The characters belong to Tamora Pierce.

In response to Tammy Drabbles prompt 47 – What if

"Little one, you cannot keep doing this to yourself," Sarra said. Startled Daine let the image melt back into the wine glass and she looked up guiltily at her mother. "You are so unhappy here," the elder woman remarked.

Daine did not reply. This was the realms of the gods. She should not be miserable and torn. She should not ache so for something that could never be hers.

"What you need is good work to do. If you can get yourself absorbed in a task, you will forget with time," Sarra advised.

"Shouldn't I have already?" Daine asked quietly. Though time did not pass in this realm in the way it did below, she was aware of every mortal day that had come and gone. She'd spent many of them at Temptation Lake, torturing herself with what she'd let go when the Gods had asked her to choose her home.

Sarra called up an image in her stew pot. Numair Salmalin was there, his hair streaked with gray, his left hand missing from a battle. He'd become a willing soldier in every conflict. It almost looked to Daine like he was trying to get killed, though he had a family to care for now. He was sitting in a planning session with the Jon, Alanna and Gary, but he wasn't paying attention at all. He was staring at a small gold locket on his wrist. She was surprised – it had been years since Daine had seen that piece of jewelry, and she'd always imagined he'd tossed it away on his wedding day.

Daine shifted to eagle form and flew as fast as her wings could carry her. She didn't know where she was headed, she only knew that, this time, she might not shift back.