AN: Hello guys :) I owe you a massive apology… I've been crazily busy these past few weeks with music auditions and A2 Levels but I promise I haven't given up on writing these. I realise it's been weeks, maybe even months since I updated this fic. and it's been even longer since I added to YCTLMD, (my other fic). I have some spare time today, so I'm going to work on the next few chapters of YCTLMD, and for now I'm going to leave you all with the next chapter of Not Alone… it's not that long I'm afraid, but I hope it's worth the wait. I'm going to make a real effort to make my updates more regular now I'm back in the routine with school etc. Sorry again… I hope you enjoy!

Chapter 5:

Dougie woke with a start as he rolled over too far and fell out of his bed. He sat up rubbing his eyes and feeling a little embarrassed. Peering at the clock on his bedside table, he saw that it was gone 11am. Danny would be here soon. He vaguely remembered texting Danny last night, but had fallen asleep before he got a reply. He scrambled back onto his bed and grabbed his phone, which was still by his pillow. He had two messages; the first was from Tom.

'Alright mate? You left your jacket at mine last night. I'll drop it round later if you like :) x'

He quickly checked his other message; it was from Danny. His face fell when he read the part about him having to cancel their plans. Dougie had been looking forward to spending some time just the two of them; he hardly saw Danny these days. He quickly sent a reply saying it was fine and they would reschedule later.

He sighed then replied to Tom's message:

'Thanks, mate, that would be great! You busy later? Danny's had to cancel and I do not wanna spend all day stuck inside with my mum and sister ;) x'

He threw his phone down and collapsed onto his bed, sighing again. He was still a bit concerned about Danny - something had changed, but he didn't know what.

Danny blinked a couple of times and turned over to find his sister Ellie sitting beside him on his bed, gently shaking his shoulder. A grin spread across her face before she began to speak softly.

"Getting up any time soon?" she chuckled.

"Yeah, I guess so..." Danny sighed, attempting to sit up. He gasped and clutched his stomach as pain shot through him. Ellie frowned and helped him stand up.

"How bad are they?" She asked cautiously, referring to the bruises Danny was sure to have.

Danny didn't reply, just pulled the front of his t-shirt up revealing a scattering of multi-coloured bruises that covered most of his middle.

Ellie gasped then looked her brother in the eyes again, her face more serious now. "You'll have to stop winding him up, you know, otherwise he'll just keep doing this to you" she said with a sigh.

Danny was shocked by her change in attitude from the previous night. "This isn't my fault! He's always drunk, that's the problem!" he retorted, raising his voice a little.

"You make him worse though, always doing things to piss him off!" She said, her smile from earlier had vanished completely now and her voice was getting louder too.

"I can't believe you're defending him! Leave me alone, just get out!" Danny shouted, and Ellie did so willingly. Danny stood, too stunned to move, and tried to steady his breathing. Ellie had basically made out that he was asking to get beaten up every night! Danny could feel fresh tears stinging his eyes once more, but he shook his head in an attempt to make them go away.

He walked into the bathroom and inspected his bruised face in the mirror. His nose was swollen, and his left eye was a dark bluey-purple colour. He pulled off his t-shirt and looked at his topless self in the full-length mirror, barely recognizing the person staring back at him. His reflection showed his pale skin, covered in bruises, all from different times when his Dad had been angry and drunk. He looked thinner too; he hadn't felt like eating much recently. He sighed and went back to his room, found some fresh clothes to change into, then padded down the stairs into the kitchen.

His father was drinking coffee at the kitchen table. Danny shuddered, remembering the last time he was in the kitchen alone with his Dad. Without saying a word, he boiled the kettle and made himself some coffee. He was just about to put some bread in the toaster when his father slammed the newspaper he had been reading down on the kitchen worktop beside him, making him flinch. Danny's breath caught in his throat as he waited for his Dad to speak.

"Right. I've got some jobs you can help me with today. I take it you cancelled those 'plans' you had?" He looked at Danny, his eyes piercing.

"Y-yeah I texted Dougie," he stuttered.

"Good, well hurry up and get your worthless arse outside then. I want these things done today, I don't care how long it takes you."

Danny nodded in response and focused on making his toast to avoid eye contact. This was going to be a long day...