I Wish – Chapter 18

Saturday June 9, 2012
Las Vegas, NV

Niall had successfully managed to avoid Brittany for the rest of their time in San Diego. After the show they’d all been herded back to their buses (Harry had gone with Brittany, of course) for a long night of driving over to Las Vegas.

Once they’d arrived and everyone had woken up, they were told by management that they were free to do a little sightseeing.

“What’s that point?” Zayn muttered as he, Niall, Liam and Louis sat in the small kitchen on the bus. “It’s not like we can do anything fun here, anyway. None of us are over twenty-one.”

They all nodded. That small fact really did take a lot of fun out of the fact that they were in Vegas. For them, it was just another stop on the tour.

So they sat at the table silently, drinking coffee and making small talk. Niall sipped his hot beverage and smiled a little to himself. Though he was still worried about Brittany, it had been nice to have a night off without her or Harry around. Perhaps Liam had been onto something after all. He just needed to put her out of his mind. He had kissed her, gotten it out of his system, and now he was going to be fine.

A few minutes later, the door to the bus opened loudly. “Viva Las Vegas!” Harry laughed as he barged in, with Brittany trailing behind.

Niall looked up at them and stole a quick glance at Brittany. Her hair was loosely curled and she was wearing another one of those sundresses that left little to the imagination.

So much for getting her out of his system.

“What’re you talking about, Harry?” Liam rolled his eyes. “It’s not like we can actually do anything.”

“Sure we can,” Harry shrugged, sliding into the booth beside them. Brittany stayed put near the door and didn’t make any motion to get closer to any of the boys. “We can’t drink or gamble, but we can definitely go look at the shops, or have a luscious brunch at the Bellagio.”

“The Bellagio?” Louis groaned. “Why do you want to go to an upscale place like that? Let’s just go to In-N-Out Burger.”

“The Bellagio has one of the best buffets on the strip,” Brittany said, taking off her sunglasses and placing them on top of her head.

Harry just stood there with a goofy grin on his face. The other four boys glanced at each other.

“I think we’ll stick with In-N-Out Burger,” Louis said, looking at the others for support.

“I’d rather go to In-N-Out Burger,” Niall added quickly. No way was we going to go out for a ritzy brunch with Harry and Brittany. “Liam? Zayn?”

“In-N-Out Burger’s fine with me,” Liam shrugged.

“Well, I wouldn’t mind going to the Bellagio, to be honest,” Zayn said, and the others groaned. “But, I guess if you lot are going to In-N-Out Burger, I’ll come along. I’m going to going to be the third wheel,” he laughed.

“Well I guess that settles it, doesn’t it?” Louis said with a grin, looking over at Harry. “We’ll go to In-N-Out Burger, and you two can go to the fancy buffet on the strip.”

Harry shrugged and looked over at Brittany. “Suit yourselves,” he said, still smiling. “That’s fine with us.”

Niall looked down at his half finished cup of coffee. He couldn’t wait for the two of them to leave.

“Actually…” Brittany said, chewing at her lip. “Now that you mention it, I really could go for In-N-Out Burger…”

Harry raised his eyebrow. “What?” he asked incredulously. “You were the one who would not stop talking about the Bellagio. That’s why you dragged me all the way over here, to get everyone to go, because you were convinced it was the best!”

“Yeah…” Brittany said with a sheepish shrug. “I know, but now I just really want to eat a burger. And come on Harry, you don’t really want to go to the Bellagio, do you?”

Niall couldn’t believe what he was hearing. And to top it off, he was already locked into going with the group for lunch! He racked his brain for excuses to get out of it, but came up with nothing.

It looked like he was going to have to eat lunch with Harry and Brittany after all. Unless Harry miraculously decided he really wanted to eat at the upscale restaurant instead.

“No… I’ll eat wherever you want to go,” Harry smiled at his girlfriend. “And if it’s In-N-Out Burger, that’s even better.”

Niall took a long sip of his (now lukewarm) coffee. Why couldn’t they have just gone to the Bellagio?

***

An hour later, the six of them sat at a large table at the In-N-Out Burger. The security team was close by as the group had already been spotted once.

Niall took a sip of his milkshake and kept to himself. He fiddled around with his phone, looked up football scores, checked his twitter account and basically did all he could to ignore the fact that Brittany was right there.

He didn’t understand her. For a moment he thought he might have imagined kissing her. It was almost as though it hadn’t happened at all. She sat there with Harry, laughing and talking right in front of him, as though nothing had happened at all.

Although, Niall was sure that Brittany used to be a lot chattier with him. Now she hardly acknowledged his presence. So, one thing had changed. Or maybe it was because he was making such an effort not to speak to anyone, that Brittany couldn’t be bothered. Niall wasn’t entirely sure, and he wasn’t keen on finding out. So, he just continued to pay attention to his phone. At least the fans were getting something good out of the deal – he was replying to tons of them.

“Tell me how you guys manage to keep it together on stage when you’re all so ridiculous whenever you’re together,” Brittany laughed, taking a sip from her water bottle.

Harry put his arm around her and kissed her on the cheek. “’Cause it’s not about us when we’re on stage. It’s about all the pretty girls in the crowd, you know?”

Brittany crossed her arms and raised her eyebrow, waiting for him to continue. Harry looked at the others for support. Even Niall looked up from his twitter spree – he wanted to see how Harry was going to dig himself out of this.

“Well?” Harry asked, and the others shook their heads.

“Go on, Harry,” Louis grinned, looking over at Brittany. “Continue talking about all the pretty girls.”

“Well, I mean, when you’re out on stage, you just focus on the girls out in the crowd and singing to them. Not really about the other guys on stage…” Harry explained, but Brittany still looked at him with her arms folded across her chest. “What?” he asked, looking at the smirk on her face.

“Nothing,” she said, shaking her head.

The others laughed. Niall went back to looking at his phone, not bothering to pay attention to their obvious flirting.

“What?” Harry asked again.

Brittany just shrugged. “You never sing to me,” she said, playfully rolling her eyes. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted!” she said dramatically.

Harry gave her a look. “Oh I see, you’re a directioner now, are you?”

“You caught me,” she laughed.

Harry just smirked and leaned in closer to her. “If only you saw what I could see, you’d understand why I want you so desperately, right now I’m lookin’ at you and I can’t believe you don’t know-oh, oh, you don’t know you’re beautiful…”

Niall felt he might throw up.

Brittany just giggled. “Why thank you, but I do know,” she said, kissing him on the cheek.

It was at that point when Niall decided he couldn’t take it anymore. “I’m getting another milkshake,” he said, quickly standing up from the table.

Zayn laughed. “You just had one, and a burger, and a giant plate of chips.”

Niall gave him a look. “Yeah, and now I’m having another,” he shrugged. Since when did they get on his case about how much he ate? He shook his head and walked towards the counter.

“Actually,” Brittany said, standing up from her chair. “That sounds good. I’m getting one too.”

“What?” Harry laughed. “What happened to ‘I’m only having a water because that much sugar will bloat me?’” he mimicked her, hand gestures and all.

Brittany just shrugged. “I changed my mind.”

She approached the counter and tapped Niall on the shoulder. He spun around and sighed when he looked at her. So much for trying to avoid her. That was a lot easier said than done considering she was always seeking him out!

“Hey,” she said awkwardly.

He just raised his eyebrow. What was he supposed to say to her?

“Do you guys know what you’re having?” The clerk asked, looking at them with annoyance. Probably because of the hoard of teenage girls standing outside the restaurant.

“Yeah,” Brittany said, standing beside Niall. “Just two chocolate shakes.”

“That’s $9.73.”

Brittany looked at Niall and eyed his wallet in his hands. Niall rolled his eyes, but proceeded to pay. He supposed he owed her that much.

“So,” she said, eyeing him.

He just looked at her. What was he supposed to say? He couldn’t very well get into it with her now, not with everyone sitting fifteen feet away from them. “So…”

The two of them stood there awkwardly for a minute. Brittany was clearly waiting for him to continue, while Niall wasn’t sure what he could say.

“Well, let me know when you’re ready to start talking to me again,” Brittany said sarcastically once their drinks were placed on the counter. She walked back to the table in a huff, but quickly turned back into her light, happy self when she sat down.

Niall just watched her. It was sad, really. Before he’d gone and kissed her, they were friends. Now, they were nothing.

He sighed sadly as he looked at her sitting with Harry. As much as it hurt him, this was probably how it was supposed to be.

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