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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41. Finally Back

Belle stepped into Heathrow airport, pushing her sunglasses back to rest on top of her head. She was dragging her suitcase in one hand, and holding her phone in the other. Her dark brown hair was straightened, and she looked good with her black skinny jeans and denim button up, wearing high top black converse. Slowly but surely, Belle was getting back to her old self.

It had been two days since Belle had begged Niall to let her come back to him and the boys, and she had no regrets. Sure, it would be hard to see Louis and his new girlfriend, or whatever she was, but even so, she belonged with One Direction.

Niall had already called Psycho and Belle was set up to record with them that very day. Simon Cowell had naturally been overjoyed to hear of her return, having wanted her to sign with them for a long time. 

Belle didn't know if any of the other boys knew about her arrival, and she somewhat hoped they didn't. She wanted to surprise Harry, Liam, and Zayn, but she also didn't want to know what Louis' reaction to her coming back would be. Especially if it was...bad.

Which she expected it to be. He had every right to hate her after all. She abandoned him eight months ago and is only just now returning when he has a new girlfriend and is seemingly happy? How could he not hate her?

Since Belle had to turn her cell phone off while on the flight, she stepped into a bathroom at Heathrow and turned it back on. Niall had told her he would text her the address of where to go. 

A couple seconds passed and Belle's phone pinged with one text, and several twitter notifications.

 

From 'The Sexy Irish Leprachaun'

Go to terminal 5 :) Can't wait to c u! xx

 

@NiallOfficial: This guy is on his way to pick up @SilverBelles22 !! #happy :)

 

@Real_Liam_Payne: @NiallOfficial @SilverBelles22 Whattttt?? Yayyyy :)

 

@zaynmalik: @NiallOfficial @SilverBelles22 r u serious? :D

 

@Harry_Styles: @NiallOfficial @SilverBelles22 why am i just now hearing this? Not that I'm not happy about it, because I am :)

 

@Louis_Tomlinson: @NiallOfficial @SilverBelles22 what? 

 

Belle cringed when she saw Louis' tweet. He didn't seem too happy. Just like she predicted. Nonetheless though, she did smile at everything else. She sent a quick text back to Niall.

 

To 'The Sexy Irish Leprachaun'

Heading there now! :)

 

Once Belle pressed send, she picked up her suitcase and started heading to the fifth terminal. It was rather dangerous for Niall to be out in the open at Heathrow, she hoped he had security.

Hastily making her way to the terminal, Belle began to think of what she would say and do when she saw Niall. They never really talked about the fact that he had kissed her out of the blue so long ago. The topic also hadn't come up in the past two days since they had been texting back and forth either. She hoped it stayed that way though. Belle wasn't the type of girl to go after her ex-boyfriend's best friend. Especially since she was still in love with Louis, probably always would be, and had basically ripped out his heart and stomped on it eight months ago. He was moving on though, so that was good. For him at least. Nevermind her aching chest.

Belle finally made it to Terminal Five and glanced around. It was mildly crowded, but not as many people as she expected there to be. If Niall was here, hundreds of screaming fans should be deafening her eardrums by now. Had he sent someone else to pick her up?

Belle pulled her phone out and was in the process of texting Niall when he texted her first.

 

From 'The Sexy Irish Leprachaun'

i c u :)

 

Belle cocked her head to the side and scanned the room. She looked at every single person, Niall was nowhere to be seen.

 

From 'The Sexy Irish Leprachaun'

ur hair is a whole lot darker

 

So Niall wasn't playing any tricks, he really could see her. Belle figured he was either hiding somewhere, or was disguised as an everyday person. Her phone pinged again.

 

From 'The Sexy Irish Leprachaun'

Look to ur left :)

 

A couple seconds later...

 

From 'The Sexy Irish Leprachaun'

Shit i meant look to ur right

 

Belle smiled and slowly turned her head to the right. At the end of the little hallway that separated Terminal Five from Terminal Four, leaning against the wall, was a medium height guy with a snapback and dark sunglasses on, looking her direction. He had on an oversized hoodie with the hood pulled up over his hat, and it was impossible to tell if it was Niall or not. She stared at the guy curiously for a moment or two.

Then very slyly, the guy made sure no one was paying him much attention and lowered his sunglasses so that Belle could see his eyes.

There was no mistaking those familiar gorgeous blue eyes, and Belle began to grin from ear to ear. Niall smiled too, right back at her, replacing the sunglasses over his eyes.

Without a second's hesitation, Belle let her suitcase drop to the floor and set out in a sprint after Niall. People turned and looked at her, and scoffed when she pushed them out of the way, but Belle didn't care.

Finally reaching her best friend, Belle threw her arms around Niall's neck in pure joy. He laughed, wrapping his arms around her waist and picking her up off the ground and twirling her. Once Belle was set back down on the ground, she pulled back and looked up at Niall, smiling bigger than she had smiled in the past eight months. He still had his hands on her waist and her hands were wrapped around his neck.

"Damn Belle it's so good to see you." He said after just a moment. Belle had forgotten how thick and raspy his accent was.

She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. What could she possibly say? There were no words to express how incredibly happy she was.

"What? Do I make you speechless?" Niall asked teasingly.

Belle chuckled. "I just..." She finally was able to speak, "I just can't believe I'm finally back. God I missed you Niall!" She shouted, pulling him closer to her in another embrace, digging her face into the crook of his shoulder.

Niall laughed throatily, making his chest vibrate against Belle's. "I missed you too babe." He said quietly.

The two stood like that, wrapped in each other's arms, for perhaps a minute or two. Then finally, Niall pulled back and looked at her with a grin.

"Are you ready?" He asked excitedly.

"For...?"

Niall rolled his eyes. "To go see everyone!" He said as if she should have known. "You're home Belle, everyone is so excited that you're back!"

Before Belle could respond, Niall grabbed Belle's hand and started to drag her over to where she'd dropped her suitcase. He picked it up with his free hand and then began to lead her towards the airport car lot. 

"I really doubt everyone is going to be super thrilled to see me." Belle said.

Niall peered at her over the top of his sunglasses. "Are you kidding me? We've missed you like crazy Belle!"

Belle chuckled bitterly. "Why? I totally abandoned you guys mid-tour and turned into this business monster and--"

"Hold up." Niall said seriously, coming to a sudden halt and turning to face Belle. People had to walk around them, but he didn't care. "That was months ago okay? We've all forgiven you, we know you were just trying to protect us. It's all in the past. We're just happy you're back here with us again."

A silent second passed. "Niall you and I both know that he hasn't forgiven me." Belle said somberly. They both knew who she was referring to. "I doubt he ever will." She added quietly.

"Hey don't say that. It's been a long time, maybe once he sees you..." Niall paused for a moment. "Maybe it won't be as bad as you think."

Belle took a deep breath and squeezed Niall's hand. "Maybe." She said, not believing a word of it. It was a nice sentiment though.

Niall smiled wide. "C'mon, let's go." He said. 

They made their way through Heathrow and to the car lot, both chatting excitedly. Niall told Belle that Liam and Zayn both had girlfriends now, and Harry was talking to some girl he met doing a radio interview. He said nothing about Louis' new love interest though, which she was thankful for.

"Yeah the boys and I are in the process of writing songs for the next album. We've got a couple months before we start recording though, so I feel like we've got plenty of time." Niall said cheerfully as he opened his car door for Belle. She thanked him and waited until he jogged around to the driver's side and hopped in before she responded.

"That's amazing! Who does most of the writing?"

Niall shrugged and started up the car. "Eh, we all pitch in, but mostly it's me and Zayn."

Belle smiled as Niall reversed out of the car lot and began to drive away from Heathrow. He sighed when he could finally take off his snapback and hood, mussing up his hair in the process. "Much better." He mumbled under his breath.

A few seconds of comfortable silence ensued.

"Hey Niall?"

"Yeh?"

"How is he?" She finally asked, earning a curious sideways glance. "Be honest, please."

Niall took in a deep breath and he tighted his grip on the wheel. "Honestly Belle, after you left...he was a complete wreck. Wouldn't talk to any of us hardly at all, except to bitch about something. He was a real dick. Once the tour was over though he went to stay with his family for a while. I think that did him some good. He wasn't himself for a long time, he was really quiet and kind of depressed. But then...I don't know, after a few months he started coming back to us little-by-little. He started to get over it. I mean, whenever we would bring you up in conversation, or they would ask about you in interviews, you could see that it really tore him up. But he got better. Not...whole again. But better." Niall turned and smiled meekly at Belle for a quick second. "And I think that...she helps him a lot."

Belle inhaled sharply. The pain in her chest was excruciating when she was brought up, but it was something Belle had to face at some point.

"Tell me about her." Belle said bluntly.

Niall looked at her in surprise. "Are you serious?" He asked.

"Yes. Tell me." When Niall didn't respond for a moment Belle continued. "Niall please, I have to get over this too."

Niall took in a slow breath before speaking. "Her name is Kaylie." He finally said. "She's about your height, blonde hair. She models for some magazine, I don't know what it is. She's pretty nice, I've only spoken to her a few times. They seem to get on pretty good."

Belle looked out the window and tried to imagine Louis with this Kaylie girl. She couldn't do it though. Whenever she saw Louis' face, it was her that was always next to him.

"But it's nothing like when you two were together." Niall said suddenly, startling Belle from her thoughts. She turned and looked at him incredulously.

"What?"

"Yeah. Like I said, they get on pretty well, but...there's no spark between them. The other boys don't think so either." He said somberly.

Belle looked down at her lap in deep thought. Was Louis just using this Kaylie girl to get over her? Or was there some real chemistry between them that Niall and the others just couldn't see?

A few minutes passed and Belle couldn't stop thinking about the whole situation. What was going to happen when she saw Louis? What if Kaylie was with him? Would Kaylie hate her? What would Louis say?

"We're here!" Niall suddenly said cheerfully, and Belle jumped back to reality as the car came to a stop. 

Belle looked out the front windshield and saw that they were in front of Psycho's main building. It was massive, and she had to crane her neck to see the rooftop. Glancing to her left, Belle saw that hundreds of girls were outside the front entrance, holding up signs and squealing loudly.

That could only mean one thing.

"Are they...?"

Niall grinned. "Yepp." He said with a grin, popping the 'p' sound. "The boys are here, I texted them earlier telling them to meet us here so they could see you!" 

Belle paled. That meant Louis was inside. She was going to see him for the first time since that fateful day eight months ago.

Niall must have noticed Belle's scared expression because he grasped her hand in his own. "Hey don't be worried okay. It's just us, remember? No matter what happens, or what did happen in the past, we're your family and we love you. Don't worry about Louis, if it gets to be too much for you, just tell me." He smiled sincerely. "He's not going to lash out at you love. And if he does, then I'll take care of it for ya." Niall winked cheekily and Belle couldn't help but laugh.

"Alright." She said with confidence. No matter how much seeing Louis would break her heart, Belle knew it would also help her begin to heal. "Let's go see the rest of our family."

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