They find a boarding house in the odd, ruined London, one with intact and almost-clean beds. Tomorrow they will find their way to the palace and end this. Tonight they need to rest.
Johannes resents the delay. But Leonie's eyes were drifting shut, her head jerking periodically with the effort of staying awake. Johannes can allow for human failings every once in a while. When reminded to do so by his brother.
Leonie and Miss Smith have acquired one of the rooms, and Horst is standing guard downstairs. In point of fact, Horst appears to be primarily occupied with talking to his invisible friend, but presumably if someone broke in Horst would notice.
Johannes claims a room by the stairs, assuming that Zarenyia will take one of the many, many other rooms in this four-story row house. Instead, she barges in after him, body shimmering oddly as she passes through a doorway that's clearly too narrow for her.
"I don't think I'll fit in the bed." Zarenyia looks at it mournfully. "So inconsiderate."
Johannes sits on the disappointingly human-sized bed to take his boots off, considering her. Repressed energy is shivering across his skin in cold sick pulses, and he doesn't want to be here. He's so close, and he wants to confront Ninuka and put an end to it. He wants so much to be done. He wants—
"I do like the decor." Zarenyia prowls idly around the room, admiring the old blood spattered against one wall. "Very cozy."
Johannes closes his eyes for a moment and tries to imagine sleeping. He knows he needs it. The exhaustion is a buzzing pain in the back of his head, forcing his thoughts into circles as they try to escape it. But he can't imagine letting go. He wants—
"Hello?" Zarenyia's voice is very close, and Johannes opens his eyes to find her face only a few inches from his own. "You can't sleep like that, poppet."
"No," agrees Johannes. He does want to sleep.
"You'll have to take your clothes off," says Zarenyia, idly seductive.
When was the last time Johannes had felt relaxed? Really relaxed? Johannes thinks back. They’d just been in hell, and then before that in the court of Prester John, and visiting the Barrows, and the whole business in Mirkarvia, and the Dreamlands and turning into a ghoul, and the other whole business in Mirkarvia, and that frustrating carnival—
“Have you forgotten how buttons work, darling?”
Johannes feels as if he’s lost track, somewhere in between selling his soul and ending up here. He does’t seem to be getting much work done, except incidentally. And he isn’t getting much rest either.
“You just push them. Right through their cute little holes. Are you listening, Johannes? I’m trying to teach you something.”
But there was a moment. A brief, shining blissful moment when his mind has been silent and at peace. And he can achieve it again.
Johannes clears his throat to signal his reentry into the conversation, and Zarenyia looks up from miming undoing buttons on her unfortunately buttonless sweater.
"Might I ask a favor?" says Johannes.
"Oh, of course I'll help!" Zarenyia's hands are already on his shoulders, pushing at his jacket. "Just lie back and let me take care of everything."
"Not that favor," says Johannes, not quite firm enough to prevent Zarenyia from undoing the buttons on his waistcoat with a small cry of triumph. "Do you remember, when we were in Prester John’s court?"
Zarenyia's hands pause in removing his tie. Johannes finds himself looking at the thin long fingers, tipped with delicately manicured blood-brown nails.
"It was practically yesterday," Zarenyia says uncertainly. "I think. It’s very hard to remember how time works."
"You mesmerized me," says Johannes, to Zarenyia's hands.
"You were going to stick holes in your poor little body," says Zarenyia. "You can't be upset about it now."
"I want," Johannes mutters to her hands, and then he forces himself to look into Zarenyia's eyes. "Would you do it again?"
Zarenyia doesn't do anything for a moment, and then she sighs dramatically. "Sweetheart. I thought, I hoped, that you were going to ask me to fuck you! Not this little parlor trick."
Johannes feels himself make a face despite his best efforts. That little parlor trick had overwhelmed his will and his intellect in moments. The incessant whirring of his mind had faded away, leaving a comfortable emptiness in its wake. In reality he knows it only lasted a few seconds, but in his memory it's much longer, an uninterrupted sea of calm.
"Of course I'll do it," says Zarenyia before Johannes can collect himself and formulate a response. "But you can't blame a girl for being disappointed. You're already so disheveled."
"Purely through your intervention," points out Johannes.
"Not so," squeals Zarenyia. "You took your own boots off!"
Johannes regards her fondly. "I can return a favor with a favor. If you hypnotize me and allow me to observe the effects, you may also—"
"Do whatever I want with your yielding flesh?" suggests Zarenyia.
Johannes has not survived this long to throw his life away on some poorly-conceived bargain with a devil, even when the devil concerned is widening her eyes and batting her lashes at him. "Your previous commitment to my safety still holds."
"Oh, of course," says Zarenyia. "I didn't mean 'oh, Johannes, while you're mesmerized please let me eat your limbs and scar you mentally.' I don't eat limbs, anyway."
Johannes feels like they might benefit from a little specificity. "You may take any carnal liberties with me that you like. Provided it causes no harm and you clean up after yourself."
Zarenyia's eyes gleam.
"And shut the door," says Johannes. It won't stop any of his other companions, if they decide that Johannes needs rescuing. But it might muffle any noises, and reduce the likelihood of innocent interruption.
Zarenyia kicks the door shut with one of her back legs, not even turning to look. "Any carnal liberties?"
Johannes has a feeling that he’s making a mistake. The last time he was intimate with another being was… well. Certainly long before all of this. But both devils and necromancers understand taking and giving in kind. Johannes will get what he’s craving, and Zarenyia will get what she wants. "Within reason," Johannes adds.
"Oh, I have lots of reasons for everything I do." Zarenyia kneels down in front of him, legs folding smoothly to put them at eye level. Johannes finds himself tensing, bracing for the touch of her hands on his face.
Zarenyia looks into his eyes and giggles at whatever she sees there. "We are going to have so much fun, darling."
Johannes suddenly feels the part of him that he customarily thinks of as his 'self' draining away. It scrabbles at his brain as it goes, trying to cling on despite his desire to let it go, desperately and helplessly thinking. It's not touch that triggers the reaction, then? Is it the eye contact? Some scentless pheromone?
"Come on, Johannes," croons Zarenyia. "Let go."
It's nothing like the gradual dulling that Johannes associates with drugs or alcohol, his self still there but just slowly growing a little fuzzy or manic or odd. It reminds him more of his ghoulish transformation, the quiet erosion of his intellectual ability as he sat in the dark. But that had taken place over several months, and he had gained something in trade for his brain. Heightened strength, heightened senses. Heightened ability to appreciate the heady richness of human flesh.
He can’t describe this, can't find the appropriate analogy or metaphor. Maybe metaphor is the first thing to go. Maybe metaphor is drowning in a sea of, of nothing, of...
"I'm letting you down easy this time," says Zarenyia. "You have to be quick and decisive out in the field, but in the bedroom we can take our time, can't we?" She reaches out and brushes Johannes' face. His whole body flinches, entirely independent from the fading incoherency of his mind.
"Shh. Don't worry, I'll take care of you." Zarenyia strokes his cheek again, and this time Johannes finds himself leaning into her, pressing his skin into hers. She's unnaturally warm, he thinks. But maybe normal, human, alive people are also warm. Johannes can't remember. In fact, he can't remember much of anything. It's nice.
"And what do you say?" says Zarenyia.
"Thank you," mumbles Johannes, the words muffled both by Zarenyia's hand on his face and her hold on his mind.
"So polite." Zarenyia's free hand delves past his open waistcoat and untucks his shirt from his trousers.
Johannes stirs a little, but Zarenyia's skin is so warm. He leans in. He breathes. He blinks.
"There." Zarenyia chucks him under the chin. Johannes' head moves gently, cushioned by her other hand. He'd probably fall if she wasn't holding him. Zarenyia lets go for a moment, checking, and smiles with delight when she has to catch Johannes and set him upright again.
"Sit for me, dear heart, and we'll get you comfortable." Zarenyia pushes the waistcoat off of Johannes' shoulders, enjoying the way he lets her move him, like a doll. "I can keep you like this for as long as you want. Well, as long as I want, really."
Johannes' shirt gapes open as she unbuttons it, revealing the thin undershirt beneath. Zarenyia pulls that free of his trousers too, rucking it up so she can glide her nails against Johannes' belly. His blonde hair is almost invisible against the pale, vulnerable skin.
"You're so soft like this. So sweet. I wouldn't like you like this all the time, of course. You say such funny things when you're properly conscious. But there is something compelling about holding something fragile in your hands and trying to remember not to squeeze." She sets her claws on Johannes' belly and pantomimes the slight twist she would make if she were to pull out his guts in front of him.
Johannes continues to blink and breathe, all concern for his own survival completely subsumed. It's almost like being trusted.
"Beautiful." Zarenyia shuffles forward a little on her folded legs. She presses herself fully against Johannes now, buries her face against his neck just so she can feel his muscles move when he swallows.
"Is a week too long? I know we're working, but I'm sure we could take a break. I'd feed you twice a day, help you when you needed to go to the bathroom..." her hand drifts down, and she can't help but pout when she realizes that Johannes isn't even hard yet.
"Isn't this doing anything for you, sweetpea? I thought you were a little too ready to offer me liberties. Never had any intention of following through, did you?" Zarenyia's hand massages Johannes absently as she complains, and at last she's rewarded with a little interest, a little quickening of Johannes' breath. Her other hand tightens on the back of his neck, and Johannes whines.
"Johannes," Zarenyia whispers into his skin, "should I irrevocably ruin our friendship just because I want to eat the emotions and the fluids you produce when you come?"
Johannes makes a small noise, completely indecipherable as human speech.
"Yes, yes!" says Zarenyia instead, happy to supply Johannes with a voice. "Me, pick me!"
"I don't know," Zarenyia replies. "I don't think you really meant your prior consent, and you're certainly in no state to rescind it."
"Fuck me up!" chirps false-Johannes.
"It's not that I don't want to, poppet," says Zarenyia. "And I certainly don't have any moral qualms. Or morals, full stop. But..." Zarenyia lets herself trail off, moving her hand away from Johannes' trousers and running her thumb across his lips instead. She keeps thinking about that succubus in hell, and Johannes' wild scandalized eyes and incoherent sputtering when the villainous wretch had taken advantage. Zarenyia wants, very badly, to take advantage. She's surprised to find that she also doesn't want Johannes to ever look at her like that.
No resolution seems to be in sight. Zarenyia considers breaking Johannes out of the trance, just to check, but that's definitely not what he'd asked for. He’d wanted to be stupid, for whatever reason. Zarenyia had wanted to play. They’d agreed. They'd made a bargain...
Johannes' lips are chapped, and Zarenyia pauses in her thoughts to press against a particularly rough spot, smoothing down the skin. Johannes' lips part in response, and Zarenyia's thumb slips into his mouth.
Johannes' tongue is warm and thick under the light pressure of her thumb, and he swallows reflexively, drawing her further in. Zarenyia has to exert some effort to pull herself free, and it’s several moments before she can muster the strength of will to do so. Even then Johannes follows her hand, jaw slack and lips half-parted as he tips forward against her.
Zarenyia's skin absorbs the saliva, just a little taste of what she could have. Johannes' arousal is fizzing in the back of her brain, and she can’t leave it alone. It would be easy, and he wants it, and look at him.
"In for a penny," says Zarenyia. Johannes looks back at her, blankly, and Zarenyia catches his chin in one hand and presses two fingertips of the other into his mouth.
It’s always been easy for Zarenyia to ignore her doubts and just do as she likes. The surprising thing, really, is that she had any doubts at all.
Johannes' eyes slide closed as Zarenyia gently strokes her way into him. There's a heavy feeling in her chest that she eventually identifies as tenderness.
It isn't unusual for Zarenyia to feel tender when she has someone in her snares. Helplessness so easily inspires protectiveness. But it is rare for Zarenyia to feel tender without a bitter edge of irony, of self-awareness. She's not going to squeeze. She's not going to kill Johannes. She can feel the sluggish pulse of blood in his throat and, though she still imagines it spilling across the floor, it's more an intrusive thought and less a premonition.
It's thrilling. It makes her lean in, press the second knuckle past Johannes' lips. She's holding Johannes' life in her hands, and she'll take what she wants with the knowledge that she's going to let go.
Zarenyia catches Johannes' tongue between her fingers and pulls him forward, more by suggestion than by force. She busses her cheek and whispers in his ear, "Just one, darling. To start with." Her free hand presses against Johannes' clothed cock, and his tongue twitches in her grasp as her fingers stifle his yelp.
"Shh." Zarenyia rubs the heel of her hand against Johannes' groin, smiling as he begins to rub back. Johannes is panting now, mouth wide enough for Zarenyia to press her fingers deeper into his wet human warmth. Her palm is pressed to Johannes' chin, and his hips are bucking as if he can't decide if he should be closer or further away.
At this stage, deciding probably doesn't come into it. It’s just white noise in the cockpit, leaving the body to react as naturally as it could.
"Open your eyes, sweetheart," says Zarenyia. "Look at me."
Johannes' pupils are wide and black, and Zarenyia wants, improbably, to lick them. Her hand presses hard against Johannes' trousers, and he unequivocally moves into the contact this time, his whole body swaying forward until Zarenyia's supporting most of his weight.
"That's it," she murmurs. "Take what you need, darling." A little coaxing leads to Johannes' legs spread uncomfortably wide, Zarenyia fit between them to give Johannes a hands-free frotting experience. He seems to prefer the sensitive place where Zarenyia's soft stomach meets her chitinous abdomen. Even with the protective barrier of her sweater, every grinding motion of Johannes’ body against her own sets off a little frisson of anticipation.
Zarenyia cups the back of Johannes' head, holding him steady, and gently thrusts her fingers in and out of his mouth. With each thrust, Johannes' jaw relaxes a little more, taking her a little deeper. Zarenyia considers whether she could feasibly reach Johannes' throat, feel him swallow around her. Johannes is matching her pace now, his hips jerking every time she pushes her knuckles past his lips.
"Aren't you precious," coos Zarenyia. Johannes just looks at her, eyes half-lidded and saliva streaking his chin. Zarenyia speeds her hand, and Johannes' hips follow.
It’s so ordinary, to be perfectly honest. Johannes Cabal has surrendered himself to her wiles, and all Zarenyia can think to do is puppet him into masturbating against her. Well, that’s not all she can think. Zarenyia has about half-a-dozen fantasies, ranging in character from sordid to depraved. She’d like to shift her own lower half into something more accessible and push Johannes to his knees. She’d like to give Johannes a gag to chew on and employ her fingers elsewhere instead. And she would like to see what Miss Smith thinks of this Johannes, she really would. But Zarenyia can’t bear to tear herself away, so they will have to make do with the ordinary.
Anyway, there’s something to be said for the simple things.
Johannes' eyes are threatening to close as he loses himself to the pleasures of movement and pressure. Zarenyia digs the edge of her thumbnail into his chin, and Johannes' eyes lurch open again, hazy windows into the cotton wool within.
"Keep looking at me," says Zarenyia. "I want to see it. I want to see you."
Johannes moans, the sound vibrating around Zarenyia's skin.
"Give it up, poppet," says Zarenyia, and Johannes doesn't make a noise as he comes.
Zarenyia's own eyes squeeze shut as she drinks it in, raw vibrant life-force hot and desperate on her tongue. Her hands drop abruptly from Johannes' face and she scrabbles to open his trousers. Her fingers slip past his underwear, absorbing the sticky mess inside and turning it to ash.
"That's not all, is it?" Zarenyia wraps her hand around Johannes' cock, trying to coax a little more out of the bugger. Johannes whimpers, back bowing as he presses his forehead against Zarenyia's shoulder even as his hips arch away in an escape attempt.
After a moment Zarenyia has to admit defeat in the face of the human refractory period. She nudges Johannes upright, holding his chin to prevent him from falling over. He looks all right. More or less. By certain standards. He has all of his limbs still, and isn't that the important thing?
Johannes' mouth is slack, his lips a little swollen. His pupils are wide and empty, and he blinks slowly as he fights to keep his eyes open. He trembles a little under her hands.
"Beautiful." Zarenyia kisses him, pushing her tongue into his mouth just to enjoy the utter lack of resistance.
Johannes leans in to her, and Zarenyia gets another taste of that life-force. A little hint of what she could have, if she wrung another orgasm from her pet. It's odd, how you don't notice how hungry you are until you have a little snack. Zarenyia wants—
She wants to keep Johannes like this forever. She wants Johannes soft and pliable and helplessly aroused. She wants to take and take and take until she's finally satisfied. She wants.
If only Johannes wouldn't die in the process. That wouldn't be fun.
Zarenyia pulls away from Johannes reluctantly, and something twinges inside of her when he whines. Hunger pangs, probably.
"I'm going to bring you back up, now," she says. "Don't worry, we'll go slowly."
The first time she'd released Johannes all at once, snapping him back to full awareness in her fright at being dropped into Pandemonium. Zarenyia has never experienced it herself, but she imagines that it must be unpleasant. Going in an instant from a lovely warm comfortable heap of flesh back to a fully conscious being with a million thoughts and anxieties buzzing around in one's skull. She lets the thoughts back in gradually this time, watching the awareness rekindle in Johannes' eyes.
As an afterthought, she tucks his genitals back into his pants as well.
"Hello," says Zarenyia, when most of Johannes' mind is back in its proper place. "Did you enjoy your observation, poppet?"
Johannes' eyes squeeze shut, and then he blinks rapidly, as if he’s adjusting to a bright light. "I," he croaks, and then stops, frowning and feeling his throat.
"Does it hurt?" asks Zarenyia. "I'm afraid I wasn't very gentle." She'd actually been extremely gentle, from her perspective. But she imagines that Johannes' perspective is a little different. For one thing, it was Zarenyia's hand in his mouth.
Johannes moves his jaw gingerly, stretching it, and winces when it pops. Then he carefully buttons his trousers, looking studiously at the wall. There's a dark flush across his cheekbones. Zarenyia wants to run her nails along them, open up the skin and let the hot blood drip down his chin.
Not now, Zarenyia reminds herself. That one, actually, not ever—humans are so fragile, she has to keep that in mind.
Zarenyia tries to shake herself out of her daydreams and focus on the Johannes in front of her. "You probably don't remember much, but—"
"I remember everything." Johannes' voice is raw but gaining strength. "I was there."
"Part of you was, but I imagine—"
"I was there," repeats Johannes, "but all of the concerns were gone. I didn't worry about anything, I didn't try to think. I just felt."
Zarenyia considers Johannes. She'd expected a conversation, if not a scolding. Boundaries would be mentioned, probably. Zarenyia opposes boundaries on principle, but she thinks she could make an exception for a friend.
But Johannes is staring at the wall, still flushed. There's still a tremor running through his body, like he's run ten miles and his body isn't sure that he's allowed to rest yet.
He looks refreshed, somehow, despite the circles under his eyes and the sweat plastering his thin hair to his forehead. His skin has a healthy, if pallid, sheen.
"Did it feel nice?" asks Zarenyia.
Johannes bites his lip, and Zarenyia reminds herself that she cannot, absolutely cannot put him under again and steal another orgasm. Not even a little one.
"Yes," Johannes decides at last. "It felt very nice."
Zarenyia is both psychologically and physically incapable of blushing. Instead she gets that funny feeling in her stomach again, the one that she's beginning to think doesn't have much to do with hunger.
"I felt," continues Johannes, "a little like I imagine a gerbil must feel, when it's given a new wheel to play with. Or like a bureaucrat with a new form to inflict on the world. Just an empty head with a single fascinating toy to fill it."
"I made you feel like a gerbil?" Zarenyia's stomach-feeling fades.
"I'm sorry, my metaphors are still a little rusty," says Johannes.
"A gerbil? I gave you all the pleasures of damnation, darling!"
"You stuck your fingers in my mouth and indulged me in frottage." Johannes manages to look Zarenyia in the eyes at last. "Let's not pretend this was especially glamorous."
"I thought it was sexy," mutters Zarenyia.
Johannes raises his eyebrows, conveying complete disbelief without having to mention the spittle all over his chin and Zarenyia's sweater.
"You were so open," elaborates Zarenyia defensively. "I almost got my fingers down my throat. You would have let me do anything."
"When you strip all of my higher cognition away," says Johannes, "it appears that I trust you. Isn't that odd?"
Zarenyia stomach wrenches. She's certain that it's not hunger now, and it doesn’t feel like her peculiar kind of tenderness either. There’s no sharp edge to it. Maybe it’s indigestion, though she’s never had that before.
"I hope that we might try it again sometime," muses Johannes. "It really was a fascinating experience. Very relaxing, almost overwhelmingly so. Is it possible to leave me a little more control next time? I felt fine in the moment, but looking back I really am surprised that I didn't fall off the bed."
"I would have caught you," says Zarenyia, a little dazzled by the thought of 'next time.' "I wouldn't let you fall."
Johannes' eyes keep threatening to slide away from Zarenyia and back to the comfortingly blank wall, but he forces himself to look at her. Embarrassment is weakness. Shame is meaningless. He's a necromancer of some infamy, not a blushing infant.
Nevertheless, Johannes' cheeks feel warm. Despite this betrayal, Johannes is reassured by the look on Zarenyia's face, which manages to combine gratified lechery with baffled fondness. Clearly he's not the only one without a map in this situation. As always, Johannes feels most comfortable striking out with an oar into the unknown and seeing what he hits.
"I know you wouldn't," he says.
Zarenyia makes a noise that sounds a little more like a coo than a yelp, but only a little. "You enjoyed yourself, then?” she says, as if she can’t quite believe it. Probably she hasn’t had many partners who were able to give her feedback after the act. “You had fun?"
Johannes' lip curls at the mention of 'fun.' It's in no way adequate to describe the eternity that he spent floating in his own empty mind, each outside stimulus a hazy but pleasant reminder that the outside world existed and that its primary representative in his vicinity liked him and wanted to make him feel good. Very good. Very, very—
"Oh." Zarenyia smiles a blindingly false smile, and Johannes realizes that he's been sneering into space for almost a minute.
"We really don't have to do it again," says Zarenyia. "You won’t hurt my feelings. I only did it because you asked, darling, but I knew at the time that I was overstepping—"
"I enjoyed it." Johannes can hear his brother's voice telling him to pat one of Zarenyia's sleek black knees, but he can't quite bring himself to bridge the gap between them. "I had 'fun,'" he forces out instead. "You're very good at—"
"Handjobs?" suggests Zarenyia, when Johannes hesitates.
"Eroticism," counters Johannes.
Zarenyia smiles, but this one is awkward and genuine. "Poppet, it's easy when you let me turn you into a happy little lump first."
"I was happy." Johannes feels relieved to have identified that emotion—it's so unusual to feel happy, rather than its more complex cousin: smugness. "Especially toward the end."
"When you came?" asks Zarenyia.
"No." Johannes had mostly felt surprised. That was also an unusual sensation, one that he generally felt too busy to indulge in.
"When I let you rub all over my sweater?" presses Zarenyia. “Isn’t it soft?”
"Yes, but that's not quite—"
"When I tried to tickle your tonsils with my—"
Johannes decides to cut the speculation short. "I was referring to the kissing."
Zarenyia makes noise, this one unequivocally a squeal.
"Intimate skin-to-skin contact is reassuring." Johannes feels he has to preemptively defend himself against whatever Zarenyia says next. "Despite what you may have been led to believe by my brother and Miss Barrow, I am human and I have a human's instinctual needs."
"We should do it again," says Zarenyia.
"Well," says Johannes, which seems inadequate. "Well! Well, I'm glad you agree."
"I mean," says Zarenyia, "the hypnotism thing of course, yes, in a few weeks when you're suitably tense and exhausted and ready for another holiday from your brain. But the kissing we could do anytime! Right now!"
"Now?" asks Johannes, which Zarenyia seems to take for agreement. Or in any case, she cups her hands around Johannes' jaw and draws him in.
The last kiss had felt like Johannes was melting into Zarenyia, like it was the first step to becoming a new unified being. Johannes had been dimly excited at the prospect of the merger. Zarenyia was clever and interesting and gleefully murderous and, most importantly, her mouth was very warm. Johannes had relaxed and waited to find out what would happened next, and felt incomprehensible loss when Zarenyia had finally pulled away rather than pushing her way further into his self.
This time Johannes is able to pull her in, with his hands on her shoulders and his tongue skimming the edges of her teeth. Predictably, he cuts himself, and Zarenyia surges forward as soon as she tastes blood. Johannes ends up sprawled on his back as Zarenyia empirically tests her earlier proposition that she would not fit in this bed. Through some feat of inhuman acrobatics, her mouth is still pressing against his.
Eventually, Johannes will need air. Eventually, he will need to inform Zarenyia that he will absolutely not achieve an erection again tonight, without supernatural help that would probably be injurious to his health. Eventually, the bed will break, and their companions will decide to investigate, to their mutual distress and Zarenyia’s delight.
Eventually they will need to resume their mission, and the warmth of this night will be a distant memory.
But that all seems so far away when Zarenyia's hands are tangling in Johannes' hair and his own hands are making inroads beneath her sweater. Eventually will take care of itself.