I Wish – Chapter 25

Saturday, June 16 2012
Los Angeles, CA

The hotel arrangement was less than stellar.

First of all, management had already put Brittany and Harry together, as they had assumed they would be sharing a room. It was a safe assumption, as they had done so for most of the tour so far.

That didn’t mean Niall liked it when he saw Brittany and Harry walk off together. But that wasn’t anything new.

Niall woke up late that morning, as his lack of sleep was finally beginning to catch up with him. He had to rush to shower and get dressed before they had to head down to the venue. Considering how much time they’d spent in LA over the last few weeks, it was actually quite nerve-wracking for him to be performing there that night.

Strange as it was, Niall was almost thankful to have something else to worry about. His mind had been so consumed with thoughts of Brittany for the last little while, it was nice to have something else to focus on. That, and his thoughts of Brittany had subsided a little when she’d told him she was going to cool it with Harry for the time being.

He grabbed the necessities (those being his phone, wallet and hat) off the table in his room and quickly rushed downstairs.

Unsurprisingly, Niall was the last one to make it down to the lobby. As he walked down the hall and caught sight of everyone, there were two people in particular he zoned in on. Harry and Brittany were leaning against the wall, laughing, giggling and kissing.

He felt the blood drain from his face when he saw the way that Brittany was looking up at Harry. The way she smiled lit her eyes up. While Niall normally would have felt jealousy and sadness, he found himself full of anger. So much that he had to make considerable effort to not look in their direction.

So much for her cooling things off with Harry.

Staring down at his phone he scrolled through twitter, and couldn’t say he was exactly shocked at what he saw.

@Harry_Styles: lovely morning in Cali… with a lovely roommate x [View Photo]

Though he knew he shouldn’t have, Niall expanded the tweet to see the photo anyway. There was Brittany, sitting on their hotel room with sun streaming in through the window as she wore a smile on her face.

It made him sick to his stomach.

What made it all the more worse was the reply that came shortly afterwards.

@BrittCooperMusic: @Harry_Styles ugh that is an awful picture! But I agree with the lovely roommate comment… 😉 xoxo Britt

Niall tried to remind himself that it was probably just for show. That Brittany had told him she was going to cool it with Harry. That the media was following their every move and would eat something like that up.

Which was exactly why he couldn’t understand what her reasoning was in posting that, other than the fact that she had quite obviously made up her mind and hadn’t yet passed along the message to him.

Before he had time to think about what he was doing, he typed out a reply to Brittany.

@NiallOfficial: @BrittCooperMusic @Harry_Styles looks like you two are havin’ fun, but maybe you could ‘cool it’ with the PDA for a while!

It was a fairly immature reaction, and Niall was aware of that. However, he was seething with so much rage he could barely see straight. Before he could do any more damage, he slipped his phone back in his pocket.

Luckily Paul saved the day. “Niall, finally, we were just about to send someone up for you. Let’s go, we’ve got to get to the venue for soundcheck,” he said, herding their group out the doors of the hotel.

As always, there were girls lined up outside but their screams barely registered with Niall. He was far too focused watching Brittany and Harry split off, hand in hand, to her bus. It was eating at him to see her acting that way.

She must have felt his eyes on her, because she glanced back at him and offered a small, sympathetic smile. It didn’t do much good, Niall drew in a deep breath as he stepped on to his own bus to make the trip down to the venue.

Once he had a moment alone, he would have to talk to Brittany. This had to end… he simply couldn’t take it any more.

***

Soundcheck had been difficult for Niall, to say the least. He found himself zoning out and not quite paying attention to the music, the questions, or even the fans. In every posed photo he wore a smile, but his mind was somewhere else.

And that place was with the short blonde girl who was presumably waiting backstage.

So, as soon as the soundcheck was over and they were free to split off before the show, Niall darted outside the venue. He had intended to go wait by Brittany’s bus and text her to come meet him so they could talk, but, evidently, she’d already beaten him to it.

She was standing outside the bus, her arms crossed over her chest, looking slightly miffed. “I knew you’d come here,” she said flatly.

He furrowed his eyebrows. “What? How?”

Brittany glared at him and held up her phone. “This,” she said as she held it out in front of him. “What the hell, Niall? Why did you think posting something like that all over the internet was a good idea?”

Niall rolled his eyes as if it were no big deal, but deep down he knew Brittany was right. Still, he maintained his composed attitude and shrugged slightly. “It’s nothing, really. People just think I was having a laugh. Haz didn’t even say anything about it and I was with him all day.”

Brittany continued to bite her lip in frustration. “Seriously? Because I know what it’s all about, and it was really douchey. What’s your problem anyway? It’s not like you haven’t seen Harry and I kiss before…”

“Seriously?” he mimicked her, running a hand through his hair. He was beginning to get more agitated now. “You told me you were going to cool it with Harry, that you needed time to figure out what you wanted. Did you figure it out and just decide to not let me in on that little piece of information?”

“No!” Brittany nearly shouted, and then took a deep breath as if to calm herself. They were still standing right outside the buses where anyone could hear them, after all. “He’s my boyfriend, Niall, what do you expect me to do? Not kiss him?”

“No, go ahead, kiss him, do whatever you want,” Niall whispered harshly. “But don’t forget I was the one you feel asleep with yesterday. Don’t act like he’s the only one for you when it’s not the truth.”

Brittany sighed and looked at the ground for a minute. “I just don’t know-” she started softly.

“Save it Brittany,” Niall spat before she was able to launch into her excuses once again. He was sick of hearing them by this point. Nothing was getting solved and he’d reached his breaking point. This little game had gone on for long enough. “I’ve heard it before.”

“That doesn’t make it not true,” she muttered, looking away from him.

There was obvious pain in her eyes, but Niall stood his ground. He’d been dealing with this for far too long to let it slide any more. “I’m through with this. You either want Haz, or you want me, but you need to make up your mind, because I’m not going to let you do this to either of us any more. By the end of the day tomorrow, you’ve got to choose which one of us you actually want to be with.”

With that, Niall turned around and began walking briskly back towards the venue. He didn’t dare look back for fear that if he did, he would see her pained expression and take everything back. He took a deep breath, feeling like crap for telling her off, but knowing that it was necessary.

For once, Brittany was speechless as she watched him walk away.

***

“God, you’re beautiful,” Harry murmured into the soft skin of Brittany’s neck as they laid in their shared bed later that night.

“Hmmm,” was Brittany’s only response. She wasn’t paying much attention to him, her mind was elsewhere. All evening, Niall’s words continued to ring through her head. He was through with this, and she needed to make up her mind. This had resonated with her, and she hadn’t been able to think of anything else since.

“What?” Harry asked, looking up at her. “What’s wrong? You usually love that.”

Brittany just shrugged. She couldn’t bring herself to sleep with him now, not when her thoughts were clouded with images of his best friend. She was certain she would just begin to imagine him instead, and that simply wouldn’t do. Still, Brittany couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to have Niall’s lips grazing her neck as Harry’s had been moments ago.

But she took a deep breath as if to force the thought out of her mind. “I’m just tired,” she said simply, giving him an apologetic look.

Harry pouted, but rolled off her and conceded to the fact that he wasn’t going to get laid that night. “All right,” he muttered, rolling over onto his side and facing away from Brittany as he went to fall asleep. “Night.”

“Night,” Brittany repeated softly, slinking down under the covers and staring up at the ceiling through the darkness. She glanced over at Harry, feeling incredibly guilty. She had this lovely boy right beside her, and all she could think about was how much she longed to be falling asleep in Niall’s arms just as she had briefly on her bus.

She swallowed a little, almost fighting back tears. She liked Harry, yes, but when she thought of him, her heart didn’t pound the way it did when Niall smiled at her. His kisses no longer left her aching for more the way Niall’s did.

In short, Harry just wouldn’t be able to love Brittany the way she knew that Niall would. No, that wasn’t right. Harry didn’t love her the way that Niall did. Oh, who was she kidding?

She simply didn’t love Harry the way she loved Niall.

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