Maggie sniffed and wiped at her eyes quickly after the sharp knock on the door. She viewed her appearance in the mirror before unlocking the door and stepping out into the hall.
"Hey." She said cheerfully to the knocker.
"You ok?" Dougie asked suspiciously.
"Yes." She smiled but her throat croaked and she could feel tears burn the back of her eyes. Dougie smiled and wrapped her arms round her neck. She felt his lips press on her temple and she smiled. He pulled away from her and she showed him her smile. Dougie smiled back and stepped towards the bathroom.
"No" Maggie said quickly. Dougie spun round and looked at her.
"What?" He asked leaning up against the wall confused.
"I can't..." She started.
"Can't what?" Dougie asked, fear creeping into his voice.
"I need to tell you this. I can't go on not." She whispered. Dougie stepped to her again as she started to cry.
"Tell me what? You can tell me anything." Dougie whispered into her ear. He felt her shift in his arms and he lead her into the bathroom as she began to sob. He sat her down on the bathtub. Running his hands up her bare arms that were goosepimpily and cool. He grabbed a towel and wrapped it round her tightly and kissed her forehead. She settled down and stopped crying looking up into his eyes. Dougie knelt down and they were almost eye level. "C'mon. What is it?" He lightly touched her arm and rubbed slowly up and down. Maggie shuddered as she breathed.
"I'll tell you everything." Maggie whispered shakily. "Everything." She repeated. "About why I had to leave home and everything."
Dougie nodded and settled onto his legs so he was comfortable. Maggie had to look down to meet his eyes. She stared at his blonde hair for a long time.
"Mags." Dougie whispered. Maggie turned and looked at the frost glass window where she could see a distorted blue sky.
"When I was 17." Maggie started shakily. Her voice quiet. "I started going out with Andrew Cramer. He was in my year at school we'd been flirting during term and when school broke off for summer we made it official. So we were spending lots of time together wasting away the long school free days. You saw where he lived, it was so close. We really got to know each other and I really fell for him." Maggie looked over at Dougie and he nodded. "Well we were in town one night. We were at this club place and y'know drinking and stuff. So four of us left the group and got in this cab home. Andrew got in the front and we were crossing the cross roads." Maggie stopped to catch her breath and tried to will the memories to fade. Dougie closed his eyes. He could tell what was coming next. He knelt up and pulled Maggie into his arms in a tight embrace.
"He died." Maggie rasped. "The other two that were with us, Jonny got seriously hurt. Me and Michelle were alright. Paul Cramer was furious. He was his brother and it was then that I realised how powerful he was. Andrew was always hiding it away from me. Pro-protecting me. Paul didn't blame me at the start but his father went mad. A couple of months later he was found on the railway tracks. Dead. Possible suicide. Possible murder. It didn't matter. The man that basically ruled the town was dead and his son took over." She muttered. "Paul became ruthless, he had taken over his fathers position and everything went to his head. He became more powerful, it became you don't hurt them they don't hurt you type of situation. They looked after the community in return for a shut mouth and a turned eye. Paul began bribing more people and crime escalated. It was like a turf war between everyone. There was rumours flying about everywhere about me and half of my friends would hardly talk to me anymore. I couldn't cope anymore, our window was put in one night and scared me half to death." Maggie gasped for a breath and swallowed. Dougie patted her back reassuringly. "There were gangs of them on the corners you walked past. All of them knew who I was. Paul had people following me and everything, he blamed everything on me." She murmured hysterically.
Dougie felt her tears on his neck.
"I wanted out so badly." Maggie whispered darkly. "There was nothing I hadn't considered doing." Dougie turned his head round sharply. She tilted his head away from his gaze and Dougie gasped.
"Doug." She pleaded. Dougie dropped his hands from her back and covered his mouth with them. He swiveled on his ankles and collapsed against the bath. Maggie hiccuped and sobbed. Maggie sank down beside him. She reached out and pulled his hands away from his eyes and held them tight in her hands pulling him to face her. He didn't speak to her. She just sighed beside him.
"It doesn't matter, nothing happened! Cut along story short. I owe my life to the Cramers. Jason started to talk to me and helped me get out of the town." She sighed sadly. Dougie closed his eyes again and she pressed into his legs with her fists. He snapped them open again.
"I left town. Maggie whispered. "I just travelled around for a while, dealing with everything and then I met you and finally it all went away."
Dougie looked at her.
"Doug." Maggie whispered. "I love you. You made me realise how stupid I was and how lucky I am now." Dougie smiled alittle. Maggie giggled quietly.
"Yea c'mon Dougs smile." Maggie laughed. Dougie grinned at her. She leant forward and kissed his softly. He responded slowly by moving his bottom lip slightly. Maggie dropped her head onto his chest and Dougie inhaled the shampoo off her hair. They sat like that for a minute or two. Something was reassuring to them both, pressed up together and breathing deeply against each other was calming. Maggie smiled to herself.
"Why did you tell me all this?" Dougie asked quietly. "Is it because of the court case coming up? It's ages away Maggie." Maggie lifted her head and looked at him.
"Because, there's something else." Maggie whispered. "Apart from the first time I said I love you ever in my whole life... and you never said it back."
Dougie looked at her sharply, opening his mouth to say something but she pressed her hand to his mouth and she grinned. "I'm pregnant."
Danny bounced on the balls of his feet outside Dougie's door.
"Where the hell were you?" Danny asked. "Thought we were meeting at 2?"
"Something came up." Dougie shrugged. "Come in."
Danny rolled his eyes, he was already half way down Dougie's hall.
"Dude." Danny sighed walking into the kitchen. "You better have beer."
"Why?" Dougie asked. "It's 3 in the afternoon." He added in an afterthought.
"I have to be soo drunk before I get up tonight." Danny whispered.
"You'll be fine Dan." Dougie reassured his friend.
Danny nodded and smiled weakly. "Beer?"
"Fridge." Dougie nodded. Danny opened the fridge and his head disappeared behind the door.
"Want one?" Danny asked.
"No thanks." Dougie shook his head. "Hey Mags."
"Hi." She smiled nervously at him pecking him on the lips. Dougie grinned at her.
"Megan, wanna a beer?" Danny asked.
"No." Maggie shook her head. "Can't"
"Can't?" Danny asked suspiciously.
Dougie coughed and looked at him. "Yea. She um has to drive tonight." He poked Maggie in the ribs and she nodded.
"Yea. Driving." She agreed.
Danny looked between them and frowned.
"No." Danny shook his head pointing at them. "Somethings up."
"What?" Dougie said. His voice reaching an octave higher than usual. "Nothings up"
"Everything is down." Maggie nodded turning her back to them and looking in the cupboard.
"C'mon" Danny pleaded. "Tell me."
"Dan." Dougie moaned. "Nothi-"
"Dougie I know something is up." Danny pointed out. "I won't tell anyone. Just myself. I'll probably forget tomorrow."
Maggie giggled and turned round to them again and looked up at Dougie who was looking at the floor. He was fidgeting with his t-shirt and Maggie breathed deeply.
"I'm pregnant." She said quietly. Danny's jaw dropped and he nearly dropped the bottle of beer he was holding. Maggie nodded and pressed up against Dougie who was looking at Danny's reaction with amusement.
"Really?" Danny asked looking directly at Dougie as if waiting for conformation, when his mouth finally moved.
Dougie nodded a slight smile glazing his face. Danny broke into a grin and walked over the 2 steps pulling them both into a hug together. They 3 of them stood in the kitchen in Danny's arms before Danny spoke.
"I'm gonna be an uncle." Danny laughed. "And I mean it, the other guys might think they're uncles but I'm more important plus I am through Elle."
Maggie frowned. "Don't tell anyone else yet. We're just gonna wait. Until after the show anyway. I don't want Elle to know yet."
"Why?" Danny asked releasing them.
"Just. Not the family knowing." Maggie sighing. Dougie smiled at her and Danny nodded. The phone rang and Danny answered it.
"Yea T. We're coming now." Danny sang into the phone. "Just stretching my vocal cords... Yea he's here... I ran out of beer."
Maggie laughed and picked up her jacket. "Let's go guys."
Danny nodded hanging up the phone and heading towards the door.
Dougie nuzzled into her shoulder as they hugged before they pulled apart. "Dougie"
"Yea" Dougie murmured.
"You'll be great." Maggie smiled reassuringly. He nodded at her and she pressed a kiss onto his lips. "Now go and do your thing."
Dougie nodded and grinned at her. "And remember." She whispered. "I'll be right here when you get back, me and the baby."
Dougie looked down at her she wrapped her arms round his waist. "Love you Doug."
"Love you too Mags." Dougie whispered to her. She beamed up at him and pressed a kiss on his lips again before grabbing him in another tight hug.
Ever since they had spoken earlier Maggie felt more connected to Dougie than ever before. She sighed into his chest breathing in a mixture of aftershave and Dougie smell with a hint of Comfort Fabric Softener when she breathed in again. She smiled into his soft shirt and she felt his mouth drop to her head. As he kissed her hair and she felt his chin dig into her skull.
"I'm so proud of you." Elle whispered to Danny. "You're really brave."
"Thanks Elle." Danny smiled at her. She kissed him tightly on the lips and he smiled into it.
"And I'm sorry about me not wanting you to do this." Elle whispered.
"Ssshdon't" Danny shook his head.
"But I really am." Elle nodded. Danny pulled her into his arms and kissed her again.
"But I really don't care." Danny smiled warmly at her. She giggled and he kissed her another time. "You being here is enough."
Elle grinned at him and pulled him into another rib breaking hug.
"It's finally here." She said to him. He beamed at her. He wasn't over excited as he normally was. He wasn't really really nervous either. It just felt right. Like he had been waiting his whole life to be here and now, he was finally doing it with his best friends and the love of his life.
Claire and Tom watched as Danny and Elle kissed quickly on the lips.
"Finally everything's back to normal." Claire mentioned. Tom nodded and kissed her behind the ear.
"Tom." Claire laughed. "You know that tickles."
"Sorry babe." Tom smiled at her. She grinned at him and kissed his fingertips.
"These." She mentioned to his fingers. "Are gonna work magic tonight."
Tom smiled at her. "You don't need it but good luck." She kissed his thumb and then his littlest finger.
"Claire." Tom smiled at her.
"Yea." Claire laughed looking into his eyes.
"You're perfect." Tom commented. Claire looked up at him.
"Nobody is perfect Tom." Claire whispered. They closed the gap between them and pressed their lips together.
"You are to me well." Tom whispered into her lips. He felt them turn up into a smile before being pushed against his again. The taste of apple lipgloss entering his mouth as he grinned. He ran his hand over her fingertips. His own fingers stopping as they came in contact with the ring on her finger.
"Go have fun." She whispered to him as he looked down at the glistening stone on her finger.
Amy and Harry stood in the corner. Harry's arms were loosely hanging over Amys shoulders and hers were round his waist. "I'm so happy."
"Me too Ames." Harry responded quietly.
"You gonna be ok t'night?" Amy asked smiling at him.
"Yea. I mean everything so far has went to plan. Just stay optimistic. For Danny's case more than mine."
Amy smiled at her boyfriends caring side.
"Everything will be fine right?" Harry asked nervously. "Lightening never stikes twice. Right? No one will try to shoot. Knock on wood." Harry looked frantically round for a wooden object to knock on.
Amy giggled. "Since when have you been superstitious?"
Harry rolled his eyes which made Amy giggle more and squeeze him.
"Well you do have a lucky drum kit." Amy laughed. Harry smiled and looked at the couples round the room. Danny, Dougie, Elle and Maggie were sitting on the sofa at the far side of the room. Tom and Claire were talking by the bench and some of the other guys were by the door talking together.
"Alright guys." Harry said to the 3 of them. "Let's go do this."
They all nodded. Danny and Dougie untangling themselves from the sofa and Claire joining Elle and Maggie.
"Maybe we should all do a cheesy hands in thing." Dougie suggested as he joined Harry and Tom in the middle of the room.
"What about we all hug?" Tom asked. Danny grinned and pulled them all into a hug. Elle smiled at Claire but it went unnoticed to Maggie who was staring at Dougie with a glimmer in her eye. Paul Caslin was filming it for the documentary and Amy was awwing in the corner.
"Hey D." Harry whispered so no one but the four of them could hear. They were all still standing there.
"Yea." Danny and Dougie answered at the same time. They all laughed. They girls looked on confused. Maggie's face lit up at the sight of Dougie laughing.
"Danny" Harry continued.
"Aw." Dougie whimpered. Harry glared at him as they moved into a huddle like group.
"It's gonna be ok man." Harry whispered. Danny nodded and smiled at him.
"Nervous?" Tom asked him.
"Mmm ok." Danny shrugged, "Those beers at Dougs are doing the trick."
Dougie rolled his eyes.
"How's everyone else? You haven't been on stage since either? Must be scared too." Danny said concerned.
"Shitless." Dougie muttered. Danny gave him a significant look. He had the most to loose now with the baby on the way. Dougie smiled at him and Danny repeated the action.
"We'll all do good. We've beat it before." Harry reassured them. All of them nodded.
"G'Luck." Danny whispered before they went to break apart.
"Guys" Dougie whispered. The three leaned closer and paid attention to him. "You know whatever happens after tonight and what ever is going to happen in like our future and all that shit. I want to know that this has been the best time of life and that you all are my best friends for ever, my family even."
Danny stared at him in awe, Harry grinned and nodded.
"Doug I think you summed it up pretty well there." Harry whispered to him. Dougie smiled, embarrassed.
"Yea." Tom nodded. "We all feel the same way."
"Thanks." Dougie whispered to himself.
"Right come on you muppet, stop going all mushy." Harry moaned. They all nodded and pulled away with one final hug. All of the girls awwing and ooohing. Danny pulling Dougie into a last hug as Harry and Tom grabbed a last minute drink and were already half way out of the room.
"Let's go Doug" Danny grinned at him. Dougie nodded. With a final look at the girls on the sofa. Maggie grinned at him and he was out in the corridor, about to go on stage. Dougie steadied himself with a few calming breaths and followed Danny down the white hall. It was loud as the support band banged out the last drum beats and dark. Screaming ensued, Dougie focused on the back of Danny's head as he bopped along the hall. Harry and Tom laughing about something ahead of him.
The crowds screamed as the song finished. Basically they had screamed the whole way through the show and belted out the lyrics. A girl in the front row had actually passed out which amused Dougie a lot. Tom of course got over worried but she came to and started to laugh it off, which relieved him. The banners were back and Dougie had to admit they were creative as ever, he might have missed them. Lots of ones for Danny. It was as if he had grown an extra fan base because of the incident.
"Thank you." Tom shouted into the mic.
The crowds screamed louder. Dougie stared out into the bright lights focused on him and the rest of the guys. It was good to be back.
"It uh means a lot that you're all here." Tom continued. "And we are very grateful of your continuous support."
"Yea" Danny spoke into the mic. He had to stop as screaming erupted. Danny strummed the first cord of All About You on his guitar and grinned. "Now I hope none of you are gonna shoot me."
I had a whole extra plot line set out for a sequel which ties up everything from this story much better but at the minute I can't find time to get anything decent written down so I don't think I'll continue. And I cut some stuff out of the chapter because it didn't fit with a complete end, so if it doesn't make sense, sorry.
I want to thank everyone for reading this and I hope that you all have enjoyed it. I'm sorry that it took along time to post it all. To be honest I kind of forgot about it.
Thanks, S x