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Heartbeats Like the Speed of Light

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Why did Harry agree to do this in the first place, he doesn’t even know. How did he let Nick convince him this was a good idea? But there he is now, with a fucking heart rate monitor connected to his body, about to answer whatever Nick is about to ask him. He is fucked. He is fucked because he knows Nicks like to tease the shit out of him. Fuck this game. Fuck his best friend for putting him into this position and fuck himself for agreeing in doing this.

Harry breathes. Okay, he’s got this. He can do it. He just has to order his heart not to betray him. Ha-ha. As if it was possible.

Nick smiles. “So, Harry, are you ready?”

No. “I am, yeah” he nods slowly, and Nick chuckles. Harry would punch him if he wasn’t his friend. Straight in the face. With out any regrets.

“So, I’ll show some pictures, yeah? And we will see how does your heart react to them.” Fuck.

“Okay.”

Nick picks up a photo and Harry can see a picture of his old house, the one he grew up in. Harry smiles, and his heart doesn’t rise up or slow that it’s speed.

“Aw, so you’re still fond of it. That’s really cute, lil Harry” Nick teases. “Okay, so what if I show you this?” he grins, lifting up a picture of Kendall Jenner. His heart doesn’t rise up either. “So, nothing going on with her?”

“Nope” Harry answers, popping out the p.

“Not dating her or anything?”

“No, we’re just friends.” he answers, casually. Nick smiles, and for once he is thankful about this game. Maybe this will finally convince people that there is really nothing going on between the two of them like media likes to claim. But then again, people often believe what they want to believe. So.

Nick picks up a third image. One of a party. Harry starts laughing and his heart starts rising up as he giggles even more and more.

“Why are you laughing? What happened in that party?”

Harry shakes his head, smiling. “Uhm, it was…It was my first party, two years ago, and I…uhm-I brought up my best mate from home, you know, the one that appears in one of my music videos. And he drank a lot. Like a lot. He ended up throwing up on me.”

“Was there someone you were trying to impress?”

“No” he lies, and Nick smirks, because the fucker knows. Harry’s heart goes back to normal. Thankfully.

Nick picks up a photo of Patrick Dempsey. His heart rate, obviously, goes up.

“Oh, so lil Harry likes Patrick?”

“He is very stunning, outrageously handsome, isn’t he.” Harry answers. Well, there’s no shame in admitting that. Patrick is indeed gorgeous and he had a lil bit of a crush on him when he was a teenager.

His heart goes back to normal again when Nick shows him a photo of Liam, another good friend of his. Nick says something among the lines “Your heart stabilizes if you trust the person” and Harry doesn’t know if it is true but he agrees none the less because he does trust Liam with his life.

Everything is going okay, so far. No awkward situations, nothing too much revealing. He really has this. Or that is what he thought because luck, of course, loves fucking him up.

Suddenly, the door of the studio opens and Harry gasps and has to control himself from making an inhuman noise. He can hear the beeps of the heart monitor rising up the speed, matching up the drumming of his heart against his chest and the beat of the pulse in his neck. His mouth suddenly feels dry.

Louis leans in to say something to one of the dudes who is behind the studio and Harry feels a wave of heat in his body. He kinda wishes Louis was speaking to him, and how can he not? Louis is the most gorgeous person he has even seen in his life, with those blue eyes and buttoned nose and messy, feathery hair, with that sinful body he wishes he could put his hands on. Harry swallows.

Nick starts laughing.

“Your heart just blew up to 110, is there something you wanna share with us, Harry?” he teases and Harry can feel the heat rising up his cheeks. The other people in the studio laugh and Harry wishes he could bury his head in the ground like a rhea. Now he remembers why he didn’t want to do this. Fucking Nick. Harry knows that Nick knows that Harry has always had a big crush on Louis. And he also knows that Nick is aware that he knows.

“No, nothing…I, just, uhm…I mean…no.” he is a fucking mumbling mess.

Louis lifts up his head to look at him and smirks. He has the fucking audacity to smirk at him. Harry’s heart betrays him and starts beating even faster. Fucking great. Louis rises up his eyebrows before leaving the studio. Harry feels to hot all out of a sudden.

Nick doesn’t mention this again, and the rest of the game goes normal, if you can call it like that.


Bless Liam for going with him to the BBC party. He is nervous, more than he should be. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it wasn’t because of what happened last week, but Louis is going to be there. And now Louis knows for sure he is the responsible one for making Harry's heart  to start acting like crazy the way it did. Fucking fantastic. Honestly. 

Liam pats his back because he saw the interview. "It wasn't that bad" he had said, but Harry knows it was a blatant lie his friend pulled up to make him feel better. Harry saw it afterword and it was a mess. His cheeks went all red and he could see himself being nervous and staring at Louis like a complete idiot and a creep. He shouldn't have seen it. He's a masochist, for sure.

Liam taps his back, cheering him up, before going inside. Nick’s already there, chatting with someone he never met before, and by the way he is talking to him, Harry knows he is flirting with him. He is talking closely to him and he laughs at what he says and he has a hand on his shoulder. Nick smiles at him  when he sees him approaching and stops talking to this guy for a moment so he can hug him.

“Do you know who is coming later?” Nick rises his eye brows. The man who was talking to Nick just stares at them, confused.

“No” he lies.

“Oh, c’mon, Harold, I’m sure you do. I'd say we can ask the heart monitor but I'm sure you broke it after how crazy your heart went.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about” he replies, avoiding his gaze. Fucking Grimshaw.

“Sure you don’t” Nick chuckles and Harry shakes his head, with a long sigh.

“Why are we even friends, again?” he says to him, which makes only Nick snort and bend over his body .

Harry and Liam just the other side of the room, and Harry sees Liam staring at him with a hidden smile on his face. They might have became friends not so long ago but Liam already knows him too much to notice that this situation is getting under his skin.

“If it makes you feel better, he is a really good looking lad. I mean, he's not my type but-” 

“He is gorgeous.”  he lets out in a whisper, more to himself than anything but Liam still hears so he chuckles.

“Isn't he the one of that-” 

“Don't even mention it!"

Alright, alright!” he replies, rising up his hands in surrender.

He chats with Liam and a few random people here and there, laughs a bit, forgets for a moment that he is supposed to be attending the party. But suddenly, when he remembers, reality hits him like a truck and he can’t help feeling but nervous. He heads up to the bar, to have a margarita or something like that, something that can help him relax but isn’t too strong because he is just a wreck right now. The barista is about to give him the drink when he hears a voice next to him and his heart jumps into his throat.

“Hi, Styles.”

Harry swallows and turns his head to look at Louis. He thinks he doesn’t even remember how to talk and his heart starts rising up again like the speed of light. He is sure that if it went any faster it would shatter his ribcage into splinters.

“Uhm, hi.” he says back.

“All good?”

“Yeah, you?”

“All good” Louis nods, winking. Harry chokes on air. He rises his eyebrows before calling the barman.  “Can I have a Stella Artois, please?” he asks to him.

Harry drums his fingers nervously against the counter.

“See ya’ later, Styles. Enjoy your margarita.” Louis smiles when the guy has handed in him the beer, and Harry didn't even know Louis listened when he asked for his drink.

Harry breathes in and out. In and out. It’s unfair. And he is sure he looked like a complete idiot. Why does he have to look so fucking gorgeous? He can’t even formulate coherent thoughts because he just gets lost in how beautiful he is and how stunning he looks with that quiff and that black blazer with a black t-shirt under it, and those tight dark pants that show up his thighs. and- Okay, pull up yourself together, Styles. Harry thanks the barista when he handles him the margarita and he goes back to where all the people are.


Harry finds his way into an empty balcony. He needs to have some fresh air, to clear out of his mind, which is being a little bit difficult when he has alcohol flooding over his system, rushing through his veins and making his mind go a little biz dizzy. So he's sure he will have some time for his own and escape from that place, only that when he gets there, he realizes the balcony is not empty.

Fuck his luck. The world is plotting against him, he is sure. Louis is standing against the railing, talking by the phone, laughing as he runs his fingers through his hair. When he sees him coming, Louis smirks and says “Call you later, yeah? Bye, love you too, Lots.”

He stares at Harry with a slightly smirk on his face “Are you following me, Styles?” he asks.

“What? No, I just wanted- I came here- I can leave if you want” he starts mumbling, looking like an idiot, for sure.

“Relax, mate.” Louis laughs softly. “I was just taking the piss.”

“Oh”

“Did I interrupt you?” he asks.

“Yes.” Harry face falls. “Taking the piss again. I was just talking to my younger sister. Told me she got accepted in the beauty school she wanted.”

“That's great, I'm sure you are proud of her.”

“I am. Very much so.”

They chat a bit. Harry tries to concentrate to formulate proper answers. Everything is as he remembers, Louis is still a easy person to talk to. Harry tells a joke and Louis snorts. That makes Harry grin, usually people scream at him and tell him his jokes suck. 

Louis smiles and takes a package of cigarettes out of the pocket of his blazer. “Want one?” he asks but Harry shakes his head.

He nods and Harry can’t help staring at Louis’ hands when he takes one of them off the package, can’t help noticing how manly and delicate they are at the same time. Can’t help looking at those tattoos around his wrists. He leads the cigarette to his mouth and when he lights it up, the flame illuminates his face for a moment, making his eyelashes cast a shadow over his sharp cheekbones. Harry can’t help but licking his lips, like if he was in a trance, and he thinks Louis notices this because of the way he looks up at him and takes a drag of his cigarette, without breaking up contact.

“So did you enjoy the interview the other day?” he asks, once he has exhaled the smoke.

“Yes, I did. 'S was nice.”

“You didn’t get nervous at all.” he teases, and Harry almost gasps. “Oh, baby, I don’t blame your heart for getting faster when you saw me, I mean, have you looked at me?” he winks, and he knows he is joking, that he is trying to break the ice, but if Harry’s already in this mess he might as well play right his cards.

“I have, yeah.” he takes a step forward, and now he is the one smirking.

By the way Louis rises up his eyebrows, he knows he wasn’t expecting that. He takes another drag, and Harry watches hypnotized the way his lips close around the cigarette.

“You’re really pretty” Harry says. He blames the alcohol. Louis smiles, crinkles by his eyes, and Harry finds himself more endeared more than he already was.

“My, my. You’re being quite straight forward tonight, aren’t you?” he blows out the smoke with a smirk.

“‘M just telling the truth” he shrugs his shoulders. “Have thought that since I first met you.”

And how can he forget? It was some years ago, in the first party he attended. The one Nick showed him in the picture during the game. Louis was right in front on him when John, his friend, threw up on him and he started laughing non-stop. Harry was pissed at first, didn’t know why did he find that so funny when all his clothes were sticky and smelled bad, but Louis helped him cleaning up his shirt and gave him a extra white-shirt he carried with him God knows why. They talked all night, laughed breathless, and it took only one night to convince Harry that he never felt so infatuated with someone like he did with Louis. They never really spoke that much after that night, but Nick found about his little crush, and he has never stopped teasing with him ever since. And until this day on, Harry still has the t-shirt  somewhere in his closet because Louis never asked him to give it back to him.

“You’re quite beautiful yourself, Styles.” he says and Harry can’t help smiling wide as he gives another step forward.

“You can call me Harry, you know?”

“Nah, everyone calls you like that. I prefer being original.” he winks an eye, making Harry's stomach do a back flip, and he takes a last drag before throwing the cigarette into the floor to smash it with his shoe. Now Louis is the one approaching him. He is smaller than he is, but he is confident and he walks like if he owned the world.

“So how shall I call you then to be original?” Harry lets out in a low voice.

“I don’t know. How should you?” he licks his lower lip. Harry's eyes flicker to his pretty mouth before staring him in the eyes again.

“Mmm…Lou.” he whispers.

“Lou…I like it” he smiles, leaning even forward, and from that distance, Harry can see everything. His dark eye-lashes, those four little freckles on his cheek, the green dots in his electric blue eyes.

“Who was that guy you were talking to?” Harry wants to know, remembering the way that tall dude didn’t stop flirting with him as they spoke, remembering the way he wanted to be the one talking to him, and remembering the way he wanted to interrupt just to get Louis' attention.

“Why, are you jealous?”

“Yes.” he answers with out preambles. What’s wrong with him? He can’t just answer that, especially not when he and Louis aren’t anything and there is nothing he should be jealous of. He blames the alcohol again. He shouldn't have drank four fucking margaritas. But Louis, far from looking angry or grossed out or scared at that comment, just smirks and licks his lips.

“He is Aiden Grimshaw, a friend of mine.”

“Well, he was checking you out” he says casually. Or not really. He has no sense of filter right now, but Louis doesn’t seem to mind. If anything, he seems to be enjoying this.

He shrugs his shoulders. “Maybe, but I don’t fancy him, so…”

“Do you fancy anyone else, then?” he asks, and he doesn’t know why but him and Louis are much closer than they were before.

“You could say that, yeah.” Louis replies. Harry hums, bitting his inner lower lip. Suddenly, Louis is placing his hand, fingers wide opened, on the small of his back.“What about you? Is there someone you fancy?” he inquires, stroking his thumb over his back and Harry thinks he could die because he can feel the heat of Louis' hand even through the layers of the clothes he is wearing.

Harry nods while swallowing, unable to think clearly, mind dizzy and blown up.

Louis gives a step forward as he pulls him closer, still caressing his back “Yeah?” he asks in a whisper and Harry can feel Louis’ breath puffing against his chin

“Yeah” Harry answers in a gasp.

And then Louis is leaning in to brush his lips against his. Harry opens his mouth and lets Louis lick inside, and he just can’t hold back himself. He waited for this for too long, so he grabs him by the face and kisses him back, slipping in his mouth to capture Louis’ upper lip between his own before sticking his tongue inside his mouth. Louis tastes like beer and smoke, things that he normally wound’t like, but it’s Louis and his flavour is amazing it’s driving him insanely crazy. He feels Louis smiling against his lips, so he kisses him harder, knees getting weak when Louis leads his free hand to the back of his neck. They kiss until their mouths are numb, until they are breathless. When they break up for air, he feels his lips swollen, and he notices that Louis’ lips are puffy and red, too, so he can’t help leaning in just to peck them again, just to suck in slowly his lower lip.

“I’ve been dying to do that since forever ago.” he admits, licking his mouth, brushing his nose against his.

“Wanna hear a secret, too, Styles? I’ve been wanting to that for a long time, too”

When they return to the party, they see Nick talking with the guy he was talking to before and with Liam . Nick gives them a quizzical look, and Liam just smiles at them.

“Well, well…seems like I was not the only one who had fun tonight.” he teases and for the first time in the night Harry can see Louis blushing.

They head into the bar and have more drinks, sneaking in a again to kiss a little bit more, and when it is time to leave, they exchange numbers.

“Will you let me see you again?” Harry asks.

“Of course, Styles. Don’t think I forgot you still have my t-shirt. Think imma have to go your house to fetch it up, yeah?”

Sounds like a promise, and he likes it. “Seems that you’ll have, yes.” he smirks.

Harry can’t wait.