Tara finished washing up and stood up on shaky legs. She had to grab the side of the tub in order to avoid falling down. This made her further realize how bad her condition was at the moment. How could she have even thought that she would be o.k to drive? It almost made her glad to have passed out in the bar. 'How's that for fucked up?' She asked herself.
The blonde dried off and got a small smile on her face when she saw that Xander had put out a pair of fresh pajamas for her. 'Harris you're just an overgrown teddy bear aren't you? Man I've been an ass.' She further berated herself.
She dressed slowly, dreading the talk that she would shortly have with her partner.
'What can I say? No amount of talking is going to make things alright.' She thought glumly. She also realized that she felt absolutely exhausted, her lids still felt heavy and she felt like her body was being pulled down by lead weights. She brushed her teeth and hair and knew that there was nothing left to do but come out and face the music.
Tara came out of her room and Harris watched her closely. She had dark circles around her eyes and walked dragging her feet. He looked at the wall clock it was 4:00 a.m, Billy was right, she had to be wrung out from before for the pill to have had such a big effect.
He stopped her from interrupting him. "No, you listen, get your butt over here and sit down, this grilled cheese is getting cold and so is the soup. And there's nothing nastier than cold soup especially if it came from a can."
"But..." She tried to protest.
Xander stopped her again, "No buts, except yours on the seat. You need to eat something and I'm starving too. So this is what we're going to do, we're going to eat together then you're going to bed and get some real sleep. I'm going to crash on the couch and call in sick for you in the morning. So we'll eat and talk in the morning.
Tara arched an eyebrow she couldn't help but be amused by her partner's authoritative tone. He almost sounded like her father. Plus, it sure seemed that everyone wanted to boss her around lately. Never the less she didn't have the strength to argue so she sat and began to eat. She realized that she hadn't eaten that much in the past few days; she guessed in part that's why she felt somewhat weak at the knees. Despite the lack of food she found she wasn't really hungry and had to make a real effort to keep it all down.
Harris kept his eyes on the blonde as she ate. She seemed to be having a difficulty eating, that was definitely another change. She usually loved to eat, pretty much anything. In fact he had often found himself wondering where she put it all away but at the moment it looked like she wouldn't even be able to finish the small meal he had put together. She also didn't seem to be making any attempt at talking. He noticed that she rubbed her temples every once in a while and that her eyes were a little droopy. 'I think letting her sleep it off and waiting to have our heart to heart- badge to badge talk in the morning is definitely for the best.' He thought.
The blonde picked at her food and took the smallest bites that she could. She looked at Harris every once in awhile and noticed that she had his full attention. His worry for her was touching but it also made her feel uncomfortable on so many levels it would be hard for her to explain her feelings. She certainly wasn't used to feeling like she needed help or looking after. The only thing keeping her from throwing him out was knowing that she had messed up by drinking to the point he had had to pick her up from the bar; that and not wanting to lose his friendship. Still, some part of her screamed silently at him, 'Get out I want to be alone.' At least he wasn't pushing her to talk just yet. He had said they would talk in the morning that wasn't far off but it was something. A few more hours of silence, she didn't know why but lately she just felt an overwhelming need for absolute silence.
Harris also kept quiet during their somber meal. He only spoke to encourage the blonde to eat a few more bites of her sandwich as she had barely eaten half. Tara gave him a small smile and complied. "Happy now mom?" She asked mockingly.
He smiled back and thinned his voice to answer, "No you didn't finish your soup no dessert for you. Now go to bed young lady."
Tara nodded her head and saluted him while heading to her room.
Xander plopped down on the couch, set his watch on alarm mode and drifted off into a fitful sleep thinking about the best way to get through his partner's thick head.
In the other room the troubled woman also slept uneasily; she tossed and turned as she battled with the unimaginable images that can only be conjured by the darkest of nightmares.