Chapter 22.

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Niall at 21 weeks

Liam walked into their bedroom to find Niall crying his eyes out on the bed. "Niall." Liam gasped and walked rushed over to him, wrapping him in his arms.

"What's wrong, baby?" Liam whispered, kissing Nialls hair softly and Niall sniffed in Liam's arms. "This is all my fault." Niall sobbed, clinging on to Liam and Liam frowned. "What is?"

"This! Luke! If I hadn't agreed to go out with him all those years ago, none of this would've happened!" Niall snapped and Liam squeezed his eyes shut, pulling Niall tight.

"Ni, none of this is your fault. Luke's just a guy who can't accept that we're happy." Liam soothed and Niall sighed, closing his eyes against Liam.

"Just promise me you'll never me, Liam. Ever." Niall spoke suddenly and Liam frowned at the sudden topic. "Wouldn't even dream of it." He assured Niall and Niall smiled a little at his reassuring words.

Liam opened his mouth to speak when his phone rang in his pocket. Liam groaned and Niall frowned, looking up at Niall. He answered the fall and Niall waited patiently while Liam talked and Niall gave Liam a questionable look when Liam hung up.

"It was Preston. He's arranged a press conference for us at twelve o'clock tomorrow." Liam explained and Niall remained composed again, nodding silently. "Are you sure you wanna do this?" Liam asked, for the hundredth time. "It's not like I have the choice, do I? They're gonna find out sooner or later anyway." Niall shrugged and Liam sighed.

"Yeah, but it's your life. Surely the fans will understand that? Maybe we could contact Luke and get him to change his statement-" Liam stopped dead when he found Niall fast asleep against chest. Liam smiled a little and lay Niall aside on the pillows next to them, throwing a quilt over him and creeping quietly downstairs.

---

Niall moved closer to Liam as they pushed by the crowd of screaming fans. Niall nervously smiled at the girls, a protective hand around his lower abdomen as he entwined his free hand with Liam's fingers. Liam guided into the press conference, a hand now on the small of Nialls back as Niall walked ahead of him.

Preston greeted them and they were both taken up to the front desk. "We need to ask you a question." Preston said and Niall nodded. "Okay, shoot."

"Would you like a witness to be here with you? I mean, we brought your doctor here and that but we thought maybe another witness would help." Preston said and both Niall and Liam looked at each other.

"Harry." They both agreed.

Harry had arrived half an hour later, completely flustered by the amount of fans he had to go through. Niall and Liam were both standing in a corner while paps and journalists took pictures of them. Niall was sure to keep his belly covered with his coat, despite the fact it was nearly one hundred degrees outside. He was wearing one of Liam's oversized t-shirts for good measure as well.

"Bloody hell, it's mental out there." Harry panted, bounding next to them. "Yeah, sorry we had to put you through this, mate. You probably have better things to do." Liam smiled weakly, squeezing Nialls shoulder.

"Actually, it's all right. Louis has another girl over again, so..." Harry shrugged, trailing off mid sentence and Niall rolled his eyes. "So what's this about, then?" Harry raised his eyebrows and Niall smirked as he handed Harry the latest newspaper of him and Liam in the headlines.

"Dammit, that Luke must have a really sad life." Harry mumbled and then looked up at the pair. Niall looked a bit stunned. "You knew it was him?"

"Well, it has Luke written all over it to be honest." Harry answered simply and Niall shrugged. "Fair point."

"All right, what do I have to do then?"

"Tell the truth." Niall answered and Harry's eyes widened in shock and then he saw Nialls doctor standing a few feet away, talking to Preston. "You want me too...?"

"Tell the truth, yes. It's the only way around it. All you have to do is back us up." Niall mumbled and Harry could see just how miserable he looked as he spoke. "Guys do you mind taking your seats?" Preston suggested and they all nodded, sitting down at the platform as they faced a dozen of journalists.

"Your first question is from Elizabeth Downie, columnist of The Telegraph." Preston announced, pointing to a small, brown haired and petite woman standing at the front of the crowd with a notebook and pen in her hand.

"I'm just going to cut to the chaste here because I think we can all agree everybody is dying to know. Is it true you're pregnant?"

"Yes."

Nialls answer was followed by murmurs and anxious whispering. "How can we be so sure you're telling the truth? Your music career expired nearly over a year ago, how do we not know this is your way of getting your way back in? Attention seeking?" Liam's hands bawled into fists under the table at one of the journalists' remark.

"Because knowing what I've experienced these past few months, I wouldn't go through all of this for attention. I wouldn't even go through with it at all, if I had the choice. I don't even want the attention. If I did, I would've done something differently but not this. This is just for Liam and I, this is all we want. A family." Niall assured them, squeezing Liam's hand reassuringly and Liam smiled back in respond.

"You have any proof? After all, male pregnancy is quite literally impossible." A journalist suggested. Niall sighed. He was hoping this question wouldn't come up. He didn't really feel like exposing his ugly, bloated belly. It made him feel self-cautious and insecure.

Niall turned to Liam just after he removed his large coat. "Liam, help me up?" Niall asked hesitantly, clinging on to Liam. Liam narrowed his eyes. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'm sure." Niall said breathlessly and Liam sighed. He stood up, holding on to Liam's arm and he helped Niall up slowly, a hand protective hand covering his bump as he did so. Harry's body tensed as he sat and watched them. Harry couldn't believe how much Niall was struggling and it was only to help him get him out of his chair. It proved how much pain Niall was going through at the moment, how fragile he was.

The room filled with gasped and quiet talk, discussing Nialls baby bump. Liam held on to Niall, bowing his head in shame. When they had taken a few pictures and gotten a clear view of the couple, Liam helped Niall sit back down again.

After having Dr Baxter explaining Nialls full reproductive system (which Niall was a little reluctant too) the couple had gotten most of the journalists to believe that Niall was in fact pregnant. And that was without showing them his pregnancy scan pictures. That was too personal for him and Liam. That was only for their eyes.

Liam and Niall were finally free to go after what seemed like hours, waiting for the journalists and fans to disappear. "You did good today, I'm so proud of you." Liam said, kissing Nialls forehead as Niall took a sip of his water.

"It feels like a big amount of weight has been lifted off my shoulders." Niall admitted and Liam smiled fondly. "That's good."

"I still wanna find that rat bastard and make him wish he was never born." Harry snapped, his jaw clenched. Niall couldn't help chuckling. "Easy, tiger."

"It must been he's back in town then, if he's able to tip off a journalist." Liam added thoughtfully and Harry nodded in agreement. "Yeah, well, he's the least of our worries now. He can't hurt me anymore." Niall said impatiently, sounding a tad annoyed.

"Thank you for coming here, Harry, it means a lot." Liam said politely as Harry stood up. "Anything for you guys." Harry smiled, patting Nialls shoulder and then he left.

"I think we should probably go now too." Liam suggested and Niall nodded as they both glanced at Preston, who was discussing quietly with a second body guard, Paul.

"Yeah. I really wanna sleep. These babies have been practicing their dance moves in my belly all day." Niall admitted and Liam laughed, taking Nialls hand and guiding him out the room.

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