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3B Neighbour

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01.

The flat is small.

Just what he needed. The view from the balcony isn't bad, either. He'll see the sky at night, and the Sun rising every morning. Way better than the flat he used to share with Niall.

Faded yellow bricks were his landscape for at least three years. 

Waking up to tiny twin houses and some green will be a nice change, but if he's completely honest, he'll miss the damn faded yellow bricks.

Harry finds himself with his phone in hand and half of Niall's number on the screen. Is it too soon to call Niall? Yes. And, besides, he wouldn't answer, he's probably too busy sucking Zayn off.

It has been less than three hours since Harry saw Niall for the last time, waving from his window with Zayn by his side, wearing that finally-I-am-living-with-my-boyfriend-of-two-years smile. It has been two hours since he finished unloading his car and started unpacking.

The flat doesn't feel like home, not yet. Harry can easily fix it with a few frames of mum and Gemma and Niall hanging on the wall, and a nice scented candle.

Everything is going to be wonderful, no matter how much he'll hate living all by himself, for the first time in his life.

 

The first note arrives a week later.

Clicking the door shut, Harry takes off his coat and slumps down on the sofa, groaning as the leather accommodates his tired bones. It has been a long, long day. Eight different people decided that today was a good day to throw a birthday party.

He can't stand the sight of tube icing and the smell of freshly baked cake. It has stuck in his clothes, and his fingers are stained by food colouring.

The little square paper makes an appearance, then. It stays there, dirtied by Harry boots and forgotten on the rug. He makes a note to read after having a long and deserved shower.

Harry is too lazy to cook after a long day of work, but he refuses to order in.

His homemade sauce boils on the cooker, exhaling the strong scent of basil. Harry smashes a little tomato, making its juice come out along with the seed and—

There's a note for him. Turning the heat down, Harry rushes to his doorstep, and takes the paper off the floor.

Dear Neighbour,
I love the sound of your rooster alarm, it's such
a joy waking up 5 in the morning. Can you get it
any louder?

Harry snorts, reading the scribble a few more times. What a little shit, who could send him something like that? Who sends a ridiculous little note instead of coming in for a chat? Harry would get rid of the rooster alarm if this neighbour of his had dealt with it in a better, mature way.

But they didn't.

 

02.

Harry finds his Grizzly Bear CD at the bottom of the last box he unpacked. It's filled with headscarves he doesn't wear any more, old mags and books.

"Dreamed the long day," Harry sings along, "just wandering free."

He flips through the mags. Teenage magazines. If you ask him, he'll say they all belonged to Gemma. Harry couldn't help himself; after all, Justin Timberlake looked sort of dashing, even though his hair was a bowl of instant noodles. The articles on How to Be a Better Kisser and Make the Guy Fall for You were his personal favourite.

"So I'll walk out these wandering dreams."

Why does he keep these old things with him, anyway? He should've thrown it all in the bin when he moved on with Niall. Harry piles everything to throw away in the morning, it tugs his heart a bit, as if he's going to throw away a big part of his teenage self along with the mags.

He isn't, of course he isn't.

"And I caaan't help myself."

Harry reaches his stereo in time to reward the song. The volume button catches his eyes and he, he could—

Turning up the volume, Harry lets Ed Droste's voice fill his sitting room. He hopes his neighbour likes it.

As expected, the little note greets Harry when he gets home from work.

Dear Neighbour,
wanna know something funny? I can smell your
cinnamon cupcakes from here. And, this morning I
found some very interesting mags in the dustbin.
Something tells me they're yours.
Also, the band you heard yesterday?
Never heard something sooo good in my whole life.
Please keep listening to unknown bands as
loud as you can.

Oh, poor thing.



Harry never plays his guitar at home. Poor Mrs Kingston, she used to turn off her hearing aid when Harry fumbled with his guitar back in his mum's house. She was the only one around, Gemma'd go out with her mates and mum'd be at work.

He wanted to make a surprise, sing and play a song for them. It was a surprise, indeed. Mum cried and Gemma laughed, yet Harry's sure she loved it to bits; even though he wasn't as good as he is now days.

Anyway, Harry doesn't play his guitar at home for the sake of his neighbours. But.

But he can't help the urge to tune it just to annoy that neighbour of his.

It works. In the next morning, there's a note waiting for him.

Dearest,
are you in a band? If you aren't, you should
consider it!!! Let me know when you're famous
and shit, I’ll tell everyone a rock star used to
live above me. But don't give up your day job.

Harry laughs out loud with that one. Real tears of joy leak from his eyes. He's in a band, and he's quite good at it, thanks very much. And… above me, that's—

That's the 3B.

 

03.

Harry opens the door to Niall. Only Niall.

"Wasn't Zayn coming along?"

"Yeah, about that," Niall says, zipping down his old hoodie. His blond hair is a mess, as if it hadn't seen a brush for a long time. That's Niall's sex hair. Luckily he isn't around there any more; he'd have gone mad with all the shagging. "He's out with Lou."

Harry hangs Niall's hoodie down on the hook behind the door. "Who's Lou?"

"His best mate," he says, flopping on Harry's sofa as though he belongs there.

"Best mate, eh?" Harry taps Niall's thigh. He moves his leg, giving Harry some room to sit down. "Like us?"

Niall grins. "Just like us."

"Oh, really?" says Harry.

His mind goes back to the time when Harry and Niall used to fool around. The stolen kisses and the awkward hand jobs in the boy's locker room.

"I think a drunk blow job happened somewhere down the road."

They couldn't do it, Harry and Niall. The blow job. Harry chickened out last minute, and Niall admitted, with a big, relieved smile, that he wasn't sure about it either. Then, they spend the rest of the afternoon eating ice-cream.

It is a pretty nice memory.

Harry rests his head on the sofa. Niall's eyes shine, there's a trace of a smile in his mouth that never goes away.

"What have you cooked?"

"Pizza. Made two, just because."

Niall jumps from the sofa and storms off the sitting room. He comes back, mouth full of pizza, plate in hand.

"God, how I miss your food. By the way," Niall swallows, he sits down on the sofa again, "we're setting the two of you up."

Harry lies down, pillowing Niall's thigh. The rough material of his trousers caresses Harry's cheek. "Who?"

"You and Louis. We think you're the perfect match."

Harry hums. He doesn't feel particularly like knowing someone new and all that stuff. Yet, it would be nice, right? And this Louis bloke is Zayn's best mate, he can't say no.

"Okay," he mumbles. "When?"

"Your next gig."

 

04.

Harry still has stage fright. It was easier in the beginning, when they played for half a dozen and only two people actually paid them any mind.

It isn't like that any more. The crowd grows and grows over the years, more than Harry even thought it could. Now he's playing for over a thousand people in a posh club.

A thousand people paid and came to see them play, to see Harry singing his heart out.

A thousand people.

Harry pushes his hair back and pulls his hood up. He can do it; he has done it a million times before.

Taking a deep breath, Harry steps his right foot on the stage.

He can do it.



"You're brilliant," Niall whispers in Harry's ear, like the #1 fan he is. He pulls Harry him in a tight hug. "You always are, H."

"Thanks, Ni," Harry mumbles in the crook of his neck.

Zayn's there, watching them closely. An incredibly handsome, fit man stands next to him. His blue eyes glister under the fluorescent lights, his smile sharp and open.

Please, please, please be Louis.

Harry pulls out from Niall's arms and reaches Zayn. He doesn't expect a hug from him.

He gives Harry the most firm handshake he had ever received. "You were quite good up there, Harry. I'm glad I came."

Harry's cheeks heat up, and he bites his lip. "Thanks, man. Thanks for coming."

"Oh, yes," he says, hooking his tattooed arm around the handsome man's shoulders. "This is my mate Louis."

Yes.

Zayn pushes Louis forward. He stays quiet, wearing a dopey smile. The glistering of his eyes is adorned by bloodshot lines. Is he—

He's drunk.

"Hi, I'm Harry," he says, hoping his disappointment isn't written all over his features. He crooks up the corner of his lips and hopes for the best.

Louis doesn't notice, of course. He's too busy staring at Harry's lips.

He doesn't say anything.

Zayn punches his arm. "Ouch," Louis rubs the spot, face twisting in pain. "I'm Louis."

"Sorry about him. He's kind of awful," Zayn says, and Harry raises an eyebrow at him. He gives him a throaty chuckle. "We'll leave you two alone."

Zayn wraps his arm around Niall's waist, leading him further into the mass of people. Niall looks over his shoulder and winks at Harry. He winks at Harry.

God, he's more hopeful than Harry.

"'arry," Louis calls. "I'm sorry I'm being a lousy date. Date? I didn't mean date." He chuckles, way less attractive than Zayn, and yet, it's a nice sound.

"That's alright," Harry says, crossing his arms. "Did you like the show?"

"Yes! That's the problem." Louis leans on the counter, pushing away a tall glass filled with ice and green leaves. Mojito.

"What do you mean?"

"I—" Louis looks down, hiding his eyes; he has a little smile playing on his mouth. "I don't want you to get cocky or anything, but you kinda struck me up there. Pretty with the voice of an angel. Needed some liquid courage and got a little carried away."

Harry opens his mouth to say something, but anything crosses his mind and reaches his mouth. That's sort of nice. Real nice. Harry smiles, showing off his teeth.

"Oh." Louis cups Harry's cheek, thumbing a spot next to his lips. "You've got dimples."

Harry can't help himself, he leans into Louis' touch and hums.

Moving his hand away, Louis draws in a sharp breath, says, "I need fresh air. Is hot in here, innit? And a fag. I'll be outside, you can come... or not." He flashes a nervous smile and walks away, sneaking himself into the crowd.

Louis isn't just incredibly handsome and fit, he's got legs to die for, thick thighs trapped inside tight trousers and hips Harry'd like very much to bruise and hold.



Harry finds Louis outside, leaned against a graffitied wall. Exhaling smoke up the dark sky, Louis' head rests on a poor attempt of a cum-shot.

"Gimme that," Harry says, looking at his fag, fingers ready to receive it.

Louis almost lets his cigarette fall on the pavement. "You came."

"Of course I did."

"I was afraid you found me a little stupid." Louis finally passes Harry his fag and Harry hands him a bottle of water.

Taking a long drag, Harry says, "I like a little stupid."

"Oh, don't you flirt." Louis uncaps the bottle and gives a big gulp.

Harry admires his Adam's apple working and then, snorts. "I'm not."

"You did twice already," says Louis.

"Unintentionally."

"Yeah, I know." Louis steps closer. At Harry raised eyebrow, he adds, "Niall's told me that that's something you do."

Harry rolls the filter between his fingers, beaming. "Did he say something nice?"

"He said you're his best mate in the whole world."

Harry doubts Niall said that at all. Yet, he smiles as if he did.

He finishes Louis' fag, flickers the butt on the pavement and uses the tip to smash it. Harry leans against the wall and braces himself, Louis gives his bottle a few more gulps, stealing glances at Harry.

It's funny how Louis never holds his gaze for much longer. Somehow, Harry thinks of Louis like someone who bores his intentions right inside one's skull, and never looks away. Maybe he is, when sober.

Louis caps the bottle, walks across the street to throw it in the bin. That's another thing Harry's sure Louis wouldn't do if he was sober. A car passes by. Louis comes back and stands in front of Harry.

He straightens his back. Louis zips his hoodie down and wraps his arms around Harry's waist, and Harry covers Louis' naked shoulders.

"'arry, can I kiss you?" asks Louis, wetting his lips.

Louis' lips are pink and ready, waiting for him. He's drunk. He won't remember it, and if Louis does it, he'll regret it. It never ends well.

It's damn hard to say no. God. Louis' lips. Louis' expecting eyes. He can't—

"No."

Louis pouts. He actually pouts. And bats his lashes. That's incredible, all Harry needs right now.

Harry hitches one shoulder and flashes Louis a smile. "Maybe next time," he says. He doubts Louis will want it, but he's willing to snog him senseless next time they see each other. That is, if Louis is sober.

Louis kills the space between their bodies, and nestles himself on Harry's chest, fitting into Harry as a puzzle piece. Louis hums—no, he purrs, nuzzling his nose against the fabric of Harry's tee, warm breath touching his bare skin.

"Next time."

 

05.

Twenty-four hours later, Harry opens his door for Niall alone again.

He's having some friends over the flat, just for a few drinks and a good chat. He had slipped a note under 3B Neighbour's door, asking them to show up, if they feel like. No hard feelings.

"Where's Zayn?" asks Harry, propping his hip on the doorframe, purposely blocking Niall's passage. "Thought he was coming? You said he would."

Niall's smile falters, but stays present at the corners of his lips. "I said I'd try to convince him to come. But he stayed home, Lou's keeping him company."

Louis is keeping Zayn company. The two of them, alone. Alone for most of the night. Louis, who gets handsy when he's drunk, snaking himself into stranger's hoodies and asking for kisses.

"What are they doing? Drinking and eating pizza or—"

Niall knits his brows and searches for something in Harry's face. Harry hates that look on him, the I-know-something-you-don't, I-won't-tell-you. "Chill, H. They're playing FIFA and eating pasta."

That's odd.



Harry wakes up slightly hungover with a pounding headache as a bonus.

3B Neighbour hadn't shown his face last night. It's Harry's fault, really. See, he made the mistake of telling Nick about 3B Neighbour. And Nick, being a great friend that he is, transformed Harry's little cosy gathering into a small uni party, blasting out trashy pop songs. He even went to every neighbour in Harry's floor to invite them over.

They came. Jesus. They came.

Where is Nick when Harry's flat is a mess? Where are Harry's neighbours when he needs a hand cleaning said mess?

Nick and 3B Neighbour would get along just fine.



Harry bumps into Louis in the grocery shop.

He can't face the cleaning of his flat without treating himself of an especial muffin first. It isn't such a good idea, after all. He'll have to use his kitchen and get half a dozen utensils dirty. More work, in the end. The sort of work he does on weekdays.

Still, it's what he does in times like this. The magic hasn't worn off yet, it probably never will.

So, Harry wears the first pair of sunglasses, does one button of his shirt and goes to the grocery shop, wishing he was dead and afraid that birds will probably confuse his hair with a nest.

At first, Louis seems a figment of his imagination. Harry's fairly sure he dozed off in the queue; it's a wonder how he managed to keep the eggs out of the floor.

And Louis—

Louis is even more handsome in the daylight. Hidden behind a cap, and now free of bloodshot lines, his eyes shine completely blue. Bluest, hypnotising. His mouth—God—Harry should have—

He should have kissed Louis while he had the chance. He's the one regretting it.

"Hi," Harry says. "I'm sorry, what did you say?"

Louis chuckles, and bites his lower lip. "I said: good morning, fancy seeing you here."

"Yes." Harry's cheeks burns, and he wishes he had a cap to hide himself as well. "G'morning, Louis."

What Harry is supposed to say now? Ask about Louis' night with Zayn? That would be—extremely inappropriate. No. He cannot ask Louis such a thing, but that's the only thing that crosses his hungover mind. That, and the details about Louis' features. But he can't open his mouth to praise how perfect the bow of Louis' lips is, nor how perfectly his eyelashes frame his eyes, can he.

There's only one thing he can say right now. "I'll see you, then."

He hates it. He wants to chat with Louis, yet, Louis isn't helping the matter. He stands in front of Harry, making no effort to let him pass, mouth shut. Louis' probably hungover, too. They decided pasta and FIFA wasn't entertaining enough and went to a club or something. Why—Harry doesn't even care. He doesn't, he barely knows Louis.

Zayn.

Zayn shouldn't be doing these sorts of things with Louis, he ought to do it with Niall. Niall. His boyfriend.

Harry tries to smile and to push away any wry thoughts; he makes his way past Louis. But then, Louis clamps his arm to get Harry's attention yet again.

"My mate's throwing a party next Saturday. You should come." Louis smiles, faint stubble adorning his cheeks. "I mean, if you're not doing anything and such… Zayn and Niall are coming; you could come with them, if you feel like."

A smile spreads on Harry's face. "Okay."



While his muffins are in the oven, Harry manages to sweep the floor, and he gathers some glasses lying around. It isn't as bad as he thought when he woke up, but he still takes a picture of the mess of cushions and furniture out of place to send to Nick. wish you were here

The chocolate scent fills the flat. Harry's mouth waters, thinking of the chocolate melting inside his mouth, sticking his fingers and getting his face dirty. It's always a mess when he eats moist chocolate muffin, but it's worth it. It's worth every stain on his clothes.

The scent of Harry's muffins must be reaching a level down, crawling into 3D Neighbour's flat. They did comment about his cinnamon cupcakes—it wasn't cupcakes, it was muffins. He can't let 3D Neighbour get mistaken again, can he.

Reaching for a scrap of paper, Harry writes down a little note.

Hi, there. You stood me up, I really wanted to meet you.
Maybe next time? I'm baking muffins. You probably
know already. I'm sorry, I guess you'll always know when
I bake them. Don't forget, I bake muffins.
I hope you like the one I left for you.

All the love xx

Harry reads it over and snorts. He's being a prat, but he doesn't care. He doesn't care one bit when 3D Neighbour's notes are worse than this.



Harry knocks on 3B's door and gets no answer. He lets the muffin resting on the corner and slips the note under the door.

Next morning, there's one note waiting for him.

My dear,
Now that I know you bake muffins not cupcakes
I can distinguish both of them! What a lovely
insight, thanks for that. I was actually afraid
of eating your muffin, see, what if you accidentally
sprinkled poison on it? I can't risk it.
Hope you understand.

Harry shreds the paper. He'll never send another note to 3B Neighbour.

 

06.

Harry, somehow, was expecting a house party filled with Louis' friends scattered around talking quietly to each other. He doesn't know why he expected such thing. That doesn't seem the sort of party Louis goes.

What unfolds before Harry's eyes, however, is the sort of party Louis goes.

He wasn't expecting a warehouse, a queue, much less having to pay to enter. But then, when he learns that the purpose of the party is raising money for a wedding, he pays double.

After some drinks, Harry loses Niall and Zayn in the mass of people. He thinks of Louis, and how to find Louis here. He can't, it's simply impossible under fluorescent lights and darkness; so, he lets himself go with the dirty beat of the song echoing inside the warehouse, and hopes Louis finds him.

Louis doesn't. Harry catches him first. No, he catches a glimpse of Zayn's arm and fixes his eyes on that spot, easily finding Louis' narrow frame. They're smoking in a corner, bodies leaned against the wall; speaking in each other's ear.

Niall isn't with them. Why does that keep happening?

Staring at Louis and Zayn, Harry dances. His moves go slower; he's trying to understand what's happening—he doesn't want to miss a beat. If there's touch, he'll see it. He'll see it, he won't—

Louis' eyes find him. Louis' eyes find Harry and lock themselves on his face, body, everywhere. He doesn't look away, like Harry thought he'd do. The intensity of it is another thing Harry wasn't expecting receiving. Harry looks away, once. And still feels Louis' eyes on him, on his back, his curls, and his legs.

He can't help turning around to see Louis again. He wants it—he wants those blue eyes devouring every bit of himself, every limb and inch of skin.

Louis drags his fag, his chest expands and a heavy cloud of smoke leaves his mouth. He passes it to Zayn and he drowns the rest of a green-coloured liquid and then; then he walks towards Harry. Louis' smile grows impossiblywider every time his worn trainers give a step closer to Harry's boots.

Harry can't contain his lips either; they hitch up, hurting his cheeks. Louis steps in front of Harry, trainers occupying the space left between Harry's boots.

Resting a hand on Harry's chest for balance, Louis' lips find Harry's ear, "Hi. I wasn't sure if you're going to come."

Harry fits his head in the crook of Louis' neck. First, he inhales Louis' scent: cheap beer and mint, a faint note of cologne. Then, he says in Louis' ear, "Why's that?"

"Because… I was a bit of an arsehole the night we met, wasn't I. Shall we dance?"

"Yes." Harry wraps his arms around Louis' waist, but he doesn't move. Louis hugs his shoulders, and doesn't move. "And no, you weren't that bad."

"I wasn't that bad?" Louis sags against Harry's chest, so he lowers his head to keep himself fit in their embrace. They aren't dancing yet.

Zayn isn't where Louis has left him, instead, there's a couple wrapped around each other. "Nah," Harry mumbles.

"So, I can remind you about a certain kiss you promised me without getting judged, yeah?" whispers Louis in his ear.

The blonde girl sweeps away the ginger fringe of the girl in her arms. Harry inhales deeply and faces Louis. His eyeballs are clean, not a single red line around that blue immensity. "A certain kiss?"

Louis smiles, and he—he shaved. Of course he didn't shave for Harry, he didn't know Harry was coming and—it still makes Harry's heart skip a beat at the thought of Louis doing it for Harry, Louis thinking about the beard burns he'd give him, if they kissed.

Someone bumps into Harry. Ah, he was supposed to dance with Louis, not block the way. He takes Louis hand and walks them to a quiet corner, away from the mass of people dancing in the centre of the warehouse. He embraces Louis as if he didn't want to let him go.

Harry runs his thumb down Louis' smooth skin, traces his lips and smiles back. It wasn't cologne, then. It was aftershave. He kisses Louis' cheek.

"There."

Louis shakes his head, wearing a pretty, pink grin. "Can you give me another one? A little lower this time."

Harry lips linger on the corner of Louis' mouth, and he presses his hands on the small of his back. "Happy now?"

Louis shakes his head again. "You're almost there. Care to give one more? The last one, I promise."

Wetting his lips, Harry closes the space between their mouths and nips Louis' lower lip. He parts Louis' mouth with his tongue, meeting Louis' own immediately; they roll and dance together, eager for each other's company. It is as if Louis' mouth have been dying to taste Harry, dying to explore every corner little unknown corner.

Soon, Harry pulls away, out of air and panting. Louis smiles a pink, wet smile and brings Harry's head down for another bruising kiss.

Louis kisses Harry for hours—maybe just a few minutes—pressing their bodies together, running his hands down Harry's sides, up his hair to pull it lightly. He kisses Harry until it aches. It aches, and aches, but Harry can't stop, not even for a second. Not even for a millisecond.

It happens, eventually. Louis finally drags him to the centre of the warehouse, where everyone dances.

It stops for just a second.

 

07.

Harry sees Louis with Zayn one more time before having The Talk with Niall.

It happens on a slow afternoon.

Harry glances inside the oven, checking if the crust is gold. It isn't, Harry slid the tray full of chocolate cookies in two minutes ago. But he can't help himself, he doesn't have anything to do in the kitchen.

"Harry," Liam calls from the little window, a crease decorating his brows. "Can you mind the counter for a mo? Sophia is outside."

Sophia never comes by the bakery, unless when she wants to apologise after a row. Ah. That explains Liam's awful mood today.

"Yeah—" Liam doesn't wait for Harry to finish, he flashes Harry a relieved smile, even though his brows are knitted together. "Go see her," Harry murmurs to himself.

There's only one soul in the bakery. Leather jacket, jet-black hair, a mug forgotten by his side. Harry can't see his face. What is he doing? A Sharpie lid moves between his head and his shoulder. Is he writing poems for… his loved one, or—no, he's drawing. What sort of thing a leather jacket man would draw in an empty bakery? Outer space cats. A carbon copy of his motorcycle. Realistic—

The bell chimes. Harry snaps his head to see—Louis.

Louis walks in the bakery, eyes landing on the leather jacket man.

"Hey, Louis."

Louis turns his head; he looks at Harry with confused eyes and then, "Hey. D'you work here?"

"Yep," Harry says. He thinks about Louis' mouth on his, pressing and pressing, kissing him hard. Louis panting against his lips, out of air and begging to be kissed again. "Can I get you anything?"

"No, man. I'm here to meet my—Zayn." My Zayn. Louis laughs, pushing his fringe away from his eyes. "I keep forgetting you know him."

My Zayn. Harry hums, and Louis curves his lips in a pretty smile, walking further into the bakery.

Outside, Liam listens to whatever Sophia has to say, nodding every now and then. She isn't wearing makeup, or one of her fancy clothes. Looks like she stayed at their sofa all day long, replaying the fight they probably had on her mind and then jumped out of it and came to the shop to talk to Liam.

Walking towards Zayn's table, Harry catches Louis looking at him, wearing the same pretty smile. Harry can't smile back.

"Want a refill, Zayn?"

Zayn snaps his head up. Harry peaks his Moleskine, he has been drawing his loved one indeed, there's Niall decorating Zayn's page. Zayn's eyes are confused.

"D'you work here?"

Harry only nods this time. "More coffee?"

Zayn shakes his head.

He's ready to leave them alone, but the words slip out of his mouth. "Are you waiting for Niall?"

"No, we—" Zayn coughs, his eyes never meet Harry's. "I'm seeing him home."

Harry bites the inside of his cheek, and tries to smile. It must be a hideous thing, for Louis' face falls.

Harry goes back to the counter and occupies himself by watching Liam and Sophia. She's still talking and talking, and Liam's still quiet, looking at her, but his face is soft now, a fond line on his mouth. Harry opens Niall's chat and types we need to talk.

And, before he hits send, comes Louis' voice. "You okay?" Harry doesn't find the same fond line on his mouth; instead he finds a worried expression.

"Yeah." Louis still looks worried, more so, if possible. So, Harry adds, "Long day, y'know?"

Louis' expression softens, and his eyes crinkle. "I can make it a little better." He leans over the counter, arms crossed on the display. He wets his mouth and smiles, inviting and almost indecent. Almost.

Harry hitches an eyebrow. "Can you?"

Louis nods and says, "If you let me."

Harry hums around a smile. "Do your magic."

Louis beams and captures Harry's face in his hands, bringing him a little closer. He brushes his lips against Harry's and mumbles, "Better?" Harry shakes his head. Louis smiles and brushes their lips together once more, nipping at Harry's lower lip. He holds the flesh and drags with his teeth.

Reaching for more, Harry's gets a warm chuckle on his lips. His lips, that tingles by Louis' teeth and for Louis' mouth.

"I'm not feeling any better. You should try harder."

"Mhm-hm," Louis purrs, lacing the hair on the nape of Harry's neck in his fingers. He licks inside Harry's mouth, and draws the shape of Harry's lips with the tip of his tongue. "I'll do my—"

"Hey," Liam says. Harry and Louis pull back outright. "What's happening here?"

He's got Sophia in his arms, she waves and smiles at Harry, hiding herself on his chest. Would Louis do the same? Would Louis come here, all soft edges and sleepy eyes just to make amends? Would Louis—

"Nothing," says Harry.

Liam gives him the face of someone who doesn't buy his shit and walks with Sophia into the kitchen. He looks over his shoulder, shoots Harry a long glance and spends the same amount of time looking straight at Louis.

"He seems nice," Louis says and pulls Harry by his scarf, invading Harry's mouth with his eager tongue.

He doesn't hit send at all.

 

08.

Instead, he calls Niall.

Later that night, 3B Neighbour is listening to some horrid band in full blast. Harry goes to Niall's chat to complain, but then there's his we need to talk sitting there; there's the memory of Louis' mouth and Louis by Zayn's side.

His fingers fly on the screen. Niall picks up on the third ring.

"Hey, are you doing something right now?"

"No. I was going to watch—"

"Is Zayn with you?"

There's a long, long pause. "No."

"Is he with Louis?"

Niall's TV blasts something in the background, something cheerful and young that mixes with 3B Neighbour's awful music. "Yes. Why?"

"We need to talk. Come over?"



Niall has the nerve to look perfectly calm and collected, while Harry's having a minor inner crisis just to say and imply what's on his mind for the last couple of days. Niall kisses Harry's cheek and splays himself on Harry's sofa.

Harry doesn't know how to begin it, what to say to Niall. So, he says, "Wanna beer?"

"'course."

Harry goes to his kitchen. I think Zayn is cheating on you with Louis. No, he can't say that. Maybe there's something going on between Zayn and Louis? No. Harry opens the fridge and takes two bottles of Niall's favourite brand out of it. Do you feel some tension between Zayn and Louis?

Why is this so hard? At least 3B Neighbour ceased his music. Harry uncaps the bottles and goes back to the sitting room.

"What's that?" Niall shows Harry one of the notes. "Let me know when you're famous and shit, I'll tell everyone a rock star used to live above me." Niall snorts, and takes a long sip from his beer. "What?"

"Meet my annoying neighbour."

Niall's eyes run over 3B Neighbour's scribbles. "He's a prick."

Harry sits next to Niall. "Tell me about it."

"So," Niall says, lying on the sofa once more. He crosses his ankles over Harry's tights. "What do you wanna talk about?"

Taking a deep breath, Harry drowns half of his beer. "I don't know how to say it but I—I think—I think maybe—"

"Cut to the chase, Haz." There's a happy line on Niall's mouth. Harry stares at his smile while it's still there.

"I think there's something going on between Zayn and Louis." Harry exhales. "There, I said it."

The happy line vanishes. Niall finishes his beer, looking at some point of Harry's wall. The picture of them, he's sure. Harry tightens his mouth to stay quiet.

"Why are you saying that?"

"I never see him with you, always with Louis. I've seen Zayn with you once, in my gig. Once, Niall. Why's that? Isn't he supposed to be with you all the time, now that you two finally met?"

Niall blinks, holding the bottle close to his chest. "They're friends, Harry."

Harry stares at Niall's face. "I mean, he should spend time with you, not Louis."

"Zayn's with me all the time, Haz. When he isn't, he's with Louis."

"Yes, but." Harry finishes his beer and runs his fingers through his hair. "But you should spend time as boyfriends. Do couple-y stuff. You're not doing couple-y stuff. He's doing it with Louis."

Putting the bottle on the coffee table, Niall takes his ankles off Harry's lap. He rests his elbows on his own thighs and looks straight at Harry's eyes. "You think there's something going on between Louis and Zayn and you still kiss Louis in the bakery."

"I—how do you know about it?"

"Zayn told me, what do you think?" Niall chuckles. And everything pauses for a moment. Harry licks his lips, as if he could taste the remains of Louis' mouth on him. Then, Niall sighs. "I agree we should do couple-y stuff. We're just used to not doing this sort of stuff. What with, you know, all the online dating."

Harry isn't entirely convinced just yet. Louis wouldn't kiss him if he had something with Zayn, would he? "You should call him now."

Niall sags on the sofa, turning his head towards Harry. His eyes are soft and so very blue. "He's probably at Louis'."

"Wonderful. Pick him up. It'll be romantic," Harry says, sweeping a strand of blonde hair back in place. It comes back right away.

"Okay." Niall hitches his lips up. "I don't know where he lives, though."

"Text him." Harry pinches his cheek. "Stop finding excuses to not be with your bloody boyfriend."

Niall fishes his phone up. "Hey, Louis," he says while he types, "is Zayn with you? If he is, text me your address, I wanna pick him up. Harry said we should do something romantic, so don't tell him. By the way, Harry misses your kisses. Send."

"You didn't write the part about missing his kisses, did you?"

Niall beams, and Harry punches his arm.

"C'mon, I know you miss his sugar lips and his—"

Niall's phone dings. He looks at the screen and his face falls.

"What's wrong?" asks Harry.

"I don't—isn't this—" Frowning, Niall stares at his phone. "Isn't this your address, Harry?"

He shows the text to Harry. There's the street of Harry's flat complex and then—then. 3B.

3B Neighbour is Louis, Louis is 3B Neighbour.

Harry looks down at the floor, as though it was made of glass and could show him Louis and Zayn chilling on the sitting room, sharing a fag, watching to some crappy telly show, eating, playing fucking FIFA, whatever. Whatever.

"Niall," Harry says, still looking at the floor. "Niall, Louis lives—" He points down. "He lives there. And he hates me. He hates me, Niall."

"I reckon he has a big fat crush on you, to be honest," Niall says, a comforting hand on Harry's shoulder. "He doesn't hate you, believe me."

Harry shakes his head. "He will, Niall. He—" He pinches the bridge of his nose, taking a deep breath. "He will, when he discovers it's me. When he—he hates everything about me."

"Don't be so dramatic, Harry."

"Dramatic?" Harry reaches for the notes lying on the coffee table. He tosses them at Niall's chest. "Have you read this shit?"

Picking one by one, Niall piles the notes and places them back on the coffee table. "You need to calm down, Ha—"

"Don't tell him. Don't tell him I live above him. Fuck, don't even tell Zayn."

Niall presses his lips into a tight line and pulls Harry in his arms. Rubbing Harry's back, he asks, "What are you going to do now?"

Harry squeezes Niall, hiding his face in the crook of his neck. "I don't know. What should I do?"

"I don't know."

 

Harry can't wrap his mind around the fact that Louis, who have got drunk on Mojitos because he was too nervous to talk to Harry; Louis, who snogged him senseless in his mate's party and kissed him in the bakery to make his day better is the same person who writes nasty notes to people he doesn't even know.

He writes notes to people he doesn't even know just to annoy them.

Harry needs to have a chat with Louis.



Three days later, he goes down a flight of stairs and knocks on Louis' door three times, and then pushes his hair back, pulling a strand behind his ear three times in a row. His heart does a flip inside his ribcage. He doesn't know what to say to him, he almost wishes that Louis' isn't home, like when he dropped the muffin on his doorstep.

Louis opens the door. "Harry—hi," he says. "How do you—hi."

"Hi." Harry gives Louis a smile too close to be a fake one. It is, somehow. "Can I—"

"Of course, yes. Come right in."

Louis' sitting room is exactly how Harry had pictured how Louis flat would be: messy and well lived. His cushions are hideous; as if Louis brought the first thing he saw in the shop (he probably did). Louis' duvet is worn out and faded, and Harry aches to sneak inside with him and drink some of that hot cocoa resting beside Xbox controllers. He aches and drops the idea right away.

Harry sits down on the sofa. Louis stands there, beside his door, confusion written in his body and face.

"How do you know my address?" asks Louis, he's soft around the edges, as if he'd woken up from a long nap lying in the sunlight.

"Niall."

"Oh." Louis sits beside Harry. Their knees touch and stay pressed together. "I'm glad you're here. Great surprise."

Great surprise. Ignorance is bliss, they say.

"Yeah…" Harry trails off, pulling his knee away from Louis'. "How long have you lived here?"

"Erm, about a year and a half, I think." Louis reaches for his mug, and takes a long sip. "Wanna some?"

Shaking his head, Harry crosses his arms. "D'you get along with your neighbours?" He digs his nails on his arm until his flesh burns.

"I think so," Louis says, placing the mug back to his coffee table. "Yeah. We get along just fine." He gets closer to Harry again, in a way that Harry can't run. He has to stay there, pressed against Louis' thick thigh.

Harry doesn't want it. And, at the same time, he does want it.

"So," Harry says, ignoring the burn of Louis' flesh into him. "You don't send your neighbours sarcastic notes when you don't like their music?"

"I—"

"Or when their alarm annoys the hell out of you?"

Louis blinks and blinks and blinks. He opens his mouth several times to say something, but nothing comes out of it. He can't even tell Harry he's sorry. Of course, he isn't sorry.

"Do you—" Louis coughs. "Do you live—"

"Above you? Yeah."

Louis' lips turn into a white line. He doesn't look at Harry's face, his blue eyes sweep around his flat, and he stays quiet, as if processing the last bit of information thrown at him.

"If I'd only known. I—"

"What, Louis? You can't—you have to treat people nicely. Not just a few, not just who you know. You can't send that sort of stuff to me just because my alarm annoys you or my fucking music annoys you. Why didn't you talk to me? Why, Louis?"

Harry waits for an answer, for anything. It doesn't come.

Standing up, he walks towards Louis' door. His hand hugs the doorknob, and for some reason, he waits again, for Louis to stop him and don't let him go back to his flat without an answer. But no, Louis stays there with the ghost of Harry's presence pressed against him.

"You know what? It doesn't matter. Just don't do it ever again."

A moment passes by. Louis doesn't move, doesn't say anything.

Harry goes back to his flat.

 

09.

Now that Harry knows Louis lives in the flat below him, magically, he bumps into Louis every now and then. In the lift, in the grocery shop; when Harry comes from work he glances at his flat and his eyes drift down and there's Louis, staring back at him.

After a week of unwanted encounters, there's a knock on Harry's door. He reaches for the doorknob and a little note waits for him on the rug.

Harry,
I know you told me to stop sending mean notes to
you. But I can't help myself. It has to finish
the same way it started: with a note. I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry.
I really am.
Let me apologise to you personally?
Please open the door.

Harry reads and re-reads the note a few times. He takes a deep breath and turns the key, then the doorknob. Louis shoves an electric blue I'M SORRY balloon on his hand.

"Erm," says Harry, glancing from the balloon to Louis' face. His beard looks a couple days old and his jumper has a hole in the left arm. "Louis, I—"

"No, wait." Louis grabs the balloon in his tiny hands and turns it around, showing the other side to Harry. I AM AN ARSEHOLE, it says. "I'm sorry, I was an arsehole. I shouldn't have done what I did."

Still looking at the electric blue balloon, Harry chuckles and doesn't say anything. He wants to, really wants to, but the words are trapped on the tip of his tongue.

"I don't want to blow it," Louis rushes to say. "Tell me I didn't blow it."

"I—" Harry says, and then, stops himself. Louis' eyes are expecting again, but this time there's a hint of uneasiness. "Did you really throw my muffin in the bin?"

Louis shakes his head, huffing out a nervous laugh. "No. I didn't. It was quite good."

"So why—"

"I don't know, I'm a real prick." Louis crosses his arms over his body, and doesn't look at Harry's eyes. "Niall already gave me an earful. And Zayn too."

"Well," Harry says, popping his hip on the doorframe. "I can't say you didn't deserve it."

He exhales a laugh, and smiles. It doesn't reach his eyes. "I—I'll—"

"Come in. I have muffins." Harry stares at Louis' features, his eyes still away from Harry's face. "Cinnamon."

"I know, I—"

Louis looks at Harry's face then, when Harry makes a face at his implication. Harry shakes his head and gives room for Louis to enter his flat.

"Make yourself at home," says Harry. Louis sits down on his sofa, hands tucked in his thighs. He nods. "I'll just find a place for…" Harry shakes the balloon.

Louis nods again.

Harry wraps the thin red line around the bedpost; the I AM AN ARSEHOLE faces Harry and he snorts, bumping the balloon away. A pair of hands rest on Harry's hip. Louis' hands.

"Harry?" He sounds uncertain, voice coming small from the back of Harry's neck. Harry covers Louis hands and pulls him forward. "You can… you can punish me, if you want. And we can forget about the things I've done."

Harry laces their fingers together and Louis relaxes, tightening his arms around Harry's torso.

"You're into this sort of stuff, then?" asks Harry, playing with Louis' fingers.

"Um." Louis lays his head on Harry's back. "A bit, yeah. Nothing extreme."

"Are you saying nothing extreme because you don't want to freak me out or—nothing extreme?"

Huffing a warm laugh into Harry's back, Louis says, "Nothing extreme. You can give me a good spanking and, um, call me names. I'd like that very much. I'd love that, actually."

Harry hums, a wild idea forming inside his mind. He spins around into Louis' embrace and cups his face, tracing the outline of his cheekbones. There's something in the blue of his eyes, something equally wild and lustful.

"Okay," says Harry, closing the gap between their mouths to brush his lips into Louis'. "I think I know what to do."

"I can't wait," Louis mumbles, wrapping his arms around Harry's waist.

Harry chuckles and licks inside Louis' mouth, running his fingers to the nape of Louis' neck. He sinks further, meeting a handful of damp hair; he pulls it lightly, and says, "You had a shower."

"Just because I'm miserable and sad doesn't mean I have to be dirty as well."

"Miserable and sad, eh?" Harry kisses the corner of Louis's lips, his cheeks and goes to his neck to make a bruise on his skin. "Poor Louis."

Louis purrs, digging his short nails on Harry's back. "Heey." It fails to sound like a protest, it sounds more as a mewl. "I was proper gutted about the whole thing. I thought I blew my chances with you."

"Maybe you did. Maybe I just wanna use your body to get off," Harry whispers into Louis' neck, running a hand down his buttocks. "Maybe I just wanna use you like the little slut you are."

Letting out a moan, Louis clutches the fabric of his shirt, body going slack in Harry's arms. "Fuck, Harry," he croaks.

"Would you like that?" Harry slips his hand in Louis' trackies and finds bare skin. He squeezes it. "No pants? You came to my flat wearing no pants?"

"I—" Louis ruts against Harry's crotch, and at the same time, raises his arse into the heat of Harry's hand. "I was hopeful. I can't stop thinking about you, I can't—"

"Let's not get romantic right now." Harry fits his index finger between Louis cheeks and rubs the fingertip across his hole. "I just wanna put my cock in you."

Louis hides his face in Harry's neck, and whimpers. "Yes… yes. I want it so bad, Harry. Please—"

"Shh."

Harry sits on the mattress and brings Louis down with him, making him straddle his thighs. He runs his hands up Louis' back and explores every inch of Louis' warm skin, sinks his fingers in the dips of his bones and pinches his nipples.

"Take this off for me," says Harry, taking his hands out of Louis' jumper.

It's hard, but he manages to tear his gaze away from Louis' face and body. He rummages into the drawer, and finds condoms and a small bottle of lube; Harry places the condom on the bedside table and turns his attention to Louis' body.

He wasn't expecting tattoos.

Harry traces most of Louis' ink and travels down his navel, then to the elastic of Louis' trackies. Pulling his cock out, Harry goes straight to Louis' sac to massage his balls in his hand. Louis stays very still, eyes tracked on Harry's wrist, bottom lip trapped inside sharp teeth, tiny hands resting on Harry's stomach.

After pouring out lube on the swollen head, Louis hisses, lifting his hips. He slams back on Harry's confined cock, pulling out Harry's mouth a throaty groan. He seems to enjoy the sounds Harry makes, for he keeps doing it.

He wriggles and spins his hips, dragging his clothed arse over Harry's prick until Harry tells him to stop. And he stops right away, smiling down at Harry like a mischievous little boy.

The lube has made its way down Louis' entire length and now wets the soft fabric of his trackies. Harry locks his eyes on Louis' face and strokes him faster, pulling the foreskin up. Louis eyes roll back, exposing the long line of his throat.

Harry rounds the crown and stops.

"Don't—don't stop, Harry."

He chuckles, and then pumps Louis as slow as he can. "You're going to prep yourself for me. You're going to get yourself loose and wet for my cock. I'm going to take off my clothes and I want you ready for me. Can you do that?"

Louis nods.

Squeezing the base of his dick, Harry says, "Words."

"Yes—I'll get myself ready for you."

Harry brings Louis' face down by his neck and pecks his lips. "That's a good boy."

Louis rolls to his side and Harry walks towards his desk. He can't—won't watch Louis; he can't see his fingers disappearing into his wet hole, he can't even imagine that happening, he'd come on the spot. Taking a deep breath, Harry undoes his buttons in a calm pace, counting to ten before jumping to the next button.

Behind his back, Louis whimpers. Harry's cock twitches inside his tight pants. "Do it quietly," he says, palming himself.

He takes off his shirt and folds it, placing on the desk. He slides his trousers out of his legs and folds it, placing over his shirt. Harry's prick springs free from his pants, hard and aching, and he counts to ten again. Then, he spies Louis over his shoulder.

He—Louis has his hips up, and legs shaking to support his weight; three fingers working his wet hole, his eyes are closed. Harry sucks a breath and sits on the bed, trying to avoid Louis' body and face.

"Ready?" he asks, reaching for the condom. He breaks the wrapper and rolls it down his cock.

"Mh-hmm."

"C'mere." Harry still can't look at Louis. "Sit on my dick."

Louis hops on Harry's thighs, breathe out of control. Harry traces the outline of his cheekbones, closing the space between them to steal a peck on his lips. "You needn't be nervous," he mumbles, kissing his cheeks, the corner of his mouth. "I won't do anything you don't want to."

Huffing a weak laugh, Louis embraces Harry's shoulders and parts his lips, snaking his tongue inside for a desperate kiss. Soon, they're out of breath and panting into each other's mouths. "I want it. I didn't think I'd have the chance after… I can't believe I'm here with you," Louis whispers, voice dropping as he hits the end of the sentence.

Completely out of place, Harry's heart does a flip on his ribcage and flutters. "You're here," he says. "You're here and you're going to make it up to me, aren't you."

Louis nods, and wets his red lips. "I am."

"I know you will." Harry travels his hands across Louis' torso, caressing his skin. "Now sit on my dick and be very still."

Louis takes a hold of Harry's base and sinks down slowly, painfully so, mewling every now and then. Harry clenches his hands on the sheets, stopping himself from driving into Louis' hole. Stopping himself from fucking Louis hard, and use his body, the way he said he would.

"Are you sorry?" Harry runs his fingers to Louis' back, then to his arse. "Are you?"

"I am."

"No," he says, placing both hands on the meaty part of his cheeks. "Tell me you're sorry."

Louis' chest expands. "I'm sorry."

Harry smacks his left cheek. The sound echoes mixed with Louis' whimper. "Tell me again." He smacks the right cheek.

"I'm—I'm sorry, Harry. I—" Louis stops to let out a moan, a loud and needy moan.

"You what?" Harry strikes his cheeks, using the right amount of force, just enough to get his skin red and burning.

"Won't do it again—fuck." Louis' body falls over Harry's chest, and he squeezes around Harry. "Fuck me, Harry. Fuck me please."

Harry hits his buttocks a couple more times, and says, "Are you sorry?"

"I'm sosososo sorry." Louis nuzzles his nose on Harry's skin, body shaking with need. "Please. Please, Harry."

He lifts Louis' body by his hips. "I'm not going to fuck you," Harry says. Louis eyes go big and he leaks, the drop goes down to his balls. "You're doing it for me." Harry sits straighter against his pillows, in a way that has Louis' prick pressed against his stomach; he grabs Louis' hips and guides him. "Want you to do like that." He makes Louis rock his body, taking Harry's cock in short, slow moves.

"Feels good?" asks Harry, running his fingers up to play with Louis' nipples.

"Feels so good," Louis mumbles. "Can I go faster?"

Harry places his hands behind his head. "No, not yet. Let me watch you first."

And he does it. He watches Louis wiggling his hips in the slowest pace anybody had ridden him before, struggling to keep it that way. Sometimes, he goes faster, just a tiny bit, and then, he punishes himself. He stops and breathes. Louis breathes, clenching around Harry's cock. Harry had never been this hard in his entire life.

Harry grabs Louis' hips again, lifts him all the way up, and brings him back down, driving into Louis hard and fast. He does it again, and again, and again, losing himself in the heat of Louis' body, the feel of Louis short nails dipping in his skin, Louis' prick brushing on his stomach.

"Yes… Harry. Just like that."

Harry bites Louis' shoulder, and spanks his left cheek. "You don't get to ask for anything," he says, and hits Louis' right cheek.

"'m sorry."

Securing Louis in his arms, careful to not slip out of his eager hole, Harry rolls them to the side, covering Louis' with his body. His fingers go all the way to Louis' wrists, taking his arms out of his shoulder to pin his hands on the mattress. Looking up close, Louis looks beautiful—wrecked already, mouth red and slack, eyes lost on Harry's face.

Harry kisses his mouth, hard and desperate like all the kisses they shared since Louis entered his room and wrapped himself around Harry. "I'm gonna fuck you so damn hard. Gonna use your body, your little hole," he says inside Louis' mouth.

Louis' legs wrap around Harry's hips, a ragged breath leaves his lips, and he moves his body, trying to get more of Harry. "Use me, Harry—use me."

Harry locks his eyes on Louis' face. "You love it, don't you. Love a cock buried inside of you." He snaps his hips into Louis and—he can't help himself; Harry slides his fingertips across the palms of Louis' hands and laces their fingers together in a tight hold.

"Hm?" Harry bites Louis' lower lip and drags it out. "Answer me. Tell me how much you love it."

Louis pries his head to get a kiss out of Harry's mouth, but Harry retreats. Louis groans. "I love having a cock buried inside of me. I love having your cock inside of me."

Biting his lip around a smile, Harry finally kisses Louis' mouth. A chaste peck. "I know," he says and repeats it, trailing kisses down Louis' neck.

He hides his face there, squeezing Louis' fingers. Harry closes his eyes and does what he said he would: uses Louis' body to get off. For a moment, just a moment, he doesn't mind Louis' pleasure; he pounds into Louis harder and faster, guided by his own arousal. There's Louis' voice in the background, his moans and whimpers and gasps.

Harry comes inside the condom, biting the conjuncture of Louis' neck and grunting into his skin. He keeps snapping his hip forward, thrusting in Louis' clenching hole. Harry stays there, on top of Louis' body, still inside of him, breath coming in short puffs. He stays there until he gets soft, and then he pulls out, blindly taking the condom off.

He kisses the line of Louis shoulder, the shape of his collarbone, licks the ink decorating his skin. "Wanna come?" he asks, kneeling between his legs. Harry's mouth waters. Louis' prick lies on his stomach—red, swollen, leaking. He holds the base, brushing his fingers on his sac. "Do you?"

"Yes… Harry—I." Louis snakes his body over the sheets, lifting his hips up. "I want it."

"Hm," Harry drags the consonant, purring at the end. "You have to convince me. I'll let you come if you convince me, if you don't, you're gonna grab your clothes, go back to your flat and have a cold shower."

Louis lets out a shaky breath, fists clenched by his sides. "I don't wanna—don't do it to me, Harry. Please. Please."

Harry drags his fingers up to cover the red tip. "I don't know, Louis," says Harry, teasing the slit.

"Pleasepleaseplease." Louis snaps his hips up again, sliding his cock in the tight circle of Harry's hand. A relieved moan rings through Harry's ears. He strokes him once, as slow as he can, just to hear that heavenly sound again. "I need to come—I'm gonna explode if I don't."

Harry's fingers go down to fondle his balls. "Well, I don't want you to explode."

He wanks Louis' dick slowly, pushing the foreskin up. He ignores Louis crying for more, crying for him to go faster. Harry keeps the same slow, long pace and watches Louis buck into the mattress, his hands messing the sheets, his eyes rolling back his skull.

Louis moans, desperate and needy, with a hint o relief, and comes in Harry's hand. He pushes Harry's hand away, his face contorts and he kicks the sheets, gulping for air.

Brushing Louis' hair away from his face, Harry lies on top of him again, more carefully this time. "There, there," he says and paints light kisses on Louis' red face. "Do you want some water?"

Louis shakes his head, exhaling a deep breath. It hits Harry's cheek. "You sure?" he asks.

Louis nods, and Harry gets off of him, rolling to his side to open the drawer and take out a small bottle of lotion.

"Turn around," he says.

Lazily, Louis does it and—his cheeks are a deep shade of red. Harry sucks a deep breath, the vision is both one of the most beautiful and exciting pieces he has ever seen, and terrifying. He was sure he wasn't hitting Louis this hard. Yet, Louis didn't complain, did he. He didn't ask Harry to stop.

He must have liked it that way. He must have.

"Hey, Lou," Harry mumbles, pouring the translucent liquid on the palm of his hand. Louis makes a little noise in response. "You—erm, I didn't hit you the way you don't like, did I?"

Harry runs his hands on Louis' abused cheeks, and he hisses. Then, Harry drops kisses across his skin, the back of his thighs, the small of his back.

"I was just the way I like it." Louis' voice is quiet and low, as if he's whispering a secret to himself. "I loved it."

Applying more lotion on Louis' bum, Harry smiles to himself, grateful Louis can't see him, he must look ridiculous. He trails kisses up his back, lingering on the spots that make Louis' breath quickens. Harry ends up lying by Louis' side, back pressed against the messy sheets.

Louis crawls on top of him, covering half of his chest. "I loved it," he repeats, just as low.

Harry brushes his hair back until Louis falls asleep.

 

10.

Even though Louis said he wouldn't send notes any more, there's one decorating Harry's rug a couple days later.

Harry,
I can't stop thinking about you. I know what's on
your mind right now: he means my cock. You're right.
Half right. (I can't stop thinking about that blow job
either, the fact Niall caught us have nothing to do with it.)
Anyway, I can't stop thinking about you, the whole you.
So, have dinner with me?
As in, a proper date. Come down tomorrow at 7.
                 Louis x

And then, a month later, Harry breaks his own promise. He knocks on Louis' door and slips a little piece of paper under it. Harry breaks his promise with a word and a question mark.

boyfriends?

The door swings open; the blue of Louis' eyes jumping out his face, as if Harry would knock on his door and walk away, and leave him alone with a heavy paper on his hand. Meeting Harry's eyes, he beams like a child.

Harry smiles.