Rating: R - For Language
Summary: Katie's POV, set a few years after S4. The whole Gen 2 gang has split and Katie has grown up... who'd have known that on the first night out that she's had in months, that she'd see someone she thought she never would again...
Prompted by girlno_4282
The day is cunt-fucking lovely out, or at least it is to everyone else in this sodding little park. I come here almost every day during lunch after eating a salad. Usually it does me good, getting out into the cool air to take a little walk, but today it’s doing nothing of the sort. It’s reminding me just how shitty my life is. Sure, I ended up with a well paying job, and thankfully my parents got back together. That alone would have totally fucked my family right up.
Even Naomi and Emily broke up, which was as big a surprise for me as it was for everyone else. It was that broken tie that caused our dysfunctional group to slowly splinter apart. First it was Panda and Thomas, who went to Harvard out in America. Cook was the next to disappear, and I have no fucking clue where the hell went off to, then again there are allegations that he beat a man named John Foster nearly to death... so he was most likely running from the fuzz. Effy, well, I’m not too sure what happened to her. She just kind of dissolved into thin air. I still have contact with Naomi, which is strange, but true. Of course I still have Emily.
Emily and I live together in a flat in London that costs way too much, however it is close to both our jobs, so it works out great. James comes up from Bristol every once in a while and crashes on the couch. He’d never admit it, but I know he misses Emily and me. Believe it or not, he actually found someone just as perverse as he is. I should have seen it coming, we all should have. It still makes me laugh though. I remember how I found out. It was right after Emily and I finished at Roundview, we had decided to have a little party... rather, my mum and dad wanted to celebrate our course marks. It was just a small group of people, and James was allowed one person to come over. Of course he brought Gordon, which was expected. What wasn’t expected, though, was when I walked into his bedroom (yes, I was completely wrecked). Even after my blurry eyes adjusted to the light, I just stood there, slack jawed when I saw my little brother sat at the end of his bed, naked, with an also naked Gordon knelt between his legs servicing him. You know what I mean, right? It reminded me of Cruel Intentions... mouth like a Hoover. James had looked up at me with a shit-eating grin on his face and put his hand to the back of his little knob-sucker and forced his head harder onto him. I didn’t stay to see how it ended, but since then James came out to Emily and I about him and Gordon, and they’d been with each other ever since.
Emily goes out every once in a while, but I haven’t been out in month. I just don’t have the desire to anymore. She tries to get me to go with her, but I don’t want to end up at some gay bar with bull dykes trying to run their hands over my arse. That is not my idea of a fun night. So instead I sit at home and watch Desperate Housewives reruns. Sometimes I wish I could be on one of those shows, like a long lost relative from London or something. Well, it’s always good to dream, right?
It ends up being Naomi, who travelled up from Bristol to force me out of the house. I guess it isn’t all that bad, really, it’s just slightly awkward. I’m just itching to get up and dance but no matter how much I try to get Naomi to go with me, she refuses. We banter back and forth, just like we always did before... well before she and Emily broke up. I stay away from talking about Emily, and don’t even ask her if she’s dating. She seems just about as miserable as I am, though, so I can only guess that she’s as single as I am.
Three pints in and I’m getting restless. Naomi is steadfast in her decision to decline to dance with me. I suppose I should thank her for at least bringing me to a straight bar, and there are plenty of fit blokes around. I roll my eyes at the blonde and stride away from the table. I don’t go too far before I find a space in the throng of people to dance on my own. The only thing I’m missing right now is drugs. I wouldn’t mind a snort of coke or MDMA, but I’ve been clean for eight months now, which is the only thing that’s keeping me from finding someone who’s holding.
I flirt and dance with a few guys, but I’m not looking for anyone other than a dance partner. One guy in particular reminds me of a mix of Cook and Freddie, and I quickly dispose of him. I mention that his floppy cock will do nothing for me, and even if it is huge, the the way he dances is like a fish out of water, suffocating, and that a rumble in the sack would be a similar event. It may have been a little harsh, but I didn’t want to lie to the guy. Maybe he’ll take some dance lessons or something to sort himself out.
At three in the morning I finally cajole Naomi to dance with me, seeing as there’s only one hour until the place closes up. She’s absolutely wrecked, but at least she has some semblance of rhythm. It isn’t even like we’re dancing together, there’s no contact between us, but we’re smiling and laughing as we let the music flow from the ground up into our feet and through our bodies. It’s fun, and by four, we’re the last two to leave from the dance floor.
“I’ve... I’ve got to... shit, Katie,” Naomi says to me. She is quite a bit more hammered than I thought she was. She ends up leaning on me as we walk through the door into the cold air. Once we reach the kerb I flag down a cab and make sure Naomi’s seated comfortably before sending her on her way. She did offer for me to stay with her in her hotel, but with her as drunk as she is, I don’t want her to mistake me for Emily and have her top me or something equally as revolting.
I start to walk to the nearest coffee shop, which happens to be a Starbucks around the corner. Of course I forget that they aren’t open at this time in the morning, and grasp onto the handle and nearly pull my shoulder out of the socket when it doesn’t move. I look at the opening hours. “Fucking tit-wanking bastards!”
I growl at the closed door and stomp my foot. I quickly decide that I shouldn’t do that again, because all I need right now is to break a heel. My hands go to my hips and I know I’m scowling at the glass door. How are they not open yet? It is the morning-time, isn’t it?
“You’re up early.”
My body instantly freezes. The voice is familiar, in a strange way. I try to use the reflection in the glass to identify the person behind me so I don’t have to turn around. The voice alone sends a shiver down my spine. That’s well odd. “Or I’m going to sleep late,” I find myself saying before turning around.
“Some things haven’t changed,” the distinctly feminine voice calls out.
My body whips around, and I know my eyes are ablaze that someone would have the nerve to say something like that to me. Does this girl not know who the fuck I am? All thoughts and anger drain from me the moment I look into the memorable, mysterious azure eyes. Those eyes are just as piercing and mesmerizing as they were a few years back, but there’s a softness to them now. Maybe soft isn’t the right word, not for her, because she’s never been the kind to go easy. It was always all or nothing. She has that infuriatingly smug smirk adorning her lips as she looks unwaveringly back at me.
I can’t help but let my gaze move over her body. It’s an assessment. It has been years since I’ve even heard mention of her name, after all. She’s gained a little bit of weight, not a lot, but enough to where she doesn’t look like a walking skeleton anymore. Her hair is about the same length as it was when we went to Roundview together, and it’s slightly wavy. The biggest change, at first glance, is her style of dress. Instead of those shirts that she wore as dresses, she’s got on some skinny jeans (that make her legs look slim and long), and a vest top that dips just far enough between her breasts to make her look like she’s got more there than she really does. Or maybe she’s always had a little bit as far as tits are concerned and I just never noticed.
“I guess not, bitch,” I finally reply. My lips curl into a broad grin and hers do the same. She surprises me by taking a step forward and embracing me. Her arms feel awkward around my shoulders and I slip mine around her thin waist. We hold on for a few more moments, but it doesn’t feel any less discomfited than it did when she first came at me. I find myself not wanting to let her go, though I do relent, loosening my embrace and take a step back, just as she does.
The increase in space does little to ease the feeling in my stomach. It’s strange, actually, the way it’s churning in a way that isn’t all that uncomfortable.
Effy looks down into my eyes, and I take another couple staggering steps backwards. “I have some coffee at mine, if you’re interested in joining me. It’s not Starbucks, but it’s better than that shit Emilly use to try to get me to drink,” she says to me. I find myself nodding in response before my head even catches up to the inquiry. “Brilliant,” Effy says with a smile.
I start to follow her down the way, turning right after a couple blocks. I look around, and I’m not pleased at what I see. It seems she lives in a complete dump, and there are shady people all over the place. Subconsciously I take a step closer to her, though I’m not sure if it’s because of the cold or because I’m absolutely terrified of my surroundings. I don’t realize that her hand had found mine until we’re walking up the third flight of stairs. Even after one more set of steps, my hand is still nestled warmly in her own. She doesn’t let go of it as she unlocks the door to her flat, and still doesn’t as she pulls me through the threshold. It’s when she closes and locks the door that my hand is dropped.
I’m not quite sure why that bothers me so much, but it does. She ushers me in to a small two-seater table next to the kitchen. I call it a kitchen, but it’s little more than a stovetop, sink, and a small area where Effy’s put a portable microwave. It doesn’t look like the range has ever been used, but the microwave looks well loved. She pulls out a single-serve coffee pot and fills it with water and coffee and flips it on. I don’t realize how silent I’ve been until she turns back toward me. I’d been staring, and of course she catches me.
“What have you been up to?”
My gaze finds hers. This should feel awkward. Effy and I never did small talk, not even when she was in hospital after trying to slash her wrists. It is surprisingly... well... I don’t feel awkward at all. “Oh, you know, trying to be an adult,” I say offhandedly. I didn’t really want to talk about me. I wanted to hear about her, where had she been, what had she done, you know, anything interesting.
“Hmmm,” she hums her response. Apparently she’s still not talkative. “I went on holiday to Italy, then to France,” Effy answers my unasked questions as if she had been inside my mind when I asked them.
“What?” I blurt out.
“You wanted to know, didn’t you?” she inquires as the coffee pot beeps to indicate that it is done brewing.
I nod at her in thanks when she puts a mug in front of me. I immediately bring the liquid up toward my mouth to take a sip, but I find that there is some resistance... that resistance is one of Effy’s hands on my forearm. My brows furrow in a silent question asking why the hell she gave me coffee, then won’t let me drink it.
“Too hot,” she says softly as she pulls her hand back to her.
I’m stunned, not just at the fact that she didn’t let me burn my tongue out of my mouth, but that she touched me. I’ve had more physical contact with Effy in the past half hour than in the remainder of my life, and that includes Gobbler’s End. “Thanks,” I push out, feeling rather rude for not saying anything to her about it.
She waives off my offering of gratitude. Effy was right, some things don’t change.
My eyes find something fascinating with the mug and I gently blow onto the heated liquid to bring it down to a more manageable temperature. Silence descends on us once again. I finally look up to see that she had been looking at my lips whilst I blew onto my coffee. A tremble rips through my body and I have no idea how I suppress it enough so the girl sat across from me doesn’t notice.
Okay, maybe she did notice. She is Effy, after all. “Yeah, just a bit of a chill is all,” I respond with a smile. It isn’t just a chill though, and I’m sure Effy knows that too. She’s changed. I’ve changed. My eyes capture her azure ones for a moment before my gaze slowly moves down the soft lines of her neck, down her chest... what the fuck, Katie?
I close my eyes, hoping and praying to any deity that will take pity on me and my suddenly confused brain. I should have expected this though; doesn’t Effy just have this aura about her that draws people to her? That must be it, because the other alternative is preposterous. I take a huge drink of the coffee, which is still a bit too warm, but it is a lovely distraction from the way my eyes were blatantly following along Effy’s... body.
“Sure about that?” she presses, “You don’t seem like you’re alright.”
I laugh to hide the trembling in my voice, “Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?”
The left side of her lip curls into a smirk. Fuck. I know that look. “You tell me, Katie. You’re the one getting the chills. Is it cold in here, do you need a blanket?” Her voice pauses, but her eyes stay locked on me; I can feel them burning my skin. “Or is it something... else?”
“Really Eff, it’s nothing,” I insist. She’s still not buying it. I’m not even buying it, and I’m the one saying it!
She nods her head. I really have had too much to drink to be trying to keep up with Effy and her mind-games. Even when I was completely sober I wasn’t able to keep up, so why would she think that I could do so now, while inebriated?
Really? That’s it? She’s just going to concede? That’s... strange.
“You might as well stay the night, no sense in walking home at this time of the morning.”
“Huh?” I say intelligently.
“You can sleep in my bed, I’ll crash on the couch,” she says this slowly and articulately, as if speaking to a small child that doesn’t understand.
“Oh, right...” I stop. I can’t sleep in her bed. No fucking way. “I don’t want to put you out, Eff... you came out of nowhere to save me from my need for caffeine, and now you’re trying to give me your bed? Thanks, really, but I can take the couch.” I can see that she’s about to argue with me, but this is one thing that even Effy Fucking Stonem can’t talk me out of.
Her shoulders shrug and she leaves her untouched coffee on the table. For a moment I’m not sure what she’s doing until I see her bringing in a couple pillows and blankets, setting them on the couch. I should help her, I’m not helpless. However, instead of getting up, I just watch her. My eyes flit over her frame once more, taking in her tapered thighs and the soft muscles that move in her arms as she lays out the blankets. I can’t help but notice that she does have a nice arse in those jeans.
“All ready,” she turns to me with a smile and my gaze snaps up to her face. “Bed then?”
I nod. Somehow with everything that’s going on in my head, I find that I am absolutely knackered. I drag myself over to the couch and fall into it. I swear I’m almost asleep just from plopping down. The blanket is pulled up around my shoulders and my feet are properly tucked in. I’m fading fast, I know I am. I’m not sure if I imagine it, but I swear that I feel the brush of lips across my forehead. I don’t have the energy to open my eyes before I fall into an alcohol induced sleep-coma.
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