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.


15. Stop and Stare


A/N: Thank you for your wonderful comments, it was great to read them all. I know I haven’t updated in awhile, but uni has been crazy lately. I’ve made this chapter extra long to make up for it.

Just letting you know that the story is almost at an end, and with this chapter we are exactly three-quarters of the way through!

Anyhoo, let’s get on with it. I hope you enjoy it, and I can’t wait to hear what you think.



Victoria chose to sleep with the teddy bear that Gemma gave her every night that Harry was not there to sleep next to her. She even gave it a name, in her own head that was. She wouldn’t dare admit to anyone that at the age of twenty she slept with a teddy bear every night that went by the name of ‘Little Haz’ – after all, with Harry’s reputation, people might think that she meant something else when she used that name. Still, it was just enough to get her through the days when Harry was too busy to call or Skype. Again the time difference between England and America was not doing anyone any favours.

Occasionally, Victoria would Skype with one of the others just so that she could go to sleep feeling sure that they were all safe and being taken care of. Niall would repeatedly inform her, through a mouthful of what she hoped were crisps that they were eating well, they were all safe and that the tour was going great. Liam would constantly remind her not to read anything that the newspapers were saying, because none of it was true. Louis kept hinting that he had a surprise for his ‘lovely Toto’ when they got off the plane, and Victoria hoped with all her heart that it did not involve the enormous box of silly string that Zayn mentioned a fan had given them.

Each of the other lads had been able to take the time to speak to Victoria, even if it had only been for a few minutes. Therefore she was left wondering why Harry wasn’t able to do the same. He kept saying that they were really busy, but in Victoria’s mind, if they were busy, they would all be busy together. This only caused the worst possible thoughts to run through Victoria’s head, keeping her awake at night so much so that cosmetics did very little to relieve her appearance in the morning.

The couple of days leading up to their return back to England were the worst for Victoria. She was absolutely elated that they were coming back and things could go back to the way they were before the New Year, but at the same time, a part of her wondered if things could go back to that carefree state that she and Harry had experienced most acutely on New Year’s Eve.

These last few weeks had really been a wake-up call for Victoria. She now knew that if she was to stay with Harry long-term, this would be her life as long as he was a part of One Direction. She would always be left behind and waiting for him to return, and that was only if he wanted to return to her. With the way that he had been avoiding her for the past couple of weeks, she wasn’t all that sure that he meant it when he told her that he loved her.

These feelings were churning in her stomach as she woke early on the day their flight was scheduled to land. From the brief text that Harry had sent her the previous day, she knew that their flight was scheduled to land at seven in the morning.

Setting her alarm clock, she sighed as she mentally calculated how many hours of sleep she would get if she went to sleep right at this minute. However, Victoria knew that she would be getting much less than that. Her stomach churned as she played out the scene in her head of her and Harry’s reunion. Each time she visualised it, her stomach got a little more restless and she scrunched herself into the sheets a little bit further.

The scene in her mind got progressively darker and darker, until she jolted at the intrusive sound of her alarm clock.

Her hands reached upwards as she attempted to rub the tiredness from her face. A heavy feeling had settled in her chest during the course of the night, and it weighed her back down into the sheets as she lay still in the bed.

Dropping her legs over the side of the bed, she forced them to shift so that she was upright. The anxiousness in the pit of her stomach had intensified since she had opened her eyes, but Victoria swallowed her fear and let her stomach settle before dressing herself in the clothes that she had laid out the night before. The morning air was still cool, and she shivered slightly as she opened the window to rid the room of the stale air inside.

Moving through the motions of getting herself ready for the day, Victoria tried her best to keep her mind as empty as possible. If her mind was kept empty, then there was nothing in there that would make her nervous.  

She was just tipping some cat food into a bowl for Max when she heard a knock at the door.

“Just a minute,” she called, before setting the bowl down on the floor, and washing her hands.

Pulling the door open, she came face to face with Gemma, who was giving her a lift to the airport so that they could pick up Harry.

“Hey, Toto! Are you ready to go?” said Gemma, practically bouncing on the spot in her excitement.

Peering into her bag, she made sure that she had everything that she needed.

“Yep, I’m ready. Let’s go!” she replied with as much enthusiasm as she could muster.

Victoria stayed mostly silent throughout the car trip to the airport, only adding in the odd non-committal grunt when required to stop Gemma from asking her too many questions.

“You’re oddly quiet today, aren’t you? I thought you’d be bounding off the seat at the thought of being able to see Harry today. Are you feeling alright?”

“Mhmm, I’m fine.”

“Okay,” replied Gemma with a look that implied she was not entirely convinced.

“At least you two will get to spend plenty of time together in Cheshire when you go to visit Mum and Robin. Have you started packing yet?”

Victoria’s head shot up from where it had been resting on the seat.

“What are you talking about?” said Victoria, her voice coming out in a strangled whisper as panic overtook her body.

Quickly taking her eyes off the road and casting them in the direction of Victoria, Gemma looked aghast at the other girl’s response.

“What do you mean? Didn’t Harry talk to you about going back home?”

“No,” said Victoria, still whispering.

“Oh, love, I’m so sorry. I thought he had said something to you, and that was why you were acting a bit funny.”

Victoria stared at the road ahead, noticing that they were getting quite close to the airport.

“The plan was that Harry spend the night at either my place or yours, just for tonight, and then tomorrow he wanted to drive up to Cheshire with you so that you could meet Mum and Robin, properly that is, as his girlfriend. Obviously you’ve already met Mum when she’s come to visit me. He seriously hasn’t said anything?”

Victoria shook her head, the heavy feeling in her stomach returning and almost imploding with the recent turn in the conversation.

“Look, lovey, just ask him about it. I’m sure it slipped his mind during his conversations with you. He’s not really a morning person, so I don’t think he would have remembered to tell you in your early Skype sessions, and he would have been tired at night, so he might have just forgotten to mention it.”

Nodding her head, Victoria kept her eyes focused on her lap where her hands were neatly folded but trembling slightly. She was almost sure she could make out what Gemma was saying underneath her breath.

‘Idiot boy,’ is what she thought she heard, and this did nothing to calm her nerves as Gemma found a spot to park the car.

Shuffling slowly out of the car, Victoria almost had to jog in order to keep up with Gemma’s brisk strides.

Entering the terminal, Victoria could see handmade signs and giant posters, indicating that there were fans present. Fortunately, their eyes were directed towards the gate that ‘the entourage’ would soon be exiting from, and they did not see Gemma and Victoria slip past them.

“According to that board over there, the plane should have landed about a minute or two ago. We only have to wait for them to get through customs, and then we get to see them.... come on, lovey, smile! Harry won’t want to see you moping around like that.”

“What if Harry want to see me at all?” asked Victoria of Gemma, finally admitting the fears that had been swirling around in her head for the previous few days. “I only spoke to him once over the past week, and even that was a quick five minutes on the phone. Maybe he’s not serious about us anymore, and that’s why he didn’t tell me about visiting Cheshire. Maybe he doesn’t want me to meet your Mum as his girlfriend, because he doesn’t want me as his girlfriend?”

Putting an arm around her friend, Gemma managed to whisper a few words of comfort before the small group of fans began to scream, and Harry’s signature curls came into view amidst a sea of tight-lipped members of a security team.

Trying to forget her worries, Victoria plastered a grin across her face and tried to look as happy as possible for when Harry would see her.

“Hey, look. I can see Eleanor standing over there on her own. Let’s go and wait with her, she’s a bit closer to the front as well,” Gemma almost had to shout to Victoria over the screams of the fans.

Victoria and Gemma quickly jogged over to where Eleanor was standing.

“Hey, El. I’d like you to meet Victoria, or Toto as we all call her. Toto, this is El.”

Smiling brightly, Eleanor immediately leaned over to give Victoria a hug.

“It’s great to finally meet you! Harry has not stopped talking about you; I’ve heard wonderful things about you.”

The smile on Victoria’s face became more genuine as she listened to Eleanor speaking.

“Oh, I’ve heard great things about you too,” replied Victoria as she watched Harry lean in to speak to Liam, over the top of Eleanor's shoulder. Liam appeared to have grabbed Harry’s luggage trolley from him, and Harry was now almost running towards Victoria and the other girls.

‘What on Earth?’ was all that Victoria had time to think before she felt his body collide into her.

“I’ve missed you so much,” she heard his husky voice mumble into her ear before she felt him pull away slightly and begin to plant gentle kisses down her neck.

“Harry,” she whispered into his ear, part of her wanting to break away and face him properly, and the other part of her wanting to stay locked in that perfect embrace forever. “Everyone is staring at us. By everyone, I mean fans, and by staring, I mean they are shooting me death-glares.”

Harry pulled away just enough so that he could look Victoria in the face.

“Let them stare. I want them to know that you’re mine,” he said before bestowing a kiss to her forehead.

Again with this affection, Victoria was conflicted. She thought that he didn’t want her anymore.

“Harry, we need to talk,” she said, feeling her own heart sink as she watched his incandescent green eyes lose their sparkle, and his grin falter.

ATTENTION READERS: I was thinking about how i'm going to progress the story, and there may be the chance to have a kind of sequel to this. It would be a series of one-shots of 'missing scenes' from the story (which would become more evident in the next chapter or so). Please leave a comment if you would be interested in reading something like this.



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