BlacktreePOV Character: Sylvia "Sunshine"
Knight née Jones
Other Characters: Debra "Zebra" Mitchell, Phoebe Knight, Talia "T.K" Danvers née KnightPrompt: "A tuna sandwich" via dailyprompt Rated: NC17 (alcohol and drug use, profanity, unhealthy relationship)
By some miracle I remember to eat, but only because I'm stuck on a scene and pausing to think has made me aware of the 'grumbly in my tumbly.' It's one of those days. I'm still in my pajamas and ridiculous pink bunny slippers, and my hair looks like a swarm of pixies had a Bauchanalia in it. I fix myself another cup of coffee and rumage around in the fridge looking for anything quick and edible. The container of tuna salad looks promising. It's not past its due date and when I sniff it I don't end up gagging. A tuna sandwich it is.
I'm just smearing the mixture on a piece of honey oat bread when the door opens. Jake's teaching today, Phoebe's at school. But any number of relatives and close friends tend to walk right on in.
And Zebra. I turn around just in time to see Phoebe's girlfriend stagger and catch herself on the back of a kitchen chair. It doesn't support her. Zebra and the chair both go down with a clatter-thump. I drop the spoon and almost fall myself trying to run in overstuffed bunny slippers. That'll teach me to have a fuck-it day.
"Zebra, honey, are you all right?"
I try to help her to her feet but she curls up in a ball, sobbing. I don't think she's hurt. I do think she's drunk. At... I glance up at the vintage inspired kitchen clock ... 10:24 in the morning. Well, isn't this just peachy. I put the chair back and sit down on the floor next to the fucked-up kid.
"Hey. What is it? What's wrong?" I rub her back like she was one of my own kids. I went through something like this a couple of times with Tempest. But Tempest's mine. I don't know what to do with Zebra.
She says something I can't quite understand, about Phoebe.
"Phoebe's at class, hun. She won't be home until tonight."
That got me another bout of sobbing. Well, shit. I pull my cell phone out of my pocket and text my sister-in-law. T.K. is a doctor, and I happen to know that today is supposed to be a day off for her but she's actually working at one of Ex Luna's locations. T.K. gets right back to me. We text for a couple of minutes. I rub Zebra's back and try to calm her down between dings. Finally I think I can at least get her to the den. She's heavier than she looks, probably because she's practically dead weight. I half persuade, half carry her to the sofa. She flops onto it like a rag doll. Whew.
The girl is out of it. I've never seen anyone this completely wasted. I hesitate, then gently pry her eyelid open with my fingertips. Her eyes are slightly glassy and more than a bit unfocused. I manage to take a picture one-handed and attatch it to a text to T.K. with the message, I think she's high on something, too. Zebra's response is to swat ineffectually at my hand and call me a bitch. I've been called worse by better than her and besides, she's not exactly in control of her own actions right now, so I let it slide.
I sit with her, cross-legged on the floor. It isn't long before she's asleep. I watch her side in her too-tight sweater, making sure it's rising and falling. I'm watching the clock as well, and praying that T.K. hurries up. I don't think Zebra's in any real danger but I don't want to be alone with her. I don't want to call an ambulance, either, unless T.K. thinks there's a serious problem. I mean, besides Zebra.
The door bangs open hard enough that I jump and Zebra stirs on the couch. I get up to motion T.K. into the den. But it's not T.K. Phoebe is pink-faced, out of breath, and unusually disheveled. She drops her bag with a thump.
"Where is she? Is she alright?" Her voice is shrill with panic.
I put my finger to my lips. "She's okay, I think. Just resting. T.K. will be here in a few minutes to check her over. Did Zebra contact you before she came over?"
Phoebe shakes her head. "No. I just knew. I excused myself from class and called a cab straight home."
I sigh and coax my niece over to the sectional. "You should have called me. I'd have told you she's okay."
"I... I didn't think..." she lowers her voice to just above a whisper, not taking her eyes off Zebra who is now evidently sound asleep on the couch across the room.
That's a first for my niece. Phoebe usually thinks way too much. I reach over and put my hand on her shoulder. "She'll be fine. Do you have any idea what this is about?"
She nods miserably. "Me. She feels like she's losing me and she's trying to hang on. This... this was probably to get my attention. To see if she can get my attention."
"Well, it worked." I glance over at Zebra then shake my head. "Now what? If you reward this kind of behavior she'll keep right on doing it every time she needs a little reassurance."
"I know." Phoebe groans and flops hard against the back of the seat." But I don't know what to do."
I have some suggestions, but I'm not going to make them where Zebra can possibly overhear. Besides, T.K. comes in right about then. She's wearing fresh whites and carrying an old fashioned doctor bag she only uses when she's working with Ex Luna. Some of the things she's got in there haven't exactly been approved by the FDA. To say the least.
"That our girl?" she asks unnecessarily, jerking her head at Zebra.
"Y-yes..." Phoebe stammers, suddenly on the verge of crying. "She's crunked. That's..."
"I know what it is. Any idea on what?" She pulls a cushion over so she can kneel next to the couch comfortably.
"She likes whiskey and Ritalin."
T,K. winces. "Yeah, that'll do it." She takes a small pen light out of her bag, pries Zebra's eyelids apart, and shines the light in. "Looks like it. Miss?" She nudges Zebra. "Miss, can you look at me? Can you tell me your name?"
Zebra squinches her eyes shut tightly and swats at T,K. "Fuck you," she slurs. It sounds like she's got a mouth full of marbles and a very sore throat.
"Alright then, Fuck You. Can you tell me what year it is?"
Phoebe snorts back a tearful laugh. Zebra opens her eyes a cautious crack, squinting up at T.K. "Don't care. Go 'way."
"Listen, kid. You talk to me or you talk to the EMT's. Do you want me to call an ambulance?"