5SOS one shots (boys x Reader)


23. Nonexistent

Ashton’s never woken up without a pounding headache – today’s no different. He knows it’s not good for him, not good for the band’s image and shite, but he can’t help it. Every time he thinks he’s going to be okay, something comes and smacks him in the face and laughs – saying he’ll never be okay. Alcohol numbs the pain, the drugs are just fun. He can’t help himself anymore. It’s routine.

His head pounds and he can hear rain pattering against the windows. He groans; doesn’t know where he is but it feels like he’s been asleep for far too long and he’s proven right when his eyelashes stick together and his mouth is so dry that it actually hurts to open. He takes in a deep breath – there’s the smell of the ocean lingering around the room; a room that he finds to be completely unfamiliar once he opens his eyes. Four walls, a wardrobe in the corner, ceiling-to-floor mirror and the window – it’s pouring rain – and there’s someone in the corner, sat in an arm chair with a book in her hands.    


“Where am I?” He croaks out and it’s so soft and pathetic but she hears him. Looks up from her book, using her finger as a page stopper as she gets to her feet with a smile on her face.    


“Somewhere safe,” the girl answers with that same smile on her face. It would be comforting in any other situation – hell, he would probably even be trying to pull her but. He’s so fucking confused.   


Ashton blinks, tries to get sit up but his body’s so bloody weak and his ribs hurt and his leg kills. He only manages to half-heartedly prop himself up on his elbows, blinking hard again but the action just makes his head pound more so he gives up – letting his body fall back onto the bed. ”Who’re you?”   


The girl brings the duvet back over his shoulder, book still in her other hand. “Y/N.”   


“Where am I?” He asks again, only he never gets an answer because he’s slipping back into a temporary state of unconsciousness.    


- - -   


He had this same dream last night – a memory, he reckons – but he never really knows what’s happening because everything’s blurry. He knows it’s after he’s been to that one house party, after he’s had four shots in a row and smoked two blunts with random strangers at the party, but he doesn’t know what comes after.   


His leg’s killing him, still. Kind of wants to cut it off with a butter knife – he’s sure it’ll hurt less than it’s hurting now.    


The girl – Y/N – she’s walking into the room he’s in when he wakes up. He smells food, but it’s making him more sick than anything. “Hey,” she greets softly. “Hungry?” She asks, though she offers the glass of water instead of the plate of food that she’s got in her other hand.    


Ashton sits up – or, tries to. He manages to get himself into a semi-upright position, back leaning against the headboard and he’s heaving like he’s just run a 10k marathon instead of just sitting up in bed. Downs the glass of water in a couple of gulps and the world stops feeling like a giant hamster wheel that’s constantly spinning.    


“Here,” she says then, handing him the plate. “I’ll get you more water, yeah?"    


"Where am I?” Ashton asks again, for the third time, he thinks. He takes the plate from her though, picking up a piece of toast slathered in vegemite and takes a small bite – only to start devouring the three other pieces and then the scrambled eggs like he’s a man who hasn’t eaten in weeks. It feels like it – like he hasn’t eaten in weeks.    


Y/N comes back with the glass refilled and Ashton raises a brow. “You’re somewhere safe.”   


He looks around again. The walls are white, they’re bare. There’s no pictures, no posters, no nothing. He pauses mid-sip of his water, “Fucking hell,” he murmurs; pulls the glass away from his lips and then he’s narrowing his gaze over at the girl. “I’m in rehab, aren’t I? The boys always said they’d send me here. Fucking dicks.“    


"The boys care about you,” Y/N says and her voice is melodic, really, but he doesn’t want to hear it now, especially since the speech he knows is coming – ”they care about you,“ or ”they just want you to get better,“ or maybe even, ”they love you. ‘s why they’re doing this.“ So Ashton says nothing at all. Just settles on glaring at her even though, really, she’s not done anything to purposely wrong him.    


But he waits for the speech and it doesn’t come. He frowns, looks at her, only to see that she’s settled back into the chair and is reading her book again, “What?” He asks, and she looks up. “No speech?” Ashton drawls out sarcastically.    


Y/N blinks at him curiously, “Why would I want to give you a speech?”   


"Aren’t you rehab people supposed to give shit speeches? How I shouldn’t depend on alcohol to numb the pain anymore or some other shit like that?"    


"You seem to know the speech pretty well. And who ever said I’m a part of this rehab people – whoever they are?” She smiles, raising a brow, maybe even laughing a little at the end of her question.    


Ashton snorts, “So if I walk out of here right now –” he points to the open door. “– you won’t stop me?”    


She shakes her head, “Why would I? You can barely walk anyway.”   


"I’ll fucking crawl if I have to.”   


"Go ahead.”   


“I will,” Ashton says determinedly, chin tilted up in defiance.   


Y/N nods, “Okay.”   


He glances out the window. It’s still pouring rain. He turns his attention back to the girl still in the chair, “I’ll go once the rain stops.”   




- - -   


The rain doesn’t let up and Ashton’s leg is still hurting like a motherfucking bitch. Y/N doesn’t say anything about him not even being able to leave his bed. She comes in the room every now and again, filling up his glass of water, giving him a book (“in case you get bored”) and that was it.    


He’s so confused.   


- - -   


Y/N’s pulling on a hoodie when she comes in the room next. Ashton’s not doing anything – just clenching his jaw and glaring at the ceiling, wishing the pain would stop. “Hey,” she says, and Ashton’s instantly snapping his head to the side to look at her.   


“Don’t you have something – for the pain? Anything?” He pleads, asking for a second time because he asked before and she’d said no. She shakes her head again. “Seriously? Not even a fucking paracetamol or something?”   


"Sorry, mate,” she shakes her head again. “I’m off now. You’ll be okay for the night, yeah?”   


Ashton frowns, “You’re leaving?” She nods. “Why? Aren’t you supposed to, like, watch over my 24/7 or summat? Make sure I don’t drink or take anymore drugs or smoke anymore weed or some shit like that?”   


Christ,” Y/N laughs. “You actually believe this is rehab. It isn’t, though. And I’m going, so, like. You’ll be okay, yeah?” She waits for an answer and when Ashton nods, she’s smiling at him and then walking out the door.    


He’s so, so confused.   


- - -   


Ashton finds himself wanting to be around Y/N more. Finds himself watching the front door – after he manages to heave himself out of the bed – more often that not, waiting for it to open and have Y/N walk in with that damn smile on her pretty face.    


It’s barely been a week, but he’s found that the pain’s numbed. Not the pain in his leg – but the pain in his everywhere else. The one that made him resort to alcohol and drugs, just so he could not feel it as strongly as he currently was feeling it. It’s her – she’s numbing this pain inside him by just being around, by talking to him and asking him questions about his life. Not the ones that he’s used to hearing – ”how was touring with One Direction likeYou’ve met (insert famous person here) haven’t youWhat’re they like?” – but she asks about the places he’s been to, about how he spends his time back home with his family, how much he loves his little siblings and his mum and would give anything, everything, in the world to make sure they’re happy.   


It’s reminding him of who he used to be, before the alcohol tainted his blood, before the drugs swam in his veins. Reminds him of how he used to be able to not be affected by the things people said (you’re ugly, you can’t even sing, you’re just the odd one out, 5sos are better off without you), reminds him of how he’d always been able to be the strong one for his boys – for his little brothers – because he’s got to take care of them.    


Y/N’s doing this. She’s reminding him of who he used to be without even really trying, and he can’t help but look at her and wonder where the fuck she came from because she’s beautiful and she’s funny and she’s fixing him – piece by piece, fragment by fragment – probably without even knowing. 


 - - - 


 She stays the night this one night – when Ashton trips over a flat surface and fucks up his already fucked up leg. He told her to sleep in his bed because he wasn’t about to let her sleep on the lounge that he knows is going to give her the worst backaches (he’d fallen asleep there on night, whilst watching the door, waiting for her to suddenly show up even though she hadn’t once shown up after she left, until it was the next day).    


And it’s three weeks in and he feels like he’s floating, like he’s as high as a kite when he hasn’t smoked a blunt in fuck knows how long, because he’s finally kissed her and her lips are as soft as he thought they would be. They’re on the bed and he’s laying half on top of her and he’s kissing her so softly, so slowly and he’s savouring every second. Her fingers thread through his hair and the other hand goes under his shirt, on his back, and he loves the feeling of it.   


Y/N’s lips fit perfectly against his and her skin’s soft under the rough pad of his thumb, and he never wants to stop kissing her.   


- - -   


When he wakes up, the sunlight’s pouring through the window and he can’t help the smile that comes unto his lips. He turns to look at Y/N – tell her that the sun’s finally out – but she’s already looking back at him with that beautiful smile on her face that he can’t help but kiss her again. And again. And again. And again.   


- - -   


Ashton hasn’t woken up without a pounding headache in a long time – this time is no different. There’s this annoying sound, to his right, a constant rate of beeps or something – like someone’s set a timer for something and then decided to leave it right by his ear. He pries his eyes open, forces them to because his eyelashes are stuck together again. There’s no timer beside him.   


He’s in another unfamiliar room and this feels so much like déjà vu but, like, not really, at the same time. 


 "Ashton,“ comes a voice he recognises – it’s Luke’s voice – to his side and the older boy is slowly turning his head to look at him. "Oh fuck, you’re okay. Thank fuck you’re okay. You fucking scared us, mate,” and then the youngest boy is wrapping his arms tightly around his shoulders, then there are two other pairs of arms wrapping around him, too, though their actions are soft and cautious – like they’re all afraid that Ashton’s going to break.    


“What happened? Where am I?” He asks, blinking slowly and again: he feels like he’s done this before.   


The arms retract. “Hospital in Boston, bro,” Michael answers.   


“What?” He frowns. “Why?"    


"You were, um. Car accident. You fucked up your leg pretty bad and no one ‘cept for you got hurt, so,” Luke answers, a hand on his shoulder, rubbing it in what he assumes to be a reassuring manner.   


“Where is she?” Ashton finds himself asking. His voice is croaky and his throat kills, but he needs to know. He tries to sit up, but he ends up groaning because his ribs hurt and it actually hurts to breathe.   


They’re watching him with furrowed brows. “Where is who, Ash?”   


“Y/N,” he says, brows furrowing, too. “Where’s Y/N?”   


“Ashton – ” Michael starts, exchanging glances with the other two. “We don’t know anyone named Y/N. You don’t know anyone named Y/N.”   


Ashton’s brows knot together tighter, “Yes I do. I spent, like, a month with her. Where is she? I need to see her –where is she?”   


"Ashton…” Calum trails off this time. “Ashton, you’ve been in a coma for a month. This is the first month-long break that we’ve gotten since we went on that first tour with One Direction. None of us have even heard the name Y/N before.”   


"But – ”   


“She’s not someone you’ve met before, let alone spent a month with. Y/N doesn’t exist, Ash.”

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