Set after "That Night at the Studio", "A Breezy Day", and "First Night". Precedes "A Teacher or a Leader?" and "Can't Repeat the Past".
Disclaimer: Don't own The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The poems "My love is like a red, red rose" and "My Nanie's Awa" were written by Robert Burns.
Dedicated to kissofdeath, KristaMarie, and tabbyhearts.
She had noticed that Gordon was attracted to her as soon as she had begun teaching at Marcia Blaine – he was always so polite to her, so kind and cordial. She could tell that he was attracted to her because he let his gaze linger on her a few seconds longer than it would have if he was not.
All throughout her first year of teaching, she had ignored his shy, subtle advances, but when Teddy had abandoned her after their one night together at the studio, she had begun paying more attention to Gordon, her only other colleague of interest. And when Teddy had tried to get her to come to the studio again, she lied and said that she was invited to Cramond.
So Jean had managed to get Gordon to invite her to Cramond that Sunday. And, in a continued effort to avoid having her heart broken once more by Teddy, she began a relationship with Gordon. She had carefully planned her seduction of Gordon, knowing that, like a highly-strung thoroughbred horse, he would shy away easily from her advances.
And Jean had been successful in securing Gordon Lowther as her lover, thanks to her careful planning and her impeccable instinct. He was not very talented in the arts of love – she strongly suspected that he had had few lovers before her. But now that she had ensnared him, she knew that she could make him do anything for her.
In his arms Jean sought a soft, shy shelter from the world, away from the battles she fought with Miss Mackay at school, away from her broken heart, away from Teddy. With Gordon, Jean did not have to be strong. He took care of her, cherished her, loved her. While she did not love him nearly as much as he loved her, she tried.
And now Jean was preparing for dinner with Gordon. He would be arriving in fifteen minutes to pick her up and take her out for supper. And afterwards he would bring her back to his house for the weekend – if all went according to plan, that is. She could tell that he was still very uncertain about the state of their relationship, even though they had spent last weekend together – most of it in bed. Jean pulled herself out of her reverie as a knock sounded on her door. She opened the door, revealing Gordon.
"Hello, Gordon," Jean said, smiling. He was clutching a bouquet of roses.
"Hello, Jean," he said nervously, bending down to kiss her cheek. She turned her head slightly so that his lips landed on hers. He pulled back, blushing.
"Won't you come in for a moment?" Jean suggested, and he nodded, still blushing, and took a seat on the couch. Jean placed the roses in a vase and set them on the small coffee table in her sitting room.
"You look beautiful, Jean," Gordon said, and Jean graced him with a loving smile.
"Thank you, Gordon," she replied. "You look very handsome." He blushed once more.
"Thank you." He stood up. "Are you ready?"
"Just a moment," Jean replied. "I need to get my coat." She walked over to her closet and took out her coat; just as she began to slip it on, Gordon came around behind her and helped her with her coat. She turned and smiled at him.
"Thank you," she said, and picked up her bag.
"Oh, I can take that," Gordon said, taking the bag out of her hand. She smiled up at him once more as they left the flat.
They had a quiet, romantic dinner at a small bistro, holding hands throughout most of the meal. Jean had drunk several glasses of wine in preparation for the weekend to come – she didn't mind spending time with Gordon (after all, she had started this relationship), but when she was in bed with him she longed for Teddy. Gordon had not drunk anything but water – he was intoxicated enough by the woman beside him.
Finally, they finished dinner, and Gordon and Jean walked back to his car. Before he could open the door for her, she pulled him into an alcove and kissed him lightly. He could taste the wine on her breath.
When he broke the kiss, she looked up at him, confused.
"What's the matter, Gordon?" she asked, running her hands down his chest.
"Jean, I don't want to take advantage of you," he whispered. She looked up at him.
"You're not, Gordon. I want to be with you," she lied.
"Really?" he asked her. She nodded.
"Why don't we go back to your house?" Jean suggested. "And we can have a glass of wine and talk things over."
He nodded, and they walked to the car. Jean was being very distracting to him, resting her hand lightly on his knee, looking over at him and smiling. It seemed like an eternity before they reached his home.
Gordon helped Jean out of the car and took her bag from the boot. They walked inside, Jean linking her arm through his. Leading her to his parlour, Gordon poured them both a glass of wine before joining her on the couch.
"To us," Jean said, clinking her glass against his. He watched her as she drank the wine, finally taking a sip himself. She set down her glass, now half-empty.
"Gordon," Jean began. "I don't know how to say this..." she trailed off.
"Say what?" he asked her, concerned. "Are you all right?"
She smiled softly at him. "Yes, I'm fine. What I wanted to say was that, well, I love you." She lowered her eyes, looking up at him through her lashes. She didn't really love him – well, not the way she loved Teddy – but she was fond of him. After all, she didn't choose any man to share her bed. But she knew that he loved her, and knew that he wouldn't allow himself to make love to her again if she hadn't told him that she loved him.
Her plan had worked; he was beaming down at her.
"Oh, Jean," he whispered, placing a gentle hand on her cheek. "Oh, Jean, I love you too."
She leaned forward and kissed him; he deepened the kiss almost immediately, and she pulled him down on top of her. When they broke out of the kiss, he began to nuzzle her neck.
"Let's go upstairs," Jean suggested breathlessly, and he nodded, picking her up. "You're so wonderful, Gordon," she whispered as he carried her up the stairs. He smiled down at her. When they reached his bedroom, he laid her down on the bed and began the process of undressing her. He took his time, relishing in the way that more and more of her body was revealed to him.
"Jean, you're beautiful," he breathed, still overwhelmed by the absolute radiance of Jean Brodie.
"And you're still incredibly overdressed," she chuckled. He quickly took care of his clothes and joined her on the bed.
He was very aroused – and, extremely surprising to her, so was she. Perhaps it was the virtue of being with someone who wanted her, someone who loved her; or perhaps it was the fact that she needed to be close to someone so much. Whatever it was, she dismissed it from her mind as he captured her lips in a kiss.
Jean tried to speed things up – she needed him so much – but Gordon continued to move at a maddeningly slow pace.
"Gordon, please!" she cried out, begging him to go faster.
He shook his head – no – and continued to cover every centimetre of her body with kisses. Finally he stopped, and, moving back up her body, entered her. She gasped with pleasure as he moved slowly within her, even though she tried to make him increase the speed of his thrusts. Finally, he did, bringing them both closer and closer to orgasm.
"Yes!" she cried out, a note of triumph in her voice as she began to come. He watched her, the sight of his beautiful lover in the throes of rapture causing his own climax.
"Jean!" he yelled, thrusting into her once more. He collapsed on top of her, quickly rolling onto his back in order to not crush her. She moved with him.
"Oh, Jean," he breathed as they recovered, stroking her hair gently. She rested her head against his chest, closing her eyes.
"Mmm..." she whispered softly. "That was nice."
He pulled the covers over them and kissed the top of her head. "It was."
She smiled up at him sleepily. "I love you," she whispered, before allowing herself to slip into slumber.
He returned her smile, though she was asleep. "I love you too."
Jean woke up later that night and looked down at Gordon. He was handsome – though not as handsome as Teddy – and kind and good. And he wanted her and loved her. She knew that he would never leave her like Teddy had, and right now that was what she needed – stability. Jean was still so fragile from Teddy's rejection – she needed someone who wanted to be with her, wanted to protect her. And Gordon was that man.
With a tender hand, she stroked his hair, watching him sleep. He looked so peaceful, and Jean wished that she could feel that peace. He stirred slightly, so she removed her hand and snuggled back into his embrace. She drifted back off to sleep, warm and safe and sheltered in Gordon's arms.
The next morning, Jean was woken up by Gordon bringing her breakfast in bed.
"Good morning, Jean," Gordon said as she opened her eyes.
"Good morning, Gordon," she replied drowsily.
"I thought that you might like breakfast in bed," he said, setting the tray down on the nightstand. She beamed up at him.
"Thank you," she replied. He was far more considerate that Teddy had been.
"You're welcome," he replied. She pulled back the covers.
"Aren't you going to join me?" she asked, and he smiled down at her.
"If you'd like," Gordon replied, and she nodded. He handed her the tray and slipped into bed beside her.
They slowly fed each other breakfast, stopping often to kiss. When they were done, Gordon brought the dishes back downstairs. Jean had wanted to help, but he insisted that she relax.
She got dressed instead and then joined him downstairs.
"You could've stayed in bed longer if you liked," Gordon said.
"I know – but I wanted to be with you," she replied. This was not really a lie – she did like spending time with him, after all, and she wanted to go for a walk on the beach. She could easily combine the two things. "I thought we could go for a walk on the beach," she suggested.
"All right," Gordon readily agreed. Once the dishes had been finished, he and Jean stepped outside and began their walk along the seaside.
After a few metres, Jean slipped her hand in his. He looked down at her, startled, and she smiled up at him, squeezing his hand lightly.
"Isn't it a beautiful day?" Jean said brightly.
"Yes, beautiful," he said, speaking of her. She blushed.
They continued to walk down the beach, talking of light matters, not of serious things. After they had walked quite a distance, about half a kilometre, they turned back. Jean stopped him before they could begin the walk back to his house.
"Kiss me, Gordon," she whispered, holding his hand tightly.
"Here; now?" he asked her, looking uncertain.
"Yes, here; yes, now, Gordon," she replied, looping her arms around his neck.
He obliged, bending down slightly to capture her lips with his. They stood there, embracing, not noticing that it had started to rain. A clap of thunder startled them out of their kiss.
"Oh, dear," Jean laughed, now noticing the falling rain. "We'd best hurry back."
"Yes, we should," Gordon said, still slightly dazed from their kiss. She took his hand and began to pull him along, running back to Cramond.
Once they had reached the house, Jean and Gordon went up to the bathroom where he began to run a hot bath.
"We always seem to get wet, don't we?" Jean said, chuckling slightly as she began to undress. His eyes watched her hungrily, and she turned to him. "I hope that this time I don't have to ask you to join me."
"No," he replied, beginning to undress himself. "You don't need to ask." When the bathtub was halfway filled, Jean stepped in, then Gordon. Jean settled herself between his legs, her back resting against his chest.
He washed her body lovingly, tenderly caressing her breasts. Her breathing grew faster and she could feel his erection against her back. She moaned and turned to him.
"Oh, Gordon..." she trailed off as he captured her lips with his, pushing her against the bathtub. She wrapped her legs around his waist as he knelt in the tub, entering her.
"Yes, Gordon, yes!" she cried out. "Oh, God, Gordon!"
"Jean..." was all that he could manage, pushing deep within her. She clutched at the sides of the bathtub, her back arching. He collapsed on top of her, breathing heavily.
"I love you, Jean."
"I love you, Gordon."
Later that afternoon, Jean made lunch for the two of them. She enjoyed cooking, and she felt that it was only fair for her to make lunch, as he had made breakfast. So while Jean made lunch, Gordon sang to her.
"O, my love is like a red, red rose,
That's newly spring in June.
O, my love is like a melody,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair thou art, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I,
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun!
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands of life shall run.
And fare thee well, my only love!
And fare thee well awhile!
And I will come again, my love,
Tho it were ten thousand mile!"
Jean came into the sitting room, where the piano was, carrying their lunch on a tray.
"That was beautiful, Gordon," she said, smiling at him. She set the tray down on the coffee table.
"Let me just get the napkins and things," Jean said, walking back into the kitchen. She returned a few minutes later – Gordon had already filled her plate with her lunch. Jean joined him on the couch.
"Thank you," she said, smiling at him.
He smiled back at her.
Jean and Gordon had a quiet lunch, watching the rain lash at the windows. Once they were finished, Jean and Gordon washed the dishes together.
"Well, we can't take the boat out today," Gordon said. "And I do need to stop by the grocers. Would you mind terribly staying here while I get the groceries?"
"Of course not," Jean said, leaning over to give him a kiss. "I'll take a nap. I'm a bit tired from our... activities."
He blushed bright red, and she smiled at him. "I'll be back soon," he said, stooping to give her a kiss on her cheek. Once he had kissed her, she looped her arms around his neck and kissed him on the lips.
"I couldn't let you leave me without a proper kiss goodbye," Jean said, smiling up at him. "Hurry back."
"I will, I promise," Gordon replied. "Would you like anything in particular?"
She thought for a moment. "No, not really," she replied.
"All right," he said. "I'll be back shortly."
She smiled at him and stood in the window to wave as he drove away. She then went upstairs to take a nap.
A few hours later, she woke up, stretching. She felt much more refreshed – she had been tired. Getting dressed, she went downstairs to join her lover.
Gordon was sitting in front of the fire, reading a book, but he looked up when she entered the room.
"Hello, Jean," he said, setting the book aside. "Did you have a nice nap?"
"I did," she said, coming over to sit down next to him. "You should have woken me up, though."
"It's all right," he replied. "You were tired."
"Mmm..." she said, resting her head against his shoulder. "What were you reading?"
"A book of Robert Burns' poetry," he said, showing her the title.
"Will you read some to me?" she asked him. "Please?"
"All right," he said. He couldn't resist her. "Which poem?"
"Any one," she replied, closing her eyes, her head still resting against his shoulder.
He began to read.
"Now in her green mantle blythe Nature arrays,
And listens the lambkins that bleat o'er the braes,
While birds warble welcomes in ilka green shaw,
But to me it's the delightless – my Nansie's awa.
The snawdrap and primrose our woodlands adorn,
And violets bathe in the weet o' the morn.
They pain my sad bosom, sae sweetly they blaw:
They mind me o' Nanie – and Nanie's awa.
Thou lav'rock, that springs frae the dews of the lawn
The shepherd to warn o' the grey-breaking dawn,
And thou mellow mavis, that hails the night-fa,
Give over for pity – my Nanie's awa.
Come Autumn, sae pensive in yellow and grey,
And soothe me wi' tidings o' Nature's decay!
The dark, dreary Winter and wild-driving snaw
Alane can delight me – now Nanie's awa."
She opened her eyes and smiled up at him. "Thank you, Gordon," she said.
He kissed her forehead lightly, looking down into her eyes.
"I love you, Jean," he whispered.
"I know," she replied, her voice equally as soft. "And I love you."
He stroked her hair lightly as she rested her head in his lap. She turned over so that she was lying on her back, looking up at him.
"What would you like to do this afternoon?" he asked her.
"Hmm..." she said, pretending to think about it. She sat up, scooting into his lap, and wrapped her arms around his neck. Jean looked into his eyes.
His breathing grew heavy as she continued to look into his eyes, her gaze smouldering.
"Why don't we go upstairs?" she suggested breathily. He nodded, and she stood up, taking his hand. They walked up the many stairs to his bedroom, and, once they reached his bedroom, she began to undress, kicking off her shoes.
"Gordon, will you undo my zipper, please?" she asked him. He nodded, his fingers fumbling with the delicate zipper of her dress. He finally managed it and her dress pooled around her feet. She was clad only in her underwear (she had forgone the slip), and she looked absolutely beautiful.
"Oh, Jean," he said. He still could not believe that she wanted him, could not believe that in a few moments they would both be naked together, between the sheets of his bed, making love.
Jean had finished getting undressed and her hands were at the sporran of his kilt, unfastening it. She pulled his kilt down, her eyes hungry as she began to unbutton his shirt.
"Oh, yes," she murmured, tracing the contours of his chest. She looked up at him. "Make love to me, Gordon," she whispered, pleading him. "Please."
He nodded, lowering his head to nuzzle her neck, pushing her back towards the bed. She obliged him, walking back until she reached the bed, then toppled over it. She moaned as he joined her, rolling her onto her side. He entered her from behind and she gasped in surprise. They had only made love a relatively few times, but she had never expected him to try something other than the ordinary missionary position. The first time that they had made love, Jean had been on top, but he hadn't felt very comfortable with that.
But now... now he was taking her like this of his own volition, and she loved it. Grasping at the sheets, she moaned as one of his hands slipped between her legs and the other fondled her breast.
"Oh, Gordon!" she cried out, surprised at the suddenness of her climax. "Oh, yes!"
She clenched around him and, unable to restrain himself any longer, he began to come, pushing into her once more.
"Jean," he whispered, once he had pulled out of her and was laying there with his arms wrapped around her. "I hope that was... the way that I... I mean, was that all right?"
She smiled up at him. "Oh, yes, Gordon," she whispered. "It was far more than 'all right' – it was wonderful.
He returned her smile. "I'm glad, Jean. I wouldn't want to make you uncomfortable."
"You didn't make me uncomfortable, Gordon – not at all," she said, kissing his chest. "It was wonderful – you were wonderful."
"As were you," he whispered, nuzzling her hair. "But you always are."
He looked down at her when she did not reply – she was sleeping, her blue eyes closed, her chest rising and falling in time with her even breathing, her golden hair glistening. She was so beautiful, so radiant – an absolute goddess.
He couldn't bear to wake her, but he couldn't bear to intrude on her privacy – especially while she was asleep. He felt that watching her sleep was a privilege that he was not entitled to – not yet, at least. Though they had made love – several times, in fact – he did not believe that he should be allowed to be in this goddess's presence when she was asleep – she was so perfect, so beautiful, and far, far too good for him. So he gently extricated himself from her embrace, trying not to wake her. He was unsuccessful – she stirred, opening her eyes.
"Gordon?" she asked him sleepily, reaching for his hand. "Why are you leaving?"
"I didn't mean to wake you," he apologised.
"Come back to bed," she whispered, pulling at his hand.
"Are you sure?" he asked.
"Yes, please, Gordon," she said. Even half-asleep, she was well aware that this would be a turning point in their relationship, and she made sure to remain calm and perpetuate the illusion that she was still half-asleep. "Unless you don't want to stay..." she trailed off.
"I do, Jean, but I feel as though I'm invading your privacy," he explained.
"You're not, Gordon," she said. "Please stay."
He nodded, joining her in bed once again. She encouraged him to wrap his arms around her as she rested her head against his chest once more, falling asleep again. He watched her as she slept, soothed by the fact that she wanted him to stay with her. Finally he fell asleep as well.
Later that evening, they both woke up and went down to make dinner. While they were eating, they discussed their plans for tomorrow.
"I have to direct the choir tomorrow," Gordon said.
"I would like to come with you, Gordon, if you don't mind," Jean said.
"Yes, really," she replied, taking his hand.
He smiled at her, his thumb rubbing gentle circles on the back of her hand. "Thank you, darling."
"You're welcome," she replied, smiling slightly at him. She stood up to gather the dirty dishes.
"I can do that," Gordon said, taking the dishes out of her hands.
"All right," Jean said, smiling slightly. She gave him a light kiss on the cheek. "I'm going to take a bath, then."
He smiled at her.
"I do hope that you'll join me in bed when you're finished," Jean said, and he nodded.
"Of course, Jean," he replied. She gave him one last kiss on the cheek before she went upstairs to take her bath.
As she stretched out in the tub, Jean thought of Teddy.
She was in love with him, and oh! she wanted to be with him. But he had rejected her, had left her alone that morning after making love. And now he was trying to persuade her to come back to the studio, to come see the portrait that he had finished – the portrait of her.
But she couldn't. She wouldn't allow herself to fall under his spell again. She was a woman in her prime, and she would not betray that by letting that man know that he had such a hold on her. But she loved him...
"Jean?" Gordon called, bringing her out of her thoughts.
"Yes?" she replied.
"Would you like anything to drink before bed?" he asked.
"No, thank you," she called back. What she did want was a glass of wine, but she couldn't have Gordon thinking that she could only sleep with him if she was intoxicated. "I'll be out in a minute," she added, and stepped out of the tub.
"Take your time," he replied, but she pulled the drain anyway. She quickly dried off – she knew that taking her time wouldn't change the fact that it was Gordon who was waiting for her, not Teddy – and walked into the bedroom, only a towel wrapped around her.
Gordon was in bed, dressed in his pyjamas, reading a book, but he looked up when he saw her enter the room. Setting aside his book, he stood to greet her, wrapping his arms around her waist. She placed her hands on his chest. He rested his forehead against hers as he pulled the towel away from her body, letting it drop on the floor.
"Oh, Jean," he breathed.
She ran her hands along his chest, unbuttoning his pyjama top. She began to kiss his chest, moving down his body, finally ending at the waistband of his pyjama trousers, which she yanked down. She had felt him growing more and more aroused as she kissed his chest, and he couldn't wait any longer to take her. He backed her up against the wall, pressing himself against her, and lifted her up slightly. She wrapped her legs around his waist and lowered herself onto him.
"Jean," he moaned, pushing her harder against the wall, thrusting within her almost violently. He needed her, needed her so much, even though they had made love twice that day.
She loved it – loved having him take her hard against the wall. He had never shown any sort of initiative with her – not even with trying to make his desire to court her known – she had had to show him everything. But something had changed in him – ever since he came back with the groceries, in fact. She wondered what had happened to have altered him so dramatically.
He had simply had time to think over their relationship. Away from Jean, he realised that she would soon grow bored of him if he didn't try new things. And so he had, and she seemed to enjoy it.
She was enjoying this, too, it seemed – she was clutching at his back, crying out his name.
"Oh, oh, oh!" she moaned, going limp in his arms. He pushed into her one last time and came.
"God, Jean," he murmured. "You're so wonderful."
"So are you, Gordon," she said. And right now, he was. He wouldn't leave her, he loved her, and he wanted her. "Let's go to bed, hmm?" she suggested, and he nodded, carrying her to bed.
"I love you, Jean," he whispered.
"And I love you, Gordon," she replied. And in that moment, she did. Giving him one last kiss, they drifted off to sleep.