The faintest of touches leave the worst of the burns.
It starts like most things do: unintentional and innocent. There’s a poking finger that lingers, a stare three three seconds too long, wrestling that turns into stilted, almost deliberate movements. There’s a quiet storm brewing underneath each of these things, a bubbling current just waiting to build into a terrible wave.
Harry smiles at him disarmingly, shakes his hair out.
“C’mon, the lads got breakfast,” he says, voice light, but Liam can see his dick half hard in his jeans when he pushes off his chest.
“How’s tour?” Dani asks. She’s got a feather light tone to her voice, must’ve just stepped out the shower. Liam imagines her wet hair matted against her shoulders and the way her towel compliments her skin.
He closes his eyes, smiles, “Tour’s good. Miss you, babe.”
Liam opens them at the sound of feet dragging into the dressing room. Louis and Niall are already on the ground playing an intense game of Slaps, and Zayn’s sitting on the couch texting. Liam doesn’t mean to (want to), but his eyes drag towards the door frame just as Harry pauses, shoes scuffing the floor.
Harry catches his gaze before Liam can look away, face carefully neutral. Liam catches the way his body leans in the doorway, hips tilted forward. The way his eyelids get heavy and his bottom lip quivers as he sucks in a breath.
Harry’s eyes flicker over Liam’s lips, and Liam feels his heart skip.
“Love you,” Danielle says with a faraway sigh.
“Love you,” Liam answers, but his fingers want to reach out and touch.
On stage Liam is free to do whatever he wants.
There’s less of this need to remember his surroundings and reign it in. Here they’re all playing the game. They’re all flirting and teasing and taking the piss. It’s more fun that way, messing each other about. He laughs and nearly misses the final chorus during Nobody Compares because Zayn gropes Niall so hard he yelps into the mic during his solo and they chase each other around the entire stage stage.
It’s a laugh up here, in front of all these people who love them and sing back all the lyrics. Almost like it’s own brand of liquid confidence, and Liam tests his boundaries, drags his finger over the small of Harry’s back as they pass each other during the choreography. Where he’d normally run away, he smirks and watches Harry shiver through the last note.
Harry turns to him as the crowd roars, the lights on stage going out one by one. Harry’s in the centre for intermission, so his light fades last, and Liam catches the depth of his gaze. Harry’s chest gives a final heave as his spotlight cuts, and Liam thinks absently what it’d be like to watch Harry breath like that in bed.
The thing is, there’s two lifts in this hotel.
There’s two lifts, and Paul chases Niall, Zayn, and Louis as they race towards the first one. Harry stays back, fingers bumping Liam with each step and sending small electric shocks up his arm. Liam keeps his eye steadily forward, doesn’t think about how he’s slowing his own pace in order to keep his arm pressed right against Harry’s. Doesn’t think about the fact that when the lift opens he presses the button to close the doors before anyone else can step inside.
They’ve got twenty-nine floor between the lobby and his hotel room.
There’s a moment, just as the lift starts to whirl, of weighted silence between them where they do nothing. No talking, or touching. Liam takes a staggering breath and leans against the railing and he feels Harry’s body heat on his arm as he follows.
Liam’s tentative at first, unsure of just what he can and can’t do. The circumstances are different here than onstage, where he can push a little harder and get away with a lot more. He reaches out with his pinky, brushes it against the slight curve of Harry’s hip where it meets his upper thigh. Harry shivers, breathing out harshly through his nose, but he doesn’t say anything (doesn’t say stop, not here, don’t, like Liam prays for), and Liam lets his ring and middle finger draw lines up Harry’s leg.
Harry gasps softly, the end dragging off into a slow exhale, and Liam swallow thickly. His mouth feels dry and the ringing in his ears can’t only be from the comedown of a show. Harry’s looking at him now. Liam can feel the weight of his stare, the desire it casts. (Stop it, he thinks, and he’s not sure who’s he’s talking to. Maybe he’s just saying it so he doesn’t feel bad about not wanting to.)
Liam loses his last strand of sanity and digs his fingertips into Harry’s thigh, swallowing his own weak groan as Harry whimpers into the stifling heat of the lift. He startles when the warmth of Harry’s palm brushes over the back of his hand and lets his eyes glance to the side. Harry’s got this terrible look on his face, like it almost hurts to feel this much, mumbles out a weak, “Liam.”
The lift stops just as Harry starts to drag Liam’s hand higher and Liam forces himself to walk forward. He can almost pretend like he doesn’t know what’s happening, like he doesn’t feel Harry hovering behind him as he turns towards his door. Almost, but Harry leans against him as he fiddles with his keycard and mouths at the back of his neck and Liam’s hands are shaking by the time the key goes through.
They nearly tumble inside, Harry slamming the door shut as Liam spins around. Liam reaches out for him in a rush, pulls on his neck until their lips are pressed together roughly. Liam wonders if he can bruise Harry’s mouth this way, yanks hard on his bottom lip as they stumble backwards into a table in the corner of the room. It’s covered in papers and stray pieces of Liam’s wardrobe and Liam swipes his hand over it.
Harry moves to lift himself onto the edge but Liam pulls him forward, gets the button of his trousers undone before shoving them down to his thighs. He’s so terrified now, can see the way his hands shake in what little light is filtering through the window, blinds drawn. Harry’s distracting enough, though, kissing him stupid while he undoes Liam’s jeans.
Liam closes his eyes and there a flash of another place, another time, with another body, less hard lines and more soft curves. It sends him into a small panic, hands pushing Harry until he’s bent over the table. Harry keens, pressing his shoulder against the table in order to catch Liam’s gaze. In the seconds that it takes Liam to breathe in and out, Harry’s curving his back, pressing his arse into Liam deliberately.
Liam gives a stuttering moan, fingers wrapping around Harry’s hips unconsciously. Now that he’s here, doing this, he’s terrified. There’s a difference between touching for too long and grinding against a table, fuck. Liam presses his hips forward softly, barely a thrust, bites down hard on his lip and tries to fight the guilt slowly creeping up his throat and this is wrong, wrong, wrong.
“Liam,” Harry says, and it’s bringing him down from the clouds, grounding him. Harry grinds back against him, rolls his hips in a dangerous motion that makes Liam’s cock ache. “Please, I want you.”
And that’s. Liam thrust forward suddenly, groans as he squeezes his eyes shut. Harry moans for him, makes a broken sound when Liam bucks against him roughly.
“I want you, I want you,” and Harry keeps saying it, mumbling and whimpering around the words as Liam shoves against him. Liam forces himself to swallow any noise he makes, like he’s less guilty if he doesn’t sound like he’s into it. He slips a hand underneath Harry’s shirt, feels his back muscles move underneath his skin.
Harry’s pushing back against him just as hard now, panting against the table. His nails make a blunt sound against the surface as he scrambles for purchase and Liam pulls him back from the edge, just enough to press his hand against his briefs and rub his hand over Harry’s dick in a hurry.
“Fuck,” Harry’s sobs, and his knees give a little, bend as he pushes into Liam’s touch. Liam leans forward, rests his chest against Harry’s back, unable to look away. Harry looks up at him then, big green eyes, and sucks hard on his bottom lip, whining high in his throat as he gives one last buck of his hips and Liam can feel the come soaking through his pants.
Liam lets go of any control he has then, just thrusts against Harry’s arse shamelessly, biting his lips so hard it hurts as he closes his eyes. Harry’s gasping like he needs it, breathing getting shaky on the exhale and he cries, “God Liam, want you to.”
Liam gives one last thrust before he comes, body going limp against Harry’s back. There’s one euphoric, fleeting moment where they’re just panting against each other, and Liam forgets all about home and what’s there waiting for him.
The faintest of touches leave the worst of the burns, and Liam’s set himself on fire.