Story Recs: Back to School

banread-6

We’re getting back to business!

 

While most of us are more likely to be returning a child to school than ourselves, that doesn’t deter us from indulging in a little taste of a Professor Northman or the thought of a fair, but just, (two)-thousand-year-old Maker helping us on our way into the next stage of (un)life. Learning and progressing is a part of any story and character development, but it can also be the story on its own, so today we focus on stories that carry that spirit, be it reliant on a mentor, teacher/student, or Maker/Childe relationship. After all, there’s no one we’d rather greet again as we say goodbye to the heat of summer with the sensation of a bit of cool skin and find ourselves right back where we wanted.  

 

Hey, they may be human but they're still our Eric and Sookie!

Hey, they may be human but they’re still our Eric and Sookie!

 

The Expert by Seastarr08*

 

Sookie is an editor looking for an author to write a big book, a book on human sexuality. Eric just happens to be a professor of psychology, specializing in, well, human sexuality. Only Professor Northman doesn’t want to write a book. Will they be able to reach a compromise? AH,E/S, rated M, -COMPLETE-

 

The Expert’s Professor Northman is one of our favorite AH characters in the SVM fanfic fandom. His vampire-like qualities; strength, wisdom, arrogance, and aloofness, along with his very human compassion and vulnerability are retained without making Eric seem sappy. Sookie is a smart, ambitious acquisitions editor who tries to build a working relationship with the reclusive professor while discovering what a Professor of Human Sexuality actually does. Seastarr08 gives us believable and complex characters that care deeply about one another while dealing with difficult situations. Sookie leaves a loving marriage with Bill for surprising and understandable reasons. She and Eric must both navigate carefully around this fallout while their work together grows to be so much more than either expected.

Surprisingly, the story is richer for Bill who evolves along with the other characters, isn’t inserted as a clichéd throwaway, and makes the connection between Sookie and Eric all the more meaningful. As a bonus, beyond the bounty that already is ‘The Expert’, it has spawned several sequels and outtakes that will never have you questioning Professor Northman’s or Seastarr08’s expertise.

*Seastarr08’s WP is marked as private, to gain access follow the instructions on her FF.net profile page.

The angst oh the angst... it's a miracle we still have fingernails left.

The angst oh the angst… it’s a miracle we still have fingernails left.

 

House of Flesh on Fire by FarDareisMai2

 

Professor Northman teaches English at a distinguished liberal arts college. Sookie Stackhouse is an English major. AH,E/S, rated M, rated MA,-COMPLETE-


The title of this story comes from a work by 17th century poet Robert Herrick who was known for his lush and vivid lyrical style. The implicit sensuality of those works set the undertone to the “forbidden” connection between Professor Eric Northman and his student, Sookie. Of course, human beings are more than the roles they are assigned, and there are always more truths lurking beneath the surface. Iconic sexual interactions and power plays set the stage for an undeniable romance, but human beings are flawed and thus, broken things, the path to fulfillment is, therefore, rarely a smooth one.

Both characters are genuinely likable and intelligent, as much as they are infuriating and blind to the obvious. Before you conclude that this is an intellectual exercise, there is well-written erotica in this story that doesn’t utilize the ‘taboo’ nature as its sole carrier to see us through the more painful moments. At 27 chapters and an epilogue, the writer is to be commended for the pace of the story. A slow burn for our couple, the story itself moves at a good pace, moving to the next place when it needs to, rather than lingering indulgently.   

 

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It may be short but it certainly packs a punch!

The Black Forest by Magpie Tales

 

Germany, 1378. It was quiet in the forest. Too quiet. He was bored, and the devil finds mischief for idle fangs. My entry for American Android’s Historical Fanfiction Contest. Rated M, ONE-SHOT

 

This very well-written one shot might not have a Sookie in it (and full disclosure, we really don’t care about stories that do not have E&S and a HEA for the two together all that much) is still thoroughly enjoyable. Reading it during the historical contest got us reading and we’d surely have missed out by judging a book by its cover had we not and found it was a great story of friendship where Eric serves a mentor without any romantic or sexual element.

The Teutonic forests set in the Middle Ages serve as the scene where Eric is pretending to be a nobleman with all the spoils that entails, lured by a luscious noblewoman that keep him around for far longer than the cherries that ripen. When a vampire hunter gets wind of his nature, he suddenly finds himself hunted by more than he can take on and thankfully, a human girl who is nearly feral living in the woods helps him and they embark on a kind of partnership where he trains her at night and, in return, she protects his day rest while he heals. Eric seems a reluctant teacher, yet it is the girl’s tenacity that builds their relationship to one of respect and even teaches a bit of humility to the Viking. With a squint we could imagine this as Karin’s origin story, but it is a thoroughly satisfying read on its own with its vivid imagery and imagination.

 

Sometimes two-thousand is just so much better than one-thousand…

Feral by Midnat

 

The Sheriff of Dallas has many duties, one of them being handling the feral vampire running loose in his territory. But wild baby vampires can be hard to catch, and he could come to wish that he had never made the attempt. AU. Godric/OC. AU, rated M,-WIP-

 

Rather than doing the expected, responsible thing, and letting his lieutenants handle the situation, Godric, in his duty as Sheriff, takes in the orphan, Irina, as his own. She isn’t an easy one to capture, nor to contain, and the interactions between Godric and his new ‘Childe’ are often delightfully comical yet tender. We learn a little along the way from his experiences of rearing his other ‘grown’ Children that are often insightful and amusing. No one is quite like Irina though as the Sheriff of Dallas tries to navigate vampire politics with a baby vamp who has a mind of her own. She may allow herself to be caught, but it is ultimately Godric who is trapped in her web as she slowly invades that stoic heart of his and takes up residency like no one else before.

Officially on hiatus, but promises have been made that this will be finished and even without that guarantee, it is well worth the read for the perils and patience a Maker requires when faced with rearing a new Childe.
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