Breaking Free

Ever felt smothered by everyone else's idea of what your life should be like? Have you ever just wanted to say "Stop! It's my life!" to those closest to you? We all have, haven't we? I bet you were too afraid to do it though. So you kept your mouth shut, and did exactly what you always told yourself you would never do: you followed the rules set by people who don't really know you, and let THEM control your life. But what could happen if you finally just said no? If you decided to follow your own dream? Would something amazing happen? Would you fall in love? Would you find what you've been looking for your whole life? What could happen if you just...broke free?

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"Stop laughing!" Belle hissed as she drug Niall by the hand into the game room, shutting the door behind them. 

Niall continued to laugh, holding his stomach as he did so. "I'm sorry...it's just...I can't!" He said in between giggle fits, sitting down on a bean bag chair and leaning back, pulling up his knees and clapping his hands, laughing his adorable laugh.

Belle couldn't help but chuckle too, but mostly at Niall's reaction. She had figured Kaylie and Harry would work things out once they were alone, but she didn't they would end up...working on each other.

"I am a genius matchmaker!" Belle exclaimed, pushing herself off of the door and flopping down in Niall's lap on the bean bag chair. Niall wrapped his arms around her waist.

"What're you going on about?" Niall asked, resting his chin on her shoulder. 

Belle looked back and smiled at his cute expression. "You heard me. I knew those two would be perfect together, Kaylie owes me big time." She said smugly.

Niall pulled back and looked at Belle's face. "Wait, so you planned that?" He asked incredulously.

"Well I certainly didn't plan what they were doing back there." Belle said quickly. "But yeah, I planned the whole thing with him driving her home so they could talk."

"Talk about...?"

Belle rolled her eyes. "Niall keep up. Kaylie likes Harry. Harry likes Kaylie. Neither were brave enough to admit it, so I just nudged them along." She said with a grin.

Niall broke out into a smile. "Well look at you." Suddenly his brow furrowed though. "Wait a minute, is that why you said you needed me to take you to Syco, and then we had to turn right back around because the entire building was closed?" 

Belle's cheeks flushed red. "Yeah, sorry about that. I just had to come up with some excuse for us to go off by ourselves."

Suddenly Niall started to grin cheekily. "Well I can think of several things we could do by our--"

Niall's cheeky comment was cut off as the door to the game room swung open, revealing a still disheveled Harry and Kaylie. Seeing Harry, Belle jumped off of Niall's lap and stood up, plastering a smile on her face.

"Oh hey guys what's up?" Belle asked quickly.

Harry looked back and forth between Niall and Belle for a second before shaking his head clear. "Hey erm, we just wanted to uh, apologize." He mumbled, scratching the back of his head awkwardly. "You know, for...before." He added, stuffing his hands in his pockets and rocking back and forth on his heels, looking down as he blushed furiously.

Belle covered her mouth to stifle a giggle while Niall sat back in the bean bag chair with his hands on the back of his hand, smiling at Harry. 

"Nothing to apologize for mate, nothing at all." Niall said cheekily. Harry and Kaylie looked beyond embarrassed, and Belle reached down and swatted Niall on the chest. He just laughed though, finding the whole situation amusing.

"So uh, are you two like...a thing now?" Belle asked hopefully, jumping up and sitting on the edge of the pool table. 

Harry and Kaylie glanced at each other shyly before looking away. 

"Uh, we're not quite sure what we are." Kaylie finally said quietly. Harry turned to her and smiled before putting a hand around her waist lightly. Kaylie looked up at him and smiled. "But we're something." She added, looking up at Harry lovingly.

The two continued to stare at each other, smiling like no one was watching. Unfortunately though, their best friends were.

Belle cried out "Awww!" at the same time Niall said, "Oh get a room." 

Kaylie chuckled, hiding her face in Harry's chest as she blushed bright red. Harry laughed, wrapping her up in his arms.

"Ugh, I'm just so smart I swear." Belle mumbled, hopping off of the pool table and making her way over to the bean bag chair next to Niall, making sure not to get to close to him so Harry wouldn't get suspicious of anything.

Harry grabbed Kaylie's hand and intertwined their fingers, pulling her over to a love seat sitting diagonal to Niall and Belle. He sat them down, and Kaylie curled up into his side.

"So anyways, let's talk about something else." Kaylie said, laughing awkwardly.

"What, you don't like talking about how we walked in on you two getting frisky?" Niall asked with a wink in Kaylie's direction. Belle rolled her eyes and smacked Niall again. "Oi!" He shouted. "Quit hitting me woman!"

"So erm, Belle." Harry said, changing the topic as efficiently as he could. Belle looked away from Niall and smiled at Harry.

"Yes?" 

"What's going on with you and Louis? You two going to get back together or what?" 

At Harry's words, everyone else in the room tensed up. Niall's jaw clenched tight, Belle paled, and Kaylie looked on with a dropped jaw, not knowing what would happen next. Harry was the only person in the room that didn't know about Belle and Niall's secret 'relationship'.

"Did I...hit a nerve?" Harry asked slowly. 

Kaylie and Niall both looked at Belle, who was staring blankly.

"No." Belle squeaked out. "No of course not Harry, it's fine." She added, clearing her throat to speak more clearly. "Uh, no. Louis and I are definitely not getting back together. But we're uh, sort of friends again? I don't know, we talked earlier today and we both said we didn't want things to be awkward between us." 

Harry nodded understandingly. "Oh okay that's good. I kinda hate that though, I just figured you guys would end up back together."

Niall's hand turned into a fist on his thigh.

"I mean," Harry continued, "He still talks about you all the time, you guys were perfect together. I can't really picture you with anyone else." 

Belle looked down at Niall's hand, where his knuckles were turning white from making such a tight fist. 

"Harry." Kaylie said quietly, getting his attention.

"What?" Harry asked, looking down at her. "I'm just saying, it's weird to think of her with anyone else." He looked back up at Belle, who was still white as a sheet. "I mean, obviously if you guys aren't getting back together, I'll have to get used to seeing you with someone else at some point in the future. But I mean gosh, who else could you date that would be better than Louis, he--"

"Harry." Kaylie interrupted more firmly, squeezing his forearm lightly to get his attention. He turned and looked at her for a moment before turning back to Belle and Niall.

Niall's face was red, and his hands were shaking on top of his things. His jaw was clenched tight and he was looking at a random spot on the floor of the room. Belle was looking at him in concern. Harry looked back at Kaylie for understanding, but she just shook her head. When Harry looked back, he saw Belle reach out and gently touch Niall's hand.

At Belle's touch, Niall immediately relaxed. His jaw unclenched, and he let out a sharp breath as if he hadn't been breathing for a few seconds. When he turned his head to the side and looked at Belle, he smiled meekly and turned his hand palm upward and gently held hers. His expression was apologetic.

Suddenly it all clicked in Harry's head. Belle and Niall were together. That's why he had been at her house so much, why he had come back to Kaylie's house with her, the tension between him and Louis. It all made sense now.

"Oh shit." He said, eyes shooting up in realization. Belle turned her head and looked at Harry, nodding in confirmation. Niall kept his head down, intertwining his fingers with Belle's. "How did this even...?"

Belle sighed and took a deep breath, squeezing Niall's hand lightly before speaking. "About a week and a half ago, Niall came over to see me when Louis and I were, trying to work things out." Harry noticed Niall cringe, but let Belle continue. "And then Niall told me and Louis something and I found out that he's had feelings for me for a pretty long time." Belle turned and looked at Niall, smiling. He looked back up at her and smiled back. She continued to speak without ever looking away. "And I had this gut feeling right then and there that Louis and I aren't meant to be together right now. And I also realized that Niall is everything I need." 

Belle then began to speak directly to Niall, the rest of the room fading to black around them.

"You make me want to be better Niall. You make me forget about all the shit in my past, the bad things I've done. You help me to continue looking ahead, instead of looking backwards. You're everything I need, but not only that...you're everything I want, too."

Harry looked on in complete and utter shock. Belle was with Niall now, and had been for almost two weeks, in secret. But Niall has liked her for much longer? Even though Louis was his best mate, not to mention they're in a band together. How was this going to work out?

"Niall what the--"

"Shh." Kaylie interrupted Harry in a hushed tone. "Just watch." She added under her breath. 

Harry looked back incredulously at Niall and Belle, who were oblivious to the rest of the world.

Niall reached up and touched Belle's cheek softly. "Belle I know I'm not Louis, I'll never be Louis. But I want you to be happy more than anything in the world and I just...I'd do anything in the world for you Belle, you mean more to me than I ever thought possible."

Belle smiled, her eyes welling up. She said nothing, just leaned forward and pressed her lips softly against his.

"Woah." Harry said, turning and looking at Kaylie with an utterly shocked expression.

"See?" Kaylie asked quietly. "Look at how happy they make each other." She said, indicating back to Belle and Niall, who had pulled apart and were resting their foreheads against each other. "You can't tell me you don't see it written all over their faces."

"I do." Harry said, surprising himself. "I never would have guessed it, but...they're good."

Belle turned her head away from Niall and looked at Harry with a meek smile. "Harry I'm sorry you didn't know, but nobody except us knows. It's too soon for Louis to find out anything, he'll flip his shit and you know it."

"Please don't say anything to him mate." Niall pleaded. "I can't lose Belle, but I also can't lose any of you boys either."

Harry only had to think for a split second. "Of course I'll keep quiet." He said simply. "I can see that you guys are good together. And Louis will be fine once he gets over Belle. I'll help in any way that I can."

Belle cocked her head to the side in surprise. "Really? What makes you so sure you want to involve yourself with this drama?"

"Well you know I love you Belle, I want you to be happy." He replied. "And for some reason this little idiot over here makes you smile bigger than I've ever seen you smile. Not to mention you're Kaylie's best friend as well as mine. And she obviously wants you guys to be together, so..." He looked down at Kaylie for a second, smiling. "So I'll do whatever you need me to do."

Kaylie grinned, leaning up and kissing Harry lightly on the cheek. "You're amazing." She murmured.

"Guys I just realized something." Niall suddenly said. Everyone turned and looked at him, expectantly. He paused for dramatic effect, plastering a serious expression on his face. "All four of us are really fucked up when it comes to relationships."

A split second passed before they all burst out laughing, because it was the honest truth.

But perhaps the old saying is true that the craziest plans work out in the end. 

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