War Cry

*unbelievably slow updates* One Direction is put onto a three year break. All of the guys have decided what to do with their lives in the meantime. Liam Payne chose to go into the army. He was glad to meet his best friend, she was nice and funny and someone so easily to get along with. She made his army experience a lot more enjoyable. But what if another band member finds her just as enjoyable as he does? Would he be jealous? Or would he be happy for her?

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15. Chapter 14

Chapter 14

 

I never realised how much time I spent with Tanya until I never saw her again. For three years, Tanya was there. I woke up and she would be the first person I saw. I’d go to sleep and she’d be the last person I saw. I’d train and she’d train with me, I’d go on a mission and she’d be right beside me. Now, I haven’t seen her since that day at Heathrow airport. We’ve texted now and then but I haven’t seen her in so long. I’ve been too busy doing interviews and talk shows and all that to see her or meet up with her.

I also never realised how much I’ve missed doing normal things until I actually started doing them again. All month since I’ve gotten back I’ve been trying to do the most simplest things like wash the dishes, grocery shopping, watching television, going over people’s houses and such. For three years I forgot what it was like to walk down a gravel road and walk past skyscraper buildings. I just forgot what it was like to be in a city of a developed country.

And here I was, basking in that normalcy as I went to go pick up some dinner after doing an interview. The interview went smoothly, it was only about me, and my experience in the army, and how it was adjusting to that kind of life. It wasn’t one of those gossip shows and I was happy to do an interview where the same questions were asked. I walked into the best burger bistro in London. It wasn’t crowded, not many people know of the place. Once I ordered the six burgers the gang ordered me to get, I settled myself in one of the booths in the corner

“Liam?” A very familiar voice called. My head snapped up and I smiled widely as I got out of the booth.

“Tanya!” I greeted happily as I gave her a tight hug.

“My god! It’s been so long,” she replied.

“It felt weird not seeing you or hearing your voice everyday. I just go so used to you,” I chuckled.

“Me too,” she smiled warmly. She clutched the strap of her black bag. I haven’t seen Tanya in casual clothes since the day we met three years ago. She looked different, especially with her hair down. Her hair was long. She always kept it just below shoulder length for the past three years, now it’s almost halfway down her back. She had dyed her hair as well. It wasn’t the same natural dark brown hair; it was now a lighter brown, almost a reddish brown.

“What are you staring at?” She asked, her face twisting in confusion.

“Are you wearing makeup?” I asked her, narrowing my eyes and lifting a hand to touch her face. She slapped my hand away and scowled in annoyance.

“Yeah, so what?” She grumbled, self consciously rubbing her cheek.

“I don’t know, you just look different,” I shrugged. She did look different. I have never seen her wear makeup before.

“Good different or bad different?” She asked accusingly.

“Um, good,” I replied but it sounded more like a question than an answer.

She rolled her eyes. “Man, I’ve missed you.”

I smirked. “Well, look who’s in love with me now.”

She punched my shoulder. “That’s my thing!”

I just laughed in reply. “So, how’ve you been?”

“I’ve been good. I applied for a telecommunications course in London so I’m just waiting for September to come around to start going. What about you?” She asked.

“Well, interviews, talk shows, you know, the boy band life,” I replied.

“Oh, of course. Cali’s been recording all these shows with you guys on it,” she laughed.

“How’s Cali?” I asked.

“Oh, she’s great. She’s taking a gap year as soon as September rolls around. She’s going on a trip to, well, everywhere,” she answered.

“Liam,” a monotonous voice called from behind the counter. I got up to pick it up and went back to Tanya.

“Well,” I said awkwardly as I held the two brown bags in my hands.

“It was good seeing you again, Liam. Call me sometime,” she smiled and wrapped her arms around me. I tried to hug her back but the burgers made it almost impossible.

“Tanya,” called the same monotonous voice. Tanya went over to go pick it up and we both went for the door.

“Hey, do you have anything going on tonight?” I asked just before we split ways.

“No, why?” She asked.

“Why don’t you come hang out with us? The boys won’t mind,” I suggested. She thought over it for a bit with pursed lips then nodded her head.

“Alright,” she answered. I smiled at her and nodded down the street.

“Hey, remember Sam and Marsha?” She suddenly asked.

“Yeah,” I answered. Of course I remembered Sam and Marsha.

“Well, I saw them a few weeks ago. They’re together and everything. They’re going to move to Bath in a month.”

My eyes widened. “Really? They’re still together?”

“Yeah, surprising right?” She laughed.

It actually was sort of surprising. Sam was this brooding guy who liked to live his life on his own. He was never really out there. I remember meeting him on that very first day we got out of the training camp and he barely spoke. He only use one syllable words and spoke in this gruff tone. Marsha was very lively and always had a smile on her face. She helped everyone and could keep up a conversation a lot better than Sam could. They were complete opposites and somehow they ended up together. I remember the day Sam told us that he liked her and he was so open about it, it shocked everyone. I never thought they’d actually end up together. I never thought that they’d keep in touch since Sam left the army two years before Marsha did.

“Remember when Sam told us he liked her,” i said.

She laughed and nodded. “Man, it was the biggest shock of my life.”

“He literally kissed her right in front of us and told us he liked her without a blink of an eye,” I laughed along with her.

Then we started to reminisce our whole three years. There were so many moments I’d happily go back to, like that soccer day or that week where I had to be Tanya’s “slave” because she got shot. Then there were those frightening moments that I just want to forget but I know I couldn’t because it’s embedded in my head, like when I saw that man kill two girls or when I had to detonate a bomb in under ten minutes.

“Here we are,” I told her as we reached my building. It was a tall apartment complex with 16 floors. My one-bedroom apartment was on the 15th floor, alongside Louis’ two-bedroom. Zayn’s and Niall’s two-bedroom were on the 16th and Harry’s one-bedroom on the 14th. We usually meet up in Louis’ apartment since Eleanor’s there 96% of the time and it’s the cleanest apartment out of all five of us.

“Whoa, this is massive,” she gasped as she stared up to the top.

“I guess so,” I shrugged. “Where do you live?”

“I live in a loft five blocks away from the bistro,” she replied.

I nodded and we went up, taking the elevator. We were both silent in the elevator. It was a comfortable silence. I guess we’ve been so used to being around each other that an awkward moment never passes. Once the elevator got to the 15th floor, we walked straight for Louis’. I explained to her how we’ve arranged it all. She laughed at how we’ve all silently chosen Louis’ apartment as a meet up all because he has a girlfriend who cleans up the place.

I opened the door to Louis’ to find all four of them on the floor with controllers in their hands and them yelling at each other. I then realised that they were paying Mario Kart and each of them were shouting profanities and threatening each other in death and/or physical harm.

“Kids, I’m home,” I yelled. They all simultaneously paused to jump up and grab the bags off me.

“Food!” Niall grinned happily as he pulled out his cardboard box. None of them noticed Tanya until they were all seated around the table.

“Hey, it’s your army friend,” Louis shouted with a mouthful of food.

I rolled my eyes. “Her name is Tanya and where is your girlfriend, Lou? She’d have a heart attack if she saw you eating like that. Besides, her burgers getting cold.”

“Right, Tanya,” he nodded, mouth still full of food. “She’s taking a shower, by the way.”

“Not anymore. My god, Louis, don’t talk when your mouth is full. It’s manners,” Eleanor scolded. Louis grinned sheepishly and swallowed evidently.

“Love you,” he grinned at her and she rolled her eyes.

“Anyway, Tanya, to refresh your memory of them, I will reintroduce you,” I told her. “That’s Zayn,”–Zayn grinned–“Niall,”–Niall waved his greasy hand–“Harry,”–to which he replied with a cheerful “hello”–“and Louis and Eleanor.”

“Hello!” Eleanor grinned. Louis said hello as well but his mouth was full (as always) and Eleanor rolled her eyes.

“Here,” I told her, bringing her towards two spare seats. I pulled out the chair for her and slid into mine when she was settled. She opened her bag and took out her burger and set herself up the way I’ve seen her do every time she ate. The way she did it was: she’d put her food directly in front of her, then put her drink on her left and her cutlery on her right. Every time she ate, she’d do exactly the same thing, it was kind of cute.

“So how was your interview, Liam?” Harry asked from across the table.

“It was fine. They didn’t ask much about the band, it was just me and my army life,” I told him.

“Well that must be a relief, aye?” Niall chuckled.

“You have no idea,” I replied.

Tanya looked at me with a curious glint her eyes. “Why?”

I set my burger down. “Well, every interview it’s the same questions. ‘What’s it like singing on stage?’, ‘How do you feel when your fans get protective?’, ‘Is it hard to have your fans constantly around you?’ and etcetera, etcetera,” I explained.

“You forgot the most common one out of all of them,” Louis snorted.

“Oh, yeah and the ‘who’s single in the band?’,” I said. “It gets frustrating and boring.”

“Who is single in the band?” She wondered, looking around at all of us.

Niall, Harry and I raised our hands. She nodded her head and we continued to eat.

“What about you?” Niall asked, staring intently at Tanya.

“I’m free as a bird,” she smiled. The corner of Niall’s lips turned up ever so slowly. I continued to look at him, not once budging. I didn’t know what to make of the slight anger that bubbled up in me. I tried to push it down but I just wanted to punch that small smile off Niall’s face. Just then, he turned to look at me and his smile dropped. His eyes then jumped all around the room, glancing once at Tanya with a disappointed look and once at me with a frown.

Once we all finished our dinner, we all moved back into the living room to watch a movie. We all settled on Now You See Me since it was Tanya’s favourite and everyone agreed that since she was the guest, she got to pick. We all settled into our own positions. Eleanor and Louis on the love seat, Harry on the single, Tanya and I on the three-seater and Niall and Zayn on the floor.

“I’m going to go get some food,” I announced, “Niall, come help me?”

“We just ate, though,” Tanya said.

“Yeah, but you can’t watch a movie without eating something,” I replied as if it was a worldwide known thing and she was stupid for not knowing about it.

She stuck her tongue out at me and I pinched her nose before getting up and going to the kitchen with Niall beside me. As soon as we got to the kitchen, I went to the fridge to grab a few beers and some water.

“So,” Niall started.

I turned to face him, waiting for him to continue expectantly.

“Is there anything going on between you and Tanya?” He asked casually but I knew his intentions.

“No, there isn’t,” I answered, turning away from him. I felt the same anger from before start bubble in my chest and it took everything in me to stop myself from acting on it.

“So, you don’t like her or anything? You’re not going to ask her out?” He continued. I shook my head.

It went silent for a while and i was hoping that the mini interrogation was over and that he’d stop talking about Tanya like that before I punched him in the face for no reason. i don’t even understand why I was getting mad. I mean, I don’t even like Tanya like that. She’s my best friend and after what we’ve been through in the army, I just want to protect her. Maybe that was why I was getting so worked up about it, Im just very protective.

Yes, it’s because I promised to protect her.

Yes, that’s it.

“Am I allowed to ask her out?” Niall asked after a few minutes of silence. I put down the chips, took a subtle breath in and turned to face him.

“Yeah,” I replied. My voice was small.

“You’re not mad?” Niall asked.

“No, no,” I reassured, “it’s just that she’s my best friend and I’m very protective, Niall. So, don’t hurt her or anything, okay?”

“Your best friend? Wow, that hurt,” he joked with a small smile.

I rolled my eyes. “I mean, my best friend that’s of the opposite sex. You’re still my best friend, Niall.”

He chuckled. “No, I know. I was just messing around. And by the way, I won’t hurt her. I promise.”

I nodded. “Yeah, sure. I trust you, Niall.”

He smiled with relief and we both picked up the food and drinks and carried them to the living room. I settled myself on the floor, in front of Tanya and Niall sat down beside her. He shot me a grateful look and I subtly nodded back.

Throughout the whole movie, all I could hear was their whispering voices and their silent giggles. I couldn’t even concentrate on the movie because I couldn’t stop myself from not listening to their conversation.

I wasn’t jealous. I know I wasn’t jealous. I hope I wasn’t jealous.

She’s my best friend. I don’t think of her like that. I’m just protective.

I’m just protective.

My best friend.

I’m just protective.

“Hey, Liam,” Zayn whispered. I looked at him. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” I muttered, “why?”

“Nothing, you just have this sour look on your face.”

I tried to relax the muscles in my face and that was when I realised my face was set into a frown. “I’m okay.”

He pursed his lips but didn’t go any further. The movie ended and the lights came on. Harry was deep asleep in his chair. Eleanor was asleep on Louis chest. Niall and Tanya were right next to each other with Niall’s arm resting on the back of the chair and the both of them were giggling. I fisted my hands to stop myself from getting in between the both of them.

“Well, I’m going to bed,” Zayn announced. “Night, guys.”

We all said a collective good night and he left. Louis woke Harry long enough to tell him to sleep in the guest bedroom. Then Louis picked Eleanor up and told us we can leave whenever and just to close the door behind us. I wanted to leave but since Tanya was my guest, I couldn’t leave before she did. So I sat on the single seat that Harry was in and changed the channel to one of those late night talk shows.

I felt like I was third wheeling with the two of them. They just kept talking and laughing. They’d include me sometimes but then they’d just go back to talking with each other. I’ve never felt so awkward around the both of them.

It seemed like forever had passed when, finally, Tanya said she should head home. I almost jumped in joy, not because I could finally go home but because Niall hadn’t asked her out yet. I put that feeling down as me being protective.

I’m just looking out for her.

That’s why I’m feeling like this.

I’m just looking out for her.

I stood up with her. She said her goodbyes to Niall and gave him a hug. I dug my heels into the ground to stop myself from pushing his arms off her. When she looked over at me, I smiled as though nothing was bothering me. She let go of Niall and walked up to me.

“Bye, Niall,” I called and he replied with a bye. Tanya smiled at him once more and he grinned at her. Then we walked out of Louis’ apartment.

“Your friends are nice,” she said.

“Thanks. Glad you liked them,” I replied. “Here, I’ll walk down with you.”

“Oh, no, it’s okay. It would be pointless for you to ride the elevator twice,” she said with a wave of her hand.

“I don’t mind. Plus, my mother would kill me if she found out I didn’t walk a girl out,” I said.

“Well, didn’t your mother raise a gentleman,” she laughed.

“You know it, my mother’s an angel,” I grinned.

“Okay, fine,” she said and we both stepped into the elevator.

“So,” I started. She looked at me expectantly. “You and Niall got pretty cozy,” I said as casually as I could.

Her eyes slightly lit up at the mention of Niall’s name. “He is so good to talk to! You can’t ever have a boring conversation with that guy. I feel like I’ve known him for ages and I’ve only had one conversation with him. He is so great!”

I felt a numbing pain shoot through my chest. “Really? That’s great.”

“Yeah, like I said, your friends are so nice.” She smiled happily at me. Just then the elevator dinged and we were down in the lobby. I walked her to the doors.

“Bye, walk home safe. Call me once you get home, okay?” i told her and gave her a hug.

“I’ll be fine, Liam. It’s only four blocks away,” she replied.

“Four? Try ten,” I said with a roll of my eyes.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. I’ll be fine,” she answered.

“Just call me, okay?” I told her.

“Still in love with me, I see?” She said with a teasing glint in her eyes.

“Damn, I thought that was over,” I said with an over-exaggerated sigh.

She just laughed and gave me another hug before walking down the street. I watched her until she turned a corner and I walked back up to my apartment.

 

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This is when it gets exciting! I can’t wait to write and upload the rest of the story! Hopefully, I have the time :)

 

Vote, comment, share, follow, etcetc.

 

-Winona

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