peeblesshire

anonymous asked:

But Monty is shortened version of Montague, as Capps is for Capulet?

Hello Nonnie! sorry for not answering before but last week was crazy.  Yes, you’re right, but these are also surnames of their own, you see; after a quick search i found a site that pointed the Capp family to be originally from Normandy, having established them self later on in Lincolnshire, England. That part kinda makes sense with the heavy Tudor theme in the “Capp side”. As for the Monty, the same site placed the surname as originated in Peeblesshire, south Scotland. Other site pointed Monty as a variation for the Montgomery surname, originated also in Normandy, they emigrated first to the Wales’ border, and a century later moved to Renfrewshire on the Low-lands in Scotland, lands grated to the family by King David I of Scotland. But if you spell it as “Monti” the result is an Italian/Spanish surname that means “Hill” and has it’s origin in several mountain regions of both Mediterranean countries, as is a “placement surname”. Now that makes more sense for the Eaxis idea.

Anyways, short answer the photo shot was meant to be just a joke; not an statement that we should play the Monty as Scottish, the family is Italian codded, and for the whole Scottish thing to work you should totally change several names that doesn’t have a Scottish version, or look for equivalents that would be totally different names (aka; Romeo doesn’t have an Scottish version). But, if the Scottish idea is appealing to anyone, you could go down the road that a “Monty” moved to Italy, married an Italian women and that gave start to the “Monty Italian family”, maybe he was in the army, was a merchant or a traveller,  who knows?

Also as we’re on this: the Purple/Red tartan used in the Photoshot is meant to be  one of the two Montgomery’s tartan, the other is Green/Blue, because i couldn’t find the Monty tartan (and is likely it doesn’t exist, actually), and that’s also the reason i went the road of “Shortened for Montgomery” instead of the “Monty” one. 

Disclaimer: I’m not an expert on Surnames, and if anyone has other information that wants to share, would be fascinated to listen. 

Have a nice day! 

flickr

Autumn Tree Tunnel by Vic Sharp (Peeblesshire, Scotland)

flickr.com
Bear Gates, Traquair House, Peeblesshire.

The gates were once the main entrance to Traquir house until bonnie Prince Charlie visited before the failed uprising of 1745 the earl at the time swore the would never be opened again till a Stuart king was returned to the throne of Scotland they remain shut till this day, we’re still waiting for “The tartan messiah”

“Dool an’ sorrow hae fa'en Traquair,
 An’ the Yetts that were shut at Charlie’s comin’
He vowed wad be opened nevermair,
 Till a Stuart King was crooned in Lunnon.

"Gone are the Stuarts o’ auld Trquair,
 Green is the Avenue rank an’ hoary,
And the Bears look doon wi’ an angert glare,
 On the "Steekit Yetts” an’ the vanished glory.“

8

Went a wandering in Innerleithen today in the Scottish Borders and came across the stones depicting Peeblesshire life from the Iron Age onwards.
Personal favourite is the Mill one. As my Granny was a mill worker in the hosiery and my great granny, gran,pops and Dad all worked in another mill. (My mum worked in the Walkerburn mill too for a short while).
This is my home, where I was brought up until the age of 11 and I miss it every day.

040. Rehab

LOUIS

7 in the morning at the airport and Louis’s eyes were swollen shut behind his dark Ray Ban aviators. He rubbed at his exhausted face and shuffled behind out of habitual motion behind the rest of the boys. The blessing of boarding a private plane was not having to go through security, not having to have his bag searched or have to take off his shoes.  

“I’m exhausted.” You leaned into his side, your hair falling over to one side of your face as your eyes fell closed and open, waiting for all the bags to be loaded beneath the plane before any of you could board. Lazily, Louis draped his arm around you and hung it off your shoulder. He was glad you were tired. If you fell asleep on the plane then you would surely not notice him drinking Bells over water or orange juice for breakfast. The only reason he wasn’t so on edge was because of the hard swig of mouthwash he had before leaving the hotel around sunrise and the vodka in his coffee cup the whole car ride over to the airport.

His lips were coarse on the side of your head, but it was typical of the morning and you smiled as he held you up.

As Louis had expected and hoped, you fell asleep along with everyone, but Zayn and Perrie on the plane. They sat in the back, her reading while he drew doodles over the pages of a new moleskin notebook. While you were groggy, you could only sleep so long and so deep on the plane, waking up at the slightest noise. With Niall’s snoring, it was miracle you caught even a few minutes of rest.

“Morning, babe.” It sounded like a yawn, but it could have been a slur. Louis greeted you with a crooked smile and a wink, leaning back in his chair and watching an episode of one of his favorite shows on his iPad with his headphones in.

“Mmmm, breakfast.” As you stretched, you studied his plate on the tray in front of him. There was pancakes, beans, eggs, and bacon, and most of it was untouched. After hearing your shoulder crack, you leaned forward and helped yourself to his mug.

“[Y/N] – I have a – “ He started, but you downed a huge sip and, without any consent from your mind, your face scrunched up like a raisin.

“That’s not coffee.” The taste of straight scotch was burning your throat and you took his Aquafina bottle from next to the plate, his hands objecting as you unscrewed the cap and took a sip, your face doing the same thing again. “What the Hell? That’s straight Grey Goose!” You looked at him like he was nuts, slamming the bottle down and causing it to spurt out excess alcohol onto his tray. “Louis, it is 7 in the God-damn morning!” You shouted, needing the boys to hear what was going on.

“Oh, here we go…” He rolled his eyes, leaning further back into his chair and focusing on the episode in his hands.

“No, no, you’re not ignoring me right now.” Putting your hand over the screen, you stared up at him with your eyes pointed like radars. “You have a problem.” In the darkness of a Parisian night on the balcony of a fancy hotel, you and Niall (of all people) had discussed the possibility that Louis was severely dependent on alcohol, but you had decided to just keep an eye on him. Of course, last night all of you had tied one on, but that didn’t seem like a big deal. Unwinding after a show was normal for the group, but the drinking on a plane for breakfast and the shots between radio interviews was what struck you as odd. Not to mention, he seemed to calm down easier when he was within reach of a mini bar.

“Yeah, right now, it’s your mouth.” Louis looked at you just as seriously, but snickered before pushing your hand off of his iPad.

For a second, everything froze as you digested just how obliterated your boyfriend was at 7 in the morning. You watched him, grinning like a loopy little kid at the screen, and then looked up at Zayn who had stood up onto his feet after hearing you shout.

“How much have you had to drink today?” Like you were asking him his favorite color, you tried.

“[Y/N] – “ He groaned at you like you were a teacher on him to hand in his overdue homework.

“Answer me, Louis.”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know? Do you sleep-drink?” Rhetorically, you asked. Paul was coming over now, waking up Harry as he left his window seat to join the spat between you two. Unbeknownst to you, Paul and Harry had been in cahoots about Louis’s problem. They had even had phone meetings with different rehabilitation centers. “Louis, this isn’t funny. I’m worried about you, Niall is worried about you.”

“Niall!?” Louis looked at you with a confused expression, even saying his friend’s name like he had never heard it before. He shot up in his seat, knocking the tray over and sending his breakfast food to the floor, breaking the mug and spilling the Bells in it. He reached over to spy Niall, just waking up from a deep sleep behind him, but Louis smacked at his chest with a limp wrist anyway. “Niall, you think I have a fucking drinking problem? You’re practically a fish! We should call you Nemo.” He rattled off, his words blending together and his knees knocking as he couldn’t stand up well on his own.

“Sit down, Lou.” Zayn stepped over, standing in a pancake and clutching Louis’s shoulder, but he was assertively brushed off as quickly as he had come.

“Fuck off, Zayn. You think I have a problem, too? I’m just having a good time! I’m living…while I am young….” Like a jackal, he began to cackle madly at his own joke, knocking himself over.

You sucked in your stomach and slid past your embarrassing boyfriend and into the aisle, Perrie reaching up for your hand from where she was sitting, but you couldn’t hold onto it. You were too fickle to concentrate on anything besides Louis and what a mess he had become. When you two met, he was the life of the party, he was entertaining and a benevolent good time, but over the last few months, the good times were growing dark. He was passing out at public events, mixing up words on stage if not completely forgetting them, and he was more on edge than ever before.

“I think you drink a lot.” Zayn stated honestly, not afraid of Louis and his drunk persona.

“It is a problem.” Paul announced from behind Louis, his mouth open to continue, but Louis just started to howl in his face with laughter. He took the water bottle that had spilled between his feet, but still had a bit of vodka left in it and emptied it completely.

“Ey, mate, take it easy – “ Liam stood up beside Niall and went to take the plastic bottle, but Louis swatted his hand away like a pesky fly.

“You’re all fucking idiots. Jesus Christ, thank God this is our last date…” This leg of the tour would be over after tomorrow night and you were starting to wonder if it was the only thing that should end. It was the alcohol talking, everyone knew that, but everyone was still stunned silent.

“No.” Finally, after a solid five seconds of silence, you pushed yourself off of the chair you were leaned up against and peeped. “No, you’re the fucking idiot, Lou. If you don’t take this moment with gratitude and check yourself, you’re the biggest fucking idiot on this plane, and maybe, even on the planet. If you don’t nip this habit or seek help, this is it for us. After this flight, you won’t see me again.”

Louis hold your stare the closer you stepped to him. Suddenly, he didn’t seem so drunk. His eyes were pleading into yours and he appeared very breakable, a state you had yet to see him in. His lip quivered, just slightly, for a moment and you knew in your gut he was going to surrender.

“Someone thinks pretty fucking highly of herself, huh?” Louis laughed in your face before looking over at Harry, thinking he would join in.

“Let’s go.” Your heart was breaking, but you muttered over the pain and nodded to anyone listening to go sit at the back. While Paul went about cleaning the mess Louis had made along with Zayn, you and Perrie sat alone at the back for the rest of the flight. She tried talking to you, but your mind was made up.

An hour later when the plane landed, everyone was happy to leave. You had never seen the lot of them deplane so quickly. With your beautiful leather purse over your elbow, the one Louis had given you just because, you went to leave the tarmac completely and look for the first flight home, but Louis grabbed your arm. Paul had reasoned with him to have a large bottle of water and it seemed to make something of an improvement to his mood.

“Are you still mad?” He asked, pouting like he always would when you two exchanged harsh words.

You didn’t say anything though since your body was practically on fire from earlier. There was too much on your mind for you to give him any response, so you ripped your arm away and left. You would find a way to get your luggage later. It wasn’t as important as your happiness.

The memory was foggy for him, but clear enough to haunt him as he sat silently in the back of a van, sandwiched between his mother and Paul, on his way to Castle Craig Hospital, a highly regarded rehab center in Peeblesshire in Scotland. His mother was holding him close to her by the shoulder as they jiggled over red dirt roads.

Everyone on that hectic flight had told him their own perspective of what happened, except for you, but each story made his stomach twist in a tighter knot than the last. He remembered joking that your mouth was annoying him and Liam reaching for the water bottle, but the rest of hazy.

“Can I use your phone one last time?” He knew that phone privileges at Castle Craig would have to be earned and, even then, they would be limited. Louis really wanted to tell you that he was seeking treatment. It had been a month since you left him at the airport and he was willing to sell his soul to just have a last talk with you.

“Honey, you’ve already tried her three times.” Quietly, his mother responded, so Louis looked to Paul, who just solemnly shook his head.

“Maybe, she was out though.” It was Monday after all and you and your friends liked to go to the trivia night at the pub by your flat on Mondays when you were in town. He didn’t know where you were though. You could have been on the moon for all he knew.

Once again, Paul shook his head ‘no’. He thought that it was best for you and Louis to have a break right now. If Louis could complete his program and be clean, then he could call you. He could earn you back.

HARRY

He had told you, in the taxi on the way over, that it was just a small get together at a friend’s house. You didn’t know his friend, she was a model, but you were looking forward to a fun night over with Harry anyway. You shouldn’t have surprised when you entered a house that was actually overflowing with guests (there were people straddling window sills, that’s how busy it was) since Harry’s idea of a small get together had proven to be different than yours ages ago, but you stood stunned in the doorway before being shoved away and deeper into the hall. Out of fear you would lose one another, you held onto his hand as he moved like mercury, saying hello to anyone and everyone as he shifted through.

In a small house that was being occupied by over 200 people, you found about three girls that you knew as well as Liam and Louis wandering about, so you found a spot in one of the bedrooms and sat on top of a vanity dresser, talking to Eleanor and exchanging stories as the bass through the walls reverberated off of your skin.

“I have to show the pictures.” Laughing, you shared with Eleanor as you two discussed how cute yours and Harry’s new kitten was. It was your second cat together and while it had been sweet and sleepy at the rescue center, it had turned out to be a true rascal the moment you brought him back to the flat you two shared. “They’re on Harry’s phone, one second…” He was in the large bedroom suite you were in, you hadn’t seen him leave. You circled the bedroom once, looking around for him in different groups, but had no luck finding him. You even asked a group of girls who had just taken a break from making out with each other if they had seen him, but they all looked at you as if you had no face so you moved on.

The door to the bathroom was open just slightly, a small crack, and when you opened it fully smoke fled out like children running from captivity. You squished through a few limbs and were just about to ask one of the girls you had seen hugging Harry downstairs if she knew where he was when you saw his very recognizable boots. They were hanging out of the claw foot bath tub and you laughing, wondering if he was drunk already. As you peered over the tub, you saw vomit all over his chest, seeping down his unbutton plaid shirt and staining his skin a red orange shade. He was coughing up more vomit, but this time there was an obvious amount of blood in it.

“Harry.” You threw strands of your hair behind your ears while leaning in close, trying to scoop out his body from the tub, but he felt so heavy, his body dead weight. “HARRY!” Screaming at the top of your lungs, you shook him, but it only caused more fluid to leak from his mouth. “He’s not waking up…” You mumbled as people were finally starting to pay attention.

“Calm down.” The girl from downstairs snarled at you.

“How did none of you notice?!” You shouted, your eyes holding in tears. You were too terrified to actually cry, sitting on your knees, your arms soaked in Harry’s puke. A bearded man who had been smoking chain cigarettes on the toilet, moved you aside, his strong arms able to pick up Harry. His head wobbled and a few hands offered you towels and toilet paper to clean him up.

“Louis!” Your voice cracked you screamed so sharply and within seconds, Louis had rushed in, word of Harry’s state had spread through the bathroom and into the bedroom. Louis pulled off his top and jumped into the dry tub with Harry, wiping his mouth and checking his pulse and temperature.

“[Y/N], call a fucking ambulance…” He told you without looking. Tears were running freely down your face now and you nodded, shaking as you found your phone in the pocket of your dress and dialed 911.

As you sat in the waiting room of the hotel, Louis and Eleanor exhausted next to you, you wondered how you hadn’t realized before that Harry’s partying was extreme. You thought he was just fun, you didn’t realize that he took Oxycodone sometimes, MDMA more often, and anything else anyone offered. You lived with him, you were his girlfriend, how had you not noticed? Once Anne and Robin arrived, forcing everyone else out of the hospital room that Harry was beginning to groggily wake up in, Louis pulled you aside and told you that he had been with Harry once when he was high on Oxy, but he didn’t think it was something he was doing socially. You didn’t want him doing it at all. If it was going to risk his life, you didn’t want it in his life and, maybe, that meant you had to be the bitch, the mean girlfriend who refused to let him see certain people, but Harry’s life was worth that to you.

You just hoped he would be okay in the morning. His mother had already found an in-patient rehab center for him and had him enrolled to go as soon as he woke.

“I should go pack him a bag…” Sighing, tired and miserable, you slowly stood up onto your feet.

“We’ll drive you.” Louis offered, moving Eleanor off his shoulder slightly, but you shook your head.

“I want to take a cab. I want to be by myself.”

ZAYN

The sound of your heels tapping one-two-three on the ceramic tile floor of the Malibu rehab center reminded you a lot of walking behind the stages during One Direction’s last stadium tour, the one where everything spun out of control in your personal life very quickly. You focused on the noise from your new shoes in order to keep from feeling nervous and uncomfortable. It wasn’t as if you had much experience with addicts of any kind, recovering or not. You had never really felt sheltered before, but when it came to visiting your boyfriend in rehab, you were out of your realm completely.

With a smile never leaving her lips, the woman from the welcome desk took you to the patio, the ocean view better than anything money could buy. You wondered, silently, if the woman took all the drugs she confiscated off of visitors. She was unnaturally calm and perky.

“He’s right over there.” With one arm outstretched, she pointed to Zayn sitting pensively on a patio chair in a painted white gazebo, smoking over the ledge, dressed in black sweats and a loose fitted shirt that ate his small frame.

After inhaling deeply, you headed over to him and tried to think of something that wasn’t the weather or drugs to talk about with him. Zayn noticed you as soon as your shoes sounded closer and closer to him. He put out his smoke on the gazebo, even though he had been warned about that a few times, and stood up to meet you there. He lent you his hand to help you onto the gazebo and leaned in for a kiss. Usually, he would lay one deep onto your lips, but you both moved awkwardly before he left one gently on your cheek, his stubble scratching at you like old times. It had been three weeks since you two had any contact with one another, and he still had thirty three days left there.

“I brought you cookies, but they took them.” Once you were sitting, you said, looking out at the ocean that was battling the sky for who was bluer.

“They’re tight about that sort of stuff here.” He nodded and lit up another smoke. “They were probably more concerned about them having gluten in them then being laced with anything.” Zayn had never eaten so clean in his life, but he was starting develop an appreciation for almond milk and mushroom patties.

“Ah.” You nodded and kept nodding since silence was the only thing you felt capable of at the moment.

“What have you been up to? I mean, obviously you know where I am, but….what’s going on with you?” It felt so strange for him to be this out of the loop with your life. You two had been inseparable since you met just about eight months ago. You two always knew what was happening in the others life, you were so present with one another, but for all he knew, you had joined a cult and were going by a different name now. He had been using his phone privileges to call his mom, knowing she was keeping in touch with you, but he still worried you might have been upset about that.

 “I’ve been looking at going back to school actually.” Zayn being checked into rehab was a bit of a wakeup call for you. You realized that you were too invested in his world and you needed your own path. Being the girlfriend of a rockstar might have been fun, but it was not going to keep a roof over your head forever and nice shoes on your feet. It wasn’t a life and it was a sad identity to claim.

“That’s great!” It was the most exciting news Zayn had heard in three weeks and he leaned in, eager to hear more. He let out a last ring from his cigarette and tapped it out before tossing it into the soil below. “Have you decided what you’ll major in?” From the time you two met, you were going back and forth between two ideas.

“No. I’m going to tour Kent University next week, when I fly back…”

“Cool, cool, cool…” Zayn licked at his lips and stared at the center of the wooden table between you both, swallowing around the cotton feeling in his mouth. He had put out his cigarette in hopes you would touch his hand if it was free, but when the silence lingered in again, he instantly craved another. “Hey, [Y/N], I’m really glad you came….and I’m sorry…” He wondered if he should have told you now that he made you something in arts and crafts, since they did a lot of that there.

“I’m sorry. I can’t believe I didn’t know my own boyfriend was…so addicted to coke.” Your disbelief was still obvious, the way the words formed like mountains in your mouth and then struggled to fit out of your mouth.

“You knew I did it when we met.” Not proud, Zayn looked at his hands over the table. His skin had improved immensely since he started to clean his body out, but he knew he had miles to go.

“I didn’t realize it was a habit. It seemed recreational.” It wasn’t like that made the truth of the matter better, but at the time, it had been okay with you that he did the occasional line at a party. The only reason you could tell when he was buzzing was because he was so much chattier when it was in his system, otherwise he was still the same old Zayn to you, sober or not.

“It was.” At the time at least. Zayn reached for your fingers that were clawing around the end of the table and pulled one of your hands up, massaging it under both of his. “I’m doing really well here though. I’m really trying.” He hated the yoga classes in the mornings, but the therapy wasn’t as awful as he thought it would be. Secretly, he really liked arts and crafts, even when it involved decoupage. He was so disappointed in himself for disappointing and embarrassing his family like he had, that was Zayn’s major motivation for improving himself. Of course, he also knew you had been quite terrified when he confessed to you that he had a problem and needed help. It had been Paul who convinced him, but he knew it deep down inside. He told you privately before making it known to anyone else, the rest of the world was still in the dark and he planned to keep it that way at the moment.

“I know.” Nodding, you heard your voice warble. You trusted that Zayn was putting a hundred percent into his healing just like he did everything else.

“Are you going to be around when I come out?” He glanced down at his lap before asking, nervous about your answer. He knew it could go either way. Scared of the weak sound in your voice, you just nodded and rolled your eyes back to keep any tears from coming. It was hard for you, but you didn’t want to show it. Zayn squeezed your hand tight in his, bending his head down to kiss your knuckles. “Good.” He had hoped you would be. “I need you.” He admitted, his vulnerability as present as it was when he told you he was going to go to rehab.

“I’m going to be there.” Finally, you said out loud, even if only in a whisper.

NIALL

Drinking was a part of Niall’s identity. It was just who he was. The Irish musician who drank and swore like a sailor on leave. Everyone encouraged it, actually, and adored those quirks of his. You two had hundreds of drunken nights together under your belts. He had taught you how to win any game of quarters, how to play darts, and even how to shotgun beers back to back. It really hadn’t been a problem, until it was.

He had started just going to meetings privately, but it wasn’t doing much since he wasn’t practicing any of their methods afterwards. So, with the help of a sponsor, he found a rehabilitation center in Kent and checked in there for a 30 day treatment. You went to visit him once, but it was a bad day for him, so you stayed for a half hour, walked around the grounds with him with the intention of playing some one-on-one football, but then he asked if you could leave so he could sleep.

Now, meeting up with him at the old flat in Maida Vale you two shared when you first met, you weren’t sure what to expect. You left the kids in Dublin and took the train in, going through all the possibilities in your head. Niall had stayed at your apartment in England for a few weeks prior to moving to rehab. It was the first time he felt glad you talked him into keeping the place. You two always said you would turn it into a studio or rent it out to people, but of course, it stayed empty and untouched for years.

“Hi.” You breathed out, seeing Niall as soon as the elevator dropped you off on the 16th floor. He was standing in front of the old door, a ball cap over his fresh face, and wrestling with the key in the lock. “You have to push it…remember.” You told him, having forgotten yourself, and moved closer to take over. With one little nudge, you had the door open.

It was as if time had stool in the flat though. It was dusty, but that was the only thing that was different. Pictures of your younger selves were everywhere and one of your old satin bras was still on the couch, a memory from your last romp together in the place.

“Wow…” Niall chuckled lightly, stepping in. He moved into the kitchen as you reminisced in the foyer and took off your sneakers. He opened up the fridge and saw it had nothing, but soy sauce and beer in it, so he closed it and walked back over to you.

You imagined it be difficult, getting to know Niall without alcohol. You wondered what that person was like since everything about the man you married revolved around an intoxicated good time.

“Should we sit?” Niall asked, patting the back of your old couch and checking with you. As soon as you agreed by starting to walk over to the chesterfield, he swiped your bra off of the cushion, placing it on the coffee table and sat down next to you, leaving enough space for both your sons between you.

“I’m glad you’re back.” Peacefully, you told him. “We’re all really proud of you.” Kicking alcohol was one hell of an impressive feet to the men back in Dublin and Mullingar. While they were eager to bug him about it, they were also eager to congratulate him back home. They knew they couldn’t even give up brew for Lent, let alone for life. Niall just nodded, he knew that all to be fact.

“Do you want me back in the house?” Earnestly, he asked.

“I never kicked you out.” That was true. You merely agreed it would be best if he left for a little while when your marriage counsellor brought up the idea. It was for Daniel and Flynn. You knew drunk Niall as well as Niall knew drunk you, but the boys were the ones being affected by empty beer bottles and slurred ‘I love yous’.

“How are the boys? I really want to see them.” That was the hardest part of all, being away from his pride and joy, his beloved sons. Sometimes, Niall would scream in his tiny bed in rehab, feeling like he was dying not having them around. It was actual physical torture being without their smiles. Other patients had their children visit, but he didn’t want either Daniel or Flynn to see him like that. He always wanted to appear tough for them and he didn’t feel tough there though you thought he was. When he was checking in, he made you swear not to tell them he was there, simply asking you say he was away with the band. So, you did, though you hated lying to them. They were only six and two, but you knew they would have to find out eventually.

“They’re very good. Daniel can’t wait to show you his report card. He’s making all kinds of friends.” It was hard to believe your eldest was already in grade one. “And Flynn is good. He is getting very chubby. Your mum spoils him rotten.” You shared with a light laugh. When it came to your children, you and Niall were still in sync.

“Have I been a shit father?” He asked, his eyes starting to well when he thought of how much he had missed – not just from being in the hospital, but from being so drunk or on tour. They deserved better, he always thought. The guilt was something he never felt when he was drunk, but sober it ate at him like tooth decay. He wore it on his face like a badge.

“No.” You shook your head. “No, no, not at all.” The gap between you closed you as you inched closer and closer, finally holding him in your arms and kissing the top of his head. “When you’re ready to come home, you come home. We want you home.” There was lots for you and Niall to work on, but you were more than willing to make that effort.

Swallowing hard, Niall breathed in your body. He was so glad you still smelled how he remembered you: vanilla and baby powder.

“I want to come home.” He kissed your clavicle over and over as it was what his face was pressed into and then unburied himself from your chest to kiss your lips. His hands steadied themselves behind you as he lowered you down, using the old couch for what the two of you used to. He might not have known the right words, but physically, Niall was going to prove to you what a good man he could be and was going to be from now on.

LIAM

He wanted you to be his first apology. From the moment he checked in, Liam had started to fill a journal with the things he was going to say to you once he was finished with treatment. He hoped you would visit and he would get to share some of them with you then, but he wasn’t the least bit surprised when you never came. He had been an absolute shithead and he knew he didn’t deserve to see you even over a screen again, but he was desperate for the opportunity to see you face to face again, even if only to apologize.

It wasn’t until six months later that he finally had the chance. You had changed your number and moved all of your things from his apartment. Eleanor, Perrie, his mum, sisters, and all four of the guys refused to give him any information on where you were now. They knew that part of Liam’s healing was the apology stage, but they also felt like you needed a chance to move on after being so badly and publically bruised by his actions. Eventually, his best friend, Andy told him that you were living with your parents again and finishing up school while working doing visual displays for the boutiques in your hometown. The rest of the world was still fascinated with the scandal between you and Liam, but your hometown protected like a warm quilt. You could show your face there without anyone bothering you for details that weren’t their business. They say Liam’s sex addiction as his problem, it had nothing to you. Of course, they read all the articles from his hook ups and watched the Diane Sawyer interviews with his mistresses and hired escorts, but they never bothered you about it.

You were standing in the window of small beauty bar, sitting on top of a step ladder and hanging up red and gold garlands for the holiday display when you looked up from the blueprint paper on your lap to see Liam staring at you through the window, his face forlorn and cold. You stared for a moment, confused, before going back to what you were doing. Liam sighed so deeply his chest sucked in completely, but then he walked into the store, determined.

“Oy, I’ve got a staple gun.” The manager and your mother’s close friend piped up at the sight of him. He might have been a rock star everywhere else on the planet, but in your hometown, he was public enemy number one.

“It’s okay, Nancy.” Touched by her readiness to protect you and the fierce look in your eyes, you simply let her know she could back down. You didn’t move from your seat on the ladder though, you twisted the sparkly decorations into place and kept checking down at your paper.

“I was going to call you, but I didn’t think you’d agree to see me.” As soon as he was right behind the ladder, Liam spoke at a volume only loud enough for you two to hear.

“I wouldn’t have.” Easily, you said. You were going to give him as much attention as he did respect throughout your three and half years together.

“All I can tell you is that I am so sorry.”

It was cliché, so you took it as that and didn’t respond at all. If all he could say was sorry then all you could say was absolutely nothing.

“And you could never hate me as much as I hate myself.”

“Want to bet?” You scoffed. “Hold this.” You gave him your measuring tape and started to step down the ladder carefully, standing tall and finally turning to face him. “You know, one girl would have broken my heart, but thirty-two, that’s just blatant disregard and overachieving.” Reaching forward, you ripped the measuring tape from his hand and bent down for your box of holiday decorations, walking by him to rest it on the counter and start pulling out small plastic bulbs.

“I was fucked up, [Y/N]. Sex addiction is – “

“I’ve Wikipedia’d it, thank you.” You held up one hand, giving him a translucent gold glitter ball to talk to. You weren’t going to hear the excuses disguised as facts. “It’s nice that you’re sorry and I’m glad you’re human enough to feel guilt, but I am done. I do not want to see you again. I don’t care about your life anymore, I don’t want it in mine.” It was difficult to say that to the person you had been so sure you would love forever and be with forever, but it was true now. The hurt had taken over and you couldn’t be kind, not now. It took him a long to be sorry and it would took you that journey to feel forgiving.

Liam stood still in the store, watching as you climbed back up the ladder as he rattled his empty, but desperate brain for something to say. He just wanted you back in his world, even if only as a friend for now.

“I always loved you. It was always you I was thinking about.”

On top of the ladder, reaching up with both hands on to tie up the first shiny ornament, you just stared at him with a face that screamed disgust. He might have thought what he said would mean something to you, but it just disgusted you.

“When you were naked and touching other girls and inside of them and they were all over you…you were thinking of me? Really?” It was both gross for you to hear him say that as it was ridiciulous. “Excuse me for finding that unbelievable, Liam. I don’t think you ever thought about me, not even when you were with me.”

“[Y/N] – “ Letting his hands down in frustration, slapping them at his sides, he tried again.

“Leave, just leave.” You had already said more than you ever wanted to him. “And don’t come back here. You’re not welcomed.”

With his head hung low and his feet shuffling, he did what you wanted him to do for the first time in a long time. As soon as he was behind the wheel of his car though, he cried. He slammed his hands against the wheel over and over again, shouting enraged. He didn’t realize you could see him and he didn’t know that seeing him that upset was all the apology you needed in the first place.