“The containment team has returned with your friend,” Roman said as Sookie stepped back into the meeting room.
“Where is she?” Sookie asked.
“She has been placed in one of the containment cells,” Roman answered. “The team needed to restrain her. She was quite… hostile…”
“Tara? No, that’s so unlike her,” Sookie snorted sarcastically. She let her head fall back as she debated with herself whether or not she wanted to deal with Tara that night or wait until the next. After regaining her memories, facing the Authority, and explaining herself to Eric and Bill, Sookie wasn’t sure she wanted to face her former best friend and deal with a tantrum Tara would no doubt throw. Right about then, climbing into bed and not getting up until sunset the next day appealed to her greatly.
”You don’t have to deal with her until tomorrow if you don’t want to,” Roman said as if he knew what she was thinking.
“No,” Sookie replied, as she shook her head. “She’ll only get worse if she’s left to fester. I better go and see her now.”
“If you are sure?”
“I’m not, but I’m going. This should be a barrel of laughs,” she groused as she turned on her heels and made her way out of the room.
Keying in the codes to the containment wing, Sookie stepped inside. “Well, this is cheerful,” she mumbled as she saw the row of cells. She let out a sigh when she spied Tara pacing in the cell at the end of the row. Doesn’t she just look happy, she thought she made a way towards the cell.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Tara snarled, as she saw Sookie.
“It’s good to see you as well, Tara,” Sookie replied, as she stopped in front of the cell. “I’m fine by the way, thanks for asking.”
“What the fuck?” Tara spat. “I’m supposed to care how you’re after what you did to me? I’m a goddamn vampire because of you, bitch.”
“I’m aware of that,” Sookie said with a shrug taking Tara by surprise. She was expecting heartfelt apologies, not indifference.
“What the hell’s a matter with you?” Tara asked.
“Now that’s the question of the hour.” Sookie let out a small humorless laugh before turning her attention back to the angry baby vampire. “Truthfully? What ain’t the matter with me,” Sookie snorted. “I’ve got a thousand problems, and I hate to tell you this, but you ain’t at the top of them.”
“I’m not at the top of them?” Tara said, her eyes widening in disbelief. “Bitch, you made me a fucking vampire…”
“Technically, Pam made you a vampire,” Sookie countered, as she cut Tara off. “Lafayette asked her to, and I made the deal with her.”
“You had no right,” Tara growled.
“You rather I’d left you to die on my kitchen floor?” Sookie asked, as she arched a brow. Seeing the glare Tara sent her, Sookie chuckled, “No, I thought not. But you see, those were the only choices. Death, final everlasting death, or a life as a vampire.”
“You wouldn’t have had to choose either if I hadn’t jumped in front of a bullet,” Tara replied smartly.
“Ah yes, I wondered when we were gonna get to that,” Sookie said, as she opened the cell door.
“You come in here and I’ll kill you,” Tara threatened.
“No you won’t,” Sookie replied dismissively, as she stepped inside the cell. She left the door open as she crossed the small area and perched herself on the table. She smirked as she saw Tara eye the open door, “Don’t bother, you won’t make it.”
Tara eyes the open cell door before turning her attention back to Sookie. “This is all your fault,” she accused. “And I will never forgive you for it.”
“That’s your choice,” Sookie replied with a shrug. Tara’s word were not bothering her as much as they would have just a day ago. Her old memories had given her a new perspective on her life, and she would be damned if she let anyone make her feel bad or guilty. For good or bad, she had made the decision she had, and she still stood by it.
“My choice?” Tara growled, her eyes flashing with anger. “None of this was my choice. You turned me into a fucking killer.”
“No, I asked Pam to turn you into a vampire; there’s a difference,” Sookie countered. “You’re just too prejudiced to see it.”
“Prejudiced,” Tara spat. “I’m not fucking prejudice.”
“Yeah, you are,” Sookie snorted. “You hate vampires just because they’re vampires.”
“I hate vampires because one raped and tormented me,” Tara defended.
“Yeah, Tara, one. One did that, but you hold them all accountable for it,” Sookie replied standing her ground. “But then again, you hated vampires before Franklin even walked into your life. You hated them before you even met one.”
“I should’ve let that woman shoot you,” Tara said cruelly, refusing to admit Sookie had a point. “Then no one else would have had to sacrifice themselves for you.”
“Oh yeah! That would’ve shown me,” Sookie snorted. “Instead of being here, you’d have been standing over my grave saying, ‘at least that bitch never had me turned into a vampire’.”
Tara stared at Sookie, disbelief clear in her eyes. She wasn’t getting the reaction she was expecting, and Tara didn’t know what to make of it. “This is all your fault.”
“You already said that,” Sookie replied, as she let out a sigh of frustration. They were just going around in circles and it was getting tiring. She briefly considered leaving Tara locked in the cell and going to find Roman so that she could retire for the night.
“I took a bullet for you!” Tara shouted, her anger beginning to rise at Sookie’s difference. “I jumped in front of it.”
“But I never asked you to,” Sookie retorted. “I have never asked anyone to risk their life for me. I have never asked anyone to die for me.”
“You don’t have to!” Tara yelled. “Everyone’s lining up to protect you, to defend you, to save you. And you love it. You love that you have so many people running after you. You take everything we have to offer and give nothing in return.”
“Did that bullet give you brain damage?” Sookie asked, her voice taking on a slightly mocking tone. “Or have you lost some of your memories?” She shook her head at the absurdity of Tara’s statement. “I take and give nothing in return? I suppose you’re forgetting how I invited you to live in my house and how you repaid me by inviting Maryann and Eggs to move in; then helping them to destroy it. Or how I helped free you from Maryann’s hold only for you to run off and get recaptured because you were trying to save your boyfriend instead of waiting like we asked. Or how about how I ignored a group of vampires and tried to come save you because your dumbass got involved with a bunch of witches?”
Tara pursed her lips in anger as Sookie rattled off some of the different ways she helped and protected her. She refused to let go of her anger, believing herself to be in the right. “None of those things would’ve happened if you hadn’t gotten involved with vampires.”
“You keep telling yourself that,” Sookie snorted.
“It’s the truth,” Tara argued. “If you wouldn’t have gotten involved with Bill, Gran would still be alive.”
“I was wondering when someone would use that card,” Sookie said, a rueful smile tugging at her lips. “I mean you’ve been thinking it for so long now, just wanting to throw it in my face. You must be happy that you finally got the chance.”
“Ecstatic,” Tara sneered, wanting to hurt Sookie like she was hurting. “You’re responsible for getting her killed.”
“Maybe,” Sookie agreed, refusing to let Tara see her pain. “Rene attacked Gran because of my involvement with Bill. And maybe if I hadn’t gotten involved with him she would still be alive.”
“There’s no maybe about it,” Tara spat. “”If Bill hadn’t shown up in Bon Temps none of this would’ve happened.”
“No, instead Rene would’ve framed Jason like he planned, Gran would’ve begged me to help him out just like she did, and I would’ve, as I could never say no to Gran. Of course, that would probably have led me to Fangtasia, and what do you know I’m involved with vampires again, and we’re right back where we started.” Seeing Tara’s sour look, Sookie chuckled, “No, you don’t like that version of what it. Well, let’s try another. We avoid vampires altogether and instead Jason is convicted of Dawn’s, Maudette’s, and Amy’s death; the strain becomes too much for Gran and she dies of a heart attack instead.” Sookie pursed her lips in mock consternation. She clicked her finger as she hopped off the table. “I can see you don’t like that option either, so how about this one. A miracle happens in Bon Temps with absolutely no proof Rene is arrested and found guilty of the murders, Jason was never a suspect and Gran is healthy and happy and we all live happily ever after… Well, until some dumb bitch pays a fraud to perform a couple of exorcisms and attracts the attention of a Maenad. The Maenad unleashes her madness on the town and soon all its residents are under her spell, without anyone to turn to for help, the townspeople are a lost cause and are soon sacrificed to the God who comes. Does that one suit you better? No vampires making things worse in that version.”
“It wasn’t my fault. That was Maryann,” Tara replied through gritted teeth, as she clenched and unclenched her hands.
“Of course not, it never is,” Sookie said with a small shake of the head. “It was a stupid question. I mean for you to feel guilty you would have to take responsibility for your own actions, and we both know you won’t do that. It would mean admitting you’re not the victim. And you love acting the victim.”
“What’d the fuck you say to me?”
“You heard. You like being the victim; you always have,” Sookie replied. She was done tiptoeing around her old friend. If Tara wanted to throw the truth around, she was happy to do so. “You’ve never taken responsibility for anything in your whole life. You got into trouble as a child; it was because your mom was drunk. You lost your job; it was because your boss and customers were racist. Your boyfriend dumped you; it was because he was cheating on you. All good reasons, but all b.s. You got fired from every job you had because you were a foul mouth, argumentative bitch. It had nothing to do with the color of your skin. You judge everyone around you, your friends and family, but the second they do the same you cry foul.”
“The fuck I do,” Tara snarled.
“We’re all supposed to just accept the things you say and do without question,” Sookie continued, ignoring her interruption. “But none of us could ever expect the same in return from you. You’re always quick to judge and tell us we were wrong. You liked it when we were miserable because you were miserable as well. None of us this could be happy if you weren’t.”
“That’s not true,” Tara argued.
“Yeah, it is,” Sookie replied. “You enjoy being miserable and the victim. I suppose it’s one of the reasons you hate being a vampire now. It’s hard to be the victim when you’re stronger and faster than most people around you.”
The words and Sookie’s no nonsense tone caused the anger in Tara to boil over. In all the years they had been friends, Sookie had never spoken to Tara like that before. She accepted her blindly and Tara hated it that she was judging her now, especially considering what Sookie had done to her. As far as Tara was concerned, she was the innocent party there and she wouldn’t let Sookie talk to her like that. Dropping her fangs, Tara launched herself at Sookie intending to show her just how strong she was now.
Anticipating the attack, Sookie easily dodged the blow and wrapped her hand around Tara’s neck. Lifting her into the air, Sookie spun them around and slammed Tara down hard on the table. A smirk curled Sookie lips at the look of surprise on Tara’s face. Holding Tara to the table easily, Sookie leaned over her, “The thing is, you might be faster and stronger now, but there is always someone out there who is stronger than you. Now that is the second time you have attacked me and I’m telling you right now it is also the last. You attack me one more time and, friend or not, you won’t survive it.” Yanking Tara up, Sookie threw her in the direction of the bed not actually caring if she landed on it or not. She eyed the angry newborn vampire waiting to see if she had heeded her warning or not.
“You’re a vampire,” Tara said, as she pulled herself onto the bed, her hand instinctively going to her neck. “How? Who? When?”
“That is a long story that I don’t trust you to know,” Sookie replied not bothering to mince her words. “All you need to know is, yes, I’m a vampire.”
“You don’t trust me,” Tara growled slightly insulted.
“Considering you just tried to rip my throat out, no I don’t,” Sookie retorted. “The how, who, and when doesn’t matter. All that does is that I am. And I’m where I belong.”
“You’re happy to be a vampire?” Tara asked disgusted.
“Ecstatic,” Sookie admitted with a grin. “It was how I was meant to be.”
“So more than one person has told me,” Sookie snorted. “Look, Tara, you don’t have to like being a vampire. You don’t even have to like me. I don’t care. Right now you are the least of my worries. But you do have to deal with it, and without shouting your mouth off like you usually do. Because if you start that around here you won’t survive long. At the moment, I’m the only thing standing between you and a stake through the heart. There’s more to vampires than your bigoted views. Put away your hate before it gets you killed.”
“I’m just supposed to forgive you?” Tara sneered.
Just like Bill, she never listens.
Running a hand through her hair, Sookie let out a humorless laugh. “Okay, apparently I’m not being blunt enough. So let’s try this. I don’t care if you forgive me. I don’t care if you hate me for the rest of eternity. I do care about how Lafayette will deal with it if you get your dumbass killed. You wanna hate me? Fine, then go ahead. A lot has happened in the short time since you ran out of my house, and I no longer have the inclination to pander to you and your tantrums. I have a much bigger picture to deal with now.”
“What the hell could’ve happened in a few hours to change you so much?” Tara asked, not liking Sookie’s new attitude.
Oh, just thousands years worth of memories returning, Sookie thought.
“I got a crash course in reality, and I learned it can be a lot worse than you think,” she answered instead. Shaking her head, Sookie smiled sadly, “The sun will be up soon; you should prepare yourself.”
“You’re just gonna leave me here?” Tara shouted, as Sookie made her way out of the cell.
“Yes,” Sookie replied, as she locked the cell door. “You’ll be safe here tonight. Tomorrow you’ll be taken to your maker, and then you’ll be Pam’s responsibility.”
“The hell I will,” Tara spat. “I won’t have anything to do with that bitch.”
“You don’t have a choice,” Sookie informed her. “You can’t stay on your own, you could hurt someone, and as your maker it’s her duty to teach you. You can object all you want, but it won’t make any difference.”
Sookie could hear Tara screaming and shouting at her as she walked away, but she paid her no heed. She meant everything she said. She wouldn’t pander to Tara and put up with her tantrums any longer. She had a bigger picture to focus on. Tara was Pam’s responsibility now.