Disclaimer: True Blood belongs to Alan Ball.

So this was Love

Godric stroked Eric's head, his fingers moving rhythmically through the soft blonde strands. Eric was dozing, slowly nodding off and then every few minutes, jerking his head up, his eyes flickering open for a second and then closing again. Even though it wasn't cold, he was huddled close to Godric, his hand resting on Godric's knee, his head in his lap.

Dawn was not far away, already the stars were fading from the sky. Soon they would have to go to ground, sleep for the day. It wouldn't take long to cover themselves.

They had encountered werewolves two nights ago and Godric had been surprised by Eric's actions. He'd taught Eric to be mindful of other supernatural creatures and normally he was, but something about these particular werewolves had infuriated him. He'd attacked, but daylight had forced him to cease his chase. They had escaped, using a river to hide their scent as they had fled during the day.

Other than a scream of frustration, Eric had not made a sound all night. Godric should have rebuked him for failing to control his emotions, but tonight, he let his child brood.

Godric knew that Eric's family had been killed by werewolves and while those wolves were long dead, his Viking continued to hunting them. Eric would distract himself with a new challenge soon enough, be it a pretty face or a new adventure. The older vampire was not worried, though he disliked seeing his progeny upset.

Truthfully, Godric was jealous that Eric had something to keep him connected to his humanity, even if it was a vendetta. He had no such attachment. He had been turned and had quickly cast aside his humanity. He revelled in his dark powers, killing anyone he pleased, drowning in violence.

But now... but now that seemed less important. Eric had been with him for over two centuries now, he had taught Eric everything he knew about surviving as a vampire, but after all this time, he was curious about humans again.

Since creating Eric, he had seen the love Eric held for his murdered family, even if it was now entrenched in revenge. Eric had still been mourning them when he'd been turned. He had mentioned a sister, only a baby when killed. What had her name been? Godric couldn't recall, but he knew that Eric would never forget her name. He would not forget because he loved her.

Leaning against the tree, watching the sky lighten, his fingers shifting to caress Eric's shoulder, Godric tried to remember his own human life.

His pale brow furrowed in thought. It had been hard, the life of a slave, he remembered that. All he had known was exhaustion, pain, hunger... but he would never be hungry again.

For so long Godric had simply viewed humans as food, foolish creatures to scorn for their mortality, their limited senses, and their weakness.

Now he was intrigued by the human ability to love. But what did that even mean? Had he loved as a human, truly loved another human? He wasn't sure. Could vampires love?

Did he love Eric? He considered.

He delighted in making Eric laugh and smile, just as Eric did for him. He grew angry and felt upset when Eric was injured, even if it was by Eric's own stupidity. For the past few years he'd let Eric roam on his own, confident that Eric could handle himself, but he still fretted for his wellbeing and disliked being parted from him.

He knew the day would eventually come when he would have to release Eric. Eric learned so fast, faster than Godric had learned. That night would no doubt come sooner than he would like. Godric dreaded it with all his being.

Was that love?

His hand fell away. Eric opened his eyes, drawn out of his sleepy state by the lack of contact. He looked up at Godric, blinking groggily. He noticed the predawn sky.

"It's almost day," he stated. Godric nodded, glancing over that the hole they would spend the day in.

"Come along," he said. "I'll cover you."

Eric sat up slowly, suddenly reluctant to go back to sleep, like a small child protesting against bedtime. "We'll be fine for a few more minutes," he insisted, resting his chin on his legs.

Godric nodded, not inclined to argue. He leaned back against the tree, observing Eric, the younger vampire oblivious.

Eric scanned the area, checking for any signs that they would be discovered during the day, just as he'd been taught to do. His eyes flicked over to the rough hollow they would sleep in, making sure it was deep enough. He nodded to himself, satisfied they would be safe.

"I love you," Godric said abruptly.

Eric turned to stare at him, startled. Godric had never said such a thing to him before.

Godric lowered his eyes, suddenly feeling shy. He had never said those words to anyone before.

"I just thought you should know," he said softly. Three small words seemed so inadequate for what he felt, but in his heart, he knew it was true.

Eric smiled and leaned forward, his lips brushing against Godric's lips and Godric gazed at him in wonder.

"I love you too," he replied simply.

Godric smiled and stood up, pulling Eric to his feet, not letting go of the hand that was so much larger than his own. Upright, Godric had to look up at him. In Eric's face he saw the misery at losing the werewolves disappear, transforming into something else.

Happiness.

So this was love then.

I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.