Louis is absolutely freezing. He’s got two hair dryers pointed at him, a lap full of satin, and a hundred people moving around behind him every which way. He’s shivering like they’re in the bleeding Arctic circle. If only he could remember where he’d left his damn robe.
“Hello, love!” Monica fucking Mitro, dressed fashionably in a striped candy apple red pantsuit, exclaims as she ducks into his mirror. “How’re we feeling?”
“Like a million bucks,” Louis smiles nervously back at her. He may be freezing his bits off, and also maybe he wants to just burrow under his blankets for a few more hours, but he’s ready. He’s worked too hard to back out now, and he knows that. One of the makeup artists dives in to reapply his foundation at the crown of his forehead where he’s started to get a bit sweaty, obscuring his vision. “What are they having me in?”
“We’ve got your rack all set up, you’re in the baby blue first.” She tells him.
“Wings?” He asks, a flutter running through his stomach.
“The matching pair, with winter sparkles dusted on, of course.” She gets a message of some sort through her bluetooth and looks off abruptly to their left. “Alright, yes, is he set for his mic check? I’ll meet him at his dressing room,” she responds before looking back into the mirror. “Be ready in your simple black in fifteen, we’re set to do the first backstage shots, then it’s about an hour til' show.”
He nods shortly, feeling another bout of anxiety wash through his veins. “Thank you, really, thank you. For everything.”
Monica sends him a quick smile, “honestly, darling, thank you.”
Louis feels like that sort of statement can’t be meant for someone like him, it feels surreal, that he’s sitting here in the first place. She’s thanking him for being here. He knows it’s been a long time coming, but he can still remember the first time walking professionally like it was yesterday, can still imagine dressing up in all Valentino. Before he'd gotten picked up for a side gig with Vans. In reality it’s been just over three years. He's so young in the game still, he doesn’t know how he got so lucky that he gets to do this, that he gets to be the one to pave the way for something open-minded, inclusive, and wonderful.
Tonight is sort of an introduction to the Victoria’s Secret’s all-inclusive line that’ll be hitting stores next year, Louis will be wearing a few of the buyable pieces, even. The new products are being designed with folks of all different genders and identities in mind, and they’re looking at hiring on a new model every week, it seems.
One of the makeup team members gives him a sweep of silver eyeliner, and moves to touch-up his eyebrows. An intern of some sort drapes a freshly warmed robe on the back of his chair, and hands him a mug of hot tea just the way he likes it. He didn’t even have to ask.
It pays to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel, he supposes.
“Alright ladies,” the photographer draws back from his camera, clasping his hands together after handing it off to the petite woman Louis assumes to be his assistant. “And gentlemen,” he adds, and a few of the girls behind him nudge him fondly and squeeze his shoulders. “It looks like we’ve got the shots for the Facebook and Instagram pages!”
“Into your first set, everyone!” A voice calls, and they’re all in motion without delay.
“What’re you in first, Lou?” Cara Delevingne is asking him. Louis doesn’t know how in the hell this is his life.
“Baby blue,” he’s beaming he’s so excited. “And you?”
They’re passing racks upon racks of bejeweled bras and lacey panties. Louis wants to reach out and touch them all, but they don’t have the time. There are people running, all going somewhere important and necessary for the show, he’s just glad he doesn’t get lost in the fray. Cara takes his hand and leads the way to their racks.
“They’ve got me in navy with flaming wings,” she tells him. “Some kind’ve winter phoenix deal, I think.”
“We’re 45 minutes out!” Another voice calls. Louis would be slightly annoyed if he weren’t so hopelessly enamored with everything already.
“Hello you two!” One of Louis' dressers standing by exclaims as they reach their areas which are side by side. Louis lips are curling into a smile before he knows it.
The two dressers assigned to him get him out of his simple black silk briefs and start by dusting his shoulders in the glitter that matches his wings, then they start dressing him in his new briefs which are the softest shade of blue he’s ever seen. They’re silk like his black ones, only tighter fit which means he’ll be leaving nothing to imagination. They have white lace stitching and tiny little bows that circle his hipline, fuck he loves this outfit, it’s been one of his favorites ever since he did the looks modelling for it at the beginning of the year. But even yesterday, trying everything on for the rehearsal run, he didn’t feel as good in it as he does now. Next it’s his thigh highs, which are a matching color but sheer until they stop at his mid thigh, ending with simple white bands of lace, attached to the briefs with white clasped straps. He turns to face them after it’s all put together, and they smile back at him honestly. He feels amazing in this, and he’s almost always modest, but he knows he looks amazing, too.
“Ready for your wings, then?” Patricia, as he’s learned the purple haired girls’ name is, asks him.
It might be the fact that he’s been wired just thinking about this for past week, but he definitely tries his best not to tear up at the simple question of it. And fails.
“Ready,” he nods finally.
Georgio, his other dresser, brings them from around the other side of the rack. Louis remembers these wings specifically, they’re the simplest out of all the ones he’ll be wearing, but they’re effortlessly gorgeous.
“Let’s get ‘em on you already,” Patricia says with a smile that says she knows just how important this moment is to him.
“One, two, and… three!” Georgio says as they slip the wing straps over his shoulders.
They feel, well… light as a feather. Fuck, Louis’ got Victoria’s Secret Angel wings on. How the fuck even.
“Holy fuck.” Is all he can say.
“That’s what they’ll all be saying when you walk down looking like that.” Patricia nods.
“You’ll be making quite an impression, that’s for sure.” Georgio comments, and then the two of them are called off to help with another model. Patricia gives him a good luck peck on his cheek, and it’s safe to say that Louis loves his job.
“Cara?” He calls over the rack.
“Here!” She answers.
He pushes a few of his later outfits apart on the rack so he can peek through and see her. Her back’s to him, but when she turns he wants to clap, or something.
“You look amazing.” He tells her, nerves forgotten for a moment because he’s close friends with one of the biggest young models in the world, and they’re both about to walk out into the biggest, most televised fashion show in the world. Her flaming wings are all wire and scraps of tattred red to orange satin, and she looks as though she’s literally been raised from the flames.
“Whoa, hold on a minute,” she says, eyes wide. She’s rushing around the rack to come and look at him fully in the blink of an eye. “Louis, you look… you really look stunning.”
All the blood in his body seems to have rushed to his feet where they are currently swelling inside of his high heels, and his head feels a bit light. “Thank you.” Is all he can say.
“Cara have you got makeup done?” A voice calls over by the mirrors.
“Shit! No, I’m coming!” She calls back, going to hurry over before tossing a smile over her shoulder at him. “Don’t be nervous, okay? You’re going to kill it out there.”
“Go get your face on.” He tells her with a wide smile, excitement beginning to brew in his stomach.
Once she’s gone it’s just him with his rack, a moment to himself with twenty minutes until they’re out there walking. He checks his phone, seeing a text from his agent (you’re so ready for this! i’m in a front seat stage left! lady gaga is here too, i think, and i can see adam levine right across from me) his mum (so proud of you, my little star :)), and his sister (all the girls at school are jealous that i’m your sis, expect me to be stealing your wings without delay). He sends them all thank you’s and a bunch of thumbs up emojis, or in Lotti’s case, a few fireballs and explosions. He blows out a breath and tries to calm himself down a bit. He’s got energy fizzing in his fingertips, feeling like he could set something aflame at any moment. His wings are tickling his back, and he goes to do a little twirl to make them flutter, wanting to see what it feels like. It’s a great idea, until he twists just a little too much and stumbles straight into someone’s - very solid - chest.
“Sorry! My bad-” He starts, but has no way of finishing, not once he turns and smacks Harry Styles right in the face with one of his wings. Oh Christ. Oh fuck, did he really just do that, shit. “Oh god, I’m so sorry-”
“No worries,” Harry hasn’t really seen him yet, he’s still getting a feather off of his tongue. Louis just nearly knocked over Harry Styles, the biggest thing in pop, recurring visitor in Louis’ boyhood wet dreams, and also tonight’s main musical act. Harry Styles, who he used to stay up late watching on the X Factor, who he’s seen in concert twice, and who is on his way to perform at the same show that Louis is in.
“My heel just slipped and I didn’t know anyone was behind me.” He’s rambling and he really, really wishes he wasn’t.
Harry begins to look up from dusting off his thighs, a few more sticky feathers having latched onto his well fitted black skinnies. He comes up slowly, stopping once he looks and sees Louis’ decidedly not shaved legs and muscular thighs. His eyes seem to catalog everything as he stands fully, gaze roaming over Louis’ bare chest and shimmering white wings.
“You’re him.” Is the first thing Harry says, a small smile tugging at his corner of his lips. His tone doesn’t say anything, not surprise or disgust, which Louis had been hoping against but expecting. He’s well aware of the feedback Victoria’s Secret has gotten for adding a male model to their contract, even more well aware of the feedback they’ve gotten for the fact that Louis is openly gay. Harry’s been speculated to be bisexual himself, but it’s always difficult to gage people on rumors in this industry.
“I’m me.” Is his quiet, eloquent response.
Harry nods, and Louis takes stock of Harry’s sheer blouse, unbuttoned down to his sternum, leaving all his tattoos on full display. Louis thinks his famous curls look even softer in person. Fuck.
“I’m,” Harry clears his throat and Louis sees his cheeks go a warmer shade, wait… what? “I’m Harry Styles. It’s um, it’s really wonderful to meet you.”
“Hi,” Louis manages. He’s walking as an Angel, and Harry Styles is, Louis really hopes he isn’t just projecting his fantasies right now, prays this is real, but Harry actual Styles is blushing in front of him. Is he dreaming or did Cara slip him something last night? “I’m Louis Tomlinson.”
“I know.” Is Harry’s response, white teeth biting at his berry pink lips, after which he immediately stutters. “I-I mean, right, yeah, wonderful to meet you.”
Louis laughs openly. “You already said that.”
There are people rushing all around them, but Louis’ attention isn’t pulled by a single one of them. He’s caught right here, somehow.
Harry shakes his head, blowing out a breath. “Sorry, I know, it’s just.” Louis can’t help it, actually physically cannot keep himself from gently touching Harry’s forearm and giving him a questioning look. Harry reacts subtly, his eyes flicking to the point of contact, shifting just a little closer into Louis’ space. It feels effortless and intense. “I think it’s so wonderful, what you’re doing here tonight. Tearing down gender norms in front of a huge audience. And I think it’s so brave of you to do it, to be the one to step out there and do that for so many people. Cara’s told me about you, but yeah, even if she hadn’t, I’ve uh, been paying attention to you for a while now. Full disclosure. And you look, shit, um, you look really amazing, like.”
Louis might’ve stopped breathing somewhere in there. He’s the one blushing now, can feel his whole face heated with it. Harry Styles gets it. He gets what this is all about, he gets why Louis is passionate, willing, and wanting to do this in front of millions of viewers. And he thinks he looks, quote, amazing, unquote.
Louis wants to tell him how much all of that means to him, wants to hug Harry, and maybe even kiss him. A lot. But he doesn’t get his chance for any of that, as there’s a new voice breaking into his and Harry’s own little bubble.
“Five minutes ‘til we walk!”
Louis looks quickly to see the first five girls ready to go by the entrance, each of them jittering with excitement. When he looks back to Harry there’s an even bigger smile on his face than before.
“See you out there, Louis.” Harry says, and before he can even say thank you Harry is rushing over towards stage right.
It’s all he can do to adjust his wings and find his place at the back of the line, still feeling hot. He’s got to pull himself together if he wants to make it through this in one piece.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show!”
“Alright, we’re sending her.” An assistant murmurs quickly into his mouthpiece. “Prep next!”
Louis’s up after the next model. Fuck, there’s only a handful of seconds left before he’s walking out there. He can hear Harry singing, has been trying to listen to him instead of his own inner monologue of doubts and fears. He’s doing a mashup of “Too Close” with Alex Clare, Alex’s voice carrying through as Harry stays silent for a verse.
You’re giving me more than I can return, Yet also much that you deserve
“Candice is a go!” The assistant reaches without looking for Louis’ hand, and he steps up to meet him halfway. He’s practically shaking, like he’s as cold as he was earlier but now with some sort of blaze under his skin. Well, the first walk’s theme is Fire and Ice. He feels like his wings are real enough to let him fly away.
“Louis is up! Sending him now!” The assistant gives him a small squeeze on his bicep, and without even feeling like he’s in full control of his movements he walks forward to stand center under the grand arch. He can see the other models walking back, with Candice just approaching the end of the catwalk for her pose, and Harry beaming down the catwalk back at him. Harry’s smile is meant for him. How is he supposed to walk like a supermodel with that on his mind. The entire audience can see him, and he feels like he’s flying.
With Louis’ memory of the song this is where either Alex or Harry should be singing a bridge, but instead as Louis takes his first steps he hears Harry’s voice speaking loud and clear.
“Everyone please welcome, Louis Tomlinson!”
The audience goes crazy for him, hollering and clapping, some are even out of their seats. Louis breaks out in a smile so wide he feels like it can be seen even in the lowest quality.
Then the fucking beat drops, and fire erupts from the side stage special effects canons. He’s walking in two and a half inch white high heels, wearing nothing but a tight pair of briefs and sheer thigh highs, with the most gorgeous wings he’s ever seen strapped to his back and Harry is taking the verse, singing near the end of the catwalk. Candice passes him on his left and reaches her hand out to give him a sly high five, nodding at him as she goes.
I can’t lie no more, I can’t hide no more, got to be true to myself
He’s halfway there and Alex Clare is on his left, tipping his hat to him with a smile. Louis’ trying not to trip and make an utter tit of himself, but he might need a little help here. There are lights flashing everywhere, which he’s used to on the runway, but there’s also a tracking camera on the side of the catwalk that adjusts to his pace and tracks him as he goes. He just can’t get used to it.
Harry’s singing like Louis’s seen him sing at his concerts, with his eyes closed, punching his shoulder in every time the base kicks back. When Louis passes him he bites his own lip and shivers his wings a little bit, shaking off some of the silver dust on Harry’s iconic leather boots. When he reaches the end of the walk he’s smiling so hard his cheeks are pinching. He does what he does best, and draws the camera in with a flutter of his lashes, bringing one of his wings around to peek through the feathers playfully before throwing a look over his shoulder and turning to walk back. Harry’s there, of course, looking him dead in the eye as he walks backward to keep up with Louis’ confident stride.
And it feels like I am just too close to love you
God, Louis knows he’s in the middle of one of the biggest moments of his career, but he can’t help the way his gaze is drawn right to the energy in Harry’s eyes. To the line of his neck as he sings it out.
So I’ll be on my way, so I’ll be on my way
He leaves Harry behind, still smiling like a madman as the final chords tremble in the air. He exits stage left and immediately wants to melt into a puddle, wants to sit down and breathe for a second. But there’s a team undressing him in seconds, getting him into his next outfit before he can do much more than let out a shrill little sound of the light feeling bubbling under his feet. He’s already ready to go again.
Louis has just gotten through with his third walk when they pull him aside for a brief backstage interview. He’s told they’re taking a quick five to deconstruct the last walk’s scenery, so he’s good timewise.
“I’m here backstage at the 2015 VS Fashion Show with Louis Tomlinson, Victoria’s Secret’s very first male Angel,” A woman is saying into the camera just before the cameraman pans over to include Louis. He’s fidgeting with the pool floatie that’s around his waist, the previous walk’s theme having been Life’s A Beach. “Congratulations on your recent rise to fame, how’d it feel to be out there, Louis?”
“Amazing! Really, really amazing,” he answers, all smiles. He’s still riding the adrenaline from earlier, it seems. “Yeah, um, it’s such a unique experience, and everyone has been so incredibly supportive. It’s been wonderful.”
“It’s so cool to see it happening, too!” The woman (his assistant had mentioned her name earlier… Sophie? Sophia?) responds. Her teeth are as white as snow. “I don’t mean to bring up many negative things while you’re in the middle of the show, but how do you deal with the rude opinions on Twitter and Instagram regarding what you’re doing out there?”
Louis feels a small twist in his gut, but he’d known this question was coming. “Everybody has their opinions, you know? The thing is, is that what I’m doing, and what the other male, and non-binary models for the line are doing, and what this whole company is doing, is positive. End of story. We’re working to include everyone, and at the end of the day that’s going to go a lot farther than whatever some close minded person online has to say.”
“That’s an excellent point!” She says.
“Thank you.” He nods.
“Now we haven’t been able to be formally introduced to the other new models, are you allowed to give us any details on them? And why aren’t any of them walking with you this evening?”
He looks to his left, to where one of his other assistants, Jerry, is standing with his robe. Jerry meets his eyes and gives him a nod.
“Yeah, I believe I’m allowed to share a bit.” He smiles. “I met with a few of them earlier this week, actually. They’re from a wide range of backgrounds, which is so amazing to see, y’know, having representation for so many people across the board. We’ve hired on Martin Ruez, who’s from Mexico City, and is actually transgender. He’s going to do so many great things for so many young people at home, when they get to see him premiere a few of the line pieces early next year. We’ve also hired on Zayn Malik, who’s from Pakistan and was formerly with just a small catalog online. Who else? They’ve hired Alexander Smith from South Africa, Bo Zhèng from China. They’ve really been working to make it a global campaign through who they add to the contract. It’s great.”
The woman nods along with him, when she speaks her voice sounds genuine, “that sounds amazing, and we cannot wait to hear more about the new line as it gets closer to being released in stores!”
“As for why they aren’t walking with me, I didn’t have much of a say in it. The other models were hired on much later than I was, and the company wanted some measure of shock value, I suppose, so they went with just one.”
“Well we’re very happy to see you out there,” she comments.
“Thank you, I’m just so happy to be a part of it.” He presses his lips together in a thin line, hoping to contain his smile just a little bit.
“One last question before we let you go, there are so many great performers here tonight to sing for all of you Angels as you walk the runway, do you have a personal favorite? Anyone you were most excited to see?”
Louis’ heart jumps, but his mouth answers too quickly for him to lie. “Harry Styles was a big name to hear when they announced to us who’d be here tonight. For me, at least.”
“Yeah? We saw the two of you having a bit of a moment when you walked out the first time. Have you two known each other for a while?”
Louis just laughs at that. “Um, no, actually. I hadn’t met him up until a few minutes before the show started.”
“Really? It’s hard to tell, you two just seemed to have a real connection!”
All he can do is shrug. “I guess it just sorta happened.”
“Please welcome back to the stage, Harry Styles!”
Louis’s just gotten his wings on for the final walk, and he’s eigth in line to go. This time the theme is Casino Royale, so Louis’ new wings are made out of playing cards. He’s wearing black leather suspenders with red briefs that have an overlapping poker chip design on them, black gloves that go to his elbows, and black and red stilettos to complete the look.
He hears Harry’s track starting to play through the speakers, and takes a deep breath.
Who’s that shadow holding me hostage? I’ve been here for days
Adriana is the first to go, and she struts until she’s right under the grand arch, she’s got a flattened roulette circle on her back that spins on it’s own, lighting up as the animated ball lands on different number slots that are actually different bra lines from years past (Body by Victoria, Very Sexy, and so on). Louis has no idea how their stylists do it. She keeps her back to the audience until Harry keeps going with the next lyric.
I know they’ll be coming to find me soon, but I fear I’m getting used to being held by you
The beat kicks in and Adriana turns to go, which starts the ball rolling. Cara is up right before him this time, so she throws a wink over her shoulder at him before all but skipping out onto the runway.
By now he isn’t nervous, just excited to get back out there and show off what their team has created. He’s just getting ready to go when he gets an idea.
“Jerry,” he looks directly to his right. Jerry’s eyes flicker to his instantly, his balding head catching the light of stage. “Do you still have those extra cards?”
Jerry nods jerkily, knowing that they’re pressed for time. He digs into his jeans pocket and hands the deck to Louis quickly, palms a little sweaty. Louis feels lucky to have an assistant that’s so efficient.
“Thank you!” He mouths over his shoulder before jetting out onto the stage.
Who’s this man that’s holding your hand and talking ‘bout your eyes?
Maybe it’s because he’s singing without any other artist this time, Louis doesn’t really know, but Harry’s right near the arch for this walk. So when he steps forward he finds that Harry’s eyes are right on him, hotter than any of the stage lights.
Used to sing ‘bout being free but now he’s changed his mind
Louis somehow remembers to walk, regardless of the significance he wants to put on that lyric. His walk picks up speed after he breaks eye contact with Harry, he just hopes it isn’t extremely noticeable.
Now that he’s got the full hang of it, he doesn’t shy away from throwing the tracking camera a wink as he goes. He hopes the people at home like him, but he knows not all of them will, and he came to grips with that a long time ago. It doesn’t phase him, only makes him walk a little taller.
Cara finishes her pose at the end of the catwalk and turns to blow Louis a kiss, he pretends to catch it and laughs as she goes. He doesn’t think he’s had even one moment during any of his walks today where he hasn’t been smiling.
Yeah I fell for you
Louis’ heard this song probably hundreds of times, but the way Harry sings that lyric makes him want to look back at him so badly. He resists the temptation, but it really had felt like he’d been singing it right to him.
When it’s time for his pose he cocks his left hip out, and then his right in order to show off his wings. But then he faces right down the camera and throws the playing cards straight into the air, making them rain down all around him. He gives the camera a final smirk before turning to walk back, allowing himself to feel sexy as all fuck.
He only gets to relish his stroke of genius for about three seconds, though. Because as soon as he focuses his gaze again, he sees that Harry has left his mic stand by the grand arch and has started walking up the catwalk. Towards him.
All my life I’ve been on my own, I use your light to guide me home
Harry’s reached him now, and Louis finally has a second to take in Harry’s outfit change. He’s wearing black leather skinnies that reflect the lights, and he’s got this peacock turquoise shimmering top that Louis is having a hard time taking his eyes off of. He’s also got his hair up in a half-bun, exposing the tight ringlets that fan around his neck, looking so silky and touchable. Louis just wants to run his fingers through them, but he finds it in himself to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
He feels something building in his stomach that he hasn’t felt since he was maybe eighteen. Something purely electric.
But now together we’re alone
Harry takes Louis’ hand in his.
And fucking kisses it.
And there’s no other place I’d ever wanna go
Louis feels his eyes widen as Harry gives him a warm, hopeful smile that feels too private for a moment that’s just been broadcasted into millions of different homes around the world. Harry turns to go, pulling himself out of Louis’ forward momentum to go finish his song.
When Louis gets backstage a few of the other Angels dote over him immediately, aww’ing over the blush that’s still sitting high on his cheekbones - because Harry Styles just kissed his hand. Not any of the other girls’ hands, but his, and that means something. It means something quiet and golden to him, yeah, but for Harry? And his career? He has no idea how limitless the possible repercussions are.
His last walk may be over, but Louis knows that the night certainly isn’t.
If there’s one thing that Louis knows about the Victoria’s Secret after party, it’s that just about anyone can be found here.
All manner of celebrities come to the show itself, sure, but it’s the after party that really brings in the A-listers. Cara’s even confirmed it for him. Jay-Z is rumored to turn up this year, probably with Beyonce on his arm unless she’s on tour. Taylor Swift performed at last year’s show and all of her closest friends came along as well, so he’s hoping to meet a few of the bands that Alex Clare runs in circles with. Maybe if Calvin Harris comes along he can get his autograph for Niall, who was hung up in Ireland and couldn’t make it. Christmas is coming up and a signed album would make quite the stocking stuffer. Niall might even let him play one of his vintage guitars after he got it. That’d be cool.
Not as cool as Harry Styles actually showing his face, though, Louis thinks.
“Let’s get you another drink, Lou!” Candice calls as she heads towards the bar. “Another Martini?”
“Please!” He answers. He isn’t nearly drunk enough yet. He is celebrating, after all, biggest night of his career and all that.
A Rihanna song is blasting through the club, and he’s just thinking about ask Behati if she wants to dance when a hand taps his shoulder. He turns with a small smile ready on his lips, but when he’s met with the image of someone that decidedly is not Harry it unconsciously fades.
“Can I help you?” He asks the brown eyed stranger, Louis thinks he looks a bit like someone he’s seen before but he can’t quite place him.
“Hi!” Stranger calls back to him, the music is loud but not quite blaring enough to warrant this guy’s voice level. Louis takes in the fact that the guy is swaying a bit and excuses his small lack of judgement. “You were interviewed by my girlfriend earlier!”
Louis’ eyebrows knit together for a moment but then he remembers the brunette that had been polite and interested in what Louis was standing for. “Yeah,” he nods, but the guy just tries to come closer, not being able to hear him. “Yeah!” He repeats himself, chuckling as the guy pulls back to his original distance and gives him a big grin.
“I’m Liam, Liam Payne!” Stranger Liam tells him.
“I’m Louis!” He tells him. Liam nods again, and Louis is starting to worry that Liam might fall asleep on the spot, with the way his eyelids are drooping. “Do you need help finding somebody? What’s up?”
“Nah! S’just, y’know, wanted to be able t’tell people back home that I met you.” Liam slurs, and Louis’s a bit anxious for what comes next. “My nephew came out to his parents, thanks t’you.”
Louis’ entire body lights up at that. “What?”
“Yeah! S’cause he saw you bein’ happy I think, y’know, in all those advertisements!” Liam smiles goofily. “S’cause he saw you bein’ yourself, with no apologies or bullshit!”
Louis’s positively beaming at that. His heart is doing this thrilled new rhythm inside his chest, and he just wants to say something to this young person that he helped. He wants that for them. He reaches for the nearest thing he can write on, which is apparently a napkin, and pulls a pen out of the pocket of his skinny jeans.
“What’s their name?” He asks Liam, who was looking confused at Louis’ sudden scrambling but now realizes what it’s about and seems to tear up.
“John,” Liam sniffles. “His name’s Jonathan.”
Jonathan, Never stop believing in yourself, and always strive to be positive. I’m so proud of you for being so brave. xxx Louis Tomlinson. He writes it all and signs his signature after his written name before handing it off to Liam, who’s full on crying now.
“T-thank you,” Liam says as he neatly folds the napkin and puts it in the inside pocket of his suit jacket. “It’s gonna mean s-so much to him, you have no idea.”
“Happy to do it!” Louis calls, wanting to make sure Liam can hear him over the Lupe Fiasco mix that’s just started.
Liam wipes his nose before biting his lip, probably trying to keep it from wobbling. Louis finds him harmlessly endearing. “I’ve gotta hug you, man.”
That’s all the warning he gets before Liam crushes him in a bear hug, Louis can smell the rum and coke on him, but he pats Liam’s shoulders all the same.
“Liam! There you are.” A voice calls from the other side of Liam in their hug. Liam gives him one final pat on the back before letting him go, wiping at his eyes. Louis has amused laughter caught in his throat, when he looks up to find Harry with a hand on Liam’s shoulder, looking concerned.
“Sophia was worried about you, mate. She’s waiting with the car out front.” Harry tells Liam, sending him on his way as he nods and clumsily makes towards the exit. He throws a quick, watery smile at Louis as he goes, Louis takes it as a final goodbye and thank you.
When Louis looks back to Harry, Harry has apparently just looked back at him. Music is resounding between them and all around the air around them, and Louis can feel some magical pull to close the space between them that allows such reverberation.
Harry’s expression is similar to the final one he’d given Louis on the catwalk, but more confident, a little looser.
“What’re you staring at?” He asks pointedly.
Harry doesn’t miss a beat, he says it softly. Louis can’t hear him, but he doesn’t need to. “You.”
Louis just shakes his head, reaching out to grab Harry’s hand before pulling him close. “Dance with me.”
Harry looks down at him like he’s wearing wings again, like he’s still just as struck by Louis now, in simple skinnies and a band t-shirt. Louis doesn’t understand it, so maybe it’s all a trick of the lights.
“Yeah,” Harry says, and Louis can hear him this time because he’s so close. Close enough to feel the warmth radiating off of his skin, like he’s got the summer sun held hostage right here in the heart of December. Louis can smell him, too. Fuck, it’s all cinammon sticks and Tom Ford cologne. “Yeah, of course, Lou.”
He likes the way that sounds.
Louis leaves the club that night with an alarm set early for his flight back home to London, and a new number programed in under “Pop Star Harry” that matches his contact in Harry’s phone which is under “Angel Louis”, because they’d both been drunk and had thought it was the funniest thing ever.
He sets a photo as Harry’s icon in his phone while his driver takes him back to his hotel. Louis smiles when he selects it, can still feel Harry’s lips on his cheek.
Harry had told his friends he’d catch up with them later, and the two of them had talked animatedly about everything from Cocker Spaniels to the importance of butter in your everyday diet. Louis had laughed so hard at Harry’s imitation of a lobster being boiled that he’d knocked over Harry’s drink all over the floor, which had only made them both laugh harder.
“What you did earlier,” Louis had at one point felt the need to ask. “On the catwalk, at the end of the show, what was that?”
Harry had looked up at him through his lashes, picking at the stitching of his dark green blazer. “What do you mean?”
Louis had swallowed, “what did that mean for you? What did it mean for, y’know, your image?”
Harry had taken a moment. “When I saw you out there walking, like nothing could stop you, like it didn’t matter what was going to happen, I just,” he’d looked up at Louis then, his eyes clear. “I stopped caring about my image. I knew I wanted to do that, and in the moment I felt like I should. Because I wanted to. It was something complicated, but the way I saw you, it made it all really simple.”
Louis felt the warm feeling inside himself twist a little hotter, uncertain. “Do you regret it?”
“No.” Harry’s voice had sounded disbelieving. “I’ve cared so much about every little detail, all the ways people have thought about me, for a long time now. It’s exhausting and fake, honestly. And I think my fans know that. You helped me, Louis, regardless of what happens now. I don’t regret it for a second.”
“I’m so happy to hear that,” Louis had echoed what his thoughts had been screaming, his whole chest had felt bloated with something light. Harry was setting himself free. “Really happy, Harry.”
From there they’d gotten onto a topic of the future, which had meant Louis spilling about his hopes for the new line doing well enough that he’d be able to support a family. Harry had just looked at him, without a trace of judgement, and had told him that he’d been thinking of different names for his future kids since he was fourteen, had told Louis that he’s an expert at changing nappies.
Before they’d even had a break in the conversation it’d gotten to around two in the morning, and Louis was cursing, realizing that he had to be ready to board his flight in about four hours. Harry had wrapped his hand around Louis’ ankle that was propped over his lap, and reached for Louis phone.
The photo is dim, the two of them squeezed together in a private corner away from all the noise. But you can see the blush on both of their cheeks, Louis looking to make sure the picture is taking, and Harry with his eyes closed, planting a kiss right on Louis’ cheekbone.
Louis locks his phone and feels his heavy eyelids droop. As the New York City lights flash by outside his window, all he can think is that he must be flying.
When he touches down in London later the next day he has a new text message waiting for him.
From: Pop Star Harry 12:21pm
Cara told me you’re a Yorkshire man, care to meet me in Cheshire sometime over the holidays?
Harry must be checking his phone, because as soon as he sees that Louis’s read the message it’s immediately followed by a new one.
From: Pop Star Harry 8:09pm
Promise I’m on the nice list ;)
He can’t buy a train ticket fast enough.
Two Years Later
“How’re you feeling, baby?” A soft voice echoes through the lavender fog that’s swirling in his head. “I’m right here. Can you come back to me?”
Louis does his best to say something, but all he can manage is a quiet whimper. He can feel his fingers twitch as a very dull aftershock pulses through him. He’s trying to make sense of what he’s feeling, but all he can come up with is warm and Harry.
“Let’s get you sorted out,” the voice says. Harry’s voice. He can pinpoint that much, always. Calloused hands reach under to pull him up so that he’s cradled in an embrace that feels so loving and sure that he wants to cry. Again. Another whimper slips past his lips, and Harry’s hands soothe over his back and pull him closer to his chest.
“You came so hard,” Harry is nuzzling into his hair, placing soft kisses like falling stars. “Just from my mouth, no less.” Harry’s breathing the words to him, and he ends his last statement with a disbelieving breath. Louis is starting to be able to feel the cotton sheets under his bum, can feel Harry’s legs closed around his balled figure, ankles crossed around him Indian style. Like Louis is something to be protected, cherished.
“So good,” Louis voices his thoughts, tongue curling around the words, like his voice is something foreign.
“Yeah, Lou. Fuck.” Harry kisses his temple and squeezes Louis’ hips. Louis’s still got his eyes closed, trying to open his lids, really, really trying. “You did so well. So good for me, can you, can you open your eyes, baby? I’m right here, let me see ‘em. Let me see you.”
Louis knows on some level that he shouldn’t need this much encouragement to just open his own eyes, but he honestly feels like he’s living on what Harry says right now. Like without him he wouldn’t know which way was up. He reaches out and grips Harry’s hand and slowly opens his eyes to the muted lighting of their bedroom. Harry’s jade green eyes, searching Louis for hints of how he’s feeling. Harry’s lips, perking up into a smile. Harry’s naked body curled around his own. If Louis were a mast, right now it’d look like Harry is his sail.
Harry leans in and holds Louis’ jaw as he draws their lips together in a kiss. Easy as breathing, and Louis immediately feels a larger part of his brain come back to full consciousness. Doesn’t feel as sluggish, but still floaty.
“Better?” Harry asks, voice still just for Louis.
“Mhmm,” Louis responds slowly, and puckers his lips, asking for another kiss. Harry comes back in easily.
“Color?” Harry asks, which is something that has come along with this whole new aspect of their sex life. They started experimenting with it around Louis’ last birthday when he had turned twenty six. He’d done something very similar for Harry. Domming, as they’ve come to understand it’s called.
“Mint.” Louis says, and in the silence that accompanies Harry’s confused look, he giggles.
“Lou,” Harry half whines, half giggles along with him.
“Mint,” Louis repeats. “Green, but... fuzzy. No, um, hazy.”
“Hmm,” Harry hums. “Mint is good, though?”
“Mhmm, good,” Louis answers. He reaches a hand out, movements still slow, to touch the soft skin of Harry’s inner thigh. His eyes are still focused back on Harry’s, though. “Did y’come?”
Harry just smirks, cheeks looking warm. “Yeah, when you did. Couldn’t help it. God, you’re so hot,” he kisses Louis again, sweet and insistent. “Can’t believe you came twice already. Once from my fingers, and once from my mouth. Fuck.”
Louis preens under Harry’s words, feeling as always so wonderful under Harry’s undivided attention. “Thank you,” is all he can say.
Harry strokes his thumb over Louis’ cheekbone, “Sleepy?”
“No, um,” there’s this restless feeling still flipping in his chest, like his heartbeat isn’t quite on time. He isn’t quite settled yet. He fidgets and tries to sort through what he’s trying to process. “Not yet. I, um.”
“What is it, baby?” Harry asks.
Louis takes in a deep breath, pulls himself closer into Harry’s embrace, if that’s even possible. He cards his hands through Harry’s hair, with Harry looking down so fully at him. He leans slowly in and fits their lips together seamlessly, movement lethargic and thought out as he brings himself up onto his knees so that his face is slanted down to keep kissing. Harry’s hands slide up the back of his thighs, kneading over his hot skin and pulling him closer still, and Louis knows that he must feel how he’s started to get hard again. The kiss heats up, and Harry’s breaking it to pant harshly.
“Yeah, Lou?” He squeezes one of Louis’ cheeks a little harder, and Louis has to bite his lip at that. “Still want more?”
“S’your birthday,” Louis sighs on a breath as Harry kisses up his neck. “Wanna, oh shit, wanna do something special, thought maybe you’d like it.”
Harry’s running his hands all over him now, spreading a fire over his skin that only burns upon itself, hotter and hotter. They’ve been together - officially, anyways, as far as the media is concerned - for almost two years now. They’ve been kissing, touching, loving each other so well, Louis doesn’t know if could ever stop. Could ever keep himself from Harry.
Sure, they get in fights. Their first ever having been how they should come out, or rather, how they should go about formally outing Harry. In the end didn’t matter as both of their thought out ideas were tossed out the window when they took a trip together to Venice. The city hadn’t been completely swollen with tourists just yet, as it had been mid April, but they’d still been trailed by three or so paparazzos as they’d made their way between canals and local shops.
While crossing over a small footbridge just before dusk Harry had taken his hand and looked him dead in the eyes, and asked him, “how do you feel about right now?”
“Right now?” Louis had felt his chest start to shiver.
“Right here, right now,” Harry had shaken his head, eyes bright and voice clear. “I was just thinking about how I wanted to kiss you, but we haven’t done it yet, so I, I couldn’t. And I don’t want that to stand in the way of us doing things for one another. Of us being together, for real. I’m ready to take this step, with you. So, how about right now?”
Louis had felt so much had one time, excitement, fear, pride, joy. But most of all he’d felt love. Overwhelmingly, that is what he’d felt most. “Kiss me, Harry.” He’d said, and as they’d heard the muted sounds of cameras capturing the moment, Harry had laughed into his mouth, and Louis had laughed with him.
So they bicker now and then, and yeah, Harry can’t do laundry for shit and he put Louis’ favorite white cashmere sweater in with the dark wash and it came out as a pink little thing that looked fit for a doll. Sure, Louis flew off the handle about it. And maybe Louis forgot to check Harry’s souffle like he’d asked him to, and it’d sort of exploded all over the inside of their oven. But hey, the main point here is that he cleaned it all up after and sucked Harry’s dick against the kitchen sink to make up for it. So really it’s all just part of the plan.
“You’ve already done so much,” Harry furrows his eyebrows now. “Surprised me at the studio, brought Mum, Gem, and Robin down, made me my favorite pad thai, from scratch.” Louis will admit he is quite proud of that last one. “Let me eat you out for so long. Best birthday yet, Lou. What more could there be?”
Louis swallows thickly. “Under the bed.” He tells him, “look under the bed.”
Harry’s face scrunches up a moment in confusion, but he reaches back, scooting up the bed a bit to rummage around beneath their bed. When his hand makes contact with it, he stops searching and sits back up with the bundle of old blankets in his hands.
“Unwrap it,” Louis tells him, feeling more aware of his words and thoughts as the moments pass. Coming back into himself formally.
Harry peels back the wrappings, and there beneath the afghans and quilts, Louis sees his fingers meet the soft material.
“What-” But Harry answers his own question, pulling them out from their makeshift cocoon. Louis’ very first pair of Angel wings. The ones he’d met Harry in. “Your wings, Lou.”
Louis watches him dance his fingers over the light feathers, it’s a tradition for contract signed models to keep their very first pair of Victoria’s Secret Angel wings. Louis had originally kept them at his Mum’s house, but when he and Harry had visited her this past New Year’s he had snuck them home. Keeping them a surprise for this very moment.
“Well, put ‘em on me, then,” he says, and Harry sets to work right away. He slips the straps over Louis’ shoulders and secures them, sitting back once he’s done to look.
“You look,” Harry shakes his head, eyes looking somewhat glassy. Louis can relate. “Lou, honestly-”
“Even better than I did the first time I wore ‘em?” He laughs, but swoops in and catches Harry’s fishmouthing lips in a kiss, nipping a bit on the drawback. He brings his mouth to Harry’s ear, climbing back into Harry’s lap. Fuck, he’s naked and wearing his Angel wings for his fucking long term pop star boyfriend. He might need a few more years yet to get used to the whole concept. “Wanna ride you while I’m wearing these.” He breathes the words, “been thinking about it all day, wanting you. Need to be full.”
“Fuck,” Harry swears, and grabs at Louis’ hips like before, this time with renewed intent. “Of course, baby, want that so much.”
“Kiss?” Louis asks, and Harry pulls him in without hesitation. Louis relinquishes his short lived sense of control, Harry sliding into the metaphorical driver’s seat once again.
The kiss turns filthy as Louis wiggles in Harry’s lap, feeling Harry’s hardening cock slide between his cheeks. He feels the head drag over his rim and immediately feels a whimper being ripped from his chest, hole clenching, wanting.
“Oh my god,” Harry says, head thrown back slightly. Louis tracks his gaze as it follows the arching lines of his wings. Harry snakes a hand down to get a grip on his own dick, holding it still at the base as he gets a bit of lube into his palm, all while as Louis continues to grind against the hard line of him, restless and needy. “Are you ready, love? Need anything, yeah, more? Christ.”
“Ready, Harry, please.” He breathes, “want it hard. So much.”
“Yeah, Lou,” Harry grits. “Gonna give you what you want.”
Louis’ hands slide up Harry’s shoulders, fingertips pressing insistently into Harry’s warm skin. Harry’s free hand grips at Louis’ right cheek as he nudges Louis hips forward so that he’s hovering right over Harry’s cock. Harry leans up and brushes their lips together as he slowly, careful as always, pushes into him.
“Yes,” Louis breathes when he finally feels Harry bottom out inside of him. “Fuck, yes, Harry. Please, need you to-”
“Shh,” Harry quiets him with a languid kiss, one that contrasts the way Louis’ hips have begun to involuntarily make small circles, trying to feel the drag of Harry’s cock without breaking it. Harry keeps kissing him as he slowly starts to thrust up into him, deep and frustratingly drawn out.
Harry’s kissing up his neck next, running his hands over and over Louis’ back, kneading at the arch of his spine which Harry knows to be a bit sore from how high he’d been bending himself up in the air just about an hour ago. Their bodies work so well together, always have, it seems. Harry’s broader frame encompassing Louis’ curved one so perfectly, making him feel so incredibly safe and turned on, all at once.
Louis can feel how hard Harry is, knows if they were keeping score tonight they’d be at Louis: 2, Harry: 1. He’s been even more wound up than Louis has, all things taken into account. Plus, Louis knows that even though Harry finished after he’d eaten Louis out, Harry loves it too much to only have one go.
“Lou,” Harry moans into the crook of his shoulder, low and rumbly. He’s back into it then, all systems are go.
“Fuck me, please,” Louis whispers into the air, feels like please is all he can say. Harry’s cock nudges at his prostate, not enough to drive him anywhere, but enough to make his thighs seize around Harry’s hips.
“Yeah, you’ve been so good,” Harry bites at his collarbone, sucking a long bruise there, making Louis shiver. He feels heat pool in his stomach, can feel his own cock blurt a bit of precome. “Wanna ride me good, baby?”
“Yes, please, just let me,” he’s rolling hips earnestly now, back and forth, just wishes Harry would give it to him like Louis knows he can. Fuck, Harry’s so big, and it drives him absolutely insane.
“Take what you want, then,” Harry says, and lays back against the headboard with a smug turn to his lips and hooded eyes.
Louis is about to protest, about to beg even more, but Harry’s hand leaves his hip to reach up and touch the feathers that are brushing against Louis’ back. Louis honestly has no clue how he got so lucky as to call someone like this his, because Harry’s got his cock up his ass nearly two years after meeting him, but he’s still looking at him with that same sparkle in his eyes. The same look that tells Louis he’s got it all, because somehow Harry loves him just as much as he loves Harry.
So Louis takes Harry’s free hand on his hip between his own, tangles their fingers together as he leans forward to nestle into the crook of Harry’s neck, and just lets himself go. He lets himself take it all, moving his hips in a way that he knows will nudge the head of Harry’s cock right against his prostate, not enough to get him near the edge, but still drive him crazy. He lets the unabashed little ah ah ah’s fall from his lips as Harry just barely moves his hips at all.
“God, you’re so beautiful like this,” Harry breathes as he bites his lip. Louis can hardly look up at him, so hard and full, but not enough. “Fucking love, yeah, baby take it, love your tight little body. So desperate for it.”
“Yes, yes,” he replies, words slurred into Harry’s chest.
“Wanna come again, Lou?” Harry asks him, but thank fuck he doesn’t expect a reply. “Think you can come just like this? Just feeling me inside you?”
“Don’t know, I, it’s so much, please,” Louis has reached the point where everything he’s feeling simply overcomes him, so many of his sense being stimulated by Harry. He sobs out a broken noise, wanting it all so much but not knowing how to say it.
“I’ve got you, I’ve got you,” Harry says sweetly, his hand that isn’t clasped against Louis’ hands, right against his heart, coming down to hold Louis’ hip again. He sits them back up, steadying them both. “Know you can, Lou, gonna fuck you so good now, yeah? Don’t touch, baby, wanna have you come from just my cock.”
Louis feels a pang echo throughout his sternum at Harry’s words, commands. Now that he’s been told there isn’t any question. Harry knows just what to do.
“Yeah,” Louis answers him slowly. “Okay, can. I can.”
Harry gives him a peck on the cheek, then one on his chin, his lips. “My angel.”
Louis’ breath stutters on a sharp intake, feeling his hole clench at that. He loves when Harry calls him that, especially. Just like Harry loves being in control, Louis loves it when Harry calls him his.
Harry wastes no time in chasing after what Louis is feeling, draws Louis in closer and thrusts up into him fast and hard, slamming their hips together loudly. Louis feels the warmth in his stomach expand, shooting down his limbs with pinpricks of pleasure. Harry’s nailing him every time, whispering filthy things in his ear - “wearing those wings, fuck, look so good - that are pushing him closer and closer towards some unseen precipice. Louis’s come twice already, and he’s still gone for it, still trying to meet Harry’s movements every time, and when they finally do match up their rhythms, it’s better than anything. He can feel the wings on his back bouncing slightly with each thrust, loves that they both love this so much.
Harry must feel him getting close, in the fluttering of his hole, in the quickness of his breath. He cups Louis’ jaw and brings them together in a biting, rough kiss, one that Louis can communicate through, even though he’s gotten so caught up in it all that he can’t utter a word. He tells Harry he’s so close in the swirl of his tongue, and Harry tells him how good he’s been in the sharp bite of his lip.
“G-gonna, Harry,” Louis manages between their lips when he has to seal the kiss to breathe. His hips are chasing Harry’s mindlessly now, up and down, always wanting more.
“Love you so much,” Harry grunts, his hips driving up so hard that Louis can feel it down to his toes. “Yeah, come for me. So tight for me, angel. I’ve got you, you’re mine.”
Louis absolutely cannot keep himself from coming. Harry’s cock makes quick jabs at his prostate, and Louis’ cock is throbbing, aching to be touched but not needing to be as he feels the sensation flush through his whole body as he comes the hardest he has all night. He spurts all over his tummy and Harry’s thighs, falling forward into Harry’s chest as he continues to ride him through the aftershocks.
Harry isn’t far behind, grunting harshly as he fucks himself up into Louis’ clenching heat. Louis feels him tense as he holds himself deep inside, coming and filling Louis up. Even more than reaching his actual peak, Louis has always loved this the most, feeling Harry still hard inside of him, and having him come and make him feel so full.
Louis isn’t quite back to himself for sometime, it takes him even longer to come down now. By the time his thoughts stop swimming, Harry has taken the wings off and set them aside, has cleaned them both up a bit, and has reached over to get Louis’ water from the nightstand.
“Lou, gonna sit you up a bit, alright?” Harry’s voice is so sweet. Louis feels honey-like contentment slide over his skin. “Can you drink some of this for me?”
Louis does manage to get a hand around the glass, Harry’s hand covering his to guide the glass to his lips, kissing his temple when he’s swallowed.
They lie down together after that, tangled up in limbs and love. The sheets are all kicked down, so all they have is the duvet, but Harry’s chest is so solid and warm he doesn't even shiver.
“Love you,” he murmurs, once he can. “So much.”
Harry’s arms tighten around him. “Thank you so much, for today. For all the days up until now. Feel so lucky to have you, Lou. So lucky.”
“Lucky together.” Louis yawns, exhausted but meaning every word.
Harry hums his agreement, and wraps himself in tighter. Louis feels it constantly, it seems, but he’s so safe, and so, so in love.
He’s got a swimwear shoot for Victoria's Secret in Morocco in a few days, for the line that, two years ago, the company decided to name after him. "From Louis With Love" is what is scribed into all of their gender neutral products. He never ceases to be amazed by it, how that one day months ago when he'd stepped out onto the catwalk wearing his - now famous - wings had changed so much. Since then other companies have followed their lead, offering a more inclusive variety of products, and working to diversify the models and spokespeople that represent them.
Harry will be coming with so they can spend some time in the sun together before Louis joins him for the European leg of his new tour. After that Louis will be flying to Los Angeles, where he'll wait to meet Harry after he completes the American leg and to also do a shoot for Vans in the meantime. They’ve got so much laid out in front of them, all for the taking.
Louis drifts off with Harry’s arms keeping him grounded, but together they’re flying.