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Mine For Life

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"Education, I always say, is a leading out. You must mold your charges, Miss McGonagall, as the great Michelangelo sculpted stone. Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and I will make of her the crème de la crème."

They do this every year. A conference on progressive pedagogy. A cup of tea in Jean's Edinburgh flat, like old acquaintances. There are no silences between the words to hear cups rattle against saucers.

Every year, Minerva frowns starchily. "Miss Brodie, teaching requires discretion. I'd have thought the incident with your girls would have taught you this, if nothing else." She stresses 'incident' as if the particulars are too sordid to mention. Which indeed they are, but Jean has nonetheless related them in extravagant detail.

"A woman in her prime must never deny herself a passionate experience, of whatever ilk. I find your discretion appalling, Miss McGonagall." Minerva plunks her teacup on the tray, hard enough that a spill sloshes over the edge. "Can you tell me that you feel nothing for your pupils?" Jean grasps Minerva's hand and presses it to her bosom. "Can you tell me that now you feel nothing?"

"How dare you," Minerva says. She hooks her fingers between the buttons of Jean's jacket and kisses her.

Jean kisses back.

They do this every year: teeth to fingernails to naked skin. Minerva comes first around Jean's wrist, and ensures that Jean follows. Twice. She's a woman in her prime, after all, and she has her pride.