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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17. Overcoming Fears

*A Little Over A Week Later*
"It is very nice to meet you Niall," I hold my hand out as the Irish lad stands in front of me with my boys behind me.
"Oh, just a hand shake?" The Irish accent is so thick. He grabs my hands and pulls me in for a hug. A laugh slips by his lips as one slips by mine.
"Well, all righty then," I wrap my arms around the boy as he slightly picks me and sets me to the side.
"It’s nice to meet you too, Amber," he releases me from the hug and sets me down. Then he starts greeting the other boys. Hugging, shaking hands, and laughing.
I take a look around the recording studio room. It’s a very normal recording studio room. With snacks and drinks, the whole board of buttons, and the booth. There's a couch and a chair, a coffee table and a small desk and table. On the desk is sketch paper and a few pencils. I'm naturally drawn.
"Amber," Luke's voice rings through my ears but I don't turn and look at him. Instead I sit down and pick up a pencil. Instantly starting to draw Niall.
"She's drawing, I thought she'd like that," Niall says.
"You two must have been talking for some time before organizing this meeting," Michael says.
"What is this meeting about?" Ashton asks.
"Well, while Amber draws, you guys will record some songs, and then we will get down to the biggest part of this meeting," the smile on Niall's face is present in his talking.
*A Few Hours Later*
"That's very impressive," Niall says as he looks over his shoulder. Viewing the drawing of himself.
"That's not even her best work," Calum says.
"I don't doubt it," Niall rests his hand on my shoulder.
I smile as I look up at the Irish boy, "You can have it. I can always draw more."
"I will frame it," Niall smiles at me before turning my chair to face everyone else. "Do you want to tell them?"
"Go ahead," I motion at him and cross my legs.
"My lads and I are wondering if you would like to join us on tour in a few different places," Niall says.
"What do you mean by a few?" Michael asks.
"Parts of the UK and North America."
"Opening act?" Luke confirms.
Niall nods.
"This is a huge step in our careers," Calum says. "I understand now why Amber has been preparing us for a big decision. This is huge."
"That's why we talk it out," I say. "You guys don't have to join them. Niall didn't come here to force you to do anything. If you don't think it’s the right move. Don't do it. If you think it is. Go for it. I can't make this decision for you. This isn't my choice. I'm an artist. That is all I'll ever be. But you guys are musicians, and you have to play for big crowds."
"How can we make this decision?" Ashton asks.
Suddenly, I'm the one who is helping the older kids. "If you think you have enough experience to play for the crowds, go for it. If not, turn it down."
"I think we need a few days to think it over and decide what we think is the best thing for us to do as a band right now," Ashton stands up.
"Fair enough mate," Niall smiles. "I understand. I'd need a few days to think over such a big decision."
"Then its settled," I smile and stand up Grabbing my drawing and holding it out to Niall. "I will tell you the decision when we make it Niall. And I'll need a hug for the road."
Niall takes my drawing and pulls me into a hug. "Take your time, lads. Don't rush this decision. Whatever you decide, I think I'll still be a fan. Same with me band."
*A Few Months Later*

These past few months have been way too crazy. I've drawn all my favorite memories of what's happened so far. It’s been fun drawing the One Direction boys, and drawing crowds is such a practice and learning experience.
Enough about me, the boys are the reason I've been having all these amazing times. Making all these amazing memories. First, not too surprisingly, they agreed to join up with the One Direction boys. We've been to so many cool cities. Performed to so many screaming crowds.
After a time of concerts, we took a break from being the opening acts and went to play some acoustic shows. It was awesome.
Back up though, before all the touring, and you get a new song and a music video to go with it. Heartbreak girl is a hit among the fam, and reached a million hits just a week or so ago. It was so amazing, the boys films a video to thank the fans about it.
They also filmed a video of them playing a game they invented. Along with keeping the fam updated with house diaries, they filmed them playing the game, Derpball. It was embarrassing to watch them, but I drew pictures of the event.
Now, we are back home for a couple weeks before we head off to North America. So now, after just releasing another new song and amazing music video, we can just chill.
I have been drawing a lot and the boys have been practicing in the garage like they love to do. I've planned many days out with the girls, and plan to visit Ashton's family a few times.
"Those boys," Liz laughs as she walks into the living room. A cup of tea in her favorite mug. She carefully takes a seat next to me on the couch.
"It is a little loud," I smile as I continue to draw. It’s my house. Colorful. Alive. I don't know why. I have not gone back to that place in years. In nightmares, once a month. Maybe more. And now, I have a longing for it.
"I love it though. Them being so passionate about this."
"I love it too. It’s brought me to places I never thought I would go to."
"You're lucky to know them so closely. To follow them so closely."
"I know. I am so lucky."
"Is that your house?"
"Hm?"
"What you are drawing. It’s your house."
"Oh, yeah. I'm not sure why I'm drawing it. I want to, go to it. I know, it’s not a good idea. My dad is there, but, just one time. I think it may be good for me."
"As long as you take Luke. You need him there for you. There's no way he can hurt you with Luke there."
"I'll go, tomorrow. And I'll take Luke. Maybe then, I can let it go. Let go all the bad memories. Finally, stop the nightmares."
"Who helps you now?"
"They all do."
"That's good. I'm glad."
"You have helped too. You let me stay here when I had nowhere else to go. You are the reason I officially got out of there. I'm stronger now."
"And I'm glad dear. To have stepped in. It all goes back to Luke though. He is the reason everything has ended up the way it has."
The noise in the garage ends and then I hear the boys’ voices becoming louder as they make their way to us.
"Thanks for talking, mummy. I needed it," I slightly smile.
Liz leans over and kisses my cheek. "Anytime, dear. I'll always be here for you."
She stands up and exits the room just as the boys enter. The smile on my face growing. This break I am going to tackle a very big thing.
*The Next Day*
"Are you sure you want to do this, babe?" Luke asks as we walk up to what used to be my front door.
"I have to. I need to," I answer. Then I raise my hand up, ready to knock. But something is willing me not to.
"We can walk away anytime babe," Luke grabs my other hand.
"No, this is how we make my nightmares go away forever." Somehow, I knock. Three times. Then I step back and wait.
Moments later, the door opens and my brothers are standing there.
"Amber!" They both exclaim.
"Arron, Jake, is anyone home?" I ask.
"Arron? Jake?" My mother's voice fills my ears. I can't remember the last time she sounded so happy. She never called for me like that. "Who is it?" She comes into view and then smile on her face fades away.
"Mother," I try to stay relaxed.
"You need to leave. Why are you here anyways?"
"I have had some weird feeling to come back. I don't know why. I just had to come."
"What's everyone doing at the front door?" My father comes into view and his face goes from confused to angry. "What the hell are you doing here?!" He roars at me.
"I just wanted to come by so that I could let go. I've been haunted by this place ever since I left. I needed to see it so I could let go."
"What made you think you could come back here!?"
"Because I can do whatever I want!" I shout back. Luke's grip on my hand tightens. "You aren't in control of me anymore! You can't tell me what to do anymore! I don't even know what I did to make you hate me!"
"Amber," my mother pushes my brothers inside and towards the stairs. "Please, calm down."
"No! I'm sick of being put down by the ones who should have put me up!"
"That's it," my dad pushes past my mom and runs at me.
Luke pulls me away and my dad only gets a punch to my upper arm. "Don't hurt her," Luke's voice comes out very defending.
"Is he your boyfriend?" My mom asks.
"No," I glance over at her. "He's my best friend. That's it."
"Sure," my dad comes at me again. This time, Luke isn't fast enough and I get a punch to the face and a kick to my leg.
"I said, don't hurt her," Luke growls and I have to lean into him. My face already hurting and my leg in more pain.
"Then maybe I'll hurt you," my dad glares at Luke.
"She just wanted to come here to clean her mind. Let go all the shit she has had to go through because of you. Now you've made it worse. You never cared for her because she wasn't what you wanted her to be. She's traveling the world now. With my band."
"That's not a real job. What do you think is gonna happen when the band fails?" My dad cracks his knuckles.
"It’s not. I have faith in it," I push off Luke and walk up to my dad. "One day, when I'm known around the world, I will come back here. And you will be sorry."
My dad’s hand comes across my face, "You don't come to my house and talk to me like that."
I stumble back and Luke catches me. "Luke, I think it’s time we do something I've been afraid of doing for years."
"And what's that Curly?" Luke asks.
I take my phone out of my pocket and dial the police. "I won't visit you here, father. It'll be in jail."
*The Next Day*
"I can't believe this," Emily says as she hands me the icepack.
I hand her the old one and take the new one. Carefully placing it on my sore leg. "I feared he would do it. But I went anyway. I had to. That house has haunted me for too long. It was time I crushed that feeling."
"So your dad, he's in jail now?" Laurel asks.
"He is. When the police got there and saw me. There was no doubt in their mind he should be taken away. I didn't see my mom cry for him or anything. Now, I think I'm free of him."
"You've been free off him when you went and changed who your guardians were," Emily says.
"I know. I guess, I just wanted justice."
"Luke must hate seeing you like this," Laurel says. "I know I do. And he's closer to you, so it must be killing him."
"He was angry for a while. And then got so sad. He cried and told me he was sorry he couldn't protect me. He was the first one to ever see any of my bruises. It was not a good time for me back then. He must be thinking about those times."
"Your father used to really hurt you, didn't he?" Emily asks.
"Yeah. I feared him and never knew what was around the corner. I gave up things to try and please him. Nothing ever worked," I sigh as I try and get more comfortable on the couch. It’s hard when I have so many body parts so sore.
"You seem fine though," Laurel says. "Mentally, I mean."
"I've learned to just let go now. He can't hurt me anymore. Seeing my house did something for me."
"Were you afraid when he attacked you?" Emily asks.
"At first, a little. He got my arm and I could feel the bruise forming. My black eye and sore leg also came when I was afraid. But the busted lip, that's when I was brave. I stood up to him. And now, he's in jail where he belongs."
"What about the bruises on your back?"
"Oh, he tossed me after I called the police. Luke kicked him in the balls."
The girls laugh and I smile.
"Has Ashton seen you yet?" Laurel asks.
"Actually, he hasn't. And I have told him about what I did. He picks me up in a few days to go and see his family."
"Oh, well, he will have a lot of questions," Emily says.
"I know. And he'll be super pissed. But it was a battle I had to face."
"Will you draw this?" Laurel asks.
I sigh, "I might. When I can draw again. I can't see out of one eye too well, so that's gonna have to heal before I can do anything. It kind of sucks," I shrug. "It could be worse though."
"You head off again with the band, soon, correct?" Emily asks.
"Yes. I think there's a week and a half left here. Then we are on the road again."
"Do you like all the traveling?" Laurel asks.
"I love it. I'm seeing places I never thought I would see in a million years. I'm so lucky."
"You are," Emily says. "You really are."
"Plus, I love planes now. And with all this traveling we have to take a lot of planes."
"It must be amazing to fly all the time," Laurel slightly smiles.
"Once you guys finish school, you are welcome to join us on the next tour. Whenever it is."
"That's an offer we might just have to take," Emily smiles.
*A Few Days Later*
"Cupcake," Ashton rushes over to me as I limp out of my house and over to Ashton's car.
"Hello Ash," I smile as he quickly puts his arm around me.
"What happened?" He lightly brushes my hair out of my face to see my black eye better. "My baby," he connects our lips for a few seconds. "Where do you hurt?"
I smile and bring my hand up to cup Ashton's face, "A lot of places Ashton. I'll explain on the drive over to your house. It’s a sort of long story."
He sighs, "Let me help you." He gives me another kiss before helping me into his car.
"Thanks Ash," I smile at him before he shuts my door and rushing over to get in the driver’s side.
"You're welcome, Cupcake," Ashton smiles and starts up the car. Then he backs out of the driveway and we are on our way to his house. "So what happened?"
"I went home. To the house I grew up in. And my dad, attacked me." I go through the whole story I grave detail. Using my hands to explain everything. Getting teased at by Ashton, but sticking to the point. He asks questions and I answer them.
"So, he's in jail now?" Ashton asks once I've finished the story and he's had a few minutes to take it all in.
"Correct," I nod. "And I'm hoping he won't be let out anytime soon."
"I hope not. I mean, my poor Cupcake. Look at you."
"I know. It was hard to get ready this morning. My bruises look so gross and I am in so much pain."
"What are you gonna do at my house?"
"Well, I can watch you and Harry play football. And Lauren can hang with me outside. I'll need a chair because my arm is sore and I can't sit without support."
"All right, that's the plan then."
*That Night*
"That feels nice," I sigh as Luke places a hot washcloth on one of the bruises on my back.
"Good, that's what I wanted," Luke says. "Have you been feeling any better?"
"Well, my lips is almost all the way healed. And my eye is getting better. My arm and leg still hurt like hell. And my back is super sore."
"That's what I am here for. I help you get better," he moves the wet cloth around and I feel a pain shoot through my back.
"Ow, ow," I grit my teeth. "That's not a good spot."
"Sorry, sorry. I wish I could've prevented all of this from happening. What did the Irwin's think?"
"They were so kind and helped me when I needed help. Lauren and I were able to talk while Ashton and Harry played football. Anne made snacks and drinks. I had a great time."
"Good. Do you want creams or stuff on your back?"
"Um, yeah. Might as well since I'm still super sore."
"It'll be cold instead of warm, so prepare yourself." Luke takes the cloth off my back and then gently rubs cold pain cream all over my back. We've been doing this every night ever since I got hurt and I have to say its helping. And I get to hang out with my best friend, so that's nice.
"Luke, how will the tour bus situation go when we go over to North America?"
"You get you own bunk, but you can sleep with any one of us if you have a nightmare or didn't have a good day. Alright?"
I smile, "Sounds great. Man, I can't wait."
*A Few Weeks Later*
"I'm alright guys, I can stand now, and I'm back to drawing," I sigh as all nine boys surround me back stage.
"You're bruises are still present, and you still have a limp, please love, we can get you a chair," Harry, with his curly hair, dimples, and British accent make it hard to say no.
"I'm fine guys. I promise. I've been sitting for all the other concerts and I think I can stand this time."
"Maybe one of us should stay with you back here, just in case," Louis says. He's been a fun dude to hang out with and has the hair and makeup lady make me look pretty even with my bruises.
"Don't you guys have to warm up or something? I can't keep you from that."
"I'll stay with you, and it'll be fine," Niall says. "As long as 5sos are okay with it."
"What if I wanted to stay with her?" Liam asks.
"Or me?" Zayn asks.
"I think Niall will be fine with her," Ashton says. "Mate, just make sure she doesn't start dancing."
Niall laughs, "I won't. She's not well enough for that."
I groan, "Fine. But I don't want to have anyone with me at the next concert. I am fine. I promise you."
"Sure you are, Curly," Michael says. "We are just being safe."
"Yeah. You're all so protective of me," I cross my arms. "You are all lucky that I love you and you are all my best friends."
"That's so sweet, Curly," Calum smiles.
"Oh shut up," I giggle and roll my eyes.
"Well, we've still got a couple hours before the concert starts," Harry says. "We can all chill until then."
"I'd like to see Amber's skill in drawing," Zayn says.
"Me too," Liam says.
"I guess I'll show you guys," I say.
"You can draw their portraits like you drew mine," Niall smiles.
*A Few Hours Later*
"Having fun?" Niall asks me as I watch the boys preform from backstage.
"I am," I answer. "If only I didn't need, whatever supervision you are."
"Aw, come on love. You know you like my company."
"I do. I like all nine of you. My boys a little more since I've know them longer. But that's not the point. I am fine. I've healed. Not fully, but enough. I don't need to be watched over like a little kid. I'm a full adult next year."
"It’s not that we don't think you aren't alright, love. We just don't want you to get hurt again. You can be alone next concert. And, you're 18 next year?"
"I am. It'll be pretty awesome. Me and Luke will turn it just a few days a part. Ashton will be 20 before then."
"That's incredible. All younger than us. Just as musically talented."
"Amber!" The boys exclaim as they rush backstage and carefully encase me in a group hug.
"Well, I'll be off then," Niall says. "I'll talk to you all later." He smiles before walking off.
The boys step back from me and give me tired smiles.
"You guys were great out there," I smile back. "As always."
Ashton gives me a kiss, "Was Niall nice and all?"
"Of course. But I don't need him tomorrow. I'm fine now. My leg could be better, but besides that, I'm fine."
"You have so many bruises still left," Michael says.
"I know. But they don't hurt. I'm alright guys. No one is gonna hurt me again."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

This is quite long, didn't mean for it to be. Anyways, hope you liked it! :D

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