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you cured my january blues (yeah you made it all alright)

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"Listen hard, and listen good. I'm going to need a turtle that looks just like this one. Alright?" Louis holds up his iPhone 4 (complete with the iOS7 update, thank you very much), and stares deeply into - Louis checks the nametag - "Harry"'s eyes. 

"Um," Harry says. He's not looking at Louis' phone. Louis wags it a little and pushes it closer, which means he has to lean halfway across the counter separating him and Harry the Frog. He just looks like a frog. A frog with a tie-dye bandana.

"Oh my god, just please. I killed the other one. I dropped him." Louis retracts his phone and slips it into his pocket. He keeps his eyes down as he does it, because Harry the Frog is actually very cute, despite his buggy eyes and puffy lips. Maybe in spite, rather. 

He thinks about poor little (dead) Rupert back home. Louis had wanted to just give him a little bath in the sink, watch the happy green thing paddle around, but Rupert slipped right out of his hands and soared to the ground. Louis had shouted a very ugly word and scrambled to catch him, but it was too late. Little Rupert's tongue was hanging out of his mouth and Louis pronounced him as Very Dead. Super Very Dead, even. Louis feels slightly horrible at the fact that he first was worried about Liam throttling him than the fact that he actually murdered a living, breathing thing. 

Harry stares at him blankly for a moment. "What?" he asks after twelve seconds. 

Louis sighs. Trust him to find a nearly unbearably hot boy who's as dumb as a sack of dumb things. "Old turtle is gone. Need new turtle," he says slowly, enunciating. "Identical turtle," he adds after a second. 

"No, I heard you," Harry frowns. "You think I'm going to sell you a turtle when you killed your last one?" 

"But it's an emergency! It wasn't my turtle! It was my friend's." Louis raises his eyebrows and throws his hands into the air, frustrated at this frog boy. "Listen, this new turtle will only be under my care for another half hour, and then my friend will have it. Listen, listen, you have to help me. If you saw my friend's sad face, you would understand how urgent this is." 


There's a moment where Harry and Louis just stare at each other, Louis' eyes charged with urgency and annoyance, and Harry's mostly blank. It's almost infuriating. 

"Fine. Fine, I'll help you find an identical turtle so your friend won't be sad. But only for your friend." Harry's expression is stern for a minute until a giant, toothy grin breaks out, complete with a dimple and Louis can't help but reciprocate it (albeit minus one giant dimple.) 

"Good. Now let's go turtle hunting."

-

It turns out they didn't need to go turtle hunting. Harry just had to lead Louis into the reptile section of the small store and tap his gangly fingers on the glass of a Reeves turtle, and ask, "Did the old one look like this?" 

Louis answered with a simple, yet certain, "Hello, Rupert the Second." 



Louis feels very happy on his walk home. Not only did he just spend a good twenty minutes with a very, very hot boy, he also solved his turtle problem and now he just needs to solve his Haven't Had Sex in Two Months problem. It's very pressing. 

He hums as he skips into his flat, swinging Rupert the Second's temporary box-home until he realizes that he should probably not do that, and then gingerly places it on the kitchen counter. Liam is due to arrive in t-minus five minutes. All is well. 

Louis casts a sad glance over to the nondescript garbage bag filled with dead turtle and decides to go over and dispose of it when a small movement catches his eye. 

"No," Louis gasps, inching his way closer to the bag. It moves again. "No, no. Nope. No." 

The doorbell rings. Louis lunges for the black bag and shoves it down the front of his pants. Probably not the best idea, but a pretty good one considering - well, a lot of things. His mum did drop him on the noggin as a baby. 

"Liam!" Louis crows when he opens the door. He hugs his tall friend and gives his back a little pat, and then a harder pat to disguise the noise of plastic bag rustling in his pants as he moves. 

"Hey, mate," Liam says, ever oblivious - or maybe not. His eyes flash down to Louis' crotch just as Suddenly Fucking Alive Rupert moves around and Louis screams and kicks his leg out, succeeding in canning Liam incredibly hard. Well - fuck. 

"Oh," Louis says dumbly as he watches Liam drop to the ground. None of this was really in his plans but he'll half to roll with it. "I'm sorry, I think I've just had a rather large leg spasm. I'll have to see the doctor about that." 

"Has it got anything to do with the giant thing in your pants?" Liam grunts. He's gently rocking back and forth on the ground. 

"I do appreciate the compliment, mate, but I'm not that big. Sev-seven. Inches. Fuck," Louis squeaks, narrowly avoiding kicking out at Liam's face, next. Rupert keeps moving around his junk. 

Liam decides to ignore Louis' weirdness and staggers into an upward position, at which Louis is very astonished. A very speedy recovery from a very sound kick to the penis. 

"I'll just grab Rupert, if that's alright? Before you kick me once again," Liam mutters, smiling, bless him. He's always been able to ignore Louis' antics as long as he's not having to deal with them for long. 

Louis is suddenly struck with a thought. Surely he should give Liam the original Rupert, but he's down Louis' pants. Rupert the Second it is, then. 

"Little turtle, this way," Louis mumbles, hobbling over to the tank with wide steps so he doesn't crush Rupert between his thighs. He's moved down, a little. Louis scuttles over into the kitchen and quickly transfers Rupert the Second into the tank before Liam comes into the kitchen after him, and then closes the lid. "Turtle!" Louis shrieks, thrusting the tank at Liam, and when he's only given a lingering stare and a kiss on the cheek, he marks it as a success.

Liam leaves. Louis now has a turtle on his hands. (Or between his thighs.)

-

Louis was now a (not so) proud owner of a Reeves turtle. He's had great fun with the little guy, honestly, just. Innocent small Leo - new name - keeps popping up at the most inconvenient times. Louis has definitely kept him in his cage because he doesn't want to lose him and have to stumble upon a dead turtle carcass years later, but the damn thing keeps somehow escaping. 

For example: just eight days ago, Louis was making a home-cooked meal of KD when he turned and saw Leo turtle-ing his way down the hall. Needless to say, Louis dropped his cheese packet all over the floor and shrieked. From that moment on, Louis knew: his turtle was becoming a mischievous being by osmosis, or something. 

The next time it happened, Louis was watching TV with his blankets and pillows and snacks surrounding him because it was Louis Night, a night where he shut all other electronic devices off but his TV and just pampered himself. (He often ignores the fact that every night, and every moment, really, is used to pamper himself.) 

It was a great shock to him when he felt a little turtle-like arm poke his toes. Then he looked to said toes, and saw said turtle, and refrained from screaming. He just calmly picked Leo up and held him to his chest and they proceeded to watch Celeste and Jesse Forever, crying at the required moments. Louis likes to think Leo cried too. 

It's Tuesday now, and Louis figures he ought to head to the store and get Leo actual turtle food instead of feeding him scraps of microwavable dinners. Should he grab a harness, as well? Leo loves to go on walks around the flat. Perhaps they could venture out into the lobby one day. What excitement that would be. 

Louis grabs his bag and slides Leo into the outer pocket, and then sets off to the pet store. He has a bit of a spring in his step because he's thinking about the boy who worked there last time, wondering if he'll be there again. It'd be a lie if Louis told himself he'd be this happy if Harry wasn't a thing. But he is. So. 

Louis strolls into the pet shop, eyes flickering to the till and noticing with slight (massive) disappointment that Harry isn't there. God dang it. 

"Well, Leo, I guess we'll have to find a new boy to crush over," he sighs down toward his hip where his turtle is resting in the pocket and digs into his bag for his bag of goldfish crackers. 

Reptile Care and Food, Aisle 3, Louis reads to himself, walking toward it as he idly feeds himself a cracker, and in turn brings a crumb of cracker down to Leo. His weird turtle beak closes down on a bit of skin on Louis' finger, but it's been nine whole days with the little one; he's used to it already. He can now see why Liam loved Rupert so much. Leo. Rupert-Leo. 

Leo begins to hoot for more goldfish, but Louis feels bad for feeding them to him in the first place and Leo may get too fat for his shell, so he gently runs his fingers down Leo's shell and finally arrives at aisle 3. Reptile and turtle heaven, hurrah.

He's slightly perturbed to find that his little Reeves turtle is required to eat bugs: dead or alive, and Louis is going to go with dead, thanks. If Leo has been getting out of his tank, bugs will be able to, too. Louis doesn't need that. He also grabs a baggy of decorative seaweed. Because why not. 

"Don't move, but I think there's a turtle in your bag," a deep voice says from behind Louis, and what - Louis turns around with wide eyes to see Harry. His tummy flutters with glee, much like it does when he buys Pillsbury cookies and secretly plans to eat them all to himself. The excitement is almost the same. 

"This is Leo," Louis puffs, gingerly taking Leo into his hands and stroking down his turtle-back. "He used to be Rupert. In fact, this is the former dead Rupert." 

Harry's eyes bug out. 

"Rather, this is the former thought-to-be-dead Rupert. See, when I went home after buying Rupert the Second, the bag Rupert was in started moving, and then Liam rang the door, so I had to shove Rupert down my pants, and, well. I won't go on. But he's now Leo, because Liam thinks he has the real Rupert when it's the fake." Louis half-smiles carelessly and shrugs, because what else can you do in that type of situation? The answer is probably nothing. 

"That's quite something," Harry murmurs, biting his bottom lip with what looks like all his might but the corners of his mouth are turned up; if he was trying to stop a smile, he failed. 

"Yeah, so," Louis grins. He grins a lot at Harry, probably even a creepy amount by now. He just grins and grins, till he realizes that normal people actually talk in conversations. "So. I won't tell you what Leo has been eating the past while, because you may jail me, but could you tell me what is the most delicious turtle food you have? Leo is very spoilt, you see."

Harry lets himself smile this time, and uncrosses his arm. Louis notes that underneath his blue apron, he's wearing a tie-dye shirt. If Louis looked down further, he would see tie-dye shoes. Which he does. 

"Live bugs are a favorite," Harry informs, knocking Louis out of his tie-dye trance. "They enjoy the juiciness, which you can't get from dried out bugs." Harry points to the container that Louis was going to buy. Well, alright. 

"So just these? What about, like, leaves? I've seen turtles eat leaves before." Louis looks down at Leo, who's lightly munching on his fingernail, and raises his eyebrow in question. "Would you like leaves, Leo DiCaprio?" 

Harry beams. "Yes, leaves are very important. They are a huge part of a Reeves turtle diet; bugs are just a treat, and they provide the minimal nutrition Leo needs. Have you been letting him outside to play and eat?" 

Louis raises his other eyebrow at Harry's technical talk. "Of course Leo has been playing outside. In fact, we've hardly even been inside the past nine days. Leo is a tough cookie, him. So." Louis has always been horrible at lying. When he was a kid, he would lie all the time, but he could never get away with it because whenever he tells a lie he tells additional information that could never possibly be true. 

Harry doesn't let on that he knows Louis is a liar, however. He says, "Hm, that's good. Leo will be very healthy. Just grab some bugs, grab some fig leaves or just any leaves with higher nutritional value, and everything will be great." Then he looks Louis up and down. Louis shivers. 

"Okay," he replies, and they go to the till where another girl is behind. Louis intently watches the small exchange between Harry and the girl and concludes that they're not harbouring any sexual tension. Good. "Hey, Harry?" Louis asks. 

"Yes?" 

Louis watches Harry's big hands ring the container of dead bugs through. "Um, what are you doing after work?" 

Purple Hair Girl giggles and kicks at Harry behind the counter. Huh. 

"I'm, um. Going home. To my flat. Why?" 

"Well, me and my mates are gonna have a boys night and we could use another boy? If maybe..." Louis doesn't finish his sentence and shrugs, mindful of the turtle in his bag slung over his shoulder. He doesn't want to accidentally send him soaring to the ground for a second time. 

"Sure! Sure, yes. I mean, that'd be alright. Cool," Harry gushes - gushes - and Louis refrains from pinching his flushed little cheeks and dragging him home for hours and hours of sucking and fucking. 

"Cool," Louis repeats, and slaps down ten pounds even though the bugs were only five. He dashes out of there before Harry can see how much he's blushing and wanting to scream, and the second he's out the door he does a little jig and squeals quietly. 

(Five minutes into his walk home he realizes he never gave Harry his information and runs back to do so. He pretends he didn't notice how Harry and Purple Hair Girl were talking loudly with the use of Louis' name as he walked in.) 

--

"It's just a fucking boys' night. I don't know why you're fussing over your outfit." Zayn's smoking on Louis' bed but Louis is too busy flitting from his bathroom to his closet to notice. "Have you suddenly developed a crush on Niall?" 

Louis pauses on his way back to the bathroom. "First of all, don't say 'developed a crush' because that's weird, and second of all, no. Didn't I tell you, I invited someone?" Louis hadn't. He hadn't at all and he knows this; if he'd have told Zayn sooner than a half hour before the scheduled time, Zayn would have whined and whined about how it's for exclusive members only and new people aren't allowed. Now, it's too late for Louis to tell Harry to not come, so ha. 

"What," Zayn deadpans. Louis scuttles away to the bathroom. "Come on, Lou! It's just for us-" 

"Shut up, you brat. New people are good, contrary to your reclusive mindset." 

"Someone swallowed a dic-" 

"Ha!" 

"-tionary. Dictionary. But you have swallowed many dicks, as well." Neither of them mention how one of those dicks was Zayn's own. They've moved past that. 

Twenty minutes later, Louis has decided on his grey jeggings that show off his bum and are really actually indecent, and a simple purple scoop neck. He tries not to preen when he walks out of his room and Zayn chokes on his beer. 

"Slut," Zayn says. 

"How many times have I told you, slut shouldn't have a negative connotation and you keep on - " 

"Slut. Go make tea." Zayn grins to show he's only kidding, but Louis' still peeved, so he heads off to the kitchen to make tea for himself, Liam, Harry, Niall, but not Zayn. He can do that himself. 
The bell rings and Louis shouts, "Come in, Liam!" because Liam is always first. He's rather shocked when Harry calls back, "Is it alright if Harry comes in?" 

Zayn snorts awfully loudly. 

"Yes! Come in!" Louis says extra loud. Zayn's going to be a prat tonight, Louis can tell. 

The door creaks its creaky way and Louis drops a tea bag into each cup and turns around just in time to see Harry fumbling his way into the living room. Louis' flat is so small that the kitchen/living room/dining room are all very much connected, and very much two steps away from each other. 

"That is Zayn, the bloody prickiest prick in the whole world," Louis introduces, walking over to put a hand on Zayn's shoulder. He squeezes a little. 

Harry timidly comes closer and Louis - damn, he just wants to get over this part. Maybe if everyone just got into a group hug and just stayed for a bit, the awkwardness would disappear. 

"Come on, bro," Zayn mutters, looking up at Louis while he blindly throws a hand out to shake Harry's hand. Harry takes it like it's a live eel and shakes quickly. 

"You come on," Louis warns. 

Zayn relents. "Fine, sorry. You're not a slut. It's great to meet you also, Harry, come here, sorry," he says self-depreciatingly, and stands to give Harry a proper greeting. 

While they're acting like civilized people, Louis takes the time to check Harry out properly. His toes are pointed inward, also clad in tie-dye socks, and he has the tightest jeans in the world on. They almost rival Louis' jeggings. His shirt is just white but it looks absolutely sinful on him, and Louis starts to sweat. 

He's got Harry in his home looking sexy as anything and yet he's here only to have a few beers and game for a bit. Something is very, very wrong here. 

Regardless, Louis finishes tea and even makes Zayn one for acting well, and takes them out to the living room. Liam comes next and then Niall, and everyone shakes hands - except for Niall who hugs everyone - and it's all good. Louis tries to ignore his impulse to kick everyone but Harry out. 

"Drinks?" Niall asks like an excited little puppy; his metaphorical tail is wagging and his real tongue is hanging out of his mouth. 

"Fridge." Louis points over to the kitchen with his foot and then continues putting down all the mugs of tea. He sighs because once Niall brings beer over, nobody will drink them, but. That's how it goes with twenty-something boys. 

Niall bounds away as expected and leaves room for Louis to sit between Zayn and Liam, but as if. He takes a seat beside Harry, on the outermost seat of his couch that can miraculously can fit five boys if they're comfortable with being squished together, which Louis is. Especially because he "has to" slip a leg onto Harry's lap to get comfy. Harry blushes and smiles at him. 

Niall comes back with the beers and hands them all out and Harry takes his and slides it between his thighs and then reaches for his tea.

"Harry's being polite and drinking his special-made tea before his beer," Louis announces to everyone. They ignore him in favor of starting up Fifa and choosing teams. "Harry's a good boy," he says quieter, closer to Harry's ear. It has the desired effect: Harry swallows and sloshes his tea onto his lap (and Louis' leg) a little. It's worth it. 

After a bit Louis goes to Leo to feed him, and Liam comes over to say hi and pet him. Louis incredibly tense, and he can hear Harry's giggles from the couch, and then Liam - he says something. 

"It's funny, my Rupert has this little fleck on his head. Or, he used to. It just went away. That's weird, isn't it?" he says. At least he doesn't say it suspiciously. 

Harry's absolutely losing it on the couch. "Sometimes," he wheezes, "sometimes turtles lose and gain flecks, s'no big deal." He goes pfffchtchch and slaps his thigh, staring at Louis' face that's a cross between relieved and pissed off.


After a while, once Harry's calmed down and Liam's bored with saying how much Leo looks like Rupert, they get into playing, Louis' game being very pathetic and distracted and Niall's being on point as usual.

"Ha! Losers suck dick!" Niall crows, throwing his controller to the ground and dancing around it. He halts and realizes what he's said, and looks at Louis with a sad face. "Sorry Lou. Sorry Zayn. But it's kind of true, you know? You both lost and you both - "

"Halt right there," Liam giggles, standing up to tackle Niall. Louis is a little tense because Harry is a little tense beside him, but when he looks at the lanky little boy he's grinning and trying not to laugh. 

"I guess that's one way to come out," Louis says shyly, "or rather, one way to be outed." He waits patiently for Harry to either kick the table over and leave or to passionately kiss Louis and make love to him right on the couch.

Harry does neither. "That's alright. Can't really be upset over something I am, too." 

"Just a moment," Louis says politely; he drops his controller to the floor and runs away to his room to jump for a moment. He crashes into his bed and rolls around and throws his pillows about, squealing with joy, and after a bit he stands up and collects himself. 

When he gets back to the living room everyone is staring at him with either an amused expression (Niall), a fond but annoyed expression (Zayn), an I'm-embarrassed-for-you expression (Liam), or a smirk (Harry). Louis quickly decides that he likes Harry's smirk and would really enjoy to see it while Harry fucks him into his mattress, or up against a wall, or on the floor, or - 

"Lou, you alright?" Niall giggles. He's already buzzed; though he has had three beers so far. 

"I'm dandy," Louis tells them as he skips back to his spot, which is now a little more sprawled over Harry than before. 

The rest of the night goes without any more excitement. The only recordable moment was when Harry had splayed his whole hand over Louis' thigh to push himself up, and then later Louis had thought about the warmth and size and fingered himself to a messy - but good - orgasm, and then passed out. 

He falls asleep smiling. 

-

Louis is frowning so hard that his cheeks hurt. 

It's been a whole month - a month - and he and Harry aren't in paradise together. Each time they hang out Louis expects Harry to lean over at some point and just smooch him already, tie-dye draped over his body like a second fucking skin, but he just doesn't. It's getting to be discouraging - for every daily task, even. Louis doesn't even want to go out to buy milk without snapping at someone or frowning as hard as he can. 

"Are you sure he's gay, my baby?" his mum asks. "Are you sure he doesn't think you're ugly as shit?" his sister asks. "Are you sure he has a brain?" Zayn asks. 

He wants to push everyone. Except his mum. So when he goes to the pet store to grab more turtle snacks, and when he sees Harry, he pushes the boy into a stack of cat food and crosses his arms. 

Surprisingly, Harry just laughs it off and gets up, greeting Louis with a hug and a turtle food coupon. Louis is going to sob. 

"Oh, since you're here, I've got a favor to ask," Harry mutters as he aligns the cat food back into a nice stack. "Would you be able to babysit my pet duck when I go to my mum's this Saturday?" 

Louis blanches. "Your pet what?" 

"His name's Peep, he's a baby duck. I usually just leave him in his cage when I work and he's fine with it, but I'm going to be gone a whole day, and he may be sad. And hungry. He'll eat all his food at once and then he'll be starved later, just - please." Harry pouts. Louis is mesmerized by his pink bottom lip for a moment. 

"Sure, I'll watch your weird pet." 

"Oh thank you," Harry beams, giving Louis a second hug and smelling very much like pets and pet food, but a little bit like his musky cologne and Louis clings to that as he clings to Harry. 

"I require pay in hugs and tea," Louis says firmly. He would have preferred to order hugs and a life together forever, but of course he refrains. He has a bit of sensibility. 

"The best tea," Harry agrees, and then he has to go and actually do his job so Louis leaves. 

He only realizes that he's forgotten the turtle food when he's at home crying to Leo about Harry's eyes. 

-

Harry dashes out the door the minute Louis shows up on Saturday. 

"Gotta go, I'm late, the list is on the counter, thank you bye!" 

Louis doesn't have time to ask what list he's talking about; Harry's gone and left only a gust of air behind him. Mind you, it's lovely-smelling air, so Louis isn't complaining too badly. 

"...Um, Peep?" Louis asks after a moment of checking Harry's flat out. There is tie-due decor everywhere, which isn't all that surprising. It's very cute, very cozy, very warm. Like, hot. Maybe the warmth is for Peep? "Peepy Peep, Peep Peep," he sings. 

The little pattering of tiny feet comes from a hall to the left. The duck feet go slapslapslap as he runs - with all his might, it sounds like - and then Louis catches sight of a tiny, yellow, fuzzy duckling.

"Oh, you sweet little thing! Come, come," Louis coos, crouching down and holding his hands in a cup for the duck to run into. "Oh my god, how fitting that the cutest human has the cutest duck. Aw, aw." 

Peep is true to his name and makes little peep-y sounds, squeaky sounds too, and nuzzles his long orange beak into the space between Louis' fingers. Louis is going to cry. 

"So, mister, would you like a duck treat?" 

Peep peeps. 

Louis goes to the kitchen counter and sees the "list" and reads down the bullet points. 

If Peep runs away from you, don't be offended like I know you will. He's shy.

Louis looks down at the duck in his left hand. "You love me, don't you? Don't know what your silly-bily owner is talking about." 

He eats loads of lettuce, so if you think he's hungry just grab a bowl and put some in.

Louis goes to the fridge and sees nothing but vegetables. No wonder Harry is so thin. He pulls out lettuce and shakes some into a bowl, and sets it on the floor. "Bon apetite," he crows. Peep obediently eats. 

This'll be a piece of cake. 

-

Seven hours later, Louis is exhausted. 

Peep decided, a half-hour in, that it would be fun to play chase. He dodged every time Louis tried to catch him, wriggled and made heart-wrenching noises when he was caught until Louis let go, and only settled down hours later when Louis gave up and collapsed onto Harry's tie-dye bed sheets. He briefly wonders if it's invasive to go on his bed, but. He's so tired and this bed is so comfy. 


He's slipping into sleep peacefully when he hears a small, sad squeak, and then a small struggle and drop. 

"Peep?" he asks. Peep goes silent. He looks down and there's the duck, attempting to crawl up onto the bed. Louis reaches a hand down and Peep crawls into it, and then Louis lifts him up. He's about to lecture Peep about running away again, but Peep waddles up to the pillow by his head and curls into a ball of duck. It makes the words catch in Louis' throat. 

"Alright, we'll sleep," Louis mumbles. He falls asleep to the slight whistle in Peep's beak a minute later. 

-

"Lou," Louis hears faintly, wonders why the duck with a mermaid tail is talking to him. He squirms a bit but then slips back into his dream until he hears the voice again. "I have Skittles." Louis perks up a little at that, turns his head to the side, and sticks his tongue out. 

"Get up, you two," Harry says with a big ol' grin. It's absolutely heart-shattering, but Louis doesn't move, even though his stomach is starting to hurt from being laid on for so long. Also he's hungry. 

"I'm okay. Just bring the Skittles over here and your precious Peep won't get harmed." Louis lifts his hand to Peep and gently strokes his furry ducky head. Louis is unbearably fond of the little thing already. 

"Fine." Louis hears as Harry shuffles over to the bed and feels the little dip when he climbs in - most definitely feels when Harry straddles the backs of his thighs. Perhaps they are close enough for this.

"Contrary to popular belief, I'm actually not a sofa, so," Louis mumbles; he's ignored. 

Instead, he feels Harry's fingers on his - now naked - back. (Maybe he wrestled it of in his sleep?) The dumb oaf is placing Skittles on his back, all down the dip of his spine. He's being very careful with it, making sure they don't roll down the arch of Louis' spine, only cursing softly when they tumble down (Louis' pretty sure Harry is eating the ones that fall). 

"There," Harry whispers after ten minutes of intricate Skittle-placing, and Louis can only imagine what his back looks like. A line of rainbow pimples, maybe. "Now I eat," Harry says gleefully - Louis freezes. 

He doesn't find his voice by the time Harry's ducking down and eating the first Skittle just below the first knob of his spine; nor the second. Nor the third or fourth, but by the fifth - at the Skittle that's in the curve of his back just above his bum - Louis manages to squeak out a little, "S'ticklish." 

"Sorry," Harry mumbles, using his tongue this time to bring the Skittle into his mouth. Louis shivers. "There's little dots of rainbow color where the Skittles were. Your skin is hot," Harry adds quietly as he timidly places his hands on the curve of Louis' waist. Suddenly Louis can feel every bit of Harry, most importantly his bum sat on his thighs, his hands burning into Louis' skin and searing into his bones. Louis is a puddle. 

"That's what happens when you," Louis swallows, "when you put Skittles on someone." 

"Want me to clean it off?" 

"It would be appreciated."

Louis expects Harry to clamber and trip off of him, giraffe soul ever prominent, but he doesn't. Harry ducks down yet again, and licks. He licks all up Louis' spine, making Louis arch his back with a small yowl, and his dick throb in his pants. Louis' evidently gets off on Skittle-play. 

"Y'alright?" Harry slurs, sounding very much drugged and very much not like an innocent little froggy that works at a pet store. 

Louis squirms until Harry gets the point and flops over onto the other side of the bed. When the heavy weight is off of him, Louis sits up and stares at Harry with squinted eyes. Harry's biting his bottom lip. 

"Louis, I-"

"Squeak!" 

Louis can't help it; no matter the fact that he's half-mast in his pants - he laughs hard at little Peep. It feels good, getting the heavy, tense weight off his chest that is Harry Styles, so he laughs some more at the squeaking little duck until Harry timidly joins in and picks up Peep to scritch under his beak. 

The moment is gone, then. 

-

Louis can't stop - can't stop thinking about it. The Skittle Incident, as he's dubbed it. 

That wasn't heterosexual behaviour. Louis knows that. Hell, Harry knows that, with the way he's been skittering around Louis lately like he's afraid Louis will pounce on him and yell at him for doing - doing whatever the hell he did. Louis still doesn't exactly know what it was. 

"Are you sure he isn't just a little uncomfortable with sexual behaviour so soon?" his mum asks. "Are you sure he isn't just a fucking prude?" his sister asks. "Are you sure he isn't just out of practice? He could be nervous. Maybe he's never even had a boyfriend," Zayn points out. Louis doubts all of this. 

"Harry, my sun and moon and everything in between, do you want to hang out tonight? I've got pizza and PayPerView calling our names. Harmonizing our names, even. Yodelling." Louis idly rubs his thigh as he yaps through his phone. Harry and he finally got around to getting each other's numbers. 

Harry swallows loudly. "Are you sure?" he asks meekly. 

"As sure as the inevitable man-made destruction of planet Earth. Now answer so I know whether or not to shower." 

"Um, alright. If you want to, I mean."

Louis gets a little sour feeling in his stomach. His self-loathing kicks in. "If you want to too, you know? You don't have to, I mean, I am pretty boring and old for you-"

"No, no, Lou! I swear, I want to. Ignore me, I'm a prat. Okay, I'll be there in an hour. I love you, okay?" 

It's the first time either of them have said it in the course of their five-month relationship. Friendship. The simple little words make Louis dig his fingers into his thigh to keep from screaming. 

"Sure Harry, I love you too. Pizza, PayPerview, don't forget." 

"I could never. Not with you, Lou, I could never." Harry hangs up. 

Louis does something that may equate a seizure into his mattress and then collects himself only to shove himself into the shower and scream a little. Harry's driving him bloody mad. 

He jacks off so he won't get hard when he pretends to watch the movie - but only watches Harry's mouth - even though he knows it's futile. Harry always gets him hard these days, even when he smells like rodent. It's the hair. It's the eyes. It's the cherry lips. It's everything. 

After he's washes his tummy down with a soapy cloth, he dries and dresses in sweats and a tight pink top. (Louis has a moral rule: if the bottoms are loose, you must where a tight top; if the top is loose, you must wear tight bottoms. Seriously.) 

Harry shows up two minutes after the pizza wearing tight jeans and and a tight top. Louis' dick twitches a little; sadly, because it knows it's not getting any. 

"What're we watching?" Harry slurs around his mouthful of vegetarian, gluten-free pizza as per request. 

"Probably the new Spiderman," Louis replies around his mouthful of meatlovers pizza, extra cheese and meat, please. 

"Come on, you're cheating on the originals? Toby McGuire may be funny looking, but he is Spiderman. Not this Andrew Garfield guy." Harry looks incredulous. 

"Whatever. I love Spiderman, and Andrew Garfield is hot. Two of my favorite things: Marvel movies and hot boys. Deal with it or leave my house." 

Harry grumbles. Louis preens. They eat and watch with their knees touching from having their legs crossed, and when they're done Louis leans his head on Harry's warm, broad shoulder. 

"Hey, Louis?"

"Nnnngh." 

"You, um. You paid for the food. And we're at your house, watching movies? Um?" 

"If I was shown a million dollars and asked to decipher what you just asked so I could have the money, I wouldn't have an answer." 

Harry giggles, his clogged-nose giggle with a wet throat. "I mean, just. Nevermind."

"Hold on, hold up, nope," Louis mutters as he leans forward to pause the movie. He feels as if this moment may be detrimental to his love life. Or not at all. "What are you saying?"

"It's just, well. You were leaning on me, and. This just." 

"Holy fuck. Ten years later," Louis mocks with a voice deeper than his normal one.

Harry throws his hands into the air, clearly frustrated with one of the two people in the room. Maybe himself. "Christ, this just seems like a date, that's all! You paid for food, we're watching movies cuddling, and. Like." Harry blushes so hard Louis worries he may actually be a tomato dressing as a human. 

Louis is quiet for a minute. "Does that, like, bother you? Do you not want to date me?" He tries not to sound small or disappointed, but the look on Harry's face shows that he failed. 

"I do. I really, really, do. Lou. Lou," Harry murmurs louder when Louis is too busy grinning and shaking bodily. 

"Hi," Louis squeaks. He leans forward slowly, seeing if this is even what Harry want even though apparently this is a date, a date. His hands slide up into Harry's curls and Harry's hands cinch at his waist. Even just this simple touching is making Louis buzz. 

Harry leans the rest of the way and apparently he isn't one to hold back, because the first thing he does is lick along Louis' lip and then bite down. "Fuck," Louis breathes. It turns him on to know his breath is going into Harry's mouth. His dick is gaining hope. 

"Yeah?" Harry asks. 

Louis doesn't know what he's asking, so he hoists himself onto Harry's lap and says, "Yes. Yes, yes. Ridiculous amount of yes--"

Harry cuts him off with a kiss to his neck, and then a little bite, and then a hard suck. "I didn't - I didn't know if you wanted me as bad as I wanted you," he whispers, hiding his face and choosing to nibble on Louis' collarbones. Louis loves it, of course he does, but. He can't quite go on knowing that Harry's been so dumb. 


"Are you joking me?" he sputters, tugging Harry up to face-level with fists full of his hair. Harry's incredibly flushed and has large, black, hooded eyes when he comes up, so Louis tugs on his hair once more to see the reaction. Harry's eyes flutter shut and his eyebrows knit together in concentration, like he's - like he's trying not to come. God. "We can talk later," Louis mutters, rolling his hips forward so his cock grinds on Harry's stomach and then moves back down, bum pressing on Harry's crotch. He can feel how big Harry is and that drives his mind to other places, places where they're fucking and Harry's big cock is inside him. He wants it so bad. Not yet, though.

"I can - like this, I can," Harry breathes shakily, hands running up and down Louis' back and then settling on his bum to help him along. 

Somehow, Louis understands and doubles his effort. Maybe it's the fact that he hasn't had sex in seven months, or maybe it's the fact that this is Harry, but Louis is going to come, like, soon. "Oh god, I feel twelve," he gasps. 

"S'okay, you're not twelve and that's what matters," Harry grins cheekily, and then his face goes dark. "I want to fuck you so bloody bad." 

And then Louis comes. With the image of Harry over him and grunting in his mind, he whines and comes harder than ever, probably, into his god damn pants, and then he goes limp in Harry's arms. Harry pushes up, and up again, and then he goes tense and says, "Fuck, fuck...Oh. Louis." Louis can feel Harry's shudders, even in his soft and tired state. 

After catching their breath, Louis snorts. "Nope, I'm actually pretty sure we're twelve. Nineteen and over boys don't come in their pants, that just doesn't happen."

Harry lazily pokes Louis in the ribs and mumbles something about Peep being in a bag. "Huh?" Louis asks. 

"Peep," Harry repeats, as if this makes sense, and then he clarifies, "Peep is in my bag. I took him here because I was going to kiss you and I was nervous. And then we came in our pants. And I just remembered there's a duck in my bag."

It's absurd, is what this is - Harry's absurd, and Louis loves it. He laps it up. Harry has a pet duck and Louis has a pet turtle. They're both stupid. They're perfect together. 

"Your duck actually isn't in your bag," Louis giggles. He looks over to Leo's tank and sees it empty. Then he looks to Leo's favorite spot - the floor heater. There he sees Leo and Peep curled up together, sleeping soundly. Somehow, Louis isn't surprised. "Look, our pets are like us." 

"I hope they didn't have sex."

Louis laughs, and then he laughs again even harder, and swats Harry's head. He can't stop laughing, really, because he's so happy about everything. "I'm so glad I almost killed Liam's turtle." 

"Ugh, Louis. You're terrible. But me too, really. Me too." 

Louis falls asleep with his lips on Harry's, smiling. He can feel Harry smiling too. Their teeth clank if they move the slightest bit, and Louis' fingers get caught in Harry's hair, and his leg is going fucking numb, but it's perfect. They're god damn bloody perfect.