Long Way Home
Dude this one was so fun to write. Hopefully everyone likes reading it as much as I liked writing it! I honestly wouldn’t be opposed to making this into a series, but I don’t know how realistic that would be. (Also AYEEE ROSIE FIGURED OUT HOW TO ADD GIFS)
Request: can you write something where cal is a nerd, and you’re kinda popular?? lots fluff and just have fun with it !! // Anon! Thanks so much for this one. I hope you love it :)
Title: Long Way Home
Summary: Calum’s been crushing on you for as long as he can remember, but your differences in social status have proven to be a bit of a roadblock. However, things start to change when you approach Calum with a simple proposition.
Words: 2k (WOW this got away from me)
Warnings: None? Maybe a tiny bit of language?
You looked great today. Your hair was impeccable, your outfit was put together perfectly, and as you laughed with your friends across the courtyard, Calum couldn’t help but stare. It sucked, honestly.
He’d been practically in love with you ever since you moved into his neighborhood when you guys were ten. You two were best friends for a while, until middle school, anyway. The problem that presented itself at that point was the fact that you were the cool new girl from another country, causing your popularity to skyrocket. And unfortunately, Calum and his friends were a bit lower on the social pyramid, making any chance of a relationship with you almost unattainable.
“Huh?” Calum turned to face Michael, blinking out of his reverie. “I mean, uh. Right. Yeah, I agree.”
Michael grinned. “You agree that Mr. Peters is a total babe?”
Michael, Luke, and Ashton all burst out laughing, causing Calum’s face and neck to heat up.
“Pay attention to the conversation next time,” said Ashton around his laughter, “instead of staring at Y/N all day like a creeper.”
“Shut up,” Calum muttered. “What were you asking, anyway?”
“We were asking when you were planning on actually talking to Y/N,” said Luke, and Calum elbowed him.
“No, in reality we were just asking if we were on for rehearsal tonight,” Ashton explained. “I asked if we were still all set to have it at your house.”
“Oh, yeah,” Calum nodded. “Sure.”
Suddenly Ashton and Michael, who were seated across from Calum and Luke, went quiet, focusing on something behind them. Calum frowned at his friends. “What—”
Michael suddenly began coughing and Ashton smiled at whatever it was behind Calum. “Hey, Y/N!” Calum’s eyes widened and Michael waggled his eyebrows.
“Hey, Ashton,” came the sound of your voice, and Calum almost groaned in annoyance. Just the sound of your voice gave him butterflies.
“How’s your day been?” Michael asked casually, and you stood at the end of the table so that you could see all of them, pressing your palms to the surface and leaning forward slightly.
“Pretty good, thanks, yours?”
Michael replied with a “Good, thanks,” before you turned to Calum.
“Do you wanna walk home today?”
Calum tried to contain his surprise, simultaneously trying to force a blush from creeping up onto his face. “I… what?” He turned around to glance at your friends, to see if they were staring over here and it was all some sort of prank, but they were all laughing or doing homework as if nothing was off.
You laughed, and once again, Calum’s heart lurched. “Yeah, um, I finished all of my homework and I don’t have soccer today so I figured I’d just head home. I was wondering if you wanted to walk together since we’re neighbors and all.”
“Y-yeah,” Calum stuttered, then cleared his throat. He could feel his friends’ gazes on the two of them, like vultures. “Yeah, I don’t see why not. When were you planning on leaving?”
“Oh, whenever works for you!” you said with another dazzling smile. “I’m up for whenever, but I don’t want to rush you or anything.”
“Actually, we were just finishing up,” Luke chimed in, closing his textbook. The other guys followed his action, packing up their things and clearing the table. Calum wanted to strangle each and every one of them right the and there.
“Perfect,” you said. “I’ll go grab my stuff. Meet you at the main entrance, Cal?” The use of your nickname for him almost made Calum visibly freak out. He was already pretty sure you could hear his heart beating from where you stood.
“Yeah, sounds good,” he said as calmly as possible, and with that, you nodded, flashing another smile and saying goodbye to the other guys, and turned to head back to your table. Calum watched your retreating figure before turning back to his friends.
“Guys, what the fuck.”
“What?” asked Michael innocently.
“‘Just finishing up?’” Calum mocked.
“We were helping you out!” protested Ashton.
“Yeah, you’ve been in love with Y/N for how long now?” Luke added.
“You guys suck,” Calum groaned, packing his own things. “You legitimately suck balls.”
“Only on Tuesdays,” Michael retorted. Calum flipped him off.
“I’ll see you guys later, or something,” he said, heading toward the courtyard exit.
“No detours, Cal-Pal!” Ashton called and Calum shook his head, ignoring his friends and heading toward the school’s entrance to meet you. It was a short walk, so he found you almost immediately. Unfortunately, you were talking with a few of your friends, who were also pretty popular. In all honesty, Calum almost marched straight back into the courtyard because he was afraid he would embarrass you in front of your friends if he tried to talk to you. For all he knew, you were talking to them about how you had to walk home with him and how annoyed you were!
Then Calum’s logic told him that no, you had asked him to walk home together, and you actually weren’t a bitch like some of your friends. So, Calum came to a brilliant solution to his dilemma: ignorance.
Shouldering his backpack and taking a deep breath, he started walking toward the doors, walking straight past you and the people you were talking to. He figured he could act as if he didn’t see you, instead heading outside to wait. And sure enough, almost immediately after he stepped outside into the October air, he heard you call out.
He turned around to see you rushing in his direction, finally slowing down when you reached him. “Sorry, I didn’t see you,” he said, and you shrugged.
“No worries. I was talking to a few friends so I got caught up, sorry.”
“No worries,” Calum repeated, and you looked up at him with a smile that made his heart flutter.
“So,” you said, “shall we go?”
“We shall,” Calum replied, causing you to giggle, and suddenly he felt bit more confident. This wasn’t so bad. The two of you began walking, and a comfortable silence settled until you broke it.
“Hey, why don’t you play soccer?” you asked randomly, and Calum shrugged.
“You mean football?” he teased, and you rolled your eye, smiling nonetheless. “Dunno,” he continued. “Not my thing, I guess.”
“Um, I cry bullshit,” you replied, and Calum’s eyebrows shot up as he turned to look at you.
“I’ve seen you play, Calum. You’d fit in really well with varsity, trust me. Plus, you were always great when we played as kids.”
“I just didn’t want to, I guess,” he insisted. He didn’t want to admit that he was too shy to try out, considering the boys’ football team was full of pigheaded morons who already probably hated his guts.
You only shook your head, shrugging. “Your choice, I guess. I really shouldn’t be criticizing you for a choice you made.”
Another silence settled, and Calum took the time to look around. A lot of cars were on the street, full of people coming home from day jobs.
“Um, thank you,” you suddenly said. “For walking with me, I mean. I don’t usually walk and you were in the courtyard too, so I just wanted to ask. For old times’ sake, you know?”
Calum smiled at that one. That was one of the reasons he liked you so much; you didn’t care about popularity. You didn’t try to forget or ignore the fact that you two were best friends several years ago. Calum was grateful for that.
“I get it,” Calum said.
“I do wish we talked a bit more,” you continued, and Calum found himself in shock yet again. You wanted to talk to him?
“Me too,” he said honestly. “You friends kinda hate me though, I think.”
“What! No way,” you protested. “They just… they don’t know you, that’s all. You aren’t close with them.”
“It’s alright,” said Calum with a shrug. “I know I’m kind of a dork. I’ve got my friends though, so I’m happy.”
You smiled at that, and it made Calum’s knees weak. “That’s a good way to look at things.”
The two of you continued to walk and talk with one another, and Calum genuinely enjoyed your company. It wasn’t awkward like he thought it would be, and you weren’t patronizing him like he had dreaded you would.
He realized with a start that you guys had almost reached your neighborhood, so he turned left as opposed to right, opting to take the long way instead. Hey, he wanted to spend as much time with you as possible. He wasn’t sure when this would ever happen again.
At that point, the sun was getting lower in the sky. As you pointed out a couple of birds, smiling and laughing as you did so, Calum noticed that you were literally glowing in the fading sunlight. The orange light outlined you like some ethereal halo, illuminating your features and giving your eyes an even more vibrant look than usual. His breath hitched a bit as he marveled at how beautiful you were, but when you turned back to face him, he acted as nonchalant as he could.
Shit, he was so screwed.
Eventually you had reached the neighborhood where you lived, and Calum was both sad and relieved. Sad because his time with you was ending, but relieved for the same reason. He didn’t want to fall for you even more when you were so untouchable and, quite frankly, out of his league. Like, way out of his league.
“Thanks so much, Cal,” you said when you reached the foot of your driveway. “I had a really good time.”
“Yeah, me too,” he said with a smile, a genuine smile. He was ecstatic to hear that you actually enjoyed the time you spent together.
“We should do this again sometime,” you suggested, and Calum had to physically stop himself from jumping for joy.
“Totally,” he agreed. “It was fun.”
“I’ll let you know when the soc-football season ends,” you told him, smiling as you corrected yourself. “We’ll make more of a habit out of this. For old times’ sake, right?”
“I like that idea,” Calum said honestly, and you nodded.
“Well, I’m gonna head inside. Thanks again, Calum, really,” you said, placing a hand on his arm and squeezing a bit before smiling and turning to walk up to your house.
Calum ran a hand down his face, letting it linger over his mouth and jaw. Holy shit, he thought as he watched you enter your house. His hand then found its way into his hair, disheveling the dark curls. Holy shit.
He slowly turned to walk back to his own house, almost directly across the street. He couldn’t wait to shove in his friends’ faces the fact that things went so exceptionally well.
Unbeknownst to Calum, you had made your way up to your bedroom. You watched from the window as your neighbor headed home, and you couldn’t help but smile widely, heart still beating rapidly. So okay, maybe you did have practice today, but the coach loved you and you figured you could just tell her you didn’t feel too well.
And fine, maybe you were kinda, sorta, maybe crushing on Calum.
You could only hope he felt the same way.