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15 September 2011 @ 11:30 pm
FIC: i can't get out of love  
i can't get out of love (a love i had a grip on; now it's gripping me)

Author: Eskimo Jo. for skins_bigbang!
Artist: shan_3414
Word count: 43,000
Link to art: HERE. HERE. HERE. Click it. It's honestly perfect & guh. It means so much to me just to receive art, and even more cos it's so amazing -- the skill and time and effort and beauty Shan infused into it is undeniable and unbeatable. Can't even formulate proper sentences to express how lovely it is! xx
Pairing(s): Naomi/Michelle, Naomi/Emily, Tony/Michelle; appearances by other Gen1/2/3.
Rating: 18
Warning: language, sexuality, substance use.
Fanmix: one and two;
Summary: Beginning in the summer post-Series 5, Naomi's home from Goa with Emily, falling apart and wasting time away with Effy when she finds herself helplessly entangled in a new (and very conflicting) web alongside the meddlesome and mental Effy, manipulative Tony, and his striking on-again/off-again girlfriend, Michelle but unable to let Emily go, Naomi spirals into bedlam and is uncertain which path to take in order to escape, or if that's even possible.

Notes: After the cut.
Mega thanks to Shan, my lovely, wonderful artist who put up with my finickiness and indecision, and gave me some much needed boosts. Also mega thanks to Leanne for the amazing support and allowing me to rant to my heart's content and never coming up short on piling on the encouragement. :)
Disclaimer: The names of all characters contained here-in are the property of Skins, Company Pictures, & Channel4. No infringements of these copyrights are intended, and are used here without permission.

DOWNLOAD PDF: normal format || book format
(there are quite a few typos and the like here that of course I didn't notice until it was too late. Please ignore them ;)

PART 1 || PART 2 || PART 3 || PART 4 || PART 5 || PART 6

Notes: Title from a Matthew Barber's song “Can't Get Out of Love”.

This fic contains a fair share of Greek myths, astronomy, hunting and biblical references, as well as a dabbling of quantum physics. Please excuse any glaring inaccuracies as I am absolutely shit at physics, but I tried to research as much as possible. I think I generally covered the bases necessary if you're not familiar with Greek mythology and such, but I'll gladly clarify anything. I hope the fic in general isn't too redundant, especially in light of my other most recent fic, but I just seem to have an obsession with emotional inner-turmoil and confusion, (especially relating to the hardships of coming-of-age – this is pretty much this genre, as most of my fics tend to be. Not surprising because I believe ultimately that's what Skins itself tells the stories of, or attempts to – or at the very least sets up the potential for a coming-of-age story, perhaps at the end of a generation). Doesn't help that I ship Naomi with so many people. Kinda of presents conflict and creates dissonance naturally. But it really isn't a romantic exploration as much as a journey of Naomi's (and at the heart of it, Michelle as well).

* This is in parenthesis only because it's up to your interpretation, and I hope it's subtle (or possibly just confusing) enough that it works either way. It wasn't exactly planned. If you see it, awesome. If you don't, no worries.

Also, apologies for the formatting here on LJ (most the lack of italics). I'll fix it up when I have some time. I'm just super, super busy lately.

“To horse and away; To the heart of the fray! Fling care to the Devil for one merry day!"

~ W.H. Ogilvy

The party is shit.

And not just the normal sort of shit that bad parties tend to be, like with a few too many girls wailing over whatever prick they've been sucking off lately, some idiot smashing a valuable piece of art and someone else chundering all over the floor in the only working bathroom. No. This is on another level. This is the kind of party that makes you question if humanity even has a hope in hell of surviving past Tuesday. This is the sort where you sit in the corner and tick off all the various ways in which you would murder every last person in the place if only you had the materials, means and guts – plus a nice side of psychopathic rage. It's precisely the sort that you loathsomely arrive at against your better judgement, is packed full of people from college that you would have rather never have seen ever again, and during which you have to drink cheap lager from a dirty cup alone whilst watching the love of your life being fondled by a minging, ridiculous blonde ape of a girl. All in the name of “having a good night out.”

This is Naomi Campbell's life. It's much the same weekend after weekend. And it had been hers for the better part of 4 months now. It hadn't been part of her brilliant life plan at all but Effy had a notoriously persuasive way of framing invitations that managed to fool her time and time again. After each one of these pathetic, agonising nights she would tell herself not to take Effy's offer the next time. Regardless, when Thursday or Friday night came around, the sneaky girl would create an impressive sounding fantasy that was often too good to refuse and Naomi would consider the fact that, maybe, just maybe, she was right this time and it would be a bloody good night. She couldn't take the chance and give it a miss, only to find out later that actually it had been the party of the year.

However, 19 supposed parties of the year later, Naomi was no closer to having the experience that everyone else around her seemed to be fully immersed in. She had tried the drugs and the drink. Neither seemed to make life all that much better except on occasion. Momentarily perhaps, and only if she got so off her face she woke up sprawled out on the floor of a stranger's kitchen with a horrid kink in her back and a pounding come-down headache, usually with her knickers nowhere to be found. That wasn't really her style however. Not many girls -- or boys for that matter -- found that sort of trainwreck particularly sexy or appealing, and the one girl specifically that she wanted to win over certainly turned her nose up at such behaviour. So, the drugs were the first thing to go. Effy wasn't easily convinced but learnt her lesson about spiking Naomi's drinks when she was faced with a blubbering, useless twat of a mate who proceeded to pass out smack dab in the middle of the bed Effy had been planning to use to fuck her latest forgetting tool. If there was anything that could get through the Stonem girl, it was an ill, cock-blocking moaner. Further, Naomi had refused to speak to Effy for a good week and a half afterwards.

As the two of them were already in such short supply of friends, it was quite a punishment. The compromise came in the form of Naomi agreeing to come out to parties, and Effy for her part, would refrain from drugging her up against her will. Fucking friends. What kind of mate is that anyway? Who do you have to be to think that a compromise like that is actually desirable? Naomi wouldn't really know. With Cook in prison, Freddie dead, JJ at uni someplace, Thommo and Panda fucked off to live the American dream, a decent mate is in a high demand at the moment so she lives with what she can get, and tries to be grateful all the same. Effy just happened to be there when Naomi had felt completely alone after Emily, and she's quite all right when she isn't in the midst of yet another bout of self-destruction. Luckily such episodes were scheduled for mainly Friday and Saturday nights. The rest of the time, the two of them pretended to be normal.

It worked. Most of the time.

Sort of.

The pretending to be fine, that things are normal and that life is just peachy, becomes rather difficult on occasions like this when she is forced to watch Emily grind up against some blonde cow on the other side of the living room. It's fucking bullshit and there's no way anyone in her position could possibly be fine about that. They'd only split 5 months ago, and while that may be an exceptionally long period of time to nurse relationship wounds for an average person, Naomi was not average and her relationship with Emily was nothing short of exceptional. (Exceptionally amazing and exceptionally awful in retrospect.) She doesn't think it's quite fair when Effy gives her that pitying look that says “Oh, just get over it already.” Naomi is not going to take advice from a girl who's solution to pure anguish and heartbreak is to dope herself to oblivion and shag everything within a 45 mile radius. Boy, girl, sheep, fencepost. Didn't seem to matter any longer. It's even worse when she visits Effy and her insufferable brother is there, and he simply suggests the exact same thing, just with even harder callousness. He'd even said he'd see to her properly. The suggestion had left Naomi feeling worthless, and mental. Like she was odd for reacting and carrying on as she had done for so long. Sure, maybe it had been a while but regardless her heart was in fucking pieces and no amount of little white pills or painfully average-sized cock would fix that. (Effy's brother could walk around in those stupid boxer-briefs all he wanted, and Naomi would continue to judge.)

Deep down she's certain Effy knows this as well and how, in the long run, her remedy is likely to fail splendidly, assuming it hadn't already. It won't be a blaze of glory. It'll dissolve her, slowly eat away at her existence until there's nothing left but her bones. It's probably why apart from these weekend flights of fancy, she keeps to herself, makes weird fucking collages alone in her bedroom and cries. Yes, Effy Stonem cries. It's rare, but it happens. And Naomi learnt that giving Effy a taste of her own medicine and telling her to get over it already was not an acceptable piece of advice. After doing so, she'd walked in on Effy crying more fitfully and working on a disturbing piece of so-called art that featured photos of Naomi's body dismembered in very odd and gory ways. They'd inadvertently hurt each other quite a lot in these first stages of having a go at a legitimate friendship. It helps now that Effy is taking at least some of her medication and taking time off from her art to see a psychiatrist. And not a fucking whack-job like that Foster bloke. Perhaps most impressively, since returning, her brother has reigned her in considerably better than a professional ever could. Sometimes it's unbearably sweet the way they speak, or like those times she comes round the Stonems and finds Effy asleep with her head in her brother's lap as he silently reads some pretentious novel. He'll just smirk, hold a finger to his lips, maybe run a soft hand through her hair and go back to his book.

Naomi wishes she had an older brother too. All she's got is a dozy mum who thinks chakra stones and organic vegetables are the solution to all of life's many woes. She's well-meaning but ultimately clueless. The blonde isn't clear how locally grown, pesticide-free carrots would really help her out of her current predicament.

Emily is so fucking happy. She's obviously on something illegal and wonderful. Probably ecstasy again. But it doesn't matter because she's smiling and laughing with that wide, bright grin and her brown eyes are huge and shining. Of course, she's focussed on the horsey girl she's with like she can't look away, and that stings further. Naomi wants to just throw things at them both but a stint in women's prison is not on her current to-do list. That would certainly set her plan back a few months. Emily's been looking progressively better and better the longer they've been broken up. It's a sign that she's healing, Naomi reckons. She's jealous that she can't seem to find the same peace. Maybe that's the role of the dumpee. It's harder to reconcile with.

Whatever. Emily still shouldn't flaunt her new-found freedom quite so blatantly. Naomi narrows her eyes one last time at the troll with her paws up Emily's top and wanders over to the sofa, spilling half her drink when some annoying fuck shouting “Buddha Buddha Cheeeeese Buddha!” slams into her while doing what she could only generously refer to as dancing. Luckily, her spilt beer gets all over his ugly t-shirt in some fit of karmic revenge and she shrugs, continuing towards her desired perch. It's currently occupied by a couple of brats –a metalhead twat and some posh kid– sucking each other's faces off on the one end, and some random girl on the other. Naomi plops herself smack in the middle and takes a long gulp of her lager.

“You met Anwar then?” A voice to her right breaks through the cacophony that is considered music at this party.

She turns to face the girl there. “What?” She's somewhat irritated about the need for conversation. She just wants to sit and mope until the time comes to drag Effy home.

“Anwar. The bloke that you spilt your drink on,” the girl explains.

“He's a tit,” Naomi states plainly. “Don't care what his name is.” She feels a right to be so surly. Glancing up in Emily's direction, she glimpses just the flash of her ex-girlfriend tongue-wrestling while swaying to the irritating, teeth-grating wobble of commercialised dubstep. Yeah, it's a fucking horrible party and she shouldn't have to play nice just to appease some girl.

The other girl shrugs. “He's my mate.”

Naomi sighs. “You've got shit choice in friends then.” Maybe if she's just slightly more of a ridiculous cunt, the girl will move away and allow her to sulk in peace. Naomi chooses to ignore the fact that her own friends are in prison or have a tendency to slip her drugs and drag her to places she doesn't want to go, time after time.

“Yeah, probably. Goes nicely with shit taste in boyfriends.”

Great. Another one of these girls. Naomi does not want to talk about how stupid boys are and “Why don't they love me?” and all that rubbish that drunk girls prattle on about on a regular basis, usually ending in a flood of hysterical tears until they puke from the sheer exertion. She chooses not to engage, not to push the subject to avoid exactly that situation. She's got new trainers on and doesn't want them spoiled by vomit. She chooses instead to shrug, give a non-committal grunt and put her cup back to her mouth, knocking back the remaining bit of lager. Her eyes stay focused on the crowd of people milling about the room, searching for her redhead. Yes. Her redhead.

The sofa cushions shift slightly as the stranger rises from her seat. She stands directly in front of Naomi until the blonde glances up, half in annoyance, half in curiousity. She's struck suddenly by green eyes peering down at her intensely. They're complimented by a very pretty face framed by loose brown curls. She doesn't dare look any further down because the temptation to like what she sees is already a tad too strong.

“I'm off to grab a drink,” she says reaching her hand out for Naomi's cup. “Want me to get you one as well?”

The blonde squints for a moment. This is odd. Girls like this aren't usually nice to her, and furthermore she hadn't expected to make any friends at this party but now it seems like that is a very likely possibility. “Sure.” She hands over her plastic cup carefully, making sure not to let their fingers touch.

“Brill,” the brunette smiles and twists around in the direction of the kitchen. Her face seems relieved before she leaves.

Naomi watches, finally feeling free enough to chance a look at the rest of her. Dangerously fit, indeed. Not that it fucking matters, cos her heart is owed to another. Still...

The girl bumps into Anwar the Tit and he immediately loops an arm over her shoulders, involving her in what looks like a serious conversation. There's another boy with him, shorter and geeky with an ugly, worn beanie on his head. He's saying something as well. They all look unhappy; a sharp change from Anwar's disposition a few minutes prior. The short boy is insisting something and her new friend shakes her head emphatically, looking quite flustered and pushes away from them both, moving towards the kitchen a brisk pace. She pushes another random person out of her way in the process. Naomi visually follows her retreating form until a certain other girl comes into focus nearby. Emily's standing alone against the wall, bottle of water in hand.

It's kind of eerie, magical almost, how two people's gazes can meet even in such chaos, across such distance. It's almost like old times and Naomi's heart beats more rapidly in her chest. She can see the deep intake of breath in her ex-girlfriend. Emily's not completely happy. That's clear enough. She puts on a good show, of course. Years of lessons from her sister no doubt contributed to her skill. But Naomi knows Emily; she knows that underneath her new persona something's still tugging at her. Pulling them both. The moment ends abruptly as Emily breaks eye contact first. She looks away. Naomi follows and realises that the blonde tart is in that direction. She squeezes her own eyes closed, willing the image to dissipate.

Someone clears their throat nearby and her eyes fly open. A beer can is dangling in front of her face. She takes it hesitantly, forcing a tight smile. “Cheers,” she mutters as the girl sits down beside her again.

“There were 4 types of manky beer. I chose the least repulsive for you,” she states. “Figured, let the boys have the others. They've no taste anyway.”

And just like that, it's back to how boys are complete wankers. It is not her desired topic of conversation. In fact, she has no desired topic so she gulps down an impressive helping of her drink, still staring out at the partygoers stumbling over each other. She can't make out Emily amongst them any longer and she strains to see around some of the idiots blocking her view. It's futile. A waste of energy.

“Hey.” The voice is softer now and more imploring. Not so charming and upbeat. Not so false. Naomi can't help but turn towards her. “You all right?”

It's very bizarre to hear that question. It's almost like the brunette is speaking in a foreign language. She could be speaking in bloody Swahili for the amount of sense it makes. Naomi hasn't heard those words uttered to her (at least with any actual concern) in months it feels like. Effy never bothered –mostly because Effy didn't ask, she told. And her mum never seemed to actually understand. So now she's momentarily taken aback with the fact that there is sincere curiosity in the tone. Her eyes lock of their own accord and suddenly she's feeling very much like a deer in headlights. However, the oncoming car is weirdly soothing. She can't really explain the feeling, so she does her signature shrug of indifference, sipping her drink again. Her company does the same before sighing.

“It's kind of a shit party, yeah?” she asks, changing the subject. When Naomi glances over, the girl is staring off towards a darkened corner where a couple is having an intimate-looking conversation.

“Yeah,” she agrees.

There's a sigh. “That's my boyfriend,” she says, pointing in the direction of the other couple. He peers around at the same moment and sees her pointing in his direction. With a cocksure smirk, a wink and a wave to the girl beside her, he turns around again, refocussed on the other girl who is apparently not his actual girlfriend.

“You're seeing Tony Stonem?” Naomi is aghast at the idea. What little she knows about him is enough cause to be scandalized by the notion. She decides not to mention to his girlfriend how Tony had offered, not once but multiple times, to sort her out. She can kind of see now why this girl is so distraught about the male species. Who wouldn't be if they were dating that tosser?

The brunette chuckles derisively. “Of course you know who Tony is. Who doesn't?” She shakes her head in sad sort of disbelief before necking a large helping of what smells like almost pure vodka.

“I haven't--,” Naomi starts but is cut off.

“I know. I've become quite good at picking out which girls he's shagged behind my back.”

Naomi grimaces. “Or in front of you.” It slips out more condescendingly that she had intended and she winces again. Shit. The girl beside her stiffens and let's out a controlled huff of irritation. She takes a sip of her drink again before turning more fully to Naomi.

“I'm Michelle,” she states, offering her hand as if blocking out the entire last few minutes. It happened but it never happened, or whatever it was that Effy used to recite. A smile pulls at the other girl's lips and it's quite possibly genuine so the blonde accepts the offered hand, feeling like she's suddenly ended up at the most fucked up job interview ever.


After a slightly lengthy and almost awkward pause, Michelle speaks. “So how do you know Tony Stonem, Naomi?”

“He's my best mate's brother.”

Michelle snorts. “You're Effy's friend? Good luck.” She doesn't catch Naomi glowering at her briefly. The younger girl doesn't want to talk about Effy and certainly doesn't want to bring on a row defending her only friend to Tony's dozy girlfriend. Biting her tongue, she drains her remaining drink. Her head is feeling woozy, a bit soft.

“How do you know Tony then?” she volleys back. They're good at this kind of conversation: bouncing back and forth past topics they'd both rather avoid, switching focus constantly. Never lingering on the shitty parts.

Michelle squints before bowing her head to stare at the carpet under their feet as if it holds some important secret. She clears her throat daintily before sipping again. “We met in Year 8. Through a friend.” She glances up towards that geek in the beanie hat with Anwar. “Then you know how it goes in school. Year 10 we got together. And then after college we went to different universities. Came back here not long ago and, like, are giving it a go for the 10th time around.”

Naomi stares off into the corner that hides Tony and whatever girl he's chatting up. “Seriously?” Naomi can't understand how the fuck miserably watching him trying to pull some slag is considered “giving it a go”. It's completely the opposite of what she would consider that to mean. Michelle must be a bit thick. Like actually have something wrong in her head. Then again, mental dysfunction seems like it's kind of a prerequisite for dating a Stonem, she supposes, and even more so for this predicament.

Sounding fatigued, Michelle lets out a long sigh. “Yes. He's just... being Tony. He's playing games.” She glimpses her boyfriend across the room but turns away quickly. “He's not serious.”

Naomi arches an eyebrow as she watches him kiss along the other girl's neck. Yeah fucking right he's not serious. This is well fucked up and Naomi wonders if maybe she would have preferred a drunk bird getting ill on her new trainers. It's possible. Looking over to Michelle, Naomi's still a little disbelieving. “You just let that happen? Why don't you do something?”

The brunette shakes her head before tipping her cup back and necking the rest of her vodka with impressive ease. She tosses the cup aside. “It's complicated, okay?”

“There's complicated and then there's just proper spackered,” she mumbles, only half-hoping the other girl will hear.

Apparently she hears it loud and clear as she releases a very disgruntled groan. “Nevermind. I thought you'd understand.”

“I don't even know you,” Naomi blurts out defensively. How the hell would she get that impression? “What made you think I'd understand?” Because she's friends with Effy? That barely makes sense even on its own. She's not exactly a Stonem family expert, and considering Michelle and Tony had been together for quite a while and she has heard nothing about his having a girlfriend only shows how little she knows about Tony. She's Effy's mate, not Effy's brother's mate.

Michelle's brows wrinkle in something resembling pain. Closing her eyes, she takes a long breath. Eventually she focuses on Naomi, squarely and intensely again. “You look as miserable as I feel.”

Ah. Heart-to-hearts with strangers. Not Naomi Campbell's speciality, to be fair. She squirms with discomfort. “I'm not--.”

“Oh, come off it,” Michelle cuts in. “Who is it? Is he here? Must be.” She pauses, staring around at all the people in the room as if she's excited about a new mystery, a new romantic drama to immerse herself in. Offhandedly she adds, “I'm not soft in the head, you know.”

Emily isn't anywhere to be seen at the moment as Naomi glances surreptitiously around, not wanting to linger lest Michelle pick up on where she's looking and come to the wrong conclusion. “It doesn't matter.” The words are barely pass her lips before she sucks in a sharp breath as she spots Emily and the minging cow full-on snogging and groping by the stereo system. Her gaze freezes, locked on the display. She's vaguely aware of Michelle shifting about, trying to follow her line of sight. Naomi knows she should look away or else risk giving herself away, but the scene is too horrific in all honesty. It's like her nightmares in fullview, projected for everyone else to gawk at. Yet no one knows the evil nature of them, and thus no one tries to stop them from happening.

Michelle sighs beside her, whispering an understanding, “Oh.”

They say nothing for what feels like ages. Naomi can't be certain what Michelle is looking at because it's not exactly the most important thing at the moment. Oh, and there it is: Emily's hand moving, dipping under the waistband of the bitch's jeans. As fucking if. She feels eyes boring into her suddenly. And almost as suddenly, there's a commotion and Anwar the alleged Magnificent lurches sideways into the couple, knocking them both off-balance and completely ruining their disgusting moment. Good. At least he was good for something. Emily takes the opportunity to look around, not likely for anything particular but she finds it anyway.

Her eyes widen slightly when she sees Naomi staring hard at her. She doesn't smirk as Naomi had been accustomed to in recent weeks. She looks almost apologetic, as if she actually is regretting her actions just a little bit. There's something glistening in her eyes that seems sad and weak. Naomi's hoping that's reality and not just her drunken mind playing tricks on her.

Whatever is happening is interrupted by Michelle snatching Naomi's hand, pulling her up from the sofa abruptly. “Let's go get another drink, yeah?” She yanks on Naomi's arm, dragging her through the crowd and towards the kitchen. Past Emily, past Tony.

A small, boisterous crowd of college rugby lads is gathered around the table where there seems to be an assorted collection of unclaimed liquor bottles. Michelle reaches over and snatches a almost half-empty bottle of Bacardi, ignoring the one bloke objecting to her choice, instead bending over to flash his mate a view right down her top and complaints are silenced. Looking down, Naomi realises that her hand is still cradled tightly in Michelle's. It's warm, tight. Confident perhaps. If holding someone's hand could have that quality.

“Come on,” she says earnestly, pulling again on Naomi as the blonde reaches for a small bottle of Coke. It's much like she'd seen Emily be dragged about by Katie from time to time. The similarity is slightly appalling.

Tony's still in the corner with the slag and he watches carefully as they breeze by him, back into the sparse crowd dancing near the stereo. Michelle takes a long swig straight from the bottle and Naomi offers up the Coke to chase it which she accepts graciously before passing the rum to Naomi. She's not as keen on chugging straight liquor but it has to burn less than seeing Emily out of the corner of her eye getting felt up by that blonde cow. A wince crawls over her lips as she swallows, gesturing wildly at Michelle for the soft drink. As the liquor swirls down towards her stomach, she relaxes slightly, watching Michelle drink again. This girl is a fish. Anwar's back beside them, grabbing at Michelle and begging like a child for the alcohol. She plays a friendly game of keep-away for a few seconds, giggling before handing it to him. With good etiquette, after his helping, he passes it over to Naomi. In a matter of minutes after exchanging large swigs of drink, the bottle is empty.

It's going to be a fucking messy night.

Lethal Bizzle is blasting through the speakers as Naomi stumbles sloppily against Michelle and Sid, laughing. It's quite an odd feeling, this idea of having actual fun at a house party. She'd lost track of Emily's whereabouts about half an hour ago, she reckons. Who knows what time is anymore. Bass is pouring from the sound system, vibrating the floor at a wonderful frequency. The beats begin pulsing against her body.


No. That's Michelle.

This random girl she's only met tonight is up and grinding on her like she thinks she's at a club. The funny thing about alcohol is its lovely way of making normal reasoning ability severely impaired and, truth is, Naomi has had a lot of liquor tonight. Michelle presses back, her nicely firm ass gyrating to the music against Naomi's crotch as her hands snake back and down Naomi's thighs, grasping at denim. And even though she's never been big on dancing, Naomi can't help it. Not at this moment. She also can't resist sliding her own hands over a sparsely clad waist and down to pull on Michelle's hips, pulling her intensely closer. The brunette's head falls back on Naomi's shoulder and, yes, this is far worse than any temptation even Jesus himself faced.

Mostly cos for one thing, Jesus wasn't drunk as far as Naomi remembers from that time her mother had gone on an 'all religions of of the world' kick and told Bible fairy-stories for a week straight. Also, Jesus wasn't a lesbian with an incredibly fit girl all up on his tits. She reckons even the Lord himself would think twice about the Devil's offer had he been in her shoes.

This whole ordeal may just send her to Hell, so it's an excellent thing that Naomi isn't religious then.

Her lips touch tentatively against hot skin over Michelle's pulse. This is probably bad form and she's about to get a Stonem fist in the face at any moment. Or, as it happens, Michelle pulls away. Naomi's cheeks flush hot and she freezes. Shit. It's been so long since she'd even been with anyone –let alone Emily-- that maybe the rules have changed. Or perhaps Michelle is just fucking straight. Obviously she is, Naomi, you daft twat. She berates herself for getting mixed up in this bloody mess in the first place and is about to dash from the dancefloor, tail between her legs, when Michelle faces her, flinging her arms around the blonde's neck. Naomi's breath catches in her throat. The older girl is practically throwing herself at her, and Naomi is completely baffled about how to respond, what would be considered crossing the line. Does a line even exist anymore? Thinking becomes a much harder task as she feels an incredibly warm body pressed right up against her.

“Where's your girl?” she whispers in Naomi's ear and a shudder passes straight down her spine at the thought. She looks around quickly, trying to spot Emily. She fails and shrugs. It's at that moment she catches Michelle glancing at Tony who's moved out of the shadows, but still with the slag of his. He's eyeing the two of them with something mixed between arousal and disbelief. It makes Naomi slightly ill and she attempts to put some space between her and Michelle, bumping into a grinning Sid in the process.

“What's the problem then?” the girl asks again suggestively, pulling Naomi back. Her lips are mere inches away. Fuck. It's Michelle that closes the distance with little to no hesitation. Her arms tighten around Naomi's neck. It's just the drink, Naomi reminds herself when she feels like the music is actually covering her body, rippling pleasure through it at regular intervals. She groans quietly as a tongue pushes against her mouth.

She is snogging a girl. A girl who is not Emily. At a party that Emily is also at, somewhere. This is most likely going to end horribly but the second wonderful thing about alcohol is that very few things seem undesirable. In fact, most everything seems like a good idea in the spur of the moment, including but not limited to a stranger's tongue down her throat as her hands slide up bare thighs, inadvertently pushing underneath a skirt. Naomi is so fucking turned on at the moment, she can barely function beyond the very basic primal instincts. Her peripheral vision doesn't exist. Her hands are beasts of their own mind, and her mind itself has taken a direct flight into fantasy.

This is likely the real sort of dirty dancing that parents and schoolteachers despise. None of that camp 80s rubbish. She's got a hot girl's thigh grinding against her clit and she can barely breathe. Michelle breaks the kiss to pull in a breath. Naomi's legitimately surprised at how hard the other girl is breathing. She shifts, changing the angle of her own leg, expertly, and waits for the gasp. It comes sharply in her ear, punctuated with a tiny moan.

Oh, Jesus fuck, this is not good. Not good at all. This is why they had brought in the temperance movement, she reckons. It must have been. So wankered neglected, lonely sorts didn't start dry humping like feral animals on a dancefloor at a shitty teenage house party. Nullifying the source of social ills and all that. Too bad it feels so fucking good or Naomi may have been tempted to stop.

It's only after Naomi's been feverishly leaving her mark on the other girl's neck does she feel large hands pushing against her shoulder. There's a moment of readjustment to reality as she comes to, blearily focusing on the tall boy standing far too close for comfort. His blue eyes pierce her in all the wrong places and for once, she's actually intimated by Tony Stonem. He says nothing but Naomi's hands fall away from Michelle's body like lightning. It's somewhat comforting that her partner in crime appears equally as dazed by the interruption... except there's a very slight smirk on her face when Michelle realises who it is that has interrupted them. The song shifts to something far more upbeat and it breaks the spell for good.

Naomi suddenly feels ill, the sick rising to the back of her throat. This is just not on. She'd just been effectively used as bait in Michelle and Tony's fucked up relationship. It's probably a good thing that she's a little numbed from the rum. She pushes away from the older girl who barely gives her a second glance, choosing to focus on Tony, a glint of challenge in her eyes. She shoves Anwar aside as she squeezes away from all the dancing. Her gaze darts around and her heart plummets. Emily's standing there, pained brown eyes locked on her. She'd seen it all.

“Ems,” Naomi calls out, her voice cracking but to no avail. The redhead cringes and rushes away, back through a crowd of girls and out of sight.

The blonde rubs a hand over her face, trying to orient herself in the house. The front door catches her eye and she stumbles over to it, stepping out into the garden, the cool night air feeling like heaven against her burning skin. She staggers out of the doorway. Effy's standing alone the shadows, lazily pulling on a cigarette and cocks a smile at Naomi when she takes in her friend's state.

“Smoke?” she asks, already tapping one out of the packaging. Naomi groans and takes it from her, lighting it with incredibly shaky hands. The moment the smoke is drawn into her lungs, the blonde feels a little better. Effy doesn't have to say a word. She's probably sussed it all out anyway. Naomi leans against the wall, feeling her nerves and sickness start to disappear in the absence of Emily, Michelle and that whole rat's nest of fuckery. They stand in silence, wisps of cigarette smoke swirling around them in the calm air. Thudding bass from indoors is like a fading war drum now. Nothing to be scared of anymore.

Looking up at the sky, Naomi picks out the Plough, following it to the North Star, a trick she'd picked up from her father long ago on a caravaning holiday to Wales. She retains very little of use from him, except his love of stars. She's never been one of those children preoccupied with outer space or aliens or any of that comic book bollocks, but constellations appealed to her. They were constant. If it was a clear night, she could just look up and recognise familiar faces, recall Greek myths. Most people felt small and lonely in comparison to the vastness of space and the uniqueness of Earth. She feels less lonely. There were stars up there, just sitting alone as well, like her, minding their own business. Completely indifferent to her existence or petty problems. Billions of miles from each other, but from far away they make stories and pictures. They carry memories on waves of light.

Taking another drags she squints, surprised how her drunken double-vision isn't interfering too harshly with her contemplation of Cygnus.

She takes a long breath, staring upwards. “Once, there were two friends who flew too close to the Sun and crashed to Earth. One died, and the other, Cygnus, begged Zeus for help to help him dive for his friend's body that was at the bottom of a river,” Naomi recites, almost to nobody in particular. Effy raises an eyebrow at the tale coming from her intoxicated friend's mouth. “He was proper torn up about it all, like wailing and crying on the riverbank. Zeus offered Cygnus the option to change into a swan and retrieve his best mate's body but only if he remained a swan afterwards and gave up his immortality, living only as briefly as a swan. Cygnus agreed without hesitation. And Zeus, he was so bloody impressed with Cygnus' unselfishness that he placed a swan in the sky in in honour of him.” Naomi sighs and takes a drag of her cigarette again, gazing up. Her brunette friend says nothing for a long while.

“Fancy story, Naomi,” she finally muses aloud.

Naomi peers over, and chuckles at Effy's expression. “You're not the only one who likes a myth here and there, Eff.” She quirks a smile at her friend.

Effy shakes her head and smiles. “Something to do with Emily again?”

Naomi stares at the ash burning on the end of her fag. For once, it really wasn't. “No, the stars just caught my eye is all.” She laughs again at the fact she'd just rambled Greek mythology in a drunken state in a stranger's front garden. “Ready to go?” she asks Effy quickly. Scrunching her nose up, Effy waves her half-finished cigarette at Naomi. Okay, she knows that language. It means, 'in a bit'.

The music becomes louder suddenly and both girls look over to see the front door open fully and another brunette slip outside. The music fades as quick as it began. However, Naomi feels the familiar sick rising up. So much for a good end to the night after the previous disaster. Michelle hesitates briefly before moving towards them both. Effy looks almost amused at the situation, her gaze jumping back and forth between Naomi and Michelle. The older girl steps close to Effy.

She avoids eye contact with Naomi. “Mind if I bum one?” she asks, her voice wavering a little.

“Thought you quit,” Effy deadpans.

“Christ, can I just have one, please?”

Naomi watches as Effy pulls a fag out for her brother's girlfriend and hands it to her, a wide smirk on her face. Michelle takes a deep first drag before exhaling slowly to the side. Only then does she chance a look at the blonde. “Sorry about earlier,” she says with an air of sincere apology. “I didn't...”

“It's fine,” Naomi snaps. It comes out much harder than she intended so she attempts to amend it. “Don't worry about it. Just got carried away is all.” Her feeble excuses seem weak even to her own ears. No doubt Effy is thinking the same.

Michelle shifts her weight, touching her hair briefly. “So, Tony and I are back on. Properly,” she states. She sounds as if she's perfectly aware that neither of the younger girls care. Effy snorts and tosses her cigarette to the ground, crushing it under the toe of her boot. Michelle straightens her spine a little more. “We are.” Her voice is adamant, like she's trying to convince Tony's sister, as well as herself. Her mouth sets into a hard line at Effy's disbelief and she rolls her eyes at the younger girl, turning to Naomi instead. “I'd like us to be friends.”

Naomi tilts her head to the side, recognising the unfortunate feeling of alcohol-induced vertigo. She dare not move it further now. She may actually tumble over. That would be classy. Regardless of the state of her liquefying brain, Naomi's not certain she wants anymore friends. She's got Effy. That's enough headache. Especially not friends that use her for sex games to make their boyfriends jealous. Not really a sign of a great mate, in her opinion. But apart from that, she rather enjoyed the older girl's company. Michelle raises her eyebrows, awaiting a response. She actually looks quite genuine. Naomi balances the last of her cigarette between her lips as she reaches into her pocket for her mobile, handing it to Michelle. “Go for it,” she sighs and watches the brunette's fingers work quickly to put in her number then ring her own phone.

Of course, an obnoxious Peaches ringtone breaks through the peaceful silence in the neighbourhood. Michelle quickly silences it and quirks a partly shy smile in the girls' direction. Both Naomi and Effy stare back impassively. Naomi's expression shifts however when she notices the very definite mark of her mouth's handiwork on Michelle's neck. There's a flush of an ugly, tangled sort of feeling; something between embarrassment, arousal and resentment. It boils slowly in Naomi's chest as she stares fixedly at the lovebite. Eventually the older brunette notices, her hand self-consciously touching it and then turning to the side, effectively hiding the red bruise from Naomi's nosey view. Effy's eyes are darting back and forth during the silent exchange and Naomi's unsure if her friend had been in the house at the time, but she seems to have pieced it all together regardless.

Thankfully she doesn't have a chance to make any snide comments before the front door swings open again and a redhead stumbles out onto the walk, followed by the blonde rah from earlier. It's a terrible reunion and Naomi feels the pace of her heart quicken immediately. This isn't how she wanted to talk to Emily, not with fucking Michelle and Effy and that blonde cunt as their audience. She opens her mouth and moves towards Emily by a step but the strange girl's voice breaks the awkward, heavy silence.

“How totally, um, safe to see you, Michelle. Thought you went away, yah?”

Naomi shirks back against the wall, completely lost as to the situation that is occurring. Michelle knows Emily's date? How does everyone know everyone else in this fucking town? At least Emily looks just as taken aback at the revelation. For a moment, Naomi is distracted by the fact that Emily of all people would find this person to be attractive. Looks-wise she's not terrible, but her personality? She seems horrid. Simply must be great in the sack. Then again, Emily never really had good taste in girlfriends, present company admittedly included.

“What are you even doing here, Abi?” There's a sigh. Michelle just sounds tired and dismissive. “You're not even...” Her sentence trails away as she gestures at Emily.

Abigail perks up, a horribly fake smile spreading over her face. “You're not the only one that can have fun. Get Tony's notice, yah? Boy, Michelle, you've really missed a lot in the last year.” She gives the brunette a placating smile. “You really shouldn't have bothered. I mean, like, you're not even popular here anymore.” Every word that comes out of this girl's mouth sounds so fake and patronizing, like some sort of posh psychiatrist. But Abi's background and inflection aren't really Naomi's main point of focus. Instead, she sees Emily's face go from uncomfortable to irritated, offended possibly at Abi's insinuation. Playing gay for Tony's attention seems to be a disgusting trend for these girls. What the bloody hell was so great about him anyway? And why the fuck did they all think being lesbians for a night would be the great solution to their problem of his wandering eye? Emily huffs and shakes her head disdainfully, strutting away.

Abi starts after her. “Aw, Emsy-poo, I didn't mean it like that, you know right?”

Naomi smirks as Emily's stride never falters. They're done. One less obstacle to winning her back.

Good. She supposes she should thank Michelle for that. The brunette groans and pulls on her fag. “Bitch,” she hisses as Abigail's pleading voice fades away. She glares at Effy. “Thanks for your help, by the way,” she says with a glower.

Effy shrugs. “I care why?”

“It's your brother she's trying to manipulate.”

Again, another shrug, this one even less noticeable than the last. “Same as you are, you mean?” Michelle's eyes narrow but she can't argue with the assertion. “Tony's clever.” Effy says the statement with an air of finality. The discussion is over. And it's the truth anyway. Tony hardly needs anyone looking after him any longer. If anything, the girls in his life need more saving from him. Whatever. It is all too complicated and irrelevant to the plans Naomi is intent on making.

1. Ring Emily. 2. Make things right.

Maybe not when so drunk. Yes.

No. Best right now. Sooner the better.

Yes, but after chips.

Naomi picks herself off the wall and wobbles into the garden. Ring Emily. Go see Emily. Must do right now. Chips first. If she could get her legs to work properly it would be a start. Glancing behind her, she waits for Effy to join her and they leave the party together and Michelle's left to fend for herself. Naomi doesn't feel guilty about that. She's more concerned about the chip shop around the corner still being open.

They make it to the house just before Naomi drops her half-eaten packet of greasy chips to the pavement and feels the wave of nausea pass from her toes right to her tongue. With a bin beside her, she spends the night retching and sleeping fitfully in Effy's bed instead.

<< PART 2 >>
PART 1 || PART 2 || PART 3 || PART 4 || PART 5 || PART 6

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alluringclichealluringcliche on September 16th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
I just want to say the first part was excellent and I'm so excited to read the whole thing. I always really love your Michelle, Effy, and Tony. ♥ And everyone really.
Lazarus_Girllazarus_girl on September 16th, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC)
Oh my Christ woman, I don’t even know where to start! This is fucking epic. Beautiful setup in your classic style. You had absolutely nothing to worry about. No one can write crossgen as seamlessly as you. The descriptions made me smile.

You know what else? Naomi and Chelle just feel right when you’re in the driving seat. I don’t know how you do it.

I got so absorbed in the story that I shouted ridiculously loud at the Abigail reveal. Lol. Oops.

Naomily? Pitch perfect for what you've created.

Gonna save part two for tomorrow, because I don’t think I can take such awesome in double dose. Very curious indeed as to where this will go. Love it, lady!
Béibhinn Mór-Ríoghain: [skins] naomi/emily: ♥doreah on September 24th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
Hehe, "classic style". I like that. I was leaning more towards "derivative copycatting of previous successes". LOL, so I'm super glad it's a style rather than how I feared it would come off (especially on the tail of Echoes).

Aww, ta bb gurl. :D

LOL I love Abigail, ngl and I'm glad you liked/were surprised by that!

And, as always, I'm stoked when Naomily fans don't completely loathe my take on things. :D xx
Lazarus_Girllazarus_girl on September 24th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
You're too hard on yourself, woman!

As for loathing it, I'm open-minded. I'm aSkins fan first, remember?
Seymour Romanovich Prouvaire: s: my old friends they don't know me nowsignifiers on October 12th, 2011 09:43 am (UTC)
Aaaah. I got here via skinsfans (though I've been following your Tumblr for ages) - this fic is perfection. I was actually crying all through Part 6! Your voices are so, so spot-on; I could hear Naomi's Part 6 monologue in Lily's crying-voice, you know. And you do party scenes so well! It's weird to see such an impeccable depiction of what parties (shit or not) are like conveyed through text, but you write them wonderfully. Thank you so much for this piece of marvelousness! (And I adored the cameos from everyone, especially the Rich/Grace scene.)
Béibhinn Mór-Ríoghain: [skins] meg&luke: so glad i have thesedoreah on October 18th, 2011 09:40 pm (UTC)
OMG, thank you so, so much! I'm so ridiculously relieved that you found the voices true cos that's what terrifies me most -- screw that up, especially in something like Skins and a character-driven story, and the whole thing crumbles, imo. And yes! That's exactly the voice of Lily's I was drawing from too. :) I agree parties can be difficult to write (especially in a realistic way) but I'm glad I could pull it off well enough... gotta give props to personal experience of profoundly shitty parties here, haha. I really wanted to do more with the Gen3 crew but flow and time just wouldn't allow but I'm happy you enjoyed them as complimenting/contrasting cameos. :) Just thank you so, so much for your review. I appreciate it MAJORLY! :D x