A Minor Misdemeanor

Chapter 21

When she heard the front door open, Clara began wriggling as much as she could, trying to struggle into a more dignified position than flat on her stomach with her arms completely immobilized behind her back. She was astonished at how effective the restraint was, however, although she finally managed to squirm into a sitting position with her legs dangling off the edge of the bed before Vastra opened the door.

"Oi!" She yelled, as soon as the door opened. "What the hell is this about?"

"I thought it would be a joke." Vastra replied, looking ever so slightly sheepish.

"Ah..." Clara gasped, as an attempt to move her arms slightly to one side nearly dislocated one of her shoulders. "Can you get this thing off of me?" She almost begged.

"Jenny always says it's really comfortable." Vastra said, bending down and carefully unbuckling the two straps holding the armbinder in place.

"Jenny is a lot more flexible than I am." Clara groaned, as the leather sleeve was finally slid down her arms, allowing her to separate her elbows for the first time in fourteen hours.

"I didn't realise that flexibility varied among humans."

"You..." Clara gasped, slowly trying to work some actual feeling back into any part of her arm below the elbow.

"Clara, I meant it as a harmless prank." Vastra said, looking extremely earnest, and her face turning a somewhat darker shade of green. "I didn't mean for you to suffer anything more than a period of limited mobility."

Clara just looked at her.

The Silurian stared back.

"Right, shall we have tea?" Clara said, after a few uncomfortable moments.

"Tea sounds an excellent idea." Vastra replied, breaking into a smile that would have looked very happy, had it not exposed a set of teeth that would have given pause to most carnosaurs. Clara just shook her head.

Quickly, she headed for the stairs, ensuring that Vastra left the room ahead of her to avoid any additional pranks that would leave her dangling over the hall from the first floor ceiling, or simply leave her secured to a section of stair rail by one hand. As it turned out, her precautions were entirely unnecessary, and she reached the hall without incident.

When she opened the kitchen door, the first thing Clara smelt was smoke.

"You've been trying to make tea for yourself, haven't you?" She said, turning to a somewhat embarrassed Silurian.

"I didn't realise how difficult it is." Vastra replied.

Shaking her head, Clara bent down to the firebox on the wood burning stove, before cautiously opening it, making sure both she and Vastra were standing out of line with the door.

As it turned out, the fire was merrily burning, and didn't send a fireball through the hatch.

Clara looked inside, and burst out laughing.

"Can you... get me... a set of... tongs?" She managed to splutter out between fits of laughter.

The Silurian gave her an arch look, before fetching a set of tongs Jenny normally used to extract the Vastra equivalent of a shank from the oven. Grinning, she reached in, before locking the teapot between the two grabs and rapidly extracting it, noticing the way the paint was busy being on fire as she did so.

"Why did you put the teapot in the firebox?" She asked, trying to keep her continued amusement off of her face.

"I thought that was where it went." Vastra replied, sulkily.

"It doesn't get heated. The water goes in the kettle first." Clara replied, before emptying the water out of the baked teapot.

"Where do the rest of the teapots live?" She asked, before Vastra nodded at one of the cupboards. Inside, she found a selection of teapots, several showing signs of Vastra having been involved in their withdrawal from service. After a few moments, she quickly removed an intact silver teapot, decorated with ferns and scrolls, before filling a kettle with about two pints of water, then placing it on the stove to heat up.

While the water was heating up, she extracted a pair of tea bags from the tea caddy, then placed the pair of the smooth bags into the pot, before pouring the boiling water in on top of them, trying to avoid gasps of pain from the various muscle groups which were still complaining about having spent the previous fourteen hours trapped in an incredibly painful position by an armbinder. Just lifting the kettle, which, in total, weighed a kilogram, was enough to leave her in discomfort, and holding it while she poured the contents into the teapot was almost torture.

As soon as she'd managed to pour the water out of the kettle and into the teapot, she quickly placed the empty kettle on an unheated section of stove-top, before stepping away, and just collapsing into the surprisingly present arms of the silurian detective.

"Clara?" She said, as a wave of black ink receded from in front of the human's eyes.

"Mmm?" Clara groaned.

"I'm sorry." Vastra said, simply, without any of the mischief with which she'd expressed the same sentiment previously. "This is my fault. If I was male, I'd say I was thinking with my dick."

"We all do that occasionally." Clara replied, before groaning as the pain from overstressed joints and muscle groups hit her again. Then she looked down, before whipping her head back up. "Did you have to open the front of my nightdress?" she demanded, glaring angrily at the Silurian.

"It says in the book to loosen all clothing…" Vastra said, a hopeful tone not quite creeping into her voice.

"To loosen all tight clothing." Clara corrected her, before angrily continuing. "It does not say that bored, highly intelligent, homosexual lizards should use a faint as an excuse to take a look at the breasts of someone they know full well would never consent to such while conscious."

Vastra pulled back from the human girl with a sharp hiss.

"And don't you dare give me some spiel about it being part of your damned cultural heritage or some such." Clara continued. "I know as well as you that while you probably didn't plan for me to faint, you know better than to dare to take advantage of such an episode simply to satisfy your sexual curiosity about someone. That is common manners, in any developed culture."

There was a blur of movement, and Vastra was suddenly in possession of a meat cleaver.

"Put it down." Clara said, sounding almost tired. "If you used that, you'd be a handbag and matching shoes inside of a day, and you know that as well as I do."

The cleaver went hurtling across the room, before lodging in the door.

"Are you sure you don't want to go back to bed?" Vastra asked, her voice suddenly turning almost sultry.

"Get out of here." Clara ordered her, staggering back to her feet, before wobbling over to the hook by the kitchen door where she'd left her satchel, which included her phone, thoughtfully modified to work in almost any time period by the Doctor. Of course, it still wouldn't work in rural areas in her own time period, or when on the tube on her way to a night out.

Angrily, she punched in the code that would connect her to the TARDIS.

"Yes?" The Doctor asked after a moment.

"Can you give me any tips for dealing with Vastra?" Clara asked. "She's getting totally out of control."

"Hang on…" The Doctor replied, before several gunshots sounded, then he came back on the line. "I'm in the middle of something."

"Right." Clara said. "Is that something called a firefight?"

"Yes."

"I need some tips on handling Vastra without using a rolling pin."

"Can they wait?"

"She just took advantage of me ending up passed out to have a look at my breasts." Clara replied. "So no, I need some advice before I go near her again."

"You need to show her some strength. She'll respect that, and the fact that she seems attracted to you should be less of an issue. There is also the Cadbury option."

"Doctor, I'm not going to keep drugging her." Clara replied. "That's underhanded and cruel, not to mention unreasonable."

"She took your shirt off without your permission." The Doctor replied, as several more gunshots and volleys of fire echoed around the area.

"I need to be able to live with her without drugging her." Clara replied, frustrated.

"I don't know. Use your head or something." He replied.

"What does cinnamon do to silurians?" She asked, noticing that the jar containing it seemed to be almost the size of a small oil-drum in comparison to most of the other spices.

"It reduces libido considerably." He replied.

"Then it doesn't count as drugging." Clara replied, firmly, before putting the phone down.

She carefully searched through several recipe books, aware that there weren't many dishes which combined cinnamon and meat for any reason. However, those that did seemed to have been marked, along with annotations which looked suspiciously like dosages.

Grinning, she began reading the recipe for lamb tagine.


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