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11 October 2010 @ 07:13 pm
fic: this one, right now, effy/tony  
Title: This One, Right Now
Author: Ellyrianna
Fandom: Skins
Pairing(s): Effy/Tony
Summary: He’d never told her what happened that night at the sports bar, the night she’d overdosed, but she’d heard the rumors. And she’d always wondered what it would have felt like the next morning.




She was doing fine until Tony showed up.

She was breathing and thinking and packing her things for Cardiff, moving slowly around the room, a lethargic somnambulist with her ambitions buried under the grass alongside her dead boyfriend. She was wickedly clever, still ridiculously smart, but it was all fading away now, like the immediate drying of a midnight rain in midsummer upon the sun’s first appearance in the morning. Effy didn’t care enough anymore to wrestle with herself, with her smarts or her charm, to bring anything more than existence to the surface.

This was fine, though. This state of emptiness was fine. It was better than crying, better than hurting. She’d always hated feelings anyway; this, Freddie’s death and her new regimen of behavioral modification drugs, the dissolution of all her friendships and her imminent departure from her hometown, just gave her an excuse to stop pretending she didn’t.

Until Tony showed up, of course.

All he had to do was look her in the eye and Effy knew she was done. He stepped in her doorway, casting a shadow over the threshold. She was taping up a box, an identical brown cardboard box that was to join the others already crowding the boot. Tony’d come down to drive her up to university with him. She’d been warned that he would. Her mother wanted as little to do with her as possible now, now that she was so irreparably broken. She’d told Effy Tony’d sort her out.

Effy should have realized that that was just what she wanted all along.

“You’re early,” she said, haltingly.

He took another step inside, nudging the door closed behind him with the heel of his shoe. Hands stuffed in his trouser pockets, he inspected her room, neatened and divested of all the personality that had once infused it. The posters and pictures were trashed, the clothes and books and duvet all packed. There was nothing left of her here.

“Thought I’d take a turn around the town for the night,” he answered her eventually, after he’d checked it all, marking the changes the room had undergone since he’d seen it last. Then he looked at her, at her face, marking all the changes she’d undergone since he’d seen her last.

Her hair hung in limp tendrils round her shoulders. She wasn’t wearing shorts or pants, just a loose shirt she’d found beneath the bed and her underwear. Her makeup was a smoky smudge surrounding her eyes, reduced to ashes at best. She’d lived cyclically, falling asleep and waking up and packing and falling asleep and waking up and packing, all summer. It had been the only thing she’d had to do. She didn’t remember the last time she’d sat down in front of her mirror, pulled her paints and powders toward her, and actually done herself up. She didn’t remember the last time she’d left the house.

“Someone home or something?” she asked.

Tony shrugged. He was standing right in front of her, because that was normal. Why should he not?

“Haven’t heard from Sid in who the fuck knows how long. Jal’s at conservatory, Maxxie’s still in London. I think.”

“You think?”

She raised one eyebrow, and then she didn’t give him a chance to answer, just jumped at him, wrapped her arms round his neck and kissed his mouth, hard, insistent, ignoring his smothered protest. He stumbled and the backs of his knees hit her bed; tumbling down, her on top, she kissed him, kissed him, her nails with their chipped polish scraping through his short hair, straddling him with her knees gripped tightly against his thighs.

He pushed at her, finally succeeded in wrenching her mouth from his. The questions in his eyes were too scrambled to read, the expression on his face to horrible to digest.

“What’re you doing?” he breathed. “Effy, what in the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

Against his lips, her eyes closed, she whispered, “I can’t feel anything. I want to, but I can’t.”

Tony’s hands slithered up her arms, gripped her shoulders tightly. “Is this about that boy? Effy, just talk to me. This isn’t –“

“Talk is shit,” she snapped, and kissed him again, her tongue in his mouth, caressing him. He pushed back on her, wrenching her lips from his with an audible pop.

“Effy,” he hissed, but she couldn’t take it.

She shook her head and cupped his face in her hands and kissed him, kissed him, kissed his mouth and then under his chin and down his neck to the join of his shoulder. He squirmed under her. He was bigger than her, stronger than her, but she was tenacious. She was also Effy Stonem, and she always got her way, in one form or another.

She felt his fingers tighten on her shoulders, felt him tense to throw her off of him once and for all, so she stopped. Against skin made moist by her mouth, she whispered, “Everything’s gone numb. For months now, everything’s been numb.”

Tony didn’t move. His chest heaved under her with his quickened breath, and she was hovering over his pulse, which beat rapidly beneath his skin. His fingers still gripped her tightly, but one thumb, just one, minutely moved, back and forth, in a calming sort of way. In a friendly, sexy sort of way. In what should have been thought of as a very, very wrong sort of way.

She looked up at him. He looked down at her from under the dark fan of his lashes, partly terrified, partly saddened. She was so very broken. He had to have felt something for her, right? He had to want to make her better. Everyone had been trying to put the pieces together. Surely he’d want his chance.

“Make me feel something,” she said to him.

His breathing slowed so that he seemed almost to be holding it all within him. He didn’t object when her fingers worked his button fly or when her hands wriggled his jeans down around his knees. He didn’t move to help her, and he did not move to hinder her. He’d never told her what happened that night at the sports bar, the night she’d overdosed, but she’d heard the rumors around college. She’d filled in the gaps herself, through hearsay and forced confession. She’d always wondered what would’ve happened if Josh had made him go through with it. She’d always wondered what it would have felt like the next morning, to know Tony had fucked her, to know her brother had been inside her. She’d always been dark. She’d always been strange. She’d never wanted to feel.

But somewhere inside of her she did. She did. She wanted to feel guilt for Freddie’s death and anger at Cook’s stupidity and shame at her own disgrace. She wanted to feel scared at the prospect of going to Cardiff under false grades. And she wanted to feel love for Tony, because she’d always loved him best, and because she was the only one he’d ever truly loved. Not even Sid could take that distinction from her. She was Tony Stonem’s greatest love.

She’d not felt anything all summer from drugs and supreme concentration of her unparalleled willpower, suppressing it all, tamping it down deep inside of her and sealing it beneath a switch that could only be turned by Tony. Tony was the only one who could ever make her feel.

On top of him now, surrounding him now, was not so different from sex with Freddie or Cook or any of the others. Sex was always just sex, just hormones and sweat and heavy breathing. Why did it matter they were brother and sister? Sex was just a reaction. Tony was perfectly still under her, but her hand was closed around his, her fingers twined tight between his. He was still and his eyes were closed. This was too hard of a puzzle even for him, and he was the cleverest person she knew.

No one was ever going to fix her, that was for certain, but Effy already knew that. Now Tony did, too.

He came with a strangled sort of sound after a very long time. She sat still on top of him, considering. She didn’t feel very different. She didn’t feel very much at all, really.

Finally Tony gave up trying to play cool and climbed out from under her, yanking up his underwear and trousers and wiping his hands on her sheets. He said something about her being packed by six the next morning, they had to head out early to beat the traffic. He kissed her forehead, as if he could pretend the whole thing had never happened, as if their lives were a film reel and he had just cut out those frames between Effy saying “You think?” and him buttoning up his pants. He left the room and did not look back at her.

Before he left for good, though, he asked, with his back to her, “Feel anything?”

She realized she probably had just alienated the last person that honestly gave a fuck about her.

“No,” she breathed.

He started to say something, then gave up and left.

Just like all the others: Freddie, Cook, Pandora, her father, her mother. They all left, and in the end it was always just Effy alone on the sheets, her hands in her lap, her eyes unblinking, her soul still cold and black inside of her.
 
 
listening to: This Modern Love -- Bloc Party
 
 
 
so I stayed in the darkness with you: effy tonynodawnnoday on October 12th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
Ahh major heart fail.

She was Tony Stonem’s greatest love.
*sigh*

and then he kissed her on the head after it all... ugh. i don't know why but that might have been my favorite part.

lovely lovely work again. <3
Elly: (skins) effy; born backwardsellyrianna on October 12th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading and commenting again!
(Deleted comment)
Elly: (skins) tony; don't tell a soulellyrianna on October 12th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

And I really wish Tony would have made a cameo at least in S4. He was very much missed!