That small touch traveled down deep into him, brushing against things he had willfully forgotten. This lady beside him seemed to disarm all his defenses before he had time to recognize the need to employ them properly. If he'd had the warning, if he'd known that she'd be sitting on his couch with him... But as it was, he could already feel what he thought to be long-dead pieces of himself stirring again. Brigetta's ghost sometimes tramped around inside him, reminding him of how this felt. But he hadn't allowed anyone to get so close to him again as ...
His brow furrowed. He didn't understand this. He wasn't sure if he liked it. No, that was a lie. He did like it. He more than liked it, everything about it, but that didn't mean that it was the wisest thing. He should send her away. Yes, that's what he would do right now. The next thing out of his mouth would be --
"My mother is here," he said. And then, reverently: "Cat." The name felt wrong in his mouth. He didn't understand why this would be so. "She needs 24 hour care. Moving her would be unwise, and so I remain here. When it is time, I'll find a new home. But I have hopes that I will not move soon."
The flashes of light in his vision had faded and didn't seem to be returning. But slowly, gray shapes were beginning to filter into his sight again. He was patient. He waited without comment or expectation as the world began forming again in his sight.