A/N: Set during Crimson Horror, starts and ends with canon scenes just for placement.
She hoped he was alright, whatever he was doing in that closet was making green smoke, and odd noises. Suddenly the door opened and he popped out, good as new.
"Doctor!" She cried in amazement.
"Jenny! Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, Jenny." He ran off a ways to click his heels in midair. "Just when you think your favourite lock-picking Victorian chambermaid will never turn up. Jenny." He ran back, he wasn't making sense, and then he dipped her down and was kissing her. She was to surprised to react, but smacked him in the face when he released her. For heaven's sake, she was married! To a female! Silurian! He simply worked his jaw around for a moment and exclaimed "You have no idea how good that feels." But the impact did seem to get him back on track. "Right, Mrs. Gillyflower, we've got to stop her, and then there's Clara, poor Clara, where's Clara?"
"Clara? Doctor, wait!" Clara died, they attended her funeral.
"Can't, Clara, gotta find!" He ran off.
"Wha' 'appened to ya? 'ow long 'ave you been like that?" He slid back around the corner to answer.
"Days, weeks, dunno. Long story. I'll keep it short." He gave her a rundown of how he and Clara came to be investigating Sweetville, walking as he talked.
"What is that stuff, though?" She asked, referring to the red vat they had seen people being lowered into.
"Deadly poison. And Mrs. Gillyflower's been dipping her pilgrims in a dilute form to protect them." He pointed his sonic screwdriver at a crank, glancing at it after. "Preserve them. Process didn't work on me, maybe because I'm not human, I ended up on the reject pile." He looked out a window.
"Preserve them against what?"
"Well, according to her, the coming apocalypse." He whistled and twirled a finger pointing at his brain, signifying that Mrs. Gillyflower was not right in the head.
"When the end of days is come, and judgement rains down upon us all." Clara recited from Mrs. Gillyflower's speech at the church.
"What?" The Doctor turned to face her.
"Nothing." She shook her head, not wanting to confuse him with a triviality.
"No, no, no, what?"
"Something Mrs. Gillyflower said, one of her... Sermons... Madame will come looking for me, we'd best get on." They had planned that if Jenny couldn't contact by tonight, Vastra would come investigate.
"Yes, Clara, got to find Clara." He started waking off.
"But Doctor!" He turned round in a doorway. "Clara's dead... Isn't she?" Jenny felt the need to check, some things you never could tell when the Doctor was involved.
"... It's complicated." He answered evasively, stepping through the door.
"Sorry about the kiss, by the way." He said conversationally as they tried to find their way outside. His brain seemed to be going in all directions at once, but she was glad he had brought it up. In all the fuss about what Mrs. Gillyflower was doing, Jenny had nearly forgotten that the Doctor had kissed her. Now she could chastise him properly.
"You ought to keep in mind that I'm married." She huffed.
"Yes, I'd be very appreciative if you didn't tell Vastra. I'd really hate to have both of you upset at me."
"Doctor, you're suggesting I lie to my wife!"
"No, not really lie..."
"A lie of omission is still a lie." She stopped and folded her arms and he winced. "You kissed me."
"I wasn't in my right mind."
"You seemed to be, seemed to know who I am."
"I did know who you are, I was just so excited I-"
"Decided to kiss a married woman?" She interrupted. She knew she was being impertinent, and the Doctor had apologized, but he didn't seem to mean it. Like dealing with a young child who only apologizes because he knows he ought to, she had to make him understand that what he did was wrong. He paced around a bit, agitated. He suddenly spun to face her, getting down on his knees.
"I am sorry, Jenny. Truly. My behavior was... Inexcusable. But perhaps it was forgivable?"
"Just don't let it happen again." She told him sternly, giving him a hand up.
"Thank you." He hugged her and she returned the gesture. They resumed trying to find a door outside. "I suppose, if you must tell Vastra, I'll be able to bear her fury."
"I'll let 'er know you apologized very contritely." They walked through another door and found themselves outside, at the end of a long row of houses.
"Right! Clara! Going to find Clara!" He ran off and Jenny was forced to pick up her skirts and chase after. She met him coming back from a door to a house.
"Are we talking about the same person? About that Clara?" She asked as they walked down the road. He ran off to check another house. "Doctor!" She cried, exasperated. He wasn't answering her questions, was Clara dead or not? "Wh-" He ran back, gesturing for her to keep quiet. He held her close, an arm around her shoulders, speaking quietly and quickly.
"I couldn't see much from where I was, but I think she survived the process, she must be here somewhere!" He ran toward another house.
"But Clara died!" Jenny whispered loudly after him. "The ice lady? Doctor!" He ran back.
"Shh!" He whispered. "We- D- Wh- Th- Uh..." He struggled over words for a second, settling on "It's complicated." again and running to the next house.
"Wh-" He entered the house instead of returning and she ran after him, stopping just inside the door, shocked.