22 - Ice cream and gelato

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"You'll never feel like you're alone, I'll make this feel like home."  

"Juni, I miss you." Harry sounds tired at the other end of the phone. He's yawned three times already in the last ten minutes and although I know I should tell him to go and nap or something, selfishly I don't want to let him go just yet.

"Not long now." I smile. There are twenty-eight days to be precise. Twenty-eight days until I leave Australia and immerse myself in Harry's world, and I've been all but bouncing off the walls since Luca said yes.

It almost seems too good to be true. Did I really get my best friend back and get the opportunity to go on tour with him? Sometimes I can't help but feel like I'm waiting for the moment that I wake up. Or the moment when Harry realises his life was better off without me in it.

And then there are other times when I'm so excited, I could pee.

"Are you going to get ice-cream withdrawals, being away from work for so long?"

I roll my eyes and swing my legs up onto the sofa. "It's gelato, you goose." Harry knows this, I've only told him twenty times since I answered the call. There was no hello from his end, just a point blank question - yes or no?

"I know." He snickers. "I just like winding you up."

I roll my eyes but for a moment, it's almost like he's in a house just around the corner; sat on his own sofa with his own legs tucked up. In the same country and the same time zone. Even four thousand air miles apart, I still feel close to Harry. To my best friend. The realisation makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and despite Penny and Eve's words attempting to resurface in my brain, I just want to hold onto that for as long as humanly possible.

"If you think you're going to get to spend thirty-eight days winding me up, then you have another thing coming." I warn, even though I know full well that I'd let Harry wind me up every single day, for twenty-four hours, as long as it meant I got to spend time with him.

"But why else would I have invited you?" He retorts, sounding genuinely baffled. "You didn't think I actually wanted to spend time with you, did you?"

I roll my eyes again. He is such a turd.

But I can't complain, not really. Because I might not have had this at all. I might have still been the girl with the grudge, pining over the British boy. I'd take this Harry over my non-existent Harry any day.

"If we're being honest," I smirk. "I'm just in it for the free stuff."

Harry gasps and I have to stifle a laugh.

"Take it back!" He demands breathlessly. He knows I'm kidding but the guy is too God Damn good of an actor. "Take it back, Juniper."

I grin; my lips stretching across what feels like the entire lower half of my face. If Eve were here she'd say - why're you grinning like a drongo? But Eve's not here. I've still not spoken to her since her overly extended lunch break at the Gelato Store.

Given my track record for holding a grudge, I know I should nip this in the bud and make amends. But she'll only want to talk about the one thing I really don't want to. And if I'm going to be spending more than a month with Harry, I need my brain clear of that crap or else I'll not be able to function around him.

"Juni?" Harry's no longer breathless and appalled and I realise I've probably been silent at the other end of the phone for a while now. "You still there?"

"Still here!" I reply quickly. Maybe a little too quickly. A little too frantically.

"What's up? You got cold feet already?"

"No way!" I retort. Never.

"Something's up." He presses. "I know something's up, Juni. What is it?"

It's like Harry's an extra part of me; as if he can feel everything I'm feeling too.

"It's nothing, really." I try to say convincingly and pull at the bobbles on one of my knitted cushion covers. "I'm just thinking about what I need to pack."

It's not really a lie. Not a big one anyway. In fairness, I do need to think about what I'm going to pack. Thirty-eight days worth of clothes, toiletries...

"If we're talking about clothes then I say don't pack a thing. If you're anything like Gemma or Lou or Lottie, or any of the girls that have come on tour with me - you'll buy a month's worth of clothes while you're in America." Harry laughs.

And I laugh too, because for now, the true reason behind my brief silence remains undiscovered. 

I'm well aware that if Harry's my best friend, I should be able to tell him anything. I should be able to say - hey, you remember my friend Eve? She said something I didn't like and we haven't spoken in days. But I can't say that, because that would have to be followed up with the reason why. And I'm sure as hell not prepared to open that can of worms. Not in a million years.

Harry yawns again and I can't help but picture him as ten year old Harry. Fluffy haired, pokemon loving, ten year old Harry. My heart swells a little bit.

"You should go to bed, Harry." I try to say in my most authoritative voice, despite the fact I haven't got a clue what time it is where he's calling from. "You need to get as much sleep in as possible so that you'll be ready for my highly anticipated arrival in a mere twenty-eight days."

I smirk at my suggested sense of self-importance but Harry doesn't laugh or even make a joke in response. Instead, he says "I'd stay up all night if it meant I got to speak to you, Juni."

I almost choke on my own saliva. There's something wrong with my insides; my stomach is knotting and churning and somersaulting and my chest feels tight. This isn't normal. It cannot be normal for my body to respond in such a way to Harry's words. Damn, Eve. Damn Penny. My face is hot and I'm holding the phone so tightly against my ear that my fingers are going numb.

Why does Harry say these things? What is Harry really trying to say? Am I reading too much into this? What the flaming hell is happening?

"Anyway," Harry continues, thankfully completely unaware of my breakdown at the other end of the phone. "I think I am going to call it a night. I'll speak to you tomorrow, Juni." There's the sound of a doona being shuffled about in the background and then"oh, and Juni?"

"Yeah?" I squeak.

"Only twenty-eight days until I see my best friend again!"

And just like that, I can't help feeling that I've gone from being something a little more - to being back in the friend zone. 

author's note: Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts :) 
 I've been having a bit of a mental time of it at work and bringing a lot of work home with me too, so apologies for the ridiculous delays between updates.

 For the first time ever, I've still not chosen an actress for Juni but I kind of like the fact that in a previous author's note comments -- you guys were all picturing her as someone else. So I think I'm going to leave it that way.

 Remember Me is nowhere near finished but my brain can't resist and I've already started brainstorming ideas for my next Harry fic. I came to accept long ago that I just CANNOT write Harry AU. My only decent fanfics that I've actually stuck with and completed are non-AU so my next one will be the same. I think I have a final idea but I'm not sure when I'll post any of it so stay tuned for that! I may post the title and blurb in an upcoming chapter...

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