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If Tomorrow Never Comes (We Had Last Night)

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At some point during the night Harry had wandered off in search of something to eat only to be distracted by the pretty line of shot glasses that Niall was lining up on the counter. By the time one of the glasses had been placed in his hand, the light rumbling in his stomach had been long forgotten, along with the other multitude of drinks he had already consumed.

He reminisces about his wasted opportunity to find snacks as he’s lying on the cool tile of the bathroom floor. It’s nice here, with his head cushioned on the fuzzy mat beneath him and the thick door muffling the steady beat of the music outside. The room is spinning whenever he opens his eyes long enough to look around and it’s bright as fuck because he can’t seem to reach the lights from way down here (and trust him, he’s been trying), but that could all be resolved if only he had strength enough to move; strength preferably in the form of those delicious fucking pretzels he left in the kitchen.

No one has come looking for him the whole time he has been in here, but what can Harry really expect when they’re probably all crowded around each other, laughing, drinking, and eating. They’re probably eating his pretzels right now. Niall probably even suggested it, the bastard.

Harry rolls onto his side to get at his phone lodged deep inside the back pocket of his jeans. His stomach moves with him, causing the room to spin a bit faster. He closes his eyes for a moment and when he opens them the spinning sensation isn’t nearly as bad as before.

His fingers are sloppy as he starts swiping across his screen. He can’t seem to locate Liam’s name in the blur of contacts scrolling past, and after a few random taps to his screen there are suddenly no names at all. He tries to undo it, but it’s no use as Harry curls in on himself with a groan, lamenting all of his deleted contacts. Harry is determined not to let a little thing like that stop him though, certain that he could remember his best friend’s number anywhere and anytime, especially while starving on the floor of a bathroom.

It takes all of his concentration and strength to push himself into a seated position against the tub. His eyes narrow in on the small number pad illuminated on his screen as he types out the familiar string of numbers, and by some miracle it starts ringing.

 

~@~

 

Louis groans as he reaches out to turn on the lamp on his bedside table. The sultry tones of Ed Sheeran singing about letting his love in ring out across the otherwise silent room as Louis mutters to himself angrily. He was having a really nice dream about one David Beckham. Victoria be damned, Louis was just getting a piece of that sexy beast when some fucker decided to disturb his slumber.

He glances at the time as he violently snatches up his phone. Ugh. 2:19 a.m.

Louis accepts the call without bothering to look at the caller ID. Only Zayn would be a big enough asshole to call him at two in the morning. This fucking better be important.

“This fucking better be important,” Louis greets.

On the other end of the line comes a soft giggle. “Li, you don’t usually curse. I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but I like it.”

Yeah, that’s not Zayn. Louis sighs, his anger melting into resignation when he realizes that it’s some poor bastard probably drunk dialing his ex or something. “Sorry, mate. Think you’ve got the wrong number.”

“No, Liam! Don’t hang up. I know it’s late but I’m drunk and I can’t get up and Niall is eating all my pretzels. Fuck, I’m hungry… Li, will you get me a cheeseburger?”

Louis can’t help but chuckle. “Hate to break it to you but I’m not Liam. M’not a delivery service either.”

There’s silence on the other end of the line for a few seconds as though the lad doesn’t know what to make of what Louis’ just told him. But then—

“Is Liam getting laid? Are you his boyfriend? That bastard! He didn’t tell me he was dating anyone.”

Louis laughs again, full bodied and joyous. The lad’s funny, albeit unintentionally. “I don’t know any Liam, mate.”

“Then why are you answering his phone? Oh my god! Did you rob him? Is he okay? If you hurt him, I’ll kick your ass!”

Louis rolls his eyes, though he has to admit that it’s with fond exasperation rather than plain old frustration. “This isn’t Liam’s phone. It’s mine. I’m sure your mate is fine, at home, sleeping like I was before you rang me at two in the bloody morning.”

“Oh, shit. Sorry. I could have sworn I dialed Liam. I’m sorry for waking you,” the lad sounds truly contrite and Louis is quick to forgive him. In all honesty, it’s almost been worth waking up from a dream about naked David Beckham for this.

“It’s not a problem—” Louis starts but he’s interrupted by a series of beeps. Perhaps the telltale sign of someone trying to dial a phone.

“Mate,” Louis calls but it doesn’t get the other lad’s attention. “Drunk boy!”

Still nothing.

Louis sighs and waits out the beeps. Soon enough there’s breathing in his ear followed quickly by a noise of confusion.

“Why isn’t it ringing?” Drunk boy ponders to himself.

“Perhaps because you forgot to hang up first?” Louis answers.

“What the fuck?” The other boy startles. “Who the hell are you?”

“Louis,” Louis answers again, scrubbing a hand over his face. “The same person you’ve been talking to.”

“Oh,” the other boy says dumbfounded. “Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Louis. M’ Harry. Can you help me call Liam? I think I need a ride home.”

Louis breathes out a laugh before reaching into the drawer of his bedside table for a small notebook and pen. “Sure, Harry. Can you tell me where you are so that I can tell Liam?”

“Niall’s house,” Harry answers. “And can you tell him to bring me a cheeseburger, please, Louis?”

Louis can hear the boy’s exaggerated pout through the phone and pushes down another laugh as he carefully writes Niall’s house in his note book. “Sure, I’ll let him know your order. Now comes the hard part, Harry. I need you to give me Liam’s phone number.”

Harry rattles a series of numbers off in Louis’ ear and he starts writing but stops abruptly because, “That’s my number, Harry.”

“What? No. I— Fuck, I can’t remember. I’m sorry, Louis. I thought I knew it.”

Harry sounds utterly disappointed in himself. Louis’ a little afraid that he might start crying so he’s quick to calm the boy.

“It’s alright, Harry. Don’t worry. Liam’s a good friend, right?”

“The best,” Harry answers sounding proud of his best mate. It’s amazing how quickly the boy can move through a wide array of emotions.

“Alright, good,” Louis says, working quickly to try and solve the problem. “That means he’s probably in your contacts, right? Can you have a look at your contacts for me?”

Silence. Louis assumes that Harry is doing as he’s asked but that doesn’t seem to be the case when a second later Harry answers.

“Um, no?”

Louis rubs at his eyes. He’d forgotten how exhausting it was dealing with drunk people. This is probably karma for all the times someone’s had to deal with him in this state.

“What do you mean ‘no’, Harry? Is he not in your contacts?”

“Not anymore. I sort of, maybe, accidentally deleted them,” Harry says it like he’s afraid Louis’ going to scold him.

Louis laughs bitterly. This is definitely karma coming back to bite him in the ass. He sighs, tired and heavy.

“Can you tell me where Niall’s house is, Harry?”

Harry gives Louis an address and Louis writes it down carefully. He’s not exactly sure where it is so he’s going to have to put it into his GPS.

“Alright, Harry. I’m coming to get you. Stay put, okay?” Louis informs as he reaches down to grab his shoes, slipping them on. He’ll pick up a drunk stranger in the middle of the night but he’ll be damned if he’s changing out of his sleep clothes.

“Hey, Louis?” Harry calls, voice pleading, before Louis can hang up.

“Yes, Harry?” Louis responds, fighting a smile because he’s pretty sure he knows what’s coming.

“Will you bring me a—”

“Cheeseburger,” Louis finishes for him with a laugh. “Yeah, yeah. I got it.”

“Thanks, Lou. You’re the best,” Harry tells him and Louis can hear the pleased grin on his face in his words.

“See you soon, Harry,” Louis says, hanging up and looking around for his keys. He finds them quickly and makes his way out to his car, clutching his notebook and shaking his head at himself. There are probably other people there at Niall’s house that can help Harry out but there are just as likely to be people who will take advantage of Harry’s inebriated state. Louis doesn’t want to risk leaving him there, he wouldn’t feel right about it.

He gets into his car and punches the address into his GPS, starting the ignition as it calculates the fastest route to Harry. Soon enough, it’s pointing the way to the boy who accidentally drunk dialed the wrong number, but Louis’ got a pit stop to make on the way.

-----

Harry can’t quite remember how he found his way to the bathroom in the first place, but he’s glad that he ended up lying down in here rather than outside in the grass or worse. No one has come looking for him yet except a girl who accidentally found him when she cracked open the door to see if anyone was inside and then quickly shut it again when she saw Harry sprawled out on the floor.

He had tried to move again after he hung up with that delivery boy, but now instead of a dizzy, tingling sensation all he feels is queasy. The fuzzy mat that had once provided him with warmth now makes him feel hot and nauseous where his face is pressed against it. He holds his breath as he rolls onto his hands and knees to seek out a cooler resting spot.

Climbing into the bathtub is a struggle as he works to coordinate his drunken limbs. He falls over into it with a loud banging sound, but he sighs at the decrease in temperature as the cool porcelain caresses him.

He’s sleepy after a while of being curled up with no one to talk to. He thought about trying Liam again until he remembered that he can’t and then he thought about redialing Louis but Harry is half-convinced he made Louis up since he hasn’t gotten there yet.

Harry has no idea how long he has been waiting, but the nauseous feeling in his stomach has completely disappeared by the time someone else creaks open the door to peek in at him. He can’t quite see the person over the edge of the tub so he lifts himself up a bit, but even with the new height Harry doesn’t know the boy covering his smirk with his hand.

He realizes that the boy probably has to use the bathroom, but Harry would really prefer it if he’d find another one. It’s just so comfortable here.  “Look, I know you have to pee, but I really need this tub.”

The boy steps inside and shuts the door, but instead of walking over to the toilet he just leans against the door to watch him. Normally Harry would be offended by someone laughing at him, but this boy’s t-shirt looks really soft and Harry can tell how good he smells even from way over here. There have been lesser and smellier people to laugh at him before.

“Are you going to kick me out?” he pouts, clinging onto the side of the tub as if the boy is going to snatch it away. “If you really need to pee, you can. I promise I won’t look. Just please don’t make me move,” he begs. Harry waits for the boy to take him up on his offer to share the bathroom, but all he gets is another snorted laugh as a response. “Who are you?” Harry whines.

“Far too kind,” the boy answers. Harry watches him walk over, wondering how on Earth he’s able to move so effortlessly when it took Harry half of a decade just to crawl into this tub.

Harry’s nose starts working as the boy gets closer. He knew this boy smelled heavenly, but he didn’t realize just how good until the bag he’s holding comes into view. “Oh God! Louis?! You brought me McDonalds?” The boy rolls his eyes and places the bag down by his feet. Harry frowns when he can no longer see it.

“Alright, Harry,” he says rather loudly. “Let’s get you up. Come on.” He reaches his hand out, but Harry turns his nose up at it.

“I don’t want to move.”

Louis blinks down at him like maybe he misheard Harry. “Well, you kind of have to unless you want to sleep here tonight.” Louis reaches out for him again and Harry still refuses to grab his hand.  “Harry,” the boy warns and mutters something under his breath about stubborn drunks that makes Harry laugh. Harry laughs even harder when a pair of hands tries to lift him by gripping him underneath his arms.

 “You’re tickling me!”

He lets Harry go when he can’t get him to stop squirming around. Harry figures Louis will let him keep his tub when he stands back up.

“Will you move for food?” he asks tauntingly, dangling the bag in front him like bait. He steps just out of Harry’s reach to entice him into getting up, but it’s not enough to inspire motion. “How can I take you home if you won’t even get out of the tub?” Harry stops listening as soon as he realizes Louis is no longer talking about food, so he shifts onto his back to block him out. “What if you eat first? Then will you let me take you home?”

Harry would let Louis take him anywhere for a bite of the cheeseburger hidden away in that bag. He nods with his most convincing smile and cheers when the bag is placed in his lap. He unwraps his cheeseburger and moans into it as he takes his first bite. He is so engrossed by the food that he almost doesn’t notice Louis stepping over the side of the tub down near Harry’s feet. Louis tries to wiggle his way into the small space by pushing Harry’s long legs out of the way. He complains each time Harry stretches them out again.

“I got out of bed for you. The least you can do is allow me to have a seat in your precious tub.” Harry grins at him with a mouth full of food. Louis tries to look stern with him, but he just ends up smiling instead. “How the hell did my night end up this way?” he laughs.

Harry takes another bite as he ponders Louis’ question. His knees are pulled up to his chest where he sits across from Harry. He looks like he just got out of bed, from the way pieces of his hair wisp away from their normal place. Harry could probably figure out the exact color of his eyes if he were sober, but for right now he just knows that they’re blue and beautiful. He has no clue how Louis ended being the one in his tub, but he isn’t complaining.

Louis leaves him for a moment to get him a huge glass of water to wash down his cheeseburger. Harry thanks him about a million times, proclaiming Louis to be the loveliest person he has ever met.

Louis shakes his head at Harry’s flattery. “Will you get up and follow the loveliest person you’ve ever met now that you’ve eaten your cheeseburger?”

“Yes!” Harry cheers.

“Great,” Louis mumbles as he offers his hand to Harry again. He looks shocked when Harry accepts his help. It takes them a couple of minutes to maneuver Harry out of the tub and onto the floor. Louis has to support most of his weight as he walks Harry to the door. “Jesus, why do you have to be so fucking heavy?”

“M’not.” Harry frowns. “It must’ve been the cheeseburger.”

Harry gets distracted by the way Louis’ eyes crinkle when he laughs at him. He’s leaned in so close to him that he runs a finger over the creases that form near Louis’ temple. “You have such nice skin beside your eyes.”

“That’s definitely one I haven’t heard before,” he laughs again. “Points for creativity.” Harry frowns, needing Louis to know that it wasn’t a line, even though it kind of was.

“No, Louis. I mean it.”

“You’re also drunk.”

“So,” Harry pouts. “I still mean it.”

Louis gives up arguing with him after a few rounds. “Okay, I believe you. Thank you for complementing my skin, Harry. That was a very non-intoxicated thing to say.” Louis’ grinning to himself again when he forces them to continue walking. Harry isn’t quite sure if Louis is truly thankful or if he’s just being a sarcastic shit, but either way Harry likes the way he looks when he says it.

 

~@~

 

It takes some doing to get through the crowds with Harry only just managing to hang on to him but somehow they succeed. Louis’ surprised that the party is still going strong this late into the night. Every one he’d been to had fizzled out or been broken up by the cops by now, but there are still drinks flowing and music thumping from the speakers. As they move through the room toward the front door, Harry starts swaying to the beat of the newest song to start up. At first, Louis think’s Harry’s falling and tightens his hold to keep the boy upright but then Harry sways the other way, hip bumping into Louis’.

“I love this song,” Harry yells over the music.

Louis flinches. Harry’s underestimated how close he is to Louis’ ear.

“Can we dance, Lou?” Harry turns his sad, puppy eyes and adorable pouty lips on him and Louis almost says yes, fond of the idea of seeing Harry lose himself in the rhythm, happy and carefree. But then Harry stumbles a bit and Louis is concerned that Harry might hurt himself trying to dance in his current state.

“Maybe next time, Curly,” Louis fibs, pulling playfully at one of Harry’s curls.

Harry makes a whiny sound in his throat and turns to look wistfully at the crush of dancing bodies but lets Louis continue to pull him away from them. “Okay,” he agrees, turning his face back to Louis. “Next time, though.”

Louis nods an unspoken promise that he doesn’t think he can keep but he doesn’t feel too torn up about it because he’s fairly certain that Harry won’t remember it come morning. Probably won’t remember him. The thought makes Louis a bit sad and he throws a glance at Harry, trying to memorize what he can of the other boy’s face so that at least he might hold on to the memory for a while.

They’re almost to the door when there’s someone behind them yelling Harry’s name.

Harry turns a bit too forcefully at the sound of his name, still holding on to Louis and nearly toppling him over with the unexpected pull in the opposite direction.

“Harry, mate,” an Irish bloke with blonde hair and a wary expression calls pushing through the crowd until he’s standing in front of them as Louis rights himself. “Who’s this?”

He’s gesturing at Louis and Louis isn’t sure whether to roll his eyes or feel a grudging sense of approval. It’s a little late to be worrying about watching over Harry. If they were so worried about him, they shouldn’t have let him get so very drunk in the first place. Better late than never though, he supposes.

Harry’s face disappears into Louis’ neck for a second, warm breath wet against his skin as Harry hides like he’s embarrassed to tell his friend what happened. Maybe it’s not the first time Harry’s called a stranger to pick him up in the dead of night, maybe he’s embarrassed because it’s a recurring occasion. The thought makes something unpleasant churn in Louis’ stomach but he doesn’t let himself look at that too closely just now.

“I’m Louis,” he answers, allowing Harry to stay cuddled against him while he offers a hand for the blonde boy to shake. “I’m giving Harry a ride home.”

“Oh,” Blondie says, shaking Louis’ hand loosely. He appears to be feeling uncertain about the situation even though his eyes are just as glazed over as Harry’s.  “Niall.”

So this is the bloke who’s hosting the party.

“Harry, you know this guy?” Niall asks bluntly, not seeming to care if Louis takes offense to him questioning his motives.

Louis definitely approves.

Harry giggles into Louis’ shoulder. “Of course, I do. He’s Louis!”

Niall huffs a sarcastic laugh, shaking his head. “Did you know Louis before tonight?”

Harry just ducks his head in lieu of an answer, a clear sign of guilt.

“Harry, I know you love everyone but I’m not going to let you leave with a stranger,” Niall scolds as Louis watches in amusement.

“But he’s not a stranger,” Harry pouts. “He’s Louis and he’s lovely. He’s Lovely Louis.”

Louis chuckles, warmth spreading through his chest as Harry turns to him and grins back, obviously proud to have made Louis happy. He rests his head on Louis’ shoulder, smiling contentedly.

Niall looks between the two of them, something dawning on his face as he watches the way they interact. It doesn’t deter him.

“Look, no offense, mate,” Niall says, actually addressing Louis this time. “I’m sure you’re a cool guy and all but I’m not letting Harry leave with someone he doesn’t know. He can crash here tonight.”

Louis raises a brow at that. From what Louis’ seen of the house, there’s a small hitch in Niall’s plan.

“Where’s he going to sleep?” Louis asks. “The bedrooms are taken. I know because I searched them all before I found him in the bathroom. And the rest of the place appears to be occupied as well.”

Niall follows Louis’ gaze around the room, taking in all of the people that still litter every available space. Niall is biting his lip when he meets Louis’ stare again.

Harry is being awfully quiet so Louis glances at him to see his eyes closed as he rests on Louis’ shoulder. He doesn’t know if Harry’s just bored or actually dozing off. It causes another smile to slip onto Louis’ face. He doesn’t know anyone he’s grown attached to quite so fast before. There’s a fierce need to protect this boy blooming under his skin and Louis vows to do just that. He turns back to Niall, reaching for his wallet carefully so that he doesn’t jostle Harry.

“Look, if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll give you my license,” Louis says, handing over the laminated card. “There, now you have my address so you know where to find me if Harry doesn’t come back to you in one piece, alright?”

Niall looks down at the card in his hand and back up to Louis, an unimpressed look on his face. “Don’t you need this to drive?”

Louis shrugs. “It’ll only matter if I get pulled over.”

Niall stares at him and if the boy weren’t so obviously inebriated Louis is sure he’d squirm a bit under the scrutiny. “Why are you so desperate to drive Harry home?”

Louis looks back over as the boy that’s very clearly drooling on his shoulder now. “Because I know that I’d never hurt him,” he says, reluctantly dragging his gaze back to Niall. “I can’t say the same about anyone else in this house… with one possible exception.”

The corner of Niall’s mouth twitches at that and Louis’s confident that Niall knows he was referring to him.

Niall takes a deep breath, letting it out heavily as he stares, once again, at Louis’ license in his hand. Then he’s scanning the room.

“See that big guy over there in the corner,” Niall asks, pointing out a large, burly man that Louis thinks could probably lift a double decker bus.

“What about him?” Louis answers.

“If you are anything less than a perfect gentleman to Harry, he’s going to rip your dick off and feed it to you,” Niall threatens. Somehow Louis knows that it’s not a threat Niall makes idly. He’ll keep his promise if Harry gets hurt.

“I assure you, he won’t need to,” Louis promises in return.

With a final nod from Niall, Louis wakes Harry gently and they finally make it out the door.

It’s cool out and Harry smiles at the feel of the wind on his cheeks even as he complains that “m’tired, Lou.”

“I know you are, Harry,” Louis answers, threading fingers through Harry’s hair as they walk to Louis’ car. “We’ll have you home soon.”

“That feels nice,” Harry mumbles, face pressed to Louis’ shoulder once more.

“Good,” Louis says as they reach his car. He’s careful not to let go of Harry even as he opens the door for the other boy and helps him get situated in his seat. Once Harry’s safely buckled in, Louis crouches next to him. He tucks a few stray curls behind Harry’s ear and Harry smiles over at him.

“I need you do to me a favor now, Curly.”

“Anything,” Harry answers, a dreamy quality to his gaze.

Louis laughs lightly. “Don’t throw up in my car.”

-----

Harry can already feel himself drifting off again when Louis starts talking to him about directions and streets. He doesn’t even lift his head from where it’s resting against the car door when he rattles off his address hoping that Louis will know exactly where it is located. Harry smiles to himself. Of course Louis will know where he lives. He knows everything. That is why Harry is confused when he hears Louis’ soft giggles instead of the sound of the car starting up.  

“Sorry. What was that?” Harry cracks his eyes open to find a very amused boy staring at him. “Harry, were those even real words?” Louis’ pretending like he wasn’t just laughing at him, but Harry can hear him as well as see him fighting back the giggles. Harry lets out a miserable moan.

“What?” he croaks out, grudgingly sitting up. Louis attempts to school his face, but he just ends up laughing again with this look of apology. Harry finds him exquisite.

“I asked where you live and you, my friend, replied with something that sounded like whale noises.”

“Did I?” Harry grins at his hidden talent. He thought he had done a fabulous job with reciting his address.

“Yeah, you did. Too bad I don’t speak whale,” he laughs. “Could you maybe try English for me?”

“Mmmhmmm,” Harry answers wearing his most capable smile. Harry focuses all of his energy into getting this right. He’d never forgive himself if he got it wrong. Louis blinks at him with a patient expression as he waits for Harry to get his words in order. His fingers begin typing information into his GPS as soon as Harry starts talking.

“I live at P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.”

Louis’ fingers freeze and Harry can’t take it more than a few seconds before he curls in on himself and bursts out laughing. It’s a loud, maniacal sound that forces Louis to laugh too.

“You do not live there, Curly.” Louis rolls his eyes. “Come on.” He pokes at Harry’s arm to bring his attention back. All Louis succeeds in doing is making Harry laugh harder. Louis fondly shakes his head at him like people who catch their pets or kids doing unknowingly cute things. “Am I going to have to leave you here and go ask Niall where you live?”

Louis leaving him is the last thing Harry wants. He sighs, with a slight pout. “Okay, I’m sorry. I don’t actually live in Australia.”

“Well that’s a relief,” Louis quips back. “I don’t think my car would make the journey.” Louis grins to himself while Harry seriously ponders the likelihood of Louis’ car making it to Sydney.

“Yeah. Probably not,” Harry finally decides.

*

The cool air brushing against his face feels heavenly as he listens to the music playing in Louis’ car. He started feeling too hot after telling Louis where he really lives. Louis rolled down the windows to give him some fresh air as soon as Harry asked him to.

He doesn’t feel quite as drunk where he’s relaxing against the headrest. He’s sleepy, but the sound of Louis singing to himself keeps him awake. His soft voice glides over the melody of songs that Harry has never heard. He has no idea who the artists are or what the lyrics are about, but Louis’ voice makes all of that feel irrelevant.

He murmurs a soft, “Please keep singing,” when Louis’ voice fades into silence. Louis flicks his surprised gaze over to find Harry quietly watching him. It’s as though Louis expected him to be sleeping again. Harry watches as a faint pink hue graces the apples of his cheeks.

“I didn’t know you were awake.”

“Glad I was.”

Louis’ cheeks gain a bit more color as he grins. He notices Harry still watching him, so he changes the topic. “How are you feeling?”

Like he doesn’t quite want this car ride to end. “Extremely inebriated,” Harry answers lazily.

“Well you look much better,” Louis points out. “You’ll feel great once I get you home and in bed. The GPS says we’re close.”  Louis gives him a look of reprimand when Harry giggles. It doesn’t stop Harry from smirking. “I meant once I get you to your home and in your bed,” he clarifies, knowing that Harry’s mind went in a completely different direction.

Harry knows what Louis meant, but it’s still fun to pretend otherwise. It’s fun to imagine otherwise as well.

“Are you not a fan of sleepovers?” Harry teases him.

“Oh I am…I’m just not a fan of getting my dick chopped off and fed to me.” Louis laughs at how wide Harry’s eyes grow. “Your very protective best friend promises that would be my fate should anything happen to you. You were napping at the time…I guess you didn’t hear.”

No, Harry definitely did not hear that. He could probably get Louis to agree to stay with him tonight if Niall hadn’t threatened him. What kind of person promises to feed people their own dicks anyway?

“I won’t tell, if you won’t,” Harry grins at him. Louis grins back, clearly flattered by Harry’s offer, yet for some reason he still declines.

“Thank you, but you’ve had a lot to drink tonight, Harry. I don’t think you’d want to have a sleepover if you were thinking clearly.” Harry realizes that he’s off his face right now, but he’s pretty certain that he’d want Louis around even if he were stone-cold sober. He doesn’t argue though, and lets Louis bow out as a gentleman, albeit a very attractive and tempting one.

“Let’s just get you home, yeah?” he suggests. Harry nods with the back of his head still resting against the seat.

After a while Louis starts humming the new song that’s playing and surprisingly it’s one that Harry actually knows. Louis’ hair looks soft and inviting where it’s blowing in the breeze, but Harry refrains from touching him without asking. And since Louis isn’t going to break the rules for him tonight, Harry asks something else of him instead. “Louis?”

“Hmm?”

“Will you sing a bit louder? I can’t hear you.”

Harry is happy when Louis obliges with a shy grin. “Yeah. Sure, Harry.”

 

~@~

 

By the time Louis pulls up to Harry’s address, he’s glanced over at Harry so often, he’s certain the boy’s face will be burned into his memory. Good. He wants these memories. Wants the opportunity to make more.

Staring out the windscreen at Harry’s building, a glass monstrosity that probably has flats that take up whole floors to themselves, Louis hopes the doorman will even let him inside the building. Apparently, Harry’s rich- Louis should have guessed with the posh way he speaks- and Louis looks like something the cat dragged in. He’s not sure if Harry’s presence will be enough to ensure that he gets to help tuck the boy into his own bed, but he’s going to try.

Harry’ head is tilted against the window, though Louis doesn’t think he’s sleeping. He reaches a hand over and brushes his fingers down Harry’s arm. “Haz? You awake?”

“No,” Harry answers quietly but doesn’t move his gaze from the window.

“Talking in your sleep then?” Louis teases, fondness dripping from his words. How did he fall victim to this boys charms so quickly?

Harry turns to him then, no trace of a smile on his face. He actually looks stricken, eyes sad as his gaze traces over Louis’ face. “I don’t want to have to say goodbye to you.”

Louis coos at him, reaching up and carding his fingers through Harry’s curls. He can’t get enough of those wavy locks. “Is that all, Curly? You have my number, you can always call me. I’ll even program it in your phone with my name and everything but you have to promise not to use it tonight. Wouldn’t want you deleting your contacts again.”

“Fuck you,” Harry laughs, shoving his hand away.

Louis grins and hums to himself with pleasure at the idea. He’s pretty sure Harry hears and knows what he’s thinking from the way the boy flushes a bit, biting his lip. It’s obvious he’s holding back from saying something and Louis wants to encourage him to say it, say everything, but then he remembers his promise to Niall and keeps his mouth shut.

“C’mon, let’s get you inside,” Louis says, opening his door and stepping out of the car. He bounds around the car and opens Harry’s door as well, only realizing how his last statement could be taken when he catches the smirk on Harry’s face. He glares playfully. “Inside your flat, Harry.

He’s pretty sure any way he said it could be taken wrong. ‘Let’s get you to bed’ is just as bad. Harry’s happy giggles are worth it though, to have his smile brightening up Louis’ night again.

“Okay, okay,” Harry surrenders even though Louis is certain that he was planning on saying something dirty just a second ago. There’s still mischief in his eyes and something sly in his smile as he lets Louis help him out of the car. Louis feels a tremor of electricity run down his spine at the look Harry is giving him. He’s in so fucking deep.

They walk side by side, hands brushing as they get closer to Harry’s building until Harry takes his hand and tangles their finger just as they reach the door.

“Good evening, James,” Harry greets the elderly doorman with a polite nod.

“Good morning, Mr. Styles,” James returns with a nod that’s more of a bow. He doesn’t try to stop Louis from joining Harry in the lift and Louis feels a weight lift in his belly.

Harry lets go of Louis’ hand as he squints at the buttons on the lift, like he has to concentrate to remember his floor. Then, he presses a series of buttons in semi-quick succession and Louis realizes that it’s a code just as the 19 button lights up and stays lit. So that’s where they’re going.

“You know, I suddenly think I know why Niall was so suspicious of me giving you a ride home. He thinks I’m going to steal all your shit,” Louis says, eyes stuck to that lit up 19. It’s one floor below the penthouse and you need a freaking code to get to it. If Harry trusted the wrong people, he could wake up in an empty flat.

“If you do, I’ll just get more shit,” Harry says with a grin, leaning into Louis’ side.

“So, green light to take whatever I want,” Louis jokes, wrapping an arm around Harry’s waist. “Good to know.”

Harry laughs, breath huffing out onto Louis’ neck from how close he’s gotten. “I’m really not worried about it.”

Louis raises a brow in question and Harry shrugs sheepishly. “I trust you.”

And that kind of makes Louis’ heart melt. He doesn’t really feel like he’s earned it but he feels like Harry’s trust is something worth keeping safe, something to be coveted and treasured. He kind of has a mighty urge to kiss Harry. And the way the boy is looking at him certainly isn’t helping.

He nearly gives in to it in a moment of temporary insanity but then the lift dings lightly, announcing their arrival on the 19th floor. Harry stays where he is, like he’s waiting for Louis to kiss him and it kills Louis to move away but he does. Because as much as he likes Harry, his dick is pretty important to him too.

“Isn’t this your floor?” Louis asks, pointing toward the open lift doors.

Harry turns to look. “Oh, yeah.”

He sounds like he didn’t even notice they’d stopped moving, so enthralled by the idea of Louis kissing him. As he follows Harry out of the lift he has to remind himself ‘perfect gentleman, perfect gentleman’.

It appears that Louis was wrong. There are two flats on this floor, which still makes Harry flat about four times the size of Louis’. He follows Harry to his door and waits while Harry fumbles for his keys.

“Do you need help?” He asks after a minute, looking over Harry’s shoulder.

“No, thank you,” Harry answers politely, still taking another thirty seconds to find the right key. And then he drops them.

“So clumsy, Curly,” Louis teases, bending to pick the keys up for the other boy. When he stands, hand outstretched to give them back, he finds that Harry was staring at his ass. “Or maybe not. Did you enjoy the view?”

Harry nods, eyes gleaming with mirth as he laughs.

“You’ve got absolutely no shame, have you?” Louis asks, placing the keys back in Harry’s hand as Harry shrugs at him.

“Not really,” Harry answers, going back to work on opening his door. “I have no use for shame.”

That’s a sentiment Louis can get behind. Shame is only good for making you feel bad about things other people think you shouldn’t do. It’s kind of perfect that Harry feels that way. Louis desperately wants to spend his days getting to know this boy even better. Which reminds him…

“Hey, give me your phone,” Louis orders, holding his hand out while he waits for Harry to open his door. Harry reaches into his pocket and takes out his phone, sliding it into Louis’ hand just as his lock clicks open.

Louis finds his number already in Harry’s call log and programs it into Harry’s contacts with his name as promised.

Harry is watching him from the open door, waiting for him, and Louis realizes that he can’t possibly go in. He won’t be able to make himself leave if he does. He hands Harry back his phone.

Harry takes the phone, putting it back in his pocket and reaches out to tug on Louis’ sleeve with a smile. “C’mon. Niall won’t kill you for crashing on the couch.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Harry,” Louis tells the boy, keeping his feet planted firmly in the hallway.

“Why not?” Harry asks, a look of concern on his face. “I told you, Louis. I trust you.”

“And I want to keep that trust,” Louis says softly, reaching up to brush his knuckles over Harry’s cheek.

Harry closes his eyes and leans into the touch and that makes Louis yearn to give him more.

“You’re not going to tuck me in?”  A hint of a smile hides at the edge of Harry’s pouting lips.

Louis chuckles, brushing Harry’s hair behind his ears. “Maybe next time, Haz.”

“A lullaby would be nice too. You’ve got such a nice voice, Louis. Please, will you tuck me in and sing me a lullaby?”

How the hell does he make his eyes widen like that to look so innocent? Louis knows what he’s doing and he’s not going to fall for it. Much.

Louis sighs, shaking his head at how weak-willed he is. “Five minutes. But then I’m going home.”

Harry immediately drops the pouty-lipped, innocent look to smirk at Louis and take his hand to drag him into his flat.

----

Having Louis inside of his flat feels like a victory he never thought possible. It’s like a million balloons have been released inside his stomach. It’s like waking up before the alarm and finding out he still has an hour to sleep. He feels so happy just having Louis there, which is why he does his best to act natural and at least semi-sober so that he won’t go running off.

“Would you like something to drink? I could get you water or tea if you’d like.”

Louis laughs to himself where he’s marveling at his collection of black and white stills hanging on his wall. “I think you’re the one who probably needs water, Curly.” Louis runs his finger down the length of one of the frames, clearly distracted. “Hey, Haz. What kind of wood is this?”

Harry has no idea. He picked them from some antique framing place. All he really knows about them is that they’re old, expensive, and make his photographs look nice. “Umm. M’not sure. Like… cedar maybe? I don’t know.” Louis snorts a laugh at his answer and then moves on to look at the rest of his décor and furniture, which wouldn’t be a problem any other time, but right now Harry kind of wants Louis’ attention on him.

“So, did you want something to drink? I have food too if you’re hungry.” Harry is completely pulling off being a sober host right now, or at least he thought he was. Things were going well until Louis catches sight of him working to keep his balance when he trips over his own feet on the way to the kitchen.

“Don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to,” Louis taunts, but follows dutifully behind him. Harry makes his eyes impossibly big and innocent like he used to when he was a kid.

“What are you talking about, Lou?”

Louis tries to look unimpressed but he ends up grinning at Harry anyway. “You’re a mess, you know that?” Harry does know that. He also saw the way Louis’ eyes lit up at the mention of tea earlier, so Harry ushers Louis to a seat at his kitchen table.

“Alright. How do you want it, then?”

Louis’ smirk is wicked. “Are we talking about tea right now?” Harry giggles at his joke. He giggles for much too long really for someone trying to pass for sober. He clears his throat to get a handle on himself. Right.

“Yes, Louis. We are. Strictly tea. Only tea, because you like it.”

“If I stay for tea I’ll have been here a lot longer than five minutes.”

Which is precisely the point.

Looou. It’ll only take a minute or two, I promise.” Harry thinks he probably sounds like he’s whining. Louis’ grin confirms his suspicion. He gives in without too much of a fuss.

“Oh alright, fine. Go ahead and make tea, but I’m not going to be held responsible when you burn yourself, understand?”

Harry scoffs at him. He’s not going to burn himself. What does he look like, a child? He’s a grown man. An adult who has been making tea for years.

Louis takes care of his wound even after swearing that he wouldn’t. His thumb is in a fair bit of pain, but it’s worth it to have Louis holding his hand, even if it is just for medicinal purposes.

“What kind of nutter grabs the kettle without using the handle?” Harry winces when Louis rubs burn cream onto his skin. Harry can feel his face stuck in a pout.

“I thought it had cooled off.”

Louis’ eyes sparkle in amusement. “Within thirty seconds?” Louis practically coos at him when his face crumples into an even deeper pout. “Aww, I’m just teasing you, love. I enjoyed your tea very much. Thank you for making it for me. A good cuppa is hard to come by.”

Harry’s frown is immediately replaced with a bright smile. Louis liked his tea. Louis called him love. That’s a clear step up from calling him Harry or even the occasional Haz or Curly. It was probably just a slip up on Louis’ part, but he’ll take it.

After Harry is all bandaged up Louis makes the decision to get him to bed. Harry wants to laugh for a whole minute after Louis says it, but he forces himself to keep a straight face. Louis still seems a bit overwhelmed by the nice things inside of Harry’s flat on their trip to his bedroom. “This place is massive. You really live here all by yourself?”

“Yep. Just me,” Harry confirms just as they step inside his room. Louis’ eyes widen at the sheer amount of space he has all to himself.

“And you never get lonely?”

Harry stops trying to toe off his boots at his question. He thinks hard about it, wondering if he really is sobering up when he realizes that he does feel lonely at times. “Sometimes I do, but my friends and family visit often. It’s not so bad when they’re around.”

Louis nods, like Harry’s words make him feel better about something. Probably about Harry living in this huge place alone. “Good. I’m glad you’ve always got company.” Harry is touched by his sincerity; so touched that he almost forgets that he’s supposed to be taking off his boots. He resumes his efforts, but doesn’t get too far with the bandage around his thumb. Louis comes over to help him as soon as he notices Harry struggling. “Oh Curly. What would you do without me here?” Louis wonders aloud. Harry is glad he doesn’t have to find out just yet. “Alright, you’re now gross and barefoot. What’s next?”

Harry chooses his words carefully. It’s difficult trying to think two or three steps ahead of Louis who hasn’t had a drop of alcohol. “I need to change clothes, I guess. I want out of these jeans.”

“I have been wondering whether or not you can actually breathe in them all night long,” he laughs. “I’ll get your clothes for you. Just tell me where you keep them.”

“Top drawer on the right.”

He watches Louis get up on his toes to dig around and find him something to wear. Harry gets caught admiring him from behind when Louis turns around. He fixes Harry with a look of reprimand, but it doesn’t make him feel too bad because he’s grinning, and hey, shameless.

“Haz. You know I’m not going to stay here tonight, right?”

Of course Harry knows that. That doesn’t mean he particularly likes it. “I know, Louis. You’re just helping me out.”

“Exactly.”

Harry hates Niall.

*

Harry is able to drag the evening out for another twenty or thirty minutes, delegating different tasks for Louis to complete, all of which Harry swears are part of his bedtime routine. So far he has drank three glasses of water, brushed his hair and teeth twice, and even started a load of laundry for the clothes he just took off. Louis humors him of course, but he’s quickly running out of excuses to keep him there.

Harry knows he has been defeated when he asks Louis to get him another cup of water and Louis answers by turning back his sheets instead. Harry sullenly climbs into them, resenting Louis’ smirk of triumph as he settles in. Louis has the covers pulled halfway over him when Harry clears his throat.

“Uh, Lou?...I have to pee.”

Louis meets his eyes with a flat expression. “You do not.”

“I really, really do. Please? I’ll only be a minute.”

Louis sighs like letting Harry out of bed is a hardship, but his eyes are still fond. “Hurry up.”

Harry hugs him for being so understanding and then jets off to his bathroom. He really does have to pee despite Louis’ disbelief, because he had to commit while requesting that Louis get him those glasses of water. He had to actually drink them.

When he gets back Louis’ sitting patiently on the edge of his bed. “Are you all out of random ideas to keep from going to sleep or have you thought of a new one since you’ve been gone?”

Harry can tell he’s still a bit drunk from the way his subconscious screams at him for not finishing up the Kelly Clarkson lyric that Louis probably doesn’t even realize he said.

“Hmm. You’re not singing at me. I’m impressed,” Louis laughs. “I thought you would for sure.” Louis has no idea how much of a close call it was as he slides back into his bed.

Louis tucks him in, just as promised. Making sure he’s comfortable and warm. “Well, I guess this is goodnight.” Harry relents with a nod. He is done plotting.

“Thanks for doing all of this, Louis. I’m really glad I called you and not somebody else.”

“Well you were technically trying to call Liam, but I’ll take the compliment.” Louis smiles down at him like Harry is the most charming person he’s ever met even if he didn’t mean to call him. Harry needs him to know that tonight turned out to be better than he could have dreamed.

“No, Louis. I’m glad I didn’t get to call Liam either. If he had been the one to pick me up from the party then I wouldn’t have met you. I’m glad I met you.”

 

~@~

 

The warmth in Louis’ chest, this fondness he’s developed for Harry, is getting entirely out of hand. Harry’s words just make it burn brighter, heating Louis from the inside in a way he’s quite sure he’s never felt before. He ruffles Harry’s curls with an easy grin on his face. “Me too, love.”

He leans forward and kisses Harry’s forehead before it even occurs to him that maybe he shouldn’t. “Good night, Curly. Sweet Dreams,” Louis says softly and backs away, turning to leave and dreading each step that will lead him away from this boy.

“Wait!” Harry calls before Louis can take more than two steps.

Louis closes his eyes and breathes a sigh of relief that he doesn’t have to go yet, that Harry’s come up with another crazy excuse to keep him here just a little longer. He knew coming inside would be a struggle, he probably shouldn’t have ever walked in that door. Still, he has no regrets.

“What is it now, Harry?” Louis asks with a chuckle as he turns back to other boy.

Harry smirks up at him. “I believe I was promised a lullaby.”

“You know, I believe you were,” Louis agrees, and moves to sit at the edge of Harry’s bed. Harry scoots over a bit to make more room for him but not far enough that his legs isn’t pressing against Louis’ hip. Louis wonders if it’s deliberate. Either way, he’s happy to be anchored to the boy for a little longer, even in such a minimal way. “Any requests, Curly?”

Harry looks thoughtful for a moment, eyes catching on Louis’ face while he thinks. “Yeah. It was one of the songs that you sang in the car. I didn’t know it but I remember one of the lyrics you sang. It was something like ‘You’ll never feel like you’re alone’…”

“I’ll make this feel like home,” Louis sings, continuing the lyric and nodding his understanding.

Harry closes his eyes at the sound of Louis’ voice, like he’s savoring it. Louis has never been all that confident with his singing. He’s had people tell him before that his voice is weak, reedy. It’s sad because he’d once had dreams of being a singer but those have faded over the years. Harry is the first person besides Louis’ mother to make him feel like he isn’t a complete waste as a singer and, god only knows, Louis will do just about anything to make this boy happy.

“It’s not really a lullaby but have it your way,” Louis tells him as Harry sighs happily and snuggles further into his covers. Louis laughs at Harry’s reaction and takes a deep breath before he starts singing.

He tries to sing quietly, too afraid of messing up and embarrassing himself in front of Harry to sing any louder. His eyes are closed because he doesn’t want to see Harry’s response if he does mess up. They fly open when he feels something move against his hand and he looks down to see Harry’s hand wrap around his own.  Glancing up, Harry gives him a smile of encouragement. It works, Louis’ voice growing stronger as he keeps singing, eyes remaining on Harry’s exquisite face for the rest of the song.

“That was lovely, Louis,” Harry comments when the song is over. “Thank you.”

“Anytime, Curly,” Louis promises, squeezing Harry’s fingers lightly. He doesn’t want to let go. He doesn’t want to leave. Harry doesn’t want him to leave either, the events of the night and the way Harry’s clinging to his hand, all the proof he needs. And then, as if there was any way he wasn’t already certain, Harry makes sure that there’s no way he can possibly question it.

“Stay,” the boy whispers, eyes pleading with Louis in a way that Louis doesn’t think he can refuse.

He has absolutely no idea what to do. Does he listen to his heart or his head? Risk the wrath of Niall and his very large friend or risk losing this when the morning comes and leaves it a water-colored memory?

“Please stay,” Harry implores again, sitting up and letting go of Louis’ hand to place one of his own on each of Louis’ cheeks. “Please, Louis.”

Louis takes a shaky breath and wraps his hands around Harry’s wrist but doesn’t pull them away. It’s so hard to leave when neither of them wants him to.  Still, he tries. Because it’s the right thing to do. “Harry, love—”

He doesn’t get the chance to decline because Harry’s lips are on his, rejecting his rejection.

-----

Harry realizes that taking matters into his own hands and kissing Louis is a bit forward whether the alcohol is still in his system or not, but Louis had looked so torn before he decided to lean in that Harry couldn’t resist helping him make the decision. It was obvious that neither of them wanted Louis to walk out of that door, and now thanks to him Louis seems to have forgotten that he was ever supposed to leave.

Louis had initially frozen against him like he couldn’t quite believe that Harry’s mouth had found its way to his. Admittedly, Harry could’ve been a bit gentler, smoother in his approach, but in his defense, Louis was right there in front of him and his eyes were so blue and filled with so much longing that Harry didn’t have much time to plan it before he was surging forward to kiss him with everything that he has. Louis’ surprise had only lasted a split second before his lips and the rest of his body started to respond. Now Harry’s entire world has been reduced to the hold Louis has around the back of his neck as he pulls him closer. 

He feels drunk all over again with the gentle scrape of Louis’ stubble paired with the dull scent of his cologne still clinging to his skin from earlier in the day. The sliding of Louis’ tongue inside of his mouth sends shooting stars down the length of Harry’s spine that make him want nothing more than to reciprocate the feeling.

The covers fall away from his body when Harry pulls his legs from underneath them. He works hard to untangle one of his ankles from the stubborn sheets holding him there in place, making it extremely difficult for him to keep up with Louis’ energy and stay connected to him. Louis laughs into his mouth at the groan of frustration Harry makes trying to simultaneously free himself and keep Louis’ mouth on his.

When he’s finally able to wrench himself free he quickly climbs onto Louis’ lap, aligning their bodies together. He smiles when Louis doesn’t try to pull away from how close they’ve gotten. It’s more comfortable this way, just holding on where he’s straddled across Louis’ thighs and Louis’ fingers are knotted into his hair to guide his mouth in any direction he pleases. Those tiny sparks ignite his skin again where Louis’ fingers trace along his spine, and he feels too much each time Louis pants into his open mouth.

The fact that Harry has been hard since Louis dug his nails into his skin isn’t really helping matters on his end. Getting Louis to kiss him was hard work. Even getting Louis inside of his flat was an ordeal in and of itself, so Harry is hesitant when he rolls his hips against him, not really sure of the reaction he’ll get. He gets a sharp intake of breath as a response, so he does it again, but much harder this time to really feel Louis against him. The moan that falls out of Louis’ mouth makes him feel too hot and flushed inside of his own skin. He feels even more overwhelmed when Louis grabs him by the waist and flips him onto his back in one swift motion.

There’s a new intensity in his eyes where Louis is hovering over him with their mouths barely a breath apart. With a look like that, Harry expects his clothes to be torn off within seconds; welcomes it even. His stomach flips a couple of times just thinking about it, so when Louis hasn’t started ravishing him yet Harry starts removing his own clothes to get the process moving. The hem of Harry’s shirt has barely even cleared his navel when Louis’ hand comes down to gently stop him and he slowly breaches those few centimeters between them to bring their lips together again. The chasteness still makes Harry’s stomach flutter, but the hunger in Louis’ eyes has greatly softened by the time he pulls back.

“You’re not going to have sex with me are you?” Harry already knows the answer to that. He can see it in the small grin Louis is wearing as he slides a few stray curls behind Harry’s ear.

“No, Curly. Sadly and very regretfully, no.” Harry rolls his eyes at the way Louis’ lips turn up in a smirk. Harry would probably be really upset about this turn of events if Louis didn’t look so fucking beautiful the way he’s suspended over his body. Louis breathes a laugh at Harry’s pouting.

“May I ask why not?” he grumbles.

“Because…” Louis brushes an apology kiss against his cheek. He’s still smirking, but at least he looks like he may actually be just as sorry as Harry. “Even though you’re easily the most charming, lovable, ridiculous, and gorgeous idiot who has ever drunk-dialed me…” Harry preens under his compliments, sitting up on his elbows for another kiss. Harry thinks he just might be able to turn this night around until Louis pulls away to gently push him back against the mattress.  “But, it doesn’t change the fact that you have been drinking, and I haven’t.”

The sound Harry makes is somewhere between a whine and bear growl, as he tries to roll away. “But I’m not even that drunk anymore. I’ve had like…forty glasses of water and a cheeseburger. The alcohol got soaked up. I’m fine.” Harry tries the thing with making his eyes big and innocent so Louis will believe him, but this time Louis acts as if he’s immune to Harry’s tricks.

Louis relents to Harry trying to move and slides off of him, but only to laugh some more. “Okay, you had three glasses of water, you were off your face when you ate that cheeseburger, and you’ve been stumbling over your own feet all night.” Harry’s mouth falls open, indignant and only half-convinced that Louis is wrong.

“I tripped and fell in my own kitchen this morning and I hadn’t been drinking at all!” Harry argues. “My balance is horrible even when I’m sober!” What can Harry say? He’s got weird pigeon-toed feet that turn in. Navigating through life is difficult sometimes.

Louis laughs hard this time, curling in on himself and making the skin at his eyes crinkle just the way Harry likes. It’s hard to be mad when someone as gorgeous as Louis finds you amusing. Harry ends up smiling too even though he’s meant to be still pouting. Being upset becomes a lot harder to do when Louis crawls up the bed to sit next to him and drop a kiss to his shoulder before nudging it.

“Are you mad?”

“M’not mad,” Harry grins. “Just slightly disappointed I guess. I really wanted you to stay tonight.”

“Well, hopefully there’ll be other nights.” Louis glances over at him in with a look of expectance like he’s not sure if that’s completely true.

“I want there to be so many nights between us that you’ll wish you never answered my phone call,” he laughs.

It’s obvious that Louis isn’t going to stay there tonight, but that doesn’t mean he never will. Harry is actually counting on it at this point.  He’s counting on a lot of things with the person beside him, even if he won’t get them tonight.

~@~

 

Louis smiles at Harry’s words, gazes at him with honest to god adoration. “That sounds nice,” he says, taking Harry’s hand in his. “But I can promise you, Harry, even if you don’t feel the same tomorrow, even if we get together only to spectacularly crash and burn, I’ll never wish I hadn’t answered that phone.”

Louis knows he’s being extremely soppy right now, but Harry seems to quite like it if his pleased grin is anything to go by.

“Louis?”

“Yeah, Haz?”

“If you keep talking like that, I might never let you leave,” Harry promises, tightening his grip on Louis’ fingers.

Louis leans in and presses one last chaste kiss to Harry’s lips, chuckling when Harry tries to chase after his mouth as he pulls back. He lets Harry get away with stealing one more kiss before he breaks it off again. “I’d be perfectly happy to let you keep me, love. Starting tomorrow.”

Harry scoffs playfully and shakes his head. “I wish you were just a bit less of a gentleman.”

Louis wiggles his eyebrows. “I am when my dick’s not being threatened with bodily harm.”

Harry giggles into Louis’ shoulder before sighing. “I hate Niall.”

Louis chuckles and runs his fingers through Harry’s hair. “He’s just looking out for you, love. And he’s right to. Besides, I was mostly kidding, Curly, I’d never take advantage of you in your drunk state, no matter how gorgeous you are.”

“Not even just a little bit?” Harry pouts, batting his lashes flirtatiously. Louis runs his thumb over Harry’s bottom lip until Harry’s tongue darts out to taste.

“No, you minx,” Louis laughs, pulling his thumb back from Harry’s tantalizing mouth. “I may not be an angel but I’m not a complete knob either.”

Harry giggles and Louis thinks maybe he should have worded that a bit differently.

Goodnight, Harry,” Louis says pointedly, pushing Harry so that he falls back on his bed and manhandling him until he’s able to pull his covers up over him once more. “I’m going to tuck you in one last time and then I’m going to go home. I’m going to climb in my bed, go to sleep, and have sweet dreams of beautiful, pissed-out-of-their-mind boys who tease the hell out of me. Then I’m going to wake up in the morning and wait for your call. If you want me to come take advantage of you then, when you’re nice and sober and it’s completely, unquestionably consensual, then I’ll be at your door in a heartbeat.”

“You promise?” Harry questions, allowing Louis to tuck the blankets under his limbs, effectively trapping him for the moment.

“I cross my heart, love. Wild horses couldn’t keep me away,” Louis promises, laying another kiss to Harry’s forehead.

“You missed,” Harry informs him, puckering his lips and making Louis laugh before correcting his mistake and pressing his lips against Harry’s in a lingering kiss.

“I’m calling you the second I wake up,” Harry tells him as soon as their lips are parted.

“If you want to,” Louis nods, running his fingers, once again, through Harry’s curls, “but take care of yourself first, love, alright? I doubt you’ll be feeling quite so adventurous when you first wake up.”

“I don’t care,” Harry says, eyes drooping a bit, the late hour seeming to finally be catching up with him. Louis smiles down at him fondly.

“I do. Promise me that you’ll take care of yourself, Haz.”

Harry stares back petulantly and Louis raises a stern eyebrow. “Promise.”

“Fine, I promise,” Harry finally answers with a roll of his eyes.

“Good,” Louis says, brushing his fingers down Harry’s cheek. “Sweet dreams, Harry.”

“Good night, Louis,” Harry responds quietly. “Drive safe.”

Louis’ lips quirk up into another smile. He’s smiled so much tonight. He doesn’t think anyone’s ever made him smile quite as easily as Harry does. “I will, Harry. Good night.”

He forces himself to rise from Harry’s bed and walk to the door. Try as he might, he’s not strong enough to keep himself from looking back though. Harry is lying there with his eyes still open, arms pulled out of the covers, resting on his chest and he’s staring longingly at Louis’ ass.

“Shameless,” Louis grins, shaking his head.

Harry bites down on his lip and Louis knows he’s trying not to smile at being caught but his eyes stay on Louis ass the whole time.

“Bye, Harry,” Louis laughs and walks out the door. He’s halfway down the hall when Louis hears Harry call out, “Hate to see you go, love to watch you leave.”

“I’m betting you’d rather watch me come,” Louis replies loudly as he walks to the front door. The flat goes quiet as he reaches for the door handle and pulls it open. And then…

Tease,” Harry calls from the bedroom.

Louis’ still laughing when he closes the door behind him. He gets on the lift and makes his way to the lobby of Harry’s building, whistling cheerfully and unable to keep his eyes from crinkling with happiness. He nods to James on his way out and pulls his keys from his pocket.

His gaze lingers on Harry’s building for a few minutes after he gets in the car before he shakes his head at himself and starts the ignition. He’s only just gotten on the road again when his phone starts ringing.

Louis checks the time, 4:37 a.m., before he answers his phone.

“Hello?”

“Is it too early to call?” Harry’s voice spills out in his ear. Louis smiles.

-----

Harry is awake for a whole five minutes before he’s brave enough to open his eyes. The queasiness in his stomach and the dull thudding sensation at his temples are two side effects of a good night out that Harry has come to expect over the years, however the mysterious large bandage taking up most of his thumb is a new and interesting development. He examines the injury, wondering which staircase he fell down, or which piece of shattered pint glass ended up piercing his skin. It doesn’t take him or his sluggish brain long before he realizes the name of the true culprit; Louis.

The realization lights a fire under him as he recalls their most recent conversation where he kept Louis company by talking him through his drive home. He realizes with sadness that he must’ve fallen asleep before Louis made it there when he can’t even remember them saying goodbye.

The phone isn’t on his bedside table, so he ends up wading through his covers to locate it. He uses what’s left of his battery life to swipe through his contacts. He’s delighted when there’s only one number that shows up.

Louis is someone who got pulled into Harry’s life by accident. Harry was drunk and in need of a ride home and by some miracle the person he ended up calling had been one of the most kind-hearted and beautiful people that Harry has ever met. Having Louis for the short amount of time they were together isn’t enough for him. Harry can only pray that Louis will feel the same way. His stomach drops as if he has missed a stair at the thought of last night being nothing more than a kind stranger helping someone in need, but Harry knows he didn’t imagine the hopeful glint in Louis’ eyes as they kissed goodbye. He felt the hunger in his touch and the longing in his gaze and Harry just knows that Louis feels the same way. He just has to.

It’s silly, but his fingers tremble around his phone as he hits the call button. Each long ring that echoes makes Harry’s optimism shrink. He can hardly believe it when he hears someone finally pick up. His nerves are back, but he shakes them off to say hello. “Hi. Um…. is this Louis?”

“Well I sure hope so, Curly. I’d hate for you to be making a habit out of calling strangers,” he laughs. “How are you feeling?” Those few words are all it takes for Harry to know that all his doubting was pointless. He grins so hard that his cheek grazes the touch pad of his phone, causing a series of beeps to sound off in both of their ears. “Jesus, are you still drunk?”

“No! My cheek hit the screen!”

“Mmhmm. Sure it did,” Louis hums sleepily into the receiver. There’s a long pause before he says anything else. His voice is soft and tentative when he asks, “So…exactly how much of last night do you remember?” and Harry realizes that Louis must have had the same fears as him. Harry gladly erases any doubts for him.

“I remember everything. Every second. Every detail.” How could he possibly forget?

“So you have a clear mental picture of yourself feasting in a bathtub and nearly pouring an entire canister of sugar into the tea you made me? You also demanded that I tuck you in and sing you a song even though you refused to actually go to sleep. I think that needs to be acknowledged.”

Harry’s cheeks feel warm from the memories. He wishes Louis were teasing him in person rather than over the phone.

“Yes, I remember all of that…amongst other things,” Harry hints and he can practically hear Louis purring on the other end.

“Mmmm, do tell.”

Harry rolls over onto his back when butterflies swarm through his stomach. “I’d rather show you, if I’m honest. Come over.” It’s a bold request, but he’s almost certain Louis will do it. He’s pretty sure Louis would have done whatever Harry asked last night if he had been sober.

“You never said how you were feeling.”

“I feel great. I swear.” Harry’s head has felt better, but it’s only a teeny, tiny white lie.

Louis huffs a laugh into the phone. “You haven’t even gotten out of bed yet have you?” When Harry woke up his first thoughts were of Louis. Of course he hasn’t gotten any further than his bed yet.

“Am I going to have to beg to see you again? I’m not above begging. I’m actually pretty-”

“Shameless? Yeah, I know you are. Shameless and incredibly convincing.” There’s a short pause before Louis chuckles warmly into the phone. “Alright, I give up. Your sleepy morning voice won me over the second you called so, let me get up and shower really quick. I can be over in about an hour?”

Harry’s chest swells with sweet victory. He tries not to sound too ecstatic, going for casual when he cements their plans. “Okay, Lou. That sounds good. I’ll go get dressed too and I’ll see you in a bit.”

The moment the call ends is when Harry’s mad dash to impress Louis begins. He’s out of bed in a flash, tripping over his own feet to get to the bathroom. He brushes his teeth and showers in record speed and immediately starts toweling his hair as soon as he steps out of the steam. He tells himself that joggers and another t-shirt are a choice made out of comfort, but he knows he’s really putting on pajamas again out of pure convenience and the small hope that they’ll soon be ripped off of him. Wishful thinking.

He does a quick sweep of his flat to tidy up anything out of place that he was too drunk to notice last night, and in a final attempt to win Louis’ approval he dashes into his kitchen to make tea and put out the fresh fruit he bought a couple of days ago.

He’s just reaching for the kettle (moving very carefully this time) when a knock sounds at his door.

He rearranges his drying curls for the hundredth time and tells himself to calm down before answering it. Harry’s heart melts when the door swings open to reveal Louis wearing a smile that is just as nervous and excited as his own.

“I’m here,” he announces with a tiny shrug. “I think your doorman really likes me,” he says out of nowhere, but his words go in one of Harry’s ears and out of the other without registering. Louis looks even better than he remembers with his hair all soft and feathery in the morning light. Harry doesn’t even think before he reaches for his waist to pull him in.

They kiss right there in the doorway with all of the energy from the night before making Harry’s heart hammer out of control. Harry kicks his front door closed as an afterthought. He refuses to let go of Louis while he walks them further into his home. The only thing that startles them out of their haze is the jolt they feel from Harry nearly tripping over the leg of his table. Louis is laughing when he pulls away.

“And you’re sure you’re not still drunk?”

Harry can’t even find it in himself to be embarrassed, simply amazed at how beautiful Louis is standing in front of him. “I made tea. Just the way you like it without all the sugar,” Harry answers instead. “There’s also fruit and cereal and stuff if you’re hungry. I wasn’t sure what you liked so I laid out a bunch of different things.”

The look Louis gives him is soft almost like he can’t believe Harry is real. He glances over Harry’s choice of clothing and bites down on a grin. He recovers almost immediately and takes Harry’s hand. “That sounds lovely, Harry. I’d love some breakfast.”

They eat over light conversation, but it’s mostly just Louis talking and Harry getting distracted by everything the boy does from the way he slinks back in his seat to how his words are always accented by his expressive eyes and hand gestures. He has known Louis less than twenty-four hours and already, Harry is mesmerized. He interrupts Louis’ story about waking up at an airport after a night of drinking. “I’m glad you’re here.”

He blinks at Harry with pink cheeks and another incredibly fond expression. “I was scared you wouldn’t want to see me again once you were sober. I was really happy when you called me this morning.” Only an idiot wouldn’t call Louis. An idiot would also let Louis slip through his fingers, but not Harry.

“It’s going to be hard getting rid of me now,” Harry warns him.

He tries to remain calm when Louis slides back his chair to walk over to him. His bends at the waist until he’s face to face with Harry and he guides Harry’s mouth up to his where his fingers linger on his skin. “Oh I was counting on it.”

Harry gets so lost in the feeling of Louis’ lips that the gentle slide of his tongue causes him to let out a small whimper. Louis’ laugh is breathless and dark when Harry stands up to press them so close together that he can feel Louis’ heart thudding through his shirt.

Louis starts walking them out of the kitchen. Harry wants to jump up and down and celebrate when they bypass the sofa and head in the direction of his bedroom. Louis’ hands briefly drop to his ass to grab a couple of handfuls. That’s why Harry nearly has an aneurism when he suddenly stops. His words fly out of his mouth at lightning speed to protest, because this cannot be happening again. He hasn’t even been drinking! “I swear I’m not drunk and you have my full consent to do whatever you want to me. I won’t stop you, I promise!”

Louis seems surprised by Harry’s very persistent and very open invitation to ruin him. He tries to hide his smirk, but Harry can still see it. Louis politely clears his throat, “Uh, Haz?” He points at something behind Harry’s back. “I was just opening the door. I kind of needed my hands for that.”

Harry turns around to see that his bedroom door is in fact closed. Funny that; he must’ve shut it when he was busy tidying up. His smile is sheepish and red-cheeked when he replies with a simple, “Oh. Sorry.”

“Don’t apologize.” Harry’s stomach flips when Louis’ presses up against him again and his words ghost just outside of his ear. “Tell me more about all the things I’m allowed to do to you.”

His words are simple, and yet Harry has never been more turned on in his life as he stares down at Louis’ devilish grin. The gentleman from last night has mostly vanished, but Harry can still see bits of him in the warmth of his eyes. He lets Louis walk him into his bedroom, confident that out of all the men in the world he could’ve drunk-dialed, that Louis was just the one for him.

Harry’s shirt is already half-way off by the time Louis pushes him back onto the bed. Louis’ eyes trail it as Harry yanks it off and it goes flying across the room. He crawls up Harry’s body with his knees bracketed around his waist for a better angle to taste more of Harry’s mouth now that he isn’t fiddling with his top, but Harry’s impatience won’t let him rest beneath him. His fingers start undressing Louis like they have a mind of their own.  A couple of persistent tugs sends Louis shirt sailing in the same direction as his, but Harry doesn’t dare look to see where it lands.

Louis is half-naked and warm where their bare skin touches and Harry’s eyes are glued to him. The drawstring of his joggers is tied so loosely that they fall just under the jut of his hips. Harry traces his index finger over the muscles of his abs, and just the feel of them tensing under his touch leaves Harry short of breath. Harry finds that the fasciation is mutual when he tries to level his eyes with Louis’ and they’re occupied by the contours and lines of his torso too. Harry appreciates the admiration, really he does, but he’d appreciate Louis touching him even more. He removes one of Louis’ hands from where it’s gripped into the bed covers and deliberately places it against his lower stomach.

He smiles to himself when Louis needs no further direction and begins untying the drawstring of his bottoms. He gets a wide smirk when Louis pulls them down to reveal nothing except Harry’s bare skin underneath, but Harry doesn’t even pretend to be embarrassed by how much he wanted this to happen when he sits up on his elbows to lick into Louis’ mouth. Louis finally wraps his fingers around him and suddenly Harry’s arms feel too weak to support his weight as he falls back against the mattress again.  Louis disappears from his line of vision, but there’s no doubt of where he went when a warm vacuum of heat envelops him. He’s usually not one for making a lot of noise during oral sex, but he can’t help the sounds being drawn from him each time Louis sinks his mouth down and drags his tongue along his skin as he glides back up.

Harry lets Louis’ tongue work him over until he can feel his stomach tightening in on itself to keep from coming, and in that moment he’s glad that Louis didn’t let them get this far last night because Harry wouldn’t have been able to last this long. It’s with a heavy heart that Harry twists his hips away from Louis’ mouth, but it’s only because Louis was likely to finish him without even being touched himself, and that is simply unacceptable because Harry is nothing if not an equal opportunity lover.

Louis’ mouth looks red and tender when Harry thanks him with a kiss. He guides Louis to lay on the bed in the spot he just left and Harry gets down on his knees to work the legs of Louis’ bottoms down to his ankles. He pulls them off and goes to throw them in the general vicinity of the rest of their clothes, but one look down at the size of Louis where he’s thick and rigid between his legs leaves him breathless. Now Harry knows why Louis was so concerned about Niall’s threat to rip off his dick and feed it to him. Harry is about to put it in his mouth by choice and it’s still a bit overwhelming, and Jesus, he can’t wait to sit on it.

The task of sucking Louis off turns out to be exactly that, a task, but a delicious one that leaves a good aching sensation in his jaw. Harry had put all of his concentration into fitting every inch of Louis down his throat, but he pulled off when he could feel Louis trembling beneath him. Now he’s on the bed again, knees bent and splayed against the sheets as Louis lubes up his fingers with the bottle he dug out of Harry’s bedside table. Every nerve ending that Harry has feels electrified when Louis looms over him to catch his lips in a sweet kiss and his knuckles disappear into his body.

Louis works his fingers until Harry is loose and pliant around him. It’s not long before Louis is ripping open a condom and knocking the wrapper onto the floor. He puts on a good show, but Harry can see the small amount of nerves he’s trying to hide in the way he fumbles with rolling it on.

Harry lends a helping hand and sits up to bring their lips together in a kiss that makes Louis visibly relax as they lube him up. Harry kisses him until the need to feel Louis inside of him is too great to ignore. He was going to let Louis take him from whatever position he wanted, but it feels right as he maneuvers his way onto Louis’ lap and holds him steady at the base with his fist.

Harry’s breath is caught in his throat as he sinks down and the air that remains feels as though it’s being pushed out of his lungs. The stretch is definitely more on the painful side than anything else, but it gets better the longer he waits and the longer Louis cards his fingers through his hair. Louis is silent and frozen still beneath him, like he’s afraid to move and chance making him more uncomfortable, but a small roll of Harry’s hips is all that it takes for a ragged moan to fall out of his mouth and his body to relax. Harry does it again, but this time he rolls his hips hard like he means it, and it’s all Louis can take before he starts thrusting up to meet him, and just like that Harry is being fucked into just the way he imagined the night before.

He has no concept of time as his skin becomes sweatier and more flushed with each of Louis’ movements. Harry’s knees ache from being bent in this position for so long and sometimes Louis’ fingernails grip into his hips so hard that it hurts, but the feeling only drives Harry to keep hanging onto to him and take everything Louis gives him. He feels a slight change in the way Louis is thrusting against him, so Harry starts stroking himself with his free hand to catch up.

Louis’ pupils are blown when they lock eyes. “I’m close,” he breathes in between the quick breaths leaving his mouth. Harry slips his tongue into his mouth to coax his orgasm out of him, and within seconds Louis’ hips shudder to a halt as he comes. He sinks his head down for a moment when the full wave has passed, and then he’s wrapping his hand around Harry’s to tighten the grip he has around himself. A few quick strokes and the feel of Louis’ mouth on his is all it takes for Harry to follow right behind him, panting into the crook of Louis’ neck as he comes down.

There’s a brief moment after Harry slides off of his lap where he panics at the thought of Louis leaving now that they’ve fucked through their mutual attraction, but any fear of Louis walking away is erased when he sinks down right behind Harry to crowd into his space and wrap him up in his arms. He’s hot and sweaty, but he likes the feeling of being held this way. He likes the idea of Louis being the one to wrap him up.

“So,” Louis noses against his ear. “What’s next on our agenda?” his words make Harry grin against his pillow. He’s happy to hear that their agenda is a shared one. He’s even more excited that their agenda seems wide open with no clear end in sight.

“I’m not sure. We can do anything we want I guess. Personally, I think a nap sounds amazing,” Harry says dreamily, already fantasizing about how lovely it would be to wake up next to Louis.

“Hmm. Yeah, a nap does sound good right now, especially since some weird drunk kept me up all night because he deleted all of his contacts. Can you believe I actually had to get out of bed to go take him home?”

Harry laughs and turns over in Louis arms so they’re lying face to face. “I’m so glad that you did.”

The warmth never left Louis’ smile, but it’s even brighter when he brushes a kiss over Harry’s lips to agree.

“Me too, Curly. Me too.”