It's an odd sort of day; the lazy kind where there's nothing to do and the temperature is just hot enough to make everyone sleepy; the kind of day where you sit and think and reflect instead of doing something important.
Holtzmann has managed to find the perfect spot to do this at. There's a corner on the first floor, just past the ghost cage, by a window, where the concrete has warmed under the sun's rays, so she spreads a blanket out and lies down on top. The way her body leaches the warmth through the blanket is delicious. Erin refers to it as cat nap corner, and Holtz supposes it's accurate seeing as most of her summer naps are done here. Normally, she's the only one to take advantage of the perfect spot, but today Erin has joined her. Holtzmann is sprawled out, left arm tucked under her head and the right thrown to the side for Erin to use as a pillow.
There's a sort of content ease between the two of them, like this is something that happens every day, when in fact it never has. She's close with Erin, but they've never been this close, Erin's hip pressed into Holtz's, Holtz's fingers gently brushing over Erin's arm. She wishes they were closer. There's a pull in the pit of her stomach that longs for them to be closer.
It's very different than normal, this feeling. Relationship wise, Holtzmann has done mostly everything, casual flings, long passionate love affairs (that are only half passionate on her part), being the lesbian the 'straight' girl experiments with, and her favorite, one night stands. Well, it's not so much her favorite, as it is the most convenient for who Jillian Holtzmann is. She loves to give and give and give, that very rarely does she find someone who she wants to take from. If a girl in a bar wants to get down with her, why not? She loves the way she can make someone breathless with her mouth.
Erin is a different story. Holtzmann often finds herself wondering (fantasizing) about the way she would feel between her legs in a way she hasn't since she met Dr. Gorin.
That was heartbreaking to young Jillian.
She met Dr. Gorin back when she was 13. She was a different person back then; still confused about her feelings towards girls, unable to make any connections with her peers because of her high intelligence, verbally abused by her mother for being more interested in 'boy things' than shopping and dresses, her father had died 2 years before. Dr. Gorin was a bright spot in an otherwise crappy childhood. She showed her how to build and create instead of just theorize. It came as no surprise when 15 year old Jillian shyly told Dr. Gorin that she liked girls the way she was supposed to like boys, and that she liked her the way she was supposed to like boys. Dr. Gorin sat her down with a soft "Jillian..." to tell her that they can't be together because she didn't like her in that way and that is was inappropriate because she was her mentor.
Holtzmann can still remember the way her name sounded in that conversation.
She didn't let it affect her relationship with Dr. Gorin, but it definitely left a very deep hole, especially when that hole was dug out of a mostly empty pit to begin with.
Holtzmann furrows her brow, "Have you ever thought about dying?" She hadn't really meant to say that out loud.
Her eye lock onto a spot on the ceiling, staring intensely as she feels Erin turn her head to look at her. Erin studies her face for a moment before turning back, eyes also trained up.
"Once or twice, after that haunting. Once I met Abby, those thoughts sort of went away," It's not exactly right, it doesn't just go away, but that's the closest Erin can get to explaining it.
"I used to think about it a lot. I still do, but in a different context now." She hadn't really meant to say that either.
There's just silence.
Holtz can't decide if it's because Erin is waiting for her to speak again or if she's giving her the option not to.
She decides it must be the latter, as Erin takes the hand resting on her arm and laces their fingers together, snuggling her head into the crook of Holtzmann's neck.
"It used to be a welcome thought, like a period at the end of a very jagged sentence." She likes that she doesn't have to explain why because Erin already knows about the abuse and bullying.
Abby told her about it one night after Erin jokingly told Holtz, during one of their playful teasing sessions, that she should be more like normal girls and wear a dress. Holtzmann had gone super quiet, fidgeting with the tool in her hand before setting it down and solemnly leaving the room. She knew Erin hadn't meant it like her mother had, and yet it was still painful.
Erin finally speaks up after what feels like hours of nothing. "Did you ever?..." She can't bear to say the words.
"No, well… not directly anyway." It's not a total lie. "I was just sloppy and careless with my work and safety equipment. If I happened to burn my hand with my torch, or accidentally cut myself with a sharp wire, oh well." She almost can't believe those things used to give her some perverted satisfaction, now it only makes her feel ashamed.
Erin sits up a little, examining Holtzmann's hand in hers and probably wondering how many of those scars were caused by 'accident'.
Holtzmann issues a small (almost broken) chuckle. "Believe it or not, my inventions were even more unstable than they are now!" She waits a beat before continuing all in one breath, "But that was then and now I only think about this smoking hot babe next to me, pizza, and ghosts. Rest assured, this Holtzmann won't be going down anytime soon without a fight."
And just like that the moment is broken.
Holtz can see Erin's small frown out of the corner of her eye.
"I'm glad nothing more serious happened." Erin squeezes Holtz's hand.
Holtz in turn rolls to face Erin, slipping her hand out of Erin's in order to hug her. It's moments like this that she's reminded just how much smaller she is in comparison to Erin. Erin's arms are wrapped around her, chin resting on the top of her head. She tilts her head down to bury her face in Erin's neck, breathing her scent in deeply. The gentle press of Erin's lips to the top of her head catches her off guard and she locks eyes with Erin. There's an intense emotion hidden in them, maybe Erin just relating to the feeling, but maybe… She doesn't dare hope.
Erin presses a kiss to Holtzmann's forehead and Holtz closes her eyes, taking in a sharp, ragged, breath.
"Kiss me," Erin whispers it.
Holtzmann doesn't quite believe her ears, but she doesn't need to be told twice.
She honestly expected their first kiss to be rough and passionate, one where they could barely keep their clothes on, but this is sweet and slow, with Erin's hands tangling in her hair, and her hands stroking the sliver of skin exposed by Erin's shirt. Holtzmann is the first to pull back before things get too heated, right now isn't the right moment for anything further, besides, Erin needs time to make sure this is something she wants first.
As they cling to each other, Holtz can feel the heat radiating off of Erin's body and it makes her sleepy again. Erin might make an even better cat nap corner.