This was written for the summer of 2009 Happyfest with the prompt Bill/Sookie, pie.

The Way to a Man's Heart

Cousin Shelley

When Bill arrived, Sookie sat him down at the kitchen table, sat on his lap and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "Surprise!" She leaned back a little so he could see it, sitting right where his plate would be if he'd just sat down to dinner.

He smiled at her a little uncertainly, waiting for her to finish saying whatever she obviously needed to say that would make what she'd already said make some sort of sense. She just smiled at him and looked at the pie like a proud momma who'd just created the most wonderful thing you could imagine.

"It's Gran's recipe, one of her favorites. And I'll admit, it's the second one I've made today. The first one didn't set up properly and came out a goopy mess, so I had to double-check the recipe and try it again, and sure enough, the second one came out just perfect. I even managed to get the pecans on top to look right. Or, mostly right. It's not quite as pretty as hers, and I'm sure it won't taste as good. Nobody could make pie like Gran." The fullness of her smile lessened just a little.

"Sookie, it looks wonderful and I'm sure it is delicious . . . " The taste of food didn't appeal as it did to humans, and swallowing solid food was unwise, since it would have to remain in the gullet until somehow brought back up. "But, sweetheart, you know I cannot--"

"Gran always cooked for the people she loved, and making pies was her specialty. So I wanted to cook for you."

He paused. He couldn't stay with her during the day, couldn't sleep with her after they'd made love so he could wake in the morning in her arms, and now he couldn't partake in a loving tradition that was obviously important to her. "Sookie . . . I'm sorry, you know I cannot eat, even if it has a special meaning for you, and it seems a shame to see it wasted after you've worked so hard--"

She shook her head a little and put her finger over Bill's mouth. "I know you can't eat it, Bill. I don't expect you to. That doesn't matter. I still wanted to make you one of my Gran's pies. It's . . . it's the principle." She worked at his top button.

Bill slid his hand up her back and gently rubbed her neck and shoulder. "Thank you," he said, as sincerely as he'd ever said anything. "You're very sweet."

"You're very welcome." She shifted a little and pulled the cellophane off the top of the pie. Then she cut a piece. "None of it will go to waste. I'll take what's left to work tomorrow."

"What's left?" Bill watched her scoop up a large spoonful.

"I'm having some." She licked a bit of errant custard from her thumb. "You may not be able to eat it, but you can still enjoy it." She dipped her finger into her piece and smeared a dot of it on Bill's lower lip, then kissed it away. Her finger drew pie down his throat to his chest, and her mouth slowly followed the trail. "This is my favorite pie," she said, "and I skipped dinner."

Much later, Bill watched her carefully wrap the pie and put it in the refrigerator. Though there was only one piece missing, she assured him that none of it would go to waste. Sam had the appetite of a wild animal, and Terry simply needed someone to cook for him. Just between the two of them it would disappear even if Tara didn't show up, and Arlene and Lafayette were both watching their figures.

When she'd put it away, Bill shook his head and wrapped his arms around her. "It might sound a bit selfish, Sookie, but I'd rather it not go to waste . . . right here. Don't take it to Merlotte's. "

She tilted her head. "Why? Because Sam'll be there." It wasn't a question.

"No," he stressed, "that is not why." He tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. "I want you to have it. Over the course of many nights. When I am here with you . . . and able to help." He kissed her nose. "It's my pie, my very special, favorite pie," he said. Then both of them smiled at just how serious he sounded when he said, "And they cannot have any."