The Story of Us || Harry Styles AU

The truth was, Audrey always dreamt of being where she was now. Always. But never in a million years did she ever think it would happen or that it could happen. Living in the confines of New York City can place anyone in the oddest of circumstances. And the day she walked into that diner, changed her life forever. Being a One Direction fan was for life. But so were the vows she took. It was always him. Forever.
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The moment he met her, he knew. It hit him like a ton of bricks. It was almost surreal to look into a her eyes and know he was going to spend the rest of his life with her. But with Audrey, it was instantaneous. There was no other way to explain it. He wanted to be a better man for her.

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1. [One]


Audrey

New York City – February 18th, 2016

 

The 38th Street Diner was Audrey’s spot. Her own little slice of Heaven. She spent a lot of time in there working on homework, reading or just people-watching out the large windows in front. New York City was a big illustrious place, but she always kept pretty local. She grew up there and for the most part, she’d seen it all.

As she sat at the corner table by the window with her tattered copy of Pride and Prejudice perched between her fingers, her eyes trailed up over the book as the bell on the door jingled when a new patron walked in.

She almost thought her eyes were deceiving her. She thought she was losing her mind. Her heart immediately sped up and all the blood rushed to her face as she watched the guy walk toward the counter and sit down.

Audrey was literally losing it. It couldn’t be. It just couldn’t be.

She stared at the back of his head full of bleached blonde hair, praying she would get another glimpse. She had to know if it was him. When he covertly turned his head to survey the people in the restaurant, she got a good look at him. Their eyes even met for a split second and her breathing caught in her throat. She could have choked on air had she been breathing.

It was Niall Horan – widely known as the loveable Irish cutie from the band One Direction – a band Audrey followed since 2011. She was twenty-one years old and still caught a lot of flak for supporting their band. But she would back them forever. They were on an extended hiatus after just releasing their fifth album Made in the AM and many fans left the fandom thinking it was the beginning of the end for the band, but Audrey was still loyal. And in that moment, there was nothing in the world she wanted to do more than meet the one and only Niall Horan.

She had to take a few deep breaths to relax herself enough to build up the courage to actually approach him. She didn’t want to be one of those rabid fans that ran up to them, gnawing at their legs. She wanted to be casual. She wanted to actually make an impression. Stuff like this doesn’t happen every day.

Audrey quickly packed her book into her purse and threw it over her shoulder as she stood up. She took another deep breath and moved toward the front counter.

“You looking for your check, Audrey?” George, the diner owner, asked her as she approached.

Her focus was solely on Niall and she was totally thrown off by George. Her eyes shot up to the loveable plump man with the thick New York accent who she’d gotten to know well over the years. Out of her peripherals, she saw Niall look in her direction and she immediately felt her cheeks blush.

“Uh… not quite yet,” Audrey said, smiling pleasantly at George.

“Oh. Well, can I get you anything else?” He asked her.

“Uh…” She stammered, quickly looking over at Niall whose vision moved back to the menu in front of him.

“Water. I’ll take a glass of water,” she choked out, feeling the dryness of her mouth.

“Coming right up,” George said happily.

Audrey hesitated slightly, not knowing what to do next. Should she run back to her table and wait for the water? She saw Niall peek over his shoulder at her once again and decided to just plop herself down in the seat she was standing in front of, which just so happened to separate her from Niall Horan by one empty stool between them.

“Here you go, doll face,” George said, smiling as he set the glass of water in front of her.

“Thanks, Georgie,” she said, smiling politely back at him.

“Anytime,” he said before walking back toward the kitchen.

“Looks like you’ve got some pull with the staff,” Audrey heard. It took her a second to process that it was him talking to her. Niall Horan was talking to her.

“Uh… what?” Audrey choked out, looking over at him.

“You must come here a lot,” he rephrased as their eyes met.

Audrey was staring into his bright blue eyes and he was staring right back into hers. Although it wasn’t Niall who she adored all throughout her adolescence, but looking into his eyes now sent a satisfying shiver up her spine.

“I-I do,” she nodded.

“Any suggestions on what to eat?” He asked, sending her a sideways smirk.

“Try our Reuben. You will not be sorry,” George suggested as he came out of the back. Both of their line of vision met up with the big Italian man.

“The Reuben, aye?” Niall asked, smirking at George.

“Audrey hates it, but you look like a guy wit’ some taste,” George told him.

“Audrey? You’re Audrey?” Niall asked, looking over at her.

“I’m Audrey,” she said with a nod. She could feel the heat in her cheeks and she knew she probably looked like a fool.

“Niall. Nice to meet you,” he said, holding out his hand to shake hers. She couldn’t believe this was happening. It was absolutely crazy.

“Nice to meet you,” she said quietly as she shook his hand.

“Well, I’ll have to take your word for it, mate. I’ll have the Reuben. And I’ll take a coke to go with it,” Niall said, turning his attention back to George.

“Coming up,” George told him.

Audrey smirked to herself, biting her lip as she looked at George who gave her a wink and a suggestive head nod toward Niall.

“Anything for you, my dear?” George asked Audrey again.

“No, no. Georgie. Water’s good,” she said, smiling widely at him.

“I’ll get you a piece of chocolate cake – on the house,” he said, smiling at her.

“No, George—” She started to protest.

“Uh-uh-uh. No arguing, Audrey,” he said, holding his hand up.

She shut her lips, knowing she would get absolutely nowhere arguing with him anyway. When George bustled off, Audrey looked over at Niall who was snickering lightly to himself.

“Shut up,” she said with a smirk.

“I didn’t say anything,” he chuckled.

Audrey and Niall sat there for a few moments in silence – it being a completely awkward silence for her, since she knew who he was.

“So, do you live here? I mean, you must if you’re like a local celebrity in here with George,” Niall asked, smirking at her.

Celebrity? Her? Ha. She was just plain-Jane Audrey who grew up in New York City – a little fish in a big pond. She was practically the farthest thing from a celebrity.

“I grew up about two blocks from here. I’ve been coming in here since I was old enough to see over the counter,” she said as she smiled lightly at him.

“Ah,” he said, nodding his head.

“What about you? What are you up to in New York?” She asked, feeling herself blush immediately.

She already knew the answer. She recently heard on tumblr that Niall was in New York to write and record a solo album.

“I’m here for work. I always like coming back. I spent some time here a handful of years back,” he said with a fond smile.

“Aw, that’s nice,” she said with a nod.

She knew that already too. She knew everything. And she felt like a creeper, stalker girl knowing all of this about him. But she couldn’t bring herself to mention she was a fan. It was too perfect, too peaceful. She thought it might be weird. So she didn’t bring it up.

George brought Audrey a ridiculously huge piece of chocolate cake when he brought out Niall’s Reuben sandwich.

“George, I can’t—” Audrey started to protest.

“Uh-uh-uh,” he tutted, wagging his finger at her as he walked away.

“Oh my god,” she said, looking at the massive slice of cake.

“He’s testing you,” Niall snickered.

“Or he’s trying to fatten me up,” Audrey chuckled.

“You might as well eat it. I think you might offend him if you don’t,” Niall said, smirking at her.

“Maybe a few bites,” Audrey said, smiling mischievously at him.

“’Atta girl,” Niall said as he took his first bite of the sandwich.

“So, just how many times in all of the years you’ve been coming here have you actually eaten the Reuben sandwich?” Niall asked her once he chewed his bite.

“I’m not sauerkraut’s biggest fan,” she said with a passive shrug of her shoulders.

“This sandwich is amazing, George,” Niall told him matter-of-factly.

“I’m glad you like it,” George said, beaming a proud smile at him.

“I do. I do,” Niall chuckled, taking another bite.

“To each his own,” Audrey said, taking a bite of her chocolate cake.

Audrey and Niall talked all the while as they ate, finding it pretty easy to carry on a conversation with one another. She really enjoyed herself with him and almost forgot who he was. Almost.

“It was nice talking to you, Audrey. I’ll have to stop in again. If the Reuben is that good, I can’t wait to check out the rest of the menu,” Niall said with a smile as he stood from his stool.

“Yeah, definitely,” Audrey said, feeling her cheeks blush for about the hundredth time in his presence.

“George, thank you so much,” Niall said, throwing down some money onto the counter from his wallet.

“You’re very welcome,” George said, smiling at him.

“I’ll see you around, Audrey,” Niall said with a sideways smirk.

“Yeah, you too,” she said with a nod.

She didn’t want him to go. She really didn’t. But she didn’t know what to say to make him stay. She watched him walk out the door and down the sidewalk until he was out of sight.

“And you didn’t even get his phone number,” George said, clicking his tongue at Audrey.

She shook her head, feeling a little dazed. He was in One Direction – the biggest boy band in the whole world. How in the hell would she ever ask for his phone number?

“That was a meet-cute if I ever saw one. He was into you, girly,” George pressed.

“Was not,” Audrey said, shaking her head again.

“You’re a beautiful young lady, Audrey. Why wouldn’t he have an eye on you?” George asked.

Because he was Niall Horan. Because he was famous and worldly. And because she was just… Audrey.

All she had going for her was the promise that Niall made to come back to the diner and try his luck out on the rest of the cuisine. Maybe she would be lucky enough to meet up with him again. After all, he’d be in New York – for work – for quite some time.

 


Audrey

New York City – March 19th, 2016

 

Audrey couldn’t believe the turn her life took. Niall just so happened to make it back to the diner and Audrey was lucky enough to be there when he did. She supposed luck didn’t really have much to do with it though, since she pretty much made it her mission to spend as much time at the diner as possible in hopes of seeing him again. And then one day he came back… and he remembered her.

The two hit it off right away. Niall was easy to talk to and they soon became friends. And the day Niall asked to exchange phone numbers with her was probably the best day of her life up to that point – especially when he started texting her later that evening.

 

Niall: So you, being a life-long New Yorker, should show me around some time.

Audrey: Yeah?

Niall: Yeah. I’ve been here before, but never really got a chance to see much. Just the basics really.

Niall: I think it would be amazing to see it from a NYC-native’s perspective.

Audrey: Okay. I’m in.

Niall: Tomorrow?

Audrey: Tomorrow. Meet at the diner?

Niall: Does 9 am work?

Audrey: 9 am works. See you then.

 

There was a buzz that wrapped around her as she anticipated her day with Niall Horan. There were so many different places she would like to take him. So many that they probably needed more than one day together to see them all.

Niall was all smiles when he met her at the diner that morning. The two of them ordered breakfast and ate together at the counter, talking with George all the while. And when they finished, the two of them left the diner together while George watched on with a massive smile like a father sending his daughter on her first date. Well, maybe not like that because she was certain her own father would not have a smile on his face as he sent his youngest daughter on a first date.

“So, I want you to take me to your absolute favorite place in all of New York,” Niall told her as they walked down the sidewalk together.

“My favorite place?” She asked him.

“Yes. The place you love most,” he told her.

The first thing that came to mind was her bedroom, but not in any suggestive way. Her bedroom was her absolute favorite place because it was her safe haven. It was comforting and cozy and decorated exactly to her liking. Besides, there might have been a few One Direction pictures peppered around the room that would definitely raise some red flags if she brought Niall there. Plus, she knew it would be incredibly weird to take him to her bedroom, so she brushed that thought off. She’d have to say the diner was her second favorite spot, so she’d have to take him to her third.

“You have a spot in mind?” Niall asked her.

“I do,” she said with a smile.

The two of them headed for the nearest subway entrance and took the stairs down.

“So I have something to tell you… to confess actually,” Niall told her apprehensively.

“Ohh-kay,” she said, looking at him skeptically.

“I kind… I’m kind of, I don’t know, famous,” he told her.

Ah,” she said quietly, nodding her head. Now was the time. She had the perfect opportunity to tell him she was a fan.

“I’m in a band,” he told her.

“I know,” she told him as her stomach turned, hoping things weren’t about to get weird between them.

“You know?” He asked with a smile.

“One Direction,” she said evenly.

“Yeah,” he said, giving her a sideways smile.

“Yeah,” she said as the two of them swiped their train tickets and moved out onto the platform to wait for the train.

She didn’t elaborate on how she knew and he didn’t ask. He seemed a bit relieved that he didn’t have to explain and she liked that. She wanted to treat him as normally as possible, because he was. He was just a nice, normal dude, and she really liked that.

After taking the train downtown, Audrey guided them to a large Victorian-Goth building in the heart of Greenwich Village. It was the Jefferson Market Library – a building with a fascinating history going back to the 1800’s.

“Wow,” Niall said, looking up at the massive building.

“The building itself is a wonder to look at. It’s just so beautiful. C’mon, the architecture – it’s just… wonderful,” Audrey told him.

“It’s quite nice,” Niall agreed, smiling over at her.

“It’s beautiful and historic,” she elaborated.

“It is beautiful,” Niall said, looking at her instead of the building.

“I mean, I suppose it isn’t something as amazing as like, an Irish castle or whatever…” Audrey said, pursing her lips at him, causing Niall to let out a laugh.

“Who said anything about Irish castles?” Niall chuckled.

“I don’t know. I just feel like whenever someone from Europe comes over to America they’re completely underwhelmed by our lack of history,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.

“I’m not underwhelmed at all,” Niall told her.

“Fun fact: it used to be the village courthouse and there was a women’s detention center right next to it – where that garden is now,” she said point out a few facts.

Fun fact, aye?” Niall said, smirking wildly at her.

“I find it fun,” she said with a laugh as she started walking toward the entrance. And Niall quickly followed behind her.

As the two of them made their way inside, Audrey continued the guided tour, making sure to lower her voice because… library, duh.

“I just love… I just love the ambiance. I mean, it’s big and it has the old library smell and there’s just… there’s lots of light. I love coming here to study… obviously when I’m not studying at the diner,” Audrey gushed about the old building.

“Obviously,” Niall said, smiling at her.

“C’mon. I’ll show you my favorite nook,” Audrey told him as he followed her up the large staircase toward the adult reading section.

“This place is massive,” Niall said as he looked around in awe.

“I know. I love it,” she told him excitedly.

Once upstairs, the two of them walked down a large aisle before she stopped to show him her spot – a corner of the library with a couple small desks and two well-worn green arm chairs smack dab in the History section.

“I love history,” Niall told her with a huge smile on his face.

“So do I. I would have majored in it if I could use if for more than becoming a high school History teacher,” she scoffed.

“What are you majoring in?” He asked curiously.

“Communications,” she said with a blush.

“Wow,” he said.

“Yeah. I know, I know. I am the least likely candidate for a communications major. I can barely get two sentences out half the time and I am remarkably shy and awkward,” she laughed, taking a few digs at herself.

“You’re completely mad, you know that?” Niall laughed out loud.

“What?” She laughed.

“You’re none of those things,” he told her.

“Well, you haven’t really gotten to know me all that well then. Don’t you remember how incredibly awkward I was when we first met?” She asked.

“No,” he laughed.

“Oh, shut up,” she laughed.

“You were perfectly fine,” he told her, sending her an odd look.

“Whatever,” she scoffed, shoving his shoulder.

“I’m serious. I’ve met a lot of people and you we’re completely normal, believe me,” he told her sincerely.

“Ha. Well, I’m glad my awkwardness is less noticeable than I thought,” she chuckled.

“So, c’mon. Teach me something about History,” Niall said, plopping down in one of the green armchairs.

“Yeah?” She asked, smiling from ear-to-ear.

“Yeah,” he said, patting the arm of the open chair.

“Okay. American or European?” She asked as she quirked an eyebrow.

“American,” he told her.

“Okay. Uh. Did you know that the legal separation of America from Great Britain actually took place on July 2nd? But it wasn’t until the 4th that the four-father’s signed the Declaration of Independence? So, in all honesty, I’m not sure why we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence instead of the actual date of the independence. Historian have actually said the 2nd was supposed to be the day celebrated, but the American people just went off the date on the Declaration of Independence instead. Which in my opinion makes us as a country look kind of stupid,” Audrey explained and Niall let out a laugh at the end.

They spent the next hour engulfed in historical conversation, Niall chiming in with many, many Irish facts, opposite of Audrey’s extensive knowledge on America.

They got along almost better than Audrey ever thought they would and she was so happy to have found a friend in him that it sometimes kept her up at night with wonder and anticipation for their next adventure together.

 


Audrey

New York City – March 22nd, 2016

 

Audrey didn’t see Niall for three days after she took him to the library. She supposed he was busy and hoped he might be able to find the time to hang out again soon. And then, as if she dreamed him into fruition, the tiny bell on the diner door chimed and Niall Horan was standing there in all his bleached blonde glory, looking carefully around at the patronage in the moderately filled dining room. When his eyes met hers, she felt her stomach turn as excitement flooded her.

His smile was a mile wide when he caught a glimpse of her. His feet immediately took him to her and he sat down across from her at her table.

“Hi,” he said, the smile never leaving his face.

“Hi, how are you?” Audrey asked, with a smile that more than matched his.

“I’m… I’m well,” he told her.

“Good. I’m glad,” Audrey told him.

“How… how are you?” Niall asked.

“Uh, great,” she said as she closed the text book in front of her.

“Did I… I didn’t mean to interrupt your schoolwork,” Niall told her.

“No, no. It’s fine. I’m almost finished anyway,” Audrey told him.

“Okay. So, uh. I have some mates coming into town…” Niall began.

“Okay,” she said, wondering why he felt the need to tell her that.

“And uh, Harry, he’s having a show,” Niall told her.

“Harry Styles?” Audrey said, trying as hard as she could not to squeal out his name. Thee Harry Styles? Be still her heart.

“Yeah. He’s got a solo show. Just a small gig in a couple of days,” Niall told her.

“Oh, that’s cool,” Audrey told him, trying to play it cool.

“I was wondering if maybe you wanted to tag along,” Niall asked her.

“Tag along?” Audrey asked as her heart nearly skipped a beat. Tag along to one of Harry Styles shows? Yes, please.

“Mm-hmm,” Niall confirmed.

“That sounds great, Niall,” Audrey said with a smile.

“Brilliant. I think Louis will be there too,” Niall told her.

“Oh, cool,” Audrey said with a wide smile.

“Well, I uh, I don’t want to keep you from your work,” Niall told her.

“Oh, no…” Audrey started to protest.

“We can uh, meet up somewhere, or I can pick you up here for the show?” Niall offered.

“Whatever you want,” Audrey told him.

She would literally go along with whatever he wanted to get to go to a Harry Styles show. She was so entirely excited and it took all that she had not to let out a screech right in front of him. If it wasn’t already her life, she’d sure as hell be envious of the person living it.

 

                                                     

This story, in it's original format, jumped around from time-frame to time-frame, memory to memory, which at times got a bit confusing, so I've decided to put it in date order. The point-of-views will change, so make sure to look at the name at the top of each section. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing/editing it. Let me know what you think!

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