An Old Friend [Niall Horan/Ariana Grande fanfiction]

Long ago, before the fame, Ariana Grande was just a normal girl from Boca Raton, Florida. And becoming a member of the most popular boy band in the world was just a twinkle in Niall Horan's eye. What everyone didn't know was . . . they were best friends. And maybe something more. But they lost touch over the years. Now, Ariana's devastating cancer is back. And this time Niall's never letting her go.

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2. Just Needed To Hear Your Voice

Niall's POV

 

It's funny what fame can do to you. I used to be a normal kid, with normal hobbies, except I loved music more than anything else. Well there was one thing, before the fame and One Direction and The X Factor and all that, that I loved more than music. And it wasn't a thing... it was a person... a girl... that I thought about constantly. And I was just a kid in elementary school! That girl was my best friend. We did everything together. She was so freaking cute I couldn't get her off my mind. From the dimple in her right cheek when she smiled to her cute little laugh, she was absolutely amazing to me. I was only eight but man, I was in love. It was almost perfect, except for one devastating thing that pains me to talk about: she had cancer.I promised I would be there for her every step of the way. I'd run around the entire world for her. But then, all of a sudden, everything changed. I was whisked back to my hometown in Ireland without even saying goodbye. I was forced to start another life there, a life that I never really lived or knew before her. And so I grew up, somehow piecing my life back together. I wondered how she was doing. Was her cancer gone? Was she okay? Soon I auditioned for the X Factor. Several long months later, I was in a boy band called One Direction. We won third place but still won the hearts of so many girls across the world. But there was only one girl in my heart, the only one I couldn't stop thinking about, after all these years. 

Ariana. Ariana Grande.

Now she's famous too, because of her beautiful voice. And her cancer is gone. She's living the dream, just like me. It's pained me for so long that we're so close, yet so far away...

So one day, I got her number from someone and called her. 

Just to hear her beautiful voice again.

 

-----

"Hello?" the achingly familiar voice asked. "I'm kind of at my concert right now." I smiled. Yep, it was the same voice. Breathy, sweet, medium-pitched. Older, but still the same. God, how I missed that voice. I'd seen her talk on interviews, but compared to when she was actually talking to me, it wasn't the same. Even her voice sounded hot... wait, what did she say? She's at her concert right now? Great, Nialler! I wanted to smack myself on the head. What a fabulous time to call!

"Sorry to bother you," I stammered. "I just needed to call." There was a silence. My heart pounded in my ears - did she even remember me? "I can't stop thinking about you, Ariana." 

Another pause. I bit my lip. Oh God, this was probably a mistake. She's probably changed and forgotten about me. She doesn't even know me anymore. "Who is this?" she asked.

My heart sank. "It's Niall, your old best friend from elementary school. But you probably know me as Niall Horan from One Direction now." 

Silence. I felt like it lasted for a year or more. I stared at the phone in my hands then put it back in my ear. Had she hung up? No, I heard a rustling noise in the background. She was still on the phone. I scratched my head nervously. "Hello?" I asked. 

"Yeah," she said. "I'm here, Niall. I just . . . I can't believe it. After all this time, you choose to call me?" she sounded hurt. Oh, crap. That's just great. I cradled my head in my hands and massaged my temples. No, no, no, no, no, that's not what I'd wanted. 

"I wanted to call you all this time, but I never had the chance. I was so busy." I tried to explain.It was completely true. We were working on our new movie and our new album, while still trying to keep our dedicated fans happy. "But ever since I left so many years ago, I couldn't stop thinking about you, Ariana. Even through The X Factor, even through One Direction and all the fame, you were always in my head. I couldn't get you out, I've just missed my childhood best friend so much." 

"You never even said goodbye to me, Niall." Ariana's voice sounded teary. My ears pricked up. Please don't be crying, I hated it when girls cried, especially her. "You promised you'd always be there for me.... through my cancer.... through everything. Then you just... left. And became famous. I'm just a little shocked. Now you want to talk to me again?" 

"No, no, no! Ari! You've got it all wrong! Please let me explain!" I protested. There was silence on the phone. Then a sniffle and what sounded like a sob. Are you crying?" I asked. 

"No." her voice was muffled. Obviously, she was.

"Please talk to me, Ari. I miss you. I promise not to ever leave you again." My voice broke. I couldn't stand to hear her like this. More than anything, I just wanted her in my arms again. "I love you. I want my best friend back. Please."

There was another pause. "Okay." 

"Okay?" I asked, kind of shocked. 

"Okay. Meet me at the corner on 34th Street outside of Starbucks. And we'll talk. And catch up." Ariana's voice sounded stronger now. I could see that she had forgiven me, if not all the way, then almost. "Alright?"

"Sounds good. Oh, but Ari-bear?" I asked, giving her the nickname I'd called her when we were just little kids.

She giggled softly. "What?"

"Make it Nandos. It's right next door. You remembered how much I love that, right?" I winked even though she couldn't see me. I knew she could hear it in my voice, though.

"How could I forget," Ariana replied sarcastically, and we both laughed. My heart felt instantly lighter. 

"So, I'll see you there?" I asked hopefully.

"Well, I'll have to cancel my meet-and-greet, but if it's for my Nialler, I guess my fans will just have to deal." Ariana teased. I smiled; I loved her sense of humor. I loved everything about her actually. 

"YES!!!" I shouted, pumping my fist into the air. 

Ariana giggled. "Bye, Niall." 

"Bye, Ari. Love you."

Ari seemed surprised. But then she replied, and I heard the smile in her voice. 

"Love you too, Niall." 

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