The ride home was comfy and largely uneventful.
The Ghostbusters had called an uber to take them home from the bar, post-post-apocalype celebration. It's not like the hearse would be towed for them ditching it for the night-- the hearse was in another plane.
"Erin." Holtzmann shook Erin's shoulder, her hand gripping tight. Erin would like to go home, right now, and try not to vomit, and change into clean clothing. She was thinking about her soft sheets and puffy comforter. She was thinking about not being sick in this man's car. She was thinking about fizzing water with lemon in it and water crackers.
She was thinking about Holtzmann's rough, warm fingers pressing into the bare skin of her shoulder. Holtzmann repeated herself. "Hey, Erin." And then Erin was thinking about Holtzmann's uncharacteristically soft voice. She was thinking about the southern accent flowing through the syllables of her name.
"Erinnnn," Holtzmann said again. It was like a mantra. Erin's name as Holtzmann's mantra made a flush rise on Erin's skin. She could tell. The warmth from the night of partying and drinking was discernable from this. She had no idea, though, if the sweat was new or old.
Erin started thinking about a shower.
Then she remembered Holtzmann's fingers and, less importantly, her query.
She turned her head towards her, which actually required lifting her head from off of the cold window. It was terribly uncomfortable. So, Erin grasped Holtzmann's arm with both hands and pulled herself up to a seating position.
"Thanks," she said. Her face was close to Holtzmann's cheek. Erin could smell her skin.
"You're alive," Holtzmann stated, one corner of her mouth raised in a grin. "I was starting to worry there, Gilbert."
"Pshh," Erin tried to say. "The vortex spit me out again. I'm unbeatable. You can't get rid of me that easy," she decided to add.
"I don't want to get rid of you," Holtzmann said. She dragged her arm out of Erin's grip, and raised both hands in the air. "I like having you around." Holtzmann scrunched her nose up and laughed. It was a cute facial expression to have when one laughs. Erin could tell because she was still only a few inches from her nose.
Erin laughed manicly. There were many things she wanted to say, but it was very difficult to focus, so she went with a classic. "Good."
Holtzman turned to look at her, and their noses collided. "Fuck, ow," she said, holding her nose for a moment.
Erin's nose hurt too, but she didn't really care. "Here," she said, proud of herself for coming up with a simple and funny solution. "I'll take it for you." She mimicked grabbing Holtzmann's nose, and then she put it in her back pocket. "It can't hurt if it doesn't exist," she explained.
"Will you be my doctor?" Holtzmann asked.
"We'll see about that," Erin said, more as an automated response than a conclusion. She imagined it was a very cute thing to have said, as well. "Do you want me to give it back?" she added. Some people really were serious about their noses. Holtzmann may be one of those people.
"No," Holtzman said. "You keep it."
"I'm happy you're my friend, Holtz," Erin said, brashly. "I'm happy you love me."
Holtzmann was suddenly silent in what Erin diagnosed as a meditative moment. Then she wrapped her arm around Erin's shoulder and laughed, a light, sparkling laugh.
"Me too," she said quietly, but Erin heard it. She heard it because by that time she had slid down into her previous lounging position, and her head was resting in Holtzmann's neck, ear close to her throat.
Many responses were possible, but Erin determined that was a sufficient conclusion for the conversation.
So Erin leaned into Holtzmann's side, her cheek pressed against the warm skin of Holtzmann's neck, and drifted off to sleep lulled by the tempo of her own breathing and the tune of 90s R&B.