With summer fast approaching, Rae was starting to feel a bit anxious. Her motivation was seriously lacking in her academics as she almost wanted to fail her senior year just so she could stay longer. But Everett kept her on track, whether she wanted him to or not.

Everyone who graduated from Imitheos had one of two choices in deciding what to do next. One could go on to a college of their choice, for the institute always supported its students, having multiple connections with colleges in the country and a handful abroad. The second option for a demigod was to go into a line of work that dealt primarily with his or her Greek background. Whether it be a monster hunter, a demigod social worker, or perhaps a godly ambassador, there was always a need for demigods with experience.

The thing was, though, that Rae had no clue what she wanted to do. The thought of more school disgusted her, but the idea of leaving to get a job seemed too adult-ish for her. She still felt like a kid most of the time, but simultaneously she knew she would need to grow up some if she wanted to be the one looking out for her sister after high school.

Everett noticed her worrying one day at lunch. She was barely touching her food and chewing on a hangnail, her eyes focused on a random spot across the room as she thought about what she was going to do when she graduated in three weeks.

He must have read her thoughts, because he said, “Stop worrying about that. How about you focus first on actually passing your final exams.” His tone was light and joking, but Rae heard the underlying concern.

“I have you to help me pass,” she said. “The real problem is what I’m going to do after that.”

“Well…” he began, putting a hand under his chin as he started to think as well. “When I think of your strengths, I usually think about your fighting abilities but also your people skills. I read a pamphlet in the registrar office the other day that had listed some possible careers. You’d be great with kids, but I also think you’d kick butt if you went into any kind of questing line of work. I’d worry terribly about you if you did that, but I know you’d be good at it.”

Rae sighed. The overall concern was time away. She didn’t want to leave Everett or her sister or anyone else at this school for that matter. Her joke with Lysander the other day had been actually true. The dream job would be to stay here and be an assistant teacher or coach, preferably in the physical training department. Heck, she’d even settle for a secretary position in the registrar building if it meant she didn’t have to go anywhere.

But the headmaster hadn’t made any offers to her, even though he knew how badly she wanted to stay. And of course there was the other matter… The letter she had received the other day. “Theo, there’s something else,” she started, her back going a little straighter. “I… It isn’t looking like I could get any kind of employment here just yet. But… I got a job offer the other day in the mail from a service that works to keep populated areas safe and free of danger. So like… a monster hunting gang. Lysander had sent them a recommendation without my knowing and they seemed to think I would be worth hiring. But I just don’t know…”

“That’s amazing, Rae,” Everett said encouragingly, even if his voice was a bit strained. They both knew it meant she would have to go away.

“Just something to think about,” she said as casually as she could. In truth, if she didn’t find anything better before graduation, it was looking like monster hunter was her only option. “I’m not making any big decision yet.”

→ ←

Everett closed his eyes as the papers were being passed out. He was nervous, but only because he was pretty much nervous about anything. So far he had achieved As on all of his finals, they were mainly A+s, but there were a few regular As thrown in there. When he heard the sound of a paper being laid on his desk, he felt jittery and he opened his eyes. Another A+, he thought happily. After seeing his test score he reached out for Rae’s mind.

“What’d you get?” he asked, curious of how much she remembered from their cramming session the night before. Rae had told him earlier that she had forgotten to study so Everett took it upon himself to help her absorb as much as possible.

“I got a C+!” she somehow shouted through her thoughts.

Everett’s eyes scanned the room for her. As his eyes searched, he felt even happier by the progress he was making with his powers. He could now successfully see the emotions of everyone in the room if he tried. It was a mix of reds and blues and yellows, with the occasional tie dye or purple in the mix. When his eyes finally found Rae she was glowing a bright yellow.

“That’s great,” he replied, smiling in her direction.

“I don’t even need to ask what you got, Mr. A+,” she cooed, making Everett blush lightly.

When they were dismissed from class, they walked hand in hand towards the mess hall.

“Do you have anymore finals?” Rae asked as she inhaled the food on the plate in front of her.

Everett sighed. “Just my weapons final.”

Rae nodded in understanding. She knew that Everett always felt somewhat lacking in his swordsmanship. She put a comforting hand on his shoulder.

“You’ll be fine,” she said, through her mind, as her mouth was still stuffed with food.

“I sure hope so.”

→ ←

Rae went to watch Everett’s weapons final. She had passed earlier that morning with flying colors, the only class she actually got a near perfect score in. Sitting in the stands, she gave Everett a thumbs up as he glanced nervously over to her, his sword arm dipping low in lack of enthusiasm.

He would start with basic solo routines just to show he was competent with his weapon and knew the basic forms. Next he would be graded on a sparring match with… Koa. Rae always liked Koa for his zealous approach with any weapons in training, but right now she was mostly nervous for Everett. She knew her Mood Ring didn’t really want to fight against his mentor. It wouldn’t matter if he won or lost, but winning did always count for bonus points. It was really all about technique and how well he presented himself during the match.

Rae watched with rapt attention as he brought up his sword arm to swing it around in the customary warm up routines. She liked to watch him do this, especially because it made her notice just how muscled he had become over the school year. She had predicted good calves, but now… Rae seemed to have gotten so much more.

When he squared off with Koa, she didn’t have to see the orange glow to know that he was nervous. She tried to control her thoughts. An outburst in her mind would be too distracting. If anything, she made sure she was only thinking positive things. Maybe he would pick up on her vibes and not be so nervous.

→ ←

Koa lunged, though rather obviously. Everett swayed to the side, dodging Koa’s stroke. The momentum carried Koa past Everett, and Everett pivoted on toes so he would face Koa’s new position. The two stood there for an awkward moment before Koa took another swing at Everett. He brought his sword up to block the stroke, then sent one of his own when he saw Koa raise an expectant eyebrow.

The fight continued for a few minutes, slowly growing in intensity, as Everett gained confidence, and Koa noticed this confidence. There was one moment in particular that got Everett’s heart racing. He had swung at Koa’s head in an attempt to surprise him, but Koa ducked the stroke and stuck out his foot to trip Everett when he was off balance. Koa succeeded in tripping Everett, but in a last minute reflex, Everett fell into a roll and was back on his feet almost instantly.

In the end, their fight had lasted seven minutes and thirty two seconds. Everett was on the ground with Koa’s sword at his neck.

A smile bloomed on Koa’s face, as he sheathed his sword and offered a hand. Everett smiled a similar smile as he took Koa’s help up, then looked at Mr. Lysander.

Mr. Lysander consulted the clipboard in his hand for a few moments before looking up at the hopeful and nervous Everett. “You have improved quite a lot, but that is normal for newbies,” he began, looking down at his clipboard again. “But I’d have to say those were some pretty nice moves you pulled there, and your defense is solid, you just gotta work on that offense.”

Everett nodded, but when Mr. Lysander began to walk away, he spoke up. “Wait, what’s my grade?” he asked.

Mr. Lysander turned. “What grade did you want? You’re my last session, and I’m ready to be done,” he explained.

“Uh… I guess I was hoping for at least an A-,” Everett said shrugging.

“Then congratulations, you got an A-,” Mr. Lysander said, and after giving a wave of his hand, he walked away.

Everett sighed happily, and he turned back to Koa and Rae who had come down from the stands a few minutes earlier. “I got all As,” he said with a big smile.

“Yes you did, Mood Ring, and I got four C+s, so let's go get some food to celebrate,” Rae said as she grabbed his hand.

“With you, I highly doubt that food is anything special,” Koa commented from behind her.

“Keep talking and I’ll eat your serving, Koa. Two meals would certainly be special.”

Koa shook his head and followed as Rae set off for the Mess Hall.