Scoundrels (One Direction Fanfic)

. “What are we playing for?” Quinn asked.
“Fame, glory, bragging rights,” Niall listed, counting the items off on his fingers with a cheeky grin. Quinn rolled her eyes and shoved him lightly, prompting him to shove her back. “Loser buys the winner dinner?”

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3. Acting Weird

Acting Weird

Quinn woke early as usual; she’d learned the hard way that going back to sleep after waking up was a quick way to losing half her day. Despite the heaviness of her limbs and the grit in her eyes, she stumbled her way across the hall to the bathroom she shared with her brother- oh, the joy her early teen years had been- and washed her face, the stinging cold of the water waking her up quicker than any caffeine ever could.

She returned to her room and changed into something casual- fresh shirt, same pants from yesterday- and headed downstairs to peer into the lounge room, finding three boys still passed out on the floor, and the couch empty. Nadia, a leggy blonde with a killer smile and kindest heart, poked her head in from the kitchen and beckoned Quinn over. Carefully, the shorter brunette leapt across the boys and joined her friend in the next room.

“Sleep well?” Nadia asked by way of greeting. Quinn nodded and put her toast on, letting it cook while she made herself porridge. Sometimes, she loved having a fast metabolism even if it meant she was pretty much constantly hungry.

“Good enough. You?” Quinn replied, her back to Nadia and her cup of tea. The microwave door slammed a little louder than Quinn intended and she winced, pausing for a second or two to see if anyone had heard.

Nadia just rolled her eyes and grabbed a second cup, knowing Quinn’s next move would be tea. “Yeah… though Tyson farts and Xavier snores,” Nadia’s dainty nose wrinkled and Quinn snickered to herself, nodding in sympathy. She’d been on enough family camping trips to know exactly what Nadia had put up with all night. “I’m a lucky woman,” the blonde added, a fond smile on her face.

Quinn rolled her eyes and pretended to gag; Nadia snorted and shook her head. “If you like upside down toilet brushes,” Quinn muttered not-quite-under her breath. Ben was tall, skinny, and had scraggly, crazy hair he never tried to tame. It wasn’t quite that bad, but Quinn liked to tease that it was. Tyson was the opposite; his dirty blonde hair barely covered his ears- he kind of reminded Quinn of a stockier Cato from the Hunger Games. Xavier was the middle man when it came to hair. It sort of fit, really, as Ben was tallest, then Xavier, then Tyson.

“I’m gonna wake ‘em,” Quinn said, licking her fingers to finish off the last bit of granulated sugar from her bowl. She didn’t have much on her porridge, but she didn’t stir it through properly and it all ended up on the bottom. Nadia gave a high-five as Quinn headed through to the next room, carrying a few ice cubes in a cup. These she tossed down Xavier’s pants, and jumped back as he moaned, rolled over, then sat straight up and threw Tyson off him to get up and save himself.

Quinn could barely stand for laughing and Nadia choked on her tea; Ben woke up as Xavier shrieked and Tyson gave a panicked shout, the three of them sharing disorientated stares and girlish shrieks until they registered the two girls laughing breathlessly at them. Xavier finally shook the ice out of his pants and threw the tiny remaining bits at Quinn, who ducked out of the way. “I love you too, midget.”

“Oi!” Quinn yelped, indignant but still laughing. She only calmed down when her parents arrived on the stairs together, looking as united as ever. They rarely did anything apart and even after a good twenty-two years of marriage, were more solid than ever. It warmed Quinn’s heart to see them interact like best friends; though it was mildly disgusting to see them act like lovesick teenagers when the occasion arose.

“What’s going on down here?” Ted asked, his voice deep and jokingly serious. Xavier gave Quinn a hard stare as he and the lads shuffled into the kitchen. Michelle instantly brought out the frying pan for eggs and bacon, Ted going to the fridge to pull out the ingredients.

“I wanna get a quiff,” Xavier said out of the blue. He frowned after a moment. “Or would that make me too much like Zayn?”

“No resemblance,” Quinn said quickly, petting her brother’s arm comfortingly. He looked hopeful for a moment before he realised who he was talking to and was abruptly on his guard. “Zayn’s way prettier.”

“Oi!” Xavier yelped, insulted. Ben didn’t look up from his eggs as he high-fived Quinn, Tyson threw a playful punch at his best mate and Nadia giggled. Quinn didn’t stop grinning on her way to the stairs, heading up to grab her jacket before going to meet Evan. She had promised to go see him. She might even bring Evan home with her, if he was up for meeting her brother and his mates. Although Quinn wanted to spend as much time as possible with her brother, she knew Xavier and the boys would be busy settling back in.

“Honey, wait!” Michelle called as Quinn reappeared downstairs. Ted gave his wife a lovingly concerned stare and Michelle seemed to gather all her courage as she caught Quinn’s hand and held it. “Be home a little early this afternoon, okay? We need to talk.”

Quinn’s gaze shot to her brother, then her father, but neither were giving anything away in their expressions. Michelle just smiled when Quinn looked at her, and the eighteen-year-old quirked an eyebrow. “Oookay,” she replied slowly, dragging the word out. Michelle petted her daughter’s hand and handed over twenty pounds to cover lunch and a movie ticket, which is where Evan and Quinn usually went. “Thanks, Mum! Bye Dad- bye boys!”

“Bye!” Tyson and Ben chorused, too absorbed in food- in Tyson’s case- and with Nadia- in Ben’s- to pay much attention to anything around them. Ted blew a kiss at his daughter and Xavier leaned back on his chair to peer through the lounge room at his sister.

“Use protection!” he called, ducking when Michelle’s furious gaze levelled on him and Quinn skipped out the door, avoiding the ensuing conversation just in case her parents tried to pull her into it too. She snickered to herself, wondering just how pissed her mum would be if Michelle knew what Xavier had been up to in the US. The times they spoke to him on the phone or over Skype didn’t say much; he’d managed to keep his conversations clean and safe until he knew he was only talking to Quinn. Despite their bickering and banter, she had his back and he had hers.

Quinn plugged in her iPod, pressed shuffle- was there any other way to listen to music?- and grinned, delighted, when One Direction’s Up All Night came through the speakers. Their debut album was on her most played list, and she was deliriously excited about their upcoming tour in December. She already had tickets to their Sheffield show, on her own since Evan wasn’t the type to enjoy a concert atmosphere.

As she walked, Quinn couldn’t help but wonder what was going on in her house. Why was everyone acting so weird?

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