She rummaged through her locker in the showers. Her pride wasn’t as hurt as she announced earlier, but she was embarrassed about the public tousling from Miranda and then beat to boot. She wasn’t expecting to overthrow her and become the little cancer-patient-that-could; however, it would have been nice to prove to Miranda that she was capable of defending herself.
“For the love of God, where is it?” Danielle muttered, stuffing herself further into the locker in hopes of finding the undershirt she left there earlier.
“Looking for this?”
Danielle pulled herself out at the sound of Miranda’s voice and braced herself. Over her shoulder she saw her captain, still in gym clothes and with the same smirk on her face, dangling a wrinkled, white undershirt over her right hand. “Uh, thanks,” Danielle muttered, and reached out to snatch her shirt back. Miranda lifted a wary eyebrow and lowered her arm. “Where was it?”
“I found it on the ground. Didn’t want it to get dirty.”
Danielle continued to frown as she brushed off some dust on the white fabric and considered how she was going to get Miranda to go away. She was not comfortable undressing in front of her.
“Look, Danielle…” Miranda approached her with the wariness of a cat sensing a predator, the odor of slight sweat becoming stronger the closer she got. “I want to apologize for what happened back there. You know I’m under a lot of pressure.”
“I guess.” Danielle slammed her locker shut once she had all her clothing back. “But you know we’re going to be talked about now by anybody with two retinas and half a brain.”
Miranda continued to stand with a placid countenance. “I don’t mind.”
Danielle threw her clothes down on the bench and swerved around, her cheeks flushing red as Miranda’s cool suggestion ran through her ears. “Well I do, you know!” she shouted, and then realizing that her volume was too high, looked down at the ground and uncurled the fingers from her fists. Miranda stood without a glance of surprise on her face. “I mean…” and a rough spot formed on the back of Danielle’s throat as she tried to pass her next few words on, “I’m not interested in you, you know. And it’s just easier if people don’t assume those things. We could get discharged for Christ’s sake!”
Miranda lowered her eyes and saw a glimpse of gold on Danielle’s wrist. “I thought I told you to get rid of that,” she snapped, her voice flatter and firmer than any of their body parts combined. “You better do that before Noyes sees you. Get back to work within the next fifteen minutes.” Miranda then pivoted on her cross trainer heels and stalked towards the locker room exit.
Danielle was left to stand in sheer awe at how Miranda ignored her statement. Didn’t she realize what such flirtations would mean for the both of them? In the end Miranda had more to lose than Danielle did – longer time under recruit, a higher status, a bigger paycheck, more benefits, a life in general…or Danielle had to assume. She did not know much about her superior’s personal life because it was just not appropriate.. They were not friends beyond general work-related acquaintances, and although it was obvious that Miranda was romantically interested in her, Danielle hoped to do nothing to inspire more of that thought in her commander's mind.