Harry wakes up on a plane.
He wakes up on a plane, and his head is pounding, and oh god, his mouth tastes like death.
Harry blinks to clear his vision. He sits up slowly and looks around. It’s a private plane, obviously, but much smaller than what they usually use. The only people in the cabin are Louis (fast asleep in the seat beside him), and Alberto - blinking patiently at him from the seat opposite.
Harry coughs. “Um, hello?” he croaks.
“Welcome to the land of the living,” the bodyguard replies with a wry smile. “How are you feeling?”
“I might still be a little drunk,” Harry admits. He runs his hands through his hair, grimacing when they tangle in the dry, sticky curls. “Where is everyone?”
“On the other plane,” Alberto reclines his seat and takes a sip of the glass of water beside him. “You don’t remember?”
Harry casts his mind back. He remembers the club; dark and loud, remembers the drinks - god there was a lot drinks, remembers showing off his tiny shorts and stupid hair. He doesn’t remember coming anywhere near the airport.
“The last thing I remember…” he starts slowly. “Is being at the hotel with Louis.”
“Yes.” Alberto raises an unimpressed eyebrow. “You were supposed to be changing for the flight, but the two of you were...busy.”
“His fault,” comes a croak, and Harry startles. Louis blinks at them from his seat, not moving an inch. “Harry decided it was absolutely vital that we take advantage of the costumes before we took them off.”
“Did we have sex?” Harry asks with interest. The last thing he remembers is flopping around on the bed trying to get those spandex shorts off while Louis giggled hysterically at him from the floor.
Louis shakes his head. “No, I think we tried but we kept falling off the bed. Oh god, I think we broke a lamp.”
Harry does vaguely recall a smashing noise and shocked silence before Louis started giggling again. He catches Louis’ eye and he can tell that Louis is remembering more details of last night; the two of them stumbling over each other as they reached the room, the sloppy kisses, the giggles that overtook them when they couldn’t get Harry’s shorts off and Louis’ facepaint was smearing on everything they touched.
They both start to laugh at the memory and can’t seem to stop for ages, even though it hurts Harry’s head. Eventually they calm down enough for Alberto to explain that they’re only an hour behind the other flight. He’s all prepared with toothbrushes and paste for them both, which helps with the ‘dead thing in Harry’s mouth’ problem.
An hour later, Harry’s downed two bottles of water and some food, and feels worlds better. Louis looks similarly improved, but it’s still 4am to their bodies. “We should sleep, babe,” he says to Louis through a yawn. “We’ll be there by the time we wake up.”
Rather than sleeping in his own seat, Louis decides to squish himself into Harry’s lap. He wriggles around like a puppy until he finally settles, head against Harry’s shoulder and knees tucked up toward their chests. Harry winds an arm around his back to keep him there and pulls a blanket over their legs. “Comfy?” he asks.
Louis’ only response is a snuffly little breath against Harry’s neck. He tilts his head to rest his cheek on Louis’ soft hair and closes his eyes.
At the airport, Louis claims he’s far too hungover to deal with fans and sneaks out the back entrance. Harry braves the public doors and finds Niall and Liam still there, chatting away and signing what they can despite how tired they must be. Between fans, the boys tease him gently about his and Louis’ little adventure. Finally it’s time for goodbyes and Harry climbs into the van that will take him home.
Home. Finally, finally, finally.
It’s only been weeks since they left London, but it feels like forever. Even the weather is making Harry emotional; the crisp grey cold promises winter and it’s so different to the thick heat of Australia. This feels like snow-fights and Christmas, feels like family.
The van drops him off and for the first time in weeks, Harry keenly feels the absence of his colleagues. There’s nobody putting makeup on him or dressing him, nobody running after him for this appointment or the other, no security shadowing his steps.
He shoulders his bags and unlocks the front door, lets himself into the front foyer. Harry is having a lovely moment to himself, breathing in the unique scent of home, thinking about how great it is to be here -
And promptly trips over Louis’ shoes, which have been carelessly kicked off in the middle of the foyer. His bags go flying and he barely manages to retain his balance by grabbing onto a nearby side table.
“Wanker,” Harry mutters, kicking the shoes aside. “Fucking wanker.”
But he can’t help it; he’s still smiling, because he’s home, and Louis’ stupid goddamn Vans in the hallway are one of those constants in his life that he wants to keep for a long time.
Upstairs, the shower is running. Harry calls a greeting and gets a “You joining me?” in reply. He strips off, climbs into the shower and wraps his arms around Louis’ waist from behind. Louis leans back into him and Harry nuzzles his neck.
“Good to be home,” Harry murmurs. Louis kisses his cheek. He’s warm and golden in the soft lighting. Harry lets his hands travel from Louis’ waist down to cup his curvy little hips and kisses him behind the ear.
Louis’ reply is a breathy, “Yeah,” as Harry kisses down his neck. He trails his fingertips up Harry’s arms and lets them tangle in Harry’s wet hair. “Do you want me to wash your hair for you?”
“Yeah,” Harry leaves one more kiss on Louis’ neck and moves under the spray. He bends his knees slightly so Louis can pour shampoo into his hair and closes his eyes in pleasure when Louis starts to massage it in for him.
“You’ve paint in your hair again,” Louis laughs, tugging at a lock of hair near Harry’s left ear. “Wonder how we managed that this time?”
Harry snorts a laugh. “It’s very blurry, but I’m pretty sure we made out on the floor for awhile after we gave up on getting my shorts off. You probably rubbed it all over the place then.”
“Probably not the only thing I was rubbing,” Louis adds dryly, and tugs Harry’s hair teasingly. He scratches lightly at Harry’s scalp, digs his fingers in and rubs all over in a perfect mini head massage. It feels amazing, especially with Harry’s hangover still lingering.
Louis cups a hand to the back of his neck and tilts his head back, covering Harry’s eyes with the other as the water rinses out the suds. “S’my boy,” he murmurs before squirting a bit of conditioner onto his palms and passing them quickly through Harry’s hair. The massage this time is even longer, gentler and Harry feels his eyelids drooping.
“Don’t fall asleep on me just yet babe,” Louis reminds him as they rinse the conditioner out.
“I’m not,” Harry protests, blinking water out of his eyes. “Hi.”
Louis smiles up at him. His eyelashes are spiky, clumped together with water and his eyes look bright blue and warm. He’s finished with Harry’s hair and he laces his fingers together at the back of his neck instead. “Hey. C’mere.”
Harry lets himself get pulled into the kiss. It’s gentle and lazy and he opens his mouth easily under Louis’. He rests his hands on Louis’ lower back, thumbs digging at the dip of his waist. They kiss slowly, water running in rivulets over their cheeks and noses. Harry thinks about how long it’s been since they’ve had time like this. When was the last time they could take as long they needed together, the last time they had the luxury of washing each others’ hair, of taking care of each other properly? Too long.
Louis’ tongue curls against his, soft and slick. He’s pressed closer to Harry, so their hips bump and their chests touch. Harry slides his hands down, following the sinuous curve of Louis’ spine to cup his arse and give it a gentle squeeze. Louis smiles against his mouth. “Oh, so that’s where his is going, huh?” His voice is low and flirty, eyes glinting coyly.
Harry kisses him again. “Isn’t it always?”
Untangling his hands from behind Harry’s head, Louis drops his palms to rest on Harry’s chest. His thumbs each brush a nipple and his smile widens when they start to pebble under his touch. “Guess so.”
They sink back into the kiss, touching with more intent now. Harry keeps one hand on Louis’ arse, squeezing and kneading the soft muscle. It’s an easy way to get Louis worked up, and he feels Louis move into the touch immediately. He’s getting hard against Harry’s thigh, hips rocking almost unconsciously. Harry’s other hand strokes up Louis’ back to cup the back of his neck, thumb rubbing the skin where his long hair is starting to curl. Harry’s always had a thing for the nape of Louis’ neck; the skin there is so soft. The touch does something to Louis every time - makes him pliant and shivery, needy.
Louis keeps thumbing over his nipples as they kiss. He stops every now and then to touch other parts of Harry’s torso; his abs, low on his hips, ghosting over his collarbones. But he returns to his nipples every time, thumbs rubbing and sometimes pinching. Harry’s nipples are sensitive, always have been, and they go stiff and flushed from the attention. It doesn’t take long for Harry to get hard. Louis smirks against his mouth when he feels it.
“Gonna take my time with you this week, yeah?” he murmurs. He pulls away long enough to reach for the shower gel and pours a little into his palm. It’s slick when he wraps his hand around Harry’s cock and begins to stroke him. Harry grunts and his hips jerk forward.
“Yeah?” he breathes. Louis’ hand feels amazing, his strokes lazy but firm. He twists his wrist every now and then to rub his thumb over the head of Harry’s cock, which makes Harry gasp and blurt out drops of precome.
“So much time,” Louis continues. “Wanna tie you up, blindfold you and kiss you all over. Wanna fuck you with that black vibe we bought a few months back, the nice thick one. Wanna make you come over and over until you’re shivering and begging me to stop.”
Several mental images flood Harry’s mind at the words, sending a surge of arousal through his body. “Lou, fuck,” he gasps. He wants Louis’ cock inside him, wants to let Louis bend him over or fuck his mouth until his jaw aches. For now, he settles for wrapping his hand around Louis’ cock. It hardens even more against his palm, thick and heavy. “Here, gimme,” he mutters, gesturing for the shower gel. He slicks his hand and wraps it around both their cocks together.
“Oh, jesus,” Louis’ hips buck and he lowers his head to watch as Harry starts to jerk them both off together. It feels so, so good - the slick heat of his own fingers wrapped around his cock and Louis’ hardness pressed up against him at the same time. Harry moves his hand faster, thumbing at the head of Louis’ cock as much as he can reach. Louis’ dripping pre-come and his hips are moving desperately to meet Harry’s hand.
“Your fucking hands, Haz,” Louis says, still staring at where Harry’s fist wraps around their cocks. “So fucking big, feels so good." He pulls Harry down and kisses him again. It's wet and dirty, both of them losing finesse as Harry's hand speeds up.
It doesn't take long for Louis to come, biting down on Harry's lip and groaning softly. Harry strokes him through it. He coaxes his orgasm out of him while his own barrels towards him. Harry comes just as Louis is finishing, covering his fist in slickness. The force of it it rattles his breath and leaves his heart pounding.
The water washes away the mess and they’re left clutching each other, breathing shallowly as they come down. Louis presses himself into Harry’s chest and tilts his head to suck a deep red hickey into his favourite spot - his collarbone, where the bird tattoo sits. Harry smiles when he feels Louis’ sharp teeth digging in, welcoming the throb of it. He’ll spend the week covered in these little marks, leave his own littered over Louis' skin.
When they finally get out of the shower they change into comfortable sweats and sleep-shirts. Then they wander downstairs to check if there’s any food left in the cupboards.
There’s not a lot. They’ve gotten good at not buying more than what they need, gotten too used to only being home for a few days at a time. Harry promises to do the Tesco order tomorrow morning and they settle on the couch with some takeaway menus instead.
“Let’s do Indian, that one near the hair place in the main shops. They did really good bread, remember?” Louis gives a small shiver and tucks his bare feet under Harry’s thighs. “Fuck, it’s cold down here. We should get some blankets to keep in this room. Some nice thick ones that we can just throw over the couch.”
“I’ll look for some tomorrow when I’m in town.” Harry replies absently as he scans the menu.
“I want that chicken thing, the one with the -”
“The coconut sauce, yeah, but it’s got peppers in it remember, you’ll have to pick them out.”
“S’alright, you can have them. You getting the lamb again?”
“Yeah but I want extra sauce this time, that was -”
“- pathetic, yeah, and I want more for the rice and bread too so just ask them to put double or something, and then a curry puff for me and a samosa for you -”
“Which you’ll eat half of.”
“Okay fine, two samosas if you’re gonna be greedy about it.”
Harry just looks at him. Louis grins and nudges him with his foot. “Go on then, make the call please. I’m starving.”
“Brat,” Harry mutters. He makes the call.
The food arrives half an hour later and they eat steadily through the first twenty minutes of ‘District 9’ (one of Louis’ favourites). The food definitely fixes whatever was left of Harry’s hangover but it also makes him sleepy. Once they’ve cleared the empty containers out of the way, Louis stretches out and Harry drapes himself over him, head on Louis’ stomach, hand curling around his hip. Louis’ fingers sink into his hair immediately and start to play with the thick curls. The petting relaxes Harry and he finds himself drifting off to sleep before they've even watched half the movie.
Harry wakes in confusion a couple of hours later. Thankfully, this time he’s not a plane.
The room is dark, and the DVD menu is playing on repeat. Louis is snoring softly beneath him.
“Oh,” Harry rubs his eyes, feeling heavy and sleep-stupid. He pats Louis gently on the hip. “Baby, hey. We need to go to bed.”
Louis doesn’t respond until Harry pokes him in the belly. He curls up and away from the touch, his face scrunching grumpily. “No.”
“Yes, come on, you’ll hurt your neck,” Harry needles. He pokes him again and Louis swats at him, presses his face into the couch cushions.
Harry could leave him there, but he’d be the one to deal with Louis complaining about his sore neck all day tomorrow. Instead, he makes an executive decision and picks Louis up off the couch instead.
Louis struggles for about half a second, then seems to decide that taking the theatrical route is better. He loops his arms around Harry’s neck, throws his head back and exclaims, “Oh, my big strong prince!! However did you get past the dragon outside my castle? And now you carry me to safety. My hero, my hero, rescuing me!” he flutters his eyelashes and grins sunnily at Harry.
“I’m only rescuing you from your own stubbornness,” Harry grumbles as he walks out of the living room and starts to climb the stairs. “And rescuing myself from bringing you icepacks all day tomorrow.”
He puts Louis down on the bed and crawls in next to him. As tired as he is, he can’t stop smiling. They’re home in their bed. Their bed. It’s big and comfortable and familiar and perfect.
Harry switches off the light and curls himself around Louis’ back, wrapping his arms tightly around his waist. Louis fiddles with his phone for a moment, making sure it’s on its charger on his bedside table before he settles back into Harry’s embrace. “Darling, I’m not even setting an alarm for tomorrow. This is amazing. We can sleep all day if we want to.”
“I know, Lou.” Harry smiles and presses a series of soft kisses to the back of Louis’ neck. His hair curls down over his nape now and Harry can’t get enough of it. It’s so soft and fluffy; he loves tangling his fingers in it and playing with the silky strands. Every time Louis mentions cutting it Harry’s begged him not to. So far his puppy eyes are working.
“What do you want to do on our time off?” he asks. He slips his hand up under Louis’ shirt to trace circles over his stomach. Louis’ so teeny at the moment and Harry’s been adjusting to the new shape of him, a different feel under his hands. It doesn’t bother him; he’d always adore Louis at any size. It’s just a change, and it makes Harry want to cuddle him more than ever, wrap all around him and feel Louis little in his arms. He wants to spend a lot of time investigating each and every centimetre of Louis’ leaner body, wants to lick his v-line and his flat stomach, wants to hold his slim wrists in one hand and pin him against the bed.
Louis seems to have similar ideas. He hums thoughtfully in reply to Harry’s question, then adds, “Sleep. Eat. Have sex. Repeat.”
“I think we can do that.” Harry agrees with another kiss to the back of Louis’ neck.
“Love you, baby.” Louis strokes his thumb against Harry’s wrist.
“Love you too, boo. Goodnight.”
They sleep well into the next day. Harry’s the first awake, as usual, and leaves Louis in bed while he pads downstairs. He calls Tesco’s and puts in their order for delivery, then packs it all away once it arrives. He’s ordered too much for one week, probably, but Harry likes to have a well-stocked kitchen. He’s been looking forward to cooking for weeks and he wants to make all their favourite meals, maybe spoil Louis a little with some home-made cakes or biscuits.
He starts with a big fry-up; mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon, sausage and eggs all sizzling away while The 1975 plays from his Ipod dock.
Unsurprisingly, the smell lures Louis downstairs. Fluffy-haired, puffy-eyed and tiny in Harry’s jumper from last night, Louis shuffles down the stairs and directly into Harry's waiting cuddle. He takes the mug of tea Harry offers him with a grateful murmur and a kiss to the shoulder.
They talk through breakfast, making more plans for the week and reminding each other of what else is coming up for work in the coming months. It’s another six weeks or so of insane promo work, and then they’re hoping to leave late December and most of January clear. They need the break. They all do. At least this short week is something.
Harry doesn’t even need the sleep, he muses as he scrapes his leftover mushrooms onto Louis’ plate and steals half his tomatoes. The rest time is great, yes, but this is what they need. Uninterrupted time together, time to talk, to cuddle and kiss and get lost in their own world without someone snapping at them to stop. That’s how they recharge. They managed it in LA just before the movie premiere, and the week to themselves had left Harry love-drunk and giddy for days.
Every time they get to really spend time together, he feels like he falls in love with Louis all over again.
Or maybe it’s just that they don’t have to restrain themselves here. He can stare at Louis as long as he wants here. He can gaze adoringly at his sharp cheekbones, marvel over his blue eyes and the way they crinkle fondly when he looks at Harry. He can reach over to play with Louis’ hair any time he wants, or run his toes teasingly up his calf. He can lean over and kiss him mid-conversation. There’s nobody here to stop them. The sudden rush of freedom that they get during these breaks leaves Harry feeling like he’s bursting with happiness.
Harry finishes his tea standing at the window which faces their yard. “Need to get someone in to trim the trees,” he says. “Maybe get the lawn done while they’re at it.”
Louis hums an agreement and Harry continues, “I’d like to start a veggie patch one day, you know? Grow all our own stuff.”
With a shrug, Louis replies, “Once we’re home long enough to take care of it, you can do whatever you want with the garden, babe. Leave me enough room to play footy in the summer and I’ll be happy.”
“Hmm.” Harry starts rambling, thinking aloud about how veggie patches work, whether they could pull up some of the bigger trees and stick fruit trees in there instead, wondering if they could go organic, maybe even keep chickens and get their own eggs. He’s talking to himself and Louis keeps quiet as he finishes breakfast and clears their plates.
“So what do you think?” Harry finally asks. Halfway across the kitchen, Louis nods.
“Yeah, it’d be good. It’d be a good way to teach the kids about healthy eating and all, if we get them growing their own stuff. Makes it fun.” He turns and finishes his trip to the sink.
Harry’s beaming. It’s new, this casual way they’ve developed of talking about their future. Like it’s a given that they’ll get married and have kids. Like it’s only a matter of time. It makes him weak-kneed with hope.
He tries to hide his stupid giddy smile but he doesn’t succeed at all. Louis is doing the same thing from the opposite end of the kitchen, and just - they’re so dumb. They’re dumb, idiot boys in love, just as stupid for each other as they were in the beginning.
Harry bounds across the room to corner Louis against the sink. “You wanna have babies with me,” he teases, pressing kisses to Louis’ blushing cheeks and soft mouth, tickling up his sides. “You do, you wanna marry me and have a houseful of curly-haired little pixies. Hmm, don’t you?” Louis giggles, tries to hide his face, to squirm away from Harry’s hands.
“Yes!” he finally gasps. “Yes, I do, you know that already.” He jumps up onto the bench and draws Harry in to stand between his legs, heels digging into the back of Harry’s knees. “The question is when.”
Harry leans in, rests his hands on Louis’ thighs. “When am I gonna marry you? The minute I can, babe. The minute I can.”
Louis makes that face, his Harry face, where everything about him goes soft and adoring. His eyes crinkle and his smile turns tender. It’s the look that makes Harry feel like the only person in the world, the only one Louis sees. He pulls Harry in with gentle hands on his cheeks, murmurs, “Good,” against his mouth and kisses him soft and loving.
Harry eventually makes himself leave the cosy warmth of their home to get some shopping done in London. It doesn’t take long, and he’s home in the evening to get started on dinner. Louis helps (contrary to popular belief, Louis is not that bad a cook, and an eager learner when he pays attention). Harry’s always loved cooking with Louis, if only because it’s an excuse to spend time with him. They dance around the kitchen as they work, pausing to sway together for the slow songs.
After dinner they return to the living room, this time for 'Pitch Perfect'. Louis laughs in delight when Harry produces one of his shopping bags containing a brand new, thick and very warm blanket. He commandeers it immediately, wraps it around his little body until only his face and his fluffy hair are sticking out.
“Any room for me under there?” Harry asks. Louis arches an eyebrow but crawls over to seat himself in Harry’s lap, so the blanket drapes them both. Harry pulls him close and kisses his hair. He can feel Louis relax in his arms, feel him go quiet and settled the way he only really gets at home.
“Good to be home,” Louis says. He twists to kiss Harry’s chest, directly over the hickey he left there last night.
Harry smiles. “Couldn’t agree more.”