A/N 'Ruby Tuesday', 'Green Eyes' and 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' are part of a sequence, though not formally linked. So this is going to be where I put all the scenes and ficlets that don't fit elsewhere, so that the little one-shots don't wander off and get into mischief.
"You called Cho first." He's reproachful, a hint of genuine hurt in his eyes.
"I thought he was nearer." She lies. She's going to bust that little twerp back to traffic. He said it was handled.
"Not on a Thursday night." he says cryptically. - 'Green Eyes' SpaceAnJL
So what does Cho do on a Thursday?
Take It As Read
Cho always has a book on the go. He leaves them on his desk, uses the receipts as markers. And for the last three months, he's started buying almost exclusively from the same store. At least once a week. A greater incidence of literature, as opposed to just fiction. The clerk ID is almost always JenL1138.
So Jane, being Jane, and possessed of sufficient curiosity to seriously damage the health of the feline population of Sacramento, strolls into the bookstore one lunchtime, just to see.
There are two Jenny's working there. But the one on the fiction section is a small Chinese girl. She's reading covertly at the counter, pretty face serious.
He gets right up to the desk before she notices him. The book vanishes under the counter with practised speed. Though not before Jane sees the title. 'Ulysses'.
She's very pretty, and almost certainly older than she looks. Jane imagines that she gets carded in bars far too frequently. She gives him a helpful expectant smile. Jane grins back.
"I'm looking for a book. It was blue."
The smile becomes a little forced.
"Can you remember anything else about it, sir?"
"I think it had a house on the cover."
She gives him a Look. It's not quite as good as one of Lisbon's searing glares, but it has potential.
Jenny Lo hates dealing with the idiots. She suppresses a sigh. This one is very cute, but definitely a dumb blond. Or playing one for laughs.
When Jane strolls back into the office, grinning, Cho regards him with only the usual amount of suspicion. Which increases rapidly when Jane puts his shopping bag on the table, and he sees the logo.
"The staff are so helpful there, aren't they?"
"I've been looking for this one book for ages. I mean, most people know about 'Moby Dick', but so few places have Melville's last novel on the shelves."
Jane can't know.
Wait. It's Jane. He knows. That wide self-satisfied smirk.
"You need to be more confident. Relaxed."
Cho hunches his shoulders, Not Listening.
"I mean, you talk to people all the time, as part of your job."
"It's not an interrogation." Way to go. Engage with the lunatic. What did Lisbon tell you about not encouraging him? No eye contact, no conversation.
"No. Though I'm sure that you could intimidate her into going for coffee if you really wanted to."
"I..." Deep breath. "I'm not talking to you about this."
He'd like to talk to her. Well, he has. If you count a few muttered words as he hands his card over. But...
"Cho, you are straight and single. Why shouldn't you fancy a pretty girl?" The way Cho twitches. Girl. That was it. "You read too much Nabokov. She's twenty-three."
"How did...you asked her. You went in and asked her, didn't you?"
Cho burns with baffled temper and embarrassment. Jane can just stroll in, charm any woman he wants...
"I didn't chat her up." Says the voice of demonic evil cheerfully. "But I told her that I had a friend..."
"...she remembers you. Frequent customer, buys the highbrow stuff."
She must think he's a stalker. A scary, tongue-tied, old stalker.
Cho glares. Jane holds up his hands.
"I'm just trying to help."
"This isn't High School. And I don't need help."
"Okay." He lies back down on his couch. Cho simmers miserably. He'll never be able to go back in there, now.
Jane speaks without opening his eyes.
"They're reading 'Gravity's Rainbow'."
"The book club. Thursday evenings. She's going to save you a seat."
Cho knows when he's beaten.
Jane settles with a smile. Jenny had definitely remembered the cute Asian guy who bought the heavyweight novels. The fact that he actually read them was the clincher.
A/N Ex-bookseller here. The blue book conversation actually happened.
And Melville's last novel was 'The Confidence-Man'.