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Love & Corrections

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Vera Bennett smiled warmly at the woman standing beside her. It had been a week since she moved in with her girlfriend, Joan Ferguson, who also happened to be her boss. She wasn't even sure if the label girlfriend was right. It sounded childish to Vera and Joan would most certainly agree. They were partners in corrections, not crime. The thought almost made Vera laugh.

They were currently looking over the CCTV with Linda Miles, an officer at Wentworth. Vera knew that Linda was the queen of contraband and gossip at the prison. She was unsure on whether Joan knew or not and if she did, she did nothing obvious about it. Vera had given her fair share of contraband out, usually in exchange for something. She tried to avoid getting involved, it made her feel guilty.

The Governor's eyebrows furrowed as she watched over the prisoners in the Cafeteria for breakfast. Tensions were running high in the prison lately. There was talk of some of the inmates planning on taking down Franky Doyle as Top Dog. Many inmates wanted Bea Smith to replace her and be their voice and leader. Joan also wanted Bea as Top Dog, she'd keep drugs out of the prison due to what happened to her daughter, Debbie. Bea was sentenced to prison for 12 years.

"Miss Miles, escort Smith to my office now," the Governor ordered, turning swiftly around to leave the CCTV room. Vera followed her, walking twice the speed just to keep up with Joan's long stride.

"Vera, I'm going to make sure Smith is ready for this.. She seems distracted with something else," Joan informed Vera of what she was planning to do. Vera nodded in agreement. The pair walked close enough for their hands to brush against each other's. They couldn't risk letting anyone find out about them in the prison. Especially the women, if they found out, they'd be out for Vera. Joan couldn't risk Vera's life or her own job.

"Do you think Bea will take over?" Vera asked, looking up at Joan.

"I do," Joan answered simply. Vera agreed. It was amazing how one person's opinion could spread to everyone in a matter of days in this prison. All it took was one person to convince another and so on. The pair made it to the Governor's office.

"Wait outside, I'll inform you of what Bea tells me afterwards," the Governor spoke, leaving no room for discussion. Vera nodded, just as Bea and Linda turned up.  Bea and Joan went inside the office, closing the door behind them.

 

"You able to take her back to her unit? My shift's over," Linda questioned Vera. Vera nodded and gave her a small smile.

"Of course, see you later," Vera spoke kindly. Linda grinned before walking off. Vera leaned against the wall, stuck in her own thoughts, not paying any attention. She was supposed to cook tonight and she hadn't decided on what she was going to make. Sh-..

"Hey Vera," Fletch drawled out. He stumbled towards Vera. She straightened up immediately at the sight. Was he drunk? Vera watched him stumbling closer towards her. She knew he was having a rough time with personal issues but he shouldn't ever turn up to work like this!

"What do you want, Fletch? Aren't you supposed to be in the yard?" Vera huffed with annoyance at his stupidity.

"Y-.. you," he grinned mischievously. Vera cringed at his words. He was never like this.

"Are you drunk? Go home. I'm not interested. Do not ever turn up to work like this! This is an official warning, go to the yard," Vera scolded, frowning at him. Fletch was much bigger and taller than Vera, which scared her. Especially when he was in the state he was in.

Fletch pinned Vera against the wall, making her gasp. She tried pushing him off of herself.

"What the fuck! Get off of me!" Vera exclaimed in panic. Fletch sloppily kissed Vera's neck, making her panic even more. She lifted her leg, right between his legs, kicking him where it hurt most. He groaned and stumbled backwards. She breathed in sharply.

Vera knew she couldn't leave this spot, she had to escort Smith back to her unit. Fletch stood up, finally finished groaning.

"Go home, Mr Fletcher," Vera growled in anger from his actions. Fletch frowned at her and went at her again. Pushing her up against the wall with a lot of force, making her winded. She gasped for air. Tears prickled her eyes as she felt like she couldn't breathe. Fletch didn't move, he just stood there.

"Mr Fletcher!" a demanding voice spoke, making him back off Vera. He raised his hands up in surrender before stumbling off to only God knows where. Hopefully to his post, in the yard. Vera blinked incoming tears away and stood up straight. She still was out of breath.

"Governor, Linda left, her shift ended. I'll escort Smith," Vera spoke as calmly as possible. Joan was still glaring at where Fletch had stalked off to.

"Governor," Vera repeated trying to get her attention. The Russian woman's eyes drifted back to Vera who was bright red from being winded. Concern and worry was written all over Joan's face. Joan didn't know what Fletcher had done to her or attempted to do. She did know that he was getting lazier and lazier. She had never liked him and from what she suspected that he attempted to do, she hated him even more.

"No.. I'll escort her. Wait in my office, Vera," she said, gazing at Vera with a comforting look. Vera nodded, stepping aside from the doorway to allow Smith to leave. Bea glanced at Vera for less than a second before following Joan to cell block H.

Vera sighed, finally being alone. She stalked off into Joan's office, closing the door behind her. She blinked a few times, allowing some tears to fall. She took in a deep breath.

 

One...

 

Two..

 

Three.

 

She let it out and repeated a few more times to calm herself down. She sat down at one of the seats in front of Joan's desk. The room smelt faintly of hand sanitizer, making Vera roll her eyes. Joan's obsession with cleanliness.

The door opened, making Vera straighten up. The door closed again.

"Ver-"

"What did you tell Bea?" Vera interrupted, making Joan frown at her in annoyance. Vera didn't want to talk about what just happened. She didn't want to worry Joan nor, did she want Joan to fire him. She figured today was just a really bad day for him.

"I just made sure she knew what to expect from the prisoners and Doyle... Vera," Joan started again.

Vera huffed, "Joan."

"Don't brush off what just happened," Joan stated firmly, leaving no room for argument, however, Vera still argued back.

"What happened?" Vera questioned, looking up at the tall woman standing behind her desk. Joan glared at her. Vera was being stubborn which wasn't unusual but, it was far from helpful in this situation. 

"Look, just tell me what that pathetic excuse of a human did to you. Was he drunk? If h-" Joan was cut off again much to her annoyance. She remained as calm as she could. Joan could see right through Vera's act. She was simply trying to hold it together.

"Joan, it doesn't matter. Is there anything else?" Vera dismissed the subject. Vera stood up and moved towards the door. Joan got there just before she went to open the door. She grabbed her wrist, turning her back around to face her. Vera looked up at the tall, authoritative woman. Joan's hand moved to capture Vera's. She squeezed it lightly.

"Talk to me when you can.." she spoke softly to the younger woman. Vera's eyebrows furrowed before nodding. It’s not very often when Vera got to see the truly softer side to this woman. She was still very closed off at times which made things difficult. Day by day, Joan did open up to her a little more and it intrigued her. She gave Joan one last smile before turning around and leaving to go to the cafeteria.

 

›››‹‹‹

 

They were one officer short for the rest of the day with Fletcher leaving after his incident with Vera. Vera avoided talking unless it was to a prisoner. She couldn't wrap her head around who she considered a friend, coming onto her like that. She wasn't sure how she felt about it all. She knew Fletch was having a rough time... but for him to do that, was uncalled for. The fact that he came to work drunk was confusing to her. Vera knew he has had issues with drinking in his past but, she thought he had moved on from that part of his life -- well, that is what he told her a few weeks back.

She picked up the cup of coffee in front of her and took a sip before placing it back down. It was cold now. She could've been going home to Joan who left just over two hours ago. Just as she was thinking about Joan, her phone beeped, signalling a text message.

'Your shift ended an hour ago, where are you?'

Vera twiddled her thumbs, thinking of what to reply. What was she doing here still? She could be curled up on the couch next to the one person she loves.

'Just had to clean up the Rec Room, someone left a bunch of papers. On my way now. x'

A small lie. She shoved her phone in her clear bag and stood up, picking up the half empty cup of coffee. She pushed the chair in with her foot and then made her way to the sink. Vera poured the remaining coffee down the drain and washed the cup out before placing it in it's rightful place, next to everyone else's.

Her phone beeped again. She unzipped her bag to look at the text.

'Okay, I'll warm up your dinner! xx'

Vera frowned. She was supposed to cook. She suddenly felt bad for not leaving earlier. Joan would've gave up on waiting and cooked herself. She would make up for it tomorrow, she decided. Vera placed her phone back in her bag and zipped it up. She left the Rec Room the way it was when she came in.

 

Chapter Text

 

The car rumbled to life as Vera turned the keys. She pulled out of the carpark space and left the prison. On her way home, she thought of nothing. Her mind was empty. She hummed to the low noise coming from the radio. Her usual bubbly self was replaced with a tired and simply confused version. She slowed at the traffic lights. No one was there, she could've just went through. Suddenly, she heard a crash and before she had even registered it, her car went flying forward. Her head bounced onto the steering wheel and then the car stopped moving. She groaned in pain, slowly lifting her hand to her cheek. It was wet with blood. She shut off the engine and cursed before getting out of the car.

A man stepped out of the other, his eyes were wide with shock.

"I'm so.. sorry! I can't believe.. I'm sorry! Brakes just stopped working, I couldn't do anything!" the man exclaimed. Vera blinked at him. She was too tired and in shock to talk. She walked to the boot of her car to inspect the damage. 

"Shit..." she mumbled looking at the boot of her car. It was all crushed. She'd have to get it fixed. The tail lights were smashed in. The man had a large 4WD with a bull bar. There was no obvious damage to his car, perhaps a scratch at most. Vera turned back to the man who was panicking to himself. She remained oddly calm.

"Look, just give me your insurance details and I'll be on my way," she spoke to the man. He nodded and scrambled back to his car. She assumed to get paper or something.

He rushed back after a few minutes with a paper in his hand.

"That's all of it. I'm so sorry, ma'am," the man spoke is a rushed voice. She nodded lazily and took the paper out of his hand. She turned back to her car. She just wanted to go home, her stomach was rumbling.

"Have a good night!" the man yelled out to her. She sighed and didn't respond. Everything was going wrong for her today. She got back in her car and grabbed a tissue out of the glove box. She wiped the blood from her face off of the steering wheel. She turned the key of the car and it started back up. The quiet music played from the radio again. The house that she shared with Joan was just up the road. She accelerated and she was on her way.

 

›››‹‹‹

 

She pulled into the driveway. She would have to get a lift with Joan tomorrow and do an extra shift in order to leave to go to work at the same time as her. She rested her head on the steering wheel. Vera believed in karma and she knew she hadn't done anything to deserve a day like this. She pulled the keys out of the ignition and kept them in her hand. She grabbed her bag that was sitting on the passenger seat, she slung it onto her shoulder and left the car. She slammed the door shut and slowly made her way up to the front door of their house -- originally just Joan's. 

She pushed the house key into the lock and turned it whilst pushing the door. It opened and Vera was met with a gust of warm air. The smell of home and the faint cleaning product comforted her. She closed the door behind her and locked it. She dumped her bag and shoes at the door, not caring. Joan would probably go off at her for not putting them away correctly. She just didn't care at the moment. She could hear that the TV was on in the lounge room. 

Vera went straight to the kitchen knowing that Joan had warmed up her dinner. As she got closer to the kitchen, she could smell chicken. She licked her lips in delight. The best thing to happen today was that she going to eat chicken for dinner. Vera grabbed the still warm plate of food from the counter and placed it at the dining table. She went back to go find a fork and a knife. However, she didn't know that Joan had reorganised everything. She also didn't know that Joan was watching her with amusement. Joan could only see the back of her head. Vera was looking the the draw she remembered them being in. She cursed under her breath. Was she going nuts?

"They're not there, dear," Joan spoke up from the other side of the room.

"I can see that," Vera huffed. Joan's eyebrows furrowed at her. She was far from herself. Joan took a few long strides and stood behind the younger woman who was clearly distressed. She wrapped her arms around Vera's waist, pulling her towards herself.

"I'll make up for not cooking tonight. I'll do it tomorrow," Vera spoke, leaning into the woman behind her.

"Don't worry about it, Vera."

"I also need to get a lift with you tomorrow," Vera said nervously. Joan let go of Vera and spun her around. Her dark eyes were drawn to the cut on her cheek. Worry and concern took control of Joan's body.

"What happened to you? Were you in accident?" Joan questioned in a rushed voice whilst gliding her thumb gently along Vera's jaw, still looking at the fairly deep cut on her face.

"The car behind me's brakes failed, crashed into the back of my car. I just hit my head on the steering wheel. The boot of my car will need to be repaired and so do the brake lights," Vera explained, sighing, "I'll take an extra shift tomorrow."

"No, you won't. You need to rest, Vera," Joan disagreed, shaking her head slightly.

"I'm fine, really. It won't hurt since... Mr. Fletcher.. decided to leave earlier," Vera visibly shuddered when speaking the man's name. Joan was beyond furious with this man. This pathetic excuse of an officer. All she needed was to get Vera to put in an official complaint and she could suspend him for a long time. That's what she wanted to do. She could always attempt to force him to resign but knowing Channing, he'd get out of it. Channing was useful at times but also a burden.

Vera clicked her fingers in front her lover's face. She could see the concentration and even anger on Joan's face. She was spaced out. Vera rolled her eyes.

"Joan," she said loudly. The woman in front of her blinked a few times and looked back down at Vera.

"You can plan your revenge later, come sit with me," Vera teased, pulling Joan towards the lounge room, forgetting about her dinner. She frankly didn't care.

Joan was fascinated with the younger woman dragging her along. Joan struggled with emotions.. expressing emotions.. anything to do with emotions. Yet, Vera stayed. Vera was patient. A smile appeared on her face as Vera sat down on the couch, pulling Joan down with her. Vera immediately cuddled up next to her the second she sat down. Vera leaned her head on Joan's shoulder. Joan wrapped her arm around the shorter woman, pulling her towards herself.

Joan knew the routine. It had been like this long before Vera actually moved in. They'd watch whatever was on and Vera would fall asleep on her. She'd later have to pick her up and take her to bed.

Joan's smile widened as she heard the light snores come from beside her.

 

Chapter Text

 

Joan pulled up in the driveway of their house, waiting for Vera to be ready. She had told her to be ready by 12:15pm, which had made Vera protest since her shift started at 1:30pm. Vera stopped protesting once Joan had told her that they were going to a cafe for lunch.

It was 12:13pm when their front door opened, revealing a fully dressed Vera. Joan grinned, they weren't going to be late. She was also grinning just at the sight of the woman. Vera walked over as fast as she could in heels and opened the passenger door. She smiled at Joan.

"I couldn't find my badge, I thought I was going to be late," she said is a rushed tone of voice, blushing a little. Joan shook her head, offering a reassuring smile.

"I left plenty of time, we're not going to be late, Vera," Joan spoke, watching Vera get into the car gracefully. As soon as the car door shut and Vera had put her seatbelt on, Joan pulled out of their driveway, driving off to a cafe that was fairly quiet on the outskirts of the town. Joan had been there a few times.

The pair didn't talk, they let the radio do all the talking. The radio hosts were all arguing over who the prime minister of Australia should be. Frankly, neither of them particularly cared.

Vera's mind was on how work will go today. Will she bump into Fletch? What would she say if she did? Would she ignore him? Yell at him? Speak professionally. She wouldn't let his issues and mistakes ruin her enjoyment for her job. She loved working at Wentworth -- most days.

Joan's mind was on something completely different. She was more worried on whether Vera would appreciate her getting off work early to take her to this cafe. The cafe was fairly old fashioned, but it seemed like something Vera would like. There were pictures on the walls from the 60s, when the cafe first opened. The pictures were of the family that originally owned the place. Joan could imagine Vera calling the place 'cute.'

Joan parked the car in one of the spaces in the small carpark, beside the cafe. It wasn't that popular however, there were only two spaces left. Joan shut off the engine and pulled the keys out. They had just over an hour before Vera's shift started. Plenty of time.

They got out of the car and walked side by side, their hands brushing against each other's. Joan wasn't a fan of PDA, not because they were both females, she simply didn't like the attention of strangers.

Vera's eyes lit up just by looking at the front of the small place.

"This place is so cute. It's beautiful, Joan," Vera spoke, looking at the flowers that littered the front. Joan smirked when Vera said the word, 'cute.'

"It is," Joan whispered, looking at Vera's reaction, "come on, we don't have too much time and I'm starving."

Vera grinned and followed Joan inside eagerly. The pair decided on a booth near the window on the left of the cafe. A couple and an elderly woman sat on another table across from them. Vera listened in on their loud conversation. She was too nosy for her own good.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Robert. Liza has constantly been on about you, it's starting to get a bit annoying," the woman joked. Vera figured it was Liza's mother and that she was meeting Liza's boyfriend. It made Vera think about her own mother. A stubborn woman. Constantly verballing abusing her daughter. Belittling her. Making her feel as if everything she did was wrong. What would Joan think of her? What would her mother think of Joan?

Rita Bennett, Vera's mother, was a conservative woman. Attended church on Sundays. She drilled a lot of her religious beliefs into her daughter, including that homosexuals were bad people who'd go to hell when they die.

The thought made Vera visibly cringe.

"Vera..." Joan drawled, looking at Vera who was deep in thought, staring at the people beside them.

"Would you want to ever meet my mother?" Vera asked randomly, making Joan's eyes widen in surprise. She glanced at the people beside her -- the people she was staring blankly at. A couple and an older woman. A mother. She almost rolled her eyes.

"Would your mother want to meet me?" Joan questioned, not particularly giving an answer. Vera thought, 'no.' She didn't know how to reply to that. She wanted Joan to meet her. Just so she wouldn't feel as if she was hiding something from her. She bit her lip, unsure of a reply.

"She thinks I moved in with a friend," Vera said, also not replying to Joan's question, "I don't want her to think that. She won't be around for much longer... I can't let her go thinking that I'd never find someone. That's what she would want. I won't let her have that pleasure."

Her answer stunned both women. Joan was surprised by Vera's disliking for her mum whereas, Vera was surprised that she had the guts to say that out loud.

"If you really want me to, I will. How about tonight, after your shift? I'll pick you up, take you home to get ready and then we'll go," Joan suggested, smiling softly at the younger woman. Although Joan acted as if she was fine with the idea, she was just as nervous as Vera. She had never done this before. She would not be in control tonight. She had a feeling that neither would Vera's mother be.

"I would really appreciate that... Don't choose anything too fancy to wear.. Uhh, can you iron something for me too?" Vera asked, biting her lip anxiously.

"Of course, Vera.. Don't worry," Joan reached across the table and squeezed Vera's hand that was laying on the table. Vera gave a hopeful smile.

She could only hope.

 

›››‹‹‹

 

"Vera!" Mr Fletcher's voice yelled from behind her as she walked to the Rec room. She gulped. Vera had purposely avoided him all day and made sure his posts were on the other side of the prison. She forgot that he finished at the same time. Vera slowed but did not stop. Fletch caught up with her and walked beside her.

"I'm sorry about.. uh.. yesterday. I had a really rough morning," Matt explained to Vera hopefully. He knew that she gave second chances but, he also knew that he may of blew everything.

"I had a rough day," Vera replied, putting emphasis on day. Her hands balled into fists beside her. She wanted him to go away and leave her alone. 

"I'm sorry... I would never do that to you. You know that, surely! I wasn't myself," he carried on. They reached the Rec room and Vera turned to him.

"Do I?" she questioned, keeping an emotionless face -- something Joan was a master of. She turned away from his stunned face and scanned her card to open the Rec room. Fletcher followed her inside, going to his locker which was practically right next to her own.

"How about dinner tonight? I'll explain everything to you," Fletcher started again. He really did want to fix things with Vera. She meant a lot to him.

"I have plans," she replied shortly. Matt frowned at her, watching as she pulled her bag out of her locker. She closed her locker and looked at him blankly.

"Tomorrow?"

"Has it occurred to you that I want to keep our relationship strictly professional?" Vera spoke with a clear voice. She wasn't going to let him think that they would ever pursue anything more than a professional relationship. She watched him furrow his eyebrows. 

"Well, you didn't bef-," Vera cut him off, understanding what he may of been getting at.

"I am in a relationship, Matt," Vera said, glancing at the clock. She wasn't late.

"What? With Adam?" Mr Fletcher chuckled, smirking slightly. He had hoped she'd know he was joking but her face said the complete opposite. She was actually serious.

"I'm sorry, Vera," he apologised again. She brushed past him, leaving the prison. She signed out and left the building. She glanced around the carpark, looking for a specific car. 

She wasn't even here. A smile spread across Vera's face. Joan Ferguson was late. Actually late. Vera noted to make sure to tease her about this for days on end.

A car pulled into the car park, in front of Vera. She rolled her eyes and opened the passenger door.

"Tick tock," Vera laughed, getting into the car. Joan grumbled in annoyance.

"Couldn't decide what to wear? Or what I should wear?" Vera teased, making Joan's cheeks flush a shade of pink. Vera laughed at her before grinning at the woman.

"You're correc-T about both..." she murmured quietly, clearly embarrassed. Vera giggled, making Joan glare at her. Joan's hair was down, flowing onto and just past her shoulders. She didn't look as some would say, harsh or intimidating. She looked like Joan. Not the Governor of Wentworth. The gorgeous and caring Joan -- that Vera loved and adored.

Joan pulled out of the carpark. They had to go home first and then after Vera had gotten ready, they'd go to Vera's Mum's house. Vera had already given Joan directions and she assumed that she had already studied them.

"How was your shift, dear?" Joan questioned, not removing her eyes off of the road. Vera pursed her lips. How was her shift? 

"Uneventful," Vera answered. It was the typical answer she gave when she speaking to Joan at work when they were nothing but colleagues. The Deputy and the Governor.

"Fletch spoke to me after my shift. He ended at the same time," she added quickly. Joan raised an eyebrow. She couldn't believe that he had the nerve to talk to Vera after what he had done to her well, what Joan assumed he had tried to do to her.

"And what did Mr Fletcher say to you?" Joan asked, glancing at Vera for a second. Vera bit her lip.

"He apologised. Asked me to go to dinner with him tonight. I told him that I had plans and that I only wanted a professional relationship with him. I had to tell him I was in a relationship... Then he said something else but that's when I left," Vera mumbled the last part. She was not going to bring up Adam. Not to Joan. She'd sound like a fool.

Alarm bells went off in Joan's head. 

"Did you mention me?" Joan questioned in a rushed tone. She almost spat the words out.

"Of course not! I'm not stupid!" Vera exclaimed, shaking her head.

"I know you're not, Vera. I'm sorry... Uh.. What time are we supposed to be there by?" Joan asked. She already knew but she wanted to change the topic. 7:00pm.

"Seven o'clock but, she hates when people don't arrive slightly early so, about ten to seven," Vera answered as they pulled into their driveway. Joan turned the engine off, silencing the car. Both women got out of the car and made their way to the front door. Joan unlocked the door, pushing it open to allow Vera inside first. The smaller woman flashed a grateful smile and entered first. Joan followed closely behind.

Vera's eyes glanced to the silver clock hanging on the wall. She had an hour and a half before they had to be there.

"I laid out the clothes on our bed for you," Joan spoke from behind Vera. Vera could hear her taking her shoes off beside the front door. 

"Thank you... I really appreciate you doing this," Vera turned around to smile warmly at the other woman who was using her foot to perfectly align her shoes beside the front door. 

Joan stood to her full height and flashed a short smile, it didn't reach her eyes. Vera knew she was nervous, maybe even scared of her mother. The great Joan Ferguson, scared of an elderly woman. 

"I'll have a quick shower and get changed. I won't be long," Vera said. She around and darted for the stairs to get ready for tonight.

Joan sighed the second she was alone. She could hear the shower turn on. She didn't know what to do with herself for the next hour or so. She was nervous and time felt slow. She strode over to a specific draw in the kitchen and pulled it open. She grabbed the cleaning gloves inside and put them. 

Something to ease her mind and pass time.

Joan reached for an antibacterial spray and a black cleaning cloth. She decided to start with the kitchen counter. Three sprays. Wipe. 

Joan would not be in control tonight. She expected Vera wasn't as nervous as she was considering she at least knew her mother and knew the way she went about with things. Joan didn't. Rita Bennett could be the same as Vera. Naïve. Accepting. Kind... or she may not be. She could be like Joan. Controlling. Manipulative... and she would have the upperhand by simply being at her own house. Joan would be on her grounds.

She moved onto the sink. Three sprays. Wipe.

How would tonight end? Joan didn't see herself crying or yelling. She would stay composed... or at least appear composed. Vera surely had a lot of anger inside of her from her childhood going by what she had said earlier. Joan wanted to know more about Vera and Rita's relationship. Joan knew better than to push for information. Vera never asked Joan about her family, she respected that she may not want to talk about it. Joan was grateful for that. Joan rarely saw her father anymore since being with Vera, except when she goes to fencing. He had otherwise disappeared from all aspects of her life. She obviously knew he had died a long while ago, but she still appreciated his advice and guidance despite him not physically being there.

Small arms gripped onto the back of Joan's elbows tight enough to stop her from moving. Joan placed the cloth and spray beside the sink before pulling her cleaning gloves off and placing them neatly beside the sink she was cleaning for quite some time. She spun around, looking down at Vera who held a look of concern.

"Go sit down," she said, not leaving room for argument. Joan nodded slightly and went to the lounge room to sit down, she waited for Vera to join her.

Meanwhile, Vera put the cleaning items away, where they belong. Joan's obsession with keeping everything clean did bug her, but she knew she was doing it out of nerves. Somehow, it must calm her. Vera wished she had something that would calm her down easily.

Vera grabbed a wine glass out and filled it with red wine. She drank it all as quickly as she poured it. She was being stupid for doing this.

She poured another one and put the wine away.

 

›››‹‹‹


The couch dipped beside Joan. Joan turned her head to face the younger woman. She looked beautiful in the clothes she had chosen, exactly how she pictured her in them. She had a glass of wine in her hand making Joan raise an eyebrow.

"I should've asked if you wanted some," Vera spoke, frowning at her glass.

"I'm fine, Vera," Joan assured her.

"I mean, this is my second glass," she admitted, biting her lip. This made Joan frown. Why would she want to be tipsy?

"Are you sure that is a good idea?" Joan questioned, glancing at the clock briefly. She turned back around when she heard Vera place the glass on the coffee table. Joan wanted to be sober. She wanted to be able to register everything going on. Plus, she was driving.

"This wasn't a good idea..." Vera mumbled, rubbing her face annoyedly, "why am I so stupid?"

Joan turned fully around, crossing her legs on the couch like a child would in primary school.

"You're far from stupid, Vera. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, we can stay here." Joan was secretly hoping that Vera would give in.

Vera shook her head, "no, I can't just cancel on her. I need to do this. I'm okay.. Are you?" Vera turned her head on an angle. She already knew the answer. Joan would lie about being nervous. Joan bit the inside of her lip.

"I am. You don't need to worry about me. We should probably get going, hmm?" Joan answered, immediately changing the subject. Vera narrowed her eyes before nodding and standing up. She offered a hand to Joan who just chuckled at her.

"What?" Vera questioned, wondering why Joan was laughing at her.

"You and I both know you can't pull me up off of the couch," Joan raised an eyebrow, smirking at Vera. Vera scoffed in annoyance. Joan ignored Vera's offer and stood up herself, smiling smugly at the shorter woman.

"At least I wasn't late today," Vera replied, now smiling smugly. Joan glared at her.

"That was because I couldn't choose an outfit out for you, which by the way, you look great in. It was worth being late," Joan answered, turning around and walking to the front door. She rarely playfully complimented Vera. It was a nice change.

Vera blushed profusely at the rarity. She followed closely behind the Russian woman who was putting her shoes back on, adding an extra inch to her height.

'I need stilettos,' Vera thought, looking up at Joan.

"Are you ready to go?" Joan questioned, grabbing her car keys from the table in the doorway. Vera nodded.

Joan opened the front door for Vera, allowing her to pass and get in the car. Joan locked the door behind her and walked over to the car that Vera was already seated in. Joan got into the driver's side and fastened her seatbelt. She turned the key, bringing the car to life. The radio softly played something off of the Australian top charts. Vera hummed along to it quietly, glancing out the window as Joan drove to her mother's house. They didn't speak. There was nothing that needed to be said.

Luckily, Rita didn't live far away from them. It was only a few streets away. Vera watched all of the houses fly past as Joan drove the car. One house in particular caught her eye as they drew to a stop at a stop sign. It was a large white house. Children were playing chasey at the front while their parents watched on from the porch. Vera smiled warmly at the sight. The car pulled onto Rita's street -- Vera's old street. They were on time.

House number 73.

Joan pulled into the driveway of the house and cut the engine, silencing the radio. Vera noticed Joan's slightly shaky hand, resting on her left thigh. Vera reached over and grasped it, giving it a light squeeze. Joan breathed out slowly.

7:50pm.

The pair opened the car doors and got out, shutting the doors behind them. Joan locked the car, making the car lights flicker on and off. Vera noticed Joan straighten up immediately. Almost as if all the nerves she had were left in the car. She could change so quickly.

They both walked to the front door. Vera rang the doorbell as soon as it was in reach. She didn't want to awkwardly wait any longer. They heard footsteps rush towards the front door and then the door unlocked. A small frail woman appeared from behind the door. She looked them both up and down and smiled. 

"Hi Mum," Vera greeted, giving the best smile that she could.

"Vera," Rita nodded, her eyes drifted over to the much taller woman beside her daughter. Her black hair drifted just past her shoulders. She wore a simple cream blouse and black dress pants. Her choice of clothing pleased Rita and Vera could sense that. However, Joan felt as if Rita could tell everything by just looking at her.

"I'm Rita and you are the lady who my daughter moved in with?" Rita questioned, glancing at Vera briefly. She seemed to of actually chosen something nicer than usual, Rita thought.

"Yes. Joan Ferguson," Joan held her hand out. She had to play her cards correctly. Rita shook Joan's hand much to Vera's surprise on both parties. Joan usually avoided giving anyone handshakes and well, her Mum wasn't a friendly person. Vera's Mum pulled the door open fully, allowing them in.

"Welcome, come in, come in."

 

Chapter Text

 

Rita Bennett guided the women to the lounge room, not that Vera needed to guided anyway. After all, she did live here not all that long ago.

"Would you like a drink? I was in the middle of making a tea," Rita offered. Joan shook her head, offering a light smile.

"A coffee please, Mum," Vera answered, being polite. Rita nodded and scattered off to the kitchen. Vera turned immediately to Joan as soon as her mother left the room.

"She's being oddly nice. Even to me!" Vera exclaimed in a hushed whisper, throwing her arms up. Joan raised an eyebrow.

"She's never this kind..." Vera mumbled. Joan nodded, glancing at the doorway before looking back at Vera.

"Have you always lived with her before living with me?" Joan questioned out of interest. Vera pursed her lips and nodded. Vera felt like she couldn't leave. Her Mum depended on her so much. It was a struggle to leave after living with her for her whole life. But, it was also refreshing and freeing. Vera was much happier now. She also now looked forward to going home.

Rita came back in the room with two cups in her hand, one filled with coffee and the other filled with tea. She passed Vera her coffee and sat back down on the couch across from them. Joan shifted in her seat, sitting up straighter. She felt awkward.

Rita smiled, "Vera has rudely hardly told me anything about you, Joan. So, how did you two meet?"

Vera mentally died. This was more like her mother.

"I was instated as Governor at Wentworth. Since Vera is the Deputy Governor, we work closely together. We were bound to become close," Joan answered, sideways glancing at Vera to see her reaction. Her cheeks were tinted a faint shade of pink making Joan inwardly smile.

"Ah, Vera was promoted to Governor once, they replaced her. She wasn't good enough!" Rita cackled. Now, Vera turned red from embarrassment even though Joan probably already knew about her demotion from Governor to Deputy Governor and being replaced with Erica Davidson. She hadn't been trained whatsoever. 

"I'm positive that Vera did a fine job. The Board probably thought that Vera fitted the role of Deputy better. Some people work better in certain positions," Joan answered, forcing a smile. In reality, Joan wanted to defend Vera much more and in a more aggressive way, but Joan knew better than to do that. She would not ruin tonight.

"It's been nice to not have Vera around, I was sick of her cooking. She could never cook anything properly," Rita stated, smiling. Her eyes drifted to Vera who was glaring at her.

"Mum, I'm sure it wasn't that bad," Vera defended her cooking ability. Her self esteem always took a hit whilst being around Rita. Joan observed their interaction with both curiosity and annoyance. How could a mother talk to her daughter like that?

"Ha! It was! I can cook much better myself! Speaking of cooking, I'm going to check on dinner," Rita stood up from her seat and took her now empty cup to the kitchen. Vera sighed and rubbed her temples. Joan scooted over on the couch, sitting right beside Vera. She bravely grasped Vera's hands and squeezed them, knowing her Mum could come in any moment.

"Don't listen to her. I prefer it when you cook," Joan whispered, pressing her lips to Vera's right temple. She wasn't lying, Vera could cook extremely well. Vera smiled lightly and leaned into the older woman.

"This was such a bad idea," Vera grumbled, looking up at Joan. Joan could only smile hopefully at Vera. She wasn't sure how to reply to that. Vera stood up and turned to Joan.

"I'm going to help set up the table. I'll cop it otherwise. I'll be back," Vera informed before turning and following where Rita had left to. Joan was left alone, allowing her to think.

'Rita is abusive,' she gathered. She expected her to insult her daughter even more at dinner which hurt Joan just as much as it hurt Vera. She took note to defend her as much as she could.

She wasn't sure if they were going to announce that they were together or not. She figured that Vera would if anything, Joan wasn't that confident.

Vera's head popped around the corner, causing Joan to look at her with an eyebrow raised.

"Dinner's ready."

 

›››‹‹‹

 

They all sat at the small table near the kitchen. It was nothing compared to what was at their house. Joan picked at her meal, not to be rude, but simply because she wasn't very hungry. She observed the tension between the mother and daughter. Meanwhile, Vera kept her focus on eating. She really wanted a wine or anything alcohol beverage.

"It's been a long time since we had anyone over, right Vera?" Rita began, looking expectantly at Vera. It was always just them. Vera nodded, not taking her eyes off of her plate.

"Suddenly a mute now?" Vera's Mum questioned, laughing.

"No, Mum," Vera answered, looking up to glare at Rita.

"Joan, does Vera still get embarrassed easily at work? I wouldn't be surprised. Vera, remember Adam?" Rita exclaimed, her eyes sparkled with excitement from embarrassing her daughter. Rita also noticed the clear discomfort and annoyance on Vera's housemate's face.

"Mum..." Vera warned. Joan shifted in her seat uncomfortably. She didn't want to know. She didn't care what Vera had done in her past with men.

"She told everyone at work she had a boyfriend, Adam, to make this man jealous! What was his name?" She looked back at Vera awaiting an answer, even though she already knew his name.

"I can't remember, Mum," Vera answered, dropping her fork on her plate making it clatter. Rita flinched at the sound. She knew Vera was annoyed with her now.

"Matthew, wasn't it?" Rita pushed, smirking at her daughter. Joan gulped down some water. She absolutely hated the man with every cell in her body!

"Miss Bennett, mind pointing me in the direction to bathroom?" Joan butted in, smiling forcibly at the elderly woman. Rita narrowed her eyes at her for interrupting her. She pointed to a hallway about 5m away from the table. Joan nodded gratefully and walked off to find the bathroom, leaving Vera and Rita alone.

"Mum, you're embarrassing yourself," Vera started, frowning at her.

"I think that you're the one that's embarrassed, Vera," Rita sipped at her now-cold tea. Vera straightened up.

"You're making Joan uncomfortable. She's a guest!" Vera hissed. Rita raised an eyebrow.

"Why is she so defensive when it comes to you?" she pushed. Rita's friends never defended her, then again, she only had ones from church and they were more so acquaintances.

"Because she actually cares about me unlike you!" Vera whisper-yelled in anger. She was sick in tired of being belittled by this woman who literally created her. Her very own mother bullying her, verballing abusing her. Little to their knowledge, Joan had only left to wash her hands. She stood behind the wall, unable to be seen. She listened to their argument.

Rita outwardly cringed at her own thoughts. Were they more than friends?

Joan furrowed her eyebrows. It was silent. She didn't know whether to enter or not. Frankly, she didn't want to.

"Are you one of those homosexual people, Vera?" Rita barely whispered. Vera was taken aback by her question. Joan's eyes widened from behind the wall. Her jaw locked to stop her from grinding her teeth together anxiously.

"I don't know what I am!" Vera retorted, anger was clearly evident in her voice. Rita was horrified.

"Vera! You're going to hell! That's absolutely disgusting! I've raised you to know better than that! Oh my lord," Rita rushed, clearly in shock.

"I love that woman, Mum! I love Joan Ferguson! I don't care about going to hell! I don't believe in that! Why can't you just be accepting like a mother should?" Vera snapped, pushing her plate away from her.

"Accepting of such an act? The Bibl-"

Vera cut her mother off, "I don't care what the Bible says! You weren't always like this.. When Dad died, you changed! You didn't believe in that bullshit back then! You were accepting and open minded!"

"Don't use such language in this house! Your father was an idiot and you're growing up to be the exact same way!"

"At least we both did something with our lives, unlike you! Mum, I actually look forward to coming home now. I am actually happy. Joan makes me happy! That was something you could never do," Vera exclaimed with tears running down her face. Rita fell silent in shock and sadness. Joan listened in happily. She was proud of Vera for standing up for what she believed in. Joan smirked knowing that Rita had finally shut up.

"Thank you for dinner," Vera mumbled politely before walking off to wear Joan had disappeared to. She turned the corner, bumping into the taller woman.

'What a surprise,' Vera thought, inwardly rolling her eyes. Joan's arms instantly wrapped around Vera, comforting her. She knew very well what it was like to finally stand up to a parent. Vera pulled away and grabbed Joan's hand, pulling her out of the house with her. As soon as the front door closed, feeling high on adrenaline, Vera pushed Joan up against the wall making Joan gasp in surprise. Vera stood up onto her toes and pushed her lips to Joan's roughly, kissing her passionately. She wanted to assure Joan that she wasn't going to let her mother's words affect her and their relationship. She loved her.

Vera pulled away and sighed.

"Can we just go home and lie on the couch together?" Vera asked. Joan was honestly worried for Vera. So much had happened in the past week. She could tell by her tone of voice that she was exhausted -- physically and mentally drained.

"Of course, dear," Joan agreed. The pair got in the car and fastened their seatbelts. Joan put the keys into the slot and turned them. The car rumbled to life. She pulled out of the driveway and drove home.

Vera leaned her head against the window of the car door. Tears threatened to fall but she refused to cry again.

"How long were you standing there for?" Vera mumbled sleepily. She had actually saved Vera from further embarrassment. 

"For most of it," Joan answered honestly, slowing the car as they came to a red light. Joan turned to her.

"Oh and I love you too," she added, a smile gracing her lips. Although Vera was glad to hear that, she didn't know why she was telling her.

Seeing Vera's confusion, "you told your Mum that you loved me. I had to make sure you knew that I loved you too," Joan spoke, blushing from the intimacy of the moment, she looked away. Tears fell onto Vera's cheeks as Joan spoke. She couldn't help but smile. Joan looked back at her, furrowing her eyebrows, noticing she was crying.

"Oh, Vera," Joan crooned, placing her left hand on Vera's leg, squeezing it in an attempt to comfort her whilst driving.

The lights turned green, Joan accelerated and pulled onto their street. Vera had stopped crying and only sniffled every so often. She was tired and emotional. Joan drove into their driveway and cut the engine. She leaned over and unbuckled Vera's seatbelt and then doing her own. Joan stepped out of the car, taking the keys with her. She shut the car door and moved towards the front of the car. Vera got out at a much slower pace and made her way over to Joan. Joan used her thumb to wipe the remaining tears away.

"Are you okay?" she mumbled, looking into her eyes. 

"I will be tomorrow. My shift is at 7:15am. I'll be fine," Vera answered. Joan frowned and shook her head in disagreement.

"You aren't going to work tomorrow."

Vera scoffed, making her way to the front door leaving Joan behind her, "I have to."

"As the Governor and as your... girlfriend... I'm telling you that you're not going tomorrow," Joan spoke, catching up to Vera. The stutter didn't go unnoticed by Vera. She giggled, remembering that she thought that Joan would think the word girlfriend is childish.

"What's so funny?" Joan questioned, raising an eyebrow at the much shorter woman.

"Yesterday, I was thinking about what we'd be labelled as and I figured that you'd think the word girlfriend is childish," Vera grinned, making Joan's heart warm. She hated seeing her unhappy. It was good to see a smile on her face. Joan shook her head and chuckled with amusement. The Russian woman turned towards the front door and pushed the key into the keyhole, turning it. The lock clicked and Joan pushed the door open, allowing Vera to go in first as usual. She followed and locked the door behind her. She took her shoes off and aligned them neatly next to Vera's. Vera had already gone into the lounge room.

Joan entered the room, seeing that Vera had curled up with a blanket around her. She pulled open a part of it, beckoning Joan to come under the blanket with her. She obliged and sat down right beside her, pulling the blanket over herself. Vera rested her head against her lover. Her eyes felt heavy, she struggled to keep them open to watch the TV, not that either of them knew what was happening on the show.

They both eventually fell asleep on the sofa, curled up side by side.

 

Chapter Text

 

Vera sleepily opened her eyes, expecting her lover to still be asleep by her side -- instead she saw an empty half of the bed. She reached across to see if it was still warm, it wasn't. She must've woken up awhile ago. Vera knew that if Joan had a chance to sleep in before a later shift, she would. She huffed, Joan doesn't fence on Wednesdays, it's her 'recovery day' as she calls it. Vera pushed herself into a sitting position before slowly dragging herself out of the king size bed.

On her way downstairs, she popped her head into the bathroom -- it was empty. Vera hoped that the woman was somewhere downstairs being super quiet. She tiptoed down the stairs carefully and made her way into the kitchen. Her eyes automatically gravitated towards the note lying on the kitchen bench. She wandered over to it, picking it up. Vera almost didn't want to open it. Only Joan Ferguson would fold it to such perfection and she was probably the only person capable of doing it with such ease. She unfolded it and read it.

It read:

Dear Vera,

I took your shift and I swapped my own one. I'll be home at 3:45pm.

I made sure there's bread and there's some soup for lunch. I left out

a movie for you to watch in the lounge room.

-Joan x

Vera chuckled, placing the note back on the kitchen bench. She was surprised that Joan decided to give away her shift to someone else instead of doing a double. Joan loved working, so it made Vera wonder. Vera noted to ask her about it.

The woman gracefully walked to the pantry, opening it to grab the bread that Joan had 'made sure' was there. When Vera first started staying over, she refused to eat anything other than toast for breakfast, forcing Joan to go and buy her some most mornings until it became a habit of hers. Joan believed that it didn't give her the right amount of energy necessary for the day ahead which Vera rolled her eyes at.

Vera strolled over to the lounge room, seeing the dvd sitting on the coffee table and beside it another perfectly folded note. She picked up the movie in one hand and held the now unfolded note in the other.

Figured that you might like this

guilty pleasure of mine.

Vera smiled causing little creases to appear besides her eyes. She read the title of the dvd, 'Carol.'

 

›››‹‹‹ 

 

Joan locked her black Lexus as she walked swiftly off towards her prison. Her prison. She entered the reception part of the prison, greeted by Will Jackson at the front desk. She flashed him a short smile before signing in. Perks of being an officer at the prison, you didn't have to wait in line like the visitors who stared at her with wide eyes as she passed them. She ignored them.

As soon as she entered the main part of the prison, free of visitors, the clock ticked to 7:15am signally the start of Vera's shift, which was now hers. She couldn't get anyone to take this particular shift due to its timing, meaning she'd either have to do a double or give her actual shift to someone else. She had someone in mind for that.. Joan's shift didn't clash with Matthew Fletcher's yesterday, by taking Vera's shift she was now on at the same time as him. As she made her way to her office, she bumped into Linda Miles.

"Miss Miles, would you be able to swap with Mr Fletcher's position in the yard and send him to my office please?" the Governor requested, looking at the blonde officer.

Linda nodded, "yes, Governor."

Joan carried on her to way to her office, once she reached the door, she scanned her card to unlock it. She pushed the door open and was greeted with the familiar calming scent of cleaning products. She kept her office in pristine condition. Not a speck of dust. She couldn't afford to suddenly become sick or suffer from allergies. She would only take a day off if absolutely necessary. She closed the door behind her made her way around her desk. Joan sat down in her chair, she knew that Mr Fletcher would be here any moment. 

Speak of the devil. The officer knocked on her door multiple times.

"Come in, Mr Fletcher," Joan called out. She watched him walk in with her dark eyes which revealed absolutely nothing. Joan scanned him up and down, she knew he wasn't the best officer at the moment, but his appearance alone was appalling. She hated this man with everything she had in her.

"You wanted to see me, Governor," Matthew spoke, standing in front of her desk after closing the door.

"Yes, yes, sit down. I wanted to ask how you think you are going currently?" Joan smiled at him in the most genuine looking way that she could. The man frowned at her briefly as he sat down in one of the chairs facing her.

"I'm doing fine, Governor," he replied blankly. Joan smirked.

"Ah, really?" she said, glaring at his messily tucked in shirt. His standards were awfully low, unlike her own. Perfection and only perfection.

"Lets talk about the other day, shall we? Outside my office with Deputy Governor, Miss Bennett," Joan started. She had to remind herself to speak with complete and utter professionalism. 

"Governor, it was nothing. We don't need to discuss it," Mr Fletcher stated, scratching the side of his face. Joan noticed the dark circles under his eyes. She assumed he was hung over. He had some kind of alcohol issue. The Governor pushed herself out of her chair, standing to her full height. 

"I'm only going to ask you once, were you or were you not under the influence of alcohol, Mr Fletcher?" Ferguson questioned with a demanding voice, glaring at the pathetic man.

"Uhh... I'm not doing that well and I-"

"Simple question, Mr Fletcher. Were you or were you not?" Joan pushed for an answer. Anything to add on top of the official complaint that she would get Vera to complete. 

"Yes, Governor," he sighed, looking at the ground to avoid her stare.

"After your shift, you are suspended for a week. You will never turn up to my prison intoxicated ever again, understood?" Joan snapped, making his eyes shoot to her own. She would get him removed once Vera writes up an official complaint.

"Understood, Governor."

"You're also doing a double. Someone needed to swap shifts. Check the new roster," Joan added, smiling sarcastically at the man. Matthew groaned, pushing himself from the chair. Joan strode over to him, making him freeze.

"If I see you ever touch Miss Bennett or any other officer like that ever again, I will report you to the board myself," she threatened, glaring at the man who looked like he had pissed himself.

"Get out," she whispered, turning on her heel to sit back at her desk. He was gone before she knew it. She huffed, sitting in her chair. She wanted to destroy that man. 

"Joan," a familiar voice startled her from her anger, she looked up and was greeted with her father. She knew he wasn't actually there. Her anger was the only think that she could think of that triggered him.

"You must control your anger," he spoke, confirming her thoughts. Joan frowned, tensing her jaw.

"H-.. He touched Vera! He touc-"

"She is a distraction, Joan. She will hurt you. They always hurt you." Joan squeezed her eyes shut for a few seconds before opening them again. He was gone. She stared at the place that he was once standing seconds ago. Was he right?

Joan pulled open her drawer and grabbed the stack of paperwork that needed to be done before she left the building.

 

›››‹‹‹

 

Vera watched as the credits started signalling the end of the movie. She now had a new favourite movie. She'd ensure that she and Joan would watch it together in the near future. She also thought it was cute how she left that for her.

Vera glanced at the clock. 3:53pm. Surely Joan wasn't starting to make a habit of being 'late.' She pressed stop on the remote and put on whatever was on channel 7. The news would be on soon. Vera jumped, hearing the front door open and close. A smile spread to her face. She absolutely hated being alone, she had her mother with her when she lived there. Even if they didn't get along, just knowing someone else was in the house was comforting. Vera jogged to the hallway, seeing the taller woman releasing her immaculate bun, letting her hair fall to her shoulders. She looked up to Vera who was smiling sheepishly from the doorway leading to the lounge.

"I missed you," Vera mumbled, her cheeks warming up. Joan walked over to her and pulled her into her arms. She leaned her head on top of the shorter woman's head.

"I missed you too, Vera," she replied, a small smile playing on her lips. Joan released Vera, still keeping her at arms length. Vera suddenly smirked smugly causing Joan to roll her eyes.

"You're late by exactly..." Vera glanced at the clock, "11 minutes." Joan scoffed, moving towards the kitchen. She kept in mind that she had to persuade her to write a formal complaint regarding the matter with Matthew Fletcher. She could hear Vera following slowly behind her.

"I'm cooking tonight, what do you fancy?" Vera spoke up whilst opening the fridge to grab a bottle of red wine.

"I don't mind, Vera. You ask me that everytime," Joan answered, yawning from waking up early. Vera had to always ask her mother that, unlike Joan, she'd always receive a different answer.

Vera grabbed a wine glass, "do you want a glass?" Joan replied with a nod of her head, she was deep in thought about what her father said to her. Vera sat down in one of the stools across from where Joan was leaning on the kitchen bench. She was spaced out, which wasn't unusual. Vera poured two glasses of wine, pushing one towards Joan whose eyebrows were now knitted with worry. Vera reached across the kitchen bench to grasp Joan's hand. Joan's gaze turned to their joined hands.

"How was your shift?" Vera asked, tilting her head to the right. She took a sip of her wine, it was really good. She kept note to buy some more of it as she doubted that it would last long.

"The prison was fairly quiet. Still talk of the women taking down Doyle as top dog. Nothing out of the ordinary. I just filled out the paperwork," Joan answered, also taking a sip of her wine. She placed it back down, looking back up to Vera.

"I spoke with Mr Fletcher today," the Governor started, watching for Vera's reaction. She remained fairly emotionless.

"He's suspended for a week, he admitted to being under the influence of alcohol, as suspected," Joan spoke smugly before turning serious again, "Vera, I advise that you write a formal complaint regarding his... unacceptable behaviour," Joan spat the last bit out as if it was bitter. Vera picked up her glass, taking a big gulp of the red wine.

"What will happen to him if I do?" Vera questioned, raising an eyebrow at her lover. Joan figured that Vera did care what happened to him despite everything.

"Depending on the nature of the behaviour, it'll be taken to the board or his suspension will be extended," Joan replied, biting the inside of her cheek. Vera looked uninterested, playing with the bottom of her wine glass. Vera was conflicted on the matter. She knew that she should, but making him hate her and as the Deputy Governor, having an officer hate you isn't the greatest. Fletch did try apologise also.

"Vera," Joan spoke, making Vera glance up at her, "don't tell me that you're considering not writing one..."

"Joan, he apologised and he also tried to fix everything!" Vera finally voiced her thoughts of the matter. Vera could see Joan's disliking towards that. The taller woman shook her head, briefing glancing towards the doorway seeing a silhouette of a person. Dad.

"Today, I said to him that we'd talk about the other day regarding the issue with you outside of my office... He had the decency to tell me that it was nothing! That there was nothing that needed to be discussed! From what I assume, he sexually harassed you and he called that nothing..." Joan said angrily, Vera could see the fire in her eyes. She truly did care for Vera. Again, Joan glanced towards the same doorway seeing that he was still standing there. Vera looked that way also, however, she saw nothing. Vera looked back at Joan, sighing deeply. A lazy smile appeared on Vera's face, causing Joan to think she was actually insane.

"This isn't a time to smi-"

"Joan... I'm smiling because you care so much and... you're hot when you're angry," Vera mumbled with a cheeky grin on her face, grasping Joan's hand again. Joan flushed red with embarrassment, despite her embarrassment, this felt right to her. Being with Vera made her feel like she was worth something. From her peripheral vision, she could see that the silhouette of her Dad was no longer there. Joan's thumb caressed Vera's smaller hand.

"Will you.. um... just be with me when I write this up?" Vera asked, looking hopefully towards her girlfriend. Joan nodded understandingly. She knew of other officers, females in particular, who needed help with writing up formal complaints of this nature. Reliving that moment again in your head and putting into words... She didn't want Vera to be alone in that. Especially knowing that Vera had considered him a friend before the incident. 

"Thank you for the movie, by the way," Vera suddenly spoke, grinning at Joan. Joan couldn't help but blush. It was a guilty pleasure to her. She didn't particularly enjoy movies, especially comedy. She thought it was just stupid. Vera picked up her glass and gulped down the rest of her wine.

 

"