A/N: Companion piece to Vastra's First Valentine's Day. You don't need to have read that to understand this. ThisIsSoCliche asked if I was going to write about the book Jenny chose, and I hadn't planned to, but it was too cute of an idea to pass up. Set pre- Good Man Goes To War. It was going to be a cute little one-shot, but then my muse ran away with it...
"You studying us, ma'am?" Jenny teased her girlfriend.
"What do you think the authors of those books were doing?" Vastra teased right back. Jenny inspected the single shelf 'human section' closer, a hand reaching up to pull a book out. She paused to glance at Vastra, asking permission. The Silurian smiled and nodded, stepping closer.
"You are welcome to read any of my books, my dear. All I ask is that you only read one at a time, refrain from marking or damaging the book, and return it to it's proper place."
"Thank you, ma'am." Jenny smiled. Her slender fingers drifted, hovering over titles.
"I think I'd like to read this one." Jenny smiled, holding out the book.
"A fine choice. Would you be alright if we talked about the contents when you finish reading?"
"I think I'd like that." Jenny grinned and set the book on the tray, collecting the teacups and saucers.
Vastra's library section on humans was small, but diverse. A few anatomy books, some medical books (including one for emergency field dressings Jenny suspected was either bought right after she started working for Vastra, or when she was allowed to help with cases), there were multiple psychology books and even a few on the new study of body language. She chose the simplest looking of the body language books as the one she'd be borrowing.
Jenny read in her spare time. Waiting for the kettle, in the carriage, curled up with Vastra in the evenings (though this time was increasingly taken up by Vastra training her with her new katana)... Often she'd look up from the book to find the Silurian watching her.
"What?" She asked at first.
"Nothing." Vastra would reply.
"Why are you watching me?"
"I like seeing you enjoy things." And Vastra would smile and Jenny would roll her eyes and shake her head and smile before returning to the book. Recently, they'd skip the conversation, Jenny just silently smiling, rolling her eyes and shaking her head at her girlfriend before resuming reading.
Jenny found the book fascinating. She occasionally felt ill when she read in the carriage, but that didn't stop her (much to Vastra's annoyance). She happened to be sitting on the couch while Vastra played with her hair when she finished the book, simply flipping back to the beginning and starting to reread it. Vastra chuckled.
"And what is so funny?" She smiled, turning to look at the woman beside her.
"I'm glad you like it so much."
"It's real interesting, 'ow much you can tell about a person just by 'ow they move."
"Mmm." Vastra simply wrapped her arms around Jenny's waist and easily pulled the human, laughing, into her lap. Jenny did her best to continue reading and ignore the feeling of fingers combing her scalp, playing with her hair.
When she finished with the book the second time she returned it to its spot on the shelf.
"Did you want to talk about the book?" She asked Vastra, pulling the woman out of looking through notes about old cases. She tended to do that when bored.
"There isn't much to talk about as it is a very factual book. Did you understand everything alright?"
"Yes, it was all explained real well." Jenny smiled.
"Would you feel up for practicing your new skill?"
"'Ow would we do that, ma'am?" Would Vastra display body language and Jenny would tell her what it meant?
"The next case we get, I would like you to write down all the body language you notice, and what it means. How does that sound?"
"I think I'd like that."
Hardly a week later a man knocked at the door, saying he was looking for a private investigator and had been referred to the veiled detective woman on Paternoster Row. Jenny nearly suspected Vastra had set this up, but that wasn't really her style. She showed the man (he introduced himself as Mr. Irving) into the sitting room and got him a cup of tea before going to alert Vastra. She helped the Silurian woman with her veil and grabbed a pencil and small pad of paper.
"I trust you will not mind if my maid takes notes?" Vastra asked as she entered the sitting room. Jenny stood beside Vastra's chair, able to see all of Mr. Irving.
"Of course not, Madame. I am-"
"Mr. Irving. What trouble do you have that the regular police could not help you with?"
"It's my little sister. She's gone missing, but the police aren't treating this seriously and don't have any clues. I suspect they want to write this off as a runaway, or killed by one of the crazies late at night."
Sister missing - palms visible - telling truth
"Your sister's name?"
"Georgiana Irving, but everyone just calls her Anna."
"How old is Anna?"
"19. The police said they don't investigate runaways of legal adults."
"Where does your sister live?"
"With me. Our parents fell ill and died a few years back and left us the house."
"Is she employed?"
"In a textile mill. She makes shirts. I can give you the address."
"Is that important, Madame?" His hands moved from the table to his lap. Jenny's eyebrows raised as he questioned Vastra.
"Madame just needs to investigate every angle." Jenny explained. "It's possible someone you know is involved, or might've seen something." Jenny knew the Silurian had a short temper when humans questioned her intellect, and so she had started to memorize answers to questions Vastra was asked a lot.
"I work as a for-hire carriage driver."
"Is Anna involved with anyone romantically?"
Anna no suitors - crossed arms - don't want to talk about it
"Has anyone shown romantic interest in her in the past six months or so?"
"Hmm... There was a fellow a few months ago, but she turned him down and I haven't seen him since."
Anna suitor few months ago - wiped mouth - don't want to talk about it
"And yourself, romantically involved with anyone now or during the last six months?"
"I have a girlfriend. We've been together a little over two years."
Has GF - arms uncrossed - not hiding
"When did you last see Anna?"
"Five- no, six days ago. God, she's been missing for six days..." He wiped his eyes.
"Jenny, drinks please?"
"Yes, ma'am. Just be a minute." She tucked the pencil and paper into a pocket on her apron as she headed to the kitchen, putting a kettle on to warm the tea she made earlier.
Anna missing 6 days (as of Feb 28) - genuinely crying
She jotted the note down before she forgot. No need to interpret what crying meant.
Soon the kettle was warm enough and Jenny brought the pair their drinks, removing Mr. Irving's previous teacup and saucer.
"Thank you, dear." Vastra returned Jenny's smile.
"Yes, thank you, er, Jenny." Mr. Irving was clearly distracted. They sat in silence for a moment, Vastra allowing the young man time to collect himself.
"Have you and Anna had any arguments recently?
"Yes, just a couple weeks ago, we got in a row because I told her she ought to start looking to settle down. She didn't get any gifts for Valentine's Day and it worried me."
Row with Anna - crossed arms - don't want to talk about it
"Is there any other pertinent information you'd like to share with me?"
"Er, no, I don't think so, nothing I can think of."
"I should like the name and address of Anna's employer, the man she turned down a few months ago, and your address. Jenny?" Vastra looked to her maid, who was already tearing the paper with her notes off the little notepad, passing the pad and pencil to Mr. Irving. She showed Vastra her notes. "Mmm, very good. Now, Mr. Irving, about payment..." Jenny tucked her notes into a pocket on her apron, collecting the cups and bringing them back to the kitchen for washing. The kettle was still warm in case they wanted to have a drink later.
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