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five things

I. Meditation was difficult sometimes. Even though she had been practicing it for centuries, sometimes there were still just too many thoughts running through her head for her to do anything really worthwhile. They were mostly questions. Would she go home? If she did, what then? Would Nicholas and Perenelle still be alive? Would she see Joan again? They were inane, things she had asked herself a thousand times over. But if what others had said was true, and time passed differently in their own worlds, then all she could really do was wait. And Scathach only had so much patience.

II. She could see their arms shaking, practically feel their legs trembling. Her expression told them that if they dropped their stances, their next lesson would be even more arduous. She heard the heartbeat of one child skip, and knew that he was going to fall. Her eyes trained on him; he saw her, and did what he could to save face. But he failed, just as they all had at one time or another. He stumbled forward, sword clattering to the dojo floor, his knees following shortly thereafter. The other students sighed lowly; they knew what was coming. She sighed with them, and then gave a little shrug and a wave of her hand that dismissed them. They looked in wonder and she looked back, not blinking, purposely giving them all the chills. Then a small smile. Don't question gifts. Accept them with grace. The students raced from the classroom, silently thankful for their early release; they knew it likely wouldn't happen again.

III. A small smile flicked over her lips as she held the book in her hands. It was old, time-worn and had been read many times. That much was obvious from the way it smelled, the way it crackled as she opened the leather-bound cover. William Shakespeare was inked on the front cover, and she smirked a bit. Hekate knew that this book, even with all its mustiness, certainly smelled better than he did. Though, there was no denying that he had been a great author, in his day. She simply wished that he hadn't given up writing. The world was surely missing out on some masterpieces.

IV. At times, there was a little spark of something deep in her chest when she saw Alex. She wasn't quite sure what to call it, and so had named it "love." It was certainly unique from some of the other emotions she had felt. Or, well, imagined she felt. There was really no helping the fact that she couldn't actually produce such sensations on her own. But, now and then, when she kissed him and he held her, she felt more human than any other time in her life. And that was something she would have given up her immortality for.

V. There was no doubt that Josh had grown up. As overused as it was, she could see it in his eyes; there was a hardness there, the kind of determination that the fifteen-and-a-half year old boy hadn't had the first time she met him. Then, he had been softer, dependent on his sister's companionship. But now, without her, he had matured into his own person. She wasn't sure what would come of it, or if it was even a good thing; but she did know that he had grown, and that perhaps that had changed his fate.