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14 August 2011 @ 04:40 pm
fanfic: the colours we paint ourselves  
Title: The Colours We Paint Ourselves (previously "As Yet Untitled")
Author: winter_lace
Fandom: Skins
Characters: Katie Fitch, Effy Stonem, James Cook, Tony Stonem... mentions of Emily, Naomi, JJ and Freddie.
Rating: NC17
Summary: In which Effy gets a shock and Katie deals with some consequences
Previous Parts: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six
A/N: Sorry about the gap of time between updates. I'm having trouble trying to find the time to write this. Thanks for staying with it.





Effy used her walks home from her psychiatrist to think about all the things that had been said in the room. Marilynn, her psychiatrist, never asked her to forget things like Foster had. She had never asked her to pretend all the bad things that had happened in her life had never happened. When she had told Marilynn about what had happened to Tony, Marilynn had listened attentively and then asked Effy to tell her how it had made Effy feel. And after Effy had done that Marilynn had just said that everything Effy had felt in response to the accident was completely normal. And she had done extremely well in coping how she had.

They rarely spoke about Foster.

Most of her sessions were spent talking about Tony or Freddie. But this session, this time she had spent most of the time talking about Katie. Talking about Cook. And even now, as she was walking home, there was a strange sense of anticipation in her stomach, almost like butterflies, at coming home to the two of them. In Effy’s mind they were sitting on the couch watching Grey’s Anatomy or something because Cook couldn’t abide by watching Desperate Housewives and Grey’s had that one hot chick with the mint tits in it he liked. While Katie liked to complain about how pathetic Meredith was and praised the hotness of McSteamy.

Effy spins her house keys around her fingers as she starts to approach the front door. This flat, their friendship, her and Katie’s at least was the accumulation of their relationship. They hadn’t always been friends, at first Effy had been amused at Katie’s desperate attempts to be her best friend, if only for status, but then Effy had hit over the head with a rock, slept with her boyfriend and ran away with Cook. Then over that summer there she had turned up in Italy with a scar on her forehead that was also a scar on her confidence, but it was as if during that time that Katie had recognised something in Effy. When she got back there was something that had changed in Katie. Gone when the handbag boyfriends, gone was her lack of confidence, her silly interest in being a Wag or showing off her boobs, in her place was a girl who was a lot more confident, a lot more true to herself. That was a girl Effy had wanted to be friends with.

As she opens the door Effy is assaulted with the overwhelming smell of hot takeaway. Peeking into the lounge room she sees the coffee table laid out with boxes upon boxes of delicious Chinese. But neither Katie nor Cook are there. The house is extremely quiet, which is hadn't been since Cook had taken up residence in their lounge room. Effy strains her ears, hearing an underlying rumble coming from upstairs. The sounds of muted conversation.

She's quiet as she heads up the stairs, not wanting to disturb the quietness of the house, almost as if she was treading quietly for her mood. One so auspiciously content that she was hesitant to disturb it. The door to Katie's room is ajar, Effy can hear soft mumbled nothingness through the door, she peeks around the door and is rooted to the spot.

Katie's naked back is the first thing she registers, a tattoo near the top of her thigh that Effy hadn't even known Katie had, her body, her naked body was curled around another’s. A very male and also very naked body. Even though Effy can feel her stomach bottoming out she stretches up onto her tip toes, lengthening her calves as much as she can to try and see the obscured face of Katie's bed mate. But he stir's, turning in towards Katie, throwing his arm possessively over her waist. His face is still obscured but Effy can see his side, very clearly, part of a very familiar tattoo.

The sight of the ornate cross sends her stomach crashing, her mood, her delicate balance. Her heels drop back to the floor suddenly. Forcing herself to take quiet breathes she backs down the stairs silently, back into the hall to lean against the front door. Her nails are biting into her hands as she makes fists so tight that the whites of her knuckles are showing. She just had to concentrate on breathing for a second. Just for a second. Her brain is bursting with questions, firing synapses like electric shocks in her brain. There's the sound of static in her ears, her stomach bottoming out, a weird sickly sticky feeling of jealousy, of betrayal. And when she starts to feel that the colours around her are too loud she closes her eyes and takes one deep long breath.

When she opens them again she forces herself to focus. Now was not the time to isolate herself. She'd had that fact drummed into her by Marilynn and by Tony when he'd been here. Her tendency to push people away, now was not the time to do that. She needed to break that particular habit and any future without Katie or Cook, specially Katie was something that frightened Effy more than the nasty feeling of betrayal that was pulsing through her.

She pulls herself up and away from the door, staring at it for a few moments. She expected it from Cook, when hadn't he made it known that he'd like to get into Katie's pants, but Katie? She hadn't had a boyfriend in a long time, since before summer, she'd never bought home anyone. In fact she'd had only two dates the entire time they'd lived together, coming home both times rolling her eyes and complaining about the common lack of descent specimens of the male gender in Bristol.

Effy grips the door handle. She couldn't lose either of them. She couldn't lose any more people. Everyone else was gone and this was all she had left. She needs to concentrate. She needs a little bit of her old Effy magic. She needs.... She needs... She needs.

She needs not to be alone.

She pulls the door open and slams it viciously. Ignoring the muffled squeal she hears from upstairs she yells out. “Katie? Cook? Hey what’s all this Chinese doing on the coffee table?”
She plonks herself down on the couch and starts loading up her plate with food. Waiting patiently for them to come downstairs.

****

The slam of the front door makes Katie jump out of bed like there had been a firecracker beneath her. She had completely forgotten about Effy. How could she forget about Effy? Incredulously she looks down at Cook propped up by his elbows, naked on her bed.

This was a situation she had never imagined herself in. Hurriedly she flits around the room picking up her discarded underwear and slipping them on as quickly as she could.

“Not a fucken word to Effy okay?” When he doesn’t reply she slaps his ankle. “Okay?”

“Okay. Okay.” He rubs his ankle while Katie takes deep calming breathes. “Okay. I’m going to go down and I’m going to act like nothing happened and then a couple of minutes later you can come down. And it will be fine. And we will all act normal.” She shoots a glare at him that she’d perfected watching her mother use on her father. And he just solemnly nods. Katie braces herself. She can’t think too much right now. She has to concentrate on being confident. On not being suspicious. She pulls on a tight pair of jeans and a pink hoodie, fluffing her hair a bit to make the “sex head” less obvious and more like a legitimate hair style.

She can’t look at Cook right now. If she does she’ll start to think. She’ll start to think about how they had just mind-blowingly great non-sex sex. She couldn’t think about the fact that Cook’s mouth now had intimate knowledge of her vagina. It was just too much.

“A couple of minutes yeah?” She goes out her door without looking back at him. There’s a sinking feeling in her stomach like she’s hurt someone’s feeling without meaning to.
Effy’s in the lounge room. Already stuffing her face. The potent smell of Chinese hits Katie suddenly and she has to swallow the sudden feeling of nauseousness.

"How was therapy?" Katie asks with an air of nonchalance, she hopes.

"Good." replies Effy. "I talked about you and Cook."

Katie chokes on the water she's halfway through drinking. "You what?" She splutters.

"You know. About how I didn't know how I'd made it through this last month or so... and it was mainly you and Cook."

"Oh." Katie replies softly. Sinking into a chair opposite Effy, watching the brunette twirl noodles around chop sticks in a way that Katie didn't know was possible.

"Aren't you eating?" She asks, and when Katie meets her eyes it feels like two blue flames are burning through her soul. Katie remembers a time when see used to only want to see approval in those eyes instead of cool disinterest; she also remembers those eyes staring up at her with terrified panic during the carnival. Now they regard her in a way that was warm, friendly, trusting but they send her stomach on a downward spiral of guilt.

Those Stonem eyes that looked at you like they could see straight through you.

"Yeah." She replies absently.

"What's all this for anyway? Did you get it?"

"Um...No... I think Cook got it."

"I've got an announcement."

Katie particularly jumps out of her skin when she notices Cook in the archway to the lounge, He's pulled his clothes back on and run his hand through his hair a few times. She notices that he's let it grow a bit, that it settles in a vaguely tousled, yet appealing for her fingers to run through. The way his pants hung on his hips, the glimpse of skin because his shirt had rose up... She blinks in a daze. What the fuck was she thinking? Honestly. She blinks a few more times in rapid succession and shakes her head slightly to get rid of whatever crazy haze had settled over her. Fucken get a grip Katie! She tells herself.

"Spit it out then." Effy says, still stuffing her mouth with noodles.

"I got a job."

"Really?!" Effy and Katie say in unison. it had registered in the back of Katie's mind that she'd seen him applying for jobs, he'd borrowing her laptop and Effy's expertise to set up a resume. But it had been a few weeks and as far as Katie knew he hadn't even gotten call back. There was very little he could sell himself with, eighteen with two stints in prison, one sentence of which he escaped and alluded the police till he was caught after nearly being bashed to death by a murderer, whom he had done significant damage to himself. He hadn't even graduated college.

"Yeah... it's nothing official yet but my probation worker has hooked me up with this guy. Just some casual labouring here and there."

Effy jumps up from her seat, "Congratulations!" She says as throws her arms around him. Katie's jaw drops and she sees Cook hold out his arms stiffly not sure what to do, When Effy pulls back she sees their stunned faces and indifferently says. "My therapist says I need to show more affection."

"Um..." Katie side eyes Effy before turning to Cook. He's got his hands shoved in his pockets now and looks almost bashful. "Congrads." She offers with a warm smile. Katie's not able to help the feeling of pride washing over her, he was really trying to pull his life together. Considering what he'd been through...

"Well then... seeing we've had this touching Kodak moment, let's celebrate!" Says Effy, picking up her plate and continues to twirl noodles between her chop sticks. Cook takes a seat next to Effy, picking up his own plate and starts to load it up. Katie tries to avoid his eyes and tries not to let paranoia tell her that Effy was watching them too closely.

***

"They fucked."

"Come again?"

The line is bad, static breaking up his words and making his voice fade in and out. But it's his voice that she cares about and she can hear it, and it brings her soul a little bit of solace.

"I came home and they were in bed together. Not clothed."

"I assume we are talking about Cook and Katie."

"I can't lose either of them."

"Who says you have? More importantly who said it wasn't just some one-time thing?"

"How is that relevant?" She snaps. Her breathing is coming thicker and faster. She's having trouble thinking straight. She keeps imagining their bodies entwined and every time it sends a hot flush of heat directly to her pussy.

"Ef. Calm down."

"Tony. I need you to tell me what you see. I can't see what's going on."

"Ef..."

"Don't 'Ef' me. Tell me what you see. I know you saw something."

"He likes her. You know he likes her."

"I know that he made a pass at her every chance he got."

"Not this time Ef. He genuinely likes her, respects her. He's never had anyone care for him like Katie has been; she's taken him in just as much as she has with you. And to be honest I think she likes him."

Effy remains silent. Yes... she knew that, she knew that Cook had, had some vital aspect of him change when he had come back from prison. Back from facing off with... after Freddie... Yes. Something vital had changed. And she'd seen it. She'd seen both of them laughing as he tried to help Katie out cooking. She'd seen Katie elbow him when he paid out her favourite TV shows. She'd seen Katie stop reacting to him calling her "babes".

"Ef... are you okay?"

"You know," She starts off swallowing... she hadn't talked about this with Tony yet. "when I was seeing Foster he used to tell me to close my eyes and just forget things that had already happened. To pretend that they had never happened. I forgot your accident, you know. He remade me into Elizabeth instead of Effy and I met Cook... except I didn't know him because Foster made me forget the bad things. There was a lot of bad things associated with Cook. Anyway for a while there he was James and I was Elizabeth and we walked past where you got hit by the bus and I remembered and I walked into traffic and... ok... the point is Cook saved me. And Katie has saved me too… Both of them save me. Every single day, in fifty small different and maybe insignificant ways but they both save me. And I love them both."

"Ef… I think you’re thinking too hard about things. Maybe it’s time to stop thinking for a little while. Just let things go. It’ll all work out in the end,"

"I love you."

"I love you too."

She hangs up before she can hear the dial tone. The afternoon’s image of Katie’s soft creamy limbs entangled with Cook’s tanned lean ones are still captured in her mind. They start to move and make shapes that she hadn’t seen. Katie riding Cook, teasingly… grinding her hips into his. Her dark hair hanging down her back, brushing back and forth over her shoulder blades, his hands gripping her hips guiding her up and down his shaft. And Effy’s hands slide underneath her knickers, the pad of her finger stroking her clit, while two of her other fingers slide inside her warm heat. Biting her lip, she works herself, feeling the heat rise over her body. As Cook and Katie climax in her mind so does she. Clenching around her fingers and shuddering. Biting her pillow to stifle the sounds of her pleasure.

Her fingers are saturated when she removes them. Wiping them casual on her sheets she falls into a dreamless sleep.

Not once does Freddie disturb her.
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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
jack: please tell me it's not truearagorn on August 14th, 2011 07:25 am (UTC)
:)

Glad you've updated. Really love where this is going. Cook/Effy/Katie really do make a great OT3. <3
Courtneywinter_lace on September 4th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
Ahhh thank you.
pennylane101: freyapennylane101 on August 14th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
an interesting (love) triangle for once.

great job!
Courtneywinter_lace on September 4th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
Thanks!
twilight118twilight118 on August 14th, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)
This is So much better than the angst triangle between Ef/Fred/Cook. This has depth and nuance to it and is So much hotter. Great chapter!
Courtneywinter_lace on September 4th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
Thanks so much!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )