Jake Bugg – Simple As This
People seem to have grown into a common habit of saying that you always have a choice. While nodding their head knowingly they will raise their eyebrows at you as if wanting to say: “If you just tried hard enough…,” with a scoff escaping those smart mouths of theirs afterwards. It happens mostly when it is convenient for them alone, when the opportunity of deciding for themselves isn’t taken away from them. In that moment it’s terrifyingly easy for them to roll their eyes at you and say: “You always have a choice, you always have a say in your life.”
But the thing is that Harry has never had a choice. Not really.
Being born in a family whose name means more than is healthy carries its ups and downs. Mostly downs, to be quite honest. Actually Harry can barely think of any ups when his mind flashes back to his own childhood. From the first moments of Harry’s life everything has been lined up strictly for him, his future was perfectly planned and thought about so that it was convenient for the famous Styles’ family.
When he says the Styles’ family, he actually means his sister Gemma, father Desmond and his father’s wife. Harry doesn’t remember his mother. He was said he only spent first 6 months of his life with her before she abandoned them, which always kind of painfully tugged in his chest, but as the time went by, he learned to push all questions jabbing at his skull far away from the surface.
However, sometimes he could not help it and wonder what his mum is like, why had she left them, and whether she would treat him any differently compared to the woman that’s presented as an authority to him instead? Because he always felt like his step mother didn’t like him all that much, she only liked to have him as a property, if anything.
There was no space given to him to think for himself, he was never allowed to step an inch away from his path, he has never been given room for making mistakes and poor decisions, to learn.
So, to say Harry’s childhood was not exactly filled with fairy dust, unicorns and rainbows would be a huge understatement. Magic has never existed. Actually, throughout the years Harry has gained a feeling that he has become more of a trophy for his parents (that’s how Harry always called them anyway, it took him years to find out his biological mother had left them, and it is not easy to break through a long-lived habit now, is it) than a son. He was a decoration, someone to drag along to be showed off proudly, a topic of small pretended talks at posh parties Harry kind of hated going to, but never a human being with actual feelings.
He never really understood what all of that was for. The money, the expensive perfumes, the judgment written in features of everyone surrounding him, the reputation, the way everyone watched all of his steps carefully. It just never made sense to him, you know? There were no emotions hidden behind the shadows of their eyes, there was no love.
And he was always on the display, involuntarily, somehow his parents always found a way to talk about him, his perfect grades, the elitist university he will be soon attending, his bright future, a wife –
Yes. A wife.
Harry’s chest burdens heavily at the thought. He has always put up with his parents choosing the people he would be around; children from families that are just like theirs – with more money than they are able to spend. And it was alright, because at some point he actually found a friend amongst all of these people obsessed with material things he just didn’t get. Yes, Liam was the one that actually understood him, they could fight the stereotypes together and it was always just the two of them. Never parting, never really leaving each other’s sides, because there was this twisted solidarity intertwining them, the level of craziness their family possessed. It was the two of them against the world they hated living in. It was the two of them always imagining things and creating their own plans for themselves, seeing better future, and it was the two of them forgetting the reality for a while.
But the thought of his parents actually choosing a person he is supposed to marry and live with for the rest of his life? That’s been utterly disgusting to him since the very beginning. His stomach twists and it gets harder to breathe and it almost feels like there is no direction to his life whenever his mind crosses the image of his future. All he sees is a straight line he has to follow and can’t get away from.
He is powerless and empty and without a way of fighting back.
Or a reason for doing so.
Don’t get him wrong, though. She is a lovely creature, all soft smiles and nice words adding up to her kind warm eyes glancing at him occasionally when pushing the single strand of her blond hair back behind her ear. And Harry likes her, he really does.
But, it is just not the right thing, you know?
Harry doesn’t really feel it. It doesn’t consume him. When he looks at her it doesn’t make his heart burst with love, it doesn’t make him smile mindlessly just because she is his and he simply doesn’t feel it. Instead he feels numb and dull, because his whole life has been like this – a mixture of enormous glinting parties, family dinners and luncheons, people talking about what they own and whatnot. It’s overwhelmingly suffocating.
And nothing ever really mattered. Because Harry’s never been given a chance to fight for himself, he has never burnt himself. He has never experienced anything, really. He has never had anything he would be able to lose, nothing to worry about. It’s all just really monotonous in the most fucked up way possible – a twisted routine, never ending circle of every step in his life being planned years ago.
He has never complained, though. Somehow, he found a way to keep himself far enough from the reality.
But now? He feels it.
He feels it because for the first time in 18 years of his you-could-also-call-it-life he has actually fought for himself, for his independence and ability to do something he wants. And he has won.
For the first time in his life he is about to be on his own.
He is about to be on his own.
The thought alone sounds like heaven to his mind. As he sits in the car with Liam driving to the summer camp where they are going to spend full two months, two amazing months without his parents, without all the polite talks and artificial smiles and practiced grimaces and smell of expensive colognes, two months of a taste of freedom, he lets himself smile. It feels like he is able to breathe for the first time in decades.
Not that the process of coming to this point was anyhow easy. It cost him a lot of strength to win all those single battles and arguments he had gone through in order to end up here, on the road to the camp. However, he was not alone to be on the winning side; some nights he would hear Gems trying to scuffle for him too, spitting sentences out, putting herself on fire for him. And it worked.
He beyond doubt loves Gemma; she’s the only person that’s considered the real family for him.
See, he also kept the ability to choose where he will go to for himself and it is nothing luxurious or something of the type his parents would have in mind. It is, in fact, in the middle of a forest and the accommodation is in small cabins, per two to four people, stood few meters by each other.
What caught Harry’s attention the most, though, is the fact that there are multiple courses such as sports, music, going on trips and others that Harry doesn’t remember, because he is still keeping the feeling of being able to choose for himself later. See, the fact that he will be able to sign up for whatever he decides for and that he will be able to figure something out for himself, is something he has never thought would be possible for him.
It’s a whole new different level of view he suddenly has on the world.
Everything seems wonderful. Harry never wants to stop feeling like this, ever.
“Liam,” he smiles, his cheeks are hurting already and it seems like his mimics are strongly underused for this kind of expression. The car they are sat in, with their suitcases in the back, smells strongly like Liam and July and freedom. Too much happiness, get yourself together Styles, “can you believe this is actually happening? Like, this is actually happening - I just,” he looks out of the window, hoping that Liam knows where he is driving them to; orientation in space has never been a strong quality on Harry’s side. “Doesn’t it feel incredible?” he urges when Liam remains silent.
“Yeah,” Liam rolls his eyes slightly as if Harry’s asked him the exact same question multiple times now – which he absolutely did not -, but nods eagerly nonetheless. “Don’t get too disappointed if it doesn’t work out the way you imagined it, though,” he says, narrowing his eyes a little worriedly as he watches the road ahead carefully.
“Don’t you dare ruin my moment for me,” Harry frowns, “it’s going to be amazing, the best summer of our lives, surely,” he nods to himself in confirmation, confident. There are no doubts in his head.
“It’s going to be the best summer of our lives,” he repeats in a whisper few minutes later with smile playing on his lips.
Happy, happy, happy.
It’s not exactly the way Harry has imagined it, still he remains optimist. They arrived few hours ago; they have been greeted loudly and rather enthusiastically. The world was clicking in place, but all they did was unpack, really.
Liam and Harry share one of the smaller cabins for two people, which are composed of just two beds and old wooden closets. It smells like forest, it smells like nature, it smells like freedom. And a little bit of a dirt. Everything is sort of disorganized in the moment, but that’s what Harry likes the most about the whole place. There is no schedule strictly given and everything seems slightly out of the order as people run around, carrying their luggage, and greeting each other over and over again, hugging tightly, laughing into each other’s ears.
When they started to unpack (Liam was rather grumpy, because this is absolutely out of his comfort zone, but Harry will make him like it, he will) there was a knock on the door and an elderly man stepped in with a large grin plastered on his face.
After having introduced themselves he showed them around and luckily it looked pretty much the same as it did in the photos on the Internet. The resort consists, apart from the cabins, of few slightly bigger main buildings, such as places where the separate courses will be held and the building – a cafeteria – where they will be eating every day. Everything seems to have become a part of the forest already as it’s almost hidden underneath the trees reaching to the sky.
They were also showed showers (because yes, they are communal) and the man never stopped smiling the whole time. Harry listened to him eagerly and Liam just followed them slowly, not saying a word, just letting his eyes skim around the place a little pouty, puppy-like. He will like it. Harry knows he will. He just needs to stop being so tense about the whole thing.
When Harry presented the idea of going to Liam, who is truthfully the only person Harry would ever go with, few months ago, he was the one who doubted, though Harry suspected he simply feared disappointment of some kind.
It seems to Harry that Liam somehow always predicts all the bad things that could possibly happen and ruin it for them. And Harry kind of thinks he understands why that is, it is blatantly terrifying to let yourself be happy and free and believe that it is true and let yourself breathe, because at the moment it is taken away from you, you suddenly have nothing left. Liam doesn’t want to get hurt; he doesn’t want Harry to get hurt.
So, Harry understands.
And yeah, maybe it is a little bit difficult for the two of them to live like this after what they are used to, but it is a challenge, alright? These are experiences, these are opportunities, these are hopes and Harry will grab them and hold onto them and he won’t let go.
Because he doesn’t know for how long this will remain his reality, he doesn’t know if he will ever again be able to experience anything similar to this. What, on the contrary, he does know is that he needs to enjoy every last bit of this.
So, when they are invited to a welcoming campfire that evening Harry absolutely can’t wait. He thinks that he has never been more excited in his entire life.
Which is…yeah, weird, especially considering the fact that it is because of some stupid campfire. But well. You couldn’t really blame him, could you?
When they make their way towards the place where the campfire is supposedly set, it’s 8pm and Harry still has a grin plastered on his face and he is most definitely pissing Liam off. But even Liam has let himself get a little bit excited already as he hums unknown songs under his breath quietly.
It all looks as if cut out from some movie, to be quite honest. Laughs are flying through the thin summer air, there is music to be heard in the background, colouring the atmosphere as Harry tries to contain his excitement - and fails.
And now here they are, in front of the campfire where around 30 people are gathered, sitting on the ground or on low wooden benches. Few of them are holding guitars in their hands, other clutch cups with liquid that Harry doubts is clear water and suddenly Harry feels unsure.
Everyone seems to already know the other people as they chat happily, and there Harry and Liam are, standing aside, just watching them, and not daring to sit down next to anyone, because what if they don’t belong here? What if they actually don’t fit in?
It’s not like the place isn’t friendly or anything like that. It is the right opposite, actually, it’s warm and glinting and open, but still Harry feels foreign and uninvited, which is utter bullshit considering the fact that they were officially invited, right? And sure they aren’t the only people who are here for the first time. But still it’s so different to places Harry’s been to in his life, everyone is relaxed and loud and just normal, and Harry is not completely sure how to behave in this ambience.
“So,” Liam turns his head to Harry, eyebrows quirked up, “what do you suggest we do now?” he says rather sarcastically, almost as if mocking Harry. Which is not fair. Not fair at all.
Harry opens his mouth to answer, even though he has no idea what he would say, but someone is faster than him. Thanks God. “Maybe sit down over here and like, have fun? That could be quite nice, don’t you think?” a boy sitting in front of them turns around to face them, smirking amusedly in every but the mean way.
And the breath of Harry’s actually fucking hitches, because other than the fact that he is totally taken aback by surprise, the boy is unreal. Like, literally unreal.
His eyes look like the night sky, they are indisputably sparkling and it’s like all of the stars are shining within them, his skin is caramel and looks smooth in the reflection of the fire, the thin line of his lips still pulled up slightly as he observes them, cheer dancing behind his calm features as the wind tickles his dark hair lightly.
It is not fair to look like that, alright? Someone should probably tell him. Because really, he looks like a Greek God in those ripped black and definitely too tight jeans revealing the skin of his knees and a dark band t-shirt. And Harry refuses to believe that it’s normal.
“Umm,” Harry is the first one to speak up in a muted voice after he blinks few times to make sure the boy sitting in front of them motionlessly is real, “absolutely. Yes, that could be really nice, thank you,” he blabbers a little as he nudges Liam to make him move forward so they can sit next to the boy who appears to be alone there.
“I’m Zayn,” he offers a hand to shake, voice dripping honey, “and you are?” he smiles encouragingly, showing off this too white teeth.
“My name is Harry, Harry Styles and this is my best friend Liam Payne,” Harry offers up a smile as he feels himself warm up slowly from the inside, comfort settling in his stomach. He’s not nodded at in recognition upon revealing his last name.
“’S nice to meet you both,” Zayn nods politely, reaching for Liam’s hand too, and just in the moment Harry opens his mouth to ask who is he here with, there is a high pitched shout heard from the dark, getting closer.
“Malik!” Zayn’s head snaps after the sound, grin spreading across his face as another two boys emerge from the night.
Zayn gets up and makes few steps to close the gap between them and simultaneously pulls one of them in an embrace that seems to be much longer and tighter than necessary. Intimate. When he pulls away he keeps his hand gently pressed in the small of the boy’s back as he never tears his eyes away from his bright face.
“Hello there,” the boy laughs, looking up to Zayn who caresses his cheek lovingly. Instantly, they remind Harry of the day and the night, the two of them. The boy in Zayn’s arms is blond and sparkling and enthusiastic and full of energy hiding just beneath the surface and he is almost shining, he seems to be lighting up the entirety of the space, when Zayn against him is the absolute opposite – breathing out calm and observant vibes. Personification of mystery.
“Hello there,” Zayn answers lowering down, almost placing his lips to the boy’s pink ones when he is interrupted.
“Seriously?” the boy standing next to them rolls his eyes rather fondly. “You haven’t seen each other for what, like, ten minutes? Can’t you just control yourselves? For fuck’s sake,” he shakes his head, but a light smile is playing upon his lips as If they have had this conversation over million times.
“Absolutely not,” Zayn answers, expression of his face serious, little pouty, if you will.
“No fuckin’ way,” the blonde boy agrees, beaming as they sit down next to Harry and Liam who just stare at the three of them in silence.
“No but really? Would it fuckin’ kill you, if you just-“
“Whatever you are about to say the answer is, yes, it’d most probably kill us. Now shut up, Tommo, you are simply jealous that you can’t have this,” the blond one interrupts him and motions towards his own body cockily as Zayn observes him without a blink of an eye. And what that strong accent of his is anyways?
“Oh, shut up,” the Tommo (whatever kind of nickname that is) laughs and smacks the blond one onto the head playfully. The three of them look more like brothers than anything else and they also seem totally unaware of Harry’s and Liam’s presence until Zayn snaps back to reality lazily.
“Um, boys,” he clears his throat as his eyes shoot to them knowingly, “this is Harry and Liam,” he motions towards where they are sat, the murmur around increasing its intensity, and then turns his gaze back to the other boys, “and this is Niall Horan,” the blond boy in Zayn’s arms winks at them, “and this one who complains all the time,” Zayn shoots him pointed glare,” is Louis Tomlinson.”
“It’s pleasure to meet you,” this time it is Liam who speaks up first confidently; he has his business face on, features mastered as he shakes hands with everyone, smiling politely. At last, Liam is in his element completely.
Meanwhile Harry’s sitting there in awe as he stares at the boy who was presented as Louis, because it is then when he actually notices him.
And yes, Harry realizes that just few short moments ago he thought that Zayn was gorgeous, but god dammit.
Louis’ hair is softly falling to his eyes that must be the colour of the summer sky at its zenith – bluest blue in the whole world, his thin lips are twitching up a little bit and Harry could most definitely write sonnets about his cheekbones, even though there are no words that could truthfully describe him and capture all of his detailed finesses, as the sudden urge to touch the outline of the boy’s jaw attacks him.
Looking like that should be illegal, Harry decides with oxygen being kicked out of his lungs.
“Do you have a last name, Curly?” Louis suddenly turns his curious eyes to Harry who jerks himself fractionally, shocked as he is woken up back to the reality.
And did the boy just call him Curly? Harry doesn’t have nicknames. No one gives him nicknames.
Not even people with ringing voice that is sort of addicting and makes you want to listen to it all the time. No. Not even them.
“Um, yes,” he clears his throat, and he feels as if his skin was on fire, he senses his awkwardness filling the air, and completely beating the smell of the smoke, as all eyes pierce through him. ”It’s Styles,” he says with a hint of uncertainty to his voice, avoiding looking back at the boy, because he still feels his gaze on his face.
“I’m gonna call you Curly anyway,” Harry sees him shrug carelessly in his peripherals and his head shoots up automatically as he frowns in Louis’ direction.
“But my name is Harry,” he tries to protest weakly, but he already knows that it doesn’t really matter what this boy calls him it will sound good, appealing almost.
“And?” Louis quirks his eyebrow tentatively as he takes a gulp from the cup he is handed by Niall, who apparently disappeared to get them drinks. He hands one to Harry, too, who looks at it with a bit of disgust. It’s probably beer, from the bitter smell of it.
“And perhaps you could call me that?” Harry prompts as he tries to sip from his cup also, for he doesn’t want to look dumb in front of these people. It’s not all that bad, even though it is not exactly what he is used to. But that’s all this is about, right? Experiencing the world, taking risks, being himself and all that. Harry will take it. Will take every stupid second he gets, even if it consists of drinking beer and blushing because Louis won’t stop looking at him.
“Hmm,” Louis’ expression turns serious as he pretends to think about it, scratching his chin in a dramatic matter. “I don’t really think so, Curly,” he bats his eyelashes (which actually last for not days, not years, but whole cursed decades), “and stop pouting, young one,” he adds when Harry frowns in a desperate attempt to look angry.
“I’m not – “
“Yes, you are. I don’t know what kind of face you’re trying to pull, but you look like a kitten anyways, so don’t even try to pull pissed off face, it’s just not in you,” his voice is soft as blanket and Harry just finds himself speechless.
They have been her for few hours and the whole world already feels upside down, nothing works the way Harry was used to; he already met three new people, and he even likes them without having to pressure himself into communicating, and he has all sorts of feelings swirling in his stomach wildly, but it is kind of nice. At least he thinks so.
It has to be nice.
Because the rest of the night goes smoothly and that is just so different from what Harry knows and lives. The air is filled with laughter and jokes, but none of it is forced, none of it is pretended; the whole setting feels genuine and sincere and nothing is planned, the conversation flows around naturally and so does the time. Eventually Niall grabs his guitar, all gleaming and shining as he plays all kinds of songs, tempting people around to join singing.
Few times Harry catches Louis watching him quietly, his eyes never ending waves of blue, but they never interact any further apart from their talk from earlier. Liam clicks in with everyone in a blink of an eye, he talks to them and jokes around and Harry thinks they like how open he is, and at one point he even sings along which leaves Louis and Harry being the only people not singing.
Because all Harry can do in that moment is to think about how nice that feels. How comfortable and familiar he feels amongst all of these strangers, way more comfortable than he is and has ever been around his family. And he has just met them. It feels fascinating and warm to know that he doesn’t have to pretend anymore, he doesn’t have to force out polite sentences to keep the conversation going, he can simply be with them.
And as the fire burns and the reflection of flames dances around people’s faces, he thinks that he has never been this happy in his entire life.
Coldplay – In My Place
When Harry wakes up the next day he is almost scared to open his eyes, for it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if everything that’s happened was just a really live dream and he was tucked in his own bed at home.
He has probably never been more relieved in his whole life than when he lifted up his heavy eyelids and laid his eyes on the wooden ceiling above and realized that it was all thrillingly truthful reality.
All the excitement he felt, the warmth spreading through his nerves, the new faces and foreign voices and emotions, it is all existent. It’s there.
They left the campfire few minutes after the midnight struck, saying goodbye to Zayn, Niall and Louis, promising to see them around soon. Harry was completely overwhelmed with joy and he wasn’t even overreacting – the feeling of freedom was addicting and he just couldn’t get enough of it. From the way Liam’s eyes sparkled, Harry knew he felt it too.
It was new for the both of them; once again they were in this together.
Harry lay in his bed for a long time, just staring at the ceiling as the adrenaline was mixing up with all the images in his head. He didn’t mind, finally there was something happening in his life, it was not the monotonous dull reality burning holes through his skin right into his flesh, this was bursting and loud and fulfilling and warm and unstable reality and he didn’t mind not sleeping, because he could feel alive, after all.
He minds now, though. It seems to be the most difficult thing in the world to roll out of the blankets, to get out of the soft comfort zone and face the cold world (now is the time he might be overreacting dramatically, but who is he to admit that?). It’s also really unusual feeling to not be woken up by harsh alarm on his phone. See, Harry had this splendid idea when he was leaving, to accidentally forget his phone on the table in his room, you know, nothing planned out, absolutely nothing about the need to get out of the reach of his family for a while.
Hah. Harry is actually so proud of himself for coming up with that. He blatantly suspects having problems caused by that later, but he can’t bring himself to care.
He shuffles in his bed and forces himself to sneak out few glances from under his eyelids and spots Liam, who is already dressed up and styling his hair, because he is always ready and always prepared and always well organized and Harry doesn’t understand how he does that at all - running around and being all chipper and completely alive when Harry, on the contrary, wants only to bury himself and sleep for another thousand years.
Harry is not a morning person.
But still, he hears his stomach complain quite loudly, and given the fact that there is limited time for breakfast – till 8 fucking hours in the morning – he finally forces himself out of the sheets, even though it is quite heart-breaking to leave them behind.
Harry dresses up comfortably, he actually wears grey sweatpants, plain white t-shirt and a beanie, just because he can, just because he doesn’t need to impress anyone and maybe just because he wants to allow himself being lazy and sleepy and just –
He is so not used to this. But it feels great anyways.
In the cafeteria (is that even how you call it?) it’s absolutely crowded. People are seated around circle shaped tables and Harry has never seen the majority of them, though he recognizes few faces from the last night. They are welcomed by the smell of coffee and warm tea and toasts and something that strikingly reminds their senses of strawberry jam, mixing up with light morning murmur of voices speaking over each other.
Harry has to blink few times through his exhaustion to actually gather himself up and move along to pour himself black coffee in the largest cup available, which probably saves his life at the moment given the fact that he still hasn’t managed to wake himself up completely. Liam is always closely behind, even though he is way more brisk than Harry is, his eyes skimming the place around with undertones of interest.
“I’m going to find a free table seeing how unbelievably fast you are,” he rolls his eyes in Harry’s direction at last, because his pace of living is too different and suddenly he is gone.
And Harry is left to himself. Splendid.
It takes him few moments to understand where everything is, but finally he manages to find himself cereals and yoghurt with some fruits. Excellent. That is good news, because as much as he wants to get out of his routine, he can’t help but want to keep his eating habits right.
“You aren’t seriously eating that Curly, are you?” suddenly sounds a voice from behind his back as Harry feels someone nudging at his ribs playfully. He looks around only to find sleepy Louis wearing a grey beanie and trackies and for a moment Harry considers tearing down his own beanie so they don’t look like goddamn twins, but he is frozen. Louis’ voice is scratchy as he looks up at Harry and takes a tiny sip of his tea, white knuckles wrapping around the cup, seeking some warmth.
Harry has ever seen anyone more adorable.
It is going to kill him. He knows it is and it’s only his second day here.
“Why wouldn’t I eat that?” Harry asks a little bit offended. He’s had enough of people making decisions for him, thank you, “and good morning to you, too,” he adds and finally tears his eyes away from the boy and searches for anything else he could use, even though he knows he doesn’t need to. It’s just to show Louis that he isn’t baffled by his presence, that his heart didn’t start beating faster when he spotted him, basically that he doesn’t care at all.
“’S not even real food, innit?” Louis rolls his eyes as he searches for something that would probably be his image of real food, until he finds it. That is,” he smirks, obviously satisfied with himself, and reaches for few pancakes pouring syrup of golden colour on them and practically shoving the plate under Harry’s nose once he is done, proud and happy – positively shining.
And that’s about what power food actually possesses.
“That’s not good for you,” Harry frowns and tries to take the plate away from Louis for his own sake, but Louis just laughs at his attempts. And why is Harry even trying again?
“Excellent,” is the only thing Louis says as he turns around and walks away, his hips swaying.
And Harry thinks that that is it. He is going to appear out of nowhere and make fun of him, and then he will leave him there without another word being said, but surprisingly Harry is wrong. Louis turns around, his eyes searching for him curiously. “You coming or what?” he shouts confusedly, and so Harry follows him.
Liam is already sat by the table with Zayn and Niall whispering nothings to each other, and Harry shoots him a small glare, because what if Harry didn’t want to sit with them?
But Liam knows him too well, is the thing. He knows he would want to sit with them, he knows Harry is somehow flattered to Louis looking up at him expectantly until he sits down on the chair next to him, even though Harry has not yet admitted that to himself, so the little stubborn act is positively pointless.
“You sure that’s, like, real food what you have there, mate?” Niall points to Harry’s plate, his expression a mixture of pure disgust and confusion, instead of greeting and Harry just shrugs. He’s simply given up at this point, seeing that what Niall has served are eggs with bacon and he is just pouring ton of ketchup onto them, too.
“Oh, shut it, Ireland,” Louis voice cuts through the air sharply, to Harry’s utter surprise. “If he wants to eat it then let him, will ya?” he points his fork dangerously close to the blond one’s face and Harry actually bursts out laughing.
Louis turns to him with raised eyebrows, the fork with bits of pancake still in front of Niall’s face. “What?”
“May I remind you, that you were the one making fun of me like two minutes ago for eating this, in the first place?” Harry proudly manages to contain straight face during his speech, even though the corners of his lips are still twitching up. Though it all comes in vain when Niall leans forward and eats everything Louis had on that fork of his, and everyone starts laughing.
Everyone except for Louis, that is. He just shrugs and smiles a little bit. “Doesn’t mean anyone else can do the same now, does it?” he nudges Harry a little with his knee under the table and Harry wonders if anyone has noticed that he is blushing like a first grader who just got his first kiss.
In following few minutes they got instructions as in for what the program of the day is. As Harry already knew, there were few separate groups and they were to choose which one they wanted to join.
But Harry’s completely forgotten to think about what he wants to do, for he liked the idea that he is yet to decide and out of sudden he is so taken aback, that he is unable to pick whether he wants to go sightseeing to the little town nearby or whether he wants to join into the little writing course they also apparently have here and they have to note their names onto the list going around the room and though you can change your program during the summer if you want to try something new, it is advised to focus on one area only. He bites his lip nervously.
“Don’t write your name on any of the lists,” Louis suddenly leans closer to Harry, whispering straight into his ear. His voice tickles Harry’s skin and he nods in an answer without twice thinking about what Louis actually said.
He’s starting to feel like he would agree with anything Louis ever wanted. Fuck’s sake he thought that this only happens in cheap movies.
He catches Liam watching them with suspicious spark in his eyes and looks away immediately, skin burning.
There’s too much.
“You’ve got half an hour before you have be present at the place set for the meet up of your group, which was written on the lists we sent you, by the way,” announces the same man that showed Harry and Liam around the day before and people start getting up and moving around. Liam, Niall and Zayn are all going on the trip to the town and Louis told them with a small smirk to his lips that he and Harry are going to take up the writing course.
But they aren’t. Harry knows from the way Louis eyes sparkle when he says that, Harry knows from the way the smile plays upon the contour of his lips slightly. Also they didn’t write their names down, so that’s pretty self-explanatory itself.
They get up too, and watch the boys wave their goodbyes before disappearing amongst the crowd of people leaving. Harry wonders what Liam is thinking, he wonders if he doesn’t mind going with Zayn and Niall on his own.
But he clicked in so easily with all of them, he laughs lightly and makes jokes and brings up various topics Harry would never be able to think of, and he is the realest version of himself Harry has seen in ages.
No, he doesn’t mind, he is going to be fine.
“Follow me,” Louis touches Harry’s back lightly, so lightly that Harry has to question his senses. And he is gone, going through the crowd swiftly and skilfully. He leads him out of the building through back door, to the exact opposite direction than everyone else is going.
Harry looks over his shoulder. It doesn’t seem that anyone would even notice.
Louis shoots him few winks and it is then that Harry realizes how completely woken up he feels, the air is cold and fresh against his cells, his blood is pumping faster than it probably should, his breath is hitching slightly every time Louis catches his eye as they go through the grass that is still wet with raindrops from the night.
It’s quiet. The voices are nowhere to be heard in just few seconds after their departure, and it’s just the two of them now.
“Where are we going?” Harry asks at last, because he is impatient and curious and only human, plus Louis keeps giggling to himself quietly, which somehow sends all kinds of feelings straight to Harry’s stomach and colours the world into whole different scale of undertones.
And whoa. Isn’t the boy powerful? The whole universe seems to by lying by his golden ankles.
“Well, aren’t you impatient, Curly?” Louis chuckles to himself as he continues walking, keeping his pace strictly without his breath quickening up noticeably, “you’ll see in a bit now,” he finishes when Harry whines quietly. It is mostly for himself and he kind of hoped that Louis wouldn’t catch it, but it has its effect so Harry will get over it.
And truly, it takes only few seconds for them to step out of the light forest and stare at the lake lying in front of their very eyes. The water is calm and quiet and it fills every corner of the world Harry’s eyes can reach, and it is beautiful under the sight of the sun that isn’t fully up just yet.
And right next to Harry stands another Sun, he realizes when he turns to say something and gets stuck observing the blue of Louis’ eyes, matching the reflection of the sky mirrored in the water pristinely, skimming around rather proudly.
Look where Harry has gotten himself within less than 24 hours. Brilliant, Styles. Good job.
“Yaay,” Louis suddenly cheers in high pitched voice, seemingly trying to show Harry an appropriate reaction, for which he was obviously waiting impatiently meanwhile Harry got lost in the way Louis blinks.
“That’s beautiful, Louis,” Harry says but he refuses to look away from the boy’s face, for the tiny grimaces he made created little wrinkles around his eyes and it is better to watch than a lake.
In all admiration, of course.
“I know,” Louis beams proudly as he proceeds closer to the water and sits down into the grass, so that he is almost perfectly hidden away from the world.
“So, why’d you taken me here?” Harry questions lightly as if the question just randomly popped up in his head as he lands on the ground next to Louis and narrows his eyes to look at him through the sun shining to his eyes. He feels blinded. Blinded not only by the sun above, but by all those feelings swirling in his guts and being completely foreign, and by all those little words Louis lets slip out of his mouth occasionally, and all those new things appearing every second and this illusion of happiness and real life.
None of this feels real. Nor does it feel reachable.
“Just thought it was worth sharing with you,” Louis shrugs as lightly as Harry put the question and turns his head to observe Harry, before he smacks him on the head and starts laughing.
Which. Yeah, that is completely new direction of the things going to.
But Harry doesn’t mind really, because Louis’ laugh might be the most comforting sound in the whole world, even though it might be a little weird to think that when they barely know each other. Harry can’t stop himself.
He is so gone.
And so he laughs too and watches Louis lay down on the grass, motioning for him to do the same as their skin cells burn next to each other and their laughs die away with seconds passing by, and it is nice.
“So, Curly, tell me something about yourself,” Louis lifts himself up on his elbows after what feels like centuries, but is in fact an hour of being mostly laid quietly in the grass, only listening to the water whispering.
“I’m not Curly,” Harry closes his eyes and swallows a little bit thickly. He doesn’t want to think about himself, doesn’t want to talk about himself. He’s been working on pushing the reality far away from himself and avoiding every single connection to his normal life, and now he thinks he might have been successfully in building the walls to keep all that stuff away. He’s not sure whether he’s willing to risk ruining them by speaking up.
“Yeah, I already heard that,” Louis rolls his eyes. Harry doesn’t see it, the only thing behind his eyelids is colours dancing around, but he knows, he just knows. ”Tell me something about yourself, like, what your secret desire is and what song makes you feel alive and just whatever?”
“Secret desire,” Harry mumbles. He realizes in the back of his mind that he shouldn’t just believe the boy like this, but he doesn’t think anyone has ever actually asked him this sort of question, and the words are forming in his mouth before he even thinks about the answer. “Freedom,” he whispers and he thinks Louis couldn’t possibly hear that.
But he does.
“You are free now, though, young one,” he whispers softly against the wind blowing through his hair.
And even though Harry knows it shouldn’t be, it is comforting in a most subtle way possible.
He wants to say that it’s just an illusion for the time being caused, by the trees whining and the water humming and the overwhelming silence and their shallow breaths harmonizing and little nothings surrounding them, but he doesn’t, because somehow he is not ready to give that illusion up just yet.
“No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky,” it slips through Harry’s lips painfully without him fully realizing. He remembers hearing it once. It got stuck to his mind, glued to every cell of his body, and it never left since. His mind is a weird place. And Bob Dylan is a genius.
Louis turns his head to him and pins his eyes to Harry’s face and it is all pretty much too intense. Louis is shining and vibrating life and curiosity and something that Harry can’t bring himself to understand and it, somehow, drags him to the boy even more strongly and Harry feels like falling apart under his gaze, so instead he looks up to the sky.
“What’s your secret desire?” he asks at last, not only to interrupt the deafening silence, but because he finds himself actually caring about Louis’ answer, and so he watches Louis nod to himself slowly, his eyes glinting.
“Sparkling socks should do,” Louis shrugs and Harry laughs and he doesn’t mind that Louis is not telling him the truth now, because Harry would like to pretend too, he doesn’t have a single reason to blame him, and just like that the tension is lifted up a bit from his shoulders.
It is a long day. Harry and Louis came back for the lunch along with people, who stayed in the area for courses and whatnot, but they kept themselves in distance, never truly leaving their own world, and after they were done eating they got lost again.
They literally spent the whole day together and it was fully different from what Harry has experienced until now. Sure, there were days before when it was just him and Liam running away from everyone and hiding from the world, but it wasn’t the same.
Not only the purpose was different for him and Louis, because somehow Louis seemed to be honestly pleased by being with Harry and having him for himself, but also Harry was allowed to be the person he wanted to be and to forget everything and everyone without being aware of it.
Somehow, the time stopped existing when he was with Louis. They weren’t even talking all that much. In the afternoon Harry brought a book with himself and Louis forced him to read it out loud, which Harry after a while did hesitantly. And Louis lay in the grass, his eyes shining crystal blue, lips curved up the slightest bit as he hummed sometimes when he liked the words Harry was reciting from the small book of John Keats poetry in his hands.
It was all so peaceful. Like there was not a single thing in the world putting pressure on their shoulders. It was just them and even though they didn’t know much about each other, Harry felt like he knew Louis for ages. His life was becoming literally every single cliché on the list you could find.
It escalated quickly.
But it was true. He wasn’t colouring it up how he wanted it to be. Those feelings filling his chest and warming him up, it was all so genuine, that it kind of scared the living hell out of him, but also excited him deep down his bones.
And even though the time happened to be non-existent for them, eventually they had to get back and meet with Niall, Zayn and Liam. Harry would lie if he said he didn’t mind, be it as mean as it is – he only wanted to be with Louis, alone.
Now here they are, waiting to get their dinner, listening to Niall blabbering about their trip rather excitedly, watching Zayn drowning him in his fond stares and Liam just being his puppy self, happy and shining.
It’s all good.
Maybe too good for it to be true, but Harry decides to ignore the fact that this is not what he expected. Sure, he was trying to keep his mind enthusiastic and positive about this whole summer idea of his and Liam’s, but he didn’t expect for them to find a friend during the first day of their presence. And now there are three. One of them is brushing his knee against Harry’s under the table barely noticeably as he rolls his eyes at Zayn, who nods very seriously to whatever nonsense Niall is saying in the moment and the whole setting feels as natural as breathing. As if it was always like that.
If this is the start of Harry’s movie, he will take it. Dammit, he will take it even if it is the end of his movie.
“You should’ve gone with us, though,” Liam suddenly interrupts as he pouts a little to direction of Harry, who precisely avoids his gaze. He feels Louis watching him and he hopes for the sake of his own good, that he will hurry up and help him to come up an answer.
But Louis seems to be rather amused with the situation.
“Well,” Harry offers up a small smile, “maybe next time, yeah?” he prompts, because it is literally the best thing he has to give at the moment, for his mind can’t be put off the feeling of Louis watching him so intently again.
Harry is burning. He doesn’t know for how long he will last till only dust is left of him, because man, Louis sets him on fire since the first moment he saw him.
Cliché after cliché, innit?
Harry appears kind of pathetic to himself.
But Liam takes his answer and actually seems to be satisfied as the conversation carries on lightly and they slowly part to their own places. Louis waves to Harry shyly upon his departure, and even though he hears Liam choke on a chuckle he doesn’t quite care.
Ella Fitzgerald - Summertime
This carries on for the rest of the week. Harry and Louis spend the majority of the time together. Harry still doesn’t quite understand why, though.
Like. Don’t get him wrong, he is absolutely flattered by Louis’ choice of him being his companion and completely gone for the boy, but it still doesn’t make any sense to him. Everything seems to be too easy.
It almost sets suspicion to Harry’s stomach.
Since the night they met they simply were. It’s been the two of them. Louis has settled down on calling Harry “Curly”, making him blush slightly against his will, because Louis just has this embarrassing effect on him and his reactions always give him away, but Louis kind of pretends he hasn’t noticed and he just immediately took it as apparent that they would stay together.
The whole thing was basically from Louis’ initiative, which is fine, but Harry still didn’t get used to it. And they have been here for a week.
But it’s amazing.
Harry kind of wants it to never end. Sure, he was a little shy during first days, because really, there was this gorgeous shining boy, literally a personification of perfection, and he seemed to instantly care about Harry since the moment they first met, without knowing anything about him, without knowing who his family was, and he seemed to seek his presence, and of course Harry wasn’t quite confident about the whole situation, for he wasn’t used to people acting like that around him. But somewhere throughout the fourth day of them disappearing away in the soft air it changed for Harry.
“You never told me what the song that makes you feel alive was,” Louis prompted lightly as they sat on the grass next to each other. Louis was wearing fluffy socks that covered his tiny ankles completely even though the sun was rising high already and it was beginning to get hotter each minute. His fringe fell to his eyes softly and he shook his head barely noticeably to get it out of the way, to have clear sight at Harry, exactly in the moment Harry turned to him.
“I’m not sure if there is any,” Harry mumbled quietly suddenly feeling the urge to look away, picking up grass and gripping on it firmly, harshly, automatically focusing his attention to something else than Louis’ crystal clear vibrant eyes.
“Oh, I’m sure there’s plenty,” Louis laughed as his eyes followed Harry’s movements; Harry felt it burning on his skin, always felt it. And suddenly there was a golden hand wrapping around Harry’s wrist gently, softly, holding it in place and pulling the fingers off of the grass, forcing them to relax under its touch.
The contact was so sudden that Harry didn’t even have time to react properly; he didn’t jerk himself in shock, even though there were millions of emotions swirling through his body in tornadic mess, for it were the first time someone has ever touched him that way – without pressure, without tension, simply pouring calm into his skin cells. He sat there and felt himself be torn away from the grass.
Louis hummed contentedly for himself.
“C’mon, Curly, you sure there isn’t one on your mind?” it was hard to concentrate on the words and to grasp their meaning, because Louis skin was still pressed against Harry’s.
“Maybe,” he swallowed a little thickly, his voice scratchier than it was supposed to be. Get it together, Styles. “I love Summertime by Ella Fitzgerald. I’m not sure it’s the song that makes me feel alive, though,” Harry shrugged a little as he tried to not look too affected by his hand still being held in the small palm of Louis’ own.
He was probably unsuccessful, to be fair.
“You gotta start somewhere,” Louis nods. “Alright, then play it for me,” he smiled encouragingly as he let go of Harry’s hand and lay down, eyes pressed to the sky.
The sky seemed to be just a poor imitation of the blue in his sight, though, just a travesty, unfinished and dull.
The thing is that Harry loves music so much. It is one of his escapes and that song is just… too much, almost? It’s the first song in his life he remembers properly hearing and also listening to, absorbing its words and harmony and emotions and it shouldn’t be so important to him, because it’s a song, but in a way it is something he can’t give up.
He’s never really presented it to anyone as something that is dear to him, though. But in that moment, it just felt right and Louis was so concentrated and shadows of his eyelashes covered his cheeks gently as he closed his eyes when Harry pulled out his iPod from his pocket, handing both earphones to Louis, and pressed play shyly. And Louis swung his tip toe just a little upon hearing the music, and as stupid as it was, Harry knew that in that moment he was undoubtedly alive.
It was the simplest of all moments and reasons he could possibly have, but there was this undeniable feeling spreading through his bones and everything turned.
It took few shallow breaths and slight touches and Harry knew that even though it didn’t make any sense, their sudden friendship, it was the right thing.
And it was only getting better since. The first week was filled with quiet music playing alongside the water, whispered questions, Louis nudging at Harry to make him smile, blood running fast through Harry’s veins and nights where Harry couldn’t sleep, because he wanted to share another stupid song with Louis.
It felt like the first week of Harry’s life.
And that was also a thing. See, Louis never got to know who Harry really was nor where he came from, and it felt like the past didn’t exist for him at all, he only cared about Harry as a person now, he only cared about the presence and even though Harry knew he will have to tell him sooner or later, he was infinitely grateful for that. Because this boy made Harry feel, in the corner of his head, like he could be whoever he wanted to be.
For this very reason Harry blatantly ignores the fact, that all this denying of his problems will probably catch up on him later and kick his ass. Hard.
It’s not only Harry’s life that has gotten changed dramatically rapidly. Liam started talking to some girl whose name Harry couldn’t care to remember, because he was just so full of Louis, and he seemed to be completely fine without Harry. First thing, Liam decided to lay hold of the ability to join a group of sporty people that apparently take up all of the activities available, which, of course, means every sport you could think of, and apparently that’s where he met the girl – in a sport course. Adorable. Anyway, she seemed to be filling out most of his free time more than happily, so he was kept occupied. He didn’t had no idea about how much of friends Louis and Harry have become over last few days, even though he stole a few glances at them while they were whispering by the table practically every day. And sure Zayn and Niall noticed too, but the only thing Zayn did was nod in an approval every time he laid his eyes on them, looking very pleased and very thoughtful, and the only thing Niall ever did was smirk knowingly – It was the only time he kept his mouth shut.
Which should probably worry Harry at some level, but instead it sets his heart rate on fire.
For the first time in his life Harry keeps a secret away from Liam. But it feels like he doesn’t need to tell anyone else for it to be real, for it to be important. On the contrary, it feels more special when it is just the two of them.
And Harry loves spending time with Louis, which he repeats to himself as they lay in the grass by the lake, the wind playing with their hair, carrying their thoughts away.
“Lou?” Harry whispers as he turns his head to him. It’s the most comfortable they have ever been, it’s Sunday, which means it’s been exactly a week since they met, it feels like a lifetime though.
7 weeks to go. Fucking hell. Harry doesn’t want to think about it.
“Yeah?” Louis sneaks a glance through narrowed eyes, eyelids obviously falling down; he is sleepy and messy next to Harry. Small and tired.
“I’ve been thinking,” Harry doesn’t know how to go on about this. He’s not sure how Louis will react, and he even tries to come up with a possibility of saying something different in the end.
“And?” Louis’ face is lit up by the sunset, Harry can’t tear his eyes off of him, he doesn’t remember when he got to this point, but even though he always thinks he can’t be more pathetic, he always proves himself wrong.
“I think – I mean – I’m not sure, but,” Harry struggles. He sounds like drowning. What an amazing way to impress someone, innit? Harry’s always been good at charming people.
“Fuck’s sake Harry, what is it?” Louis laughs a little as he rolls his eyes.
“I just thought I would maybe try to take up the music course starting tomorrow,” Harry mumbles, not daring to look at Louis.
He doesn’t know what he is scared of more; the fact that Louis might be waiting for this very moment to just get rid of him finally, or the fact that he might take it as a betrayal.
Harry would like to think both possibilities are quite ridiculous, but at the end of the day, it has to be one of those, innit?
“That’s awesome Harry!” Louis cheers loudly, completely interrupting the calm flowing through the air. Harry turns to him in surprise, but he is truly lit up from head to toe. The tiredness is still pushing through, but the excitement vibrates from his body almost immediately as he positively beams.
“Yeah?” Harry asks. The sun is falling down quickly; everything ends within a blink of an eye.
And that’s the thing. Harry kind of feels the need to do something for himself. Sure, his parents wouldn’t approve him taking up music course, but it is something he wants to do and it’s the direction he feels he needs to go in right now.
“Of course, it’s brilliant,” Louis nods jubilantly. “I’m gonna take it up with you,” he shrugs as if it was the only option for them, and lies down again, smile still playing upon his lips.
Harry kind of wants to kiss him.
The next day it’s odd. To actually write their names on the list (Louis writes Harry’s first and then his, sending him a wink), to actually have to go somewhere.
And it feels exciting and strangely satisfying.
“Are you two seriously going to take up a music course?” Niall quirks his eyebrows doubtingly as he watches them sign up. Zayn seems completely out of the reality as he drowns himself in Niall’s eyes.
How do they manage to look so dead in love every second of their existence will Harry never fully understand. He will never stop being jealous of them either, to be fair.
“Of course,” Harry nods very seriously.
“You shouldn’t sound so surprised, Ireland, we’ve been going to the writing course the whole week,” Louis adds on, devilish grin plastered on his face, his eyes unblinking.
“Don’t shit me around, Tomlinson,” Niall rolls his eyes with a chuckle, “do you seriously think we’re that dumb?”
Liam, who is spreading strawberry jam on his toast, very personification of concentrated control freak, stops pretending he doesn’t exist and starts nodding his head in a furious manner. Harry is almost scared it will fall of his neck.
“What’re you on about?” Louis crosses his ankles under the table and sits straight, blinking slowly, which would probably be enough for someone to lose track of their thoughts; only watching his eyelashes spreading, but Niall is obviously protected against this evil already, so instead he just scoffs.
“You were taking no courses, you’ve been going somewhere else,” Niall talks with his mouth stuffed, drops flying off of him around the table. Gross. “Where were you going anyway?” he shoots them a curious look suddenly.
“Our place,” Louis shrugs simply, undertones of pride mirroring in his voice as he bites down on his sandwich, and it’s so evidently the end of this debate that even Niall returns back to eating.
“Are you sure you want to go? I mean, you don’t have to,” Harry repeats for what is like thousandth time, maybe getting a little annoying by now, but he has to be sure Louis knows it; knows that he doesn’t have to do anything because of Harry. “Like, I’d understand if you didn’t want to be here.”
They managed to get to the building on time successfully. It’s unusual for them to be somewhere else and it’s another new thing and anxiety is kind of tickling through Harry’s senses.
“Oh God no, I was actually scared you’d get stuck with me doing nothing for the rest of your life,” Louis laughs. “Even though I have to admit I’m the best at that,” he smirks cockily.
Of course. He is the best at absolutely everything.
“But I like doing nothing with you,” Harry blabbers out before he properly thinks it out and immediately feels his flesh burn with shame, he is so pathetic.
“I like doing nothing with you too, Harry,” Louis smiles up at him as he brushes their elbows slightly. “But I will like actually doing something when it’s with you, too, so stop worrying you great oaf, will you?” he continues as they step in, Louis holding the door for Harry nonchalantly.
Harry thinks he is ready.
He probably wasn’t ready at all, to be fair.
When they entered, side by side, the room was already filled with unknown faces that all turned to look at them curiously. People sat around on chairs, nothing in their hands, no notepad, no pencil, though few of them brought their musical instruments with them – not only guitars, but flutes, trumpets and whatnot.
Harry felt the sudden need to relieve a little bit of the tension building up in the atmosphere so he smiled awkwardly at some random girl that wasn’t in the middle of conversation with anyone in the moment. She turned her gaze away.
It felt as if Harry was getting smaller each second under the intensity of multiple eyes still being pinned to their bodies, but Louis touched his arm slightly as if he could exactly recognize what Harry was feeling and tried to calm him down. It worked.
Louis then did that magic of his and waved at someone, confidently walking forwards, leading their way straight to two abandoned chairs. And it was enough for the tension to miraculously disappear, and Harry could only stare at Louis as he was uncomfortably aware of the fact, that everyone else was doing the same, and it didn’t seem right, because they shouldn’t look at him like that. He should be the only one stealing glances at Louis secretly.
He couldn’t blame any of them much, though, because seriously. Wherever Louis was it felt like the sun itself raised up and whole room brightened up. And he was himself, eyes glinting slightly as they skimmed the room and rested for a while on the piano in the corner, bare ankles crossed as he sat down, brushing hair out of his eyes effortlessly, lips pulled upwards slightly, permanently. He was beautiful.
“You coming to sit with me, or are you gonna stand there and stare whole day?” Louis’ eyes rest on him then, amusement written in them clearly as he urges Harry to go forward.
Harry is so awkward. And unprepared.
“Sorry, I just got a little – um – distracted,” Harry mumbles as he sits down next to Louis, pulling his chair just inches closer to him, because the distance between them always seems to be too much.
“You’re always a little – um – distracted,” Louis rolls his eyes exactly in the moment when a man Harry has never seen around emerges in. He’s wearing a flannel shirt with few buttons at the top undone and tight jeans, his hair styled in messy something that just seems to be so attractive for every single person in the room.
And obviously Harry isn’t the only one thinking so, judging from the way Louis’ eyes hang on his every movement as he stands in front of them and nods in greeting. Louis shifts in his seat a little bit, peaking up to get better view and Harry feels new sting of emotion fill his lungs as he frowns a little.
It sure can’t be jealousy, right?
But still, Louis shouldn’t be looking at him like that, shouldn’t be trying to get a better look at him.
“Well, this should be interesting,” Louis turns his head to Harry with a smirk plastered on his lips, which only pushes Harry further to the edge.
He shouldn’t be questioning his choice of going here, because of some stupid lector, but he kind of is.
This should be interesting, indeed.
“It wasn’t all that bad,” Louis announces as they walk out of the house in the noon, stretching out his arms above his head and yawning. He’s adorable.
It only serves to annoy Harry further. Everything annoys Harry – the sun shining in his eyes, Louis walking cheerfully next to him, the birds singing loudly, people talking around them, everything.
“I suppose,” he mutters under his breath without allowing himself to have a peek at Louis who tries to catch his sight.
“Did you not like it?” he asks a little confused, brows pinching together, Harry can imagine it.
Harry did like it, is the thing. It was really fucking brilliant. First, they introduced themselves and talked a little bit about instruments they play and music they like, and the rest of the time they gathered around the piano – some people grabbed their guitars - and sang. All of them showed themselves in their natural state, without hiding anything or having to be shy, and Harry loved it. He knew it wasn’t going to look like that all the time, but he enjoyed himself so much.
He also enjoyed watching Louis, maybe too much, to be honest. Harry would join in thousands of courses just to see Louis hum to himself distractedly, or rip his heart out dramatically when they sang “My Heart Will Go On”, he would join in thousands of courses to be able to watch his eyes literally sparkle when people laughed at his jokes, but mostly he would join in thousands of courses to be able to watch him fucking light up and shoot fireworks right out of his smile when someone complimented his voice and how he sang.
As if he has heard it for the first time in his life. Nothing could compare to the way he looked in that moment. Harry wanted to be the one making him look like that.
It immediately happened to be his main goal in life.
On the contrary, he didn’t enjoy the attention Louis got from their lector whatsoever. Not that he didn’t seem to be a fine lad, fun, nice and all that.
He peered at Louis way too much; he shifted closer to him way more than necessary. And Louis seemed to be more than buying it.
Not that Louis ever fished for the attention he’s gotten; it was rightfully deserved from everyone, and it was natural for everyone to be dragged to him. But still.
And it made Harry’s head spin with confusion, because he shouldn’t mind that people like Louis, and he most certainly shouldn’t mind that Louis likes people.
Because. You know, that should be normal and the two of them are just friends.
And Harry doesn’t want to, but it kind of pushes every sense of sanity out of his cells and puts him in a bad mood unreasonably.
Which he doesn’t want to be taking out on Louis, but he kind of is.
He’s being an idiot.
“I did like it,” he sighs, the ground crunches under they feet, Harry feels his stomach scrunch. He hasn’t even realized how hungry he really is. He decides to direct his attention to that.
“Then what’s wrong, Haz?” apparently Harry isn’t the only confused one.
“Nothing,” Harry muffles the word as he tries to tuck his head down and cover his face with his hair. The air is getting heated and small droplets of sweat are starting to collect on his forehead, though he’s not sure it’s only caused by the temperature. It might also be embarrassment prickling at his skin.
He has never been jealous.
“Harry,” Louis suddenly reaches for his forearms and holds him until he stops in his place. Louis stands right in front of him, holding him still with one hand and forcing him to look at him by pulling his chin up with the other when Harry keeps staring to the ground stubbornly. “Tell me,” Louis then orders, his voice firmer, even though it is soft at the edges, his eyes never tearing apart from Harry’s face, ticking and searching.
“It’s nothing, seriously,” Harry answers quietly, he’s not sure whether he should lie or tell the truth, but he is afraid Louis will recognize if he isn’t genuine, Louis seems to always know. “Just, the lector – “Harry decides he will just go for it but is interrupted by Louis silvery voice. “Greg,” he corrects him calmly, which only triggers Harry more.
“Yeah, whatever. So, Greg has been a little bit too friendly with you, ‘s all,” Harry spits it out and it sounds a little scratchier and more hurried than it was meant to be and he suddenly feels the need to hide away.
He shouldn’t have let that get on the surface.
But to his utter surprise Louis’ hold on him disappears as he leans forward in complete burst of laughter, loud laughter. The kind of laughter, that when he calms down a little bit and looks up at Harry he has tears gathered up in the corners of his eyes, cheeks flushed slightly and he is still chuckling amusedly.
“What’s so funny?” Harry demands and he feels childish and stupid as he folds his arms on his chest, but it’s just. Ugh. He’s not used to this and the sun won’t stop shining in his face and his hands won’t stop trembling slightly, even though he clenches them in fists tightly, and he feels so small despite the fact that he is practically hovering over Louis.
“You are,” Louis shrugs indifferently, smile still playing on his face. “Stop pouting like that, you know you look like a kitten when you do that,” he adds up and starts walking. “It’s quite adorable, by the way,” he turns to look at Harry who stands still in his spot, frozen.
He feels humiliated in a way. He also feels fluttered and embarrassingly pleased by the fact that Louis finds him adorable.
Adorable. Nobody, since the big bang, has ever described Harry as adorable.
“Tell me what was so funny,” Harry says again and he tries to sound angry and firm and demanding, but its whole effect is that it makes Louis burst out laughing once more.
“You don’t seriously have to be jealous of Greg,” Louis rolls his eyes, and if there is fond glinting in their corners Harry decides to ignore it, but it sends shivers down his spine nonetheless. “Though it’s quite adorable as well,” Louis winks at him and walks away, swaying his hips a little bit more than is necessary.
Harry doesn’t mind.
They have the afternoon free and they spend it together. The five of them. Mostly they lay around in the grass lazily, but in the camp, there isn’t a mention about Harry’s and Louis’ place and despite Harry trying to push the thought far away from the surface he can’t fight the desire to go there and be alone with Louis.
Still, they have a lot of fun. Harry stares at Niall who has his head placed in Zayn’s lap comfortably, Zayn’s fingers trapped in the mess of his blond hair, tugging playfully on the single strands and caressing his cheek as if it was the most expensive velvet. Niall talks without concurrence the most of all as Zayn nods mindlessly, purses his lips or utters small sentences about destiny and the Universe, and sometimes leans down and steals a kiss from Niall, maybe more often than needed.
Harry catches Louis observing him few times and wonders whether Louis also wants to disappear somewhere else with him, but he doesn’t motion anything.
Somewhere between the storm of words leaving Niall’s mouth in loud thunders he mentions that there is a kind of party that night and that they are all going to go and have shitton of fun and no one, not even Harry, is able to say no, ‘cause he will personally kick his ass to there and that he really needs to see Harry drunk in sake of all of them.
Harry wanted to refuse at first, he thought that he would get some personal time for himself in pleasant company of maybe Bukowski in his bed, but then Louis covered Harry’s mouth quickly as if he read his damned mind and grinned mischievously. “We have a deal, Horan,” he smirked and Harry licked the palm of his hand to get it off of his mouth, which sent Louis into a surprised scowl as he wiped it onto Harry’s t-shirt. His favourite Rolling Stones one.
“You are so weird, I swear, “Louis rolls his eyes, but they sparkle fondly so Harry just smiles, absolutely unaware of the three boys watching them with amusement written in their features.
The Mowgli’s – Say It, Just Say It
Harry swears he is not going to get drunk.
To be sure he practically swears he is not going to drink at all.
He’s never gotten drunk, or at least he has never gotten to the state when you could call him drunk. He’s had alcohol in his life before, sure, but it was never associated with fun in his head, it only meant posh parties and tuxedos and fake laughter and well, it meant kind of torture.
And he is positive he doesn’t need much in his system to get drunk and to do something infinitely stupid that they will all remember till the day they die, and Louis won’t probably talk to him ever again. And Harry just won’t let that happen.
So, of course, when Louis automatically hands him a plastic red cup filled with what Harry guesses is beer and watches him expectantly Harry drinks, just to see him nod in approval.
Harry is fucked.
The dark is falling onto them slowly as laughter carries through the air. It’s about 10pm, Harry thinks, and the sky is still coloured with coral pink on the edges.
Harry steadily believes this is a horrible idea, too. Just from the devilish smirk Niall grants him when they arrive amongst chaotic mess of bodies, laughter and drunken shouts (and seriously, it’s only 10pm, how do some of them look like this already?) Harry senses that he should be afraid. And God knows he is.
Naturally he keeps himself tucked by Louis’ side, because feelings of safety spread through his body anytime he is near the boy. It, of course, is a paradox considering the fact, that 1) Louis was the first one to hand Harry alcohol effortlessly and 2) Harry stays unable to say “no” to Louis, which appears to be a little bit of a problem when he suggests they find Vodka to do shots.
At that point Harry tries to figure out a scheme of getting lost without it being noticed, which he ends up finding quite impossible for the fact that Louis keeps his eye on him as if he needed to be watched for.
It’s ridiculous. And it’s endearing.
“You’ve never done shots?” Louis quirks his eyebrows when Harry scorns at the bottle of colourless liquid in Louis’ hand that appeared out of fucking nowhere.
“Nope,” Harry pops out the “p”. He hasn’t even finished his beer yet.
“Oi, Louis’ fetched something already,” Niall shouts as he approaches them, hand in hand with Zayn. Apparently, they’ve all been searching for the same thing.
Harry wants to go to bed and fall sleep and only be told incredible stories about this tomorrow during the breakfast.
But he sort of doesn’t want to, see, because… Because Louis. He never stops looking at Harry for more than a minute and closes the distance between them when it seems to be bigger than is acceptable, so that they are always touching, even if it is just brushing knees, and Harry doesn’t need any alcohol to feel all tickly and fuzzy and just drunk on everything that Louis is.
“Doesn’t he always?” replies Zayn before planting a simple kiss to Niall’s cheek. Horan seems to not be paying much attention to it, though, for he is practically bursting with impatience, walking energy is what the boy is.
“Shut up,” Louis shoots back as he opens the bottle carefully. “We don’t have glasses, though. Seems like we’re gonna have to pour it into each other’s mouths,” he smirks and turns to Harry. “You go first, mister shots-virgin,” he chuckles to himself; he thinks he is so brilliant, and bright, and funny.
He is absolutely not. And Harry doesn’t find him adorable.
“I’m not sure, I – “Harry tries to protest for the last time, but he might not mean it too seriously anymore.
“Yeah, just open your mouth, Haz,” Louis rolls his eyes impatiently and, finally, Harry carefully obeys as Louis stands on his tiptoes to be tall enough, and to pour the liquid straight in Harry’s mouth guardedly.
And it’s disgusting.
Harry might choke on it a little and Louis might pat his back soothingly as the taste spreads through Harry’s insides, but absolutely no one has to know that.
Louis hands the bottle to Harry then confidently and opens up his mouth, head thrown back as if he has done it thousand times. Harry doesn’t like it, he would much rather stop there and just watch the white skin on Louis’ neck, but he steps in closer anyways, and even though he is not sure how much he should actually pour into Louis’ mouth he does tilts the bottle until a gulp of the liquid flows down Louis’ throat.
Louis doesn’t choke, he as much as shivers a little, then he straightens back up and winks at Harry. They let the bottle go round them afterwards. Everyone, of course, drinks by themselves, for Louis only seemed to have been trying to make it more interesting for Harry. Luckily though, Harry manages to be left out of any other sort of shots being forced to him, for the only one he has had still burns in his throat awfully.
Maybe only Louis notices. Maybe only Louis lets him get away with it.
It escalates quickly from there. The people get drunker, the music gets louder and the air gets colder.
Liam gets a bit too excited for Harry’s liking, it resembles he wants to try everything that’s ever been forbidden to him as he throws his head back in laughter, yet another cup of something Harry doesn’t recognize nor can keep track of, in his hand. He gets lost soon. Harry supposes he’s gone somewhere with Sophia (Harry has managed to actually remember her name, how amazing is that) and comes to conclusion, that it is absolutely useless to go searching for them now.
Niall ends up doing a handstand on a barrel of beer while everyone shouts: “Chug! Chug! Chug!” and Harry doesn’t quite understand what is so interesting about that, but he carries on gulping the beer upside down for so long that almost everyone present gathers around him and screams excitedly, counting down.
Harry shakes his head confusedly. Everything is so different.
“I think this is our time to get lost,” suddenly whispers a voice straight into Harry’s ear. And when did Louis even get there? When did Louis leave in the first place?
Be it whatever way, Harry happily nods to that and follows Louis who doesn’t even wait for a proper answer and makes his way far from everyone else.
Harry watches his steps, because he has obviously had way more alcohol than him, but simultaneously seems to be more sober than Harry who already feels the ground being somehow different under his feet. It’s not like he can’t walk straight or anything, it’s just… weird.
In few minutes they end up sitting on the ground by the lake. It looks completely changed in the night-time, somehow mysterious and undiscovered.
“I fetched us somethiiing,” Louis sings happily as he hands Harry a bottle of white wine, his chest heaving up with pride.
Now, when it is just the two of them, it is almost as if Harry has lost all of his boundaries, the need to get away lifts up from his shoulders and he brings the bottle to his mouth. The taste is much better than the taste of Vodka. Harry almost likes it.
Louis watches him with a cocky smirk on his face when Harry turns to him and gives him the bottle back after having few gulps. He seems pleased with himself as he licks his lips.
“So, wine it is for you, then,” he nods to himself as if taking a mental note and Harry pretends he didn’t hear that. Instead he watches the stars appearing above their heads shyly, opening up a whole new mirror of sparks in Louis’ eyes. Still, they don’t seem quite as beautiful.
“I’ve got a question,” Harry spits out suddenly without thinking about it; it almost takes him a moment to realize what the question truly is.
“Oh?” Louis turns to him; eyebrows raised, lips in a thin line, almost as if he was trying not to laugh.
“Yeah,” Harry nods in affirmation as he swallows thickly, tucking his knees under his chin, wrapping them around with his hands, it’s getting really cold. “Why me?”
It’s the two words that have been torturing Harry for a week, and now that he’s poured a small amount of courage to his veins it comes out easily, without any pressure having to be put on him. The fact that Harry fears Louis will say something along the lines of “I was bored” is another story.
Now he feels courageous and brave and heroic and determined, and the question comes out really quiet and hesitant and he doesn’t sound brave at all. He sounds weak.
“What do you mean?”
“You know what I mean, Louis. You took me here,” Harry motions around, though there is not much to look at in the dark. ”You showed me this place and spent an entire week doing nothing with me here. Why me?” he repeats the question, and if he sounds a little too desperate for answers, he won’t ever admit it.
“Oh, you mean that,” Louis laughs lightly, as if he didn’t know all along. Harry suspects he only wanted Harry to say it out loud. Harry would like to think he hates him. “That’s easy, Curly. I saw you the first night and you were somehow different than everyone I’ve ever met. I didn’t know how, though. So, I decided I’ve got to get to know you,” he shrugs and takes another gulp from the bottle. “Although you haven’t revealed much about yourself, he frowns slightly, undertone of disappointment clearly written in his voice for the first time since Harry has met him.
“I’m not interesting,” Harry says, and he means to explain why he never talked much about himself, but it sounds almost as a complaint. Louis hands him the bottle and Harry probably drinks more than he should – the wine is disappearing quickly.
“You have no idea how wrong you are, young one,” Louis whispers through the dark closing in on them. “I want to show you just how much,” he turns his head to Harry then, smiles at him in such way that makes Harry fight the urge to turn around and find what he is looking at, because surely he couldn’t be observing him like that.
“I’m not interesting,” Harry repeats dumbly. He feels his tongue being confused a little and his eyelids getting heavier.
“Okay, so, let us see,” Louis lays himself down onto the ground, half empty bottle of wine next to him. “Come join me down here, tell me something about yourself,” he pats the grass next to his left side. Harry can do that, he can absolutely do that.
So, he lies down next to Louis, presses in closer than necessary and absorbs Louis’ warmth. And then it gets completely silent, the only sound hanging in the air is their breaths trembling on the surface.
“Harry,” Louis breathes out after a moment.
“You were supposed to tell me something,” Harry can almost feel Louis roll his eyes at him.
The ground swings a little, even know they are both still.
“I don’t know what,” he mumbles closing his eyes. He’s been working on forgetting himself. “Everything’s better with you,” is what escapes his mouth despite his smart plans on saying he kind of likes cats. Alcohol really doesn’t mix well with him. He should definitely learn from this experience.
“Well, that most certainly is something,” Louis laughs, but there are pleased edges to the sound, and Harry hears his hand blindly searching for the bottle until Louis finds it and opens it to take few loud gulps, as if it was clear water. “But it most certainly is not something about you,” he adds after few moments, pursing his lips as he hands the bottle to Harry.
Harry already feels drunk. He’s not sure whether it is too soon to feel that way, but everything is swinging and he wants to laugh. He feels so filled with emotions and memories and feelings and there is Louis next to him and Harry hears every breath he takes and Harry is happy. Completely, utterly happy.
He doesn’t want to ruin it, so he doesn’t say anything further – to Louis’ obvious distaste.
“I see. We’re going to have to do this differently, then,” he nods to himself as he folds his hands on his tummy, humming infamous melody under his breath. “Are you ticklish?” he asks after few moments as if it was the most common question in the whole world, especially when you are drunk at midnight, lying by the lake, when the world is beautiful and dancing around, when everything seems possible.
“Dunno,” Harry mumbles. He’s never really tried it, probably.
“Gotta fix that then,” Louis giggles in return and he moves impossibly quickly afterwards. Way more quickly than is normal for a drunken person, which, to be fair, Louis absolutely is at that moment. Either way, it takes Harry completely by surprise when Louis straddles him out of sudden, his calves touching Harry’s hipbones, palms of his hands pressed to his chest, eyes as if searching Harry’s face for any signs of discomfort.
Which he sure as hell wouldn’t find in them in that moment, because Harry’s heart starts beating impossibly fast, almost as if the ribcage around it was too small and tight, and it needed to get out, sweat gathers up in the palms of his hands and no, Harry most certainly doesn’t mind Louis sitting right where he is sitting.
But suddenly Louis moves and before Harry can grasp what is going on he is tickling him on his sides. And … yeah, so, Harry absolutely is ticklish. He shudders under Louis’ touch and fights him lightly, but mostly lets himself be absorbed by laughter and waits for Louis to stop. Which he doesn’t, because apparently this is fun.
Harry doesn’t agree.
Louis’ fingers are smart and instinctively seem to know where exactly it tickles Harry the most, but even he himself had a little bit too much of alcohol already and he falters at top of Harry’s body, almost falling off, as his face gets that closer to Harry’s.
Automatically Harry wraps his hands around Louis’ back to secure him from falling off, maybe partly to keep him still and stop tickling him, he doesn’t know and he doesn’t care, because in that moment Louis stops moving completely and regains his position, his face inches from Harry’s, breath fastened, hair messy.
Harry watches him watch him and he is so beautiful. Harry can’t help it. He feels himself burn under Louis’ breath and he feels his skin fall apart in the place where Louis’ hands are pressed against his chest to remain stable, and his world is turning faster and he wants to kiss Louis.
He wants to kiss him and steal those uneven, quickened breaths he takes, and grant him his own despite not having enough oxygen for himself and he wants to hold him closer and –
And Louis kisses him. Out of sudden he closes the distance between them and presses his soft lips against Harry’s. It’s almost barely there at first, but it sends jolts of electricity through every nerve in Harry’s body, and then suddenly Louis presses down more passionately and firmly, stealing every piece of sanity Harry has kept.
He can taste the wine from Louis’ mouth, and almost hesitantly, Louis bites down gently onto Harry’s bottom lip, causing him to sigh involuntarily and open his mouth a little. Louis then withdraws the air from Harry as they brush lips, carefully, both of them a little bit too drunk and little bit too scared that they will ruin everything.
It’s the best scene of Harry’s movie.
And then suddenly Louis pulls away and Harry automatically chases after his lips, wanting more, his head spinning, hands trembling and eyelids flattering. So, that’s about how embarrassingly intense effect Louis has on Harry.
“I take that as a yes,” Louis smirks weakly as he gets off of Harry who literally has to fight the whine threatening to escape from his throat and lies down next to him.
“Liam, wake up,” Harry urgently shakes Liam’s limp body for the thousandth time as he also, for the thousandth time, miserably fails at getting any sort of reaction from him - he is snoring lightly with his mouth hanging open. Finally though, he groans and looks at Harry, his dark eyes quietly threatening to kill him.
Harry doesn’t care.
“What do you want?”
“We kissed,” Harry whispers, eyes wide. The words are echoing in his head and he can’t believe it. Three hours later he still gets all fuzzy inside when he thinks about it. It was the first kiss in his life, he deserves to freak out.
“Me and Louis,” Harry rolls his eyes.
“It was about the damned time. Will you let me sleep now?” Harry makes a mental note to not wake Liam up at 3 am ever again.
The alcohol has now almost disappeared from Harry’s vision and also from his brains. He and Louis parted shyly after three hours of laughing at things Harry mostly doesn’t remember, because they were random and stupid and they didn’t make any sense. But with sobering up, he also realized how big of an issue this miraculous moment was.
“What do you mean? No, I don’t care, Liam, listen this is a problem,” Harry urges, he needs to talk about it to someone.
“Well, we will solve this problem tomorrow, Haz, alright? Get some sleep, yeah?” Liam sounds like he is trying to be nice, which Harry appreciates, and even though he doesn’t want to he nods and emerges to his bed.
It takes him a lot of time to fall asleep, the feelings creating a hurricane in his lungs, the swirling confusion almost choking him. Should he be happy for the fact that he and Louis have kissed, or completely freaked out for the fact that he is to be engaged with the girl his parents have picked for him?
Goldford – Upside Down
When he wakes up, Harry feels dull pain pulsing in his temples. In little pieces coming to him separately, he starts putting together events of the last night. The shots, the alcohol, Liam getting lost, him and Louis by the lake, him and Louis kissing –
Him and Louis kissing. They kissed. Harry’s heart rate quickens up dangerously as his eyes shot open. He feels completely awake now, electricity takes over his body. He has to touch his lips with his index finger in awe, remembers the feeling of Louis’ lips pressing against his, remembers the soft sighs Louis let out, and there is just so much.
He also remembers the dark side of this.
“Slept well?” asks Liam out of nowhere, because of course he is already awake, doing push-ups next to Harry’s bed. Harry stares at his mesmerizing biceps for a moment before he blinks slowly, trying to clean his clouded head.
“What time is it?”
“Around seven, you should probably get up,” Liam jumps up and grabs a towel from his bedside, wiping the sweat off of his body. It’s only moments like this, when he stands in front of Harry, sweating and breathing heavily, his muscles flexing, that Harry almost forgets Liam is his best friend, for fuck’s sake.
“Don’t wanna,” Harry groans, throwing a pillow over his head, muffling the sounds. He’s sure Liam understands him, though. They have been through this too many times despite the setting having never been quite like this.
“You wanna talk about what happened last night instead?” Liam prompts quietly, with a sign of amusement in his voice.
“Kinda,” Harry peeks out from under his pillow. “Kinda wanna die, too.”
“Why would you say that?” Liam frowns as he changes into his normal clothes.
“B’cause. I think – I think that I really like him,” he throws his hands out in the air theatrically.
“And that is an issue?”
“Where’d you put your brains today, Liam? Of course it is an issue,” Harry screeches as he manages to get up and run a lazy hand through the mess of his hair. He can only imagine how horribly he looks at the moment and he immediately regrets not getting up earlier to manage looking a little bit more presentable, because… Louis shouldn’t see him like that, to be honest.
“Would you mind telling me why?” Liam rolls his eyes as he locks the watch on his tanned wrist. He looks as his smooth little pleasant self. He looks so good. Harry wants to switch roles. This should be his movie after all.
“Because I am to be engaged to a girl?” Harry says, hinting ironically, and he is unfortunately losing all of his patience. “And also, Louis might not know about that part,” he adds more quietly as he feels the shame fill him slowly. He should’ve told him.
“You haven’t told him yet?” Liam turns to him, obviously startled and ah, yes. Here we go.
“No,” Harry looks down as he searches through the pile of his clothes.
“Well, you better hurry up,” Liam answers, a little bit more roughly than is necessary. He feels it too, because upon leaving he pats Harry on the back and pierces though him intently with his sympathetic eyes. “You’re gonna figure it out, Haz. Don’t worry too much about it.”
But Harry worries. He worries even more so as he slowly approaches the cafeteria. He is not sure how he should act now around Louis considering the fact that he, unfortunately, will probably either deny the whole incident or will actually not remember it at all.
Here comes another form of humiliation.
Honestly, hadn’t there been enough of that in Harry’s life already? Obviously not.
He feels the sweat gathering up in the palms of his hands so he distractedly wipes them off to his trousers, staining them barely noticeably. Gross.
The beginning of that day is awfully cold; the sky is being clouded over. Harry feels scared. Which is also kind of pathetic, but he can’t help it. He’s imagined the moment he and Louis will see each other that morning for million times, but all of those scenarios he’s been drawing for himself in his mind were sort of idealistic and naïve.
A man can hope, right? Well, a boy, but it‘s all the same, innit?
Liam enters the building first, shooting Harry reassuring smiles along the way. Harry follows him, but keeps his eyes glued to the ground, and surprisingly, it’s easier. He avoids an embarrassing situation for a little bit longer. Logically.
He just needs to see if Louis is already there, needs to see if he is watching him, needs to see is he looks tired or happy and he just…. he looks up and finds Louis already sitting by the table with the couple of the century. The beanie fits tightly at the top of his head as he clutches the cup of what Harry supposes is the tea. Without sugar, without milk, straight black – just like Louis likes it in the morning.
He’s got his back turned to Harry though, and Harry wonders whether he can feel his stare, because once Harry’s eyes find him, he, somehow, becomes unable to tear them away. He’s not even that hungry, so without realizing what he is doing, he almost mechanically pours himself a glass of orange juice and makes his way to the table.
Is it okay if Harry sits next to Louis?
Harry’s breath fastens up, but he feels as if there was no oxygen getting to his lungs as he sits down on the chair by Louis’ side. It should be okay. It is his seat, after all.
However, the fact that Harry feels like he has to question whether it actually is okay to sit next to him squeezes in his stomach tightly.
When Louis senses Harry’s presence his head snaps to him and his lips stretch into a soft smile. His hair is still a little bit messy, peeking from under the grey beanie and there are dark circles painted underneath his eyes as if he didn’t get much sleep himself, but somehow, Harry finds him even more delicate than ever. He wants to smooth out the darkened skin of his, wants to brush his fingers across Louis’ forehead to get his hair into its place, but all he does is offer a shy half-smile.
“Hi,” Louis’ eyes never leave Harry’s face as if he searched for something that should be written in it. And God, Harry hopes he finds what he is looking for. Harry wants to give him everything already.
“Hello there,” Harry whispers, a bit more weakly than he’d wish, but Louis touches a hand to his thigh under the table and caresses him slightly.
And there it is – the thorough burning inside Harry’s skin cells in the place where Louis touches him. The palm of his hand leaves a burning trail behind itself and Harry’s breath hitches.
Maybe Louis isn’t going to ditch him, after all. Maybe he remembers and he is okay with it?
Harry sure hopes he does. He even lets a flame of hope alight within his chest as he finally looks away.
“Are you not going to eat?” Louis asks as his eyes are drawn to Harry’s empty plate. Harry’s stomach is on water, not that he is sick from the alcohol or anything. No, this has completely different reasons. Harry’s already full.
Full of feelings. There’s too much.
“Um,” Harry scratches the back of his head. “I’m not really hungry,” he shrugs avoiding Louis’ intense gaze.
“Nonsense,” Louis rolls his eyes but for once he isn’t smiling, he is rather serious. And then, without another word being said, he grabs Harry’s plate and takes off, swaying his hips as he walks towards yoghurts and fruits.
It doesn’t take too long for Louis to become everything to Harry.
It might actually happen almost simultaneously with the night they kissed for the first time, but Harry won’t admit that. Not yet.
And maybe it’s because before Louis preciously waltzed in Harry’s life it was empty and without any real purpose and there was nothing and now, suddenly, the contrast absorbs Harry, but there doesn’t need to be an explanation for everything, right?
They continue continue going to the music course for the rest of the week and it turns out to be way more interesting than both of them have originally imagined. To be fair, it might be mostly caused by them being there together.
The second day of the course (after Louis serving Harry literally every single kind of cereals there is offered in the cafeteria and insisting he eats all of it) Harry feels slightly worried as the two of them walk to the building slowly, shoulders bumping, electricity attacking Harry’s body with every subtlest touch. Louis probably doesn’t even know. It takes every smallest ounce of Harry’s strength to keep himself from taking petite glimpses at him.
Eyes pinned straight ahead, hands pushed deep down to pockets of his Adidas trackies, smile never leaves Louis’ face – not even for a second.
Harry would like to think that Louis is smiling because of him, because of them. But they barely say a word to each other and none of them mentions events of the last night, which is maybe for good, to be fair, but still, Harry doesn’t know. And instead there is this thought biting in the back of his head, whispering that Louis might be in such a good mood, for the fact that he is going to see their lector – Greg, Harry thinks with a roll of his eyes – and not because of him.
Which doesn’t sound too well for him, but it is more than probable. It is also the reason Harry’s so worried.
See, even though Louis was so nice to Harry during the breakfast – he didn’t pull him aside to tell him it was a big mistake between them and that he was clearly drunk, and he didn’t ignore him either, instead he was his normal sunshine self, Harry couldn’t help but kind of wait for that moment of rejection to come every minute.
Better earlier than later, right?
Maybe because he kind of expects that it will happen eventually anyway, Harry doesn’t tell Louis about his parents. Because, you know, he would probably make himself a fool for thinking it is in some way important for Louis to be aware of that situation.
But some days are apparently filled with surprises, this one included.
From the moment they step into the room Harry can feel Greg’s eyes following Louis around (if he overreacts and imagines it a little bit more serious than it actually is, there isn’t anything wrong with that, he has every right to do that, like, he saw with his very own eyes how Greg acted around Louis the day before). He also feels stings of jealousy attacking his body part by part, which, in a way, is more bearable now that he accepts the fact that he truly is jealous.
It allows him to concentrate on the feeling and let it in instead of pushing it away confusedly as he did earlier.
But to Harry’s utter disbelief Louis only focuses on him. He pulls his chair closer to Harry’s when they sit down, he leans in and whispers stupid jokes about Greg – to Harry’s guilty infinite pleasure – and basically everything that comes to his mind right into Harry’s ear. Harry often catches him staring up through his eyelashes at him, while he is listening to Greg (who might actually not be that bad, after all, Harry decides absolutely on accident in the same moment as when he is positive that Louis’ attention belongs to him only) talking about musical history.
Harry’s not sure whether the change in Louis’ behaviour is caused simply by his acknowledgement of Harry’s jealousy or by the fact that they kissed (Harry’s stomach does stupid little flop whenever his mind runs back to that thought), but it makes him swell with pride and actual contentment and maybe this course won’t be such a disaster after all.
The part when Greg only talks about musical history might be a little boring and Harry may question what will they actually get from this, but when he longingly looks around the room, unfocused, he finds out that everyone else seems to be interested and concentrated, so he decides he can do it too.
Well. Everyone except for Louis, that is. He seems to have decided, that if he doesn’t pay much attention to Greg, Harry won’t be able to do so either, and he doesn’t shut up. Remaking the sentences that come from Greg’s mouth into parodies and breathing onto the skin of Harry’s neck hotly, causing him to shudder, Louis seems to be making huge effort of dragging Harry’s attention to himself.
It’s not that hard truly. The only thing Harry can think about is how he wants to turn his head just few inches and shut Louis up with a kiss.
Which, um. Yeah. Not really greatest of his ideas.
“Well, it really wasn’t that bad today, what do you think, Curly?” Louis chuckles in the moment Greg stops his never-ending monologue about Rolling Stones and The Beatles and their rivalry and influence and whatnot, and tells them he will see them tomorrow.
“It depends,” Harry mumbles as he picks up the bottle of water he brought with himself and follows Louis’ steps outside. “I mean, you wouldn’t shut up, so,” he shrugs, but he can’t even manage straight face while saying it, so Louis only turns his head back and winks wickedly, grinning.
“See, that’s the point,” he waits for Harry to catch up with his pace. He is so full of energy, literally radiating and Harry slightly wonders how he manages to be like that all the time, it is toxic. “Was way more interesting, innit?” he nudges Harry in-between his ribs playfully.
Suddenly a new part of last night shoots through Harry’s mind as he blinks slowly, possibly zoning out for a moment or two. He happened to forget they talked about that.
“I’m not interesting.” Harry remembers saying
“You have no idea how wrong you are, young one,” he remembers Louis’ voice coming through the dark. “I want to show you just how much.”
Harry is going to be sick.
How could he possibly forget about something like that? Louis thinks he is different. Louis wanted to get to know him. Louis seemed genuinely fucking sad about the fact that Harry didn’t talk about himself much. Louis cares.
And it seems absolutely absurd to Harry, but he wants to believe it, it spreads warmth through his chest and –
“Harry?” he feels Louis small hand clutching on his elbow, tugging slightly. He looks down at him and finds Louis’ eyes observing him with eyebrows knitted slightly together.
Was Louis talking to him?
“You didn’t hear what I was saying, did you?” a smile is playing in the corners of his eyes even though he tries to act serious.
“No, sorry,” Harry feels himself blushing for whatever the reason is, either that the biggest part of his head is focused on the way Louis’ hand is still clutching at his sweater, or that he got caught. Maybe bit of both. “What did you say?” he offers up, still being brushed out of his mind with memories.
“Was just asking what you wanted to do after lunch,” Louis rolls his eyes as he (sadly) lets go of Harry’s sweater and starts walking again.
“A nap,” Harry says without twice thinking about it. The sun still hasn’t found its way through the clouds and it seems to be threatening to rain and he feels the tiredness press down onto him as he yawns; he really didn’t get much sleep that night, after all.
“Good choice,” Louis hums and takes off to greet Zayn and Niall.
Harry continues returning to what he remembered from the last night and it kind of startles him. For a while he is not able to focus on anything properly and gets caught another multiple times during lunch as they get interviewed by Liam and the boyfriends about the music course.
When they are finally done eating and Harry thanks heavens above, because he feels like being investigated under Liam’s piercing gaze and subtle gesticulation with which Harry supposes he tries to ask whether he told Louis, Harry gets up and expects to be left alone to go take the nap he deserves.
Louis probably meant “Good choice” as in “Good choice, I’m not gonna have to deal with you” so.
But Louis actually gets up along with Harry and waits for the rest of the boys to get lost returning their plates in the kitchen. “So, is it my bed or yours?” he asks, soft grin plastered on his face and Harry doesn’t understand at first, because isn’t Louis glad he got rid of him?
“What?” he asks distractedly and very slowly, for he is trying to properly comprehend Louis.
“For the nap of course,” Louis rolls his eyes. And oh.
“I don’t know – “
“Yours it is then,” Louis interrupts quickly, grabbing Harry’s plate because he is too slow apparently, and Louis is always moving and energetic. “Liam is going to be with Sophia anyway,” he continues as if that is what matters the most - them being alone.
As if they weren’t like that all the time. Not that Harry is complaining, though.
They walk to Harry’s cabin in silence, but it is nice and peaceful, in a way. It hits Harry that Louis has never seen his place, so it takes him completely by surprise when Louis casually throws himself onto the top of Harry’s bed without twice thinking about it once they enter.
Harry stares for a bit, suddenly not sure what he should do next. Should he go lay down next to Louis? Should he go and sleep in Liam’s bed? He just doesn’t know what he is supposed to be doing; there are new things appearing every single day in front of him and it gets overwhelming, it only reminds him of how terribly poor his life has been before.
“This is your bed, right?” Louis raises his eyebrows after a moment bit unsurely.
“Yeah,” Harry nods quietly, avoiding his gaze. He is always so awkward.
“What are you waiting for then? Get in here,” Louis smiles innocently and pats the left side of the bed.
And so Harry goes. Slowly and without purpose, but still, he goes and lies down next to Louis on his back. It’s a little bit too dark considering the fact that it’s about midday and it’s a little bit too silent, too, no one is to be heard outside and it is making a lot easier for the furious beat of Harry’s heart to be heard in the space. He observes the ceiling. The wood is old and darkly stained, there are few shallow cracks peeking through. Harry loves the smell, wants to push it into a small tube and carry it around. But in the moment there seems to not be enough oxygen and if he could, he would rip the ceiling apart from the walls surrounding them and look up at the sky instead. It’s suffocating.
“What’s wrong, Haz?” Harry feels the bed swing slightly as Louis shifts on his side next to him. His eyes are burning through Harry’s face. “You’ve been so quiet today,” he adds almost hesitantly. “So sad,” the words are muted.
And Harry knows, is the thing. He realizes he’s been ridiculous, but he just can’t help it.
He likes Louis so much already. So, so much. And it just tears him apart, how complicated everything is, how twisted everything is. He doesn’t want to give himself false hopes, because the feelings are expanding within every cell of his body so quickly and he’s almost lost control over it. And there is Louis next to him, who is just not close enough, because Harry paid attention to lie down so they are not touching as it might hurt even more than when they are kept in farer distance. Nothing makes sense.
“Nothing,” Harry wants it to sound surely, but it comes out small, buried under the wall of emotions blocking his throat. He swallows thickly. His tongue is bitter.
“Is it –,” Louis stops and Harry can’t fight the urge to look at him anymore, because there is something in Louis’ voice that completely triggers him. “Is it, because of the last night?” Louis mumbles looking down as he fidgets with the hem of bed sheet folded underneath their bodies. “Is it because I kissed you?” he mumbles again and Harry has never seen him like that. Louis becomes so small and kind of tucked into himself as he avoids Harry’s gaze and bites his lip.
And Harry realizes, that he should probably say something, that he needs to say something, because Louis remembers and Louis looks so fragile and he won’t look at Harry now, but Harry opens his mouth and absolutely nothing comes out. He wonders if Louis’ heart is trying to escape from his ribcage as violently as his is. It most certainly seems like that.
“It is, isn’t it?” Louis continues mumbling hurriedly and he gets smaller every second. “You don’t like me that way,” he almost whispers finally, his lip trembling slightly as his face falls.
All the oxygen is drained from Harry’s body upon seeing him like that and fuck. Why is this even happening? This shouldn’t be happening at all. Louis should never feel like he can’t look Harry in the eye, he should never have to feel like he needs to hide away, he should never have to make himself smaller than he is.
It actually pains Harry.
“What, Lou?” Harry eventually says, his voice quivering as he gathers all the courage he has and reaches for Louis’ chin, lifting it up with his finger until Louis looks at him, finally. His eyes have never been so blue, but it is a different shade, somehow, more like a rain threatening to fall. It hurts. He seems hurt. He only glances at Harry for a split of a second before he shies away, as if he couldn’t stand looking at Harry. Which is what he, himself, has been doing whole day to Louis, isn’t it?
“Louis, look at me,” Harry tries again and eventually, Louis does so and Harry’s heart stops, because it seems like there are tears on the edges of Louis’ eyes and it is Harry’s fault. Louis is so sensitive god fucking dammit. “Louis, I do like you that way,” he says and he tries to pour as much of his emotions as possible into his words, he needs Louis to feel his sincerity, he needs Louis to understand. “I thought you regret it, though,” he admits then, but before he even finishes Louis is shaking his head violently.
“Why would I regret it?”
“Because, I dunno. I just thought you didn’t like me and you were drunk and – “
“Christ Harry, I thought that it was obvious,” Louis actually giggles, colour returning to his face slowly.
“What?” asks Harry and he is so confused with how the situation is evolving, his head is actually spinning, because Louis likes him? How?
“Don’t tell me you seriously didn’t know I was fuckin’ gone for you since, like, the moment we met, Haz,” Louis rolls his eyes and relief washes over Harry’s body, because Louis is being himself again.
“You like me?” Harry feels himself starting to smile involuntarily. He is not fully able to grasp the situation yet, but this, this feels like something. It feels lighter and easier.
“Of course, you idiot,” Louis laughs and he sounds almost fond as he scoots closer to Harry and plants a single little kiss to his nose, before pulling away and grinning.
“I like you too,” Harry says unnecessarily, just because he likes the way the words taste on his tongue and because Louis’ eyes light up at their sound immensely.
Harry watches him and he is just so wonderful. His finger is mindlessly drawing something on the blanket between their bodies as his eyelashes flutter and he looks so soft and vibrant and Harry is again attacked by that burning desire to kiss him.
And so he does. Because he is tired of fighting against his will all the time, he came here to do things he wants to do, and even though kissing someone wasn’t amongst the things he had in mind, he will take it. His lips meet Louis’ skin in the corner of his mouth and when Louis gasps in surprise quietly it send shivers down his spine.
Mostly because he wants to hear that little sound again and also just because he can, Harry kisses Louis one more time, full on the mouth, though it actually is more of teeth against Louis’ lips than anything else, really, because Harry can’t help smiling, but it fills him with tinkling sensation all over and steals every bit of sanity left from his body.
Louis pulls away too soon, though. Just few second after, but he brushes Harry’s bottom lip with his thumb gently when he pouts in protest and sends another jolts of electricity through his body. He would probably never get used to this.
“Let’s take the nap, shall we,” Louis smirks and he is so smug that Harry almost leans in again to kiss it away, but Louis is faster as he takes hold of Harry’s shoulders and turns him around so that Harry’s back is facing his front. He feels Louis’ body shifting a bit up behind him and then pressing closer to him as he wraps his hands around Harry’s waist without hesitance.
Harry’s never considered himself the little spoon kind of person before, but as he feels the warmth of Louis’ body spreading through his veins, their breaths evening out quietly and as he feels Louis breathing in the skin on his neck, tickling him hotly, he also knows he has never felt this safe in his entire life. And so he lets himself be absorbed by Louis’ presence and closes his eyes contently.
However, after few minutes he still feels something pushing through his mind.
And he needs it to go away.
“Lou?” he whispers, because he is not sure whether Louis is awake or not, for the fact that his breathing calmed down basically in the moment they laid down. “Lou, are you awake? I need to tell you something,” he tries one more time and there is a small part of his mind that almost wishes for Louis to be asleep, so that he doesn’t have to ruin it for them.
Louis’ only answer is shifting closer to Harry, his embrace becoming that firmer, and Harry doesn’t wake him up.
“What do you mean you didn’t tell him?” Liam raises his eyebrows.
“The exact same thing that I said,” Harry rolls his eyes. Liam is being too dramatic. “I didn’t tell him,” Harry shrugs. When he woke up it was almost time for dinner and Louis was nowhere to be found. Instead there was Liam in his own bed reading some magazine Harry’s never heard of.
Harry knew right away that he found him and Louis there when their eyes met, because Liam was a terrible actor and even worse liar and his facial expression showed the truth immediately. Mischievous.
“When did he leave?” Harry mumbled. His voice was scratchy. The rain was beating against the windows violently; he supposed that was what woke him up.
“About 15 minutes ago,” Liam answered but he wouldn’t stop looking at Harry with those dark suspecting eyes.
And so now they are here talking about why Harry didn’t inform Louis, because obviously that was the first thing Liam asked about after he caught them sleeping in one bed.
To be honest, it worries Harry too, and he feels kind of guilty, even though he shrugs it off when Liam asks. He doesn’t want to think about it much.
“Harry, listen,” Liam sits up on his bed and rubs his face through his hands. “You really need to tell him, mate, alright? It’s not fair to him.”
“You know what is not fair, Liam? That there even has to be such a conversation held between us right now. That’s what is not fair,” Harry scoffs angrily, and deep down he knows Liam doesn’t mean anything bad, in fact he is just trying to save them both hurt, but Harry also deserves to be happy for once.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbles after a moment of silence. “I just – I wish things were different,” he looks out of the window, the rain seems to be getting stronger.
“I know,” Liam stands up and pats his shoulder sympathetically. Harry has never seen Liam mad or angry, the only form of rage he ever shows is sadness, which makes everything even more complicated. “Let’s get some food.”
“Just pick one. It’s not that hard, for fuck’s sake,” Louis rolls his eyes for the thousandth time and Harry pouts. It might be around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, but Harry has completely lost track of the time, really. They are laid in his bed again, and even though it is only for the second time, it feels strangely familiar and nice. Harry kind of hopes that shared naps will become a habit for the two of them.
Harry’s firmly tucked to Louis’ left side as he has his head laid on Louis’ chest, listens to the slow pace of Louis’ heartbeat against his own skin.
The weather is still cloudy and it is threatening to rain every minute, making it impossible for them to go to their place by the lake. But neither of them minds. There is something cozy and intimate hidden behind the walls and curtains tucked over the windows and there is something strangely satisfying about the way their legs are intertwined under the thin blankets.
But as soon as they have made themselves comfortable, Louis has decided he needs to get to know every smallest detail about Harry, and apparently a part of that plan is asking every single question that comes to his mind. And the truth is Louis only asks unimportant and utterly stupid ones.
Of course, Harry takes it seriously and takes too long to come up with an answer, which Louis seems to be finding hilarious – which it is not, thank you – and keeps laughing about it.
“It is hard. You can’t make me chose one favourite colour, Lou. Don’t want to discriminate the other ones,” Harry hums against the cloth of Louis’ hoodie. He wants to remember the scent of his. Warm and vibrant, snugly, a little bit like summer night and the air at 4 in the morning after it rained heavily. Harry never wants to forget it. He wants to keep it in his mind forever.
“They are just colours, silly,” Harry feels Louis’ lips brushing against his forehead and closes his eyes. He’s not sure whether it is normal for two people to click in together this easily, but he doesn’t care. It is normal between them and it feels like years since they’ve known each other and Harry won’t spend the small amount of time he has with this golden boy by worrying about the pace they aren’t taking the things at.
“’M not silly,” Harry frowns, but Louis only holds him tighter.
“You sure? Because I actually quite like silly,” he smiles against Harry’s skin gently.
“What is your favourite colour, then?” Harry asks to hide the fact that his skin is burning red under the pressure of acknowledgement that Louis really likes him.
“You don’t mind when someone else discriminates colours?”
“No, I just wanted – forget about it,” Harry stutters awkwardly and he feels Louis’ chest shake with laughter underneath him.
It’s quiet for few minutes after that and Harry, who is more than aware of the small distance between their bodies, almost starts wondering if Louis is still awake in the mild atmosphere of the afternoon.
“You’ve got to have a favourite book, though,” suddenly sounds through the room in a thoughtful tone. One that makes Harry wonder whether he is supposed to answer that, but Louis’ fingers squeeze his hips playfully where he holds him, so he takes that as a yes.
“Um, you could’ve noticed that I quite like Keats –“
“Do you want to know it, or not?”
“Sorry, continue,” Harry knows Louis’ got his lips pressed into a thin line to suppress laughter even without peeking an eye at him and he also knows that Louis is not sorry at all.
“Thank you,” he nods nonetheless. He is trying to be serious, you know, just to show Louis how to behave properly. “I also enjoy a little bit of Wilde and – “
“That’s what I thought,” Louis interrupts him again.
“I am not telling you anything from now on. Never,” Harry tries to pull away stubbornly, just to make his point and he hopes Louis won’t let him go, which he doesn’t.
“What about favourite food?” it seems like the stream of questions coming out of Louis’ mouth is never-ending. It is not that they don’t do anything else besides Harry trying to come up with reasonable answers, but Louis keeps coming back to that activity dangerously often.
Now, he seems more than determined to not let Harry focus on what is Greg saying, once more. He is fidgeting next to Harry as he knocks his tiptoe against the polished wooden floor.
“Is this seriously interesting information for you?” Harry raises his eyebrows as he stills movements of Louis’ knee with his free hand lightly.
“Of course it is,” Louis nods, but his eyes return to Greg who seems to be watching them. “Will you answer me, then?” he adds after a while, a hint quieter, but loud enough for Harry to hear the amusement in his voice.
“You are going to laugh at me.”
“Have I ever?” Louis touches a hand to his chest in a dramatic gesture. Harry sometimes thinks he should sign into some sort of drama course where he would be able to freely express himself.
“Um, let me think,” Harry pretends to be taking his time, though he is not as good of an actor as Louis is. “Oh! I know - how about yesterday?” Louis actually snorts at that ironically.
Greg notices too, because his head shoots quickly to Louis’ direction. “Want to tell us something, Louis?” he asks a little bit harsher than Harry would’ve expected from him and there is a strange instinct raising in his chest that orders to protect Louis at all costs, which is ridiculous, given the fact that Louis is mostly completely unaffected by anyone, really.
“I’m good,” he grins, pure provocation. “Thanks, though. You can go on as you please,” he adds a wink and Harry wonders if it isn’t too much for Greg to handle, but strangely, it only serves to calm him down.
Harry would love to possess that talent Louis has, to just charm everyone so effortlessly that they cling to him and never get enough of him. That would make things so much easier.
“Where were we?” Louis knocks his knee against Harry’s playfully.
God. He is such a flirt.
“It might be some fruits, like bananas or something, I don’t know,” Harry mumbles distractedly as he listens to Greg talking. For the first time, he is actually giving them a real task: To come up with ideas for songs they will practice and then perform the last night of the camp.
Harry already plans to call in sick.
It only startles him when Louis bursts in laughter loudly and covers his face with his hands to muffle the sound. Everyone catches the cackle nonetheless, though, and after Louis is unable to calm the fuck down, they are both asked to leave the room.
In the moment they step outside and the harsh wind flashes at Harry’s skin, Louis’ is still chuckling to himself and Harry wants to be angry at him for ruining his reputation and for laughing at him when he said he wouldn’t, but he can’t do anything but stare at him.
The wind plays with his fringe slightly as it falls to his narrowed eyes, his cheeks are flashed a shade darker and he stumbles a little bit on his feet as the wet grass tickles his bare ankles – Louis either wears the most ridiculous kinds of socks or none, there is no in-between. Once more Harry is completely taken aback by the gleaming beauty of the boy in front of him and his breath hitches a little bit.
“Seriously?” Louis turns around and observes Harry with those luminous eyes of his. Lips quirked up still.
“Shut up,” Harry mutters but it comes out almost gentle as he approaches Louis and stops only few inches away from him.
“Why? You can’t deny it is kind of – “
Everything is so intense with Louis and Harry is weak and he just can’t resist anymore, so he interrupts Louis without twice thinking about it, and presses his lips against Louis’ firmly.
The primary intention was to surprise Louis and to finally shut him up, but judging by the content little sound he let out when their lips met, this was his intention all along. Strangely it makes Harry want to kiss him even harder.
Louis wraps his hands around Harry’s neck and tangles his fingers in the strands of Harry’s hair, dragging him down and closer gently but hurriedly as he stands on his tiptoes. Suddenly, he bites Harry’s bottom lip, as if he was the one who wanted to be in charge, to which Harry reacts by gasping slightly and pressing palms of his hands to the small of Louis’ back to keep him close.
Because as Louis licks into Harry’s mouth he never seems to be close enough. Harry’s head is spinning with feelings overwhelmingly, because he wants Louis everywhere, he is more of a sparkling tiny creature in Harry’s arms and Harry might be scared he could hurt him, because he seems so fragile with his delicate cheekbones and endless eyelashes and little noises coming out from his parted lips, but he is so determined and constantly pushes Harry and steals every ounce of fear or doubt from his body.
Harry starts to think that there is nothing that could possibly tear them apart in that moment, but there are gagging noises to be heard from behind his back so he involuntarily detaches his lips from Louis, who almost whines lightly and licks his bottom lip, cheeks flushed.
Of course, that when Harry turns around he sees no one other than Niall Horan himself with Zayn hugging him from behind. Niall makes it kind of uneasy for him, though, for he is bent forward with laughter, his face red and eyes wide.
“Finally,” he manages to let out between choked cackles. “Finally, I’m gonna pay ya arse back for all the shit, you put me through over years, Tomlinson,” he bursts to laughter again and he seems so entirely enthusiastic and happy that it automatically drags Harry’s lips upwards without him even noticing.
“You ain’t gonna be able to put up half of the things I do,” Louis shrugs, but he reaches for Harry’s hand and holds it almost protectively, which makes Harry’s heart skip a beat. And it is ridiculous, because it still hasn’t regained its normal pace from what happened few seconds ago.
“You two are made for each other, though,” muses Zayn as if he wasn’t even listening what they were talking about. He blinks slowly; never tearing his observant eyes from the pair of them as he secures his arms around Niall’s waist. The blond boy merely rolls his eyes in his embrace, but it is a fond gesture.
“Of course, they are, Zee,” he says, the baby blue of his eyes glinting. “Do you never fucking leave each other’s side?”
“Absolutely not,” answers Louis before Harry has a chance to open his mouth, and squeezes the palm of his hand mindlessly.
“’Course you don’t,” Niall rolls his eyes again. “You’re disgusting,” he sticks his tongue out and throws a chip from little cup he is holding at Harry’s head. Luckily he misses, otherwise Harry feels like Louis might actually want to fight him. “What are ye even doing outta here? Aren’t you supposed to be at that musical course of yours or summat?” he continues, before Louis can go and scold him, because from the way he looks, everyone feels like he was preparing to do so.
“We were,” Louis confirms, relaxing a little bit next to Harry. “But we got asked to leave,” there is a hint of pride to be heard in his voice and he positively beams.
Harry doesn’t get him. How could you ever possibly be proud of something like that?
“You were what?” Zayn asks, startled, eyes wide, meanwhile Niall starts letting out low chuckles again, between stuffing his mouth full with chips dipped in ketchup.
“Louis wouldn’t shut up,” Harry shrugs, and it is the first time he speaks up since the boyfriends caught them in the act.
“Sounds like him,” Niall confirms seriously.
“Oi!” Louis pouts, but he knows it’s the truth. “Harry said his favourite food was bananas.”
“That’s not exactly how it went – “
“Harry practically said his favourite food was bananas,” Louis correct himself, though it doesn’t make much difference.
“I still don’t understand what was so funny about that,” Harry turns to search his face questioningly.
“I mean, when you are talking about your favourite food, I guess you are supposed to say something like Parisian chocolate truffle cheesecake, or summat,” Louis’ voice is stained with amusement once more as the four of them start walking away mindlessly.
“Have you actually eaten that, Lou? It’s not even that good,” Harry protests, because he was forced to eat that for about thousand times and it is not nearly as pleasant as people like to think it is.
“Are you kidding?”
“No?” Harry scratches the back of his head awkwardly as all of them head to the direction of Louis’, Niall’s and Zayn’s cabin, seeing that it is too early for the lunch yet and it, simultaneously, is too wet and unwelcoming outside to stay there.
Everyone laughs. “I mean, I guess it is good,” Harry tries to come up with some sort of explanation, because even though he is too aware of Louis’ hand still holding his and even though he realizes they are just messing with him for fun, it triggers him. “But only for like first or maybe second time,” he shrugs as Louis automatically leads the way.
“What do you mean for like first or maybe second time? You’ve eaten it multiple times?” Louis giggles lightly as he opens the door a lets Harry in. There are three beds inside, instead of two, but one of them seems to be never used and Harry guesses Zayn and Niall only sleep together. It is clear which part of the place belongs to Louis, though. It consists of messy bed, one sock on the ground, football kicked next to the bed and it all just looks very Louis-like. There is an Adidas hoodie sticking out of his drawer and on the windowsill Harry finds a bottle of Vodka, which he decides to pretend he didn’t see. However, what he loves the most is a framed photo of Louis amongst a pile of girls with whom he has kind of similar smile, placed on the bedside table.
Louis has only mentioned briefly that he has younger sisters and he never talked about them much, but when he did, his eyes sparkled with love and adoration and kind of protectiveness, and Harry guessed that only older brother could equally understand such feelings.
But seeing him like that, safe in their embrace, with a woman who Harry supposes is their mum hovering above them, spreads warm comforting feelings through his chest. There is a single sting of what Harry recognizes as a mixture of bitterness and jealousy, but he pushes it away before it reaches his insides any further.
“Well yeah, too many times actually,” Harry mutters mindlessly as he watches Louis throw himself onto the pile of unmade blankets on the top of his bed and raise his eyebrows expectantly at him to which Harry answers by crawling in next to him.
“What world do you live in, Curly?” Louis giggles against Harry’s forehead softly once they are comfortably laid down.
And Harry knows it is a joke, but he has to swallow down his own cutting answer to that.
Fairly fucked up world, that is.
Hozier – From Eden
It becomes a wonderful routine for the rest of the week. And Harry realizes how different the concept of routine suddenly is inside of his head. He remembers clearly how he thought about his life as about a twisted routine of every step in his life being planned years ago.
That’s why he went here in the first place, too, to get rid of the order controlling every step he takes, and have his own head and try out new things and for every day to be different in a way.
With Louis, though, a routine gets a whole new meaning. Because with Louis it never gets boring. There is not a single second that wouldn’t be breath taking and shimmering with excitement and filling Harry with indefinable happiness seeping through every cell of his body when there is Louis.
It seems completely surreal, the way everything turns into something special when Louis looks at it. Well, in real everything gets kind of dull when it is compared to Louis’ beauty and soft giggles and radiance and just his sole existence, really, but he somehow manages to turn everything into gold under his crystal gaze.
And Harry just can’t get enough of it. He wants to watch the process all the time, because there seems to be nothing better in the whole world than feeling Louis’ fingertips slide gently across his skin as they leave a burning trail, and there seems to be nothing better in the whole world than knowing that the light Harry sometimes catches flashing through the blue of Louis’ eyes is caused by him.
It’s addicting, really.
It becomes Harry’s favourite thing to do: to make Louis laugh, because whenever he does so, it triggers all kinds of chemical reactions in his system and it is better than any expensive champagne or drug (Harry doesn’t even need to try one out, he simply knows) and it’s what he wants to do all the time.
All of this takes place till the end of second week. And it is so entirely wonderful that Harry is completely drowning in it and forgets that he should, in fact, be worried.
Him and Louis spent the night after they got kicked out of the musical course for the day, sitting on Harry’s bed, with legs intertwined, talking till five in the morning. It wasn’t even that hard for them to get Liam out. For his own sake he said he would take Louis’ bed so the two of them “love birds” could be together.
Neither of them protested.
The talks about little nothings and sweet innocents and shallow breaths and shy at first but passionate as the morning was getting closer kisses caused that the next day Louis was for the first time completely quiet during the musical course. Harry himself felt his throat little scratchy and his head heavy, but he also felt like he has never been this alive in his life.
Which was an irony, really, because the two of them were about to fall of their chairs from exhaustion.
It was worth it, though.
Harry has never talked to anyone this way. Sure, Liam knew whole lot of things about him, and they shared their dreams and hopes and they sort of fought against the world together, but it was different.
Because with Louis it was as if he was trying to slowly get through every layer of Harry’s personality and as if he found it completely fascinating. He observed Harry with those vibrant eyes of his and always urged him to go on, always smiled when Harry thought that he maybe said something Louis might not like and he just took him all in.
It’s a process Harry had never thought he would be going through. But now, as he is sitting on his bed, knees tucked firmly under his chin, it’s all there. It’s Sunday evening, which means that he’s known Louis for two weeks now and when he thinks about it, it is such a short time, but there are so many things changing within his world and within his own personality, that it is overwhelming.
That is also a reason he’s there by himself. For the first time, he skipped the dinner and stayed by himself, just thinking. Liam understood without Harry having to say a word about his reasons for not being hungry, and didn’t force him or anything, just caressed the top of his head and left. The weather has gotten slightly better, but there are clouds staining the sky still. Harry pulled the curtains over the window anyway; it feels safer that way.
Something is breaking inside of him. He needs to be alone, yet he desperately seeks comfort of Louis’ presence, or anyone’s really, at the moment. In that very moment, with his hands hugging his knees tightly and lips pressed into a firm line, in the deafening silence of the room, he falls apart. He is torn between falling for Louis carelessly and caring too much about the mess he’s gotten himself into.
Harry has already felt as if he, himself, was becoming a whole, though. Louis was making him feel like he suddenly belonged somewhere, like it finally made a sense. Everything made sense.
All those feelings of being lost and just being there on the surface? With Louis, everything is written deeper, every emotion throbs right in his heart intensely and Louis just makes him whole. As if he was the part of him, that Harry was missing.
How fucking absurd is that? Harry shouldn’t even be feeling something like that, hell, he shouldn’t even be thinking about possibility of that ever happening to him with anybody. Especially not the boy he knows for two weeks and will have to leave in six weeks.
It’s not enough time. The thought alone hurts.
And the night they stayed up? They haven’t even talked about anything serious or big. Those were only words about the stars and poems and little passions and images and lyrics that caught their attention and things they wanted to do before they die. And those were also the most important things in the world.
It seems to be secret for only the two of them, though.
Everything falls onto Harry between those thin walls seemingly watching him. He feels cornered and small and helpless and stupid and kind of overpowered, and he is more of an observer of his mind’s processes that are currently too chaotic to keep track with them.
There is a thought crossing Harry’s mind out of sudden that he might –
He can’t, because it would be nonsensical and absurd and completely fucked up, but still, it crosses his mind that he might be falling in love with Louis.
As much as he tries to push it away and shrug it off, it jabs at his flesh mercilessly. But it’s absolutely ridiculous, see, falling in love with someone who you’ve known for two weeks, that doesn’t happen, it shouldn’t happen. The thing Harry keeps telling himself? About this being his movie? Well, this kind of things only happens in movies and as much as Harry would like to have one about himself, this is real life and it just doesn’t happen like that.
They might click in with you easily, and it might feel like some serious soul mate shit, but it just –
Fuck. It just can’t be.
Harry’s never been in love, so it is quite possible he is just misunderstanding the way he is feeling anyway. Maybe he is hungry.
Though, the fuzziness covering his senses doesn’t feel like anything else than love to him. And he wants to tell himself how he has nothing to compare the painful throbbing in his chest to, but it is not entirely shocking information, to be honest.
You know, that it actually might be love. Harry’s brain might have been trying to form the thought properly for few days now, to give it some texture and silhouette, and maybe now is the time and it’s bloody terrifying is what it is.
It burns through every nerve of his body, though, it drives him insane and it fills him up so much. It also hurts him. Because he remembers how he thought about his soon-to-be fiancé earlier. How he knew, that it was not the right thing. He always said that it didn’t consume him nor it did make his heart burst with love when he looked at her and it just wasn’t anything he could feel deep in his bones.
But Louis is all of that. And Harry realized in the short time they had spent together, that Louis is the right thing.
Harry kind of feels like burying himself under the weight of his helplessness and wretchedness and never getting out.
There is a light knock on the door, which he hopes he only overheard; that maybe it is only the rain starting to knock against the window, but there is another following few seconds after the first one. So he swallows and hums quietly for the person to come in.
“Hi,” sounds a soft voice from the door as the incoming person closes behind their back.
Harry looks up timidly from where his eyes are observing the texture of his sheets.
Louis. It’s Louis and Harry’s not sure whether he is more relieved or terrified by his sudden presence. Probably a bit of both.
“Hey,” Harry clears his throat and attempts a smile. He must look terribly.
Louis only mirrors Harry’s predictions as he approaches him slowly, concern clearly written in edges of his careful eyes. They were together about one hour ago, before they parted to get changed for the dinner, so Louis shouldn’t look as worried as he does considering the fact that the afternoon they spent together was as if cut out of a goddamn fairy tale book, but it’s as if he sensed what is seeping through Harry’s body at the moment.
“You weren’t at the dinner,” Louis states after few beats of silence during which Harry fights an inner battle between never tearing his eyes away from Louis and never looking at him again. Currently the second one is winning as he firmly stares at his knees still, shame positively radiating from him.
He is so embarrassing. So confused. So weak.
“’M not hungry,” Harry forces himself to mumble quietly and then he finally looks up. Louis is standing above him, lips quirked up gently, fondly even, as he taps his tiptoe and rolls his eyes.
“Nonsense, just – “
“I’ve got to tell you something, Louis,” it flies out of Harry’s mouth hurriedly and unexpectedly and it clearly surprises both of them as Louis closes his mouth shut in the middle of his sentence and swallows.
Harry’s not even sure he wants to tell Louis now as he is going through the inner crisis that’s practically tearing him apart in two separate pieces painfully. This might be the actual breaking point of his life and Louis sits down next to him, startled. He is not close enough, they are barely touching but Harry’s putting all of his will into not fucking losing it and screaming and crying just to put some tension off of his chest.
“What’s wrong, Haz?” Louis asks in a small voice. Almost as if he thought that he has done something wrong. Harry can’t stand it.
He opens his mouth and he means to say it, he wants to spit it all out, but then he does that fatal, horrible mistake – he turns his head to Louis and meets the blue of his eyes and gets lost. And he closes his mouth again.
Suddenly, he imagines what it will be like if he tells him. What will Louis think of him, how he will leave him to his own miserable destiny, how every single thing they have built between one another will crumple and shred into million pieces if Harry tells him. He imagines the disgust colouring Louis eyes and quirking his lips downwards and he sees clearly those six weeks he is to stay here and he sees what torture they would be if Louis left him because of what he has been keeping from him until now.
He wouldn’t stand that.
“I just, “he clears his throat, heart beat literally blocking his voice in his throat. “I’ve been thinking about the performance there will be during the last night of the camp and it’s been making me really nervous and I just – just do you think it would be possible to ask Greg whether I could only watch?”
If it is possible Harry feels even more miserable. On the contrary though, there seems to be guilty relief spreading through his system quickly.
Louis looks how Harry feels - completely relieved, his face lighting up a hint.
And Harry knows he is selfish and he knows he is being an idiot, but Louis kisses him on the cheek and Harry just can’t think straight.
“Oh, love,” Harry dies a little at the nickname; he is absolutely blushing, so he hides his face in his hands awkwardly. “You have nothing to be nervous about, yeah?” Louis says softly, his voice filled with so much emotion as he finally scoots closer to Harry. “Your voice is beautiful and you are talented, alright? But I think Greg wouldn’t force you to do something you are not comfortable with,” Louis kisses Harry on the cheek once more and Harry is set on fire.
“Good,” he beams as he feels the colour fading from his cheeks slowly. “Could we go to sleep now?”
The exhaustion is suddenly taking its place and Harry feels the desire to close his eyes and let himself be wrapped in the safe embrace of Louis’s arms while listening to him humming quite melodies in his ear, his lips brushing against his skin hotly.
So that is exactly what they do for the rest of the night
It is the first time Harry wakes up next to Louis in the morning. Sure, the night they stayed up, Harry woke up next to him too, but it was after barely two hours of sleep and, somehow, it feels different now. Maybe for the fact that they spent the whole night dreaming in each other’s embraces – not a nap, but normal sleeping.
Harry automatically notes that night to himself as the best one of his life. He realizes that falling asleep next to Louis is a feeling nothing in the world could ever compare to. The way both of them are completely unguarded, but Harry paradoxically feels the safest like that, the way he feels their breaths drag together, simultaneously even, how intensified everything becomes through their skin cells touching in the most innocent matter, there is nothing like that.
He is still wrapped in Louis’ arms as he breathes slowly and steadily onto the skin of Harry’s neck. Careful not to wake Louis up, Harry turns around to face him. It must be an early morning for the room is still covered in the slight dusty grey light, but there is not a hint of tiredness in Harry’s system. He is completely awake.
Louis’ shifts himself a little bit as Harry moves next to him, but he stays asleep, eyelashes spread on subtly flushed skin of his cheeks, lips slightly parted, and hair covering his forehead in messy strands. Effortlessly delicate.
The images of yesterday come back flashing through Harry’s mind along with feelings washing over him in harsh waves. The cracks that he thought were fixed start breaking him again, cutting him open, because everything he might find out last night, even though he tries still to suppress it for the fact that he is not ready to face the truth, is certainly fatal for his future.
But as Louis hums something from his sleep, instead of guilt that Harry expected to attack him any minute, there comes joyful relief.
Louis is still there. And he is Harry’s. At least he would like to think so.
One step at the time, Harry convinces himself that for now, there is no need to ruin everything between the two of them and tell Louis, because as Liam said, Harry will figure something out and in the meantime, it’s not necessary to trouble their minds. It’s not completely natural for Harry to think like this about it, it’s selfish and it kind of makes him sick, but he forces himself into the persuasion with clenched jaw, and as the shadows cast over Louis’ face, Harry knows they are going to be alright.
They are going to be alright.
“I was thinking,” Liam speaks up casually between taking bites of his bread as all eyes around the table snap to him. Well, except for Zayn’s, because he never stops looking at Niall. Not for a second. “What if I and Louis switched the rooms?” he prompts lightly and takes a loud gulp of water.
Harry almost chokes.
It’s been another lazy day. Louis woke up about half an hour after Harry did and all they’ve done until breakfast was that they stayed in bed and cuddled despite the fact that Liam was snoring softly just few meters apart from them.
None of them two needn’t to say a word between soft pecks at each other’s skin and barely noticeable sighs and intertwined legs under the blanket.
Which. Yeah, Harry definitely is not complaining.
During the course few people already presented their ideas for the final performance which sent Harry to nervously clenching his fists and biting his lips to which Louis reacted by pulling at each of Harry’s fingers gently until he was relaxed enough to hold his hand. “Stop biting that lip of yours, Haz,” he then leaned closer to him, whispering smugly. “I’m the one to bite that, innit?” he added and Harry felt him smiling against his earlobe, sending shivers down his spine and butterflies to his stomach.
God. The things this boy does to him.
Altogether it was a peaceful flow of events. The sun finally peaked up around the lunch and five of them spent the afternoon together outside after quite a long time. Louis laid his head in Harry’s lap without hesitation, sneaking glances up at him when he thought he wasn’t watching and writhing around when Harry stopped caressing through his soft hair.
Niall gave them shit for their sappiness every, like, thirty seconds, and even though Louis got pretty offensive as he shot back harsh words, none of them really minded. It actually sent Harry into spirals of stupid little flops that his stomach made every single time Louis protected him in a tone of voice Harry learned to detect as a voice he uses when he talks about him.
And now, they are sitting by their table in the back of the cafeteria and Liam starts talking about this out of fucking nowhere, startling Harry, because what if Louis doesn’t want to, what if Louis feels as if they were pressuring him into something, what if Louis thinks Harry asked Liam to do so, even though Harry had absolutely no idea about –
“You would do that?” Louis glances at Liam hesitantly, but there is a hint of satisfaction shining through his smile.
“Liam, you don’t – “
“I mean, I know you don’t probably need another bed than Harry’s,” Liam chuckles to himself, “but it’s better than getting woken up by either you sneaking in or Harry sneaking out every goddamn night,” he smirks at Louis, completely ignoring Harry’s protests and attempts to speak up. Right, he is only his best friend, after all, Jesus, “which, we all know, is going to start happening pretty soon anyway, so why not make it easier, right?”
“We have already talked about it, and I and Ni are okay with it,” Zayn adds on, blinking slowly as Niall beams at him.
“Well,” Louis smiles and bites his lip and Harry’s heart literally stops, because what if he doesn’t want it like that? Harry hasn’t thought about it, to be honest. This possibility has never crossed his mind, but as he imagines it, he wants it. God, he wants it so much. “That’d be great, actually, I would love that, “ Louis grins, before he hesitates a little and Harry’s heart that was starting to get back to its normal pace, because Louis wants it too, returns to speeding up drastically once more. “Only if Harry wants it, of course, that is,” his voice is a shade quieter and shier and he then turns his gaze to Harry and raises his eyebrows in a question.
“Of course, of course I want that, Lou,” Harry rolls his eyes and in that moment he feels monumental and he would maybe even kiss Liam, but there is Louis literally lighting up like a Christmas tree upon Harry’s words and he is absolutely irresistible as he almost jumps up in his seat with excitement, and so Harry leans in to press their lips together gently instead.
“Gross,” he hears Niall growl, but he doesn’t care as he kisses Louis for a little bit longer, pouring all of his emotions to his lips and touches.
And so it happens, that right after dinner Liam gathers up all of his stuff and moves it away, questioning few times whether they shouldn’t tell someone about it, but everyone just rolls their eyes at his serious precision, and so eventually he gives up.
It only takes them about fifteen minutes to get Louis’ stuff in and Harry can’t stop smiling. He can’t contain all of those feelings taking control over him and he doesn’t mind. Everything seems to be getting better, and Harry is turning positive and optimistic as he believes that maybe there is a bright future planned for the two of them, he simply is not able to see the journey to it, just yet.
“Welcome home,” Harry sing-songs jokingly in the moment the last bit of Louis’ clothes is put into the drawer without any order and the door slam behind Liam, leaving the two of them alone.
Louis turns to him, eyes bright in the darkened room and he slowly approaches Harry until they are inches apart and puts his hands to the small of Harry’s back, drawing him in closer. “Well, hello,” he hums contentedly and stands on his tiptoes to brush his nose against Harry’s, but leaves Harry chasing after his lips as he turns around and walks over to the bed that should now be his own (and Harry hopes it will not be used, like, ever) and throws himself onto it.
“Are you not gonna sleep with me?” he tries not to sound disappointed and most definitely fails.
To his surprise Louis laughs. “You should have seen your face,” he continues laughing as he gets up and walks to Harry to peck his lips sweetly, but too shortly, leaving Harry clearly dissatisfied. “Don’t be silly, young Harold. You ain’t gonna get rid of me from now on,” he winks as he throws a towel over his shoulder and makes his way to the door, presumably to go shower, his hips swaying as he walks.
Harry most certainly hopes that Louis means it.
The Beatles – Till There Was You
“Harry, wake up!” Louis whines right into Harry’s ear loudly, and judging from the tone of his voice, it is not for the first time. The words are stained with annoyance and amusement and Harry forces himself to open one eye lazily only to find Louis hovering above him, already fully clothed.
“Nhgh,” Harry groans, sounding more as if he was in pain, which sends Louis into a storm of giggles as he reaches his hand to caress Harry’s cheek mindlessly. It serves well to jolt him awake though, skin against skin burning hotly. “What time is it? The sun’s not even up yet, what are you – “
“Finally. Thought you would never wake up,” Louis interrupts him with a dramatic roll of his eyes as he sits on the edge of the bed.
“C’mere, Lou,” Harry reaches out his arms for Louis to scoot in closer, but Louis stays exactly where he sat down, and smirks when Harry frowns a little.
It is too early for him to understand what is going on and Louis is everything but helping him.
“Chrissake,” Harry groans and reaches for his watch to check the time by himself. It’s six in the morning. Maybe Louis hates him, after all.
Harry tries to close his eyes again, aware of the fact that the light is still shadowy and it wouldn’t be any difficult to fall asleep in the dimmed atmosphere of the morning when the most of normal people here – cough, cough – are safely tucked in their beds. He starts to think that Louis might even let him be, but suddenly he feels the weight shift on the bed as Louis leans down and presses his lips gently against Harry’s, causing him to gasp in surprise. Louis grins into the kiss as if he knew all along – the fucker – and traces his thumb along Harry’s jaw, before pulling away, leaving Harry burning and chasing after the kiss, hungry for some more.
“You know,” Louis whispers, and starts fidgeting with the hem of the sheet under which Harry is still laid, trying to catch his goddamn breath, because Louis steals it every single time. “There will be no surprise unless you get your ass out of the bed.”
“Surprise?” Harry raises his eyebrows and props himself up on his elbows, trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes.
“’Course,” Louis nods, his lips pressed in a serious line, but his eyes glinting. How is he always so energetic? Harry doesn’t understand on what basis Louis works, to be honest, but it’s utterly toxic. “We’re going on a trip, Curly,” he gets up at that, leaving the bed uncomfortably empty and cold, and so Harry automatically throws the blanket off of his body and quickly (maybe a little bit clumsily, but you can’t blame him, it is 6 fucking am) follows Louis’ movements.
“On a trip? What trip? I didn’t know there was one planned for today,” Harry knits his eyebrows together as he tries to remember hearing about a trip being offered to them as an activity for the day. He is so confused and his mind is a little bit clouded and he must look absolutely tragic with his hair being complete mess and eyelids closing heavily.
“There wasn’t,” Louis shrugs and opens Harry’s drawer, searches for something as he hums quietly to himself and finally throws Harry’s own t-shirt at him, probably so he can dress up, but Harry still doesn’t understand what is going on. “We are going on our own trip,” he whispers in a dramatic matter and winks.
“Oh?” Harry asks, but the sound gets muffled under the t-shirt he is trying to get on, over his head where it somehow gets stuck as he feels rushed.
God, he is so embarrassing. Louis bursts in laughter, though, which he seemingly can’t stop, but he steps in closer nevertheless and helps Harry carefully, until he is securely dressed up and out of the danger of choking himself. He brushes messy strands of hair out of Harry’s face and looks at him the way that sends thousands of butterflies down Harry’s guts. “Today, young Harold, is full of surprises,” he stands on his tiptoes so he can reach up and peck Harry’s nose.
“Y’know my names’ not Harold,” Harry marks, trying to cover up the fact that he is burning up under Louis’ soft glimpses and light touches as he searches for his black jeans.
“Yeah, as if that could stop me,” Louis chuckles and folds his arms across his chest.
Once Harry’s fully clothed and has brushed his teeth, Louis checks the time impatiently. “C’mon, Curly, we need to get going before everyone else wakes up,” he says and pushes Harry out of the door without giving him enough time to decide for himself whether he even wants to go somewhere (which is nonsense, really, he wants to be with Louis all the time, so he really doesn’t have much of a choice, but still, it’s all about principles, innit?).
The air is coldly fresh and smells like summer rain, typical early morning of July it is, the grass stains their ankles with water and the birds are already singing loudly. It’s oddly refreshing to see the world in the different time of the day, Harry realizes.
“You do know where we are going, right?” Harry raises his eyebrow as the suspicion starts growing within his chest as Louis leads their way to the opposite side of the camp confidently. The fog is hovering above the ground between the trees and it licks their calves as Louis steps into the forest without hesitation.
To Harry’s surprise Louis snorts at that, sounding a little bit offended. “’S my third year here, I should know it here quite adequately, don’t you think?”
“You were here with Niall and Zayn every time?” Harry catches up onto Louis’ pace so that they can walk side by side through the dark forest, where it feels more like late October than anything. Everything looks same there, tree next to another are reaching up to the sky seemingly meeting the clouds above, whispering whiningly between their branches, the shades of green are mixing up with brown and nothing more between velvety bryophyte. It’s a bit scary, but once Harry’s eyes get used to the poor light and cold air cutting his cheeks, it pours calm to his veins.
Before Louis opens his mouth to answer, there pops another question in Harry’s mind, that seems a little bit more urgent and his heart beat quickens up immediately. “Wait, the boys don’t know we went somewhere, do they? No one does, correct? Aren’t we going to, like, get in trouble for this? I mean, we are supposed to go to the course and if we don’t – “
Harry doesn’t even notice that Louis has turned his body to him until he catches his head in-between the palms of his hands and literally smashes their lips together to shut Harry up. It works. It definitely works.
Although Harry can think of thousands of questions, it’s as if his mind was erased as their lips move together, practically in sync, Louis pushing a little bit further and firmer as he gets hungrier for the kiss, and Harry can’t resist him as he holds his waist and tries to pull him in closer, until finally, they part to catch their breaths.
Louis looks out of his mind for a moment, eyes a bit glossy and lips bitten red as he licks them and presses his hands against Harry’s chest, keeping him still. “You worry too much, Harry. Stop it,” he pecks his lips one more time. “You aren’t here for that, are you, now?”
And Harry knows that he is right, so he only nods, and involuntarily lets Louis unwrap himself out of his, a little bit firmer than necessary, embrace.
“Thought so,” Louis beams happily and starts walking again, his steps careful and soft. “And to answer your question, yes, I was here with them every time. I mean, they only started properly dating here, the first year, but even before I could see it coming,” Louis’ eyes crinkle in the corners fondly; his voice is coloured with love. “’Course I gave ‘em shit for it when they finally got together. Took their time, I’m telling you,” he laughs lightly as he skips over a branch in his way, the adoration and sort of pride are radiating from him, though.
“They look more like two halves of one person to me,” Harry thinks out loud as images of Zayn and Niall start popping up in his head. The way they lean into each other easily, the way they fill each other’s cracks seamlessly, the way they fit in together and create a flawless whole. It’s something Harry was never aware of being possible to happen between two people.
Soul mates really do exist, after all.
“They do, don’t they?” Louis mumbles. “Sappy,” he chuckles.
The two of them walk quietly for a while then, both captured in their own thoughts. Harry incidentally realizes that the sun is peeking through the branches, and after he trips over few times, he loses all of his patience and decides to start questioning Louis again. Don’t get him wrong, he loves surprises more than anyone, probably, but this is killing him. And he absolutely is not in the mood to fall flat onto wet grass, especially not in front of the boy who is perfection at its finest, thank you.
“Not to say I wouldn’t like it, but you didn’t take me on the trip to, like, gather blueberries or hunt wild animals or something like that, did you?” he asks carefully, avoiding small bumps beneath his feet. God, this is dangerous. He wouldn’t admit it to Louis, but he has actually never been to forest. Not anything like this one at least. “Actually no hunting, please,” he adds in a small voice upon seeing Louis’ amused face.
“Getting impatient, are we?” Louis laughs and momentarily glances at Harry’s clumsy steps. So, he’s noticed.
“You can’t really blame me, though.” Harry mutters under his breath.
“It’s a shortcut, Curly,” Harry feels Louis roll his eyes.
“A shortcut?” it is so difficult to get an answer from Louis, Harry thinks he might actually need to get down on his knees and beg him to speak up, because it is getting unbearable.
“Yeah,” at this point Harry thinks Louis is keeping things away from him just for his own blatant amusement.
“To where?” Harry tries his best to keep his voice clean of annoyance, he fails though, but it only serves to delight Louis further as he now seems to be watching Harry’s steps more than his own. Awkward.
“You’ll see in a bit, we are almost there,” Louis says and Harry is left to settle down with that. The only thing he pays attention to is trying not to fall. What it absolutely is not, is the way their shoulders bump into each other occasionally and the way Louis giggles every time and the way he brushes his hair out of his face and the way Harry is filled with strange desire to do that for him, to touch him.
Louis did not lie, though. After less than ten minutes of dangerous walk, they step outside the woods on a much safer looking sandy trail that leads them away from the wild nature, closer to what resembles edges of a town slowly appearing out of the fog still cupped right above the ground.
“Oh,” Harry gasps as first buildings start popping up around them. “And you call that a shortcut?” he asks in disbelief, because really? They were on their way for about an hour and half, and Harry nearly killed himself in accident way too many times.
“’S the shortest way I know, stop complaining.”
And even though Harry knows Louis doesn’t quite mean it and wouldn’t mind him talking some more, he shuts up and only observes the world surrounding them. The sun is already starting to get higher and it’s turning everything into soft gold, sort of the same way Louis does, really.
As they walk deeper into the town slowly, still on the same road, Harry realizes it’s much bigger than it looks like at the first sight when you only see silhouettes of small family houses. Don’t judge a book by its cover, innit?
Everything might be too quick to grasp, seeing that one minute they were in the forest and the second they are already in the city, but Harry doesn’t have time to think about that much. Somehow, he is filled with this indescribable desire to not miss a thing around him. The streets are already crowded with people presumably hurrying to – what day is it again? Tuesday? Yes. – their works and they don’t pay any attention to Harry and Louis walking quietly side by side with their eyes clouded with tiredness brightened up by curiosity and excitement.
“You hungry?” Louis interrupts the silence laying in the gap between them as he smirks up at Harry whose stomach rumbles in an answer.
He nods, because it hits him that he hasn’t eaten that day, since Louis started whining into his ear and woke him up and immediately pushed him out of the door and Louis chuckles to himself as he stops in his tracks and looks around, eyes narrowed as if he was trying to remember something. “You know it here, don’t you?” Harry asks as he spots recognition in Louis’ eyes.
“Obviously,” Louis smiles and starts walking again, seemingly in an exact direction as there is some sort of purpose added to the swing of his hips. “Used to go here with the love birds when the camp got boring,” he shrugs and turns around the corner without twice thinking about it. It jabs at Harry’s mind that Louis might actually take him here for the fact that the he’s bored in the camp and has no one else to go with, but before he can even think about asking, Louis continues. “Now, what do you say we get some breakfast at Starbucks?” he points his finger in the direction of greenish neon sign that says “Starbucks” in bright capitals, just few meters away.
“Well, I’ve only been to there once in my life, so – “
“Yeah,” Harry shrugs. It’s not exactly the type of places his parents like to eat in. They’d say it’s only a place for people who are something less, it’s definitely too cheap and ordinary for them. Harry and Liam have gone there once when the school ended earlier than supposed and their driver wasn’t waiting for them yet, felt little reckless and rebellious to not let him know and sneak out to somewhere about what everyone talks about all the time. But that’s literally all experience Harry has with the place.
“Well, Curly, may this day be full of adventures for you,” Louis laughs as he grabs Harry’s elbow mindlessly and drags him forward impatiently, the smug smile still plastered on his face,.
It turns out to be an adventurous experience sooner than expected, to be quite honest.
The whole thing starts in the moment when Harry is supposed to pick something from the menu and he stays incapable of doing so, to which Louis reacts by kissing him on the cheek gently and ordering a vanilla latté for him. Obviously he has managed to read through Harry thoroughly already, because it is delicious.
They manage to find their seats in the back of the café despite the fact that it is quite crowded there. The scents are mixing up in the air, filling Harry’s nostrils intensively; stilling coffee, Belgian waffle that Louis ordered for Harry even though he protested, light murmur of voices, the sun peeking up through windows, trying to reach them with its warmth – it all creates that sort of atmosphere that leaves Harry shuddering quietly on the surface, wanting more.
It is anything but ordinary.
“Today is all about us, Harry,” Louis observes him and speaks up between shallow sips of his black tea. He always clutches the cup too firmly in his hands, his knuckles white, and Harry knows he automatically seeks the warmth, he knows his delicate wrists are numbed with morning cold. He also kind of wants to kiss one after another and rub them in his own hands and he wants be the one that Louis seeks.
Ridiculously, he tries to ignore the reaction of his body to Louis’ words, be it because he rarely calls him Harry or because it’s about them, but it’s that kind of task that is practically impossible. His heart beat becomes tragically uneven and he feels his flesh burning right beneath his skin as his stomach does a little flip.
“What are we going to do, then?” he clears his throat and fails at attempts of being nonchalant.
“Whatever we want to,” Louis shrugs carelessly, his eyes lighting up immensely. Harry is so gone for him. “The world’s in our hands.”
“So, to the right or to the left?” Louis questions as he opens the door and both of them step out of the café into not much warmer and welcoming air. They sat inside for about an hour, too comfortable to move, with their hot drinks warming up their limbs and jolting them awake.
“To which direction should we go?” Louis seems to be resisting rolling his eyes as if it was obvious what he meant, but the thing is that it absolutely wasn’t. Harry can never be sure when it comes to Louis.
“Aren’t you the one who’s supposed to, like, show me around or summat?” they are still standing on the doormat in front of the entrance, completely unaware of the fact that someone could possibly want to get in or out. “Have you actually taken me here, because you’re trying to make fun of my sense of orientation? Because it is not funny,” Harry folds his hands stubbornly, trying to make his point, which, judging by the way Louis bites his lip to not burst in laughter, doesn’t work all that well.
“No, you idiot, I’ve taken you here, because I wanted to spend a day outside of the camp with you. Only you,” Harry fears that soon his heart will jump out of his chest upon those little words Louis lets out every now and then effortlessly, because it never stops affecting him in the most embarrassing way. “And I want you to be the one who makes all the choices today. So, to the right or to the left?”
Louis has no idea what that one sentence means to Harry, how it makes him want to devour Louis and give him everything he has, how fragile and overwhelmed that makes him. And I want you to be the one who makes all the choices today. Harry might also faint. He has to resist the urge to nip at his own skin to make sure that he is not sleeping.
“To the left,” his voice is a little bit scratchy and muted as hetries to keep his emotions hidden beneath the surface and they boil right through his veins.
“Following you heart, Styles, huh?” Louis nudges between Harry’s ribs playfully as he proceeds, without hesitance, to the left, leaving speechless Harry few paces behind until he shakes off his thoughts and follows him. As he always does.
If only Louis knew.
“Hey, Lou?” Harry asks a little bit hesitantly as a thought crosses his mind. He feels Louis’ eyes shifting to his face and staying there, piercing him through, as they walk slowly in a narrow, lonely alley.
They have been doing that for about two hours now, just walking around, without any specific purpose, only tasting their sudden freedom, basking in the sunlight. To be quite honest, if Harry was told before, that this would be their program for the day – exploring, no plans, nothing, just the two of them and the world beneath their feet, sole improvisation -, he might not be completely fond of the idea.
Now, though, it feels as if his heart was to burst through his chest, filled with new sense of happiness, completely unknown shade, coloured with freedom.
They are taking it in their own pace – as everything, really – and it feels as natural as breathing. They stop every now and then, tripping over their feet clumsily, to peck the other one of the cheek or to tickle him, to talk about some clothes in the shop windows (which Louis finds ridiculous most of the times, scoffing, and Harry, on the contrary, mostly finds it absolutely amazing), but they don’t mind at all.
It seems that they have all of the time in the world.
“You never told me – um – you never told me, what the song that made you feel alive was?” for some inexplicable reason, Harry feels as if he was invading Louis’ privacy. Maybe because Louis shrugs questions off easier than Harry does, and Harry knows he often makes things up just to keep the conversation light, and Harry doesn’t want him to, but he also doesn’t want to push him.
To Harry’s surprise Louis starts humming under his breath, so that Harry but no one else can hear him. “Summer lovin’ had me a blaaast,” he spreads the palm of his hand over his chest and closes his eyes as he throws his head back theatrically. “Summer lovin’ happened so fast,” he continues a little bit louder and then looks at Harry expectantly as if he wanted him to sing along.
Of course. Harry thought something like that would happen, but still. Ouch.
“You’re so uncooperative,” Louis frowns when Harry stays silent. He waits as if he was singing the line in his head instead of Harry doing it, and Harry thinks that maybe Louis will stop and act mature, but nope. “Met a boy, cute as can be,” Louis bumps his hips to Harry’s as he sings that and, truly, he did sing the line in his head before and Harry inexplicably starts blushing.
Amazing. That’s not exactly how he wanted this to go, is it, now?
“Lou, stop it,” Harry almost whines, but he hears his own smile seeping through the words, why is everything Louis does so endearing? “You are simply making fun of me. Again,” he pouts and when Louis doesn’t stop, only he escalates to walking to the rhythm, Harry puts his own palm over Louis’ mouth to shush him. They stop and struggle a bit, as Louis sings into Harry’s skin, the sound muffled, and suddenly, Harry sees a mischievous flash in the blue of Louis’ eyes and he can almost see it coming, but still lets out a surprised gasp and Louis licks his hand.
“Ew,” Harry laughs as he wipes his hand to the cloth of Louis’ t-shirt hastily. “You’re unbelievable,” Harry chuckles, as he looks down at Louis who in the process of their fight leaned his back against the brick wall.
“I’ve been told as much,” he smirks teasingly and winks, before pushing himself off of the wall and landing into the figure of Harry’s body instead. “The song is brilliant, though,” he says before Harry can open his mouth to snap something back. “And one day, I’ll make you sing it with me, too,” he winks and starts walking again. It sounds like a promise.
“Don’t underestimate me, Styles. I’ve got me own ways of getting what I want,” Louis laughs and despite the fact that Harry wants to be annoyed with him, he can’t help it but feel a sting of hope, because even though it’s not clear whether Louis talks in units of days, months or years, it still means that he is somehow counting with Harry for the future. And Harry would like to believe that it is possible to keep some of that hope for himself too.
“Oh yeah, because you are so mighty and – “
“I am, though.”
“Of course you are,” Harry says as he catches up onto Louis’ pace (which is not difficult at all, given the small steps Louis makes compared to Harry’s) and it is meant to be sarcastic and a little bit mocking, but it comes out soft and fond and fuck.
Harry really loses control doesn’t he?
“What about the song, though?” he clears his throat in attempts to cover up the fact, that he is becoming such a sap for Louis.
“You ain’t gonna give up, are you?” he hears Louis whisper more to himself than anything else and he is not sure what does it mean, really, because it seems to be such a small thing to talk about, so he looks at Louis to analyse his expression (he’s already learned to distinguish different faces Louis pulls up, oops), but there is a little smile playing upon the thin line of his lips, so Harry allows himself to exhale and inhale normally. “Well, good that you’re asking, Curly, ‘cause that actually reminds me of another thing I want to show you today. But we’ll get to that later. Now, the song might be Don’t Stop Me Now, it is not my favourite song at all, though,” Louis shrugs his delicate shoulders.
And Harry doesn’t know what answer he expected, but this, this song is so Louis that it almost knocks out all of the air left in his lungs. “Makes sense,” he mutters mostly to himself, but Louis seems to catch it.
“Why in such a hurry to get the answer, Curls?” it’s not defensive or mean, it is just pure curiosity that seeps through every cell of Louis’ body naturally throughout his whole existence, but still Harry feared that this question would come.
“I just – I just feel like, um, I’m not asking you enough,” Harry gulps loudly as he struggles to get the words out of his mouth. Honesty, he keeps telling himself, you owe it to him, even though it hurts to admit it, be honest. ”I feel like I’m not good enough for you,” Harry breathes out and it’s the first time he’s formed those words into a proper sentence, even for himself.
Because yes, he felt something pushing through his ribcage violently and he knew it was intense, for it rested in the back of his mind and tried to drag an attention to itself without ever stopping, and he was aware that it was shattering and loud and could not be concealed for too long, but still, now that it revealed its true nature it is bloody terrifying
It is ever more so terrifying when Harry realizes why he’s been pushing it away all along, why he’s been avoiding this strange fear jabbing at his mind as long as it was possible – because in the moment there was a proper form given to the thought, it might actually be proven to be right.
And Harry doesn’t quite know how he would deal with that.
As shocking as it is for Harry, he somehow can’t force himself to look at Louis who gasps by his side. “What?”
Harry doesn’t want to repeat it, blood is rushing through his body and he feels the palms of his hands sweating as he isn’t capable of giving Louis a single glance, because what if he hit the truth? And it is only few words, so it shouldn’t be such an issue to repeat them, especially when they are burning holes through his skull, but he can’t. “I – it’s nothing – forget it,” he stutters, trying to rush his thoughts away from the topic.
“Harry,” Louis grabs his elbow and stops in his tracks. Automatically, Harry does the same, though his eyes are still pinned to the ground. The grey concrete under his feet is dirty, there are few green stems growing through, finding their way to the light. There are also few rocks; Harry mindlessly kicks one with the tip of his boot, just so he has something to focus on –
“Harry, look at me,” Louis insists, sting of panic clearly readable in his voice. He is still holding Harry as if he feared that Harry could run away from him. Which is ridiculous.
It reminds Harry of one moment that happened between the two of them not so long ago. The only difference was that Harry begged Louis to look at him. Because he needed to show him that he liked him that way. Harry remembers it so clearly, remembers how desperate he felt upon seeing Louis that small.
But it doesn’t change the fact that he somehow can’t drag his gaze to Louis.
Louis seems to realize, though, because he reaches for Harry’s chin with his free hand and forces him to look up. Louis’ eyes are wide open and as if trembling on the edges and he doesn’t let go of Harry’s chin, he just searches his face, clueless.
“What are you talking about, Haz? Why’d you say something like that?” and now it’s Louis’ words and the tone of his voice, that is pushing Harry, but the way he looks at him is so pure and piercing and completely genuinely confused that Harry involuntarily relaxes his nerves a little bit.
“Because just, look at you, Lou,” Harry doesn’t know he decided to speak up until he feels his own mouth moving slowly. “You could do so much better, you know,” the sentence tastes bitter as it rolls on Harry’s tongue, it seems to be poisoning his veins and all he can do at the moment is to take it.
“What the fuck – no, Harry, that’s just – that’s nonsense, oh my God,” Louis’ grip on Harry intensifies as he grits out the words and there seems to be this sort of strange anger radiating from him. “Who made you think like that – “
“No one, Louis, that’s just how I feel about you,” Harry interrupts, but Louis’ expression softens immediately as he quirks one of the corners of his lips up sadly.
“Harry, listen to me,” he removes his firm grip from Harry’s chin and places his hand on his cheek to caress it gently with his thumb instead, his eyes never wandering off of Harry’s face, stuck.
That’s also how Harry feels. He feels stuck and paralyzed under Louis’ touch and the weight of his own emotions.
“You’re perfect to me, alright? I don’t give a shit about what anyone else says, or for how long we’ve known each other, or what I don’t know about you yet. We’ve still got time and you are more than enough Harry, you’re – “Louis stops then and bites his lip as if he caught himself almost saying something he shouldn’t have and God, how Harry wants him to keep talking. There are actually stupid tears prickling in the corners of his eyes, because he is so overwhelmed and he almost opens his mouth to protest, but then, instead of finishing the sentence (which will lay in in Harry’s mind forever, you’re perfect to me), Louis leans forward and kisses Harry, intensely and deeply, as if he was trying to show him all those words he didn’t say through touches and breathless sighs.
And Harry thinks he understands.
Once they break apart and catch their breaths Harry locks all the doubts, he had left, in the back of his mind. They are not completely gone, though, and Harry thinks both of them are aware of that, still he’s kind of buzzing all over from Louis’ words and eagerness.
Neither of them questions it any further as they make their way to turn around the corner of the alley, getting into much busier and larger street. It is then, that Harry feels Louis reaching for his hand and intertwining their fingers naturally, almost mindlessly. Harry’s stomach does a stupid little flip at the gesture as well as the pace of his heart beat quickens up.
Louis squeezing his hand gently in a reassuring sort of way is not exactly helping him to calm down either. But he will take it.
They arrive into a shopping passage few moments after that and Harry abruptly stops by the small shop with multiple hats showed in its shop window. Harry could have how many of those he wished (even though, his parents wouldn’t probably approve of him wearing such a thing), most likely from Saint Lauren for good measure, is the thing. But here was this completely ordinary one that caught his attention. Smooth sand, decorated with a narrow black ribbon around the top –
“That’d look amazing on you,” Louis says out of sudden and only then Harry realizes that he stopped too, still hand in his, and observed him.
“I – um – I was just looking,” Harry scratches the back of his head as he feels the blush rising beneath the skin on his cheeks. He starts walking away, as if he didn’t stop at all, but Louis just stays standing in his place.
“Of course,” Louis rolls his eyes, letting go of Harry’s hand, which sends Harry into a sort of panic attack (he’s not even overreacting, it’s absurd) and starts walking towards the entrance of the shop. “Wait a sec,” and before Harry can stop him, he closes the door behind himself.
When Louis walks out of the shop and makes his way to Harry who is standing with his arms folded across his chest, trying to look angry and frown-y, he is holding the one hat that Harry was looking at and smiles proudly.
“How did you know?” Harry is unable to hide his disbelief.
“Just try it on,” Louis says and hands it to Harry, who feels like an idiot, but puts it on his head anyway.
“How do I look?”
“Very pretty,” Louis pecks his cheek and reaches for his hand as if they hadn’t stopped in the first place.
The time has never run as fast as it does that day. Harry is not much capable of taking notice of anything else than is Louis anymore, though. He is completely drowning himself in Louis’ presence, ignoring everything else.
That’s probably the reason he is so surprised when Louis suggests they get lunch somewhere. Harry still has the hat Louis’ bought for him sat atop his head, mostly because Louis steals glances at him every now and then and it makes fireworks burst inside of Harry’s chest, because there is just something in Louis’ eyes that makes the way he looks at him special. Until this moment they have been walking constantly, never stopping for more than few quick kisses, or to catch their breaths, just wandering around in the rush of the city, making memories, imprinting images of each other into their minds, painting the world in the colours of their laugh. And it’s beautiful.
Harry completely lost track of where they were, though, and he is one hundred per cent sure, that if Louis didn’t know the city, they would probably have to stay there forever, because with each step they took, they only got deeper into complex streets and alleys without paying attention to where they were going at all.
Now, that Louis’ started talking about food, Harry actually feels his stomach complaining about the emptiness. “Good idea. I’m actually starving,” Harry admits. “Do you know any places here?” Harry has a fair idea that the places he is used to be eating at are going to be quite different from what Louis, hopefully, has in mind.
Harry doesn’t want to get an inch closer to his life before Louis, doesn’t want any hints that would remind him of it.
“Well, actually there is only one place me and the boys used to go to,” Louis scratches the back of his head nervously, “and that is McDonald’s, so I don’t really know, but we might ask someone or summat,” he looks up at Harry through his eyelashes, almost apologetically as he stutters a little bit.
And Harry hates the fact that Louis feels – even if it is unconscious – like he has to be anything but genuine with Harry. He hates the fact that he feels like he needs to be apologizing for something like that, and he doesn’t even know where does Harry come from and what society has raised him, for fuck’s sake.
Harry is sick.
“I’ve never been to McDonald’s before,” Harry shrugs and he tries to keep his voice light, ignoring all of those sickening feelings spreading in his guts. “But today’s all about exploring and new experiences, innit? We can go there, I don’t mind,” he squeezes Louis hand reassuringly.
“Haz, we don’t have to. I know you don’t eat that kind of – “
“I thought you said you wanted me to be the one who makes all choices today?”
“Yeah, but – “
“Let’s go, then.”
Louis only sighs in an answer, defeated, as Harry squeezes the palm of his hand once more, but he seems to be leading their way to where supposedly is the McDonald’s. And yeah, Harry is highly aware of the fact that he doesn’t eat their food, but only the thought of Louis’ feeling uncomfortable in front of Harry, whether it is from what he likes or from what he has done, or because he thinks Harry doesn’t want something, is almost unbearable.
And sure it is not that bad.
Indeed, Louis pays special attention to choose the food for Harry wisely, almost as if he was having a bad conscience for taking Harry there, which is ridiculous. And also really fucking endearing, to be honest.
Finally, Harry ends up with some sort of salad and water while Louis on the opposite side of table eats French fries, hamburger and coca cola. And honestly, he looks like he has just reached the highest point of contentment.
“Well, this is fairly the least fancy date I’ve ever been on,” Louis laughs as he stuffs another fry into his mouth, his eyes glinting happily.
And Harry could swear his heart literally skipped a beat.
“Wait, this is a date?” Harry’s voice sounds as if he just choked on his own saliva and he would much prefer not looking affected to what he is sure he currently looks like, but he can feel his cheeks burning hotter and eyes getting wider.
“What else would it be?” Louis smirks, smug. He reaches for another fry from his paper plate and winks at Harry who can’t stop himself from staring.
Always so embarrassing.
“I wouldn’t know now, would I? I’ve never had a date,” Harry shrugs and he tries to be smooth about it, just stating the facts, but Louis immediately stops chewing on his food as if stroked by lightning as his eyes shoot to Harry.
“You’ve never been on a date?” he asks, signs of doubt clearly colouring his voice.
“Shit, ‘s not a date, then. You can’t have your first date in fuckin’ McDonald’s. I’m gonna make it up for you one day, It’s going to be real fancy, I’m gonna spoil you so hard – “
“But, I want this to be a date,” Harry tries to protest as he frowns slightly. He doesn’t know how much time he actually has left with Louis and he doesn’t want to think about it, but he is sure he can’t wait for anything at this point.
The time present is what matters the most for the two of them. Even though, only Harry is aware of that.
“You do?” Louis quirks his eyebrow up – cocky, little, adorable bastard is what he is.
“If it’s with you, I want everything,” Harry nods in confirmation and now it’s time for Louis to blush and hide his smile by looking down sheepishly. Harry’s heart swells with pride, though. He feels like he needs to make Louis look like that all the time.
“Alright, you sap,” Louis mumbles. “A date it is, then.”
“Now, young Harold, is the right time for the thing I mentioned earlier,” Louis announces proudly few hours later. The time is mercilessly getting to the point where they will have to start walking back to the camp, and both of them are aware of the fact.
It’s probably going to be their last stop before leaving.
After lunch, where Louis forced Harry to finish his portion of fries, for he was too full already (crap, Louis can never turn down food), they got lost into small antiquarian bookshop hidden in a back alley. The air there was dusted and dark, but calm and lightened up with peaceful scent of memories. Mostly memories of books upon whom lay thin layers of dust, covering them up and hiding them from the surface. Harry and Louis were the only customers there as they browsed through yellowed pages with bent corners and underlined sentences, exploring ideas and thoughts someone else had written and imagined.
Louis would whisper few lines that caught his attention every now and then, and Harry knows he prefers listening to him reading, so secretly he watched what books Louis had in hands when his eyes brightened up with interest, just so that he could buy them and read them for him later. He is becoming so sappy, it’s almost pathetic. Finally, they left and Harry was carrying a small bag, with books they found, along with Selected Poems from Rumi and small book of Emily Dickenson poetry.
They sat on the grass in the park then, watching people around them, just breathing next to each other, Harry occasionally leaning in to brush his lips against Louis’ soft skin, not even kissing, just feeling, just to make sure he is still there, just to make sure he is still with him.
Now though, they are standing in front of an old music shop, which Harry would most likely think is closed if he was passing by.
“The thing you said we would get to later?” Harry questions as he feels excitement rise within his veins quickly.
“Right,” Louis nods and opens the door as he motions for Harry to follow him. Upon their entrance, a light ding sounds from above as the small bell hanging from the ceiling rings. It’s a single room almost completely covered in dark despite the fact that it is day time, and it seems to be forgotten, abandoned.
Harry blatantly wonders how in God’s name Louis has ever found this place.
He loves it, though. There are shelves filled with endless amount of vinyl and few CDs, and it is somehow intimate and completely lovely. The seller hums a greeting from behind the bar but makes no further notice of them, his eyes stuck to the magazine in his hands; he just leaves them alone wandering around bright eyed.
“If I lived here, in this city, this would be my place to hide to,” Louis whispers as he drags his fingers across the wooden shelf, his eyes taking in the titles of EP placed there and it is so quiet and thoughtful, that Harry is not sure whether it was meant for him to hear, so he stays silent and only follows Louis’ slow steps around.
There is an old jukebox in the corner, dimply lit up, but without any music being put on. Louis walks to it as he reaches to his back pocket and takes out some cash. “I want to play something for you,” he announces and Harry hears the smile in his voice. He nods behind Louis’ back, even though he can’t see him.
Somehow, he is lost for words.
Louis searches for the song for a little while and then, out of sudden, Harry is jerked out of his thoughts by a new sound filling the atmosphere.
“There were bells on a hill, but I never heard them ringing, no, I never heard them at all, till there was you.”
Harry knows the song, it is from The Beatles, year 1963, it’s one of his favourites, he’s heard it way too many times for it to be normal, but never has it made him feel the way it makes him feel now.
“There were birds in the sky, but I never saw them winging, no, I never saw them at all, till there was you.”
And it is just a song, goddammit, so Harry’s breath shouldn’t be quickened up this drastically, but Louis turns to face Harry and he lays his gaze on his and it is so intense and piercing and he smiles softly as he walks to Harry and Harry thinks he understands as he forgets completely that there actually is another person with them in the shop. It is as if the oxygen was sucked out of the space.
“Then there was music and wonderful roses, they tell me in sweet fragrant meadows, of dawn and dew.”
Louis stops only few inches from Harry, just staring into his eyes and he seems to be nervous and shuddering on the edges as he bites his bottom lip and Harry is so overwhelmed by the urge to hold him and keep him whole, and Louis is so beautiful and the air is literally bursting with electricity as they stand there, only watching, observing, existing.
“There was love all around, but I never heard it singing, no, I never heard it at all, till there was you.”
And Harry just can’t stand it, because he looks at Louis and he feels so much love growing within every cell of his body and he could try to suppress it as much as he wanted to, but when Louis is there, breathing onto his skin, it always explodes through his whole existence and he knows what Louis might be trying to say with this song and Louis is just too far away and so Harry kisses him.
It’s whole different feeling this time, way more intensified and delicate and only theirs. Timeless.
“Where the fuck’ve you been?” Niall roars from where he is sat by the table, his dinner, half eaten, in front of him. Harry and Louis are a little bit late for dinner themselves, but they managed to make it in time where none of the adults would really notice them missing. Harry has this strange suspicion Louis paid Greg to be quiet about them not coming to the course, though, because let’s admit it, Greg is the very person to most likely be aware of Louis’ every step. “We’ve been worried sick ‘bout you, you fuckers. Liam almost died – “
“I didn’t – “
“You were quite freaked out, Li,” Zayn adds on softly as he shoots a knowing glare into direction of Harry and Louis who just listen to them, trying to contain their laughter. Which is not easy.
“I told you they would worry about us,” Harry says, pouting, just to tease Louis a little bit.
“They’re just fine,” Louis rolls his eyes. “Aren’t you lads?”
“Would be more if you just fuckin’ told us, before leavin’ wherever the fuck you went, so we wouldn’t have to search for your goddamn arses – “
“Don’t say you’ve grown sensitive, young Niall?” Louis smirks and reaches to hold Harry’s hand under the table when Harry pouts a little automatically upon registering that Louis calls Niall ‘young Niall’, in the same manner he calls him ‘young Harold’ sometimes. It’s not like Harry likes it anyways.
“Where were you anyway?” Liam skips into the conversation hurriedly before Niall can start an argument, his business face on, trying to solve the problem. However, under the surface, he sends Harry angry stares, unnoticed by the rest of the boys, to which Harry can only react by grinning, though.
He feels like there is nothing in the world that could ruin the perfection of this day.
“Can’t tell, it’s a secret,” Louis winks and Harry thinks he understands why. He always seems to think he understands when it comes to Louis, but even more so now, he realizes how he’s never truly sure. But at least it makes a sense for him, to keep it only between them, makes it more special and genuinely theirs, without anyone else being dragged in and involved, even if slightly. It’s all just about them.
“Probably just fucked somewhere,” Niall mutters under his breath.
“Watch your mouth,” Louis hisses as his grip onto Harry’s palm tightens protectively, his jaw set.
“Harry looks proper fucked, though,” Niall laughs, oblivious and utterly unaffected.
And he might be right, though, for they arrived late simply because Louis seemed to be unable of resisting pushing Harry’s back against the trees and kissing him, being everywhere. Being everything.
Still, Harry feels his skin burning as Louis eyes crinkle in the corners as he turns to look at him and chuckles to himself and reaches his hand out to pull a single leaf from the strand of Harry’s hair gently.
Liz Lawrence – When I Was Younger
The rest of the week flows smoothly, but way too quickly for Harry’s personal liking. It downs onto him that it will be the end of their third week soon, and it is an absolutely terrifying thing to think about.
More than before, Harry fights with his feelings deep down his mind and tries to process emotions attacking him intensely. Louis doesn’t know a thing, probably.
In the course, they rehearse for the final performance and Louis even gets Harry to sing from time to time. Louis, on the contrary, enjoys the moments where he can show himself off a little, he shines and magnetizes everyone around to himself without even trying to do so and gets so much praise that it almost makes Harry jealous. (Bullshit. It makes him very jealous, in fact, he always ends up pushing through the crowd to scoot himself behind Louis’ back, to press himself against him and feel his presence as he whispers his own praise to his ear and feels Louis smiling softly upon hearing the words, but who is he to admit that.)
A new thing comes on the Friday, though, when Harry and Louis are already laying in the bed, drifting asleep, Louis being the big spoon, his breathing as steady as it would be, if he was already dreaming, their legs intertwined.
“I want you to meet me mom, Haz,” he whispers out of sudden and Harry’s heart skips the beat. “On Sunday, I mean,” he explains quietly, his lips brushing against the back of Harry’s head. “If you want to, that is,” he adds then a little bit quieter when Harry doesn’t answer.
“Of course I want to, Lou,” Harry rolls his eyes, even though he still doesn’t understand. “But I don’t know what are you talking about?”
“Sunday? The parents are coming?” Louis tries to give him a hint and now Harry’s heart literally stops beating in his chest and he is unable to stop himself from gasping, which startles Louis and he stiffens against Harry’s body.
“I mean – I just – you don’t have to, I just thought – “he stutters and fuck, Harry did it again, didn’t he? He made Louis question himself.
“No, no, no, Lou, I want to,” Harry shifts himself in Louis’ embrace and frees himself gently so that he can turn to actually face Louis whose eyebrows are knitted together in worry. “Are your sisters coming, too?” he smiles, because even though his reaction wasn’t quite appropriate, he can feel his chest warming up at the thought of meeting Louis’ family, the thought that Louis wants him to do so.
But there is also a painful constant jabbing in his head, telling him that he shouldn’t meet them, that he doesn’t deserve them. Shouldn’t really let them into his life, should he? Isn’t it late for that, anyway?
“’M not sure, probably not, it’s quite a journey,” Louis shrugs. “You can meet ’em another time,” he kisses Harry’s nose softly and Harry just nods, hoping that Louis won’t ask the question he’s been anticipating either way.
“Will – will your parents come?” it is uncomfortable and a little hesitant and it stings Harry. It reminds him of what he is still keeping for himself.
But luckily enough, he is able to truthfully say no to that. He and Liam were told that on the third week’s Sunday all the parents could come and spend a day with their children. It startled Harry back then; he didn’t remember reading anything about such a day in papers he got sent from the camp nor on the Internet. When he looked over at Liam, his expression showed the same emotion that Harry felt: Well, fuck.
It took them a lot of convincing and reasoning then to make the man promise that they won’t send a letter to inform their parents about the day. “You sure boys?” he’d said then. “Two months is a long time – “
“That’s the point,” Liam quickly interrupted and it was solved. And Harry completely pushed it out of his head, after that, because he didn’t have a reason to keep that in mind. Still, he hoped they kept their word.
“No, they’re –, “Harry searches for the right word which just doesn’t come. Terrible, posh, too far up their own asses, cruel, not someone who I’d like to see, my nightmare. “They’re busy,” he settles down for that answer.
Harry is aware of his opportunity to step up and finally tell Louis, but he kisses Harry and when they break apart, Harry’s already lost all of his sanity to think about what’s right and what’s not.
On Sunday, Louis looks more like a child on the Christmas morning than anything else. He gets up early and jumps around, rummaging through his stuff excitedly. When Harry peeks out an eye from under the pillow he threw over his head in frustration, he expects to see Louis at least trying to set the place in some sort of order, but he is just doing nothing.
Harry doesn’t see any point in Louis just walking around and touching stuff, but anyway.
When Louis registers that Harry’s already awake, he jumps onto the bed and lies flat across his chest, grinning down at him. “Morning, babe,” he giggles and Harry’s heart skips a beat. He doesn’t think he will ever get used to be called that despite the unbelievable ease between the two of them. Actually, it’s more like whatever nicknames Louis gives Harry it spreads warmth within his chest, because somehow they make him feel special.
“Morning,” Harry mutters as his hands automatically go to wrap themselves around Louis’ back, securing him in place. “What were you doing?” his voice is dry and scratchy, for they stayed up quite a long time along with the boys and sat outside. Niall played the guitar and Harry placed his head in Louis’ lap, listening to them cracking jokes and telling him to shut up whenever he tried to add on.
“Dunno,” Louis shrugs. “Just couldn’t sleep anymore.”
“Excited for your mom to come?” Harry raises his eyebrows as he runs his fingers through the mess of Louis’ fringe. His eyes are a little bit puffy, but excited, filled with glinting life. Adorable.
“Yep,” he pops out the ‘p’. “She won’t come until lunch, though,” he shrugs a little.
“That’s probably for the good of both of us,” Harry mumbles as he looks around the place and takes everything in. Not that the two of them would waste any of their time with cleaning ever since they are sharing the cabin and it most certainly looks like it. Piles of clothes lay mostly over Louis’ bed, because it’s not being used, but you could probably find some lost socks on the ground and Harry can spot few bottles being thrown around.
“What’re you talking ‘bout?” Louis knits his eyebrows together a little confusedly as Harry tries to move beneath him, thinking that maybe Louis will get the hint and will get off, even though it’s the last thing that he really wants.
But Louis stays right in his place on the top of Harry anyway, of course.
“What if she wants to come in? We need to clean it out here,” Harry states the obvious. “I need you to get off of me in order of doing that, Lou,” he continues pointedly when Louis doesn’t move an inch away and just stares at Harry in a manner that blatantly implies he considers whether Harry has lost his mind.
“Are you serious?”
“Well, I’m no way in hell taking part in that,” Louis announces but he gets up and makes himself comfortable at the edge of his own bed, observing Harry expectantly. Up to Harry it is, then.
Though, Harry hadn’t experienced much cleaning by himself in his life, for he was not allowed to do the job his family actually has people paid for as much as he wanted to, he does quite well. It makes him feel good about himself as his eyes skim the place that now looks much more presentable than it looked before he started.
He finds himself a little nervous in his guts as he looks over at Louis who was observing him the whole time, occasionally making fun of him or patting his bum lightly, making Harry’s flesh burn on his cheeks. Louis seems to be proper excited about the whole event and Harry’s not sure whether it is only because he misses his mom or because he wants to introduce Harry to her too, but either way it doesn’t help him to calm down at all.
Because obviously, it is important for Louis, and automatically, Harry feels the same way about it.
The time is quickly hurrying to when her arrival is set and Harry just can’t stop the quivering in his stomach. His hands are cold despite the weather being the hottest for past few days and he can’t just pick anything decent to wear and it shouldn’t be important, but it is, because Harry wants Louis’ mom to like him, for some twisted reason it matters more than is healthy.
“Jesus, just pick something already, Haz,” he hears feet shuffling behind him as Louis finally gets up from the bed and walks over to Harry. “You’ll look lovely in anything,” he continues in a mellowing voice and moves until Harry feels him pressed softly into his back, fitting there as if they were nothing more than two pieces of puzzle. Louis kisses the skin on Harry’s shoulder and wraps his hands around Harry’s waist, tucking his chin into the crook between his neck and shoulder even though he must probably stand on his tiptoes to be tall enough to do that.
“I just – I just want her to, like, not be disappointed or summat,” Harry mumbles barely above whisper. He realizes that for once in his life he won’t be judged by the weight of his name, it’s up to him. And as much as he loves that thought it scares him, because what if he really is not good enough?
“She’ll love you,” Louis laughs into Harry’s skin quietly. “As everyone else does anyway,” he adds a hint quieter then and pecks Harry’s cheek before unwrapping himself, leaving Harry cold and indecisive. “Hurry up, now, will you? She’ll be here any moment, now,” Louis laughs again.
Harry wishes it’d be as easy as Louis makes it seem.
He decides to wear jeans and plaid shirt and finally follows Louis out, wiping his hands against the cloth of his pants, biting his lip unconsciously.
She arrives sooner than Harry expected, at least sooner than he could’ve properly prepared himself.
He watches, with his heart racing rapidly, how Louis runs to her upon seeing her, letting her to pull him in a tight embrace in the moment he reaches her. Warm. Kind. So Louis-like. She’s got dark hair that fall to her face as the wind blows, and even though there are shadows cast underneath her eyes, she smiles into the hug and seems to be genuinely relieved for a reason Harry can’t explain.
Louis then takes her hand and while talking to her excitedly, he directs her straight to where Harry is standing with his stomach squeezing uncomfortably. He’s sick.
“Mom, I would like you to meet someone,” Louis announces once they are close enough, his eyes resting on Harry’s face gently, encouragingly. “This is my boyfriend Harry,” Louis says with an almost touchable hint of pride to his voice and maybe Harry’s heart was racing before but now it literally fucking stops.
Did he just say boyfriend?
They haven’t talked about what they are or mean to each other, not yet, they just kind of were and it was that simple, and it makes Harry feels dizzy, the way it sounds when Louis actually verbalizes it, when he says it seamlessly, without his eyes ever leaving Harry’s face, crinkling in the corners fondly. Harry’s stomach makes a stupid little flop, but it takes only few second for him to shake the shock off of the surface, even though he is sure he’s burning red in his face and is deeply affected on the inside.
Boyfriend. Harry is Louis’ boyfriend.
And Louis is his boyfriend.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Tomlinson,” Harry offers a hand to shake, nodding politely, but she leans in, easily wrapping Harry in a small embrace motherly, laughing quietly under her breath.
“It’s Jay to you, and it’s nice to meet you too, darling,” she eyes him with a smile still plastered on her face and something hidden in her sight that Harry can’t quite recognize, and Louis next to them positively beams reaching for Harry’s hand automatically, squeezing it once they touch as if trying to tell him it’s all okay.
And indeed, it feels as if Harry could breathe again.
The anxiety still remains in the back of Harry’s mind for the rest of the afternoon, but he manages to almost keep his thoughts off of it and he focuses on different things instead.
And it’s actually really nice time they have, and Jay seems to genuinely like him and maybe everything is too good for it to stay like that, but Harry doesn’t pay this thought much attention anyway.
It’s not worth it.
“The girls miss you, Louis,” Jay says softly as the three of them sit on the grass, having already eaten the lunch together. Harry looks around, the place seems to be crowded, and everyone seems to have relatives over to visit.
He is not sure how does he feel about that. It probably doesn’t affect him all that much; it quickly downs onto him that every feeling in his body is already reserved for Louis. Louis is everything.
“I miss ‘em, too,” Louis answers, smile playing upon his lips. Jay reaches over and brushes hair out of Louis’ eyes, it’s all motherly and loving gesture and it’s in that moment that Harry starts to feel like he should leave them alone. Because there seems to be something hanging in the air that Harry doesn’t quite understand, but he doesn’t want to be in the way nonetheless.
Eventually, he does excuse himself to go to the loo, but never comes back to join them. And he thinks that it is the right thing to do at the moment. Instead, he makes his way to their cabin, his steps slow and steady. He doesn’t stay there, though; he knows that Louis might actually search for him when he doesn’t come back, so he only grabs the Rumi book he bought with Louis in the town and goes to Liam and the boyfriends’ cabin – Liam is somewhere meeting Sophia’s parents (and seriously, Harry is starting to think that it is pretty rude of him not to introduce her to them, too, but he never says a word as he sees the two of them walking around, completely gone for each other, because Liam deserves this and also he is probably embarrassed of them, which Harry can’t blame him for – Louis and Niall can be pain in the arse, especially when they gang up on someone, which is seemingly their favourite activity ever) and Niall with Zayn have gone to the town with Zayn’s family, so he can be alone there. Niall’s family stayed at home also, but he shrugged it off, as he does with everything.
Harry makes himself comfortable in the safety of the spare bed that is by the wall and spends few hours reading, completely zoning out, and forgetting the real world. It’s been some time since he’s been properly alone – actually the last time was when he skipped the dinner, because everything got just too much and despite it being one week ago, it feels like ages – and he hasn’t quite felt that until now. Now, as his back is pressed against the wall and the day is getting closer to its end, he is strangely calm as the only sound interrupting the silence surrounding him, is the shallow breaths he takes and the loud pumping of blood in his ears. As long as he’s isolated from those thoughts that are trying to burn him alive, he’s alright like this.
It’s so mild and still that Harry positively startles upon hearing the door being opened slowly, hesitantly. The light is getting gold as the sun lowers its shine and Harry looks up from the words “Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames” itching in in his throat, throbbing painfully, and his eyes meet Louis halfway in the entrance, he smiles lightly.
“Hello there,” Louis barely whispers and slowly walks over to sit next to Harry, tucking his knees under his chin. He looks so tiny like this, delicate and fragile as the light caresses the soft skin of his cheeks, the piece of art that he is.
“Hey, Lou,” Harry observes the boy, observes as his teeth scratch against his bottom lip nervously, observes how his fingers mindlessly clench into fists where they are wrapped around his body. He seems off.
“How did you know?” he says at last with a thick voice and finally turns his head to look at Harry, his eyes clear and curious and endless.
“Know what?” Harry asks, but he knows what Louis means, it’s written all over his timid expression.
“About me and my mom,” Louis clears his throat before continuing. “I didn’t want to be without you, but – “
And Louis seems to be struggling a little bit to let the words fall out of his mouth so Harry leans forward and presses their lips together and he thinks he might feel Louis whispering a barely audible “thanks” into the kiss, and Harry doesn’t know what is it that Louis carries in his chest, that weights him down, but he won’t force him to share it. Won’t ever force him to do anything he doesn’t want.
Out of all people Harry knows the best about keeping things for himself, after all.
“It’s alright, Louis,” Harry presses one single kiss on his forehead, lingering there a split of a second bit longer before pulling away. This Louis is a person Harry only has faced once, and it scares him again, how calm and thoughtful and silent he can get, because it is complete contrast to his loud nature and it triggers Harry’s instincts to protect him with such an intensity that it surprises him.
Louis nods and allows himself to smile a little. “Mom wants to say goodbye.”
“She won’t be staying for the campfire?” Harry asks surprised, because he genuinely thought she would be joining them that night and, strikingly, he feels a pang of disappointment upon realizing that he won’t be able to spend some more time with her.
See, after all, she is a part of Louis’ world, a part of who he is, and Harry doesn’t want to miss a thing. And also she is rather lovely.
“Nope,” is all that Louis says as an answer as they make their way out, only to find her by the car where she is already waiting for them.
When Harry reaches out his hand to shake hers, she pulls him in a tight embrace instead; automatically brushing his back in a comforting manner and it knocks breath out from Harry’s lungs for a split of a second, because he has never been treated this way. At least not by an adult. “Take care of him,” she whispers straight into Harry’s ear so quietly that he could possibly commute it with the wind blowing, but he nods nevertheless.
He will always take care of Louis. It is a promise he is willing to give.
Her goodbye with Louis is much longer and firmer, and Harry almost feels as if invading their privacy again, but stays this time, watches them and blatantly wonders how does it feel to be hugged by own mother. It is not bitter at this point, just purely curious.
“See you soon, Louis,” Jay says at last, gets in the car and suddenly she is gone.
Coldplay – Us Against The World
The campfire is fun, glowing and crowded, but it’s just not completely right; it doesn’t feel right to be there. Liam doesn’t show up and nor do the boyfriends so it is just Harry and Louis left, which kind of misses the point of sitting by the fire, listening to people laughing over each other loudly, heads thrown back, sending their cackles to the stars above.
Because, see, maybe Harry’s had a little bit to drink, but still, Louis skin looks so radiant, that Harry has to resist the urge to kiss him all over, and his eyes are gleaming and he’s come back to his normal self again and that naturally leads to everyone being dragged to him, wanting to keep some of his warmth for themselves. Of which Harry doesn’t quite approve.
“Lou,” he whispers to his ear as Louis takes few gulps from the bottle of beer he clutches on firmly. “Can we go to our place? I miss it.”
His words are little bit lazy and unarticulated, mixed up with alcohol, but apart from that it is entirely true. They haven’t been there for some time and Harry finds himself lacking its serenity and intimacy.
“’Course,” Louis nods with a smile playing upon the thin line of his lips. “Wait a minute, though, I’ll fetch us something,” he winks and disappears.
He comes back few moments later with a bottle of white wine held in his left hand and Harry wonders where does he always get those, wonders if he only gets wine because Harry prefers it, but he doesn’t ask. Instead he turns on his heel and makes it to their place by the lake, this time securely knowing the way to there.
The grass is soft beneath his back when he lies down, folding his hands under the back of his head as he waits for Louis to join him; their elbows are touching lightly as he settles into the same position Harry’s in, sending electricity down Harry’s spine.
The alcohol is running through Harry’s veins, pumping his blood, buzzing through his nerves and Harry laughs a little against his will. Just because he wants to. Just because he’s so alive.
He supposes the air’s already gotten colder and he should feel it cutting against his skin, but everything is over voiced by the tickling warmth spreading through his body cells and the only thing left is the fire erupting where Louis’ skin meets his.
The night is clear and something about it feels magically sprinkling, maybe it is the way relief washes over Harry’s body upon realizing that he might have not disappointed Jay, or maybe it is the word ‘boyfriend’ still sitting in the back of his mind, colouring the world with a sense of pride heaving up in Harry’s chest, either way the sky is magnificently arching above with a lake being its mirror and Harry laughs again.
He feels Louis’ eyes slide to his face as he observes him in silence. “What?” there is a hint of smile to his voice; Harry recognizes the way one of the corners of his mouth is quirked up without having to look at him.
“Just feel like laughing,” Harry shrugs and closes his eyes, minimalizing his senses so he could feel more on the inside.
He must be really drunk.
But he is also infinite and the time doesn’t exist, it only measures in stars fading in and out and Louis propping himself up on his elbows and dropping a single kiss onto Harry’s heated cheek, brushing his lips against the line of Harry’s jaw, inhaling him before sitting up completely to open the bottle of wine he brought with himself and take a gulp.
“Then go ahead,” he smirks against the bottle neck and then drinks again. Harry just can’t keep his eyes closed, see? Can’t let himself miss the way Louis’ eyelashes fan on his cheekbones or the way he cleverly licks his lips after putting the bottle down, tasting the bits of flavour left there, can’t let himself miss the littlest things. The special things, that is. “Do you wanna?” Louis turns his head to Harry offering the wine to him and Harry thinks, that he is perfectly fine the way he is, that the world feels a little swingy and immense and unbreakable, but he responds by taking few gulps anyway, before handing it back to Louis, bitter flavour imprinted on his tongue.
“You are the universe in ecstatic motion,” Harry whispers, the sound lingering in the gap between him and Louis. There were quite a few lines that stuck in Harry’s head that afternoon, but for some inexplicable reason he was attacked by loud desire to hear especially these words said out loud.
“What was that?” Louis looks at him curiously from where he is hovering above him, his eyes glinting with galaxies and Harry realizes how much of a universe Louis is to him.
“’S what I read today,” Harry mumbles as he reaches his hand up to caress the top of his hand against Louis’ cheek, just to idly feel the presence of his.
“Rumi?” Louis flutters his eyes shut upon the touch as Harry continues to brush his knuckles down the side of his neck.
“Correct,” Harry nods and even though it’s dark, he can see everything of Louis clearly, for his eyes finally adjusted. And all he wants to do is look at him as he takes another gulp, but Louis leans down to capture his lips into hungry kiss out of sudden. Harry tastes the wine still remaining in Louis’ mouth, but he is completely overwhelmed with the need Louis is pouring to him with every brush of their lips as he is pressed into the ground, trapped, and a small noise forms in his throat when Louis’ bites on his lower lip harder than he usually does and smirks. His hands tangle in Harry’s hair as he deepens the kiss and tries to move closer despite it seeming impossible.
He’s devouring Harry, taking everything from him as if he was the only thing in the world that exists and when he pulls away to get some oxygen to his lungs, Harry giggles a little bit, his cheeks flushed and eyes watering.
His head is spinning with all the want and need and wine and he is so full of everything and he can’t stop giggling to himself as Louis’ eyes never leave him, searching his face with fond edges to his expression, his lips the darkest shade of red Harry’s ever seen them.
“What?” Harry asks between giggles when Louis bites his lips in what is, seemingly, an inner struggle, his eyes glossy.
“I wanna kiss the fuck out of you, Styles,” he mutters as he lowers himself, his hands on each side of Harry’s head he crawls on top of him. “You’re quite adorable,” he continues as he leans down so that their heated foreheads are pressed together and Harry feels Louis’ breath tickling on his skin hotly. “Quite adorable when you’re jealous,” Louis continues, brushing his lips against Harry’s just barely on the surface, teasing. “Quite adorable when you’re happy,” Louis moves his head to nibble on Harry’s earlobe, causing him to shudder. “Quite adorable when you’re trying to be funny,” he moves on to bite at the skin of Harry’s neck gently, licking over the place as the quietest moan escapes Harry’s lips. Pecking the spot for the last time Louis moves back up to observe Harry’s expression smugly. And Harry deeply wants to kiss the smirk away from that face of his, but he can’t get his muscles to work properly, powerless.
“Quite adorable when you’re drunk,” Louis voice lowers as if he was finished, licking Harry’s upper lip teasingly.
“’M not – ‘m not drunk,” Harry stutters a little bit, his voice breathy and croaky and Louis looks at him disbelievingly, obviously only few seconds apart from rolling his eyes.
“Yeah? And what’re you then, Harold?” he asks, eyes fixed on Harry’s, amused and fond.
“’M in love with you,” Harry blurts out before twice thinking about it. It sounds as a pure statement and it crosses Harry’s mind that maybe he shouldn’t have said that, so he bites his lip insecurely.
He knows now, that it is in no way the alcohol talking from him, as the words cut through the night he knows, that they are already imprinted in his system irreversibly.
But also it brings him fireworks of joy, because he’s been brushing the thought away, suppressing it so that it wouldn’t get enough attention for it to become real, but he knew it was there and that it was just the matter of time he acknowledged it properly. And now that he has done so, he feels so free, because it is true. He is in love with Louis.
“What?” Louis straightens a little bit on the top of him as he gasps at Harry’s response and Harry wonders if he is angry, if Harry scared him away, if it is too much for him to cope with.
Louis’ eyes are unblinking and wide opened and he is nibbling at his lip and there is hope written in every aspect of his body and he seems so eager, as if he wasn’t sure if he misheard Harry’s words and prayed that he didn’t.
And Harry’s heart is about to fucking jump out of his chest and Louis must be aware of that as the palms of his hands are pressed against Harry’s chest now, almost clutching onto him, and Harry swallows down thickly, still observing Louis’ expression to be sure the words that are burning their way up his throat, literally bruising his insides violently and trying to get out because he just can’t keep them in anymore, are what he wants to hear.
“I’m in love with you,” he repeats, his voice much smaller, but invariably sincere as he sits up with Louis staying in his lap, legs wrapping around Harry’s waist automatically, so that their chests are pressed against each other and Harry is looking directly into the oceanic blue of Louis’ eyes, joining his hands in the small of the boy’s back, resting them there gently.
Louis’ breath visibly quickens as he stays quiet, before leaning forward and doing exactly what he said he wanted to: he kisses the fuck out of Harry. He’s fiery and intense and he is everywhere, as if trying to express what he can’t form to words. Tugging on the strands on the back of Harry’s head he angles him to get better access and it’s so passionate that Harry has to fight blacking out under the weight of all emotions and so when they break apart for few seconds Harry blurts it out again. “Fuck, I’m so in love with you, Lou,” because he likes the way it tastes on his tongue, how it makes Louis’ eyes light up and his touch shaken.
They kiss until they can’t feel their lips and are both dizzy, hands lost all over each other. Just then, when they lie down next to each other and Louis’ breath tickles around the skin of Harry’s ear, Louis whispers. “Hey, Harry? Wanna know something?” his voice is rough and quivering with emotions and Harry just nods, his stomach flipping nervously. “I’m in love with you too,” Louis all but whispers, smiling against Harry’s skin and Harry wonders if it is possible to explode from happiness.
Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Atlas Hands
Harry marks the following week as the best one of his entire life.
At the beginning, though, he feels something stirring within his mind unsteadily. Firstly, it’s caused by Liam’s reaction after Harry told him about his night with Louis.
Because Louis is in love with him.
Quite frankly, the thought alone is unbelievable and difficult to grasp, let alone the sole fact, but Harry tries. He wants to believe it. Wants to believe it more than anything.
Liam said he was happy for them, but after a beat of silence during which Harry sat on the edge of his bed and stared out of his window, beaming happily, completely lost in his memories, he continued, his voice hesitant and careful. “I don’t want to ruin this for you, but you know you have to tell him now, mate, right?” he asked, staring intently at Harry.
And Harry knew. He’s been thinking about it since he’s sobered up a little bit, but he didn’t need Liam reminding him anything, not in that moment, not when he was bloated up with all those emotions he finally stopped muting and set them free.
“I know,” he sighed anyhow, and Liam patted him on the back sympathetically which didn’t help at all.
As terrifying as it was, though, Harry decided that the sooner he tells Louis, the better. It will be as quick as demolishing a patch and it will hurt in the beginning, but Harry knows that even though they might have been drunk, the moment between them was still the most genuine experience of his life and he is sure they will make it through somehow.
Or at least he tries to tell himself that, to calm down and still himself enough not to start panicking.
He does the exact same thing later that day as he is curled up in Louis’ embrace in their bed, head pressed against Louis’ chest, listening his heart beat and trying to even out his own breath by its rhythm.
“Lou, I need to tell you something,” Harry starts and he hears the fear in his voice, feels as his heart beat quickens up and at this point Louis must feel it too, for he automatically runs his fingers through the mess of Harry’s hair in comforting manner, but this time it only serves to set him on the edge. “My parents – “
He starts, because he can’t wait anymore, because he is choking on it and he needs to let it out, he can’t deal with it. It’s as if it was poison in his system and the only way to let it bleed out is through words, stained with everything he kept in secret. But he is interrupted immediately.
“You don’t have to tell me, Haz,” it’s gentle and insisting and Harry’s confused.
“What?” he asks, knitting his eyebrows together, already losing track of his words, feeling the courage being stroked away from his body with every touch of Louis’ hand on his back.
“I mean, will it affect us in any way right now?” Louis asks carefully and Harry almost doesn’t hear him through the rushed pumping of his own blood in his ears.
“Well, not necessarily now, but it will in the future,” Harry forms the words slowly, tries to process what is happening, because he was finally ready and willing to give his secrets away and Louis doesn’t want them?
What the fuck is happening?
“I don’t need to know it, then,” Louis confirms in confident voice, pressing a kiss into Harry’s hair.
Harry is torn.
“But, Louis – “
“Harry, the only important thing for the two of right now is the presence,” Louis insists as he secures his arms around Harry’s waist. “When the future comes, we will solve those problems, but right now? It’s just about you and me, it’s all about us,” it’s said with so much love and desire for Harry to understand, that Harry’s heart painfully skips a beat. “I need you to trust me, yeah?” Louis then adds a hint quieter and Harry feels himself nod against his will. There’s regret throbbing in his throat, but he can’t force the words out of his mouth anymore.
In the back of his mind he suspects Louis probably means problems such as that they will be far from each other once the camp ends, and long distance relationships work not so often, but he doesn’t mention that the problem might be of quite different dimensions.
“Alright. I love you,” he sighs, before drifting asleep.
It doesn’t bother him after that, he does his best keeping what Louis asked him for – he trusts Louis and he, in fact, almost forgets about the matter.
And they have wonderful time since then.
Harry would never believe it is possible to be this happy, to actually feel every inch of his body living for something, for someone, but it fills him with inexplicable sense of joy to exist along-side with Louis. Somehow, even simple existing turns into something exquisite with him.
It’s this explosive, extreme emotion that out of sudden fills every cell of Harry’s body and consumes him whole. Sometimes it gets so loud and intense that it overwhelms him and almost paralyzes him, but sometimes it is barely there, just whispering and caressing, but still controlling every aspect of his self.
Louis brings ecstatic light to Harry’s life with an unbelievable ease. It’s the smallest things they do that are turned into something more when they do them together. And that’s now all of them.
They find themselves lacking sleep, because it’s such a waste of time when they can sneak out at midnight and watch the night sky sparkling recklessly, each of them stuck one earphone in, lying on the ground, the music cutting through their senses, bending the time under its spell.
“I will remember your face, ‘cause I am still in love with that place, but when the stars are the only things we share, will you be there?”
Sounds through their veins and Louis moves closer, pressing his body warmth to Harry and that’s it. Because sleeping is such a waste of time, when they both unconsciously feel that what they have now, might not last as long as they wish for it to, though none of them mentions it.
See, Harry finds himself infinite and timeless under Louis’ gaze, and when they look at each other they seem to be forever, as well as when they recklessly engrave ‘H&L’ to the wooden underside of their bed, but there lies something in the shadows of Harry’s unconsciousness that pushes him to not waste a second of the time given to them.
And somehow it turns out incredible. Now that Harry finally told Louis that he loves him, he is unstoppable at saying it, until Louis captures his lips in a kiss to shut him up, that is. But still, his stomach flips and a jolt of electricity goes through his nerves every single time Louis tells him he loves him back. Because honestly, Harry could lose his mind over the littlest things Louis says to him, including when he calls him ‘boyfriend’ in that smug voice of his, so this makes Harry’s head go blank for few seconds whenever he hears it and tries to process it.
On Thursday evening they are laid in their bed, because they are lazy and too comfortable to actually move. The time’s as if frozen that day, the seconds pass by completely unnoticed.
It’s one of those days where the sky is almost as blue as Louis’ eyes, completely stainless, and the grass is fresh and too green and smells like July and there is barely any wind blowing and Harry is breathing in Louis’ scent, his eyes closed in bliss, as Louis hums a melody quietly, scrabbling something into his little black notepad he sometimes takes to the music course.
Has Harry ever mentioned how much he loves Louis’ voice? How soft it is? How he wants to wrap himself in it as if it was a blanket?
He snuggles in closer and kisses Louis’ collarbone, just because he can, just because he wants to. Just because Louis’ skin is December morning.
“You’re cuddly today, eh?” Louis chuckles stopping his melody as he throws the notepad on the ground carelessly, and pulls Harry closer instead.
“Mm,” is all that Harry manages to let out as an answer, too sleepy and comfortable to talk or make any other changes in the way he is.
“Harry?” Louis’ voice is with a hint of suppressed amusement to it.
“Mm,” Harry keeps his eyes closed as he urges Louis to go on, but there is only silence following. Harry frowns, what the –
He opens his eyes slowly and looks up only to meet Louis’ eyes observing him, his tongue stuck out obscenely, just waiting for Harry’s reaction.
“What’re you do– “ Harry wants to ask, his eyebrows knitted together confusedly, but he is interrupted in the middle of the sentence by Louis leaning down to kitten-lick Harry’s nose once, giggling a little when he pulls away, his eyes glinting playfully.
If he wasn’t so endearing Harry would for sure kick the boy’s ass.
“I hate you,” he mutters upon rolling his eyes and makes to settle himself back on Louis’ chest comfortably, closing his eyes.
Before he can do so, though, Louis gets up and without Harry being able to fully grasp what’s going on, he’s being pinned down to the bed by Louis sitting atop of him, reaching for Harry’s hands and holding them in his own next to Harry’s head firmly. Harry feels the annoyance grumble in is guts quickly, because seriously? Is it so much to ask for when he just wants to have a nice calm nap? He doesn’t even get to open his mouth to ask Louis what’s going on, as Louis leans down, covering Harry’s body with his completely, pressing his lips into the shell of Harry’s ear.
“Say it again,” he says in a husky voice as he licks Harry’s earlobe slightly, leaving Harry breathless.
“I hate you,” Harry insists, but it’s weak and his voice shakes on the edges as Louis grips onto his hands. Harry’s completely powerless with Louis holding him down like this, breathing on the skin of his neck hotly.
“Take it back,” Louis growls a little into Harry’s neck before he starts sucking on the skin there hungrily; biting the spot gently, just enough for it to send jolts of confused pleasure through Harry’s body. Though, it has never happened to him, it hits Harry pretty quick that Louis must be leaving a love bite and he has to hold back the noise threatening to escape his throat as he shakes his head once more.
Louis sits himself up straight, his eyes pinned to the spot where Harry can feel the blood burning right on the surface, stinging hotly. “Fuck, you like being marked, don’t you?” Louis mutters, his eyes still observing the artwork of his as if he was unable to tear his eyes off of breathless Harry who shakes his head again, just from the principle of it, because he likes to be stubborn and the way Louis looks at him does things to him that he can’t explain, and he can feel his cheeks redden and he shakes his head some more, because it is awkward, the way Louis affects him.
Louis lowers himself again, attaching his lips to the skin on Harry’s neck once more, but only kissing him, leaving a little burning trail of open mouthed pecks, and though he wouldn’t admit it, Harry almost finds himself wishing he bit down a little bit harder, but as Louis moves his mouth onto Harry’s collarbones, just lightly licking around there, leaving Harry shuddering and oxygen-less and shaky, Harry does everything in his power to keep his mouth shut, even though his breath comes out unsteady and awkwardly weak through his nose.
When Harry tries to squirm himself away despite the fact that he doesn’t want Louis to ever let him go, to ever stop touching him like this, but he just doesn’t play nice, Louis tsks at him not granting him a single glance. “You still won’t take it back, love?” Harry can feel him smirking and it’s so self-satisfied and inscrutable, that all Harry wants to do is to pull him up and kiss it away, but his hands are steadily fixed by Louis’, so the only thing left for him to do is to shake his head vigorously at which Louis chuckles above him.
To Harry’s surprise Louis is the one who leans in to join their lips in a hungry kiss. It’s messy and heated as Louis completely engulfs Harry, biting down on his lower lip to get a response from him, and it’s also one of the hottest things Harry’s ever experienced. Louis kisses Harry for what seems like ages but is still not enough, just tasting and taking and Harry finds himself fighting the hold he still has on his wrists, because he wants to touch Louis. But he stays powerless as Louis moves his body against Harry slowly, instinctively.
When Louis pulls away, his cheeks are flushed and lips are bitten dark red, and he also seems to be lacking oxygen. More than ever, his eyes are flashing burning desire and lust, colouring the blue of his eyes into the shade of sapphire and Harry would most probably blush if all the blood wasn’t already boiling in his body.
Harry’s almost pained with the want to put his hands on Louis so he attempts one more weak fight to free himself that only serves for Louis to smile down at him. “Stay still, okay?” Louis then asks, but it sounds more as a demand than anything and Harry bites his lip, considering whether he will be able to do so, but he nods nonetheless.
Louis then lets go of his hands, giving Harry one more warning look, before kissing him again as passionately as before, his own hands dropping to Harry’s chest. He lets go then and returns to kiss the little spot on Harry’s neck gently, his own hands wandering down Harry’s torso agonizingly slowly, and it takes all of Harry’s strength to keep his hands in place, to not tangle his fingers in Louis’ soft hair, brush them all over Louis’ back, or just anything. When Louis gets down to the hem of Harry’s t-shirt he slides his hands underneath it, caressing Harry’s skin lightly and at this point Harry’s heart is racing for every beat and his breath hitches.
Suddenly Louis tugs at the t-shirt a little, forcing Harry to sit up so he can take it off, leaving Harry shirtless in front of him. Which isn’t that big of a deal; Harry’s been without his t-shirt multiple times in front of Louis, they share this cabin after all, but now Louis fixes Harry’s hands above his head and admires him, his eyes sliding everywhere they can reach, lovingly and it is intense.
Leaning down, Louis starts to plant kisses on Harry’s collarbones wetly, but this time moves on lower, gently brushing his fingers all over Harry’s body, his lips following the movements. He is all over, burns on Harry’s chest, moves lower through Harry’s tummy, stopping just where Harry’s pubes start.
“Louis…” Harry whispers weakly, he doesn’t even know why, he is losing his goddamn mind because of this boy. This boy, that looks at Harry as he pulls himself up to press his forehead against his, their lips almost joining. His hands never stop moving gently, though, just stroking the skin on Harry’s hipbones, sending shivers down his spine.
“I’ve – I’ve never,” Harry stutters and he’s not sure whether he is so overwhelmed or so embarrassed, but it’s unbelievably difficult to form his thoughts into a proper sentence.
“What, love?” Louis breathes on Harry’s lips hotly. As if it wasn’t difficult to focus as is it.
“I’ve never been with anyone,” Harry breaths out, his cheeks warming up at the confession, “you know, like that.” He finishes and tries to avoid Louis’ gaze that only intensifies as he dips in to kiss Harry, whispering a single “fuck” into the kiss.
“Do you trust me, Harry?” he asks when he pulls away, breathy, but serious, his hands off of Harry’s body completely, as if he wanted him to be as honest and unaffected as possible.
Harry loves him so much.
And he thinks about the situation. Thinks about how he is losing his goddamn mind, just from the desire Louis’ set into his veins, thinks about how he is there, vulnerable and defenceless with his hands above his head and he looks in Louis’ eyes and he knows he loves him, he wants nothing more than this. So he nods. “Yeah, I do,” his voice is stuck in his throat with the anticipation and want.
“Good,” Louis whispers. “Then let me make you feel good, okay? I’ll be gentle,” he leans down to whisper in Harry’s ear after he takes off his own t-shirt and Harry is taken aback by the urge to touch him that is so strong that he has to grit his teeth to resist it.
“Yeah,” Harry wants to say, but it comes out as a moan when Louis tugs down onto the hem of Harry’s sweatpants as if in question.
“You are so gorgeous,” he continues to whisper in Harry’s ear, occasionally licking on his skin playfully, teasingly. “So beautiful,” and out of everything that’s happened, this is what actually makes Harry’s heart stop in his chest as he feels a quiet moan escape him. “I’m gonna make you feel so good,” Louis’ voice has a hint of what seems to be resolve in it and Harry shudders.
Louis absolutely keeps his words.
With time Harry loses consciousness of where he starts and where he ends as he lets himself fall apart under Louis’ touch. And when Harry’s finally allowed to touch Louis, his fingertips are buzzing and shaking slightly, because Louis is the only thing in the world that matters, because Louis is the world and Louis is everywhere; letting Harry burn as he devours his body, inch by an inch, pouring heated love to him through every brush of their skin, whispering endless words of praise and love, leaving Harry’s mind completely blank. And he is so careful, treats Harry’s body as if it was the most precious treasure, which only gets to Harry more. And Harry hears words and noises leaving his own mouth but he loses control completely and he doesn’t feel his mouth moving, is only rarely aware of his desperate pleads and repetitive whines of Louis’ name as if it was a mantra.
And as he comes apart, in the end, Louis is there to hold him gently and put him in one whole bit by bit, kissing him with fierce and need, even though they are tired and barely able to move. And it’s ironic, really, because even fallen apart, with Louis’ sweat dripping onto Harry’s skin as Louis bathed him in adoration, they were whole, they made sense.
“I take it back,” Harry whispers at last, remembering how this all started, as he is tiredly snuggled into Louis’ side, because after all, he still isn’t close enough.
He is never close enough.
“What?” Louis presses a kiss onto Harry’s sweaty forehead.
“I don’t hate you,” Harry mumbles as Louis strokes his hair mindlessly. “I love you,” he hears Louis chuckle knowingly at that and drifts asleep, as happy as ever.
Since then, though, they can’t get their hands off of each other.
Maybe that is a part of the reason their week is so blissfully wonderful. Because Harry realizes no one could ever make him feel the way Louis does, and the thing is, he doesn’t even want being with anyone else like that, ever.
Louis seems to be of the same opinion as he almost never tears his eyes away from Harry, or his hands for that matter. He somehow always finds a way to touch Harry, even if it is only a sort of possessive hand on his knee, he’s always there, making Harry blush.
And it wouldn’t be Niall if he didn’t have to start talking about it, oblivious to Harry’s heated embarrassment. “You two are disgusting, lemme fuckin’ tell ya,” he rolls his eyes one day when Louis leans in to whisper straight into Harry’s ear that maybe, they could go take the shower together, his voice suggestive, hand brushing up his thigh under the table dangerously. You can’t blame Harry for being flushed, now, can you?
But Louis just shrugs obviously pleased with himself for making Harry’s cheeks turn red as he almost chokes on his food.
Louis genuinely seems unaffected by everything that isn’t Harry, which is for Harry’s utter surprise but also pleasure, see, because now he doesn’t have to feel much embarrassed next to Louis; when he sees his own eager love being mirrored in Louis’ eyes.
And it’s sappy and half of the time Harry doesn’t understand what’s happening to him, because honestly, he feels as if he was completely different person from the person he was when he came here. It’s a good change, he thinks, because Louis’ fingertips are all over who he is at the moment, he is stained with Louis and he’s stuck with him forever, whether he wants it or not.
And God, though it terrifies the living hell out of him, he still wants it more than anything. For Louis to stay a part of him forever.
For now, they are impartible. Harry barely registers anything going on around him, including the music course, only sometimes feels a sting of jealousy, because Greg just won’t stop looking at Louis that way, lustful and full of desire and Harry can’t blame him, because he’s aware of those same emotions showing in his own very eyes, but still.
Persistently, everything becomes a pleasant blur of laughter and summer next to Louis, and Harry is alright with that. They start to spend the most of their time away from the lads, who seem to understand, and even though Niall acts all disgusted and angry, there are fond edges to the crinkles by his eyes and something in his expression screams how happy he is for them and just won’t admit it. Zayn on the other side doesn’t talk all that much. Harry often forgets that without Zayn telling them to sit down, none of this would possibly happen.
Either way, Zayn seems to be seeing a lot of things as his eyes glow knowingly whenever Harry and Louis appear somewhere near him. Harry’s not sure what is it that he sees, because from all he knows Zayn’s world could possibly look completely different to how he the rest of them view it, but he nods to himself every now and then, gentle smile playing upon the thin line of his lips, before he muses something like. “Can’t imagine seeing you two separately, now,” and it’s a statement that no one can properly react to, but Zayn beams and radiates peaceful vibes and so every time they all let it go, while Louis kisses Harry cheek and whispers a soft: “Me neither.”
It’s on Sunday when it downs on Harry that it’s been a month.
And it’s completely unbelievable and unreal, and Harry faces all sorts of problems when trying to process the thought. Because a month.
That’s half of the time they have here. And it’s gone by so fast, in a blink of an eye, and here Harry is, experiencing things he would never have thought would happen to him, feeling happiness seeping through every cell of his body with Louis breathing calmly next to him, evening his breath out to the beat of Louis’ heart, because they are as one now.
And it’s hard to believe that it’s been only month, too. Because from all Harry knew, it takes more than that to fall head over heels for someone and Louis became everything in a split of a second and it was as natural as if they belonged to each other, and maybe Harry now knows that love at the first sight really exists, but there is a voice in his head that still tries to tell him how absurd the whole situation is, how this strong extreme feelings are not even humanly possible and how he is going to fall apart under their pressure, how, in the end, it’s going to burn him alive, how it’s going to destroy him.
Maybe that’s true.
But still, he can’t help but let them fill every ounce of his body and mind, because there is no point in fighting what’s inevitable.
Because that is just his life now.
It hurts, though, to realize that they are halfway there. Sure, Harry still keeps this foolish hope for himself that whispers warmly, that maybe it’s going to end up well, that it doesn’t have to end here, that love like theirs is destined for something more than one summer, and he starts to believe it, is the thing. Because even the slightest thought of this coming to its end is as if daggers were cutting through his skin harshly, getting to his flesh painfully.
And so the hope is everything he allows himself to keep.
“What’s wrong, babe?” Louis asks later that night as they are sat by the lake, Harry’s back pressed to Louis’ chest. Harry adjusts himself in Louis’ embrace nervously, feels Louis’ arms burn on the skin around his waist where he holds him closer.
Of course Louis notices. Through how much Harry tried to act normal and cheerful, Louis still noticed that it lays on his mind ever since he woke up; Louis always notices the smallest things. And automatically Harry stiffens, but without having to think about it twice decides to try and brush it away.
“Nothing,” his voice is weighted down despite his attempts to lighten it up, for it to sound careless. Louis sighs barely noticeably in Harry’s hair.
See, it’s all a little stupid.
Harry loves Louis.
And that’d be amazing, but somehow, Harry can’t stop this stinging pain growing within his chest, because the time’s putting so much pressure on him and it’s pathetic, is what it is, but Harry’s suddenly scared of continuing like this.
The stupid fact about this is, that practically, they have a whole month ahead of them, which is kind of a lot of time in some scales and Harry doesn’t have much right to feel as hopeless as he does.
But when he realizes how fast has the last month gone, that it feels like it was fucking yesterday where he sat with Louis by the fire and blatantly wondered how in God’s name is it possible for human to be this heavenly beautiful, and how they have gone through so much already and it just burns and jabs and scratches all over his emotions.
“You know you can tell me, right?” Louis tightens the grip he has on Harry as he mouths onto the skin of his neck. The midnight has probably struck already, but the air is still warm, for there is only light breeze caressing them gently as they are drowning themselves in the calm surroundings. It would be beautiful if Harry didn’t hurt.
“I know,” Harry replies immediately, because it’s not that he wants to have secrets, on the contrary, he wants to give everything he has to Louis, is the thing, and what he fears is that he doesn’t have enough to offer. “’M just tired,” he mumbles and closes his eyes, it’s easier to focus on Louis’ breath in the strands of his hair.
“Do you want to go to sleep?” Louis asks.
“No,” Harry shakes his head slightly; it’s easier to breathe outside.
“Alright,” Louis nods and silence follows for few moments after that. Silence is never awkward or uncomfortable between the two of them, but this time Harry feels Louis shuffle behind him as if he was trying to keep something in and Harry wants to ignore it at first, but there radiates something from Louis that forces him to turn his head a little to look at him curiously.
“I’ve been wanting to ask you something,” Louis spits out eagerly once their eyes meet, his lips wet, cheeks slightly reddened, he smiles as if he was trying to resist this for a longer time and Harry’s heart skips a beat for no goddamn reason. Louis seems nervous about this.
“Go ahead,” Harry nods when Louis doesn’t continue, just searches Harry’s face expectantly.
“Harry Styles,” Louis starts, the corners of his lips twitching up as the air gets thinner around them, “will you do me the pleasure of going on a date with me?” he finishes and bites his bottom lip and it sounds so serious that Harry has to hold himself to not burst in loud laughter. He can’t believe Louis.
“Of course I will,” Harry can’t resist leaning in to capture Louis in a kiss, but they clasp with their teeth together, because Harry finally lets himself laugh. It’s ridiculous, the theatre Louis made around it, but it helps Harry to take his mind off of the anxiety spreading through him. “Why are you being so mysterious about it, though? We’ve already been on a date, remember?”
Louis merely rolls his eyes in a response. “Yeah, but that was a poor ass date, if you want to hear – “
“I liked it,” Harry pouts, it was the only date has been to in his life; Louis shouldn’t talk bad about it, especially when it involved him.
“Whatever,” Louis chuckles and kisses Harry’s forehead before continuing. “But, if my memory serves well, I promised to make it up for you one day, and I am keeping my promises, Harold,” Louis points out and Harry’s heart is for some inexplicable reason trying to jump out of his chest. God, he loves Louis so much.
“I told you, I don’t need that, Lou – “
“Too bad, I plan on proper spoiling you,” Louis shrugs as if it wasn’t that big of a deal. But the truth is, that Harry just doesn’t need any of that, because nothing else matters when there’s Louis, he doesn’t care about being spoiled. He’s had enough of posh restaurants and expensive aperitifs and people serving him with little bows in his life. But he gives up because Louis is shining and it seems to make him genuinely happy and nothing of the primary desire to be the one to make Louis look that way has disappeared from Harry’s system.
“Fine,” Harry sighs, defeated. “Still don’t get why you would have to go about it that way. I mean, given the fact that you made love to me in communal showers – “
“Oh my god, Harry,” Louis snorts loudly. “You’re not fuckin’ Jane Austen, you know that, right?” he rolls his eyes fondly.
Harry frowns, of course offended, because Louis is laughing at him for calling what they do ‘making love’. But that’s exactly what it is for him. He tries to pull away, but Louis holds him in place, still laughing when he leans down to whisper straight into Harry’s ear. “Yeah, given the fact that I fucked you against the wall in communal showers – and you liked it, too – I’m the one being the romantic sap for asking you this way. ‘S that what you wanted to say?” Louis is still laughing, but his breath is sending tickling shivers down Harry’s spine and he shudders and he absolutely hates that Louis affects him so much, hates that Louis is aware of it and is able to use it whenever he wants, because clearly. it works every single time.
“I love you,” he then whispers softly as he pulls Harry who tries his best to keep silent, to stand up. “Let’s go to sleep, you great sap.”
James Bay – Need The Sun To Break
Their date falls on Tuesday night, though Harry tried to postpone it as much as possible. Louis seems to have everything perfectly planned and refuses to let Harry choose the day, or anything for that matter, he turns deaf whenever Harry tries to talk him out of it and only starts communicating with Harry when he sighs in defeat.
Despite the fact that Harry’s not twice comfortable being spoiled when he’s always been ‘the spoiled rich boy with too much money and big name’ – ew, disgusting –, he is still a little excited deep down his heart. Louis must have thought about it a lot and it sort of charms Harry how seriously Louis takes it and how excited he seems about the whole thing and Harry has to admit, somewhere throughout Tuesday, that it is completely toxic and there are sprinkles of excitement in his system as if they were awaiting Christmas.
Because Louis just won’t tell Harry anything. So it’s a complete surprise, which can be a little annoying at its context, because everyone else probably knows every smallest detail of it. Zayn observes Louis with a sort of pride when he tells them to have fun, almost as if he waited for Louis to get to this point of maturity and Niall for once stops pretending they are making him sick and instead watches them as if Louis was their son preparing to go to the prom with his boyfriend or something like that. Partly, Harry just expects the moment when they will force them to stand next to each other so that they can take a photo of them to frame it later and remember this extraordinary moment forever.
Even Liam was probably absolutely filled in, for he grants Louis knowing looks and winks and he’s glowing with sort of happiness, because he is just like that. He is the kindest, nicest person fucking possible and he is obviously delighted for Harry and for some inexplicable reason it pisses Harry off. (It doesn’t, actually, it warms his heart, but why does he have to be the only person in this whole goddamn camp who is kept in silence without a clue?)
“But what should I wear?” he whines quietly as the time passes by 5 pm and he is starting to panic. If he will have to go through that stupid forest again it’s probably not the greatest idea to wear something nice because, at some point, he will for sure trip and fall, but did he mention that Louis just won’t tell him anything.
“You’re gonna figure it out, love,” Louis laughs teasingly as Harry grits his teeth, breathing through his nose.
“I hate you,” Harry mutters for himself, walking to his luggage, because some pieces of clothing are still left untouched there.
“You know you don’t,” he hears Louis chuckle behind his back as he is bent down to his own suitcase. “Now get ready, will you?”
And so Harry does as he’s told. Looking back, he’s not entirely sure of what he’s been thinking when he packed his things, because he knew he was going to a camp in the middle of a goddamn forest, but he’s glad when he finds one of his shirts with black pants folded at the bottom of his suitcase. He rolls his sleeves a little bit up unsurely, and turns around to look at Louis who is already fully clothed and is unbelievable, as always.
He’s wearing a pristine white shirt, rolled up nonchalantly to his elbows, just about the right amount of tight around his chest, the collar fit around his neck. On the top of that, the black pants he’s chosen to wear are so close-fitting around his thighs, that Harry has to blink few times to make sure the boy standing in front of him is real. He’s so effortless, though, and Harry kind of feels like burying himself alive in his plain black outfit, especially if he is supposed to be side by side with him the whole night.
Louis’ eyes rest on Harry for few long seconds before he opens his mouth, but no words are to be heard as he closes it.
“Fuck,” he tries one more time as he blinks slowly, his eyes never leaving Harry who mindlessly frowns, confused.
“You do not like it, do you?” he mumbles, his voice falling, and avoids Louis’ gaze, because for some reason, looking good for Louis has gained an unhealthily importance despite the fact that next to Louis every person on the Earth looks dull, practically invisible.
“Like it?” Louis repeats croakily, as if he was trying to test the taste of those words, their accuracy, and Harry hears him shuffling closer. ”’Course I don’t fuckin’ like it, it costs me every ounce of me strength to not lock you up here and keep you for myself only,” Harry feels his eyes piercing through him as he stops so close that he can force Harry to look up with one of his fingers and brush their lips in what is almost a kiss, but not quite. “You’re so gorgeous, love,” Louis’ voice is as if trembling with affection as he almost joins their lips, but Harry snorts.
“Have you seen yourself?” he chuckles despite his cheeks starting to turn red at the attention and praise.
“I’m quite fit meself,” Louis shrugs and reaches for his wallet to slide it in his back pocket. “Doesn’t change a thing about the fact that you should be illegal right now,” he adds then as he reaches out to hold Harry’s hand automatically, leading him outside the door without looking back.
“Is it not a problem that we’re not going to be at the dinner?” Harry turns the topic of the conversation somewhere else, mainly to cover up how fast his heart if beating. Still, he has to swallow thickly few times for his voice to sound at least a light shade of normal.
“You worry too much. I’ve got it covered,” Louis rolls his eyes, but squeezes his hand reassuringly as he walks them to the exact opposite direction to where Harry thought they were going.
“Are we not going through the forest?” Harry asks, refusing to react, because he has every right to worry, thank you very much. Pretty sure, they are not supposed to be leaving the camp like this, or anyhow for that matter, especially at this hour.
Not that Louis would ever care much about what he is and is not supposed to be doing.
“For you to go and ruin that pretty clothes of yours?” he laughs and then turns to look at Harry who almost freezes, “what? You are clumsy, you know that,” he shrugs and drags Harry along without waiting for an answer.
Harry doesn’t try to ask after that, just enjoys the glimpses at Louis he steals every now and then and as his face is lit up all the time, Harry thinks that Louis looks like a Picasso picture.
It all clicks in place when they walk out of the camp and stand in the sort of parking lot, because there is Liam, sitting on the hood of his car effortlessly, twirling the keys around his finger, smirk plastered on his face. “You took your time,” his eyes travel from their toes to their heads searchingly.
“Harold here couldn’t decide what to wear. You know the drill,” Louis answers with a matter-of-fact voice before kissing Harry on the cheek and Harry doesn’t say a word, because Louis has him whole wrapped around his finger.
“I see,” Liam laughs and winks at Harry. He tosses the keys to Louis, pushing himself off of the car hood and walking towards them. “Well, children,” he tries to keep his face straight but fails miserably, still, he pats one of his hand to Louis’ and the other to Harry’s shoulder in a parental manner, “have fun, be safe. And you,” he turns specially to Louis now, “sir, get him home at time to avoid any trouble that might follow if not – “
“Oh my god, Liam, stop embarrassing me,” Harry interrupts, partly because he just wants to go already.
He thought he actually liked surprises, but maybe he will have to reconsider that statement.
“Will do,” Louis nods seriously as if none of them heard Harry’s complaints, before bursting to light laugher and patting Liam’s back. “Thanks mate,” and just like that, they are walking to Liam’s car.
Harry internally plans out having a talk about this to Liam, because Louis is borrowing his car and Harry had no idea about it and was left in desperate fear of having to walk through the forest in which case they would probably never make it out alive. Or at least he wouldn’t.
“You have your driving licence, right?” it slips out of Harry’s mouth before he can really stop himself.
Who stops instead is Louis, though, as he faces Harry and presses the hot palms of his hands on each of Harry’s cheeks, looking up at him with a mixture of amusement and endless fond – Harry’s mind still fails to process that part, to be honest – written in his expression. “Harry, relax, babe,” he pecks Harry’s lips shortly but sweetly. “This is for you to actually enjoy it; else I’ve planned it out for nothing. So please just get in the car and let me take care of it, love,” his voice is low and he licks his lips right before pressing one last kiss to Harry’s lips, that kind of kiss that leaves Harry chasing after him, that kind of kiss after which Louis laughs quietly to himself, satisfied, the kind of kiss that has Harry’s breath stolen for the whole ride to the town.
It takes them one quarter of the time they went through the forest to get to the city. Louis drives with his hand lay on Harry’s thigh effortlessly, making it hard for Harry to concentrate in the small space. He parks on the outskirts of the town along with saying that they have some time, so they can walk.
Hand in hand, they take slow steps and breathe in the changed atmosphere of the city. It looks different on the evening; as if awakening more with each shades that the sky above gets darker. From a window they pass is heard jazz music being played loudly, people laugh in the warmth of the evening and even though Harry recognizes some of the narrow alleys they go to, for they are empty and Louis can’t resist pressing Harry against the wall every now and then, it seems to be completely modified under the atmosphere bursting with thrilling beauty.
After a while, just when Harry starts wondering whether Louis actually knows where they are going, they stop in front of a brick building with glass front door and fairy lights hanging over the gutters. “We’re here,” Louis smiles at Harry and drags him inside. It shows that he’s made a reservation on his name (at which Harry gasps in surprise and asks when he did that, for Louis to only smirk smugly, the bastard) and they are led through the backdoor to a small garden with only few tables. Its setting’s so intimate that it feels as if it was just the two of them, when they are sat by the table at the most distant end of the place.
When Harry looks up he doesn’t see much of the sky, though, all around the place are lights hanging, creating sort of a ceiling, golden curtain above, and it colours the entire place, turns it magical.
And the thing is that Harry loves it. It’s completely different type of luxurious than he is used to and Louis is positively beaming as he leans across the table to hold Harry’s hand in his. “Do you like it here?” he asks a little bit hesitantly as if Harry’s eyes weren’t talking for him.
“I love it, Lou,” he looks up again, un-focusing his gaze childishly so the only thing above him is golden light glinting.
Harry is so naively happy, it’s stupid.
The time passes by far too quickly, though. In a split of a second they are already finishing their desserts despite it not being quite easy after all that they have eaten already, – Louis decided they have to try the chef’s speciality and because Louis stuck the fork with his food in front of Harry’s face and kept chanting “C’mon” until Harry opened up his mouth and tasted it – he was full.
Still, he would repeat it all over again if it meant them being able to stay out of the camp together for a little longer while. Their giggles are mixing up with light touches across the table and heated cheeks and hungry glances as the air fills light buzz of the night falling onto them, and time stops existing. As it does on each occasion that it’s only the two of them.
It seems like a different world that night.
If this is Louis’ idea of spoiling, the flowers growing in Harry’s lungs and blood pumping in his veins, he will take it. He will take all of it.
Suddenly, though, Louis tenses on the other side of the table, shifting uncomfortably in his chair. Harry feels it radiating from him, but before he can ask what’s wrong Louis is letting go of his hand and reaching to his pocket, eyes avoiding Harry’s nervously. When he puts his hands back on the table, he’s holding a black, elongated, rectangular box with a smooth velvet-like surface. His grip on it is trembling slightly and Harry waits with his heart pounding.
“Haz, I got you something,” Louis clears his throat and finally meets Harry’s eyes again, the corners of his lips twitching up barely noticeably. He looks torn between wanting Harry to already have his gift and running away, but he hands the box to Harry nonetheless, and when their fingers brush lightly it sends jolts of electricity through Harry’s body.
He doesn’t think that his body will ever stop reacting to Louis’ presence like that.
Harry finds his own fingers quivering slightly as he opens the box and peeks inside, his heart rummaging in his ribcage wildly. Inside, there are two delicate, thin, silver bracelets and before Harry can take a good look at them, Louis starts explaining hurriedly. “I thought that, like, maybe one day we will need to have something to feel close to the other one and so, um, this one here,” he leans over and takes one of the bracelets into his own hand, “that one is for you. See, there’s a little heart shaped lock on it as a fastening,” Louis’ voice is stained with what sounds almost as worry and he’s back to avoiding Harry’s gaze, but he takes the other one to the palm of his hand and continues, “and this one’s for me. That’s where the key to your lock is,” and he almost blushes.
Indeed, when Harry inspects the bracelet he sees a tiny key hanging off the Louis’ one and all he wants to do is jump up and pull Louis’ into the tightest embrace possible, because Louis might not even know what this means.
And it means absolutely everything.
Harry has no idea when or where did Louis get them, but there lays no importance upon these facts; it’s the sole thought of it, that matters.
“Lou, that’s-,” he gapes upon searching the right words as all the blood is rushed in his heart that refuses to stop doing little stutters at how overwhelmed with feelings he is. “It’s beautiful – I just – I love you so much,” he blinks quickly and hopes that Louis didn’t notice the sudden wetness of his eyes, because even without being aware of Harry being an oversensitive mess, he seems to understand as he wordlessly fastens and locks the bracelet around Harry’s wrist and then puts on his glinting one, decorating his delicate wrist.
“Told you, you wouldn’t get rid of me now,” he laughs almost as if to lighten up the mood. And it works.
Harry sort of thought that the dinner was the only thing planned for the night, but after Louis insists on paying (“Will you fucking let me do my job, Harold?”) they don’t go back to the car.
“Let’s walk for a bit, yeah?” Louis prompts and maybe he feels that none of them wants the night to end quite yet. It’s also almost early for them to leave, for it is only few unimportant minutes past nine and the air is still fresh. The bracelet is cold around Harry’s waist but paradoxically sends warm shivers through every cell of his body, and that’s when it’s Harry’s turn to kiss the fuck out of Louis, because he is his, and he’s walking happily, swaying his hips, his eyelashes casting shadows across his cheekbones and Harry loves him.
Louis is taken by surprise by the sudden urgency of Harry’s lips on his, but Harry’s lost in his little sighs when he tries to pull him closer.
“As much as I’d love to continue doing that,” Louis pulls out breathless after what feels like ages and is still not enough, his eyes blown wide, “I’ve got somewhere I want to go with you.”
Harry’s only been on one date, which was with Louis in McDonald’s, but he can say that it is the best date he’s ever had and might ever possibly have. After a while of Louis’ voice filling the streets brightly, it’s revealed to him that the place he wanted to take him to, is an old photo booth that Harry doesn’t believe actually works.
Without any sign of hesitation Louis drags Harry in and sits him down. “Are you sure that it’s working? I mean – “
“Shut up,” Louis rolls his eyes and to Harry’s utter surprise sits in his lap after throwing some coins in. “Of course it’s working,” he adjusts himself and without any further warning kisses Harry. Few loud clicks are heard along with photos being printed in following seconds, but it takes few more seconds for them to actually register the world around. Louis, sadly, hops off Harry’s lap and takes two sets of photos to his hands, his eyes crinkling fondly as he inspects them.
“We should probably go,” he announces and so they continue in their way as if they have never stopped in the first place.
“Do you ever think,” Harry starts after a moment of silence falling between them. His own set of photos is securely tucked in his pocket, but for some inexplicable reason it starts burning painful wounds to his skin whenever his mind falls to it, “that we, like, rushed the things?”
Louis’ silent for a while and apart from the traffic dying away, there are only their breaths and steady steps to be heard. Harry’s mind’s been troubled with this question for a while now, but he’s never had the courage to bring it up into a conversation, until now.
“It crossed me mind,” Louis admits mutedly. “But see, there is no right pace to take things at. Some people might fall in love after years and some people fall in love at first sight. And there’s no reason for us to live up someone’s expectations about ideal relationship. As long as it feels right there,” he touches a hand to Harry’s heart urgently, “it’s not rushed. It’s just about perfectly fine.”
That calms Harry down and he nods. Sometimes he forgets how sensitive and romantic under all those layers of sass Louis actually is.
“Do you regret anything, Harry?” Louis’ voice cuts through the night after few beats of silence, their hands swaying lazily.
“No, not at all. I just thought that maybe – “
“There are no rules to love, Harry,” Louis skips into middle of Harry’s sentence as if he was reading his mind. “It’s our love, no one’s other.”
They are almost by the car when Louis abruptly stops in front of an old looking store with neon lights at the top, that says “Tattoo factory”, but it doesn’t even work properly, only shines through at some intervals. It looks cheap and forgotten, convenient for drunken trips around the town and making mistakes.
“What are your thoughts on tattoos?” Louis asks mindlessly, his eyes skimming the pictures printed out in the shop window.
“Never really thought about having nor getting one,” Harry shrugs; he wouldn’t be allowed to do that anyway. “What about you?”
“I mean, I never liked them all that much. ‘S something inked in your skin forever,” Louis licks his lips and then turns his head to look at Harry. “Now, though, I’m thinking that getting a permanent reminder of someone’s not that bad of an idea. Actually, I quite understand it now,” his eyes are burning through Harry.
Permanent reminder of someone. Oh my God, Harry would do anything for this boy.
“You mean like complementary tattoos, that sort of thing?” the words are slow and heavy on Harry’s tongue as he tries to process the thought.
And it’s fucking brilliant.
“Yeah,” Louis nods shortly before returning his gaze back to those pictures.
“Brilliant,” Harry mumbles, leaning in closer to the glass, his breath creating foggy circle on the surface, to get a good look, too. He knows that Louis’ already a part of him, that he’s imprinted into his personality inevitably, but being able to show everyone, because he wants to show Louis to the world, wants everyone to know he is his, that makes his stomach flip stupidly and the palms of his hands sweat.
He’d love that so much.
“See, something like that,” Louis points out suddenly to a picture with a dagger through a rose tattoo.
“A dagger through a rose is a common tattoo that symbolises ‘loyalty’, a ‘willingness to fight for love’, and ultimately 'strength¨.”
Harry reads written in the small letters right under the picture and something stabs dangerously close to his heart.
Willingness to fight for love. Harry’s stomach swells. He hasn’t yet given up, has he? He’s still fighting for them, too.
“Maybe we’d get them on our forearms, like his, “ Louis drags his finger across Harry’s bare skin gently, “you could get the rose and I’d get the dagger then, so when we lay it would cut through,” Louis’ voice is barely above whisper as if he wasn’t even talking to Harry whose eyes are prickling dangerously again.
He’s really gotten himself too deep hasn’t he?
“Maybe one day,” it is hard for him to force the words out of his mouth, because it seems that the “one day” shall never come, but he keeps the hope, catches it before it escapes from his lungs and holds onto it as he leans down to kiss Louis on the cheek, before walking back to the car without stopping any further.
The picture along with Louis’ words stay in his head for the rest of the week, though.
Frank Sinatra – Fly Me To The Moon
With the second month inexorably advancing, Harry feels as if Louis was slipping through his fingertips despite his disability to name the emotion for the most of the time.
It’s not about the way the things are between them, though; it’s about the time jabbing at Harry’s mind mercilessly which leads to Harry almost counting the days they have left obsessively.
He likes to think about it like they could have left, he likes to still tell himself that it’s actually more than that, that they are endless, but something in his mind is pushing against his rightful will strongly.
The night after their date, Harry hasn’t slept at all. Listening to Louis’ deep breaths, he felt his chest moving up against his back and he tried to keep himself together. The bracelet shone through the dark painfully, contrasting with the chaos ruining Harry’s insides and the oxygen as if disappeared from the world and Harry’s chest wasn’t moving and he almost woke Louis up and spilled everything out.
And if Louis noticed dark shadows underneath Harry’s eyes the next day, he didn’t point it out, just swiped his thumbs against them lightly, as if wanting to enlighten them with his own glow.
Because Louis never loses even a hint of that. Only one night throughout the fifth week when they are sat on the green grass with their eyes closed, Louis gets overcast with shadows as his eyes cloud over, the blue in them darkening greyish-ly.
“My mom took a lot of shit from a lot of people, men especially,” he sighs suddenly, his eyes lost somewhere in the sky above as his head is laid in Harry’s lap. It startles Harry, the sad undertone of his voice, the urgency pushing through the words that are bitter to be heard. Harry can only imagine how they taste on Louis’ tongue. “The most of times we spent together was when I helped her with the girls or wanted to protect them and was incapable of doing so, so I watched her cry and –, “ Louis swallows thickly and Harry almost urges him to stop, because Louis just started talking about this without any sort of warning, and there is pain mirrored in his facial expression, in the precious control of his blinks and mimics, but he stays quiet, stroking over Louis’ hair lightly, because Louis needs this. “ – and it’s just, I might have blamed her sometimes, because I felt alone, but I – I just – I know, now, she alone blamed herself and, fuck, I should’ve never let those things happen to her in the first place. And the first time I went here, it was like me fucking running away from ‘em, because it got too much and – “ Louis’ until now haunted face suddenly softens up on the edges, “ – we are better now, mom’s all good. But when it was just like me and her that time she visited, it was sort of special, as cheeky as it sounds.” A pause ensues then, where Harry’s not quite sure whether Louis’ going to continue or not, but his own heart it beating heavily, pumping the pain through his veins.
Harry sees it clearly now, understands the timid sentences when Louis asked Harry how he knew, understands the shadows hidden behind Jay’s eyes, realizes it was strength radiating from her when she hugged him. Everything makes sense.
But Harry also sees 17 years old Louis running away from his family, because he can’t handle it, because he thinks he is not strong enough, even though he is strong enough to carry the whole world, he just might be too young to realize it, and Harry wants to cry.
It might be caused by the similarity of their situations or the hopelessness he feels from Louis’ past, or because he wants to show Louis how much he is worth, either way it’s not the normal type of urge to cry. No. This one’s the one that hurts too deep, deeper than is normal, it itches and scratches at Harry’s skin and tries to crawl in, and it’s horrid, but he pushes it back.
“Just thought that you, like, deserve to know this,” Louis says and Harry feels even worse than he is sure he looks, his throat burning sharply.
He doesn’t deserve a thing from Louis.
“I am so sorry Louis,” he whispers, leaning down to brush his lips against Louis’ forehead. And his cheekbones, and eyelids and jaw. “I am so sorry you had to go through this, but you are so strong, so incredible. You deserve everything this world has to offer, I hope you are aware of that,” his voice is lost and Louis smiles softly in response.
Maybe his throat is itching too.
Other than that they still manage to turn every day into something exquisitely beautiful.
Louis is Harry’s first everything. Harry’s not sure if that is what makes every single second so extraordinary, because it is completely different, but he doesn’t care. Because Louis is Harry’s first kiss, first quickened up heartbeat, first breath stolen away, first date, first drunken night, first loss for words at someone’s beauty, first love, first feeling of being alive, first everything.
And it doesn’t end. They find their first in everything.
Another one is a warm night at the end of the fifth week, that’s written into Harry’s memory so strongly that he’s sure he would never be able to erase it even if he wanted to. The name of the days flowing commonly with time stopped being important, because they seemed delusional. One second Harry felt like minutes separated him from losing Louis and the other he felt like they were forever.
And that just doesn’t make any sense does it?
So, it seems that time is an illusion, after all, and Harry decides that the only reliable thing is Louis skin brushing against his hotly, and focuses all of his senses to its only thrilling reality.
The night is dark and it shouldn’t be that easy for their eyes to adjust so soon, but the truth is, that the darkness surrounding them never stops them from looking at each other and seeing every single flick of each other’s slight emotions written in their faces. Though the world is a little bit in a blur most of the times now, for they surprisingly learned, that they are not the only ones sneaking out to the town, and so it’s easier to get some alcohol than to snap their fingers.
That night’s not any different.
Already bathed in the starlight, they’ve naturally sneaked by the lake, offering calming silence, giving them a stupid sense of lovable intimacy. Now, with the bottle of wine being almost finished – Harry’s learned that wine is probably most pleasant way of getting to see the world change in its shapes, though Louis prefers the bitter quick way, vodka would do it for him, which Harry still didn’t get to understand – and Louis being preoccupied with pressing open-mouthed sloppy kisses all along Harry’s neck, to his jawline and back, humming contentedly into his skin that grows hot despite the shivers running down his spine every time he hears Louis’ little noises, everything’s marvellous.
Harry doesn’t even try to suppress the giggles bursting from his throat, relieving the overwhelming feelings taking over his body.
It’s not unpleasant; it’s not unpleasant at all.
Louis bites down gently just right where Harry can feel his pulse quickening up harshly. “What’re you laughing at?” he breathes into the skin of Harry’s reddened cheek, his hair tickling Harry’s sweaty forehead.
“The stars,” Harry shrugs, he feels like that’s the answer to everything as his eyes get lost. Getting drunk with Louis doesn’t feel like he is hiding from the real thoughts pushing at him; three weeks left.
Actually, nights light these all the rational thoughts and the thoughts that should be worth focusing on are erased from the world completely, the signs of their existence disappear and so Harry doesn’t have to feel guilty about trying to push them away, because they aren’t there.
“What about them, silly?” Louis’ voice is silvery as the moon above and with that Harry realizes that Louis’ fully everything that surrounds him in its best state. He, himself, is the Sun, he is Harry’s boy bathed in gold and magnetizing glow – Harry knew that from the beginning – ,his eyes are the sky above, sometimes with little mischievous stars shining in their colour, blue and diamonds and also the sea, sometimes a little stormed over, his voice is blankets and the Moon, his skin is the December and the velvet and his lips, oh, his lips are the reddest of the roses and they are blossoming all over Harry and ,oh God. Harry might be drunk, but Louis is projected in everything Harry sees.
And he sort of wants to write sonnets about him.
They might be poorly written, but his heart would bleed to the paper and it would be painful, but maybe like that he would be able to show how much his heart is infected.
“They are smiling,” Harry says with a little pout as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, which, to be honest, it is in that moment for him as they sparkle, being their only company, the only company they need. Louis strokes Harry’s lips amusedly, as if he was trying to understand what’s coming out of them. Harry shudders.
“I think,” Harry says slowly, Louis’ finger still feeling his lips curiously, barely there, “that they are approving of our love.”
Part of Harry expects Louis bursting in laughter, but he attaches himself to Harry’s lips suddenly and urgently, without a warning. “Oh God, I love you so much, you poetic fucker,” he whispers roughly into his mouth, tasting like wine mixed with life and eagerness.
“Maybe it’s because, you know,” Harry breathily tries to continue through Louis’ lips being pressed into the corner of his mouth, “they know we are the same. They know, we too, are endless,” Harry can’t help but keep talking, because he is drunk in love and thinks that the buzz in his fingertips forcing him to touch Louis is not the alcohol, but the affection and need.
Louis finally stops nibbling at Harry’s bottom lip and pulls away to observe him deeply, Harry feels as if he could see everything of him, peeking under every single broken layer of him, and he lets him.
“Maybe you should be a writer,” Louis giggles after what feels like decades. “Those pretty little words coming out of that pretty mouth of yours are quite something to worship,” his sentences are clear and unaffected, as if he was just stating a fact. Harry’s learned long ago that Louis is not as easily drowned in alcohol as he is, his mind stays sharp and clear for much longer than Harry’s, though his cheeks are reddened and lips plump.
“Liar,” Harry laughs. The only thing he could ever write about is and will always be Louis.
However, that allows him access to an endless scale of inspiration.
Louis could be Harry’s muse. He sort of already is.
“You think we can swim in this water?” Harry asks out of sudden, as his eyes snap to the mirroring little waves. He’s never thought of it, but now it’s temping and beautiful.
“Perhaps,” Louis shrugs, his eyes shooting to the lake. “’S probably not the best idea now, love.” he pecks Harry’s lips, but Harry feels himself pouting. Louis shouldn’t be denying him anything, should he? “You’re quite drunk,” Louis explains, the laughter bubbling in his throat.
“I’m safe with you, though,” Harry looks at Louis the way of which he thinks is quite irresistible and eloquent, after all, Louis likes praise and undying attention more than anyone, which Harry provides quite easily.
Surprisingly quickly, there is a decision flashing through Louis’ eyes as he nibbles onto his bottom lip nervously. “Not sure about the water, though, it might be – “
“We’ll just have to see,” Harry stands up, determined, as he starts to undress himself until he is only in his underwear. Louis, still on the ground, looks up at him, eyes blown wide and lustful; he licks his lips and gulps visibly. After all those times they’ve seen each other naked now, Louis’ reaction is always the same; pure desire radiates from every cell of his body, and Harry doesn’t understand it at all and has to fight his instincts to hide himself away from being exposed.
Because as much as Louis worships and devours lovingly every inch of Harry’s body, he is still kind of shy in front of him. Because Louis is perfect.
See, when Louis gets up and undresses himself, too, mirroring Harry’s actions, Harry’s the one completely stunned, his mouth dry and eyes unmoving. And the cells of his body are screaming painfully to get him closer, because they fit.
Before Harry can get himself together, Louis grins and takes off, running through the grass and jumps to the water without hesitation or warning. The water splashes around coldly, the little drops touching Harry’s skin briefly, taking in Louis’ laughter hungrily.
Harry’s stuck in his place, his bare foot tickled by the soft grass as he waits. He’s not sure what he expected, but it was not this. How deep the water even is?
He doesn’t blink till he sees Louis’ head with his wet hair stuck to his forehead peek out, the water dripping down his face as he spits a little before standing up completely – the water barely reaches to his chest.
“What are you waiting for, Curly?” Louis laughs as he wipes his eyes and scrunches his nose, the water calming around his figure.
“How did you know it’s actually safe to jump there?” Harry feels stupid as the words come out of his mouth a little slurred, the alcohol pounding loudly in his system.
“Tried it last year,” Louis shrugs. “Adventures ‘n all that. C’mon then, join me,” he gestures for Harry to jump in and so he closes his eyes and runs forward until he is on the edge and then he jumps. It’s clumsy and he falls flat on his stomach and even when he dives in under the surface, the cold water cutting harshly against his limbs, he hears Louis’ sputtering laughter echoing in the dark.
He doesn’t see much when he stands up as well, but his body adjusts to the temperature pretty quick, though his brain as if freezes completely for few dreadful seconds.
“Still think it was a good idea?” Louis has his arms wrapped around his torso and he is bent forward, the laughter louder and louder each second as he watches Harry with his hair stuck to his face a little annoyingly.
Instead of answering (because even in this state Harry would like to keep at least a hint of his pride) Harry jumps at Louis and pushes him under the water with his weight. The water is not cutting anymore; still Harry doesn’t dare opening his eyes until he feels Louis fighting back and pulling both of them above the surface, the grin plastered on his lips.
“You’re an idiot, Styles,” he rolls his eyes but he is still gripping onto Harry’s shoulders firmly, their faces now inches apart. “I love it,” he leans forward as if to kiss Harry, which causes Harry’s heart beat to go embarrassingly crazy against Louis’ bare chest as their skin brushes.
In the moment when Harry leans forward to join their lips in a kiss because he’s exploding with electricity, Louis moves his hands to Harry’s torso and starts tickling him, grin plastered on his face as Harry full on falls on his back in the water. “You thought,” he laughs, his fingers dancing and digging and sending Harry into bursts of involuntary laughter.
“I – I, hate you,” he stutters out between cackles of laughter desperate enough for anyone to see that he is literally trying not to fucking drown right there, “so much,” he adds on, which only serves well for Louis’ own amusement. His little pleased giggles are drowning under the weight of the dark.
He waits until Harry is completely breathless, flexing his muscles to provide himself some sort of safety, because Louis’ hands are everywhere, for he has already learned where exactly Harry’s ticklish, and then he pulls Harry to stand up unsurely and smashes their lips together.
It’s wet, the water is everywhere as they reel in their places, feet getting deeper in the sand beneath them and Harry immediately grips onto Louis’ hipbones firmly for him to not be able to get away and Louis actually really fucking moans weakly as Harry pushes them closer, forcing Louis to wrap his own leg about his calves not to fall from the heated urgency.
And Harry feels the control he has, though it’s unusual and ridiculous, but Louis’ body is as if seeking him and Harry’s wound only by the thought of pulling away – but he does so anyway.
“Think you could get away this easily?” Harry grins when Louis whines and sticks his tongue out stubbornly. Harry knows he is out of his nature, though.
And suddenly water is being splashed all over him as Louis apparently tries to call for water battle. And it works.
Harry doesn’t know how long they spend jumping onto each other’s back clumsily, diving and splashing water around, kissing sloppily under the surface, but it’s long enough for him to be completely exhausted.
At once, Louis suddenly stops and observes Harry, his head tilted slightly as if in awe; he is swimming in place with the water reaching to his neck. Harry tries to catch his breath, but the truth is that Harry’s breath has been stolen for weeks now.
“What?” he asks; his voice croaky from the laughter and screams that must’ve woken up the whole camp.
“Let’s dance,” Louis shrugs, but his eyes are still piercing through Harry in the way that makes Harry’s blood rush.
“We don’t have music,” Harry rolls his eyes as Louis swims closer to him until he stands firmly again. Face to face with him, Louis wraps his hands around Harry’s neck, tugging onto the wet strands of Harry’s hair playfully, almost teasingly.
“You always have to look for problems, don’t you?” he buries his face in Harry’s neck as they both stand, and even though Harry doesn’t see him he is positive that he just rolled his eyes at him.
Without Harry having enough time to inhale and come out with an answer, Louis starts humming against his chest quietly, forcing him to move his legs along. “I don’t really dance, Lou –, “Harry tries to protest but Louis shushes him immediately, almost annoyed. “Shut up,” he growls and continues his quiet song until Harry gets his legs to move too.
“Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars, let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars,” they are just swinging in their place slowly as Louis mouths the words against Harry’s skin, imprinting them, they embrace themselves in the night, the water almost still around them.
“In other words, hold my hand,” Louis smiles into Harry’s chest and his heart is pounding almost as fast as Harry’s under the pressure of feelings as his fingertips brush against the skin at the back of his neck and Harry tightens his grip in the small of Louis’ back, fingers pressing into the dimples at the bottom of his spine that he wants to spend his life worshipping. “In other words, baby, kiss me,” Louis’ voice is soft and it’s bathing the world in its mystery as he presses one kiss on Harry’s cheek, standing on his tip toes and reeling little, before Harry stabilizes him.
His heart almost bursts with amount of love and affection as Louis continues singing Frank Sinatra, the sounds are the most precious treasure in the whole world and their breaths are intimate and hot and uneven, excitement jolting through their systems and neither of them minds that they are not really dancing.
It is the most romantically thrilling experience for Harry.
Erik Baker – Unbroken Promise
The sixth week starts of truly painfully.
Harry sharply realizes that with each week the time fastens by, and as much as he tries to convince himself it is only an illusion, it just doesn’t work anymore. The truth is that he has to face it even if he has refused to million times before. Because now, they only have three weeks left. Actually less than that, they leave on Sunday, all of them. That, when he wakes up on Monday morning, means 20 days; not even full 480 hours.
It’s hard to ignore that, almost impossible, truthfully.
Another completely unpleasant event arrives just the same day, when it is decided, during the music course, that out of all the possibilities they have been talking about, Grease will be their final performance. The whole fucking thing.
Of course, the idea came from that smart head of Louis’, and of course he is sent into absolute bliss when it’s decided, of course that Greg winks at him mischievously.
And of course, Louis gets the role of infamous Danny Zuko. It comes as no surprise and Harry’s all utterly happy for Louis, for it seems he literally lives Grease. Knows all the lyrics and dialogues preciously and he will recite them when asked to, with a pride heaving up his chest. He does great, too, and that’s when Harry’s body is warmed up with pride, because this boy is his, but still, he feels like it is more of drama course stuff, than anything else, a little bit too active for his liking.
Louis is absolutely delusional of Harry’s non-existent talent as he tries to push him into a role where he will actually get to sing a solo, but Harry refuses, his ears reddened, cheeks flushed with embarrassment. In the end, he is given the role in the chorus, but will still have to dance from time to time.
Harry will definitely have to call in sick.
The role of Sandy gets a blond girl that Harry’s barely noticed since the beginning of the course (you can’t really blame him with Louis Tomlinson sitting next to him every single day, chairs pushed so close that they are touching knees, slightly enough for Harry to go crazy) and he is not even sure whether she’s been there from the actual start or joined in later just like they did. Harry catches her name just briefly, she is Perrie, he thinks? Not that it really matters.
From that day, though, it is completely unthinkable for them to skip the course a single day and they will supposedly rehearse on Saturdays, too, now, which is not normal for them, but they “need to be pushed to their limits” as Greg likes to say, grinning at Louis inscrutably.
It’s not like Louis doesn’t make it up to Harry after rather happily, Harry dares to say, too.
See, Louis’ now made of laughter and excitement and goddamn fairy dust and gold and he literally baths Harry in his own ecstatic satisfaction with every touch he grants, with every glance he steals and hungry kiss he attacks him with unexpectedly.
More and more, Louis seems to set himself free and alive and he gets completely in his nature and as Harry watches him shine, he feels like he sees Louis’ future in front of his very eyes: he sees Louis with his hair slightly longer, walking on the stage and taking a bow with his eyes skimming the crowd of people clapping enthusiastically after another of his brilliant performances in the main role, bright and shiny, the palm of his hand pressed to his tummy. Harry knows he’s been made for drama, attention, for people to have the pleasure of watching him like this, when he does what he truly loves. And even if Louis is not able to say it just yet, Harry knows he has found himself.
It’s beautiful to watch, strangely, it matters to Harry more than his own future, and he needs to know that Louis will do okay.
But then again, it actually makes sense, considering the fact that Louis is the world.
The biggest problem, that Harry really tries to ignore, but is just not able to, comes in a shape of Perrie. Because see, they have to kiss.
Perrie and Louis have to kiss.
And it shouldn’t send Harry’s fists clenching and teeth gritting, but he can’t help it and he has to stand there and watch it, when the only thing he can think of doing is replacing her.
Harry knows it’s just a stupid play, is the thing, he is aware of Louis’ eyes searching for his carefully and almost reassuringly every single time after they do it. Harry sees how half-heartedly they do it, how the way Louis’ lips press against hers just lightly enough for it to resemble a real kiss, but for it to not be one, is not right nor natural nor their lips were made for each other, but still it stings and burns and the jealousy might be the weakest side of Harry’s whole character, but there is no way he will be alright with watching that without his throat itching painfully.
“Well, you could’ve played Sandy, you know,” Louis jokes about it lightly, when he finally gets Harry to tell him what’s wrong, but Harry just pouts until Louis sighs and straddles his lap, pecking his lips between each word. “I love you, Haz,” he says between the small candy-like sweet kisses and it’s enough for Harry.
Though, the jealousy never leaves him.
Only second day in into their practice, Louis literally forces Harry to go outside, and instead of watching the sunset colour the sky burningly, bleeding out the last bits of sunshine left, they lie down, Louis’ head in Harry’s lap he orders him to sing his parts, to remember the words.
“Why are you doing this, Lou?” Harry interrupts after trying one line for about hundred times, because it shows that Louis’ a desperate perfectionist when it comes to things he is passionate about – which this one definitely is. “You know I can’t sing, I barely have any talent at anything, why are you even trying?” there’s a stressed edge to his voice that wasn’t meant to be there, but it attacks him again. Ah, the life-long question whether he is good enough.
Louis opens his eyes and stares up at Harry searchingly, his lips in a straight line, his expression firm, almost sad. He sits up at once, slowly, blinking tediously, as if to wash away the dreadful silence following Harry’s question.
“You remember the conversation we had once?” his eyes are urgent as if he was trying to make Harry understand before he even started to shake his head confusedly. “The one where you asked me why I chose you?” Louis huffs out the word “chose” as if it was dirty and as if it was completely irrelevant.
Harry nods slowly, he remembers, he remembers the smallest moments, unimportant brief seconds, remembers everything with Louis.
“Well, what did I tell you, Harry?” Louis voice softens and so does his expression, his fingertips now brushing gently along Harry’s jaw, feeling the closeness.
“You – you told me,” Harry’s voice is stuck in his throat tightening; it all seems like ages ago. ”You told me I was wrong when I said I wasn’t interesting,” Harry gulps loudly. “You told me you wanted to show me how much,” he looks down fidgeting with the hem of his black t-shirt.
“Exactly,” Louis nods seriously, lifting up Harry’s chin to force his eyes to look into his shyly. “See, I’ve been trying to do that since,” it sounds as a confession, but it sets Harry’s body on fire. “I’ve been trying to show new things to you, so maybe you could find yourself in them, I’ve been trying to show you just how exquisitely beautiful you are, how amazingly smart that head of yours is, how unclearly you see yourself, how extraordinary and completely different you are, how there is so much more to the world, Harry, so much more to you than you allow yourself to see and embrace, how perfect you are to me, how much I love you,” his voice almost breaks as he touches his palm to Harry’s heart, feeling it rummaging in his ribcage, trying to get to Louis, Harry supposes, because he wants to give him every last bit of himself. “I won’t give up, Harry,” Louis says at last, his voice almost above whisper. “One day, you’re going to see it, too.”
It’s a promise, Harry recognizes. Harry doesn’t want Louis to promise anything with the little time they have left, with an explanation that Harry still owes him, an explanation that won’t let him sleep calmly anymore. But he stays quiet, holding Louis’ hand still where it is placed on his heart, because if he spoke up, he feels like he would fall apart, and not in the good sort of the thing. And he hopes Louis understands.
From that moment, though, he pushes himself harder and works better, at least he thinks so. Out of all the things he owes to Louis it’s the smallest thing he can do for him. When he sees the hint of satisfaction in the ocean of Louis’ eyes once Harry successfully manages to remember all of the stupid words in this play and agrees to try out the supposedly easy choreography, he thinks it is worth every minute the world has to give.
“C’mon, Haz, get the fuck up and join us,” Louis yells at Harry for what seems like a thousandth time as Harry stubbornly crosses his hands over his chest, sitting up straight in the grass far from where the boys are, the sun burning on his skin hotly. He wishes there was at least a tree he could hide under.
Seventeen days left. The only thing ringing in Harry’s ears is now “summer loving, had me a blaaast,” and a picture of Louis’ hands wrapped around Perrie’s waist is in front of his eyes anytime he closes them.
Let’s talk about an actual torture.
“Fuck’s sake, mate, don’t be a bloody idiot – “
“I’m not going to join you,” Harry creates a horn around his mouth for his yell to be clear and loud enough for everyone to hear him as he interrupts Niall who just waves it off carelessly.
See, the boys have chosen this wonderful afternoon to get a ball and find a space free enough of trees, so that they can play football. Dreadful sport if anyone asked Harry, which they unfortunately didn’t and automatically thought he would play with them.
Which hah. No. Seems like they forgot, he sometimes can’t even walk straight without tripping over.
“Love, just – “Louis tries one more time in the meantime of squatting, his bum pushed out sinfully. The birds are singing loudly above their heads, the sky is empty of any clouds and there is music to be heard from the camp for everyone is preparing for another party with a bonfire – as everyone gets to know each other better, it becomes an everyday routine for them to make a sort of party. It’s loud and drunken and filled with jokes and kisses everyone forgets the next day and it’s brimming with youth and happiness and Harry with Louis always get lost, because they can’t get enough of each other.
They can’t keep their hands off of themselves, it almost becomes annoying to everyone in their company, but the two of them are not aware of anything.
They are lost within each other undeniably and completely.
“You are two on two, I’ll be perfectly fine to just admire you from afar,” Harry yells back. Of course Niall teamed up with Zayn and Harry wouldn’t doubt that the pair of them would beat anyone, for they are completely in sync, probably speaking telepathically (Zayn might even confirm that without blink of an eye, he would also say their auras are of similar colours and the universe revolves around their love and Harry wouldn’t even be surprised anymore), if it weren’t for Louis being the very best person at every single thing he does.
And Harry knows that Louis loves playing football, has played it since he was a child, and Liam’s sportier than the rest of them unified in one, so Harry knows it won’t be any problem.
He spends the next two hours cheering frantically, until his voice’s almost gone and his throat is scratchy. The only time he gets up is to get himself a glass of water (at which Louis scoffs from afar, his nose scorning disgustedly) and the rest he enjoys blatantly, his eyes never leaving Louis running around tirelessly, his cackles warming up the evening, sending all of them to irrational bursts of laughter, too.
Louis’ toxic. Harry loves him so much.
It is rare and absolutely luscious to sit around in the grass staining one’s pants, and watch Louis in his natural state, revealed and free and unguarded, focused only on the game and nothing else. Harry considers having a chance to witness something like that his personal win.
In the end, Harry’s sure Louis and Liam won, but Niall refuses to believe it, cursing loudly with the crinkles around his eyes and Zayn just shushes him with soft words of praise and love. At one point Harry thinks he sees Sophia waiting for Liam behind the trees, but he can’t bring himself to care any further, for Louis is sitting down to straddle him, his sweat collecting on his collarbones temping Harry to lick it off. He gulps and kisses Louis instead. “You were amazing,” he grins between the kiss as Louis shifts in his lap, needy, smug, tiny, teasing fucker that he is.
“Tell me something I don’t know, Styles,” Louis rolls his eyes as the rest of the sunshine baths in his hair goldenly, but he lets Harry to suck on his neck nonetheless.
Frédéric Chopin – Nocturne op. 9 no. 2
“Harry, wake up, love,” Louis’ voice sounds dangerously close to Harry’s ear, jolting him awake.
“What’s wrong?” he blindly searches for Louis somewhere around himself, only to find him fully clothed standing above him. The room is completely drowned in the dark of the night; there is nothing but silence flowing around as Harry groans into the pillow.
Too well he knows the grin lighting up Louis’ face as he presses a kiss to Harry’s cheek; Louis is up to something. And Harry would much more prefer him to just wait until normal hour of the day, one where he doesn’t feel his back hurting and head dying under the weight of the alcohol he consumed.
This time, he is never drinking again. He promises to himself (and fails to keep that promise the following night, but fuck, fifteen days left?).
“Just get up,” Louis keeps hovering above Harry as he strokes over the skin of his cheeks, which works more like a lullaby to be quite honest, but who is Harry to tell Louis that, especially when he is on his best way to fall back asleep.
“You can’t make me,” Harry desperately tries, reaching for straws, both of them know that it is a blatant lie. But the bed is so warm and comforting and Harry never wants to leave it.
Louis just laughs at him. God dammit. “Please?” he whines a little, kneeling beside the edge of the bed as Harry peeks out one eye at him, trying to fight the urge to do everything Louis asks him for. And fails, of course.
“Chrissake, fine,” Harry frowns as Louis kisses him happily and waits for him to dress up, which takes twice the amount of time it would take normally, but you can’t really blame Harry, for the time at his watch shows 2 fucking am.
Louis is the life of Harry’s now, but he sure as hell will also be the death of his.
Unfortunately, he’s so desperately weak for Louis that when he reaches for his hand and leads him outside, Harry doesn’t question it. Actually, he doesn’t bring himself to talk at all for few minutes, having already gotten used to Louis exploding with surprises and finding twisted pleasure in denying Harry the answers he seeks.
Still, he has to ask when they stop in front of the building they have music courses in, for Louis lets go of Harry’s hand, shooting him one apologizing glance and reaches to his back pocket, the air suddenly being rang through with clinging of metal, until he pulls out a rich bundle of keys and rustles through them for a bit, inspecting each one carefully. “Louis, what the – “ Harry raises his eyebrows, but is shushed by Louis’ hand pressing onto his mouth , giving him a pointing glare before returning to his keys.
“Yeah, that’s the one,” he whispers to himself, pushing it into the lock victoriously, turning it until there is a click to be heard, and the door opens all at once.
To enter the room at this time of the night, when it is completely covered under the secret of the starlight makes goose bumps rise on Harry’s skin coldly, for he only sees silhouettes of the chairs in the positions they left them in. The moon shines in through the windows, and is the only source of light, because Louis doesn’t turn the lights on even when he closes the door behind them.
“How did you get the keys?” Harry blurts out, automatically locking himself to Louis’ hip, sense of safety spreading through him immediately.
“Greg,” Louis shrugs as if it was self-explanatory and Harry decides to not push it further, as there are another questions burning on his tongue.
“What are we doing here?” he feels infinite pressure pushing onto him, forcing him to keep whispering, which feels ridiculous, but there is sort of adrenaline rushing through his veins as his heart beats loudly enough for it to wake the whole camp up, for he feels like they are doing something that is not allowed.
And that feeling is most definitely correct.
“Tonight, we are making memories,” Louis whispers mysteriously right into Harry’s ear and Harry would normally most probably laugh it off, but he just nods as the sound barely touches his senses, and lets himself be led towards the unlocked piano with its white keyboards shining under the Moon touching them with its finger gently.
Louis sits down onto the small chair by the instrument and motions for Harry to sit down on the second one. “You tell me you can play bloody piano and I swear to God, Louis, - “
“I can play bloody piano, Harry,” Louis winks, his hands lying flat against the keyboard, brushing it, as if caressing a friend he hasn’t seen for a long time, just to make sure they are there, until he pushes down onto one of the white keys and the sounds rings through the whole space, echoing multiple times around the walls.
“Louis! You aren’t gonna play now, are you?” Harry is one hundred per cent sure someone would hear them. Also he is sure he would come and kick them out and they would get in some serious trouble.
Which no, thank you, as tempting as it is to hear Louis playing, because only the image of it almost sends Harry ascending to heavens, he would like to stay living in this paradise on earth for a little while longer.
Actually as long as possible, thank you.
“Well no shit, Sherlock,” Louis rolls his eyes, but his voice is still muted. “Why else would we be here?” he searches Harry’s face as their eyes get adjusted to the dark slowly. The moon starts to get clouded over.
“I don’t know, you tell me,” Harry frowns; sometimes he doesn’t understand Louis at all. Yet, he is there with him, doing things he would never do on his own, and it’s exciting and dangerous and Harry can’t help but want to live the feeling for a while.
“Jesus, Harry, of course I’m gonna play – “
“Someone will hear,” Harry protests immediately, but he knows what the answer will be, before he even finishes his own sentence.
“Stop. Looking. For. The. Problems,” Louis emphasizes every single word, his eyebrows knitted together, and once Harry opens his mouth he speaks up again. “I want to play something to you,” he looks down on his own hands on the keyboard, adjusting his feet on the pedals, thoughtful, with the corners of his mouth twitching up barely noticeably at some image in his head, before he controls his expression. “Sometimes you remind me of art,” Louis whispers bashfully, shyly, and it’s ironic, because Louis himself is every single Claude Monet’s painting Harry can think of, and sometimes he is a Keats’ poem and Louis is the single greatest personification of art. “I’ve been thinking of a way to show you, so,” his voice gets lost as his breath hitches in a little bit, before he cleans his throat and glances once at Harry without saying anything further.
And he starts playing.
And Harry knew it would be beautiful, somehow he was sure that as every other thing Louis does, this won’t be any different, he knew he would be magnetized be him and completely mesmerized by the whole moment, but it’s just different. Louis’ eyelashes cast shadows onto his cheekbones softly as he leans forward, closer to the instrument, under what is, seemingly, the weight of emotions heaving onto him and maybe within himself, too, and his fingers are smartly dancing an unknown choreography, moving swiftly and gently, pressing a special purpose to every single note.
And Harry’s so in love with this boy that there is nothing else that matters. All the worries about them getting caught are gone and they are not important anymore, but Louis pouring every single of his senses to the music, Louis gasping a little as he stops for a split of a second in the middle of the melody before returning to it to devour it, Louis revealing himself to Harry like this, that’s what’s important
Harry knows the composition.
“That’s Chopin,” he whispers involuntarily and Louis smiles happily. Harry’s listened to Chopin, thousand times, for it was the only pleasant of his duties from the music lesson in his school. He adored him, never quite understood how it was possible to say so much with music without words being used. He knows every single of his compositions by the sound.
Never did it sound this beautiful to his ears, though.
He then waits until Louis finishes and it’s not easy to speak up, because there are tears prickling in the corners of his eyes.
Louis said Harry reminded him of this. This – one of Harry’s most favourite compositions in the whole world.
“Louis that was,” he clears his throat, but Louis looks at him gently, without any judgment pressed in the contours of his face, “that was beautiful, I just – “ he stops and kisses Louis, hoping that it would be enough to express everything he can’t say.
“Nocturne, op. 9, no. 2,” Louis recites as if he was preparing it the whole time, pleased, once they pull away a little breathlessly, “’s just as beautiful as you are,” he whispers, but then he looks at Harry and shakes his head, reaching one of his fingers to trace the line of Harry’s lips, leaving him shuddering. “Not quite actually. Still haven’t found one that would be at least close to your beauty,” he whispers sadly and then they are kissing again.
Sitting on the ground they get lost in time and each other’s quite sighs, Harry’s body screaming for more as it always is as Louis’ hands lovingly brush against his hipbones, pulling him closer. “Louis, we should go,” Harry almost whimpers after few minutes of trying to resist the urge to give himself in completely, “we shouldn’t – here – not here,” he protests as Louis pins him down, carelessly licking onto the skin on his neck, biting down, positively leaving a mark, “I won’t be able to – fuck – be here ever again without having to think about this,” his voice is completely weak and clouded over with lust and he, himself, doesn’t believe a word rolling off his tongue, because the only word that’s worth saying is Louis’ name.
“Good,” Louis grins a little breathily as he moves himself to press his lips against Harry’s once more. “Really good,” he repeats and so Harry gives himself in to the hot burning desire that is everything that Louis presents in the very moment.
Bastille – Flaws (acoustic version)
The Sunday is the only day when they don’t have to rehearse. Throughout the late breakfast the rain starts dropping onto the windows and by the time they get back to lie down in their bed lazily, it’s dark as if the evening was coming down on them and the world is hidden behind curtains of raindrops.
It’s convenient, though.
Harry and Louis spend whole day together. The atmosphere is serene in the coziness of their cabin. Louis lets Harry wrap himself in his grey sweater, and Harry buries his nose into the soft cloth every single time he thinks Louis’ not watching him, breathing in his ethereal cinnamon scent, trying to remember how it feels.
The raindrops thrum on the glass of their small window the whole day, the intensity rises up sometimes, but other than that it creates completely pleasant, muted, and monotonous layer of sound, reminding them more of a lullaby than anything else.
Everything is slow and lazy as the time drags, and so do the soft brushes of their lips and shattering sighs, getting lost in the sounds of the rain. Louis looks sleepy underneath the thin blanket, his hair is in an unorganized mess and his eyes, clouded over similarly to the sky, are closing involuntarily as they intertwine their legs to keep close.
“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness;” Harry presses softly into the skin of Louis’ neck, breathing him in, small book in his hand, eyes glinting to it occasionally as Louis’ own fall closed fully, “but still will keep a bower quiet for us, and a sleep full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing,” Harry all but whispers as he can’t believe Louis insisted Harry read him Keats’ Endymion, when, in fact, it is about him, “Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing a flowery band to bind us to the earth, Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth of noble natures, of the gloomy days,” Harry knows that he won’t be able to ever read Keats and not think about the way Louis’ eyelashes flutter or his lips tempt him to forget the words and touch, he is sure that there won’t be any poem in the world that wouldn’t remind him of how it feels when Louis turns his head to press a kiss onto his forehead mildly in the ashes of the room.
And so he reads on with his throat itching, and Louis hums contentedly, sometimes leaning down to bite on Harry’s earlobe while he still reads and Harry whispers: “I can’t believe you,” breathily, his voice shuddering on the edges, but continues reading, the colours behind his eyelids mixed with coldness, when they flutter shut involuntarily.
Sometimes Louis interrupts Harry in the middle of the shy line by his lips pressed to Harry’s, the emotions dropping between the touches and Harry breathes out a weak, “I can’t read like this, you know,” and Louis kisses him harder, heating up the air.
Harry will stop from time to time and observe Louis, because he looks peacefully, as if fallen asleep and he will whisper to himself a:”Everything carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail towards those isles of yours that wait for me,” and Louis will pout, even though his cheeks colour barely noticeably and he will say: “You did not read that, Styles,” his voice low. And Harry will shake his head, though Louis can’t see him for his eyes are still closed, with his heart pounding wildly, because he thought Louis wouldn’t hear him. “That’s Pablo Neruda,” he will shrug then, unsure, “I remember this one.”
And that’s how the day goes on. During the afternoon Louis sings to Harry occasionally, the voice resonating in his chest where Harry’s head is pressed to, the soft sound lingering in the air, brushing away everything that might be dreadful until the only thing is Louis again.
Harry loves it.
But when he feels himself drifting to sleep exhaustedly after having focused on different words and keeping himself sane underneath Louis’ curious fingertips, Louis jumps out of the bed, returning to his energetic, radiant self.
“Let’s do something,” he prompts, his voice loud in the contrast to the savoury silence they’ve kept themselves hidden in the whole day. They should turn the lights on, for the rain is still creating a curtain and Harry barely sees Louis, but he stays in the warmth of the bed, trying to figure out of what Louis is made.
He probably runs on solar energy for he is the Sun and that’s why he never gets tired. Harry’s quite smart when he is sleepy, innit?
“Cuddle,” is all he says in return, shoving his face into the pillow waiting for the weight of Louis’ body to swing the bed as he jumps behind him to wrap his hands around his waist.
But it doesn’t happen.
Jesus Christ, Harry sometimes thinks about how much more sleep he would be able to get if there was no Louis. It stings when it hits him harshly, that he might have to find out soon enough.
Get it together, Styles, now is not the time.
“Nah,” Louis rolls his eyes as Harry forces himself to sit up on the bed, the blanket wrapped around his torso tightly. “I want to do something.”
“Well, there’s nothing much to do in this kind of weather, Lou,” Harry weakly protests despite being aware of the fact that weather is not a problem for Louis. Ever.
“I don’t know about you, young one,” Louis turns around and walks to his drawers, opening one and pulling something out, “but I’ve got an idea in me head,” he turns back to look at Harry, the self-satisfied crooked smirk on his face and a bottle of clear liquid clutched firmly in his right hand.
No. Absolutely not.
“No way,” Harry shakes his head vigorously when he understands that it, for sure, is not water in the bottle. “That was our plan for yesterday’s night, Lou,” Harry continues shaking his head, he doesn’t want to. His head still hurts slightly from the night before, and there is a determined expression on Louis’ face and it mildly terrifies Harry.
“Yeah,” he nods in agreement. “It will be different tonight, though – “
“It’s still drinking, Louis,” Harry eyes the bottle with pure disgust. He hopes Louis notices.
“Will you just let me finish?” Louis raises his eyebrows pointedly and waits until Harry closes his mouth, the frown still, hopefully, remaining on his face. “Thank you. Now, it will be different, because, we’ll play never-have-I-ever drinking game,” Louis finishes proudly, as if the idea was a revolutionary aspect of their lives.
Which it is not.
“The only difference there is, that you’ll be able to control the level of my drunkenness, because you know practically everything about me,” Harry likes the whole idea less and less, but he gets up from the bed nonetheless, keeping the blanket wrapped around his body.
Louis’ already sat on the wooden floor, his eyes glinting up at Harry expectantly as he opens the bottle. “So, one person says the statement,” Louis grins at Harry once they are facing each other, their knees touching, “who has done the thing drinks, obviously. Simple,” he places the bottle in the gap between them, excited as a kid on the Christmas morning. Harry doesn’t understand. “You wanna start, or?” Louis pretends to think, tapping his chin with his fingers.
“You can do it,” Harry says, rolling his eyes. Maybe because he’s never played this goddamn game or maybe he knows Louis’ burning with desire to start off.
“Never have I slept with only one person,” Louis shoots once he is given the opportunity to as if he had it prepared for the longest time.
Which Harry doesn’t doubt he had, because it doesn’t even make sense properly, the sentence is only serving for Harry to have to drink.
“Now, that’s just plain cheating,” he frowns as he takes the bottle of Vodka in his own hands, the disgust filling his body only by looking at it, “you know you were my first, you are simply using it to get me drunk,” Harry complains but the only response he gets from Louis is a wink so he drinks up with a sigh.
His insides burn and it costs him all the strength for his stomach to not protest as it flips painfully. Harry hates vodka.
Louis doesn’t drink. “C’mon then, Curly, your turn.”
Harry thinks for a while, but as the air is getting darker it seems that it doesn’t matter what he says at all, he only has to save himself. “Never have I ever kissed a girl,” he blurts out and supposes that they will simply continue, but Louis reaches for the bottle and takes one gulp, lightly, as if he was welcoming an old friend.
Harry doesn’t understand it.
“Experimenting ‘n all that. ‘Course Perrie in the play doesn’t count,” Louis shrugs when he catches Harry observing him curiously.
Inexplicably, Louis manages to find a thing that Harry’s done every single round, on the contrary to Harry missing Louis’ ones most of the time. It would maybe create some sort of suspicion in his mind, weren’t it for the fact that he’s finished most of the bottle by himself and his head is spinning around as little hysterical laughter escapes from his throat, louder than expected.
The last thing he remembers clearly is Louis taking a gulp when Harry randomly splutters out: “Never have I ever cried when watching Titanic,” and showing Harry the empty bottle, attaching their lips together, sharing the bitter taste and resplendent, stupid joy bubbling in their insides as everything changes its shapes again.
And Harry giggles into the kiss that is far too sloppy and needy, because he is far too gone to care and thinks, that maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea, after all.
The rest of the night are little bits shuttering to incomprehensible moments and long seconds and soothing words. It is yet another one of Harry’s firsts happening with Louis. The first time he throws up behind the cabin as he remembers that in two weeks he will already be parted from the very boy that’s caressing his back lovingly, from the boy who holds him and gets him water and tells him he loves him even though he is gross.
He’s not sure what he confessed during the game, but he hopes nothing too fatal. Remembers drinking because he has made mistake with someone that matters a lot to him, remembers drinking because he was scared, but he doesn’t remember when Louis drank or what the other questions were.
The only thing that remains in his head as he is tucked to bed is Louis whispering into his ear sweetly. “I will always take care of you, Harry,” he declares as a promise before everything blacks away completely.
“Fuck,” that’s the only word Harry has to express how he is feeling when he is woken up far too early by the sound of birds singing outside annoyingly. Apparently, it stopped raining.
“Morning,” somewhere from the space Louis’ voice laughs and Harry tries to move his body to reach behind him and it sends his head into shrill stings of pain and dull pounding in his temples. So, this is how it feels when you are actually hangover. And Louis isn’t there.
“I’m gross,” Harry says without opening his eyes, the taste on his tongue almost sending him back to where he ended last night as his mind starts to reveal a little bit of the events, but he is not able to put them together correctly, not quite yet. Maybe he also hopes Louis will speak once more, for it sounds like a symphony to him in the moment when everything else hurts. Also he is truly and undeniably ashamed.
“Yeah,” Louis laughs once more and Harry feels him hovering above him until he touches his heated cheek slightly with the palm of his small hand as if scared of hurting him. “Are you okay, though?” there is a concerned edge to Louis’ voice and Harry would most definitely be touched if he wasn’t so terribly disgusted with himself.
“I threw up,” Harry states, almost hoping that Louis will deny it, even if it was only for him to feel better.
“Yeah,” to Harry’s disappointment Louis confirms lightly.
“In front of you,” each one of Harry’s words is helping to jab the hole of shame he wants to bury himself in. Fuck. “And you’re still here,” he continues and finally opens his eyes upon the realization. The harsh light hits him, but it’s immediately shadowed over with Louis’ figure.
Louis looks healthy, clean and very much alive – complete contrast to how Harry currently feels and what he represents, which would absolutely be shame, distaste, and if not death itself than at least desperate and painful desire to be dead.
“Of course I am, silly,” Louis rolls his eyes and kisses Harry’s forehead shortly. “I’ve got bad news, though,” he then frowns a little, scooting closer to Harry where he is sat on the edge of their bed.
“What?” Harry’s voice is croaky and he doesn’t like this at all. He wants to fall back to sleep.
“You need to get up and shower real quickly, love,” there’s an apology written in the tone of his voice and careful smile and it almost startles Harry. “We sort of forgot we are going to the town collectively, today,” he bites his lips as if he was expecting for Harry to explode, but other than groaning into the pillow Harry nods for the relief strangely washes over him. For some reason he expected for it to be worse.
Actually, he understands why Louis was so careful and apologetic just an hour later, when they are walking through the forest; taking the fastest trail possible to get to the town. Adding up to Harry’s head bursting with pain and skin wanting to crawls off of himself, Louis has to hold a protective hand around his waist the whole journey, for he almost trips every five goddamn seconds.
He completely forgot there was this sort of trip planned, for it seemed almost useless with thirteen days remaining till the end of the camp – ouch, the pain torturing Harry’s head and limbs changes its directions quickly upon the thought, hurting his heart instead –, but apparently they are to separate in the town and get few hours to buy snacks or whatever they want to.
Hah. As if everyone wasn’t sneaking out of the camp regularly anyway.
Still, it kind of makes sense, Harry realizes. At the end of third week parents came and brought everyone what they needed, so now, when they are starting their seventh week out of eight, it is understandable, that they need to let everyone get what they want.
Harry, Louis, Niall, Zayn and even Liam, decide to get some breakfast together first, and Louis, the leader of literally everything, announces that they are going to Starbucks. It helps Harry to get back on the track a little bit as he drinks an Americano and nips at the edge of the Belgian waffle Louis ordered for him.
It’s pleasant to spend time together and Harry enjoys watching the boyfriends on the other side of the table, enjoys the love filling the air without them being aware of it as they are lost in their own world despite Niall being the loudest person in the whole café, properly attacking the whole idea of having to get up earlier just to do something they all can do without having a permission anyway.
Another calming factor is Liam sitting quietly, trying to direct Niall’s enthusiasm somewhere useful and laughing with his nose scorned up, little crinkles creating around his eyes.
Harry loves his boys.
It’s not only about having met Louis anymore, see. He knows that Niall and Zayn are a part of his life too, though it is in a different context, still he can’t imagine not being around them. Zayn, though he doesn’t speak as much, carries this calm around that Harry’s always forced to breathe in and out, and stop panicking as Zayn smiles at him in the way that makes Harry feel like he might actually mean something. Because Zayn sees a meaning in everything, understands the things most people don’t and reveals even the smallest things when other would simply ignore them for their seeming unimportance.
And Niall’s just this little personal heater that you can carry around and when you feel your heart getting colder and your insides freezing with fear, he makes it better, makes it go away until the only thing left is his cackles and accent and infinite love for good whiskey he’s said to chug as if it was water.
The nostalgia attacking all of Harry’s senses might be caused by the unshakable feeling that he is being watched, that they are being watched, but it doesn’t stop him from observing each one and thinking about them individually.
He’s known for far too long that Liam is made of chocolate eyes, muscles, never ending kindness along with puppy smiles and soft sighs, but that’s okay, because Liam is here to stay. There is nothing of his support and soft glances he could miss, because he will not lose it.
He also knows now that Zayn is made of caramel skin, rich colours of sunflowers, sharply cut jaw, paintings and brushes stained with baby blue colour, because he mindlessly prefers that one; he is so filled with love, and thoughts way too good to be said out loud.
And he is aware of how Niall is made of fireworks, beer, the guitar strums, the laughter and light he just effortlessly gives everyone he looks at, because it is his nature, because he gives everything out of him without keeping for himself and that’s why he is richer than Harry will ever be.
And then, there is Louis, sitting side by side with Harry, who is made of oceans and skies and every single time of the year, who is made of soft skin and thrilling smile and undying strength he radiates every second of his existence, Louis who is made of everything and nothing, because he is the one who effortlessly gives shapes to all of his surroundings.
And Harry is looking at them, blaming his silence at being sick, but he just wants to enjoy the real state they are in. Although he knows that it’s far from the end at the moment, still the fire is set within his lungs against his will as the feeling is set in his guts and his eyes shoot around nervously.
Someone is watching them.
Harry would like to say that the feeling of being observed has passed throughout the rest of the day, but the truth is that the longer it lingered in the air, the more on the edge Harry was set and the more concerned looks he was given from Louis.
Clearly, he hasn’t caught anyone following them nor he met eyes with someone across the street, but the feeling was always there.
Even now, as they decided to go to the Tesco at last, to buy alcohol, for they are running out of their stocks quickly – the blame is on Louis, by the way – chocolates and chocolate bars (also for Louis), chips with every single flavour possible (Niall) and other abruptly unnecessary but very temping things. As they walk through the aisles slowly, Louis has got one of his hands pushed to Harry’s back pocket and the other wrapped around his shoulder firmly. He makes little jokes and giggles into Harry’s neck as he tries to get Harry to buy him another unhealthy chocolate bar.
It doesn’t stop Harry from turning back every now and then, because it feels as he was still being pierced through by someone’s eyes rather harshly. His gut squeezes on itself dreadfully and it doesn’t stop until they proceed to pay, by which point Harry’s utterly overwhelmed and frantic.
Of course, he doesn’t share with any of the boys and they still manage to have fun throughout the day, joking on Liam’s account as he often zones out completely, mixture of dumb and lovely expression on his face, managing to eat almost all of the food they bought and just being together.
Still, Harry doesn’t get rid of the weird feeling until he is tucked safely in Louis’ embrace in their bed, feeling his breath, sharing the air with him, their bracelets shining through the dark as they wrap their hands together clumsily.
Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into The Dark
A/N: Includes violence, viewer discretion advised.
Though they are halfway through August, the summer is shining fully on as the grass keeps getting greener with few strands occasionally turning yellow-ish under the inevitable burn of the Sun above, there are no clouds on the sky, and Harry should feel the heat burning on his skin, but the only feeling on his skin that matters is Louis breathing him in with his eyes closed, inhaling and exhaling deeply and slowly, as if trying to remember every little aspect of Harry’s scent.
It makes Harry’s head spin, how intense it feels.
The lake is calm and Harry thinks they will have to make another night adventure and go swimming once more, hopefully with Louis singing quietly to his ear.
They’ve spent the last hour buried in the grass, with Harry reminding Louis just how much he truly loves him. By now, it was sure no one could ever walk in on them, since they have clearly been the only people at this forbidden place since the summer started, but it still sets Harry’s heart on the edge, the infinite drill.
Harry’s completely overwhelmed with love, the control over his body is being taken by exhaustion, but still he is ecstatic. Every inch of his body is left on fire after Louis endlessly pressed quiet ‘I love you’s to its every part he could reach. His fingertips pressed love into the dimples at the bottom of his spine, his lips drew love all across his thighs, and his words reached every cell of Harry’s body, resonating there with unbelievable strength, making him fall apart as Louis’ tongue praised his collarbones, his ribs. He lost himself as Louis’ delicate fingers pressed every ounce of his attention to Harry’s hipbones surprisingly strongly and urgently. As Louis’ teeth scratched and marked darkly and made Harry’s body his, Harry believed Louis loves him and let himself be loved. Under the need of Harry to trust Louis being pressured onto him as the oxygen was knocked out of his lungs and was instead replaced by flames, Louis’ name will linger on Harry’s lips forever, no matter how many times he brushes them with his own hotly.
And every cell of Harry’s body now knows Louis loves him, with every breath he takes, he understands that he is good enough.
“I love you,” Louis whispers into the marked skin of Harry’s neck, still stinging beautifully and continues to breathe him in, stopping the time.
“I know,” Harry whispers back brokenly, but Louis smiles weakly into him. “I love you too,” and the thing is that Harry said the three words countless times now, but there’s something new and exciting to them every single time they slip out of his mouth, and he never wants to stop saying them to Louis, for it’s the truth.
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
As they breathe the love together Wilde’s words echo in Harry’s mind and he thinks about it, thinks about the truth about loving Louis and knows that it is the single most pure emotion he’s ever felt and is also the most difficult one to face at this moment.
At this moment as Louis lips are tiredly mouthing at Harry’s jaw, sighs escaping him weakly, at this moment when Louis presses his head onto Harry’s chest and listens to Harry’s frantic heartbeat with his eyes fluttering shut, lips in thin line.
The sky starts clouding over, or maybe Harry’s not preoccupied that much anymore to not notice, but it threatens to rain.
“Time goes by so fast,” Louis whispers, hurt undertone in his voice, his fingertip traces the outline of Harry’s lips, then his eyelids and Harry mirrors his movements slowly. Caressing through the sweaty mess of Louis’ soft hair, kisses the small place in between his eyebrows, remembers the contour of his jawline, imprints his scent in his mind.
Because Harry knows what Louis means. They have ten days left. Only ten days.
And the last three days have gone in a blink of an eye, the seconds unstoppably speeding up as if on purpose, they are gone. Grease actually takes up so much of their time, that they wouldn’t have possibly thought just how seriously Greg will take the whole thing. Even Louis starts complaining with his face confused, knowing that they are the only course that’s truly preparing something for the final night.
The closeness between their bodies almost hurts as Harry realizes what he has to do. He has to do it today.
He swallows as he feels Louis’ mouth brushing against his chest.
And he might have start burning from the pain and love and everything being too much weren’t it for the rain starting to fall down onto them as they jump up in shock and start dressing up frantically, though they are completely wet within seconds.
They run to their cabin, but their laughter seems to be louder than any thunder beating above them as they trip over their feet, hair falling to their eyes. When they finally get under the little roof in front of their place they look at each other properly for the first time since their escape.
Louis’ eyes are radiant and shining with joy as he giggles delicately, the water flowing down his white t-shirt and he presses Harry against the wall and kisses him. With much more energy and life and absolute hunger than he did earlier. He engulfs him and takes him all in, and is all over Harry who is powerless against Louis’ teeth biting on his bottom lip, as if it was a well-known routine that never gets old, and never fails to surprise him and weaken him in his knees and becomes something new. It’s intoxicating and never ending and when they pull apart gasping for oxygen Harry looks at Louis and he is so beautiful.
Harry could never find the words to describe him, the way his lips are wet and dark and how he is breathing hard, still smirking, satisfied. Harry wants to thanks heavens above, but he finds them in the blue of Louis’ eyes and he takes a deep breath in.
Now, he has to do it now, because he knows Louis loves him, he feels the desire burning from him, he understands the similarity of their emotions and he knows that they will pull through. He won’t lose Louis. He will never lose Louis.
He takes his hand in his and starts walking backwards towards the door. “Louis, I really have to tell you something,” though his voice is trembling, he is braver than ever before, Louis is glinting joy. “My parents – “
Louis reaches for the door knob over him and opens the door, pushing Harry inside, listening to him carefully. And it’s good, because it is easier to talk when Harry is focusing on different things too – for example not falling flat on the ground.
But he is interrupted.
“- are here,” a harsh, infamous voice finishes his sentence from behind Harry’s back as he turns around quickly, still holding Louis’ hand in his. Clutching on it so firmly that he fears he will break his fragile bones.
And as Harry’s eyes fall to the person sitting on their bed, the bed where they read the poetry, where they sang and drank and where they were infinite and where they made love and breathed in each other’s existences, he knows it’s over.
It’s over and there seems to be earthquake attacking the place as the world is shaken up a bit.
It’s over as Harry’s father stand up in that disgustingly posh, black suit and mad eyes and furious expression when they shoot to where Harry’s and Louis’ fingers are intertwined firmly.
“Father,” Harry proceeds to say through his teeth clenched, shivering and he feels Louis’ eyes on himself, but he can’t look at him, he doesn’t know what to do. “What are you doing here?” he asks, expressionless, but then his eyes fall to his packed luggage and Alfred, his father’s assistant, standing behind it with his arms folded.
Des scoffs sarcastically, falsely. Harry is going to be sick. “Are you really that fucking stupid to think we would let you stay here after all that Alfred saw?”
And it suddenly makes sense. The feeling of someone observing him throughout the whole day in the town, the eyes piercing through him, the anxiety filling his insides, Alfred was there. He was watching them, the whole time.
There is no oxygen left for Harry to breathe, and he feels his chest heaving up and down frantically in desperate tries to calm down and pour little pieces of sanity to his system but it’s impossible. There is only fear and anger and madness and confusion.
“Did you really think that you could just fucking leave your phone at home and hope we wouldn’t notice?” he laughs darkly, walking from place to place, his steps heavy on the wooden floor. “Did you think, that even though Gemma tried her best to tell us it was an accident we would believe it? Of course, we wanted to check on you,” he is heating up angrily, storming similarly to the sky outside and Harry doesn’t know what to do.
It’s over. It’s the only thing in his head. That and Louis’ palm sweating against his own.
“We’re late, but it’s not too late for you to be fixed. Yes, you are going to be fixed back to normal, we’ve got plans, “Des mutters to himself. “See, Alfred saw you with this,” he motions towards Louis and Harry’s mind blacks for few seconds with rage taking control over his whole body as he feels himself shake, “you couldn’t have – “
“Don’t talk about him like that,” Harry finally collets all of his courage left, his voice trembling weakly, but also with undertones of determination as his father stops in his tracks, just staring back at Harry. He’s got nothing to lose now. “His name is Louis, and he is my boyfriend and I love – “ he doesn’t get to finish the sentence though, for his cheek is met with a palm slapping him, tilting his head to the side as he feels the blood rushing to the injured spot.
What hurts the most about it though, is Louis’ little whine as he catches Harry, caressing his face desperately. “Stop! What are you doing?” his voice is small and confused under the tension in the room. “Harry, what’s going on?” he tilts Harry’s head towards himself and searches his eyes frantically, he is frightened.
And then Des laughs. It scratches and cuts through Harry’s skin painfully and it is terrifying and it sucks every bit of courage out of Harry’s system, he can’t ever win this.
But then he remembers the tattoo, remembers “the willingness to fight for love” and remembers how much he loves Louis and knows that he will try anyway.
He will always fight for Louis. There is no other option for him; it is all about Louis.
“Boyfriend, huh?” Harry’s father laughs once more, stopping the blood in Harry’s veins from flowing completely. “And what does your boyfriend think about you being engaged? To a girl?” it’s disgustingly clear that this brings infinite pleasure to Des as he watches Louis’ hand slip out of Harry’s, which is the most painful thing that could’ve happened.
“I’m not – “Harry wants to scream out of frustration that he is not engaged, because technically taken, he really isn’t and he doesn’t want to be, but he is interrupted. By Louis.
“What – what is he talking about, Harry?” Harry turns to him and his throat closes painfully upon seeing him, small and terrified, biting his lower lip anxiously, taking one step back from Harry when he tries to approach him.
“I tried to tell you, Louis, but you wouldn’t let me,” Harry takes one more step forward, reaching his hand to try and stop Louis from slipping through his fingertips but Louis just walks away, trembling and wounded, his face as pained as Harry feels. And fuck Harry loves him; Harry can’t give it up right now.
“Oh, he didn’t tell you?” Des laughs behind their backs and as horrified as Harry feels through every ounce of his existence, it’s nothing compared to the love he carries around for the boy that’s now as if a trapped, and frantic bird, a caged animal, and so Harry turns around, his hands clenched in fists firmly as he takes few steps towards his father, feeling his own hatred towards this person radiating from him and filling the whole place.
“This is all your fault,” Harry screams right into his face, because he doesn’t care anymore, there is nothing worse than this, that could possibly happen, “I’ve never wanted this life, and you know it,” Des is laughing right into his face, positively amused, but Harry doesn’t stop, won’t stop, “You made this person out of me, you fucking think I could ever possibly think of you as of my father after – “
“We are going home,” Des announces just as if by the way, looking through Harry and motioning for Alfred to pick up Harry’s suitcases.
Des turns to look at Harry and observes him with his nostrils wide, lips in a thin line and Harry feels his own breath quickening up as Des stops few inches away from him. “No?” his voice is overwhelmed with anger as Harry sees, with the corner of his eye, as he’s clenching his hand into fist.
“No,” he repeats, firmly, even though his heart is trying to escape from his ribcage wildly, fear paralyzing his limbs completely. In that moment he finds himself being knocked to the ground harshly as his father’s fist meets his face strongly and urgently, and Harry tastes his own blood in his mouth and he hears Louis scream.
He hears him scream and it is dreadful, but it is more so agonizing when Harry realizes that Louis hasn’t moved an inch away from where he is standing and watching the whole scene. Harry is willing to fight for love but is fucking losing.
Des hovers above Harry who is trying to get himself together, to at least sit up, but as if every muscle in his body stopped listening to him, he stays on the ground staring up at his father whose chin is moving hatefully. “How about this,” he breathes heavily, his face red, “if you don’t go home with me, right this goddamn moment, I, personally, will make sure this scum of a boyfriend of yours will never be able to achieve anything, his name will remain banned. And you know I can do that, you know I can ruin his future by snapping my fingers,” Des shoots few glances to where Harry supposes Louis stands, and Harry hopes that he is okay.
Because after all, that is still the only thing that matters, Louis being okay, Louis being able to continue living his life and fulfilling his dreams as much as the thought of it being without Harry aches deep in his bones. And Harry nods.
His whole body is in pain, and he gets up and dares to take few quick steps towards their bed and reach under the pillow to grab the stripe of photos they took at their date and push it to his back pocket without anyone noticing what he is doing.
“Knew you’re not as stupid as you look,” Des smirks mockingly as Alfred picks up Harry’s luggage and walks steadily outside keeping his eye on Harry who finally allows himself to look at Louis.
Louis. Who is standing by the door, the tears streaming down his face, staining his whole expression in what seems to be infinite pain as he barely looks at Harry, wrapping his hands around his torso as if he tried to keep himself together. Louis who is so fragile and small and aching that Harry wants to hug him and whisper in his hair and tell him that it is going to be okay.
Louis, who is the goddamn love of Harry’s life. His fucking soul mate. Louis who will always be a part of who Harry is now, Louis who is fucking everything.
And it hurts. The hot streams on Louis’ face become Harry’s own as he gasps for oxygen despite there being no left in the world.
“I love you, I always will,” he whispers at last, his voice broken, bleeding out all the days they could have. Bleeding out his love. He wants to reach out, allow himself the last touch, but he knows he wouldn’t be able to tear himself apart.
They were supposed to be endless and still, Harry can see the edge they are falling off clearly.
The smallest sob escapes Louis’ mouth as his watery, disappointed and infinitely sad eyes linger on Harry and that is the biggest torture of all. Louis being hurt. There is no greater pain in the world.
“I – I never want to see you again,” he forces out, his faces buried under the agonizing ache Harry caused him, his voice is wheezy and Harry still tastes his own blood and he is taken by his elbow harshly and dragged outside as his father loses the last hint of his patience.
“Harry!” a new voice cuts through the air as there are someone’s feet hitting the ground to be heard and Harry recognizes Liam’s desperate and scared voice running after them, but when he turns around he doesn’t see him.
The only thing he sees is Louis who managed to walk outside and is staring at him, his whole existence radiating nothing but pure pain as he sobs and clutches to his chest desperately, because keeping himself together is not an option anymore.
And even though Louis is the personification of their life being crushed and shuttered in front of Harry’s own eyes as Louis’ words burn in Harry’s mind, more painful than anything that has happened that day, “I never want to see you again”, he is still the single most beautiful creature to ever exist. Even as Harry’s own sobs start escaping his lips desperately and everything starts trembling, when Liam screams incomprehensible vehement questions that are muted under the pain, he knows that Louis is everything.
And he is pushed harshly on the back seat of their car and he sees Liam running back to his own cabin, to presumably pack and follow them, because he won’t let himself be parted from Harry. Partly, he realizes the engine is being started smoothly and he mindlessly presses the palm of his hand to the window in desperate attempt to reach for Louis one last time.
Louis kneeling on the ground, hugging himself tightly, shaking underneath the harsh curtain of emotions, that’s the last sight Harry gets at the love of his life.
Everything breaks. The car drives away through the forest without there being a chance of going back and Harry can’t breathe, nor can he grasp what has happened, for it was so rushed and he can only hear his loud sobs and feel the pain replacing every ounce of sanity he had left.
And just like that, the world ends.