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It’s the middle of the goddamn night when Niall’s phone buzzes with a new message. He reaches for it blindly, unlocking the screen to find a string of messages from Harry, his phone clearly having been going off for a bit.

The most recent one is a picture. Niall squints at the screen until his brain catches up and he remembers that Haz is at some fundraiser tonight. Some fundraiser with Sting, apparently.

Think we should form a supergroup! he says, the dots moving until he sends STYNGLAN

Niall snorts. He sends back a thumbs up and as long as ur not kicking me out.

I said STYNGLAN not STYNG, didn’t I? Harry sends, followed by a string of emojis Niall’s not awake enough to parse, heart eyes and smileys and all sorts of hands.

Niall sends a smiley and a winking face and then switches his phone to do not disturb. It’s been ages; he’s given up entirely on Harry figuring out how the fucking time difference works.

**

It’s not until he’s eating breakfast that Niall notices Harry’s latest instagram, posted after Niall’d fallen back asleep.

@harrystyles: #STYNGLAN

It’s the same picture he’d sent Niall, only he’s somehow photoshopped Niall into it as well. And badly, at that. Niall bursts out laughing at how his own head is looming large in the picture, right in front of Harry and Sting’s torsos. He wonders how drunk Harry was — is, probably, the pic wasn’t posted too long ago — and laughs harder at the idea of him tucked in the back of a car, concentrating as he edited pics on his phone.

Hahaha love it ! Every little thing we do is magic !! he taps out, leaving the comment without reading any of the other thousands the pic already has.

**

“Can you believe that?” Harry asks. Niall hums distractedly, which makes Harry sigh. “I feel like you’re not listening —”

“I’m listening! It’s just,” Niall takes a breath, trying to trace his steps back to the beginning, how they got here, to a place where he’s sat in his parked car while Harry’s drunkenly reading from a website on tantric sex, “wait, did you say ten to fifteen minutes?

“YES. Can you believe it?”

“Jesus.” Niall blows out all the air in his lungs. That seems excessive, if he’s being honest.

“I know! And here —”

“Hang on, Haz, did you like, talk to Sting about this?”

“No, I told you, I couldn’t remember that song I love, you know the one.” Harry hums something that’s no Sting song Niall’s ever heard. “That one. But I never figured it out because I got sidetracked by something more interesting.” He goes all breathless at the end of his sentence. It’s enough to make Niall sad Harry’d called instead of Skyped; he’d love to be able to see his face for all of this.

“Tantric sex.”

“Exactly!”

Niall checks his watch; it’s nearly four AM in LA. He’s got no idea how Haz is still going strong.

“Listen to this,” Harry says excitedly, before starting in on multiple orgasms for men. He’s clearly reading directly from the website, going even slower than usual because he’s drunk and trying not to stumble over the words. Niall presses his lips together to keep from laughing. “Kegel exercise is the best way — Niall! Are you doing them?”

Niall snorts. “I’m in the car, Haz.”

“You are? But it’s…” There’s a long pause while Harry presumably calculates the time in London and then, “oh.”

“Yeah. I’ve got a meeting with Louis and Liam in,” Niall checks his watch again, cursing under his breath at the raft of shit he’s going to get, “fifteen minutes ago, actually.”

“But you can do them anywhere,” Harry says, bouncing back, “that’s the whole point!”

Niall laughs. “Yeah, great plan, I’ll do some kegels while Liam talks about projected revenue for the different venues, won’t look suspicious at all.”

“It shouldn't look suspicious at all, Niall. If it looks suspicious, you’re doing it wrong.”

“Haven’t had any complaints yet.”

Harry’s hum is this low, satisfied sound that makes Niall wish he didn’t have somewhere to be. It’s like Louis knows he’s considering canceling, faking food poisoning and going straight home, booting up his computer to talk to Haz, face-to-face, because Niall’s phone vibrates with a text:

WE WILL START MAKING EXECUTIVE DECISIONS FOR EVERY FIVE MINUTES YOU’RE LATE

Niall rolls his eyes as he sighs.

“I really gotta go, Haz,” he says. Louis’s all talk but that doesn’t mean Niall wants to push him straight over the edge.

“Tell the bosses I say hi.”

“Never let them hear you call them that.” Niall tries to think of a good lie for why he’s late as he climbs out of his car. Traffic’s the best bet. “We’d never live it down.”

“Don’t forget to do your kegels!” Harry says, laughing.

“Don’t forget to drink some water,” Niall counters just before he rings off, jogging so he doesn’t end up with a text threatening him with fedoras and trakkies with Stylan on the arse as merch.

**

“Here’s what we have now,” Louis says, angling his monitor so Niall can see the map on his screen, green dots over each of the cities they’ve agreed to so far, “and here’s what we’re suggesting.”

Niall keeps his face carefully blank as more dots appear, blue this time.

“It’s not that many,” Liam says quickly, “and after the reaction in the States it’d be stupid not to jump on this now.”

“You make it sound like they’re in danger of flaming out.”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it.” Liam glares at Louis before shifting in his seat, reaching over to rest his hand on Niall’s shoulder. “We have total confidence in you two, but just like last time the demand —”

“And just like last time, we don’t want to overload it,” Niall interrupts. His phone buzzes and he checks it immediately, thinking it might be Harry, but it’s just Eoghan asking if Niall’s free any time soon. Harry’s probably passed out by now, the lucky bastard.

“Yeah, Liam, don’t overload it,” Louis says, Niall looking up in time to catch the face Louis’s making, half-mocking and half-we’ll tackle this later. Which means the conversation’s not over so much as paused, but whatever.

“But I thought —”

“Anyway —” Louis raises his voice like that’ll be enough to distract Niall from Liam.

“— because of the deadlines we agreed that today —”

“— here are some —”

“— would be day —”

Louis slaps his palms onto his desk. “Change of plans, Liam!” he yells and Niall suddenly feels like it’s five years ago, all of them crammed into a van, Louis annoyed by Liam’s grumbling about last-minute changes in their schedule.

Liam, to his credit, doesn’t react more than rolling his eyes. Niall stares at one of the pictures framed on Louis’s wall, him and Liam and Cash Is King the day their album went gold. It’s unfuckingbelievable, it is, the two of them and this proper business. Planning a second tour for him and Harry. Jesus.

“What’s next?” Niall asks, making Louis jolt in his seat. It’s like he’d been so busy silently fighting with Liam he’d forgotten Niall was there at all.

“Just one thing,” Louis says with a pointed look. He hits a button on his computer and Niall catches a glimpse of a dozen slides on the sidebar before the program minimizes and it’s just a picture of Lou and El in Monaco last year.

“Did you make an entire presentation?” Niall leans forward in his seat, reaching for the mouse. Louis slaps his hand away.

“What? No, shut up.”

Niall laughs, which makes Louis glare.

“We do it for everyone.”

“I want to see the rest of it,” Niall says.

“Too bad.” Louis shrugs before jerking his chin at Liam, who nods.

“Last thing for today, I guess,” he says pointedly. Louis rolls his eyes. “An opening act.”

“No,” Niall says.

“But these guys are really good.”

“No.” His and Harry’s stipulations for the tour are the same as the last go, mostly. He doesn’t get what’s so hard about it. He texts Haz a bunch of suicidal emojis from under the table.

“They’re called Spicy Coffin,” Liam says.

Louis bursts out laughing at Niall’s horrified face. “No!”

“Told you,” Louis says, “put it on the board.”

Liam sighs before pushing out of his chair, trudging over to the whiteboard on the wall and making a tick in the T column. It’s about even with the P column, shockingly. Niall’s not going to ask.

“Cheers!” Louis says, grinning when Liam scowls. “We just need signatures before you go, easy stuff — no tricks, I promise,” he pauses, looking up like he wants Niall to know he’s being serious, “and then we need them from Harry, too. You’re going over there again, yeah?”

“Yeah, to work on some new stuff, talk about all this,” Niall says, nodding quickly, feeling like he’s talking too much all of a sudden. He stops himself, takes a breath. “I leave in a few days.”

Louis smiles. “Good. Tell him if he doesn’t sign these and send them back I’ll have his luggage burned before it even makes it on the tour bus.”

**

“Did you tell Al what time my flight gets in?” Niall nearly drops his phone when he tries to figure out what shit in his case from last time he might still need. He probably should have unpacked properly.

“Yes,” Harry sounds either bored or sleepy or maybe annoyed, Niall can’t tell, “it’s really fascinating, watching a small corner of you pack.” Annoyed it is.

“Well it’s bloody hard to hold this still and I have to be up in,” Niall glances down at his watch, Harry sputtering a bit on the other end of the FaceTime call when he gets flipped over, “fuck. I have to get up in four hours, Haz.”

“Does this mean you’re gonna be a twat? Please follow my schedule this time. Just once.” Harry’s brow is knitted together, the screen nearly vibrating with the force of his sigh. Niall scrubs at his face so Harry won’t see how he’s grinning.

“I will,” Niall considers, tossing in one last pair of clean pants and letting the lid drop closed. Good enough. “I will try,” he amends himself, flopping down on the bed and arranging his pillow behind his head so his neck’s not twisted, resting his phone on his chest so he can see Harry proper.

“I can accept a try,” Harry grins then, his smile lighting up the screen, and Niall’s chest tightens a bit. They’re edging right on the limit of their agreement, tomorrow marking a full fortnight since Harry’d flown back out to LA after a long weekend of meetings stuck in Louis’s home office. It’s just. It’ll be nice to see him.

“Can’t wait to see ya,” Niall allows, thumbing at the small square of his face on the screen so it ricochets around, shifting his hips when Harry’s grin grows wider.

“We gotta plan out our strategy,” Harry looks serious for a minute, pushing his hair out of his face. “Liam sent me a very suspicious email today. Just from him to me.”

“Yeah? What did it say?” Niall sits up a bit, thinking back to the string of tour nonsense that’s been slowing ticking up in his own inbox.

“Think he’s working me for an opening act.” Harry frowns. “And more dates.”

Niall groans, nearly dropping his phone with the force of it. “How many fucking dates do they need?”

“Even sent me a pic of Laser, think he was lulling me into a false sense of security.” The view of Harry cuts over for a second and Niall can see the sunset behind him. It’s gonna be so nice there. It’s been drizzly for days in London.

“You better tell Zayn, you know he hates when they use Laser against us.” Niall laughs to himself, starts to feel a wave of exhaustion run over him.

“Does he though?” Harry laughs. “Niall.”

“Harry.” Niall tries to focus, blinking down at the screen.

“Wanna try something.” Harry’s eyes are bright, that determined edge that Niall knows he should probably worry over.

“Will it take a long time? I really should get some sleep if you want the best version of me at your door.” Niall still sits up a little. Hooks a thumb in the waistband of his pants, just in case.

“Dunno.” Harry shrugs, his eyes wide. “Look into my eyes, Niall.”

“Why? Did you rub one too hard again?” Niall leans forward. Harry looks normal.

“No, like,” Harry shakes his head, licking his lips, “remember that thing I told you about? I wanna try it.”

“Which thing?” Niall wishes Harry would out with it, because he’s always on about something he wants to try. They both are, really.

“Stare into my eyes.” Harry blinks, slowly. “Like, really stare.”

“Okay.” Niall shrugs. He holds the phone close, figures it’s best to humor Harry. “Now what?”

“We just…” Harry’s breathing sounds shallow, and he’s talking even slower than usual. “keep doing this. It’s supposed to be a warm up for the good part.”

“What’s the good part?” Niall’s really starting to feel knackered, is the thing. Harry sounds too much like how they fall asleep sometimes, Harry carrying around his phone and just breathing while Niall fades off.

“Tantric sex. Multiple orgasms. Sting sex, Niall. Stynglan.” By the time he gets to the last bit, Niall can see his eyes crinkling up at the corner like he’s about to lose it.

“That?” Niall starts laughing. “You taking the piss?”

“I wasn’t,” Harry looks a little put out despite the smile on his face, “well, mostly wasn’t. I really think it’d be sick, if we tried.”

“I don’t get how me staring at you will get us to Sting level shagging,” Niall tries, trying to figure out how to not send the conversation completely off the rails.

“You’re supposed to see into my soul, and yes, I know how that sounds so don’t start.” Harry’s grinning again, “and don’t come before you get here. It’ll be better.”

“You’re acting like I’ve got my dick out.” Niall angles the phone down so Harry can see he’s wearing his black pants, not entirely to be nice. “Notice, it is not.”

“Like I didn’t see how your hand disappeared the second I said I wanted to try something.” Harry’s rolling his eyes on the screen, biting at his lip, and Niall huffs out a laugh.

“Well I wasn’t thinking about that until you started in on your whole wanna try something, Niall. I’m only human, Haz.” Niall starts laughing again. “I think I’ll make it until I see you tomorrow.”

“Good.” Harry fucking winks at that. “Get some sleep, Al’s gonna be there to meet you.”

He rings off before Niall has a second to reply, and Niall flips his phone so it’s face down on his chest, breathing evenly. He tries to think about all the stuff Harry had said, before, the dumbshit article he’d read. Niall doesn’t remember it sounding that great; in fact, he remembers it sounding hilariously ridiculous, but the thought of Harry’s hands on him makes his dick start to fill up, just a bit. Just enough that the thought of a quick wank to fall asleep sounds like the greatest idea that’s ever occurred to him.

Niall turns over, reaching down to adjust himself so he can get some sleep in before the morning. Fucking traitor cock.

**

“We just have tentative dates now, figured Harry would’ve said.” Niall stretches in the passenger seat, taking the bottle of water when Al holds it out over the console.

“He said it was up in the air still, he,” Al laughs, tapping his hand on the steering wheel, “he already got my girls tickets to Disneyland Paris.”

“Are they going to come along for the whole tour?” Niall shakes his head. Harry would. And now Niall has to come up with something even better.

“At least a couple of weeks, once we get the final dates my wife can see what she can work out. Ah,” Al exhales when there’s a break in traffic, “I know Harry was anxious for me to get you there.”

“Yeah,” Niall bets he was, throws a sideways glance over at Al, wonders if he knows exactly how anxious Harry really is. “Wait, where are we going? This isn’t —”

“Harry’s at the studio, I’m dropping you off there.” Al nods at the radio, “You mind? I’ve got that playlist you made me last month loaded up. I think Harry’s getting sick of it.”

“‘course he is, it’s not enough tUnE-yArDs for ‘im.” Niall laughs when Take it to the Limit starts playing.

“Yeah, I banned that from the car.” Al laughs again, singing along a little off key under his breath as he drives. Niall looks out the window, at how in the dusk everything looks hazy. He plays with the string hanging from the bottom of his shorts, feeling fidgety that he’s not just going straight to Harry’s. Wonders how long they’ll be or what Harry’s working on; he hadn’t mentioned it in any of the texts he sent while Niall was on the plane, a long string of them coming through the second he put his phone back on.

They don’t have to be in the studio, really. Niall has the urge to text Harry, tell him that they can write a song just as easy after a shag. That if he leaves now maybe they’ll get back at the same time, if Niall can tell Al to change course. That Niall will be waiting on his bed for him, not coming.

It’s too late, of course, Al pulling up behind the fecking studio before Niall can even get his phone out.

“I’ll drop your bag at the house!” Al’s saying cheerfully when Niall gets out, reaching back to bump him one.

“Cheers, Al.” Niall steps inside, a girl he hasn’t seen before smiling brightly at him when he stops.

“Mr. Styles is waiting for you,” she says, very seriously, and Niall’s not sure if it’s the monotony of flying on a plane for nearly a day, but it strikes him as fucking hilarious. Mr. Styles.

“Yeah, thanks.” Niall manages to get out with what he hopes is a relatively straight face before turning the corner and colliding with Harry entirely.

“Niall!!” Harry’s all over him like a spider, his voice muffled from where he’s got his face buried in Niall’s neck. It never gets old, the rush of seeing Harry after however long, a month, a week, an hour, whatever the fuck.

“There a reason why we’re here?” Niall pulls back just enough to give Harry a look, Harry’s eyes going wide as his smile. “Because I was expecting something much different, you knob.”

“Oh, I just got caught up, Gavin needed something. He just left, I-” Harry stops his rambling for a moment, the crease of his dimples deepening, “I just wanted to see you as soon as possible, I guess.”

“What a sop,” Niall groans, pushing Harry away while keeping his fingers curled under the hem of his shirt. “This is why I’m putting in my home studio.”

“Will it be done next time I’m in London?” Harry rakes his eyes over Niall’s face, and Niall’s fingers twitch.

“Probably, Liam’s stopping by to check in on how it’s going while I’m here.”

“Yeah,” Harry snorts, “it’ll be done by the time you get back.”

“Exactly.” Niall grins, “which is why I asked him and not Louis.”

“Smart,” Harry takes a step backwards, pulling Niall with him. “C’mon, just finishing up. Wanna get out of here.”

“You didn’t bring the bike, did you?” Niall checks his watch. He’s gonna give Harry ten minutes or else it’s gonna have to be a quick wank in the loo, and who wants that?

“Please, like I didn’t learn my lesson last time.”

**

“Hang on, just — just a tick,” Harry kisses Niall between his words, his hands cupped around Niall’s jaw like he’s trying to keep him in place. As if Niall’s the one pulling away. “Real quick.”

Harry winks and disappears, giving Niall just enough time to drop his bag in the corner before he’s back with a matchbook.

“Trying to woo me?” Niall raises his eyebrow as Harry moves about the room, lighting a fuckton of candles.

“No.” Harry hisses, shaking out his hand, the rest of what he was going to say getting lost when Niall presses a kiss to his singed fingertips. Harry drags his thumb across Niall’s bottom lip, breath catching when Niall licks it, quick as can be, before leaning in to kiss Harry full-on, both of them sighing into it. It feels like’s been ages since Harry last came to London; he can’t fucking wait until they’re back on the road, together all the time.

“You gonna want to stare into my eyes again?”

Niall lands in the middle of Harry’s huge bed with a grunt, pushing up so he can peel of his shirt. Harry kneels over his legs, eyes gone dark and wide in the candlelight.

“Maybe.” He runs his palm up Niall’s chest, smirking a bit when Niall arches into the touch. After a second he hums, stroking his hand down Niall’s side. “They say it’s important to breathe slowly.”

“Who says that? Sting?”

“The websites,” Harry says easily, his nails making tiny, maddening patterns on Niall’s rib cage. “It’s important for like, endurance.”

Niall’s cock’s more interested in Harry’s weight on his lap than breathing but he inhales carefully anyway. It’s worth it for the way Harry beams down at him.

“We’re really doing this, huh?”

“Yeah,” Harry stretches, bracketing Niall with his limbs before ducking down for a good, long snog, Niall forgetting what they were even talking about when Harry leans up, his forehead pressed to Niall’s, “if that’s okay?”

“Of course, yeah, whatever you want.” It’ll be fucking ridiculous, probably, but Niall doesn’t care, is up for anything Haz wants to try. He curls one hand around Harry’s neck to drag him back in, the other on Harry’s hip, holding him still as he rocks his hips up, already searching for friction.

Harry talks them through it, even though as far as Niall can tell it’s mostly about Harry going torturously slow as he works his fingers into Niall, snogging him like they’ve got all the time in the world. Which is all good and well but Niall’s so hard he could come on Haz’s fingers alone and he’s pretty sure that’d ruin the whole plan.

“Jesus Christ,” he grits out against the twist-press of Harry’s hand, “would you just fuck me already?”

Harry nods quickly, reaching for the lube. “Gonna go bare, yeah? To be pure.” He watches Niall carefully, doesn’t do anything until he nods.

“Your website suggest that, too?” Niall feels winded despite Harry’s constant reminders to breathe, his chest going tight with anticipation.

“No,” Harry says, lining up, his voice dropping as he presses in, his hands on the backs of Niall’s thighs, “it just,” he pauses like he’s having trouble regulating his breathing, too, “feels right.”

“Feels right,” Niall snorts, pushing back against Harry, testing it, “sure.”

“For the intimacy, Niall.”

Niall tries to look as disbelieving as he can while still encouraging Harry to get a bloody move on. It must work because after a minute Harry rolls his eyes and says, “Okay, whatever, it feels better.”

Niall laughs out loud before reaching to pull him back down for a kiss, hitching his legs higher around Harry’s waist, letting him dictate their rhythm.

It turns out to be a mistake because Harry keeps pausing, going completely still and holding himself above Niall while he “redirects his energy.”

“Fucking hell,” Niall covers his face with his hand, “I haven’t seen you in person for weeks and this is how you treat me?”

“I’m good,” Harry says, thrusting again, dragging a groan from both of them. “Okay, now you gotta — fuck, no, I’m okay, don’t make that face, oi!” He intercepts Niall’s hand, pushing it back over his head when Niall reaches for his cock, “No touching yourself yet.”

“This is torture,” Niall says, “literal torture.” Don’t come until you get here, fucking Harry and his fucking ideas. Don’t come ever again, it’s starting to seem like.

Harry chuckles, his eyes bright, his hairline already a sweaty mess. He takes another steadying breath and Niall freezes, worried Harry’s gonna take another fucking breather, but all he says is, “No, c’mon, Ni, you gotta work your kegels. Like, work — oh god, no, stop, never mind. I’ll do mine you, fuck,” he drops his head to his chest, “you leave yours alone.”

Niall cracks up laughing. It’s some sort of karmic, tantric payback that he gets a leg cramp almost immediately, cursing as he shoves Harry away, trying to stretch.

“It’s alright,” Harry soothes him, digging his thumb into Niall’s aching thigh as he rearranges himself on his front, holding his breath as Harry fucks back into him, “it’ll be better this way, yeah?”

“This isn’t better,” Niall says when Harry stops him from sneaking a hand under himself. Niall’s so hard he’s aching with it; all he needs is a few good strokes and Harry won’t let him have that much. “This is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to me.”

“Mm-hmm,” Harry hums, rolling his hips slowly. He plasters himself over Niall’s back so he can hold his wrists down. Niall tests him, pushing back, his body flushing hot when Harry’s grip tightens. Harry’s still fucking him in slow, measured strokes, the kind Niall can feel all the way to the tips of his toes. It’s all-consuming. Niall arches into it, lets the force of it shove him into the mattress.

He’s so close, it won’t take much. He shifts, desperate to get a hand on his cock at this point, but Harry’s still there, holding him down.

“Hands where I can see them,” he says, biting down on the curve of Niall’s shoulder, his stupid hands going tight around Niall’s wrists. Niall inhales sharply and comes, hard. It’s a surprise and yet not one at all.

“Did you,” Harry stills, dropping his forehead to the nape of Niall’s neck.

“Sorry?” Niall doesn’t feel sorry, he feels fucking brilliant, but he knows that wasn’t part of Haz’s plan, so.

“Don’t be,” Harry says, his lips warm against Niall’s skin. He starts thrusting again, a faster, familiar rhythm that makes Niall groan.

“Where was this five minutes ago when I was begging for it?” Niall asks, feeling boneless and giddy.

“Well you ruined it, so…” Harry’s gasping like now that Niall’s come all the important tantric sex rules have gone out the window.

“Do you still want me to kegel or no?”

“Fuck, Niall,” Harry says when Niall clenches, his thrusts going erratic, his fingers digging into Niall’s hips like they always do when he comes.

“There’s always next time,” Niall reaches back to clumsily pat Harry’s head where it’s slumped against Niall’s shoulder. Haz is plastered against his back again, gone limp like a puppet with cut stings.

“Practice practice practice,” Harry mumbles and Niall knows they’ve got to move but he doesn’t want to. At least not just yet.

**

Niall has a vague recollection of Harry murmuring something in his ear far too fucking early after the night they had, and a much less vague recollection of hitting Harry with a pillow until he left him alone for a bit of a lie in, but it still annoys him when he wakes up and rolls over nearly clear off the bed because Harry’s not there. Niall isn’t afraid to admit he’s up for a cuddle and lazy shag in the morning, and the way Harry’s all arms and legs Harry’s good for either. How Harry wakes up in the morning cold and acts like he’s trying to burrow straight into Niall’s skin.

He stares at the ceiling for just long enough that he realizes he’s hungry, so he walks downstairs slowly, spotting Haz out in the pool through the window. He’s swimming in slow laps, and Niall hurries to make some toast so he can sit by the window and watch the line of Harry’s body as it cuts through the water.

It was fucking mental and about twenty kinds of unfair, but Niall can almost feel it, this awareness curling low in his belly over the night before. He still feels like a bit of a shit for how he didn’t really try, that even though Harry was still mad for it, Niall probably could have given it a better go.

Niall chugs the last of his coffee, gone cold, and steps outside, zipping up the hoodie he nicked from Harry’s closet and slowly making his way over to the side of the pool.

“Niall!” Harry swims over lazily, a grin on his face. There’s water drops that catch the light dotting the skin under his eyes, and Niall pulls out his phone so he doesn’t swipe at them with his thumb.

“Wanted to have a lie in.” Niall sits down carefully, dangling his legs in the water and shaking his head at Harry so he won’t end up in there with him.

“I know,” Harry tips his head back, pushing his wet hair out of his face, “that’s why I let you have it.”

“Yeah, but.” Niall opens up his camera roll, finding the photos of Laser in Louis and El’s pool from the other day. “Figured you might wanna join me.”

Oh. Well,” Harry wraps his hand around Niall’s ankle under the water, thumb rubbing at the bone softly enough that Niall knows he’s not about to yank him in. “Could do for a kip, after all this swimming.” He hums, his nails digging into Niall’s leg, and Niall bites his lip so he can keep his wits about himself.

“Mmmm.” Niall holds out his phone, and Harry looks at it, a slow grin spreading across his face. “Was two days ago, figured I’d show you in person.”

“How’re the lessons coming?” Harry moves so he’s got his arms hooked over Niall’s thighs, floating in the water between them with his head tilted to see the screen, Laser laughing and tugging at the sunglasses Zayn kept putting on his face.

“Well.” Niall laughs, “of the two students, one isn’t a baby who’s afraid to put his face in the water. The other one is Zayn.”

“He can’t be that bad,” Harry nods so Niall will swipe to the next pic, one of Liam holding Laser carefully while he paddles away.

“No, not at all. He…” Niall tries to control the twat level of the sigh that he can’t hold in, “is learning at his own pace.”

“Well, he can’t really be upstaged, can he? Laser’s just splashing about.” Harry laughs at the next pic, one Niall caught of Louis pouting in a lounger while Pez laughs next to him.

“Zayn did master the doggie paddle, but then Louis got excited and accidentally, according to him, dunked Zayn. So. It’s just me and Payno as teachers now.”

“Hence the picture,” Harry grins, “wait, is Louis banned from his own pool? He allowed that to happen?”

“Zayn lost it.” Niall smiles when he remembers, how the smirk on Louis’s face had slipped away the longer Zayn went on for, wishes he hadn’t been actively in the water at the time and could’ve taken a video for Haz to see. “Think Louis was a bit scared, to be honest.”

“I miss all the best stuff.” Harry’s laughing though, Niall setting his phone down a careful distance away so when Harry pushes himself up to kiss him he doesn’t drop it in the water.

“I’ll take video next time,” Niall says after Harry pulls back, his fingers pushing up under the hem of Niall’s shorts enough to put Niall on edge.

“Good.” Harry reaches up to kiss him again, softly this time. “Wanna go for that kip?” he asks, speaking against Niall’s mouth.

“We said we were gonna talk about the list Louis and Liam gave me this morning,” Niall’s prick is pretty mad at him since he knows the last thing on Harry’s mind is sleeping, but. “And I’ve got loads of shit for you to sign off on.”

“Yeah?” Harry bobs back down in the water, dragging his lips across Niall’s knee. It makes his scar feel on edge, and the rest of him isn’t faring much better.

“Today. We were gonna talk about it today.” Niall leans back so Harry can boost himself out of the pool.

“Today.” Harry agrees, his swim trunks already in a wet heap on the ground before he’s stepping inside. Fucking Christ.

**

When Niall tosses the condom on the bed, it lands square on Harry’s chest, his breathing already gone shallow as he watches Niall get his kit off.

“So,” Niall doesn’t look at Harry’s cock, already half hard, as he tries to keep his voice light so he can make this work. “They want to add a lot of dates.”

“Wait, what?” Harry shakes his head, fingers closing around the condom and looking confused. “Dates? Are you honestly talking about the tour right now?”

“Looked like a lot, from what I saw,” Niall slowly opens the drawer where Harry keeps the lube, tossing that on the bed as well, it landing with a thud next to Harry’s leg. “I think we need to decide how we want to handle them.”

“Can we,” Harry’s voice sounds strained when Niall knee walks up the bed until he’s sitting on Harry’s thighs, “talk about this later?”

“Nah,” Niall skates his fingers lightly up over Harry’s chest, stopping to pinch his nipples until Harry’s eyes flutter closed. “Think we should do it now. It’s a good distraction.”

“Distracted? The fuck?” Harry looks almost cross now, and Niall leans forward, his hips jolting a bit when the head of his cock catches against Harry’s.

“C’mon, Hazza, look into my eyes, make this last, yeah?”

It’s like a flip switches in Harry’s mind and just like that he’s back on the same wavelength as Niall, nodding slowly and grinning like it’s bloody Christmas and not a remedial tantric shag.

“I think,” Harry bites at Niall’s lip when he leans down to kiss him, licking into his mouth until he feels dizzy and has to pull back.

“What do you think?” Niall keeps his tone conversational like, even though he knows the strained edge gives him away.

“We can compromise,” Harry inhales, sharp, when Niall drags his mouth down his chest, stopping to trace the starkly black letters of STYLAN with the tip of his tongue. “Add half as many as they want. Can’t argue we’re not trying.”

“That actually makes sense.” Niall sits up for a moment, shaking his head. “Quick, I’ll avoid touching your cock and you can get us out of an opener.”

“I think I’d come up with a better idea if you were touching it,” Harry thrusts his hips up, and Niall can see the moment he realizes that Niall’s serious, that he’s trying for real this time, because he blinks, slowly, before going still beneath him.

“Um,” Harry sighs. “I dunno, can we just-” Niall cuts him off when he kisses Harry again, can’t help it.

“Soz,” Niall pulls back, fits his hands to Harry’s hips, getting an idea. “Hey, can you think flipped over?”

“Yeah?” Harry’s eyebrows shoot straight up, and when he shakes his head his hair falls in his eyes. “Okay, yeah. I can feel a great idea coming already.”

He manages to only kick Niall once as he turns over, shoving a pillow down under his hips already.

“Alright,” Niall curves his hands over Harry’s arse, “opener. I’m thinking we just say no. Flat out.”

“Um,” Harry’s voice is muffled when Niall leans down to bite gently at the curve of Harry’s arse, his hips twitching at the contact. “No, can’t do that.”

“No?” Niall breathes out over Harry when he’s got him spread open, his hips going off again.

“C’mon,” Harry urges, his muscles flexing against Niall’s palms, “Niall. C’mon.”

“Opener,” Niall reminds him, but the throbbing in his own cock coupled with the sheen of sweat already on Haz’s back makes him dip his head down, licking over Harry’s hole firmly.

“Fuuuck,” Harry groans, “keep doing that and I’ll get us half as much merch.”

“You are mad for it,” Niall laughs, but licks into Harry with purpose this time, trying to pay attention to what Harry’s babbling as he circles his tongue so he can take Harry apart real slow.

“We’ll do a handful,” Harry gets out, “Niall, I need more. First show, last show.”

Niall pulls back, finger pressing in where his tongue just was. “You want the first show up your arse? Or the last one?”

Niall.” Harry’s looking back over his shoulder now, “I need it.” His eyes are wide and desperate, and Niall’s fingers flex on his arse before he leans back down, losing all track of time except for the noises Harry’s making as he licks into him deep, until Harry’s thighs are trembling and when Niall looks up he’s got a death grip on the sheets, knuckles white and his hips nearly vibrating with how much he’s working to stay still.

“Need to see you,” Niall mumbles, pulling back finally and prodding at Harry until he turns over, cock flushed and leaking on his stomach, his eyes wild.

“Heyyyyy,” Harry whispers, meeting Niall’s eyes and smiling, “we can do maybe a middle show, too.”

“Yeah?” Niall laughs, slicking up his fingers and pressing two into Harry immediately, Harry’s back arching clear off the bed. “Maybe if we had like...”

“Full control.” Harry chokes out, going rigid when Niall curls his fingers before adding a third, “we pick it.”

“They wanted some new band called,” Niall nearly loses it when Harry’s knee brushes against the head of his cock as he shifts, “Spicy Coffin.”

“That’s the dumbest name I’ve ever heard, and I have written a song for a band named Crepe Chiffon.” Harry exhales shakily when Niall pulls out his fingers, fumbling for the condom. He figures if he’s going to make a real go of this for Haz, he’ll need all the help he can get. And after licking Harry out for ages, he’ll need it.

“Sorry I’m not going pure,” Niall grins down at Harry, “can’t cut it like you.”

“Don’t care,” Harry crooks his knee up and pulls at Niall’s shoulders so he’s slotted on top of him, “just fuck me, yeah?”

“Right in your Spicy Coffin.”

“You’d think,” Harry reaches down to guide Niall in, both of them gasping when the head of his cock catches there, “that would make me flag a bit, but weirdly....”

“I’m not saying it again,” Niall laugh dies in his throat when he sinks into Harry, always forgetting how insane it feels, Harry’s heat from the inside out matching how his eyes are staring into Niall’s. It’s not like it feels when they’re messing about on Skype, Harry making them play some sort of staring contest until Niall’s gone off it laughing. It’s. Intense in a way Niall can’t describe. So he pulls back once Harry nods instead, snapping his hips forward at the same time he hooks his arm under Harry’s knee to raise it up, both of them exhaling hard.

“Didn’t want to hear it again,” Harry’s breathless, his hair falling in his face with every thrust, “once was enough.”

Niall can’t respond, just nods as he meets Harry’s eyes again. He deliberately slows his hips, Harry whining and shifting to try and meet him, and Niall can tell he’s close from how he’s chasing it. He reaches down, squeezes hard at the base of Harry’s cock at the same time he slows his thrusts to a near stop. Harry’s eyes get impossibly wider as he does, and he makes this low, quiet noise that pings straight to Niall’s cock.

“C’mon,” Niall whispers, licks at the sweat pooling in the dip of Harry’s collarbone, “you’re so close. Make it last, Hazza.”

“Been ages,” Harry mumbles, and Niall picks up the pace again, feels like he can’t look away from Harry’s face as he struggles to keep his eyes open.

“I know.” Niall knows that as close as Harry is, him getting tighter like a vise around Niall’s cock, he won’t do well with a position switch. He eases his hand from around Harry’s cock and picks up the pace, unable to stop himself from chasing his own release when Harry keeps tightening around him at random intervals, his eyes gone dark with it.

When Niall comes, he doesn’t mean to at all. And he knows Harry can feel it, from how his eyes snap open and he reaches down to push at Niall’s arse so he’s as deep in Harry as possible. It’s mad, how normally after coming so hard Niall would want a kip immediately, but he still feels wired as he comes down from it, this weird intense energy between them. He drops his hand down, thumbing at the edge of Harry’s foreskin before moving it further so he’s pressing his fingers insistently under Harry’s balls.

Niall’s still half hard when Harry groans, this loud noise that’s followed by a quick spasm that’s got Niall sucking in a breath to pull out of Harry, replacing his prick with his fingers before Harry can protest or feel the loss of it.

“Harry,” Niall palms the head of Harry’s cock, about to ask him what he wants when Harry’s gone rigid, coming suddenly over Niall’s hand. Niall’s never seen Harry go so quiet during a shag, like his whole body is twitching as he keeps coming, Niall holding his fingers as still as possible. He thinks Harry’s done, chest heaving with it, when he pulls his hand back; instead, it’s like Harry’s body tries to pull him back in with a twinge, just for a second. Just enough that when Niall looks up to meet Harry’s eyes he looks stunned.

Niall tries to ignore how his hands are shaking when he reaches for a tissue to clean Harry off, bin the condom, Harry still breathing funny enough that Niall’s got half a mind to find his inhaler, but then Harry speaks.

“I came for so long,” it’s like Harry’s full of this quiet joy, like after their first show together almost, “how long do you think I came for?”

“Dunno,” Niall takes a deep breath, feeling off-kilter and like he’s about to lose it laughing, “like ten minutes, Haz.”

“I just,” Harry smiles, tugging at Niall’s arm until they’re tangled together, “I think we can call that a success?”

“It wasn’t awful.” Niall tilts his head down so Harry can’t see the smile on his face, Niall feeling fucked out and knackered, like he might break down in a fit of hysterics at the slightest joke. Harry could try one of his puns right now, probably. It’d go over real well.

“Don’t be modest, Niall.” Harry stretches, “I don’t know what happened at the end there though. You’ve got some power over me, Horan.”

“Maybe Sting can tell you what it was.”

“Yeah,” Harry laughs, a low sound that vibrates through his chest, “I’ll ask him. And Niall?”

“Mmmm?” Niall struggles to stay awake, tips his head up to catch Harry’s eyes. Harry grins, his eyes bright and starting to close.

“Don’t think we can go with Spicy Coffin.”