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Pen Your Pride

When the van arrived home, I was barely able to walk myself into the house before I collapsed in the middle of the hallway, still numb. Louis scoops me up and carries me over to the couch, where he gently sets me down before curling up next to me. What have we gotten ourselves into?

The other boys kick off their shoes and join us in an awkward silence. All of us know that we need to talk about Louis and I’s “relationship”, but none of us knew how to start. Stupid management.

I pulled Louis closer, wrapping my arms around his waist as he lay down in my lap with his head on my chest. This position was so comfortable; it almost made me forget the tension in the room. I buried my face in his hair, inhaling the sweet smell. Yum.

Since when have I thought that Louis smells good? No, guys don’t think that about other guys, especially their straight best friends. I have to remind myself that we are not a couple for real; maybe this mess was just getting to my head.

Liam is the first to speak. “So… guys… how are you feeling? You know, since you announced it? Anything we need to think about?” He looked like he’d rather be anywhere but here with us and our strange situation.

“It was okay, I guess. I saw lots of fans smiling at us or chanting “Larry” up at our table; Simon was right. Maybe this is good for us, maybe we need to stop thinking of this so badly and just live with it and be happy. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to tell everyone the truth someday.” I was feeling a bit more optimistic by now, but mostly I just didn’t want to make Louis feel any more upset than he already was. I didn’t need to remind him about those rude comments.

Looked like Louis had other ideas. “But Haz, what about the ones who didn’t like us anymore? The fans whose faces filled with disgust, who were whispering that they hate us, who left us because we said we’re gay? I know you heard them, don’t deny it, you heard those nasty words about us!” Okay, so he was more worked up than I thought over it. I saw a tear run down his face.

Wiping the tear softly, I turned his face toward me and looked into those lively blue eyes. “It’s okay, Boo. We’ll be okay. The boys know the truth, and management promised us that this is for the better. We’ll always have each other to lean on; you’re not alone. I love you Boo, I’m here, don’t cry. It’s not worth it.” I continued to whisper soothing things to him until his eyes dried up and his smile returned.

I hadn’t noticed, but while I was busy comforting Louis, Niall and Liam had started making dinner. I jumped out of Louis’ arms and ran to the kitchen, just in time to see Niall trying to eat raw pasta and Liam almost burning a perfectly good plate by putting it on the flaming stovetop. Shoving the plate to the side, I snatched the pasta from the leprechaun’s greedy hands, placing it near the plate before turning to look at them.

Niall had a guilty expression, and Liam looked confused. “Why were you guys in here? Were you trying to burn down the house? Wanting a change in scenery, Li? And Niall, you can’t eat raw food! Especially when other people may be wanting some of it when it’s cooked!” everyone knew I was the cook of the house; when anyone else tried it almost always ended up in some sort of disaster.

Louis walked in to ask me why I left, but stopped mid-sentence seeing me ready to tell of Liam and Niall. Shaking his head with a smirk, he went back to the couch.

“Don’t worry about it, guys. I’ll make dinner, just please don’t touch anything and wait for it to be done. Sorry Niall, you’re going to have to wait a little for your precious food, but here’s some crisps to hold you for a bit.” I tossed him a bag of those little snack crisps, and he skipped happily to the table.

I spotted Louis frowning at me across the room, and raised my eyebrow as if to ask what was wrong. “So the leprechaun gets his crisps, but I don’t get any carrots? I see how it is.” He fake pouts and dramatically clutches at the countertop as if he was breaking down. I laugh and pull him upright, opening the fridge and handing him a bag of carrots.

As our hands brushed, I felt a little bit calmer. That was odd, why would the touch of Louis’ skin make me calm? I can’t remember that having any affect on me in the past. Shrugging it off, I turn on the stove that Liam had been using, placing a pot on top and beginning to cook Niall’s pasta.

“Boys, the food is ready, come get-“ four teenage boys scrambling into the table, almost knocking it over in their haste to get a seat, cut me off.

In the middle of our meal, Liam’s phone began to ring. He said it was form Simon and he had to take it, unfortunately. I sighed as he walked into the other room. What a perfectly good way to ruin a meal.

He walked back in, telling Simon that something was all right and he would tell us as soon as he got off the phone. Right as he hung up, Zayn asked, “So? What did Simon need you for?”

“Not just me, he needed to get in touch with all of us and figured I’m the most responsible. Anyway, apparently the public didn’t react as well as management thought, so we need to take a break and get out of the headlines before we can continue recording and being around reporters.”

“And exactly how does he think we can manage that?” asked Louis, “Doesn’t he remember that we live in London? It’s not exactly an easy place to just drop off the map.”

A smile slowly spread across Liam’s face. “You’re right. Which is why Simon and management have decided…” he paused for a dramatic effect, making us all groan. “Come on Liam, tell us!”

“We’re going on a two week group vacation to the middle of nowhere! With our phones and laptops given to Paul so we won’t be tempted to contact the regular world! Well, unless it's an emergency or Simon needs us for something.”

“Liam, why are you looking forward to that? You know that means no contacting our families, or tweeting, or twitcams, or anything involving other people but us five, correct?” Niall had a good point.

Liam’s face fell. “Oh, yeah, I just realized that. How are we supposed to survive two weeks with just us?”

I felt guilty for his sudden depression. “I’m sure we’ll have fun. I mean, we’ve got a prankster, a leprechaun, and a bad boy with us!”

“We’ll see. Still, I’m excited! We get a break together, won’t it be fun?” He took Niall’s hand and led him up the stairs, presumably to start packing.

Packing, right. “Liam? Do I really have to pack right now?” I was definitely not in the mood.

He yelled back down the stairs, “Everyone get packing! Simon says a van will be here to pick us all up tomorrow morning at 8 A.M., so be ready!” Another early morning, great. At least that’s something I can look forward to while we’re gone: no more early wake-up calls! Smiling, I made my way to my room.

Shoving random articles of clothing in a medium-sized suitcase, I zip it up and carry my luggage out front, placing it against the wall by the door. As I walk back in, I yell to Liam that my stuff is ready before pulling off my shirt and trousers.

Climbing into my bed, I pulled the blankets tightly around myself and curled up. I wriggled around, trying to find the most comfortable position to sleep in. Finally feeling satisfied, I stopped moving and closed my eyes, relaxing.

Drifting off to sleep, I could’ve sworn I felt a light touch on my forehead, like a light kiss, and heard someone say they loved me. I tried to fight off the drowsiness, wondering who would’ve come in to kiss my forehead, but I’m just too tired.

The voice claiming to love me, it sounded a lot like… Louis.

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