A/N - I seem to be very inspired by Cook/Effy lately. Second story I wrote for them in 2 days! After all the Ceffy scenes in the last episode how could I not?!

Anyway, I am extremely annoyed at the writers for what they did to Funsponge because now Ceffy can't end up together, it would be just wrong. So I wrote this because I'm like Marshall from HIMYM, after an appropriate amount of time, it would be okay. I also fixed a few things from this series that I didn't like.

Anyway, spoilers for 4x07 and some cursing.

Disclaimer: Do not own any of these characters.

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Moving Forward

She remembers the night she found out clearly. John had decided she was okay to return home again. Cook showed up at her doorstep with a sad look on his face. He looked like he'd been in a fight but he didn't want to talk about it. When she answered the door he looked so hurt. He'd obviously been crying but she could tell he wasn't there for comfort, he was there so he could comfort her instead.

"Freddie's gone, Eff" he said quietly.

"So bring him back. Find him, and bring him back!" She pleaded.

"I can't, he's gone."

"Ask him to come back. For me, for you! Tell him I need him! I fucking need him!" She yelled. The tears started pouring and she could tell he didn't like telling her this. He didn't like to see her crying.

"No Eff, you don't understand. He's gone, he's never coming back. He can't" He explained to her calmly. He wasn't calm for her, it was simply because all his energy had been spent on beating the shit out of John Foster. And he knew if he let himself go again, then he'd never stop.

Effy didn't say anything. She understood now. She collapsed to the floor instead and just cried. She wanted to scream, wanted to punch some one. She wanted an explanation, something. Something to make all this less horrible. Something to give it meaning, because it was wrong. It was just wrong. So fucking wrong.

She could feel Cook's arms embracing her. Holding her like a shield, protecting her from the evil in the world. The evil that did this to them, to Freddie.

He carried her to her room and they lay together in her bed. The room was silent apart from Effy's sobs of dispair. Anthea came into the room somewhere along the night. She didn't speak, she knew Cook would explain everything later. She just left the two teenagers to their grief.

Cook stayed for a while after Effy fell asleep. He didn't want to stay. He felt a little selfish but she wasn't the only one who'd lost Freddie that night. He still had to tell JJ and everyone. Not to mention he had his own crying to do. Just not here, not while he still had to be strong for everyone else. For her.

---

Effy woke up as the sun rose. Her bed was empty, and for a moment she forgot everything. Anthea told her the details when she went downstairs. She cried again. She thought it was her fault. She knew it was. It was her fault he ever met John in the first place. And then she felt angry for a moment, and hoped to god that Cook destroyed that bastard, because she knew he would.

After she'd stopped crying, after she'd run out of tears, she had a spliff. Fuck treatment, she decided. Not exactly like she could trust anything John had said to her. She had a spliff, but it wasn't for her. It was for him. Freddie.

Cook came back three days later. Anthea let him in without question. He joined Effy in her room and they sat there in silence for a while, passing a spliff. Cook knew it was for Freddie. Nowadays, everything was for Freddie. They didn't talk. Words were useless. There was nothing either of them could say. They were both broken-hearted. Both just generally broken.

---

It became a routine. He'd come by. They'd drink or smoke or even just sit sometimes. Sit and do nothing. It was their unique way of grieving. It was their way of being there for each other. Sometimes, Effy would cry and he'd hold her hand. He'd only let go when he was sure she'd stopped. He cried too, although it was much less often. She didn't hold his hand when he cried. She just let him be. They both liked it that way.

After two weeks she spoke. It was barely anything, barely even words.

"I'm sorry."

He gave her a questioning look and asked what for. She just looked at him. Let her eyes answer for her.

"It wasn't your fault. So don't blame yourself. Don't you fucking dare." He said to her. It was like a warning. He knew what would happen if he let her go down that path. It was a beg too. Because if she blamed herself, she would find a way to convince him to blame her too. And he just couldn't. He needed her.

"It was my fault though" she whispered.

"He wouldn't have thought so."

---

The whole group came to see her one day. Everyone. Everyone but Cook. They didn't mention him or Freddie for the first hour or so. She was impressed. They filled her in on the outside world. Katie sat next to her holding her hand. She was glad. It felt like Katie was talking about him but without words. She didn't want him to be completely forgotten. She got sick of them avoiding him eventually so she asked, "How are you doing J?"

JJ mumbled rambled on nervously about keeping it together for Lara. Effy didn't like hearing this. If the girl loved him then she'd give a shit rather than making him hide it from her. It's not like she knew Freddie. JJ didn't need to keep it together, at least not for her. She didn't tell him any of this though. He needed to learn on his own, he needed his chance to make his mistakes. Freddie and Cook had taught her that. Cook.

"Where's Cook?"

There where some awkward glances around the room. "They caught him again" Naomi said. And Effy nodded because she knew it would happen. And she hoped he was okay without her, and that she'd be okay without him.

Everyone sensed her silence as a bad thing so Panda announced that she's leaving. And then the silence was a bad thing. But it was good too. Effy wanted to move on. Wanted to grow, to get over it.

"Well then, we should give you a goodbye party."

---

She got a new doctor. She didn't talk to her at first. The doctor understood. She said after what happened with John, that it made perfect sense. So they sat in silence, like she did with Cook. Only no drugs.

At her seventh meeting Effy spoke.

"I miss him."

The doctor nodded. "It's okay for you to miss him" she said. And Effy was annoyed because the him she's talking about isn't the him that Dr Kinlan's talking about. She missed him of course, but she missed a lot of hims. She missed Freddie and her father. She missed Cook when it was quiet, and remembered times when he was the loudest one in the room. And beside him stood his best mate. But she didn't want to talk about any of them. It's Tony she missed the most.

"Do you want to talk about him?" Dr Kinlan asked after a long silence.

"I just want him to come back."

---

He did. Like he knew she needed him. Like he read her mind. Like he always did. And he apologized for not being there. And got angry at her for not letting Anthea tell him that she needed him to be there. And then he hugged her because none of it mattered and she was okay. They sat in her room, his old room, and they talked about everything. Effy told him everything and she thought he should be her counselor. And he kind of was.

He asked where John Foster was now, and she realized she didn't know. Honestly, she didn't want to know. Her imagination convinced her he was dead, and she liked it that way.

---

She started talking to her doctor at their nineteenth meeting. She said "I'm worried."

"About what?" Dr Kinlan asked and Effy tried to choose just one thing. She was worried about how Panda would do far away from her. She was worried that JJ wouldn't learn from his mistakes and he'd be stuck with Lara forever. She was worried that Dr Kinlan was as bad as John, but somewhere in her mind she knew that when Dr Kinlan spoke she only spoke good things. She was like an angel in disguise. Plus, there was a good chance that she'd never fall in love with her. Effy realized she needed some one who had no connection to her whatsoever. Some one who wouldn't be affected by what she did or didn't do with her life. Dr Kinlan was that some one.

Effy decided to tackle her worries one problem at a time so she told Dr Kinlan about the one that had been on her mind the most.

"I'm worried about Cook."

"Who's Cook?" Dr Kinlan asked with a sweet doctor smile and Effy felt reassured.

"He's my friend. And he needs me, but he's not here. And I'm worried because I have people here. But he doesn't have me."

"Well, where is he?" Dr Kinlan asked.

"Alone."

"Maybe you should visit him, make sure he's okay" Dr Kinlan suggested.

But she didn't go.

---

Two weeks went by and things started following their inevitable paths. First Tony went back to University. Effy was sad but she knew he'd come back. He was the one person she knew would always come back. Next, JJ and Lara ended. She didn't know who broke up with who but honestly she was just happy that JJ would find a chance to be happy. He wasn't too happy though, more mopey than anything. She asked Katie to help her fix it and they did. With Panda. The next two weeks JJ and Pandora were blissfully happy together and everyone but Thomas seemed to think it was perfect. But then Panda left and JJ was sad again but he was okay with it because he knew deep down that she wasn't gone forever and Effy thought of Freddie for the first time in a while. Because he left too but he wasn't like Panda or Tony. He was gone forever. And she cried again because she missed him and deep down she still loved him and probably always would, but now she had accepted that he'd never come back and she had to focus on the people who would. Like Panda or Tony. Or Cook.

He came back. Legally.

---

She came home from Dr Kinlan's one day and Katie invited her to the pub so they could say goodbye to Naomi and Emily before the girls went on a trip together. He was there when she got there. He and Emily were letting JJ show them a magic trick. He was smiling like a child, completely enamored with his friend's talent. And she smiled because she loved how much he loved everything. And the party felt just like old times except for Panda. And Freddie. But it didn't hurt too much that they were gone.

and for the first time in a long time they felt like teenagers. They annoyed everyone in the pub, like teenagers. They got kicked out, like teenagers. And they roamed drunkenly along the streets, like teenagers. And it felt good.

---

Cook and Effy went back to their old routine. He came by and they smoked. Only now he came by and only he smoked. And they talked rather then sat quietly. And they laughed. It reminded them of a trip they once took in a stolen car. '09 Bonnie and Clyde, Outlaw Tour of Britain. Except it was a little more light-hearted. And they weren't exactly going anywhere. He never mentioned the fact that she didn't visit him in prison. It was okay. He understood, even if she didn't.

"I'm going to the McClair's later" He announced to her one day. She nodded, she wasn't sure what to say to that.

"I was thinkin' you could come along" He suggested.

"Why?" She asked. He didn't have an answer but it was clear to her that the only reason he even mentioned it to her was so she would go with him. So she agreed.

---

She nearly changed her mind as they walked up to the door. She wanted to turn back and leave, she didn't know what she was afraid of. Cook did though.

"It wasn't your fault" He told her like he did before many months ago, and he rested a hand on the small of her back and nudged her lightly towards the door.

Freddie's father answered and let them both in.

They sat awkwardly in the McClair living room with Freddie's dad and Karen. "So, how have things been Elizabeth?" Freddie's dad asked. Karen gave her a dirty look when she said fine and Effy understood why Cook brought her here. Karen still needed closure. She wasn't quite like them, she didn't have anyone.

"I'm really sorry about what happened to Freddie" Effy told them and Cook shifted a little in his seat because it wasn't her fault but she knew that. Karen McClair didn't though. And she didn't have to. Effy was okay with having Karen blame her, Karen obviously needed it.

"Thank you. That's very nice of you Elizabeth" Freddie's dad said.

Everyone was silent again and father McClair went to get them all some tea.

"He really fucking loved you, you know? That's why he's dead. He loved you and now he's dead" Karen said bitterly. Cook shifted again but kept being silent.

"I know" Effy said, and Karen began to cry. Effy got up from her seat and took Karen's hand like Cook had done with her weeks before. Karen leaned into her shoulder and cried more and more. She didn't stop when her dad came back in the room and just watched her sadly.

Eventually Karen stopped crying and they drank their tea. Cook told them about prison and Effy told them about JJ's luck with love. And it seemed to cheer them up a little.

Cook shook Freddi's dad's hand and hugged Karen before her left the house and it became clear to everyone that this was his last visit to the McClair home. Effy hugged both father and daughter and Karen whispered a small thank you to her. And somewhere in her heart Effy felt a little bit complete.

"Thank you for bringing me" Effy said to Cook as they walked back to the Stonem home.

---

Summer came to it's inevitable end and everyone went off to university or wherever except for Effy and Cook. She didn't know what she was going to do with her life now, it wasn't exactly like any university would take her. Cook was the same, but it never really crossed his mind. He preferred just living in the moment and taking each problem as it hit him. It was because of this that his question surprised her.

"What are you gonna do now?"

She didn't answer. Simply because she didn't have one.

"Why do you want to know?" She said instead. And he was the one who didn't answer this time. It wasn't because he didn't have one though. He was just scared of saying it out loud.

"I just want to be ready in case you piss off somewhere" he wanted to say. And she knew he wanted to say it. So she gave him a solution to both their problems.

"Let's go somewhere, Cook." He looked at her questioningly and she smiled at him because she was sure that this was what she was going to do.

"Where?"

"Outlaw Tour of Britain. The sequel."

He smiled at the familiar words.

"Alright then Peachy. Let's go."

---

Traveling was fun with him. He seemed to always know where to find a good party. They made friends with knew people in every town. He managed to charm everyone they met, which came in handy for them on more than one occasion. They went the opposite direction than when they went to see his father. They visited Tony for a week. He and Cook became fast friends.

"Reminds me of Chris" Tony had told her.

"Reminds me of you" She had replied.

Every few towns or so they'd send one of their friends a post card telling them how they were. They'd share some story about some one they'd met or some party they'd gone to. They made sure to leave before their friends found out where exactly they were. It gave them a thrill to be lost.

JJ called Cook regularly though. Cook always picked up. Pandora was with JJ once when he called, and she and Effy spent an hour catching up on the phone. The only other person to call them was Katie after she'd gotten her first post card. She only did it to yell at Cook for sending her a post card with a fat old lady on it. On the back he'd written that's you in ten years Katiekins. He'd put her on loudspeaker when she called. She gave up yelling at Cook halfway through the phone call just so she could tell Effy to stop laughing. Effy didn't. Katie eventually hung up saying "You're both fucking useless."

---

It was sometime near Halloween that she realized she was in love with him again. They'd dressed up and crashed several Hallowe'en parties. He was a pirate. She was a fairy. Their costumes were cheap, and stolen. After hours of dancing with him, it had hit her. She felt like she was in a cartoon and a light bulb had just flickered on over her head. She loved him. Very much. He'd been there for her from start to finish. He'd loved her with every corner of his big, big heart. He'd been there for her through all the shitty times of her life. Granted not always in the right way, but in the way that she had needed him to be. That was enough. He was there for her when Freddie was too. And when Freddie was gone. He was there for her from the very moment she had wiped ketchup off his face and said "sweet." He was always there for her. And she realized he was right. It really was always him and her. They were Cook and Effy. The world knew them, and now she knew them too. And in the back of her mind his best friend smiled at her and told her it was okay.

At around 5 am, as they walked through the dirty streets looking for a place to stay, she said it to him.

"I love you Cook."

He looked at her and grinned.

"You too, princess" he said as he pulled her in for a kiss.

They held hands for the rest of the walk.

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A/N - You like?