It was late, around 4:30 in the morning. Louis thought he'd surprise Harry by staying up to greet him.
He sat atop their bed, only in pants, legs spread, knees bent, laptop in between. His eyes were glassy with unshed tears threatening to spill. He stared blankly at the screen, lips quivering, pressed in a tight line.
He was aimlessly scrolling through tumblr when he came across a photoset that made him stop dead. It was Harry at his birthday party. Louis couldn't be there because he took the day to go visit Lottie, who had broken her leg and was held up in the hospital. So Harry had gone out and enjoyed his birthday without him. It didn't bother him too much because they had their own party the day before his actual birthday.
But the images that Louis now had engrained into his brain left him shocked, speechless, and heartbroken.
The first picture was of Harry with Nick and some girl in a police outfit. Louis had no problem with this because Nick, Harry and he were all good mates. But in the second picture the girl whom previously had on the police outfit was now dressed only in a lace bikini top from what he could see with Harry seemingly staring at her arse. When he first saw this his face immediately dropped. But the last one is the one that really got to him. The same girl was now grinding up on a sitting Harry. She had on the same bikini top and what looked to be a pair of underwear.
Louis could've sworn his heart stopped.
He started breathing heavily, short wheezing breathes coming out in pants. Then he felt it. The first tear finally cascaded down his face dropping onto his bare leg. Then, it was like someone had opened the floodgates. He couldn't stop them now, tears freely flowing. Sobs started racking his body, making him quake where he sat.
He finally slammed his laptop shut and shoved it off the bed. He heard a crash but to be honest, right now, he didn't give a fuck. He just wanted an explanation or a reason as to why Harry had a fucking stripper grinding up on him.
He crawled up the bed and got under the covers, curling himself into a ball to get as small as possible. He just wanted to disappear. Was I not good enough for Harry? Did he not want me anymore? All these thoughts scrambled around Louis' brain. He obviously wasn't good enough for Harry. He curled into himself even more as the sobbing increased. His vision was blurred and his ears were ringing.
Harry was his everything, his world, his life, and he felt like that was fading. Like he was fading. That's when he decided. He was going to do it. The thought hasn't occurred to him in such a long time. Since he met Harry, he thought, a hoarse laugh coming out. So he pulled himself up off the bed and trudged into the conjoined bathroom.
He shut the door and stood in front of the toilet, facing the mirror.
He took a deep breath and opened up the cabinet, eyes searching around for it. They landed on a small box. Louis carefully pulled down the box and opened it. He slid down to the floor with his back against the sink. Ever so slowly he pulled out just one. A fresh new razor.
He took another deep breath, twirling the metal object around between his fingertips. He was so caught up in his own thoughts that he didn't hear the door open downstairs. Louis pushed the band of his briefs down, figuring it was the best place to do this.
In doing so, he uncovered all of his old scars, the white and pale pink of them standing out against his tan skin. He now wondered how Harry had never noticed them before, or if he did he never said anything.
He slowly but surely pressed down the razor to taught skin of his hip. He dragged the cool metal along his skin, lightly at first, just to get used to the feeling he used to so strongly crave. The second time he went down with the blade was not as nice. It was a harsh cut slashed across his skin, trying to relieve him from some of the anger and depression he was feeling.
All the while, Harry was walking around the flat, looking for Louis. He looked everywhere, slowly panicking when he reached their room and the boy was nowhere to be found.
"Lou?" He whisper yelled. Then he saw it, light traveling through the crack under the bathroom door.
Louis thought he heard Harry say his name, but it must have been his mind torturing him. Must of been, right? So he brought the razor down again, pressing the hardest this time, slicing his skin open as he brought the blade across. Just as he was finishing this cut, the door swung open. He heard a gasp, but didn't move. His tears were coming again, dripping into his cuts. He bathed in the stinging sensation of the burn salty tears intermingling with his wounds.
"Lou?" Harry whispered.
"Louis..." His voice cracking at the end.
Louis could sense that Harry was on the verge of tears, trying to hold back.
"Boobear, please. Look at me." Harry whispered even more softly than the last time.
Louis slowly turned and tilted his head up, a shaky smile on his face. He stared into Harry's watering eyes with his own bloodshot ones. Harry gasped again and rushed over to Louis, knocking the blade from his hand. He gathered him up into his lap and cradled him into his own body, being mindful of the cuts. He grabbed a towel off the rack and dampened it with some warm water, pressing it to the flowing cuts. Louis hissed, but smiled again, basking in the feel of the rough material on his hip.
"Why?" Louis could just barely make out what Harry had said.
"Because, Harry," He looked away, staring at the door, in his own world it seemed.
Harry’s heart sank even more. Louis never called him Harry. It was always Haz, Hazzabear, Hazza, or anything else he could think of. But never Harry.
"Because you obviously don't care about me anymore.” He paused.
Harry was about to protest when Louis cut him off.
“At least not like you used too. You have girls flinging themselves at you left and right. So why choose me? There are beautiful, skinny girls you'd be better off with. Plus I saw the pictures from tonight. It's pretty obvious the way you were staring at her."
Harry let out a choked sob, a never ending supply of tears streaming down his face. Louis glanced up, seeing all the emotion in Harry’s eyes. Hurt. Heartbreak. Self-loathing. Pretty much everything Louis was feeling, Harry was too.
“Baby, Baby, no… it’s not.. that’s not… nothing happened. I hadn’t even known she was going to be there. Nick thought it’d be a good laugh. I never did anything. I never would do anything to hurt you like that. Ever. Those pictures weren’t even supposed to get out. I was going to tell you tomorrow cos I thought you’d be asleep already. I love you so much, Louis. I really do. I can’t believe you would do something like this because of me.” He was sobbing now, voice cracking, vision blurred.
Louis turned away again, “I just thought… I just thought I wasn’t good enough. I never will be. I’m not skinny enough, I have a terrible voice. Everyone would just be better off without me.” Louis choked out. “Why choose me when there are millions of better options out there. That’s… That’s like picking a penny over a million dollars. It just doesn’t make sense.”
“How could.. How could you think those horrible things about yourself, love. You’re absolutely perfect. You have the most gorgeous voice I’ve ever heard. It’s unique and beautiful. And I absolutely adore it. And are you fucking kidding me?! Have you seen yourself? You’ve got these biceps,” Harry says, lightly squeezing Louis’ upper arm. He trails his hand down his side, skipping over his newly exposed cuts, coming to rest on his thighs. “And your thighs, god, so fucking strong.” He traced over the outline of Louis’ abs, “And these are beautiful to." He raised his large hand to cup Louis' face, tracing along his cheekbones. "You're so handsome, and I could get lost in your eyes. Everything about you is so perfect, what will it take to make you see that?” Harry said through tears.
Louis was bawling now. He tucked his head into the crook of Harry's neck, breathing in the familiar scent of that which he could only call Harry. He had a hand curled into the fabric of Harry's shirt. Harry pulled him in even closer, running a soothing hand up and down his spine, stopping ever so often to scratch at his scalp just how he like it. Eventually Louis' sobs turned into whimpers, as Harry's tears had come to a stop. They just sat there for awhile, no one keeping track of time.
"I love you, Hazza. I always will. And I'm sorry." Louis mumbled into the exposed skin of Harry's shoulder.
"Lou, you have nothing to be sorry for. If anyone should be apologising it should be me. I should've put a stop to it as soon as it started. I'm sorry I ever made you doubt us. I could never love anyone as much as I love you."
"I'm sorry I couldn't be with you today either. Happy birthday, Haz." Louis whispered. He pressed a soft kiss into Harry's neck. He slowly raised his head from it's position and reached the hand he had curled in Harry's shirt to cup his cheek, making him look at him.
Louis leaned up, and just as their lips were brushing, whispered "I love you."
Their lips were soft and tasted salty from all the tears, but neither cared. All they cared about in that moment was each other. Harry pushed into the kiss more firmly now, desperate for Louis to know how much he loved him. He gently swiped Louis' lower lip with his warm tongue, begging for entrance. Louis slowly opened his lips, letting Harry enter his mouth. He tasted like mint and cake. Their tongues tangled together for a languid, passionate kiss. Louis tilted his head for a better angle, Harry's plump lips slotting together perfectly with his thinner ones. Harry pulled apart from him, gaining a small whine from the back of his throat.
"Hold on, babe. I'm going to run you a bath, need to get you cleaned up."
He lifted Louis from his lap and gingerly placed him on the carpet. He gave him a quick peck on the lips as he rose from his spot on the floor and made his way over to the bath. He turned on the taps and waited for the tub to fill, getting it to the perfect temperature. Hot but not overbearingly so.
When it was filled, he made his way back to Louis and helped him take off his boxers. He carefully pulled them down his legs and off his feet. He delicately picked him up and brought him over to the bath cautiously placing him in the water. Louis whimpered as the hot water came in contact with his cuts. He reached down and firmly grasped his hip.
"Boobear, what's wrong?" Harry gasped.
"Nothing, nothing. Just hurts a bit is all." He slowly released the grip he had on his raw skin. A few tears escaped down his cheeks, but Harry was quick to wipe them away with the pads of his thumbs. Harry pulled back and made his way to the door.
"Haz, wait! Where are you going?!" Louis croaked out.
Harry whipped his head around, curls flying in every direction. "I was just gonna.. I mean I don't really... I don't know. Why?" He whispered.
"Stay. Come in with me." Louis responded.
“You positive?” Harry asked, just to be sure.
Louis nodded his head. So Harry began stripping out of his clothing. Finally he got to his boxers and shed those too. Louis scooted forward so Harry could squeeze in behind him. Harry grabbed a cloth and made his way over to the bath, slipping into the warm water. He got himself situated and pulled Louis in close to him, his back flush against Harry’s chest. Louis leaned his head back so that it was resting on Harry’s collarbone and shoulder. Harry brought his arms up to wrap securely around Louis’ middle, then he slowly started stroking up and down his side. Louis let out a little giggle at that, making Harry smile.
“How are you feeling, sweetheart?” Harry spoke lowly into Louis ear, lips brushing against the warm skin. Louis let out an involuntary shiver.
“M’okay. Better. Much better. Thank you. I really don’t know what I would’ve done if…” He was getting himself worked up again, tears bubbling over, but Harry was there to soothe his troubles.
“Calm down, baby. Just breathe. Breathe. You’re doing good. So good for me.” He said, pressing a strong kiss to crying boys temple. “C’mon love. You gonna be good for me? Gonna stop crying and be a good boy?” He kept repeatedly pressing kisses all over his face, up and down his neck, in his hair, pretty much anywhere he could reach.
“Mhm.” Louis whimpered out. Slowly, his ragged breathing became steady again and his body stopped trembling.
“There we go. So good, love. I love you so much. Never forget that.” Harry said.
He patted Louis on the back, signaling for him to lean forward. He slowly scooped up some of the warm water and ran it through Louis’ hair. He did this until it was thoroughly soaked. He reached for Louis’ shampoo and squeezed some into his palm. He lathered it up and gently began scrubbing Louis’ scalp, breathing in the scent of fresh mint and something a little more musky.
Louis hummed in content, basking of the feeling of such an intimate moment shared between him and his lover. Harry gathered more water in his hands and rinsed out all the suds from Louis’ caramel coloured hair. He then grabbed the conditioner and repeated the process.
When he was finished he rubbed down Louis’ back, then encircled his waist and pulled him back with his large hands splayed across his tummy. He rubbed little patterns the soft skin of his belly, caressing him gently.
After a couple of minutes, he reached for the cloth he had brought to the bath with him. He soaked it in the water, then poured some body wash onto it. He rubbed the cloth together until there were little bubbles forming. Slowly, he rubbed across Lou’s shoulders and neck, then down his back. He reached around, pulling Louis to him again, gently rubbing his stomach going up past his nipples until he reached his shoulders again. He trailed down his stomach to wash his groin, then moving onto his thighs.
“Lou, this may hurt a bit.” He said as he moved the cloth to dab at his cuts. Louis winced a bit but pushed through nonetheless. “So good.” Harry whispered into his jaw, pressing a kiss to it.
He finished washing Louis up, then stood to get out of the tub. He reached for a towel, then stepped out onto the carpet, wrapping the towel around his waist. He helped Louis stand up, then grabbed him a towel too. Harry made room for him to stand on the carpet whilst opening up the towel as an invitation. Louis stepped out and into the towel, cocooning himself in its warmth. He ruffled his hair in the towel then brought it to wrap around his waist, being careful of the cuts. He looked up at Harry, gazing into his eyes. He stood on his tippytoes and placed a chaste kiss on his lips.
As he pulled back, he saw Harry beaming at him. He looked absolutely stunning, always wanting to see that look on his face. He reached a hand up to cup his cheek, stroking over the bone with his thumb.
“You’re beautiful.” He whispered, looking down to his feet bashfully, a rosy blush spreading across his cheeks.
“As are you, lovey.” Harry replied.
He grabbed Louis’ hand and they made their way into the bedroom. They both stripped themselves of their towels. Louis crawled onto the bed and lay face up, looking after Harry who had disappeared back into the bathroom. Harry was rummaging around for bandages and disinfectant cream. He also happened to spot the cause of all of this and was quick to discard the box in the bin along with the blade on the floor. He gathered what he would need to tend to Louis’ wounds then made his way back to the bedroom.
He found Louis looking at him curiously, then recognition dawned his features when he saw the items Harry had. Harry placed the items on the bed, then crawled up and kneeled between Louis legs. He slowly leaned down and pressed light, delicate kisses to each one of his cuts.
When he was thoroughly satisfied with the amount of kissed he’d given, he reached for the disinfectant and bandages. He squeezed some disinfectant onto the bandages and lined it up with the cuts making sure they were all covered. He pressed down lightly, making sure the bandage would stick to his skin.
He pressed more kisses to the covered wounds and started trailing then up Lou’s stomach. Louis giggled and squirmed under the press of Harry’s lips. He grazed his lips over Louis’ nipple making him intake a sharp breath. He dragged his lips up his chest, stopping when he got to his neck. He took some of the skin into his mouth and sucked on it, forming a purple bruise.
He moved his lips up, kissing behind his ear, then travelled his lips across his cheeks. He kissed each eyelid, his nose, his chin, then finally, his lips. They moved their lips in sync with each others. Louis’ tongue dragged across Harry’s lip, and access was granted immediately. Louis’ tongue grazed against Harry’s briefly, causing them both to moan. But then Harry pulled back, “No Boobear. Not now. Tomorrow, m’kay love?”
Louis looked up at him, lips puffy and red from kissing. “Yeah, yeah, okay. Sure thing, Haz.” He said with a kiss, “But I’m holding you to that.” He mumbled.
Harry rolled off of Louis, and got them both under the duvet. Him and Louis faced each other, their faces mere inches apart, breaths intermingling. Harry grasped the back of Louis’ hair and pulled him in for a passionate kiss.
When they broke apart, Harry spoke, “I really do love you, Louis. More than anything in the world. I’m so sorry what I did led you to do this. I’d never want to hurt you or you hurt yourself. If you’re ever doubting me or us, just come talk to me and I’ll give you all the reassurance you’ll ever need.” He said with a kiss. “I just hope that you’ll never do this again. You know if you ever need anyone to talk to I’m here. Or any of the other boys. I’ll do anything to keep you happy. I love you so much.”
Louis looked up at him with tears in his eyes. His tears fell and Harry brushed them away with a worried look on his face.
“Baby, what’s wrong? Why are you crying, honey?” He asked gently.
“No, no babe. Good tears. Good tears, yeah?” Louis smiled through his sniffles. He leaned in to kiss Harry. “I love you so much, babe. I’m sorry I ever doubted you. I just get really insecure sometimes. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, you know?”
Harry was taken aback by this statement. “W-What do you mean, ‘isn’t the first time’. When else have you done this?”
Louis barked out a laugh at that, but Harry obviously couldn’t see the humour in it.
“I actually stopped when we started dating. You helped me stop and you didn’t even know. I was doing it for years before we met. But all of my cuts healed up before we got intimate and I guess you just never looked hard enough.”
Louis reached over and turned on the bedside lamp. He pulled himself up the bed pushing the covers down his body. Harry sat up as well, both of them sitting, legs crossed, facing each other. Louis ran his hands over the inside and top of his thighs, over the raised, white and pink skin. Then he stretched his left arm out to the side, revealing bunches of scars on the inside of his bicep and on his forearm. He stretched his other arm out revealing the same thing on this arm as well. He ran his left hand over his right side, bringing Harry’s attention to the dozens of scars there as well.
By this time, Harry was crying, hand clasped over his mouth, choking back sobs. Louis had a small smile on his face, not a happy one, more of a ‘he finally knows I don’t have to hide anymore’ one. He reached up to brush away Harry’s tears, pulling him close to his body.
He cradled him in his arms, petting through his hair. “Shh, baby, shh. Calm down. I’m okay. You’re okay. We’ll be alright.”
Harry looked up at him through glassy eyes. Louis leant down and sweetly pressed his lips to the curly haired lads.
“I’m sorry. I should’ve- I should’ve known. Noticed. I’m so sorry.” He choked out.
He gently pushed Louis back into a lying position. He uncrossed his legs and straddled the older boys lap. He caressed Louis’ right arm in his hands, leaning down to press kisses all along the scars littering his forearm and bicep, then repeated the action on the other arm. He shuffled down Lou’s body, kissing over the scars on his side on his way down. He was now straddling the smaller boys shins, peppering kisses all over the scars on his hips and the top of his thighs. He spread Louis’ legs and kissed up and down the inside of his thighs as well. He pulled back and swooped in to capture Louis’ lips. They kissed slowly, transferring all their feelings into one another through their tongues brushing and lips meeting over and over again.
Harry shuffled to the side and pulled Louis’ back flush against his chest, molding together perfectly. Harry kissed his shoulder blades and the nape of his neck.
“Goodnight, Loubear. I love you so much.” He placed his hand over Louis’ heart, “Forever.” He whispered.
“Goodnight, Babycakes. I Love you too.” He placed his hand over Harry’s “Forever.” He said as his eyes slipped shut, going off into a wonderful sleep. Harry followed in suite shortly after.