Status: complete.

From States Away

One / one.

It’s been too long since she’s seen him.

She doesn’t want to read any more inspirational quotes that encourage her to “stay strong” or that “everything happens for a reason.” She’s tired of hearing her friends and family asking her to go out with them to the movies or dinner or a new bar that opened around the corner. She doesn’t want to eat any more Chinese takeout while sitting on the kitchen counter late at night because she can’t go to sleep. The only person she wants to be around at the moment is him. She wants his arms around her and his lips leaving their mark across her neck. She wants to hear him say her name in a hushed whisper that’s barely audible over the sound of the arguing couple that inhabits the floor below.

But then she remembers how their last encounter had unfolded; the way she’d shouted out the truth over the moments of uncomfortable silence that settled in the room. It was a gloomy, miserable day in Sheffield and Oliver had invited her over for a quick chat. She knew what that meant but didn’t have to think too long about it before leaving the comfort of the hotel. He had, after all, told her that a few days would be all they needed. The tension between them was palpable whenever they’d be in close proximity. He’d hand her a cup of tea and her hand would brush against his, sending a shiver down her spine. In this same way, she’d smile and he’d automatically smile back, as if they were having a conversation in a language only they knew.

“What did you tell them?” Oliver asks, averting his gaze.

“I said that I needed a break and made something up about a venue we’ve played at before. That I wanted to stop by and see it.” She can’t help but sigh at the memory of the venue, which she did have the intention of revisiting. But not while she has him all to herself. “What about you? What was your excuse?”

“Something about moving out some furniture and shit.” He waves a hand dismissively. “It’s not a total lie. There’s some stuff up for replacement.”

She has noticed that Oliver’s flat has a different ambience to it. The décor is less modern and more rustic; more of a place for two people rather than a bachelor pad. It’s both a frightening and fascinating concept for her to grasp. She always knew him as the life of the party wherever he went. It didn’t matter if he was surrounded by friends or strangers. Oliver Sykes had the ability to blend in and stick out of a crowd when he wanted to. Despite the fact that he was a tall, lanky man covered in tattoos, his personality was nothing short of optimistic. On the other hand, his volatile emotions were something she loathed at times.

He was only human; this was understood by her. But how much he showed that fragility and quick temper was enough for them to need some time away from each other.

The longest he’d been able to not talk to her was around thirteen hours.

“I didn’t think you’d want to see me after. . .what happened." Her voice cracks at the end before she can stop it. She takes a large gulp of tea and wills herself to pretend it was her imagination.

“Hayley, of course I wanted to see you and talk to you afterward. But it was complicated. I couldn’t just leave Hannah at the table. It would’ve been suspicious. I didn’t even know you’d be there with him.” He’s grappling with the right words to say but everything seems so wrong and he has to make her understand. Yet he doesn’t look her in the eyes even after he says her name.

“I can’t just beat around this issue anymore, Oliver,” she murmurs, the anger she’s kept under the radar rising to the surface, boiling over like too much water in an aluminum pot. Slightly louder, she continues, “I’m sick of this. All of it. The hiding around, the weekend trips when you feel like you’re ready for me to be over when she’s not around. How you don’t want to be with me and you’re afraid to touch me in this goddamn apartment. You can’t even look me in the eyes right now.” She chokes back a sob, not wanting to break down before she’s had a chance to say all that has remained unsaid before. “I want you; all of you. You gave me space when I needed it but now there’s a whole fucking ocean between us. Literally and figuratively. It used to be so easy to talk to you. So easy.”

He takes in a sharp breath when she pauses to compose herself. Every move she makes is under control. “I didn’t know you’d break up with Chad. I didn’t know that this would be the start of my relationship with Hannah. I don’t know what to tell ya, I just don’t.” Finally, his eyes shift to collide with hers. Her mouth is set in a firm line, frustration evident on her face regardless of how much she wills herself to be rational. He sees right through her just like she sees right through him.

“Just tell me where this is going. Right now.” An ultimatum; a chance for him to get his act together or not. “This has gone on for too long and you’ve played me like a fool. I. . .I can’t be with someone who looks at me with adoration and guilt. Someone who kissed me before they even met their girlfriend and promised to not kiss me again. That it didn’t mean anything. I tried being your friend, Oli, and I can’t do it. Hannah knows we can’t be friends, Chad sure as hell knows we can’t be friends, and so does everyone else. Everyone but you.”

“Don’t say that.” Oliver leans forward, his elbows resting on his jean-clad thighs, massaging his temples at the thoughts racing through his mind. He doesn’t have much time to say it all before Hayley gets the last word in and he’s left utterly destroyed.

“I’m speaking the truth!” Her voice wavers as she allows a few tears to slip, her lower lip trembling from holding back her sobs. “I didn’t even find out from you that you two started dating. Chad told me. I thought you were my best friend.”

“I am, Hayley,” he says coolly, the urge to go over and hug her until they’re curled up together comfortably taking over the clarity in his mind. “I’ll be your best friend until you don’t want that.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be at the beck and call of your best friend, Oli,” she says bitterly, hoping to spite him, “You don’t know what it feels like to have someone’s lips on yours and want it to be another’s. You don’t know how many times someone can tell themselves they’re not a fool; that this weekend trip or layover is the day that they’re going to have them, finally. Every single time you fucked up in your past relationships, I helped you fix it. I got tired of trying to fix them once I saw you look at Hannah. I imagined that’s how you looked at me for the first time.”

“Do you think it’s possible to have room for two people in your heart?” He wipes his palms on his jeans, relaxing slightly as he notices her posture isn’t as rigid. A much needed reprieve. “Because I care too much about both of you, it’s sickening. I met you first, but you weren’t ready for anything serious. You wanted Chad, and I respected that. Along the way, you helped me with my past relationships and somehow I haven’t fucked this one up permanently.”

“Don’t blame this on timing; don’t you dare, Oli. You fucked it up permanently when you started saying you needed me. When you’d call me, drunk or high at the pub or at Matt’s, after Hannah had left to the parlor, and even when you were just bored. You fucked it up permanently when you started to scold yourself for asking for my help before going to Hannah first.”

“Hayley. . .” His hands are balled up into fists, clenched tightly so he doesn’t throw something at the wall. “You have to leave. Now. You knew this was going to happen. Delaying the inevitable is a waste.” Even as he says it, he wants to take it back. He wants to rewind to when he first met her and make her fall in love with him before Chad has the chance. But this isn’t a goddamn movie; she isn’t a damsel in distress and he isn’t some picture perfect prince charming.

“Once I walk out that door, you don’t exist to me, Oliver.” She stands up, walking slowly towards it, the sound of her shoes on the hardwood floor echoing loudly.

“I know.” He studies her closely for what is probably going to be the final chance he’s given. She’s composed and an ethereal beauty; hair styled carefully, wrapped up in a little black dress that accentuates her curves, blue feather pumps the only indication that she sometimes doesn’t take herself too seriously. This is not one of those times.

He can’t help but think that it could’ve all happened differently if he hadn’t been the fool. Contrary to what she believed, Hayley Williams wasn’t the fool in this situation. It was undoubtedly him.

Months passed, and the pair remained apart. There were no text messages, phone calls, emails, or any type of communication that would’ve hinted that their friendship could still be salvaged. Hayley would often find herself changing the conversation if Oli was ever brought up; eventually he wasn’t mentioned at all by the people in her life who remained. Additionally, Chad would try to reach out to her, only to be turned down each time. She wasn’t ready and he kept his distance after that. Across the Atlantic, Oliver Sykes had ended his relationship with Hannah, who threw a fit and told him not to contact her again. He didn’t say anything to her after that, not even when she took her belongings out of his flat.

It is now Christmas Day, and Hayley Williams has opened all the presents in the company of her friends and family. She’s supposed to return for a festive dinner later but makes up an excuse to skip it. Even now, it’s not a complete lie because she’s not in the holiday spirit. Nobody wants to be around a Grinch. Plus, being in California canceled out a majority of the Christmas traditions anyway. It’s just another day and she’s going to treat it as such.

She never imagined she’d be one of those people who could detest a holiday, but stranger things had happened in her life as of late.

“What can I do tonight, what can I do?” she muses aloud, turning on the TV to check if any show piques her interest. As she expected, nothing distracts her from the fact that her mind is full of racing thoughts, each one piling on top of the other like a Jenga tower that’ll go on forever.

Her fingernails dig into her arms as she wills the anxiety rising up within her to cease; usually when this happens, she’s able to call someone but everyone is busy during the holidays so it’s a moot point. Yet it doesn’t stop her from reaching for the slim device she had placed on the coffee table to call the only person who would be able to help her. She hopes that they answer as the phone rings once, twice,. . .


“Oli. . .please, please tell me that you’re in the area and you’ll be over here soon.”

“I didn’t think you’d call,” he says simply, confusion evident in his tone as he clears his throat, “I mean, did you know I’d be in town?”

“No,” she responds meekly, willing herself to stand up and pace in front of the couch to ease the tension in her muscles, “I had no idea. I thought you’d be home.”

“I’m not really in the ‘holiday spirit’ this year, so I decided to spend a couple of weeks in the States traveling like a fucking gypsy. You should tag along sometime.” Oliver laughs, and she imagines him shaking his head at the thought of her being stuck in a van on a road trip with no specific destinations in mind. She wasn’t as spontaneous as him in that respect.

“So you’re actually in California?” Another deep breath, just like she was instructed to do when there was tightness in her chest.

“Where else would I spend a white Christmas?” As soon as he says it, she rolls her eyes. Typical Oliver. There’s a shuffling noise and the crackle of static on the other end of the line. Oliver’s tone switches as there’s a pause. “Anyway, you haven’t talked to me since. . .well, you know what. Has something happened?”

She could say that she’s missed him. She could say that they were both heart attacks waiting to happen. She could say that the timing is finally right and they’d better take advantage of the moment. She wishes she could say any of this but there’s so much to say in person. There’s so much that can go wrong until he’s there with her. So she says what she deems the most important. They can work out the details and get back to the place they were before, despite being apart both emotionally and physically. This is something she is sure of, and she won’t be convinced otherwise.

“I need you. All of you. Now.”
♠ ♠ ♠
If anyone's curious, I saw this photo of Hayley and thought that she looked stunning in it.

Therefore, I had to incorporate that outfit into the story.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. It definitely was different to write about their argument, and the tension that was between them that was the result of stress and lack of open communication. I'm sure the open ending is what's best for the given plot.

But yeah, just a short Hayliver oneshot.

I managed to keep my cool while writing it; I think that's something admirable.
Maybe not.

Thank you for reading. ♥