merryghoul: clara under the lake (clara under the lake)
a merry ghoul ([personal profile] merryghoul) wrote in [community profile] lgbtfest2016-08-30 09:02 pm

Doctor Who: April in Chawton

Title: April in Chawton
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: K
Fanwork type: Fanfic
Prompt: Doctor Who; Clara Oswald/Jane Austen; the moment where Clara decided she loved Jane.
Notes: No content notes apply.

The Doctor had business at Windsor Castle in April 1817. Clara decided to head to Chawton instead to visit Jane. Clara was overcome with joy at seeing Jane again; it had been a week, at least from Clara's point of view, that she had seen Jane last. What happened to Jane in 1817 slipped her mind, at least while she was travelling by stagecoach to Chawton.

Cassandra Austen, Jane's sister, was the first to greet Clara when she arrived at Jane's house. “Clara, I am ever so happy to see you,” Cassandra said as Clara was helped out of the stagecoach. “But there's something I have to tell you before you see Jane.”

Clara remembered exactly what happened to Jane in 1817—or rather, what started in 1816. Jane started to feel unwell, but she continued to work on her novels and help out in her family's matters. By April 1817, Jane was bedridden. Clara realized she had arrived at Jane's house before she was taken to a house in Winchester, where she would eventually die.

“She's sick, isn't she?” Clara said.

“How do you know?”

Clara pretended to be clueless. “I know these things. Woman's intuition.” She winked at Cassandra. “Can Jane see people?”

Cassandra leaned into Clara's ear. “Henry doesn't want Jane to see any visitors.” Henry was Cassandra and Jane's brother. “But Jane would be delighted to see you. I can make an exception, especially since Henry's not here right now.”

Cassandra quickly whisked Clara into Jane's house.

Jane was resting in bed. The window in her bedroom was closed. A bottle of wine was near her bed. She was awake when Clara, hiding her sadness, walked into her bedroom.

“Clara! I was not expecting you to visit me.”

“I wasn't expecting you to be in bed.”

Clara walked up to Jane by her bedside. She grabbed her right hand. Jane's hand felt cold to Clara's touch. Clara's heart dropped, but still she hid her grief. “Your hand is cold, Jane. You have a fever.”

“Oh, it is only bile, Clara. I am due to have more of my blood drained from my body, to remove the bile inside of me. I will be better in a few days.”

Clara knew Jane was trying to put on a brave front for her. She decided to play along. “You're right. It's only bile.”

“The next time you see me, I will be myself again. I promise you we will dance like we did when we were in Bath. And I have finally found a hiding place right outside my home. I will take you there when I am well.”

“So we can kiss.”

Jane nodded. “So we can kiss.”

“Why can't we kiss right now? Henry isn't here right now. Cassandra's not in the room. They can't see us kiss from your bedroom. And your face isn't covered. What are you waiting for?”

“You are right, Clara. We can kiss right now.”

Clara leaned in to kiss Jane, expecting to leave a peck on her lips. Instead, Clara lingered on Jane's lips for far longer. Jane's face was hot, but she still was strong enough to kiss. And Jane's kiss was exactly the same way she kissed Jane in some of their earlier meetings, when the Doctor let Clara see Jane while he was attending to business in the West Country. For Clara, this was the most bittersweet experience she had since Danny's Cyber-conversion and his death.

“I'm going to leave so you can rest now,” Clara said after the kiss.

“I will be healthier than ever in a few months.” Jane smiled. “I know I will.”

Clara smiled a weak smile. “I love you, Jane.”

Jane blinked, then smiled. “You know what, Clara Oswald? I love you too. I would live with you if I could.”

Clara chuckled. “Yeah, time travel. And the Doctor doesn't want you to be a companion.”

“Why not?”

“He only wants one companion right now.”

“That is you.”

“Yeah, that's me.”

“Maybe when I am well I will convince him to let me on board your spaceship.”

Clara smiled. “Maybe we can try to impress the Doctor together.”

“Maybe we can.”

Clara let go of Jane's hand. “Goodbye, Jane. I hope I'll see you again, soon.”

“Goodbye, Clara. I hope I will see you again soon.”

Clara left Jane's room, knowing that she could visit Jane earlier in her timeline. All she'd have to do is not mention her last days at her home in Chawton or in Winchester. But she did pride herself in being there to comfort her lover in her last dying days. In a household where Jane mostly saw her family and servants except for special occasions, Clara thought it was awesome to sneak past the rest of Jane's family to give her a final farewell.