the horn from outside. "Violet says they're close by, she already went after them." I nodded and took off into the woods; I could hear voices and quickly those voices turned into shouts. I ran into the clearing and found the Hep V vampires and Sookie. Bill was being held in silver by one of the vampires but before I could get to him Alcide and Sam had attacked it. I ran to Sookie instead and threw off the vampire that was holding her; the man was caught off guard giving me the upper hand. I wrestled him to the ground and suddenly he exploded into goo under me, I looked up to see Rachel pointing a gun in my direction.

"I had that," I told her. She shrugged. I turned to see Sookie, who was standing in the middle of several piles of goo, drenched in vampire blood.

"Did you swallow any blood?" I asked. She shook her head. "Someone wash her up!" Violet grabbed Sookie and pulled her into the river.

I turned to Bill. "Did you bring her out here?" I asked.

"It was her idea."

"Bill, you're smarter than that! You know what's good for her."

"I couldn't have stopped her, she was safer with me than coming out here alone."

"Like hell you couldn't have stopped her," Alcide said. He had shifted back and was standing naked in front of us. "She could have died!"

There was a gunshot surprising all of us. Followed by two more. I searched the trees looking for the shooter. "Over there!" Jason yelled, he and Andy shot into the trees and I started towards them.

RPOV

I was torn between yelling at Bill and running to hug Sookie, so instead I just stood there somewhere in the middle. A gunshot startled me out of my thoughts. At first I looked towards the shooter, but then when the second shot was fired I followed it to its target. There was a moment where time froze, and then Alcide collapsed.

"Alcide!" I screamed. I ran towards him and all but tripped as I threw myself onto the ground next to him. I barely heard the ensuing gunshots as I dug my fingernails into Alcide's arms, as if that would possibly wake him up. "No! No, no!"

I knew the others were standing behind me, I could feel their eyes on my back. I heard Sookie's gasp as she rushed towards me from the river. My ears were ringing from the sound and nothing else really registered. I shook Alcide's body, I knew he was gone, but I couldn't help it. Finally I let out a sob and collapsed onto his chest. I hugged him tightly. "We were supposed to start over."

I felt hands on my arms and Lily slowly pulled me off of Alcide and into her arms. She hugged me as I continued to sob and I squeezed her arms. Jessica knelt beside us and she softly touched my shoulder. "I could," she glanced at Bill, "one of us could turn him."

For a moment I considered it. I wanted him back, I didn't even want to believe he was gone, but I knew that he would never want to become a vampire. He would endure it for me, but what kind of life would that be? I shook my head. "No, I can't do that."

"I'm sorry," Jessica whispered.

"He'd forgive you," Lily said. I could hear how distraught she was, how upset she was, not just for me, but also for herself. I wasn't the only one who had lost someone important to them. I looked up at Sookie who was crying silently, her hand over her mouth.

"I know he would, but you know that I can't do it."

"I know," she said. I felt a sob shake her body, but she didn't make a sound as red tears sprung to her eyes. She kissed the side of my head and started to stand up, I could tell she didn't want to cry in front of me.

But I wasn't quite ready to let go of her arms. "I hadn't got the chance to tell him. I knew that if I did, he would have wanted to leave right away. He would have wanted to protect me." I laughed and it turned into another sob. "It wasn't me who needed to be protected."

"Tell him what?" Lily asked, one of the red bloody tears leaving a trail down her cheek as it fell.

I was quiet for a moment, trying to stop myself from crying so I wouldn't garble the words. "I'm pregnant."

OoOoO

The next morning I sat at the sheriff station in the morgue. Lily was right beside me, holding my hand as she had been since we'd gotten here in the middle of the night. "I should call Jackson," I told her. "He needs to know."

"You want me to do it?" She asked.

I shook my head. "He should hear it from me." She nodded let go of my hand. I walked over to the phone on the wall and dialed Jackson's number.

"Hello?" Jenny answered.

"It's Rachel. Can I talk to Jackson?"

"Of course, honey. Hold on."

There was a moment of silence as Mr. Herveaux got the phone. "How's my favorite daughter-in-law?"

"Um, I don't know how to say this. Alcide is gone." I swallowed. "He was shot last night."

There was a long silence, all I could hear was Jackson's breathing. Finally he took a deep breath. "I'm still here."

"I, um, I'm going to stay in Bon Temps for a few days. I don't think I'm ready to go back to our house in Shreveport yet. When do you think you'll be able to make it down?"

"Jenny and I have some loose ends to tie up and then we'll hit the road."

"Don't try to come here at night."

"I won't."

"I'll see you in a few days."

"Wait, Rachel, you know Alcide didn't talk to me much after the two of you left Mississippi, but I know he loved the fuck out of you."

"I loved him too." I hung up slowly. Lily was staring at the wall; she barely looked up at me. I didn't know if it was Alcide's death, or the vampire attacks, or something else but she had almost completely shut down.

Jason stood just outside the door, on the phone with Hoyt Fortenberry, who's mother had been killed the night before as well. He hung up, on the verge of tears. It felt like ages ago that Jessica had confessed to me that she was sleeping with Jason while still dating Hoyt. After he'd found out, he had asked her to glamour him into forgetting them, and then he'd moved off to Alaska. "You okay?" I asked Jason.

He shook his head. "How'd you pull yourself together?"

"Do I looked pulled together? That's good to know, because I am definitely not. I want to go home and burry in my bed and cry myself to sleep and pretend like when I wake up Alcide is going to be there. But Nicole and Arlene are still missing, and there are still crazed Hep V vampires that are probably going to attack this town again tonight, and if I break down now people are going to die. Andy is with Holly, so that leaves you in charge. People are looking to you and you have to pull yourself together too."

Sookie and Sam came into the room. "Ready to go talk to Holly?" Sookie asked Jason.

"Not really," he said. She grabbed his arm and led him into the hall.

I returned to Lily. "Let's go home."

"Where's home now?"

"Bill's?" I offered. She shrugged and followed me. We drove in silence and when we got inside I decided I couldn't take it anymore. "If you think you're doing me some favor by letting me drown myself in my own miserable thoughts, you really aren't."

"Eric's dying."

"What? How do you know?"

"Pam called yesterday, just before everything happened last night. She found him in France. He's been infected."

"I'm sorry," I said stunned. Eric and I, while we had our fair share of disagreements, had never been on bad terms with each other.

"I shouldn't even care, I suppose. I broke up with him." She shrugged.

"I know you were upset with him, but that doesn't mean you don't still love him. Hell, Alcide and I broke up twice before we got married. Forgiveness is a virtue."

"One that us Compton women might be a little too good at," she said wryly. She shook her head. "It doesn't matter if I love him, he'll be dead in a month."

"Then don't waste what time you have left with him. Tell him that you forgive him, tell him you still love him. Take it from me, you don't want to regret the things you never told him."

"They're going after Sarah Newlin, apparently she's still alive. But if you need me here I won't go."

"No, you should go. Don't worry about me."

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