How long had he spent in search of his son? His companion— The one he had moved through the old world as Death with? Too long, too long without even the smallest sense of his being. So Godric had wandered, had sought out his progeny with everything that he had. Eric had to be alive, any doubt dissipated by the memory of him fighting. He had chosen him for a reason, had offered him life in return for love. In return for a solace of peace.
Eric had granted him that and more. He had proved himself worthy of the gift, turned curse, that he had ‘bestowed’. He lived, thrived, expanded with each passing day. His maker was sure of it. The viking would not allow such a time to come that he would bow to those who were undeserving, to follow a will that was not his own. With that knowledge Godric simply knew— He was alive, it was merely a matter of finding him.
It was proving difficult though, more so than he originally anticipated. Having met his True Death had severed the bond of maker and progeny; leaving him with no way to command Eric’s appearance nor a sixth sense to find him, himself. Yet he was not centuries old only to be bested by such a pathetic excuse. It would be giving up to stop looking, giving up on not only Eric but Nora as well. Already once he had acted selfishly, he had to do what he could with the second chance he’d been given. He had to fix things between them, make them right once and for all.
Did they miss him though? Were they angry? He did not doubt it— Did not admonish them if they were. They had every right to hate him for what he had done. To become a maker meant responsibility, meant he was supposed to care for his progeny and he’d left them to the cruelty of the world. If he hadn’t died, hadn’t taken his own life, they very well could be together. As a family, safe and happy even at the end of the world.
Eyes lifted from their focused position on the floor, head tilting just the slightest. The sun was only moments away from setting now and he would continue his search. Miles upon miles had been wandered, the uninfected few and far between. The situation only worsened by that which called the darkness its most comforting home. Filth was everywhere, lost and broken remnants of once proud species rampant.
As it was now before him, the stench of an infected not but thirty feet away. Silently Godric shifted, rising to his knees from his previous lax position in order to turn his gaze outwards from his hiding place. It, he, was there, wandering through the last rays of sunlight, as if he was searching for something. No, as if he had already found what he had come for. Yet the vampire was restricted in his following, forced to stay within the hollow of a fallen tree until night completely settled.
A single minute, if not seconds was all it took before the illumination of the Earth fell way— The infected out of restricted sight but his trail once more picked up. He hadn’t gone far, steady course and pace vaguely notable and now Godric new why as he followed behind, the smell of humans and—-
Within the blink of an eye, he was on the creature, hands pressed to temples and jerked swiftly as the sound of bone coming free from flesh and blood filled the air. He would not allow this wanderer to enter, would not allow his progeny to be hurt because he was certain, as he could ever be that he smelled him. The head was released, body dropping to where his feet just had been yet he was already off, heading in the only direction he cared to travel.
It seemed fate had come prepared, the tall and imposing visage of the blond viking meeting him as he came to a small clearing in the woods. If the need to breathe had been necessary he would have had it stolen in that moment, eyes never leaving the others frame as he dropped to his knees before him. Blue eyes locked with his own and Godric could see it— The hurt he had inflicted with his suicide, the confusion and pain his reappearance was causing. Once more he was being selfish, once more he had only thought of himself.
The question though, brought pallid tiers lifting just the slightest, a single, unsoiled hand raised to lightly brush against his progeny’s cheek. To caress the cold flesh as if it would bring solace to the other.
”I was,” He whispered in reply, arm finding it’s place against his side again, “And I still am.”
And just like that, Eric shatters into a hundred million pieces. He feels his heart break in his chest and he falls forward, letting his head rest against his maker’s belly and his body is absolutely wrecked with sobs—ugly, woman things that make him blubber and wheeze and sob. He cries, because he’s been holding these emotions in for too long. He’s locked them up in the silver walls around his heart and hasn’t touched them in nearly a decade. God, nearly 10 years he’s been without Godric and it feels like a hundred. The first day alone felt like a century’s worth.
Godric is light and Godric is dark and Godric is faith and hope and life. Godric is a roaring fire in the dead of winter and Godric is a blanket of fresh fallen snow on Christmas morning and Godric is 110 on the freeway with the windows down and oh shit there’s a turn coming up and the brakes have just gone out and Godric is that highest point on a roller coaster when you can’t turn back and Godric is the sun on your skin for the half a second before it burns you and Godric is…
Godric actually feels warm beneath his clothing, and when Eric turns his head he swears he hears a heartbeat, but it’s nothing. He’s too fucking wrecked to know better right now because his maker is standing before him when 10 fucking years ago his maker had burned on a rooftop because he didn’t love Eric more than he hated being alive.
So… that happened. And it still breaks Eric’s heart to this day.
His chest hurts because he’s crying and it’s freezing out and now his whole body aches with want and need and he clings to Godric, pulling him closer, putting his lips on him—his cheeks, his eyes, his lips, but they aren’t romantic or sexual, they’re sorries. They’re promises. They’re please don’t ever leave me again because if you do I’ll kill myself because I can’t handle losing you twice I couldn’t handle losing you once please please please don’t leave me not ever again because I can’t handle it please please please don’t leave me.
I love you.
He has love in in his life. He has Sam and God damnit he loves him… He has Hanna and he’d hang the sun for her even if he died doing it. He had Pam and although she is no longer near, he’d willingly die for her a thousand times over, but this? Godric… Eric and Godric, Godric and Eric, this… this love… this epic love story of Eric and Godric just keeps getting retold. The story doesn’t end, and Eric never wants it to.
"How are you here?" he manages after long moments of touching Godric everywhere he can. "How did you… How are you here?”
Night. Finally. Quite a few minutes past sunset, actually.
He could feel it in his bones, just underneath his skin — a body clock that let him know where the sun was at all times.
Eyes opened, more attentive than normal upon first waking, partially due to the fact that his lover was perched at the end of the bed reading. Not for very long, it seemed. Eric slept in. And Sam let him.
The bed moved as Eric sat up but Sam either didn’t notice or paid no mind — it was no matter. Eric had better things in mind…
It was easy for him to crawl across the bed, easy for his fangs to click out quietly, or as quietly as he could manage, and still Sam was engrossed in the book. He reached the back of his lover and pulled the length of hair away from his neck, leaned in to drink without a word, just a small kiss and fangs were slicing into the delicate skin without warning. One hand on his arm, the other wrapped around his body and coming to settle on his waist as Eric drank more than his fill. Sam’s blood was addictive — and Eric couldn’t get enough.
"Good evening, my prince…"
The debris fell to the wayside with a dissatisfying squish as opposed to the delicious crunch that should have sounded. Soggy wood. Ugh. Eric grimaced as the rotting smell of it wafted up to him, and his boot kicked aside another piece of fallen… something. Home? Bookcase? Eric couldn’t tell. It had rained since the last time he’d been here. Everything was so ruined. There were still fires burning, even through the rain, and it was the least Eric could do to put them out. He focused on a small one that was still raging, and with a wave of his hand the flames died out instantly. He could feel the anger of the flames course through his veins as if he had been angry enough to put them there, but he took a deep breath and plowed through.
The current duress of the forest that Eric was occupying was starting to bring him down, as if something so little could possibly bring him down any further. He was his best self for other people but without those other people around, what good was he? He was looking for food for Hanna, new clothes for her even, among the rubble of what was left of some scattered buildings.
A twist of his head and he was met with a face he never expected to see again, not for as long as he lived.
God, she was so short… Like he’d expected her to have grown in the last five years, like he always expected after having not seen her for any given amount of time. He used to tease her for it, way back in the day, back before Godric died, back before sheriffs and the authority and kings and queens…
And then their bodies fit together like God himself had handcrafted their bodies from clay to fit together like intimate puzzle pieces, both beings sliced from the same slab of clay, both molded with the same hands, the same care… This was his Nora. His little sister, the only woman he’d ever truly loved in his entire life… his syster. She would forever be his beacon, his pinnacle.
He didn’t even need to think about his next move, his arms and body moved of their own accord to slot her so perfectly against him, and maybe there were tears, maybe it felt like his heart was sinking into his chest, but she was here, in his arms, alive, cognizant…
But he could no longer feel her.
If you told Eric Northman a week ago that he’d be standing in front of his maker in a few days time, he’d have grabbed you by the throat and broken your neck for even speaking of his maker like that.
Godric was dead. There was no way in hell or heaven that he could be back, flesh and bone, real and solid beneath his fingers but here he was, ethereal and otherworldly, like an angel on high. A fucking Christmas miracle.
Eric couldn’t tell you how it happened.
He falls to his knees in a trance, pupils blown wide, blood tears streaming down his face, humanity creeping up on every nerve ending in his body. There is no other explanation other than Godric is mesmerizing. He’s mesmerized, endlessly, by this young child who transcends every dream and nightmare Eric has ever had. He’s an angel, a god.
When Eric was first turned, way back when, and Eric thought he was too good for respect and when Eric thought he could do this by himself, Godric would force him to his knees, sire bond wrapping right around his spine and forcing him into the submissive position. Eric had a height advantage, Eric had a build advantage, but not to Godric. ”On your knees,” would come the lightning fast, molten lava command from his maker’s perfect lips and Eric would bend at will, and soon thereafter, Godric stopped having to command him. Eric was pliable, putty beneath strong fingers and knowing hands.
Submit. Submit to the will of Heaven.
It’s like that now, in this moment. Godric no longer has a sire bond over him, and yet he falls without having to be told. He doesn’t move, won’t move until Godric moves him, until Godric touches him, won’t open his eyes, won’t even fucking breathe without his maker’s permission to do so.
He won’t move until he knows that Godric is real, and that this isn’t some fever dream on his death bed. He asks as much.
"Are you death?" he says, and the words fall easily from his lips, easier than the first time they were spoken. He’s not sure if he means them this time or if he really is asking if this is death come to take him away. He feels angry for a moment—he hadn’t wanted it to end like this. He never got to tell Pam that he’s proud of her, tell Sam he loves him, to thank Dean for his endless mercy, to thank this camp for giving him a chance, but something in the back of his mind tells him that he’s not dead and no, he isn’t really dying.
This is real. This is real. And Eric doesn’t know what to do.
He can feel it — he can — the tension stringing through Eric and it doesn’t do a lot to settle his own nerves. Worse still that he can’t see a fucking thing, has no way of knowing if they’re driving through country or urban sprawl in all of the desolation that surrounds… No towns, not yet, nothing that big, and hopefully they can avoid the worst of things. There’s only the jerk of the jeep as Eric steers it around the larger potholes, the judder as they go offroad to avoid impassable obstacles. The creak and groan of suspension and Sam can only hope that they don’t rip something crucial off the underside or end up popping the radiator before they can hit their destination.
Road tripping in the apocalypse was hardly a breeze. And the breeze itself wasn’t helping. All he could smell was the heady scent of Eric next to him, the dusty fabric of the poorly covered seats, and snatches of this and that, gone as soon as they hit him almost indiscernable in the mix. But the engine isn’t rattling or clanking, just running smoothly, the music isn’t too loud, only a backdrop to the otherwise silence, and Sam must have shoved three tapes into the deck, listened to both sides and was about to throw in another when he feels Eric’s hand on his and he almost jumps out of his skin…
…It was probably annoying. But he was just trying to do something… Anything to keep his mind occupied. The tape that was in his hand is gone, rattling somewhere onto the floor at his feet. So he just took a deep breath, swallowed and tried to ignore the itching from his right ear that was a sign that the bleeds were happily cracking through his defenses and winding their way around the protection charm…
”Just a little bit. I guess it’s still weird… Not being able to see… Being away from camp. For not really ever having a home before, I got kinda attached to the place, y’know? It’s nothing.”
But he let his fingers slip between Eric’s anyway, thumb idly resting against the back of his hand, brushing over the warm skin there, probably more of a comfort in that touch than the other could possibly imagine —
“Sun must be pretty high right now, yeah? You feel toasty…”
Sam wasn’t sure if he missed the cold or was just a little uneasy about Eric’s new ability, either way though, he was glad of it — glad that out of all the mess that was crashing down around them, that something good had happened — something Eric truly deserved. Not to be afraid of the sun anymore, but be embraced by it.
But the shift in Eric’s voice had Sam smiling, the slight longing, but eagerness to his tone. A short time ago, if you’d asked him to describe what it must be like to lose something like that, Sam might have been hard pressed to understand. Even back in college with Jess, it hadn’t really been his ‘home’ — a rental that they barely managed to scrape the money for each month, but it was only ever a stopgap — a place to move on from. The attack on the camp had shaken the younger Winchester more than he’d like to admit. So no, he didn’t get it — not completely — what it must have been like for Eric to lose the thing he’d built from the ground up. His bar. His home. A place where he had family and friends… But at least now, he could empathise…
”I can’t wait. It’ll be good to see the place where all those stories came from. It’s never quite the same when you try to picture things in your head. Like reading a book and then seeing a movie — they never match up. But seeing it for real will be great…” Not even voicing the doubt that it might not be there anymore, or daring to think what state it might be in when they got there. Because if nothing else, right now, they were running on hope, and sometimes, that’s all you needed.
”You never know, there might even be a bottle of that Tru-Blood stuff around for me to try. I know you said it was kinda rancid, but hey, if you heat it up for me I’ll give it a shot…”
"Home is hardly a place anymore, Sam. It’s a person, it’s people. Home isn’t a cabin or a camp. It can no longer simply be a place."
Fangtasia had been a home, and then it was destroyed, not just by the apocalypse… but by the government. That disgusting ban on vampire businesses because of Governor Burrell’s stupid curfew for vampires.
Eric’s had every home he’s ever had destroyed since the day he was born, and he’s done nothing but move from place to place, nomadic like no where was ever good enough, trying to raise a family, trying to be good and honest, trying to love… and having everything he’d ever worked for destroyed. Everything would be picked off one by one —
He very much doubted there was anything left of it, not anymore. The only thing inside of him was fire.
Eric was born a primordial ooze — he crawled out of his own mother’s blood. He hid among the humans, hoping not to be seen, but somewhere along the way he grew legs, stood upright. He became a husband, a father. He had to evolve… He tried to live dead, tried to tighten his heart into a snarl,
”I’m not hot. I am fine.”
Fine. Just fine. There would always be anguish in his heart. Never okay, just fine. We have reached a verdict, your honor. This man’s heart is deficient. He loves, but his love is worth nothing.
"It was my home, before homes were not homes and homes were people."
Big city. Overgrown with weeds, but flowering weeds. On every corner a wrecking crew and something new and crooked going up catty corner to that. Windows missing in every edifice like broken teeth, gritty wind, and a gray high sky full of ravens.
"Pamela and I bought the land, built it from the ground up. She picked the name, thought it was funny… and it was perfect for vampires coming out of the coffin. We recouped our investment within five months. She loved that place… it was her home more than mine, never just a bar to her. I think her favorite part was opening the doors and watching everyone flock to me and my throne…"
Reverence, for the daughter that might be dead.
Prophet birds. Piles of trash, but lapidary like rubies and obsidian, and diamond-colored cowspit streamers in the wind. And voting booths. And everyone in Balenciaga gowns with red corsages, and big dance palaces full of music and lights and racial impurity and gender confusion. And all the deities are creole, mulatto, brown as the mouths of rivers. Race, taste and history finally overcome.
"Pamela loved that bar. Sometimes, I’m sure, more than she loved me."
It’s getting too sad in here.
"Tru:Blood was… tolerable. Taste like dead people, blood but no life. No oxygen. Synthesized human blood… Fake. Like drinking… diet soda instead of the real thing. No sugar. No life. Dead."
Dead, but living. Living, but not alive. Messy, not dirty. An important distinction.
"We’ll be there soon. You should sleep, please." His thumb smoothed over the back of Sam’s hand, a silent plea. "Please… you’ll feel better." You’ll be able to see. I’ll be able to think. "If you can’t, too much to think about, too loud… I can command you, a soft slumber… gentle rocking of the car. Please. Sleep. You will feel better. Or-or feed. You may drink from me."
'You are my child, as I was the child of Godric.
You were born into greatness.’