It's a bit late and everything but happy new year everybody! I hope you're having a wonderful 2013.
Oh and also, I changed the title of this fic because I completely rushed the old title. This title isn't loads better but I'm rubbish at them. It's from the title of a James Vincent McMorrow song that I really like so check it out if you wish :)
Naomi was awoken by an irritating beeping somewhere by her head. She fumbled around under her pillow for a while where she found her wristwatch and pressed all the buttons on it until it stopped its incessant noise. She cracked open an eyelid and checked the time; 5:30am.
Urgh fuck that. She rolled over and buried her head inside her sleeping bag in an effort to block out the rising sun. She had only managed to get to sleep about three hours earlier, after she'd been forced to spend the best part of an hour looking for a Brazilian Wandering Spider in the boys' dorm which they swore they'd saw scurrying along the floor. In the end she'd had to give up the search and tell them to get the fuck over it because they'd be dealing with them all the time out in camp. Boys can be such pussies sometimes. Freddie's dealing with it next time they have a paddy.
She was prevented from falling back to sleep by a loud rap on her cabin door. Ahh speak of the devil and he will appear.
'Naomi, you awake?' Freddie's voice was far too loud for this early in the morning.
'No, go away.' She practically snarled back to him.
'Aww come on mate, you said you'd come and do herps with me this morning.' Shit, completely forgot about that.
'Fine, I'm up, I'm up.' She conceded, unzipping her sleeping bag and clambering out with a distinct lack of grace. She quickly threw on some shorts and walking boots and headed outside in search of coffee. The heat hit her like a train on a track as soon as she opened the door. It was barely dawn and it was already blisteringly hot. Today's going to be a long day, she thought as she made her way towards the research centre.
Naomi felt distinctly more human after a mug of instant coffee and a blissfully cold glass of guava juice.
She sat with Freddie and JJ eating a plate of scrambled eggs as they went over the schedule for the day. Today was the last full day they had at the research centre before heading out to camp tomorrow afternoon, so they had a lot to fit in. She was to go out this morning with half the group and Freddie, looking for frogs, lizards and snakes, while JJ was to take the other half out and search for spiders and insects. They weren't really expecting much in this area of forest; it was just more to get the students used to the surveying techniques before they started the real serious stuff. After this, Naomi was to show everybody how to set up mist nets which they would use to catch birds and bats. She hated this part because it usually took at least three attempts before people started getting the hang of it. And, to her annoyance, Freddie had decided to set up an afternoon of 'team building exercises' that she thought sounded like a pile of shit to be quite frank.
She told Freddie this without bothering to conceal her disapprobation.
'Oh don't be such a grumpy twat Naomi, it'll be fun.' He replied.
For whom, exactly? 'I just don't see the point, it's fucking roasting outside and we've got enough to be doing before tomorrow without having to fanny about with problem solving crap.'
'Well actually,' JJ began, 'team-building exercises have proved to be quite useful in terms of communication, adaptability, decision making and planning. They also help to improve productivity and break the ice, so to speak, in new settings.'
'Exactly!' Freddie chimed in, 'give us a chance to...get to know each other better.' He said this with a perceptible glance in Effy's direction, and Naomi rolled her eyes at the puppy dog look on his face. Her attention was immediately distracted towards Emily, who was playing cards with Thomas. Her hair is down today. Naomi had been trying to avoid looking at her all morning in an effort to dispel the inappropriate thoughts she'd been having for the past few days. It didn't work, and she couldn't help but notice now adorable she looked wearing an expression of concentration as she peered at her cards.
'Right, fuck it, come on then. I want to get out there before my mosquito repellent is completely sweated off me.'
The morning passed by quite uneventfully after that. They saw no herps on their herp walk, which came as no surprise, but they did spot some toucans perched in a tree so Naomi and Freddie taught everyone how to fill in their tracking sheets with the right information. This included their transect number, how far along the trail they were when the animal was spotted, its distance away from the trail, the angle from the trail, how many there were, what they were doing etc. The list goes on and on. The students seemed quite unimpressed, but they did discover two mating Cane toads when they got back to the centre which Cook found thoroughly hilarious.
JJ and his group had been on a shorter transect so had arrived back earlier, but they'd had a greater find than Naomi and Freddie. When they walked into the makeshift lab, Effy had a massive, but totally harmless millipede crawling up her arm. She seemed quite enamoured with it.
After a quick lunch, Naomi marched the whole group out onto the lawn to set up the mist nets.
She cleared her throat exaggeratedly to get everyone's attention.
'Right, listen up everyone, what you're about to hear is absolutely vital information. Now as far as I'm concerned, this is the most important part of the expedition. The only important part of the expedition in fact. No offence JJ but I couldn't give a fuck about dung beetles. Birds are what I'm interested in. The mist nets are the first things that are set up when we get to each camp, and the last things to be taken down. You might have to do this in the dark so you'd better get used to it real quick. If you have any problems with it, just ask myself, JJ or Freddie.' She glanced around to make sure everyone understood. She suddenly felt a bit self-conscious when she saw Emily listening with rapt attention.
'Okay, the mist nets work by tangling birds and bats in their weaving when they fly into them. When the nets are set up correctly they're pretty much impossible to see, and completely harmless to the animal. The bigger the weave of the nets, the larger the animal it catches, and vice versa. We have medium nets, so don't expect to be catching any macaws or anything too ambitious. Please be careful with them. I cannot stress that enough. Nets with holes in them are less effective and more dangerous for the birds. Now the good people at ZSL have graciously provided us with brand new nets this year, so if any of you are careless and accidentally rip them, I will piss in your hammock.' She gave them the sternest look she could muster.
'Just kidding, kind of. Okay so let's split into three groups and get started.'
Naomi, Freddie and JJ spread apart with their respective groups of six or seven. Emily was in hers, she noted, and wondered if she'd done that purposely. Don't be ridiculous brain, shut up and get on with it.
She led the group over to a spot where on the ground where two ten foot long wooden poles, a bunch of twigs with L shaped ends, and the bag containing their net. The mist nets were to be spread out between the two poles like a giant clothes line.
She directed Thomas to try and drive one of the poles into the ground so it was stood up freely on its own. She had always been rubbish at this part because it required strength and good aim to get the pole in the same spot with each thrust, without making the hole bigger than necessary. Thomas proved quite adept though. When this was done, she threaded the loop of one end of the net through the pole and gradually pulled the net out of the bag, untangling it as she went and keeping it taut so it didn't drop to the ground. When all twelve metres of the net was unravelled, she pulled it tight and marked a spot on the ground where the next pole should go, to attach the other end of the net to.
Emily had the task of setting up the next pole, and Naomi was pleasantly surprised to find that she did an even better job than Thomas. She didn't mean to be sexist or anything, but it was rare to find a girl with good enough muscles and tough hands. When she'd done it herself last year she'd ended up with blisters all over her fingers, and the pole fell over as soon as she let it go. She tried not to openly leer at Emily's biceps flexing as she worked. She then hooked the other end of the net onto the pole so that it was stretched out between the two poles. Then finally, she showed her group how to open and close the nets using the L shaped twig things (pokey sticks, was the technical term). Closing the nets meant that they didn't have to take the whole thing down every night, and could just bunch the net up in the middle so that it was clearly visible and easily avoidable. They would also do this whenever it rained because birds didn't do well in the rain and were far more likely to get stressed out and die when wet.
After the net was up, she showed them how to dismantle it properly, by folding the net up into the bag without tangling it. Then, she walked off to the side slightly, sat down, and instructed them to do it all over again on their own.
She grinned happily to herself as they grumbled and set to work.
Taking the opportunity for a break, she rolled up her shorts so they were even shorter and fanned her t-shirt against herself in an effort to cool down slightly. The sun was high in the sky, and she shielded her eyes as she gazed out to the river where its rays made the water's surface sparkle like diamonds. Her mind wandered as she watched her group work. She couldn't stop thinking about Emily and it was starting to freak her out. She felt like her mind had been possessed with images of the beautiful redhead, she was there every time she closed her eyes, every time she slept. She cringed inwardly as she remembered a dream she'd had last night that involved a very naked Emily and strawberries and cream. Christ, I would get fired so fast if anyone knew what I was thinking.
Her blatant sexual attraction was the least of her worries though. She found herself thinking about Emily in every other situation too. Like this morning at breakfast, her mind had been permeated by a fantasy of making pancakes with her, then reading the paper together over vanilla soy lattes. There were also a million other things she'd considered that she had no business thinking about, such as which side of the bed Emily preferred, what her favourite kind of flowers were or if she liked them at all, what her favourite book was, and whether or not she'd be able to put up with Naomi's endless obsession with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All this and more had crossed her mind in the four days that she'd known her. I really am ridiculous, never even been in a serious relationship yet I'm imagining us in domestic bliss together. You barely even know her you silly bint.
She cursed her own stupid brain activity and decided to distract herself by checking on the other groups.
'How you getting on?' She asked JJ as she stepped up beside him.
'Quite well actually. Net was a bit saggy in the middle at first, but we fixed that, and now Kristian seems to think that he's some sort of Adonis.'
Naomi giggled. Kristian had taken his shirt off and was now jamming a pole into the ground as seductively as possible, with every muscle on his torso rippling. What a dicksplash.
Freddie's group had had a minor disaster when one of their poles had fallen over but he assured her all was under control, so she wandered back over to her own group to find Emily very irate at the mist net. It had become tangled inside the bag. As precious as a completely frustrated Emily was, she thought she should probably help.
Naomi stepped up behind her and grabbed the bag. 'Hold the net and pull it tight, okay?'
'Okay.' Emily replied. With Emily keeping the net off the ground, she held the bag up loosely and shook the net inside the bag, pulling a small stretch of net out at a time and backing away gradually, encouraging Emily to move with her. She tried to ignore how close she was to Emily because it was distracting and she smelled so wonderful and her bare shoulder was right in front of her and it looked so inviting. She backed off a little and let Emily pull out the rest of the net. When they got to the end, Naomi pulled the pole out for Emily to thread through the loop of the net. When she stood back up they were suddenly face to face and in very close proximity to each other.
'Thanks.' Emily said, biting her lip habitually in a way that, somehow, Naomi found incredibly sexy. She glanced down to her mouth, and back to her eyes. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Fuck I hope she didn't notice that.
'You're welcome.' Naomi replied, with a genuine smile. I need to leave, like, right now.
'Right you lot,' she called out to the whole group as she turned away from Emily, 'bring it down and put the net away like I showed you.'
After a small break in which they sunbathed and drank ice cold sprite from the tuck shop, Freddie gathered them round for 'team-building.' Strewth, this is gonna be shit.
Freddie quickly asked Kristian to put his shirt back on and then made them spread them out in a circle. He brought out a tennis ball and told them they were first going to do a name-learning exercise, in which they should shout a person's name before throwing the ball to them. Naomi sighed audibly and Emily, who was stood next to her, giggled adorably. This is the most pointless 'game' ever, what the fuck Freddie. Does anyone even win anything?
Freddie started off by shouting to JJ, who then threw the ball to Naomi, who then threw the ball to Thomas, and it went on like this for a while. Naomi tried in vain to remember everyone's names but she kept throwing the ball to the same people that she already knew, along with a girl called Arsia, just because her name was ridiculous.
'ARSIA!' She yelled and hurled the ball in her direction. Emily almost shrieked with mirth but tried to cover it up with a very fake cough. By this point Freddie had added more balls into the mix, and they were flying about everywhere while names were being shouted left right and centre. Freddie called a stop after Arsia got hit in the head with a fly-away football. Naomi and Emily were laughing uncontrollably by the end of it.
'Right, I think we all know each other's names now then. So, everyone split into pairs and we'll start the next bit.'
Emily was looking at her expectantly so she didn't really have much of a choice.
Freddie gave each pair two lengths of plastic strings, each with a loop at the end. He instructed them to stand opposite each other with a loop on each wrist, but with the strings crossed over so that they were stuck together. The aim was to try and break apart without taking the loops off.
Naomi was immediately stumped.
It was actually quite comical, watching everyone spinning round in circles and stepping over strings and into each other's arms to try and work it out.
Emily was in the middle of trying to fit her hand through Naomi's own loop when someone else figured it out. It was a very complex method involving threading the string through somewhere and then something else, Naomi wasn't really listening, nor did she care; she was too distracted by being so close to Emily and having Emily's hand on her own.
Next they got into groups of four and all stood around a stick holding it up with only their index fingers, and had to lower it to the ground without taking their fingers off. This was a lot harder than it sounds, and Naomi was only pretending to hold it while everyone else struggled. She was getting bored of team-building now, and was desperate for a cold shower.
The final activity was meant to let everyone get to know each other a bit more. They each had to think of three things about themselves; two truths and a lie, and then the rest of the group had to try and guess which the lie was.
Afterwards, Naomi had to admit that it hadn't been such a bad idea after all. She'd actually had a really good time. She'd learned that Emily was an identical twin, which she didn't believe at first because she didn't think it possible for one person to produce two exceptionally beautiful people, and that she played guitar, which instantly made her even more attractive. I didn't even think that was possible. She'd also managed to convince everyone that she was a regional kickboxing champion. Everyone except Emily, that is, who steadfastly refused to believe her lie.
The whole thing had ended in tears of laughter after nobody believed Cook when he told them about a particularly obscene tattoo, so he quite happily whipped his cock out for everyone to see. Naomi was halfway between amused and horrified.
That evening, Naomi was sitting in the dining room going over tomorrow's travel schedule when Emily sidled up next to her and sat down, shoving her feet unceremoniously off the chair opposite.
'Hey Ems, what's up?' Naomi asked happily.
'You're the medic, right?' Emily replied.
'Yeahhh, why? Is something wrong?' Naomi inquired, concern lacing her expression.
Emily huffed moodily in response. 'It's my eye. It feels weird. It was all gunky when I woke up this morning and now it's all itchy and horrible. It's gross but will you have a look, please?'
'Of course, scootch forward then. Closer than that.'
Naomi leant forward in her chair and brought her hands up to Emily's face to take a better look. And also just because I like being close to her, let's not beat around the bush.
She placed her hand on Emily's cheek and gently probed around her eye socket, savouring the physical contact. Her skin is like silk. Her eyes were darting around nervously, and Naomi wondered if Emily also felt the tingly sensation she was experiencing all over at her touch.
Naomi grabbed her head torch and leant in closer, cupping the back of Emily's head with her hand.
'Look at me.'
Emily did so and Naomi felt like she was drowning. Her eyes were such a deep mahogany colour that she didn't think any other eyes in the world would ever compare.
Her right eye, however, was quite blood shot and not fully open.
'Hmm, I think you might be getting an eye infection.' Naomi murmured quietly. They were so close together that she could have whispered and still been heard easily. She tried not to think about how easy it would be close the gap and kiss her slightly parted lips. Naomi cradled Emily's cheek with her hand and held her other index finger up in front of her.
'Look at my finger.'
She moved her finger side to side and up and down while Emily followed with her eyes. It was completely unnecessary but Naomi just wanted to keep touching her for as long as possible.
Naomi sighed and let go. She missed Emily already. How is that right? How can I miss her, she's sat right there? I need to sort my head out desperately.
'You'll be alright, it just seems a bit swollen. JJ has a spray that you can use. He gets pink eye all the time because he works with dung beetles and poop.'
Emily looked indignant at that to which Naomi chuckled. 'Don't worry, it's probably just an allergic reaction or something.'
'Yeah, thanks Naomi.' Emily smiled at her and relaxed back into her chair.
They sat in companionable silence for a while watching the bats flying around until something occurred to Naomi.
'How did you know that I was lying earlier, about being a kickboxer? Do you not think I'm pretty kickass?' She asked with a smirk.
'Oh no, I don't doubt that for a second! It's just...your hands, they give you away.'
'What about them?'
'They're too soft. You have really smooth hands.' Emily turned a subtle shade of pink.
Naomi glanced down at her hands curled in her lap, she could feel herself blushing. She recalled the morning in the hotel when they'd woken up hand in hand. I can't believe she remembers what my hands feel like.
'Uhm, thanks.' Naomi stuttered. A short, but awkward silence followed in which neither of them knew what to say.
'Not like mine anyway.' Emily said, holding up her own digits. 'Mine are awful, I have calluses everywhere.'
I doubt they're anything less than perfect. Naomi wanted to touch them and find out for herself, but she refrained.
'Oh yeah, from playing guitar eh?' Naomi winked.
'So, that, combined with being an identical twin, must mean you get all the girls back home I imagine?' Naomi asked jokingly, but also desperately wanting to know the answer.
'Oh yeah, loads, all the time. They just can't get enough, gets a bit overwhelming at times y'know?' Emily answered sarcastically.
'Yeah, course.' Naomi countered with a cheerful smile.
'Why, are you jealous?' Emily teased.
'In your dreams Fitch.' Naomi quipped jovially.
'Yeah, whatevs.' Emily smiled lazily across at her and propped her feet up on Naomi's lap.
Relax Naomi, it's not flirting. Just...friendly banter. Yep, that's all it is. Nothing else.
She wasn't doing a good job of convincing herself.
Later on, the two of them strolled back to their rooms together with linked arms. When they arrived outside Emily's cabin, she kissed Naomi swiftly on the cheek before murmuring goodnight and ducking inside.
Needless to say, Naomi ambled back to her cabin with a goofy grin on her face, and slept soundly that night with a head full of husky whispers and stolen kisses.
I could really use some feedback so if you've got time drop me a review, pleeease? :) I have no clue what I'm doing to be honest. What does everyone think of the story so far? What do you think of the whole switching POV thing? Where would you like to see the story heading? Is there anything you'd like to see more/less of etc.? Let me know! Thanks for reading!