"I'm surprised to find that the pen itself is just as enjoyable an activity, under the right circumstances, as the sword," - Andronikos III Palaiologos.
January - March
Much of January was spent cleaning up collected reports from across the remaining lands of the Empire; namely the fact that the colder than average winter that was expected to continue into February had resulted in shortfalls of food north around east Macedon and west Thrace; shortfalls John and Andronikos had to effectively beg and barter to cover from supplies within the capital; many merchants needing a commission to be willing to aid in the distribution of food southward from Constantinople.
As the winter continued an inescapable notion was forced on the Emperor. Many of the men that had died in the battles in Anatolia had been younger than usual--considering Andronikos had drawn them from the surrounding population of Thrace with specific criteria. There were thus many orphans around the ages of 12-14, something that had to be addressed if the population of the area was to be maintained.
With the aid of John as well as Anna, Andronikos set up a basic aid package for dozens of families. The Emperor was glad that some headway had been made on the economy by John--otherwise this wouldn't have been possible, and there would have been discontent.
What was decided however, to offset the aid packages, was that the sons of slightly stronger stock were to be raised in court . Andronikos himself knew he needed officers and loyal future soldiers if he was going to improve the mess that was the army.
It was by mid-March, as winter was ending, that most of these boys had come to settle in Constantinople proper--the deurbanized areas of the outer city being marked out as areas to house them; Andronikos seeing an opportunity to rebuild areas of the city had fallen into ruin by giving them over to new families that would have a vested interest in maintaining them.
One thing that could no longer be ignored was the state of the forces Andronikos had at his disposal now. After the campaign in Anatolia his Hikanatoi had been reduced down to roughly half strength--most of that half having remained in Constantinople. Over 2,000 men had gone to Anatolia, 800 had come back. The system he'd devised clearly didn't work as intended, and thus it needed to be modified.
The Emperor's first action was to disband the Hikanatoi as a body unto itself, instead simply making their entire number the official Army of the Romans, the Allagion ; the forces directly controlled by the Emperor.
The 10th droungos of the Hikanatoi and its commander however, were broken off, and officially turned into the reformed city-guard of Constantinople. This was a move to allow Andronikos to march out with his full Allagion and be secure in the knowledge that his capital had some trained defenders alongside the militiamen that could be drawn from the population in times of crisis. This city guard would have its headquarters within the palace-turned-fortress of Antiochos--a former church residence converted by John while Andronikos was in Anatolia.
These actions left him with a force of roughly 2,400 soldiers left directly under his command--a number he was not happy with. In this he began recruitment efforts; making an effort to expand the range of his recruitment out of Thrace and into eastern Macedon--relying on the fact that several men there were likely looking for work considering the short-term famine that still gripped the area from winter.
Andronikos left the recruitment and training of the Allagion to his chosen Domestic, Theodore, a veteran from his campaign in Anatolia. By the end of April the body of the Allagion was beginning to take form, as it was carved up into the functional historic-based formation of Bandon and akin.
Also at April's end was the clear fact that Anna of Savoy was pregnant--with the factors considered it was likely that conception occurred during her time in Anatolia tending to Andronikos .
Andronikos had carved out May specifically for diplomatic relations; having decided to take this move in order to make appearances as well as take weight off of his administration. The efforts made during May required the prestige only Andronikos could measure.
The first overtures the Emperor made were to the Komnenoi of Trebizond; a breakaway state of the Empire that had existed since just before the shattering of the Empire by the 4th Crusade. The Komnenoi were an influential family in the history of the Romans--and were themselves now very influential in the Black Sea trade. Their position, as well as their heritage, left them uniquely able to understand the Roman position.
Andronikos himself found it rather amusing that he was writing to an Emperor that held his exact same name and numerical designation, another Andronikos III. The Emperor of the Romans made an effort to tread the line between dominance and friendship with Trebizond in his letters; pressing for closer ties both militarily and trade-wise.
Relying on Genoese routes, the Emperor was reliably able to communicate with the other Andronikos roughly once a week through ship travel; once more finding himself thankful for the gradually increasing size and power of the Imperial Navy as it provided additional protection. In this Andronikos made sure to pay the needed tolls to the Genoese--lessening the tensions between the Republic and the Empire.
The response he received was enjoyable, as the elder Andronikos seemed rather pleased with the fact that the Romans were making an effort to reconnect with their cousins across Anatolia. Agreements were struck and decided, with the Romans agreeing to send more trade eastward to Theodoro and Trebizond itself while Trebizond would extend its fleet operations slightly more westward to undermine the Turkish beyliks as well as the Genoese.
Coming away from this interaction, the Emperor noted the fact that the elder Andronikos measured his words in a manner that made it clear that Trebizond was an independent state from Rome--and not one to be taken lightly. Not that this mattered much, the Romans were in no position to even think of threatening one of the few non-hostile states within their range .
Things closer to home however couldn't be ignored anymore though.
Artemios, in his position as Doux Anatoli, had begun to send in gradual reports, as well as on-again-off-again requests for supplies. The Anatolian front, while stabilized, regularly dealt with Turkish raids from other beyliks  and was thus continuously kept in a militarized state. Artemios himself relied on a system tried and tested by the first Komnenoi; using forts and other such impediments, as well as fast-acting cavalry patrols, to keep the area of the Duchy protected .
The letters that really drew Andronikos' attention at this time were from Michael III of Bulgaria. The boisterous Emperor of the Bulgarians had sent them as a courtesy to Andronikos; keeping the Emperor of the Romans informed on the goings on of the Bulgarian-Serbian tensions, as well as warning Andronikos about the fact that he was going to be mustering troops for efforts against Serbia in June.
Combining the words of Michael with the reports his border cities and forts gave him, Andronikos had a clear picture of Serbia's growing aggression, and made note to Michael that he hoped the best for the Tsar's efforts in June and beyond. Added was the fact that Andronikos planned to get involved himself--likely the following year, once he was sure of the position of the Empire and its forces.
Michael's follow up letters, coming in slow and steady at first but slowing to a major crawl now that he was moving to join his forming army, made it clear that he hoped to work alongside Andronikos when the time was right--and even invited the fellow Emperor to Tarnovo for a feast; after all, the Emperor's sister was his wife--once there had been success against the Serbs.
Little did Andronikos know that while he would be in Tarnovo in the coming months, it would not be for a feast.
 This was a policy used by Alexios I Komnenos--with the Emperor affectively drawing in the orphaned youth of the aristocracy and soldiery to create an officer class that would eventually come to aid the Empire during the reign of his son John II. However, many were killed during Alexios' campaigns in the Balkans and Anatolia.
 The term Allagion, or Allagia, refers to what were the effective 'standing-army' units the Pronoiar. The term came to supplant 'Tagma' as the name used for the Emperor's Army in general.
 John V is conceived and born earlier than he was in OTL.
 Trebizond would remain an independent state, as well as an important ally, until the late 15th century.
 Orhan spent much of the 10 year truce skillfully funneling his people down a path of eastward conquest. Very few raids from Ottoman lands ever reached Roman Anatolia due to Orhans efforts; unwittingly growing the respect the Romans had for the Ottomans and their policies.
 By the time of Artemios' death the 'Duchy of Nicaea', which lorded over most of Roman Anatolia at this time save a few select cities run directly by Constantinople, was a militarized and fortified place; having formed a hard core that was hard to dislodge. This would serve as a vital bedrock for John V and his campaigns.