Title: I'll Make Sure You Don't Forget
Archive: Please ask first
Summary: Ambrose isn't the only one adjusting to things being back to "normal".
Sequel/Season: After the Series
Authors Note: I don't own them, Scifi does. I'm just borrowing them for while and promise to give them back when I'm done, though I might just keep Glitch/Ambrose and Cain little longer ;-)
I'll Make Sure You Don't Forget
Ambrose paced around the luxurious, if slightly ornate, chamber that the queen had insisted was his. He didn't remember it. His stride faltered a moment as this thought flitted through his mind. He dragged in a deep breath and resumed his pacing. Pacing seemed to be the only thing at the moment that kept his mind focused on anything other than the dizzying cacophony of thoughts swirling around his now intact brain. He rubbed his aching temples. A dull throbbing had seemed to take up residence behind his eyes since the surgery to reconnect the missing half of his brain.Too much. It was too much. After years of the echoing silence between his ears, having everything back in place was…deafening. He looked around the room again. He didn't remember this being his room. He knew he didn't decorate it like this. He wandered over to look at the curtains. The elaborate baroque gold in the tapestry only managed to snatch his attention for a moment before he began his pacing again. "It's wrong," he muttered to himself. "It's all wrong." "Yes, it is," a voice stated flatly from behind him.
A shrill, very undignified squeak of surprise tore out of him and he whirled, dropping into a crouch, hands up to defend himself. He blinked as his eyes focused on the wide frightened eyes of Azkadellia."Oh!" He quickly straightened, his face flushing. "Oh, Az…Sor…your majesty...Princess Azkadellia," he finally managed to get out, alternating from stepping forward to make sure she was alright to trying to get out of her way so as not to upset her more. All that he succeeded to do was flutter around in a rather sidestepped dance that seemed to confuse her more.For her part, Azkadellia just stared at him gape mouthed. "Stop," she finally managed to say. It was more of a panicky plea than the harsh commanding voice Ambrose had become use to over the years.
Ambrose froze in place, clamping down hard on his lower lip. This was not at all the kind of impression he had wanted to make on the newly released princess.
"Are you alright?" she asked hesitantly.
He opened and closed his mouth a few times before the words actually came. "Yes. Fine. And you?" he asked stiffly.
He wasn't sure exactly what kind of reaction he was expecting, but her smiling was definitely not it.
"Overwhelmed," she said simply. "It's hard getting use to being me again."
Ambrose relaxed a fraction. "Ain't that the truth," he blurted out and then clamped his mouth shut, his cheeks flushing crimson.
Azkadellia just smiled again. She looked around the room. "You were right about this being all wrong from the way you left it. I..the Witch had walls moved around the room redecorated after you were…taken away." She looked away, her eyes dropping to the floor.
"Thank Ozma," he breathed and then his eyes locked on her slumped shoulders. "No, that's not what I meant!" he said, moving to her side. "I meant, I thought I was losing my mind. Well, it's not lost because it was locked away and I have it back now, but I was worrying that there was some kind of memory loss caused by significant actual physical damage to my missing, but now found and returned portion of my brain, but still brain damage from the alchemists poking around at it trying to find out what I was trying to hide from you, but not you, you, the Witch you, and I know the alchemists would have been careful, but the whole issue of it being a jar wired up and people poking around at it and it not actually being in my head for a long time and all and—" he sighed, hanging his head. "I have lost it."
He felt a soft hand on his arm. "No, you haven't. So much has happened so quickly, I think we're all struggling to adjust." She looked him squarely in the eyes. "I just came to apologize to you." Her eyes darted a moment to his hairline where the wicked zipper that has once held his head closed had once been. A pale red scar was all that remained from that and in time that too would fade. "I'm so sorry," she said softly, her eyes filling with tears.
"No," he said quickly, cupping her cheek and brushing away a tear with his thumb. The part of his mind that recalled the protocol in the palace screamed at him for his forwardness with the princess, but right now, she didn't need formality, she needed a friend. He met her dark, miserable eyes. "This is not your fault," he told her. "The Witch is the one that did that. Your as much a victim here as anyone of us. More so. She only took half my brain. She took your whole body."
"I should have fought harder. I should have—"
"No," he said, stopping her. "Should have, could have, would have, it doesn't matter. For better or worse, it happened. We can't beat ourselves up trying to figure out ways that we could have stopped it. That doesn't matter any more. What matters is what we do from here. Not who we were. Not who we could have been. Who we are now." He stopped, the meaning of what he was saying, hitting him. "Hmm," he grunted softly. "Wow, I am smart," he said almost to himself.
Azkadellia's soft chuckle brought him back to where he was. He moved away from her and dropped his eyes, forming a more formal posture. "Forgive me for being so bold, m'lady."
The princess smiled at him and then leaned up to kiss his cheek. "I've missed you, Ambrose."
He smiled at her. "I've missed you too, Princess Azka-D," he said.
She smiled at the old nickname. "Thank you," she told him, as she turned to go.
"That what friends are for."
Azkadellia's smile softened. "I had almost forgotten," she said, slipping out of the room.
As the door close, he said, "I'll make sure you don't forget."