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[personal profile] one6two6
Zombies Famous
Title: "Quite the Achievement"
Fandom: Skins
Characters: (almost) everyone
Rating: R for language and gruesome imagery
Word count: 2,605
Summary: A zombie Almost Famous AU. No, really. Except there's no journalist.
Disclaimer: All characters are property of E4 and its employees; the setting to Cameron Crowe respectively. This is a work of fiction for fiction and it couldn't be further from the intention of infringement/libel if it tried.

First part here

A/N: This is for [personal profile] prunesquallormd whose birthday is today, I believe? Happy birthday, Si!


He gripped the phone, tapped it with one solid finger, then repetitively drummed the rest of his fingers on the receiver.

“Yes, well, the figures don't just add up, now, do they?” he said, angered. He hung up abruptly. Things didn't turn out like there were supposed to. People didn't find their way and dreams didn't get realized.

"These are just bumps in the road," JJ would say, attempting to relieve the tension.

"JJ," Cook piped up, "you know it's a sad state of affairs when it's you who's trying to console us."

"Yeah, but--someone's got to, right?"

Everyone smiled softly at that. "Yeah," Cook said.

It was enough.

Freddie finished rolling his joint and licked the length of it once more for good measure.
"Anyone care for a smoke?" he offered, looking expectantly from one mate to another.

"Yeah, sure." Cook extended his arm and grabbed it, lighting it easily with his free hand. He inhaled deeply and held it, expecting coughs that wouldn't come. Smoke started pouring out through his chest and out his back. Boils began to form around his neck.

"Why are you two even doing this, there aren't even any working capillaries for THC to disperse through, you know that.”

Cook raised his eyebrows. "T-H-what?" He exhaled. Slits like gills flapped softly on his cheeks.

"Te--it's what gets you looped up and dizzy.” JJ closed his eyes, counted to one, and opened them, more stern than before. “Look, we need to get our act together, not sit around and pretend we aren't already baked out of our minds. I can hardly do proper arithmetics equations anymore, let alone look after you two."

"Don't worry about us, mate, we are doing completely fine." said Cook reassuringly as he tried to prop his arms against the couch behind him.

"Cook, every time you try to spread your arms like that, your shoulder blades reach right through your back and sometimes I can fully see them. You've really got to be more careful, otherwise you won't have feeling in your triceps before you know it," he said non-chalantly, tapping his pen on lined paper.

Freddie and Cook eyed each other, expressions growing concerned. They turned their heads simultaneously to point their attention to their manager, then back at each other. Cook eased his arms back down to his sides.

Freddie pursed his lips and spoke finally, of his rememberances of Bristol, as far back as he could go. He mumbled a bit about who they knew and what they liked to do with them, all non-descript locales and faces. He knew there was a point in it somewhere, which he would get to, if he actually remembered anything. It wasn't much, not at all, so after a minute and a half, Cook jumped in, needing an interruption from Freddie's roundabout explanation.

"Yeah, fuckface here is getting at a point--likely to finish when we're all bleeding puddles, but it's definitely right." He leaned forward, increasingly anxious. "We've got to find the others, reform our band. Keep the music going, yeah?" A grin tentatively spread across his lips. He looked over at Freddie who was already spacing out, head full of dust and grime.

JJ nodded his head in agreement. "Yes. That's it. I'll have to try and get in contact with the others." He immediately rushed back to his phonebook, flipping through the pages as rapidly as his rotting fingers could go through. "Finally," he exclaimed, "a plan!" He giddily let out a squeal of excitement, exposing how little teeth he had remaining. There was a straight hole into his mouth, metal braces dangling at the sides.

"Cook," Freddie let out.

"Yeah, Freds?"

"If we're like, totally zombified," he paused, chewed a hole through his lip--quite litterally--and went on, "you think that pretty girl will still like me?"

"You dumb fucking cardboard piece of shit, you think she gives a fuck? What, you want her to hold your fucking slimy hand?” Cook scoffed, but continued, “At this point, lad, you go right for it when you see her. For me, all right?" He shook his head disbelievingly, but still smiled at his friend. He wanted to reach in for a hug, but knew it to be probably fatal, so he sat back.

"If I didn't know you any better, I'd say you were the worst friend a bloke could ever have. But I do, you know." Freddie returned the smile. "So thanks."

"It's ringing," JJ said, busrsting at the seams, pointing at the phone. "I can't believe it!"

"Well, believe it, you tit!" Cook spat out. "We're all gonna be rock stars soon and ringing'll be all we got going on in our ears." At this, he and Freddie exchanged high-fives, which, really, would have been a much better idea to have done with their non-dominant hands.

"Oh. Bum-out, man." Freddie said dejected.

“Don't worry. Finger-picking was never either of your strong suits.” JJ supplied helpfully.

“Who do you got on the other end anyway?” Cook asked.

JJ opened his mouth to answer, but perked up, face brightening at some sound on the phone. “Yes, Panda, this is JJ.”

Then, JJ made a sound that was a cross between a cluck and a stutter, followed by a stream of indiscernable noises, nothing that neither Freddie nor Cook could make out for the life of them. Or the death of them, and even re-death of them.

“Yeah, we're practically wallowing in it every second. But listen, Panda, I’ve got an inkling as to how we can pick ourselves right back up. We need to reassemble the parts, get the us and the band going full-speed right here in America. I feel as though we’ve layed low long enough, that if we stay any lower, we’ll ... well, we’ll sink right back into the earth and remain the corpses those zombies intended for us to be, forever, and I don't really want that. Not at all.”

He tapped his pen again, and if the three boys still had working hearts, they would be beating out of their chests in time with the beat. A second or two more of suspense and--

“Great!” JJ raised a fist in the air in celebration. “We’re going to come find you in the vast expanse of America. ... Oh, you’re in Vegas, too? Okay, well we’ll still come get you. You stay put, and soon we’ll all be together again.” He hung up, grinning his full toothless glory, shining the edges of his braces caught in the light. “So. What next?” He clasped his hands, rubbing them together with layers of skin peeling off onto the floor. He stopped once he noticed the potential fire hazard.

Freddie looked up, faced both the boys directly, a new resolve on his face. “We’ve got to get Karen’s car without her noticing. She can't come with us.” He sucked in some air through his teeth, making a hissing sound. “Hopefully though, I don't think she’d want to anyway, she’d think it was stupid. But first,” he reached down, grabbed his lighter, and looked back up at them, “who wants a hit after me?”


Meanwhile, across state lines, two dazed redheads were speeding through highways, hardly breaking traffic laws. Occasionally, they would veer into other lanes, but that was only occasional and hardly noticeable.

Katie hummed along to the tunes on the radio, happily bopping her head to whatever came on. The kind of music didn’t matter to her, as long as she had it, she was fine. She looked over at her sister, expecting to see her just as carefree, but instead had her hand readily on the window opener.

“Don’t, you’ll lose your eyeballs that way!” Katie shot a hand out to dissuade her.

“Oh. Right,” she said, swiftly closing it back up, catching a lock of her hair in it. She returned her hand to her lap. Worried, she turned her head to face her sister, losing that clump of hair on the way. “It’s just that I think I'm feeling a little motion sick. Haven't been in a moving vehicle for a while, you know.”

And she did know. After examining her a bit more carefully, Emily did look slightly greener than normal, possibly turquoise. She had trouble keeping her mouth closed, the dribbles coming out of it turning increasingly yellow. It all made Katie have the notion that pulling over as soon as possible would probably be for the best.

She returned her eyes back onto the road just when she was about to run somebody over on the shoulder.

“Look, you nearly rammed right into that hitchhiker.” Emily muttered.

Katie breathed out. She squinted to read the girl's sign, but to her dismay, it was merely a bunch of scribbles. “Girl's just relying on her thumb then?”

“That, among other things. Do you see how much leg she’s showing?”

Katie smirked. “Well, you sure did, didn't you?” she queried, raising an eyebrow.

“Shut up,” Emily retorted defensively. “You gonna let her in or what?”

Katie let out a sigh. In the spirit of capturing the moment and all that came with it, she opened the car door. She stepped out, approached her, and asked, “Where you headed?”

A pause before the hitchhiker retired her thumb and replied, “Nowhere. Anywhere you can take me.”

“Somewhere far all right with you?”

The hitchhiker took a second to give it a think, or so Katie thought. Really, she was simply staring at the cactus behind her. She nodded. “Yeah. Definitely.”

They made their way back to the car and Katie swore she caught a kind of sly exchange between the girl and her sister. She tried to disregard it as something fleeting, until she indefinitely saw a tinge of pink on the lesioned skin across her Emily’s face when she got a closer look.

“You got a name, babe?” Katie said to the rearview mirror as she buckled her seat belt.

“Effy. Name's Effy.”

Katie made sure to see her get comfortable in the back seat before taking off. The open road her new focus, and the passing of time a thought in the past, she was sure, at least as much as her own melting brain would let her, that her dead heart was in the right place.

Moments passed, everyone in sweet bliss or contemplation, when Katie suddenly came to a huge realization.

“Wait. Effy. Bristol, right? We went to the same college together.” Katie mused, surprising herself with the forgotten knowledge.

“Yeah,” she replied wistfully, “you tried to be my friend.” She smiled when their eyes met in the rearview mirror again. “Didn’t turn out so well.”

“Well, it should now. Do you play any instruments?”

Effy turned her attention to the window, lost in some place elsewhere, until she replied, “Bass. I play bass.”

“Perfect!” Katie exclaimed. “I'm hoping you want to play in a band that’s sure to change the whole nation, yeah? It’ll be grand, I'm telling you, like--fucking far out and shit.”

“Okay,” Effy nodded a bit eagerly and Emily giggled.

The DJ crackled back on, announcing that the next song is for those who feel that they are grateful to the ones who remain dead, and to stay cool amidst all the rough times out there.

“That’s us!” Katie screamed and awaited the inevitable.

The first few melodic chords were struck and Jerry Garcia’s voice crooned onto their speakers.

“I can't believe it. This is a sign, it's got to be.” She pressed on the gas pedal a little harder, the force constricting her few toes still hanging on. “We’re gonna reach Naomi soon, and from there, glory will be had!” She calmed a bit, reacting to the non-reactions had by both her passengers. “Most definitely peaceful, you know, love not war and all that.” She waved her hand, trying for dismissive. “I just got a little carried away. I mean, how much do you love this band? The Grateful Dead! That really is us! We’re grateful and dead. Not like the two go together at all, but you get it, don't you?”

“Yeah,” Emily chimed in. “You reckon Jerry Garcia’s a zombie, too?”

Katie’s smile turned down at the corners. “Don't say that,” she said a bit sadly, “can’t be. Man’s got to be a living legend before we meet him, yeah? Besides, if he starts to croak, we’ll just have to give him a bite to keep him going.” She perked up at the thought. “That way, we can all hang and maybe he’ll let us jam with him.”

“Katie,” said Effy, “where exactly does Naomi live?”

“Uh, Sacramento, I think, last I heard. Why?”

“Aren't we going to Woodstock?”

“Oh, definitely. We are definitely heading to Woodstock. Supposed to be earth-shattering.”

Effy sighed, quite unpleasantly, and sat back. “That’s on the other side of the country,” Emily closed her eyes in disappointment, leaned her head against the window as Effy went on, “closer to where you came from, to be more specific.”

Katie dropped her jaw (not entirely) and nearly took her hands off the wheel in a wave of shock and frustration. “I should’ve remembered! That freeloading hippie, should’ve just offered to drive over to us, not the other way around.”

“Look, it's fine,” Emily supplied, “it’s not like we don't have time. The festival's not in two and a half more weeks, we can make it. Just think about how much you want to see your tree-hugging lady friend and her ... wonderful skirts and we’ll be totally okay.” She set her mouth in a hard, straight line. “Besides. We really needed an excuse to get out. The smell of rotting corpses really wasn't going to go anywhere the more we stayed inside. It was just a house after all, not a vacuum.”

“Right, yeah.” Katie let out a breath that shook her front tooth. She tongued it carefully, and checked it in the mirror before it finally just fell off. It dropped right into her mouth and she instinctively swallowed it without a hitch. “Damn, that’s going to hurt like a bitch later,” she muttered. Turning her eyes back on the road, she put on a more resolved face. Slowly but surely, it did sting, as flesh-eating monsters don't necessarily come equipped with a proper digestive tract. An incisor began to make its shape clear in the base of her throat, definitively carving its own exit to the exterior instead of following gravity. Rather than waiting, she pulled it out herself and threw it down, not to be found again. Both Effy and Emily made a disgusted face as a result, reeling from the mucus-like substance that splattered. Katie ignored them and smiled to herself.

“I don't know what I'd do without you guys. I really do get by with just a little bit from my friends, don't I?” She looked pleased with herself and hummed along to the familiar tune.

Still making a face, Emily managed to mumble out an “uh-huh” as Effy just nodded mutely in the background.

“Just like a rolling fucking stone,” she added.

All of them just sat back and mellowed out as the song they so dearly loved faded away on the radio.

There was nothing to reminisce as they gazed at the expanse of the outdoors, and most of their brain cells were quickly deteriorating, but creating these new experiences on desert highways were not only satisfying enough, but fueled their wills to meet their original goals with one more unsung Bristolian at a time.

Pt. 3


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June 2016

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