There was a suspended moment where each took each other in, upon first meeting. Joanna caught her breath at the cool lofty beauty, the calm dark eyes and flawless skin; Joan thought Joanna’s hair was a warm, appealing kind of blonde, and that she might dimple up if she smiled.
Then Joanna said, “When she said three continents, she meant to say Antarctica, Siberia, and Yorkshire,” and Joan snorted and wrinkled up her nose grinning in a distinctly unlofty way.
It turned out they also had a version of Irene Adler over in Joan’s universe, and Joan was telling her about how she woke up in Irene’s bed with her heels missing and a single glass of orange juice and champagne on the nightstand as they slipped past the doors into the console area.
There was a soft hum of female voices around the room. Joanna’s Irene was sitting on the steps and leaning close to Madame Vastra, legs crossed and sultry red lipstick in place while she purred—wait, was her lipstick actually smudged a little? Jenny was both casually leaning over the railing and faintly pink, to be sure.
Amy was chatting happily with Jenna—the ‘new girl’, as she called her, a sweet-faced brunette who stopped to interrupt about every two nanoseconds; the two were clearly badgering the hell out of each other, and loving it. Molly was listening quietly, hands folded in her lap, and Donovan was looking around—a bit lost and out of it.
“To boldly go where no man has gone before?” Joanna teased Irene in an undertone, as Joan hovered behind her.
“She’s a Silurian, apparently.” Irene rested her chin in one hand, eyes sparkling. “And very fluent in English, so she must be… talented. All those coronal consonants—apical, with the tip of the tongue, laminal, using the blade—”
“Speaking of blades,” Joan said dryly, nodding to the katana holstered on Jenny’s back.
“Oh, I’m sure we can find a use for that,” said Irene musingly, as the door reopened. Heels clicked on the floor and the talk died down as Joanna and Joan scrambled for spots to sit; Mrs. Hudson paused in her chat with the console to give Joanna a pat, and Joanna nudged Molly’s shoulder gently with her own.
The heels were candy-red Louboutins; the black dressed swirled about her as River Song slid off her sunglasses. “I’d give you a kiss hello, Mum, but—you know—” she said apologetically, gesturing to her mouth.
“Hallucinogenic lipstick,” whispered Madame Vastra to Irene, who gasped in pure longing.
“You’re her mum?” Jenna squeaked, as quietly as possible.
“Spoilers!” Amy returned.
“We may not have the Doctor,” River continued to the group, pacing. The room is silent now; even the beeping and whirring from the machines have stopped. “But we have three of the best doctors in the multiverse in this room, and the Silence have already taken New York. They’re moving towards Washington and there’s still no sign of Canton Delaware Everett III. We’re going to have to act fast, act together, and act smart before events resolve into a fixed point in time. Mum, ladies—it’s time to bring down Madame Kovarian once and for all.”