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Changing Winds

Chapter Text

Joan often put on a brave front, especially now that she was a prisoner among the women. Of course she maintained her dangerous edge, but she couldn't help but feel some anxiety at the circumstances she was in now. It was even harder for her to get what she needed in Protection, so she had to go into General.

Except with going into General, it must have left her with some kind of stomach flu. She'd been feeling nauseous for the last few days and refused to see the nurse. Kaz and Allie noticed her illness but she tried not to show too much weakness in front of them, even if it was to her advantage. She still needed to find a way to get Bea to bash her. That would be the only way that she could get Kaz to be on her side.

Her efforts to try and get through to Kaz and her crew, the Red Right Hand, were completed ignored. It was something that aggravated her knowing that no matter what, she couldn't get her way. How many extreme methods would she have to come up with in order to get out of this damn prison? To be back on the right side of the bars.

So she grit her teeth, going through the motions and acted as if it was just a minor setback. She couldn't have Vera believing that she somehow had the upper hand in this situation. This was still her prison. It amused her that Vera emulated her so, and it was actually quite flattering to see. She learned a lot from her as her Deputy.

Sometimes she was afraid the prisoners poisoned her food, and often felt like she couldn't put her guard down. On the inside, she was a tight ball of anxiety, always thinking and planning. Trying to be one step ahead of everyone else. This was hard with whatever was making her sick. She could barely keep anything down, and this made her not only anxious but a little afraid. She was already a target for who she was, being sick couldn't be an extra vulnerability right now. But she suffered through it, and no one would ever think she felt fear. She would only put on a brave face.

However, as she stood naked in the shower staring at Gambaro and her “boys,” she didn't feel brave. She felt fear, her heart dropping in the pit of her stomach. This wasn't what she had planned at all. She went outside of herself as her body was restrained, and braced herself for what was about to happen but it didn't come. She was suddenly able to free her wrists, and looked up to see Bea pulling the women off of her, yelling at them to leave. She held the shiv in her hand, staring down at Joan who was vulnerable and naked on the floor.

She'd almost been raped by those women, and yet here Bea was as her savior. But would she kill her now? She could have let her be ganged, but she didn't. Such a strange moral compass the woman had, but she respected Bea for it.

“Are you going to kill me?”

Bea took in a few more breaths, seeming conflicted on what she should do next. Joan was surprised when Bea grabbed a towel and draped it over her.

“Are you all right?”

Joan searched her face, a little confused by this sudden switch in behavior. “Just get me back to my unit.”

Bea frowned, slowly lifting her up. “Are you sure we shouldn't go to Medical? You have some bruising.”

Joan shook her head. “I'm fine. Just walk me back. I don't want to be jumped again.”

She found herself shivering from the cold and the adrenaline as the water dried on her skin. Dressing back into her clothes, she averted her eyes from Bea.

There was a part of her that couldn't believe that Bea didn't bash her, but the other part of her that knew that Bea would still believe she was doing the right thing, despite their history. As she walked her into her cell, Kaz suddenly stood up and glared at Bea.

“What happened to her?!”

“It was nothing,” Joan replied.

“You have bruises on your face and wrists!”

“She was almost ganged by Juice and her boys,” Bea said flatly, making Joan glare at her.

Kaz gasped, shaking her head as tears spilled out over her cheeks. “How could a woman try and do that to another woman?”

Joan flinched at the display of compassion between both women. She shivered and sat down on her bed. “I'm all right. It could have been worse.” She swallowed at the thought. She wasn't sure she would have been able to get through a second rape. It was hard enough with the psychiatrist, and no one knew about that.

She had a sudden bout of nausea and bent over and threw up in a small trash can. Kaz gently held her hair, and handed her a cup of water. She wasn't used to this kindness, and she had a feeling of dread as she thought about what else could be going on with her.

“Bea... there is something you could do for me.”

Bea sighed. “What is it?”

Joan took a few deep breaths, waiting for her stomach to settle. “I need you to get me a pregnancy test.”

“W-what?”

“I think... I think I might be pregnant.”

Chapter Text

Two lines on the stick meant positive. Joan's hands shook as she stared at the results. She was 50-years-old and even Bea blanched at the idea that she could be pregnant. Believing it more that she was going through menopause. While Joan wondered the same, she couldn't help but think that it wasn't the case. She hadn't yet had any menopause symptoms, which was not unusual but she was a little surprised by it. She regularly got her period, so when she was late she knew that this could very well be the reason why.

The last thing she wanted was to be pregnant. Pregnant and in prison at that. Even Bea wondered if she was playing a game with them, but she assured Bea that unfortunately if she were to play any games, she wouldn't choose to be pregnant as a reason for sympathy.

So here she was, pregnant and alone in prison. Not unlike Jianna during the time she came to Blackmoore. Except at least she had been there for Jianna.

Who will be here for me?

Kaz promised to protect her after what happened in the showers, and especially now that she was pregnant.

Her mind went to the time in the psychiatric hospital, and she grimaced at the painful truth that he was the father. This thought alone made her sick again, and she leaned over and heaved into the toilet.

There was a soft knock at her cell door, and she gripped the side of the toilet, hating herself and everyone for being here.

“Joan?” Kaz asked softly.

She waved her hand away, not looking at Kaz. “Not right now. Leave me alone,” she gasped. “Please...” She added in a softer tone.

A soft hand touched her back, and she hid the tears that were starting to fall from her eyes, refusing to look up and closing her eyes tightly.

“Joan, are you pregnant?”

She nodded and vomited again. She'd never been this sick before, and it was taking all of her strength right now. All she wanted to do was curl up under the covers of her bed.

“I'll protect you,” Kaz said again, holding back her hair.

Joan was trembling, moving to stand up as she let Kaz lead her back to her bed. She sank onto it, and rested her head against the wall.

“Did this happen before or after you were arrested?” Kaz asked quietly.

Joan swallowed, so tired now that she slowly blinked at Kaz. She wondered just how honest she should be.

I've never had a, um... a conventional relationship.”

But you've been intimate?”

I have no emotional bonds to speak of. I am alone. Been that way for... for a long time.”

When you arrived here, you were speaking to someone.”

Crying, Joan answered, “My father. But even he has deserted me.”

Well, uh... maybe you don't need him anymore, Joan. You've got me.”

Sometime after that is when things changed. When her trust diminished knowing that he wanted more than just a professional relationship between a doctor and patient. At the time, Joan wondered in her vulnerable and drugged state that maybe he was just being kind, but that wasn't it. That was never what it was.

“It was after,” she answered, staring into Kaz's bright blue eyes.

“I'm so sorry.”

As much as Joan benefited from the sympathy of Kaz and the rest of her crew, she didn't want this kind of sympathy. This kind of attention for what happened. She was raped in the hospital, yet she'd never told anyone of what was happening to her. She threatened to do so, if he never signed for her release, but she knew that he'd never allow himself to lose his job. So word of what happened would never get out.

The women wanted her dead, and some already tried to gang her. They didn't care about her, so why would they care about what happened to her while she was in treatment? Kaz and the rest didn't have the same history, so she could use that to her advantage.

I should have been more careful. How can I be pregnant? I don't want this.

“I don't want this,” she whispered, not quite realizing she said it outloud.

“I don't blame you.”

Joan touched her stomach, thinking of what that man did to her. More than just the countless times he took advantage of her. It was hard enough to have these memories, ones that plagued her thoughts during the day and sometimes at night when she was feeling the most vulnerable.

What would have happened if I said no?

Such thoughts were useless now, but sometimes she still wondered if she could have done more to prevent it from happening. Of course she used her horrible circumstances to her advantage to get out, but it still didn't stop her from questioning herself. It didn't stop her from questioning what other patients must have gone through... what they'd continue to go through.

A child conceived from such a sick violation, and she hated herself for it. She hated that was how her first child was brought into this world.

There's still a chance it doesn't have to be.

“Kaz, I'd like to be left alone please.”

“Anytime you need me, just let me know.”

Joan barely nodded, looking at the wall. She laid on her side and closed her eyes.

“What do I do? Tell me what to do,” she whispered. But when she needed her father the most, he wasn't there. Not unlike how it was for her when he was alive, but she still hoped. She still hoped he would show up to comfort her in her time of need.

I have no emotional bonds to speak of. I am alone.”

Even if I do keep this baby, I'd be a horrible parent. I couldn't even take care of Shayne.

She thought she might be sick again, but she breathed slowly and evenly, waiting for it to pass.

“If I keep this baby...” She wondered what it would mean if she did have it. How would her life be? She couldn't stay in this prison with her baby. There was no way she would allow this. And then another horrible thought crossed her mind.

And what if he feels he has a right to this child?

She shook her head, feeling more angry as she thought of him even being near her baby. It wasn't even born yet, and she couldn't even fathom such a thing.

It’s best not to have it. I shouldn't be punished for his crime.

But the baby... the baby is still mine.

“Tell me what to do,” she cried, not knowing who she was asking anymore.

Chapter Text

She needed to get out. She had to get out of this fucking prison. But that would take time, and time had a whole new meaning these days. Her protection was guaranteed by Kaz and the others, although Bea was always keeping an eye on her. She slowly found that her reasons to poison Kaz against her were becoming difficult to focus on.

“You wanted to see me?”

Joan's eyes wandered over to Doreen. She'd wanted to speak to a peer worker, and Doreen was the perfect one for it. She appeared cautious, and Joan was a little saddened by that. She had no reason to be nervous around her.

“How's little Joshua?” She asked softly.

“He's doing well. I miss him though but I try to see him as much as I can.”

Joan nodded, remembering when he was born and how happy she felt being a part of that. “I'm sure you do.”

“What do you want?”

Joan bit her lip as she asked herself the same question over and over.

“Can I ask you a personal question?”

Doreen raised her brow and crossed her arms. “I guess... sure.”

“Did you ever... think about not having Joshua?”

“Why are you asking me this?” Doreen asked angrily.

Joan reached out, wanting to touch Doreen but stopped at the look in her eyes. “I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. I just think about how difficult it must be for you being in here and not seeing him.”

“If this is one of your sick and twisted mind games, I'm not putting up with it. You tried to scare me before with the bird. It won't work this time.”

Joan sighed. “That's not what I'm trying to do. I just... what if the father of your baby wasn't someone you wanted? What if they were a danger?”

“What are you trying to say? He would never hurt us!”

Joan shook her head. “You misunderstand. I was asking in a hypothetical situation, what would you do?”

Doreen looked extremely irritated and Joan thought she was about to leave until she sat down and sighed. “I don't know what I'd do. I don't think I'd want to be tied to them in a permanent way like that.”

Permanent.

“Thank you.”

Doreen furrowed her brow. “But I also love Joshua so much that I couldn't imagine not having him.”

Joan stared at her hands. “So you'd keep the baby?”

“What?”

“If you had a choice in it, would you have?”

“I don't think there are any easy answers to that question. Now did you actually need anything or were you just wanting to talk?”

“No, you've told me all I needed to know.”

 


 

Sierra 7 to Sierra 2.”

“Come in, Sierra 7.”

Requesting your presence in the strip search room. Prisoner Ferguson is refusing a search.”

Vera rolled her eyes at Will and pressed the radio again. “I'm on my way.”

Only Joan would make it difficult for them to do a search. She thought she was above everyone else because she was the previous Governor. She seemed to think that somehow provided her special treatment from the officers.

This is the last time you think you have the upper hand. I'm in charge.

Walking into the strip search room, Vera pursed her lips at Joan who was standing in her teal tracksuit. She slowly shook her head at Vera, clicking her tongue at her in disapproval. “It was a supervised meeting with a reputable lawyer. This is entirely unnecessary.”

Not this time, Joan.

She smirked at her, letting her know just who the Governor was now. “Remove your clothing. Now.”

Joan stared at her, gently shaking her head in annoyance as she took off her pants. She hardly took her eyes off Vera the entire time, and it was a little unnerving for her. Those dark eyes that held so much resentment and anger, yet there was also something else that Vera couldn't quite detect in them. She tried not to smile while Joan aligned her shoes perfectly together.

As she took off her top and handed it to the officer, Vera could see some bruising on her body. Her eyes traveled down her legs. There were some on her thighs and especially her arms and wrists. They were dark and deliberate enough to know that someone gave them to her.

“What happened?” She asked, feeling some concern now. While they were in prison, the last thing she wanted was for Joan to actually be hurt by anyone. No matter how much she probably deserved it. Even Vera felt like slapping her in her smug face at times. But there was the small part of her that still didn't believe that Joan really deserved that sort of treatment.

“I fell,” she replied.

Oh, you're going to lie?  “Clearly you didn't just fall.”

She was irritated now, not wanting to deal with this bullshit. She was surprised Joan wouldn't be honest with her, considering how much she hated the prisoners withholding information in these situations.

Then again, she does lie about everything.

“It's filthy in there. You should look into that.”

“Underwear.”

Joan stared and then gave her a slow smirk, and she resisted rolling her eyes. She bent down and slowly pulled off her underwear, followed by her bra.

For once, Joan looked a little smaller in her eyes. She had some enjoyment of making her do this. There was a certain excitement and amusement she took in the vulnerable humiliation she suffered. There was nothing she couldn't see of her now. No armor for her to hide behind. She told Joan to turn around, and then she saw a little more bruising along her waist and her shoulder, the backs of her arms. The ones around her wrists and forearms were the most noticeable.

“Bend over.”

Vera didn't take pleasure in this, at least now knowing that Joan was clearly attacked. Seeing her intimately was especially awkward since she'd had secret fantasies of her for a while now. She always thought it would happen in her office. Not here, and not this way. The way she'd been held down by the looks of the bruises. She swallowed, suddenly feeling ill at the thought of what might have happened. Don't tell me she was raped...

She tried to keep her voice steady. “Someone hurt you. This wasn't caused by a fall. Who did this to you?”

“Told you, I fell. In fact, the prisoners have been most supportive and sympathetic. They've facilitated my recovery considerably.”

And I haven't. You had to hit below the belt again, didn't you?

“Get dressed.”

Joan had a small smile on her face as she took her uniform. Vera turned to the officer in the room. “Call the nurse. Now. Tell her we're bringing Prisoner Ferguson in for a mandatory medical check.”

“I'm sure I don't need to remind you that my permission is required for an internal examination.”

Why are you doing this? Why are you willing to put yourself through this? Why Joan?

“Then you leave me no choice but to have you sent back to Protection.”

“There are absolutely no grounds, as it was an accident,” she stated firmly.

 


 

Joan laid down in her cell, and thought of Vera. She couldn't help her responses in the strip search room. She was still so angry at Vera for everything, and despite how vulnerable she felt she needed to maintain her cool indifference to Vera. However, that was often hard to do. She was far from feeling indifferent about the smaller woman.

It was now only a matter of time before Vera was informed of her pregnancy. She would never allow the nurse to do an internal examination, but she knew that it would be obvious that she was pregnant just by a blood test.

She sighed, remembering the look on the nurse's face when she told her she was pregnant. She hadn't known what to say, and didn't remember much of their conversation after. She refused to speak to Westnull, preferring to be left alone.

But what she didn't expect was Vera slowly unlocking her cell door this late at night, and she sat up knowing what she was going to hear. Vera stared at her, moving to take a seat on her bed. She knew what she was going to say, but she was angry at Vera for invading her privacy. She'd already seen her fully naked in the strip search room, so why couldn't she just leave her be? Why couldn't this wait until morning?

Vera took a few deep breaths, and the silence bothered Joan. She slowly turned towards Vera. “Why are you here?”

Vera sighed. “You know why. Did you really think you could hide this?”

“I hoped I could for a little while, at least until I figured out what I needed to do.”

“When did you have the time to—I mean, were you... involved with someone?”

Joan glared at her. “Don't be stupid. You know how far along I am. I'm only six weeks. I've barely been here for that long, and where was I before?”

Vera stared. “The psychiatric hospital but--”

“You visited me when I was there, right? Isn't that what you said? But I don't remember.”

“I visited you more than once, Joan.”

Joan cleared her throat. “You did?”

“Yes, and you were heavily medicated and not always lucid. But sometimes you spoke about your doctor, and how he was helping you. Something about music...”

Joan closed her eyes. “I wish I didn't remember any of it, but I suppose not remembering it would have been more of a shock now.”

When she looked at Vera again, she could see her eyes were tearing up and she suddenly felt angry. “No, you don't get to cry. You don't know anything. This doesn't affect you at all!”

Vera touched her hand, making her flinch. “Don't!” Joan snapped.

“I'm sorry,” she said, quickly moving her hand away. “I-I should have known. He always gave me the creeps.”

Joan stiffened, wishing that she had felt that way in the beginning before he began grooming her. That's what it was... a form of adult grooming. “I trusted him,” she whispered. “And the music... the music he played made me feel safe. He was trying to help me feel the same way I did when I was younger.”

She was surprised she was telling this to Vera, but she felt such a heavy burden keeping this all inside. And here Vera was, when she never expected her to be here.

She gently touched Joan's wrist again, and this time she allowed it. “You didn't fall, did you?” She asked quietly.

“No, I didn't. I was attacked and they tried... but one of the prisoners saved me before it was too late.”

Vera took a shuddering breath. “I'm glad they did, because no one deserves that to happen.”

Joan sniffed. “Not even ex Governors who've made difficult decisions for what they feel is the greater good?”

“Not even them,” Vera said said gently.

Joan felt a lump in her throat. “Thank you.”

“Joan, I need to ask you something.”

“What?”

“Are you scared?”

“Why would I be scared?”

“You're pregnant.”

“Who says I'm going to keep this baby? Just being pregnant reminds me of... everything that happened there.”

She was startled when Vera slowly hugged her, and she sat stiffly in response. She was completely shocked at this display of affection, not understanding why she was holding her. She felt a hand at her hair.

“What are you doing?”

“Joan, it's okay to cry.”

“I'm not crying...” She whispered, but she felt wetness on her cheeks. “Vera, please don't.”

“Joan, it's okay. I'm so sorry that you're going through this.”

Joan let out a sob then, not able to hold back her tears as Vera held her tighter. “I don't want this,” she cried, repeating this over and over. Vera spoke softly to her, and she hated crying like this. She hated doing so in front of anyone, but especially in front of Vera. After everything she had done to her, the last thing she wanted was to be a target for Vera later. It would be so easy for Vera to use any of this against her.

“Why?” Joan asked.

“Why what?”

“Why are you doing this?”

Vera gently rubbed her back. “Because Joan, I'm the one you're closest to. You told me you don't make friends easily, and despite everything we've gone through, I don't want you to be alone. Not in here like this.”

“But you--”

“Shh...” She said, and she slowly relaxed as Vera stroked her hair, suddenly feeling very tired. Joan was surprised by how comforted she felt, pulling back to look at Vera.

“Do you still care?” She asked, needing to know very desperately how Vera felt about their relationship.

“Yes, I still care. It's why I haven't wanted you to leave Protection, Joan. Don't you see that?”

Joan's eyes softened. “You're a good woman, Vera.”

Vera smiled gently. “Not always, but I try.”

“It's getting a little late, Vera. Why don't you go home and get some sleep?”

She didn't want Vera to leave yet, but knew she needed to. Vera sat down on the floor. “I'm okay here. I'll stay until you fall asleep.”

“You don't need to do that.”

“No, but I want to anyway.”

As she got into bed, she watched Vera in the darkness of the room. “You know, you don't have to sit on the floor.”

“No, I'm okay.”

“The bed is more comfortable. Just rest here for a little while, and then you can go home later,” Joan said, her eyelids growing heavy. Vera moved onto the bed and pressed closer to Joan, her soft and warm body a comfort in the night.

“Joan,” she whispered.

“Yes?” She asked, her voice slurring a little as she was starting to fall asleep.

“I'll support you no matter what you decide.”

Joan opened her eyes. “Are you sure?”

“Of course. Why do you ask?”

“Because... I think I'm going to keep it.”

Chapter Text

Over the next few weeks, Joan had learned to keep a low profile. While that was part of her plan originally, she felt even more of an urgency so the other prisoners wouldn't use it against her. Or worse. Her experience with Warner crept into her mind, ever reminding her of exactly where she was. While some of these women wouldn't harm a child, there were many others who would, and some just for the sake of her being “The Freak.” She was never afraid to put herself in harm's way, but what would she do now?

And would her child be taken away? The very thought of suffering the same fate as her beloved Jianna crossed her mind, and she closed her eyes at the painful memory.

Stepping into Vera's office, she hesitated at the door. “You wanted to see me?”

“Yes, Joan. How are you doing?”

Joan didn't know how to answer that question. She still didn't quite trust Vera, despite their recent closeness. Just because she was pregnant, didn't change a thing between them. The memory of Vera leaving during their dinner still hurt, as did knowing that Vera put up those photos of Jianna in her office.

“I'm okay. As well as to be expected, I suppose. Why did you want to see me?”

Vera leaned a little forward in her chair. “I think it would be a good idea if you saw Ms. Westfall.”

Joan chuckled. “I didn't know you were a comedian on the side, Vera. How amusing to think that I would get any help from Ms. Westfall.”

Vera narrowed her eyes. “You don't think I'm serious? I think it would be good for you to talk to a professional... especially considering--”

“Professional? You want me to see the same woman who had inappropriate relations with an inmate?”

“Ms. Westfall is one of the best people I know, and she knows you. This is no longer a request, Joan. Your mental health is a priority.”

Joan's body tensed, and her lips twitched ever so slightly. Her father would be telling her that she needed to control her anger and emotions, but this was going too far. What Vera was now demanding of her was almost punishing.

“And what if I refuse?”

“Joan, I know you don't like Bridget, but please... please do this for me. It would put me at ease knowing that--”

“Oh, it would put you at ease? So this is about how you feel? How unfortunate you only keep thinking of yourself.”

Vera stared at her, and slowly moved around her desk, resting her hip against it. Joan would have smirked since she often did the same thing while Governor. It was almost... flattering in the way that Vera emulated her. Joan doubted that she even noticed what she was doing.

“I wasn't thinking of myself when I slept in your cell. I also wasn't thinking of myself when I returned a few nights later. I didn't have to do all of that Joan, to put my career at risk. Especially for you. But yet I am anyway. Maybe I shouldn't.”

Joan remembered those nights all too well. Despite what she'd said to Vera, she hadn't returned home until early morning. Joan had felt safe and calm, a feeling she hadn't had since Jianna. It was always broken by the reality of where they were.

Do you have to go?”

Yes, I have to before anyone sees.”

Thank you for staying with me.”

Sure... I would have done it for anyone.”

But would she have done it for anyone? Was Joan just some charity case? Someone for Vera to pity and make herself look even taller.

Joan stood up, so close to Vera now that she backed up against her desk. “You think that just because you're the current Governor that I'm going to allow you to make my decisions for me? I will not see that woman. You can go ahead and slot me for it.”

Vera bit her lip and slowly shook her head. “I do make all the decisions for you now. You are the property of Wentworth, and this is my prison.”

Joan's eyes flashed in anger, then she leaned forward and whispered in her ear. “Is this a little kink of yours? Thinking of being in control of me? I must admit, power is quite seductive. It's why I've always loved to be on top.” She smiled slowly, feeling the vibration of Vera's body as she trembled slightly.

“You never change, even though you're pregnant.”

Joan lifted her hand, brushing a piece of lint off of Vera's shoulder. Her hand lingered on the little gold crown, before she slowly pressed her fingertips to Vera's neck.

“What are you doing?”

“Feeling your pulse. It's racing. Something has definitely changed, Vera. And it's not just because I'm pregnant.”

Vera swallowed, and Joan gently caressed her jaw. “I'll see Westfall on one condition.”

“What is it?”

“You be there for our first session, and...”

“You want more? Jesus Christ, Joan.”

“Do you want me to see Westfall or not?” She snapped.

“Yes,” she replied.

“Good. Now my next proposition is rather simple.”

“What is it?”

Joan stroked her neck and jaw again, enjoying the flutter of her pulse under her fingertips. “I miss you at night,” she whispered, and despite her defiance, she didn't want to lose the feelings she had with her. “It doesn't have to be every night but... I, uh... I want you there.”

“You have a very odd way of showing it,” Vera said softly.

Joan smiled a little sadly. “I told you I don't make friends easily.”

“The way you keep touching me... I'd say it's a little more than that,” she said quietly.

“That's not always easy for me either, but you're correcT. It is a little 'more than that.'”

Vera blushed. “This is so inappropriate.”

“Come on, Vera. Don't be so vanilla,” she whispered.

“I am not vanilla!” She hissed.

“Then prove it. And if you think me being pregnant means you can't have any sexual attraction for me, then you're extremely naive.”

“Joan, you being pregnant is not the only reason I shouldn't feel that way.”

“Oh, so you admit it? You're sexually attracted to me.”

“Why are we doing this? This isn't the time for your games.”

Except this wasn't a game. Maybe it was a few weeks ago before she found out she was pregnant. Joan felt a need to hold onto her former self. This verbal exchange with Vera was the only part of her life that hadn't changed, and it scared her to know the risks she was taking in having this baby.

“Vera,” she said softly. “I don't always know how to act around you. I'm still very angry, and this makes me confused because some of that seems not so important now. And this baby...” She touched her stomach, suddenly feeling a little sick. “Those women already tried to rape me, so the very thought of how I'm going to protect this child... well, you remember Warner. No one cared that I saved a child's life.”

“What are you saying, Joan?”

“I don't know who I can trust.”

Vera sighed. “I hope you can trust me, even just a little bit.”

“It's all I have right now,” Joan said quietly, suddenly reminded of how alone she was in the world.

Chapter Text

Gripping the chair, she quietly stared out the window. The ticking of the clock reminded her of how much longer she had before Westfall came in here.

“What are you thinking?” Vera asked quietly.

“Are you deciding to also play therapist?”

“No, you've just been so quiet.”

Joan sighed, looking over at Vera. “I don't have anything to say right now, Vera.”

“Are you nervous?”

“Why would I be nervous? It's just Westnull.

Except she was a little nervous. One of the reasons why she asked Vera to be present was so nothing could be used against her. There would be nothing that Vera wouldn't know in the session. While everything remained confidential, she truly wondered about what kind of ethics Westfall believed in.

“I hope you feel comfortable with me here.”

“I don't think it's going to be comfortable either way, Vera. I'm here because you want me to be, nothing more.”

There was a soft knock at the door before it opened slowly, and Bridget entered. She smiled at the both of them, but Joan knew the smile at her was forced. Joan raised her brow, waiting to see how this would go.

“Good afternoon. I'm surprised you agreed to see me, but I'm glad we're able to work together,” Bridget said.

Joan smirked. “I didn't have much choice.”

“I see. Well, what matters is you're here. May I ask why you wanted Vera to attend?”

“I wanted a witness.”

“A witness?” She asked curiously.

“So she could see and hear everything we talk about.”

“Joan, I know you and I haven't always had the best rapport, but I would hope if you're comfortable later, that you can attend sessions with me on your own.”

Joan smirked. “This will be the only session I attend.”

“I believe the Governor and I have arranged for you to attend at least ten sessions, once per week.”

Her lips twitched, and she slowly looked over at Vera and watched as the smaller woman visibly shrank in her chair. Her eyes told her everything, and she shouldn't be surprised at this betrayal. She glared at Vera, wanting nothing more than to tell her how much she despised her for this. But instead she turned towards Westfall again.

“Very well, if that was the arrangement, then I'll comply.”

She watched Bridget nod in agreement. She looked at Joan curiously, with her gentle yet guarded expression.

“How are you feeling, Joan? Are you adjusting well?”

Ah, the stereotypical “how are you feeling?” As much as it annoyed her to be going through this, she knew she was stuck here. The last thing she wanted to do was look uncooperative. Especially since she was on remand.

“I think I'm doing fairly well considering the circumstances. How about you? How's Franky?” She smiled at the tightening of Westfall's jaw. She couldn't help but needle her a little more. She could hear Vera sigh in the chair next to her, and she looked at her as if to say: “what did you expect?”

“We're not here to talk about me, Joan. Your methods of redirecting the conversation back off of you are very interesting though. Do you do that often?”

She was a little taken aback by that question. “I was merely being polite. But no, I suppose you could say I don’t like talking about myself. I’ve already been through that at the psychiatric hospital.”

“I was very surprised you were released from there with your symptoms. How was your time there?”

These questions were going in a direction she didn’t want them to go. “My time there is irrelevant to now.”

“Why do you believe it’s irrelevant?”

“I was drugged most of the time I was there so I can’t remember everything. I suppose you could probably ask Vera a little more about it since she claims to have visited me there.”

“How do you feel knowing she visited you?”

Angry, embarrassed, ashamed… 

“Nothing. It’s not unheard of to visit a patient, especially a former colleague.”

“So you felt nothing knowing she visited you? I find that hard to believe because of your former relationship. Vera’s presence here means something to you.”

She grit her teeth. “How I feel or felt at the time doesn’t matter.”

“Why doesn’t it matter?” 

“I don’t remember her being there.”

“And how do you feel knowing she visited you when you don’t remember?”

She bit her lip, glancing at Vera from the corner of her eyes. 

“I’m surprised by it.”

“You just said it’s not unheard of to visit a patient, so why did it surprise you?”

“Vera and I weren’t exactly on the best terms before I was arrested. But what does this have to do with anything?”

“Your relationship with Vera seems to be important to you. I would take a guess as to say that she’s here for more than just being your ‘witness’ to our sessions. You must trust her on some level. Would you agree?”

Joan pursed her lips. “Trust is hard to come by these days. I wouldn’t call it that,” she said quietly.

“Whatever it may be, you both still have some kind of bond. I would like to discuss that more later, if you’d allow me.”

Joan didn’t say anything, her brows furrowed in confusion and irritation. “I was really hoping you’d just get on with asking me how I’m feeling every day. So then I’d be able to tell you exactly what you want to hear, and then we no longer have to be around each other.”

“Is that what you want? Me to ask you how you’re feeling?”

Joan was beginning to lose her patience. “This is why I’ve never been willing to see a psychologist.”

“And why is that Joan?”

“It’s nothing but a waste of time. Whatever we talk about will have no change on the outcome of my trial, or what goes on in the prison.”

“Are you concerned about what will happen with you in General?”

“Why would I be concerned?”

“You said it won’t change what goes on in the prison. I’ve read your file recently, and talked to Medical about your condition.”

Joan felt some of the blood drain from her face, as if she could forget she was pregnant or that others would know about it. Especially someone like Westnull.

Quietly, she traced her hand in her lap. She lifted her eyes once again to Westfall’s and took a deep, shaky breath. 

“This baby’s safety is paramount. Isolation isn’t healthy for me at this time, so I have to make a choice on what is best.”

Bridget’s eyes were surprisingly gentle. “I imagine this is very difficult for you, and not to mention very frightening.”

Joan swallowed her pride. “Yes, it is,” she said softly, and she felt her eyes water at the sudden weight lifted off her shoulders once she admitted that.

“How are you feeling right now?”

Joan blinked furiously. “I don’t know how I feel,” she said tightly.

“It’s okay to feel your emotions.”

“I thought you said I was a psychopath.”

“While there are similar traits, perhaps I was mistaken.”

Joan didn’t know how to respond to that, so she didn’t. She caught Vera’s eye who smiled gently, but Joan was still angry at her. She looked back at Westfall. “Well, I see you got what you wanted. A weak, emotional display from me. Does it feel good knowing you accomplished this?” She sneered.

Bridget's expression didn't change, much to Joan's irritation. “I’m not sure I understand your question. Do I take pleasure in your pain? No, I don’t. The fact that you were able to show a little emotion in front of me does show some progress. That’s not a bad thing,” she said gently.

“I’m surprised you haven’t asked me more about being pregnant.”

“We can save that for other sessions, but how you feel is important.”

Joan bit her lip hard, so hard that she tasted blood. 

“Joan, you’re bleeding,” Vera said softly.

Joan glanced at her, and then to Bridget who looked concerned now. “Joan, I know how difficult this is, but you’re safe here. Let me get you something for your lip.”

She licked her lips, holding up her hand. “I’m fine. Can I go? I think that’s enough for today.”

“Of course, we can continue this another time. With or without Vera here. Whatever you’re comfortable with.”

Joan left her office, followed by Vera. “I think that went well, don’t you think?” Vera asked.

She didn’t say anything, leaving Vera in the hallway as she made her way back to her cell. Passing by Kaz, she sighed at her worried look.

“You all right, Joan?”

“I’m fine.”

Kaz followed her into her cell. “I don’t like them either, you know. All the probing questions they ask.”

Joan sighed. “Kaz, I would like to be left alone, please.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t--”

“It’s all right. I just don’t want to talk right now.”

She actually understood what Kaz was trying to do but she didn’t have the energy for it. She didn’t want more sympathy or attention on how she felt. She didn’t need to be the weak one, no matter how much it would benefit her. Not now at least.

Closing her door, she shook with anxiety over the entire session. It had given her a lot more things to think about than she realized. 

It was going to be very dangerous for her to have this baby at her age, but also within the prison. The other women hated her, and that didn’t matter before but now it made it complicated. 

Resting in her bed, she thought about how it would be for her, and how she’d be able to keep her baby safe. 

It would be so much easier to not have this child, but she didn’t want to lose something that was now part of her. She gently touched her stomach. “You’re all I have,” she whispered.

Her door slowly opened, and she rolled her eyes thinking of how she told Kaz she wanted to be left alone. But instead Vera walked in, staring at her with her gentle and nervous blue eyes. Joan’s mouth set into a straight line as she glared at Vera.

“Vera, you should leave.”

“Joan, I just wanted to see how you were doing.”

Standing up, she towered over Vera, using her full height to her advantage. She almost smiled when Vera backed up.

“You never told me that you wanted me to see Westfall for more than one session. You deceived me.”

“Joan, you have to know that’s usually part--”

“I don’t care what’s usually required. You and I made an agreement, and I trusted you.”

“I was just wanting what’s best for you.”

“You don’t know what’s best for me. I want you out of my cell.”

Vera looked hurt, but Joan ignored this, her expression hardening even more. It slightly faltered when Vera grabbed her hand. The soft and affectionate touch was almost her undoing.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. It’ll be all right. I’m here with you, I promise I’ll see you through it.”

Trust was so very important, and Vera should have known this considering she’d just told her she didn’t know who she could trust. She quickly pulled her hand away. “Get out.”

“Joan--”

“I said get out!” She snapped.

Vera’s lips trembled, and for a moment Joan felt sorry for her. She watched her walk away, quietly closing the door after her. As she slid down to the floor with her back to the wall, she knew it was going to be another lonely night in her cell. She didn’t want Vera to go, but she needed her to understand how betrayed she felt. 

If Vera didn’t learn from the consequences of what she’d just done, then they would never be able to trust each other again.

Chapter Text

Days passed, and she didn't see much of Vera after that day. Why she required the presence of another at night was bizarre, and not to mention alarming. It wasn't like she didn't sleep alone before. She'd developed a dependency on Vera, and she wasn't sure she liked it. However, she would have to get used to Vera not always being available, and definitely used to the fact that Vera couldn't always be trusted.

She avoided Westfall as well, rolling her eyes as she thought about how she had to meet with her again next week.

Joan didn't want to think about how kind Bridget was during their first session, or that she'd let her guard down and become emotional. She hated herself for it because she didn't have the excuse of taking medication to lower her defenses.

Maybe her small emotional display was because she was pregnant, and she had an intense flash of anger towards the almost alien like presence growing inside her. It was completely changing her life, and as she looked in the mirror of her cell, she imagined what she'd look like with a baby bump. She had a hard time thinking of herself in that way, unsure of just what it was she was hoping to accomplish. What good would this pregnancy bring to her?

I'm too old for this.

Joan wished that her father was there. He'd know what to do. But then, that was what disturbed her the most. She never wanted to repeat the same mistakes her father made with her, but yet there wasn't any other way she knew how to be. How could she even do right by her own child?

Jianna died, Shayne was taken away, and her attempts to contact him were destroyed by Vera. Everywhere around her there was loss and death. Even her goldfish died.

How can I take care of my baby when I can't even take care of my fucking goldfish? I killed the last one in a fit of pain and rage.

She pressed her hand to her stomach, looking at herself in the mirror. “Will I destroy you too?” She whispered.

Or will you be just like him?

Try as she might, she couldn't help the irrational thought that her child could end up just like the man who did this to her. She moved her hands to her sides, clenching her fists and digging her nails into her palms as she took a few deep breaths.

The child is innocent.

She stared into her eyes, taking in how dark and cold they looked. There was no softness to her gaze, only anger and fear.

Or you could end up like me.

This was a stranger feeling. Another version of her that would be innocent of all her deeds. Perhaps her child wouldn't end up like her, and maybe she or he would hate her for what she is.

At one time Joan felt love, and loved those deeply who were closest to her. No one more special and dear to her than Jianna.

Am I capable of loving again?

She needed to wash herself of these thoughts, literally. Grabbing a robe and towel and the rest of her toiletries, she made her way down the hall to the showers. This time she would be prepared for anything that could happen. Kaz had given her a shiv recently just in case she had to defend herself. She held it now in her hand, concealed from view.

Entering the shower, there was no one there which was unusual but she enjoyed the privacy nonetheless. While she knew it would have been better to ask Kaz to accompany her, she didn't want to have to depend on anyone for her safety. Especially not when she just needed to take a shower.

Undressing, she slipped behind the curtain and turned on the water. She sighed at the warmth that spread over her body, loving the feel of the water on her skin.

Washing her body, she let the sponge slowly and gently glide across her skin, and as she closed her eyes she could almost pretend she was at home. She gently massaged her scalp, her hair soft in her hands.

She turned her head when she thought she heard a small sound, and as she heard it again she reached quickly for the shiv. It was hard to see with the steam around her, yanking the shower curtain back. She could see a figure there, dark and imposing. She grabbed the arm of the person near her, pulling them in and bringing the shiv up to their throat.

There was a small yelp, and she pressed the shiv to the delicate throat she held. She felt blood trickle down her fingertips and as her vision cleared, she stared into the frightened blue eyes of Vera.

“What are you doing here?” She hissed.

Vera breathed harder, and she could feel her trembling in fear. Joan almost forgot she still had the shiv pressed against her throat, and she slowly lowered it. Vera lifted her hand to her neck, feeling where the blade cut into her skin.

Joan frowned, pressing her fingertips to her skin to touch the small wound. “I'm sorry, I thought--”

“It was my fault. I was stupid to come in here.”

“How did you know where I was?”

Vera looked a little embarrassed, blushing as she spoke. “I, um, I was watching the CCTV.”

Joan raised her brow. “You wanted another look at me, hmm? The strip search room wasn't enough?”

Vera blushed fiercely. “What?! No! I was just checking to see if you were all right.”

Joan smiled slowly and licked her lips, stepping closer to Vera. “You really shouldn't be in here with an inmaTe, Governor,” she said, speaking low. She could feel Vera's body heat, and she felt a need then that was undeniable. She slowly undid the buttons of Vera’s jacket, dropping it to the floor.

Vera's breath quickened as Joan looked at her, noticing the swell of her breasts and hard nipples under her white blouse.

“What are you doing?”

Joan opened the first few buttons of her blouse, leaning down close to her ear. “I'm taking advantage of our position right now.”

She cupped the back of Vera's neck, undoing the bun and letting her hair down. Vera gazed up at her, and Joan could see the want in her eyes. “Does this mean you've forgiven me?”

Joan had a hint of a smirk on her lips. She gently grabbed Vera's hair, yanking it back a little forcefully. “Not in the slightest, but it doesn't mean I don't have needs,” she said, placing her hand inside Vera's blouse and squeezing her breast. Vera gasped when Joan pinched her nipple.

“Do we have to do this here?” Vera's voice shook slightly.

Joan pressed her lips to her neck, gently kissing around the small cut, tasting her skin that had a slight copper taste mixed with sweat. Her lips dragged across her skin as she pulled Vera flush against her. Sucking her neck, she unzipped her pants.

“You didn't give me much choice with Westnull, so I think this is appropriate. You're the one that came here, so take what I'm giving you,” she growled, tilting back Vera's head and kissing her hard.

Joan moved her against the wall of the shower, bending down to yank off her pants. Vera looked a little shocked as Joan took her hand and pressed it between her legs.

“Touch me now,” she ordered. Vera did as she was told, gently exploring her and sliding her fingers along her wet lips.

Vera watched her, gently touching her clit and Joan let out a pleasurable sigh. Vera lifted up a little to kiss her and Joan pulled back. “Not yet. I'm in control,” she whispered harshly.

Vera nodded, and Joan lifted her breast. “You can suck,” she said quietly. Vera opened her mouth to take in Joan's nipple, and Joan closed her eyes in pleasure. She opened them again and felt another flood of wetness as she watched Vera sucking her nipple. She guided Vera's hand inside her, showing her exactly how she wanted to be fucked. Stroking her hair, she gently let Vera tend to her other breast.

Vera moaned around her nipple, and Joan began to grind a little on her fingers, pumping them inside her. She let go of Vera's hand, looking into her eyes.

“Keep doing that,” she moaned, bracing her hand against the wall. Vera nodded, bringing up her thumb to play with her clit. She lifted her thigh slightly onto a ledge near the shower, opening herself up to Vera. She kissed her again, and moaned as Vera wrapped her arms around her. Kissing her passionately, she felt her legs tremble when Vera began to circle her clit faster, her fingers buried deep inside her.

Vera curled her fingers and pressed on her clit, and Joan moaned into her mouth as she shook and came. Vera moaned with her, gently sliding her fingers out and cupping her between her legs. She tenderly touched Joan, looking into her eyes and stroking her hair.

Joan stared at her, breathing softly as she allowed Vera a moment of tenderness. Joan kissed her slowly, catching her breath.

Joan thought she looked so beautiful with her flushed body; her mouth swollen from their kisses. She kissed her deeply, bringing Vera's thigh around her hip. She began to grind against her, pressing harder as her clit rubbed against hers. She kissed Vera's neck, biting a little hard and making the woman gasp.

Joan touched her lips, tracing them with her fingers. She slid her fingers into her mouth. “Suck,” she commanded.

Vera moaned around her fingers, and Joan slowly and deeply thrust them in and out. She smiled and slowly slid them inside, and brought her hand down to Vera's pulsing heat.

She teased her, brushing along her clit and pulling down her blouse so she could her neck and shoulders. Vera's hands pressed into her back, and she held her thigh tighter against her hip.

Vera whimpered when she slid first two, then three fingers inside her. Joan skimmed her lips with her own, taking in her small pants and moans. She moaned at the feeling of Vera enveloping her fingers.

“Easy, Joan,” she said when she began to thrust a little faster.

Joan sucked on her collarbone, biting gently and slowing down. She let her fingers stay inside her, deeply and slowly thrusting. She edged it out, slow and steady now as she watched Vera. When she flicked her thumb across her clit, she shuddered in her arms.

“Oh, now a little faster,” she panted. Joan turned her around, angling her fingers as she pressed Vera's back to her front. Vera moaned, grinding back into Joan.

Joan held her close, kissing her neck. She could smell the mix of sweat and arousal, and the soft sweet smell of Vera's hair. She moaned softly into her neck, turning her head to kiss her again. She began to grind her palm against her clit, and pressed herself into Vera's ass. She moaned as she felt a shiver down her spine.

She thrust deeply, harder as she pressed on Vera's clit with her palm. Vera moaned and Joan cupped her hand around her mouth when she heard a sound.

“Shh,” she whispered against her ear. She continued to pump her fingers inside, curling them and pressing harder on her clit with her palm. Vera shook against her, squeezing her fingers tightly. Joan released her hand to kiss her hard. She swallowed her moans as she came around her fingers, and Joan trembled with her own orgasm as she kept grinding her hips against Vera's ass. Joan panted, biting her lip hard as she came, her moan soft and quiet.

Vera slumped against her, and Joan moaned quietly against her neck. She held her close and sighed softly. She listened to Vera's heavy breathing, her body shaking in her arms. Closing her eyes, she nuzzled her neck. She turned Vera to face her, gentle as she held her close. Stroking her hair behind her ear, she wasn't sure what came over her then, but she wanted nothing more than to be with Vera.

“Come back to my bed,” she said, kissing her softly.

Vera let out a soft sound, cupping her cheek. “All you had to do was ask, but I'll take this too,” she said, smiling.

Joan smirked, lifting her hand to brush across her cheek and down to her neck, gently touching where she accidentally hurt her. “Be careful what you wish for,” she said as she bit her lip, kissing her.

Chapter Text

Joan laid in her cell, sighing softly when she turned her face into her pillow. Vera’s scent still lingered there, and she hugged the pillow closer to her.

It was morning again, and Vera had already left before she woke. Wistfully she touched her lips, remembering the softness of her kiss.

Joan closed her eyes when she remembered the night before. How passionate she had been, and how close she came to hurting Vera... or worse.

It was a strange feeling, this lust and desire she felt for the smaller woman. Maybe it was the danger of being in the prison. Or maybe it was because there was always something between her and Vera, whether they liked it or not.

She doesn’t regret her time with Vera, definitely doesn’t regret how it felt to be inside her. But she does regret the timing of it. She wasn’t one to move that quickly with intimacy, and it was confusing considering everything she’d been feeling recently.

It was impulsive, and a little out of control. This scared her the most. She often prided herself on her tightly controlled emotions, but she fell apart in front of Vera, allowing herself to be extremely vulnerable.

At the time she turned it around so she was in control of the situation. That made it easier since she was naked, not expecting to run into her at all there. She’d been waiting for anyone else but Vera.

And while she worried she hurt Vera, there was still the small part of her that thought Vera deserved a little of it. That’s what she got for sneaking up on her.

Sometimes Vera really could be very wayward at times. It wasn’t the first time she was lacking in her judgment. But Joan enjoyed their time, no matter how it happened.

“You like to win don’t you, Joan?”

“My father instilled in me the importance of victory.”

Was that what happened in the shower with Vera? Was it a form of winning? She wanted to assert her dominance over the woman, and teach her the consequences of what could happen.

She wanted her then, loving how uncomfortable Vera was, but also knowing that Vera wanted her through her own body’s responses.

It had been a very long time since she’d been intimate with anyone, a woman that is. She wouldn’t call what happened with the psychiatrist a form of intimacy.

It was twisted how much he got inside her mind. The first time being when he lifted the earbuds into her ears and she listened to the music of her youth. There was something so precious and private in how she let herself go then. She hated herself for it, that he was able to see a part of her that not many had seen in a long time. Not even Jianna.

Her hands shaking, she slowly ran her fingers through her hair. It was a way she could comfort herself when no one else was around. She tried hard to remember the music of Dido’s Lament, so she could imagine the peace she once felt.

But that peace never came, and it reminded her of how he took advantage of her. But didn’t she encourage it? Didn’t she encourage his behavior so she could get out of there?

Was it actually rape if she didn’t say no? 

Joan felt sick, knowing then that whatever happened between them was a form of abuse. She didn’t want it. She never wanted to be taken advantage of like that, but she was all alone and no one was around to comfort her. The amount of sensitivity and empathy he showed towards her, made it even more confusing.

She never actually consented. It was almost worse because of how tender and kind he could be. It was insidious in nature, and before she knew it, she was slowly going along with the sexual abuse.

A touch here and there, and then more than that. She felt her stomach, thinking of how this was the result of that.

Did she really want her child to experience the same pain she felt? This world was cruel. She wasn’t sure if it was too late to do an abortion. Sometimes she hoped she would have a miscarriage.

This also made her feel horrible, and she took a deep breath, trying to remember the reasons why it was good to have this baby. But it was so hard to see the positives. She was alone in prison, and not even Vera could always be there for her.

And it couldn’t be better for her to go into Protection. The isolation would drive her insane, no matter how much danger she was in. If it was just her, she would deal with it. 

Her meals were still delivered to her, and she refused to eat today. Not because she was trying to punish Vera, but because she wasn’t sure she could keep this baby.

“You need to eat, Joan,” Kaz said gently, watching over her in her cell. She laid on her side, staring at the wall with her back to Kaz.

She felt a hand gently stroke through her hair and she closed her eyes. It was Kaz who looked after her now, and she was surprisingly grateful for it. She was a toothless tiger, but she was a woman full of compassion and Joan recognized that.

“I’m not hungry,” she said quietly. She sighed when Kaz rubbed her back, being there for her in a way that Vera couldn’t be.

She couldn’t look at her though, wanting to pretend she didn’t know she was there. It was easier that way, easier to accept her comfort when she couldn’t look her in the eye. It was too humiliating to show this kind of weakness, even if she desperately needed the comfort.

“What’s bothering you?” 

Joan didn’t say anything at first. She wasn’t ready to, not with her.

“Did something happen with Ms. Westfall?”

Joan slowly shook her head. “No, nothing happened with her. She just asked me questions.”

She felt the bed move as Kaz stood up, and she was both sad and relieved that she was leaving. 

“Whenever you want to talk, I’m here.”

Joan nodded. “I know,” she whispered. Her eyelids grew heavy, suddenly so tired that she just wanted to sleep.

 


 

She breathed deeply, moving in and out of consciousness. A hand stroked through her hair again, and soft lips pressed against her temple.

Her lips trembled at the affection, and she felt gentle arms wrap around her. It was then that she realized she was shaking. 

“You said I could talk to you,” she whispered. “What if what I experienced wasn’t rape? What if I just accepted it because I had no one else to turn to?”

There was a deep sigh behind her, and she closed her eyes, waiting for the rejection. No one would feel sorry for her knowing how it really happened. She wasn’t forced, therefore how could it actually be rape?

“You didn’t accept it. You didn’t ask for that to happen to you. What happened was rape because he was in a position of power. He should have never done that to you.”

Joan closed her eyes, embarrassed now when she realized it was Vera who was holding her and not Kaz. She never planned on telling Vera that. Not now at least. 

“I never said no to him. It just happened.”

Vera squeezed her tighter. “He knew what he was doing. He was the professional, the doctor. You were the patient, and you were heavily medicated. You don’t even remember when I visited you, so he took advantage of you in that state. Do you understand me? He was in the wrong, not you.”

“I’m no victim. I am always in control,” she said, remembering the same words she said to him before she was released.

“Not everyone is in control all the time, not even you,” Vera whispered. “He abused you, and if you never consented then that is rape, nevermind that he was in a position of power.”

“I can’t have a child that was born of this,” she said, her breath hitching as a tear rolled down her cheek.

“Joan, we’ll get through this,” Vera whispered, hugging her close.

“I’m not a good person, and the baby would be better off without knowing his or her parents.”

“Your baby doesn’t need to know him, but this is your child. Please think about it before you do anything drastic.”

Joan closed her eyes tightly, remembering the years she spent with her father, and sometimes wondering if he ever wanted her. If he ever loved her, or if she was just a burden. She didn’t want her child to feel the same way.

He never showed me love, so how can I love my child? 

“He used to say that emotion leads to mistakes. I’m too emotional right now to think.”

Vera kissed the back of her neck. “I’ll be here for you no matter what you decide.”

Joan felt a heaviness in her heart, and she thought of a little baby boy or baby girl and holding them in her arms. She imagined what it would be like for her to hold something so precious, and especially one that was a part of her. Could she really do that? 

Will I ever forgive myself?

She sighed, taking Vera’s hand and moving it over her stomach. Vera stroked her hand and stomach, moving her hand under her shirt and gently rubbing back and forth until Joan felt sleepy.

“Just take some time,” she whispered. Joan allowed herself to relax under her touch, turning over to face her. She looked into her eyes, seeing the tenderness there. Reaching up to stroke Vera’s cheek, she kissed her softly.

“I don’t have time. I… I’m going to have this baby.”

“Are you sure?” 

Joan wasn’t sure, but knew that it was the right thing to do. She couldn’t harm her child, no matter how she felt about the situation. 

“Yes,” she said simply. Vera stroked her arm, and she kissed her again. 

“I’ll help you in any way I can.”

Joan smiled gently, resting her head on Vera’s shoulder as she held her. She was afraid, but she knew that no matter what, her child would be loved.

“Emotion leads to mistakes.”

I’ll love you in the way he never could with me. 

Chapter Text

Joan waited outside of Vera's office, growing more impatient as time went on. She knocked on the door, not even waiting for a reply as she opened it.

Vera was busily going through some paperwork, glancing up and sighing. “Not now, Joan.”

“Have you forgotten about today?”

Vera raised a brow, looking slightly irritated. “I have quite a lot on my plate right now, so you’ll have to be more specific.”

Joan tightened her jaw, shaking her head. “You have no idea, do you? You’re such a disappoinTment.”

Vera glared at her, and Joan would have smirked if she wasn’t so angry. Instead she returned the glare. Normally such a look would have intimidated others in the past, but Vera was becoming more used to it. Not quite as phased by it as she used to be.

“Ferguson, you’re here in my prison. You don’t get to speak to me that way.”

“Your prison?” Joan gave a small, smug smile. “It will never be your prison. You wouldn’t have been in this chair if it weren’t for me.”

Vera’s eyes tightened, a flicker of hurt in her eyes before they hardened. “Is there anything else you’d like to say about how I conduct my job?” Vera asked coolly.

Joan was hurt that Vera hadn’t even penciled this into her calendar. She knew how important this was to Joan. After all it was her idea.

She kept her mouth closed, the movement of her tongue sliding over her teeth. “Nothing more than the usual. I’ll leave you be, Governor.”

Joan wanted to slam the door, but instead she closed it ever so quietly. Anger could be like that for her. She wanted to scream, to grip Vera’s arms and shake her. But instead, she didn’t let such feelings overwhelm her. Or at the very least, she tried to bring them back under control. Just like what her father taught her.

She walked swiftly down the corridors, ignoring the verbal jabs from the other prisoners and the disgusting sexual taunts from Gambaro. She was beginning to develop a very tiny bump, and she was glad that her tracksuit hid it well for now. She wondered how much longer she could hide her pregnancy from the other prisoners.

She felt someone grab her arm, and she yanked it back. Gambaro snickered, licking her lips at her and waving her tongue. “Have you nothing better to do with your time, Lucy?”

“Oh, I’m sure I can think of plenty of things to do. Why don’t you come and visit me and the boys, Freak? We can give you a very good time. Maybe finish what we started.”

Joan narrowed her eyes, but her heart began to pound. Would she always have to watch her back until they got their pound of flesh?

She was about to speak until she heard another voice. “Juice, what did I say? Leave her alone. If you can’t, then we’ll just have to have a little chat at the steam press.”

Bea stared at Juice, glaring at her. Joan raised her brow while they walked away, looking over at Bea. “Thank you,” she said quietly.

“Don’t thank me. I’m not doing this for you. I made a promise to the Governor. And if you weren’t in your... situation that you are now, I wouldn’t try so hard to keep that promise.”

Joan nodded. “I see. I’m still grateful to you.” That was partly true, even though she deep down hated Bea for defying her in the last few months. She made her to be a fool, and the only reason why Joan was keeping even more of a low profile was because of her baby. 

She would have kept a low profile for other reasons, but even she had principles, a moral code if you will, to put the needs of her baby first before her own.

She sighed as she stood outside the office of Bridget Westfall. She may not want to attend these mandatory sessions, but she would always be on time for them. 

“Hello, Joan. It’s good to see you again. And I’m glad you decided to come on your own,” Bridget said, smiling.

Joan rolled her eyes. “I didn’t exactly have a choice. Vera forgot about my session today, so I had to go without her.”

“How did that feel when she forgot?”

Joan wasn’t expecting that question. She fully expected Westfall to take Vera’s side and berate her for even thinking she would have time to attend.

“It made me angry,” she said flatly.

“I imagine you would be since you two have developed a close bond. What else did you feel?”

“All I felt was anger,” she reiterated. “What else would there be?”

“I’ve found that anger is often a mask for hurt. But maybe all you did was feel anger like you said.”

Joan swallowed. “I do feel… hurt. I know she’s very busy, but I would have thought she’d have made this a priority to attend. I guess I’m no different to her than the other prisoners.”

“Do you want to feel different?” Bridget asked curiously.

“I am different. I was her mentor, and once her friend. She’s the one who wanted me to do this, and it was completely against my wishes. Yet she’s not even here. I always knew she was disloyal,” she said quietly.

“Is loyalty important to you, Joan?”

“Yes. Loyalty and trust.”

“Do you think you can learn to trust me?”

Joan hesitated. “I don’t know.” 

Bridget nodded. “I hope we can work on that, especially since we’ll be seeing each other for the next few weeks. Tell me, how was it for you when you were in the psychiatric hospital?”

“I don’t remember everything I experienced there, but it felt like a different kind of prison. But sometimes… sometimes I felt safe,” she whispered.

“What made you feel safe there?” Bridget asked softly.

Joan remembered the times she spoke to the psychiatrist, and how she listened to music. How gentle he was with her in the beginning. 

“I didn’t have a choice to be there, but I remember listening to music. And my doctor was… he was kind.”

“Everyone needs kindness, Joan.”

Joan’s eyebrows furrowed, remembering exactly what happened between them as time went on.

“What are you feeling now, Joan?” Bridget asked gently.

“I don’t understand how someone so kind can later be so deceptive,” she said quietly.

“Who are you referring to?”

“That doctor. How could I not see it?” She said. She had recognized it later, but by then she decided she had to use it for her survival, as a way to get out of there.

Bridget’s eyes softened. “Is that how you became pregnant?”

Joan’s breath hitched. “Yes.” Damn the emotions caused by this pregnancy!

“Did you want to have a relationship with him?”

“No, I didn’t. I’m not even attracted to men, but it happened. And I let it happen,” she finally admitted with shame.

Bridget shook her head. “He took advantage of you. You weren’t in a position to be able to think clearly and give proper consent.”

“I’m disgusted with myself for even encouraging it.”

“Do you think you encouraged it?”

“Well, if I didn’t say no, isn’t that what I was doing?”

Bridget took a deep breath. “Just because you didn’t say no, does not mean that you encouraged it. Sometimes in these situations when we develop a rapport with someone in that position, things can become blurred. He obviously knew how to get you to trust him and feel comfortable around him.”

Joan remembered how he spoke to her about her childhood and intimacy or lack thereof, and the times she felt vulnerable and lonely. When he first began to touch her arm or leg, she was confused on how to respond to it. 

“Is it possible to feel disgusted but also confused by wanting someone… anyone to give you affection?” 

Bridget gave her a sad but compassionate look. “It’s possible to be disgusted, but also your mind and body feel confused when you’re lonely and desperately want comfort and affection. You were in a very vulnerable state, and he should have never abused you in that way. Please remember that, Joan. It’s not your fault for what he was doing to you, and it’s not your fault for feeling any of those things.”

It was when Bridget handed her a box of tissues that she realized she was crying, silent tears rolling down her cheeks. Her voice was tight with emotion. “I never wanted it. I never wanted that with him.”

“I know. He’s a predator, and they often know exactly what they’re doing. Rape and sexual abuse like that can be very insidious. You were a victim and I believe you, Joan.”

Joan felt all of the tension drain away from her body once those words were spoken, not realizing just how important it was to hear her say that. It was one thing to come from Vera, it was another to come from Bridget.

“I am no victim.”  Words spoken then as a defense mechanism, not only to him but within herself. To protect herself from everything she experienced.

“Thank you,” Joan said quietly, wiping her eyes with her thumb.

“You’re welcome. I’m afraid our time is up for now, but I hope to see you again next week. With or without Vera. This was a good session, and I’m hopeful for ones we have in the future.”

Joan nodded, feeling a little vulnerable and self conscious at her display of emotion.

“If Vera does come, will you tell her what we discussed today?” Joan asked warily.

“No, I won’t. Our sessions are strictly confidential. Everything you tell me in this room stays here. I’ll see you soon. Have a good day, Joan.”

 


 

It was late at night now, and she hadn’t seen Vera since she was in her office. 

You forgot my session, and you’re not here now. Typical.  

Remembering how it went with Westfall, she stared at the wall in the dark. Bending her knees, she wrapped an arm around herself. 

Alone, rejected. Just like with everyone else. Why did I think Vera would be any different? 

She tried to hold onto the anger she felt, but all that was left was pain. She wondered if this was how Jiana must have felt when she was pregnant. Scared and alone.

She heard the sound of keys unlocking her cell. She could make out the slim outline of Vera in the darkness, listening to her soft footsteps as she approached her bed.

“Joan, are you awake?”

Joan didn’t say anything, breathing quietly. Vera sighed and sat on the bed next to her. She stiffened when she felt Vera touch her back. 

“Not now, Vera,” she said, repeating the same words Vera said to her earlier.

Vera pulled her hand back. “I’m sorry about earlier. I was very busy and feeling stressed. The time of your appointment completely slipped my mind, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you.”

Joan felt a lump in her throat, hating herself for being on the verge of tears. “Today was hard but I got through it.”

She closed her eyes when Vera stroked her hair, feeling as if she was going to break down sobbing from all the emotions she felt today. The ones she expressed, and the ones she held in.

“I should have been there.”

“Yes, you should have, but I’m the prisoner and you’re the governor. We can’t always be together,” she said sadly.

“I’m trying to be here for you the best that I can. You’re not alone. Just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I don’t think about you.”

Joan was silent, realizing how irrational she felt in this moment. Of course Vera wouldn’t always be able to be there. They weren’t in the right circumstances for this to happen. She caressed her stomach, wondering if her child would ever feel as alone as she did.

“I’m always alone. No one can ever mend that feeling,” she whispered.

Vera kissed her cheek, her lips trailing over her cheekbones and neck. Joan closed her eyes, not able to resist as she turned towards her and kissed her. Vera caressed her cheek, kissing her deeply and tenderly. Joan sighed into her mouth, unbuttoning her uniform shirt. 

Vera kissed her again, whispering against her mouth. “Let me try to mend whatever I can between us.”

She kissed her jaw and neck, slowly taking off each other’s clothes. The warmth of Vera’s naked skin against hers made her hungry for more. She spread her legs and wrapped one of Vera’s legs around her hip. She could feel how hot and wet Vera was, pushing her thigh in between her legs.

They laid there together, this time allowing Vera a little more control than she did before. Vera rocked her hips against her, moaning softly when Vera pressed her hands over her wrists onto the pillow. 

She surprisingly liked the gentle pressure on her wrists, arching her body to feel more of Vera, kissing her neck.

Vera’s hand traveled lower until she felt her stroking and spreading her wetness around. Her body hummed with arousal, slowly rocking her hips with hers. 

“Will you let me taste you?” Vera whispered, kissing her.

Joan shivered, not having felt that with a woman in quite some time. “Are you sure?” 

Vera nodded. “Yes, I want to. Let me take care of you tonight.”

Joan held her close, kissing her neck and shoulders before kissing her deeply and passionately. She needed Vera up here for a little bit longer before she did. She needed that connection.

Vera seemed to understand, caressing and holding Joan tightly. She moaned into her mouth as she kissed her more deeply, rolling her tongue over Vera’s.

Vera stroked her breast and shoulders, her neck as she moved against her. And Joan trembled with desire when Vera kissed slowly down the rest of her body. 

Soft kisses were placed against her stomach, gentle ones that she kept giving her. Hands lovingly stroked her stomach over her small baby bump, and she spread her legs willingly for Vera.

Vera kissed her inner thighs, sucking on her skin as she held her close, kissing her wet cunt and licking it slowly up and down. Joan moaned, loving the feel of her soft mouth and tongue.

“You’re so wet,” Vera whispered, kissing and sucking gently on her wet lips. Joan stroked her hair, beginning to rock her hips into her mouth.

Vera’s tongue slid inside her, and she moaned and squeezed her tongue deeper inside. All she wanted to do was grind herself against Vera’s mouth and tongue. Vera moaned softly, licking and teasing her as she thrust her tongue in and out. 

Joan let out soft, low moans when she felt Vera’s tongue slowly lick up and down again, this time focusing on her clit and making soft, and slow circles. Joan circled her hips, rocking them a little faster.

She arched her back when Vera started to suck her clit into her mouth, her hips twitching in response. Vera pressed down on her hips, holding them down as she licked and sucked. 

She panted, rocking her hips faster and whimpering when she felt the beginning of her orgasm. She gently held Vera’s head to her, lifting her hips and grinding against her mouth. 

“Come for me, Joan. Let go,” Vera whispered hotly. 

Heart pounding, she felt her body flush with heat as she tensed and trembled, coming in Vera’s mouth. 

She closed her eyes, moaning softly when Vera moaned with her. She panted, stroking Vera’s hair, twitching a little when Vera gently kissed her clit and wet lips.

“I’m too sensitive,” Joan said, her hands shaking as she ran her fingers through her hair. Vera rested her cheek against her inner thigh, kissing and stroking her skin.

Vera hugged her hips before moving up to wrap her arms around her. Joan blushed with embarrassment, feeling suddenly very vulnerable and exposed at how easily she came undone in Vera’s arms.

“What’s wrong?” Vera asked, kissing her softly. 

Joan sighed, stroking her hair and arm gently, bringing Vera’s head down to rest against her breast. 

“Nothing is wrong. I’m just not used to letting someone else have that much control,” she whispered.

Vera looked up at her. “Are you okay? Was it… nice?”

Joan smiled. “It was more than nice. I wouldn’t always let just anyone do that with me, so consider yourself lucky.”

Vera smiled back. “Thank you for letting me.”

Joan cupped her face, kissing her deeply. “I don’t know how to explain it, but I wanted you to take control. I needed it. I’m not used to needing anyone.”

Vera hugged her, kissing her softly as they laid together. “I don’t always act like it, but… I need you too.”

Joan’s eyes softened, caressing Vera’s cheek and kissing her forehead. “I need you tonight. Please stay,” she whispered.

“You don’t have to ask,” Vera said, nuzzling her neck. Joan sighed softly and closed her eyes, holding Vera close in her arms.