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21 September 2010 @ 11:28 pm
fic: the white line  
Title: The White Line
Author: Ellyrianna
Fandom: Skins
Pairing(s): Freddie/Effy
Summary: Post series four. I can't stop and catch my breath, and I will not turn again, because my heart has found its home. Tony makes a cameo appearance.

It’s hard for her to love the scars.

Of course she can’t; she shouldn’t be expected to. They’re the reminders of a moment of weakness, one of the worst she’s ever had. They are the fine white lines from some old man’s razor she snatched out of a toothpaste-smeared mug, the imprints of the first blade she saw when her mind was crowded all with noise and war. They’re the reminder of what could not be fixed, though not for lack of trying, because Freddie never, never gave up trying. Not with her.

But on some level, she thinks she should love them. They represent one of her last true moments with him. Because of them, he kicked down a door and screamed out her name and gathered her up, a weightless bleeding heap, off of the floor. Because of them, he held her in his arms and cried and cried. She shouldn’t love something that could make Freddie cry like that, shouldn’t even want to think about something that could hurt him that badly.

Still, she touches them, traces their familiar path over the smooth stretch of her skin, and faintly remembers, as the world popped and fizzed and faded around her, that he was holding her, his large fingers closed over her bleeding, blotting wrist, trying to stop what she’d started.

It wasn’t for lack of trying that she was the way she was, because Freddie gave himself fully into everything he did. It was never for lack of trying.

Effy does not think she is a melancholy person. She does not sit in front of his grave and cry and rend the grass with her nails and beg for answers from a slab of marble the way others might have (Cook) or did (Karen). She does not know where Cook is. She knows what he did, and she knows the way she feels about what he did. She knows her heart is cold and quiet because while what Cook did was completely, irreversibly wrong, she appreciates it. She appreciates his trying, in whatever wrong way was the only way he knew how, to help her, and to help Freddie. She knows Freddie would have appreciated his trying.

She does not peruse Freddie’s notebook, the one she found filled with his scattered, single-minded thoughts. All those endless I love yous filling the pages scare her. The intensity of everything scares her. She keeps the notebook, that and the swan that she cut open, tucked away in a drawer with his jumper and the giraffe and everything that reminds her his death is inadvertently her fault.

When they found out, everyone was quick to assure her she could not be blamed in the slightest. They would tell her that it was just a freak accident, an act of unprecedented aggression, and assure her that she is blameless. They tell her this still. She smiles and pretends she’s still so mysterious, that she’s still got everything all figured out. When anyone tells or asks her anything, she just smiles her Effy smile and touches the scars on her wrist.

She doesn’t want to be maudlin. She doesn’t think she is melancholy. She doesn’t sit on that square of green grass and cry. She doesn’t sleep in his still Freddie-scented jumper or spend endless hours flipping through those wrinkled notebook pages. She studies at Cardiff with Tony through her undeserved and unearned A Levels, because even though they all say it was not her fault, she knows it was. She studies there to be away from Bristol, and to be near Tony, who is the only one she ever wanted to love. Freddie tried too hard and ruined her. He just tried so hard.

Oftentimes she takes him down to the park, and together they sit on a bench that looks out on a vast low field. Tony graduates in a few short months, and she’ll be alone again. Effy’s come to realize that she will always be alone, because the only thing she is really good at is hurting the people she loves, and the people who want her to love them.

Sitting on the bench, Tony is smoking a cigarette and texting. He indulges her but is sometimes bored with her endless reveries, with the time she makes him waste down here when he could be studying or drinking or fucking or just generally being amazing in the way that only Tony Stonem is. Her finger idly runs back and forth over those white lines, those last reminders of the boy she inadvertently loved.

“You about ready, Effy? I’ve got a shitload of coursework to catch up on,” Tony says, glancing at his watch. He looks over at her and she smiles. He shakes his head minutely. “Don’t smile. I’ve told you that.”

That time Sid told her she and Tony were always right used to be true. She used to always be right, before she let herself get carried away on notions of love and romance and lost her head to the darkness that had always lived there, subdued, waiting for her to let her guard down. Tony was the only one who was right anymore.

She wraps her hands around his arm and rests her head on his shoulder, not crying, because she is not melancholy, and because she is not maudlin. Effy holds tightly onto Tony and knows all of this, studying under stolen A Levels and living far from home and ignoring her blame in all of this, is what Freddie would want her to do.

It’s because she’s trying, and that’s all he would do, and all he would ask of her. Just to try, to continue, to be Effy as much as she could, for as long as she could.

For him, she’ll keep trying, up until that day when she no longer can.
Tags: , ,
listening to: Trolley Wood -- Eisley
Alessia: EFale_la_pazza1 on September 22nd, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
Elly: (skins) effy; believe in meellyrianna on September 22nd, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
Is that good or bad!? Haha! *hands tissues*