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28 November 2010 @ 03:03 am
Untrust Us/Unnatural Selection -- Part 1  
Well, I've experienced so many disasters whilst writing this story that it doesn't match up to what it was originally - when my main motherboard was intact. But I decided to fill in as much as I could and post it anyway, with a possible sequel. So what the heck, might as well share this scrapheap.

I randomly came up with the idea that mixing Skins with Misfits would be a pretty cool idea so I just ran with it. Though, I had no clue that having so many characters would make it so challenging to write.

Word count: 13,800.

------

“For fucks sake,”

It echoes through the empty locker room as Naomi straightens out her orange overalls.

Kicking the policeman at the protest may very well have been the worst impulse that has ever flashed through her. Staring at herself for a few long seconds in the beat up and vandalized mirror, she decides that yes, it was the biggest mistake in her life so far.

When her eyes go out of focus, she notices a sickly looking brunette opening a locker behind her; wonders how she got in so quietly before turning around and looking at the girl expectantly.

She doesn’t pay any attention to Naomi, just continues to arrange things on her shelf whilst muttering “alright?” in her direction.

Naomi returns the disinterest by humming in reply.

--

The arguing hasn’t stopped all morning and continues right into wherever they’re meant to go to change.

“You realise I will never fucking forgive you for this Katie,” Emily spits her sisters name so venomously that Katie visibly recoils as she inspects the other two girls in the locker room.

Emily goes silent after the outburst and follows Katie’s line of vision to see two girls sitting on the bench, both smoking a cigarette quietly.

“You know smoking inside is illegal right? I don’t want to breathe that shit in, yeah,” Katie’s bravado returns full force whilst waving smoke away from her face.

Emily just walks to a locker, shaking her head when she feels Katie getting pissed off when neither girl reply or even acknowledge their presence.

Later, after an almost painful silence, a guy bursts into the room giving all the girls a much needed distraction, regardless of how annoying or loud he is.

“Alright, ladies” He bellows and widens his arms before laughing so loudly that it shouldn’t be permitted this early on in the day, particularly in their current collective situation.

Katie airs her displeasure and grunts in response, the thin brunette – who had introduced herself by simply saying “I’m Effy” out loud and showing no particular interest in asking about anyone else’s name – flicks her cigarette across the floor and swiftly gets up to crush it out with her boot on her way outside.

--

When the five of them are lined up outside against the barriers answering the register, they match names to faces and watch as a latecomer walks up to join them, hands in pockets and bopping his head.

“What time do you call this?” Katie and Cook watch on in amusement as the probation worker begins to harass the boy, who they figure is called Nathan. The rest of the group look mildly pissed off, main reason being the fact that they have to do this.

“Well, quarter past nine,” With a raise of his eyebrows, Nathan walks up and leans on the barrier along with the rest of the group, probation worker left simmering and checking off the last name on the list.

An icy gust of air blows past them as they all simultaneously cover themselves with either their uncomfortable jumpsuits or arms.

--

After the fairly long winded speech of giving back to society, the six of them are left to start their first day, buckets of paint in tow. Within minutes, both Nathan and Cook are drawing breasts and various forms of genitalia on each others overalls, the girls looking less than impressed.

Naomi and Effy being the only ones actually painting the defiled benches, the twins continue their argument from earlier when Katie makes a fleeting complaint about her new nails which, in turn, sets Emily off to more accusations towards her sister. After a few minutes of vicious muttering at one other, they get louder and louder, up until the point where the other four are just dabbing their paintbrushes aimlessly at the wood watching the two.

“Chocolate chip, I think we might actually see a catfight,” Nathans new name for Cook, combined with the possibility of seeing the twins escalate their verbal fight causes him to clap his hands eagerly and cheer the two girls on in the typically immature way he’s already known for.

Naomi releases an exaggerated sigh and walks over to Emily and Katie, paintbrush in hand as though it’s some kind of threat.

“Look, we’ve established that it’s Katie’s fault for the both of you being here, now can you two shut the fuck up and paint.” She eyes the two of them standing, looking up at her – Katie seethes and Emily simply taps her sister in some form of freaky communication and they both get on with their task.

Effy watches on as Naomi returns with a hint of victory splashed across her face and the boys groan in disappointment at her.

--

Nathan manages to include the lot of them in a conversation about drugs, raves and why they’re doing probation. Unsurprisingly, Cook pipes up and informs the group about all three subjects, particularly the reason he is currently serving the community.

“This prick thought he could steal the bird I was chatting up the whole night, then the cunt took my spliff right from my hand so…” The grin and body language he presents is full of excitement, “…I beat the fucker,” Naomi snorts and shakes her head, gaining his attention and causing him to saunter over to her.

She rolls her eyes as soon as he begins to make a beeline in her direction, standing up straight, preparing a comeback before he even opens his mouth.

“Is that not hardcore enough for you, pumpkin? Why, what did you do?” Naomi considers telling him to fuck off but decides to show him up instead.

“I didn’t hit a random guy, I hit a policeman.” The deadpan face and the tone of her voice clearly indicates that she mentions it as a regretful confession, rather than pride; though she’s fully aware that Cook wouldn’t know the difference and expects his childlike glee.

“Fucking top girl! Why don’t I meet girls like you more often?”

“Because they stay away from you,” Effy mutters between the both of them in the background and looks up quickly to give Cook a crooked smile.

--

Certain theories about diverse people coming together and connecting when they have one thing in common seems to be playing out as they slowly manage to get along. They share complaints over the itchiness of their outfits, the fumes of the paint, the shit British weather and the list grows on throughout the day.

However, the depressing nature of their current situation creates a dull atmosphere between the lot of them and as easily as they come together, they fall apart. Effy gets irritated when Cook jumps on Nathans back and knocks her can of paint over, spilling some over her boots. Rather than the explosion of insults the boys are prepared for when they both freeze with sheer terror on their faces, Effy surprises them by just dropping her paintbrush and sitting on the wall, pulling at the leaves from the bushes behind her.

“Can you guys just calm the fuck down?” Katie rises to Effy’s defence, as though she’s a wounded animal because she handles herself quietly. Effy rolls her eyes.

--

The six of them are litter picking in the dim light of overcast skies, discussing what they would do if they came into a lot of money.

Almost primitively spearing a paper bag with the litter picker, Cook begins explaining how he’d grow his “spliff farm” in the basement of his mansion with naked models as his servants.

“Well that’s surprising Choco, I would’ve thought you’d buy a butt plug factory all for yourself,” Nathan finishes outlining a dildo and struts up to Katie and Emily, leaving Cook to cackle in the background. Putting one arm on each of their shoulders, he repeats his question.

“I’d get one of those new Mercedes convertibles, obviously. Then go on a constant shopping spree in Paris, Milan, New York…” Katie’s eyes begin to glisten in joy over the possibility as she lists all the shops she’d visit. All the while Nathan begins to move his hand in the circles behind her as if he were winding her up.

“Right, well that’s so interesting that I’d like you to save the some of it for later. What about you ginger?”

Emily looks amused until he calls her ginger, for the third time that day; she narrows her eyes and repeats that she has red hair, not orange. Then she licks her lips and looks at the sky for a second before answering.

“I’d go to Africa, help build up a little village and things. It’s nice knowing you could change not just one persons life but a whole village worth of peoples. I’d get a moped too, though.” Nathan visibly winces and lifts his arms up.

“So, Victoria Beckham and Bono,”

In the background, Naomi visibly perks up and looks as though she’s suddenly wants to join the conversation.

“Into helping the helpless?” Naomi turns to Effy, about to ask how she knows before Effy cuts back in.

“Your eyes lit up for the first time today when Emily started talking about that,”

“Yeah, well, I didn’t exactly expect any selfless people to being doing community service against their will.”

Effy smirks, dropping the butt of her cigarette before picking it back up with her litter picker.

“So, you’re not selfless or are you an exception?” Naomi looks caught, and simply raises her eyebrows in defeat.

--

At the end of the day, they all retreat to the changing rooms, rubbing their hands together to try and gain some feeling to their cold fingers.

Halfway through spraying almost an entire can of deodorant under his arms, Cook announces the existence of a super secret party at an abandoned house, encouraging everyone to come.

Everybody declines whilst citing several things wrong with the idea.

With a nod to one other, they’re on their way home – Katie and Emily walking out a little calmer than they came in and the rest following suit.

--

Bleary days go by; they consist of bright orange and sharp winds with the occasional laugh or two. Small chats help the time pass by – particularly Nathans story telling abilities.

Naomi and Cook are discussing the area they grew up in, the both of them sharing a particular playground in common; Cook mentions he was the one that set the climbing frame on fire and Naomi rolls her eyes and shakes her head, interestingly enough – Cook doesn’t laugh like he usually does, just looks at his feet and changes the subject.

“Are you guys getting a little dizzy?” Emily stands back for a second and rubs her head, dropping her paintbrush into the tin.

They all make a noise of agreement and take it as a sign that they should take a well deserved break.

“Fucking paint fumes,” Naomi mutters whilst stretching up and looking at the sky.

“Is it me or does it look like it’s about to snow?”

Effy squints at Naomi before tilting her head up to see the clouds. Soon, they’re all staring up at the sky, as more darkening clouds roll in at an alarming speed.

“If it snows do you reckon we’d get the day off?” Katie mumbles to Nathan, who’s twirling his paintbrush in sync with the clouds subconsciously.

They all jump when an almost explosive smash hits the ground behind them, panic sets into the group, a scream or two still ringing through their ears; they walk towards the abnormally large patch of smashed ice.

Emily walks closest, pulling her arm free of Katie who looks pale as a ghost and extremely worried now that she has nobody to grab a hold of.

“We have to move, now.” All eyes on Emily as she begins to jog towards the community centre, the group looking at one other for a second before jolting into action and following her.

“Why are we run—,” Cook doesn’t finish his sentence when another ball of ice lands in front of them and within seconds, dozens more around them.

They run together, dodging and weaving whatever they see coming, running under trees and making a path to the nearest roof. Their panic filling any silences between crashes as they tug on one other when it’s time to run to the next tree.

“What the fuck is going on!” Katie screams, in a desperate attempt to get hold of the situation, once they’re huddled around their new tree; they all stare at Emily whilst catching their breath.

“Just, freak weather, I’ve read about it before—we need to run, come on!” Emily pulls at Katie’s wrist and they all start running again, their next large tree only a couple metres away.

They’ve been hearing thunder echo throughout the skies a few times now and the flash of light is the last thing they remember.

--

Effy opens her eyes and the sky is bright blue. She wonders for a second if it was just all a dream before she feels the freezing patch of ice beneath her. Lifting her body up, she nudges Cook – who in turn wakes the rest of the group up.

They’re under the tree, or what’s left of it as a branch looks burnt to the crisp on the ground beside them.

“What the fuck—what the fuck just happened?” Nathan sits up and looks around for an answer; Cook helps Naomi and Effy up onto their feet and in turn Naomi pulls up the twins – Emily still firmly holding onto Katie’s wrist.

Rubbing the back of her head, Naomi looks at the tree before answering Nathan.

“We were struck by lightning, or rather the tree and we happened to be under it,”

Effy asks if anyone is dead and surprisingly, they all begin to laugh wearily.

The group begins to walk towards the centre; Naomi leaves Cook to kick his block of ice and jogs up to meet Emily walking at the front with Katie by her side.

“Emily, what was that? I mean, we’re not meant to have survived, I mea—,”

Naomi ends her train of thought mid sentence as Emily abruptly stops walking; both Naomi and Katie look at her for any indication as to why she’s not moving. Emily looks at her hands, tightens them into fists and relaxes them again, glancing up at the two slowly.

“My hands feel weird,” She then realises Naomi asked her a question and shakes her head as she begins to walk again. “No clue, the tree must’ve taken most of the damage, right?” Naomi glances at Emily’s hands, then her own and hums in agreement.

A few steps later, Katie glances at her wrist and it’s still got a white handprint around it, stinging. She figures the lightning went through Emily and into her right there.

--

The probation worker sighs in relief when the six of them walk through the front doors, their legs sluggish.

“Jesus, what happened out there – are you guys okay?” His eyes scan each of them one by one for any injuries, later calling an ambulance once they’ve explained what had happened.

Almost all of them get checked, leaving only Naomi and Emily left as the rest get changed in the locker room once they’d been cleared of any potential injuries.

“Your hands okay? You’ve been balling them into fists for twenty minutes now,” Emily looks up at Naomi, surprised that she has even noticed, she nods and offers a smile as they both take their designated seats in the ambulance.

After a few prods and checks, the both of them are fine apart from Emily’s mild feverish temperature which prolongs the process.

Katie loiters by the back of the ambulance, peering in every two seconds to see what’s going on; Naomi ends her worry by nodding and mouthing that it’s okay.

The group leaves together for the first time, walking out of the community gates and sharing an unfamiliarly comfortable silence. They observe the small amount of ice left, melting into the ground around them and just continue walking away from the area, towards the bus stops.

“Well, that doesn’t happen every day,” Nathan says cheerily, provoking a few chuckles.

--

She’s bumped into by some tosser with his trousers halfway down his arse, wondering why she even bothers to leave her room sometimes. The contents of her bag is scattered across the floor and he starts hitting on her – she snaps.

Standing up tall and ignoring the way her things are being dispersed further by rolling away or being blown across the pavement, she stares at him with nothing but venom in her eyes.

“I think you should pull your fucking trousers up and pick up my things, you arsehole.”

Naomi steps forward, ready for some kind of typical response but she’s caught off guard when the lad adjusts his trousers properly and starts gathering all her things. Even then, she waits for him to do a runner with her stuff but it doesn’t happen. Hopes she’s done the world some good, talking sense into one idiot at a time.
--

Katie wraps a wet hand towel over her wrist; she didn’t think to mention it to the paramedic.
“What happened?” She didn’t see Emily behind her, looking at her wrist.

“I dunno, I think it’s burnt or something,”

Walking around to face her sister, Emily slowly lifts the towel off and raises her eyebrows when she notices the near perfect hand print, which is bright pink now.

“Was that me?” She glances up at Katie looking sorry.

“Well yeah, but it’s fine, apart from the fact you like – electrocuted me or whatever.”

They share a laugh and Emily gets the proper medical kit out.


Effy bumps into Cook at a rave that night, both of them intoxicated one way or another.

After catching one others eyes, he swaggers over to her and she shakes her head with a smile on her face.

“No, you won’t get into my pants.” It’s firm but playful and Cook raises his eyebrows, muttering that it’s fine; she’ll come around soon enough.

Before they realise what is going on, Nathan jumps in between the two of them and hugs them both whilst talking about the wonder of chameleons and other drug fuelled talk. Both Nathan and Effy are surprised when Cook slurs that half of the world’s population of chameleons live on Madagascar along with that lion, zebra, giraffe and hippo from the film. The laughing is endless.
---

They get the day after the lightning off, understandably.

---

The group is sorting through an endless pile of books; this is after they finished making a sofa out of them.

Cook boasts about the amount of weed he bought this morning whilst pushing a book into the order and walking off to help Katie lift a box. Naomi glances at the row of books and walks over, correcting the alphabetical order Cook doesn’t seem to remember but rather than informing him that ‘P’ comes after ‘O’ she just laughs to herself.

Emily strokes the spine of an extremely worn out book, opening it and reading a random line or two absent-mindedly but she’s distracted by Katie flirting with Cook and pulls a mildly disgusted face.

An hour later, Effy convinces Cook to do her share of book carrying to the storage room, he grins and nods. But Naomi rolls her eyes because she knows that he will inevitably put it in the wrong place and she’s fussy about these things. She pushes Cook towards the storage room so he can stop making crude innuendos about slipping things into place to Effy.

The door is shut and locked; Naomi looks around and notices their doorstop was a poorly rolled magazine that could only belong to Katie.

“Great, it’s locked itself,”

Cook makes a noise of discontent as the box begins to feel heavier and heavier so he puts it down and kneels down in front of the lock of the door.

“You haven’t got a hairpin by any chance, blondie?” Naomi raises her eyebrow and pulls one out of her hair, waiting to see just how badly he’ll fail at impressing her.

Only a few seconds later, there’s a click and Cook looks up at Naomi absolutely beaming and Naomi can’t help but smile and pat his head.

She points out where to put the books whilst asking him where he learnt how to pick locks.

“I don’t know how to pick locks,” Naomi squints at him and tries to determine whether he’s joking.

“But you just did…”

Cook scratches his head and opens his mouth to answer but a loud bang against the door makes the both of them jump.

“This is no time to be shagging! Have you no decency?” Nathan’s muffled laughter behind the door makes Cook grin and Naomi roll her eyes.

--

Emily is sitting reading one of the books still to be put into order, her feet barely touching the floor from the comfort of the chair.

Katie leans over to one side, trying to read the title of the book with an almost disgusted face.

“The Great what?”

“Gatsby,” Emily responds without her eyes leaving the page she’s reading.

The inevitable confusion on Katie’s face makes Emily laugh even though she still hasn’t looked up at her sister.

“Ahh, the tragic story of a man foolish enough to dedicate his life for a woman that didn’t care enough,” Naomi strides over behind Emily and smirks, glancing at the book.

Emily screws her face up and glares at the blonde.

“It’s romantic, he did everything to get her attention and suffered because of it, that’s true love,”

Naomi just snorts and shakes her head. Out of nowhere, Effy pipes up; “I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

All three of the girls smile at the quote but the discussion stays silent, different opinions kept private.


Cook talks about how sick he is of the box of a room he’s staying in and Nathan’s unusual silence is picked up by Effy.

Later, once most of the group is out of earshot, she approaches him, analysing him for a soft moment.

“Do you need some constipation tablets twiggy?” Nathan’s grin is wiped away when she ignores his jibe and mentions that Naomi has spare rooms. His tone of voice immediately quietens and he leans in to make sure nobody else catches what they’re discussing.

“What, why would I need a spare room?”

She doesn’t answer but her response is clear through her facial expression. Nathan glares at her for a second before sighing.

“How do you know?” He scratches his head for a second before widening his eyes, “its not obvious is it?”

She shakes her head and nods towards Naomi. “Just ask, she wouldn’t mind the company – but she won’t admit it so expect the bitchy response.”

Nathan puts the book he’s been fiddling with down and takes a deep breath.

“You can tell her, she’s good with things like this,”

Effy walks away swiftly and informs the group that she’s taking a fag break.

--

The boys go in to change first, leaving the girls to sit in a somewhat comfortable silence on the tables.

That is until Katie starts rating the male models in her magazine and asking for everyone’s opinion. Inevitably, Emily’s turn to rate comes along and she raises both her eyebrows.

“Really?”

Katie rolls her eyes and snatches her magazine back.

“Just because you’re not into it doesn’t mean you can’t back me up here, Christ, he’s far better looking than that beast,” She looks at the page horrified with Effy and Naomi’s choice.

Emily plucks the magazine back out of her sister’s hand and glances at the pages again.

“Actually, if I had to, I’d pick him too,”

“Ugh, fucking lez,” All the girls laugh but Naomi, who looks a little lost but it’s far too subtle for anyone to notice, however, Effy isn’t anyone.

Once the lads come out of the changing room, Cook waves them all off and begins walking home but Nathan lingers around the vending machine in an attempt to look casual.

The girls make their way towards the lockers and Effy slows down to meet Naomi, who expects some kind of interrogation by the look on Effy’s face.

“Why so stunned?”

“I’m not.”

Effy smiles and it’s infectious, but Naomi tries to play it down by rolling her eyes.

“I guess I didn’t expect it, how the hell did you know anyway?”

Effy stops walking for a second and shoots Naomi an incredulous face.

“Because it’s obvious, flannel shirt and all,” Her deadpan face makes Naomi laugh but her face suddenly straightens. “Wait, I’m wearing flannel today,”

Effy looks at her with a grin and waggles her eyebrows.

--

Slowly but surely, they’re done in the locker room whilst Nathan has resorted to balancing an empty can on his head to pass the time.

As Effy leaves, she throws Nathan an expectant look and he blows a kiss towards her, jumping to Naomi as she finally leaves the room.

“What are you still doing here?”

“I was watching you all through the keyhole,” He grins and helps her with her oversized bag which makes her stop fiddling with a button on her shirt and look up at him suspiciously.

“What do you want?”

Nathan’s face becomes unfamiliarly serious and somewhat unsure which makes Naomi all the more curious.

“Effy told me you had a spare room?”

“Okay, and…”

“I don’t really have a place to stay at the moment,” His eyes shine and he pouts at Naomi until she catches up and scrunches her face up.

“Are you being serious?” Just like Effy mentioned, Nathan thinks – the bitchy Naomi comes to play.

Nathan doesn’t say anything, just puts his hands in his pockets and continues to look at her, watching as her face slowly softens and finally as she sighs.

“I swear to god if I find any of your shit lying about I’ll bloody burn it.”

He grins and genuinely hugs her, she can’t help but smile a little, but then she realises how similar she is to her mother and rolls her eyes.


Emily’s fever returns.

Her mother forces medicine down her throat and douses her with wet towels but she resists.

“I’m fine, really,” Jenna shoots her a sceptical look and attempts to dab her with the towel again though Emily ducks and runs off to her room.

Sitting on the bed, she takes a deep breath in and looks at her hands – which seem to be the hottest part of her body, much like the day the lightning struck them all. She considers going to hospital but the thought never comes to anything.


A small amount of books are donated to the community centre once more but the only ones content with sorting through them are Naomi and Emily, so the rest of the group is sent off to set up a children’s playroom.

Both girls take notice of the titles of each book they put away, mentioning to one other if they’ve read them or not, but soon they come across a batch that has nothing interesting whatsoever so they fall into silence.

Emily stops moving for a second and steps away to sit on a table.

The sudden move doesn't go unnoticed and Naomi joins Emily cautiously.

“What’s wrong?” She didn’t mean for it to come out so concerned.

Emily doesn’t look up, just shakes her hands a little, trying to cool them off before finally glancing up at Naomi.

“You remember the day the lightning struck?” Naomi nods.

“Remember in the ambulance when I had that fever and my hands were tingling?” Naomi nods once again, visibly concentrating on her memory.

“Give me your hand for a second,” Naomi raises her eyebrow to that one, not really following but she slowly reaches out and almost jumps off the table when she makes contact with Emily’s skin.

“Jesus! Why aren’t you in hospital? You’re fucking boiling!” Naomi’s eyes flicker between Emily’s face and her hands.

“That’s the thing, I feel fine. It comes and goes, I don’t know what it is but it started right after that storm.” Emily looks lost in thought for a second, finally looking up to see Naomi’s verdict.

“I feel, different. Cook does too.” It’s quiet and Emily only just catches it, but for some reason – it makes sense to her.

“Different how?” Naomi simply shrugs and drops down onto the floor, heading towards the books.

Emily is used to the sudden end of conversations around Naomi so she just follows.


Cook and Nathan are sitting and drawing various doodles with the crayons in the room whilst wearing party hats when Emily and Naomi join the group in the children’s playroom.

“What the fuck are you two doing?” Naomi stands and stares as the two boys look up and grin.

“Nathan’s teaching me how to draw a fit bird,” Cook lifts his sheet of paper up and proudly shows Naomi, who looks horrified at the amount of emphasis the woman’s breasts are receiving.

“Not bad, but you want to learn from a real master,” Emily cheerily chimes in and sits beside Cook whilst Nathan pulls out another crayon from the box to pass on to her.

Naomi just looks offended for a second and turns to help Katie with a few posters.

“Did my sister just join them?” She doesn’t wait for a reply, just turns to see Nathan pointing in awe at whatever Emily is drawing and the grins on all three of their faces. She almost grunts in disapproval and shakes her head. Finally, Naomi breaks into a laugh when she follows Katie’s line of vision and watches Effy stride up behind the trio and pluck the crayon from Emily’s hand to add a few details.

--

The six of them go out to a party Cook invites them to and for the first time, they’re together when out of their bright orange overalls.

Katie is sent off to find some alcohol in the kitchen as the rest of them take over the couch in the packed house.

Cook and Effy are already off their faces on a bag of powder he provided and they make their way to dance in the middle of the living room.

Naomi lights a cigarette and spots Katie attempting to avoid a group of goths on the way back whilst holding a bottle of vodka out in front of her, the three on the couch laugh at the disgust on her face and Nathan jumps up to take the bottle.

“Fucking hell, did you find this in the freezer?” Katie looks at him and scowls whilst shaking her head before Cook picks her up and drags her further into the room against her wishes.

Nathan throws the bottle at Emily and she drops it with a yelp.

“Pfft, you catch like a girl,” Nathan remarks as he quickly dashes off to someone that catches his eye.

Naomi shakes her head and goes to pick the bottle up, shrieking almost identically to Emily when she feels how cold the glass is.

“Jesus fuck, why don’t you heat it up with your jazz hands?” Emily rolls her eyes and eventually they start passing the vodka between each other.

An hour later, the six are all jumping around in the living room after Effy whipped out some pills for rest of them; all but Katie kindly accepted the offer; “I don’t want Effy’s dodgy date rape pill.”

The girls have learnt how handsy Cook gets when intoxicated and normally, they’d slap him on the head and he’d get the point but Naomi is far too gone to notice when he saddles up behind her and circles his arms around her waist. Emily steps down from the table she suddenly finds herself standing on and attempts to focus her eyes, once finally doing so, she doesn’t find the sight of Naomi being dry humped by Cook too appetizing and visibly winces. Luckily, Nathan swoops in and hugs Cook from behind in a display of over-affectionate bromance.

The night is a blur until sudden screaming and shouting fills the muggy air, people are rushing out of the house and Nathan is running around looking for the group in a panic. He finds Cook in a bedroom with a girl slung across his stomach, both unconscious but after some tugging and shouting they storm out and continue fighting against the wave of staggering teens trying to leave the house.

Smoke slowly seeps into the living room and the temperature sky rockets, it’s a fire.

Naomi runs into Katie and grips her shoulders in an attempt to steady her and shake her back into this world but all she does is mumble, Naomi leans in to try and listen over all the screams and crashes around her.

“My sister, my sister, where is Emily, my sis—Emily,” Katie’s head lulls forward and her knees go to jelly, Naomi holds her up and grabs Cook’s arm as he almost runs straight past her.

“Take Katie, I need to find Emily,” Cook nods and throws Katie over his shoulder; they soon disappear into the crowd and towards the front door.

Her face is burning up and it’s getting harder to breath, still swaying as she walks, she knows this is the worst possible state she could be in for this. There are less people now, but they’re still shoving her as they run and jump across all the furniture, there are some still passed out holding bottles of alcohol and she kicks them in an attempt to wake them up whilst she wanders aimlessly.

“Emily, you’re looking for Emily,” Effy is in front of her now, she’s smiling and her pupils are dilated, lipstick smeared.

“Where is Emily?” Naomi focuses her eyes and concentrates to make sure her mind doesn’t wander again, but it’s increasingly difficult when Effy just walks away from her and she follows.

The two of them can see flames now, it’s getting so hot it almost feels cold and for the first time so far, panic flashes over Effy’s face – Naomi is just clinging on to her and shouting Emily’s name.

Cook runs up to them, staggering into a table along the way.

“Where’s Emily?” He looks at the both of them rapidly and coughs, seeing him struggle to breath makes Naomi realise she’s been choking for a while now.

“She went to the storage cupboard,” They both look at Effy and she points down a corridor that has black smoke pouring out of it, the three watch a boy sprint out of a room in their line of vision and it’s the only person they’ve seen in the past minute or two; it’s been a while since the panic began now.

“Effy, get out of here, tell Nathan to help us,” Cook pushes her towards the front door until she understands.

When he turns around, Naomi is walking towards the door that Effy pointed to and he runs up to catch up to her.

It was a mistake to open it without covering either of their faces, they’re both on the floor spluttering and wiping their eyes and the heat is unbearable. But Naomi spots something in the room and begins crawling into it, ignoring the flames strewn across the walls and ceiling.

He tries to grab her to stop her going inside but she kicks him in the chest and comes back pulling Emily out by her foot. Another pair of hands grab Emily’s legs and before Naomi and Cook manage to realise, Nathan has picked the redhead up and is carrying her out.

--

Effy holds Katie back as they’re staring at Emily on the grass, fire engine sirens wailing in the background.

Cook and Naomi check for any injuries and soon enough Emily coughs and wakes up, looking around at everyone with a dazed look on her face.

“Are you okay?” Naomi holds Emily’s hands and stares at them whilst asking her various questions, they’re still burning hot. Cook interrupts the check up and tells everyone that if the police get here, they’ll be in the shitter with all the drugs in their systems.

Nathan and Cook lift Emily up and the group starts jogging into an alley way.

They stop to catch their breath and continue attempting to get the smoke out of their lungs.

Eventually, they all sit and lie on the ground; a small orange street lamp illuminates the path and is almost the same glow as the burning house which Effy points out with a laugh but silence settles in straight after.

“What happened?” Emily’s voice is quiet and shaken, making Katie shuffle closer to her and link arms.

“You went to get some orange juice, in the storage cupboard,” Effy has her eyes shut, as if she’s running a commentary of her memory.

“It was a while and then the screaming started,”

“Effy told me you were in there and I went with Cook to get you,” Naomi continues the recall and sits up looking at Emily with a curious expression on her face.

“The storage cupboard was where the fire started and you were out cold on the floor,” She squints her eyes and Emily looks away, almost in tears.

Cook scratches his head and looks at Katie’s worried face but just as he opens his mouth, Nathan asks the question on everyone’s mind; “What happened in there Emily?”

“I slipped on something and that’s all I remember,” Effy looks at Emily sharply as soon as she finishes her sentence and gives her a questioning look.

---

They crash at Naomi’s house.

Morning comes and Effy is smoking by the window, glancing over at the rest of them. Nathan wakes up then and goes to his room to get some alcohol because the dull throb in his head is torturous.

The group slowly wakes up, taking turns in the bathroom. Everyone is gripping their heads and chugging water as their coughs persist. The night starts coming back to them and laughs ensue but Emily sits on the couch staring at her glass and looking absolutely tiny in one of Naomi’s tops. Katie joins her, asks her if she’s alright and it’s a shame that they grew so far apart recently, otherwise Katie would’ve picked up on Emily’s false smile and nod.

--

They’re waiting to go out again a week later, there was some reluctance but Nathan promised to bring a fire extinguisher just in case.

As the time approaches five o’clock, they begin to put their mops and brushes back into the storage cupboard, the steady anticipation for the night ahead growing.

Emily struggles to put her brush on the designated shelf and huffs until Naomi starts laughing behind her.

“It must be a hard life for a midget, eh?”

Emily’s eyes narrow and she turns back around, jumps up and throws it onto the shelf but Cook didn’t bother putting his stuff away properly and she lands on a glove, flies back into Naomi and grips the door frame.

Naomi shrieks and steadies the both of them before her eyes fly up to the door frame, which is now on fire around Emily’s hand.

“Oh my god, what the fu—“ Her words get lost once she starts patting out the fire with the cloth she’s holding and once the flames are gone, they both stand in silence, staring at Emily’s hand still on the patch of blackened wood.

“What just happened?” Naomi finally meets Emily’s eyes and her face is the personification of shock.

Emily doesn’t say anything, can’t say anything, her eyebrows knit together and she leans then slides down the wall, holding her hand out in the air.

Someone starts walking towards the room and Naomi turns to see Katie strutting up with her mop.

“What are you doing standing in the storage?” With a raise of an eyebrow, Katie waits for an answer impatiently but in the end just shakes her head and hands Naomi the mop as the blonde just stands silently.

Katie walks towards the locker room and Naomi peers back in to see Emily holding her head in her hands on the floor.

“Wait, Katie. Emily told me to tell you she’ll meet you later.” Katie looks at her for a second before turning back around and mumbling something about a bitch abandoning her.

Naomi waits for Katie to disappear into the locker room before grabbing the handle of the door and closing it behind her as she sits on the floor opposite Emily.

“The party—the house,” Emily is speaking against her palms as she continues to cover her face and head with her hands.

Naomi stares at the ground for a second; her brain is racing through any and all possible explanations for Emily setting fire to the door frame. There is nothing - this kind of thing belongs in comic books and it almost makes Naomi scoff because she is nothing but pure science and logic, though she doesn’t scoff because of what she’s just witnessed. Glances up one more time to make sure that she isn’t dreaming this and surely enough, the scorched wood is still there.

For the first time in however long it’s been, Emily’s hands uncover her face and she looks up to Naomi for reassurance, a rational explanation, anything. She knows that out of everyone here, Naomi would be the person most likely to have a perfectly scientific reason for whatever just happened.

She frowns when Naomi looks as stunned as she did five minutes ago.

“Your hands, they set fire to the door frame,” It’s all Naomi can manage to say and she knows it’s the wrong thing because they’re both clever enough to sum up that Emily was in the room where the fire began at the party.

Emily tips her head back and screws her eyes shut, “Naomi, that storm. Since that storm, you know what my hands have been like, I—oh my god,” Naomi raises her eyebrows and waits for Emily’s sentence to finish, watches her hands subconsciously.

“Katie’s wrist, I left a fucking handprint on her wrist,” She begins to panic then, thoughts of the burning house swirling in her mind and Naomi has to shake her out of it once she starts crying.

It feels a little awkward when Emily cries into her shoulder, partly because she’s not good with people and mainly because she can’t offer any comforting words for this situation.

--

Cook walks up to the table holding a tray with a dozen shot glasses on it, a grin firmly planted on his face but it falters when he notices that there are still only four of them.

“Aw come on, where’s blondie and ginger?” He sets the shots down and Effy pinches two, drinking them in quick succession.

“More shots for us then,” Effy notes and licks her lips, tequila warming her stomach.

They start talking about how they got into community service and the three of them look at Katie for a reason.

“C’mon, Cookie Dough was done for assault, Effy and her drugs, I got done for some fucking pick’n’mix and Naomi kicked a copper – what did you and Emily do?” Nathan finished his question off by doing a shot and leaning his head on his hands dramatically, waiting for a story.

Katie rolls her eyes and sighs, tapping her nails on the table and glancing at the time on her phone.

“They’re well late, but its better Emily isn’t here because if I remind her of what happened she’ll fucking rip my head off, again.” Cook nods eagerly and motions for her to continue, Effy’s already rubbing a powder into her gums and waiting for Katie to elaborate.

“My tosser boyfriend was cheating on me, and Ems got drunk with me when I found out – it was the first time we’d properly spent time together in ages but then I wanted to catch Danny red handed and we ended up going to his house.” She sighs once more and takes another shot.

“Nobody was home and Emily said we should go back but then I smashed a window with a brick and climbed in, I was past it.”

--

Naomi and Emily are walking towards the pub, eventually having gotten the tears out of her system; Emily decided to tell the group.

They walked in silence until Naomi asked about how she got into trouble with the law.

“So she climbed through the window and I started hearing crashes in the house so I climbed in after her. She was destroying everything in sight – fair enough; I started joining in because well, I didn’t like him very much.” Naomi laughs and Emily smiles for the first time since the incident in the storage room.

“But then I realised what the fuck we were doing and I began pulling her out of the house, she didn’t let up though. She was making way too much noise, smashing anything and everything made of glass,” Emily starts laughing and shakes her head, “
-including every light bulb and each individual square in his bathroom window,”

Naomi nods, imagining a venomous and drunken Katie walking around with a brick in her hand and snorts loudly.

--

The three are giggling harder and harder as the alcohol starts to hit their bloodstreams.

“Emily must’ve heard sirens though and started dragging me back down the stairs and she climbed out of the window, but I didn’t want to leave—I don’t remember this by the way, but apparently I said I was going to hide under his bed like the boogey monster,” Katie joined the three of them as they roared with laughter.

“But yeah, the police came and she didn’t do a runner, just stayed outside the window and got arrested with me,” Her smile fades and she sits back, spinning her empty shot glass.

Nathan raises his eyebrows and sighs dreamily.

“Aw, sisterly love. Although, it’s not really your fault she’s in the shitter because she chose to stay,” Katie glares at him and informs him quite fiercely that if anyone did a runner and let her get in trouble on her own, she’d behead them.

It’s then that Emily and Naomi walk into the pub.

“Speak of the devil,” Effy mumbles and waves them over, notices something is off.

They both sit down and Naomi sends Emily a look of reassurance, tells everyone to lean in because this isn’t something that should be mentioned in public.

Emily takes a deep breath in and looks down at the table.

“I think I can set things on fire with my hands.” It’s rushed and Cook looks towards Nathan because he doesn’t know if it’s okay to laugh, he does eventually when Nathan asks Emily how often she sniffs glue.

Neither Naomi nor Emily look the least bit amused and the blonde looks lost in thought for a moment, snapping out of it, she grabs Emily’s wrist and slams it onto the table. She didn’t think it’d work, but flames slowly spread over the table around Emily’s hand before Naomi quickly grabs a glass of cider and douses the fire.

Four jaws hang in the air and Emily shoves Naomi with a surprising amount of strength.

“What do you think you’re fucking doing? Don’t ever do that again.” Emily furiously whispers at Naomi, who can’t believe just how similar Emily and Katie’s mannerisms can get.

“What the actual fuck Emily?” Katie stares and waits for a response from her sister but Emily just looks down at the dark patch on the table and slides out of her seat.

“I’m going to wash my hands.”

They all watch her go and meander through the tables. Once she’s out of sight, the group eye each other and slowly put two and two together.

“Fucking hell, ginger is an arsonist too,” Naomi throws a glare towards Nathan and his grin fades.

“Has anyone felt, something after that storm?” She’s hesitant and curious, if her conversations with Cook are anything to go by, she knows that he’s been asking various questions about what the lightning might’ve done to him. Naomi didn’t know him very well before the storm but it doesn’t take a lot to figure out that he hasn’t been himself recently.

Effy leans back on her chair for a second, watching Cook until she clears her throat, successfully gaining everyone’s attention. Emily slips back into her seat and follows the groups’ line of vision.

“Cook, what is the distance between London and San Francisco?” Nathan scoffs and the others raise their eyebrows, failing to understand where this is going.

“5371 miles,” Cook’s expression freezes as the last letter rolls out of his mouth and his eyebrows knit together in confusion, along with the rest of the gang but Effy smirks and nods.

“Right, and I don’t happen to think you know what the third most populous city in India is?” Effy asks.

Before Cook answers once more, slowly one by one, they cotton on.

Scratching his head, he licks his lips and surely enough; “Bangalore.”

Effy sits back and picks at her nails whilst Naomi begins to ask Cook certain trivial questions that she knows he doesn’t have a clue about.

“I don’t know any of this shit, I told ya’ I felt funny after that storm,” He looks down at his hands then at Emily’s somewhat helplessly.

“Hold on now, are you trying to say that you have like powers and shit?” Nathan asks, leaning in and whispering. Cook bites the inside of his cheek and looks up to Effy, who seems to know more about what is going than anyone else, the rest of the group follow his line of vision and wait for Effy to say something.

“How did you know that Cook knows all this stuff even though he’s thick as shit?” Katie ignores his little whine and raises her eyebrows, irritated at Effy’s casual body language, as if it doesn’t faze her that Emily can start fires and Cook is a human encyclopaedia.

“I noticed.” Effy answers with a shrug and nods towards Katie. “Anything you want to share?”

Katie sits back and looks a little uncomfortable before returning Emily’s worried gaze. Whatever she’s mulling over in her mind comes to a conclusion, sighing dramatically she puts her fingertip over a little pool of alcohol on the table and frowns for a second whilst looking back up at the group quickly.

When her finger comes into contact with the liquid, it slowly turns solid and frosted.

They all look as shocked as when they saw Emily’s power apart from Effy, who just looks smug.

Part Two

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