“Ladies and gentlemen this is your captain speaking, it is 4:09pm on May 27th, and the weather in Los Angeles is a sunny, eighty-five degrees," the Captain's voice sounds from overhead. "On behalf of British Airlines, our flight staff and crew, we’d like to thank you for flying with us today...”
He goes on, telling the flight attendants to prepare for landing and all passengers to please place their tray in the upright and locked position, but Louis isn’t really listening. He is instead thrumming his fingers in a rhythm and watching as the ground reaches up, getting closer and closer. Palm trees are coming into focus and shiny cars speed along like beetles on the black pavement of a highway. A flight hostess gently wakes a woman who is still asleep two rows in front of him. He blinks his eyes against the strong sunlight that strains through the airplane’s windows, and it isn’t long before he’s gripping his armrest as the wheels finally touch down on the tarmac. He lets out a nervous breath as the plane loses speed and begins to taxi.
It’s odd, because he’s been thinking about this for months now, been planning it since January, with Skype calls and texting late into the night due to their time difference. They've been booking flight times and figuring out how much money they both needed to save in order to make it work.
But he’s here now and his boy is waiting at the gate, he knows it. So regardless of the fact that he’s still jittery from the landing, he grabs his bag from overhead before the door of the plane has even been opened. It’s odd because it always feels the same, like he's coming home.
When the plane door opens he hikes up his bag on his shoulder and his legs feel like jelly, like he can't move them fast enough. There's a mother with a stroller in front of him as he shuffles through the connector tunnel and they’re moving at a pace slower than a snail. He curses whatever bout of luck caused him to grow only to five foot nine, unable to look over the wall of businessmen that cross in front of his path as the tunnel meets the gate.
The thing about Harry is that it doesn’t matter how many times Louis has seen him, he always manages to find something new. A small freckle on the inside of his elbow, or the way he stretches in the morning. Small things that maybe don’t mean anything to anyone else, but to him they’re like words. Important or otherwise, they all add up, and Louis has always thought that Harry is like a novel.
Louis sees him first as he ducks under a larger man shuffling with his briefcase at an awkward angle. Harry’s standing beside a pillar with his eyebrows creased in concentration as his gaze searches, feet pigeon toed and hands clasped behind his back like a fucking prince. He’s wearing one of his low cut black t-shirts and basketball joggers, along with a purple and gold LA Lakers snapback. When their eyes meet Louis adds another small thing to his list. He notices that when Harry’s eyes are at their brightest, there’s something more there, something like stardust and sunshine. It’s then that Louis thinks maybe California really is a place that changes you.
His bag slips off of his shoulder and lands on the shiny waxed floor, neither of them waste any time and Louis is running into Harry’s arms before he can even think to breathe. They collide and it feels like a movie, unreal and something he dreams of, has been dreaming of. Harry smells like he always has, like faint rain and cheap candles and too many days spent away from each other. Harry holds him so close that all he can feel is the firm muscles that encompass him at every angle. Louis’ arms circle around his waist and fist the thin material of his shirt, clinging and holding and never wanting to let go. People must be staring, wondering why two boys are embracing like the world is ending as other passengers exit the plane under an electric sign that reads: Gate J23, London Heathrow - LAX.
Louis honestly couldn’t care less.
Harry pulls away, but only slightly so that he can lean down and kiss him properly, full on and open mouthed and so unashamed that Louis’ heart rabbits in his chest. Harry's large hands sift through his sleep softened hair and Louis goes on his tiptoes, kissing him back like there isn't a family of six gaping at them from over Harry's shoulder. It's all darting tongues and hands that can't hold tight enough. He kisses him back like there isn't anyone around at all.
“Hi,” Louis breathes when their lips are apart. Louis can see that he hadn’t imagined the gold in Harry’s eyes, it mixes with the green jade and makes his stomach swoop.
He doesn’t even try to hide the grin that cracks his features. He reaches up to drag his fingernails at the base of Harry’s neck, tipping the snapback forward so it covers Harry’s eyes and makes him look lopsided. “Hi," he beams.
“I missed you so much.” And the thing is, he's just so much smaller than Harry, so he pulls him in again and curls into his chest like they haven't been apart since Christmas. "My American boy."
“I love you," Harry shakes his head, nosing against Louis hair before he pulls back a small distance to look at him again. He's smiling Louis' favorite smile, the one that reminds him of never losing hope. "With all my burnt out stars."
Louis beams, no, he fucking glows at that. He’s always been gone for this boy, ever since they met at ages fifteen and seventeen, back when they both worked at the Doncaster golf club, with grass-stained knees and evenings spent pushing each other into the ponds. It’s always been one of their quirks to add a bit of poetry. ("Because sometimes I feel like those three words aren't enough," Harry had explained.) Louis feels like he’s holding a flame inside of his ribcage.
"I love you, too," he whispers despite the rushing white noise all around them. He's soaring. "With all my left behind sneakers."
And that’s that.
Harry's roommate is gone for the holiday, left to go back to Oregon where his girlfriend and family are. So it’s later that night when they're alone with Louis’ bags shucked by the front door and pieces of their clothing marking a trail through Harry’s apartment to the bedroom, that questions are asked.
“London,” Harry states between a kiss. “How’s London?”
“Shit,” Louis replies, breathless from the other boy’s lips and grinding their hips together in lazy circles. “Rains nine days out of ten and you aren't there, so it’s shit.” And he can feel the shiver that runs over Harry’s skin at his words, can feel what his movements are doing to the other boy’s cock. It’s nothing fast yet, it’s slow rhythms and skipping hearts still. Their noses brush and one of Harry’s hands holds his waist.
“What about school?” Harry keeps up. "How was the composition summit?"
"Most boring five hours of my life." Louis lightly traces down Harry’s chest, and he can feel the muscles of the other boy’s stomach tighten as reaches the waistband of his boxers. “But what about school? I could ask you the same, couldn't I?"
“Nothing much to tell, majoring in sociology isn't nearly as glamorous as literature,” Harry breathes out in hmpf as Louis starts to palm him through the thin material of his shorts. Harry's other hand grips Louis’ opposite hip so he can properly grind into him, the rhythm starting pick up tempo. “Plenty of time for questions tomorrow.”
“Mm,” Louis smiles and kisses him, biting his lower lip on the drawback. “And the whole summer after that.”
There’s this hovering moment where they both realise that it’s true, that there will be no more missed phone calls or letters arriving after two weeks of waiting. Louis’ eyes flutter closed, and he rests his forehead against Harry's and just breathes, trying not to get lost in what those first few months of separation were like. The fear of not knowing if they still belonged to each other despite the distance.
Louis looks down to where his smaller hand rests on Harry’s chest, realizing how pale he is, months of clouded skies over London’s gray streets proving to take their toll. He’s all milky soft and Harry is light gold and green, green eyes. He sighs into Harry’s kiss when he closes the distance again. Harry’s hands travel from resting just above Louis’ ass to trailing up his spine, nails dragging slightly over his bare skin. There’s a soft noise of approval in the back of Louis’ throat that he lets go of before he gives any consent. Harry’s lips are soft and he tastes sweet like Coca-Cola, and Louis thinks yeah, it’s safe to call this love.
“What do you,” he’s saying the words before thinking twice, which usually ends up backfiring on him, but in this case he’s happy for it. “What do you want? What can I do?”
He pulls back enough to see Harry’s eyes shifting into a darker hue. The fairy lights hung over his window glinting a few flecks of gold.
“You-” Harry’s looking shell shocked, but honestly Louis can’t think of anything he wouldn’t do right now if Harry named it. “You want me to decide?”
Louis rolls his eyes fondly, still working his hand over Harry’s crotch. “Don’t look so surprised,” and his voice is more tender than he’d like, seeing as how all he wants to do right now is make his boy see stars. His bare thighs are straddling Harry’s skinny hips and he hovers over him, leaning them back against the sheets. He smiles into another kiss. “Surely I wasn’t the only one who kept a journal?”
“Journal?” Harry’s lips are in that pink-going-on-red stage, at the point where you can tell he’s been kissing someone.
“Yeah, a wank journal.” He’s got no shame for it, truthfully. “C’mon Haz, all the long distance couples keep them, honestly.”
“You mean you wrote it all down?” Harry’s propping himself up on his elbows now, looking both flustered and disbelieving. “Like, all things you wanted with me?”
Louis just takes in the small, awe-crooked smile tugging at the corner of Harry’s lips, and nods. Sometimes he forgets that they're nineteen and twenty-one now, that Harry isn't the same blushing sixteen year old he was when they’d first gotten the courage to discover each other. Time flies too quickly to keep score.
Harry looks him up and down, taking in Louis’ bare chest and flushed cheeks. They’re both down to nothing but the thin material of their boxer briefs at this point. Louis thinks maybe even that’s still too much between them.
“I can show it to you at some point, if you’d like?” He quirks an eyebrow. “Packed it in my carry on, just in case.”
“Yeah,” Harry nods, cheeks a little more pink than before. So maybe he did keep his blush after all. “If you wanted to, I would, I mean-”
Louis chuckles, “You’re rambling, love.” With that, he lowers himself onto Harry’s lap again and shifts back and forth, not all too subtly. Harry’s breath is shaky and his hands come up to rest on Louis' waist again. He’s looking a bit lost for words, a puzzled quirk playing at the corner of his mouth.
Regardless of the time they’ve spent apart Louis can still remember which tricks get to Harry the most. So when he leans forward and rolls his hips against the hardening cock beneath him, he's rewarded with a breathy moan that sounds like his name.
“What’s the one thing you’ve wanted most while we’ve been apart?” His words of reminder are hot and damp against the curve of Harry’s ear, and he can feel the goosebumps that rise along Harry’s bicep where his hand is holding. Harry tilts his head back, silently telling Louis he wants his mouth there. As Louis trails his lips against his sun kissed skin, he can feel the low vibrations of Harry's speech.
“Mostly just,” Louis snakes his fingers beneath Harry's waistband and thumbs down his hard shaft, which is leaking with pre-come. "I would think about-" But his sentence ends in a low moan as Louis sucks a bite mark into his neck.
"Would you think about me?" Louis asks.
Harry nods quickly, "always."
Louis feels a fire in his belly and it's building. He starts pumping Harry faster, pleased. "What about me?"
Harry visibly swallows. "Your hips and the way your thighs shake when you’re about to come."
"Yeah?" He places an opened mouth kiss against Harry’s collarbone. Both their voices are gone now, breath trying to catch up with the new pace. Louis thumbs over Harry's slit and the keening noise he elicits sends a shock of heat down Louis’ spine.
"Keep going," he commands.
"When I would touch myself, I'd be wanting you around me." Harry’s squirming against the sheets, teeth biting down on his lower lip to restrain another moan as Louis’ idle hand plays with one of his nipples.
Louis' mouth travels back up to the shell of Harry's ear and he knows he's got him close. "Tell me."
"I'd think about you riding me," Harry's blunt nails dig into Louis' shoulder blades and his hips lift up to meet Louis' palm, hard line of his cock straining for release. Louis doesn't hesitate and pumps him at a rhythm to match their fast beating hearts. A wide, cheshire cat grin breaks over his own features and he can feel it.
"Well don't leave me hanging, finish the story." He tries to sound as nonchalant as possible, but all he's thinking about is Harry's cock inside him and making him see stars.
"I'd think about watching you make yourself come apart and begging me to take you." And Louis jerks at that, hand stuttering inside Harry's boxers and Harry moans with something that sounds like a growl, fucking himself into Louis' hand as he comes. "Fuck, Lou."
And Louis can't take it any more, before Harry's even stilled he withdraws his hand, still slick with come and takes ahold of himself within his boxers - pulling down his own shaft with a breathless one, two, three and he's coming into his fist.
Both of them pant heavily for a minute, trying to blink the white from their vision. Louis sits back on Harry's lap, hands on Harry's tense stomach. It’s really not that complicated of a request, but it’s just. He never knew he wanted the same thing until now.
“Yeah?” he repeats.
“Yeah.” Harry nods, voice thick.
Harry’s pressed into the covers of the bedspread from the weight of Louis being on top of him, dark curls contrasting with the white pillow case like a halo. "Alright," he’s murmuring. He rolls to the side somewhat awkwardly so that he can peel his sticky shorts off, tossing them somewhere that seems far away. He feels the bed shift as Harry attempts to do the same. His cock bobs against his thigh, still half hard with the echoes of Harry’s request at the front of his mind.
He brackets his knees on either side of Harry’s waist and looks over his boy, all long limbs and sated smile, looking like he’s still coming back from the other side. He leans down to kiss him back to life. “Come back to me, darling.”
“It’s hard,” Harry noses against his cheek. “You ruin me every time, have to recover.”
Louis just grins. After a beat of silence he pulls back to look Harry in the eyes, sky meeting earth and blue meeting green. “Can you say it again?”
One of Harry's thumbs massages the soft skin around his hips, the other leaves light traces of fingertips as it journeys down Louis' spine until it meets the top of his hole. Louis' breath falters in his lungs.
"I want you to come apart on your own fingers, until you're ready for me to fuck you."
Louis’ stomach drops about four levels. His minds settles over the image of Harry's expression as he comes undone by himself. He wants to say something that might tip Harry off of the dominant podium, but all he can manage is, “fuck yes.”
Harry smirks against Louis' cheek and he can feel it. Closing his eyes, he brings his right hand up to his lips and licks over his fingertips, sucking in his index first and taking it down to the knuckle. He can feel Harry lying back against the sheets to watch, and hears a whine when he draws the finger out with a trail of saliva. He takes it back in and smiles at the thought that maybe he could get Harry off on just this alone.
He takes in his middle and ring fingers and coats them as well, opening his eyes to watch Harry’s reaction as he trails his fingers down his stomach, past his hip and lower, lower, lower. Until he's brushing his fingers under his balls and continuing back into the familiar awkward angle.
He circles the sensitive ring lightly - not missing the way Harry’s throat bobs with swallow - before entering with one finger. He draws it out and the drag of slow heat loosens as he begins a steady rhythm. It’s neither painful or pleasurable.
“Another,” Harry commands, words sounding like they’ve been lodged in the back of his throat for some time.
Louis obeys, going further and adding two instead of one. He focuses on making small curls and twists with every upthrust. His eyes shift from where they had been resting on Harry’s collarbones to below the younger boy’s torso, and he can see that Harry’s just as hard as he is, still confined in his boxers.
"Good?" he hears Harry ask. He nods again, feeling like at this point it's all he can do. He thrusts his fingers in deeper and flicks his wrist in a way that he knows will make his skin tingle. He doesn't even know he's moaning Harry's name until he hears it himself.
"Shit, Louis." Harry is halfway wrecked and Louis is becoming impatient.
"'M’ready," he breathes.
"Alright, do you want me to-?"
"No," Louis cuts him off, knowing the question. "Wanna feel you."
"Okay, yeah," Harry's tripping over his words and fumbling with the drawer of the nightstand. Louis spots something resting on a post of the bed's headboard.
Harry's uncapping the lube when Louis leans in and kisses him breathless, darting his tongue along the seam of his cherry-red mouth and breathing into him. Harry’s startled at first, having been distracted, but responds by sliding his tongue against Louis’ own. When Louis breaks away and leans back he's putting on Harry's LA Lakers snapback, the same one that Harry had worn to the airport earlier, with the bill facing backwards.
"Are you trying to kill me?" Harry's pulse is jumping where Louis rests his finger on his throat.
"No point in that, be lost without you.” Even just hearing himself say it makes a very different kind of heat settle in his chest.
Harry breathes a little desperately. He’s got sweat glistening off of his chest and forehead, got bruises starting to form along his neck. Louis thinks maybe this boy is his own personal California.
So he leans down and kisses him lightly. "I love you," and his chest rises, heart fluttering like a bird that's only just learned how to fly. "With all my clouded nights."
When he pulls back Harry’s eyes are glassy and he’s biting his lip and Louis knows. Knows exactly how he feels because he’ll be damned if he isn’t a perfect mirror of that expression.
“It wasn’t easy, leaving home.” Harry is quiet. “It wasn’t easy leaving you.”
“I know,” Louis murmurs, thumb tracing the line of Harry’s cheek bone. “It wasn’t easy letting you go.”
Harry's eyes search his features, trying to absorb as much if Louis as he can in one look. His mouth is doing that thing where it can't decide on which smile to show. Louis feels a dip in his chest as he thinks, I did this, I made him this happy. And there's a strong beat quivering through him, chanting a steady mine mine mine.
He gives a second's thought to what his life might be like if they hadn't held together through the toughest times. One look, one touch, one beat of his heart and he feels so proud, proud of how long they've lasted. It fills him to the brim.
Harry reaches up and pulls him down, bringing them together in a kiss that feels different - feels new and surging. It's slow and unrushed and Louis thinks of the crashing waves at the ocean's cliffs, the way the tide pulls back out to sea only to race back into shore. Like it's unable to keep any amount of distance inbetween. The kiss goes on for what could be a lifetime. Louis has both his hands on either side of Harry's neck, fingers tangling in his hair, and Louis faintly registers that maybe their love is like the tide, pushing and pulling but strong and sure.
When they break apart, Louis' words are light against Harry's lips. He rolls his hips down. "Take me."
Harry just nods, breathless. He reaches for the lube and Louis feels the snapback slipping off to the side. He reaches up to pull it off, but Harry stops him. "No, wear it, makes you look like you're mine."
He doesn't have any kind of response for that, just feels his skin flush as he reaches up to secure the bill back in place.
Perhaps it's a true testament to how long they've both been wanting this that they're both still achingly hard. He can feel his dick leaking against his stomach. Louis sits back on his haunches and lifts himself up as Harry gets ahold of himself.
"Ready?" Harry asks, holding himself at his base. He has this lovely blush of color spreading from his cheeks, down his neck and over his chest. "Gonna take my cock?"
"Yeah," and he isn’t surprised that he sounds like he could beg for it. He lines himself over it, hands holding into the small curve of Harry’s waist as he sinks down until there are no lines between them.
"Fucking hell," He hears Harry whine, arching off the mattress slightly.
It's all Louis can do to release his breath and adjust. Harry gives him a moment, but they're still slightly shifting. Louis experimentally swivels his hips and moans in a way he should be embarrassed about, but isn't.
"You're so tight," he hears. "God, Louis, you're so perfect."
"Gonna move now," he bites out. The heat in his lower stomach is expanding within him from head to toe. Harry's response is to fist at the sheets, and Louis takes that as a green light.
He lifts himself up until Harry is almost completely pulled out before sitting back down, feeling the smooth glide at a slightly faster pace. He breathes out a short breath as Harry pushes against his walls. He feels electricity course through his veins and goes after it, raising up again to slide back down.
"You look so good." Harry's fingernails are dragging against the tops of his thighs. He's trying not to buck up into him, trying to restrain himself and starting to tremor with it. "Look so good in my hat, Lou."
Louis breath catches and he loses it, breaking into a steady rhythm until he's bouncing on Harry's cock, making unashamed whiny noises in the back of his throat. Harry's everywhere. He's on the backs of his eyelids as he tilts his head back, feeling the brim of the snapback graze his neck. He's in the fire that burns down his limbs as goosebumps brought on by pleasure rise along his skin. He's under his fingernails where they hold desperately. He's inside his chest, filling all his empty spaces.
"You're so beautiful," Louis hears him say. They lock eyes and Harry looks so wrecked, with his hair sweat matted and unruly. Louis feels like he's flying.
His nails draw angry red lines down Harry's chest and abs and he arches his spine into a small curve so that he's leaning over him more, still moving. "Fuck me," and the words leave him in a hiss.
"Yeah?" Harry's asking, and Louis might laugh at him for so easily slipping into the controlling mindset if it wasn't for the fact that he was so turned on by it. "You want it fast?"
"Yes, fuck Harry," His hips are nearing frantic now, the sound of their skin on skin fills the silence along with their heavy breath. "I need it-"
His voice shakes and it sounds something like a sob because every movement is so close to getting him there, but it's not enough. "Please."
That's all it takes and Louis feels him chase it, feels Harry's fingers dig into his hips and he knows there will be marks there tomorrow. Good, he thinks. He can feel his heartbeat in his ears and wonders how he ever let five thousand miles keep him from this.
Harry hasn't been the one to give it all that often in their past, but he wastes no time in letting muscle memory take over, hitting his prostate on the second thrust. Louis cries out and clenches around him and he knows in the back of his mind that this was never meant to last very long. His thighs are shaking and he knows now that it's a small detail that Harry loves. "Almost there-"
One of Harry's hands takes ahold of Louis' cock and pumps him. "Come for me, gorgeous."
It's all there in Harry's voice, sounding like he's in awe of him, it's pure adoration. That alone is enough to send him over the edge, muscles tightening as he continues to fuck himself down onto Harry's cock through it, his eyes close and he tips his jaw back, shooting onto Harry's chest and even onto his chin and lips.
"Fuck-" Harry's hips snap faster, more frantic than before as Louis floats in his light-minded state, his chest is heaving and he feels a smile dance over his lips. He's oversensitive and feels each of the drags with a magnified pulse.
"Come on, baby," Louis whispers, hands around Harry's ribs and locking their eyes. It's intense, Harry’s panting on short breaths. Despite just coming for the second time, Louis is able to use the last of his strength to clench around him again. "Let go."
Harry thrusts four more times and comes inside him, their eyes still gazing at each other and Louis' name on his lips. It's filthy and hot and Louis has never felt so high and exhausted from something in his whole life. Harry falls back into the pillow and just looks up at him and shakes his head, dazed and so, so beautiful.
For a few moments, they're just breathing. They stay slotted together, able to feel each other's smallest movements as they both descend from their peaks at a slow pace. Eventually Louis lifts himself off of Harry's lap and whimpers at the loss, feeling himself leak out with come. He feels like he's been claimed and it's both equal parts wonderful and dizzying.
"C'mere," Harry makes grabby hands at him, and really, Louis has never been able to resist those.
He lies down in Harry's arms and twines their legs together. He's still wearing Harry's snapback and reaches up pull it on tighter, liking how he can make it known to the soft light of the room that Harry is his. They're both sweaty and sticky but Louis couldn't be happier. From this night on, he'll be spending the longest amount of uninterrupted time he has with Harry since Louis had to start university. Since they both had to grow up.
They lay together, neither of them able to voice how right it feels to be whole again. Louis steals light butterfly kisses against Harry's neck, cheeks and lips. Harry hums into him with his sleepy eyes glistening down at him, fitting against him like a rediscovered puzzle piece.
"I love you," he hears as he settles his head into the crook of Harry’s shoulder, ready to sleep. "With all my youthful days and paper bones."