An End and a Beginning

"Godric is gone."

The words were cold. Stark. Unrelenting in their truth. Even as Eric said them, he wanted to take them back. He wanted for time to rewind. A day. A year. A century. A millennium. Lifetimes. He wanted lifetimes to live over with Godric. Lifetimes to make such wonderful memories with his beloved maker that it would have led Godric to a different decision this morning. He wanted a chance to change what his world had become in a few short moments … but he would get no more chances. He had been too late.

Far too late.

'Godric made sure of that. He hid his intentions from me until the very end. He knew if I'd had time I would have devised a way to make him stay. He planned it. He planned to leave me.'

Eric couldn't fight off the wave of bitterness that flooded his undead being at the very notion Godric had willingly left him. Had they spent decades, and at times nearly a century apart? Indeed. It was the way of vampires, but as with all true Makers and their children, they had always found their way back to each other. Never had Eric believed there would come a time when he and Godric would be separated for eternity.

His maker had spent centuries impressing upon him the importance of survival. Lesson after lesson, test after test, he had endured by Godric's design, and for what? To watch his maker walk into the sun? To watch Godric abandon two thousand years of living in some misbegotten sense of atonement? None of it made sense to Eric, and he was literally at a loss. It was all he could do to sit quietly on the bed, trying to make peace in the chaos that had become his mind.

From her place at the door, Sookie shifted nervously. Truthfully, she had no idea what she was doing here, or what she hoped to accomplish. All she could think of was Godric's last words.

You will take care of him? Eric?

How could she fail to carry out the request of on such as Godric? She had not known the vampire for long, but she knew to her core he was a being worthy of remembrance. She also couldn't leave Eric alone to suffer the pain she knew he was feeling. She could remember in vivid detail how lost and broken she'd been when her Gran died. She'd never be able to look herself in the mirror again if she didn't offer aid to Eric now.

Godric is gone.

His words had been soft, yet so brutal they tore at Sookie's heart. She watched in silence as bloody tears began to slip down Eric's chin to drip onto his chest. He paid them no mind. He didn't wipe them away or attempt to hide his pain from her in the least. He merely sat on the side of the bed, staring at the wall, and shedding tears of agony for the man that had been his foundation, his everything, for over a thousand years. Sookie wondered if she could even fathom how Eric was feeling. She had loved her Gran, had been devoted to the woman, but Eric had known Godric for lifetimes. She couldn't even imagine to what all they'd seen and done together. She wasn't even sure she wanted to try. All she knew for sure, is that despite all Eric had done to her since she'd met him, she couldn't leave him alone like this. She'd needed someone to ease the ache in her heart when her Gran had died, and she would do the same for Eric now.

Moving slowly to his side she sat gingerly next to him. He did not acknowledge her presence. He made no smug remarks. No witty innuendos. Nothing. He sat as still as only a vampire can, and simply continued to cry his bloody tears. Nearly an hour passed in silence. He did not move, and she tried to stay as still as possible. She didn't know what Eric needed from her in this moment, but she had promised Godric she'd try and be there for the Viking, and she wouldn't break her word.

Eric could feel Sookie's presence beside him with every fiber of his being. She radiated heat, and he despised the fact she was bringing him comfort. He wanted to snarl at her, hiss in fury, and flash his fangs. He wanted to frighten her away, make her so very aware of how easily he could destroy her and her entire world … but he wouldn't.

He wouldn't because in this moment he needed her presence by his side more than he'd ever needed anything else. As much as he despised her silent offer of comfort, despised the fact she was seeing him so broken in spirit, it was the only thing keeping him from going on a bloody rampage. He hurt so badly that he felt it only right the world suffer around him. He wanted to rend, and kill, to burn and destroy. He wanted to rip and tear at the world until the hurt inside him had run its course. Above all he wanted not to feel this way anymore.

He felt so lost from Godric's suicide, so utterly lost and unbalanced, that he was sure he'd never find his footing again. He had always been steadfast. Strong, determined. He'd always had a heading, a course. As a human he'd followed the code of his father and of his people. As a vampire he'd followed Godric and the laws of vampire. Now he had nothing. Everything he'd thought he'd known about his undead existence had been lost in just a few short moments. He couldn't wrap his mind around what his maker had done. It went against everything Godric had ever taught him. Again and again he replayed the events of the last few days over in his mind, looking for the slightest clue as to why his Maker had done this. Why Godric had felt it right to abandon everything he'd always stood for. He came up with nothing.

Through it all he kept waiting for Sookie to say something, move to touch him, anything that would give him reason to lash out at her. She did nothing. As his mind tore at him, refusing to give him a moment's respite from the agony he was in, Sookie held true. She simply sat next to him, in total silence, offering her support … in any way he needed. In any way he would accept.

Suddenly he grew angry. He was angry that Sookie was here, and Godric was not. He had brought her here to save his maker! If anyone should have died, it should have been her! He knew his thoughts were irrational. He knew they were unfair, but he didn't care. He would give anything to have Godric back. Anything at all.

'It's all wrong. All of it. I finally have Sookie alone with me, in a hotel room no less, and I have no desire to fuck her. I came here to make her mine while finding my maker. Now I have no desire to ever have sex again, and Godric … has left me. He is supposed to be here. He is supposed to be guiding me, helping me to find a way to make this girl my own. He promised me life! He lied!'

Finally, he spoke quietly. His voice hard and barren. "Return to Bill."

"Not yet."

"You are neither wanted nor needed in this moment, Miss Stackhouse. Go."

"No."

Eric's anger rose. In a flash he was up off the bed, crouched in front of Sookie where she sat on the bed, and leaning towards her as he hissed, "You will do as you or told or I will force you! Do not delude yourself that just because I want to fuck you that I won't kill you, bloodbag."

Once he started he couldn't stop. The pain in him was unrelenting, and he wanted someone, anyone, to feel as he felt. Sookie Stackhouse had foolishly put herself in his path, and she would pay the price.

Fangs snapping down, he leaned dangerously close, "Or are you here looking to get hurt? Compton is as tame as they come, housebroken, so perhaps you're here looking to experience what it's like to be with a real vampire."

Eyes igniting with the need to hurt, to lacerate, and destroy, Eric taunted, "Pure, innocent, naïve, Sookie Stackhouse. So self assured, so foolish in the belief you have any rights, standing, or equality in my world. Sookie Stackhouse, the idiot girl that refuses to understand she is nothing more than a pretty toy in a world too large for her to even imagine, let alone conceive. Sookie Stackhouse, who is nothing more than another pathetic bloodbag were it not for her telepathy. Is that what you're here for little Sookie? Do you want me to fuck you, to ravage you, to claim you, and then you can go trotting back to your boyfriend and say I took advantage of you in my grief? I had no idea you were so devious. I'm impressed."

Reaching up to brush her bangs back in a fake caress, Eric hissed, "You presume to think you know me in the least. I desire nothing more from you than your telepathy, and perhaps the occasional fuck. You are a worthless human, and the stench of you offends me. I have no desire to fuck you at present, and do not want to tolerate your any more. Get out. Get out and be glad I spare your pathetic existence."

Tears filled Sookie's eyes. She'd been inside enough people's heads over the years to know how they handled grief. She knew Eric was lashing out because he literally couldn't keep the pain inside. As he finished his angry and hurtful tirade, she said nothing. She let her tears fall and then she surprised the hell out of both of them … she reached for him.

Eric held perfectly still. He felt shock consume him as Sookie's arms came around him. As soon as the last of his angry words left his lips Sookie had let out a soft whimper before closing the few inches between them to enfold his much larger form in her embrace. His body was still and unmoving in her hold. He had no breath, but had he, he would have held it as he felt Sookie press herself closer to him. Her arms were tight around his shoulders as she buried her face into his neck and cried softly. Her breath was hot against his cold skin, and the salty scent of her tears filled the air as her unique aroma filled with sadness and remorse.

Eric was at a loss. He didn't know what to do. Despite his angry words, he had no intention of harming Sookie Stackhouse, but didn't know how to handle this situation. With their newly formed bond, he could feel her emotions due to their close proximity, and he was awed by them. Sookie's heart ached for him. She ached for his loss, and wished to soothe his pain. Her emotions were wholly selfless, and he was baffled.

"I'm so sorry, Eric. So, so sorry."

A growl erupted in his chest. Grabbing her sides, Eric ripped Sookie roughly away from him and shoved her back down on the bed so he could hover threateningly over her. "I do not need your pity!"

Anger, rage, regret, loss, fury, anguish, all of it warred within in. Eric's white fangs flashed dangerously in sharp contrast to the crimson tears that continued to flow down his face. "I need nothing from you! I need nothing from anyone!"

Sookie was not afraid by the positions she and Eric were in. No, she was sorrowful. She literally hurt for Eric. She could see he was fast losing control, and she sought to help him. This being, this vampire sheriff that had only ever been a pillar of strength, was crumbling under the weight of grief bearing down on him. His maker's loss was threatening to break Eric Northman, and Sookie's heart broke for him. Eric's position above her caged her beneath him, but she still had use of her arms, and she used them.

Reaching up to cup his cheeks she pulled his face down to hers. Kissing the bloody tear tracks on each cheek, she soothed, "I know, Eric. I know." She continued to kiss and lick gently at his tears as he held still above her. His arctic eyes shining down at her with so many emotions she thought she'd lose herself in his gaze.

Eric felt every tender kiss, every wisp of air she exhaled, every gentle caress of her lips against his skin, and he was lost. The anger he'd held so tightly to failed him, and in its place was only the pain. The relentless pain he couldn't escape. He couldn't escape the fact his maker was gone.

"Godric is gone," he whispered brokenly.

Sookie let out a sob. Her voice was broken, filled with misery, as she replied, "I know."

They stared at each other for long moments, both crying freely, before Eric buried himself in Sookie's arms. He felt Sookie's arms com up around him, clutching him desperately to her, as he burrowed his head into her chest while his own arms slipped beneath her back to hold her to him. He did not care that he was acting like a child seeking comfort in his mother's bosom. He did not care that he was stripped bare before the woman he had been actively trying to secure for himself. He cared for nothing except the fact this girl made his pain lessen. If only a little.

"I will never see him again. Never speak to him again. Never fight beside him again. Godric … he … he is gone. Forever."

"Yes, he is."

Silence.

Time passed.

"He promised me life. He swore it the night he turned me. He lied."

"I don't think he meant to," Sookie offered softly as she stroked her fingers gently through Eric's hair. Repeatedly. Rhythmically. Soothingly. His head was resting directly on her chest, over her heart, but strangely she did not feel uncomfortable. She felt only the need to offer comfort.

"How could he do something so stupid? So foolish! We are vampire! It is our purpose to stand outside of time! To be predators, warriors! How could he abandon our natural path for such lunacy?"

"I don't know."

"Neither do I."

They both fell silent again.

Eric closed his eyes and continued to cry silently as he focused on the gentle feel of Sookie's fingers combing through his hair. Her caress was light, warm, and so achingly selfless it tugged at something deep inside him. Eric didn't know what it was that Sookie Stackhouse was awakening in him at this moment, but he was pretty sure it wasn't going to go away anytime soon. He decided he had plenty of time to figure that out later. Right now he wanted to mourn the loss of his maker.

Nearly another hour passed in silence between them. Sookie held Eric clutched to her chest, stroking his hair soothingly, and allowing him to take what comfort he needed from her. If he wanted to talk, she'd talk. If he wanted to sit here in silence, well then she was obviously capable of that too. She just wanted to help him. In any way she could.

When Eric's tears had finally run out, he lifted himself up from Sookie's chest and looked down at her. Her own eyes were red and swollen, a clear sign that she had been crying as well. He couldn't tear his gaze away from the dark pools that were Sookie Stackhouse's eyes. There was no judgment in her gaze. No look of triumph at seeing him brought low. No. In her eyes were a deep understanding of the loss he felt, and he wondered who she had lost to give her that look.

Finally, he leaned down slowly and kissed her lips softly. It was not a kiss of seduction. It held no true arousal. It was a kiss of thanks. It was a kiss of gratitude. A kiss of acceptance and truce. Sookie Stackhouse had been there for him at his lowest point, and he would not forget it. He wasn't sure what it meant for them, but he knew it meant something.

Sookie felt Eric's cool lips press against her own. She felt his fangs press into her. She felt the surge of emotion from him for a brief moment in time, and then he pulled away. He pulled away to hover above her with that heartbreakingly vulnerable expression in her eyes, and she knew something had changed between them. She could no longer go back to viewing him as an enemy. There might always be discord between them, but Eric Northman was certainly no longer her enemy.

Reaching up slowly, she trailed her fingertips over the deadly point of his fangs while holding his gaze. Unnamed emotions shone in their eyes as they communicated something silently. After a moment, Sookie announced softly, "It's going to be ok, Eric."

He was silent. Searching her eyes for something. After a few moments he seemed to come to a conclusion. Lowering himself back atop her, he nuzzled into her chest, seeking only comfort, and waited for her to wrap her arms back around his shoulders before replying, "It will be … eventually."

As she began stroking his hair again, he added, "Stay."

"For how long?"

"Until you have to go."

"Ok."

And so it began.

THE END