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So Put Your Hands In (The Holes of My Sweater)

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So Put Your Hands In (The Holes of My Sweater)

“I think the one that plays White Christmas when you turn on the vibration is more you, Haz.” Harry lets out a surprised squeal when warm breath hit his ear, accompanied by cold hands sneaking up his sweater.

“Lou,” Harry laughs, pushing his hands away from his stomach. “What are you doing here?”

“I, young Harold, am here to help with your Christmas shopping, and thank god for that! I can’t believe you’re even contemplating giving someone that, it’s boring. As I said, choose the one over here.” Louis grabs his hand, pulling him towards another isle, before Harry can fully react. “Who are you even buying one for, anyway?”

Harry can feel the heat rising in his cheeks, awkwardly turning his head down to his boot-covered feet, when Louis turns around to look at him.

“Is it for Gemma?”

Harry looks up in shock, to see Louis smiling with a cocked eyebrow. Harry can’t really do anything but shake his head, how can Louis even insinuate he would give that to his sister, no, wrong.

“It isn’t for Liam and Zayn, God knows they don’t need it.” Louis stops, and rubs his chin in a thinking manner, before his eyes light up, and he squeezes Harry’s hand.

“I know!” Louis doesn’t let go of Harry’s hand. He’s also wearing that mischievous smile he wears every time he thinks he has figured something out, it’s almost proud-like. And his eyes get that extra sparkle that makes them seem so impossibly blue. It’s moments like these, Harry just stops and sucks in a deep breath, because in these moments Louis is angelic, and that is almost too much for Harry’s fragile heart to bear.

“—I’m right, aren’t I?” Louis is almost jumping where he stands.

“I – uhm. What?” Louis rolls his eyes, but the smile doesn’t leave his face.

“It’s for Perrie, isn’t it?” and oh. They’re still talking about this.

“No. It’s not really – I wasn’t thinking about giving it to anyone,” Louis’ eyes widen, and if it’s possible, his smile gets even bigger. “I was just looking for some Tupperware for my mum, and I just saw them stacked there, it’s not like – I wasn’t really…” Harry slowly trails off, realising it’s too late to save himself now.

“You little minx! You were so buying one for yourself!” Louis squeaks, before Harry can cover his mouth with his hand.

“Shush it, Lou. You are never to talk about this again. Swear, Louis. Swear you wont ever talk abo—why are you so gross?” Harry interrupts himself when he feels Louis’ hot tongue run over his palm, quickly removing it.

“I’ll never let you live this down,” Louis grins.

Harry groans, cheeks hot, pulling away from Louis. He’s pretty sure he should be more annoyed with Louis than he actually is. He feels more embarrassed that his best friend found out how painfully sad his sex life is.

“Haz,” Louis sighs, when he notices his reaction. “There’s no shame in pleasuring yourself, no matter how you prefer to do it.”

“Really?” He asks, looking up at Louis with his too-big doe eyes.

Louis smiles and throws his arms around Harry’s neck, pulling him into his chest, nestling his nose into his shoulder. Harry is sure he is standing on his tippy toes. “You’re so cute and innocent, it’s not fair.”

“’m not cute,” he mumbles against Louis’ shoulder, pulling him closer.

“But you are, Haz.”

Harry sighs; not remembering another moment he has felt this content, Louis’ warmth and Louis’ smell, and just Louis enveloping him; but it’s over too fast, and Louis pulls away, smiling at him.

“So you gonna buy it?”

Harry’s cheeks immediately heat up again, shaking his head violently muttering a quiet no.

“I won’t judge you, if you do. Whether it’s the boring purple one or the one that sings popular Christmas songs.”

“Who’d even agree to sing for a dildo?”

Louis shrugs and starts walking back to the kitchen essentials, giving Harry a great view. “Michael Bublé, I think?”

Harry almost falls over his legs trying to catch up with Louis. He started a growth spurt earlier this year, and is still trying to adjust to his limbs that just seems to keep growing. “That is so ironic. And White Christmas, come on.”

Louis laughs at Harry. “That’s kind of the idea,” Louis’ laughter rings through the isles, making Harry groan and hide his face in his hands. “I’m so glad I chose to keep you, Curly, you make me feel smart.”

“Heeeey, be nice!”

Louis just keeps chuckling, looking so very fond. Harry feels like he accomplished something, even though they’ve walked right past the Tupperware his mum had told him about, and right out in the early December cold.

They end up at a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant.

They had taken the nearest underground, getting off at a random station Harry had picked. It smells strongly of piss, and the warm air is almost unbearable as they hear the train screech further through the dark tunnels. They pull their coats even tighter around their bodies when they get up onto the freezing street, and walk until Louis picks a restaurant.

It’s their thing. One picks the station, the other the place they eat, and then they switch it up. It’s been like that since the first time they went out together.

Niall had been telling all of them about this amazing new place they had to try (“Seriously lads, their pasta is like an orgasm in your mouth!”) Harry had taken one glance in the fridge and concluded he didn’t feel like going down to Tesco, so why not give it a try? Liam and Zayn had backtracked to Zayn and Louis’ flat, so Harry didn’t even bother asking them to join, Niall had a date with Jade, and so it had wounded up just being him and Louis.

Of course being them, they had both forgotten what station it was, Louis was sure it was Leicester Square, while Harry insisted Niall had said it was Piccadilly Circus.

They had passed both stations, and ended up more south than they had intended.

 “Tell me: how’s your life going, Hazza?” Louis shovels some fried rice in his mouth. His pink lips slide over his fork. Harry shifts uncomfortably in his chair.

“We saw each other yesterday, Lou,” he forces a little chuckle, trying to pull his gaze away from Louis who apparently can’t drink from a straw like a normal person, but has to chase it with his tongue, pouting his lips when it keeps escaping his mouth.

Harry watches the way Louis swallows his coke; how his lips form his words perfectly, letting them out in a silky voice. “Then how was your day?”

“Was good, one of my lessons was cancelled, and the other was easy, usual.” He shrugs, his eyes flickering down to his plate and bites down on the bread that comes with the tomato soup he ordered.

“Oh, the perks of being an English major, easy peasy lessons,” he mocks, Harry just laughs a bit, pulling at a loose thread from the tablecloth. The restaurant is actually quite fancy. There’s a candle on the table and everything. “My day was great, thanks for asking, Harold. We watched a few old short films, got into the root of acting’s origin.”

“Aren’t you just suffering from hard work, and ungodly lessons?” He teases, earning a gentle kick from Louis to his shin.

“Oi, watch it!”

The lunch carries on like that. They continue their banter, and Harry only needs to restrain himself from touching Louis’ lips two times. Harry thinks this must be some kind of personal record, but he chooses not to dwell on it, it’s pathetic. Honestly.

When they’ve finished eating, ankles intertwined under the table, Louis asks for the check, before turning back to Harry.

Harry immediately feels wrong. Louis’ eyes are too serious. It doesn’t look right, so when he reaches for Harry’s hands, Harry removes them from the table like he doesn’t notice, straightens his back and unlaces their ankles in the process.

Louis tilts his head, studying him, but seemingly letting it go with a little shake of his head. “We need to talk about some things later, Harry.”

And no. No, they don’t. Because Harry is not ready for this conversation. He isn’t ready for Louis telling him that they need to take some time apart, because Harry is a little boy with a crush, and Louis doesn’t want him. Louis doesn’t want Harry.

Harry shakes his head violently. “No.”

“But, Harry—”

“No, Louis. I don’t want to talk, okay?” Louis opens and closes his mouth a few times, before letting out a sigh and rubbing his eyes.

They sit in a tense silence until the waiter arrives with the check.

They both reach for it. “Let me pay, Haz. I picked this over-priced place, least I can do.” Louis sounds tired. Harry wants to kick himself for ruining the whole day, which could have been perfect, otherwise. He could have spent the rest of the day with Louis, maybe even have cuddled into him on the sofa later, watching some Christmas film, hearing Louis laugh, and comment on the silly things the elves would do, mimicking their high pitched voices.

So Harry sighs and gives in, looking down at his lap, picking at his nails.

They leave the restaurant, and are met with a dark starless sky that seems to fit the dim mood. Harry can’t help but think that maybe there’s a metaphor here he should catch, but he doesn’t feel like analysing it. He just wants to rewind, and go back to before they end up walking down the streets in silence. Louis is probably hoping they’ll get home fast so he doesn’t have to be in Harry’s company much longer.

They find their way back to the underground, or maybe it’s a different one, Harry isn’t sure. The wind is picking up; Harry’s hands are freezing, even when he buries them as deep in his pockets as possible. They are both hunched over a bit, keeping their shoulders up over their ears, an unfair amount of space between them, listening to nothing but the traffic and the sound of their soles hitting the wet pavement. He only notices Louis’ teeth chattering when they’re halfway down the stairs to the underground. The wind is blowing straight into their faces, from the other side, and no, it isn’t the same underground, Harry is pretty sure the other one didn’t have a T-shaped exit.

Harry stops Louis by taking his wrist when they’ve turned left, and taken the seven steps down so they’re more protected from the wind. Louis turns and looks at him, Harry wishes he wouldn’t look so surprised, though. He takes his own beanie off, and pulls it down over Louis’ fire red ears.

“Thank you, love,” he smiles, and takes Harry’s hand and walks towards the platform.

He doesn’t let go of Harry’s hand when they get there, or when a train rushes past them, blowing humid air all around them, causing an abandoned newspaper to blow onto Harry’s shoe (he kicks it off, again). Not even when they get on the right train back to their building, and it’s stuffed with people on their way home from a long day at work, causing them to stand too close, with their hands crushed between them in a weird angle, does he let go of Harry’s hand. (And this stupid little smile won’t leave Harry’s face, but that’s his secret, and he keeps it by keeping his eyes on the ground in front of him.)

They get out a few minutes later, wincing at the cold air, but still taking in deep breaths that burn their lungs, relived to get away from the sour humidity and weird smells.

“I’m sorry.” Harry says, when they’re only a few streets away from their building. Their hands are still clasped together, even though he is sure he needs to amputate three of his fingers when they get inside.

“It’s okay.” He doesn’t bring it up again, just gives Harry’s hand a squeeze and sends him a warm smile.

“So you’re staying for my birthday, right?”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Harry smiles, pulling Louis closer by his hand, of course purely to keep them warm.

“Good, I wouldn’t forgive you if you did. We can go to the train station together the 25th, yeah?” The warmth is back in Louis’ voice, and if Harry tries, he can forget he nearly ruined everything earlier.

Harry is about to respond, when they both turn around, letting go of each other’s hand. “Hey, Louis! Wait up!”

“Stan.” Louis sends the newcomer a blinding smile when he reaches them. That’s not fair, smiles like that should be reserved for Harry, only.

“You know Harry, yeah?”

“Yeah, ‘course. Hey man.” He sends Harry a little wave, before turning to Louis again, excluding Harry.

“I was just going to ring you when I got home. Some of the lads are going out tonight, you want to come?”

Harry sighs, already accepting defeat. Because of course, Louis won’t turn down an invitation to go out, that’s just not who he is. He stands awkwardly at the sidewalk, watching them interact. He has met Stan before, once or twice when Louis had invited him to go out with his other group of friends. He can’t say he’s a fan. He is too touchy around Louis, always seeming to demand his attention, and Louis gives it to him every time.

“You can find your way back right, Harry?” And then Louis turns to Harry, like he hadn’t just been excluded for the last five minutes.

“I’m not a kid,” he bites back, turning around not looking back at them. Louis doesn’t stop him.

His ears are freezing, since Louis still has his beanie. Louis, who didn’t even invite him to go with him. Sure, he might normally say no, but it would be nice to have the option, nice to know he was wanted. Instead he walks home alone, cursing the day he fell for Louis Tomlinson.

He goes to bed without dinner, cuddling his pillow instead of Louis.

“Sweetie?”

Harry groans, turning to lay on his other side. He doesn’t know what time it is, but it’s definitely too early for being out of bed. There’s not even any light shining through his thin curtains (he regrets getting them every summer).

“Harry, get up!” The voice says a bit more firm, a body crawling under his duvet.

Harry yelps and opens his eyes, trying to hurriedly get away, and still keep himself covered. Not only is he naked, but the other person – Louis, the other person is Louis! – But Louis’ cold hand was in near contact with Harry’s upper thigh, probably even close enough to feel his pubic hair. Harry blushes beet red at the thought.

“What are you doing here?” He asks, bewildered, voice rough with sleep.

“Here to wake you up,” Louis shrugs, or Harry thinks he does, it’s really too dark in the room to be sure.

“Why? What’s the time?” Harry punctuates it with a loud yawn.

“We’re going somewhere; and just past eight. Get up or we’re going to be late! I’ll get some tea ready for you in ten, be out before it get’s cold.” And then Louis is out of the door, leaving Harry staring into the dark room.

He slowly gets up, just so he can fall into the wall cursing at his right leg, which has kindly decided to still be asleep, not even giving him a warning of its incapability to stand. Rubbing his forehead, praying he isn’t going to bruise, he makes his way into the bathroom, quickly washing himself in lukewarm water, shaving his face and genitals.

 He steps into the kitchen, hair dripping down his back, wearing clean boxers, but nonetheless feeling more awake than he had twenty minutes ago.

He takes a seat on one of the barstools, watching Louis move around Harry’s kitchen with such a familiarity that it makes something hot curl inside Harry’s stomach, for a second making him breathless.

“Where are we going at this time that is so important?” He asks as Louis places his tea in front of him without even asking how he takes it; Harry is not even sure he’s ever told Louis that, but it’s perfect.

“Not telling you, but dress warm.” He sends Harry one of his special smiles. Harry, too, smiles down in his tea, causing hot liquid to escape his mouth and run down his chin. Louis laughs at him.

It’s not even half an hour later Harry is looking helplessly inside his closet, contemplating what to wear.

After drinking his tea Louis sheepishly looks at Harry, before Harry had rolls his eyes and gets up from his seat to take over in the kitchen, cooking breakfast for both of them, because of course Louis hadn’t eaten anything before coming over. Helpless idiot, Harry smiles to himself, turning back to his clothes situation.

He can’t help but think that this is quite similar to the first time Harry had hung out with Louis.

Harry hadn’t even been at the university for a week before seeing him for the first time. His head was thrown back, laughter bubbling from his throat; deep crinkles painted by his eyes. Harry had felt mesmerised, not able to look away from the beautiful boy. It wasn’t until he had walked straight into Niall that he averted his eyes from Louis. He had apologised furiously, picking up his books, before noticing it was Niall and breathing an ‘Oh, hey mate’, before quickly chancing a glance back at the boy.

Niall had just followed his gaze, and laughed, giving him a clasp on the shoulder, “Already falling hard, Haz?”

Niall had been his best friend since forever. It had always seemed inevitable that they would go to the same university and share a room on campus, and of course that’s what they did.

Harry went for weeks observing the boy - Louis. Niall had come home one day, not even bothering with a hi, just saying: “’is name’s Louis Tomlinson, second year, drama student, gay.”

“What?” Harry had asked dumbfounded, trying to figure out if he had missed something, too caught up in his essay.

“The boy you’re stalking. That’s Louis, with an ‘s’.” Niall said from his bed, bag of crisps already open in his hand.

“How do you know?” Harry asked with sparked interest, already knowing commenting on Niall’s stalking (it’s definitely not stalking) comment would be fruitless.

“Know some people,” he shrugged, clearly not going to elaborate.

So of course the next night Niall showed up at Harry’s work with two blokes, smiling cheekily at Harry. He introduced them when Harry came to serve them. “Liam and Zayn, good friends of Louis, I’ll have a pint and the burger.” And that was that. They’d started hanging out, Harry standing in exactly the same position, staring into his closet when a week later Niall told him Louis was going to join them.

Harry hadn’t needed to worry about his clothes though; he and Louis had clicked immediately, when Harry had found his voice again, that is.

At the start of Harry’s second year of university he and Niall had moved into a flat with Liam, next door to Louis and Zayn. Though, with Liam spending almost all his time at Zayn’s, and Louis’ never ending complaints about them being so loud, Louis almost lives with Harry.

Now Harry finds Louis’ clothes everywhere, even washed a pair of his boxers the other day. He doesn’t complain.

He heaves a sigh and rubs his eye, before pulling out a white shirt, and black jeans. He’s going to wear his coat anyway, no need to fuss.

Dressed from top to toe, Harry takes the stairs down, meeting Louis in front of the building. He, too, is dressed fit for Antarctica.

“Can you at least tell me why you are taking me on this morning adventure?” He bump his shoulder into Louis’ as they start walking towards what Harry guesses is the underground.

“Feel bad about abandoning you yesterday, so we’re making this a Louis-Harry day,” his voice is muffled by his scarf. Harry has a matching one; Louis’ grandma knitted one for him for his nineteenth birthday.

“Louis-“

“Don’t, Harry. I feel bad, okay. Stan and I just had some things we needed to talk about, so.” Harry chooses not to read into what talk can be a synonym for.

Harry is still sort of speechless a good few minutes later when they’re standing in the queue. Since they arrived at their destination, Harry has been put off, not coherent enough to do anything but utter a weak Louis, like some sort of prayer. Several different scenarios have run through Harry’s head from shopping to climbing a mountain, even thought that one is pretty unrealistic; this is London. (Don’t judge him, it’s early). But this hadn’t even crossed his mind. Not before they were standing at the entrance, being let in without any troubles because Louis already had their tickets. And not just for the entrance, but for everything, because apparently he has planned their whole day down to the smallest details, giving Harry very little choice about what to do. But Harry didn’t mind, Louis knew him too well and, “this is just for you, Harry.”

So they’re standing in their second queue within twenty minutes, and Harry still hasn’t quite been able to fathom that they’re actually here. He hasn’t mentioned it for almost a year, and he didn’t even know Louis was listening by then. It had just been a quiet voiced sentence wishing he had been able to go while it still was open, but by then it was too late and they had closed down from January to November.

They move up close to the Token Booth, side by side, when it’s their turn. Louis orders what Harry is sure is too many tokens for just the two of them, and refuses to let Harry as much as reach for his wallet to pay for them, “This is all on me Haz.”

When Louis has purchased all the tokens (with several protests from Harry) and somehow gotten them all into his pockets, they start walking around, slowly, trying to take it all in. It’s early, not more than ten thirty, the sun just starting to peak through the cloud covered sky.

“Are we really gonna spend twelve hours here?” Harry asks, an awed edge to his voice, as he tears his eyes away from the Giant Wheel, just to find Louis already looking at him.

“Of course we are, can’t miss a moment of this. Plus I’ve got something special planed just before they close.” Louis sends him a smile full of secrets and childish excitement. Harry knows he won’t get an answer, but he can’t stop himself from asking what the special thing is. Louis just shakes his head, tapping the side of his nose, “patience is a virtue.”

They stride further into the Winter Wonderland, the place already getting more and more crowded with people and families with small children running around.

“What do you want to go on first?” They stop and Louis looks at him expectantly. Harry curiously looks around; trying to find the one thing he wants to try first.

“That one,” he says, pointing to a children’s carousel not far away.

Louis chuckles. “Of course you would.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Harry asks, furrowing his eyebrows.

“Nothing, you’re cute.” Louis smiles.

Harry is about to protest; he isn’t cute, adults aren’t cute, that’s a fact. But the way Louis looks at him makes Harry feel loved, so what if he’s cute? It doesn’t matter. Louis thinks he’s cute.

“Come on your big goofball,” Louis says, taking Harry by the jacket sleeve and pulling him towards the carousel, skilfully manoeuvring through the mass of people. Harry isn’t that graceful, though, and he steps on a few toes. He has to issue a few quick apologies before being dragged away.

Louis gives the guy some tokens, and they’re allowed on the ride with a bunch of children.

Harry laughs when Louis races a little boy to a reindeer, claiming it and the horse besides it, before the boy even reaches it. Harry only feels a little bad when the boy pouts as Harry gets on the horse, and watches him scurry away to the sleigh.

The ride is nice. It’s just going around in a steady pace, Harry’s horse moving up and down on the stick like he’s riding it (no pun intended, even though Harry very much would like to ride Louis’ stick). He can hear the children laugh, and see the proud parents on the side taking pictures and waving every time they see their kid.

Harry has a big smile plastered on his face as he turns to Louis. He spends the rest of the ride sitting on his horse admiring Louis as he waves to every single one of the bystanders like he knows everyone.

“You enjoyed it just as much as the kids, admit it,” Harry smiles, bumping his shoulders against Louis’ when they get off the carousel. “It’s a nice ride,” he smiles, giddily.

“Yeah.”

They make their way to what Louis says is “the picturesque Christmas markets, at least that’s what the website said.” 

The website didn’t lie. It is indeed one of the most beautiful markets Harry has ever seen. Everywhere he looks, he sees smiling and laughing people, shops full of sweets in every single colour and form he has ever imagined, caramelised apples, gingerbread formed as hearts with ‘I heart London’ written in multi coloured icing, pretzels, everything. Giant baubles and cute snowmen hanging around, Christmas lights everywhere, and yeah, Harry does take a picture or twenty with his phone. Louis only mocks him a little, but quietly demands Harry sends them to him when they get home, but only so he can show them to his mum and sisters. Harry only smiles fondly at Louis as he agrees.

They try out the Pirate attraction next, having shared a blue candyfloss while pushing their way through the Christmas market. Harry isn’t sure he likes this one. It’s a big boat swinging back and forth. When Harry starts to feel the candyfloss crawling its way up his stomach again, he hides his face in Louis’ shoulder and prays it’ll be over soon. Louis puts his left arm around his waist, pulling him closer to him. It helps a little.

When they get down, and Harry has regained the colour in his face he vetoes against more rides (unless it’s the children rides, the children rides are okay). Louis heaves a sigh, looking longingly at the new coasters, but gives in to Harry’s pleading.

They walk around, Harry feeling like they truly have entered another land. There might not be snow yet, but the air is freezing, and it doesn’t make the wonderland less beautiful. He sort of wants to stay here with Louis forever. Here where it feels like magic exist, and dreams come true.

“Can I choose what we do next?” Harry asks, not sure if Louis has anything planned.

“Sure, Haz,” Louis smiles, taking his hand to make sure they don’t get separated in the crowd.

“Can we go through The Magical Ice Kingdom?” Harry says, staring up at the blue almost white neon light spelling out the words, bright enough to shine even in the middle of the day.

“Heard it’s quite beautiful,” Louis says, taking the lead and getting them through the entrance, mostly avoiding the queue.

As soon as they step inside the temperature falls drastically. They pull their jackets closer around them. Blue and lilac light bulbs are neatly hidden all over the place, making everything seem like it’s glowing. They walk slowly, trying to keep as much to themselves as possible.

The first thing Harry sees are icicles sticking up from something imitating snow, an ice fence separating them from the path.

When they’ve passed a brick wall of ice Harry realises how truly amazing this is. A fox of ice, an eagle, a bear, and a deer, all kinds of animals made of nothing but ice appear as they follow the path further into the kingdom. Pine trees are placed around the animals, giving the feeling of being in a forest.

They take a small ice slide down, slowly piecing together the scenario shift. It’s like Harry’s in his own fairy tale, when he sits down in a carriage of ice, picturing Cinderella in her pumpkin, but instead of horses, it’s an amazingly crafted unicorn in front of it. He sits down on the bench inside it, making Louis take some pictures of him. He smiles wide as he slowly loses the feeling in his bum. When Louis refuses to take more pictures of him, he jumps down the stairs, feeling like a kid as he impatiently waits for Louis to follow him.

“You’re such a child,” he says, taking Harry’s hand again. Even though it’s minus eight degrees (Harry found a brochure) in the kingdom, Louis’ hand is warm in his icy one. 

Harry could get used to this.

They walk past princess after princess, Snow White to Sleeping Beauty, a new fairy tale for every sculpture, before Harry stops in front one. It’s a ballerina, leg high in the air behind her, as she leans into a soldier, ice hand on his shoulder, like she’s about to kiss him.

“I’ve always wanted to see this one,” he says, not looking away from the sculpture.

“The Nutcracker? You haven’t seen it? We can rent it on Netflix when we get home.” Louis suggests.

Harry turns to him, lopsided smile painted on his lips. “I’ve watched the film, actually we watched it together while babysitting Daisy and Phoebe, but you fell asleep on the sofa.” It had been a good day. Louis had cuddled into him, head in Harry’s lap, his hand running through Louis’ hair as he fell asleep.

“Then why do you wanna watch it?” Louis asks, confused.

“I’ve always wanted to watch the ballet version, you know with the dancing.”

“I know what ballet is, thank you very much Harold.”

Harry admires the sculpture until five or so families have passed them, and Louis insists there’s so much more to see.

A dragon, a gigantic dragon, knights with shields and swords, bows and spears all ready to fight, every sculpture more impressive than the last. They get a sweet old lady to take their picture as they sit in the two ice thrones placed beside each other, before making their way out of the kingdom. They have a heated discussion whether or not Harry would be the princess. Louis thinks he’ll make a beautiful princess; Harry blushes at the comment, blaming it on the cold when Louis points it out.

Harry is faced with a big beautiful swan-boat, as soon as they make it out of The Ice Kingdom, turning excitedly to Louis. He wants to do this with Louis, sailing in a swan.

Louis playfully rolls his eyes, squeezing Harry’s hand to show him he doesn’t mean it bad. They follow more swans trying to find where the attraction starts, finding it harder than originally thought. Harry wonders why they didn’t grab a map when they arrived.

When they finally find what is supposed to be the booth to pay for the swans, Harry is disappointed. He pouts when it’s becoming clear to him it isn’t possible to go out on the water in a giant swan, because the pond is frozen, and being used as an ice skating rink for the winter.

“Can we do that, then?” He asks; feeling a bit bummed over the swan thing. But maybe it would’ve been too romantic, and Harry decided months ago Louis and he’s friendship needed to be more platonic.

Louis checks the time on his phone, looking apologising up at Harry. “I’m sorry Haz, we’ve something to catch in twenty minutes, and I’m still not sure where it is yet.”

Harry nods. “We’ll go ice skating another day then.” It’s more a statement than a question, Harry already planning it out in his head. It’s just going to be him and Louis, he will personally be sure the other boys are preoccupied and has to turn it down when he asks them to come. He can’t get enough of these Harry-Louis days.

Louis does find what they’re looking for pretty easily, but refuses to tell Harry what it is. Instead they spend a few minutes getting a quick refreshment in the Ice Bar, sharing a half plate of chips, before Louis decides it’s time to leave.

Harry barely catches what the sign above the tent opening says before Louis drags him inside and finds them two seats somewhere in the middle, not too close to the arena, and not too far away.

Zippos Christmas Circus.

It’s an amazing forty-five minutes, where Harry finds himself enchanted by everything he sees. It’s a play of colours, happening in the air and on the ground. Watching the aerialists move around in the air, secured by nothing as they twirl and spin from wide silver rings and long pieces of colourful fabrics. The comedians making him shred tears of laughter, fire-eaters and a short guy throwing knives around a petty girl fastened to a spinning wheel, making him hold his breath in anticipation.

It’s everything he remembers from seeing in circuses as a kid, even the part where he reaches out to clench Louis’ hand for moral support when the clowns appear.

When they get out of the tent again it’s surprisingly dark and cold.

They walk out of the way, letting other people leave the circus tent. Harry can’t help but take a look around, just like he had done when they first arrived so many hours ago.

It looks different in the dark, better, he thinks.

“I like it better when it’s dark, how it’s lit up by all the lights, it’s more beautiful.” He says, turning to Louis as they stop under a sign, enveloping them both in green light.

“I agree. It has a certain charisma, doesn’t it?” He turns to face Harry, cornering him against the brick wall behind him.

Harry’s breath hitches, Louis placing both his hands on either side of Harry’s head, leaning closer in. Louis’ breath is ghosting over Harry’s face as he talks, words sounding like they’re coming from deep down his throat.

“It’s almost like—like it makes you feel brave,” he stops, like he’s thinking thoroughly over his next words. “Brave enough to do stuff you normally wouldn’t do.”

Harry chews on his lip. His head going crazy, is Louis implying what Harry thinks he’s implying?

They look into each other’s eyes, Harry’s heart rabbiting harder in his chest as the distance closes between them. It’s like Louis is radiating heat, his breath sweet with the scent of the strawberry daiquiri he’d had earlier as it warmed Harry’s face.

Harry’s eyes flutter closed, tongue wetting his lips, before he feels the faintest press against his lips, letting out a sigh of relief or anticipation, he isn’t sure. Louis still isn’t close enough, they’re barely touching, the smallest move would separate them, before Harry even gets to taste — to taste Louis’ lips.

He takes a deep breath, knowing he’s the one who has to take the final step.

He squeezes his eyes tight, before relaxing them again, still keeping them closed, and – his stomach grumbles, loud.

He feels Louis pull away from him, restraining himself from following and begging for a kiss. Regretfully he opens his eyes, Louis is smiling at him, and there’s something Harry can’t quite read in his eyes.

“You hungry?” Louis asks.

The moment is gone. The moment his gone, and Harry wants to whine and plead, because he’s been waiting for that kiss, he’s been waiting so god damn long and it isn’t fair.

Instead he just smiles the best he can muster and replies with a curt “yes.”

Harry decides on something called Mirrors Bar, it’s an outdoor place, build around a big Christmas tree, lighting up most of the place.

It’s crowded and perfect, the food satisfying Harry’s stomach, and the drinks quickly clearing the uncomfortable tension between them. Harry is especially fond of a poisonous looking green drink, served in martini glasses tasting fruity and sour, while Louis prefers the sweet ones.

They sit down at a small round table placed near the tree, when the first recognisable song comes on. It’s surprising that both of them know the song, neither of them born when it topped the charts in the late sixties, early seventies; nonetheless they both sing at the top of their voices, serenading each other as the DJ progresses through the decades and reaches the nineties biggest hits.

They spend most of the night there, Louis ordering fewer and fewer drinks (he still refuses to let Harry pay for anything) as the night goes, saying they still have that special thing at the end of the night. This time, Harry’s stomach swoops, thinking about the almost kiss, hoping for something similar. That, or he’s tipsier than he originally thought.

When there’s around an hour to the Wonderland closing for the night, Louis has a tight grip around Harry’s waist, stirring him towards the Wonderland Games.

“I want to win you something before we leave tonight, something you’ll remember this by,” Louis says, voice slightly unclear.

“Don’t need you to win me anything, I’ll remember this forever,” he mumbles, burring his face in Louis shoulder. Even if he for unknown reasons should forget this, his phone is stuffed with pictures from today.

“Doesn’t matter, let me win you something,” Louis says, making Harry stand upright, carrying his own weight.

They walk around looking at the different arcade games; trying to decide which one they’ll give a shot. It’s much less crowded now, families gone home, leaving mostly couples walking around the park.

The cold air, and bright lights helps Harry’s head, making him sober more and more up for every game booth they pass.

It isn’t before they’ve seen all the games two times Louis chooses one.

“It looks easy, and has the biggest bears,” he says, walking towards a stand filled with bottles.

“You wanna try?” The boy in charge of the game asks, smiling like he wants to be anywhere but here. Harry would, too, if he had to stand there with nothing to entertain him.

“Yes, please,” Louis replies, confidently.

“It’s easy, just get at least two rings on the bottles, it’s separated into three sections. The section you’ve most rings in, determines which shelf you can choose from, though you need to have all three rings in the section closest to the back to choose from the top shelf, you get it?” The boy asks, taking the bills from Louis, giving him three rings.

Harry looks at the shelves. Honestly the prizes suck, and Louis has to get three rings in the farthest section if he wants to win a bear.

Surprisingly, Louis gets his first ring in the third section, turning to smile proudly at Harry.

“I’m so gonna get you a bear, Hazza, you’ll have to name it after me and everything!” Louis’ eyes are sparkling as he talks, Harry might have a few problems finding his voice.

“The Polar Bear Lou,” he finally gets out, licking his dry lips.

“You’re going for the polar bear then?” Louis asks, eyeing the white bear sitting on the top shelf.

“Yup, he’s the most Louis-like,” Harry says. “Now throw the damn ring.”

“A kiss for good luck then?” Harry’s eyes widen, before realising Louis is reaching one of the silver rings towards Harry’s face. He kisses it quickly, biting his lip, smallest bit embarrassed of how fast his heart is beating.

Louis throws the ring, aiming slightly worse than last, but nonetheless gets it in the third section.

“Last ring, Louis.” Harry smiles, burring his cold hands deep in his pockets.

Louis quickly looks at Harry, kissing the ring, pursing his lips and throwing it.

It makes a loud cling when it hits the neck of a bottle, circling it, just to fall to the ground.

“God damn it!” He grumbles, standing up straight again. “I’m sorry Harry,” he says, looking into Harry’s eyes.

“Don’t worry about it, Lou.” He smiles. He doesn’t really matter; it’s the thought that counts.

Louis glances at his phone, before turning back to Harry, ignoring the boy trying to tell him to choose from the third shelf. “We’ve got time for one more game. I could give it another go?” He asks.

“Can I try it, then? I want to win you something,” he smiles. Louis nods, finding his wallet to pay the boy again, but before he gets that far, Harry pushes his hand away, shaking his head. “Let me pay, just for this? Please?” He pleads.

“But Harry, I said I’d pay for everything today, including this.”

“But what if I win? Then it won’t feel like I gave it to you because you paid for it, so it wouldn’t really be from me?” He pleads, pouting his lips, widening his eyes.

Louis sighs, “I guess that’s fair.”

Harry pays the boy, who’s seemingly given up on making Louis choose a prize.

“Kiss it for luck?” Harry asks, handing Louis his first ring.

“My lips are unlucky, that’s why I didn’t win.” Louis protests, making Harry chuckle.

“No they aren’t, just kiss it! You don’t know how to throw with the magic your lips provide.” Louis looks at him with a raised eyebrow, before kissing the ring. “You’re so weird,” he smiles.

Harry bends his knees, throwing the ring, easily getting it caught on a flask.

“This isn’t so hard, how did you fuck it up, Lou?” Harry teases, handing Louis ring two, silently asking him to kiss it. He does with a mumbled shut up.

Ring two isn’t any harder.

“If I win, which one are you going to choose?” he asks, swinging the ring loosely in his hand. Louis looks at the plush animals.

“I think I’ll choose the reindeer,” he says; looking back to Harry with a smile.

“The reindeer? You sure?” He asks, biting his lip.

“Hundred per cent, The Reindeer Hazza.” Harry can’t stop the smile from breaking his face, Louis smiling back, leaning in to kiss the last ring.

“You better win me Hazza, Haz. I’ve named him, I can feel the attachment.”

So Harry does. He wins Louis the reindeer, making him beam so much his whole face lights up when Harry gives it to him.

 

“Thank you, Haz” Louis says, hugging the reindeer like a small child, before reaching out and squeezing Harry’s left nipple through his open jacket. Harry squeaks in shock, faint arousal rushing to his crotch. Louis laughs.

“Come on, Harold, we have to get to the Ferris wheel.”

“We’re going on the Ferris wheel?” Harry asks excitedly, looking at it in the distance. It lights up everything around it.

“Of course! Did you think I’d let you leave without trying the main attraction?” Harry shrugs, he kind of had.

The way to the Ferris wheel is shorter than he calculated, and there’s absolutely no queue when they get there.

“Louis Tomlinson.” Louis says when they reach an employee (Harry supposes) dressed in a nice uniform.

“Mr. Tomlinson, please follow me, and I’ll get you seated and get your champagne,” the man says, leading the way to the wheel.

“Champagne!?” Harry whispers, trailing after Louis. Louis just gives him a few pats on the hip, helping him onto his seat.

Harry watches as Louis climbs in after him, placing Hazza the Reindeer on his lap, fastening his belt, before turning to Harry, expectant look in his eyes.

“Louis—” Harry whispers, not sure what to say. He feels happy and confused, his insides bubbling with fondness for this boy he has been in love with for over a year.

“We had to end a perfect day perfectly,” Louis says, suddenly seeming shy, shifting his eyes from Harry’s to his hands.

“Louis—“ Harry tries again, only to get choked up a bit. “It is perfect, it’s more than perfect. You did so much out of this, and I don’t even know why. But thank you. Thank you so much for giving me the best day of my life.” He chokes out, stopping there to lean in and give Louis an awkward sideways hug.

“It’s not too much then?” Louis asks, biting at some loose skin on his lip. Harry pulls back, and looks at him.

He reaches forward, carefully stopping Louis from ripping it off. “It wasn’t necessary, but perfect.” He answers truthfully.

The employee comes back, giving both of them a glass of champagne, telling them they’ll get the rest of the bottle when they get down again. “Enjoy your ride,” he smiles.

Harry takes Louis’ hand in the one that isn’t holding the glass he’s sipping from. It’s a good champagne, not too sweet, and somehow the cold drink works in the cold air.

“Thank you again,” Harry says, turning to look at Louis.

Louis turns his head to Harry, giving him a soft smile. “It was my pleasure.” Louis seems to think about something as they stop on the top. Looking out of the lit up city, seeing cars and stoplights, buildings and trees, everything making it perfect. This moment, as he looks at the whole city’s reflection in the water, Louis squeezing his hand, Harry feels on top of the world.

Out of the corner of his eye, Harry sees Louis shake his head a bit to himself, before smiling down at his glass and taking a little sip.

“Harry?”

“Yeah?” He smiles, admiring Louis’ hair being blown around in the soft wind. The wheel starts up again, slowly moving them down in a pleasant pace.

“I love you.” Harry beams, knowing that maybe that’s enough, he can live with Louis, as his best friend. Maybe, probably not.

He’s watching all the lights from the city reflecting in Louis’ eyes, realising none of it, not even together will ever shine as bright as Louis.

“I love you, too, Lou.”

Harry wakes up to bloody Marimba, feeling slightly murderous, with a side of giddy. He hates Marimba, but Marimba isn’t his alarm tone, it’s Louis’, and that means Louis is still here.

Harry had been pleasantly surprised when he had come home from a tiring work day last night, just to find Louis sprawled out on his sofa, munching on what Harry is pretty sure was his left over Chinese take out. Harry had thrown his boots off, letting his coat fall to the floor before he’d all but run to the sofa, cuddling into Louis stealing as much of his body heat as possible. They had fallen asleep watching some cooking program, only to wake up at some ungodly hour, stumbling into Harry’s bed. He’d fallen back asleep the second his head had touched the pillow, and therefore wasn’t sure if Louis had stayed or not.

“Ugh,” Harry turns to face Louis. Watching as his eyelashes flutter, before he slowly opens his eyes. They don’t say anything, just looks at each other’s sleepy faces.

Harry really, really wants to kiss him, as he’s lying there, all soft and scruffy. Hair sticking up in several directions, cheeks pink-coloured, all curled up under the duvet.

“We’ve got lessons,” Harry mumbles.

“Mm. We should get up.” Neither of them moves.

Nine minutes later Harry groans loudly down his pillow, cursing himself for pressing snooze. He would have been totally content just lying in bed, looking into Louis’ eyes the whole day.

He rolls out of bed, walking to the window while scratching his hip.

When he looks out through the curtain he is met with streets covered in snow, only lit up by the lampposts standing in a measured distance from each other.

He shivers in the cold air, taking three steps and crawling back under the duvet to Louis.

“Aren’t we getting up?” He mumbles sleepily, removing the pillow from his head to look at Harry.

“No.” He reaches out and pulls Louis into his chest, mumbling into his hair: “It snowed, we’re staying in. Want my Boobear all to myself today.”

Louis mumbles something incoherently, soft lips against Harry’s chest, raising goosebumps all over Harry’s body.

They fall back asleep like that, cuddled into each other.

“Bake me cookies, Harold.” Harry ignores Louis again, staring intently at the television, not quite able to hide his smile.

“Harold.” Louis says, kicking his thigh.

“Harold.” Kick.

“Harold.” Kick.

“Lou-is why don’t you bake some yourself?” He finally breaks looking to Louis. Harry’s smile almost covers his whole face.

“You know I can’t bake,” Louis grumbles sourly.

“Well I’m not baking for you.”

“Fine,” Louis says, getting up from under their shared blanket.

Harry gives it five minutes, four long sentences of curse words, and a loud cracking sound before he gets up to help him.

“You know I would’ve given in if you just had said please, right?” He says, walking up close, hooking his chin over Louis’ shoulder.

“Harry, will you please bake me some chocolate chip cookies?” His voice is sugary sweet, as he takes Harry’s hands and wraps them around his waist, leaning back against Harry.

“No,” Harry chuckles as Louis pulls away, looking accusingly at him.

“But you just said—“

“I’ll help you Louis, it’s about time you learn so you can bake some for my birthday, yeah?” Louis sighs, pouting at Harry, who just keeps smiling. When Louis realises Harry isn’t going to give in, he picks up a whisk and points at Harry. “Fine! But if we die, it isn’t my fault!”

Harry barks out a laugh, “deal.”

“See, you aren’t doing bad,” Harry says forty-three minutes later, when Louis is just putting the last ingredients in to the bowl, before he has to add the chocolate chips.

“I’m doing horrible! Look at the kitchen!” Harry takes a look around the kitchen, and okay maybe it does look like some cookie dough bomb exploded, and maybe this is the third time Louis is trying to whisk the batter. (They had to find some ingredients in Louis’ kitchen after they ran out when batter number two somehow ended up on the wall).

“I’ll bet they turn out to be the best cookies in the world.”

“Yeah?” Louis asks hopefully, throwing a look over his shoulder, smiling at Harry.

“Yeah, just keep your eyes on the batter. We’re out of sugar.” Louis quickly turns his head back to where he’s whisking the yellow-ish batter. Harry steps up behind Louis, reaching under Louis’ arm, to get the chocolate chips.

He’s about to move away again when Louis mumbles: “Stay there, you’re warm, and your jumper is soft.”

So Harry does. He pulls himself up close to Louis, watching carefully over his shoulder, trying not to let his lips slide over the soft skin of his neck that stretches over Louis’ pulse point.

 

He slowly starts pouring the chocolate into the bowl, making sure Louis’ gets it mixed thoroughly.

When Harry declares it done, they help each other move the batter to a baking tray in small dough blobs with tablespoons.

“Then it just has to bake, I’m proud of you babe!” Louis laughs, closes the oven and turns around to hug Harry. “Couldn’t have done it without you.” Harry feels a bit weak in the knees.

They make their way back to the sofa and curls into each other, deciding they won’t start a film before the cookies are done.

Harry has his back up against the back of the sofa, a warm Louis in his arms, and Harry might never have felt this content before.

“What do you want for your birthday, Lou?” Harry mumbles, nibbling at the short hairs that cover Louis’ neck.

“Mm. You,” he mumbles, moving closer into Harry’s chest.

Harry’s heart makes an excited hop, but Harry knows Louis doesn’t mean it like that. He forces himself to calm down, afraid Louis’ might feel his heart if it starts pounding.

“Already told you I’m gonna be here, mum’s not expecting me until the 25th anyway, didn’t even sound surprised or sad when I told her.” Harry doesn’t tell Louis that his mum probably has the idea they’re together in some way, that won’t happen anyway, and he’ll clear it up with her before Louis visits again.

“Then I don’t want anything.” Harry is aware Louis is lying. He’s Louis, he always wants something. Last year he even started twenty-four Facebook events starting from the first of December, until his birthday, counting how many days until all of them had to give him extravagant presents. Before he gets the chance to tell him that, the clock on the oven starts beeping.

Louis is up in a few seconds, screaming back at Harry that his perfect cookies can’t get burned!

Harry knows the second Louis opens the oven, because the whole flat gets filled with a sweet odour of fresh baking and chocolate, maybe even a bit of home.

Louis comes back a few minutes later, proud smile plastered on his face.

“They’re looking good, just needs to cool off a few minutes,” he crawls back under the blanket to Harry, body shivering.

“Do you want to borrow a jumper, Lou?”

“Please.” He says, but doesn’t move. Eventually Harry gets up, pulling Louis with him, making his way to his bedroom. Grumbly mumbling about Louis being a lazy arse.

He searches through his closet, trying to find his warmest sweaters. “This one?”

“No, another.”

Harry pulls a few others out, but Louis insists he wants another one. At last Harry sighs and turns around to face him. “I don’t have any others Louis, can’t you just pick one?”

Louis hesitates before he answers: “I want the one you’re wearing?”

“Why?” Harry asks bewildered.

“Because it’s already warm and smells like you.” So Harry slowly takes of his sweater, pulling it over Louis’ uplifted arms, getting it caught on his head, before he lets it fall loosely on his shoulders. He can’t tell him no when he looks so small and pleading.

“You good?” Harry doesn’t even wait for an answer, not sure he’d even allow Louis to ever take it off again. It’s a bit big on him, the arms making his hands into little sweater paws; it’s even falling low on his shoulders, showing off his beautiful collarbones, and the top of his tattoo. That, and the colours are good on him, too.

“Yes, thank you, Harry.” He honestly wants Louis to wear his clothes all the time.

They go back to the sofa, Harry putting in a random Christmas film, and curls back up in same position, Harry being big spoon. It doesn’t take long for Louis to feel heavier in his arms, and his breathing to even out.

He’s beautiful, all soft and relaxed. The worrying line between his eyebrows dissipates, making him look all young and innocent, just like Harry imagines he would have looked at sixteen.

Harry’s eyelids starts to feel heavier, and within a few minutes he succumbs to sleep. 

 

He is abruptly awoken by the door swinging open and loud voices flying through the air. His first instinct is to pull Louis closer and soothe him back asleep when he starts to stir. He looks so peaceful, that Harry sort of never wants to wake him up.

Niall, Liam and Zayn rush into the room, Harry quickly shushes them, shutting them up.

“You talked to him then?”

Harry furrows his eyebrows, and lets out a sleepy “what?”

Talk to him? Talk to Louis? Talk to him about what?

Liam sighs and shares a look with Zayn, who gives a slight nod before moving towards Harry. Harry has a sudden urge to move away form Zayn, feeling like he won’t like what he’s going to hear next.

“You’re in love with Louis.” And there it was. Out in the open, a voice wording Harry’s secret out loud. He freezes. He knows he’s a bad actor, he knows that! But he at least counted on himself to not be too obvious. It wasn’t supposed to ever be voiced, or known by anyone but him (and his mother, but that’s his mum, so she doesn’t count). His tongue is glued to the roof of his mouth. He can’t find the strength to move it right, form the right words to denydenydeny, before the silence is dragging out too long.

“It’s okay. Hey! Harry, relax!” Liam says, stepping up besides Zayn, taking his hand. “It’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with being in love—”

“Don’t say that,” Harry whispers almost inaudible.

“Okay. There’s nothing wrong with liking Louis, Harry. It’s fine. You two just need to talk about it.” What Liam probably thinks are comforting words definitely have the opposite effect on Harry. He doesn’t feel calm, he feels exposed, and he doesn’t like it one bit.

“Harry, we need to talk.” It isn’t less terrifying when your best friend says it compared to Louis, Harry decides as he slowly manoeuvres himself off the sofa without waking Louis, following Niall into the kitchen, Liam and Zayn hot on his heels.

Harry sits down on the counter, resting his head on Niall’s shoulder, falling over the words in his haste to get them out: “I can’t talk to him about it, Niall, I can’t! I rather have him as my best friend than not at all, I can’t tell him, Niall, I can’t, I can’t—,”

“Shh, shh, Harry, listen to me. Louis is just as gone for you as you’re for him. We,” he nods his head towards Liam and Zayn, “—thought it would be best to let you figure it out for yourselves, but obviously that isn’t working out very well.”

“He’s not.” Harry doesn’t even think about it, doesn’t want to feed the little spark of hope inside him, just to get shot down.

“Harry,”

“No, he doesn’t like me, Niall, let it go. I don’t want to talk about it, neither should you. None of you. Ever.”

“What about all your dates?” Liam asks, confused edge to his voice.

“What dates?” He asks, looking up from his hands to Liam.

“The bowling dates?”

“Those aren’t dates, you just never want to go with us.” Harry says.

“What about all the times you go out and eat together, just the two of you?” Zayn asks.

“It’s just our thing.” Harry shrugs. He has never thought about any of those things as dates, because they aren’t. It’s just Harry and Louis.

“But doesn’t one of you always pay for the other?” Niall exclaims.

“Yeah, but it equals out because we take turns.” They aren’t dates.

“What about when he took you to Winter Wonderland a few days ago?” Liam tries, looking quite frustrated.

“He wanted to apologise.” He answers curtly.

So maybe Harry had considered that. Especially after what happened after Zippos Circus, but it had been a caught in the moment thing, the atmosphere making Louis feel things, he doesn’t normally feel. Harry is sure of it; Louis had had another great opportunity in the Ferris wheel, it would’ve been perfect, and nothing had happened, so no. Louis doesn’t like Harry.

“Isn’t that quite extreme for an apology? You would’ve forgiven him, if he had just said a simple sorry.”

“Yeah, but clearly I’m quite biased when it comes to Louis.” Harry defences, not really sure why he needs to defend Louis and his friendship. But it’s just them.

“So you’re saying none of this indicate that Louis might—,” Zayn stops midsentence, and looks at something behind Harry.

“Louis might what? Don’t stop on my account, Zaynie,” Louis says.

Harry turns his head around and catches sight of Louis. The worrying line is back between his eyebrows.

“Why are you up?” He asks, getting down from the counter, reaching Louis and cuddles him into his side.

“Got cold,” he shrugs and leans into Harry’s body.

“Whose cookies are these?” Niall asks at the same time as Liam, horrified says, “What’ve you done to our kitchen!?”

That’s the end of the conversation.

“This is the worst idea you’ve ever had. Why did I agree to this?”

“Because I’m cute and nobody else wanted to come with me,” Harry replies, knowing the others have already made plans for today.

Louis groans, but nonetheless puts on his rented skates, making his way to Harry standing in the opening of the rink.

“So,” Harry starts, turning slightly to Louis, his legs shaking a bit, trying to keep his balance, “do you have any idea how to do this?”

Harry is pretty sure he hears Louis mutter an oh god under his breath, before looking up at Harry. “I saw someone trying it out in a film once, does that count?”

“We’ll figure it out,” Harry says, smiling at Louis. He unsteadily makes his way onto the ice, keeping a fast grip at the railing.

“Small strokes,” Louis instructs, smiling widely when Harry turns around to look at him, hair blowing into his eyes.

“Come out on the ice, Lou!” He says, turning around to face forward to fast and nearly falling on his arse. He glares at Louis when he laughs.

Slowly Louis makes his way towards him, seemingly keeping his balance better than Harry. Harry gasps when Louis’ breath suddenly hot in his ear whispering: "You need to be gentle but swift, not too slow, but not too fast either, it might tip you over before you really get started." Harry feels a blush rising to his cheeks as he listens to Louis's whispering voice against his ear, his hands becoming sweaty in his gloves. Harry follows Louis with his eyes as he with natural movements skates past him, so he’s in front of Harry instead of behind. Harry tries to mimic him, but just that makes him lose his balance, gripping desperately after the railing. "Don't yank yourself back and forth!" Louis says, grabbing his waist quickly to steady him. The wind is biting at Harry’s skin, his face getting impossibly red.

"Stop that! You're doing this on purpose!" He accuses with a pout. Louis burst out laughing, nearly falling himself.

"It might have been a porn film,” he replies; grin still plastered on his face. "I thought maybe comparing it to your first wank would work better, but I can try to come up with something you can relate to. Fingering, if that’s better?” He cracks up again.

Harry grits his teeth, and hide his face in his glove-covered palm in embarrassment. “Thought we agreed not to talk about this again!”

“You agreed.” Harry groans, wondering how on earth he ended up being so fond of such an idiot.

"How come you can skate? Thought you said you haven’t done it before!” He pouts when Louis finally regains control of himself, tears in the corner of his eyes.

"I learn from your mistakes, Harold,” he says with a wink, dropping Harry's hand, just like that, and skates forward on his own (though a bit unsteadily), leaving Harry behind. Harry stares after him, lips dry from the cold as his teeth sink down into the flesh. Louis turns to look at him, gesturing for him to follow, and how can Harry ever deny Louis anything? He clumsily tries to move his feet, keeping his upholding grip on the reeling. It’s harder than Louis makes it look, but Harry does manage to move a few metres before he slips loosing his grip, arms flailing like an idiot for a minute trying to catch his balance on the ice.

"You're such a clutz," Louis smirks when he reaches Harry, holding out his hand for Harry to take. Harry's cheeks are so red it would be fruitless to blame it on the cold, when he glides forward too grab Louis’ hand, standing up again.

“I know." Harry pouts at him. Louis sticks his pink tongue out and tightens his grip on Harry's fingers, pulling him closer. “Come on, I’ll teach you.”

As it turns out, balance and coordination is required to ice skate, which are two things Harry does not possess, so maybe ice skating wasn’t the best idea. But it was fun, even though Harry already feels himself turning blue and yellow everywhere.

“Let’s take a walk through the park?” Harry suggests, when they’ve returned their skates. Louis nods, taking Harry’s hand in his, making a warm feeling spread through his body. It’s something they do a lot lately: holding hands.

They walk with no destination in mind, just enjoying the biting wind, the snow-covered landscape and the few birds staying in the north for the winter. It’s beautiful, and one of Harry’s new favourite things to do. He likes that he doesn’t always have to do something with Louis, just walking around hand in hand, not saying anything, and being near is enough.

They stop by a cart, buying some honey-roasted almonds, finding the driest bench. Harry sits head tipped back, eyes closed as he chews a bit on the last few almonds.

“Want me to get rid of that for you?” Louis asks. Harry opens one eye, and smiles at him, handing over the little bag once filled with almonds. “Thank you,” he smiles as Louis gets up, head tipping back again and eyes closing.

He jumps a bit, feeling warm arms sneak around his shoulders. He opens his eyes, smiling when he sees it’s Louis, snuggling a bit further into him. It’s nice. Harry is usually the one to hold Louis and give him hugs from behind.

Louis chuckles and shakes his head a bit, nose nuzzling into Harry’s curls. “What?” Harry asks, feeling content, Louis’ heart beating against his back.

“Nothing,” he smiles down at Harry.

“Tell me, Lou.” Harry pouts looking at him upside down.

“I just like you,” he smiles, kissing Harry on the cheek. Harry beams up at him, opening his mouth to say some sappy sentence back, when a wet, cold handful snow hits him in the face. He lets out a very unmanly scream, staring baffled at Louis as the snow melts, some of it caught in his eyelashes.

Louis laughs at him, quickly moving out of Harry’s reach as he gets up from the bench, forming a snowball with his bare hands. It’s on.

Harry’s fingers turn stiff and cold, both their clothes wet and clinging to their bodies, by the time they get up close, trying to trip the other down into the snow.


 

Harry grips the collar of Louis’ jacket, getting his foot behind Louis leg and pulling him until they both fall laughing into the snow, Harry keeping Louis caged under him.

It doesn’t matter Harry thinks his hands might fall of and he’s almost hundred per cent sure he’s going to get a cold; he likes all this too much to care. They both lay panting and freezing in the snow. Harry’s pretty sure there’s a snowball in his pants, melting against his bum.

“You going to let me up, love?” Louis smiles from beneath him. Harry pretends to think about it, before winking at Louis, smiling around a “no,” and sticking his tongue out.

“Really?” Louis laughs, raising an eyebrow, “not even if I do this?” He asks, lifting both his hands to Harry’s chest and tweaking Harry’s nipples, sensitive and hard from the cold. A shot of arousal rushes to his gut, and he quickly gets off Louis, pretending to dust some snow from the sleeves of his jacket.

“Knew that’d work,” Louis smiles, self-satisfied, getting up from the ground. Harry gives him a weak smile.

“Let’s get home, so we can get some warm clothes on.” Louis says, taking Harry’s freezing hand in his equally cold one, holding loosely, their fingers too stiff to curl around the others.

It’s mostly dark as they walk home, both agreeing they won’t take the underground as the flat’s not that far anyway.

Harry is freezing, teeth chattering, his hat doing nothing to keep his ears warm.

“You shoelace is untied, Lou.” He mumbles in front of their building, letting go of Louis’ hand so he can bend down and tie it.

“Don’t you dare walk away from me, Styles.” Louis says when Harry starts walking towards the door.

“Just going to wait for you inside, the cold is killing me!” He says, turning around to smile at Louis, standing at the entrance, holding the door open for him.

Louis rolls his eyes at him, but continues to tie his shoe with a smile on his lips.

Louis stops in the door in front of Harry, looking up at him. “You’re getting so damn tall, you aren’t my little baby anymore,” Louis pouts.

Harry smiles fondly down at him, “you sound like my mum.” He says, letting go of the door, so it can keep the blowing snow out.

“Harry…” Louis says, swallowing and points up over their heads when Harry is about to walk to the stairs. He looks up, immediately falling silent. Over their heads is a little bundle of green leaves, a few red berries in between. Mistletoe.

Harry’s breath speeds up a bit as he looks back down at Louis, finding him already looking. His cheeks are red, the skin dry from the cold wind, his eyes icy blue, and lips parted. None of them says anything, just looks into each other’s eyes. Harry feels cold water run down his leg, the snowball in his pants slowly melting.

“Are you gonna kiss me then?” He asks so quiet he isn’t even sure Louis heard him.

“I think it’s bad luck if I don’t.“ Louis’ breath is hot on Harry’s skin in the cold air. They stand in the dark; Louis’ face only lit up by the yellow-ish light from the street light a few metres away. The light over the door of their building hasn’t worked in years.

“Okay,” Harry says, and of course his cheeks heat up. There are definitely butterflies in stomach and his mouth is definitely dry.

Louis stares back at Harry, Harry letting out a shaking breath, because Louis’s just too precious in his grey coat, two days old scruffs, and hair ruffled up by the wind. Harry isn’t sure they’re really doing this: kissing. He lets his fingers card through Louis hair, opting to start with something familiar; his heart fluttering in his chest. Louis’ red lips part with a sigh. “Louis” he finds himself saying before he can catch himself.

“I know.” He mumbles. Harry doesn’t even realise their voices coming out whispering, too occupied trying to cope with the fact they’re drawing closer to each other. Harry’s hands rest uneasily on Louis’ shoulders. Their movements are slightly clumsy, breath catching in Harry’s throat when he feels Louis’ hands find the back of his neck, his heart pounding. Harry’s head is tipped in an awkward angle. He wonders briefly if it’s because he’s so nervous his heart might break through his chest, making it all feel a bit like his first kiss, when he had had no idea of how to do anything. Louis seems quite confident though; his lips are in a tiny half-smile, despite the fact that Harry can feel his trembling hands trailing down his back, stopping on his waist. Still, Louis pulls him nearer, not stopping when Harry freezes in place, and eventually presses their lips together so gently that it leaves Harry wanting more. His eyes flutter closed, trying to hold on to everything Louis is giving him.

Harry feels overwhelmed; all his senses are able to catch is Louis. He lets his lips fall apart, silently granting Louis access, begging him to lick into Harry’s mouth.

Louis pulls back, Harry desperately leaning after him, not ready for it to be over. But it is.

Louis looks down at his shoes, mumbling something incoherently; the only word Harry’s able to catch is Stan.

He watches Louis rush away down the street. Harry’s face is flustered, slightly panting, lips raw and parted, his heart breaking and sinking to the bottom of his stomach. 

“Go away.” He grumbles down his pillow.

“Get up.” Zayn says, kicking the Harry-shaped duvet. “Get up.”

“No, go away.” He pulls the duvet tighter around him, trying to make himself disappear under it. He hears Zayn sigh, before hearing the bumps when his shoes hit the floor, and feel him crawl under the duvet to him. Harry automatically snuggles into his front, back to Zayn’s chest. 

“What happened, babe?” He asks, nuzzling his nose down Harry’s unwashed hair.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” He squeezes his eyes tight, hearing Zayn let out another sigh.

“Do you want to tell me why Louis is on our sofa, sulking, refusing to let anyone but Liam near him?” Zayn pulls him closer to his chest. Harry likes Zayn. Zayn won’t hurt him, and he’s warm.

“Don’t know, haven’t talked to him in a few days.” He whimpers, biting his lip to stop himself from letting out other unwanted sounds. His eyes dry and hurting. 

“Do you want to know what I think?” Zayn asks quietly, his head resting on Harry’s, holding him close.

“No,” he mutters, burring himself deeper into the mattress.

“I think he is sulking because you refuse to talk to him.” Harry takes that back. Zayn is not nice, he needs to listen. Harry said no, because he already knows this, he just doesn’t want to know this. Louis is sulking because he misses his best friend, Harry is hiding in his bed, refusing to shower, only getting up to pee and get food, because Louis confirmed he doesn’t like Harry like Harry likes him.

“So,” Zayn tries again, “want to tell me what happened?” 

“No.” He says, shoulders shaking.

“Harry.” Zayn says, voice dripping with sympathy. He hugs Harry closer, letting him cry silently, wetting his pillow, until he falls asleep.

“Mum,” he croaks into the speaker, as soon as she picks up. He can hear her sitting up in bed, immediately concerned for her son.

“What’s wrong, baby?” She says, just hearing her voice feels comforting. He opens his mouth, but no words come out. He chokes on his breath, fresh, hot tears welling up in his eyes. He misses Louis so damn much. He thinks this is the longest they’ve ever gone without contact since they met. Four days, and here Harry is, crying to his mum on the phone at three in the morning, two days until Louis’ birthday.

“Sh, baby, it’s okay, deep breaths—yeah, like that.” She says, willing him to calm down. He hears her walk out the door, probably so she won’t wake up Robin. He focuses on her steps and her suiting words, calming down little by little.

“Mum,” he tries again, hiccupping.

“What’s wrong sweetheart? Do you need me to pick you up? Where are you?” This is why he loves his mother, he can always count on her, even in the middle of the night she’ll offer to pick him up in another city.

“I’m not hurt. Home” He quietly says, hearing her breath evening out.

“That’s good. That’s good. What’s wrong, baby?” He hears her put on the kettle.

“He ran. Mum he ran away from.” He tells her the story, hiccupping between words, shaky breaths muffling some of his words. He tells her, just from when he woke up that morning and took Louis out ice-skating, to the second all he could see was Louis’ back running away from him in the fiercely blowing snow.

“You need to talk to him, Harry.” She says when he finishes, a whimper leaving his lips.

“I can’t.”

“Yes you can. You’re strong, and you’ve to face it sometime. If, and it’s a big if, Harry. If he doesn’t feel the same, you know you at least want him as your friend, are you listening to me, Sweetie?” She asks when Harry continuous to stay silent.

“Yeah.”

“Talk to him, okay? I’ll see you in a few days. Love you!” Harry can hear the stairs creak when she walks back up.

“Thank you, Mum. I love you.” He hangs up, feeling exhausted, his body aching, but he’s feeling better.

He stares at the ceiling, occasionally hearing a car drive by outside. The room is cold and the bed feels too big for him alone, just like it has the last four days. He brings the duvet closer around him, but it doesn’t help. He’s freezing and he can’t find a comfortable spot. He sighs and rubs his eyes, carefully not to expose any limbs to the cold air. The clock on his phone shows three fifty-one when he gives in and thumb out a message. ‘You awake?’

Within a minute his phone vibrates in his hand. He crawls under the duvet, sliding his finger across the screen and letting the light blind him temporarily. ‘Yes . x’

‘Come over.’

Harry peaks his head over the duvet, cold air immediately cooling his slightly sweaty face. He listens carefully, hearing the quiet click when the door unlocks followed by the footsteps moving toward his room.

“Hey.” Louis whispers, crawling under the duvet and pulling Harry close to his chest. Harry turns around in the bed, face pressing to Louis’ – Harry’s – shirt, breathing in Louis scent. He lets it out in a few shaky breaths, never wanting to forget how Louis smells, ever again. Louis’ fingers are running through his tangled curls, carefully separating them. Harry looks up at him, his eyes wet again, his chest constricting.

“Hey, no, no, no, baby.” Louis quickly says, kissing his forehead, “don’t cry, please don’t cry, Hazza.” He whispers, voice raspy.

“Don’t run away from me again, please, Louis, please don’t run away from me again.” He begs, eyes wide and most likely red.

“I won’t. I promise I won’t!” he says, pulling Harry closer, his head resting on top of Harry’s, thumb drawing circles on his neck. “I promise.” He mumbles again, before Harry drifts off to sleep, tightening his arms around Louis’ back.

Harry’s already fairly drunk when Niall suggests it.

He’s had about three Jack-on-the-Rocks, and a shot with the birthday boy, even though he hates it. (“Please Harry it’s ma birthday! I want to share a shot with ma best friend!”) At least Louis didn’t choose vodka shots this time, instead going for the Cherry Jello Shots. Which is much better than the Margarita welcome drinks Louis forced him to make fifty of earlier in the day. Margarita is some weird shit.

So Harry thinks it’s only fair he shakes his head and laugh at Niall’s pout.

“Please, Harry! Louis won’t participate if you don’t and nobody else wants to if the birthday boy doesn’t want to! Pleaaaaase!” Harry is weak.

So of course he follows Niall around the flat, music sounding loud through the speakers, every room dark only lit up by pink and blue, trying to find Louis.

They do find him. After walking into several people, half of them being someone Harry has no idea who they are, they find him. He’s on the top of the table moving his hips in a way that should be classified as illegal. And if Harry chokes a bit on his spit, it’s because he’s halfway to trashed already.

He helps Louis down immediately having him cling to Harry’s chest. It’s with a self satisfied grin on his lips he walks to the kitchen, showing people that, yeah, he’s allowed to touch the beautiful guy currently hanging on his arm.

“Okay,” Niall yells so his voice can be heard over the music, when they’ve gathered around a table and filled it with almost all the alcohol in the building. “It’s a very simple game, really. You’ve all paired up; Zayn and Liam are team one—“

“Why do they get to be team one? It’s my birthday! I want to be team one!” Louis slurs, making Harry aware that he’s probably the drunkest around the table. He’ll remember to get them both to drink a lot of water before bed, to make sure they sober up and don’t wake up with massive hangovers tomorrow. He’s not sure he’ll survive a two hour train ride if he feels like puking his guts out every other minute. 

Niall sighs and rolls his eyes, clearly not very intoxicated even though Harry’s seen him drink just as much as he has. “Fine. Harry and Louis are team one, Liam and Zayn team two, Perrie and Josh team three, everybody following so far?” There’s a chorus of mumbled yeses and a few nods around the table.

“Okay, Jade and I,” he gestures between them, as if they doubted who they were. “Are going to ask you questions, a correct answer results in a shot to everybody else except your partner, including Jade and I, a wrong answer means the team has to take a shot, each, mixed by the team to the left for you.” Niall stops and looks to Jade, asking her something with his eyes. It’s sickly adorable, Harry thinks. She gets up on her tippy toes and gives Niall a quick peck on his lips, earning a blinding smile in return, before she turns to look at the teams again.

“If a team gets a wrong answer three times in a row, they’ve to do a dare, sort of, instead of a shot, that’s the rules, let’s get started.” She pipes, clearly not holding her liquor as well as Niall, but then again, who can?

“Let’s all take a starting shot, yeah?” Niall says, taking what Harry suspect is pure whiskey. Harry goes for a Blue Jello Shot. These seem to be his best friends tonight.

“Right, since Louis insisted you should be team one, you start.” Harry bumps his shoulder against Louis’ in mock irritation, but he can’t keep the smile of his face when Louis squeezes his hand.

The first few rounds just involve a lot of shots and a few correctly answered questions, but the questions get harder (or they get drunker, and their brains more hazy).

Harry comes to the conclusion he likes the strawberry-banana and some blue shot that tastes a bit like berries, the best. Zayn has taken a tequila shot from too close to Liam’s dick (if you ask Harry), Perrie’s given Josh a lap dance, and lost her top because she refused to twerk on film and put it on Facebook, (“I’ve some dignity left.”) and apparently this game is turning in to a kind of strip poker (without the poker… actually it’s just stripping if you refuse to do a dare, Harry thinks. He’s not sure. His head feels pretty heavy and most things are out of focus, and god he’s so drunk).

It’s Harry and Louis’ turn, having had the questions wrong two times in a row. Harry’s positive this will end in their first dare when he sees the smirk on Niall’s face; and really Louis is useless, insisting Kate Hamilton definitely was the actress playing Hermione Granger at their last question.

“So, team one. In which part of the world do they celebrate Christmas tonight, the 24th and not the 25th?” Harry gapes at Niall, silently cursing his shit-eating grin.

“I know that, Harry!” Louis whispers, lips wet against his ear.

“Yeah? Where, Lou?” Harry whisper-yells again, their face close to each other’s. Harry wouldn’t have to do anything but lean in a little bit, and Louis’ lips would be on his. They would be kissing, Harry would get to feel those soft lips on his again and this time maybe Louis wouldn’t—

“It’s in Australia.”

Harry nearly face-palms. “Louis, sweetie. It’s not in Australia.”

“Then it’s Japan.” He says confidently. Harry stares at him, not sure whether or not to believe him. He doubts it’s correct, but he doesn’t have a better guess himself, so he turns to Niall and repeats Louis’ answer.

“Wrong, sorry lads. It’s in northern Europe, Scandinavia and that.” He says, slight slur starting to show in his voice.

Harry and Louis both groans; Louis mumbling something about being a weird continent, clearly forgetting England is part of it. Harry finds it too adorable, to correct him.

“For your dare, you’ve to dance sexy with each other, on the table.”

Harry really wants to punch Niall for this, but then again, he won’t, because he never wants to punch Niall.

The other teams cheer and wolf whistle, Harry downs a shot (it’s purple; might be grape) scrunches up his face, and slowly gets up from his seat, following a stumbling Louis to the table.

Harry stops in front of the table, watching Louis crawl up and fixing his ridden up shirt. Harry stares where there seconds before had been shown a sliver of Louis caramel skin; he lets his eyes run up, looking at Louis chest through the fitted shirt, slowly he reaches Louis face. Louis is biting his lip, taking a couple steps back on the table gesturing Harry to follow him. Harry is drawn in, taking lanky long strides to the table, clumsily getting up on the it. Harry crowds into Louis’ space, mouth opening ready to say something, but closing again. He isn’t drunk enough for this, but just thinking about drinking more makes his stomach churn, or maybe that’s Louis’ breath, smelling like vodka and ghosting over Harry’s lip. Shiny with saliva and booze, soft-looking. He winks at Harry, spins around and presses his back tightly to Harry’s chest.

Fuck it.

Harry relaxes into the smaller body, hands gripping at his hips that sway perfectly over his crotch.

He’s going to let himself go, pretend this is more than it is.

He let’s out a breath and closes his eyes, Louis’ head relaxing on his shoulder, his bum pressing against Harry. He tightens his grip around Louis’ hips, breath coming out in short puffs as he let’s himself move against Louis to the beat of the music.

Louis turns his head, tongue darting out to lick a long stripe of Harry’s neck. He groans, moving his hips slightly from Louis’ as he feels himself stiffen slightly.

“Fuck, Haz.” Louis sounds breathless against his ear. Through the darkness and loud music of the flat it’s like he can hear Louis clearly. Feel him, every touch so intensifying. Everything is Louis.

Louis smirks as he pulls his back away, placing his hands on his thighs as he grinds raunchily against Harry who sucks in a loud breath, begging his blood to stay away from his cock.

Harry groans with pleasure, hands falling from Louis’ hips to the small of Louis’ back.

He whimpers when Louis does this thing with his arse driving Harry partly out of his mind. He spreads his legs a little farther apart, leaning forward and touching the tabletop with his hands.

Harry bites his lip, Louis looking so sinful and willing. His bum pressed hot against Harry’s hardening cock. Harry knows, he knows Louis is a top, he knows, but he also knows Louis has the best arse on this side of the ocean, and he is very, very glad he gets the chance to feel it against him, fuck if Louis feels what he does to him.

Louis dips down, getting a better leverage so he can push himself up in a standing position, hands going up to steady himself against Harry’s sides. “Let’s give them a show, yeah?” He whispers into Harry’s ear, biting lightly on his earlobe, before spinning on his heels, looking up at Harry with black eyes, the normal blue-ish grey blocked out by the expansion of his pupils.

Harry bites his lip, hand cupping at Louis jaw. He pulls Louis close, with his arms wrapped around his waist, moving his hips in small circles. He wastes no time placing his legs between Louis’, breathing hot against his ear, grinding at his thigh.

Louis is hard. He can feel him through the denim of his jeans, making him hiss and shut his eyes close, head tipping onto Louis’ shoulder.

Louis” Harry moans, tightening his arms around Louis’ waist, pressing, feeling his skin burn hot against Harry’s own. He smells slightly of sweat and faded cologne. Harry feels a bit dizzy with all of it.

They’re grinding and groping, unable to stop. He’s practically having sex with Louis in the middle of a room full of people. Louis. Harry swallows audibly, hissing through his teeth, feeling himself getting closer with every thrust against Louis’ pelvic bone.

Louis pulls at the back of Harry’s head, gripping his hair tightly, making him look at him.

Louis’ eyes are blown, dark and full of lust, lust for Harry.

He’s gasping for air, feeling the sweat run down his back, sticking to his shirt, watching Louis slowly let his tongue run over his lips, wetting them, eyes not leaving Harry’s.

Harry could come at the sight, eyes shutting tight as he steadies a hand on Louis’ shoulder.

Louis smirks, nipping at Harry’s bottom lip, breathing into his mouth when his lips parts.

“Fuck, Harry!” He moans, dainty hands gripping at the soft materiel of Harry’s shirt. Knuckles white, standing on his toes as he stares at something over Harry’s shoulder.

“They’re looking, Harry. Shit! They’re all looking— should see their faces.“ Louis’ gasps, hands sliding down to rest on Harry’s waist as he circles his hips with Harry’s motions.

Fuck, Lou” Harry breaths hotly into Louis’ mouth, trying his hardest to not just dip down and snog him. Instead bowing his head, finding Louis’ pulse point, tongue licking at the salty skin, feeling how fast Louis’ heart is beating. Harry bites down, hard. Coaxing the blood to rush under Louis’ skin, sucking, running his tongue over the tender mark when he pulls back.

 “No, HarryLouis whispers against the shell of his ear. Harry’s heart does an uncomfortable jump, but Louis hasn’t stopped grinding, so he doesn’t stop.

“Don’t… Lou, don’t say no to me.” Harry whimpers, leaving a kiss, and looking up at Louis.

Harry’s legs almost buckle under him, and he chokes on a moan.

Louis hand slides around Harry, petting at his stomach under his shirt, before going lower, taking Harry safely in his hand. His heart is thumping, blood rushing in his ears, closing out everything else. Louis presses his palm down, making Harry twist in his tight jeans, heaving wetly for air.

He closes his eyes, whimpering as he feels himself getting closer and closer by every tug from Louis’ hand. He’s mostly seeing something white and hot behind his eyelids, seconds from coming in his pants, something he hasn’t done in a long time, when Louis lets go of him.

Harry whimpers, opening his eyes to see Louis be dragged away by fucking Stan. He stares after them as they disappear behind Harry’s bedroom door. His heart’s sinking in his chest, making him feel sick.

He hops down from the table, pushing right past his friends, ignoring the their calls of his name as he takes the first and best bottle he sees. He pours it down his throat, feeling the burn, before he drops the bottle and runs for the sink, spitting most of it out again.

He isn’t taking the train tomorrow with a hangover. He refuses to be in a condition where he might take all of it out on his mother tomorrow.

He starts drinking water.

Harry doesn’t see Louis again before the flat is mostly silent; all that can be heard is the banging through the thin walls, coming from Zayn and Liam. His mind has cleared drastically, leaving him in a weird state of nervousness and excitement.

“Hi.” Louis jumps, quickly getting up from the floor and turning to Harry.

“Oh, hi.” He smiles, walking closer to him.

“What are you doing?” Harry asks curiously, trying to look past Louis’ shoulder, and under the Christmas tree.

“Just putting the presents under the tree. The others are coming over tomorrow morning.” 

 

“But there’s so many?” he establish curiously, from this angle it looks like there’s at least twenty.

“They all left them here earlier, except Liam and Zayn, theirs are at the flat. I hid these in our room before the party.” Harry doesn’t comment on Louis calling Harry’s room our room, because honestly it feels like it’s their room, their flat, even. Niall’s starting to spend more and more time at Jade’s (probably so they can have loud sex without Louis and Harry complaining), Liam spending all his time at Zayn and Louis’ flat, causing Louis to practically live at Harry’s.

“Mm. Who’ll be here tomorrow? And what time?”

“Zayn and Liam, Niall and Jade, and I think Perrie’s bringing Josh. Be here ten-ish, I think? So we’ve a few hours before we need to catch our trains."

There’s an awkward silence, both of them just looking at the other.

Harry doesn’t know if he should bring up the thing that happened earlier; they were both smashed, and it was a dare, it could be an excuse; he could let it pass as a stupid drunken mistake. But Harry can’t deny the things he felt in the moment; what he’s pretty sure Louis felt too.

Louis, too, has clearly sobered up in the time from there to now. Before he gets the chance Louis speaks.

“My mum wants you to come over sometime, the girls miss you, too.”

“Maybe we can take a weekend trip sometime? I’ll even let them braid my hair again,” he smiles. Louis’ family misses him, okay.

“Oh, I remember that! Should’ve used the pictures for Christmas cards!” Louis’ head tips slightly as his bubbly laughter fills the room.

Something inside Harry clicks. Louis’s standing there, looking so delicate, the light from the tree illuminating him perfectly, and he looks happy, so happy, and Harry can’t stop himself. He leans in, without giving it a second thought, and catches Louis’ lips with his own; his hands holding Louis’ cheeks.

The second Harry realises what he’s doing he freezes. Louis is still beneath him, and it’s horrifying. Harry’s standing there, cupping Louis’ face, lips pressed against his, and none of them are moving.

Until they are.

Louis slowly starts to move his lips, fisting Harry’s t-shirt, holding him in place.

It’s a bit sloppy and wet, but Louis flicks his tongue over Harry’s lips, and Harry can’t help but to desperately open his mouth. Louis’ tongue has a faint taste of booze, but it doesn’t matter, because underneath that, there’s a sweetness, and Harry is positive that’s Louis. He can’t get enough.

It’s all a bit desperate as they stumble their way through the flat to the bedroom, refusing to part their lips. They tumble onto the bed, only parting for seconds to throw their shirts across the room.

Louis’ skin is warm and soft, and touching it isn’t enough. Harry needs to kiss, lick and taste every inch of his body, he needs it. Trailing his lips slowly down the scruff on Louis’ chin, sucking lightly over his Adam’s apple, giving attention to the majority of Louis’ upper body, making quiet moans of HarryHarryHarry fall from Louis’ lips.

Harry’s jeans are uncomfortably tight, as he pops the button on Louis’, pressing the palm of his other hand against himself. Without letting himself look at Louis’ tented pants, Harry quickly gets the trousers of him, throwing them somewhere over his shoulder.

He kisses up Louis’ leg, over his pants (with a Hulk cartoon print on them). He lets his lip follow the base of his shaft, mouthing and wetting the fabric until he reaches the hem. Harry sucks in a deep breath. The head of Louis’ cock is flushed and red, resting against his tummy, his pants not able to cover it.

“Off! Off!” Louis says, reaching down. Harry grips on either side of them, swiftly removing them, throwing them in the general direction of where he thinks Louis’ trousers are.

“You too!” Louis gasps, reaching to unbutton Harry. They get stuck on his calves, but with a lot of kicking Harry gets them not-so-elegantly thrown off.

He wraps his hand hard around himself, fondling with his balls, leaning down over Louis’ body again.

“Harry.” Louis whimpers, sounding so wrecked and gone already. Harry looks up at him, trailing his hands up his thighs, as he leaves a kiss to Louis’ pulsing cock, mouth watering. Louis’s already looking gone, he’s hair is scrunched up in every direction - Harry taking some pride in being the cause of that; head thrown back against the wall, but he still keeps his eye contact with Harry.

“Please fuck my mouth, Louis.” Harry rasps, pulling away from him, on all fours as he observes Louis.

“God, yes. Please yes!” Louis quickly gets up, pushing Harry down in his place, making sure his head is resting comfortable on the pillow.

Louis pushes his head inside Harry’s mouth, causing a moan to leave his lips. It’s almost too much; Louis bracketing Harry’s face with his knees, supporting himself against the wall with his hands, as his warm cock slides past Harry’s lips. Harry can’t help himself, he needs more, he needs more of Louis, needs him to make him gag and come so far down his throat he chokes. He grips Louis’ arse, pulling him down steadily, taking more of him into his mouth, sucking, trying to coax the sweet fluids out of Louis, moaning appreciatively around him. The vibrations make Louis cry out. Harry needs more, but still wanting to draw it out, get both of them on the edge; so he changes his tactic, swirling his tongue around Louis, instead of sucking. Harry feels Louis pull out a fraction before pushing in deeper,again and again, nudging the back of Harry’s throat, Harry feeling the muscles of his throat constrict around the head of Louis’ cock, ripping deep raspy moans from Harry’s throat.

He lets his hands trail from Louis’ arse when he’s sure Louis isn’t going to stop fucking his mouth, relentlessly. Feeling the muscles in Louis’ thighs constrict under his slender fingers, peaking and twisting his own nipples, before trailing further down to get a tight grip on his own cock. His eyes roll back in his head, pre-cum dribbling down his shaft, pooling at his balls.

He sucks in small amounts of air through his nose, keeping his throat and jaw slack, only taking in air through his mouth the milliseconds Louis’ throbbing cock head is the only thing resting on his soft, warm, eager tongue.

Louis moves faster, stifling noises into his arm when Harry’s tongue catches under his dick with every movement. Harry’s hand furiously fisting himself, slick with his own cum, as he look into Louis’ eyes, blown with desire. He watches Harry swallow around him. He doesn’t doubt he’s looking filthy, as he keeps his eyes locked on Louis with wide, watery eyes. Just taking it - asking for it, really, wanting nothing more than to feel Louis shoot down his throat.

Louis pulls his cock all the way out of Harry’s mouth, making him whimper in protest, when it leaves his swollen lips, with a string of saliva keeping them connected, and Harry probably finds that hotter than he should. Probably, most definitely. He does.

Harry eagerly moves his head forwards to follow it and Louis slips a hand into Harry’s hair to ease him back again. Harry complies, slowing his own hand, when he feels the familiar knot growing in his stomach, and looks up eagerly into Louis’ eyes as Louis slowly slides the tip of his cock over his wet lips, coating them in his own saliva and Louis’ pre-cum. Harry’s sure his lips are glistening in the moonlight shinning through the curtains. Louis lets his dick slide through the wet spit along Harry’s puffy lower lip, before slowly easing the head inside, just to pull out again. Harry keeps his head still as good as possible, but flicks his tongue out teasingly where Louis’ dick is playing at the edge of his mouth, straining to kitten licks at the very tip while it drags saliva messily around his lips, Harry feeling some of it trailing down his chin.

“God, you’re killing me,” Louis breathes out quietly, resting his head against his own shoulder, enough to see Harry looking up at him, eyes glazed and his curls pulled between Louis’ fingers, showing of his forehead, as the corners of his open mouth draw into a filthy, unmistakably satisfied grin. Harry grips his own dick harder, bucking his hips and fucking into his own hand, words falling from his lips, begging Louis to fuck his throat.

Louis lets out a loud groan, cock sliding between Harry’s lips, hitting the back of his throat rapidly, at a quick pace. Harry is so gone for it, throwing his head, arching his back and sucking at Louis mercilessly, moans slipping out as white strings spurts from his cock, painting his stomach.

He falls boneless to the bed, Louis still fucking his mouth roughly.

“So close—fuck, so close, Haz.” Harry let’s his tongue trail the foreskin under Louis’ head, a loud groan cutting the air, Louis’ body tensing, cock releasing string upon string down Harry’s throat, his biceps shaking before giving in, and Louis falls, cock still deep down Harry’s throat. He slowly pulls out, Harry coaxing the last few drops out of Louis, before he falls heavily besides Harry.

They’re both breathing heavily, moving closer to each other before Louis’ arm is thrown around Harry’s middle, pulling him flush against his chest. His face is buried in Louis’ collarbones.

They don’t say anything as they regain control of their breathing. Harry feels tired in every single bone, but more satisfied than he’s been in a long time.

It’s not until minutes later, he asks with a pleasantly sore throat and broken voice, half expecting Louis to be asleep: “Why didn’t you tell me?”

It’s silent for a long time and Harry starts to feel himself doze off, before Louis whispers: “I planned to, you know. I was going to kiss you on top of the Ferris Wheel; Stan gave me the idea. He’s been helping figuring all this out, every time I panicked, like when we kissed under the mistletoe or when I just royally fuck up. It would’ve been perfect, every bit of cliché romance you deserve, but I chickened out. Also why he pulled me away earlier, knew I would regret it if I ever let it happen while we both were drunk out of our minds.” Harry feels Louis shrug, his stomach bubbling with something nice.

“This is perfect, Lou.” He pulls away - his cheek sticking a bit to Louis’ chest - and looks into the dark, finding Louis eyes already looking at him, adoringly.

“It is. You’re perfect.” Louis mumbles into the night, giving Harry a soft kiss, resting his head on Harry’s curls. Harry nuzzles his head into the curve between Louis’ neck and shoulder, mumbling a quiet Happy Birthday, against his salty skin.

“It’s far past midnight, love. Merry Christmas,” he says, kissing Harry’s hair.

Harry wakes up too early, his head pounding slightly, but it thankfully could be much worse.

It takes a second for him to remember last night, but when he does his face breaks into a grin, and he becomes aware of Louis lying beside him, cutting all the blood from his arm. He carefully turns to look at him. They’re both still naked, dried, itchy cum on Harry’s stomach.

He trails soft patterns on Louis’ stomach with the tips of his fingers, feeling the soft skin erupt in goosebumps as Louis shivers, his eyes fluttering open.

His ruffled and sleepy, eyes hooded, and Harry needs to kiss him. He rolls over, caging Louis beneath his own body and connects their lips.

 

It’s their best kiss so far, Harry thinks. Even if they both have morning breath, and are sleepy and tired. Harry gets to wake up and kiss Louis; kiss Louis when he wants to. Feel Louis’ body against his, his burning skin slide against Harry’s, feel his hands caress him, and oh.

Harry tenses, feeling Louis’ small hand rub his prick. He feels his blood rush to his groin, his dick swelling.

“Gnngh” Harry groans, grinding down on Louis’ stomach to get some more friction.

“God, Louis!” Harry moans, fastening his pace, rubbing and grinding against Louis.

“Babe,” Louis says breathlessly, pushing at Harry’s shoulder, getting him further down Louis’ body still grinding, oh. Oh, Louis is hard, his cock rubbing dryly against Harry’s rim, eliciting an embarrassing whine of satisfaction from the back of Harry’s throat. He arches his bare back off the sheets, his hands reaching in front of him to support himself on the wall, balling his hands tightly until his knuckles go white.

Louis' cock is warm and thick as it slides against the crack of Harry’s arse, but it isn’t enough. Harry needs more - preferably in the form of a few fingers, painfully slow opening him up, making him ready for Louis. Harry realises in that second, he wants this; he’s with Louis (or he hopes) and they’re going to last, and he wants to feel Louis buried deep inside him. “I wanna ride you!” He gasps, stopping his movements to look at Louis.

“Oh god yes! Yes!” Louis rasps, winkling his hips under Harry, moving up the bed so he can get the lube from the drawer.

“How do you want to do this, babe?” He asks, looking up at Harry, bottle of lube clenched in his hand. At this point Harry doesn’t care, he’s so far gone; he just wants to feel any part of Louis inside him.

“Doesn’t matter. Need you.”

“On your back then.” Louis says, getting out from under him, and pushing him to the bed.

“How flexible are you?” Louis’ asks, looking down at him.

“Why don’t you find out?” Harry replies, breathlessly, winking, a slow, deliberate drop of one eyelid.

Harry is almost sure Louis whimpers when he lifts Harry’s legs, bending them against his stomach, baring his hole.

“Just—just hold them there, yeah?” Louis says, swallowing hard. Harry curls his fingers on the underside of he’s knees, pressing his legs into his chest, throwing his head back when Louis blows cold air against him.

Before he knows it there's a pair of warm lubed up fingers rubbing against the rim of his arse. The first finger presses into him, stretching him open and crooking upwards. Harry moans loudly, throwing his head back down. Louis is rubbing, swirling his finger, getting Harry wet and smooth, inside and around. “Another, please, another!” He gasps, feeling the second follow, and Harry’s hips go upwards with the crook of Louis’ fingers, involuntarily. Harry mewls, feeling Louis’ fingers scissoring him. Louis is incredible with his fingers, to the point where Harry can’t even control his noises, letting out a loud moan. Louis’ eyes flicker upwards to inspect the situation, and apparently he’s more than pleased with Harry’s total lack of inhibitions because a moment later his eyes goes back to focus on Harry’s widening hole.

He looks at Louis through half-lidded eyes, Louis’ gaze cast downward as he watches his fingers fuck Harry open with no shame. Harry’s hips seem to move on their own account, every time Louis presses in that bit deeper. Louis’ brows furrowing as his fingers slips in deeper in search of Harry’s prostate, driving Harry mad, cock leaking uselessly against his belly.

And then there's more lube and a third finger is fucking him, the promise of riding Louis nagging at the back of his mind as he tries to push his hips further down on Louis’ fingers, mind set on pulling them in all the way to the last knuckle, feeling the stretch. He feels a shiver take over his body, as Louis manages to hit his prostrate; it’s followed by an even more embarrassing whimper.

Gasping, broken curses falling from his lips, mixed with Louis’ name, sounding a lot like a prayer.

Louis hisses something beneath his breath that sounds suspiciously like fuck and that's when Harry becomes aware of Louis leaking, hard cock, resting against his thigh. A new wave of arousal wrecks Harry’s sweat covered body, sweet ah ah ah’s coming out in whimpers. Louis’ fingers are scissoring him in time with him pounding relentlessly against Harry’s prostate, and Harry is gone for it.

His thighs are straining and shaking.

Harry looks up, meeting Louis' eyes for the first time since he'd decided to finger fuck him into oblivion, his eyes are dark, the pupils almost covering all the blue, and his breath is uneven, lips so wet and raw, from his constant biting. Harry’s hair sticks to his forehead with sweat, his lashes thick with beads of it, too. He is sure there's a flush of pink that blooms from his cheeks and neck down to his chest.

“I’m ready—I’m ready – fuck – need you—need to ride you!” Harry gasps between moans.

Louis quickly removes his fingers from Harry’s hole, Harry making a soft, involuntary noise at the loss of contact. He feels himself clench and unclench around air, Louis looking at him, admiring his work, before their eyes meet again. There's a lust-drunk haziness to Louis’ gaze, like he'd somehow grown more intoxicated just from feeling Harry around his fingers.

"You look wrecked, so beautiful" Louis breathes out, letting his hand run over Harry’s forehead, removing his sticky hair.

Harry huffs out a breathless laugh and nods, getting them moved around, so Louis once again is on his back on the mattress. Harry hovers over Louis cock, keeping it straight in the air with a hand at the base, he is so aroused, and he is almost certain you can see the veins throb in his own cock.

He nudges his entrance with Louis head, slowly sinking himself, drawing loud moans from both of them. He feels it when Louis is bottoming out, moving his hips, experimenting. He can feels Louis’ filled balls against his arse cheeks, and he is so stretched out, brain clouded, drugged by every sensation around (and inside) him.

He leans forward, resting his weight on Louis’ body as their lips meet in an eager kiss, licking into each other mouths, nibbling at raw lips.

They stay like that for a few minutes, kissing like their life depends on it.

 With a last wet kiss to Louis lips, he pulls away, eyes fluttering open, trying to calm himself from the state of euphoria he is slipping into; He slowly lift himself, balancing himself with his hands on Louis’ chest, before he slowly, so very slowly slides down again, groaning deep in his throat.

He builds up a steady pace, his cock bobbing in the air, abandoned from any touch, and when Louis reaches forward to take him in his hand, Harry shakes his head, whimpering out a not yet, slamming back down, so Louis is deep inside him, making the older boy gasp for air. He repeats the motion a few times, clawing his nails down Louis’ chest, leaving red marks.

Harry stops his movements, reaching out to grip at Louis’ shoulders. “Sit up, please.” He begs, so wrecked and needy.

Louis does as Harry asks, sitting up with Harry securely placed on his cock, within seconds. Harry shuffles a bit, moving his legs so he’s closer to Louis, his cock trapped between their bodies, creating an amazing friction, just by the feel of soft skin around him.

He stays like that, head resting on Louis shoulder, until he regains the ability to breathe. Louis guides his hands to Harry’s hips, slowly lifting him up; letting his cock slide it’s way out of Harry’s hole. He teases the hole with the tip of his cock, and only when Harry exhales frustrated, does Louis sink him down again.

Harry swallows the dryness in his throat, curling his fingers into Louis’ bare shoulders, digging his nails into the flesh as Louis starts to slowly roll his hips against him and lifting Harry, pressing in balls deep, only to pull almost all the way out again.

Harry keeps his eyes closed, head on Louis’ shoulder, trying to suppress the urge to moan loudly every time he hears the sound of skin hitting skin. He breathes through his mouth, shallow puffs. Louis is biting down on Harry’s neck, mouthing wetly at the skin, as he sucks the blood to the surface of Harry’s skin; his dick sliding against Louis’ stomach, leaving shining pre-cum on the warm skin. He pulls his head from Louis’ shoulder, hearing a wet noise when Louis’ lips leaves his neck.

They’re staring in to each other’s eyes intensely; Harry watching Louis’ face squeeze up in pleasure every time he hits just right. The sight of his eyes, so blown and endearing, coupled with his deep, deliberate thrusts makes Harry moan brokenly, cock throbbing between their bodies. The amount of Harry’s pre-cum already covering Louis’ skin is ridiculous. Louis looks questioning into Harry’s eyes, Harry nodding desperately needing what Louis’s asking. Louis reaching a hand between them to curl his slick fingers around Harry, engulfing Harry's cock as he strokes him in time with his thrusts, eyes not leaving Harry’s.

"Okay?" Louis asks; all Harry can do is nod, whimpers and moans being swallowed by Louis lips as he leans in to kiss Harry, more just grinding on Louis’ cock, than riding it.

Louis pulls back, gasping against his lips; “you feel so good." He says, biting down on Harry’s lip, pulling Harry with him as he lay’s back down on the bed.

"I want to fuck you, properly," Louis murmurs into the crook of Harry’s neck, carefully turning them around so Harry’s on his back. "I want to fuck you so hard, Haz."

"Please," He breathes out, he doesn’t want anything else right now; just want to come from Louis.

Harry arches up, pushing his back off the bed and throwing his legs around Louis’ waist, tightening his thighs, forcing Louis all the way back inside of him, hearing the slapping skin, feeling Louis’ balls hit his arse. Louis doesn't need any more encouragement than that, and it's only moments before he's pounding into Harry; Louis’ fingers curled into fists in the sheets by Harry’s sides.

Harry knows the sounds he makes are desperate and wrecked, but all he can feel is Louis’ throbbing cock, taking him so hard and fast, and everything is just Louis.

Louis fucks him with intent, like he wants to ruin him, like he wants Harry to fall apart beneath him, to scream and whimper and dig his nails further into his shoulder, breaking the skin, and Harry does all those things, unable to contain himself, knowing Louis will be there to put him together again.

Louis shifts his hips until he's fucking Harry exactly right, sending a blinding spark of pleasure through his spine, and the sound that comes out of Harry’s lips sounds anything but human.

He pants Louis’ name desperately until it doesn't make sense, or maybe it does, throwing his head back down onto the pillow, his chest curving upwards even as his hips are pinned into the mattress repeatedly by way of Louis’ relentless thrusts. He feels his eyes start to water as Louis drives in rougher, letting out a sob against his neck, the pleasure almost unbearable as Louis rocks his body into Harry’s.

Their bodies are slicked with sweat. Skin burning, and feeling too tight as they slap against each other, sticking to the other, touching too much, but not enough.

Louis mouths at Harry’s jaw and murmurs against it so faintly and breathless, Harry isn’t sure what he’s saying. Louis moves his lips, leaving a wet trail after him, nibbling at Harry’s earlobe before whispering: “Taking me so well, letting me abuse your tight little hole!”

It turns out to be the last straw for Harry, he feels himself come apart, his vision turns into a blinding white colour behind his eyelids, every muscle in his body tensing, and a whimper, threatens to escapes his lips as Louis’ cock continues to push inside him, and he swears he hears the bed screech against the floor.

Louis’ makes sure Harry’s legs are spread wide, as Harry spills between their bodies with a scream of pleasure, fingernails twisting into Louis’ abused shoulders for leverage, as ribbon after ribbon leave his twisting cock, painting their chests in white patterns.

Harry’s entire upper body curves off the bed to meet Louis’ chest through a ridiculous sheet of sweat and he freezes against him for a moment, before collapsing back against the bed boneless seconds later, but before Louis can even think about slowing down, Harry whimpers, "Keep going, harder," wanting Louis to come, wants it almost as much as he'd wanted his own release.

He feels over stimulated, and tears leak from his eyes, as Louis brutally aims at his prostate, the bed hitting the wall, after every balls-deep thrust Louis gives to Harry.

Louis.”

It's all Louis needs, apparently, because his fingers move to hold Harry’s hips down against the mattress, his gaze moving down between their bodies. Watching himself pound into Harry, wrecking him even more for every time he disappears inside him, as he continues to fuck Harry mercilessly. Harry is so over-sensitive he could scream, but he doesn't, just pants and whines and watches Louis with post-orgasm hazed eyes, one of his hands holding onto the side of Louis’ neck uselessly, nails scratching against the wall with the other.

Louis grunts as he pulls himself out of Harry, his body shaking, quickly rearranging them so Harry is laying on Louis’ stomach, before thrusting inside him and being pushed over the edge, his release ripping from him, making his entire body shake and tremble even more. Louis lets out a broken moan as he spills inside Harry.

He clenches and unclenches around Louis milking the last of his release out of him, sated and worn to the bone.

Harry presses a gentle kiss to Louis' temple before he lets himself collapse on top of him, basking in the afterglow of what just happened.

They lay like that, panting and catching their breaths, holding each other close.

Louis moves his hips, making Harry whimper, letting his head rest against Louis’ collarbone, breathing him in.

Harry feels himself slowly drifting off again, when Louis nudges his cheek with his nose, making him blink down at him tiredly.

“Do you think we can exchange presents before the others get here?” Louis breathes into Harry’s ear, their skin sticking together.

Harry slowly lifts himself, Louis’ cock falling out of him with an unpleasant plop, making both Louis and Harry wince.

“Yeah, let me just find yours and put the rest under the tree.” He slowly gets up from the bed, finding the stack of presents in his closet, leaving Louis’ behind, walking into the living room, a limping in his walk, making him bite his lip, unsuccessfully hiding his smile. The air in the flat is freezing, goosebumps rising all over his naked body, as he carefully places all the colourful wrapped boxes under the tree.

He runs on his tippy toes back to Louis, trying to avoid touching the cold hardwood under his feet. The room oozes strongly of sex and sweat, and Harry can’t help but smile.

“Holy shit!” Louis shivers as Harry crawls back under the duvet, curling into him, trying to steal his body heat.

They sit up, covering the wall with pillows, leaning back against them, as they scoot closer under the shared duvet.

“Who’s first?” Louis asks, finding a little silver envelope, placing it on his lap.

“When did you get that?” Harry asks, looking curiously at Louis’ lap.

He shrugs looking down. “Never put it under the tree, wanted to give it to you more privately.”

Harry smiles, leaning in and giving Louis a quick kiss on the cheek, “you’re lovely.”

Louis hums in appreciation.

“You can go first,” Harry says, as he hands over Louis’ gift to him.

Louis carefully removes the red ribbon, before carelessly ripping the Santa wrapping paper of the box. Harry laughs, “you’re such a child, it’s adorable!”

“Shut up! I’m excited!” But he can’t quite hide the smile, as he opens the box.

Harry chews nervously on his bottom lip as Louis reads over the two notes he left in the box. “I didn’t really know what to get you, so I thought that maybe this—you know what, never mind, I’ll find you something else,” he says, reaching out to take it from Louis, but he quickly pulls them out of Harry’s reach, making the duvet fall low on their hips.

“It’s perfect, Harry! Thank you so much!” He says, carefully putting them down on the bed table, before turning around and dragging Harry into a tight hug.

Over Louis’ shoulder Harry can see the notes, a pang of embarrassment going through his body, just to disappear as soon as it came. Louis loves it.

Dear Lou,

I didn’t really know what to get you so I talked to your mum. You’re nervous about your exams? But they’re so far away.

Nevertheless I decided you need to get away, forget about it for a bit. So I’m therefore inviting you to a weekend trip to a beautiful castle hotel with me.

Happy Christmas,

Hazza (not the reindeer).

The other note Harry wrote is just more of a bonus note because he ran out of space to write on, on the other paper. It says they’ve got the castle’s racing circuit to themselves Saturday afternoon. 

“Thank you!” Louis mumbles again, tightening his arms before letting go of him.

“You’re welcome,” he smiles, sheepishly.

“Okay, enough sappiness! Open your present.” Louis demands, handing Harry the envelope.

He carefully opens it, making sure not to rip any part of it, causing Louis to roll his eyes.

Harry’s eyes widen when he sees the two tickets.

“I was contemplating giving you the singing dildo—“ Harry looks up at Louis mortified, but Louis only laughs, “—but I decided you wouldn’t need it if I didn’t fuck Stan’s plan up this time, so instead I went with this.” He says, looking up at Harry, pulling his lower lip between his teeth.

Harry takes some time looking down at the tickets for ‘The Nutcracker - the ballet’ before he looks back up at Louis.

“Thank you, Louis. I love it.” He says, bridging the gap between their lips. Their lips mold together, sweet and soft perfect for lazy mornings. Harry knows this won’t be the last.

“I’ve something else for you—“ Louis starts when they finally pull apart. “It’s—well, it’s not really a present like that, but—“ He takes a deep breath and looks into Harry’s eyes. “After Stan had scolded me thoroughly for chickening out on top of the Ferris Wheel, he said I should try again Christmas morning, but considering earlier happenings, I might change that plan up a bit, too.” Harry’s stomach swoops, and the air get caught in his throat. “So, I’m not asking you out, I’m asking you, Harry Edward Styles, would you please do me the honour of being my boyfriend?” Harry’s mouth falls open, mind not coherent enough to form a proper answer, so instead he does the only thing he can think of. He throws himself onto Louis, kissing his face all over, ending at his lips, grinding his hips down against Louis’, silently cursing the duvet for being in the way.

After a long shower filled with touches and stolen kisses, they finally get dressed, Harry just finishing up the tower of pancakes and waffles, when the first knocks sound from the door.

They open the door together, hands entwined.

Zayn just raises an eyebrow, giving but of them a proud clasp on the shoulder, while Liam isn’t capable of holding his smile back, almost looking more proud than Harry’s mum had sounded on the phone. (Harry had called her while whisking the batter for pancakes while Louis was shaving in the bathroom).

They were the first arrivals of their group, their family.

Harry looks up at the timetable, searching for his train, making sure it isn’t delayed. It isn’t.

He grabs Louis’ hand, silently pulling him with him to the platform; he’ll have time to get to his own train, after Harry’s on his way home. The train to Donny doesn’t leave until twenty minutes after Harry’s.

“I feel like we didn’t get enough time.” Harry says when they’ve found a bench, luggage placed on the ground in front of them.

He looks at Louis, an uncomfortable clenching around his heart. He just got Louis; he isn’t ready to let him go yet.

“It’s only a few days, besides, Anne would kill me if I kept her little baby from her,” he smiles, but it doesn’t really reach his eyes.

“Shut up, Louis.” Harry says, pulling him into a long hug, lips pressed to his neck, as he tries to memorise Louis’ scent. Masculine, soapy and home.

He hears the train stop at the platform, but he doesn’t let go of Louis. The train will be there for a few minutes anyway, he’ll just find he’s seat when it’s taking off.

“Off you go baby. I’ll be waiting for you when you get back.” Louis says, untangling his body from Harry’s octopus grip.

Blue meets green as Louis tilts his chin, so Harry’ll look at him. “When we get back, I promise we’ll find the best way to show Zayn and Liam what we’ve lived in the past year! Maybe even Niall and Jade, I swear they’re almost as loud when Niall apparently does this thing with his tongue” Louis fakes a gag, and smiles up at Harry, who can’t help but let out a raspy laugh.

“Yeah?” Promises of loud sex, he can deal with.

“Yeah.” They get up from the bench holding each other close, Harry trying to imprint everything about Louis in his brain, before he lets go, hearing the ‘last call’ call for the train to Cheshire.

He kisses Louis quickly, before throwing his duffle over his shoulder, walking towards the train.

“Hey Harry?” He turns around, smile immediately finding it’s way to his lips, just to be whisked off when Louis’ lips clashes against his in a desperate kiss. His tongue tastes a bit of the mint tea he drank in the car on the way.

He starts to walk backwards, ending in a weird position when his lips still refuse to leave Louis’. It ends with a cling of their teeth, and at last swipe of their tongues leaving a faint taste of mint on Harry’s own, before they pull apart.

Louis award-winning smile covers his whole face as he watches from the train, just able to make out the words Louis yells after him, before the train takes a turn.

“See you in a few days, Curly!”