Prompt: Niall feels like he might just end up cracking under the pressure at this point.
It starts the same way every night. Niall curls up in his bunk or bed, depending on how far they need to travel to get to the next venue, and he curls up around his mobile, waiting for it to ring, waiting for the onslaught to occur.
If anyone were to ask, which they won’t because Niall would rather die than have anyone else know, Niall has no clue how this all started. It went from being so wonderful to be on tour with the boys and has turned into this system of events that Niall doesn’t even know how to handle.
The first time his dad calls him, Niall’s pressed against Louis, laughing with him about the glitch in a video game that they’re playing. He’s still laughing as he pulls away from Louis and climbs over Harry to answer his phone. “Hello, dad,” Niall says cheerfully and he’s met with a huff that instantly states that he needs to leave the room because whatever his dad has to say is not going to be pleasant.
He sneaks off to his bunk and sits down in his bunk as his dad starts screaming in his ear, cussing him out about their most recent interview. “I don’t give a shit if your friends are homo faggots but I will not have my son be one, Niall!” The first time his dad says this, Niall flinches but he doesn’t say anything because if he knows his father, and he knows his father, responding to his shouting in any way whatsoever will just destroy every last bit of their relationship and that’s not something Niall’s willing to risk. He just sits there and listens to his father, flinching and wincing at every curse that’s spat at him, at every derogatory statement that’s made about him or his mates but he doesn’t dare say a word. When his father’s finished, he hangs up the phone, tucks it beneath his pillow and goes back out to the boys, curling up against Louis again.
It keeps happening just like that for a week until Niall realises that it makes so much more sense to just stay in his bunk or bed and wait for the call rather than have to pull away from the boys every single day, so that’s what he does. Every night of tour now, he’s been pressed against a pillow, clinging to his mobile until it buzzes, and only then does he sit up and listen silently to his father scream at him about his behaviour, about how he’s not having any of this queer business and about how Niall needs to straighten himself out before he gets home or else.
It’s not that he starts pulling away, because if he did that then the others would be on him about it before he could even manage to do so, but Niall starts to break. He starts to feel sick to his stomach every time he’s pressed up against Liam or whenever Zayn hugs him because all he can think about is those words and how much a disappointment he must be to his family, to his father, because of who he is.
His father’s never been happy with the way that he’s chosen to go about life. Niall was never like Greg; he never managed to get any awards for footie and his grades weren’t the best, but he did try. His father just didn’t see that and in the end it really didn’t matter. Niall remembers that when he told his father he was going to try out for X Factor, he was responded with a, ‘you’d better not be turning into a fag on me boy.’ In general, his mum’s always been the one that relates to Niall, but it’s really never been a problem until now.
Now, the stress of these nightly phone calls has wound up inside of him and Niall feels like it’s just waiting for the chance to burst, to explode everywhere in the most destructive way it can. And Niall doesn’t want that. He’s not self-deprecating by any means and he’s never felt destructive like this, so these emotions are something he doesn’t handle, doesn’t process. He just buries them beneath his calm demeanor and focuses on pointless jokes about footie and games and food because that’s all he can do.