“Liam, there is something I want to show you, though,” I say.
“Come with me.” Everyone gets up to follow me anyways. I guide them to the basement to show Liam my most prized possessions.
“Are these…?” I nod my head smiling. Liam almost freaks out as he starts to look through my comic book collection. It was the one thing my dad let me take over seas of his; his entire comic book collection. Aside from the ones my sister wanted.
“I think these are the one you’ll really want to see,” I slide out the box that starts the beginning of what I have of the original ‘Detective’ Batman series. As I struggle with my wrist being weaker Harry helps me pull down the box.
When Liam looks in the box his eyes light up more than a little kid on Christmas day, “Holy shit! How do you have these?!”
“My dad started collecting when he was in his twenties; those are the original Batman series, and he has many from issue three hundred on. I continue to collect them, and these next four boxes are all of them. Then I have the series ‘Batman,’ ‘Batman and Robin,’ ‘Robin,’ ‘Nightwing,’ ‘Superman,’ and any that pertain to him, ‘Wonder Woman,’ and hers, and a few Marvel ones here and there,” I smile at him.
“Why didn’t you tell me about these earlier?!” he laughs trying to open one of the comic books.
“Careful with that, Liam! That’s from the nineteen-sixties!” I yell.
“If you want to read them, you’re going to have to be extremely careful or you’ll have to deal with my dad.”
“I’d listen to her, mate,” says Harry as I look at him laughing.
Liam and I both take a box of comic books up; he takes Detective and I take Robin. This Robin series is based off of the third Robin, Tim Drake. For the rest of the day Liam is trying to read the comic books he chose, but it’s really just him asking me a bunch of questions about the superheroes. He didn’t know as much about Batman as he thought he did; and since he’s too impatient to know about the Robins I tell him about Richard (Dick) Grayson, Timothy Drake-Wayne, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne, and we watch the two movies that explain Jason Todd and Carrie Kelly’s stories.
“Dick was the very first Robin; whom, anyone who’s either read Batman or has just seen the movies knows that,” I laugh. “He lost his parents like Bruce, so Bruce took him in and he eventually found the Batcave. Tim Drake was the third Robin, my favorite Robin and overall hero; he was the first of the guys to be officially adopted by Bruce. His mother died and Captain Boomerang killed his dad. He has detective skills so great that he deduced the identity of Batman, Nightwing and the second Robin, Jason, all on his own. Stephanie Brown was Robin only for a short while because she wasn’t good enough to be Batman sidekick; not because she’s a girl,” I tease, “But because it was really just too much for her; later, but before the reboot, she dawns the cowl of Batgirl, and is trained by Barbara Gordon herself.”
“What happened to Barbara?”
“She got shot by the Joker, and became paralyzed from the waist down.”
“You really do know your stuff, kid,” Liam jokes.
“My dad gave me all of these; I’ve spent my free time over the many years reading them,” I blush.
“Nothing wrong with that, Colleen,” he smiles rubbing my back.
I smile back at him, “Okay, so Damian Wayne is the only biological son of Bruce. His mother is Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter, Talia.”
“The one from the third movie?!”
“Mmhmm. But there’s nothing to do with Damian in the movie, and there probably won’t be. Anyways, Bruce didn’t find out about him until he was about ten and went searching for Bruce himself. He was trained by the League of Assassins, so he can break someone’s neck at the age of ten.” Liam looks at me mortified. “Damian and Tim never get along whatsoever. Ever. When Tim became Red Robin after the death of Batman, Damian became the Robin to Dick when he finally got the crowl, and he had a lot to learn. Even though he already had detective and combat skills, he lacks the discipline it took to not kill.”
“There is so much I have missed!” After explaining this we watch ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood’ to learn Jason’s story, and ‘The Dark Knight Returns: Parts one and two’ to learn Carrie’s story. When they’re over Liam is completely impressed. “Jeez, if I knew you knew all of this, I would have gone for you.”
“Liam Payne, what would Nicole say if she heard that?” I jokingly scoff.
“She wouldn’t say a thing,” he says grabbing me into one of his bear hugs then kisses the top of my head. “Come on, it’s late, let’s get you to bed.” I yawn as I stand up then we head upstairs.
Harry is still up sitting on the floor reading a few choice comic books. “I didn’t think you’d still be up,” I say.
“I wanted to make sure you were okay before you went to sleep,” he whispers since Niall and Andrea are in the room with us snuggled up together her head on his chest. The others said that Harry and I can’t be alone for a while now. “Come here,” Harry holds his arms out for me. I sit in his lap and let him wrap his arms around me. “I’m so sorry about last night,” he kisses the top of my head gently pulling me into him. I don’t say anything because if I try to reassure him it’s okay he’ll just freak out more. Blame himself more.
“How’s your eye?” I ask.
“It’ll heal. I’ve gotten worse, you know that,” he laughs. I shake my head. “Okay, you get some sleep now.” I look at him, “I love you.”
We kiss, “I love you too,” I reply.
As I wake up this morning I feel better than I have in a long time; it’s the first night I didn’t have a nightmare, just regular dreams. They were still weird, but not scary. When I roll over I see that my floor is empty; no Andrea, no Niall and no Harry. I check the time to see that it’s around ten am, so I decide to take a shower since I didn’t get one last night. Maybe I’ll be able to convince everyone to do something today.
As I head downstairs I hear everyone in the kitchen. “Good morning, Sleeping Beauty,” Harry greets me with a kiss.
“Hey Sunshine,” Louis waves from the other side of the counter cooking something on the stove.
“Good morning, everyone,” I smile back at them all. The girls greet me as well then they all pull me into a massive hug. “I think I could get used to this. Waking up to others cooking for me,” I laugh as I walk over to Liam who’s making the bacon.
I snatch a piece from the pile next to the stove, “Hey!” he shouts, “Wait until everything is ready, Missy!” pulling me into a side hug.
“No way,” I tease, “You’re telling that to the girl equivalent of Niall.” After I swallow a bite of my slice I say, “Speaking of, where is Niall? And Andrea, for that matter?” I didn’t realize how hungry I am.
Zayn speaks up, “They left about an hour ago,” after looking at his watch.
“Why did they leave?” I ask shocked and upset. “And without saying goodbye…” I pout.
“They said something about Andrea needing to go into work. Something with the Police department’s computers and software or something.”
“But Andrea told me she wasn’t going to the office during the time you guys were back. She said she could work from home since it was just computer work,” I say almost hurt. “She said she wanted to make the most of the time she has with Ni before you guys have to leave again.”
“I guess they’re making the most of their time together,” says Louis. “Privately,” he winks. “I mean they have been sneaking around a lot as usual, don’t tell me the other day when they were in the pool house they were just ‘talking’,” a devilish grin appears on Louis’ face.
“But it’s not like them to just leave without saying goodbye, or saying they’ll be back later.”
“If you ask me,” says Eleanor, “Maybe Ni just got his feelings hurt a little after last night when he said, ‘I thought we were best friends’ and you just brushed him off, Love,” Eleanor steps closer to me. “I know all of us are pretty close, but you and Niall, you two go way deeper than that. Do you remember when he and Andrea started dating that they got in fights all the time over it? How she would question you guy’s friendship all the time due to how close you are?” Eleanor was right. Niall and I are pretty close, and I didn’t tell him. But Andrea and Nicole; I grew up with Nicole and I’ve known Andrea for several years now. I introduced her to Niall.
“I need to call them,” I head back to my bedroom to get my phone. I call his phone and get nothing then I call Andrea’s and hers is off.
“Any luck?” I hear Harry as he comes into my room sitting next to me on my bed.
“No…” I don’t look at him, “How could I be so stupid? He is my best friend. He knows me inside and out,” I half laugh.
Harry places his hand on my back; soothing me, “Give them some time, Love. You know how Niall is; they’re probably just stretched out on their couch watching sports or a movie to relax, and their phones aren’t around them.”
“I can’t believe I let myself hurt Niall, though.”
“Shh,” he says pulling me into his lap. He kisses my forehead then says, “Honestly, we’re all hurt you didn’t tell us. But we’re not going to leave you now. Not ever. They’ll be fine. He’ll be fine.”
“Harry, I can’t not worry about them.”
“I didn’t say to not worry about them. I said to give them some time. Ni will probably come waltzing right back here tomorrow,” he says rubbing his nose against mine, “He’ll be his happy self once again in no time.”
I sigh, “You’re probably right,” not completely believing myself.
“Did my Colleen just tell me I’m right?” he jokes.
“Yes, yes she did.”
“Something must be terribly wrong,” he presses his hand against my forehead as if checking to see if I have a fever. “No, it’s not that…” he teases. “Must be,” but he doesn’t finish; he just tickles me. He actually tickles me. He’s the only one who has ever done that to me before. I start to laugh hysterically as his fingers go at my sides. It’s been a while since he’s done this to me.
“Stop! Stop! I surrender!” I yell trying to catch my breath. As I breathe heavily Harry and I stare into each other’s eyes. “I love you,” I say.
“I love you too.” He stands up placing his hand out for mine. “Let’s go eat now!”
The two of us head back downstairs with everyone staring at us. “What?” I ask scared.
“What was with the hysterical laughter?” asks Louis.
“I was tickling her,” Harry says smugly about to do it again.
I slide away, “No way! Stay over there!” I joke.
We all eat breakfast at my dining room, and since it’s still raining like usual in London we decide to stay indoors for the day. Liam, Haz and I going back to reading comic books. I go downstairs, with Harry on my trail, to get the next box I need. “Shit, ow that hurt,” I say after my wrist bends the wrong way pulling at some of my wounds.
"Baby, are you okay?" Harry looks up from a Green Lantern comic book.
"No," my arm starts to bleed.
"Oh, gosh, what happened?"
"Trying to lift the box pulled them open."
Harry quickly pulls me upstairs to the bathroom. He runs the water for it to get warm, “Do you have any medical supplies down here?” I shake my head. “Hey, can someone grab the medical supplies from Colleen’s upstairs bathroom?” Harry yells to the others.
A few of them run to us, “What happened?!” Nicole asks.
I answer, “The cuts pulled open when I was getting a box down.”
Nicole hits Harry in the arm, “Why didn’t you take it down for her?”
“She said she could do it, and I didn’t want to argue,” Harry laughs.
"I’ll go get it. Under your sink?"
"Yea," I wince as Harry applies pressure to my arm. When Nicole comes back down she wraps my arm in gauze. "Thanks."
"No problem," she hugs me.
It’s been two days, and no sign of or word from Andrea and Niall. It’s a Monday afternoon, around seven pm, so it’s starting to get dark. I can’t take it anymore, so I decide to go check on Andrea and Niall. To make sure they’re okay, and to clear things up with Niall.
"Baby, where are you going?" asks Harry as I pick of my keys from the kitchen counter.
"I’m going to see if Niall and Andrea are okay. It’s been two days since we last heard from them, and it’s not normal for Andrea not to talk. We talk every single day!" I answer slightly annoyed.
"At least let me go with you?"
"Harry, I’ll be fine, it’s just around the corner," I place my hand on his face. "I’ll call you when I get there," I smile reassuringly at him.
"Okay and when you’re leaving?"
"I will," I reply kissing him.
I arrive at their flat; both their cars are parked outside. I thought A was working? I ask myself. It’s still raining, so I figure they’re probably inside fighting over the Xbox or watching sports. I take my key to their house out, and when I open the. I hear Niall and Andrea laugh, so I walk through the living room to get to the kitchen. I see Andrea sitting on the counter in her pjs drinking wine and laughing while Niall makes dinner, while amusing her with one of his stories.
“It’s very nice to see you two having a ball of a time while I’ve been worried sick,” I say angered.
"Colleen!" they shout.
"So nice to see you!" Andrea quickly hops off the counter to come towards me.
"No, don’t even, if you wanted to be alone all you had to do was just tell me. I think we’re all grown-ups here; I would have understood." I begin to tap my foot and cross my arms.
Niall walks over to us placing his hands on Andrea’s shoulders, “Give us a minute, Love” he says looking at her smiling.
"Sure" she answers smiling back at him. He winks at her as she heads upstairs to her bedroom closing the door behind her,
"Uh… So can I get you something to drink?" Niall asks walking back to the kitchen turning to turn off the stove then taking a sip of his beer.
"Wine please. If you don’t mind."
“‘Course not,” he pours me a class. “Listen, I’m sorry. Yes, we were wrong to just up and leave without saying anything, but please let me explain…” Niall starts the conversation while I sip on my glass.
"Let you explain? Do you have any idea how I’ve felt? After telling everyone I expected you to be there the next morning. Instead you just left, came here, and felt sorry for yourself. Am I right?"
"Colleen!" he yells, "Didn’t you think for one moment about how I felt? My best friend was raped, and she chose not to tell me. No, instead I had to figure it out on my own. Then I find out my girlfriend knew the whole time; since the day it happened. Colleen, I told you everything. I never kept anything from you, and you know that. And the other night you couldn’t have cared less! Don’t make excuses either. I don’t want to hear them," he begins to yell more.
"I didn’t want to bother you guys on tour because I know you guys would have cancelled the rest of it. Disappointing your fans…" I don’t look at him.
"I’d run to hell and back for you. Andrea would too; I’m one hundred percent sure of that. Same goes for the rest of the guys."
"Niall…" I say.
He interrupts me, “No, let me finish, spending these last couple of days with you, seeing how scared you were. Are. I know you said it’s not our faults, and we should stop blaming ourselves, but however, you are my responsibility. I took you out of your home country to move you here and accommodate us; I’m terrified to leave for tour because I don’t want to leave Andrea behind and unprotected. What if that happened to her? Or any of the girls, for that matter? I’m sure the rest of the guys feel exactly the same.” Niall is now crying, and for once, I see how scared he is. How much this has affected him too.
"Niall… I don’t know…" I try to speak again as I got to sit next to him in the couch pulling a him as close as possible to me.
"You’re like my sister, Colleen. You’re all of our sisters. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if anything happened to you. Not now. Not ever," his tears picking up.
"Shh, it’s okay, Ni. You won’t lose me. Not ever, I promise. I have all of you to help me," I lightly laugh. "We’re all family. I’m so sorry for keeping this from you; I just figured if I had to tell you, or any of the guys, you would end up going to jail for murder."
Niall laughs with me pulling himself together “Look at me crying like this. I’m a grown man,” he jokes wiping his tears away. He goes to get us another round of drinks, and I go get Andrea.
"Just so you know," I say when Andrea appears, "I’m still not happy with you two. Just leaving us like that without saying goodbye. However, I will let you two get back to whatever this is. By the look of things, I see Louis’ suspicions have been confirmed, ‘‘making the most of your time. Privately.’" I wink at them just like Lou did to me. Niall has a guilty yet sly grin plastered on his face while Andrea laughs and buries her face into his chest. "I’ll stay in touch. I do want to go out at some point. I think I’ve been in my house too long… We should go exploring or something."
"Sure, just give us a call," Niall smiles letting go of Andrea to hug me.
"Will you answer your phone this time?"
"Fuck, which reminds me, our phones have been in my car…"
"Idiot," I mumble against him, "I’ve been calling like crazy."
"I’m sorry. I guess we forgot about them when we got back here…"
"I wonder why," I raise my eyebrows. We say our goodbyes; and I feel very relieved that we’re on good terms, I call Harry, "I’m leaving now, baby."
"Okay, be careful. I’ll see you soon. Love you.
"Love you too," I smile into the phone.