"Roger," Davenport spoke sincerely. "Perhaps we should leave."
"Leave?" he echoed, confused, surprised. "What on Earth for?"
Roger took him aside. "I don't know. This whole situation is deeply confusing. I mean, a gigantic wasp! First the professor, then Miss Chandrakala. What is going on?"
Roger picked up on his concern and offered him a small smile. "It is strange, I can't deny that."
"Then," Davenport said, yearning. "Why can we not leave? I don't like this. The Doctor, he thinks that he can solve this. I don't even think Mrs Christie can."
Roger sighed. "But where would we go?"
Davenport shrugged, despairing. "I know not," he sighed. "Anywhere. I can sense that something's not right. That... that creature, it won't just stop at killing two, it will want more blood."
"You're worried," Roger asserted. He cut off Davenport's protests, saying, "And so am I. But we are fine now, so why should we not be in a few hours' time? Trust me, we'll be fine." He cupped Davenport's chin and waited for him to smile.
But Davenport would not. "Please, Roger," he said desperately, as their conversation fell silent as a maid went past. "Can we go? Can we leave? Just for a day or two?"
Roger rubbed his temple. He shuffled his feet. "I want nothing more than to leave with you,
Alexander, but what would our excuses be?"
"I know it's not ideal," he conceded. "Us running off together, Lord knows what they'll think,
but I just have this feeling that something is going to happen." He sighed in frustration.
"You're getting yourself worked up, Alexander," Roger said calmly. "The Doctor and Mrs Christie will solve this riddle once and for all and then... and then we can be together."
Davenport's face lit up in a momentary smile. "I want that too," he agreed. "But, how can you not be concerned, after what happened? Two murders in one day is hardly usual. Come, Roger, let us leave. Even if we have to sleep rough. I want to get out of here before something else happens, but I don't want to leave without you."
"If you think you must leave, then leave," Roger said. "But I have to stay here. I have to look after Mother. Father, too."
Davenport saw the torn look on Roger's face, the dilemma, so gave in. "I'll stay," he finally decided. "Here. With you. As you said, why should anything happen?" He made an effort at a smile.
Roger grinned shortly and kissed his cheek. "I'll see you after dinner," he said, turning to leave for the dining room.
"Roger," Davenport called. "I love you."
Roger looked over his shoulder and gave him a knowing look of reciprocated affection.
Thunder and lightning clapped and shook overhead as rain pounded down on the roof and the walls. Windows opened and closed by themselves, doors creaked.
Davenport jumped as a lightning folk licked closer. It was miles away, but that was too close.
At one end of the table, the Doctor watched carefully the group around the table. "A terrible day for all of us. The Professor struck down, Miss Chankdrakala taken cruelly from us." He shook his head. "And yet we still take dinner."
Lady Eddison caught his eye. "We are British, Doctor," she said simply. "What else must we do?"
"And then someone tried to poison me," he continued. "Any one of you had the chance to put cyanide in my drink. But it rather gave me an idea," he said appreciatively, seeing if anyone seemed fazed by his revelation.
The Reverend looked up. "And what would that be?"
"Well, poison," the Doctor replied simply, holding up his glass. "Drink up. I've laced the soup with pepper."
Colonel Curbishley nodded. "Ah, I thought it was jolly spicey."
The Doctor nodded. "But the active ingredient of pepper is piperine, traditionally used as an insecticide." He cast his gaze over the table. "So, anyone got the shivers?"
No reply came but the roar of thunder and a wind blowing hard enough to open the windows and blow out the candles on the table.
Colonel Curbishley looked up and frowned, suddenly concerned. "What the deuce is that?"
The Doctor put a finger to his lips. "Listen, listen, listen, listen."
A slight buzzing sound appeared out of nowhere, low and vibrating.
"No, it can't be," Lady Eddison breathed, panic flooding her face.
Agatha roused. "Show yourself, demon," she demanded.
The Doctor raised his hands. "Nobody move. Stay where you are."
As the lights flickered and thunder clapped all around them, the huge, black and yellow image of a wasp the size of a horse appeared, hovering over the table, stinger poised.
Lady Eddison rose and screamed, her husband seemed frozen to the spot. The Doctor began to shoo everyone out. "Out, out, out, out, out, out."
Panic and chaos ensued. The windows kept banging and the lightning continued.
Agatha stepped forward. The Doctor, knowing what she was about to do, pulled her back. "Not you, Agatha. You've got a long, long life to live yet."
"Well, we know the butler didn't do it," Donna said, looking at Greeves.
"Then who did?" the Doctor asked.
They looked over at the dining table. Colonel Curbishley was clambering about on the floor, his wheelchair upside-down.
Lady Eddison looked down. "My jewellery," she cursed. "The Firestone, it's gone. Stolen."
Davenport looked hastily around the room and stumbled backwards. "Roger," he breathed, tears stinging his eyes and throat. His mind struggled to comprehend the sight. The wasp. The dagger. Roger. His Roger.
He almost fell into the bookcase, his decorum wavering and weak. He wiped his eyes and sniffed. He wanted everyone else to leave, to go. To let him be with Roger alone. To hold him in his arms and tell him that everything was going to be all right. But he could not. Not ever. He would never be able to touch Roger again. All that might have been would never be, everything that they could have done would never be done. For weeks he would hear people saying how it was such a shame that the gentleman had died, how wrong.
"My son. My child," Lady Eddison screamed.
Davenport watched her as she went to her dead son, as she held him.
He stumbled out of the room. No one would see him. He was only a servant. Roger had made him feel as though he was more than he was. Now he was just a servant. He struggled to compose himself as the other guests filed out.
But he had to continue with his duties. He had the memories of Roger, of their first meeting, first kiss. He thanked the world for that.
Across the hall, he heard Lady Eddison lamenting her son, in the drawing room, he heard Donna's words: "Roger's dead and he can't even mourn him. 1926? It's more like the Dark Ages. That poor footman."
A/N: There we have it! My first Doctor Who fic. Hope you all enjoyed it.