Little Steps

Aria Lubianco has been through the worst. Found freezing and sobbing on her doorstep by none other than Liam Payne, she is the definition of a strong but broken girl. As she warms up to the boys, feelings arise for one in particular. However, it is almost impossible for Aria to keep herself together when a mystery person begins sending her threatening messages.

As new people enter the story, suspects are chosen and bonds grow, all due in time.

What will little steps get Aria?

Originally by and all credit goes to lalaladooo: http://www.onedirectionfanfiction.org/Story/20318/Little-Steps/

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52. Day In

Two days after I had first gotten sick, it only got worse. I now officially had a fever and I could barely move without my head pounding. I literally wanted to tell this stupid fever to get the hell out of my body, but that wouldn’t happen. Niall had been so sweet. He never left my side, unless in was to make me meals or bring me extra blankets. He didn’t even care that he could get sick; he still slept beside me every night and cuddled me during the day time.

We were currently in Niall’s bedroom watching Grown Ups. Or, he was watching Grown Ups. I was falling asleep on his shoulder. It was so bad; I could barely keep my head up. Niall’s right arm was wrapped around my waist, keeping my close to him. He laughed at whatever was going on in the movie, turning to me when he noticed I wasn’t laughing. His smile dropped into a concerned pout, and he paused the movie, setting the laptop aside.

“You’re looking pale, princess.” He whispered, pressing the back of his hand to my forehead. “And you’re burning.”

I grimaced, my eyelids heavy with the need to sleep. He reached over and grabbed the glass of warm water from the night table, lifting it to my lips. I sipped it, the warmness of the liquid burning my throat, yet it felt soothing.

Niall was frowning beside me, rubbing my arm. “I wish I could make you feel better.” He sighed, looking genuinely disappointed in himself.

“You’ve been amazing,” I whispered hoarsely, managing a smile. “You’re here and that’s the best remedy.”

He smiled, shuffling out of bed.

“Where are you going?” I asked, holding the cup of warm water in my hands.

He winked, leaving the room. Less than five minutes later, I was almost fully asleep when Niall came back in, holding his guitar.

“I’m going to sing to you.” He chirped, sitting on the bed beside me. He set the guitar in its position in his hands, carefully strumming one of the six strings. Soon, he was playing a soft tune, that I doubted was a real song, but it was making me feel drowsy. It was weird, because even though I felt tired, I couldn’t fully shut my eyes.

“I hate seeing you like this.” Niall admitted, bending down to hug me. He smelled like Old Spice deodorant. Mm.

“Niall,” I coughed, “you’ll get sick.”

He pulled away, looking down at me. “At least I’m here with you.”

God. He always knew what to say to make me smile.

“I feel like there’s this huge brick on my head.” I groaned. Niall smiled slightly, kissing my forehead. He pulled back.

“I’ll be right back.” He said, getting up from the bed again. He came back in with a thermometer in his hand.

“Open up,” he sang, setting the thermometer in my mouth. We waited in silence as the device measured my body temperature. When Niall pulled the thermometer out three minutes later and read it, his eyes widened.

“One hundred and two point three.” He told me, setting the thermometer down on the table.
“I feel worse than that.” I admitted, watching as Niall got back into bed. He didn’t hesitate to reach over and grab me, holding me in his arms.

“I really want to kiss you right now.” He sighed, pressing our foreheads together. I shook my head and pulled away, opening my mouth to speak. Niall cut me off.

“I know, I know. I might get sick.” He repeated my earlier words, but pecked my lips anyway. It was the first time he had kissed me in three days, and suddenly, I was longing for his lips on mine. I stared intensely at his plump pink lips, letting out a sigh.

“I really want to kiss you, too.” I confessed, burying my face into his chest. I heard him chuckle, patting my hair.

“You really shouldn’t have stayed out in the rain.” He sighed into my hair. I was mentally going crazy from how good he smelled. I needed to find out what the intoxicating shampoo and cologne or whatever it was he was using.

“I scheduled a doctor’s appointment for later today.” Niall informed suddenly. I nodded, knowing that I needed medicine. I knew that even though hot chocolate and warm breakfast made me happy, they wouldn’t get rid of my sickness. But the truth was I hated doctor’s offices.

“Do I have to go?” I whined, knowing his answer.

“Look. I know that you’ve rejected going earlier, but you’re getting worse. So yes, you do need to go.”

I sighed, feeling nervous. We laid in silence, the clock ticking loudly on the wall.

“Hey, Ari? Why did Sally fall off the swings?” Niall grinned. Cue the lame jokes.

“Why?”

“Because she had no arms.”

I frowned at him. “That’s terrible.”

He rolled his eyes. “Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?” I answered hesitantly.

“Not Sally.” He replied, cracking up at his joke. A giggle erupted from the back of my throat, and I ignored the pain. It was a pretty funny joke.

“So a lion and a cheetah were having a race.” Niall began, rubbing his hands together. “And the cheetah won.”

“Mhm.”

“So the lion said, ‘you’re such a cheetah.’”

I smirked.

“And the cheetah shook his head and said, ‘you best be lion!’”

I cracked up. It wasn’t even that funny, but when Niall added his Irish accent into it, and made his silly faces as he spoke, I couldn’t resist.

“Tell me another one.” I ordered breathlessly. He thought for a moment.

“What are prehistoric monsters called when they’re asleep?”

“What?”

“Dinosnores.”

“Okay. That one wasn’t so great.” I smirked, watching as he frowned. His eyes soon lit up again.

“I had a dream that I was eating a giant marshmallow.” Niall grinned. “When I woke up, my pillow was gone.”

“Gross.” I laughed, listening in as he told me more lame jokes.

The time passed by quickly, and soon I was getting out of bed to go to my doctor’s appointment. I really didn’t want to change out of Niall’s shirt, my warm sweats and my fluffy socks, but Niall was waiting outside for me. I quickly slipped on some skinny some leggings and a plain long sleeve v-neck, pulling Niall’s hoodie over my head. I did a quick fishtail braid down the side and pulled my fleece winter beanie from the corner of my suitcase, pulling it over my head. I wrapped a scarf around my neck and stuck my feet into some boots. I eyed my makeup bag for a second, deciding I would pass. I grabbed my phone, exiting Niall’s room to see him waiting by the stairs.

He looked me up and down, giving me a grin of approval.

“You look gorgeous.” He said, taking my hand. “Let’s go.”

Half an hour later, I was sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, kicking my feet in boredom. My head was rested on Niall’s shoulder while he rubbed gentle circles into my palm.

“Aria Lubianco.” The nurse called, holding a clipboard in her hand. I stood up, feeling a little dizzy. Niall noticed, setting his hand on my back to balance me.

“Want me to come?” he asked. I shook my head.

“Okay. I’m going to do some shopping. We need some food in the house. I’ll be back before your checkup is over though.” He promised, kissing my forehead before leaving the waiting room. I grimaced before walking towards the nurse.

“Right this way, hon.” She smiled, leading me to a room. She had me sit on the checkup table, taking my blood pressure and checking my temperature.

“You’re burning up, sweet heart.” She sighed, frowning a little. “Do you know what might’ve caused this?”

I let out a dry laugh. “My boyfriend and I were out about three days ago. We were in a park and it was freezing and then it started raining. He kept telling me that we should go, but I made him dance in the rain with me. He told me I would get sick.”

The nurse laughed. “Well, you’ve got a smart boyfriend.”

I nodded in all seriousness.

Later, the doctor came in, declaring after the checkup, that I had a mild flu that if I took the prescribed medicine, would be gone in a couple of days.

After I paid for my checkup, I walked back out to the waiting room with the prescription in my hand, to see Niall leaning up against a wall. He smiled when he saw me, grabbing my hand when I reached him.

“What did the doctor say?” he asked as we walked out. The cold wind hit my body, making me shiver.

“Just a mild flu.” I held up the paper with the prescribed drug on it. “We need to go get this medicine.”

“Anything for you, princess.” He whispered as we got into his car.

As we stood in the pharmacy waiting for my medicine, Niall could barely keep still. He started humming random tunes, playing with my fingers and he held my hand.

“You two are an adorable couple.” A lady walking by told us. Niall smiled nervously, nodding at the lady as she turned away.

“Hey, you okay?” I asked, cupping his face in my hands so he would look at me.

His eyes flit back and forth, unable to keep eye contact with me.

“Ni, what’s wrong?”

“Just nervous,” he answered, and before I could ask him to give me details, the doctor behind the desk called my name. He tore away from me, walking up to grab my medicine. He paid the pharmacist, handing me the bag with the bottle of medicine inside.

“Niall, what are you so nervous about?” I asked. As we approached the exit, a familiar brunette caught my eye. I had seen her somewhere before. That model face. The long brown hair.

Amber.

She made brief eye contact with me and immediately looked away, holding her phone up to her ear. I shook my head. I was so sick that I was seeing things. Besides, Amber was in Holmes Chapel with Harry. She couldn’t be in London.

The whole drive home, Niall barely talked. From his facial expressions, it looked like he was debating with himself. I tried countless times to get him to tell me what was wrong, but he simply shook it off. When we got home, I immediately hopped back into bed, while Niall gave me my pills. Just as I was starting to fall asleep, Niall entered the room.

“Aria.” He stated simply, gaining my attention.

“Is everything okay?” I asked quietly, my eyes drooping slowly.

“Everything is fine, babe.” He assured. “But I was thinking…”

“What about?”

He took a deep breath. “I was thinking about how I wanted to spend as much time with you as possible. At first I was really unsure, because we’ve really only known each other for three months, but, but… I really don’t want you to be anywhere else but with me. And I know it sounds possessive but with you being sick and not having anywhere to stay, I just thought that maybe…maybe…”

“Maybe what?” I prodded softly, setting my hand on his.

“I was wondering if you’d move in with me.”

I bit my lip.

“You don’t have you.” He said quickly. “It was just an idea.”

I smiled, knowing how much he wanted this.

“Sure.”

Niall’s blue eyes sparkled as he leaned down to kiss my lips. Soft and smooth, and short. We both knew the kissing limits at this point. One person sick in this house was enough, and we both knew it.

“Glad your joining me, princess.”

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