Author's Notes: Noir AU. Based on the prompt from the whoufflelibrary on tumbler. I just couldn't resist doing noir detective fiction with Clara and the Doctor. This will probably be in three parts.
The Gilded Cage
Part 1: The Job
Detective Clara Oswald was calling it quits. The rent was due, the heat was off, and she needed a drink. It was one of those weeks. One of those months actually. She'd tailed a dozen cheating husbands and had to inform a dozen wives that the reason their spouses were always late for dinner was because they were busy screwing their secretaries. In fact, Clara had come to the conclusion that love was officially dead. Especially in New York City.
She was buttoning up her coat when there was a knock at the door. A man's figure stood silhouetted in the frosted glass. He hesitated a moment then turned the knob. Old hinges squeaked as the door swung open. A thin man in a in a tailored suit and fedora stepped into her office.
"Are you Miss Oswald?"
Clara regarded him for a moment taking in her first impressions. First impressions were always the best in determining a person's character. The man was rich according to his clothes, intelligent according to his eyes, and a liar according to his smile. Then again what man wasn't?
"I'm Detective Oswald." she said, sitting on the edge of her desk. She didn't miss the way his eyes took in her pencil skirt and exposed legs. "And who might you be?"
"Mr. Saxson. Harold Saxson. I've heard tell you're one of the best PI's in the city." he said. "I'd like to hire your services."
"They don't come cheap."
"Money isn't an issue. Whatever you ask I'm sure will be fair." Saxon said dismissively. "I simply want you to follow someone and inform me of his actives."
"This fella have a name?" Clara asked. She would take the case regardless; she wanted the heat turned back on. And if Saxon was willing to pay Clara wasn't going to turn him down.
"He goes by 'The Doctor'." Saxson pulled a photo from his inside pocket and handed it to Clara.
Leaning against a wall of what appeared to be a dressing room was a young man. He didn't look at the camera but off into the distance, a contemplative expression on his face. A handsome face, Clara thought objectively, if a bit unusual. Angular features, prominent chin, and dark hair which flopped down into his eyes. His shirtsleeves were rolled up and he wore a waistcoat and a bowtie of all ridiculous things. Clara couldn't help a small smile. He didn't look like a mobster despite the nickname.
"Why do you want him followed?"
"He stole something from me and I want to know where he's taking it."
Clara knew better than to ask what this Doctor had taken, it was obvious Saxon was going to keep a tight lid on things. That was all swell. She didn't need the details to tail the man. Not that she enjoyed being kept in the dark, but clients were like that. Everyone always had their own agenda.
"Fine. I'll take your case." Clara said.
The Gallifrey Club was the hottest joint in New York. Every starlet, gangster, and politician had spent at least one evening knocking back drinks there. This was where Clara found herself. She'd followed the mysterious Doctor from the address Saxson had given her. The man had left his house, made a call on a payphone, then came straight to the Gallifrey Club. Luckily Clara kept a suitcase in her trunk for such emergencies. She waltzed in wearing her best dress. Red, skin tight, and floor length with a low neckline and a slit all the way up to her thigh. Clara turned several heads as she made her way to the bar.
The place was crowded with the city's finest. They laughed, and talked, and danced to the music of the big band on the stage. Clara sipped her gin and tonic while scanning the room for her man. At last she spotted him standing at a partition which led backstage. Clara moved closer. The Doctor glanced around then knocked three times on the wall. A beautiful girl with fiery red hair peeked around the corner. Her face broke into a huge grin when she spotted the Doctor.
Clara recognized her instantly. Amy Pond, the jewel of the Gallifrey Club, they called her the Songbird. People came from all over to hear her sing. A socialite and fashion icon, there wasn't a gossip column in the country that hadn't done an article on her. Amy Pond was also rumored to be the girlfriend of the infamous kingpin known as "the Master". This was certainly an interesting twist on things.
Clara watched as the Doctor handed the girl an envelope. Amy hugged it to her chest then gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek and then quickly disappeared backstage. They were clearly up to something. Never slow on the uptake Clara suspected this was the real reason she'd been hired. She needed to find out what was in that envelope.
Before Clara could come up with a game plan, the Doctor did something entirely unexpected. He walked right up to her. Sauntered more like. The cheeky grin he wore only improved his looks in Clara's opinion. But this wasn't a dime store novel and she didn't see how this was going to help her investigation any.
"I figured if you're going to follow me all night I may as well ask you to dance." the Doctor said taking Clara's arm.