on tuesday, tora had realized that she couldn't keep hiding. even if she was actively preventing tess from having a relationship, she could not keep her out of work. that remained true on wednesday, but then the unthinkable had happened: bea had decided an impromptu party to celebrate ted being not dead was the greatest idea ever. when threats were issued for anyone who didn't show – not that tora could have found a good reason to avoid it – she knew she had to attend. she would have done so for ted regardless, but she wasn't sure what to expect when seeing booster. things were weird with them, to say the least. with others around, it was easier to interact with him, but she had to be careful all the same. she hated that this mess was interfering with how they handled themselves and knew it was selfish to keep tess from what she so obviously wanted. it was complicated and messy, and, no matter what, unfair to someone.

but she couldn't keep avoiding it and making it such a big deal. that she was thinking of avoiding her friends just to not have to deal with tess' emotions was something of a wake up call. it was making the both of them miserable because they were both equally selfish. booster and tora had gone so long without confronting whatever this was and being adults about it that it was impacting what little time they did have in this world. if jon and tess could grow up and admit things, they could be adults about it. maybe even talk because it sure as hell wasn't fair to their friends to keep putting them through this awkwardness when time was so precious. but she didn't want to add to that by having a serious conversation during a celebration.

at least that was what she told herself. it was easy to believe that it was because of ted and wanting to respect him and bea by not making a scene, but she knew it was more than that. she was afraid, afraid that whatever tess was feeling she might be feeling too. tora was not a romantic, had only ever dated one person seriously, and the thought of embracing this or allowing it to happen scared her to death.

needless to say, she drank herself into a stupor to avoid thinking about any of it. that was one area where she didn't mind tess' influence, at least.