There were good and bad things about the change back- it suddenly seemed like everything was ten times 'more' than it was before. Henry was choosing to focus on the good parts. Things were right again, and he didn't feel like he'd been pushed into something he hadn't chosen or earned.
And Liz was home. That, more than anything, made him happy. He'd known he was lucky before, but just not how much.
He hadn't talked to Hermes in a few days, and...well, this is kind of big news. So he braves the Colorado winter (which is actually quite sunny and pleasant today, surprisingly enough), and grabs a good Merlot. There are also pizza rolls.
When he gets home, he stands in the kitchen and says, "Hermes Nea Polios, I invoke you...uh, come here and have some wine with me?" He doesn't invoke very often- he's always worried he'll catch the god when he's busy. But...well, if that's the case, he'll just tell him the good news and let him be on his way.
Ring-ring! Telephone. Calling the Sherman-Townshend residence! Anyone home?
It took some doing, but Henry was eventually allowed to take some of the more recent case files from the Bureau 'for review'. Considering the subject material, it was surprising that they read like paint dries. But Henry was still engrossed in them. These were, for the most part, people he had met and appreciated.
So he was doing the whole learning thing again. He still wasn't sure whether he really wanted to be an agent or not, although it sounded like they'd be willing to give him some sort of position in the organization (if he 'earned' it, from what he heard). But that was why he was doing research. He figured that maybe he should know more. He reminds himself to ask Abe about those notes of his sometime soon. They'd probably be easier to decipher. Plus, it was nice of him too offer.
This is the most proactive Henry's been in a long time. It doesn't really seem like it, though, the way he's leaning back in his seat in the living room, sipping coffee and looking sideways at the papers.
In fact, he kind of looks like he's falling asleep.
If she takes the time to think about it, which she might someday when she can form thoughts more structured than "Henry" and "sleep," Liz will realize she has spent almost 30 hours on planes in the last two days. This coupled with a mercifully silent ride in one of the Bureau's cars to the helicopter lauchpad, to the base at the top of the mountain, have all brewed together into a cocktail guaranteed to knock out the most iron of constitutions.
Physical fortitude is not something Liz has ever been known for. By the time she's deposited outside their front door (there's snow so it's winter...is it Christmas? Did I miss Christmas? ...no, I definitely did not) all that's on her mind are the aforementioned singular nouns. Lest her siblingchildren or the cat feel slighted, take heart. She remembers Henry's name before she remembers her own.
She came home without luggage; it seemed like just so much baggage to carry. It's been months since a cigarette has touched her lips, but she'll slip quickly back into the habit as soon as she smells smoke - you're never a non-smoker, just an ex-smoker. Her legs feel like lead and the steps to the front porch number in the thousands, but it's a clean, cool kind of tired, not the raging greasy exhaustion that had gripped her when she'd come out of the hospital.
Everything is just like it was. Somehow she thought it would be different; like a library that was once a church. The same sanctuary, just carried out in different shades of meaning. Her fingers itch to run over those familiar surfaces, to touch everything in all of these worn rooms. To the uniniated eye she must look like a wide-eyed seven year old, gawking with unabashed joy at something as silly and mundane as a living room.
She doesn't even make it to the bedroom. Exactly nine seconds after sitting down on the couch, just to get her bearings, she's lost in white, dreamless sleep.
Henry is sitting at his computer right now. Except it's not his computer, he doesn't have a computer. He could never figure out how to work the damn thing and never really had a reason to, anyway. He much prefers film cameras, anyway.
Of course, that's not the current issue. The issue now is that he's obviously not anywhere near Maine, and he has no idea how he got here. So he gets up and wanders slowly around the building he's in now. "...what....the hell? What's going on here....?"
It seems like he's in someone's house. He hopes they're not mad that he's there.
Henry hadn't been able to bring himself to put a tree up this year. He hadn't done much of anything to get ready for Christmas, beyond not pulling down the garland the library guys had decorated his cubicle with. He didn't feel very much like decorating. He didn't feel much like anything. Besides the few times he'd been trying to help somebody, he sort of faded into the background.
Apparently, thirty-five years of habit wasn't kicked so easily.
Yesterday, he noticed what he was doing. It wasn't fair to him, his family, or his job. He couldn't just go into stasis until Liz came back.
So he's putting up Christmas lights now. White and blue ones. And he's trying to cook ham, in an attempt to practice for the actual day. It's...probably good that he's practicing. The ham already smells slightly burnt. Hopefully the boys won't mind too much.
Ding-dong. Undead sheep calling. Anyone home?
All right, enough of this 'I'm sick' bullshit. Helena knows bullshit when she hears it, and it sounds like 'NOOOOO I'M FINE SHUT UP.' Thus, she pinpoints somewhat vehemently onto the Sherman-Townshend house lawn and bounces up the stairs. Yes. Bounces.
((theoretically for the purpose of harassing John, but also theoretically open to anyone who might be home. :3))
John is attempting to sneak out of the house without looking like he's sneaking out of the house. So he's just walking. Quickly. Casually. And not looking at anyone who might be around. Being nervous and amnesiac means that he folds to the obligation of calling out, "Uh, going out for a bit be right back," even though he wasn't actually particularly prone to doing so when he had a functional memory.
It may help that it all came out "uhgoingoutforabitberightback".
Ding-dong-doorbell! Should anyone peer through the window/fisheye, there's a Hermes on the porch. Not just 'a Hermes', but 'a Hermes with a basket of baked goodness and Hestia-made food'. Hey, if no one wants to see him, they'll probably want the goodie-basket.
"'lo?" He might a look just a little scratchy around the edges.