The club started by accident. Really. Harry has no idea how Thursday nights became the time when he and Eleanor got sickeningly drunk on far too much wine and hung out with Hannah, either in person or on Skype. He's also not sure how he has nude photos of both Hannah and Eleanor on his phone (and he knows they have nudes of him, which is both alarming and comforting, for some inexplicable reason). It could be worse, he supposes. Niall could be in the club, and Harry doesn't really want to own of any sort of nude photograph of Niall. The whole club is half-joke, half-serious, and Harry's not sure how long they've been doing this, or how long they'll be doing it.
What he does know is that it’s vaguely embarrassing to be a member of the Louis Tomlinson Support Group, but he can’t really be the one to leave the club. Then it would just be Hannah and Eleanor getting drunk and talking about Louis, and he’s not getting left out of that.
The Louis Tomlinson Support Group should probably be a lot more awkward than it is, considering one of them is an ex, one of them is a current, and everyone knows one of them is Louis' endgame. The fact that all of them have sexual tension with Louis should probably make everything even more awkward, but really, none of them have ever done anything by the book. Harry honestly thinks that if one of them ever proposed a foursome with Louis, the only person who would actually have a problem with it would be Louis himself.
So every Thursday night, they get drunk and hang out, and the alcohol probably helps lubricate things socially.
It also helps that the three of them get on like a house on fire. This is surprising to exactly no one but Louis, who is terrified that they're all secretly planning on holding some sort of Hunger Games deathmatch tournament between them and the winner gets to keep him in a cage or something like that.
Honestly, the foursome is more likely.
But it's Thursday, so Harry is cooking. He's wearing sweatpants and no shirt or pants, because it's his own house and he would really prefer to not wear any clothes at all but the rule is he has to at least have trousers on if there's going to be company.
Harry always argues that Eleanor doesn't count as company because she's Louis' girlfriend, and besides, she's already seen him naked. Several times. It's a hazard of dating someone who lives with Harry; they generally see his dick long before they see his roommate's. And besides, it's Eleanor, who's practically one of the lads anyways and is definitely one of Harry's best friends.
Louis doesn't accept this argument and usually ends up throwing trousers at Harry's head along with a yelled lecture about society and paparazzi. Harry couldn't care less if the paps caught a shot of him naked, but he gets the feeling their management would be less than pleased. They all generally try to avoid pissing off management, because their displeasure tends to end in yelled lectures and restrictive curfews--rather like secondary school groundings, actually. Harry had hated secondary school groundings, and he is a legal adult now, so he'd really rather avoid that if at all possible.
So it's seven-thirty and Harry is wearing sweatpants and nothing else, and making food--chicken, potatoes and a salad, perfect to go with the red wine they'll be drinking by the bottle later. He's actually not sure if they're supposed to be drinking red wine with chicken or if chicken is supposed to go with white, but he likes red better than white and so they'll be drinking red wine with their chicken. He puts white wine in the sauce for the chicken anyways, just in case. Boozy food is best food, honestly.
"Eleanor's just going to bitch about the lack of eggrolls," Louis says as Harry is pulling a last few items out of the fridge. "You're going to end up eating takeout, I don't get why you're going through all this effort."
"We are classy people, don't lie," Harry replies mildly, looking back and forth between the whole and the skim milk before setting both on the counter, wondering absently why they have two types of milk in the first place. "We can pretend we're going to eat this before caving and ordering Chinese."
"Why are you even getting together with Eleanor?" Louis asks. "Aren't you two supposed to hate each other?"
Harry scoffs as he begins to work on mashing potatoes; this is a conversation they have almost every time Eleanor and Harry hang out, and it never stops being funny. "You've been listening to the fans again; Eleanor's awesome. Why would I hate her?" He pauses to add milk from both cartons. "I hope you realize you'll be leaving as soon as she gets here, right? It's Eleanor-and-Harry movie night, not Eleanor-and-Harry-and-Louis movie night."
"My best friend is hanging out with my girlfriend," Louis deadpans, staring Harry down. Harry would be more intimated by Louis' glare of death if he hadn't seen Louis' orgasm face before. The two are remarkably, horrifyingly similar. " You're not supposed to like each other, and my mum's not supposed to like Eleanor or approve of your movie nights, because it really creeps me out. You are every boyfriend's worst nightmare, the three of you. I am allowed to be freaked out."
"No, you're really not," Harry tells him cheerfully. He keeps mashing potatoes, pressing them through a sieve to make them smooth and fine. "It's a sign of how well-adjusted your life is, that your fuck buddy, your girlfriend, your mom, and your ex all get along great. Really you should be grateful we're not trying to kill each other. I wish my exes were like that. Could you get the butter out of the fridge for me? Cheers."
Louis hands over the butter, then perches on the counter, watching Harry, and they lapse into a companionable quiet.
They don't talk, but it's far from silent--Harry had been busy that morning, so he'd recorded Nick's show and is listening to it now. It's a little strange hearing Nick tell the world 'good morning' when it's nearly eight at night, but it's a good show. A bit too much Nicki Minaj for his taste, but it's still a good show. Louis makes snarky commentary all the way through, but it's well meant snarky commentary so Harry doesn't bother to tell him off for it.
Harry's finished mashing the potatoes and has set the ceramic bowl in the second oven alongside the chicken to keep them both warm and is just starting to chop a mixed salad when his phone chirps brightly to inform him he's got a text.
He sets his knife down and fishes his phone out of his back pocket. When he flicks it open, it's a text from Eleanor.
TEXT FROM ELEANOR (7:53 PM)
change plans bar hop dress nice see u 10
It's a typical Eleanor text, one that requires a moment to decode. The way she texts is honestly so different from the way she tweets that when Harry gets her tweets to his phone, he generally double takes to make sure it's actually her. Before he can reply, his phone beeps again.
TEXT FROM ELEANOR (7:54 PM)
also not eating your house going out my treat
"Why does Eleanor text like she's writing a list?" he asks Louis absently, setting his phone on the counter and deciding she means ten minutes, not ten at night. He returns to his salad; When Eleanor says ten minutes, she usually means closer to thirty. "And then tweets like a dictionary?"
Louis shrugs and take a minute to form an answer. "Something to do with public perception, I think. Fans already pick on her a lot, so she just doesn't give them any more ammo to work with. Plus it's not even her tweeting a lot of the time, just like with us." He suddenly looks wary. "Why? Did Eleanor text you?"
Harry grins, dumps everything on his chopping board into a bowl and sets the bowl in the fridge. His lack of response seems to be making Louis nervous. It's a little funny. He decides to start washing the dishes and let Louis worry a little. He gets through two cutting boards and a frying pan before saying: "Change of plans; we're not eating my house and going out."
Louis splutters and nearly falls off the counter. "What?"
"That's what Eleanor said, anyways. She said also not eating your house going out my treat." Harry shrugs. "I can only assume that means we're not eating at my house, and we're going out. But if she thinks she's paying, she's wrong."
"Okay, you're not allowed to go on a date with my girlfriend. That's not okay." Louis says as Harry starts moving out of the kitchen. "You're not going on a date with Eleanor, are you? Harry? Harry!"
It's probably more than a bit mean, but Harry is delighting in the panicked noises Louis is making. He's not actually sure what Louis is doing in his house (Harry's mostly certain he didn't invite him over, but then again, they practically do live together, even though they've each got their own houses now. There's probably something a bit wrong with their friendship. Harry can't bring himself to care), but it probably has to do with the fact that Eleanor is coming over and Louis is still paranoid that his fuck-buddy has plans to off his girlfriend. Or vice versa. It's sort of funny to everyone who isn't Louis.
Twenty minutes later, Eleanor flounces into Harry's house and then his room while he's in the middle of changing. She doesn't have a key or the gate code so he's not sure how she got in (and that's actually somewhat worrying and should probably scare Harry more than it actually does), but that's less important than making her pick between a navy blue button down and a tight grey t-shirt. She picks the t-shirt.
"I come wearing killer heels and my best clubbing outfit," she announces, waving to Harry (who looks amused as he pulls on his skinny jeans and the t-shirt) and Louis (who looks vaguely terrified and quite suspicious of them both). Her outfit is short and shimmery and shows her navel as well as most of her legs and a fair amount of her boobs; her makeup is done in a way that their management would probably kill her for, if they knew about it. She also looks like she dumped a jar of glitter on her head, getting a significant amount in her cleavage. It's really not a bad look on her, although Louis looks like he's rethinking his plan to let her go out with Harry in favor of doing something less PG rated in one of Harry's spare bedrooms. Harry doesn't like that plan since he has claim on Eleanor tonight and other than Niall, she's the best person he's ever gotten drunk with. "I look fantastic and it's a Thursday, so, sorry boyfriend, Harry and I are having chick night and you're not invited."
Louis looks wary and still more than a bit turned on by Eleanor's outfit. "This is going to end badly, isn't it?"
"So, so badly," Eleanor says cheerfully, "We're going to go get blackout drunk and potentially start some cheating rumors. We'll have hangovers from hell in the morning and I'll bitch about it all through my classes. Harry will be miserable to deal with while you do whatever you're doing tomorrow. It'll be fun." She flops onto Harry's bed, managing to make it look graceful and intentional. "Harry, don't wear a blazer, it's too trademarky and also too formal."
"You're wearing glitter! You don't get to judge my clothing." Harry counters, but sets down his blazer and ruffles through his wardrobe to find an oversized button down he can wear over the top since Eleanor had vetoed the dark blue one he'd had earlier. He also adds his fake glasses and a scarf--the less he dresses like he does in photo shoots and pap shots, the less chance they'll be recognized.
"You look like a hipster threw up on you," she retorts and snorts at him when he triumphantly produces a fedora from the back of his closet. "Lose the scarf. Please. For the love of God, His angels and all that is good and holy, lose the scarf."
"But it's a disguise!" Harry counters, his head emerging from the depths of his hoodie and tugging a button down over the top. He's not usually one for snarky banter--Louis generally has that more than covered for the both of them--but something about Eleanor inspires it in him."And it helps cover my tattoos."
Louis stares at both of them in something resembling horror.
"Fine, wear the stupid scarf," Eleanor tells him. "Whatever. Idiot." She sits up and ruffles Harry's curls. "Dork. Freak. You ready to go?"
"Mostly. So obviously, El and I are not going to eat what I made earlier," Harry tells Louis, looking at his reflection in the mirror and trying to fix his hair where Eleanor mussed it. He artfully tousles his curls so it looks attractive in an quote-unquote 'unintentional' way. "If you want, you can invite Liam over and have it, so it won't go to waste. Everything's all done, you know where the wine is, wash the dishes when you're done. Or, hey, you could go over to Liam's. He's still moping about Danielle's latest rejection, maybe chicken and booze will make him feel less horrible about life. Also possibly less inclined to interrupt when you're sex chatting with Eleanor on tour."
Eleanor giggles, clearly remembering the incident in question. "That was funny, okay. Not sexy at all, but funny as hell."
Louis groans and tries not to look like he's dying of shame.
Harry snags his keys and wallet off the dresser and fishes his phone out of his sweatpants pocket. "Alright, I'm all set."
"Okay, that's us off," Eleanor says, kissing Louis firmly. "I'll take care of Harry, he'll take care of me, we'll all come back in one piece, you'll go have dinner with Li, tell him hi from us, and we're off! And you're not going to text us this time!” she yells back at her boyfriend, then links her arm with Harry's, and drags him out the door, waving to Louis as they go.
"He's going to text us this time," Harry says as soon as they're standing on a curb, flagging down a cab.
"Oh, I totally know." Eleanor fluffs her hair in a compact mirror she'd pulled out of...somewhere, since she's not exactly carrying a purse that looks like it'd be big enough. Although, apparently it is because she stashes it in the tiny little bag. "So, Hannah's in London this week, and we're going out instead of being bores and talking on Skype and getting drunk on cheap wine. We're doing a bar-hop!"
"As long as we don't go to the boring bar, I'm okay with that." he pauses. "Wait, are we going to eat first? We usually drink on full stomachs and I get the feeling an A&E trip wouldn't be fun."
Eleanor frowns. "I hadn't even thought of that. Okay, yeah. Taxi!" she yells, and a cab finally pulls over.
They pick a pub, and Harry calls Hannah, who agrees to meet them there.
Sure enough, Hannah is waiting at the pub they choose go to. She's chatting with the waiter, a beer sitting on the table in front of her. She's wearing a lovely blue dress that hugs her frame, and for whatever reason, she's also wearing a pink and silver rhinestone tiara in her blonde, curled hair. When Eleanor asks her about it, she rolls her eyes and shrugs as she greets them with hugs and kisses on the cheek.
“I am about to go out binge drinking,” she tells them dryly, as Eleanor slides into the booth next to her and Harry sits across the table. “With my ex-boyfriend’s current girlfriend and the guy everyone and their grandmother knows he has the hots for—”
“On-tour fuck-buddy. I’m officially his on-tour fuck-buddy,” Harry says helpfully, and Hannah rolls her eyes.
“Case in point. Anyways, I’m going out binge drinking with my ex’s girlfriend and his fuck-buddy, so if I want to wear a tiara, I’m damn well going to wear a tiara and no one will stop me, because I have seen you both naked, and seriously, trust me, it has done nothing good for my ego.”
"But you've got all those gorgeous curves!" Eleanor wails, and flags down the bartender. She quickly orders a long island iced tea for herself, and Harry requests a frilly drink with an umbrella the waiter is obviously judging him for. They all order burgers and chips, because no one is watching what they eat tonight, even as they discuss weight and body shapes. "I'd kill for your curves."
Hannah snorts. "Are you kidding me? I'd love to be as thin as you," she says, and both women turn to stare at Harry, as if he could settle the argument. He just shrugs.
"Well, Louis is more attractive than all of us," he says instead of settling anything. "Especially his arse."
"It's just plain embarrassing when your boyfriend has a better arse than you do," Eleanor agrees, dropping the previous conversation without even thinking about it. "But he pulls it off so well, I just can't be mad."
"Louis' arse is fantastic," Hannah hums, then snags a sip of Eleanor's long island iced tea when it's delivered.
"God, that's horrible, how can you drink that?"
"It is not that bad!" Eleanor protests, and then: "It's not nearly as bad as whatever it is that Louis always drinks. With the Red Bull?"
"Aren't they completely puke inducing? Just by the flavor, taste, whatever. Like, I'm good at holding my liquor. I puke when I'm hungover," Hannah says. "But not when I'm drunk. Which is sort of lucky. Neither of you are pukers either, right? Just double checking to make sure I don't end up on hair duty without warning."
Eleanor rolls her eyes. "If I do like straight shots, or drink on an empty stomach, I puke, but with like normal drinks and pacing, I'm generally fine."
"Same," Harry says, raising his hand. "I usually get stuck on hair duty for everyone else, though."
Hannah and Eleanor both wince in sympathy. "I hate that job," Eleanor groans. "Anyone who wears their hair down at a party when they're a puker is just plain stupid. And it's impossible to vomit attractively, don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise."
"Louis manages to vomit attractively," Harry says primly, and for whatever reason, that sends all of them into gales of laughter, probably from the fact that it's both ridiculous and somewhat true. Across the restaurant, the judgy waiter is clearly judging them for their choice in drinks, and probably their choice in food. Either that or their clothing choices, it really could be anything. Harry thinks it's probably their clothes because Hannah is wearing a simple but elegant blue dress with a pink and silver tiara, while Eleanor is dressed as if she's going to a rave or an eighties themed nightclub and upended a jar of glitter on herself before leaving the house, and Harry looks hipster, as always. But at least the waiter hasn't realized who they are yet. Harry doesn't really want to be around when anyone does realize.
"Oh my god, have you seen the fanshots of him recently?" Hannah finally says, digging through her purse for her phone. "The crotch shots? God, I love his tag on tumblr."
"Wait, no, I haven't seen that!" Harry says, and Eleanor snags Hannah's phone, logs into her tumblr and starts searching for the photoset.
"How the hell do these people get that sort of camera angle?" she asks when she finds it, tipping her head to the side. "But wow, that's definitely flattering."
"I miss his dick," Hannah says dreamily. Both Harry and Eleanor turn to stare at her. "What? I do!" she says defensively. "Not as much as his mouth, though."
"His mouth is very nice," Eleanor says primly. "So, what brings you to London? You never said."
"I didn't?" Hannah takes a sip of her new beer. "Well, I've got a job interview. Or. I had a couple, today, and two more yesterday. I've got tomorrow for visiting some old uni friends--don't worry, I'm good at handling hangovers, and I'm not seeing them until six or something. Then I'm doing sightseeing this weekend, and I'll be back in Doncaster by Monday."
"So you won't be here for long?"
"Six days isn't too terribly long, no," Hannah says. "But it could be a lot shorter too."
"I'm glad you called, though," Eleanor tells her. "It's always great to see you."
"It's always great to see you both as well." Hannah wraps Eleanor in a sideways hug. "And it's nice to fuck with Louis as well, make sure his head doesn't get too big."
They all snort.
"Speaking of big," Harry starts, and ducks as Eleanor whinges her bag at Harry's head. "Fine, fine, no cock jokes, Jesus." He looks a little put out; cock jokes are his absolute favorite. "I thought I got blanket permission for cock jokes on Thursdays."
"You don't," Eleanor says, glaring at him until he gives her bag back. "No cock jokes, no pussy jokes, no sex jokes."
"Let's play it safe and just go through Louis' tumblr tag instead of making jokes," Hannah says, to settle the argument, and that's what they do until their food arrives.
Harry tells them the stories behind various photos and photo shoots, including a five minute speech about how at one photo shoot they'd got Louis' trouser size wrong and he'd spent the entire shoot grouchily trying to keep his trousers up (because apparently the stylist that day had a thing against belts), while Liam and Zayn tried to pull them down.
"Did they succeed?" Hannah asks, delicately biting into her burger.
"Yeah," says Harry, grinning widely. "He was pissed off for the rest of the day. I'm not sure if it was worth it for them or not, but it was funny as hell for me."
Eleanor snorts. "Poor boy. Did I tell you about Louis and the tea kettle this morning? No?"
"Wait, this morning?" Harry asks. Eleanor nods. "You mean it doesn't happen every morning?"
"Hush, you. It was hilarious. You know how he's only semi-conscious in the mornings? He got up to make me tea, and half an hour later I got up to see what was taking him so long. He was staring at the tea kettle in total confusion even though it was saying it had boiled--turns out he'd forgotten to put water in and he couldn't figure out why there wasn't any hot water coming out when he tried to pour a cuppa!"
"Did he ever tell you about the oatmeal incident?" Hannah asks with a smirk in her voice. "He was trying to make breakfast for his sisters while his mum was having a lie in, and tried to make oatmeal, except he used milk instead of water--god alone knows why--and managed to cause a small kitchen fire."
Harry chokes on his burger and Eleanor bursts into giggles. "Sounds exactly like him," she admits, rolling her eyes. "So he's always been hopeless in the kitchen?"
Hannah nods. "He'd probably die without you two to feed him, honest."
"I can't believe we haven't discussed this before." Harry steals some of Eleanor's chips; she smacks him on the back of his hand so he drops them. "It feels like something that should've come up in one of our many, many drunken nights of discussion."
"We probably have," Hannah says. "But it's not exactly a memorable topic, is it? Especially when we're drunk, and I guess we all assumed everyone else know Louis was hopeless with anything culinary."
"He's also pretty hopeless with technology," Harry says, and then winces. "I feel a bit guilty about this. He's my best friend, and your boyfriend, and your ex, shouldn't we be a bit nicer to him?"
"I just like telling embarrassing stories about Louis, to be honest." Hannah tells them as she works through her basket of chips. "It makes me feel less stupid about being in a club all about my ex. Plus, it's sort of a reminder he's still human, you know?"
"Like he's not just this ridiculously perfect human being here to ruin our lives?" Eleanor takes a sip of her drink and pauses to swallow. "He's actually just Louis Tomlinson, dork extreme."
"Exactly!" agrees Hannah. "Now budge over, I've got to go the loo and you're blocking the way out."
When it comes time to leave, Eleanor insists on paying.
"My treat," she informs the others, snatching the bill before Harry can. Hannah shrugs and leans back in her seat, but Harry goes to protest, so Eleanor adds "You cooked and then we didn't eat any of it, so let me pay for supper. You can pay for drinks if it makes you feel better."
Harry grumbles--he's a multi-millionaire, he can pay for burgers, damnit--but he lets her. There's no arguing with Eleanor anyways, and she's got a point.
"Alright, where to?" Hannah asks, slipping on her coat and gently steering them towards the door.
"We could always go to the place on--"
"With the tacky tiki torches?" Eleanor asks, arching an eyebrow. "And the themed drinks on Mondays? With the Ireland-themed ladies' room?"
"Yes! Except the men's room is USA-themed. And the fairy lights year 'round! Best bar ever!"
Eleanor rolls her eyes. "Are you sure you're old enough to drink?" she teases, but acquiesces, allowing Harry to help her into her coat and waiting for him to shrug on his own. Harry simply grins and bounces out the door after Hannah.
"But it's the best bar!" he says cheerfully, bouncing on the balls of his feet.
"Hannah, who do you think is the best kisser?" Eleanor asks abruptly, as they're walking down the street to the bar they've chosen. "Harry, Louis, you, or me?"
Hannah looks thoughtful. "My money's on Harry."
"Hello, right here?" Harry says, and is promptly ignored.
"Really? I would've said Louis," Eleanor says. "But I've only ever made out with Harry drunk, and never with you."
"So should we make out?" Hannah asks, and Harry makes a sort of strangled noise.
"Louis would kill us all," he says. "Or at the very least demand video."
"It's funny how your protests center on Louis and not the fact that your fans would probably be very upset at seeing me and Hannah make out," Eleanor says. "Hey, we should make out, and then you should make out with Hannah some, and then I'll make out with her a bit, and we'll get a threesome cheating scandal with bisexual undertones going on. Would your management hate that more or less than Larry Stylinson?"
"I am not drunk enough for this conversation," Harry says. "I'll answer after we've had at least three shots each."
Hannah grins wickedly and as soon as they've entered the bar, flags down the bartender.
Ten minutes, nine collective shots (and nine individual coughing fits), and a heated discussion later (Harry was arguing that obviously Louis was the best kisser. He was winning. Eleanor was conversely arguing with the bartender over which drink was the house specialty. She was not winning. Hannah was flirting with the stag party at the next table over. Harry was unsure if she was winning or not, because he wasn't sure how to judge that and Eleanor wouldn't tell him if Hannah was winning or not, but he rather thought her boobs were winning everything), Eleanor's phone buzzes with an incoming text. "It's Louis," she says without even looking at the phone. "New record, he let us have an hour before texting us in a panic. I'm not answering."
Harry's phone goes off next, and he ignores it.
Not a minute later, Eleanor's goes off again, and then Harry's, until both of their phones are signaling numerous waiting messages.
"He's just going to keep texting until one of you answers," Hannah says, laughing. "I do wonder why he hasn't texted me yet, though."
"I'm not sure if he's got your current number." Eleanor sighs. "I'll text him back."
"Tell him we're at The Office," Harry said, referencing the bar they tended to avoid due to the fact that it was always full of tired, business-suited men and women avoiding their home lives and therefore filling the air with a sense of desperation and middle-aged sorrow. "And I'm hitting on some woman who looks like Caroline by discussing the state of the Russian economy. Use lots of big words. I guarantee he'll forward it to Liam and Nick in a panic."
"Do I get to meet Nick?" Hannah asked absently. "From what you've said about him he's pretty cool. And I like his show, but I like Greg James better. Mm, Greg. Sexy, sexy man. "
"He's like a meter taller than you," Eleanor says, but not meanly. She gives Hannah a considering look. "Are you into that?"
"Maybe. I mean, sort of? Louis wasn't that much taller than me, but there's something hot about having to go on your tiptoes to kiss someone."
"Louis has to tiptoe to kiss me," Harry says, and both women pause to think about that mental image.
"Hot," Hannah says finally.
"Definitely hot," Eleanor agrees, and resumes texting Louis. "Okay, I used the words economic complexity and groping in the same sentence, sending in 3, 2, 1."
"Nick should text me in about ninety seconds," Harry says. "I'll see if he wants to come hang out then."
As it turns out, Nick does not want to come hang out--he has work the next day and claims Finchy will make him suffer if he comes in hungover again--but he does set up a lunch date with Hannah for after his show the following day.
"That'll make some tabloid reporter very rich," Harry quips, and resumes begging Nick to come drink with them because Nick always wants to drink. "They'll report some sort of bisexual love quadrangle or something. Even though you haven't really been associated with Louis officially for awhile. But they'll report you're into it!"
And somehow that devolves into a discussion of their respective kinks, and another discussion about Louis' kinks, and yeah, this might be why Louis isn't too pleased with them hanging out.
"Is it weird that we do this?" Harry finally asks, and Eleanor shrugs.
"I dunno. maybe?”
Hannah snorts. “We’re all grown adults, discussing a guy we’re either dating, have dated, or will date--don’t give me that look, either of you, everyone knows Harry and Louis are going to have a thing at some point--but at least we know him, so I’d say we’re two steps above stalkers, a step above fangirls, and a step below...something. I can’t think of anything creepy enough.”
"Like how Louis always stalks those footie players on twitter?" Eleanor says. "Did he used to do that?" she asks Hannah, and the blonde nods enthusiastically.
"Yes! Except it was more creepy then because he didn't know them!”
"Hey, is that Danielle?" Harry asks, gesturing across the bar. Eleanor turns and looks.
"Oh, hey, I think it is! I'm going to go say hi. I haven't talked with her in ages." Eleanor gives Hannah her bag and traipses across the bar to flag down the brunette.
"Danielle!" she calls cheerfully. "Hi, how are you?"
"I'm alright," Danielle says hesitantly. "And you?"
"I'm well." Eleanor grins widely and turns to one of the boys Danielle had been talking with. "Do you mind if I steal Danielle here for a bit? I'll bring her back in one piece."
The boy gives Eleanor a look like he's trying to remember if he's seen her before but shrugs. "Danielle's a free person, she can do what she wants."
"Great! You'll have her back in five minutes," Eleanor promises, and pulls Danielle over to Hannah and Harry.
Harry greets Danielle with a warm hug and Hannah waves politely.
"What are you up to?" Harry asks Danielle cheerfully. "Drinking away your sorrows after ending things permanently with Liam?"
Danielle looks rather uncomfortable. "No, I'm here on a double date," she mumbles, face flushing. "It's casual, and sort of a rebound? But um. Yeah."
"Is he nice?" Eleanor asks.
"Is who nice?"
"Your rebound. Is he nice? Do we get to threaten him if he hurts you?" Eleanor raises an eyebrow. "We like you as much as we like Liam, you know. You two didn't divorce, he didn't get us in the split, we actually care about you?"
Danielle blinks. "That actually never occurred to me. But then again, you haven't exactly been totally friendly towards me either."
Eleanor and Harry both immediately look guilty. "That's actually our fault, yeah," Harry says sheepishly. "We'll work on that."
Hannah rolls her eyes. "It's okay to have awkward friendships with your ex's friends," Hannah says, gesturing to Harry. "As you can tell, I have no issue with Harry or Eleanor."
Danielle smiles. "You're all pretty special when it comes to friendships, though. Not sure if I'm the same, no offense. But uh, yeah. Double date. That's what I'm doing here. What are you three doing?" Danielle looks puzzled and vaguely interested. "I thought you two didn't get along?" she adds, gesturing to Harry and Eleanor.
"Fucking tabloids," they say together, exchanging glances and rolling their eyes.
"No, we get along fine, better than fine, even," Eleanor says. "God, I'm sick of saying that. Harry and I are friends, and we're a drinking club that talks about how much we're into Louis. It's sort of a thing."
Danielle made a face. "Not my cup of tea, but whatever floats your boat. I'm really glad there's not a Liam equivalent club, I don't think I'd be able to handle that."
"We don't even talk about Louis all that much," Hannah says, rolling her eyes and shrugging. The stag do at the next table over stares at her boobs and Eleanor makes a threatening gesture at them. "We talk about our jobs and watch movies and get drunk. We talk about Louis some, yeah, but it's not in any serious way, it's usually more joking."
"And eat Chinese food," adds Eleanor. "Really greasy, unhealthy Chinese food."
"So you basically do what every teenage girl does after getting dumped?"
Harry snorts. "More like what a singles club does when they feel particularly lonely."
"Whatever you actually do, it's sort of weird you have a club based on Louis." Danielle shrugs elegantly. "Well. Your fangirls would probably disagree, Haz, but you actually know him, which makes it creepier."
"So Louis never appealed to you?" Hannah says, looking interested. "Not even sexually, we've just found that almost everyone says he's attractive to them in some way."
"No, he's attractive," says Danielle, laughing a little bit. "I never said he wasn't attractive. He's just not...not my type?"
"So you do like him."
"Not romantically, no! He was always pretty nice," Danielle says. "Even after the whole...breaking up with Liam thing. I guess that's what I like about him. He cares about his friends, no matter what, you know?" She shrugs. "But he's not exactly my type. I don't really go for the dramatic types, I like...well. The Liam types."
Someone yells to Danielle from across the bar and she yells a response back. "I've really got to get back. It was good seeing you, El," Danielle says, and kisses Eleanor on the cheek. She gives Hannah and Harry hugs, then hurries back to her group.
Harry’s phone chirps and when he checks it, it’s another text from Louis. “He wants to know where we are,” he says. Eleanor snags the phone from Harry’s hand.
“Quick, make a duck face,” she says, and leans into his personal space, practically sitting on his lap. They snap a photo of Eleanor kissing Harry on the cheek and Harry making a duck face, retaking it twice to get the perfect picture. He sends it off to Louis with a row of smiley faces and a feeling of unholy glee. He considers tweeting it, for further impact.
“Who wants to bet we can hear him cry in frustration from across London?” Hannah asks cheerfully. They clink glasses cheerfully and the conversation turns from Louis to their own personal lives. After chatting about university and their various jobs and another round of drinks, Eleanor asks “Hannah, you've got a boyfriend, haven't you?"
"Is he okay with this?" Harry asks, still somewhat hung up on the creepiness factor of their nights out.
"He thinks it's hilarious," Hannah says. "I’ve been texting him all night. He and Louis used to be friends. Well. They sort of still are? Except not. Like they didn't fall out or anything, but Louis moved, and Jordan didn't, and Louis was okay with us dating once I broke up with him, and so it's sort of like we have the support group and I'm mostly here to make sure you don't murder each other? And also to make sure you get him to eat you out, because he's magic with his tongue. I miss his mouth." Hannah sighed. "God, I get chatty when I get drunk. Are we going dancing? I want to go dancing."
"I'm not drunk enough to go dancing," Harry says, so Eleanor stares him down until he rolls his eyes and downs the rest of his drink. "We're also not doing body shots, although we should tell Louis we are."
"Already done," Hannah says, holding up her phone. "I just got a line of exclamation points and I think that's a fried shrimp emoticon. He knew I'm in London, right?"
Eleanor and Harry exchange glances. "Not exactly."
Hannah blinks. "Oh, cool then. Can I send him suggestive text messages until he gets uncomfortable with my existence?"
"I will pay you to do that," Harry says, eyes wide. “No, seriously, how much do you want, I will pay you to do that, he never gets uncomfortable with us anymore,” and Hannah laughs, and then they're piling into a taxi to go dancing.
There must be something about Thursday nights (or maybe it’s simply the fact that One Direction actually has a night off, holy fuck) because at the club they go to, they run into Niall and Zayn (and Perrie from Little Mix along with the rest of her band, and Josh from Union J and none of his band, but that’s neither here nor there). Zayn is on a date with Perrie and surprisingly enough, there are no paps anywhere to be found.
"They don't know we're here," Zayn explains as they all settle down at a table. "This club is discreet. They don't like anyone having phones out here, you get the glare of death, and if they think you've tweeted or sent any photos, they kick you out. And no one's been drunk tweeting anyways, we're all using our locked private accounts. So. Booze, dancing, and privacy. Best of everything."
Perrie waves at them from the dance floor, dancing with Jessy and looking at Zayn like he's refusing her water as she dies of thirst.
Actually, thirst is probably an accurate term for how Perrie is looking at Zayn, Harry muses. But then she usually gives Zayn looks like that even though it seems stronger than that right now, and Harry's somewhat drunk, so he might be misjudging things. He doesn't think much longer, because Hannah pulls him out onto the dance floor, while Eleanor tries to prod Niall into a dance. When she fails, she pouts and drags Zayn out to dance.
They spend a fairly mindless hour dancing and making idiots of themselves before gathering around a table, generally sweaty and tired. Zayn and Eleanor offer to go collect drinks while everyone else takes a breather.
"So, what are you doing out?" Perrie asks, leaning against Hannah. The two of them had never met before, but unsurprisingly, get on like they've known each other for years and years. Harry's starting to think Hannah is some sort of witch casting spells on everyone to get them to like her. Either that, or Hannah's just really awesome. "I thought Zayn said you were going to be watching movies or something."
"We were, yeah," Harry tells her. "But Hannah here ended up being in town, so we decided to go out instead."
Hannah nods. "We don't get to hang out much, so it's nice to see each other in person."
"Oh, I totally get what you mean," Perrie says happily. She's blissfully unaware that she's talking to Louis' ex, even though Zayn keeps giving them weird looks. "Like old friends and you always get along so well but there's like no time to see each other anymore and it's just horribly sad?"
"Exactly!" Hannah looks pleased and helps Perrie fix her pinned braids into a slightly less messy style that helps hide her sweaty forehead. "But that's not really why we get together, we get together because we all want to fuck Louis."
"What are you talking about?" Eleanor asks as she gives Hannah and Harry their drinks. They're both some sort of margarita; Harry looks thrilled while Hannah looks like she's going to piss in Eleanor's tea the next morning.
"Hm? Oh, the Louis Tomlinson Support Group," Harry says. "I was wondering if we should change the name to Louis Tomlinson Appreciation Society, by the way. We're really not doing well all that well as a support group."
"What about Louis?" Zayn asks, following behind Eleanor.
“Oh, he’s on my Guilt Free Three,” Perrie says brightly, accepting her drink from Zayn. Then she looks at Zayn. "Ah."
"Did I know about that?" Zayn asks. He sits down and tugs Perrie into his lap. Somehow they manage not to spill anything on anyone despite the two brimming margarita glasses. "I don't think I did."
Perrie pats Zayn's cheek reassuringly with her free hand. "Well, he's universally attractive. It's not really a question of if you find him attractive, it's a question of how attractive you find him."
Zayn sort of shrugs, jostling Perrie a little. This time they do spill a little onto Zayn's trousers. Zayn doesn't appear to notice. "I never said I had a problem with it."
"I knew it!" Hannah shrieks. "I fucking called it, day one! Harry, get Liam on the phone, I really only have one more member of your band to confirm wants to nail my ex, as creepy as that is." Everyone stares at her. "I got Niall on the phone once, and he told me he'd do Louis if he wasn't straight. Niall, that is. Not Louis. Louis is bi. Let me call Liam!"
"I don't think that's a good idea," Eleanor says, and confiscates Harry's phone when he tries to call Liam for Eleanor. She sticks it in her bra; Harry has a plan to get it back. He'll just tickle her until she hands it over. Or he could just grab it, they're good enough friends he could, but he's pretty sure people would notice if he just stuck his hands down Eleanor's top in the middle of a club, and then he'd get Louis yelling at him and Liam's disappointed look because there's no way Zayn and Niall wouldn't tell him about that sort of thing.
"But seriously, does everyone in One Direction want to fuck Louis?"
Zayn shrugs again, and Perrie smacks him lightly. "Stop moving!"
"Sorry, babe," he apologizes, and gives her a light kiss as an apology. "It's sort of a thing? Like. Everyone's sort of got a thing for him. Not just us. Except we're near him more, so it affects us more? I don't know."
"It's true," Perrie adds cheerfully, toasting with her drink. "Like I thought he was well fit before I got to know him, and now I see him almost week I think he's even fitter, and that totally shouldn't be possible." She looks at the dance floor and sees Leigh-Anne grinding on Niall. "Go Leigh-Anne!" she calls out, and her bandmate waves back a greeting.
"It's the arse," Harry says firmly. "Everyone's into the arse."
Perrie shakes her head. "It's not even that for me. It's his personality," she says, settling more comfortably on Zayn's lap. She ends up leaning back with her head tucked into the crook of Zayn's neck and her feet propped up on Harry's lap. "Like...he's over the top, and loud, and so totally honest about what he wants and how he wants it." Perrie uses her drink to salute Harry and downs half of it in one go. Zayn looks proud and oddly turned on. Harry doesn't want to think about that. "Case in point. Anyways, it's like...I respect that, and I'd love to see him bring it into bed. Not that I think he'd ever go for me, but it's a nice fantasy when I'm on tour, or Zayn's on tour, and it's all really down to my imagination and my fingers."
"That is more information than I ever wanted about your sex life," Hannah says, blinking. "Not that I begrudge you, because I've got an awesome boyfriend and he sort of does that for me and I'm lucky to not have to rely on my fingers all the time, but seriously, talking about sex with people I haven't had sex with is sort of disturbing."
"And yet you're okay with the Support Group?" Eleanor says, giving Harry his phone back after he pokes her one too many times. He grins at it triumphantly, then sheepishly puts it away when the bartender glares at him.
"We'll, I've had sex with you by extension," Hannah rationalizes. She looks at her drink with distaste, then slugs back a portion of it, wincing at the sweetness. "Transitive property, you know? We've all had sex with Louis, so it transfers over, and it's sort of like...not as weird?"
"I'd think it'd be weirder," Zayn comments. "Because you're comparing what you got with what they're getting."
"But it's also like comparing dessert. No, hear me out," she adds when almost everyone present rolls their eyes. "I mean, say sex with each person is a kind of dessert. Like sex with Louis is a piece of chocolate cake. And sex with, say...Perrie, is a cherry pie. Because Harry, Eleanor and I have all 'tried' the 'chocolate cake'," she says, making the appropriate air quotes. "We can discuss it, you know? Because we all know what it's like and can actually talk about it, and explain what we do and don't like about it. But we can't talk about the 'cherry pie' because we've never actually had it, only thought about it. And that's why it's weird for me," she finishes, reaching for a bar napkin and making it into an origami flower. "But in the end, the Louis Tomlinson Support Group isn't as weird because I accepted it as a universal constant ages ago that everyone wants to nail him. Like everyone wants chocolate cake, or has had a similar cake, so even if they haven't had that exact cake, they're cool to talk about it."
"You're a philosophical drunk," Perrie finally says. "On like a ridiculous level of philosophy."
"I took a psych class, some of it must have stuck sometime between the binge drinking and the awesome uni boyfriend whose name I've sworn never to say aloud again." Hannah looks at her nearly empty glass. "And for the record, I don't believe in Guilt Free Threes, because someone's always going to get hurt."
"Does anyone ever actually pick anyone who'd actually have sex with them to put on their Guilt Free Three? It's all people you'll never have a chance with, that's why it's guilt-free," Perrie says. "I guess for celebrities it's a bit different, but my list is all people who'd never offer and I'd never get the nerves up to ask. I mean, what does it tell you that my list consists of Cher, Louis, and Simon?"
Everyone sort of stares at her for that, even Zayn.
"I'm okay with everyone on that list but Simon," Zayn says. "I'm not having sex with anyone who's had sex with Simon. That's not a thing I'm okay with."
And that's the end of that conversation because no one even wants to think about Simon having sex (or sex with Perrie), much less address it in an actual conversation.
What Harry loves about hanging out with Eleanor and Hannah is that they really don't give a fuck about what he's into, and he doesn't have to pretend to be shocked by what they're into. Sexually, at least. He can take the piss out of Hannah for adoring Merlin (and how she bemoaned the end of the show for a good half-hour), and they can all discuss their frankly disturbing communal love for Doctor Who (Hannah is a solid Nine fan, Harry discovered part of his sexuality with Ten, and Eleanor will never stop extolling the virtues of Classic Who, even though she has a soft spot for Eleven as well). And they all love Chinese food (there's a reason they only eat Chinese food on Thursday), and that right there is the basis of a great friendship. Inferior people prefer Indian, or Thai, or god forbid, pizza.
After they've danced themselves out, Hannah is chatting happily about the superiority of Chinese food to anyone who will listen and Eleanor is yelling at a guy who hit on Perrie, and Harry’s getting a craving for greasy fried rice, so they all decide to go to a little hole-in-the-wall place that Harry loves.
Well, Eleanor doesn’t decide. They drag her off before she can take off her heels and pelt them at the bloke’s head. They’re all sure Eleanor would have won that one, but “Louis Tomlinson’s Girlfriend Beats Local Man in Bar Fight” isn’t a headline any of them have any particular interest in seeing the next morning. But two out of three is a majority anyways, and Eleanor would have agreed to going if she hadn't been lecturing some drunk idiot.
Niall and Zayn wave goodbye as the trio heads out--Perrie expressed an desire to go with them, but puppy eyes from Zayn and his hand sliding up her thigh put an end to that option fairly quickly. Eleanor and Hannah kiss Perrie goodbye, give the boys hugs; Harry sticks to waving.
The Chinese place is a ten minute walk, so they meander that way. Eleanor is stumbling slightly in her heels, but she's also refusing to take them off, mumbling something about youtube and a pact with her shoes. Harry's honestly heard weirder from her when she's drunk, so he pretends not to notice.
A fan stops Harry for a photo--Harry is genuinely surprised he's recognized, because he hasn't been all night. She gives Eleanor a dirty look and ignores Hannah, both fairly normal behaviors from his fans. As soon as she's gone, Harry starts mumbling darkly about publicity and how no one believes he and Eleanor are friends, and Hannah pats him gently on the head.
When they get to the Chinese place, they sit around a table and order their food--no one there seems to be recognizing them, so there's three options then: everyone at the restaurant really doesn't know who he is, or they're being polite and ignoring them, or they'd just encountered a superfan. Harry's not sure which option scares him more.
They chat about Perrie and Zayn, and Danielle and Liam, and a bit about Niall and his apparent crush on Leigh-Anne (if what Zayn had said was accurate, although Hannah maintains that Niall clearly had a thing for Jessy) until their food arrives. That's about when the conversation rolls back around to Louis, which is a thing they probably should get under control, Harry muses.
“Maybe he won’t date me because I’m not pretty enough,” Harry says into his fried rice mixed with sweet and sour sauce. Eleanor had made a disguised face, but she's eating enough egg rolls to feed a small third world country for a week. She doesn't get to complain about his fried rice. “You’re both gorgeous people and I’m not pretty.”
“You’re pretty too,” Eleanor says, and pats his head reassuringly, getting eggroll grease into his hair. “But he likes vaginas right now, I guess."
Harry is struck by the fact that he's whining about not dating someone to that someone's girlfriend, and she's actually reassuring him over it. This probably shouldn't be a normal feature of his life, but hey, it's Thursday, and fuck it, he's a member of the Louis Tomlinson Support Group and that's what this is for, right? Whining about being in love with Louis?
"You can wear my tiara, Harry," Hannah offers, and yeah, Harry might be a little drunk, because that’s the best idea he’s heard all night. Or a lot drunk. He might be a lot drunk. Either way, wearing a tiara doesn't sound like the worst thing he's done drunk, so he's okay with it.
"And I bet we could find you a dress and you can pretend to have a vagina for a while?"
"I don't want to have a vagina," Harry says mournfully. "I like my dick." But he also likes the idea of a dress, because dresses mean no trousers, and no trousers means a nice healthy breeze around his privates and he wouldn't mind that. His skinny jeans are too tight.
So he says as much, and Hannah giggles and then disappears out the door of the Chinese place, having finished her...something. It's one of the specialties and Harry actually has no idea what it was. Maybe he should have paid more attention when they were ordering.
He and Eleanor keep chatting and finish eating (and wow, he always forgets how much food Eleanor can pack away when she’s been drinking, because the only other person he’s ever seen eat that many egg rolls in one sitting is Niall, and he spent an hour hanging over the toilet afterwards, but Eleanor seems just fine). They send a few photo and text messages to Louis, just to mess with him, and because Harry is drunk and feels like fucking with Management, they start up a little twitter banter.
@harrystyles: make your best funny face @eleanorjcalder ! pic.twitter.com/B30nnr9dD
@eleanorjcalder: girls' night out with @harrystyles ! pic.twitter.com/17GerOb3
@harrystyles: stop eating all the eggrolls, @eleanorjcalder I want some!
@eleanorjcalder:@harrystyles they are greasy and delicious and also mine. get your own!
@louis_tomlinson: @harrystyles @eleanorjcalder why wasn't I invited ?
@eleanorjcalder: @louis_tomlinson it's girls' night out, silly! xx
@harrystyles: @eleanorjcalder I should probably take offense at that.
@eleanorjcalder: @harrystyles but it's fun, right? chinese food and chilling out, it's totally a thing. what else would we call it?
@harrystyles: @eleanorjcalder I actually don't know...
They stop tweeting when their mentions absolutely blow up with fans trying to figure out why Eleanor and Harry are on what appears to be a date without Louis, and so they proceed to amuse themselves with reading the fan theories. There is a small, very vocal group protesting that obviously Eleanor is going to dump Louis for Harry, and another group insisting that Eleanor and Harry are trying to get along for Louis' sake. A third set of fans comes to the conclusion that obviously it’s a club for people who are into Louis (they both laugh themselves sick over how accurate that theory is) but most fans think they’re planning some sort of surprise party for Louis.
Harry wonders what the fans would think if they knew Hannah is here too. Then he double checks Hannah's twitter to make sure she hasn't tweeted about being in London, because that would cause a fandom-wide meltdown. And while it would be hilarious, Louis would probably murder them after management was finished defecating on their graves.
“I can do your makeup while we wait for Hannah to get back,” Eleanor offers, and Harry agrees. They pay for their food, and then she sits him on the counter in the ladies' room. They only get a few weird looks (and one comment about lesbians and fingering and it’s entirely possible that lady is drunker than they are), but it's a Chinese food place at half one in the morning and he's drunk on really excellent cocktails; Harry is long past giving any fucks. Eleanor fishes makeup out of her purse, and starts giving Harry a makeover, and this is actually really fun, because usually he dislikes makeup, but Eleanor is making him pretty.
Maybe he just needs to be drunk to like putting on makeup. He should talk to someone in management about that.
"So have you and Louis been using the handcuffs?" he asks as she carefully lines his eyes with a black pencil. He'd given Eleanor handcuffs as a gag gift for her and Louis' anniversary, and Louis' reaction had been absolutely priceless. Eleanor had just giggled, said thank you, and tucked them into her purse. Niall had laughed like a hyena while Liam turned a shade of red previously unknown to man, as if they didn't all know he was kinkier than the rest of them combined, and Zayn had all but admitted he was into pet play.
"Yeah, they're awesome, thanks for the recommendation," Eleanor says absently, adding some sort of flourish to the corner of his left eye. "Oo, you should wear eyeliner more. Makes your eyes pop. But yeah, he loves the handcuffs, and they're really handy for when he wants to go bug someone at three in the morning I just handcuff him to the headboard, and go back to sleep. He hasn't found the trick release lever yet.”
“Make sure he doesn’t figure it out, otherwise he’ll use them to wreak havoc when you think he’s restrained,” says Harry, tilting his head obediently when Eleanor pushes at it. “And really? I always thought it made me look like a baby deer.”
“Well, it might have when you were younger, but you’ve got the height and the muscle to just make it look fucking sexy now,” Eleanor informs him, checking her phone with one hand. “And oh my god I know, can you imagine? He’s bad enough as he is, Louis with handcuffs and no key at his disposal would be a disaster.”
“If you’re texting, could you get the pencil away from my eye?” Harry asks, eyeing the implement warily. He’s drunk, but he’s not stupid. And Eleanor is dangerous with makeup, he learned that last time she got drunk with all five of the one Direction boys. In a matter of an hour, she'd managed to get them all in false eyelashes and dramatic eye makeup using only her feminine wiles and the sheer force of her personality.
“It’s just Hannah,” Eleanor says, but she does set the eyeliner pencil on the bathroom counter. “She says she’s looking for a store that might carry a dress in your size, but everything’s all closed, except for a couple of bars and a stripper joint.”
"She could always ask for a dress at the stripper joint," Harry suggests. Eleanor just gives him a Look and reaches for her mascara and eye shadow.
Harry wisely shuts up.
When Hannah comes into the bathroom, she's towing Nick Grimshaw. "Look who I found outside! Also I couldn't find any stores open at this hour, so no dress for you, Harry. You can still wear my tiara!"
Harry perks up at that and lets Hannah plant her tiara into his curls.
Nick just sort of stares at them.
"Please tell me it is not my life that I'm in the ladies' bathroom at a Chinese place at half-one in the morning on a work night where one of my male best friends is wearing makeup and a pink and silver plastic tiara while his best friend's girlfriend and ex put that gunk on his face?" he blinks. "Actually that sounds exactly like my life. Carry on."
"We're the Louis Tomlinson Support Group," Eleanor says helpfully, pulling blush and lipstick out of her purse. Nick eyes these items warily, as if she might use them on him in a sneak attack. "We meet up every Thursday to discuss Louis and sex and booze and all sorts of fun stuff." She gives him a sidelong glance. "Do you have a thing for Tomlinson too?”
"You're all drunk, aren't you," Nick says.
“So very very drunk,” Harry tells him. “You should be drunk too. We’re talking about Louis. We’ve got a club, it’s the Louis Tomlinson Support Society. Club. Group. Louis Tomlinson Support Group. It's a support group for people who like Louis, not a support group for Louis. Want in?"
Nick just gives him a look of disdain and pretends not to notice Hannah scaring people away from the bathroom. "I would rather fuck a tea kettle that's plugged in than fuck Tomlinson."
"Oh, don't be like that!" Eleanor says disapprovingly. Out of everyone there, she's probably the one who is sobering up the quickest; she'd eaten the most and apparently the Chinese is soaking up the alcohol. Harry wonders if he'd be as sober if he'd eaten as many eggrolls. Probably. "Everyone wants to fuck him, it's a fact of life. He's like a sexuality defying sex beast or something."
"I agree with that!" Hannah calls from the doorway. She seems to find a way to lock the door, and then tries to get Nick to give her a piggyback ride, regardless of the fact that they'd literally only met five minutes ago. "He's like universally attractive and shit."
"I am not drunk enough for this conversation," Nick says, dislodging Hannah. She pouted at him and poked his side in retaliation. He poked her back.
"Harry said exactly that earlier," Eleanor says cheerfully, finishing with the eyeshadow and reaching for blush. "We'll get you drunk enough. Hey, we should get t-shirts, wear them on Thursdays!"
"If this is what you do every Thursday, it's a miracle you're not dead," Nick deadpans. "It's also a miracle you're not all in a hospital for collective liver failure. Or a mental hospital for your apparent idolization of Tomlinson."
“Grimmy’s not going to admit to liking Louis,” Harry's speech is slightly slurred as he leans in to give Eleanor a better angle to finish up his makeup. (At least, that’s what he thinks he’s doing. Eleanor huffs and moves back to keep it even.) “He’s too busy telling Louis to shut up all the time to actually like him, let alone fancy him.”
“I take offense to that,” Nick tells them all, crossing his arms. “It’s not just telling him to shut up. Sometimes we have intelligent conversation.”
“Right, of course you do,” Hannah reassures him, patting him on the back. “Mostly about how he could be doing better things with his mouth, though, right?” Eleanor chokes on a surprised laugh; Hannah is not usually the type to go for dirty talk, especially with people she's only just met. “Have you mentioned a ball gag yet, Grimmy? I hear that’s a thing, for some people.”
“Okay. I lied. This sounds like my life.”
"Well, you can't say you don't want his mouth occupied, at least," Hannah barrels straight on, ignoring Nick's apparent discomfort. "If he's as good at blowjobs as he is at giving head, it'd be epic. Almost makes me want a dick so I can try it out, but I like my twat. We're emotionally attached, my twat and I."
"He is good at blowjobs," Harry says, and Nick starts to slam his head against a bathroom stall. "Almost as good as he is at rimming. He's really good at rimming."
"Is rimming like the guy version of eating out?" Eleanor asks curiously, pushing Harry back against the mirror and reaching for her lipstick to smear it on his lips expertly. For being somewhat drunk, her hands are remarkably steady. "Because he's only ever eaten me out and I haven't wanted to try rimming. But now maybe I sort of do."
“It’s different, I think. Like, different organs and everything,” Harry tries to say. Eleanor elbows him in the stomach because it’s hard to put lipstick on his mouth if it's moving. "But I mean, it's the same general concept, you know? But it's harder for guys to get off on just rimming."
"I bet Louis'd be good at rimming," Hannah says absently. Nick chokes on air and gives up slamming his head against the wall to fix them all with an incredulous stare. "He was good at eating out when I dated him, and that was two, three years ago. If it's the same general concept it shouldn't be too hard to translate that over. But there's always room for improvement, you know?"
"I'm going to drown myself in that toilet over there," Nick says loudly. "I do not want to think about Louis Tomlinson and sex in the same thought."
"But you already are, so you might as well cave and admit it!" Hannah says cheerfully and pinches Nick's arse. He jumps and rubs the spot while glaring at her reproachfully. "Come on, the size kink would be hot. Like, the size between Harry and Louis is hot. The size between Nick and Louis would be hotter, okay."
"God, I need booze," Nick says. "The booziest booze available. Shots would be nice. Can we have shots?"
"I think we broke him," Hannah says at the same time Eleanor caps her lipstick and says "Well, we're done eating, so let's go find a bar. There, Haz, you look gorgeous. That lip color really suits your skin tone."
"Really?" Harry perks up, pouting to show off the lipstick. "Do I look kissable?"
"Very much so!" Hannah chirps, and pecks him on the lips lightly in a friendly kiss. "Now get your cute little arse moving, we've got booze to find."
"I don't want this to be my life," Nick says mournfully. "I only came to escort Harry home because Tomlinson threatened to tweet embarrassing pictures of me if I didn't."
“We’re going to tweet embarrassing pictures of you anyways, so get moving, let’s go, you can at least be drunk if you're getting embarrassing pictures on the internet,” Eleanor says, and they’re going out the door, to the applause of patrons in the surprisingly full restaurant. Harry supposes the cinema just let out or something, because he can't think of any other reason for everyone to be eating Chinese food at half past one in the morning.
“We did not have sex in there!” Hannah announces loudly, and that gets them officially kicked out of the restaurant.
Since Nick is still demanding booze and they haven't really got anything better to do, they set off to find a new bar. The first one is out, because they've already been there ("I think they have a double entry rule," Harry says cheerfully, being careful not to smudge his makeup. "So nope!") and no one is in the mood for dancing right now so the club where they ran into Zayn, Niall and Perrie is out, and they end up wandering down the street until they find a place that's open.
Hannah starts singing Rihanna's latest single under her breath, and they all sort of sing along. Nick looks at them like they're crazy, but sings along as well.
They pile into a bar that looks a bit shady, but it's also nearly two in the morning and there aren't exactly many other places still letting people inside.
Once they get Nick drunk enough, he grudgingly talks a little about how he finds Louis attractive in a general way, until eventually devolving into general disbelief of Louis' existence.
"Was he made in a factory?" he grumbles, yawning. "Like there's no way he's an actual human being. He's a robot! A boyband robot!"
"Is he always like this when he's drunk?" Hannah asks Harry quietly.
"Only when he's sleep deprived too," Harry tells her. "Maybe dragging him out for drinks this late wasn't a good idea?"
"I have work tomorrow!" Nick informs Harry, because apparently Harry and Hannah weren't whispering like they thought they were. Either that or Nick has secret bat hearing. Both are possible.
"He's not a robot," Eleanor tells Nick reassuringly. "I'm sure robot penises would be a lot more uncomfortable than human penises."
"But if it's a state of the art robot penis, would you know?"
"Robots are made of metal. Human penises are made of flesh," Eleanor says, as if this is obvious. (To be fair to her, it is somewhat obvious.) "If you were being fucked by metal, you'd know, wouldn't you?"
"But if it's a state of the art robot penis, it wouldn't be made of metal. It'd be a robot penis made of human flesh liberated from corpses."
Hannah stares at them in fascination and horror. "I really don't think I want to be part of this conversation," she says faintly. "Robot penises is not a thing I want to think about, really."
"You're the one who compared sex to pie and cake earlier," Harry reminds her cheerfully. "Although robots are a different thing entirely."+
"Robot penises are a different thing entirely," Hannah corrects. "Especially when dead corpse flesh is involved. I really don't think I want to know what these two would talk about if we got them drunk and stuck them in a room together."
"Isn't that basically what we've already done?" Harry asks, shrugging nonchalantly. "They're drunk, they're in a room together, they're talking."
Hannah winces. It's either at what Harry's just said or what Nick's just said about how to obtain dead flesh for robot penises. Harry's not really interested in finding out which it was. "This is not what I had in mind when we invited Grimmy to come drinking with us."
"I don't think it's what any of us planned," Harry tells her, and they start their own conversation in an attempt to distract themselves from Nick and Eleanor's conversation.
"Hey, Styles!" Harry turns to see Greg James waving at them from across the bar. Greg gestures for the group of people he's with to go on ahead, and strides over to their table. Hannah stares and she might be drooling a bit. Harry's not looking too closely at that either. "Good to see you, you've not been around lately."
"Well, Nick's got the morning show now," Harry says. "And you haven't, so I don't see you as much."
"Speaking of the Breakfast Show, what are you lot doing with Nick here? It's past two in the morning. Nick, you've got work tomorrow," he says disapprovingly. Nick responds by toppling over in the booth and letting out a snore. Eleanor pokes him with her swizzle stick. "God, Finchy's going to kill me, him, or you, Styles. Nick's a right monster when he's hungover."
Harry shrugs. "The drinking was his idea. Sort of. We might've goaded him into it. It's Louis' fault!"
Greg just looks at them as if they've gone insane. “I’m going to take Nick home.”
“And then you’re coming out for drinks with us,” Hannah informs him, finally cluing in that Greg is trying to leave. “I will follow you to your house to make sure this happens.”
“Or we could just leave Nick sleeping there while you get drunk with us and then we’ll put both of you in a taxicab when we’re done!” Eleanor suggests.
“That works too,” Greg agrees and flops into the booth, stealing Hannah’s beer. Hannah looks like she’s either going to brain him or steal her beer back, so Eleanor surreptitiously moves to sit between them, letting Nick's head fall onto the seat. “So, anyone care to explain why the four of you are out drinking on a Thursday night? Also...why is Harry wearing a tiara and makeup?”
“I’m supposed to be pretending I have a vagina!” Harry says proudly, and no one even blinks. “And I look awesome.”
“We’re the Louis Tomlinson Support Group,” Eleanor, in her capacity as most sober and coherent person present, explains. “On Thursday nights we usually talk on skype and drink wine and watch bad chick movies and complain about Louis and his stupid face, but since we’re all in the same area tonight we decided to go bar hopping.”
“We picked up Nick at the Chinese place,” Hannah adds. “And we ran into Zayn and Niall and Perrie at a dance club we went to. And Danielle before that, at our first bar.”
“It’s been a very long, boozy night,” Harry agrees, adjusting his tiara. “And I never realized how many people want to fuck Louis."
Greg sort of stares. "You're all ridiculously drunk, aren't you?"
"Not so much," Eleanor says. "We've been drunker. No one's puked yet, so. Yeah, we've been drunker."
"Oh, like that time we made margaritas and had the surfing photos?" Hannah grins widely, nudging against Eleanor's shoulder. "Hangover from hell the next day, I shit you not. There's a reason I don't like margaritas anymore."
"I don't remember that. We never drink margaritas." Realization dawns on Harry's face. "You got together without me!" he yelps indignantly, sitting up straighter. "I trusted you!" he slumped down in a pout, crossing his arms and looking alarmingly like a petulant five year old.
"You were actually there!" Eleanor protests. "You actually got to see Louis in a wetsuit. Seriously, you do not get to complain about us getting drunk over a photo."
"I was actually there. I actually got to see Louis in a wetsuit. Management had us on a no-touch thing. I think I deserved to get more drunk than you did!"
"This argument, as interesting as it is, should probably decrease in volume," Greg says diplomatically. "Unless you want someone phoning the tabloids and telling them all about how Harry Styles wanted to fuck Louis Tomlinson in Australia while wearing wetsuits? Or that Harry Styles actually fucked Louis Tomlinson while wearing wetsuits?"
Harry and Eleanor immediately lower their voices and have some sort of conversation Hannah and Greg can't hear that ends in Harry's pout deepening and Eleanor handing over her drink with a sigh.
Hannah just snorts and takes a sip of her own. "This is a fairly typical Thursday," she tells Greg. "Harry pouts, Eleanor babysits, I laugh my arse off."
"So, what does one have to do to gain membership in the Louis Tomlinson Support Group?" Greg asks, changing the topic somewhat. He's not drinking nearly as much as everyone else--probably because it's 2 AM and he's going to have to chaperone Nick (who is snoring very loudly) back home later--but he's probably got a sufficient buzz going right now.
"You've got to be in love with something about him," Hannah says. "And possibly have kissed him at least once, I think. Did we ever make membership criteria?"
Eleanor shakes her head. "No, I just remember when I first started dating Lou, I asked Harry for tips on how to deal with...him, and all his personality, and then we decided to skype you, and it just became a regular thing from there on out? Thursday, wine, Chinese food, bad movies, generally poor life choices."
"How long have you been a club?" Greg asks idly, and it doesn't seem like he's asking for any sort of ulterior motive, but just for the fact he wants to figure out why they've got a club and for the sake of knowing.
Harry's phone buzzes, and when he checks it, it's Louis, demanding to know why there are pap shots of Harry in a tiara.
"Lou wants to know why I'm in a tiara," he says instead of answering Greg's question. "And he doesn't seem to know Nick's here yet."
"Tell him you won an impromptu beauty contest," Hannah suggests. "Or you've been making out with Princess Kate."
"You won the body shot competition," says Eleanor. "And you were taking shots off of Niall and the Brazilian footie team."
Harry nods and starts texting back.
"What are you doing?" Greg asks, staring at them. "No, seriously, what are you doing and why?"
"Louis doesn't like us hanging out," Harry says as he starts describing his fictional body shot victory in detail. "Something to do with the fact he's had sex with all of us and he thinks we're plotting to murder each other."
"So whenever we're out," continues Hannah, using a broken swizzle stick she'd stolen from Nick to pin up her hair in a messy bun. "Or having nights in, whatever--this is the third time we've gone out, the rest of the time we chill out over skype, or at Eleanor's flat--he texts constantly. Like. Every five minutes. It's sort of hilarious, really."
"It got a bit obnoxious after the first fifteen times. So we started fucking with him a bit," Eleanor says, flipping off a group of uni boys the next table over for checking out Hannah. "And tell him the sorts of things that could be believed if you were paranoid--which he is. Tonight so far we've told him Harry was hitting on a woman who looked like Caroline, Eleanor and Hannah have made out, and that we've been discussing the state of the Russian economy with a group of cougars. His reactions are priceless."
"Ah," Greg says, nodding. "Harry, have you sent that text yet?"
"Not yet," Harry says, reading over the message. "Wait, the Brazilian men's footie team, or the women's?"
"Women's," Eleanor says. "Remind him you're bi and totally into tits as well as cock."
Greg grins. "Are you really? Well, good on you then, Haz. I was going to say, you should tell Louis you and Hannah got into a catfight, and you were awarded the tiara for being the loser."
Eleanor and Hannah exchanged looks. "You and Hannah engaged in a body shot competition," Eleanor says.
"--with the Brazilian women's footie team and Niall," Hannah chips in.
Harry grins, catching on. "- -because if there's alcohol, there's Niall--"
"--and tied. You got into a fight over who actually won," Eleanor continues, "and ended up having a catfight."
"That I won!" Hannah says primly. "But I felt bad for you so I gave you the tiara as consolation."
"Perfect," Harry said, and started typing the new text.
"I don't know if I should be impressed or scared," Greg deadpans, and looks over at Nick. "Is Grimmy a member too?"
"Sort of," Eleanor says, reaching across Harry's lap to pat Nick on the head gently. "He doesn't want to admit he's got a thing for Louis, but Hannah started talking about blowjobs and ballgags and rimming and he went a really interesting color, and then demanded booze. Which was pretty much our general reaction initially, so he's like a pledge member or something."
"You've really got to stop watching uni sorority movies," Harry informs her, pressing send. "Especially the bad American ones. Are there any uni sorority moves not set in America?"
Hannah shakes her head. "I don't think so. Maybe the bad horror movies where they go places on vacation and then die in horrifically gruesome ways." She pushes to her feet. "I'm off to get another round, any requests?"
"Fine, then he's like a junior member," Eleanor says at the same time. She waves her hand dismissively, completely ignoring Hannah, who shrugs and vanishes. "He's got to pay dues of booze, and bring wine and chocolate to movie night, and make out with Louis at least once to be a full member."
"I think he has, though?" Harry looks like he's trying to remember, tipping his head to the side. His phone chirps and he grins at the response. "I mean, maybe not, but we were playing truth or dare--shut up, you know too much beer turns us all into twelve year olds--and I think someone dared Louis and Nick to kiss and it ended up in a make out session?"
Greg nods, sniggering into his drink. "Sounds like him, actually. Nick's a handsy drunk, so I'm not surprised he'd make out with Louis, especially when he finds him abstractly attractive." He gives them all a considering look. "And you don't find it creepy that you all get together and discuss sex with Louis?"
Eleanor shrugs. "At first it was awkward. That's when the drinking started. But really none of us have any personal shame, so it wasn't really difficult to bridge that gap. Besides, it's really hard for any of us to gossip or talk about our boyfriend--or ex, in Hannah's case--with anyone else, without tabloids getting all over it, and we all like each other, so it's not that bad of a deal, really. Louis hates it though."
"We discuss Louis, yeah," Harry adds. "But it really amounts to bad movies, Chinese food and complaining about our lives. And the occasional bar hop."
Greg nods. "I'm assuming you'll end up being a league of evil exes at some point?"
"Oh, I love that movie!" Eleanor says, grinning widely. "I keep meaning to read the comics but I never get around to it."
"Do we even have enough people for a league of evil exes?" Harry wondered. "Officially he's only got the one ex. El and I are both current."
They all pause to consider that. "Maybe not," Greg says eventually. "There were seven in the movie, yeah?"
"Hey, Greg. Do you want to join the club? You're fun, and we need more guys," Hannah says when she returns with a fresh round of drinks, abruptly changing the topic.
Greg shrugs and takes a swallow of his drink and rolls his eyes. "I don't think I qualify, to be honest."
"You don't find him attractive?" Hannah asks curiously. "You're probably the first person we've met all night who hasn't."
"I think he was talking about making out with Louis," Harry informs her, and Greg nods.
"Yeah, exactly that. He's attractive, don't get me wrong. Not exactly my type, but...he's got nice hands," Greg says finally. "Very nice hands."
"Mm, yeah. But also he's tiny," Greg adds. "He's short compared to Harry, and Harry's short compared to Nick--no offense, mate--" he says, saluting Harry with his glass. Harry shrugs and signals as if to say none taken. "--and I'm taller than Nick, so Louis' absolutely tiny compared to me. It's a nice difference, though. He's taller than my last girlfriend, at any rate."
Hannah looks like she's suddenly remembered something. "Ellie Goulding, yeah?"
Greg's expression is slightly sad, but still honest. "Yeah, Ellie. But I'm quietly heteroflexible, and I'll admit Louis' very attractive. All three of you were--are? What tense do you even use?--lucky to date him."
"You have a thing for short people?" Hannah says, a dangerous glint in her eyes.
"You have a boyfriend," Harry reminds her, and Hannah pouts, flopping back in her seat.
"More beer," she says with what sounds like a spectacular sulk on. Harry hands over his because beer's not his favorite. He likes beer well enough, but if giving Hannah his beer means there won't be bloodshed or cheating or potential molestation, he'll sacrifice his beer.
Eleanor will share hers anyways. He hopes.
A half-hour later, and both Hannah and Greg both must be somewhat over the line of a little drunk, because Hannah asks him to dance, and Greg says yes. It ends up being less dancing and more off-balance stumbling and some friendly, pg-13 groping.
Harry sends a text off to Louis (is friendly groping considered cheating?) and thinks a blessing for the miracle of spell check because otherwise his texts would be entirely incoherent.
He gets a reply back thirty seconds later (WHO DID YOU GROPE) and shows it to Hannah, who giggles and smacks a kiss to Greg's cheek. Hannah snags Harry's phone a second later and texts back GREG JAMES!!! with a row of emoticon hearts.
They wait long enough to ensure Louis' inevitable mental breakdown before sending another text (this is hannah by the way, i stole harrys phone).
Louis responds by sending them a random selection of letters and an accusation that they've lost their minds.
Hannah replies in the affirmative.
Eventually Greg admits he'd better get Nick home so he can get some form of actual rest before his show the next morning.
"But I promise I'll wake him with runny eggs and slamming pots," he says, grinning. "Idiot deserves it for being a drunkard on a work night. At least I've got tomorrow off." They shake Grimmy until he's gained something resembling consciousness; he blinks blearily up at them and tries to go back to sleep on Greg's shoulder until Hannah upends a glass of ice water into his trousers. Harry wishes he'd recorded the noise Nick makes. He'd quite like to have it as his text alert tone.
Eleanor helps pile Nick's body into the taxi and waves as they drive off.
"Where to now?" she asks cheerfully.
“We can play a drinking game with Louis’ tumblr tag!” Harry suggests."I'm sure I've got vodka somewhere."
“You get water,” Eleanor says firmly, steering Harry down the street. Hannah follows behind, sniggering quietly. “Louis’ tumblr tag and drinking games mixed together tends to end in alcohol poisoning, especially when you've already been drinking.”
“Then Hannah gets water too!” Harry pouts and allows himself to be manhandled. “You aren’t drunk enough though, you have to do actual shots.”
"We can do it with root beer," Hannah suggests, and that apparently sounds enough like actual alcohol that Harry agrees.
They only make it a quarter of the way back to Harry's house before getting distracted by an open minimarket and a park.
Hannah and Harry link arms and stroll towards the park while Eleanor disappears into the minimarket. It's totally deserted, and the whole park is eerily lit by streetlamps; it honestly looks it could be part of a horror movie, and Harry says so.
"Maybe," Hannah replies. "Needs more monsters though."
They find a patch of grass lit by a streetlamp and settle down. "Does Mrs T know about the Society?" Hannah asks, sprawling out comfortably. The grass is slightly damp, but really, it's not that bad."Like, about how we talk about her son."
"Maybe?" Harry blows out a breath and puts his head in Hannah's lap. "We can call her and ask?"
"Good idea!" Hannah tired and drunk is silly, and she giggles loudly.
Harry sits up to flick through his phone contacts. When he finds the number he wants, he grins triumphantly and presses dial. It only rings twice before someone on the other end picks up.
“Hello?” a groggy women's voice answers.
“Hi, Mrs Tomlinson!” Harry chirps, lying on his back on the grass and staring up at the sky.
“Yeah!” he grins at Eleanor, who waves back at him and sits down on Hannah's lap with a carton of mint ice cream and a pack of plastic spoons she'd apparently just bought from the 24 hour minimarket.
“Harry, it’s three AM," Mrs Tomlinson says, but her voice is more exasperated than angry.
“Really?” Harry looks at Eleanor and Hannah, who have opened the carton and the spoons and are eating happily.
“Closer to half-three, actually. Are you drunk calling me? Harry!"
“I’m not that drunk. Hannah, are we that drunk?"
Hannah looks up and, through a mouthful of ice cream, says "Not really, I don't think?"
"Is Hannah there, then?" There's a rustling on Mrs Tomlinson's end of the phone. "Tell her I say hi."
"Hannah, Mrs T says hi!" Harry dutifully reports. Hannah salutes with her spoon and takes another bite of ice cream.
"What are you and Hannah doing that you're calling me at three AM on Friday?"
"Eleanor's here too," Harry says proudly. "And we’re the Louis Tomlinson Support Group! We get together on Thursdays and we all sort of want to have sex with him because he’s got like the best arse ever--and you should get a medal or something for creating that, it's awesome--HEY, ELEANOR, WE'RE GOING TO GIVE LOUIS' MUM A MEDAL--and we're going to get t-shirts!"
“That’s...great, Harry. Does Louis know about this club?” Harry grins as Eleanor gives him a spoonful of ice cream.
“Probably? We keep texting him and stuff," he mumbles through his food.
"Well, it's lovely that you all get along, but I don't really need to hear about my son's sex life."
"Oh." Harry's face falls. "I'm sorry."
"It's alright, Harry." Mrs Tomlinson just sounds amused, so Harry smiles again. It's nice that she's not mad. "But it's still not something I particularly want to hear about, so long as you're all being safe and consenting. Tell your mum I say hi, alright? But wait until tomorrow. I don't think she wants to be woken up at this hour. And make sure you drink plenty of water, okay, sweetheart?"
"Okay, Mrs T. Goodnight!"
Eleanor flops into Harry's lap once he's hung up. Hannah still has the carton of ice cream. "So I figured every member should kiss each other at least once," she says. "Like we've already seen each other naked, and usually you kiss before that, so we're going to make out."
Harry's never opposed to kissing--he likes the way it feels, and he likes the way other people react, and it's nice. She leans in and he leans up and they sort of bump lips.
It's a terrible kiss, even worse than Harry's first kiss back when he was thirteen, and that kiss involved a frog (Harry generally avoids talking about that kiss, for the sole fact that the girl he'd kissed had insisted he kiss her frog first). This kiss is actively less gross but still worse, in a way. He sort of thinks it might be because neither of them have any sort of feelings for each other beyond friendship, and neither of them are really putting effort into it. Harry is trying to think of a polite way to push away from the kiss when Eleanor bursts out giggling, breaking away. "Oh, god, that was horrible. I'm sorry Harry, I'm sure you're a lovely kisser, but that feels way too much like kissing my brother. Thank you so much for not going in with tongue."
"So it's not just me then!" Harry exclaims, then looks thoughtful. "Wait, does that mean Louis is dating siblings then?"
Eleanor's giggles increase in pitch, until she topples over onto Hannah's lap again. "Okay, Hannah, us too." Hannah and Eleanor kiss for longer than Harry and Eleanor did, but it ultimately ends the same way, with giggling and laughter. Hannah makes a series of seriously bad jokes about the kisses, each one getting worse and worse until they're all rolling on the grass with laughter. Harry and Hannah go in for a kiss too, but the end result is once again, laughter and jokes about the bad kiss.
"Okay, making out with each other, bad idea," Eleanor says when they've finally calmed down enough to talk.
"Maybe we're like magnets!" Hannah says. "Like, Louis is a positive pole, and we're all negative poles, so we're all attracted to Louis, but not to each other! Like, relationships are magnets!"
"What about threesomes?" Eleanor asks, flopping back onto the grass. "What sort of thing is that?"
"I dunno, like chemical bonds or something? Wait, no, that's marriage. Um. I dunno. Like bees to pollen!"
"Do you always get smart when you're drunk?" Harry asks. Hannah shrugs.
"You'd know better than me, I don't usually remember much." She picks the carton of ice cream up from where she'd set it down to kiss Eleanor and makes a noise of disappointment. "Oh, it's gone all melty now!"
"Give it here!" Harry says eagerly. "I love melty ice cream, it's like a milkshake."
Eleanor makes a face as Hannah hands over the carton. "Oh, that's gross."
"What, melty ice cream?"
"No, melty ice cream milkshake. Mint melty ice cream milkshake." She sticks her tongue out. "Have you ever heard anyone say they're drinking a mint milkshake? No, it's always with normal flavors, like chocolate, and butterscotch, and vanilla."
"You bought it! And besides, it's delicious," Harry protests. "If you don't like it, don't eat it. Simple as."
Eleanor wrinkles her nose in disgust but stops commenting.
They sit in calm quiet for a while, Harry eating the liquefied ice cream, Hannah french braiding Eleanor's hair, Eleanor responding to her mentions on twitter.
The park is quiet, but the sky is clear and the night is crisp, and all in all it's not a bad place to sober up. Harry hums quietly to himself, scraping the sides of the tub. He likes this, and it's nice not to talk all the time.
Eleanor starts talking about what's going on in her mentions, just a quiet running commentary about who's dating whom and who's not talking to whom, and what the fans think is going on with Harry, Louis, and Eleanor. It seems that no one's caught on to the fact that Hannah's in London--or maybe it hasn't occurred to any of them that Hannah would be hanging out with Harry and Eleanor. Whatever is going on, Eleanor keeps talking in her reading voice, a gentle rise and fall of syllables. It's quiet, and soothing.
"Our social circle is really incestuous," Harry says, blinking, when Eleanor talks about how two of their mutual friends had hooked up and were now apparently in the off again stage of their on again off again relationship. "I just realized that. Everyone's dating someone everyone else knows, or they're exes with someone everyone else knows. Hannah's like the only exception."
Apparently, they're still drunk enough to be singing karaoke, because Eleanor and Hannah exchange glances and starting singing the chorus of Paramore's Only Exception.
"What time is it?" Hannah asks, when they figure out they don't know all the words.
Eleanor checks her watch, a dainty silver thing Louis had given her. "Four-sixteen in the morning."
"Who wants to go back to my place and crash?" Harry asks.
"Sounds good to me," Hannah replies. Eleanor nods and slumps over on Hannah's shoulder. "The sun should start coming up soon, shouldn't it?"
Somehow they manage to find a taxi willing to take them back to Harry's house at the late hour (they found a train station and piled into a taxi there) and spend the ride back dozing on each other's shoulders.
By the time they get back to Harry's house, it's nearly five in the morning. Harry sets a kettle on while Hannah boils milk to make hot chocolate. Eleanor pokes through Harry's fridge and produces Harry's cold water pitcher, making sure all of them finish off two full glasses.
They sit on the kitchen floor, clutching their various non-spiked drinks, and talk about how the night went because none of them want to forget. Eleanor cracks a few jokes as she finishes off her tea, and Hannah sips delicately at her hot chocolate. Harry holds onto his mug with both hands, and participates in the conversation when he can.
It's a nice low-key friendship, and Harry wishes he had more friendships like this. The boys are nice, honestly, but that's a high-energy, high-activity friendship, and this is just generally quiet conversation and occasional insanity. It's nice.
Eventually, Hannah dozes off against Harry's shoulder, and Eleanor has her head resting in Hannah's lap, and judging by her breathing patterns, she's asleep too. Harry knows he should probably wake everyone and move into rooms with actual beds, but he's tired and so he leans his head back against the wall. Just for a minute, he tells himself, and promptly falls asleep.
"What are you idiots doing?" is what wakes Harry up an hour later. "It's seven in the morning and you're all sleeping on the kitchen floor."
Harry blinks up at Louis, who has scooped Eleanor up bridal style and is about to carry her down the hallway.
"Morning," Harry yawns in Louis' general direction.
Louis shoots him a death glare and probably would flip Harry off if he wasn't carrying Eleanor. He's only gone a few minutes before he returns and leans in the doorway, arms crossed and raising an eyebrow in Harry's general direction.
Harry waves at Louis from the floor and pats it gently. "Pull up some floor, it's oak and so very comfy."
"You're drunk, aren't you," Louis deadpans. "What sort of booze did Eleanor put into you and--oh god, are you wearing makeup?"
Harry only grins. "We have a club!" he announces proudly. "Thursday nights are Eleanor-and-Harry-and-Hannah booze time. We talk about you and share naked pictures. We're considering inviting Nick and Greg to join."
"Naked pictures of me or naked pictures of you?"
"Can it be both?" Harry asks. "And I made out with Eleanor. And Hannah. And Nick. I think. Maybe not Nick. He was just sort of there. Even though he has work tomorrow. Today? Now? Finchy's not going to be happy."
"Who else did you run into?" Louis asks, and he looks half-amused, half-terrified.
Harry thinks about it for a bit. "Um, we saw Danielle, and Nialler, and we called them. And Zayn and Pezza, and Leigh-Anne and Jade and Jessy and they're okay, and Nick! And Greg, Greg's fun, he should totally be part of the club full time, except it's sort of annoying when Hannah tries to grope him. She's got a boyfriend!" he says, because for some reason that seems really important to tell Louis. "His name is Jordan. He's very funny. She talked to him on the phone. And I called your mum, and she said to tell my mum hi. And we might've called Liam, and I don't remember anything else."
"You're going to have a monster hangover later," Louis informs him, then gets Harry to sit up and hoists the younger man to his feet. "Let's put you to bed with water and aspirin, and then I'll get Hannah. Eleanor's already asleep in one of your guest rooms."
Harry let Louis manhandle him up the stairs and gently tumble him into bed. When Harry is lying down, Louis gently helps Harry out of his jeans and tugs Harry's shirt off.
"You'll want to wash your face when you wake up," Louis tells him. "Else your acne'll act up later."
Harry makes a mumbling mrmph noise.
Louis laughs and pulls the covers over Harry, pressing a soft kiss to his forehead. "Sleep well, Haz."
Harry tries to wave goodnight but his arms feel like they're full of lead and his tongue feels just as heavy. He can vaguely hear Louis snickering at him, but he can't really bring himself to care, because he's tipsy and tired, and Hannah is going to be leaving later and he doesn't want her to go because she's Hannah and she's awesome and they never get to hang out anymore and he really should get up and lock his door because he always sleeps later than Eleanor when they're hungover and she always breaks into his room to steal his clothes. Last time he'd woken up and she'd hijacked all of his trousers and refused to give them back until he'd made her a fry-up for breakfast and he still hasn't gotten all of them back yet. He tries to say all of this but his mouth isn't working and the world is starting to blur so he closes his eyes and hopes Louis understands anyways.
The last thing Harry remembers before falling asleep is Louis shutting the door with a quiet click.