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he steps out, the crowds lose their minds for him

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The exact moment Harry feels his resolve break is when he pads into the bathroom one evening, yawning and scratching his arm to see Louis standing in front of the mirror, eyes downcast as he spreads one of his hands out on the slight bump of his tummy, rubbing over the jumper he’s wearing. Which, Harry is pretty sure, belongs to him.

It comes out accidentally. Accidentally, as in he didn't want it to come out yet, but it did. “I want a baby.”

Louis doesn't even flinch. “I know.”

Harry fishmouthes. Louis rubs his belly once more, before glancing over his shoulder. He raises an eyebrow, lips quirking up. “And?”

Harry blinks, staring back at him as he scratches his elbow before letting his arms flop down to his sides. “Um. Can we have a baby?”

Louis sighs, going back to observing himself in the mirror- or, really, more like feeling up his tummy, which is Harry’s job- and for someone who looks like they’re against having kids, he seems awfully good at the pregnant-belly rub. Harry has caught him red-handed. “Babe, I’m twenty-one, and you’re, like, six.”

Harry squawks. Louis snorts, before correcting “or five. Yeah.”

Harry whines petulantly, leaning against the doorframe, letting his head thump against it lightly. It feels too heavy, suddenly, for his neck and shoulders to carry by themselves now. “But Lou-”

“See, H, that’s the thing. You can’t just whine and pout for this. This is- this is big, and you don't seem to get that.”

Harry’s slumping position snaps into attentiveness and hurt. “Pardon me, there is not one person out there that takes babies more serious than me.”

“Except everyone.”

Harry pouts, pushing away from the doorframe and padding over to Louis, where he wraps his arms around the older boy’s waist, hooking his chin over his shoulder. His hands slip underneath Louis’ own, spanning the little bump of his tummy and lightly pressing down, feeling fluttery when Louis lets out the tiniest noise.

“But,” he starts slowly, knowing how to smoothly drive this conversation so Louis won't drop it before he wants it to finish, “just imagine, babe.” He meets Louis’ eyes in the mirror once more and smiles softly before closing them and kissing Louis’ jaw, feeling him squirm back into his hold, reluctant but needy for it. Always needy for it. “Just imagine, your belly full of me and you, a baby, our baby-”

Louis gasps, then, pushing Harry’s arms off his waist. When he turns around, Harry can see his cheeks are flushed. He smirks, but inwardly. Never outwardly when Louis gets like this.

“You’re-” Louis starts, swallowing before placing a hand on the centre of Harry’s torso, “you’re evil, and I see your scheme. I’m not dumb.”

Harry wants to say that he’s only evil because he’s dating Louis, but refrains. Contrary to popular belief, he’s not that stupid. “You liked the idea, though.”

Louis flinches, arms wrapping low around his own waist, eyes flickering down. “Shut up.”

Harry grins. He thinks he might resemble Spongebob at this point. “Louuu-”

Louis huffs, pushing past Harry feebly before making a grand, dramatic exit from the bathroom- their bathroom, for God’s sake- and into their bedroom.

“You’re such a drama queen,” Harry calls out, turning to the sink and pulling his toothbrush out of the bathroom essentials holder. He hears bed sheets rustling for a moment before Louis calls out “you want a baby with me!”

“I do,” Harry says, but it’s much too quiet for Louis to actually hear. He twists the cap off of the toothpaste. “I do.”

-

It’s about a week later since the incident Harry calls the ‘Baby-Bathroom-Talk’ (Louis calls him fucking dumb) and they’ve both just gotten particularly smashed at Louis’ New Years Eve party. They can still hear everyone screaming, yelling, dancing, breaking things downstairs, but as Harry watches Louis straddle his thighs, reaching down to unbuckle Harry’s belt and undo his flies, he finds he doesn't really care. They can break everything, just if he gets to stay here.

“You’re going to have your dick halfway in my arse when the New Year falls,” Louis says, fumbling with the slim zipper on Harry’s jean, before pausing and letting out a loud laugh. Harry laughs after him, because he finds it funny, too. God, he’s drunk too much. He makes a mental reminder never to be around Niall during next year’s party, and makes another reminder to remember the first reminder.

When he focuses back at the task one hand, he sees Louis reaching out for the bedside drawer and watches his fingers fumble with the handle before he grabs it in impatience and pulls it all the way out so everything goes tumbling to the floor. Harry gawks at it, and Louis laughs again, reaching down to paw around the floor for the items he needs.

It’s then that Harry notices he comes up with only the lube, and if his heart felt like it was going too fast before, then it beats like horse hooves on a dry Texan racetrack at this point, which is fast.

Louis uncaps the lube as he rocks his hips down, thick thighs, squeezing around Harry’s each time their hardness brush against the other’s, and with an unsteady voice he says “gonna knock me up?”

Harry’s kneejerk reaction would be to scream yes but that one stupidly rational part he has deep inside speaks for him. “Not now.”

Louis’ hips slow, hands flopping beside his hips. “Pardon?”

Harry’s hands roam over Louis’ thighs before settling on his hips, thumbs pressing into the bare skin showing as his shirt rides up. He clears his throat before whispering, hoarsely, “I want to remember it; not have it resemble a drunk hook-up or the likes.”

Louis stops moving atop him now, staring him down before narrowing his eyes. He pushes Harry’s hands off his waist and climbs off his lap, standing back up and wobbling on his feet for a moment.

“Alright,” he says, swaying back to the bedroom door, “we can fuck later. Thought we were makin’ a b’by-” his voice is intangible now, really. Harry’s straining to understand, “- so we’d need some time, but if not, I hear Stan calling m’name.” He grabs the half-empty bottle of Heineken left on the dresser beside the door before disappearing back into the mass that’s in the upstairs hallway.

Harry lets his head drop back onto his pillow from its strained position, sighing loudly. He’d join everyone, but the throbbing in his jeans seems to be going nowhere for a while.

He mentally curses his rationality.

-

Around three weeks after the New Year’s party, Harry is laying in bed beside Louis, grouchy because the sun is spilling into his face like it has a damn right to do so and his birthday is near. He’s going to be twenty. He’ll be passed his prime baby making years.

That’s sort of a lie. A really big lie. Harry is adopting Louis’ drama-Queen-iness.

“Lou,” he whispers a moment later. He lets his head loll to the side, greeted by half of Louis’ sleeping face smushed into his pillow, the other half showing a large frown and furrowed eyebrows. Harry blinks.

“Lou. Lou, Lou, Lou-”

“Shut the hell up, Harry.”

Harry blinks again. Louis’ lips are in a small smile now, and after a moment, one of his eyes open up slowly, eyelashes fluttering, eyes blue and bleary. He resembles those fresh lotion ads where the flawless girl rolls around in the clean bedsheets and gives the camera exaggerated looks. Harry’s in love.

“Is it normal to fuck at six in the morning?”

Louis raises his one visible eyebrow. “I can’t count how many times we’ve done that.”

Harry tries again. “Without a foil?”

HIs heart is beating faster than it ever has before as Louis gives him a level look, sort of surprised but mostly not. Then he’s leaning in to kiss Harry’s nose, the hand previously laying on the pillow smoothing over the small space of bed between them and onto Harry’s bare bicep.

“Better get a move on, then. Six in the morning doesn't last forever.” Harry can feel Louis’ smile against his lips; can feel the colourful bursts behind his eyes from staring at the sunlight too long. His heart most definitely is beating faster than ever before.

He runs a hand over Louis’ waist, leaning in to kiss him slightly harder now, the taste of the mint hard candy Louis had woken Harry up in the middle of the night for still lingering in his mouth. He licks into the taste, hears Louis make a soft noise as his lashes brush on his cheeks, and yeah, fuck.

He pushes Louis onto his back and clambers on top of him, bracing himself over his body with one arm as he fumbles quickly with the tiny buttons and yarn-sewn knots of their pyjamas.

He makes quick work of it, pulling Louis’ bottoms off as Louis tugs his top off, and naturally, Louis pulls Harry in to kiss him as he grabs the hem of Harry’s own shirt, bunching it up under his arms.

When his shirt hits the floor, he rubs a palm over Louis’ thigh as he reaches over to the bedside table and opens it gently (Louis’d broken the screws of it when he’d tugged it out too fast last time). His hand rummages in the drawer for the lube as Louis spreads his legs around his hips, and he can feel what had been simple morning wood throb into something more.

“Hurry,” Louis hisses when he gets two fingers slick and presses them to his rim, thighs shuddering at the cool feeling. Louis’ face screws up a bit when Harry pushes them in easily, and Harry’s mouth drops open.

“Jesus Christ-” he says, ridiculously exasperated but more turned-on than anything. Louis giggles a bit breathlessly, hole clenching and unclenching around Harry’s fingers in sleepy morning sensitivity.

“Don't really need that much, huh.” Harry’s mostly speaking to himself now, twisting and hooking his fingers around for a moment, stretching Louis out wide and making him writhe on his digits, little hands grabbing a handful of the sheets.

“C’mon,” Louis breathes, and when Harry ignores him to scissor his fingers again, he says with a thicker voice “c’mon, fill me up, Haz.”

“Fuck,” Harry breathes, pulling his fingers out and wiping them on the bunched-up sheets, “yeah, okay.” He pushes his soft pyjama pants down and wraps a dry hand around the base of his cock, feeling his balls heavy and tight, and God, he doesn't think he’ll last that long. “Gonna fill you up good.”

Normally, he’d never get away with saying something like that, but now he watches as Louis’ skin flushes, lips dropping open as he nods once, twice. “Yeah, yeah, do it, c’mon.”

He squeezes out more lube and runs his palm over his shaft lightly, hissing at the coolness before gripping himself tightly and pressing his cockhead against Louis’ flushed hole. Louis jolts a bit, before his legs spread wider, and harry doesn't think he’s ever seen Louis need it so bad. His blood runs hot.

He pushes in then, letting Louis accommodate to every thrust in before he’s finally fully inside him, head dropping to rest on Louis’ shoulder, lips parting on a wild exhale. He can feel Louis squeeze around him as his legs wrap around Harry’s waist, pushing him in deeper, and they both moan, voices raspy and sleep-addled.

“D’you think we’ll fall asleep?” Harry asks, voice lower and sexier than he intended. He braces himself over Louis, hands pressed flat into the bed each side of the older boy’s head as he begins to thrust steadily, not teasingly slow but not brutally fast. The feeling in the air calls for mellow sort of sex, and Harry is perfectly alright with that.

“I doubt it,” Louis answers breathlessly a moment later, after Harry pulls out, like he was too full and breathless when Harry was inside him.

Like Harry thought, it doesn't really last that long, a few more thrusts before he buries himself back in, panting hard as he comes. He can feel Louis’ cock twitch against his lower abdomen at the feeling of him coming inside, and he reaches in between them to tug Louis once before he’s coming in his fist, crying out lightly, cheeks flushed and the tips of his fringe meshing into his eyelashes. Harry forgets to breathe for a moment, until Louis leans up and kisses his sweaty temple.

“So, like.” He glances down between them, to where he’s still deeply pressed into Louis. “How long do I stay inside you, to make sure everything stays in you?”

Louis laughs then; a tinkly one, instead of his loud, ruder laugh. “You sound deeply concerned, babe.”

“Hey,” Harry huffs, trying to not move his hips because he knows Louis doesn't like the feeling after they’ve come. “I am.”

“I dunno,” Louis says, tracing a squiggly shape on the curve of Harry’s shoulder, a faint smile on his lips. Harry dips down to quickly kiss the curve of it. “Just pull out now, and I guess the rest is magic.”

“Magic?” Harry squawks. “I’m not a child.”

“Sshh,” Louis sighs, eyes falling closed. His hand drops from Harry’s shoulder, to his tummy, patting it. “This was hard work. I need sleep.”

Harry wants to argue that he did most of the work, but it looks like Louis’ already half-gone to the world, head lolling onto the pillow, lips parting into a tiny ‘o’. Harry grins dopily down at him, feeling dumb and happy and mushy and like everything’s perfect.

He pulls out slowly so as to not disturb Louis before gently climbing off the bed and into the bathroom, grabbing a soft towel and dampening it. When he comes back into the room, it looks like Louis’ fully asleep, and he cleans up the older boy’s sticky parts before kissing his forehead, one palm lightly resting on his stomach.

-

To say Harry ‘could hardly wait’ was probably the understatement of the century.

When Louis wakes up that day at two in the afternoon and ambles into the kitchen with his pyjama pants and one of Harry’s t shirts on, he leans against the sink to catch his balance for a moment, and Harry gasps from the living room, running in and asking if he needs to go to the hospital. Louis replies with ‘no, I need your cock to become smaller.’

(He later admits that he does not want that in the least bit.)

Two weeks after That Day, Louis retches in the sink. Harry helps him clean up before asking if he feels any sickness or if he might need ambulatory care and he replies with ‘no, I need you to convince me never to go drinking with Niall again.’

A full month later, Louis’ been popping advils every six hours for three days and wearing sweaters, complaining about the worst stomach ache since, well, ever. Louis claimed that no one knows what the world’s worst stomach ache ever is, so he wins.) This time, when Harry asks if he needs anything, he replies with ‘for you to carry me to the car and whisk me away to your castle.’ Harry tells him he doesn't have a castle and Louis shrieks ‘the hospital you bloody wanker.’ Harry wasn't aware that crankiness began so early in the nine-month time period. Or maybe it’s just Louis’ attitude. Probably.

-

Two months after That Day, Harry’s padding into the bathroom again, yawning. Louis’ been keeping him on his toes during their band break, ordering him to buy a lot more sweets but healthy sweets and wash his sweaters with the softest clothing softener and a million other things. He’s tired, is the thing.

He pauses in the doorway to see Louis standing in front of the mirror, wearing a loose pink (‘it’s salmon,’ Louis corrects everyone. It’s pink.) sweater, eyes downcast, his hands spanned over the tiny bump of his stomach. He’s smiling the tiniest bit.

“Babe,” Harry greets a moment later, and Louis jolts momentarily before letting his eyes flicker up and meet Harry’s through the mirror. Oddly reminiscent.

“Hi,” Louis answers, about to look over his shoulder when Harry comes up behind him and wraps his arms around his little waist. His chin finds its rightful spot on Louis’ shoulder, and when they both look into the mirror again, it looks right. They both flush a bit.

“You look good,” Harry says finally, kissing his cheek. “Your skin is soft, and glowing.”

Louis hmphs at that, cheeks pinking. “Sure.”

“No, I really mean it!” Harry says sincerely, eyes widening. Louis giggles at that, and Harry gives him a confused face.

“You’re making your frog face again. Do you think the baby will get that from you?”

Harry’s whole body runs hot at that, and he blushes this time, a little shiver running through him as Louis folds their hands together over his tummy. “It’s a cute trait, innit?”

“Oh God, I hope they don't,” Louis sighs. “Your frog face is worse than your puppy-dog face; I can never say no.”

Harry whines, not really embarrassed, but always willing to play along. “Louuuuuu.”

Louis grins, leaning back into Harry. Harry expects a rip into his ego but instead gets an ‘I love you, froggy.’

He pauses for a moment, before grinning wide and foolishly in the mirror. Louis snorts at his reflection. “I love you too, grumpy cat.”

Louis gives him an appraising look. “Grumpy cat?”

“Yeah.” He pokes Louis’ cheek. “You’re grumpy cat.”

Louis pushes out of his hold with a grin, walking out of their bathroom in a dramatic way- again. “Call me that one more time and see if you get any ass ever again.”

Harry chuckles, because he’s helpless and in love, and he’s got his boy and his baby, and his warning for never getting any ass ever again.

How could he not?