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A Second Chance

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Godric was awake an hour before the sun had fully set, as usual. He took a shower and only bothered to put his pants back on as he wandered barefoot and aimless around Eric's hotel room, waiting for his child to wake. A few minutes before sunset, he heard Eric begin to stir and made his way back to the bedroom. He sat down beside him on the bed and watched as Eric's eyes fluttered open.

Eric felt a gentle pull out of sleep as if someone was gently shaking him, and opened his eyes to find Godric seated patiently on the side of his bed, shirtless and beautiful with wet hair. He blinked and simply drank in the sight before him as if it were a hazy dream image he was trying to cling onto.

"Are you thirsty? Do you need anything?" Eric asked when finally he was awake enough, because at this hotel, a complimentary breakfast was only a phone call away. Godric could sometimes neglect his own thirst and Eric knew it. His Maker insisted he needed very little blood anymore, and knowing his age, that may be true. But just because his ancient body no longer required it did not mean he may not want it.

"No. I am fine," Godric dismissed, looking down at his child. "Did you sleep well?" He found himself reaching out to take Eric's hand in his, and his child thrilled at the contact. Godric usually wasn't the first one to reach out to touch. However, Godric found it reassuring after last night’s unpredicted events, although he couldn't quite comprehend why it was so.

"Yes, I slept fine," Eric answered him simply. In the old days when they were together, Godric had always been there when he woke, night after night, no matter what. Eric could still remember the one night when he finally was not. He wondered how much longer he would have Godric like this. He sighed and stared down at their linked hands as if it was something to be studied. Then, slowly, he raised them to his lips and kissed his Maker’s exposed palm in an ancient, loving gesture they had shared so many times before.

Godric smiled softly at his Viking. This was the first time in a long time that he did not have a hundred things to do. Being Sheriff was a lot more work than most realized. The thought also reminded him that Eric would need to get back to Area 5 soon. An Area with an absent Sheriff was just asking for trouble.

Before he could ask his child how long he planned on being in Dallas, however, there was a knock at the door. He tilted his head to the side inquisitively, as if he were listening for something. "It is Isabel and some of your people." He said, forgetting Bill's and Sookie's names. He could also tell there was a very young female Vampire with them, but he had not met this one yet.

Eric knew exactly who his Maker meant and he sighed in response, suddenly not wanting at all to rise out of bed. He didn't want to see the others. They would only suggest Eric go back to Area 5, and his private moment with Godric would be over before it started. He wanted his Maker to himself, before he turned around and left him a second time.

"What the hell do they want? Tell them I'm busy." Eric shut his eyes lazily and moaned, as if he really were in the position to give a vampire like Godric orders. Godric raised an eyebrow at his child. The Viking had obviously not been around his Maker enough, as he had forgotten his manners. He stood up and looked down at his child with amusement.

"Shall I tell them I threw you out the window because I grew tired of your attitude? I'm sure they would believe that," he said over his shoulder as he walked out of the bedroom to see what the others needed, even though Isabel was his main concern. She was sure to be overwhelmed with her new position as Sheriff and he wanted to do whatever he could to help her. She had been a loyal subject for over forty years, and more than that, she was a good friend. Godric grabbed one of Eric’s T-shirts, inhaling the scent of his child as he slipped it over his head.

Eric gave his Maker a sly, fanged grin, having gotten the desired reaction from his boy-god-made-of-stone. Sometimes, challenging Godric was the only way to bring out his emotions. It was an old pastime of Eric’s; provoking his Maker to get a rise out of him, to watch him put Eric in his place, to see even a glimpse of the unbelievable power he possessed. He was about to provoke Godric further, maybe with a comment about how cute he looked in his own oversized clothes. Yet just as he opened his mouth, so did the door, and they were no longer alone.

"This better be good," Eric growled at the odd mixture of humans and vampires, old and new.

"Eric, you should be nicer to your guests," Godric told him simply, not chastising the other vampire in front of the others, but knowing how to get the 'threat' across to his stubborn child anyway. "Why don't you open the window and let some fresh air in?" he suggested innocently, holding back his smile, knowing Eric would remember the previous window threat. Godric invited the others to sit on the couches with a silent gesture as he himself sat on the loveseat.

"We are sorry to disturb you two; I just came to speak with Godric, the others met me in the hall," Isabel explained, but before she could continue, the very young red-headed vampire cut in, pushing past the others to come closer to Godric.

"You're a vampire too? I've never met another vampire like me before!" Jessica practically squeaked in excitement.

"Jessica!" her Maker admonished, but she completely ignored him.

"How old were you when you were turned?" She asked curiously and Godric blinked at how fast the words flowed from her mouth.

"I was almost sixteen," he answered her. He didn't remember a time when another vampire didn't speak carefully and respectfully around him. The girl's naiveté was refreshing.

Eric, however, immediately narrowed his eyes in anger. If it had been anyone but Godric, Eric would have snickered in amusement at the way this stupid fledgling was speaking to him, as if they were teenagers at the mall. Perhaps a very deep part of him was jealous of the way they looked at each other. Godric looked... pleased. Eric saw a spark of life in his eyes and he clenched his fists as he stood loyally near his Maker's chair. It angered Eric that this girl had no sense of respect, that she had no idea who she was dealing with.

"Godric is older than you will ever fathom." He corrected her quickly and angrily. "He is not like you, he is your elder."

"She is just a child, she did not mean any harm," Godric responded, trying to placate his own child. He wanted to reach out and touch Eric for reassurance but there was no way of doing so without being indiscreet.

"But that's just it, I'm not a child!" Jessica, it seems, did not have any sense of survival. Godric glanced back at her and saw she genuinely seemed upset. This conversation obviously had deeper meaning for her. Godric could relate to her in more ways than his child could realize.

"I apologize; I did not mean to offend,” Godric smiled at the young one. “To me, your Maker seems but a child."

"Really?" she asked, amazed. Godric smiled softly at her preserved innocence and hoped she would keep it much longer than he did. "But he's so old!"

"I have been around for a very long time," Godric answered gently and she looked at him adoringly, as if trying to figure out if he were telling the truth. She herself could not imagine being as old as this vampire boy.

Eric rolled his eyes dramatically at Jessica's immature reaction. For once, he felt bad for Bill, having to raise such an infant. She had no idea, no respect, and it angered him. "This child should not be here. She isn't a part of what just happened. Take her home to Bon Temps." He stared at the red-headed vampire as he spoke.

"She can only learn by being around others of her kind," Godric replied before Bill could, trying to assuage his child’s anger. "I doubt there are many vampires in Bon Temps."

"There's just me and Bill," she agreed, looking smugly at Eric as if she had won something, although Godric didn't really understand what. "And it's soooo boring... I like your tattoos." She grinned, stood up and came to sit beside Godric on the loveseat. He blinked at the sudden change of subject.

She reached out to trace the tattoos on his upper arm and he stiffened, then forced himself to relax.

"How cool," she said, mostly to herself, not realizing his discomfort.

Eric did not understand Godric's defence over the stupid child. He knew that Godric never really felt he deserved the title he held. He never really felt he deserved to be worshipped and respected. But Eric knew better, and refused to have people treat him any other way. So when the idiot child reached out to touch him, Eric was there to stop it.

"Enough!" Eric's voice boomed through the room, shaking the walls and causing Jessica to jump back as he shoved her hand off of his Maker. He stepped in between them, forming a protective wall in front of the older vampire. He did not look at Godric but instead turned to his subordinate, the unfortunate owner of this obnoxious young one. "Bill, take her out of here!" he demanded.

Bill did as he was told and grabbed the girl. He escorted her out, looking a bit in over his head with the girl, his first and only child. Bill’s guilt over turning her and his messed-up relationship with his own sire had caused issues in his own child-rearing. Sookie followed with a curious look between Eric's protective gesture toward Godric before she, too, left.

When only Isabel remained, she broke the tense silence. "If that girl’s heart hadn't already stopped beating I would say you gave her a heart attack," she said, amused.

"Eric, please sit down," Godric said quietly and indicated the space next to him.

Eric swallowed back a growl. At least he had gotten the majority of them out of the room. The only one left was Isabel, which he really did not mind at all. He knew Godric was quite fond of her, but he did not feel threatened. But he wished Godric had yelled at him, raised his voice, anything to make Eric look less like the hysterical fool while Godric remained calm and stoic.

Yet he did as his Maker asked and sat down without question, taking the seat which Jessica had invaded without right. "That was the point. She needs to learn this isn't show-and-tell at summer camp." He spoke calmly to Isabel.

"Vampires like her are the reason that I never became a Maker." Isabel agreed.

"She was turned too young," Godric spoke up, but stared down at the coffee table instead of the other occupants of the room. "It will take her a decade or two before the human hormones in her body finally filter out," he added, almost to himself, before he seemed to snap out of his reverie and looked up at Isabel. "What is it you needed to speak to me about?"

Isabel was looking at him differently, as if she just realized for the first time that he had been turned when he was even younger than Jessica. Most vampires could sense his age and they hardly noticed the teenage body.

"Yes, first I just wanted to say that I am honored by your nomination for me to be Sheriff. I will work hard to ensure your trust in me was not in vain," she began, giving him a deep nod of respect. Godric gave her a small smile and she continued. "I also wanted to warn you that the King of Texas is convinced that since you are no longer Sheriff, you will challenge him for his crown. You could be a target if you decide to stay in Texas."

Fear shot through Eric. Of course Godric will be challenged. In his retirement, he would be in danger from the very few that were strong enough to do so. And Godric, although he was perfectly capable of putting up a fight, might not have the willpower to fight anymore. And that was what scared Eric. The vampire sat up straight in his chair and looked at his female elder.

"Excuse me, Isabel, if I could have a quick word with Godric alone...?" he requested.

"Of course. I'm in the room across the hall if either of you needs me." She nodded, excusing herself and walked out.

"I have nothing to fear from the King of Texas. He might be incompetent but he is not stupid enough to start something with me." Godric tried to reassure his child because he knew that was what he wanted to discuss.

Eric didn't give a shit about the king. Sliding to his knees on the floor in front of the sitting vampire, he bowed his head as if he were praying to him. After a moment of silence, he gently grasped both his Maker's hands in his and rested his forehead on one of them.

"Come home with me," Eric whispered.

Godric sometimes wondered if the only reason Eric got down on his knees before him was to insure his full undivided attention, because that was always what Eric received in return. "Eric..." he stopped, unsure of what to say to the younger vampire. "Are you sure that is what you want? You have your own life now. I would not want you to give that up if that were not what you wanted."

His own life? Eric wanted no life if it meant continuing without Godric. For so many years he had felt alone, abandoned. He did not want to say this aloud, but he feared that the isolation Godric would feel, now that he had withdrawn from all titles of authority, would send him back into the Sun. And Eric wouldn't let that happen. He was sworn to protect Godric, to serve him, to be with him.

A father, a brother, a son.

Godric knew Eric would not have asked if it weren’t what he really wanted, but he wanted his Child to consider it. What Eric wanted now may not be what he wanted in the future. "I have already caused you so much pain," Godric whispered, mostly to himself.

"Then make it up to me," Eric begged softly, and tilted up his lover’s palm and kissed him there. "Please, Godric." He asked in their old language.

Godric cupped Eric's face and lifted it so he could look into his eyes, wanting to make sure Eric really wanted this. Finding nothing but genuine truth and honesty, Godric sighed and nodded in agreement. "If it is what you truly want, I will come with you to your home."

Relief washed over Eric and his shoulders slumped as if he had been holding up a weight. He let his forehead fall to rest on the vampire's knees. "I haven't wanted anything so much in a long time," he confessed as his eyes closed.

Godric was quiet for a moment as he ran his fingers through Eric's hair, over and over again. The process relaxed him just as much as it did Eric. The last few years they were together it seemed all they did was argue. He had thought that maybe they had run their course and it was the right thing to do to leave Eric, because he knew his child would never leave him. One thing Eric had always been was loyal. Yet Godric had not anticipated just how much leaving would hurt himself. It was as if he had torn his dead heart out and left it with Eric after they went their separate ways.

Oh, he had been aware that he loved Eric. He had loved him since he first saw him in human form, fighting on a battlefield, and that love grew the longer they were together. Eric getting struck down that night so many centuries ago had seemed like fate. Godric just didn't realize how much he loved Eric until he had left him.

And now they were brought together again, each given a second chance. Maybe he could do things right this time. Maybe he could try not to close himself off as much. He had over two thousand years of practice, it would not be an easy thing to overcome, but for his child he would try.

Eric closed his eyes as Godric was silent, content just to feel his Maker's fingers through his shortened hair. Perhaps the years really had damaged him. Yet Godric had given him something to live for in himself. It must mean something. It had to.

"I sent people to Shreveport, to check up on you from time to time," Godric confessed quietly after a moment. "The last time was a few weeks ago and they said you were still doing well. I had thought you would be okay without me. Now, I am thinking that was selfish of me. I apologize."

Eric lifted his head off his Maker's lap and furrowed his brows in confusion as he looked up at him. "You sent others but not yourself?" For years Eric had wondered and waited. Pam had been his compensation for losing Godric. He thought that having a child himself would fill the emptiness inside of him. And although Eric loved Pam completely, she was never able to fill the void Godric had left. And all this while, Godric could have come back to him, but choose to send others.

Years later, Eric found out that Godric was alive, and the resentment came. Yet Eric did not go after him, knowing that Godric left him for a reason. Godric didn't want him anymore; he finally got fed up with Eric’s rebellious nature and left him, abandoned him. Or at least that was what the hurt had felt like.

"I did not want to interfere," Godric said simply, not elaborating. He wanted Eric to have his independence, but he worried about him too much to just let him go. The not knowing what his child doing bothered him more than he thought it would.

Eric looked directly in Godric’s gray eyes even when they did not meet his own. It was more often than not just like this. Godric was not big on eye contact unless he really meant to get one's attention. But his eyes were beautiful when Eric got the chance to see them.

"You're my Maker. Your job is to interfere." Eric bowed his head to tell him with a hint of resentment. All this time had gone by, and Godric chose not to show himself? If Godric’s people that he had sent out were any good at all, they would have noticed Eric's loneliness, he thought to himself. He laid his forehead on Godric's palm again as if he were praying at the feet of a god.

"For as long as you are alive... I belong to you." And even after death, Eric thought to himself. He had no doubt that even if Godric had been successful in his rooftop escape, Eric would have felt him.

Godric wasn't sure what to say. The older vampire was never one for words at moments like these, and to have Eric say something so profound, well, if he needed to breathe it would have taken his breath away. He stayed perfectly still, looking down at his child's bowed head.

"Do you not resent me for that? For making you into what you are?" Godric asked even though he dreaded the answer. He had taught Eric better than to say yes, he had taught him to be proud of what he was.

Eric chuckled softly at the question. He had watched Godric kill his friends, his loyal comrades, every single one of them. And yet it had only served to symbolize his own mortal death. With it came rebirth into Godric's life. A rebirth into darkness. There he had been, waiting for death to take him, waiting for the funeral pyre to be lit. What he didn't know was that death would save him, in the form of a little boy with fangs. One look into Godric's feral, gray eyes and his past was forgotten, and the window into darkness opened. He wanted Godric more than he had ever wanted anything in his mortal life, more than women and war and victory and his family. Eric wanted Godric like he wanted life. To Eric, Godric was all-consuming and had been ever since.

Finally, Eric stood, towering over the reclining boy. "You know the answer to that question," he responded simply.

"I think you like being a vampire," Godric said as he lifted himself to his feet, but even standing, Eric towered over him. He put his hand on Eric's chest and stared at it. "I do not regret making you, even though I swore that when I was made, I would never make another. You have a talent for breaking rules."

Despite Godric's shorter frame, Eric did not feel as though he lorded over his Maker. He never had. "I know. Rules were meant to be broken." Eric smiled down at Godric even as his Maker stared at his chest as if it held all the meaning in the world. Eric’s own arms remained at his sides, holding back from tracing the tattoos on his Maker's arm. He always harbored mixed feelings about the ink on Godric’s body. Although each one was breathtakingly beautiful, they were reminders of a past Eric did not know. They were reminders that Godric had once belonged to another.

"I have the habit of bringing out a lot of things in you. Or at least I used to,” Eric whispered provocatively, a bold, devious smile spreading across his face.

There was a little twitch to Godric's lips. "I would not call it a habit, more like a gift. No one has ever gotten the kind of reaction out of me that you can." Unlike his child, who, in his youth had probably deflowered every girl he had ever known, Godric had never had much of a sex drive until Eric. After Godric turned him, it was as though Eric had flipped a switch inside of him. Eric had a tendency to awaken emotions and to provoke primal, carnal needs in Godric that he hadn’t known he could ever possess. It was as if he gave new life to himself by giving his blood to his child and making him his.

"So you aren't made of stone after all." There was a teasing tone to his child’s voice as Eric smirked. He above all others knew that Godric certainly was not the statue he sometimes appeared to be. Underneath the calm and collective demeanor was a boy just as troubled as any other vampire. In him, Eric could still see the human boy he once was. "Even after all these years."

Yet Godric felt like stone sometimes, like a crumbling statue of old that was well past its time. Perhaps that's why he thought meeting the sun seemed like such a good idea. He removed his hand from Eric and went to stand by the window to look out at the city lights. The night lights of Dallas made it impossible to see the stars. He was tired of not being able to see them.

"Your opinion is biased. You see what you want to see." Godric spoke quietly. He was trying to keep his distance from Eric emotionally by pushing him away, even while he didn't understand why he was doing it. He had not felt anything in a very long time and he knew Eric was the only one capable of making him feel. And that scared him.

"You're wrong," Eric whispered and walked soundlessly to his Maker, and out reached his hand, but retracted it back shakily before it could touch Godric's back. He desperately wanted to change his Maker’s forlorn expression, but as usual, he felt helpless to do so. Finally, Eric took a brave step forward and began to massage the nape of his Maker’s neck, softly and gently, as if asking permission if he could go on. Eric did not know what Godric craved more- to feel something or to feel nothing at all. He did not know what Godric craved last night on the roof.

Godric slowly began to relax under Eric's hand. With the exception of the episode with Jessica, he could not remember the last time someone had touched him. Most vampires were not big on touching, and most feared the power Godric exuded. Even humans that did not understand what he was and could not meet his eyes, much less accidently brush up against him.

"It would not be the first time." Godric smiled, looking at Eric's reflection in the glass, it was easier to meet his child's eyes this way. His eyes made people nervous, he knew. Perhaps it was because he had such an old soul in such a young body.

"No, it would not," Eric agreed, and taking that as permission, he stepped in between Godric and the window. He forced himself to become the object of his Maker's attention, putting himself in plain view in hope of eye contact. "When you came to me when I was mortal and dying... your eyes never left mine." There was a smile playing on Eric’s lips and he stared directly into his Maker's downcast eyes despite their dramatic size difference. No one else dared to challenge Godric like this, except maybe that bitch Nan Flanagan.

“I’m aware of the discomfort I cause others when I look at them,” Godric replied, finally looking up at Eric and giving him a small smile. Eric didn't flinch or look away, and it was refreshing to Godric. "I forget how different you are."

"Uncomfortable is perhaps the last emotion I feel when you look at me," Eric confessed to him, wanting desperately to reach out and touch him, to cup his face in his hands or feel his lips on his but as Godric was his Maker, Eric had a natural instinct to let him make the first move. And now, Eric was begging for it. He had been since he had found Godric in the basement of the church.

"You are older than all of us, and you have the deepest soul," Eric told him. After all he had done, even though it was foolish and angered Eric more than he could ever convey in words, Godric proved a lot of things during his nights with the Fellowship of the Sun.

"I should be the one comforting you, not the other way around," Godric answered, bringing his hand to cup Eric's face, letting his thumb trace over Eric's lips with a childish look of fascination. "You have always worked so hard to protect me, even from myself. Sometimes I think you forget who the Maker is." Godric smiled sadly up at his Viking. “I have not been a good Maker to you."

"Oh, I doubt you would ever let me forget who the Maker is here." Eric smirked with a low chuckle. He would admit that in the past, he used to defy his Maker just to get Godric to put him in his place. Perhaps it was entirely his fault they used to argue so much. But all that was a human lifetime ago. "And you know that is not true. But if you insist, you can make it up to me by keeping your promise to stay with me." Eric turned his face to kiss the palm of his Maker's hand that cupped his cheek. "You can even share my bed," he added boldly.

"You were never one for sharing... you take up the whole bed," Godric teased, being deliberately obtuse with his child.

Eric grinned playfully, his fangs glistening; they had snapped out involuntarily just from being so close to Godric. He wanted so badly to drink from his Maker, he wanted to feel the bond rekindling all over again, he wanted to fill his body with his Maker’s strength and love and essence. And then he wanted his lover to take it right back from him, completing the cycle so that he was reborn. And although patience was never one of Eric Northman’s virtues, he would wait until Godric thought it was time.

"I'm tall... I need room to stretch out. I can buy us an extra-large king sized bed if you wish for it," Eric proposed. Anything for his Maker.

"You would just take up all of that, too," Godric teased, letting his hand drag down Eric's chest. "If I did not know better, I would say you have gotten even bigger."

"I might have." Eric grinned deviously at his own sexual innuendo. He always loved teasing Godric if only for the pleasure that came with shock value. Making Godric laugh used to always be so easy, especially when Eric was a clumsy infant vampire.

Godric shook his head, even as his lips twitched with a ghost of a smile. He had feared Eric would never outgrow his ridiculous, offensive sense of humor, and he was right. Godric secretly loved it, of course, and his child’s charm always made up for it, somehow.

"When are you... we returning to your district?" Godric asked, trying to deflect Eric'c mind onto something else. The vampire hotel, where the currently were, was supposed to have top notch security. But having so many people staying under one roof always made him nervous.

Eric's wanted to see a smile on Godric's face. A real, genuine smile. Not the polite ones he gave to the others, not the sad ones he gave Eric. He wanted to see Godric laugh. "Whenever you wish it. We can leave now if you'd like."

"I think I have had enough of Dallas." Godric nodded, remembering that most of his things had been destroyed during the bombing. All he had left were the clothes on his back. He would have to buy clothes at some point, something his loyal Isabel had always happily done for him.

Eric nodded. "I'm sorry you lost so much," he apologized, even though he knew Godric never really cared for material things. Not much would be missed. And compared to the other vampires present at that bombing, some of which had lost their friends and lovers, both vampire and human, Godric did not lose much of anything.

"I can give you anything you need... just ask and you will have it," Eric promised. He planned to demand nothing but royal respect and service be shown to Godric in Shreveport. "I'm afraid you may not approve of Fangtasia, however. It's in poor taste," Eric chuckled to himself at his own pun.

"I have everything I need right here," Godric told Eric, and he meant it. Eric was his only reason for living anymore. If it was not for his loyal child, he would have already met the sun by now. "I'm sure it will be fine.” He dismissed Eric’s last comment. “And I am looking forward to meeting your child."

Eric was just glad it wasn't Sookie his Maker tried to bring up again. He wasn't quite sure how he was going to explain that when he asked again. "After you left me, I made Pam to cure my want for you. It did not quite work. But I am very proud of her," Eric told him. Pam was his partner in crime, his best friend, his daughter. His love for her ran just as deep as his love for Godric, but they were not lovers.

"I am glad you found a child. I am sure you are a very good Maker," Godric said lifting Eric's chin so that he would look at him. "Deciding to leave you was the hardest thing I have ever done. But you needed to grow on your own without me. I thought I was holding you back from your full potential, and I did not wish you to resent me for it later," Godric told him. He wanted Eric to know now why he had done what he had all those years ago.

Eric wanted to shake his head. He did not need to grow up alone to learn how to live. Some vampires might choose to live out their lives in solitude, but Eric was not one of them. Unlike Godric, Eric had been blessed with a long mortal life and had grown into a man. He knew what he wanted in his vampiric life. Godric would never have that chance. He could not understand. Yet all this talk about resentment and regrets and abandonment was making Eric weary. He was sick of it.

Eric wanted the here and now. He wanted more. He wanted to kiss his Maker but he did not dare. Godric sometimes reacted violently when surprised, and did not like it when Eric smothered him. But oh god, Eric wanted him. He was here, he was Eric’s again, yet he did not feel as though anything had been consummated.

"Let's not dwell on the past. I'll take you home."

TBC...