Things are not going as Harry had planned.
When she'd suggested they all go out after the show, she'd expected some resistance as it's typically hard to get everyone in the mood to roam a new city. Luckily for her, the first show on their South American leg of tour had been just enough to buzz everyone up that she barely had any convincing to do at all.
Which is why Harry cannot fathom why it is she's watching her bandmates and crew have such a great time at the club Harry suggested while she's stuck in a corner booth.
"Oh cheer up, grumpy gills!" Louis shouts, sliding into the seat next to her and bringing another round for the now deserted table. "I thought this was what you wanted!"
Harry tilts her head to the side and gives him her best glare from the corner of her eye. She knows it’s hard to come off too intimidating with “doe eyes” as her boys so rudely dubbed them. The tight curls that flow just past her shoulders might not help but either. Also her falling fringe could be ruining the intensity, but she stands her ground, nonetheless.
"I did not invite you all to a club so you can run off and make me babysit a booth," she sneers.
“Hey now,” Louis teases, “you agreed to the rule. You—“
“I can only go out onto the floor in small spurts, I know, but it’s a dumb rule.”
“Wouldn’t need the rule if you’d just agree not to get so drunk all the time. We need you sober in the morning, m’lady,” says Louis as he reaches out to shake her chin.
“The only thing I get drunk on is life!” Harry protests, flinging her head back onto Louis’s shoulder, her arms stretched haphazardly. From this angle he could probably see straight down to her belly button if he wanted, as she’d opted to wear her favorite black button down sans the first four buttons. It’s become a signature look of hers over the past year or so, and she delights in seeing it can still make even the people closest to her flush. “M’lady,” she tacks on teasingly at the end.
“Life and vodka shots,” Louis counters, not missing a beat. When he peers over to her, he lands directly on her eyes and doesn’t even skim over her breasts. Always a gentleman, that one.
Before Harry can argue further, Louis slips her a shot on the tray he’d brought over and gives her a wink with his finger pressed against his lips.
“Bless you,” she whispers, stealthily downing the drink while scoping out the floor to make sure none of her other bandmates are in eyeshot. At least, she tells herself it’s stealthy. She can pretend.
She feels herself floating from her drink instantly, a slight tingling behind her eyelids. “You were always my favorite,” she throws at Louis. “From the very start.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Louis groans, throwing an arm over her shoulder. “Nowhere to go but up from there, was there?”
They both snort at the memory of their first meeting in the competition wherein Harry had accidentally stumbled into the Men’s restroom, blinded by an eyelash. Though she’s been known to shake off more than a few awkward situations, she still thanks her lucky stars that there was only one occupant in the restroom at the time.
“Oops,” she’d said flatly to the doll-faced boy at the urinal, feet rooted to the spot.
“Hi,” he’d answered just as confused and slightly embarrassed, tilting himself away from her.
They’d been best friends ever since.
“And don’t be so hard on the lads,” Louis calls her back to the present. “You’re our girl; it’s our job to take care of you.”
The eyebrow she arcs his way says how highly she thinks of that sentiment.
“Really,” she leers, skepticism dripping in her voice, “because Niall is practically on top of the bar right now,” she points to their left, and sure enough Niall seems to have positioned herself almost on top of the bartender, only pulling away to take another swig of beer and flip her hair away so it reaches down her back, “and I don’t see any of you breathing down her neck.”
Louis is not deterred. “First off, Niall can hold her liquor.” Maybe not the best point Harry could have made. “Second, I chatted with the bartender, and he’s a lovely lad.”
Harry matches his look deadpan for deadpan before grabbing another shot and raising it in the air. “To the lovely lad! And to hoping Niall gets some so her toys can stop waking me up in the middle of the night.”
Harry loves the feel of a hot shower after a show. It makes her skin feel like it’s buzzing in tune with her energy and she can get one last high before she comes down, relaxed and calm for the night.
Well, every night except this one apparently.
Stepping out of the hotel bathroom, she sees Niall set in front of her mirror revamping her makeup using Harry’s supplies.
“Were we going out again tonight?” Harry asks edging on excitement. Two nights in a row almost never happens for them anymore and she can feel herself regaining the buzz she’d just calmed down.
“We are,” speaks Zayn from where he was hidden lying down on the floor next to Niall. “’Fraid you’re homebound tonight, babes.”
“Haz, come on, you can’t even argue,” Niall pipes up as Harry makes a mental note for the next time Niall will need her support. Granted Harry knows she was a bit hungover this morning, but she’s sure barely any of their interviewers noticed and none of them commented on camera at any rate. Still, shouldn’t there be some kind of girl code instituted between them? Harry’s sure they’ve had this conversation before.
“Don’t worry, H,” Zayn says, walking over and giving her shoulders a rub. He guides her to the door where Liam has just come by to ask if they’re ready. “We wouldn’t leave you alone.”
Sure enough across the hall, poking his head out of his door with a toothbrush dangling from his mouth, is Louis. He’s looking considerably confused in pajama bottoms and his comfiest Marvel t-shirt. He catches Harry’s eye when she peeks out.
“Movie night?” he says, mouth full of foam.
Harry just shrugs. It’s better than nothing.
The movie keeps their attention for all of fifteen minutes before it just dissolves into Harry flinging popcorn and gummy bears for Louis to catch in his mouth, the film muted in the background.
“Sorry I got you stuck here for the night,” she says, taking one of the gummy bears for herself. “You should take a piss in their shoes or something.”
Harry’s not usually a vindictive person, but really, she’s no child.
Louis’s face is impressively scrunched up though. “Wasn’t really keen on going out tonight anyway.”
“Yeah, but they don’t know that. They just left you here in their dust, and for what? Giving me, a grown woman, a couple shots? Why I oughta.”
Junk food brings out her inner playground bully. She feels like shoving a few heads in the sand.
“Sometimes you gotta live and let live, m’lady.”
His arms stick out at his sides like an airplane, as if that’s supposed to be the picture of calm and tranquil.
“I’ve seen you wrestle Liam to the ground over moving your water bottle slightly to the left of the coffee table.”
“People change,” he pokerfaces.
“Oh, come on!” Harry cackles. “Just do that thing that you all do, you know?”
“I do not know, actually.”
“You know. That ‘I’m a guy and I’m gonna spontaneously combust if I don’t wrestle someone to the ground at least once a day’ thing.”
Louis only stares at her with his mouth hanging open in mock offense.
“I’ve seen you do it; you’re quite good! And you’re feisty so they have a hard time catching you,” Harry rambles. “It’s like, like gah!” she screams, taking a lunge for him where he’s sat on the opposite side of the sofa.
“Oh my god, you crazy woman!” Louis yells back in surprised delight. “Geroff.”
“No, look at me, I’m so cool and I’ve got your shoulders pinned,” she taunts over him, her hair falling over her shoulders and grazing him in the face.
“Except that you don’t,” Louis points out. “Can’t gloat unless you actually have things to gloat about. That’s like rule number one.”
Harry ignores him. “I’m such a good fighter,” she says this time lowering her voice a few octaves in a faux male show. “Gonna poke you in the eye maybe. Can’t forget to twist your nips.”
She reaches out then to make good on her promise and grabs at the nubs hidden by Louis’s shirt, giving them a hard wind to the right. The sound Louis shrieks in response surprises them both, and the rest happens so fast it’ll take Harry ages to fully catch up.
Before she can let go of Louis’s nipple, he jolts them up into a sitting position and reaches out lightning fast to give Harry a revenge twist to her nipple. With nothing but the thin fabric from her night shirt to protect her, Harry can’t stop the breathy gasp she makes as her eyelids flutter shut and she stills on Louis’s lap, one hand against the back of his neck and the other digging her nails into his thigh.
The air feels suspended around her lungs, and it suddenly feels like the room is filled with the miserable heat of summer instead being a nicely air conditioned hotel room.
She’s sure it only takes her a second to recover, but when she does, she opens her eyes to realize her mouth is vaguely ajar and sees Louis’s eyebrows have shot up into his hair.
“Sorry,” they bluster at the same time, both flushing harder than they have since the day they met.
“No, no, I should have been more careful,” Louis rambles unwittingly, reaching his thumb up to stroke where Harry’s nipple is now pointedly present, sending another visible shiver down her spine before she can stop it.
Seriously, why is this happening? she thinks as she flings herself off of his lap, and why and god’s name did it take her so long to make that move. Does anyone know what is going on anymore?
They both make a silent agreement to turn away from each other, unmute the television, and bury the last three minutes in the deepest crevices of “Let’s not talk about it.”
Louis is not avoiding Harry. He's not. It doesn't make sense to. They're best friends, they work together, and trying to avoid anyone in their crew would prove more of a headache than anyone would willingly put themselves through. So when Harry doesn't see Louis for the entire next morning or halfway into the afternoon, she's not panicked. It's fine.
That is, until she's walking up the hall at the venue they're at for the day and sees Louis practically morphed into a CIA detective as he peeks his head down every corridor before continuing on his way.
"What are you doing?" she asks dumbfounded.
Louis almost jumps out of his skin. "Harry! Um—I was, um?"
Harry's head is tilting to the side as she appraises him. "Trying not to run into me?"
"No," Louis answers too quickly.
"Good. because I want lunch." Blasé is good to aim for, Harry thinks. If they act like nothing is wrong, then nothing's wrong.
"I, uh, already ate?" Louis stutters, his voice rising like a question. So much for casual ignorance.
"Mmm," Harry hums as Louis tries to slip past her, but she catches him by the arms and has him against a wall before he can get anywhere.
Taking him in, Louis looks as though he is literally attempting to blend in with the wall, not letting any part of himself get too close to Harry. That's when she notices.
"Wh-what, are you afraid of them or something?"
"’Fraid of what?" he asks, playing dumb.
Harry levels him with a look. "My tits, wanker. Jesus christ, you are!"
"I am not," Louis says, trying again to slide past Harry rather than making the easier choice of just moving her because that would involve touching.
"How come you can't look at them then?"
"Because I'm not a perv who's about to stare at my best friend's boobs? Seriously, Harry." He takes another step to the side. Harry's right on his heels.
"Seriously, Louis," Harry parrots back. "Don't be weird with me."
"Don't—Harry!" Louis barks, quickly glancing around the hall they're in and hushing his voice so only the two of them can hear. "The last time I was too close to those things you had a fucking orgasm in my lap. It's going to be weird."
Harry just stares at him for a second before, "Do you really think that's what an orgasm looks like becaus—"
"Jesus!" Louis whines, covering his ears and looking at his shoes. "I don't need any more images of what your actual orgasms look like."
"Yes, well I don't need a best friend who can't fucking look at me, so do whatever it is you have to do, but get it together."
She stands in front of him, giving him some time to come back to himself. This is uncharted territory for them. They've never been in any serious awkward situations where the other is concerned, and certainly not ones that have lasted as long as this. Louis finally gets enough nerve to look her in the eye and for a minute there's an unspoken conversation between, a relic of when they were first put together as a band.
It was the first rule they'd ever made and they'd put it in stone before they even agreed to go on in the competition together. Harry can hear Liam's voice in her head right now.
"So it's settled. No in band dating." They'd all nodded and shook on it because they may have been young but they'd heard enough horror stories about relationships killing bands before they could reach their full potential. With the unique guy to girl ratio they had, there wasn't room for romance and success. But. That's not the issue here, certainly?
For a brief second, Harry wonders what would have happened last night had that rule never been in place, how that would have changed their situation. She'd obviously been aroused, but it was just physical, right? It was unexpected and hot, yes, but they would never have gone further. They're HarryandLouis. Which doesn't explain why she can suddenly imagine herself back on Louis lap, his hands playing at her, while this time she decides to grind down on top of him. She wonders if she could have pulled a sound from Louis like he pulled from her, if his raspy voice is just as alluring when it's coming out in pants and wait. Wait.
Finally, thankfully, Louis pulls them back to the present with an, "Alright. Fine. I don't want it to be weird either."
Harry nods partially in agreement, partially to shake her daze when she sticks out an arm over Louis's shoulder so that her palm lies flat against the wall behind him.
"So," she says faux seductively, "Was I the first to illicit that sort of response or do these fingers always catch their prey?" Her eyebrows wiggle for added effect and she tries not to laugh at her own rudeness.
"Actually," Louis admits, "you'd be surprised at the kinds of noises I've accidentally pulled from the lads."
"Oh yeah," plays Louis, "that Zayn is a shit ton more embarrassing than you ever were."
"Wow, please tell me more," Harry says, only partially joking now.
It's just like she'd been saying. It's not weird as long as they don’t make it weird.
"I think I made things weird with Louis."
It's a few days later, and Harry is falling back onto Niall's bed and shoving a pillow over her face. Louis's not avoiding her anymore, hasn't since the first morning, but they haven't exactly reached "normal" again either.
"Is this about the foreplay the two of you had going on tonight?" Niall asks sounding bored already.
"Ugh, please do not call it that."
"To be honest, I'm surprised you're in here instead of somewhere else riding his—"
"Niall, god!" Harry flinches, throwing the pillow at her in the process.
The room is ringing with her laughter as Harry sits on the edge of the bed, growing more flushed by the second. They haven't been that bad. Just some incidental pinches here or there, and okay, maybe their performance of Rock Me tonight was a little saucy for their audience. In Harry's defense, she loves performing that song and she's not the one that was making those faces the whole time and—
It's not that bad. Except that Harry really would rather be somewhere else right now, somewhere closer to wherever Louis is, so instead she is absolutely going to stay in this room, and use Niall has her moral support. Or bodyguard. Whatever it comes down to really.
"Hey honey, c'mere," her friend beckons. "Come tell Nialler what's going on."
Crawling up the bed, Harry settles right in front of Niall and lets her reach out to play with her curls where they fall just past her shoulders.
"The other night," Harry murmurs, church quiet, "when it was just the two of us, we kind of. I mean, we haven't done anything, but we kind of crossed a line I think? And now there's like, flirting? I mean, I guess it's flirting, or like, flirting adjacent? And. Yeah."
Niall has the decency to remain silent throughout Harry's piss poor explanation and not even laugh in her face about it.
"So," starts Niall, "you need some tips on how to snag him?"
"Niall!" Harry whines, shoving at her friend's shoulder.
"What? He's clearly into you! I think whatever you did, the work's already done, you know? But I can talk to Zayn or summa—"
"No, no, please don't talk to Zayn. Don't talk to anyone. Don't bring anyone else into this." Harry pleads, panic rising in her veins.
Niall falls silent and scrunches her brow. "I'm missing something."
Harry huffs a breath at that. "We have a rule," she explains readopting her small voice.
It takes Niall a second to cotton on before, "You've...never broken the rule before?"
Harry's head snaps up from where she'd been decidedly staring at her ankles. "No. Have you?"
"Not in so many words."
Harry's jaw drops and before she knows it she's grabbing for her pillow again to whack against Niall.
"You never told me this!" she says between blows. "And here I am pouring my heart out to you. It was Zayn, wasn't it? I knew it!"
"Hey, hey!" Niall yells back, trying to avoid the onslaught of pillow to the face. "We didn't do anything much, and it was ages ago, get off me!"
Niall battles her off until she has her hands pinned down to the mattress.
"Listen," she says, "I'm assuming you came to me for advice, so I'm gonna give you some."
Harry mentally puts her claws away, but keeps them close.
"You're issue is that Louis found his flirting bone, yes?"
"Okay. Well either tell him to fuck off, or," Niall lets go of Harry's hands and pulls her shirt so it hangs just off her shoulder, teasing, "don't let him best you at the game.”
Barreling off the stage, Harry feels a high in her veins and a tightening in her chest.
"Good show, lads!" someone shouts out as everyone makes their way behind the scenes, and Harry can still hear the crowd's cheers like it's in time with her pulse.
"It always is!" Niall yells back, obviously still giddy if the way she throws her hair about is anything to judge by. Someone comes slamming straight into Harry's back and she's not sure if it's her laugh or her attacker's she hears reverberating around her, but she doesn't have a chance to question it either as she gets hoisted in the air.
"I say we sacrifice the women!" Louis yells at the same time Harry shrieks, "Put me down, you menace!" Her request goes unresolved as everyone indulges in Louis's little post show ritual.
Hanging over Louis's shoulder, she sees Niall has been captured by Liam and is currently flipping off Zayn. Last night it was everyone wearing plaid who got "sacrificed." The night before it was everyone wearing a bandana or scarf. Funnily enough, Harry's fallen victim almost every night this week.
"I'm starting the think you're doing this on purpose, Tomlinson," Harry says, reaching out to slap his ass because really, it's right there.
That earns her little more than a shriek before Louis is charging across the room, jumping over obstacles apparently only visible to himself, and making Harry dizzy in the process. Even so, her smile still hasn't faltered since she first got on stage.
The shows are always the best part of Harry’s day, but they’ve gotten all the more unpredictable and invigorating since she started to take Niall’s advice. It had surprised Louis at first when Harry started really responding to his cranks on stage, so much so that he’d unintentionally given her the upper hand, a mistake he’s been sensitive about making ever since.
It’s ignited a bit of a competition between the two of them to see who can get the other the most riled up, with the added suspense of not getting caught by anyone else.
They still haven’t technically done anything to break the rule, which is why Harry doesn’t feel guilty when Louis brings her down a secluded hallway just out of sight of everyone else.
“Good show tonight,” she says as her feet hit the ground and Louis’s arm comes around her waist. “I think my favorite part was the jeans you’re wearing.”
Her hand reaches down to grip just above his knee and slowly graze up before squeezing. The air between them already feels heated, having shifted from squinty grins to hooded smirks so quickly.
"Could say the same for you, except I'm not a perv," answers Louis, but accompanying it with a graze of his own takes away the some of the bite. Leaning in closer, Louis lets his hand slip up higher and higher until it passes over her hip and comes up to her waist, gently rubbing the skin under her shirt.
"Guys, where the fuck did you go?" The muted shout comes from around the corner and they pull apart and straighten themselves out before Zayn rounds the corner a few seconds later. "Why do we always have to hunt the two of you down afterwards?"
The both laugh as they make their way over to him, making jokes about how they were planning to run away together but keep getting caught. No one seems to notice that they two of them keep shifting in their pants the entire way to the bus.
Life continues much the same for weeks after. Harry’s at the hotel breakfast bar one morning making a fruit bowl when Louis comes up behind her, making some excuse where he needs to squeeze in right behind her to reach for something and just ends up pressed to her back and playing with her neck until Paul comes over to join them for an apple.
Harry pays him Louis back on the bus later in the day when Louis is sitting on the couch and Harry decides the only decent place to sit is on his lap. It seems normal to everyone else, like it's just another episode in the HarryandLouis show. Harry uses it to her advantage, swiveling in Louis's lap and making him as tense and immobile as possible, until Liam challenges one of them in FIFA.
Louis gets frustrated at what he considers such a big loss on his side and pulls Harry into him on her way to soundcheck, attaching his lips to her neck and leaving a bruise just faint enough to not cause immediate alarm, but still obvious enough to put Harry in an awkward position for explanations should anyone notice.
Harry responds by wearing her favorite red top, sheer and soft on her skin, but also notoriously known for making Louis's jeans tighter, and matches it with the perfect balance of kitten meets mischievous eyes that she knows drives Louis up a wall.
It’s hard to tell who exactly is retaliating when their next show gets rained on, but there is a wild amount of wet skin and clinging clothing, accompanied by one too many slips into the other’s arms. When they disappear after the show for longer than usual, no one questions them.
And so it continues to go on and on, round after round.
"You're getting fucking reckless," Harry says when Louis latches his lips onto her neck. They’re in another hotel tonight and currently situated on the bed in Zayn's room as he showers on the other side of the bathroom door.
"Just listen for when he comes out, yeah?"
They've become like addicts trying to catch a high lately, finding it more and more thrilling the closer they cut their breaks. Harry thinks dry humping on their bandmate's bed is the icing on the cake thus far.
It surprises both of them how easily they were able to fall into kissing, that there was never the awkward battle of should they or shouldn't they. Instead, it had just felt like a natural extension of their friendship, like maybe they should have been doing it all along. One moment they were laughing in Harry's bunk on the tour bus, the next they were sharing a breath. Nothing's exploded yet that they know of.
The thing is, Harry knows she's a good kisser; it's like she was born for it. She's got plump lips and she's known how to use her tongue to her advantage since she was thirteen, but she's never had a match quite like Louis. She wouldn't call him better than her, but he keeps her on her toes. It's not often that she can find someone who gets excited at all of her little tricks and still has the conscious mind to give it back. It works well with the dynamic they've created these past several weeks.
Atop his lap now, she moves her hands to scrap her fingernails along the back of his hairline and move his lips back to hers. Her mouth parts with her next breath and someone elicits a groan into the room as their tongues swipe over each other. Harry has the thought that she could stay like this at all night at the same second she realizes she can't hear running water anymore.
She pulls back with a gasp and turns her head to eyeball the door, before flinging herself off of Louis with a swear.
The door opens not seconds later, steam coming out to greet them, and Zayn emerges with a towel around his hips.
He pauses just outside the doorway when he spots them.
"What are you two doing?" he asks slowly with one eyebrow raised, his face cautious like he doesn't know if it's safe to enter. Harry realizes a moment too late that they must look suspicious, with her flushed skin and Louis with a pillow thrown over his lap to hide the tent in his pants.
Luckily, one of them is quick on their feet.
"We came to see you, silly," Louis tells him with a much steadier voice than Harry could manage right now. She tries not to take it personally.
"Why," quips Zayn, flat and unamused.
"Just wanted to see how you were! Perrie's coming in tonight, yeah?"
"Yeah," Zayn answers a little softer this time, fighting the smile that threatens to pull at the corner of his mouth. "Doesn't explain why you're in my room though," he says, coming back to himself.
"We just wanted to make sure you weren't driving yourself mad in here." It's Harry who speaks up this time, finally up to play along.
Zayn blinks at her. "What's wrong with your face?"
Harry's hand flies up to touch her cheek, feeling self conscious when Louis jumps in to save her.
"So what are you guys doing tonight?"
"Yeah," pipes Harry, "are you going to dinner?"
"What are you gonna wear?"
"Do the two of you have a color scheme?"
"Are you gonna wear the matching bracelets I made you that one time?"
"Alright, enough!" Zayn says, holding a hand up and cutting off the brigade. "I appreciate the concern, but I really think I've got it from here."
Zayn," Louis says rising to his knees. He has a hand placed over his heart and a pained look on his face when he speaks. "Are you—are you kicking us out?"
"Yes," Zayn deadpans, and is met with an instant and melodramatic gasp from Louis. Harry comes to kneel behind him in a second, placing a hand on his shoulder in faux calm.
"Now now, Louis," she says solemnly, "I think Zayn is in the right here. He needs to," she leans in closer to Louis's ear and locks eyes with Zayn for dramatic effect, "set the mood."
"Ooooh," Louis sings as a smirk grows on his face. "Are you two gonna do it?" he asks, bouncing up and down now.
Zayn only rolls his eyes and turns around to fiddle in his suitcase.
"You are, you are!"
"You can leave anytime now, really," comes Zayn's muffled voice from the suitcase.
Louis ignores him, instead opting to turn to Harry. "Beb, you're so beautiful," he says in a terrible excuse for an imitation of Zayn. "Wanted you for sooo long."
"Oh, but I've missed you so much, dear," says Harry playing along as Perrie. If Perrie were a Southern belle in an old movie. Harry's not the best at accents.
Louis valiantly fights back his laugh and carries on. "Can't believe you're finally here, beb."
"I've waited so long, my big boy!" Harry's voice raises a few octaves as she enunciates each word with a slap to Louis's chest.
"Let's not wait any longer," Louis says he's eyes getting comedically more hooded by the second.
"Take me!" Harry yells throwing her head back and her arms in the air as Louis comes barreling into her and they fall back on to the mattress landing sloppy kisses everywhere but the mouth.
"Ha, ha, it's been a great show," Zayn says his voice telling that he isn't as amused as he claims, "but seriously. Out!"
He lets them know he's serious when a towel comes out to whip at the bed. The two of them lunge off then, unable to fill their lungs with enough air before it's been heaved out again, and stumble their way out of the door and away from danger. Harry can't see past the tears in her eyes, so she lets Louis lead her into another room on their floor as they collapse just inside the door and try to come down.
"Fuck," Louis breathes eventually pulling the up to the bed. "M'lady," he says handing Harry a bottle of water. He flops down next to her, leaning on his elbows and letting himself lie out across the bed. Harry offers him the bottle when she's done, only the find him already staring.
"What?" she asks. Her voice is hoarse.
He reaches up then, lifts her face just under the chin and kisses her. It's softer than usual, maybe because they're still trying to catch their breath, maybe for something else. Either way, it makes Harry feel like she's floating off.
"Nothing wrong with your face," Louis mumbles against her lips.
She laughs at that and her inhibitions lower just enough to whisper back, "God, I want you."
"Your Perrie impersonation is almost just as bad the second time around," jokes Louis.
But suddenly Harry doesn't feel like joking, and she's pulling back just enough to say, "No. Just me this time."
Louis's lips stop moving against hers. At first, Harry thinks he's just pausing to mull over his words. However, when her eyes open it's to Louis staring only a breath away as his eyes flick across her face.
"What exactly are you saying, Haz?"
Harry's voice catches in her throat for a moment, but her greatest treasure has always been her confidence, so she pulls back and straightens her shoulders so she can level Louis with a look directly in the eye.
"I want to have sex with you."
It's Louis's turn to choke as he seems to have a visceral reaction to her words. "Jesus, Harry."
She can't help but snort a little at that. "What did you expect me to say? I want you to make me a taco?"
"Of course not, I'm a terrible cook."
"Louis," she chastises, begging him to take her seriously.
"Okay, okay, I'm sorry. It's just," he takes a pregnant pause to collect his thoughts, "we have a rule."
The end of his statement trails off weakly, so Harry knows even he's not really buying that story. "Don't you think we've broken that rule pretty thoroughly by now?"
"We may have bent it," he says.
It’s more like they beat it with a hammer, is what Harry doesn’t say instead opting to say nothing until Louis brings himself to the realization that that's a bunch of crap.
"Louis," she calls when she feels he's caught up, "I like you. And I trust you. And," she snuggles closer for emphasis, "yes, I want you." She’s got even more bravado talking to her best friend; she’s always been able to tell him anything and like hell if that’s going to stop today when they need it most.
"I," Louis starts weakly, "I agree with all of those things."
Harry grins wolfishly at him. "I'm just saying that--that if you're comfortable with it," she says as her fingers trace over Louis's ear, "then I really want to be with you now."
Louis nods at that and leans back over her so that they lie down on the mattress, lips melding together again. When he reaches for her hand, he has to pause again.
"You're shaking," he says, hushed and suspended over her.
"So are you," she notes. She watches as surprise flickers over Louis's face. He almost laughs until he notes her hand again.
"Are you sure about this?" he asks, pulling back.
"Yes," she almost yells, grabbing his elbow before he can go far. "It's a good kind of nerves, I promise."
A smile tugs at his lips. "For me, too." His eyes roam over her then, warm and fond. "But we don't have to do this now. We could wait. I could get like, candles and--"
"Louis," she cuts him off, "It's my first time with you, not my first time ever. This is perfectly fine."
He doesn't look convinced. She huffs out an exasperated sigh as she raises up on her elbows to catch him by the neck. "I'm sure," she murmurs, holding eye contact.
Louis has to physically bite back his smile when he comes around. "Okay," he says in return and climbs off the bed with an "I'll be back."
When he returns with the supplies, Harry's already peeled off her jeans and only shrugs when Louis notes it.
"They're kind of hard to get off. Figured I'd get it out of the way."
Louis's laugh feels like it's covering all of her skin when he climbs back up, having discarded his own trousers. From there, the room feels giddy with excitement even as they slide together. Harry feels the press of Louis against her.
Their lips meet each other again, this time as Louis's hand slips between them, expertly grazing over Harry's panties. She feels like she's floating just above them, her skin tingling more and more with each ring of Louis's thumb around her clit. Breathing proves much more difficult. Louis must cotton on as he lets go of her mouth, instead latching onto her neck. Harry whines at the skim of his teeth under her chin and scratches lightly at his back, hoping to convey how much she enjoys it.
Harry has almost forgotten where this was headed and is abruptly reminded when Louis starts to move down her body. Suddenly, this is very real.
It's not just one of their games because those never went this far, those never crossed the line they're about to. Her skin feels tighter now. The room's entire atmosphere takes a shift to sultry, and though Louis had just been rubbing her through her knickers moments ago, somehow him lifting her shirt off to kitten lick at her stomach seems so much more seductive.
"Alright?" he asks once he's worked his way down to her panty line.
"Mmm," she hums, raising her hips in answer, afraid of how enthusiastic her "yes" would sound right now. Because yes, god fucking yes, she is so okay with where this is going.
He smiles up at her before pulling down the waistband, and Harry flushes, realizing for the first time how wet she actually is. She almost wants to shy away from him before he lands a sweet kiss to the inside of her hip.
She imagines she sees a smirk just then, like Louis has a secret he can't tell her. She thinks she dreams it.
Except that Louis is really fucking amazing when he finally goes down on her. As in there is no way he doesn't know how good he is, and even if he didn't, Harry's sure she gets the message across to him.
He starts off slow, gentle in his venture, but even the initial contact if his mouth to her lips is enough to make her back careen off the bed. His hand is there in a second to hold her down, and Harry's grateful for it when she's met with his tongue next.
"Fuck," she groans, at a loss for words. Louis licks just inside her lips, avoiding her clit but coming close enough to keep her right on the precipice of insanity. "Louis," she hears her already erratic voice bounce in the room, scratching his head for the words she can't form. He obeys immediately, flattening his tongue and running it over her clit until she's shaking from it.
Once he seems satisfied with her whimpers, he drops a little lower on the bed and there’s a split second of suspense before his tongue enters her for the first time. Her whimpers turn into a full on yelp then, unable to hold in the massive groan from Louis stroking at her walls.
Harry thinks she might be babbling something, but the rest of her senses feel numb over the white hot intensity growing in her bones.
"God, you're amazing."
It takes Harry a moment to realize she's not the one who uttered the compliment. It's not until Louis's mouth is hovering over hers again that she catches it.
He's got two fingers slipped in her now, and at first she thinks he's just softly kneading about. Then she gets it when she notes the look of concentration on Louis's face.
"To the left," she croaks.
Louis grins, hikes her leg up to his shoulder and concentrates his fingers to one side.
"Wait, no, my left," Harry gets out between pants.
Louis nods dutifully and keeps his fingers moving in tight circles when he reaches the other side. Harry feels her entire body spasm its hardest yet when he finds it, and he instantly sets upon stroking up the left of Harry's cunt where she knows a little coin shaped bulb is tucked away.
He keeps his strokes meticulous on her g-spot, motioning his movements towards himself. Before, everything had felt chaotic. She could note every shake and tremor. Now Harry can't tell if she's moving at all, doesn't know if she's breathing, if she even exists anymore. All she can compute is a resounding zing of pressure that seems to build in her bones and travel outward and so, so slowly, but with an intensity that she can't even fathom.
When Louis's tongue plays at her clit once more, she's done for. Her orgasm rocks over her in waves that she thinks might last a lifetime as she spasms on Louis's fingers.
"M-mother. Fuuck’r," Harry slurs, her breath still coming in broken heaves.
She’s unsure how long it takes for her to come down. She eventually feels the press of Louis’ fingers against her cheek as her reaches up to swipe the moisture under her eyes.
When he’s done, he lays down right in her eyeline and captures her hand in his. “Fun time?” he asks, eliciting a bark of laughter on Harry’s behalf.
“How long have you been able to do that without sharing?” she asks shakily.
It’s Louis’s turn to laugh then as he absently noses at her shoulder.
“Wait, c’mere,” Harry says, reaching down between them. She’s met with the soft fabric of Louis’ boxer shorts. “Why are you still wearing so much clothing?” she asks, sounding affronted, especially considering she’s been stripped down to just her bra.
“Sorry,” Louis says, before peeling off his pants and t-shirt and helping Harry out of her bra. “Silly me.”
Their bodies slide together, making Harry feel like she’s on a sensory overload. She tucks her smile away into Louis’s neck but picks up where she left off to grab hold of him.
He feels heavy in her hand and impossibly hard. “Get off to eating people out?” she asks. “Noted.”
Louis chuckles into her ear. “You were very enthusiastic. It’s hot.”
Harry grins as she starts to stroke him, keeping her grip firm but her movements slow as she tries to tease him like he did to her.
“I know what you’re doing,” Louis says through clenched teeth, “but I want you to know I’m so close it might not even matter.”
Something inside of Harry clenches at that.
"Lou," she calls so low she doesn't think he hears at first.
"Would you think I was like, greedy, if I wanted, um," she trails off.
He pulls back to examine her and watches as her eyes flick to the nightstand where the condom rests almost forgotten.
“Really?" he asks, surprised. "You can barely keep your eyes open."
"What?" says Harry as if she can't believe it. "I'm totally fine."
"Eyes look a little droopy," Louis notes, not deterred.
"Louis," Harry says, squeezing at his cock in her hand. He whines into her ear then, his breath making her shudder.
In a flash she's on her back, and Louis is yanking her lower on the bed. "Yes, I would think you were greedy," he admits as he reaches for the condom. Harry can live with that.
She'd offer to help, but the sight of Louis rolling the condom down onto his erect self, his abs clenching with the effort and lashes fluttering in time is not something she wants to taint.
It's not until he reaches out for the lube that she goes to stop him.
"Too messy," she says, hand against his wrist. "I'll be fine."
He only pauses for a second before grabbing the tube anyway. "Best to be safe," he says with a kiss to the apple of her cheek.
He slicks himself up before dropping a forearm down next to Harry's face, his other hand resting at her hip as he nudges against her. The initial breach gives him some resistance before he slides smoothly into her. Harry welcomes the stretch with soft moans and her hands on the sides of Louis's stomach.
He holds his place inside of her for a while, only allowing a tight swivel of his hips and a feather light touch to her clit.
Harry soon meets his small thrusts, giving him the go ahead as he starts moving in earnest. His lips attach to her nipples, and she's suddenly reminded of how all of this started weeks ago. She feels a thrill of excitement run through her. Louis’s been so amazing this whole time; she just wants to give him something.
“Kinda wanna ride you,” she says as soon as the thought enters her head, no filter found.
Louis groans into her chest and looks up to eye her. “Kinda not going to say no to that,” he offers back, and Harry’s giddiness grows as she pushes him back. He slips out of her for a moment causing a communal whine, but soon she’s in his lap and he’s nudging inside of her again.
The angle is different like this, and she definitely approves. Harry wraps an arm around Louis’s neck and tests out her mobility. She fidgets on top of him before finding a rhythm, reveling in the stretch burning inside of her. She thinks maybe all Louis can hear after that is the sound of her ass slapping against his thighs, but all she can hear is the pant of Louis’s breath in her ear. She’d never let herself imagine what it would be like to experience the sound of his raspy voice being fucked out of him, but it’s quickly becoming one of her favorite sounds.
His ministrations to her clit become more aggressive and she yelps from her seat on top of him, throwing her head back so her hair tickles down the middle of her spine.
Her movements become erratic then as she fucks onto him with all she’s got, knowing she’ll feel this in her thighs tomorrow. All she wants is to figure out a way to ride Louis like this forever, but it proves unlikely when she feels herself coming hard and intense, unable to hold back any longer.
She bites down on his shoulder as her second orgasm rockets through her, continuing to ride it out, clenched tight around Louis’s cock. She notices he’s over the edge when he hugs her in a vice grip before toppling them down flat on the bedding.
“Christ,” someone mutters into the room, when Louis gains enough energy to roll off of her and toss his condom away. The room feels suspended in a post-sex haze. Harry’s bones are probably more mush than anything else now.
“Ten. One hundred percent would bang you again,” and Harry is almost certain it’s Louis who speaks this time. She laughs at that and lets Louis snuggle closer to her, falling asleep before she remembers to respond.
Harry wakes up to an empty bed, warm sheets, and a fully dressed Louis standing over her and rubbing her cheeks.
“Morning,” he greets her softly. “We’re leaving kind of early today, but I drew you a hot bath.”
Harry makes a mental note to marry him or something. Secretly, she thanks her stars that there isn’t any weird tension between them, because she’d be lying if she said the prospect didn’t scare her in her dreams last night. But so far, things are looking to be on the ups. Stretching out her limbs, she smiles up at him. “You gonna join me?”
“Hmm, maybe when I come back,” he answers, smoothing the corner of Harry’s lip where it’s fallen. “Liam says he needs to see me about something. Shouldn’t take long.”
Harry groans. “Fuck Liam,” she says tiredly, before her eyes snap open and she points a deadly finger at Louis. “Do not fuck Liam,” she amends.
Louis laughs at her dumb joke, pulling her into an upright position. “Go wash up,” he says fondly, “I’ll try to make it back before you prune up.” He ghosts a kiss on her forehead before making his way out the door, leaving Harry with soft sheets but sticky skin that makes a nice bath sound all the more appealing.
She’s not even completely off the bed when she hears a slam against the door from the outside.
"What on--" Harry mumbles to herself, growing slightly alarmed. Once she gets closer to the door, she can hear the sound of familiar voices on the other side. Her hand pauses on the doorknob as instinct tells her to keep quiet. Pressing her ear against the door, she senses the tension before she hears it.
"Come on, Tommo, this isn't a game," comes Liam's hushed voice, stern and serious.
"I know it's not," says Louis defensively.
"Then tell us what's up," Zayn speaks now. "And don't say nothing," he adds on quickly, "I saw the two of you yesterday, and it didn't look like it was all for show."
"We have the rule for a reason," Liam states, sounding slightly more level headed. "You can't play our girls around like this."
"I'm not playing anyone around, Jesus Christ," Harry hears Louis say. "And is it really necessary for you to still have me pinned to the door, Liam? I'm not planning to make a run for it."
"Right, sorry, mate." There's a distinct sound of rustling and shuffling of feet and Harry pinches her eyebrows together, trying to concentrate on whatever else she can hear.
She catches the tail end of someone speaking. "--there something going on or not?"
No sound comes from the other side of the door for what feels like the longest moment, so Harry presses herself impossibly closer to the door and holds her breath.
"No. There's nothing to tell." Louis says it so solemnly that even she might believe it if she wasn't completely naked except for the t-shirt she was wearing last night. She must have been standing there for longer than she'd realized because just then the door starts to open, and she's forced to fling herself behind it. Her heart attack is only nearly averted when she realizes it's Louis.
And then she finds her rage.
"Why did you do that, you slimeball!" she scream whispers at him, not completely sure they're in the clear. Louis's smile falters, seamlessly replaced by confusion.
"What?" he asks dumbfounded.
"Tell them that we weren't--" she gestures between the two of them to convey the words she can't say.
He blinks. "’Cause they would have killed me? And ‘cause they would have known we broke the rule."
Harry's eyes bulge at him. "Louis, this isn't sneaking kisses in a coat closet anymore. We're sleeping togeth--"
The realization hits them both at the same time like a ton of bricks.
"Holy shit," they whisper in awed unison. A moment passes where all they can do is stare at each other.
Harry can feel the bruises left on her skin like they're made of fire, and she knows exactly where all of Louis's matching ones are hidden under his clothing. Louis' her best friend, and now they're sleeping together--or have slept together? Should she assume this is a reoccurring thing? Somehow it never occurred to her that Louis may have assumed it was all about the chase for both of them. Goddammit, how did she miss something as glaringly obvious as a call for friends with benefits?
"Harry!" Louis breaks her from her reverie. He smiles when he finally catches her eye. "Your face is like an open book, you know."
She blushes at that despite herself, and it doesn't help any when Louis crowds into her space.
"Let's tell them. Today."
A silent conversation passes through their eyes and Harry's chest loosens when she realizes she can put her miniature freak out behind her. "Okay," she says, feeling worlds better already.
"Now, I do believe I heard something about a bath," says Louis, pulling her into his side as they walk towards the bathroom.
"You want to tell them now?" Louis asks as if it's the most incredulous thing he's heard all year.
"Well, yeah," Harry nods. "Why put it off?"
After a nice soak in their bath, they'd decided to head straight for the tour bus and figure out their game plan. Harry thinks there's no time like the present. Louis is having issues with that.
"I mean, we don't have to put it off, but we're about to spend ten hours on a bus with them," Louis rambles. "Why can't we tell them when the bus stops and I have somewhere else to run if things get--you know," he waves his hands above his head in what Harry assumes is a mime of 'chaos.'
"It's not gonna be like that," comforts Harry. She rubs a few soothing circles on the back of Louis' hand.
"I'm gonna be right there with you, so hopefully there'll be less throwing people against walls. And we'll be telling the truth instead of lying. Life will be so much easier, I promise."
"Ugh," Louis says, reaching into the fridge of their tour bus's kitchenette and finding a water bottle to take a swig from. "Okay, yes. Let's do this."
Harry claps her hands together in excitement, pulling Louis after her so they can go find their bandmates. It proves easier than they’d thought, because pulling back the curtain that separates the kitchenette from the rest of the bus, they find all three of them standing right behind it.
Harry may have been eager to get to them, but she’d be lying if she said her stomach didn’t swoop and fall to her feet upon spotting them. Their faces range from wolfishly devilish to emotionally scarred and scared for their lives.
“Do you think they heard us talking?” Louis stage whispers to her, earning a quick swat to the stomach.
They all stand there locked in some odd impasse where no one knows who should be the one to speak first. Liam eventually breaks the silence, moving the last step forward and looking them both in the eye.
“So, it’s true? You’re together?” he asks flatly.
Louis seems to gain some bravado as he wraps an arm around Harry’s shoulder. “Yes,” he states matter-of-factly.
“Like, dating together?” Liam asks.
That causes Louis to pause for a second, taking the time to seek out Harry’s gaze. They haven’t actually talked about the logistics, and putting it in words seems… big. But it only takes a fleeting moment for them to realize that yes, he and Harry are absolutely on the same page.
“Yes, Liam,” Louis answers, quickly enough that to no one else would have noticed a pause of any sort. “Harry’s my girlfriend.”
The room falls silent as that settles over everyone. Harry’s stomach fills with butterflies as the word “girlfriend” swims around in her head.
“Well, this is just awful,” Liam says eventually.
Harry’s face falls. She feels the twitch of Louis’s hand on her shoulder, can picture the exact way it looks when he’s about to get really angry, and she knows this won’t possibly end well.
No one has a chance to react before Niall shocks everyone by—screaming?
“Pay up, suckas!” she shouts, starting to dance in the small hallway. Harry’s brows pulls together as Liam and Zayn groan in unison. Then, in a feat that makes no sense at all, Liam takes out his wallet and starts counting bills to hand to Niall.
“Um?” Harry starts to say to no avail because for one, she doesn’t know what she should even try to say, and for another, Niall’s screaming drowns her out.
“You too, Zaynie, c’mon!” she sings.
Zayn just rolls his eyes. “No cash,” he mutters.
“Oooh,” teases Niall, gripping his chin, “it’s okay, we can stop by an ATM.” She proceeds to dance around the two of them, flashing her new money.
“Wait...” Louis says, dumbfounded, making Harry at least a bit more comforted in that she’s not the only one out of the loop. “You guys knew?”
“Well, no, but we’ve had a couple bets on when it would happen,” Niall explains. “I’ve had this year down for ages.”
Harry abruptly remembers her night talking to Niall right after the Louis situation started, and her eyes convey her realization. “Is that why you were so on boar—“
“Shh, shh, Harry dear,” she coos, rushing over to shove the cash over her mouth. “How about you too take a load off, and keep your mouth shut,” she cuts in harshly, “and I’ll buy you a nice taco when we find that ATM for Zayn, huh?”
“I can’t believe you were taking bets on us,” Louis says, still trying to catch up.
“I can’t believe you didn’t do this four months ago,” Zayn snarls, coming over to bop the back of Louis’s head.
“Wait, but—wait,” Harry tries again as Louis rubs the back of his head, disgruntled. “So, no one’s mad? Because you were mad before.”
“I’m thrilled,” Niall gloats, earning a few glares of her own.
“We’re not…angry,” Liam says, but he looks like it pains him to do so. He does nudge at Zayn to get him to agree, though. “We were just trying to make sure Louis wasn’t being dumb and messing with you earlier. But if you guys are official...” he trails off.
“We are,” Harry confirms.
“Uh huh. Are you sure you don’t wanna wait til like, the end of tour to do this,” asks Liam. “No reason,
“Sorry mate,” Louis almost sings.
It’s Zayn who’s sighs at that. “Fine,” he says. “We’re happy for you, honest, but I can’t be in here right now.” He backs away, reaching for his pack of cigarettes on the way out.
“He was really close to the mark,” Liam explains while Niall sniggers to herself.
And just like that, they all leave as soon as they came and Harry and Louis are still standing in the entryway of the kitchenette, confused but slightly tickled.
“That’s it?” Louis asks, unsurprisingly not convinced.
“Well, we still have to tell the crew. And our families. But yeah, um. I think we’re in the clear?”
Louis’s eyes bulge at her. “Do you have any idea how long that stupid rule drove me insane? And all this time they were just—expecting us to break it! I can’t believe this,” he screams to the now empty bus.
“Louis,” Harry calls gently,
“Is the offer still good to piss in their shoes cause I’ll do it now, I don’t care, I’ll—“
“Louis” Harry tries again and watches him deflate instantly.
His mouth twists to the side as he sidles closer to her. “Strange, but I’m kind of gonna miss our game now.”
Harry agrees that that was a pretty fun part of the past month. “We could play another game,” she suggests to an unenthusiastic Louis. “We can make everyone uncomfortable with our excessive PDA.”
She can practically see the wheels churning in Louis’s head. “Wanna go make out of top of Liam?” he asks mischievously.
“Absolutely,” Harry answers, not missing a beat.
“After you, m’lady.”
The fun’s really only beginning.