You and Luke have a weird relationship. While you’re not a couple, you kind of are. You weren’t friends with benefits since you’d never traded anything more than a kiss on the cheek, but there was always something different between you two. Neither of you have tried to discuss officially passing the “just friends” stage, but everyone knows you’re both off limits. You were just having fun and not putting labels on anything; that was how you and Luke worked. And you’re okay with that.
One night you and Luke are sitting in his hotel room listening to music during his day off on tour. You were on spring break and he was touring in the town just an hour from yours, so the timing was perfect for you two to spend some much-needed time together. The rest of the band was out on the town, but Luke wanted to just spend time alone with you.
You were both laying on his bed, your head resting on his shoulder and his arm draped lazily around you. A pop/rock song you’ve never heard plays in the background, and you’re both arguing over the proper way to eat a taco. Typical.
“You turn the taco!” Luke insists for the tenth time.
“You’re ridiculous.” You feign exhasperation, “you turn your head, otherwise all the fillings fall out!”
"Not if you’re coordinated, which evidently you, y/n, are not.”
You snort, “yeah, cuz you’re such a graceful creature.”
“I am the grace of all graces,” Luke sniffs indignantly, “I could’ve been a professional ballerina if I wasn’t so punk rock.”
“You’re full of shit.”
“Oh yeah?” he rolls off the bed and strides over to his phone that’s plugged into the speakers on the desk. After a moment of scrolling the pop/rock song gets replaced with “Girls” by The 1975. He turns to face you and grins, knowing this is your favorite song.
“What are you getting at?” you ask as he skips over to you and takes your hands in his.
“I’m going to prove to you how graceful I am,” he hauls you to your feet and before you know it, you and him are dancing around the room to the catchy bass.
Both of you are anything but graceful. Neither of you know what the hell you’re doing and there’s a lot of accidental foot-stomping and knocking into furniture, but you barely notice as Luke twirls you around, sending you into deep dips before pulling you back up again and shimmying you around the room. You’re both giggling at each other as you invent wannabe ballroom dance moves, making them as dramatic as possible.
Several accidental wall collisions and a broken vase later, the song comes to an end and you both slow down to catch your breaths, your faces still sporting giddy smiles. You find yourself caught in Luke’s arms, your hands clasped behind his neck and his resting on the small of your back.
“I don’t think you proved your point very well, Mr. Hemmings,” you laugh breathily as you try to flip a few strands of hair out of your face.
“I don’t think I did either.” He flashes his white teeth at you.
“You’re admitting defeat this quickly?” you tease, still trying to get the strands of your hair out of your face without letting go of Luke.
“Actually, I think I won this time.”
He smiles shyly, “I got to dance with you, didn’t I?”
A shy smile creeps onto your face as Luke gently tucks those loose strands behind your ear. Just then, his band’s song “Beside You” starts playing on the radio. You would usually roll your eyes at this type of romantic mush, but right now it just felt.. right.
Neither of you say anything, and instead just slowly (and still slightly awkwardly) dance around the messy hotel room, lost in a world solely composed of you two. Soon you notice Luke is nervously leaning toward you. You smile and go on your tip toes, and your noses are just barely brushing when the door smashes open and three loud and slightly drunk teenagers pile in.
You both spring back from each other, but Luke keeps one arm around you.
“Awwww!” Ashton coos at the sight of you two, “were you guys just slow dancing?”
"FUCK!” Michael shouts, running his hand through his unruly hair.
“HA! Told you he wasn’t getting laid. You owe me ten bucks, Clifford!” Calum does a victory dance and holds his hand out to Mikey, who’s fishing out his wallet.
“I thought you’d have done it by now, you shit,” Michael addresses Luke grumpily, smacking two fives into Calum’s hand, “I had faith in you.”
"But seeing as you’re trying to win her over with your own music,” Ashton chimes in, “I wouldn’t be to sure whether she’d say yes to a guy with such an inflated head either.”
“For fucks sake you guys,” Luke groans, rubbing the back of his neck flusteredly, “you couldn’t have waited five minutes…”
You blink at all of them in confusion, still a little startled by the boys’ rowdy entrance. But a tiny spark in your heart was lighting as you put the pieces together.
"Sucks mate,” Ashton chirps, his words slightly slurred, “but you did have like all bloody night.”
"And you’ve been bitching about it for ages,” Michael insists, “’what if she says no? What if I ruin everything cuz she might never want to be my gir-‘”
“OKAY” Luke cuts Michael off loudly, his face getting progressively redder.
“Well, I don’t know what the hell’s going on,” you feign ignorance so Luke can pull himself together, “but I’m kinda in the mood for pizza.”
“At midnight?” Calum asks.
“It’s always a good time for pizza,” Michael insists, already making his way to the door. The other two follow, and you wait behind for Luke to grab his jacket. He catches up with you, his cheeks tinted pink.
“Look,” he starts, avoiding your eyes, “about what the boys said back there, I don’t want you to think-”
You cut him off by standing on tiptoe and touching your lips briefly to his.
You look up at him and grin before turning and walking away. He catches up to you quickly and throws and arm around you and pulls you close, planting a kiss on the top of your head.
A warm feeling fills you as you pull yourself closer to him and walk down the corridor together. You don’t know exactly what’s going on in Luke’s head, but you do know that right now, you and him have just crossed a new line in your weird relationship. And you’re okay with that.
[ ASHTON ]
Ashton Irwin is, to say the least, your best friend in the entire world. Ever since you shoved him off the swings in kindergarten, you two have been inseparable. You were both your best when the other was around, and that was 99% of the time. So when Ashton’s musical career took flight, it was hard to adjust not having each other around all the time. Some say “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, and that’s exactly what happened, if that’s possible. You were texting and calling eachother constantly, and every chance Ashton had to see you, he would be on the first flight home.
The boys had always joked that the two of you should just date already, that “you already acted like an old married couple anyways.” But it wasn’t just them; Ashton’s growing fanbase was also very in tune to your guys’ relationship, and before long you had a ship name and were dubbed the “old married couple” of the band.
Both of you denied being anything but the best of friends, but as of a few months ago, those claims were lies. Ashton’s constant traveling made it clear to both of you that your relationship was more than platonic, and the last time he came home he spent the night at your place and well… The rest is history.
You both agreed, however, to keep your relationship between the two of you. Ashton was under enough stress with his growing fame as it was, and neither of you were too keen on putting yourselves up to the ridicule of the fans and media just yet. You decided against telling the boys as well, just so you two could test the waters of this new milestone without any outside pressure.
So far, it’s been the best decision of your life.
“y/n, babe, I’m back,” Ashton’s voice sounds from the front door.
“How was the studio?” you call back from the kitchen. The band was back for a few months to record, and you had temporarily moved into his flat.
“We got like, nothing done. Again,” you hear his voice from behind you as you bend over your open cookbook. You feel his arms snake around your waist and his chin rest on your shoulder.
“Well, what do you expect? All of you have the attention span of a goldfish,” you reach over for a measuring cup and flour.
“I take offense to that,” Ashton says indignantly, “we are all professionals.”
"Hey, you shouldn’t be so mean to the guy who’s house you’re staying at.” He speaks as if he wasn’t the one who begged for you to do it in the first place.
You add eggs and sugar to your mixing bowl and turn to face your boyfriend, who’s chin is still rested on your shoulder. You smile at the puppy dog look he’s giving you and kiss him on the nose. “I love you.”
He grins and turns your head so your lips meet his. Soon you feel his hands slide up your shirt.
You take a step back and pull his hands away.
“Not now, I’m busy.” You say sternly as you turn back to your cooking.
“Scuba diving,” you say sarcastically, “what does it look like? I’m baking cookies.”
“Because I wanted to.”
“No, I meant why as in you can’t cook, so why bother?”
You round to give Ashton a death look. “Excuse me?”
Ashton has that cheeky grin plastered on his face, “oh come on y/n, we both know you’ve always been shit at cooking. Like that last time you tried to make a casserole and you ended up almost setting your apartment on fire-“
“That was once!” you insist, the awful memory making you crack a smile, “besides, cookies are fool proof.”
“Yeah, but are they y/n proof?”
“I’ll give you y/n proof” you grab a handful of flour and throw it in his face. A white cloud forms before you and Ashton emerges, looking like a shocked little ghost.
“Oh, you did not-“
But you don’t let him finish, and instead take an egg and crack it over his head, giggling like mad at the sight of your appalled boyfriend.
"Alright, thats it!” Ashton grabs you by the waist so you can’t escape and dumps a measuring cup full of oil on you, followed by flour and sugar.
“Ashton! You’re ruining my shirt!” you yelp, finally freeing yourself from him.
“Your shirt?” he echos, looking at your attire appraisingly, “you’re not wearing anything that’s yours!”
He’s right; you’re wearing one of his old Nirvana shirts and a pair of his boxers.
You shrug, “they’re mine now!”
Ashton rushes over to you and traps you in his arms. “Critical, destructive, and a thief!” he grabs the cocoa powder and dumps it all over you, “you are so lucky you’re hot!”
“Says the one who insulted my cooking without even trying it!” You retaliate by grabbing the cup of milk from the counter and dousing him in the face.
“Say you’re sorry!” he yells, rubbing his messy hair all over you.
“Never!” you exult through laughs.
Ashton spins you so you’re facing him and attacks you with kisses. He tastes of milk and sugar.
“Say it!” he mumbles through kisses.
You don’t reply, and instead wrap your arms around his waist, adding a little more depth to your kiss. It can’t get too serious though, seeing as you’re both ridiculously covered in food and overcome with giggles.
“We’re a mess,” you finally say, pulling back for a second.
“But a hot mess,” Ashton winks before pulling you toward him again. Your lips are just about to meet when you hear a voice behind you.
"Well well well, what do we have here?”
You both spring apart and look around to see Michael, Luke, and Cal all standing in the kitchen doorway.
“What are you doing here?” Ashton asks sheepishly, “how’d you even get in?”
“You forgot your drumsticks at the studio,” Cal says, holding up Ashton’s stick bag, “and don’t be stupid. Like we don’t know where you keep the spare key.”
“More importantly,” Luke interjects smugly, “what’s going on here?”
"And when were you planning on telling us?” Michael asks accusingly.
“Not that we didn’t know this was going to happen eventually.”
You and Ashton lock eyes for a moment before he looks back at his best friends and shrugs, “it just happened.”
“Last time we were home.”
All the boys give eachother knowing looks
“So that’s where Ashton was all night.” Michael says, raising his eyebrows.
“I’m visiting family” Cal mimicks in a high voice, “I’ve really missed my parents.”
"Alright, alright,” Ashton cuts him off as the boys snicker at him, “yeah, we’re a thing. But we’re keeping it on the DL. The last thing we want is media attention right now.”
The boys all nod in agreement. “Mum’s the word,” Luke pretends to lock his lips with a key.
"Anyways, here’s your shit,” Cal drops the bag on the kitchen counter, “and we’ll have a lot to talk about at our next rehearsal.” he winks at you and you feel your cheeks warm up.
"We’ll let you two get back to… Cooking.” Michael says facetiously. The three of them disappear, and you hear the front door open and close.
Ashton chuckles, “well, that’s that.” He turns back to you and slides his arms around your waist, “so, where were we?”
You push him away gently, “we were just about to clean up the horrible mess we made,” you gesture to the demolished kitchen.
You eye the pouty look Ashton gives you. ”Come on, drummer boy, work now, then maybe a little play after.”
You’ve never seen Ashton work so quickly.
[ MICHAEL ]
You and Michael were a, for lack of a better word, secluded couple. That doesn’t mean you both locked yourselves away when you were together; you loved hanging with your boyfriend’s mates, especially his band, whenever you visited. It was rather that neither of you preferred to go out to parties and show your relationship to the public. You both would rather snuggle in the hotel with some Chinese takeout, or go on a walk late at night when nobody was around. You both felt you could be yourselves then and not be pressured by anyone, including the boys, to act a certain way.
Tonight Ash, Luke, and Cal were all out on the town one night after a gig, while you and Mikey were up in his hotel room, a box of half-finished pizza in between you and Playstation controllers in your hand. You were laying under the covers, your heads poking out of the foot of the bed, your eyes focused on the tv.
You and Michael are both very, very competitive. So, to your utter frustration and his utter delight, you’re a shit fifa player. No matter how hard you concentrate (“It’s so cute how your nose scrunches up” Michael always says), you can never make the players perform how you wanted. This was even more frustrating because you were better than Michael at real soccer, so it irritated you to no end how he usually won by six goals or something ridiculous. And that was just another reason he loved playing it with you.
Tonight was no different.
“Ha! Too easy!” Michael exults as he dribbles effortlessly past your defense and slots the ball in the corner, way out of your badly-positioned goalie’s reach. His virtual team celebrates, while your players shake their head in defeat. And you don’t blame them. They’re losing 7-3.
“This is a shit game anyways,” you grumble as you put the ball in play again, only to lose it a moment later.
You can feel Michael grinning from ear to ear next to you.
“Wipe that smile off your face before I remove it for you,” you warn, jerking your controller as you will your player to move up the field.
“Oh, no need to be nasty,” he teases.
He’s just about to score again when you decide to just slide tackle his player. You take Michael’s player’s feet out from under him and the ball rolls out of bound, and the ref whistles for a foul and gives your player a yellow card.
“They should’ve been a red for you, you dirty player,” Mikey asserts, knocking you with his shoulder as he sets up for a pk.
“Just focus on not missing,” you croon, trying to distract him.
“Oh don’t worry, I won’t.”
But just as he’s about to shoot, you poke him in the side, where you know he’s ticklish.
“y/n!” he yelps, his hand jerking the controller. The ball shanks way over the goal. He glares at you.
“What is it Mikey?” you ask innocently, “it’s not my fault you suck.”
“You, my dear,” he growls playfully, “have just started a war.”
“Bring it on, fluffly.” You retort, your team finally in posession. You’re making your way up the field when you feel something mushy in your ear. You squeal and accidentally kick the ball out of bounds. You look over at Michael, who’s smiling smugly at you, holding a piece of pizza in his hand.
“Michael Clifford, did you really just put that in my ear?” you ask.
"I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he mimicks your innocent voice, batting his eyes.
The next time Michael has the ball, you throw the comforter over him and take his moment of confusion to steal the ball back and score. 7-4.
“I hate you!” he shouts, still drowning in comforter as you do a victory dance.
For the duration of the game, both of your methods go from bad to worse. What started out as pokes and shoves turn into tackles, death threats, and pillow fights.It turns out you may not be good at fifa, but you’re really good at cheating. Soon the score is 9-10 in your favor with two minutes left, and both of you are on your feet, scampering around the hotel room as you try to dodge each other and play at the same time. Mikey had just dumped water on you and taken the ball from you.
“I don’t think so!” you yell as you charge over to your boyfriend, who’s hiding on the opposite side of the bed, and jump on his back. You almost topple him over but he keeps his balance, leaving you hanging on him like a monkey.
“There’s no way I’m letting a dirty cheater beat me!” he declares, keeping his controller out of your reach. You start peppering messy kisses all over his face, neck, shoulders… wherever you could find bare skin.
“This is foul play! Unfair distraction!” he laughs as he turns to you and your lips meet, both of you giggling as you momentarily forget about your game. In his moment of weakness, you snatch his controller from him and hold it out of his reach behind him.
“That was cruel!” Michael shouts, spinning you in circles. You hold on tight as the world blurs around you, “Seducing and stealing is a new low for you!”
“I swear to god you guys!”
You both freeze and look over toward the door, where Ash, Cal, and Luke are all standing in the hall, their phones out and evil grins on their faces.
“How long have you been standing there?” Michael asks, not letting go of you.
Cal looks at the other boys, “oh I dunno… since ‘I don’t thinkso!’ Followed by y/n charging at you.”
Ash shrugs, “all I know is that it’s all going on keek.”
“And instagram!” Luke chimes in, typing on his phone, “this is what happens when we leave these two alone..”
"They get the whole hotel room to themselves all night, and they just murder eachother over a video game when they could be doing something much more fun,” Cal recites the tweet he just composed.
You slide off Michael’s back and give Calum a look.
"Oh, you mean something like this?” You bring Michael’s lips to yours. He smiles into the kiss and pulls you close, his hands sliding very low down your back…
The boys groan. “Don’t!” Luke screeches, shielding his eyes, “you guys were being so cute! Let’s not completely ruin the moment.”
You pull away (a little reluctantly) and Michael winks at you.
“You know, he’s right,” you agree with Luke. You point to the tv, where your team, for the first time ever, is celebrating a victorious match. “Tonight’s pretty great. I won.”
Michael’s face drops and the boys erupt in laughter, teasing Michael to no end about how he lost to the worst ever fifa player. You smile to yourself; looks like you’ve found yourself a new gaming strategy.
[ CALUM ]
Calum is not stupid. Not by a long shot. In fact, he’s probably one of the best problem solvers you know, and you’re very proud to call him your best friend. But despite his uncanny (and under appreciated) intelligence, he’s always struggled with reading and spelling. He can read and spell of course, but when you were in school together it had always been his weak spot, and since he dropped out of school for the band he isn’t as good as other people his age and he’s really insecure about it. Whenever there’s a statement the band needs to read or anything that’s longer than a few sentences, Calum passes it off to one of the other boys. His mates tease him about it from time to time, like when he makes spelling errors in his tweets or stumbles whenever he does read something, and he always laughs along with them. Truth is though, it really bothers him. But, having known him since you two were in diapers, you’ve come to realize the extent of his insecurity.
The thing is, you love English. Reading, writing, storytelling — it was your favorite thing in the whole world. You recite and read with such eloquence and grace that you’re in multiple advanced writing and literature classes in college, and while you try to avoid the topic when you’re with Calum, sometimes you just can’t help it. You have a true passion for it, and you have to share it — especially with your best friend.
You were staying at the band’s house for about a week while they’re back recording for a while. They’ve been so busy with their skyrocketing careers you haven’t really had time to hang with Calum, so you decided to take a week from college to make the most of this opportunity. You had gone to the beach with the boys today, and now you and Calum were in his room, just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. Calum was scrolling through his phone while you had your nose stuck in a book. You were so lost in the world encased within those pages that you didn’t hear Calum address you.
“Huh?” you ask vaguely, continuing to hungrily absorb the words.
“I said, what are you reading?”
You tear your eyes from the page and look at Calum, who’s laying on the bed next to you. You dog ear your page and close the book, handing it to him.
“Jane Ear,” he scrutinizes the front page.
“It’s pronounced Eyre. It’s wonderful,” you gush, “it might actually be my favorite book.”
Calum snorts, “you say that about everything you read.”
"I’m serious this time!” you insist, snatching the book from him and leafing to the page you left on, “just listen to this:
'It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose evil consequences will extend to all connected with you.’ ”
You glance over and beam at him, “isn’t it just beautiful? Charlotte Brontë writes so poetically, but the practical implications she puts into every word just-“
"Sounds great,” Calum cuts you off and rolls away from you, reaching for his guitar.
You frown, “you don’t have to be so rude. You asked, anyways.”
“Well, sorry not all of us are sophisticated readers and writers like you, y/n” he retorts bitterly, forgetting about his guitar and looking at you enviously, “I mean, I don’t have any idea what the quote you read meant. And I hate it! I can barely even read simple things without stuttering, and my spelling’s shit. You, on the other hand, read these classics and absorb every word, and when you read things out loud you do it like they’re your own words.” He sits on the edge of the bed, his back to you, “I feel so stupid when you talk about these things.”
You blink, realizing you forgot how sensitive this subject was to him.
"Alright, let’s get one thing straight. You are not stupid. Just because you’re not a flawless reader doesn’t compromise that. It just takes practice. And the last time I checked,” you peek over his shoulder with a grin, “you were a little preoccupied being in a world famous band.”
He cracks a reluctant smile at you, but it disappears quickly as he says, “it’s more than that. I can’t even read the simple stuff, let alone the shit you do.”
"Well,” you announce, “maybe it’s time to change that. Come here.” you sit and lean against the bed’s headboard, patting the space between your legs.
Calum looks at you skeptically while he climbs over and sits between your legs, his head resting above your heart.
You grab your book, turn it to the first page, and place it in front of Calum’s nose.
He cranes his neck to look at you, “what do you want me to do with this?”
“Read to me.”
“You’re kidding right?” he laughs, as if waiting for the punch line.
“Serious as a heart attack.”
He shakes his head and puts the book aside, “no, its so stupid.”
“Calum, how else are you going to improve? You have to start some time, and just bitching about it isn’t gonna make you any better. Besides” you reach for the book and hand it to him, “it might as well be with someone who’s not gonna judge or make fun of you, because I know just how much of a genius you really are.”
He hesitates for a second before opening the book to the first page and starting. You have to admit, his reading has gotten worse over the past couple years of completely neglecting it, but the two of you continue slowly, pausing frequently to sound out longer words and to clarify what passages mean. Eventually, it becomes a nightly thing; after your daily adventures, you two would retreat to his room and Calum would read to you for hours before you were both too tired to continue.
A few nights into your stay, you and Calum were once again holed up in his room, his increasingly confident reading filling the room.
“Pre… Prec…" Calum holds the book up to you and points to the line he’s on.
"Preconceived." you recite.
"Preconceived” he repeats, allowing the word to become familiar on his tongue, ”opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.”
Just then you hear a snicker just outside the door, and both of you focus your attention on it.
“Shhh.. God you’re fucking loud”
“Wait… He stopped.”
“Do you think they heard us?”
“Yeah,” Calum says loudly, “we did.”
There’s a pause before the door opens and three slightly guilty-looking band mates enter the room.
“You’re all cocks,” Calum mutters, hiding his now pink face in the book.
“No! It’s great!” Luke beams at him, “we heard you a couple nights ago, and it sounded like you had some sort of speech impediment”
“th…the… girl went through the gear… garf… garden” Ashton mimicks, squinting at his hands, which are opened in front of him like a book. Michael and Luke laugh, and Calum sinks lower next to me.
"Oh, like you guys are any better,” you retaliate good-naturedly, knowing they mean no real harm.
“Oh believe me babe, we know,” Mikey holds his hands up in surrender, “we suck just about as much as Cal. Except for Genius Boy Hemmings.”
“We just think it’s so cute how you’ve got baby Cal reading storytime to you every night, just like back in year three…” Ash croons, a cheeky grin plastered on his face.
"Alright you guys, shoo! We’re just getting to a good part!” You wave your hand at them dismissively.
“Can’t we stay?” Luke begs, “we love storyti-”
The boys’ shoulders slump as they make their exit. Just before Mikey closes the door, he calls over his shoulder, “remember Hood, i before e, except after c.”
Cal flicks him off, and once they’re finally gone, he emerges from the book, his face still tinged pink.
“Cocks,” he mutters again.
“Oh shush, they’re just jealous someone cares about you enough to tutor you.” you say.
Cal smiles at you gratefully before turning his attention back to the fine black print. “Alright, so where were we…”