The House Next Door [One Direction]

COMPLETED: One Direction: Harry Styles/OC - Victoria lives next door to her best-friend Jeremy. Jeremy lives with his friends Dan and Gemma. Gemma's brother comes to visit with his friends. Having nine people crowded into two houses was never going to be easy, but it was always preferable to the alternative.


17. Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream


Just letting you know that this is, by far, my favourite chapter of the whole story. It was literally the second or third one that I wrote for the story, and I’ve been writing like mad so that I can hurry up and get to it, to see what you all think. No pressure...he he.

Hopefully you would have kind of guessed what’s going on by now. If not, I haven’t been doing a good enough job in the other chapters. I don’t want to spoil anything, so please, read on...

Quickly shutting the door behind her, so as to not let the heat of summer penetrate the blissfully cool air of her home, Victoria was quickly stopped in her tracks by the sound of music blaring out of a small set of speakers attached to what appeared to be Jem’s iPod.

It had been a couple of months since the ‘Cheshire Situation’, and Harry and Victoria had decided to put it behind them and move on whilst Harry was still able to be in London. In doing this, they agreed that it would be best to wait a little longer before planning any trips out of London, so as to avoid any drama like the time previous.

“You know, Jem, when I gave you a spare key to this place, I didn’t mean for you to drop by and steal my food whenever you wanted. That is my Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie.”

“Mhmm,” was all that Jem was able to reply with as he inhaled yet another spoon of the ice cream.

“Are you listening to One Direction? What song is that...I wish? Just go visit them next door and I’m sure that they’ll give you the live version. Seriously, dude, are you on your man-period, what’s up?”

“Nothing you need to worry about?”

Jem scooped up yet more ice cream, not even caring about the bits that were dripping down onto his t-shirt.

“No, I am worrying. You’re never like this, what’s wrong?”

“Please,” begged Jem, “don’t worry about it.”

“No, I am going to worry about it. I hate seeing you like this. You’ve been feeling down for months. Tell. Me. What. Is. Wrong.”

“No, Victoria!” he practically shouted in her face.

Startled at Jem’s sudden aggression, not to mention the use of her full first name, Victoria let a silence fall between them. Faintly in the background she could hear the song start again, and she spent a few moments trying to comprehend the sound. Had he got it stuck on a continuous loop?

            Oh how I wish that was me with my hands on your waist while we dance in the           moonlight

            I wish it was me that you’ll call later on cause you wanna say goodnight

And with sudden clarity, Victoria understood what was going on.

“Who is it and who is she with?”

Jem’s blue eyes were filled with the most incredible pain when he heard these words come out of Victoria’s mouth.

“Please,” he said again. “I’m begging you. Don’t.”

“I’m sure you’ll feel better if you just talk about it. Come on, Jem,” she said placing her hand on his arm as a means of comforting him.

However, she was beyond shocked when he ripped his arm away from hers, standing up and physically backing away for her.

“I’m going out for awhile. Don’t worry. I’ll be back soon.”

“Oh,” was all that Victoria was able to say.

Ripping his iPod out of the speaker dock, he was out the door before either of them could even say another word.

Completely and utterly perplexed, and disoriented by the chain of events that had just occurred, Victoria perched herself on the edge of the couch that Jem had just vacated.

“I’ll speak to Gemma or Dan. They live with the nutter. They’ll have a better idea about what’s going on,” she thought as she recollected her belongings, still feeling a little dazed.

Furiously knocking on her neighbour’s door, Victoria waited as patiently as she could for someone to let her in.

Finally, Gemma appeared at the door, apparently having a lazy day owing to the fact that it was almost lunchtime and she was still in her pyjamas.

“Toto, what’s up? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“Can I come in? I need to talk to you about something.”

“Umm... sure. Do you mind if Dan is here, or is this more of a girly chat?”

Victoria gave Gemma a quizzical look.

“I’m not interrupting anything, am I?”

“Nope. You’re safe. The one day when Jeremy is not home and Dan decides to be more interested in playing on the Wii. Come on in, lovey.”

The pair settled themselves at the dining table, mugs of tea gently cupped in each of their hands.

“Spill,” said Gemma simply.

“It’s about Jem,” replied Victoria inhaling one steadying breath. “I just came home to find him sprawled on my couch, eating a tub of ice cream and listening to I wish.”

“Go on,” urged Gemma. “Am I right in guessing that there’s more to this?”

“Well, it’s obviously about a girl. He seems really cut up about it. Only problem is, who is it? He obviously really cares about her. I just can’t figure it out.”

Gemma stayed silent for a few moments, finally letting out a sigh.

“Lovey, I’m going to level with you, but only because you’re more clueless about this than what I originally thought.”

Not giving Victoria a chance to interrupt, Gemma pressed on.

“I know the girl that Jeremy is pining’s you.”

Victoria burst out laughing.

“What was that? For a second I thought you said that Jeremy is pining after me.”

Gemma’s intense glare did not waver, only raising her eyebrows a little a Victoria’s reaction.

“Come on, Toto, surely you had an inkling?”

Suddenly, it hit Victoria like a tonne of bricks that Gemma was not joking around with her.

Jeremy. Her best friend, Jeremy was in love with her.

“Oh, shit.”

“ ‘Oh shit’, is right.”

“But, I don’t feel the same way about him. I’m with Harry. I love Harry.”

“Yep, now do you understand?”

“Oh no. It all makes sense. All of it. Not just today and the ice cream and the song, but the... oh, everything.”

Everything that Jem had done for her – she thought that it had all been out of friendship. Best friends do those kinds of things for each other, don’t they?

“Gemma, what am I going to do?” How can I face him knowing this?”

Gemma took a long sip from her mug, clearly using the time to think.

“I can’t answer that for you, sweetie. That’s something you need to talk to Jem about.”

“I can hardly face him right now. How am I going to talk to him?” moaned Victoria covering her face with her hands.

Gemma took the opportunity to take Victoria’s hands into her own, comforting the poor girl.

“Why don’t you start by giving each other a bit of space? Dan and I will be there for him, if and when he needs us. You can sort this out when you’re both ready to. Okay?”

“Okay,” replied Victoria in a shaky voice. “Thanks. I think I just need to go home and process all of this.”

Gemma nodded and walked her over to the door.

“If you need anything, I’ll be right here.”

Pulling Gemma into a hug, Victoria whispered another round of thanks and proceeded out into the sunlight.

What had previously seemed to be a beautiful summer’s day now seemed harsh and almost vulgar. How dare the weather be so wonderful when she was feeling so terrible?

Stepping back inside her own house, Victoria slowly closed the door shut behind her and leaned against it with her back.

A multitude of questions flitted in and out of her mind so fast that she was not sure that she could even acknowledge their presence, let alone come up with anything even close to an answer for any of them.

 However, there was one pressing matter which decided to make itself present: where was Jem, and was he alright?

Victoria placed her hand slowly to her mouth, trying to suppress a sob as the true weight of recent events came tumbling down on her. Although she was not essentially a religious person, she silently prayed that Jem had not done anything stupid, and that he was safe.

Putting on the first pair of sensible shoes that her blue eyes fell upon, Victoria jogged her way out the front door and up the street. Her mind was running through a list of all the places they had frequented together: the supermarket, the swings at the children’s playground, the park where they had bought the Christmas tree last year...

Deciding that Jem couldn’t have gotten that far yet as he was on foot, Victoria thought that the best places to start looking would be those reasonably close to home.

Silently cursing the cars that were slow to turn the corner, Victoria waited until it was safe before crossing the street to go to the place where Jem would reward her with one of his excellent hot chocolates on cold winter mornings.

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