Ashton's point of view
"Thanks guys" Harry says as we walk back to the flat. Michael grabs my hand and holds it as we walk back and it makes me smile.
"Can we just have a night in and cuddle cause I have to work tomorrow" I ask. "Of course sunshine" Michael says. "Is it okay if Lou colours my hair tomorrow?" He asks. I smile that he considered me and asked instead of just doing it. "Yeah cupcake what colour were you thinking of?" I ask. "Lilliana said bright red like a fire truck" he says and I roll my eyes in fondness. "So the little's are choosing your hair all the time now huh?" I mock and he pushes me with his shoulder. "She really likes me and Zayn and Liam are great guys so..." He supplies and I nod. "Lux has a thing for you, well your hair" he says and shakes his finger at me. "And I have a thing for your tiny fingers, they're fucking adorable" I say and grab his fingers and kiss them. He pulls his hand away from me and puts it in his pocket. "Hey give me that, I wasn't finished!" I exclaim and dive for his hand in his pocket. I pull it back out and continue to kiss his fingers and he blushes because that's always been something he's been insecure about.
When we get inside our flat Luke and Calum aren't there and it surprises me because most of the time they solicit their couch, rather one of the living room couches. we call it their couch because they always use it when they want to have a cuddle and they call the other couch ours because we use it when we want to have a cuddle. "Surprise" Michael says in a mock excitement filled tone. "Right?" I agree. There's a knock on our door and I casually walk over to it and open it but Michael gets on the couch and pulls his knees to his chest and wraps his arms around himself. When I open the door Harry and Louis are standing outside the door. They hastily come inside and close the door and I see all the colour drain from Michael's face when he sees the worried looks on Harry and Louis faces. "What's going on?" I ask. "You said you were a runaway right? You left your house because your parents were homophobic?" Louis asks me. "Yeah, what are you leading to?" I ask, afraid of the answer. "And Michael you ran away from your parents because they were abusive and homophobic right? And you got majorly pushed around at school?" Louis asks and Michael nods and tears fill his eyes. "Two police men just gave us a similar description, both your full names and photos of you guys, and they're outside." Louis says and grabs the back of his neck and puts a hand on his forehead. "W...what do we do? Are they gonna t...take us back?" Michael asks and it breaks my heart. "If we hid from them would they come back eventually?" I ask Harry. "Eventually but it might be awhile" he says. "Okay so can you hide us or give us a good place to hide?" I ask. It makes me feel like a little like I'm hiding from my mum when she comes to pick me up from a sleepover and I think that if I hide I won't have to go home. "Yeah. C'mon" Harry says and ushers to the door. "One sec" I say and run through the hall to our bedroom door. I grab the stuffed animal I got for Michael and I run into Cal and Luke's room and grab the penguin stuffed animal on their bed and I shove it in a market bag and come back out to the living room. "Okay we have to go get Luke and Calum, they're at our apartment" Harry says and starts to walk to the door. I rush over to Michael who is in between emotional shut down and severe panic attack. It hurts to see but I can't comfort him right now cause they'll be searching the flats any second. "Come on cupcake we have to find Luke and Calum" I say and start to help him off the couch. He walks really slowly and we really don't have time for this. "Hey Michael look at me" I say and pull his chin so I can look at him right in the eyes. "We need to run now so either you get on my back or you run with me okay?" I say and grab his hand. "Okay I'll...your back" he manages to say in a cracked voice. I turn around and have him hop on my back and I join Harry and Louis at the door. Harry opens it slightly and peers out before nodding his head and motioning us to come. We all walk on the balcony and Michael shakes like a leaf on my back. When we reach their flat Harry ushers is inside and Louis stays outside. I hear faint giggling as we walk deeper into the surprisingly large flat. Harry knocks on the door that the giggles are coming from and Luke opens it with a smile on his face and the towel in his hand is on Jack's head and is drying his hair. Luke get Calum, we have to go right now" Harry says calmly so he doesn't scare Luke or the little's. Luke gets a worried look on his face but obliges and grabs Calum by the wrist and says "we have to go" and pulls him out of the bathroom. When we are all out in the living room Harry sends Jack and Casper outside to meet Louis and has us quietly exit the back door. "In the other section of these apartments there's a room that still being remodelled and it has a bunch of building equipment and plastic all over the place, we can hide you guys there for awhile and even if the police do go in there they won't want to do a thorough search because that place is such a mess" Harry says and I nod. The colour drains from both Luke and Calum's faces and Calum mouths "police?" And I nod. He reaches over and puts his hands around Luke's waist as Luke stares at the ground and tears fill his eyes. Calum has to shake him and say things to him so he doesn't go into shut down mode. I open the bag on my wrist and grab the penguin pillow pet and hand it to Calum and he mouths "thank you" and presents it to Luke. My mum was a nurse and in panic situations she used to give us something that comforted us, summat we could hold on to, and it seemed to help. I get Michael's stuffed animal and hand it to him behind my back and I feel him hug it tightly against my back. Harry leads us through the back yard and pulls us swiftly into a back hall when we hear Louis' voice approaching with two other voices that are the patrolmen. "I can assure you we wouldn't take anybody into our apartments if we didn't do a wide search on them first" Louis lies, and makes his voice louder as he alarms is that they're coming. "Well we're going to need to check through each apartment, and your files for recent apartment renters" on of the patrolman says. "I'll go find my husband so we can get those files open for you" Louis says loudly, and Harry gets the point to get us to the flat to hide us so he can go and hide our files. We sneak around the corner and we find the flat eventually and Harry tells us to hide wherever. Me and Michael duck into a bunch of cabinets and Calum applies yellow caution tape to the cabinets so there is less of a chance the patrolmen have of opening it. I hear a door close and I assume Luke and Cal have hidden in a closet. Louis texts me once and says "coming" to let us know. I show Michael the text and put my finger to my lips in the "shhh" gesture and wait for them. I put my arm around Michael and stroke his arm to reassure him we're going to be okay. He still clutches the stuffed lion and stares at me with fear in his eyes, and I know he's thinking "I can't go back there, they'll actually kill me" and the thought of it brings tears to my eyes because they would actually kill him for running away with me and it's so horrid that a parent would do that to you and the fact that he took a beating every day for me and Luke and Calum just makes his time here all the more safe because if he went back to his parents he would die. "Hey, listen to me, you aren't going to go back to your parents, I've got you" I whisper to him and hug him tightly. Voices approach and as the door opens Harry says "this is one of the apartments we've been remodelling, please take caution; as the tape states." We hear the floorboards creaking and one of the patrolmen says "well gentlemen thank you for seeing us through this and please don't hesitate to call us with any information about Ashton, Calum, Michael, and Luke." And their footsteps get quieter after the door gets closed and locked. Louis texts "all clear" and I begin to get out of the cabinet and help my boyfriend out of the cabinet. When Michael is out and has stopped shaking we go into the closets in the flat until we find the one that Calum and Luke are hiding in. "We're okay they're gone" I say as soon as I open the door. Luke immediately jumps out and hugs Michael tightly and cries slowly. "You aren't going back to them okay, we've got you" Luke says, but doubt fills his voice. Calum gives me an apologetic look and we all know this pains Michael the most because he couldn't bear his parents this time and we all know that. I think of ways that I can get Michael to snap out of his shut down mode and I quickly send off a text to Zayn before I'm leading Michael back to our flat. We sit down on our couch once inside and I scoot close to him and we cuddle. When some people get panicky they want everyone as far away as possible but Michael likes it and it seems to work better when people are so close to him that he can't breathe and that causes him not to explode and start crying or screaming because he feels safe with people all around him and on top of him holding him tight. I wouldn't like that personally but I'm not Michael.
There's a knock at the door and I can feel Michael tense up. Calum goes and opens it and Lilliana comes in and says "uncle Mikey, papa said you were feeling sad and I'm here to cheer you up!" And she runs to him to sit on his lap. I make room for her and she sits on him but he's still zoned out. "Hey uncle Mikey are you hungry... cause I'm hungry?" She asks and there's an underlining tone to her voice that's slightly hinting towards something. "Do you wanna order a... Pizza?" She asks with a grin and that makes a small grin spread across his face. "Okay Lilliana" he says and nods to me. I quickly order the pizza as Lilliana talks to him about everything, asking about his stuffed lion and she manages to get a few sentences and smiles out of him and it makes me smile to see her perched on his knee looking up into his eyes whilst complimenting him on how cute the little lion is. "Why do ring bells scare you?" Lilliana asks innocently. I can hear Calum inhale in surprise and I cringe at the question, afraid of what his reaction is gonna be. "Because I'm afraid of what's going on behind it, what will happen when it's opened" he says and I sigh in relief that he took that question well, after all Lilly is just an innocent 5 year old who asks innocent questions like all little's do. Lilliana nods and seems to understand.
"Someone should stand outside so when the pizza comes the ring bell doesn't ding dong and scare uncle Mikey" Lilliana says cutely and immediately Calum jumps over both couches and races to the door and it makes me smile because he cares for Michael that much that he will run to the door and stop the delivery man so he doesn't ring the bell so Mikey doesn't get scared again. Calum reaches the door just in time because when the door flies open there's a pizza delivery man reaching for the bell. I sigh in relief and hand Luke the money to bring to Calum so he can pay for the pizza. Lilliana puts her hands through Michael's magenta hair and asks him questions up and down. "Pizza uncle Mikey!" She exclaims when she sees the pizza box. She hops off his lap and grabs a slice from the box before I can even set it down on the table and she's already offering it to him as soon as she gets back to Mikey and it makes me smile.
Luke's point of view
Calum gives me a look that's between "eat the pizza god damn it" and "please eat the pizza" and it intimidates me enough to grab a slice. I stare down at the gooey, cheesy, greasy pizza and I close my eyes before eating the first bite. Sure, it tastes great but I don't deserve this. I realise then that this whole controlled eating thing that's been going on is because I feel like I don't deserve what I have because of who I am. After I eat the whole slice sans the crust I walk to the couch and sit across from Michael. "I love you" I tell him and tap his knee before getting back up and going to mine and Calum's room. I get on the bed and curl up inside all the blankets and hug my penguin tightly and tears come to my eyes. I shake my head quickly and clear my throat because I'm not a fucking 14 year old girl that cries when she has to eat and is unhappy with her life. Calum comes in shortly after and cuddles up behind me and wipes his thumbs at my eyes and doesn't say a word.
"Do you know how much it would have hurt all of us if we'd been found, let alone getting shipped back to Australia and having to face our parents again?" I say. "But we're okay... so don't worry" he says and puts his chin in my neck. "I think... I think that my eating problem is cause I have a hard time thinking I deserve anything, and not eating is just one of my ways of showing myself that" I say to him, but struggle for the right words to properly explain myself. "Lukey please don't say that. You deserve to eat and you deserve love and maybe it's my fault, maybe I'm doing the same thing as your family and not loving you like I should and it's my fault that you feel like you don't deserve anything because I'm treating you like that" he confesses and it breaks my heart. "No. No..." I deny "it's the opposite, you love me so much that I feel like it's too much and it overwhelms me to the point where I think that it shouldn't be me because I'm not worth all the love you put into me, that it should be some other lucky guy or girl that looks gorgeous hanging off your neck and makes you as happy as you make them...." He shakes his head and cuts me off "don't ever say that. There's nobody i'd rather be with in the world so please don't think like that. You deserve every little bit of good in your life and you don't deserve controlled eating and all the other things that have happened to you when we were back there" he says. I roll over so I'm facing him and he's got watery eyes and he just hugs me and rubs my back and whispers a mantra of "I love you" and it really just fills me up again. "Thank you" is the last thing I say before drifting off to sleep.
When I wake up Calum isn't next to me, but when I scan the room he is over at the desk in the corner and is giving Jack bass lessons. It makes a small smile spread across my face and I lay quietly watching them as Calum shows him a few things. "So if you put your fingers here..." He says and moves Jacks fingers "and here, this is called a C, so with the C you hit it every couple of seconds and that's a frequency, and you can't really hear it in songs unless you pay attention but the song would be totally off if it wasn't there" he says, and jack plays a few notes, obviously it's a bit choppy but it really surprises me on how well he's doing for five years old. "The bass is really undermined, you know what that means?" Calum asks. "Like people don't give enough credit" Jack says and Calum nods. "It sort of pulls the song together, like it helps the singer, guitarist and drummer and any other percussionist all work together because they know what cues they have because of it" Calum explains as Jack keeps practicing the C note. "Okay now let's try to switch to the B" Calum says and Jack wastes no time moving his fingers and hitting the B note and giving a little more rhythm to his last pattern. "Great great jack that's great" Calum says and a smile spreads on his face. Jack laughs at his success, proud of himself for being able to play a few notes and that's really all someone needs to be able to be happy sometimes. "I want to show my daddies" Jack proudly says. "Alright let's go then" Calum agrees and stands up. I fake sleep when I hear Calum coming over to our bed and I can't help but smile when he kisses my foreheads and says "goodbye" and then whispers "I knew you were awake the whole time Lukey." They walk out and I wait till they're gone to get up and go to my dresser and throw on the first shirt I see which happens to be a Misfits tank, I don't bother putting jeans on because there's no point and all the other guys walk around in their briefs so why can't i? When I get to the living room Michael and Ashton are heatedly kissing; Michael straddling Ashton on one of the kitchen chairs and he has what looks like a flower crown in his magenta hair and before I see any more I spin on my heel and go back to bed.