skins naomi/emily. future! fic. Still ten years after they have met and loved each other, Emily can't sleep in anything but a pair of old blue striped boxer, stolen from her girlfriend when they were seventeen.
So come on let's be young, let's be crass enough to care
Let's refuse to live and learn, let's make all our mistakes again yes
And then darling, just for one day, we can fight and we can win
And if only for a little while, we could insist on the impossible
There is no Mexico.
They go to school, different ones in the same cities and pool their loans for a tiny one bedroom flat in South London, stilted windows and a dirty kitchen, a lock that doesn't work. They move in three months after the funerals.
Naomi puts pictures up on the walls.
They are ordinary now, just like everyone else.
Sometimes, she writes letters to Effy.
They are never sent. There is shoebox under their bed, filled with napkins and snatches of paper.
Most of the time, they make love in the afternoons when they both come home for lunch, limbs spreading out on the floor of their living room.
"You should be in class," Naomi mutters lazily, trailing a finger over her back, "This laziness is indecent."
Some family comes from their graduations. They are put up at hotel rooms.
There's a strange feeling like time passing through the fingers, as easily as water.
"Blimey," she goes, "I guess this means we're grown up or something."
"I guess so."
"I'd write you a love song, if I could."
There's a turn of hips, sheets twisting around pale, long legs and a quick flash of red hair in the sun. A halo burns over her head.
"Probably be terrible."
"Probably," she agrees, slipping closer.
Strange to think of it, still, of Naomi writing her a love song - to be loved after having being hurt, to be held after having chased and chased -
"Probably be sad."
Emily smiles but she doesn't nod.
Still ten years after they have met and loved each other, Emily can't sleep in anything but a pair of old blue striped boxers, stolen from her girlfriend when they were seventeen.
Naomi laughs at the breakfast table, legs up on her chair. Her mouth leaves lipstick on the rim of her coffee mug.
"You've got holes in your jammies, Ems."
Softly - "Why do you still wear those?"
"Just like them, I suppose."
She doesn't tell her she wears them because part of her thinks that if Naomi leaves, this is the one thing she will come back for.
It's the kind of childish logic that no one understands, not really, maybe Katie but she can't talk like this with her sister, not anymore.
The second time that Naomi cheats is the day she gets her new promotion and it's nothing, really, a quick kiss, congratulatory almost, a stranger's tongue slipping past her lips.
Emily's mouth makes a tight smile, "it doesn't matter".
Let's leave it at that.
When they are thirty, they spend a year apart.
Emily gets a sabbatical, she spends the year in Berlin and Paris, studying Impressionist paintings, her apartment is whitewashed and the curtains are never closed and she sits near the windows at night wearing nothing by her sweatshirt, empty bottle of wine at her window and the lights outside flicker brightly against the black.
Katie comes over for a week.
"It's nice here," she shivers, on the fire escape.
"You don't miss Naomi?"
Neither Naomi nor Emily speak for a week when she gets back.
They shuffle around each other in silence, circling their tiny rooms without touching each other.
Emily sleeps on the couch. Their old room smells different and new, clean sheets and she realises that she is waiting for something to come up, someone else's bra on the mantelpiece, a forgotten pair of knickers under the bed and she hates feeling like that, so she draws a quilt over herself on the couch, television crackling the nine o' clock news in front of her closed eyes.
"Please come to bed."
Naomi is standing in the door. She is only wearing a t shirt and her hair is down, a bit shorter than before and she looks very, very young.
There's a long, slow sigh.
Slowly, the walls burn down.
"I'm sorry," she whispers in the night, over and over "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
The past hangs over them like a ghost, refusing to cross over.
They are both supposed to be sleeping.
They go to Panda's wedding.
It's in the town hall and Panda's wearing a white dress and no veil.
"We ought to do that someday."
They both laugh, sticky champagne fingers twisting together and the sound carries them home through the night.
In the morning, Naomi is still next to her in the bed.
It feels almost like enough.