The military had taught Declan the absolute necessity of good boots, a lesson he took to heart when faced with the prospect of any kind of action, home at his Sanctuary or abroad in the streets or countryside. James had taught him the value of slippers, for which his toes gave nightly thanks, even though James was no longer there to raise an eyebrow at the slipper-socks he favored.
Books they had had in common from the outset, Declan being an avid and omnivorous reader for as long as he could remember. He made a point of having a book or two (ebook, print, audio — format didn’t matter) to hand pretty much all the time, whether there was any chance (and often enough there really wasn’t) of getting any reading done. And the stack by his bedside was fairly impressive, both in size and scope. He encouraged everyone under him to read things that were not work-related (for entirely personal definitions of both light and reading) on general principles. James had assumed that everyone would take advantage of the library; Declan had to be more overt about it.
Beer had been the source of even more raised eyebrows than the slipper-socks. Declan enjoyed a pint on occasion, with the lads down at the pub, whereas James drank wine, or spirits, or even tea. (It was one of the reliable ways Declan could tell the fellow who could be James’ twin apart from James — ‘Alun Pearson’ drank beer like water.) Declan could appreciate wine, and certainly did recognize the value both monetary and aesthetic of the contents of the wine-cellar, but it would always be more special occasion than day to day beverage to him. Tea also had a place (close to coffee in the cupboard was the standing joke) especially after an adventure that involved getting wet or chilled or both.
Fire was another element entirely. Declan had memories of all too many different kinds of fire — from the burn of long aged single-malt to the exuberance of the pyro-ants in the furnace, from the orange glare of nighttime air-strike lighting up a mud-brick and wooden wall as it tumbled beneath the incendiaries to the contained glow of campfire coals and the archaic, long unused but still technically functional gas-lamps in the upper storeys of the London Sanctuary, as well as the rooms that had been James’ for so many years. (The valves had all been turned off, but the lines were clear, and providing a source of appropriate gas were found, could in fact be reconnected with some work. Not that Declan wanted to do anything of the sort.) On the other hand, the electrics were state-of-the-art throughout. No knob-and-tube fires on his watch. Even without the all too easy to imagine derision from Tesla should such a thing happen, there were far too many other things (EM shield, alarm system, computer network, communications, walk-in refrigerator and electric kettle) that were essential to day to day life in the Sanctuary.
Still, there was something atavistically comforting about lounging feet-up in front of a fire in on the hearth, a book in hand and a glass at one's elbow, all one's charges safe and accounted for.