Flynn flopped down into a chair and sighed dramatically. "There's nothing to read."
Had Charlene been there she'd have rolled her eyes and pointed out that there was a whole Library of books to read. Two, counting the public library upstairs. But she was upstairs herself, working on the accounts and complaining about Flynn's expensive expenses.
Had Judson been there he'd have found some work for Flynn to do. Probably some arduous translation that Flynn would grumble about and then spend hours over, only coming up for coffee on occasion. But Judson wasn't there. He was dead and left Flynn to work things out on his own a lot more often these days.
Excalibur was there, though, and he slapped Flynn around his right shoulder.
Flynn waved a hand. "Knock it off, Cal, I'm not in the mood."
Excalibur whined and went for the left shoulder, but Flynn ducked. He knew all of Excalibur's moves - they'd known each other for ten years, after all.
"I don't want to fight." Flynn sunk further down into the chair. "I want..." He sighed. "I don't know what I want."
Excalibur lay across Flynn's lap.
"At least I still have you, old friend." Flynn idly stroked Excalibur's handle. "But I want to do... something. Something where I get to talk to another human being. But not find an artifact or read a book or sword fight. Something else. I just don't know what." He slapped his hands down on the arm of the chair. Then did it for a second time, using the momentum to stand up.
Now dislodged, Excalibur held himself up, making eager panting noises.
Flynn put a hand out. "No, Cal." He shook his head. "Maybe I just need someone to tell me what to read next. There's just too much choice. How can I decide between alchemy, ancient weaving techniques, and the secrets of tin?"
Excalibur hovered for a moment, then shot off down the aisle between the bookcases. When he whined Flynn followed, curious. He found Excalibur with his point nearly touching a book. He backed off when Flynn reached out a hand to pluck it from the shelf.
"'Eureka! Why the best ideas are often found in the bath'," he read. "Sounds interesting." He took it back to the chair, put his feet up on the desk and opened the book.
On a mission to get Flynn to explain a receipt, Charlene found him in the same position two hours later, Excalibur laid across his legs.