Chapter 8 ~ Little Bird

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The band's time in Spain had not gone quite like they had expected.  They had had a brilliant time, of course, but their "holiday" in southern Europe had, for the majority, consisted more of strenuous hours of vocal lessons and song rehearsals rather than the anticipated time spent lying in the sun.  Most mornings, they were up before eight- something Zayn and Louis were not particularly pleased about- and were fast asleep no earlier than two in the morning, although that had more to do with the fact that Louis, Harry, and Liam chose to devote the late hours of the night to Pixar movie marathons, rather than their rehearsal schedules.  

Yet, despite their daily exhaustion and the pressure increasing on their shoulders to do well for their performance at the end of the week, the lads, particularly Louis and Niall, were never once seen without wide grins plastered to their faces.  In any case, they were ecstatically relieved when Friday finally rolled around and their trip to the beach arrived.  

"Harry, get your fine arse out here!  We're leaving in two minutes!" Louis bellowed over his shoulder as he stood anxiously in the threshold of the door with Liam, waiting for the other three lads to join them.  

"My arse is not yet ready!" Harry replied vaguely from within one of the bedrooms.  

"Do I need to come in there and change that?" Louis replied with a grin, and the sound of Harry's muffled laughter reached his ears.  

"Wish you would," Harry chuckled vaguely, and Louis smirked.  Liam rolled his eyes, smiling fondly and adjusting his towel on his bare shoulder.  

"Niall, you ready?" he asked as the blonde lad appeared in the common room, waddling across the floor with an inner tube circling his waist, his palms clamped on the rubbed.  

"Mm-hm!" he said happily as he shuffled forward, and Liam grinned, chuckling to himself.  

"Where's Zayn?" Louis asked, standing on his toes to look over the crown of Niall's mussed head for a sight of the Bradford boy.  

"Hang on, I just need a little more anti-humidity spray..." Zayn called distractedly from the bathroom, his voice trailing off slightly as he presumably focused on his do.  

"Zayn, we're going to the beach, not a fashion show.  You don't need to do your hair!" Liam sighed with a smirk.  

"Liam, Liam, Liam," Zayn sighed sadly as he appeared in the doorway, shaking his head.  "When you've got hair like this, everything is an opportunity." he gestured to his carefully styled quiff, popping his hip dramatically, and Louis snorted into his palm.  "Watch it, Lou, you're just jealous of this amazingness," Zayn said loftily, sticking his nose pompously in the air.  

"I dunno, I think that my Boobear has beautiful hair," a familiar, low mumble pierced the air, and Louis turned to see Harry standing in the doorway of the bedroom, dressed in a pair of swim trunks and a very toothy grin.  

"D'aw, why thank you, Harold," Louis snickered, mockingly offering him a  playful bow.  

"Anytime, my Boo," Harry smirked, strolling forward to join the group.  

"All right, to the beach!" Niall hollered happily as he clutched the inner tube and bowled forward into the hallway, grunting in surprise as he bounced back and forth off of the walls.  Liam grinned and because dashing after him, followed by Louis, who grabbed Harry's arm, lugging him over his shoulder while he laughed.  Zayn, clearly worried about disturbing his perfected hair, preferred to trail behind at a steady walk.  A couple of minutes later, after a hectic elevator ride, several nasty looks from the neighboring guests, and a flirtatious wink from the receptionist, the five of them were approaching the smooth, white stretch of sand and glistening turquoise waters, looking as if the scene were fresh off of a postcard.  

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