Chapter Five-What's going On?

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Niall didn't understand why Liam was still there. He didn't understand why He was still holding Niall in his arms as though the blonde boy deserved to be held. He didn't know why Liam hadn't run off in disgust to tell the teachers, or to make fun of Niall to his friends. Why was the boy still here?

Niall felt minor relief when Liam pulled away. Not only had the hug been hurting his arms, but Liam pulling away returned Niall to some sense of normality. He was useless and unwanted, and he couldn't let a couple of extra seconds in Liam s embrace make him forget that. It was unlikely Liam Even knew his name. He had only helped Niall Because he had been repulsed by the blood and had needed it to stop. Not everybody was as strong stomached as Niall when it came to the sight of blood. Niall needed to remember that while Liam had seemed nice in the moment, there would be no reason for the boy to continue being nice.

Liam held out a hand, still kneeling on the ground in front of Niall. "I'm Liam. Who are you?"

"I'm-" Niall was about to respond when the bell ring and he completely changed gears, pulling his hoodie on at the fastest possible speed. "Late to meet a friend." He finished, rushing out of the bathroom.

Niall cursed himself as he ran, hoping to get to Louis' classroom before he got suspicious. Luckily, he had always been a fast runner, and he was only a few seconds later than normal. Louis was just walking out of class when Niall arrived, and it would have passed off as a normal day except for one thing.

Louis' eyes widened as he saw Niall. Or, more accurately, the scene unfolding behind Niall. It was hard to tell that Niall had been running, but Liam Payne was a totally different story. He was rushing down the hallway, several meters behind Niall. And it was fairly obvious who he was in pursuit of.

"Niall, why is Liam Payne following you?" Louis asked bluntly just as Liam came to a stop behind Niall.

"Ah! So Niall is your name!" Liam exclaimed between gasps. Louis was minorly amused at how much better conditioned Niall was than one of the star sports players at the high school. The blonde boy was hardly out of breath at all.

"You don't even know his name?" Louis exclaimed, utterly confused as to wjat was going on. Why was Niall being chased by one of the most popular guys in school, and why was Liam chasing a boy He didn't even know the name of?

"Niall, do you wanna come over after school today?" Liam asked, giving Niall a pointed look that Louis didn't understand. What was with these two? And why was Liam ignoring him? No one ignores Louis Tomlinson.

"What is going on here?" He exclaimed in annoyance. But Niall only pulled Louis away by his arm.

"I'll be there Liam." He agreed, nit knowing any other way to escape the situation. And that had been o be if the worst situations he had gotten himself into. A boy who knew what he did talking to a boy who would never look at him the same if he knew. The risks in that situation were way too high. He had just needed to get out.

"What is going on?" Louis complained as Niall dragged him off, away from Liam. Niall mentally cursed. He may have gotten Louis away from Liam, but that wasn't hoing to stop the boy from wanting to know. He made a mental note to add that to his list that night. One for being so stupid. Just the mere thought of vutting made his wrists itch in anticipation. Sometimes he thought he would be able to stop if the pain didn't feel so good. By like scratching an itch, cutting provided a relief Niall was unable to find anywhere else. Even if the relief was only temporary.

"I really don't want to talk about it Louis." Nialltried the excuse, know I.g full well It wouldn't work as he typed in his locker combination, careful not to let the motion displaced his jacket sleeves.

"Niall, you know you can tell me anything. I won't judge. What's going on?" Louis pressed.

Niall knew He wasn't going to be able to sidestep the question. So he did something he had become insanely good at over time. He stepped back to assess the situation from a different angle. He tried to think of what he would assume had happened if *Louis had been the one Liam had chased after And neither would tell him what was going on. He would likely assume that either someone Louis didn't like had kissed Louis and was now chasing him, or that Louishad kissed a straight man and ran off without explanation. It was just what would have come to mind if he had seen the situation. And using this, Niall was able to come up with a lie that he hoped would be believable.

"I kissed him." Niall mumbled staring at the ground. He hated himself for lying, especially to his best friend, but at times like these it was necessary.

Louis stopped dead in his tracks, not walking another step. Traffic in the hallway soon adapted to flow around his small form. "You did what?" He exclaimed, getting a few odd looks from the students passing by. But everybody was in too much of a hurry to get to class to stop and question him.

"Shut up Louis. We''ll talk in class, okay?" He grabbed Louis' arm, pulling him down the hallway. He vould feel people's eyes following them, and he knew the question that was hanging on everybody's lips. Niall hated being the center of attention, and walked a bit closer to Louis, shying into him. Louis, having known Niall for a very long time, knew the blonde boy needed comfort and allowed the extra contact. Unluckily for them, after the outburst in the hallway and Nialls New "affection" towards Louis, many people started to get the wrong idea. It wluld take weeks to quell the rumors that somethong was going on between Louis and Niall, and that would cause the blonde boy much grief. But that is a story for another time, as both boys were, at this time, blissfully oblivious to these rumors.

It disnt take them too long to get to their History class, one of the few classes they shared. And only minutes into the lesson, Niall found himself with a note on his desk.

Spill. What happened with you and Payne? Why disnt he know your name? What happened?!?

Niall bit his lip, looking up at the teacher who was droning on about the French revolution. I mean seriously, isn't this English history, not French? So, against the sense that it was wrong, Niall began to write a reply, silently representing himself. He would just add another cut tonight. One for not following the rules.

I've been having feelings for this boy lately (it isn't Liam) and it was really confusing me, because I thought I was straight. So I was having this breakdown in the bathroom and Liam comes in and starts hugging me and trying to comfort me. And I just had to know how it felt to kiss a boy, so I kissed him. Now he wants an explanation and I can't really deny him one.

Niall slipped the note onto Louis' desk without trouble. The teacher seemed really absorbed in the subject. Niall really couldn't fathom how. This subject baffled him to no end. He told him self to remember to add a cut for not understanding thay night.

It took Louis next to no time to get another note on Nialls desk. He carefully unfolded the paper.

So you don't have feelings for Payne? For who then? And if your ever questioning your sexuality again, I'm here for you. I probably would even kiss you if I had to. Please don't take out your curiosity on innocent strangers.

Niall hated himself. Even the lies he made up made him sound like a bad person. But he forced himself to respond to the note with some degree of cheerfulness.

Thanks. You're a great friend.

Niall just hoped that Liam would play along. Little did he know, the conversation Liam and Harry were having was hoing much the same way as his conversation with Louis went.

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