DISCLAIMER: Godric and Sookie belong to Charlaine Harris (and are somewhat controlled by Alan Ball). I, sadly, am not allowed to do much more than play with them on the weekends.
The history that I provide for Godric comes from my own mind, and is the result of my own research. Blame me all you want if I got something wrong.
Oh, and SMD if you don't like what I think the back tattoo is. It's fuzzy and not clearly defined.
Sookie hesitated outside Godric's hotel room. She knew she was being silly, but still, after everything that had happened, she wanted to make sure he was ok. He had saved her life after all, and something about him made her want to just wrap him up in a blanket and sing him to sleep like her grandma used to do for her and Jason.
Sookie was sure he wouldn't appreciate that sentiment.
Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door and waited.
"Hello, Sookie" said the completely unsurprised looking Godric. Sookie guessed it took a lot to startle you after 2000 years.
"Well Hi, Godric!" Sookie said in her brightest voice, "I just wanted to check on you and see if you were doing okay after everything that happened.
"That's very kind of you" he said with a small smile. "Would you like to come in for a cup of tea?"
Sookie was completely taken aback by his offer.
Godric chuckled at the look of pure shock on the young woman's face.
"I don't bite."
Sookie recovered herself quickly.
"Oh, that's not what I'm worried about! Not at all! I was just thrown by the irony of you offering a human a drink."
As soon as she said it, Sookie wished she hadn't. Maybe that would offend Godric! She really needed to learn to just keep her big trap shut!
But, much to her surprise, Godric burst out laughing.
"That is quite funny. I hadn't thought of it that way. But, I promise you, it is you who will be drinking if you come in for some tea. Or perhaps you would like coffee? I know many American's prefer it. I'm just used to the people of my home country drinking more tea than their bodies can hold."
"Oh, no, tea would be lovely!" Sookie said as she stepped through the hotel room doorway. "My grandmother and I used to always drink tea together every Sunday. It was her favorite thing. Tea with honey and lemon…" Here Sookie trailed off and seemed to be thinking about something far away from the Carmela hotel room.
Godric gave her a moment to gather herself. He didn't mind. It gave him a moment to study the incredible human that had so entrapped both Bill Compton, and his Eric. He knew that, even though Eric would never admit it, he was amazingly attracted to Sookie; and not just physically. Godric could tell that she intrigued him more than any human had in centuries, and he could understand. She had such a glow about her.
Sookie must have realized that she was not where her thoughts had taken her because she started apologizing for trailing off,
"Oh my, Godric I am so sorry for just blanking out there! I feel like such a crazy person! I was just thinking about my grandmother."
Godric could see the emotion that played clearly across the young woman's face at the mention of her grandmother.
"She… she was murdered. A few months ago…and—"
Godric held a hand up.
"I can see that it pains you to talk about her. I shall just assume that, seeing as she was your grandmother, she was a fantastic woman. She must have been, to be involved in raising such a kind and selfless young woman as you."
Sookie looked like she was about to cry at Godric's statement. She opened and closed her mouth a few times before she simply said,
Godric smiled the unusually kind smile that she had come to expect from the ancient vampire and said,
"But Sookie Stackhouse, it is I that should be thanking you. You almost sacrificed your own life to save a vampire that might have been more willing to eat you than look at you. I am forever in your debt."
"Oh, that's ridiculous. I was just doing what any decent person would have done. None of this debt nonsense."
This made Godric smile. As did her next statement.
"Now, how about that tea? I am parched! Do you want me to check if there is any Trueblood in the fridge, or if they can bring any up?"
"No thank you, Sookie. I'm quite alright. But let me make that tea for you. Why don't you sit down?"
He gestured towards the huge king bed that dominated the landscape of the room.
Sookie climbed up, and seated herself in a cross-legged position. She watched Godric bustle around the room, gathering things for her tea, like an old housewife.
She burst out laughing at that thought.
Godric looked over his shoulder at her, rocking on the bed and giggling uncontrollably. It was a sight he wasn't sure he had ever seen.
He raised an eyebrow, looking so much like Eric that Sookie started laughing even harder. Once she could breathe again, she explained,
"I was just thinking about you bustling around like an old housewife, making a human tea! And then you looked exactly like Eric when you raised that eyebrow."
Godric turned back to the hot water before him and smiled as he said,
"Did you know that I taught him how to raise his eyebrow like that? It took him three hundred years to get it right."
That made Sookie burst out laughing again. Godric smirked to himself. It gave him joy to know that he had made her laugh. He hadn't felt this good in a long time. He finished fixing the tea, and brought it over to Sookie. He sat down, cross-legged like her, and gave it to the still laughing woman.
When Sookie calmed down enough to take her tea, she sipped at it for a few moments before asking the question that had been niggling at the back of her mind for a few moments.
"You said that the people from your home drank a lot of tea, but the only countries I can think of that are big tea countries are England and Chinese, and you sure don't look Chinese, and you don't really have a British accent. So where are you from?"
"Well, you were close when you said England, but, as you observed, I do not have a traditional British accent. That is because of my age. When you live for 2000 years and travel all around the world, you pick up certain aspects of other accents, and lose parts of your natural one.
My people were known as the Brigantes. We lived in the northern part of England and southern Scotland, in the highland and mountainous areas. I was born to Manawyd of Brigante, a warrior loyal to the king and queen of the tribe, and his wife Nyfain. My father ranked just under the King and Queen, Venutius and Cartimandua. Even people today know their names because they were involved with the Roman colonization of the British Isles by Julius Caesar in 58 BC.
I was 14 when I was turned, and the Romans first came when I was 7 or 8, so I've decided that I was born around 52 or 53 BC."
Sookie looked at him wide-eyed, still unable to believe that such a young looking body could be that old.
"So that means you're-" she thought for a second, "2061 years old?" She sucked in a breath at the large number she had come up with.
Godric grinned at her reaction.
"Yes, I'm an old, old man Sookie. Decrepit. But let me continue with the story you were so eager to hear."
Sookie nodded enthusiastically, and Godric smiled at her and began again.
"I was Manawyd and Nyfain's only son. They named me Godric, meaning "power, or rule of god". I had two sisters, and elder one named Ceindrech who served the queen, and a baby sister named Denyw who was quite a few years younger than I.
The Iron Age, as it has come to be called, was a dangerous time to live. The island that now is home to the English, Scottish and Welsh people was then home to as many as 45 different tribes and groups of people, and then the Romans came in 58 BC. It was a time of war, deception, disease, tyranny, and death; and it was my childhood.
I was trained with the royal sons in archery, swordsmanship, and pike fighting, as befits a young member of the most militant tribe of the Iron Age. I excelled at all three, and by the age of 10 I was better skilled than my teacher. The King himself took on my schooling in the arts of war, and when I finally bested him during one of our training sessions I earned my first tattoo. Each battle I won, each mission completed, meant another section was added on to my pectoral tattoo."
Godric drew his hand along the smooth skin at his collar bone where the spikes of his tattoo stood out against his pale skin. Sookie reached out to touch the beautiful design, but quickly drew back her hand when she realized who was sitting in front of her.
*Nice job Crazy Sookie, now you look like an idiot. What 2000 year old vampire wants to be touched by a nutty waitress from Bon Temps?* Sookie mentally berated herself while she looked down at the traitorous hands in her lap.
Godric only laughed,
"Oh Miss Stackhouse," he said while tipping her chin up to look into his grey-green eyes, "you don't have to worry about controlling your human impulses with me. Touch if you want to."
With that he dropped his hands, without dropping his gaze.
Sookie looked in wonder at the man in front of her. His eyes shone as he smiled at her with the care-free attitude of a young boy; a look that suited him well. She reached out with only slightly trembling fingers to trace the bold collar that ringed around Godric's shoulders. She could feel the power rising from his centuries-old skin. She skimmed both hands across his bare clavicle and one down to trace the design on his left bicep. She was momentarily distracted by his sudden, and unnecessary, sigh. He seemed to relax into her touch and his shoulders lost some of the tension that they always held.
"Do you know that no one has touched me like you are in 260 years, Sookie? Just simple human contact. No groveling and kissing the hand of the old vampire, no trying to seduce him for riches or power, no attacks, just touch for the sake of touch."
Sookie thought of how horrible it must be to be so far removed from everyone around you that to be touched was a great joy.
"Godric," she said quietly, not wanting to interrupt the peace he had found, "may I look at your back?"
He nodded, and gestured for her to move back on the bed so that he was still sitting cross-legged as he had been before, but so Sookie was now seated up against the pillows at the headboard with her legs on either side of the very old man-child in front of her. She leaned back as far as she could to look at the breathtaking tattoo in front of her.
Covering most of his back was a sinuous and lithe dragon-like creature that snaked its way from the left side of his neck down to his lower back. Its leathery looking wings were held tight to its reptilian body, and the simple black ink features of its form stood out boldly from Godric's pale skin. On his right shoulder, a red inked seal was tattooed above the dragon's head. The symbols looked strange to Sookie, but there was also something very Roman about it as well.
Sookie traced its ferocious features with both hands, reveling at how it seemed to twitch and writhe as if alive when Godric shifted the muscles in his back. Godric shivered at her cautious touch, even though his dead body had no need for the muscle-memory reaction.
"Godric, what did you do to get this one?" Sookie asked in a low whisper.
He twisted around where he sat to look Sookie in the eye and said,
"I killed many men, Sookie."
Sookie nodded, thinking he was done with his explanation, but was surprised when he continued after a short silence.
"I received my dragon shortly after my 13th birthday, two days after I fought in the biggest battle of my human life. My family was loyal to the Queen after the King was banished for his anti-Roman views. He fought against us, turning our fellow Brigantes against us and causing a civil war. I was sent into what eventually turned into a six-day battle as our champion. Even though I was young I was gifted with tactical wisdom, strength, and natural fighting talent, and I was considered the greatest fighter in all of northern Britain. I believe that some supernatural force had a hand in my skill and power, and my people said I was truly given power by the gods, as my name suggests.
After five days of blood, death, and misery I finally met the King on the battlefield. He had trained me. He part of the reason I was the best fighter in the Isles. And his death was how I earned the dragon."
Godric reached one of his hands back to cover one of Sookie's, which now lay still on his shoulder.
"The symbols in the seal above his head are a combination of runes and Roman alphanumeric letters that roughly translate as 'power', 'gods', 'eternal', 'leader' and 'death'. Thanks to it I am forever marked with death, so perhaps it is fitting that I became an incarnation of it."
Sookie looked ready to cry, and Godric did not want to upset her any more than necessary, so he turned all the way around and looked at her seriously.
"I can stop now Sookie, if you do not wish to hear any more."
Sookie wiped at the tears forming in her eyes and waved him off.
"I'm fine Godric. Frankly, I'm more worried about you. But if you don't mind telling it, I'd like to know the rest of your story. You said you were 13 when you…" Sookie paused, unsure of how to phrase it, "…when you got your dragon, but you were turned at 14. What happened next in your life?"
Godric smiled a little smile at Sookie's delicate phrasing for his bloodthirsty deed, and turned back around to settle once again into his comfortable cross-legged position. But before he could do so, he felt Sookie's arms reach around to grasp his shoulders and tug lightly on him, pulling him back to lean against her. Godric twisted his head to look at Sookie, and she laughed out loud at his bemused look.
"Now don't worry Mr. Vampire-man, I don't bite. I believe that's your job, Sheriff."
She winked at him, and chuckled softly as he fell back into her arms, fitting into her embrace like it was made especially for him.
Once he settled, Godric began speaking again.
"Yes, I was just 13 when I killed the former king and many of his men, and after that we didn't have many major enemies to worry about. The Brigantes were making political and economic alliances with the Romans, so that left little for us warriors to do. I learned things from the Roman Legionaries, and we taught them about our fighting style and weapons. We also exchanged words and phrases along the way, and by my 14th birthday I was almost fluent in Latin."
Sookie interrupted here,
"Oh wow! Hold on a minute. Godric, how many languages DO you speak?"
He chuckled at her enthusiasm before he answered,
"Well, my native tongue was Cumbric, and I then picked up Latin as a human, but once I became Vampire was when I really started to add to my list. I am fluent in every Gaelic language; Irish, Scottish, Old English, Manx, and Welsh. I obviously speak modern English, and I learned Old Norse and Swedish during the Viking era, which is when I met Eric. I also speak all the Romance Languages; English, Italian, Spanish, French, Romanian, along with Russian, Mandarin, Turkish, Ukrainian, Hebrew, Hindi, Greek, Finnish, Czech, Norwegian, Egyptian, Danish, Thai and a little bit of Sanskrit, even though it is a dead language."
Sookie stared at him in disbelief. To speak so many languages and have gone so many places! It must have been wonderful!
"It WAS wonderful," Godric said. He laughed at the look of surprise on Sookie's face.
"No, I can't read minds like you. I just know exactly what people think when they find out how old I am and what I know. You had the same exact look on your face that Pam and Isabel had when THEY found out how many languages I spoke."
Sookie sniggered at the thought of Pam looking surprised at ANYTHING.
"Pam looking surprised hard to picture, huh?" Godric asked with that same Eric-like quirk of his eyebrow, and crooked smile. "I know what you're thinking. She is certainly… unflappable, to say the least."
They both laughed softly as they thought about the 100% unique character that was Pam.
"But continuing with my story," Godric said after they had finished, leaning back into Sookie's open arms.
"It was wonderful to see so many things over these two millennia, but I do wish I had paid more attention during my first 1000 years."
Godric paused, regretful for a moment, then moved on.
"So I was 14, and we were having a grand celebration to commemorate not only the year of my birth, but the previous year's defeat of the traitorous ex-king. The hall of the fortress was filled, and every seemed fine until a messenger came bursting in, still in horseback. He shouted crazily about a band of mercenaries following from the west, flying through the night. Of course the moment he mentioned flying warriors everyone was convinced that he was drunk and imagining things. He was insistent though, and I was cautious. I retrieved my weapons from my chamber, just in case.
Within ten minutes they arrived. Six men led by a beautiful woman. They walked in the hall with no weapons, but I felt danger oozing off them all the same. The beautiful woman strode to the center of the hall and addressed everyone, asking for me, Godric of the Brigantes.
I pulled my iron broadsword from its sheath, ready to do what I did best. My tattoos showed my bravery for all to see, and anyone stupid enough to disregard them would certainly have been able to see that I was ready and in a trained fighter's stance. Any normal man would have been terrified, or at least worried, but not the woman and her warriors. She laughed.
'Such a pretty little boy you are, my Godric,' she said. 'I have heard many stories about you, my fierce warrior-child.'
I was not one for banter, so I walked in front of her and said,
'Stranger, you come to the head of Brigantia, and challenge me, the tribe's champion. Either fight, or leave.'
She laughed at my words; a cruel, sharp bark of laughter. She looked sideways at me and purred,
'No my little Godric, I think we shall dine.'
She laughed her cruel laugh again, and it was the last thing, other than screams, that I heard as a human. One of her male companions grabbed me faster than I could even comprehend, and held me while his friends massacred the people in the hall.
Three days later I woke up as a Vampire. I was a part of the band of mercenaries. The female vampire had been travelling across Europe collecting the most skilled and dangerous warriors for her little 'coven'. She heard of me and decided that I would be the crown jewel of her collection. She was beautiful, cruel, fierce, and deadly. She was my Maker. Her name was Osira."
Godric's shoulders slumped, and Sookie could tell that the re-telling of his tale had emotionally, and physically, tired him.
"You poor little boy," she crooned, and gathered him in her arms like the child he really was and began to cry.
Godric was so stunned at her reaction that he didn't breathe for a few moments.
Slowly he felt a tear fall down his ancient face.
Sookie reached up and brushed his close-cropped hair back from his brow, tilted his head back so she could reach him, and kissed Godric of Brigantia, 2000 year old vampire, lightly on the forehead.
"Sleep, Godric, it's almost dawn. Sleep with me. I'll keep you safe."
And Godric did.