It’s the “don’t” that does it, funnily enough, and Harry’s jaw goes slack when he realizes his mistake. Louis can actually see the way the color rushes up the column of Harry’s throat, floods across his cheeks while he fumbles to recover.
"P-please," he amends quickly, cringing away from where Louis’ fingers are resting lightly on the inside of his thigh. "Please, please, please, I can’t right now."
Louis raises his eyebrows, cuts his eyes pointedly to the front of the van where the other boys are all lost in their own worlds while the driver hums along to the radio. He glances back at Harry, pursing his lips in an unspoken question.
Harry breathes out slow through his nose, whispers, “No, it’s not that. I- um- I didn’t want to bother anyone but I have to-” He drops his eyes to his lap, and Louis follows his gaze down, takes in all the signs for the first time- Harry’s white-knuckled grip on his own knees, the tense shaking of his thighs, his legs pushed out in long stiff lines with his feet pressed hard against the floorboard.
Louis almost wants to roll his eyes, because it’s so Harry to push himself into this sort of state so as not to inconvenience anyone. The much larger part of him that doesn’t want to roll his eyes is stuck on the trembling of Harry’s thigh underneath his hand, the way his breath is coming out in a forced-slow-and-steady that looks nearly painful.
"I’ll ask them to stop," Louis says automatically, moving forward in the seat to grab the driver’s attention, but Harry makes a little punched-out hurt noise that draws him back.
"No, we- we’re almost there, I can-" The van hits a bump and he gasps a bit, eyes going alarmingly huge and watering up. "-hold it," he finishes, wincing and shifting slightly in his seat.
The thing is, Louis knows Harry, maybe better than he knows anyone. He knows what it means when Harry’s cheeks go that color, when his pupils get that size. He bites down on a smile, settles back on their little benchseat and slides deeper into Harry’s space.
"Are you sure, babe? Does it hurt very much?" he asks, all sweet sympathy in his voice. Harry’s breath comes out as a shaky rattle.
"Yeah," he sighs out, like he can’t summon enough focus to separate his speech from his breathing.
Louis rests his chin on Harry’s tensed-up shoulder, blinks up at him through his lashes in that way that always sends him off. “Yeah, what, Harry? I asked you two questions.” His voice is still sugary but he can feel Harry start to catch on, sees the way his eyes go a shade darker when he turns his head the slightest bit to look at Louis.
"Yes, I can hold it," he clarifies, and his voice is a little steadier.
Louis smiles, presses his lips to the body-warmed cotton of Harry’s t-shirt. “That’s very good, Harry.”
Harry’s mouth twitches but he doesn’t respond, just watches Louis through his glazed-over eyes.
"And does it hurt, love?" Louis prompts, dragging his hand up Harry’s thigh until it rests lightly on his belly. The muscles jump and spasm under Louis’ hand, and it’s heady.
“Yes,” Harry gasps, twisting slightly away from Louis’ hand. Louis follows him, bears down a bit harder until Harry freezes, lets out a quiet whimper and then falls silent, whole body pulled taught as an arrow-string.
Louis eases up the pressure, but Harry doesn’t relax. He’s staring straight at his own thighs, breathing loudly through his nose now in great rushes of air.
He’s so lovely with his entire body straining, his cheeks burned red and pupils blown wide. Louis leans up until his lips brush the bundle of curls by Harry’s ear, grins as he whispers, “You could just do it, you know.”
A full-body shudder works its way from head to toe and Harry squeezes his eyes shut tight. “Lou,” he warns, but his voice is deep and a bit broken already.
"It’s alright," Louis goes on, dropping his hand down in the heat between Harry’s thighs, cupping him gently. "I’ll take care of you, babe, I’ve got you."
“Lou,” Harry hisses again, more urgently, but he’s shaking so much and Louis easily catches and twines his fingers with the hand Harry raises to weakly bat him away.
"You remember our word, yeah?" Louis prompts, serious for a moment, nudging at Harry’s jaw with his chin until his eyes squint open. "Harry, come on, answer. Say the word and I stop, yeah?"
Harry nods once, a short violent jerk of his head that leaves him gasping, but he doesn’t speak. Louis’ whole body flashes hot and he presses himself closer to Harry’s side, lips tight against his ear.
"Come on, love, nothing to be ashamed of," he murmurs, pressing his knuckles gently into Harry’s soft stomach, right over his bladder. Harry nearly crushes the fingers of his other hand where they’re still joined together, but Louis continues the soft little circles. "It’ll feel so good when you let go, won’t it? You’ve held on so long, babe, you’ve been so good.”
Harry whines but Louis catches the sound with his own lips, trapping it between them in their little safehaven of the back seat.
"Shhhhhhh, shhhh, I’ve got you." He presses his knuckles in hard, sharp, and Harry lets out a sound like nothing Louis’ ever heard, a guttural moan that chokes off almost immediately into Louis name.
It happens quickly- Harry’s eyes fly open and find Louis’, and he’s panicking, his pupils huge, while he’s chanting, “Lou, Lou, Lou, can’t-" under his breath, right into Louis’ mouth.
Louis quickly drops his hand to Harry’s dick again, and he can feel it- the wet and hot seeping through the crotch of his jeans while Harry’s hands shake where he’s pressing them everywhere he can reach on Louis’ body. Louis rubs at the soft line of his dick through the seam of his pants, keeping Harry’s eyes locked with his and willing him to calm down.
"Look at you, darling, you’re doing so well," he breathes out, smiling and pressing his lips to Harry’s nose and cheeks and slack mouth. And it’s still going underneath his hand, seeping through Harry’s jeans and onto the seat and onto Louis’ sweatpants.
"Lou," Harry says quietly, for the hundredth time, but his voice is so shivery and gone and needy now, breathless as his body finally goes slack against the seat. “‘m sorry," he mumbles, eyes still impossibly wide as he drops one large hand to the wet seat, touches his fingers experimentally to the dark splotches on Louis’ joggers. “‘m so sorry, I made such a mess, sorry, sorry-"
His eyes still have that glazed look that Louis has learned to recognize so easily over the years, and he’s learned how to handle it. “Quiet, babe, you’re going to wake the other boys up,” he warns softly, and Harry stops speaking, watches Louis with his big red-rimmed eyes. “You were so good, H, do you know that?”
Harry opens his mouth like he might respond but Louis presses his clean hand to Harry’s lips, uses his other to pull his zipper down and reach into his jeans. Harry’s half-hard now, jumping slightly in Louis hand every time he offers a bit of praise. His dick is wet and warm, and the whole back seat- probably the whole van, soon- smells of him, salty and condensed into the enclosed space. When Louis drags his thumb over the head, Harry bites his lip but keeps quiet, watching Louis like he’s on a different planet.
"Can you come like this?" Louis asks, barely a whisper, watching Harry’s eyes slowly move from Louis’ hand on his dick to Louis’ face. He nods slowly, looks back to Louis working him over and there’s barely a hint of green left to his eyes now.
It doesn’t take much- a few wet drags of Louis hand, coated in precome-slick and piss, and Harry lets out a long breath, goes shaky-tense and still and comes quietly over Louis’ fist.
Louis is achingly hard now as well, but Harry is giving him that thousand-yard stare, red-cheeked and weepy-looking, boneless, mumbling, “Did I do okay, Lou?” and shrinking in his seat. Louis wipes his hand off on the inside of Harry’s jeans for all the good it does him, then tucks him away and pulls Harry’s head down against his shoulder.
He buries his face in Harry’s hair, wraps an arm tight around his slumped shoulders.”You were perfect, H, really gorgeous,” he says into Harry’s curls, smiling a bit.
"The mess….?" Harry asks, but it’s mostly a sleepy half-thought as he settles more closely into Louis’ side. When he wakes up, he’ll be cold and wet and miserable, but Louis won’t let him be embarrassed.
"I’ll handle it, babe, just rest."