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Just For The Cameras

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"That's all very well, Charles. But there are just two questions.  How can you know all this intimate stuff about your rather appalling king is true? And if true, how can one hope to print such personal things about people who, presumably, are still alive?"

"My dear John," I replied gently and urgently, "do not worry about trifles. Once transmuted by you into poetry, the stuff will be true, and the people will come alive. A poet's purified truth can cause no pain, no offense. True art is above false honor."

- Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire


She wakes up in the pre-dawn gloom with a powerful need to pee.

Someone’s tattooed arm is draped across her stomach, which isn’t helping. She moves it gently, trying not to disturb the person it’s attached to. Even groggy and desperate for the bathroom she knows it would be sinful to wake him up.

No, to wake them up: because the person attached to the arm is Louis Tomlinson and on his other side is Harry Styles, curled up together like two spoons in a drawer. They look like a watercolor fanart in the low light, Harry’s curls wriggling over the pillow, Louis’ face peaceful and relaxed.

She levers herself out of bed and pauses to just look at them.

“You wakin' up now?” Louis says.

“No. I didn’t mean to disturb you.”

“’salright,” he says. “I’ve been awake.”

“Let’s not wake Harry too, then.”

Louis smiles, his eyes still closed, and doesn’t reply.

As she slips round the corner to the ensuite bathroom, her bare feet padding on tile, she thinks about them together. She thinks, they’re perfect for each other. They’re complete, a matched set. They’re the dream of the internet. They don’t need me.