Here is a teaser for the comfort part of Pressure Points. It is currently called A pearl is a temple built by pain, which is a fucking terrible title, so if someone has a suggestion (Soothe, maybe? What do you think?) I’d really welcome it.
I think it’s going…rather well, actually. Did you know that the Holmeses have a secret basement spy hideout? Because apparently they do.
It’s got a lot of Janine in it, because it seems like Sherlock maybe needs someone with him who knows what he’s feeling but wasn’t actually there that night. Janine and Sherlock have a beautiful relationship in this story.
I’m not entirely sure where this story is taking me. I know there’s a discussion with Mummy in the offing, and Mycroft will cry, and there will be cuddles, but I’m quite enjoying the ride of finding out where the story goes as I write. At some point I hope to find out where Mary is, since she was at the Holmes house when they left, but I’m not sure if it’s relevant.
I revel in it, in her skin on mine, as I’d done the first time she’d come to me after an evening of Magnussen’s attentions. She was the one who asked me to help her become clean, to wash Magnussen from her skin, and we’d crowded into 221B’s bath together, and I’d followed the soap with my hands, overlaying his touch with my own, and we’d slept in my bed, entangled. Before that, we’d gone to sleep on opposite sides of the bed when she stayed over, facing away from each other (though we always woke up vined together in the morning), but after that we dispensed with unnecessary distance altogether. We were safe for each other, Janine and I, safe for and safe from each other, because I didn’t want women (had only ever wanted one person, and what a sickening irony that is) that way and Janine, as far as she knew, had never wanted anyone that way at all.
After a while, she’d spoken to me of something called skin hunger, the human desire for touch. Babies died from it, she said, and old people turned their faces to the wall because of it. I could see it in me, in her. I’d never known the gnawing void for what it was, only that when John moved into 221B and filled my life with casual touch and caring, the roaring ache in my bones had seemed to subside. It had come back while I was away, worse than ever, a constant hunger that seemed to burn in my very bones, and it had become a blaze, a ravenous need, since my return. It was somehow worse, the terrible loneliness, when I was in 221B without John Watson, than when I was anywhere else. It was better, with Janine there. Janine, who curled up against me on the couch, in my bed, who played the piano on the knobs of my spine, who woke me from nightmares and held me close and chaste and beloved. She wasn’t John – she could never be John, but she was there, and John wasn’t, and I desperately needed someone to be there.