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But Time Is Hard to Kill Since I Met You

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HARRY—

 

The first thing Harry realizes when he wakes up is that it’s two in the afternoon. And, it’s now April. Specifically, it’s April 1st—the day he’s seeing Louis in
person since he said goodbye almost five months ago. Tonight, he’s got a first row ticket and he’s gonna be seeing Louis!

Harry grins to himself and leaps out of bed, cringing when he sees his reflection. He runs to the bathroom, turning on the shower and watching steam billow out as he grabs his phone. His wallpaper stares back up at him and Harry grins even wider.

The picture is of him and Louis, asleep and curled around each other on his couch some odd number of months ago. Louis has his face tucked into Harry’s neck, hands clutching tightly to his sweater. Harry’s got his arms around Louis’ waist, legs tangled together under a rather unsightly afghan the pair had purchased at a thrift store when they had first moved into their flat five years ago.

Harry puts his phone down back on the counter, only slightly disappointed that Louis didn’t call him or text him—a habit he had every time he was in London. He pulls back the curtain and steps into the shower, stepping under the hot water. His mind races as he washes his hair. Did Louis know he was coming?

 

—————

 

LOUIS—

Louis wakes with a start and nearly head butts Zayn, their guitar player. He yawns and stretches the best he can given his cramped seating quarters. He grabs his phone, glancing at the time: 14:45. Good. They’ll be back in London in a few hours for the last show of the tour. This tour was different from previous tours.

Sun Harmony was headlining with some local band Louis couldn’t remember as their opener. Last he’d heard, they had sold out their tour in only a few hours. Their popularity was unexpected and a welcomed surprise. Louis loved looking out at the crowds while on stage, grinning from ear to ear as they sang along with him. They knew their songs, his songs. Even the dopey ones he’d written the night before about nothing in particular. It was like being home a thousand miles from it.

Ah, home. He missed his dumpy little flat in London. He missed that nasty afghan Harry had begged him to buy. He missed their door that would never Harryharryharryharry. He missed Harry. He missed London. He missed his tea waiting for him in that chipped blue mug he found while looking for a present for his favorite boy. For a few seconds, Louis wonders what Harry’s doing back home. Is he cleaning? Cooking? Calling his mum? For a few seconds, Louis feels his chest grow heavy with the want to be home. He misses it. He really misses it.

 

 

———

 

 

HARRY—

It’s now 3 o’clock. He has two hours until Louis is in London air space. Then another hour until the show begins. He groans because what is he going to do for three hours? He’d normally go hang out with Niall or Liam but Liam is on tour with Lou and Niall’s on his way home from Ireland. He curses and shakes out his hair, pushing it out of his eyes. He knows it's getting to long and can almost hear Louis laughing and tugging on a curl, telling him he needs a hair cut before he ends up looking like a girl.

The doorbell rings and Harry jumps, running towards the front of the flat. He wonders briefly if it's Louis but then a quick glance at the clock crushes that hope like a bug. As he reaches for the handle, the doorbell rings again. Harry pulls it open only to be greeted with a mouthful of blond hair as a spritely Irishman launches himself at Harry.

"Harry!"

"Niall!"

"Hey mate! How 're ya?"

"Good. It's been a while! I haven't seen you in like three months!"

"I missed Ireland, sorry t' tell you." Niall pauses, a knowing smirk on his face. "How's Lou?"

"I dunno. Haven't talked to him in a week. He's on tour. Y'know... The busy life of a musician." Harry says, smiling. Niall steps in to the flat and Harry shuts the door behind him. He thinks of the conversation he'd had with Louis a few weeks prior to their band hitting it big with their single "Little Numbers". Louis had begged him to join him, saying the band didn't feel complete without him and that they needed someone with his talent to sing. Harry had just laughed, hugging his smaller best friend 'round the shoulders, telling him that he couldn't because he had a job he loved and besides, he liked waiting for Louis. He enjoyed being the one Louis came home to, even if it wasn't quite the way he wanted.

"Aw, well, aren't ya join' t' see him tonight?"

"Yeah, in about two and a half hours. Wanna go? I have an extra ticket."

"Sure mate. I've got nothin' better ta do than go see my mates drool over each other." Niall says, laughing as Harry turns bright red. He shoves Niall, cursing lightly under his breath.

"Maybe I won't take you then, you nutter." Harry says, fiddling with the little knick-knacks decorating the book shelves. Niall turns on the telly, cheering when he sees there's a footie match on.

"Mate watch the game with me! It'll kill some time while we wait for your boy." Niall shouts, laughing as Harry stops rearranging things on the bookshelves. He sits down and tries not to think about just how jittery he really is.

 

———

 

LOUIS—

Finally, finally, finally. It's time for the show. He wonders if Harry's gonna be out in the audience today. He's said nothing about going or not going so Louis guesses there's a slight possibility. He pulls out his phone to see he has a text from none other than Harry. He nearly drops his phone in his haste to open it.

Hey Lou!!! Good luck tonight!! Love youuu! H xxx Louis smiles and is about to reply when Liam comes into his dressing room fiddling with his ear pieces. He's got drumsticks in one hand and looks like he just walked out of an ad for Urban Outfitters.

"You ready, Lou? S'time to goooo." Liam says, smiling. Louis glances down at his phone before locking the screen, tossing it into his knapsack before grabbing a water bottle from the stage hand waiting behind Liam.

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be." He mutters, tucking his ear piece into his ear. Liam laughs and pulls him towards the other members of their band: Eleanor, who played various percussion parts, and Zayn.

"Alright guys. Tonight's a special show; Our last show. Let's go out with a bang and make our families proud." Liam says, laughing. Eleanor smiles and looks at Louis.

"Isn't your boy coming tonight?"

"I dunno. He's not said anythin' to me at all." She frowns and opens her mouth to say something but then Zayn cuts them off with an announcement that it's time to go one stage. They do a group hug and proceed onto the stage.

It's a happy, elated feeling, Louis decides, when you walk on stage and everyone stops chanting your band's name and begins to scream. Louis smiles and waves to a girl in towards the front. She grins and waves a little harder. He looks out at the crowd and realizes he recognizes some of these faces. They've been at previous shows and the fact that a group of girls Louis remembers from their show in France, has shown up is a big enough compliment. He grins and waves to the crowd. They cheer back and Louis raises the microphone to his lips.

"'Ello, London. It's nice to be home. Didja miss us?" They cheer and Louis grins. This is the eighth time they've played a big show in London and this time, Louis swears, there are at least ten thousand people here. It's a bit intimidating.

 

———

 

HARRY—

Harry curses everyone and everything that's ever lived for the traffic in London being so dreadful. They're late. Very late. Or, at least as Niall tells him, seven minutes late. Harry knows Louis' set backwards and forwards; every song memorized down to the backup vocals. He knows he's missed two songs and the first half of another. They rush into the theater, only to be stopped by a woman with long red hair.

"Tickets?" So she's Irish.

"Here." Harry throws the two tickets at her frantically as she laughs.

"You a fan?"

"Ye—" Harry begins to speak but is almost immediately cut off by Niall. "The lead singer and this curly headed idiot have been in love with each other since third year." Harry flushes bright pink and the red haired woman laughs, a soft smile on her freckled face. He leans over and smacks the back of Niall's head.

"That's cute. Tell him I said hello." She hands them back the ticket stubs and they walk into the theater quietly, hoping not to disturb the concert. It's only when they pull the doors open that they realize there's no way they could possibly interrupt anyone at this concert. Everyone's attention is focus on Louis, who's sitting in front of a gleaming black piano. The crowd is singing along and Harry grins. He can tell from where he's walking towards his seat, Louis is completely in his zone. He's feeding off of the crowd and for a second, Harry wonders if it would be different if he was on stage with him. But then the song finishes and everyone's screaming and Harry's in his seat. Niall is next to him, a grin on his face.

"There's your boy." He mouths, clapping along with everyone else.

 

———

 

The concert passes quickly, much to Harry's dismay, and suddenly they're playing the last song. Louis is still unaware of Harry's presence, and Harry thanks whatever God is watching over him that this still remains a surprise for Louis. Eleanor grins at him, tambourine in hand. Zayn and Liam find him in the crowd as well, shooting each other knowing glances. He winks back and Eleanor laughs, whispering to Zayn. They giggle about something as Louis grabs for the microphone set up in front of him so he can sing and play at the same time.

"This next song," He starts, tapping random keys on the piano. "is one of my favorites to play. So far, through this five month tour, I've dedicated this song to the same person and I don't think now that I'm home that that should change." He says, grinning. He starts playing a simple repeating tune on the piano and the crowd immediately starts cheering and clapping. Louis smiles and Harry feels his heart stop in his chest. He knows this song.

"So," Louis says, looking out at the crowd as they clap. "I wrote this song about ten years ago when I was about sixteen. It wasn't until I wrote this song I realized I was in love. I've been in love for a long time now..." He smiles to himself and then looks back to the audience. Suddenly, he's looking right at Harry and his heart stops. Louis sees him. Louis knows he's here now. "This one's for you Haz."

Waited for your call and for the moon
To release me from the longest afternoon
I've re-arranged parts of my living room
But time is hard to kill since I met you

Harry looks at Niall, feeling a bit lightheaded. There's no way this could be happening. He's got to be dreaming. He has to be. He has to be. But when he glances back up to Louis and he winks, he knows this is really happening. Niall smirks and claps along with everyone else, laughing at Harry's minor meltdown.

Looking at the cars that drive on by
While spring is making promises outside
Red cars are quite rare I realize
Then I wonder which colour you would like

Seven little numbers
Baby, they could be a start
Seven little numbers
Baby, I know yours by heart

———

 

LOUIS—

Woo-oh, oh-oh, all the pretty things that we could be
Woo-oh, oh-oh, I feel you in every heart beat
Woo-oh, oh-oh, revelle in a dream that could come true
These numbers could be lucky for you

Louis looks at Harry, who he'd seen a few minutes before Little Numbers. When he'd seen the lanky, green eyed boy, he knew this was it. He'd finally tell him. Of course, Louis was sure, that the feelings were reciprocated. He'd known for a long time that the pair were in love with each other but he didn't want to freak Harry out since he'd had a tougher time in school that he'd had. But now, he looks at the green eyed boy with the knowledge that he made the right choice. The light flush on his cheeks is enough for right now.

I watch the sky change to a darkened blue
I can't think of another thing to do
And every song just makes me think of you
Because the singer sounds as if she was longing,
As if she was longing, too

Seven little numbers
Baby, they could be a start

Louis stops singing and looks out at the audience, beckoning them to sing. He feels a chill run through his body when they sing back to him.

Seven little numbers
Baby, I know yours by heart
And Seven little numbers
They could make a change
Seven little numbers
Make a fire out of this flame

Louis smiles mouths a thank you and the crowd screams. He turns back to the microphone and begins to sing again.

Woo-oh, oh-oh, all the pretty things that we could be
Woo-oh, oh-oh, I feel you in every heart beat
Woo-oh, oh-oh, were you ever in a dream that could come true
These numbers could be lucky for you

I read your name on every wall, and on every wall - tell me
Is there a cure for me at all, for me at all - tell me
I read your name on every wall, and on every wall - tell me
Is there a cure for me at all, for me at all

Woo-oh, oh-oh, all the pretty things that we could be
Woo-oh, oh-oh, I feel you in every heart beat
Woo-oh, oh-oh, were you ever in a dream that could come true
These numbers could be lucky for you

Woo-oh, oh-oh
Woo-oh, oh-oh
Woo-oh, oh-oh
These numbers could be lucky
These numbers could be lucky
These numbers could be lucky for you

Louis finishes the song grinning. He feels on top of the world—he is on top of the world. His boy is here, he just played to a sold-out show of ten thousand, and he just finished a five month tour to thousands of people. He walks over to where Eleanor, Liam, and Zayn are standing and puts his arm around Eleanor's waist, bowing with the rest of them. The screams of the fans ring in his ears as he grins and waves. He spots Harry, grinning from ear to ear, and waves. Louis jumps off of the stage, protected by the barricade holding them back. He reaches Harry and he's smiling.

"Hi."

"Hi."

Then Harry grabs him by the shoulders, kissing him on the mouth. It's everything that Louis wanted and hoped it would be. Harry's lips are soft and full and taste slightly like raspberries and old tea but he doesn't care.

"I love you, too, you dork." Harry whispers, hugging Louis tightly.

"Good, I'm glad."