Loving Ash

Bandfic for Fanfiction Royale

•BOOK 1 IN THE LOVING 5SOS SERIES•

Ashley Clifford spends her spare time coddling her camera and dancing to classic rock. After her high school boyfriend dumps her, she spends most of her time hiding out in her room and blasting pop breakup ballads. But what happens when her brother comes home? She hasn't seen him or his band in months.

Ashton Irwin spends his spare time banging on his drums or playing video games with his friends. Lately he's been hanging with his band, playing gigs all over. Returning home, he didn't expect to find Michael's little sister all grown up. And he definitely didn't expect her to join them on tour.

What happens when these two get put together in a small space? Will they bite each other's heads off, or will sparks fly?

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24. Chapter Twenty-Three: She just needs you to remind her why you need each other

Chapter Twenty-Three: She just needs you to remind her why you need each other

{harry}

I watched Niall grinning down at his phone, knowing he was texting that girl we'd met last week, Grace. I hadn't seen him this happy since before Kassidy had started dating. And he was so protective of the girl. She was adorable, I admit, she just wasn't my type. That and the fact that Niall had very clearly shown his possessiveness.

I groaned as I felt a body lay on top of me, weight crushing my lungs.

"Get off, Lou!" I gasped out, my lungs constricting. My best friend gave me a pouty look before shifting his weight off of me. He nuzzled his face into my neck, trying to get me to cuddle with him. Crazy boy. "What's up, mate?"

"I can't tell you unless you promise not to tell anybody," he replied, looking covertly from side to side as if checking no one would listen in on our conversation. Niall was quite a bit away from us, his headphones in as he grinned cheekily down at his screen.

"Alright Louis," I nodded in encouragement, curiosity pulling the words from my throat. What was he on about? "You can tell me anything."

He sighed, looking sheepishly down at his lap. He mumbled something I didn't quite catch. "What?"

"IthinkilikeAshleybutIknowshelikesAshtonandIdneverhaveachancewithagirllikeher." He said in a rush. My mouth hung open as I tried to decipher his words. Had I heard that right?

"One more time, Lou. Slowly." I told him, trying to hold back my shock.

"I think I like Ashley," he sighed out, ruffling a hand through his shaggy hair. I swallowed hard, trying to wrap my head around his words. He liked Ashley? But I thought... "But I know she likes Ashton, and I know I'd never have a chance with her."

"But what about El?" I asked, my shock and confusion clear in my tone. I'm not sure why I was so surprised though. Ashley is a great girl. But he'd been moping for the past four weeks about Eleanor. I had always thought the two would get married and have little Louis' and El's.

"We're taking a break, Hazza." He said with a huff, his face contorting in frustration. "She's fed up with the hate. And all the Larry shit too. I don't know what to do, Haz. I love her to bits, but she needs time."

"And this Ashley thing?" I asked, trying to help him think it through. "Do you really like her, or are you just missing your fucking girlfriend and needing comfort?"

He sighed again, wrapping his arms around his head. I could tell he was having a hard time. This was the longest time he and Eleanor had ever gone without talking. He needed to see her, they both just needed to have time together - just the two of them.

"She's a great girl, mate." He stated a fact, making me nod in agreement. Ashley really was a great lass. She was everything a guy could want. But she was Ashton's.

"But you have a great girl," I reminded him. "She just needs you to remind her why you need each other."

"Harry, I'm trying, but she's ignoring my phone calls and texts." Lou sat up to look at me. His eyes were slightly red an his cheeks were looking hollow.

"Lou, have you been eating?" I asked in concern, his appearance worrying me. He avoided eye contact, confirming my suspicions. "Don't let this get to you mate. You don't need a girl, you've got us! Besides, she'll be back soon enough."

"It's not just Eleanor, Harold," Lou replied in a tired voice, wiping a hand across his eyes. "It's the Larry shit too. And the hate from the fans. It's all too much."

"I'm sorry about the Larry shit, mate. Believe me, if I could make it stop I would. Same with the hate." I responded, draping my arm across his slouched shoulders. "But you've gotta be strong. Not just for us lads and the truly dedicated Directioners, but yourself and Eleanor too."

He nodded slightly, leaning against my side with a defeated sigh. We sat there for quite a while just leaning into each other until Liam walked in.

"Alright, mates!" He called out, drawing all of our attention. "We've got an interview in twenty minutes and then we're going to dinner with the others."

I glanced at Louis, gaging his reaction. His face had paled slightly, but other than that he looked fine. I patted his back before I stood up, dragging him with me.

"Then let's go!" I smiled around at the others before heading off the bus and out to the van.

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