"Having a few people over after work, if you’re up for it," Nick says one night, while Beyoncé blares over the radio. Harry’s half-asleep in the corner of the studio, thumbing through his phone and half-laughing at Grimmy’s links.
"Yeah," he says, perking up. Ooh. "Yeah, thanks. Wicked."
"Course," Nick says, with a grin. He ruffles Harry’s hair. "I’ll drive, yeah?"
Harry nods, pushing up into the touch, and Nick laughs softly.
"You shameless little kitten," he says, tugging at a stray curl. "Alright. Sit tight for a bit, then."
Harry nods, blinking sleepily up at him, and Nick scritches slowly at his scalp with his fingernails and then looks up and scrambles back to the desk, nearly knocking over a speaker in his haste.
"Ah, yeah, that’s the latest off, uh, Beyoncé," he says into the mic, sounding just slightly flustered. Odd. Harry shrugs and settles back into the sofa.
It’s just a few over at Grimmy’s - Pixie and Aimee - and Gelz, of course- all getting pissed off red wine around Nick’s dining room table and smoking fag after fag. Soon enough the flat is thick with smoke and Harry’s quite drunk himself. He’s in a half-shouting match with Aimee about the merits of mashed potatoes versus roasted; Nick’s moderating, and when he says, innocently, “Have we discussed a good old-fashioned jacket potato?” they both scream incoherently at him. Aimee throws an olive- it hits Nick in the cheek, and he backs off, laughing.
"I’m out," Pix says after a while, reaching around Harry from behind his chair and giving him a long kiss on the mouth. "Mm. Ooh. Good night, Harry Styles."
Harry pulls back, laughing, flushed-faced and feeling giddy from it. Nick’s grinning at them across the table, his eyes soft, until Gelz grabs him from behind and flattens his quiff with the palm of her hand. “Off to bed,” she says, yawning into Nick’s ear. “Don’t keep the kid up too late.”
"Hey," Harry giggles, as Aimee stands up too, with a pointed look at Pixie over Harry’s head that Harry is way too drunk to understand.
"Wait up, Pix," she says, slinging her fur coat over one shoulder. "Let’s split a cab."
In what feels like a split second the flat is quiet, except for Nick, who’s humming off-key to himself through sips of wine.
"Alright, Styles?" he asks, and Harry nods, yawning, draining his glass of wine even though he definitely doesn’t need it.
"Bit hungry," he says thoughtfully. "Could go for a potato."
Nick shakes his head fondly.
"Honestly, though. I’m hungry."
"Teenagers," Nick says, standing up and promptly stumbling over his feet. Harry laughs. "And your bloody appetites."
Harry staggers up to his feet, follows Nick into the kitchen and peers over his shoulder.
"Ooh, jam," he says, pointing. "Toast!"
"I could murder some toast right now," Nick says on an exhale, taking out the jam. "Let’s do it."
They toast nearly half a loaf of sourdough, slather it with sweet cream butter and strawberry jam. Harry might just be pissed, but he’s pretty sure it’s the best bloody toast he’s ever had.
"This is so good," he says, licking jam off his little finger and grinning happily. "This is soooo gooood. What a good idea."
Nick looks like he wants to take the piss, but his mouth is too full.
"Yes, a genius, you are," he says once he’s swallowed. "You don’t know what you’re doing with your carb-hawking, Harry Styles. Not all of us have the metabolism of a hummingbird."
Harry mulls that over as he eats another slice of toast.
Once he’s finished, he says, “Do hummingbirds really have high metabolisms, though, or it just that they’re always moving around really quickly? S’like they’re always doing exercise.”
Nick rolls his eyes so hard Harry’s actually worried for his health.
"Tell me more about the science of birds, you popstar dropout."
"Heyyy," Harry says, gulping from a glass of water Nick’s placed conveniently at his elbow. Nick’s so thoughtful. And wise. He wants to say that, but Nick’ll probably think Harry’s calling him old. “I did my GCSEs.”
"Oh excuse me, genius, don’t go on about it," Nick says, sarcastic, but his eyes are warm. He bites into another piece of toast.
There’s a little blob of jam right at the corner of Nick’s mouth, Harry notices, and then Nick’s tongue darts out, pink and quick, and it’s gone. Harry blinks dumbly - Nick’s tongue is really pink- and shoves half a piece of toast into his mouth.
When they’re done - Nick groaning over the calorie content like he tends to do - they collapse onto the sofa. Harry sprawls out with his feet in Nick’s lap, shoves a pillow under his head, feeling drunk and pleasantly full and so satisfied he could purr. He doesn’t, though, but it comes close when Nick rubs his leg, friendly-like, and says, “Oh, you’re going to pass out on me, aren’t ya?”
"Shh," Harry mumbles, and the last thing he hears is Nick laughing.
Some time later, Harry comes awake to the sound of Nick’s voice, quiet and low. He blinks up at the ceiling. He’s on his back on the sofa, a blanket over his chest and his legs still in Nick’s lap. The telly’s on, volume low and soothing.
One of Nick’s hands is curled around his ankle, broad and warm. It feels nice.
Harry closes his eyes again, smiles to himself.
"Yeah," Nick says- he must be on the phone- and Harry snuggles further into the sofa, pricks his ears and listens. It’s nice, Nick’s voice. Warm and familiar.
"No, I - I’ve got someone here," Nick says softly, and then a low laugh. "No, you idiot. Yes. Well, I know that, but I can’t tonight. Did you? Well, s’news to me. I didn’t - ha. No.”
He laughs again, thumb rubbing over Harry’s ankle, unconsciously.
"I - will you stop? Oh my god, you’re absolutely shameless." His voice is amused with a warm, dirty, softness to it, and Harry prickles all over with a weird sort of jealousy. He wants Nick to talk to him in that voice.
"Stop," Nick hisses. "God. Don’t-"
He breaks off, lets out a huff of a laugh. “Would you? Mm. Guess it’s good you’re not here then, my mate would be getting an eyeful.”
Mate. Harry fights down a smile. He’s mates with Nick Grimshaw. He knew that already but it’s nice to hear it said.
Nick lets out a soft breath, says, his voice oddly rough, “Good god. You tart.”
His finger moves on Harry’s ankle again, the pad of his thumb pressing to Harry’s ankle bone, moving in absent small circles.
"As lovely as that sounds," he says, and yeah, his voice is definitely rougher than before. "I really shouldn’t - god. Are you? Oh, love. " His voice drops. "Oh, well if you - you sound close."
Harry’s eyes pop open, shocked, and he sneaks a look at Nick. Nick has his head lolled back, a soft, sly grin over his face, shadowy in the light from the television.
"Go ahead then," he says quietly, and his eyelids flutter a little. His hand tightens on Harry’s leg, and Harry feels the touch like a spark up from his calf to the pit of his belly, hot and almost painful.
He swallows, his eyes closing again.
"There you are, it’s alright," Nick says, comforting, sure of himself. Harry is - fuck. Harry’s cock is starting to thicken up in his jeans. Nick’s talking some bloke to orgasm over the phone and Harry is getting hard to it.
It’s not his fault. He can’t control what he - finds. Sexual. Or whatever. Lately he’s felt primed for it at all times, ready and willing, even when he’s around Nick. Especially when he’s around Nick, maybe. He’s chalked it up to teenage hormones or whatever, a general sort of excitement at being enjoyed. Harry loves to be loved. His prick likes it too. That’s alright.
He huffs out a breath, just as Nick says, very, very quiet and just slightly breathless, “Did you come for me?”
Fuck. His cock gives a warm, excited pulse and he clenches his eyes shut hard, wanting so badly to sneak a hand down and give it a squeeze. Nick’s hand is so warm on his skin and Harry wants- Harry wants it to slide up further. Wants Nick’s big, wide hand cupping his cock, massaging him hard through his jeans, saying in that soft rough voice - you’re alright, love. now come for me.
Harry’s mouth is dry. He has to swallow again. His skin itches all over and he wants to be touched.
"Good," Nick is saying, sounding the slightest bit smug. "Go clean yourself up. Ha, yes. Mm, you’re welcome. Good night, love."
He tosses the phone onto a pillow, settles back into the sofa. Slowly, his hand strokes over the top of Harry’s foot, fingers skimming over the bone. Harry tries his very best to lie still, though his cock is throbbing eagerly at the touch, his whole body feeling frantic and tingly, doubly so because he can’t fucking move.
Nick tugs on the end of Harry’s big toe, laughs quietly to himself, and Harry can’t help it, he wriggles his toes in Nick’s grip.
Nick looks over at him, a grin curling over his mouth, looking drunk and not a bit guilty. “You awake, popstar?”
"Mmgh," Harry says, trying to sound sleepier than he is. "Yeah."
"You have very weird toes," Nick observes, and his fingers tickle over the underside of Harry’s foot. Harry does a quick little maneuver of scrunching up the blanket over his crotch to hide the bulge and palming his cock at the same time. God, he’s hard.
"My toes are lovely," he says, coughing, his voice coming out slower than usual despite himself. "You wish you had my toes."
"I do have your toes,” Nick says, flicking at one of them. “Right here in my lap. Harry Styles’ toes. Bet I could sell ‘em off for a million quid on Ebay.”
"Please don’t," Harry says, wriggling them again, and Nick laughs, full and loud, and then bites his bottom lip. Harry stares at him, feels his stomach swoop. Oh. Well then. He would really, really like to kiss that mouth.
But that’s ridiculous, for a number of reasons. One, Nick is a bloke. Harry’s not bothered, but he thought he’d mostly settled on girls. Two, Nick’s got someone- the mysterious tart on the phone, the one Nick calls love and has phone sex with. Three, Nick is his mate. Maybe his best mate, after the other lads.
But maybe Nick doesn’t think of him like that.
Maybe Nick thinks of him as an annoying, boring teenager with shite music and stupid hair. Maybe he doesn’t even want to be Harry’s mate.
He sits up, suddenly feeling too vulnerable all lying down on the sofa. Nick smiles at him, lets go of Harry’s foot and says, checking his watch, “God, it’s nearly half two. You’re keeping me from my beauty sleep.”
Harry chews his bottom lip, feeling still-drunk but headachey at the same time. Worst of both worlds.
"Sorry," he says, and Nick smiles at him, mouth curling up.
"You want to kip here?"
"Sofa alright?" Nick’s touching his leg again, stroking his calf over his jeans. Harry’s not hard anymore, but it still feels so- nice. Nick feels so nice, and he smells good, like cologne and smoke.
Harry wants to kiss him, and sleep next to him. He wants Nick’s hands on his leg and his cock and all over, and he feels almost desperate with it for a moment, like it’s too big, too much.
"Haz?" Nick says softly, and his cheeks flush pink. "I mean, uh. Harry, you want another pillow or summat?"
Harry shakes his head, scared that if he tries to talk he’ll say something really stupid.
He lies back on the sofa, and Nick cranes over him, puts a palm on his head.
"You’re going to be a whiny brat in the morning, aren’t you," he says, sounding terribly fond.
Harry just dimples up at him, and Nick’s mouth works like he’s trying to keep down a smile. He leans down, places a kiss to Harry’s cheek, just close enough to his mouth to make Harry’s whole stomach zing with excitement. His toes curl in the blanket.
"Night, popstar," Nick says, hand still in Harry’s hair.
"Good night, Grimmy," Harry sighs, shifting his legs under the blanket, simultaneously exhausted and stupidly hopeful that Nick will take him right then and there.
But Nick doesn’t. Nick just runs his fingers down Harry’s cheek and then stands up, coughing.
"I’m to bed, then," he says, looking away. "Sleep well."
"You too," Harry says quietly.
Nick’s bedroom door creaks shut behind him, and Harry fumbles his jeans off under the blanket and palms at his prick through his pants for a second before giving up and shutting his eyes, throwing his jeans to the floor. He falls asleep before he has a chance to feel disappointed.
It’ll be alright, he thinks dreamily, just before he drops off. It’s just Nick, anyway. Lovely Nick. Nick who calls him Haz and popstar and kitten and holds his feet while Harry sleeps and has the biggest, loveliest hands and legs for days. Harry’ll figure it out tomorrow. He’s pretty good at getting what he wants.