Her voice kept the cadence, and she didn't look at him.
"One day...when the Earth burns cold and fire is a distant dream, when warmth is rarer than diamonds and burning is indescribable, perhaps I will lie down to rest. Perhaps I will have that respite, will have gone long enough and have no more promises to keep. Nothing to keep me clawing back up."
Her eyes closed.
"My little ones will be grown--unless they don't, and I end up spending my life hunting who hurt them. But, should life work out as I would have it, they will grow. They will live. They won't need me anymore. I'll be here and find that no one calls for me to save them from dark creatures they barely understand"--without opening her eyes, she nodded towards the two, though one had moved--"and I'll be done."
A dark, genuine smile touched her lips.
"Perhaps it will be death. Given how I live, I would guess that I'll see it coming, if only by a few seconds. Have a moment to myself when I simply know there's nothing left to do, no one left to save, nothing to do to extend a life or a helping hand. Just feel it...end."
A few people shivered. She opened her eyes, glittering with a sun-bright smile.
The hearth crackled, and the usual hum of background conversation gradually started back up. Everyone could figure out how much she dedicated. Very few liked to think of it.
"But not today, I think."