Kerrigan Brady just wanted to meet her favourite band. Not like this. Never like this.


10. -Nine-


Excitement is a funny thing. My levels had been up and down all day; on one hand, I was more excited than I’d ever been, but on the other, I was nervous to the point of wanting to throw up. There was one thing in particular making me feel this way, and I’d brought it entirely on myself.

After reading so many articles about myself and seeing the facts already being twisted, and people selling out “truths” that couldn’t be further from it, I’d made the decision to let the world in. Or to give myself to the world. Whichever was more appropriate. Mum and I had talked it over several times, I was very aware of what I’d be losing if I went ahead, but I couldn’t sit by and watch people talk about me without putting my two pennies in. With my decision made, I’d cleared it with Modest Management- since the interview would likely be focussed on One Direction, they needed to OK the idea before I contacted the media.

Luckily, I hadn’t had to do any of that. Modest, being rather generous, had done the contacting and organising for me and just sent me a time and date of when I’d be interviewed.

Today was the day. And I couldn’t be more ready, and more unprepared, than I was.

The best thing I’d heard all day though was that I wouldn’t be totally on my own for the big moment. Liam, from the moment I’d told him my plans, had wanted to be with me. All the boys did, really, but Liam had been more vocal about it and Modest had agreed it was a good idea, would be good press for the band, if he was by my side while the world finally got to see my face. He was flying in from Arizona especially for it, bless his heart, and would be here within the hour. He’d even offered to stay the night, and Mum had gallantly offered up her hotel room.

She wouldn’t be needing it after tomorrow, anyway. See, the other piece of good news that had me so nervously excited was… my discharge. The papers were signed, I was ready to go; Mum grabbed the soonest flight she could, making sure I had a seat that was easy to get out of and wouldn’t mean I was cramped. The hospital had decided to let me stay the last night, mostly for the good press it’d give them and partially because I think Hannah had begged them to. But there you go; six weeks of recovery were done with. I was nowhere near back to normal, but I had one foot on the road.

I had no doubt that, as soon as I was home, I’d recover in leaps and bounds. There’s nothing better than your own home when you’re unable to do much.

Mum’s face appeared around the curtain, grinning at me. This particular grin I knew very well; this was the grin she had every time she caught me talking to One Direction.

“Hi, Liam,” I called, and heard him groan in disappointment.

“Did they give you laser vision with your new hip?” he asked, pushing aside the curtain. Mum’s gaze shot to me as the joke left his lips; but I was smiling, knowing that if Liam was joking he wasn’t feeling guilty. I’d always said he had nothing to apologise for but it had taken me weeks to get that through his head. I knew the jokes meant he finally believed me.

“No, I’m naturally brilliant, didn’t you know?” I shot back, winking at Mum who scoffed and threw a white and blue at me. Liam raised his eyebrows and leaned down to hug me; I arched up as much as I could, not willing to admit that I missed his hugs when he wasn’t around. That wasn’t strange, was it, to miss someone you’d only shared a room with a handful of times? I felt it for the whole band if I was brutally honest. Their presence just made everything seem brighter.

Shooing Liam outside of the curtain- a request he obeyed begrudgingly and spent his exile complaining about women not being ready on time and bickering with my mother- I changed into the dress and made a face at my legs. “Why can’t I wear trousers, again?” I asked, pouting only a little.

“Because that dress makes you look gorgeous,” Mum retorted through the curtain. I mocked her silently and slid my legs off the bed, standing up shakily. I was getting better and better at this. There was a pair of stockings on the dresser; these were my target and I slipped them on, shuddering at the static and shrugging, hoping they’ be enough to fool everyone.

I pulled back the curtains and watched Mum’s expression turn smug, while Liam’s jaw dropped. “You look pretty!” was his first comment. The glare I sent his way made Mum tut at me under her breath while Liam cleared his throat and tried to smile without laughing. “I mean, you look very nice, really.”

“Too late, the surprise was there first,” I grumbled good-naturedly, which only made him loose his control and start laughing. Rolling my eyes, I sat down obediently as Mum attacked my head and face with a brush and makeup; I’d wanted to have the interview from my hospital bed, an idea she discouraged when she pointed out that a camera crew wouldn’t fit. So, I’d reluctantly let her go to town- she’d gone and brought this dress especially for this occasion- and the white flats to go along with it. Liam perched on my bed and we chatted casually as Mum worked; he laughed every time I winced and she caught on pretty quick that he was taking the mick out of me.

Armed with mascara, she whirled to face him. “Your turn, Liam,” she chirped. He nearly fell flat on his bum as he tried to get away to a chorus of laughter from Mum and I. Playing hurt, Liam folded his arms across his chest until I stood up and poked his face until he smiled. “Alright kids; let’s go!” Mum announced, threading an arm through mine. Liam took my other arm and the three of us headed to the common room, where the cameras were already set up.

Hannah hovered around, checking that we were set for everything, before she hurried off with a wink and a ‘good luck’ hastily tossed in my direction. It made me sad for a moment to think I’d likely never see her again after tomorrow.

“By the way, I brought you something,” Liam muttered to me as Mum introduced herself- and us- to the host of the interview. “The Jets gave us a bunch of jerseys and we all signed one for you.”

I stifled my giggles with a hand to my mouth, shaking my head at him. “So… my favourite band signed a baseball jersey?”

“Did you really expect us to do anything normal?” His grin was almost devilish and the wink had no innocence about it whatsoever.

“I suppose expecting you to do anything was my first mistake,” I teased, giving him a sidelong look.

His expression turned wounded and his hand clutched his heart, gasping in faked horror. “Oh, you wound me, Kerrigan!”

Bursting into laughter, we were only calmed by the threat of going to air as the interview got underway.

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