I Will Not
by Jennifer-Oksana

It had seemed like such a wonderful idea at the time, both efficient and convenient. Laura had genuinely wanted to keep an eye on the Cylon child, and when she had discovered that Hera's young foster mother, Maya, had some experience in childcare, it had seemed perfectly natural to ask her to assist in running New Caprica's school.

Maya had proven to be not only a good mother, but an excellent assistant and teacher with a knack for children. Laura didn't regret for a moment having the girl work with her. However, Maya seemed to be somewhat confused about the nature of Laura's interest in her.

At first, Laura wasn't even sure it was flirting. Maya was physically affectionate, and after months of holding back, Laura was glad to hug, walk along with arms entwined, and so on. It was refreshing to be touched again.

But then there were the looks. Maya would be bent over a table, showing the children how to spell a particularly tricky word, and she would wiggle. Deliberately.

Or there would be moments when Maya leaned her head against Laura's shoulder and smile in a way that was more than friendly. But all of that was ambiguous, and Laura decided she was misconstruing the interest thanks to her very celibate year and its strain on her libido.

Finally, when one of the blatant little flirts in the class -- Ayven, who was all of five and already a certified heartbreaker -- asked "Miss Shahi, what do you do when you want a girl to like you?" Maya had answered, "Well, Ayven, you have to be patient sometimes, but when you know the time is right, you just have to say it out loud, that you like her and think she's wonderful."

Then she had looked at Laura and smiled brazenly before going back to the lesson.

There had been very little mistaking that, and Laura had spent her entire lunch distracted. Perhaps that was why, when Maya had sat down next to her and grinned, Laura had said, "Don't."

"Don't what?"

"You have to say it out loud? Maya," Laura said, looking at the woman until she'd blushed. "You're wonderful, but I think you've read too much into our situation."

"Oh?" Maya said, grimacing as she ate her leftover stew. "Gods, this is awful."

"You're being inappropriate," Laura said in a low voice, shaking her head. Determined to return normalcy to the situation, she forged ahead with normal topics of conversation. "Miss Shahi, I have a meeting to attend with the president today. Would you take a detention for me?"

"Detention?" Maya asked. "You want me to do your detention this afternoon?"

"The president is complaining about the funds going to the school," Laura said. "I think he needs to be reminded that we get maybe a third of his alcohol budget."

Maya tittered. "Okay, Miss Roslin," she said. "So ten to fifty lines, right? Should I use the board?"

Laura nodded. "Thank you for your help, Miss Shahi," she said.

That should have been it.

Except the next morning, Laura arrived at the school to find her chalkboard covered in "I will nots" in various forms of legibility.

Except for one particular set. Ten very neat, even cursive lines in Maya's expressive handwriting.

"I will not speak inappropriately to the teacher."

Gods. Laura stared at the lines, shifting slightly. Just...gods. It was a declaration of war, in its way, and part of Laura was furious, wanting to erase the board and never speak of it again.

The rest of Laura was not about to back down. She erased the board grimly and was waiting, arms folded, when Maya and Isis arrived. Maya was red-cheeked from cold, and chattering to Isis happily.

"So you seemed to enjoy running detention yesterday," Laura said tightly.

"It went well," Maya said with an impish little grin.

"So you won't mind running it again today?" Laura asked. "I think it's time we share our after-school duties more, don't you, Miss Shahi?"

"If you'd like, Miss Roslin," Maya replied cheerfully.

The next morning, Laura returned to her school to see that the children had all done their lines on the small slates they had to ease the stress on paper.

Miss Shahi had decided to use the board and write, twenty times in her very neatest handwriting:

"I will not make Miss Roslin mad."

Maya was wearing her most adorable (and tightest) sweater when she arrived, and all Laura said to her about the subject was, "Very funny, Miss Shahi."

"I'm glad you thought so, Miss Roslin," she said.

And of course it couldn't stay confined to detention. That day, Maya was definitely on the offensive, giggling and smiling with the children and then just...doing things to distract Laura.

Rolling her wrists after demonstrating how to do addition to the smallest children. Biting on her fingertip and listening as intently as anyone else while Laura had told the afternoon story to the under-nines.

Finally, Laura had said, loudly, "Miss Shahi, I swear you have a case of the wiggles today."

Maya paused and smiled. "Am I being a distraction, Miss Roslin?" she asked.

"Maybe you should show the pre-firsts how to get those wiggles out quietly," Laura replied, hoping to sound like she wasn't distracted at all.

Except that Maya had then led the five-year-olds in a hopping up and down game that had made her bounce. And Laura had lost her train of thought in mid-sentence.

"Miss Roslin?" someone had said. "What are the last two alkali metals?"

"What? Oh, um," and Laura looked at the board. "Cesium and Tarsium."

"You got the wiggles too, huh?" the little smart-aleck had added. Laura fixed him with her favorite teacher glare, and he'd quieted down quickly enough.

"Do I get another detention?" Maya had asked when they'd brushed by each other not ten minutes later.

"I think I'll take charge of those again," Laura replied brightly. "I don't think we have any to hold after school today, anyway."

The board had been blessedly clear of Maya's handwriting when Laura had arrived the next day, but sitting on the part of the table that served as Laura's 'desk' was a slate. It was covered in lines.

"I will not distract Miss Roslin with my wiggles," it informed her.

Laura had licked her hand to wipe the slate off, just as Maya had walked in with an innocent wave.

"You've got to stop," Laura said, looking at her. "I mean it."

"You've got chalk all over your chin," Maya answered, setting Isis down and walking over. "Let me."

She took Laura's face in one hand, licked her thumb, and without even a little bit of hesitation, wiped off the chalk streak.

"Maya," Laura said helplessly.

"That's better," Maya replied with a little smile.

It was clear that Laura was not winning the war with her tactics. Maya seemed to view the stonewalling as an attractive challenge, and so Laura decided that if Maya wanted to be harassed and distracted, Laura could do that. Attention galore, even.

"Miss Shahi, can you tell the children what three major exports of Picon were?" Laura asked, interrupting Maya's work with the smaller ones for the seventh time.

"Miss Shahi," Laura said fifteen minutes later, holding Isis. "Would you please collect the spelling quizzes?"

And finally, the crowning stroke had been when Maylee Hodges and Sarah Naveen had been caught passing a note. Laura had intercepted it quietly, unfolded it, and read it silently.

"Miss Shahi," Laura said. "It seems that two of our students have been wasting paper. Would you please read this aloud?"

Maya, clearly frazzled, had actually given the baby to one of the older students and walked over to Laura, holding her hand out for the note. Upon reading it, she did a double-take.

"Read this aloud?" Maya asked.

"I've made myself clear, haven't I?" Laura said sharply. It was going to be humiliating, but gods, if Maya didn't get past her schoolgirl crush, she was going to lose any chance she had at happiness.

Maya, looking as shamefaced as Maylee and Sarah, slunk to the front of the class, opened the note and looked it over again.

And then she looked up and smiled defiantly at Laura.

"Did u see how Miss Roslin looked at Miss Shahi?" Maya asked in a clear voice. "They are going to MAKE OUT after school today. Like, kissing with TONGEUS. EW! Wrighte back -- well, it just says p-l-s, but I think that's please."

Everyone burst into laughter.

"Many of these words are spelled incorrectly, Maylee and Sarah," Maya said. "Aren't they, Miss Roslin?"

"Yes, Miss Shahi, they are," Laura said. "From what I saw, there were four misspelled words. Would you write them on the board for us?"

Maya fluidly wrote the words "please" "write" "you" and "tongue" on the board. "It's going to be very difficult in a world with not many computers to have spell-checkers," Maya said. "It's very important to learn to spell, as well as other skills that will be important in adapting to new situations."

The rest of the day had gone as smoothly and professionally as Laura could have hoped, except that there was a small, nagging ache in her stomach that was unsatisfied. But Maya had gotten the point, and that was the important thing.

Except that sitting in detention with the two girls, Laura found herself with a horrible, horrible case of the wiggles, pacing back and forth while Maylee and Sarah did lines.

Staring at the chalkboard. At the chalk.

"I will not..." suggested itself over and over.

I will not behave unprofessionally. I will not flirt with Miss Shahi. I will not let Miss Shahi's unprofessional flirting make me twitchy.

"I will not ever write notes again," Maylee said, handing in her slate. "That made my hand hurt."

Sarah finished five minutes later, and left Laura alone in her schoolroom, glaring at the detentions.

"Laura?" someone said. Laura looked up, expecting a parent, or perhaps some representative of the Baltar Administration. But it was, in fact, Maya. "I thought maybe I should apologize. I didn't, um, I'm sorry."

"You're sorry?" Laura asked. "You shouldn't be. I've been acting ridiculously for the last week -- where's Isis?"

"A neighbor's watching her for a little while," Maya said, walking closer. "I didn't realize you didn't want me to flirt with you. I'm so sorry. I know what it's like to have someone chasing you when you don't want to be chased. All the men on the Demetrius wouldn't let up, because I was pretty and..."

Laura smiled sheepishly. "Maya, sweetheart?" she said. "Stop apologizing."

"But I'm really sorry," Maya said. "I will not do anything like that anymore -- oh, gods, I've got detention on the brain. It was just kind of fun, you know? And I thought you thought it was cute."

"Maya!" Laura said. "Stop before I make you write a hundred 'I will not apologize for things that aren't my fault' on the board."

Maya blushed and looked down, and Laura, thoroughly aware that she could not be less dignified if she tried, walked over to her fellow teacher and took her by the shoulders.

"Listen to me, Maya," Laura said. "I'm the one who's sorry. I'm the one who needs to be writing lines on the board."

She let Maya go, walked over to the board, and wrote, in very large letters, "I will be nicer to Miss Shahi."

"Oh, I," and Maya paused. Laura was looking at the board, and promptly erased her apology.

"I will not make Miss Shahi read silly notes in class," was the next line. Promptly erased.

"I will not," and Laura paused. "These are really awful to have to think up for grown-ups. Give me something."

"I will wear the black skirt to class more often," Maya said boldly. Up it went on the board. "I will not...I will not tease Miss Shahi if I don't mean it."

Laura wrote the last line with a flourish and then signed her name under it. She turned around and smiled.

"Better?" she asked.

"You have chalk on your face again," Maya said, walking up to Laura, putting a hand on her face, and kissing her.

All the blood in Laura's body seemed to rush up and down at the same moment, making her light-headed and scarlet-cheeked, especially when Maya ran her thumb over her jaw again.

"Maya," she said.

"You will not pretend you don't like being kissed," Maya said softly, kissing her quickly.

"You will not give short kisses," Laura replied, putting her hand on Maya's skull and pulling her in for a longer kiss, enjoying the press of Maya's body against hers.

Maya whimpered, and started nibbling on Laura's earlobe. "You will not -- oh, gods -- stop touching me there," she countered, her hand fumbling beneath Laura's sweater warmly.

Laura moaned and pulled Maya's hips against hers. "You will not drive Miss Roslin out of her frakking mind in the classroom," she said hoarsely.

"Yes, I will," Maya answered, her lips hot on Laura's throat. "I will drive Miss Roslin crazy until Miss Roslin pushes me onto a desk and has her way with me."

"Maya," Laura said, breath already coming in pants. "I don't think..."

"Please, Miss Roslin," Maya said, her lips swollen and eyelashes fluttering. "I promise to be very good and do what you tell me."

Oh, this girl, Laura thought breathlessly, pulling her in for a longer kiss. Maya was going to be the death of her, and Laura couldn't even find a good reason to regret that. Not the way that Maya felt in Laura's arms, or the way her tongue was teasing its way down her neck.

"You realize that Maylee's note was entirely accurate, don't you?" Laura asked, pushing Maya toward the best of the tables while running her hand over her back. Maya smiled, and there was nothing but naughtiness in it.

"I do," Maya said, pulling Laura down against her. "But then again, I told her to write it."

The next morning, the students of New Caprica's school came in to find one hundred neat renditions of "I will not play tricks on Miss Roslin" on the board in Miss Shahi's copperplate handwriting.

No one knew what it meant, but the students got used to it, the way they got used to Miss Roslin humming and carrying the baby around, or Miss Shahi wearing Miss Roslin's sweater sometimes. Every so often, Miss Shahi's handwriting would be on the board, announcing what she would not do to Miss Roslin.

Like Maylee Hodges said, it wasn't even a big deal.

Some days, apparently? Even the teachers got detention.


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