Harry doesn’t remember how this thing between him and Niall actually became a thing, but he loves it just the way it is. Sex has become such a constant in his life, a validation that he craves, a need that haunts him wherever he goes. Which sucks on its own but even more because he’s famous. He can’t just shag anyone and everyone without it ending up in the tabloids. Even when he’s not doing anything, when he’s just joking around with Louis they read stories into it that don’t even exist.
It’s a mess, it always has been a mess and through all of it Harry has felt like crawling up the walls, the constant need to get off making him so agitated he tried to convey it on stage, to sell it as a performance, as an act. But it’s not, he loves the attention, wishes he could be touched by his fans without the danger, so many hands all over his body, just making him feel good. But there’s a gap between them where the security stands guard, protecting them from him. He’s been getting off on stage before, though he doubts anyone noticed. Sometimes all it needed was the line of one of their songs, the hard length of his mic stand… It’s embarrassing how fast music can get him off.
But tonight is different. After the show, after a good and long shower he still hasn’t come, hasn’t really for two days and that’s quite a long time for him. Others would call it an achievement, he calls it torture. He’s torturing himself.
But the thing is, the thing is, it’s different with Niall. They probably shouldn’t get along because on his first trip to Mullingar two things became very apparent:
Harry is a sex addict and Niall is asexual.
Of course that doesn’t have anything to do with their friendship but it has everything to do with the fact that Harry has a huge fucking crush on Niall. He knows he’s not alone with that because everyone adores Niall, he’s perfect and beautiful and when you’re around him you don’t even know how to be sad. And when you are sad he just pulls you into his arms and tells you a stupid joke that has you laughing on the floor.
But it’s not like Harry is constantly thinking about fucking Niall into the mattress, it’s more than that. He really likes Niall and he’s one of the few people Harry can be stupid with without actually feeling stupid. He can just be himself, innuendos and 100% inappropriate jokes included. Because Niall thinks sex is hilarious, he doesn’t understand the fuss and in a very twisted way that actually comforts Harry. Because Niall knows about his addiction and still doesn’t judge him.
So that’s why Harry constantly seeks out Niall’s presence, his warmth, his occasional cuddle and it takes off the edge sometimes. But not tonight. Liam and Louis are watching a show on the other bus, so Harry gets onto the sleeping bus with Niall, who’s already in his bunk with his phone in both hands. Harry briefly considers climbing into his own bunk but then decides to join Niall with a pounding heart. He hasn’t asked him for help in weeks and was quite proud of that but tonight’s show had been so intense and a cold shower didn’t do anything for him.
So when he’s placing one knee on Niall’s mattress he just stares at the boy beneath him, taking in his mussed up hair, his shirt that rode up his stomach far enough to reveal a bit of soft skin. He’s typing away on his phone and isn't even looking up when he inches closer to the wall to make room for Harry, who would be a fool to turn down that offer. So he squeezes in next to Niall and bumps his head against his shoulder with a low whine, like a cat begging for some treats.
“Hey Haz. What’s wrong?”
“Dunno,” he lies because he knows what he wants and what he needs but he feels so, so pathetic. “I just…”
“Come here,” Niall mutters and reaches out with his fingers to curl them into Harry’s damp hair at the back of his neck, pulling him down for a cuddle. “You’ve been restless all day. Maybe you need some sleep.”
Harry likes sleeping. It’s one of the rare times he doesn’t think about sex. He doesn’t even dream about sex. His dreams are all very silly. He doesn’t think it’s a good idea though because as soon as he curls around Niall and burrows into his side he remembers how hard he is, still is. He just couldn’t get off in the shower and now the outline of his hard dick is pressing against Niall’s hip and he whimpers because god, he’s so pathetic, fuck.
“Ah,” Niall makes a sound of understanding and finally drops his phone, hand reaching into the back of Harry’s loose shirt to knead the spot between Harry’s shoulder blades that is always tense. Fuck, he just knows Harry inside and out. “How about you get those jeans off, hm?”
Harry’s hands are already shaking with arousal because Niall doesn’t mind helping him out once again. So he quickly fumbles with his belt to get it off and almost busts the zipper because he’s so eager, he can’t fucking wait. When he finally has his trousers and his underwear down to his knees he presses in again to feel the rough texture of Niall’s jeans against his sensitive dick. He flat out moans at the sensation and mutters a thousand apologies because he knows he will ruin Niall’s clothes again.
“It’s alright, Haz,” Niall coos when Harry starts to rub himself off on his skinny leg, sucking in sharp breaths of air whenever he manages to grind against the thick seam which makes the drag so much better.
He has done this before, with Niall sitting innocently in his lap, with Niall on his stomach while Harry was dry humping his arse like a fucking idiot. But he never made Harry feel bad about it, always said he doesn’t mind. I don’t mind if it helps you. I don’t mind if it makes you feel good. Niall is Harry’s rock and he doesn’t even know it.
“Oh fuck,” Harry groans and presses his lips and nose into Niall’s shoulder, breathing in the smell of fabric softener. But there’s also that pure scent that is just Niall and Harry feels himself shifting closer, rutting harder against the other’s leg as he takes a another deep breath.
When he lifts his head he notices that Niall is back on his phone, scrolling through his twitter feed while his other hand absent-mindedly rests on Harry’s back. But he doesn’t pay him any attention, fuck, he’s just… he’s almost ignoring Harry. Like he doesn’t care. And the fact that he doesn’t care makes Harry actually feel like he cares a lot. Does that make any sense?
“Niall,” he whispers, jerking harder against him but it’s not enough anymore, so he sneaks a hand between them to take himself in hand, to add more pressure to it. “Niall…”
“Hm?” His eyes briefly flicker over and when he sees the look of a dying animal on Harry’s face he raises both eyebrows and quickly locks his phone. “Oh hey, what’s wrong? Not enough?”
“I don’t know,” Harry complains and squeezes his eyes shut, the same frustration he has felt for the last few days building up again like a goddamn nightmare. “It’s nothing.”
“Then why do you look like you’re about to cry?” Is that what he looks like? “Isn’t it supposed to feel good?”
Harry’s movements falter, his grip around himself tightens and then it all just comes to a stop and he’s breathing heavily, throbbing on the outside and on the inside, the need to come so urgent and so overpowering that he just blurts it all out.
“Doesn’t feel good. Feels like I’m hurting myself, like I’m…” He takes a deep breath, “pathetic.”
Niall makes a sad noise in the back of his throat and then his hands are both on Harry’s face, brushing away the curls sticking to his face. “You’re not pathetic and I get it, you know? I get why you’re doing it.”
Harry stares at him with wild eyes. “Yeah, right.”
“No, I do. Think you’re the only one who needs to feel loved?”
Harry opens his mouth, he's about to say no, that’s not why he’s doing it, he just wants to be wanted, wants to be important to someone, close to someone. Horror starts to sink in when he realises that yes, that is why he’s doing it. It’s the reason why he can’t get off, why he didn’t even try to get laid ever since this little thing with Niall has started. Whatever that thing is. Can’t be friends with benefits because seriously, he’s the only one getting something out of it.
And maybe that’s what rubbing him off the wrong way, maybe that’s why he feels so dirty and wrong all the time and just can’t find his orgasm. Because he wants Niall to feel good, too. Not with sex, maybe he just wants to buy him nice things, make him a cup of his favourite ginger-lemon tea, or maybe… maybe he just wants to cuddle him. Because fuck, this is not just a crush, he’s in love. Well, congratu-fucking-lations, Harry Styles. You just fell in love with the one boy who doesn’t want you.
“Come on, touch yourself,” Niall’s voice rings through his clouded brain. “I want to see.”
“Do it, Harry.” His blue eyes are so wide, taking in Harry’s whole face.
He sucks in a shuddering breath and closes his eyes, feeling strangely vulnerable when he starts to stroke himself again, a little slower than before. When he looks down between them he can already see a wet patch on Niall’s trousers that he left there and his whole face is burning with shame.
“Shh, no, look at me.” Niall’s fingers tug at his chin. “It’s all fine, all good. You’re so beautiful, Haz.”
Harry whimpers but feels a jolt of arousal climbing up his spine when Niall utters those words as if they are plain obvious. Well, he has obviously heard those words a lot, from more people he can count, from thousands of teenagers and grown ups screaming it into the void. But he has never heard them from Niall before, has never felt them like he does now. He feels beautiful in Niall’s presence and keeps fucking into his own hand with the head of his dick brushing relentlessly against Niall’s thigh. He pants heavily, squirms and shifts around under Niall’s watchful eyes and it’s just as good as being ignored, or maybe even better because… because he really fucking likes Niall.
“Fuck,” he chokes out when he suddenly comes, harder than ever and with his mouth falling open at the overwhelming moment of clarity. He doesn’t want meaningless hook-ups and he doesn’t need to be loved by everyone. Just one.
“There you go,” Niall mumbles with his lips against Harry’s forehead, kissing it softly, then his temple, his cheek and Harry wants him so desperately on his mouth, still squeezing the last few drops of his orgasm out of himself. But he holds back because he knows that there are not a lot of things that Niall likes. He loves to cuddle and if that was all Niall would ever want to do then Harry would be absolutely fine with it. “Wasn’t so bad, huh? You are very beautiful and not pathetic at all, trust me.”
His face is so close, their noses pressing together while Niall’s fingers stroke along Harry’s face and his mouth still shapes praises that roll from his tongue so easily. They make Harry almost faint right there because he feels so good. So relieved. There’s a sense of finally that he hasn’t felt in a long time, like he’s actually done, spent, and it’s all thanks to Niall.
Something like that must show on his face because Niall’s gaze grows incredibly soft and then he tilts his head to press an equally tender kiss to his lips that has Harry almost jump off the bunk because holy fuck, Niall is kissing him! It’s different at first because where Harry usually takes kisses elsewhere, this one just stays the way it is, warm and caring and he doesn’t know how to respond to that, he’s not used to kisses that don’t lead anywhere. But Niall keeps him right here, where he isn’t constantly reminded of sex, and when he tips back his head for Niall to deepen the kiss he dares to sneak an arm around him, to touch him lightly, innocently and it is just as nice, it makes his skin tingle but in a different way than sex and oh god, he’s so in love, he’s so so-
“I love you,” he whispers against Niall’s lips and then freezes when he realises what he just said. Niall pulls away to look at him, a small smile tugging at his lips and… well, at least he’s not disgusted.
“Love you, too, obviously,” he says and Harry just fucking takes that and kisses Niall again, trying to keep it as light as Niall had. He’s starting to like this kind of kissing a lot.
“Do you mind the thing we’re doing?” He asks when their lips part again with a soft sound.
“Nah… why would I?”
“You don’t like sex.”
Niall sighs. “Yeah, I don’t like sex. Don’t like to be touched or to touch others. But I don’t mind looking at you while you’re getting off thinking about me or rubbing off on me… it makes me feel a bit proud, actually. Besides,” he drags a finger over Harry’s bottom lip, “You’re very pleasing to look at, great aesthetics right there in your face.”
Harry snorts and tries to swat Niall’s hand away which results in a small fight where they grab at each other and grin like it’s Christmas. Harry gets tangled up in his trousers which reminds him that he’s still half naked and gross and full of his own come. Niall just laughs at Harry and helps him look presentable again, all of it while he keeps trading him kisses. Harry feels like this might become his new addiction.
“So here’s what I do like,” Niall explains when he draws back. “I like cuddling and I like to kiss. I can give you all of that, if you want it.”
Harry nods and reaches up to thread his fingers through Niall’s hair because he knows for a fact that this is something he likes, too.
“I want it,” Harry says and revels in the smile he receives in return, not quite believing yet that their thing is more than a thing. “I want you… just like that.”
“That’s why I love you, you know?” Niall mumbles. “You always respect my boundaries, always ask for permission and you never make me feel weird about it.”
“Weird?” Harry is confused. “Weird about what?”
Niall rolls his eyes and pinches Harry’s side, making him squawk. “You know what. People think it’s weird if you don’t like sex.”
Harry wants to laugh hysterically. “They also think it’s weird when you have too much sex. Can’t please all of them, Nialler.”
“Exactly.” Niall gives him a pointed look.
Harry bites at his lips, fingers rubbing over Niall’s scalp. “We probably shouldn’t work, but I really want us to work,” he admits quietly.
Niall beams at him like he just won a cake and hugs Harry close to his chest. “We will work, don’t worry. Everything we do, remember?”
So yeah, he doesn’t worry and sinks back into Niall’s arms instead.