Willow leaned against the kitchen counter as she waited for the two coffee mugs near the stove to cool. She remembered her mother always telling her how a cup of tea could heal almost anything and at that moment, she wished her mother had been right; her educated brain knew otherwise. The doctor knew that her patient's... could she continue to consider Tara a patient? Despite the circumstances, she was actively treating the young woman, so Tara was indeed still her patient. Willow had started to feel less like a doctor around the blonde and more like a friend, a confidant. The feeling was somewhat odd to the psychiatrist but it wasn't an unpleasant idea to be considered Tara's friend rather than her doctor.
Glancing around her kitchen, Willow examined the different patterns of the walls and counters and wondered what Tara saw. Were her thoughts the same when she glimpsed the numerous pictures aligning the wall above the staircase or the light blue of the guest bedroom? Did it give her a sense of normality to see colors? Ordinary people grow used to sight of colors and patterns, so much so that the shades no longer stand out but are just a small piece of life. Willow knew that Tara had spent so much of her life without color, without so many of the common sights that normal people take for granted. But wasn't that suggesting that Tara wasn't normal? In a sense, Willow thought, she wasn't. Yet, she wasn't abnormal either. She was simply a woman trying to reclaim her life, her color.
Willow's attention was drawn toward the slight creak of the wood as Tara came down the stairs. Taking a final look at the kitchen wall, she left her reverie. Lifting the cups, she headed into the living room, hoping that the tea hadn't gotten too cold.
Tara had taken her usual seat on the sofa across from Willow's chair and looked up, smiling, when the doctor entered.
"'Morning," Tara whispered. She pushed up the sleeves to her sweatshirt and took the coffee mug Willow was offering her.
"If it's cold, I can make more," Willow said. She waited for Tara to take a sip and shake her head before setting her own mug on the table beside her chair. "How are you feeling?" She asked.
Tara used both of her hands to cradle her cup atop her knee, "Good. Better." Her dreams last night had been without nightmares and gave her an invigorated desire for moving forward.
"That's great, and you look better too," Willow fumbled with her words, "not that you looked bad before. I just mean... you look refreshed." She clarified, awkwardly reaching for her notepad. She wished that she didn't need her notepad and that she could carry on a typical conversation with Tara, but there was a lot that needed to be done before they reached that stage. It was better to focus on the hidden images within Tara's mind rather than tiptoe around them with mundane conversations, especially if those conversations could possibly trigger bad memories. It was still unclear to Willow what was safe and what wasn't.
Suddenly realizing that she was being watched, Willow hid her blush by taking a sip from her cup. After a small cough from drinking too fast, she straightened up her posture and put on an air of professionalism... as best she could.
The phone rang several times on Giles' end before an automated speaker clicked on. The doctor pressed 'end' on his cellular phone and tried the number again, cursing when the same programmed voice answered.
Deciding that it would be best to call again later and to focus on the road rather than his phone, he hung up again. With his mind still processing everything that had happened the previous day, Giles had been distracted ever since leaving Willow and Robin's house. There was a small part of him, perhaps a fragment from his youth, that admired what the girls were attempting to do, but there was still the protective father part of him that saw nothing but disaster for all those involved.
He had been agonizing over the circumstances for what seemed like forever; his mind told him to be logical and to let the girls get themselves out of their situation without his assistance, but his heart wasn't listening. No matter what he thought, his gut told him that he had to do something.
Giles' car took a slight left down the single, paved road leading to Pines View Psychiatric Hospital. His plan was... he actually hadn't gotten as far as a solid plan but he knew that he wouldn't ask questions about Miss Maclay. He was simply a doctor visiting his fellow counterparts and if anyone was to ask, he was checking up on a colleague's patient.
Arriving at the visitor parking section, the doctor noticed that the security had doubled since his last visit. While some of the officers smoked cigarettes and chatted with their co-workers, others patrolled the front of the building or walked halfway down the parking lots before turning back.
Giles turned his cellular phone to 'silent' and reached for his identification card as he stepped up onto the sidewalk leading to the Pines View entrance.
Donald was growing more irritated and furious with each day that passed without word from Donnie. What could possibly be taking them so long? It wasn't as if he gave him a big assignment, such as watching after his church and congregation, he was merely supposed to get Tara released into his care and bring her home.
After a few minutes of weighing something over in his mind, he yanked the telephone from its cradle and began punching in a local number.
"Sir?" Just as Donald was about to cancel all of his services for the next few days, there was a knock on his office door.
"What?" He called out with the telephone pressed against his jaw.
"The Andersons are here to speak with you." The voice spoke through the door. It was clear from the preacher's tone that he did not want to be disturbed, so the speaker chose to remain on the outer side of the office door.
As he grinned, Donald's dry lips split, becoming scaly like a snake's skin. He slammed the phone down, paying no attention to the person repeating 'hello' on the other end, and stood up.
Some new big shot and his, in Donald's opinion, too outspoken wife had arrived in town yesterday and were already talking about a generous donation to his church.
Straightening his tie and smoothing back his hair, Donald fixed his face with a welcoming smile and left his office.
He could wait a little longer to deal with his children.