I Wish – Chapter 19

Sunday June 10, 2012
Phoenix, AZ

The group’s stop in Pheonix brought them a nice surprise – they were staying in a hotel for the evening. Sleeping on the bus was never comfortable, and it was always nice to have a warm bed to come back to after the show.

The reason for this was that it was the last show after they were off for another few days. They would be flying back to LA to do more recording, while Brittany would be leaving to go to New York for the release of her album.

This made Niall quite happy. Not only did he get to have his own hotel room, making it easier for him to avoid Brittany, she would also be gone and out of his way for two days. No more PDA in front of him with Harry, no more awkward looks in her direction, no more paranoia about the fact that he’d kissed her.

In other words, for two days, he would have normalcy. Things would be back to the way they were before Brittany had come into their lives and messed things up. He couldn’t be more ecstatic.

He wasted no time in rushing up to his room and once he was safely in it he jumped on the bed with glee.

But of course, there was a knock at his door. It figured, they didn’t have much time before they had to head over to the venue. They were really only at the hotel to check in and drop off their things for the night.

Niall jumped off the bed and practically ran over to the door. He opened it quickly once he saw who it was. “Liam!” he said with excitement, hugging his friend.

Liam laughed. “Hi, Nialler!” he exclaimed, hugging him back.

Niall pulled back, but grinned. “What’s going on, then? Time to go to the venue?”

Liam shook his head. “No… not yet. You’re in an awful good mood,” he commented.

Niall continued to grin, pulling his phone out of his pocket. “Yeah buddie!” he laughed. “We’re in a hotel for the night and Brittany’s leaving!”

“Yeah… I came to ask you about that actually…” Liam trailed off, looking at Niall strangely. “Did something happen between the two of you? You’ve been acting strangely around her.”

Niall tried to brush it off. He wasn’t about to tell Liam that he’d kissed Brittany. Not only had he gone completely against his friend’s advice, he’d also crossed the worst line imaginable. Niall knew that what he had done was wrong – there was no point in discussing it. “Nah, mate. I always act weird around Brittany. But it doesn’t matter, you know? She’s leaving for two days!”

Liam still continued to give Niall a look. It was clear he wasn’t buying the act he was putting on. “You’re a lot quieter around her than usual.”

Niall remained adamant in his decision not to tell Liam anything. “Well, yeah. I’ve been trying to put her out of my mind, you know? Trying not to talk to her much.”

“Right,” Liam said, still looking at Niall with uncertainty. “Well, her and Haz seem to be getting on quite nicely lately. They’ve been very flirty.”

Niall scoffed. Liam sure did know how to bring his good mood down. “They’ve always been like that.”

Liam shook his head. “No, not that bad. Especially yesterday with him singing to her in the restaurant. He’s always been like that with her, but she’s been into it more too.”

Niall just shrugged. It was true – Brittany had been more flirty with Harry in the last couple of days. He was sure he knew why – it was her way of showing off that Harry was the one she was with. Niall didn’t doubt that she was only doing it to send him some sort of message.

And he was sure that message was probably “Do not kiss me ever again!”

So what would be the point in talking to her, or Liam about it?

“Nialler?” Liam said, pulling him out of his thoughts. “Where did you go?”

“Huh?” Niall looked back up at Liam. “Oh, sorry. I was just thinking about that. I don’t know. Either way, mate, I’m going to get over it. She’s leaving for New York, you know, so I don’t have to deal with her anymore. Let her play her little games.”

Liam just nodded, and didn’t push Niall any further. “Right… well, I’m glad you’re getting over it,” he smiled.

Niall just nodded, grinning weakly. Liam had no clue as to how much he really wasn’t over it.

“Let’s go get something to eat before we have to go to the venue, yeah?” Liam suggested.

“Yeah buddie!” Niall grinned, following Liam out of the hotel room. Just one more day… and then everything was going to be fine for a little while. Niall was sure of it.

***

Niall crawled into the warm hotel bed once he’d showered after the show that night. He turned the lamp off and closed his eyes. It had been a hellish couple of days, but that was all over for the time being.

Niall smiled to himself and breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, he was able to relax.

Until there was a knocking at his door.

“Go away,” he muttered, putting the pillow overtop of his head. He assumed it was Liam, or Louis, probably wanting to hang out since they didn’t have a show the next day.

It didn’t matter – they still had to get up early for a flight. And Niall wanted to sleep. It had been a rough couple of days.

But knocking persisted. Niall grumbled, threw the covers off himself, turned the lamp on and went to look through the peephole to see who it was that was causing such a disturbance.

Brittany.

What a surprise.

Niall really wasn’t in the mood to deal with or explain himself to her. He was exhausted, he had an early flight the next morning, and he was looking forward to two days without her hanging around.

There was no point in talking to her. So, he turned around and headed back to the bed.

But, of course, Brittany didn’t give up that easy.

“Niall,” she said through the door. “I know you’re in there. Just let me in so we can talk.”

He sighed. It didn’t take much to break him. Her persistence was one of the things he loved about her, wasn’t it? He pulled a t-shirt on over his head, unlocked and opened the door.

She stood there in front of him, a hurt and confused expression on her face. Her hair was pulled back and she was wearing light pink pyjama bottoms and a white tank top. It was clear she’d come straight from her hotel room.

“Hi,” she whispered, looking at him quizzically.

Niall just nodded at her. He still hadn’t a clue as to what to say to her. He’d hardly spoken to her since he’d kissed her. It was obvious that she knew how he felt about her, how could she not? But she was with Harry, and over the past few days Niall felt she had made that abundantly clear.

“Can I come in?” she asked.

Niall shrugged, but moved aside and let her walk into the room. If she wanted to talk, she could talk. He sat down on the edge of the bed while she closed the door behind her.

“Niall…” she began, not bothering to take a seat in the desk or plush chair. “Why have you been avoiding me?” she asked quietly.

Niall gave her a look. Brittany wasn’t that stupid. “Well, why do you think?” he retorted, a little more bitter than he had meant to.

She crossed her arms over her chest and eyed him. “I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s because you kissed me, and because you think you shouldn’t have-”

“I shouldn’t have,” he cut her off. “I don’t think I shouldn’t have. I know I shouldn’t have.”

She rolled her eyes, not caring to argue semantics with him. “Whatever. Why’d you do it?”

Why? She was asking him why? That was quite a stupid question. Niall leaned back on the bed, covering his eyes with the palms of his hands. “Because,” he muttered towards the ceiling. “Well… why do you think? Because I had feelings for you…” he said carefully, not fully believing he was actually admitting this to her. (Even though, without so many words, he sort of already had.) “And I know what you’re going to say,” he added quickly.

“I don’t think you do…” he heard her say, and though his hands were still covering his eyes, he felt her crawl on top of him and kiss his lips lightly.

Never had his hands moved so quickly in his life. Sure enough, there she was, face to face with him. She leaned down again, and though his mind was screaming at him to stop, multiple other areas of his body urged him to keep going.

She kissed him a second time, opening her mouth slightly and allowing his tongue in. He sucked lightly at her bottom lip and just as he was about to pull her in closer, she rolled off of him.

They made eye contact for a moment, but it was obvious neither one of them wanted to stop. Brittany clutched his t-shirt and pulled him on top of her. Their lips connected again, and it was at this point that Niall realized the two of them were both wearing very thin clothing – and very little of it. He moaned a little, enjoying the feeling of her body underneath his. He pressed himself against Brittany, and she dug her nails into his back.

Just as things were starting to get heavy, Brittany broke their kiss slightly. Her lips still brushed against his as she began to speak. “Now,” she whispered, giving him another quick kiss before pressing her hand against his chest to lightly push him away. “We’re even.”

“What?!” Niall exclaimed incredulously, jumping off of her. “I didn’t do anything like… like that, to you!”

“I know,” Brittany said, looking almost timid. She sat cross legged on the bed and adjusted her tank top. “But I wanted you to know how it felt… what you did to me…”

He glared at her. “So you decided to come over here, get me all hot and bothered and not finish the job?”

She looked up at him. Her eyes were glassed over, it was clear that she was upset, but Niall couldn’t really care less at that point. What kind of game was she trying to play?

“No!” she said. “I mean… yeah okay, but I needed you to understand how I’ve felt for the last three days! You show up in my hotel room, sing to me, kiss me, leave and then you don’t say a word to me! I thought we were friends and you did that… and I didn’t even know what to say or do! I thought if I acted like everything was normal, you’d talk to me, but you didn’t. You didn’t say anything!”

Niall just watched as she sat there and ranted at him. He couldn’t figure out if she was angry because he’d kissed her and avoided her, or just because he’d kissed her or what.

“Well?” she asked, looking up at him. She searched his face for something, anything, but he just shrugged. “Unbelievable,” Brittany scoffed. “You’re doing it again. I don’t understand how you, someone who goes on stage in front of thousands of girls every night, and even, apparently, has sex with them during an intermission can be so… so…” she shook her head and looked down at her hands. She breathed heavily, obviously trying to calm down. Once her rage had subsided, she looked up at him, almost pleadingly. “Why?”

He rolled his eyes. “I already told you why.”

“No,” she said, staring into him. “Why did you decide you had feelings for me? Why now?”

“Decide?” Niall spat. What a word she had chosen! As if he had wanted to feel all those things for her. As if he had wanted to be put through agonizing pain for the entire tour thus far! “I didn’t decide, Brittany, I just did. I couldn’t help it. Everything more that I learned about you… the more time we spent together… I couldn’t get you out of my head.”

“For how long?”

Niall shook his head. He didn’t even know anymore at this point. “I don’t know,” he said honestly.

Her arms were folded across her chest now as she looked up at him. He couldn’t tell if she was angry, sad or what. “Before or after I started seeing Harry?”

Niall could very clearly recall that morning the in restaurant when he’d been about to ask Harry not to go after her, only to have her walk in. “Before,” he said.

Brittany shook her head and bit her lip. She wiped her eyes quickly. “I can’t believe this,” she muttered, laughing a little through her tears.

“What?” Niall asked in annoyance. He didn’t understand why she was the one who was so upset.

“I liked you too,” she said with a sigh. “Even before I came on the tour. That’s why I came looking for you that first day.”

Niall gaped at her. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. And yet, the more he thought about it, the more it made sense. She had sought him out and even after that, she always made an effort to sit with him and talk to him. Even after she had started seeing Harry, she had been that way with him. He had always just chalked it up to her being friendly, but now he realized she hadn’t done that with any of the others.

It had only ever been him.

And suddenly, he felt stupid for not seeing it before.

But still, one question remained. “If you liked me so much, then why’d you start going out with Harry?”

Brittany sighed. “He asked. I didn’t think there was going to be anything wrong with it… I just had a little crush on you. I didn’t expect it to turn into…” she trailed off, playing with the bedspread. “It just sort of all happened. You know Harry,” she back-peddled, looking back up at Niall and giving him a slight nod.

Yes, Niall did know Harry. Harry and his way with girls, and how he always swept them off their feet and always got what he wanted. And then quickly discarded them.

Except with Brittany, of course. And Niall couldn’t quite say he blamed him.

But he still couldn’t get over the fact that she had liked him too at first, and that if he hadn’t been so slow on the uptake, he very well could have had her. He shook his head and looked down at the plain hotel carpet. What a mess this was.

“Niall…” Brittany said, sliding off the bed and walking over to him. She stood a lot closer to him than Niall felt was appropriate, but after what they’d done not ten minutes earlier, he didn’t think it was such a big deal. “I’m sorry… you have to understand.”

“I do understand,” he said shortly.

“You don’t,” Brittany sighed. “I can’t be with you. I’m dating Harry.”

“I’m aware, thanks,” Niall said sarcastically, looking away from her for a moment.

“Niall,” she stressed, putting her hands on his chest. “I can’t,” she repeated. “Everybody in the world knows about Harry and I… I just can’t…”

Niall had never seen Brittany like this before. Usually she seemed so put together and confident. Now, as she stood before him she seemed so lost and uncertain of herself. He certainly didn’t like this side of her, and it was killing him that he was the one who was making her feel this way.

“Do you even like Harry?” he asked softly, gently rubbing the stray tears on her cheek with his thumb.

“Of course I do,” she muttered. “I wouldn’t be dating him if I didn’t. I just…” she leaned upward to kiss him again.

Niall almost gave in, but he wasn’t about to let himself fall victim to her. No more than he already had, anyway. If Harry was the one she was choosing, she couldn’t have it both ways. He wasn’t going to do that to his friend – he’d already done enough.

He placed his hands on her shoulders and gently pushed her away. “We can’t do this,” he said.

Brittany just looked up at him pleadingly. But Niall remained strong. He had to.

“You need to go,” he continued, taking his hands off her. “You chose Harry. It’s done.”

Brittany looked at him sadly, but seemed to accept this. She gave him a slight nod and walked out of the room, closing the door quietly behind her.

Niall ran his hands through his hair as he tried to process what had just happened. Brittany had wanted him, and he couldn’t believe his dumb luck that Harry had gotten to her first. Groaning, he laid down in his bed. He tried his best to fall asleep, but it was no use.

Once again, Brittany’s lilac scent was all over his sheets.

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