Title: Champagne's for celebrating (1/?)
Rating: PG- 13
Disclaimer: I don't own Skins, or anything of any real value. Epic life fail :) Title is taken from the Mayday Parade song of the same name.
Summary: My first A/U fic. Read on :P
A/N: I have no idea where this came from, and it most likely sucks and contains spelling mistakes and fail of epic proportions, which can be blamed entirely on Fosters and the fact that it is un-beta'd.
Five nights in a row. Emily curses herself for noticing. Just like she curses herself for noticing the way the blonde occasionally sweeps loose strands of hair away from her eyes, or her eccentric dress sense, or the way she rolls her eyes every so often as though just being in the same room as other human beings is such a chore. But Emily does notice. Is drawn to her in a way which she can only describe as pathetic. Has been watching her covertly (God, she hopes it's covertly) ever since she arrived less than three hours ago.
''Same again.'' The blonde doesn't bother to make eye-contact. Can barely even be bothered to coherently mumble the words in Emily's direction as she fumbles clumsily in her pocket for a tenner. Another tenner, Emily notices, despite the fact she must have more than enough change to buy another drink since she paid for her last one with a twenty and the till was, as usual, out of notes. Why the fuck has she noticed this?
''Yeah. Sure..'' Emily resists the temptation to come out with something ridiculously cliche like ''I think you've had enough'' or, even worse, ''What's a girl like you doing in a place like this?'' They're both perfectly valid statements, Emily thinks. (Because, honestly, Emily has a sneaking suspicion that the blonde had consumed more than enough before she even left the house, and genuinely can't comprehend why someone as strikingly captivating would choose to spend her time in a run-down, dimly lit bar.) She holds her tongue, however, and instead pours her yet another pint, makes a futile attempt to make eye contact with the girl she's been completely incapable of taking her eyes off since she first walked into the bar just over two weeks ago.
She's alone most of the time, Emily's noticed. Doesn't seem to mind as much as she should and barely bothers to observe her surroundings, instead choosing to fumble in her jacket pocket to retrieve her iPod. Emily wonders what she's listening to, can't quite judge simply from the blonde's demeanor exactly what her favourite music might be. Isn't entirely sure why she actually cares. But she does. Thinks that her playlist most likely consists of some eclectic bands who she hasn't even heard of. Hands the blonde her change back shakily and tries not to notice the way her fingertips graze her hand lightly. Pathetic, she thinks, as she watches her return to the seat.
Half an hour passes, and Emily chooses to divide her time (almost) equally between apathetically serving customers and all too enthusiastically observing the blonde, who barely even bothers to shift in her seat aside from making her way outside to smoke. (Customers aren't allowed to take glasses outside, Emily barely reminds herself. Doesn't have the courage to go and remind the blonde of this ridiculous rule. Finds herself not even wanting to remind her.)
''Em, we're closing, yeah? Like, hurry up.'' Emily rolls her eyes, barely managing to hide her annoyance from her twin and nodding mechanically. And that's exactly what she feels like most of the time. A machine. She functions, of course. She has to. Anything beyond that seems like some sort of unreachable goal, an existence which, for unknown reasons, she is simply not meant to experience. Instead, she watches Katie experience it. Hates her for it on occasion. Hates herself for hating her.
Emily makes her way over to the girl, her step faltering as she approaches. Has no idea why she's nervous, really, as she pauses in front of her, clears her throat quietly, almost as though she's embarrassed simply by existing. Perhaps she is, she thinks. Perhaps she should be.
''Yes?'' The blonde looks up expectantly, as though Emily's mere existence is intensely irritating. It probably is, Emily realises. Usually is. Feels incomprehensibly apologetic for making such a clumsy intrusion into someone's personal space. Into her personal space.
''Erm..We're closing..'' She barely manages to blurt out, idly playing with the fabric of her t-shirt. Hates herself for being so fucking tragic.
''Yeah, kinda gathered that from the incessant ringing, y'know?'' The blonde rolls her eyes and gestures towards the bell behind the bar. The one which Emily dreads ringing because it draws attention to her and, perhaps irrationally, makes her feel as though every single person in the room has suddenly diverted their attention to her. She hates it. Hates this job, in fact. Only took it because she's on a gap year (or at least tells herself she's on a gap year and that there's at least some small hope that she could actually go to uni and possibly even have a future beyond dingy clubs and yet more pills) and also because, according to Katie, being a barmaid is the perfect opportunity to, like, pull fit guys, yeah? And everyone wants to pull fit guys, or so Emily reminds herself every five fucking minutes. Can even, on occasion, manage to flash a half-hearted, flirty smile in the direction of some neanderthal, beer swilling bloke, even if it's only to glance across the bar and receive an approving grin from Katie.
''So...?'' Emily shakes herself out of her daze at the sound of the voice, realises that she's probably been standing gormlessly in front of the blonde for several moments and must, she thinks, look like a complete socially retarded tosser. Wonders briefly how the hell her and Katie could possibly be related and silently curses her twin for being first in line when God gave out self confidence. Wonders where the fuck she was when all this was happening.
''Erm...just wanted to let you know, y'know?'' She mentally slaps herself for sounding so fucking pathetic, because, Christ, she spends most of her fucking life (or so it feels) telling drunken idiots that they're closing and never feels in the slightest bit intimidated. Wonders why this time should be any different. But, somehow, it is.
''Right, well... thanks.'' The blonde gazes pointedly at Emily with an expression which can only be interpreted as ''you can go now.'' Except perhaps not quite as polite. And she does go. Scurries back into the pub and attempts to ignore the glare she receives from Katie, because, apparently, they're going out after this. Doesn't bother to point out that maybe they'd get finished a hell of a lot quicker if Katie could detach herself from her fucking phone for more than a minute at a time and actually, y'know, help.
Instead, she distracts herself by cleaning glasses, or pretending to anyway, until Katie's glares become too venomous for her to take and she's forced to once again make her way over to the girl, who's now returned to her seat. Makes a futile attempt to be nonchalant, doesn't even glance at the blonde as she collects her empty pint glass from the table. Had she been Katie, this would have worked effortlessly. But she isn't, of course. Is reminded of this fact every fucking minute of every apathetic day. So instead, because she's Emily fucking Fitch, and not Katie, she reaches for the glass, completely fucks up her timing and consequently causes it to topple over. Watches it as it rolls across the table towards the blonde. Curses herself.
''Fucking Idiot.'' Emily doesn't even realise she's verbalised this thought, far too busy clumsily attempting to retrieve the offending pint glass from the table and trying not to die of embarrassment, until she glances up and notices the blonde glaring at her.
''Excuse me?'' Her tone of voice displays her irritation, and Emily momentarily panics, attempting to come up with a coherent response which doesn't make her look even more socially inept than she is. (It shouldn't really be possible, she thinks.) There's silence for a few moments before she finally finds her voice. It comes out weaker than she expected, even for her.
''No, not you. I was, erm...talking to myself.'' Great, Emily thinks. Fucking great. Now I can add crazy to my ever increasing list of endearing qualities. I should get a fucking notebook or something.
''Right.'' The blonde raises an eyebrow, looking the perfect mixture of pissed off and arrogantly amused, which, for some reason, Emily finds incredibly attractive. ''That's supposed to be the first sign of madness, y'know.'' She smirks then, and Emily can't quite decide whether there's any malice behind it, or if it's simply playful. Decides to take a chance on the latter.
''Yeah? What's the second then?'' Emily surprises herself by managing to get through a whole (albeit short) sentence without making a complete and utter twat of herself. Katie would be proud, she thinks, had circumstances been different.
''Talking to me.'' And with that, the blonde picks up her bag from the seat beside her, flashes Emily yet another smirk before leaving the pub without so much as a second glance..