We’re all sitting in Pizzeria Uno about to dive in a giant deep dish, when Luke and Michael start fighting.
“THAT‘S MY PIECE!” Luke screams, after the waitress sets it down.
“FUCK OFF, NO IT‘S NOT!” Michael retaliates.
“I‘VE BEEN STARING AT IT THE WHOLE TIME!” Luke retorts, and the two start physically shoving each other over the giant pizza for the slice.
“Seriously guys?” Ashton asks. The two are still trying to grab the piece before the other can. Angela, Cal and I are too busy laughing at them to help Ash out.
Ash and Cal finally get the two of them to quit when Ash places the slice on Michael’s plate.
“I think it‘s only fair Michael gets the slice, considering it is his birthday.” Ashton says, staring at Luke with a serious look on his face.
“Piss off.” Luke retorts, grabbing for another slice with equally as much cheese.
“You guys are babies.” I tease, reaching for a piece. Angela is still shaking her head letting a small chuckle escape occasionally over earlier. As I set the spatula down my plate is stolen by Cal.
“Ya know, I don‘t appreciate you stealing my plate you dick.” I scold, grabbing his empty plate. Cal merely laughs in response saying,
“Too bad.” while stuffing his face. Rolling my eyes I grab another slice and watch as Ash and Angela are shoving each other playfully on the arms, because they’re fighting over the parmesan cheese shaker. Honestly it’s almost sickening watching the two of them, they don’t even realize how much they like each other.
I open my mouth to tease them when Mickey asks,
“Care bear, want some chili flakes?” offering me the shaker with his small greasy hands. I smile in response and nod thanking him before dousing my slice with the extremely slippery shaker.
“What‘re you doing? You‘re killing the pizza.” Luke teases, stabbing my slice with his fork.
“Shut up! I like spicy foods.” I respond with a small smile on my face. As I cut up my pizza we’re all making small talk and I’m trying to ignore Michael’s newly dyed red hair.
I remember the first time he asked Angela and I what our favorite color on him was. Obviously we both said red but I also said I enjoyed his black color as well. The next day his hair was red and he captioned the tweet ‘U ask, I supply’. Since then I’ve been trying to ignore the new color choice, he can suffer with my silence for a while longer. Seeing as it’s his birthday though I know I’ll have to comment on it at some point.
We’ve all been sitting here eating and trying to avoid the paparazzi outside and the small amount of teenage girls inside. Whenever one of the girls gets too snap happy the owner comes out and explains that if she continues to bother us she will be asked to leave. Sometimes I loved nosy waitresses who lingered far longer than necessary. With all of us finishing up we couldn’t help but comment on the increasing number of teenage girls inside and the paparazzi outside. So she took the liberty of helping us with our complications inside by explaining our situation to the owner.
“Ready to go?” Ash asks us, we nod in response and slowly get up gathering our coats and such before paying the bill and leaving. As we step outside our vision is obscured slightly by blinding lights from the cameras. The guys are bombarded with questions as we pile into two separate taxis and I notice Cal pull Angela into one as Ash answers one more question. Michael grabs my hand to pull me into my seat and I’m soon squished between him and Luke.
The taxi driver listens to the guys weird directions and we take sharp turns and enter random streets. Between traffic and busy walkways, it takes us a good thirty minutes to finally get home when on the ride there it only took us ten. But with us taking random drives around central park and onto the main streets, it throws off any one following us back to the house.
Throughout the drive Michael and I make small talk and occasionally I hear Luke add his two cents in. I realize he’s really quiet though and that’s when I notice, it’s because he’s fixing his hair and making sure his scruff looks good so he can take decent selfies. Rolling my eyes I can’t help but tease him,
“God forbid Mr. Lucas Loxx look absolutely terrible in front of the cameras. Do you ever not primp in front of your phone‘s camera or a mirror?” I ask with a smirk. Mickey who I anticipated to add in on the teasing just chuckles lightly while Luke looks over at me.
“Whatever Carol.” he says with a sigh and returns his phone to his pocket while getting out of the taxi and walking up to the house. Since when does Mr. Cocky get offended at my playful jabs?
Ashton and Angela came back with a bunch of booze and Michael following suit, comes out with a couple of acoustic guitars. Smiling I already know where this is heading, I can already see the drunken stupor Mickey is going to get in and the singing they’re going to do. Angela and I are in the kitchen pouring ourselves a glass while we hear the clinking of bottles in the living room. There’s a loud whoop of excitement and a very rough and low version of Happy Birthday is sung to Michael.
“I can‘t believe they‘re singing without us.” Angela whines, setting her bottle down. I watch the clear liquid swish slightly to her sudden movement.
“Well I mean, we‘ve been with them all day. I don‘t mind.” I state. She sighs and as the guys laughter rises we take that as our cue to enter into the living room again.
“Alright girls, what do you wanna hear?” Ash asks, while Michael and Cal strum away on the guitars. Cal struggling slightly as he tunes it to the right chords. Angela and I exchange a look as we sit on the couch and Angela frantically shakes her head. Smiling I remember back to when they first started uploading videos on YouTube and ask,
“Check Yes Juliet? Do you guys still remember that one?” they look at each other. Everyone is quiet for a moment but Michael slowly starts strumming away in the chair farthest from me. I hear Luke slowly chime in with the first lyrics and Calum comes in slightly. Angela, sat between Cal and Ash on the couch stares at them in amazement. I can’t help but do the same. It’s almost like the video is being remade again, after all these years they still remember most of the chords and lyrics.
I watch Mickey pluck away at the thin strings with his tiny fingers in concentration. His head turned away from everyone as he focuses only on the chords and I’m reminded of the small boy with a fringe. They’ve all grown so much since then and I couldn’t be more proud.
I smile as Angela begins singing along to the chorus and I can’t help but sing along with the vocalizing notes. Pretending not to notice Luke look my way I continue and move on with the chorus. Michael stumbles with the chords slightly and soon into the second verse Luke forgets the words. We hear them laugh before stopping completely.
“Guys, that was brilliant.” Ash says with a smirk.
“Seriously Carol, out of all the songs to choose and you pick the one we don‘t remember. Good job.” Cal teases. Laughing I smugly ask,
“It got all of us singing didn‘t it?” he rolls his eyes in response. Mickey looks over at us saying,
“It did, you even got Angela singing. I mean in front of actual people and not to the walls of her bedroom. Then again she could‘ve been serenading the living room walls.” with a chuckle. Angela’s jaw drops slightly as I burst out in giggles.
“Fuck off Michael! I‘ll have you know Check Yes Juliet is one of my favorite songs. I also do not serenade walls.” Angela retorts, taking a sip from her glass. We’re all still chuckling slightly as the guys play around on the guitars more.
The night continues on with us throwing songs out and Michael and Cal strumming away. I notice more than once he’s gotten up to refill her glass and he keeps smiling at her as he plays. Michael has demolished six bottles and is getting very unstable especially with his heavy feet. He follows me into the kitchen as I pour myself another glass.
“What‘s up with you care bear? You‘re quiet. Also, normally you can keep up with us when we drink.” he says, coming around to my side and leaning against the counter top. I set my bottle down and watch the intensified red liquid settle in my glass.
“Just trying to keep a level head. I actually want to remember your birthday, Mickey.” I tease, fixing his hair as I look up at him.
“By the way, love the new color.” I add with a smile. He visibly brightens and I watch his arm snake towards my torso on the counter.
“Yeah? I thought it was time for a change. Been blond for too long.” he replies.
“I don‘t know. I liked you blond. Made me think of younger you. Younger you was always hot to me.” I add with a wide smirk.
As I step into the living room I notice the guys are all staring at Angela and laughing their asses off. It’s when I hear her laugh that I realize why. I’m not sure who got her started, but she is laughing so hard her ‘he he’ laugh has now enveloped. I call it that because as she laughs that is the only sound that comes out of her mouth “He he he!” she chuckles lightly from her fading voice. Oh no, her snort will arrive soon if she doesn’t stop. Michael stands in the doorway with me laughing so hard his face is becoming red.
Sitting next to Ash I watch him smile down at her while she tries to regain her breath.
“What was that?” he asks, still smiling widely at her. Oh poor Angela his dimples are on point.
“Shush! It‘s my laugh. It‘s embarrassing I know.” Luke and Michael are still chuckling lightly when Cal says,
“That was the funniest thing I‘ve ever heard. Why have I never heard that from you before?” he asks.
“It only happens when I‘m laughing really hard at something.” she explains with a slightly red face, as she drinks from her glass.
“Well unlike Cal, I think you have a very adorable laugh munchkin.” Ash states, taking the last swig from his second bottle.
It happens for a second, but I see it. Calum looks dead at Ash and I almost think I see annoyance in his face. I’m not sure why he should be pissed at Ash but it looks like he is. As Ashton and Angela get up to refill their drinks, I watch Cal step out of the living room and head for the door. He’s going to have a smoke, I wonder if he’d want me to join him this time?
Following along behind him I sneak a look into the kitchen and watch Ash pull on Angela’s straightened hair. She shoves him slightly yelling at him to stop in a whiny voice. He can’t help but laugh at her and together they walk past me into the living room. They aren’t doing anything they wouldn’t normally do, so why should Cal all of a sudden get so pissed?
Sitting on the steps with Cal, I grab his still burning cigarette and bring it up to my mouth.
“You okay?” I ask, handing it back to him. He takes a long drag and shuffles his feet while staring at the steps between his legs.
“Fine.” he answers in a harsh voice. Okay. Obviously not fine.
“Cal, what is going on?” I ask, resting my hand on his shoulder to try and get him to look at me. He hands me the smoke back and shrugs off my hand.
“Nothing. Just needed some air.” he says through gritted teeth. Sighing I still hold the cigarette in my hand and wait for an answer.
“Are you going to take a hit or can I steal it back?” he asks, not looking up from the steps. Without words I hand it back and watch him take another long drag.
“Calum, the reason we come out here together is so that we can talk. I‘m not okay with you not confiding in me. I feel like you don‘t trust me enough with whatever happened just now. I think it has something to do with Ashton but-” I see him look at me and know I hit a nerve.
He opens his mouth and for a minute I think he’s going to tell me but then he sighs in response, shaking his head.
“I promise. It‘s nothing. Just a catch 22 is all.” he says with another long drag. I steal it from him and take a drag so small it shouldn’t even be considered a drag. He laughs at me slightly as I let him finish it off.
“Well when you decide you‘re ready to tell me what this catch 22 is, you know where to find me.” he smiles in response.
“That‘s Michael‘s room right?” he asks with a smirk.
“Shut up Calum.” I reply with a shove on his arm. Laughing we enter the house and sit ourselves upon the couch again.
With everyone still dancing around to the guys strumming away on their guitars, I notice Mickey walking around the room as he strums. His heavy feet trip him up several times but he composes himself just before the fall. His singing gets louder and Angela after a while stops singing and is merely watching Mickey, with amusement playing around on her face. We’re all still singing along as he sits himself on the table.
Luke comes in with his loud vocals and a voice crack accompanied with it. I could almost feel like we were at a concert if Michael wasn’t being so obnoxious. You can tell Ashton is getting slap happy drunk as he laughs way too hard at Michael singing Tear In My Heart. I only know the chorus so I can’t sing along to the verses he sings.
Finally Michael sits himself on the floor directly in front of me. I watch him cross his legs and strum away still singing, Luke left for bed not long after that. I can’t help but smile as he looks up at me with emotions that match the lyrics.
“My heart is my armor, she‘s the tear in my heart. She‘s a carver, she‘s a butcher with a smile. Cut me farther than I‘ve ever been.” I can feel myself blushing as it feels like he’s singing only to me. But quickly Cal picks up a new tune and I recognize it as Try Hard.
Since it’s a song they do know everyone is singing along as Michael takes up most of the guitar work. Cal tries to keep up but he’s struggling to remember most of the lyrics at some points. It’s not until the chorus that he remembers it all, and once the second verse kicks in I realize he’s had way too much alcohol. His lisp is coming through slightly and I wonder if I sound like him when I sing this too.
“She‘s got a rose tattoo but she keeps it covered, I play guitar but she‘s into drummers.” his gaze this entire time has been on Angela, it’s not until he reaches that line that I see him look at Ashton again. What is their deal tonight?
As he continues with
“She‘s seen my face around but she doesn‘t even know my name.” I can’t help but see Angela enjoying this a little too much as her giggles come out and I dare say I think she’s blushing. Cal can’t stop smiling as he sings and I start to wonder if maybe he likes her as well. But they hardly know each other, right?
When the song reaches it’s end Ash is poking fun at Angela, commenting on her blushing cheeks and wild hair. She playfully shoves him trying to play off that she isn’t as buzzed as he thinks she is. But just like earlier Cal sets the guitar down and heads off upstairs saying,
“I‘m done. I‘m tired.” with an occasional foot stomp on the stairs. Okay. He clearly has issues tonight.
“Maybe we should all call it a night. It‘s going on three am.” Ash says, removing his arm from the back of the couch behind Angela.
“Oh come on!” Mickey exclaims.
“It‘s my birthday!” he protests. Angela smiles in response saying,
“Technically, not anymore.” with a smug look on her face. He rolls his eyes at her and Michael and I head upstairs.
Ash and Angela linger downstairs for a while longer as they clean up. While I got the task of keeping Michael on the stairs and to his room before he falls on his face. He grunts occasionally as I keep my arm on his waist to steady him and his arm lays around my neck. We reach the end of the left hallway and he opens the door to his room.
It’s almost as messy as mine. There’s a beer bottle or two but it’s mainly clothes on the bed and floor. To think he’s always teasing me for my messy room. As I help him onto the bed I feel him grab hold of my waist.
“Hey, stay with me tonight.” he says, looking up at me. I don’t think it’s a good idea but somehow I can’t say no to him. Not tonight.
Nodding in response I watch as he strips out of his skinny jeans and I remove my jeans and t-shirt, but I leave my tank top on. Closing the door I walk over to the bed to crawl under the covers and feel Mickey wrap his arm around me. At first I think it’s cute he wants to cuddle but then his hand slides down my side and to my thigh. I can feel his breath on my neck before a small wet kiss is planted on the underneath of my jaw.
“Mickey, what‘re you doing?” I ask, moving away and turning to look at him. He sighs in response saying
“Come on Carol, you can‘t say you didn‘t think this was going to happen.” before moving in again. I push him away replying,
“I didn‘t. If I had I wouldn‘t have agreed. We shouldn‘t do this while you‘re drunk.” with furrowed brows. How would I know if he’d even remember this in the morning?
Reluctantly he agrees and returns to his side of the bed. Not long I hear him snore and realize I was right to say no. But how would I face him tomorrow? I wonder if Angela is having this much trouble tonight?