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Play It Sweet, Play It Cool

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"You know what I want?" Niall says after they've fucked the afternoon away.

Harry's a little too broken to talk, his overheated skin warming the sheets into a puddle of sweat, so he just waits for Niall to keep going.

"I wanna suck you off, while you fuck me. If it were possible. Think I'd like it."

If someone had told Harry when he met Niall that this is what he was really like, under all that hair-bleach and the Justin Bieber obsession, a cock-slut the likes of which the world had never seen before, Harry might've laughed. He certainly wouldn't have believed it.

He's not sure he believes it, now.

In the end they decide on Zayn. The deliberation process lasted all of the half-second it took for Zayn's name to be said out loud. The hard part was actually broaching the subject, because there isn't a handbook that Harry knows of that gives advice on how to proposition someone for an all-boy threesome with their best friends, although he thinks there should be.

Since Niall suggested it -- in the lewdest terms Harry had heard outside of the weird hentai porn Louis keeps on his laptop, "cock in me mouth, gettin' fucked so hard I see stars" -- Harry hasn't been able to think of anything else. He wants it, with a voracity that surprises him, wants it enough to say it out loud and ask.

Zayn's face when he does almost makes him regret asking.

"What."

Harry takes a breath and repeats his statement. "Erm, we were wondering -- me and Niall were -- if you'd. You know. Like to join us some time."

The way Zayn blushes ruins any chance he had at earning the title of "bad boy". "For?" he tries, meekly.

"Sex," Harry clarifies. "The naked kind. If you want to, that is."

Harry's not an idiot. He's seen the way Zayn looks at Niall, the way he acted when he found out -- or at least suspected, until now -- that Niall and Harry were sleeping together. Almost the same way Louis acted when he first walked in on Harry bending Niall over the arm of the couch in their flat. Zayn didn't make a show of hinting at it every time Harry and Niall were in the same room together for almost an entire month after like Louis did, but they shared the same kind of sulky, pissy attitude at realising their toys could be enjoyed by other people.

Harry and Niall didn't make a show of it, because there was nothing to make a show of. They hooked up sometimes, big deal. The only limit to sexuality is how much you disclose to other people, something Harry knows so well, now, and they just didn't feel the need to turn it into a label. Harry still gets to meet girls at parties and take them back to whatever motel they called their home for the night, and Niall gets to keep his image as a single man.

But Harry would be lying if he said he didn't notice or didn't care how it affected the rest of them. Louis still occasionally makes remarks about food stains he finds on the sofa, like Harry just can't keep his dick in his pants long enough to get the steam-cleaner out, but he's mostly over it. Zayn still isn't. He has this thing where his entire face falls when he catches sight of Niall and Harry together, whether they're on stage or lounging around the tour bus, and it makes Harry's heart hurt in empathy because he knows what it's like to want someone so badly and be able to do nothing about it.

It's not that Zayn doesn't have a chance with Niall now, but Harry can see how it would look like a missed opportunity to an outsider. At least now Harry has the opportunity to set the bar straight. He's nothing if not a people-pleaser.

"You're joking," Zayn tries.

"Nope," Harry replies.

"Then I don't get it."

"Erm, well. It's Niall's idea. He has, erm, some things he wants to try. And he wants you to help -- make them happen. It's a three-person job."

Zayn's staring in confusion now, his mouth slightly open and lip curled like he can't get his head around it. "Okay," Zayn says slowly.

Harry chuckles softly. "Maybe you should just--" and he pulls Zayn by the arm, down the hall to Niall's hotel room -- or it could be Harry's, but no one keeps track. Zayn follows dumbly, palm sweating a little where it's clasped in Harry's, face scrunched up into a look of expectant horror, and Harry has to laugh when he catches sight of it. "Seriously, chill, man. Just, hear us out and tell us what you think." Harry raps on the door. "Niall?"

"Yeah?" comes the reply. Harry can picture him pacing around the room, running his hands through his hair, maybe already hard from the anticipation and trying to stave off the need with a palm to his crotch.

"You decent? Zayn's here. Just -- he's gonna hear us out."

There's some muffled noises and a second later Niall unlocks the door. His 1000 watt bulb smile when he sees Zayn makes the flush of his chest stand out even more.

"Hey, Zayn," he says, his voice too fucking calm. The way he fidgets with the snapback in his hand eliminates any pretence of casual, though, and his eyes are hungry with expectation.

"Um, hey," Zayn croaks, sounding like a man dying of thirst, looking like it, too, like Niall's a glass of water and he's been clutching at a mirage too long. This is almost too easy. Harry watches them for a second before he pulls Zayn into the room, touches Niall fleetingly, reassuringly, on his arm as he goes. The door clicks shut behind them, loud in the loaded silence.

"So?" Niall says.

Zayn glances at Harry, then back to Niall. "I dunno, man, Harry dragged me here."

Niall's face falls at that, and then Zayn is tripping over an explanation, ever the sucker for hurt feelings. "Um, I mean, he told me you--"

Niall looks up, suddenly hopeful again. "Yeah, we wanted to get you in on this, like. If you want to."

"Like, threesome situation, yeah?" Zayn laughs a little, and Harry damn near shoves his fist in his mouth to stifle his own giggles. "I've never, but like, I dunno, sounds good, like."

Niall's got his snapback on now, pushed back to scratch at his scalp and mess up his hair. Zayn's eyes flick to it and he wets his lips. Harry can feel the sexual tension in the room escalate, if it's possible. It takes a lot of restraint not to roll his eyes at them, or shout at them for being so stupid. It's pretty baffling that two attractive guys who are so clearly attracted to each other could be this dumb about the whole thing. They seem to have forgotten him in their awkward rendition of seduction, but Harry's pretty used to that by now.

"Yeah?" Niall asks, breathy, hopeful, not much more than a whisper.

Zayn swallows, scratches at his neck. "Yeah, yeah." He looks like he's about to continue and ruin the moment, so Harry does the job that's fallen to him and gets the ball rolling. He crowds against Zayn's back, close enough to taste the sweat gathered on the back of Zayn's neck, close enough to smell it, sliding a hand around his stomach.

Zayn tenses, but only for a second, and whatever he's about to say dies in his throat. Harry can see over his shoulder to Niall, whose eyes are lidded with how turned on he is.

"You can say no, if you want. That was a pretty terrible pitch, I have to say." He talks straight into Zayn's ear, because no one said anything about playing fair, and it would be a shame, really, for Zayn to back out now. Zayn leans back into him slightly, enough to open himself up to what Harry's going to do. Harry flexes his hand where it's pressed low into Zayn's stomach. His other hand comes up to Zayn's throat to feel the way his adam's apple bobs when he swallows. "No pressure," he says, and chuckles guiltily.

"Yeah," Zayn repeats, swaying slightly in the bracket of Harry's arms.

Harry slides his hand down further, past the waist of Zayn's jeans, slowly so Zayn knows what's about to happen. He still jumps when Harry cups him through his trousers and hisses through his teeth, a sound that's as sweet as it is hot. He's hard, and Harry puts his other hand on Zayn's chest as leverage when he pushes his own erection against the swell of Zayn's arse, hard enough to eliminate any pretence of messing around. Niall makes a high, desperate noise from the back of his throat.

"Weren't joking, then," Zayn chokes out.

"I rarely am." Harry flexes his hand, noses along Zayn's neck.

"Fuck," Zayn exhales. "Ok, yeah. Good. So, uh, if you don't mind me asking, how we gonna do this?"

Harry glances up at Niall, who doesn't look like he can form words at this point. "Well, Niall's got some ideas."

Niall's eyes flick back to Zayn and he bares his teeth.

Harry beckons him closer. "Come on, Ni, no need to be coy. Tell him."

Niall takes a breath and a step forward at Harry's outstretched hand. "Want you to fuck me," he says, bolder now. "While I suck Harry off."

Zayn is silent. All Harry has to go on with this limited position is Zayn's body language, but it's enough. Beneath his hand he can feel Zayn stiff, feels the intake of breath as Zayn's chest heaves.

Harry gives Niall a proud grin, pulls him closer when Niall takes his hand to kiss him over Zayn's shoulder. He moans a little, from the taste of it, for the show, just to make it clear that this is something Zayn should want. Niall fits his body easily to Zayn's even as he makes out with Harry, chests together, hands finding hips like they belong there.

"He's really, really good," Harry says when he pulls out of the kiss, one hand flicking the button on Zayn's jeans open. "He should show you now, actually, just how good he is. His mouth is something else." He's speaking to Zayn but staring straight at Niall. "Would you like that, Zayn?"

Zayn answers with a rushed, "yeah, fuck Niall, I want you to suck me off first," head thrown back onto Harry's shoulder like it's too much to make eye contact with the guy who's offering him a blowjob.

Niall doesn't waste time. He's on his knees as soon as the words are out, accepting the offer of Zayn's cock Harry gives him with his hand wrapped around it, flushed and hard and leaking even before Niall's mouth opens. He licks at the tip and Zayn's body pulls taut, the both of them moaning when Niall slurps at the head, fits his mouth to it, nursing sloppily with his lips pushed out. He makes a show of it, teases until Zayn's practically begging for him to go lower with his hand clenched around Harry's hip painfully tight.

"Good, right?" Harry murmurs. Zayn shivers slightly, leans further back into Harry's chest, and doesn't answer.

Niall sucks him down lower until the wet heat of his mouth touches Harry's hand, and he's making these obscene, desperate noises that vibrate along Zayn's cock. He looks good on his knees, eyes closed and mouth working, Harry's always thought that. Zayn's probably thought about it too, probably wanted it every bit as much as Harry does now he's found out how easy Niall is for it. Niall isn't afraid to make a mess, sucking noisily and unskilfully with his cheeks hollowed until he's gagging and Zayn's echoing his noises, until Zayn's pushing back into Harry's crotch and rocking forward into Niall's mouth without much finesse. His hand scrubs through Niall's hair and knocks his cap to the ground.

"Such a fucking--" Zayn starts, before he groans, and Niall glances up at him through his eyelashes with a look Harry interprets easily.

"Keep talking."

"Huh?"

"Keep talking, he likes it. Tell him how good he is."

Niall listens, drops his eyes back down, and picks up the pace. Zayn takes the hint.

"Your mouth, Niall, jesus." Zayn draws the last syllable out in a hiss. "Don't know how long I wanted this, always knew it would be this good."

Harry laughs softly. He takes Zayn's other hand where it's clenched on his hip and places it in Niall's hair. Niall moans at the touch, bobbing lower until his lips wrap around Harry's fingers, too, slicking them up with spit and whatever pre-come he hasn't swallowed, breath hot and erratic on Harry's skin.

After another minute Niall pulls off, gulping in air, lips red, and out of breath.

Zayn makes a noise of regret in the back of his throat. "Why'd you stop?"

"Because we're not finished, yet," Harry answers, stroking him to make up for the lack of Niall's mouth. "Don't want you to come too early."

Niall sits back on his heels, looking like a lost and obedient puppy. He seems to scrounge up some more initiative and asks, "you ready then?", to which Zayn replies with a forceful nod.

They make short work of their clothes. Or, at least Harry does, pushing Zayn's trousers and pants down while Niall distracts him with kissing. Zayn turns to putty after that, succumbing willingly to Harry's hands and (the other use for) Niall's mouth, steps out of his pants, and only breaks the kiss long enough for Harry to strip both their shirts off. He'd feel like he's doing too much of the actual work if the payoff wasn't so very worth it -- Niall's skinny, flushed chest, Zayn's stomach muscles jumping under Harry's fleeting touches, their combined breathing growing laboured the more they make out; Harry isn't complaining.

Zayn moves past Niall's mouth to suck at his neck, and Harry catches Niall's eye.

"Ni?" is all he has to ask and Niall nods, urges Zayn backwards until they both topple onto the bed. Harry giggles, but he's the only one. The other two are so serious, so -- into it, but really, what did Harry expect? They care about each other, they want each other, too much for this to be anything but serious. They close their eyes when they kiss, Zayn's brow furrowed slightly like he's mapping Niall's mouth with his tongue and body with his fingers and committing it all to memory for later use. It's intimate in the way Harry hasn't shared with another person in a long time.

He stands at the edge of the bed and helps Niall strip his pants by the frayed ankles. Zayn watches Harry with a surprising amount of gratitude for all his apathy and calm, before he pulls Niall in for another kiss. Harry leaves them to grab supplies from the bathroom and when he comes back Zayn has his hand wrapped around Niall's cock and Niall is moaning into his neck.

A calm realisation settles on him as he watches them absolve each other of regret and inhibition: he could walk out right now, with his fly undone and his boxers tented and a lack of regret. He could leave the condoms and lube and Zayn and Niall to bridge the gap between them that, if Harry didn't cause, was at least a part of. It would mean the end of what he and Niall have going on that hides Harry's intimacy issues and Niall's indecision to grab for something that was right in front of him because it might have meant he lost it, but if that is the only ramification then it isn't really a loss, not compared to what Zayn and Niall have to gain. Harry doesn't need to share that part of Niall because he isn't the right person to share it with.

The realisation pushes him to the edges of his comfort zone. Before he can make up his mind Niall cranes his neck to catch Harry's eye again, slightly puzzled. Harry opens his mouth to -- excuse himself, most likely -- but then Niall tilts his head back, beckons him over wordlessly, and that's when Harry remembers. This isn't about him, really. This is about what Niall wants. And Niall doesn't want him to go.

Harry strips out of his clothes, all the while aware of Niall watching him through a haze of arousal that Zayn coaxes with a hand and tongue and their bodies pressed together, feverishly hot under Harry's palm when he joins them.

"Thank fuck," Niall sighs happily and Harry grins.

"On your back, Niall."

Niall acquiesces, practically throwing himself down with his arms back and his legs spread open. Zayn watches him, glancing back at Harry as if asking permission, but Harry just manoeuvres him instead of wasting time with words, pushes him between Niall's legs, holding him until his shoulders relax. Harry kisses him lightly behind the ear and grabs one of his hands.

"Ever done this before?"

Zayn shakes his head. "I've been, you know, where Niall is." He gestures vaguely, and gets distracted by the way Niall watches him, arching his back to get sink deeper into the sheets.

Zayn shivers at the touch of cold lube Harry drizzles on his fingers.

Harry continues, "Ever done it to yourself?"

Zayn turns his head to catch Harry's eye, eyelids drooped, biting his lip coyly.

"We'll get to that one later, yeah? No pressure."

Zayn turns back to Niall then, pressing further into the V of his legs, taking the kind of initiative that Harry rewards by crowding in closer behind him, hands wrapped around Zayn's hips.

"Ok, start off with one finger," Harry directs, and Zayn complies, without the usual sarcastic remark or full-body eye roll. Niall opens himself up, gasping as Zayn's finger breaches him. Zayn works it in, focused and attentive to the way Niall's body reacts and clenched around him. Harry is transfixed, too, runs his hand up Niall's calf as Zayn adds another finger, pushing in and out in a careful slide that must be as maddening to feel as it is to look at. Zayn's other hand is clenched around Niall's hip, too tight to be comfortable, and Harry moves closer to mouth at his neck until the last of the tension disappears from Zayn's shoulders.

"Fuck," Niall breathes. He's watching them, even as he's getting fingered, running his hands over his body, and Harry has to admire his ability to multitask. If Harry were in Niall's place he'd be too overwhelmed, but Niall takes it in stride, nudges Zayn's calf with his foot.

"You ok?" Zayn asks, a little breathless.

"Be better if you fucked me," comes Niall's blunt reply.

"Guess Niall wants you to fuck him," Harry says.

"Yeah thanks Harry, figured that one out for myself."

Harry pushes a condom into his hand and reaches for the lube again. Niall makes a small noise as Zayn retracts his fingers, but then Zayn's leaning forward, kissing him, working his lube-slick hand between them. From the sounds Niall makes Zayn's got his hand around both of them, condom forgotten, and Harry shakes his head.

"Guess I'm doing all the work tonight, then."

Neither of them answer, unless the groan Zayn exhales into Niall's mouth is an answer. Harry takes it as one, rolls the condom down Zayn's cock and strokes him to full hardness with a palm wet with lube. Only then does Zayn pull back, lines himself up with a shaky hand, his heart beating hard enough for Harry to feel it in his own chest.

Niall exhales as Zayn pushes in past the rim of muscle and the feeling of breaching something, being breached, eyes closed, skin flushed all over. It takes half a minute for Zayn to push all the way in, until he's seated fully, spurred on by Niall's encouragement, and a moment passes in which none of them move.

"Fuh-uck," Zayn stutters, braced on his elbows like a true gentleman. Niall rolls his hips up with a "fucking get on with it," and Zayn complies, meets Niall's thrusts with his own until a rhythm starts to develop.

After watching them work through the most logistical and difficult part of sex, Harry comes back to himself. He's achingly hard without even being touched, but the need to do something about it hits him, rolls through his stomach, flushes down his spine. Just as he gets a hand around himself, scooching back on the bed to give Niall and Zayn space, to watch them, Niall's eyes meet his across the bed.

"Gonna?" Niall asks, breathless and still a little rough from blowing Zayn. It's the same tone his voice always has after choking himself on Harry's cock.

Harry nods and moves over to Niall, watching the way Niall watches him, reaches out for him, stretches his neck when he gets close, and fuck. He's gagging for it, sucking Harry's cock down eagerly, bracing himself with hands bunched in the sheets as Zayn pounds into him. The wet heat of his mouth and its immediate relief makes Harry groan; he's not going to last long. Niall isn't either, judging by the sounds he makes, working his hand over his own cock.

Zayn spreads Niall's thighs open wide, keeping up a relentless stride that stresses the bed springs. Harry takes a few minutes to enjoy it, Niall's mouth, Zayn's moans, watching their bodies intersect. It's strange knowing he's been there, feeling the phantom clench of Niall's muscles where his mouth is now, watching Zayn fuck the memory of him away. Kind of like passing the baton, or something else as equally fucked up. They're all so close, though, Harry's a little surprised this hasn't happened sooner.

He braces himself over Niall, watching the lines of Zayn's body and how they move with each thrust, his cock sliding in and out of Niall's asshole, caught between the sight and feeling. They fit so well, Niall's adventurous side bringing out the same in Zayn, the light and shade of them complimenting each other in unexpected ways.

Zayn catches Harry's eye and leans forward to kiss him just as open-mouthed and hungrily as he had Niall. When he does, Harry feels Niall's hand wrap around his cock, stroking him to a climax he spills into Zayn's and Niall's mouths, and even though Niall's the one getting fucked, Harry still feels like he's the one caught between them. His orgasm pushes through him hard enough to make him cry out, shut his eyes from the intensity of it.

After that Harry collapses weak-kneed onto the bed, wipes Niall's cheek with a hand to clear the dribble of his own come. Niall keeps their eyes locked for several moments, his blissed-out gaze holding a touch of gratitude just this side of adoration, and Harry's sure he must have the same look. Zayn picks up the pace again, and Niall turns his attention towards him, hiking his legs up around Zayn's waist for a better angle that drives Zayn's cock home and elicits shameless noises from them both, and once again Harry is reduced to a bystander. It's a fitting sentiment, he thinks.

The look on Zayn's face when he stares into Niall's is sweet to the point of heartbreaking, and with his lip bitten bruised and his fingers dug into Niall's skin he looks like a man on his last hope, or a reckless kid with another chance. He touches Niall's cheek reverently, like he's never been allowed to before, and Harry can't even be mad that this is the end of what he and Niall had. When Niall turns his face up to kiss Zayn again, more than anything it feels like the start of something.