She stepped into the kitchen at quarter to one in the morning, her bare feet making light taps against the cool tile. Her work was yet to be finished. She figured one good cup of tea would help her in the last stretch before she would finally allow herself to go to bed.
Color her surprised when she realized that she wasn’t the only one still awake.
She paused next to the refrigerator, staring at his back curiously as he stared out the window at the night’s shadows. A half-finished bottle of beer was loosely held in his hand and, upon a quick glance at the kitchen sink where two empty bottles stood, she realized it had not been his first.
The corner of her lips twitched as she strode over to the cabinet and took out two mugs for tea. He turned to watch her at one point, most likely when the tap water was turned on to fill the kettle for boiling water. She continued her task, paying him no mind until the kettle began its soft whistle. She swooped the kettle off of the stove, poured the water into the mugs, and deftly plucked the beer bottle from his hands only to replace it with a cup of warm tea.
“I believe that’s enough for tonight,” she murmured, unceremoniously dumping the rest of the beer in the sink. She scrunched up her nose at the smell, fighting off a sneeze at the musk, before settling at the kitchen table with her own tea.
He blinked slowly, staring at the mug in his hand as if taking a moment to comprehend how it got there. Eventually he took a sip and quietly asked, “What kind is this?”
“A simple green tea,” she said. “It’s known for its calming effects. I hope it helps whatever is troubling your mind.”
It took him another half a moment to push off from the counter and sit across from her at the table. “Thank you,” he said. “What are you still doing up?”
“I have a bit more paperwork to push through,” she said. He frowned and she shrugged. “It won’t take me too much longer. I just needed to give my eyes a break.”
She didn’t ask about his reasons for being awake. Rather, she figured he would share if and when he wanted to.
The clock chimed one before he asked, “Did I do the right thing today?”
“You did what you believed to be best under the circumstances,” she said. “I would say yes. The others will see that in time, once they’ve been given time to think about it.”
“I truly hope I haven’t ruined what little trust we there was between all of us,” he said, tangling his hand in his hair.
“Everyone will pull through just fine,” she said. “Have faith.”
He took a shuddering deep breath before granting her a smile. “At least I have you, yes?”
She returned the smile, pretending that it was the heat of the tea that made her cheeks feel warm. “Of course.”