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grazieprego

The Adventure of the Concealed Closet

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Apr. 23rd, 2009 | 07:43 pm
posted by: brutti_ma_buoni in grazieprego

Title: The Adventure of the Concealed Closet
Author: Bruttimabuoni
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Angelus/Spike, other fictional characters you will recognise and from whom I also make no profit
A/N: written for the grazieprego ficathon; hence, Spangel.



The fog rolls over old London town in the bitter winter of 1891. The city is quiet, artificially so, deadened by lapping tides of impenetrable mist. But it has been quieter in recent days regardless of weather patterns. A fearful happening in Mayfair has gripped the city’s imagination.

The butchery of a household, from the boot boy in the basement to the housemaids in the meanest attic. All quite perfectly arranged in their beds, yet blood-drenched and long lost when the door was broken down, by two policemen who are still sleepless with the horror. Such vileness, in the most blessed of communities: it cannot be understood, will not be tolerated. Yet all fear it will recur, that a monster has been loosed in the city.

They are right. Though actually there are four monsters. One is here to buy satin, prior to a lighting raid on Paris society in the spring. One is visiting the graves of her family, laying blackberries and lambskins on the cold stone and being watched with concern by the parish priest. Two are bored.

They say the devil makes work for idle hands. There are indeed four diabolically idle hands loose on London.

*

Two gentlemen enter a fine dwelling house in Bloomsbury. The first, a tall, rangy but unhealthy-looking man, appears intrigued. The second, older, bluffer, previously ruddier-cheeked, now blanches at the parlour threshold. They are viewing a scene of slaughter. Five corpses, from an elderly man to a small girl, are waiting in the small, otherwise neat room. One, of a well-built man of perhaps thirty-five, is sprawled and bloodied across the hearthrug, but the remainder are arranged, neat and seemly in their chairs, as though waiting for a parlourmaid bearing tea. Our pair have already encountered the parlourmaid, throatless in the corridor.

“Holmes! What manner of fearfulness is this?”

“Be calm, my dear fellow. One must observe unemotionally.”

“No human being could look on such a scene and lack emotion!”

“Really Watson, you must feel me quite inhuman at times. It’s terribly useful… Lestrade was quite correct. I do find this an intriguing problem. This is very likely the second slaughter in a month by the same perpetrators. Now, what have we here?”

“An abomination, I say. These pitiful creatures, butchered by animals...”

“Quite the contrary, I fear. No basic butchery, this, but a clear and blatant plan to appal and revolt the viewer, to glory in the vileness of the killing. No animal carried out such a thing. Besides, I know of no animals with a taste for cigarillos. The ash here, quite obviously dropped by the very fiend who ripped out this man’s throat.”

In a cupboard in the back room, concealed within the panelling, two persons with very good hearing are murmuring almost silently to one another.

“I told you, William, your filthy habit will be the death of you. In a manner of speaking.”

“Bollocks it will. 'Sides, don't think I haven't spotted you sneaking a crafty one out back when Darla's away. And for the hundred thousandth time, it's
SPIKE.”

Meanwhile...

“There are few other traces preserved, unhappily, after the elephantine tread of Her Majesty's Constabulary has passed this way. All I can say with certainty, is that two individuals were involved. The first was a large man of Irish extraction (though I am persuaded he left that unhappy island some decades ago). He planned the scene, with great precision. The second individual, another male, possesses the habit of tobacco-smoking. I believe him to be a local man, small in stature and probably undernourished in appearance. An impulsive, chivalrous type this. He prefers death in battle to plotted slaughter, and left this man‘s corpse where it fell rather than including him in the staged scenario.”

“How can you possibly make such assertions, Holmes?”

“Oh, quite simply. The usual factors, size and depth of footprint, taste in cheap London shag and Irish whiskey, a scrap of tweed from a most outdated Connacht fabric now quite hard to come by but kept on for some elderly gentlemen of sentimental disposition. Oh, and I might add that the small man (can you hear a growling noise? No? Perhaps a passing dog) was the only child of a doting mother, probably a widow. A sensitive lad by upbringing, now striving to put forward a facade of brutality. Yet not without weakness.”

”Man's talking cobblers. Except the parts about you.”

“Shhh...”


The tall man is now lecturing, unstoppably loquacious. “For I am wholly persuaded that the younger of our two villains considers himself the carer or helpmeet of a most peculiar female, of limited maturity but infinite capacity for cruelty. He brings her scraps from the table of his vile feeding, hoping to win her favour. See how one of the child's dolls has been removed from this neat little sequence. A trophy, I believe one daubed in the child's blood before it was removed – spot the smears across her shoulder, where something was dabbled in the gore?

“However, the two men who committed this abomination are themselves deeply devoted, unnaturally so. They preen before each other, each striving to outdo, leaving gifts of blood and gore in hopes of some sign of affection. Not star-crossed lovers, these, more like dabblers in the sodomitical arts. Rather petty stuff…”

”For that, I am going to kill him.”

“Not if I get to him first. Just let me out of this hidey-hole.”

“Except, dammit, we agreed not, Will. Not too much at once. We're all fond of London, don't want to make it too hot for us again. Darla‘s not finished with her milliners.”

“What? Pussy-whipped, that‘s you, old man.”


Outside, Watson‘s patience is at an end. “Stop, Holmes, stop at once. How can you enumerate these points without horror? That such fiends live among us, that men should be capable...”

“Oh, men are capable of much worse than this. But for once, this is not literally the work of men, Watson. Vampires, I'm afraid. They really are inhuman. And do crop up rather often in these parts.” Holmes is quite calm in making this statement, but his friend appears aghast and disbelieving.

“Furthermore, it seems likely to me that such purveyors of perversion would wish to remain and view their handiwork and the reaction of the viewers. They are virtually immortal and have little fear of death or capture, certainly not such bold specimens as we are dealing with here. Perhaps a nearby house, but I think more likely the small cupboard concealed in the panelling of the rear room, which I believe our friends in the police failed to observe.”

So much for planned restraint. Angelus moves to the cupboard door, poised to pounce. Spike looks at him in resignation. “Always the big show with you, innit? Got to be noticed. And now I've gotta get you out of the shit. Where's the fun in snuffing out some passing ponce with a big brain? He won't put up a decent fight.

Outside...

“Then we are in mortal danger. We must go for the constabulary immediately.”

“Hush, Watson. Do give them some credit. Evil they may be, but idiotic I think not. The name of Sherlock Holmes means a great deal in this city, and my death would raise the whirlwind. I believe the villains, if they know their business, will let us leave unmolested and then make their escape. I'm afraid we cannot capture them ourselves, without additional resources, so [voice raised over Watson's vigorous objections] for once I believe we must call a truce.”

He addresses apparently thin air. “Goodbye, foul fiends. This is an impasse, not a reprieve. If you kill again, I‘ll come after you with stakes and burning brands, and pursue you to the ends of the earth. You are not invisible here; this city will be defended.”

Holmes and Watson leave safely, considerably to Holmes’ surprise. Spike and Angelus, dusty, sheepish and mindful of Darla‘s likely fury at this outcome, emerge from their hiding place. Their fun has been spoilt, their disguise penetrated, and their plans stymied.

Bloody hell.

Two houses of horror, and London reels. But no more follow. Paris takes its turn a little earlier than expected.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle continues to write of a famed fictional detective. And Spike and Angelus are among the few who know how factual those stories are.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Comments {30}

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I need more coffee

(no subject)

from: a_mistletoe
date: Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
Link

The game's afoot, and the fiends thwarted. Bravo. I assume you've read Holmes' other encounter with a vampire in Sussex? That of course was a fake, but he knew the way of it.

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you! Ah, yes, the Ferguson case - a fascinating adventure, indeed.

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brunettepet

(no subject)

from: brunettepet
date: Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
Link

You captured the deductive reasoning Holmes employs to get to the heart of the crime, and I thoroughly enjoyed the vampires' reactions to his crime solving prowess in this sharp, entertaining piece.

This made me laugh: (can you hear a growling noise? No? Perhaps a passing dog) was the only child of a doting mother, probably a widow. A sensitive lad by upbringing, now striving to put forward a facade of brutality. Yet not without weakness.”

”Man's talking cobblers. Except the parts about you.”
Excellent Spike voice, and I loved Holmes' description of the vampire.

This was also very funny: more like dabblers in the sodomitical arts. Rather petty stuff…”

”For that, I am going to kill him.”
Methinks the vampire doth protest too much.

Holmes having to give the vampires a pass, but still outwitting them was delightful.

Thanks for another clever, well written read.

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you! It was a truly fun one to write.

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(Deleted comment)

brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you too - comments are much appreciated and I'm really pleased you enjoyed it!

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Elena

(no subject)

from: moscow_watcher
date: Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
Link

Delicious! Clever, funny, incredibly well-written voices, tight plot and great sense of detail.

The bits I love the most:

Oh, and I might add that the small man (can you hear a growling noise? No? Perhaps a passing dog)

and

“However, the two men who committed this abomination are themselves deeply devoted, unnaturally so. They preen before each other, each striving to outdo, leaving gifts of blood and gore in hopes of some sign of affection. Not star-crossed lovers, these, more like dabblers in the sodomitical arts. Rather petty stuff…”

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 23rd, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the fun.

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whichclothes

(no subject)

from: whichclothes
date: Apr. 23rd, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
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What fun! Very clever. :-)

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 24th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed reading.

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acacia5

(no subject)

from: acacia5
date: Apr. 24th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
Link

That was great fun. Thank you.

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 24th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks for reading, enjoying and commenting!

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treadingthedark

(no subject)

from: treadingthedark
date: Apr. 24th, 2009 03:31 am (UTC)
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I really enjoyed this. How unique!

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 24th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you! It was a lot of fun to invent and write.

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My fandoms have suitgasms

(no subject)

from: brilliant_snark
date: Apr. 24th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
Link

This was highly amusing,as I play in a multi-fandom RPG, where I play Spike. And there's a Holmes. I just sent a link to to this to the player. ;) Very enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 24th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
Link

*g* People of good taste play with the best characters! I hope your Holmes thinks it's a reasonable parody - not my usual fandom at all!

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dancing till the world ends

(no subject)

from: lynnenne
date: Apr. 24th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Link

Oh, great fun!

However, the two men who committed this abomination are themselves deeply devoted, unnaturally so.

Heeeeeeeee. If Holmes says it, it must be so. *g*

Thank you for writing this fic for this ficathon.

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 25th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Link

He only deals in facts and logic, you know... Thanks again for offering us the opportunity to Spangel like mad!

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Barb

(no subject)

from: rahirah
date: Apr. 26th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
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HEEEE! I love it!

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 26th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you!

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Shapinglight

(no subject)

from: shapinglight
date: Apr. 26th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
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Wonderful. Loved it.

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 26th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Link

*g* Thank you! It was lots of fun for me too!

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of_too_minds

(no subject)

from: of_too_minds
date: Apr. 27th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
Link

I enjoyed Holmes dry recital of the facts. And then the vampires' responses had me in stitches!

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 28th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you! I think once Angelus really thinks about some of Holmes's comments he'll be absolutely furious!

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ares132006

(no subject)

from: ares132006
date: Apr. 27th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
Link

Oh! I loved your Holmes and Watson voices.


“An abomination, I say. These pitiful creatures, butchered by animals...”

“Quite the contrary, I fear. No basic butchery, this, but a clear and blatant plan to appal and revolt the viewer, to glory in the vileness of the killing. No animal carried out such a thing. Besides, I know of no animals with a taste for cigarillos. The ash here, quite obviously dropped by the very fiend who ripped out this man’s throat.”


Absolutely loved the reactions of Angelus and Spike, hiding in the cupboard.

And the turn of phrase you use reminds me so much of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Two houses of horror, and London reels. But no more follow. Paris takes its turn a little earlier than expected.

Well done. Very entertaining. It made me laugh in just the right places.





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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 28th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you! I haven't read much proper Conan Doyle for a while, so I'm glad it reads okay. And that you enjoyed it, of course!

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cuervodolls

(no subject)

from: cuervodolls
date: Apr. 29th, 2009 09:51 am (UTC)
Link

Wonderful voices, spot on Holmes. Excellent story.

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks! Very glad you enjoyed it.

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FemailoftheSpecies

(no subject)

from: cafedemonde
date: May. 3rd, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
Link

Now that was fun!

And the writing feels so accurate for the times. You've done an excellent job.

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brutti_ma_buoni

(no subject)

from: brutti_ma_buoni
date: May. 3rd, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you! Very glad you enjoyed it, and found the voices convincing.

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