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all tied up in pretty young things

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“Alright, does anyone want to explore Alexie’s use of comics throughout this novel? Do you like it, do you hate it, and why?”

Zayn rolled his eyes when he saw Harry’s hand fly up in the air, and he couldn’t wait to hear what shit the lad had come up with this time. He reached for his cup of coffee, taking a slow drink, as Harry leaned back in the chair, an arm slung over the back, and a stupid smile on his stupidly handsome face.

“I think it, like, takes a bit away from the story, you know?” Harry started, tapping his pen on the desk in an obnoxious rhythm.

“Explain,” Professor Winston encouraged, sitting down on the desk at the front of the room.

It took all of the energy Zayn could muster at eight am on a Monday morning to bite back a scathing retort. He was positive Harry was just one of those lads taking English courses because he thought it was an easy grade—read half the novel, bullshit the essays, talk enough to class to make it sound like he knew what he was doing. Zayn knew the type, had been surrounded by them for years, but he actually took his literature seriously. Well, as seriously as one could at eight am on a Monday morning. But it was the only time the class was offered, and Zayn been more than intrigued by a class on Ethnic American Literature.

“Well, his story is sad, yeah? Then why go through all the trouble of finding an artist, having them draw up some comics and, like, making it funny? If Alexie wanted the novel to be taken seriously, then he would’ve kept it serious,” Harry drawled, his spare hand fluffing up his curls and pushing them out of his eyes.

“That’s a bunch of shit,” Zayn grumbled, staring down at his notes and doodling in the margins, a half-arsed Batman symbol because he couldn’t be bothered to do anything more intricate.

“What was that, Malik?” Harry asked, turning in his chair so he could face Zayn, who sat to his left, four seats down and one row back.

Zayn could feel his cheeks heat up just a little bit as everyone in class turned to face him, including the professor. “Nothing,” he replied instead, not wanting to get into it with someone so early on, and he found himself wishing it was an afternoon course when his brain was functioning at one hundred percent so he could school Harry properly when it came to the wickedly clever tone of Sherman Alexie.

“No, I distinctly heard you say something,” Harry told him with a grin.

“Yes, please share with the class, Mr. Malik. I would love to hear your thoughts,” Professor Winston said with wide, earnest eyes.

Zayn cleared his throat. “I said you were full of shit, Styles,” he repeated, only a little louder, and he steadily ignored the professor’s eyes.

Harry’s grin widened, the dimple in his left cheek prominent, and he shrugged slowly. “Why’s that?”

“Because it’s satire,” Zayn pointed out. “I think the fact that he uses comics to illustrate a sad story is brilliant, actually, because it isn’t what the readers expect. Without the comics, it would still be brilliant because Alexie is a great writer, but the comics are what make this story whole.”

“I don’t agree with that,” Harry told him easily.

Zayn rolled his eyes. “You don’t have to agree—“

“Why? Because you’re right, and I’m wrong?” Harry challenged.

Zayn scoffed. “Hardly. It’s literature, Styles, it’s not about who’s right or wrong. It’s all up to individual interpretation.”

“Well, then, I interpret that the comics make this novel out to be a joke,” he decided with a nod, turning back to the front of the class.

“And I interpret that everything that comes out of your mouth is a bunch of shit,” Zayn snapped.

Harry’s eyes widened as he turned back to face Zayn. “You—“

“Okay, Styles, Malik, let’s take it down a notch,” the professor interrupted.

“No!” Harry and Zayn both yelled at the same time.

“Why are you even in this bloody course if you can’t accept someone else’s opinion because it’s different than yours?” Zayn asked.

Harry rolled his eyes. “You seem to be getting pretty bent out of shape over some silly novel—“

“It’s not silly,” Zayn cut in, gripping his pencil so tight it almost broke. “This novel has been banned in the U.S. It’s the most banned novel of 2014. And you think it’s silly? It’s an insult!”

“Mr. Malik—“

“It’s stupid!” Harry repeated. “Everyone he loves dies and he’s got little comics about it! How can we take Junior seriously if he doesn’t take himself seriously?”

“He does!” Zayn told him. “The comics are Junior’s way of coping with everyone he loves dying. He has a shitty life. The comics are a defense mechanism!”

Harry scoffed. “Now who’s full of shit?”

“Mr. Styles—“

“You’re a fucking idiot,” Zayn snapped, unable to stop himself. “You don’t take the book seriously because you don’t take this class seriously.”

“Sorry I’m not a pretentious little arse like you are, Malik, but—“

“That’s enough!” Professor Winston interrupted, standing up from the table, cheeks a little red. “If both of you want to calm down and discuss this like rational adults—“

Zayn scoffed. “Styles couldn’t be rational if his life depended on it,” he grumbled.

“Yes, I bloody well could!”

“I said, that’s enough,” the professor repeated. “Both of you leave, now.”

Zayn’s eyes widened, then narrowed as he turned to face the professor. “Professor Winston—“

“No, both of you are out of control. I want you both to leave. When you come back Wednesday, you both better have learned how to have respect for this classroom. Now go.”

Zayn’s jaw dropped and he hesitated for a moment. He had never, ever been kicked out a class—hell, he’d never even been anywhere close to being kicked out of a class. He could see Harry packing up his back from the corner of his eye, and Zayn did the same, shoving his notebook and pencil in there haphazardly and shoving the strap of his back over his shoulder. He ignored the looks and mutters from other students as he walked out of the room, slamming the door open.

“Next time, don’t let the door almost hit me in the face, you arse,” Harry mumbled behind him.

Zayn turned around, still frowning. “Shut the fuck up, Styles, you got me kicked out of class.”

“You got yourself kicked out of class,” Harry told him with a grin. “For someone who was preaching out accepting other people’s opinions, you sure got upset with mine.”

“I’ll respect your opinion when it isn’t shit,” Zayn snapped as he walked down the hall.

“I disagree with you and my opinion is shit?” Harry concluded, matching Zayn’s stride easily with his long legs. “Interesting.”

Zayn rolled his eyes. “You don’t even get the point that Alexie is trying to make!”

“What point is that?” Harry asked as he stopped walking, still smiling and Zayn was still frowning.

“That life sucks,” Zayn pointed out. “Sometimes, you get the short end of the stick, yeah? You’ll go through shitty things, people you love will die, and it’s gonna seem hopeless. But you have to keep laughing, and you can’t take yourself so seriously or you’ll never be happy.”

Harry shrugged.

“Ugh, you’re insufferable,” Zayn muttered. “Probably didn’t even read the novel—“

“I did too!” Harry insisted.

“Like you read Their Eyes Were Watching God? You probably couldn’t even tell me what that was about.”

“I could—“

“What about Shards?”

Harry rolled his eyes. “That one was just boring.”

“It’s a slow read! Prcic is amazing, and the two storylines create a beautiful juxtaposition between dreams and reality,” Zayn protested, running a hand through his hair, catching on the blond strand in the front, as Harry stood in front of him laughing.

Harry bit at his lower lip, watching Zayn get all riled up, and he couldn’t help but find it attractive. “You always get worked up about books like this? You didn’t mind when I disagreed with you when we read Let It Rain Coffee—”

Zayn narrowed his eyes. “I’m not arguing with a simpleton anymore,” he decided.

“Good,” Harry grinned, grabbing Zayn’s wrist and pulling him down the hall.

“Wh—What are you doing, Styles?” Zayn asked.

Harry didn’t reply as he shoved Zayn into the bathroom, motioning him to be quiet as he pushed him back into the handicapped stall, locking the door behind him.


“Still wanna argue with me?” Harry asked as he slipped the strap of his bag off of his shoulder and sank down to his knees.

Zayn’s eyes widened and he let his bag drop to the floor. “Harry—“

Harry’s grin only widened as he reached for the drawstring of Zayn’s joggers, pulling them down over his slim hips, tongue darting out to wet his lips when he realized Zayn wasn’t wearing any pants under them. “Shit,” Harry cursed, wrapping his fingers around Zayn’s half-hard prick. “You’re not—“

“Laundry day,” Zayn bit out, a hand reaching out to wrap his fingers around the metal bar bolted against the wall, trying to stop his knees from shaking.

“You got hard just from arguing with me?” Harry asked with a quiet laugh, looking up at Zayn from under his thick eyelashes.

Zayn rolled his eyes. “You’re an idiot,” he told him.

Harry lifted a shoulder in a shrug, letting go of Zayn’s cock to lick at his palm, wrapping his fingers around him again. He heard Zayn’s sharp intake of breath as he started jerking him off slowly, feeling him fill up in his hand, and he licked his lips. “Not nice to insult the one who is ‘bout to get you off,” he warned.

“Then don’t be an id—oh my god,” Zayn gasped as Harry licked at the head of his cock, fingers pressing against his thigh.

Harry pulled off with a smile, pressing his lips against the inside of Zayn’s thigh, his hip, and then his stomach. “S’okay, Malik, m’hard from arguing with you, too,” he whispered, making a show out of licking his lips when Zayn’s eyes found his before wrapping his lips around the wet head of Zayn’s cock.

Zayn hissed as Harry tightened his fingers around the base of his cock, lips and tongue working around the head with no real finesse, but Zayn didn’t even care. Harry’s hand was tight around him, his mouth hot and wet, and it had been way too long since Zayn had gotten off with anything other than his hand. But Harry was—his mouth, anyway—was brilliant; Zayn instinctively reached for his shoulders, fingers tightening when Harry’s cheeks hollowed around him.

Harry moaned around him, glancing up at Zayn briefly, just enough time to catch the look on his face, eyes squeezed shut. Harry pulled off far enough to run his tongue along the underside of Zayn’s cock, mouthing at the head before pulling back and licking at his lips. “Still think m’an idiot?”

Zayn huffed out a laugh, cheeks pink, and he shook his head, barely meeting Harry’s eyes. When he felt Harry’s mouth around him again, he cursed, hips jerking forward, and Harry let him, wrapping his long fingers around the backs of Zayn’s thighs. Zayn felt his thighs start to shake when Harry moaned around him, and he barely had half a second to warn him before he was coming with a choked off cry, something that resembled Harry’s name, but he probably wouldn’t admit that.

Harry pulled back, licking at his lips, wiping at his mouth with the back of his hand, and he laughed.

Zayn rested his head back against the wall as he caught his breath, and he thought his heart was going to stop when he heard the bathroom door open. He quickly reached for the hem of his joggers, pulling them up over his hips and reaching for his bag. He barely registered the look on Harry’s face before he threw open the stall door and ran out of the bathroom.




The next time Harry saw Zayn, it was during class on Wednesday morning. Zayn was dressed in his usual joggers and leather jacket, a half-empty cup of coffee on his desk, scribbling away in his notebook. Harry spent half of the lecture staring at Zayn, trying to catch his attention, and the other half making up bullshit arguments in hopes that he would rile Zayn up enough to get him to start talking.

(It didn’t work.)

Harry ended up tapping his pen on his desk, staring at the clock until Professor Winston dismissed them, reminding them of their paper that was due the following Wednesday. He barely noticed that Zayn was up and out of the classroom before Harry could even zip up his bag, and he nearly tripped over his own feet trying to catch up with him.


Zayn barely hesitated before he pushed his way through the crowd of students trying to get to their nine-thirty am class, and he wished he had the good sense to stay in bed and skip the lecture, but he didn’t because he was a good student.

“Zayn! C’mon!”

Zayn briefly thought about ducking into the bathroom to try to avoid Harry, but the minute his eyes landed on the door he remembered what happened two days before, and he shook his head. He could still hear Harry yelling for him, so he walked a little bit faster, ducking into a huge crowd of people and trying to make himself smaller, just a little, and he slipped out of the building as easily as possible.

Harry sighed as Zayn slipped out of the door, stopping in the middle of the hallway, shoulders slumping. He had hoped, foolishly hoped, that maybe Zayn would actually spare him a couple of minutes so they could talk. It wasn’t like Harry made a habit of dragging fit guys into the loo to blow them, he really didn’t; Zayn was just an exception, an incredibly attractive exception, and. Well, there wasn’t much else to say, not really, except Harry wanted to talk it out. He wasn’t a fan of conflict; he firmly believed in communication, and the fact that Zayn was ignoring and avoiding him was—

No. No, he told himself. If Zayn didn’t care, if Zayn was going to let it go and pretend like it didn’t happen, then Harry could, too. He could.

In fact, he could pretend better than Zayn.

(Except he really couldn’t.)




“I just think, like, Esperanza and Miraluz are representative of the stereotypes that Cruz wanted to establish and explore, you know?” Harry explained, flipping through the pages of the novel, Let It Rain Coffee, before looking up at the professor.

Zayn sucked in a deep breath, foot tapping against the floor in annoyance, because Harry wasn’t an idiot. They had been in the same class the entire semester, and even a couple classes before, and he knew Harry wasn’t an idiot. So the fact that he was letting some sort of mindless drivel spill out of his mouth was really getting on Zayn’s last nerve.

“Something to add, Mr. Malik?” Professor Winston asked, walking from one side of the room to the other.

Zayn swallowed, refusing to meet Harry’s eyes, and he shrugged. “I just think they’re more like representations of two different ideals. They’re not supposed to be people you meet every day; they’re representative of the immigration narrative, moving to the States from the Dominican Republic,” he explained.

“But they are every day people,” Harry commented. “Anyone could meet them.”

“I think that’s true, to an extent, because anyone can have the characteristics that they possess. But they’re representations in the sense that they’re conflicting, but in different ways. Like Esperanza represents an unrealistic ideal in believing that life is going to mimic that show, Dallas, but it doesn’t. And Miraluz is also unrealistic in her romanticized ideal of the Dominican Republic and how that translates to the States,” Zayn added.

“That’s an interesting point—“ the professor started, but Harry cut him off.

“But also wrong,” Harry said quietly, still facing Zayn even though Zayn wasn’t looking at him at all. “Because Esperanza represents the American Dream and capitalism, and Miraluz is more of a political revolutionary—“

“Miraluz is more than that, though,” Zayn protested. “She’s all about authenticity and plentitude, which directly ties into the consumer culture because of the contradictions where items are made in her homeland and then sold in the States. It’s a Marxist alienation of labor, and it’s a complete contradiction because her ideas are anti-capitalist but it still ties back to selling the product itself.”

“Immigrant nostalgia,” Harry muttered, more to himself than anything. “Reemerging into society, from the Dominican Republic to the States, and having to deal with that journey and how your ideas and culture can completely change because of that change. That’s a great point, Zayn, she can’t escape the ideologies that she’s always had, and you can see that change throughout the novel.”

Zayn opened his mouth to say something smart, maybe even something a little snappy, but he couldn’t, because Harry was agreeing with him. Though, well, Zayn could admit that Harry didn’t have a reason to disagree because he was right. “I—“

“Glad to see this didn’t turn out how it did last time, right, lads?” Professor Winston said with a smile.

Zayn felt his cheeks flush and he instantly looked back down at his desk.

Harry laughed softly. “Too right, sir,” he agreed easily, eyes flickering over to where Zayn was staring at his desk, pointedly avoiding everyone’s eyes.

“Alright, that’s good for today. Everyone read My Year of Meats by Ozeki for next Monday,” Professor Winston said. “Papers are due on my desk before you leave.”

Zayn was up and out of his chair as soon as the professor was done talking, setting his paper down on the desk and trying to dip out of the classroom. He felt a hand on his elbow and turned to see Harry had managed to catch up with him. “What?”

“I liked your point about Miraluz being a contradiction. It was…really good,” Harry told him with a small smile.

Zayn just stared at him.

Harry sighed. “Look, can we talk? I—“

“No,” Zayn said with a shake of his head. “I have to go.”

“Zayn, you’ve been avoiding me for a week—“

“We’re not friends, Harry,” Zayn told him quietly. “I—I have to go,” he repeated, refusing to acknowledge the look in Harry’s eyes that was reminiscent of something akin to hurt or something, and he made his way out of the building, pushing through the throngs of people until he felt like he could breathe again. Because being near Harry was sort of like drowning, swimming and struggling to breathe, feeling overwhelmed and consumed just by his presence and, well, Zayn had never learned how to swim.




Zayn never saw Harry outside of class, not really. Well—okay, that wasn’t fair, he had seen him a couple of times, the most notable being when Harry must’ve been on his way to some sort of study group and was deemed the gopher, ducking out of Starbucks with two hands full of what must’ve been nine different sugary drinks and a bag of treats, and a few times when Zayn was studying all night in the library, but— It wasn’t like it was a habit, and he had definitely never seen Harry off of campus.

Which is why it must’ve been a pure stroke of bad fucking luck when Zayn saw him at the dingy little bar that he and Louis tended to visit after a particularly horrible week when they needed to get drunk enough to forget their own names (which, in Louis’ case, was a weekly occurrence). He and Louis were at their normal table, a little high-top table sat near the back door where Zayn could sneak out of pretty easily whenever he needed a smoke, but close enough to the bar and dance floor where Louis could get more drinks and dance with whoever struck his fancy that night.

And Harry—Harry was sat at a table near the bar, with two of his friends, one he recognized as a casual acquaintance of Louis with a shock of peroxide blonde hair a smile brighter than the sun, and another boy that Zayn had never seen around campus. And Harry was in prime form, Zayn could tell, from his sheer black button up to the tight skinny jeans Zayn knew he was wearing, curls wild and framing his face, a fizzy, pink drink in hand. And Zayn could hear every word coming out of his mouth, could see the way his pretty green eyes narrowed in on Zayn when a girl next to him mentioned him, and Harry nodded in Zayn’s direction, a comical smile on his face.

Him?” Harry asked with a laugh. “Darling, you deserve better. Trust me, pretty face, but no stamina,” she told her with a wink, causing the girl to blush and rest her hand on Harry’s arm, Harry’s eyebrow raised towards him in a silent challenge.

Zayn shook his head, taking a drink from his whiskey and Coke, pointedly ignoring the smile on Louis’ face.

“That’s the one you’re so fucked about?” Louis asked with a roll of his eyes. “I can see why you find him annoying.”

“I didn’t say he was annoying,” Zayn said quickly, knocking back the rest of his drink.

“Yes, you did—“

“I did not, Louis, please.”

“Your exact words were, I can’t believe someone that attractive is so annoying, Zayn,” Louis reminded him.

Zayn scoffed, rolling his eyes before reaching for Louis’ drink and taking a sip. “I don’t remember saying that.”

“Right,” Louis mused, lips pursed, a wicked grin on his face. He turned back towards Harry, only catching bits and pieces from his conversation, mostly the words pretentious and ridiculously attractive but absolutely simple in the worst way.

Zayn flinched a little when he heard that one, and he tried to cover it up as best as he could.

“Alright there, mate?” Louis asked with a laugh.

Zayn ignored him because, fuck, Louis was his best friend but he couldn’t for the life of him remember why. “I don’t care,” he ended up muttering after a minute when Louis kept nudging at his side.

“Clearly he does,” Louis told him, “otherwise he wouldn’t be making such a scene about how he doesn’t care.”

“Hmm,” Zayn mused, reaching for Louis’ drink again just to give his hands something to do, going to take a drink.

“No one complains that much unless they give a shit. I can feel the sexual tension from here.”

Zayn spit out his drink, nearly dropping the glass, and he started coughing, looking at Louis as if he was mad, because he clearly was.

Louis’ grin grew impossibly wide as he rested an arm across the back of the barstool, fixing Zayn with an even stare. “You fucked him, didn’t you?”

“I—I didn’t—“ Zayn groaned, running a hand over his face and through his hair.

“Oi, don’t mess up the quiff,” Louis instructed, slapping at his hands. “Took you ages to get it just right, Zayn, don’t fuck it up. You look dashing. Now go over there and talk to your lover.”

“He’s not my lover,” he bit out.

Louis rolled his eyes. “He clearly is. Now go.”

“He blew me in a loo, Louis, that doesn’t make him a lover,” he snapped.

“Go talk to him, and put him out of his bloody misery. He clearly is trying to get your attention,” Louis pointed out, slapping at Zayn’s hand again when he went to protest. “And don’t you dare say he isn’t. He’s practically told the whole bar you hooked up. And he’s making a point of scaring off anyone who tries to come over and speak to you.”

“You’re seeing things. How drunk are you?” Zayn asked.

Louis shrugged. “Not as drunk as I’d like to be since you keep taking my drink.”

Zayn pursed his lips and nodded slowly. “True.”

“Go talk to him,” Louis told him again, softer this time. “It’ll do you good.”

Zayn sucked in a deep breath and stood up before he could stop himself, before he could talk himself out of it, and before Louis could give himself any credit. He made his way through the crowd, trying to get to Harry and his friends, and by the time he approached the table, he caught Harry’s eyes, and suddenly he wasn’t so sure that talking to him was a good idea.

“And you!” Harry snapped, pointing a finger at Zayn.

“Oh, Christ, here we go,” the blonde muttered, reaching for his pint.

“Shut up, Niall,” Harry told him with a pout and wide eyes before turning back to Zayn with a stony expression. “And you have the audacity to come in my mouth and then ignore me? That’s not proper blowjob etiquette, Zayn!” he shouted dramatically, waving his hand around and sloshing his drink everywhere.

Niall burst out laughing, a bit of his beer falling down the side of his mouth before he wiped it away.

Zayn could feel himself flushing, knew his face was probably about five different shades of red because of Harry’s words. “Harry—“

“I mean it, Zayn,” Harry interrupted. “You have a nice dick, but your personality needs work.”

“Oh, Christ,” Niall laughed.

“Harry, I think you should probably stop drinking now,” the other boy said, his dark hair short and his eyes kind as they flickered over to Zayn apologetically.

“No, Liam, I deserve a drink or four,” he told him with a shake of his head.

Zayn cleared his throat, deciding to try again. “Harry, I—“

“And you know what else?” Harry told him. “Your essay about Amabelle and Sebastien, how their love story is a narrative strategy that is meant to be a relief from how awful the Parsley Massacre was happened to be absolutely brilliant,” he slurred, his words catching a little halfway through, and he went to stand up. Only his boot caught on the bottom of the barstool and he stumbled, spilling his drink down the front of Zayn’s white button-up, his eyes going comically wide as they landed on the wet fabric.

“Maybe you’ve had enough there, mate,” Liam suggested, reaching for the now empty glass and setting it on the table.

“You’re not the boss of me,” Harry mumbled through a pout, getting his foot free and kicking at the barstool.

“Can we go outside and talk?” Zayn asked in a rush, fearing Harry would cut him off again with another tangent about his dick or his essay.

Harry’s eyes narrowed. “Fine,” he told him, reaching around to get his jacket off of the back of the barstool and stumbling, foot slipping in the liquid on the floor from his spilled drink.

Zayn reached out without hesitating, gently grabbing Harry’s elbow to help steady him, and he took a step back when Harry jerked his arm away.

“Oh, now you want to touch me?” Harry asked with a laugh, hand gripping the edge of the table to steady himself. “That’s funny, Zayn. You’re funny.”

“Maybe we should just get you home instead, yeah?”

“No,” Harry told him resolutely, pushing past him and making his way towards the front of the bar.

Zayn glanced over and met Louis’ eyes briefly, who had a hand over his mouth in a pathetic attempt to hide his laughter, and he started walking after Harry. He caught up with him easily, Harry’s long legs seeming to work a little less with the amount of alcohol in his system, and he tried to reach for his arm again before he stopped himself. “Harry, you’re drunk—“

“And you wanted to talk,” Harry said with a roll of his eyes, turning to face Zayn as he got to the door of the club, “so talk.”

Zayn opened his mouth to say something and hesitated, reaching for Harry’s shoulder and pulling him out of the way for the group of lads who were trying to come into the bar, apologizing quietly.

Harry frowned and pushed Zayn’s hand off of him, storming out of the bar and over towards the edge of the street, waving his hand wildly.

“What are you doing?” Zayn asked.

Harry brought his fingers to his lips, managing a whistle that was actually quite impressive, if Zayn was being honest, and started waving his hand around until a cab pulled up to the curb.

Zayn watched him for a moment, mouth open in shock and confusion, before following him. He shook his head as Harry climbed into the backseat of the cab, crossing his arms over his chest like a child. “Harry,” Zayn started, holding the door open and leaning down so he could meet Harry’s eyes, “what are you doing in a cab?”

“You said I had to go home, Zayn,” he reminded him in a pathetic impression of Zayn’s accent, “so I’m doing what you said.”

“You’re mental,” Zayn grumbled to himself before climbing into the back of the cab and shutting the door.

“Where to, lads?” the driver asked, meeting Zayn’s eyes in the rearview mirror.


“I think m’gonna be sick,” Harry muttered, folding his body over until he could rest his head between his knees.

Zayn watched him for a moment with wide eyes before rattling off his address, not wanting to make the driver wait any longer than he had to, especially since Harry didn’t appear to be in a state to actually say anything. “Harry, are you okay?” he asked softly as the driver pulled away from the curb.

Harry shook his head from where it was still resting against his knees. “I think I’m gonna be sick,” he repeated, voice sounding just a little bit clearer.

“No, no, no, don’t do that, please,” Zayn pleaded, scooting over on the seat closer until their thighs were touching, placing his hand gently on Harry’s back, rubbing smooth circles between his shoulder blades.

Harry seemed to calm down just a little bit, his breathing evening out.

“I’m sorry,” Zayn said quietly, still rubbing at Harry’s back. “I shouldn’t have ignored you, and I’m sorry for that,” he told him. And he didn’t think too much of it when Harry didn’t reply, figured his head must’ve been swimming or something, and he didn’t want to disturb him. It was barely ten minutes later when the cab pulled up to the curb outside of Zayn’s building, a little row of flats just outside campus that weren’t too expensive on Zayn’s uni budget. “Harry, we’re here,” he told him, reaching for his wallet and pulling out a few notes, handing them to the driver. “Harry?” he repeated, gently shaking his shoulder.

Harry didn’t say anything, his body shaking where Zayn was touching him.

“Oh, Goddammit,” Zayn muttered with a sigh, sending a reproachful look to the driver and apologizing again. He opened the door and reached for Harry’s legs, pulling him across the seat until he got him to the door, pulling him to his feet and slinging an arm around his waist. Harry was thin and tall, but Zayn wasn’t exactly weak, and he was able to maneuver Harry through the door of his apartment complex and down the hall to his flat; he had never been more thankful for living on the ground floor than he was at that moment. He fiddled with his key, opening the door and nearly falling through when Harry shifted his weight, snuffling a little in his sleep. Zayn had no idea how he managed to get Harry down the hall and into his bedroom, but he nearly sighed in relief when he set Harry down on his bed. He pulled Harry’s boots off, setting them by the bed, and he swung his legs under the covers, pulling the blanket over his legs and up to his chin, pushing his curls out of his eyes before he could stop himself.

Harry mumbled something in his sleep, rolling over onto his stomach, pulling Zayn’s pillow against his chest.

Zayn’s stomach twisted with something a little too close to domesticity and familiarity for his liking, and he grabbed a blanket from the foot of the bed before making his way back out to the living room. He kicked off his boots and peeled of his shirt that was almost dry from Harry’s drink earlier on in the night, tossing it aside. He curled up on the couch, tossing his mobile and wallet onto the table, and he pulled the blanket up over his shoulders. He slowly drifted off to sleep and if the last thought he could remember was the sleeping boy curled up peacefully in his bed then, well, so be it.




Zayn woke up the next morning to the sound of soft conversation and cupboards slamming. And Zayn knew Louis well, too well, and he knew his roommate would never get out of bed on a Saturday before noon for no reason. He rubbed at his eyes before reaching for his mobile that had slipped out of the pocket of his jeans in the middle of the night and had lodged itself between the cushion and Zayn’s lower back. He blinked quickly, eyes adjusting to the brightness of the screen, and he saw that it was barely nine am, and he groaned, slowly swinging his legs off of the couch and sitting up. He barely registered the conversation stopping, and he forced his eyes open to see Harry and Louis standing in the kitchen, Louis looking at him with narrowed blue eyes and Harry staring at the ground.

“Morning,” he grumbled, standing up and stumbling into the kitchen. His head was throbbing, but more than that, he felt an uneasiness settling in the pit of his stomach when Louis backed out of the kitchen.

“Morning, mate,” Louis said quietly.

Harry finally looked up at him then, jaw set and a stubborn look in his eyes. “Morning,” he bit out before looking back down at his bare feet, toes sliding across the tile aimlessly.

Zayn nodded slowly, giving Harry a once over out of pure concern, honestly, for his well being, since he hadn’t exactly been in the best state the night before. It looked like Harry had taken it upon himself to use their bathroom, his hair looked damp, curling more at the ends, and he was wearing a pair of gray joggers and a white shirt, no doubt taken from the bottom drawer of Zayn’s wardrobe. Zayn refused—refused—to acknowledge the feeling in the pit of his stomach, the one that was telling him how much he liked seeing Harry in his clothes, even if the joggers were a tad too short, slung low on his hips, the feeling that told him that Harry smelled like his shampoo and body wash. He ignored it entirely.

“Well!” Louis declared loudly. “I’ll let you two talk,” he decided, glancing between them before shoving at Zayn’s shoulder before ducking into his bedroom, closing the door behind him.

It wasn’t even a minute later when Zayn heard Louis’ music start; loud enough to where he knew his best mate wouldn’t be able to hear them unless Harry raised his voice—again. Zayn swallowed, the tension in the small kitchen growing thick, but he didn’t know where to start, didn’t know what Harry remembered, didn’t want to say too much or the wrong thing—

“I don’t remember much,” Harry said quietly, his cheeks going a little pink, “I was…pretty drunk.”

“Yeah, you passed out in the cab,” Zayn told him, scratching at the back of his neck, frowning when he realized he hadn’t pulled on a shirt and was only in his tight black jeans from the night before. But, well, his shirt was in the living room, and he didn’t really feel like going to get it—it seemed a bit more important to actually talk with Harry, once and for all.

Harry shrugged, unapologetic. “I—“ he started, then stopped, and he sighed, shaking his head. “Let’s just…figure this out from the beginning, yeah? I—I think that’s for the best.”

“Yeah, alright,” he agreed easily, nodding, because he didn’t know what to say, and Harry seemed to have a lot on his mind.

“You’re a pretentious little shit sometimes, Zayn,” Harry began with a huff that could’ve been laughter, but probably wasn’t. “Like, I don’t believe half the shit that comes out of your mouth during class, yeah? I don’t know where you come up with it. But, I mean, you’re majoring in this, and I’m not, so who knows? Maybe you’re actually brilliant, and I’m a bit dim,” he trailed off with a frown.

Zayn felt the corners of his lips quirk upwards into a smile, but he quickly wiped it off his face when Harry narrowed his pretty green eyes at him. “You’re not dim,” he said then, honestly, because he wasn’t. He might not have approached literature with the same analytical eye as Zayn did, but he was by no means dim.

“I—I mean, when I disagreed with you the first time, you looked so offended and—“ he shook his head. “And you started talking to me, and I felt like I existed in your world, yeah? So I would just say anything that I knew you wouldn’t agree with, stuff that I don’t even believe or understand—like Miraluz? I barely even understand her character, alright? But—It was the only time you talked to me? And my—my crush just, like, bigger and bigger and—“

“Your crush?” Zayn asked, eyebrows furrowed together.

“—and then you got so mad and we got kicked out. And I’ve never been kicked out of class before, Zayn, ever. My mum would be really disappointed if she knew that happened,” he added quickly. “And, like, in the hallway? You were so riled up and, like, I had done that to you. And maybe I was proud, I don’t know, but I just—I couldn’t help it. I—I wanted to do that, and then you just—you left, and you acted like I never existed, and that hurt, Zayn,” he admitted softly, his voice trailing off at the end, like all of his courage and resolve had dissipated the more he explained himself.


“And I don’t know if maybe, like, you were having a gay crisis. Or, well, if you are having a gay crisis,” he rambled, “but like—“

“I’m not having a gay crisis, Harry—“ Zayn interrupted.

“But you just left,” Harry snapped, finally looking up at Zayn again. “You left me in the stall. What the fuck was that?”

“You told the entire bar we slept together!” Zayn shouted, flinching when he realized just how loud he was being. “What the fuck was that?” he countered.

“Not my finest moment,” Harry admitted. “But it got you to speak to me. And, well, you didn’t speak to me after I blew you in the loo so, like, that wasn’t your finest moment. I mean, you left me in the stall!”


“Was that your gay crisis?”

Zayn rolled his eyes. “I’m not having a gay crisis!”

“Sure fucking seems like it,” Harry snorted.

Zayn ran his hands over his face, sucking in a deep breath, and he shook his head. “I don’t have to justify this to you.”

Harry scoffed. “Oh, right, of course you don’t.”

“Fuck, Harry, next time you blow me in a bathroom, I’ll make sure to write you a thank you card and send some flowers,” he snapped.

“I would prefer an edible arrangements, but thank you,” Harry replied snidely, crossing his arms over his chest.

Zayn didn’t respond to that, didn’t even know what to say, he just stood there, silently fuming and watching as Harry frowned right back at him.

Harry shook his head sadly after most of the initial anger wore off, and he was riddled with nothing but confusion and sadness. “Why do you hate me so much?” he asked softly, looking away from Zayn’s face and down to his feet.

“I don’t hate you—“

“Sure bloody seems like it,” he grumbled.

“Can you just let me finish for once?” he snapped.

Harry shrugged. “I did let you finish. In my mouth.

Zayn’s cheeks flushed. “Harry, just shut up,” he told him.


“Harry,” he repeated, interrupting him as he took a step closer, backing him up against the counter, “shut up.”

“You don’t get to tell me to shut up,” Harry told him with a pout.

Zayn smiled softly, pressing his knuckles against Harry’s hip a couple of times, meeting his eyes again. “Shut up.”

“Make me,” Harry breathed out.

Zayn laughed, his stomach twisting in an unfamiliar way when Harry smiled, too, and he leaned in, Harry meeting him halfway, until their lips were pressed together. He could feel Harry’s hands at his waist, fingers dipping against the waistband of his jeans, and he reached for his wrists.

Harry pouted against Zayn’s lips, pulling away with a frown. “Zayn—“

“Shh,” Zayn whispered, leaning in to kiss him again, cupping his cheek with one of his hands. Harry leaned into it again, more eager than Zayn was, their noses knocking together, and he didn’t even care.

Harry whimpered, a soft little sound against Zayn’s lips, one that Zayn swallowed with a reckless sort of lust that he didn’t think he would be able to contain. Zayn’s thumb brushed across Harry’s cheek, his jaw, as he licked into the younger boy’s mouth, and he never wanted to stop touching, kissing, tasting the boy in front of him. Harry’s breath caught in his throat when Zan rocked his hips forward, just a little, and Zayn’s lips left Harry’s to trail down across his jaw and the side of his neck. He reached for Zayn’s hips, fumbling with the front and trying to unbutton and unzip them. “Want—Want to feel you—“

Zayn grinned against Harry’s neck, laughing softly when he felt Harry shudder against him, and he reached for his wrists again, pinning them to his sides. He pulled back in time to see Harry’s eyes darken, and he rocked his hips forward again; Harry’s eyelids fluttered at the movement, and Zayn looked down to see that Harry was hard, tenting the fabric of the sweatpants, and he licked his lips.

“Zayn,” Harry sighed, eyes falling to Zayn’s lips, and he surged forward again to kiss him. He barely tried to move his wrists, and Zayn tightened his hold, pinning him until he couldn’t move, and Harry moaned against him.

With that, Zayn rocked his hips forward once more, feeling Harry’s prick twitch even through the layers of fabric, and he used his knee to nudge Harry’s legs apart. Harry moved willingly, locking his foot around Zayn’s calf, shuddering when Zayn thrust up against him. Zayn kept rocking his hips, grinding slowly against Harry until he built up a rhythm that matched that of his tongue in Harry’s mouth, one that he wanted to repeat with a lot less clothing, with Harry on his back and his legs around Zayn’s waist, wrists pinned above his head, and—Zayn was getting carried away, very carried away.

Harry moaned, tongue sliding against Zayn’s, hips stuttering as he struggled to get Zayn to speed up, struggled to get more.

Zayn’s lips left Harry’s again, nudging down his neck and across the bit of collarbone that was exposed from the hem of his—Zayn’s—shirt, and he finally sped up the movement of his hips. He felt Harry shudder against him, a moan ripped from his mouth, and he felt his cock pulse between them, Harry letting out a shaky breath as he slumped back against the counter, leg twitching from where it was hiked up around Zayn’s calf. “You—“

“Sorry,” Harry breathed out, pupils dilated and cheeks flushed pink, struggling to catch his breath. “I—“

“Don’t apologize,” Zayn whispered, thumbs rubbing over the back of Harry’s wrists. “Sorry about your joggers.”

Harry grinned, and he shrugged. “They’re yours.”

“I know,” he admitted, eyes raking down the length of Harry’s body again.

Harry stilled for a moment, just until he caught his breath, and he looked down again. “I should—I’ll go change, and then I—I can go,” he told him quietly, fingers twitching, and he tried to move his wrists.

Zayn let go of his wrists, moving his fingers gently up the length of his arms, across the ink spread across his bicep. “You could—I’d like you to stay,” he murmured, biting at his bottom lip, and raising his eyes to Harry’s face, hoping to meet his eyes.

“Why now?” he asked with a bit of a scoff, not wanting to sound bitter, not since they talked it out, but he couldn’t help it.


“I’m not doing this again if you’re not going to talk to me,” Harry told him harshly, but his tone was light, quiet, and he finally let himself meet Zayn’s eyes. “You have to tell me now if you can’t do this, and we can pretend it didn’t happen.”

“I—I don’t want to pretend that it didn’t happen, Harry,” Zayn assured him, wondering how Harry was the only person he had ever met who could make him feel so blissfully happy and turned on one minute and then like a complete piece of shit the next. “I—I‘ve never, like, been with a guy, I guess? Like, I’ve made out with them, that’s all, but… Like, really be with, that’s—that’s a first.”

Harry grinned, leaning in and knocking their noses together, taking in the light blush spread across Zayn’s cheeks. “Did I deflower you?” he teased, smile widening as Zayn’s flush deepened.

“Yeah,” Zayn huffed out with a laugh, lips brushing across Harry’s jaw with the movement, “and in a fucking loo stall, so who’s the asshole now?”

Harry laughed, wrapping his arms around Zayn’s slim waist, thumbs pressing into the dimples at the base of his spine, and maybe—maybe they could, maybe they could do it. Maybe if he could get over his stupid pride, or if Zayn could get over his gay crisis— “So it was a gay crisis,” Harry whispered.

“Shut up,” Zayn laughed, pinching at his arm. “It wasn’t a gay crisis, it was a Harry crisis. You—You scared me, a little, I think,” he admitted.

Harry didn’t know what to make of that.

“I—I really am sorry about that, Harry, I just freaked out when I heard someone come in,” he breathed out, shaking his head. He hesitated for a moment before reaching up and brushing his knuckles across Harry’s cheek. “I shouldn’t have just, like, ran.”

“It’s fine,” Harry brushed off, sniffling just a little, shrugging and trying to avoid Zayn’s eyes. He didn’t— He didn’t want Zayn to, like, feel guilty or awful forever, he really didn’t.

“No,” Zayn insisted, tilting his chin up with his thumb, “I really upset you, and I hurt your feelings. I’m sorry. I should’ve talked to you.”

“Well, you’re talking to me now, aren’t you?” Harry decided resolutely, sending him what he hoped was a reassuring smile, one of forgiveness and promise or something like that.

Zayn smiled softly, and he nodded. “Yeah,” he agreed, leaning in and brushing their lips together. “Now, it’s early—“

“It’s after ten—“

“So early,” Zayn told him with a grin, “and I’m sure you’re aware that I have a really comfortable bed…” he trailed off.

Harry bit out a laugh. “Do you?”

“Well, you slept there last night.”

“I passed out there last night.”

Zayn rolled his eyes. “Technically you passed out in the cab, and I had to carry you in there,” he told him.

Harry just smiled, eyes bright and shining, and he shrugged again.

“Anyway,” Zayn started again, “what do you say we move this in there?”

“I hope you’re not trying to get fresh with me, Malik, I’m not that kinda guy,” Harry told him with a wink, lightly shoving him away before stepping out of the kitchen and into the hallway. He looked back over his shoulder, sending Zayn a smile. “You gonna join me? I’m feeling like a kip would be nice right now.”




The following Monday, Zayn barely made it to class on time, and he didn’t even have an excuse; Harry didn’t stay with him that weekend—he ended up leaving after they finished napping, having a lot of coursework to do, and they only met up on Saturday for drinks. Drinks that weren’t strong enough for the glare and half-hearted speech Liam gave him about hurting Harry again that ended with Louis rolling his eyes and pulling Liam out of the booth to dance with him and shut him up.

Really, Zayn’s only excuse was not wanting to get out of bed until Harry texted him fifteen minutes before class was to start with a you better be here or you don’t get your surprise .xx and Zayn was out of bed before he could think about it, pulling on the closest pair of jeans and shirt, not caring what it was, and grabbing his books and he was out of the door. He stumbled into class one minute before it was to start to see that Harry wasn’t sitting in his normal seat, rather he was sitting right next to where Zayn sat, two coffees on his desk and a smile on his face.

“Bless you,” Zayn whispered, sitting down and swiping the coffee from Harry’s desk, taking a long drink right as the professor walked in.

“Morning, Harry. Oh, good morning, Zayn, you look well rested. Thank you for the coffee, Harry, you’re truly a blessing and the only redeeming thing in my life. Oh, Zayn, you shouldn’t have,” Harry muttered to himself, narrowing his eyes at Zayn.

Zayn had the good grace to look sheepish and he set his coffee down, reaching over to grab Harry’s hand, squeezing it lightly. “Thank you.”

Harry shrugged it off, sending Zayn a teasing little smile. “Class is about to start. I’ll deal with you later.”

Zayn laughed softly, reaching for his notebook and pen, not missing the look the professor sent him when he noticed the two of them were sitting next to each other.

“Morning,” Professor Winston started. “I trust you all had a good weekend and enjoyed All The Pretty Horses. Now, who wants to talk about John Grady?”

“Only if we can talk about how annoying he is,” Harry started with a wide smile.

Zayn choked out a laugh, shaking his head, because literally nothing Harry did could surprise him anymore.

“Annoying? Do tell, Mr. Styles.”

“Well, he just has this whole attitude towards his mother that I really didn’t like. You’re sixteen, you hate your mum, who didn’t at that age? And he wants to be a cowboy? Really? I don’t get it,” Harry decided.

“He’s in America, babe, cowboys are all the rage over there,” Zayn told him.

Harry side-eyed him. “No, they’re not.”

“They were years ago,” Zayn shrugged. “I mean, he’s trying to detail the American Dream, you know? His ideals change as his situation changes, and that’s sort of a metaphor for the American Dream. He’s sort of a representation of the different boundaries that exist.”

“Boundaries,” the professor nodded, “let’s explore that—“

“Well, there’s the generational border, for one,” Zayn started, “with John Grady and his mother and his grandfather. There are the literal borders between the U.S. and Mexico, along with his argument about the Texas border itself and how that has changed throughout its history. And then the human and animal border, which he argues is because humans are animals. But, I think, the most important one would be the U.S. and Texas border, because it illustrates the immigration narrative that runs throughout the course of the novel.”

“I would say the animal and human border is the most important,” Harry cut in. “He practically, like, worships horses or something—“

“He does not worship them,” Zayn interrupted with a scoff. “He’s connected to them because of the farm, because of nature—“

“Practically worships,” Harry muttered.

Zayn rolled his eyes. “Horses are key to his story, Harry, they’re a huge part of his life.”

Harry reached for his novel, flipping through the pages. “On page one hundred and nine, you can’t even tell if he’s talking about the bloody horse or about a woman, Zayn. C’mon, that’s messed up.”

“That’s McCarthy for you,” he muttered. “Besides, it’s an interesting way to view animal studies as a part of literature. It’s getting you to think critically as you read it—“

“Yeah, critically think about how this lad is insane and probably in love with his horse,” Harry snapped.

Zayn ignored the way the class laughed at Harry’s comment, and he pulled the book out of his hand, flipping through the earlier pages. “It’s supposed to get you to think,” he repeated. “That’s why his relationship with Alejandra is so strained, that’s why he always presents her in relation to animals, because he sees himself as one, so it makes sense that he would see Alejandra as one, as well.”

“So he sees women as horses? That’s just rude,” Harry muttered, lips quirking up into a smile.

Zayn narrowed his eyes, tossing the book onto Harry’s lap. “He sees everyone as an animal, especially himself. That’s the point that McCarthy is trying to make. He sees himself as an animal, yet he never let Alejandra break him, so he never really loved her.”

“Excellent point, Mr. Malik,” the professor cut in when he saw that Harry was going to respond. “Anyone else have a point to make?”

Harry’s hand shot up but Zayn reached out for it, pulling it back down and into his lap, lacing their fingers together. “Never mind,” Harry said quietly, looking over at Zayn wide a small smile, biting at his lip. And he stayed that way for almost the entire length of the class, only piping in with comments when he wanted to rile Zayn up, like normal, disagreeing with him just for the hell of it. But it didn’t matter because Zayn held his hand as they walked out of class and out of the building, stopping only to pull him close in the courtyard and kiss him.

“You like riling me up, don’t you?” Zayn asked with a grin, rubbing his thumb across Harry’s wrist, squeezing just because he liked the way Harry’s eyes widened when he did that.

Harry nodded, pressing their lips together again.

“Bloody tease, is what you are,” Zayn muttered, still grinning and squeezing at Harry’s wrist.

“So,” Harry started, licking his lips, “if I blow you, do you promise not to run away again?”

Zayn laughed and shrugged, tugging Harry closer. “Your place or mine?”

“Yours is closer,” Harry nodded. “Definitely yours.”

“Good,” he whispered, pressing a kiss to the side of his neck, next to his ear. “Besides, think it’s my turn, babe.”




Harry couldn’t help but laugh a little deliriously when they finally got to Zayn’s apartment; they probably (definitely) would’ve gotten there about ten minutes earlier if Zayn didn’t have to stop to push Harry up against any wall or building that he could, kissing him within an inch of his life, until he was breathless and panting and pawing at Zayn’s shirt and jeans, but Zayn could be patient, he just reached for Harry’s wrists, stilling him, a smile full of promises of later. The minute the door shut behind Zayn, he had Harry up against the wall, a leg between his thighs, hands around his wrists, holding him in place as he kissed across his neck, Harry’s head back against the wall.

“Oh, fucking hell!

Zayn pulled away with a frown, glancing over his shoulder to see Louis lying on the couch, mobile in hand and a look of disgust and pride on his face, blue eyes wide. “What are you doing here?”

“I live here,” Louis snapped, “in case you forgot.”

“You’re supposed to be in class,” Zayn gritted out, whiskey eyes narrowed towards his best mate. He felt Harry twist against him, pushing his hips down to get friction against Zayn’s thigh, and he swallowed tightly.

“Decided not to go,” Louis said with a shrug. “I can see now that was a mistake. Had I known dear Harold here was coming over, I would’ve made myself scarce. Honestly, Zayn, we have a code; you should’ve texted me.”

“Was a bit preoccupied, mate,” Zayn told him, hissing as Harry surged forward to bite at the side of his neck, rutting against his leg. He forced out a laugh and turned towards Harry, kissing him quickly, smiling when Harry whined. “Behave, babe.”

“Oh, God,” Louis groaned, standing up from the couch and pulling on his Vans. “I am not sticking around for whatever indie porno drivel is going to happen here. I’m going to hang out with Liam and Niall who won’t be trying to blow each other while I’m around—“

Harry snorted.

Louis rolled his eyes. “You are officially the worst mate ever, Zayn, and I love you to death. Use protection,” he told them as he pushed past them, exiting the flat and slamming the door shut behind him dramatically.

“Finally,” Harry whined, trying to pull Zayn into a kiss and pouting when he was unsuccessful. “Zayn.

“Bedroom,” Zayn decided, wrapping his fingers around Harry’s wrist and dragging him down the hallway towards his room. He shut the door quickly behind him, pulling him in for a slow kiss that had Harry melting against his chest. “Clothes off,” he whispered against his lips, pulling back again and kicking off his boots.

Harry wasted no time in pulling his shirt over his head, tossing it aside, and pushing his jeans down his thighs, stepping out of them. He watched as Zayn undressed in front of him, slow as if he was nervous or self-conscious, and Harry stepped forward, reaching for his waist. “Hey,” he said softly, nudging their noses together, pressing his lips softly against Zayn’s cheek. “Are you sure you want to?”

“Yeah,” Zayn breathed out, digging his nails into the meat of Harry’s thighs, kissing him again, tongues sliding together slowly, and he wanted Harry to lose his mind, lose his train of thought, and forget even the tiniest remote possibly that Zayn wasn’t sure, because he had never been more sure about anything, even if Harry was bloody confusing as hell. He walked Harry backwards towards the bed, until his calves hit the frame, and he fell back; Zayn kicked his jeans down his legs, nudging them aside, and he climbed onto the bed after him, between Harry’s legs, nudging them apart. He pressed his lips to the inside of one thigh, trailing up towards the apex of his hip and thigh, biting at his hipbone, trailing his tongue across the thin trail of hair beneath his navel, until Harry was whimpering.


“Shh,” Zayn whispered, lips against Harry’s sternum, across his neck, until he could capture his mouth again. Harry arched off of the bed against him, trying to get more, rocking his hips up, crying out when his hard cock nudged against Zayn’s. Zayn let out a quiet little gasp, the feeling odd and foreign but so fucking good, and he thrust his hips forward, just to hear Harry make that same sound, and he bit his lip as his cock smeared wet across Harry’s stomach.

“Fuck,” Harry moaned, reaching for Zayn’s cock, wanting to feel the weight of it in his hand, wanting to get him off, but Zayn grabbed his wrist and pushed it back towards the mattress, pinning him.

“Tell me how you want,” he breathed out, his other hand reaching for Harry’s thigh and pushing it up, lining their cocks up again, and he thrust against him.

Harry whined, head falling back against the mattress. “Fuck, Zayn, I don’t care, just need it, need you,” he replied, squeezing his eyes shut. “Just want you to touch me—“

“Tell me how you like it,” Zayn demanded softly, pressing his lips to the underside of Harry’s jaw, biting down when Harry hesitated. “C’mon, babe.”

“I think—“ Harry started, taking a minute to catch his breath when the head of Zayn’s cock nudged against his balls and a little further back, the teasing almost too much, and if he had any less control over his body, he would’ve come right then. “I think I’ll like whatever you do, honestly,” he admitted.

Zayn smiled. “Yeah?” he prompted, hitching Harry’s leg up a little further, cock nudging against the sensitive skin behind his balls, causing Harry to whimper and arch his back. “Tell me more about that crush of yours.”

“You absolute—“ Harry cut himself off, forcing out a laugh, trying to distract himself, trying not to buck his hips up.

“C’mon,” he encouraged with a grin, trailing his mouth down across the front of Harry’s neck to one of his nipples, biting and licking at the hardened little bud, and Harry whimpered, trying to reach for Zayn. Zayn let go of Harry’s thigh to grab his other wrist, pinning it down. “None of that. Tell me about the crush,” he insisted.

“Fuck,” Harry moaned, chest rising and falling heavily as Zayn kissed and licked his way down the center of his chest, towards his navel, Harry’s cock brushing across his cheek. Zayn barely pressed his lips to the base of Harry’s cock, tongue trailing across the thick vein underneath, stopping just before the wet, red tip, and Harry whined. “Zayn—“

“Tell me,” Zayn whispered, breathing hotly over the head of Harry’s cock, watching as it blurt out a little bit more precome, pulsing thickly, and he ran his tongue across it, causing Harry to let out a strangled cry.

“Your cheekbones,” Harry panted, hips arching off of the bed, and he forced his eyes open to see the head of his cock smear wetly across Zayn’s cheek. “You’re so fucking smart, Z, love hearing you talk, your accent, fuck,” he forced out, “just wanna hear you talk and watch you talk all the time.”

Zayn smiled, licking across the head of Harry’s cock, sealing his lips over it and sucking hard, causing the younger boy to cry out again. He pulled back, smiling up at Harry, licking at his lips. “What else?”

“I hate you,” Harry breathed out. “I hate you. I hate you and your stupid tattoos and your stupid accent—“

“Thought you loved my accent?” Zayn asked, and he could hear the way his voice dropped down a little bit, a little rougher than normal, and he didn’t try to stop Harry when he rocked his hips up again.

“I do,” Harry whined, tears gathering in the corners of his eyes as he watched Zayn, their eyes meeting, as Zayn wrapped his lips around the head of Harry’s cock, sliding down a little bit more, cheeks hollowing. “Fuck, love your mouth, love everything about you, Z, fuck.

Zayn closed his eyes then as Harry’s head fell back against the mattress, trying to focus, and he’d never sucked cock before, had never wanted to until Harry, and he just wanted it to be good for him. He wanted Harry’s back to arch off the bed, his toes to curl, his thighs to shake; he wanted Harry to lose control and fuck up into his mouth and cry as he came, wet tears down pink cheeks and, fuck, Zayn felt his own cock twist against his stomach, and he pressed his hips down against the mattress, trying to alleviate some of the pressure. His fingers tightened around Harry’s wrists, still holding them down, and he didn’t try to stop him when Harry slowly thrust his hips forward again.

Harry was panting beneath him, and Zayn had never heard a human being make the sounds that Harry was making, but fuck, he loved it. Harry squeezed his eyes shut as Zayn’s cheeks hollowed, tongue wet and hot around him, pressing against his slit as Zayn pulled off to catch his breath. “Zayn,” Harry breathed out, meeting his eyes.

Zayn smiled softly before sliding his tongue across the head, making a show of getting Harry’s cock wet, before dipping down again. He felt Harry flex against him and he tightened his hold on his wrists, pushing himself down as far as he could go, eyes burning a little, but it was worth it when he heard the strangled cry that Harry let out.

“M’gonna come, m’gonna—“ Harry panted, trying to give Zayn enough warning, expecting him to pull off with a wet pop, maybe finish him off with his hand or rut against him until they were both coming like the teenagers they were, but he didn’t. And Harry came quickly, stomach and thighs clenching, Zayn’s name falling from his lips.

Zayn flinched slightly, pulling off of Harry with an unattractive sound, wiping at his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Shit, m’sorry, Zayn—“

“S’fine, babe,” Zayn assured him, licking at his lips, “just wasn’t expecting—“

“I warned you—“

“Not that,” Zayn said with a quiet laugh, finally looking up at Harry to take in his wide, glassy eyes and pink, tear-stained cheeks. “Fuck, you look wrecked,” he whispered in awe, brushing his knuckles across Harry’s cheek.

Harry smiled, still breathless, and he wrapped his legs around Zayn’s waist, pulling him closer.

Zayn ducked down, pressing his lips to the front of Harry’s throat.

“Kiss me proper, you idiot,” Harry whispered.


Harry rolled his eyes. “But nothing,” he told him, reaching for his jaw and pulling him in, licking into his mouth without a second thought, moaning when he tasted himself there, on Zayn’s tongue and lips.

Zayn planted his palm flat on the mattress as Harry kissed him, rocking his hips forward, and he reached down to wrap his fingers around his cock, desperate to relieve the pressure.

“C’mon,” Harry urged him, mouthing down the side of Zayn’s neck, breath hot against his skin. “Come on me.”

Zayn squeezed his eyes shut as Harry’s words, fucking into his fist as Harry bit at the side of his neck, and it was almost embarrassing how fast he came, spilling over his fist and onto Harry’s stomach with a choked off cry.

Harry smiled as Zayn panted above him, weak and spent, and he used that to his advantage to flip them over, straddling Zayn’s hips. He watched Zayn for a moment, watch him practically come back to reality, eyes dark and wide, and he curled up against his side, a leg over his waist, his fingers trailing over the ink across his collarbones.

“Shit,” Zayn breathed out, wrapping an arm around Harry’s waist, trailing down his hip and across his arse and back up again, the motion soothing and repetitive, causing Harry to practically purr against the side of his neck.

“Yeah,” he agreed quietly, tracing patterns over Zayn’s chest, feeling his breathing start to even out. It was a few minutes later when he decided to speak again, the silence in the air too thick and heavy. “Hey, Zayn?”

“Hmm?” Zayn grunted as he tried to drift off to sleep, always tired after an orgasm and wanting to sleep for one to five hours.

“Did you read Zacharia’s collection of short stories yet?” Harry asked.

Zayn snorted. “M’not talking about that with you,” he told him.


“Not doing it,” he repeated, pinching the soft skin of Harry’s bum. “Let’s just take a nap.”

Harry pursed his lips and didn’t speak for a moment because he was tired, yeah, but he also just wanted to talk, wanted to hear Zayn’s voice, the way it went a little thick when he was passionate about something, the way he drew his words out when he was unsure of what he was saying. “You should go out with me.”

“I’m trying to sleep,” Zayn told him.

“Like on a date,” Harry clarified, propping himself up on an elbow to stare up at Zayn. “Like a real one.”

“But you’ve already put out, so what’s the point?” Zayn asked with a wide grin, cracking his eyes open to see the way Harry’s eyes narrowed at him.

“You arse,” he muttered, slapping at his chest with a pout. “Is that all this is, then?” he asked, going to joking and teasing, but he couldn’t help the way his voice went a little tight at the thought that, fuck, maybe that’s all it was to Zayn.

“No,” Zayn said quickly, shaking his head, and he reached up to brush Harry’s curls out of his eyes, scratching at the skin behind his ear before pulling him in for a kiss. “No, that’s not all this is.”

“So you’ll go out with me?” Harry breathed against Zayn’s lips, a little smile on his face.

“Hmm,” Zayn thought with a mock look of concentration on his face. “Guess I could do, yeah.”

Harry laughed. “Yes, I guess you could. Wouldn’t want a silly thing like a boyfriend to be a hardship for you. Thanks for the sacrifice.”

Zayn grinned, reaching down to tickle the skin at Harry’s hips before rolling them over, pinning him against the bed again. “Not a hardship,” he assured him, leaning in to press a sweet, soft kiss against his lips. “Not a hardship at all.”