I set out to make a one-shot that was an inequivalent mix of angst and romance, and instead, I got this. It's certainly different than what I anticipated, but overall, I'm happy with it. Sookie is a bit more...in tune with her feelings, perhaps? And definitely not so hung up on Bill. In fact, during this time period, she's had a lot of time to think about what happened between her and Eric and ultimately, the choice she made at the end of S4. Also, this 5th season, we as an audience have really watched Eric not only open up emotionally, but see that he has the ability to hurt very deeply if someone he loves is in danger. This vulnerability that I haven't seen since Godric's death, fascinates me, as well as his ability to preservere through those emotions. So, I hope you don't flame me for how I wrote him. I tried to keep him in character, but I think I kind of failed in some parts. Then again, this is fanfiction. We can add our own flavor to a character. Btw, this is set in episode 5x07, the one where they first go out to kill after drinking Lilith's blood. Above all else, enjoy!


To All Fond Things, I Must Say Goodbye

Sookie Stackhouse knew she died at the precise moment it happened.

There was no confused gazing at her surroundings, no sudden pinch onto her being to make sure everything was real, no cautious placement of fingers upon her pulse point, and no cries of unfairness or denial.

Like the flame of a candle is blown out by the weary lips whose fingers first gave it life, Sookie's body simply ceased to be.

The first few seconds of death were unbearable, but not for the reason she first deduced. Initially, she had believed it was because of the painful manner in which her life was taken. And a part of it was attributed to this.

But after some careful consideration, Sookie understood differently.

She was still fighting death even as it placed its' heavy, black cloak over her. And that, rather than the actual panic of her lungs suddenly dying out or the slow crawl of her heartbeat ceasing to a halt, came to be the worst pain of all.

The surreal understanding that her body still fought death until the last breath was gasped out between her parted, dry lips.

But this pain was only brief, and after it followed such a forceful wave of tranquility that she was able to forget entirely, if not almost permanently, she was truly gone from the world. No longer did a Sookie Stackhouse exist in Bon Temps, Louisiana. No longer did a blonde barmaid serve beer and chicken wings at Merlotte's Bar and Grill. No longer did a telepath become hunted for her abilities or have the choice of embracing her brother or indulging a simple chat with the friends who had come to save her life so many times beforehand.

She had been wiped away from the face of the planet with the ease of an insect meeting two angry wind shield wipers.

This entire situation took a moment for Sookie to grasp as she blinked into the vast whiteness surrounding her.

What aided immensely was the quietness.

Where she was, which really wasn't a place at all, much less able to be accurately described as it was more of a feeling of safeness rather than a solid area, held such a deep serenity that Sookie had to first get used to not actually hearing anything through ear cavity or mind.

She stood, but there was no solid ground beneath her naked feet. She breathed, but no oxygen slipped through her rose lips. She even walked forward, almost in a dangerous curiosity, just to see if there was an eventual end to the odd, distorted haze her feet gravitated over, but she only kept on forward, no permanent edge in sight.

"I'm dead," she realized aloud in an uncommon fascination, her southern accent still in tact as she offered a curious scan down her form.

Miraculously, her body was in one piece and rather than equipping itself with the torn, bloodied, and battered Merlotte's uniform she'd died in, she was clad from head to toe in white. Her love of wearing dresses seemed to follow her into the afterlife. The manila dress was rather modest, ending only slightly below her knees, but it hugged her body like a second skin, weaving its way especially tight from her midsection up and spreading at the chest so it could grab a hold of her shoulders.

Death sure has a fashion sense, she thought wryly, fingers skimming over the smooth, cool fabric.

But her interest in the dress was short lived, and in seconds, she was back to reliving the same epiphany she'd stumbled upon moments ago.

"I'm. Dead," she tried more steadily. "I am no longer breathing. Dead to the world."

A conflict of emotions greeted this statement, but rather than overtake her body, they simply dissolved one by one, allowing Sookie a steady pace of processing her predicament.

While in the midst of pondering this situation over, she failed to notice a figure approaching her through the dense white. As if they'd been watching her all along but decided only recently to make themselves known.

In fact, only when a gentle hand came to rest upon her left shoulder, did Sookie turn around, hand set at her chest, forgetting already that it no longer reflected her shock.

"Gran?"

Her voice cracked, and before she could validate the woman's presence, Sookie threw herself into the her Gran's arms, hugging her with a strength she thought herself to be incapable of.

"Oh, Sookie. I am so sorry to see you here," her Gran whispered, rubbing her back soothingly.

"It's okay, Gran," Sookie whispered into her aged, gray hair, legs trembling. "I'm safe. And I'm with you. That's what matters."

Eventually, the two parted and Sookie was able to properly observe the woman for the first time since she passed.

"You look radiant," Sookie realized in awe, eyes taking in the woman's rejuvenated form. She was not youthful in the physical sense, but an ethereal glow surrounded her, establishing that extra breath of life that did not exist through her organs any longer.

"You will have plenty of time to take me in later. Right now, I'm afraid you have a decision to make."

Lifting a brow, Sookie backed up a step, watching her Gran cautiously.

"What sorta decision? I'm as dead as dirt."

Gran smiled, eyes momentarily scanning the scene around them.

"Death is a fickle matter, but it's those moments right before you are accepted into the afterlife, that are the ficklest," she revealed, eyes crinkling. "You have a choice dear. A choice not many others are entitled to. One that will help you embrace eternity with a lighter heart, should you wish that."

"What makes me so special to have this choice?" Sookie couldn't help but blurt.

"The time of your arrival, perhaps. Or maybe the soul that is losing itself at this current moment. A soul you care about, even if you deny it with all of your will," she answered, both hands coming to fold over one of her own. "You have one last chance to see him. One last chance to save him before the darkness takes him too. But whether you wish to...well, that is up to you."

Hesitating, Sookie glanced down.

"Is it Jason?"

The old woman laughed, shaking her head.

"No, Jason has long ago righted himself. I know. Your grandfather helped. I'm afraid this person will not be so receptive to your presence, but you must say goodbye to him while the opportunity is still granted to you. Because if you do not, I am afraid even in the afterlife, you will regret not letting him know."

"Say goodbye to who?"

But Sookie already knew, evident in someway she could not quite decipher. And she'd have been foolish to deny that he wasn't one of the last people to flash through her thoughts before her brain ceased to function.

"Oh, you know that already, dearest. Now, I must depart-."

"-but-."

"Worry not," the woman promised, squeezing her hand with a comforting nod. "You will join me after this task is complete, if you wish to see him that is."

Out of habit, Sookie readied herself to take a breath, but nothing blew out.

"I want to see him," she agreed. "I don't know what to say to him...but I'll see him."

"Then I will hand you off to this nice young man here who has already made contact with him. I am assured you two have met before."

Sookie's eyes nearly bugged out when the fogginess beside her Gran, parted, and out stepped Godric, a fixed serenity ingrained on his features.

"Hello, Sookie," he greeted with a smile. "I am afraid you and I are meeting once again under the most unfortunate circumstances. But I hope this time, there will be no tears for you. Will you come with me to see him?"

Just seeing the man as a solid form before her and clearly in peace, granted Sookie the confidence she needed. Afterall, Godric implemented reason into him when no one else could.

Still, before placing her palm in his, the former waitress met the former vampire's hazel eyes directly.

"What if he doesn't want to see me?" she all but whispered, insecurity rampant in the eight word request.

Godric smiled sadly at this, fingers gently tugging themselves in between hers.

"His grievances are intentionally silent. But this does not mean he will be indifferent to learning of your death. There is pain living inside him. A pain even I cannot reach. A pain that you alone can see. This should decide the meaning you have to him."

"Had," she added, eyes falling to her bare feet.

Seconds later and one of Godric's fingers swept underneath her chin, slowly lifting it until her eyes were level with his.

"Our loved ones do not truly leave us," he insisted. "In this way, he still keeps me alive. And in this way, he will keep you as well."

With this, she nodded, understanding even when she didn't want to, that her presence was essential.

"Are you ready?"

"Yes," she said, still so very unsure.

With a final squeeze of the hand, the white around them began to thin out, her Gran's form leaving with it.

In its place, bright light and vivid scenery revealed itself once more. Solids Sookie hadn't thought she'd ever witness again, became present in the form of furniture and bottles and light bulbs. Shapes of beings and the vibrant splashes of colors that had been nearly wiped from her mind, suddenly popped out as if she'd been color blind all along.

"Tred carefully," Godric suggested into her ear, one hand wrapped around her shoulders. "Even you do not fully comprehend your meaning to him."

She only nodded stiffly, lost for once in her life, or would it be afterlife, on what to say to him.

ERSERSERSERS

"Will you promise to save her, my child?"

Eric trembled, his body battling with a Viking's rage to dispense the blood of Salome's so-called savior. No longer did he gaze upon the image of Lilith, for in her place was nothing but empty space. And realizing he'd fallen for such a deception, served to only amplify that fury.

With a clarity only he in the room was capable of, Eric nodded, eyes flying up to meet his maker's.

"I promise you," he vowed, voice hardening as his true surroundings set themselves in place.

"Thank you, Eric," Godric said. "But before I leave you, there is a person that wishes to say goodbye to you. Someone who you should not feel anger at no longer. Nor bitterness. She is at peace and she comes to you with this same gift. To bestow it upon you."

Confused, Eric readied himself to argue, a thousand questions flying through his head as one hand forcefully shoved away the dead body beneath him.

Godric, however, only held up a patient hand. He then stood and turned behind him.

Through his vision, Eric noted a body standing before Godric. He detected his maker offering words of comfort to the person, a female, as evident by the exposed, smooth legs parallel to his vision. Legs he found a familiarity in while observing.

Without warning, Godric stepped aside and the being who greeted his gaze, forced a violent stirring where his heart should have been.

"What is this?" he demanded angrily, eyes flashing to Godric's.

"We have but little time," his maker answered sternly. "Say goodbye to Miss Stackhouse while this world still permits it."

Shaking his head, Eric's fangs retracted, forcing his eyes back to the woman before him.

Sookie only smiled, one hand shaking a bit.

"Hi, Eric."

"You are not real," he snarled, transforming into a crouch.

The blonde woman's chin quivered for a second before she gathered herself.

"No," she argued, "I am. As real as Godric is. And I'm dea-."

"Stop!" he roared, shooting to his feet. "You are not Sookie Stackhouse! She is alive, currently being guarded by the wolf, under the protection of the shifter, sister of an idiot who will not let anything happen to her. She is not-."

But he broke off when Sookie walked into touching distance, and slowly found himself falling to his knees once more.

"Sam, Alcide, and Jason have their own lives," she defended firmly. "They can't keep an eye on me all the time. That's unfair of us to ask them. Please don't take it out on them either. It's not their faults."

Silently, she reached out a hand, but Eric jerked back, growling at the action.

Sookie sighed. "How it happened and all of the other details, aren't important. What is important is what I have to say to you. What I've always been meanin' to, but I guess I always thought there'd be more time. Not for myself, but for you. You who's survived this world for a thousand years and could easily survive another."

Eric's head spun, brain refusing to address the reason why Sookie's appearance was almost identical to the phantasm of Godric's.

And yet, he understood he'd come down from his high as soon as Lilith disappeared before his eyes.

This woman before him still stood despite the clearness of his head.

"You are dead?" he tested, that violent stirring nearly painful now.

But it sounded wrong. The image before him was wrong. Sookie Stackhouse could not die. She was unique. Her abilities offered a protection humans only dreamed of for themselves. She survived attempts on her life. She survived attempts on his life. She survived when survival was not in her forseeable future.

"I am," she insisted quietly.

He didn't even hear the feast occurring behind him, but even if he was to, his eyes could not become detached from the scene before him.

"Godric-."

"She is, my child," his maker confirmed. "I will take good care of her. But for now, you must shelter your disbelief and your sorrow and listen to what Miss Stackhouse has to say."

Immediately, Eric shut right up, eyes falling back to the blonde woman.

Sookie, for her part, fiddled for a moment with the fabric of her dress before straightening herself up.

"I love you."

Eric only blinked.

"I love you. You deserve to hear that once from me before I-."

Swallowing, Sookie glanced down at her hands. Although not physically possible, she emitted the equivalent of a deep inhale.

"I am so sorry, Eric," she tried again. "I'm sorry that I didn't allow myself to hold on to you. That I trusted what I thought I knew about you over what I saw. That's an awful shame that it took this to show me that."

Eric's teeth ground down against each other, an anger equivalent to perhaps the slaughtering of his family, taking reign over his emotions.

"Who was it?" he dangerously inquired. "Who is responsible for your-."

But he couldn't quite get the words out. Impossible since they hadn't even reached the believability stage in his head.

Sookie gave a snort, hands shooting to her hips.

"Eric, I just told you I loved you," she repeated. "Is revenge really your first reaction?"

"I didn't feel you slip away," he argued, disregarding her words. "You have had my blood. I am supposed to feel such a thing!"

By now, his words came out more of a roar, laced with a turbulent fury.

"I was supposed to feel your fear! How did I not-."

Abruptly, he glanced down, his eyes studying the dead woman he'd been consuming.

"It is not your fault, Eric," Godric input softly. "You were forced into taking the blood. The disconnection from Sookie wasn't forseeable. Such an intense drug causes hunger to overtake any other sense or emotion."

But Eric barely heard the words.

"I killed you," he relayed, not a trace of emotion present in his voice.

"Oh, shut up," she scolded. "You did not kill me. I looked into the eyes of my killer while he...I assure you, you are not him. So stop feelin' sorry for yourself. I don't know how much longer Godric and I can be here, but I want you to keep on listenin' to me, even if you've got other ideas in that Viking head of yours."

He could practically hear the smile at the end of the voice. And yet, he could not bare to look up and take it in.

"Anyway, we were at me declarin' my love for you. Short notice, I know. But at least it is a notice. And not many people get that."

Eric stayed silent, mind working furiously.

"You do not know what you feel," he decided harshly, finally meeting her brown eyes.

An angry crease dipping into her brow, the one he'd always found so very amusing, crept in.

"If I wasn't already dead, I'd strangle you," she threatened.

Despite the emotions flooding him, Eric couldn't help but smirk.

"Your attitude has followed you into the afterlife. I should warn my maker if he is to be spending the rest of eternity with you."

She only rolled her eyes, and for a split second, Eric moved to grab her. A touch. A prod. A single grasp of acknowledgement.

But his eyes reminded him of what he could not quite accept.

"I guess I'm here to tell you that this isn't your fault," Sookie continued, risking a step forward. "And that this path you've set on, murderin' and feedin' on people like an animal, isn't you. It is not the man I know you are."

"And you would know me?" he goaded, anger resurfacing once more.

"Yes," she responded honestly. "As you know me."

This shut him up again. For a second.

"Your pledge of love means nothing to me."

This time, the disapproval wasn't rolling off of Sookie, but rather his maker.

"You really believe that?" she indignantly asked, cutting off Godric's reproachful words. "Okay, then, Eric. Here's a question for you. Why am I not appearin' to Bill at this very moment? And don't think I don't see him chowin' down behind ya. Answer me that. Why is it that my Gran, the first to greet me after I died, knew me so well enough as to offer me the chance to see you one last time? My Gran, Eric. She died before I even figured out that the disgust I felt for you might have actually been reluctant affection. And yet, she knew before I did, that I would come to you."

He didn't answer. But he watched her from beneath his lashes, scanning the room.

"Out of all the disgustin' things bein' done in here right now, out of all the soulless vampires feedin' on innocent lives, you are the one who stopped. You are the only one who has your maker by your side. You are the only one who has a woman that loves you, by your side. And I assure you, Eric, we're not just here cause Godric and I enjoy karaoke nights."

Above him, he could hear his maker inquire as to what 'karaoke nights' were.

"I'll explain to ya later," she promised quickly. "Just work with me."

When Eric didn't answer, Sookie crossed her arms.

"That's an awful lot of silence for the great Eric Northman."

Again, he refused to speak.

"Fine," he finally heard. "If you want to believe that I'm here to blame you for not savin' me or here just for the karaoke, then that's your problem, Eric. I have said what I had to say, hard enough as it is, even tougher since I'll never be seein' you again. If you're just gonna kneel and stare at the floor while I try to help you accept my death, somethin' Godric led me to believe would actually mean somethin' to ya, then by all means, go right on ahead. I have an afterlife to get to."

He heard the soft pad of flesh turn away from him, but immobilization anchored his legs from moving.

"Wait," he said before the sound of Sookie walking away, always walking away from him, could disappear.

That violent stirring in his chest area, no longer churned like a malevolent hurricane.

But as acceptance of what he was seeing, what he was trying to prevent from leaving him, began to ignite, the stirring turned near crippling. And despite not needing lungs to breathe, Eric suddenly found it very hard to do so.

"At least tell me how it occurred," he requested, eyes slowly meeting the back of her head.

"No."

"So I can tell your friends and family," he reasoned. "If you do not wish for me to avenge you, I am sure they will be more than willing to."

Those locks suddenly began shaking themselves back and forth in irritation.

"I don't care about vengeance," she tiredly remarked. "That's not what me bein' here is about."

"I refuse to believe you are here because you-."

Both hands shot to her hair, tangling themselves there in nothing short of agitation.

"I. Love. You," she stated slowly, turning back to him.

This time, a redness crept into her eyes.

"Jesus, Eric. I love you," she exclaimed hysterically. "How many times do I have to say it? That's why I'm here. Because I love you. And I love you so much that I wanted to prepare you for my death. So it wouldn't hurt you more than it needed to."

Now, tears were forming and in seconds, they'd be sliding off the curves of her cheeks and Eric knew, especially in that painful area inside his chest, that the tears would affect him. In what way, he couldn't be sure. But they would.

"But you're emotionless about it," she noted with a sniffle. "And if that's how you deal with it, fine. But don't patronize me. Don't think I can't make decisions for myself or that I'm led by an ulterior motive. I'm here because I want to be. Accept that, you stubborn asshole."

And a cry mixed in with a laugh, shot out of her throat, but to his surprise, no tears fled out of her eyes.

She took notice as well.

"I can't even properly cry now," she choked out, stifled by another laugh.

Again, Eric realized she was ready to turn her back on him.

Forever.

Squeezing his eyes shut, he tried to focus on one emotion at a time. One that wouldn't push her away or get her angry at him or make her think that he didn't care about her.

Because that was the biggest lie of all. She claimed that he didn't care that she was...deceased.

While the honest truth remained...Eric was far too uneasy to pick out the emotion that did.

"If you have any last thing to say to Miss Stackhouse, I suggest now would be a proper time," Godric suggested. "Otherwise, perhaps I was wrong in my assumption. Not that I always am right either. Maybe I thought Miss Stackhouse to be far too important of a presence in your life."

"It's not your fault, Godric," she lightly replied. "It's mine too."

"Shut up," Eric growled at them. "For undead beings, you both still have the uncanny ability to piss me off."

"Now you realize what I had to deal with," came her answer.

Fighting the twitch in his lip, Eric, for the first time all evening, removed himself from a kneeling position.

As soon as he took in his maker, he knew the vampire had purposely baited a response from him. And from Sookie.

"You did not choose me," Eric recalled, ice blue eyes locking onto the blonde. "I told you I had changed, that I loved you, something I do not say lightly, and you still did not choose me. Please excuse my anger at your imbalance of emotions."

"So you've never made a mistake?" she retorted, right on que. "You've never said somethin' you didn't mean, or maybe not said enough when you coulda said more? I've already apologized, Eric. It was a mistake not to have trusted you. Not that previous encounters left me very confident you wouldn't just stop-."

"-stop what?" he demanded.

Her hesitation actually forced a step from him.

"Stop what, Sookie?"

"Stop lovin' me!" she shouted back, one hand balled into a fist. "You're a vampire, for Christ sake! If blood doesn't fuel you, then sex sure does. You own a night club where hundreds of women a night, offer themselves to ya. How could I have possibly believed you wouldn't have gotten bored with me? Especially when your memories came back and you realized you had all of that available to you? Did you even think how it made me feel? Some backwater town waitress that barely made enough money to renovate every supernatural disaster that struck her house, compared to your opportunity to have any woman you could want?"

"Blame that on your insecurities," he replied coldly.

"I was very secure with myself," she spat back, taking a stomp forward. "But I sure as hell wasn't secure about you. Tell me what would have stopped you from wakin' up one night, takin' a look at me, and realizin' you wanted better? Or someone who fucked you constantly. Someone who let you take her blood as often as you wanted. Someone that isn't me. You would have gotten bored, Eric. My action of not choosin' wasn't so much as savin' myself from you, but savin' you from me. From realizin' that one night, you'd get bored. Like you do with so many of your other conquests."

Eric kept his thoughts to himself, but the shock couldn't quite escape him in time.

"You truly thought so little of me?"

"When you had amnesia, that was a different you," she pointed out. "You were grateful for the little things. When you were back to yourself, you wanted so much more than I could have offered. And love says that we must accept both the bad and the good in our soul mates and I believe that I did, to a certain extent. But what I did by not choosin' you was save myself the trouble of facin' that pain down the road."

Distracted by the term soul mates, his next words flew out without thought.

"By not choosing me, you signed your death sentence. How reckless could you be?"

As soon as he said it, he knew it was the wrong thing to say.

But Sookie didn't get angry. Or lash out at him. Or even give the slightest indication that the words bothered her.

Instead, she simply nodded, the redness reappearing in her eyes.

"At least we can agree about one thing," she solemnly said. "By not choosin' you, I deserved to die."

Then, her body was facing Godric once more.

"I think I'd like to go now. I've overstayed my welcome."

Godric didn't answer immediately, allowing Sookie the time to compose herself, but he did cast a glance Eric's way and in it, the Viking understood that this was truly his last chance to speak to her. To say what he wished because come a few seconds later, she would no longer stand before him, offering what he was so stubborn to accept.

Stubborn and-.

"Was it painful?"

Sookie's entire back straightened, and for a moment, Eric wasn't sure he wanted to hear the answer.

"No."

He grinned at this for a second before lowering his lips.

"While your ability to lie remains credible to others, know that I am always aware when you are not telling the truth."

When this garnered no response, Eric changed the topic.

"This man...did he make it last?"

Sookie heard the danger in his tone, but she already dismissed the man's face and name from mind.

She turned to face the blonde man, eyes glowing.

"He didn't like my attitude, so in a way, yes," she mentioned, smiling at this. "It's strange...now. How I can look back on death as somethin' so peaceful, even if it was taken in a cruel way. Because those initial moments of pain are nothin' compared to the peace that greets you."

"You're happier dead?"

"Of course not!" she defended, sensing the storminess his eyes had channeled. "It just shocks me I guess."

"Are you happier now?"

"No. Not yet," she concluded. "From my point of view, my brother didn't lose me. I lost him. I lost my friends, and my life. While I'm at peace inside, it still hurts to know I'm leavin' all that behind. That I can't ever go back to it. But in another sense, I'm glad it's over. Vampires huntin' me. People enterin' my life, just to suit their own needs. Friends gettin' hurt because of me. Speakin' of that, will you please tell Tara that I'm sorry? I know she'll probably just spit back in your face, but she's been defendin' me since I was a child. She needs to know that I've always appreciated that, even if I didn't voice it as often as I should have."

That stirring in his heart, so very painful, now increased tenfold. Only because he knew he was close. So very close to acknowledging that emotion.

"If she dares spit in my face, I will rip out her tongue," Eric replied.

The attempt at humor successfully lit up Sookie's smile.

A smile he'd never see again.

And on his chest stirred, this time, a whole other side of him coming to terms with the facts. The side that had held her every night, talked with her, protected her, loved her, fucked her, needed her above all else. The side that had allowed him to declare his feelings, for once not being afraid of who heard it or how it would sound. That allowed him to be truly fearless for once.

If that side of him wept, then it would only be a matter of time before Eric's entire being was consumed.

"I'm gonna miss you," Sookie declared, making her way before him. "I know I'll probably regret sayin' that in a few seconds, but I truly will. You made the last few months of my life, beautiful. You made them passionate and worth livin'. You made me want to fight for my life. Because as long as I was fightin', I had you to come back to."

When he was close enough, Sookie reached out her hand.

The Viking this time around, stood still as stone, awaiting the contact.

Craving the contact.

Sadly, it was not meant to be.

"An unfortunate side effect to these forms," Godric quietly mentioned. "We do not retain the ability to give off what does not come to us in words."

Sookie tilted her head, fingers trying once more to get a hold of Eric's pale cheek, but her fingers kept slipping right through his face, grasping at nothing but air.

Slowly, he lifted his knuckles, intending to skim them over her cheek.

His hand, unfortunately, traveled right through it.

For a moment, they simply stood with eyes squeezed tight, in complete silence. Even though their forms could not touch physically, mentally and spiritually, it felt as if their bodies were in tune. Completely and magnificently.

A slight tug inside Sookie's stomach caused her to reopen her eyes.

"It is time for us to depart," Godric explained.

But Sookie didn't answer.

Instead, she was petrified in her spot, watching the cold, pale marble skin underneath Eric's eyes, slowly streak down with crimson. They were not great globs, but individual, think streaks, meandering down, down, down to his cheeks and following the chiseled crevice down to his jaw.

"I love you so much, Eric Northman," she blurted, her entire form trembling. If sobs were possible, she'd have been a crying mess. "And you don't have to say it back, you don't even have to cure my insecurities, but know that above all else, you made me happy by showin' me a layer of you that is so beautiful, I think it truly scares you. It is the core of your humanity, and without it, you would never be the man and vampire you are today."

And he could almost feel the soft touch of her petal lips on his cheek, even though truthfully, it was only a tickle from the wind.

Now that the time came to it, he wasn't frightened to say the words she spoke of. In fact, every dead nerve and logical impulse, screamed at him to let her know that her journey to him before greeting the afterlife, was worth it. Just one last time.

But the words were lodged in his throat, unable to ascend any higher.

All Eric could do was open his eyes and hopelessly watch as his maker and his Sookie, took one another's hands before fixing their eyes on himself.

"You are not lost, my child," Godric acknowledged. "You have always seeked my guidance. But understand that you already know what choices to make."

Eric bowed his head, throat constricting, all possible words simply freezing.

"I-."

But the word hardly got through before his voice collapsed once more.

"Goodbye, Eric," Sookie waved, the hand gripping onto Godric's, shaking even his own. "Please, take care of yourself. My death was not your fault. Don't ever convince yourself it was. You did so much for me and I was foolish not to have pushed away my own fears like you did, to take what you were offerin' me. Maybe one day, and I'm hopin' it's a long ways away, you and I will meet again. Then, I hope you wouldn't mind me reconsiderin' your offer."

Just as the words broke through Eric's throat, the couple disappeared.

"-love you."

It hurt to breathe, but worse yet, it hurt to even think that a world existed so very briefly with Sookie Stackhouse in it. And in that time, she had come to love him and he her.

Despite her protests of it not being his fault, despite her unhappiness at the idea of vengeance, Eric felt he owed her at least that. To tear out the throat of the man who sent her into the afterlife.

Suddenly, it felt like both of his ears had just popped and the screaming behind him, the sound of teeth gnawing on flesh, sucking out the blood, the pained pleas of their prey, slammed through him.

With a shaky hand, he tugged back the dead woman he'd been so consumed with tasting, and brought her neck to his mouth. For now, he would play along. He would pretend his interests lay in whatever mad solution Salome proclaimed.

But the moment he got out, the moment Nora was safe and perhaps even Compton, Eric would show no mercy.

And for now, this would be the way he'd mourn her death. To slaughter those responsible. At least until he was somewhere far, far away, able to release his pain in a proper, human manner.


For those who wondered how Sookie died, don't worry, I actually have a story behind that. However, I didn't feel it was important to include it in THIS story, especially as the vagueness of it only serves to make Eric come to terms with the fact that Sookie died so suddenly, while he was in such an unaware state. If you truly wish to know, she was tortured (just briefly), then killed by one of those Obama mask wearing shifter shooters that tried to kill Sam and Luna. Only, they obviously kill any supes and they found out about her through Bud Dearborn who let it slip that she could read minds, which obviously didn't happen in the show, but I thought it was interesting that Bud didn't mention this to Sweetie IN the show, so I thought, hey, why not, let him betray her in my story. So, one of the hate group guys ambushed her outside of Merlotte's and that is the end of Sookie Stackhouse. Otherwise, I really hoped you enjoyed that. Nothing special, but it was fun to write. Let me know your thoughts in a review.