A/N – This is set sometime after Godric's rescue and before he meets the sun. Like 99% of other True Blood fans out there, I have a love/hate relationship with his demise. On the one hand, what a tremendous and captivating death scene. On the other hand, it is so cruel to introduce such an excellent character, played by such a peerless actor, and kill them off after only a handful of episodes. Echoes of Angel's Doyle, anyone? Anyway, enjoy, review, and remember I own nothing. The title, 'He'd Never in His Life Seen So Much Sky' is from the poem 'Between the Lines' by Wilfred Gibson. It's a wonderful WWI piece and I encourage you to look it up.
"I loved a human once."
Bill was nonplussed. Godric stood in the gloom by a darkened hearth, his face cast in shadows. It was impossible to read his expression, but there was an odd trace of warmth in his tone that the other vampire would not have predicted. Unsure of what to say, he did not reply.
Godric seemed used to silence. It was true, Bill reflected, that no one in his presence for many centuries had dared not to listen; he now took the acknowledgement of others for granted.
"She had black eyes," he continued. There was an odd edge in his tone, the grief of a very old man threading through the voice of a very young one. "Deep and dark and clear. I looked into them and it was like drowning. Like giving in to sleep."
Sookie's eyes were warmth, drawing him in, but Bill understood anyway what Godric meant. He knew what it was like to be with someone you loved and to feel like you belonged nowhere else.
Something stirred inside of him. "What happened to her?"
Godric was quiet for so long that Bill wondered if he had overstepped. He did not apologize, but braced himself for the sheriff's anger.
To his surprise, when Godric shifted and the shadows across his face were altered, Bill could see that he was smiling. The effect was unearthly; it would have given away his age even to someone who did not know what he was. "I wanted to turn her. She told me that a lifetime would have to be enough for me."
Bill couldn't help himself. "Was it?"
Godric's reply was soft and steady. "Could it ever be? Come back in sixty years, and you will not need to ask that question."
With anyone else, Bill would have been furious. But Godric was the only one he had ever met who had lived this to its bitter conclusion, and Bill wanted to push even though it would hurt. "I won't let Sookie die."
"That will not be your choice, in the end," Godric replied. There was kindness in his voice. Oddly, that made it worse. Bill could not bring himself to speak.
Noiselessly, Godric went to the window. When he looked out, Bill looked out too; the sky was clear and strewn with stars.
"The universe is a thing much more colossal than it should be, isn't it?" Godric sounded as though he spoke mostly to himself. "Even a handful of centuries ago, it was just a thin, starry veil over Heaven."
The night sky was the only thing that never changed. Bill had a great deal of respect for that. "It is lovely."
Godric turned to him. "I see only dead lights in a void."
Bill looked away.
Godric moved away from the window, restless. "A vampire should always have an affinity for the stars he was born under," he remarked. He prowled the room, a dim silhouette in the moonlight. "I think I have walked this world too long."
Bill wondered why Godric told him this. Perhaps he was the only one who could be told who would not try to convince him that he did not, and could not, feel as he did.
"What will you do?" Bill asked, genuinely curious.
Godric stopped, having arrived back at the window. He rested his palms lightly against the glass and leaned close, as though yearning to break through. Bill, used to Sookie doing the same in the mirror after she brushed her teeth, half-expected a circle of fog before he remembered that Godric did not breathe.
"Do you ever miss the sunrise, William?"
If the question took Bill by surprise, he did not show it. He shook his head, and though Godric's back was turned, he knew the elder vampire sensed it. "Maybe someday," he said. "Not yet."
"Ah well." Bill got the feeling that Godric had moved on from him, gone somewhere else in his thoughts. "The world is too well-lit now. The night is not the abyss it once was."
"No," Bill agreed. He turned to leave, sensing that the conversation was over.
Godric remained at the window, thinking of another night like this one, too many centuries ago and far away.
"You're leaving." Eric's tone was very faintly accusatory. Had Godric not known him well, he would not have detected it.
Godric inclined his head.
"I'll come with you," Eric said immediately.
A shadow of a smile crossed Godric's face. "No. You have things to attend to here."
He had never hidden anything from Eric. "I'm sorry. Rome holds very few good memories for me."
Eric could only look at him, eyes flat.
Godric laughed, a father to a child making a mountain out of a molehill. "The world is young, Eric. We will see one another again."
The world was still young. But without appearing to, and without realizing exactly how or when it had happened, Godric had grown old.
Close by, he heard the door click quietly shut behind Bill, leaving him alone.
He shut his eyes. After twenty centuries of travelling the width and breadth of the earth, it was time to go home.