Chapter 7 – Choices made, Decisions changed
Daina looked around the party that was in full swing, though it was a bit more sedate than most victory parties she’d been to before she thought that was most likely because those were thrown by football players and this one was done by millennium old vampires. Significant differences there.
Glancing around the room she saw everyone who had been involved in the actual ‘victory’ and quite a few more who were just there to sort of re-up their commitment to Godric. To her it looked more like they were there to make sure that he knew that just because they didn’t come through with the rescue that didn’t mean they had anything to do with the initial attack like Hugo had.
Basically they were all kissing his ass thoroughly like the vampire versions of every power hungry little social climber she’d ever seen in politics. They were smoochers with years of practice and she just found the whole thing beyond funny to watch.
Sookie seemed to be currently stuck between a Viking and a wall, and after everything Bill had done, or more importantly hadn’t done, over the last few days she didn’t seem to be in any great hurry to change that fact.
Jason was flirting outrageously with anyone and everyone who came near him, man, woman, human, vampire, or undecided. He seemed to be bouncing back easily enough, proving that he was a Stackhouse to his core even if he wasn’t as gifted as she and Sookie were with some of the more obvious gifts of the Stackhouse lineage.
Bill was hovering in a corner with the evil skank from the basement, who she had since learned was Bill’s Maker Lorena. Turns out Bill’s vampire mommy didn’t like the fact that Billy boy was shacking up with Sookie, and Bill didn’t seem to have the balls necessary to defend his honey-boo. Not that, that really surprised anyone. Hell, it probably didn’t even surprise Sookie anymore.
Soon enough she and her cousins would be trapped in a car together on the way home with nothing else to do but to deliver a few home truths to one another. Not that, that really bothered her any neither of them knew enough about her life to speak ill of it or her in any way. Not that there wouldn’t be plenty to say if they did know, she was a Stackhouse after all and poor life choices was as much a family tradition as their free loving natures.
Making her way around the room she didn’t stay in any one place for very long, her shields were very strong, but most of these fangbangers were really loud broadcasters so it sort of evened out though not really in her favor.
If she heard one more fantasy about her and either one or both of her cousins getting it on for the entertainment of the masses she would be getting arrested for murder in the very near future. Even the fact that they were all related, which had circulated through the gossips like wild fire didn’t seem to slow them down any. If anything that fact just seemed to add fuel to the fire, adding a taboo element to it all. Ewww!
She needed a drink if she was going to survive this.
Godric watched the young woman from before as she circled the room yet again before heading for the bar. He’d learned from his Childe a bit more about her than he’d previously known but he still did not know much.
He knew that she was related to the two Stackhouses here, one of whom seemed to be claimed by that fool Compton. Though looking over at his Childe as he leaned even further into the girls personal space he didn’t see that lasting much longer.
The other one Jason, what little he knew of him did not paint the young man in an entirely favorable light. However, the fact that he made no pretenses of being either more or less than he truly was did make him think a little better of the simpleton. A fool he may be but as far as he could see he was a well intentioned fool.
None of this however told him more about the girl who was in most respects his rescuer. She had been the one who’d initially came in after him, and the others of course. She was the one who came up with plan after plan as everything seemed to fall apart around them all constantly, never once giving in to the impulse to panic. She was as far as he could tell a very brave and intelligent young woman. He wished now that he’d met her earlier in his life, now he was just too tired to do more than wonder about her.
Suddenly her voice cut through the room, tight, commanding, and in control. Leaving no room for argument.
“Everybody get down!”
Within moments all hell broke loose and his world was once more turned head over foot.
When he was able to open his eyes again the world was on fire, or at least his furniture was. Someone had set off a bomb in his home, judging by recent events he assumed it was the Fellowship of the Sun once more wreaking havoc. He could feel the wounds left by the shrapnel and knew it would be almost impossible for him to move at the moment even if he wanted to. He felt through their bond that his Childe had also survived and while injured he was in far better shape than he was at the moment.
Looking up he saw the face of an angel bathed in a golden light. It took him a moment for his vision to clear enough to see that his angel was none other than Daina Stackhouse and the golden light was the glow of the fires that surrounded them on most sides.
“Woah dude, you are tore up. You need blood right? What am I saying of course he needs blood he’s a vampire blood is how they heal, come on Daina get your act together and act like you’ve got a brain. Duh.”
Watching her reprimand herself was amusing, she seemed to both question and answer herself, no one else was truly needed for the conversation to be complete. He was so focused on this new quirk of hers that at first he didn’t realize what she was doing until he smelled more of her blood. She’d cut her own wrist, not deeply but enough so that he could feed.
He thought vaguely about protesting but before he could make up his mind her wrist was pressed to his mouth and he tasted ambrosia.
Daina didn’t really know who this Nan woman was, beyond the face on the television, and she really didn’t care. She was stiff and hurting all over from the bombing, she’d barely had the time to get all the soot and blood off her skin and out of her hair before this little pow-wow was called. Now, it just felt like it would never end, this Nan lady was blaming them for everything, God, she could run on, really loved the sound of her own voice this one did.
“Are you listening to me?” Nan demanded, her tone seeming to say there would be hell to pay if they weren’t.
“Daina!” That name shouting thing was fast losing it’s appeal. Not that it had much appeal to begin with, but still it was starting to give her a headache with its repetition.
“What? She asked a question and I answered it. Just be thankful I didn’t answer it out loud.”
“This woman is important-“ Sure she was, now let’s all drink that yummy looking koolaid.
“This woman is a windbag, a politician trying everything in her power to get out from under the PR nightmare that this mess is sure to become. She’s that person who looks around the room and say the buck stops wayyyy over there. She’s that person who only really needs the sound of her own voice for company.”
“Are you done?” Please, did her cousin not know her at all?
“Not even close, I could go all night, but it looks like bottle blonde is starting to lose her momentum maybe someone else will be able to talk soon.”
“Not you, this is vampire business.” Vampire business, bitch pah-lease. That was something else that was irritating with repetition.
“I wasn’t planning on volunteering Sook, but I personally believe this is everyones business after all everyone in that room vampire, human, and other was in the line of fire. All of our lives were on the line in there, and I think they should be placing the blame squarely where it belongs.” Not that they would. They never did instead of placing blame where it belonged types like this Nan chick always placed it where it was easiest to throw it.
“Where?” What the hell did she mean where? She was starting to worry about her cousins basic reasoning skills.
“The Fellowship!” Who the hell else could be to blame for the bombing? The ones who built the bomb and then sent it into the building strapped to a confused young man. Duh!
“I take full responsibility, it happened in my area, it was my fault.”
And here she was thinking that Eric’s Maker was one of the smart vampires. Looking over at him she tried to see if he was joking while Eric railed against what was happening to his Maker. What she saw there instead made her heart hurt for the big Viking. If he thought this was bad, what was coming down the line would tear his heart in two.
“Why would Godric do that, doesn’t he know they’ll punish him?” She doubted they would get the chance. This was his last act of kindness, most likely for Isobel his successor, he was falling on his sword for her.
“I don’t think he’s planning to still be here when that ruling comes down Sookie.”
“Where’s he going? Europe?” A little further than that cousin or mine, quite a bit further.
“The after life.”
“Look at him Sook. He’s older even than Eric, if I heard right he’s over two thousand years old. He’s old, he’s tired, his children are grown with lives of their own. I think he’s planning on checking out of this hotel in a big way, and if I’m right I think he’s planning on doing it at dawn.” She couldn’t even really blame him. He was moving on, taking the only next step there really was for him to take. He’d been alive for so long now he probably didn’t even fear dying anymore.
“At dawn but then he would -“
“Burn? Yeah, I think that’s the plan.” Though as plans went she’d heard better. There had to be an easier way to go.
“What are we going to do?” That was her cousin always wanting to try to fix everything, only some things couldn’t be fixed no matter how heartbreaking it is. Some decisions once made could not be easily un-made.
“Do? What makes you think there’s anything to do? He’s an ancient vampire, I doubt he’s doing this all spur of the moment like. If this is his choice there’s nothing left to do but accept it.”
“No, I don’t believe that.” Of course she didn’t. For all the bad things that she’d seen lately her cousin still believed in rainbows and lollipops and the inherent good in all mankind.
“Yeah, I know. You believe that every life is precious and that all life is a gift that you should treasure until the good lord takes you from this earth, but come on Sook, life isn’t anywhere near that black and white and you know it.Think about it he’s been alive for over two thousand years, can you even conceive the magnitude of being alive for that long? I can’t. Yeah, sure some of it would be amazing and wondrous, but most of it had to be violent and dark. Think about the world, not just the U.S. since it hasn’t been around that long. Think about everything that’s happened over the last two thousand years. Empires rising and falling, wars, death, pain. Did you know that most people don’t know much about history beyond maybe the past two hundred years. Most of the things that were around when Godric was human have been long since forgotten by like ninety percent of the world. Think about that being so old that most people can only guess about what your life must have been like, and most of those guesses are probably wrong. Think about having to change and adapt as the world changed around you over and over again never once really being able to just stand still and be who you really are. If he even really remembers who he was, two thousand years is a long time and a lot of memories.”
There really was not much to be done, if someone had already made up their mind, truly made up their mind to end their existence, there wasn’t much on this earth powerful enough to change it back. Not that she wouldn’t try, after all there was just something about his Godric guy, she didn’t think his time was as over as he thought it was.
Godric stood on the rooftop of the luxurious hotel and waited to see his first sunrise in thousands of years. There were times over the course of his life when he’d missed the warmth that he remembered the sun offering, but now he would feel it once more.
Eric, his beloved youngest Childe had tried to stay here with him, to not let him meet his end alone, and while he loved him for it he could not let that happen. Had had used his power over him as his Maker to force him back into the safety of the hotel, the ever present Miss Stackhouse following close on his heels after a farewell promise to look after him.
Now here he stood alone enjoying his last few moments of darkness before the light would come.
“I suppose it wouldn’t do me any good to ask you to think this through. I’m guessing you’ve already done that and this is where your thinking lead you.”
“I have and it is.” He supposed he shouldn’t be surprised, Daina did seem like the type of woman to fight to the bitter end for something and she’d already made it clear that what she wanted was for him to live. He could still taste her blood on his tongue and it was divine.
“Hmm, could I interest you in a goodbye kiss before you go then?”
Thinking it over he saw no harm in her request, and since she was the last human to ever garner his true interest he was just as curious about her kiss as she seemed to be about his. When their lips met he allowed her tongue into his mouth, allowed her to dominate the kiss, it was his gift to her after all.
When he tasted the strong flavor of her blood he knew that she’d bitten her tongue before initiating contact. But why? So lost was he in his thoughts and the taste of her that he didn’t notice at first that the sun had risen and that he had yet to burn. When the light reached his closed eyes he pulled back from her in wonder. Why wasn’t he burning.
“You wanted light and warmth right? You wanted the sun? I figured you couldn’t really enjoy it if you were a human torch straight off, so I may have given you a little protection. It won’t last very long thirty minutes tops really, but I thought you might enjoy it.”
Look deep into her eyes he saw her compassion and her strength shining out towards him with all the power of the sun. The light of the day was beautiful, warm, and powerful. It was everything he remembered it to be and all he’d ever really wanted to feel again, but now looking at this woman in his arms there was something else he craved even more.
“Is the sun all I get to enjoy?” He had not felt such a strong pull towards a woman in ages, but his woman called to every part of him.
“What else did you have in mind?”
“Well, it has been many years since I’ve taken a woman in the full light of day. Would you indulge me for a short time longer?” What he knew of her personality the request would not offend her, she would either give in or deny him, nothing more and nothing less.
“I thought you’d never ask.” As she spoke she reached up to pull him in for another kiss, this one deeper and more passionate than the last. She still had not given up on her desire to breathe life back into him, she wanted to return to him his will to live. As he slowly breathed her in he began to see just how close she was to succeeding.
Eric laid awake on his bed with the ever compassionate Sookie lying beside him and he smiled for the first time since the realization of his Makers plans had hit him. Godric was alive. The sun had risen and his maker still lived. Nothing could make this day any better than that.
Daina opened her eyes and all she saw was Godric’s sleeping form beside her. After their first round of vigorous mating they had moved down to her room where he would be protected from the sun’s deadly light. He would live, Eric’s world wouldn’t be turned upside down, Bill was well on his way out of Sookie’s life, and Jason was starting to finally heal after everything he’d been through, and she had boffed her first vampire. All in all, not bad for a surprise visit to see family. Only one thing left to do now.
It was time to go home.
A/N – So this is the end of What About Now, I have a short little three-shot story planned for the next part of this that is basically Jason, Sookie, and Daina have a very long overdue heart to heart as they make their way home, that story will be where you’ll get most of the Eric/Sookie feels that never seemed to make it fully into this one no matter how hard I tried. After that I have plans to continue both with Daina/Godric and with Sookie/Eric I just don’t know which to do first. I’ll have to think about it after I finish the next story. I have a tentative title for it it’ll be called The Long Road Home. Hope you liked this story and the world that I’m starting to build here with Daina.