Chapter 13 – Fallen Angel

The concert the following night was less than stellar.

Niall had spent the entirety of the day holed up in his hotel room, sleeping, staring out the window or trying to concentrate on anything on the TV. The boys had gone out to do press, but Niall had managed to convince Paul that he was too sick to do so and needed to spend the day resting in order to be prepared for the show.

It wasn’t a hard sell, he really did look sick. He wasn’t fit for any interviews anyway and he probably was better off in his room. No good would come from him looking sad and uncomfortable the whole day. In fact, it would probably be worse press for them that he was uninterested rather than just sick and needed to rest.

Unfortunately, his day spent moping about in his room didn’t serve to improve his performance that night. He lazed around the stage, he forgot the lyrics to Live While We’re Young and when Liam put his arm around him as he always did during One Thing, Niall jerked away and glared at him.

He’d forgotten they were on stage for a moment, but when he realized it he didn’t quite care. All he wanted was to be far away from Liam and his judgemental and hurt eyes.

Niall sighed as he stood on the edge of the stage, waving his arms and at least trying to interact with the crowd. Inside, he was dying. He wished he had less of a conscience so he could have at least gotten high before the performance. But doing cocaine and then stepping out on stage to perform for a bunch of twelve-year-old girls was too much even for his skewed brain. The shred of self-control he had left when it came to drugs was completely used up when it came to performing.

They made it back to the hotel without incident, and Niall walked hurriedly up to his room. There was no way he could go out, and he wasn’t quite sure he wanted to. Paul would give him hell if he went out partying after he had claimed he was too sick to work that day, so he spent the evening in his hotel room yet again.

After putting the chain on the door to prevent any of the boys coming in and showering him with concern, he dug through his suitcase. Underneath his shorts and hidden inside of his Boston Celtics hat was the very same plastic bag he’d hidden the night before when Zayn had showed up.

Niall breathed a little sigh of relief as he picked it up and sat down at the desk. This time, he set out three lines, needing more of a rush than ever after the day he’d had. After Liam had touched him and looked at him.

He didn’t need Liam’s help. He didn’t need anyone’s help. All he needed was to forget everything that was going on and get really fucked up for a little while.

He breathed the first line in easily, almost effortlessly. It was gone just as quickly as he’d set it out. He didn’t even lean back to savour it as he leaned over the table and took in the next. He shook his head a little, sighing as he leaned over the third.

His heart was already pounding, and his senses were coming alive but he needed more. He needed to feel alert and happy and to forget everything that was going on in his mind.

He could still see Liam’s concerned face, so the two lines clearly weren’t enough. He smirked a little to himself as he leaned over and took in the third.

Once it was all gone, he leaned back in his chair and looked at the ceiling. It was white with dark specs, and they seemed to dance before his eyes as he looked at them in amazement. He breathed deeply as his heart sped up in his chest, feeling as though it was going a million miles a minute.

Unable to just sit still as the mere sight of the ceiling was beginning to make him feel dizzy, Niall stood up and started pacing around the room. He walked from one end to the other and back again and again. His heart rate kept increasing and he was beginning to find it harder to breathe.

“Fuck,” he muttered to himself, wiping his face with his hands and wiping the sweat on his jeans. “Fuck, fuck, fuck…”

He swallowed a little as he continued to pace around, not knowing what else to do. His goal had certainly been accomplished, he wasn’t thinking about Liam anymore. Now, he was thinking about how this wasn’t what he was used to experiencing and how it was all too much.

He cursed himself – that third line was over the limit for him. He paced faster, trying to will off the sick feeling in his stomach as he felt his blood pump through his veins and his body start to heat up. He laid down on the bed for a moment, closing his eyes and trying to concentrate on the blackness inside his eyelids.

There was nothing. Nothing but the thoughts inside his head he was trying so desperately to escape. He felt sick and tired and alert and hot. He reached up to run a hand through his hair, and his fingertips tingled as the moisture from his scalp touched them.

He breathed heavily, not knowing what to do. He didn’t usually feel this way. Sure, there was some increased paranoia every time he did cocaine, but now he was beginning to feel overly afraid and vulnerable. He was worried about things he didn’t normally care about, like if the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach got to be too much and he ended up ruining the hotel comforter. Paul would surely kill him and he’d have to pay for it and that worry was all it took for him to go darting off to the bathroom.

He clung to the sides of the toilet bowl, but nothing came up. Instead he just sat there, wondering how his life had gotten to such a point.

It should have been so easy. He’d fallen in love with a beautiful girl and they’d carelessly slept together – a lot. She’d gotten pregnant, but she’d had an abortion. The public found out about it, the world decided they hated her, she couldn’t take it, broke up with him, and still couldn’t take it, so she’d killed herself. Niall himself hadn’t been able to take that and had self-medicated to the point where the only person who had cared about him was Liam.

Liam. The one person in the world who had still cared and now he didn’t even want anything to do with Niall.

That was all it took for Niall to start violently throwing up, half missing the toilet but unable to move or stop himself.


The ceiling was very boring, but that didn’t stop Liam from looking up at it intently, hoping it would solve the problems ailing his mind.

He couldn’t believe he’d gone so far as to throw Niall out of his room the night before. What was that going to accomplish? It wasn’t going to help him, if anything it was going to shove him further into the throws of his addiction that he wouldn’t even be himself anymore.

Liam had only wanted to help Niall, and he sure as hell wasn’t doing a great job at it. He sighed to himself, feeling guilty and once again wanting to hug his friend and tell him that it was okay. That he didn’t hate him at all, that he was sorry and that he would help him get through whatever it was he was going through.

He didn’t even want to kiss him again, he just wanted him back as his friend.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. He did want to kiss him again. Very much so – but he would settle for being friends. He could deal with the fact that his feelings were obviously very one-sided and that Niall was simply confused. He would push his love and affection down his own throat and swallow it whole if it meant that he and Niall could go back to normal. No kissing, no cocaine. Just normal. They way they’d been before all of this.

He sighed, getting up and deciding that the only way to fix things wouldn’t be just moping around in his room. He actually had to go talk to Niall and explain everything to him. He would have to confess his feelings to him and just tell him the truth so that they could try and move past it.

But more than anything, he would have to apologize to his friend and tell him that no matter what, he would be there for him.

Liam walked down the hall and stopped in front of Niall’s door, not hesitating as he knocked on it.

No answer.

“Niall,” Liam said gently. “I know you’re upset with me, but we really need to talk. I just want to apologize to you.”


Liam rolled his eyes, but stood his ground. He didn’t care if Niall was upset with him, but he didn’t want to be ignored. Especially if Niall was in there getting high. He couldn’t take away his friend’s pain, but he could certainly stop that from happening. If even just for the night by way of distracting him. “Niall, come on. At least say something to let me know you’re alright.”

Again, nothing. The silence was what worried Liam. There was no indication of movement, no shout from Niall telling him to go away and that he was fine.

“Niall,” Liam said shakily. “I’m coming in.”

Liam reached into his wallet and pulled out Niall’s room key, which he’d commandeered from Paul earlier. At least Paul was sympathetic to the situation, knowing that the boys only had Niall’s best interests at heart. If only he know how bad things were with Niall, but of course Liam was far too loyal to divulge that information.

To a fault.

Liam opened the door, but was stopped short as the chain stopped him. Liam frowned, unable to get into the room through any means on account of the chain on the door. “Niall,” Liam said firmly. “Unchain the door. Come on.”

But there was still more of that eerie silence. Liam peeked inside, noticing Niall’s white Supras by the door. He was in the room – and this confirmation only scared Liam further. “Open the fucking door,” he tried, hoping the cuss word would elicit some kind of a reaction out of Niall.

But there was still nothing.

“God dammit, Niall,” Liam shouted, shoving his weight against the door in an attempt to break the chain. It didn’t work and pain shot through his side. “Fuck,” he muttered, tears springing to his eyes on account of the pain.

“Liam!” Louis shouted, stepping out of his hotel room with Eleanor at his side. “What in the bloody hell are you doing?”

Liam looked over as the pair walked towards him. He clutched his arm and shrugged. “Niall’s in there,” he said dumbly.

Louis and Eleanor exchanged a look. “He’s always in there,” Louis said, as if it were completely obvious. Because it was true. Niall spent more time in his hotel room than anywhere else as of late.

“No,” Liam said frantically. “He’s in there and he’s not answering and,” he paused, looking away from Louis. “I think something’s wrong.”

“Okay…” Louis said awkwardly, looking up at Liam with confusion. “Well you’re holding his room key, just open the door.”

Liam shook his head. “I tried that, he has the chain on.”

“Maybe he’s in there with a girl,” Louis reasoned.

“No,” Liam shook his head both in denial because he didn’t want to think about that, and because he knew it wasn’t true. Niall hadn’t brought any girls back with him to the hotel after what had happened last time he had done so. Besides, if that had been the case Niall would have shouted at him to leave long ago. “Louis,” he pleaded, “I think something’s really wrong.”

Louis looked at Liam, searching his face for some kind of answer. “Well what do you expect to do?” he asked with slight annoyance. “Break the door down?”

Liam shrugged.

“Though it looks as though you’ve already tried that,” Louis said, eyeing the way Liam was holding his shoulder. He looked back at the door. “You really think he’s hurt?”

“I don’t know,” Liam said. “I don’t actually know but I would never be able to forgive myself if something really was wrong and I just walked away.”

Louis nodded. He didn’t completely understand where Liam was coming from, and he got the feeling his friend knew something that he didn’t. Liam was usually sensible and calm. For him to be frantic like this was out of character and even if nothing was wrong with Niall, Liam wouldn’t be acting in such a way without good reason.

“Okay,” Louis said, backing up a little. “Let’s knock the door down then.”

Liam nodded, joining Louis and ignoring the searing pain in his shoulder. He handed Eleanor his room key, and she proceeded to open the door, standing as far away from it as possible while still holding it open so the two boys could ram their weight against it. It popped open easily and they nearly fell into the room from the force of it all, but managed to keep themselves upright.

“Fuck,” Louis shouted as they stepped further into the room, surveying it. “He’s not even…”

The words fell out of Louis’ mouth as the two of them noticed Niall laying in an unmoving lump on the bathroom floor. “Shit,” he breathed, looking down at him. Their blonde friend was passed out on the tile in a pool of his own vomit.

“Nialler,” Liam said, stepping into the bathroom and leaning down to touch him. “He’s burning up,” he said with a mix of worry and relief.

He glanced up at Louis and Eleanor. The three of them didn’t say anything, but they were all thinking the same thing. At least he was alive.

“I didn’t realize he was that sick,” Louis said with confusion, glancing back down at Niall as Liam stroked his hair.

“I don’t think he’s sick,” Liam muttered, looking back down at Niall. His friend was breathing, for which he was grateful for. Breathing – but still unconscious. His worries hadn’t been unfounded after all, and Liam felt a combination of terror, relief and sadness all at once. “Call an ambulance,” he said softly, unable to raise his voice.

Louis didn’t question him. He didn’t need to ask why – the reason was clear. Hell, the reason was lying there right in front of them. Eleanor placed a sympathetic hand on his shoulder as he shakily pulled out his cell phone to make the call.

Liam looked back down at Niall and felt tears pool in his eyes. Now, whether Niall liked it or not he was going to get the help that he so desperately needed.

That was, if he lived through the night.


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