On the other hand, the next day I decided the twins had been right. They’d found something mild for Kanesha – likely something made for children – and she was drunk, but undamaged.
I woke up with a very slight hangover and her in my arms. For a moment I could pretend nothing was wrong.
For a moment I could pretend that the worst was not coming towards me, that the world was not going to cause me such pain.
For a moment. Unfortunately, it did not last. We appeared to be in a guest room in the dwarf king’s palace.
And dimly I could hear the preparations for war. I wondered what was going on on Earth.
I wondered if I would ever set foot there again. Somehow I thought I would not. Somehow…well.
Instead of letting my thoughts go back into the cycle, I got up, smoothed out my slept-in clothes, and stepped from the room.
A young dwarf outside saw me. “Breakfast, milady?”
“Yes.” I did not ask what dwarves had for breakfast. I did not honestly care. Kanesha still was not stirring, but she could be quite the log when tired. “Also, a hangover remedy.”
The maid laughed, but quietly. “For you or for…”
“I know something which is proven safe.” And she ducked from the room. Guest room was not quite accurate.
Guest suite. They even, I noticed, had indoor plumbing. Of course, so had Surtur. The image of the other realms as somehow medieval and primitive was not remotely accurate.
If I focused, I could remember even more luxuries in Asgard. Would I go there again?
Would any of it still exist in this form, or were we doomed to death and renewal? I did not want to know.
Kanesha was awake by the time the maid returned with breakfast and tea. My prediction was right – she needed it.
“Murf. Maybe I should be teetotal.”
The maid stifled a giggle. “You’re just not used to it. And don’t worry, nobody on Earth will ever find out.”
At that Kanesha laughed, then flinched. The tea had clearly not yet taken effect. But then the maid left us.
She put her hand on mine. “You need to do what you need to do. Whatever it is. Don’t let me interfere with saving the world.”
I thought about that. “I never have.”
But I knew what she meant.