The Dangers of Falling. AU

Amelia Shades has been running from her past for awhile, and never looked back. But while running, she runs into the dashing Harry Styles. He's charming, arrogant, cheeky, and nosy; four of the things she hates. But she feels a certain tug towards him; one that makes her want to lose her nomad streak. Can Harry save her, or is she too far gone?

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8. You Found Me When No One Else Was Looking.

I used to be a happy person. I'm not sure when it stopped, but one day it was as if everything just fell through the weakening cracks, and I was dragged along with it. I tried as hard as possible to keep a smile on my face at all times, because I was told that if you smiled, you'd be happy. That person lied. I learned about fake smiles; something I got so used to wearing, I thought it was real. I'm not sure where that real smile went. I look at in old photos sometimes, and wonder where that girl wearing the smile went. I used to be worse than this. I suppose I should be happy about that.

"What are you doing?" Ian yawned as he walked into the living room, taking a seat on the sofa. I glanced up at him from my spot in the floor in front of the TV, where I was surrounded by stacks of photo albums. I continued to flip through the pages, looking at pictures of Ian, Ian and I, Ian and family. His mom always did take hundreds of pictures. I laughed as I stopped on a picture of Ian and I at his tenth birthday party, where I had smashed a cupcake right onto his face; it was the perfect snapshot. Ian slid off the sofa and took a seat beside me, laughing at the memory.
 

"That was the best birthday party, until you did that." he said, and I shoved him a little.
 

"Oh please, I put the 'party' in your birthday party.” I laughed. Ian rested his head on my shoulder, and I continued flipping through the album. I smiled as we landed on a picture of Ian and I during Christmas time a few years back; his parents didn’t know exactly my predicament, but they knew enough to let me spend time with them on the holidays.

 “I remember that year. My parents got us matching ugly Christmas sweaters as a joke. I still have mine.” Ian commented.
 

“Me too.” I laid my head on top of Ian’s. I had forgotten how much Ian and I had been through. He was a brother to me; still is. We used to hardly ever be apart. We’d ride to school together. hang out after school, and only until the late hours would I go home. Then the weekends we’d hang out. Ian’s family was more of a family to me than my own. I even called his parents ‘mom and dad’.

 “I had forgotten all of this.” I whispered.
 

“Nice to know I’m forgettable, Ames.”

 “I didn’t want to. But I had to forget you. I wouldn’t have been able to leave if I didn’t.”

 “You never did explain to me why you left in the first place.” I tensed slightly, and continued flipping through the album, remaining silent.

 “You’re really not going to tell me?” Ian sat up, causing my head to fall.

 “I just don’t want to talk about it.”

 “You never want to talk about anything.” Ian snapped. I ran a hand through my hair, letting the album fall shut. First Harry, and now Ian. I was tired of fighting.
 

“You’re right, I don’t. But why the hell are you always wanting to know everything?” I argued, standing up.

 “Because I care about you. Harry cares about you too.” Ian stood up as well, and I flinched back, hand going up to zip up my jacket a little further. “Oh, no need to hide the scratch marks. Harry already called me and told me.”
 

“What is it with you two?! Why do you always have to know everything? And since when are you and Harry so tight?” I yelled, exasperated and fed up. The person I trusted the most and the person I was beginning to trust were going behind my back and talking about me. The thought of it made me angrier.

 “This is the reason I left. I am sick of people thinking something is wrong with me, and going behind my back to find out what it is. Everyone has secrets, and you need to accept that.” I hissed, shoving Ian back. I grabbed my keys off of the coffee table.

 “Have you ever thought that maybe your problem is you run away from things? You never face it. You never deal with it. You run away. That’s what you’re good at, Amelia. I may be nosy, but at least I face what’s thrown at me.” Ian scoffed.

 “Running away from things is what works for me. It’s gotten me this far.” I gripped the handle of the door tightly.
 

“It’s gotten you here, but you aren’t very happy, are you?”

 “Being happy has never mattered to me.” I lied, and Ian knew it.

 “Really? Because I remember when we were eight, we went to see Santa Claus in the mall. You told him what you wanted for Christmas was to be happy. I’m sure that wish hasn’t changed.”

 “I hate you.” I whispered, and Ian took my hand off of the door handle.

 “No. You just hate that I’m right.” Ian pulled me into a hug, one I accepted happily.

 “I think this is the first time you didn’t run away from an argument. You always were great at walking out.” Ian murmured against my head.

 “You know, what I actually wanted for Christmas was a dog.” I ignored his comment, even though he was right. Running away from my problems was something I had always done. Any time I knew I would be wrong, I hid away, and hoped it would just disappear. It was what my mom did. Were these things genetic?

 “Well, lets go get you a dog then.” Ian stepped away, and pulled on his sneakers.
 

“Are you serious?”

 “Dead serious.” Ian smiled.
_____________________________

 Chihuahua? Too small. Pomeranian? Too much barking. Labrador? Too much slobber.  Who knew picking a dog was so hard?

 Ian and I continued walking up and down through the pound that was filled with dogs of all kinds. I heard that a person can tell which dog it’s meant to be with; that might be a myth, but I was counting on that connection. A employee was walking with us, and she was a very chatty girl. She was actually getting on my nerves, but I wasn’t going to say anything. Ian took a liking to her. But that was probably because of her boobs popping out of her shirt. I laughed silently.

 “I got it from here.” I paused, and gave Ian a look. I was tired of listening to Chatty Cathy going on about each dog. I wanted to take this moment to find a dog by myself. I was going to choose based on ‘the connection’; not something someone else had to say.

 “Uh, why don’t you tell me about what the pound is about?” Ian asked.

 “Sure. Are you sure you don’t need any help?” She asked, still looking at Ian.

 “No, I’m good.” I rolled my eyes, and wandered off down the hall. So many dogs were barking at once, begging for my attention. It was sad. These dogs were abandoned, or had run away. All they wanted was love and affection, but they were damaged instead. The last cage at the end of the hall was silent. I wandered over towards it, peeking inside. It was a golden retriever. His golden coat was burned in some places, skin showing through. He was not well taken care of. I stepped inside, closing the gate silently, sitting down on the floor. The dog was still silent, staring up at me with sad brown eyes. He- I think it was a he- was still a puppy, and he should’ve been barking like crazy. I patted my knee, trying to coax him forward. The puppy still just looked at me, cocking it’s head to the side.

 “Come here boy.” I murmured in a gentle tone, but he still didn’t budge. I sighed, and did the kissy lips sound. The puppy’s ears perked up at the sound, and he slowly trudged forward. I held out a hand, and he flinched back a little.

 “No, it’s okay. I won’t hurt you, I promise.” I whispered. It was like he had heard me, because he trudged forward again. He crawled into my lap, and I stroked him slowly.

 “Ian?” I called out, and he soon appeared with Chatty Cathy. Her shirt was unbuttoned by one button, and her hair was a little messy. I stared at Ian, disgusted at the pink lipstick that was smudged on his cheek. He grinned sheepishly. “I want this one.” I murmured, stroking the puppy again.
 

“Are you sure you want that one?” Chatty Cathy scoffed. “We were fixing to put him down. He hardly eats, and he has worms. He hasn’t even barked since he got here. You’re the first person he would actually come to without force. There’s no telling what other disease he has.”

 “I don’t care. I want him. Maybe if you’d stop sucking faces with potential adopters, you’d notice these dogs deserve a chance.” I snapped, and Chatty Cathy narrowed her eyes at me.

 “Fine. I’ll bring you his record.” I held her gaze until she turned around. I glared at Ian.

 “Really, Ian?”

 “What?” he acted innocent. I slowly stood up, and motioned for the puppy to follow me. He obeyed, and I smiled as he walked beside me.
 

“Isn’t he cute?” I smiled.

 “Sure. If you think diseased and beat up is cute.” Ian remarked. I punched his arm, and Ian swore under his breath.

 “He can hear you! Be nice.”

 “All right, fine, he is cute I suppose.” Ian smiled, and bent down to pet the puppy. The puppy cowered back, and I swatted at Ian’s hand.

 “I told you he heard you. Now he doesn’t like you, and you scared him.” I pet the puppy, and I felt him sink back into the comfort. We finally made it to the front, and Chatty Cathy handed over his papers. I reviewed them, even though hardly any of it made sense. I’ve never had a dog before.

 “Ian, will you look over it? I don’t know anything about this.” Ian took the papers, and I waited quietly as he read through them.

 “It looks good. He had all of his needed shots, but he does have a bad case of worms that we need to treat immediately. We can pick some stuff up for it at the store. Otherwise, it’s good. Can we have the adoption papers?” Ian asked, and Chatty Cathy handed them over. She winked at Ian as she did so, and I saw the small paper that he pretended to slip into his pocket, but instead fell to the floor. I almost felt sorry for the girl; almost.
 

“You want to sign them, right? You’ll be the mommy.” He handed me the pen, and I quickly signed it. The last thing needed was a name. I had no clue what to name him.

 “Do I have to give him a name now?” I asked.

 “No, you can come back later after you decide if you like.” Chatty Cathy answered, and I nodded. I slipped my copy of papers into my purse, and she handed me a collar and a leash. After I hooked on the leash, Ian and I headed out the door.

 “Okay, so we need the basics. Dog food, dog treats, a kennel, and a blanket for the kennel.” Ian opened the car door for me, and I picked up the puppy and sat him in my lap.

 “Sounds easy enough. I need a name first though.”

 “We can brainstorm while we shop.” Ian started the car, and we were off to the supermarket. My phone buzzed in my pocket.
 

From: Harry
 I’m sorry I’ve been a meanie. I feel very rude.

 I couldn’t help but smile at how childish he was being.
 

 To: Harry
 You can apologize to me in person when we hang out today.
 

 From: Harry
 Ok (: what are we doing?

 To: Harry
 Park near your flat in an hour? I have a surprise.
 

 From: Harry
 I'm bringing the football. You can show me your skillz.

 “Who are you texting? You’re smiling really big.” Ian teased.

 “No one.” I answered quickly, shoving my phone into my pocket.
 

“Amelia Jane. Are you sexting?” Ian gasped, and I reached over to smack him for the tenth time today, but the puppy in my lap flinched. I cooed to the animal, petting him gently. I kissed the tip of his nose, and he cuddled me.

 “No, Ian. I was just talking to Harry. We have an hour to get all the stuff, and drop me off at the park near Harry’s flat. We’re hanging out today.” I smiled.

 “Oh, I hate being the third wheel.” Ian grumbled.

 “Good news, you weren’t invited, so you won’t be.” I giggled.

 “Now that’s just rude.” Ian scoffed.

 “Georgie.” I looked down at the small puppy, and Ian stared at me.

 “What?”

 “His name is Georgie. He likes it.” Georgie responded well to the name.

 “I can see your new job title now. Amelia Shades, dog whisperer.” I rolled my eyes.

 An hour later, Ian was dropping Georgie and I off at the park. I gathered all of Georgie’s necessities in one hand, and wound his leash around my hand. The sudden fear that Harry wouldn’t like Georgie crossed my mind. He had to. If he didn’t, what would I do then? Maybe I would move in with Ian. I wouldn’t mind sleeping on the couch. At least he likes Georgie. Getting my own place could be an option. I had never thought about settling down. I’ve never even bought my own apartment before. I paused, the realization of Ian buying me a dog dawning on me. He wanted me to know the feeling of being responsible for someone else besides me. I rolled my eyes and continued walking. That was so Ian.
 

“Amelia!” A voice called, and I turned to see Harry kicking a ‘football’-- I still thought of it as a soccer ball-- my way. He was wearing a gray beanie which matched his jumper, and a pair of sweatpants with his bright yellow sneakers. He had the cutest smile on his face, and that alone almost distracted me from kicking the football right back to him.

 “Hey, nice kick.” Harry hugged me lightly, and I enjoyed the brief moment of warmth.  “Oh! Cute dog. Whose is it?” Harry’s face turned into the actual sun when he saw Georgie. Hopefully he liked him. Georgie cowered away from Harry, and he frowned.

 “He’s mine, actually. I just got him from the pound, with Ian. His name is Georgie. He’s a bit scared, that’s why he cowers. I was the only one he’d let touch him willingly. I’m sure he’ll warm up. If you don’t like him, well that’s too bad, I’ll just go live with Ian because I’m not taking him back.” I blurted out, my eyes going wide at the words that flew out. Harry stared up at me in surprise, taken aback as well.

 “Amelia, I don’t mind him-- Georgie, did you say?” I nodded. “I don’t mind Georgie staying at our flat. It’s Jayden you might have to fight with. I’ll help you. We can get him potty trained and even teach him tricks or something.” I smiled at Harry calling the place ‘our’ flat. Harry smiled back, and took my hand.
 

“Now come on. I want to make it up to you for yelling at you, by crushing you in our game of football, and then buying you some hot chocolate to make up for that.” Harry grinned cheekily, and backed up backwards to the field.

 “Oh, in your dreams Styles.” I laughed, and coaxed Georgie to break into a run with me. He kept up right beside me, and I smiled.

 “So, tell me about Georgie.” Harry called out across the field as I finished tying Georgie to a post near a picnic table Harry’s bag was on. I whispered to him I’d be back, and ran to my place. The kicking of the football began.

 “I think he was beaten, although I’m not entirely sure.” I kicked the ball, rushing down the field, the cold air cooling me. I pushed past Harry easily, scoring a goal. I cheered in excitement, and we were at it again. “He hasn’t barked yet. The girl that worked there-- very slut like by the way-- told me he had worms and they were fixing to put him down.” I kicked the ball straight over Harry’s head, the ball soaring right into the goal.

 “Poor dog.”

 “I know.” I sent the ball soaring again.

 “Not bad, Shades. Not bad at all. But, I’m still gonna win.” Harry swung his arm around my waist, his face coming extremely close to mine, and my eyes widened as he got away with the ball. I ran after him, suddenly breathless.

 “That is cheating!”
 

“What ever do you mean?” Harry faked innocence as he scored a goal.

 “Using your attractiveness as a decoy is cheating.” I scolded.

 “So you admit I’m attractive, huh?” Harry smiled cheekily as I ran along beside him. I swung my foot out, kicking the ball away from between Harry’s feet. He stumbled slightly, and I laughed as I ran back in the other direction with the ball.

 “Like you need to be told you are.” I said, a slight blush tinting my cheeks.

 “It’s nice to hear. Especially from you.” Harry laughed, and we continued distracting and scoring. Was it possible to cheat at this sport?

 “Game point! We are officially tied. Last one to score, wins the game.” Harry wiggled his eyebrows up and down at me, and I bent over as I laughed. I kicked the football first, taking off with it. Harry followed suit, and just as I kicked the ball I was lifted off my feet. I shrieked as we both fell to the ground and rolled, just like a football. Harry landed on top. He grinned at me, his curls falling out of his beanie. I reached my hands up, tucking the unruly curls back into his hat. I traced the side of his face afterwards, his expression soft as he stared down at me. I glanced to the side, seeing the football in the net.

 “I won.” I grinned, and Harry rolled his eyes as he rolled off of me.
 

“You know this means you have to buy me a hot chocolate since I lost, right?” I smacked his arm lightly as he helped me up.

 “I’ll make you some at home. I’ve never had a complaint about my hot chocolate yet.” I untied Georgie from his leash, scooping him up into my arms. I squeezed lightly, kissing the tip of his nose.

 “Can I hold him?” Harry asked, and I hesitated.

 “Sure.” I handed Georgie over, and he began to squirm. Harry quietly shushed him, cooing as he pet him. I watched in admiration. Harry was good with animals.

 “C’mon, let’s get home.” Harry murmured, and he carried Georgie all the way to his car. It was a quiet ride to the flat, the softness of indie music playing in the back. It wasn’t long before we pulled into the driveway, Jayden’s car parked there as well. Harry was out first, and I thanked him as he opened my car door. He carefully picked up Georgie out of the back seat as I grabbed the kennel and bag of food.

 “He’s so cute.” Harry smiled wide as he loved on Georgie, who was raveling in the undivided attention.

 “He likes you.” I commented. Harry leaned over and planted a surprise kiss on my forehead, his arm wrapping around me. I felt the heat of blush creep up on my cheeks, but I merely blamed it on the harsh wind.
 

“Jayden, we’re ho-” Harry’s sentence cut off.

 “Oh my god!” I shrieked.
 

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