Louis thinks it’s the coldest winter he’s ever experienced in his life. He realizes this as he steers his car onto a road completely covered in a blanket of snow. The heater is blasting so loud it drowns out the warble of radio static and Christmas songs, and even with the stale breath of heat circulating, his nose is still numb and fingers are stiff.
He’s always enjoyed these drives to his mum’s, especially on Christmas Eve. He takes the back roads from London to Cornwall, enjoying the view of tall fir trees bracketing either sides of roads, the gentle slopes of white hills reaching up to greet low, misty clouds, sheep yet to be sheered nosing through the snow for frayed bits of grass, children romping across yards with pinked cheeks and giant smiles.
Louis loves being able to feel the impression of joy the holidays bring to the air—almost like a contagion. Even at 31, he comes home for the holidays—to a house filled with absolute chaos—but he loves it none the less. Loves the way his sisters rush in from all corners of the house when they hear the door open and hang on him like they did when they were younger. Loves the way his mum is always last to pull him in a tentative hug that’s always warm. Loves the way the foyer is always lined with lights, and the living room has been swallowed by the biggest tree they could find.
And it’s these thoughts of home that suffice him the long, slightly strenuous drive, and that definitely cloud his judgment when he sees a lone figure trudging along the side of the road up a ways.
It’s just—he’s in a warm giving mood. And the closer he gets to this person, the more he pities him. He doesn’t even have a proper jacket on, and looks rather miserable because of it.
An inner battle of should I give a stranger a lift and all of its side-effects wages through him, before he’s got his foot pressing down on the brakes and is rolling down his passenger side window.
He regrets it when a bitter cold wafts in through the open window, causing Louis’ teeth to chatter. The boy doesn’t even look up as he continually trudges through the slushy snow, his nose and cheeks red, a beanie pulled far down over his forehead, a permanent looking scowl etched into his lips.
Louis clears his throat, “Hey.”
When this doesn’t get his attention, he shifts a bit, leaning closer to the window, “Hey!” He thinks maybe adding a bit of a cheery edge to his voice will catch his attention—yet this still doesn’t do the job. It’s then he realizes he has headphones in and his eyes are on the ground.
So Louis naturally honks the horn, a quick succession of monotonous drones in the melodic structure of jingle bells.
The boy’s head wrenches up, eyebrows furrowed confusedly, his breath hanging in front of his face in an opaque twist of white. Louis grins and waves probably a little too enthusiastically, and then the boy smiles a little confusedly. It’s a relieved smile though, and Louis’ just a little star struck with the way a dimple deep enough to eat ice cream out of punctures his left cheek.
He shuffles his way to the passenger door and leans down so Louis can actually see his face, which is—even better up close to say the least. He momentarily loses his train of thought.
“On a chilly afternoon walk without the proper kit on, or are you in need of a ride?” Louis pipes out with a sly grin, ducking his head a bit so this boy can actually see him as well.
His teeth are chattering, “Car broke down,” he laughs, a little out of breath, pointing some ways down the road, “Was walking until I found some sort of petrol station, I guess. I don’t really know what’s wrong with it.” He shrugs, looking a bit like a lost puppy.
“Hop in; I’m en route to me mum’s. There’s a car repair right in town there.” He reaches across the seat to unlock the door and push it open. The boy blinks rapidly, Louis getting a little infatuated with how he’s got snowflakes resting on his eyelashes. He pauses before climbing in, looking genuinely concerned.
“You’re not going to chop me up into little pieces, are you?”
“Not unless you try to chop me up into little pieces first.”
He clambers into the seat, shivering profusely. “Name’s Harry.” He extends a trembling hand to Louis after a bloated moment, who grins and shakes it, “Louis.”
The first ten minutes of the drive are a bit like a high speed interrogation, and Louis thinks that maybe the third coffee was a bad idea, but he decides that Harry hasn’t stopped smiling since he got in the car, so that must be good.
“How old are you?”
“Tea or coffee?”
“Good lad, from?”
“MU or are you one of those blokes that doesn’t like footy?”
“MU, got a poster n’everything.”
Louis smiles at that, because well—Harry’s quite delightful. Makes this drive even nicer, with his soft orange jumper and broad shoulders and little curls peeking out from under his beanie and his pretty smile and green doe eyes and his low voice.
They get quiet after that, and Louis’ got enough time to reign in his thoughts to try and slow down everything. He takes a few deep breaths, focusing on the way the clouds have evened out to a monotonous slate grey and little flurries of snow are plastering themselves onto the windscreen.
“What are your plans for Christmas, Harry?” He asks, quiet even, and the bloated silence that follows has him a bit curious.
“Nothing really,” his voice is almost inaudible, “Family’s out of town… flat was too quiet, went out for a drive and um.. well here I am.” He smiles forlornly, and he rests his head on the window. Louis figures there’s more to that story, but he doesn’t press it any further.
“Louis to the rescue, innit?” Louis cheers, imitating a rather quiet roaring crowd.
Harry turns his face to the window to try and hide his smile, but Louis see’s it anyways. “Louis to the rescue.” He repeats quietly.
It’s been quiet for far too long, and Louis finds himself looking over at the boy in his passenger seat probably every two seconds. His eyes are closed and head is rested against the window, cheeks still a warm tint of pink.
Louis studies the definition of his jaw and the pretty slope of his nose and rosy lips. He becomes a bit self-conscious at some point and pulls down the sun visor to look in the little mirror. He wrinkles his nose, trying to ignore the little smile lines by his eyes that have become slightly more defined, the few grey hairs beginning to poke through his hairline. The dusting of scruff on his jaw, though, makes him look a bit rugged and handsome (if he says so himself), and his hair is pushed up out of his face in some sort of floppy quiff.
He flips the visor back up, letting out a long sigh that turns into a gasp, as he realizes he’s about to veer off the road and wrenches the wheel to the side, ultimately making Harry’s head bang against the window. The boy lets out a little whimper that turns into a long Heeeeyy and little giggles. Louis’ face flushes and he grins over at the boy.
“Shit, sorry. Got a bit distracted there—how about some Christmas tunes?” He says so quickly it’s probably not even coherent and he’s reaching out to turn up the radio, music blasting out at ear drum breaking levels.
Harry squawks, covering his ears, a stupidly huge grin on his face and a what the fucking hell is wrong with you? gets lost in ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ by Mariah Carey.
“Fuck!” Louis yells, punching the air, “This song.”
He feels Harry’s eyes on him, and he looks over at him with a grin, eyebrows raised before lip syncing so perfectly, one could mistake Louis Tomlinson with Mariah herself-- which makes the boy laugh so loud he has to clap a massive hand over his mouth.
Louis doesn’t refrain from eccentrically dancing, occasionally removing both hands from the wheel to clap along.
Make my wish come true, all I want for Christmas is you.
Louis maybe points at Harry.
The sky has been saturated by the night with a swathe of black by the time they reach Cornwall. They’ve been singing Michael Bublé’s entire Christmas album for the past two hours, laughing until they nearly swerve off the road, taking turns on solos and harmonizing absolutely terribly (until they get to Holly Jolly Christmas where Louis proclaims they should start a band together).
Louis’ actually quite reluctant for Harry to leave, enjoys his company so much that the more he thinks about it, the more he feels warmth spread out under his skin like some sort of lovesick disease. He finds himself with a light foot on the gas, as he turns down on a street lit by one dim light, illuminating the fat snowflakes fluttering down to settle over everything. He spots the sign for Trencrom Garage, and feels his heart sink. He pauses at the entrance, ducking his head to sweep the premises for a sign that they’re open.
He has to bite down a giant smile when all the windows are dark and the garage door is closed. Although that just means he’ll have to drop him off at a hotel or something, at least it gives him more time with the boy. He bites the inside of his cheek, scolding himself for becoming such a sap.
“Well shit,” he puffs out, piquing a brow, “We could go back to your car and saw out the floor and you could Flintstone it home?”
Harry laughs into his hand, eyes crinkling up, and Louis inwardly fawns over the way his skin is washed in a pale yellow from the street lamp that casts a deep shadow in his dimple, and his doe eyes are glossy and Louis is so fucked.
“I appreciate that idea, because it looks like I’m a bit stranded.” He shifts, chewing on his thumbnail as his brow furrows.
Louis has an idea.
“Well I could drop you off at St Ives around the corner,” he pauses, squirming a bit with anticipation, “or...”
Harry’s eyes flit over to Louis, his thumb still between his teeth, but he smiles around it and he raises his brows, “Or?”
“You could stay at me mum’s if you don’t mind lumpy pull out couches and a houseful of girls— you know.. until you get this whole car situation figured out.”
“Really?” Harry gawks, his lips pulling up into a gratified smile, “She won’t mind? Your mum?”
“Uhm—“ Louis falters, eyes falling to his lap, because yeah his mum will mind if a total stranger is sleeping in her house. What is he supposed to introduce Harry as? Merry Christmas, Mum. This is Harry—a hitchhiker I picked up today! He’s going to be staying with us for a bit. Or—
“Well… one little hitch here.” He laughs nervously, feeling a coil of despair come sitting in the pit of his stomach. “I’ll have to say you’re my boyfriend—just so she doesn’t freak out too much.” His voice rushes out, and he’s afraid to look at Harry, but he builds up enough courage to peek under his lashes at the boy.
“Oh…” Harry says slowly, before smiling, something that wasn’t there before is sparked in his eyes—and Louis hopes it’s good, “You’re gay?”
Louis nods slowly, eyes diverting again. “Hope that’s not a problem, mate.”
“Not at all, Louis—no, God no, not at all.” He sounds almost shocked that Louis would assume that it wasn’t. Louis somewhat expects him to profess he’s not all that straight either, yet it doesn’t come and he can’t help but feel a bit naive. He shakes his head, letting out a brief laugh, blinking several times.
“Good… good. Well, off we go.”
Louis doesn’t realize he hasn’t stopped smiling until halfway there, when his cheeks start to ache.
“Prepare yourself,” Louis warns Harry before he pushes the doorbell, grinning over at him. A cheery bell chimes from inside and muffled yells followed by hectic noises of feet racing down stairs and across wooden floors. The red front door swings open, and the youngest twins—Eva and Fay are crowded in the foyer, dressed in matching Christmas jumpers and giant smiles.
“Uncle Tommo!” They scream, before leaping into his arms. Louis grunts, kissing each of their foreheads.
“Good God, you two have grown quite a bit, yeah?” He lets out a dramatic breath as he hefts them higher in his arms before stepping fully into the foyer. “Be able to lift a train with these guns.” The two giggle and Eva buries her head into the crook of his neck while Fay announces to the rest of the household that Louis has arrived “with some pretty boy.”
Harry awkwardly shuffles into the foyer, smiling down at a little girl tottering in around Louis’ feet before grabbing onto Harry’s lower leg and smiling up at him with bright blue eyes and cherubic little blonde curls.
“Hello, there.” He coos waving down at her, and she smacks her lips before waving up at him with a pudgy little hand.
“Posey?” A voice calls out, and Lottie swoops around the corner. “Hey big bro,” she says a bit distractedly, leaning in to press a kiss to his cheek before bending down to pick up the little girl.
“There you are monkey. Who’ve you found?” She pokes her nose, before grinning over at Harry, hefting Posey to one arm and extending her free hand. “Lottie.”
“Harry,” he greets with a smile, and Louis turns around before setting down the twins with a grunt.
“Ah, beloved sister, you’ve found my little minx.” He grins, hip checking her. She makes a face of disgust, somehow managing to encompass her entire head to cover both ears with one arm. Louis watches with fascination as Harry’s entire face turns bright red.
“I don’t want to hear it,” she yells, before walking down a hallway framed by a narrow staircase covered in every child toy known to man. “Mum, Louis’ here and he’s being naughty again.”
“When is he not, Lottie?” He hears Jay call from the kitchen, before coming into view, wiping her hands off on an embroidered dish towel. She pauses, though, when her eyes fall on the boy standing beside him. “Oh… Oh?” She smiles, a brow piqued as she pulls Louis into a warm hug, kissing his cheek but not taking her eyes off of Harry the entire time.
“You brought a friend?” She steps back, eyeing her son, and pursing her lips.
“Um, yeah, mum. Sorry I didn’t tell you earlier. But, uh,” he clears his throat, “this is my… boyfriend, Harry.” He waves his arms out enthusiastically, gesturing to the boy.
A bloated moment passes, where she’s looking back and forth between the two, before she swats Louis’ shoulder, “It’s about bloody time.” She patronizes before tossing a winning smile at Harry and pulling him into a hug.
“Welcome to the Tomlinson home, Harry. Call me Jay—and please excuse the mess, quite a few drama queens staying in this house—including this one here,” she again swats Louis, who pouts, “But you probably already know that.” She winks at him, before turning down the hall.
“Mum.” Louis threatens, following her down the hall before turning around and walking backwards while mouthing a Sorry to Harry, who’s still flushed but grinning from ear to ear.
They follow Jay into the living area, which is dominated solely by a giant Christmas tree with at least two hundred ornaments crowded on its limbs. Eva and Fay are squished up on the couch next to Phoebe and Daisy, all watching Charlie Brown Christmas. Fizzie is sitting on the floor combing through Posey’s hair while Lottie sits in front of her pulling faces to make her giggle.
Harry shuffles close next to Louis, leering down to press a whisper to his ear, “You weren’t kidding about a houseful of girls.” He smiles when Louis turns his face to him, their noses nearly brushing, making his heart leap into his throat.
Louis brushes it off by resting a hand on his hip, mocking faux hurt, “Do I look like I kid around, Harold?” He piques his brows, blinking slowly.
“Well, maybe a bit.” He grins, ducking his head when Louis swats at him and he has to remind himself that he just met this boy 4 hours ago.
Louis turns around, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms, “Lottie, where’s the hubster?”
“Upstairs, making your bed.” She snorts, glaring over at him.
“Oh. I knew I liked the bloke.”
“Hm,” she hums, rolling her eyes.
“Don’t make me put gum in your hair again, sis.” He warns with a cheeky grin and she gasps, glare intensifying.
“I still haven’t forgiven you for that.”
“Twelve years, Lottie.”
“Doesn’t matter—should I mention to Harry about the time you snogged that—“
“Lottie!” He squawks, and Harry glances over at Louis with wide eyes and a curious smile.
Lottie opens her mouth, but is abruptly attacked by her brother, who claps a hand over her mouth. She screams against his hand, wriggling in his arms before he releases her with a face of disgust.
“Did you just lick me?” He groans, “Heathen!”
She giggles, being interrupted by Jay calling for everyone in the dining room for dinner.
“I’ll tell you after dinner, Harry.” She giggles, winking at him before clambering up off the floor with her daughter.
“Can’t wait.” He laughs and turns to follow Louis through the hall and into a cozy dining room.
“Why the bloody hell didn’t anyone tell me Tommo arrived?” A thick Irish accent booms from behind Harry.
Louis whips around, “Niall! Heard you were making up my bed like the lad you are.” He pulls the blonde man into a hug.
“Who knows what’s on those sheets.” He makes a face, before laughing and elbowing Louis, whose face flushes a bit.
He steers the conversation away from that route quickly, gesturing to the boy standing a bit out of place beside him, “Niall, this is my boyfriend, Harry.” He cheers, and Niall flushes, engulfing him in a giant hug, patting his back firmly.
“Congrats, mate.” He says with a wide smile and ruddy wink before sitting down beside Lottie at the table.
Louis again mouths a quick sorry to Harry, who just shakes his head with a smile before sitting down next to him at the table.
Dinner goes quite swimmingly until Fizzie asks how Harry and Louis met, which results in an on the spot love story that goes a little bit like;
Well we met at um, an aquarium—that one in Brighton—
Louis was standing over by the seahorses, looking quite intrigued—
Very intrigued, he came over and I informed him on how it’s actually the males who have the babies—that had him swooning.
I was so impressed by his vast seahorse knowledge I asked him to dinner right then.
He took me to Mcdonalds—
No I did not Louis Tomlinson, I took you to that very nice restaurant.. what was its name again?
Piss off, it was something Italian, yeah. Anyways, Louis fell madly in love with me, as expected.
I did, I even showed him my beautiful barbed wire tattoo on my bum.
Okay excuse me, barbed wire heart tattoo with Mum in it. That sealed the deal.
And the rest is history.
After dinner, Harry and Louis are appointed dish duty. They gather up all the plates and silverware before shuffling into the kitchen, finally left alone.
Harry’s busily washing away, when Louis sidles up next to him, sighing. “Thanks for being such a good sport, this is probably really overwhelming.” He whispers, laughing into his knuckles and shaking his head.
“No problem, I really like your family. Makes it actually feel like Christmas Eve.” A small smile pulls up his dimple, and Louis studies it with narrowed eyes.
“They really like you.” He points out, pulling himself up to sit on the counter, taking washed plates from Harry and drying them.
A long comfortable silence passes over an almost rhythmic washing and drying pattern before someone speaks again.
“I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me today, Louis.” Harry says quietly, looking up under his lashes with a thankful smile. The sound of trickling water and plates clinking against the metal of the sink fill the momentary silence to follow. Louis gets a little caught up in the boy’s eyes that he forgets what he was going to say and has to divert his eyes and shake his head with a grin instead.
“No problem, mate,” he sighs, “Honestly, you’re quite nice company.” He flushes a bit at the confession, ducking his head and focusing on drying the plate he’s holding.
Harry pauses in his dish washing to look at Louis fully, who finally glances over at him, and when he does the boy’s eyes are glossy and he swears he sees them momentarily flit down to his lips. But as soon as it’s there, it’s gone and he’s back to washing with a placid grin on his face.
“You too.” Harry finally says, miserably failing at hiding the smile that eats up half his face.
Louis’ sat on the floor with Posey in his lap, bouncing her about to make her giggle, poking her nose. Harry’s sat in a chair somewhat off to the side, watching the family mingle quietly, eating the Christmas cookies Fizzie made.
Jay appears in the doorway, “Bed time, girls.”
A monotonous groan fills the air from all of them, followed by a petulant Mummmm.
“Nope, not having it. It’s already eleven. Get your bums upstairs, and brush your teeth or I’ll make sure Santa bypasses our house entirely.” Jay scolds, but a soft smile is pulling up her lips.
Fay and Eva shriek at that threat, and clamber up, running down the hall and up the stairs like a bunch of wild banshees. Niall is yawning and pulling Lottie into his side, snuffling into her hair.
“Louis, Lottie and Niall are on the couch this time, you and Harry get your room.” Jay tuts, before pointing at Phoebe and Daisy, “Bed.”
Louis glances over at Harry, whose cheeks are a bit rosy and eyes are wide, because of course he’d assumed he’d be on the pull out couch.
“Mum, my bed is small. Can’t you sleep in there and we take your room?” Louis rushes out, heart slugging quickly in his chest the more he thinks about being pressed up against Harry all night. He definitely wouldn’t be able to sleep.
“Can’t; Fizzie’s with me and you know how she likes to kick and take up the bed,” She glares at him, “I’m sure you two will figure something out.” She grins before turning for the kitchen.
When the living room is clear besides Lottie and Niall already passed out on the pull out couch, Louis glances over at Harry with an apologetic look.
“I’m really sorry… this is probably more than what you signed up for.” He whispers, laughing a bit disheveled. But Harry just shakes his head, combing a hand through his curls.
“It’s really fine, I’m a good floor sleeper.” He nods, and Louis sighs, clasping his hands together before standing from the floor.
“Alright then,” he sounds a bit hesitant, but then they’re filing out into the hall, but before they can hike up the stairs, Jay’s voice calls out quietly from behind.
She comes around the corner, holding a little wrapped present. She pulls Louis into a hug, pressing the present into his palm, “Happy Birthday, Louis.”
Harry’s brows furrow and he looks over at the man who’s got a hard look settled on his mum, that softens gradually and he says a quiet thank you.
“He made the family promise not to give him presents after his 30th. I never listen, of course.” She explains, grinning and patting his cheek.
“I don’t like to be reminded I’m becoming an old man.” Louis sighs, looking over his shoulder at Harry.
“Oh yeah, so old.” Harry patronizes with a little smiles that makes Louis roll his eyes.
“Goodnight, mum. Need help with becoming Santa, tonight?” Louis questions, thumb toying over the little bow on the top of his present.
“No, thank you honey. I’ve got this down to an art.” She pats his arm, before pressing a kiss to his cheek. “Night, Harry.”
She waves them upstairs, and they follow obediently.
Louis doesn’t open his present until he’s settled in bed, and Harry’s little floor pallet has been made up. The boy is curled up, flipping through some book he found on Louis’ floor. The room is washed in warm shades from his bedside lamp, casting long shadows across the wooden floor. The walls are a dark blue, dotted with MU posters and family photos. Louis’ leaned up against the headboard, looking down at the shiny green wrapping paper before carefully tearing it.
Inside the little white box is a worn looking key and a neatly folded note. Louis’ only a little confused as he unfolds the paper, his bottom lip pinned between his teeth as he reads his mum’s handwriting.
Here’s the key to our cabin up in Leeds. It’s yours now. Please don’t throw too many wild parties there :)
PS I really like Harry ;)
Louis lets out a breathy laugh, shaking his head, mumbling something under his breath. He clutches the note to his chest before carefully folding it back into the box and setting it on his nightstand.
He glances down at Harry on the floor, who’s rolled onto his stomach with his face squished into the pillow. Louis smiles, feeling his stomach do a little flip before he switches off the lamp and the room is filled with the soft darkness of night.
Louis sighs, rolling onto his side, listening to the feather light noise of snowflakes plinking down on the gutters, breathing in the Frasier fir candle his mum had put in his room shortly after he moved out to uni.
“Hey Louis,” Harry’s voice comes out quietly, muffled by the pillow. Louis smiles into his palm, before taking a deep breath and rolling onto his back.
“Happy Birthday.” He whispers, and Louis can hear the smile in his voice. He shakes his head, rolling his eyes as if the boy could see him.
“Thanks,” He mumbles through a stupid smile, “Goodnight, Harry.”
A few minutes pass, and Louis’ just on the edges of sleep, when Harry’s voice pipes up again.
“Hey Louis,” this time it sounds like he’s laughing a little. Louis groans, pushing his face into the pillow before letting out a tired laugh.
“Merry Christmas to you too, now let me sleep you twat.”
And not much longer after that:
“What?!” Louis nearly screams, flipping onto his back with one violent push and surprisingly finding the boy leering over his bed.
From the dim light flooding in from under the door, Louis can just barely make out the cheeky smile on his lips. “I lied about being a good floor sleeper.” He whispers, but a nervous laugh makes his voice get a little louder at the end and this just reminds Louis of how fucked he is.
“Oh for Christ’s sake, Harry. Just get in.” He tries to sound less nervous than he is by covering it up with an annoyed twinge, and his heart starts to pound a little bit when he feels the weight of the boy dip the bed and the covers rustle.
And then a very warm, large, dreamy boy is settled in next to Louis, pressed together from the shoulder all the way to the calf. Harry rolls onto his side to face him, and Louis glances over at him to see him smiling lazily and staring at him.
“You’ve got a very pretty nose, Louis,” Harry’s voice comes out quietly, breath warm on Louis’ shoulder. He’s thankful it’s dark in the room because his face heats up instantly.
“Are you ever going to let me sleep? Or are we going to just complement each other all bloody night?” He snaps out, hiding his face in the crook of his arm.
“You’ve also got really pretty eyelashes.”
“Oh piss off, Harry.”
This makes Louis grow quiet, because his entire chest up is flushed, and his heart is pounding a little too hard. He moves his arm just a bit to peek over at the boy, who looks very pleased with himself.
“Don’t look at me like that, we’ve only just met, Harold.” He scolds, trying to sound serious, but his voice wavers with a smile and he pinches his eyes shut.
Harry’s quiet for so long that Louis thinks he may have fallen to sleep, and to check, he squints his eyes open just a bit to glance over at him. But he’s not. At all.
He’s just looking at Louis, with this look. And it makes his heart falter in his chest and his toes to curl and he is so fucked.
And suddenly, Harry’s entire weight is on top of him, and Louis lets out a little grunt, his arm falling away from his face as he glares up at the boy grinning down at him cheekily.
“What are you doing—“
“Can I kiss you?”
Louis’ mouth flounders open and he feels like the air just got sucked from his lungs. He blinks several times before snapping his mouth closed. “Uh—yeah. Um. Yes, you may?” His voice wavers and he feels self-conscious about how incredibly hard his heart is pounding and how Harry can definitely feel it considering he’s laying directly on top of him.
He just nods, stupid smile not falling as he cranes his neck down slowly to kiss Louis right on the lips. Louis has to remind himself to breathe and close his eyes because he’s so enraptured in how soft Harry’s fucking mouth is, and how tenderly his lips are slotted with his. It makes him feel a bit dizzy, especially when he feels the boy press his mouth further, dragging his teeth along his bottom lip. A strangled moan gets caught in the back of Louis’ throat.
He tries to keep his hands to himself but fails miserably, because they’re weaving into Harry’s curls and around the back of his neck, pulling him closer. He feels the boy’s thigh fall between his legs. Fuck.
Harry pulls back a bit, enough space to fit in frazzled breaths; heavily lidded eyes greet Louis when he opens his own. The breath shudders out from him as he lets his gaze fall to the boy’s swollen red lips.
“Fuck,” Louis says aloud, absolutely star struck by him. He closes the space between them again, mouths becoming a tangle of wet, hot breaths and tongues and hands in hair and needy moans.
“You could’ve saved us a lot of time if you told me you were gay earlier,” Louis pants out, breath hitching in his throat when he feels Harry rut his hips up against him.
Harry inhales sharply in his ear, “Wanted to make it a surprise,” he presses open mouthed kisses along his jaw, and down his neck.
“Filthy boy,” Louis laughs out of breath, fingers gripping harshly in his curls, drawing out a long groan. He doesn’t realize how desperately hard he’s gotten until they’re rutting against each other like horny teenagers. Harry’s face is buried in the crook of his neck as he rolls his hips against him, panting and whimpering. Louis can feel his heart hammering against his chest, feels the way his long fingers are digging into his biceps, and feels his thighs trembling against his own.
Louis turns his face so his lips are pressed against the shell of his ear. “Close, baby?”
Harry nods frantically, whimpering and sinking his teeth into Louis’ pulse point, making him give a muffled cry, jerking his hips up.
“Sit up for me.” Louis says quickly, and Harry obeys immediately, palming himself through his briefs that are wet with precome. Louis hikes himself up a bit, leaning his head back on the headboard, guiding Harry’s hips forward and pulling his briefs down his thighs.
“Fuck my mouth until you come,” He pants, and Harry groans, pumping himself before nodding and leaning forward with his knees on either side of his shoulders. Louis swallows around him, groaning around the girth of him, palming himself in his own briefs.
Harry supports himself by gripping onto the top of the headboard and rolling his hips slowly into Louis’ mouth, who splutters and gags a bit when his cock hits the back of his throat. He tries to flatten his tongue and hollow his cheeks, looking up under his lashes to watch the boy’s face over him screwing up as he edges closer.
“Fuck,” Harry breathes out, his head dropping and eyes opening heavily to meet Louis’ gaze as he sucks on the head of his cock. That apparently hits the nail on the head, because his hips buck forward as he bites into his own bicep to keep himself from crying out—instead a breathy whine grinds out as he spills into Louis’ mouth.
When he pulls out, he swallows and blinks up at the boy, who collapses next to him. Louis’ been working himself the entire time his mouth was being fucked, and he feels the twist of heat in the pit of his stomach. His hand is working fast, and his hips are rutting up off the bed.
Harry grins loosely before leaning over and wrapping his obscenely red lips around the head, dipping his tongue into the seam and that’s all Louis needs. His back arches up off the bed and a shaky moan stutters out from his throat, eyes screwed shut as he thrusts into Harry’s mouth through his orgasm.
“Well then,” Louis laughs, voice raw from getting his throat fucked. Harry pulls himself up next to him, letting out a long sigh and pressing his face into the crook of Louis’ neck with a sleepy smile.
“Merry Christmas, Louis.” Harry says quietly, kissing his neck.
Louis grins up at the ceiling, still lightheaded as he pulls the boy closer into his side. “Merry, indeed.”
Louis blinks awake at 4 am to find Harry with half of his body draped over him. He rolls eyes tiredly, but can’t help but smile and kiss the top of his head. The room is a wash of dim greys, and Louis thinks he could stay like this for the rest of his life; listening to this boy snoring quietly and pleasantly against his chest, feeling his heartbeat against his.
But he finds that there’s no way he’ll be going back to sleep anytime soon, so he carefully shuffles his way out from under Harry and pads his way across the cold wooden to his bathroom. He showers off, trying to scrape away the cold that clings to him like a second skin.
After his shower he sneaks his way downstairs, surprised to find that it’s quiet besides Niall’s incredibly loud snoring echoing from the living area. He pauses at the open door, leering in to see an almost stupid amount of glossy presents sitting under the tree. He grins and shakes his head before shuffling to the kitchen to make tea.
Outside it’s still, snow has stopped momentarily, and the sky is hidden by a thick draping of fog. Louis was never fond of mornings until his mid-twenties, when he realized that it’s the time of day he gets most done.
He leans against the cabinets as he waits for the water to boil, and smiles to himself as he remembers last night.
“What are you so happy about?” Lottie grumbles, stumbling into the kitchen with her eyes barely open. Her hair is an absolute mess and her makeup is smeared.
“Nothing,” He lies, still grinning, “Sleep any with that leaf blower of a husband?”
“Not a wink.” She sighs, rubbing her eyes with the back of her hands, downing a glass of water before shuffling away. “I’m going back, wish me luck.”
“Luck.” He laughs quietly, before turning back to the kettle.
He brings two steaming mugs of tea upstairs to his room, sitting on the bed and gazing down at Harry, who’s got his face wedged between two pillows and arms out spread eagle style. Louis sets one mug down on the nightstand and pokes the boy’s hand lying off the edge of the bed before walking two fingers up his arm to his neck.
Harry snuffles into the pillow, face scrunching up before he pushes it further between the pillows.
“Harold, wake up, I made you tea and you better drink it or I’ll pour it on your bare back.”
The boy groans loudly, leaning up a bit and squinting over his shoulder at Louis, eyes swollen from sleep and pillow lines traced across his face, “What bloody time is it?”
“Five thirty,” Louis grins toothily, and Harry’s head falls back to the pillows. He makes a breathy noise, before licking at his lips.
“What kind of tea?” He says quietly into the pillow
That grabs his attention enough to get him sitting up and rubbing his eyes, making grabby hands for the mug in Louis’ hands. Louis rolls his eyes and hands it to him, feeling his chest clench at the sudden bout of affection.
“Why do you have me awake at such a terrible hour?” He mumbles around the rim of his mug, eyes closed.
“Want you to go for a walk with me down by the water before everyone’s up.”
Harry hums with a pretty smile, taking a sip of his tea, “So romantic,” He opens his eyes just enough to direct his smile right at Louis. He even tilts his head. Louis wants to kiss him.
“I’d like to think so,” he pats his foot, “Now get dressed—I laid out the biggest jumper I could find in my closet and a jacket considering you… didn’t have one yesterday.” He grins, standing up and stretching.
“What are you, my mum?” Harry teases, clambering up out of the bed before peeling on his black skinnies and the still too small grey jumper. Louis tries to hide the fact he really loves seeing his clothes on Harry.
Louis’ staring at him pull on the jacket, studying the milk of his cheeks and the mossy green of his eyes when they turn to catch him staring. “Are you sure we just met yesterday?” Louis asks, sounding sincere—because well, he really is. He’s never met someone he feels so connected to before in his life.
“I’m thinking we met in some weird past life, like we were both nuns in Austria. Or something really cool like I was Joseph and you were Mary, made a baby Jesus together.”
Louis screws up his face, letting out an exasperated breath and laughs far too loud for five am, “You absolute pillock, Joseph and Mary didn’t bang and have Jesus. God impregnated her with his alien probe or something; I don’t know I never paid attention in Sunday school. But apparently neither did you, so…”
“Okay then, so we were nuns when we met the first time.”
“What are you on?” Louis shrieks, grinning so big his cheeks ache.
“You,” he presses his lips just under Louis’ ear, who swats him away.
“Christ, you’re cheesy.”
“Proud of it.”
Outside, they shuffle along the snow covered cobblestone pathway, bumping shoulders and grinning over at each other. Fog still saturates everything so heavily they can only see only a few meters ahead. A wind blowing up from the east throws a fit over Louis’ scarf, whipping it right off his neck several times before he makes Harry tie it around his head so he doesn’t lose it.
When they finally make it to the beach, the fog is so thick they can only see the frothy mouths of waves crashing upon the shore. A lone gull calls out somewhere far in the fog, and Harry looks up as though he’ll see it there.
They stand close, Louis studying the intricate shells unearthed in the sand around their feet, dusted with frost.
“What a great view, Louis,” Harry snorts sarcastically, and Louis unabashedly punches him in the shoulder.
“It usually is.” He pouts, crossing his arms over his chest.
Harry paws over at him, trying to untangle his arms from over his chest, “Well at least I have nice company,” He cocks his head, piquing a brow with that stupid smile like he’s just told a pun and is waiting for everyone to laugh. Louis blinks over at him, before he shakes his head with a grin, letting his arms fall by his sides.
A few silent beats follow, and then he feels Harry’s fingers slot in between his. Louis glances down at their hands, brows furrowed.
“What’s this?” He gestures down at their hands with his head. Harry doesn’t look at him, just grins cheekily, shrugging.
Louis has to turn his head the entire other direction to hide the giant smile that breaks out over his face, and he even goes as far as squeezing the boy’s hand.
He’s still looking the other direction and smiling when he feels Harry’s lips on his cheek. He turns his face, making a strangled noise. “You completely missed my mouth, young Harold.” He patronizes.
“Oh? Can you even reach my mouth, tiny Lewis?” Harry teases, moving to rest his chin on the top of his head to prove his point. That just riles Louis up, because no he’s not tiny.
So he shoves Harry straight to the ground on his back, “Now I can.” He snarks before straddling the boy’s lap, the snow instantly soaking through the knees of his skinnies. Harry leans up on his elbows, sniffing at the air indignantly.
“I’m pretty sure this counts as cheating—“
“Oh shut up,” Louis rolls his eyes, smiling as he leans down to press a light kiss to his lips, followed by another, and another, and another.
“Oh good, you’re back just in time to wake up the girls.” Jay breathes out a sigh of relief.
“Morning, mum. Cooking hotcakes, I see.” Louis trills, pressing a kiss to her cheek before pulling off his beanie.
“Christ, Louis, you’re freezing—and wet,” she makes a face, flipping a cake, “Will you light a fire, please? This house is a bloody icebox.”
“Sure thing,” he calls over his shoulder, making his way to the living area, “Harold, love, will you grab me a pan and a wooden spoon?”
Harry pulls a face, before shuffling into the kitchen, Jay having to direct him to the correct cabinets for Louis’ strange request. When he emerges back from the living room—which is now illuminated in an orange glow—he reaches out to take the pan and spoon from Harry.
“Thank you, darling. Now watch and learn how to make an entire household absolutely adore you.” He tilts his chin up formally, marching his way to the bottom of the stairs before taking a deep breath.
And then he’s banging the spoon on the pan-- loud, and shouting.
“IF I’M NOT MISTAKEN, IT LOOKS AS THOUGH A MISTER S CLAUS HAS VISITED THE TOMLINSON HOUSEHOLD.”
Harry giggles into his palm, leaning against the wall for support.
“Shut up, Louis.” Lottie’s voice yells from the living room, followed by an upstairs door being ripped open animalistically. Then come the wild banshees running down the stairs, Eva and Fay nearly wiping out on their mad dash to the living room. Fizzie, Phoebe, and Daisy follow shortly after, except a lot less enthusiastic, all with disheveled looks on their faces.
“What time is it?” Fizzie groans, getting a smack on the back of the head with a wooden spoon.
“Time to wake up!” Louis cries, grinning proudly over at Harry when the last girl has filed down the stairs.
Harry and Louis follow them to the kitchen table, where a giant heap of hotcakes is awaiting them and a lot more bickering.
After breakfast, they’re all ushered into the living room. Harry sits at the end of the couch; Louis nestled in close next to him, Lottie and Niall next to them. Jay’s in charge of passing out presents, and the rest of the girls are sprawled out on the floor.
Fizzie puts on a Christmas music station on Pandora, the first song coming on—“All I Want for Christmas is You”. Louis beams at Harry, nudging him in the side before leaning up to press a whisper into the shell of his ear.
“I got what I wanted for Christmas.” Louis pulls back with a cheeky smile, and Harry snorts out a laugh.
“And you call me cheesy.” Harry shakes his head, covering his face embarrassedly.
When it comes time for Louis to open his presents, he’s got three vastly different sized boxes sitting on his lap.
“Open mine last, Lou.” Lottie chimes, smirking, and Louis fears for what it could possibly be. So he opens Eva and Fay’s first, the medium sized box with wrapping done very obviously by them.
Inside is a brand new pair of goalie gloves. He lets out a guffaw, “You guys, you can bet your bums we’re breaking in these puppies today with that fancy new football.” Louis definitely got that for them.
The twins squeal, dog piling him as he kisses their foreheads, “Thank you, loves.”
Next is from Fizzie—thermal socks and a box of chocolate covered raisins. “Oh, dovey. I’m putting these on now!” He cries out, pulling the socks over his feet, studying the little penguins covering them. “Stunning. I knew I kept you around for a reason, Fiz.” She laughs and throws a wad of torn wrapping paper at him.
And lastly—Lottie. She shifts to fully face her brother, a shit eating grin on her lips. He glares at her, and then looks down at the largest box out of the three. “It’s not something that’s going to, like, spit acid in my face is it?”
Lottie laughs hysterically, shaking her head, “Christ, no. Just open it.”
Louis reads the address tag on it, black sharpie crossing out Louis’ name to add a bold Louis AND Harry (;
He lets out a petulant sigh, before tearing at the paper, and peering under cautiously at the box.
SPECTRAGEL ANAL STUFFER reads the bright red text. A picture depicting a sparkly purple butt plug assaults his senses.
Louis’ entire chest up blooms in red and he slams his hands to cover the box with an exasperated shout, “LOTTIE!” He squawks, as she screams with laughter. Jay looks absolutely horrified from her stance by the tree, and Harry—well he’d gone a bit stiff and red himself.
“What?! I figured it made sense; you were single for so bloody long. But now,” she waggles her eyebrows at Harry, grinning.
“There are kids here!” Louis shrieks, reaching out to grab her just as she leaps off the couch and goes sprinting around the corner. Louis hands the box to Harry, before following after her, screaming.
Harry glances down at the box, pink blooming in his cheeks as he shifts awkwardly on the couch. A tight smile on his lips as he looks up to see the entire rooms eyes on him curiously.
The morning fog has been burnt away by a distant looking sun that sits high in an opalescent sky. Everything is still and crystalline, glittering pleasantly. The chill is present, but the sun parches it enough to make it bearable.
Louis and Harry hold hands the entire walk with the girls to the neighborhood pitch. Neither of them can wipe the stupid grin off their faces as they swing their hands back and forth. Niall’s got Posey up on his shoulders, Lottie and Jay are talking with over exaggerated hand gestures, and the two sets of twins and romping and throwing snowballs with chipper squeals.
“Uncle Tommo heads u—“
Louis’ turning to face Eva when his cheek is met with an icy slush that even makes it into his mouth. He splutters, scrubbing a gloved hand over his cheek, releasing Harry’s hand before launching himself at Eva.
“That’s it,” he growls, grabbing her by the shoulders and (gently) laying her down on the snow before tickling her until she’s screaming. “Little fiend. A disgrace!” He huffs out between laughs of his own, eyes crinkling up with his giddy smile as she tries to push him away with her cherubic giggles.
Harry pauses to watch the two wrestle, pushing his hands into his pockets and grinning.
“Your fond is showing, Harry.” Lottie calls, walking backwards beside Jay. He waves her off, cheeks tinting pink as he ducks his head. Louis looks over his shoulder, still tickling Eva, and winks at Harry, who covers his face with his hands, laughing into them.
At the pitch, Louis determines that he and Harry against the rest of the family will make it fair. Harry warns him he can’t control his legs, especially on ice, but Louis just holds a hand up in his face.
“You have me, you’re safe.” He says sternly, before dribbling the ball out into the middle of the pitch.
“Alright gals, prepare to lose!” He cries, raising his arms over his head and jogging in place. Phoebe darts in, stealing the ball from him with ease and sprinting down to the other end. Louis whips around, chasing after her laughing loudly.
“Absolute weasel!” he shouts, before pointing at Harry, “Quit standing around, you pillock. Move those lovely legs!”
Harry flushes, before bouncing onto his toes, running after Phoebe, nearly having his feet slip out from under him trying to block her attempted goal kick. He fails to do so, but successfully trips both Louis and Phoebe. They all go stumbling to the ground, snow wedging its way into Louis’ shoes and pants instantly. He gives out a pitiful bleat as he watches the ball roll into the goal, before swatting out at Harry.
“You weren’t kidding about those deer legs, were you?” He huffs, wiggling his nose to try and get the feeling back in it.
“Nope!” Harry simpers, laying on his back and kicking his feet into the air.
An hour in, and they’re all absolutely soaked and red faced from the cold and trying to laugh while hauling it down the pitch after one another. After Louis gets hit in the face with a muddy football while goalie-ing, he calls it a game while huffing out a laugh.
“Hah—we won!” Fay squawks, high fiving Eva and hip checking Lottie.
Louis glances over at Harry, pushing his shoulder to make him stumble to the side, “Your fault.”
“Oh piss off, you were too busy making up witty remarks to make a goal.” Harry says while beaming.
“I’m going to make you regret you ever said that, Harold.” Louis shouts, before leaping onto the boy’s back, pulling off his beanie to reveal mussed curls.
“So agile for an old man!” Harry teases, reaching up to try and grab his beanie back.
Louis drops off his back, making a noise of pure disbelief, “Oh, you are never getting this back!” He goes jogging off, waving his beanie over his head.
“What if I suck you off in the shower?” Harry keeps his voice low as he grabs Louis from behind by his hips, swinging him backwards into his chest and burying his face into his neck.
“You pose quite an offer.”
“That’s what I thought.” Harry grins, kissing his scruffy jaw quickly before patting his bum and pulling him along after the rest of the family disappearing down the road.
The night settles in fast, crowding in around the snow that hugs the roofs of homes knit together like a string of families themselves. Everything is just close. Inside, Jay’s in a worn recliner settled in the corner, watching her family with a placid smile on her lips as she drinks her wine. The freeze’s blown out the electricity, so the room’s illuminated by a blazing fire that washes the room in shades of orange and yellow and brings soft shadows to everyone’s face. Lottie is splayed on the floor, her head resting on Niall’s lap. Posey is colouring something using Daisy’s back as a desk. Phoebe and Fizzie are wrestling with a box of monopoly that doesn’t have the incentive to open. Eva and Fay are perched on the back of the couch, giggling as they braid and put little bows into Harry’s curls. The boy is perfectly unfazed, a lazy smile on his lips while he talks to Lottie. Louis sits opposite from him on the couch, his feet (in penguin socks) resting in Harry’s lap. He sips at his wine, head tilted as an almost embarrassingly affectionate look rests in the soft spaces around his eyes and lips. He watches the way the flickering shadows dance across Harry’s features, studies how when he’s speaking with someone, he narrows all of his attention on them. Well, almost all of it, because he’s gently massaging at Louis’ foot in his lap, and the simple touch is so domestic it makes his head spin.
He wants to stay suspended in this moment forever, with the heady scent of Frasier fir, some British band oozing from his mum’s old record player, this boy sitting like an anchor at the end of the couch. Louis feels naïve, or feels like he should feel that way, for how if someone asked if he was In Love with Harry, he’d say yes without a second thought. Well it’s only been 2 days, how could you know for certain? The question poses itself simply, because, well, there’s validity to it. But Louis shakes his head at the phantom question; the ghost of a smile picks up the edges of his lips as he answers his own question. Sometimes you just know.
Sometimes you meet someone you feel you’ve known all of your life. Sometimes they fit into your life so seamlessly you’d look at them with a shock of realization because you never knew you were missing half of you until the other half cozied up.
Louis announces these thoughts when they’re pressed together in his small bed, facing one another and grinning. Harry nods, kissing the back of his hand.
“You’re quite the poet, Louis Tomlinson.” He says, the glassy reflection in his eyes wrinkles wetly, a glossy tear that looks like a bead of moonlight collects in the corner of his eye. Louis inhales until he feels the seams of his lungs might pop, and he feels like it’d be appropriate to poke fun at the boy, yet he can’t quite come up with the right way to. So he just grins at him, nodding stupidly.
“I’ve practiced.” He laughs, moving a hand up to smooth away the tear now rolling down Harry’s cheek that crinkles up with a wet laugh. “Why are you crying, love?” Louis asks quietly, running his hand through his curls, catching on a little braid that the twins must’ve forgotten to undo. He smiles distantly.
Harry closes his eyes, sighing delicately, chewing on his bottom lip, “I just… I quite enjoy being here with you.” He laughs, shaking his head before burying his face in the pillow with an embarrassed groan. “And I don’t want to leave.” His voice is muffled by the pillow.
Louis smiles so big he has to hide it in his palm. He moves his hand down the plain of Harry’s bare back, tracing over his spine. “Well I don’t have to take you to your car, tomorrow, you giant sap.” He teases, but figures it’s quite obvious that he doesn’t want Harry to leave either.
“That’s another thing,” Harry grinds out, sounding incredibly guilty. Louis’ brow furrows, hand pausing on the boy’s back. “My car never broke down…”
Louis’ face screws up with a surprised laugh, “Huh?”
“I live like… five minutes from where you picked me up—“
“That sounds very prostitute-ish—“
Harry laughs nervously, “Shut up, let me finish.” He pushes his hand over Louis’ mouth.
“Anyways, I needed some bread and eggs, but it was too icy out and I was too lazy to get all of it off of my car to drive there, so I kind of just walked out of my flat to go to the market down the road..” his voice rushes out, Louis laughing into the boy’s palm. “Then you showed up, and… in hindsight I was being a bit of a moron by pretending to need a ride for an excuse to talk to some fit lad.”
Louis pulls his hand from over his hand, giggling, “That was very thirsty of you, Harold.”
“Yeah, well, I wasn’t the one who honked to get my bloody attention.”
“I was trying to be a good citizen! It was only after you actually got into my car that I wanted to suck you off.”
“I’m glad the feeling was mutual right from the get-go.” Harry laughs languidly, rolling onto his back and covering his face with his hands. “So you’re not mad that I lied about my car, and that I even made you take me all the way to a car repair even though… I had no car to repair?”
Louis rolls his eyes, before climbing on top of the boy, prying away his hands. “Do I look mad?”
Harry squints his eyes open, smile engulfing his face, “I don’t know, maybe a little.”
“You are so odd; first off you’d rather walk in the freezing cold to the market rather than scraping off the ice off the windscreen. And how well you lie on the spot—I didn’t even think twice about that broken down car story you obviously pulled out of your arse.” He snorts, leaning down to press a kiss to his lips before pulling back with an exasperated and over dramatic gasp, “In fact—how do I even know if you’re who you say you are! Your name could be Craig! Craig that has 12 dogs at home and every single one of them is named after a character Julie Andrews has played. Craig that has a room entirely dedicated to Star Wars memorabilia—“
“You sure do talk a lot,” Harry grins, gaze tracing back and forth from Louis’ mouth to his eyes.
“Mum says that I came out of the womb flapping my jaw.”
“Flapping your jaw?” Harry laughs incredulously, rubbing his eye with the back of his hand.
“Are you deaf, Harold? That is what I said, isn’t it?” He sneers, “Or do I need to get a bit closer?” He moves to press his lips to the shell of his ear, pressing a light kiss there.
“I don’t know, you tell me old man.” Harry dares, and Louis can feel his body tense underneath him from holding back a laugh.
Louis lets out a huff, “You’re on thin ice, pal.” He smiles as he kisses his way down the boy’s neck.
Harry doesn’t reply, just lets his hands rest on the back of his neck. The dull fire of lust doesn’t outweigh the absolute exhaustion resting on the back of Louis’ eyelids, and he finds himself nosing his face into the crook of the boy’s neck with a tired yawn.
“Tomorrow, you’re getting it.” He slurs, pressing a light kiss to Harry’s warm skin.
“Tomorrow?” Harry’s voice simpers out into Louis’ hair, obvious hope strung in it.
“You don’t think I’m actually going to let you leave yet, are you?”
He can feel him smile into his hair, running his hands up and down Louis’ back—who’s still laid out on top of him. “Not gonna chop me up into tiny little pieces, are you?”
Louis laughs tiredly, wedging his arms between the mattress and Harry’s back, “As long as you don’t try to first.”
Harry stays until New Years—and at 12.01 am, Louis asks him to be his proper boyfriend.
He says yes.