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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9. One Special Bird

Niall’s P.O.V.

I had a feeling I’d gone too far. In fact, I’d completely pissed her off. I sighed, when I suddenly felt a pang of weight hitting my right shoulder. I craned my neck to see Ari had fallen asleep, and she’d fallen onto me.

I just wish she would fall for me.

I was clear that I was starting to like her. It was clear she wasn’t anywhere close to liking me. Right when things would start to get romantic, she’d cut it off with her sassiness and sarcasm. In addition, she obviously didn’t know she was literally one of the most beautiful persons in the freaking world.

I pulled out my phone and opened the twitter page. New hates messages filled my stream. For some reason, even though I wanted to ignore them like usual, I took them to heart.

One by one, threats and insults flew into my mind through words. Harmless individual letters, made into terrible, discriminating words.

“Don’t listen to them, Nialler.” Aria whispered, still leaning on my shoulder. I jumped, thinking she was still asleep. Aria had her hand held out, gesturing for me to hand her my phone.

“No.” I protested, holding the phone away from her.

“Give it to me Niall.” she said sternly, pulverizing me with her god damn gorgeous eyes. I gulped, and handed her the phone, hoping she wouldn’t completely fuck my life with whatever she was about to do.

Aria grabbed my phone and began pressing the screen to click stuff. I couldn’t tell what she was doing. Moments later, she handed my phone back, and I had tweeted a new tweet.

@Niall_Horan: I’m sorry you all think I am so bad, so useless. But please, don’t say anything until you spend one day with me. Don’t’ talk bad about someone until you know who they really are.

I blinked at Aria who had a sincere smile on her face.

“You don’t believe all that hate crap, do you Niall?” Ari asked, raising her head off my shoulder to look straight into my eyes.

I took a deep breath, and then nodded. “I do actually. I am quite useless. Maybe I should just quit the-“

“Don’t even think about it.” Ari cut me off, slapping her hand down on my arm the squeeze it gently. “You say I’m insecure? Well look who’s talking. You don’t know how many girls out there would want to kill themselves if you quit the band. You don’t know how many girls out there would die just to hold your hand and tell you they love you. Want you. Appreciate you. Because there are as sure as hell, at least a million girls who would do anything just to meet you and know you’re alive. You are an extremely gorgeous guy who has probably the most amazing smile and laugh in the entire world, and I would probably cry my eyes out if you quit this band. If you weren’t alive I probably wouldn’t even be sitting here, on this plane right now. Without you, One Direction wouldn’t be One Direction, which would mean there would be no One Direction tour, which would mean that Liam would have never found me the night I was raped, the night I came to you all. You, Niall Horan, are as important to me as you are to your mother and father. You are just as important as any of the other members in One Direction to me, and to your fans in the world. You have no reason to let some stupid hate tweets let you down. Got it?”

I sat there silently staring at her, my mouth gaped open.

“Got it?” Aria repeated, taking my hand into hers.

“Got it.” I cried out hoarsely, squeezing my hand gently. She let go, kissing my cheek gently. I felt cheeks started to redden.

“Can I make a deal with you?” she asked me, while still seemed pretty shocked from her speech. I nodded and smiled at her.

“I won’t call myself ugly ever again if you won’t call yourself useless ever again.”
I thought for a moment, then nodding. “Deal.”

“Sorry, for earlier. I over-reacted.” Aria apologized, not making eye contact.

“It’s fine, Ari.”

“Oh, and Niall?”

“Yes, love?”

“Can I listen to your music again?” Aria giggled, blushing lightly. He let out a quiet Horan laugh, and handed me an earphone.

“Just remember, you truly are beautiful.” I whispered to her before closing my eyes leaning his plane seat back, and humming beautifully to the beat of the music.



Liam’s P.O.V.

I watched Niall and Aria fast asleep on the other side of the plane. Aria’s head was slowly falling onto Niall’s shoulder. Niall had his arm wrapped loosely around sleeping Ari’s shoulder, fast asleep as well. I know we had only knew Aria for a mere two weeks, but I already knew for a fact that Ari and Nialler liked each other. It was really obvious, the way she always blushed right before she said something to him, and stared longingly at him when she thought he wasn’t looking. I also noticed the way Niall would stare at her face while she talked, not really caring about whatever she was saying.

Those two were perfect.

I looked around at the other passengers in the first class area of the plane. Everyone seemed to be asleep. A swift movement caught my eye, causing me to avert my gaze to Niall whose eyes were now open. He was staring at Aria who was leaned against him, a troubled look on his face. My heart lifted a million miles when I saw him leaning in. Aria’s lip were only an inch away from his when he stopped, breathing against her lips. He shook his head to himself and pulled away abruptly, squeezing his eyes shut again. I looked away before he could see me awake.
Niall was about to kiss Aria. My best mate was about to kiss a girl he barely knew.

But he stopped.

Why did he stop? I mean, yeah it would be totally messed up a to kiss a girl when she wasn’t even your girlfriend, let alone kiss her while she was asleep, but I might’ve been a tiny bit happy if I had seen Niall kiss her. Oh god I sounded so bad.

I felt a hand shake my shoulder. I turned around, snapping my head to Zayn who was supposed to be sleeping beside me. In fact, he was up too.

“Did you just see that?” Zayn whispered, gesturing to Niall and Aria.

“See what?” I whispered back with an innocent accent.

Zayn rolled his eyes, rubbing them. “Don’t play dumb, Liam. I saw you looking that way.”

“Okay, yeah. So Niall almost kissed Ari.” I grinned goofily, an image of them holding hands playing in my head. It made me anxious, knowing how perfect they were for each other.

“They’re perfect for each other.” Zayn whispered, as if reading my mind. I smiled and nodded.
“It’s obvious they like each other too.” I smirked, eyeing Niall and Ari. Niall had fallen asleep again, this time his arms were not around Aria.

Everyone else could see the connection but Niall and Aria themselves.



Aria’s P.O.V.

The light of the morning sun shone through the airplane. I opened my eyes to the smell of food, instantly making me hungry. Niall had a breakfast plate of the pop out table connected to his seat.

“Good morning, Aria.” Niall said cheerfully when he saw me awake. I smiled at him, yawning heavily.

“Morning.”

“Sorry, the flight attendant skipped you cos’ you were still sleeping when she came by with breakfast. Want me to call her up?”

“Nah, I’m not hungry, anyways.” I lied, feeling the growing craving for food in my stomach. At that moment, my stomach had other ideas. It let out a loud grumble, causing me to blush, and Niall to turn to me and burst out laughing.

“Shit.” I muttered, turning away.

Niall grabbed my arm, still giggling. “You’re such a liar. You are hungry.”

“Whatever.” I replied quietly, hating on my stomach right then. Before I fully knew what was going on, Niall had poked his fork into the bacon strip on his plate and shoved it into my mouth. I almost spit it out, but then I remembered it was bacon. I LOVE bacon.

“What the fudge, Niall?” I giggled between chewing the bacon. He laughed his contagious laugh and handed me the muffin on his plate. I took it thankfully, giving him a large smile. Niall looked at me for a second, back and forth between my eyes.

“You’re eyes are very blue.” He commented quietly, before turning back to his food, and devouring it. I was a bit shocked by his comment. No one had ever called my eyes pretty. Most people said they were annoying or disturbing, because they were so blue.

“Um, thanks.” I answered about twenty seconds later.

Niall laughed. “You’re a bit late on the thank you, but you’re welcome.”

I glanced over at Liam and Zayn who both seemed to be staring at me. They quickly looked away when I saw them, eating their own breakfast.

Both their faces looked utterly shocked.



Zayn’s P.O.V.

Liam and I sat next to each other, munching on the somewhat okay plane breakfast. Suddenly I felt Liam elbowing my rib lightly, jerking his head towards Niall and Aria on the other side of the plane.

“Just watch.” Liam whispered. I nodded and slyly watched the two lovebirds. Niall was cracking up at something Aria had said or done. Aria was blushing, turning away from Niall. Then Niall touched her arm, making her turn around. Before she could really say anything, he poked the fork into a strip of bacon and shoved it into the mouth. Aria giggled, talking while she chewed the bacon. Niall said something then handed her a muffin. Gasp.

Has I really just seen what I think I saw?

Did Niall Horan really just share his food?

Wow. Aria must be one special bird.

Because Niall James Horan never shares his food. Never, ever, ever. The two seemed to be happily making conversation while Aria savored the muffin that had melted in her mouth. Aria put the muffin down on the fold out table and quickly tossed her long hair into a bun before resuming eating her muffin. I was glad to know that Niall had finally found someone he could have a good relationship with.

My phone buzzed abruptly with a text from my long-time girlfriend, Perrie.

Perrie: heyy, still flying are ya? Xx

Me: Yup. We got the assis. Stylist w/ us. Nialler and her have a thing goinnn ;) ;) xxx

Perrie: aww :D you should introduce me sometime soon, cuz I wud love to meet her

Me: Yup, maybe after tours over I’ll introduce you two x



I chuckled to myself and put my phone back into my small duffle bag. I looked up at the large screen at the front of the first class section of the plane. We still had 5 hours left on this stupid plane ride. I groaned to myself, wishing we were in Australia already.

I glanced over at Louis and Harry who looked like they were in a deep conversation, so I decided not to interrupt them.

Beside me, Liam burst into a fit of coughing, I could hear the mucus in the cough, Liam winced, clutching his throat with a pained look.

“You alright mate?” I asked, setting a hand on his back.

“Don’t know. I haven’t been feeling so great, actually.” Liam answered before coughing again. I glanced over at Aria, who’s attention had been earned by Liam’s coughing. She looked sympathetic at Liam.

“Liam?”

“Yeah, lad?”

“What’s going to happen when tour is over and Aria isn’t needed for a stylist?” I asked, hearing my voice shake. Liam bit his lip, failing to look at me.

“Then, she’s gone.” He answered. Liam’s lips were quivering now, his fingers gripping the seat handle tightly.

“You alright, Li?” I asked, setting a hand on his shoulder.

“I just…” he clutched his forehead, trying to gather words, “Aria, she…we… we’ve only known each other for so long, and yet I feel like she is my little sister. And just three more weeks, and she’s gone. She seems so weak, hard to keep up, and yet she’s so special. Everything about her makes her the most perfect sister in the world. I don’t know what I’m going to do when tour is over.”

I nodded, taking in Liam’s words. “I totally understand. Maybe we can find a way for her to stay with us?”

Liam’s head popped up, concern in his eyes. “I forgot! She doesn’t even have a place to stay. Her dad is not exactly the best in the world, and I don’t even think she considers her house ‘home’ anymore.”

“Don’t worry, Liam. We’ll think of something.”

Liam let out another horrifying cough before shaking his head and drifting off to sleep.



Niall’s P.O.V.

Only two hours left on the flight. I looked over at Ari who was fast asleep. She didn’t have that usual frown on her face anymore. Instead, it was replaced with a smile.

I felt my phone buzzing with a text.

Liam: heyy, how’s it goin over there ;);)

I glanced across the plane to see Liam waving dumbly at me.

I laughed quietly to myself and began typing.

Me: Not much. Hear you coughing, not much better eh?

Liam: Nope.


I laughed and tucked my phone away. I looked at Ari just in time to see her rubbing her eyes, just waking up.

“I hate planes.” She groaned, rubbing her eyes again.

“Well, I can change that.” I smirked, elbowing her lightly.

“Oh really?” she said, perking an eyebrow up. I laughed.

“Well, do you have fun talking to me?” I started, searching her beautiful blue eyes.

Aria shrugged. “Yeah, I guess.”

“Then talk to me. Tell me anything you want. You can trust me with anything.”

Ari giggled but then continued. “Alright. Well, what are we going to do for Liam’s birthday?”

Jealously sprang through me in less than a second. Why did it have to be about Liam? I had a feeling she liked him. They always had their little private talks and she always worried about him. Ugh, it wasn’t fair.

“Well, I don’t know.” I answered, and it was the truth. “Got any ideas?”

Ari tapped her chin, then quietly exclaimed, “Light bulb!” I laughed at her silliness and her quoting from Despicable Me.

“What is it?”

“Well, since were going to go to Paris, we can set up a little picnic out by the Eiffel Tower and we can try to get his girlfriend to come as well!”

“That actually sounds like a good idea.” I agreed, nodding in approval.

“What do you mean ‘actually’? Have you ever doubted Aria the Mighty?” she announced in a horrible manly voice. She burst into a fit of giggled, clutching my arm to keep herself for toppling over. I held back a large grin, staring at this beautiful girl, laughing beautifully.

So beautiful.

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