When Falcon finall pulls away from the embrace, he finally becomes aware of the snickers and mutterings coming from behind. He turns to see Dane hissing in Rowan's ear, the rest of the group listening intently.
"Dane," he says. "Do you have something you'd like to share?"
Dane grins, "Oh no, of course not. Why would I ever keep something from you?"
"If you weren't my best friend I'd throttle you for that." replies Falcon, winking at Dane. It's an old joke from their boyhood, but it still brings a wry smile to the white-haired warrior's face. Falcon turns back to Eternal:
"Well. Now that little episode's over shall we move on?"
She smiles, wiping tear tracks off her face and nods. Falcon hugs her to him before turning back to the group. They turn north and move off, still snickering amongst themselves. Dane takes the lead, leaving Falcon and Eternal at the back, his arm still around her shoulders.
"You're not angry with me?" she asks, looking up at him.
Falcon thinks about it. He's certainly not angry, after all there really wasn't a choice, but he's not too sure he's ecstatic either. Living forever seems pretty daunting, not to mention the general wierdness of walking around covered in his own blood as if nothing is wrong. However, some of the fear of the prospect seems to have dissipated. It doesn't feel any different, and none of the others appear phased. Then again, he thinks, Dane's probably told them all already. I wonder what they think of all this wierdness. He looks back at Eternal,
"Nah." he says, "I'm not mad. In fact, I feel great... if a little sticky."
Eternal giggles and squeezes his hand. Mary bounds up to them from the crowd, hugging Eternal and wrinkling her little nose at Falcon. He cuffs her playfully around the head and she scampers off, light and nimble as a young deer. Distantly, the sun is just beginning to set over the horizon, behind the sharp points of another deep forest. Suddenly, despite the danger he knows they're in, Falcon feels a sense of peace. Here he is, surrounded by his friends with the woman he loves, having escaped from yet another danger and still staying ahead of Shadow and his cronies.
Immortality doesn't seem so bad after all.