Author's Note: There are very few things that exist on this planet that could ever hope to surpass the magic of Naomi Campbell and Emily Fitch. It's a scientific certainty. And although I could watch Series 3 on repeat and be blissfully happy, I'm also greedy enough to want more. And what I want is to know what might have happened had the cameras kept rolling on Emily or Naomi or Emily & Naomi. And here's how I think it went down. This first bit takes place after 3x04 and during 3x05.
** I do not own nor have affiliation with Skins unless you count sleeping with the box set under my pillow at night.
Emily sat on the edge of her bed, facing the window on Katie's side of the room. She stared blankly at the typical greying sky of a Bristol afternoon and traced the pattern on the duvet with her index finger. Lost in thoughts of misfitting pyjamas, brownies and bouncy castles, the sound of Katie banging loudly through the bedroom door startled her in a way that made a pain shoot through her chest.
"What in fucking hell are you doing, weirdo?" Katie assaulted as she breezed into the room, wearing only her bra and knickers, a bath towel wound tightly around her head. "I swear to fucking god the next time I catch James perving through that bathroom keyhole, I'm stabbing his eye socket with my mascara brush." She stood in front of the closet, sifting through the fabrics of her clothing and looked over her shoulder at Emily who remained unengaged. "Have you gone fucking mental, Ems, or what? Get up and shower - we're going out."
Katie's invitations were always much more like demands when it came to Emily.
"Going where?" Emily finally asked, her tone flat and uninterested.
"Danny and his mates are throwing a proper party tonight - none of that primary school pyjama party bullshit with smuggled booze and fucking board games. And you're coming with me."
"Didn't Danny essentially crash an all-girls sleepover full of 17-year-olds? Isn't that a bit weird?"
"Whatever, Emily, don't be such a prude bitch. You'd do yourself right nice to get sorted by an older guy," Katie remarked pulling a shirt over her head and adjusting her rack in the full length mirror. "Go get in the shower for fuck's sake!"
"Katie, I don't want -"
"Now!" Katie shouted, turning to face her and stomping her foot against the floor. Then her face softened as she crossed her arms along her stomach. "Listen, I saw you at Panda's with her. With Naomi." Katie always said her name like she couldn't stomach the taste.
Emily's head snapped up, her eyes narrowed in part terror, part denial. "What? Saw me what? I didn't -" Emily started.
And although visions of Emily rolling about and hovering over that blonde girl fought their way to Katie's conscious, she closed her eyes, shook her head to rid herself of the memory, and instead answered, "I saw you lolling after her all night like some lost pup. It's pathetic."
"Fuck you, Katie. She's -" Emily started again, stumbling over an attempt to put Naomi Campbell into words. Failed miserably. "I'm not pathetic," she finally managed, sounding all together rather pathetic.
"No, you're not. Which is why you're coming with me so fucking get on with it." Katie threw a bath towel in Emily's direction.
"I'd rather shove hot needles into my eyelids than watch a room full of greasy, heaving Bristol Rovers trying to perve on your tits."
Katie smirked into the mirror and pulled the neck of her slinky top down, further revealing a cleavage. "Well, too fucking bad. I already told mum we were off to the cinema, so you have to come."
Emily exhaled loudly, grabbed her towel off the floor by her feet and stomped off towards the toilet.
Emily sat slumped on the staircase, leaning her shoulder against the rail and watching her twin - loud, extroverted and often rather obnoxious - holding court across the room. Katie gestured wildly with her hands when she talked. The tossers around her never took their eyes off her tits.
"Fucking hell," Emily mumbled and made her way down the stairs. She choked her way through the crowd of over-cologned Rovers and the bimbos who tried to date them, grabbed a half-empty bottle of wine and headed out the front door. With fresh air in her lungs and the awful, blaring techno-pop now just a muffled memory, Emily took a seat on the front stoop and pulled off the bottle.
Naomi sat on her bed, legs stretched out and crossed at her ankles, an over-sized textbook in her lap. She pulled her mobile from between her left thigh and the bed linen, looked at the screen, sighed not knowing why she'd bothered to check it at all, and placed it back on the bed.
"With increasing regularity during the 14th century, the Lords and particularly the Commons acted on a sense that they should have an active say in government, instead of merely consenting to the taxation decisions of the King."
She'd read the same passage 17 times, each time her mind wandering off to crooked smiles, eager, sparkling eyes, and stupid red fucking hair. Naomi put her eyes to the page again. Read the passage on Parliament again. Right around "consenting to the taxation," Naomi jumped as her mobile buzzed against her leg. She grabbed at it quickly, froze when she saw the name on the screen, raked her top lip across her bottom teeth, and exhaled before answering.
"So, drunk-dialing me now, are you then?"
"Sorry?" Emily glanced down at her phone, suddenly unsure if she'd dialed the right number.
"It's nearly midnight," Naomi answered.
"And you've already had your chamomile and tucked yourself under the afghans, have you, Granny?"
"You're fucking hysterical at this time of night, you know," Naomi said dryly though failed at keeping the corners of her mouth from turning upward. "So … what do you want?"
Emily had rehearsed what came next at least 100 times since the morning she woke up from Pandora's sleepover, a crook in her neck from sleeping in a lounge chair and her head pounding from white wine and sugary cider. Naomi had taken a spot on the floor until she realized Pandora wasn't claiming her own bed and had crawled in under the duvet. Emily was awake as she moved, but kept her eyes closed, her every nerve end tingling at the thought of crawling into bed, feeling Naomi's lips against hers again. Emily thought at that moment, she might never be able to think on anything else other than kissing Naomi Campbell ever again.
"Hello-o-o," the voice on the other end of the line, Naomi'svoice, sent Emily smashing back to the present. "You've not passed out in your own vomit or something, have you?"
"Fucking hell, I'm not pissed! I'm with Katie at some stupid party thrown by her stupid wanker boyfriend, and I just -" she stopped then trying to figure how best to make her voice sound casual again.
"You just …" Naomi echoed impatiently.
"We should hang out. Again. Sometime." Emily bit at her thumbnail as the offer came out slightly more stuttered and less cool than she had planned. The silence on the line made her ears ring, and she took another pull off the wine bottle.
"Should we?" Naomi pushed the textbook off her lap, slid down her bed until she was staring at the ceiling.
"Trivia," was all that Emily could manage after Naomi hadn't flat shut down the idea.
"I mean, we should go to trivia. At the pub. Where Cook pretends that weird old guy is his Uncle?"
"I don't know, Emily -"
Hearing Naomi's interest falter should have crushed Emily's spirits, should have flattened her entirely. But Emily smirked with self-confidence, her head tingling at the sound of Naomi saying her name.
"Afraid you'll be found out for not being a big know-it-all or something?"
"That's unlikely." Naomi paused, grabbed the hair at the top of her head and squinted her eyes. And she was smiling again. Smiling at the way Emily Fitch had called her at half-past eleven from a crowded party. Smiling at the easy rhythm of their banter and the way shy, little Emily Fitch had asked to see her again. Fucking hell, she thought. "Trivia, ey?"
"Yeah, trivia. Tomorrow night. It starts at seven, okay?"
And then Naomi had to say it. Had to ruin it the way the way she always did when fear got the better of her. "Fine. But, we're just - I mean, it's not -"
"Christ, Naomi, I'm not going to show up with a fucking bouquet of flowers, if that's what you're worried about. I'll see you tomorrow, yeah?"
Naomi slid her hand from her tangled blonde hair to cover her eyes and contorted her mouth before answering, "Yeah."
Naomi had scowled nearly the entire length of two trivia rounds, had barely made conversation outside of commenting on the absurdity of Keith's quiz questions. She'd also avoided making much eye contact, always surveying the local drunks, rolling her eyes at the tables filled with other kids from college, even tracing the moist beer rings on the table from their pints of ale. But Emily hadn't taken notice because halfway through their second round of trivia Naomi shifted until her knee was resting against Emily's. Emily froze, took a gulp from her pint, and tried to look anywhere in the pub other than Naomi's direction. But Naomi kept her leg there until they were gathering their things and she'd pushed away from the table. And stupid and simple and meaningless as it was, the warm haze Emily felt as she pushed through the pub door and into the street was partly the pints she'd consumed and partly the contact she'd maintained with Naomi Campbell's kneecap.
As soon as they were out in the cooler night air and walking away from town, from the pub and their peers, Emily felt the tension lift. She felt Naomi relax into easy conversation as Emily regaled her with highlights from the Rovers party Katie had roped her into attending. She talked mostly of Katie and the boys who fawned over her. How where Katie's cleavage walked, the drooling masses followed.
"They do sort of … make their own entrance," Naomi said through stifled laughs.
"Would you mind terribly not perving on my sister's tits, Naomi?" Naomi shrugged and laughed in return.
"Sounds like the party was brilliant. Can't believe you opted out on getting a good shag with one of Danny's football mates. Just think about all the chlamydia you missed out on - how fun!"
Emily crinkled her face in disgust, gagging at the notion. "Ew - trying to make my beer come back up, are you?"
Naomi laughed, looking over at Emily, felt the air relax around them. Felt her breathing normalize where it had been stunted and constricted while sitting so close in the pub, surrounded by kids like Cook and Freddie and others from their form. She was sure she had felt them leering, working herself up until she was certain they'd all been talking, speculating about her and Emily out alone. She'd tried to remind herself that she didn't care, couldn't care less what the lot of them thought about her. So Naomi kept her expression sour, her interest minimal, and her focus away from Emily Fitch's crooked fringe that stupidly made her hands nervous with sweat at the thought of brushing it from her eyes. And then it had happened. Naomi turned in her chair as the pub door swung open and in breezed Effy, practically materializing into the room, as was her way. As Naomi turned, her leg shifted making contact with Emily. Naomi felt her face flush at the thought, the breeze cool against her face as they walked.
"Sorry, am I boring you?" Emily asked. Heat rose up Naomi's neck into her cheeks when she felt Emily's eyes on her.
"No, I was just -" Naomi said the first thing that popped into her head that wasn't about Emily's eyes or fringe or kneecaps "- thinking about our politics assignment on the rise of Parliament in early 14th century."
"Well, I had no idea it was this severe," Emily mused.
"What? What's severe?"
"The negative effect your passion for academics is having on your social interactions." Emily giggled as Naomi shoved her hips against Emily's side, nearly causing her to collide with a couple of oncoming pedestrians.
"Sorry! Sorry!" The girls both laughed in unison to the couple as they walked past, Naomi grabbing onto Emily's arm and pulling her back onto the right side of the walk.
"Thanks a lot!" Emily laughed, shrugging off Naomi's hold on her and elbowing Naomi's arm. "Making me accost strangers, you twat."
"Hey, it's not my fault you were the runt of the litter."
Emily's jaw dropped as she feigned taking offense, but truthfully she could have hung out with thisNaomi all night. When they approached the street corner where Emily knew the night would have to end, she slowed her step and felt a tug of sadness in her chest. Because that was always the problem with Naomi, wasn't it? One minute it was laughter and flirting and sideways glances, the next it was cold shoulders and disgusted scowls, each making Emily absolutely mad in varied degrees. Sometimes she felt like Naomi could switch personalities with the changing winds or the turn of a clock.
"I live down here," Emily said coming to a stop and turning towards Naomi. They stood under a corner street lamp, the yellowing light making the blonde of Naomi's hair look glowy and soft. She watched as Naomi careened her neck to look down the lane towards the Fitch residence.
"Right, well, I'll see you tomorrow then." Naomi looked at her, smiled very slightly, then spun on the balls of her feet and stepped off the walk.
Emily panicked then, not wanting it all to be over all over again. Like every time she felt them taking small steps towards each other, the next day they felt miles apart. "Or -" Emily said, a little more desperate than she'd hoped. But Naomi turned then, raising her eyebrows expectantly.
"Or I could walk you? To yours?"
"No," she said quickly shaking her head. "it's not far. Besides, Em, no bouquets of flowers, remember?"
Emily felt her cheeks flush but didn't have a chance to argue further as Naomi turned away from her again and took a few steps before shouting back over her shoulder, "And chivalry, by the way, is the death of feminism!"
Emily smiled, unable to tear her eyes away from Naomi walking farther down the street, until the dim yellow light no longer reached her. And not until she could no longer see the bright blues and pinks of Naomi's jacket, did Emily turn and head home.
Emily waited all hour. She bit down on her thumbnail, tapped the rubber tip of her pencil against the table, crossed and uncrossed her legs. Josie sing-songed in her squeaky voice on the further plot development in Hamlet, but Emily hadn't done the reading. Hadn't even pulled the book from her bag to make an attempt. Instead, she had laid in bed staring at the glow of street lamps outside her bedroom window. In the dark, Katie's breathing was heavy and Emily knew her sister had been asleep for hours, but her mind was racing, looping the events of her evening with Naomi and making her dizzy. She couldn't control the smile that formed against her pillow at the memory of every flirtatious touch, every time she'd made Naomi laugh, every look they'd shared and the hint of pink she had noticed in Naomi's cheeks. But today, in the waning minutes of English period, there was nothing. Yesterday, Naomi was brilliant, all smiles and coy glances, as she commanded the entire class with her take on Hamlet. And when she'd rested her chin in her hand and gone on with the bit about soliloquizing, Emily thought she might never recover.
Please stop looking at me, please stop looking at me.Naomi felt the heat crawling up her neck again when she knew Emily's eyes were on her. But they weren't alone on a nearly deserted street. And they weren't three pints deep on shitty pub ale. And Naomi felt very exposed, sitting there amidst her classmates with Emily across from her, pleading with the glint of hope and possibility in her eyes. Naomi scowled and huffed, not because she hated Emily, but because she hated that Emily could always lay everything bare. Open herself up to let Naomi see all the cracks and imperfections and always make Naomi want to do the same. She has already given little parts of herself to Emily when they were alone, which was terrifying enough. But it was not safe here and the air was not clear, it was constricting. She touched her collarbone where her chest felt weighted, and she did not like how being in the proximity of Emily Fitch always made her feel everything all at once. So Naomi kept her eyes downward, tracing the letters on her book cover with her finger.
When the bell chimed, fifteen chairs scraped across the tile flooring simultaneously even though Josie, still in the middle of a rant, beckoned them to never stop dreaming or searching or some such shit that Emily blocked out as she gathered her things, scanning the room for that blonde head already making its way to the exit. When she reached the hallway, Katie was already barking orders.
"Emily! Let's go! Jesus Christ, you are the slowestperson I've ever fucking known!"
Emily looked one way down the hall towards Katie, the other direction towards Naomi, who was quickly disappearing in a sea of Roundview midday chaos. "Yeah, coming. Just - I'll be right there," she finally answered but Katie had already walked off trying to catch up with Effy.
"Hey!" she called out when Naomi was only a few steps ahead of her.
Naomi cringed, her back to the scratchy voice who had called out. And despite her real desire to keep walking farther and at a rapid pace, she stopped, turned, exhaled. "Hey."
"Didn't think I was going to make it through that one," Emily started, nodding her head back towards the English room.
"Right, " Naomi nodded. "Look, I've really got to go. I'm sorry."
"Oh. Sure. Well, be careful not to walk so fast you run square into Katie's tits," Emily laughed nervously trying to return to their banter from the night prior.
"Jesus- would you mind not yelling tits at me in the middle of the fucking corridor!" Naomi's tone was harsh as she took a step closer, and Emily flinched. Naomi's tense shoulders and fists softened when she saw the look on Emily's face, immediately feeling guilty for lashing out. "I've got to go. I'll see you."
"Right. See you," Emily echoed quietly and watched as Naomi rushed off into a crowd of students. She leaned against the glass barrier that ran along that section of the corridor and turned her head towards the windows that overlooked the courtyard. Students spread along the lawns, her sister probably down there somewhere making Effy's ear raw from all her incessant chattering. Then Emily look upward to the tops of the trees and watched as the wind changed.