Friends Forever

Amber's best friend is Luke Hemmings from down the street. They have been super close since they can remember. She's going to make sure that his dreams come true. Even with some rough patches here and there.
(Cover art is by Deviant Art artist Ribkadory)
[Trigger Warning: It isn't throughout the whole thing but it does pop up here and there, abuse and self harm. If that bothers you, read with caution or check out some other stories of mine.]

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13. First Gig

*A Few Weeks Later*
"Thank you so much for getting the house all to ourselves," I smile as Ashton pulls me into his side. His whole house to ourselves and we've decided to snuggle on the couch.
"No problem. It wasn't that hard, really," Ashton kisses my cheek. "Harry had football practice so my mum just went with him. And Lauren wanted to go with friends. So, what is the important stuff you need to tell me?"
"Well," I take a deep breath. "It started when my brothers were born. Nine years now. Those kids are football stars, and I'm just a bastard child. All the love my parents had for me and my art left. I'm not sure why. It didn't leave all at once. Once my brothers hit three I never felt any love. My parents somehow knew they would be football stars. My art was nothing to them anymore. Even if I was so amazing for my age. It didn't matter."
"Luke kind of told me this. I'm so sorry. I wish we met sooner. I would've helped."
"It’s all right, Ash. There's not much anyone could've done."
"All right," he kisses my temple. "If you say it’s all right, cupcake."
"Cupcake?" I giggle.
"It was that or pencil. You choose."
"I like them both," I smile. "Wait, my story. We can decide cute nicknames later, Ash."
"Oh yeah, sorry."
"Okay, so around when my brothers turned five, my dad started to drink. And drink to get drunk. Then, he'd come back and be angry for no real reason. I'd stand up for myself as he put me down for drawing. And I took it for a while. Let him yell at me. Bring me down. Make me wonder if what I'm doing is worth it. Then I broke. Art was my passion. So I yelled back. And for years, until Luke saved me, that was my life."
"Cupcake, I can't even imagine. My father left us and that was hard. I had to grow up so fast. You, on the other hand, had to withstand something I could never power through."
"The yelling was fine. I could deal with that. It’s when he, when he," I start choking on my words.
"Amber, you okay? What did he do? You don't have to tell me. Maybe if I tell you something I do you'll let it out," he takes a deep breath. "You might have noticed scars on my arms. They aren't accidents. I put them there."
"Ash, my dad, he hit me. Kicked me. Threw me. Bruises covered my body. Luke knew and kept my secret. Now three more people know," I snuggle closer to him. "Now, tell me why you hurt yourself?"
"Oh, um, I thought you didn't hear that," he clears his throat. "Um, I just didn't feel like anyone cared. I still make a new scar every once in a while. I'm trying to stop," his voice cracks. "I promise. For you. Ever since I met you. I knew I had to stop. And for my family. I can't leave them. And possibly for the band."
"Oh Ashton. I wish I could've met you sooner. Helped you."
"It’s all right cupcake. There's nothing you could've done back then. How about, we promise something right now?"
"Like what?"
"To forget the past and live in the now. Alright."
I hold up my hand, "Let's pinky promise."
He links his pinky with mine, "I pinky promise."
I smile, "I pinky promise too."
*A Month Or So Later*
"Well Curly, you'll be happy to know we've finally decided who is going to be our drummer," Michael smiles at me as he sits down next to me on the couch. Luke is getting a video game ready and Calum is sitting on the floor.
"Took you guys long enough," I lean into him. "Who is it?"
"Your other half," Calum answers.
"Really?" I smile. "You really picked Ashton? Oh my, gosh. That's awesome. Are you gonna have a full band practice soon?"
"Yeah. Beginning of December, so in a little over a week," Luke answers.
"Oh, I can't wait. Have you told him yet?"
"We will soon," Michael puts his arm around me. "You gonna play with us?"
"No, I'm just gonna watch. Maybe next time."
"Aw, you're not playing, Curly?" Calum pouts.
"Sorry Cal," I pat his head.
"She's been drawing every day, her hands need a rest," Luke laughs as he comes over to sit down next to me.
"Watching is fun for me too," I say. "I'm not gonna forget how to play video games."
The boys play FIFA, as they always do. I watch and cheer them along. Then, about an hour or so later, my eyes start feeling heavy. And I fall asleep with my head on Michael's shoulder.
~Luke's POV~
"She fell asleep mate," Michael says.
"Amber did?" I look over and see my best friend snuggled into the side of another one of my best friends. "Aw, she looks so cute."
"How do you deal with it?" Calum asks.
"What?" I look over at him.
"How did she tell you about her home life?"
"Um, well, one night, she called me. I could barely understand her through her bawling. So I told her to come over right away. Even though it was late at night and my whole family was already asleep. I stood on my front porch and waited for her. She ran into my arms and just cried into me. I pulled her inside and we went to my room. We sat on my floor and I waited until she stopped crying. Then she just talked, and I listened."
"And you've been super protective ever since," Michael lightly pokes her nose.
"I guess so. It hurt me to see her so hurt and broken. The bruises on her really hurt me. She used to be over at my house as much as she could. I'd ask her all the time how she was feeling. Check her for bruises. It was something always on my mind. Now with her here all the time, I've been able to relax."
"She's like a sister, isn't she?" Calum asks.
"More than that. I don't know what I'd do without her."
Amber wiggles around and I think for a second she might wake up, but she just lets out a little mumble before wrapping her arms around Michael.
"I can't play with her like this," Michael says.
"We can take a break," I set my controller down and stretch out my legs.
"All right," Calum says. "That sounds like a good idea. We should go get some snacks as well."
"That sounds like a good idea," I look over at Michael and smile. "You'll be okay as we go get snacks, right?"
"Yeah, I'll be fine," Michael smiles back. "She's not hurting me or anything. Just be quick. I don't want to have to explain what has happened."
Calum and I stand up. "You won't," I nod. "She's not one to be confused. I think she knows she was close to you before she passed out. But we'll be quick."
*A Week Later*
~Amber's POV~
"Hello babe," Ashton gives me a quick kiss as he sits down next to me on the couch.
"You're all sweaty," I grimace as I run my hand through his super sweaty hair.
"Yeah. I have to ride my bike here."
"And the purple shirt is back," Luke laughs as he, Michael, and Calum come in from the kitchen. All carrying snacks or drinks.
"Here ya go, Curly," Calum hands me a Pepsi.
"Thanks Cal," I smile.
"Curly?" Ashton giggles as Calum hands him a water.
"Yeah, we gave Amber a nickname," Michael says as he sits down next to me.
"I like it," Ashton nods.
"So boys, I was thinking we could play FIFA and then practice," Luke says. "Then next time we get together we can film a video."
"Oh, I actually have a gig for you guys tomorrow night. The third is tomorrow right?" I bite my bottom lip. "I mean, you guts practiced one time before, so you can do it."
"Curly!" The guys all look over at me.
"Sorry, I can cancel."
"No, don't do that," Luke says.
"We can practice extra hard," Calum says.
"After one game of FIFA," Michael adds in.
"All right, if you think you can," I shrug.
"Where are we playing?" Ashton asks as Luke starts up the video game.
"Um, Annandale Hotel," I smile.
"Here ya go, mate," Luke holds out a control to Ashton.
"Oh no, I don't play FIFA," Ashton shakes his head.
"What?" Calum and Michael question.
"You're joking," I take a sip of my pop.
"No, sorry," Ashton shrugs.
"Oh Ash, there's no reason to be sorry. It’s just a tad weird."
"We might have to kick him out of the band," Michael says.
"Oh no you will not," I roll my eyes. "You need a drummer and have a gig tomorrow night. I've never heard something so stupid come out of your mouth, Mikey."
Michael ruffles my hair, "Doubt that."
"So Ashton, you taking Amber to C formal?" Calum asks out of nowhere.
"Um, I haven't decided yet," Ashton puts his arm around me.
"It’s fine if you don't. I'd understand," I lean into him. "Mikey said he'd be happy to take me."
"Yeah, since I still don't have a date yet. And probably won't when the time comes," Mikey shrugs. "Plus, she's a good friend. I'll do anything for her."
"You're too sweet Mikey," I grab his hand.
"You might just take her then, mate," Ashton says. "I wouldn't want you to go alone. And I don't want to go to a school where I don't know anyone. Plus, last time I went to prom or anything like that I didn't have too great of a time."
"Its settled then," I smile. "Michael will take me. Luke will take Laurel. And Calum will take Emily. It'll be so much fun."
"All right, enough talking about that," Calum says. "Let's play one game and then go practice out asses off."
"That sounds like a great plan," I giggle.
"Amber is the one who calls the shots," Luke says.
"Oh yeah, I am the manager," I giggle once more.
*That Night*
"I'm glad you decided to stay," I scoot closer to Ashton. We're lying in my floor with blankets covering us and pillows under our heads. One of our hands clasped together and our feet tangled together.
"Well, you needed me," Ashton gives me a small smile.
"You could've left," I look down. "I've got Luke, and Michael, and Calum."
"But I'm your boyfriend, I want to comfort you." He kisses my nose. "What was freaking you out?"
"I'm not sure. I guess, the memories of the bad times are still there. Lurking in the back of my mind. Just like demons. I'll be fine though. As long as I have my friends."
"When is the Christmas formal? Not on Christmas, as its name would suggest, I assume."
"In two weeks, I think. I've already got my dress. Same with Emily and Laurel."
"I want to see you in it. Before you go to formal. I bet you look so beautiful." He lightly connects our lips. "Like you always so."
I smile against his lips, "As long as I can see you in a suit at some time."
"It’s a deal then," he presses his lips to mine for a few seconds. "Goodnight Cupcake. I'll see you in the morning. Let's make breakfast for the other lads. And then it’s off to our gig. Oh. I can't believe it. I'm in a band."
I giggle, "Goodnight Ash. I'll do whatever you want. As long as you make it fun."
*The Next Night*

The boys have been doing a lot of alright covers to a much pumped up crowd. They seem to me doing well for their first gig as a full band, and the crowd is singing with them. Luke looks so happy, and keeps looking back at me. He smiles the biggest smile and I just smile and nod back at him.
Being backstage isn't too bad, I've got a different angle but I can see all the boys just fine. I'll close my eyes and sway to the beat as the jam out.
Ashton seems to be having such a great time. He looks so free on the drums and keeps looking over and smiling at me. I'm sure he looks at me even when I'm not paying attention to him. It’s like he's looking over to make sure I'm still there. That I'm still watching the four dorks that have made my life so much better.
It’s not that long of a concert or gig or whatever, but they do sing quite a lot of songs and thank the audience for coming out. Then they are backstage, all sweaty, hugging me in one big group hug.
"You guys were so good," I smile.
"It was so much fun," Michael laughs.
"Thank you so much for booking this," Calum says.
"We didn't do the covers as good as I would have liked," Luke says. "But this was great experience."
"Thanks for letting me come with you guys. Thanks for letting me join the band," Ashton says. "Thank you so much."
Today, the boys made it known to the decent fan base they have already, that Ashton Irwin, and his purple shirt, have joined the band. They posted the first ever band photo and posted it on Facebook.
"You're welcome boys," I giggle. "I'm just trying to do what I think is right for you. I've never done this before, so I'm glad I did my first official job right."
"Thanks so much Curly," they all squeeze me once more before letting me go.
Ashton gives me a kiss, "Thanks Cupcake."
"Alright boys, I say we head home and rest," I nod. "So let's go."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Hope you liked it! :D
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