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:


10. Dr Lubianco

Aria’s P.O.V.

We sat in the taxi in Australia, driving to our hotel. Zayn and Louis were making Yo Mama jokes while Harry sat there face palming himself, muttering “What has this world come to?” to himself over and over again. Niall was loudly humming, not listening when I said “shut up” instead getting louder by the second. Liam was sleeping.

Poor Liam. He was getting really sick. What if he wasn’t able to perform? Would they cancel the show?

I sat next to Liam, casually bringing my hand up to his forehead. Wow. He was really warm. He must’ve been running a fever.

“Normal people like to watch TV and play video games. Aria Lubianco likes to see if people have fevers.” Louis smirked from the other side of the van. I blushed, pulling my hand away from sleeping Liam’s head.

“Shut up, Louis.” I mumbled, flicking him off. He gasped, shunning me instantly. I giggled and leaned on whoever was on the other side of me, which happened to be Harry.

“Well hello there,” Harry grinned cheekily when I rested my head on his shoulder. I rolled my eyes but stayed there. He began to stroke my hair gently, then wrapped an arm around my shoulder.

“You’re mine now.” He cackled, hugging me to him sideways. I watched as the awkward boy from Cheshire squished me to him, crowning me “his own.”

“No Hazza! I thought we had a thing going!” Louis shouted from the corner, flicking away a fake tear.

Harry looked up at Louis and then back to me, then back to Louis. Then Harry pushed me into Liam and reached out for Louis.

“Never mind, Boobear! I have realized that if you and Aria were boogers, I would pick you!”
I stared in disgust at Louis and Harry as they made their bromance apparent. From my other side, a muffled voice rang out. I realized I was squished into Liam, who I had woken up.

“Sorry, Liam!” I apologized, leaning away from him. He smiled tiredly, yawning for a good five seconds.

“S’alright, love.” He mumbled before closing his eyes again. I felt genuinely bad that my lifesaver was feeling so horrible. I had heard him coughing on the plane. That wasn’t exactly the type of cough that meant good news.

When we arrived at our hotel, it took Niall and I five minutes to fully get Liam up. Zayn and Harry checked in for us, and then we all met up by the elevator on the first floor.

“Okay, so we got three rooms, so let’s split two for each.” Zayn said, taking over as Daddy for Liam.

“Well, I’m sorry, but I got to stay loyal to my girlfriend, so I can’t take a room with Ari.” Liam blushed, biting his lip.

“No! I totally understand.” I assured, rubbing his back. He sniffled his nose, rubbing his eye tiredly.

“Well, taking Liam’s wise words to thought, I need to share with a guy, so sorry Ari.” Zayn added.

“Oh! May I please share a room with Hazza?” Louis begged, literally getting down on both knees and intertwining his hands together.

Zayn rolled his eyes. “Sure Lou.”

“Yay!” Harry and Louis squealed together, hugging like five year olds.

Zayn eyed Niall, who had been quiet most of the time. “Nialler, mind sharing a room with Ari?”

Niall glanced at me, blushing a little bit. “I…I guess not.”

I felt myself blushing as well. Liam winked at me, waggling his eyebrows.

“Okay. So Li and I will share, Louis and Harry will share, and Niall and Ari will share.” Zayn concluded then filed us all into the elevator. When we got to our floor, we split up into our rooms. Niall and I went to room 303.

“Can I open the door?” I pleaded like a little kid. Niall laughed and handed me the card. I happily slid it in and handed him the card, opening the door to our room.

“Wow.” I gasped, pulling in my suitcase behind me. The room was super big. There was one huge king sized bed along with a fold out sofa and a large flat screen TV. A big window led out to a balcony farther into the room.

“This is our home for a week.” Niall grinned, setting his stuff down. I put my stuff down as well, collapsing onto the bed.

“Finally. A real bed.” I sang, making snow angels on the duvet. Niall leaned against a wall, laughing adorably at me. I was happy that I was the one making him smile.

Oh god. I really did have a mighty fine crush on him.

I scooted up onto the pillow and closed my eyes, taking in the great feeling on lying on a real bed after approximately 16 hours. The bed sank down as weight added. I opened my eyes and saw Niall falling into bed beside me. We were still a good two feet away from each other, though.

“I can’t wait to see you guys perform tomorrow night.” I began, trying to get a conversation started.

“Yeah, but I hope Liam will be okay. He doesn’t seem so cheery.” Niall sighed, staring up at the ceiling.

“Don’t’ worry. He’ll be fine.” I reassured Niall, though I wasn’t exactly sure at all.

“You tired, or do you wanna watch films?” Niall suggested a happy flash in his eye.

I sighed. “Niall, remember you have a concert tomorrow. You can’t stay up all night.”

“Jump around until we see the sun!” Niall sang, turning my words into one of their songs. I laughed, rolling closer to him so we were about six inches away from each other.

“A film, ple-e-e-ase?” Niall begged, jotting his bottom lip out. I groaned, sliding off the bed.

“Fine, but if you fall asleep on stage, it’s not my problem.”

Niall cheered, watching me as I dug through my suitcase and found my laptop. I brought it back to the bed and logged onto Netflix, then placed the laptop on his lap.

“You can choose.” I smiled, leaving him to do to the hard part. He groaned and started flipping through the movies.

“You like horror movies?” he asked, moving his eyes from the computer screen to me.

“Sure, I love horror movies.”

“Let’s watch Case 39, then.” Niall grinned, hitting a few buttons and starting the movie. He placed the laptop so half the base was on his left thigh and half of the base was on my right thigh. Our shoulders touched slightly, making me feel jittery and nervous. I silently told myself to calm down.

The movie started out okay, slightly creepy when the parents were trying to burn the little girl, but besides that, alright.

I took this to ease, sinking into my pillow and watching the movie. It probably wasn’t even going to be as scary I thought.

Oh boy was I wrong. Thirty minutes into the movie, I found myself clutching Niall’s arm, burying my face into his collarbone.

“Did that elevator seriously just crash?” I whimpered, not daring to look at the screen. I could hear Niall breathing hard too. This movie was intense.

“Yup. That’s creepy.” He answered, his voice soothing me despite the setting.

“M-maybe we should turn the lights on.” I suggested, my voice squeaking with fear. Niall frowned and paused the movie, craning his neck so he could look at me.

“Are you sure you don’t want to watch something else?” he asked, slowly taking my hand off his arm, which was red from the pressure.

I blushed. “No! I’m a big girl.” I declared, giggling softly. Niall smiled and snaked his arm around my shoulders, pulling me into him. I took in his perfect scent and leaned onto his shoulder, reaching out for myself and played the movie again.

“I’m here for you, Ari.” He whispered, making me feel warm.

I could barely keep my eyes open, taking back my thought of this movie not being scary. I watched as the physiatrist received the call from the demon girl and then committed suicide.

“This is scary.” I whispered to Niall, my lips, almost touching his ear. I felt him shiver, causing me to smile a little.

“Tell me about it. But it’s alright, because we’re big kids.” Niall winked, his eyes still fixed on the movie. I felt Niall slowly taking my hand into both of his, holding my hand tightly within his. Warm blood spread through my hand. I kept telling myself not to let my palm get sweaty.

At one point in the movie, he let go, clutching him pillow at the scariest parts. Half the time, I wasn’t even watching the movie.

I soon found myself falling asleep, the sound of the horror film screams in the background. All that mattered was that Niall was here.

He was here for me.

The next time I woke up, it was from loud knocking at the door. I tried to get off the bed when I realized a tight shield was around me. Someone’s arms. Niall’s arms. I blushed hard before slowly taking Niall’s arms off from around me. He instantly groaned in his sleep. I slipped out of bed just in time to hear the knocking again. I walked over to the door. Quickly tying up my hair.
I opened it, coming face to face with Zayn.

“Hey, Zayn. What you need?” I questioned cheerfully, a bit concerned by Zayn’s worried face.

“Can I steal you for a second?” Zayn whispered. I nodded and slipped my sandals on, following Zayn out the door.

“What’s up?” I asked, partially concerned.

“It’s Liam. He’s losing his voice. I don’t know what to do.” Zayn sighed, taking me into the room he and Liam were sharing.

Liam was lying down on the bed, a cold ice pack on his head. His face was somewhat pale and his eyes fluttered in his sleep.

“He’s not even sleeping.” Zayn said, as if reading my mind.

I bit my lip and sat down at the edge of the bed. I took one of Liam’s hands, which was freezing cold.

“Li, can you hear me?” I asked softly, leaning in a little. He groaned quietly, squeezing me hand.

“I don’t think I can perform.” Liam coughed out, barely a whisper. I watched as he took the hand that was in mine and wiped away a tear.

“Why are you crying?” I asked, adjusting the ice pack on his head.

“The fans. They’ll be devastated.” He took a breath before continuing. “I’m going to let them down so badly.” Another deep breath. “Some of those girls have been waiting a whole year…”

Cough, cough, cough.

“Liam, don’t talk. You need rest.” I instructed, setting a hand on his chest before looking at Zayn.

“Can you grab a warm glass of water or something? Breakfast is probably being served in the lobby now so they’ll have something in the kitchen.” I told Zayn. He nodded immediately, grabbing his shoes and cap before heading out.

I turned back to Liam and watched as more tears fell from his eyes. I gulped, not wanting to let myself cry, too. I took Liam’s hand again and squeezed it. Without really thinking, I began to sing to him.

White lips, pale face, breathing in snowflakes,

Ripped gloves, sour taste.

Light’s come, days end, struggling to pay rent,

Long nights, strange men.

And they say, she in the class a team,

Stuck in her day dream.

Been this way since eighteen but lately her face seems,

Slowly sinking wasting,

Crumbling like pastries,

And they scream the worst things in life come free to us,

Cause’ were just under the upper hand,

And go mad for a couple grams,

And she don’t wanna go outside, tonight,

And it a pipe she flies’ to another land,

Sells love to another man,

It’s too cold outside, for angel’s to fly.

“Wow, you voice is amazing.” An Irish accent interrupted, causing me to jump. I saw Niall leaning on the door frame, his arms crossed in front of his chest.

I felt myself blushing. “Wow, you’re quiet.”

Niall smirked and rolled his eyes. “Well duh, I’m a ninja.”

I giggled as he walked over to me, glancing at something a little too long. I followed his gaze to mine and Liam’s connected hands. I quickly put Liam’s hand down and put mine in my lap.

Great, he probably thought I liked Liam, now.

“Liam’s not doing so great, is he?” Niall coughed, regaining a frown as he looked at Liam.

“No. Much worse, actually.” I answered, before asking a very apparent question. “How did you know I was in here?”

Niall smiled. “Well, Zayn came in and told me to get my “lazy ass” up, so I did. And then he told me you were in here with Liam.”

I nodded as Niall sat down on the bed beside me, reaching out to feel Liam’s forehead, quickly pulling his hand away.

“He’s burning hot.” Niall said seriously, before rethinking his words and giggling.

“Immature leprechaun.” I muttered, smacking him. God, he was extremely adorable.

“Hey, do you want me to go grab breakfast from downstairs?” Niall offered, standing up again.

“Yes, please. I’ll take whatever they’ve got.” I smiled, looking up at Niall. I then realized his hair was a mess, and yet he still looked gorgeous. I also realized that I had fallen asleep in my jeans and shirt from last night while he had probably changed after the movie was over, because he was in a white sleeveless shirt and sweats.

“Be back in a flash.” Niall announced before leaving the room.

I turned back to Liam who’s eyes were open again, and a smile was present of his lips.

“It’s so obvious.” He croaked, elbowing my side.

“What is?” I questioned, not bothering to tell him to be quiet.

“The connection.” Liam exhaled before closing his eyes again. For a split second I thought he had just passed out, but then I saw his chest rising and falling steadily.

What connection? Between me and Niall? Okay, first of all ,there was no way that Niall Horan of One Direction could ever like a girl like me. Number two, he likes girls like Demi Lovato and Amy Green, you know, pretty girls.

I got up and walked over to the little couch by the TV, sitting down it in and pulling my legs up. Five minute later, Zayn and Niall walked in. Zayn was holding a glass of steaming water and Niall was holding three plates of breakfast. I really wanted to give into the food, but I had a responsibility to be taken care of first.

I smiled at the two boys and walked over to Zayn, taking the glass of water from him.

Thanks.” I whispered before taking it over to sleeping Liam, shaking him gently.

“Liam, wake up.” I cooed gently, sitting down on the bed again. He opened his eyes, looking up at the water in my hand.

“S’that for me?” he asked weakly, holding his hands out.

“Yup, can you sit up straight?”

Liam rolled his eyes. “I’m not dying, Ari. I can move, you know.” Liam sat up against the headboard of the bed, eyeing me amusingly. Niall stifled a laugh from behind me, earning him a death stare.

I held the cup and water to Liam’s lips and let him sip it. He pulled away immediately.

“That is some hot, hot water, mate.” Liam laughed, the weakness of his laugh wearing it all down. “I think I burned my tongue.”

I giggled, setting to water down. “Okay, I’ll let it cool down then. Just drink it when it’s cool enough.”

“Alright, Dr. Lubianco.” Liam smiled, coughing quietly.

“Now, shut up. You may not talk unless you are desperate.” I instructed, kissing his cheek quickly before marching through the door and back to mine and Niall’s room.

I quickly took my dirty clothes off and stepped into the shower, letting the warm water sooth me instantly.

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