Louis pulled tightly on the black jumper , wrapping his arms around himself as puffs of fog formed from his breaths. The chilly wind blew through his fringe, but he didn't bother to fix it after the nineteenth time. It amazed Louis how cold it could get at night after such a sunny day in L.A.
He leaned against the brick wall, hiding around the corner near the back door, out of sight from anyone on the streets. He had only been standing there for a few minutes until finally a black car parked in front of him. Louis wiped away any tears and walked up to the car, checking left and right to see if anyone would spot him. The door was opened for him on the inside, pulling it open wider for himself to step inside. He plopped down on the cushioned seat, looking to his left to see Adam sitting beside him with a small smile.
"Anywhere specific you'd like to go?" Adam asked. Louis was grateful that he didn't ask the obvious 'are you okay' question straight off the bat. It made him feel a little calmer.
Louis shrugged slightly, shaking his head. "Somewhere to chat about nothing for a bit."
"What about my house? Sound okay? I don't want to sound like a creep on our second meeting." Adam chuckled softly, putting the car back into drive.
Louis nodded. He didn't see any complications with doing so, he was just going over to a new mate's house, nothing wrong with that. "Sure. Sounds good."
When they arrived to Adam's destination, it wasn't that far from the hotel, but you did have to pass through some heavy traffic to get there. It was your average, small house, like a first home buyers house; but Louis kinda liked it. He's lived in slightly smaller himself, so all these larger houses felt like luxury to him.
Stepping inside, Louis noted the busyness of the place. It was cluttered with stacks of boxes in the corners of rooms, and had papers spread around the whole of the lounge room; even under the coffee table. He carefully stepped around the papers, making sure not to crimple any incase they were important to Adam.
"Sorry for the whole mess. Been trying to work on something lately."
"It's fine. It's almost refreshing ever since being in big clean houses and hotel rooms."
Adam nodded, gesturing to the lounge. "Take a seat. Did you want a coffee or something?"
"Uh, tea, please. Milk with no sugar." Adam gave Louis the thumbs up before wandering off to the kitchen.
Louis took a moment to look around the living room. The walls were a light mocha colour, decorated with frames of various things. He sat down on the chocolate coloured couch, tapping his fingers on his knees as he awaited for Adam's return. Soon the man did, holding a cup of tea and a coffee mug for himself.
"Haven't you been around enough coffee for one day?" Louis joked, chuckling softly.
"Nah, I practically live on the stuff; as bad as it sounds. But it's the only way I'm ever going to get any of this done without knocking myself out with sleep." Adam pointed to the large stack of papers on the coffee table in front of him.
Louis leaned over and picked up one of the sheets, inspecting the small print on it. "And what exactly is this?"
"A bunch of news articles, plot ideas, half finished stories. I want to become a writer, but I haven't yet written anything successful yet."
Louis' face showed an emotion of shock and disbelief. "I doubt that. There has to be something between all this." Louis across the whole room. It looked like years of work had been put into all of these papers.
"Believe it or not." Adam shrugged. "But you gotta keep trying, right?"
A small smile faded onto Louis' lips, a soft "Yeah..." passing his lips.
It was silent for a moment after that. The two boys would glance at each other from time to time as they sipped from their hot beverages. Finally Adam broke the silence between them.
"Do you want to want to explain to me why I picked up a teary Louis at such short notice?" Adam asked, a hint of concern in his tone.
But Louis couldn't tell him the truth about what was going on. It's one of his 'rules'...
"Just band stuff getting to me, and all these new experiences lately coming at me all at once. Decided I needed to talk to someone outside of the band for a little while." Louis partially lied, hands wrapped around his warm cuppa.
Adam rose a brow. "Somehow I don't believe that is the only reason as to why, if at all..." Just as Louis felt a little tense again, and soft smile grew on the man's face. "But I'm not gonna force anything out of you, just so you can tell some stranger you met yesterday." He chuckled. "I'd be glad to keep you company if you wish."
At that, Louis felt calmer, smiling himself. And in that short amount of time that the two had spent together, Louis felt the pressure pushed off his shoulder and he actually relaxed for a few hours as he just hung out with a 'normal' guy.
From what was supposed to be a short get away from the stress, turned into hours of chilled laughs and chats. But Louis eventually came back to the hotel, that to a ride back from Adam. Louis was careful as he sneaked back up to his floor, watching every step he was taking and wincing when the elevator made a loud ding noise when it opened.
Finally, he was stood in front of his hotel door. He reached his hand out, about to open the door, but he stopped mid way. He brought his hand back down to his side as he sighed.
He knew Harry was behind that door, maybe even waiting for his return like he previously would do. Louis only just got all of the pressure off of him, seeing Harry right now would only topple all of that stress and pressure right back on him.
So, he turned around and faced the door behind him. He silently chanted, hoping that the other boys kept their door unlocked, which that did, slipping into the dark hotel room. He didn't want to bother anyone or wake the other just to say he was spending the night in here tonight, so he cosied himself on the couch himself.
He kicked of his trainers and pulled the blanket that was draped over the back of the couch over his body. He also pulled up a small sofa pillow to rest his head against. It wasn't his best sleeping arrangement, but it would do for tonight.
Gradually, Louis slowly fell asleep to the muted sounds of Liam's loud snoring from his bedroom and the quiet humming of the fridge in the kitchen.
As the morning sunshine arose, Niall padded out into the lounge, rubbing his sleep filled eyes as he tried to wake himself up. A yawn escaped his throat as he stretched out his muscles, but he froze mid stretch as he spotted the sleeping figure on the long couch.
He realised it was Louis, curled up into himself, covered by a blanket that was half his size, yet the boy had somehow found a way to tuck his small body between the fabric. When Niall walked closer to the boy, he also noticed how he was holding a sofa pillow very close to his chest, and how there were traces of dried tears staining his cheeks.
Niall frowned as he sat down on the floor in front of his best friend, his legs crossed over. He gently reached his hand over to the older boy's knuckles that were pure white from how tight he was gripping onto the pillow. His thumb caressed over the prominent bone as his eyes scanned over Louis' sleeping face.
Seeing Louis like this brought back bad memories from home. Originally when the two boys auditioned for One Direction, Niall was doing it just for Louis. Of course, Niall had his own dreams of becoming a singer and was so grateful for the amazing opportunity he got to have, but in his mind, he thought that if Louis finally achieved his one dream, that he would be happier and that there would be no more tears of sadness or hurt. But Niall still doesn't understand why his best friend continued to cry. Yes, he understood that last night was a reason to cry, but there was still something that Louis wasn't telling him. Though that hurt Niall, he knows to never push the boy to the point of breaking, because it's a long cycle to get him back to the happy Louis that he use to be.
"Mornin' Niall." A waking Zayn mumbled as he saw Niall, fixing his mess of a hair do to be out of his eyes.
"Hey..." Niall spoke, excitement lacking in his response.
Zayn's brows met in a furrow as he saw his band mate curled up on the couch. "When did Lou get here?"
"I don't know. Must have been late 'cause he's knocked out."
Zayn walked over to the two, kneeling down by Niall's side, looking at the older boy. He let out a soft, sad sigh as he looked at his broken friend. He wrapped his arms around his legs, resting his chin on top of his knees.
"I worry about him..." Zayn kept his voice low.
"Me too..." Niall took a deep breath. "I just don't want him to go back to the way he was at home..."
Zayn snapped his gaze to Niall, fear in his eyes. "What do you mean 'go back'?"
Niall debated whether or not to tell him. Louis never liked anyone but himself and Niall knowing about what he use to do when times got hard. After a few seconds, he decided it was a good idea that Zayn should know. Louis and him were becoming close and it was obvious that he was just as worried and cautious with the boy as he was himself.
Before he told him, he stood up, Zayn following his actions, and walked over to the kitchen, Louis still in their line of sight. He didn't want to wake the boy.
Niall jumped up to sit on the countertop, his fingers fidgety as he readied himself to tell the story he's never had to explain before. His voice hitched in his throat a few times until he finally could get the horrible words out.
"Louis use to... hurt himself sometimes." Niall traced his shaky finger across the pale skin on his own wrist, flashbacks of terrible images popping into his mind, but he immediately pushed them away.
Zayn's eyes widened and fear bubbled up inside of him as the thought came to mind. "D-Do you know if he has wanted to hurt himself... r-recently?" He spoke nervously.
Zayn nodded slowly, holding up his wrist to show the hair tie he still had around it.
"He was snapping this against his skin for a few days until I caught him and stopped him, taking it away from him. Y-You don't think he soon might..." The scary thought dawned on him.
Niall's eyes seemed scattered and his hands were shaking more at the possible reality of that happening again. But that can't happen again! He won't ever witness his best friend like that ever again!
"I'm doing all I can to make him happy again; to make him the Lou that we use to be when we were younger. But he seems to be blocking my offers, or we're too busy to talk about it, or even Harry is distracting his mind too much to focus on anything."
"And now that Harry has gone and fucked this situation up more." Zayn grumbled, then sighed. "Harry is Louis' small pocket of happiness, that's obvious to all of us. Maybe when Harry finally realises what a dick of a guy he has for a boyfriend, he'll admit his feelings for Louis and Lou can be happy again."
"Simple as that?" Niall questioned, not fully convinced.
"Well, honestly, when is One Direction ever 'simple'?"
They both chuckled, knowing how far simple was from describing their band.
There was a small yawn in the background, catching Niall and Zayn's attention. They looked over to the couch, seeing Louis move around as he was slowly waking up.
"Let's just try to cheer him up for a couple of days, try and get his mind onto other things. Just calm him down a little, yeah?" Zayn suggested.
"Yeah... We can do this. What more could possibly go wrong?" Niall's eyes widened. "Please hope I didn't jinx that or anything..."