It's been sixteen months since Wentworth was filled with flames. Vera finally made a decision about saying goodbye to her past. She couldn't do this without meeting with one person. Her previous approaches of meeting said person were ending as soon as they were starting. She couldn't bring herself to go there, to face that person one more time. She was afraid it would break her. She wasn't entirely wrong.
She entered the facility and asked the nurse for directions. She wasn't on the visitors list but if the patient allowed it, she could see them. She knew this place well enough. She's been there multiple times past year. She's tried to visit the other person but she's been finding herself leaving Thomas Embling Hospital every single time. She was very determined that day.
The nurse escorting her was called to an emergency and she was left alone. She was standing before the door of room 89. She did a few steps back to let her back touch the wall and took a few deep breaths. When she was calmed enough to knock and walked inside, she noticed a woman in her mid thirties leaving the room. She couldn't believe her eyes and turned around to take in the new information. She came there to see Joan Ferguson, her former mentor, and she met someone she wished she'd never see again. She tried to walk in the opposite direction than that woman and headed towards the exit when she was stopped by a hand placed on her shoulder.
"Vera..." The woman whispered when Vera turned around.
The shorter woman looked up to see fair eyes filling with water. The woman wasn't as tall as Joan but almost everyone was taller than Vera. The taller woman was a brunette with heavily marked eyes with eyeliner, her hair reaching the half of her long neck. She had a deep cleavage and Vera found herself staring. The smaller woman saw the dimples on woman's face and her heart skipped a beat. She was as beautiful as ever. And she was taking her breath away.
"Andy..." Vera wasn't able to say anything else. She spotted a blush on Andy's cheeks and realized she must have looked similar.
"Vera, what are you doing in a mental institution?" The taller woman asked with her raspy voice. She ran her hand through her hair and let out a nervous sigh.
Vera took a step closer to the woman. "I should ask you the same." Her voice was dithering with surprise and sounded nasal from the tears gathering in her eyes. Before Andy could answer, Vera added "You look exactly the same...".
Andy chuckled and bit her lower lip. "And you, Vera Bennett, have changed." She let the smirk creep on her thin lips and brushed Vera's fingers with hers. "Would you like to see me some time? We could go for a coffee..." She rambled a bit but it didn't matter. She missed Vera too much to care about her wording.
"I'd love that. How about the café down the road we used to visit when we were... you know." Her heart fluttered when Andy nodded. The taller woman was paged and Vera was standing alone again. The previous goal of her trip to the hospital was long forgotten. The only person she could think about was Andy Bennett, a free spirit that she was honoured to call her wife. She rushed over to her car and didn't notice that the former governor of Wentworth Prison was looking through the small gap left by half opened door. Joan wasn't angry that her deputy didn't visit her. She felt betrayed. She was afraid Vera grew too strong to pull her on Joan's side once more.
Vera had to cancel her appointment with her wife. She started losing control over the prison and had to spend extra hours in there, trying to prevent future problems. She ate less, slept less and had less time to think about Joan. On Saturday, she returned home at normal hour to get more time to rest for the next day. She was going to go to sleep when her door bell rang. She rushed downstairs and opened the door.
"Hi, Vera! I brought some Chinese. I thought..." Andy said as she was looking at very tired Vera. She received a small nod from the shorter woman. She was quickly invited inside. Vera went to grab the plates.
The two women were seated in the living room. Vera was playing with her food, what caught Andy's attention. The taller brunette put her hand on Vera's arm and rubbed it reassuringly. "What is bothering you?" She asked. Her warm gaze was met with an exhausted one.
"It's the prison." She replied and looked away. She grabbed a wine glass that was standing on the coffee table and downed it.
Andy leaned back on the couch and cocked her head to the side. She raised her eyebrow. "It's always been the prison. Now the truth."
"I know. I don't get to ask. I shouldn't have come." She said and stood up from the couch. She was stopped by Vera, who pulled her back down.
The new governor took her hand away shortly after. "Andy, I'm really glad you came. And, ever since I got this governorship... Look, there was someone..."
There was a smirk painted on Andy's face. "So, after I left you had your fun, huh?"
"No! It's... It's not what you think. That person offered to be my mentor to help me get promoted in future. They seemed to like me at first but later they turned out to be just like mum. No, even worse than her." Vera let out a quiet sigh.
Andy got closer and put her arm around Vera. She received a questioning expression from the smaller woman. "It's not like I'm moving back in with you. Unless you'd like... Uh. What I'm trying to say, did you talk to someone about it? A specialist, I mean."
"Andrea, if you want to psychoanalyze me, just don't." She pulled away from the embrace.
Andy refilled two glasses and took hers. "I wouldn't do any of that. We can just talk. It can work miracles."
"Fine. At first, they were asking me about things in Wentworth."
"You're still working there?"
"Don't interrupt. They invited me for a drink one time. As it turned out, only to get me drunk to tell them things. Later it got only worse. They began telling me that I'm useless or something like that. So, I changed. I tried to be that person who would never fail them. I did my best but... They accused me of treason when I didn't do anything. I was framed but they refused to believe that. In the end, they took me off the position of the deputy, whom I was until a few months ago. It was supposed to end when she was gone but now it's all in my head."
Andy was sitting silently for a moment. "You said she." Vera looked at her. "What's so special about her that you wanted to please her so badly?" The governor looked down. "Oh man, don't tell me you fell for her."
Vera didn't seem to want to say anything else. She cleaned the plates and stayed in the kitchen until Andy decided to leave. When she exited the home, she went to get in her car. She felt as if someone was watching her.
She made her way through the security gate and entered the hospital. She put on her white coat to go on morning rounds. She entered the last room on the floor without hesitance. She found Joan Ferguson looking at her with the same annoyed expression as always.
Andy sat down on the chair that she pulled. She didn't say hello because she knew Joan wouldn't reply. She asked her a few routine questions and made notes, when she didn't receive answers to any of them. "Joan, you're always talkative and it seem's like you're giving me a cold shoulder. What it wrong?" She asked calmly and waited. She sat on Joan's bed near her and crossed her legs. She thought it would give her a closer sight at any possible symptoms that Joan would show but, unsurprisingly, she saw nothing.
She stood up and crossed her arms. Joan looked up at her. "Joan, when you have finally started talking to me, about weather but still, you decided to go silent on me again."
"Why would want me to talk to you?" Joan asked. She stood up to accentuate the height difference. Joan was taller than everyone else in the facility and she seemed to love using it against the others.
Andy sighed. "Because you don't talk to your father anymore. You might want some company after all."
It made Joan snort. Joan's exasperation only grew with every minute of doctor Bennett being in her room. "Would you, please, leave me to my book?" She glanced over at the closed book on the mattress long enough to make the doctor look at it.
"As the lady says." Andy exited Joan's room and went to her office.
She started reading into Joan's file for about one hundredth time. She was one of her most difficult patients and certainly the most stubborn one.
At the end of her shift, Andy headed home with the pile of files in her bag. She would always come home for the weekend with homework. Just when she made it to the parking lot, she was surprised with a punch to her face. Her turned and when she looked to see who would do that to her, she saw a man in his fifties. He was going through the files in her bag. As soon as he noticed Andy, he pinned her to the wall with his arm pressing to her throat. Andy tried to set free from his grip but it made him push harder. She started begging him to let go of her and he did.
He punched Andy again to knock her over and disappeared, making sure the cameras wouldn't record him.
When Andy woke up, she noticed that some files were missing. She couldn't report that to the police because technically, she couldn't carry those files away from the hospital. She realised she'd seen that man before but she could't put a finger on the situation when they met.
Doctor Bennett got inside the car and went through her files to find out which ones were missing. Her suspicions were right, she let Joan Ferguson's file disappear in the night with a strange thief.