Author: David Hines
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005): Madame Vastra & Jenny
Wordcount: ~29,000 total, in three parts, with cliffhangers. I'll probably post one part a week.
Rating: Teen and up
Genre: Gen, mystery, horror, casefic
Warnings: action, violence (some of it gruesome), consent squickiness ("monster dubcon" is the closest I can come to describing it), and cliffhangers
Betas: rheanna, watersword
SOME OF OUR MORE IMAGINATIVE READERS INFORM US that the events of the past few days -- the grisly deaths, the tragic fire, the flying carriage that caused the egregious delays on the Metropolitan and District Railway -- are attributable to the fevered pursuit of a Chinese vampire, known in its native land as a jiang shi, by the adventuress detective Madame Vastra. These readers, whose persistent letters are beginning to become tiresome, claim that this is but one of many times Madame Vastra's unravelling of a mystery has saved all of an unknowing London.
We advise these peculiar devotees that we have yet again sought an audience with Madame Vastra, who, as ever, politely declines comment on any of the wilder rumors in circulation, but wishes it known that any unusual cases requiring investigation may be brought to her attention care of this newspaper.
Jenny had been working for Madame Vastra for more than two years, but it had taken only until the second client to realize that all of Madame's initial conferences would play out according to the same script.
"I have heard," said the nervous voice in the drawing room, "that you suffer from -- a misfortune."
Jenny rolled her eyes and rummaged for the teacups.
"All too true," came Madame's voice. She spoke sadly, because it was expected that she do so. "My condition is alarming, but I have it on the highest medical authority that, while but poorly understood to science, it is not contagious." Jenny mouthed the words along with her; it was impressive how little Madame's tone and timing varied.
"Oh," said the client. There was a faint accent to the voice. A foreigner, Jenny thought.
"The framed documents behind you will give clear testimony to that effect, if it is of any concern for you."
Those documents had been Jenny's own first clue that something was amiss. The first document had been a prominent doctor's testimonial that Madame Vastra's condition was entirely noncontagious. The second had been an even more prominent doctor's testimonial that Madame Vastra's appearance, while initially alarming, was rather romantic, really, when an attractive young parlormaid took the time to appreciate it properly. The third had been a letter from the Queen describing, in shocking detail, exactly how the nice detective could take Jenny's mind off her troubles, and convincingly explaining why Jenny should let the nice detective go about doing those very things.
The strangest part of Jenny's embarking on her new life had not been Madame's horns and scales and oh god her tongue, but that her mistress's first words on embracing her had been, "Bloody psychic paper."
Read the rest on AO3. Comments welcome there or here.
Originally posted on my DW. | people have commented there. | Do so yourself, if you like.