Characters: The Doctor/Agatha Christie
Spoilers: 4.07, 'The Unicorn and the Wasp'
Word Count: 1,048
Author's Notes: I can't get enough Agatha. <3
It was late fall 1928 that I found my world turned rather absurdly upside-down. I had recently (and quite finally, might I add) divorced from my husband after discovering him in a tryst with a younger, prettier woman. A giant spider, if you ask me, but that is another matter all together. I had opted to holiday following the publishing of my latest novel, The Mystery of the Blue Train. Having found that my primary detective, Hercule Poirot, was becoming a rather egotistical boor, I decided to work on some of my short stories for Partners in Crime along the ride. I believe that the train trip would've been rather quiet and I may have actually completed my short stories serial if not for the Doctor.
He announced himself as Doctor Constantine ("But please, just call me 'the Doctor'!") when I first met the tall, ferrety man. He had a wide, startling smile and hair that appeared to defy gravity. He immediately recognized me (I can only imagine from my photograph being plastered all over the papers several years ago; how humiliating, to publicly vanish over fugue and depression). He appeared strangely disappointed that I did not recognize him in return. At the time I believed he must have been from one of my book signings or one of the socials I've gone to over the years.
All the same, he proclaimed himself one of my greatest admirers. It was flattering if nothing else, it's not often I am showered with praise by a young and handsome man, even if he was quite strange.
"Your state of dress is rather unusual," I said. "I have fallen from the social scene as of late; is this what the society-types have deemed more fashionable?"
He looked down at his blue suit and red tie. An odd combination but (as it was with many things that pertained to the Doctor) it appeared to suit him quite well. He grinned that disarming grin again and said he never did pay much attention to fashion, all a bit too boring for him, really.
Perhaps I had fallen into a sense of loneliness after Archibald's affair, but I found myself inviting him to dine with me in the dinner car later that evening. There would be cocktails and music as was custom for the evening meals. He told me he was quite…"chuffed" and said he would join me.
Dinner, however, was not to be. Hours before we were to meet I had been penning out some more dialogue when I heard a scream come from down the hallway. I might have been the only one to have heard it, I thought, as I stepped outside of my room.
"Agatha, did you hear that?" the Doctor was instantly by my side. I should've been surprised to see him, now that I think about it, but for some reason it did not feel wrong to have him there. It did also not seem very odd for him to refer to me by my first name, either, while everyone else still refers to me as 'Mrs. Christie'.
"It sounded like a scream," I replied. I pointed down the hall. "It seemed to come from down there."
The young man bolted down the hallway as if he were certain as to where he was going. I only just heard the scream and while I was sure it was not more than a few rooms down there was no way to pin it immediately. The Doctor, however, babbled on about resonance and the sound bouncing off of the walls. I'm not entirely convinced if he was simply trying to be cheeky or if he genuinely could suss out the noise from where he was standing.
He pulled out a small grey tube with a blue light on the end and pointed it at a door, which promptly opened to reveal what I had feared: A dead passenger on our train. A woman, in fact, brutally stabbed many times in the chest by a weapon that I did not see at the scene. But how? Who could've done such a thing?
The conductor and crew were, naturally, informed as soon as we could step away. Doctor Constantine ("No, really, just 'the Doctor',") informed us all of his status as an inspector at Scotland Yard and I felt, oddly enough, that sensation known as déjà vu where one imagines they've dreamed or lived through a scenario before. And while I have never met this Doctor the way he looked at me as he held aloft his credentials sparked something in me. A familiarity.
Of course, considering the circumstances, perhaps I was merely winded from our discovery. I felt a connection to the man that had experienced the horrifying scene with me.
"You sure do know how to attract the cases," the Doctor said as he spoke with me later, looking at me in something that might've been awe or might've been admiration. In either case, I did not understand his look at the time. Even now, I'm still at a loss to the meanings of many of the other things he said during that evening.
"I beg your pardon, sir?"
"First the Body in the Library, now this?" He shook his head and followed it by a scratch to the nape of his neck. The action was both distracting and somewhat endearing, though I am loathe even now to admit to that.
"Whatever do you mean?" I inquired, flabbergasted by his apparent accusation.
The Doctor smirked at that. A slight twitch of his upper lip that curled into an almost devilish design and yet sat most naturally upon his young face. It was a smirk I was to see many times throughout that night; be confounded by it, frustrated by it, and yes, even seduced by it. It was a look that could undo most who looked upon it and while I was surely to be undone by it as well, for the moment I could only watch it with confusion.
"We're on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie," he told me. "And, as we'd say in Taggart---" I still must admit to my confusion to this reference, though the Doctor seemed to find it quite amusing indeed.
"There's been a murder."