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03 April 2008 @ 09:12 pm
I'll Stand Right Beside You Chapter Nine  
Title: I’ll Stand Right Beside You
Author: Star star55
Part: 9/13
Rating: NC-17 (overall)
Pairing: Danny/Dougie, Harry/Tom, Matt/James
Genre: AU, Romance, Drama
Summary: Life throws in the most unexpected situations, testing and challenging you. You can make it through knowing that someone will be right beside you…
A/N: This is The long awaited sequel to The Heart Never Lies. I have had a lot of fun writing this! I am glad it is done and I can start on the third part!!
This fic is entirely dedicated to Emma: orpheous87 because she beta-ed this book and the first one. Emma, you are brilliant *hugs tight*
This chapter is dedicated to laderinmytighs for reasons that will be apparent once the chapter goes on ♥
Disclaimer: Not mine *sigh* this never happened…

You need to have read The Heart Never Lies for this story to make sense. Read it (and comment!) if you haven’t yet.

Prologue | One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight



Chapter 9
The Proposal



“We’re going down to the beach for one last swim,” James’ smiling face said as he poked his head into Danny’s room. “See you down there?”

Danny grinned back. “Sure, we’ll meet you there in a few,” he replied.

James nodded and left after reminding them that Harry’s dad would be picking them up that afternoon, leaving Danny and Tom alone in the room.

“So, you’re okay now?” Danny asked turning to his friend.

Tom nodded seating himself on the bed. Danny sat down next to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulder. Tom leant into his touch and let out a little sigh.

“I guess I never thought that James would leave,” Tom said eventually. “I mean, he’s never mentioned wanting to travel or anything like that but here he is, getting ready to travel the world.”

Danny stayed silent, just offering his support to his best friend.

“We talked a fair bit last night,” Tom continued. “It made me realise just how distant from each other we’ve all gotten lately. I mean, we live next door to each other, but we don’t do nearly as much stuff together as we did when we were in high school… God, that seems so long ago now.”

Danny nodded. “I know, it’s only been a year, but it seems like much longer,” he agreed.

“James said some things that made me stop and think. Danny, do you think we’re all ready to ‘settle down’?” Tom questioned. “I mean, I think about all of us, I think about Harry and me and how we’re so comfortable right now, living together and studying. What – what if we regret it later on?”

“Only you can do something to change that, Tom,” Danny said softly. “You’ll know within yourself if you want to settle down with Harry or if you want to follow in James and Matt’s footsteps and travel. Ultimately, it is up to you and how you feel.”

Tom nodded, biting his lip. “There are so many things I haven’t done yet…” he trailed off.

Danny smiled. “There is nothing stopping you from doing them, Tom, nothing,” he replied. “You can still be with Harry and do it all.”

“Do you think you’re ready to just be with Dougie for the rest of your life?” Tom asked after a moment’s silence. “I mean, you already have the ring for him and everything, how can you be sure that Dougie is the one?”

Danny’s eyes glazed over and he smiled softly. “Because I can’t imagine waking up a single day without him by my side. I do things purposefully to make him smile, to make him laugh. I don’t want to think what it would be like without him there with me through everything. We’ve been through so much together; I want every moment, every memory to have Dougie in it… I know you want that with Harry too.”

Tom nodded. “I do,” he breathed.

Danny smiled and squeezed Tom’s waist lightly. “See, nothing to worry about. What else did you and James talk about?”

Tom flushed for a moment. “Uh, when we were in our second year of high school before Harry and Matt came into our lives, James and I kissed.”

Danny’s eyebrows shot up into his hair line. “Whoa, what?”

Tom’s cheeks turned a deeper shade of pink. “We were at his house doing a project together and we were messing around. He asked me if I liked anyone and I said yes,” he paused. “Then we just kissed. That was my first kiss too.”

Tom smiled at the happy memory and turned back to Danny.

“I never knew that,” Danny said. “You fancied James?”

Tom nodded. “Yeah, for a while,” he said. “After we kissed though, we realised that we didn’t like each other like that at all and we did nothing about it.”

“Do you think you would have liked to have a relationship with James?” Danny asked after a few moments. “I mean, if Harry and Matt didn’t come along?”

Tom bit his lip thoughtfully. “I don’t know,” he said honestly. “A part of me wants to know what it would have been like, but then I just see him as a friend, one of my best friends. I mean, we were always close, like you and me are and like you and Dougie are as well but after that kiss, we realised we didn’t fancy each other.”

Danny smiled. “It is weird to think about,” he said. “I can’t imagine you with anyone but Harry.”

Tom’s eyes shone and he nodded. “Me either.”

Danny gave Tom a comforting squeeze. “C’mon, let’s go down to the beach where your lovely boyfriend is waiting for you.”

Tom smiled and the two shared a small kiss before taking each other’s hands and leaving the cabin.

They arrived at the beach to see Harry carrying James over his shoulder and making a beeline for the water while Dougie and Matt were laughing on the sidelines. Matt tackled Dougie a second later and picked him up bridal style, running into the water and depositing him in with a large splash.

Danny grinned and raced Tom to the water, taking off their clothes as they went. Danny waded over to Dougie who immediately grinned and splashed him before jumping on his back.

“C’mon Danny, move,” Dougie said pressing a kiss to his cheek.

Danny rolled his eyes and made his way as quickly as he could to Harry where was and Dougie jumped onto the cricketer and toppled them both into the water.

Their last morning was filled with sun and fun in the water with friends they all cared dearly about.

James and Matt were play wrestling each other to Danny’s left and to his right Tom and Harry were wrapped around each other, kissing and whispering sweet nothings in each other’s ears and Dougie was… Danny didn’t know where Dougie had got to. He felt something tug on his leg under the water and he fell backwards.

As he came up for air, Dougie was grinning at him brightly and Danny laughed. Dougie wrapped his legs around Danny’s waist and kissed him softly.

“This has been a great holiday,” Dougie said when they parted.

Danny nodded. “It has,” he replied kissing Dougie again before pushing them both under the water.

Later that afternoon, they were all packed and ready to leave when Harry’s dad came to collect them. Danny put his and Dougie’s bags in the boot of the car next to Matt’s and climbed in the car next to his boyfriend.

He and Dougie were travelling with Matt, James and Mr Judd’s girlfriend, Annette, a lovely woman Harry’s dad had met through work. She smiled at them all and made small talk as they drove off, following Harry and Tom who were in the car with Mr Judd.

Dougie curled into Danny’s side as best as he could while still remaining in the seat and he dozed lightly for the entire trip home.

*****


Danny’s phone started to ring and the brunette picked it up, flipping it open. “Hello?” he asked.

“Danny, it’s Tom,” he said. “Harry is playing one of his major games of the season and he said he wanted us all there.”

“He did?” Danny asked, not remembering that at all.

“Yeah, he just told me to ring you and Dougie,” Tom said. “James and Matt are already here.”

“Okay, we’ll be there soon,” Danny said. He informed Dougie of the phone call’s contents and the pair were soon making their way to the cricket grounds where Harry was playing.

They arrived and Tom waved them over to where he, James and Matt were seated.

“The last inning is about to start,” Tom said.

“Oh, cool,” Danny replied.

He focused on the game, not entirely understanding what was going on, but he enjoyed watching his friend play the game that he loved. Harry was bowling right then and he knocked the wickets over, causing his team to cheer loudly.

“They’re almost done,” Tom said excitedly. “I think there are scouts in the audience, that’s why he’s so excited.”

Danny nodded, knowing how important it was for Harry to do well if there were officials in the crowd watching him. Danny focused on the last few minutes of the game and when Harry’s entire team started jumping up and down, he figured that they had just won.

“They won!” Tom said standing up excitedly.

“Hey, what’s that?” James asked, pointing to the scoreboard.

Danny squinted and watched as a banner opened over the scoreboard. He read the message and immediately looked at Tom, who had gone wide eyed.

“Well?” Harry called to him from down on the pitch. “Marry me?”

“Yes!” Tom yelled back, a massive smile on his face. “Of course I will!”

Danny and Dougie moved out of the way and let Tom run down the stairs to reach Harry. He threw himself into Harry’s waiting arms and they kissed lovingly. They parted a few moments later and Harry slipped a ring onto Tom’s finger, kissing him again.

Danny looked on at them in amazement and he made his way down to the pitch with Dougie leading him by the hand.

“Congratulations!” the blond said happily.

Tom’s smile couldn’t have got wider if he tried. Harry’s arms were wrapped around him in a loving embrace and the six friends shared a group hug, each congratulating Harry and Tom.

Harry’s team mates smiled at him and slapped him on the back as they walked off the field. Harry looked like the happiest person in the world and he couldn’t keep his hands off Tom, who didn’t mind in the slightest.

“How long have you been planning this?” Tom asked.

Harry grinned at him. “A while,” he winked at Matt who just grinned innocently.

“Let’s go out and celebrate,” James suggested with a grin.

Matt nodded. “We should,” he agreed. “I’ll buy the first round.”

“Oh, we’re not saying no to that!” Tom said with a smile.

“Cool, Matt and I found this really neat club that is a few blocks from the uni, we should go there,” James suggested and the others nodded.

A few hours later found all six males, along with Natalie and Riley (who were positively excited at the idea of Tom and Harry’s pending nuptials) all making their way to the club that James had suggested. Loud music assaulted their ears as soon as they walked in and the psychedelic lights flashed across the room. Danny grinned at the scene and Matt and James immediately left them to join the mass of dancing bodies.

It took a second for them to realise that it was a gay club and Danny felt himself relax that little bit more, knowing that he could be openly affectionate with Dougie here and not fear someone scolding them.

He took Dougie’s hand and led him towards the bar for a drink. They downed their first shots and hit the dance floor like the rest of their friends. Harry and Tom were dancing together, smiles on their faces, looking completely happy within themselves. Riley and Natalie were off to his right and they were wrapped in each others arms, dancing and kissing occasionally. He couldn’t spot Matt and James at all and figured they were off getting a drink.

Danny focused his attention back on Dougie who was rubbing up against him in a very sexy fashion. Danny grinned at his lover and captured his lips in a kiss. They moved to the beat of the music, and they saw nothing but each other.

“I’ve requested a song!” James yelled at him a long while later.

Danny looked on confused. “What?” he asked

“I’ve requested a song, it’s going to be played next,” James said with a large smile on his face. He made his way back over to Matt who was at the bar getting a drink.

“What was all that about?” Dougie wondered.

“I have no idea,” Danny replied.

The current song ended and James looked at them, grinning as the next song started.

“What is he saying?” Dougie asked as they tried to listen to the lyrics of the song.

“I think it’s ‘I want to take you to a gay bar,’” Danny said as he too struggled to listen to the song.

As the song played on, he couldn’t help but laugh at the irony. The song ended and Dougie and Danny collapsed into a fit of giggles. James just grinned at them and nodded upon catching their eye.

Danny smiled at his friend, not entirely getting his sense of humour, but then James was a little tipsy. Dougie pulled Danny closer and kissed him softly, enjoying their closeness. Danny’s arms automatically linked around Dougie’s slim waist as a slower song came on and they swayed together.

Natalie interrupted them a while later, wanting to dance with Dougie, who agreed with a large smile on his face. Her hair was pinned back stylishly and she had straightened it as well. They went off into the middle of the dance floor and Riley chuckled at his side.

Danny and Riley headed to the bar and ordered a drink each. They sat down on a stool and just relaxed for a few minutes.

“She is a little minx I tell you,” Riley said with a grin.

Danny smiled back at her. “She can dance really well,” he said.

Riley nodded, not taking her eyes off her girlfriend. “She used to do dance classes as a teen, she could have made a career out of it,” she informed him.

“Wow,” Danny said.

“Yeah, she taught me everything I know,” Riley said as she took a sip of her drink and turned back to Danny.

They sat talking for two songs before Natalie approached the bar looking very flush.

“I need water,” she panted. Riley immediately handed her a bottle of water.

“Where’s Dougie?” Danny wondered.

“Still on the dance floor,” she said, pointing to where she left Dougie. “A friend of his wanted a dance.”

Danny nodded as he recognised Max as the one that had asked Dougie to dance. Danny noticed that Dougie looked a little uncomfortable at first, but as the song went on, he loosened up.

Dougie met his eyes across the dance floor and Danny smiled at his lover. Dougie grinned back at him but it was cut short as Max leant closer to say something to him.

“Want to dance, Danny?” Natalie asked.

Danny’s head snapped up to face her and he nodded. “Sure,” he replied taking her hand and following her lead.

Riley was right, Natalie could have definitely made a career out of dancing professionally. She was amazing. Danny felt quite average next to her. She just smiled at him and told him to let go, not to think about anything and to enjoy the music. He nodded and took her advice, letting himself get lose control.

Danny would have missed it if he didn’t look at his lover right then. Dougie was very tense and he firmly shoved Max off him. Danny straightened and walked over to the pair.

“Is everything okay?” he asked, wrapping an arm around Dougie’s waist.

“Yeah, Max was just leaving,” Dougie replied, staring straight at Max.

“No I wasn’t,” Max replied. “C’mon Dougie, I just want to dance with you.”

“I think you should go,” Danny sad firmly.

“I think you should butt out of this,” Max glared at Danny.

“He said no, okay, leave it alone,” Danny said. Out the corner of his eye, he had noticed that Matt and James had gotten closer and Riley and Natalie were nearby as well.

“Dougie,” Max said, ignoring Danny. “I could make you so much happier than he can, just ditch him and be with me.”

“Max, leave it alone, I’m with Danny,” Dougie said.

“I don’t know what you see in him,” Max eyed Danny with a look of disgust on his face. “He is nothing like what you need in a man.”

“He is everything and more of what I want in a man than you will ever be,” Dougie said sternly. “Now, leave me alone.”

Max shot Danny a glare and walked away.

Dougie immediately turned in Danny’s arms.

“Are you alright?” he asked his lover.

Dougie nodded. “Can we go home?” he asked.

“Of course,” Danny replied. He took Dougie’s hand in his and told his friends that they were leaving.

“I didn’t even know he liked me that way,” Dougie said as they entered their house. “I thought he was just an art whiz like me.”

Danny switched on their bedroom light and turned to face his lover. “Maybe that’s what attracted him to you?”

Dougie looked up. “Maybe,” he said. “I just want a shower and then I want to go to bed.”

Danny smiled. “Go have your shower; I’ll bring you up some water.”

Dougie stopped him taking his hand in his own. “Come shower with me,” he said, blue eyes sparking.

Danny grinned and followed his lover to their bathroom. He watched Dougie strip, following him and stepping into the shower behind him.

They washed each other, kissing in between washing each limb. Danny got out first, drying his hair with a towel and slinging another around his waist while Dougie enjoyed the last few moments of the shower to himself.

The blond stepped out and Danny had his fluffy towel waiting for him. He wrapped the towel around Dougie’s waist and his lover smiled at him.

“How could Max say you’re not what I want?” Dougie said softly. “You are everything I could ever hope for in a partner.”

Danny felt his cheeks flame and he kissed Dougie softly. “He just wanted you, and he can’t have you.”

“Damn straight he can’t,” Dougie replied.

Dougie wrapped his arms around Danny’s waist in a loose hug. “You’re the best thing that ever happened to me, and I’m not letting go,” he whispered so softly that Danny almost didn’t hear him.

*****



Comments are ♥
 
 
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~*Star*~: Danny kissing Dougiestar55 on April 5th, 2008 08:14 am (UTC)
He did =D
Yep, that's why he was so excited!!

Oh yes, Max was kinda obviously just there to try and woo Dougie, sooo not gonna happen though =P

Thank you hon!!