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Suzie’s House 516 : No Excuses

“Please tell me the tea you’ve been feeding me isn’t actually toxic.” Drew made himself stay upright though he felt like he’d been sucker punched. He forced his feet into the den where Trent and Sonoma had been arguing. But as soon as he drew even with the straight back chair against the wall, he slumped into it.

“Even water is toxic if you get enough of it.” Trent said.

“You would say that.” If it had been Sonoma saying it, Drew might have lost his grip. Being Trent just annoyed him. “Always backing your wife even when you were arguing with her a minute ago.”

“Drew.” Sonoma rushed forward, completely ignoring their byplay. “I am so very sorry.”

She tried to grab his hands, but he wasn’t having any of it. She glanced down, and he thought if she’d been twenty years younger, she probably would have gone down on her knees to beg his forgiveness.

“I don’t think an apology is going to fix this. Do you know how betrayed I feel?”

She nodded, her face pale. Trent brought another chair around for her to sit in.

“I trusted you. Completely and implicitly. You’ve always, always, always explained everything to me so carefully. Have you always accepted my decisions? Or were you always slipping in the things we talked about even after I told you no?”

“No!” Her jaw sagged and eyes widened in horror. “Never!” Then she slapped her mouth shut.

“You’re not going to give me excuses.” Drew smiled a little, remembering a time before when she’d been like this.

It was back when he lived in Missoula with Sonoma, Tent, and their collection of misfit refugees. She had carelessly left out a tin of brew that was intended specifically and solely for Squirrel Girl. Dawn had come along and helped herself to a cup. It made Dawn sleep for three days. When she’d come around she’d accused Sonoma of setting the tea out as a trap. Rather than defend herself, Sonoma had said there were no excuses then forced her mouth shut.

Drew sighed in defeat. This was probably just a stupid mistake, though the results could have been devastating. What if the attack he’d suffered from her latest prescription had taken hold while he was driving on the belt-line? He’d barely gotten his car stopped on a side street, not even able to pull over to the side.

“I’m not looking for excuses, but I’d welcome and explanation. Why didn’t you warn me that the detoxifying mix I’ve been drinking would make the flashbacks worse?” He looked her in the eye, daring her to flinch away.

“It’s so stupid I can’t believe it myself. I… I forgot.” She shrugged helplessly and tried a smile, but her eyes were glistening. “I got so wrapped up in the details… You showed such excellent progress. And the thought that I could leave you completely clear of this, or our time might run out and we’d have to go back at the wrong time so you had a complete relapse… I just forgot.” She covered her mouth.

Drew had never seen her look so guilty. This was completely against everything she stood for. She prided herself of her responsible healing. She ranted on the patient’s responsibility to own their own cure right along with the flip side; the healer’s responsibility to empower the patient.

“Sonoma?” Drew gave her cold hand a squeeze. She looked so pale, he was afraid she might go into shock. “You alright?”

“I should be asking that.” She put her free hand up to her face. “I don’t know how to make it up to you.”

“That’s easy.” He gave her hand a squeeze then let go. “We start over. Tell me exactly what this is going to involve. Tell me everything you know about what’s still wrong with me, and what you want to do about it. I don’t mind the risks of taking your tea. But if I’d known this might happen, there’s no way I’d have gone out to get Walter alone. I’d have waited and made Vin drive.”

Sonoma and Trent both laughed in relief. She started explaining exactly what biochemicals they were working with using more jargon than he needed, but explaining everything just as carefully as she ever had. When she was done, she sat back and waited his verdict.

“So, if we’re lucky I can be back to my old self in two weeks?!”

“Yes!” Sonoma’s face lite up with enthusiasm. “That’s what got me so excited. No more flashbacks. No PTSD. Only the wisdom of having survived it all. So I guess in a way you’ll never be your old self.”

“Yeah, you’ll probably never be as cocky.” Trent grinned. “Or maybe just not as sure of yourself.”

“No, no. That’s just psychological, not neurological.” Sonoma dismissed him with a flip of the hand. “Besides, how do you know he was ever cocky?”

“No. He’s right.” Drew chuckled. “I’ll never assume I know what’s best again. But maybe that’s a good thing. Alright. I’ve heard enough. Let’s do this.”

“Great!” Sonoma stood up. Her color was back along with her enthusiasm. “Let me get my kettle.”


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