Pearl White ~A One Direction FairyTale~

You think you know how the story goes. Snow White meets some dwarves, eats an apple, falls asleep, gets kissed by a prince and lives happily ever after.

If only my life were that simple. My name's Pearl. Pearl White. And unfortunately for me, I'm never even going to get to meet my prince. Because his name is Liam Payne, and he's a member of the boy band One Direction.

Cover made by the amazing user NathanielStanley! Thank you so much!

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17. Waking

 Every last limb tingles numbly, like a day spent too long in the snow. My mouth feels like sawdust has been shoved in, throat sore, rancid with bile. My mind is cut open, scooped out and replaced with fleece. Too heavy to lift, my eyelids stay closed and I cling to the remnants of an artificial sleep.

"Pearl, if you can hear us, we're here for you." Smithy's voice sounds far away and strangled by tears.

"Oliver signs that he hopes you wake up soon," says Charlie in a false sense of bravery. I hear him sniff. "Kiddo, you gotta wake up," he says, quietly.

"Twitch here, love. You've been the best roommate so far, I mean you did leave your bras hanging around everywhere, but I kinda miss the bra tree on the window frame."

"It's Allen. I swear, once you get better, I'm going to do it. I'm going to open my own parlor and gift you that tattoo."

"Harry. Just wanted to say, still staying sober. Still trying every day with my new job, and every time I feel like quitting, I look at you forging your own path here, not giving up." His voice audibly cuts off as he lets loose a thick sob. 

"Hey, it's Thom. When you wake up, I'm going to get you a big milkshake. You more than deserve it, this damn hospital IV is not giving you enough calories, I swear." 

Then I hear him.

"Pearl, oh my god, Pearl. Please wake up," he pleads. "I pushed you away for far too long. I'm never doing that again. I'm never losing you," he sobs. Why is he crying? Foggily, I remember gardening, but it seems so far away. "I'm never going to forgive you if we can't garden together again. You're my rose, love. You might appear weak, but you've got a good armored defense. You're so strong."

I feel his hot tears brush my face as he gently kisses my forehead, and slowly, I force my eyes open. His are closed and puffy from tears, but Smithy sees.

"PEARL!" he shouts, slapping Liam on the back. "Nice work, fellow, she's awake." He pushes the nurse's call button.

"Liam," my voice is scratchy and hoarse and acutely aware that I'm still not very conscious.

"Get this stupid thing out of my nose, so I can kiss you properly," I growl, motioning towards the nasotracheal ensemble pumping oxygen into my lungs. The Hopeful Seven collapse in giggles as I drift back into a drugged sleep.

When I wake up again, the nasotracheal piece is gone and the drugs are starting to slip away. Liam is asleep to my right snoring softly.

"Liam," I say, as loud as I can, frustrated when it comes out as a barely-there whine. I try again. "LIAM."

He snorts awake.

"Wassat-?" Taking a second to collect himself, he notices me staring at him. "Pearl! You're awake, thank god, I was so worried, I have to tell you-"

"It can wait," I interrupt. "Get your ass over here. I nearly died," I order bossily. "I'm not passing up the opportunity to kiss you again." 

He complies, gently pressing his lips chastely to mine, and pulling away.

"More," I say, eyes closed, demanding and selfish. "A real kiss please. I won't break, just kiss me properly and soundly."

He huffs, but this time his mouth meets mine sweetly, gently nibbling my lower lip, and when I feel the flick of his tongue I gladly reciprocate, letting loose a soft moan. This feels so right. Like I've been searching for this my entire life and suddenly have found what I've been looking for. My heart tumbles and flops and the bed seems to fall out from under me. There's just him and I in this room.

All of a sudden, a stout nurse bursts in, distressed, before she realizes that we're kissing. The moment is interrupted as I pull away from Liam, eyes now open.

"Oh, my."

Liam pulls away from me awkwardly.

"Just for future reference, honey, your heart rate monitor peaking is what sent me in. I had to make sure that you weren't have a heart attack. You might want to wait until we clear you before resuming." She winks and leaves. I stare at Liam, unable to stop the red tinge traveling over my face. He's flushed as well.

"Well," I mention, still breathless from the kiss, "what were you saying before?"

"Well," says Liam sheepishly, "I atoned for my sins."

"What?"

He tosses a section of a gossip magazine. 

LIAM PAYNE TELLS ALL

The Truth Behind his Long-Term Charity Service

Star Secretly Struggling with Alcoholism

"You did this?" I ask, completely lost for words. He nods, searching my face for approval. "Aw, Liam, you really didn't have to. What I said was cruel-"

"No, you were right. I needed to be honest. I need people to hold me accountable. And like you said, my fans deserve it."

"But you're putting yourself on the firing line," I protest meekly, knowing full well this is my own fault.

"So?" He shrugs. "I knew that and all the risks before I did the interview. I just don't want anything getting in the way of being with you. I'm serious about you."

"And I am too, I know I fucked it all up royally, and I'm sorry about that. If you don't mind me suddenly changing the subject, how long have I been out?"

"Four days. Scared the shit out of me when you passed out in the garden, I gave you CPR immediately, thank god, it all just kicked in. They said that's what kept you alive until they could get you in the ambulance."

My skin chills.

"Thank you. So much. I would be dead without you. I don't know if I can ever repay you-"

"You have. By being alive. It would have killed me if you'd died. Do you know that you're the only person I've met that I can truly be myself around? I don't have to worry about image or slipping up." His voice cracks. "You're real. I can trust you to know the full me without running away, Pearl. Hell, I chased you away myself, showed you my worst qualities and you still gave me another chance."

I shake my head. "I can't believe that. I was so judgemental-"

"You were telling the truth," he says firmly. "It hurt, but you were honest instead of giving me a reprieve for being a star."

"Thanks, I guess," I say, still trying to wrap my mind around everything. I still feel like I'm forgetting something important. Then, I suddenly remember my train of thought.

"Oh my god. The trial," I say, horrified.

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