A/N: So starting a new fic. I wanted to apologize for just posting one chapter, that's not usually my thing, but this new one is a bit heavy and it's taking a lot more thought than my other stories did. I will be doing a multi-chapter update later in the week though.
I need to give a super, super HUGE thank you to my beta and editor Sheknitsnicely. You are so awesome, and your ideas and inspiration are invaluable, this story is totally a team effort and I could not be more grateful that you are my beta!
Okay last note, if you've read any of my stories you know I don't write puppies, kittens, rainbows or sunshine, this story is no different. There will be a lot of angst, but just like all my other stories E and S will end together and hopefully stronger for all they've gone through.
Disclaimer: I own nothing! On with the show...
As I make the walk from the cemetery back to my old farmhouse, I almost can't believe that I'm here again. So many years of wandering, and I'm sure that there will be many more, but hopefully I can rest here for at least a little while.
To say that life hasn't worked out as I planned would be about the biggest understatement ever. As I think back on the last sixty-five years, I have to say that I don't know if I can handle even another sixty-five more, but then I suppose I have little choice in the matter. Still, perhaps I can find a way to make the next half century or so less of a total waste than the previous.
After the attack by Lochlan and Naeve I couldn't handle anything. I was injured both physically and mentally and the anger that welled up in me every time I thought about what I had gone through would almost choke me if it didn't have some kind of outlet or target. With Amelia gone back to New Orleans and my few friends believing I had been in a car accident, my nearest target was usually Eric. There wasn't much I didn't blame him for. I blamed him for my involvement in the supernatural world, I blamed him for every bad thing that had ever happened to me, I blamed him for being cursed, and for forgetting me after the curse, and for not coming for me when I was being tortured. I'm sure I even blamed him for the summer heat and the rain.
No matter how much you love someone that kind of vitriol would be hard for anyone to bear, but most especially a man as proud as Eric. It wasn't long after I had fully physically recovered that he finally threw up his hands and called uncle. He would always protect me he said, but any hope of renewing our personal relationship was over. He could not take me, and to be honest at that point in my life I could barely take me either.
A week after we... I guess you would say we broke up, even though we were never really back together (except for that one night), I made a decision. I could go back to all the Vampire shit and supernatural crap that was clearly going to eventually get me killed, or I could get out, stop complaining that my life wasn't normal and really try to make that happen. I suppose knowing that Eric wouldn't even talk to me at that point was a big factor in making my decision, but honestly I would have made it in any case. I needed to try to rest, I needed to try to live without fear, I needed to try for that ellusive 'normal'.
When I walked back into Merlotte's five weeks after the fairy attack, I was determined. Perhaps it was wrong of me to single out Sam as the one who could give me normal, especially since he wasn't technically anymore normal than me, but I knew that he could give me the steady life, the days in the sunshine, and the family that I wanted. And in all honesty, I had always felt something more than friendship for Sam and always found him attractive; he was a natural choice. Of course, it didn't hurt that I knew he would be so happy to have my attention that he wouldn't question too closely suddenly being brought off my back burner. My reasons for choosing Sam might not have been the most romantic, and certainly if he could have looked into my head he might not have liked what he saw, but I was beyond silly notions of true love and destiny at that point. I wanted what I wanted and I was picking the person I thought was the best candidate to give it to me.
Sam and I married the next year and, despite my unromantic reasons for choosing him, I have to tell you that I was happy. I truly, truly cared for him and he truly cared for me, and I did everything that I could to be the perfect fiancee, then the perfect wife, and I hoped after not too long to be the perfect mother to what I was sure would be our perfect children. I was so filled with hope that I almost never thought of the man I'd left behind or the love that I somehow always felt, at the back of my mind, might have been the defining happiness of my life. But the few times I let myself think about Eric I always shoved it right down. He came with too much baggage I was no longer willing to accept.
Sam and I tried for five years to have children, but it never happened. At first, Sam would always tell me that it didn't matter to him if we ever had kids or not, but I knew that he truly wanted them, and truthfully I did too. I finally had a life that was safe enough, stable enough to bring kids into, and I wanted them... I'd always wanted them.
It wasn't until we started getting fertility treatments that the reason we couldn't have children came out. At first, we visited normal doctors and normal fertility clinics. We attempted all of the tried and true remedies to infertility and, of course, none of them worked. Finally, after a particularly devastating round of IVF, Sam finally suggested that, perhaps with our both rather abnormal genetic make ups, we should see Dr. Ludwig. When he first brought it up I flatly refused; after all, we were trying to be normal, I didn't want to go and see a supernatural doctor, but after a while I had to agree he was right.
As it turns out, there was absolutely not a thing wrong with Sam, he was healthy and his swimmers were just as healthy. The problem was me. It turns out that, as I was getting older, I was becoming more fae. Dr. Ludwig was at a loss as to explain why this was (I was only an eighth fae after all, and even at a quarter fae my father had managed to have two children just fine!), but there was no denying it. I was becoming more and more like a full fairy with all the good and bad things that came with it. Of course, at that point it seemed like all bads to me. I didn't want any fancy new powers, I didn't want to be allergic to lemons and iron, and I didn't want to have the pesky fairy genes that had so much trouble reproducing. But I did. I was increasingly fae and therefore probably not capable of having a child, for all the reasons that normal fairies were having problems, and there was really no help for it.
At first Sam and I talked about adopting, but the stress of five years of trying and failing was taking it's toll on us and we both realized we couldn't handle more years of adoption turmoil after what we'd already been through. Knowing that Sam and I would not have children was a heavy blow to our marriage, but not the final one. That wouldn't come for another ten years. Sam had always been older than me and he was approaching fifty and I was forty two, except I didn't look forty-two, I looked about twenty-five. No, the final blow to my dreams of normal fell on me all at once, the day that I finally accepted that I wasn't aging. It wasn't that I was aging really well, or that I just hadn't gotten gray hairs yet, it was that I was not aging at all. I looked and felt like a woman in her twenties and, even though Sam and I stayed together for another few years, it was painfully obvious that my physical state was remaining the same.
We had left Bon Temps shortly after we gave up the ghost on becoming parents. We moved to Baton Rouge, feeling that maybe a fresh start and a new place would help us to get over things. It worked for a while, but after eighteen years of marriage, Sam called uncle too. If I was honest with myself, one of the reasons that I'd destroyed my relationship with Eric was because, deep down, I was insecure. He would stay young and beautiful for eternity and I would age, so I thought. If I had bothered to ask him, I'm sure Eric would have told me all the very romantic things that every woman longs to hear: how he would love me always, no matter what I looked like, and stay with me proudly until the end. And on days when I'm honest with myself, I know that he probably would have kept those promises, but it was me who couldn't handle it. How could I let him walk around tied to someone who looked like his grandmother? I couldn't. So it was the height of irony, or maybe I should call it poetic justice, that now I was in the exact reverse of that situation.
Sam loved me, and I loved him, but his insecurities couldn't handle the constant looks and comments we got from strangers. People thought we were the quintessential old man with money and his bimbo, gold-digger young wife.
Looking back, I know that I made a lot of decisions for the wrong reasons, but I never used Sam. I cared for him very deeply when I chose to give us a chance, and over the years I grew to truly love him. He was every bit the good, honorable man that he promised he would be and, when I opened my heart to him, he never dissappointed me. So, when I signed our divorce papers it was with a feeling of such loss that I almost couldn't bear it. All those promises that I'm sure Eric would have made to me, I made them over and over to Sam, but he didn't want them anymore than I had, and I had to respect that, even if it hurt like a bitch.
After our divorce I traveled around a lot. I think for a long time I kept expecting that I would eventually start aging. After all, I was only an eighth fae, maybe that would give me longer but surely I wasn't going to have the life span of a full fairy? Of course, since almost all the fairies were gone, there were very few people around to ask. Claude and I talked about it one time, but he told me in no uncertain terms, that with so little fairy in me, none of this should be possible. Apparently even as a supernatural I was a freak. I tried to make the best of things for a long time. I enjoyed one new place after another, and got to see a great deal of the world. The money that Niall and Claudine left me ensured that I didn't really need to work and that was good because, even though I did usually have a job, I never stayed in one place long enough to make any real money. Yet always in the back of my mind there was that hope that I would start to change, but it never happened and, after a while, I was forced to accept it, even if I hated it.
No matter how much you travel though, home always calls you back, and a few months ago, I made the decision that I wanted to return to Bon Temps. The old farmhouse was still mine and I needed to go home and reconnect with who I was, now that I had accepted what I was.
I was sad to find out when I returned home that Sam had died. He'd come back just after our divorce and, for a while, we had kept in touch. I knew that he'd married a woman in her mid- forties a few years later and that they had actually had a child together. I had wanted to attend his funeral but I had no idea how much he'd told his new family and I didn't know what lies I could tell or what they already knew, so I just stayed away. But this afternoon I'd felt the need to walk up to his grave and really say goodbye to him. I'd laid flowers and talked to him a little about how I was doing and how much I missed him and always would, but in the end the conversation was too one sided to continue.
My farmhouse is coming into view again when, in the early summer twilight, I see a figure sitting on my porch. I'd gone over across the cemetery to say hi to Bill when I'd first come back a few days ago and so I suppose I wasn't surprised by my visitor now. It was probably only a matter of time before one of them came round.
"Hey Pam," I said, as though it hadn't been more than half a century since I'd seen her.