nineveh_uk: Screenshot of Wimsey and Bunter from the 1987 television production. (wimsey and bunter)
I have already made the mistake of taking a crackfic premise and thinking that it would be fun to explore it properly, it won’t really take too long... Having learned from this, I therefore give you as much as “Bunter and Lord Saint-George unexpectedly find themselves taking care of a mysterious baby” as there is ever likely to be.

We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.

‘I’m telling you, it isn’t mine!’

Bunter looked from the naked infant currently occupying the Chesterfield to his employer’s eldest nephew and raised a sceptical eyebrow.

‘Honestly,’ protested Lord Saint-George. ‘I know it’s not completely implausible, and its hair is the right sort, but I have got a sense of self-preservation. Besides, I’m no expert, but this one looks pretty new to me. It’s very small, and what is that?’

‘I believe it is the cord stump, my lord.’

‘Well, nine months ago – and ten months ago and eight months ago - I was in America. It can’t possibly be mine. Come to that where were you nine months ago?’

‘In France,’ said Bunter chillingly, ‘with his lordship and her ladyship.’

‘Hmm. So that rules him out, too. Good thing really, it’d be a bit tough on Aunt Harriet, all things considered. Spare me the affronted look, it’s not like he hasn’t been around a bit in his time though I wouldn’t expect him to be careless. Let’s have a look at the letter again.’

Bunter produced a neatly folded letter and envelope.

Dear sir, Please take care of my baby. Her name is Margaret. I know that I have not been a good girl and deserve my shame, but your lordship was not to know, and I leave her with you knowing as how a gentleman like you will think of your obligations and not hold the poor mite’s mother against her, and will raise her decent and not put her in one of them horrible homes. May God bless your kindness.

‘Was that all that was with it?’

‘Yes, my lord. It was on tucked into the blanket containing the infant when I made the discovery.’

‘It sounds to me like she’s been reading too many cheap novels. Does anyone really talk like that these days – all Thomas Hardy shame and mites and things? I’ve never heard it.’

Bunter looked thoughtfully at the note.

‘Nor I, my lord. Moreover, I venture that any young person whose literary inclinations did lie in such a direction would not be likely to write them on paper costing 10 shillings for a dozen sheets.’

‘She might be a servant and have pinched it.’

‘It would have required some forethought. A servant would have been dismissed some months ago.’

‘True enough. But look here, isn’t that the sort of dent left by a cuff-link? It looks like my letters to Mother when I’ve had to stop and think about a tactful bit in the middle.’

‘It is indeed my lord.’

‘A compliment about detective genius running in the family wouldn’t go amiss, you know. So in sum we have a baby of unknown origin and a bloke – possibly – trying to get rid of it. Maybe it’s an embarrassment to him, or perhaps it was available and he thought he could use it to embarrass Uncle Peter. I don’t think Aunt Harriet would refuse to believe him if he denied responsibility even if he hadn’t been in France, but the bloke isn’t to know that.’

‘It is an intriguing hypothesis, my lord.’

‘Isn’t it? We’ve got six hours before Uncle Peter gets back. It’s not quite how I’d planned to spend them, but it would be a coup to solve his case for him. He might even forgive that last solicitor’s letter.’
nineveh_uk: Screenshot of Wimsey and Bunter from the 1987 television production. (wimsey and bunter)
The mind works in mysterious – or simply dreadful – ways. The mole in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is code-named Gerald. Present me with a spy called Gerald, a plausible time-period, and the madness that comes at the end of term, and the result is inevitable.

In my defence, I kept it to exactly 100 words, so it is a proper drabble.

The Spy Who Came in from East Anglia

‘Credo quia impossibile be damned!’ said Peter. ‘I can’t believe that Jerry was a Russian spy. He could scarcely manage je ne parle pas francais, let alone Russian.’

‘I appreciate it’s quite a shock, your Grace’ said the Permanent Secretary, ‘but I’m afraid it’s true. Your brother wrote a lengthy confession.’

‘Bang goes my security clearance,’ muttered Peter. ‘Not that I’ve much time for the FO these days. Who was his contact? He can’t have been passing stuff to Moscow himself.’

‘We don’t know. British, well-travelled, access to sophisticated photographic equipment. Codename might be Greyfriars.’

Peter felt a dreadful qualm.
nineveh_uk: Cover illustration for "Strong Poison" in pulp fiction style with vampish Harriet. (Strong Poison)
I have freshers’ flu, and as a result am mostly lying on the sofa not doing much. I seem, nonetheless, to have found the energy to write Harriet Vane and Peter Wimsey aliens made them do it*. Blame [personal profile] marginaliana for prompting it. Actually, she prompted Peter and Bunter, but in working that out it was obvious that AMTDI had to be H/P for the angst factor. There may also have been past consideration of the Peter/Harriet dilemma. Clearly I should never let my brain rest, or terrible things will happen. Pre-GN.

*Not actual aliens.

The Revenge of Ali-Baba )
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
Harriet Vane was born in 1900 or 1903, depending on novel. She could well have still been alive in 1994-98 and thus able to appear on Caroline Aherne's Mrs Merton Show. Thus is engendered one of the world's shortest crossover fics.

Interview

"What first, Harriet, attracted you to the millionaire Lord Peter Wimsey?"

***

For the uninitiated, the reference can be seen here.
nineveh_uk: Cover illustration for "Strong Poison" in pulp fiction style with vampish Harriet. (Strong Poison)
I often finish a fic and wait until the next morning to post it. This is partly so I can read comments during the working day, but also so that I have the opportunity to spot anything wrong and correct it before posting. Fortunately I am still in the semi-hysterical state that is synonymous with the end of the ninth week of term and that allowed me to write this last night, or I would be looking at this fic by the cold light of day and acknowledging that the wrongness is inherent and can’t be cut out, and resolving never to look at it again.

Continuing to defy Disraeli, this is, as ever, not my fault. Yes, I seem to have started and finished the evil AU while half-way through the proper fic, but [personal profile] clanwilliam made me do it. I mean, if you go around posting comments like the following, apropos of various questions on LJ britpicking comms, what do you think is going to happen?

Well, if your uncle actually took a proper pride in his duties, he'd have taken you off to a brothel in Paris where you could be non-consensually buggered with a strap-on.

I cannot stress strongly enough that this is not my personal canon. And I am a little sceptical about the whole Edward VII sex chair business, but this is a picture, if you want to know what Peter’s tied too… Sorry about the Daily Mail, they had the best photograph.

With all due apologies to Roger McGough, I present:

The Lesson )
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
Inspired by a postcard spotted (by bookwormsarah)in the People's History Museum in Manchester, an irresistible crossover.

***


"You see, Lady Peter," said Dr Baring, "after we had recovered from that appalling business, and had time to reflect on it in a scholarly spirit, we wondered if perhaps we were partly to blame. Not for upholding above all the importance of the honour and integrity of scholarship, but for allowing that importance to be felt only here, within these college walls, and only some of those. Why should we be surprised that a woman like Annie Wilson has no sympathy with our ideals, when we have never invited her to share them?" The Warden tapped her cigarette impatiently and continued.

"In brief, Lady Peter, Miss Barton invited the Principal to High Table one evening, and we proposed a collaboration. We have offered places to their most talented students, and a new degree is to be taught between us - though I'm afraid that it's the University of London external examination. The results you see before you. I may say that we are feeling rather proud of ourselves."

Harriet looked around the hall, the usual students in their gowns augmented by a handful of older faces, and even a couple of - presumably non-resident, one could not imagine Shrewsbury had changed so much in two years - men, and hanging at the far end of the room above the great double doors, the proud gold-bordered banner.

"But Warden," she said weakly, "Trade Union Studies?"

nineveh_uk: Cover illustration for "Strong Poison" in pulp fiction style with vampish Harriet. (Strong Poison)
One of the downsides of family Christmasses, is that when a really deranged fannish idea pops into one's head, there is no-one to say it to. So whilst my sister and brother-in-law are at the gym, and the rest of the family are in the other base camp before we all meet for dinner tonight, I shall take a brief moment to talk to the internet. The following will make no sense to those who are not familiar with the Chalet School. To those who are, I can only apologise (not least for not being able to do the EBD voice).

Margot's Baby

Joey Maynard laid the small white knitted garment carefully on the table in the salon at Freudesheim.

'But surely you could still take your vows? I could look after the baby - you know how sad your father and I were that we had to stop at eleven - and Mother Superior said she would still accept you if you were truly penitent.'

Margot shook her golden curls. 'I'm sorry, Mama, but it's impossible.'

Joey sighed. 'I just don't understand. Your father and I were so proud of the way you'd grown up and left behind your difficult behaviour. Margot, what on earth possessed you?'

Margot made a sound that was half a growl, her blue eyes flashing with a light that Joey Maynard even in her most poetic moments had never imagined in a human face. When she spoke, her voice was the voice of horrors.

'My devil made me do it.'

***

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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