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Days in Gold

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Simon loses himself sometimes, but he's getting used to the sensation of realising it, of coming back to himself and re-orienting himself. On good days he tries to think of ways to use his voice-coder to help; it's useful for keeping notes on things he wants to remember, but so far he hasn't thought of a way to use it to remind himself when he's forgotten everything.

The moments don't last, and so far he's been able to figure out where and when he is without any trouble. It's entirely possible it's due as much to old age as it is the damage done to his brain -- it's rather impossible to tell to difference sometimes. He isn't quite that old, he tells himself firmly, but he can feel it in his bones and in the way he would rather stay in bed in the mornings, wrapped in a warm blanket and not putting his feet on the floor until he absolutely must.

Alys always laughs and says that's retirement, not old age. He bites his tongue against asking her how she would know -- she has retired, somewhat, given the rule of the palace over to Laisa and washed her hands of everything that she can. They've even discussed taking a vacation off-world, visiting places neither of them truly dreamed they'd get to see. Security considerations are still a nightmare, of course, but still he thinks they'll get a chance to go someplace, perhaps even as soon as this summer. But despite being retired, Alys seems to have just as much to do that involve undercover ImpSec agents and representatives from the palace as ever. The difference, he supposes, is that she tells them 'not today' more often, and they spend the day together.

She seems happier, as far as he can tell, and that's what matters.

Simon casually checks his calendar to see if he's forgotten plans already made, but no, there's nothing there. Yet. But it also tells him today's date and that helps him come back to himself after finding himself in the kitchen, cup of coffee in hand and no idea of where he'd meant to go sit to drink it, or if it was his first or second cup.

He can't taste coffee on his tongue; his first, then, and that means kitchen table and the reader, carefully censored by ImpSec to show him only news that won't make him try to call in to work and ask if they want help.

He only did that once, but apparently once was too often.

Simon smiles to himself as he goes to sit down, coffee in hand -- still hot, so clearly he didn't lose much time, standing by the window and staring out at the morning. Alys will be in her drawing room, going over whatever news she wants to take care of before she comes to find him. Business, he knows, ImpSec and Imperial and family things she still keeps an eye on that she won't want to tempt his curiosity over.

He'll start with the social pages, then, and gather up the gossip that she'll be glad to discuss, and Simon will learn how to see people as people again, and not as threats and plans and measures to take the throne.