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In Sickness and in Health

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“Good morning, my lo-” The words died on Vastra’s tongue when she saw her wife entering the dining room. She was wrapped up in a thick blanket, only her hands holding a cup of tea, a mop of dishevelled brown hair and a her face – her very pale face, Vastra noted – peaked out of it.
Vastra sprang from her chair, discarding the morning’s newspaper on the table.
“Jenny, my love!” She cried, pressing her hand to Jenny’s forehead. It was scalding hot. “You should go back to bed, my dear, you are burning up.”

“Wanned ter be wif yer”, Jenny croaked and slumped on her usual chair, setting the cup on the table. Vastra’s heart did that funny little leap it always did when her wife said anything particularly endearing and she stepped up to her. Jenny leaned her head against Vastra’s stomach, allowing her to pet her hair and neck. It soothed her and made her eyelids grow heavy.
“You really shouldn’t be up.”
“But t’s boring in bed”, Jenny mumbled into Vastra’s dress. “’n yer no’ there.”
Vastra chuckled. Jenny did not get sick very often, but when she did, it always made her especially affectionate and just the tiniest bit clingy. Not that Vastra minded, not in the least. She loved taking care of Jenny as much as she hated seeing her sick.

“How about”, she whispered into her lover’s ear as she bent down, “we get you upstairs and I join you in bed? Maybe read you your favourite story? How does that sound?”
Jenny raised her head. Her eyes were wide and glassy, but she managed a small, self-satisfied smile.
“The one wif the pirates?” She croaked.
“Yes, the one with the pirated, my dear”, said Vastra and couldn’t help but feel like she had just walked right into Jenny’s trap. Had she actually been planning for it to go this way?

She mentally shrugged her shoulders. Knowing her wife she probably had it all planned out and was now very smug and happy with herself. It made Vastra’s heart flutter; to know that her wife knew her so well, well enough to predict her every move. Just ten years ago she would not have thought it possible to feel such happiness at the sight of a germ-riddled little ape and yet, here she was.

 

“Come on then, little ape.” She stretched out her arms for Jenny to climb into. She knew Jenny secretly loved being carried in her wife’s strong arms. Not that she would ever admit to it!
“’m no ape!” Jenny declared with her face buried in Vastra’s shoulder. “Ain’t little neither!”
Vastra just laughed and carefully carried her precious cargo up the stairs and into their bedroom.
“Make yourself comfortable, dear, I will be right back with your tea and book.”

 

“Hmm, yer cold”, Jenny sighted when she snuggled up to Vastra a few minutes later. Vastra tried to move away, but was held in place by a surprisingly strong arm.
“No, stay. ‘s nice! Can you read now, please?”
Vastra pressed a gentle kiss on the top of Jenny’s head, opened the book and began to read. Soon enough Jenny was fast asleep in her arms and Vastra allowed her mind to drift off to fond memories of Jenny, idling away the day and watching over her sick little ape.