Second fic request out of five done. This one is written for laorion from the Godric/Eric community, who requested homesick!Godric. Unfortunately I had to tweak this prompt a little bit to fit Godric's canon characterization more, but I hope it still works nonetheless. :)
Set just after their Operation Werewolf stint in 1945, assumingly just before their decades-long separation. The brief summary of Godric's early history in Rome as well as the possibility of his life on the coast (mentioned in passing in this fic) is found on the TB Wiki, here. Also, the ending is deliberate. XD
Author: Harmony (Silver Harmony)
Characters/Pairing: Godric & Eric
Word Count: Approximately 1,580.
Disclaimer: Not mine, sadly.
Notes: A little moment between our two favorite vamps. Spoilers for the Operation Werewolf flashback involving Godric & Eric in Germany.
Feedback: Very much appreciated, as I need it to improve. Thank you!
Summary: 'Would you go back to that life if you could?'
It is never a quiet night in Augsburg. There is always a heated flurry of sounds in the air, of blaring sirens and buzzing engines and urgent voices, like a scratched record playing again and again – the neverending music of the human condition in 1945.
And Godric’s uniform doesn’t fit him well. It hangs loose in places, covers him up totally in a manner Eric thinks is too stuffy, falls just a little too big for his small, slender form. Perhaps it is this whole place and their own circumstances that generally exude every sensation of foreignness; they’d lived around a thousand years together, set foot in many a war-torn land, outlived every generation like it had been a passing moment. Yet in the millennium that they had walked the earth side-by-side, familiarity never seems to get that much easier, even when the blond doesn’t care much for the occurrences in the world around him – soon, it will be bygones, much like everything else. And, in the seemingly endless passage of time, he has only Godric to anchor him.
The military coat looks good on his maker, but that doesn’t mean Eric likes the look. The disguise always makes him think back in contrast to when they had first met, when the dark-haired vampire, feral and childlike, had appeared to him in nothing but torn rags: his first glimpse of Death in the form of a young boy. And it had been nothing less than natural, organic – there was something consoling about it that had brought every sensation of being home.
‘Eric,’ Godric’s voice breaks him out of his fleeting reverie. ‘What is it?’
Eric realizes he has been staring; a faint moment of self-consciousness passes through him, and he shakes his head. ‘It's nothing.’
Their sleeping ritual has been the same for all the years they spent their mornings together – lying quietly side-by-side, Godric on the left, Eric on the right, exchanging small words until they fall to eventual slumber. Eric can feel the biting coldness of the creeping dawn wash over him in that small, filthy wooden shack. He walks over and lays himself down by Godric in the dark, grimy alcove in the corner; it reeks faintly of stale blood and gunpowder under that crooked roof, and the uncovered earth feels uncomfortably hard and bumpy against his back, but the space is strangely welcoming in his slight fatigue. It’s tight enough that his shoulder touches Godric’s lightly when they spread their bodies out in the shadows there, in that secure, hidden, unsuspecting dip in the wall.
Even under the cover of complete darkness, Eric can see the other vampire lying on his back, his eyes fixed on the ceiling. The heavyweight wool of the military coat is spread out over him, almost impossibly large over the small, prone body; a part of the blond is oddly relieved to see it not donned upon his maker’s shoulders. It doesn’t suit the gaze in those dark eyes, he muses. There is something about this, all of this, that bears an inexplicable sadness that has nothing to do with the human war.
‘Thank you for your patience with me,’ he suddenly finds himself blurting out. The memory of his own impetuousness during their personal mission of squeezing information from the foul wolf girl earlier that week, and Godric’s lightning-fast reflex in saving him when she had struck him to the ground, still brought him an uncharacteristic feeling of the mildest shame.
Godric doesn’t look at him. ‘I’m only doing what I can.’
Eric wonders when it was in the last number of centuries, exactly, when the playful grin of Death had turned into this gaze – an endless exhaustion, a mark of something akin to surrender, the cloudiness of years and years and years of secret aging, and such ancient eyes set into an impossibly young face. It contrasts so starkly from Eric’s unapologetic lust for life, still constant and steady; even after around a thousand years, his unashamed grasp is still strong on the stimulating eternal life that the other vampire had gifted to him so many ages ago. He wonders if that spark from years long past, the tiniest tongue of flame, exists at all behind his maker’s own eyes now.
‘You always do so much for me.’
The corners of Godric’s mouth curve slightly, almost unnoticeably. ‘I’d do whatever I can for you, my child,’ he utters softly, and Eric doesn’t have to stretch to hear the humble sincerity behind the words. ‘Within reason.’
Eric almost wants to say, is there anything I can do for you? but he knows how laughable that is. He knows his own selfishness, his own unrelenting spontaneity and self-indulgence. There is nothing he can trust himself to promise Godric – and keep said promise – with absolute certainty, even in his most unmitigated reverence.
There are faraway echoes of another wailing siren, of maybe distant gunfire. He muses that it always feels almost like taking a surreal step into a different world, all over again.
‘Do you miss home?’ he says, out of the blue; it’s only after the words slide from his lips that he realizes he isn't exactly sure what had inspired him to say them.
And Godric replies: ‘What do you say home is, Eric?’
He knows that Godric doesn’t mean it in that way, but the response still stirs the slightest touch of guilt in him. For vampires as old as they are, there’s not really a definition for home any longer: the earth shifts, lives and kinship slip away, language and music and belief change with every passing dawn. Before they’d known it, they’d grown to follow the current of time without questioning it, because there’s nothing else they can do.
‘It’d be Gaul for you, I guess,’ Eric answers, consciously not mentioning Rome. He knows Godric had left behind his own human suffering and history there. There is no lingering anguish – after all, that slice of time is too far gone – but there is simultaneously never any need to bring it into conversation.
The dark-haired vampire actually smiles now, but it is his usual smile from these days: one that is touched by every color of sadness. ‘The nostalgia does reach out to me sometimes.’
Eric knows that look; he sees it etched into Godric’s face whenever they pass the coast – a strange stirring warmth of familiarity, even though it is a different coastline almost every time. He has often wondered what the lands and villages were like a thousand years before he himself was born, when Godric had first been birthed into existence. He also wonders exactly how much of the world had changed for his maker in those centuries, if there had been as much change as in the last millenium, such that anything that was vaguely home had already turned unrecognizable when they’d first met. He can almost imagine the ancient rolling water and the soft stretch of sand and stone reflected in reminiscence in those large, dark eyes.
‘But it is a distant memory,’ Godric continues, after a pause. ‘One that I barely remember at all. One that I’ve outgrown.’
Although not completely, Eric adds as an afterthought. He doesn’t want it to cross his mind, but he is vaguely aware that it may be one of the only things keeping the other vampire from choosing to slip away from the world, from everything.
‘Would you go back to that life if you could?’ he asks, shifting slightly underneath the enveloping blanket of his own coat. ‘To your people?’
‘And where would your place be in my existence then?’ answers the dark-haired vampire almost immediately, turning at last to meet his eyes, and Eric is almost surprised at how fast the response had come. And, all at once, an immense surge of ardor and passion washes over him, and he can’t thank fate for his life more. He knows that nothing else – no one else – can bring him a greater sanctuary.
He feels a gentle hand creep under the heavy folds of his coat, and Godric’s cold knuckles brushing lightly against his; it’s barely a touch at all, but at the same time, it feels like everything – and more. It’s a wordless solace, a tender serenity that feels reminiscent of what it must be like to be home. Eric reaches out slightly and returns the mild gesture. The words I can’t live without you either are poised at the tip of the blond’s tongue, but they’re too sentimental and outwardly syrupy for his self-defined character, so he doesn’t say them; but he knows from the way the corners of Godric’s eyes softly crease at that moment that the unsaid statement has been heard, regardless.
On this foreign soil, in this small, grubby shack, in the midst of the hollow human crusades of 1945, they still find home in the same place it had always been every day that they’d spent together, and Eric takes comfort in the fact that even the tiniest slivers of anything that can resemble homesickness are always wiped clean in the solid black of the shadows where they find refuge in each other.
They remain silent for the rest of the morning, curled securely next to one another; Eric falls to slumber dreaming of walking the earth with Godric like this for another thousand years, a companion of Death, and he has faith – he just knows, somehow – that surely, that must be how things will come to pass.