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.

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14. Two Million, Four Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Two Hundred

 

Victoria pulled her dressing gown tighter around her shivering frame, as she slipped her feet into a pair of silver ballet flats that happened to be lying by the front door.

‘I’ve gone mad...’ she thought as she sped out her front gate and jogged over to next door.

For a few seconds, her icy fingers fumbled with the equally cold brass knocker, before finally managing to give it two sharp raps against the front door.

She hoped that help would come soon. Her mind was growing foggier by the minute, and it was not entirely due to the weather.

‘Please be home...please be home...’ chanted Victoria in her head as she hopped from one foot to the other.

She could hear a flurry of footsteps on the other side of the door and was soon greeted by Jeremy brandishing a cricket bat, ready to pounce. Dan was behind him, holding Gemma protectively, her own eyes opened wide in fright.

“Don’t! Jem it’s only me. I just wanted to speak with Gemma –”

Her voice sounded perilously close to tears by the time she got to the end of her sentence, and it did not take Gemma much time at all to calm her own self down and usher Victoria into the warm sitting room.

She wrapped her arms tightly around the younger girl when they finally managed to settle themselves on the couch. It was only at this point that Victoria truly felt overwhelmed, and she began to sub unrestrainedly into Gemma’s warm shoulder.

“I just miss him so much...” she repeated over and over again, not able to comprehend anything else.

Gemma could only sigh as she wrapped her arms around the young girl even tighter.

“I know, sweetheart...I miss him too.”

Jeremy appeared in the doorway, apparently having put away the cricket bat. His eyes were full of concern as he looked over to Gemma for an answer.

“It’s okay,” she mouthed over the top of Victoria’s head, motioning for him to go back to bed. 

Jeremy shrugged his shoulders, and left the two girls to their own devices.

After a few minutes of crying, and Gemma’s gentle reassurances, she coaxed Victoria’s head up to look at her face.

“How does it feel when you see Harry upset over something that neither of you has control over?”

“Horrible. It just sucks,” sniffled Victoria.

“Exactly,” replied Gemma with an empathetic nod. “So, how do you think Harry would feel if he were to walk in right this minute, and see you like this?”

“He wouldn’t like it.”

“That’s right. If I know my brother, he’d want you to make the most of the situation, and be as happy as possible. Yeah?”

“Yep,” replied Victoria in a small voice, as she wiped away the wet trickles from her face with the back of her sleeve.

“It’s only two more weeks, lovey. Think, you’ve already made it this far.”

“Two more weeks,” Victoria repeated.

Are you going to be alright? Did you want to spend the rest of the night here?”

When Victoria nodded her acquiescence, Gemma got up to get her a pillow and some blankets.

“At least you’ve already got some pyjamas,” joked Gemma when she returned, “but I did bring you this.”

Victoria reached out to grab the object.

It was a small teddy bear with a bright red ribbon, tied in a bow, around its neck.

“Thanks, but why are you giving me a teddy bear? Aren’t I a bit grown up for that?”

“It’s Harry’s,” replied Gemma with a shrug, pressing the bear into Victoria’s outstretched hand. “He used to sleep with it every night.”

“Oh,” said Victoria surprised, taking the bear with a small smile creeping onto her own face.

“But don’t tell him that I told you that,” whispered Gemma with a wink. “Yell out if you need anything.”

“Thank you, Gemma. Not just for the bear, and all this, but for everything. At least you seem to be coping well.”
Gemma seemed to want to remain silent, looking at Victoria with an odd expression on her face.

“It’s just another two weeks,” she repeated, before leaving the room to go back to her own bed.

1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D

The next morning, Victoria awoke to the delightful smell of coffee and hot, buttery toast.

“Toto, time for breakfast!”

Victoria groaned, and buried her head further under the warmth of the blanket.

“Toto, it wasn’t a question. Get your ass up off the couch!”

Groaning again, she heaved herself up from the squishy comfort that she had spent half the night on, and followed her nose to the kitchen.

She walked in to find Jem lounging on one of the chairs, sipping a cup of coffee. He gestured to the seat next to him where Victoria found her own delicious cup of hot chocolate waiting.

“So,” said Jem when she had finally taken her seat. “What are we going to do today?”

Victoria looked up at her friend with confusion.

“What do you mean?” she asked before taking a sip of her hot chocolate. One of the many benefits of having a friend who worked in a cafe was that you got cafe-quality hot drinks when you needed them most.

“Well, as far as I know, you don’t have any plans for today. I’ve got the day off. Let’s do something together.”

“I don’t want to...where are Gemma and Dan?”

“They’ve already gone out. Don’t change the subject. Why don’t you want to go out?”

Victoria fidgeted and squirmed in her seat under the relentless gaze of Jem.

“I just don’t feel like it.”

“Are you sure that’s all it is?” asked Jem, still staring at her with that impenetrable look that suggested he knew exactly what she wasn’t letting on.

To Victoria it felt like forever before Jem lifted his eyes off her. 

“Maybe tomorrow, then?” he said in a much lighter tone, liberally spreading jam onto his piece of toast.

“Sure,” grumbled Victoria in a voice that did not entirely convince Jem.

The pair continued to eat their breakfast in silence, each chewing away at their own thoughts, until Victoria stood to leave.

“I should probably go home and get changed...”

Jeremy nodded at her.

“Sure, love, go do what you have to do. If you change your mind about wanting to do something today, I’ll be here.”

In spite of her dour mood, Victoria smiled at him.

“Thank you, for everything. You’re a good friend. You all are.”

Jeremy returned the smile as he spoke.

“Give us a shout if you need anything else.”

Mentally thanking herself for her foresight, Victoria reached her fingers above the wooden frame of her front door and snatched the spare key from the top of it. She let herself into the house, looking around at the mess she had left from the previous day.

DVD cases and empty mugs were lying side by side next to the couch. The crisp white of unopened mail was a stark contrast to the brown throw rug that had been carelessly left on the edge of the couch.

Max was giving her a withering look that very plainly asked, ‘why haven’t you fed me yet?’

Spying her phone that had been left on the coffee table, she walked over and picked it up. Checking her messages, she saw that there were a few unopened ones. 

The first few were from Gemma apologising for having left early, but asking if she were alright. There was one from a work colleague, and a few promotional ones, trying to get to her buy completely unnecessary objects that cost far too much.

However, there was one precious one that stood out for Victoria. It was one from Harry.

Opening it, she felt her muscles pull her face into a delightfully wide grin.

Been busy here. Can’t wait to see you. Only 2 419 200 seconds to go xx

For those of you who haven’t yet figured it out, the title is a reference to the previous chapter where Harry said he would count the seconds until he could be with Toto again. As of this chapter, there is 2 weeks to go, therefore, 2 419 200 seconds left...

Thanks for being so supportive of the story so far. Just letting you know that although it is not the end of the story, it might be the last update for a little while. I am currently in the middle of the next chapter, but life is too busy with uni and work for me to get it done.

Hopefully you won't have to wait too long. Make sure you take a look at my other stories in the meantime...

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