toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)
"Thirty in three months," Lanyon said, and nodded. "I know, I have rather a brutish face."
It was not that, precisely. In fact he had fine, decisive features of the sort one might expect incised on an old coin, half obscured by passing time and many hands, faintly unreal in full daylight and animated conversation. It was his manner that, once one knew his secret, smacked of a certain sententious reserve even beyond her years let alone his. Helen, all unknowing, might have approved, but it gave Harriet a case of social claustrophobia.
"You look as though you wish you were fifty already," she informed him, and stubbed her cigarette out in the proffered ashtray, "and it only seems polite to bring you as near it as possible."
He laughed a little, a soundless gasp she saw as much as heard, escaping in the frigid air. "I've been recalling as near as I could a very martinet of a captain I had very young; it's the only way I can get by without flattening Straike."
"We really ought to get hold of his credentials," she said, and waved off his offer of a third cigarette. "Pity he wasn't at Oxford."
"Cambridge man," Lanyon agreed, and drew meditatively on his own cigarette, cheeks hollowing. "I know a man who might have been up with him, and was a Fellow after, so a few years one way or another shouldn't affect matters. I can go down to the post office and call him tomorrow, since getting near the phone here is an ordeal and a half. He's still up there, can get hold of the records easily."
Something about the gesture had made Harriet's mind swing to fleshly matters like a magnetized needle north. What a filthy little mind I have under the sophistication, she thought, and having administered a quick reprimand, said, "Were you a Cambridge man?"
This time Lanyon's smile was all teeth and no humour, a bright slash. "I was a fishing trawler man, my lady. My father refused to pay for university after I got thrown out of school for touching children wrongly." He finished his cigarette in a long pull and flicked the ash and smouldering stub into the empty carton. "I'd ask you to keep it quiet in the house but you will regardless. Lord Peter knows already, of course."
toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)
 Has anyone else ever thought of Harriet Vane as a WoC? The description of honey skin and dark eyes and deep voice have on my last read through been very persuasive on that count.

Someone looking like a younger Thandie Newton, mebbe.
toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)
 Reading Gaudy Night might be an unorthodox manner of resettling oneself into college life, but it is by gods an effective one. Harriet, Harriet, my heart.
toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)

“Old man changed his mind at the last minute and was too cowardly to tell her about it,” Jerry said, and Fred, looking rather extinguished, nodded along.

“What was he ill with? If it was dementia or something like he wasn’t in possession of his faculties,” Hilary offered, and settled back at Peter’s approving nod.

Lanyon said, “The husband did it,” and to general uproar added, “ah, but I know the family. At least if it’s the people I’m thinking of, his name’s Straike and she has a grown son from an earlier marriage.”

“And that has made all the difference,” Peter said, and released Harriet, moving back into the room to clap Lanyon on the shoulder. “We’re done here. Go with Harriet and play the familiar face while she snoops.”

Under Peter’s eye, Lanyon’s face smoothed out of its stricken look. He might have been one of the effigies Harriet had taken rubbings of in church, calm and somehow primitive. Where a sensible man, feeling as much as he did, would have declined and tucked tail back to the Admiralty, he said, “Yes my lord,” and caught Fred’s flailing arm without bothering to turn around.

toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)
suffer a sea-change (588 words) by toujours_nigel
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy L. Sayers
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Harriet Vane/Peter Wimsey

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