A/N: Happy 2013! It's a great fucking year, isn't it?! I know it's only January, but already things are incredible. 6seats and I just moved into a new place, which is so fucking rad and has enriched our daily lives on a level that is mind blowing and amazingly wonderful. Coachella is coming up in a few months and we've got the two best party companions ever coming with us! And let's face it, I'm in love, I'm in love, and I don't care who knows it!
As always, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read the latest chapter. It truly makes my heart explode a little every time I see a review or an add. And I know there are so many of you that only hover in the atmosphere, which is totally fine. (I'm a lurker in the Rizzoli & Isles Fandom myself.) So this one is for all of you lurking in the shadows, thanks for reading.
"More drinks! More drinks! More drinks, more drinks, more drinks!" Cook held his empty glass high above his head, chanting his fight song to rouse the troops.
"Yes! Cook is exactly right. We need more drinks!" Naomi excitedly joined in with her best friend's crusade as if a better idea had never once been spoken before.
Emily who was sat right next to her, of course, her hand comfortably and continually gripping to the blonde's, smiled widely at her girlfriend. Naomi was the most adorably tipsy by this point of the night. A few drinks since they had arrived at the club, added to the drinks they had with dinner, and the pre-drinks they had at Emily's flat as they had gotten ready to go out meant that they were well on their way to being drunk, but not quite yet. This was the time of night that Emily joined the most. And it was certainly the time of night she would be able to recall the most accurately the next morning.
"Naomikin's with me! Who else needs a refill?" Cook had taken it upon himself to play bartender all evening. It was his given profession, after all.
"Come on you pussies! It's nearly half eleven." Naomi looked to the rest of the table for some enthusiasm.
Panda, who had arrived two rounds before, smiled brightly as she nodded her head with wide eyes. Freddie, who sat to her left, gestured apathetically to indicate his desire for a refill. He was counting the minutes until Panda would have to leave the table to start her set on the decks. For the last hour, she had been the energetic and fidgety buffer that separated him from Effy.
Of course, Effy just shook her head with a bored expression and smoothly raised her glass towards the blonde, showing that she was not in need of another drink; her glass was only half-empty. Or half-full depending on one's level of optimism and Effy is definitely not an optimist. She's like the opposite of an optimist. She's a... Naomi's happily intoxicated brain followed its own path of thought and then stumbled on a fallen branch. She's a...she's a... She still couldn't quite find the word she was looking for and her face reflected the battle she was having with her vocabularic-recall. Well, whatever. She's weird.
Naomi, this entire time, had been staring directly at the dark-haired girl. Effy cocked an eyebrow at the blonde, and intensified her returned stare.
Naomi suddenly snapped out of her trance once she realized she had kept her gaze locked with those penetrating, cool blue eyes for too long. A part of her thought she might turn to salt with her next breath.
"A pessimist!" Naomi shouted at no one in particular, her eyes finally breaking free as they scanned the table.
Emily gave her a funny look as did the others.
Naomi realized after a moment that she had just shouted a non sequitur across the table. She tried to cover. "...is not...what anyone could call...anyone here tonight." She shook her head slowly from side to side. "No they would not." Naomi paused. "Pour the drinks, kind sir!" She pointed to Cook and sat back against the booth, her arm lifting and settling across Emily's shoulders.
Cook followed her instructions and began concocting drinks from what was left of their bottle service.
Emily decided to get some dialogue going, because she knew Effy and Freddie weren't up to the task and when Panda decided to fill a silence, she always spouted out something incomprehensible or overtly sexual. Either way, the conversation always took a turn for the worse.
"Katie just texted. She's in the taxi, on her way over." Emily caught Effy's eye, as the others nodded their acknowledgement of hearing what she had just said. Emily realized that that bit of information wasn't really a conversation starter.
Effy filled the lull just in time. "Katie Fucking Fitch. Fashionably late, as always." Effy smirked.
But it was more than a smirk, Emily noticed a twinge of a smile play across Effy's dark red lips. It was almost imperceptible, and Emily had already told herself it was ridiculous, but the redhead had felt a tiny moment of jealousy, like Effy had said it that way and smiled that way just to play with her.
It wasn't as if that would be something new for Effy to do; Emily got more than used to it during the two years of college they shared. That ever-present feeling of uneasy excitement that filled her body every time they were together, that sickening stomach drop Emily would feel when Effy would flirt with boys right in front of her face. Emily knew all of those feelings all too well. It was just that she hadn't felt them for so long now, that it was all a bit of a surprise.
Emily felt a warm pair of lips press against her cheek, Naomi's lips.
Emily leaned into the kiss, turning her head to capture those lips with her own. Why had she been wasting time thinking about Effy when she had these amazing lips at her disposal?
The wolf whistle from Cook alerted them that they had been properly snogging for a bit too long. They broke away from each other with rosy cheeks as Cook handed them their new cocktails and Emily noticed that Effy was no longer seated in the booth.
"Drink up, ladies. I call this one The Fanny Grabber." Cook drank down half of his own glass in one go, making an exaggerated sigh of refreshment.
Emily and Naomi studied the drinks that they were now holding. The brownish color and slightly murky tinge should have made them think twice but, of course, by that point in the evening, thinking clearly was not always one's top priority.
Once Panda had left the table and scampered off to the DJ booth, the night was really starting to buzz. Complete and utter drunkenness had, by this hour, parked the car, walked up the steps, and raised his fist to the door, pausing just long enough to allow them all one last coherent thought before knocking and inviting himself in. It wouldn't be until the following morning, late morning, that certain parties would take a much needed sober moment to ask themselves...what have I done?
"Panda! Panda!" Emily was on her tiptoes, trying to get Panda's attention from the far side of the booth, her fingers hooked over the top of the glass partition. They had all been on the dance floor for at least an hour, alcohol infused blood pumping through their veins, a light sheen of sweat glistening on their skin.
Naomi stood next to Emily sipping on yet another brown drink. She had a happy grin turning up the corners of her mouth.
"Panda!" The short girl finally got her friend's attention.
Panda checked her levels quickly and then took down her headphones. "What's up, Emsy-poo?!"
As Emily relayed a handful of songs to Panda that she'd love to hear at some point during the night, Naomi spotted Cook standing at the bar across the room.
"Hey Ems." Naomi gently touched Emily's arm, interrupting her exchange with Panda. "I'll be back. Gonna chat with Cook for a bit." Emily nodded and gave the blonde a quick kiss. Naomi gave her another kiss almost immediately after the first.
"Okay, but you better be back on this dance floor before Panda plays my songs." Emily pretended to be stern and threatening.
Naomi only nodded as she began to inch her way through the densely packed throng of sweaty club kids. She turned back right before being completely consumed, shouting over the noise. "Stay alive! I will find you!"
After one too many ass-grabs and two separate couples trying to pull her in for a three-way dance, Naomi reached her destination next to Cook at the bar, clapping her hands on the backs of his shoulders. "It's a jungle out there, Cookie, and this sailor needs a drink!" Naomi bellied up to the bar and began the delicate game of get the bartender's attention without looking or acting like a douche bag.
Cook laughed at his best friend's drunken state. "You're mixing your metaphors, blondie. Sailors rarely trek through jungles, yeah." He handed her one of the shots that were lined up in front of him on the bar while Naomi processed his comment.
"But what if I'm a sailor who's been lost at sea and I wash ashore on a desert island in the South Pacific? I could be trekking my way through a jungle then, couldn't I?" Naomi looked to Cook, awaiting his reply.
Cook narrowed his eyes, thought about it, and decided just to play along. "And during your explorations, you find yourself at the edge of a waterfall and down below, a naked native girl bathin' in the pool, nothing but long legs and a massive pair of-"
"Alright, James. My point has been proven." Naomi held up her shot.
Cook laughed and did the same.
"To desert islands."
Cook nodded and they threw back their shots.
"Speakin' of islands, Naomikins, you ready for a summer of fun in the sun and sand? I envy you, girl. It's gonna be topshelf shit in Cyprus."
Naomi looked down at the bar before answering and nodding her head. "Yeah, yeah, it's going to be good."
Cook doesn't buy it for a second. "Aw, is my little Naomikins sad about being away from her wittle girlfriend?"
Naomi shot Cook her best not amusedface.
"I'm just playin' wit' ya. The Cookie Monster means no harm." Cook threw his muscley arm around Naomi's shoulders. "It's gonna be rough though, yeah. Not bein' able to dip the digits in that sweet pu-"
Cook didn't get a chance to finish as Naomi's fist made contact with his abdomen, stopping him in his tracks. It wasn't really a powerful punch, just a playful one to remind him who he was talking to and about. He got the message.
"I know, I know. I can't talk about your girl like that. Sorry. Force of habit."
Naomi smiled at him and shook her head. "Incorrigible."
"Ya know ya love me."
"Yes, that's the track, but there's this remix I found last week." Emily is scrolling through the music on her phone while Panda is busy keeping the crowd hypnotized by the beat.
After Naomi had gone to chat with Cook, Emily figured she might as well hang out with the bouncy blonde in the DJ booth. Effy was nowhere to be found, per usual.
"I think I know which one you're talking about, Emsy. Give me a sec." Panda gave the redhead a giant grin. Panda had really found her calling. In college, no one could have even began to speculate on what Pandora Moon would be when she grew up and now it was so clear: Synthpop/Rockstar/Producer/DJ...of course!
As the first few bars on the next track began, Emily's face lit up. "This is it! That's the one!"
"Well done, Pandapops."
Emily's head whipped around and she found Effy leaning against the doorway.
Effy was talking to Panda, but looking straight at Emily. "You never disappoint."
Panda smiled and waved at Effy.
"Where've you been, then?" Emily made space for her on the small bench seat.
As Effy moved from the doorway and sat down, Emily caught sight of the last person she wanted to see that night.
"Hey Bitches! Let's get this party started!"
Emily took in a stifled breath. "Hey Arsia." The redhead's voice lacked any and all emotion.
Arsia skittered over to Emily and did that thing that straight girls do where they half-hug each other and then pretend to kiss each other's cheeks. Emily couldn't quite hide her disdain.
As Arsia pulled away, she opened her giant Michael Kors purse and began rifling through it. "I got you something for your trip."
Emily turned her head and looked at Effy. Effy just shrugged and took a sip of her drink.
"Now, it's not every day that one of the gang finishes her first year of medical school."
"Pre-med." Emily corrected.
Arsia didn't care and continued with her speech. "Anyway, I wanted you to have somethin' that would really commemorate your achievement, you know, and like, make it special." Arsia reached into her purse and produced a plastic baggie full of ecstasy tablets. "Congrats, Dr. Fitch!" She handed the pills to Emily.
"Thanks, Arsia. That's really nice of you." As much as Emily couldn't believe her own words, they were true. It's not every day that someone handed her several hundred quid worth of narcotics...for free.
"I figure you can like, you know, have a couple tonight, share some, and then keep the rest for the weekends while you're doing that thing in Scotland. Oh, and give a couple to that girlfriend of yours. She's needs to like, lighten up a bit, yeah?" Arsia plopped down on the bench in between Effy and Emily, making room for herself, like always.
Emily rolled her eyes as Arsia's ridiculous purse ended up in her lap. She just gave you drugs. She just gave you drugs. She just gave you drugs...for free.Emily took a calming breath and looked down at the pills in her hand.
"You heard the bitch. Let's get this party started!" Emily smiled as she began to dole out the pills, Effy smirked, and Arsia raised the roof.
Panda, having taken a short break, joined them with a look of awe gracing her face. "I've never seen so many in one place before. Arsia really is like Drug Santa, isn't she, Ef?"
Effy only smiled before placing the E on her tongue.
"Alright, spill it. You and Effy, huh?"
Naomi and Cook were still parked at the bar. Their tab was on-the-house so moderation hadn't even entered their minds.
Cook grinned from ear to ear. "Nothin' to tell, hon. Just a bit of fun in the back room.
Naomi cringed. "Cook! Fuck, man. That's disgusting. I don't want to hear about-"
"I said back room, not back door." Cook chuckled.
"Oh." Naomi realized her mix up.
"But if given the chance..." Cook saw Naomi's warning look and stopped himself. "I gotta drain the python. Catch ya later, Goldilocks."
Naomi shook her head as she watched her idiotic, yet loveable friend traverse the dance floor on his way to the loo. She knew for a fact that he, for one, welcomed the ass-grabs and three-way invites. Never change, Cook. Never change.
Naomi spotted a flash of bright red hair up in the DJ booth, but before heading over, she picked up the two remaining shots for herself and Emily. As she turned to leave the bar, she was intercepted by none other than Tony Stonem.
"Naomi!" Tony approached her with his cheesy grin.
Ugh. Naomi thought she had filled the be nice to Tony since he lets you drink for freequota for the evening. "Hey Tony. Thanks again for all of this. We're having a great time." She might not like the guy or trust a single word out of his mouth, but she still had manners.
"Of course, of course. It's nothing." Tony played humble like a pro. "Where's that sexy, little firecracker of yours?"
"Uh, she's up in the booth with Panda." Naomi glanced over to the booth and saw Emily, Panda, Effy and…Jesus Christ…Arsia laughing about. "Looks like that sister of yours is up there too; I was just on my way over, actually." Naomi hoped this would end their exchange, but Tony seemed to be in a chatty mood.
"You know, it's really cool how you are with that whole thing. If it were me, I don't know. You know?" Tony clasped his hands behind his back and rocked on his heels.
Naomi truly did not want to get into a conversation with the elder Stonem, but her interest was piqued, nonetheless. "I don't know what we're talking about."
Tony tried to explain what he was talking about. "Sure you do, the whole once they were lovers and now they're just friends bit."
Naomi was still drawing a blank.
He tried again. "I suppose that's kind of a lezzer thing to do though, isn't it? Are you friends with all of your exes as well?"
Even with that, there was still no readable expression on Naomi's face.
Tony was about to say more, but he stopped, suddenly recognizing that the blank expression on the blonde's face wasn't that of misunderstanding. "My sister. Your girlfriend. Effy and Emily?"
Naomi was certain that what Tony was saying didn't actually mean what she thought he was saying. "I'm not too sure, but I don't think that a random, one-time shag warrants the title of ex-girlfriend. If that were the case, Emily would have like...several exes."
Not long ago, they had had the number talk. Naomi's number was one, obviously, and Emily's was...well, Naomi didn't think that that was something she should divulge in polite company.
At first, Tony was truly surprised by Naomi's apparent lack of comprehension. Surely she would know that Effy and Emily were a full-on item all through college. Everyone knew, even if the girls had always tried to keep it under the radar. There was no possible way that she thought Emily and Effy were just friends who shagged once upon a time. She'd have to be a fool to think that.
And, if Tony was a better person, he would have stopped the conversation altogether at that point and let Naomi speak to Emily directly about it...
...but Tony wasn't a better person. He was a Stonem.
A devious smile spread across the tall man's face. "No? I mean, you're probably right. Ex-girlfriend doesn't really quite describe one's first love every accurately, now does it, Naoms?"
Naomi's face paled, her wide, blue eyes unable to hide the shock of Tony's words.
"But hey, what do I know? I am obviously not as evolved as you ladies are. I just don't think I could stand to see the woman I love..." Tony trailed off as he turned to look across the dance floor.
Naomi's eyes followed his and there was Emily, her Emily, on display high above the crowd, laughing and dancing, her hands held up toward the lights and Effy's hands holding too tightly to her hips.
"...in the arms of the girl she used to love." Tony trained his dark eyes on the blonde.
With an almost indiscernible head shake, Naomi turned back to Tony. "It's not true."
Tony put on a serious expression. "Wait. You didn't know?" Tony feigned surprise. "Seems like something she should have told you, and here I am running my mouth about it like it's common knowledge. I mean, it is common knowledge. Everyone knows."
The walls felt a bit like they were closing in on her and there was blood pumping loudly between her ears. She felt like her lungs might not be able to take in another breath after this one, but she somehow managed to ask one last question.
Her pained eyes squeezed shut briefly. "Why are you so horrible?" She looked back to Tony for his explanation.
Tony shrugged. "Because I can be."
Naomi was right. She couldn't take another breath.
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got dresses to buy for a ball. You should come." Tony pulled a flier out of his jacket pocket. "Next Saturday, Cross-dressers' Ball. You'd look great in a tuxedo." When Naomi didn't reach for the slip of paper, he gently tucked it into the neckline of her dress, smiled, and walked away, leaving Naomi struggling for air.
I know this might be shocking, (insert sarcasm here) but I didn't have the most solid plan for this story when I first started writing it. I knew the basics and had the story figured out for the most part, but there were certain elements that just never felt right. And because of those things, it became increasingly hard to move forward with the story. There have always been very specific scenes from Skins that I wanted to use and re-write for Ink, but I just couldn't get them to make sense in some ways.
Well, there must be something to this whole "2013 is going to be the best year ever" thing that I keep hearing about, because I figured it out! There was no way that it would make sense for Katie to be the one to drop the Emily/Effy bomb on Naomi in this story; it had to be someone else...but who? Tony fucking Stonem, of course! The coffee shop scene was the game changer for Naomi in S3 and I knew that I wanted it to be the ignition switch for Naomi in Ink too and once I realized that Tony could replace Katie, it all clicked into place perfectly! I hope so anyway. I would love to hear what you think, so if you've got a minute to drop a review, please do.
Until next time...
SD Vol. 29
136. Kill for Love- Chromatics
Emily wakes up. So, this was a really, really hard scene to pick for because Emily is happy but there are secrets! So, in my usual subtle way, I picked a song that starts with, "everybody's got a secret to hide." Having said that, this song seemed to really fit the situation and Emily. First of all, it's moody in that electronic way and the lyrics just felt right, especially the bit with "I took a pill almost every night, in my mind I was waiting for change." This song feels like Emily's side of their relationship. (Blondie: This is a good just waking up song, there's a dreamy quality to it, and it's very much an Emily song too. This track would definitely be on one of her playlists.)
137. I Found You- Alabama Shakes
Naomi and the toast and all that. Now this is Naomi's side of things and this is gonna get a little bit real, but this sort of pick is rather personal because I am someone that fell in love for the first time later than the norm. So, this is my song to Naomi from someone who has been there. So, Naomi, way to go for waiting and not just being with a random drunk person. You deserve a great morning after. (Blondie: This song has an emotional depth and yet an upbeat feel to it so it really fits this scene as they are all smiley and eating toast and being cute together, all the while knowing that they are crazy about each other.)