I Wish – Chapter 13

Monday June 4, 2012
Los Angeles, CA

Niall swayed to the music as he held his hands over the headphones that covered his ears. He looked through the glass at the other boys and the producers who were sitting in the studio. Taking a deep breath, he began to sing.

He closed his eyes and let himself get lost in the lyrics. Recording an album was so much more different than performing live. Both were exciting, but there was something special about the recording process. It was a bit easier to get immersed in the moment when it was just himself and the song.

“Great, Niall, that was great,” Carl, one of the producers, smiled at him as he stepped out of the booth. “I think we’re going to break for lunch guys,” he told the group. “Be back in half an hour.”

They all nodded and breathed a little sigh of relief. Recording was fun, but it was a lot of hard work. Besides, Niall had woken up late and had skimped on breakfast. He felt was going to pass out if he didn’t eat something soon.

“There’s a sandwich shop down the street,” Zayn said as the four of them got ready to leave. “We could just go pick something up from there.”

The others nodded and began to leave the studio, but Harry hung back for a moment. He was leaning against the wall, texting.

“Come on then, Harry,” Liam said irritably. “We’ve only got half an hour.”

“Yeah,” Harry replied, slipping his phone back into his pocket. “I was just checking if Brittany wanted to come with us because she’s doing a photoshoot nearby.”

The others groaned dramatically.

“What?” Harry asked innocently. “She’s not coming anyways, she said she’s too busy and can’t leave.”

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the two of you were married,” Louis snickered as the five of them exited the studio and began to walk down the street.

“What?” Harry laughed, as though it was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. Which, to be fair, it sort of was. “I’ve been dating her for a week.”

“You’d never know it,” Niall muttered. He was beginning to get sick of hearing about Brittany. No, he was beginning to get sick of hearing about Harry and Brittany. And how much Harry liked Brittany. And the fact that they were so happy all of the time.

He was thankful that at least now he was at least able to get some alone time and hang out with her himself, without Harry being around.

Harry shrugged as they walked into the shop. “I just really like her, that’s all. Plus, you know, the tour’s not that long, got to get my time in now,” he laughed.

Harry’s reasoning was sound, and it was clear to anyone that he actually did like her a lot. Still Niall found himself growing annoyed with his stupid remarks. It saddened him a little, really. Through all of this, he was beginning to forget that he and Harry were actually very good friends. Despite the fact that Harry was banging the girl he wanted.

“So how was that restaurant anyway,” Niall asked out of the blue, feeling the need to make some sort of conversation with Harry as they stood in line waiting to order their food.

Harry shrugged. “I don’t know. It wasn’t bad, the show of it was cool, I guess.”

“The show?” Niall raised his eyebrow. As far as he’d known, they’d just gone out for dinner.

“Yeah,” Harry said, glancing up and the menu on the wall. “They did the cooking right at your table and did all these fancy tricks with the knife and stuff. They made a volcano out of an onion… that was pretty cool.”

Louis gave Harry a look. “That doesn’t sound like the kind of place you’d like. Why’d you decide to go there?”

It took a few minutes before Harry was able to answer the question, as the boys were called up and promptly ordered their lunch. Once they were sitting down, Harry was able to continue talking.

“So… we just went to that place because Brittany wouldn’t stop talking about how excited she was to come to LA. So I thought I’d take her to a real… LA place. I don’t know. She seemed to like it.”

“Awww…” Louis cooed, resting his head on Harry’s shoulder. “Isn’t Harry the sweetest?” he gushed.

The other guys just laughed. Niall suddenly became very interested in his sandwich.

“Come on guys, let’s eat up. If we’re not back at the studio on time, Carl will kill us,” Liam said, cutting off their conversation. He was right – if they didn’t get back on time there would definitely be hell to pay.

So the boys quickly ate their lunch and headed back to the studio for an uneventful afternoon of recording.

***

“Come on Brittany,” Niall said shaking his head. “You don’t remember which one is E?”

Once again, Niall and Brittany were spending the evening in his hotel room as he taught her how to play the guitar. Not that he minded at all, this was far better than listening to Harry gush about her as he had the whole day.

Brittany furrowed her eyebrows and repositioned her fingers on the strings. “Like that?” she asked.

“Yeah, almost,” he said, adjusting her hand slightly. “There you go.”

Niall watched as she lightly strummed the strings. She looked quite happy with herself, but suddenly she started glancing around the room. “What time is it?” she asked, looking over at the clock on the beside table. “Six-thirty? Crap!” she exclaimed, handing Niall back the guitar. She jumped off the bed, grabbed the remote from the dresser and flicked the TV on.

Niall just watched her oddly. “What? What are you missing?”

“TMZ,” Brittany said simply, sitting back down on the bed and facing the TV as her program started.

Niall looked at her in disbelief. “Really?” he finally said.

“Yes!” Brittany nodded excitedly, looking up at him for a moment. “I used to watch TMZ all the time when I was at home, and today I’m going to be on it. Me! On TMZ!” she squealed with delight.

Niall still looked at her as though she was crazy. He sat down on one of the plush chairs that faced the TV. “You know they’re not usually very nice on this show, right?”

Brittany gave him a look. “Yeah, I know. I don’t care, I’m still going to be on TMZ!”

Niall just shook his head as he watched. He couldn’t deny that he thought her enthusiasm was endearing, but he really hated that trashy gossip show.

The smile on Brittany’s face grew wider as her segment began. Niall leaned in closer to the TV, somewhat interested in what they would have to say about her as the voice over started.

Oh my God! It’s Harry Styles from One Direction leaving Koi! Look at him in that little dress shirt, isn’t he adorable? And he’s even got a little girlfriend at his side, and look! They’re holding hands, isn’t that cute?!

Niall rolled his eyes. He really hated TMZ’s attitude.

“Harry! Over here!” the photographer called out to them. Harry and Brittany turned towards the camera and waved. “Who’s that girl you’ve got with you?”

Harry flashed the camera a big grin. “This is my girlfriend, Brittany Cooper.”

Brittany snuggled in closer to him and waved again to the camera. “Hi!”

As Brittany watched this, she couldn’t contain her giddiness. Niall looked at her and couldn’t figure out if it was Harry was so excited about, or the fact that she was on TMZ. Maybe it was both, he wasn’t quite sure.

“How did you guys meet? Was she one of your crazy fans?”

“No, no,” Harry laughed, wrapping his arm around Brittany. “She’s the opening act on our tour.”

“And how’s that tour going?”

“Good, really good,” Harry beamed, looking down at Brittany.

“Yeah,” Brittany said, “it’s going really good.”

Yes Harry, we bet the tour’s going good! Looks like you and Brittany Cooper are shaping up to be pop’s new super couple. Let’s just hope she doesn’t turn out to be the Britney Spears to your Justin Timberlake!

TMZ then played a small clip of Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River, and the segment was over.

Brittany looked over at Niall, still wearing a grin. “That wasn’t so bad!”

Niall raised his eyebrow. “They basically compared you to Britney Spears.”

But Brittany didn’t seem to care. “Yeah… they’re probably always going to do that. Not much I can do about it, I guess. But still… pretty cool, right?”

Niall nodded at her. Though he didn’t quite understand her fascination with TMZ, he certainly got what it was like to have people finally taking notice of you. That in itself was pretty fun, and he was definitely happy that it was happening for Brittany.

Even if it seemed like it was happening just because of Harry.

“Well,” Brittany said, switching off the TV. “That was fun… but should we get back to it?” she asked, pointing at his guitar.

Niall sighed. He suddenly wasn’t feeling very up to it anymore, but still, he wanted to spend time with Brittany. And he supposed he also wanted to help her learn. “Yeah, okay.”

They spent the next hour doing what they had been before the show began. Niall would say the name of a chord, Brittany would try to figure it out on her own, but eventually he’d end up giving her the answer.

The concentration on her face was adorable, and Niall loved watching her. The fact that she’d been sitting on his bed for a good three hours that evening before she had to retreat to her own room did nothing to keep his dirty thoughts at bay.

He tossed and turned for a good portion of the night, unable to stop thinking about her. Her being in the room with him was just making everything worse.

Next time, he decided, they would do the lessons in Brittany’s room. This was all getting to be far too much for him.

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