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could fly for freedom

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They're in the basement and it feels very teenaged, very clandestine. Louis almost feels as if he should double check with his mum what time she'll be home from her Pilates class or some shit.

"My mum doesn't even do Pilates," Louis says, giggling.

Zayn blinks over at him slowly, drowsily, dragging his eyes away from where Liam and Niall are sprawled on the floor playing FIFA. Niall's losing, because there's a slice of pizza in his hand and a rapidly emptying box next to him. He's getting grease all over Louis's controllers.

"Eh?" Zayn says, finally, still blinking at Louis.

Louis looks back, tilting his head. "What? What'd I say? Forgot."

Zayn shrugs, and his eyes unfocus, staring past Louis's head. "Sick painting, man," he drawls.

Louis doesn't want to move his head anymore so he just smiles and says, "Thanks, it's one of Haz's," because it probably is.

Speaking of.

"Hey," Louis whispers into the lump of boy draped across his lap. "Hey, Harry."

Harry hums, eyes closed, smile spread across his face. He cracks an eye open after a second, scrunching his face into a wink. "Lou," he mumbles.

Louis grins down at him, quickly folding over and pressing his lips against Harry's. "Hi," he says.

Harry lets out a breathy laugh. "Oops?"

"You two," Zayn says slowly, "are disgusting."

Louis laughs and on a better day he might have a comeback or a witty dig at Zayn but tonight the basement is hazy and his mind is loose and he's got a very stoned boy-shaped cat on his lap. "Birthdays are fair game," he says.

Zayn snorts and goes quiet for a moment, as if he forgot what they were talking about. Then, "Wait, what? Says who?"

Harry kicks his feet out at Zayn on the other end of the couch. "It's my birthday," he sings lightly under his breath.

Louis smiles down at him again because he can't help it. The corners of his mouth feel like they're connected by marionette strings right to his heart and his heart feels all big and pull-y.

"Got a puppeteer in me ribcage," he says down into Harry's face, rubbing their noses together.

Harry's nuzzling into it, eyes crinkled into a smile of his own. "Not a song in your heart, but a bloke who plays with dolls, Lou? S'a bit weird, I think."

Louis considers this for a moment and dismisses it. "I'm a prize."

"Yeah," Harry says softly and he raises his hand from where it's laying on his belly and brings it up to cup Louis's cheek. "Yeah."

Louis turns his head and bites at the fleshy part of Harry's palm.

Harry keeps talking, "One of those prizes you get for being good at the dentist office. Got a sick pair of joke glasses that way. And now you!" He pinches Louis's cheek.

"Hey!" Louis pokes him in the ribs. "I'm a grand prize. The best one. Remember that lottery in America with the jackpot of, like, 500 million dollars? That's me. I'm that prize."

Harry pouts up at him. "It's my birthday. Shouldn't we be saying nice things about me?"

Louis sighs and it's long-suffering. "You ask so much of me."

Harry bats his eyelashes and turns his head to nose under Louis's shirt and kiss his belly. Louis pulls a face and pushes him off, bopping him on the nose.

"Oi," Zayn says. "No monkey business on this couch."

Louis turns to look at him, and Harry takes that chance to kiss his belly again. Louis rolls his eyes and cards his fingers through Harry's hair. "You know," he says to Zayn, "it is our couch." He waggles his eyebrows up and down in a way that he's sure looks rather mad.

Zayn looks back at him suspiciously. "I don't want to know."

Smiling serenely, Louis says, "Point at a stain and I'll tell you the story." He sighs wistfully. "If this leather could talk."

Zayn's already leapt off the couch and onto the floor, grabbing Niall's controller from him. "Pretty sure it used to moo at some point," he says.

"Zayn's such a party pooper," he says down to Harry.

Niall crawls up on the couch now, finished with pizza and FIFA. "Hey," he says, rubbing at his eyes. "There more weed?"

Louis perks up. "Weed! Haz, do you want more weed?!"

Harry's eyes are closed again, head still pillowed on Louis's thigh. "'M lazy," he mumbles.

Louis pets down his hair again. "Nineteen, shit," he says. "Almost a real life grownup!"

A crease appears between Harry's eyebrows. "I'm a grownup," he says, and it comes out petulant; whiny. Louis laughs delightedly.

"You sure are, baby. I think the past three years count triple, anyway. More work than I've done in my entire life. Three entire lives." Louis frowns to himself, trying to work out the math.

A derisive snort comes from the direction of the floor. "Cos you're a lazy fuckin' bastard," Zayn says.

Liam scores the final goal, throwing down his controller and raising his arms triumphantly. "I've won it for England!" he crows. "Glory for Queen and Country! Rule Britannia!" He starts giggling to himself, singing 'Rule Britannia' under his breath, punching lightly at Zayn's shoulder.

Zayn rolls his eyes and tilts his head back to lean on Niall's knees. "Spliff, joint, or bowl?" he asks.

Niall's digging through the stuff, looking for papers. "Spliff?" he says, raising his eyebrows at Louis, Liam, and Zayn. Harry hums appreciatively.

Louis nods excitedly, twisting Harry's hair around his fingers. Harry arches his back into it, smile spreading across his face and Louis feels that goddamn puppet master in his heart tugging again. He leans down, kissing his lips, and it's a weird angle – sideways kissing.

"Quite adventurous," Louis says.

Harry opens his eyes. "We're adventurous."

Louis nods solemnly. "Handcuffs and cheesy whatsits."

"Avocado dip and feather dusters."

"Shinpads and postage stamps."

"Crowbars and stuffed lions."

"Jesus christ," Zayn mutters. Louis just smiles harder, feels his vision blur as his eyes crinkle closed.

"Love you," he says.

"Love you, too," Niall says back, licking the spliff closed. "Now, shall the birthday boy get greens?"

Harry mouths I love you too up at Louis and Louis presses his thumb to Harry's bottom lip and turns back to Niall. "I'll light it," he says.

Niall raises an eyebrow and looks to Harry for confirmation. Harry just nods, so Niall passes it over. Louis winks at Harry and raises the spliff to his lips, sucking in hard and rotating it as he flicks the lighter. Once his lungs are burning, he pulls his lips off, takes a deep gasp of air – careful not to let any smoke out – and passes it off to Liam.

Still holding his breath, he raises an eyebrow at Harry and Harry's expression immediately turns wicked and his eyes darken even more.

Louis's head is beginning to spin, tobacco and weed mixing together, making everything a little wavier. He leans down again, licking into Harry's mouth, and breathes out slowly, keeping their lips sealed together. Harry's eyes close into it, and his huge hand comes up to cup the back of Louis's neck, holding him close. His thumb strokes the soft skin behind Louis's ear and Louis melts into him, holding himself up by one hand on Harry's stomach, slipped under his shirt.

Harry's hand looses and Louis pulls back, stroking at his hipbone and pushing his hair off his forehead with his other hand. Harry's eyes are still closed, chest still as he holds the smoke in. After a few moments, his chest contracts and he sighs out, a small smile on his lips as he gazes up at Louis.

The other boys are passing the spliff around, talking lazily, ignoring them. Louis presses his fingers to Harry's lips again. "Happy birthday," he says. "You're an old man now."

"Mm," Harry says, opening his mouth slightly so the tip of Louis's finger slips in. He bites down gently. "Gonna catch up to you soon."

Louis winks. "Yeah, the way I see it is, if I can't get any taller, why the fuck should I get older?"

Nodding sagely, Harry says, "If you get any taller, my old, frail bones won't be able to carry you to bed when you're whining about being tired."

"Me?" Louis asks incredulously. "Whine? I'm offended at the very implication."

Harry's eyes slip closed again and he turns, dropping another kiss to Louis's stomach. "It's cute."

Louis huffs out a laugh. "It's your birthday," he says unnecessarily. Harry just hums again. "So I guess I will make a list of things I love about you."

Harry smiles and gropes around for Louis's hand, twining their fingers together.

"Okay," Louis takes a deep breath and his entire body is tingling, his mind is moving slow and he thinks he has two trains of thought right now and he wonders if one train is leaving London at 9:32 going 54 km per hour and the other is leaving Newcastle at 10:40, going 65 km per hour, what time they will cross paths. He wonders if they're on the same track. Maybe a train crash. He wonders if that's possible.

Harry tugs on his hand a little and Louis realises he was staring at the telly that still showing the graphics for FIFA. "Oh," he says. Harry chuckles.

Shaking himself, Louis starts again. "I love your hands," he says.

"I know," Harry says. He waggles his eyebrows suggestively. Louis bites his lip and Harry's eyes follow the movement.

"I love your generosity," Louis continues.

"I know," Harry says, waggling his eyebrows again. Louis rolls his eyes.

"I love your sincerity."

"I know."

"I love your sweetness."

"I know."

"I love your dick."

"I know."

Louis wrinkles his nose down at him. "I love your modesty."

Harry smirks. "I know."

"Christ, H, I'm trying to be sweet here."

Harry grins, shaking his head. He pulls himself up into a sitting position, curling up into Louis's shoulder. Louis uncrosses his legs, wincing at the prickles that come from having 14 stone of muscle and boy on him for two hours.

"Lou," Harry whispers in his ear, lips brushing over the shell. "I know you love me, yeah? You're always sweet. Don't need to prove it to me, or spell it out, or whatever the fuck, you know?"

Louis smiles a little and turns to give him a quick kiss on the mouth, the angle finally better. "Just can't let you forget."

Harry rolls his eyes a little, but it's fond. "You're my best boy," he says.

Louis arches an eyebrow and Harry smirks. "Fine," he amends. "Only boy. Selfish."

Kissing him again and lingering longer this time, Louis pulls back to say, "Don't like to share my toys."

"Mm." Harry's eyes drop back down to Louis's lips and his hand has moved up Louis's thigh, hot and large and purposeful. Louis's breath catches minutely and he brings his own hand up to cup Harry's neck, thumbing over his adam's apple and the soft dip between his collarbones.

"I do quite like to play with my toys, though," Louis murmurs, fingers playing idly with the buttons down Harry's chest. "Like to put all my efforts into that."

"You're quite good at it," Harry returns, voice dropping husky and dark, as his hand slides steadily closer to Louis's flies.

"Okay," Louis whispers, then, "Okay," in a stronger voice. He pushes Harry's hands off him and stands up, holding out his own hand to pull Harry off the couch. "We, the elderly," he says, addressing the room – the three other boys sprawled out, "are retiring to the bedchamber," he's using his poshest accent. "Stay here or whatever, you know where the bedrooms are." He pulls Harry to the stairs and then pauses, turning back.

"And official birthday rules state that anything you overhear from this point on cannot be used against us."

Niall laughs and Zayn wrinkles his nose but smiles and Liam just looks pleased and happy for them. "Happy birthday, Harry!" Liam says, and Zayn and Niall echo.

"Night, guys," Harry drawls, all honey. "Thanks. Love you."

"Love ya, man!" Niall yells.

"Blah, blah," Louis says, tugging on Harry's hand again. "C'mon, Haz, you got me all riled up."

Laughing, Harry follows Louis up the stairs and Louis keeps tight hold of him, dragging him insistently to their bedroom. He kicks the door shut and finally slows down, gazing up at Harry with hooded eyes.

"What do you want, birthday boy?"

Harry walks them back until Louis is pressed against the door, bracketed in by Harry's body. Louis tilts his chin up to meet his eyes and Harry smiles down, kissing him softly. "Love you, old man," Harry says.

"Only cos it's your birthday are you getting away with that," Louis grumbles. "I love you too." Tilting up onto his toes, Louis wraps his arms around Harry's neck, sighing into his collarbone as he feels Harry's hands slide around his waist in a hug.

"Think it'll be a good birthday?" Louis asks quietly.

Harry's arms tighten around him. "Always a good day with you, my dear."

"Ugh," Louis says. "Gonna puke all over you, Styles."

Harry laughs quietly. "It's gonna be a wonderful birthday, Lou."

"Good." Louis pulls back and winks, dramatic and saucy. "It's about to get better." Stepping back down onto his heels, he runs his hands down Harry's chest and unbuckles his belt, shoving it apart and quickly undoing the flies of Harry's jeans. Harry's hands come up to help him shove them off, taking his pants with them, until they pool around his bare feet on the floor. Harry steps out of them quickly, tripping slightly as they catch around his ankle. Louis is so intent he forgets to laugh. He digs his fingers into Harry's hips, staring down between them as Harry's half-hard cock grows darker, thicker under his gaze. His voice is raspy when he finally speaks again. "Sit on the edge of the bed and toss me a pillow."

Harry smirks. "Okay, old man," he says, but obliges, dropping a throw pillow from the bed down onto the floor as he sits down and spreads his legs. Sinking down onto his knees, Louis crawls over and positions himself, sliding his hands over Harry's thighs and gazing up into his eyes.

"Hi," he says. Harry's stare is heavy and his lips are read and he looks hypnotised, high, completely in the present.

"Hi," Harry whispers back.

Louis presses a series of light kisses over Harry's hips, over the black letters and the pale skin, into the dips of muscle. "Love you," he whispers again, just because. Harry's hand comes up and smoothes into his hair, carding it off his forehead, tracing the lines of his cheekbone. Harry's almost all the way hard now, so Louis sits back on his heels and licks his hand, showy and filthy, glancing up to meet Harry's dark eyes. He wraps his hand around Harry's dick, and Harry's eyes falls close for a moment, before opening again to stare down at his fingers. Louis works his hand quickly, up and down, gathering the precome and spreading over him on the downstroke. He leans forward again, licking softly at the head and down, kitten licks until he reaches Harry's balls, laving over them with flat strokes. He works his way back up, kissing the thick vein on the underside, and then opening his mouth and taking him halfway down. Harry's hips jerk slightly – not enough to choke or even startle, but enough to let Louis know he's paying attention. The hand in his hair tightens.

Pulling off again, Louis takes a deep breath and wraps his hand around the very base, blinking – always a little surprised – at how small his hand looks wrapped around Harry. Closing his eyes, he ducks back down, taking him down as far as he can before opening his throat. He stays down for a moment, running his tongue along the underside, before sliding up and sucking at the head. Harry's breathing heavier now, red mouth fallen open and eyelids drooping heavily. "Lou," he whispers.

"Love you," Louis says again, because he can. He takes his other hand off Harry's thigh and presses his fingers to Harry's lips, sliding two inside for Harry to suck on, and Louis takes another breath and focuses his eyes on the task at hand, closing his eyes and sinking his mouth down, farther and farther until the head hits the back of his throat and he forces himself to swallow around him. Harry bites off a moan and Louis feels him tilt his head back, as Louis's fingers slide out of his mouth to smear wetly along his lips. Louis swallows again, and Harry's hand comes around, stroking at the back of his neck until he reaches down to lightly grasp Louis's throat. "Lou," he murmurs again.

Louis stays down, sucking until he feels his eyes water and slides off, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. His other hand falls from Harry's face and Louis quickly starts jacking him off with quick strokes as he regains his breath and Harry's face folds into itself, his hips moving in tiny pulses. The muscles in his thighs are thick, tight, and his stomach muscles are clenched as well, and Louis knows that regardless of the weed, it won't be long. He grins at Harry, who's trying valiantly to keep his eyes open, and ducks back down, letting Harry's hips push his cock further into Louis's mouth. He starts bobbing quickly, tightening his lips and hollowing his cheeks, wrapping his hand back around whatever he cant reach. Quickly establishing a rhythm, he tightens his fingers and swirls his tongue around the head and Harry's hand comes back to curl in his hair with a tight grip.

Harry's body goes tense and his cock grows impossibly harder and Harry gently but firmly pulls Louis off. "Gonna come," he growls, and Louis nods, slightly bemused, as Harry's huge hand takes over, pulling himself rapidly, forearm bulging. Louis sits back on his heels and waits for–

"Close your eyes."

And Louis does, just as he feels Harry start to come, warm and wet on his cheeks and lips. It lasts for what feels like minutes, but couldn't have been, and when he's done, Harry slides off the bed onto his knees, burying his face in Louis's neck. Wrapping his arms around him, Louis slides his fingers down the thin sheen of sweat on Harry's back, trying to avoid rubbing his face in Harry's hair. It's his birthday, after all.

A moment passes and Harry sits up a little, tilting Louis's face up with his hand and rubs his thumb through the come high on his cheekbone. "Like a little fallen angel," he teases.

Louis wrinkles his nose. "Don't call me Satan after I suck you off. Rather rude."

Harry laughs breathlessly. "Love you."

"Yeah, yeah," Louis says. He reaches over for Harry's abandoned shirt and wipes his face off with a slight grimace. Pushing himself to his feet, he continues, "I'm gonna slip into something more comfortable and why don't you focus on making a speedy recovery?"

Harry holds out his hand for help to his feet and Louis obliges. Sinking back into the pillows, he watches contemplatively as Louis slips out of his trousers. "Hey, Lou?" he says.

Louis pauses. "Yeah?"

"I mean it, you know. Always a good time with you."

Louis smiles down at the shirt in his hands. "Happy birthday, Harry."