The stare Ashton fixed on me from the moment I walked into the living room was super intimidating, I’ll give him that. But I managed to ignore him and stalk straight on past.
‘Ooh, pizza’s here!’
The boys paused their Xbox game and put down their controllers. Michael brushed straight past me, pretending that I was invisible, and I giggled as he poked me gently as he went by, making a beeline for the food. Luke laughed and dropped the bowl of salad down next to him as Calum came up to me, slinging an arm around my shoulder. He pulled me off to the side a bit, and I saw Ashton eying us carefully.
‘Hey, Em, sorry about last night,’ he murmured sheepishly. ‘You know how I am - me and drink don’t go down too well, and, er, in terms of friend support and all that, I ‘spose last night really wasn’t one of my best moments.’ He chuckled. ‘I can’t remember much, but who knows, maybe I got a hot hookup- Joking! I’m joking!’ Calum laughed and held up his hands in surrender as I hit him on the chest, but he added sincerely, ‘Really though - I’m sorry.
Well you should be, because if you were there last night, you could’ve stopped Ashton from almost murdering an innocecent guy and saved me from his jealous wrath and all the terrible consequences that came after.
I smiled and squeezed his arm.
‘It’s okay. I forgive you.’
Calum gave me another apologetic smile before dropping down to grab some lunch. I looked around to see Ashton still sitting in his armchair, staring stubbornly at the wall. I inwardly rolled my eyes at his sulking before plastering a smile on my face and climbing over the couch to sit next to him. He didn’t even glance at me.
‘Aren’t you going to have some pizza?’
Still staring at the wall, he didn’t move or answer at all, so I sucked in a deep breath, widened my smile and tried again.
‘Ashton? Aren’t you hungry?’
Before I could gauge any reaction from him, Calum sat back down on the other side of Ashton, a plate of food balanced on his lap. He started to fork into it, but paused when he realised Ashton wasn’t eating.
‘Dude - are you gonna get some food or what?’
Yeah Ashton - are you??
Ashton stiffly turned around and shook his head.
‘Nah. Not hungry.’
Calum narrowed his eyes suspiciously.
‘Are you alright Ashton?’
‘Yeah, are you alright Ashton?’ I repeated, chiming in, and tauntingly placed my hand on top of his, feeling him freeze under my touch, but he didn’t dare pull away with Calum watching so closely. His eyes shot to me angrily before fixing on Calum.
‘Yep, I’m fine. Just a little tired, you know.’
He faked a yawn and a smile, and I saw a flash of his dimple for a split second - despite the situation, I suddenly felt like leaning forward and wrapping my arms around his wide chest. I shook my head slightly, trying the shake the idea from my mind.
‘Maybe you should go to bed then,’ I bit back, and watched as he turned around and looked at me, trying to figure out what I was doing. Ashton pulled his hand out from under mine slowly.
‘Maybe I will.’
I watched him get up and leave the room curtly. A part of me kind of wished he would stay out forever and leave me and my mind alone. But I knew that ‘d be forced to talk to him later - whether it would be by Ciara, Luke or Michael, or my own stupid conscience, I didn’t know. I sighed and rolled around to see Calum giving me a strange look.
‘Is there something going on between...’
He looked at me, then to the door Ashton just left through, then back to me. I blushed and he put down his slice of pizza, raising one eyebrow.
‘There is, isn’t there? Man, you guys just love getting at eachother’s throats - all the freakin’ time.’
I saw Luke and Michael glance at eachother from where they had quietly tuned into our conversation before putting down the Xbox controllers to move closer.
‘Does Calum know?’
Michael threw his hands up in the air and aimed his kicks at Luke’s shin.
‘Lucas, you total,‘ kick, ‘ass,’ kick, ‘of,’ kick, ‘a,’ kick, ‘friend!’ kick!
‘Ow, get off me you maniac!’
‘If Calum didn’t know before, he sure will now! Wait a second --- how do you even know???’
Suddenly, all three boys turned to look at me - Luke looking helpless and sorry, Michael puzzled and Calum, suspicious. Very suspicious.
‘What exactly are we talking about here?’
I sighed and waved off Luke’s squeak of an apology. It was inevitable that Calum would find out - to be fair, I had already told all his friends except for Ashton, and Calum had proved to be helpful before.
‘I like Ashton.’
I decided to keep it straight-forward and to the point but apparently, it didn’t matter to Calum.
‘You like WHO?’
‘Shush!’ I whisper-yelled and glanced at the open doorway, but no laughing Ashton appeared in the frame. ‘You know what I said Calum. I’m not repeating it.’
‘Dude, don’t be so insensitive.’
Michael gave Calum a reproachful look and Luke nodded in agreement.
‘As if you didn’t see that coming.’
Hey, what’s that supposed to mean? I frowned. I really had to work on my unpredictability.
‘Oh, I knew Emma liked Ashton, yeah.’
I rolled my eyes at him and he poked out his tongue.
‘You know he likes you too?’
Luke and Michael looked at me pointedly.
‘See? I told you he does-‘
‘She wouldn’t believe me when I said it-‘
‘No! Stop, come on guys, he doesn’t.’ I gulped. ‘Not anymore.’
Michael rolled his eyes and Luke face-palmed, obviously not ready to argue about this with me again, Calum just leant back in his chair, a thoughtful expression on his face.
‘No, really Emma. I’m sure of it.’
‘I told you it would be okay, didn’t I?’ Michael butted in, and I thought about our late-night conversation. It was obvious all 3 guys (and Ciara) were not going to drop this stupid idea that Ashton liked me too, but we were both too blind to see the feeling was mutual. I bit my lip angrily.
‘Yeah, but even if... well, even if you’re right, it’s not like either of us are in a good position to, you know,’ I searched for the right words, ‘be something more that friends. I mean, our totally platonic relationship is completely unstable anyway, so if we were a couple,’ the phrase rolled off my tongue much easier than it should have, ‘what’s to say we wouldn’t just pick fights all the time like we do now?’
Luke touched his piercing gingerly.
‘Well, that’s always-‘
‘And there’s the fact that we both have no time,’ I cut over the top of him, ‘like, let’s be honest (a/n lesbihonEST) here. I’m meant to be working right now and I’m trying to keep this summer job because I need the money and Ashton, he’s what? Got a full-time job on a world stage? Plus there’s also the fact I’m not prepared to be completely sledged by your fans-‘
‘”Sledged”? You really think so?’ Michael started laughing.
‘You definitely don’t need to worry about that. Actually, that’s a good starting point...’
Michael looked Calum, who seemed to brighten up and look at Luke, who grinned.
‘Wow, another game plan? Boy, Michael, that’s really classy.’
‘Shut up Luke.’
‘Oh, because you’re so experienced in relationships and all...’
‘Well at least I don’t suck face in disabled toilets.’
I threw my hands up into the air, sick of their fighting.
‘Could someone please explain what is going on? What game plan??’
Luke stood up, eyeing Michael.
‘I’m just going to check that our subject is in his room, where he promised to be,’ he said mysteriously, and left the room walking backwards, wiggling his eyebrows at me. I rolled my eyes and hid my face behind my hands, speaking through them.
‘So? What’s going on?’
Calum and Michael shared a grin and then turned to look at me more seriously.
‘This is how it’s all going to go down.’
THE GAME PLAN
Composed by Michael, with help from Calum and Luke (and on behalf of Ciara)
Subjects Targets: Emma Daves & Ashton Irwin
Motive: They’re so blinded by their love for one another that they can’t see the truth that, in fact, the feeling is obviously mutual and they should just get it on already, because we’re sick of them fighting 24/7.
Aim: Me, Calum, Luke and Ciara have devised a masterplan (it really was my idea though) to finally get them together. Basically, TO GET THEM TO DATE.
Method: Emma, if you’re reading this (and you should be, because duh, this is for you) - HOW CAN YOU STILL NOT BELIEVE ASHTON DOESN’T LIKE YOU? ARE YOU THAT BLIND? Sorry, but it’s so fucking obvious dude. Okay, anyway, we’ve worked out 4 bases that you should get to so you can date Ashton. Not the sexual kind though, but Luke told me to call them bases, so here you go;
1. Get to know the fans
Essential for any relationship with any of us band members. Our fans are actually a big part of who we are and you should probably get to know them well enough so they can accept you. That said, the 5SOS fam accepted my soft toy lion in a couple of seconds, so we’re sure you’ll be just fine. But hey, if, on the offchance, they don’t like you (they should, we love you), Ashton will probably won’t even give two shits, it’s just always good to have the fam supporting your relationship :)
2. Get to know eachother
Emma, this is very very super doper important and vital and absolutely crucial to a relationship, especially one with Ashton, okay? Out of all of us, he’s the one that values someone’s personality the most, I guess. He likes to know all the details about you - the fuzzy, little things you know? Deep stuff. We were all wondering just how much you knew Ashton, and we’ve come to the conclusion that you already know him pretty well from our few weeks here (and that little summer guide coffee date thing?) so you’re probably already halfway there. Calum told me this means you should take him out for more trips so he can open up to you again, and Luke says you should ask Ciara for tips but I told him to shut up. You’ll be good at this one.
3. Stop arguing and just face up to the truth
Look, at some point, you’re just going to have to accept that Ashton really does like you, and you guys are just hiding your feelings. It’s going to get more obvious the more you go along, and you have to know that it’s genuine this time - take it from me, Luke and Cal, we’ve seen him with girls before but it’s nothing like the way he acts around you. He’s liked you since you kicked his ass way back on Day 1 outside the hotel. And you’ll soon see - so when you do, don’t deny it and accept the truth.
Straight-forward, to the point and the simplest step of them all (who knows, it might actually be the hardest). But don’t become a clingy couple because Calum says he doesn’t like being a third wheel and I agree. No sucking face in public. Luke says he doesn’t mind, but that’s just because he knows he does it all the time with Ciara, and he wants an excuse to do it more, so I just told him to shut up again.
5. HAVE GOOD SEX
I added this point myself because I think it is completely necessary and important. Maybe even more important than all the other steps. Yeah, just skip straight through 1-4 and go for base 5, okay? Calum made me cross that out :(
Calum, Luke and I have thought about it, and we reckon that once you get to base 3, you’re practically good to just get straight on to base 4, no waiting around. So here it is, in a nutshell:
- Reach the first 3 bases
- Go for base 4
- Base 5 is optional, but totally recommended
- Michael, Luke, Calum and Ciara will help in any way possible, you just ask for what you need :) Things we can do include; making Emma a Twitter to meet the fans, setting up sneaky meetings, coaxing subjects into admitting their feelings, collecting information, etc.
- When you get married, Michael, Luke, Calum and Ciara must be credited at the ceremony
- When you have cute little kids, you should name them after us
REMEMBER: Base 5 is optional, but HEAVILY RECOMMENDED, ASAP.
Mission outcome: Pending
Results: Hopefully good. My game plans always work out. Have faith, Emma :)