Saving Each Other

"I can't keep doing this Niall!" she screamed, as I held her firmly. I ran my fingers through my hair, pushing the damp strand out of my face, locking our gaze. "Em, please." I whispered, and I doubt she heard me over the thundering rain. It was killing me to see her like this. "I can't do this! I can't keep being the strong one!" she cried out. "I-If I have to be strong for you, how am I supposed to be strong for me Niall? How am I supposed to..to-" she struggled to find words, but all I heard was silence after that.
It was me. It was all me. The reason she was like this now. It wasn't because of her dad. It was me. my heart sank. I was killing the girl that I, now realized, loved. I loved her, and I was the reason she was broken. I wasn't going to push it away anymore. I wasn't going to hide from it. I loved her. I loved Emily Payne. And I was killing her.

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4. The Signing

 

Emily's POV
"Are you ready for this?" Liam asked me as the limo slowed.

"Yeah, things can get quite..chaotic.." Louis added. I smiled uncertainly. It was the day of the signing. The morning was cool and the skies clear, with a few clouds here and there. It was quite a hassle to get the boys up, resulting in a lot of yelling and about 4 morning songs. We could hear the muffled screams of fans outside. I don't know why I was so nervous, I mean, I'm not even signing. Honestly, to the outside world, Liam was the famous one, and I was the..lesser known sibling. Maybe it was anxiety. Not for me though, for Niall. Ever since his little attempt, I've been quite..well, paranoid.

He seemed better now. Not full on laughing and all that, but he would smile now and then. And Liam seemed more relaxed. The others noticed too. So I was happy for him, but now, I was..kind of freaking out. I knew how One Direction's so-called "fans" could be quite..harsh on Niall. As if on cue, Niall looked up at me, his intense blue staring straight into mine. I forced an encouraging smile and he nodded, leaning back into the leather seats. "Alright, here we go." Harry smiled, slapping his hands together as the doors opened, sunlight pouring in. The fans were deafening now, but the guys just grinned and waved. 

Honestly, I hated attention, so this wasn't my thing. I felt quite insecure, and so I kept my head down, holding onto Liam's fingers as he guided me through the crowd. I felt a warm hand on my lower back, pushing me forward, and I turned to see it was Niall. I don't know what it was(honestly, I refused to admit it to myself.) but the feeling of his fingers against me sent tingles through my body. There were reporters screaming questions and very...vicious girls grabbing at the boys. We followed security to a small room which was, apparently, right behind the table the signing was to take place. We heard a continuous chorus of What Makes You Beautiful and Up All Night, followed by a chant of Liam, Harry, Louis and Zayn.The others cracked jokes, oblivious to the whole scene, but I could tell Niall was listening for his name. And his name never came.

Finally, 8:00 arrived and the security guard threw open the door as the boys ran out, full of energy, flashing bright smiles and waving like crazy. They sat down as the guards slowly allowed the crowd to, how do I put this, completely suffocate us. One Thing played loudly in the background, but you could barely hear anything over the yelling, shouting and chanting. The first hundred fans rushed to Harry and Liam, begging for them to sign whatever random object they clutched at their chests. I sat between Liam and Niall at the end of the table. And then a carrot came rushing forward. I stifled a laugh. "Louis! I'm a carrot!" Oh, this was rich. (Sorry if this is you I saw the video and couldn't stop laughing but I actually thought it was really sweet man!) 

I watched as all the boys went silent for a while and Louis widened his eyes, a grin slowly spreading across his lips. There was a girl who was dressed in a full body carrot suit, a leafy green head band to complete the look. It was hilarious, but I admired her. It took serious dedication to someone to do something like that. Some girls really were crazy about Louis. Immediately, I felt sorrow shoot through my mind, and it took me a while to process why. And then it hit me as I turned to my left. Niall was eyeing the girl with a smile, but as I stared into his eyes, I could see the pain that coursed through him. No girl had ever done anything like that for him. Then, as if he'd sensed I seen it, it disappeared, vanishing into the blue like a secret diary that no one would ever be allowed to read. I reached over and gently brushed my fingers against his, giving his hand a light squeeze. "It's early. Don't worry about it." I whispered.He looked down at our entwined fingers and then back up at me with a small smile. My stomach began swirling and I felt all bubbly.

I quickly pulled my hand away, shocked by the feeling that raced through me. He looked at me, confused, but was distracted as a girl a little younger than me ran up to him, screaming his name. "You are so amazing okay?" He blushed, allowing that melting smile of his, one I hadn't seen just yet. He signed her CD and she then she ran off, giddy and flustered.

But of course, there are some real idiots out there who just can't have people have their happiness right? I watched as a group of four girls approached the table, and immediately,  knew they were up to no good. They grinned and squealed and giggled over Harry and Zayn, begging Liam for autographs and pleading with Louis for just one smile, and then came Niall. He looked up at them awkwardly as two hid their laughter and walked away. The other two slowly walked forward, smirking and ignoring the shouts of the crowd to hurry up. No, these girls decided to take their sweet little time. "And your purpose?" one asked. I coughed, trying to get his attention. "Um..Excuse me?" Niall was pretending not to understand, but you could see he was pleading with them not to go on. I started slapping Liam's leg under the desk and he finally looked up. "To show that no one's perfect obviously. I mean, I always thought that One Direction was this, amazing band with no flaws. And then I saw-"
"Uh, ladies? Freebies?" I heard Liam cut in, holding up CD's. They shrieked happily and ran towards him. Anger boiled inside of me, and I had to fight the urge to lunge over the table and choke her to death after piercing knives into her back. Niall's smile faded as his gaze dropped to his hands on the desk. 

After that, even though Niall wasn't in the highest of spirits, everything seemed to run smoothly. Niall actually had many fans, not nearly as much as Harry and the others, but he had many, and I could sense that the incident was mostly forgotten.
 

_______________________________________________________________________

I smiled as Liam wrapped his arms around my shoulders, pulling me closer to him. I was laying on the pull-out bed in the living room, right between Liam and Niall. It was Louis brilliant idea to have a slumber party in the living room. The others practically had their faces glued to the TV laughing hysterically at the movie, which made no sense since we were watching The Lion King, and it was the part when the father lion  died. I'll never understand boys. My phone vibrated in my pocket as Louis gestured for Liam to come join them at the foot of the bed. It was Niall. I glanced at him, but he had his eyes locked on the TV.  Um..okay. 
Niall-  Did u c the way she talked to me? 

I sighed. So all hadn't been forgotten. I replied quickly, and listened to his phone buzz. He didn't dare look me in the eyes as he read it. Why he was avoiding my gaze, I didn't know. I just hoped he hadn't been crying or something like that. 
Niall- Of course it matters..Em, I go thru this almost evry day. I'm nevr gonna b good enuf.
Emily- Ni, don't say that. Ur amazing
Niall- 2 u mayb, but what about the 100s of fans that HATE me? Em..what if I lose my job?
Emily- What are you talking about?
Niall- My job! Now, evry thing is based on image. Ppl HATE my image. What if I'm replaced?
Emily- Ni, that's nevr gonna happen
Niall- Easy 4 u 2 say. U've nevr been ugly

I heard him sigh, and I swear my heart broke. I knew what ugly is, I mean, I knew I wasn't the prettiest flower in the garden, and he was not it. He slipped his phone back into his pocket, signalling that the conversation was over. He slid down until he was lying flat on his back on the mattress. I did the same and we both stared up at the dark ceiling. I turned to him placing my hand on his. "You're not ugly okay?" I whispered. Finally, he turned to me, his eyes piercing into mine, and my heart pace quickened. I could feel my fingers shaking on his, and I was so afraid he could sense it. "Don't you dare forget that. O-Okay?" My voice stuck in my throat as I realized how close we really were. His lips were inches from mine. My heart fluttered as he whispered "Okay" so softly I could hardly hear it. I turned back to the ceiling. "Um..Okay..." I breathed turning so my back was facing him. "Goodnight Ni." I heard him shifting beside me, and I knew his back was facing mine. "Goodnight Em." he murmured as I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

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