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Chances

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Harry Styles 1994-2013

The one thing that could be said about Harry was that he was a loving boy, and everyone that knew him adored him. Harry loved his job as a baker, and had planned to eventually take over ownership. Although his life was cut short, Harry will be dearly missed by his mother Anne, sister Gemma, step-father Robyn, as well as his other friends and family.

Louis eyed the article in his hands for several moments, feeling just as horrible reading it this time as he had a month ago. The edges of the newspaper clipping were starting to fray and the young, smiling face of his dead boyfriend was starting to fade from the amount of times Louis had traced it with wet fingers.

He had met Harry at his job at the bakery. Louis had made it a routine to get a large tea and a blueberry scone every morning. He liked routine. Routine was safe. Routine kept him from doing things that made him anxious, and not being anxious was good because Louis got horrible anxiety attacks and it was very embarrassing trying to explain his problems to people he had never met. People he never met fell under events not in his routine, and thus he was safe. Until the day his favourite coffee shop was closed. Louis had wrung his hands together nervously, where was he going to go now? He spotted a small white building down the road and offhandedly remembered that it was a bakery, not that he had ever been there. His anxiety at not having a hot cup of tea to start his day was starting to set in, because he found himself jogging to the door of the (thankfully) open bakery. It was very cozy, but so was the now familiar black fuzzing at his vision. That was the first time he’d ever met Harry, all tall and green eyes and curly hair. He’d smiled pleasantly despite the fact that Louis had raced to the counter like a madman. “What can I get for you this morning?” He’d asked, and Louis blinked.

“Yorkshire tea and a blueberry scone,” the shorter boy had replied, before promptly falling to the floor, bursting into loud, painful sobs. He was lucky he was the only person in the store other then Harry, who had immediately jumped over the counter the moment Louis had slumped. He wrapped himself around the teary boy, shushing him.

“It’s okay, you’re okay. Deep breathes alright? In and out,” He’d chanted, and eventually Louis had calmed down, enough to accept the tea and scone, which Harry had insisted was on the house. Louis, despite being off his routine, was instantly smitten.

The rest, they say, is history.

Harry was the only person Louis had ever let into his life fully. Not even his family had managed it, and his mom had stopped calling him after a full four months of no responses after he’d finished school and moved out. He didn’t really have any friends; anyone he’d talk to in his school days had ditched him after school ended. He was fine with that; most of them hadn’t really understood his anxiety anyways. Louis had social anxiety, and it was pretty bad. He sometimes couldn’t make himself get out of bed, or go to work (he was fortunate that his boss, Zayn, was one of the few people that understood his condition. He would call in sick and Zayn would just give an affirming noise and run the bookstore until Louis convinced himself to go in.). He had problems in large crowds, and got nervous easily in quiet spaces. In cases like the bakery, Louis would panic at changes to his schedule, and that was hard because he knew it was going to happen once in a while. He knew how lucky he was to have had Harry. The three years he had had with Harry were the best three years of his life.

Then he had ruined it.

It was the worst panic attack Louis had had in a while. The lady he normally saw at the optometry clinic had been sick, and the new man just eyed him to judgementally for his liking. He had run home in a state, and did the only thing he could think of, he called Harry. The other boy, sensing his panic over the phone, promised to hurry home despite the storm that had picked up since Louis had gotten back. They said their customary ‘I love you’ and hung up.

It was the last time he’d talked to Harry.

Louis learned later that night that he was Harry’s emergency contact. A policeman had called him near midnight, and Louis was in a frenzy. Harry was supposed to be back over seven hours before, and Louis had shouted down the phone, demanding to know where his boyfriend was. The response had made him drop his phone.

“We’re very sorry Mr. Tomlinson, but Mr. Styles has been in a fatal accident.”

Harry had hydroplaned in the pouring rain and gone over a bridge in a haste to get back. Louis felt a little part of him die that night to.

The rest of that month had been terrible. Not only was Louis not invited to the funeral, Harry’s family blamed him for his death, claiming he wouldn’t have been going that fast if not for him. Louis knew the rest of the town blamed him to. It was the reason he was looking at that news article one last time. He wanted to see at least one person that liked him before he ended his life.

Louis slipped the article into the back pocket of his jeans. He figured if he left it there, eventually when someone found his body they would know why he’d done it. Maybe they’d be happy, knowing that Harry had finally been avenged. He walked slowly to their once shared bedroom, and pulled the bottle of pills out of the drawer by his bed. He poured ten into his hand, and wondered if it would be enough. Louis then sat cross-legged on his side of the bedroom. He didn’t want to taint Harry’s side, which had stayed exactly the same since the accident. Louis held up the pills to his mouth, fully prepared to swallow them, when he stopped.

Tomorrow was Friday. Friday meant he had work, and he couldn’t miss work. Zayn had given him so many chances, and he hadn’t been to work in at least a week. Louis sighed in frustration. As much as he wanted to be done, he was also a slave to routine. He set the pills down on his side table. He would wait until Friday evening. At least that way he could also hand in his immediate resignation. It wasn’t much. But at least Zayn would be able to find someone else before the weekend.

Louis slowly crawled into his side of the bed. He hadn’t actually slept in his room in the time Harry’d been gone, but he figured this would be the last time, so why not?

Louis settled in between the covers, inhaling the faint scent of his boyfriend. It comforted him enough that he was able to drift off into the least fitful rest he had had in a long time.

 

-----

Louis shivered. He was freezing. In his hazy, sleep filled mind he must’ve pushed all the blankets off of him. Also, he probably fell on the floor, because his mattress was plush and cozy, and in no way felt like cold, gritty cement, like what his floor apparently felt like. He blinked slowly, opening his eyes to face his last day on earth. He sat up and, blinking rapidly to clear any traces of the dust the accumulated at the edges of his eyes during the night, finally took in his surroundings. What he saw made him do a double take.

He was sitting in a graveyard, and if Louis remembered correctly, it was not far from his (their) flat. Louis lifted himself off of what he assumed was a gravesite (he refused to turn around to check for a tombstone, so it was just a brave guess) and dusted himself off. He noticed that people seemed to be milling about, and judging by the amount of sunlight streaming through the shady trees dotting the area, Louis figured it must be mid-morning.

Louis began walking to the entrance. He figured he must have slept-walked into the newer part of the graveyard, and that he was fortunate he didn’t continue up the hill into the older area. He passed by several people in mourning, and was surprised that he didn’t see any of Harry’s friends or relatives there to visit him. Though it was physically impossible for Louis to bring himself to visit his boyfriend, he knew for a fact that Anne went to change the flowers on his plot every morning. He had seen the distraught woman walk past his house. Occasionally she would stop and stare for a moment, before shaking her head and moving on. It always sent a pang of guilt and self-hatred through Louis.

When he had finally left the quiet graveyard, Louis began the trek back to the flat. After patting down his pockets he’d come to the realization that he had left his phone somewhere in the house, and he wanted to call Zayn to tell him he was going to be late (since he normally worked the afternoon shift and wanted Zayn to know that he’d have to stay a little later). Halfway down the second block, Louis realized with a sinking feeling that he wasn’t wearing shoes. He blushed up to the roots of his hair and hoped no one noticed, since it seemed everyone was going to stare at him today.

That was the really weird thing about this walk. Normally people couldn’t be paid enough to look at Louis, but now it seemed like they were trying their hardest not to look away. Louis could swear that one man actually ran into a woman carrying several bags of groceries, causing her to spill them everywhere, and neither of them seemed to notice because their gazes were locked on the embarrassed, now jogging boy.

Louis couldn’t reach the flat fast enough, and by the time he was shoving his key into the lock he was on the verge of hyperventilating. He burst inside and slammed the door shut, leaning against it for a moment to catch his breath and calm down a little. When he figured he was a calm as possible he turned around to find his phone, only to be floored for the second time that day. Louis was a slob. He’d always been one. Harry had always been the clean one, and he had never minded cleaning up Louis’ messes, so long as he got a kiss or a cuddle out of it. When Harry had died Louis had let the flat go to shit, and he was almost one hundred percent positive that the house hadn’t looked like this in a very long time.

Where dirty dishes and old letters had been was now shiny, spotless space. Louis looked on in shock at his completely dust and grime free kitchen. In fact, the only thing that suggested anyone had been in the place at all was the clean pile of plates sitting in the sink. Louis nervously slunk from room to room only to find that they were all spotless minus a few minor details (a book sitting on the couch in the living room, a basket of clean clothes in the laundry room and a toothbrush by the sink in the bathroom) and he found himself a little afraid to go into the bedroom. Maybe he had done all of this in his sleep? That must’ve been it. He was just very good at tidying in his sleep.

Finally Louis found himself standing in the master suite. As expected it was entirely spotless, other then the unmade side of the bed. Harry’s unmade side of the bed. The more Louis looked around, the more he noticed that his side of the room looked untouched. There was dust covering his bureau and side table, but that wasn’t possible when he had just used it yesterday. He peered back at Harry’s side and noticed a pair of pants and a shirt was hanging off the chair he had kept by his personal bureau. The closer Louis looked the more he noticed the offending articles looked like the clothing Harry had been wearing the day he died. There was no way that those could still be in Louis’ possession, the hospital would’ve confiscated them when they found Harry. When Louis felt he couldn’t possibly be more baffled he looked at Harry’s end table and stopped. There was a photo sitting there. Louis went over and picked it up, squinting at it in the low light. It portrayed him and Harry. They were at the beach if their lack of shirts and beach shorts were anything to go by. Harry had his arm slung over the shorter, his lazy grin wide as he leaned his head on Louis’. Louis himself was also smiling brightly, one arm around Harry’s waist, and the other over his protruding stomach? Louis wondered if it was possible to have thin arms and the stomach of an alcoholic middle-aged man. In any case there was no way this picture was real, Louis would never go to the beach let alone stand for a picture shirtless. The question was, where had it come from, and why was it sitting on Harry’s table? Maybe Louis was losing his mind. Better yet, and more likely, someone had broken into his flat, cleaned it save for some minor articles, then moved all the dust from Harry’s side of the room to his and left a superimposed picture of him and his dead boyfriend on Harry’s side of the bed.

That was definitely it. It had to be.

Louis sighed.

He figured it might be for the best if he just dropped it. It wasn’t like it mattered anymore anyways, since Louis was going to be gone later in the evening. Speaking of that, Louis still hadn’t gotten around to calling Zayn. He hadn’t seen his phone in the room at all, so he figured he should scour the rest of his room to try and find it. Before he had a chance to put the picture down to search however, a voice made him stop in his tracks.

“Who are you?”

Louis instinctively clutched the picture to his chest, fear creeping up his spine and spreading to his extremities. He stood frozen to his spot, and the eerily familiar voice spoke again.

“I said who are you? Turn around.”

Louis, despite not ever wanting to feel heartbreak again, felt himself turning anyway, by some instinct to obey the deep voice behind him. He dropped the picture when he saw the man in front of him. The same green eyes, duller, and curly hair, though instead of it being unruly it was done up in a wavy quiff. The same large hands, always comforting, now held in loose fists. He was as tall as Louis remembered him, but where his smile normally sat was a borderline grimace. It wasn’t possible, it couldn’t be happening. Louis wanted to slap himself to make sure he was seeing what was in front of him. Instead he opened his mouth and very quietly asked, “Harry?”

Said man took another step into the room, looking at Louis like he’d just spontaneously combusted. After a moment of probable internal deliberation he responded with, “Louis?”

Louis blinked once before promptly fainting.

-----

The day Louis had died Harry was sure his life was over.

He had thought it would be wonderful to have a child with his mate, and for a while it was. Louis looked so cute, being full of his little boy. When he was having a good day Harry sometimes liked to reflect on his fond memories of his little Omega. He loved the way Louis could always make him laugh, no matter what. Or when Louis got lazy and wore his clothes, he thought it was so cute how his mate would blush and hide his face in his hands when Harry would comment on his little sweater paws. Harry remembered the time they went to the beach when Louis was six months along, and Harry had been so reluctant, afraid to let anything happen to his Omega, but Louis had convinced him and it was worth it. The only picture they’d gotten from that day was now the only thing Harry could look at without being reminded of the heart-wrenching guilt he now felt, even a month after his death. Everything had been going great for the couple, until it wasn’t.

Louis had gotten sick soon after the photo was taken. Harry had been forced to watch, unable to do anything, as a month and a half before his due date Louis had been rushed to the hospital after vomiting up what could only be described as torrents of blood. After agonizing hours of waiting, the doctor had come out of the emergency room, scrubs smattered with red, only to tell the frightened Alpha that neither his mate nor son had made it through. Harry remembered that night. He was allowed a few hours with his Omega and child, and it was the saddest thing Harry had ever experienced. He remembered kissing Louis one last time, feeling none of the life that was usually returned with their romantic gestures. He also held his stillborn son in his arms, looking at the closed eyelids and wondering what could’ve been beneath them. He had left that night and sat for hours in the parking lot until his mom had found him and brought him back to his family home where he had been unable to stop crying until the next day.

Harry remembered the funeral, how all of their friends and family had been there. He had held Lottie who was unable to control her frenzied weeping, and remembered thinking that he was the one who had caused it. He was the one who had caused everyone so much pain. He had killed his mate. He had failed his Omega.

Those thoughts continued to haunt him, even while he slept. They were still with him even in that moment, when he switched off with his friend Liam at the bakery. Barbara had given Harry ownership seven months into Louis’ pregnancy. He remembered Louis being ecstatic, knowing how much the place meant to his Alpha. If only Louis could have been there now to enjoy it with him. Not that he could enjoy it. In fact he only worked until noon everyday to make the pastries for the next, before giving the keys to Liam, who worked until closing time, and got the hell out of there. Harry hated being reminded of Louis involuntary, and that whole place gave him memories of his mate.

That particular afternoon he drove home, not expecting anything different then his usual routine. Harry would normally make himself some lunch, and then sit in front of his TV for a few hours before doing housework (not that the house wasn’t clean already, but sometimes it was nice for the wall behind the fridge to sparkle). Then he’d tend to his garden in the back before coming in for dinner and ultimately going to bed, where he would lie awake thinking until sleep either got to him or he got up for the next day.

That afternoon, Harry thought, wouldn’t be any different.

After parking his truck and getting inside, Harry decided on making a sandwich. He was about to walk past the kitchen table when he noticed a set of keys sitting haphazardly near the edge. They weren’t his. Upon closer inspection Harry noticed a tiny silver keychain that resembled a soccer ball. The same silver keychain he’d bought Louis for their second anniversary. Which meant that these were-

Harry refused to go there. Suddenly he looked up, smelling something different then usual wafting around the flat. It smelt familiar, like grass and peppermint and something oddly-

Not again. Whoever had decided this would be a funny prank had gone too far. Harry was going to put an end to it. He followed the smell throughout the house, wondering why the person had gone from room to room. Were they looking for something? Nothing was gone Harry noticed. He figured they must’ve been a shit burglar. He finally made it to the source of the smell. The master suite. He stepped into the entrance when he noticed a figure on his side of the room. He stood quietly for a moment, wondering why the burglar looked so familiar. He decided to find out.

“Who are you?” Harry asked, not unkindly. He was afraid if the burglar was armed they might kill him if provoked. Fortunately for the Alpha the figure on the other side of the room just stiffened, clutching what appeared to be his favourite photo of him and Louis to his chest. Harry needed to know who this was. He decided to use his authoritative voice.

“I said who are you? Turn around.”

He was glad he left no room for discussion as the shorter man slowly turned to face him. What he saw made him freeze. It made him realize that the keys and the smell made sense.

It was Louis. There was no other explanation. He looked different though. His hair was a little longer, beginning to curl around his ears. His eyes looked less blue, and they reminded Harry of the ones he saw everyday in the mirror. He was quite frankly a mess. There was dirt coating most of his clothing, his shoeless feet were matted with dried bits of leaves, and there were small branches sticking out of his hair. He lacked the tummy bump that he had been buried with, as well as the silver promise ring that normally hung around his neck, but it was Louis all the same. His musings were cut short when the small boy in front of him spoke.

“Harry?” He asked so quietly, and Harry felt his heart break at the undertones of anguish he heard in the other’s voice. He took a step forward, unsure of what to do. What he really wanted to do was scoop Louis up into his arms and never let him go. Even if this was a dream it was still better then the nightmare he’d been living for the past month. Somewhere in the back of his mind he wondered if this was a trick. If someone had gone to this length to rob him? But Harry knew that couldn’t be it. This was Louis. He figured he’d left the poor boy hanging long enough, and the Alpha did sort of want a confirmation to what was happening so he decided to respond.

“Louis?” He asked, watching for a reaction.

Said boy merely blinked at him once before fainting.

Harry was lucky he was close; he managed to catch his upper torso before it hit the ground. Gently he scooped up the smaller boy, cradling him into his chest and walking back over to his side of the bed. He carefully pulled back his covers and tucked Louis in, making sure he was completely covered up to his neck before reaching for the chair by his bureau and sitting on it when it was within reaching distance of the other boy. While he waited for him to wake up, Harry reflected on times gone by, when he’d done this for his mate, and sighed. Harry wanted to know what was going on so badly, but for now, he waited.

-----

Louis awoke to the smell of Harry. It was stronger then normal, and had a muskier tinge to it. Louis loved it, and turned his face into the blanket over him to try and inhale more of it. He froze when he heard a breathy chuckle on his left side. His eyes snapped open, taking in the sight of the Harry from before perching on a chair and watching him fondly. “Hi love,” the other Harry spoke, “How are you feeling?”

Louis screamed. His senses went into overdrive as he ducked under the covers. Thiscan’tbehappeningthiscan’tbehappeningthiscan’tbehappening played on repeat in his head as tears started to openly flow down his cheeks. Why was life so cruel?! First it took away Harry, and then it gave him hallucinations of him right before he wanted to end it. Maybe he should’ve just offed himself the day before. He found it almost impossible to breath in between his harsh sobs and the blankets trying to suffocate him all at once. Louis screamed again in agony, pulling his legs to his chest and heaving violently.
“Louis!” He heard the other Harry shout, as if from far away, before he was suddenly exposed to the air in the room as the covers were ripped away from him. He tensed even more as he saw the taller boy looking over him frantically. There wasn’t enough air in the room, and now the walls were closing in to. Louis tried to curl himself into a smaller ball as if to protect him from what was happening. He felt a hand on his back, trying to comfort, but he cried out in shock and tried to recoil from it.

“GO AWAY!” Louis screamed in terror. He’s so scared; he hadn’t had a panic attack that bad in a long time. He needed air, or water, or Harry. He needed Harry so bad and he couldn’t have him because he was gone and- “Goawaygoawaygoawaygoawaygoawaygoaway! Why won’t you go away! I want Harry, I need Harry!” Louis shouted frantically, unable to get anything more out as his throat tightened further, constricting the lack of air going into his lungs. Grey spots were beginning to dance across his vision and he thought faintly he might get what he wanted last night after all. He felt like he’d probably die from a heart attack when he felt someone press up behind him.

Other Harry contoured his body to fit around Louis, effectively caging him in; protecting him. Even in his state Louis was baffled. How could this other Harry even know what to do in this situation? Gently Harry manoeuvred his arms around the frightened boy. He slipped one arm underneath Louis, stretching it under his shirt and placing his hand over where his heart was. Louis wondered if he was feeling how fast his heart was beating. Harry stretched his other arm over Louis’ side and rested his other hand comfortably on the exposed skin of his tummy. Using his fingers Harry carefully swirled nonsensical patterns underneath his bellybutton. Pressing impossibly closer, the taller boy pushed his head behind Louis’, and slowly starting to whisper to him in a calming tone.

“Sweetheart, I know you’re frightened, trust me I know, but I want you to do something for me? Breath for me? Just follow me and I promise you can do it. Slow deep breathes Louis, yeah, just like that, in and out,” Louis followed his commands, felt Harry’s hand over his heart and the soothing motions on his stomach lulling him into relaxation. In that moment he realized that it must’ve been Harry that was holding him, no one else had been able to do what he was currently doing.

When Louis had finally gotten his breathing back to a normal rate, Harry paused, and for one terrifying moment Louis thought he was going to leave him. Instead Harry removed the hand pressed to Louis’ heart and moved it up to his head, where it cradled Louis’ temple lovingly. Then the taller boy kissed Louis behind the ear, and started murmuring to him. The thumb underneath his eye was brushing away his tears and Louis realized he was still crying. He slowly tuned in to Harry’s quiet whispering.

“You did wonderfully love. Now I want you to stop crying, okay? I’ve got you, there’s nothing to be scared of. You’re safe here, I won’t let anything harm you,” Harry breathed, and even though Louis was fairly sure he didn’t know this version of his dead boyfriend he still believed him all the same. The smaller boy managed to get his tears down to the occasional hiccup, and he felt Harry smile into his neck. “There you go, good man. Now I’m going to turn you around, alright?” Louis realized he was waiting for an answer, so he nodded slightly. Without replying Harry carefully flipped Louis so they were facing. Louis smiled shakily at him and Harry returned it. “Hey,” the taller boy said, arms around Louis’ waist, “Feeling a little better?”

Louis smiled, shyly winding his own arms around Harry’s torso. “Loads, thank-you,” he replied, thumbing at one of the familiar bumps in Harry’s spine.

“Good,” Harry said, placing a feather light kiss to the top of his head. Almost immediately he drew back and spluttered, and Louis watched as Harry pulled what appeared to be a little stick from between his teeth. Realizing they were from his hair Louis blushed. “I’m so sorry, I’m quite dirty and-“ Louis was cut off by a chuckle from Harry.

“No it’s all right love. No harm done, don’t worry. But I do agree that you may be a little worse for wear. How about I grab you some clothes, you can go take a shower, and I’ll heat us up some dinner?” Harry said, waiting for Louis’ reaction. Pursing his lips (adorably), the smaller boy pretended to think about it.

“I think that sounds acceptable,” He replied, causing Harry to let out a chuckle. He helped Louis sit up, before walking to his bureau to pull out a sweater and a soft looking pair of sweats. He handed them to Louis, and watched as the smaller stood up.

“Okay, I would show you where the bathroom is, but I followed your scent from there to here so I figure you know where it is. I’ll see you in a little bit Lou,” Harry said, hugging Louis close as if he was going to a different country for a month. Louis was confused about the scent comment, but chose to let it go for anther time. At that moment, as he and Harry walked out of the room, he really just wanted a change of pace and a chance to clear his head before the inevitable talk about what the hell was happening.

------

Louis stepped out of the bathroom, thoroughly refreshed from his shower. He was surprised that when he had gone for the shampoo, Harry only seemed to own his favourite brand. He was a bit disappointed, at this point Louis figured this was probably a fairly elaborate dream, and since it was a dream why couldn’t he use Harry’s shampoo? On the bright side, Louis was now happily swamped in Harry’s clothing, and hoping that said boy did not walk into the hallway Louis held his hand to his nose and inhaled Harry’s musky scent.

That was another weird thing about this dream. Harry had mentioned something about smelling him, and even though Louis normally couldn’t differentiate between different peoples smells very much, now he could very clearly tell what Harry smelled like versus other people’s smells (he hadn’t thought about it much, but he had smelt lots of different people individually, it was a terrifying thought). Also, when he was washing his nether regions Louis could’ve sworn his fingers came up a little sticky, and that was abnormal, considering Louis was fairly sure his penis indicated he was a guy, and guys just didn’t excrete clear liquid from their asses. The smaller boy just chalked it up to being in a dream, and continued down the hallway to the kitchen, where he could smell toast and bacon being cooked.

Louis slid himself into his seat at the kitchen table, and grinned at Harry who had turned around to place a hearty plate of bacon and eggs in front of him. “I haven’t cooked for anyone in a long time, I hope you enjoy it,” he said, watching Louis’ reaction when he took his first bite. Louis smiled, it tasted exactly as he remembered it.

“Harry this is wonderful, thank-you,” he said, grinning happily around a mouthful of toast. Harry smiled a little dopily at the compliment before eating his own food, a little less robustly then Louis. It caused Harry to spill out a small bubble of laughter.

“You can slow down love, I made enough for seconds,” Harry started, watching Louis’ expression change from ravenous to hopeful. Harry took the empty plate from Louis’ side of the table, going back to the stove to fill it with a second helping. “It’s like you haven’t eaten in days!” Harry exclaimed, watching Louis hungrily attack the second plate of food.

Louis stopped for a moment, and said, “Well I haven’t,” as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. Harry abruptly put down his fork.

“What are you talking about?” He asked, staring at the boy across from him.

Louis just shook his head, laughing a little. “Oh come on Harry, this is a dream so you should just know this anyways! But I guess there’s a reason for everything in dreams right?” Louis gave Harry a cheeky grin. It wasn’t returned.

“So as you know or I assume you know since you are in fact a figment of my imagination, when you died, it was hard,” Louis started, watching Harry draw in a breath. He looked slightly devastated, which was weird, because normally in Louis’ dreams Harry was blaming him for his death, or well, already dead. “I couldn’t even go to your funeral! I have no one Harry, you know that, but that’s okay because I’m utterly worthless anyways, my anxiety is just too hard for others to deal with, so why bother right?” Harry looked like he wanted to cry, Louis wondered why; he already knew all of this. “So I figured ‘Hey, why continue on like a zombie?’ And tomorrow after I get off from work I’m going to take ten Tylenol and fall asleep. I don’t think I’ll get to see you because you’re higher up and where I’m going there’s no angels, but at least I won’t be a burden anymore. And the pain will finally go away,” Louis said with some finality.

“What pain Louis?” Harry asked, heartbroken. Louis laughed a little hysterically, causing Harry to grip the edge of the table.

“You’re gone Harry! The pain is from not being able to see you, or touch you, or be near you. I can’t look into your eyes anymore, or hear your laugh,” Louis’ next laugh came out like a sob, “I miss you so much,” He whispered, setting his fork down and putting his face into his hands. He heard Harry get up, but refused to open his eyes. Harry kneeled down in front of Louis and put his hands on his knees.

“Lou,” Harry started. Louis couldn’t bear the desperation in his voice. He shook his head. “Louis, please open your eyes,” the other boy begged. Louis felt himself lower his hands, blinking tearily at the boy in front of him. He absently wondered why he kept obeying Harry’s commands. Harry reached up slowly, wiping the moisture away from Louis’ eyes. “Louis, can I ask you to do something with me?” Louis nodded. “Will you come with me on a walk? I want to show you something.”

Harry looked so determined, and even to the dream version Louis couldn’t say no. “I-Alright Harry, I’ll go with you.”

Harry nodded, getting up and then pulling Louis up with him. They walked to the front door together and Louis stood awkwardly as he pulled on his jacket and shoes. When he realized Louis wasn’t following his lead, Harry turned around, gently tugging the shorter boy closer to himself and rubbing comfortingly up and down his arms. “What’s wrong?” He asked, sensing Louis’ discomfort.

“I don’t, I don’t have shoes or a jacket,” Louis said, feeling dread beginning to creep in behind his eyes. Harry quickly put a stop to it, kissing the top of his head.

“Don’t worry love, I’ll be right back,” he replied, watching relief flash across the other’s features. Harry scurried off leaving Louis alone to contemplate where Harry wanted to go. He didn’t have much time to think about it however, as Harry was soon back holding a dusty coat and a pair of white Keds. “These should fit I think,” Harry said, holding out the articles for Louis to take. Louis took them quietly. He set the shoes on the floor, and deftly shook out the jacket. He noticed that it looked like one that he owned, but slightly dustier and a little discoloured from use. It fit perfectly, and that was all that mattered to him. Then he slipped the shoes on (the laces were already tied, he liked whoever these clothes belonged to) and turned to see if Harry was ready to go. He was surprised to find the taller boy staring at him with his hand over his mouth. He looked sad, and Louis wondered if maybe he should take the clothes off.

“I’m sorry,” Louis apologized, going to tug off the jacket. Harry stopped him, placing his hand over the others. Louis stilled.

“No love, they’re perfect. Why don’t we go now?” Harry asked, holding the door for Louis to step through. Louis nodded his thanks, stepping out into the frigid Autumn air. He crossed his arms, wondering how he had missed that yesterday, and also why could he now feel it today? This was one of the most realistic dreams Louis had ever had. He turned to watch Harry step out behind him and lock the door. Harry turned back and their eyes locked. Louis turned away, embarrassed. “Ready to go sweetheart?” Harry asked, waiting for Louis’ signal.

Louis nodded. “Yes,” he replied, automatically reaching for Harry’s hand. They both froze, Harry in shock and Louis in bashfulness. He quickly dropped Harry’s hand. He had completely forgotten that this wasn’t his Harry, and he had no idea when dream Harry would snap, he didn’t want to aggravate him further then he already probably was. Instead of the harshness Louis thought he would receive, he was shocked to feel his hand engulfed in heat. He looked down to see that Harry had grabbed his hand back, and felt his blush intensify. Harry just smiled sadly, lacing their fingers together.

“Is it alright if we walk? It’s only a few blocks down from here,” Harry asked, and Louis nodded. Truth be told, they wouldn’t have been able to drive, even if Louis wanted to. He was absolutely terrified of cars after the accident, and hadn’t been able to get in one since. He noticed as they left the yard that Harry appeared to own an older blue truck, something which, Louis realized, his Harry hadn’t had. Harry had owned a small red beater, but Louis remembered Harry had been looking into getting a truck a couple weeks before he died. He abruptly turned away, unwilling to think about his dead boyfriend any longer. He felt the current Harry squeeze his hand, and he returned it.

“Did you live here before?” Harry asked, and Louis wondered if he was trying to keep things from getting awkward. He really hoped no one was staring at him like yesterday.

“Yeah, I did. You found the place actually; I’m shit at that kind of stuff. You wanted to find somewhere close to the bakery, but also within walking distance of my job as well, so you found there. I still live there, but I don’t keep it as immaculate as you of course,” Louis chuckled. Harry was silent for a moment, before continuing.

“Do you work at Zayn’s bookstore?” Harry asked. Louis looked at him in surprise before grinning. Harry looked at him slightly confused.

“Well this is a weird dream. I had never told Harry about Zayn, so I guess I’m just trying to spice things up a bit before moving on,” Louis said casually. Harry gripped his hand harder, willing away his uneasiness at his Omega talking about suicide so casually. He hoped in a few minutes he’d be able to clear anything up. “But yeah I still work at the bookstore, though I don’t know why Zayn doesn’t just fire me, I’m probably awful. I can’t even book keep anymore, not since- well you know. Zayn was probably the only person I interacted with on a daily basis, other then you. He was nice. He hated me,” Louis explained casually, as if he was talking about the weather.

“Why would you think that?” Harry asked, giving Louis the same look he had at the table.

Louis shrugged. “Everyone hates me, it’s just a fact Harold. Don’t worry about it, you should just know this, I don’t understand why you keep asking me all these questions you know the answers to.”

Harry looked like he wanted to reply, but before he had the chance he was stopping and pointing to an old, open wrought-iron gate. “We’re turning here love,” he said, pulling Louis with him into the cemetery the smaller boy had left earlier that day. Louis looked around confused, why did they come back? What could Harry possibly want to show him here? Louis was afraid that maybe this Harry was going to push him into a gravesite or something. He warily followed Harry along the same path he had walked along to leave. He stopped them in front of two tombstones, one quite a bit larger then the other. “Why are we here?” Louis asked, looking to Harry uneasily. Harry didn’t reply, too fixated on whatever was written on the larger marker. Louis slowly turned to look at it. All the air in his lungs suddenly left him.

Here Lies Louis William Tomlinson
Loving Son, Brother, Father, and Husband
He will be missed
1991-

Louis inhaled sharply, trying to see Harry through his on setting tunnel vision. “What’s going on?” He asked frantically, ripping is hand away from the taller boy to wrap his arms around his chest.

Harry watched him steadily. “Louis, I brought you here to show you my Louis, to show you that you aren’t dreaming,” he said, watching Louis’ eyes bug out.

“Your Louis?! Harry what the hell is going on?” Louis said, the panic ripping through him in waves.

“My Louis died giving birth to our son,” Harry said, pointing to the smaller tombstone.

Jacob Carter Styles-Tomlinson
Beloved Son
The world is dark without you
August 21st, 2013

Louis took one look at the tombstone, and ran.

------

The moment Louis took off he knew exactly where he was going. He needed to know for sure if what was happening was real or not, if this was a dream or something else. He was lucky it wasn’t that far from where he just came from, because Louis definitely wasn’t an athletic person, and with a panic attack on the way his lungs couldn’t handle a long distance run. Louis finally saw the large oak tree he was looking for, but he stopped abruptly when he got close.

Louis had only been to Harry’s grave once, to say goodbye, and to apologize. His family had bought a plot of land under a large oak tree, probably because they knew Harry would appreciate the view. Louis remembered standing under that tree for a long time, just staring at the only indication of his boyfriend existing on Earth, before walking home to avoid Harry’s family.

Where Louis remembered the dark ebony tombstone there was nothing. No stone, no dug up dirt, no marks to indicate there had been any burial there at all. The panic finally caught up with him and he snapped. Louis felt himself breath heavily. He had to wake up, that was all he had to do. He knew that if he wanted to wake up, all he had to do was smack himself hard, which for him was foolproof. Every time Louis was sure he was going to hit the ground from falling off a building or drive over a bridge into the murky waters below, the moment he hit something he would be awaken. All he had to do was find the right trigger. Louis searched until his eyes landed on the tree behind him. Perfect. He ran at top speed toward the thick trunk, not bothering to brace for an impact.

BANG

Louis flew back to lie flat on the ground. He was still in the graveyard. He felt himself shaking. That was impossible, Louis always woke up when he hit something. He searched around for something else to hit himself with, and spotted a large rock not far off from the tree. He stood up and ran for it, swinging it up off the ground and hanging it over his head. Louis figured dropping it on his head should do the trick. He closed his eyes and was about to let it go when someone grabbed him from behind, forcing him to fall into a sitting position in the v of the other’s legs.

“Drop it!” Harry commanded from behind him. Lois forced himself to ignore the command, rock still high in the air.

“No!” Louis wailed, panicking all the worse now that he couldn’t wake himself up. He attempted to drop the rock anyways, only to have it pried out of his hands by long fingers and thrown far out of reach. He sobbed hysterically, simultaneously trying to pry himself out of Harry’s grip and scratch at his face to see if that would wake him up. The taller boy allowed neither to happen, however, because as soon as he realized what Louis was trying to do he grabbed his hands from his face and held them to Louis’ chest, wrapping his arms around the smaller boy so tightly that he was rendered immobile. “Get off of me!” Louis shouted angrily, “I just need to wake up, why are you doing this?!”

“You’re hurting yourself Louis and I absolutely cannot allow that to happen. You need to stop struggling and calm down before you give yourself a heart attack, and accept that this isn’t a dream and I am just as real as you are. I’m going to hold you like this until I know you’re relaxed enough to talk about what’s happening, alright?” Harry explained, keeping his tight grip around his Omega. Louis continued to struggle for a few minutes, sobbing and breathing rapidly, but eventually he wore himself out, and loosened his hold to a waist hug when the shorter boy slumped back against his chest.

Harry nuzzled into Louis’ hair. “Okay. Now I know you have a lot of questions, why don’t you go first, and I’ll think of some for later?” Louis nodded, leaning up to blink tiredly at the Alpha. Harry reached a hand up to wipe the stray tears sneaking down Louis’ cheeks, keeping his other arm snugly tucked around his stomach.

“How did your Louis, um, die?” Louis trailed off lamely. He figured he had just picked the worst question to start with, but Harry answered anyways.

“We had been together almost three years when you told me you were pregnant. I remember being overjoyed at the thought of having a child with you. My mom was ecstatic that she’d finally have grandkids, and so was your family. I think Lottie wanted to adopt him,” Harry chuckled; Louis nodded for him to continue. “Seven and a half months in you got… Sick. Neither of us was expecting it. The last time I saw you (Louis realized the ‘alive’ was implied), was when you were dropped onto a gurney to be rushed into the ER. You were so scared, and I was so mad because everyone around you knew but they wouldn’t let me go in with you for the C-section. I remember telling you not to be frightened, that you’d be okay soon. I was such an idiot,” Louis felt Harry shake his head. He frowned, sympathetically rubbing the taller man’s arm. Harry hummed contentedly into Louis’ hair, taking a moment to compose himself before continuing. “The doctor allowed me to see you and our son before your bodies were taken from the room. You looked so peaceful lying there, like you were sleeping. I held our son, it was, hard. Then you were gone, and the funeral was harder, since everyone was crying on me and I had to keep myself composed for you. I just wanted to give you the best eulogy, the best send off. Everyone tells me I did, but I know I still failed you because I couldn’t protect you.” Harry had begun to shake a little, and Louis was worried he might start to cry.

“How can you be so sure this isn’t a dream?” Louis asked, trying to change the subject. It worked, Harry stopped shaking.

“I think the biggest indicator is your smell,” Harry said. Louis cocked his head, confused. “You have a very distinct smell, at least to me. It’s not bad, if that’s what you’re thinking (Louis had been, Harry was good at this). I’m pretty sure it’s a survival thing, so an Alpha can find their Beta or Omega easier in an emergency. Mostly I used it so I could find you in the grocery store,” Louis let out a breath of laughter. That made sense. “When you died, I couldn’t smell you anymore. Neither could our parents, or our friends. That was the worst, your scent is so comforting, ‘cuz it means you’re close by. I haven’t been able to smell it in a month. However, earlier this afternoon I smelt it again. There’s no way anyone can replicate a smell, because our smells differentiate who we are. I mean you can smell to right? I remember you always telling me that my smell seemed muskier then other peoples,” Louis nodded. As confusing as the conversation had become, Louis definitely agreed with that. “That’s good, it means we’re still mated.” Harry smiled.

“What do you mean ‘mated’? And what is an Alpha and Omega? Do they have to do with the pregnancy thing? Because there’s no way I can get pregnant, I mean I’m a guy, I don’t have the parts for that,” Louis rambled, feeling Harry lean his chin on the top of his head. He noticed that this Harry was terribly patient. Louis’ Harry would’ve already been tickling him at this point. Harry nodded, seeming to gather his thoughts before he continued.

“Are you sure you’re okay sweetheart? Maybe we should go see a doctor before we continue,” Harry had begun to gently press his fingers to different parts of Louis’ head, testing for bumps or pain from a concussion. Louis wanted to swat his hands away but the gesture was actually somewhat comforting, so he let it continue.

“I don’t need to see a doctor. If you really believe that I’m not your Louis, then I must be a Louis from somewhere else, correct?” Harry nodded, and Louis continued. “Right. So, that means that it’s possible that where I’m from those things don’t exist, and that would be the truth. You keep talking about how I smell, but to be frank unless Harry had been rolling through dirt (he had done that once) I wouldn’t be able to smell him unless we were touching. I think the only time I’ve ever heard of Alphas and Omegas was a young girl who had come into the shop once telling her friend about ‘The best fanfic she had ever read’ so I’m guessing that’s some sort of kinky fetish or summat?” Harry tried his best to stifle a laugh. Louis pressed on, “And then you said I died in child birth and there is a tombstone for your son but in my world men can’t get pregnant, it’s just not possible. How can you possibly do that here?” Louis still felt baffled by that. He waited for Harry to reply.

“This may take a while to explain, since I haven’t really thought about this since A/B/O Dynamics class in high school. To start, when two people, generally Alphas and Omegas, decide to mate, it’s when you have sex. So when you and I mated, it was when I bit you. It means we soul-bonded, so you will always be mine and I will always be yours. We aren’t married, I mean we probably could be, but it’s more a title then anything unless two Betas wish to be together, because they can’t bond like we can. When two people bond, the smell of one becomes the most prominent smell to the other. That’s why I can smell you from a mile away and you can smell me despite the fact that you say you’d never been able to before. To people outside the bond our smells will have merged when we bonded, basically telling them the two bonded are off the market. It’s never wise to mess with bond mates, especially with an Omega. To elaborate on your next question, there are three different kinds of people; Alphas, Betas, and Omegas, and to most people, it would be in that order. Alphas are the dominant people. We tend to be more aggressive and commanding. Next are Betas, or regular humans. I suppose everyone could be considered a Beta where you’re from (Louis giggled) since they have no particular defining qualities. Omegas are the submissive people. It’s what you were and continue to be. All Omegas despite gender have the ability to bear children. For the most part Betas will marry to other Betas and Alphas will mate with Omegas, for the specific reason of heats and ruts. Unless on suppressants, an Omega will go into heat about once every three months. Basically it means that the Omega will become a sex-crazed machine for about three days, and the only way to sate them is to knot them, which is where the Alpha comes in. When an Alpha, um, cums, for lack of a better word, with an Omega, a large bump, or knot forms at the base of their penis, if the Alpha is male, and it will effectively lock them together for a length of time while the Alpha anatomy tries to get his Omega pregnant. That’s what happened with us when you went off your suppressants. Suppressants are basically birth control, and the bonus is that they limit you to about three heats a year. Ruts are when Alphas become super sex-crazed. It only happens about twice a year but I hate those times because we become very instinctual and even though it’s two days the amount of times I’ve had to patch you up after being rough with you without realizing is to much for my liking. That’s the basics I think, other then an Alpha lives to please an Omega and vice versa. Have you noticed recently that there are a few things I’ve asked you to do that you can’t help but obey?” Harry asked.

“Yes! Why is that?” Louis answered, glad that it was actually a real thing and not just him going insane.

“Okay, well that’s my ‘Alpha voice’. When an Alpha uses a certain tone or inflection on a Beta or Omega they have no choice but to obey the command, unless they are able to force themselves out of it. Most of the Alphas I know, myself included, will only use it to keep their Omegas safe, but there are Alphas that abuse the ability, so you always have to be wary of that. “ Harry explained. Louis was actually quite glad that he had taken the time to go over that stuff because it cleared up a lot of things for him.

“I think my last question would be if I ever was able to go against your command?” Louis asked. Harry laughed, clearly delighted with the memories.

“Yes, you did. When you were mad at me, or when you thought I was doing something stupid. Sometimes when I thought you were going to do something stupid to, and those times were the most aggravating because I was always positive you were going to kill yourself,” Louis smiled, glad he hadn’t changed very much in that sense.

“Do you have any questions for me?” Louis asked. Harry pursed his lips in concentration for a moment before replying.

“My only question is why did you come to this spot? I know I see people here sometimes when I come to visit, but you don’t strike me as someone who would want to spend very long in a cemetery,” Harry commented, and Louis internally agreed with his point.

“Well,” Louis started, “I came here because in my world this is where you were buried. I wanted to know if you were still here and you weren’t. It’s all a little confusing.”

Harry nodded in silent agreement. Both of them sat silently for a while, thinking, until the sun started to disappear behind the horizon. Harry broke their silence by asking, “It’s starting to get dark. Why don’t we go home? I’ll cook us some dinner and we can watch a movie? I think it’s safe to say we’ve had a long day.”

Louis nodded, smiling when Harry helped them both get up. Louis swayed a little and Harry steadied him carefully. “Are you sleepy?” Harry asked knowingly.

“Yes,” Louis answered quietly. He figured there was no point in lying; it had been a long, endlessly confusing day.

Harry responded by crouching down in front of him, reaching his arms behind him in a cue for Louis to get on his back. Louis looked at him warily, shifting on his feet nervously. “Sweetheart?” Harry asked after a few moments, turning his head back to stare at his Omega.

“I- I can walk, I don’t want to hurt you,” Louis said, blushing profusely. Harry sighed.

“Louis please, I promise you can’t hurt me, I’d really like to get you home safely love,” Harry reasoned. Louis shrugged in resignation before hopping slightly to get up on Harry’s back. The taller boy stood up when he knew he had a good, comfortable grip on the smaller boy and started the trek out of the graveyard. Louis rested his head on Harry’s shoulder, lulled by the warmth radiating from the Alpha’s back.

“You’re really comfortable,” Louis mumbled in Harry’s neck. Harry chuckled warmly, angling his head down to kiss Louis’ head.

“And you’re really adorable you know. I always loved when you were tired, you were so cuddly and loveable. I’m glad you haven’t changed Lou,” Harry said, feeling Louis’ blush against his shoulder.

When they made it back to the flat and Harry had got them inside, he set Louis down on the couch, covering him in a soft, fuzzy blanket before leaving him to make a light dinner. Louis snuggled into the armrest, only perking up when Harry returned with some turkey sandwiches. Harry sat down right beside him, despite the couch being quite large, and handed him one of the sandwiches. “How do you feel about Grease?” He asked between bites. Louis smiled around his own sandwich.

“Grease sounds lovely,” He replied, glad that Harry remembered his favourite film. Harry’s smile probably could’ve blinded innocent people as he set up the movie. When he sat back down he reached his arm behind Louis. Not touching him, just leaving it there so Louis would know it was okay to lean against him. Harry knew that Louis was dropping off where he was sitting, and he wanted him to be as comfortable as possible. Halfway into the movie Louis was trying to keep himself awake but Harry was making it extremely difficult with his warmth and the gentle patterns he was making against his arm.

Eventually Louis just gave up and Harry smiled warmly when the Omega’s head landed on his arm. He quietly shut off the movie, and removing the blanket from the smaller boy, lifted Louis into his arms as gently as possible. Louis snuffled and buried his head into Harry’s chest. The taller boy wanted to coo at the action but kept silent as he got them both to their bedroom. He set Louis on the bed and stripped him to his boxers before tucking him in. Once more Louis turned his head into the blankets, unconsciously trying to inhale Harry’s scent. Harry then got himself ready for bed and set himself a nest of blankets on the floor. He wasn’t sure if Louis would want him to sleep in the same bed with him yet, but he wasn’t willing to leave him for anything so he decided to sleep close by just in case his Omega needed him. Gently he kissed Louis’ forehead and then hunkered down to sleep, feeling better then he had in a long time.

-----

Louis didn’t think he had ever felt this much pain in his life. He looked down to see he was covered in blood, how had that happened? A sudden bout of nausea caught him and he vomited, blood spattering across the floor. Huh, so that would be that then. He heard the door open, and a deep voice rasp out, “Boo?” Harry was home then. Harry could help.

“Harry!” Louis called, though he could hear the pounding footsteps of his Alpha coming closer, having already smelt his blood. He rushed into the kitchen, stopping when he saw Louis and the blood all over him and the floor.

“I-What’s going-Louis!?” Harry stuttered, not knowing what to say. Louis let out a broken, frightened sob.

“Harry please!” He called, more blood spilling from his lips. What was happening to him!? Harry immediately ran to his side, whipping out his phone and cradling Louis close to him. Louis sobbed into the taller’s chest as he calmly talked to the response agent about getting an ambulance. Then he hung up and stroked calmingly down Louis’ back.

“What hurts love?” Harry asked, wincing at Louis’ painful cries.

“I don’t know I- everything hurts Harry, make it stop, please!” Louis heard sirens, and soon enough a medical team was prying him out of Harry’s arms and setting him on a gurney. “Hazza! Don’t leave me,” Louis whispered the last part, out of breath from crying so hard. Harry grabbed his hand and forced the attendants to let him in the back of the ambulance. They drove away.

Louis fell in and out of consciousness on the trip to the hospital. He only remembered Harry, running his fingers through his hair and murmuring comforting words into his ear. The only one that really registered was, “It’ll be okay Lou. Just breathe. We’ll be there soon my love, I just want you to calm down okay?”

Louis tried to obey, but could only manage to spit up more blood. “I’m sorry,” he hiccupped, disappointed in himself for not being able to please his Alpha.

Harry’s forced to let go of his hand when he’s loaded onto a rolling table for operating. “No Louis, there’s nothing to apologize for. I love you so much Lou,” Harry sobbed, unable to stop the tears from flowing. Louis opened his eyes to see that Harry’s being held back by a doctor as his table got pushed away.

“No please!” Louis screamed, the doctor being forced to call for backup as Harry snarled and clawed at him. “Harry! No don’t take him away from me!” Louis sobbed when they were about to round a corner. He reached his arm out for his Alpha, but his cries went unheard as three more doctors came to hold the taller male down.

The last time he heard Harry was a desperate bellow of “LOUIS!” from down the hall as he was pushed into an operating room. Several doctors crowded around him and he couldn’t even feel them beginning to cut him open. All he wanted was his mate.

“Please bring in Harry, I need my Harry!” Louis tried pleading to the scrubbed nurse closest to his head. She shook her head sadly, petting his sweaty hair.

“Sorry lovey, but he’s not sterilized. You’ll see him later, okay?” She said sympathetically, but Louis shook his head. He was so tired. He closed his eyes and tried his hardest to give the nurse instructions before he took his last breath.

“Please tell Harry that I l-lo,” Louis honestly tried, but he couldn’t do it. One last tear slipped from his closed eyelid and then he’s gone.

 

Louis burst into harsh; painful sobs the moment he woke up. All he could remember is the blood spattered across the walls and the pain, so much pain, and Harry, oh God Harry, he was so upset and all Louis had wanted to do was say I love you and he couldn’t and-

“Louis! Love what’s wrong?” A deep voice from beside Louis asked. He turned and saw his Alpha watching him intently. Louis reached out his arms instinctively.

“Harry!” Louis cried, wanting to know that he was okay. Harry reacted immediately, crawling onto the bed, pulling Louis into his arms. He shushed Louis’ tears, rocking the smaller boy against his chest.

“Shh shh, hush my love. It’s okay; you’re okay. I’ve got you now, you’re safe,” Harry chanted, rubbing Louis’ back as the Omega sobbed into his shoulder.

“I’m so sorry! He wanted you so bad, he wanted to say that he loved you and he couldn’t! There was so much blood I just-“ Louis couldn’t continue, he just burrowed his head into Harry’s shoulder and wept. Harry cradled his head.

“What do you mean sweetheart? Who wanted to say they loved me and couldn’t?” Harry asked, worry increasing at the mention of blood. This all sounded very familiar.

“Your Louis! He loved you so much and he wanted to tell you but he couldn’t! I’m so sorry Harry I-I,” Harry kissed his cheek, humming in response.

“It’s okay Louis; it’s all okay now. Would you be able to tell me what happened in your dream?” Harry asked, starting to wonder if it was a dream at all. Louis explained to him what had happened with the other Louis and the hospital, and Harry realized it hadn’t been a dream at all. “Love,” Harry began once Louis had stopped explaining. The smaller boy nodded into his shoulder. “I don’t think your dream was a dream, because everything you just told me happened the night you died,” Louis gave him a confused look.

“But what- Why would I be having visions of his final moments?” Louis asked, hugging closer to Harry. The Alpha shrugged, trying to silently wipe at the moisture collecting in the corner of his eyes.

“I don’t know, but I’m glad you did because I never knew that Louis had said that,” Harry explained, some tears escaping down his cheeks. Louis gasped, wiping them away with his thumbs.

“Don’t cry Hazza! Didn’t the nurse tell you?” Louis asked, his heart panging with empathy for the other man.

“No she hadn’t, a doctor told me that you had passed on the operating table and was given a few moments with your body and our stillborn son. No nurse tried to speak to me at all. I had thought that you had died completely alone and afraid. I thought you might’ve hated me for not being with you,” Harry explained, unable to control the sob that ripped from his throat.

Louis felt his heart break at the sight. “Harry I could never hate you, ever. No version of me could ever hate any version of you, and I know for a fact other Louis couldn’t either. He was scared, but he was also worried about you, and he couldn’t take it when you were separated. I think he was sad because he was never able to directly tell you he loved you before he died,” Louis said, hugging Harry tightly. Harry managed to wipe away the last of his tears with a small smile on his face.

“Do you really mean that?” Harry asked with a hopeful sparkle in his eyes. Louis smiled.

“Yeah I really do Haz. I will always love you, I promise,” Louis said with complete certainty. Harry engulfed him in a hug, happier now that they had talked about it. Louis closed his eyes against Harry’s chest, feeling warmth spread throughout him. He listened to Harry’s heartbeat against his ear, which was lulling him back to sleep. “Harry?” He asked quietly after a few moments of companionable silence.

“Yes sweetheart?” Harry replied, nervous that Louis might want him to sleep on the ground for the rest of the night.

“Do you have extra blankets?” Louis asked. Harry peered down at him confused.

“Why, are you cold? Do you feel ill?” Harry questioned, bringing the back of his hand to rest against Louis’ forehead. Louis chuckled lightly, gently encasing the hand between his own.

“No I was just wondering if I could borrow some for when I move to the couch,” When Harry continued to stare down at him confusedly Louis just blushed and said, “Actually it’s okay I don’t really need the blankets.”

“Why would you move to the couch? Isn’t the bed more comfortable?” Harry had thought so at least, and Louis had never complained about their bed in his knowledge.

“It probably is but you probably want to sleep here and I’m not going to continue to take up your bed,” Louis explained. Harry must’ve been sleeping on the floor and he didn’t want him to have to sleep down there.

“No I really don’t mind being on the floor Lou, as long as you’re comfortable then I’m fine where I am,” Harry said, really not wanting Louis to move. As always, Louis defied him by slipping out of his arms and standing next to the bed. Harry watched him with bemusement.

“No Harry, that floor is hard and uncomfortable and I want you to have a good night’s sleep. I’m gonna go sleep on the couch, and I’ll see you in the morning,” Louis said, giving Harry a curt nod before walking to the living room. He plopped down on the couch and managed to make himself as comfy as possible. When he finally closed his eyes and had accepted the inevitable crick he was going to get in his neck, Louis heard a noise and several bumps come from right beside him. He craned his neck and saw that Harry was beginning to lie down on the floor by the couch. “What are you doing?” Louis asked, startling the Alpha into looking at him.

“Getting ready to go to sleep,” Harry responded, keeping a steady gaze with the Omega. Louis sighed.

“But Harry I just said you could have the bed, why are you out here?” Louis asked.

“Lou I would follow you to the bottom of the ocean if it meant I got to be near you. I don’t care about comfort; I just want to know that you’re okay. Also, you just experienced the most painful of all my Louis’ memories and even though you sound okay I know you aren’t yet. I won’t let anything hurt you, real or otherwise, even if it means I’m going to be sleeping on the floor for the rest of my life,” Harry explained.

Louis was touched. He sat up slowly, watching Harry follow his lead. “Why don’t we both just share the bed then?” He asked. Harry smiled.

“I was hoping for that outcome,” he said, taking Louis’ hand in his own and leading him back to the bedroom. He tucked them both in and held Louis close to himself, much like he had the when he’d seen Louis earlier in the afternoon. “If this scares you I can let go, don’t be afraid to tell me,” Harry murmured by Louis’ ear. Louis smiled sleepily.

“No this is perfect, please stay just like this,” Louis said, placing his arms over Harry’s and lacing their fingers together.

“Gladly,” Harry said, before they both drifted off.

------

Louis awoke surrounded by warmth. That was quite unusual for him, normally he kick all the blankets off in his sleep (when he slept). He decided to savour it a bit longer, snuggling back into the cozy heat. Then the cozy heat chuckled and Louis remembered everything that had happened the day before. His eyes flew open, and he stared at Harry’s chest (at some point during the night he must’ve turned around). “Good morning love,” rasped Harry’s deep morning voice. God how Louis had missed that.

“Morning,” Louis replied, nuzzling his nose into Harry’s neck, “I hope I didn’t wake you.”

“Not at all, I’ve been awake for a little while, but I thought I’d let you sleep a bit longer before we’d have to start on our day,” Harry said, gently rubbing Louis’ back. Louis hummed in contentment. “I was hoping you would want to come help me open the bakery? I know it’s a little early, but I’ll make you some pancakes and we can both shower?”

“I’ll be okay here Haz, I’m a shit baker anyways, but you probably know that,” Louis laughed a little. Harry frowned, playing with the hair at the nape of Louis’ neck.

“Love I’d really like for you to come with me to the bakery. I know you’re probably still a little confused about everything that’s happened, I am to, and I really want you to have someone there if you have any questions or concerns. I only work till noon to make pastries for the following day, and I promise if you’re still tired I can pull out the emergency cot we keep in the back, I’d really like to know you’re safe Lou,” Harry explained, kissing Louis’ forehead. Louis groaned.

“How can I say no to that?” He moaned playfully, laughing when Harry tickled his sides. “I want the shower first though if that’s alright?” He asked timidly.

“Sure sweetheart, I’ll go start breakfast,” Harry said, gently tugging Louis to his feet after himself. Louis smiled up at Harry, who gave Louis a tight hug before he let go. “Alright go get yourself ready for today,” The Alpha said, watching Louis scamper to the bathroom before going to the kitchen to make food.

After they had eaten and Harry had had his shower as well they both got ready to go. Harry made sure Louis was bundled up for the morning chill and he got them both out the door. As soon as he began walking up to the truck, however, Louis began to scramble to find a way out of driving. “Wait!” He called to Harry, who turned with his car key poised to unlock the door. “Why don’t we walk? It’s probably gonna be a nice day out today and I don’t get out much,” Louis finished lamely. He was surprised when Harry merely shrugged and nodded.

“Sounds lovely,” he said, gently grabbing Louis hand to begin their walk. The smaller boy looked around at the different buildings that all seemed vaguely familiar. He really hadn’t been out in a while. His days were all planned by routine, so he saw the same stores, same ground, same people everyday. It was sort of exciting, if only because he got to see things with Harry.

Harry stayed quiet, watching Louis intently throughout their journey. He loved the way his Omega’s eyes sparkled with interest at seeing the different sights around them. His Louis had always been that way to. He was happy that Louis had decided to come with him, as he was definitely against leaving Louis alone. He knew that the house was the same, but he also knew that Louis was in a fragile emotional state judging by the conversation they had had at the table the day before. He also just wanted to be near his Omega, as he had thought he’d never see Louis again. Harry probably would’ve thought about the smaller boy all day, but a tug on his arm pulled him from his thoughts and to the present.

“-ry? Harry? Are you alright?” Louis was still holding his hand, but had moved so he could gently shake the taller boy’s arm. Harry blushed, a little embarrassed when he realized they had been standing at the entrance of the bakery for a few minutes.

“Sorry Lou, I’m alright, I was just thinking,” Harry said, unlocking the door to let them in. He figured they were lucky they had left early; they still had quite a bit of time before the store opened.

“What were you thinking about?” Louis asked, removing his coat as Harry turned on the lights and the heating. Harry smiled warmly when he began counting money for the cash register. Louis motioned for his coat and Harry shrugged it off, setting it over Louis’ outstretched arm.

“I was thinking about you,” Harry said bluntly, watching Louis as a pink hue tinted his cheeks. He counted it as a win when he saw the tiny smile the Omega shared with himself. “There’s a coat rack in the back love, the door’s right behind me. When I’m done with this register I’ll make us some tea and we can share a pastry?”

“Sounds wonderful,” Louis said, opening the door Harry mentioned to reveal a cozy looking office. There were a few plush chairs sitting around a mahogany working desk. A large bookcase stood behind the desk, and across sat a folded up cot. Louis noticed a single framed photo on an eye level shelf. He walked over to it and gently brought it down to look at it. It was another photo of him and Harry, except this was probably taken in winter, judging by their clothing and the snow. Louis had his arms wrapped around Harry’s waist, and was unabashedly laughing. The taller man was just watching with a look that could only be described as pure adoration. Louis smiled, running his fingers over the glass before being startled when Harry called to him from the front.

“Sweetheart, the tea’s waiting for whenever you’re ready,” Louis replaced the photo back on the ledge before walking back to the front, noticing Harry had picked a table near the counter and was motioning for him to come sit. When Louis sat down he noticed on the plate between them sat a warm blueberry scone. Louis pulled off a corner and put it into his mouth. As he chewed he realized that it was incredible. He had really missed Harry’s baking abilities.

“How did you know that blueberry is my favourite? Did the other Louis like it as well?” Louis asked between bites. Harry took a sip of his tea before taking a corner of the scone as well. Slight confusion graced his features.

“Actually no. I’m not sure how I knew to be quite honest, but I’m glad you’re enjoying it,” Harry smiled, watching Louis eat the last bit of the scone. “I have to open up shop soon, but before I do I’ll get you set up in the room of magic,” The Alpha said, grabbing their empty mugs and the plate. Louis stood up to follow him into another room off to the left. It was an industrial kitchen complete with a large walk-in freezer.

“This is the ‘Room of Magic?’” Louis questioned as Harry motioned for him to sit in a chair facing a table full of plain cookies.

“Yes! This is where my baking comes to life! And also gets cryogenically frozen for later date. It is also,” Harry said, handing Louis a bag full of light blue icing, “Where you will become a baking master.”

Louis scoffed, peering at the bag with the end cut off as though it was on fire. “I think we both know that the only thing I’ve mastered is the art of killing food art,” he said. Harry laughed loudly, crouching beside Louis and motioning at the table before him.

“Not to worry, this was a job designed just for you. Your job today is to decorate these cookies in any way you see fit. I ask that you not use any profanities or naughty pictures though because we do get some school kids in from time to time and I don’t want their parents to come complaining to me,” the Alpha had a reminiscent look on his face. Louis internally high-fived his other self. “For the most part I’ll be in here baking but if I go out to serve a customer and you have any questions just let me know and I’ll come to your aid,” Harry explained, getting up from his position on the floor. He kissed Louis on the head and walked over to the door. “I’ll be right back,” He said, “I’m going to open the front.”

As Harry walked away Louis stared at the desserts in front of him with mild frustration. It would be an understatement to say he was shit at art. He could barely glue macaroni to a page let alone draw something decent on a sellable confection. What the heck was he going to do? He suddenly felt a burst of inspiration hit him. Louis smiled cheekily to himself, and began icing.

 

Louis had managed to ice two-dozen cookies in the time Harry had helped three customers and produced four batches of various snacks. Louis grinned when he had finished the last cookie on the table, and turning to Harry’s back, proclaimed, “Harry I have finished making magic on these cookies!” Harry turned around, an excited grin on his face as he walked over to Louis while wiping his hands on his apron.

“Well lets see them then,” Harry said, and as soon as Louis moved so Harry could look at his creations he burst into peals of laughter. Every single cookie had a variation of ‘HARRY <3 LOUIS’ on it. Several cookies had stick figure drawings of them together. One had a large heart with an arrow through it that had their initials in the center. “Love they’re perfect. I cannot wait for the town to try these out,” he said, lifting the tray to take them out. Louis realized he must have had incredible timing because the door chimed to signal another customer as soon as Harry had managed to settle the large tray in his arms. “Oh wonderful, I’ll be back in a few minutes love. Feel free to look around, or sample anything you see fit,” Harry gave him a wink before leaving to go help.

After twenty minutes and several clean counters later Louis decided to go see what had held Harry up. The closer he got to the front the more he could hear of Harry’s conversation with the mystery patron. “-‘m just having a really good day is all, Li. The sun’s finally beginning to peek through the clouds, can I not just enjoy myself?”

“Oh stuff it Styles, you haven’t been the same since his passing and we both know it. Now tell me who’s with you, because you sure as heck haven’t smelt like that for at least a month.”

Li? Where had Louis heard that before? Something about it seemed terribly familiar, but Louis just couldn’t put his finger on it. He walked out the door, ready to face whatever was out there. “Harry what’s going on o-“

“Louis?!”

Oh god. Li stood for, “Liam Payne,” Louis breathed. The same Liam Payne who was the star player on the high school soccer team. The same Liam Payne who tormented him all throughout high school and most of his college years as well. That Liam Payne.

“Oh my god Tommo it is you!” Liam rushed over to engulf Louis in a hug.

Louis saw white.

“GetoffgetoffgetoffgetoffgetoffgetoffgetoffgetoffgetoffgetoffgetoffGET OFF OF ME!” Louis screamed, forcing himself away from Liam and darting straight back into the kitchen. He bolted himself into the freezer, which for some unknown reason had a lock on the inside. Louis never thought Harry would be a friend with someone like that. Was his Harry good pals with Liam to? Louis started to hyperventilate. What if Liam had come here to beat him up? Oh god not again. “Noooo,” Louis moaned to the pastries in front of him, feeling large, cold, fat tears run down his cheeks.

A loud banging from outside the door startled Louis causing him to jump into a sitting position. “Louis please open the door, let me in,” Harry called through the thick metal.

“No!” Louis called out through his frightened sobbing. The banging increased, as if someone was trying to take down the door.

“Louis open the door right now!” Harry said in his most commanding voice.

“N-no” Louis stuttered, partially because he’s cold and partially because it took everything in him not to obey. He dug his fingernails into his palms, watching small rivulets of blood dance from his hands onto the floor. Several minutes passed in which all Louis could hear was his own laboured breathing and muffled voices through the door before he could hear it being unlocked and suddenly it was banging off the wall behind it.

“Louis! Oh thank god,” Harry called, running over to the smaller boy and swaddling him in a thick blanket as he picked him up. “You’re okay sweetheart, you just have to breathe okay? Deep breaths in and out,” Harry chanted to him, holding him close as he ran from the kitchen to the office, where the cot had been laid out. The Alpha lied them down so they’re chest-to-chest (after he’d removed Louis’ upper torso from the blanket) and breathed slow and deep, hoping Louis would follow him. Louis was eventually able to stop heaving, but Harry only stopped soothingly mumbling to him once he was snug back in the blankets. The Alpha removed himself from the cot, and gently pulled Louis’ hands close to his face to inspect the damage that had been inflicted upon them. “Lay right here sweetheart okay? I’ll be right back with the first aid kit,” Harry said, leaving for a moment to return with a red container. He crouched on the floor in front of where Louis was lying and pulled out a bottle and some cotton balls. “This may sting a little,” Harry mumbled, cleaning the fingernail divots in Louis’ palms. It did sting, but Louis held in his groans of displeasure as Harry asked, “What happened back there, love? Why did Liam frighten you so badly?”

Louis sucked in a breath, and making one of the scariest decisions of his life, said, “I think he should probably be in here for the explanation.”

Harry looked at him, still holding his hands between his own larger ones despite them being cleaned off. “Are you sure Lou? Ten minutes ago you were sobbing in the freezer because he tried to hug you. I really don’t want to make you that uncomfortable again,” he said, a large frown marring his features.

Louis nodded, certain of his decision. “Yes I’m sure Haz. I think he should be here for the explanation to.”

Harry nodded, releasing Louis’ hands and standing up. “Put your hands back under the blanket please,” He said when he was near the door. Louis complied and Harry smiled at him. “I’m gonna go grab Liam, but if you get scared or anything at all because he’s here just let me know, okay?” Louis nodded. “Okay good, be right back love,” Harry said finally ducking out.

Louis waited and listened to Harry lecture Liam just outside the door (“He’s quite jumpy right now, you have to be careful with him. I can’t promise I won’t throw you out myself if you make him cry” “I promise I’ll throw myself out if I do anything to hurt him Haz”). Then he watched as they both came in, and each grabbed a chair to sit in. Liam sat a little bit behind Harry, Louis noticed. He was grateful for it, as he was still sort of queasy when he thought about the hug. Harry reached out to rub Louis’ blanket covered arm. “In your own time love,” the Alpha said, Liam nodded in agreement.

Louis took a deep breath and began.

“If it wasn’t obvious I wasn’t the most popular person in school, in particular with the athletic types since I mostly kept to myself in the library. The soccer team was quite ruthless actually, I can remember in one instance being hung upside down from a goal post while they hurled insults and rocks,” Louis smiled sadly, the other two kept silent so he continued. “Another time I was made to eat a large worm whole in front of half the student body. Do you know what it feels like to get the piss taken out of you and then to actually be pissed on? I do,” Louis laughed humourlessly. Harry gripped his knees until his knuckles turned white and Liam looked like he was going to vomit. “A lot of these things were orchestrated by the soccer team’s captain, Liam Payne,” Liam’s head snapped up in shock. “I dunno I guess him and his best friend Niall just hated me or something for not talking because they made everyone harass me. I was never able to tell anyone either, my family wasn’t very helpful; I don’t even think I told Harry. You’re the first people I’ve told and you’re not even from the same dimension,” A few tears rolled down Louis’ cheeks, and he watched Harry wipe them away.

“Oh love,” Harry said, scooping up Louis as he began to cry in earnest. They sat there for a few minutes while the Alpha gently ran his fingers through the smaller boy’s hair. Louis hadn’t realized they weren’t the only two people in the room until he had sufficiently relaxed and he heard Liam’s tentative question.

“I- I- Would I be able to explain how I met you here Louis?” He asked. Louis nodded, peeking his face out from where it was smushed against Harry’s chest and under the blankets. Liam laced his fingers together over his knees and gulped nervously. “Well,” he started, “It is true that I met you in high school, and that I was on the footie team, but I wasn’t the captain, you were. Coach Higgins actually adored you Lou, and I can’t believe he didn’t notice your talent for the game in your world. You led us to many victories Louis.”

Liam smiled then, a bit whimsically, “Believe or not, I was the one who introduced you to Harry. I had met him in my volunteering days at the elderly home by the school and I knew you would be perfect for each other. I remember the first day you told me you were dating, you had already moved in with Niall to (Louis held back a gasp, him and Niall had been roommates?) and I almost punched a hole into your wall with excitement. You remember that to, right Haz?”

Harry nodded, rubbing small circles into Louis’ arm. Liam smiled at Louis, who gave him a small smile back. “I’m so, so sorry I scared you Tommo, and I’m even more sorry about what the other me did to you in your own world. If I ever meet him I’m going to make sure he understands never to mess with my friends (Louis felt small tears of happiness form at the word ‘friend’. God he was sappy.). And now I’m wondering Louis, if I can finally give you a hug? You can say no of course, it’s just been a while since I’ve seen you and to know that you’re okay and well makes me incredibly happy, and I just want you to know that I’m not your Liam, I’m apparently a much better Liam who loves you terribly and wants to convey his brotherly affection with a cuddle,” Liam said with a hopeful look in his eyes. Louis looked up at Harry for a brief moment, who merely kissed his forehead and smiled at him. Louis smiled back before pulling his arms out of the blanket and holding them open to the man before him.

“Get over here you big sap,” Louis called happily as Liam immediately responded to his request. They hugged tightly for some moments before Liam pulled back, giving Louis a huge smile.

“I promise I’ll make up for whatever he did to you Tommo,” Liam said, before pulling up a pastry seemingly from nowhere, “Starting with this.”

Harry chuckled from beside Louis as the Omega raised one eyebrow in question to what appeared to be a Danish. “I may have snagged this from the front when Harry was giving me the third degree (Louis giggled quietly at Harry’s mumbled ‘oi!’). Why don’t you take a bite, and tell me what you think?” Liam’s puppy-dog eyes left Louis hastily taking the proffered confection from his outstretched hand and taking a bite. Instantly his eyes lit up and he let out a noise of happiness.

“This is incredible Liam!” Louis said, watching Liam light up with pride. “What is this piece of Heaven in a convenient bread holder?” Louis asked, quickly polishing off the pastry.

Liam smiled, “It’s a Raspberry Danish, and is in fact the only thing I can make and I only started making them here because you pestered me into it, you loved them. I am hoping you still love them?” Liam asked, watching Louis intently. Louis nodded, licking his fingers to taste any of the remaining raspberry.

“I think it’s safe to say I do. That was wonderful Liam,” Louis said and Liam grinned at him.

“Thanks Tommo, just glad to have you back,” Liam said, smiling at the couple. The ding of the bell above the door signalled to the three that there was a customer in the shop. “Well lads, it looks like it’s my time to shine. Haz, why don’t you grab a box and pack up some pastries to share later? I’ll straighten up in here, but you should probably head out now,” Liam explained, handing an unmade box to Harry. After that he walked quickly out the door to the front, waving at the two behind him. Once Harry had helped Louis stand, and put on their coats, he quickly made the box and helped the Omega out to the front.

After Louis had helped Harry pick out some pastries to take home (including one of the ones he made; the Alpha had beamed at him) they left, saying good bye to Liam who told Louis they’d have to come over for dinner soon. As they walked hand-in-hand in the waning afternoon light Louis felt lighter then he had in a long time.

------

The next day when Harry woke Louis up with some gentle kisses against the back of his neck, Louis felt awful. All he wanted to do was go back to sleep. Unfortunately he knew how protective Harry was, and the smaller boy was afraid if he told the Alpha how he felt Harry wouldn’t let him leave the room for a week. “Good morning love,” came from the taller boy behind him, and Louis wondered if he would be able to sneak past Harry’s keen sense of intuition. He knew that with his Harry it was much easier, as long as his voice didn’t sound to off and he kept the coughing and general bleariness to a minimum (though Harry always found out later and became mother of the year). He hoped he could get away with it with this Harry to.

“Morning Haz,” Louis said quietly, praying that his voice sounded fine. He felt Harry get up and move around to his side of the bed so they were facing.

“I hope you’re ready to decorate some more cookies Lou!” The Alpha grinned, before taking in Louis’ appearance and frowning slightly. “Are you okay sweetheart? Your face is a little paler then normal.” Drat, nothing got past this Harry. Suddenly his hand was reaching for Louis’ forehead and the Omega knew there was no way he was going to get out of the house if Harry happened to feel any temperature higher then normal. He quickly ducked out of the way of the Alpha’s reach, scooting over to the edge of the opposite side of the bed and standing up. Plastering on what he hoped to be a realistic smile, Louis turned to the other boy, only stumbling slightly.

“I’m okay Harry, promise. Why don’t you hop in the shower, and I’ll make some toast? Hopefully it’s only slightly burnt,” Louis forced a laugh. Harry’s eyes narrowed.

“Louis-“ He started, but the smaller boy was out of the room, hurrying down the hallway before the Alpha could command him back into bed. Louis figured he was doing pretty well until a large clap of thunder boomed outside the window and stopped him in his tracks. It was raining. It hadn’t rained since- Louis grabbed his head, crying out at the simultaneous pain and tiredness that ran through him. Harry was on him in an instant, pulling him close and placing his large hands over his forehead and behind his neck. It calmed Louis down enough to lower his hands and look at Harry while he tutted.

“I knew something was amiss this morning when I was waking you up. Why didn’t you just tell me you were sick Lou? I can’t let you go out when you can barely walk. C’mon it’s back to bed with you,” Harry easily hoisted the other boy into his arms, and despite Louis’ protests carried him back to their room.

“But Harry the bakery-“ Louis said while Harry was tucking him in, dissolving into a fit of coughs before he could finish. Harry rubbed his back soothingly, waiting for the coughing to subside.

“It’s okay sweetheart. The rain’s coming down really hard and there’s no way I’m letting you go outside in the state you’re in, even if there’s a cot in the office. I only need to go in to do paperwork anyways, Liam won’t mind if I don’t open up for the morning. I’m gonna go make us some breakfast and then you’re going to rest and I’ll be back before you even wake up, okay? It’s a really quick drive to the bakery anyways so it should be done in a flash,” Harry explained, rubbing Louis’ cheek gently with his thumb. He went over to his bureau to get ready, and the Omega panicked a little (read: a lot) at the thought of his Alpha getting into a vehicle. The last time Harry had driven he never made it home so Louis was starting to feel a little queasy about letting this Harry drive in the rain.

“Ha-“ Louis started, only to see the Alpha was already out of the room, presumably making breakfast if the sounds coming from the kitchen were anything to go by. After several minutes Harry came back, helping Louis sit up to eat two pieces of buttered toast and drink a large glass of water. Harry then fussed about for a little bit, and after he thought his Omega had everything he needed, he grabbed his jacket, slinging it over his shoulders.

“Alright love I have to go now, but it should only take me a half hour at the most, so get some sleep and I’ll be back before you know it,” Harry said, gently running his hands through Louis’ hair. Louis hummed in disappointment as Harry stood up to leave. He was absolutely terrified at the thought of the taller boy leaving, and at least wanted to make sure he knew how much he meant to him. Louis forced himself into a sitting position and watched Harry’s retreating form.

“Wait!” He called raspily, and Harry whipped back around, a fearful look on his face. “I- I love you,” Louis said quietly, willing the tears away that were slowly filling his eyes. He watched as Harry’s whole face lit up, the Alpha quickly bounding across the room to pull the smaller boy into a hug.

“I love you to sweetheart. I love you so much,” Harry said, kissing Louis on the forehead. He waved to his Omega one last time before walking down the hallway and ultimately leaving the house. Louis felt his eyes drooping, and hoped that Harry would come back all right as he fell asleep.

------

Louis was sitting in a car. Not just any car though, Harry’s car. His Harry’s car. And Harry was driving it. Louis looked over in shock, watching Harry nervously look around as if agitated. “Christ, why did it have to rain tonight of all nights?” Harry moaned. Louis opened his mouth to tell him they lived in England, but nothing came out. He tried to grab Harry’s arm, but his own went right through it. Louis started to panic, why couldn’t he touch Harry?! “Ah Louis I’m coming, please let me get home soon,” Harry chanted. Oh shit, this was that night. Louis felt bile rising in his throat. He needed to get out of this, now. He reached for the door, only to find he couldn’t open it. Angry tears started to leak out of his eyes. He looked out the window to see they were on a bridge. The car started to veer towards the edge. Louis took in a shaky breath, closing his eyes. “I’m sorry Lou I love you so much,” Harry said. Louis opened his eyes to look at Harry one last time before they went over, but found that the car was now a truck. A box of baked goods was hitting him in the knee, and Harry was pressing a locket to his lips. “I’m so sorry my love, goodbye,” he was whispering. Louis screamed silently as the truck careened over the barricade towards the ground below. Louis sobbed, and the car was almost to the edge and-

 

Louis woke up screaming, a clap of thunder accenting his sobs. He looked around frantically, calling for Harry. Harry was dead, Harry went over the bridge, just like his Harry, and it was still Louis’ fault. The small boy grabbed his head, screaming in frustration. He couldn’t let Harry die alone, he had to find him, and he had to save him. He forced himself out of bed, and dragged himself through the hallway and kitchen to the entranceway. He shakily tied his shoes, and foregoing a jacket out of impatience he ripped open the doorway and was greeted with a pounding wall of rain. “Harry!” Louis screamed into the storm. He ran down the steps, tripping on the last one. Louis smacked against the ground. He stood up, coughing into his hands. “Harry!” Louis called again, looking at twin beams shining through the thick wall of water. He was so scared it was a cop; coming to tell him Harry hadn’t made it. He started hyperventilating as the vehicle came to a stop. “Harry,” Louis cried into the driveway. He stood there shivering, listening to a door opening and closing. A figure was quickly approaching him and he started to panic even harder. “Please don’t tell me he’s dead, I can’t do that again!” Louis cried, pushing his face into his hands.

“Louis?” He heard a confused voice ask. Shocked, the Omega looked up, to see the rapidly approaching figure had curly hair and concerned looking green eyes. Louis ran at him, wrapping himself around the Alpha and crying into his shoulder.

“Harryharryharryharryharryharry,” Louis chanted into the taller boy’s neck, crying in relief at the feeling large of arms wrapping around him. “Don’t die, please don’t leave me Harry, I love you! I love you, I’m sorry I killed you, I’m so sorry. I-“ Louis’ rambling got cut off by lips pressing against his. Immediately the Omega calmed down. Louis closed his eyes, breathing against Harry’s lips as he pulled away slightly.

“Sweetheart you’re freezing, lets go inside okay?” Louis nodded at Harry’s question, allowing the other boy to bring him up the steps and back inside. He got them both into the bathroom, stripping Louis of his pyjamas and wrapping him in a large, fluffy towel. Harry then got out of his jacket, slinging it over the shower railing before grabbing a towel for himself, wringing his hair out. He then turned back to Louis and gently guided him back to the bedroom. Once he had Louis in a pair of sweats and had changed as well, Harry got both of them into a spooning position in bed. “What happened love? Please tell me what happened?” Harry asked Louis, who was trying to rid himself of his constant tears.

“I- Well I-“ Louis stuttered, before catching his breath with a shaky inhale. “There was a storm the night you died, similar to this one. I had called you, panicking, to ask where you were, because I couldn’t handle myself at my eye appointment. You told me you were late from work but would be home soon. That was the last time I spoke to you actually, the next phone call I got was from the officer who had found your car, which had careened over a bridge into some rocks offshore. I killed you that night because I couldn’t deal with the fear of being alone in a thunderstorm,” Louis sobbed, curling in on himself. Harry’s body followed as he consoled the smaller boy.

“Baby no,” Harry cooed, covering his Omega’s hands with his own. “That wasn’t your fault, nobody could have predicted that. You were scared and that’s perfectly acceptable, and he was just coming to help you. It could have happened to anyone, and no one should blame you for it,” Harry said. Louis scoffed wetly; tangling his feet with the taller boy’s when he heard a loud bang outside.

“Everyone blamed me Harry. You’re family and friends, heck, my family probably did to. They didn’t even mention you had a boyfriend in your obituary. It should still be in my trouser pocket if you want to see it,” Louis said, letting the Alpha untangle himself from the smaller so he could skim through their laundry hamper to find Louis’ pants. He eventually found them, and pulled the dirty piece of paper from the back, dropping the clothing back into the basket and coming back over to Louis. Harry’s eyes skimmed over the page, frown becoming more prominent with every word.

“Why would they do this? My family loves you. I can’t believe that they did this to you,” Harry seethed; rage pouring off his body in waves. Louis gently touched his arm, moving to his hand and pulling the clipping from him.

“It’s fine now, there’s nothing I could do. Your family didn’t like me, and neither did my own. After you died the only person I talked to was Zayn, and only because I worked at the bookstore. I didn’t see them much anyways,” Louis tried to console the Alpha, who had flopped back onto the bed to pull Louis back into his chest.

“It still isn’t okay. If I lived in that world there would be some people getting stern talking-tos that’s for sure,” Harry said, resting his chin on Louis’ head. “I’m glad you’re here now, so I can give you my sweet-Harry lovin’s.”

Louis laughed, tears coming to a stop. He swatted Harry in the side, who merely tickled the back of his neck. “Now that you’re feeling a little better, why don’t we go have some lunch, yeah? I’ll put on a movie afterwards and we can just be lazy,” Harry said, thumbing up and down Louis’ neck. The Omega nodded.

“Sounds lovely,” Louis said, as Harry got them both up. “Can we have grilled cheese?” He asked, giving Harry his best pout. The Alpha laughed.

“Yeah Lou, of course,” Harry grinned, putting a hand on Louis’ back and leading him out of the bedroom. Hopefully they could still enjoy the afternoon.

------

Zayn Malik sipped his tea quietly, flipping through a copy of the day’s local paper. Several books were open around him on his desk, including a large book on theories about parallel universes and an old, dog-eared book about symbols in dreams (‘ANGELS’ and ‘ALTERNATE WORLDS’ were highlighted).

Zayn smiled to himself as he read an article about a missing person in a corner of the classifieds. Normally he’d be quite upset about something like this, but this missing person was different.

The article said his landlord had found his door unlocked and everything in his house relatively untouched. The weird thing was his shoes were sitting on a mat, coat on the hook, and his phone, now dead, was left on the kitchen table. The landlord went on to say the only out of place objects were an empty pill bottle and a pile of said pills on his bedside table, both untouched as well, judging on the amount of dust covering them. The man thought he’d been missing for probably a few days, and had just up and left, and if anyone had any information, they should call him immediately as he wanted at least a months rent to cover the cost of cleaning the place up.

Zayn just continued to smile, he knew better. With practiced fingers he cut out the article and turned around so he could tack it onto his bulletin board. He took one last look at the only picture of Louis Tomlinson the editor could find, his driver’s licence. “Hope you’re happier now Lou,” the man said, looking up at the ceiling for a moment. His attention was drawn to the door when it was opened by a timid looking blonde girl.

“Hello,” she said, “I saw a sign in the window that said you were hiring? I was wondering if I might drop off a resume for your pile?” Zayn nodded.

“I am hiring. I don’t need a resume; you can have the job. I better warn you now though, you have some big shoes to fill. I’m also gonna need a name and a number, for pay-stub purposes,” Zayn explained, handing her a pen and holding out his arm. She smirked at him, holding his arm steady in her hand as she scrawled her name out.

“My name’s Perrie. Hope I can fill those shoes,” She said, giving him a flick of her eyebrow. Zayn just raised his own in reply.

“Perrie, huh? Well Perrie, I think you’ll make a wonderful addition to the team.”

“I think so to.”

------

Louis blinked slowly, allowing his consciousness to pull him back into the world of the living. He’d had another one of those realistic dreams, but this one hadn’t been bad. In fact, Louis was really happy Zayn had found someone to replace him, and also to possibly date, judging by the amount of flirting and eyebrow movements. He shifted around a little and found that he was sleeping on Harry, who was sleeping on the couch. The main menu for 21 Jump street was playing on repeat, and when Louis thought about it, he figured they must’ve fallen asleep around the school play, as he didn’t remember seeing the end. The Omega figured he should probably get up, maybe attempt to make Harry something for breakfast. He was feeling quite a bit better from yesterday, and today seemed to be rainless when he looked out the windows. Louis stuck one of his palms on the floor, fully prepared to push himself off the other boy when two large hands wrapped around his torso and pulled him back down.

“Thirty more minutes,” Harry moaned sleepily, nuzzling his face into Louis’ hair. Louis inwardly shrugged. He had no problem with that. Once more Louis got himself comfortable in Harry’s grip, and fell back asleep to the beat of his heart.

------

After that night, Harry decided they should probably go out and get Louis another cellphone, just in case they were split up for some reason and one needed to get in contact with the other. So the day after, Harry gently coaxed Louis into his truck, and a half hour later (after the Alpha had convinced the smaller that nothing was going to happen to them everything was fine) they were headed to the mall.

“Is there any phone in particular that you like? What phone were you using before love?” Harry asked Louis as they walked hand-in-hand to the phone store. Louis tapped his chin with his free hand in thought.

“I can’t really think of anything. My old phone was a crappy flip phone. The pound sign didn’t even work,” Louis explained as Harry walked them into the shop. Immediately he was pulled over to the iPhones. Harry held one up to him; it was green.

“How about this one then? It’s got quite a lot of space, so you can download music, or pictures, or apps, anything you want really. It’ll be on my phone plan and right now they have a really good deal on for bond-mates so you can get your phone for free,” the taller man explained. The Omega nodded.

“Sounds awesome. What are bond-mates, are we bond-mates?” Louis asked as Harry waved down a salesperson.

“Bond-mates are generally a bonded Alpha and Omega. It happens during sex, when the Alpha bites the Omega on a certain part of the neck. Other people can tell because they’ll both smell the same. And yeah love, we’re bond-mates. We bonded two years ago, after a lot of consideration. The thing about it is after bonding you can’t leave the other, so it’s not something to be taken lightly,” the Alpha pecked Louis’ head just as the salesman walked up.

While Harry and the salesman (Luke was what he introduced himself as) talked about the phone and other features, Louis looked at the other iPhones on the stand. Two in particular stood out. The first had a small plaque in front that read ‘Check out the new A+ features!’ The other was similarly fashioned except for the O+ replacing the A. Louis picked up the one with the O features, and slid his thumb across the lock screen.

The phone had all of the regular apps that the phones in his world had (messaging, weather, stocks, etc.) the Omega was pleased to find. It also had a few apps Louis had never seen before. He pushed one that was red and had a shiny white O in the center. The only thing that popped up was a black screen with a large red button in the middle. Louis shut it after staring at it for a few moments; he figured he should avoid pressing it. Another upon opening appeared to be some sort of calendar. The Omega was going to press one that looked like a GPS when a saleswoman he hadn’t noticed approach startled him.

“Hello there! I see you’re looking at the new Omega Plus iPhone. Do you have any questions about it?” She asked. Louis gulped nervously. He had to look up to make eye contact with her.

“No, just trying to kill time. I don’t know enough about phones to ask questions anyways,” Louis laughed awkwardly, phone still in hand. The woman smirked.

“Well why don’t I just show you some of the new features anyways?” She came around behind him, pressing close into his backside as she grabbed his hand holding the device. “This right here,” she said, unlocking it and pointing to the calendar, “Is the updated calendar specifically for this model. You can record best ovulation times, and heats, all sorts of things. You can even set an alarm on it for when to take your suppressants.”

“This GPS is not as much for you as it is for your Alpha. Since Omegas are just naturally submissive by nature, if they wander off an Alpha could lose them for good. Fortunately this handy app allows one the knowledge of where their Omega is at all times, just in case,” she explained, allowing her hand not holding Louis’ to slide up to his waist. Louis cringed in fear when she gripped it tightly.

“This one’s my favourite,” she said, pointing to the red one with the white O, “If an Omega were to go into a heat, and there was no one around, all they have to do is press this and it will call their Alpha immediately. It will continue to call until an Alpha answers, as it cannot be silenced. Should the Omega be unbonded, it will call the nearest help-line and an Alpha will be dispatched to take care of the Omega.”

“I am bonded you know,” Louis whispered as she caressed his hand with her thumb. She laughed, leaning down to breath in his scent.

“Doesn’t bother me a bit, we can work around that,” she said, inhaling deeply. Louis began to panic. He needed Harry, where was Harry? The Omega was saved from any further harassment when a familiar voice spoke up from beside them.

“Love, are you alright?” Harry asked, taking a couple steps forward towards them. Relief washed over Louis, and he quickly extricated himself from the saleswoman’s grip so he could mesh himself into the Alpha’s side. Harry nuzzled into Louis’ hair, and whispered quietly, “What happened?” Louis shook his head, and turned so he was facing Harry’s chest. Harry wrapped an arm around his waist, and then looked back to the woman, who was watching them, unimpressed.

“You obviously can smell him, so what’s your angle miss?” The Alpha asked angrily, hugging Louis closer to him when she laughed.

“Was only showing him that he does have other options. Maybe for someone who could look after him right,” she said wickedly. Harry bristled.

“He looks after me just fine thanks. I think it’s obvious that I’ve made my choice, so if you could leave us alone, possibly forever, that would be lovely,” Louis said, startling both Harry and the woman. She merely huffed, grumbling about insubordination as she stalked off. Harry just laughed, walking them to a nearby bench.

“That was very brave sweetheart, most Omegas wouldn’t stand up to someone like that,” he said, setting his bag on the ground as he kneeled in front of his Omega, “I’m sorry I didn’t come by sooner, I was just finishing up when I smelt your fear.”

Louis ran his fingers through the other’s hair. “It’s alright, she was just very… Abrupt. I’ve never had someone come on to me like that before. I’m just glad I had my big, strong, jealous Alpha there to save the day,” he said, giving Harry a big smooch to the forehead. The taller man looked up at him, giving him a snort under his long lashes before pouting like an adorable baby.

“I was not jealous, just angry that she would do something like that,” Harry replied, averting his gaze. Louis smiled.

“Okay okay… You big jealous baby,” Louis laughed when Harry lightly swatted his knee.

“I am not a jealous baby,” Harry huffed.

“Yes you are, but you’re my jealous baby, and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Louis said, turning Harry’s face towards him. The Alpha grinned dopily up at him, before puckering his lips for a kiss. Louis laughed, pressing his lips to the other’s.

“Why don’t we go get something to eat?” Harry suggested, grabbing his bag before helping Louis up. Louis nodded enthusiastically, and then the two were off to the food court.

 

“Do you like your phone boo?” Harry asked around a bite of fried rice. Louis had been playing around with the apps since they had sat down to split some Chinese. Louis looked up from it and smiled.

“I love it, you are a phone master,” Louis laughed. He finally set it down to have some sweet and sour pork. “So I noticed I have the GPS on my phone. Worried you’ll lose me Styles?” Louis waggled his eyebrows. Harry chuckled, flinging a piece of ginger chicken at the smaller man.

“Not at all. I know you’ll always come back. I do worry, however, that you might get lost if you’re out on your own, and I just want to make sure you’re safe. Don’t worry, if I use the app your corresponding one will shake and turn red. You can also use it on me to, so if you’re ever worried I may have gone and done something stupid, you’ll know,” Harry smiled. Louis just grinned, and poked Harry in the nose.

“So do you have any special apps?” He asked, taking a forkful of Harry’s rice. The Alpha grumbled for a moment before stealing a piece of pork.

“They’re similar to yours, the GPS of course, and also a calendar for my ruts. I have an app specifically for mated Alphas if they go into an unexpected rut and want to call their Omega. It works much the same way as yours does, except they don’t have one for an unbonded Alpha, because ruts are much easier to go through then heats.” Harry said. Louis nodded slowly.

“So a heat is challenging?” The Omega asked, watching the Alpha take a forkful of rice and chew it contemplatively.

“Without an Alpha, yes. When I first met you, you had just gone on suppressants. Apparently it’s still possible to get random heats, and I triggered one for you. I found you crying in the bathroom, and even though we didn’t know each other very well at that point, I helped you through it,” Harry explained, eyes glassing over at the memory. Louis put down his fork and put his hand over Harry’s. “I’m glad I found you before someone came along and harassed you though,” he said.

“Me too,” Louis replied, leaning in for a kiss. Harry responded and then they both went back to eating. Louis noticed every so often Harry would look to his phone, then to Louis, and then back to his phone. After several minutes of this, Louis put down his fork and tapped Harry’s nose. “What,” he said, raising an eyebrow, “Do I have something on my face that you are now instagramming to your millions of followers?” Harry just shook his head.

“No sweetheart, you look gorgeous. I’m um… I’m,” The Alpha gulped, and took a deep breath before asking the other, “How do you feel about an evening in with the guys on Friday?”

 

Looking back on that conversation, Louis really wished he’d said no.

------

“I- What? What guys?” Louis asked, slightly startled by the question. Harry looked sheepish.

“Our friends. Liam was wondering if you’d like to come over on Friday and play Fifa with us, him, Niall, and Zayn,” Harry responded. Louis made a face.

“Niall used to beat the shit out of me Harry, why would I want to spend time with him?” Louis spat angrily. The Alpha just looked at him sadly.

“You and Niall were best friends growing up, you even moved in together. I promise if anything happens we’ll leave. I won’t let anyone hurt you, ever,” Harry said, rubbing Louis’ hand in between his own. Louis bit his lip, contemplating the other’s promise. Eventually he sighed and nodded.

“Okay fine, but just because I love you,” Louis said, watching Harry smile at him dopily.

“Great! I bet you’ll love them,” Harry said. Louis wasn’t so sure, but he’d have to wait and see.

-------

Now he was in the back of Liam’s car with Harry (who’d insisted on sitting beside him, though Louis wasn’t complaining) and they were all going to Liam’s house.

“The other guys are already there; I thought it might be good to work you up to meeting them… Again?” Liam ended with a question. Louis nodded absently, moving closer to Harry, who wrapped his arm tighter around him.

“It’s okay love, you’ll like them, you’ll see,” Harry murmured into his ear. Louis just rubbed at his hand as they pulled into the driveway. Liam opened the car door for them, and Harry practically carried Louis to the house.

“Okay, is everyone ready?” Liam asked, rubbing gently at Louis’ shoulder. The Omega took a few deep breaths, letting Harry rub his stomach in soothing circles. Finally he nodded.

“Okay, lets go in,” he said, a little uneasily. Liam nodded and opened the door slowly. They stepped into the house, and as Liam was closing the door Louis noticed a blond streak barrelling at him down the hallway.

“Louis!” It shouted in delight. Immediately the Omega froze, terrified of what would happen. Before it could reach him, Liam plucked the streak, which Louis saw was actually a person, away from him. At the same time Harry was pulling him into his chest, and ducking slightly in a show of protectiveness. Liam stared disapprovingly at the boy in his grasp.

“I told you not to do that Niall. You know what they did to him in his world!” He whispered angrily. Louis started to shake, thoughts of being beaten coming back to him.

“Nonononononono not again,” he moaned to himself, burying his face into Harry’s neck. Harry tried to calm him down, shushing his mumbling as he rubbed up and down his back.

“Calm down my love, Niall meant no harm. He’s just very excited to see you and got carried away. He didn’t mean to scare you. I promised no one would hurt you and I meant it,” Harry chanted, watching the apologetic look sweeping across the other Omega’s features.

“Sorry Lou, I promise I wasn’t going to hurt ya,” Niall whispered, frowning deeply from within Liam’s arms. Louis softened slightly, and gently disengaged himself from Harry.

“It’s alright. I just have to get used to these things, yeah?” Louis shrugged awkwardly, and walked over to Niall, who had managed to get himself away from Liam. Niall opened his arms slightly, waiting for the smaller boy to make the next move. Louis sighed before allowing himself to sink into the other man’s embrace. Niall hugged him tenderly for a moment as Liam and Harry looked on, and Louis had to admit that he kind of liked it. His arms felt sort of familiar, like muscle memory of a past hug after a winning goal.

“It’s really good to see you Lou,” Niall said when they broke apart. Louis smiled at him.

“It’s good to finally meet you,” Louis replied, watching as the blond boy lit up like a light bulb. It looked like he was about to say something when a voice from somewhere behind them shouted,

“Oi! I want some Louis time as well!” They all turned to look into the (assumedly) living room to see a fairly intense eyebrow raise. Louis smiled.

“Hi Zayn,” The Omega said, walking over and sitting beside him. Zayn looked surprised.

“Hey Tommo, alright?” The dark haired man asked. Louis nodded.

“I am. Yourself?” Zayn just smiled at him, before reaching over and gently ruffling his hair. Louis’ eyes closed and he smiled warmly, leaning into the touch. “I missed you,” Louis whispered, eyes snapping open when he realized what he’d said. Zayn was watching him intently, before he pulled him into a hug.

“I missed you too,” Zayn replied, patting Louis on the back. They stayed like that for several moments.

“Oh come on! It took me like ten minutes to get to the hug stage and all Zayn has to do is bat his pretty little eyelashes and Louis’ all over him,” Niall grumbled, sitting down in between Zayn’s legs. Zayn laughed.

“Don’t worry babe, Lou will love you soon enough, right Tommo?” They turned to look at Louis, who nodded.

“I think so, as long as you don’t try to dunk my head in a toilet,” Louis said. Niall just shook his head.

“I’d sooner dunk my own head in a toilet,” Niall promised. They all looked over as Harry and Liam came in. Harry sat down beside Louis, and pulled him into his side. Liam sat down beside Niall on the floor, between Louis’ legs.

“Now that we’re settled, why don’t we watch a movie?” Liam said, holding up a remote. Once they’d all given confirmation on what they wanted to watch (Niall wacked Liam on the leg and threatened to do it to everyone if they didn’t watch Neighbours, so the decision may have been a little rigged) Liam put it on and they got into it.

------

Halfway into the movie Louis started to feel a little tingly. Every time he inhaled he got a mixture of Zayn, Harry, and Liam and it made his head swim. He was starting to get a headache from the intensity of it. A sudden bought of nausea hit him and the Omega decided it was time to use the washroom. He tapped Liam gently on the shoulder and leaned down to whisper in his ear. “Li, where is the loo?” Liam nodded in the general direction of the hallway.

“Up the stairs and to the right; the door’s bright green, you can’t miss it,” Liam replied, moving so that Louis could stand. Louis nodded his thanks as he untangled himself from Harry and made his way over to the stairway. When he was out of the view of the living room he took the steps two at a time and quietly closed the door to the bathroom once he was inside. Louis took one look in the mirror and had to do a double take.

He looked awful. His cheeks were bright pink and his eyes were glazed over. Louis was also burning up and his skin had taken on a glossy sheen. On top of all that, the Omega was quite positive he’d peed his pants, and quickly pulled them down to view the damage. His boxers were damp and it had bled through a tiny bit to his trousers. When Louis reached down to feel why, his hand came up wet. All at once Louis came to a conclusion as a wave of heat rolled through him. He sank to the ground, tears beginning to fall out of his eyes as fire licked through his veins.

Five minutes later Louis heard a knock on the door. He couldn’t even make himself get up to answer it as every time he tried to move pain shot from his pelvis to the tips of his toes. “Lou? Are you okay?” A voice asked, muffled on the other side of the door. Louis perked up a bit.

“Niall?” He croaked out, throat completely dry. Foregoing any more banter, Niall just came in instead, closing the door behind him as he surveyed the scene.

“What’s going on?” He asked, seemingly sniffing the air. His eyes lit up as he frowned at his friend on the floor. Louis let out another sob.

“Niall I think I’ve started my period!” Louis wailed, clutching his hands together in front of his chest. Niall’s look went from concern to confusion.

“Lou-bear what are you talking about? Guys can’t get periods,” Niall said, coming to sit beside him.

“Well maybe I can! I mean I’m all hot and sweaty and every time I do something I get hot flashes, not to mention I’m leaking, from my butt!” Louis whispered the last part, breath catching when he thought about how gross it sounded. Niall continued to look at him blankly until some sort of realization crossed his eyes.

“Lou smell me, then tell me how you feel,” he said. Louis leaned in and took a whiff before immediately leaning back and covering his mouth and nose.

“No offence but you smell foul,” Louis said, as he felt bile rise up his throat. Niall nodded.

“I figured as much. Good news love, you don’t have a magical guy period. The bad news is you’ve gone into heat,” Niall explained, pulling out his phone while Louis continued to cry. The brunette remembered some of the things that Harry had told him about it and it made him sob harder. Niall typed something out before he re-pocketed his device and soothingly patted Louis’ knee. “Don’t worry, Harry is on his way right now,” Niall tried to console the other boy. Louis stiffened.

“What?! I don’t – I – That’s terrible!” Louis sobbed, breath coming out in sharp gasps. Niall looked lost, unsure of what to do about his panicking friend. He was saved by Harry, who burst through the door. Niall stood up quickly, maintaining a fair distance from the Alpha who only seemed to have eyes for Louis.

“I’m going to go downstairs and get everything in order before I drive you home, since I’m assuming you don’t want to stay here for this,” Niall said, not waiting for Harry’s nod of agreement before he left the bathroom and closed the door behind him. Louis and Harry stared at each other for a moment before Louis let out another sob.

“S-sorry,” he choked out, rubbing his eyes and cringing when another burst of heat hit him. Harry was immediately beside him, pulling him into his lap and rubbing a hand down his sweaty back.

“Hush darling. You’re alright, everything is okay,” Harry murmured, kissing his cheek. Louis’ harsh sobbing began to subside, and was quickly replaced with unbridled want. Now that Harry was so close to him, all Louis wanted was for Harry to be inside of him immediately. He manoeuvred himself so he could grind down on the Alpha. Harry bit his lip, trying not to just take his partner on the floor of Liam’s washroom. Louis was making it very difficult to not give in to instinct as he wound his arms around Harry’s neck and began sucking a bruise into the skin by his collarbone. After a few moments of this Harry groaned, managing to push Louis away just enough to give himself room to think. Louis gave him a watery frown.

“Don’t you want me?” Louis bawled, reaching forward to tug on Harry’s shirt. Harry tried his hardest to avoid looking him in the eye.

“Of course I want you babe, you are the only person I’ll ever want. Just not here. I need you to hold on for a little longer. Niall is almost done, I promise,” Harry really hoped he was right about the last part.

Louis didn’t think he could wait any longer though. “Harry please,” he begged, feeling slick run down his thighs. Finally Harry sighed. Without answering Louis he reached behind them and whipped a towel down from a nearby rack. Gently he lifted the Omega up and laid the towel down beneath him before laying him down on it.

“We can’t have sex here, but I might be able to take the edge off a little,” Harry compromised, pulling down Louis’ boxers to rest with his pants around his ankles. Without waiting for a by your leave, the Alpha then leaned down and took the head of Louis’ dick in his mouth. He swirled his tongue around, causing Louis to let out a moan. While he was distracted, the Alpha slipped a finger into Louis’ dripping hole.

“Oh,” Louis breathed, the fuzziness around his eyes clearing a little. He squirmed around, attempting to buck his hips into the heat of Harry’s mouth, but the taller boy pinned him down with a hand on his tummy. Harry sucked him down slowly, gradually picking up the pace as he added another finger. Louis groaned out Harry’s name, back arched and head tilted back. The moment the Alpha found his prostate Louis was a goner; he came into Harry’s mouth without any warning except a loud sob. The other man took it like a champ, swallowing down what Louis gave and pulling off of him with an obscene popping noise. The Omega blushed as he realized what had just happened. Never in his life had Harry made him do that so easily. He felt sort of inadequate and gurgled out a quiet apology to his Alpha (currently wetting a cloth at the sink) as he tried to right himself, mostly unsuccessfully.

Harry just shook his head; smiling warmly, washing the sweat off Louis’ face with a warm, damp flannel. “Actually I’m very proud of you sweetheart, you’re taking everything quite well. I’m glad you’ve come once, it means you’ll be more cognizant for the ride home, or at least most of the way.” Louis nodded, hugging Harry tightly after he’d set down his cloth.

“I’m still sorry,” Louis mumbled into his neck. Harry chuckled, stroking a hand down his Omega’s back.

“I’m still confused as to why you’re sorry. This happens love. I promise you’re not abnormal, nor are you in any way being an inconvenience. C’mon though, lets get you dressed for the ride. I’m sure Liam probably has some useful things in his bottom cabinet,” Harry supplied helpfully. He leaned over and opened the cabinet, eyes widening upon seeing what was inside.

“What the fuck? Is he preparing for the Omegapocolypse?” Louis said disbelievingly.

Inside was a plethora of things any Omega may or may not need for any occasion. From his spot on the floor Louis could see several stacks of what looked like large pads, three dildos (one was sparkly pink), two aerosol cans with vibrant writing (he couldn’t read it), an ice pack, a thick-looking blue blanket, and for some reason, a stack of black briefs. Harry reached in and pulled out a pair of briefs, one of the cans, and to Louis’ chagrin, a pad. “I do remember at one point Liam saying he worked at one of the Omega help centers, but I thought he was a dispatcher, not a… Participant,” Harry said, helping Louis up and out of his soiled boxers. He managed to get the briefs on before the Omega protested.

“There is no way I’m wearing that,” Louis sneered, pointing to the pad Harry was currently peeling away from the plastic. The Alpha raised an eyebrow. Louis blushed. “They’re for girls,” He elaborated, taking a few shaky steps away from the taller man. Harry advanced a few paces, looking at him bemusedly.

“It’s just to absorb some of the slick. I promise these ones are for males,” Harry said, taking a hold of Louis’ arm to stop him from moving further. Louis sighed dejectedly before nodding, allowing Harry to stick it in the back of his briefs before getting him into his trousers. Harry then grabbed the can from the floor and covered Louis’ eyes before spraying him with it liberally. “It’s neutralizer,” Harry explained, dropping his hand so he could spray himself, “It briefly masks your smell, and makes it less likely for other people to smell you in public. I don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea,” Harry said, slamming the can on the counter when he had finished. Louis noticed his pupils had dilated.

“Are you alright?” Louis asked, a little fearful of the Harry he’d never seen. The Alpha immediately calmed down, pulling Louis in for a hug.

“I’m sorry, I’m okay. I’m just worried about you love. It’s your first heat and I don’t want anything bad to happen,” Harry said, nosing into Louis’ hair. Louis hugged him back tightly. They looked up when a cough came from the door.

Niall smiled at them. “The car’s ready and waiting. I notice that the room is odourless, you found Liam’s stash then,” He said, allowing Harry to pick up Louis and carry him from the room. Louis poked him in the nose.

“I can walk you know,” The Omega said indignantly. Harry made a grunt, clutching Louis tighter to him. Niall laughed.

“He won’t let you do much of anything right now. Harry gets very protective when you go into a heat or he starts a rut. You used to find it annoying because he would just show up at the bookstore when he started his rut, grab you, and leave. One time he yelled at Zayn because ‘his smell was mixing with yours’. It’s all very hilarious. Basically, just let him do what he wants, he’s going to do it anyways,” Niall explained. Louis huffed, sinking into Harry’s arms in defeat. Harry nuzzled into his hair, inhaling deeply.

They were halfway down the hallway when Louis asked, “Where are Liam and Zayn?” Harry growled, kissing Louis forcefully on the lips. Louis sputtered, pushing the Alpha away slightly and turning to look at the other Omega bewilderedly.

Niall shrugged. “He can’t be around other Alphas right now. Even if they are friends, because of your smell they’re too much of a threat. I sent them out into the backyard for the time being. It’s okay for me to be around because as an Omega I couldn’t take you away from him, I’m not a threat,” Niall said as he grabbed their shoes from the front. Harry then proceeded to kick the door open and speed walk over to Niall’s car. Niall ran to the driver’s side, quickly unlocking it for them to get in. As soon as they had driven out of the driveway Louis felt another wave of heat wash over him. He groaned, clutching at Harry’s shirt from his spot beside him in the backseat.

“Niall, I don’t mean to hurry you, but I don’t think we have much time,” Louis gasped, back arching painfully. Slick ran down his legs, and he shifted uncomfortably. Harry brought him in close as Niall cut a corner on his mission to get them back. He leaned in by Louis’ neck and licked a stripe up to his earlobe.

“I can’t wait to get you home, strip you down, and stuff you so full of my knot you won’t be able to get up for a week,” he whispered hotly into the smaller boy’s ear. Louis blushed beet red.

“I should’ve mentioned he’s a dirty talker,” Niall said, cutting an elderly lady off as he sped through a crosswalk. Louis was pleasantly surprised to see her give them the finger in the rear-view mirror. The Omega found himself beginning to pull at the buttons on Harry’s shirt, aggravated that they wouldn’t come undone. He had managed three of them (while trying to avoid the Alpha’s wandering hands) when they had made it to their house. Niall had parked and was trying to open their door with the spare key he apparently had. Harry was simultaneously attempting to get them inside and make sure no one would remember what colour the side of Louis’ neck was.

“Haz, please,” Louis whined. He was trying to squirm out of the other boy’s arms so he could present himself on the floor. Anything to get Harry to put his dick inside of him. He needed it. Harry nodded to Niall when they passed him, and kicked the door shut behind him once the blonde had thrown their shoes inside. He then proceeded to stalk down the hall to their room and toss Louis on the bed. Before the Omega had a chance to complain the Alpha was ripping off their clothing and flipping him over. “Ha-“ Louis started to ask what was going on, but never got a chance to finish because Harry decided it would be the perfect moment to thrust into him.

“Sorry,” Harry grunted, slowing down for a moment. Louis groaned, feeling the pain from the other’s larger-than-life cock.

“Did you steal your junk from an elephant?” Louis gasped out, getting used to his girth. Harry barked out a laugh and began moving slowly. Louis moaned, pleasure coursing through him from the feel of Harry’s thrusts. He reached a hand back to grab at Harry’s thigh. “You can go faster,” Louis grit out.

Harry took it as a challenge, and soon enough he was moving at a ferocious pace. It was enough to have Louis coming onto the blankets for a second time. If Louis had been thinking clearer he would have wondered how it was possible to come so much in such a short length of time. Instead he was only concerned about one thing; for Harry to finish. “You’re so gorgeous like this,” Harry pressed into the dip between his shoulder blades. He kissed sloppily down the other’s spine, grabbing at Louis’ hips so he could get a better angle.

“Oh,” Louis groaned out, pressing his face into the mattress. “Need your knot,” He breathed, tears leaking out of his eyes. Harry pressed bruises into his waist as the base of his dick began to swell.

“Won’t be long now darling,” He said, rubbing a placating hand across one of Louis’ ass cheeks before sinking his fingers into it. Louis cried out, coming dry.

“Harry,” Louis moaned, completely blissed out. His hole tightened around Harry and it was enough for his knot to pop. Harry groaned, collapsing on top of Louis as his seed spilled into him. Cognition slowly returned to the Alpha, and he quickly moved them so they were spooning as to avoid crushing his mate.

“How do you feel?” Harry asked, sucking a love-bite into Louis’ shoulder. Louis sighed happily.

“Fucked,” he replied sleepily. Harry chuckled quietly, rubbing at Louis’ sides as he continued to come. “How long does this normally last?” Louis asked, turning his head to look at the other. Harry hummed thoughtfully, nosing into his hair.

“Fifteen minutes to an hour. I imagine this will be longer then normal because I haven’t really… Done this in a while,” Harry explained, blinking sleepily.

Louis nodded slowly, burrowing further into Harry’s chest. “And how long will I be like this?” He asked, closing his eyes.

“A few days probably,” Harry whispered thoughtfully. Louis made a noise of confirmation.

“Here’s to three days then,” Louis murmured. Harry was already asleep by that point and Louis figured he should do the same.

------

Louis woke up three and a half days later feeling a little more refreshed, if not slightly sore. He sat up slowly, trying his best not to jostle Harry as he untangled himself from the other boy. As soon as he got out of bed, he tiptoed to the bathroom to freshen himself up. He blanched as soon as he got a good look at himself in the mirror.

There were purple marks lining his arms, neck, and chest. Louis couldn’t really call the finger shaped indents on his hips and ass marks. Luckily they had managed a few showers in between having sex so he wasn’t coated in cum but his hair was sticking out in odd angles and he felt more loose and relaxed then he had in a long time. Louis couldn’t even find it in himself to be anxious about how Harry might be having second thoughts or that he seemed to have a magical expanding dick. He couldn’t hold in his giggles about his last thought, erupting into bursts of laughter as he hid his face in his hands.

“Good morning love, I see you’re feeling better,” Arms wrapped around Louis from behind, pulling him into a warm chest. Louis smiled warmly while Harry pressed kisses to the top of his head. The Omega turned around so he could snuggle up to the Alpha. Harry kissed him firmly on the lips. “Hi,” He said warmly, “How are you feeling?”

Louis leaned his head on the other’s shoulder. “Good. I feel really good,” He said, pressing a kiss to Harry’s neck. Harry rubbed his back.

“That’s amazing sweetheart. I’m happy you aren’t upset that we just spent the last three days making love,” The Alpha said. Louis blushed, hiding his face in Harry’s chest.

“Well it’s a lot to take in I think. Mostly I’m okay because it was you,” Louis said the last part quietly. Harry beamed, picking up the shorter man and spinning him in his arms. Louis laughed loudly, stumbling into the Alpha’s side upon being set down.

“You’re the best thing to ever happen to me,” Harry whispered into Louis’ cheek. Louis turned his head so they could press their lips together, eventually pulling apart and smiling at each other. “Why don’t we go have some breakfast?” He asked, leaning back to look at Louis. The smaller boy blushed.

“Okay, but I think I’m going to put some pants on, I don’t really want to spill tea all over my… Well you know,” He said embarrassedly, hurrying to get around the other boy. Harry laughed.

“Alright, pants first, then breakfast,” He said, chuckling as he followed his mate out of the bathroom.

-------

The first time Louis went somewhere without his counterpart was three weeks after his heat. He’d been feeling ill for a few days, and even though Harry tried to get him to rest, Louis really wanted to go out for a bit. Zayn offered to give him some freedom in the bookstore, so he could get used to the place he co-owned (Louis couldn’t believe it when Zayn had told him that), and also because Niall always came at noon with Zayn’s lunch and could drive Louis home. They’d both agreed (Harry quite reluctantly) and that’s how Louis found himself stacking away books.

“How’re you doing babe?” Zayn asked, coming around with a stack of old magazines, which he set on the cart adjacent to Louis’ ladder. Louis turned around, clapping his hands together as he carefully jumped off the stool to remove any dust from his palms.

“Actually I feel a lot better,” Louis replied honestly. He was starting to wonder if maybe he had an allergy to bread or something, and every time Harry made him toast it made him sick. Zayn, not believing him at all, pressed a hand to the smaller boy’s forehead. Upon feeling him fever free Zayn smiled, patting him on the back.

“Lovely. Why don’t we head to the front, and I’ll make you a cuppa before Niall comes?” Zayn said, leading Louis back to the front. Louis checked the time on a nearby clock on the wall, realizing Niall would be there in about ten minutes.

“Oh wow, okay yeah that would-“ Louis stopped short, noticing the person standing by the register. He was young, no more then eleven at most, with short red hair and light blue eyes. The poor kid was wearing shorts and a t-shirt that looked three sizes to large even though it was starting to get cold out. Upon noticing Louis and Zayn he jumped, pushing his large thick-rimmed glass up his nose, then promptly squeezed his hands together.

“S-sorry, I had nowhere else to go,” He said shyly, pressing his freckled face into his fists. Zayn immediately walked over to him, taking off his cardigan and resting it on the boy’s shivering shoulders.

“You know it’s always okay to come here Oliver, but shouldn’t you be in school?” The Alpha asked, going back behind the till to turn on an electric kettle plugged in across from the register. The kid shrugged, awkwardly looking over at Louis every few seconds.

“They let us out early. I d-didn’t really want to go home,” He explained. Louis felt like someone was eating shit and it wasn’t him for once.

Zayn, noticing that the kid kept looking over at his friend, decided to do some introductions. “Oh Louis, this is Oliver. He started coming in here about a month ago and he’s made a nice addition here. Oliver, this is my friend Louis. He’s been gone for a little while, but he owns half the shop.” Louis smiled at Oliver, giving him a tiny wave.

“Hello, nice to meet you Oliver,” Louis said. Oliver smiled, waving back.

“Hi Louis, nice to meet you as well,” He replied, just as Zayn was finishing up with the tea. They all got settled in a cozy reading corner and talked for a while, until eventually the bell above the door rang out and Niall came in brandishing a large white box.

“Hey guys! And Oliver too, nice to see you love, I brought pizza!” He exclaimed. The moment the smell hit Louis’ nose he was retching into a garbage can. Niall cooed softly, rubbing his back.

“Oh love, I think it’s time to go home,” Niall said, hauling him up and passing Zayn the box of pizza and helping the other Omega to the door. “I’ll see you later Z, and you to bug!” He said to the other two before getting Louis in the car.

“Niall what’s wrong with me? I can’t be around food anymore without puking, but the moment it’s gone I feel perfectly fine,” Louis said, slightly panicky. Niall rubbed Louis’ knee as he started the car.

“Lou I think it’s time for you to take a test,” Niall said, licking his lips nervously. Louis looked over at him terrified as they pulled up to a drugstore.

“A test for what?!” Louis practically shouted, scaring some pigeons roosting above the open sign. Niall shushed him, leading him down the maternity aisle and plucking the cheapest pregnancy test off the shelf. “Niall you cannot be serious,” Louis hissed, following him to the till.

“Were you on suppressants when you and Harry fucked?” Niall whispered back, paying for the product before dragging him into the men’s washroom.

“Well no, but what does that have to with anything?” Louis asked indignantly, snatching the stick from Niall when he thrust it into his hands and pushed him into the closest stall.

“A lot, now pee on the baby wand,” Niall commanded, snapping the door shut.

-------

Ten minutes later they were sitting in Niall’s car in front of Louis’ house. “Alright Lou, it’s now or never,” Niall said, looking over at his shaking friend beside him. Louis groaned, pulling his hands away from his eyes. He slowly looked down at the test and promptly shoved his hands on his face. Niall looked over and sighed. “Oh love, it’s not so bad,” He said, rubbing his back. To Louis this was the end of the world though. The little pink plus staring back from his lap meant only one thing.

Louis was pregnant.

-------

Walking into the house was the hardest thing Louis had done in a long time. He honestly wasn’t very sure how Harry was going to react and it scared the crap out of him. Harry had gotten off work early, so Louis found him in the living room reading. The book was immediately set aside when Harry noticed the new smell come in. “Louis,” He said happily, coming over to hug him, “How was the store?”

Louis swallowed nervously. “It was okay, haven’t seen it for a while so it was nice to go back,” He laughed awkwardly. Harry’s smile wiped itself from his face, replaced with a large frown. He pulled them down onto the couch, slinging an arm over Louis’ shoulders and rubbing the far one softly.

“What’s wrong love?” Harry asked, concern leaking from his pores. Louis put his face in his hands, breathing deeply.

“Harry,” He started quietly, figuring he might as well tell him, “Harry, I’m pregnant.”

Everything went silent.

Louis was pretty sure he could hear a pin drop in the neighbour’s house. Seconds ticked by, and Harry still hadn’t said anything. Louis was lifting his hands off his face, prepared to ask his mate what was wrong when he was suddenly pushed backwards. “Harry? What are you doing?” Louis asked, watching bemusedly as the taller man began to walk towards the kitchen.

“I’m going to call our doctor, and see if I can make an appointment for you to get rid of it,” Harry stated soundly, turning back to give Louis his attention. Louis went cold.

“What? You can’t just make that decision without me,” Louis said, also standing up. Harry raised him a frightful stare.

“I can and I will,” Harry said, standing taller, if possible. Louis glared at him.

“It’s my choice to! It’s not just your baby, and it’s my body,” The Omega said, voice steadily rising. Harry clenched his fists.

“No it is not your choice. I refuse for you to have it, it will promptly be going. Now stop whining,” Harry growled. Louis snapped.

“Harry Edward Styles you do not tell me what I can and cannot do! This is my baby just as much as it is yours and you do not get to make the final choice. I want to keep the child so maybe you’ll just have to deal with that,” He spat, challenging the other. The Alpha’s eyes flashed, and he started to advance on the smaller boy.

“You listen now, and you listen good. This is my choice, it will always be my choice. Don’t ever think for any moment that you’ve got any say in this. You are my responsibility and I will not allow this to happen,” Harry stated, scarily low. Louis blanched.

“Listen to yourself! Get your head out of your ass and stop being a piece of shit for one moment and hear me out!” Louis screamed, taking on a defensive stance.

“I’m your Alpha, and you will listen to me,” Harry ground out angrily.

“This is not about you!” Louis screeched back in frustration. Harry was quickly in front of him, staring him down with one of the most menacing looks Louis had ever seen.

“Sit down right now,” Harry bit out. Louis was on the couch in moments, staring up at him. “We are done. I am going to call the doctor, and you are only going to leave that spot if you think you are in danger. That is final,” He said before stalking out of the room. Louis shook for a moment, terrified. He barely even heard their bedroom door slam, all he could think about was how angry Harry was. Neither Harry had ever talked to him like that. The Omega was frightened of what his mate would do if he got any angrier. He wished he could leave, but the Alpha had left no room in his voice for leeway. He could only leave if he found something dangerous, but there wasn’t anything dangerous around, except maybe…

Well maybe Harry was a little dangerous at that moment.

It was like something snapped inside Louis, and slowly he stood up. Nothing was holding him to Harry’s will anymore because he knew what he thought was true. He also knew he had limited time before the Alpha came back, so quickly he ran out of the room, through the kitchen, and to the front entrance. He slipped on his shoes and coat, checked to make sure he had his phone and keys, and left.

The first and only person Louis could think of calling was Niall. He wasn’t sure why, but he knew it was the right idea. A breath of relief passed through his lips when the Irish man picked up on the second ring. “Hey Lou, how did it go?” Was the first thing he asked. Louis paused at the end of the road to catch his breath.

“Not good Niall. I know this is a lot to ask but do you know somewhere where I could lay low for a little while, maybe with you and Zayn?” Louis replied, biting his lip as Niall paused to think it over.

“Zayn is going to agree with Harry, I know it, but I think I have somewhere in mind where we could go. I’m going to pick you up, where are you?” Niall said. Louis tried to give him directions as best he could while he was running, and soon enough Niall was pulling over beside him. Louis got in the car, pulling in a deep breath to keep his tears at bay.

“Harry’s a big stinky dick,” was the first thing that came out of Niall’s mouth. Louis laughed out loud. “No seriously, he’s so blindsided by his own Alpha protectiveness that he doesn’t get your emotions. Zayn’s that way to. No doubt Harry’s calling him and Liam as we speak, which means time is of the essence,” the Irish boy explained, swerving expertly through back roads. Louis looked around, not recognizing any of the scenery.

“Where are we going?” Louis asked. Niall grinned widely.

“You don’t know? Probably for the best, you’d have killed me if you did. Also, you need to turn off the tracker app in your phone,” Niall explained, already doing so with his. Louis quickly pulled his phone from his pocket, noticing the app was in fact glowing red. He promptly shut it off, slipping the offending device back into his coat.

“Alright, well we’re here. I’ve already filled Nick in on the situation so don’t worry about that. Just don’t reply to any calls or texts and we should be okay,” Niall said, leading the way to the front door. Before Louis could ask who Nick was, the front door was being opened and before them stood the tallest man Louis had ever seen. He was dressed even more hipster then Harry and it looked like he had used a gallon of product to keep his hair the way it was. He raised a perfect eyebrow at Louis.

“Did we meet before?” Louis knew he was referring to his world. He shook his head. The other man nodded. “Good good. My name is Nicholas Grimshaw, but you can call me Nick, Grimmy, or as you used to call me, Shit-Eater,” He pulled them both inside, promptly slamming the door.

“Why did I used to call you Shit-Eater?” Louis asked bewilderedly, following Nick and Niall up the stairs to a posh looking sitting room. Nick shrugged.

“We didn’t get on very well. I’m hoping this will clear the waters,” He said, gesturing for Louis to sit. “So Niall, does anyone know, or are you two just going to stay here till things clear up?” He asked the other man, who’d already helped himself to a sandwich in Nick’s fridge.

“I was hoping we could stay here for a bit. I don’t…” Niall trailed off when he noticed his phone ringing. He quietly put a finger to his lips, motioning for silence, before hitting answer and speaker phone at the same time.

“Niall,” came Zayn’s stony voice. Louis stared at Niall, who swallowed reflexively.

“Zayn,” Niall replied, “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“You know damn well why I’m calling. Where is he?”

Niall blinked innocently. “I don’t know whom you’re referring to,” he said. Nick forced a fist into his mouth to stifle his laughter. Louis raised his eyebrows incredulously. Zayn growled on the other end.

“Niall Horan, do not make me ask you again. Where. Is. He.” It wasn’t a question. Both men looked over to Niall, who looked torn between crying and puking. A flush began taking over his features, and suddenly he threw his phone against the adjacent wall, smashing it to pieces.

“He’s at Nick Grimshaw’s house!” Niall shouted out loud, covering his mouth with his hands in shock. Louis startled and Nick laughed out loud, getting Niall to sit down in a comfy looking chair. Niall gripped the arms of the seat, trying to get his breathing under control. Nick patted his arm comfortingly.

“That was amazing. Probably the most incredible thing I’ve seen all week,” Nick told him, looking over to Louis. Louis would’ve laughed at Niall’s shocked expression, or at least smiled to show he was paying attention, but he found his lower lip quivering at the texts rolling across his screen.

Louis?

Louis! Where are you?

LOUIS! Answer me dammit!

TELL ME WHERE YOU ARE

Louis please

Boobear…

Reply please

I need to know you’re safe Lou, come home love.

I’m sorry, I’m so sorry

Louis u need 2 get home, H is worried xx – Z

Please come home

Lou itz Liammmm and Haz iz freking out . Com bak plz

I’m so sorry, please come home, or reply, anything, please

I’m so worried, where are you love? Tell me

I love you so much

Come home

“Hey, hey. What’s wrong sweetheart?” Nick had come over to rest his hands on Louis’ knees. The Omega stared at him for a moment before bursting into tears. Nick pulled him in to rest on his lap, whispering comforting words to him while he rocked them on the floor. Once Louis had stopped crying, he rested his head on Nick’s shoulder tiredly, sniffing periodically. The taller man rubbed his back slowly. “There there love. Why don’t we get you tucked in for a nap, yeah? Then me and Niall can make us some dinner,” Nick said. Louis could only nod. Nick then picked him up, holding him to his chest protectively. Louis didn’t miss when Nick thrust his phone at Niall, who pursed his lips at it sourly and promptly shut it off. Niall then smiled at Louis, waving to him as he was carried down a long hallway.

Nick’s room was warm and cozy, which was about all Louis noticed in his state while the other man took great care to get him settled. “If you need anything at all Lou, just give a shout okay?” Nick said, ruffling his hair. Louis nodded.

“Thank you,” he said quietly, watching as Nick gave him a thumbs up. Louis waited until he was sure Nick was gone before taking in a shuddering breath and sobbing silently into the pillow.

--------

The first day at Nick’s house Louis laid in bed. He found that every time he tried to sleep all he could see were Harry’s thoughts, which were of him. It was easier for Louis to just stay awake then endure the anguish.

At some point Nick and Niall had decided that he shouldn’t be left alone, so they took turns lying with him. Niall also made sure to get some food into him every once and a while, though Louis couldn’t really find it in himself to eat. Both of them slept with him during the night; Louis spent it trying to count how many eyelashes they each had.

The second day Nick managed to get him up and bathed, and Louis, Niall, and him spent most of it playing board games and watching movies. Louis also found a lot of his time going to his panic attacks, which had become more frequent during the hours away from Harry. Although Niall and Nick were able to calm him down each time he was always restless and frustrated, closing in on himself a little more with each one. That night Louis still couldn’t sleep, crying to himself while the other two held him.

--------

Harry was a mess. Louis had been gone for almost three days. Zayn and Liam had both helped him try to find his mate, but none of them had succeeded. The Alpha had spent most of his time crying or angry with himself for doing it. He knew the moment he’d found the living room empty that Louis had left because of him, because he was frightened of him. He had to find him to tell him how sorry he was.

After another night of restless sleeping, Harry found himself sitting in his kitchen with Zayn and Liam, trying to think of where Louis was.

“Well,” Liam started, “It’s safe to say he’s not here, at mine, or at Zayn’s place.” Zayn gave him a look when Harry put his face in his hands.

“Don’t worry Haz, we’ll find him. Niall’s with him to so at least we know he’s safe,” Zayn said, rubbing Harry’s back comfortingly. Harry sighed.

“I just want him back Z. I was given a miracle when he showed up in our house and now I’ve lost him again. I just need him to be safe and loved and happy,” the Alpha said, blinking back another round of tears. Zayn just nodded.

“You know what we haven’t tried is thinking about places that we would never think to look,” Liam said. Harry and Zayn looked over questioningly. “What I mean,” Liam clarified, “Is that we haven’t really thought of places that aren’t super likely for them to go. I mean isn’t there a saying that most things you lose are always in the last place you’d expect?”

Zayn smiled. “He’s right Harry, we should put our heads together and think of some places like that that they could be at,” He said, causing Harry to nod.

“Alright, where do you think they are Liam?” He asked. Liam tapped his chin in thought.

“Well Niall is smart, so not anywhere dangerous. Probably not outside, or some place seedy. You know, I bet he’s staying with someone, maybe a friend?” Liam thought aloud. Zayn snapped his fingers.

“You know, he’s on to something. Not just any friend. Think about it Harry, who is the one person Louis could never stand? The one guy he would have absolutely refused to go to in any situation,” Zayn said. Harry’s eyes lit up, smiling when Liam also seemed to catch on. All at once the three of them said their assumptions aloud before getting up to get ready for the drive.

“Nick.”

-------

Louis started to wonder if maybe he was going to die. He was so tired, not to mention Niall couldn’t even get him to drink a glass of water. He’d been lying alone for a half hour, listening to the rain pattering down onto the roof. Every time he blinked he could see cars going off bridges; he forced himself to stay awake. At some point the door had opened downstairs. Louis assumed Nick must’ve been going to work, although Niall seemed to be listening to the TV awfully loudly because Louis could swear there were multiple voices coming from the living room. Footsteps started coming toward Nick’s room. Louis closed his eyes when the door opened; both Nick and Niall thought he’d been sleeping and he didn’t want to worry them.

Very softly the footsteps slowly came towards the bed. Louis thought it was probably Nick since Niall had never been very subtle. The Omega listened to the blankets rustle as he got in, sliding under the covers and pressing up against Louis from behind. Long arms wound themselves around Louis’ waist, hands coming to rest over his tummy.

Louis opened his eyes when he realized the hands were rubbing soothing circles into the skin of his belly. Nick had never been that touchy-feely before. Slowly he looked down, and with a sickening sense of dread confirmed what he thought. A large black anchor was etched onto the outer wrist of this man.

It was Harry.

Louis blanched, immediately trying to wrench himself out of the other’s grip. Harry held on, refusing to let go of the panicking man. “Let go!” Louis shouted, wheezing at the loss of breath.

“Never again,” Harry said soundly, not allowing Louis out of his arms. Louis felt frustrated tears leak down his cheeks.

“I don’t want to see you,” he forced out, lungs constricting. He tried to kick at Harry’s legs only to have the Alpha hold them still in between his.

“You’re lying,” Harry spoke from behind him, pulling Louis closer against him. Louis bucked wildly, eyes blurring at the edges.

“I hate you!” He spat, gripping at Harry’s wrists.

“No you don’t,” the Alpha said, spinning Louis around so their chests were touching. “Breath for me Louis, I need you to breath,” the Alpha said, taking in a few deep breaths. Eventually Louis was able to match him, and he was left crying openly into Harry’s shirt. Harry rubbed his back. “Shh, you’re okay. No more tears Lou,” Harry whispered, kissing his face tenderly.

“Why?” Louis asked brokenly through a lone sob.

“I’m so sorry Louis. I never meant to scare you. I would never hurt you, I promise, you’re too special,” Harry said, tucking Louis in under his chin.

“Then why did you do it?” Louis whispered. Harry willed his tears away.

“I love you so much Louis, and I just… I can’t lose you again, I just can’t. You’re so precious to me, and I couldn’t go on if I had to see you lying lifeless on another operating table. You mean to much to me to risk it,” Harry said, tears coming anyways. “Please don’t make me do it again,” he said, voice cracking. Louis allowed himself to hug Harry back, unable to do nothing while his lover cried.

“Please don’t cry Harry. I love you so much; I promise I’ll never leave you again. I promise you that you won’t lose me. I know it happened before, but I’m not him,” Louis paused for a moment to pull back. He looked up into Harry’s bloodshot eyes. “In my world, a couple like us would be lucky to even be able to be together let alone have a child, and now in this world I have the ability to have my own and,” Louis took in a breath, “Please Harry, I beg you, let me at least try to have our baby. If there are any complications, at all, I will do anything you ask.” Harry closed his eyes, biting his lip before nodding.

“Okay, just don’t ever leave again,” Harry cried, pulling Louis back in. The Omega held his mate tightly.

“I promise,” Louis said, crying with relief at being back in Harry’s arms.

------

They both ended up falling asleep in Nick’s bed, exhausted after having almost no sleep for three days. After a few dreamless hours, Louis woke up being carried out of Nick’s place by Harry. He opened his mouth to say he could walk when Harry shushed him, holding him closer. “I want to take care of you,” the Alpha said.

True to his word, Harry took him home, fed him one of the best meals he’d had in an eternity, took an uncountable amount of time making sure he was clean and refreshed, then tucked them both in. Louis knew, as he hugged Harry tightly, that everything was going to be okay.

-------

If Louis thought Harry was protective before he got pregnant he was absolutely wrong. The Omega was lucky if he could go to the bathroom by himself. Harry was very thorough in making sure Louis was healthy and safe (emphasis on safe). Not only did the Alpha make sure that it was virtually impossible for Louis to eat anything that wasn’t nutritious, but also, for some reason unknown to Louis, his partner had basically baby-proofed his life before their child was born. The short boy couldn’t even sniffle without Harry swaddling him in blankets and driving him to the clinic. Harry made sure Louis had everything he needed to an obsessive point. The Omega was pretty sure he’d woken up from a nap on the couch at one point surrounded by the whole Harry Potter series and a chicken sandwich.

Louis loved Harry, he really did, but he felt like he was going to explode if he didn’t get some time away from him for a little while, which is why he brought the matter up when they were cuddling in bed one night a few months into his pregnancy.

“Haz,” Louis started, playing with one of Harry’s curls. The Alpha hummed in acknowledgement, nuzzling his nose against Louis’ cheek. “I was thinking, when you go to the bakery tomorrow, how about I go spend some time in the bookshop, get reacquainted with everything?” Louis bit his lip nervously, cuddling closer to Harry when the Alpha pulled him in tighter.

“Why love? Is it the bakery? I can call Liam tomorrow and see if he is willing to work full days so we can spend more time at home, or I can get more blankets for the cot so you’ll be more comfortable or-“ Harry rambled worriedly. Louis silenced him with a kiss.

“Sweetheart, I just want to feel independent again, if only for a few hours. You forget that in my world I was alone most of the time,” Louis said, trying to word his phrases without upsetting the other man. The Alpha grumbled, running his hands lightly across Louis’ slightly protruding belly.

Eventually he sighed. “You’ll never be alone again if I have any say in it,” he started, pressing a kiss to Louis’ hair, “But I have been a little overbearing lately (Louis scoffed) and a few hours couldn’t hurt. You have to promise you’ll keep your phone on, okay? Stay within yelling distance with Zayn, and don’t leave the store by yourself. Why don’t you and Zayn walk over to the bakery at noon? We can all have lunch, then I’ll drive Zayn back and we can head home. Maybe I can give you a massage?” Louis smiled, insides warming at the affection Harry bestowed on him.

“That sounds wonderful,” Louis said, winding his arms around Harry’s neck. “I promise if anything happens I’ll make sure you’re in the know.” The younger male smiled happily.

“I’ll call Zayn in the morning to make sure he doesn’t leave before we get there to pick him up. Right now though, it’s time for bed,” Harry said, flicking off his lamp and snuggling them both under the covers. Louis sighed happily, and once his partner had kissed both him and his tummy, they settled down for the evening.

------

The next day Harry managed to call Zayn and tell him the plans, while getting Louis ready, and all while figuring out the pastry special of the week and booking Louis’ next ultrasound (which Harry insisted happen at least once a week). Eventually he had got them both in the truck, picked up Zayn, and dropped them off at the bookstore. Louis couldn’t believe that it was actually almost time to leave the shop. He’d had a good few hours relearning every inch of the store, helping Zayn with his duties and the like. The Omega still couldn’t get over the fact that he co-owned the place. He was also surprised that he seemed to have some sort of muscle memory about certain things, like if he pushed the grate over the ceiling vent above the nonfiction hard enough, it opened into a little cubby of what appeared to be his other self’s stash of vintage comics. The Omega had almost crapped his pants when he’d opened a dusty copy of The Great Gatsby and at least a dozen pictures of Harry came spilling out. So he did know a little about the store at least.

Louis was pushing a few of the comics into his bag to take home for reading when Zayn came out from behind the counter to leave. “All set?” The Alpha asked, buttoning the top of his coat up.

Louis smiled. “Sure am,” he replied, holding the door open for his counterpart. Zayn slipped through, and after he’d locked the door behind them, they set off for the bakery

------

Louis stopped Zayn midsentence about his views on e-books when he noticed something familiar heaped by a trashcan in the alley adjacent to them.

“Zayn?” Louis asked, motioning to the lump, “Isn’t that your cardigan?”

Zayn looked at it for a moment before nodding slowly. “Yeah, it is. I wonder why it’s sitting there though, I gave it to Oliver a few months ago…” They both made their way over to it. Louis raised his eyebrows when he realized the pile appeared to be moving. They shared a looked before Zayn moved Louis behind himself with a protective arm and began to lift up the dirty piece of clothing.

Louis almost fainted when he realized the person he was looking at underneath it was Oliver.

The young boy blinked his eyes slowly, looking up at the two before his reactions caught up with him and he violently flinched in on himself.

“No, please, not again…” He moaned, crying to himself. One hand reached out, gesturing in a way that it looked like he was asking for the cardigan back. Louis’ heart panged with empathy for the child, he knew what it felt like to be that scared. Zayn was leaning down to be at Oliver’s level.

“Oliver, love, it’s me, Zayn,” he said, setting a tentative hand gently on the boy’s arm. Oliver opened his eyes, peering out at them from his dirty glasses.

“Z-Zayn? What are you doing h-here?” He stuttered. Louis realized the kid was whiter then snow and his lips were chapped to the point of pain. How long had he been out there for? And in the only t-shirt and shorts he seemed to own. Louis watched as the Alpha picked up the boy slowly, holding him close. The Omega’s heart broke at the look on Zayn’s face.

“We were walking to Harry’s bakery. How long have you been out here for babe? Shouldn’t you be in school?” Zayn asked, resting him in one arm to manoeuvre himself out of his jacket.

“I um… I haven’t been entirely honest with y-you,” Oliver started, allowing the dark haired man to swaddle him in his coat. “I haven’t been g-going to school for a while n-now. In f-fact I recently ran a-away from the home I was living i-in. They weren’t very nice, it’s b-better out here. I’ve been l-living in this alley, and a man h-has been giving me food for… F-for-“ He stopped, pushing his face into Zayn’s shoulder, “I’m sorry for lying!” He cried. The Alpha tried to shush him as they continued on their walk.

“It’s okay, it’s okay. I’m not mad Ollie. Hush,” Zayn tried to console the weeping child. Louis just watched them, wishing he could help. He held the door to the bakery open for them, allowing Zayn to continue stroking Oliver’s hair. Harry and Liam (who appeared to have been having an animated conversation together before they walked in) both stopped to look at the three of them from their places at the counter. Harry turned back to look at Liam before they both nodded. Harry came forward to meet them as Liam slipped into the back.

“Hey guys. What happened?” The concerned Alpha asked, stopping next to Louis.

“Ollie’s been out in the cold for some time, he might be hypothermic,” Zayn replied, gently rocking the still crying boy. Harry hummed in reply.

“Liam’s gone to set up the cot in the back, if you want to go get him settled. We’ll stay out here for a moment so we don’t overwhelm the poor boy,” Harry said, gesturing to the back room. Zayn nodded curtly, quickly moving behind the counter and into the back. Harry let out a sigh before turning to press a kiss to Louis’ lips. Harry then gave him a look to elaborate.

“Sounds like the kid’s been through some shit. First off, he is most definitely homeless, from what I got he’s living in some sort of group home, so his parents are probably not in the picture. He’s not going to school, and has been living in an alley not far from here for some time. Apparently he’s been getting food from some guy, but it sounds like the bastard’s been using him explicitly in return,” Louis grimaced. Harry’s eyes darkened and he clenched his fists angrily.

“I hope I never find that guy, ‘cause I’ll kill him,” he said bitterly, mouth pressing into a fine line. Louis rubbed a thumb against it until it softened out.

“I know how you feel love, but right now getting angry won’t help. We should probably go in now to see how Zayn’s holding up, he’s pretty upset about the whole ordeal,” Louis said gently. Harry nodded, allowing his hands to go slack. The Omega then linked their hands together, and they both walked into the backroom.

Upon entering Louis wasn’t surprised to see Zayn still beside himself for Oliver. The young boy had been bundled in several blankets, and was still shivering in the spot he had positioned himself on the cot. Zayn was trying to console him from where he sat, gently rubbing his back and murmuring to him. Liam, noticing that Louis an Harry both walked in, laid a comforting hand on Zayn’s shoulder for a moment before leaving to watch the till.

“Is there anything you need?” Harry asked quietly, keeping a distance from the child to not scare him. Zayn turned to look at him, smiling sadly.

“Could you call Niall for me? I think he’ll want to know what’s happening,” the other Alpha said, letting his hand still on the small of the child’s back. Harry nodded, giving his arm a light pat before pulling his phone from his pocket and quietly leaving the room. Zayn then looked over at Louis, who came over to rest his hands gently on the other’s shoulders.

“How’s he doing?” Louis asked, noticing that Oliver had fallen asleep. Zayn sighed, running his hands through the boy’s hair.

“Physically he’s improving. I still suspect he has hypothermia, but it seems like we got to him before it could get severe. I don’t think he’ll allow us to take him to a hospital and I don’t want to push him, so I figure after some sleep in a warm bed he should be okay. He has some bruises around his neck and wrists, and I’m hoping between Niall and I we can calm him down enough to give him a once over for anything else,” at that moment Oliver turned to press his face into Zayn’s thigh. Zayn smiled down at him, pulling the blankets tighter around his tiny frame before looking back to Louis. “Mentally he’s all over the map. I mean he’s only eight and he’s going to have to see a therapist for the trauma he’s been through. Ollie’s been starved and used in a way no child should be. I wish I had known sooner, I could’ve done something, I could’ve-“ Zayn stopped abruptly, pushing his face into his hands to cry silently. Louis moved forward to embrace the distraught man, trying to console him.

“Zayn, love, the past is the past, and even though you can’t change what’s happened you can make his future better. You’ve already done it by helping him today,” Louis said, watching as Zayn nodded and blearily blinked up at him. “No one will be better at looking after him then you and Niall, you’ve already had practice.”

Zayn laughed at Louis’ prod at himself, wiping away his final tears and sitting up a little straighter. After a few moments the door behind Louis slowly opened, and Niall peeked around, coming to stand next to Louis and Zayn.

“I came as quickly as I could. Haz told me what happened, how’s he?” Zayn reiterated what he’d told Louis while he stood up. Niall nodded when he’d finished, watching as his partner scooped the boy back into his arms. The other Omega then turned to Louis. “I think we should probably get Ollie home, make him feel comfortable. We’ll call you later to let you know how things are going,” Niall said, pulling Louis in for a hug. Zayn and Louis exchanged nods, and then the short man watched them leave. Although he felt pain in his heart for Oliver, Louis knew things had started to look up for him that day.

-------

Eight months into his pregnancy and Louis was starting to feel like a whale (despite what Harry said). His ankles ached and he couldn’t be around garlic anymore without puking. The Omega had taken to random bouts of crying for no apparent reason, and the slightest mishap could set him off.

That was how Louis found himself wiping away tears in the bathroom. Harry had made a comment about his figure (if Louis thought about it, the Alpha had only told him that he loved how huggable his mate was, but he wasn’t going to) and the smaller man had locked himself away. Now Louis was doing his best to ignore his partner’s pleading from the other side.

“C’mon boo, you know I was in no way trying to put you down. I think you’re gorgeous, everybody knows that. You should know that to,” Harry said, shaking the door handle for fifth time. Louis gurgled a little as his tears continued to stream down his face.

“I’m not coming out Harry, you’ll have to go to lunch alone (before Louis’ outburst they had been getting dressed to go to lunch with the gang). I don’t want everyone to know how fat I’ve been getting,” the Omega said crossly, subconsciously brushing down his shirt. Harry gasped.

“Louis you are not fat, you are pregnant! Nobody is going to think you’ve gained weight. The only thing they are going to see is the light from the glow you’re emitting,” Harry said, pawing gently at the door. Louis wiped at his face; Harry fully believed what he was telling the Omega. “Please babe, open the door. We don’t have to go out if you don’t want to. I can call Zayn to let everyone know and we can stay in and watch movies or have a lie-in.”

The Omega sighed; Harry was to good to him. He walked over to the door and unlocked it, opening his arms for his happy husband. Said Alpha hummed cheerfully, wrapping himself around his mate. Louis pulled back a little so he could see Harry’s face. “We have to go to that lunch,” Louis stated factually, “Zayn said if we cancel one more time he’s gonna teach the baby which slang words I hate the most.”

Harry nodded affirmatively, trying to hold in his smile. “We can’t have that, can we? I shudder to think that someday soon we might hear the pitter patter of little feet accompanied by a raucous call of ‘Swaggie!’” Louis smacked him playfully on the arm before swallowing Harry’s laugh in a kiss. When they pulled back Harry was smiling fondly at Louis.

“Sorry love, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I love you so much,” Harry nuzzled his nose into the hair by Louis’ ear, rubbing gentle circles into the smaller man’s waist. Louis made a happy sound, running his hands through Harry’s curls.

“I’m alright, I know you meant no harm. I’ve been pretty emotional lately, I’m sorry I keep crying all the time,” Louis blushed. Harry looked at him, shaking his head.

“You have nothing to be sorry for sweetheart. Unfortunately we’re both going to be sorry if we don’t leave soon; Zayn’s going to have our asses if we’re not there in twenty minutes,” Harry said. They both hurried back into the bedroom, laughing as they raced to see who could get ready the fastest.

-------

Louis realized something was up the moment Harry took a different turn then usual to get to the bakery. He turned to raise an eyebrow at Harry who, despite having his eyes on the road, had a knowing smile on his face. “Where are we going?” He asked warily, looking at a semi-familiar set of houses flash past them. Harry took his Omega’s hand, stroking his thumb over a knuckle.

“So I may have told you the wrong time for lunch. They’re not expecting us until two, and I didn’t want to do this until you were ready,” The Alpha explained, causing Louis to gulp nervously.

“To do what?” The Omega asked looking at the house Harry had just parked in front of. Harry briefly let go of his hand to get out of the truck and come over to his side and open the door. He held out his hand, which Louis reluctantly took.

“Do you trust me?” The Alpha asked, squeezing Louis’ hand gently. The small man nodded without hesitation.

“Of course,” Louis said. Hesitantly he stepped out of the vehicle, closed his door with his free hand, and gave Harry a kiss on the cheek. Harry beamed, leading him up to the doorway. Before he knocked he turned to look at his mate.

“All you need to do is give me the word and we’ll leave, okay?” Louis nodded at him, and waited in nervous anticipation as Harry knocked lightly on the door. All at once the door was flung open and Louis was covered in… Girls?

“Lou! You’re okay!” One shouted.

“Louis I can’t believe it,” Another yelled.

“What the hell Haz, why didn’t you tell us sooner?!” Louis realized, with a teary jolt, that the voices were his sisters. The girls were his girls.

“Harry?” Louis turned back to give his partner a watery look. The Alpha just smiled at him.

“My how you’ve grown,” a voice said from behind him. Louis’ head whipped back around. His mom stood in the foyer, wiping away a line of mascara from her cheek.

Louis smiled despite himself as he let out a sob. “Well I am pregnant,” he said jokingly, ignoring his happy tears. Jay just shook her head, wiping at her eyes as she came over to give her son a hug.

“That you are. As always, you look wonderful sweetheart,” she told him, talking over his sister’s. “Why don’t you come into the sitting room?” She asked, leading him to a room down the hall. Louis followed after her, his sisters practically bouncing off each other in excitement. When they’d finally made it to the living room, Louis had to stop for a moment to take in the sight before him.

Standing in front of the couch Louis’ mom was now sitting on were two other people. One was taller and younger, her face contorted into one of the fondest looks Louis had ever seen. The other had her hands to her mouth, though her eyes suggested a smile was beneath them. Louis had to take a moment before asking, “Anne, Gemma?”

Both nodded enthusiastically before Anne let out a loud noise of excitement and ran over to the Omega, bringing him into a hug. “It is you Louis! I thought Harry might’ve gone around the bend but I’m so glad I was wrong!” She seemed to be crying tears of joy; Louis was baffled.

“It’s so good to see you again Lou,” Gemma said kindly, waiting until her mother had moved so she could also give him a hug. Louis was still just as bemused as he had been at the beginning of this excursion.

“Why are you here?” He asked slowly. Both their expressions dropped a little. “Don’t you hate me?” He frowned.

Anne smiled sadly, taking his hands and moving them both to the couch on her right. Louis noticed she was sitting him down beside Harry, who he hadn’t even noticed had come into the room. “We don’t hate you love, not at all,” Anne started, “Harry’s filled us in a little bit on the situation, I hope that’s alright?” Louis nodded; kind of relieved he wouldn’t have to relive that part of his life.

“You’re very important to us Louis. You and Harry are soul mates, of course we love you!” Gemma exclaimed, looking shocked that even the thought of her not liking Louis could come up in conversation. “When you died it was hard for all of us, especially knowing that Harry was trying so hard to not do wrong by you, even when he didn’t have to,” she said, looking over at her brother, who had become absorbed in the hand he had intertwined with Louis’. The Omega just gave it a squeeze, turning so he could rest his head against the Alpha’s shoulder. Harry seemed to calm down at the gesture, and rest his head atop the smaller boy’s. Louis noticed from the corner of his eye that his mother was looking at them with elatedness.

“Lou you have to tell us how life has been for you! Are things way more confusing in this world, and is this Harry like your Harry?” Felicity asked, eyes sparkling. The other girls crowded in to hear, Gemma included. Jay and Anne just looked at him smiling to each other as Harry tried to lean in as well, causing Louis to laugh.

“Okay, don’t worry we have time! I’ll start with waking up the first morning I was here…” Louis began, for once not feeling nervous to be in a room full of people he thought had hated him.

-------

“Just on time, for once,” Zayn said sarcastically, pocketing his phone as Harry and Louis rushed into the bakery. Louis had had such a good time regaling the events of the past few months to his loved ones that he’d forgotten they had a second engagement to go to. Harry fortunately had charmed them out of there in less than twenty minutes and they had sped like madmen to their destination. Louis just rolled his eyes playfully, swatting Zayn in the arm and sitting down beside him. Harry took the seat beside his mate, and Louis grinned up at him while Harry leaned down to peck him on the lips.

“Seriously?” Louis heard someone mumble, “Get a room, we don’t need you to be sickeningly sweet, we’re getting dessert.” Louis turned to raise an eyebrow at Nick across the table. It turned sort of confused for a second when he noticed the lanky man had his arm across Liam’s seat before he quickly school himself back into smugness.

“Well Nicholas, some of us are actually in certified awesome relationships, with pairing names and everything, just ask Ollie,” Louis turned to the child, who was giggling behind his fruit salad. “Mr. Oliver?” Louis asked, watching said boy raise his hand in a mock salute to him, “What would you call me and Harry?” Oliver pretended to think about his question for a moment before answering brightly,

“Larry Stylinson!” Louis smiled pretentiously at Nick, who rolled his eyes dramatically (to be truthful, Louis had a big soft spot for Nick and likewise, they just really liked teasing each other).

“Right-o! And what would you call your two housemates?” Louis asked again, pointing to Zayn and Niall, who until that moment, had been staring at each other dopily. Oliver pursed his lips before grinning once again.

“I’d call them Ziall Halik!” Oliver beamed at the pregnant man, who nodded in agreement.

“Now that’s catchy! Finally, what about this schmoe here, what do you call him?” Louis gestured to Nick, who turned to look at Oliver quizzically.

Oliver tapped his chin for a couple seconds, finally replying, “Sad and lonely?” Nick gasped dramatically at him, putting his hand over his heart. Louis laughed loudly for a moment, staring fondly at the little boy. He leaned forward towards him, and cupping a hand around one side of his mouth, stage whispered,

“You’re my favourite!”

This caused Oliver to giggle into his hand, and Harry to finally join in the conversation with an indignant, “Heeeeeeeey, I better be your favourite.” Louis patted his Alpha’s hand placatingly before giving him a big kiss on the lips. Harry smiled and opened his mouth to reply to Louis’ gesture, but Nick cut him off.

“I’d like to go back to this ‘Sad and lonely’ thing and scratch it from the record,” He started, making a large sweeping gesture with his free hand (Louis noticed he hadn’t moved his other arm from it’s place behind Liam, who was now blushing furiously), “Furthermore I’d like my pairing name to be known as Niam Payneshaw.” Nick smiled proudly at the table while Liam just held his head in his hands, moaning pitifully. Everything was silent for a moment before Harry spat out the water he was drinking across the table, startling the waitress who had just come with their drinks.

“You... And Liam… Are… What, no I-“ Harry just stuttered out. Niall and Zayn both looked at Liam incredulously, who continued to moan into his hands, and Louis looked over at Harry bemusedly.

“Haz, I thought Alphas didn’t date each other?” Louis asked curiously. Harry looked over at him and shrugged helplessly.

“It does happen sometimes I suppose,” Harry said unsurely, pursing his lips, “But it’s incredibly rare and unheard of. If Nick here isn’t just yanking our chains, then this would be the first time I’ve ever met anyone in a relationship of this sort.” Louis looked back over to Nick, who was nodding his head while trying to get Liam out of his hand safety.

“For once I’m not messing with any of you. Mr. Scaredy-Bear and I are legitimately going steady,” Nick grinned brightly, finally managing to get Liam’s face out of his hands.

“He’s telling the truth,” Liam croaked out, ducking his head into the crook of Nick’s head. Nick cooed at him, stroking a hand through his hair comfortingly.

“Don’t know what you’re so embarrassed about Li,” Niall said, smiling at the couple as he helped Oliver spear a grape on his fork, “I think it’s great that you finally found someone who’s worthy of you.”

Liam peeked an eye out at him. “Really?” He asked quietly.

“Yeah mate,” Zayn said, smiling calmly at the other Alpha, “If you’re happy then we’re all happy.” Everyone at the table nodded in agreement, and Liam sat up normally.

“There we go love, now have some coffee and join in the conversation,” Nick said, pushing Liam’s latte over to him. Liam sipped at it quietly, and soon everyone had joined in (minus Louis and Oliver, since neither could have caffeine. Louis had grumbled a little about that fact, until both of them got large birthday cake flavoured milkshakes. Then Louis was content). Niall looked over to Louis and smiled at him when he winked sassily.

“Are you guys excited for the baby? Little bug’s coming pretty quickly,” Niall said. Louis grinned at his mate, who was smiling down at him.

“Yeah we’re buzzing. Due date’s four days from now, but you really never know with these things do you,” Louis said, taking another sip of his shake. He almost purred out loud when Harry began stroking his tummy.

“Well let’s hope it decides to camp out for a few more weeks, because you’re glowing Lou,” Zayn said. Louis perked up. Harry raised an eyebrow at him as if to say ‘I told you so’. Louis stuck his tongue out at the other.

“Yeah you lucky duck! Though I guess it’s only fair because soon you’re going to be pushing out a watermelon,” Nick said, quickly having to turn to a panicking Oliver to explain his joke. Louis was going to retort, but simultaneously felt water down his leg and knocked over his shake from the force of a sudden cramp in his abdomen.

“You know Lou, if you don’t like the shake we can order you another one,” Liam said carefully, wiping the sticky substance off of a squawking Nick’s trousers. Louis shook his head, practically falling into Harry’s open awaiting arms when another cramp hit him.

“Louis what’s wrong?!” Harry asked frantically, eyes only for his Omega. Louis squeezed his arm in a painful grip.

“Haz, my water just broke,” Louis clenched out. Harry stared blankly at him for a moment before Louis was hit with a contraction more painful then the first two. When Louis unintentionally pushed further into the other’s arms Harry sprang to action.

Harry nearly knocked the table over in his attempt to get Louis into his arms and stand at the same time. “Okay Haz, I know you love Louis but now is not the time-“ Zayn started.

“Louis’ in labour,” Harry said frantically, shushing Louis cries when yet another contraction hit him. Instantly everyone else was standing as well.

“Should we be going to yours to grab the hospital kit?” Niall asked worriedly, downing the last of his coffee in one go.

“There’s no time for the bloody kit!” Harry yelled loudly, causing half the café to look over at them. Nobody in the group seemed to notice the stares.

“Well what about the cheque!?” Liam called after Harry, who was quickly running outside to his car. He turned to look dejectedly at Nick, who promptly slapped a one hundred pound note onto the table.

“That should cover the tab. Lets go after them darling,” Nick said, pulling Liam by the hand to follow Zayn’s retreating form out the exit.

Outside Harry was trying to unlock his truck door to no avail. His hands were shaking to hard, not to mention he was trying to keep a steady grip on his mate, who was in incredible pain that he could do nothing about and he just kept crying and moaning and –

“Harry!” Said man spun around to find Niall standing in front of him holding up his keys. “I’ll take you to the hospital, throw Zayn your keys and he’ll follow us there with the other lads,” Niall explained as fast as he could. Harry nodded and tossed his keys blindly (luckily Zayn had been expecting that and caught them without much hassle) before following Niall to his car and practically diving into the backseat. Before he could even think of yelling at the other Omega to drive Niall was halfway through the nearest intersection. Harry didn’t have much time to think about how thankful he was for Niall’s reckless driving however, because he was to absorbed with calming Louis down. It seemed to be a fruitless effort.

“Deep breaths my love, we’ll be there soon,” Harry chanted, letting Louis squeeze the life out of his hand.

“For the love of god Niall, can this thing go any faster?!” Louis screamed through his pain.

“If we went any faster we’d be going through a wormhole to another dimension!” Niall snapped back, unconsciously speeding up despite his retort.

“Would it be a dimension where I didn’t have to push a football out of my ass?!” Louis screeched, only to get shushed by Harry. Louis took a moment to look at his mate between his contractions. Despite the crazed look about him, Harry was still oozing love and caring. Louis was so in love with him. So glad that they got to share this together despite the pain and suffering, it was worth it.

“Harry,” Louis stuttered, getting his Alpha to look at him, “Harry I want you to know that if I don’t… If I don’t make it, I just lo-“ Harry shut him up with a fierce kiss.

“Don’t even think that,” The other man said intensely, pulling him closer. Louis looked up at him until he had no choice but to look away, curling in on himself from the force of the pain in his side.

“We’re here!” Niall called out, haphazardly pulling into a spot by the main entrance. Harry quickly pulled Louis from the still running vehicle and sprinted to the doors.

“Please don’t leave me,” the Alpha heard a pained whisper from the other.

“Never,” He said fiercely, suddenly whipped into a flurry of activity from the lobby. Forcefully Harry called out, “My husband’s in labour, I need some help!” Three doctors came running towards him. Harry instantly glowered at one of them.

“Not you,” He seethed, causing the shaking man to back up a few paces, “Get the hell out of here,” Harry watched with some satisfaction as the doctor who had ripped his previous mate from him for the last time ran from the room. The other two were quick to lead the couple down a long hallway.

“Sir, we have to change your husband for surgery. Would it be alright if we took him for a few moments?” A nurse asked him as they entered the operating room. Harry shook his head at her, thrusting one of his hands out.

“I’ll do it, just get the bed ready,” Harry ordered. She nodded, handing him a hospital gown and a doctor’s scrub.

“The gown’s for him, and this is for you, just so you both stay clean,” She explained before quickly rushing off into the thick of a bunch of yelling doctors. Amidst the chaos Harry managed to keep Louis upright while he got him out of his own clothing and into the hospital wear.

“You’re doing so good love, going through all this like a champ,” Harry said, kissing Louis’ face anywhere he could reach. Anything to stop his mate’s crying while he attempted to tie the back strings. “I love you so much.” As soon as Harry had finished he was lead over to a bed where he quickly set Louis down so he could quickly through on his own garment. Another nurse came over to him as a screen was set up between Louis upper chest and stomach area.

“You said you were his husband?” He asked. Harry nodded, taking Louis’ hand when the small man reached out for him. The nurse nodded. “Try to keep him as calm as possible. Natural birthing for male Omegas can be excruciating on their internal organs, so generally we try to do a caesarean section. We’ve put up the screen to prevent you from seeing the worst of it, but panicking will cause more blood loss then anyone here would like. Just try to minimize any panicking, I promise you everything will be okay,” The nurse explained before moving away, once again leaving Harry with Louis. Said man had tears leaking down his face, looking at the curtain in front of him with frustration. Before Harry could try to soothe his mate, the same nurse came back over, flicking a large syringe with his fingers.

“For the operation I need to give your husband something to numb the pain, so we’ll be injecting this into-“

“No!” Louis shouted, terrified, “I don’t want any needles. No shots, no injections, please.” Harry looked helplessly to the nurse.

“This operation might kill him without the numbing, just try to distract him, and we’ll do it quickly,” The nurse said quietly, walking away from the distressed Alpha when he was called by one of the doctors. Harry turned to look back at Louis, who was shaking his head frantically with his fists in the sheets. Harry leaned over him, trying his best to get Louis to look him in the eye.

“Love why don’t you want the shot? It’s to make the process painless,” Harry explained once he was sure the Omega was listening to him. Louis sobbed out loudly.

“I. Hate. Needles!” Louis gasped before breaking off in a scream. Harry ran his hands over the other’s face in what he thought was a soothing manner. He knew Louis had to take this injection, and out of the corner of his eye he could see the nurse preparing to administer it. At the last minute Harry realized what he could do. Right before the Louis was injected, Harry pressed his lips to the other man’s. It seemed sufficient enough, because when Harry pulled back, Louis was blinking up at him blearily. “Did you just trick me?” He asked sounding a little less pained. Harry smiled at him, pushing his sweaty hair out of his eyes.

“You’ve been so brave today, working through all the pain like a champ. I just wanted them to give you a break from it,” Harry said, taking Louis’ hand in his when the doctors seemed to move into their final places. He leaned his forehead against Louis’, who sighed tiredly before looking up at his partner.

“I am so lucky to have you in my life,” Harry started, talking to Louis to drown out the noise around them, “I love how close we’ve become, and I’m so glad that we get to have a child together. That we’re going to raise a baby, watch our child grow up, finish school, get a job, have kids of their own. We get to do it all together, there’s no one else I’d rather do it with then you. I love you so much Louis.” Happy tears pooled at the corners of Louis’ eyes.

“This is better then anything I could’ve possibly imagined before the day I met you,” Louis said shakily, “I love you so much Harry.” They kissed lovingly, until the crying of a baby broke them apart.

“Congratulations! It’s a boy,” One of the doctors said happily. Harry heard Louis let out a surprised sob. He could barely keep in his ecstatic tears himself. “Would you like to cut the umbilical cord?” One of the nurses asked him. Harry smiled dopily, nodding a few times as they walked him over to clip it. Once it was done Harry went back over to hold Louis’ hand while the baby was being looked over.

“Have you two thought of any names for the little guy?” One of the nurses was walking back over with a bundle in her arms. Harry and Louis smiled at each other for a moment, before Louis turned to address the nurse.

“His name is Noah. Noah Lucas,” Louis said, squeezing Harry’s hand in his. The nurse smiled at them.

“Well then, why don’t you say hi to your son, Noah,” She said, gently setting the baby into Louis’ arms. Harry leaned down to see his son, arm previously holding Louis’ hand going behind to settle on his partner’s shoulders. He squeezed Louis’ bicep as they looked at their little boy.

“Look at him Harry, isn’t he the most beautiful baby you’ve ever seen?” Louis whispered, watching as the baby slept in his arms. Harry leaned his head against the other’s, trying to take in the fact that his family was finally whole.

“He sure is.”

-------

Louis looked around the room once more before looking down at his watch. There was only five minutes before the session went back in. Where was Harry? Fortunately his question was answered when he heard two sets of laughter not far behind him.

“Hi love, I hope we’re not late,” Harry said quietly, sliding in beside his husband. Louis smiled at his Alpha and his son.

“Not at all, you made it just on time. Did you find the washrooms?” Louis asked, smiling widely at his little boy. Noah was clutching tightly to the large owl plushie he’d received from Niall and Zayn for his first birthday a week ago. He absolutely adored ‘Wooly’, and refused to go anywhere without him. Louis thought it was adorable (not so adorable was Niall’s smugness about being ‘the best gosh-darn godparents in the world’).

Harry nodded. “Noah found it like a champion. He’s the best bathroom buddy in the world!” The Alpha nuzzled his face into his son’s hair while Noah giggled widely into his owl. “Now what were you telling me about sitting with daddy Noah?” Said boy looked up at him with bright eyes.

“Anna sit wif daddy, ‘otta tell ‘im a secre’,” Noah said conspiratorially. Louis shared a look with his partner before taking his son in his arms.

“Hi bug, I hear you have something to tell me,” Louis said, leaning down so his son could whisper in his ear. Noah looked up so he could cup a hand to his dad’s ear.

“I love ‘ou an’ papa vewy much!” Noah whispered loudly, causing Louis and Harry to share a laugh. Noah joined in, and they all laughed quietly together until the judge sat down in his chair. Harry slung an arm around Louis as everyone quieted down, holding Louis’ hand that wasn’t wrapped around their son.

“We will continue with the custody hearing of Oliver Wiseman,” The judge said, banging his gavel, “I ask that our final speaker, Niall Malik, please rise and enter the witness box to give his case.” Louis watched his friend stand up and shakily walk over to the stand. The Omega was shaking for him; Niall looked positively terrified. He heard Liam let out a sympathy coo from where he and Nick were sitting beside them. Louis knew that despite the nerves the Irish Omega absolutely brilliant. Even if he were facing death head-on, he’d still give an amazing speech. “You may begin Mr. Malik,” The judge said, gesturing for Niall to start. Louis could practically hear the breath Niall took in before he began.

“Your honour, in the two years or so I have known Oliver, I’ve learned so much about him and from him. Oliver is one of the kindest little boys I have ever met. He has an innate desire to be selfless despite his age, it’s really inspiring. Oliver is smart, and courageous as well, I don’t think I’d be able to what he has, even now. My partner Zayn and I had never thought we would be able to have our own children, as I am unable to carry them (Louis felt his heart give out an empathetic pang; he knew that feeling). When Oliver first came into our lives I know we both fell instantly in love with him. We both knew that someday we’d like to adopt him, and never foresaw any problems until Mrs. Wiseman came back for Oliver. The thing is, does Oliver really want to go back with her? Your honour, Zayn and I consider Oliver our son. We did the moment he stepped into Zayn’s bookshop, cold, hungry, and utterly alone. He has been our son for two years. Please, your honour, I don’t know what we would do if we couldn’t have him in our lives, please don’t take him away from us,” Niall finished, voice cracking on the last sentence.

Louis held his breath as Niall walked back over to his seat, taking Oliver’s free hand, as the other one was held tightly in Zayn’s grip. Louis looked over to Mrs. Wiseman, who was angrily tapping her long red nails against the table in front of her. She had only come back into Oliver’s life six months before. She had tried everything to get her biological son to go with her, claiming that she loved him and wanted the best for him. Louis knew she was full of shit; she just wanted the money that would come with him from the government. Oliver had refused every offer she had thrown at him. He loved Niall and Zayn as much as they loved him. Finally she had taken them to court, claiming that her son needed to be with him as they were family, and family had to stick together. Oliver should be with ‘two family ruining, child stealing faggots’ as she had so eloquently put it.

When a little hand squeezed his arm, Louis looked down to see Noah looking back up at him nervously. His son absolutely adored Oliver. He tried to send him the most comforting smile he could. He prayed that the judge would make the right decision.

After several moments of deliberation, the judge finally called attention back to his stand. “I have my verdict,” The judge started, “Not only will Mr. and Mr. Malik be receiving one hundred percent full custody of Oliver Wiseman, but at the end of this hearing I will be giving them the final adoption papers, and as per this courts decision, Mr. Wiseman will become their son. Case adjourned.” With a final bang of his gavel, the judge stood up and swiftly left the room, probably to go find the proper sheets for Zayn and Niall to sign. For one moment everything was absolutely silent before the news caught up with everyone, and then everybody was everywhere. Louis barely saw Zayn and Niall’s reaction (they practically flung Oliver off the ground into a hug) before he was being pulled into a crushing embrace with Harry and Noah.

“They did it! I’m so happy!” Harry said, joyful tears accentuating his statement. Louis felt similar moisture on his face as he embraced his son and husband. While everyone cheered and congratulated the new family, Louis took a moment to look up at the ceiling. He closed his eyes, and sent out a prayer to whoever had been watching over him for all those months. They had done their job, in spades, and Louis was eternally indebted to them.

And though he would like to give them the moon and stars, he hoped at that moment that a thank-you would suffice.

-------

Louis smiled at the praise his counterpart was sending his way. It was unnecessary; Louis already knew the Omega was thankful, he was just glad that the other man was happy. He stood up slowly to stretch his back, wings flying out unconsciously. One of his favourite pastimes was watching the other Louis and Harry during their lives. It was his idea to put them together after all. He knew the moment he’d met the other Harry that something needed to be done about the situation. So he’d sent Louis to his world, with permission from the big man of course. His world would be good for that Louis, if what the other Harry had told him when he’d first arrived was true.

And it was.

Louis was happy that things worked out for the other Harry as well. They deserved to be happy. He turned slightly when he heard a noise behind him. He smiled when he saw his son bounding towards him.

“Hi Jakey! How’s my little love doing?” Louis said, watching puffs of clouds fly up around his son’s feet. When Jacob was close enough, he flew into Louis’ arms.

“Hi daddy!” The little boy responded. Louis smooched him on the head. He had been surprised at first when Jacob had continued aging, but he found that it was a blessing in disguise, as he got to see his son grow up.

“Been working on your flying I see,” Louis smiled when his son flicked his wings out, nodding proudly. “Very good love, you’re doing so well,” Louis praised. Jacob lit up, hugging his dad tightly.

“Can I go to great-grannie’s house for dinner tonight?” Jacob stuck out his lower lip in a pout. Louis tried to stifle his laughter at his son’s antics. He didn’t need to suck up; Louis had already given in.

“Of course Jake. Tell grannie I say hello,” Louis said brightly. Jacob cheered, and after he’d leaned up to give Louis a peck on the cheek as a thank-you, he ran off to see his great-grandmother. Louis watched him go for a couple minutes.

“Fast little guy isn’t he?” Louis heard Harry walk up behind him, and felt him when he pulled him back against his chest.

“Yeah, always so excited about everything,” Louis smiled, leaning up to meet Harry for a kiss. He snuggled back against Harry’s chest happily.

“So how’re they doing down there?” Harry gestured behind them. Louis turned around so they were hugging properly.

“Pretty good I think,” Louis started, “Niall and Zayn got custody of Oliver.”

“Oh that’s awesome! I’m glad, they all love each other so much,” Harry grinned, nuzzling the smaller man’s hair. Louis made a noise of agreement, laughing when Harry rocked them back and forth.

“You know, I was thinking,” Louis said, leaving his statement open ended.

“A very dangerous pastime,” Harry said, smiling when Louis flicked him in the lower back.

“Very funny, wise guy,” Louis replied, stifling his glee at Harry finally being able to make a pun. “No, I was thinking, I haven’t talked to your Zayn in some time, I bet he’d like an update. He always seems so thrilled when he knows how Louis’ doing.”

Harry nodded. “That’s true. I think he’s also keeping his fiancé in the loop as well, Perrie I think? Aren’t they expecting as well?” He replied, and this time Louis got to nod.

“Yes! Twins I think,” He said, “Shall we go see him?”

They broke the hug, and Harry took his partner’s hand.

“Lets,” Harry said, smiling down at him. Then together, hand in hand, they went.