Michael's point of view
When I open my eyes and blink the sleep out of them I see Ashton wrapped up in all the blankets and it makes me smile and I wrap my arms around him. His eyes flutter open and he blinks the sleep out of his eyes as well and stares at me in silence but with a content and still sleepy smile on his face. "All day, all night, I got the lights in my eyes, and I'm falling for you, keep cool, stay young, but that's never enough, these are the lessons in love" flashes through my head and I hum along. I put little kisses all over his forehead and he giggles whilst he plugs his nose, unhappy with my morning breath. "Okay okay I'll go brush" I say and begin to slide out of the bed. He follows seconds later and when we are in the bathroom he pushes his smaller frame into my chest as we both stare in the mirror whilst brushing our teeth. It seems like such a cliche couple thing to do but it really makes him adorable when his shoulders are slightly shorter than mine and my lips are in line with his ears. After we brush he pulls me back into our room and throws black sweat pants and one of his hoodies at me, watching as I put them on. I close my eyes like always and I wait till the sleeves and the hems are all in the right places before I open my tightly shut eyes and the look on Ashton's face tells me that it makes him sad that I don't want to look at myself. "I don't wanna see yet" I say and he nods, understanding.
He puts on one of my hoodies and slips on a pair of flannel pyjama pants and pulls me out to the living room. I sit at the bar and watch as he goes through the cabinets in search for some brek. I look down at my lap not even for half a second and I hear a loud crash and tiny bits of colour spills all over. I look up at Ashton and the surprised look on his face makes me laugh but he gives me an upset pout and says "I guess we're not eating fruit loops for brekkie" and I nod and shrug my shoulders because he's hella wrong if he thinks I'll eat food that fell on the floor. He keeps going through the cabinets and pantry, being careful and eventually he pulls out rice cakes and hands one to me. "No, hell no, go grab plates" I say and point to the cabinets as he bites into his rice cake. "Moody OCD bursts was not on the contract" He says as he hands me a plate from the cabinet. "And neither was messiness" I add and he covers his face with his hands. The doorbell rings and I tense up and start to draw my knees to my chest but Ashton pushes my knees back down and pulls my head up so he's looking at me eye to eye and he says "it's just the postman cupcake don't get scared" and he goes to the door. When he opens it, it is in fact the postman with a thin package, about the size of box that a laptop would come in. He takes the package and thanks the guy and closes the door quickly and brings the package to the kitchen table and sits down. From about 10 feet away I watch him open it, perched on a barstool while he's on the kitchen table. He laughs at me and says "oh my god Michael it's not a bomb" and then his voice turns soft as he says "it's for you" and slowly I let my legs down and walk over to see what it is. As soon as he opens the package he peers inside and smiles wide and it makes me curious so I walk over to see what it is. A mix of pastel colours come out, pink, purple, and green, and when it's fully out of the box I recognise it as one of those flower crown things that a lot of girls wear. I raise my eyebrow and give him a questionable look. "I uh, saw a bunch of guys wearing these on tumblr and... And I thought you'd look cute in one so..." He supplies and pulls me to the computer and pulls up a tag with guys wearing flower crowns, and he's actually right, a lot of these guys look cute in them, I can see the appeal, but it's just sort of interesting that he'd buy one for me.
Calum and Jack come out of Cal and Luke's room carrying Cal's bass and they give us a quick wave before exiting the flat. I go back to the box and put it on and immediately a smile grows on my boyfriends face. He takes a picture of me and I steal his mobile to look at the picture and when I'm not happy with the picture I try to take one that I like. He gives up and sits down on a chair from the kitchen and I walk over and sit on him, facing him with each leg on the sides of the chair. As I try to take a better picture of me for his mobile he bites my neck to try and give me a hickey. "Oh you want to play dirty like that huh?" I ask, and he grins a devilish grin and slowly nods his head. "Okay" I announce and grab both sides of his face and move up slightly on his lap so he is pushed all the way up against the back of the chair and my body is flushed with his. It flusters him and I can see a colour rising in his cheeks when I bring my hands up and hold his head right behind his ears, locking eyes the whole time. I abruptly move his head so his neck is fully accessible and I bite down and give him a worse hickey then the one I can feel rising on my white as hell skin that you can see everything on, and that's why he does it. After I leave the hickey mark I give him a kiss, still holding his head and the little moans that escape his mouth go straight to my crotch. Luke chooses now out of all times to come out of his and Cal's room and when he sees us he scoffs and spins on his heel to go back to his room. I laugh whilst in the kiss because he didn't even see what just happened.
Calum's point of view
"We're here to give you an update on what he's learned" I say as Louis opens his flat door. "Oh sounds great!" He says in a chipper tone and ushers us inside. "Harry get in here our son wants to show us something" Louis yells and Harry comes in the room seconds later and that makes me smile. Jackson sits on a ottoman in the living room and I set the bass down on his lap and his smile is wide. "So this called a C" he says, and gestures his head to the strings on the neck and his finger placing and then he nods to his hand that's doing a riff on the strings. I look up for a half a second to Louis and Harry and the smiles on their faces are so much more then the 'proud parent' look and that makes me so happy that I can help do that for Jackson. As I watch Jackson looks up at me and I give him a slight nod and then he moves his finger placement and says "and this is a B" and he hits the riff a few more times before looking up and giggling at his parents proud faces. He hands me the bass back and smiles widely with a hopeful look on his face and a slight grin as he sways his crossed legs. "That was great Jackson, you're doing so well" Louis says and Harry nods in agreement. "Every Little and littler could form a band if you think about it" Harry states and it confuses me. "Like all you guys are teaching our kids how to play your instruments, and you guys play those instruments, so you four could form a band and then when these guys are older they can too" Harry says, motioning to Jack as he finishes. I nod and say "yeah I mean like all four of us have played together but we never took it as far as like forming an actual band and stuff" and he nods. "Well if you ever consider doing that my guy Nick, the one who was at the barbecue, he has a studio and he could do the recording for you" Harry offers. "Wow yeah I'll mention it to the lads" I say. "Alright well I think that's concludes today's concert! We will be back when we've learned more for sure!" I say to Louis and Harry. "Great thanks Calum" Louis says and I walk out of their flat.
It takes me about three minutes to walk back to ours but as soon as I get back I'm met with a very improper act being done in the kitchen. "God fucking damn it this is not what a kitchen is for! Go swallow each other's saliva and other things in your own goddamned bedroom!" I scold at Michael and Ashton. "Don't act like you and Luke haven't got just as frisky in your own fucking kitchen" Michael says with a grin pulling on his lips. "That's fucking diffe..." I cut myself off when I see that neither are listening. "Okay you know what, fuck it all. Fuck each other right on our damn table, I'm sure nobody would mind all the things your bodies have to offer all over our fucking table" I mutter as I throw my hands in the air and walk into our room. Luke laughs at my frustration and in return I throw stuffed animals at him. "I'm always the one to walk in on them! Damn it do you know how messed up it is for me to see my two best friends practically fucking each other?!" I exclaim and Luke just rolls his eyes. Our room gets quiet as I walk around picking up the stuffed animals and
Luke lays there but then I hear it, a moan of Luke's name and I swear to god it sounds just like Mikey. I look up at Luke in silence and he raises an eyebrow and then we both hear Ashton really loudly moan "Calum" and Luke starts laughing hysterically. Luke is laughing so hard and loud and tears are rolling down his face and he's clapping his hands together, and it only frustrates me more. "You can't laugh Luke that's encouraging them to mock us more!" I exclaim and he just shakes his head and wipes his eyes. Other pet names like "princess" and "Lukey" come from Ashton and Michael, majorly exaggerated and in mockingly girly tones. Two can play at this game, I think to myself, and grab my radio and turn it up as loud as I can and I place it on the pop station where something from Ariana Grande plays and I smile devilishly. This will totally get under Michael's skin because he has a thing against Ariana apparently. They stop mocking us and it gets quiet in the living room for a minute before there's a huge kick at out door and Michael yells "we're going to our room okay Princess calm the fuck down" and slams their bedroom door. I turn the radio off also slightly bugged by Ariana's voice and happily smile because I can finally go to the living room. I go over to our bed and scoop up my boyfriend who is balled up and half asleep curled around his baby penguin. I chuckle at the sight but carry him to the couch we frequent and set him down and curl up against him. "Hemmo is tired huh?" I ask in a little's voice and a small smile pulls at his lips. "Hemmo is tired and just wants his princess to cuddle" he says cheekily and I pull him closer and put both my arms around his middle and rest my head on his chest. "Let's just sleep here" Luke mumbles. "Okay Lukey. Love you" I say, and fall asleep with Lithium by Nirvana stuck in my head.
Ashton's point of view
"You suck Michael Clifford" I groan as I wake up and and rub two hands over my face. "I suck you" he says smugly and I face palm. "I swear to god. What planet did you come from?" I ask rehotorically. "That's actually a really good question." Michael states and I laugh in agreement. "So what do we do today, I'm not really familiar with this whole weekend thing? I usually sit in my room under the duvet playing summat on play station." He says and I roll my eyes. "Nerd" I say and he laughs. "We could go for a walk and look at shoppes" I suggest and he looks out the window "whilst the sun is out?" He asks in all seriousness and I sigh. "Yes Michael Clifford whilst the sun is out like a normal person" I say. "But were not trying to be like a normal person" he says innocently and I can't agree more. "Well. Whatever let's just ask the blokes what they want to do" I say and begin to walk out of our room in aim for theirs.
He follows close behind and we just walk in their room without knocking and they're not there. We walk out of their room and into the living room and they're having a cuddle and Michael yells "corporate cuddle" and falls on top of them and of course I do too.
"What do you two want to do today? I was thinking going on a walk or summat by the shoppes?" I suggest. "Yeah I really wanna check out that music shoppe Zayn was telling me about" Calum says, muffled by bodies piled on top of him. "But I don't want to walk" Luke groans and Michael agrees. "We have some lazy boyfriends don't we?" I whisper to Calum and he grins and nods. "M'sure Zayn would let you borrow Lilly's stroller" I mutter and Luke gives me a playful shove. "Bastard" I say and he laughs. "We could always make them carry us" I hear Michael whisper to Luke. "Yeah that's a good one mate" Luke whispers back. "Princess will you carry me?" Luke asks in the most sad voice he can muster. "No" Calum says and keeps laying there. "Oh how to tables have turned" Michael whispers to me and I laugh. "Pwease?" Luke asks in a little's voice. "No" Calum repeats. "Princess?" Luke pries and Calum can't help but break into a smile. "Whatever" Calum says whilst laugh and now it's Michael's turn to ask me. "I could use the nickname approach and butter you up and then ask you or I could just ask you plain out so that's what I'm going to do" Michael states and then says "pumpkin, sugar pie, sunshine, butterscotch would you carry me with those sexy strong arms, please baby cakes?" And I can't help but laugh hysterically. "Oh my god" Calum says in between laughs. Luke slaps Michael's knee whilst laughing and the giant smile on Michael's face shows that he's proud for making us all laugh hysterically. "But really I do think your arms are sexy" he adds and flutters his eyelashes at me. I give him a playful shove on the shoulders, being careful of his sensitive body from the abuse, and then stand up so he can get on my back. Calum picks up Luke as I go with Michael to our room so I can grab my wallet and keys. "Michael damn it grab the keys off the dresser and go in my top drawer and grab my wallet" I say as I lean by my dresser whilst still holding under his thighs. He grabs the keys and holds the loop on his finger and when he slides my wallet in my back pocket he takes advantage of the position his hand is in and grabs my ass. "Fuckin thirsty bastard" I mutter as we walk out of our room and he giggles in my ear.
We walk out of the flat and Calum and Luke trail behind. I hold Michael as he locks up and clips the keys to my belt loop. "Thanks cupcake" I say and kiss his cheek. We walk and I smile to myself enjoying the cool breeze and the company of my three best mates. Laughs go around and smiles spread on all of our faces and I wouldn't have it any other way.
As we arrive to the town and all the small shoppes are busy with people we find it nice to see a lot of people in a small town. We walk past a few small shoppes including the pizza place me and Mikey went on the first day. We get a few judgemental looks because we are carrying our boyfriends but I don't give a fuck.
"Oh my god were going inside now" Calum says and speeds up to go inside a shoppe that happens to be a pet shoppe. "Oh my god Luke it's so cute can we have one?" Calum asks as he approaches a kennel with an adorable mostly black puppy with a white patch of fur around his neck and brown around his ankles and the brightest blue eyes. Calum drops Luke off his back and immediately sticks his fingers between the kennel door to pet the pup. "But look at this kitty" Luke says and walks over to a kennel with a striped kitten inside. I roll my eyes at both boys and I put Michael down so he can go look at what he wants. I walk to Calum and laugh at him as he talks to the dog in a little's voice. "Don't promise anything Calum we aren't getting a dog" I say and he looks up a me with a sad look "but mate I already promised this whole pet shoppe that we'd buy them" Calum says and I face palm. "Well then you got some 'splainin' to do because we ain't getting any of them" I say with a laugh and Calum gives me a pouty face.
A teen girl with the shoppes logo on her shirt comes from behind a few shelves and smiles when she sees Calum talking to the puppy and asks "would you like to hold him?" And I swear to god Calum's eyes light up as a huge smile spreads across his face. "Yes please" he says and she begins opening the kennel. I roll my eyes as Calum uses the hand sanitiser to clean his hands before he touches the puppy. "Ahhh hello little one" he says as the girl hands Cal the puppy. The puppy licks Calum's nose and Calum chuckles and says "puppy breath" and squints his eyes closed. I sneeze a few times and I hear Michael say something to Luke about how I'm allergic to pussy's and I can hear them both laughing. "Michael Clifford this is a pet shoppe keep it PG" I say and he winks at me from where him and Luke are standing, Luke holding a kitten and if I wasn't allergic I would buy it for him just to see that look on his face all day. The girl that opened the cage for Calum says "his name is Chocolate after the song by The 1975" and Calum smiles wide at that. "I love them" he says and the girls heart eyes get bigger. "He's part husky which explains the blue eyes and pointy ears and part Rottweiler which is why he's mostly all black, and he's about four months old" the girl says, a certain tone lacing her voice like she is trying to impress Calum. Luke and Michael come up seconds later and I smile as Luke steps in between the girl and Calum. The girl notices and shoots a glare at Luke when he's not looking and I roll my eyes. "Did ya see that?" Michael whispers to me and points between the girl and Luke. "Yeah I did, she's so daft" I say and he nods. Michael then takes the liberty of saying "he's gay" whilst coughing so it's subtle but Luke looks up and smiles wide at Michael when neither the girl or Calum seem to notice. "You're really good with him, I think he likes you" the girl says and me and Michael both snicker as Luke rolls his eyes. Calum ignores her and continues playing with the puppy and talking to it in a quiet but higher pitched voice. "His eyes remind me of yours" Calum says and looks up at Luke. Luke smiles devilishly and places a kiss on Calum's cheek for extra effect and the look on the girls face, one eyebrow up and her mouth halfway open sends Michael into a fit of laughter and he walks out of the shoppe and sits on the curb holding his sides. The girl walks away and mutters "put him back when you're done... Please" and the prideful look on Luke's face is enough to make me laugh because Calum was so oblivious to it all because of his adoration for the puppy. "Calum we've got other places to go to and I bet you Michael is dying for pizza any moment so let's get going" I say and Calum whines. To validate my statement Michael comes back into the store, cheeks still stained red from the laughter and he asks "so when's pizza time?" Calum rolls his eyes ands sighs. "We'll be back for you Chocolate" Calum whispers and kisses the puppy on the nose. I roll my eyes but consider it a possibility. Calum puts Chocolate back in the kennel and Luke immediately wraps an arm around his waist and as we walk out he knocks a few things off a shelf to attract attention and when the girl comes up and sees Luke's arm around Calum's waist as they both pick up the dropped items she glares at Luke and Michael snickers. "Sorry about that" Luke says with a grin to the girl as he picks up the last of what he dropped. Calum hands him one more from off the floor and Luke takes it and puts it back on the shelf and says "thanks princess" and kisses Calum on the cheek and walks out past me and Michael with a large smile on his face. Again Mikey coughs "he's gay" into his fist as we walk out, a bit louder than the last time and the girl groans and yells "I get it!" And Michael laughs as he ushers me out of the shoppe.
As soon as were outside Luke turns around and fist bumps Michael and says "mate that was sick and fuckin hilarious" and Michael laughs in agreement. Calum looks up with a confused look on his face, apparently still oblivious as to what just happened and that's classic Calum. "Wait what?" He asks. "Mate that girl was flirting with you the whole time and giving you heart eyes" Michael says and Calum raises an eyebrow. "But Luke here showed her who's boss" Michael adds and Luke smiles. "Wait that whole knocking stuff over on the shelf and kissing me twice on the cheek and putting your arm on my waist was to show her that I'm yours?" Calum asks. "Well yeah and I do enjoy kissing you and holding you too though" he says with a cheeky grin and Calum smiles. "Well that was slightly rude but I like that you did that cause it shows how much you love me" and then he grabs Luke and kisses him. "Okay we're in public" Michael says shyly, slightly intimidated by all the people around. They break off their kiss and I put an arm around Michael and lean into his ear and whisper "new life, new rules." His lips purse and a slight wrinkle forms between his brow but he nods. "How about that pizza, cupcake?" I ask, and he immediately lights up. "yum" he says with a cheeky smile on his face and turns us to the direction of the pizza place.
We pass a lot of people and after Michael gets shoulder checked once on accident I wrap both my arms around him, and it scares the shit out of him because it takes him right back to our hallways at school and the abuse and it hurts me to see him like that, not to mention the accidental shoulder check could have hit a bruise that's been there since the day before we left. On his pale skin the bruises take awhile to go away so that's only going to make it worse. "C'mon" I say as I usher Michael inside the pizza place.
Luke's point of view
The smell of pizza fills my nose as we enter the small restaurant and I slightly cringe. I look over to my side where Calum is and I try and see if he noticed but he didn't and I'm thankful. We sit at a table for four and an older female waitress comes up and asks us what we'd like to drink. "Coke" "coke" "Pepsi" and "water" goes up throughout our table and everyone stares at me when I say water. I nervously play with my lip piercing and stare at the table. The waitress clears her throat and says "okay I'll be right back" and walks off. "You okay?" Calum asks and grabs my hand under the table. "M'fine" I say and rest my head into his shoulder. "Tell me if you're not please" he says and looks me in the eyes. I nod and when the waitress gets back with our drinks I take mine and say "thanks" and take a few sips. "That's my ankle you twat" Michael says to Calum and he blushes a bright pink. "Wasn't the ankle I was aiming for" he says and does a nervous laugh. I feel his ankle against mine under the table and I roll my eyes because that's such a 14 year old thing to do. "So large sausage?" Michael asks. Calum nods his head and so does Ashton and the votes aren't in my favour anyway so I just nod. The waitress comes by and takes our order and we sit and talk for awhile. "I feel like we need to go to a concert or summat" Ashton says. "That actually sounds really fun, I'll look into it when we get home" Calum says. "Pizza!" The waitress says enthusiastically and places the pizza that's cut into squares on the table in front of us. "You deserve to eat, you deserve love, you deserve Calum, you deserve..." I try to say to myself, but I shake it out of my head. I can't do that. My stomach rumbles and I sort of like it, it's like a reminder that I'm still alive and this isn't a dream and I won't wake up back in Australia with a cold bed and no friends.
"Dive dive dive" Ashton says and Michael laughs as he dives into the pizza. Pieces plop on his plate and when As tries to get a piece Michael tickles him, and goes back to getting his piece for him. Calum puts three medium size slices on my plate and four on his. None of us get sick of having pizza and I think that's bless because if we did then we wouldn't know what else to eat. I remind myself that it's okay to eat and I need it to live as I pick up the first slice. Thankfully Calum doesn't stare at me and Ash and Mike are too lost in playing around with each other to notice me anyway so I take a bite of the slice, and I enjoy it, but a tiny voice inside is telling me "you don't deserve this, you ran away, you left everybody, you should die" and I close my eyes and put my head down. Calum places a reassuring hand on my thigh and moves hid fingers around in meaningless patterns to tell me it's okay. I look back up and shove the pizza in my mouth and try to enjoy it because fuck that voice and whatever it says, I do deserve this and I do deserve Calum, but what I don't deserve is the looks I would get at school or the teasing and I didn't deserve to see my best mate being abused by everyone and his parents. When I come to that realisation and try so hard to believe it it makes eating a lot easier.
We enjoy our time and as usual the whole pizza disappears over laughs, joking teases and quick kisses. We pay for our meal, everyone chipping in, and Michael reminds Ashton to tip. "Tip? You mean like give the waitress money?" Calum asks. "Yeah Cal in America that's what they do I guess, like it's considered rude if you don't" Ashton says and Calum marvels. "Tom gave me the Robin Williams film Hook, we should go home and watch it" Mikey says and Calum nods with a smile. We all get up and thank the waitress and Mikey makes it a point to tell her that we'll be back and all I do is laugh because typical Mikey. "Want me to give you a ride this time Princess?" I ask Calum and he smiles and says "I'd like that." He walks close to me and puts his hands on my waist and trails his fingers all the way up my sides and around my jaw and places a kiss on my lips and abruptly moving quickly behind me and jumping on my back and I grab underneath his thugs for support. "O...kay" Michael says as he watches the exchange and him getting on my back and Calum flashes him the middle finger. "So does that mean I have to ask you if you want me to carry you?" Michael asks Ashton, bluntly. "No it's okay I'll walk" Ash replies and grabs Michael's hand and kisses his knuckles once as they walk in front of us.
Calum points to a music shoppe as "the one Zayn was tellin me about" and we walk in aim for it. A bell rings as we walk in and Mumford & Sons plays softly through the shoppe speakers. We all spread out after I put Calum down; Michael not surprising me by rushing to the Metallica Albums. I follow Calum as he flicks through sleeves of old records and the shoppe gives off good vibes despite the stereotypical scent of slight mould and 'your aunts basement' sort of scent. Ashton marvels as he flips through album after album of Led Zeppelin and I find myself enjoying the shoppe and the fact that the boys are too. "Look Lukey" Calum says as he pulls out the Nevermind album by Nirvana and smiles widely. I put down the translucent twenty one pilots album and go over to look at the album Calum is holding proudly. "Fuckin sick" I whisper and Cal nods as he hands me the album. Sure, we've both got this whole album on iTunes but it's so much cooler to hold it on vinyl and see their logo printed on a slightly worn out sleeve. "I know we don't have a record player but we should seriously buy this" he says and I nod. "We could buy a whole bunch of 'em and put 'em up on our wall" I add and he vigorously nods, loving the idea. "You do not need another pair of drumsticks" I hear Michael scold and look over to see Ashton eyeing the drumsticks display. "Uh uh" Michael interrupts as Ashton tries to speak. Calum snickers and Michael shoots him a look that screams "back off" and all I can do is roll my eyes. "Okay so this one is seven dollars, and they have a one dollar and five dollar display over there" Calum says, and points to a display that verifies his statement with large "$1" and "$5" signs. We walk over with our Nirvana album and Calum pulls out three right off the bat. "Five dollars?!" He half asks, half exclaims. The albums he pulls out are all iconic, Slippery When Wet from Bon-Jovi, American Psycho from The Misfits and Big Ones from Aerosmith. I nod in agreement. I find a few that I like and a few that I'm not very familiar with but I like because of the sleeve design that I'd like to see on our wall or at least one song that I do know. "We don't have a record player you idiots, what are you gonna do, fuckin hang them on your wall and look at them?" Michael asks sarcastically as he sees our stack that Calum is holding. "Actually yeah sorta" Calum admits with blushing cheeks. "Tumblr hipsters" Michael mutters as he walks in aim for Ashton who is again flipping through my sleeves of the best oldies like AC/DC, John Cougar Mellencamp, Tom Petty, and KISS. I admire our stack of so far of 10 albums. I walk over to the 'sleeves but no record' container and easily grab five great ones because they're 50¢ each. "Okay you get to pick the last one" I say as Calum approaches. He nods and starts to flick through the empty sleeves till he finds a Ramones sleeve and I smile when he drops it in out stack.
"Thirty dollars even" the bloke says from behind the counter. The first thing I, and probably everyone else notices is his red hair but I also notice how friendly he looks and his soft voice is inviting enough and the atmosphere in his shoppe nice enough that I might frequent it. Calum hands over the American bills and thanks the bloke. "What are you gonna do with these baby's if you don't mind me asking?" He asks. "Hang 'em up on our wall" Calum says and gestures to me. A realisation flashes on the blokes face and he says "hey you four are the Aussies staying at Louis and Harry's places right?" He asks and points out the window, in the general direction of where the flat complex is. "Yeah that's us. I'm Calum, this is my boyfriend Luke, That's Michael with the Magenta hair and Ashton is the one that obviously doesn't have magenta hair" Calum says and I smile and slight wave at the bloke. "I'm Ed, Harry is a buddy of mine, he told me about four Australians that had moved into his apartment complex about three, four weeks ago and he told me you were amazing guys, said all good things, and you get on with his sons really well. Could sorta guess because the accent and Harry said one of you four has brilliant hair from Lou" he says, and gestures to Michael who isn't aware we are talking about him. it enlightens me that Harry likes us genuinely enough to tell his friends about us. "Well there you go, and it's nice to meet you" Calum says and awkwardly reaches his hand over the counter to shake which is not really our thing. "Mutual, have a nice day" he says and waves as we head to the doors. Michael has his hands wrapped around Ashton's waist and is leaning into him from behind, resting his chin on Ashton's shoulder as Ashton flips through more records and comments on them. "You ready ladies?" Calum asks in a mock American accent that sounds horrid enough to make me laugh. "Yeah let's go" Ashton says and tries to brush Michael off him so he can walk towards the doors behind me and Calum.
As soon as we get outside I let Calum back on my back with the records and sleeves hanging in a bag loosely off his wrist. Michael and Ashton walk hand in hand all the way home, Michael's eyes down to avoid the judgemental looks from some people we pass. Sometimes I want to quote lyrics to people but I'd feel weird and they probably not understand. Right now I'd quote Michael the song Life of The Party by Shawn Mendes, especially the chorus that says "we don't have to be ordinary, make our best mistakes, we don't have the time to be sorry" but he'd probably look at me like I've grown a second head or he'd laugh in my face because that song is meant for a girl. I feel a bit of pride swell in my chest when I see Ashton with his head high and no fear of other people's opinions, and that's one of the reasons why I admire him so much because he doesn't care who is watching when he is being real. A few times Ashton slings his arms around Michael's shoulders to protect him from people touching and bumping him rather harshly as we pass larger groups on the small sidewalk and that's another reason I admire him because he is so gentle, loving, protective, and caring with my best friend.
Michael's point of view
"I love Rufio" Calum states as I start to put the film on. "He's pretty badass" I agree and he smiles. I can see Ashton and Luke shaking their heads at each other and I laugh. When the film is set up and the menu is playing Ashton comes in the living room with my oatmeal cookies and places them on my lap. Luke and Calum sit down on their couch seconds later and Ashton starts the movie with the remote and cuddles into my side. "Love you" I whisper in his ear and he smiles and kisses me.
Robin Williams voice fills through our living room and I find myself laughing at Calum and Luke as they both quote all the best parts. With Ashton's arms wrapped around my waist and his head resting on my tummy, I smile. Sure, I get scared shitless sometimes but I honestly could not ask for a better time than this. Feeling Ashton's whole body shake as he laughs is better than any drug on the planet.
The next morning I wake up so warm and really comfortable and without opening my eyes I smile because this is amazing. I already know Ashton's arms are wrapped around my middle and his head is in my neck and I laugh at myself because I do not remember him carrying me to our room last night cause I passed out during the movie. "Good morning cupcake" he mumbles. "Hi, I would love to stay here and cuddle but I really gotta take a pee" I say and he laughs. "Okay okay I'll let you go" he says, but doesn't let go. "Sometime this month?" I ask and he laughs again. It gets quiet for awhile and I sigh. "whatever, I'm not the cleaning lady so I don't have to wash urine off sheets" I say nonchalantly and immediately he jumps up so I can get up cause he is the cleaning lady. I smirk as I get up and he glares at me as I walk out the door.
When I get into the bathroom I do something I haven't in a very long time. I look in the mirror. I'm scared as hell for what I think I'm going to see but what I actually see isn't that bad. With only my briefs on I can see my chest and legs, all the parts I have avoided looking at at all costs, all the parts I try so hard to cover up. There's a scar on my hip from when my stepdad shoved me into the corner of the marble countertop, and the scar still intimidates me but for the first time I take a good look at it. It looks quite gross and I could probably tack on a better story for it, like I got bit by a pitbull or attacked by a shark. I scan my body for other marks, and it surprises me when I look at my stomach and see a v line, but my skin surprising more because it's mostly white. I've gotten so used to it always being purple and blue, but right now I can only see light traces of purple and I can see my normal colour and it makes me so glad. I stare at the other scars too for a long time, the ones on my upper chest, slightly under my collar bones, from being punctured by the corners of metal lockers that I've been shoved into, and i dare not try and count how many times I can see the same imprint of that scar. I look at the two inch scar on my calf from when my mum accidentally knocked over a vase whilst slapping me, and then she blamed it on me so I got more slaps and I had to clean my leg up myself, and I remember crying the whole time because that's something parents should do, not cause. Of course there's other tiny scars on my body that look like cat scratches or paper cuts but those came from the regular abuse, naturally skin breaks after being weak so most of the smaller scars are just from skin breaking when my stepdad would kick me or guys at school would corner me and all take a hit just for fun. I feel tears rising in my eyes but I choke them down. There's no point in living in the past, and I try to remember that because it really helps me not feel bad for myself. I touch my bones that I've gotten so used to aching, my hip bones, collar bones, ribs, and it's almost like exploring someone for the first time, learning where certain imperfections are and noticing that their collar bones stick out more than a lot of other people's. "Michael" I hear Ashton choke out. I look at the bathroom door that I forgot to close and I see Ashton standing there, watery eyes and hands covering his mouth. I stand and stare at him, shrugging my shoulders and he rushes forward and hugs me and let's go of all the tears in his eyes. "You actually looked" he says in shock. "Yeah I looked" I affirm. "I'm so proud of you" he says and hugs tighter. "I just... You were taking awhile to brush your teeth and I came to see what you were doing and I couldn't move when I saw you looking at yourself because it's been so long" he says and I nod. He lets go and looks me in the eyes and has a smile with joyous tears running down his face. "Can't live in the past right? Gotta move on sometime" I say and he nods. I grab his hands and look into his eyes and say "See, that's the point of scars...they heal. There's still a reminder of what you've gone through but they show you not to live in the past because they heal and you should too."
(Five years later)
"Wait uncle Mike, you forgot this" Lilliana says through a chuckle. "Oh thanks muffin brains" I say to her and she rolls her eyes. "I'm nine years old uncle Mikey you can stop calling me that" she says as she hands me the flower crown. "Never" I say and place the crown on my head. "You've got it all wrong, freak" she says and giggles as she adjusts the flower crown on my head. "You've had this for a long time right? Uncle Ash bought it for you when you first got here when I was little right?" She asks and I nod, reminiscing the bittersweet memories of when we first got here. "Ahhh Lilly I'm nervous" I say and she smiles. "Well get over it" she says and it makes me laugh. "Honestly never thought i'd see you in a fuckin tux" Luke says as he walks in. "You owe me a dollar uncle Lukey" Lilliana says and glares at him whilst crossing her arms. "Come on let me off the hook Liam isn't even around!" He says and she shakes her head. "Do you want me to go tell him you just said that?" She asks sassily and sticks her hand out. Luke sighs and digs into his pants pocket and pulls out a dollar from his wallet and hands it to her. "Hey look at it this way, you're not only learning not to swear but you're funding my trip to disney world" Lilly says nonchalantly and walks away. Luke leans over to me and says "no I'm just learning not to swear around Liam and little's" and it makes me laugh. "Okay come on we have a wedding to do, let's get this show on the road!" He exclaims and I shudder. "Oh fuck off you'll be fine, there's no reason to be nervous" he says and lightly shoves my shoulder. I sigh because he has a point but still. Lilliana comes back with her flower basket and Lux comes behind her with everything matching and it makes me smile. "You two look adorable" I say and they both blush. "C'mon ladies we gotta go" Lou says and waves at me before pulling the two girls out of our flat. "Okay Mikey we gotta go" Luke says and puts his hand out. "Okay" I say and I put my hand I'm his and walk out of our flat.
I exhale one last time before coming from behind the prop door that is set up in the yard and as I look over to my side Ashton smiles back at me with a nervous but happy smile and I put my hand in his as we walk down the carpet placed in the yard, following the two most adorable flower girls. I see smiles all around with everyone sitting in the fancy lawn chairs in the yard and as I walk up with Ashton still holding my hand I smile too because this is exactly how I wanted my future to go with Ashton and I wouldn't want it any other way.