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.


9. O Christmas Tree

“I’ll see you in a few days,” said Harry. The sadness that he was feeling seemed to be punctuated in every word that he said to Victoria.

“Yeah, I guess. I’ll still miss you loads. I’ve gotten so used to having you around,” she laughed.

She pulled herself up onto the tips of her toes as she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck.

“See you soon, drive carefully.”

“No kiss?” he smirked at her, before tilting her face up so that his lips could meet hers, leaving Victoria wondering if she would ever get sick of kissing Harry.

Letting go of her reluctantly, he went to take his place in the driver’s seat of the car. With one final wave, Victoria watched him drive down the road and out of sight.

Her feet felt as if they were made of lead as she turned around and dragged them back inside the house. Everything felt somewhat darker, like the sun had decided to spend the day behind the clouds.

When she finally made it inside, she found Jem standing on a chair in the middle of her lounge room, attempting to hook a garland of silver tinsel to the light fitting.

“What on earth are you doing?” she called out to him.

“Decorating,” was his short reply as he finally managed to hook the rustling silver over the top of the fitting.


Jem got himself off the chair, and back on solid ground before answering.

“Because it’s almost Christmas and you’ve done nothing to the place. Where’s your Christmas spirit?”

Victoria refrained from answering, instead choosing to sit on the couch and watch Jem at work. In a surprising short amount of time, he had made the downstairs part of her house look like some kind of Christmas grotto.

Deciding that Jem’s hard work needed a reward, and that she simply needed a drink, she went to pour each of them a glass of wine.

“Where did you even find this stuff?” she yelled back out to him when she saw the miniscule, plush reindeer hanging from the doorknobs of all the kitchen cabinets.

“Some of it’s mine, some of it’s yours. Some of it came from a charity shop,” he shouted back.

“There is one thing that’s missing,” he said as he walked in to join her in the kitchen. “You don’t have a Christmas tree.”

“Oh, that’s alright. I’ve not really wanted to bother with a tree.”

Jem pretended to look scandalised.

“You need a Christmas tree at Christmas!” was all that he said before dragging her out of the room. “Get yourself ready, we’re going out.”

“What? Where are we going?”

He let go of her briefly, using his free hands to search the ground for a pair of shoes. He held a pair of blue heels aloft.

“Forget about the wine, we can drink it when we get back. Put these on, and let’s go.”

“Jem, stop it. I’m not wearing the heels. Just give me a couple of minutes and I’ll be ready.”

Finding a more sensible pair of shoes, she slipped her black boots over her jeans.

“How are we -?”

“It’s only down the road, we can walk,” said Jem with a cheerful smile before she could even ask how they were getting to wherever it was they were going. 

“Why are you being so insistent about this?” asked Victoria once they were on their way. “Shouldn’t you be doing this kind of stuff at your house with Dan and Gemma?”

“Dan and Gemma were being all coupley,” said Jem, and Victoria turned around in time to see him grimace. 

“Besides, they’re both going to be joining Haz this afternoon, back in Cheshire.”

All the other lads had already left to go home for Christmas. It was just going to be Jeremy and Victoria this year.

Jem turned his own head to face her. 

“I didn’t want to bring it up because I saw how sad you were when you came back from saying bye to Haz. Turn left here.”

“Oh,” replied Victoria as the mention of Harry’s name brought back a feeling of loneliness that reminded her of the fact that she was spending Christmas alone, yet again. 

“See, there you go again,” he said, watching the way her face dropped the very second he had said Harry’s name. 

“Cheer up, babe. He said he’ll be back in a few days. Hey, look, we’re here.”

Victoria looked up to see an otherwise vacant lot of land, brimming with an assortment of fir trees. Short, fat ones were resting against tall, skinny ones with sparse branches. Each one was bare, ready for someone to come along and take it home to love.

“Take your pick,” said Jem to Victoria, “my treat.”

“No, Jem, it’s alright. I’ll get it. You’ve already done enough for me today.”

“Pick one and let me pay for it, before I pick one for you. I’ll make it your Christmas present if it’s going to bother you that much. Come on, please.”

Without even looking at him, Victoria knew that he was giving her the puppy-dog eyes.

“Come on, you let Haz get you the necklace that is 
currently hanging around your neck. How long have you known him? Let me get you one measly Christmas tree.”

“What is it with all these guys suddenly wanting to buy me Christmas presents this year?” muttered Victoria as she walked around, inspecting each of the trees for colour, height, shape, and all the other things that one had to look out for when picking an appropriate Christmas tree.

Finally, she found one that wasn’t too big, too dead, too scrawny or too expensive.

Showing Jem her find, he went to pay for it, and organise delivery. 

“Merry Christmas, Toto,” he said, coming back to her waving around the receipt. Her tree would be arriving later that afternoon, ready for them to decorate.

“Speaking of Christmas,” said Victoria, “how would you like to spend it at my place? I can attempt to cook something other than chicken or instant noodles, and we can hang around and watch the terrible Christmas movies on TV. What do you say?”

“Sure,” replied Jem, practically bouncing down the street in excitement.

“It’ll be my Christmas present to you,” she smirked as she pulled him closer for warmth.

“Sure thing, babe. Merry Christmas,” he replied, putting his own arms around her.

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