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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10. Westcliff-on-Sea

Westcliff-on-Sea

Xavier woke up properly midway through their journey to Westcliff, and started eating the cold pizza the boys had brought back for Quinn the night before. She had been munching on popcorn all morning- having forgotten about the pizza- and snagged a few pieces before it disappeared down her brother’s throat. He didn’t say a word, but he didn’t look angry about the cruel awakening, but Quinn decided to still be nice and not turn the music on, or speak too loudly, or complain that he’d eaten her food.

“I’m gonna get proper stuff when we stop,” she announced, ten minutes out from Westcliff. She could smell the salt water, having had the window down to give her brother fresh air all the way. Xavier nodded mutely, lips pressed tightly together, as he slipped his sunglasses on his face and napped in the passenger seat. Quinn had about five hundred pounds saved in her bank account, and until Xavier decided to give her an allowance for helping out the band she’d have to rely on that.

They didn’t speak as they rolled in and Quinn’s first job was to send Xavier back to bed, telling him not to wake up until they had sound-check, because she and Ben would handle the set-up. Between the two of them, without anybody else goofing off and wasting time, they had their stage set up in twenty minutes and Quinn brushed her hair back off her face as she emerged into the midday air and took a deep breath.

“Xavier mentioned you were going shopping,” Ben said, leading Quinn to his van. He leapt in, careful to be quiet as Tyson was also still asleep. A moment passed; Quinn waved as One Direction called her name and beckoned her to the bus- and Ben emerged again with a list and a bankcard. “Would you mind?”

She scanned it over, the items mainly things like ‘snacks’ and ‘microwave meals’ so they’d have something to grab on the run. She was pleasantly surprised to see that Ben had thoughtfully added ‘Panadol’ and ‘fruit’ on the bottom, as if they were both afterthoughts. Probably were, actually. “Nah, it’s alright. Who’s card is this?” she asked, holding up the one he’d just given her.

“Shared account,” Ben replied, waiting for another moment or two before deciding he needed to be elsewhere and wandering off. He tended to do that, sometimes, get distracted and wander off. He’d probably be off to call Nadia; they really were quite sweet together.

Quinn headed towards the main road, wary of the buzz of human voices she knew would be awaiting her on the other side. She considered stopping and asking if the boys wanted anything, but they’d probably be kitted out enough to survive a world war so she let it go. She’d stop by and see them before the Scoundrels had sound-check, anyway.

She was insanely grateful for her anonymity as she managed to merge right into the crowd of fans, all of whom were buzzing about One Direction being so close. They were cordoned off of course, and security was tight- Quinn had tucked her lanyard under her shirt before facing the fans- but they could catch the occasional glimpse of the tour bus if they were patient. Quinn paused among them for a moment, easily slipping into the mindset of someone who wasn’t on the other side of the security team. She’d known them a day- one whole day- and it hadn’t quite sunk in yet. Smiling and shaking her head, she turned and walked away.

Westcliff-on-Sea was a beautiful seaside town. Quinn found herself in absolute awe of the scenery as she made her way to the beach. It was far too cold to swim, but the salty air and the cries of the gulls made it so serene. The water was fairly calm and stretched as far as the eye could see; she stood on the beach for what seemed like forever, before sadly moving on. She made a mental note to come back, though, and snapped a picture on her phone of the water. She sent it off to her mother and father with the caption ‘Love you’ and soon received the same words in reply. It had been a day, but the week before she’d see them again seemed to stretch on forever and made her miss them. She wondered how she was going to go when the second and third legs of the tour- Australia and North America- rolled around.

She caught the first local she saw and asked for directions to the nearest shop, heading off with her list in hand and a determined look on her face. Despite her determination not to buy all rubbish food, she found that the call of chocolate was just too much to resist and some of it had to come home with her. She grabbed Ben’s requests first, keeping the trolley segregated with a box of Cornflakes. Xavier loved them; Quinn was more of a porridge-and-toast sort of girl.

Quinn took her time with the shopping, and paid separately so she’d have individual evidence of who spent what. Surprisingly, both orders came to just over fifty pounds, which she put down to her own thriftiness and awesome grocery skills. And the fact that the most things she brought were cheap junk food. Upon emerging from the shop, she realised her dilemma of having to carry her stuff back home again, alone, and try to slip past the fans.

They might not have noticed her on the way out, when she was dressed in jeans and the same knitted jumper, but if she returned with an armload of shopping bags they might twig something was up. The bags were heavy, too, which didn’t help.

By time she returned and had to stop, put everything down, and fish out her lanyard for security, she was red in the face and cursing her lack of hindsight all the way to the van. Ben emerged and became her hero by taking his half of the shopping, and Xavier seemed in much better spirits as he took stock of the food she’d brought him.

“I knew bringing you was a good idea,” he exclaimed, holding up a Galaxy bar and yelping when Quinn snatched it, and a bottle of orange juice, out of his hands. “Hey, no fair.”

“Put the rest away and you’ll get your surprise,” she said, a little snippily but deservingly so. Xavier dove into the bags with renewed gusto, and Quinn walked away to stop herself from laughing at how easily he believed her. She was his sister, and he still thought she was perpetually nice to him? Ha. She’d gotten over that stage within a week of having him home.

Xavier must have caught on to her manipulation halfway through, because he stuck out his head and whistled to catch her attention. “You’re the worst sister ever, you know that?”

“Yeah, yeah, cry me a frickin’ river,” she retorted, sticking out her tongue as she danced backwards, holding the Galaxy bar out tauntingly. Xavier shook his head at her.

“Don’t tempt me, Q-Tip.” She shrugged and popped the rest of the bar in her mouth, heading off to check in with One Direction. It wasn’t even lunch yet, and they had a few to just sit around and wait for their pre-show signing at two. Quinn’s mind flashed to the beach and she wanted to go again, if only to just sit there and take it in. Maybe she’d go before sound-check.

She knocked on the bus as she passed it, pausing by the door until it swung open and Liam smiled down at her. “Hey, Quinn,” he greeted, standing aside in case she was coming in. She didn’t move.

“Hi, Liam.”

Liam nodded for her to come in, and she didn’t hesitate this time. The boys were dotted along the bus, Niall sitting at the table with a plate of toast, Zayn still on his bunk with his phone, Louis in the bathroom, and Harry in the games room. “Have a seat,” Liam gestured to the table, and Quinn slid in across from Niall, by the window.

“Quinn!” Louis shouted, emerging with wet hair and no shirt from the bathroom. Quinn averted her eyes politely, trying not to smile at the enthusiastic greeting. Always good to know she was wanted. “I’m so glad you’re here!” he continued, grabbing a shirt and a piece of paper before rushing over and sitting beside Niall. There was a tiny tussle in which Louis tried to steal some toast and Niall growled wordlessly; Louis didn’t try again and Niall grinned when Quinn caught his gaze, shaking her head.

“Ookay,” Quinn deadpanned, drawing out the ‘o’. Louis beamed at her and Liam chuckled as he recognised the paper.

“You might want a cup of tea for this,” he offered, already boiling the kettle. Quinn was a little bit jealous that they had their own kettle, but then again her van only had one free power socket and she had a feeling that between the microwave, two phones and laptop, a kettle would be pushing for time.

“Liam, you rude thing,” Louis chastised, shaking his head and waving a finger. “You don’t know whether she likes tea or not!”

“She does,” Niall interrupted, grinning. Quinn nodded at him and at Liam, accepting a cup of tea because if someone offered Quinn a cup of tea, she’d take it no questions. Niall, however, was apparently full of surprises as he continued; “White with one-I overheard Tyson telling Ben,” he added, at Quinn’s surprised stare.

“Right, well, let’s get started,” Louis announced, rapping his knuckles on the table as if drawing a meeting to order. “Harry, Zayn! Hurry up! We’re playing Twenty Questions.”

Quinn’s eyebrows shot to her hairline and she tried to lean forward to see the questions, but Louis just yanked the paper away and tutted. Harry and Zayn found places on the couch behind the table, Niall couldn’t move if he wanted to, and Liam handed Quinn a cuppa and she moved over to let him in beside her. “Okay. Do I get to ask questions too?”

“Just Google it later,” Louis dismissed, clearing his throat to begin. Quinn sipped her tea and met Niall’s eyes, nodding when he rolled his quite obviously. “Right; Quinn Harvey… we shall begin.”

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