You turn and walk away, feeling a knot in your stomach as you try not to think about what must have been going on in Terra’s office. You soon have another class which totally fails to keep your mind off things, and then another, and by the time the day ends, you’re more than ready for a few drinks in the common room with your friends.
They’re drinking to get happy. You’re drinking to forget. Everybody is enjoying themselves and you’re mustering enough of a smile to ensure that nobody really notices that you’re quite miserable.
You wonder how everyone else always seems to have such an easy time. It seems so simple for them.
“Please,” Suki says, practically crawling up on your knee. She’s had quite a few and is looking very pink around the cheeks. She’s dressed herself in a very, very short skirt which is hiding less than nothing as she draws her legs up onto your lap. “You have to introduce me to Boris.”
“He’s over there,” you point out. “Why don’t you go introduce yourself?”
“Pleaseeee…” Suki wheedles at you.
You’re about to give in when the party sort of… stops. The music keeps going, but the chatter ends abruptly. You look where everyone else is staring and see Terra standing there. She’s still in her instructor’s uniform which gives her an appearance so formal her mere presence dampens the mood.
Everyone is looking at her, but she’s only looking at one person: you.
“I’d like to see you, cadet,” she says. “In your dormitory, I think.”
You feel the hot flush of embarrassment as every eye in the room turns to you. Or at least, you would if you weren’t three drinks deep and pretty numb.
“Suki,” you say. “I’m going to need my legs back.”
She slides off your lap in a floppy sort of dismount and lets you stand up. You notice that Terra’s eyes narrow ever so slightly at Suki, but a moment later you’re not sure you saw that at all.
You follow Terra out of the common room. It takes a moment, but as you walk away from the room, you hear the party start up again. You have the feeling its very much over for you.
“It’s in here,” you tell Terra, opening the door to the room you share with three other young women. There’s two bunk beds, three for sleeping in, one for your room mates to toss all their stuff on at random. The place is a mess.
“I’m guessing that’s your bed,” Terra says, pointing at yours. She’s right. It’s the only one that has actually been made. You keep your things tidy. It’s one way of taking your time at the academy seriously. The only clear floor in the room is around your bed too. You both end up standing there. Terra with her arms crossed over her chest, you leaning up against the bunk a little to steady yourself.
“You didn’t report to me today as ordered.”
“I tried,” you say. “You were busy.”
“I was in my office after lunch.”
“Yeah,” you say, trying not to sway. You’ve had a couple more than you thought you had. “But you weren’t alone. You were with your girlfriend.”
Terra’s dark brows rise in your direction. “My girlfriend?”
“Morshey…” damn you’re slurring your words a little. The drink you downed just before Terra walked in is starting to take effect.
“Instructor Morsey is not my girlfriend,” Terra says. “But even if she was, I expect you to report to me as ordered.”
“She was giggling and calling you naughty. I thought you might be…” you pause for a moment, and for effect “… busy.”
“You thought I was making out with another instructor in the middle of the work day?” Terra smirks. “Not quite, cadet. Is that why you disregarded my orders and had a half clothed girl on your lap just now?”
Her first complaint is legit. The second, hmmm. It strikes you suddenly. Terra sounds and looks… well… a little jealous.