When Louis found out that his current stepfather had taken everyone out of the house, he stopped thinking about his biological family. He had to trust the man's judgment. As much as it pained him to think that he would never see his mother or his sisters again, Louis was able to move on from that. He would never say it out loud, but he was used to being apart from them - even before he joined One Direction. He was there for them, and he loved them truly, but his mother had always trusted her husband and exes more than she ever trusted him. She was always going to put all her younger kids and her husband first, and Louis knew worrying about them would only stress him out. They were really better off without him. No one would listen to him if he were there.

So Louis half expected that in his One Direction family, there would be no division, no heart-wrenching goodbye. He was wrong. He knew Liam blamed them the moment that zombie gnawed on Sophie's neck. They could've been off somewhere, safe - or dead, but at least they were together, alone, out of their personal choice. Not because they waited for Zayn, and definitely not because Liam chose to listen to them when they reasoned out they should never be apart.

Still, things ended this way.

To be fair, Liam had warmed up to Jasper (which was a very big deal), and eventually evened out on his anger issues, but he didn't expect Liam would conspire to leave them. And that angered Louis to levels he couldn't explain. He tried his best to be rational that night when Liam said goodbye, how he claimed he and that rookie cop Denice had "already talked" - like they knew each other forever, and instead of lashing out like Zayn did, he gave Liam his vote. Because really, why would you force someone to stay, when he was itching to get out?

Perhaps, Louis thought, in time, he would be able to forgive Liam's train of thought that they weren't worth staying for. Maybe he could look past the choice Liam made - regardless of his reasons. In time, surely, they would see each other again and breathe a sigh of relief. Thank God, that's all part of the past, they'd say.

But now Liam was at the main house, injured, and silently guilt-tripping everyone for not moving faster in retrieving his new girlfriend. Louis rolled his eyes at that. He knew his friend was getting cocky about breaking into ONE like they did when they extracted Zayn before, but this was different. This meant throwing away all their progress, all their plans, just to return to that one place they were running from. All for this one person who thought that his real family were not worth staying for.


Louis couldn't even think of another word to describe him. He was being stubborn about this (of course they'd help Liam), but he wasn't the one who attempted to leave more than twice for selfish reasons.

So he kept away from the main house ever since Liam returned. They were supposed to be planning, and Zayn had been giving him updates about what happened. There was no specific plan to infiltrate ONE yet, and for that, Louis was relieved. He knew it was wrong to say fuck it and let ONE have Denice, but what the fuck? He was certain that security over there was doubled now. If a freaking boyband and a chick managed to screw you guys once, you surely wouldn't let it happen again!

Even though being the one to initially go against Liam's decision to leave, Zayn was indebted to help everyone considering they risked their lives for him. So of course he was the one talking with Liam.

Honestly, it angered Louis that Zayn still had to think about ONE. They fucking got him out of there. And if only Liam fucking decided to shut up and delay the leaving, this wouldn't have fucking happened.

"Hey, take a breather, mate," Zayn said, waving the ball of gauze in front of his face.

Louis huffed. "He shouldn't even be talking to you about it, Zayn." He knew how Jasper had dealt with post-ONE Zayn. He was so broken, and it broke their hearts how Jasper had to deal with that alone, and all they could do was support her from the sidelines. Thankfully, Zayn was better now, the pregnancy having a great effect on his spirits. "You have to stay here and protect Jasper, alright?"

Zayn looked away. "Actually," he began. "That's what I came here to talk to you about." He put the gauze down and faced Louis. "I have a plan."

* * * * *

"HELP!" a frustrated Niall stumbled into the barn, a bit out of breath. He wiped the sweat from the sides of his face.

Louis and Zayn froze, obviously in mid-argument.

"Jasper is craving sweets! We need to go on an emergency supply run or she will absolutely strangle Harry for eating the last bar of chocolate!"

Both men exhaled.

"Were you guys fighting?" Niall asked.

Louis shook his head. "We were about to kill each other, yes." He crossed his arms and glared at Zayn. "Did you know what Zayn's 'plan' was, Niall?"

Niall blinked at them, obviously feeling trapped in a crossfire. "Ah... not really." He took a step back, ready to escape whatever this was.

"But wouldn't it make more sense, Louis?" Zayn asked. "If we just went there to talk like normal people?"

"Like normal people?" Louis didn't waste his time yelling at his friend. "You want to just parade in there like you didn't escape a weeks ago!?"

Zayn was quiet.

Niall didn't even have the heart to leave anymore. He felt like he needed to be there for the two, but he was visibly uncomfortable.

"You think they're just going to hand over Denice just because you requested?"

"They need me, you know that."

"Remind me why we fucking rescued you?"

"Let's be honest here, Lou. We wouldn't have been able to leave if they didn't want us to go."

It all boiled down to that, didn't it? That they were just a bunch of young adults trying to make it in this kill or be killed world. It's not like they were trained soldiers. Working out at the gym didn't exactly warrant them to be this international action stars. And it was true, Louis knew. They only managed to escape because ONE wanted them to.

The pregnant silence was interrupted when Harry entered the barn. "Why are you screaming?" he asked, blinking at them curiously. He turned to Niall but found the other was just red on the face. "Jasper can hear you. You guys know we shouldn't upset her right now."

"You're going to be a father, Zayn," Louis said, pointing at the main house. "Are you going to tell Jasper about this brilliant plan of yours? What do you think she's going to say? If you're sure about this bloody fool-proof plan then you tell her about it because I sure as hell am not going to."

"Tell me about what?"

All eyes turned to the barn's doorway.

There stood Jasper, looking bigger than the last time Louis saw her. Honestly, he loved her already. It took him a while to truly warm up to his brother's girlfriends, but Jasper was something else. Perhaps their situation had quickened the process. It was nice to meet someone like her in this crazy world. As much as it was saddening to know that the pregnancy was dimming her usually bright light, her presence had been one of the reasons why they didn't completely go crazy ever since they got lost in the campsite. Maybe it was her maternal instincts kicking in, always worrying and caring for them...

Louis found it annoying and humbling to know exactly why Liam and Zayn were willing to risk their lives for their women. Still, leaving your friends at such a crucial moment was unforgivable, no matter what reason you had up your sleeve. And now Zayn was going to risk everything just to save a girl they didn't even know.

What if they couldn't get Zayn back anymore?

What will happen to Jasper then?

Louis didn't want to watch her crumble worse than she did when she found out she was pregnant.

Watching Zayn reluctantly explain his plan to Jasper, he knew she was thinking the same thing. If ONE got their hands on Zayn, they would never see him again.

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