It’s not even Louis’ fault. It’s Nick’s.
At least, that’s the story he’s sticking to. If Nick wasn’t such a twat then he wouldn’t be in this position in the first place. It’s not his fault at all. Nick Grimshaw is 100% to blame for this.
Except, okay. It’s a little bit Louis’ fault. But he’s not going to admit that.
“You owe him an apology Lou. You know you do.” Harry says for about the twentieth time that afternoon. He’s perched up on the kitchen counter eating an orange, “You did ruin his birthday.”
Louis’ cleaning up the orange peel scraps that Harry’s leaving behind on the counter, “I did no such thing, Harry. Besides, whose side are you on?”
Harry takes a break from eating his orange to put his full attention on Louis, “I’m not on anyone’s side, you know that. But it’s my job as your best friend to let you know when you’re being a complete knob.”
Louis sighs and runs his hand down his face in agitation, “If I apologize, will you please shut up?” At this point, Louis will do just about anything for Harry to leave him alone and go back to Ben’s house, or whoever’s house he’s staying at these days. Louis can never keep up.
Harry’s face immediately lights up as he jumps down from the counter, “Deal!”
Louis goes to the refrigerator. He knows he has some kind of alcohol in there somewhere. He’s definitely going to need it if he’s going to be apologizing to Nick for this.
When he turns back around, Harry has that look on his face. That look that Louis has come to know much too well over the last three years. The look that means the wheels are turning in his head and he’s planning something.
“Whatever you’re thinking, stop. Don’t you have somewhere better to be, anyway?”
“No, I don’t have a house to go to, remember. And Ben’s at some work thing. Anyway, I was just thinking--”
Louis takes a swig from his beer, preparing for whatever god awful plan Harry has come up with.
“I was just thinking that you should bake him a cake! An apology cake! I mean, you did ruin his birthday.” And of course this would be Harry’s idea, Louis thinks to himself. You can take the boy out of the bakery, but you can’t take the bakery out of the boy… or, something like that.
Louis can’t stop himself before he’s laughing, barely managing to swallow his beer before he spits it out all over Harry’s shirt. “Let me get this straight. You want me to bake a cake for Nick. As an apology. You do realize that I can’t bake, right? You do remember what happened when we lived together and I tried to make those cookies. When I burnt them and the fire alarms went off and the person below our flat called 999 and the bloody firefighters showed up at our door?”
And how could Harry forget that day? “Right, yeah, okay. So maybe you shouldn’t bake it. Besides, we don’t want Nick to think you’re trying to poison him or something. So, I’ll bake the cake, you can be in charge of decorating it!” And if Louis thought there was even the tiniest sliver of hope of getting out of making Nick Grimshaw a bloody cake, it just disappeared.
Louis grumbles out a, “Fine, we’ll make the fucking cake,” before reaching for another beer.
Louis’ finishing up his fifth beer and his second game of FIFA by the time Harry’s calling him back into the kitchen. When he walks in, Harry has a look of pride on his face. The cake is sitting on the counter in front of him and there’s frosting set out for Louis to decorate with.
“It’s Barbara’s secret recipe, she taught it to me while I worked at the bakery. Best cake I’ve ever eaten. Nick’s going to love it.”
“Well as long as Nick loves it,” Louis tries to say with the smallest amount of annoyance in his voice as possible. Because, as much as Louis hates this idea, he does love Harry for trying to help mend things.
Harry smiles so big his dimples show. He takes off his apron (which Louis doesn’t even remember owning) and says, “The cake should be cool enough to frost. I have to go make some phone calls, I’ll be back in a bit,” and he leaves Louis alone in the kitchen.
Louis looks through his options of frosting, trying to decide what color to use when he spots blue. He knows for a fact that the blue frosting will turn Nick’s teeth blue when he eats the cake, adding a little bit of inconvenience to Nick’s day. Perfect.
After the cake is covered in a layer of blue frosting, he picks up a tube of white frosting to add detail and, fuck, is it supposed to be this hard to decorate a cake? Louis wonders. His hand is going to be cramping by the time he’s finished with this stupid thing, and a pain in the ass won’t be the only thing Nick Grimshaw is to him.
Louis is already annoyed that he’s having to apologize to Nick, now this bloody frosting is only adding to that. “Bake him a cake, Louis. It’s the least you can do. You owe him, you know.” Louis starts to grumble before realizing Harry has walked back into the kitchen.
“What was that Louis?”
“I said 'I’m sure this cake is delicious! Nick’s going to love it!'” Louis says as he plasters on a fake smile.
Harry smiles at that and makes his way to Louis’ side to check out his work so far.
STOP LIKING PEOPLE THAT AREN’T ME, the cake reads in white lettering.
“Umm, this isn’t really what I had in mind when I said ‘apology cake’, Lou.”
Louis cuts him off before he goes any further, “Well that’s too bad. He’s going to get this cake and he’s going to enjoy it. And then maybe, just maybe, he’ll stop liking people that aren’t me and I won’t have to keep apologizing to him for things that are 100%, completely his fault!” Louis spits out.
At this point, Harry does the one thing that he knows to do when Louis is all tense like this. He brings an arm around his shoulder and pulls him into the space under his arm. Harry can feel a small amount of stress leave Louis’ body. “You could just tell him, you know.”
Louis takes a step back, “I can’t tell him, Harry. We agreed this was just sex. We agreed this was nothing more than a quick fuck every now and then. That’s it. That was the agreement.”
“That was the agreement. Before you guys started sleeping at each other’s places and before you started taking Puppy on walks with him. That’s more than just a quick fuck every now and then.”
Louis is shaking his head, obviously mad at himself for getting into this situation in the first place. “I hate him. I hate that I let him get to me like this. I hate that he somehow got under my skin and now I can’t get him out of my head. I hate that I said I could do casual, because I can’t, Harry. I can’t do casual. Not when it comes to him.” Louis’ barely finished talking before Harry’s taking the sixth beer bottle from Louis’ hands and setting it on the counter, pulling Louis into another hug.
“Then tell him, Louis. It doesn’t matter what the agreement was. Just tell him how you feel now.” And Louis hates it when Harry’s right. Hates it when the right thing to do is the exact opposite of what he wants to do.
But, Louis can do this.
I can do this, Louis thinks to himself before slipping on his jacket and shoes. He picks up the cake box and turns back to Harry, “Hey, thanks, Haz. And, you know, if you need somewhere to crash tonight, you’re more than welcome to stay here”
“Oh, I was already planning on it. Put my overnight bag in the guest room when you were in the shower earlier.”
“Is that house of yours ever going to be finished or are you just going to take up residence in every single person’s home that you come in contact with?” Louis asks with a small smile on his face.
Harry’s response is a light push on Louis’ back towards the door, “Okay, enough talk about me. Go to Nick’s. TELL HIM.”
Between not wanting to apologize to Nick and almost dropping the cake twice (once while getting in his car, once while getting out. It’s a sign, Louis thinks), he is cursing both Harry, “Just bake him a cake, Louis. You need to apologize, Lou,” and Nick, “I’m a big fucking asshole why did you even start fucking me, Lou?” while walking down the stairs to Nick’s flat.
Before he realizes it, he’s standing in front of Nick’s door. Louis isn’t sure if he should knock or not. The past month when they’ve been hooking up, he’s forgone knocking altogether. Has taken to just walking in and making himself at home before throwing himself at Nick. But, he thinks this time, maybe knocking would be the appropriate thing to do.
While he’s arguing with himself, he doesn’t hear the door open in front of him. Isn’t brought out of his internal debate until he hears someone clear their throat inches away from him.
Fuck. He is not ready for this.
“So,” Nick says nonchalantly, “did you just plan on standing out here all evening staring at my welcome mat or were you planning on knocking?”
“You don’t even have a welcome mat. And how did you even know I was out here?” Louis asks with a hint of annoyance to his voice.
“Oh, Young Harold sent me a text message asking me to not slam the door in your face when you got here. He said that you had something to tell me and I should hear you out. I’ve been waiting for you to get here for the past ten minutes. Saw you out here about 2 minutes ago.”
“I’m going to fucking kill him,” Louis says under his breath before looking up at Nick’s face.
Nick looks impatient, like he isn’t sure what Louis is doing on his front door step or if he even wants him there. The latter hurts Louis. Because as much of a dick as Nick can be, Louis isn’t sure there’s anywhere else he’d rather be than with him. The thought that that feeling might not be reciprocated scares him.
“So… what is it?” Nick asks, folding his arms in front of him as he leans on the door frame. He’s obviously still pissed at Louis for the birthday party incident. And as much as Louis hates to admit it, he can’t blame him. He knows he’d feel the same way if the roles were reversed.
“Harry said I needed to apologize, so here,” Louis says, holding out the cake box.
“What is this?” Nick asks.
“It’s an apology cake. It was Harry’s idea so if you think it’s stupid, blame him, not me. I didn’t even want to make the thing.” Louis thrusts the cake box once more in Nick’s direction.
“You’re doing a great job selling the cake, love. Really makes me think this apology is coming from the heart.” Nick opens the box, reads the writing on the cake, and huffs out an annoyed laugh before looking up at Louis again. “This is an apology? ‘Stop liking people that aren’t me.’ What? ‘I’m sorry’ was too simple for you?”
“I baked you a fucking cake and brought it all the way here, to your flat. What more do you want from me?” Louis asks with a bite to his tongue.
“First of all, I doubt you baked it. I know for a fact that you are a fire hazard in the kitchen, so my money’s on Harry having baked the cake. Second,” Nick catches Louis’ eye before continuing, “I want you to tell me you have feelings for me and stop tiptoeing around it. Just admit it.”
“Why would I ever do that?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because it’s true. And don’t say it’s not, because we both know it is.” And fuck, is Louis that transparent?
At this point, there’s only one thing left for Louis to do. Suddenly his shoes become very interesting to look at and he quietly mumbles some words.
Nick reaches out, places his fingers under Louis’ chin and tilts his head up so he’s looking at Nick’s face. “Speak up love, can’t hear you.”
“I SAID YES, OKAY, I HAVE FEELINGS FOR YOU, YOU TWAT!” Louis’ mouth immediately snaps shut as soon as the words leave his mouth. He’s stuck between being relieved he put it out there and being scared that he’s pretty much laying his heart on the line with no safety net.
Louis is just standing there, cake box still in hand, waiting for a response. What kind of asshole doesn’t say a word after an admission of that kind? Louis asks himself. Oh right, the type of asshole that I’m in love with.
He’s about to turn around and leave when Nick takes the cake box out of his hand. He sets it on the table right inside of his door before turning back to Louis, grabbing his face and surging forward with a kiss.
Louis is surprised at first; still in shock until Nick’s fingers make their way to the back of his head, gently tugging at the long strands of hair at the nape of his neck. It’s that familiar feeling, the one that Louis loves so much, that snaps him out of his daze and brings him back to reality. And finally, he’s an active participant in the kiss, sighing into Nick’s mouth as he opens his own to let Nick’s tongue inside.
Nick’s the one to break the kiss when he pulls back, much to Louis’ dislike, only long enough to say, “I have feelings for you too, idiot.”
Louis can’t bring himself to hold back his smile.
And with that, Nick is pulling Louis into his flat. Louis has just enough sense to kick the door shut with his foot before Nick is tugging him back to his bedroom, pieces of clothing being shed the whole way there.
It isn’t until they’re coming down from their second round of makeup sex that they both realize how hungry they are.
“Be right back,” Louis says before climbing over Nick and out of bed, receiving a slap on the ass from Nick on the way.
When Louis comes back, he’s carrying the cake in one hand and two forks in the other. Puppy’s following close behind. “Would be a shame to let this go to waste. I mean, Harry did spend a lot of time making it.”
At first, Nick’s a little hesitant about eating it in bed. He throws a warning Louis’ way, “If you get blue icing on my white duvet, I will kick you out of bed.”
“Those are empty threats, Grimshaw, and you know it.” Louis says while slipping a small bit of cake Puppy’s way.
Before they realize it, they’ve eaten about half the cake and Puppy’s passed out on the floor next to the bed, probably feeling the crash from her sugar high due to all the bits of cake Louis was sneaking her when Nick wasn’t looking.
“Okay, Harry was right, this is the best cake I’ve ever eaten.” Nick says with a mouthful of cake.
“Maybe we’ll just have to pretend to get into more fights so he’ll make it for us again,” Louis suggests.
“Well, you are an idiot, so that shouldn’t be too hard to pull off.” Nick says, kicking Louis’ ankle with his bare foot.
Louis kicks back, “And you’re still a major twat. Shouldn’t be hard to make believable at all.”
“Yeah, but you’re in love with me anyway,” and yeah, Nick is never going to let Louis forget that.