I Wish – Chapter 11

Saturday June 2, 2012
Chicago, IL

“Last show for a week, lads.” Liam said happily, throwing his arms around Louis and Niall.

The group was sitting on their bus after performing at the Allstate Arena. They were on their way back to the hotel in Chicago for the night, and the next day they were off to Los Angeles for the week to begin recording their next album.

This was something that everyone was thankful for. Touring was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot of work. Los Angeles meant a stable place to stay for a while without having to do any travelling.

“We should go out and do something,” Louis suggested, glancing at the others.

“I don’t know. There will be time for that when we’re in LA, don’t you think?” Zayn said.

Louis shrugged. “It might just be fun to relax a little, you know? The show’s finished. We don’t even have to wake up that early tomorrow, our flight is in the afternoon. So come on, let’s go back to the hotel and then go out for a pizza or something.”

They all pondered this for a moment. It did sound like fun, and completing the first week of their North American tour before heading off to record their second album was an accomplishment worth celebrating.

“All right,” Liam said finally. “Let’s get cleaned up and go out for something to eat.”

“I’ll invite Brittany too,” Harry added with a grin.

Niall was so tired from the show that he wasn’t able to control his eye roll. “Harry, do you have to bring her everywhere with you?” he asked with annoyance, before even realizing what he’d said.

The four other members of the group gave him a perplexed look for a minute. Niall watched them nervously, waiting for their reaction. How could he have been so stupid to have let that slip out? And how was he going to explain himself?

Luckily, Liam saved him. He laughed a little and patted Niall on the back. He turned to Harry, who still looked unamused. “I think what Nialler means is that we should just go out as guys. The five of us.”

“Yeah!” Niall said quickly, glad that the potential crisis had been averted.

Harry sighed, but obliged. “Fine.”

“Oh stop it Harry,” Louis laughed. “You’ve got your hotel room with her, don’t you? You can see her all you want when we get back.”

Harry nodding, a grin spreading across his face once again. “Yeah, you’re right. No more crowded bunk sex for us!” he laughed.

“Thank God for that,” Niall muttered.

“Put a sock in it Nialler,” Harry replied, even though he still wore the same grin. “We were on her bus last night.”

“Yes Harry, and believe me, we’re all thankful,” Zayn said as the others nodded.

Niall leaned his head back and opted out of the rest of the conversation. At least he knew he wasn’t the only one who had been endlessly annoyed by Harry and Brittany. Albeit for different reasons, but still. It made him feel a little better.

***

“Are you sure it’s okay?” Harry turned to Brittany. She was sitting on the hotel bed flipping through TV channels as Harry got dressed to go out with the others.

“Yes Harry,” she said, glancing up at him. “It’s really fine. Go have fun with the others. I’ll still be here when you get back.”

Harry walked over to the bed and leaned over to kiss her quickly. “You know,” he said, his face still inches away from hers. “I don’t have to go with those guys. I can just stay here with you.”

Brittany rolled her eyes and lightly pushed him away. “Just go with them Harry. I promise I’ll still be waiting here.”

“And you won’t be sleeping?” he asked, with a raised eyebrow. “You’ll still be…here?” he asked suggestively, motioning towards the bed.

Brittany giggled. “Of course.”

Harry nodded, looking quite pleased with himself. “All right. I’ll go then,” he said, giving Brittany another quick kiss before turning to head out the door.

“Oh, Harry?” Brittany called out after him.

“Yeah?”

She bit her lip. “Um, remember how you asked Niall if he would teach me how to play guitar?”

“Yeah,” Harry replied, looking at her.

“Well… could you just ask him if he’s still going to do that?”

Harry raised his eyebrow. “Why don’t you just ask him yourself?”

Brittany shrugged. “Because… I don’t want to seem like I’m bugging him. Can you just ask him for me? Please?” She pouted a little, and of course, Harry was unable to say no to her face.

“Fine,” he said before leaving. “I’ll ask him.”

“Thanks!” Brittany called after him happily. “Have fun!”

***

The boys’ laughter was infectious as they sat in the small restaurant sharing a Chicago deep dish pizza.

“Did you see him?” Louis laughed as they all looked over at Zayn. “I almost had to stop singing. I had to look away so I didn’t start laughing.”

“Oi, it’s not my fault they keep throwing things on stage!” Zayn tried his best to defend himself, but the others continued to laugh at his expense.

“Right,” Niall said, taking a bite of pizza. “It’s not. But you almost slipped on a condom package, mate.”

Cue another round of laughter, and Zayn rolling his eyes.

“I wouldn’t say he ‘almost slipped,’ Nialler,” Liam laughed, looking over at Zayn apologetically. “I would say he most definitely did slip.” He then made the same flailing hand gestures that Zayn had made on stage earlier that evening.

Zayn continued to look somewhat unamused, but joined in their laughter all the same. “You lot are just jealous, that’s all. Because they throw so many condoms at me I just don’t know what to do with myself.”

“Oh, rubbish,” Louis rolled his eyes with a laugh. “They throw all the condoms at Harry and Niall. You just happened to be in their way.”

Harry and Niall exchanged a glance and shrugged with acceptance.

“Maybe you should start collecting some of those, Harry,” Liam suggested with a slight smirk.

“Me?” Harry clasped his hand to his chest. “I’m the innocent one. Besides, I’m not the one who’s single and can pick up all the ladies he wants,” he added, putting his arm around Niall.

Niall shook his head. If only Harry knew how badly he wanted to change that… and with whom.

“You are not,” Louis rolled his eyes. “Niall’s the one they all think of as sweet and innocent.”

“Ah, but that’s why he gets so many girls then, isn’t it?” Harry asked, keeping his arm wrapped around poor Niall. He turned to him. “Tell me Nialler, how many girls was it last tour?”

Again, Niall shook his head. His past conquests wasn’t really something he wanted to talk about. When they were first getting used to the fame and the girls, he’d taken advantage of the situation. In time, he’d learned there was really nothing much to gain from sleeping with a lot of different girls. He took a sip of his drink. “A real man doesn’t kiss and tell, Harry,” he said simply.

“Right, right, okay,” Harry said, not to be outdone. “Let’s just say it was a lot. But wait, how many girls has it been this tour?”

Louis, Liam and Zayn all looked at him for an answer.

Niall sighed. He was beginning to get annoyed with Harry’s questioning, innocent as it was. He didn’t need to be reminded of his lack of a sex life, whether it was by choice or not. Especially not when girls were constantly throwing themselves at him.

Of course, none of them were the girl he wanted.

“I guess I’m just waiting for the right girl,” he finally said.

Harry smirked. “And how many times have you used that line?”

“How many times have you?” Niall shot back, unintentionally allowing his annoyance to come through.

The table was silent for a minute while Niall stared Harry down. If Harry was so intent on talking about groupies, and was so interested in having the single life, he would certainly take Brittany off his hands.

“Well,” Harry finally said, trying to break the tension. “I suppose I haven’t got to use it anymore, have I?”

“I guess not,” Niall replied shortly, grabbing another slice of pizza.

“Right,” Harry said, looking at him oddly. “Oh, speaking of Brittany, she wanted me to ask you if you’re still going to teach her guitar.”

Niall shrugged as he picked at the food on his plate. He’d nearly forgotten about that. “What? She couldn’t have asked me herself?”

Harry gave Niall a look. “You know how girls are, mate. She said she didn’t want to bug you. Anyway, are you going to?”

Niall nodded. Of course he was going to. He wasn’t about to go back on his word. Besides, as he’d already decided, there would be no harm in spending a little extra time alone with Brittany. If nothing else, he’d get a good friendship with her out of the deal.

It seemed as though he’d already landed in the friend zone anyway, so really, why not?

“Yeah,” he said. “I guess we can start once we’re in LA. We’ll have more free time then.”

“Great,” Harry replied, still eyeing Niall a little oddly.

“Um,” Liam said, interrupting yet another awkward silence. “We should probably head back to the hotel soon.” He looked over at Niall, and wondered what had gotten into him. He’d been acting off all evening.

The others nodded, as they were thinking the same.

Niall knew he’d been acting childish. He hoped that once he was able to get a good night’s sleep in his own hotel room, he’d be able to cope with everything better. As it was, he was becoming far too bitter and he didn’t like it at all. It wasn’t Harry’s fault he’d simply gotten to Brittany first. He hadn’t known how Niall had felt about her. Hell, at the time Niall himself hadn’t known how he would feel about her.

Niall sighed, standing up from his seat. “Yeah, I’m beat, let’s get going.”

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