Chapter 32: Alive

Claudine brought them inside the Throne room, the only room in the Vampire stronghold the fairy was familiar with and Sookie saw it all happen in a kind of slowing time warp.

Eric was kneeling, kept cruelly down by numerous heavy silver chains on him. There was a group of vampires around him, watching like buzzards waiting for a spectacle. Six guards held Eric’s chains in place. A small female stood in front of the viking with a raised stick of wood. Stake.

Sookie began running. No one paid mind to the small human as she ducked into the crowd.

The woman brought the stake down and pressed it to Eric’s chest.

Time slowed down another notch for Sookie.

She was now beside the woman stabbing Eric. The stake was pushed and Sookie screamed as she shot to Eric. Her hands landed on his failing heart, where the stake was starting to turn all flesh to thick viscous blood.

Time stopped.

Sookie didn’t pause to consider whether it stopped on her command or whether the clock just stopped ticking for her when she saw Eric getting staked. Pure, incandescent light shot from Sookie’s frantic hands and entered Eric’s heart.

“You can’t die. Live Eric!” The girl yelled the command to the dying vampire, her hands pressed on his heart. “LIVE!”

Eric’s eyes snapped to her face, a face as familiar as it was alien to him in the moment. Her eyes glowed gold. Her skin burst with dazzling, moving runes. Seemingly moving, yet still in their live dance across her skin. Her hands on his heart felt like no other sensation he could think of. Her restive blood in his veins sparked with a sudden electricity, moving towards his heart as if summoned by her light. Eric shuddered in intense pain. And intense pleasure.

Some instinct, as ancient as the people she came from, as deep within as the bones of the world, as potent as the dust that formed and broke and formed their bodies again and again, told Sookie that the light from her runes would save Eric’s life tonight. She just had to channel it to him, make him drink it, make him drown in it, make him ready to be remade in it. Not knowing how exactly to do it, Sookie turned Eric’s face up with one hand and kissed him savagely, light now pouring from her hands as well as her mouth. Gently she started removing the stake lodged in his torn heart. But as soon as her hand left his chest and gripped the stake to pull it out, Eric coughed blood and collapsed. Sookie let the stake go and pressed her hand to his bloody chest again.

She could feel him slipping from her small hands, just as his skin turned into more dark blood.

Crying out pleas and commands and whispers for Eric to live again, Sookie cut her other palm on her vampire’s fangs and stuck her bleeding hand in his mouth, forcing him to drink her blood as she fervently willed a miracle to come about. Almost as if someone from above was listening in for once in her life, Eric’s lips closed onto her hand as he bit in. Sookie’s human blood poured into his mouth, immersed into the light of her runes. Pulsing with the steel of the girl’s will, it transformed into an elixir not even the angels could have concocted in pure heavens. Wherever the elixir went, it lit Eric’s veins on fire, even as his body continued to dissolve from the stake in his chest.

“I give you life even as I freely give mine away.” Sookie choked out the words that came to her again on pure instinct.

Eric’s eyes shot to hers in shock as he registered her words and tried backing away. Sookie clutched at his neck and with a force that wasn’t human kept his mouth on her hand even as she kept her other hand burning bright on the gaping hole of his chest.

“Forgive me for my sins against your family. Forgive me for hiding my true self from you. In my defense, I was in love and didn’t know what I was going to cause. Too long have we suffered apart. Too long have I paid. But I will end this cycle of torment for us. I will set it right tonight. If that’s the last goddamned thing I do!”

Sookie’s voice faltered as her gaze grew hazy. The light of her hands dimmed. Dark spots began appearing in her vision. Even as life drifted away from Sookie, Eric’s started coming back and his skin started stitching itself. The sight of healing flesh made Sookie’s failing eyes tear up in relief.

It was a strange feeling. She felt like she ought to feel half dead. But all Sookie felt was alive. With Eric. In Eric. In love with Eric as much as she already was.

“I love you.” she whispered and bent her forehead to Eric’s, “I always loved you.”

With those tender words, the last of her strength gave away. Sookie’s hand slid from his neck and her limp body collapsed on Eric. Eric broke the chains holding his hands and hugged the fragile girl to himself. As if a damn had broken, all at once things started moving again. The air, the ticking clocks, the vampires of Louisiana court, Queen Sophie Anne. They confusedly stared at the sight of Eric Northman, free from his chains, crouching low and clutching a dying human to his bleeding chest. Someone stirred.

“What the hell…”

“How did he-”

“Who is-”

“The fuck is going on!”

With a desperately mighty shove of his aching muscles, Eric shot up in the air, crashed his back into the ceiling of the throne room to make way for their escape. He flew Sookie away from the impending danger of at least a hundred bloodthirsty vampires coming back to their senses. He didn’t understand what had made the vampires still as statues. He didn’t understand how he still lived with a stake buried in his chest. He didn’t know what Sookie had done to him. All he knew was that he needed to get her away from there and save her. Her breathes were faint. Her heart was irregular. Her beautiful eyes were closed. Her skin, now devoid of the dancing runes, was rapidly losing color and life.

He spotted the New Orleans cemetery and quickly did a check for company. Finding it mercifully empty, Eric brought both of them down and gently laid Sookie on the soft moist grass. He brought his wrist to his mouth.

“That won’t heal her now.”

Eric froze. The presence of an intruder was absolutely impossible. He had checked and his ancient senses couldn’t be fooled like that.

A man walked out from behind a tall headstone and came to stand a few feet away. Eric chaffed at his proximity to a vulnerable Sookie.

“She has nothing to fear from me. Nor do you.”

Eric tried recalling if he recognized the man standing placidly before him. To his utter frustration, though he could clearly see him standing a few feet away, not one feature on the intruder’s face was discernible. He could not pinpoint the color of his hair, or his eyes, or even his skin. The face neither reminded him of a previous meeting, nor registered as a stranger’s.

Who was this man? Better still, what was he?

“Who are you? Why are you here?”

“I am here to help.”

“Help who? And you didn’t answer my first question. Who are you?”

“Call me Michael. I am here to help you. And this woman. She is my kind. And my kin.”

Sookie’s heart wheezed dangerously and Eric pulled his eyes from the stranger to look at her.

“She needs my blood to heal.”

“No. She needs me and then she needs rest. In time she will heal herself. Your blood won’t heal her now.”

“My blood can heal most anything. I can’t risk not trying.”

The stranger smiled and looked towards the East. Towards the slow ascent of dawn in the form of delicate grey clouds hanging bright against a stark black sky. Eric saw it too.

“I must help her before dawn.”

“Dawn won’t harm you now.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

Another presence made itself known. This one was at Eric’s back. Not daring to turn his back at the strange unknown man before him, Eric slowly rose, taking Sookie with him in his arms. He then turned to the side and keeping Michael in his peripheral, to look towards the newcomer.

He nearly dropped Sookie in shock as he registered the face of the woman coming toward him.

“Erik. Son.”

Eric took a step back. His mother paused.

“What dark magic is this?” he whispered.

“No magic. I am here, in the flesh.” Zisa replied.

“How the fuck- You died! My whole clan died. I saw their blood painted across my village.” Eric sputtered, clutching Sookie’s closer.

Zisa took another tentative step towards him.

“No son. I did not die in that attack. I was saved by him.” she gestured towards the unknown strange man. “We lost our clan son. But I was saved. And so were you.”

Eric barked a manic laugh.

“Saved?” he yelled, “I was not saved. I died too. I have been dead for a thousand years. You are an apparition. I have finally gone mad!” he spat and started to kick off to take the skies again, desperate to take Sookie somewhere where he could heal her without seeing ghosts of his bloody past.

He failed to take flight. Suddenly his body felt heavy as lead and fatigue mercilessly beat down his shoulders.

“You need to hand Sookie to Michael and come with me. He can help her better than anyone right now.” Zisa said placidly, trying hard to keep tempers from flaring and her own emotions turning her into a mess before she had Eric securely at her side.

He would need her now. Before dawn came upon them and Eric realized how his entire reality had shifted on it’s axis, Zisa needed to explain everything to her son. From his sojourn with an angel a thousand years back that led to the time anomaly and the sky fae attack, to the trial and sentencing of that angel that spanned many human lifetimes, a few of which had touched Eric’s life before being snatched away. She needed to tell him about the ancient Pythoness’ prophetic visions where she saw the possibility of the Earth fae returning to their rightful Earthly realm through a path that that same disgraced angel’s forgotten light could open. She needed to tell Eric about the many variables that could go wrong with that possibility, only through simple choices that the forgotten angel would make. Eric needed to know how a million odds had aligned to make the possibility of their standing together on Earth again true.

And most of all, Eric needed to know that his undead life ended with that stake to his heart. Then knowingly or not, Sookie had used her angelic light, the elixir of pure soulful energy, to pour life into his body that had been on the verge of melting into true death. Simply put, Eric Northman was not a vampire anymore. Now he needed to know and accept his new existence.

Eric took another step back, madly trying to find a way to loose the two strange apparitions who were somehow preventing him from flying.

“No.”

“Eric, listen to me. Hand Sookie to-” Zisa started again, only to be cut off by Eric’s dead clear words.

“She is MINE! By blood. By promise. I will protect her with my life.”

They stared at each other, the mother almost as tall as her son, same piercing aristocratic blue eyes trying to beat the other into submission. Neither backed down.

The grey of pre dawn started lightening into blush.

“You need help too Eric. For one, you have a stake embedded in your chest.” Michael interrupted the impasse.

Not taking his eyes off the frighteningly lifelike specter of his mother, Eric balanced Sookie on one arm and with the other slowly pulled the stake out. It hurt like hell and bled like the rivers of that same hell. The pain and loss of blood brought Eric down to one knee, but he didn’t let Sookie go.

“Give her to me. Trust me Eric, I know how to save her.” Michael coaxed.

Something about the other man nudged Eric to trust him.

“I don’t see anything wrong with Sookie that can’t be righted with my blood.”

“Listen to me. She gave you the gift of her light. Your blood will not cure what she lost.” Michael walked forward and crouched by Eric. “Her body is in a coma. She has lost most of her blood. Her life force is almost depleted. In this realm Eric, I am the only one who can do something about it. But we will certainly loose her if you keep being stubborn and refuse my help.”

Eric knew he was going to loose Sookie soon if nothing was done to save her in the next few minutes. He also realized her danger didn’t just lie in loss of blood. The stubborn woman had done something to bring him to life. She had done something he couldn’t even begin to comprehend. Was the stranger right about his blood not being enough of a cure?

“Remember the last time you saw her use her light in your club?” Michael went on, a hard edge entering his voice and eyes, “Her body took two weeks to get over that shock and she didn’t use a hundredth of the power she expended today, nor the words she used to seal your fate as well as hers. As a vampire you were truly dead in that throne room Eric. And yet she found a way for you to trump true death. Would you be so cruel to refuse the help she needs right now after what she’s done for you?”

“Let him help your woman, son.” Zisa pleaded again, recognizing the indecision in Eric’s eyes.

“Who are you?” Eric asked Michael, this time a lot more confused than angry.

Michael pressed a hand on Eric’s shoulder, his other on Sookie’s forehead.

“I am her brother in spirit. And I am her guardian. I will never harm her. And you can bear witness to this fact if you so wish.”

Eric heard the truth in Michael’s words. Saw the sincerity in his eyes. Not to mention his ever proven instincts told him Sookie and he needed this help.

He carefully lowered Sookie on the grass and nodded at Michael. Michael again placed one hand on Sookie’s forehead and another over her heart. Lines of symbols flickered on the hands of the Archangel, formed and reformed as the force of his healing power started flowing from his core to Sookie’s. Eric recognized the symbols. He had seen similar ones on Sookie. That was only why he sat still and let Michael do whatever he was doing.

“I have to warn you. With whatever she has done, the fool child may not come back whole.”

Suddenly Eric wanted to bite Michael’s head off.

“What the hell do you mean? You said you could save her.” he hissed.

Michael sighed.

“What is it with you people? No faith in miracles even after experiencing one yourself not too long ago. Did you not see what she did? She sacrificed her life for you. Usually, that involves one saved life and an actual death. You look very much alive. And she would be dead if I weren’t here to save her. Is it not a blessing that she will breath again, even if she doesn’t exactly remember what killed her in the first place?”

Eric went still. Something in the whole speech Michael just made in his infuriatingly calm manner niggled at the back of his mind.

“What exactly do you mean by that?”

“I mean you get a fresh start. And so does she. It is this strange balance of time and events that we must always observe and preserve. You cannot very well go on your merry way as the rightful Earth Fae prince you are with half the vampire population of the world after you, wanting to know how you changed from vampire to fae. My people have bestowed this boon to your people. There was an indictment on her that has been lifted. Sookie gets a real chance to live this human lifetime without knowing the grief vampires brought her. From there on, she can do anything she wishes, go anywhere she wants. You get to live the life as you were meant to all along. For the vampires, you never were a part of them. Now, what say you to this gift?”

Eric didn’t have words. The world had gone mad. He had gone mad. Or he was truly dead and gone to a weird sort of hell where everything was upside down.

Michael kept up his healing and waited for Eric to overcome shock and comprehend his words.

A few minutes passed like this.

Finally Eric touched a lock of Sookie’s gold hair and ran his finger through it’s length. If what the crazy man was saying held true, it was possible that Sookie won’t remember him when she woke up. Could he bear that? But then, compared to death, the option of her living, though oblivious to their past, was really the best boon he could have gotten at that instant. If she would live, Eric could live happy too.

“Why isn’t she recovering? She grows paler by the second.”

“I will not jump start her like she did you. She will not survive that shock.” Michael replied calmly. “It is better this way. Gentle and insistent. She’ll come around. I’ll bolster her enough for a transport and then take her to her home to continue. Why don’t you talk to your mother in the meanwhile?”

“You are not taking her anywhere from my sight. And my mother is dead.” Eric replied flatly.

“Remember the sermon on faith and miracles I just gave? Your mother is not dead. She is right here. She will answer all the questions you might have. And oh look! The sun is up.” Michael pointed out, in his same infuriatingly serene manner.

Everybody looked at the rising yellow orb. So dazed was he from the events of the night and the conversation of the past few minutes, that Eric couldn’t even bring himself to feel shocked at how the rays of the sun pleasantly caressed his skin. He felt no heat, no burn. Not even a slight discomfort. Or the pull of day death. Zisa placed a hand on his shoulder as he stared at his arms in awe. Her hands were warm, her eyes dewy.

“Welcome back son. Are you ready to talk now?”

With the same dew in his eyes as his mother’s, he nodded and saw Zisa’s face split in a smile much like his own. They were far from correcting all wrongs and erasing all doubts. They had miles to go before they reestablished their place in the world again.

But Eric was alive and reunited with his family. Sookie would live. No power in the world would stop Eric from seeking the pesky blond out once she was recovered. Their world was at peace and all was right.

hr

I am sure a few explanations are in order.

First, when Michael left Sookie to see the council and discuss the appearance of Sookie’s runes again, the council decreed the boon of fresh start to be given to Eric as well as Sookie after witnessing how she gave up her life to save his. So by the time Michael came back, he was already coming to save both of them.

Second, Eric is now Fae. Sookie’s light filled him with life after his vampire existence came to an end. I used her angelic light as a plot point, same as the cluviel dor in the Sookie books. I had always wanted Sookie to use this fae charm for Eric in the books and so I made her use it to save Eric in this piece of fantasy fiction.

Third, Sookie will not remember Eric and will not have met any vampires in her second chance life. This is not time travel. Gran is still dead. It is just memory resetting.

I hope you enjoyed this story. It was the first I started to write. And I am feeling mighty pleased with myself to have finished it. Also, this is the ending I always wanted to get to since the first chapter. ANd look, there is an epilogue too!!

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