He’d probably laugh at himself for being so suspicious if he wasn’t so certain that something was going on between Louis and Nick. Liam (and a slightly more than intoxicated Zedd) had shared an unimpressed look when he'd set up shop after announcing as such before they both downed a shot and left him to go dance together. Harry was serious though, there’s something going on between Louis and Grim. Though everyone else in the world thought the two hated each other Harry knew better. Louis looked up to the older man like the rest of One Direction looked up to Louis and Nick thought Louis was funnier and wittier then he’d ever admit to anyone (except to Aimee, Harry and Ian that one time when he was trashed on white wine.)
That’s not to say the two have always liked each other, or even agreed on everything (the time they argued for an hour and a half on the most respectful way to listen to What Makes You Beautiful comes to mind) but there’s for sure something going on between them- Harry can see them leaning into each other from his place at the bar and he’s unamused.
Well drunk and unamused, he thinks as he takes another long sip from his Long island iced tea. He nods when the bartender offers him another one, he's going to need more alcohol if he's going to be forced to watch them all night.
Why would fate decide to allow his two favorite ex boyfriends become best friends without a little warning first? Of course he’s been busy with the writing and dodging rumors that he’s once again dating Taylor Swift but still a little heads up from the universe would have been nice.
He narrows his eyes when Louis leans himself against Grimmy’s shoulder, both of them laughing when he pulls away, suddenly filled with disgust. They’re acting closer than friends, more like lovers but there’s no way that's possible. This must be some type of prank they’re working together on to pull against him, there’s no way Lou and Grim are dating.
He doesn’t know what the two of them are planning but he sure as hell is going to find out.
“Harry keeps looking over here,” Nick’s voice is barely a breath against Louis’ ear.
Louis shrugs. “Let him look, he’s the one who broke up with us remember?” He throws back another shot and then licks the leftover salt off his lips.
“Yeah but he doesn’t look angry, more confused than anything to be honest.” Nick looks over his shoulder and frowns at the way Harry quickly turns himself around to reface the bar when they catch eyes.
“Well until he comes over here and starts something I’m not going to worry about it.” Louis shrugs again. “He’s not dating either of us right now, he let Jade take my papers so he has no right to complain about what I say or do anymore.”
As someone who was mostly a little outside of performances and other band duties Louis was going to enjoy his time being big and Harry wasn’t going to ruin it for him.
Not tonight. Not ever again. Louis had spent far too much time trying to make Harry happy- first as his boyfriend and then as his best friend- that he’d ran out of fucks to give on if his behaviour hurt the other man or not.
Nick still looked uneasy. “If he does come over here am I going to have to worry about you getting into a fist fight? I’d rather us not end up at the A&E tonight, thanks.”
“I could take him on,” Louis pouted. “I’d make him say so many sorries.”
Nick patted the top of his head, a genuine smile on his face. “I’m sure you would sweetheart, but I’d still rather you didn’t. It’d be bad press after all, two members of one direction getting into a drunken brawl in a bar.”
With a sigh Louis was forced to agree. “Especially since that blind dropped about me and him dating and breaking up.”
“I know darling, being a grown up sucks.”
“It does.” He pouted for a moment before,” Can we go dance instead?”
“Always, Tomlinson.” Nick let the other man take his hand and followed him onto the dance floor with a smile, more then attentive to the eyes that still had their laser like focus on him and Louis.
Being friends - fuck buddies?- with your ex’s ex is a complicated situation. Of course they don’t spend their whole time together complaining about shit Harry has done- usually, in fact, they show each other the weird memes Harry has sent them since they saw each other last. The time before that Louis had been in in his little head space when Jade had dropped him off and the cuddled on the couch, Pig between them, while Louis tried to explain why Niall said that Louis couldn’t listen to the explicit version of one of Niall’s solo songs. The conversation had included a lot of head nodding, Nick pretending he understood everything Louis was saying (he didn’t), and then suggesting they order something in to prevent the tantrum he could feel coming.)
The two of them, after the first conversation where they settled and laid the topic to rest, never talk about the weird six months where they both dated Harry at the same time. Of course Louis and Harry had both been younger then and hadn’t necessarily made the best choices, and maybe Harry hadn’t been completely forthcoming with Nick about everything (making him assume that he and Louis had an open relationship and he was fine with Harry dating Nick, for one) and of course they could talk about it if they felt the need to, but everything that could be said, or needed to be said, had and for the most part the two have made peace with it.
Except sometimes, since they’re still friends, and since they run in the same circles, they’ll end up at the same party at the same time. And it’s not like they’ve been hiding the fact that they’re a thing from Harry, it just hasn’t come up in conversation.
It doesn’t help matters that they haven’t had the talk between them yet, either, to label exactly what they are, or what they’re doing. The sex between them is amazing and they always have a blast when they’re together, but they’ve both been burned by relationships in the past few years, and not just from Harry either.
It’s an equal amount scary to think about the conversation as it is exciting, and anxiety inducing that the other might not want the same thing. So they both try to put it off their minds, letting the music move them, Nick’s hands hot on Louis’ hips as he rocks his ass back.
Back at the bar Harry is still pouting, this time into his fourth long island iced tea. He knows he should stop, that he’s on his way to being trashy drunk and not cute drunk but he still lets himself take a harder drag from his straw.
A hand appears on his shoulder. “Mate, you need to stop.”
“I’m not doing anything, Liam. I’m just enjoying this lovely drink on this fine evening.”
“Haz, that’d be convincing if you didn’t keep glancing over at Tommo and Grim like you hope they catch fire from your glare alone.” Liam helps himself to the bar stool next to Harry, though he keeps himself facing the dance floor. “I’ve got to keep an eye on Anton,” he explains, “some girls spotted him earlier and tried to climb him.”
Harry snorts. “They didn’t try to climb you?”
Ducking his head he mumbles out, “One of them might have passed out but her friend caught her before anything bad could have happened. Anyways! Don’t change the subject!”
“What subject?” Anton drops himself gracefully into Liam’s lap, holding onto his shoulder to steady himself. “Who kicked Harry’s puppy?”
“He’s mad that Tommo and Grim are practically fucking on the dance floor.”
“They are not! They’re friends, barely friends. They only can stand each other because of me.”
Twin unimpressed looks came across the other two’s faces. “I’m going to pretend that it’s the drinks that are making you act like that, Styles, because the man I know wouldn’t say such a thing about one of our best friends.” Liam waved Harry off when he opened his mouth to protest. “You dated both of them, Harry. You broke both of their hearts.”
“What about my heart?”
He pressed on as if he hadn’t been interrupted. “I Know you’re a good man, that you made some mistakes and fucked up big time but I still love you, mate. And because I love you I’m going to be honest with you. Neither of them owe you anything. You aren’t dating them anymore. If they want to see each other, they can. You don’t have a right to keep them from doing it. They don’t have to run it by you, they don’t have to ask you if you’re okay with it. You aren’t their father, or their husband or even their boyfriend at this point. You’re one of their best friends, Harry, and that’s it. I’m sorry to have to break it to you but you ended your relationships with them years ago. It’s time to get over it and move on.” Liam stands carefully, Anton having still been in his lap and put his boyfriend into a fireman’s hold. “Now, I’m off to go fuck my boyfriend (as long as he’s okay with it), so we will leave you to the rest of your night. Finish this drink, make it your last one and go home. Go home and go to bed because I’m sure you have an early morning at the studio tomorrow too.”
With that he leaves, a giggling Anton across his shoulder loudly protesting that he could walk.
With one last glance at the two men still grinding on the dance floor, Harry drops some cash on the bar to cover his tip. Liam’s right, he does have to be in the studio early tomorrow. One Direction have finally ended their three and a half year hiatus and Harry has a bunch of songs her needs to go in and work on before he’s due in New York for some promo.
It had taken a sober Niall (who Louis was currently living with), an equally sober Alberto and Paddy, to get the two of them home. To say Niall was unimpressed would be an understatement.
During the hiatus Louis had pretty much fallen apart there for a while, and Niall had been the only one he had kept in contact with. Or rather, Niall was the only one equally as stubborn as Louis and wouldn’t let him cut him out of his life. So it wasn’t any surprise that the two of them rented an apartment in London together, though both had separate houses else where around the world. It was a little surprising, however, the day Niall moved in (three weeks after Louis), to find a naked Nick Grimshaw in the kitchen cooking bacon. They had both squeaked in an unmanly manner, Louis had come in holding one of Niall’s golf clubs over his head and had fallen over laughing when he saw what the problem was. Bonding at it’s finest, honestly.
Now Niall just kinds of groans when he walks into the kitchen and sees Nick spoon feeding Louis bits of scrambled egg out of the pan. “For fucks sake, it’s too fucking early in the morning.”
“Niall, it’s after noon. And if that was the case it would also be too early for the amount of fucks you just said.” Nick says idely. “Also today’s one of those days.”
Niall stops grumbling to himself, a soft smile crossing his face. “Is it?” He walks over and bops Louis on the nose, the older man letting out a childish giggle. “Ah yes! I was hoping to be able to call into work today, and this means we can go to the park, doesn’t it buddy?” Louis reaches his arms up to Niall, and he happily picks him up, mostly ignoring the way Louis chews on the collar on his shirt, except for a small grimace with the spit touches his skin.
In a sing song voice he says to Nick, “You might want to block you know who from his phone. And maybe mute him on twitter. His private account.”
Nick stands with a sigh. “What did he do now?”
Niall hands over his phone ad watches as Nick reads through some of the tweets that had rolled out over night, most of them about lost love and life not being fair. There was a few in there about how love was the most amazing thing in the world too, and about trying to be happy for others but it really didn’t paint a good picture on a drunk Harry.
Niall shrugs apologetically when Nick glances up at him. “I told you guys you should have told him before now, but Lou is stubborn and that the two of you had it covered and I guess I really shouldn’t have believed him but you know how he is.”
Nick’s hold on the phone tightens. “Yeah, I know how he is.”
Louis, still in a world of his own, continues to babble from his place in Niall’s arms, completely unaware of the storm the was brewing for them.