Teacher and Student
God knows how it started, but it ended when Pederson walked in on them and dropped all the papers he was holding. Relena jerked her mouth away from Dorothy's and yanked her hands from underneath Dorothy's shirt. Pederson dropped to the floor, stammering apologies as Dorothy slid her hand from beneath Relena's skirt and wiped her palm on her jeans.
"Hush, Pederson," Relena said, as Dorothy began tucking her shirt back into her jeans. "Are those the Rasmussen papers I asked for?"
He averted his eyes from her face as he handed her the papers. "Yes, Vice Minister." His face was bright red.
"Excellent." Relena accepted the papers and began sorting through them. "That's all I need for now, Pederson."
Dorothy circled the desk and seized Pederson's arm. "Not one word," she told him. "You understand?" He nodded, and she released her grip. Pederson fled.
Relena looked at her as she turned away from the door. "You didn't have to do that," she said.
"Of course I did."
"You think so?" Relena tossed the Rasmussen papers onto her desk ask Dorothy fidgeted with her pony-tail, tucking loose strands of hair back into place.
"We can't do this." Dorothy crossed her arms across her chest, hugging herself, feeling the knot tightening in her chest. "We both know better."
"Fuck." Relena raked her hands through her hair, dislodging it from its chignon. "I can't believe you just said that, Dot." And then she laughed, her hair falling around her face and shoulders.
Dorothy began to smile in response to the laughter, and she uncrossed her arms. "Someone had to say it," she said.
"No. I disagree." Relena drew herself up as she said it, her small frame formidable in the dark suit. "We can do this. We are doing it."
The knot loosened. "Rel," Dorothy said, and then could not find the other words.
"Which do you think I'd choose, this--" Relena waved at her office "--or you?"
"I only know what I've taught you," Dorothy admitted. She twisted one of her rings, and looked past Relena's shoulder, out the window.
Relena huffed. "And would the teacher be able to follow her own lessons?"
"I think you know the answer to that as well as I do." She kept staring out the window.
"Then it's a good thing that I'm as rotten a student as you are a teacher." Relena moved and planted herself squarely in Dorothy's line of sight. "Isn't it?"
Dorothy reached for her. "It's a very good thing," she agreed.