“Hurry up!” Louis shouted into the phone before hanging up. Harry rolled his eyes before stuffing his phone into his pocket and looking out the window of the car. He could already see the residential streets pulling out their jackets and chairs, along with a large bowl of sweets next to them or in their lap. He looked ahead of him at the front seat where Ryan sat in the driver’s seat. He was tempted to ask how much longer until he recognized Louis’s old school. That mean he was only five minutes from the house.
Of course Louis had gone home for Halloween for his little sisters. Normally Harry would have joined him, but Louis had asked Harry if he would mind staying home so Eleanor could tag along. Halloween morning, however, Louis had called him up asking him to come to Doncaster. Apparently Eleanor and him had gotten into an argument and she left in a cab before she even met Daisy or Phoebe. Harry was all too happy to join his best friend again, especially at his house. Louis’s family adored him, as he did them. It also always made him happy to see Louis happy about the ‘two most important things’ in his life harmonizing perfectly.
So as the car turned into the drive, Harry didn’t hesitate to jump out of the car after thanking Ryan and rushing towards the door way. Without even knocking he let himself in, smiling as he saw Charlotte look up in surprise. The smile that lit up across her face drew a small chuckle out of the curly haired boy as she stood up in her zombie outfit. She had always been more interested in science fiction rather than fairy tales, so her Halloween choices consisted of much more than a princess or a fairy.
“Harry!” she squealed, running across the room to throw her thin arms around his waist.
“Hey, Lottie,” he grinned widely. He leaned down slightly to lift her into his arms so he could hug her tighter, making her squeal even louder. “You may look like a zombie, but you’re not acting like one!”
The girl rolled her eyes and turned away, back towards the table where she was previously sat. On the way back she stuck her arms out in front of her and kept her knees locked as she half-walked, half-limped back to her seat. When Daisy and Phoebe raced around the corner, he gasped dramatically. “Don’t run towardsthe zombie!”
“We’re running towards you though!” Phoebe grinned as she reached him, just a few seconds before Daisy.
“Yeah! And she’s not actually a zombie!” Daisy chided him. “It’s just a costume!”
Harry let his jaw drop in amazement. “It is? Are you sure? She looked pretty hungry for some brains…”
“It’s just Lottie,” Phoebe smiled toothily. “She’s not scary at all.”
“Daisy, Phoebe!” a voice called through the house. Harry immediately recognized the voice as Jay, and turned around to face where her voice was coming from. He smiled as she came into view, holding two pairs of costume wings. The girls rushed towards her to take them before racing back to the family room, forgetting completely about the curly haired boy in their door way.
Jay rolled her eyes as they went, and then turned to Harry with a grin. She walked towards him, enveloping him in a hug and greeting him with a small ‘hi, sweetie.’ He returned it happily before pulling away. “Sorry to show up so unexpectedly. Louis called me, and I don’t think he’d remember to actually tell you.”
Harry’s head flew up quickly, looking towards the balcony at the top of the steps. He grinned when he saw Louis standing in all black with black rings around his eyes, making him look like a panda or raccoon.
“You’re always welcome, dear,” Jay laughed, “even though this time he actually did let me know. Surprising, innit?”
“I’d’ve think you noticed I’m actually standing right here when I said ‘hey’, y’know.”
Harry glanced back up at his friend and rolled his eyes, turning again to Jay. She smiled and tapped his shoulder. “Go on up.”
He smiled at her before rushing up the steps and into Louis’s open arms. From below, he heard Lottie comment something about the fight with Eleanor, but Jay quickly shushed her before disappearing back to the family room with the twins.
Louis and Harry stood in their embrace for a minute or two before Louis finally pulled back, grinning widely at Harry. “You’re not even in costume!” he protested though he was grinning evilly.
“I figured as I could go as that one guy from that one band,” he shrugged, grinning as Louis shook his head.
“I figured I’m wearing a mask just because I look too much like that massively attractive man from that one band.”
The two started back towards the elder’s room where a ski mask was laid on the desk. Harry rolled his eyes. He figured Louis was outlining around his eyes and mouth in black so the holes in the mask wouldn’t seem like holes. Basically, Harry realized the only part of Louis that would not be black tonight would be the whites of his eyes, along with the blue irises.
“I could always wear your carrot suit,” Harry suggested. “You didn’t give me much warning. Speaking of, what was that about? El and all that?”
“The carrot suit!” Louis cried. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Harry sighed. Obviously Louis wasn’t quite ready to tell him about the fight, so he shrugged. “Maybe because you knew deep down I’d end up needing it?”
Rolling his eyes, Louis smacked Harry’s cheek lightly before running to his closet. He returned two minutes later with a ball of orange in his arms. When he stopped, he stared down at it sadly, before looking up at Harry. “Are you sure you don’t want to go as that one boy from that one—“
“You’d be a panda carrot at this point, Tomlinson. There’s no way you’d get all of that off your face in less than five minutes.”
At that, Louis’s eyes lit up and his lips turned up in a large smile. “I could be—“
“Louis,” he groaned. “Just give me the costume. Then at the end of the night, I’ll even let you eat me.”
Louis resigned, walking the last few steps to Harry, tossing the costume at him. “Sorry, babe, I don’t roll that way.”
Shaking his head at his best friend, he reached over and pushed the door shut before stripping down into just his undershirt and boxers before taking the orange pants of the carrot suit and pulling them on. He pulled on the costume then, and finally put on the hat.
“Alright. How do I look?”
Louis turned around to face him, holding an eyeliner pencil up to his face, outlining around his mouth. “If I were into carrots, I wouldn’t even remember I’m supposed to take my sisters out tonight. You’d be on the ground.”
Harry couldn’t help but laugh as Louis winked at him, still shading the circle in. Finally, he finished and pulled the mask on. “How do I look?” Louis mocked, posing for the younger boy.
“It depends on how attractive you find the color black,” Harry commented thoughtfully.
Louis rolled his eyes and grabbed Harry’s hand, tugging him out of the room and down the steps. When they reached the bottom Louis let go of Harry’s hand and slid on some black shoes before yelling out, “whoever isn’t outside in two minutes’ll be helping mum pass out the candy tonight!” and disappearing through the door, followed quickly by Harry.
The two boys stood in the driveway for only a minute before all five girls were running from the house to join them. Both Felicite and Georgia froze when they saw Harry, but smiles soon took over their faces as they bolted straight at the boy, nearly knocking him over. He laughed, trying to keep himself up as they attempted to climb him, only Georgia nearly succeeding as she managed to wrap an arm around his neck. He slowly and carefully lowered himself to the ground, hugging the both of them, placing a kis on each of their temples. “You missed me, then?” he laughed, standing back up.
“Yes,” they chorused. Louis rolled his eyes and motioned for all of them to follow as he started down the street with Daisy’s hand in his own.
“So why are you here, Harry?” Georgia asked from beside him, only a few feet behind Louis and her other sisters. Louis looked back and stopped for a moment so Harry and his eldest sister could walk beside him.
“He just decided to come up for a day of fun, eh?” Louis offered, nudging his friend with his elbow.
“But I thought you were mad at him?”
Harry turned to Phoebe in shock at her question, then turned his eyes to Louis. The boy’s eyes were wide as he turned to his sister. “Why would you think anything like that?”
“Well, you and Eleanor were fighting about him earlier and you were really mad.”
“What?” Harry blurted out. He hadn’t meant to, he really hadn’t. He knew with a few words Louis could’ve told the girls a few words and it would be dropped until Harry brought it up later, but he was simply too shocked to contain it. What—did Eleanor not like Harry? Was he the reason that the girl left Louis? Because of his friend choice? Or, what else? Was Louis mad at Harry? No. It couldn’t be that. Neither of them got mad at the other, and even if he had gotten upset at him, he invited him down, hadn’t he? And Phoebe had even said that Louis was really mad, which just didn’t happen with him. He was always happy and energetic. If he was upset, he wouldn’t let anyone know about it.
“Yeah,” Daisy nodded, “they were yelling about you when we got home. But then she left. Louis said he didn’t want to talk about it, but he’ll talk about it to you, right? Then you can tell us!”
From her place next to Georgia, Lottie frowned, looking at her sisters. “Let’s stop at this house, guys!” she smiled, motioning for them to join her on the driveway. She may have only been twelve, but she was also in school, and she knew about drama. And she knew her younger sisters were only creating drama for her big brother.
Harry watched as they started up the long drive way before turning on his heel to face Louis. “What’s going on, Lou?”
“I swear, if the next three letters in that word are ‘i-n-g’, I’ll go find a nice mud pit to roll this carrot around in.” Louis looked at him and rolled his eyes. He looked back at the ground as he was about to break under Harry’s gaze. “What is going on?”
“Not right now, Pumpkin,” he smiled weakly.
Harry sighed internally, but resigned with a weak smile in return. “I’m a carrot, mate. Or— are you calling me fat?”
Louis chuckled at Harry’s offended tone and wrapped an arm around his waist as the girls returned.
For the next two hours, the seven trucked around a few streets before finally reaching the Tomlinson household again. Jay was still sitting out when they reached her, and she grinned at them through the dimming skylight. She picked up the bowl and divided the remains between the seven, before placing the chair back in the garage, listening to the girls’ stories about their night.
Harry followed Louis inside and up to his room where he stripped off the carrot suit and Louis pulled off the long sleeved shirt, gloves, and socks. He ran to the bathroom afterwards with a washcloth. Harry couldn’t hold back the laugh that bubbled through him when he noticed the cloth was white, and he was positive Louis was removing the make-up from his face.
For ten minutes, Harry was along in the room, laying on the bed, facing the ceiling. He closed his eyes, exhausted, and thought through the past month.
At the start of October, Gemma had driven down for a day together with Harry, and they ended up dragging Louis along with them. She stayed the night on their couch, and when Louis was out the next day, she approached Harry, with what may’ve been the oddest question he thought he could have heard at the time.Are you and Louis dating?
At the time, he was repulsed. Louis was his absolute best friend, and he was not gay. But when he denied his sister, she challenged him. Instead of fighting back, he’d asked why she thought that. Her answers surprised him, it was something not even he noticed, but it was so natural that he just didn’t register the things.
Like the way he would stand behind Louis, stuffing his hands in the jean pockets of his friend and resting his head on the boy’s shoulder as they stood idly. Or the way that Louis would stare at him before pushing himself on to his toes and pulling Harry down to kiss his forehead when Harry would do or say something utterly, utterly stupid. Or the way they would adjust to the other if the other shifted. Or their looks. Or the way Gemma felt, much more than once, that she was interrupting an intimate moment between the two.
He hadn’t thought about them, nor had he thought about the butterflies he felt around his friend, but before Gemma left, she warned him to think and feel during those moments. He reluctantly agreed, and soon decided he shouldn’t have listened to her once he discovered the feelings he had repressed for who knew how long.
But Louis had Eleanor the entire time, so he ignored the feelings knowing that Louis was far too important for him to lose because of a stupid crush.
Suddenly, the bed sunk in with a loud “HARREH!” as Louis pounced on him excitedly. “Get up, lazy. It’s only half of ten. You can’t sleep yet!”
“I wasn’t sleeping,” Harry mumbled, sitting up as he yawned. “And don’t let that yawn mislead you.”
“Of course you weren’t.” Louis pushed himself off the bed, walking over to his dresser.
“Lou?” Harry called as Louis picked out a white shirt and a pair of sweat pants from his old clothes he had left at home. He tossed another outfit at Harry and stripped into just his boxers pulling on the other clothes before looking at Harry questioningly. Harry took this as a sign to continue and he took a deep breath. “What happened?”
Immediately, Louis knew what he meant. He had been waiting for Harry to ask, he had even expected the boy to burst into the bathroom because he guessed he would be too curious. All night, Louis had been thinking of his words, and he was ready to say them.
“Hear me out, please?” With Harry’s agreement, he took in a deep a breath. “This morning, Fizz asked where you were, and why you didn’t come. I told her you’d come down next time, and you didn’t come because I brought El down instead. Eleanor took a bit offense to that. Then we went up to my room and you had texted me, and you hadn’t sounded too great, so I was typing back and she asked what was wrong. I said you were upset, and I wanted to talk to you because I hated when you were upset. I was sharing something about myself,” he shrugged. “It wasn’t the smartest move, but I hadn’t stopped thinking about how you were doing since I left the flat. She tried to say something else, but you had responded… It was another stupid move, but… Anyways. She asked why I couldn’t bear listening to one sentence from her without going to my phone. All I said was, ‘C’mon, El. It’s just Harry.’”
He paused after that and looked down at his hands that were beginning to tremble. Beginning to fear his friend’s state, Harry shifted to wrap an arm around Louis. Immediately he melted into the embrace, throwing his legs across Harry’s lap and wrapping his arms around his waist. “She flipped a bit,” he mumbled. “She stood up and started yelling, ‘Louis, with you two, it’s never just Harry. You’re not in a long distance relationship where you only get to talk to him once or twice a week, either. You live with him, yet you choose him over me.’ So I asked her when I chose you over her. ‘Right now, you dolt!’ was her reply. ‘I’m just texting him.’ I said back. She started laughing, like a crazy woman, might I add, and started yelling, ‘Have you ever said that to him? That you’re just texting someone, even though you’re with him? I doubt you ever have.’ Of course, I thought she was going crazy at this point.
“’No,’ I told her. ‘But that may also be because Harry doesn’t mind me texting my other mates when I’m around him. He doesn’t mind me texting you, either.’ And then she said, ‘that’s because you never do. And when you do, he doesn’t care because it’s rarely. You never text when you’re with him.’ But, according to her, I’m always with you, so how… Anyways. I just shook my head at her, and she said, ‘see? If I weren’t your girlfriend, I would be absolutely positive you were in love with him, Lou, and vice versa. Friendship has limits. People can stretch them, yes, but this is far past stretching. You hold him more than you hold me, you tell him you love him more than you tell me. I feel like the third wheel when we all go out together.’ So, Harry, just listen, please?”
Harry pulled away slightly to glance down at his friend in worry. The tone Louis had suddenly taken on shocked him. Louis was looking up at him through his thick eyelashes with shimmering eyes. “I will,” Harry promised shakily.
Taking a deep breath, Louis continued. “I wasn’t thinking at this point. I was too focused on her anger, her anger towards you. I stood up and looked at her before I started talking, and told her directly, ‘absolutely positive? So what are you now? Pretty sure? Because if so, you’re right.’ She stared at me for a while, and then she said, really quietly, ‘so you’re in love with him.’ She sounded defeated. All I could do was nod. But she couldn’t do anything. After minute, she got really mad. She said, ‘so, what? I’m your replacement Harry because he’s not like you? He’s not some idiot that falls in love with his best friend and covers it up by getting a girlfriend?’
“’No,’ I told her. ‘But you’re not just a cover. You’re the only girl I’ve had feelings for since I realized what was going on. And I didn’t want to love him. I don’t want to. But I don’t think I can, or you can, go on with this.’ She got extremely, extremely angry at that and started punching my arm. She grabbed her stuff and called a cab while she packed, and then refused to speak to me. I managed an ‘I’m sorry,’ and actually got a response. She turned to me before she left and just laughed, saying, ‘I don’t blame you, Lou. I’m not mad anymore, I’m just sad, and I feel stupid, because I knew you, and I should have known. I’m sorry, too.’ And then there was the sound of a car pulling up and she left. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders,” he admitted. When he looked up and remembered he was talking to Harry, he cursed. “Now, listen. I meant what I said. I don’t want to love you. I mean, be in love with you. I meant that. I don’t want to ruin our friendship. I can’t live with that, so do whatever you want to make me fall out of love with you and we can carry on with our wonderful friendship, right?”
Harry shook his head. “No, not really.”
Louis’s face fell. “Yes,” he urged. “Really. Yes. We. Can, Harry, we have to. Please.”
Again, Harry shook his head from side to side, and opened his mouth to speak. He was cut off by Louis, however before he could make a noise. “Why are you doing this? Why can’t we go back to normal? What—“
Raising a hand to Louis’s mouth, Harry pressed his palm against the lips of his crush. “We can’t carry on our wonderful friendship, Lou, or, at least I’d prefer not to, when instead, we could start our even more wonderful relationship. It sounds a bit more appealing to me. And I’m sure with what you’ve just explained, it sounds just as good.”
Louis’s eyes grew large and he reached up to pry Harry’s hand from his mouth. “I should kill you for keeping that from me!”
Harry’s eye brows shot up. “I can say the same. But I’d like for us to live for a while through this, so just hold off for a while.”
Laughing loudly, Louis pushed back on Harry’s shoulder and flattened him on his bed, adjusting himself so he hovered over the younger boy. “I’d quite enjoy that, too,” he smiled before lowering himself on top of Harry and connecting their lips together passionately and desperately.
The response was immediate.
Harry’s lips parted as he gasped in surprise, and Louis didn’t hesitate to slide his tongue past the open lips to find Harry’s own and twine them together, drawing a muffled moan from the back of Harry’s throat. Harry’s hands flew up and he entangled the fingers into the other boy’s hair fisting his hands and tugging at it gently, revengefully provoking a moan out of Louis. When he heard the long, drawn out whining noise from his crush, he felt his stomach churn. He wasn’t quite sure if he was dreaming or not, but considering he was starting to run out of breath, and it was really burning in his chest, he suspected it wasn’t.
He pulled away only a few seconds later, lips swollen, eyes clamped shut, and his chest heaving in an attempt to fill his lungs back up with oxygen. He managed to open his eyes to look up at Louis, who was in much the same state as he was. His lower lip was slightly more swollen, and Harry quickly remembered feeling the skin of a lip between his teeth as he nibbled at it, and smirked. He brought a shoulder back towards the bed and then shoved it forwards, flipping their tangled bodies so he was now over the older boy.
“You okay?” he teased. “A bit breathless. Wow. I never knew you could resist making any type of innuendo in a position as compromising as this. Something wrong? Or is something incredibly right? Or are you—“
“Shut up and kiss me, you prat.”
Harry attempted to laugh, though he was cut off by Louis coiling both hands around his neck and pulling Harry down and himself up, meeting in the middle. Even though he was in a difficult position to control, he still demanded it from Harry and dominated the kiss. He groaned in protest when he felt Harry pull away again before looking up at the boy to see why.
“Sorry, Boo,” Harry grinned. “I would love to continue, but I think you’re getting a bit too excited to stay in this house that’s got your mum and sisters, and soon Mark.”
Again, Louis’s eyes stretched and he groaned. “Shit,” he cursed. “I forgot.”
“I tend to make people do that,” Harry smiled, placing a quick kiss on his lips. He couldn’t help but laugh at Louis when he tried to pull away but the boy beneath him followed him up, refusing to part their lips. Harry smiled and nipped Louis’s lip, surprising him into pulling away. “But think of tomorrow,” he taunted. “Just think of when we get home. Alone. And what could happen. And what I’d be able to do.”
Frowning, Louis pushed Harry off of him, crossing his arms and pouting. “What could happen? I think you mean what will happen.”
He crawled back over to the pouting boy and pressed his lips to his temple, trailing them down to nip at his earlobe, and finally reaching his neck, where he sucked lightly at different locations on the skin until he reached the pulse point. He nipped at it, drawing a mix of a groan and grunt from Louis before tracing a finger around the shirt collar and dragging it down with his pointer finger. When it was low enough on his back, he bit down on his left shoulder blade, marking the skin whilst earning yet another groan from the boy.
“Now think of what that’ll be like tomorrow,” Harry breathed into Louis’s left ear, purposefully breathing out, sending the moist air of his breath to caress around the tanned skin.
As Louis turned his head in an attempt to connect his lips to Harry’s again, he was surprised when he found the area empty. From the other side of him there was a laugh and Harry collected the clothes Louis had offered to him before. “I’m going to take a shower. Maybe you can imagine that, too.”
Laughing at Louis’s frustrated groan, Harry hurried through the bedroom door and towards the bathroom, the grin on his face stretching seemingly across his entire face.