Friendship's Limits

"Liam and I were friends. Close friends. But friends, nevertheless. And the number one rule of friendship was: don't fall in love. Oops."

written by silentsings


Dedication: To Iris, my cyber!sis as a Christmas present.


I was sitting on my front steps when he found me.

Up until then, I was watching the stars after having escaped from the noise inside brought by my ever so lovely family, and the horror movie my older cousin was forcing me to sit through. The house was loud, crowded, and gave me no privacy or sense of peace, so I was glad to have escaped to the outdoors.

It was a relief being outside; to breathe in the fresh air, mixed with the fragrant of differently assorted flowers, dirt, and the smell of a barbeque drifting from the neighboring house. The neighborhood was quiet, except for the distant conversations from two houses down, the creak of the gates and the rumble of the occasional cars. The sun was sinking slowly; the peak of the orange fireball nearly below the horizon, its rays spread out like long, outstretched fingers over the darkening sky.

I was there for who-knows-how-long, taking in everything around me; from the intricate patterns of the leaves as it danced endlessly in the wind as if to some unheard melody, to the way the street lamp cast a weirdly shaped glow on the concrete. It helped calm me, helped clear the fog that was building in my mind a few moments ago.

It must've been past an hour when I saw the figure sauntering through my neighborhood. I was sitting cross-legged, my hands tucked in my jacket, watching the stars shifting, when my attention turned from the sky to the boy nearing my house with every step.

I knew who he was before he came into the light. [Ha! That sounds like he was some evil villain turned good or something!] It was obvious the way he held himself; straight, calm, and cool; one of those infuriatingly calm poses that made me feel small and clumsy next to him. I caught sight of his blond hair glinting dark gold, as he passed a street lamp a few feet away from the one in front of my house.

Liam Hensworth.

He stopped in front of my gate that was left slightly ajar and stared at my hunched up figure on the steps. It was as if he knew all along I was there and had been waiting for the moment to walk up to me. You couldn't really tell by how fluid his motions were. I felt uncomfortable under his scrutiny, even though we were pretty good friends – because, hey, if you were stuck with a slightly superior, rather amusing, cute, Irish guy to work on a set for a Christmas play, you were bound to get attached to him. Especially along with a baking event that ended in disaster.

Ahem. Anyway.

Liam pushed the gate open and it let out a painfully, slow, long creak before he proceeded to enter. His footsteps were enunciated by the loud crunching of the dead leaves beneath his feet and a few moments later, he was in front of me, and up close I could see that he was dressed in a white tee and long, dark pants; his blue-gray eyes looking into my hazel ones, a lazy smile quirking at the corner of his lips.

My heart did a weird flip in my chest when I saw him. It wasn't that he was trying to look good or anything; he just did. He had that careless feel to him, how everyone could see him dressed all casually and know that he looked good, but Liam himself didn't seem to notice, much less care.

I for one, was grateful for that, because he didn't use it as an advantage to make me uncomfortable or tease me or anything. Because knowing him and the time we spent together, he seemed to enjoy it.

"Out so late, princess?" There it was again; that faint Irish accent. I still wasn't used to it after a year.

"I'm trying to get some peace and quiet. You're ruining it, FYI." I poked his arm playfully a few times, trying to ignore his presence altogether and went back to staring at the stars.

He sat next to me and tilted his head back to gaze at the sky. We were quiet for a few minutes, before he broke the silence. "Well, this is refreshing."

"Beats being inside the house."

He raised an eyebrow. "Can't be much worse than last time."

I grinned at him. "My whole family decided to crash."

"Family reunions are lovely." He grinned back. "Introduce me, Mia."

"My cousin would probably size you up, ask you a million questions and force you to watch one of those disgustingly violent horror movies that boys like to watch; my baby cousin would probably try to spit on you, my grandfather would drag you into a discussion of history and philosophy; and my parents would bombard you with questions." I shrugged. "You know the routine, Liam."

"Hey now, not all guys like to watch violent action movies. I'm addicted to those cheesy chick-flicks you've made me sit through. And if you haven't noticed, darling," his eyebrow climbed higher without giving me a chance to respond, "I'm good with older people and babies. They tend to fall for my charms."

"A sad thing, I must add." I rolled my eyes.

He just smirked at me and I stuck my tongue out childishly. We fell silent after that. I leaned back, trying to settle for a more comfortable position against the cold stone burning into my back and lifted my eyes skywards.

There weren't as much stars as I would've liked, seeing as it was the city, but it was still quite wonderful to see a small bunch of them cluttered against the dark blue sky. I was mesmerized by them and their blinking lights. A small sigh escaped my lips and I hugged myself tighter.

Liam glanced my way, the absent, pondering look he had acquired a few moments ago was now gone, replaced by a slight surprise at my gasp. "What?"

"Don't you think—" I gestured towards the sky with one hand, "—that our problems seem so insignificant and small next to something as great as the sky and the stars? It's like it's swallowing you up just by looking at it." I nodded enthusiastically as if to prove my point.

He chuckled. "That was really cheesy, sweet heart."

I scowled at him, annoyed that he had the nerve to say that it was cheesy; while I thought it was brilliant and kind of cool.

"I mean," he stretched his long legs, "I get what you're trying to say. Nature's overwhelming and you could easily get swallowed up in it, but you could've phrased it differently." He tapped my temple lightly. "All those hours of popcorn and dramatics getting to your head, huh?"

I swatted his hand away and glared at him. "Well, really, it was better than the movies you picked out."

"Of course, because mine was full of adventure, action and suspense and yours had all the wailing in it."

"I recall you saying you liked what I picked out."

"Correction, I liked being in your company." He grinned cheekily and I felt my cheeks grow hot and my heart did that weird bing-a-bang-a-bong-a thing again. I huffed to show my exasperation.

"Like it was my fault I had paint and cardboard and my attic free to do the set thing."

"I'm not complaining; I like your house." He paused, drinking in my stare. "Doesn't this feel like another cliché?"

I frowned at him."Another cliché?"

"Looking at the stars."

I stared blankly at him.

"Boy-girl sitting alone outside parents' house, watching the stars, talking," he supplied. "And pretty soon, you'll be in my arms and we'll be confessing our love to each other and then we proceed to make-out."

My cheeks burned as he said that. If looks could kill, he would probably be sprawled on the steps, decapitated or something. Okay, maybe not that bad, but you get my point. He was smirking at me; that calm, infuriating smirk that got me all riled up.

"You're unbelievable!" I snapped, my cheeks still hot.

"I was just pointing it out, Mia. It doesn't mean it's going to happen. Evidently, your life is full of clichés."

"Oh, haha, very funny."

"Or we could change it to the 'boy-paints-girl-in-the-moonlight' cliché. I would expect you to have paint."

See, that was how we met and bonded, actually. Liam and I volunteered to help with the elementary Christmas set a year ago. We were the only ones because the others were busy with afterschool activities or simply didn't want to help. We had a love for art: me, the girl with paint-splattered shirts and a messy braid; him, the guy who kicks soccer balls but with a quiet passion for painting. He was polite when I'd met him, but something about me [or we might've just grew closer] urged him to show more of his reckless side.

"Or how about we stop talking about this?" I poked his side and he jerked suddenly, scowling at me. "How was dinner?"

"Haven't had dinner yet," he grumbled, catching my hands as I tried to poke him again.

"Why not?"

"Because I'm talking to you, aren't I?" He jerked again and caught my hands with more force this time. "Stop, princess, or else I'll bind your hands together."

"What a lovely thought," I replied, my lips tilted upwards slightly. "Would you like some dinner? I can get you some." I gestured with my head towards the door.

"No, thank you, I'm not hungry." Another jerk before he pulled me forward roughly, his hands clamped over mines. "We'll be like this forever if you don't stop."

"If only you weren't ticklish, I would be gone from here." I struggled against his grip, but it was really no use. He just watched me effortlessly. Frustrated, I did the only thing I could: I stuck my tongue out at him.

That caused him to laugh. "Because that's so effective in getting your hands out of my grasp," he nodded, grinning.

"Jerk."

"I beg to differ."

I attempted to kick him.

He was still smiling. His eyes flitted to his wrist and he swore quietly, abruptly releasing me from my bounds. Liam stood up in one swift motion and offered me a hand, practically dragging me up as I grabbed it. "I've gotta go, Mia. My mom will probably throw a fit I'm out too late."

"Tell her you were talking to me."

His eyes crinkled with amusement at that suggestion. "Ought to ease her temper, huh?"

"It would," I agreed. His mom liked me, which was a huge relief, seeing as the last time I went over to his house, we had burned cookies, left the kitchen a mess and the radio still blaring. "See ya, Liam."

"Sleep tight, princess. Don't sneak out at night, if you do, I hope the bed-bugs bite and you break your neck while doing so. Be a good girl and sleep like an angel, okay?"

I narrowed my eyes at him. "You sounded like my brother, my enemy, and my lover or something."

"I'd go with lover; it fits the I-hate-you category and the over protectiveness."

I crossed my arms, grinning at him. "Good night, lover."

"Bye." He glanced at me, not quite leaving yet, his foot down one step. His eyes, they were deeper blue than usual and he seemed to be contemplating something. Before I could say anything, he engulfed me in a swift hug and leaned down to press his lips against my cheek. He was gone in a whirlwind, already outside my gate and walking away swiftly. I caught sight of his dark golden hair glinting in the light for a few seconds, before he vanished around a corner.

I stood there, rigid for a few minutes, not knowing how to react. My cheeks were burning again, and I felt like a pile of mush after he kissed my cheek. I mean, it wasn't that much, it was just the cheek, and I had no right to feel excited. It was probably just a friendly gesture they did in Ireland or something. I don't know.

I pressed my hand against my cheek, my lips lifting slowly into a grin, feeling like an overly excited schoolgirl. This is stupid; he doesn't like you, a voice chided in my head.

Doesn't stop her from hoping, another voice snapped. Did you see how good he looked today? Did you notice how he flirted with her?

You're ruining her poor mind, the other voice sighed. Poor girl, don't fuss over a boy. He might possibly break your heart.

If I had a say in this, I think that they're both pretty smitten.

Shut up, I told both of the voices and turned towards the door, still grinning like a maniac. And then I remembered something.

Liam and I were friends.

Close friends.

But friends, nevertheless.

And the number one rule of friendship was: don't fall in love.

Oops.


A/N: Wow, it's been ages since I posted something! So I finally just got inspiration to write this. It's a response to the prompt stargazing. And it's dedicated to Iris, of course. :)

Now, I haven't written fluff in five or more months, and I haven't written anything [not counting school] for two months, so my writing's kind of rusty. I'd be forever grateful if you could point out mistakes or what i could improve and whatnot. Thanks.

Merry early Christmas!