Disclaimer – I do not own SVM/TB stories. I just want to play with the Viking!
The entire fitting had taken six hours. It was dark when we left and I was glad I brought the sweatshirts. I had a mixture of feelings on the drive home short as it was.
I wish we had filmed tonight. I can’t wait to film tomorrow. I’m so excited that we are in the night shoots. I wonder if I’ll be a fangbanger or a vampire at the ball. I hope JP is in my scenes.
When we arrived at home though, all I could think about was how I wished I didn’t have to sing right now. I wanted to go, but I would rather be talking to the crew and cast members if they were even there again tonight. Something told me that many of them would be, at least the crew, since Dan had made his announcement. They had seemed excited, then again, they were all drunk by then. That thought increased my nervousness.
I took a shower and contemplated what to wear. I didn’t want to be over dressy; it was a tavern after all, but tonight was not going to be karaoke. It would just be me with no chance of relief. I hoped it wouldn’t be all night. We didn’t have to get up early the next morning, but last night had tired me out. I was still undecided when I got out and as I passed JP on the way to my room, I asked him to come up with another brilliant plan while he was in the shower.
While I waited, I pondered everything that had happened; it seemed surreal. Two days ago, I didn’t even know the show was coming here. As of yesterday, I had been in the same room with most of the cast. My IBF had listened to me sing. I had met ‘Pam’, even though that was definitely NOT the highlight of yesterday, and now we were actually going to be in the show. It all had happened so quickly.
OK, I had to sing tonight, but so what! This would never happen again. This was a once in a lifetime situation. I was going to enjoy it! If they wanted me to sing, then I would and I’d be comfortable while I did. I decided right then what I wanted to wear.
When JP left the bathroom, I told him to grab what he wanted because I was heading into the closet and would come out when I was ready. He took some jeans and a polo shirt to his bedroom.
When I was ready to go, I came out and JP looked up. He was watching another episode of Truly Bloody sitting on the couch. He smiled and nodded. I was wearing less mascara, just in case and my face looked natural.
“Perfect! You look confident and comfortable.”
I had chosen black skinny jeans, and a white-button up shirt with short sleeves that buttoned to keep them in place. My hair was down and loose. I’d added a necklace that was a jumble of colored beads to add some personality and color.
“Thank you. I’m very comfortable and the energy drink really woke me up. As far as confident, I’ve decided to just enjoy every minute of this experience and relax. This week is going to be Awesome!”
We contemplated walking, but ultimately took my car since it was a little chilly. I’d grabbed a lightweight, short, brown leather jacket, but it still wouldn’t be warm enough to walk home later. I warmed up my voice in the car on the way. Not ideal, but it would work.
We entered through the back entrance and saw Tray by the door. He greeted us with a nod.
“You’re the singer,” he stated.
“Yes, please call me Cricket and this is JP,” I said with a smile.
“Tray,” he said in a very deep, gruff voice. He nodded again and stepped out of the way. That was all the conversation we got from him.
We stepped in and found the place was packed. I started getting nervous again, but JP reached down and gave my hand a little squeeze as we walked down the short hallway to the main part of the tavern.
“Relax,” he said.
“Relax,” I repeated.
We headed straight over to the bar zigzagging our way around people. On the way, people were calling me by name, saying hello, and we were stopped a few times. I smiled and greeted them in return. JP was introducing himself each time and it took us about 15 minutes finally to make it across the room.
Dan was there. When he saw us he handed us two shots, a beer for JP, a bottle of water for me, and then led us to a table. It was our table from the night before and it was empty. I saw there was an index card in the middle that said “Reserved.” That was sweet.
“I didn’t know what time ya’ll were gonna get here, so I wanted to make sure you had a place to sit. Everything’s ready to go.”
I asked him to give us a few minutes to get settled. I still wanted to try that Raspberry Porter, but Dan was gone before I could ask. I took off my jacket and looked around the room. JP was waving at people I assumed that he’d met the night before. I hadn’t spoken to anyone last night and still felt like a stranger, even if people knew my name. Well, I thought, at least I met Tray. I already liked him. I could tell he was tough and serious, but suspected he had a soft side.
I hung my jacket over the back of my chair and sat down. I picked up my Lemon Drop and sipped it. Dan made big shots.
“That jist ain’t no way ta’drinks a shot, honey. Here, have one wif’ me an’ I shows ya how ta do it!”
I looked up and saw ‘Lafayette’ standing at the side of our table. He was holding two shots of a light gold color. He handed one to each of us and right behind him came ‘Tara.’ She was holding two more and gave one to him.
“We didn’t get to meet you last night, so we came over to say hi and introduce ourselves. You have a beautiful voice,” she said.
“Dey’s time fo’ talkin’ and time fo’ drinkin’, now which do yous thinks dis be?” he asked and looked at her.
She rolled her eyes, bumped his hip, and raised her glass.
“What should we drink to?” I asked as I stood.
“To yous, of course!” he said and put his arm around my shoulders.
JP couldn’t keep the smile off his face throughout the whole exchange and raised his glass.
“To Cricket!” he shouted.
“To Cricket!” they both repeated.
“To me, I guess,” I laughed.
The four of us downed our shots. It was a Kamikaze! That was one of my all-time favorite shots. JP and I had had plenty of late, drunken nights shooting Kamikazes.
“Yum!” JP and I said at the same time. Everyone was smiling and laughing with us.
JP asked them if they would like to sit with him while I performed and they readily agreed. I pushed my Lemon Drop over to JP and took a big drink from my water bottle. I knew I had to pace myself with the water so I didn’t have to run to the restroom any time soon. I almost didn’t make it last night.
We all sat down when a server came over. They ordered another round of four shots with their beers. I was going to protest, but I was hushed by ‘Tara.’ She leaned in and told me there was no way I would win an argument with him, so I should just take the shot before I took the stage. I laughed and nodded. A couple of minutes later, we were all talking like old friends when Dan appeared on the stage, mic in hand.
The server came back with our drinks just then, and we raised our glasses to him and downed the shots. One of the best things about a Kamikaze is that you don’t need a chaser since they taste so good and are smooth going down. One too many, however, could take you right out, hence the name. I was fine with just the two. I had to sing after all.
Dan cleared his throat and the noise died down.
“Thank you all for coming out. As promised, your girl is back and she will be singing all your requests again tonight.”
There were some whistles and a few voices shouted out “Yeah!” and “Cricket!” I was blushing again from the attention.
“Well, it seems she needs no introduction tonight. Have a good time, ya’ll. Cricket, your audience is waitin’,” he said. He placed the mic on the stand and held out his hand to me.
I made my way to the stage, took his hand to step up, and set my water down on a small table that had been placed there tonight.
“You really are a group of masochists, aren’t you? I can’t tell you how honored I am that you would come here to listen to me again after such a long day of work. For some of you who had quite a few last night, and I won’t mention any names, this might be the first time you’ll be hearing me sing,”
They laughed and I saw some of them ribbing their friends and pointing at each other. I heard one voice start to groan out loud before she was stifled. Gee, I wonder who that was. I smiled and looked for her.
I saw her sitting with Alex, this time joined by Steve and Ann. They were sitting closer than the night before and I could see her sourpuss looking at me. I smiled even wider.
I wasn’t trying to… OK, I was trying to get under her skin. That wasn’t like me and I had no justification for it, other than the fact that she had acted more like her character when she met me than…
I shook off that thought and tried not to dwell on it or the beautiful, hypnotic blue eyes of the 6’4” Nordic God sitting to her right. I knew if I looked at him, I would be lost and I needed to pay attention to what I was doing and not start drooling into the mic. Forcing my eyes away, I turned back to the crowd.
“Like last night, I don’t know what you have planned for me to sing, so this will all be a surprise for us. I know this is not karaoke night, but if you’d like to sing a duet, please feel free. Tell Dan. I know he’ll pick something perfect and send you up here.
“OK, I think I’ve stalled enough. If you’re ready, here we go…”
I braced myself. Who knows what music would be coming tonight? At that moment, the room was so quiet; you could have heard a dog whistle. Not even Pam was making a sound.
The music of Elton John started and I was suddenly horrified. I knew my eyes grew wide for a moment before I took control and put my mask of calm back on.
I was going to kill whoever requested this song! If it was JP, he was a dead man! All eyes in the room were on me and I couldn’t help but glance over at their table. That’s when I saw her, with a smug smile on her face. I wanted to smack that smile right off of her.
Keeping my face neutral while pushing thoughts of homicide from my mind, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and let the music take me.
Baby’s got blue eyes
Like a deep blue sea
On a blue blue day
Baby’s got blue eyes
When the morning comes
I’ll be far away
And I say
Blue eyes holding back the tears
Holding back the pain
Baby’s got blue eyes
And he’s alone again
I was so embarrassed in the beginning, but then I thought, screw her. She wasn’t going to ruin this night for me. I let the song take over, opened my eyes, and started singing to the crowd. Still I dared not to look at him. I knew it would be all over my face if I did. I was barely holding it together as it was, but my anger at her fueled the power of my voice.
Baby’s got blue eyes
Like a clear blue sky
Watching over me
Ooh I love blue eyes
When I’m by his side
Where I long to be
I will see
Blue eyes laughing in the sun
Laughing in the rain
Baby’s got blue eyes
And I am home again
Thunderous applause started when it was over, and I smiled and thanked them for their praise. Inside I was seething.
I would get her for this.
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Alex/Eric Northman
Sean Hayes as JP
Kristin Bauer van Straten as Kris/Pamela Ravenscroft
Anna Paquin as Ann/Sookie Stackhouse
Stephen Moyer as Steve/Bill Compton
Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette
Rutina Wesley as Tara
Jason Momoa as Tray
Vincent D’Onofrio as Dan
A/N: As always, a huge thank you to MsBuffy for her editing on this chapter. I couldn’t do it without her. Please leave a review and let me know what you thought. 🙂 Thanks for reading!