Vastra draws Jenny to her automatically, in the back of their carriage. London is thick with people and snow and it is growing dark. A horse has come loose and run amok amongst some market stalls and the road ahead is blocked, the road back too long to be worth taking. They sit in the stand still, the people dark shadows beyond the carriage windows, stirring amongst the snow and silver breath, steam rising from the flanks of their horses.
Vastra is veiled, as she always is when travelling in daylight so as to avoid drawing too much attention from the ordinary citizens of London, but Jenny, as she eases into Vastra’s lap, draws the veil up and drops it over her own head. The shadows grow deeper beneath the gauze – Vastra’s breath is warm on the tip of Jenny’s nose, which has reddened with cold. She presses close, burying her face against her wife’s neck, and Vastra wraps her arms about her, the grip proprietorial and strong.
Within the carriage, beneath the veil, they share the faint heat of their bodies, for it is dangerous for Vastra to grow too cold. She does not carry her heat about the way that humans do, but must gather is slowly and ration it carefully, and must be wrapped up and held close when in danger of losing too much at once.
Soft human flesh against smooth, cool scales, Vastra strokes and grooms her human wife, smoothes her hair and lifts her chin to kiss her.
“I do love you, my dear,” Jenny says, placing warm hands against Vastra’s face.
“And I you,” Vastra returns, stroking her knuckles. She can feel the cold creeping into her bones, but Jenny is warm and heavy in her arms, and it will be enough, for now, to sustain her.