[identity profile] mollivanders.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] prefer_my_life
Title: somebody that I used to know
Fandom: Skins
Rating: PG-13 (for themes)
Characters: Cook/Effy
Author's Note: Word Count - 730. Written as part of a meme with washing dishes as the prompt. Warnings for drug use. This is also kinda sorta really for [livejournal.com profile] stainofmylove, set post-series and playing on Kaya Scodelario's theory Effy ends up in a crack house.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.

The last thing Effy remembers is Cook punching out her dealer before he pulled her off the floor. She doesn't remember him carrying her out of there, or bringing her here, or putting fresh clothes on her. She doesn't know how she got into this warm, safe bed that smells like Cook and she'd never leave it except even though the house is warm she's shaking and she knows she's probably jonesing for another hit.

There are shoes on the floor next to her and Effy slips them on - a size too big, but it doesn't matter - and smoothes down the pajamas she's wearing before taking the steps carefully, one at a time. She can hear someone washing up in the kitchen and so she picks her way through the house, grabbing a jacket and wrapping it around her before she finds him. Cook's up to his elbows in soapy dishwater, the tap spray so loud he doesn't hear her approach.

"So then," she says quietly. A plate slips from his hands and splinters into a dozen pieces on the floor but he doesn't look at it, doesn't turn off the water. He tries a smile but it slips from his face and instead his soapy hands reach up to her face, and he leans his forehead against hers.

"Eff," he says but then he stops, like he doesn't know what to say. Effy doesn't know what to say. It feels like years - it's been maybe one, but the descent is always so fast and the way back so long she has no real sense of time anymore.

"I'm cold," she tells him, and if she were a better person she would be grateful for what he's done for her. How he found her, she'll never know - she'll never ask. She doesn't want to know. He must have been back a while, judging by the house, so the cops either don't know he's here or don't care anymore.

"I'll make you something, yeah?" he says and pulls away, busies himself with a hot chocolate while she sits at the kitchen table. He brings it over to her but doesn't sit, occupies himself with small tasks and glances back at her every once in a while. He seems more focused, more controlled. He flits through her memory in bits and pieces but she doesn't remember him like this.

"Really important job you've got there," she quips and part of her wants to be hateful because she's still cold and the shaking's starting to get bad and he's the one who brought her here. Cook stops, finally, and grabs her a blanket from the closet, wraps it around her. He looks older and Effy tries not to care but all of a sudden she's crying, her shoulders shaking from something else entirely now and this time Cook sits next to her, his arms a circle as she leans into him.

"Got lots to do, yeah?" he says and for a fleeting second she thinks he's going to leave her alone - she clutches at his shirt like a child - before she realizes he means her and pulls back. "I'm not your problem," she says, wants to bait him. Freddie would have - but Cook's not Freddie, never has been.

"Sure you are, princess," he says and Effy stares at him, this strange mix of Cook that was and Cook that is. "I don't mind," he adds, digs a cigarette out and lights it. She studies the movements of his hands, covered in scars and fresh cuts, and reaches out her own. He passes her the cigarette and she takes a long draw off it, an old chalky feeling rising in her chest. It's not the same but it calms her heart and she relaxes, passes it back.

"Thank you," she manages to say and Cook stares at her, still a teenage boy, before a grin cracks his face and he shrugs. "Oh, you know," he says. "It was nothing." When she stands she catches the frightened look on his face, the way he glances at the door, but she shakes her head, tucks the blanket around her. "You wash, I dry, yeah?" she says and Cook relaxes.

"Whatever you want, princess," he says and she thinks at least, she'll stay the night.

Somehow, she just stays.

Finis
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