things are gonna get better real soon {closed; part one}

His terror at finding himself suddenly the focus of nearly every god and goddess on Shaman was surprisingly short-lived, washed away by the flood of excitement that came from knowing the same of his ren: a caracal candle. He'd stuttered out a polite thank you, spoken a bit with his old mentor, Khasekhemwy, and then set out for home with a mind full of possibilities. Danny wandered through the halls of the castle in silence, a surprisingly quiet and contained Sol padding along behind him. Where could it be, though? Somewhere of significance, he assumed, but what kind of significance, and how in the world was he supposed to narrow it down? So many places that had meant so much to him were now off-limits, washed clean by the flood. The place where he'd been born, where he'd learned his trade, where his parents had met. Could it be here, in the castle? He'd lived here now for many years with his family - what was left of it. He'd met Thoth here, and Tris. He'd delivered babies and stitched wounds and treated plagues.

His feet carried him along without his thinking, turning down the familiar paths that led to the royal hospital. He was off-duty but he still made his rounds, checking in on patients and greeting colleagues. Searching discreetly under beds and in supply cabinets when the opportunity came. He knew it wasn't any good, a candle of any kind was rather unusual in the medical wing and surely would have been noticed before now, but he had no other ideas. Hours later he admitted his defeat, wandering his way back to the rooms he shared with his family - what was left of it: Dylan, Flynn, and himself. At least they knew where Renn and Henry were this time, and at least Renn was happy. She was thriving at the inn, staying busy, making friends. She positively doted on Olive's little girl, Effie, and the feeling was mutual. Thinking of how bright and colorful she was again, at long last, brought a happy smile to Danny's lips. He wished they could all be together, he liked that best, but he understood the need.

The smile slid off his lips as he entered the rooms, found them empty and cold. Flynn was on duty, no doubt, and Dylan was probably off either doing training or exploring. He couldn't blame them for pursuing their own interests, and under most circumstances would have appreciated the silence and used it to read his books or study up on new techniques. Now the quiet was almost oppressive, dark and lonely. He would have loved to get his brothers' input on his search, hear their ideas. They all thought so differently from one another, no angle gone untouched or unconsidered when they really put their minds to it. Danny explored the common areas, his room, and the ones left empty by Henry and Renn but did not invade Flynn or Dylan's privacy; why would his ren hide in their private spaces anyways?

With a sigh, he flicked the lights back out and closed the door quietly behind him. Where would he go next? His stomach grumbled, reminding him he'd had little to eat since the morning, and he ventured down to the dining hall. The search there was just as fruitless, though at least he felt a bit more focused when he was done. Deciding a breath of fresh air would do him well, Danny stepped outside, exploring the gardens as he had so often in his earlier years. This had been his favorite place to study in the summers, he recalled. General, the sparrow, whistled a happy greeting from high above and he shaded his eyes to catch a glimpse of her. All those years ago she'd appeared in his Omniety experience, a human girl that had shared an amazing experience with him. The thought prompted him to scan the trees, peer into the flowers and plants, under benches, but still no candle.

Sol, who had been rolling in the freshly cut grass, popped to his feet at Danny's sigh. "Maybe it's at the inn? It's the last place you saw you know, Renn's there, and so is she," he wiggled his eyebrows at his fairy, earning a glare from Danny. It softened with thought rather quickly.

"I suppose it wouldn't hurt," he said at last, with a shrug.

"YAAAAAY FRIENDS!" Sol shouted, dashing ahead at full speed. He'd made plenty of friends among Cypress' pack, often wrestling like crazy until they all fell over in an exhausted heap and napped for hours. Danny rather appreciated them wearing him out. Plus, he reminded himself, he should check on how Cypress was healing up after her recent experience - and how she and her new familiar were getting along.

I like doing doctory things, yo

photo by Leo Messana at flickr.com

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