It’s been a few days since the guys got back from performing at the AMA’s. The guys’ schedule has been a little off since their trip due to jetlag. So when I walk downstairs in the middle of the night to grab me a drink in a oversized t-shirt and shorts, I bump into Mickey grabbing junk food from the fridge.
“Shi- Cal what‘re you- oh. Hey care bear, what‘re you doing up?” he asks, changing his gruff tone to a softer one. With a smirk I grab the fridge door and watch him walk over to the counter and set his stuff down.
“Getting a drink and possibly a snack. Yourself?” I ask, closing the fridge and setting my water on the counter.
He grunts slightly after rocking back onto his heels from reaching into the cabinet, to grab a giant plate.
“Making a midnight snack. Wanna join me?” he offers, grabbing the tortilla chips from the cabinet closest to me. I look over at his snack and realize he’s making nachos. He has shredded cheese, leftover chicken from the other night, lettuce and onion out. He’s really going all out, it’s not a snack it’s a full out meal.
I do want a snack, just not like the one he’s creating I want something sweeter.
“Thanks, but no thanks Mickey. I want something sweet.” I answer honestly. I watch him shrug and begin looking for a cutting board. Angela and him always put it in different locations, where he likes placing it under the sink and most of the time she leaves it out on the counter.
“Dammit Ang, where the hell is it?” he mutters, still searching under the sink. I stare at the brown rectangle in front of me and smile smugly.
“Oh Mickey, I think your missing piece is over here.” I tease, before pointing it out and then grabbing oatmeal out from the cabinet above it.
As I begin making myself a bowl and pouring the water into the powdered substance, I hear Michael ask,
“What is that mouth watering smell?” with a moan accompanied after it. I smile to myself and answer,
“Oatmeal. Maple and brown sugar to be exact.” before setting it in the microwave. When I turn I see Michael grabbing all his things and returning them to the fridge. I guess he changed his mind on the nachos, my only question is what is he going to eat instead?
The microwave beeps and Michael opens the door and goes to grab for the bowl.
“Ah! No touchy.” I state, side bumping him away from it. I blow on my fingertips after setting it on the counter and sitting on one of the stools.
“Carol, if you love me you will give me that bowl.” he states.
“Don‘t think so.” I say blowing on the oats in my raised spoon.
“Care bear, please?” he begs, sitting next to me on the other stool and grabbing my wrist. He always did know how to play me. Sighing I reluctantly push my bowl over to him and get up to make myself another.
“Care bear, you are the greatest.” he states with a mouthful. Angela would be gritting her teeth at the sight of him.
“You are just lucky you asked nicely and that I love you.” I answer, placing my new bowl in the microwave.
“Why have I never had this flavor before?” he wonders, sticking another spoonful in his mouth.
Michael is like a little kid I swear. He’s so cute and it’s taking so much for me to not steal a kiss on the cheek. I still feel like he treats me like one of the guys though. What I wouldn’t give for that line between friends and couple to be obliterated. It’s not like I don’t make it completely obvious that I like him and still he seems to have missed it all.
Sitting in my previous seat I can feel my leg brush against his every time I fidget in my seat. As I look up at him I see he’s about done with his bowl and I can’t help but smile.
“You know, what would you do without me?” I tease. He looks up with a smile and answers,
“Starve quite possibly, or lose my mental sanity. One of the two.” before diving into his oatmeal again.
“Become fast friends with your right hand.” I add with a smirk, thinking back to his birthday. He looks up quickly with a puzzled expression on his face.
“What‘re you talking about?” he asks, still staring up at me as he takes another bite. Does he seriously not remember? Well that’s embarrassing.
“Uhm, you don‘t remember apparently but I was in your bed on your birthday.” I start. He furrows his brows with widened eyes as I continue,
“You also got a bit handsy and attempted to make several moves on me.” I end with a smug face.
He clears his throat and with a child like smile looks down at his bowl. There’s a silence in the kitchen for a moment before he finds words again.
“I‘d apologize but I‘m still unsure as to what I‘ve done.” he states sheepishly.
“You should just be thankful it was me and not someone else.” I add with a small laugh. He gives a small smile and says,
“I guess that‘s why you‘re my best friend.” meeting my gaze before returning to the last of his oatmeal. Best friend. There’s that word again. How can I get him to see I want to be more?
At this moment Cal walks down the stairs and greets us, as he grabs another beer while tossing his empty can in the trash. I excuse myself and follow him outside while Mickey rinses his bowl in the sink. As soon as Cal and I are sitting on the steps with the door closed and he lights up, I grab it from him. There’s no alcohol in my system but I need it.
He looks at me bewildered.
“Since when do you smoke without alcohol?” he asks, taking another cig out. I’ve inhaled a good quarter of this one already. As I hold onto the smoke for a moment longer I exhale slowly through my nose. I can feel the release almost instantly and soon I’m smiling.
“Sorry.” I say, looking over at him. He just stares off into the distance and nods slightly.
“Can I ask you something?” I wonder, he shrugs but looks at me. Sighing I look down at the steps and tap the excess ash off my cigarette.
“I think I‘ve made it pretty obvious that I like Michael. But Mickey still doesn‘t seem to get it. Is there a way I can get him to see the picture I’ve painted clearly?” I ask, almost irritated.
As I take another drag I realize I‘ve just demolished any wall I had between Cal and I. Sure word could get back to Michael via Calum, but maybe with my telling him this he’ll open up to me again. I hate this distance he’s cut between us and I miss talking to him. Maybe with my opening up about Michael, he’ll come around with whatever he thinks he can’t trust me with.
Blowing the excess smoke out of my mouth I look over at him. He’s got a smug look on his face as he looks at me with a cheeky smile.
“I knew it.” he says, bringing the cigarette up to his mouth and looking away.
“Shut up Cal!” I scold, stifling back laughter. He’s already started and out come the giggles. We sit like that for a little while, just laughing until the tension that was here earlier has faded completely.
“Well?” I ask. He sighs but answers,
“I think you‘re making this bigger than it is.” with a shrug. My jaw drops slightly.
“Excuse you?” I ask, about to chew his ear off.
“Relax, I just mean that maybe you‘re overreacting. You never know he could just be taking his time. We don‘t really get to flirt and date, two of Michael‘s favorite things besides pizza and video games.” he says, leaning closer to me as though I’m being told a secret. He laughs slightly and I begin to see the logic in his answer.
As I smile in response I can’t help but look up at him again. His gaze meets mine and we share a small smile. Maybe going to him about Mickey was a good thing. Who better to give me advice than his best friend since middle school? As I take another drag off my cigarette I ask him the question I know he probably doesn’t want to hear.
“Can we talk about your catch 22?” I ask almost in a whisper. His jaw stiffens as though he’s clenching his teeth together. I watch the veins in his arms stiffen almost instantly and the ash from his cigarette fly off, as he flicks it off with force. I watch him breathe in through his nose and then exhale slowly before he finally answers.
“It‘s Angela.” he says taking a long drag from his cig. It takes a moment for the words to sink in but when they do, it makes sense.
“When did you realize you like her?” I ask softly. I place my hand on his forearm as a sign of support and he looks off again.
“I knew the physical attraction started the night we went clubbing. But I think I realized I liked her when she started trying to talk or hang out with me. I pushed at first because I didn‘t want to intervene with Ashton. But she‘s so persistent Carol.” he says with a small chuckle. He stares off again with the smile still plastered on his child like face, almost as though he’s remembering a moment they shared. I smile in response and scoot closer to him, leaning my head on his shoulder as my hand drops to my lap.
“You‘re telling me? We‘re talking about the girl who gets me to clean when I don‘t even clean my own room.” I say with a smile. He laughs in response and I feel his hand brush over my left knee before staying.
He shakes his head in response before removing his hand to take another drag.
“I was trying to get her to see I liked her too, but all she sees is Ash.” he says with a sigh. His hand falls on my knee once more. I nod in response, remembering back to Michael’s birthday and him singing to her.
“Carol, I don‘t think she‘s even seen me that way. You‘re who she tells everything to, have I come up once?” he asks, looking directly at me. I see his tired eyes and his disheveled hair. I think even with enough sleep he would still look exhausted. This thing with Angela really is driving him crazy and I can’t help but hug him. His arms wrap around me as mine stay glued around his neck.
“I can‘t give you the answer you‘re looking for. But I do know she sees you just as much as she sees Ash. You‘ve come up a few times in conversation and almost everything she says about you is complimentary. Keep trying Cal, maybe with a push from me you two can do something soon.” I say, releasing him and bringing the last of my smoke up to my parted lips. He looks at my face and searches for signs of deceit. Once he realizes there isn’t any he relaxes and finishes his cigarette too.
“Thanks Carol.” he says after stubbing out the remains of his cig.
“Thank you, Cal.” I reply with a smile before we return inside the house.
When I awake in the early afternoon I still feel really groggy. But decide I should get up or Angela will never let me hear the end of it. Groaning I get out of bed and take one look at my jeans in the closet along with all my shirts. Somehow clothes seem like too much work today. I open my dresser drawer and pull out my onesie immediately changing into it.
As I bound down the stairs I look over at the living room and see Angela is in her onesie as well.
“We‘re twinning it and I haven‘t even been awake for ten minutes.” I tease. She chuckles lightly before saying,
“I just wanted to be comfortable while I lounged around all day.” with a small smile.
“Sounds good, it feels good too.” I reply with a wide smile.
“Oh my god boo stop.” she says with a groan. I giggle in response grabbing a pop from the fridge and plopping down on the sofa next to her.
After the last episode of HIMYM I threw on a chick flick. About ten minutes in she decides she wants popcorn. As we get up and shuffle around the kitchen, I take this as my opportunity to bring up Cal.
“Has Cal said anything to you since they got back?” I ask, already knowing the answer. She gets a woeful look on her face as she taps the popcorn bag on the counter.
“No. It‘s almost been a week Carol, what‘re we going to do? I mean has he talked to you yet?” she asks, with obvious worry in her tone.
“We talked last night actually. I think you two need to hang out more I think he feels like you‘re ignoring him.” I reply. I grab the bag from her and fill our bowl as she looks at me, lost in thought.
“I don‘t think I have been. If anything he‘s been ignoring me.” she states, holding her ground. Smiling I say,
“Well he might just ask to hang out with you and it‘d be in your best interest to say yes.” I say with a smile. She furrows her brows and grabs the bowl as I throw the empty bag in the garbage and leave the kitchen.
She follows and as we sit in the middle of the couch she says,
“You know plenty. Just what did you guys talk about last night?” holding the remote hostage to prevent my resuming the movie. With an obviously guilty smile I say,
“Nothing! We just talked about my feelings toward Mickey.” popping a piece of popcorn in my mouth. Her jaw drops and she hits my arm saying,
“Well spill woman!” I burst into giggles as the guys walk down the stairs.
Angela looks over to them and then back at me mouthing the word,
‘lucky’ I give a smug smile and Michael walks toward the entry.
“Onesie party?” he asks with a smile. I return it and Angela half laughs saying,
“Something like that.” he nods saying,
“Make room, you‘re about to get one more.” before running back up the stairs. I can’t help but laugh in response and Angela chuckles along with me.
Luke and Cal walk in with a drink, glance at us and then do a double take.
“How old are you guys?” Luke asks with a wide smile. Angela and I share a look before I say,
“Five.” proudly and she says almost instantly,
“Shut up, Lucas.” while looking at me and laughing. Cal sits in the chair farthest from Angela, and Luke farthest from me.
Ash after grabbing himself a cup of tea, plops down next to Angela while resting his arm around her as she snuggles into him. He’s stealing pieces of our popcorn when Michael returns downstairs dressed in his pikachu onesie. He sits with a sigh next to me on the couch and puts his arm around me on the back of it. Angela resumes the movie and all throughout it I notice movement in my peripheral view. When I turn to look I always catch Luke sneaking glances at Michael and I. He pretends he’s on his phone whenever I catch him staring. I find it a bit odd he keeps looking our way, but Luke always was the weird one out of the four. I shrug it off and lean into Mickey’s side.
I wonder if Cal is doing the same and sneak a glance at him as well. Just as I thought he’s staring at Angela and Ash who’re also snuggled up together. I’m pissed for Calum and have to refrain from rolling my eyes. I remember my legs are propped up on the sofa and stretch them slightly. Doing this moves Angela slightly and they have to let go to resituate again. Angela of course yells at me for taking over the sofa, but I just smile and shrug in response. I can’t help but see the smile on Cal’s face afterward though.
Angela doesn’t see it yet, but she needs to be with Calum. He knows his feelings toward her and wants to start something. Where as Ashton and her have been having this little thing for a while now and he hasn’t made one solid move toward her, or stated that he’s liked her. I feel like he’s just stringing her along and because she’s so emotionally invested already she doesn’t see it. Maybe a day out with Cal is all she needs.