**A/N: Remember that I will pretty much always jump off the AU cliff at any and every point possible, right? This is the end to the Third Night that Eric has known Sookie and his first night (early morning in this outtake) at his Maker’s home in Dallas. While there aren’t any tissue warnings, not all of this piece is lighthearted, so keep that in mind as you read, but you should still have a giggle or three. Enjoy!**
With several grumbles, a few mumbles, and a strong need to shift the material of his jeans, the laden form of one tall, broad, muscular vampire known as Eric Northman descended the stairs to the underground level of his Maker’s house.
Kissing that…that female who had somehow become become “his telepath” was all fine and dandy…very fine…hella dandy…but it always seemed to lead to long-term discomfort of the genital variety.
Once he reached the landing, he freed one hand of the luggage he carried and attempted to adjust his jeans. Again. Such shiftings never really seemed to help all that much but as usual hope sprang eternal.
Just like his cock.
With a grunt of frustration he grabbed the baggage and headed out into the main room of the lightsafe level.
The first area encountered at the bottom of the stairs was the mid-sized den…the den where his Maker was now stretched out on one of the sofas…and the smug look on said Maker’s face didn’t help.
It did, however, reflect quite well the humor-filled, if not down-right mocking, pings he had been receiving since leaving Sookie’s room.
Godric, relaxing as though having not a care in the world, held up a glass of warmed blood in obvious invitation. The scene would have been entirely too domestic had it not been for the ancient boy’s benignly continuous smirk…not to mention the oddity of seeing him actually meeting his blood needs.
In all honesty, Eric wasn’t actually all that irritated by his Maker’s obvious enjoyment of his current predicament…miffed, maybe, but not badly so. Given the elder’s odd emotional tones of late, the presence of that smirk could be taken as some form of minor miracle. He could easily handle a little well-intentioned humor at his expense if it gave his Maker some cheer.
Guess the bags he downed earlier either weren’t enough or…or maybe they sparked an interest in the whole drinking thing again? Hope so… I remember a time when he could easily drain several on a field of battle…course then he’d go on to bathe in the remainder of their blood and use their fingers and toes as skipping stones… Good times…
That smug grin…how annoying and yet here I am so delighted to receive it. Still…what an asshole…leaving her bedroom door open! Demonic imp is what he is… So like how he used to be, well, how he used to be after being tempered by time and, well, me… Gaaagh… Well, he’s *my* asshole… Wait, that sounded wrong even to me… Either way he wears Tina’s shed fur well…
Still and all, Eric was damn glad to finally be under his (usually) beloved Maker’s roof. Home was where his fader, broder, and son lived, regardless of location…or temporary frustrations.
Or doors left open on purpose.
What am I, a too-handsy teenaged boy? *harrumph*
After a raised-brow nod to his Maker, he blurred down the hallway, located his quarters, and tossed his burdens near his closet with a thud. He’d deal with it all the next night…and the remainder whenever it arrived. Between the shipments coming from the Were staff and Pam, not to mention Pam’s own vast quantities of Pam-shit, he considered purchasing a warehouse.
It would be cheaper in the long run…
Right then, however, a nice warm glass of O+ called his name, so he shuffled to the small kitchen and heated himself a bag of surprisingly fresh blood after dumping it into a microwavable glass. Once it was warmed to his satisfaction, he entered the den and plopped down on the floor to lean against the front of Godric’s sofa.
Several minutes passed in companionable silence as each savored the blood and the events of the night…and the closeness of having loved ones physically near.
As always their bond wasn’t fully opened, but even so Eric could sense his Maker’s contentment – as well as his evident surprise at the feeling. An odd twang…a discordant impression of something being out of step with what should otherwise have been an easy and natural mood, accompanied that quietude. To Eric, it felt as if it had been so long since the old man had felt such contentment that he wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.
Out of the blue he felt his Maker’s hand land gently on his head, his fingers slowly stroking through his hair, and the Universe itself seemed to shift back into its true orbit. Eric drained his glass and set it to the side. His gut sensed that something important loomed on the horizon and he wanted to be prepared.
“It is good to have you home, my son. You have been missed,” the ancient vampire began softly, “perhaps even more than I realized.”
Eric swallowed hard; the sudden onslaught of guilt was painfully difficult to handle, but it was his to endure. Quite simply, he had chosen to remain away for far too long.
How long has this been going on? How did I not sense…? The bond between us…rarely fully open, but how could I not notice the ever increasing muting? If something was wrong, why didn’t he call me to his side…of course he wouldn’t…values my independence far too much to do that…but the king should have…damn. But…is this more than simple boredom? Loneliness? Had I been around, I might could have fucking known… That I called him seeking help for Sookie and refuge for myself is the only reason I know a damn thing even now.
“I have been away for far too long,” he admitted, his voice low with sorrow and regret.
The fingers stilled for a moment, then began their soothing movements once again.
“No. No, I believe you have returned in good time.”
The bursts of pride, love, and understanding bathing him through their connection helped but caused yet another wave of regret.
Godric emptied his glass and stared at it for a long second as he consoled his child. He couldn’t immediately remember the last time his midsection had felt so full, so…satisfied. A sharp contraction of his abdomen proved his brief supposition – he did indeed slosh when he moved.
The unusual fullness was making him feel quite…lazy? Whatever…it was a good feeling.
But then…the odd sensation could be coming from stroking his beloved progeny’s soft hair. That had always soothed him…the both of them…back centuries ago when times had been far more uncertain.
He had to ponder the difference between his mindset during the callowness of his erstwhile youth and the dry, dusty shadows of his current era.
Was the cure truly as simple as an extra glass or four of blood a night? He glanced down at his ever so slightly rounded stomach. He certainly felt…juicier…than he could last remember… Of course, drinking so much blood would do that.
If that were the case, then no wonder such a strange emptiness had taken residence somewhere inside him. As a truly old vampire he knew he required little blood, but maybe…maybe his unlife wasn’t solely about meeting fundamental requirements?
Somehow he didn’t believe the solution to be quite so simple. Although now simply resting on his shoulder, his hand had yet to leave his child as though drawn to that familial closeness.
His mental meanderings were interrupted in a way that hurt his heart.
Eric made a choking sound and the guilt from his progeny barrelled through their connection…and it was Godric’s turn to swallow hard.
“We have a brave new world before us,” the Maker said, his voice thicker if not stronger than before as he gripped his child’s shoulder. “New nights await us, new adventures and journeys with paths unknown are now brought forth to cure us of boredom’s malaise. We have mysteries to solve, and our king will be of delighted assistance. He has worried of late, you know? He even spoke of it once, but he was never as intuitive as you were cursed to be. He is glad of your presence.”
Eric cleared his throat.
But why…? How could he not…? Fuck.
“Why didn’t you summon me? Why didn’t he? I would have…”
“I know,” the Maker gently interrupted his child. “I forbade him from interfering in your life about something so trivial. My little moods were of no concern. Plus, as the secret in our pocket, I would not have him risk exposing our connections over something so minor.”
Anger surged through the one now becoming the irate fader. Godric watched in awe as the fires of adoration sprang to life in the furious glare of the fierce Viking his progeny would always be.
“You are not trivial,” Eric snarled as he rose to his knees and turned to face the ancient being who had chosen him, who had created and cherished and molded him into the vampire that he was to the present night. “There is nothing about you that is trivial, Master. You are my fader, my broder, and my son – you are my very blood, and I need to be by your side when you need me, and especially when you wish to keep such things from me.”
Godric gazed into the angry, red-rimmed eyes bearing down into that place inside…the place he wished to keep hidden. Now, though…now he knew he could no longer deny this child a peek into the foul miasma that was even then already ebbing, chased away equally, he thought, by the enormous amount of blood so recently ingested on behalf of the mortal girl and…and by his progeny’s return to his life – a return accompanied by mysteries and the excitement of new journeys.
“Swear to me that you will call upon me when you need me, and especially when you wish to hide the things you don’t want me to feel,” Eric demanded as a tear spilled to course down his cheek. “I would do anything for you, Master. You know this.”
Godric hesitated. His sweet, valiant child…so mighty and strong, so caring and protective, and so heartwarmingly possessive of those he loved… He didn’t deserve the weight of this kind of responsibility, nor did he deserve to feel the echoes of his…
“Swear to me.”
Oddly, the tenor of Eric’s voice was a bit more that of a Maker than of a Child…
Godric raised a permanently calloused hand to cup that precious face and thumbed away the shed tear.
With a sigh and a half-smile of both acknowledgement and capitulation, he nodded, and with a whisper he vowed, “I swear it.”
The child-as-fader then took his Maker into his long, strong arms, holding him tighter than a human could bear, and the Maker rested his forehead in the crook of his temporary fader’s neck.
Unable to stop the flow, the mostly closed bond between the Maker and the child burst fully open.
Tears were shed, tears from the child who had until that moment no true idea of how very lost the Maker had been, and from the Maker as the lost returned home.
Long minutes passed before they parted, each with a sniff and an awkward chuckle. As Godric partially muted their bond once again for both their privacy, Eric went to the small kitchen, wet two gobs of paper towels, and tossed one to Godric upon reentering the den.
After their faces were cleaned and Eric had taken a seat at the other end of the sofa, Godric snickered knowingly.
The Maker was back in business.
“So…that is a Sookie. Interesting,” Godric stated while eyeing his progeny with one raised brow. When Eric pretended not to notice, he chuckled lightly. “I can better understand why you have finally uprooted yourself from that life of servitude to an unqualified buffoon.”
The abrupt transition from the heavy conversation, not to mention the surprising subject matter, almost caused Eric to do a double take at his slyly grinning Maker. The shock on his face must have pleased the old imp because Godric grinned wickedly.
In an effort to save what face he had left – it wasn’t as though the ancient brat couldn’t read him like an open book – he glanced around the well-furnished yet comfy room
He figured the half-hearted shrug he allowed would do his inner adolescent proud.
Godric shook his head with mock gravity.
“I can understand why you chose to first settle in that state – the early nights gone by were quite to your liking, but of late…it made little sense. Were you trying to take root in a swamp? No matter, you are now officially free of the temperamental and sometimes dangerous whims of an incompetent ruler. And it seems I have a Sookie to thank for your coming into your own. Perhaps I should have searched for a Sookie and sent her to you myself…if I had known there were hybrids lurking in the vicinity,” Godric ended with a mighty quirk of his brow.
No…no this change has nothing to do with her. Maybe… I don’t know. Maybe it does…or maybe she is simply the impetus I didn’t know I was looking for…or something. Yeah…nah…maybe. But what can I say…? Ohh, good one…
Eric’s eyes narrowed. “”Fairy nice to meet you”? Really? That is how you introduce the subject of her ancestry?”
The ancient vampire chuckled gleefully in brazen audacity.
“Her scent! My child, how could you miss it? How could you not remember?”
Eric harrumphed. “I was fairy-drunk; it happens…” Then he had to join in the humor as it was somewhat…maybe…a little…funny.
And then it dawned on him.
Of course! That’s why he was so concerned about Sookie maintaining her tan!
“You believe she is of the Sky Fae! That’s why you’re so adamant that she bask in her sun,” he exclaimed as he sat up straighter.
“Yes, that is correct. Judging by the color on her fair skin, she revels in the light. And her scent! Ye Gods – she is…”
“Like sunshine in a pretty blonde bottle,” Eric finished for the other vampire, his voice heavy with contemplation.
“A very poetic description, my child.”
Eric inclined his head in acknowledgement of the compliment.
“While I know that iron and citrus, particularly lemon, are potentially lethal to her kind, if memory serves…her grandmother used both in their kitchen.”
“Be that as it may,” Godric replied with bland equanimity, “it is best to be safe. It could be that her blood is diluted enough that the earthly metals and fruits pose no threat, but who knows at what point her body may be exposed to that bit too much? No, it is better to be safe.”
Eric nodded in agreement as he tried to think of other things that might prove harmful to a fairy-human hybrid. Seconds later his futile thoughts were interrupted by Godric’s sudden burst of laughter.
An inquisitive brow-lift prompted the answer to his unvoiced question.
“She truly thought she had terrified me with her hug!”
Godric thought her reaction had been adorable – priceless, and adorable! He hadn’t felt such amusement in centuries! This Sookie…such a sweet mortal, hybrid status or not, but so uninformed. They would have to do something about that.
Erich shrugged and ran a hand through his hair as he thought back to those horrifying yet oddly hilarious moments. “The need to touch…it is also a characteristic of the fae, isn’t it?”
The ancient vampire nodded, and then his mood plummeted.
When the hybrid-child had gratefully flung her arms about his person and enveloped him with both her touch and her scent…at that moment his decades of drinking barely enough to survive had punched him in the gut and set fire to his throat.
Despite his extreme age and willpower, his fangs had even snicked partially down before he had thought to halt their progress.
He shuddered – the memory burned even now, hence the additional, and honestly unnecessarily, latest glass of blood. At this rate he would have to restock in two nights!
In the past he did not thirst and therefore he did not drink aught but what he needed to survive, but now…now he must whether he truly did or not. He regarded the emptied glass now resting crookedly where the sofa cushions met. Now-a-nights he never even had to pierce another’s flesh with his fangs to feed – blood came in handy little bags and mixed in bottles with strange names. This was a good thing, it truly was…but how long had it been since he had gone on a hunt?
The thought of doing so felt strange, odd in a way that made him sad. Perhaps therein lay the problem? Godric frowned as a thought surfaced. Officially such things were, naturally, forbidden in this age of supposed ‘mainstreaming’, but then “officially” could always go fornicate with itself.
He mentally shrugged and silently sighed.
No longer could he pander to his late concepts of cleaner living and extreme self-control, if those were even the causes, not when doing so would now put an innocent at risk. He couldn’t recall ever having made a conscious decision to deny himself of…well, of anything, really. He could only blame time…time, and the lack of need, the lack of anything but the boring, never-ending night-to-night existence…
It was all irrelevant, though, in the end, as most things were and would ever be.
In the now rested the problem of the hybrid child and her effect on his progeny. As the Maker it fell on his shoulders to see to the safety and wellbeing of any he Turned, and while the hybrid seemed to present no overt risk, he knew well the ways of the Fae. That she hadn’t been reared amongst her ilk was a monumental mark in her favor. In fact, she seemed genuinely…nice? How quaint…and yet, it did seem real.
He had watched their interaction closely – unnoticed, of course, although as mesmerized as Eric seemed by the telepath, he wouldn’t have noticed a dinosaur tromping through the back hallway wearing bells and a Stetson – and noted how this Sookie had treated Eric as if he were any other person. Neither fearful nor assuming, vaguely respectful yet teasing in a pleasant manner…just what the boy needed.
A glance at said child now staring off into the distance while idly fiddling with a strange plastic rectangular device filled him with quiet joy. Eric was here, under his roof, safe and sound and as much a force of nature as ever – and he brought with him mysteries and adventures.
That was a good thing.
But what was he fiddling with? A…keychain?
“Eric, what have you there?”
A slow grin teased his ancient lips when his child startled as though having been unexpectedly doused with cold water. Instantly he recalled the first time Eric had inadvertently fallen into that wakeful napping state, and how surprised his child had been when gently prodded with a nearby stick.
At least he hadn’t used the sharp end.
Godric watched as the younger vampire negligently shook his head and his too-long hair shivered with the movement. He really did need a haircut, lazy brat.
“This? It’s just something Sookie picked up for me when we stopped for gas on the way here.”
What Godric detected through the bond belied the forced negligence in the younger faker’s tone.
Eric studied the object as if having never seen it before then tossed it to his Maker. The attached keys jingled when they landed squarely in the elder’s palm.
The image made the old man laugh and brought a sweetly genuine smile to the younger’s face.
Godric regarded the silly bit of nothing for a moment then tossed it back to its owner.
“My son, it is ok if you feel.”
He smiled in understanding when Eric’s shocked then vaguely outraged gaze flew to meet his.
How he loved shocking his child!
While it was true that once upon a time he would have suggested something completely different, centuries up on centuries of life had taught him otherwise, but that was for another time. Simply put, life was a series of situations and few firm rules fit them all…especially when a certain tenderness happened to sprout where a foot should have stepped.
A certain tenderness…given the confused glare he was now receiving for his efforts, he concluded that the boy had no idea.
“Just take this slow. If she is as I think she is, her time with us will not be as limited as a mortal’s would be. Considering her most probable heritage I would normally have advised against any such thing, but as she wasn’t raised in their ways, she should be no more problematic than any other, I wouldn’t think. She does have a light, a glow…an otherness about her that leads me to believe she is enhanced, and if this is true…”
It was true that he sensed a spark, perhaps the spark of legend, in the youngling, but until it matured or developed or whatever it was the fae-kind did – for all he knew during their version of puberty they grew cocoons then sprouted from them in full Fairy form…it wouldn’t surprise him if that were true – he couldn’t speak with any authority and so wouldn’t lead his child toward false hope.
The hour dawned on him and for once he both anticipated and dreaded his upcoming daydeath – he finally had something he actually wanted to stay up for!
But…he would be easing into oblivion with his son safely by his side, albeit in his own quarters soon to be strewn with the paraphernalia of said child’s nightly life. He wondered if Eric was still in his neat-freak stage or if he had reverted once again into his former slovenly habits. Such a trial he could be – Bigfoot-sized shoes everywhere…
A glance showed that the boy still held the keychain in his hand. That, and the sight of his blue eyes becoming the vampire version of sleepier by the second, warmed his ancient heart.
Alas, the dawn neared.
“Go to your sleep, child,” he ordered gently, knowing that Eric felt the same sense of welcome camaraderie yet also knowing his progeny needed his rest. “Tomorrow will be a busy night what with teaching the youngest among us, not to mention your laundry and haircut…”
Instantly alert, Eric faked a growl at his Maker then scrunched his nose.
He hated doing laundry.
But even he had to agree that the past couple nights had been unusually busy – invigorating yet tiring on a level he hadn’t often experienced lately, and he was definitely glad to seek his bed.
Without further ado he hugged his Maker, a hug which naturally ended with several manly claps to the back, then made his way to his own quarters.
He knew he should at least attempt to unpack…something, investigate the contents in the closet, check his phones for messages – no emergency alerts had sounded and Pam’s light buzz since their parting had been steady if sometimes annoying, but…so many things to do…so much to plan… If he was honest with himself, he actually had time to do much of it before the sun pulled him under, but…but he simply didn’t want to.
All his bonds were quiet, even Pam’s end had smoothed into the serenity of her daysleep.
Sookie…she was safe here in his Maker’s home, safe and mere yards away…well, yards if he flew, but close…so close…
Suddenly it was impossible to keep his thoughts of her in her bed out of his mind…
The warmth of her skin…her scent…even the color of her hair seems determined to fill my mind with images I can’t yet act upon…maddening, truly.
As he emptied his pockets into the bowl on the dresser, kicked his shoes off to land in a heap beside the luggage, and then shrugged off his clothing into the hamper he found in his closet, he tried to firmly redirect his attentions toward his plans after rising but shrugged when he failed miserably.
His thoughts now kept returning to the chat with his Maker. The disturbing sense of having avoided a close call wouldn’t leave.
Between my Maker and my business partner, my exit from the Queen’s service and the Berts sudden appearance then weirdly helpful attitudes…to Compton’s upcoming timely demise…my brain is going to suffer whiplash. Godric…deep sense of crisis averted…don’t know exactly what has been going on…should have been here…but damn it, I am here now. And Sookie…oh, Sookie…later, my lovely…I will have you later…
As he slid between his smooth, soft sheets, his thoughts as he fell almost instantly into his daysleep were of Sookie smiling at Godric as he carried her cat around the library.
Godric and that cat…and Sookie…sweet Sookie…
As Eric walked more slowly than usual down the hallway, Godric rose to take their glasses to the small kitchen and filled them with water to soak. After ensuring that the door down into the vampire level of the house was secure, he turned off the lights in the den, the kitchen, and the hallway.
A small emergency light provided more than enough illumination for him to find his own door, and seconds after entering his own quarters his clothing landed nowhere near their intended destination of the hamper in the en suite bathroom.
He thought briefly of showering, but didn’t want to wash the too-faint scent of sunshine from his arms. With a sigh he sought his own bed and found the soft, expensive cotton sheeting even softer to his old skin than usual.
As his pillow proved even more accommodating than the last time he had made its acquaintance, his thoughts drifted…but with less of a mundane feel to them.
Few things could surprise the ancient vampire anymore but knowing that a fairy-hybrid was right there – right there in his home, did. It had been centuries since he had last scented even a partial fairy…and centuries longer since he’d last beheld a full fairy. Logic dictated that hybrids could still exist…and trust Eric to come dragging one home to his Papa.
Suddenly an image of Sookie as a little puppy being carried home by a toddler-sized Eric popped into his agile mind, and he grinned.
With a soul-deep sigh of a completion not found since the last time he’d had a truly full belly and had his beloved child safely ensconced under his roof, he snuggled a bit deeper under his covers and slid immediately thereafter into a deeply restorative daysleep.
**A/N: Oookay, so…what did you think?**