Title: "The Adventure of the Hopping Vampire," part 2 of 3
Author: David Hines
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005): Madame Vastra & Jenny
Wordcount: ~29,000 (full story)/ 10,500 (this chapter)
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.
The movement of the coach rocked Jenny from side to side. Her breakfast had gone down well enough, but it sat uneasily, and left a sense of queasiness and a bad taste in her mouth. Of course, that might also have been the prospect of slicing Lady Carrington's skull in two. The jiang shi might or might not be a person now, but it had been an admirable one once. The prospect of killing the jiang shi was, in its way, as alarming as seeing it had been.
And Kathleen welcomed its kisses, and its hands upon her.
"Why wouldn't she come with me?" Jenny said.
"Hm?" said Madame, shrouded in her hat and veil.
"Kathleen. I grabbed her hand, and I said, 'Run.' She didn't run, ma'am. Why not? Yes, she loves Lady Carrington, but after what she's seen -- "
Madame closed her self-writing book, with one clawed finger marking her place. "Supposing that one day I came to you, my dear, and said, 'I cannot tell you how much I loathe my present life, Jenny. Hiding my form in veil and cloak, denied the proper respect for my consort, the stench of humans in my nostrils. Let us kill them all and rule upon the rubble. The Silurians shall rise again, and you shall be consort to their Queen.' What would you do?"
It was not as difficult a question as Madame thought, because Madame was prone to grumbling something very similar while she was paying her taxes. "Make you a gin and a bath, ma'am."
Read the rest on AO3. First chapter is here. Comments welcome on AO3 or here.