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Author's note: AVID DIRECTIONERS READ ONLY. otherwise you wont understand the cutsies in it. TANKS
"Okay," Marie hugged her mom tightly. She buried her face in the older woman's shoulder. "Love you, mom. I'll be fine." They broke apart and she picked up her bags.
"Be careful!" Amy called after her oldest daughter. She had to let Marie go, she knew, but that was her baby.
The grown woman of seventeen years was still the five year old who'd made her break by calling her mom for the first time. Marie was a little girl, wise beyond her years, going off on her sister for treating their mom like crap. She was the broken pre-teen in love with her best friend. She was the victim who would never admit weakness. She was...She was all grown up and driving away to Chicago.
"I'll call you the first time I stop, okay?" Marie got inside her car and, after centering herself, started it. "I'll be fine." She repeated, only to herself. After turning the music all the way up she turned onto the highway.
Harry's snort woke the oldest member of the band whose shoulder he was sleeping on. Louis shifted slightly to get his ear farther from the curly boy's mouth.
"Hey, Lou." Liam greeted his band mate when he saw that he was awake. He glanced back down at the smooth, lit up screen of his phone.
"Danielle?" Louis asked, gazing sleepily across the aisle of the plane. Liam nodded as his thumbs tapped and slid, texting his girlfriend back. A noncommittal noise fell from between the older boy's parted lips. When the younger glanced back up it was to find he was again the only one awake.
Only two more hours until the plane would land. All of the boys were asleep then, except Niall. The blonde woke up to find his legs in a twist with Liam's. He very carefully untangled their limbs so he could sit up.
The Irish boy prepped himself for the next show. He logged into twitter on his laptop and went through his mentions.
@NiallOfficial Love ya, Nialler! So excited to meet you!
Going to see @NiallOfficial in concert! Have a good time in
He clicked on the Marie girl's profile and went through her tweets. Niall smiled as he scrolled. There was so much love in this one girl.
@NiallOfficial hey love, have a good night (: x
"Marie...” Niall tested the name and liked the way it tasted. He'd have to keep an eye out for her. The Irish boy logged into his fake fan account and followed Marie.
@Marie_Stylinson I love your account!
Marie picked up her phone from the side table in her hotel room. "Yay! New followers!" She squealed and plopped down on the loveseat.
@kidrhaulღ Aw! thanks dear! how are you on this fine
@Marie_Stylinson I'm peachy. x I have a Q. U love 1D, obv. But who's ur fav?
Marie bit her lip, chewing thoughtfully.
@kidrhaulღ I <3 them all. Each individually...but Niall is... beautiful to me. x You?
@Marie_Stylinson So Niall's your favorite?
@kidrhaulღ sort of, yea. I love him the most but the rest all equally& almost as much. x
Niall sat back in his chair and smiled at the laptop screen.
The plane landed and the boys woke up to grab their bags and get off. Liam noticed Niall's little bounce and smiled, happy to see the Irish boy was in a lighter mood. Louis and Zayn lagged behind, still half asleep.
Paul rounded the tired artists into the van and drove them to the hotel they'd be staying in. Girls swarmed around them when they got out. The Americans were loud, they already knew, but that volume had escalated in the last year.
"Hey," Harry dimpled at the cute girls in front of him. "Yeah, I'll take the picture." He answered, taking the pretty blonde's phone and posing with her and her friend. They both tugged their skirts down and wrapped an arm around him. The camera flashed and a new girl took their place.
Only about 20 girls rallied for Niall's attention. He stood with each of them, his arm around their shoulders.
Marie looked down from her window in time to see at least a hundred girls outside swarming the boys. Five little dots moved inside the building. She sighed and drew her curtains again. The concert wasn't until tomorrow and it would be impossible to leave the hotel without getting caught on camera. The newly graduated teen looked down at her sweatpant clad legs.
Screw it. I'm going in sweats. I have things to do. x
Niall dropped his duffel on his bed and smiled at the screen of his phone. Wonder what she means.. Harry, Louis, and Zayn followed Liam into the room for the movie night. "Hey, I'm going to get ice." The Irish boy slipped into the hallway. He was barely three feet down from his door when a tiny girl in sweatpants blew past him, grumbling about 'One Direction crazies'. He watched the girl freeze in the middle of the hall. She turned around and strode back towards him.
"Hey, Niall." The girl began and her professional grade camera swung a little on her neck. "Can I get a picture?" The Irish boy nodded and moved to stand beside her. "No, I mean...I assumed you were going out for ice?"
"Yes," Niall smiled, amused by the girl's awkwardness. She smiled back and gestured for him to walk with her.
"My name is Marie, by the way." Marie said as way to make conversation. The Irish boy studied her. Was it the same Marie? She had said about going out in sweats.
"I'm Niall, nice to meet you."
She barked a laugh out and covered her mouth immediately to stop it. "Sorry! ...Sorry." The same laugh filled the hallway again. "Okay, okay ice. Stand here?" Marie pointed to where she wanted the Irish boy in all his pajama'd glory to stand.
He chuckled, filling his bucket upon request. "Good enough?" The blonde asked after the camera stopped clicking.
"Beyond." Her smile made Niall's heart skip a beat.
"Close the door, throw the key. Don't wanna be reminded, don't want to be seen-" Marie grabbed her phone, checked the message and grimaced.
"Okay," She sighed to herself, rather upset that she couldn't stay. "Thank you for this, Niall." Marie smiled and, after giving him a huge hug, skipped down the hall to the staircase.
The blonde watched her walk away, studying the way she moved and trying to commit it to memory. He went back to his room and settled in for the movie Liam had picked.
@kidrhaulღ hey dear! Got a surprise for you <3 twitpic.vh1.s7
It was the picture she'd taken at the ice machine. It looked professional. Niall hadn't felt as if he'd done anything special for the picture but it looked posed. The picture was gorgeous. He saved it to his laptop and made it his icon on his fan account.
The link to Marie's website was on her profile.
Niall went through her pictures and found beautiful selfies under the tab: Never In Public. The latina in high-waisted shorts, tights, and a victorian age top with her head thown back. He could almost hear her laugh, looking at that picture.
Marie was content after taking the pictures and sending them to her new Niall-loving follower. She exited the hotel, camera around her neck, and headed to her meeting with the other London girls. The institute was only a couple minutes away so she decided to walk.
"Hello, I'm Connie Wills. I'll be your mentor for these courses. You have all applied for the London study abroad program. It's independent study for the first several months. I'll be meeting individually with each of you over the next week." Connie dismissed the group of teens. "Miss Santos, stay please."
Marie paused in gathering her things into her messenger bag. "Yes?" She glanced up at her mentor a litte nervous, calming at once when she saw the smile.
"I've been on your website a lot in the last couple months. I believe you have immense talent and intelligence. The winner of the London girls must have those things. I see you winning this, don't disappoint me."
"Miss Wills, please-" Marie tried to argue.
"-Connie. Call me Connie." Connie handed the flustered teen a memory card and left to her office.
Marie went straight back to the hotel and uploaded the pictures she'd taken on the way back. She got on twitter and followed her 30 new followers.
The boys divvied up beds and piled in. Louis and Harry slept on the twin as per usual. Zayn slept on the couch pull out bed with Paul. Niall and Liam claimed the second twin.
At seven the boys' alarm went off and instead of waking Harry and Lou they left for breakfast. The lagging two woke up half an hour later and rolled out of bed.
The curly boy grabbed his bag and pulled out a pair of sweats and a polo. Louis walked back into the room from the toilet as he was putting on a beanie.
"Hey Curly, is that my hat?" Lou asked as he pulled a clean shirt on.
"Yeah," Harry replied, tucking his curls into the beanie. He straightened the waistband of his sweatpants and picked up his scuffed trainers.
"Are you ready?" Louis led the way out of their room and went down the back staircase with the curly boy in tow. “There’s a café down a couple blocks and this alley.” The older boy explained as they wove through the crowd of corporate workers. “Mostly older people or empty. Never any teens, there’s no Wi-Fi.” Lou laughed as they rounded the corner into the alley.
Marie glanced up when the bell on the café door tinkled. Two boys came in and her mind didn’t register that the bright blue eyes she met were Louis’s. They walked up to the counter while she refocused on her book. She needed to study this and understand it. Harry’s eyes were heavy on her face; she smiled up at him before looking back down.
The curly boy strode over and sat next to her at the tiny round table. “Oh, hi Harry.” Marie said, surprised to look over and see 1/5 of her idols sitting next to her. “I’m Marie.” She smiled, then, and realized her hair was a curly mess.
Harry dimpled, watching the brown girl twist her hair over her shoulder. “Well you know who I am,” He began and stopped when an addictive sound fell from her smiling lips. He wanted her to laugh again.
“Yeah, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t.” Marie laughed again and took a sip of her caramel cappuccino.
Louis sat down next to Harry, placing their orders on the table. The girl blushed when her eyes met those bright blues. The curly boy watched the two; amused by her reaction to his taken band mate.
“Hi Louis.” Marie said and her eyes kept falling back to her book from his. Haz thought it was weird that Lou brought out this shyness when he didn’t.
“You’re not screaming,” Louis commented, pointing his loaded fork in her direction.
“Well, no. I’m sure you’ve heard enough screaming in the past couple years.” That same sighing laugh sounded again. “Rest assured you’ll have me voiceless from screaming by the end of tonight.”
“Yeah, I’m going.” Marie smiled shyly and turned the page she was on.
“Ehm, so what's the book?” Haz asked, flicking the corner. Marie smiled at him and twisted a strand of hair around her finger.
“My Art History book.” She took the curly lock of hair ad slid it between her puckered lips and nose. “I have a really important presentation.” It fell as Harry watched her mouth.
“Is it soon?” Louis asked, studying his curly boy.
“No, I’ve got a couple months. I’m tabbing everything I’m interested in and researching them.” Both of the boys’ eyes noted the forty-something sticky tabs. “I’ll narrow it down in my meeting today with Connie.” Marie explained a little embarrassed.
They talked for an hour and a half longer after the initial awkward silence.
“So you’re going tonight?” Harry asked the girl he was liking more and more every minute.
“Yeah,” Marie smiled, then, and glanced down at her phone.
@Marie_Stylinson how did you get that picture?! x
@kidrhaulღ I’m in the same hotel & the sweetheart he is, he let me take a pic! (:
She was really happy James had liked the picture. He’d even saved it as his icon.
“Boyfriend?” Haz asked and Louis looked sharply over at his curly friend.
“Hm?” Marie glanced up from the lit up screen of her phone. “Oh, no. Twitter.” Harry breathed a sigh of relief, making the older boy’s brow furrow in confusion.
“I don’t follow you, do I?” The curly boy was sure he’d remember a girl like her.
“No, none of you do.” Marie smiled and put her phone down. “So what time do you need to go back?” Louis hid his pleasantly surprised smile behind the paper menu.
“What’s your twitter?” Harry asked, persistent.
“Marie,” The girl rolled her eyes, sighing. “Underscore, dash-thing,” She did the motion with her hand, making the two boys smile. Her face changed rather suddenly from pretty tan to bright pink.
“Tell me,” Harry demanded, knowing it would be something deliciously embarrassing.
“Stylinson.” Marie breathed. The curly boy dimpled and tapped the follow button.
@Harry_Styles is now Following you!
“Thanks Haz.” Marie glanced at her phone to check the time. “Crap. I have to go. Don’t you have sound check soon?” She gathered her pens and notebook into her bag and stuffed her book in on top.
“Yeah,” Louis replied, rolling his eyes at the curly boy who was tweeting furiously. He checked his phone. “It’s in two hours.”
“Did you two walk?” They both nodded and Marie gestured for them to follow her. Harry walked beside her to the car. “I’m in the same hotel.” She explained and slid into the driver’s side. The curly boy got in the passenger side. Louis moved to get in and fell into the backseat, landing atop a mess of T-shirts. “Sorry,” The older boy pushed them over on the seat and carefully maneuvered the drawing folders. “I have a lot of stuff back there.”
“These are good.” Lou complemented the artist who’d drawn him and Harry.
“Nah, not really. Haz looks like an alien.” Marie bit her lip when she realized she’d said the nickname.
“No, I think I look pretty good.” Harry soothed. It’s not like he cared anyways, all of his girls called him Haz. The curly boy glanced over to see her smile and shake her head.
Marie slowed to barely a crawl as they reached the hotel. “The boys are back,” She commented as she turned the corner to park in the back. “This door is locked but if you call Paul or someone they’ll let you in.” She chewed her lip. “Call Niall, actually. He knows the staircase I’m talking about.” Louis’s eyes riveted on the girl in the driver seat. Harry’s jaw had gone slack.
“How does Niall know?” The curly boy asked and the jealousy in his tone was lost on Marie.
“I met him yesterday when he was getting ice. We took some pictures and I think he might possibly have watched me walk away. If he did then he knows the staircase.” There was a bit of pink back in her cheeks then.
“Hey Niall. No, we’re here. Just outback. Marie drove us back from the café.” Lou paused while the Irish boy’s excited voice came loud through the speaker. “Yeah. You know the stairs that she- yes she’s here.” Marie gestured for him to give her the phone.
“Hey Marie. You met my boys?” Niall asked, voice back to normal.
“Yeah,” Marie smiled, twisting a curly lock around her finger. “Those stairs. At the bottom is the back door. Could you pretty please come let these two in?” Harry watched her talk into the phone and saw what he didn’t want to see. He’d change her favorite.
Lou thanked the girl when she handed his phone back. He was preoccupied with his band mate’s determined expression.
Niall dashed down the stairs and outside to see a hot pink bug. His two band mates got out and so did the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. The blonde couldn’t get this girl out of his mind. They went in and closed the door.
“Where were you guys?” Liam and Zayn, followed closely by Paul, came down the stairs.
“Sorry Paul.” Marie said immediately, climbing the stairs to meet him. “They walked to the café so I thought it’d be safer if they got a ride back. I should have told them to call you… Anything could have happened and I didn’t even think about it...” She trailed off as the boys crowded around her.
“Thank you for bringing them back safely.” Paul said and she nodded, moving to go around him and up the stairs.
Harry grabbed her wrist and pulled her back to give her a hug. “Thank you,” He murmured into her soft curls.
“D-don’t worry about it, H-harry.” She was blushing very badly by the time she was released. The curly boy dimpled triumphantly at her.
Niall gathered the flushed girl into a bear hug and whispered something his curly band mate couldn’t hear. “Thank you for that picture, I think I’ll save it as my official icon as well.” When he let her go her beautiful, expressive face was openly shocked.
Marie smacked his chest without thinking ‘Niall Horan One Direction’. She was thinking James, the sweet boy directioner/belieber she’d been talking to non-stop the past couple days. The brown girl was rewarded with him when the blonde in front of her laughed.
“You’re so mean,” The boys all watched her with their band mate. “I thought I’d finally found a decent guy to talk to. I should have known it was you.” Marie laughed the same sighing laugh that made Harry’s heart skip a beat. “No real boy is as sweet as you.. As any of you five.” She shook her head and moved up the stairs.
@Marie_Stylinson Hope to see you at the signing? x
@Harry_Styles I’ll be there <3
The boys followed her up the stairs and into their hallway. Marie disappeared down the hall and into the room directly across theirs. Niall, Harry, and Paul led the boys back to their rooms.
They all went into Liam’s room and just before they shut the door they heard an excited scream from across the hall.
“Wonder what happened,” Niall changed into jeans and a polo while Liam dug around in his bag for his cologne.
“Girls love this,” He tossed the bottle to Niall who doused himself in it. Harry and Lou came into their room and sat on the bed.
“That’s really strong.” The oldest member of the band choked out, tucking his nose into his striped T. Harry nodded, doing the same.
“I’ll smell good all day, though.” Niall shrugged and laced his trainers. “I’m going to get ice.” He explained as he skipped out the door.
“Mom! Connie got me an apartment! Me and a couple other London girls are rooming together.” Niall paused, listening to her on her phone. “Yeah, but we’re moving in next week. I’ll be home to get more clothes and, like, my bed.” Marie bounded towards the door with her ice bucket in hand. She smiled when she saw Niall outside. “Oh, hey Niall.” The Irish boy smiled and brandished his own bucket.
“Hey,” He began but stopped when her Bluetooth blinked.
“No, mom. There is not a boy in my room.” Marie rolled her eyes and kept walking. “Oh, yeah. That’d be awesome! Is she bringing the boys and Soph?” Niall watched her animated face; in awe of her beauty. “Hey baby,” Her voice turned babyish and he smiled. “Yeah, I’m still in Chicago. I did! No, bubby, I can’t tell you what it is. That would ruin the surprise.” They reached the ice machine. “Is your brother there? Yes he is ya little liar. Let me talk to him.”
“Baby brother?” Niall asked, hoping they weren’t hers. He’d met a lot of American fans who had babies.
“No,” Marie answered and gestured for him to go first. “Hey baby!” She smiled and twisted her hair. “No, Ma-dee’s still bye-bye. You being good for mommy and Tatiana?” Niall filled his bucket and leaned against the wall, watching her. “No? Ozzy that’s not a good boy, now, is it?” She laughed as she filled her bucket. “Hey Nikki, no. I swear it’s only the third time I’ve filled it today.” The Irish boy’s eyes widened. What could she need so much ice for? “Ha, right. Like you have any room to talk. You eat more ice than I do. Yeah, my own apartment that your boys will absolutely destroy.” She grabbed her phone out when it beeped. “Tell my mom I love her, too. I want to see them.” They began walking back to their rooms. “Mhm, bye.”
“Cousins?” Niall guessed after she’d hung up.
“Yeah. Sorry I just haven’t talked to them in almost a week.” Marie paused and leaned closer to Niall. “You smell really good. Blue Aeropastale?”
The Irish boy smiled down at her. “Yeah. It’s Liam’s. A fan gave it to him at a signing a couple months ago.” The girl beside him nodded, smiling wide.
“Want some?” Marie went into her room, leaving the door wide. She bent and dug through her bag, dropping to a sitting position in her skirt when she heard Niall follow her in. He sat down on the bed.
“These aren’t from the hotel,” The Irish boy buried his hand into the silky pink sheets.
“No, those are.” Marie pointed into the bathroom and under the sink where the ugly brown blankets were. Niall smiled, eyes roaming the room and noting everything. The straightener, curling iron, crimper, tease brush, and mountain of bobby-pins were neatly placed on the counter. The cylinder case of brightly colored bows was lying on its side, clips scattered around the mouth. Several pairs of braces were hanging on the towel hook and two bikinis claimed the second hook.
“There’s a pool in this hotel?” The Irish boy asked and Marie’s eyes followed his.
“Yeah, I’ll show you guys tomorrow. You won’t have time today.” Niall drew his eyes away from the bathroom and to the empty suitcase on the floor. He glanced around again. His eyes locked on her closet and he stood up, unthinkingly pulling a shirt from its hanger. “What?” The brown girl asked when she came up with a bottle of Blue Aeropastale.
“Your shirt,” Niall choked out, memories fresh in his head. He ran his hand over the print on the front.
“Kiss me, I’m a Directioner.” Marie said and shrugged. “What’s the big deal?” She stood up and handed him the cologne.
“Do you have the pictures from the signing?” The Irish boy searched the closet and found a green one.
“I have a video,” Niall nodded, flipping through the fan-made shirts. A striped I <3 Eleanor shirt, a white Jack Wills shirt, a plaid button down, an anti-spoons shirt. “I have presents for all of you, of course.” Marie told him as he sat back down on the bed. She pulled the video for him.
*”Look! There’s Niall!” Marie screamed into Hana’s ear.
“Harry! Liam!” Alli squealed. They were almost at the table.
“Marie, show me the book.” Marie’s mom yelled over the din in the room. The brown girl held up the tabbed, worn, Directioner-decorated fan book.
“Mom, zoom in a little. Yeah, twist that just a little.” Marie had reached the table and she placed her five bags on the end. “Hi Harry,” The curly boy leaned in to hug her. “Hey Lou,” The older boy threw her a genuine smile. “Hey, Liam. Zayn.” She high-fived both boys and finally reached Niall.
“Hey,” Niall greeted her as he signed her CDs.
“Hey, I’m going to give you a hug.. Okay?” Marie hugged him over the table and whispered-yelled into his ear. “I think you’re perfect, Niall. You don’t need to hide who you are. Ny, please never leave the boys, you’re the best part of the band.” She let him go and handed the teary-eyed Irish boy the book and another bag. *
Marie pressed pause when Niall stood up. “What?” She asked, watching him pace.
“Niall?” Liam called from the hall, and then spotted the blonde in front of Marie’s bed. “Niall what are you doing in there?” The rest of the boys piled into her room.
“Watching this video,” Niall pointed at the laptop on the bed. “You know, Mare, I should have known it was you. No girl is like that.” Harry was looking around and found the shirts.
“Are these for us?” The curly boy asked as he pulled them out of the closet. The brown girl took the Jack Wills from him.
“This is mine. But yeah, those are for you.” She handed Liam the anti-spoon shirt and Zayn the ZM letter jacket.
“Thank you,” They said at the same time and Zayn slid into the jacket. “Marie Eloise?” He asked, fingering the cursive embroidery.
“It’s an original design…” She trailed off and handed Harry the cat ears. “They clip in.” Marie told him and he handed them back.
“Put them in?” The curly boy asked and sat down on her bed. She stepped closer, right against his knees so she could reach his head.
“They’re hard to get out.” Marie warned as she ran her fingers deftly through his hair, lifting and twisting it as needed. She hadn’t realized she was standing between his knees until she reached for the other ear and almost fell over his leg. “Sorry,” She whispered, still not registering her position while she concentrated on his hair.
Harry looked in the mirror at the ears. “Thanks, I love them.” He pulled his shirt off to trade for the fan-print T. “I love it,” Marie blushed and smiled.
“Good. I’m glad you like them.” Harry wrapped her in a tight hug as Lou traded shirts, releasing her after he was covered. The boys emptied back out into the hall. “Have fun at sound check!” She called after them before shutting the door.