Ferner stumbled into the room where Oberstein had set himself up and quickly closed the door behind him. Oberstein looked up for a moment before returning to his papers.
"Quite an interesting entrance you appear to be making, Rear Admiral Ferner."
Ferner swallowed loudly and attempted to talk over to his desk. Attempted, because he stumbled and nearly keeled over, making to lunge for the desk and managing to cling to one of the corners. Oberstein's attention was once again drawn from his paperwork.
"… You're bleeding."
Ferner gasped and quickly covered his mouth and nose with his sleeve. Oberstein grabbed several tissues and strode over to Ferner, pulling his arm away and wiping away the blood.
"Were you in a fight?" he inquired as he checked to make sure Ferner's nose wasn't broken. Ferner took a deep breath through his mouth and tried to not sound like an idiot.
"They were talking badly about you sir. They called you a dog." Oberstein placed the tissues in Ferner's hand. Then he turned away, returning to his desk.
"Rear Admiral Ferner," He began, licking his thumb and resuming his quick paper processing. Ferner binned the tissues and walked out in front of Oberstein's desk and saluted.
Oberstein didn't look up.
"Tell me, what is wrong with being a dog?"
"What are the attributes of a dog? Are they not loyal, friendly creatures? Do they not follow orders, unlike the flippitant cat? Tell me, are dogs not christened with the title of 'Mans Best Friend'?"
Ferner's eyes fell to the floor, feeling foolish.
"If they wish to call me a dog, then let them."
He looked up and gave Ferner the closest thing to a reassuring look he could muster.
"Ferner. You don't have to fight my battles, I have handled the brunt of their attack for many years."
"Yes sir…" Ferner mumbled dejectedly.
"I must admit … your willingness to fight for me is… very refreshing. Thank you."
Ferner couldn't believe his ears. He perked up in an instant and found himself smiling.
"No, thank you for your kind words sir."