Without a Clue

Trigger Warnings: reference to/ mention of domestic violence, reference to/ mention of sexual abuse, reference to/ mention of substance abuse, descriptive depictions of self harm and suicide, death, abortion, and mental illness.

Niall's secretive, always has been, but the world is in utter shock as the news is released that Niall has a son. The two year old blond, Grayson Finn Horan, is simply the most important thing in Niall's life, but when a stunning American popstar, Demi Lovato, starts to work her way into his heart, he doesn't know how to react.

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13. Chapter Thirteen: The Quiet Boy

( a/n: trigger warnings: pukey vomity grossness, mentions of blood --- As always if you have any questions about the content in this chapter before you read it just message me here or hmu on tumblr! cliffordsdream.tumblr.com

 Alsooo I don't know if anyone's actually going to like this chapter. It's pretty long, about 4.2k words, but some of you might think it's going away from the main plot, but I promise in the next few chapters you'll see exactly why this one was included.)

 

 

 

I'm tired. Not bone-achingly exhausted, but I'm tired. Niall's gone to the world and has been for at least two hours, but I just can't sleep. It's nice having him there, having him to hold at night, but now I just can't stop thinking about everything. I shouldn't lose sleep over this, I really shouldn't, but I can't help it. I don't know what Niall wants or really even what I want and it's driving me crazy.

That's probably why I carefully slipped out of Niall's hold an hour ago, his warmth hard to leave but his heartbeat under my ear making me think things I'd rather not. I turned on Niall's Xbox in his living room, booting up Netflix and playing some simple comedy that I don't really have to pay attention to. Some part of me wants to call someone, anyone, that could help me with this three in the morning crisis, but I know no one can. It's between me and Niall.

I sit there for who knows how long, aimlessly searching through shows and movies, skipping anything and everything that makes me think of my situation with Niall, which is well, everything.

A mechanical ding makes me jump, and before I know it I'm thanking God himself for having Ollie show up to distract me. He's probably just come here to sleep because he doesn't want to get a hotel, and I don't really know him, but still. Any distraction is a welcomed distraction.

Ollie comes in quietly, using his own key instead of knocking, pushing his boots off in the small hallway leading to the living room before he even notices that I'm there. He gives me a soft smile, but it's incredibly forced, his tired features obvious.

"Is Niall up?" Ollie asks quietly, peeling off his coat, hanging it on a hook by the stairs. I shake my head and he gives me a disappointed look, his face dropping instantly.

"Something wrong?" I ask, but

Ollie just shrugs, walking up to the couch and sitting next to me, letting out a small whimper as he sits. Something is definitely wrong.

"Just feeling poorly. Figured Niall could give me some meds or something. I never know what to take. I guess being a parent just makes you good at that kind of stuff." Ollie tells me quietly, leaning against the armrest of the couch and covering his face with his hands. He takes a few deep breaths with his eyes closed, a certain franticness to his features.

"Can you- I think I'm gonna throw up." Ollie tells me, and I instantly move into action, trying to find something for him to throw up in before he pukes. There's a small trash can right next to the entrance of Niall's guest bedroom, so I grab it as quickly as I can, giving it to Ollie just before he vomits. There's not much there, but he still seems incredibly relieved. Some part of me wonders if he's been drinking, but that's before I turn the living room lights on.

Ollie's paler than I could ever imagine being healthy, and the hair normally covering his forehead is stuck to it, the sweat from cold chills building up, and there's no doubt he has a fever. It only takes one look at him to figure out he's ill, and part of me starts to panic. I'm not sure if what's happening to Ollie is because of his kidneys or a simple stomach bug. I'd hate to overreact, but at the same time it'd be far worse if I underestimated this sudden onset of sickness.

"I'm gonna go get Niall, okay?" I tell Ollie gently, my hand lying flat on his back as I kneel next to him; he looks like he might pass out. I go up the stairs as fast as I can, taking two or three steps at a time until I reach the top, instantly going over to Niall's bedroom door and walking in quietly as not to wake Grayson who's sleeping right next to Niall.

Niall mumbles lightly as I start to shake him, and it's a lot easier than I planned to wake him up. He rubs his eyes softly, trying to focus on me in the dark room.

"What's wrong?" Niall asks; obviously there's got to be something wrong if I'm shaking him awake in the middle of the night.

"Ollie's here. He's sick." Niall gets out of bed before I can even tell him what is wrong, moving past me and down the steps faster than I thought possible.

When I get to the bottom of the steps, Niall's kneeling down in front of the sick boy, the back of his hand pressed to Ollie's forehead. Niall seems worried about the temperature, but he doesn’t let his composure slip, staying calm as Ollie retches into the small can yet again.

I walk over to them and Niall throws me a worried glance, my heart racing.

"Olls, where's your mobile?" Niall asks and Ollie slowly pulls his phone out of his back pocket, handing it to Niall. Niall looks through the contacts quickly and precisely, knowing exactly what he's looking for.

"Doctor Thomson, right? That's your doctor?" Niall says hurriedly, but Ollie shakes his head.

"Jameson. Nephrologist." Ollie whispers, seemingly exhausted. Niall places his hand on Ollie's knee gently as if to soothe him, but it evidently offers little comfort.

Niall finds what he's looking for in Ollie's phone and presses it up to his ear, murmuring a quick 'God, please answer.' under his breath. After a minute Niall lowers the phone, cursing a bit. He presses the screen a few times before putting the phone back up to his ear, glancing nervously from Ollie to the bucket in front of him.

"Thank fuck." Niall mumbles, then instantly gains his composure. He rattles off his name then Ollie's, and what he's a seeing, nodding his head slightly when another voice comes through the receiver. He sits the phone on the coffee table behind him, turning to Ollie with a sympathetic look on his face.

"Can you sit next to him?" Niall asks, glancing up at me. I nod my head instantly, sitting down next to Ollie on the couch, feeling incredibly helpless.

"I'm gonna need you to turn toward Demi for a second, Olls. You can lay on her if you need to." Niall mentions softly, and Ollie slowly carries out what Niall's told him to do, facing me, and gently laying the side of his head on my shoulder, whimpering slightly.

"You need to tell me if this hurts Olls, alright?" Niall says softly, and Ollie nods against my shoulder, his jaw clenching. I feel his fingers find mine and before I know it he's holding onto my hand for dear life, his eyes squinted shut. I can't imagine how terrifying this must be for him. It's terrifying for me and it's not even my illness. It's terrifying and I'm the adult in this situation, eight years older than Ollie.

I watch as Niall lifts Ollie's snug baseball tee up, locating his lower back. He looks up to me hesitantly, and I know why. Ollie's lower back is swollen; not too much but enough to notice. If Niall's about to press right there, I hope it doesn't hurt as much as it looks like it will. Niall's hands ghost over the left of Ollie's spine, then he takes a deep breath and gives it a gentle push.

Ollie lets out a shocked scream, sobs leaving his mouth afterwards in shuddered breaths, his hand gripping mine incredibly hard as he cries, tears instantly streaming down his face.

"I'm so sorry, Olls." Niall whispers, rubbing Ollie's upper back soothingly. Ollie has his bottom lip pulled into his mouth with his eyes squeezed shut as he tries to deal with the pain, simply nodding at Niall's apology as tears roll down his cheeks. I can't imagine the kind of pain Ollie's feeling, how scared he is. I don't know what this even means, but I do know that if Ollie were my child I'd want him to be comfortable; I'd want him to not be afraid.

"It'll be okay. We'll get you help and it won't hurt anymore, okay? You just gotta hang on." I whisper to him and he nods, the grip on my hand not faltering in the slightest.

"I'm gonna go get G and put him in the car. Can you stay with him?" Niall rattles off quickly, nodding his head towards Ollie, and I instantly agree. I place the arm Ollie's not gripping onto around him and bring him closer to me, trying to calm him down. I carefully avoid the spot that Niall touched; I'd hate to cause him any more pain than he's already in. His position can't possibly be comfortable, so I shift off the couch slowly, helping Ollie lay down completely, tears still running freely down his face. Ollie simply looks at me, the pain in his eyes something I never want to see again.

"Am I gonna die?" Ollie chokes out quietly, the sobs he lets out moments later breaking my heart. I don't know what to say. The last thing I want to do is make him any more terrified than he already is. He glances at me intensely, his gaze never wandering as he waits for my reply, crying quietly.

"Hopefully not for a long, long time." I settle on, giving him a soft smile and allowing him to grab onto my hand just as he was earlier. I know it’s only a few minutes before Niall’s come back to us, leaning over Ollie and wiping his sticky hair from his forehead, but it feels like an eternity.

“You ready, lad?” Niall asks softly, and Ollie nods, his face showing some sort of relief. I back up when Niall leans down and places his hand gently on my shoulder, seemingly meaning that he needs to be where I am. It’s definitely a sight watching Niall lift the teenage boy that must be at least six tall feet in the air. Then again, Niall’s grown too; he must be close to that height himself. Ollie cries out once Niall’s got him lifted in the air, a few more tears appearing on his cheeks.

“Get the door?” Niall asks me politely, a soft smile on his cheeks. I know he’s trying his hardest to keep the situation calm for Ollie. I trail in front of Niall, opening the back door, then the car door as Niall slides Ollie into the seat next to Grayson's, already having reclined it and placed a pillow where Ollie’s lower back would rest.

“Did you ring my mum?” Ollie asks softly, a few tears making his words nearly indecipherable. Niall quickly presses a button on the dash of his car after we climb in and stars turning around in the expansive driveway, moving towards the opening gate.

"I'll do it right when we get there." Niall promises, a gentle smile on his face as Ollie nods, his lip shivering as he tries to control his tears.

It takes longer than I'd like to get to the hospital, nearly a half an hour. By that time, Ollie's nearly unconscious. I'm not sure if it's because of pain, fear, or whatever is making him ill, but he gradually grew quieter as the car ride dragged on, his sobs eventually quieting into silent tears, face nearly neutral. I'm almost sure the sobbing was less frightening.

 

 

Niall's a loud type of quiet. He doesn't say a word as he sits in a random conference room the hospital staff decided to stash us in, just filling out Ollie's paperwork to the best of his ability, skipping the easiest part of the form and trying to fill out the harder stuff first. No matter how long he seems to go without speaking, you can almost hear him screaming, his eyes focused entirely too hard on the paper in front of him, his bottom lip drawn into his mouth, and the pen in his hand looking like it might snap any minute from the crushing force of Niall's grasp. It's odd to see him with such blatant body language when he always appears to be so empty.

He hasn't cried. I know that doesn't mean anything in particular, and I really shouldn't read into it, but I can't help but feel like he'll snap at any minute. His hand starts shaking and I know it'll happen soon, his lip quivering as he stops writing.

"Why don't you take a break, yeah?" I ask him softly, resting my right hand on his left, which easily collapses and lets go of the pen. If it could speak, I'm sure the pen would be sighing in relief. Niall looks at me slowly, tears brimming in his eyes as he gathers the papers spread about the table into a neat, little pile, quietly nodding.

He leans into me as soon as his the papers leave his hands, my arms wrapped around his neck instantly as his cheek lays against my shoulder. My fingers comb through his hair soothingly, trying to keep his tears at bay. His breath shudders a few times before the crying stars, a few sobs leaving his mouth in between raspy breaths.

I know that I can't do anything, really. All I can do is hold him until someone comes by to update us on Ollie. We haven't seen him since Niall carried him in, and the only update we've received on his condition is that he's alive. It scares me to think how bad he may be if the only thing they can tell us is that he's alive, and I'm sure Niall's thinking the same thing.

I don't know how long we sit there, maybe a little under an hour, but Niall's cries eventually soften into a small whimpers and hiccups, his eyes closed as he rests against my shoulder. My fingers gently hold his as I move my thumb over the back of his hand, trying everything I can possibly do to soothe him while my other hand continues to play with his hair.

Niall suddenly sits up, wiping the tears from his face and pulling in a deep shuddered breath, grabbing the pen and getting back to work. I want to offer to do it for him, but it'd be pointless. I don't even know if Ollie is a nickname for Oliver or his actual name, let alone his birthday. I watch carefully as Niall's hand moves to the top of the form, filling it out in record time, sliding it to the middle of the table when he's done.

Niall looks at the forms absently, his thoughts evidently going a million miles an hour. I can't imagine what's going through his head and the last thing I want to do is ask him that. It seems I'm always wishing I could read minds when it comes to Niall. The last thing I want to do is make him even more uncomfortable than he already is.

"It wasn't supposed to happen this soon." Niall whispers, landing his elbows on the table in front of him and running his hands down his face. I can't imagine how sudden this must feel. Niall told me himself Ollie had months before he'd have to be admitted to the hospital. I suppose these things decide their own timelines.

A quick knock on the door makes Niall snap his head up instantly, eyes focused on the unmoving door. Finally, a blonde nurse no taller than me than me pops her head into the room. I can almost hear Niall holding his breath.

"Niall?" She questions, making sure that's who's in this room. Niall nods instantly, standing up as fast as he can.

"Can you come with me?" She asks and Niall moves at the speed of light, cleaning up the room and shifting his sleeping child from a section of pushed-together chairs into his arms. I trail behind Niall quietly as he quickly follows the nurse, weaving through the intricate hallways and doors. About a minute into walking, Niall slows and looks behind himself, making eye contact with me. 
"C'mere. Don't wanna lose you." He says quietly, reaching out and grabbing my hand with the one that's not securing his sleeping toddler against his chest. It feels weird to hold Niall's hand. It seems so foreign but at the same time it's nice to have him there, leading me. You'd think with the size difference between us his hand would nearly swallow mine, but it doesn’t. He grips my hand with an incredible gentleness, yet strong enough to know he's not going to let go. He even slows when he realizes he's walking too fast for my much shorter height. It's nice.

We walk for a few minutes, neither Niall or I knowing where we are. Nonetheless the nurse manages to maneuver the halls effortlessly, and soon enough we're stood outside Ollie's room. The nurse gives us a gentle smile, telling us that a doctor will be in to talk about his condition and that Ollie might be drowsy from the pain medication he was given. Niall walks into the room quickly after that, pulling me with him by default.

Ollie is laying on the bed in the center of the surprisingly large hospital room, his eyes closed and his breathes coming out at a short but even pace. Even at Ollie's large height he's seeming swallowed by his bed, the cover pulled up around him. There are two thick, deep red tubes clearly standing out against the white hospital blanket, my eyes following them from the large machine to the left of Ollie all the way up around his body and into his chest just below the left side of his neck. I've never seen anything like it, but it doesn't take long to figure out that those tubes are full of Ollie's blood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It takes about two hours for Ollie to really gain consciousness again. The pain medicine they gave him wasn't really that strong, but he'd fallen asleep after his pain decreased. By the time he wakes, Niall and I are nearly asleep ourselves. I didn't sleep last night and Niall was only in bed for an hour or two before Ollie showed up. It goes without saying that we'd be exhausted. Not to mention Grayson would be waking up for good soon so any amount of sleep after that would come few and far between.

I'm lying on the reclining chair in the hospital room with Grayson asleep on my chest, my eyes closed, when I hear Niall get up. That's when I know Ollie's awake. Ollie seems disoriented, not really sure what's happening or why he's here. I want to open my eyes, see if he's alright, but my eyelids are so heavy I don't think I can.

After explaining to Ollie that his kidneys had failed, but they think it's reversible, he didn’t seem to be as upset. He didn’t speak for a few minutes, only mumbling answers when Niall asked him questions like if he's hungry or if he's feeling okay.

"Where's my mum?" Ollie asks after a few minutes of silence, I'm awake then, my eyes still closed but curious to see what Niall says.

"M'not sure, lad. I know Harry's coming." Niall says the last sentence as ifHarry's a suitable substitute for Ollie's mother. I know Niall's just trying to help, but I'm sure we all know that's not who Ollie needs right now. Theres a minute or two of silence before Ollie speaks again.

"At this point I'd like to die just to spite her." Ollie whispers and Niall hushes him instantly, don't say something like that. It makes me wonder what's drove Ollie to saying that. This family is far more complex than I thought, and some parts of me just want to know what they've been through and why everyone seems to be treating a child like a grown adult. I might never understand.

"I don't want to talk about it anymore." Ollie whimpers, and my heart simply breaks. There's got to be some reason why his mother's not coming. Ollie is her child, her baby at that. All I know is that if my child were in the same position as Ollie it'd take a whole army to stop me from getting here, maybe more.

"Thank you. For being here. You've got to be tired." Ollie says quietly after a few minutes, the only other sound in the room beeps from various machines.

"I'd never leave you here alone, kid." Niall tells him. I open my eyes to see Niall ruffling Ollie's hair and annoyed look on Ollie's face.

"How's everything with Demi going?" Ollie asks and I quickly shut my eyes, knowing that they're both about to look at me. I cant help but linger on every word that comes out of Niall's mouth.

"None of your business, lad." Niall tells him, a joke in his voice. I can't help but be a little but disappointed that he didn't say what he thinks of me. God knows I'm not going to ask him myself.

"Are you, like, in a relationship?" Ollie asks, prying even more. Niall's quiet for a moment, my heart beating incredibly fast as I wait for his response.

"Are you?" A smile slowly lifts onto my face as I figure out what Niall's done there. I open my eyes slowly to find Ollie blushing, a small smile in his eyes. He ruffles the blanket slightly, pulling it up around him as he shifts uncomfortably.

"Guess so." He mumbles, and my heart aches in the sweetest way with the tone of his voice. I nearly mutter and awh at the sight of Ollie's incredible blush. However, he shifts uncomfortably and I can tell that he's still waiting for Niall's reaction. I wonder if anyone else in Ollie's family knows about Elliot.

"A supermodel Olls? I'm impressed." Niall says lightheartedly, and I can easily see the tension lift from Ollie's features as his worried stare transfers into a smile, his dimples showing clearly. Niall smiles right back at him, walking over to him slowly.

"I will support you no matter what, alright?" He pauses, whispering the next part, "Just hope this kid isn't a loser like the last one." Ollie's cheeks redden again as his sinks back into the pillows murmuring a quick he's not.

The atmosphere is far less tense after that, Ollie eventually nodding off again, giving Niall and I some time to rest too. I manage to sleep for a few more hours, only stirring when theres a few knocks at the door. I'm the only one awake when it opens, a nurse coming in and gently waking Ollie up, checking over him and the machine that I've learning is cleaning his blood while his kidneys aren't cooperating, and leaving again. The second the door shuts Ollie groans dramatically and rolls onto his side, giving me a shy smile when he makes eye contact with me and realizes that I'm awake too.

The door opens again and I look up expecting to find the nurse, but I don't. Instead it's the boy who came to Niall's apartment not long ago to pick up Ollie. It's Elliot.

Ollie doesn't really pay attention to the door opening this time. I guess he just assumes he's about to get poked and prodded for the millionth time today.

"Olls?" Elliot whispers, as if to see if he's awake. Ollie opens his eyes and rolls over, a smile on his face when he sees who's standing in his room.

"You're here." Ollie whispers, his eyes tired, which contradicts the excitement in his voice.

"Of course." Elliot mentions lightly before he smiles sweetly at Ollie as he walks over to him, his eyes only gravitating up towards Niall and I when he goes in for a hug. When Elliot starts to pull away, Ollie reaches up to place his hands on either side of Elliot's face. The poor kid looks so confused, just smiling awkwardly at Ollie before darting his eyes over to a sleeping Niall and back as if to make sure he's not watching.

"It's alright." Ollie tells him and Elliot looks at Ollie with a small smile, seemingly wary but still happy nonetheless. Ollie pulls him a bit closer, giving him a gentle kiss with one of the biggest smiles I've seen on his face yet.

 

And if Niall wakes up a few hours later to find Ollie and Elliot sleeping soundly together on the small hospital bed… Well, that's none of my business.  

 

(a/n: did ya like this chapter? if you did, please help me out by liking and letting me know in the comments. I always like to hear feedback from everyone; it really helps me grow and make this story enjoyable for everyone. If you didn't like the content of this chapter or anything else please please let me know because i really do try to listen to everyone's likes/dislikes!!! )

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