Disclaimer: The characters in this story aren't mine; I don't make any money with this.
Author's Note: Inspired by the huge loophole in canon, and by Eric's weird little smile. This is how the episode should have ended, imo. I suppose this can be read as a one-shot, but I do intend to continue it. We need to make Godric happy again, after all.
Godric had made Eric. He had hardly left his side for centuries. He had shared every experience, every thought, every feeling with him. He had seen every single emotion on Eric's face. He thought he knew everything about him.
But in the pale light of the coming dawn, after one thousand shared years, Eric surprised him. In those thousand years Godric had never seen Eric cry.
He had expected the anger, the yelling, the threats. He also had expected Eric to implore him not to do it once he had realised that his anger would achieve nothing.
Godric's decision was made, it was final. He had drifted towards this moment for the past hundred years. He had prepared himself for death, he had wanted it, welcomed it. No amount of yelling, no argument could make him doubt this decision. Godric felt sorry for his child, but he knew there was nothing he could do for him anymore.
And then Eric did the unexpected. For the first time in a thousand years, he fell to his knees, sobbing and crying like a frightened child. His tears did what neither reason nor anger could have achieved: they planted a seed of doubt in Godric.
He had been convinced that he had lost Eric, a century ago, when they had slowly started to drift apart. When Godric had started to question the value of their immortal existence, while Eric continued to wallow in his maker's teachings of pleasure and desire. Godric had ended up hating himself for turning Eric into this blood-thirsty fiend, for destroying his humanity, for destroying the man he loved.
Eric had been his last tie to a life he had come to despise. And when Eric had left him, believing that his maker did not want him anymore, death had become more and more appealing.
Godric hadn't expected to realise that Eric's feelings had neither changed nor weakened. He had misinterpreted his loyalty as a vampire's allegiance to his maker, as a predator's hope to bring his favourite hunting companion back to his side.
Until now, he had not understood that it had been the desperate, passionate love of one man to another, a love that had nothing to do with blood ties and vampire rules, but only with centuries of faith and love. And while he had never doubted that Eric did love him, in his own way, he had underestimated just how strong that love was.
His mild surprise turned into shock when Eric spoke again.
Eric, his Eric, who loved life more than anything else, was determined to die with him. He would sacrifice what had always been dearest to him rather than lose his maker.
Eric, who loved one thing more than life itself - the man who had given it to him.
Despite his quick response, Godric felt his resolve weakening. Eric's hair under his fingers, his broken voice, his strong body shaking with sobs, his red-rimmed eyes filled with unspeakable despair. With more pain that Godric could stand to see on his child's face. Memories and feelings started to stir in his jaded, numb mind, threatening to overpower him. He had to get Eric away from here. He couldn't let him die, not like this. He would not allow Eric to sacrifice himself.
"As your maker, I command you."
Words he hadn't spoken in centuries. Words he had been loathe to utter even when Eric had been a newly made vampire. Words that were his only hope now. One more "please" from Eric's lips, and he would give in.
A smile touched Godric's lips when understanding lit Eric's eyes, understanding that his efforts had been in vain. Eric moved to rise, and the former feeling of peace and relief started to return to Godric, although somehow tainted, like foul blood on his tongue. But it didn't matter as long as Eric would be safe.
The sun wasn't up in the sky yet, but the first rays cast a greenish light on Eric's face. His eyes were wide open. An eyebrow twitched upwards, and then there was the hint of a crooked smile. An accepting, knowing smile.
Godric frowned. Eric would never accept this; even as he had to leave, he would either cry or yell. He wouldn't smile. A wave of apprehension filled him when Eric slowly rose to his full height, towering over Godric, strangely determined eyes fixed on him.
"You cannot command me anymore once you are gone," Eric said. His voice was still shaky, but filled with the same resolve as when he had promised that he wouldn't let Godric die alone. "You can force me to seek shelter tonight. But I swear to you, tomorrow, when you're gone and your words don't bind me anymore … I will join you."
He hardly tried to fight the force of his maker's order, taking one slow step backwards after the other, but his eyes never left Godric.
And the calm determination on Godric's face finally wavered. He stretched out his hand, an instinctive gesture to hold him back. Pleading, just like Eric had pleaded.
"Eric, no," he said, and his voice cracked. He took a deep, unneeded breath. "There comes a time for every son to let go of his father."
"No son stands by and watches his father die when he can save him. No brother turns away from his sibling. No father abandons his child." Eric was had almost reached the stairs now, but he was still staring at Godric. "You made me your companion for eternity, you promised to walk through the nights with me until the end of the world. Without you, I neither deserve nor want this life."
Godric had no answer, no way out. Two thousand years had not prepared him for this. After decades of emptiness he was overwhelmed by pain, fear, and most of all surprise. Surprise that despite their century-long separation Eric was willing to give up the gift he had cherished for a millennium.
"Eric," Godric said again, weakly. He shook his head, a silent plea not to be cruel, but deep down he knew that it was in vain. Nobody could deter Eric when he had set his mind on something. His maker's orders could make the path more difficult, but even they could not keep him from reaching his goal.
The sun was slowly creeping up into the sky, the warmth was starting to singe him, and thin smoke rose from Eric's shoulders when he went down the first steps of the stairs.
"Follow me now, Godric, or I will follow you tomorrow."
Eric's voice sounded strangely calm now, as if all of Godric's inner peace and determination had suddenly been passed on to his child. And yet, there was still pain in his eyes, fear that Godric's death wish was stronger than their bond. Tears continued to flow freely over the face that had accompanied Godric for almost half his existence.
He could feel the sun rising behind him, calling to him. He wanted to meet the sunrays. He wanted to burn. He wanted to face the punishment he deserved for his sins. He wanted to know if God was so merciful that He could even forgive a vampire.
Eric had gone down the stairs and disappeared inside, but Godric couldn't forget the look on his face. He knew that even if lived for another two thousand years, he would always remember Eric's eyes in this moment. He would never forget what he had seen underneath the pain and the anger and the fear.
A love that was so much part of him that Eric could not live without it, whether he wanted to or not.
Godric could turn his back on the sun, on his hope for redemption and peace. He could not turn his back on the child who needed him. Eric was selfish to keep him alive against his will, but Godric realised only now that his death wish was just as selfish.
He had sworn never to be selfish again. When the sun rose, the roof was deserted.