It was the little things as much as anything else, she would have to say. It was having a steaming cup of tea on her bedside table and a soft whisper in her ear that it was time to get up. It was the shy smiles and warm hugs, along with the whispered conversations over books in the library and long walks through the garden. It was the motorcycle in the front drive and the bodyguard in battle fatigues; it was the cobalt glass dome atop the roof and long gravel drive down to the large silver gate.

But, she would concede, it was the big things too. It was having them all there with her, tucked away in their own separate rooms or traversing the halls with her. It was sitting down to dinner along with the rest of them and laughing over whatever had happened that day. It was hearing her gardener get into a tiff with the librarian, or her bodyguard put the resident Reaper into his place. It was her butler’s cooking and soft reprimands over her behavior, and the simple fact that she had her Mansion back.

It was the full moons with her gardener and the bouquets he would present her with a blush and a shy smile because he could finally do that again. It was the soft violin that would play in her office when her librarian came to practice at all hours of the night and day because he knew she wouldn’t mind. It was the bottles of alcohol that would mysteriously vanish from the cellar and appear, empty, in the trash the next day. It was the knowledge that her bodyguard was never far away if she needed him, and even closer when she really did. It was how the Shinigami would play with the ends of her hair and comment on how long it had gotten and how much he liked it. It was how her guardian/conscious would tell her not to do things, and then smile and suggest something even more fun instead.

It was the chorus of others as well, the ones she kept locked away in her Gallery for special occasions when she got a particular sort of lonely and her Residents couldn’t help. It was the grins they would offer her and the comfort and affection as well.

It was the smell of the gardens and the library and all the rooms in between, it was the slate floor in the kitchen and the hardwoods that she would slide across like a ten-year-old because she could. It was the banisters she would slide down and the doors that sometimes squeaked, the cool of the cellar and the heat of the conservatory. It was the a little room under the stairs that had been transformed into haven and the Archives that lurked so mysteriously in the library. It was every little nook and cranny in her Mansion, in her mind. It was marvelous.

It was home.


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