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Trade All My Tomorrows for Just One Yesterday

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DAY ONE

The day starts with the radio blaring to life, and The Wanted shout that they're glad you came as Louis rolls over and puts his pillow over his ears. He doesn't remember setting the hotel's clock radio, and definitely not so loud; probably one of the lads set it last night, as a prank.

It's a terrible prank, so it was probably Liam. Louis kicks a bit in anger, but his legs are all tangled up in the sheets so it doesn't help him feel any better.

"Good morning, New York!" says one of the DJs, over The Wanted. "Eight A.M., rise and shine!"

"It's going to be a hot one today," says the other DJ.

"What, are you worried about your sweaty balls?" says the first DJ, and they add some stupid sound effects while they both laugh. Louis isn't awake enough to shove the clock radio off the night stand and break it. Maybe he shouldn't have gone out with Zayn and had quite so many drinks last night.

"Big news tonight," says one of the DJs, finally, mercifully making The Wanted fade out. "There's a One Direction concert!"

"If you don't know who that is, ask the nearest six year old girl," says the other one, and they queue up the sound of screaming, crying children.

"Ha ha ha," says the first DJ. "Okay, serious question for the listeners, so tweet us or tell us your thoughts on Facebook guys. Seriously. Seriously, is One Direction the gayest band in history?"

There's a lady DJ as well, apparently, because she laughs and says, "Oh no, you can't ask that!"

"Well I just did!" crows the first DJ. He adds in the sound of people applauding him. Louis hates DJs. He really honestly does. Louis flails out from under the blankets and curses his pounding head as he tries to see where the 'off' button is on the radio. "I saw clips of their show from England, and like, these dudes were rolling around, wrestling on stage, grabbing each other's asses. So tweet us and let us know if you think One Direction is even gayer than Adam Lambert."

"No one's gayer than Adam Lambert!"

"Queen, maybe?"

"Clay Aiken!"

Louis smacks the radio with his open hand and hits all the buttons at once. It goes fuzzy, so he hits it again, and this time it's quiet.

"Thank fuck," says Louis. He sits up and rubs his eyes. He's got a bit of a boner but he's too lazy to do anything about it, and anyway mostly he just needs to piss. When he sees Liam later he's going to do something awful to him in retaliation for the radio prank. Sometimes Louis regrets having taught Liam how to be so naughty.

He doesn't bother with a shower because he'll just have to do it again before the show later. He pulls on a pair of jeans – they aren't jeggings never mind what Zayn says – and cuffs the ankles, because his ankles need to breathe freely. The first shirt he finds is Liam's, because Louis's been on a campaign to steal Liam's clothing lately, and then ruin it before he gives it back. He's waiting to see how many things he can destroy before Liam gets pissy about it. So far he's mostly just looked confused.

They've got a really nice suite of rooms with a common area for dining, so Louis decides to go and see if anyone else is awake. He's got a nasty pounding in his head, behind his eyes, and he wants to take it out on someone.

Naturally the person who's up is Liam, drinking orange juice and wearing joggers and a t-shirt and looking all sweaty. "The gym here is wicked," says Liam.

Louis grabs the first thing he sees, which ends up being a chair cushion, and throws it at Liam's head. It goes wide by several feet, but Liam pretends to duck anyway. "You fucked with my radio," Louis says accusingly.

Liam grins at him. Seriously, why did Louis teach him to be a jerk? All his chickens are coming home to roost. "Serves you right, going out with Zayn 'til all hours when we have a photo shoot today, early," says Liam.

"You're just jealous that we didn't invite you," says Louis, and feels a bit triumphant when Liam's face goes a tiny bit sulky. "Where is the tea? I need an entire box of tea."

Liam tosses the box of Yorkshire tea at him. "There's milk in the fridge. This is a really nice hotel. You should come down to the gym, there's a pool, and a sauna, and a, what do you call it, a steam room."

"I'm not going to the gym. I'm going to sit here and drink my tea, and think of really evil and nasty things to do to you later," says Louis, sitting down with his tea. They've started demanding hotels provide them with electric kettles, because Americans won't have them otherwise. It's the most uncivilized thing about the bloody country.

"Last week you threw all my pants out the window," says Liam. "And the week before that you gave me tea with salt instead of sugar."

"It's your own fault for wanting sugar in your tea at all," says Louis, not feeling even the slightest bit sorry.

Liam shakes his head, looking somewhere between a disapproving mum and a disappointed puppy. "Well, I've just had an excellent run, and I'm going to go and shower. Enjoy your tea."

"Revenge!" Louis shouts after him. Liam just shrugs. Louis will have to do something really clever to get him back.

Harry walks in as Liam's walking out, and he frowns at Louis a bit. "Revenge?" he says. His voice is all scratchy and deep. He sounds like he was out all night, although he wasn't with Louis and Zayn at the club.

"Liam set my radio to play The Wanted this morning," Louis says, although Liam probably couldn't have planned that.

"Ah," says Harry. He stares at Louis's tea longingly, but Louis'll be fucked if he gets Harry Styles tea just because Harry is using his sad face. The kettle is literally inches from Harry's fingertips.

"You look tired," says Louis, just a bit accusingly.

Harry flips his hair down in front of his eyes and makes himself some tea. Very suspicious behavior, and if Louis were more awake, he'd wonder what's going on. "Did you have sex with someone?" asks Louis loudly, just as Harry's flipping his hair back up.

Harry promptly spills his tea. "Oh, fuck," he says. He grabs a towel off the stack of neatly-folded hotel linens and dabs at himself.

"Who was it?" Louis asks, leaning forward eagerly. "Did you wrap it before you tapped it? Loads of our fans are dirty girls, Harry. Don't be silly, protect your willy."

"Fuck off," says Harry, laughing. "It wasn't like that, and anyway we were careful. And it's none of your business, anyway. Awww, I've spilled my tea."

"I'm not making you any more," says Louis firmly. "I've got a headache."

Harry gives him a look of unmatchable reproach and fills the kettle again.

"Me and Zayn were out so late," Louis says. "Someone get me a paracetamol. I'm a world famous pop star. Shouldn't someone's job be to get me pills?"

"What, like, coke?" Niall asks, popping in. He's looking tired and rumpled and he's wearing one of Harry's shirts, which Louis approves of, since he's wearing one of Liam's.

"Coke doesn't come in pills, you idiot," says Louis.

"How the fuck would I know?" Niall laughs, and start pawing through the basket of muffins and bagels. "Are we ordering food before the photo shoot? And is someone gonna wake Zayn up?"

"Let Liam do it, he's mister sunshine in the morning," says Louis. Maybe he should have showered. Whatever; Lou'll fix his hair before they take the pictures. He hopes it's going to be a stand-around-looking-pretty photoshoot. He's too tired to roll around and jump on everyone, and he wants a nap before the show tonight.

"I'm starved," says Niall, and stuffs half a muffin in his mouth. "Let's order food. Loads and loads of food." He looks at Harry and grins, and Harry laughs and ducks under his hair and goes back to making tea.

Louis is the last one down to the lobby, because Liam has dragged Zayn bodily out of bed, and Harry and Niall have their heads together whispering and giggling about something. Paul is herding everyone else out, which means Louis has to push through a small crowd of girls to get outside. One of them is holding a giant sign hand-decorated with One Direction she's outlined in glitter, and another bursts into tears as soon as she sees him.

"Louis, can you sign this? Can you take a picture?"

"Sorry," says Louis, waving. "I'm in a rush." Paul looks unhappy that Louis's running behind, so Louis gives the girls an apologetic smile and pushes past them to climb into the van outside with everyone else.

"They're all crying," says Liam, frowning. He makes like he's going to climb out of the van, and Louis and Zayn both grab him at once.

"We're late," says Paul firmly, closing the van door.

Harry looks a bit sad. "I wish we could talk to all of them."

"Tragedy of being an international super star," says Louis, shrugging. Niall flicks him on the ear. "Ow," says Louis sulkily, sinking into his seat. "It's not like I made them cry."

"You could have stopped for a picture," Liam points out.

"Next time," Louis promises carelessly, but he does feel a bit bad about it. He tries to stop for the fans, he's just got a headache and he's grumpy he can't spend the day napping. Next time he'll stop, and he'll pose for so many pictures Liam and Harry'll die of jealousy. That's a good plan.

"Don't mind him, he's just hungover," says Zayn, wrapping his arms around Liam's neck for a cuddle.

Liam lets Zayn drag him into his lap, despite Paul's little disapproving look. "Did you two have fun?" Liam asks, with just a hint of wistfulness.

"Yes," says Louis. Screaming girls have chased the van halfway down a city block, and traffic in New York is so terrible that they're going to catch up again. Louis sinks a little below the window, while Niall turns and waves, setting off a wave of screams that they can hear, even in the van. "We had an amazing time. I've never had so much fun."

"Sorry we left without you," says Zayn, kissing Liam's temple. It makes Louis inexplicably grumpier.

"Not sorry," Louis says. "You always tell me I'm drinking too much."

"Well, you did drink too much; you've got a hangover," Liam points out. Louis kicks him. Liam laughs and kicks him back, and then Zayn pulls out his phone to text Perrie, and Liam and Niall point out all the famous things they're driving past as they go.

The photoshoot is loud and bright and it makes Louis grumpy. Every time they're asked to pose, Louis pokes Liam, or shoves Niall, or jumps on Zayn, so that they're always falling down as the picture is taken. He ruins every "sexy faces" shot with a deliberately stupid expression, until everyone's exasperated and tired of him. "Louis," says Liam reproachfully, and tries to fix Louis's hair for him and straighten his shirt, but Louis doesn't feel like being mothered by Liam and slaps his hands away. Liam rolls his eyes and stomps off.

There's an awkward, slightly nervous interviewer who asks all the questions they've specifically said they're tired of answering. "Who's got a girlfriend?" Zayn raises his hand, while Liam gets that sad, dopey look on his face, and Louis probably looks a bit wistful, thinking about Eleanor. It's better this way, she doesn't get harassed and they're still friends, but he misses having someone he could bitch to, and cuddle with, and take to the beach in Oman.

They make their own fun during bad interviews; Louis pinches Liam and Liam jumps and starts to swear and catches himself, glaring at Louis. The interviewer asks Niall to do his New York accent, and then she gives them presents. Liam gets a toy for Loki, and Louis gets a nice pair of sunglasses for his next holiday. Niall gets a pint glass from some New York brewery, and Harry gets a sparkly headband, which he promptly puts on and then he and Niall giggle. "And for Zayn, here's a copy of this special Batman comic that we tracked down."

"Oh my god," says Zayn, eyes wide.

"Cool!" says Liam enthusiastically.

"Really cool," Zayn agrees. "Cheers, that's amazing."

The interviewer blushes and giggles, even though she's old enough to be their mum. Zayn and Harry have that effect on ladies. Louis rolls his eyes.

The shoot has laid out a table with snacks and tea, which is a good idea, as it stops Niall from whining the entire time. He stuffs his cheeks full of sweets like a squirrel and Harry giggles and says he'll do CPR if Niall chokes. It's not a joke, not really, because Niall did choke one time when he tried to eat too many biscuits at a go on a dare, but he just grins at Harry with a mouth full of food.

"Tea?" says Liam, bumping Louis with his hip.

"None of your sugary shit, thank you," says Louis, sniffing disapprovingly.

"Jesus, you really are a bear with a sore head today," says Liam cheerfully, and takes his tea off to go and giggle with Harry and Niall.

Zayn bumps Louis from behind. "Stop being such a twat to Liam."

"I'm not—" Louis says, turning around, but he turns too quickly and his tea sloshes out of his cup and over Zayn's comic.

"Fuck!" Zayn shouts, snatching the comic back and shaking it out.

"Shit, I’m sorry," says Louis, throwing the cup down and scrambling to help Zayn get tea off his comic. The cover has a big damp brown patch, and even when Zayn shakes it out it's clear it's damp all the way through.

"Fuck, Louis, you fucking ruined it," says Zayn. "You've been a fucking twat all day."

"I'll buy you another one," says Louis, feeling genuinely bad. "We're billionaires, aren't we? I'm sure I can find one."

Zayn gets quite sulky when he's upset. "I could bloody find it on the bloody internet," he snaps. "I liked having this copy, and now it's ruined. Fuck."

"I said I was sorry!" Louis says, but Zayn stomps off anyway.

Louis's tired, and his head hurts, and he feels guilty over the fans, and over Zayn. He makes himself a cup of tea that he doesn't even want and then settles in a corner with his cup and his phone and proceeds to ignore everyone. Zayn is off bitching to Harry and waving his comic around, not that Louis keeps looking over to see what he's up to. At one point Liam jogs over and kicks Louis's trainer and says, "Alright, Tommo?" in a hopeful sort of way, but Louis scowls at him until Liam leaves.

Eventually they have to go, and Niall shoves Louis and laughs and says, "You've been a right bitch today, all day, haven't you?"

"Shut up," says Louis cleverly. Niall just laughs.

Louis finally gets a chance to take his nap when they get back to the hotel, but Harry follows him upstairs. Louis tries to close the door in as discouraging a way as possible, but Harry just grins and comes in anyway.

Louis throws himself face-down on the bed and hopes Harry will go away. Harry follows him and sits on the bed instead. "Hey," says Harry, drawling the word out.

"Fuck off," says Louis into the pillow.

"No, come on," says Harry. He puts his hand on Louis's back and shakes him. "What's wrong with you today?"

"I'm just in a pissy mood, fuck off and leave me alone," says Louis.

Harry sighs. "You could try, a little. Zayn's cross, and you keep shouting at Liam, and —"

"Liam's annoying, and Zayn's being a baby," says Louis. He rolls over so he can glare at Harry. "You're only in a good mood because you got fucked last night, right? So leave me the fuck alone."

Harry pouts. "Do you want a cuddle?"

"No," says Louis, and kicks Harry.

Harry sighs heavily. "Fine, whatever. I'm sorry I tried."

"Bahhhhhh," says Louis. He puts a pillow over his face and waits until he hears Harry leave before he rolls out from under it.

If Louis's honest with himself, there's no good reason for his shitty mood. He's angry with himself for making Zayn so mad, and he's grumpy that everyone keeps trying to cheer him up. He's definitely jealous that Harry's getting laid. The problem with their lives is that he can never get twenty minutes to just be alone with his misery, there's always something to do, or someone around. Louis would be pleasant and charming if he could just be alone.

Actually, he's alone right now, and it feels pretty shit. Louis sits up. He's tired, but he's not sleepy. After a minute of consideration he gets out of bed and wanders down the hall to the first open door, which happens to be Liam's.

Liam's playing a game on his PSP, probably FIFA or something. He doesn't look up when Louis comes in, which is annoying, so Louis throws himself on Liam's bed and kicks Liam for a while.

"Hey, you made me miss a goal," says Liam, sticking his lower lip out.

"Good," says Louis. "Entertain me."

"Er," says Liam, looking confused. "Like, do you want me to sing or something?"

"Fuck, no, do something fun. Be fun. Go on."

Liam looks honestly baffled. "D'you want to see if we can sneak out? Or skateboard in the hall? Or—"

"No, shut up, I don't know," says Louis. He wiggles around so he can put his head on Liam's thigh. "Put on the telly, they've always got things to watch on cable here, right?"

"Right," Liam echoes. He puts his game down and picks up the remote. Louis would feel a little bad about commandeering Liam's time, except Liam hates being alone anyway. Liam flips through a bunch of channels and settles on a cooking program, where a bunch of things called food trucks are having a competition. "This alright?"

"I don't care," says Louis, because he doesn't. He likes hanging out with Liam; Liam lets Louis do whatever he wants. There's a particularly fit lady in one of the food trucks, and Louis thinks idly about having a wank, but that'd be a bit awkward when he's lying on top of Liam. Unless Liam wanted to have a wank, too. They could both get off, and that would serve Harry right for being so smug about whoever he did last night.

"Fancy a shag?" Louis asks, rolling so he can look up at Liam.

He's almost entirely joking, but Liam goes bright red and stares at the ceiling. "Uh," he says. "No?" His voice goes squeaky and tight.

"I was thinking about having a wank, getting some tension out before the show," Louis says, just to see how red he can make Liam.

"That's what the toilet's for," Liam says, with just a touch of reproach. He's still staring straight up at the ceiling, which... is weird. From this angle Louis can see how plump Liam's lower lip is, and it might actually be fun to have a snog first, see how that goes. Liam's got a good mouth, and excellent arms. Louis's been single for long enough that he's started thinking dirty thoughts about his mates, apparently.

Louis very deliberately pats Liam's upper, inner thigh, just to see if Liam's getting hard from this conversation. He is. Louis grins. "I think you're up for it," he says, and Liam makes a strangled noise and shoves him off his lap.

Liam's saved from any more dirty comments because Harry comes in to the room crying. "You okay?" Liam asks.

Harry climbs on to Liam's bed and puts his arms around Louis, who's just sat up, and cries into Louis's neck. "Has someone died, Haz?" Louis asks, giving Liam a baffled look.

"No," says Harry miserably.

"Fight with Zayn over whose hair is prettier?"

"Louis," says Liam, shaking his head. Louis could get awfully tired of Liam making that judgmental face at him.

"I don't want to talk about it," says Harry, absolutely miserably. He sniffles hard and then looks up, red-eyed, at them. "Liam, you should go and find Niall."

"Are you kicking him out of his own room?" Louis asks. Harry shrugs.

"Shit, is Niall upset, too? What happened?" Liam asks, but he's already getting up. It's nice their band is big enough that no matter how many people are upset, there's enough others left over for cuddles. "I'll go and get some food and then find him."

After Liam's left, Harry spends a while crying quietly into Louis's chest. Louis isn't a complete idiot; the hangover has made him a bit slow, but he does work things out eventually. "Niall's upset too, eh?" he says, rubbing Harry's back with one hand.

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Because... last night..."

"Shut up, I don't want to talk about it," Harry insists. He pinches Louis's side and Louis pokes him in the ribs, but he doesn't say anything else. A shag between mates gone wrong, apparently, and now Louis's doubly glad he was only teasing Liam. Imagine if the whole band were shagging and then things blew up. Disaster.

Eventually Harry's crying tapers off, at least partially because he's watching the cooking show that Liam left on. "You gonna be alright for the show tonight?" Louis asks quietly.

"Shh, he's making vegan cupcakes," says Harry.

"The show tonight," Louis repeats. "You and Niall—"

"We're professionals," says Harry. His lower lip goes a bit trembly and his eyes fill up with tears again. "I... I mean... It was a bad idea anyway, wasn't it?"

"It was a terrible idea," Louis agrees gently, and kisses the top of Harry's head.

The show isn't a disaster, but it isn't great, either. Zayn's still mad at Louis and tries to stay at the opposite side of the stage from him, and Niall and Harry are very deliberately not looking at each other, which leaves Liam running back and forth across the stage like he's delivering messages between warring camps.

Liam's energetic, but no amount of bouncing around can make up for everyone else's terrible moods. During the twitter questions they're asked to do handstands, and Liam's the only one who really bothers. Niall lies down flat on the stage, which is funny, except he looks a bit sad to Louis. Louis decides to try and do a handstand for real, and falls over on his head, which is funny, but it hurts. Liam grins at him.

It's just not one of their best shows. They all rally, toward the end, but the energy has been low all night. At the last couple of songs Louis bounces off Liam, and Niall chases Zayn around a bit. At the end, Liam puts his sweaty arm around Louis, and Louis puts his arm around Harry, and Harry hugs Zayn, and Zayn hugs Niall. But it isn't enough. There's still unhappiness between them, dragging everyone down. It hurts, because they're usually so well attuned to each other's moods.

"That sucked," says Zayn, as they walk off stage to change and shower.

"Stop being such a bitch about your comic, then," says Louis, because sometimes he can't stop himself. The look Zayn gives him could peel paint off the walls.

"We'll do better next time," says Liam firmly, hugging Zayn. Zayn shakes him off and goes to the shower.

Harry and Niall aren't looking at each other. Liam bites his lip and looks unhappy. "Who wants to go out tonight?" Louis asks. No one says anything. "C'mon, Liam; you're invited this time."

Liam glares a little. "No thanks, then," he says.

"You're such a cunt," Niall says, laughing at Louis. Then he glances over and sees Harry and some of the laughter drains out of his face. It looks unnatural.

"Harry?" Louis asks, because sometimes Harry likes to drink his troubles away. Harry shakes his head. "Fine, then," Louis snaps. "I'm getting drunk by myself. Who needs any of you?"

"We can all get drunk together!" Liam says brightly, but Harry throws a towel at him, and he deflates a bit. "A night's sleep might do us all a load of good," says Liam instead, sounding even more like someone's elderly dad than usual. Everyone ignores him.

It's a quiet ride back to the hotel, without any of the usual post-show jubilance. Maybe they're getting jaded, Louis thinks, or maybe the law of averages just demands that they have a really shit show now and then. Harry curls up with Louis on one of the benches of their van, and Niall and Liam sit together, murmuring quietly. Tomorrow Louis will feel better, and he'll help Niall and Harry work their shit out. Maybe dating inside the band isn't a great idea, but neither is hating someone in the band for breaking your heart.

"No one wants to go out?" Louis asks wistfully, but everyone goes off to their own room. Presumably, Zayn will call Perrie, and Harry will call Nick. Niall and Liam will probably stay up all night playing FIFA.

Louis is all alone, and it makes him angry, so he raids the minibar for a tiny bottle of vodka he can pour into a larger glass of juice. And then he passes out on his bed, promising himself that tomorrow he won't have such a shit day.

 

DAY TWO

The day starts with the radio blaring to life, and The Wanted shout that they're glad you came as Louis rolls over and puts his pillow over his ears. He doesn't remember setting the hotel's clock radio, and definitely not so loud; probably one of the lads set it last night, as a prank.

It's a terrible prank, so it was probably Liam. Louis kicks a bit in anger, but his legs are all tangled up in the sheets so it doesn't help him feel any better.

"Good morning, New York!" says one of the DJs, over The Wanted. "Eight A.M., rise and shine!"

"Fuck," says Louis, into the pillow. "Again?" It seems almost inhumanly cruel that he should be woken up by the same dumb prank and the same dumb song two mornings in a row.

"It's going to be a hot one today," says the other DJ.

"What, are you worried about your sweaty balls?" says the first D. Louis manages to sit up from his cocoon of sheets and blankets. Why on earth is the radio playing the same things it was yesterday?

"Big news tonight," says one of the DJs, as The Wanted fade out. "There's a One Direction concert!"

"If you don't know who that is, ask the nearest six year old girl," says the other one.

"What the fuck," says Louis. They're meant to be leaving this morning, right at the crack of dawn. Their next show is Boston, or Philadelphia, or some other American city Louis never thought he'd visit.

"Ha ha ha," says the first DJ. "Okay, serious question for the listeners, so tweet us or tell us your thoughts on Facebook guys. Seriously. Seriously, is One Direction the gayest band in history?"

The lady DJ laughs and says, "Oh no, you can't ask that!"

"Well I just did!" crows the first DJ.

Louis slaps the radio off and stares at it. Maybe something's gone wrong at the station, and they're playing yesterday's tape. Maybe Louis hallucinated that shit day yesterday. It felt real, though.

He gets dressed haunted by a severe case of deja vu. He starts to pick up Liam's t-shirt off the floor and changes his mind, in favor of a jumper he stole off Harry. There, he thinks, now it isn't the same thing he imagined before.

Louis feels weird, and he only feels weirder when he walks into the dining room and kitchen of their suite, and there's Liam, drinking orange juice and wearing joggers and a t-shirt, looking all sweaty. "The gym here is wicked," says Liam.

Louis's stomach sinks. "You said that yesterday."

Liam blinks at him. "Yesterday we were in L.A. Remember? We only got in last night, and you and Zayn went out drinking. I didn't get to go to the gym."

"You said that exact same thing yesterday," Louis insists. He feels a bit like he's losing his mind. "You were wearing that, and you said that, and then I wanted tea, and you said—"

Liam tosses the box of Yorkshire at him. "There's milk in the fridge. This is a really nice hotel. You should come down to the gym, there's a pool, and a sauna, and a, what do you call it, a steam room."

"Yes!" says Louis, slightly hysterical. "You said that! If this is a joke, Liam, congratulations; you win. I'm absolutely freaked out. Good job."

Liam just stares at him in confusion. "Dunno what you're on about, Tommo," he says. "You're the one who's good at pranks. Last week you threw all my pants out the window."

"Yeah, and I'm sorry, so stop it," says Louis. Liam just keeps looking at him blankly. Liam isn't that good a liar; if someone's messing with Louis it isn't him.

"You're probably just hung over," says Liam soothingly. "You and Zayn were out pretty late. Did you have fun?" He sounds wistful. He sounds wistful again, to Louis, because he remembers Liam sounding wistful yesterday.

"I don't remember," says Louis, and it's sort of true. All he can think is I've done this exact morning before.

Liam shakes his head, looking somewhere between a disapproving mum and a disappointed puppy. "Well, I've just had an excellent run, and I'm going to go and shower. Enjoy your tea."

"Liam..." Louis says, and Liam stops on his way out, giving him a puzzled look, but Louis shakes his head. Telling Liam that he's losing his mind won't help.

Harry walks in as Liam's walking out, and he frowns at Louis a bit. "You alright?" he says. His voice is all scratchy and deep. Exactly like yesterday, but this time Louis knows it's because Harry was up all night fucking Niall.

"No," says Louis flatly. "I'm not alright at all."

Harry looks at Louis's tea longingly, but Louis already refused to get Harry tea this morning once, yesterday. That doesn't make any sense. Louis knows it doesn't make any sense, but he can't figure out a better way to think it. "I'd be better if I had some tea," says Harry.

"Then make some, I'm having a breakdown or something, I can't help," says Louis.

"What's wrong?" Harry asks, pouring himself a cup with a pouty expression. "Something with your sisters?"

"No..." says Louis. He feels so weird. It's really getting to him. "Listen, were you up all night shagging Niall?"

Harry promptly spills his tea. "Oh, fuck," he says. He grabs a neatly folded towel off the stack and dabs at himself.

"You were!" says Louis.

"Did you like... Hear something?" Harry asks, turning pink. He shakes his hair out of his eyes.

"Something like that," says Louis. He folds his arms on the table and hides his face in them. "I've got a splitting fucking headache. Someone get me some pills, please? Seriously, I need drugs. I might already be on drugs. Go and ask Zayn if we took really crazy hallucinogenic."

"What, like, coke?" Niall asks, popping in. Louis is afraid to look up, because Niall will be wearing Harry's t-shirt, exactly like he was yesterday. Louis groans into his arms.

"Don't think coke is a hallucinogenic," says Harry thoughtfully. He nudges Louis and hands him a little white bottle. "Here, found this for you."

At least this time Louis won't have a headache all day long. That's something.

"How the fuck would I know?" Niall laughs. "Are we ordering food before the photo shoot? And is someone gonna wake Zayn up?"

"Liam probably will," says Harry.

"I'm starved," says Niall. "Let's order food. Loads and loads of food." Louis swallows the pills with his tea, watching Niall and Harry grin and giggle at each other. How did he miss it yesterday? It's bloody obvious they're flirting. And it's better than Harry crying and the whole band feeling miserable, so Louis tries to feel optimistic about it. This time the day will go better.

Everything is exactly the same. Louis is the last one down to the lobby, because Liam has dragged Zayn bodily out of bed, and Harry and Niall have their heads together whispering and giggling, presumably because they're shagging. Paul herds everyone else out, so Louis has to push through a small crowd of girls. The same girl is holding the same sign hand-decorated with One Direction outlined in glitter, and another bursts into tears as soon as she sees him.

"Louis, can you sign this? Can you take a picture?"

"Jesus Christ," says Louis. This can't be a prank, it's way too elaborate. If this is deja vu it's much too vivid. Maybe he actually is losing his mind. "Does this seem just like it did yesterday?" he asks. The crying girl sobs into her hands. "Seriously," says Louis. "You were here yesterday morning, right? With the same sign?"

"You were in L.A. yesterday," says one of the girls, eyes huge.

"I fucking know I was," says Louis, and she flinches. He feels bad immediately, but also the entire world seems to be upside down, and he hasn't got any energy for crying fans today. Yesterday. Whatever day it is.

"Tomlinson!" Paul shouts.

"Just one picture?" says the girl hesitantly.

"What the fuck," says Louis, not to her, just to the universe. He looks up at the very lovely ceiling of the hotel, in case it's got any answers.

Liam jumps out of the van and comes jogging back for Louis. "You still drunk or something?" he mutters into Louis's ear as he pulls him along, with an apologetic smile for the fans.

"We're late," says Paul firmly, closing the van door.

Harry looks a bit sad. "I wish we could talk to all of them."

"Stop it!" Louis shouts. "Stop saying the exact same things you did yesterday!"

There is a very loud silence in the van. Harry gives Louis a concerned look. Zayn looks at Liam, who shrugs. Paul frowns at all of them.

"I'm not on drugs," says Louis, hiding his face in his hands. "At least, I don't remember taking any drugs. But I remember this."

"Okay," says Harry soothingly. He rubs Louis's back with one hand.

"It's not okay," says Louis, muffled by his hands. Screaming girls have chased the van halfway down a city block, and traffic in New York is so terrible that they're going to catch up again. Louis remembers that. "I've already had this morning once. And at the photo shoot I ruined Zayn's comic, and he's cross with me, and then Harry and Niall break up, and—"

"Whoa, what?" asks Liam.

Harry elbows Louis quite sharply. "Keep your breakdowns to yourself," he says.

"Is everyone going out and having fun without me?" Liam asks plaintively.

Zayn grabs Liam in a hug-headlock. "Sorry we left without you," says Zayn, kissing Liam's temple. Of course he does. Louis wants to throw himself out of the van before it can all happen again.

"Not sorry," Louis says. "This is fucked up, you guys. This is seriously fucked up."

They all exchange looks about him again. Louis bites his lip, so he won't keep explaining things that sound absolutely insane to everyone.

"Maybe I'm not sorry I missed it, if it messed you up so badly," Liam says. Niall cackles. Louis kicks him. Liam and Niall point out all the famous things they're driving past as they go and Louis tries to block his ears so he'll be able to convince himself he isn't going crazy.

The photoshoot is eerie the second time. Louis knows what the photographer's going to say before he says it, so he ends up mostly looking scared or horrified in the shots. All the lads are a bit annoyed, but Liam goes out of his way to get Louis tea and try and give him a comforting pat on the back. It doesn't help, though, because Louis is losing his mind and there's nothing Liam can do about it. Liam looks at him reproachfully, and tries to fix Louis's hair for him and straighten his shirt, but Louis doesn't feel like being mothered by Liam when he's having a breakdown and slaps his hands away. Liam rolls his eyes and stomps off. Louis realizes a moment too late that he's done the exact same thing he did yesterday.

The interviewer stumbles through the same awkward questions, and Louis feels like he's going to jump out of his skin. It was boring once; twice it's unbearable. He gets up and actually walks away for a minute, until Niall comes running to drag him back. They all look concerned, as well they should. "Have any of you got a girlfriend?" the interviewer asks, exactly the same.

Zayn goes to raise his hand, and Liam looks a bit sad, and Louis shouts, "I can see the future!"

There is a moment of silence.

"Ha," says Harry flatly. "Ha ha, Lou."

"He's hilarious, our Louis," says Zayn. Liam looks like he really thinks Louis's joking, but everyone else is looking more and more worried.

"You've got presents for us," says Louis. No one believes him. He doesn't even believe himself. "You've got a toy for Liam's dog, and a pint glass for Niall, and sunglasses for me, and a tiara thingy for Harry."

The interviewer's face falls a bit.

"You saw backstage," Zayn says accusingly.

"C'mon, Louis, you're ruining the fun," Niall chides.

"I am not!" Louis shouts. "I've done this all before, we did this yesterday! She gave Zayn a comic and then I spilled tea on the bloody thing and he was pissed at me all day! And then Harry and Niall broke up, or something, and the show was shit, and then I woke up and it was today again!"

There is a very loud silence. Again.

"Niall and Harry broke up?" squeaks the interviewer.

"Sometimes Louis takes a joke too far," says Zayn quickly, distracting her with a smoldering smile.

"I'm serious!" Louis yells, which is when Niall and Harry jump on him and knock him off his chair, and then their manager steps in and pauses the interview, and all the lads drag Louis away from the cameras and into a hallway where there are fewer people to stare.

"What the fuck," hisses Zayn. "Are you on drugs?"

"I don't know," says Louis miserably. He can't explain how he's already done all of this before, but he needs to share it with the boys – if anyone understands, it'll be them.

They clearly don't understand. Louis leans back against the wall and sinks down to sit on the floor. They all follow him down, sitting on the floor together.

"We all feel a bit mad sometimes," says Liam carefully. "Every interview feels like we've done it a million times, yeah?"

Louis shakes his head. "This exact interview. This exact day."

"Okay," says Harry. "Then what happens next?"

"I told you, we get presents, and I ruin Zayn's, and then—"

"Well, we haven't got presents," says Harry, interrupting. Louis's grateful. He sounds crazier every time he says it again.

"Well, no," Louis says. "Yesterday I didn't have a breakdown in the middle of the interview, because it was the first time it had happened."

They all look at each other over his head some more. Louis hates that, except he really, really wants one of them to say "just kidding!" and let him in on the joke.

"You can hold it together for today, right?" Zayn asks finally. "And then tomorrow maybe we can call someone, or get you someone to talk to. All this fame bullshit is getting to you, but we can fix it."

"Please don't start doing meth or something to help you forget about the stress and relax," Liam blurts. They all look at him and he goes a little pink. "That's what happens," Liam says insistently. "One of us cracks a bit, and starts doing drugs, and then it ruins everything for everyone, and we end up doing reunion tours with Blue and McFly in twenty years."

"Reckon that'd be okay, though," says Niall thoughtfully.

"I'm not on drugs, unless I did them with Zayn last night," says Louis. He looks at Zayn, and Zayn shakes his head.

"We didn't," he says. "But I'm not saying it was impossible for someone to slip something in to your drink, mate. Maybe it'll wear off."

It's not going to wear off. Louis has an unshakable sense of dread creeping over him. "Okay," he says, because he has to say something.

"More tea'll fix you up if you're feeling poorly," says Liam. He offers Louis a hand up. Louis hasn't even got the heart to be dead weight and try and drag Liam back down to the floor. Liam looks a little concerned about that.

They walk him back in, surrounding him, and he's always got someone's hand on his shoulder or his back or his arm. It's nice, but also a bit smothering. If Louis's ever needed smothering, though, it's now. He leans gratefully on Harry and lets Zayn hold his hand. Paul puts a hand on his forehead and says gruffly, "Reckon you won't die," and then pretends not to be concerned, but everyone's concerned. Hell, Louis's concerned about himself.

The interviewer brings out the presents, and they are exactly what Louis knew they'd be. She looks a bit embarrassed over it, which makes him feel bad. "This is wicked," says Zayn, eyes wide as he takes the comic.

"Be careful," Louis mutters. "I spilled tea on it yesterday."

"Looks okay to me," says Zayn.

"Right here," says Louis, pointing, but somehow he manages to grab the paper a little too hard, and it rips, and there's Zayn, holding a comic with the cover torn off.

"Fuck, Louis!" Zayn says.

"He's having a rough day, leave off him," says Liam.

"But—" Zayn starts, and then falls silent. He's still glaring.

"I'm really sorry," says Louis miserably.

"S'okay; crazy people get a pass," says Niall cheerfully. "Can we go back to the hotel and have a drink, please? I think we need one."

"Yes," say Louis and Paul and Harry, all in unison.

When they get back to the hotel, Louis insists he wants some time alone to nap, but Harry follows him upstairs, exactly like he did yesterday. Well, not exactly; this time Harry looks quite a bit more worried.

"What's going on?" Harry asks, climbing in to Louis's bed. "You feeling okay?"

"No, I feel awful," says Louis. "Go away."

"Come onnnnn," Harry says, trying to make Louis cuddle with him.

"What if this is catching?" Louis asks. "You'll get dementia off me. Go away."

"You can't catch dementia," Harry huffs. Louis buries his head under a blanket and waits. The next part is when Harry goes away. They've done this before.

Harry sighs heavily. "Fine, whatever. I'm sorry I tried."

"Bahhhhhh," says Louis. It's exactly the same. He waits for Harry to leave before he crawls out from under the blankets. "Is this a joke?" he asks the ceiling loudly. No one replies.

Yesterday he got bored and went and found Liam; this time he's going to do something different. Maybe if he changes, it won't all go on like it did before. He gets up and wanders around the suite looking for Zayn.

Zayn's on the phone to Perrie. "It's seriously cool, though, babe. Or it was before Louis ripped the cover off." Louis gives him a hopeful smile but Zayn scowls back. Zayn can really hold a grudge when he's feeling grumpy. "Speaking of which, guess who just walked in?"

"Hiya, Pezza," says Louis loudly. There is a shrill noise from the phone which is presumably Perrie yelling at him for ruining the comic. "I'm sorry, honestly, I'll get you a new one," Louis says to Zayn.

"I could bloody find it on the bloody internet," Zayn snaps. "I liked having this copy, and now it's ruined. Fuck."

Louis just sighs. He should have remembered that was what Zayn said yesterday. "Fine, I'm sorry. Please don't be cross with me, because the show tonight is going to suck. Niall and Harry will be upset with each other already."

"Oh for fuck's sake," says Zayn. "Are you still going on about your psychic powers?"

"I'm not joking around," Louis says. "I'm serious! I'm not psychic; I've just already been through this day."

"I'm on the phone," says Zayn, giving Louis a glare.

Louis sighs. "Fine. I'll go and find Liam. He's sympathetic."

Zayn snorts. "Of course he is."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Louis asks, but Zayn has gone back to his phone call with Perrie and is very obviously ignoring Louis again.

Louis sighs and goes to find Liam, who is playing FIFA, just like yesterday. "I'm losing my mind," says Louis loudly.

"You made me miss a goal," says Liam, looking up reproachfully. Louis must look genuinely upset, because he drops the game and holds his arms out and Louis crawls onto Liam's bed for a hug. "Still feeling weird about your deja vu?" Liam asks.

Liam gives excellent hugs. He's got really good arms, and he smells nicer than the rest of them, because he actually bothers to wash his clothes and take showers. Louis thinks about how yesterday he teased Liam about wanking each other, and how Liam went pink over it. "It's not deja vu, I don't think," says Louis into Liam's shoulder. "I'm losing my mind."

"It'll be okay," says Liam. It doesn't mean anything, but it's nice of him to say so.

"Flip on the telly, then," says Louis eventually, because he can't just hug Liam forever. "Cooking shows."

Liam gives him a strange look, but he turns the television on. It's the same show as yesterday, of course, with food trucks competing to see who can sell the most food at a concert. "This okay?" Liam asks.

"Yeah," says Louis. "In a minute Harry'll come in crying because him and Niall have had a fight."

"They wouldn't fight," says Liam.

"Okay," says Louis agreeably. He wonders if, when he's proven right, it'll make Liam believe him. He lies down to use Liam's leg as a pillow, and Liam puts his hand in Louis's hair, petting him gently. Liam's really quite alright, actually, Louis thinks. He glances up and Liam's still got the same plush red mouth as yesterday, the one Louis thought idly about kissing. He thinks about it again, about how Liam probably kisses really seriously, with a lot of effort and planning. In the beginning of the band he had to convince Liam that they didn't need to be serious every single day; it would be okay if they decided to goof off and have fun now and again. He wonders if Liam's the same way about shagging. All plans and thoughtfulness and concern he's not good enough, instead of giggling and being silly and ignoring the consequences.

Louis could doze off like this, with Liam's hand in his hair and the television playing quietly in the background, except Harry comes in, sniffling quietly to himself. He's obviously crying but trying not to. He climbs on to Liam's bed and Louis sits up, because he knows what's coming next. Harry puts his arms round Louis's neck. "Trouble with Niall?" Louis asks, giving Liam an I-told-you-so look.

"Yes," says Harry miserably.

"I knew it."

"Louis," says Liam, shaking his head. Right; Liam's a bit of a judgmental dick sometimes.

"I don't want to talk about it," says Harry, absolutely miserably. He sniffles hard and then looks up, red-eyed, at them. "Liam, you should go and find Niall."

"It won't help," says Louis. Harry elbows him in the stomach.

"Shit, is Niall upset, too? What happened?" Liam asks, already getting up. "I'll go and get some food and then find him."

"Yes, of course you will," says Louis. He's a bit less sympathetic today, because he bloody well warned them it was going to happen. "Tell me what you and Niall got so worked up over."

"I don't want to talk about it," says Harry, curling in toward Louis's chest.

"You didn't talk about it yesterday, either," says Louis. "So nothing got fixed. Just tell me. Maybe I can help."

"He thinks I'm a slag," says Harry, voice dropping to almost nothing.

"What? No, he doesn't," says Louis.

Harry nods sadly. "He does. We were talking about being proper boyfriends and he laughed and asked me what the point was when I'll just go off with everyone we meet anyway." Harry sounds genuinely wounded, as if he's managed to forget just how many girls and boys in different cities he's gone off with.

"Did you tell him you wouldn't?"

"Of course. He laughed."

"Niall laughs about lots of things," Louis says. "You need to talk to him. The show tonight is going to be a disaster otherwise."

"It'll be fine," says Harry. "Shhhh, this bloke is making vegan cupcakes." He nods toward the television.

"It won't be fine," Louis says, because it wasn't fine last time, but he doesn't push, because Harry is so intently watching and trying to avoid talking about it anymore.

"The show is going to be a disaster," Louis says about fifteen times.

"Shut it, Lou," says Zayn, glowering at him. Harry and Niall are at opposite sides of the room, ignoring each other while they do vocal warm ups.

"I'm sure it'll be fine," says Liam brightly, because of course he does.

The show is a disaster. It's exactly the same disaster it was last time. Louis wants to just lie down on the stage and wait for it to be over. Poor Liam looks a bit like a kicked puppy, and Harry and Niall are both sulking, and Zayn's withdrawn. It's just awful.

"I told you!" Louis shouts afterwards.

"We'll do better next time," says Liam firmly, hugging Zayn. Zayn shakes him off and goes to the shower.

Harry and Niall aren't looking at each other. Liam bites his lip and looks unhappy. "Last time we all just went home and went to bed. We should go out!" Louis says. No one says anything. "Oh, come on. Someone come out with me! Anyone? Seriously, anyone. Liam?"

Liam glares a little. "No thanks," he says. "I'm tired of this stupid joke of yours."

"It's not a joke," Louis groans, sinking into his chair. He's tired and sweaty and he hates this day so much.

"So then, what happens tomorrow?" Liam asks. "Go on; do your magic trick again."

"I don't know," says Louis. "I haven't got to tomorrow yet. It's been today twice, it's never been tomorrow yet."

Liam looks absolutely baffled. "What?"

"You're such a cunt," Niall says, laughing at Louis. Then he glances over and sees Harry and stops laughing again.

"Fine, then," Louis snaps. "I'm getting drunk by myself. Who needs any of you?"

"We can all get drunk together!" Liam says brightly, but Harry throws a towel at him, and he deflates a bit. "A night's sleep might do us all a load of good," says Liam instead, sounding even more like someone's elderly dad than usual. Everyone ignores him.

"What if tomorrow it's today again?" Louis asks, when they get back to their suite.

"Shut up, Tommo. We're too tired to deal with you right now," says Zayn.

"Some sleep will help," says Harry, and tries to sound encouraging.

"But..." says Louis, only they all go off and go to bed in their own rooms. Well, he thinks, this calls for all the alcohol in the mini bar. Again. He passes out eventually, drunk and unhappy and stomach still full of dread.

DAY THREE

The day starts with the radio blaring to life, and The Wanted shout that they're glad you came as Louis rolls over and puts his pillow over his ears.

"Good morning, New York!" says one of the DJs, over The Wanted. "Eight A.M., rise and shine!"

"Fuck!" shouts Louis.

"It's going to be a hot one today," says the other DJ.

"What, are you worried about your sweaty balls?" says the first DJ.

"God fucking damn it!" Louis says. It isn't fair. It's still Tuesday, apparently, and he's still got a hangover from going out with Zayn all those days ago now, and Liam's stupid prank is still blaring away at him.

"Big news tonight," says one of the DJs, as The Wanted fade out. "There's a One Direction concert!"

"If you don't know who that is, ask the nearest six year old girl," Louis says, in perfect concert with the DJ. He throws the radio violently off its table. The red numbers on the front fade out to black as the voices of the DJs stops.

Louis is absolutely, positively not doing this all again. It was a shit day the first time; it's only got worse every time he's gone through it. He ought to be excused, seeing as he's already done the photoshoot and the concert twice. They aren't his problem anymore.

His problem is that he's stuck in Tuesday, in a hotel in New York. He should run away, hop a plane at the airport back home, and demand his mum fix this. She can make it stop being Tuesday. She can do anything.

Louis lies in bed and stares angrily at the ceiling. He's not getting up. He's not going to cooperate. He'll go on a strike or something. They can't make him do it over and over. Whoever they are.

Eventually there's a knock on his door, and Liam sticks his head in. "You feeling alright, Tommo?"

"No," says Louis. "Go the fuck away."

Liam looks a little confused at being shouted at so early in the morning. "You and Zayn had a pretty good time last night, eh?" Liam says sympathetically. "C'mon, I'll get you some tea and a paracetamol and you'll feel worlds better."

"No," says Louis. "I won't." He sits up so he can glare more effectively. Liam's freshly showered, because he went to the gym this morning, because it's still the same bloody morning. "I am not going to the photoshoot today. I am not going to the concert. I quit the band, Liam. I am staying in bed."

Liam looks momentarily panicked. "Er," he says. "You can't quit the band."

"I do. I quit! I am done with all of this bullshit. I am staying in this bed forever until I die, which will be never, because it's always Tuesday."

"We all feel a bit like that sometimes," says Liam carefully. "Every interview feels like we've done it a million times, yeah, but that's what we signed up for. C'mon, Louis, don't be like this."

Louis says, "I don't mean today feels like something I've done before. I mean I keep waking up and every single morning it's still today. It's been today three days in a row, Liam. There will be girls in the lobby when we leave holding glittery signs. They'll be green and blue. The photoshoot will have us all sitting on boxes in front of a white screen, then the interviewer will give you a toy for Loki, and Harry a crown, and Niall a pint glass. Then I ruin Zayn's comic, and then Harry and Niall break up, and then the concert is absolutely shit."

"Whoa," says Liam. "Harry and Niall what?"

"They fucked last night," says Louis. "That's why they're so giggly today."

Liam opens and closes his mouth a few times, like a fish. He clearly wants to say something, but he hasn't got any idea what it should be. Louis feels a certain vindictive joy in ruining Liam's morning the way the universe has ruined his.

"Maybe we should take you to a doctor," says Liam finally.

"Yes," says Louis. "Brilliant."

It takes Paul forever to convince the lads to go to the photoshoot and leave Louis behind, to chat to a doctor the hotel has called for him. The fact that Louis is clearly losing his mind makes them want to stay and hug him, which is nice, but hugs haven't fixed the problem so far.

The doctor is a nice American bloke with a beard and glasses who has no idea who Louis is. "What's the problem?" he asks. "Headache?"

"Every day when I wake up it's Tuesday," says Louis flatly.

There is a silence.

"Okay, well, let's make sure your vitals are okay," says the doctor. He takes Louis's height and weight and looks into his eyes with a bright light, and makes sure his reflexes still work when he bangs Louis's knee with a little rubber hammer. Then he asks Louis if his head hurts, and what year it is, and who's the President of the United States.

"It's Tuesday," says Louis. "That's the problem. It was Tuesday yesterday, too."

"Interesting," says the doctor, making a bunch of notes.

"Just tell me I'm cracked, doc," says Louis. "I know I've lost my mind."

"There's nothing physically wrong with you," says the doctor. "We can run some MRIs and do some other tests. Are you going to be in town for a few days? I can probably get you in Thursday or Friday at Columbia Presbyterian."

Louis closes his eyes and counts down backwards from ten. "But it won't be Thursday or Friday ever. I can't make it stop being Tuesday."

The doctor frowns. Louis can't blame him; it's probably not a problem he's run into before. "Listen," says the doctor finally. "Whether you are crazy or not, I don't know. I'm not a psychiatrist, and I'd offer to make you an appointment with one for later this week, but clearly that won't help, since it's always Tuesday to you. But whether this is a hallucination or an Act of God, maybe there's a reason it's still Tuesday."

"Like, it's the end of the world?" Louis asks bleakly.

The doctor sits down and shakes his head. Louis, sitting on the uncomfortable examining bed covered in paper, makes a crinkling noise as he wiggles back and forth. He can't sit still, even when he's being told he's nuts. "If you dream the same thing over and over, it usually means there's something you should fix. When you fix it, you can move on, stop having the dream. Does something bad happen on Tuesday?"

"Everything bad happens," Louis says. "I ruin Zayn's comic, I snap at Liam, Harry and Niall have a big fight and break up, the concert is shit."

"Okay, so, fix it," says the doctor.

Louis gives him a disbelieving look. "I've had tons of shit days in my life. Why am I stuck in this one? How about when I bombed my A-levels? How about when my stepdad left? How about when my dad left?"

The doctor shrugs. "You aren't stuck in that day. You're stuck in this one. Fix what's right in front of you. Anyway, I can give you some pills that'll make you sleepy and relaxed about the situation."

Louis shakes his head. He doesn't want pills; he can barely deal with what's going on when he's got his entire brain focused on it. What's left of his brain, at least. Maybe he's got one of those diseases where you slowly go crazy. It feels that way.

"I'll schedule you for some tests for later this week, just in case it's not Tuesday any more tomorrow," says the doctor, in the tone of voice someone uses for a crazy person.

"Wonderful," says Louis dryly. He's pretty sure he won't be going to those.

Security makes him go to the photoshoot already in progress, but there's no time for Lou to get his hair and make up done before most of the shots are finished, so he just sits with her and watches the boys jump around. Harry and Niall are adorable, climbing all over each other. It's a shame they fuck it all up in a couple of hours. Zayn is clinging to Liam, and Liam keeps giving Louis slightly worried looks off camera. Louis tries to smile and seem as if he's not bonkers. None of the lads can help, after all, and they only end up angry with him for joking around about it.

"You aren't really ill, right?" Liam asks, really concerned, when they're done.

Louis shakes his head. "The doctor couldn't find anything wrong at all," he says. It's so depressing.

"Good," says Liam, and hugs him. It's a really excellent hug again, because Liam's still Liam, and he doesn't remember yesterday, or that he was annoyed with Louis by the end of it. Behind Liam's shoulder, Zayn rolls his eyes. Louis frowns a little. Something's up with Zayn.

Louis doesn't bother to tell them that he knows what's going to happen, but when the interviewer pulls out the presents Liam's eyes go a bit wide. Louis's finally worked out that she's called Shannon, and that only took meeting her three times. She's just as nervous every time, because for her she's always only just met them, but Louis's irritated. She ought to be over it by now. God knows he is.

"How did you know?" Liam asks, pushing Louis off into the corner. He waves around the plush toy Shannon gave him for Loki in a vaguely menacing way. "Did you see an agenda for the interview, or—"

"I'm a wizard, Harry," says Louis.

"I'm Liam," says Liam, frowning. He puts his hand on Louis's forehead to check for a fever.

Louis pushes his hand away. "I know. I'm crazy, I'm not stupid. I haven't forgotten all your names, or what year it is, or how to speak. It's just always Tuesday, and I can't do anything about it."

Liam looks really worried. He takes Louis's hand and pulls him over to the food table. "I'll make you a cup of tea," says Liam determinedly. "That'll help."

"It won't help," says Louis listlessly. Nothing is going to help. Liam just frowns and shakes his head and makes Louis extra strong tea.

"Stop coddling him, he's okay. He's just being weird," says Zayn, walking up behind Louis. This time it's Zayn who bumps Louis's elbow as he's turning, and it's his own god damn fault the tea goes all over his comic, but — "Louis! Fuck!" Zayn shouts, snatching the comic back and shaking it out.

"Sorry," says Louis. He turns to Liam. "See? I told you."

"This is dumb," says Liam. "I don't like this prank. Louis, stop it."

"It's not me, it's Tuesday!" Louis says, but Liam looks at him with an expression full of betrayal, and Zayn, who is still really upset, pulls Liam away.

There's nothing for it but to sit around and wait for Harry and Niall to break up, and ruin the concert. Louis sits down in the corner and draws his knees up under his chin. It's all completely pointless, and he's tired of playing whatever game this is.

DAY FOUR

The day starts with the radio blaring to life, and The Wanted shout that they're glad you came as Louis rolls over and puts his pillow over his ears.

"Good morning, New York! Eight A.M., rise and shine!"

"It's going to be a hot one today."

Louis hasn't even got the energy to be angry at the radio this time. He listens to them natter on about their balls, and then the One Direction concert, and who's the gayest, with his eyes squeezed shut. Maybe if he doesn't get out of bed, it won't all be real. He won't be stuck on the same Tuesday as before. Maybe there's a loophole somewhere. A way out.

Just like last time — Louis is starting to lose track of his Tuesdays — Liam eventually comes knocking. Louis curls up in a ball under the blankets and thinks that it's a shame Liam's being so nice when there's nothing anyone can do.

"You feeling alright, Tommo?" asks Liam, sitting down next to him.

"No," says Louis. "I'm poorly, go away."

He can't see Liam, because he's under the blankets, but he can imagine Liam's look of sympathy. He doesn't want to see it. "You and Zayn had a pretty good time last night, eh? C'mon, I'll get you some tea and a paracetamol and you'll feel worlds better."

"I'm sorry we went out without inviting you," says Louis.

"That's okay," says Liam. "I don't really mind. C'mon. Let's go and get some tea. You'll feel better, I promise."

"I won't," says Louis. He won't, because as long as it's Tuesday he's never going to feel better again.

"You will." Liam puts his hand on Louis's shoulder. "C'mon, Lou. What's wrong? Homesick? Hungover? Tired?"

"Yeah," says Louis. "Those." He's tired of trying to explain it to everyone.

"Let's do something fun, then!" says Liam. "You and me, we'll go skateboarding or something. Tomorrow we'll be in Boston, we can—"

Louis throws the blankets back. "We fucking will not," he shouts. Liam startles back. Louis could almost feel bad about it, except he's feeling so sorry for himself there's no room for Liam. "We can't go anywhere or do anything, we're always here — I mean, every day is so pointless. I feel crap and I don't want to get up."

Liam looks a bit like he might cry. "We'll make some tea," Liam says. "Louis… It's going to be okay. If you're feeling poorly I'll go and get you a doctor, Paul can get us someone, I promise."

Louis takes an evil sort of delight in upsetting Liam so much. Maybe if Liam cries, Louis won't.

"I'll only ruin your day, too, Liam. I know; it's happened before. Leave me alone."

Liam tries a couple more times to get Louis to get up, looking more and more upset about it. Louis doesn't say anything; he just lies there like a lump waiting for Liam to leave. Maybe later he'll lie on the floor and stare at the rug. That sounds like more fun than doing the same concert, badly, for the fourth time.

The door opens and someone comes in. Louis doesn’t bother looking up to see who it is. "You'd better be dying," says Zayn.

"I am," says Louis. "Go away."

Zayn pokes at him a bit as he sits down on the bed. "I don't mean whatever sulky fit you're having; I don't care about that. We all have bad days now and then, eh?"

"I'm having a bad day," Louis says, and snorts at himself. "Just one bad day. Over and over."

"Mate, you're really weird," says Zayn. "No, I mean, you'd better be dying, because you've got Liam absolutely freaking out."

"I don't care," says Louis, rolling so he's face down on the pillow.

Zayn punches Louis in the back. Luckily, Zayn's arms are made of jelly, so he doesn't hit very hard. "Owwwwww," Louis moans. "Remind me tomorrow not to say that."

"Don't fucking joke about being a tit to Liam, okay? It's bad enough as it is, he tries so hard. You're lucky he thinks you hung the moon."

Louis rolls over again so he can stare at Zayn. "What are we talking about?"

"Jesus, you're thick. Haven't you noticed?"

Louis's been stuck in the same day for three days, which is enough to notice Zayn being slightly weird about Liam. "Have you got, like, a crush on him?" asks Louis, frowning. "What about Perrie?"

Zayn punches Louis in the thigh.

"Fuck, my day is bad enough without all the punching, you watch out; tomorrow I'm going to get you back so hard and you'll never see it coming." Louis sticks out his lower lip.

"Liam's got a crush on you. You really are a massive knob. I can't see what he likes about you."

"Probably my massive knob," says Louis. "Heh." Then what Zayn just said catches up to him, and he says, "What? No, he doesn't."

"Yes, he does," says Zayn. "Why else would someone want to spend every free second with you all the time?"

"You hang out with me all the time," Louis points out. "So does Harry. Hell, so does Niall."

Zayn's face softens. Later, when his comic gets ruined, he'll be cross again, but Louis likes this Zayn, the one who's so affectionate, like he can't believe what idiots his band is made of. "Then maybe we all love you, a bit. But Liam especially, and you didn't invite him out yesterday, and now you've practically made him cry before breakfast. Get up, Louis."

"You don't understand," Louis says, but Zayn gives him a look that he can't argue with. He wants to stay in bed all day and mope, but the other lads don't know it's still Tuesday, and he'll just ruin the only day they know about. "Fine," Louis snarls. "But I should probably warn you I'm going to be a terror today."

"As always, Tommo," says Zayn.

He has no idea.

There are no consequences, Louis thinks. None at all. It's maybe the most dangerous thing anyone could ever have told him.

"Did you two have a good shag last night?" he asks Niall and Harry as he walks out. Everyone stares at him. That might be because Louis is only wearing his pants, because fuck trousers. There is literally no point to doing anything.

"Um," says Liam.

Louis does a little hip shimmy. He thrusts his hips at Liam, and Liam goes pink. "It does not fucking matter what I do today, okay? I can do anything I'd like and it won't matter."

"You can't be late," says Paul, herding everyone toward the door. Niall and Harry and Zayn go out without arguing, but Louis won't be moved, and Liam tries to pull him along. "Fuck's sake, Louis, put some trousers on."

"No," says Louis, and crosses his arms.

Paul and him have a bit of a staring contest. "Fine," says Paul finally, shrugging. "Do what you'd like, but your arse is going to be all over twitter."

"My arse is already all over twitter, and I'm not coming to the photo shoot anyway." I've already done it three — four? — times, he thinks. "C'mon, Liam. Let's go and see New York."

Liam looks stricken. "What? Louis, we have work—"

"Doesn't fucking matter!" Louis shouts. He grabs Liam's hand and starts pulling him toward the door. Liam is making a valiant effort to look anywhere but Louis's arse, which is sweet of him, but now that Zayn's told Louis Liam fancies him, it's a bit pointless.

"Of course it matters. I know it seems like just another photoshoot, but—"

"Doesn't matter!" Louis yells again. Liam digs his heels in, and he's taller and heavier than Louis, so Louis can't actually drag him out of the room. "Liam, we're going to go do whatever we want. We can throw ourselves off the top of the Empire State Building, we can play in traffic, we can get drunk and skateboard across the Brooklyn Bridge, we can—"

"What is wrong with you today?" Liam asks. He looks worried.

Louis doesn't want to talk about how he feels. He wants to throw himself out a window, or scream, or set the hotel on fire. He hates Tuesday; he's so tired of it. He's so tired of trying to explain to people, and to cope with everything. So he turns around and grabs Liam's shirt with both hands and pulls him down into a kiss.

Liam doesn't kiss him back. He makes a shocked noise and shoves Louis away. "What — Louis, what the fuck —"

"Zayn says you fancy me, come on, we can spend the whole day shagging. We can do anything—"

Liam's face is bright red, and then he goes angry and everything sweet and open about him normally closes off. "Fuck you, Louis," he says, dark and quiet, and slaps Louis's hands away. He pushes past Louis and stomps out of the room.

Paul gives Louis a seriously grumpy look. "That was shit of you," he says.

"He won't even remember tomorrow!" Louis yells. No one understands.

"Put your flipping trousers on, Tomlinson, and you'd better apologize and mean it, or you won't be playing in traffic. I'll just push you in front of a lorry."

"I'm not going!" Louis shouts, and stomps his foot. Paul grabs him by the ear and twists, and it fucking hurts. He yells the entire time Paul is dragging him down to the van.

Liam won't look at him, but Louis doesn't care; he's too busy seeing how big a fit he can throw before he crashes the van. Niall gives him a hoodie to put on, but he's still in his pants, throwing everything he can find at Paul. Eventually Harry just sits on him, giving everyone else worried looks.

"Are you having some kind of breakdown?" Zayn asks.

"Yes!" Louis says. He tries to shove Harry off, but Harry won't be moved.

At the photoshoot, Louis steals Lou's curling tongs and hits people with them until Paul wrestles them away from him. Louis shouts, "Fuck your fucking presents, they're crap!" at Shannon the interviewer, and Paul threatens to lock him in a cupboard and call his mum.

"Do it," says Louis. "Call her." He's stuck in New York, on this miserable Tuesday, and he's suddenly so homesick for his mum that tears prickle at the edges of his eyes. "I want my mum and I hate all of you. I told you not to make me come to this. I told you—"

"Jesus Christ," says Paul. He lets Louis lie down on a sofa in the green room, and no one bothers him. Liam, for the first time since it started being Tuesday, doesn't try to bring him tea. Louis can't really blame him.

Louis's legs are cold, and he's beginning to regret his firm no-trousers stance. He roots through the cupboards of the green room until he finds a discarded pair of joggers, and those'll do, even though they're a million times too big. He rolls them up at the bottom and then lies on the floor for a while. Maybe he'll sneak out. Tomorrow morning, before Paul can drag him along to this pointless photoshoot, he'll sneak out and go and see New York.

Eventually Harry comes in. "You okay?" he asks.

"No," says Louis.

"Okay," says Harry. "Anything we can do?"

"Leave me the fuck alone," says Louis.

"Okay," says Harry again, and leaves. They're probably going to call a mental hospital, but it doesn't matter, because tomorrow it won't have happened. Louis picks the cushions up off the sofa and throws them around the room, knocking the television in the corner on to the floor and cracking the screen. Doesn't matter. He throws a book through the window, and then pulls everything out of the cupboard and scatters it across the floor. Still doesn't matter.

Paul comes in and says, "Are you on drugs?"

"Yes," says Louis. "Heroin and meth. Fuck your mum."

Paul locks the door of the green room when he leaves. Louis bangs on it for a while, calling him every name he can think of. At the very least they could give him some alcohol. Maybe tomorrow he'll spend the whole day drunk.

Everyone comes in to the room. No one will look directly at him, and Liam seems to be staying as near the door as he can. "We've had a band meeting," says Harry nervously. "We think maybe you should go home for a couple of days, yeah? Get some rest, see your mum, take a little holiday."

"Paul's got you a ticket for tomorrow morning, first thing," Zayn says.

Louis screams. He just stands there and screams, as loudly as he can. He screams until his throat hurts and his chest hurts and he's clenched his hands into fists so tightly that he's dug angry marks into his palms. He understands why his sisters, when they were babies, would throw themselves on the floor and kick their feet and cry until their faces were covered in tears and snot. Harry comes over and tries to give Louis a hug, and Louis shoves him away.

"I hate you! I hate all of you!" Louis yells, and then suddenly he's crying too hard to stand up anymore, so he sits down on the floor of the green room and sobs. He's so tired of everything, of being here, of trying to deal with it.

"Hey, Louis, it's going to be okay," says Zayn, crouching down to talk to him like Louis's a wounded wild animal or something.

"No," says Louis. "It won't." He can't even fucking go home. He can't do anything.

He screams a little, again, when they try to take him back to the hotel. If he's going to have a breakdown, he might as well make it a big one. Niall hugs him anyway, even when he tries to shove him off and ends up elbowing him in the face. Paul gets a doctor to come in and check on him, but it's the same one it was yesterday. Louis refuses to tell him what's going on twice. No one tries to make him go and perform in the concert. Louis just stares at the ceiling and doesn't say a word and waits for it to all start over again.

DAY FIVE

Louis doesn't get out of bed or talk to anyone. He doesn't bother screaming this time, he just lets them drag him around. Everyone seems worried, but it's far away, like he's underwater. They call the doctor again, and Louis doesn't talk to him, either. They call his mum, but it hurts too much, so he won't pick up the phone. A switch has been flipped off somewhere, and Louis has shut down.

"We've had a band meeting," says Harry sadly. "We think maybe you should go home for a couple of days, yeah? Get some rest, see your mum, take a little holiday."

"Paul's got you a ticket for tomorrow morning, first thing," Zayn adds.

This time Louis's quiet when he cries, and everyone tries to cuddle him, but he squeezes his eyes shut and pretends he can't hear them, so it still feels like he's alone.

DAY SIX

The day starts with the radio blaring to life, and The Wanted shout that they're glad you came as Louis rolls over and puts his pillow over his ears.

"Good morning, New York! Eight A.M., rise and shine!"

"It's going to be a hot one today."

For no apparent reason, Louis feels a little bit better than he did yesterday. Even if "yesterday" can't possibly be the right word; it can't be yesterday when it was the same day. Maybe he just needed to spend a day in bed, crying.

The thing is, Louis thinks, throwing the radio to the floor and then smashing it with his shoe, he can do anything.

Louis gets dressed and runs out to the kitchenette because he knows Liam will be there, sweaty and just back from the gym. "The gym here is wicked," says Liam.

"You fucked with my radio, and you owe me," says Louis.

Liam grins at him. Louis thinks about how he knows Liam fancies him, but he shoves that thought back down; he hasn't got time to worry about it. Or rather, he's got plenty of time to worry about it. The next Tuesday, or the next Tuesday, or a million Tuesdays from now. "Serves you right, going out with Zayn 'til all hours when we have a photo shoot today, early," says Liam.

"You're just jealous that we didn't invite you," says Louis. He grabs a glass of water and finds some paracetamol in the cupboard. "Come on, we're going out."

"Yeah, we've got a photoshoot in a bit — Louis! Where are you going?" Liam asks, as Louis grabs him by the hand and drags him along. He hasn't made Liam cross this morning yet, so Liam comes along as Louis pulls him to the lift.

"We're going out," says Louis. "Before Paul catches us. Let's go and see New York."

"Whoa," says Liam. "Hang on, we have things to do this morning, we can't just—"

Louis's got the elements of surprise and desperation on his side. He knows how dull it is to be trapped doing the same thing over and over, for one, and he knows Liam will do whatever he wants, really, for two. He shoves Liam, who stumbles back into the lift, and then he hits the button for the lobby.

"Louis, we can't, people will worry—" Liam says.

"Relax, I've got my mobile," Louis lies. "We're just going out for a little while, we'll find the lads and Paul in a bit. Don't you want to do something fun? One of our recces, c'mon."

"Oh, well..." Liam says, clearly hesitating. He bites his lower lip, and Louis remembers how, the first time all this shit happened, he thought about kissing Liam. He thinks about it again, more seriously this time. He could kiss Liam and it wouldn't matter. Shit, he could fuck Liam and it wouldn't matter. It's a freeing feeling, and some of the cold weight that's been crushing him for the last couple of days goes away.

"Please?" says Louis, batting his eyes. He squeezes Liam's hand, and Liam frowns at him, adorable and confused. "It'll be a laugh, Liam, come on."

Liam doesn't say yes, but he doesn't say no, either. The lift doors ping open and there are the girls with their glittery signs, just like they should be. They scream a little when they see Liam and Louis.

"Louis, can you sign this? Can you take a picture?"

Louis's feeling magnanimous, suddenly. He's like a superhero; he can do anything and still have all the time in the world. "Yeah, of course, babe," he says, pulling Liam over. They pose for pictures and one of the girls starts crying. "What are you called?" Louis asks. "Please don't cry, sweetheart."

"Jessica. You're my favorite," she says tearfully. "I'm sorry."

"Here, I'll sign this, too," says Louis, signing her poster to Jessica. "We should take them with us on our adventure," he says to Liam.

"Have you gone completely mad?" Liam asks.

Louis grins. "Yes," he says, and grabs Liam's hand again. "Sorry girls, we'll see you tomorrow, more kisses then, I promise."

"Tomorrow we'll be in Boston!" Liam says, as Louis pulls him out to the pavement. New York is already full of people. "What's going on with you? Did you and Zayn get high last night?"

Louis ignores that. Liam's been a bit jealous of him and Zayn going out every morning. He can't remember now why they didn't invite Liam, but it doesn't matter anyway. "I want to see the Statue of Liberty," says Louis. "Which way do you reckon that is?"

"Uh...." says Liam. "Dunno. Shouldn't we go back in and find Paul, and—"

"Spirit of adventure, Liam!" says Louis firmly, and dashes out into the great swirling masses of New York, pulling Liam along in his wake.

They don't find the Statue of Liberty. They do find quite a lot of One Direction fans, though, and they cause a minor traffic jam downtown, because the girls are so eager to get their pictures taken that they spill over the pavement and into the street. There's a lot of honking. "Everyone gets a picture!" Louis says grandly, and a shriek goes up that can probably be heard in New Jersey.

"We're going to be murdered," says Liam, smiling for someone's camera phone.

"You love it, really," says Louis. "Isn't this better than a meet and greet? It's so much more real."

"Except at a meet and greet we have security, so we don't get killed," Liam points out. They are getting pushed back toward the brick building behind them, and more girls are running to join the mob.

Police come around the corner, with their blue and red American lights and siren. "Cheese it, it's the cops!" says Louis. Liam starts laughing. Louis takes his hand and pulls him through the crowd of girls, who scream again. The cops get out of the car and start demanding to know what's going on, but Louis is already around the corner and running down the block, dodging past businessmen in suits and ladies wearing barely anything. New York is terribly steamy when it's this hot outside, and Louis's already sweated through his stolen t-shirt.

At the crossing, the light is blinking down 5... 4... 3... but Louis runs through the light and then down the pavement the other way. He can hear Liam laughing behind him. They lost most of the girls when they ran, but for the first time in days Louis feels alive and he doesn't want to stop. It's finally something different. Thank god.

They run until they get to the edge of the island, into a park overlooking a motorway and a river. Liam grabs Louis's arm and pulls him to a stop. "I think we lost them," says Liam. His face is red and his hair is curling with sweat. He looks quite fit, actually.

Louis's chest aches wonderfully. "This is brilliant. This is our best one yet."

Liam grins. "Yeah. Shouldn't we head back soon, though? Paul and the lads'll be worried, and I'm not honestly sure where we are."

Louis can do anything. His stomach is giddy with it. He feels free and powerful and unstoppable. "We're never going back," he says, and just as Liam's grin turns to concern, he pushes up on his toes and kisses Liam.

Liam makes the same confused noise he did last time, but Louis grabs him with both hands so he can't pull away. Louis kisses harder, with all the wild, fierce energy bubbling up through his chest. He digs his fingers into Liam's shoulders and pulls him closer.

"What the fuck?" says Liam, pulling back again.

"We can do anything we want," says Louis. "Zayn's got Perrie, and Niall and Harry are fucking, so I think you and me should shag. Good idea, right? I know you fancy me."

"Louis, shit," says Liam, looking stricken. "No! No, this is a terrible idea." He pulls away from Louis completely.

Louis stomps his foot. "It's a brilliant idea! I could fuck anyone in the entire city of New York and I picked you. And you want to! I know you do! So let's go, come on." He reaches for the drawstring on Liam's joggers.

Liam pushes his hands away. "Well first, we're in a public park, so no," says Liam. A mum pushing a pram gives them a strange look. "And second, what do you mean, you know I fancy you? Who... Why would you think..." He's gone pink and embarrassed.

"Zayn told me. Don't worry; he doesn't remember." Louis reaches for Liam's trousers again.

"If he told you that while he was wasted then he was lying," says Liam. He won't look up at Louis's face. "Knock it off, Lou. It's not funny." Liam can't stop Louis trying to undo the drawstring on his joggers, so he holds Louis's hands instead.

"You do fancy me, though," says Louis.

Liam shrugs a little. "Doesn't matter. It isn't nice of you to take the piss about it. C'mon, Louis. We need to go back to the hotel."

"I'm not going back," says Louis flatly. "This is the best I've felt in forever. I'm never going back."

Liam gets his determined face on. "We are going back. You can't just fuck off—"

"Watch me!" Louis yells. He pulls his hands free of Liam's. Fuck Liam anyway. Where does he get off, turning Louis down? Louis was doing him a favor. Louis walks deliberately toward the biggest crowd he can find, tourists and mums out with their kids, and people standing by the river taking photos. Liam follows him, saying, "Louis, c'mon," a couple of times, so Louis takes off at a run. He doesn't think he'll be able to lose Liam, because Liam's quite fast and determined, but a traffic light catches Liam on the wrong side of a four-way crossing, and Louis flips him off with two fingers and then runs until he can't see Liam anymore.

Louis sees New York. He hasn't got a wallet with him, he didn't plan that far ahead, but other than being a bit thirsty, it's a good day. He walks the length of the park, sees the Statue of Liberty at the bottom end, and the subway station that's got a big beautiful sign but can't be used because it was broken during a hurricane. He gets lost in twisting little streets where they aren't numbered, and poses for a couple of pictures with fans who recognize him. He ends the day watching the sun set on the Brooklyn Bridge. It's beautiful, really, and it was a good use of a day. Paul's probably got the police looking for him, but it doesn't matter. He could murder someone, and tomorrow it would be the same as ever. He doesn't really want to test that out, though.

The sunset is beautiful, and so is the bridge. A happy couple take a picture of themselves next to him, silhouetted against the city. Then they kiss for a while. Louis thinks resentfully of Liam. New York only gets louder once it's dark, but Louis's tired, and his feet hurt, and he's hungry. He finds a different park and lies down on a bench. There are kids skateboarding, and loads of people talking on their mobiles, and some sort of Spanish sounding band starts up. Tomorrow he'll remember to bring his wallet. Or maybe tomorrow he'll catch a train to another city entirely.

Maybe, he thinks sleepily, maybe if he goes to sleep here, he won't wake up back at the hotel. Tomorrow he can apologize to Paul and to Liam, and then he can go on to Wednesday. That would be nice. The noises of city traffic fade into the background and Louis falls asleep.

DAY SEVEN

The day starts with the radio blaring to life, and The Wanted shout that they're glad you came as Louis rolls over and puts his pillow over his ears.

"Good morning, New York! Eight A.M., rise and shine!"

"It's going to be a hot one today," Louis sighs at the same time as the radio. He knocks it off the table. It occurs to him that he hasn't showered in like a week now, so he climbs out of bed and stays in the shower for long enough that someone will probably come looking for him.

The shower is restorative. Louis wakes up hungover every morning – he really would have chosen a different morning to wake up on over and over, if it had been up to him. The day they got through judges' houses, maybe, or the day they'd got their first real money, and Louis realized he could take care of his family for once. Or that day off in Miami, with the boat; why couldn't he be living that over and over?

The next thing Louis realizes is that he hasn't had a wank in a week, either. He's been too distracted, or too angry. And twice he's kissed Liam, only to be shoved away, which doesn't seem fair. Louis leans back against the wall and lets the hot water hit his back, tipping his head back into the spray, and runs a hand lazily up and down his cock. It seems to know that it's been a whole week, and it perks right up. Louis plants his feet a little wider and moves his hand faster. This is why he's been going mad, obviously. He should spend all day wanking. He'd be much more relaxed.

For a little while he thinks just about how good it feels. He wonders when someone's going to come in and interrupt him, Liam, probably, and then he thinks about how right now Liam is showering, too, all sweaty from the gym, and flushed, and probably thinking about Louis. Liam probably bites his lip and tries to keep quiet. He's got big hands, and he's probably got a big dick, and maybe he says Louis's name when he comes.

That thought is enough to have Louis coming, splashing all over his own belly. He turns so the hot water is running over his chest, erasing all the evidence. His knees feel a little shaky. He could stay in the shower long enough to do that again.

"Louis? You trying to drown in there?" someone calls from the next room. Louis doesn't reply, because he's busy bracing himself against the wall with one arm, enjoying the hot spray on his face.

"Seriously, Lou, you okay?" says Liam's voice, a lot closer suddenly.

Louis turns off the water and pushes the shower curtain aside. "Just enjoying myself." He grins and waggles his eyebrows at Liam.

Liam goes bright red and steps back. "Oh, I.... Oh," he says, looking at the ceiling of the bathroom rather than at Louis's cock. It's very polite of him, considering he's definitely seen it before when they were changing, or swimming, or whatever. "Erm, just hurry up and finish, we're going to be late to go downstairs."

"I already finished," says Louis. "But I could probably go again, if you'd like to join me."

"Ha ha," says Liam flatly, taking another step back.

The weirdest thing about Liam, Louis thinks, is that Zayn is clearly right; he fancies Louis. But he won't do anything about it. There's no point in trying to take it slow, because if Louis spends all day warming Liam up to the idea of them shagging then in the morning he'll have to start all over again.

"Not kidding," says Louis. "I'm lonely, you're lonely... Niall and Harry are shagging, y'know. Why should they have all the fun?"

"Niall and Harry? Really?" Liam says. Louis steps forward, so Liam steps back. Louis steps forward again, and Liam trips and ends up sat on the closed seat of the toilet. Louis leans down over him. Liam is still valiantly trying not to look at Louis's cock.

"Why not us?" Louis asks, leaning in to Liam's space.

Liam leans back. "Is this because I left your radio turned up loud? I'm sorry, I—"

"Why do you do this every day?" Louis asks, annoyed. His skin feels tacky and damp and unpleasant, and if he isn't getting fucked any time soon then he's just going to dry off and put on his pants. "Why can't you just shut up and kiss me? Just one day, I'd like you to fucking kiss me back."

"What?" Liam squeaks.

"It'll be fun," Louis insists, leaning in further. "We're both fit, we have fun together, you fancy me—"

"Who told you that?" Liam asks. If he leans any farther back he's going to fall off the toilet.

"You do, it's true," Louis insists. "So why not have a quick shag before the photoshoot? It's a dumb photoshoot, anyway."

"No," says Liam definitely, and tries to push past Louis.

"Tell me why, then," says Louis, catching Liam's arm. This is annoying. Maybe he can figure out why it goes wrong today, and then the next time it's today he can fix it.

"What do you mean, tell you why? Put some clothes on, you aren't Harry. We're going to be late."

"If you fancy me, why don't you want to shag me?" Louis asks. He grabs his dirty pants off the floor and puts them on again, because they're closest. In a way, he's been wearing them for a week straight, and he's proud of his filth.

"You're so weird," says Liam, which isn't an answer.

Louis turns around to look in the mirror, and not accidentally, to give Liam a nice view of his bum. Liam's eyes flicker down to it, Louis can see them in the mirror. "You think I'm fit and you're gagging for a shag, Liam. So why not? What's the problem? Tell me what to say, and I'll say it next time."

"What do you mean, next time—"

"Humor me!" Louis shouts, stomping his foot and turning around again. "Pretend I could do this whole conversation over. What would I have to say to get you to really, properly kiss me the way I'm sure you want to?"

Liam's face has gone pink, but his chin is up. Louis's annoyed him somehow. He makes himself a note to be nicer tomorrow. "Dunno," says Liam. His voice is so tense it could snap in half. "Maybe I only want to kiss someone who might fancy me back."

"I didn't say I don't," Louis objects.

"You made it pretty bloody clear," says Liam. "Sorry I'm so obvious and pathetic in my pining for you. Fuck off, Tommo." He turns and stomps out of the bathroom.

Huh. Louis hadn't thought of it that way; if someone's down to shag he's normally up for it. But of course Liam only wants to if it's full of feelings and romance. Maybe Louis can trick him into it tomorrow, now that he knows how.

That feels sort of wrong, actually. He could take awful advantage of Liam, since he knows what's going on and Liam doesn't. But he can't think of a way to persuade Liam that Louis fancies him back in just a day.

"Fuck," says Louis loudly, since apparently he won't get to. He's trapped in a day he can't have sex.

Louis's not sure why he didn't realize it before, but he's quite obviously in hell. Of course it isn't brimstone and fire and such, it's just one banal day, over and over, when he can't get anyone to listen to him, and he can't get Liam to fuck him. Misery.

Louis doesn't see any point in going to the photoshoot, not now that Liam's going to be cross all day. He can try again tomorrow, when Liam won't remember how pissed he is about Louis being a knob, because Louis won't have been a knob yet.

He goes in to Harry's room instead, and is unsurprised to see Niall pulling his jeans on while Harry tries to find a t-shirt on the floor. "But you were in the kitchen earlier," Louis says, running through the timeline in his head. "Oh my god, you came back after breakfast for a quickie? You dirty slags!"

Niall laughs, but Harry turns red. "Why don't you knock?"

"Literally nothing you could do today would surprise me," says Louis. "I already know you and Niall are fucking, blah blah blah. Want to sneak out with me?"

Harry looks pretty thrown, but Niall, to his credit, just rolls with it. "What, is Liam boring you?" Niall asks, and cackles.

"He's pissed at me, I was a knob this morning, but he'll be over it by tomorrow, don't worry," says Louis. He tugs at Harry's sleeve. "Come out with me. Let's go and see New York."

"Seriously, you want to skip the photoshoot and sneak out?" Harry asks, raising both his eyebrows until they're lost in his fringe.

"I can one-hundred-percent promise that it won't ruin anything," says Louis. "Seriously. Tomorrow it'll be like it never even happened."

"What fucking kind of dumb idea is this?" Niall asks.

Louis turns his most demanding look on Nial. He's pretty good at getting every member of the band to do whatever he wants. He's perfected it over the last couple of years. "Don't tell anyone, Niall, okay? I promise, we'll be fine, we'll be back before the concert tonight. Okay?"

"But..." Niall says. He looks at Harry.

Harry looks at Louis. "I think maybe Louis needs this," says Harry slowly. Even more slowly than usual. "It won't be a problem, babe, yeah?"

"Whatever," says Niall, shrugging and laughing.

Harry kisses Niall, which is the first time Louis's actually seen that, and he gets a flare of jealousy that feels a lot like heartburn. Then he remembers that Harry and Niall break up in a few hours, and feels bad about it.

"I'll look after him," says Louis, dragging Harry away.

"Okay," says Niall, shrugging again.

Louis has a pretty good idea of where Paul is right now, so he knows which lift to take to avoid him. The girls are in the lobby, and they scream when Harry and Louis walk out. Louis promised yesterday that he'd stop, but he's got Harry with him this time, and that's usually a bad scene when he's surrounded by girls. "Tomorrow, Jessica," Louis says, dashing by with Harry in tow.

"He knew my name!" one of them shrieks.

Louis heads in the opposite direction of yesterday, and in the massive crowds and high, glittering glass buildings, he and Harry manage to lose everyone who tried to follow them. It's not like London. It's sunny and hot and everyone's in a rush and all the buildings look about five minutes old. Louis and Harry hold hands so they won't be separated by the crowd and no one over fifteen even gives them a second glance.

They wander in and out of a few shops and don't say anything. Louis wonders if they'd get carded if they went into a bar. It's only mid-morning, though, so even in New York bars probably aren't open.

Eventually they get to what must be Central Park, because it's absolutely huge. "Tell me what the hell we're doing," says Harry, climbing up on a rock overlooking a bunch of kids playing frisbee, and a man making balloon animals. It's noisy in the park; someone's playing a radio loudly, and a shrieking group of children are chasing each other around a bench.

"We're seeing New York like regular people," says Louis. "It's nice, right?"

"It's weird," says Harry. "You like being famous, Louis. You like photoshoots. S'going on?"

Louis kicks his trainers against the rock a few times. He remembered his wallet today, he'll be able to get lunch, and maybe another hotel. Shit, he could buy anything; it's not like he'll have to pay the credit card bill later.

"I'm having a bad day," says Louis.

Harry scrunches up his face and gives Liam a long look. "You've been awake, like, an hour," says Harry.

"Long enough to have a fight with Liam," says Louis. "And if I'd gone to the photoshoot, I would just have made Zayn cross with me, too."

"Nah, Zayn's cool," says Harry.

Louis sighs. Trying to tell everyone what's going on never works out, but he still wants to. "What if you could do anything in the whole world, but you only have today to do it," says Louis. "What would you do?"

"Get a tattoo," says Harry. "And get really drunk."

"That's what you'd do anyway," Louis says, exasperated.

Harry shrugs. "I guess so."

"Pretend I only have today," says Louis. "Zayn tells me that Liam fancies me, but Liam keeps shoving me away whenever I try to kiss him, because he says I'm being a dick about it. Zayn's always cross with me, either for upsetting Liam or for ruining his comic. And you and Niall are going to break up later, and then you two make the concert awful."

"We aren't going to break up later," says Harry.

Louis rolls his eyes. "Okay. Sure. What do I do, Harry? Today is shit, it's always shit, and I can't fix it."

"Why can't you just apologize tomorrow?"

Louis shouts, "I just told you there's only today!" He closes his eyes and makes himself take a couple of breaths. "Honestly, just tell me what I should do today, okay?"

"This is a weird conversation," says Harry. "But... I guess you should tell Liam you're sorry you were a dick."

"How do I convince him I fancy him as well? He's so weird about it."

Harry scrunches up his face to look thoughtful. Louis thinks some of the kids playing frisbee might just have recognized them, because there's some whispering and pointing going on. Fuck. "Do you actually fancy him?" Harry asks.

"Well, no," says Louis. Then he stops. Does he? Liam's well fit; Louis noticed that even before it started always being Tuesday. He thought about Liam this morning in the shower. But has he actually got feelings about Liam? It seems like it's the same as it always was; Liam's one of his best mates, and he's fun, and sweet, and kind, and goofy.

"Does Liam's smile give you butterflies in your stomach?" Harry says, a little mocking. "Do you want to see him smile more than you want to make yourself smile? Are you jealous of him and Zayn cuddling?"

Shit, Louis thinks. Some of those. "You're disgusting," he says, frowning at Harry. "What, do you just watch sappy romantic comedies secretly all day long? I'm going to throw up."

"Hey," Harry objects.

"Life isn't The Notebook," says Louis. "I just want a shag with a fit mate. What's wrong with that?"

"Nothing," says Harry. "But I don't think Liam's the shag-with-a-mate type."

"But I've only got today!" Louis says. "I can't give him butterflies and feelings when I've only got today to do it!"

Harry gives Louis a serious look. "Are you, like, dying or something?"

"Something like that," says Louis. The kids are definitely looking at them now, getting out their mobiles to take pictures. "C'mon, let's find something else to do."

"You want to kiss Liaaaaaaaaam," Harry sing-songs, scrambling off the rock to follow Louis.

"I want Liam to want to kiss me," Louis grumbles. "Which he already does. This shouldn't be so hard. And I don't think about his smile."

"Really? It's a nice smile," says Harry thoughtfully.

Louis doesn't want to think about Harry, or Liam, or Liam's smile. "Let's buy some bottles of cheap alcohol and pass out in the park."

Harry laughs. "Okay." Louis appreciates that Harry hasn't asked when they're going back, unlike Liam, who was so worried all morning yesterday. Harry's a top mate. Definitely a good choice for a day of skiving off work.

They drink for a long while, and Louis's grateful he's twenty-one now, so they can get as much alcohol in America as they want. People recognize them off and on, but they avoid any huge mobs. Harry buys a shiny silver hat, and Louis finds a man on the pavement selling airbrushed pictures of One Direction, which is so funny that he buys three of them for presents. Louis finishes an entire bottle of whisky and throws up on the pavement, and no one in New York seems to find that interesting at all. The world is spinning and starting to go twilight-dark around the edges when Harry flags down a cab, and Louis doesn't even ask where they're going until they pull up in front of the venue, and Paul comes out to meet them.

"What the fuck?" says Paul, glaring at Louis.

"Doesn't matter," Louis slurs. "Give it a few hours, it'll be like it never happened."

Paul half-carries Louis inside, and then gives him a glass of water and some pills. Louis lies down on a sofa and lets the room spin around and around. He's got used to how nothing matters. He can just let it all go, now, without getting angry. He wishes there were more whiskey, so he could pass out for real.

Louis's terribly drunk when Harry comes in, red-faced and tearful. "How did you know?" he asks, leaning over the sofa.

"Know what?" Louis asks, and then burps, and then giggles.

"Niall. He... He doesn't want to be with me anymore." Harry's voice breaks. "And I like him so much. How did you know? Did I do something wrong?"

"No, he's just confused," says Louis. He tries to gesture a bit and ends up smacking himself in the face. He's so drunk, his hands seem to belong to someone else. "Thinks you're a slag."

"Fuck," says Harry. He wipes his cheeks off with the back of his hands and takes a short, stuttering breath. "That sucks."

"Don't cry," says Louis sadly, but he's too drunk, and Harry's already left. Harry's a good mate, he shouldn't be crying, Louis thinks, but the room goes all spinny and he can't get up.

He hears people talking in the room, speaking in low voices as if they don't want to wake him. "No," Liam says, "it's my fault. This morning I wasn't very nice."

"Why should you be nice to him?" Zayn asks. "He was taking the piss over your crush, Liam, that's not fucking nice."

"It's all sorted now, anyway," says Liam. "Harry says Louis's having a breakdown or something. I should have been more patient."

No, Louis thinks. Liam should have punched him in the face. Why has Liam got to be so sweet about everything? Louis gets a feeling in his stomach that might be butterflies, thinking about how nice Liam can be, how he keeps giving Louis the benefit of the doubt.

It turns out not to be butterflies, because Louis has to lean over and vomit all over the floor.

"You're well fucked up," says Liam quietly. He gives Louis another glass of water. "I suppose we'll tell everyone you're too ill to the do the show."

"Would have been a shit show anyway," mumbles Louis. "Harry and Niall."

"D'you know what happened with them?" Liam asks. "They won't even look at each other."

Fuck, Louis thinks, rolling away from Liam's voice. He can't fix shit with Liam, because one day isn't ever enough time, but he ought to be able to fix Harry and Niall. They're cute together, and their fight is over something stupid. Harry's a good mate.

"Yeah," says Liam, sounding a bit sad. "Harry is a good mate."

"He ought to be happy," Louis mumbles. "I can do that. I can fix it."

"Oh, Louis," says Liam fondly, and then he goes away.

Paul comes by, and then someone else, and then they make Louis drink more water and he naps on the sofa. What a waste of a day, he thinks, and falls asleep properly.

 

DAY ?

The day starts with the radio blaring to life, and The Wanted shout that they're glad you came as Louis rolls over and puts his pillow over his ears.

"Good morning, New York! Eight A.M., rise and shine!"

"It's going to be a hot one today."

"What are you, worried about your sweaty balls?"

Louis listens to the rest of the chatter the same as always. His head hurts from going out with Zayn, however many days ago that was now. It's not fair, really, that's he's still hungover.

For the first time in a week — more than that, now? Maybe two, he's lost track – Louis's got a reason to get up in the morning. He's going to fix Niall and Harry. It's a dumb misunderstanding, so there's no reason Louis can't smooth it over. He knows what happens better than they do, after all.

Louis pulls on Liam's t-shirt and some shorts and jogs out into the kitchenette, where Liam is waiting, obviously. "The gym here is wicked," says Liam.

"You fucked with my radio," Louis says, "and you owe me. Make me some tea, and then you're going to help me with Niall and Harry."

"Serves you right, going out with Zayn 'til all hours when we have a photo shoot today, early," says Liam, but he makes Louis a cup of tea anyway.

Louis decides not to tease Liam about being jealous, since he knows Liam actually is jealous. The idea of Liam sitting at home, wistfully thinking about Louis, makes Louis's stomach turn over. But it's not butterflies, because he refuses to be one of Harry's clichés. "Next time you'll come with us," says Louis. "You can get nice and drunk, loosen up a little." He can't stop himself from teasing, just a little. "Maybe find someone fit at the club? When's the last time you got laid?"

Liam's cheeks go pink and he looks at Louis's cup of tea instead of Louis. "Shut up. I don't like meeting random people at clubs. What's the point with someone you'll never see again?"

"Liam, that is the point. You can do all the filthy things you want to do but are too embarrassed to ask your regular partner for."

"And then that ends up in the Daily Mail? No, thank you," says Liam primly.

If Louis were a dog, his ears would have just perked up. "So there is something filthy you want to do," he says. "That you didn't ask Danielle for?"

"No," says Liam, looking at his trainers and going even redder.

"Hmmm…" Louis muses, trying to work it out. It can't be that filthy. Liam had barely heard of blowjobs when he joined the band. They've always joked that he and Danielle must have had pretty dull sex. Although, now that Louis looks at the way Liam's sweaty t-shirt stretches across his shoulders, maybe not. Maybe Liam went and did research on sexual positions. That sounds like something he'd do. "C'mon, give me a hint. Did you want her to wee on you? Spank you? You like a good pinch now and then, don't you?" He reaches up to grab at Liam's nipples and Liam backs a step away, blushing furiously.

"No, none of that, Jesus."

Louis shrugs and goes back to his tea. He needs to get rid of this headache before he worries about anything else. "You'll tell me eventually. If not today then tomorrow or the day after that or the day after that."

"I won't," says Liam, but he will eventually. If Louis has infinite Tuesdays then he's definitely using some of them to make Liam confess all of his kinkiest secrets. That's also what Louis's going to think about in the shower next time.

"I have to go and wake up Zayn," says Liam, and flees the kitchenette just as Harry walks in.

"He alright?" Harry asks. His voice is all scratchy and deep. He yawns and scratches his belly.

"He doesn't want to tell me his kinky fantasies, but don't worry, he will," says Louis. Harry considers that for a moment and then shrugs. He stares at Louis's tea longingly, but Louis's plan for the day isn't to get Harry tea, it's to help Harry keep his boyfriend.

"You look tired," says Louis. "Big night last night?" Harry flips his hair down in front of his eyes and makes himself some tea. "Did you have sex with someone?" asks Louis loudly, just as Harry's flipping his hair back up.

Harry promptly spills his tea. "Oh, fuck."

"Was it Niall?" Louis continues. "Because if it was, we need to talk about it."

"It's not going to ruin the band," says Harry, as quickly as he can manage. "I mean. No? It wasn't? How did you know?"

"I know things," says Louis, in a hopefully mysterious voice. It was so fun, sneaking off with Harry yesterday; he should do that again. No, he reminds himself firmly. First he needs to figure out how to fix things with Niall and Harry.

"Well, don't say anything to anyone, it's new, and it's still…" Harry looks down and smiles into his tea. "I like him."

"Everyone likes Niall," says Louis. "Literally every single human being alive."

"Yeah, but…" Harry shrugs and bites his lip and just keeps smiling.

"You like him more, I get it," says Louis. Harry glows a little with the force of his happiness. It's kind of gross.

"Like him more than what?" Niall asks, popping in, wearing Harry's t-shirt.

"Nothing!" Harry squeaks. He gives Louis a quick please-don't-tell-him look, and Louis shrugs. He has to talk to Niall at some point today and find out what the hell is going on with these two so he can fix it, but he won't tell Harry that. Harry doesn't understand about the infinite Tuesdays.

"Weirdo," Niall laughs, and start pawing through the basket of muffins and bagels. "Are we ordering food before the photo shoot? And is someone gonna wake Zayn up?"

"Liam will," says Louis, because Liam always does.

"I'm starved," says Niall, and stuffs half a muffin in his mouth. "Let's order food. Loads and loads of food." He looks at Harry and grins, and Harry laughs and ducks under his hair and goes back to making tea. Louis is going to fix this so they stay giggly and adorable all day. He owes it to Harry, not that Harry remembers why.

The thing is, now that Louis knows Liam fancies him, he's having trouble thinking about much else. During the photoshoot, when they're all meant to be jumping up and down and being idiots, Louis jumps on Liam and plants a kiss on his cheek with a loud smacking noise, just so Liam will go pink and splutter. He shoves Louis off, looking confused and embarrassed, but then Zayn kisses his other cheek, and the photographer asks, "What is going on?"

"Fancy a go, later?" Louis whispers in Liam's ear. He can't help himself. Liam wasn't so fit before, was he?

Liam's cheeks go scarlet. "What? Louis, that's not funny," he says, shrugging Louis's hand off his shoulder. It's not as angry as he has been some of the other days, but he clearly doesn’t know what to make of Louis hitting on him, unless it's a joke.

If only Louis had more than one day. Yesterday – Liam's yesterday – they were just mates, and now Louis's interested in spending some of his infinite Tuesdays shagging and finding out all the things Liam likes to do in bed, and what sorts of noises he makes, and what kinky things he never got to do with Danielle. And Liam secretly wants that too, but Louis can't figure out a way to make it happen in one day.

"Wasn't joking," Louis says, but Liam has already walked over to the relative safety of Zayn. Louis sighs loudly and remembers how much he hates this particular photoshoot and interview. He stares at the ceiling for most of Shannon's dumb questions. The other lads give him odd looks, but at least he hasn’t stormed out this time. It's a serious temptation, since he knows it doesn't matter.

Louis keeps an eye on Harry and Niall. They look giggly and happy together, so whatever stupid fight they have later on doesn't seem to have any roots in anything happening now. He's so caught up in watching Niall try to slip his hand into the back pocket of Harry's skin-tight jeans that Louis backs up into Zayn and makes him spill tea all over his comic. "Fuck, Louis!" Zayn shouts.

"Sorry, mate," says Louis, but it's hard to be very apologetic when Zayn's been cross at him over the exact same thing five – ten? fifteen? a million??—times already. Zayn glares a lot and bitches, but Louis ignores him. He can fix it next time.

They get back to the hotel and Harry tries to follow Louis to his room. "Go and talk to Niall," Louis says. Maybe he can head this thing off at the pass. "Tell him you fancy him, and you don't plan to sleep with anyone else."

"What?" Harry says. "Why would I say that? What are you talking about?"

"He thinks… Never mind, just trust me. Go and tell Niall he's the only one for you."

Harry gives Louis a truly confused look, but shrugs and goes off. There; maybe that'll fix it. Louis thinks about napping, because he's tired, but he's still not tired enough to fall asleep. He never is. He'll go and find Liam instead.

Liam's playing a game on his PSP. He doesn't look up when Louis comes in, which is annoying, so Louis throws himself on Liam's bed and kicks Liam for a while.

"Hey, you made me miss a goal," says Liam, sticking his lower lip out.

"As always," says Louis. "So, you were going to tell me your kinkiest secrets."

"I wasn't," says Liam firmly.

"Let's start small," says Louis, cuddling up against Liam's side. He's beginning to learn the virtues of patience; he can weasel a little bit out of Liam every day, if he's careful about it. "What sort of snogging do you like? Slow and romantic, or hot and heavy?"

Liam turns pink. "Is this about earlier, because that wasn't funny—"

"I'm taking an informal poll of One Direction's favorite types of kissing," Louis lies easily. Liam never responds very well if Louis tells him he knows Liam fancies him. "Niall likes to stick his tongue in things. Anything. Harry's a romantic. How about you, Payno?"

Liam puts his game down and picks up the remote. He flips through a bunch of channels and settles on the same cooking program as always. "This alright?"

"Only if you answer the question."

Liam chews on his thumbnail for a minute. "Bit of both, I suppose?" He sounds suspicious, which seems fair; from his perspective Louis is acting a bit weird today.

"Elaborate," Louis demands, wrapping his arm around Liam's neck so he can plaster himself to Liam's back.

"Oh, god," Liam grumbles. "Well, I mean. It's nice when it starts off romantic and slow, yeah? But if you're doing it right, you'll both get pretty excited and desperate and into it. Okay?" He tries to squirm away from Louis, but Louis's clinging to him like a limpet.

Louis tries to stop himself, but he can't. "Show me," he says, mouth right over Liam's ear. Liam shivers. "C'mon, I bet you're ace at kissing. Show me." Louis leans forward and kisses Liam's jaw carefully.

"This isn't funny, Louis," says Liam, voice gone all scratchy and deep. He's staring at the television as if he can pretend Louis isn't there. He's clenched his hands into fists.

"Not joking, Liam," says Louis, kissing him again. He licks a little, under Liam's jaw, tasting him, trying to get a feel for the spots that make Liam swoon. That way he can save time tomorrow.

"What has got in to you today?" Liam asks. He turns to look at Louis, a little too close, and Louis can see his lashes, and a splash of freckles on his nose, and the way his mouth has fallen open a little, red and bitten and soft looking.

This is it, Louis thinks excitedly, and his stomach swoops down and then up. He's going to get to kiss Liam properly this time. But then, just like always, Harry comes in to the room, crying. "You okay?" Liam asks, jerking away from Louis.

Harry climbs on to Liam's bed and puts his arms around Louis. Damn it. "Trouble in paradise?" Louis asks. He'd hoped he'd already fixed this.

"Don't want to talk about it," says Harry miserably. He sniffles hard and then looks up, red-eyed, at them. "Liam, you should go and find Niall."

"No, hang on," says Louis quickly. He untangles Harry from around his neck." I'm going to go and talk to Niall. I'm really tired of this shit, he needs a good yelling at."

"What?" Liam asks, baffled. "What are you talking about? Stay with Harry, I'll go and—"

"No, I always stay with Harry, and I can't fix it from here," says Louis. Liam and Harry are both looking at him as if he's grown a second head. "Listen, Liam gives great hugs. You just need to tell him all your problems and he'll give you a cuddle and fix you right up. Right, Liam?"

"Well, I can try," Liam says, with his normal, determined look. "But wouldn't you rather—"

"Thanks, babe," says Louis. He ruffles Harry's hair and runs out of the room. He'd feel bad about it, but if he talks to Niall and finds out the problems then tomorrow he can avoid Harry ever getting his heart broken in the first place.

Niall is in his room, curled up in a ball on his bed. He isn't crying, but he looks like he's about to write the saddest song in the world on his guitar. "Hey," says Louis.

"You should probably go and find Harry," says Niall.

Louis rolls his eyes. "Already seen him," he says. "How about you, Nialler? Everything okay?" He sits down on the bed and pats Niall's back.

"He tell you what happened?"

Not today, not exactly. "Why don't you tell me," says Louis.

Niall rolls over on his back. His eyes are red and he blinks a few times. His cheeks are always so red and flushed when he's upset, and it makes him look about twelve years old. Louis feels so much like Niall's older brother sometimes, it's painful. Even more than he does about Harry.

"I should have kept in mind that Harry's Harry, y'know?" says Niall, and sniffles a little. Louis hands him a tissue.

"What does that mean?" Louis asks carefully. If Niall's about to call Harry a slag, then Louis will punch him in the face, no matter how sad he looks.

Niall shrugs. "I just like him a lot, I guess. More than... More than I thought I did."

"Of course you do," Louis says. "C'mon, Niall. You know better than that. Was last night the first time you two shagged? Are you having some day-after freak out or something?"

Niall looks furious and red faced. He sits up. "Two days ago Harry got off with that girl after the show. And last night him and me, we got kind of drunk and silly and shagged, yeah. But when I went looking for him twenty minutes ago, he had one of the sound techs in his bed, so I don't think this is me freaking out."

"He what?" Louis demands. This isn't the story the way Harry told it.

"Just Harry being Harry," says Niall bitterly. "But me, I really like him. I don't want to just be someone else to him, it's bullshit."

"That is bullshit," says Louis, pulling Niall in to a hug. What the hell, Harry? he thinks angrily. Harry's been leaving out important details. It's a good thing Louis's got a million tries to find out everything that goes on today.

He comforts Niall for a while, and then they share a beer before the show. The show is the same as always – with Niall and Harry not looking at each other, and Zayn cross with Louis, it's low-energy and slightly painful. Liam tries so hard, just like every other time they've done the concert.

During one of Zayn's solos, Liam puts an arm around Louis's neck and says, "Tomorrow, we need to figure out how to get Niall and Harry to stop crying about each other."

"Tomorrow's no good," says Louis. "It has to be today."

Liam gives him a skeptical look. "I think it's a bit late for that."

"Don't worry; I'll get an early start," says Louis. Liam looks even more confused, but tomorrow he won't remember any of this anyway, so who cares?

Actually, since that's true, Louis grabs Liam's jacket with both hands and drags him into a kiss. Liam makes a startled noise, and the screaming in the venue suddenly gets amazingly loud. It takes Liam a minute to find his balance and put his hands on Louis's shoulders and push him back.

"What was that?" he asks, eyes huge.

"Still no, huh?" Louis says. "Fuck, I figured it was worth a shot."

"You've been mental all day," says Liam, shaking his head. "Fuck off, Lou." He storms across the stage. Louis just shrugs. He can try again tomorrow.

The day ends in the same disaster as always. Everyone stalks off to his own room. Louis decides to go out anyway, since it doesn't matter how late he stays out, or how many betrayed looks Zayn and Liam give him. "You'll be sorry in the morning," Liam mutters, crossing his arms, because even when he's upset with Louis, he's still Liam.

"Nah, I think I'll be fine," says Louis.

The club is a nice change of pace, and Louis gets the names of a couple of girls and boys he might want to run into again tomorrow. He drinks whatever the hell he wants and snogs whoever the hell he wants, and when he falls asleep in the car on the way home from the club, he doesn't even have to worry about his hangover in the morning, because it'll be the same as it always is.

THE NEXT DAY(s)

It all starts to run together.

Telling Harry not to bring other boys back to his room doesn't work; Harry just giggles. Apparently having another lad in his bed when Niall walks in is an accident. Warning Niall that Harry's just like that doesn't work; Niall is surprisingly fragile. Every fucking day ends with Harry sobbing and Louis grumpy with himself for failing his best mates.

Louis worms the following information out of Liam, bit by bit: Liam has never actually done anything kinky. Liam isn't averse to trying basically anything, in theory. Liam blushes when Louis asks him about pinching and spanking but doesn’t say no. Liam has never heard of rimming, and Louis feels a deep physical need to introduce him to it.

"Come on," says Louis, the morning he arranges a game of truth or dare in the van. "Kinkiest fantasy, Payno. You have to."

Liam blushes, and hems and haws, but Harry's already admitted he likes getting fucked in public, and Zayn apparently wants Perrie to buy a strap on and fuck him, so it's not as if Liam's going to shock anyone. "I mean, like that," Liam mumbles, glancing at Zayn.

"You want Perrie to fuck you?" Zayn asks, eyebrows up, like he's considering it.

"Danielle," Liam says, sounding strangled. "Or, not her. Or… Or a bloke, I suppose. I just. Can it be Niall's turn, now? Please?"

Jesus Christ, Louis thinks. Liam's darkest, kinkiest fantasy is just to get fucked. Louis can make that come true five times a day.

Except that every single time Louis kisses him, Liam pushes him away. Louis gets down on one knee and proposes during a concert. Liam laughs and ignores him. Louis kisses Liam in the morning, when he's just back from the gym, and he kisses Liam in the van on the way to the photoshoot. He kisses Liam when they're alone in Liam's hotel room, and he kisses Liam on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans. Liam laughs, or he's angry, or he's flustered, or he's confused, but he shoves Louis away every single time and Louis is beyond desperate to get in to his jeans.

Louis also accidentally finds a million ways to ruin Zayn's comic; if he doesn't spill tea on it, then he rips it, or he crumples it. One morning he finds a way to set it on fire, entirely by mistake. Zayn always ends up not speaking to him, like clockwork.

One day, which is exactly like all the other Tuesdays, Louis gets back from ruining Zayn's comic book and crawls in to Liam's hotel bed. He's got about ten minutes before Niall breaks Harry's heart.

"I need a cuddle," says Louis.

Liam puts down his FIFA game and looks at him with concern. "Everything okay, Tommo? Zayn doesn't really mind about the comic. He'll forget by tomorrow."

Irony, Louis thinks, grimacing. "I'm just really frustrated," says Louis. He's spent the last hundred Tuesdays trying but nothing is getting better. Maybe tomorrow he'll spend all day in bed, since it doesn't matter. He deserves a holiday from this endless fucking nightmare.

"Hey," says Liam, and crawls up the bed to cuddle up next to Louis. "Hey, what's wrong? You okay? Homesick? Feeling poorly?"

I want you to kiss me, Louis thinks. His chest aches with it. He wants to kiss Liam and have Liam kiss him back even more than he wants to fix Harry and Niall. He wants Liam to smile at him and to be allowed to smile back, to wink and flirt and touch, without Liam being confused and suspicious. "Can you just give me a hug, please?" Louis says. He sounds more miserable than he means to.

"Yeah, of course," says Liam immediately, wrapping his arms around Louis. They're so close, Louis has to breathe out as Liam breathes in. Louis's head is tucked underneath Liam's chin. Liam smells good, and he feels so warm.

Tuesday wouldn't be so awful if it were always like this.

"How can I help?" Liam asks. "What can I do?"

Louis lost track a few days back, but he's sure it's been Tuesday for at least a couple of months. Maybe longer. He's learnt the names of all the fangirls in the lobby, of most of the people who work at the hotel, of everyone at the photoshoot. He's been all over New York. He's done the same shitty concert dozens of times. He can't figure out how to make anything better.

Louis makes a noise that might be a hiccup or it might be a sob. He's just so tired. "I can't fix anything," he says quietly, against Liam's chest. "There are so many things wrong, and I can't fix them. I don't know what to do."

"Aww, babe," says Liam.

"I just want to make it better for everyone," Louis says, squeezing his eyes shut so maybe Liam won't see him crying.

"Yeah," says Liam. "You're good at that. C'mon, Lou. Don't cry. You're brilliant. Anything you set your mind to, you'll do it."

"Fuck, Liam. You're so nice," Louis says. He tries to get his breathing back under control, because any minute now Harry is going to come in in tears. "I don't know what to do, when nothing helps, and nothing makes any difference. What do I do?"

Liam pauses, like he's really considering it. "I bet you are making a difference," he says finally. "You don't realize how much we all depend on you. You hold the whole band together. It took you months and months to get to me, to get me to loosen up, right? It didn't happen in just one day."

"But I've only got one day," Louis says. He hasn't felt this shit since the second or third day, when he'd just absolutely broken down.

"There's always tomorrow," says Liam.

Louis resists the urge to kick him. He wants to kiss Liam and punch him in his well-meaning face in equal measure. "Pretend there isn't tomorrow. What do you do when you feel absolutely hopeless?" he asks.

"I get a cuddle from you lads and I try harder," says Liam.

Louis squeezes closer to Liam. "Of course you do. Fuck. Liam – can I kiss you?"

Liam goes still. His breathing speeds up, though. Louis can feel it. "Um," says Liam. "Louis, what?"

"I just really, really want to kiss you. I think it'd make me feel loads better." He's tried this before, and it always ends badly, but what the hell, right?

"Wow," says Liam, barely more than a whisper. "Louis, is everything alright? Honestly, your mum and the girls, are they—"

"They're fine," says Louis. He tilts his head up hopefully. Liam is considering it, he can tell from the way Liam's mouth is a little open. Louis's got more and more obsessed with Liam's mouth. "Please?" Louis asks again.

Liam doesn't say anything, but he nods, just a little. Louis pushes up on one elbow and kisses Liam quickly, before Liam can change his mind. Liam's mouth is soft and open, and he tastes the same as he has every Tuesday, but this time he hasn't put his hands on Louis to shove him away. Louis kisses gently, because Liam's told him on more than one Tuesday that he likes to start slow and figure things out. He presses their mouths together, enjoying the plushness of Liam's lower lip, and the sharp edge of Liam's jaw under Louis's hand. Liam makes a tiny noise and squeezes Louis a little closer. Louis presses his leg between Liam's and tries not to let himself grind up against him when he desperately wants to. He just wants this, comfort from Liam, and how solid he is, and how strong he is, and how he honestly thinks that Louis can fix things that are apparently unfixable.

And then Harry comes in to the room crying. Liam jerks back, pushing himself up on his elbows. "You okay?" Liam asks.

Harry climbs on to Liam's bed and lies down basically on top of Louis, who's just tried to sit up, and cries into Louis's neck. "Oh, Harry," says Louis. "Trouble in paradise again?"

"I don't want to talk about it," says Harry, like he always does. How does that boy end up in his bed, honestly, and why can't Niall learn to deal with it? Louis tries to remember how much he loves both of them, when he's angry with them for ruining the first real kiss with Liam that he's managed. Liam is flushed and his mouth is redder than usual. Harry sniffles hard. "Liam, you should go and find Niall."

"Or you could try talking to him," Louis sighs.

"Shit, is Niall upset, too? What happened?" Liam asks. "I'll go and get some food and then find him." He starts to go and then pauses in the door. "Louis, you really can fix it," he says. "Whatever 'it' is. Even…" He nods toward Harry.

There's such genuine trust in his face. "I'll try," says Louis. Fuck, he isn't going to stay in bed all day tomorrow, after all. There must be some other way to fix things between Niall and Harry. Some other way to get Zayn to stop being cross with him. Some other way to get Liam to kiss him that doesn't start with Louis crying. He pets Harry's hair and lets him cuddle under Liam's blankets with him, and tries to plan.

THE NEXT DAY

The day starts with the radio blaring to life, and The Wanted shout that they're glad you came as Louis rolls over and puts his pillow over his ears. "Good morning, New York! Eight A.M., rise and shine!"

Louis turns off the radio with a practiced fist to the buttons. He's become an expert at that. He has a quick shower – it helps with the hangover, he's discovered – and wears Liam's t-shirt, because if he can't have Liam, at least he can wear his clothes. And then he jogs out to the kitchenette, absolutely determined to fix at least one fucking thing this time.

Liam is, as always, drinking orange juice and wearing joggers and a t-shirt and looking all sweaty. "The gym here is wicked," he says.

It's the same as all the other Tuesdays have been, but Louis nearly staggers with how badly he wants to kiss Liam again. It was so good yesterday, maybe the only thing that made him feel like he wasn't just drowning in the same day over, and over, and over. There's something about Liam's face, or his eyes, or his jaw, or his shoulders, and Louis's whole chest feels like an elephant is sat on it.

"Fuck," Louis says. "Fuck, I think I really fancy you."

Liam chokes on his juice in a most ungraceful and unsexy manner, and Louis even finds that cute. "What?" Liam squeaks.

"Shit, pretend I didn't say that. That's not the point of today, the point is to stop Niall and Harry breaking up over nothing. Help me find a sound tech named Tom. He's going to ruin everything later."

"Harry and Niall what? You – Louis, are you feeling well?"

"Make me some tea, Liam, you useless lump," says Louis, throwing a pillow at him, because explaining things to Liam takes forever, and anyway Liam just laughs, which makes his eyes sparkle a little, like a fucking cartoon or something. Shit, all Louis can think of is the day he snuck out with Harry and Harry asked him if Liam's smile gave him butterflies in his stomach.

Well, it does now.

Louis has tea and grabs Liam before he can go off to shower and wake up Zayn. "I need some help," he says. "C'mon. We need to save Harry and Niall."

"From what? Ugh, Louis, I'm all sweaty."

"Yeah," says Louis, and doesn't tell Liam how much he likes the way Liam smells when he's all sweaty, because it's weird and slightly creepy.

Harry comes in, smiling and looking well-shagged. "Go and tell Niall how much you like him," Louis orders, grabbing Liam's hand. "Don't let him forget. Tell him a hundred times today that he's your favorite and you love him."

"Er, good morning?" Harry says.

"I have no time for that!" Louis yells, and pulls Liam along out of the room.

"What's going on with Niall and Harry?" Liam asks, letting himself be pulled.

"Oh, they shagged, but they're both a bit insecure about it, and they're going to break up later over a dumb misunderstanding," says Louis.

Liam laughs. "You can see the future, now?"

"You'd be amazed," Louis says. He goes down the hall looking for the doors where the band and the whole traveling circus of their tour is. He throws open a couple of doors and finds loads of their crew either still asleep, or half-dressed, or in one exciting case snogging another of their staff. But not the right sound tech. Not the one who gets into Harry's bed later.

"Why are we barging in on the crew?" Liam asks. Louis hasn't let go of his hand. Liam is used to this sort of touching; the kissing always throws him, but hand-holding is entirely normal for them. Liam's hands are enormous. If Louis ever gets past Tuesday, he's going to make Liam do very dirty things with those fingers of his.

"I told you, we need to find – aha!" Tom is sat on his bed with his mobile, texting someone. "You!" Louis shouts accusingly.

"Hello," says Tom.

"Homewrecker," accuses Louis.

"Are you drunk?" Liam asks.

Louis gets right up in Tom's space, so he can point an angry finger at him. "Why do you go and climb into Harry's bed later today? What are you hoping to get out of it? Has he been flirting with you?"

For a minute Tom stares at him, wide-eyed, and Liam starts to make apologetic noises about coming back later when Louis's less insane. Then Tom says, "How'd you find out about the bet?"

Louis could scream and punch his fist in the air in triumph. "I have my ways," he says, in a dark and hopefully threatening tone. "And the bet is off. It's cancelled. If you go any fucking where near Harry's room today, I'll have you fired."

"Louis," says Liam, in his chiding, disapproving-mummy voice.

"You don't understand," says Louis. He turns back to Tom. "What are the terms of the bet? I'll double it. Or I'll give you a million dollars. Literally, a million dollars. Just leave Harry alone today."

Tom looks baffled and a little scared. Good. "It was just a dumb bet," he says. "Who's gonna have to load the equipment—"

"I'll do it," says Louis. "Fuck, just come and find me. But leave Harry alone, got it?"

"Okay," says Tom, holding up his hands in surrender. "Whatever you say."

"You sound completely cracked," Liam whispers to Louis.

Louis points one last time at Tom, and then pulls Liam back out into the hall. "Later on Niall was going to find that guy waiting in Harry's bed, and think that Harry doesn't really fancy him, when really Harry does. They're both such insecure babies sometimes. Hopefully that'll fix that, and now they can spend all day being adorable and disgusting at each other."

Liam still looks confused, as well he might; Louis's lost track of how many times he's tried to explain this now, and he's probably leaving out vital information. But Liam, bless him, nods and says, "That's really sweet of you, Tommo."

"It's not," says Louis. "It's entirely selfish, trust me."

Liam is still giving him a slightly starry-eyed look. "I think it was nice."

"You think loads of bollocky things," says Louis. "Go and wake up Zayn. I have to go and say hello to some fans waiting in the lobby."

"Wait, Louis. Before, you said—"

Louis ignores him to go and get in the lift. He's posed for more pictures in the lobby than he can remember, but the days he skips it, they all cry, and he feels awful. They don't know it's going to happen over and over. He's learnt that if he goes down early, while everyone else is waking up, he has time to sign everything and pose for everyone, and then all the girls end up happy and there are no tears, even though Harry and Liam and Zayn and Niall haven't got time to stop.

"How did you know all their names?" Liam asks after, as they climb into the van.

"Basically, I'm a superhero," says Louis. "But only today."

Liam looks baffled, which is adorable, which makes Louis want to kiss him. So far the day is going really well, though, and Louis doesn't want to spoil his good mood by getting shoved away by Liam, who doesn't know this is the one millionth time Louis has tried to kiss him.

"So weird," says Niall, cackling. He's got Harry basically in his lap and they're holding hands, and Louis is not going to let that get fucked up today. He's not. He can't stand Harry crying at him one more time, or Niall's blotchy sad red face, so he's going to be perfect all day, making sure nothing goes wrong.

Louis's in such a hopeful mood that, for once, he enjoys the photoshoot. He bounces all over, and maybe he gropes Liam a little more than he needs to, but it's well within the bounds of what they normally do, so other than laughing and shaking his head, Liam doesn't seem to notice.

The interview goes badly, but Louis jumps in to help Shannon a bit, because he's got fond of her, despite her terrible attempts at questions. She asks Niall to do his New York accent, and Louis tries to do one too, loudly, over the top of Niall. She asks who's got a girlfriend and Zayn raises his hand, and Louis pinches Liam before he can look sad and wistful about Danielle. "Girlfriends only?" Louis says. "What about boyfriends? Eh?" He tickles Liam so Liam jumps and laughs, and then looks a bit guilty about interrupting.

"Oh, uh, is there something you want to tell us?" Shannon asks, looking at them with big eyes.

"Maybe," says Louis, and leers. Liam blushes and shakes his head. At the other end of the sofa Harry and Niall exchange a little giggle and Harry bites Niall's shoulder through his jumper for no apparent reason. Zayn rolls his eyes.

As always, Liam is thrilled to get a toy for Loki, and Louis puts his new sunglasses at the tip of his nose and pulls a silly face, staring at all of them with duck lips. Harry and Niall giggle over their headband and pint glass. "And for Zayn, here's a copy of this special Batman comic that we tracked down."

"Oh my god," says Zayn, eyes wide.

"Cool!" says Liam enthusiastically.

"Really cool," Zayn agrees. "Cheers, that's amazing."

"Everyone be really careful of it!" Louis shouts. He hasn't got a plan to avoid ruining Zayn's comic today. "It's fragile! Paul, come and take it away, so we can't ruin it when we have tea."

"I want to hold on to it," Zayn complains, but Paul takes it and puts it neatly in one of their bags.

"It can't be that easy," says Louis. "Can it?"

"What?" Liam asks. Louis just shakes his head.

Louis holds his breath – at least, metaphorically – the rest of the photoshoot. He doesn't take any tea and he won't let Zayn anywhere near either the food or his comic. Zayn grumbles and gives him really dirty looks, but when they get back to the hotel Zayn isn't furious with him. "I'm off to call Perrie again," he says. "Are you on drugs?"

"Okay," Louis agrees easily. He gives Zayn a kiss on the cheek. "Send Pez my love and tell her you aren't cross with me! Isn't that great?"

"So weird," Zayn says, laughing grudgingly. "Liam, keep an eye on him."

"He's been weird all day," Liam agrees. He takes Louis's hand in his, as if that'll keep Louis out of trouble. Actually, it might. "Did you want to take a nap before the show tonight? You and Zayn were out late last night."

"I'm sorry we didn't invite you," says Louis. "I would if I could go back one more day."

"What?" Liam asks. "Are you on drugs?"

"I can't go to my room, I have to make sure Niall and Harry don't fuck this up again," Louis says. "You can help."

"Can I?"

Louis goes barging in to Harry's room. There's no one on the bed, for once. Liam definitely looks as if he thinks Louis is losing his mind. "We're just going to wait," says Louis. "Right here. So it can't go wrong."

"I think maybe whatever Harry and Niall get up to in here is none of our business," Liam says.

"You'd think so, but—"

Harry and Niall come banging into the room, arms around each other and pressed together so tightly that Louis can't honestly tell when Niall stops and Harry starts, particularly not in the mouth area. "Shit," says Liam. "C'mon, we should go." He pulls on Louis's hand.

"Ahem!" says Louis loudly, and when that doesn't work, "Ahemmmmm!"

Niall breaks away from Harry's mouth and looks at him, panting and a little annoyed. "Get off the bed, Tommo. No room for three."

"Urgh, no thank you," says Louis. "Okay, before you two continue this shagging adventure you're on, Harry, tell Niall how much you like him."

"Shut up," says Harry, ducking to hide his face against Niall's shoulder.

"Aww," says Liam.

Louis elbows him. "Seriously. Harry, are you and Niall going to be an exclusive let's-only-shag-each-other or is this just playing around?"

"It's okay if it's just a one-off," Niall starts.

"No!" says Harry, alarmed, looking up. "It's not! I mean, if that's what you want, but—"

"Well, if that's what you want—"

"Fuck!" Louis shouts. "No! We are not doing this again. Hands up who's head over heels embarrassingly in love! Come on. I said hands up!"

After a minute Harry laughs quietly and puts his hand up. Niall's face lights up, like the fucking sun has just come out from behind a cloud, and he puts his hand up, too, and then Harry puts both hands on Niall's face and drags him down into a kiss.

"We should go," Liam whispers. He's got his mouth almost on Louis's ear, it's unbearable, because Louis can't actually just turn and kiss him. He tries not to shiver, or to be too miserably jealous of Niall and Harry. Liam pulls him out of the room and shuts the door after them. "That was about to be a lot more than I want to see."

"I have saved true love," says Louis grandly. "Finally!"

Liam laughs. "You're really, really weird today. It's sort of cute, though. You want to come to my room and play video games or something?"

Louis wants to go to Liam's room and push him down onto the bed and kiss him until neither of them can think straight, and then he wants to suck Liam's dick, and introduce him to rimming, and make all his getting-fucked fantasies come true. And then teach him how to fuck Louis. It would be a seriously full afternoon.

But when he tries that – unless he's in tears and having a breakdown – Liam never goes with it, he always ends up upset and confused, so Louis shakes his head. "Going to get a snack and call my mum," he says. "I'll see you later."

"But—"

"It's better this way," says Louis. His mouth tastes like regret, and it sucks. But he'd rather leave Liam puzzled now than upset later, even if it makes Louis feel a bit shit.

He remembers Harry asking him something about that, too, that Tuesday they went to the park. Would Louis rather be miserable himself than let Liam be miserable? Fuck, Louis really is gone over Liam, isn't he? What an enlightening day Tuesday has turned out to be.

It's an entirely different concert. Harry chases Niall all over the stage, and then Niall turns and chases him back, and at one point Niall chases Harry and rubs his nose on Harry's and the entire audience screams. The crowd can't see the way they're beaming at each other, not the way Louis can. He feels a swelling in his chest, pride and joy and something better than both of those, because he's finally helped his friends be happy. He makes a note for tomorrow, how to fix everything, so he can spend less time fretting about them and more time flirting inappropriately with Liam.

Liam comes bouncing up behind Louis and puts his arm around Louis's neck. "They look so happy," he says. "It's all down to you, isn't it?"

"Not all me," Louis says. "I just stopped them screwing it up."

Liam smiles at him, eyes all crinkled up. He looks so excited that Louis has to press his heels down onto the stage, so he won't bob up and kiss Liam right there. Liam says, "You don't realize how much we all depend on you. You hold the whole band together."

"You keep telling me that," says Louis.

Liam pulls a face like he's trying to recall. "I do?"

"Yeah, you do. I know I'm a right twat to you about half the time, but you know I love you, right?" It's important that Louis check; it'll help him figure out how much he can tease Liam and how much he can flirt without getting shoved away.

Liam's face goes pink. They're going to miss their solos, but luckily Harry and Niall are distracting everyone, giving each other piggy back rides and falling down the steps on each other. "I know," Liam says, looking down.

"Really," says Louis, because why not. "I just really love you, Liam. It's a problem." His stomach feels like it's full of boiling rocks. He wants Liam to remember this, just this, even if everything else resets. Liam gives him a curiously shy look, which Louis can't stand. If only Liam knew how many times they've nearly had this conversation.

Doesn't matter, anyway. Louis rolls his eyes at himself. Then he gives Liam a nice hard swat on the arse. "Keep that in mind, Payno," he says, and runs off to Zayn, who's stood alone in the middle of the stage, so he can pick up his solo. The girls scream quite a lot, but they scream even more when Liam comes running up behind Louis and grins at him, and then just before Louis's solo finishes, while he can't retaliate, Liam kisses him on the cheek.

Then Liam runs off to the other side of the stage to tackle Niall, the fucker. Louis finishes his solo, glaring at Liam. His tombstone is going to read Here Lies Louis Tomlinson: He Died Of Blue Balls.

"That was awesome," says Zayn, as they walk off stage to change and shower.

"It really was, wasn't it?" says Louis, because he's awfully proud of himself.

"Love you, you moron," says Zayn, trying to strangle Louis and kiss him at the same time, while Louis laughs.

Harry and Niall are glued together at the mouth. Liam rolls his eyes at them. "You could do that in private, you know," he complains.

"Who wants to go out tonight?" Zayn asks.

Fuck, it's taken Louis months of Tuesdays to get someone to ask him that. "We're staying in," says Harry firmly.

Zayn looks at Louis. "Come out with me. Partners in crime, eh? Two nights in a row?"

Liam gets a funny, wistful look on his face. "No," says Louis, before he realizes what he's saying. "Me and Liam are staying in and watching bad TV."

"He can come out with us, too," says Zayn, rolling his eyes. "I wasn't trying to exclude him."

Paul shoves Niall toward the shower. "Why don't you lads take one night off? Remember your headache this morning?"

Zayn sighs. "Can I have my comic, then?" Paul finds it for him. Louis stays well away from him.

Liam bumps Louis's shoulder. "You can go out," he says. "I mean, I'd come out with you two, it's fine."

"I'd rather stay in," says Louis. Tomorrow he'll make Liam come out with them, and get him really drunk, and then maybe Liam will let him get handsy. But he's afraid to ruin this Tuesday by pushing too hard. It's gone so well so far. "Come and hang out at mine, yeah? We'll drink something out of the minibar and watch shit television. I could do with a cuddle."

Liam laughs. "You've been so weird today. But I suppose you deserve a cuddle if you want one."

It's a loud ride back to the hotel; Niall is holding Harry's beanie just out of Harry's reach, and Zayn's on the phone to Perrie trying to shout over them. "Try not to get Harry up the duff!" yells Louis, as Harry and Niall disappear in to their room. Liam giggles and hides his face in Louis's shoulder.

"Dunno, babe, they're a load of wild animals," says Zayn disapprovingly to Perrie on the phone. Louis blows him a kiss and then pulls Liam into his room.

"Right, what do you want to watch? The cooking channel here is wicked," says Louis. He kicks off his Toms and throws himself on the bed on his back, bouncing a couple of times.

Liam gives him a funny look. "You're feeing okay? Really?"

"I'll feel better when I get a cuddle," says Louis, holding his arms out. Liam laughs and toes his trainers off and climbs into bed with him. Louis has learnt that Liam never turns down a cuddle. Louis settles himself against Liam's chest and flips on the telly. The same cooking show as always is on; some dead sexy lady making Italian food. Louis should have learnt her name by now, but he's usually drunk.

"Um, this morning," says Liam, not looking at Louis. "You said something about… Um, about me?"

Louis can't remember which morning Liam's talking about. There have been too many mornings that were all exactly the same. "Yeah, probably," he agrees.

"Did you mean it?"

"Definitely," says Louis, because he probably did. Lying gets too complicated to remember when it's always Tuesday.

"Huh," says Liam. On the television screen, the lady washes vegetables and there are lots of sexy closeups of her hands. Liam resettles so he's looking at Louis, biting his lip.

Louis would like to roll on top of him and snog him senseless. He clenches his hand in the duvet so he won't. "What?" Louis asks.

"I just… I mean… I fancy you, too."

All the breath goes out of Louis in a sudden rush. "Is that what I said?" he asks, strangled.

"Yeah," says Liam uncertainly. "…should I not have said that?"

Liam moves like he's going to get up and leave. Louis clamps on to his arm like a vise. "No!" he almost shouts. "You should definitely have said that! Because that's fantastic." He rolls on top of Liam before Liam can get up.

Liam laughs. "Oh, okay. I wasn't sure, because… I mean, you've been a bit weird today, but—"

"That's because my crush on you is making me stupid," says Louis definitely. "Does this mean I can kiss you?"

Liam bites his lip and grins. "Yeah," he mumbles, and almost before he's done with the word, Louis's kissing him.

Louis means to go slowly, he does; he's kissed Liam enough times now to know what Liam responds to. But it's the first time Liam's hands have come willingly up to hold on to Louis's arse, and the first time Liam has really kissed him back. Louis can't stop the desperate noise he makes, nudging Liam's mouth open so he can kiss him properly, dragging their tongues together, getting his hands on Liam's torso, pushing his leg between Liam's so he has better leverage to grind down.

Liam gasps. "You weren't kidding," he says, sounding a little surprised.

"I wasn't," says Louis definitely. "I'm deadly serious about this." Liam starts to ask a question, so Louis kisses him again. Liam's fingers tighten on Louis's bum, and he pulls Louis closer.

What would Liam do right now, if Louis started taking off his jeans? Probably not worth risking it. He kisses Liam, sliding his hands under Liam's shirt, grinding their hips together a little. After a minute Liam rolls them over so he's on top, and Louis's completely okay with that, too. Louis bites at Liam's mouth and Liam growls at him and pushes him down into the mattress.

"Remind me to do it just like this tomorrow," says Louis breathlessly. Liam sucks a mark onto his neck, and the sharp sting of it goes straight through Louis's nervous system as if he's been struck by lightning.

"We'll get bored, surely, if it's exactly the same twice," says Liam.

Louis can't help it; he starts to laugh. "Twice," he says. "Jesus, what I wouldn't give for twice." He's laughing so hard his stomach hurts, and Liam sits up, knees on either side of Louis's hips, frowning at him.

"Honestly, are you sure you're alright?" Liam asks.

"Come back and kiss me again and we'll find out," says Louis. Liam looks a bit dubious, but he also looks pleased, so he does.

It's late and the television has gone to just playing hour-long adverts. Liam is half-dozing on top of Louis, one arm round his waist. Louis's exhausted, but he wants to stay awake as long as possible, because this has been the best Tuesday out of all of them, and he doesn't want it to end.

"I should go back to mine," Liam mumbles into Louis's neck.

"No, stay with me," Louis says quietly. "Please?"

Liam smiles and then yawns and his eyes fall shut. A few minutes later, lulled by the sound of Liam's steady breathing, Louis falls asleep, too.

THE NEXT DAY

The day starts with the radio blaring to life, and The Wanted shout that they're glad you came. "Good morning, New York!" says one of the DJs, over The Wanted. "Eight A.M., rise and shine!"

"It's going to be a hot one again today," says the other DJ.

Liam groans loudly. "Turn that shit off," he says, curling into Louis's chest.

"Yeah," says Louis, and then stops dead.

Liam is there.

In the bed.

With him.

"Why the hell are you playing the same song as yesterday?" asks one of the DJs, finally, mercifully making The Wanted fade out. "Didn't you see the One Direction concert yesterday?"

"Yeah, me and a million crying six year old girls."

Louis sits up. Liam is still mostly asleep and scrunching his eyes shut as if he can make the radio go away. "Why's it so loud?" Liam groans.

Louis feels a bit like his head is floating away into the clouds. He's terrified to be as giddy as he wants to be. "You turned it up for a prank," he says carefully.

"Ugh, I suck," says Liam, rolling over so his head's under the pillow.

Louis reaches over and turns the radio off. He's absolutely terrified to ask, but he has to. "Liam. Liam, wake up. What day is today?" He pulls the pillow off Liam's face. Liam scrunches up his nose and blinks at the light.

"Wednesday," Liam says. "Crap, I think we're late for bus call."

"Prove it," says Louis. His voice is shaking, he can't help it. "Prove that it's Wednesday. Please."

Liam gives him a strange look, but he's still a bit asleep, so he just shrugs and finds his mobile on the floor. "See? My phone says Wednesday."

"Fuck!" says Louis. His phone genuinely says Wednesday. It's Wednesday. "Liam, you're magic. You made it Wednesday!"

Liam blinks sleepily at him. "Yes, I am truly a wizard," he says.

"You don't understand," says Louis. "It hasn't been Wednesday in months. I thought it was never going to be Wednesday again! I could kiss you."

"Okay," says Liam agreeably, so Louis does. He leans down and kisses Liam, as hard as he can. If this is a dream, he needs to wake himself up.

Liam kisses him back, though, and Louis can feel the way he's smiling. Maybe it isn't a dream.

"What's up with you?" Liam asks. "Are you okay?"

"You're here," says Louis. He wants to laugh and cry in equal measure, and he's fairly sure someone's going to have to pry his hands off Liam, because what if he lets go and Liam's gone again? "Why are you here?"

Liam looks confused and adorable and Louis has never loved anything as much as he loves that expression on Liam's face. "You asked me to stay, so I stayed."

"I asked you to stay, so you stayed," echoes Louis. It couldn’t have been that easy. Could it?

The door bangs open. "I can't believe I'm up before you, you brat," yells Zayn, and then does a double-take. "Oh my god, is everyone in this band shagging now? Get up! Put some pants on. No one wants to see that!"

Liam laughs. Louis laughs, too, but his is mostly relief. This is different. Things are happening that haven't happened before. It isn't Tuesday.

"I don't know what's going to happen!" says Louis gleefully.

"Every day is an adventure," Liam agrees. Louis shakes his head, but there's no point in explaining, really. He just grabs Liam and pulls him down and kisses him again.

"Do you really remember yesterday?" Louis asks, trying to kiss Liam and talk at the same time.

"Lou, jeez," says Liam, laughing and pushing him away. It's not like before, though; Liam is only pushing him off because Zayn is there. Louis notes with some satisfaction that Liam's still got a hand on Louis's arse. Louis kisses his cheek, his neck, whatever he can reach. Zayn makes a disgusted noise and leaves. "Yes, I remember yesterday. We had a photoshoot, and Niall and Harry practically shagged right in front of us, and you slapped my bum on stage."

"I'll do more than that," Louis threatens, but he can't stop grinning.

Liam kisses his nose, which is awful and adorable. "Oh, will you?"

"You have no idea, the things I know about you," says Louis. "I've done my research. I'm going to make you so happy. You should probably brace yourself."

Liam looks a bit baffled. "Come on; we have to get packed and go down to the bus. We're really late, if Zayn's already up. Come on, Louis."

Louis lets Liam pull him to his feet. "Normally I'd be obnoxious about it," says Louis, and Liam rolls his eyes, all Who, you? Never. Louis kisses Liam again, hard and quick, because he can now. "But today," Louis says, "I can't wait to see what happens next."