The characters in this fanfic belong to the beloved children's series "The Twins at St Clare's" and were created by Enid Blyton, not myself. I'm just corrupting them.

This story has been edited to comply with's ban on NC-17 fic. It's complete in itself, but if you would prefer to read it as it was intended, you can go to - and please make use of the guestbook or email button for feedback. :) Be aware, though, that most of the website is under construction, and all links may not yet work.

As always, this is dedicated to my beloved Floria.

~China Dolls~

The weather had turned chilly, until finally even Pat O'Sullivan had admitted that a cosy study indoors, one of the perks of being a top former, was preferable to challenging the icy winds. Isabel, always less inclined to frenetic activity than her twin, was glad for the excuse to go inside and seek warm toast and tea by the fire.

Arm-in-arm with Bobby and Pat, Isabel was perfectly happy. She loved St Clare's so much it hurt, and always in the corner of her consciousness was the sweet knowledge that she and her twin were Head Girls of her beloved school. Their school… to think that they had hated the idea of being sent there! She smiled to herself, hoping the other girls didn't notice that she was peeking inside every classroom, and remembering her time there.

Her gaze fell inside the second form classroom, and she froze. The other two girls, feeling their arms suddenly pulled back, stopped and half-turned.

"What's up, Isabel?"

"Nothing much." She frowned. "What's that youngster doing in the classroom at this time?"

"I'm sure we'll find out," Bobby sighed, but her eyes twinkled. "Such a burden on me, being the friend of two such paragons."

"Oh, shut up," Pat said good-naturedly, pushing the door further open. "Hi, kid! Aren't you on free time now? You shouldn't be in here unsupervised, you know."

The younger girl looked up and immediately flushed in terror at being hailed by so great and famous personages as the Head Girls. She stumbled to her feet, and her darning fell to the floor.

"I'm sorry! I just needed to get this done, and the common room is so noisy…"

Isabel stooped to pick up the stockings and knickers scattered over the floor. "You really must have got on Matron's bad side," she remarked. "Is this all yours?"

"No… No, I'm doing some to help someone out." She saw the question, and hurried to answer it without prompting. "Angela Favorleigh." Despite her nervousness, the girl's face brightened, her eyes dreamily losing focus.

The older girls exchanged grim glances, as Isabel gathered up the pile of mending, her expression troubled. Angela…

"Run along back to your common room, kid," Pat said kindly. "We'll see Angela takes care of her own mending. It's against the rules for her to give it to a lower former."

"But honestly, I don't mind!" The girl clasped her hands in distress. She was closer to fourteen than fifteen, all wide eyes and wistfulness. Just the type to worship Angela, and to be allowed to become her willing slave as a reward. "I'm happy to help out Angela. I'd do anything for her." Her voice shook with sincerity. "She's wonderful, really she is. And she's so nice to me."

"Didn't you hear the Head Girl? Scoot." Bobby snapped her fingers, and the girl ran, casting an anxious look back at the upper formers.

They waited until she had gone, and then Pat threw up her arms. "Not again," she groaned. "I thought our precious Angela had learned her lesson, after that little idiot Jane Teal made herself ill over her last year."

"Obviously not." Bobby ran her fingers through her short curls, leaving them in an even more chaotic state than before. "Well, Head Girls, how are you going to save the day and protect your youngest charges?"

"We'll talk to her, I suppose." Pat seemed rather doubtful it would do any good.

Bobby shook her head, eyes dancing. "I have a better idea. Ask your Cousin Alison to have a nice little chat with her darling Angela. She's the only one who seems to have any influence over the little princess, after all."

Pat tapped a finger against the side of her nose. "I don't know… Alison's been different, lately. Since last hols. I really thought she'd got over her silly hero-worship of Angela, but now she's almost as bad as those soft kids."

Isabel thought longingly of her nice warm study, but she smiled and said, "I'll go and make her see sense. I've more tact with Alison than either of you do. Don't eat all the toast before I get there, you pigs."

It didn't take her long to spy the object of her search in the corner of the sixth form common room, laying out one of her eternal jigsaw puzzles. Alison loved jigsaws, even though she went about them in the most muddled way, and rarely completed them. One of the few things that could rouse her to any kind of snappishness was well-meaning attempts to aid her.

"Say, Alison! Can I talk to you for a moment?"

The twins' pretty cousin looked up from her puzzle, seemingly grateful to be interrupted. She had probably found herself in another mess. "What's up?"

"It's your friend Angela." Isabel quickly outlined the situation, then waited for it to sink in to Alison's fluffy little head. It was not always easy to make her pretty cousin realise the seriousness of any situation, and her loyalties were usually very strong, if misplaced.

Alison flushed darkly, in what Isabel presumed was indignation. "I don't see why it's my problem. Why, you make the first formers fag for you, yourself. We all do." Her little rosebud mouth pushed out into a pout.

"What Angela does is different, and you know it is. Surely I don't have to spell out to you just why. Oh Alison, won't you speak to her?" Isabel laid a hand on Alison's immaculate sleeve. "It's for her own good, you know. If she doesn't stop taking advantage of the young ones, Pat and I will have to do something about it, and it won't be pleasant for your friend." Or us, she added silently.

"Yes, I might speak to her," Alison said slowly. She stared at the painted box of her jigsaw puzzle so intently that Isabel followed her gaze, wondering what was so fascinating. It was nothing interesting – just a painted image of a china doll with blank blue eyes and golden curls. "Leave it to me – Angela is my business."

"I'm sorry," Isabel said, startled at her cousin's sudden waspishness. Alison shrugged a graceful shoulder, and turned away, leaving Isabel standing there, wondering just why she felt so uneasy about the entire situation.

It was her cousin's odd manner, she decided. She and Angela had always been friends, and the beautiful rich girl had not always been the best of influences on weak little Alison, but Alison eventually learned to assert herself and gain more equal ground in the relationship. Even lap dogs could snap if their tails were pulled. But Alison had spent the last holidays with the Favorleighs, and ever since she had returned to school, she had been… different. It wasn't easy to determine what was wrong, but Alison seemed more in her beloved Angela's shadow than ever.

Isabel wished fiercely for a moment that she was Carlotta instead of a staid head girl, and could slap Angela's hateful peaches and cream face as hard as she deserved. She would enjoy it.

* * *

Angela was toasting crumpets over the fire when Alison returned to the study they shared. Alison was glad that, for once, Angela had decided privacy was more vital than making the younger girls run around for her. Of course, a sudden desire for privacy on Angela's part usually only meant one thing… Alison bit her lip, but locked the door.

"You're just in time. I'm ready for you." Angela gave her a slow, sweet smile, proffering a crumpet on a toasting fork. The luxuriously furnished study, and the warm light, were the perfect setting for her particular style of beauty. She looked like a display in a lighted Christmas window, her golden curls burnished by firelight into a halo around her porcelain-smooth face.

Alison ignored it. "Angela, I... Isabel said you'd been taking advantage of the younger girls again," she said in a rush, before her courage could fail her.

Angela shrugged a graceful shoulder. Her skin was flushed a delicate pink by the fire's heat, impossibly lovely, and seemingly impossibly bored. "And what of it? They're grateful for a chance to help me."

"Angela, you promised me this wouldn't happen again. I won't put up with it!" Alison choked on her own anger. The ready tears rose in her eyes. Alison had always been prone to tears, and nothing could quite conquer it. While the other girls teased her about waterworks, Angela had told her that she rather liked it the way Alison wept so easily. Tears, she said, were feminine. And useful, especially if you had the ability to weep without spoiling your eyes or making your nose go red, the way Alison managed. It was sometimes tempting, she had admitted, to make her friend cry, just to see all the sparkling tears flow.

Alison hadn't known quite how to take that. It was… like Angela, that was all.

"You won't put up with it? My dear, you don't really have a choice." Angela carefully laid down the toasting fork, and rose to her feet. She stepped forward, taking Alison's chin in her hand and tilting it to look down into her eyes. "Those little ones would do anything for me," she purred. "They'd become my devoted slaves for life for the sake of one kind smile for me… They'd sell me their souls for one kiss.

"But you understand, don't you, my pretty little Alison – because you'd do the same." She leaned forward, darting her tongue across Alison's lips and sliding gently inside.

Angela's mouth was warm, and tasted of melted butter from the crumpets. Angela loved butter. She was always reducing, trying to keep her perfect figure, but she allowed herself that one indulgence. One time during the holidays she had filled her fingers with butter, and pressed them deep inside Alison, laughing as the other girl squirmed at the cold, and telling her it would warm up soon enough. She had been right… the butter had melted and run down, to be gathered up by Angela's pink little tongue.

She knew she should be angry with Angela now and push her away, but she had never seemed to be able to do that. Not even that first time, when she'd woken in the strange guestroom bed to small hands caressing her through her nightgown, and Angela purring and giggling in her ear, consciously wicked… She moaned now, parting her lips wider for the kiss, letting her arms wind around Angela's neck as she was guided back into the armchair and pushed to sit down, Angela folding bonelessly onto her lap.

"You'd better not kiss the little ones like this," she managed to remonstrate at last, despite Angela's lips now being on her throat, spreading tickling little flames.

Angela laughed. "Only you, my little Alison… only you." She pulled her own tunic over her head, obviously amused at Alison's eagerness to divest her of her liberty bodice, fingers fumbling desperately with the rubber buttons. "Only you."

Alison hated Angela when she was like this. She herself was aching after one kiss, but Angela was giggling and completely unaffected, seemingly untouched by the reality of what she was doing. If she felt anything resembling the desperate longing she could create so easily in her friend, nothing showed in her oval face. Beautiful, angelic Angela…

The horrible garment fell away at last. It never failed to be a sweet shock deep inside to see the way Angela blossomed into curves the moment the tapes were undone. At home, Alison had reason to know that her friend wore only silky scraps of fabric under her expensively cut clothes, and strangers stared after her on the streets, mesmerised by the flow of her curves. At school, Matron was less sympathetic about Angela's claims to beauty… and Alison was glad. It was bad enough having the younger ones competing over Angela's favours, without them knowing that under her bodice lay… these riches…

She bent her head in worship, and Angela's giggles faded into gasps. That at least was some satisfaction… Angela's smugness dissolved into small breathless cries and obscene words that fell like kisses from her lips.

Alison was sobbing by the time Angela made that high, surprised noise she always made, golden lashes flying still further apart in a baby doll gesture of surprised happiness.

Angela slid from her lap and began to dress herself again, with the unconcerned grace of a cat grooming itself. Alison, gasping and bereft, closed her eyes and worked her fingers against aching flesh, until she too shook in release, staring at the darkness behind her own eyelids.

"You don't need to worry, Alison." The soft kitten-voice cut into her thoughts. "Tell your dear, sweet cousins that I won't play around with the kids' affections too much. After all, you're such a dainty little thing – it would be a shame to spoil your pretty smile. Look – "

Alison opened her eyes as she was pulled to her feet. Angela put an arm around her and hugged her close in front of the full-length mirror the other girls laughed at them for keeping in their study. They didn't understand – they just didn't understand how important it was to keep their hair and clothes right.

Angela understood.

Alison saw two charming school girls, in demure tunics, with smooth cheeks and rosebud mouths and wide, innocent blue eyes. Perfect little dolls. One had golden curls, and one auburn, and the only other real difference was that the auburn-curled girl was crying.

"See? We're two of a kind, my dear." Angela smiled at their reflection, her small full mouth turning up smugly.

Alison couldn't bear to see Angela's smile anymore, or the perfect pair they made. She turned in Angela's embrace and buried her head on her shoulders. "I love you," she said, knowing it was hopeless.

Angela stoked her hair, very gently. "Don't take on so, darling Alison. There's no need to worry.

"I always liked to play with dolls."