Title: Dirty Minds
Author: Neoxphile (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Category: MSR, challengefic for the MSR-Smut challenge, crossover (X-files/Sookie Stackhouse)
Spoilers: "Bad Blood," "The Truth"; books 1-8 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries/Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.
Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully belong to Chris Carter. Sookie, Eric, Pam and Amelia belong to Charlaine Harris.
Summary: Mulder and Scully's visit to Louisiana alarms some locals.
Author's notes: 1. This story is set before X-Files: I Want To Believe, and a week after the Sookieverse short story "Gift Wrapped" by Charlaine Harris (that story can be found in the anthology "Wolfsbane and Mistletoe") but this fic doesn't contain any spoilers for that short story.
Bon Temps, Louisiana
I had the covers over my ears, but it didn't stop me from hearing one of my housemates knocking on my bedroom door. I groaned and sunk further beneath the quilt my grandmother had given me as a little girl.
As I knew it would, my bedroom door creaked open a moment later. "Sookie?" Amelia asked. She was wondering if I was sick, and I know that for a fact. I lifted the thought directly from her brain.
"What?" I rasped grumpily. A blurry glance at the clock told me it was five after seven.
"When did you go to bed?"
"One. What of it?" I asked. Wasn't twenty-seven old enough to chose to stay up late if you wanted to?
I hadn't meant to stay up so late, but Merlotte’s, that's the bar where I work, hadn't well and truly closed until almost three in the morning because the bar had been such a mess, and then I'd been so wired that it had taken another several hours before I felt at all sleepy. The fact that several people decided to celebrate New Years by setting off fireworks hadn't helped me unwind any. At least I had tonight off.
"Oh," she said, and I realized that I sounded peevish.
I didn't care. "You were out all night and morning with Tray Dawson," I said pointedly. "So of course you didn't know that I've only gotten six hours of sleep. You didn't try any spells on Tray, did you?"
"Hell no," she snapped back.
I'd hit a sore spot. Amelia was a witch, and last summer she'd accidentally turned her one night stand into a cat. We'd kept him for several weeks, and now that Bob was human again, I felt the strong urge to get a real kitten. Amelia and Octavia didn't agree, but it was my house, so I was on the verge of vetoing their objections.
"Sorry." I yawned and sat up. "What's up?"
"You have a phone call-"
Don't say that it's Eric, I thought. Don’t say that it's-
I let myself flop dramatically back onto the bed. Eric was gorgeous and great in bed. But he was also a ruthless vampire that I didn't entirely trust.
"It's not that bad, is it?" Amelia asked from the doorway.
"That depends on whether or not he wants to 'talk' about his newly restored memory."
Up until Halloween, Eric hadn't been able to remember our time together in and out of bed. At the time he'd been under a witch's – not Amelia's - curse, and had no memory at all. Once the curse was broken he'd remembered everything...except what had happened to him when he was under the curse. Mainly, that was being baby-sat by me...and sleeping together. A lot.
"I don't think he does," Amelia said quickly.
"What, do you read minds now too?" I asked. I supposed it was possible. She and our other housemate, her mentor Octavia, were pretty good at magic. Who knew if there was a spell to read minds?
"No. He just sounds business-like."
"Oh, okay." I grimaced and launched myself out of bed to get the phone. It might be something important if he was calling me so soon after rising. Unfortunately, important and Eric often meant danger.
I hadn't even made it my New Years resolution not to get injured this year. It hadn't taken long to break last year.
"What do you want, Eric?" I asked without bothering to say hello first.
There was a tiny pause, and I think he was taken aback by my lack of greeting. "Sookie. Are you busy right now?"
"No." I thought about complaining that he'd gotten me out of bed with his call, but decided he'd probably enjoy thinking about that too much. "Why?"
"I was hoping that you could come to Fangtasia. We have something of a situation."
"What sort of situation?" I demanded to know. Fangtasia is the vampire bar he owns and operates. It's mostly visited by tourists who are eager to see real live, make that real undead, vampires.
Eric didn't say anything at first. "I don’t think I can adequately explain over the phone."
"Right. Is there a problem with other vampires? Or weres?" I tried to think of anything else that could be a problem. "No one's cornered a fairy, right?" This last possibility worried me because all the fairies I knew were distant relatives.
"No, nothing like that," he said, and then for half a second I wondered if he could read my mind too, because the next words out of his mouth were, "Nothing remotely dangerous. I promise."
I sighed. "All right. I'll be there as soon as I can."
"Thank you, Sookie." It worried me a little that he sounded relieved.
Amelia was right about his mind being on business. I don't say that because I could read his mind – first, he's a vampire and I can't read their minds to begin with. And second I don't read people's minds over phones – but because he hadn't needled me by calling me "lover" even once.
Something strange was going on, and I couldn't help myself. I needed to figure out what it was. No wonder I wanted another cat. We had unhealthy curiosity in common.
A Short Time Later
Pam the vampire was waiting for me at the front door when I arrived at Fangtasia. She's Eric's second-in-command at the bar and in their complicated vampire hierarchy. We weren't best girl friends or anything, but I more or less expected a smile when she saw me. Instead her expression was worried.
"Pam, what's going on?"
"We have some unusual guests," is all that she'd tell me as she ushered me inside.
I peered around, looking for the trouble, then followed her finger. She was pointing at a couple sitting at a table. The man was tall and broad in the shoulders, wearing a bright blue cable knit sweater and jeans. He looked like he might be handsome if he'd ditch the scruffy beard. His companion was a petite redhead, wearing the same sort of clothes, but her sweater was cream instead of blue.
Tilting my head, I gave Pam a small frown. "Them? They don't look like fang bangers, and they sure don't look dangerous." Not that fang bangers are dangerous. Mostly they're pathetic hangers-on who desperately want to spend time with authentic vampires. Most vampires consider them beneath notice, but they're good for business when running a place like Fangtasia.
Before she could reply, Eric was suddenly next to me, looming over me. It's not hard for him to loom over most people, given he's six-four. With all his long blond hair he looks like a Viking magically transported to the modern day. We haven't spent too much time talking about his past, so it's possible he really was a Viking once...
"Sookie," he said, and a chill ran down my spine but not because I was scared. Ever since we shared blood, out of necessity, mind you, not because I took some perverse pleasure out of it like a fang banger might, I've found myself practically giddy in his presence. So naturally, I fought the feeling with every fiber of my being.
"Those two, Eric?" I asked him, looking up to see his face. "You called me here because of them?"
"They're....rather odd, Sookie," Eric said carefully.
"How?" My hands were on my hips. In some ways it might be easier if I could read Eric's mind. But on the other hand, it was nice to not have to guard myself against intrusive thoughts when I spent time with vampires. That comforting silence had been the exact thing that had drawn me to my ex, Bill Compton, but the less said about him the better.
"They've been asking questions. Strange and difficult questions."
Bill had brought me to this bar the first time when I'd been trying to figure out who was murdering women in Bon Temps. I'd asked questions too. Not all of them had been well received.
"Such as?" I demanded to know.
Pam looked faintly baffled. "They asked me about being a vampire. If I could cut my hair. If I really enjoyed synthetic blood. How long I'd been undead. If I'd ever turned anyone. If I could pick up seeds."
Why wouldn't a vampire be able to pick up seeds? Some were slobs, but Pam certainly wasn't. "So they're nosey tourists," I said impatiently. This was a waste of my time.
"I don't think they're tourists," Eric said, his voice gone flat. "They're up to something."
"Up to...Do you actually think they're dangerous?" I let my gaze skim over their faces again. The redhead held the man's hand, but was giving him an exasperated look. "They're just human. Like me."
Eric gave me a long look. "And look how harmless you are."
It was on the tip of my tongue to protest, and say that I was so harmless. But the thought that the people I've killed might disagree dried up my words. I've never killed anyone who wasn't trying to kill me first.
"You want me to read their minds," I said heavily.
"Let's sit near them," Eric suggested.
Sighing, I followed him to the table that was far enough away so I could relay their thoughts to Eric without them overhearing me. He gestured to one of the human waitresses and ordered me a mixed drink, one that would come with an umbrella.
"Talk to me," I told Eric, and he looked surprised. "They'll get suspicious if neither of us are talking."
Eric began a long drawn out monologue about how business was going, and I tried to remember to nod once in a while. I glanced at the door and caught Pam looking at the couple too. Something about them unsettled her, and it was a strange emotion to see on a vampire's face.
Trying not to stare, I began to listen to the woman's thoughts first. She and the man were there on vacation, and it was the first one they'd had in quite a while. She didn't consider two years on the run to be a vacation, she mentally amended. Her thoughts drifted towards something called "The X-Files" and she idly wondered if their ex-boss, who seemed large, balding and imposing in her thoughts, was all right. The weird thing was that they seemed to call each other by their last names. Unless northerners give much stranger names to their kids than folks do down here, that is.
"Their last names seem to be Mulder and Scully. They used to be federal agents," I told Eric, keeping my voice low. "They left in disgrace a few years ago and spent a long time looking over their shoulders." I didn't bother telling him that they seem to be more relaxed now, as if the danger they were worried about was passed. Eric wouldn't care.
"FBI?" He looked surprised. "We rarely even get police officers in here."
I nodded, and listened again. The woman, Scully I guess, was thinking about a case they had, one where the man had been convinced that there had been vampires involved.
"You ever hear of anyone called Ronnie Strickland?"
A frown creased Eric's mouth. "He's dead."
I almost blurted out, "and that guy killed him," but I didn't think it was a good idea. The woman seemed to think it had been in self-defense, and it would be kind of hypocritical of me to condemn someone for something like that. Instead, I whispered, "They met him, once."
"Ah." He sounded thoughtful. "What else are they thinking about?"
The man's thoughts immediately had me blushing all the way down to my naturally blonde roots. Earlier that day they'd checked into a hotel and Shreveport. The man, Mulder?, was thinking about how she looked so restrained, but just hours before she'd only been wearing one of his dress shirts.
She didn't dye her hair either.
Her skin was perfect as alabaster, that's what the disgraced FBI agent was thinking. When they'd first started working together he'd wondered if she was freckled places that he couldn't see, but he knew now that her skin was creamy white all over, at least where it wasn't a delicate pink. He'd unbuttoned his shirt slowly, and run his hands down her ribs before his lips captured one of her pink nipples.
Embarrassed, I turned my attention back to the woman's thoughts. She was thinking about how long it would be before they closed on the new house that they were buying in one of the Virginias. To my relief, that's all she was thinking about. At first.
The woman stopped talking in mid-sentence, having noticed the distant look in his eyes. A slow smile crossed her lips, the same lips the man was thinking about being on him, and her thoughts got a whole lot dirtier too. I'd heard the expression "The measure of a man" before, but never put so graphically about a certain body part. It sure seemed like the guy probably measured up to Eric...
"Oh gosh," I muttered before taking a deep sip of my fruity, tropical drink. I wasn't supposed to be thinking about Eric's body. It was distracting.
"What's wrong?" Eric asked, his bright blue eyes suddenly concerned.
"Nothing," I said quickly.
"Was Pam right?" Eric demanded to know. "Are they dangerous?"
The only sort of danger the pair posed was the sort you get up to when you forget birth control. The man's thoughts were all brief images and the delight of a steady rhythm often shared between him and the woman. Even her thoughts included digging her nails into his skin as he made her come.
"Not to us," I said a little breathlessly.
"What are they thinking about?" Eric sounded more curious than alarmed.
"You know," I said waving a hand, hoping he wouldn't make me spell it out.
"Do I?" A small smile quirked at the corners of his lips, and I was suddenly filled with the unwise urge to kiss him.
Instead I smacked his arm. "You knew! You knew exactly what they were thinking about!"
He grinned at me, and the barest points of his fangs showed. That was proof that he'd been having interesting thoughts too. Probably about me. Vampires as old as Eric hide their fangs when blood or sex aren't on their minds. "Sookie, you don't need to be a mind-reader to know what those two are thinking about."
"This was a set up?" I don't know why I'm incredulous, but I am.
"That depends on whether or not it worked," Eric said, unrepentant.
"What were you hoping to gain from having me read their dirty thoughts?" I asked, and my eyes were on the couple.
While we'd been sitting there, a vampire band had been setting up at the back of the bar. Fangtasia didn't often have undead entertainment, but I'd been there before when the music had been live even if the band wasn't.
They'd gotten up, and began to dance to the music. I shot them an envious glance. I'm a great dancer, but I don't get the chance to dance too often.
Eric sighed, and followed my look. "A dance."
I raised my eyebrows. "That's all, a dance? You're not going to interrogate me about...our time together?" I knew that eventually we were going to have to sit down and have a frank conversation about what had happened between us and what that meant about the future, but I was hoping to put it off a while longer.
Instead of answering me, he pulled me to my feet and walked us over to where that couple had been joined by a few others. I didn't need to listen to their thoughts any more, but I did catch one more thought from the woman anyway, and my knees almost buckled from the intensity of her emotions. She loved him more deeply and with more loyalty than any woman I'd ever met. The same feelings radiated back from him too. God.
Eric expertly placed his hand on my hip, and I looked up at him as we danced. Why couldn't he always be like this? A moment later I lost myself to the music and the feeling of being in his arms. It wasn't what that other couple had, but just then it was enough.