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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19. I'm With The Band

I'm back, and awfully sorry about the long delay. Truth is, I sort of lost all my spark for writing for a very long time. I could barely come up with any new plots, I struggled with the simplest things. Despite having this story planned out for many chapters to come, I couldn't bring myself to get it down on paper. But I'm getting better now. So I'm back. Scoundrels is back.

If you're still with me, thank you.

-19-

I’m With The Band

The plane coasted down the runway, all but three seats taken by people making the short hop across the Irish Sea to Dublin. It was the day before the third-to-last show before a two month break leading up to the rest of their tour, and One Direction were full of energy despite how busy they’d been. Radio interviews, TV appearances, signings, publicity events, music video planning and early-stage scheduling for their second album’s recording sessions, not to mention the travelling and actual performances. Quinn was in constant amazement of how they could do a full day of publicity and then a show and still be as lively as ever while onstage.

Harry had said the adrenaline was as good as any caffeine shot and invited her- again- to come up onstage with them. Xavier had tried to goad his sister into performing a duet with him during the Scoundrels’ performance; to both, Quinn had said a quick and definite ‘no’. Not even Tyson’s teasing or Ben’s rationalising or Niall’s gentle attempts at convincing her would sway her decision.

The Dublin city airport was packed as they landed- of course it was- and Quinn stayed between Xavier and Tyson, careful to keep her handbag close to her stomach so it couldn’t be snatched. Fans lined the cordoned off walkway and screamed for the eight boys; cameras flashed from every direction, blindingly bright- it was a mark of how adaptable Quinn had had to be that none of this bothered her anymore; she just smiled and waved and kept walking. The only real change in her life had been that, as her popularity and recognition grew, poor Lou had been instructed to approve any outfits Quinn wanted to wear and give a few lessons on makeup and hairstyling. Quinn had tried to refuse- God knows Lou was busy enough without taking on extra work- but had been silenced the moment she realised that the world would be watching, and judging, everything she said or did.

It wasn’t a comfortable feeling and anxiety sometimes knotted her stomach so bad that she didn’t go outside at all if she could help it. Xavier knew, as he’d witnessed Quinn fretting over whether her eye shadow matched her shoelaces and had been on the receiving end of many a sharp-tongued phrase.

Two people movers waited at the side of the road, bodyguards making sure the crowd stayed at bay and opening the doors, shielding the interior from anything being thrown in. Still, girls managed to toss their phones or bracelets and even rocks wrapped in paper inside, anything to get their numbers on the boys’ radar. One Direction and the Scoundrels parted ways at the vans, the former jumping in the first vehicle and the latter piling into the second.

“Anybody for some Pocky?” Tyson asked, pulling out a crumpled box and offering it around.

“Where did you get that?” Quinn asked, hesitating even as Xavier and Ben took several sticks each. Grinning, Tyson shrugged and flipped the box over, showing the name and number written onto the back. “Pig,” she quipped, taking some all the same.

“There’s ten more boxes where that came from,” Tyson winked, settling back in his chair with a self-satisfied grin.

“Not from the same girl, surely?” Ben, aghast, stopped chewing to stare as Tyson’s grin grew smug and he nodded, giggling like an idiot. Quinn just rolled her eyes and grabbed the band’s music folder, opening up to the song they’d all been working on during the short flight over.

The drive to the hotel was short, all things considered, though they did make one or two false turns and double back on themselves once or twice to confuse the paparazzi and any fans that might’ve been trying to follow in their cars, which meant they all arrived in the late afternoon and were settled just before dinner time, giving them just enough time to change before heading out for food.

Moving the two bands anywhere was a challenge, as several teenagers and a couple young adults were never easy to organise, but somehow Paul and his security team managed it with minimal fuss. The restaurant they’d chosen wasn’t high end or terribly fancy, probably about three stars, but was close to the hotel and pretty quiet, perfect for the end of a long day of travel.

The group of them settled around a single table, opting for a banquet selection on a Lazy Susan instead of individual meals. Laughter rang out as they each filled a plate, bickering and teasing like the very best of friends. It was during a brief lull in conversation that Xavier leaned towards Quinn, nearly pushing Tyson out of his seat, and beckoned her closer.

“Are you gonna ask them, or shall I?” he whispered. Quinn glanced up and spotted Louis watching them; before she could say another word, he had gasped dramatically and covered his heart like he’d been shot.

“Secrets! Scandalous secrets!” he yelped, pointing at Quinn and Xavier who rolled their eyes and sat upright, unintentionally mirroring one another. Niall, on Quinn’s other side, turned to raise one eyebrow as Harry comforted a fake-sobbing Louis. Quinn made a note to not feed them any more sugary drinks, or they’d never sleep.

“No secrets, I swear,” Quinn said, directing the comment to Louis who chuckled and nodded- he knew, but being the giant five year old he was, had to do something to break the quiet. People a few tables over were staring and Quinn was vividly aware of every girl over the age of nine begging their parents to let them come over. She bit back a smile and looked to Paul. “My parents said that, if you want, well… we’re having a sort of party, to celebrate the tour so far, and they both said you’re all welcome to come. It’s okay if you don’t, though, I mean it’s hardly fair to make Niall travel so far-“

“I’d love to come!” Niall interrupted, grinning and sitting up straight. “I mean, we’d like to come- right lads?”

Sharing knowing glances that Quinn was oblivious to, Liam and Zayn nodded for the band. “Does this mean we get to see your bedroom?” Louis asked, wriggling his eyebrows.

“Depends. Can you see through closed doors?” Quinn retorted swiftly, panicking inwardly at the thought of the band in her bedroom. It wasn’t the largest space and she had no doubt that they’d try to cram in anyway. Her freak outs were rare now that they’d become such a big part of her life, but there were moments still when she looked at them and just thought… holy shit, I’m with the band.

“We’ll be there,” Harry promised, winking at Quinn across the table. She beamed back at him, clapping her hands in excitement.

“Brilliant! Oh, Mum will be so pleased- she’s always going on about wanting to meet you- and I think Dad wants to do the whole hurt-my-daughter-I’ll-hurt-you speech…” she trailed off thoughtfully as the boys gave each other half panicked, half amused glances.

Harry cleared his throat, brushing back his curls. “I for one will assure him that I’ll never hurt you. We,” he pointed at each of the lads in turn- “- will never hurt you.”

“I know, Harry,” Quinn replied, feeling her cheeks start to burn as a pleased little blush crept up her neck. She was oblivious to Niall furiously stabbing his chicken and to Liam giving Harry a serious frown; as far as Quinn could tell, everything was normal.  

An hour later, they stood to leave and waded their way through the braver fans who had rushed over to take pictures. Xavier, Tyson and Ben all escaped quickly and without Quinn, who glared at their retreating backs and silently vowed to get revenge later. In the meantime, she made herself useful holding bags and taking photos, rolling her eyes and whining their names when the boys made silly faces instead of smiling.

The fans didn’t seem to mind; and when one thirteen-year-old girl shyly asked if Quinn would like to be in the picture, Niall didn’t hesitate to grab her hand and pull her next to him, arm around her waist gently. “Do I get to see your bedroom?” he asked, referring back to Louis’ half-serious question during dinner.

Quinn blinked and looked up at him, half-smiling, and didn’t notice when the camera flashed, capturing that look on her face forever.

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