A/N: Okay so I decided I'd try a chapter where some parts are in Liam's POV, but not in first person. Not sure how it went, please leave me a review telling me if it was okay or how i could improve please? :)
~Chapter 27 - A (Very Eventful) Day in the Country~
Liam chucked another shirt into his rucksack, and then changed his mind and pulled it out to make space for his iPod. The Dumping ground were all going on a trip to the countryside- one of Gina's ideas to try and ease the tension. It wouldn't work- it was a worse idea than one of their surprise bowling trips, and they were pretty bad. plus they had all been woken up at eight in the morning, Johnny doesn't even get up that early for his morning spring clean!
"C'mon Liam, we're all waiting! Hurry up!" Tracy yelled from the other side of the door, before opening it with a crash and snatching the rucksack from the bed and walking out, not even a backwards glance.
"What is this, piss off Liam month?" Liam muttered to himself. He grabbed his hoodie from the bedpost and gave himself a few moments to 'cheer up' before leaving the room and bounding after Tracy.
The tension in Elm Tree house had been building up ever since Elektra came. The blue haired freak had decided to attack Liam and threw him over the pool table when she caught him off guard- it had been all the kids fault anyway. They had all looked at him when she had asked who was in charge, and although it felt good to have everyone look up to him, he wasn't going to fight their battles. Especially when he got no thanks in return.
Before Elektra had come, Liam had made the stupid decision to tell Leanna how he felt about her. She had temporarily lost her memory and as far as he knew she didn't remember anything from that day thankfully. The second most important rule if you're in care? Never get too attached to anyone.
Then Liam had asked out Bethany. It had seemed like a foolproof plan to him. Hook up with Bethany, and get over Leanna. Simple right? Not at all. Bethany was hot and she could be great, but overall she was just another bitch who liked to manipulate people and thought she was the best thing next to football. WellLiam had always been better at business plans.
Things had only gotten worse when he had talked to Leanna about Bethany and she had seemed genuinely happy for him. That obviously meant she only saw him as a friend, great. He was beginning to thank God (if there even was one) that he had admitted how he felt to Leanna when she was not right in the head... but then he had laughed at himself for stressing about girls. And no sooner had he done that, he went and almost kissed her. He had been caught up in the moment, but it had screwed things up even more. And then Leanna went and accused Bethany of cheating on him. Then Johnny and Tee had a failed foster family which brought everyone's moods down. Now nobody was talking to anybody, and Mike and Gina thought they were being clever by arranging this trip.
As they crowded onto the bus, Tracy deliberately took the last paired seat with Gus, leaving the back four seats for Frank, Liam, Leanna and whoever was unfortunate enough to be stuck next to them, who turned out to be Toby. "Right guys, let's make this as fun as our last trip was!" Mike bellowed, almost skipping down the front garden, like Johnny would when potential foster parents were coming over and there was plenty of opportunities to show off his and Tee's cleaning skills.
The last trip Elm Tree had been on was too the beach, and it had started off a disaster. In the end it had been pretty cool, and it had been the first time Liam had seen the sea. Not that it was that special though. This time Gina had insisted on using paper maps and she looked disturbingly cheerful, along with Tracy who was talking about how much she loved camping. Yeah right. they might as well have started a sing along while they were at it.
Surprisingly, the younger kids started to cheer up, and an excited chatter started. There was still a stony silence at the back of the bus, until Tracy turned around. "You guys are going to have to talk at some point! You're never going to sort anything out if you keep quiet." She said, grinning. Well done, Captain State the Obvious. Toby squirmed in his seat, opening and closing his mouth like a fish. Finally he said something.
"So, Leanna... does it... hurt?" He asked, gesturing nervously to the side of his face. He was referring to her scar- why not just rename him Tactful Toby, eh?
"No." Leanna said, crossing her arms. The back of the bus delved into an awkward silence again, and Tracy gave an exasperated sigh.
The journey was only about three hours along, (not counting the stops that were made for Tee to chuck up everything she had ever eaten) and once they had reached a parking lot, Mike had insisted that everyone do their part and carry the tents and other supplies. They had trekked for ten minutes until they came across a clearing, which had already been set up with an obstacle course and tent pegs and a barbecue under a marquee.
"Right, Team A, over here please!" Called Mike, as the kids took a paper each from the hat.
"And Team B, this side yeah." Said Gina. Liam nodded as he surveyed his team, satisfied. They would win for sure, and even better; Elektra and Leanna were on Team B. Now there was no way he could lose. Frank was looking quite annoyed, but knowing him he wasn't too bothered about losing. First they had to do an obstacle course, which consisted of running through tires, climbing a wall of rope, across a plank of wood and under a rope net and then sprinting to the finish line through hanging sacks. . Liam's team won easily, it was all about strategy. When you get to the rope wall, stop at the top and help the next team mate over. That way no one got stuck, it was simple, you just had to be a quick planner. Of course Elektra thought that she had won, and started gloating along with her team. Liam was going to enjoy this.
"No, I don't think so." Liam sneered, grinning and pointing to little Harry, who was being helped across the plank of wood by Tracy. To be honest Liam was pretty glad he didn't have Harry, his team was quite good apart from Johnny, but he could put up with him for a while at least.
"No man gets left behind. Not in my team, yes?" Gina told her. Yes Gina! Liam grinned, laughing quietly to himself. It was always hilarious to see Elektra get owned. And owned by Gina? Even better. Gina lifted Harry into the air and spun him around - bad idea - and twisted her ankle while doing so. Toby ran to the rescue as usual, while Elektra just smirked.
The younger kids were playing tag along with Sapphire (surprisingly, and he would use that for piss take in the future), and Liam stood around, not sure whether to join in or not. Out of the corner of his eye he could see that Leanna was talking quietly to Frank under the little marque. "That kid gives in way too easily." Liam grumbled to himself, but his bad mood was quickly turned around when he saw both Carmen and Toby fall face first into some animal's shit. Perfect, even more stuff for taking the piss!
After naming Tracy the new leader of Team B (the look on Elektra's face was priceless!) Mike announced that the next task was a 5 kilometer trek. After seeing Team B fail so much in the space of a couple of hours, Liam couldn't wait to win this challenge and humiliate them even more. Except Frank of course, he would be nice to him about it. In fact, this was the most enthusiastic Liam had been all morning.
"Sure you'll be alright, stuck with them two?" Liam had said to Frank.
"I'll be alright, c'mon, Leanna's our mate! But who cares who's in my team? I'm still gonna beat you!" Frank grinned, and Liam found himself smiling despite what Frank had said about Leanna.
"Nah I don't think so mate, i'll win hands down. Right, let's make a bet. If I win, you've got to give Elektra a massive hug and tell her that you'll always be there for a girly chat."
Frank laughed, and shook his head. "Alright, its on. And if you lose, You have to talk things out with Leanna... and then let Johnny win at every game of pool you play for a month." Frank said. Ooh, that was a harsh bet. Talking to Leanna and letting Johnny win? There was no way he could lose. The two shook on their bet, and headed their separate ways with their teams.
Two hours later, and Leanna was somewhere in the middle of no where, stuck with Elektra, Carmen and Toby. "It should be around...here!" Elektra said, as they came upon the beginning of a bridge. Elektra had changed the map so it would seem like Tracy had gotten them lost, so she and the younger kids along with Frank would turn back. Now they were following a short cut, and had found the bridge. Carmen still wasn't talking to her, but on the bright side Elektra wasn't being as hostile.
"Now what?" Carmen sighed, as their path was blocked by a door.
"We'll just get rid of the rope!" Said Elektra, as she untangled it. It was obviously there for a reason, but if it meant winning, then Elektra didn't care. Leanna wasn't complaining, to be honest she was almost as desperate to win as Elektra was. It was funny how a simple challenge and an argument could bring out the competitive side in people. The door swung open to reveal the rest of the bridge, and to say it looked unstable would be an understatement.
"Elektra don't! It doesn't look safe, come back!" Toby cried, watching in horror as Elektra started to cross the bridge. Leanna peered over the edge, watching the rushing of the rapids in the river. If anyone fell, there was no way they would survive it.
"See? I told you it was fine! Who's next?" Elektra called to them, as she reached the end of the bridge. Carmen, Toby and Leanna glanced at each other, communicating through their eyes about who would go next. Realising that both Toby and Carmen were staring at her without blinking, Leanna took the message. Taking a deep breath, she stepped onto the wooden bridge and continued to cross it, keeping hold of the rope on either side.
She reached the other side and squeezed past Elektra, who was the only one who would be able to tempt the other two over. Elektra turned to her, the map in hand. "Look, you go on ahead. Straight for about 10 meters and then a sharp left, then right after 5 meters. Wait for us at what should be..." Elektra checked the map, and then continued. "A brick wall. Go on!"
Leanna sighed and turned to follow the path that Elektra had told her of. It was nice and quiet, in the forest. She could actually think here, unlike at the Dumping Ground where all you could hear was constant chatter. Not that she really minded it though, it got annoying at times but when she thought about what life would be like if she wasn't at Elm Tree house, she realised how lucky she really was... And how lucky she was to have met Liam and Frank. Perhaps she could just apologise to them, but then she'd be giving in. She hadn't been in the wrong in the first place, it was just Liam. No, she wouldn't apologise. He'd realise she was right soon enough, when Bethany screwed him over. He deserved her anyway.
Turn left after ten meters. Or was it right? Leanna thought, stopping abruptly. Everything looked pretty much the same, trees, grass, mud, sky. Probably right. She decided, and turned sharply.
"Shit." Leanna cursed, as she stood by a red call box. There was definitely no brick wall here, unless she was blind. Just a road and a call box, loads of trees and no one in sight. She couldn't even use the call box, Mike had taken everyone's cell phones and stashed them in the van, so she was pretty much stuck. Sighing once again, Leanna sat down next to the call box and settled on making a daisy chain until someone found her, or until she was bothered to go wandering again.
The crunching of footsteps caught Leanna's attention, and sitting up straight she could see two figures coming towards her. They were on the other side of the box and couldn't see her, which was a good thing when Leanna noticed it was Johnny... and Liam. She shuffled further behind the call box and stood up, not knowing what to do.
"Sit! Buster, sit!" Johnny commanded. Ah, so they had a dog with them.
"It's making a funny noise." Liam muttered, frowning at the phone. Idiot. Leanna thought, stopping herself from snorting with laughter. It was kind of cute, him not knowing how to use a call box. Shut up Leanna! She scolded herself.
"Yeah, well you have to put money in it!" Johnny explained.
"What, like pay as you go?"
"Yeah." Leanna said, stepping out from behind the box. Both boys jumped, and Liam's features quickly turned into a scowl while Johnny just looked plain confused.
"What the hell were you doing behind there?" Johnny questioned, and Liam just rolled his eyes and tapped a number into the phone key pad.
"Cheers mate." The middle aged man said, as he lifted the dog into the back of the truck.
The three of them waved as he drove away, and then Liam turned to Leanna. "What are you doing here?!" He demanded, the scowl still present. Leanna crossed her arms and opened her mouth to reply when they were interrupted with a shout.
"Liam, Johnny!... Leanna?" It was Mike, and he didn't look pleased.
"We was just..." Liam began to explain, but Mike interrupted.
"Don't talk, walk!" Mike commanded, pointing in the direction that he had just come. Then he turned to Leanna. "And Leanna, where is the rest of your team?!"
Leanna shrugged, and began pulling her hair back into a pony tail as she followed Mike. "Dunno. Nice hat by the way!"
After about five minutes of walking they came upon a field full of lavender, where Lily and Gus sat with all their stuff. "Right, we are supposed to be a team! And so far all we've had is team Gus. Let's get it together, okay?" Mike said, sighing as he came to a stop by Lily and Gus. Leanna coughed loudly, standing a little bit away from the group. "Leanna... well I suppose you'll have to be part of this team now." Mike told her, but he didn't sound too annoyed, and he smiled warmly at her. "Wait... where's Sapphire?" He asked Lily, who replied that she had gone to take photos. Sighing once again, Mike took a deep breath. "SAPPHIRE!" He bellowed.
"What?" Came the annoyed reply, and Mike jumped and turned around to find Sapphire standing right behind him, a hand on her hip as she flicked through the photos on her camera. "Oh, hi Leanna!" She said, noticing the other girl. Leanna smiled and turned to follow the rest of the team back into the woods.
"So, had fun with your brother did you?" asked Liam, scoffing. Leanna grimaced and pulled her jacket tighter around her.
"Yes actually, we had a great time." She lied, but it was obvious that she was losing her skill in lying. Liam watched her out of the corner of his eye as they trudged along behind the rest of the group.
Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he attempted to continue the conversation. "You're lying." He simply said, knowing he would get a reaction from her. She stiffened but relaxed soon enough, realising that there was no point trying to keep the story going.
"Alright. He's not allowed to see me alone because the social workers are pricks." She confessed.
"What!? Why?" Liam gasped, slightly concerned. He was right after all, family is bullshit and people always had to learn the hard way.
"He took me to see my mother. Apparently it's not allowed. When we got there she was trying to... commit suicide." Leanna said, her words getting caught in her throat. She had been asked to repeat what had happened a million times. To the paramedics, the doctors, the police, the social workers, it had soon became like repeating a script. But when it came to talking to someone who wasn't concerned about the tiny details and what weapon had been used to inflict the injuries, it was harder. She found herself waiting to be judged, for Liam to say something to spark of an argument.
"I'm sorry... I didn't know that..." Liam muttered, avoiding her gaze. She shrugged, not really knowing what to say. They carried on walking in silence for a while, listening to the hum of Gus's facts on the previous question cards they had picked up.
"enjoying school with your new mates then?" Liam said, and there was an edge to his voice. Leanna could tell this was a touchy topic, exactly why he had brought it up.
"Why do you care?" She snapped, folding her arms and fiddling with her coat.
"Dunno... just always thought you weren't into that kind of stuff, y'know?" He said, it was obvious to her what he was hinting at. He was talking about the time she had tried a cigarette, something she had promised not to do. Her group of friends were trouble, and they both knew it.
"And what? I didn't know you were into lying cheaters." Leanna retorted, referring to his girlfriend, Bethany. That would get to him, she thought.
Apparently not. "Nah, I just seem to make the mistake of trusting crappy liars." He replied, sneering. "Like you." He added, gave her a cold glare and jogged ahead to catch up with Sapphire, leaving Leanna standing there, her mouth hanging open.
The smell of eggs caught their attention and the group soon found their way back to the clearing where Gina was cooking under the marquee. "Looks like we beat them!" Liam cheered, running over to the deck chairs and collapsing onto one and resting his hands behind his head. Leanna sat down next to Sapphire and looked through her photos with Lily. They were pretty and of course arty, but as Lily had said, it was weird how there weren't any people in them.
"Alright then," Sapphire grinned, lifted the camera and took a surprise picture, catching Leanna and Lily looking shocked, Liam sleeping on the deck chairs, Gus looking very confused and Gina explaining to Mike about the missing sausages with very odd hand gestures.
"Hey losers!" Johnny grinned, pointing to the rest of group B, who trudged into the marquee.
"Thought you was gonna beat us back eh, haha!" Liam scoffed, grinning at the weary kids.
"Leanna! How did you.." Tracy began, noticing Leanna on the deck chairs.
Mike shook his head, smiling fondly. "Long story," He told her. "Good day? Wait, don't tell me. Why don't you get washed up and you can tell us over tea." He said, and Leanna watched out of the corner of her eye as Frank ran over to Liam and spoke with him, a serious look on his face. Pulling off her jacket, she sat up as Mike came over and sat down next to her. "The hospital called Gina." He began, his calming Irish accent making it seem like nothing could be wrong. "They say your mother is in a critical condition, but they think she'll pull through. But Leanna, here's the thing... They're going to have her checked up and they think they can do something about her... problems." Leanna nodded, a small feeling of relief washing over her. "Rehab is too expensive as you know, and the council won't pay, so they're thinking about counselling, and keeping her in the hospital for a while. About your brother, well... I think it's for the best Leanna." He said quietly, gave that adult-like comforting smile and patted her on the back before walking back to join Gina.
Later that day, all of the Dumping Ground were sitting under the marquee, enjoying Gina's meal of cooked eggs and tomatoes. Carmen was describing her story of falling through the bridge and almost falling in, whilst Elektra looked awfully guilty. Leanna was starting to feel glad she got lost so didn't have to get caught up in that mess, but having said that she had a few complications of her own to work out. A quiet cough made her jump, and she turned in her chair. Liam had somehow ended up a little bit behind her, and he sat back in his chair, a smirk on his lips.
"Looks like Elektra got what she deserved." Liam said, his eyes flicking to Elektra who was storming off to the girls tent. Leanna just shrugged and turned around, but he caught her shoulder and turned her back. "I was just worried, y'know. They're the wrong crowd to get mixed in with." He said, and his face was completely serious.
"This isn't the place to talk about this Liam." Leanna said firmly, jumping slightly when he took her hand and stood up. That little jolt fired through her arm, but she ignored it and followed him behind the tents, where they sat cross legged on the grass.
"Like I said before, they're the wrong crowd. You know what your old school was like Leanna, and they ain't changing just cos Mountview isn't as chavvy. I know stuff about them, and you're not stupid. Nobody even really likes them anyway."
Leanna let him finish, and pulled out grass as she spoke. "I'm not gonna pretend I'm happy with them anymore, Liam." She said, looking up at his face. "But what can I do? I'm Bethany's new best friend. And... and speaking of her... okay look, I know I've lied before. I know I make up shit and I don't know when to shut up sometimes but I wouldn't lie to you Liam, I really wouldn't." She said, speaking faster and faster as she carried on.
"I believe you."
"What?!" She said, shutting up.
"I believe you Leanna. I was in denial, a'right? C'mon, what guy wants to hear their girlfriend is cheating on them? But then Frank told me everything you told him and he seemed pretty convinced. I trust Frank, and... I trust you too. So I believe you, but you've got to do one thing. Stop being a div and come hang out with me at lunch, a'right?" He said, smiling sadly. Leanna nodded, sighing a little. It felt good that he believed her, finally. She owed a lot to Frank.
"I'm sorry." She laughed, smiling back at him. "Let's just stop with this fighting. And the insults, okay?"
"C'mon Leanna... y'know I love you." He smirked, his brown eyes crinkling as he grinned.
Leanna stood up and brushed the grass off of her jeans. "I know you do Liam. You just have a strange way of showing it." She replied, before looking as if she was considering something. Then she bent down and kissed his cheek, before walking away, her arms tightly folded.
Liam stood up, his mind suddenly reeling backwards to the month when she had lost her memory. She had been wearing her hair the same today, it always looked nice like that. Pulled into a curly pony tail with two strands of curly hair to frame her face. It made her look prettier, he thought, watching her as she sat down by Sapphire. She should wear her hair like that more. And smile more, she had a nice smile.
You sound soppy, Liam. He thought and laughed quietly at himself. Then he stuffed his hands in his pockets and sauntered over to Frank to not only thank him, but rub it in his face how he had won the bet and that Frank now had to give Elektra a hug and tell her that he was always there for a girly hug. Why did the boy even attempt to beat him? He was Liam the Unbeatable. Except when it came to the Dumping Ground's ice cream eating competitions. Somehow Harry always won that. That, along with girls, didn't make any sense at all.
A/N: Please leave a review:)