THE LONG JOURNEY HOME

AN: My apologies for the delay in posting new chapters for my other stories. I wrote this after seeing a post by Mycelebrityfantasy on Tumblr.  I hope she likes it and I hope you all like it, as well.

Chapter 1

It was another night in a long series of similar nights sitting center stage among a throng of faceless, nameless humans.  They came in all shapes, sizes, and colors, but they all blended together in one blurry, boring blob of flesh and blood — neither of which sparked an appetite in the old vampire.

It had been many years since he last felt the excitement of living.  In his long life, he had become used to the entrance and exit of a variety of beings.  He took his proper precautions to minimize any attachments, but there had been times when it had been unavoidable.  And in those moments, he felt the pain of loss which renewed his conviction to maintain his distance, to place a barrier around his heart and suppress his emotions.  Of course, that had always been a struggle for him, or so his maker said.  Godric was forever reminding him to control his emotions to avoid being bested by them and, for the most part, he had succeeded, but there were those few times when they had clearly won the day.

Reminiscing, he recalled his singular focus on avenging the death of his family.  Yes, his emotions had driven him for a thousand years, but he got his revenge in the end.  That had been a good night and the feeling of it still bubbled inside him when he gave thought to it.  

And then there was poor Sylvie.  He had been running around living carefree and, frankly, carelessly, and convinced himself that this farm girl occupied an important place in his life.  She was a naïve girl who worshipped him and he buried himself in her complete acceptance.  He had enjoyed loving her, but, given a hard choice, he found that his love had limits. The pain of her loss had been fleeting, but it was a reminder to him that emotions came with a price and he was reluctant to continue to pay, particularly, with anyone so fragile.  No, he’d reserve his love for his maker, his sister, and his progeny — strong beings whose mortality was much like his own.  

Sitting on his well-worn throne, Eric looked out across Fangtasia and he thought about how things had changed and how much had remained the same. His eyes reached the bar and a small smile crept over his face.  

Ginger.  

She had died a long time ago, but he remembered how she had worshipped him unconditionally.  She had continued to work for him until her heart just gave out…with his name riding the last breath she took.  Despite how she annoyed him, she had proven to be extremely loyal during their time together and he couldn’t help but feel some fondness for her.  Sweeping the bar one more time, he noted that he actually missed her.

Closing his eyes, he took one long un-needed breath before opening them and spying the front door.  So many nights he had watched as his beloved Pam simultaneously terrorized and seduced the long lines of humans seeking entry into what was once referred to as a ride at Disneyland.

He sighed….so many memories.  

His thoughts returned to Pam.  It had been some time since she had left him to pursue her own interests.   They had always been so close and their love for each other was unbreakable, but somehow another blond had gotten between them — Sarah Newlin.

He had embraced their business endeavor with New Blood, making millions upon millions on the fear and death of Hep V.  Pam was the architect and he saw her brilliance at turning a miserable situation into a successful, money-making one. She’d done it with Fangtasia and now with New Blood.  She had also taken to a side business of milking Sarah Newlin – literally – for special clients who could pay the asking price for the eternal cure.

Over time, he had become tired of putting on the fake smile and found he could no longer to do it.  He slowly started to back out of their business, first by fading to the background leaving her to be the sole face of New Blood and then by leaving all business decisions to her.

When he approached her about giving all of his interest in the company to her, Pam snapped.  She accused him of growing soft again like he had done during the “dark time” and they had a falling out. Pam proceeded to destroy Fangtasia with screams of “not again”.  The next time he saw her she was dragging Sarah Newlin through the club cursing and saying “fucking blond blood bags” through gritted fangs.  He signed everything over to Pam, as he promised, and their partnership in New Blood ended.

They still spoke regularly once Pam got over her anger and they made it point to see each other once or twice a year. But he did miss her terribly.  She was one of the good things he had done in his long life and she had made him proud.  Her business was at its peak and it remained a part of the Fortune 500 decade after decade.

She had eventually fallen in love and after several years together, Pam had turned her. They appeared to be happy from what Eric could tell.  He hadn’t met her Miriam before she was turned, but he knew that Pam was clearly in love and he was glad for it.  He eventually met Miriam, but the few times Pam would visit, she would do so alone.  Apparently, Miriam was sensitive and didn’t find their visits enjoyable.  She was near death when Pam turned her and she was adamant not to spend her rebirth in anything less than a safe and healthy environment.  

As it turned out, even though Eric and Pam stayed in contact, there was always an unspoken strain that remained between them — an underlying thread that would always be a point of contention between them, an unyielding time that would prove to forever change the landscape of that which was Eric Northman.  The thought of it made Pam unreasonably angry and it showed.

A feeling of vertigo over came Eric as his thoughts returned to the present. With a quick, imperceptible shake of his head, he, sadly, took one last look at his bar. It was time for him to go.

He lifted out of the throne with the strength and grace that was identified with Eric Northman, Viking Vampire God. That had made him laugh the first time he recalled Pam calling him that during his bout of amnesia and it had made him laugh every time thereafter when he was referenced that way.  He knew it was Pam who had perpetuated that persona and he knew that Pam had believed every word.

He entered his office, signed on to his virtual computer and paid some bills. It was 3015, but some things never changed — bills always needed to be paid. Next, he finished writing a letter he had started several nights ago and readied it for the mail. He fingered through a stack of documents that laid on his desk, but the thoughts of past memories wouldn’t leave him.  He wondered how different things could’ve been.  

It seemed he was in for a night of “what if’s” again.  He hadn’t been one to spend time dwelling on fanciful ideas, or fantasies of another life.  He had spent most of his undead life living in the now, but things had begun to change for him after what Pam liked to call the “dark times”. That was a thousand years ago and, since then, those nights of “what if’s” seemed to increase the more time passed.  

He often thought of Godric and how things might have been different had he lived.  Godric had always been there when Eric needed him.  He was a good maker, leaving Eric to struggle and grow through his early years as a vampire, but always stepping in if Eric was in danger.  

To Godric’s credit, Eric had lived over 2000 years…in no way a small feat.  Through the first 1000 years, he had provided Eric much needed guidance and there were times since his death that Eric had wished for his counsel.  During the Lilith events, Godric had come to him and given Eric the strength and wisdom to fight.  At later times, Eric had wondered why Godric hadn’t come to him since.  There were other critical events in the following 1000 years when Eric surely needed Godric’s words, but they were not to come and it had always puzzled Eric.

Of course, there was rarely a time when his thoughts about Godric didn’t turn to thoughts about that “other’ blond in his life — the bane of Pam’s existence and, as it turned out, the bane of his, as well.

He had loved Sookie Stackhouse like he’d loved no other, but she was not to be his.  

His was an unrequited love and it gutted him. He had walked away many, many years ago He often thought about why he did it.  He didn’t truly believe Bill Compton’s lunacy, but he did think her life would be better off without him in it. She was a danger magnet, of that there was no doubt, and the thought of burdening her with the plight of vampires in the post-Hep V world didn’t seem fair to her.  So he walked way, with the echo of her beating heart pulsating through his own.

He had a difficult time staying away in the beginning.  He’d often fly off, wind rushing through his hair, and find himself hovering above her house.  He’d often stay in the shadows, watching through the trees as she went about her nightly activities.  

She remained safe.  He had seen to it, declaring death to anyone or anything that harmed her, but it gave him comfort to see it for himself. Pam had harangued him about his obsession with the blond human/fairy hybrid.  She would be the focus of many of their fights, but it wouldn’t dissuade him from his quest to see her.  

It wasn’t until Thanksgiving many years after he left that his visits became fewer. Sookie had married and was with child and it hurt him more to see how effortlessly she had moved on.  He knew then that there would never be a chance for them.  As the years passed, he still thought of her from time to time. He kept his edict regarding her safety in place, but demanded that no one tell him about her.  He couldn’t bear to hear the details about her happiness or her family.  He would take what comfort he could knowing she was safe and happy, but he wanted to know nothing else.  

Not surprisingly, Pam would have none of it.  She wanted to rub it in his face.  She wanted him to know what a fool he was and that Sookie was the cause of it.  She wanted more than anything for him to snap the fuck out of it.  Alas, it was not to be, and now here he was, alone…left with nothing more than a memory of one magnificent week out of two thousand years of weeks.

He couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of it all.  He was a 2000-year-old Viking Vampire God, after all, and he had now been taken down by a small blond southern girl.

Sookie.  

Her name swirled in his head and then slowly passed through his lips.  It was not a name he had spoken in almost 1000 years, but it floated as simply and sweetly over his lips as it had done so many years ago.  

She was certainly dead now…nothing more than dust assimilating into the earth.  He knew she must have lived a normal human life since nothing to the contrary had been reported.

In his current contemplative state, all thoughts turned to her.  He was finally letting her back in and she flooded his mind and his body, and his heart began to ache.  He clutched his chest as he felt the pain he had repressed for so long.  This he did not miss, but he had to face it now. It was time…probably long past it.

Decision made, he would go see what remained of her one last time.  He would visit her home, see what family remained, and finally visit her grave.  He’d written his letter to Pam and now he would take care of the one last thing on his list.  He would have his final goodbye.

A few hours later, with Fangtasia closed and receipts counted, Eric flew to his home. He slowly walked through his living room taking a moment to admire the decor  and then continued on to his bedroom.  Things were different now.  There were no knobs to turn, so his door slid open as it recognized his DNA as he approached.  

Safety had always been a concern for vampires, especially in the daylight hours, but technology had been such that DNA  and, in some instances, added voice commands became the key to opening doors if you were fortunate enough to afford the high cost — and he was.  

He undressed and readied himself to die for the day.  He took to his bed and got comfortable. He shifted towards his nightstand to turn off the lights and engage the final security measure — an impermeable energy capsule developed by a company owned by fairies, of all creatures — as his last thought became of Sookie before he let his world go dark.

Eric rose early the next night.  There was much to do and he didn’t want to waste a minute of it lying in bed.  There was still some daylight when he woke which allowed him to do some things around the home before it was time for him to leave.  

He dressed and searched for a few items that he wanted to carry with him.  He found the picture of he and Pam that he used to keep in his office and also found the old, frayed piece of white cloth that was all that remained of the shirt Godric wore the night he met the true death.  Absently checking his pockets, he felt that something was missing, but he knew there wasn’t.  He had never had anything that belonged to Sookie….sadly, all he had were the memories and for tonight that would have to do.

He approached his front door giving the command to open.  He turned and gave one last wistful look perusing the contents that represented his long life.

He’d led a good life, done some good things and some not so good things, tried to be a good son, and did his best work when he created Pam, but he couldn’t deny that he was also tired.

He had always loved life.  

Living — that was a verb to Eric Northman and he tried to make the most of it, and he enjoyed seeing it in others.  

He saw it in Godric and he recognized it in Pam.  He even saw it in Sookie, which was part of what attracted him to her.  He loved her spirit, her fire.  She was a bright burning light and she illuminated the dark recesses of his soul.

As a creature of the dark, it made sense that he would be attracted to her light, but it was something else with her.  A thousand years had passed, yet she still hung around his neck like a noose tightening ever so slightly year…after year…after year.  

She was not to be forgotten.  

She may be no more than dust in the wind, but she demanded to be acknowledged and he was helpless to it.

Once outside, he looked up into the sky — the beautiful sky that had been his playground, his refuge, his respite, his healer.  It wasn’t quite the same as it had been in the past. There were more flying objects that crowded his once open sky, but he still enjoyed flying and he was thankful to have that gift.

Off into the night  he flew as fast as he could go.  It would be his last night and he wanted to feel the exhilaration and the freedom that flying in the black sky gave him. His destination was Bon Temps, but he would take his time getting there.  

This was a night for adventure.  

He had flown these skies many times before, but he would fly with renewed vigor.  He sailed through the blackness like a speeding missile, with the cool air nipping at his skin.

He was simply having fun.  

It had been a long time since he’d had fun…pure, unadulterated fun.  There was joy singing through every fiber of his body and it felt glorious. He was free and quickly moving closer and closer to a permanent freedom that he had been longing for.

After a few hours of flying, Eric started to make his way towards Bon Temps.  It was bittersweet and he couldn’t help but feel mournful about visiting his long dead lover’s grave.

He would go visit the home that once provided him protection.  He recalled how he had owned it once upon a time, but, in truth, it was never his.  In his mind, it would always be Sookie’s.

He began his descent as he got closer to the house and when it came into view, he faltered. 

He regained his composure and slowly began to circle the property.  He was amazed at how it looked.  Somehow it was still the little two-story, yellow house that had been the Stackhouse family home.  

He came to a stop and levitated above the front porch, the porch where Sookie had kissed him so fervently. He closed his eyes and he could feel the touch of her lips on his, the taste of her mouth, and her fingers threading through his hair.  

Once again he faltered, but quickly caught himself.  It wouldn’t do to go crashing to the ground on his last night.  

He started to circle again taking in every smell and noticing every visible thing about the house and its surroundings.  He concentrated, trying to imprint it all in his mind.  He wanted his memory of her house and anything and everything Sookie to be vibrant in his mind as he succumbed to the daylight.  As he took it all in, he was surprised at how strong the sensations were.  His connection to her felt as if it was yesterday and he was staggered by it.  

He knew he had loved her like no other, but he hadn’t thought that those feelings would be so strong after a thousand years.  He knew he had miscalculated as the first evidence of redness breached the whites of his eyes.  

Fuck, this had been unexpected and he felt the need to run, but as that thought entered his mind, so did another.  

For a brief moment, he felt calm and he felt…love.

(change in POV)

A little tow-headed toddler was running through the house screaming as her younger brother was chasing her saying “I’ma get you Laidy.”  They were zigzagging through the house until Laidy saw her protector.  Off she ran until she grabbed hold of a pair of legs to hide behind.  


“Jace, stop chasing your sister and Adelaide, stop your screaming. Enough, already.”

“Yes, Auntie”, they both said in unison, both slightly dejected.  

“Okay, now off you go.  Go and play, and try to be nice to one another.”

The two children started to giggle and they went running outside.  Jace was still chasing Laidy, but they were full of laughter this time.  They made it to the porch slamming the door behind them.  They were both startled not expecting to have closed the door so loudly and were now waiting to get yelled at, but nothing came of it, so they made their way down the steps into the open area in front of the house.  

Finding a ball, they started to kick it back and forth until Laidy kicked it too hard.  Jace had to chase after it and after he’d gone several steps in the direction of the ball, he heard Laidy scream in terror.  He made his way back towards his sister and saw the front door open and his auntie running through it.  They both reached Laidy at the same time and tried to console her and find out what prompted her screams.  

“Laidy, what’s wrong?!  Honey, why are you screaming?”

Laidy couldn’t speak through all of her screams and tears.  All she could do was point.  

They all turned and followed Laidy’s arm and as her eyes focused, the only word that left Sookie’s mouth was “Eric”.

Sookie couldn’t believe her eyes.  She could see Eric floating above the porch and she had no idea what had brought him here.  

It had been so long  — several lifetimes, in fact — and she’d not heard from him nor seen him.  He had crossed her mind from time to time, but she figured he had long since moved on.  

The night he’d said goodbye, she hadn’t anticipated that that would be her last time seeing him.  He had surprised  her by the way he had totally excised her from his life.  She couldn’t deny that she had felt a little hurt by it and, with all the things that happened afterwards, she had longed to have him there to help her with it.  

She came to recognize that it was in those difficult times when she missed him the most and she knew it wasn’t fair to him.  So, for the sake of everyone, she let him go.

Seeing him now brought back a flood of memories and feelings, and they filled her body. Looking at him intently, she was struck by the emotion that covered his face and her heart broke for him when she saw the tears forming in his eyes.

She was confused having no idea why he was here. She could only think that something terrible had happened, something to Pam.  She wanted to go to him, to call out, and comfort him, but was surprised when suddenly she heard “I’ll always love you, Sookie Stackhouse” as he flew away.  

Unsure of the words that echoed through her head, Sookie collapsed to her knees.  No, it couldn’t be, she thought to herself.  He could not still love her after all of these years.  It just wasn’t possible.  

Laidy and Jace quickly engulfed her in their arms.  “Auntie Sookie, Auntie Sookie what’s happening?” shouted Jace.  

She didn’t know how to respond and wasn’t even sure she could respond, so she just squeezed them tighter. Seconds passed before Eric’s tear-filled face came to her mind. Something was wrong and she needed to find out what…she needed to help him as he had done so many times for her.  She raised herself up and shushed the children.

“It’s okay, it’s okay.  I know him and he won’t hurt you. Go inside and find your mom and dad. Stay inside and I’ll be back soon.”, Sookie said.  She pushed them in the direction of the front door and they ran screaming for their mom and dad.

Sookie turned and followed in Eric’s direction.  

A lot had happened over the centuries, one of them being her immortality, but also her powers.  She had a heightened sense of smell and hearing. Her eyesight was better than your average human or fairy, and she was fast.  She could also teleport.  That was a fancy trick she leaned from her great grandfather Niall.  

It wasn’t long after she’d had her first child and divorced her first husband that she began to embrace her fairy heritage.  

She’d tried to live a human-only life, but it became evident that she was giving up far too much of herself and of her friends.  She couldn’t abide by that and it had become a point of conflict between her and her human husband.  

She had started to grow tired of the men in life demanding that she be something less than what she was and there came a time that she stood up for herself.  

Those times always made her think of Eric.

He had been the only one who liked her for who she was, who challenged her to accept her supernatural self, and who gave her the due she deserved.  Thinking back, she knew he scared her and she wasn’t brave enough to pay him the same kindness nor love him the way he had deserved. For that, she would always be sorry.

Closing her eyes and inhaling long and deep, she caught Eric’s scent.  It was one she’d always remember.  He smelled good, plain and simple.  His was a masculine, woodsy smell and it hitting her senses again after so long was like a cavalcade of memories rushing through her mind knocking down every reason she’d ever accepted his goodbye.  

In an instant, she opened her eyes and began her way down the trail he’d left.  She traveled quickly knowing how fast he could be.  She didn’t want to lose him and she had no idea where he was going.  

Continuing down the trail, she saw that she was approaching the cemetery.  Slowing down, she quietly approached as she heard what sounded like talking.  She reached the clearing and saw Eric searching for something. He was mumbling to himself, and she could see the blood that stained his cheeks. 

Eric brushed away flowers and leaves from nearly every grave searching for the one tombstone he was looking for, but it was nowhere to be found.  He didn’t understand. Surely she would be buried in her family plot.

He could see Adele Stackhouse’s grave and he saw one for Earl Stackhouse, Michelle Stackhouse, and Corbett Stackhouse.  A little further down, he could see a tombstone marked Jason Stackhouse, but Sookie was nowhere to be found.  

Once again, she eluded him and he was beside himself.  He would leave this Earth by the next day, and he had a piece of Godric, a piece of Pam, but Sookie would continue to elude him to the end.

He had planned it all.

He would meet his final rest touching the last piece of her. The unfairness of it all crushed him and it left him roaring in agony.

Sookie was both surprised and devastated by the burst of emotion coming from Eric. His scream broke her and she could do nothing more than go to him. Caution should’ve been the word of the day when approaching a screaming vampire, but it would not be a part of her vocabulary tonight.  He needed her and, for once, she would go to him.

“Eric!  Eric! What’s wrong?”

Eric turned and saw her.

He must be hallucinating, he thought…his grief destroying any semblance of reality he had left.  

He roared louder as the pain of seeing her image seared through his body and he fell to his knees.  

Sookie continued her approach to him as she heard him yell “Sookie!”, but it was if he could not see her.  She finally reached him and held his face with both hands,

“I’m here. Eric, I’m here. It’s me, Sookie.”, she said, but he continued to call her name.

“Eric, focus.  Focus on my face.  It’s me, Sookie.  Please, look at me!  Goddammit, Eric, LOOK. AT. ME!!!!”

And with that, Eric focused.  He could see her as clearly as the night she’d walked into his bar.  He reached up to touch her face.  

He was tentative at first, but as his fingertip touched her skin, he possessively laid both hands firmly on her face.  All he could do was stare at her and as the seconds ticked away, he finally moved laying his forehead to rest upon hers.  

Closing his eyes, the only word that left his mouth was “Sookie”.

    >> Next

39 comments

  1. I second and third that vote. Please continue this. I want to know what’s happened. Why is Sookie immortal? Will she find out that Eric was about to meet the sun? Will she love him enough THIS time? Another chance? Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve copied and pasted a link to this on my group pages on FB.
        Fanfiction Minions
        SVM/TB Fanfic Library
        Fanfiction Affliction
        TB/SVM Fanfiction Eric+Sookie

        You should join (if you aren’t already) and post any follow up on them. They’ll love it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! This was starting to break my heart and then you made it all better. Sookie and Eric together again, at long last. What a wonderful short story as it stands now, but if you are able and choose to continue it further then we readers will be very lucky indeed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there! Thanks again! Yes, she gave very good prompts and they inspired me to write, which felt great after my little block. I hope to continue this and my other stories. Thanks again for reading and for the comments! ❤️

      Like

  3. I was so afraid this was going to be Eric meeting the sun with his last thoughts being about his love for Sookie. Love the way you turned it around at the end like this. Maybe now and finally they can have a chance at the happiness that eluded them the first time. I so hope you plan to continue this, it’s amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely words! I do love my angst, but I’m a HEA fan, so I don’t think I could ever truly hurt a single hair on Eric’s beautiful head. Thank you for reading and for the comment! ❤

      Like

  4. My heart was breaking! And still is for Eric. Of please way there is a second part to this. I need to know that she can love him and heal his broken heart. Ps. Pam is still a bitch. She can find love but he couldn’t do the things he did for love? Even though Sookie rejected him doesn’t mean he could just stop caring for her. I thought if she found love she would understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and, yes, I think there will be a little bit more to get them where we all want them. As for Pam, maybe we can hope that her perspective has changed. 🙂 Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

      Like

  5. Oh, we need this to be continued…Eric needs to be saved and Sookie is the only one who can do it. There are soooooo many questions that are begging to be answered.
    I look forward to reading more at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was going down that sad trail thinking this was the end for Eric – that he couldn’t take it anymore. So glad you turned that around at the end. Looking forward to you continuing this one. Wonderful story so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Intense and moving. Eric’s lethargy and lassitude in the beginning seeped into me. His melancholy and determination on his ‘would be last night’ were so evident. His disbelief in Sookie when she first appeared and then fleeing to the cemetery to search for her headstone was heartbreaking. You have written the encounter so realistically. So enjoyed reading this, hopefully you will continue. Thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw…thank you so much! I really did feel emotional writing it and it means a lot to know that the words on the page came to life in the way I had wanted. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading and for your comment…means a lot! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This was fabulous hun! You made my heart ache with every sentence. I really hope you add more to it. I saw MCF’s prompt too and have a small bit written for it so far. I’m hoping to keep it to a one shot, we’ll see if I can manage it 😉 But PLEASE!!! make this one multi chapter, pretty, pretty please!! 💓

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s such a great reward to write something and know that you succeeded in conveying the emotions and tone you intended. As a writer yourself, I know you understand. 🙂

      I had initially planned this as a one-shot since I hadn’t written anything in months and figured I could write something short, but I can see there’s more to be said to complete their journey. Thanks again for reading and for the encouraging words! ❤

      Looking forward to reading your version, too!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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