Epilogue

Nicholas' crying stirred me from my sleep. Sookie was still fast asleep in my arms, so I quickly, and carefully slipped out of bed to take care of him before she woke up. I walked into the nursery and peeked into the crib where we let him sleep during the day. At night, he slept in a bassinet in our bedroom. As soon as he saw me, he calmed down, and his cries subsided.

"Hey little guy," I cooed as I gently picked him up. "What's wrong?"

He gave a little hiccup, and then smiled. That was his first smile. I beamed at him, and then whispered, "Let's keep that between us, okay? I think Mommy wants your first smile."

I checked his diaper, and it didn't need to be changed. It hadn't been long since he'd eaten, so I assumed he just wanted some attention. I sat in the rocking chair with him for a bit and gently hummed to him until he began to fall asleep again. When he was out, I realized that I didn't want to put him back in his crib. He looked so peaceful sleeping in my arms and, truth be told, I didn't want to stop holding him. I got up out of the rocker, and sat in the glider instead. I placed him on my chest with his ear just over my heart, and soon I was asleep too.

When he woke up again he had a dirty diaper, so I changed him. Sookie used to tease me while she was pregnant about never wanting to change his diapers, but I found that I really didn't have a problem with it. I liked my alone time with my son. Sookie had a lot of maternal bonding time with him while I felt like a third wheel, so I was taking what I could get anywhere I could.

It had been about an hour since he first woke up, so I took him back into our bedroom where Sookie was still fast asleep. I sat down on the bed with my back against the headboard, and held my son out in front of me. I still couldn't believe we'd actually made something so perfect. He had a head full of blonde hair, and though he was a good mix of the two of us, his eyes were all Sookie's. She claimed they were my eyes, but I disagreed. I couldn't stop being amazed with how tiny he was. I'd never been around babies growing up, or even in my adulthood, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I took to my own quickly though. It was instinct knowing how to hold him, how to soothe him.

Sookie stirred a bit next to me, and then slowly sat up.

"Is he hungry?" she asked, her voice thick with sleep.

"Not yet. I think he just wants to spend time with us. He likes being close."

Sookie sat up next to me, and laid her head on my shoulder. Her hand stretched out and her thumb brushed Nicolas' tiny cheek. He looked at her, and then he smiled.

"Oh my god, Eric! His first smile! Oh, it's so cute," she cooed at him.

"Yes it is," I said, and then added, "His first smile was for his mama."

"Oh, don't be sad. Maybe his first word will be Daddy."

I smirked internally, but let Sookie have her moment. My arms were getting a bit tired, so I laid him down between us on the bed, and we both shifted to lie down on either side of him. Nicholas cooed and gurgled as we played with him, and everything just felt so perfect. I was married to the woman of my dreams, literally, and we made a baby together, a perfect son, even though it wasn't supposed to be possible.

Sookie had come into my life, and made it worth living. I had been in a deep, dark hole, whether I wanted to admit it at the time or not. When I began having the dreams, it was like I was seeing something good and pure for the first time in years. Sookie was like my sunshine, and when we found each other I knew my life could only get better. She was my soul mate, my other half, and then we had Nicholas, our son. I never believed I would be lucky enough to find a woman like Sookie, marry her, and have a child with her, but it happened.

There were moments when I feared I was still dreaming, and would wake up in that dark hole, my dreams just karma's way of showing me what I wanted most, but didn't deserve, and would never have. It was those moments that I held onto Sookie tighter, and it was those moments when I swore she could read my mind, because she would always assure me that everything was real.

"Eric, it's real," Sookie said, breaking me from my thoughts. The woman could tell what I was thinking just from looking at me. "This isn't a dream. We'll always be here, we'll always be together."

I smiled, and leaned forward for a kiss. Our lips met over Nicholas, who gurgled again, causing us to break apart laughing.

"You promise?" I asked.

"Yes. Three times, in fact," she smiled. "There's no getting rid of me now."

"I wouldn't dream of it."

FIN


That's all there is. There isn't any more. *wipes tear from eye*

Well, that's kind of a lie. I do plan on writing a one-shot or two for this little family in the future. I think I'd like to see what happens in their lives with their son.

I started this story almost a year ago as part of a ficlet game in the Sookieverse. Those wonderful ladies there encouraged me to keep writing it and to turn it into a story. I listened to them, and found myself paired with the Queen of angst herself as my beta to write this fluff-filled happy story. I like to think that my writing has come a long way since I began this, and I certainly hope everyone else feels the same because, let's be honest, it was downright awful in the beginning. I want to thank each and every one of the participants in the forum, then and now. If it weren't for your support and your love, I probably wouldn't have had the courage to write at all.

Thank you to my readers, every last one of you, even the ones who have always been too shy to review. If not for all of you, I wouldn't have had the confidence to continue writing. Thank you for being patient with me in my times of writers block, and for sticking with me to the end. I truly hope I have not disappointed you.

Lastly, thank you to FarDareisMai2, my beta. You held my hand from the very beginning and whipped my grammar into shape. You fixed my mistakes without complaint, and helped me when I had questions. Hell, you even slapped some sense into me when I got too smushy with these two. You encouraged me to write, and made me want to be better. I will always aspire to be as good as you, and though I know I never will be, I'll also never stop trying.

So that's all. I look forward to seeing what everyone thought :-)