Title:In Another Life
Summary: Naomi is starting a new college in the middle of the term; as if that isn't hard enough she has to deal with an almost insatiable attraction to the girl she befriends. Life isn't easy when you're a century old vampire stuck in a teenager's body.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to Skins etc.
A/N: Decided to post this for halloween, may be a while before I update it as I need to finish a couple of other stories off too.
As Naomi Campbell's brilliant blue eyes slowly opened she felt the tendrils of the day slowly slipping away and the last remnants of sleep giving up their hold on her body. The sun hung low in the sky, just starting to dip below the horizon, casting long dark shadows over her bed. She stretched, forcing the life back in to her tired limbs. The room around her was unfamiliar and for a moment she felt disorientated. It was only the second time she had woken up in her new room and both it and the city of Bristol were still foreign to her. She had spent the previous night familiarising herself with the streets of her new home and had rolled in to bed in the early hours of the morning.
After changing out of the clothes she had fallen asleep in she ran a brush through her long blonde hair and tied it up. Feeling a little more refreshed she silently padded downstairs. "Oh, awake then are you?" Her mother teased as she walked in to the kitchen and found the older blonde chopping up veg for some sort of stew. A pan full of mushy vegetables was already simmering away on the hob and the smell alone was enough to turn the younger girl's stomach. "You've wasted the whole day! It's been lovely, sun was shining and everything." Naomi rolled her eyes, pointedly ignoring the other woman as she took a seat at the kitchen table. She still felt tired and drained from the previous night.
"You start college tomorrow missy! So no staying up all night drinking…don't think I didn't hear you rolling in this morning! You still smell like a brewery."
"Don't talk to me like I'm a fucking kid." Naomi grumbled. She got to her feet and rummaged in the fridge for something more appetising than the slop Gina was making. She found a carton of leftovers from the day before and shoved it in to the microwave to heat up.
"You're seventeen Naomi! And don't fill up, I'm making dinner!" She indicated the chopping board and the pan, ludicrously suggesting she was making something that was actually digestible. Gina Campbell was not known for her culinary skills.
"And it smells lovely." Kieran, her mother's fiancée and the reason they had been dragged to Bristol, commented as he walked in to the kitchen. Trust an Irishman to consider some sort of potato and carrot medley a decent meal. For all his many faults Naomi liked Kieran. He was a decent enough bloke and he made her mother happy. He was also a politics lecturer and had landed a job at the local college, resulting in them moving from London to nearby Bristol.
"It smells rank." Naomi turned her nose up as she took the carton from the microwave and poured its contents in to a cup. "It's not like I need it anyway."
"Jesus Naomi, could you drink that somewhere else?" It was Kieran's turn to turn his nose up at Naomi's choice of meal; the smell of warm pig's blood assaulted his nostrils and curdled his stomach.
"Maybe I'll go for something fresher?" She snapped at him, her gaze dark, irritated at once again being told what to do in he own home.
"Naomi!" Gina snapped, her voice low and threatening.
"Jesus, I was joking." The blonde huffed as she finished off her meal in one last long swig. Her tongue darted out to lick away the last few drops from her lips. She had been hungrier than she thought.
"We do not joke about eating family members Naomi!" Gina scowled at her daughter. Kieran shrugged it off. He knew the younger woman meant nothing by it. Though she was in fact a vampire she did not drink human blood, nor did she sleep in a coffin all day, in fact she could quite happily stroll through the sun; not that the pale young woman spent much time sunbathing.
Naomi and her mother were Abstinentiavores. They abstained from human blood and lived from animals instead. Animal blood was neither as nourishing nor as satisfying but they had made a conscious choice not to feed from humans. The practise had picked up a following amongst the vampire community in the eighties, an equivalent to human's being 'Straight Edge', yet Gina had brought her daughter up on the principle of never harming humans long before it had been a trend, or even accepted, among their kind. "You've had your knickers in a twist ever since we said we were moving!" The younger blonde scoffed at that and shook her head disbelievingly.
"Can you blame me? I had to leave my friends and my job to come to this shit hole, and to top it all off I have to start college tomorrow, for the umpteenth fucking time!"
"You're seventeen love-"
"I've been seventeen for the last one hundred and twenty nine years!" Naomi spat venomously, sick of being trapped in the body of a teenager. "I've graduated uni six times and you expect me to sit in some poxy third rate college!"
"Naomi, you know how this works! The younger you can pass for the longer we can stay. As a family." Gina shot Kieran an adoring smile. The couple had been together for years and they had met as a result of Kieran being Naomi's politics teacher at yet another new college. The younger blonde had enjoyed his lessons and he had enjoyed her company. She had been something of an intellectual equal and he had started walking home with her. There wires had been crossed somewhere and he had tried to kiss her. He'd turned up at her door a few days later to apologise and had met her mother. The rest, as they say, was history.
It had taken some time but Gina had finally confided in the mortal man just exactly what she and her daughter were. Kieran had laughed of course. The thought of Gina and Naomi Campbell being bloodsucking vampires had indeed been laughable, until the older blonde had shown him her fangs and Naomi had lifted up the couch. Whilst he was sitting on it. Unsurprisingly Kieran had flipped out, and, after waking up from fainting, he'd tried to do a runner. Naomi could count on one hand how many times her mother had confided in a lover what they were. She was a good judge of character and so Naomi wasn't surprised when Kieran returned to the house and demanded to know everything. He was a good man and had adjusted to the news well once the initial shock had worn off. After four years of living with the Campbell women he was pretty much used to the whole vampire thing, except for the blood drinking part. That still made him queasy and so he rarely had to witness it. Naomi was just being a bitch by kicking up a fuss about being asked not to drink in front of him; she was usually considerate of the man who had grown to be something of a father to her; even if she was almost eighty years older than him.
"Doesn't mean I have to like it." She grumbled, though she had toned down the bitchiness. She supposed college wouldn't be too bad with Kieran teaching her once again. In the life they had just left she was passing as twenty two and had just graduated from Goldsmiths with a First in Politics. It would be nice to get back to easy work and the carefree days of college. Carefree except for the fact the she would once again be the friendless new girl who started in the middle of the school year. "But next time we move I'm home schooling." Gina shot her a guarded look. It was inevitable they would move again, the longest they had stayed in one place had been ten years and even then people had been suspicious as to why Naomi still looked so young.
Gina did not like to talk about the future or moving in front of Kieran. Their lifestyle was one of constant upheaval, something the Irishman was not keen on. He was set on laying roots and growing old. Vampires did not age, they did not get sick and they did not die; not of natural causes anyway. Kieran knew this, yet it hadn't really sunk in. In years to come, when his bones would become frail and his hair grey, when Gina would not have aged a single day from when they had first met, he would come to realise what Gina already knew. Vampires and humans did not often get happy endings. Even if their relationship lasted Gina would have to watch Kieran grow weak and eventually die. Naomi did not tend to make many friends in whatever lives they lived, or if she did she would distance herself from them, knowing they would one day be dust in the wind while Naomi would spend eternity trapped in a teenage body.
Gina had lost many lovers over the decades, some human and some not. Naomi was sure Kieran's death would be the hardest on her. Sometimes it seemed like she had managed to become as deluded as the human man. Like she actually thought they could have a normal life together. Taking the hint she changed the subject. Gina could indulge in her delusions for a few more years yet.
"There are other vampires in the city. I passed a couple of Blood Farms last night." Blood Farms were clubs or safe houses where humans could safely donate fresh blood to vampires who were Sanguisvores, drinkers of human blood. The vamps who fed from them were known as Feeders. There were also Baggers who drank from blood packs, those types of vampires preferred not to be stared at by their meals. Lastly there were Drinkers. Drinkers didn't use blood farms or blood packs. They didn't use willing donors either. They were old school vampires who enjoyed the hunt and the satisfaction of draining a person until they felt their hearts take their last beat. That kind of feeding had been made illegal in the early nineties. The human government had met with the vampire elders, the High Council in Brixton to form a peace treaty guarding humans from illegal drinking. It had also ensured the vampire population protection.
"There are Hunters here too. So watch yourself." Gina warned, she said hunters like any other mother would say bogeyman. Naomi rolled her eyes. The 1990 Treaty of Brixton had also disbanded the hunters who'd taken it upon themselves to kill vampires since the Middle Ages; regardless of how they fed. Those few hunters who remained active worked with the High Council to keep rogue drinkers in check. Naomi had not fed on human blood in decades and had nothing to fear from them. Still she said, "I will," simply to appease her mother and to get out of the house without yet another lecture.
It was dark by the time she left the house and though the temperature had dropped by a few degrees the blonde barely felt the cold and was happy to walk the streets of Bristol in skinny jeans and a thin jumper. Though she could go out in the daylight vampires were still nocturnal creatures and she felt more alive during the night. Her senses were heightened by the darkness and it felt natural to slip among the shadows as she prowled the streets. It had been a long time since she had been out on the hunt, but her mind slipped in to her old ways with ease as she familiarised herself with the streets of Bristol.
She found herself outside of a club; the beat of the music thrumming through the pavement had led her feet there. The club was packed, a throbbing humming mass of bodies, each with a racing pulse that was singing out to the blonde. She was not a young vampire and as such the temptation to feed was minimal. When she had first been turned every beating heart had seemed to scream at her. She had learnt to control her hunger over the years and could ignore the draw of the blood. Slipping through the crowd she made her way to the bar. After catching the barman's attention she ordered a vodka and coke and slipped in to a booth at the back of the club.
The blonde enjoyed people watching, she had watched the world change over the years and nothing soothed her troubled mind like watching the lives of strangers playing out in front of her. There was a couple in the booth next to hers; even with the loud music their voices were clear to the blonde. They were having a heated debate about the man's infidelity and it was rather amusing to hear. A flash of crimson distracted her from the argument. Her eyes settled on a small slim girl with blood red hair. Her heart was pounding as she raved to the music. A guy beside her tried to put his hands on her hips as he ground against her. She laughed good-naturedly as she pushed him away and carried on dancing with the group of girls she was with. "You could just eat her up right?" Naomi's attention was stolen away from the redhead as the guy who had been dancing with her slipped in to the booth beside the blonde. He had cleared the dance floor in the blink of a human eye. His own eyes hungrily took in her form as a lurid grin spread over his lips.
He was a young man with short sandy hair and rugged good looks. He draped his arm over her shoulders as he leant in close to whisper something perverse in her ear. "Move it or lose it, Cook." She shoved his arm away.
"Come on girlie, where's the love? What's it been? Ten years?" He sat back as he helped himself to her drink, his eyes scanning the crowded club before settling back on the redhead he had just been trying to grope. Only as Naomi followed his line of sight she found there were two of them. She hadn't even finished her first drink and she was already seeing double; except the redhead's double was a brunette. Her face was a little fuller and everything about her screamed attention, from the leopard print dress she was wearing to the over the top makeup. She was definitely the redhead's twin.
"Twelve." She answered as she tore her gaze away from the girls. "But who's counting?" She shot him a lopsided smirk. She had known James Cook for over seventy years and in that time he had changed very little. He had always been something of a Jack the lad and it was no surprise to find him in a bar chasing beautiful girls. The first time they had met had been in a crowded pub in London during the Blitz. Nineteen year old Private James Cook had looked quite handsome in his pressed uniform and though Naomi had not been interested in his flirting she couldn't deny he had been quite the charmer. He had been human then too.
"Who's Cook talking to?" Emily had to shout to be heard over the music as she nodded towards Cook and the blonde girl. The blonde had caught her attention the moment she had walked in to the club. She had moved through the crowd of dancing bodies with an effortless grace and a roaming eye, as though drinking in everything around her.
Effy and Katie followed Emily's gaze and shrugged in unison. "Knowing Cook, probably some tart!" Katie rolled her eyes disapprovingly. The blonde's head snapped up and looked over to them, as though she had heard what Emily's older twin had said about her. Her eyes narrowed as she found Emily staring back at her. The youngest twin shuddered as she felt something akin to an electric current running through her body. She dropped her gaze first, a crimson blush spreading over her cheeks. There was something dangerously enticing about those icy blue eyes.
"Who's the girl?" Naomi asked after the girl redhead had looked away from her, noting with a small smile the blush that spread across her porcelain cheeks. If there was one thing Naomi enjoyed it was making girls blush.
"That's Red." Cook grinned as he nodded towards the girl in question. For such a small girl she was certainly brave, shooting another thinly veiled glance at Naomi and Cook over in the booth. She smiled at Cook in return before slipping back in to the crowd to follow Effy and Katie to dance. "I see you've still got good taste Blondie. She's a twin you know." He shot her a cheeky wink. Naomi snorted and rolled her eyes at her old friend. He hadn't changed a bit in the decade or so they had been apart. "Sister's a bit of a bitch, mostly all mouth. The stunner with her is Effy. I've been trying to tap that since last year."
"You're old enough to be her grandfather Cook! You probably are her grandfather!" Cook had been turned at the tender age of nineteen, but not before he'd slept with half of the women in London and more than likely gotten a few of them 'in the family way' as it had been called back then. He probably had grandkids roaming all over the place. Not that he would care if he did. After a while the lives they had lived as humans had faded and dulled to the point that sometimes Naomi couldn't even remember her real surname. She had adopted Campbell when Gina had turned her and brought her up as her daughter; but she'd had a name before, and parents. Living breathing parents who had brought her in to the world and cared for her until the night she had met Gina. The night she never went home again.
It was hard for her to think of her human life, not because it had been particularly hard or sorrowful, her memories before she had been turned were simply not as sharp as the ones after her re-birth as a vampire. There were days when she struggled to remember her real father's name, or whether she had inherited her mother's looks.
Shrugging the memories off like a heavy coat she chose to concentrate on the present. "You're living among them then? Uni? College?"
"College." He confirmed for her. His attention was momentarily distracted as he checked in on his group. His eyes darted around the club at lightning speed, it would be unseen by the human eye, but Naomi had no problem keeping up with where he was looking. Within seconds she had sussed he was with the three girls he had mentioned, another blonde girl and her boyfriend who appeared to be the DJ, and two other teenage boys who were sat in one of the other booths.
Cook had always been a social creature and he tended to keep a vigil over those he called his friends. It seemed he kept an extra close eye on the fragile humans he had befriended. The night they had first met, a night that had sadly not ended well for Private Cook, he had been attracted to Naomi and the group of people she had been with at the time. She hoped he had grown wiser when it came to choosing companions.
"Earth to Naomi!" Cook chuckled as he waved a hand in front of her face, snapping her out of her trip down memory lane. She blinked, taking a moment to remember where she was. It had been some time since she had thought of her past, the one that didn't include Gina anyway, and it seemed the memories were wrapping around her like heavy chains, trapping her in her own mind. "I said what about you? Gina's big on the integration shit ain't she?"
"Oh. College. You know what Gina's like. Start young, stay longer." Naomi quipped doing a good impression of Gina, just without the chirpy smile to go with it.
"You off to Roundview then? Oh, this is gonna be good Blondie! Me and you back together again! The fearsome twosome!" Back in the old days it had been the fearsome foursome, they both had the good sense not to bring it up.
Naomi tried to muster some enthusiasm at the prospect of spending her days with her old friend, but being around him reminded her of a time she had spent almost three decades trying to forget. She loved him dearly and they shared a bond and a history that could never be severed, but he was a constant reminder of a time when Naomi had not always respected human life. "Here, we'll have to work out something to tell my mates, bout how we met and that."
Naomi agreed. Somehow she couldn't quite see Cook introducing her to his friends as the vampire who had taken his life down a dark, filthy alley in the middle of the London Blitz.