I Wish – Chapter 24

Friday, June 15 2012
Los Angeles, CA

The buses pulled into the parking lot of the hotel early, but checking in at that time was not an option. Instead, everyone was still fast asleep in their bunks.

Everyone except for Niall, rather. Not only did the jerky movements of the bus parking always wake him up, he also hadn’t been able to relax at all considering the Brittany situation. Over the course of the night he’d shifted from being distraught over if she had feelings for him, to feeling guilty on account of Harry. Now, he was just worried about her.

He hopped out of his bunk and threw on some clothes. He made sure to be quiet, because he knew he was making a bad decision. If anyone woke up and questioned him, he knew he probably wouldn’t be able to lie.

Especially if it was Harry.

So, he very slowly opened the door to the bus and stepped out, putting his hands in his pockets. He quickly walked over to Brittany’s bus and knocked lightly on the door.

He stood there nervously as he waited for someone to answer. After a minute or so, she did. Her face looked tired, and she just looked at him.

And when Niall saw her he offered her a small smile. She didn’t return it. Instead her face looked tired, and she gave him a look.

“When I told Harry I needed some time alone, I didn’t mean just from him,” she said irritably.

But her harsh words didn’t cause him to falter. “I know,” he said, shifting uncomfortably. “You had the whole night.”

“Oh,” Brittany said, rolling her eyes. “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that I had a time limit on this,” she said sarcastically.

Niall sighed. He knew he probably shouldn’t have come to bother her. “I didn’t come here to pressure you or anything,” he said. “I just came to see if you were okay.”

Her expression softened. “Sorry,” she said, stepping aside and ushering him onto the bus. As Niall closed the door behind her, she walked back towards the entertainment area. He followed quickly behind. “I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night,” she explained, laying down on the plush sofa.

“Neither did I,” Niall said, sitting down on the edge next to her. She lifted her legs up and motioned for him to move further up on the couch. He gave her a look, but did so anyway. And when she rested her soft, flannel pyjama covered legs on top of his lap, he didn’t say anything. Instead, he just traced the pattern with his thumb.

Brittany sighed, leaning her head back against the soft arm of the couch. “Was Harry really cranky that I made him sleep on your bus last night?”

Niall shrugged. “He was just confused I think… he has no idea what’s going on.”

“Yeah, I know,” Brittany said, closing her eyes. “I know I should probably tell him… I just don’t know what I should say. I just wanted to wait until I knew what I was going to do, you know?”

Niall just nodded.

Brittany opened her eyes and gave him a cheeky grin. “You want to ask me if I know what I’m going to do, don’t you?”

“Sort of,” he admitted.

“I don’t know,” she sighed, closing her eyes again. “I liked Harry, and everything was fine and good with him. But now I can only think about you… and I’m trying to get myself back to that place with Harry, but I don’t think I can. I’m just trying to cool it with him for a while until I figure it all out, I guess.”

“It’s not really fair to keep dating him if you don’t like him, Brittany,” Niall mused, still playing with the pattern on her pyjamas.

“I didn’t say I didn’t like him,” she said slowly, her eyes kept firmly closed. “I just said that I’m confused because I have feelings for you too.”

“I already knew that,” Niall replied quietly. He wasn’t even sure at this point why he had come to see her. It was only serving to make him feel worse about the situation. Nothing had changed, and now he was sitting in a compromising position with her.

“Mmhmm,” was Brittany’s only reply. It was clear she was tired and didn’t want to talk any more.

Niall leaned his head back against the couch. He intended only to shut his eyes for a moment, and then he planned to get up and let Brittany sleep.


“Where’s Niall?” Liam asked as he glanced around the tour bus.

The three others glanced at each other and shrugged. “Maybe he went to get something to eat?” Louis suggested. “You could try calling him.”

Liam shook his head. “I already did. He’s left his phone in his bunk. I’m going to go looking for him… stay here,” he said as he went to leave the bus, looking at the others. Normally Liam wasn’t quite so bossy, but he was sure he knew where Niall was, and he didn’t need Harry to follow along and make matters worse.

He walked briskly over to Brittany’s bus and wasted no time in letting himself in. Her bus was considerably smaller than the One Direction bus, and he spotted Niall and Brittany asleep in each other’s arms on the couch in no time.

It would have been adorable if things weren’t so amiss.

Liam cleared his throat loudly, and Brittany stirred, opening her eyes slightly. It took her a moment, but once she registered what was going on, she drew in a sharp breath and shoved Niall off of her, causing him to wake up.

“What,” Niall started, still half asleep. He glanced up at Liam, and then quickly realized he must have fallen asleep on the couch with Brittany. “Fuck. It’s not what it looks like,” he said looking up at Liam in horror.

Brittany shot Niall a glare. “It’s exactly what it looks like,” she said with annoyance. “We were only sleeping.”

Liam gave them both a look that said he didn’t buy either of their excuses at all. “I don’t care what it was or what it looks like, how do you think Harry would have reacted if he had walked in here?”

Brittany shrugged and looked away from Liam.

“It was an accident okay?” Niall said, sitting up further. “We were just talking and we fell asleep, we weren’t doing anything else, and I know it looked bad…”

“Bad?” Liam said, raising his eyebrow at Niall. “Nialler, I knew you were going to be here. Why do you think I came here to get you? You’ve got to stop sneaking around behind Harry’s back like this. It’s not going to help anything in the long run.”

Niall nodded. He knew Liam was right. He really shouldn’t have come to seek out Brittany, but when it came to her, he couldn’t help himself. In fact, it probably should have been considered some sort of miracle that sleeping was all they’d done. He briefly wondered if Brittany would have went for it had he made a move.

Then he quickly decided it was best not to think about such things.

“And you,” Liam continued, eyeing Brittany. “You’ve got to either say something to Harry, or tell poor Nialler that it’s not going to happen, because this is getting ridiculous.”

“What’s getting ridiculous?” Brittany snapped. “We just fell asleep.”

Liam rolled his eyes. “Come on Brittany, that’s not the only thing that’s happened.”

Brittany gave him a look, and then quickly glanced over at Niall.

“Uh, yeah,” Niall said awkwardly. “He knows everything. I told him.”

“What?” Brittany glared at him. “You told him? Why?!”

Niall shrugged. “Well, I had to tell somebody. I was going crazy. And don’t look at me like that, I’m sure you’ve been calling your girlfriends and telling them all about what’s been going on.”

Brittany had no choice but to concede to that. Niall wasn’t wrong – she’d been texting her best friend constantly. She sighed. “I’m going to cool it with Harry for a little while, okay? I need to figure this out.”

Liam nodded and didn’t say anything more about the situation to them. Instead he just began to walk away. “We’ve got to do press, Niall, so come back to the bus and get ready.”

“Right,” Niall said, gulping and looking at Brittany. His heart was still racing, but it was nothing compared to how he was sure Brittany was feeling. “Don’t worry,” he said to her as he stood up. “Liam won’t say anything to Harry.”

“There’s nothing to tell Harry,” she muttered. “We were just sleeping.”

Niall shook his head and made his way off her bus. “If that’s what you want to think,” he said as he made his way back to his own bus. He tried his best not to over think things, but it was no use. He couldn’t believe how stupid he had been to fall asleep with Brittany. Liam was right – if Harry had walked in and seen that it would have been game over.

“Hey lads,” he said as he walked back on to the bus and made his way over to his own bunk to find some clean clothes to wear for the day.

“Where’d you run off to so early?” Harry asked giving him a strange look. It was rare that Niall was ever the first one awake.

Niall swallowed, and for a moment he considered just telling Harry everything. He hated having to lie to him, but what would be the point in saying anything? If Brittany ended up deciding to stay with him, it would just cause him unnecessary trouble. In a weird, twisted way it almost made sense. At least, that was what Niall told himself as he continued to make excuses for his behaviour.

In reality, he knew he was being a horrible friend.

“Nowhere,” he said finally. “I just went off to find something to eat, we really need to get more food on this bus,” he laughed, tapping Harry on the back.

“Why? You’d eat it all in one trip,” he retorted.

Niall smiled, but his heart wasn’t in it. He loved Brittany, yes, but if she cost him his friendship with Harry, he wasn’t sure what he would do.

He tried to push those thoughts out of his mind. He would cross that bridge when he came to it, if need be. For the time being, he had to focus on work and getting ready for the long day of press they had ahead.


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