A Minor Misdemeanor

Chapter 17

The air outside of the TARDIS was very different to the air that they'd been breathing while boarding it. It was crisp, and dry, rather than damp and clinging. Jenny, although she hadn't told Vastra, had begun to feel tight-chested while she was incarcerated, and had begun coughing at night. She was still moving awkwardly from having spent two days with her ankles fastened together, lifting her feet far higher than normal, and taking shorter, more rapid strides to counter having her stride reduced to two feet. It wasn't noticeable unless you were looking for it, but it was there.

The TARDIS had landed in a small alley, adjacent to the theatre.

The party walked out, carefully blending into the crowd of well-dressed reporters, film critics and the inevitable woman from the film morality group, who'd been invited on the basis that it was better to have her pissing on the film having seen it, and having been given as much complimentary bubbly and little things on toast as she wanted, than pissing from the outside of the theatre, having not been invited, and thereby encouraged to describe the film as about devil worshipping cults who believe that they can do anything that God can.

The first minor obstacle was the inevitable officious little sod at the entrance, armed with a clipboard, a pencil and an attitude that Gandalf would have approved of.

"Excuse me, sir." He said, as the Doctor walked up to him. "Can I see your invitation?" The stress he put on sir would have started a fight in most bars or clubs Clara was familiar with, suggesting that the Doctor was something unpleasant attached to the bottom of his shoe.

"Here you go." He growled, brandishing his omnipresent strip of psychic paper. "Now get out of the way, you tiresome little human."

"What did you just call me?" The man asked, with the tell-tale glee of the tin-god with a clipboard who has just found a reason to object to something minor.

"I called you what you are." The Time Lord growled. "A tiresome, petty, self-important human who thinks because he has a clipboard and some tiny shred of authority, he runs the world."

"You can't speak to me like that." The man objected.

"Wrong. I just did, and I can do so indefinitely until things change. Now get out of my way."

Reluctantly, the man scuttled to one side, being unable to find a valid reason to actually object to their passage. The admittance card had looked the same as the rest he'd seen all evening, and listed four names he couldn't quite read.

Once they were past the outer cordon, Clara turned to Jenny and Vastra.

"This may seem odd to you, but in this place and time, two women holding hands is an open invitation to discrimination and ejection. So is the sight of two women kissing each other."

There was a slightly sullen look on what was visible of Vastra's face, and Jenny didn't look much happier than her wife.

"I find it as strange as you do." She hissed. "But if you can obey for about the next two hours, everything will fix itself."

The look she received in return suggested that a six foot long tongue was about to make a serious attempt at penetrating her ribcage.

"I didn't make the rules." She muttered. "I'm just making sure we don't all end up spending the night in what passes for a prison over here."

Vastra didn't react for a couple of seconds, before finally making a face that suggested they'd be having words later.

A few moments later, well-dressed ushers began gathering people up, before taking each group to their seats.

Being a premiere, substances such as popcorn hadn't been provided, and were replaced by gourmet foods and drinks. Clara noticed the rather firm way that Jenny confiscated the first glass of champagne to come Vastra's way, before gently slapping the Silurian’s hand when she reached for it. It didn't take her long, though, to come up with a plan. Taking full advantage of possessing a prehensile tongue, with several abilities, Vastra slowly extended it out of the corner of her mouth, before dipping it into the champagne flute without Jenny noticing.

On screen, Luke Skywalker was busy searching for a probe droid, and the slam of Jenny's hand onto the offending tongue very neatly coincided with the droid blowing up, avoiding attention falling on the Silurian now retracting a somewhat bruised tongue.

"You silly old thing, you know that champagne is bad for you." Jenny hissed, along advantage of the screaming tauntaun on screen to cover the sentence.

Vastra hissed back, slightly muffled.

"Later." Jenny murmured.

The response was almost a purring noise, suggestive of a cross between a small cute feline and a concrete mixer.

"Behave." Jenny ordered her wife, using the quiet tone that usually accompanied a three pound ladle swinging at several hundred metres per second onto her hand.

The purring cut off.


Jenny would have been lying if she'd said she hadn't enjoyed the film. Between chases through asteroid belts, against starfighters and an Imperial Star Destroyer, political mind games and betrayal on Bespin, and the climactic duel and reveal, it had been a film that had left her gripped. The growing relationship between Leia and Han, going from throwing insults at each other to a sudden, aggressive and heartfelt embrace in moments, seemed to her to be how many couples co-existed, although there would have been considerable debate about exactly who actually ran the household she shared with Vastra.

The Silurian was a dominant personality, and was very much in charge when it came to things like detective work and investigations. She also ruled most of the house with a velvet fist. One of her favourite joking threats, that Jenny never took seriously, was to prepare her as the hors d'oeuvres next time she caught a criminal, usually after Jenny had blocked one of her big ideas. Since these usually required technologies still to be invented, several engineers with specialized equipment and the full cooperation of the authorities, Jenny would pick holes in them until Vastra conceded the point. Another threat she made, which Jenny took a tiny bit more seriously, was to attach her to a beam in the attic by her ankles and leave her there. Carrying it out, however, had several issues, mostly involving the fact that they were trading unarmed sparring matches fairly evenly, and that Jenny had access to a fire poker at all times, carrying it around so that Vastra was prevented from playing with it and damaging everything in the room in the process.

Still, their disputes were almost entirely good natured, often revolving around an incident they only remembered as "...that time...", and otherwise little more than a joking prelude to other things. That said, Vastra knew that entering the kitchen while Jenny was cooking was grounds to be smacked with a ladle, or once, for trying to add a large number of sliced chillies to what was supposed to be a beef stew, beaten around the head with a nine-inch diameter frying pan, while being chased out of the room and threatened with a large bucket of ice.


After filing out of the theatre, after the film was over, Clara glanced at the Doctor, who looked almost contemplative, until he noticed her looking, at which point his expression changed to one of boredom.

"Is that what humans call a classic film?" He growled. "I could have done better with my laptop when I was thirteen."

"I'm sure you could." Clara replied, giving him an arch look. "Considering that we only invented the microchip about fifteen years before this film was made, and that most of the animation was done by hand, I think you can allow them some slack."

He simply glared, using his eyebrows to full effect, before leading the way to a nearby diner.

"I thought Jenny could use a bite to eat." He explained, before pushing open the stainless steel clad doors.

Inside, primary coloured seating clashed with black and white floors, slightly tacky from soft drink spillages and a lack of cleaning. Behind the counter, a bored looking woman was chewing gum.

"What can ah git fore yoa?" She asked.

"I'll have a large coffee, Jenny will have a large steak and chips, Clara will have a hot chocolate, and my veiled friend will have a steak ultra-rare."

"Da yous want somethin' to eat wi' that?"

"No." The Doctor said, deploying his eyebrows.

The Doctor handed over a twenty dollar bill, before leading the small party to a corner booth.

The food arrived within five minutes, a mound of chips and onion rings accompanying the dish quickly split between the other diners, before Jenny dug in with a will to the mound of carbohydrates, fats and a small amount of actual protein.


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