Finally, Sookie gasping for air, Eric pressed his forehead to hers, hands cupping her face, their bodies pressed as close together as they could get them, he whispered, “I thought I had lost you!”
“Well, it wouldn’t be first time, now would it?”
Sookie felt Eric stiffen at the sound of The Master’s voice and felt him try and turn to face it. Stop! She thought at him frantically, knowing they had only seconds for her to convey what she had discovered but moments before. I have to tell you, Eric you were-
Love, he finished for her, smiling at her as if they were not in danger at all. All she saw in his eyes was her. She felt that tingle in her again, something growing, expanding, and pushing out to breathe inside her.
You gave it up for me, Eric. Tears on her face now, her own heart breaking at the thought of his sacrifice.
No, I got to experience it because of you. I wouldn’t do it differently even if I could. You are the only path for me, Sookie. Somewhere in me I have always known this to be truth. Nothing else matters. What happens here won’t change anything I feel for you. I will love you forever! The Master cannot have you! You are mine!
Oh, no, baby, it’s not me The Master wants! It’s-
“Now you will be mine at last! I knew if I brought her here you would follow, and at last you would be mine, Love!”
–you, Eric. The Master has done all this to get you! Confusion filled his eyes now, The Master wanted him? What the fuck did he want him for? He was a mortal now, well a vampire now, but still, no longer Love Incarnate. Thoughts ran through his head a mile a minute. David had told him he had all the information he needed to deal with this…what was he missing? Something there had to be something! The Dwarf had told him…
“You are everything he longs to be. You have everything he has ever wanted. You are everything he never was, could be or will be. Oh, how he has hated you.”
But, Eric thought, sometimes The Dwarf lies. Praying that sometime wasn’t this time, he decided to bluff and play for time because he also remembered something else The Dwarf had told him in that dream.
Eric turned to face The Master, now corporeal as they were in his realm. He took in the image before him, and saw him to be no different than he had been in The Library when he had been with Sookie and Jones. He took Sookie’s hand and she stepped up beside him. Whatever they were facing they would face together. She sent him love and confidence in the Bond. We will beat him, he heard in his mind and his heart agreed with her.
“The Master of Chaos, I presume?” Eric nodded his head in recognition of the entity that stood before them. His mind was still processing at vampiric speed all the information that he had found so far, looking for more connections and a deeper understanding, playing for more time, because sometimes, even a second can make the difference between defeat and victory.
“I have many names, but that will do.” The Master waved his hand dismissively.
“Oh, other names? Like…Kali…Bacchus…The Light Bringer? In fact, I think some just call you The Devil, don’t they?” Eric kept his tone light and inquiring, looking for information and time. The Master laughed, looking proud of the list that Eric had named.
“Yes, those and many, many more. Simplistic nomenclatures from tiny one dimensional minds. I am all that and so much more! If they could move beyond thinking in black and white and add some color they would see that I am the Master of Creation as well!”
“How do ya figure that?” Sookie asked, breaking into what looked like it was going to be a good long diatribe, just like Eric wanted. Keep him talking, Sookie. Keep him busy! He sent to her telepathically. She squeezed his hand.
Sorry he tripped on my Christian upbringing. Is he really all that he is saying?
I think so, yes. Stay focused now. She squeezed his hand again. The Master looked at Sookie, contempt on his face.
“There is no place for Hope here. Be silent and learn who your Master is!”
Hope? Eric sent to her.
Yeah, we make quite the pair you and me, Love and Hope. That’s us, facing down The Devil. He heard her humor, and felt her slight fear as well.
We have done this many times, Beloved. You have faced him Bartlett, in Bill’s actions, in the Queen’s actions and in Russell’s. In many places and times I have yet to learn of from you, as have I in my thousand years. We have beat him time and again, on our own, alone. But now, Sookie, now-
Now, we are not alone, she finished for him and felt his love for her and his pride in the Bond.
Exactly! Wanting to shift his attention back to him and away from the Hope, his hope that stood beside him he addressed The Master again.
“So, now I am here.” He paused dramatically, letting the tension build before asking what he really wanted to know more than anything else. “Why?”
“WHY? WHY you ask me? I knew you were always a fool! So I can destroy you once and for all! To break you under my boot heel, and show them all, that you are nothing! You were The Center of all Creation! You were its Heart! Set above all others, to be inspiring! To heal! You were set AGAINST ME! “From Despair, with the Hand of Love all shall rise! THEY COMPARED YOU TO ME! AND YOU THREW IT ALL AWAY! SO NOBLE! SO SPECIAL! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO STAND WITH ME AND YOU LEFT! YOU LEFT TO BE WITH HER! YOU LEFT ME TO BE WITH HER!
The Master’s face was livid, his cool composed exterior showing cracks of his insanity, of his jealousy, or his rage at his perceived rejection by Love itself. His voice boomed in the basement of Fangtasia, and then their setting changed. They stood in a great room made of light brown stone marble. The ceiling higher than Sookie could see and behind The Master were open doors that led out onto a large balcony.
“YOU LEFT ME! WITHOUT THOUGHT OR REASON! ONLY SHE MATTERED TO YOU! AND NOW I AM GOING TO TAKE HER FROM YOU, AND BREED HER SO THAT I CAN RIDE HER WHELP THROUGH ALL THE WORLDS AND SHOW THEM FIRST HAND WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO DO NOT ACCEPT ME! I WILL CARRY THE HEAD OF LOVE ON A PIKE! I WILL DESTROY HOPE! I WILL RULE THIS CREATION AS I WAS MEANT TO AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP ME, VAMPIRE!
“ALL OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT! YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED ME! BUT YOU CHOSE HER! I WILL TAKE HER FROM YOU NOW!”
Hope is many things, to some a great poet once wrote, it had feathers. To some it came in the form of kindness, a gentle hand to hold, an answered prayer. A gentle breeze that some never noticed it at all, but it was there more often than not, humming in the background giving strength, shining light.
What is often forgotten is that Hope also comes in the form of the warrior, who stands for those who cannot stand for themselves. Hope fights against oppression and darkness. The odds don’t matter, the Purpose and Function is the same, Hope was the guiding light of all Creation, and it stands when all others fall.
The Master had offended Sookie on more levels than she could comprehend. As soon as he started screaming at Eric she felt her skull start to vibrate and her vision went red. She was repulsed by him, his words, his thoughts, his very being. When he reached toward her she felt her skin light up. She felt her true self for the first time since The Fall. The Master fell back a step with disbelief on his face.
“NO! I BROKE YOU MYSELF! I WAS THERE! I MADE IT HAPPEN!”
She stepped closer to The Master, her face showing her rage and her disgust very clearly. “You tried, but you failed. You wanna know why? Because Love healed me, asshole!” She raised her free hand, the other still wrapped around Eric’s and fired a bolt of lavender at The Master, hitting him directly in the chest. He screamed as he went down, his pain feeding her rage, making her long to hurt him more, to show him what pain could be.
Eric was so caught up in what she was feeling that at first he didn’t notice the sounds of fighting around them. Somewhere, outside the room they stood in, The Palace Coup that The Dwarf had promised was underway. This time The Dwarf had told the truth. Relief flooded through Eric to know that any help The Master might call to his side now was otherwise engaged. He focused his whole attention now on Sookie, and what he saw left him shocked and awed.
She was glowing, a darker purple than she had that night in the kitchen when he tried to claim her and she sent him away to figure out what he really wanted. To figure out if he wanted it ‘all’. Her face a mask of rage and blood lust, her hand vibrating in his as she faced down The Master, and she became the personification of Hope itself, for him, to save him.
She was frightening, she was awe inspiring, she was beautiful and SHE WAS HIS, his soul sang out to her as he threw all his power and energy back to the Divine vessel that stood before him, trusting her to use it to save them both now, as he had once saved her, as they had both saved each other.
Sookie felt the boost from him and his pride and adoration in the Bond. She turned to him, her face changing to show her love for him, and if he had needed air, his breath would have been taken away. This woman was his, and he was hers, just as she had teased him that night. Always, totally, completely hers. He rejoiced in the feeling!
When Sookie looked away, The Master rose from the floor and reached for Eric, his face a mask of rage and insanity. “I WILL DESTROY YOU!” he screamed at Eric his hand now on Eric’s arm. Sookie reached out as well, using the vampiric speed she had gained from Eric, grabbing The Master, and in his mind, Eric heard her voice.
Now my love, together, at last, one last time!
As he had done with Russell he focused his being on sending out the light that she had given him and together, through The Master, they completed the circuit and they lit him up. His body frozen in rictus as their power flowed through him, and then he collapsed on the floor silent and still.
Still holding Eric’s hand she moved to stand over The Master and her voice rang out strong and demanding.
“JUSTICE! I CALL FOR THEE, NOW!”
Before them appeared Godric.
“I am here, my children,” he said. Sookie was still wrapped up in her Function and Purpose, and spared to no thought for why Godric now appeared in the form of Justice. Eric on the other hand had thousands of questions bombarding his mind, along with a great sense of joy to see his beloved Maker. Before he could give voice to his thought Sookie spoke again.
“I call to The Justice to weigh in on the actions of this one. He has stepped outside his Function and seeks to take over all Creation to be made in his image. What say you?”
“It will be dealt with appropriately.” She nodded, and Godric waved his hand over The Master’s prostrate form. His body disappeared. Sookie’s glow slowly receded from her and soon it was just Sookie Stackhouse there holding Eric’s hand tightly again. She looked around, a little in awe herself and then threw herself into Eric’s arms, hugging him tightly. For a moment, all Eric’s questions left his mind and he reveled in the feel of her back in his arms, where she belonged.
Godric cleared his throat, a grin on his face at the passionate exuberance of the two before him, calling their attention back to him. Before Eric could speak Godric asked him, “Love is all?” Eric smiled.
“Love is all,” he said. Godric turned to Sookie.
“You were right, I was forgiven. This is my place now. I know about Justice, and I know firsthand those who deserve to feel it. Thank you, child. For your kindness, and your Hope that you shared with me on the roof.” She smiled and moved to embrace him, he smiled at Eric raising an eyebrow while he hugged her back.
“She’s like that,” Eric said to his Maker. “It’s a thing with her.” Sookie giggled and stepped back, taking Eric’s hand again.
“W-will I see you again, Godric?” Eric asked, afraid of the answer, but needing to know just the same.
“When you are ready, my child, yes, you will see me again.” Eric still had his thousand questions but for now that was enough.
“You know,” Sookie interrupted, “all of this started because of you, and what you did on that roof.”
“I know,” he replied softly. “Some sacrifices are worthwhile. Wouldn’t you agree, Eric?” Eric looked at the woman beside him, thinking for a brief moment of what he gave up to have her there, and knew in his heart he would do it all again.
“Absolutely,” he said.
Godric smiled at them both once again and then he, like The Master, disappeared. The Dwarf entered the room at that moment.
“Ah, Viking, you see all is well, as I promised.” Eric turned to look at him, sensing Sookie’s questions in the Bond. Later, he sent to her.
“So, you are the new Chaos now?” Eric asked. The Dwarf nodded. “And what shall we call you, Master?” The Dwarf chuckled.
“I told you not to make him more than he was, and no. You can call me Skip.”
“Skip?” Eric repeated, raising an eyebrow at this lackluster name for Chaos incarnate.
“Yeah, I find it puts folks at ease.” The Dwarf winked at both of them, still chuckling. Sookie, taking the bull by the horns, as usual, asked the question that was on her mind.
“Where can we find the nearest full length mirror around here?”