Cats, Kisses, And Wagon Wheels. *finished*

One Direction, a band that was formed during the 2010 X Factor. Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson. Oh right, and Charlie Hunter. You didn't know about her? The Wagon-Wheel-addict with the curly hair? Well, I doubt anyone will tell you too much then. After all, what happens in the house, stays in the house. (Silver in the M Factor Competition) "This story is so hilarious, and it's already my favourite." - "...an amazing story, full of romance, drama, teenage life and loads more! The storyline is amazing, the characters are easy to visualize." - "An all around perfect book, even though it's a fanfiction!"

--Written for my cousin-in-law, Lottie, who wanted to have a One Direction Fanfic for her birthday. You are welcome.--

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18. Tired.

 

In Which Charlie Falls Asleep.

 

A/N: THIS IS THE NEXT TO LAST CHAPTER I AM BAWLING ILYASM BABIES

 

“Are you hyperventilating?”

I looked up to see Liam standing next to me on the stairs to the beach.

“Close,” I answered. “We might get sent home tomorrow, for God’s sake.”

He sat down next to me. “I was last time. Hyperventilating.”

I frowned. “You had to go home last time.”

“Yeah, maybe that wasn’t too helpful just now.”

I shook my head, laughing. “Not really, no.”

He smiled. “At least my failure made you laugh.”

“Shut up.” I leaned onto his shoulder and sighed. “You are a great guy, Liam you know that?”

“Thanks, I guess,” he laughed. “You’re not half bad either.”

“Why can’t I be into guys like you?”

“Pardon?”

“If I’d just fallen in love with you, everything would’ve been so much easier. Because you’re nice.”

He awkwardly patted my head. “I’m just guessing you’re talking about Harry here?”

I scoffed. “No, I’m talking about his mum, you dimwit. Of course I’m talking about Harry here.”

“No reason to snap at me. Zayn’s your girlfriend, not me. You don’t tell me stuff.”

“Sorry,” I murmured.

He shrugged. “’S okay.”

I sighed and rubbed my eyes. “I can’t sleep.”

“Okay, now you’re just being ridiculous, Chaz.”

I huffed and sat up straight to look at him. “I’m pouring my heart out to you here, show a bit of compassion.”

“Swearing doesn’t suit you,” he tutted.

“I don’t like it either.”

“Don’t change yourself for someone you fancy, I’ve been there. Doesn’t work.”

I sighed again. I did that quite a lot lately. But he’d liked the swearing girls from the tacky bands.

“I somehow know I’ll regret asking this, but why don’t you sleep anymore?”

I stared at the sun that was slowly setting over the water in which I could see Harry and Louis’ silhouettes messing around.

“It’s his fault,” I answered. “I’m trying so desperately not to like him, but that doesn’t work when I’m asleep. Like at all.”

Liam shrugged. “At the risk of sounding stupid, why the hell don’t you just tell him then?”

I huffed. “I can’t, isn’t that obvious?”

“Not really.”

“It would ruin our friendship. He’s my person, Liam.”

“But is he still?”

“What?”

“All these secrets, it is already destroying your friendship. You talk to Zayn, now you’re talking to me. Harry talks to Louis. If you’re still each other’s persons, why aren’t you talking to each other instead? Isn’t that what you do?”

I thought about that for a while and Liam just waited silently for me to get it. That was what I liked most about Liam—he didn’t hover. He could be quiet and just let you think and come to the conclusion that he was right. What I didn’t like so much about Liam was just that—he was always right.

Harry wasn’t really my person anymore as long as I was desperately trying to keep my crush from him and stay his person.

The poison seemed to finally set in.

“I hate you sometimes, Li.”

“I hate you sometimes, too, mostly when you call me Li,” he retorted. “But that’s what friends do. They hate each other sometimes.”

I smiled. “Yeah. They do.”

“But you and Harry… all I’m saying is, you should give it a shot. I think he likes you So try. And if it doesn’t work, well, that’s the way life goes. But with the way it’s going right now, it isn’t working either.”

I lightly punched his back. “Stop being right all the time.”

He grinned. “But that’s why you love me.”

“True.”

“And because I’ll let you sleep now.” He patted his shoulder. “Come on, kid. I’ve been tod I’m an awesome pillow. And nobody will notice when you dream of prince curly. I however, can finally watch the sunset in silence.”

I giggled at his formal choice of words and he smiled.

“I’m serious, though. Come on. Can’t have my bandmate falling asleep during our performance, can I?” He patted his shoulder once more.

“Okay,” I whispered, leaning over. It was like my eyes were falling shut on their own. “Okay.”

“And by the way,” I heard Liam whisper as I slowly drifted off to sleep, “we would’ve hated each other after a day. You and Harry—you make each other mad, but you get each other. You’re it.”

I smiled into his shoulder.

“You’re going to be such a perfect boyfriend one day for a girl who is nothing like me. She’ll be devoted to you and she’ll be nice and sweet and she’ll like dogs and cooking and she’ll love kids. The kind of girl who is a hidden beauty and drinks hot chocolate and reads Jane Austen books. Because a girl like that, a girl like that would be your person.”

He rubbed my back and I heard the smile in his voice as he said, “You don’t know how nice that sounds.”

 

* CKWW *

 

The next thing I registered after that was someone brushing a stray strand of hair out of my face.

“She looks so young when she’s asleep, doesn’t she?” A voice whispered, but I was too asleep to actually figure out whom it belonged to.

“Yeah,” someone else said and I felt my pillow shift a bit which was strange because pillows don’t usually shift.

“It makes you realize that she really is only sixteen, she’s still so much of a baby. She never seems like the youngest, I think that's why we forget sometimes, but this is all a real strain on her.”

Another person sighed.

“If you really like her, Harry, then go on and open your fucking mouth and if you don’t, then stop playing.”

“Ooh.”

I mumbled something not even I could understand properly and tried to and a more comfortable position. I turned and suddenly, my pillow was gone and I felt like I was falling for a really short time before big hands caught me at my waist and my shoulder.

“I’ll go get her to bed,” someone murmured close to my head.

“I can help you if you want.”

“No, I’ve got it,” the voice next to my head said again. I realized it had to be Harry when he lifted me up and I caught on to his typical Harry scent, like soap and something I couldn’t define but wanted to soak up. I dug my head into the crook of his neck and heard him chuckle.

“Your hair tickles,” he whispered into my ear. I sighed.

“I’ll go get her to bed. See you tomorrow, lads,” he said and I felt a weird movement when he started walking.

“I’m tired,” I said, drawling the words.

“I know,” he whispered, his hot breath brushing my neck. “I’ll take care of you, you can sleep.”

I hooked my arms around his shoulders and felt myself slip into darkness again. When his warm hands tried to pry mine from his collar, I was already almost asleep again, but I still didn’t let go.

“Stay,” I managed to mumble and for some reason he seemed to understand.

“Okay,” he said and I could hear the smile in his voice. “I’ll stay.”

I pulled him down on the bed next to me and snuggled up to him. “Good.”

“It really is,” he said quietly, putting one of his arms around me, as careful as if I was made out of glass.

 

* CKWW *

 

 

“Oh come on, Charlie,” Louis pouted.

I threw my hands in the air. “Fine. Fine, but if anything happens or you don’t look perfectly acceptable by the time it's our turn, I will personally hunt you down and make sure you will never ever enjoy your life anymore. God may not judge you, but I very well do.”

The boys stared at me.

“She scares me sometimes,” Niall whispered to Liam who was standing next to him.

I looked up again. “Didn’t you want to go somewhere?”

“Oh right, let’s go, lads!”

And they were gone.

I shook my head and went back to reading this month’s issue of Cosmopolitan. The boys had wanted to go to the beach one last time before we had to perform for Simon. This morning, he had given us some last-minute advice and after that, I wouldn’t have thought the lads would want to just do nothing. But go figure. I was just extremely nervous and wanted to just sit on my bed and read brainless articles about hairdos to distract me. From the performance but also from Harry, to be honest. Yes, that again. Sorry if I bore you.

Of course the others had found it extremely amusing that Harry and I had shared a bed but it seemed like they knew me well enough not to tease us about it.

I realized I’d been reading the same sentence three times already and still didn’t know what it was all about, so I threw the magazine away and flopped onto my back.

Ugh.

“Charlie!”

I closed my eyes for a few seconds to calm myself down before I sat up with a sigh.

“What is it, Niall?”

The blonde boy shook his head looking a bit panicked. “Could you just come with me?”

I got up and slipped my flats on. “I swear to God, Niall, if this is some joke, I will actually strangle you I do not kid.”

“No, really.”

He all but pulled me down the stairs and almost ran through the house. When we finally came to a stop at a bench that Louis was sitting on with the others surrounding him, I was out of breath. How pathetic.

“Uhm, I’m sorry not everyone here has legs that are about two metres long but geez Niall, I am not a sports person in case you didn’t notice.”

It was only now that I noticed Lou was sitting on the bench with his foot propped up, a look of pain on his face.

“What the hell happened to you?”

“Don’t be mad,” Louis said.

I scoffed. “No, I’ll just be extremely I Told You So.”

“I stepped into a shell or something and cut my foot.”

I ran a hand through my curls, fluffing them up a bit in the back. “You’re such a gimp, Louis.”

I noticed Liam staring at my hand.

“What?” I didn’t mean to sound as harsh as I did.

“You’re doing a curls move now, too.”

Niall nodded. “Yeah, Harry fluffes his hair up as well.”

I stared at him. “Do you really want to discuss my hair when Louis’ got a cut up foot that seems to swell up by the second? Do you want to go there, Niall?”

He blushed.

“Now leave Niall out of this, will you, Charlie?”

I sighed. “Liam’s right, sorry, Nialler.”

“’S okay.”

“But it’s not the same move.”

“Okay.”

I huffed, putting my hands on my waist. “So we need to call an ambulance.”

“But then we won’t be able to perform,” Louis protested.

“You won’t be able to anyway,” Liam reasoned. “She’s right. We need to call someone.”

Twenty minutes later, they carried Louis away and we just stood there, hands all entwined, not knowing what was going to happen.

“So I guess,” Zayn said after a while, “I guess we’ll just have to manage without Lou.”

And believe me, we tried, we really did. But, as Harry put it very well after ten minutes of desperation, “we just aren’t good enough without Louis.” We didn’t sound right.

 

* CKWW *

 

“Hey guys, why so glum?”

I turned. “Louis?”

But there he was, a bandage on his foot, grinning as cheeky as ever.

Harry was the first to run over to him and tackle him in a hug, we all followed. Then the boys actually lifted him up and carried him over to where we were to wait because we’d perform next.

I stayed back a bit and smiled. Whatever would happen next, we were up for it. I would never forget these lads, no matter what.

“One Direction?”

And there it was.

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