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?”


2. The Surprise Party

The Surprise Party

Xavier, Tyson and Ben chatted the whole one-hour drive home. About America, the food on the plane, their hotel, the gigs, the pubs, the women- ew, thought Quinn, as her brother mentioned a one-night-stand or three- and how they’d had the time of their lives. Ben, philosophical as always, likened their trip as being on tour without the commitments. Quinn was quietly jealous of their freedom.

At eighteen, she was the baby of the family and was treated as such despite her age. Xavier was five years older and thus, their parents had had more time to get used to the idea of their firstborn gallivanting around the world with his band. Quinn had had to beg, whine and plead just to let her parents let her go to Brighton with a few friends. She got that it was different for girls, and that her parents were just trying to protect her, but it did sometimes feel like Xavier had the most freedom.

“And what about you, Q-Tip?” Xavier asked, ruffling his sister’s hair as they pulled up outside their house. She batted his hand away, glad that she’d decided to let Tyson drive, and poked her brother’s ribs to tickle him in retaliation for that horrid nickname. “You still with that Evan kid?”

Quinn smiled brightly as she nodded, her boyfriend of six months popping into her head. Evan was a genuinely nice guy; smart, into football, warm brown eyes and a nice smile. He could be slightly nerdy and wasn’t the strongest guy around, and he could fall into a sulk if things didn’t go his way, but he was never anything but good to her and she truly liked him. She’d never dare say ‘love’, not at eighteen. She hated how that word was bantered around like it meant nothing.

“I’ll get the dinner on, shall I?” Quinn asked, heading up to the darkened house as the boys unloaded their stuff to follow her. Xavier gave the house and lack of life a puzzled look.

“What’ve you done with Mum and Dad?” he hollered, loud enough to wake the street if it wasn’t just seven in the evening. Quinn rolled her eyes and unlocked the door, creeping in and leaving it wide open behind her. The three returning boys would stay there for the night, before dispersing off to their regular homes or couches. Ah, the glamorous life of pub bands.

“They’re here!” Quinn whispered to the dark, seemingly empty living room. Xavier was the first in the door and he was still frowning as he struggled to find the stairs with his case and back pack in hand. Ben was next, and Tyson brought up the rear and slammed the door behind him.

“Fuckin’ hell, Q, put some lights on?” he exclaimed, dropping his case with a bang and fumbling for the light switch. Quinn hid a smile and jumped back as the house was illuminated and from behind every piece of furniture, a human being sprang. Streamers hung on the ceiling and a bowl of punch with a full roast rested on the table beneath a banner that read Welcome Home!

“Surprise!” Quinn hollered as loud as the rest, watching happily as Xavier’s disappointment melted into shock then delight and he bear-hugged his mother, then turned to their father. Ben had found himself firmly in the arms of his girlfriend and Tyson was bouncing around hugging anybody within reach. It was sort of sad, really, that he didn’t have anybody of his own at the party. He’d unofficially been adopted by Quinn and Xavier’s parents, anyway; he was round for dinner four nights a week, on a good week.

It was a shame that Evan couldn’t make it, Quinn thought, as she sipped her drink and watched the revelry. Xavier would have loved to meet him again, properly, rather than over a phone call and Skype conversation. Oh, well. It would have to wait. Quinn’s eyes followed Xavier around the room, quietly wondering what was different about him. He looked just like her brother always did, until he stretched his arm out to grab another piece of chicken.

“Xay!” Quinn cried, pointing, her mouth open with shock. He jumped and stared around in fright, probably thinking she’d seen a spider, before calming down for a whole second. When she appeared at his side and grabbed his arm, the panic returned as he finally caught on to what she’d seen. “A tattoo! You have a tattoo!”

This shout attracted their mother’s attention, and Xavier yanked his arm away and grabbed his jacket to hide the star he’d had done on his inside bicep. It was quite tasteful, really. Their mother diverted her course as Ben’s mother caught her attention and the two wandered off together. “Cheers for that,” Xavier muttered to Quinn, who shrugged nonchalantly. It was his own fault anyway; for getting that tattoo and for not covering it up. She had nothing against tattoos, especially nice ones like that, but when someone went overboard and became more ink than skin, she felt a little sick.

“Did it hurt?” she asked, throwing herself down beside Xavier and displacing a calm ish Tyson, who instantly let her claim his lap. The gesture as anything but lecherous, as Xavier had made it quite clear early on that any boy who touched his sister would have to be damned careful; and besides, it was good manners not to go after your best friend’s sister.

He shook his head, tough til the last. “Of course not!” Xavier boasted with a grin, giving Tyson a small nod that was both a thanks and a warning; thanks for behaving, keep behaving sort of thing. Quinn didn’t have to see her brother to imagine the look on his face.

Tyson, a little pickled already, took that moment to but in. “He cried… like a girl!”

Xavier tossed a cherry tomato at his head. “I did not.”

Quinn laughed and shook her head, moving off for refills of that punch as her cup was running low. From the punch table, she observed the party and felt quite proud of herself for having organised it and not screwed anything up too badly.

The party didn’t last long, as expected. The boys were tired and had soon managed to collapse in a heap on the floor, Tyson’s leg trapped under Xavier’s head and Ben sprawled across them both, hugging Xavier’s thigh. One by one, friends and family departed and promised to catch up soon until it was just Quinn, her parents, and Ben’s girlfriend Nadia, who had made herself a bed on the couch.

“Night, Nadi,” Quinn called as she threw a bunch of blankets atop the mass of sleeping boys and switched off the lights before hurrying up to her own bed, collapsing into it with an eagerness to sleep she didn’t usually feel before midnight. But she knew that the amount of time she had with Xavier might be limited and who wanted to waste important times like that by sleeping in?

Just as she was about to drift off, Quinn became aware of someone talking in the next room. They were being quiet, but it sounded like her parents, and since they had never been so vocal in the night before, Quinn’s curiosity was piqued. Under the guise of slipping to the loo, an excuse nobody would buy if she was caught, she tiptoed along the hall to hover outside their bedroom door.

“What do you think, Ted? It’s an awfully long time for Quinn to be around all those boys…” Michelle was saying quietly. At the sound of her name, Quinn listened closer for her father’s rumbling reply. Oddly enough, he was harder to hear.

“… good for her, Michelle. We keep her so bound up here-”

“But you’ve seen the news-“

Ted sighed audibly, shaking his head. Quinn could see them through the crack in the door and she leaned closer, eager not to miss a word. What on earth could they possibly be talking about? “Xavier’s going to be there every step of the way, and the boys. They’ll look out for her… and besides. She loves that band.”

Michelle didn’t look happy, but she reluctantly nodded. Quinn shuffled just a little closer and inwardly cursed as her shoulder hit the door, making it move and squeak. She saw her dad swing his legs out of bed and turned on her heel, fleeing as quietly as she could back to her own room. She clicked her door shut as Ted reached the hallway; by the time he looked in on her, Quinn was faking a snore.

But her mind was racing. There was something going on in this house; and it seemed like she was the only one who wasn’t in on the joke.

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