Finale: Home Again
“I knew you could do it,” Eric whispered to his Bonded Gatekeeper.
Sookie held his hand while they walked lazily back to the portal to the human realm.
“I didn’t,” she confessed. Eric raised his eyebrows at her show of self-doubt. He had not seen that side of her in nearly twenty years! “Before the memories fade, I need you to remember for me.”
“What, Dear One?”
“That I went up against something that could have easily killed me. I’m not invincible, Eric,” she whispered. “I was there as a murderer. I was the only one of us who could kill without remorse.”
Eric frowned, “You were there because you are a warrior, Sookie. You are not a murderer. You are the Gatekeeper, and the protector of the human realm. You do not kill humans. You kill threats to humanity. There is a very great difference.”
“What about Elfyria? Separation Sickness not being an excuse?” she urged his honesty.
Eric smiled at her fondly, “Sookie, Separation Sickness was very much an excuse. As for the deaths you brought under the influence of my bloodlust, they were all rapists and fiends. Claudine has told you that not a single guard you killed had not raped or abused her at some point during her incarceration. As for the Water Fae you dispatched, they were terrorists within this realm. They coerced and threatened Elfyria’s people to do their bidding. Not a single one of them in that hideout were innocents. Do you not see? It is not remorse you lack. You are not cold hearted. You are a woman who understands that threats must not be taken lightly. You are certain and final in your duties.”
“I delighted in killing André,” Sookie told him quietly.
Eric sighed and pulled Sookie tightly to his body, “Yes, you did. I have delighted in kills, too, My Bonded. I know that you are not perfect. I know that I am not perfect either, but more than that, I know that you are perfect for me. Is that enough?”
Sookie finally smiled, “Yes, it is.”
“What was Chronus like?” Eric asked curiously.
“Huge. Like a three story building!” Sookie told him with wide eyes. “Strong and… Wow, I can already feel my memories going foggy.”
“But he is dead?” Eric asked quickly.
“Very,” she assured, and then frowned. “Wow, I’m not used to losing memories like this… I can’t remember the other Sookies at all, despite having all their memories at one point. I don’t really like this.”
Her vampire kissed her crown before pulling her into his arms and flying them the rest of the way to the portal. Even after several trips, he greatly disliked teleporting with her.
When they were through the Gate and on their way home, Sookie leaned her head against Eric’s shoulder. She allowed her eyes to close wearily, and was not conscious by the time Eric had parked the car back in the garage and carried her to bed.
The vampire was in awe of his Bonded. She had destroyed a Titan! A direct descendent of a God! Never mind that she had help, His Sookie had still been instrumental to the unparalleled victory!
Familiar chimes tinkled in the distance, and a brief flash of light erupted beneath the crack between the door and the floor. Eric smiled at his son’s arrival and awaited his entrance into the bedroom. *Knock, knock*
Eric rolled his eyes, “Now you learn to knock?” he called after the door opened.
“Hi, Dad,” Lukas came and sat on the edge of his parents’ bed. “How is she doing?”
“Well. Tired, but well,” Eric assured. “I did not expect to see you so soon.”
Lukas shrugged and leaned in to kiss his mother’s cheek, “I’m just awestruck. I had to see her again.”
Eric smiled, “As am I. I knew she would succeed, but realizing what that success meant… It is humbling.”
“I’m grateful she won’t remember the power she wielded. She’d feel inept afterward,” Lukas chuckled.
“I believe she was humbled after the events as well. She asked me to remember for her,” Eric admitted.
“Remember what?” Lukas asked.
“That she is not invincible. To remind her that she needed much help to defeat a single opponent,” Eric explained. “How long will she sleep; do you think?”
“Probably a good, long while,” Lukas confessed. “The energy she unleashed was so intense, Oceanus and I could see it from the Door. Even though it was the Queen’s energy, Ma still had to control it. All of them will be exhausted for several days, even the Queen.”
“Thank you for believing in her. She has only ever wanted to know that you knew you could turn to her,” Eric whispered.
“I’ve always known that,” Lukas told him with a smile. “I’ve always known that about you, too, Dad.”
“Thank you, Lukas,” Eric felt his eyes rim with blood, and turned his gaze back to Sookie in an effort to hide his blossoming tears of parental joy.
“I can’t wait to see what you two get up to, now that I won’t be bothering you,” Lukas chuckled.
“Just remember to knock,” Eric teased.
Lukas laughed and nodded, “I could do that.”
“Are all the other Erics and Sookies as happy as we are?” Eric asked softly, stroking his wife’s hand tenderly.
“Oh yes,” Lukas nodded fervently. “If they were not, their minds would not have been able to cooperate as seamlessly as they did. I may have pulled the strings to gather the powers I needed for the ultimate contender against Chronus, but it’s always been you that made them heroes. The way you love her, protect her, and believe in her. You make her very strong, Dad.”
“I am glad that I make her happy in worlds where she was not the broken little girl I found in the street. I am happy that I am meant for her in more ways than that.”
“Dad,” Lukas whispered.
“But none of those Sookies are mine, and I am most grateful and overjoyed for that,” Looking up at his son, Eric gently admonished him, “You have work you should be doing.”
“Yes,” Lukas rose from the bed, leaned in, and gave his mother one, last, departing kiss on the forehead before leaving the room, and heading back to his Lookout.
“Eric,” Sookie murmured in her sleep.
“Yes, Dear One?” Eric asked quietly.
“Mac’n’cheese?” she requested softly.
“Mac and cheese,” he agreed with a smile. He kissed her lips gently and went to the kitchen to prepare the meal even he could not screw up.
As he set a pot on the stove to boil, Eric wondered what the future held. With no son to raise, and no ancient powers to defeat, what would become the new ‘normal’ for him and his Bonded? The possibilities were endless, the opportunities were vast, and yet, all he could dream of in his long, long future was lying in bed with his Bonded and kissing her for the remainder of eternity. All he could fathom was being wrapped up in her arms and warmth until the end of time.