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Louis is a genius. He had what some called a photographic memory, meaning that he could remember things ridiculously well. It didn't matter if it was something that he heard, saw or read- his brain just caught it and didn't forget about it.

He could remember some of the most difficult mathematical equations, ridiculous facts about history and everything in between. Because of his great memory, he was a bit of a loner. People didn't think that his ability was anything to be proud or amazed about. It made him a freak in people's eyes.

Especially because he was an omega.

It's not knowledge, it's just luck, they said. Being good at remembering things isn't special and it doesn't make you a genius, some commented. It was funny how the same ability in an alpha would be seen as a miracle, but in an omega it was just stupid. But it was fine because Louis had gotten used to it by now. He was twenty-one after all.

And even though he was seen as a loner, he still had friends- or a friend, to be exact. Niall had been there from the very beginning. Their mothers were best friends so naturally, they had their sons mingle at a very young age. Even after they presented, Niall as an alpha and Louis as an omega, they still remained best friends. Niall was one of the few people who was mesmerised by Louis' brain and how it worked. It was like a game to him to drop the most random questions at the most random times to see if Louis knew the answers. And surprisingly (not) most of the times, Louis did know.

Some of his teachers were categorised as the first kind. They were annoyed with Louis and his comments in class. "You forgot to mention the king," or "There should be a minus before the x". The small but constant corrections drove people mad. On some level, Louis understood it but he wasn't going to stop just because some found it annoying.

Why would he? He wasn't going to let his peers learn things wrong just because his teacher made a mistake. Everyone made them, they were humans after all. Sadly, if you asked Louis, who rarely made any, he wasn't perfect by any means, but he liked to think that he was right most of the time.

There was one thing he couldn't be right about though. Just like everyone else, he had a flaw, if you may. A flaw that made him, as one might say, vulnerable. And what was that, you may ask. Well, the thing is that Louis was colour blind.

His mother, Johannah, learned this when Louis was just three-years-old. They had been at the child health centre and the nurse had shown him different kinds of figures, squares, triangles and circles. And when he was asked to name them, Louis had named them without a second of thought. But when it came to naming the colours, he had frozen. He had asked confused, "What are colours?" The question had confused and shocked the nurse as well as Johannah.

They had asked a doctor to come to them. He had explained, after questioning Louis, that Louis was colour blind, that it wasn't dangerous and that there were studies going on, trying to figure out a way to make colour blind people able to see colours. Like glasses helped people with vision problems.

And yet, eighteen years later, no such thing was possible. Louis still remained unable to see colours.

His so called disability wasn't something that he told to many. Not because he was ashamed of it, no, simply because he didn't think that it had anything to do with, well- anything. Sure, sometimes he wore a bright yellow shirt with red pants, but he could live with that. Though those days were rare since Louis made Niall go shopping with him and make sure that he didn't have any risky colours in his closet.

Louis should've known that Niall wouldn't miss the chance to play around with him though. That's the reason why Louis still owned a pair of red jeans. He couldn't tell them apart from the black ones, so sometimes he still walked around with them on. He had been meaning to ask his mother to throw them away, but he seemed to always forget about it when he had the chance.

So the disability sometimes made him look funny, sure, but Louis thought that it made him more open-minded. He couldn't judge anyone's choice of a hair colour or clothes, and he found it nice. He liked to think that he wouldn't do such a thing either way, but it's not like he could know for sure.

All in all, Louis was perfectly content with his life. He liked his studies- he was going to be a behavioural analyst. He loved his family and friends. Everything was just fine, well except for his apartment.

He had bought an apartment with Niall in their first year of uni since neither of them was fond of the idea of living in a dormitory. It was kind of frowned upon for an unmated alpha and omega to live together but since it wasn't illegal, they didn't care. They had split the rent and shared their living space until something happened. And by something, Louis meant that Niall had decided to move in with his girlfriend, Barbara. Don't get him wrong, Louis liked her. She was witty and funny and didn't care about Louis' so called problematic personality. She was an omega who was literally everything that Niall had been looking for. So it didn't exactly come as a surprise when after three years of dating the couple started looking for an apartment to share.

When Niall had first told Louis that he loved her, Louis' exact words were: "Did you know that falling in love has similar neurological effects to those of cocaine?"

In return, the blonde had shaken his head and smiled stupidly. "This is your reaction? I tell you that I love my girlfriend and you compare it to drugs."

"No?" Louis had said with his eyebrows furrowed. "I'm trying to make you realise why you feel so strongly attached to her." The words had made Niall go speechless, which rarely happened. It was one of the rare times that he had realised his lack of control of the situation and accepted it.

But even though Louis understood the situation, it didn't mean that he liked it. He despised the idea of living with someone that he didn't know, but he didn't have a choice. The three bedroom apartment next to the University of Cambridge wasn't exactly the cheapest. So it was either up to him to find a roommate or to move somewhere else. And moving wasn't an option since the apartment was within walking distance of the school.

So...yeah.

And to add more to the mix, he had to choose the person and have them moved in in less than a month. In other words, he had to make a friend or at least an acquaintance in that time. And knowing his fabulous social skills, Louis was, for lack of a better word, screwed.

"Why can't you just help me find someone?" Louis asks frowning as he sits on the couch with his favourite book in hand. Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time. The man had the word king literally in his last name. Louis didn't need to explain himself.

Niall glances at him over his shoulder and rolls his eyes. "Everyone I have suggested to you so far, you've hated," he points out. "I told you that you could always make a Craigslist post and be done with it."

"And how many murderers do you think there are on that thing?" Louis asks huffing as if the suggestion was offending him.

"I don't know and please do not tell me," Niall says turning back to his box. He was in the middle of packing his last things from the living room before he would move out in five days. Since the notice was such a short one, Niall had promised to pay his part of the rent for the following month. Mostly to give Louis time to get a new roommate.

Louis squints his eyes and purses his lips in deep thought. "If I don't say it, will you still visit me even after you've moved out?" He asks humming. It was a dumb question as he knew that Niall would be visiting him, no matter what. They were best friends after all and they hadn't gone more than four days without hanging out. And even the four days had happened simply because Niall had been visiting his grandparents one summer. After those four days, their mothers agreed that they would always travel together.

So it was kind of a given that they attended the same university. Niall was studying medicine while Louis studied psychological and behavioural sciences.

"Like I would dare to leave you all by yourself or with a stranger," Niall says softly, stopping his packing and turning around. "You understand why I'm moving right? Like this isn't an excuse to get rid of you or anything."

And there it was. Niall was the only person aside from his mother who knew about his fear of being left alone. Louis was almost constantly afraid that Niall would eventually get tired of him and move on. The rational part of his brain rolled his eyes every time and told him that it wouldn't happen. That Niall needed Louis just as much as Louis needed him. And yet, the emotional side of his brain was always nagging at him.

Louis admits that at first, he had thought that this was the end. That Niall had finally had enough with him and leaving him behind. That was until Niall showed him his and Barbara's new apartment. It was less than a fifteen-minute-walk from their current apartment. Surely, Niall would have to take the bus to school every morning, but sacrifices would have to be made. Or that's at least what the blonde had told him.

"Yeah, I know," Louis says quietly. "It's just going to be weird living with someone who will comment if I leave the dishes lying around or wear bright jeans."

"You don't know that. They could be even messier than me and wear loud clothes themselves," Niall says shrugging. "Do you know if you want an alpha or an omega to live with you?" He asks out of nowhere.

Despite being the closest friends and being able to talk about everything, they had never talked about Louis' sexuality. It was mostly because Louis hadn't labeled himself. He didn't feel the need to- it wasn't like he was obligated to tell anyone. It wasn't anyone's business to put it simply. You see, society had finally approved marriages between two alphas or two omegas. It was still something new, but people were getting used to the idea.

Louis shrugs after letting the question sink in. "I think that I might go with an alpha. You know how much I hate the smell of strong perfumes," Louis says. "And yes Niall, I know that some alphas wear too much cologne as well." Another thing was that people had started to hide their true scents. Louis, due to being an omega, preferred using light and sweet perfumes while Niall preferred his colognes.

"I'm surprised that you didn't tell me the exact number-"

"A recent study shows that 9 out of 10 omegas use perfume daily in the UK. I would say that at least half of them use it too much. There are approximately 65,484,195 point 25 alphas and omegas in the UK of which there are around 32,760,961 point 25 omegas. Noting the fact that only 9 out of 10 omegas use perfumes daily, the number narrows down to 29,484,865 point 125. So if around sixty percent of those omegas overuse their perfumes, the total would be 17,690,919 point 075," Louis cuts in with his calculations. "And if we take in the alphas, as you kindly pointed out, the same study shows that 8 out of 10 alphas use cologne daily. We can use the same percentage on the over usage. Which would make men's total about 15,716,206 point 8," he continues before Niall can cut in. "So it'd be 11,16 percent more likely to have that problem with an omega," he finishes off smiling. He didn't count the betas since they tended to stay away from the mating part of society.

Niall looks at Louis with a badly hidden intriguing expression. "Sometimes I wonder why I'm still your friend," he says humming.

"That's because you love me and you know that I'm the best," Louis says smiling. "Don't worry, I won't tell Barbara that you love me more than her," he adds playfully.

"Oh shut up. If anything you love me," Niall says rolling his eyes fondly. "But anyway, are you going to help me with packing?" He changes the subject with a hum.

Louis sets the book down on his lap and turns to fully face his friend. "And why would I do that? You know that I'd rather have you live here for another month," he reasons.

"C'mon Lou. I'll cuddle you tonight if you help me," the blonde offers. You see, Louis didn't fit the profile of hating any kind of affection. He didn't shake people's hands when they first met (there were so many germs in the person's hands) but he loved to cuddle the people he was close with.

So basically his mother and Niall.

Niall had once wondered about it out loud, asking if Louis thought that it was simply because he was an omega. It was known that omegas tended to crave more affection than alphas, so Louis wouldn't rule it out. All that mattered was that he loved Niall's cuddles.

"Will you watch the documentary on the French revolution with me?" Louis asks, considering the offer.

"I'll watch Criminal Minds with you if you help," Niall suggests. "I know that you want to get the profiles right."

Louis purses his lips and takes in the offer. "Hmm... Will you let me choose the episode?" He asks. While they both loved the series, Niall loved the first three seasons while Louis liked the newer ones. They both could enjoy the show no matter what season was on, but they still had their preferences. Niall squints his eyes, clearly having to think about the counter offer as well.

"Fine," Niall says eventually. "Just help me get these things away before I just end up leaving them here."

"Yikes, I don't want your trash," Louis huffs standing up, stretching his back. "You know that over three million-"

"Yes, I know," Niall quickly says. "I know so shh. Come here and help me."

The rest of that night went by pretty much like that. They spent a good three hours packing Niall's stuff before deciding that they were done for the day. They moved to lie down on the couch, Niall spooning Louis. It might have looked like they were mated to an outsider, but it was purely platonic. Niall had a girlfriend for god's sakes. The season of Criminal Minds they ended up playing was the sixth, mainly because they both agree that Prentiss was great. Even though Reid was absolutely Louis' favourite character. It was mainly because the character was so much like him- a genius. They even had the same IQ which was a weird coincidence.

Three episodes in and they drift off to sleep, only to wake up the next day with their necks sore. They didn't have any classes since it was the summer break, so neither of them had to freak out over waking up after ten. Niall was the first one to want to move, pushing Louis down to the floor as he stood up.

"Rude," Louis huffs as he pushes himself sitting up. "You could've just asked me to move, you know? I would've done it," he points out.

"Yeah, but then I would've had to tell you that I want to get up because I need to pee. And then you would've given me the statistics of how long a human being can stay without peeing and my bladder didn't have time for that. So no, I couldn't just ask," Niall explains matter-of-factly while he stretches.

Louis just shrugs and moves to lie back onto the couch. There was no reason to argue because he knew that Niall was right. This was one of the reasons why their friendship worked. Niall knew Louis inside and out just like Louis knew Niall. They could be brutally honest with each other without hurting the other's feelings. It was a perfectly balanced friendship.

After picking up the remote, Louis turns the TV back on, feeling too lazy to stand up and go to the kitchen. Apparently, one of them had woken up at some point during the night and turned the TV off after they had fallen asleep. It was most likely Niall since Louis could sleep through pretty much anything. He selects another episode of Criminal Minds and gets comfortable as the starting scenes come alive on the screen.

He can hear the toilet flush and quiet steps soon follow. "Niall, can you bring me some tea? Yorkshire, black, with a splash of milk," he calls out. Louis despised coffee with all his worth, hating the bitter taste it left behind.

"Every morning for the past eighteen or so years you have started your mornings with a cuppa. Don't you think that I've caught on to how you make your tea by now? Especially considering that we're living together," Niall calls back as he walks toward the kitchen. "I even know the reason why you prefer black tea over the green."

Louis keeps his eyes on the screen as he hums, "Yeah? And why is that?"

"Because black tea has caffeine in it and you want the small dose in the mornings. That's also why your mum always makes you drink green at night. It's more relaxing," the blonde says knowingly. It doesn't take more than ten seconds for Louis to hear the low hum of the fridge, signaling that the door had been opened. And seconds after Niall's voice fills the apartment, "We're out of milk by the way."

"Then why don't you go get some?" Louis asks, pausing the show. He could drink plain tea without any complaints but he still preferred milk in it. Call him crazy but it made the taste so much softer, gentle.

Louis could almost hear Niall roll his eyes. "Yeah, no thanks. I'm not changing into jeans just because you want some milk. We can go to the store later, okay? Just let's hang out for few hours, you can read Stephen Hawking and we'll be fine."

"But I just read it last night, remember?" Louis points out. "Will you drop by the bookstore with me while we go get some milk? I want to read Charles Dickens' Great Expectations," he asks hopefully.

"I thought that you owned the book already?" Niall asks confused, appearing in the room. He didn't have any mugs in his hands, so Louis assumed that the water was still boiling. And considering the time that had passed, he was most likely right.

Louis nods, "Yes. But I want to read it in French," he says. "So I need to buy it. I tried the University's library but they didn't have it."

"Care to remind me how many languages you know again?" Niall says looking slightly puzzled.

"Well, I know Spanish, English, French, a bit of Russian, Finnish and few things in Swedish. Oh and German," Louis says after thinking a while. "It's funny how no one knows where Finland is and when you tell people that you speak the language they are so confused," he continues as if it was the funniest thing ever.

"And when did you even study them? I'm a hundred percent sure that we don't have any Swedish or Finnish lectures at the campus," Niall asks confused. "Or any German lectures now that I think about it."

"Actually we do have German language courses available, but that's not how I learned it," Louis hums. "I've had some free time so I thought why not learn a language? Or as they say in Finland, miksei opiskella kieliä?"

"Don't ever speak like that again. That is pure gibberish," Niall shakes his head. "French and Spanish are at least sexy- not that you care."

Louis turns to look at Niall with an amused smile playing on his lips. "I think that it sounds amazing. And only 5,3 million people speak it as their mother tongue. Did you know that some even think that it's more difficult to learn than Chinese?" He asks. "French and Spanish are both so used and known that it's boring."

"You're weird," Niall says simply. "You could teach me a few sentences though. I want to woo Barbs."

"Why would you need to woo her? She is already dating you," Louis points out confused. "Like she knows that you're not a genius or a linguist and she still loves you."

"I know that she already loves me and that we're dating. But even though I don't have to woo her, it doesn't mean that I don't want to," Niall says. "Just like you don't need to speak seven languages, but you still want to."

Touché. "Okay, I see your point," Louis says humming. Sometimes it had to be just like this. People needed to give Louis examples that he could relate to and understand. Niall, of course, knew this due to their long friendship and all. It wasn't like he didn't want to understand their points; it was just hard for him to picture something he hadn't experienced. Just like love.

"Anyways, rewind the episode while I get the tea," Niall says before disappearing back to the kitchen. Louis refocuses on the television screen and does what the boy asked him to. By the time Niall is back, the episode is reset and Louis is in a comfortable position cuddled up against the armrest.

"Thank you, Niall," he says smiling softly as he reaches out for the steaming mug. "I don't know what I'd do without you."

"Well, you better figure it out soon, yeah?" Niall answers half playfully as he sits down next to him.

"I know," Louis says quietly, placing his feet on Niall's lap. "But for now I want to enjoy your company and profile the murderer before they do it."

_

The month passed by quicker than Louis had expected. It was like he just woke up one morning and Niall wasn't around anymore. Louis had managed to convince Niall to stay for the whole month instead of five days. Okay, he may have begged for the alpha to stay and he may have had called Barbara to explain the situation. And being the angel she was, she had agreed to it. Realising that Niall was finally gone had taken him a few moments as he was used to being the first one awake after all. And when he finally remembered that he was alone, it had been because of the small note on the fridge. Niall had left behind a sticky note with few carefully chosen words on it. Or at least that's what Louis wanted to think anyways.

On their second to last night as roommates, Niall had demanded Louis make a Craigslist post. It had been a long conversation of what music Louis wanted to play at his funeral before he had agreed to it. It had been a simple post which had earned him a little more than twenty responses.

Hi,

I'm looking for a person to share an apartment with me, close to the University of Cambridge. I'm a twenty-one-year-old omega and I study at said university. The apartment is a three-bedroom apartment with a renovated kitchen and two bathrooms.

The person I'm looking for should be between the ages of nineteen to twenty-four. Preferably someone who doesn't use too much perfume or cologne. Partying and drugs are a no on my list so if you do either of those- good bye. Also, I would like you to be able to commit to the rent for at least a year.

The rent is 2000 £ per month and it has to be on time. You would get a room with an ensuite bathroom and a small walk in closet. If you want more information regarding the apartment, email me on louist@gmail.com.

And so far he hadn't liked a single applicant. Some people didn't know how to read apparently because a few of the applicants were around thirty. Thirty. Not that Louis had problems with people older than him, no. He just didn't understand why it happened when he said the maximum age. He wanted to live with someone close to his age and who he wouldn't have to worry would get married in a year.

Louis sits down on the couch with his morning tea, his computer perched on his lap. He blows his tea while he waits for his computer to wake up. He had gotten it on his 18th birthday so it had seen its best days. Louis didn't need his computer that much, however, so he didn't feel the need to get a new one. He could live with the slow service the few times a year he used the machine.

When the computer finally opens up, Louis opens the Internet and signs into his email. He has seven more emails regarding the Craigslist post. Getting mentally prepared, he opens up the first email.

"Twenty-two, an omega, has a dog- no," Louis shakes his head. "No pets," he mumbles to himself. Animals didn't exactly like him and he had no idea why. Same with little children, it was the Louis-effect as Niall called it.

Continuing on, he spent the next twenty minutes going through the emails. And just when he was about to quit for the day, he comes across a message. He feels hopeful as he opens the mail and skims through it.

Hi!

I saw your post on Craigslist about the apartment. My name is Harry Styles and I'm twenty-three years old and an alpha. I study law at the University of Cambridge, we might have met?

I'm interested in moving in if it's not obvious. My best friend is making me move out, telling me that I'm too boring. Okay, that was a joke, we both decided to move out of the dorms. I don't throw parties, I just attend, is that a problem?

The year would be the ideal time for me since this is my second to last year. I don't wear a lot of cologne as far as I know, but you could be the judge of that. I don't know what else to say about myself, to be honest. I hope that I'll hear from you?

- H

"Harry Styles," Louis hums quietly to himself as he finishes off with the mail. "Sounds okay," he notes. He clicks on the reply button and starts typing out the message.

Hi Harry,

I got your message and so far it's been the only one to get my attention. I thought that maybe we could meet up at the cafe near our university, TeaCup, have you ever heard of it? I promise you that it's a really nice place.

Let me know when you're free so we can agree on the time.

After reading through the email, he clicks send. Louis then pushes the computer away from his lap and reaches out for his phone that is in front of him on the coffee table. He unlocks it before dialing Niall's number and bringing the phone to his ear.

"Hi, miss me already?" Niall's bubbly voice comes through the speaker after three rings.

"I always do," Louis says humming as he reaches for his cup. "I think that I found myself a new roommate."

"Wow that was fast," Niall comments humming. "Wait a sec," he says before Louis can agree. Louis hears some shuffling around on the background as he waits for Niall to come back. He throws a wild guess and thinks that the blonde was leaving the room he was in. "I'm back. Barbs is asleep and I don't want to wake her up."

"But it's already past ten," Louis says raising his eyebrows to himself. "How is she still asleep?" He asks humming. The omega was the one to wake up at seven every morning just because she liked to have some quiet time to herself. So being still asleep when it was almost noon, was weird.

"Oh, we didn't go to bed till two," Niall chuckles lightly. Louis immediately knows what the alpha was meaning by that comment.

"You perv," Louis huffs playfully. "You didn't have to use that tone when you told me that," he complains.

"I just chuckled? What do you mean by that tone?" Niall asks confused, yet clearly curious.

"Yeah but if you guys had just gone to bed late for innocent reasons you wouldn't have chuckled. You would've just hummed or something," Louis points out. "And I know this because I lived with you and I've had to witness your late nights."

"A wise man once told me that the word witness implies that you've seen something. And you haven't so," Niall says, sounding really proud on the other end. He must have thought that Louis wouldn't remember saying those words a few years back. But he did, of course he did.

"You clearly don't remember the one time when you and Babs celebrated your anniversary or something and I came home early. I'm still traumatised," Louis says jokingly.

Niall gasps on the other side, "You said that you didn't see anything!" He exclaims before lowering his voice. "Did you actually lie to me?" He asks sounding more curious than angry.

"I didn't want you to feel embarrassed or make anything weird between us," Louis explains shrugging. "But can we go back to my roommate thing?" He asks humming.

"Oh right, yeah. Are they an alpha or an omega?" Niall, of course, asks that first. Not what their name was or what did they do for a living. Not even how old they were.

"Of course you'd ask that first," Louis comments rolling his eyes. "His name is Harry and he's twenty-three-"

"I didn't ask for their name or age. I asked if they were an alpha or an omega," Niall interrupts Louis shortly. "Cmon you know that this is big for us both."

Louis can't help but chuckle at that. "Us both? What do you mean by that?" He asks laughing softly. "Why is this big for you?"

"My best friend is going to live with a stranger. Of course, that is big for me. I have to make sure that he treats you right and that you get along with him. Hell, I need to get along with him. So yes, it is a big thing for me too," Niall rambles. "So. Answer me. Is it an alpha or an omega?"

"He's an alpha. He studies law at our uni," Louis reveals. He found the alpha's passion to the matter hilarious. "Do you approve?" He asks teasingly when Niall doesn't comment the second he shuts up.

"He doesn't sound half bad," Niall hums eventually. "But I can't tell before I meet him. He could be an axe murderer for all that we know," he says sounding serious.

"And yet you made me post on Craigslist!" Louis exclaims. "I told you that there were murderers hanging around in that place."

"There are murderers everywhere," Niall points out. "So I didn't put you in danger or anything, I was just trying to help you," he says softly. "But anyway, when are you going to meet this Harry then?"

"I don't know yet," Louis says honestly. "I just messaged him and asked when he was free to meet up. Don't worry I'll set the place to be somewhere public and all so I won't get murdered."

"That's the least you can do," Niall says humming. "Hey, Barbs seems to be waking up so I need to go. Call me when you meet the dude, okay? And we'll see tomorrow."

"Until tomorrow Ni," Louis says smiling lightly to himself before ending the call. He puts down his phone and reaches out for the TV remote. He had work the next day so he decides to catch up on his shows. And by shows, he means Criminal Minds and by catching up he means rewatching.

Usually, on the days that he or Niall didn't work, they went to the park where Louis could read one of his books in the shadows and Niall could revel in the sunlight. Not that sunlight was a constant thing in the rainy UK. Louis himself wasn't the biggest fan of the source of warmth and light as he knew the dangers of it. Like, who purposefully wanted to expose themselves to something that caused cancer? Yeah, he didn't get it.

Louis spends the rest of the day in front of his TV, only getting up to get food and going to the toilet. He goes to sleep early and prepares himself for work. He doesn't even have to wait long before sleep washes over him.

__

"Hi Louis, how was your weekend?" Perrie, an omega slash Louis' co-worker, greets when Louis comes from the back room. He looks up at her while tying up his apron and flashes a smile.

"It was nice, thank you. Yours?" He asks politely as he takes his place behind the counter. They had twenty minutes before opening so they didn't have to worry about the customers just yet. Perrie was one of the few people that Louis actually liked. She was always smiling and had a brain, which helped them to get along. She never pushed it if he didn't want to talk and never got offended if he got honest with her. She was basically like Niall but a girl though not as close. They had never actually hung out outside of work.

Perrie goes on about how she and her friend went to some fashion show on Friday and how she swears that she met the alpha of her dreams. Louis swears that she is over exaggerating when she describes the alpha's looks. Like who the hell was really six foot tall with a perfectly built body, not too much or little muscles, and has a handsome face. Not anyone that Louis has ever met before that's for sure.

"Sounds like a good time, though I have a feeling that you were making him sound better than he was in reality," Louis comments after she finishes.

"But he was that perfect, I swear," Perrie insists. "I know that you won't believe me either way so we can change the subject. Niall told me that you were looking for a new roomie now that he moved out."

Louis raises his eyebrows, "You've been talking to him about me?" He asks, not surprised at all. Niall loved to talk about Louis, especially with Perrie since she knew him pretty well as well.

"Well duh, what else would we talk about?" Perrie says playfully. "No but seriously, he mentioned that you're meeting an alpha for the part," she continues with a curious look on her face.

"You basically know everything about it already," Louis says chuckling lightly. "There's not much to tell other than his name is Harry, he is twenty-three, an alpha and studies at the same university."

"Yeah, but what does he look like? Niall could give me that much information on his own," Perrie says urging him to continue. "C'mon this is huge! You won't be living with Niall anymore- what if they are your future mate?"

One thing that always seemed to surprise people was that Louis wasn't actively looking for a mate. Why should he? He believed that things happened for a reason- not the most scientific point of view, but still something he believed in. So the talk of finding his possible future mate was quite funny to him.

"I actually don't have a clue since I haven't met him before. And yes before you ask, We've agreed on a date when we'll meet," Louis says smiling. "Again, before you ask, we'll meet tonight after my shift at the Starbucks."

Last night just as Louis was about to go to sleep, he had checked his email to find a message from Harry. The alpha had been online at the time so they had easily agreed on the time and place. Seven PM at the Starbucks near the train station. It was somewhere public and crowded so Louis didn't have to be worried about being murdered and it served tea which always made him be in a better mood. He was slightly disappointed when Harry had wanted to meet in Starbucks instead of TeaCup. Something about his roommate working there and not wanting to have the first meeting with him there. And sure, it was a good enough reason but it didn't mean that he had to be happy about it.

Perrie manages to look disappointed and happy at the same time. "Why don't you meet here? It'd be so easy for you."

"Easy? Sorry love but I'd rather not have you around when I meet him the first time. He'd focus more on you than me," Louis chuckles lightly. "Do you have any idea when Niall comes in? His shift starts at the same time as ours right?" He hums in an attempt to change the subject.

"Yeah right, have you seen your ass? That thing is killing every chance I have on everyone that enters the cafe," Perrie says rolling his eyes. "And I don't know. As you said he's supposed to come in now."

Louis furrows his brows and turns his attention to the front door. He wouldn't comment on Perrie's words on his bum, he never did. "Where do you think he is? He's usually not late-"

"Who's not late?" Niall's voice comes from behind him. He is in the middle of wrapping his apron around his waist when Louis turns around and hugs him.

"You," Perrie answers before Louis has the chance. "Did you have a hot date or something?" She asks while wiggling her eyebrows.

Louis groans, "Don't ask him that. I've just gotten away from Niall and Barb's sex life and I don't want to hear about it." And sadly, despite Louis' begging, Niall starts his rather vivid storytelling of what he and Barbara had tried the night before. This shift would be a long one then.

Chapter Text

"Shit!" Louis exclaims as he notices the time. "Niall! You were supposed to tell me when it's six," he complains as he hurries behind the counter, trying to untie the knot on his apron at the same time. It was well past six by now, the clock nearing half seven. Louis had calculated that it would take him approximately thirty-five minutes to get to the Starbucks if the traffic was bad. If not then he trusted that he would take around twenty or so minutes.

"But you were talking about seven," Niall says confused as the omega passes him in a hurry.

"Yeah, I'm meeting him at seven," Louis groans. He knows that he has time to be there on time, but he would've rather been there a few minutes early, already seated and a cuppa in front of him when Harry arrived. Now he was pretty certain that he couldn't do it.

"It's not that bad if you're two minutes late," Niall says chuckling lightly as Louis comes back from the break room. "You can borrow my bike if you want, you'll be there faster if you use it," he offers humming, pulling the keys out of his pocket and holding them toward Louis.

Louis looks at the keys and then up to Niall before rolling his eyes, "No. You know that I don't have a license to drive a motorbike," he shakes his head. "I'll catch the bus and hope for the best," he says as he makes his way toward the exit. There were customers around who managed to look amused as they watched Louis and Niall's conversation. Technically, Louis could lose his job for cursing, but his boss wasn't around and he knew that neither Niall nor Perrie would rat him out.

"Good luck, and remember to call me when you're home!" Niall calls just as Louis leaves the café with a wave.

Louis takes a few running steps as he spots his bus at the stop already. The driver luckily notices his approach, keeping the doors open enough for him to get in. He gives the driver a thankful smile before moving down the aisle and sitting in one of the empty seats. Once the bus is on the road, Louis pulls out his headphones and his phone out of his pocket and tunes out. He puts on his playlist he had made for car and bus rides, relaxing into the familiar sounds of Mozart's Piano Sonata No 16 and looks out of the window. He preferred classical music over the modern pop or hip-hop. He found the lyrics boring and quite the same, to be frank. Every R&B artist seemed to write only about sex, money and women while every other pop singer sang either about being in love or how they lost it. Either way, the classical music made more sense to Louis.

Turns out that there wasn't that much traffic and due to the lack of it Louis enters the café's doors at five to six. He looks around for a curly haired man, quickly noting that he wasn't there. They had told each other something about their appearance and what they would be wearing to give the other something to work with. Harry had said that he had brown, curly hair, green eyes and that he was quite tall. He also mentioned that he'd be wearing a lilac jumper and some black skinny jeans, which was quite odd because it was summer after all and rather warm outside. This was a lot coming from the omega who seemed to freeze in the sauna sometimes. Yeah, he got cold really easily.

As Louis moves to stand in the line, he can't help but look down to his clothes. He had mentioned that he was the average height, that he had blue eyes and brown and fluffy hair. Not that he would know it as he was colour blind after all. It made Harry's descriptions quite useless, but he trusted his ability to spot the alpha. He had promised to wear black skinny jeans as well along with a white long-sleeved shirt with a vest on top of it. He had wanted to wear suspenders as well, but he had come to the conclusion that it'd be better to stay safe and not put them.

The alpha behind the counter eyed him up quite openly as Louis approached the cashier. Louis pretended not to notice this as he looked up to the drink menu, pondering what he should get. His thought process was interrupted though by said alpha who held a stupid smirk on his lips.

"Hi, what can I get you?"

Louis looks at the alpha and bites the inside of his cheek to keep his smart mouth from running. "Hi, do you have Yorkshire tea?" He asks while glancing at the menu again. Anything to keep himself from making eye contact with the alpha.

"I'm sorry beautiful but no," the alpha says, his voice coming out as fake empathetic as it could. Louis glances at his name tag, almost rolling his eyes as he sees the name. Chad. Figures.

"Okay, I'll take your least ordered black tea then, please," Louis says smiling lightly at the alpha's face. You see, Louis had seen a documentary a few years back that covered the café world. The person doing the research in it had discovered that most of the biggest café chains made the most popular drinks with the cheapest and most low-quality ingredients. If you wanted something with high-quality ingredients, you needed to order something that wasn't popular on the menu. Not that the tea selection was in high demand but he still thought to try his luck.

"Okay," the alpha, Chad, drawls out slowly with his eyebrows drawn together. "What's your name?" He asks his facial expression changing from confused to flirty in a flash. "And maybe even your number."

And okay, Chad had crossed the line. "Louis," Louis says watching as the alpha writes it down. "My number? I don't know which one you mean," he says humming. "I was the nineteenth baby born on my birthday, my lucky number is 28- do you want me to continue?" He asks raising his brows.

"Oh, the little one has a mouth on him," the alpha chuckles, leaning his elbows against the counter and leaning closer. He was still holding the empty cup with Louis' name in his hand. "It's adorable," he adds smiling idiotically.

"You know what's really adorable?" Louis hums leaning closer as well. Chad seems to think that Louis was going to kiss him or something as he leaned in further. "You," he says, waiting a moment to see the smug grin take its place on the alpha's face before continuing, "thinking that I would actually give you my number. Like sorry love, but I do have some standards."

Chad clearly isn't happy with the answer based on the change of his mood. He goes from smug to disbelieving, and then to angry in a matter of seconds. He leans over the counter as Louis steps back and growls quietly. "Listen to me your little prick-"

"No, I would rather have my tea actually," Louis cuts him off with an overly sweet smile on his lips. Even a blind person could see how fake and sarcastic the smile was.

"Is there a problem in here?" An elderly lady comes from behind Chad and looks between them worryingly. She was clearly an omega which explained her small figure and worry for their encounter. She most likely was the alpha's boss so Louis wasn't scared for her.

"No, not at all," Louis says softly to the lady. "I was just waiting for my tea," he says nodding toward the empty cup in the alpha's hand. He wouldn't call himself manipulative but he knew how to choose the right words to make himself look better. He could also read the dynamics between two people and it was clear that despite being an omega, the elderly lady held the dominance in the situation.

She pushes Chad out of her way and fixes her apron. "Are you drinking here love?" She asks softly. "Okay, and what kind of tea do you want?" She continues as Louis nods in agreement that he was indeed staying there. He repeats his order and watches as the elderly lady taps in his order. He then pays and takes the white mug from her. He flashes a smile to top it all off before turning around and walking to an empty table. Considering that Starbucks was one of the most popular cafés around the globe it was rather vacant in the place.

Louis pulls a seat for himself, places his cuppa on the table and sits down. He takes the mug between his hands, fingers tracing the smooth surface of the mug as he looks around the café.

An elderly couple catches his attention quickly with how they were sitting close to each other while reading their own magazines. Their hands were intertwined on the table in front of them between their beverages and they looked happy. At times like these Louis couldn’t help but wonder how it would feel to have someone to grow old with.

His thoughts are interrupted with a figure coming in to his line of sight. He looks up to be met with a boy, or a man more like, smiling at him with his dimples on display. He was wearing a pair of black skinny jeans and his hair was short but curly. Also, he smelled like an alpha so he must be Harry.

"Hi there, you’re Louis, right? I’m Harry nice to meet you," Harry smiles while holding out his hand for Louis to shake. Louis looks down at the hand but doesn’t grab it. Instead he waves at the alpha with a polite smile playing on his lips.

"Hi, nice to meet you as well, please sit down," Louis says politely, gesturing at the empty seat in front of him with his free hand. "Sorry, I don’t shake hands, there’s so many germs and just, no," he explains as the alpha has a confused look on his features when he pulls back his hand. Harry doesn’t seem too surprised nor comments on it, just nods lightly. Louis takes notice of how Harry was drinking a smoothie, something green that looked suspiciously like one of the ones on the display counter. He didn’t like coffee or tea apparently, Louis notes.

He waits for Harry to be seated before taking a sip of his drink and placing his cuppa down. "So, I guess we should just go for it then?" Louis hums.

"By all means, go ahead," Harry smiles back, gesturing with his right hand for him to start. "Ask me anything your heart desires."

"Well, I’d like to know more about your partying habits," Louis starts confidently. "You said that you attend them, right? I’d like to know how many times a month and whether you’ll come back to our flat completely wasted or high."

Louis is a bit taken aback as Harry chuckles suddenly and shakes his head. "Yeah, I attend them but like once a month max, most of the time not even that often," the alpha says, his eyes on the table. "I don’t do drugs so there’s no worry of me coming back home high but I can’t say that I’d never come back drunk."

"Okay I guess that’s fair," Louis says humming with a small nod. He takes a second to think about his next question by taking a sip of his tea. "Do I need to worry about you getting married any time soon? Or walking in on you having sex with some alpha or omega?" He asks with direct eye contact with the alpha. He felt no shame asking this because he felt like it was a rather good question. Both of them were, if you asked him.

"You ask quite personal questions, little one," Harry says with an amused smile on his lips. "But no you don’t need to be afraid of me getting married soon, since I’m not dating anyone. And unless you will barge into my room unannounced then no, you don’t have to worry about that either. Can I ask you the same?"

"Well I think that personal questions are the only way to get to know someone," Louis shrugs unapologetically. "And no, I don’t date so you don’t have to worry about that either," he says shrugging. "Do you work? I need to know how you can promise me to pay the rent on time."

Louis could see how Harry was maybe a tad annoyed with his questioning but he kept his head cold. He needed to get to know the alpha before he could consider him as a flatmate. It was common knowledge that alpha’s didn’t like to be challenged by omegas, nor liked to be questioned about their incomes.

"I have money in my savings account but yes I work. Well I start working at this small café next week but like I said, I have my savings so you don’t have to worry about me paying," Harry says. "Am I in the clear now?" He asks chuckling.

"Mhm, I guess for now," Louis says biting back a smile and hiding his mouth behind his cuppa as he takes a sip of the tea. "Is there something that you want to ask me? I know that you must have some questions."

"You're right," Harry nods, taking a long sip of his smoothie before putting it down. He then leans over, supporting his weight on his arms as he studies Louis' face, clearly trying to be subtle. Louis could read him anyway, the slight twitch in the corner of his lips giving him away. "So how come you need a flatmate? I doubt that you would've bought a three-bedroom flat if you lived alone."

"My old flatmate moved in with his long-time girlfriend," Louis says simply. "And no, we were never romantically involved with each other and yes he is an alpha," he continues. The surprised look on Harry's face confirms his suspicions on the real question behind the words. "Anything else you want to know about?"

"Yeah, um, how the hell did you know that I was curious about that?"

Louis smiles, happy to answer. "I study psychological and behavioural sciences at the same uni as you do, so I've learned a thing or two about reading people."

A curious glint appears in Harry's eyes, his posture changing. "Would it be like this for the whole time that we lived together? You profiling me and pointing out all my thoughts and lies?" He asks tilting his head to the side.

"Most likely yeah," Louis answers honestly. "If that's a problem then I don't think that we could be all that good flatmates," he adds humming.

"No, not a problem," Harry says immediately, shaking his head. "If anything, I think that it'll make everything just more interesting," he says smiling. "But if we can go back to the whole ask me anything thing, I have a question."

"Mhm, okay. Go ahead, ask."

"Is there a reason why you don't drink?" Harry asks and if Louis is honest it wasn't a question he was expecting. "Because you are twenty-one after all so you have the age to do it," he hums.

Louis hadn't thought about it too much, he just never had had the interest to do it. Sure, he drank a glass of wine from time to time but that was only a few times a year, if even that. He furrows his brows slightly as he thinks of a way to properly word his thoughts.

"I've never had the interest to do it really," Louis says shrugging as he makes eye contact with the alpha again. "It's not like I never, ever drink, it's just so rare that it's pretty much the same as if I didn’t. And like, I don't like the idea of not having my head clear, you know? It might have something to do with how closely we've been studying the effects alcohol can have on someone at school. I've also met some people who change so much when under the influence of alcohol," he says in deep thought. "No one has ever been violent towards me while drunk or anything but still I don't want to put myself into a situation where I am or someone else is drunk."

Harry nods, "So that's why you don't want any parties, huh?" He hums. "Nor for me to come home drunk often."

"Yeah," Louis confirms simply with a small hum. "But yeah now that that is out of the way, do you have any more questions about me or the flat? I can show you pictures if you want," he offers while pulling out his phone. He had been prepared, taking pictures of every room of the house minus his own room. He didn't think that Harry needed to see it in order to make a decision on whether or not to move in.

"I'd like to see the pics and if something comes up, I'll ask," Harry says smiling. He then stands up and pulls a chair next to Louis so he can take a seat next to him, in order to see the pictures.

When he sits down, Louis' senses are filled with the smell of Harry's cologne mixed with his natural scent. It wasn't overwhelmingly strong, just really good, making Louis want to lean in a bit to have a better sniff. Which was weird since he never had had that reaction before.

"Oh yeah, do I use too much cologne? I remember that you said in your ad that you didn't want to live with someone who does," Harry says baring his neck. It was unusual gesture for an alpha to make since it was viewed as submissive but it didn't confuse Louis. That much anyways.

"No, I don't think you do," Louis says honestly. "If this is how much you usually use it then we wouldn't have a problem. Do have something to say about my usage of perfume?"

What Louis expects to happen is for Harry to have a deep breath or something. What he doesn't expect to happen is for the alpha to lean in and basically bury his nose in Louis' neck in order to have a sniff. Louis' body stiffens as he handles the shock and by the time his muscles relax again Harry is already sitting back on his chair.

"I think that you smell just fine. Can't decide if it's the perfume or your natural scent but it's really good," Harry says grinning, moving his arm on the back of Louis' chair.

"Would you mind, please?" Louis clears his throat as he moves his chair away from Harry. "I would love it if you could turn the friendliness down a bit, okay? Like smile, be polite but please don't come that close to me without my permission." He could feel his cheeks redden under the look Harry was giving him.

Harry bites his lip and sits back with his hands in the air in surrender. "Sorry, couldn't help it," he says. "I won't do it again. Promise."

"Good," Louis says nodding before he opens his phone and goes to his gallery. He then opens the folder where he moved all the pictures of the flat and pushes the phone to Harry.

He studies Harry's facial expressions while the alpha swipes through the pictures, trying to get clues of his thoughts. Harry has a poker face on for the better half of the slide show, however, making it hard to guess his reaction. Louis gets curious though when Harry looks confused as he comes across the last picture. Even more so, when he starts scrolling backwards almost like he's searching for something.

"Can I ask you something?" Harry asks with his eyebrows furrowed as he finishes the second round of scrolling through the pictures.

"Yeah sure," Louis says smiling, basically itching to hear the question. What? He was curious, sue him.

"You said that it is a three-bedroom apartment, right? I only see two in the pictures," Harry points out glancing up from the phone. "Or did I just miss the third one?"

"Oh, no. I didn't take a picture of my room. I couldn't think of a reason why you should see it as you won't be living there," Louis explains humming. He had been half expecting the question so he wasn't surprised. "Anything else you'd like to know?" He asks smiling warmly.

Harry bites his lip as he gives Louis his phone back and stays quiet for a while. Eventually, though he shakes his head and releases his bottom lip from between his teeth, leaving it shiny with spit- and why was Louis noticing this? The omega fights off the flush that's creeping onto his neck and smiles back as the alpha flashes him a dimpled smile.

"No, I think that I have everything I need to know," Harry says smiling. "So, did I get it? Did I rise above your expectations and get to be your flatmate for the next year?"

Louis can't help but smile as he thinks about it. They are getting along well and he was in a rush. He needed someone to move in within a week and he was running out of time. Besides, Harry had been the only one to catch his attention so why not?

"Yes, you're looking at your new flatmate," Louis says smiling as he hides his face behind the cuppa. He didn't know where all the smiling was coming from, so naturally his reaction was to hide it. "We'll- or well, you just have to sign your name on the contract to make it official and we're done."

Now that he thinks about it, he should've seen it coming. He doesn't even get to finish off his sentence before Harry is already wrapping his arms around him and pulling him into a hug. Louis stays frozen for about ten seconds before relaxing just as Harry lets go of him. When their eyes meet, the alpha's eyes are glistening with happiness, causing the light mood make home in Louis as well.

"When can I sign it?" Harry asks grinning. "No wait- we need to celebrate this." And okay, the alpha seemed to be way more excited than Louis thought that he'd be. He'd definitely need to look more into this and figure out if there was more to it.

"I'm free tomorrow so how about then? I don't have too much time to celebrate right now but maybe tomorrow?" Louis suggests biting his lip. He wasn't exactly lying, he had plans but they weren't urgent. Niall had convinced him to have a guys’ night as Barbara was out of town. Okay, the guys’ night might have been an excuse for Niall to ask Louis about Harry but oh well. It has the same out come.

"Okay," Harry nods leaning over the table to reach his smoothie. He looks at Louis with a boyish grin as he holds up his cup and nods toward Louis' cuppa. "We can still toast on it," he says playfully, waiting for Louis to mirror his movements.

There's an odd twitch in the corner of his mouth as Louis raises his cuppa and clicks it with Harry's smoothie. The grin on the alpha's face only deepens though before he takes a long sip of the smoothie. Living with him would surely be interesting.

-

"Okay you have to tell me everything!" Niall exclaims the second he opens the door for Louis a few hours later. The omega had quickly stopped by his flat to change before heading to Niall's.

Louis rolls his eyes fondly at his best friend's enthusiasm as he steps inside. "I'm fine thanks," he says playfully as he toes off his shoes. He didn't get why some people kept their shoes on while being inside their home. Like why? He sees how Niall stares at his feet mortified and just wiggles his toes. The alpha hated it when Louis didn't have any socks on. It may have been why he decided to leave his socks on or whatever.

"Oh please we saw each other a few hours ago," Niall huffs closing the door. "C'mon tell me! Was he dreamy- oh I bet that he was handsome, wasn't he?" He rambles excitedly. Louis had a feeling that Niall was more excited about his roommate than he was.

"Can't we at least eat first?" Louis asks humming as he starts walking toward the kitchen. He had visited Niall and Barbara's flat only twice before but he already knew the place like the inside of his pockets. He can hear Niall's groan from behind him, causing a sigh to escape his lips. "Okay fine. What do you want to know?" He asks without looking back to the alpha.

"Was he handsome?" And of course, that would be the first thing on Niall's mind.

Louis turns to look at him with an unimpressed look on his face. "Seriously?" He asks only to have Niall shrug at him. "He was okay looking. Like more handsome than most of the population but like," he trails off not knowing how to finish. He was only slightly lying- or well technically he wasn't as he was just downplaying his looks. So what if Harry was the best looking alpha he had seen? Niall didn't need to know that.

"Boring," Niall huffs clearly disappointed as he walks to the fridge. "I was waiting for you to find your dream prince," he pouts.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say that you're more invested in my love life than I am," Louis says humming, repeating the words for what felt like the thousandth time.

The alpha turns to look at him and flashes him a poker face. "What love life?" He asks, clearly trying to keep the frown away from his face.

Touché, Louis thinks to himself as he drapes himself against Niall's back. "I know that you just want what's best for me," he starts softly, enjoying the familiar scent of Niall's cologne. "And I appreciate it. But I won't fall in love just like that, okay? It takes time and the second I find someone I'll tell you, okay?" He asks hopefully.

"Fine," Niall grumbles before hugging the omega back. "I still need to know some details about him, okay?" He says sternly.

Louis hides the giggle as he presses his nose to Niall's shoulder. "I would expect nothing less," he hums smiling. Despite Niall being a nosey brat, he was definitely lucky to have him as a friend.

-

The next day they signed the papers and five days after that, Harry moved in. Louis was working that day, which was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in the sense that Louis didn't have to help carry the heavy boxes, but a curse seeing as now Harry was alone in their apartment. Surely Louis would have to get used to the idea, but he wasn't quite there yet.

Of course, Niall being the amazing friend he was, notices this. "Lou, chill. It's not like he's going to rob you or anything," he says while watching the omega wipe the counter clean for the seventh time that day. It was only two PM.

"I know that," Louis says rolling his eyes as he puts the rag away. "It doesn't mean that he won't go through my stuff though," he comments.

Niall rolls his eyes back at the omega, "You know that you have to learn how to trust him, right? I really doubt that he'd do that," he says trying to put some sense into his friend.

"I know that, it's not like I'm dumb," Louis says crossing his arms. "I'm just being careful, is that a crime?" He asks raising his eyebrows. He could feel some of the more curious customers watching them with interest but he didn't care enough to call them out.  "Like he seemed really interested in my room when I showed him pictures of the flat."

"You showed him a picture of your room?" Niall asks with a shocked look on his face. He knew how strict Louis was with his personal space and boundaries.

"Of course not, that's why he was so interested," Louis explains while pushing himself up standing. "Are you going to tell on me if I make myself a cuppa?"

They had quite strict rules of how much they could drink and eat while working. It was something along the lines of a cup of coffee in a week and a piece of a cake in a month. And while those were the rules, Louis usually drank three to four cuppas on his shifts. Their boss asked about the big usage of the tea a while ago and ever since Niall had been teasing Louis that he'd tell on him.

So, it didn't hurt to ask.

"When would I ever betray you like that?" Niall asks, huffing as though the question was something overly offensive.

Louis just shrugs as he walks toward the water boiler. "Maybe one of these days you'll decide that you want a raise and turn me in."

"You make it sound like you're some kind of a criminal or something."

"Well to our boss, I am," Louis says playfully winking. He was basically moody from the stress of Harry moving in, hence the mood swings.

Niall didn't say anything, just rolled his eyes at him. He had gotten used to the omega's personality over the years and knew that when Louis was acting like this he couldn't do much to change anything. Not that he wanted to either, like who would want to change their best friend?

So instead of trying to talk some sense into Louis, the alpha just watched the omega make himself some tea. What also made him stay clear from the subject was the amusement he got when listening to the omega. Like, Louis was by far the smartest person he knew and never had he acted like this when they had talked about someone. He was acting like a nervous school girl, even though he'd never tell that to Louis.

You see, he really wanted to keep his knot intact.

"Aren't you going to ask me if I want some?" Niall asks as he notices the lack of a second mug in Louis hand as the tea has brewed.

Louis glances at Niall with his facial expression was completely emotionless as he filled his mug. "I thought that Barbs didn't want you to drink tea anymore. If I remember correctly she said that you should try coffee," he says humming as he sips his tea. He burns his tongue slightly but he keeps his mouth shut. Niall would only tease him for it.

"Oh I tried it alright," Niall says with a humorless chuckle. "It tasted like sour bean water. Like yeah you can enjoy your devil's drink but I need my tea," he says shaking his head. "Please? Just one cuppa."

"Are you sure that she won't just smell it on you?" Louis asks playfully, already reaching for another mug. What? He wasn't going to let his best friend suffer without tea. He wasn't that evil.

"Yeah, because tea smells more than coffee," Niall says rolling his eyes as he walks to the omega.

"Actually, did you know that the reason that coffee has such a nice smell it's because it has a tiny bit of sulphur in it."

"Since when have you liked coffee?" Niall asks shocked.

Louis rolls his eyes, "I'm not going even close to the disgusting thing. I just happen to like the smell, sue me," he says with a glare as he hands the cuppa over to the alpha.

Again, Niall knew better than to question or fight the omega and therefore took the cuppa with a nod. And so, they continued their shift as they usually do. Louis bossing the alpha around, making him do all the dirty work, for example cleaning the toilets while he took care of the customers. Which, there was not that many of, again which, was odd seeing as it was Saturday.

Usually their small café was packed in the afternoons but now it was quite vacant. There were still people around, more than half of the tables filled, whereas on normal days all the tables were taken. Louis didn't think too much of it, guessing that it was because of the summer holiday, people travelling while they could. He would be doing it as well if he had the time.

"Lou?" Niall hums, snapping Louis' attention back at him. "Liam texted me and asked if we'd like to go out with him tonight? He said that we could invite Harry with us as well."

"But wouldn't that be a bit awkward?" Louis asks raising his eyebrows in wonder. "Like he hasn't even met you guys, I'm not sure if he'd want to come and drink with us."

"That's exactly why he should come with us," Niall reasons. "I haven't met him yet and neither has Liam," he says.

"But does it have to happen today?" Louis asks biting his lip. Technically it'd be a lot smarter to just get it over with as fast as possible, to get Harry familiar with the two alphas. And yet Louis didn't feel ready for it. It was like he wanted to keep his life separate from Harry for some time, which was dumb as they were already living together after all.

"Oh c'mon Lou," Niall groans. "We have to meet him at some point anyways. Why not now?"

And well lying to your best friend was always hard so that's why Louis didn't even try. "Fine, I'll ask him. Are you happy?" Louis asks huffing slightly, just like he always does when he feels like he is being pushed. He takes another sip of his tea before turning to the doors where an elderly lady enters with a small child.

"Do you want to serve them?" Louis asks humming, letting the subject go like a master. He always teased the alpha for his weird fondness towards elderly people. Something about them always being so polite or whatever. If he was being honest he thought that Niall secretly just loved the way elderly people cooed at him.

"Yes please," Niall grins, pushing himself to the counter. If he was a dog, he would've been wiggling his tail by now based on how brightly he was smiling.

Louis huffs fondly, busying himself stocking the counter cups and baked goods. He lets the conversation fade into a background noise as he softly hums and organises the stuff. Only when he hears the elderly lady wonder whether she should get black or green tea, he chimes in.

"-I'm not sure if I'm allergic to green tea," she explains just as Louis steps in.

"Hi, I couldn't help but hear your problem," he starts with a smile on his face. "Did you know that green, black, white and oolong tea are all made of the same plant, Camellia sinensis? It's just the way the leaves are treated that makes them different," he explains. He could feel Niall's stare on his temple but he brushed it off. He was not showing off, he was just being helpful.

The elderly lady looks between the two confused before settling her attention to Niall. "I'll take a cup of green tea please," she says softly. She then looks down at her little companion and that's when Louis turns around and goes to their tea collection.

He starts brewing the tea, picking their best green tea for the cuppa. He hums lowly under his breath, swaying his hips slightly from side to side as he waits for the tea to be ready. At some point Niall comes to stand next to him, pulling out one of their tall glasses meant for wine. Louis can't help but stop what he's doing and raise his eyebrows at his friend.

"She insisted on having a wine glass," Niall says rolling his eyes. "And of course, her grandma caved in-"

"Well it doesn't mean that you had to," Louis points out finishing the tea. "Seriously the kid is like, what, five? She'll break the glass- wait. What did she want to drink?"

Niall can't help but chuckle, "Milk. She wants milk and a cookie," he says shaking his head slightly. "And no, not just any kind of a cookie- she wants a rainbow cookie."

"You do realise that we don't have any rainbow cookies, right?" Louis asks looking back at the tea.

"Well duh, I'm not stupid," Niall says rolling his eyes. "I told them that and the grandma responded by slipping me a tenner. So, I promised to come up with something," he explains. "We do have some red velvet cookies left?"

"And why do you want red velvet cookies? How are you going to turn red velvet cookies into rainbow ones?" Louis asks as he places the cuppa down onto a tray. "Wouldn't it be easier to take one of the vanilla ones and just use the food colouring?"

"Because I didn't know that we had food colouring," Niall huffs as he places the wine glass, now filled with milk, onto the tray. "Can you please go get them while I take these to the table?" He asks, already moving to pick up the tray.

As he didn't have anything better to do, Louis agrees and makes his way to the back. He rummages through the different shelves until he comes across with the food colouring he was looking for. He grabs the red, blue and green, hoping that they were that colour anyway, holding them close to his chest while he balances a plate close to falling. Once the coast is clear he nods slightly and spins around on his heels.

He walks back to the front and places the stuff onto the counter. He eyes the table area, trying to find something to clean. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you looked at it, there was nothing to clean. The same people were still sitting in their places and no new comers had come in. Well, excluding the elderly lady and her grandchild.

So, Louis leans against the counter, looking around the café and makes a little game of trying to profile the people. He turns to a lonely man first, deciding that he had just been abroad, based on the tan that was peeking under his collar. His watch was two hours late but on a correct date, so he must have forgotten to change the tine. The man was most likely waiting for a lover, seeing as he wasn't wearing his wedding ring despite having a tan line from it. He was most likely in his mid to late thirties and works in a bank or something.

He then turns his attention to the young couple sitting in the far back. It was clear that they hadn't known each other for that long, the tension and awkwardness almost touchable. And by the way the girl was leaning across the table it seemed like she was the more interested one of the two. They had the same drinks in front of them, maybe from similar likes or because it was the cheapest thing on the menu. They looked like high school kids after all.

"What are you doing?" Niall asks humming as he comes to stand next to him after dropping off the drinks.

Louis turns his attention to Niall and shrugs. "Wasting time," he shrugs. "Trying to guess people's life stories and what not," he adds half playfully. His friend pats his shoulder as he moves to start their coffee machine. Apparently, someone wanted some refills.

"Well if it helps at all, our shift ends in two hours and then we can go and get ready for the night," Niall grins brightly. "Oh, and remember to invite Harry," he adds at the same time as he turns his back to Louis.

Louis bites the inside of his cheek before answering, "Wouldn't dare to forget." He couldn't more like with his super memory or whatever. They stand there in silence for a while, waiting for new customers to come.

When the silence gets broken however, it's not from a customer. "Did you hear? They're opening a new cafe just across the street? The grande opening is in like two weeks," Perrie comes to them, tying her apron around her slim waist.

Louis snaps his attention to his co-worker and raises his brows. "What? I thought that the empty business space was bought by a clothing company. Where did you hear that?" A small amount competition was good for the business but not when the cafes were this close together. It would lead to one of the cafes possibly having to close up and that definitely couldn't be theirs.

"I think that Stacy told me. She heard it from Michelle," Perrie says with a frown. It was like she was getting how ridiculous she was sounding. Nothing that came out of neither of the girls' mouths was true. It was all gossip and trying to make drama. "Oh yeah," she mumbles.

"Yeah, I think that we're fine," Louis smiles lightly, patting her shoulder lightly. "How come you're here already? I thought that your shift started at four?" He hums, curious to know the reason. Perrie hated long shifts, always coming as late as possible while leaving as early as she could. This was unusual.

"Jade was banging on her boyfriend in the living room and I got bored in my room," Perrie shrugs easily. "I'll make some tea, do you guys want some?" She asks looking between the two before walking to the machine and starting the process of boiling the water.

Niall shakes his head, "No thanks, we had a cuppa before you came," he says humming.

"Speak for yourself," Louis says grinning before looking at Perrie. "Yes please. Remember dash of milk and no sugar," he says before making his way to the break room. "Oh and would you cover for me? Thanks!"

He leaves before she can protest, proud of himself. He walks straight to his jacket, pulling out a rubics cube from the pocket. His brain was getting bored so he thought that some stimulation wouldn't be all that bad. Solving the cube was something that he could do in his sleep but it didn't matter. The thrity seconds that he spent solving it was seconds well spent.

If not anything else, it helped him to keep his mind off the fact that some stranger was moving into his house. His home. It would definitely be interesting.

 

Chapter Text

When Louis gets home that night he's shocked. He wasn't expecting his home to be looking so different than it had been when he left that morning. Apparently, Harry had taken the liberty to change the coffee table in front of the tv and hang some random paintings on the walls. There was also a rug on the floor that he hadn't seen before. The change wasn't bad per say, he just didn't like it that Harry had done it without consulting him first.

He can hear some sounds coming from the kitchen so that's where his feet immediately carry him. He stops at the doorway when he sees it. Harry had cleaned the whole place, the counters practically shining from how clean they were. There were also a few more household appliances than there was before, for example, a coffee machine and some weird blender.

The alpha was yet to notice Louis' arrival, humming lowly under his breath. Louis was just about to open his mouth when there was a voice behind him.

"You must be Louis."

Louis jumps at the unfamiliar voice, a squeak falling from his lips involuntary as he steps away.

"Harry wasn't lying your bum is magnificent," the strange alpha continues with a smirk, clearly not seeing the uncomfortable energy Louis was sending.

"Who the hell are you?" Louis asks with a glare, turning to face the alpha with his arms crossed. "Also didn't your mom teach you that you don't just sneak up on people and comment on their bodies like that?" He raises his eyebrows.

He could feel Harry standing behind him before hearing him. "Louis, this is Nick. He's my oldest friend," the smooth sound of Harry's voice fills Louis' ears from a close proximity.

"And by oldest you mean that he's thirty right and not how you've been friends since you were in diapers?" Louis asks with venom clear in his tone. He wasn't usually the grumpiest person, he just didn't like the first impression of Nick.

"Oh he's feisty," Nick chuckles with the same smug smirk on his face. He was definitely not the type of a friend that Louis would've thought that Harry had.

Nick was clearly single, based on how he didn't have another smell lingering on him. Also, Louis finds it hard to think that he would have anyone with an attitude like that. He was also clearly an alpha, with all the over usage of perfume and the cocky personality. Adding to the fact, he was using the tone on the omega. That said it all.

"I don't have time for this, I need to get ready," Louis huffs making his way out of the room. He could almost feel the heat of Nick's gaze burning his bum when he walks.Louis resisted the urge to flip him off. He would need to have a word with Harry and how he didn't like his friend at all.

He closes the door behind him louder than necessary when he finally reaches his bedroom. He throws himself onto the bed and bounces slightly, staring up at the ceiling. He didn't really have to get ready at this second, he just needed to get out of the kitchen. Though a shower did sound really nice, he would even have time to shave his legs if he got up now.

And no, the shaving was for no one else but for himself. He liked the feeling of the smooth skin after a shave. His thoughts are interrupted by a soft knock on his door. Louis sits up at hearing this and diverts his eyes to the door. "Yes?" He hums, making sure that he didn't sound pleased.

"It's Harry. Can I come in?" The alpha asks softly.

"Yeah sure," Louis says, fixing his position on the bed, tucking one of his feet under his bum. He bites his lip as the door opens and Harry steps inside. He once again studies the alpha's facial expression as he looks around the room curiously. "So what's up?"

Harry snaps his eyes to Louis at the question, smiling a bit sheepishly. "I just wanted to apologize for Nick. He hasn't gotten laid in a while and he doesn't have the best brain to mouth filter," he explains with a chuckle. "I hope that he didn't offend you in any way."

"And the reason why he isn't the one apologizing?" Louis raises his eyebrows. While he appreciated Harry's effort he was disappointed that he hadn't forced Nick to come in. Although he wouldn't have wanted to see his ugly face in his room.

"He um," Harry furrows his eyebrows as he walks closer to the bed and sits down next to the omega, which what? Who gave him the permission? Louis wonders as he looks at him. "He- I think that he's calling his roommate to tell him about you," he says awkwardly.

Louis' eyebrows fly up to his hairline at that comment. "What the hell? You're letting that happen?" He asks loudly. "You think that it's okay for him to sexualize me just because I'm an omega?" He was seriously regretting his roommate choice at the moment.

"No of course not!" Harry is quick to argue. "I told him to cut it out. It's clear that he's making you uncomfortable," he says a lot softer now. "But I know that he's not the type to apologize so I thought that I'd try and make it up to you a bit."

"I would appreciateit  if from now on you could let me know when he's here so I can hide in my bedroom," Louis mumbles furrowing his brows. "Like I'm not saying that he isn't welcomein our flat anymore because it's your home too. Just one thing, if you don't mind me asking," he says humming. "You didn't seriously justify his actions by saying that he hasn't gotten laid in a while?" Louis just couldn't let that one go. "Because I haven't either and you don't see me harassing you or any other alpha."

It was now Harry's eyebrows turn to fly up. "What? No- wait did I?" He looks quite scared in Louis' opinion as he realises his mistake. "Shit, no I didn't mean it like that. Like alphas tend to be more sexual and forward-"

"You mean that alphas lack self-control," Louis cuts in on the rambling. "I'm not going down with the numbers and statistics right now okay? Like I said before I need to get ready."

"Oh yeah, of course," Harry nods and stands up. "Um, do you mind me asking where you're going?" He asks as an afterthought when he's almost at the door.

The omega is tempted to just say no and carry on with his life but for some reason, he doesn't have the heart to. "I'm going out with my friends," he says humming. "We haven't seen our friend in a while so we have a lot of catching up to do."

"Oh that's cool," Harry hums with a soft smile as he reaches for the doorknob. "Well have fun," he says before opening the door and leaving before Louis could answer.

After the door closes, Louis stands up from the bed and walks to his closet. He pulls out a clean towel from one of the drawers and throws it over his shoulder. He then turns around and moves to grab his phone from the bed before walking to the bathroom. He locks the door just in case before stripping down.

After he's naked he pulls out his phone and opens his Spotify. Despite his love for classical music he really liked his shower music to be something to sing along to. So he scrolls through his shower playlist, settling for Destiny's Child's Say my name and starts the water flow. He puts his wrist under it, waiting for the temperature to rise before stepping in.

He closes his eyes and tilts his head back, letting the water fall down on his figure. He sighs softly as he runs his hands over his face and lets his head fall. Louis opens his eyes, turning the water off and reaches for his shampoo, opening the cap and pouring some of it on his palm. The familiar scent of strawberries fills his nose when he massages the shampoo to his hair before restarting the shower.

After making sure that he has rinsed all of the shampoo off his hair he reaches for the shaving gel and razor. He shuts off the shower and squirts some of the gel onto his hands. He then lathers it on his legs, making sure that it's all evened out before getting to work. He's careful not to cut himself when he works the blade up his shin, removing all the fine hairs.

"When no one is around you, say baby I love you," Louis hums softly under his breath as he rinses the foam from the razor. It takes him around ten minutes to finish and when he does he once again starts the shower and steps under it.

Louis walks out of the shower a few minutes later, wrapped in his towel. He proceeds to continue his routine, drying himself off before rubbing lotion onto his smooth skin. And after that, he walks out and into his bedroom, straight to his closet.

He lets his wet towel fall on the floor as he opens the doors of the closet. He then pulls out some pants and slips them on, not wanting to be naked for too long when the two alphas were just outside the door. The plan of the night was to go out for few drinks in the local bar so he didn't have to dress to the nines. With that in mind, he puts on one of his favourite low-scoop t-shirts and his skinny jeans. Since Louis wasn't all that blessed with height he rolls the ends of his jeans, showing off his ankles.

Once he's dressed he goes to his nightstand and grabs his glasses. He didn't wear them that much as it wasn't absolutely necessary but he tended to do so whenever he was reading. And that's what he was planning on doing while he waits for the time pass. He'd fix his hair later.

Louis sits down onto the bed and pulls out his copy of the Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, now in French, and starts reading. The book was a gift from Niall after he moved away as the alpha had gotten tired of him asking about it. Well, not asking about the book per say, just the company while buying it.

He gets lost in the words, clinging onto the beautiful language and forgets about the time. That's why when an hour later his phone lights up next to him he jumps. He looks down, recognising Niall's number. After closing the book he takes the phone and accepts the call.

"It is I," he greets humming, leaning against the headboard of the bed. Depending on what Niall had to say he might be able to read one more chapter before leaving.

"I'm heading to yours now," Niall says skipping the greeting. Okay, so no reading then. "Meet me down in ten. Is Harry coming?" He asks humming, trying to sound like he didn't care, though his tone was betraying him.

Louis can't help but roll his eyes a little. "No, he had something else planned for tonight," he lies, hoping he's not being too obvious. Usually, Niall could smell his bullshit from miles away.

"That's a shame, I was really looking toward meeting the bastard."

"If you think that he's a bastard why do you want to meet him?" Louis asks confused, his eyebrows furrowed as he stands from the bed and walks to the mirror. He needed to quickly fix his hair before leaving.

"It's just an expression love," Niall says chuckling softly. "Anyways I'll be there soon," he hums, the sound of a car honking in the background.

"See you in few," Louis smiles lightly before hanging up. He pockets his phone and continues to fix his hair, using a minimal amount of product to keep his hair soft and fluffy.

Once he's done he grabs his wallet and leaves the room. He mentally prepares himself when he hears the two alphas talking in the living room. There was no way of leaving the flat without walking past them. Just like you'd expect the voices get louder when he gets closer to the living room, being able to detect some of the words.

"-you don't know how fucking lucky you are," Nick's voice comes clear first.

"I think that I do," Harry argues sounding amused by the claim. "And I know that you're jealous as fuck."

"Of course I am," Nick huffs. "Like have you seen the ass-"

"I would appreciate it if you didn't talk about me like that or preferably, not at all," Louis says with an overly sweet voice when he comes into the room. "I'm going to get going now," he hums, directing his words to Harry. "I hope that your company won't be here when I come back."

And with that, he sassily walks to the door and slips on his vans'. He is fully aware of the two pairs of eyes glued to his behind but he doesn't have the strength to comment on it.

"Have fun," Harry speaks up the same time as Louis opens the door and is about to step out. "I'll see you later."

The omega glances over his shoulder and looks straight to him. "Thanks, don't wait up," he hums before walking out and closing the door behind him. He skips down the stairs, running his fingers against the rail as he does. When he gets outside he's pleased to see the alpha already waiting for him.

"Ready to go?" Niall asks grinning as he pulls Louis into a tight hug.

"Absolutely," Louis smiles into his friend's shoulder. He was definitely ready.

-

There's a long line waiting for them by the front door when they arrive. They spot Liam among the people, talking with the group behind him. They walk to him sharing hugs and the usual how are you's pulling their friend from the conversation effectively. Luckily they don't have to wait in line for long and after less than ten minutes they walk into the bar. The smell of sweat fills Louis' senses once they do, making him scrunch his nose. Just like the over usage of perfumes, the overwhelming scent of sweat was something that he couldn't handle. Okay that might have been a bit dramatic - let's just say that he didn't like it.

While Liam goes off to get them drinks, Niall and Louis make their way across the dance floor. They weren't planning on hitting it yet, just searching for a place to sit down. They get some cat calls on their way, or well mostly Louis, which they both ignore. Tonight wasn't about that. Not with one of them being a virgin and the other in a serious relationship - which reminded Louis to tease Liam about Sophia.

They find a rather quiet - as quiet as it can be in a packed bar - table at the back corner of the room and sit down there. They shoot a text to Liam, telling him where they are before settling into a conversation, which surprisingly is not about Harry.

"It's a shame that Harry couldn't make it," Niall says with a frown, looking like a kicked puppy. "What did he say that he had to do again?" He asks, turning determined in a split second. It was the Irish temper or something.

"You make it sound like he's dead and you guys are lovers or something," Louis teases. "No but he didn't actually give me a reason," and that part wasn't even a lie. Or at least he didn't think so. "We'll invite him the next time, okay? You'll get to meet him, I promise."

"No I didn't," Niall says sticking his tongue out. "I know that I'll meet him - it doesn't mean that I don't want to meet him right now. You know, so I know whether I should start answering your calls in the middle of the night."

"And how does meeting Harry fit into that exactly?"

"Well if he's a creep then I will answer, duh," Niall says as if it was clear as a day. Maybe it was for someone who thought like the blonde. "I'd have to be ready at all times. Do you realise how exhausting that would be?"

Louis huffs lightly under his breath as he pulls the alpha into a hug, petting his hair as if he was a dog. "You can trust me when I say that he's not a creep. His friend is horrible but Harry is fine," he says reassuringly. "Don't you trust my judgement? Geez thanks Ni," he adds jokingly just to get the mood up. No one liked it when Niall acted like a kicked puppy. He was almost worse than a kicked puppy.

"Fine," Niall mumbles hugging back. " You can't blame me if you call me tonight when he's trying to murder you and I don't answer," he says causing Louis to break into laughter. They chuckle quite loudly while holding each other, not even noticing when Liam comes back with their drinks.

"What's so funny?" Liam asks looking slightly confused as he sits down in front of them and places the drinks onto the table.

"Nothing," Louis grins as he pulls back and lets go of the blonde. "How's it going with Soph? Still in denial that you love her?" He asks reaching for his red wine glass. He didn't like beer, or fruity drinks, he liked wine and champagne. Sure, he could have a beer once in awhile with Niall or have some fruity little drink. He just preferred his wine.

Liam blushes hard at that, taking his own pint and taking a good gulp of it. "I don't know what you're talking about," he says clearing his throat. "I thought that your new roommate was supposed to hang out with us," he says trying to change the subject. If they had been alone with Louis it wouldn't have happened, but with Niall involved he succeeded.

"Right? I swear that's he's a psycho," Niall says nodding feverishly. "That's why he didn't want to come with us."

"Or maybe he's just shy? Or he wanted to get settled in his new apartment before going out and getting drunk?" Louis reasons with the two, looking between them. Maybe he should've just asked Harry to come. It might have been easier after all.

"Well that does sound more reasonable," Liam agrees nodding. "Okay but I had something I wanted to talk to you about," he says smiling, his puppy eyes lighting up.

"Well?" Louis raises his eyebrows as the alpha just keeps smiling idiotically and looking between the two. "Are you going to tell us the good news or?"

"I got promoted!" Liam exclaims enthusiastically before Louis has the chance to finish his sentence. Louis and Niall, being the good friends they are, stand up from their seats and round the table to hug their friend tightly. There's a lot of yelling (one thing that always amazed the omega when people were celebrating) and promises of paying for the next round of drinks circling around.

After the immediate moment of ecstasy they sit back down and listen for the details Liam shares with them about the new job. The work description was fairly similar to the one he had at the moment, but he had more responsibilities and a heftier paycheck. He had slightly less time to study but he had already talked to his professors and they had been okay. He would graduate a year later than planned and he was okay with it. He would get some points for working, enough to skip all his history lessons which were giving him a hard time.

Louis was happy for him, he had witnessed the long nights Liam had spent studying for a hard exam or planning his next lesson. Despite not having to graduate yet, he had gotten a spot at teaching the first grade in a local elementary. He had gotten some serious stink eyes when he had started but by now everyone loved him. And it wasn't a surprise considering that he was so good with little kids.

A few hours pass before they get tipsy enough to think that taking some shots would be a good idea. Louis had never been drunk before, always keeping his drinking to a minimum, limiting the amount of wine to two glasses per night. But somehow, tonight, the two had convinced him to take a third glass which turned into four easily. Since Louis was feeling the least drunk, he was picked to be the one to go and get them the shots.

When he stands up he has to take some support from the table as his balance wasn't at its best in his tipsy state. He flips off his friends as they cackle loudly and walks toward the bar. He has to repeat the hand gesture a few more times as he does, due to some catcalls but it's fine. None of the horny alphas do more than holler at him.

He stops at the bar, leaning against it as he waits for the bartender's attention. He looks around the place, breathing in all the different people in here for different things. Some to get laid, some to have fun and the others just wanting to drink their sorrows away. He wonders what would the other people think of him? Would they assume that he was here to get laid? Or to celebrate something? The human mind was tricky and that's why he was so fascinated with it. Maybe he should ask someone for their opinion, hear what they think. And that right there was a sign that he was definitely tipsy.

When he eventually gets the bartender's attention he's almost forgotten their orders. Almost. He had a "photographic memory" after all.

"Hi what can I get you?" The bartender asks, leaning against the bar in order to hear the order Louis was about to give him. Based on the scent he was sending, he was a beta, a married one at that if the wedding band on his ring finger was something to go by.

"Three shots of teqi-tequila? Yeah tequila and three glasses of water - no, make that six shots and three glasses," Louis says nodding to himself. Who would've thought that he'd end up getting more alcohol than asked? He was a good friend, he deserved a pat on the back.

"Coming right up," the bartender chuckles, standing up and walking up to the other side. Louis' eyes of course follow his journey, curiously watching as the beta skims through different bottles until deeming one appropriate. He then walks back to him, smile on his face as he pulls out a tray and sets six shot glasses and three larger ones one it. He then proceeds to get out three bottles of water, pouring the alcohol into the smaller glasses and the water into the larger ones. "Okay, here you go," he says smiling as he pushes the tray toward Louis.

"How much?" Louis asks pulling out his wallet.

"This one's one the house," the beta winks before responding to a call by turning around, not without winking at the omega, and walking away.

Was that flirting, Louis thinks to himself, confused. He wasn't really all that educated on flirting or anything like that. He needed to talk to Niall about this - yes, that's what he had to do. He spares one last glance at the bartender before picking up the tray and making his way back to his friends. He has to walk slow in order to keep the drinks from spilling as he squirms his way through the crowded dance floor. The loud music was pulsing under his feet, making the thought of dancing desirable. Maybe he should ask for Niall and Liam to join him..

Eventually he gets to his friends, humming to himself as the two cheer loudly and reach for the shots. "Aye, you got two for each," Niall grins brightly, looking at the six shot glasses on the tray. "How much was it?"

"That's what I have to talk to you about," Louis declares as he sits down and takes his first shot, not downing it yet. He had an important thing to ask the alpha. "He said that it was on the house and winked at me. What does that-"

"He wants to get laid!" Niall cheers, high fiving with Liam. "Did he ask for your number?" He asks enthusiastically. If it hadn't been obvious how invested Niall was in his lovelife before, it surely was now.

"He was engaged or married. He had a ring on his finger," Louis says shrugging. "So no he didn't ask for my number. Do you still think that he was flirting with me? I mean if he's married he wouldn't be flirting with me, right?" He was starting to sound like a girl from a popular teen drama, but he wasn't alert enough to realise it. And maybe it was for the best.

Liam clears his throat, pulling the two away from their conversation. He does their secret signal for them not to look right away before opening his mouth. "So I don't know about the married man but there's an alpha staring at you," he says acting nonchalant. "On the dance floor, easy to spot as he's staring quite obviously and just happens to be the only person not dancing."

"Is he handsome?"

"Niall, this is about Louis not you."

"Why do you think I was asking?"

Louis takes the chance while the two are fighting to look back to see the man, out of curiosity of course. Just like Liam said, it's not hard to find the man he was talking about and when he does he immediately scowls. Because looking back at him was Nick. Harry's rude and idiotic alphist friend Nick. He lets the displeasement show on his face before looking back at his two friends.

"He's definitely not good looking and he's a terrible human being," Louis scowls taking the first shot and downing it with one go. And oh shit that was so bad. How do people drink that? It tastes and feels like a poison.

"Wait you know him?" Liam asks raising his eyebrows in surprise. "How?"

"He's Harry's friend that I met today," Louis answers frowning. "He's such an alphist, he thinks that he's so much better than me and all the omegas. He even went as far as commenting on my bum - my bum Li. He was so rude and ugh. I never want to see him again."

"Well he's coming over so I guess you have to."

In a split second Louis turns around to see that Nick was indeed making his way toward their table. He shoots daggers at him hoping that he would get the message and back the fuck off. But because the world is cruel and punishes Louis for drinking the alpha doesn't take the message and just waltzes right up to them.

"Well well, aren't you happy to see me," Nick says with a huge grin as he supports himself by placing his arm around Louis' chair, which no. "I thought that you were going out with your friends. Instead, I find you sitting with a bunch of alphas. Tsk tsk are you one of those omegas who dates multiple alphas? If so you can add me into the count."

Louis sees how Liam is about to open his mouth and defend his honour like a knight in shining armour, so he holds up his finger silencing him. "I feel so sorry for you," he says calmly, turning in his seat so he can look at the alpha. "I feel sorry for you because it appears that you live in the 14th century and think that alphas can't be friends with omegas. Hate to break it to you but in this day and age, that's possible. I know, I know it's really hard to wrap your undeveloped mind around it but it's true," he says with fake sympathy. "It also means that I can tell you to fuck off and you'll do it."

The smirk falls off the alpha’s face in a blink of an eye, like straight out of a cartoon. Louis can hear Niall’s quiet snickers on his right as Nick seems to be at loss of words. And to be completely honest, he had some trouble at keeping his face straight as well. Like, c’mon seeing the cockiest alpha of all time drop his smirk was a legendary thing to witness.

“You little shit,” Nick growls lowly once he gets past his initial shock. “You have no right to talk to me like that! Who the hell do you think you are?”

Louis keeps on a straight face as he shrugs. “I don’t think that I am anyone,” he says humming with a thoughtful look on his face. “I know that I’m an omega that I’m twenty-one-years old and that I’m living with your friend. Oh yes and my name is Louis,” he says smiling sweetly. “Just like I know that uranium is the heaviest element on the periodic table.”

“And you just happen to know the periodic table off the top of your head?” And okay, that wasn’t Nick. Louis turns on his seat, glancing back to see that Harry had accompanied Nick. Great. “That’s pretty amazing,” the alpha says with a lopsided grin.

“Oh don’t encourage him, he’ll just show off,” Niall says rolling his eyes as he turns around as well. He stops in his tracks though as he sees the alpha and realises that he hadn’t seen him before. “Who are you?” The blonde asks with a slight squint in his eyes as he looks at the alpha suspiciously.

“Oh hello, sorry I’m so rude,” Harry chuckles holding his hand out. “Hi I’m Harry, Louis’ new roommate. I guess that one of you is his old roommate, yeah?” He says while gesturing between Niall and Liam.

The said two alphas share an obvious look, questions written all over their faces as if they were trying to see if they were thinking the same thing. “So you’re Harry? I thought that you were too busy to come with us,” Niall is the one to open his mouth, fixing his curious eyes on the alpha. He gives him, once again, an obvious once over, analyzing his every attribute.

“Oh no, I got my things moved and put into place hours ago. We were just hanging out with Nick and watching telly,” Harry says furrowing his eyebrows lightly. He looks at Louis with confusion written all over his face. Louis just calmly breaks the eye contact, playing like he hadn’t noticed the look on Harry’s face.

“Oh okay,” Niall says humming, looking between the two. “Well you’re here now and that’s what matters, right Lou?” He grins, turning his attention to his friend.

“Yeah of course,” Louis says with a forced smile, feeling a bit more sober suddenly. Now there was nowhere to hide. Karma was a bitch- or well would be if Louis believed in such things. He tries his best to hide the scowl as he is forced to move in order for Nick and Harry to fit into the table with them, “Does anyone want a drink? I can get some,” he asks looking around, purposefully avoiding Nick’s stare. Of course his new spot was right across from Nick’s.

“But you just got one,” Liam points out, his finger pointing at his almost full glass in front of him. Everyone’s eyes of course follow that finger to his glass. Fucking Liam.

“Thanks for pointing that one out Liam,” Louis says rolling his eyes. “I meant the gentleman and the rat who joined us, I was wondering if they wanted something to drink.”

A donkey laugh suddenly snaps Louis out of his staring contest with Liam. Louis immediately looks to his left where Harry has his hand over his mouth and his eyes wide. What the fuck? “Sorry but you just called my friend a rat and that was hilarious,” the alpha explains chuckling. “I mean sorry Nick but you kinda look like a rat with your hair like that.”

While the omega looks at him like he had grown a third head Niall seems to love it. The blonde laughs with the alpha, his head thrown back, indicating that he was having a blast. “Ookay,” Louis hums as the duo finally manages to calm down. “Now that you got that out of your system, why don’t you tell me if you need something to drink?”

“Vodka on the rocks,” Nick says from the other side of the table, forcing Louis to look at him. “If that’s not too hard to remember.”

“Vodka with ice, got it,” Louis says with a sweet smile before turning to Harry. “Do you want something? Sex on the beach maybe?” He asks, he had a feeling that the alpha liked some fruity drinks.

“Oh you into exhibiotism?” Harry asks with his eyes wide, somehow taken aback by Louis’ words. Niall cracks again, while Liam looks uncomfortable and Nick smirks. Louis furrows his eyebrows, staring at Harry confused.

“What are you-?”

“Sex on the beach? You were offering- oh! No, no no. I didn’t realize, I’m so sorry!” Harry blushes hard, his whole face and neck turning deep red.

“You thought that I was- never mind. What do you want to drink?” Louis asks blushing as well. Blame it on his nature.

“White russian, please,” Harry squeaks. The omega nods, standing up and wiggling his way over Niall’s lap and away from the table. He shakes his head once he’s far enough, gathering his thoughts. It didn’t mean anything, he convinces himself while walking.

He once again stops in front of the bar counter and tries to wave the bartender over to him. It was stupid for him to get someone else's drinks just to get away from them, but it was too late to think about it now. At least he got a few minutes of alone time, right? Right. Only that the thought didn't seem as nice anymore as he realised that he had left Niall and Liam alone with Harry. Harry who he didn't want them to meet. Shit.

After this realisation, Louis starts waving his hands like crazy trying to get the bartender’s attention. He eventually does, giving his order to the beta behind the counter and then waiting for the drinks. When he gets them, he says thank you and starts making his way to the table again. It takes longer than getting to the bar as more people had taken to the dance floor, grinding against each other. Some alphas even try to get him into the mix but he declines first politely and then with a threat to dump the drinks on them as the nicer way didn’t seem to work.

He does eventually make it to the table, placing the drinks in front of the two alphas. He tunes out from the thank you’s and takes a seat in his old place, climbing over Niall’s lap in order to get there. Niall huffs when he gets a lap full of the omega but doesn’t comment on it, knowing that Louis would have a comment ready for him if he did.

“What did I miss?” Louis asks humming as he reaches for his own drink sitting abandoned on the table. “Something interesting?”

“Niall and Liam got into a bickering match because Niall didn't say bless you after Liam sneezed,” Harry fills him in with a chuckle, his eyes focused on the said two alphas.

Louis’ eyes light up at that, “Oh really? Do you know where the habit of saying bless you is from?” He asks grinning. He doesn't give anyone time to turn his monologue down as he continues. “In the old days, they thought that your soul would leave your body when you sneezed and could be possessed by a devil. So they started saying bless you as a way to protect the soul with God's amazingness.”

“Is there anything you don't know?” Harry asks with his eyes sparkling with interest as he looks at the omega.

“Trust me you don't want to go there,” Liam says shaking his head. “He would just prove to you how he actually does know everything,” he hums. “Oh and by the way we weren't bickering. It was manly fighting.”

“Sure it was LiLi,” Louis says smiling fondly. “How about we go through every time you and Niall “manly fought”?” He asks, the groans that are released are music to his ears.

-

The first thing that Louis notices when he wakes up is that his back is killing him. He groans and moves his hand to cover his eyes that are currently being attacked by the sun shining through the windows. The next thing he notices is the hammering headache that is only worsened by the loud snoring coming from under him- which what? Louis snaps his eyes open and sits up, squeaking as he sees Harry’s face. He scurries off the couch, landing on the floor with a thud and groaning as the sudden movement not only hurts his bum but his head as well.

Either the sudden loss of a weight on top of him or the sounds Louis is making wakes Harry up. “What- oh fuck my head hurts,” Harry groans rolling onto his side and looking down at the omega with his eyes squinted. “What are you doing on the floor?”

“Because apparently I thought that you were my bed when I went to sleep last night,” Louis says while rubbing his lower back.

“But why are you on the floor?”

Louis groans, “I startled when I saw you after I opened my eyes so I fell,” he says. “Now can you do me a favor and give me some tea? No sugar, a splash of milk, thank you,” he mumbles as he lays back down onto his back. “Yorkshire tea by the way. There should be some Lipton tea left from Niall, don’t even try to give me that.”

It’s quiet for a minute before Harry’s laugh carries to Louis’ ears. “You do know that I’m not your waiter, right?” He asks, amusement clear in his voice. “Like I know that my job starts next week and yes I know that I’m a waiter there but it doesn’t mean that I’m your personal-”

“What? You’re a waiter too? Where?”

“At the new place that opens around the corner. I think that across the street from some cafe that starts with J?” Harry says with a beaming smile, clearly delighted that Louis was interested in his life.

“Joy’s?” Louis asks carefully. “Is the cafe called Joy’s? That your new working place opens across from?”

“That’s the one!” Harry grins. “I take it you know the place yeah?”

“I work there,” Louis says simply, opening his eyes to look at the alpha. “Now the tea, please? My brain doesn’t work properly without my usual cuppa.”

To the omega’s surprise the alpha actually gets up, with a groan of course, and walks to the kitchen. Louis can even hear the water being boiled a few seconds later. He still can’t find the usual joy of the sound as he had just moved in with his enemy. Yes, his enemy seeing as they were now working for competing cafes. He needed to tell Perrie and Niall about this, maybe they would come up with a plan to fix it all.

He gets so lost in his thoughts that it takes a few coughs from Harry to snap him out of them. “How were you so fast?” Louis asks furrowing his brows as he sits up. “It takes three minutes to boil water with our water boiler and at least four to brew the tea.”

“Yes and I left the room ten minutes ago?” Harry says amused. “Are you okay? You don’t drink all that often do you? I mean you said that when we were talking but now I can definitely see why you don’t drink. You can’t handle the liquor. I mean it’s probably because you’re so tiny-”

“Give me my tea,” Louis grumbles holding out his hand. He despised being called small, he didn’t know why. Maybe because his little sister was taller than him? “I usually don’t drink because I don’t like the taste of it,” he says shrugging. “I can handle my alcohol.”

“Whatever you say love,” Harry smiles as he sits down onto the couch, with Louis’ tea in his hand, Louis would like to point out. “Would you like to join me? I mean I bet that the floor is nice to sit on but I also bet that the couch would be even more comfortable.”

Louis sits up, pouts. “Give me my tea,” he says making grabby hands toward the beverage. “Please.”

“Sit down with me and I will,” Harry tries to bribe and well, because it’s tea that’s been offered to him, Louis huffs and stands up to get on the couch.

“I hate you,” he grumbles as he finally receives his tea and takes a sip. He kind of hates it how apparently Harry got his tea right on the first try when it took Niall years to master that skill. Stupid blonde. He doesn’t want to admit that to Harry though so when the alpha asks him, how’s his tea, he just shrugs and keeps drinking.

That’s how they spend drinking their first cuppas- yes, Harry gets up after they finish and goes to make them another ones - sitting quietly on the opposite ends of the couch. And Louis likes it that way, it gives his head time to recover from the poison he had drank the night before. But while he enjoyed the peace and quiet the alpha seemed to get the energy to talk all of a sudden.

“Do you know what I find really interesting?” Harry speaks up humming, turning his whole body so that it was facing Louis’. Louis glances up from his tea, looking at the alpha under his brows expectantly. “Your mind- it’s like, I don’t even know how it can hold so much information, doesn’t it hurt your brain?”

“You know that knowledge doesn’t weigh anything? Like new things that I learn won’t make my brain heavier or anything. My brain just creates new nerve routes and they become more activate to put it simply,” Louis says before taking a sip. The alpha stays quiet, pursing his lips as if in deep thought and continues to drink his tea.

“Are you a genius?” Harry asks just as Louis thought that he would go back to being quiet. It was a shame really.

“Well I don’t believe that intelligence can be accurately quantified, but I do have an IQ of 187, an eidetic memory and I can read 20,000 words per minute,” Louis says shrugging his shoulders. “So basically yeah I’m a genius,” he sighs when Harry looks even more confused than before.

Harry clears his throat, “Wow, okay. So that’s why you remember the periodic table just off the top of your head?” He asks humming.

Louis shrugs again, “You could say that, yeah.”

It’s quiet for a moment, once again before Harry turns to him with a cheeky and proud smile. “I bet that germanium, nickel, uranium and sulfur are your favourite elements.”

“Why? They don’t have anything obvious in common-”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“Then what did you mean?” Louis raises his eyebrows.

“They spell out what you are,” Harry grins.

“Yeah? And what am I then?” Louis asks, still not getting it.

“A GeNiUS.”

Chapter Text


“Are you serious? No way.”

“I know, it’s unbelievable.”

“But I was nice to him.”

“I know Niall, I’m upset too.”

“But like are you sure?” Niall asks, his voice loud on the other end of the line. “Like how can you be sure-”

“He told me Ni. We were talking about tea and work and stuff and it just came up at some point. It’s not like I would just make something up like this, you know me,” Louis says as he adjusts his position on the bed. It was the next morning and he had just woken up to a phone call from Niall. The blonde had been mad at him for not calling him the day before, claiming that he was scared that Louis was dead or something. To this Louis had simply responded with: why didn’t you call me then ? Yeah, they had dropped the subject at that.

“That bastard,” Niall huffs, playfulness to be heard in his voice, followed by some ruffling in the background. “Damn, are you okay? Living with the enemy and all,” he says sounding thoughtful.

Louis shrugs even though the alpha couldn’t see him. “I don’t know, I’m upset? Like why did he move in with me, why didn’t he tell me? Like sure he didn’t know that I worked in the café opposite of his, but still. Is this normal? Like am I supposed to feel like this? Help me Ni, you know that I totally suck at social relationships.” He was also confused by the idea. Did it mean that they weren’t meant to speak to one another anymore?

“I don’t know,” some more ruffling, “maybe? Like you’re not normal, yeah? You’re extraordinary and we both know it. But hey listen, we’re going to come up with a plan to figure this thing out, yeah? Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

“Yeah, okay, whatever,” Louis hums. “I’m starving, and I need a cuppa if we’re going to plan something,” he mumbles while rubbing his eyes. He didn’t sleep all that well last night, due to his brain being on overload. “Do you want to facetime? I’d feel more alert if I could actually see your face when we’re talking.”

“Okay, wait,” Niall agrees and less than a minute later they’re already talking on facetime. “Oh shit, Lou, you look like crap mate. What did you even do last night?” Niall cackles the second he sees the omega.

Louis rolls his eyes and stands up from his bed. “Oh please, as if you’re looking any better than I am. At least I don’t have a love bite on me neck,” he huffs with a pointed look at the alpha’s neck. He didn’t understand the need to mark someone up like that, like animals. Did people enjoy it? Did it feel good? Apparently so if people kept doing it.

“I think that you’d look a lot happier if you had a love bite on your neck,” Niall says with a suggestive smirk on his stupid face. “I mean, at least it would mean that you would’ve gotten laid-”

“Niall,” Louis says disapprovingly. “Can you not? We’ve been over this several times now, you know how I feel about that.”

“Sorry,” Niall hums, sounding like he didn’t mean it though Louis knew his friend well enough to know that he actually did mean it. “Do you have any plans for tonight?”

“I’m working from three to nine,” Louis grumbles walking toward the kitchen. “I’m not in the mood to work today Ni. I feel like burying meself in all the blankets I own and just sleeping.” He really did need his nine hours of sleep per night.

“Wow okay, are you depressed or just sleepy? Your accent is out in full force it’s one of the two,” Niall furrows his eyebrows and brings his face closer to the screen as if that would help anything.

“Just sleepy, I didn’t sleep that well last night,” Louis mumbles as he gets to the kitchen. “You know, you should attend a few of the behavior studies lectures it could really- oh fuck.”

Louis nearly drops his phone as his eyes travel away from the screen at the sound coming from in front of him. It is an instinct, though right now he wishes that he didn’t have that said instinct at all. Because right in front of him stands Harry and yes that would be normal, it is normal, apart from the fact that he is naked. Like fully, cock out and everything, naked. The omega could feel his whole body tense up and a flush cover his cheeks and neck. He couldn’t take his eyes off the sight, no matter how hard he tried or wanted. And the worst part was that Harry was staring right back at him.

The omega felt naked under the stare even though he was fully dressed in joggers and a large tee he had stolen from Liam awhile back. He slept better in big clothes. He could hear Niall calling his name on the phone but his throat felt too dry to respond. His senses were occupied anyways.

“Would you like some eggs?” Harry asks flashing a winning smile as he holds the pan for Louis to see. The omega snaps from his trance at that and covers his eyes with his hand. The bastard didn’t even seem bothered by being naked in front of him. Fucking nudist. “I also made some bacon and boiled some water so you can help yourself out. Oh the water is for tea by the way, I’m not saying that it’s any good for a healthy breakfast.”

Louis shakes his head slightly, swaying his weight from one leg to another and mumbles something under his breath before ending the facetime. He would explain it all to Niall later. He would definitely understand. “Did you know that the average size, or well length, of a male’s penis is around 2.8 to 3.9 inches when flaccid or 7 to 10 centimeters if you want to express it in the european way.” And okay that was definitely not what he was meant to say. “That’s if you don’t take in the flaccid circumference slash girth average that is on average 3.5 to 3.9 inches, 9 to 19 centimeters. Of course we need to also take into account the fact that when erect, the penis is larger, on average 4.7 to 6.3 inches.” he babbles on. “Sorry I didn’t give you the centimeters, wait um it’s 12 to 16 centimeters I think.”

“Louis?” Harry asks almost carefully. “What are you-?”

“Of course those are the average lengths, I mean you clearly know that since yours is clearly bigger,” Louis cuts in with his ranting. His cheeks were heating up even more by the second but he couldn’t help himself. “It’s true that water wouldn’t be a good source of nutrition in the mornings. Did you know that studies show that it would be best to eat oatmeal for breakfast. That’s pretty obvious but the runner up was Greek Yogurt- like what? Can you imagine, Greek Yogurt? It was a surprise for me that’s for sure.”

“Louis, I’m going to put on an apron now, okay? Then I need you to look at me and tell me that you’re okay?” Harry says calmly, followed by some ruffling. Louis hopes that it means that he is actually pulling out an apron like he promised. “Okay, I’m now covered, you can look again.”

Louis is careful as he lowers his hand, still keeping his eyes shut all the way up until his hand is hanging next to his body. When he opens his eyes he immediately sighs with relief. “Sorry, um I’m not used to having naked people in my kitchen,” he says clearing his throat awkwardly. He felt so embarrassed and he swears that he looks the part as well.

“Not to get all technical but it’s our kitchen now. I moved in, remember? And to be honest it’s quite a freeing thing to do, like all my inhibitions are gone,” Harry says with a shrug, still seemingly unbothered by the fact that Louis had just seen him stark naked. “And besides, this way I can air my private bits as well,” he adds, what some would call, cheekily.

“Not so private when you go around flashing people like that,” Louis mumbles under his breath before clearing his throat again. “Can we pretend that this didn’t happen? I’m sure that we will remember this event vividly for months but we can not talk about it. Got it?” He asks, making eye contact with the alpha, nodding when the alpha does. “Good. And the next time you want to air your private bits you can do it in your own room.”

“Of course, sorry if I made you uncomfortable,” Harry says softly. “I guess I forgot that you haven’t gotten used to my nudist ways yet, my bad.”

With a wave of a hand Louis dismisses the alpha. It was still awkward, at least for him, and he didn’t want to talk about it anymore. As far as he was concerned, none of this happened. “It’s fine I guess. I’m definitely not used to walking into my kitchen and seeing that. I was always up before Niall so it’s pretty much weird for me to have anyone in the kitchen before me basically, especially naked,” he rambles. Why couldn't he let the naked aspect of the situation go?

The air surrounding them is a bit uncomfortable to say the least, neither of them sparking up a conversation any time soon. When they eventually do after a long moment, it’s about the weather out of all things and if they should agree on a schedule for who buys the groceries and when. Niall and Louis had bought food whenever they had the time and it worked for them. If the other had spent a clear amount more than the other then the other would either give the money back or deal with the groceries the next time. But with Harry he understood why the alpha wanted to take turns. They would have to start making grocery lists though so they would get the things they both wanted.

Louis made it clear that he was a horrible cook at the very beginning, saying that he usually lived on takeout or cereal. Harry didn’t like what he heard, saying that he actually enjoyed cooking and wouldn’t mind taking charge of the task. Louis didn’t fight him on this, why would he? He didn’t have to like the alpha in order to eat his food. It would be cheaper for him too.

“Are you sure that you can’t cook at all though? Like everyone can make something?” Harry hums after their conversation dies down again.

“I’m not kidding, I managed to burn water once.” Well like, Louis knew, of course he did, that it wasn’t physically possible to actually burn water. But he couldn’t explain what had happened because he had turned his back for one second - okay maybe for a minute or two and all there was left in the pot was something brown. And it had smelled like something was burning so.

It’s clear that the alpha is holding back a laugh for Louis’ sake so he narrows his eyes at him. He didn’t appreciate it. He didn’t say anything when Harry said something about understanding why Niall moved, just focused on sipping his tea and stealing Harry’s bacon when he wasn’t watching. When he eventually stands up to leave the kitchen, the alpha calls his name, making him spin around and raise his eyebrows in question.

“Just out of curiosity, how do you know the average length of a penis?”

Louis escapes the room quickly without an answer, embarrassed and flushed deep red. He rushes to his room, slamming the door shut and leaning against it. What a great morning, he thinks sarcastically before pulling out his phone and dialing Niall’s number. “Guess what just happened?”

-

Work was hectic. If you didn’t know that a new café was a week away from opening across the street, you wouldn't have been able to notice it. Louis’ café was bustling with life, people coming in from left to right, filling up the space. The slow Saturday just a week ago was a distant memory with the busy day. So was Louis’ naked incident with Harry in the kitchen. The memory of Harry’s naked form did enter his mind at times, making his cheeks fluster at the worst possible time. Like when a customer was ordering a drink or his new coworker was touching his shoulder. There were only two employees working that shift, Louis and the new guy, Miller. It was his surname, but Louis called him that because he wasn’t listening when he told him his name and can only remember his surname.  

The new guy was an alpha, and really tactical. He had never been taught about personal space or at least that’s what it seemed like. He wasn’t friendly or innocent about it unlike Harry. He did it on purpose, as if counting his steps and trying to get them to fall in sync with Louis just so they would bump into each other. And it was annoying, oh so annoying. And Louis couldn’t even say it because they didn’t have time for conversation.

Since Miller was new to the job, he was responsible of cleaning and taking the orders to the tables while Louis worked the register and made the drinks. It was faster and more efficient that way, and if it was partly because Louis wasn’t fond of doing the scut work, then oh well.

“Thank you, have a nice day,” Louis smiles sweetly to the next customer while handing him his drink. Black coffee, no sugar, what a poison, right? It was nearing six pm, and new customers were still piling at the door. It was a lot, but nothing he couldn't handle with a warm smile. He didn't smile all that often but they had been taught early in school that people responded better to a smiling person.

His cheeks were already starting to hurt from all the smiling he had done and he was really starting to question one article he had read about your cheek muscles being relaxed when smiling. Bullshit, they wouldn't hurt if they were relaxed the whole time. He should maybe correct the writer when he gets home, yeah definitely.

“Can I take my break now?” Miller asks coming to stop on Louis’ left side as the omega prepares for the next drink. He even goes as far as placing his hand on Louis’ shoulder, which. No.

Louis turns to him with an unimpressed look. “How many employees do you see on this shift?” He asks with a blank voice. God the alpha was an idiot.

Miller furrows his eyebrows, confused, “Two?” He says, unsurely for some reason.

“Yeah and how many customers do we have?” Louis asks, still with the same blank voice watching how Miller turns around and starts counting- like actually counting the customers, out loud he might add. “Don't count- just give me your estimation,” he snaps annoyed. It was like the kid didn't have a brain.

“Around thirty?”

“Did that give you an answer to your question?” Louis asks. “Let me think, can you take a break when there's only two of us and thirty of them? And no don't say anything smart, the answer is no. Now get back to work and get your hand off me.” And with that Louis turns around and walks to the counter, handing the drink to the next customer, proceeding to ignore his coworker the next hour or so.

When the rush finally dies down, Louis goes to their tea brewer and starts making himself some tea. It was nearing half past seven, meaning that the café would close in half an hour. There were about ten people on the floor, sitting comfortably and enjoying their drinks. He couldn’t see Miller anywhere and at the moment he didn’t care. He didn’t want to see the alpha’s face after all. He hums softly under his breath as he brews the tea, swaying from side to side, almost like dancing. He cuts it though at the sound of the small bell tingling by the door.

Turning around he plasters a welcoming smile onto his face, when in reality he just wants to glare at whoever enters. He hated it when customers came in so close to closing time. The smile drops slightly when he sees a big group enter the cafe, voices loud as they enthusiastically talk about something. They looked like frat brothers and Louis was immediately slightly disgusted. He didn’t know exactly what the fraternities did but he had seen enough movies to judge the group. Okay it was a bit dumb from him since he prided himself for being open minded, but he was really tired and in a desperate need of a shower. His first assumptions about them being frat brothers turn out to be correct when he notices the jerseys they were wearing. Alpha sig or something like that.

“Hello and welcome to Joy’s. What can I get you?” Louis speaks up when the group comes to stop in front of the counter. The faster he serves them, the faster he gets them out, that was his plan. He watches how the group turn to him, one by one, giving him obvious once overs. Louis holds back the urge to roll his eyes.

“Hi there,” one of the alphas say with a flirty tone. “You could tell us where to find Louis and maybe after that your number would make my phone way more valuable.”

Louis gives him a look that says it all. “And why do you want to find Louis?” He asks humming. He wasn’t going to give them his name that easily. “How do you know him?”

“I don’t, but my friend told me that he’s the sassiest omega he has ever seen and I would like to see it myself,” the alpha continues with the same smug smirk on his face. “Not to mention the rumoured ass on him.” And apparently the others were just as excited based on their ridiculous hollering that soon follows.

“Well sorry to disappoint but we don’t have an employee with that name,” Louis says flashing his best apologetic smile. He would skin Harry when he sees him. Torture him slowly. “Now can I get you gentlemen anything to drink or was this trip a lost cause?”

“Are you sure? We were told that he works here,” the alpha says persistently.

“I’m very sure. I’ve been working here for two years now so you’d think that I know my coworkers,” Louis says, getting impatient. He didn’t know why the alpha was so eager to see him. What had Harry told him? Because he seriously doubted that they would be only here for his sass and ass. No pun intended.

“What’s your name?” Another alpha asks, coming into view. He was clearly a newbie, based on how he carried himself and how he wasn’t as buff as the rest of them.

Louis raises his eyebrows at him. “And why do you ask?” He asks humming. “What do you gain from getting it, huh?” The alpha blushes hard, stuttering something about not being sure before disappearing behind his friends. “Now can I get you anything? This is the third time I’ve asked and if I don’t get an answer I’ll have to ask you to leave because we close in half an hour,” he says, his patience running low. He didn’t know what got him so snappy today.

The group mutters something about him being rude before turning to him once again. “Three cappuccinos, thanks.”

Louis rings the order up, tells them the price before going to prepare the drinks. He hadn’t asked them whether they wanted them to go or to stay because he assumed that they wanted them to go. So he prepares three cups, finds them some caps and takes them back to them. “Thank you and have a great night,” he hums out of habit as he pushes the holder toward the group.

Some of them mutter something back and the others just turn around and leave, walking to the door. It would’ve been fine, he would’ve gotten away with it if there wasn’t Miller. You see half of the group was already outside when the idiot came from the back, where he wasn’t even supposed to be, and basically screamed his name. Not to get into the details but let’s just say that Louis has never been as uncomfortable as he was then. Yeah he is definitely going to skin Harry.

-

When he gets home, he is pissed, he is tired and his knuckles are hurting. He’s usually very happy and proud of his day’s work, but this time he can’t say that this is true. It takes him less than ten seconds to notice that Harry isn’t there and even though he would love nothing more than to hand his ass to him, he is glad to be alone. He places his keys in the bowl by the door and kicks his shoes off his feet. He’s hungry and smells like coffee and he doesn't know whether he should shower or eat first. Eating seems to win the battle at the sound of his stomach grumbling unhappily.

He makes it to the kitchen, opening a few of the cabinets before finding what he was looking for. He places the cereal onto the counter, then walks to the fridge to pull out the milk. Louis hadn’t been lying when he said that he couldn’t cook for shit, his go to meal basically being cereal and takeout. Sure he could learn a few recipes with his memory but he had never had the need to do it since he had people around him that could actually cook really well. Now, depending how  life with Harry will turn out, he might have to learn the skill afterall.

Once Louis has his cereal made just the way he likes it, just like his tea, he walks to the living room and sits down onto the couch. He places the steaming mug onto the coffee table in order to wrap a blanket around his body. It wasn’t even cold in the flat, it was just a familiar thing to do. A comforting one. He lights a few of the candles on the table before turning on the television. He didn’t even feel like watching anything, it was for making him feel less lonely in a way. Not that he was feeling particularly lonely.

Despite the fact that he didn’t feel like watching anything, he didn’t want the background noise to be some trashy reality show. So he pulls out his old favourite Criminal Minds and starts the episode. With the background sound now being on, he grabs  his drink and food and starts eating. An hour passes like that, him on the couch, Criminal Minds playing on the screen and a cuppa in his hand. He had finished his tea a while ago but he couldn’t make himself  get up and go get some more. And well sitting still half an hour made him bored and eventually he stands up and goes back to the kitchen.

He is so caught up waiting for the water to boil that at first he doesn’t even hear the door opening or closing. Only when Harry calls his name from the hallway he snaps out of his trance and turns to look just in time for the alpha to enter the room. Great. The bastard was smiling, clearly having had enjoyed his night.

“Is everything okay?” Harry asks furrowing his eyebrows as he sees the cold look in Louis’ eyes. He takes a careful step closer. “Um can I do anything?”

“I don’t know, is everything okay?” Louis raises his brows and crosses his arms on his chest. He ignores the look on the alpha’s face as he sees the shape of his knuckles. “Oh can you do anything? Hmm I don’t know- how about you don’t fucking talk about me like I’m some kind of a toy or zoo animal to your frat friends?” He snaps, unable to stop himself. All the pent up feelings were pushing out and he didn’t want to stop them.

The furrow between Harry’s brows only deepens. “What are you talking about-?”

“Don’t even try to play innocent with me. You’re the only one who knows where I work, and would talk about my ‘ass and sass’,” Louis rolls his eyes. “Which by the way, if you didn’t get it, I hate it. I hate how you alphas seem to think that just because I am an omega who just happens to be blessed with curves its okay to treat me like that.”

“I hate when alphas do that too,” Harry says almost careful. “That’s why I haven’t done anything? I don’t even have friends that are apart of a fraternity, how could I have done it?”

Louis furrows his brows. He was excellent at reading people and as far as he could tell, Harry was speaking the truth. What the hell? The alpha didn’t touch his chin or look down left when he spoke, didn’t do any of the telltale signs of lying. “I don’t believe you,” he says stubbornly. “I don’t know how but you’re lying, I know it.”

“No I am not. I mean, yes, I think that your ass is magnificent and all but I wouldn’t parade it around to everyone. And before you say anything, yes I did talk about it with Nick but that’s it.” How was he so convincing?

“Well you’re the only person who knows where I work besides my friends and family. And I can assure you that none of them would’ve done this,” he is starting to repeat things and that fact was never a good sign. It meant that he was losing the fight, a thing that rarely happened to him.

“Actually I told Nick about the café earlier today,” Harry admits, having the decency to look a bit sheepish. “But I didn’t know that he would go around telling anyone!”

“Well he did,” Louis huffs annoyed, uncrossing his arms just so he could push his hair out of the way. The movement was closely followed by Harry, his eyes fixed on the omega’s hand. “What? Why are you staring at me?” He asks raising his brows expectantly.

Harry gnaws on his bottom lip before speaking, “What happened to your knuckles?”

Louis looks down at his hand as if he had no idea what the alpha was talking about. He draws his fingers in to clench his hand into a fist before straightening. “I got into a fight,” he says. “One of the alphas got handsy so I punched him. I tried talking to him but he didn’t listen. At least he left at that point- Miller didn’t even fucking bat an eye when he grabbed me. You’d think that you can trust your coworkers but apparently not.”

“What? What do you mean he got handsy- what happened?” Harry asks, his voice filled with a tone he couldn’t recognise. He doesn’t give Louis enough time to answer before he crosses the room, stopping right in front of him. “Show me your hand. Did they hurt you?”

Louis is taken aback by the sudden closeness, taking a small step backwards cautiously. “He didn’t hurt me per se. He just slapped my bum and pulled me into him. It was nasty and when I told him to let go of me he didn’t, so I punched him. I’m fine, a bit traumatized maybe but at least I didn’t break a hand,” he shrugs. Physically he was okay, but mentally he was shaken. He might act all high and mighty but he had feelings too and stuff like that scared him. “I can’t promise the same destiny for Miller though, Niall is quite protective of me,” he hums.

Harry has a permanent frown on his face as he pulls him closer again and gently takes Louis’ wrists between his hands. He looks down at the omega almost carefully as he brings their joined hands closer to him in order to take a better look of the injuries. The frown deepens right away as he sees the depth of the cuts on his hands. “I’m so sorry. If I had known that Nick would tell everyone, I wouldn’t have told him,” he says quietly, his eyes on Louis’ hands.

His touches were so gentle, so sweet that they stirred something within Louis. Naturally, that’s when Louis pulls away from the touch. ”I wasn’t kidding when I said that I wish not to see him anymore,” he clears his throat. “I know that you didn’t do it on purpose, but from now on, I would appreciate if you didn’t talk about me to him,” he says looking up at Harry to make sure he knew that he was being serious about it. He didn’t want to have to watch his words and actions for the next year.

“Yeah of course, I won’t say a thing,” Harry promises his voice sincere. “I am sorry and I hope that you believe me.”

“I believe you,” Louis says even though he suspects that Harry knew that already but just wanted to have the comfort from the words. And since he didn’t want to face a pouty alpha, he was happy to comply. “Now that we have all that out of the way, I was just making some tea, would you like some?” He asks, changing the subject into something more neutral.

“Sure, if I can clean up your knuckles,” Harry says humming. “I know that you want to drop the subject but seriously your knuckles don’t look good, you should treat them. Like how hard did you even punch the guy to make this much damage?”

Louis shrugs, “You should see his face. He was lucky that I didn’t go for his dick instead.”

Harry snorts at that, leaving the room only to come back after a moment, carrying some wound sanitizer and gauze. Hopping onto the counter, Louis holds his hands out wordlessly, letting the alpha work on his so-called battle scars while holding back the winces. He would have to send an email to the company who makes the sanitizer. “Doesn’t sting” his ass. He knows that he’s avoiding eye contact quite obviously he might add but it wasn’t like he could help himself. Something about the alpha acting like he cared did something to him, something that he definitely didn’t enjoy experiencing. Niall on the other hand would be more than thrilled to hear about these feelings.

It’s over quickly, thank god, and while Harry walks back to the bathroom to put back what he got there, Louis hops down from the counter and slides toward his tea. He prepares it just the way he likes it, pouring the brewed tea into the mug before adding a splash of milk and slowly mixing. Call him paranoid but he felt that the slow mixing made the tea taste better than when he mixed fast.

When Harry comes back, he has his tea ready and without sparing a significant glance at the alpha he leaves the room. He returns to the couch, cocooning himself into the blanket once more and then turning to the television. He could hear the alpha moving around in the kitchen, gathering something up based on the constant sounds of plates clattering against the counter. He ignores it however, in order to change the show. The feeling of needing to watch something that stimulated his brains was almost overwhelming so he opens his Netflix instead and scrolls down the documents. Criminal Minds was a lot better for the purpose than some random document but he had already seen all the episodes as season 12 hadn’t gotten to Viaplay just yet.

Settling for the one that is about drug use, he leans against the armrest and tries to focus. He manages to get his focus on the matter for about five minutes before Harry waltzes in and sits down next to him. Like literally next to him, not on the other side of the couch but almost close enough to touch. He doesn’t want to pay attention to the alpha though, so he keeps his eyes focused on the screen trying to ignore the loud chewing coming from next to him.

“Are you hungry? I made some sandwiches if you want some?” Harry hums with his mouth full of food, offering the plate filled with sandwiches to him. Louis glances at the plate, his stomach still empty despite having ate cereal just an hour ago. He nods wordlessly, reaching for one sandwich and then turning back to the tv. He thinks that Harry gets the message and will shut up but no. “Would you mind we shared the blanket? It’s cold in here.”

“We have more than one blanket,” Louis states without looking at Harry. It was dumb really seeing as they did have more blankets and the omega had been quite clear about needing his personal space. Or at least that's what he thought. “We don't need to share.”

“But I'm too comfortable right now. I don't want to get up and go to my room to get one. Please? Just this one time,” Harry says with his tone soft and calm as if he was talking to a scared animal. Which Louis wasn't, he was a human being. “I won't touch you inappropriately or anything. I don't even have to get any closer than this, I promise.”

Louis stares at the alpha, measuring his facial expressions before sighing and throwing a bit of the blanket over to him. He almost wants to comment how Harry does, in fact, move closer but it would mean that he’d need to start up a conversation with him so he doesn't. Instead he munches on the sandwich Harry made, silently scowling because it was so good. Stupid alpha.

 

-

A week after the incident in the café, Louis realised how different he was from Harry. It all came to him one morning as he was in the kitchen sipping his morning tea and the alpha came in. He was dripping with sweat, his breath slightly ragged. He didn't say anything, just nodded in Louis’ direction, grabbing a water bottle from the fridge and then leaving the room. You see, Harry went for a run every morning, coming back when Louis was just starting to open his eyes or when he was in the kitchen drinking tea. And after every run, he settles into the living room to do some muscle workout. Shirtless he might add.

And like it wasn't that Louis watched him or anything (it happened once okay?) but it was hard to miss a six feet, sweaty alpha in his living room. Another thing he noticed about the alpha was that he always stayed up late. He got up early yes but he didn't go to bed early. Like three times now Louis had heard Harry awake and talking to someone or watching TV after midnight. It wasn't too loud so it didn't bother Louis.

So while Harry seemed to manage just fine with just a few hours of sleep, Louis slept at least nine hours a night. Partly because studies had shown for it to be good for people and well he loved to sleep. One other thing that was a major difference between them, was that Harry drank kale smoothies and black coffee. Two things that Louis would never voluntarily touch.

There hadn't been any naked incidents after the one in the kitchen of which Louis was forever grateful for. He would hate to have to walk around terrified to have an eyeful of the alpha in his own home. That would be a recipe for a catastrophe.

But enough of that. The new café had opened across the street and boy was it a people magnet. Like seriously, on the first two days the line was so long it went out the door. It had been slower in Joy's but that had been expected. It had given Louis, Niall and Perrie time to gossip and wonder what was going on in there. Wondering was what had brought Niall and Louis here, on the footsteps of Café Aqua, which? What? Why Aqua? Anyways, the duo was already there so despite their pure disgust toward the place (as required of course) they enter. They had made sure beforehand that Harry wouldn't be working so the coast was clear.

As they enter, they are immediately greeted by the perky blonde behind the counter. She was wearing a light blue shirt and a black cap, a white apron hanging around her neck. It was a look sure, but it made her look like she was in preschool. They politely nod back as they get closer and look up to the menu board. The selection was pretty much the same as theirs, the only difference being in price. The café had more expensive prices but only by a few cents. They also made sure that everyone knew how organic and natural their drinks were.

Maybe they should do that too.

“Hi and welcome to Café Aqua! What can I get you on this beautiful evening?” The blondie asks as they're close.

“Hi. I'd like some black tea,” Louis says with a hum, looking at the menu. “Do you have Yorkshire? I don't see it on the menu?” He asks glancing at the girl who is already looking at him apologetically. Great no Yorkshire then.

“No, but we have some delicious organic black tea I’m sure you'll love,” she says smiling lightly.

“Okay fine, I'll take that,” Louis says dismissively, giving Niall his turn to order. While he does Louis takes the liberty of looking around the café. The theme was clearly nautical, the walls covered with ocean themed paintings and the wall painted with light blue. Some of the chairs were made to look like huge canisters which only made it look like a pirate ship if Louis was being honest. It was all cool in a way yeah but maybe not in the long run. People will likely get bored of this.

They split the bill and exit the café five minutes later with their drinks in hand. Louis takes a careful sip of the tea and he has to admit that it was decent. Not nearly as good as Yorkshire or any other of his favourite brands but decent. “So what did you think?” Louis can't help but ask as they walk toward the park. Neither of them were excited to take the other one home seeing as the other would have to walk home alone. So it was just easier to walk together to a halfway point

and then seperate. And besides it was nice out so why not?

“I don’t know what the hype is about the place,” Niall says humming, taking a sip of his hot beverage. “Like sure it’s new and kind of cool, but it reminds me more of some child’s bedroom than a café,” he says with a slight chuckle. “You?”

“Pretty much the same. They do their advertising well though with their whole, fully organic stuff. That sinks into people real fast,” Louis says, kind of impressed. Not that he would admit it. “We should do that too. Most of our products are local and organic, we should let people know.”

“Yeah, let’s pitch that idea to the boss?” Niall nods, agreeing to this plan. Louis nods absently, turning his head to look ahead again, taking in their surroundings. The park is rather vacant when they arrive, some couples lounging by the fountain or the nearby benches, leaning onto each other. Usually the place was filled with children and their parents but seeing as it was dark, they were nowhere to be seen.

“So how’s Harry?” Niall asks suddenly after a while, stopping by the small bridge crossing a stream and leaning against the railing. He looked really comfortable so Louis mirrors his movements.

“He’s fine, always doing something healthy but okay,” the omega hums and shrugs. “I don’t know, it’s weird to wake up to a sweaty alpha. I’m used to being the first one awake,” he admits. “And not that I actively think about it, but it’s a bit weird to live with someone who works for the competing café. Almost like I’m fraternizing with the enemy or something.”

Niall chuckles at that and turns to face the omega. “I love you, you know that? Don’t ever change,” he says in earnest, with the fondest smile on his face. Louis just rolls his eyes and huffs. Niall knows to take it as an I love you too. “I know what you mean though, but think of it this way. You get to live with the enemy,” he says, looking at Louis as if he was supposed to know what he was thinking. “You get to live with him! You can get some details from him and maybe sabotage him a bit.”

Louis raises his brows at the alpha. Was he being serious? Like sure it sounded like a decent idea, more than decent actually, but how would it work? “Is there a need to sabotage him?” He asks instead, taking a sip of the tea that was already cooling down. The cups were doing a shitty job at keeping the beverage warm, that’s for sure.

“I don’t know if there’s ever a need to do it, but sure, why not? Think about how fun it would be!” Niall says grinning, clearly enjoying the idea. “It could be payback from the naked incident!”

“I’ve gotten over that incident, it would be childish of me not to,” Louis defends, looking at the stream. The idea was tempting, he has to admit that. Like planning stuff was fun for him and what would be even better was that he would be planning pranks. He had never done it before but it sounded fun. “But I’ll think about it, okay?” He hums and Niall sighs slightly disappointed but nods anyway and changes the subject.

When Louis gets home that night, he finds his favourite white shirt, now pink, on his bed with a sticky note with Harry’s handwriting on it. It’s an apology note where he explains that it was a mishap and that it accidentally fell into his red laundry. Looking at his destroyed shirt, Louis doesn’t even need to think more about it. He grabs his phone and sends Niall a text;

Louis: I’m in.


Chapter Text

Turns out that planning a prank war against your housemate was a time consuming thing. Right after he had sent Niall the text, telling him that he was in, the alpha had answered with a time and a place as if they were in an action movie. Louis was not going to lie, he had experienced a little rush of fondness for his friend when that happened. Since they were both busy with work and school, they managed to squeeze in their first “planning appointment”, as Niall put it, two days in, meeting in Louis’ flat while Harry was at work. The blonde had been slightly huffy when they didn’t meet at a restaurant as he had planned, but got over it quickly. They had rented some movies that were supposed to have good pranks on them, if they believed the worker at the rental place. Louis had also taken the liberty to buy some practical joke books.

So there they were now, sitting on the couch in Louis and Harry’s living room, with one of the movies playing in the background and books in hands. They had also made some food, the harvests laid out on the coffee table. Or well, by making he means that they ordered some takeout and bought some pastries.

“Oh what about this one; replace his toothpaste with mayo ! That would be so disgusting- God I love it!” Niall exclaims loudly, almost scaring Louis into falling off the couch. Luckily it doesn’t happen. Louis would’ve been huffy.

“How would that even sabotage him?” Louis asks, furrowing his eyebrows as he glances up from the book he was reading. “He would only get a bad taste in his mouth, I don’t get it. Is there something I’m missing?”

“It would be the perfect first prank though. Like he would start looking at the paste suspiciously before trying it and then would spend a few extra minutes,” Niall says matter-of-factly. “We have to start it out slowly, you know? Not with a bang.”

“Wouldn’t it make more sense to start with a bang though? Then he would be careful all the time, second guessing everything I do or say,” Louis reasons humming. “I mean I would be more suspicious after that, I don’t know about you.”

Niall furrows his eyebrows and purses his lips, looking like a duck. “Yeah, you might be right. Shit, now we need to find the bang. Ugh now we’re back at square one again,” he complains loudly, burying his head into his hands. Louis looks at him with a thoughtful look on his face before sighing.

“Is this a good idea after all? Or is this just dumb?” Louis asks tilting his head to the side. “I was thinking that we would try to sexually confuse him but I couldn’t possibly pull that off-”

“That’s exactly what we need to do!” Niall squeaks in triumph. “God you’re so smart, that’s the best thing ever! Brilliant idea even.”

Louis blinks at the alpha. “You do realise who we are talking about right? Like it’s me, Niall. I haven’t even kissed an alpha before in my life! I have no idea how to act all sexy, not to mention that he’s probably not even interested in me. Like sure, he stares at my ass and clearly wants to cuddle me when we’re on the couch, but that doesn’t mean anything. I mean you want to cuddle me too, it must just be an alpha thing or something.”

“You could totally pull this off. You did drama your first year in highschool, remember? Mrs Smith was so disappointed, more like devastated, when you said that you were quitting. Everyone knew that you were her favourite and most talented student,” Niall says, pushing his book away from him and moving closer to the omega. “Think about how good it would feel to play him after everything he has done.”

Louis snorts, “You make it sound like he has messed with my feelings and broken my heart or something. He has just talked about me ass to an ass, which is not okay, I know that but it’s also not something I couldn’t handle. He’s not a bad person,” he comments matter-of-factly. “And besides, how’s shaking me bum going to teach him anything?”

“You wouldn’t be shaking your bum at him, even though that’s an amazing idea, I’m just saying. You would be teasing him. Like showing him what he can’t have, in a way. Flirt a bit, yeah?” Niall explains with a determined look on his face. “Just please! I want to play this alpha so bad.”

“Then why don’t you shake your ass at him if you’re that excited about it?” Louis huffs, hitting the alpha with his book. “Let’s search some more prank ideas, okay? I’m done talking about this one.”

“You were the one to bring up the sexual confusing idea though,” Niall points out with a mutter, going back to his book. Louis hated to let his friend down but the teasing thing was just something he couldn’t pull off. He didn’t think of himself as being sexy, no matter how good people tended to think his ass was. He was brains, not beauty and that was exactly what he wanted.

He nudges Niall’s thigh with his toe, waiting for his friend to look at him. “I’m sorry,” he says when they make the eye contact. “I’m just nervous about this, I didn’t mean to snap at you,” he genuinely apologizes.

“No, I’m sorry. I don’t want to force you into anything nor pressure you. I just got excited because I think that it could be so much fun. Not only for me but for you too,” Niall says biting his lips. “And like this is going to sound like I’m trying to manipulate you or something, but couldn’t you think of this as a profiling challenge. Like hear me out, wouldn’t it be fun trying to profile him and figure out a way to get under his skin the best.”

And well, Louis is kind of embarrassed to admit that it gets him really interested. He crosses his arms and looks at Niall curiously. “Keep talking.”

And well, because Niall knows him like no one else he sees how interested Louis gets and starts talking. He keeps piling up every possible reason for him to get even more excited and it worked. With every word Louis grew more excited, more interested in the matter. It was basically the best challenge Louis could think of and this was totally happening.

 

-

 

This might be the most uncomfortable situation Louis has been in his life. There wasn't even a real reason for him to be and the worst part was that he knew it but still felt it. Like many omegas- most of them really, did this and it was completely normal. But Louis hadn't so it wasn't just embarrassing and weird but also confusing. Quite frankly he was lost. He can't help but look around to make sure that no one was staring at him before he moves. He walks toward the highest mountain of lace he sees and braces himself. This hadn't even been his idea, it had been Niall's.

“No way, nuh uh. I won't wear panties just because we want to throw him off!” Louis exclaims, drawing the line there. He would not wear panties. Good for the omegas that did but he wouldn't. They wouldn't be comfortable, right?

“I'm not saying that you have to wear them! Just leave them out in plain sight so he can see them. I promise that alphas go crazy at the thought of their omegas lace. I know that I do.”

So that was pretty much the conversation that led to this horrible moment. He puts his pride to the side and digs in, searching for a pair he could actually use. Not that he was going to but he wanted to make the scheme as believable as possible. He didn't know what size he was and he knew that he must have looked lost as hell. That was confirmed when the worker comes to him with her bright blue eyes and chirpy attitude. Frankly it made him want to run away.

“Hi there! Can I help you?” She asks smiling, basically hovering over Louis, making him uncomfortable. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable to his nature because she was an omega as well, but just the proximity was no fun for him.

Louis wanted to decline her help so bad but he didn’t want to be in the store longer than he had to. “Hi, um I’m just looking for some underwear,” he says, trying not to sound too awkward. “And I have no idea what size I am since I don’t have any. No! I mean I have underwear I just haven’t bought any- nevermind.” He was blushing like crazy.

“Oh I see. Planning on surprising your alpha then?” She asks with a settle smirk on her features, turning to the lace. When Louis tries to cut in to correct her assumptions she cuts him off, “No need to be embarrassed, we all do that,” she smiles as if they're friends. “So I would say that you're size small on your waist or even extra small but with that bum of yours you must be a large or extra large,” she hums clearly not noticing how offended Louis was getting. ‘ Extra large’ his ass… (no pun intended).

“Extra large? A thong?” Louis cuts her rambling off looking at her with a pointed look as she starts to trek into inappropriate waters, heading towards a rack of thong underwear. “Look,” he stops to check her name, “Camille. I just want to buy a pair of underwear and that's it. I don't want you to talk to me like we're besties and compare our alphas or talk about what mine is into. I don't want to hear the options about lifting panties and lace ones and definitely not about thongs. I just want a pair of panties, preferably light blue ones. Are we clear?”

She is definitely taken back by his outburst but collects herself quite fast. “Yes of course,” she says more politely now. “So here are a few pairs, feel welcome to try them on. If you have any questions I’ll be by the counter.”

He watches the omega go away embarrassed and after he's sure that she's out of the hearing range, he sighs. He didn't want to snap at her but he also didn't want to talk about his nonexistent personal life with her nor about hers. He was quite certain that she would've started comparing knot sizes in no time. And yeah he wasn't ready for that, not that he ever will be.

Picking up four pairs of light grey (at least that's how they looked to him) panties he makes a beeline to the changing rooms. Louis once again swallows his pride as he tries them on, muttering curses under his breath as he notices that the large pair didn't even go over his bum. Extra large fitted barely and hung onto his buttocks pornishly. He wasn't even going to wear them and still he wanted to make sure that they fit. What was wrong with him? That question was on his lips as well when he found them to actually be pretty comfortable. Even if he was trying them on over his boxers because without them it would be just nasty and unhygienic.

Louis bites his lip as he changes back to his normal clothes looking at the panties as he does. He shakes his head as he gets out and walks to one of the mountains of lace, picking up another two pairs of extra large panties and taking them to the counter. He wanted to know if they were actually blue, because he couldn’t tell himself, but he was too embarrassed to be buying panties in the first place, plus he had just snapped at the cashier and just wanted to get out of this shop as quick as possible. He avoids eye contact with the cashier as she scans them. She then tells him the total and waits for him to pay before putting them in a bag and inviting him to come again. He flashes a smile and wishes her a good day before walking out. He was so going to regret this he knew it.  

 

-

 

Louis was nervous. Before he had left for work he had left a pair of his newly purchased panties laying on the armrest of the couch, spraying them with his perfume for good measure. He wanted to make Harry think that he had been wearing them after all, and this way they would smell like him without having to go too close to smell. Not that Louis assumed that Harry would sniff his panties, but he could never know.

The day had been relatively slow, his shift being the morning one. He only had fifteen minutes left on his shift and after that he would meet Niall in a café down the street. They would've met here but Louis didn't want to be around Miller more than he had to. Miller would start his shift right after Louis’ ended so at least he didn't have to be with the alpha. Also the alpha was terrified of Niall at the moment so Louis wanted to do both of them a favour. Well more like all three of them since he suspected that Niall would actually give the alpha hard time.

During his last fifteen minutes he plans on getting his mountain of cleaning finished. He had started cleaning up their supply closet about an hour ago and he still had quite the mountain to conquer. But he loved a challenge so instead of staring at the clock he continued his work. He ended up finishing up ten minutes after his shift ended but he thought that it was worth it. He walks out of the storage room, grabs his things and says goodbye as he passes the counter, waving goofily at Perrie who cheers as if he was going to do something incredible. He doesn't waste time on acknowledging Miller before exiting, making his way to the café.

Due to the short distance between the two cafes Louis doesn't bother putting on his headphones. When he arrives he immediately spots Niall by one of the tables next to the windows, his attention on his phone. He didn't have any drinks on the table in front of him so Louis could safely assume that he was waiting for the omega before ordering. He makes his way to the table grinning as their eyes meet.

“What took you so long? You got off twenty minutes ago,” Niall asks, locking his phone and putting it away.

Louis rolls his eyes good-naturedly, taking a seat in front of the alpha. “Well hello to you too. I was cleaning the supply closet and it took a bit longer than I expected,” he explains with a shrug. “Don't act like you haven't only been here for like five minutes,” he says with a knowing look. He knew his friend's ways after all.

“Well the five minutes I spent waiting for you,” Niall says matter-of-factly, not even remotely disturbed by being called out. “Watch our stuff while I go get us something to drink,” he hums standing up. Louis immediately stops him.

“What's happening? You never offer to get the drinks,” Louis asks curiously. He wasn't exaggerating when he said this either, Niall barely ever went to get the drinks, always more comfortable staying at the table. When he did get them it was because he was accompanying Barbara or something.

“The waitress was flirting with me when I came in and promised me a discount so,” Niall says, looking a bit sheepish. Suddenly it all made sense.

Louis laughs and waives him to go on. “Well how can I say no to that. I'll take Yorkshire if they have some,” he grins, pretending not to hear how Niall mumbles something about him already knowing Louis’ order under his breath. He dismisses him and just settles in, looking around the small café waiting for Niall to come back. When he does, Louis thanks him, taking a sip before talking. “Okay so I left them on the couch,” he starts humming.

Niall raises his brows, “You left what on the couch?”

“The panties. I left them on the armrest, so they're on display,” Louis tells. “I sprayed them with my perfume too before leaving them. You know so he thinks that I’ve worn them, not that I’ve just bought them or something,” he explains, biting his lip. “That was the plan, right? Like do you think that he'll believe that they're mine.”

“I think that he knows that they're yours, no matter what you do. Like I think that he would remember if one of his flings had left their panties at your house. And besides you're an omega so he wouldn't assume that they're your partner's either,” Niall points out before taking a sip of his tea. He had slowly tried to tell Barbara that he didn't want to drink coffee anymore but he was so whipped that he hasn't gotten all that far yet. It was quite an amusing thing to witness in Louis’ opinion, when Barbara greeted him with a cup of coffee and Niall pretended to like it.

“Oh yeah,” Louis hums, nodding as an agreement. He couldn't help but wonder if Harry had many flings when he wasn't home but then again it was none of his business. “Is it normal that I’m quite nervous? I mean they aren't even mine- well technically they are but I won't ever use them. So why am I nervous when I think about him finding them? I put them there for him to find,” he asks gnawing his bottom lip and looking down to his cup. He was already craving for another cuppa even though he was still on his first one. Yeah he had a habit of drinking tea and binge reading books when he was nervous or unsure about something.

“It's fine Lou, I would be too if I knew that someone would be looking at me differently after they found out,” Niall says reassuringly. “But hey it's dumb to worry about that. Did you read the article about new innovations in medicine?”

Louis releases his lip and looks at Niall with big eyes,”Which one?”

“Something about an alcometer being used to diagnose diseases?”

“Oh that one! Yeah there was an article about it in Kemia magazine,” Louis says enthusiastically. He knew that Niall didn't mean that specific article but Finnish people were way ahead of other scientists in this area so he’d rather read it from their magazines. “It's a chemistry magazine they have in Finland,” he explains to Niall just in case he didn't know. And well given that almost no one knew about the country, it was pretty likely.

“Remind me not to ask,” Niall shakes his head amused, looking at him from under the rim of his cup. “So, what is it based on? Like how could something that is used to see if you're drunk or not to be used to diagnose diseases?” He asks humming, taking a sip of the drink.

“So basically the scientists can already link some gases to some diseases, right? So the device would recognise the gas from your body when you blow on it, and link it to a disease. It would be a good alternative for drawing blood for those who are scared of needles,” Louis says. He was quite impressed by the idea if he was being honest. “God I would love to create something like that,” he sighs.

Niall just huffs and rolls his eyes, “You'll probably end up changing the science behind profiling or something, don't worry. I know you,” he says chuckling. “Any more interesting things you learned while reading the magazine I won’t even try to pronounce?”

Louis purses his lips and shakes his head. “No I don't think so, like I knew everything already- no wait! Did you know that your cells produce cannabis?”

 

-

 

There were many possibilities of what could've happened when Louis came home. Harry could've been blushing in the living room with his panties in hand, looking at him weirdly. He could've also been out, the panties still in place and completely untouched. Hell, Louis could've walked in with Harry wearing the damn panties and he wouldn't have been all that surprised. None of those scenarios happen though.

Instead his panties are moved from the couch when he enters and Harry is casually lounging on the couch. He barely even looks up from the screen when the omega enters, only doing so when the door is closed behind him and he has taken off his shoes.

“I put your underwear to wash, hope that next time you don't leave them around. I have good self-control but I'm not going to lie about that affecting me,” the alpha says, glancing at Louis. The omega can scent the slight arousal reeking from the alpha, making him unintentionally bite his lip slightly. How long ago did he come home?

“I'm sorry I was in a hurry,” and what? As if Harry would actually believe that-

“Yeah I get it, no problem,” okay so maybe he did believe him. Huh.

“Yeah,” Louis hums awkwardly, scratching the back of his head. “So what are you watching?” He asks humming, stepping further into the room. It was awkward, the thing was, and he had no idea how to make it not awkward.

“I don’t even know to be honest. Some nature documentary by the look of it,” Harry says with a chuckle, shaking his head. Something about his body language screamed nervousness but Louis couldn’t put his finger on what exactly it was. “I just turned on the telly to fill the silence,” he admits as he glances at the omega.

“Oh,” Louis hums, stopping next to the sofa and looking at the screen. It indeed seemed to be some documentary about rainforests playing and if he was being honest, it seemed really interesting. He stands there awkwardly for a while before he clears his throat and nods to himself. “Okay, well, enjoy your documentary. I’ll go take a shower.” Not waiting for an answer he walks away, going to his room and closing the door behind him. He really needed to take a moment and clear his head, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to pull this off.

 

-

 

Waking up late was something Louis never did. He was always on time, always setting his alarms early enough to make sure that he didn’t over sleep. Once again he blamed it on Harry. How could he not? The alpha was the reason why he couldn’t fall asleep until three am, only four hours before he was supposed to wake up. The noises he had made with his company was just unacceptable. Like they had neighbors for fucks sakes, and none of them were deft. Louis didn’t care how much fun they had been having, no one should be allowed to laugh that loud and hard at three fuking am.

So not only had he woken up late, he had also been late for work and gotten some angry complaints from Jesse, one of the older employees, who had been waiting for him outside. Luckily it wasn’t winter and cold, because that would’ve only made things so much better. Note the sarcasm. They had been in a serious rush trying to get everything done by the time they opened and with some miracle they actually pulled it off. That was three hours ago and Louis was starving. Due to the late start of the morning he had had no time to eat anything. It was rare for him to wish that no customers would show up, but today was one of those days.

He was starting to feel weak and very tired when the real rush hour started. Since he was the one who was late, Jesse had said that it was only fair for him to be the one on cleaning duty. Cleaning wasn't as bad as it maybe seemed, it just meant that he would have to also take drinks to tables and socialize with customers. Like it was fun from time to time but when you had to do it for hours it lost its spark.

With every passing moment he grew more and more nauseous and light headed but he wasn't about to give up. He knew the statistics and everything, he knew that skipping a meal or two wouldn't kill him. It wasn't possible. So he wasn't going to give up just because he wasn't feeling all that well.

For a second he feels remarkably better when he smells a familiar scent in the room. His head snaps to find the source, his nose scrunching up as he sees Harry. And what? His scent shouldn't be soothing for him. The scent of an alpha only became soothing for an omega when they had known them for a long time or had an intimate relationship with the alpha. And with Harry, Louis had neither.

He looks at Harry in confusion flashing a smile as he gets one from the alpha. Assuming that Harry was there to get something to drink, he turns around and focuses back on his work. He is surprised however as the alpha comes to him and places a hand on his hip, getting his attention.

Louis raises his eyebrows at him and subtly steps back so they aren't touching anymore. He didn't want to cause a scene by making a big deal about it, he would do that at home. “What are you doing here?” He asks humming, standing up to face Harry fully.

“I forgot my keys when I went to the gym,” Harry explains, looking sheepish. “And I remembered you telling me that you were at work so I thought I'd come by and you know,” he says, biting his lip as he avoids eye contact.

Louis just now takes a proper look at the alpha, noticing that he indeed had sporty clothes on and was smelling a bit sweaty. “I get off in two hours,” Louis says rubbing his face. “I'll give you my keys if you promise to have food ready for me when I come home. I haven't eaten anything and I'm starving. Thanks to you by the way,” he says annoyed, looking at the alpha.

“Um, how's that my fault?” Harry asks furrowing his eyebrows looking confused. “I didn't make you miss your breakfast or force you to skip your break.”

“But you kind of did with your late night company,” Louis says with an overly sweet smile. “You two kept screaming so I couldn't sleep. So yeah I woke up late because of you.”

Harry's eyes widen and he turns slightly red. He fish mouths at him for a couple of seconds, “I- we didn't, you know…. Have sex- we just, we just laughed you know? She um, she's an alpha too so we wouldn't- she's my best friend and I-”

“Why are you telling me this?” Louis asks raising his eyebrows, cutting off the rambling alpha. He really didn't care about who Harry slept with, he just didn't want to hear about it. “Never mind, can you promise me food on the table? If so give me a minute and I’ll go and get you the keys.”

Not waiting for an answer he gives the rag and disinfection spray to the alpha and turns around, walking to the backroom. He shakes his head as he grabs his keys and gets back. He almost laughs as he sees how lost Harry is looking standing there with cleaning equipment. He walks to him, holding his keys and waiting for him to take them.

“Thank you,” Harry says humming, awkwardly holding the cleaning equipment toward him as he reaches for the keys. “Do you have some specific wishes for the dinner?” He asks biting his lip. “I could go home and drop off some food for you now if you want? You don't look all that good.”

“No you don't have to, I can hang in there for the two hours,” the omega shakes his head as he takes the equipment. “Just make something good, yeah? Something greasy- I don't care, something that fills me up,” he says, some saliva forming in his mouth as he merely thinks about food. “Just make sure that it's ready when I get there. I need to get back to work,” he says dismissively waiving the alpha to leave.

Harry does without much complaining, waving at him by the door before exiting. The headache increases once again after the scent of Harry is gone making Louis groan. He would definitely have to figure out what was happening to him. When he turns to the counter he sees Jesse staring at him with surprised eyes, his mouth basically hanging open. Louis rolls his eyes and raises his eyebrows, having an idea of what was behind the look. And he was proven correct when he was in the back with the alpha, packing their things in order to go home.

“I didn't know that you were mated.”

Louis looks at Jesse with raised eyebrows. “I'm not mated,” he says tonelessly while folding his clothes. “He's my roommate.”

“Oh? I thought that Niall- oh! I get it I get it, good for you,” he says with a wink, chuckling about something under his breath as he slings his bag over his shoulder. “Well explains why you were late and all,” he comments, saying his farewell as he leaves the back.

Louis stares as he goes, completely confused. What was that supposed to mean? How did he know that it had been Harry keeping him up late? He hadn't said anything right? He might have to consult Niall about this and see if he knew something that Louis didn't. If he had talked to Jesse about Harry? It was unlikely but if the omega hated something it was not knowing things so he had to at least try and figure it out. Not proud to admit to himself, but he was ready to go as far as asking Harry. Yes, he could stoop that low. Let's hope that he doesn't have to.

 

-

 

Turns out that Harry was actually a really nice cook considering all things. He had served a killer spaghetti with meatballs, the sauce something Louis couldn't quite describe. Due to the amazingness that was the food, Louis felt just slightly bad about what he was about to do.

You see, Harry had fallen asleep on the couch after insisting that they cuddled after the meal, claiming that he deserved it after he had made food for them. At first Louis thought to say no, but then an idea came to him so he agreed. At first it had been really weird but as time passed it felt nice. Like really nice, weirdly nice- he shouldn't feel like this, nice. So okay maybe he felt slightly bad about it because of the cuddling as well but mainly because of the food.

He walks toward the couch slowly, biting his lip as he tries to keep the sounds to a minimum. It was three am and from what Louis had gathered earlier, Harry was supposed to work at eight. So Louis had changed the time on every clock they had in the flat so it looked like it was already half past eight. Since it was summer it was already starting to get bright outside again, making the timing perfect. Originally he had planned on making the alpha late for his shift but he felt like it was too mean.

Louis had even made himself a cup of tea to make it look even more real, sipping the drink as he stops in front of Harry. He had also changed his clothes for obvious reasons. There was no turning back now, it was all about his abilities to act from now on. He hopes that Niall wasn't over hyping his talent.

Gently shaking Harry's shoulder, Louis leans closer and softly says, “Harry, I think that you should wake up.” He watches Harry scrunch up his nose and furrow his brows, letting out a confused hum. “It's eight thirty, I think that you're going to be late for work.” He barely even has time to finish his sentence before Harry opens his eyes and sits up with such speed that he wonders if the alpha feels dizzy.

“What? No it can't be, I put on my alarm and everything,” Harry says, his eyes snapping to the clock on the wall, his eyes widening as he sees the time. Well the “time”. “Shit,” he mutters under his breath as he rushes up, running to the kitchen to get his phone and then to the vestibule, frantically putting on his shoes. And yes before you wonder, Louis did change the time on Harry's phone as well. Cracking the code had been easy after watching Harry for the day.

Louis can't help but laugh slightly as he watches Harry bolt out of the door, all but slamming it shut. So what he had to wake up in the middle of the night for this, it was so worth it. Especially when Harry came back twenty minutes later with an unimpressed look on his face, flipping the bird on his way to his bedroom. And if he gets woken up by Harry at seven, he had it coming.

The prank war thing was so worth it.

Chapter Text

“Louis what the fuck are you wearing?”

Louis stands up straight and looks at Niall over his shoulder, raising his eyebrows in question. There was nothing wrong with his outfit, the alpha hadn't even commented on it when he had first arrived and that was an hour ago. He looks down on himself, trying to figure out what was making Niall basically lose his mind. “What? You've seen this shirt multiple times during the years we lived together and-”

“No, that's not what I meant and you know that,” Niall huffs sitting up on the barstool next to the counter and points at the hem of his pants. “You are wearing panties, a pair that I discreetly remember you swearing that you would never wear,” his tone wasn't offensive or angry or anything, just matter-of-fact.

The omega looks down at himself blushing as he sees that his pants have ridden a bit low, revealing a sliver of lace. “It's laundry day Ni, and I didn't have any clean underwear left,” Louis explains with his whole neck red as he turns around to finish off with their teas. “And as you know most omegas use panties so this isn’t even that weird,” he huffs. It wasn't like he was lying or anything it was indeed his laundry day so the choice had been between walking around commando or wearing the panties. So he didn't know what got him so embarrassed. Maybe because they were actually really comfortable to wear and they looked really fantastic on him, if he said that himself, even if he never would admit that out loud.

Even if he hated laundry he always made sure to have enough clean clothes so this wouldn't happen. This was the first time it had happened.

“You like them!” Niall chimes brightly. “That's why you're so blushy and defensive about them. You like them- you like wearing them,” he says as if he had solved the greatest mystery of all time.

Louis stays quiet long enough to finish their cuppas before he turns around and hands one of the mugs to the alpha. “Okay you have thirty seconds to make fun of my panties and after that we're going to pretend that this never happened. Starting now, go.”

“Wait, no that's not what I-”

“Twenty-five seconds left.”

“Okay so you know we've always talked about how you're not like the typical omega? Well at this moment you look like a basic omega- you're making me tea and wearing panties- you're acting almost like a housewife,” Niall comments biting his lip. “You haven't even hit me with some weird facts after I stepped into the apartment.”

“First of all that has nothing to do with the panties-”

“Hey I still have ten seconds,” Niall cuts in. “So as I was saying, I think that it has something to do with Harry and this prank war thing. Do you have any new ideas for the pranks?”

“You skipped from subject to subject like a little child, did you know that?” Louis hums, taking a sip of his tea and sighing contently. It tasted perfect. “So you want some facts? Okay, hmm, let me see. Did you know that every year the Moon moves away from Earth by 3.8 centimeters? Or that neutron stars are so dense that a teaspoon of them would be equal to the weight of the entire Earth’s population?” He hums, looking at Niall raising his brows. “Would you like some more?”

“Jesus Louis, what’s gotten you bitchy?” The alpha asks, hiding his mouth behind the rim of his mug. His eyes were pouring into Louis', making him feel like a dick.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” Louis says sighing walking over to sit down next to the alpha. “I can’t sleep for some reason. Like I’m so tired but I just can’t fall asleep,” he explains leaning his head against Niall’s shoulder.

Niall brings his hand to rest on top of Louis’ head, softly running his fingers through his hair. They keep it silent for a moment or two before the alpha speaks up. “Okay well have you tried to call your mom? We both know that sometimes you lose sleep if you feel guilty for not being there for the little ones.”

It was true that Louis got an occasional wave of guilt for living away from his family and not being able to help his mother take care of his siblings. Sure, she had Dan now to help her but it didn’t do much to take the guilt away. He did his best, calling them as often as he could, facetiming each family member once every two weeks, having proper conversations. But that wasn't enough for him and now that he thinks about it, it has been a while since he visited his family or called them. Niall is a genius of his own.

“I kind of hate how well you know me,” Louis mumbles quietly, his voice a bit huffy as he speaks. God he was really cranky now that he thinks about it. “Do you think that we could visit them soon?” He asks softly, pulling back enough to be able to look at Niall. The alpha was a part of the family as well and Louis was sure that his family would love to see Niall as well. They could also visit Niall's while they were at it. Louis was missing Maura as well.

“You don't actually hate it,” Niall points out smiling, booping Louis’ nose to mess with him playfully. “But yeah I miss home too,” he says softly nodding. “How about we wait to see our next work schedule and plan the trip around it?”

“Yeah that sounds like a good plan,” Louis says smiling, leaning his head against Niall's shoulder again. “That sounds amazing,” he hums more to himself than to the alpha. “So about the pranks, I don't have any good ideas how to mess with him. Like I messed with his sleeping rhythm already.”

“How did you do that?”

“I woke up in the middle of the night and convinced him that he was late for work. He hasn't talked to me after that and he basically sleeps with one eye open, that messes with his sleeping rhythm.”

Niall laughs, his shoulder shaking under Louis’ head. “Really? You did that? Amazing!” He says eagerly sipping on his tea. “That's kind of mean but genius! Just be careful that he doesn't do the same to you.”

Yeah maybe Louis should've seen it coming when he suddenly lost his phone and Harry was acting weird all night a couple days later. The alpha had done basically the same thing, save from waking him up from the couch as Louis was sleeping in his own room. But instead of giving Harry the pleasure of coming back after he had realised what was going on, he had gone to Niall's to spend the night. The war was on.

-

Louis was relaxing on the couch, his fluffiest blanket draped over him as he read one of his favourite books, Jack the Ripper Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth. It was a shock to some to hear that he actually read other things apart from science books, but it was true. He was picky about what he read but open to new adventures as well. Harry was home too, doing something in his room. What exactly, was a question that Louis didn't bother to ask, mostly happy to have a quiet setting to read in.

A week had now passed and they were still not talking to each other. It wasn't like a deliberate silent treatment, at least on Louis’ part, but it still happened. Like he didn’t do anything to stop the silence so he was a part of it as much as Harry. He was yet to come up with another prank so he was sticking to their plan to get him sexually confused, which was why he was wearing the panties and one of Harry’s shirts. He had stolen it from Harry a few days ago. It had came out of the washing machine but it still smelled strongly of the alpha. It was really nice actually.

The plan was to go to the kitchen and maybe make some tea or something when Harry came out from his room. If he even did. Louis was pretty confident that the alpha would even if it was later that night. He would just have to wait patiently.

Turns out that he only had to wait for an hour before the door of Harry's room opened and the alpha came out. Immediately Louis was struck with a heady smell of something musky, something that wasn't usually lingering in their house. He couldn't help but to look over his shoulder where Harry was now standing, his chest bare with joggers riding low on his hips. The scent was overpowering now and although it took him embarrassingly long, Louis finally realised what the scent was. It was the alpha’s natural scent with no cologne. God was it addicting.

They stare each other for what feels like an eternity before the alpha speaks up, “That’s my shirt.”

Louis lazily looks away, turning back to his book and pretending to continue his read. “Is it now?” He hums. “I didn’t even notice,” he lies easily as he hears some footsteps near the couch. He glances up over the top of the book, seeing Harry take a seat next to him. Their eyes meet again and Louis looks away.

“That’s a lie. I know it is because you seem like a bit of a control freak. I bet you can remember every single piece of clothing that you own, so you know that that’s not yours,” Harry says flatly. “Do you want to know a secret though? It’s sweet that you’re stealing my clothes, I mean hey every omega nests, so it’s normal. No need to be embarrassed about it.”

Putting the book down for a sec, Louis shoots Harry a look. “Really? You think that I’m nesting?” He asks raising his eyebrows. He kept his voice light so it sounded more like he was amused than angry, which was true. “That’s cute but correct me if I’m wrong. Don’t omegas use clothing from alphas they trust when forming a nest? I mean we live together so there’s some amount of trust of some sort, but don’t you think that if I was to nest I would use Niall’s stuff?”

“Actually no, you wouldn’t because he’s mated. Nice try but I actually do know a thing or two about nesting, I do have a sister you know,” Harry says with a damn smirk on his face, as if he had called Louis out from a lie. Which was kind of the case but not exactly either.

“Just because you have a sister doesn’t automatically mean that she’s an omega though,” Louis points out, accepting the unspoken challenge. If Harry wanted to go down that road, fine. Louis would be more than happy to beat him at his own game. “Assuming that girls are omegas is just as offensive as assuming that every alpha is a dick or that every omega drops to their knees the moment they are complimented. So don’t be offensive.”

“You’ve got a point there,” Harry admits, shifting around to face the omega fully. He still had the smirk plastered on his face and Louis had an urge to smack it away.

“I’ve always got a point, I’m a genius remember?” Louis hums, feeling like he won this battle, continuing to read happily. He’s a bit surprised to note that Harry didn’t continue the banter further.

Harry turns on the TV, skipping channels before settling for some cooking show. The background noise from the show disturbs Louis’ focus so he gives up on his reading and watches the show. He takes it back, it was a baking show of some sort where the contestants were making some crazy gravity defying cakes. It was actually quite interesting to watch, so Louis changes his position to see the screen more comfortably.

“Well he’s a dick,” Louis huffs under his breath as one of the contestants, an alpha named Daniel, continues to brag about his skills when in reality his cake was looking ordinary. He was so arrogant and it rubbed the omega the wrong way.

“I agree,” Harry comments shaking his head. “He's the reason why I hate alphas sometimes. Like do you hear what he says about Ashley? He's a great cook but just because he's an alpha he's being a douche.”

“I have ears but I agree. He's clearly an alphist, as is your friend Nick. How are you friends with him? You seem nothing alike.”

“I've known him since middle school. I was bullied for a few years before Nick transferred and stood up for me. He's a decent guy he just loses all his manners when he sees an omega. It doesn't matter if I told him to knock it off or not, he won't do it. I hope you know that I don't support the stupid things he says even though I don't comment on them,” Harry says quietly.

“I'm sorry that you were bullied,” Louis says softly. “I always had Niall and poor social skills so even if I was bullied I wouldn't have known it before I got in high school. But I would appreciate it if you could comment on his antics. Say that that's not fine. He might not stop but you would have at least stood up for what you believe in,” he hums, turning his attention back to the screen only to find that the show has gone for commercial break. “I'm gonna go make some tea. Would you like some?” Louis had to get his plan going, so might as well get something out of it.

“I’ll try to remember that the next time he does something stupid,” Harry promises his voice sounding genuine. “Oh yes please, that would be nice.”

“Coming right up,” Louis hums throwing the blanket aside before standing up. He could feel the shirt drop down to his thighs, covering his bum enough for it not be too explicit but not enough to cover the lace if he lifted his arms above his head. Which he did when he got Harry’s eyes on him. Why else even bother wearing the panties if the alpha couldn’t see them, right? He can hear the small sharp intake of breath coming from the couch, making him smile lightly before dropping it as he turns around. “Is everything okay?” He asks humming, raising his eyebrows in fake concern.

Harry clears his throat and shoots him thumbs up. “Yeah everything is perfect,” he says with a tight smile. “Um, yeah, so... tea?”

Louis flashes another smile and then makes his way to the kitchen, making sure to sway his hips a bit more than usual. As he brews the tea he can’t help but wonder why he didn’t smell any arousal in the air when the alpha saw him. He seemed affected for sure but he had been expecting something more, something more obvious. He shakes the feeling off however as he gets back with the steaming mug, noticing how the alpha couldn’t seem to take his eyes off his waist. It was petite, what could he say. The small sneaked glances while they watched tv also made him feel like he was overreacting. The alpha was clearly affected. The game was on.

-

“We need some ground rules, you hear me?” Louis says with a stern look, his finger poking Niall’s chest. “Number one, you won’t comment on her hair, she is really insecure about it and I don’t want her to feel like she looks ugly. Number two, no football talk. I don’t want to rip you and Dan apart just because neither one of you knows what’s a good football club. And number three-”

“I have visited your family before, you remember that? Like I practically shared your childhood, we were always hanging out either at yours or mine. I know your family, I know how to act around them,” Niall chuckles with a fond glint in his eye. “I know about Lottie’s new hair, I was there when you facetimed her.”

Louis sighs and slumps against the alpha. “But I want everything to go well. I’ve missed them so much,” he whines quietly. They were standing in front of the front door of his childhood home. They hadn’t knocked on the yet as Louis was a nervewreck. He was also quite sure that Jay was already standing behind the door waiting for him to be ready to come in. He also knew that she wouldn’t say anything about it, just happily welcome him in with her arms wide open.

“I know and they have missed you too,” Niall says softly, gathering the omega in his arms, pulling him close. He could sense that Louis was in the need of some comfort and physical contact. “I have missed them too.”

“Sorry that I’m such a whiner today,” Louis apologizes, snuggling close. He wasn’t sure if he was just really homesick of if he was actually sick, but either way he needed to be close to someone. “I know that you didn’t sign up for this.”

Niall swats his shoulder and huffs. “I signed up for this the second we became friends so shut up. How many times you’ve seen me all weepy and sad? Way more than I have seen you that’s for sure. So why don't you just relax?”

“Okay,” Louis says humming lightly, closing his eyes. “Thank you.”

“Your welcome. Now why don’t we go in before your mother thinks that we are thinking about bailing?” The alpha asks playfully, nudging Louis to stand upright, ignoring the huff that came in his way. “Now go on, open the door and give your mother a hug.”

Niall barely got to finish his sentence before the door was already open with Jay standing there with her arms wide open. Louis sniffs slightly as he hugs her, squeezing tightly. All his inhibitions flew out of the window what came to skin to skin contact, this was different, he had needed this. The hug goes on for minutes, their tight hold not loosening for a moment. When they do eventually pull back it’s because the Tomlinson siblings came over and demanded some hugs. After the usual ‘I miss you’s’ and ‘when do you move back home’s’ were done, they took it inside where they gathered into the living room.

The younger set of twins had just learned to walk so they were buzzing everywhere, picking up their toys and sticking them in Louis’ face as if he didn’t see them otherwise. And despite it being slightly annoying Louis couldn’t shake off the smile from his face. He loved being home surrounded by his family in his childhood home. At some point Jay came back into the room with tea in a large pot for them to pour from into their mugs and well, just enjoy the warm drink. Louis couldn’t tell what it was about her tea that brought back memories from his early days. She had a secret when it came to brewing tea and it made a major difference to the taste. Like sure, Louis could brew some killer tea himself but not quite as good as his mother. He would have to spy her sometime.

Eventually his younger siblings get bored with the guests and carry on with their normal tasks, Lottie going out with her friends, Fizzy continuing studying and the both sets of twins playing some board game. It gave Louis and Niall the opportunity to excuse themselves out side to the patio, relaxing in the couches set there.

“So you haven’t told me much about your new housemate love, what is he like?” Jay opens the conversation with a soft voice, the corners of his mouth slightly curved upward. “Niall has given me some hints when we facetime but I want to hear about it from you,” she says humming.

Louis glares at Niall playfully before turning to his mother. “Well he is okay, really… neat. Like he does my laundry as well if I leave it laying around the bathroom,” he says wondering how to describe the alpha. “And like he has the worst jokes, I’m telling you, but he’s happy and okay. A bit cuddle deprived from time to time but nothing too much.” And okay this was almost nearing rambling, he should stop. “But yeah he’s fine, like nothing compared to Niall but just fine.”

“Then what the whole prank war thing is about?” She asks and that’s when Niall has the courtesy to blush a little. “I don't know what you youngsters feel like is the norm with the people you like these days, but isn't pranks usually reserved to people you don't like?”

“Actually the common misconception is that boys prank the people they like,” Louis can't help but point out before sipping his tea. “But Harry works for the competing café across the street and like it started out as fun games I think? It's nothing too serious, we're not that invested in this as you'd think,” he says with a shrug. Well they would be if they could just come up with decent pranks to do. “I guess what I mean is that you don’t have to give me a lecture on how to treat people. I know to treat them with kindness.”

“You know that I don’t do lectures darling, you’ve never been one to need them,” Jay says smiling softly, fondness clear in her eyes. “But don’t think for a second that I won’t start giving you some if you forget your manners,” she threatens playfully. “But in all seriousness, as long as you’re happy and feel safe living with him, then I’m okay. Not that I would mind seeing his face on facetime or something like that,” she adds with a hum. Even though her tone was light and neutral, Louis could hear the suggestion slash order behind the wording.

“I’ll see if he happens to be around the next time I call you,” Louis promises. “But enough about me already. How’s things going here? Is everything okay? Any boyfriends I should know about?”

Niall snorts on his left but Louis dismisses the sound. This was important. “Well Lottie has been hanging out with this boy Tommy, who is a sweet boy,” Jay says smiling. “I think that you would like him, he reminds me of Niall sometimes.”

“But I wouldn’t want Niall to date my little sister,” Louis furrows his eyebrows in confusion. “Nothing against you Ni, but it would be almost the same as I dated her and that would be just wrong. You’re almost like her second big brother.”

“Ew, I wouldn’t want to date her,” Niall says scrunching up his nose. “Like you said she’s like family.”

“I don’t think that you got my point love,” Jay says cutting off their hoffied rambling. “I meant that I think that you would like him. He is the type of an alpha you thought that she would fall in love with. He is smart, caring and has a similar sense of humor as her. And he’s a few years older-”

“No, that’s not okay. He could be taking advantage of her,” Louis immediately shakes his head. “Lottie shouldn’t even be dating yet.”

Jay blinks at him for a few times. “Didn’t you just want to know about their boyfriends?” She asks with amused tone. “And besides she’s eighteen, remember? I was eighteen when I had you,” she reminds softly. And okay, Louis had to admit that she had a point. “Also Tommy is twenty so it isn’t even that big of an age difference.”

“Fine… I want to meet him though,” Louis gives up, pursing his lips. “But if I don’t approve of him, I’ll let everyone know.”

“We wouldn’t expect anything else from you,” Jay chuckles sweetly.

And it turned out that Jay was right, Louis and Tommy got along excellently. Lottie had clearly spoken about his genius and sarcastic tendencies because Tommy had no trouble keeping up with his bursts of knowledge. The meeting went so well actually that after he had left, Louis had encouraged Lottie to keep the alpha around as long as possible. In return Lottie had demanded Louis to find someone at all, to which Louis had promised to look into the matter. And if he got some great ideas for pranks from his younger siblings, well it was just an icing on the cake.

-

It was like Harry knew that Louis was planning on messing with his stuff, staying home more than he usually did during the week. When the omega finally had a chance to do anything it was already a week after he had come back home from visiting his family. And to even get the possibility he had to wake up early as hell to get everything ready on time. He was planning on doing two things instead of one. First he was going to fill Harry's blow dryer with some baby powder and then if he had time, sprinkle some itching powder onto his work uniform.

He got up from his bed the second he heard the front door open and close. He had an hour before Harry would come back from his run. Louis never understood why the alpha preferred to keep most of his items in the main bathroom when he had an ensuite but in moments like these it was just better.

It doesn't take him long to find the blow dryer from the the cabinet and when he does he takes it out. He pulls out the baby powder as well, opening the cap careful not to get any of the powder on the floor. Once he succeeds he balances the dryer between his thighs and starts squishing the baby powder. He has no idea how much to put there so he puts quite a lot, then placing everything as it was and covering his tracks. Once he is happy with his work he leaves the bathroom in order to go to Harry's room.

Despite knowing that Harry was out he is still careful as he enters. He closes the door behind himself walking towards the armchair where he sees the work uniform laid on. He takes out the itching powder, being careful not to get it on himself as he sprinkles it on top of the clothes. He then blows over them so the powder isn't on the display as clearly, before deeming that he was done and leaves the room.

Louis makes his way back to his room, getting under the covers trying to get back to sleep. He was too curious and excited to see Harry's reaction on the prank. He couldn't though because he had to pretend to be innocent and asleep in order to keep the alpha into the fake sense of security and fall for the pranks. Since it was now clear that he couldn't fall back asleep any time soon he started counting seconds to keep himself occupied. He got to two hundred before the door was opened again.

His heartbeat picked up as he heard the steps pass his room and the bathroom door open and close. Louis turns onto his back and stares at the ceiling while he listens to the shower to start. He plays with his fingers as he waits for Harry to be done. After what he estimates was fifteen minutes the shower finally goes off, meaning that the alpha was done with the shower. Louis can't help but bite his lip as he waits for the blow dryer to come alive. And well he doesn't have to wait long before there's a loud shriek carrying down the hall.

Louis can't even react before there's a lot of cursing going on and loud steps nearing his room. His eyes shut immediately and he rolls onto his side, curling into a ball, hoping that it looked like he was sleeping when Harry entered without knocking, switching the lights on. He focused trying to make his act as real as possible prepared for some yelling that never comes. Instead he gets a heavy body landing on top of him and a baby powdery mess of hair against his cheek. He can't help but shriek, wiggling as much as he can, trying to get Harry's weight off him but in vain. Harry was bigger.

“Why?” Harry murmurs against his ear, keeping his body pressed tight against Louis’ reaching for the omega’s hands to keep him properly down.

Louis huffs but doesn't stop moving, determined to get the alpha off. “Why what? You wake me up in the middle of the night and assume that I know the answer to your weird questions that doesn't even make sense,” he sniffs dramatically. “What happened to your hair? That's the question I'm interested of.”

Harry laughs humorlessly shaking his head so some of the disgusting water baby powder mix lands on the omega. “You expect me to believe that you had nothing to do with this? When I used the blow dryer last night and it was perfectly fine?”

“Not guilty until proven otherwise,” Louis points out, going lax in Harry's arms as it was clear that he wouldn't get away now. “What if you walked in your sleep and accidentally dropped baby powder? That could happen,” he says with the fakest toke ever. Like who would even believe that. “Now can you get off me? You smell disgusting.”

“I just showered, I can't smell bad,” Harry huffs, giving Louis a bit more space but still keeping him still. “And even if I did it's your fault.”

“No, baby powder doesn't actually smell like anything so even if it was me to put it there it wouldn't cause you to stink,” Louis says matter-of-factly, looking at the alpha. Or well more like the top of his head but still. “But seriously can you get off me, I'm still in my pyjamas as you can see and this is getting weird.”

Harry lifts his head to look properly down on Louis, his eyes widening the slightest as he slowly lets his eyes wander. And before Louis can even react, Harry is already off him leaving a scent of heavy arousal behind him- which what? Louis had basically been naked in front of the damn alpha and the sight he gets turned on by is him all sleepy in his pyjamas? Before he can question the alpha about the matter though, Harry is already walking away, muttering how he would get his revenge. He shuts down the lights as the door closes behind him, leaving the omega in the darkness.

Unable to shake the feeling off Louis walks to the door and locks it, just in case Harry falls for the next part of the prank. It turns out that he does, trying to come in but failing due to Louis’ prediction. And it should all be fun and games but Louis can't even enjoy his success too focused on what had just happened. Like seriously. What had just happened?

Chapter Text

Addiction was a strong word, but it had came to the point where Louis was addicted. He had subscribed to four pranksters on youtube in the span of two hours, watching their videos to get more information. When he had realised that doing smaller pranks worked, he was determined to find more of them. So far he had found a few great ones along with some really bad ones that didn’t even make any sense, and  a few really good ones he was going to try out. Ever since the latest prank he had pulled on Harry, the alpha had been avoiding him like the plague. Considering how things went down, Louis assumed that it was mainly because of Harry’s arousal and not because of the prank. That’s why Louis had decided to lay off the sexual confusion plans for a while.

After two more hours of research he finally closes his laptop and stands up from his bed. He groans softly and cracks his back as he stretches, his muscles screaming from being cramped in the same position for so long. It made him feel a bit old but Louis was nothing if not ignorant towards these kinds of feelings so he just shrugged it off. Feeling the need to stretch his legs he walks out of his room and into the kitchen, greeting Harry with a nod as he walks past him and to the fridge.

Since Harry was the one who had done the shopping last time the fridge was filled with fresh fruit and juices. It sometimes amazed Louis how Harry could be so buff when he ate like this. He pulls out a banana and closes the fridge, leaning against the counter as he peels the fruit. He takes a bite while checking out what Harry was doing, his cheeks flushing slightly as they make eye contact. He keeps it cool though, munching away trying to seem like he's not affected.

Harry on the other hand. His eyes seemed to be glued to Louis’ mouth as the omega eats, his own bottom lip trapped between his teeth. Louis raises his eyebrows at him and as if he was electrocuted Harry quickly looks away and continues with whatever he was doing. Which appears to be cutting some kale. The omega immediately scrunches his nose as he sees it. Kale was healthy yeah but it tasted like crap and Louis wanted nothing to do with it. He wasn't all that surprised that Harry was eating it.

“Is there a reason you're looking at my food like it has killed your family?” Harry asks suddenly, his eyes fixed on Louis and his hands stilled against the counter. The omega hadn't even noticed that the alpha had stopped moving.

“Huh? Oh, I hate kale,” Louis says after his mouth is empty of the banana. “I could list all the good things it's supposed to do to you, but I still hate it. It tastes just- ugh,” he shivers dramatically. “Like sure one cup of the disgusting thing has only 36 calories and 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. And it is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. And don't even get me started on how it's also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium-”  

“Wait, I thought you hated it?” Harry chuckles, looking at the omega in amusement. “Because it sounds like you are trying to convince me to eat it.”

“I do, it's horrible. It doesn't mean that I don't recognize its benefits,” Louis points out taking another bite of his banana. He should add the fruit into the shopping list. Bananas were delicious. “Did you make any tea? My head is starting to hurt.” What? He had only drank like four cups and it was already past five. He needed his refill.

“The water is already boiling,” Harry hums, pointing at the kettle. “While you went on and on about the kale the magic happened,” he says playfully, moving the cut kale to a bowl.

“Oh yeah,” Louis breathes, glancing over his shoulder as he just now hears the water boiling to his right. He didn't know how he missed it. “So what have you done today? Anything interesting?”

Harry raises his eyebrows as he looks at the omega and just shrugs. “Well I was at work and learned to use our vacuum,” he says. “Oh and I found a killer smoothie recipe so that was nice. What have you done all day? You haven't even left your room as far as I can tell,” he points out as if he had every right to do so.

“The term killer is correct- based on the ingredients you put in it it will kill you with its taste,” Louis says humming, unable to let it go. “I've been studying,” he says, not even lying. “Something you should- wait, we have a vacuum? I thought that Niall took it with him.”

“Um we do? It's right in the cleaning closet, the first thing you see actually,” the alpha says biting his lip. “Do you even know where that is?”

No. “Of course I do, I've lived here longer than you,” Louis huffs, looking away as the water is finally ready. He throws a look over his shoulder at Harry, mumbling something about disrespect as he starts brewing his tea. He can hear the soft chuckle coming from the other side of the room, but he ignores it, focusing on getting his cuppa ready so he could go back to his room.

“Care to show me where it is then?” Harry hums, amusement clear in his voice as he walks to the smoothie blender, located next to Louis. “I mean if you know where it is and everything.”

Louis shoots the alpha a dirty look pouring the tea to his mug and taking a sip. Damn it was so good. “No,” he says simply, putting the water away without asking Harry if he wanted some. “Now if you'll excuse me I have some studying to do,” he says already walking away before Harry could say anything smart.

Walking to his room he makes a small detour to the hall leading to Harry's room, making sure that he didn't see him as he opens a few doors. On his second try he finds the cleaning supply closet, smiling to himself. “Mind showing me, my ass,” he mumbles to himself as he closes the door and makes his way back to his room. And if there's a loud, honky laugh to be heard, well, it didn't matter.

-

“That might be the craziest thing I have ever heard you say and I have heard some crazy shit from you,” Louis says shaking his head. “There's no way that would work.”

“You can't say that before we try it,” Niall points out putting his hand on his hip, mimicking Louis’ stance. “We just need a proper plan for it, that's all. We can pull it off Lou, just think about it.”

Louis rolls his eyes. “That's why I'm saying that it's not possible. I've already thought of every single outcome there is,” he says confidently. He rarely said that something was impossible but this was just some next level stuff. “How did you even come up with this?”

“I watched some prank videos on YouTube and got inspired,” Niall says like he couldn't be bothered with the subject. “But it doesn't even matter. What matters is that we can do it! Louis please, just think about it yeah? With your brains and my fabulous idea this could work out. We just need to plan this correctly.”

“I don't know how you think that we are going to be able to shut down the power from Harry's café without getting caught? Like isn't the main power source inside the café, in the backroom or something?” Louis asks, wording the whole thing so Niall could hear how ridiculous it was. Because let's face it, with the pranks Louis had been pulling on Harry, the alpha would get extremely suspicious if the power went off while Louis and Niall were inside. So it couldn't work.

“Just because it is in our café doesn't mean that it's like that everywhere else,” Niall points out. “And we could get some help? I'm sure that we could coax Liam into helping. He's such a sucker for a bit of puppy dog eyes, especially from you.”

It was true, Liam could rarely say no when someone was giving him the puppy dog eyes. And besides he was their friend, so. “If you get Liam to agree to this-”

“He already said yes when I asked-”

“Then why did you even- never mind. It's still not a yes,” Louis says trying to sound all stern but based on the shit eating grin on Niall's face he didn't succeed at all. “Ni, I'm being serious. Do you know how hard it would be to succeed at that?”

Niall grins some more, “You notice that you have gone from impossible to really hard? I knew that you'd come around Lou,” the alpha smiles, reaching for Louis for a hug. The omega goes in easy, not bothering to act like he didn't like it. “We can pull it off, I can feel it. We just need a proper plan and Liam is going to help us with it.”

A real, solid plan, Louis would like to add but it was pointless since the alpha most likely knew already. So he just settles for leaning against Niall's shoulder, breathing in the familiar scent. They had agreed to meet at Niall's this time, since the last few times they had been at Louis and Harry's. It was a nice change.

 

 

A few hours later they had a plan and a date agreed upon. Louis and Niall would be working when the deed went down so they wouldn't be the first suspects on the matter. Liam had gotten a friend to help him with the whole ordeal, one who knew a thing or three about technology and power chords. And well, when the day rolled around it was perfect because it was raining heavily outside and there was a promise of a thunderstorm on the news. The perfect conditions to play out their plan.

During their shift Louis and Niall shared looks between them and the clock, waiting for something to happen. Since it was raining there wasn't that many people in the café, most preferring to stay at home and relax. They hadn't agreed on a time when they would go through with the prank so it was a waiting game for them. A waiting game that involved Liam and his friend coming to the café to tell them the news. Whether it worked or not.

Two hours in the cafe was pretty much dead with its one and only customer sitting in the corner booth with their laptop and second cup of coffee. There was nothing to do so Louis and Niall were standing behind the counter, trying to predict how long Liam and his friend Josh would take. They weren't aware of the final plan the duo had made after finding the power source, only the basics. The assumption was that in no later than an hour the duo should be arriving with either good or bad news. Best case scenario the café would be closed for a few hours, unable to take any customers in. This was the only part where the rainy weather was bad- there wasn't a lot of customers in the first place so they wouldn't lose all that much.

“Do we know when they are going?” Niall asks looking bored as ever, playing with the knot on his apron. “Like if they have arrived yet or if they're still at their place planning out the whole ordeal,” he hums looking at Louis expectantly.

Louis can only offer a shrug, “I don't know Ni. We didn't agree on a specific time, we just agreed that they would be doing it while we were working, yeah? So they still have like,” he pauses to glance at the clock, “four to five hours, depending on whether or not they're fast,” he shrugs again. “But if I had to throw in a wild guess, I'd say that we are pretty close with our guess. They should be here in an hour if you ask me.”

“Who knew that slow days could actually be this boring?” Niall groans tilting his head back so he was staring at the ceiling. “Like this might be the worst day ever.”

Louis chuckles patting Niall on the back. “Aw it's not though. Remember that one time in middle school when you first talked to Lisette? You were so nervous when you approached her that you started the conversation with…” he gives the alpha a chance to say his line first but when he gets a glare he knows that he has to do it himself. “ I don't know why people say that you look like Sandra Bullock, I think that you're more of a Gerard Butler. She got so mad that she slapped you in front of the whole school basically and left crying,” he can't help but chuckle. It had been tragic but really funny. “That must have been worse than this.”

“Why do you enjoy my pain?” Niall groans looking at Louis with the tiniest smile on his lips. “Well now that we are on the subject of embarrassing childhood stories, what about the one time with Steven, huh? You embarrassed the poor alpha with your analysis.”

Okay so here's what happened. On their second year of highschool their class was doing Secret Santa for Christmas. They had all been assigned a person to give an anonymous present to, hence the name Secret Santa. And well Steven Roth had gotten Louis. On the day that they were supposed to hand over the presents, Louis had been doing his profiling on the gifts, pretty much analysing who was getting something nice and who was not. And while he was doing that he came across a really nicely wrapped one. He had made a huge scene in front of the class about how the present was clearly wrapped carefully and with intention, signalling that it was meant for someone special. That the person giving it had feelings for the recipient.

The whole class had been curious of who it was that was going to get the gift, as was Louis, but none of them had been prepared for the omega to get it. So when he did he had been immediately embarrassed, feeling kind of bad especially when they revealed who was giving who and what. Steven had been so embarrassed that he didn’t come to school for a week.

“It wasn't my fault okay?” Louis says furrowing his brows. “How was I supposed to know that it was for me?” He asks.

“Oh there was no way of knowing, I'm not saying that there was,” Niall says grinning. “Just saying that the way you confronted him was hilarious.”

“I was just trying to make him feel better,” Louis huffs.

“By telling him the average amount of rejections happening every year?”

“Leave me alone,” Louis mumbles flushing slightly as he turns to the coffee machine. He didn't have the greatest social skills and the alpha knew it. “Do you want another cup of tea?” He asks changing the subject. They had already drank like four cups each.

“No, I think that I would actually die if I had another one,” Niall shakes his head, going back to being bored. “But thanks.”

“Sure,” Louis hums, making himself a cup anyway, just to have something to do with his hands. Niall was right when he said that this might be the slowest and the most boring shift they had ever had.

 

 

“Finally! What took you so long?”

“The electric circuit was a lot more complex than we thought so it took a while. We didn't want to permanently shut down the electricity,” Josh answers for the both of them, walking to the front. “You're welcome by the way, they didn't even suspect a thing,” he smiles.

“How can you be sure about it?” Louis asks curiously, placing two cups of coffee in front of the two men. “Like you can't see inside of their minds or anything.”

“Well the other one muttered something along the lines of damn the rain so I'm pretty sure that we're in the clear,” Josh laughs taking the cup with a thank you. “So it's pretty dead here, yeah? They had a bit busier day there than here.”

“Just like four customers more than you guys,” Liam chimes in, clearly trying to make it seem less bad. He was in on the loop on what was happening. “They sent everyone home after fifteen minutes of trying to figure out what was wrong. They called some tech guy who was busy till tomorrow so they had to close.”

Louis raises his eyebrows. “So they just made that decision just like that?”

“No they called their boss who said that it was a good idea apparently,” Liam shrugs. “I don't know but they're closed at least until tomorrow.”

Niall and Louis share a look and high five each other enthusiastically. “And you said that we couldn't pull this off,” Niall huffs as he pulls Louis into a headlock, playfully mussing his hair. He doesn't stop even when a new customer enters the café and looks up at the menu. He does let go when they approach the counter and make direct eye contact with the alpha.

While Niall takes the payment Louis prepares the order, a latte and a blueberry scone. It was a rather good looking dish, minus the coffee, and he felt pretty proud of the leaf on top of the milk foam he made. The customer thanks him with a smile that looked really lame and takes a seat next to their old customer with the computer. Apparently they know each other because as soon as he sits down they won't stop talking. Great.

“Technically, Liam and Josh pulled this off. We just gave them the idea,” Louis points out now that they were kind of alone again. “All credits should go to them.”

“Or you could give us some cake and we can call it even,” Liam smiles pointing at the red velvet cake they had on display. Louis rolls his eyes playfully as he moves to take two pieces of the cake, about to put them on plates when the alpha interrupts him. “To go, please. We promised to help Zayn with his art after we were done here.”

“Busy day then?” Niall hums, helping Louis to get the bags for the goodies. “What is he working on now? Something cool?” They rarely understood the fine aspects of Zayn's art seeing as none of them were actually artists themselves but they could appreciate the hard work Zayn put behind his work.

“Something involving paint, that's all I know,” Liam shrugs taking the cake bags happily. “Thanks guys and oh, let us know how it all goes down yeah? Can't wait to hear what he thinks about it,” he says referring to Harry.

Louis and Niall promise to keep them updated on the matter, mockfully waving them out as they clutch onto their free food. It gets boring for a while after that before Harry and a man Louis had never seen before enter their café. They hadn't seen Louis yet, so the omega tries to go for an escape but Niall stops him by telling him that he is going to take his break now because it's quiet. Yeah right as if that's the reason. When the omega turns back to the counter his eyes meet with Harry's, whose eyes light up for some reason. Louis smiles back tightly as the two approach him, pulling out their wallets as they do. They were going to stay then.

“What can I get you?” Louis asks placing his hands flat against the countertop, going for a semi formal welcome. He gets a bit suspicious when Harry flashes him an entirely too bright smile all of a sudden.

“Can I please get a semi-iced half caramel, half vanilla decaf latte with no foam, using fresh almond milk with a small swirl of whipped cream, covered in a pinch of cinnamon and a fresh cherry?”

“...No? What the fuck?” Louis looks at Harry like he has gone crazy. “Just- no. That's not even a thing, not going to happen. You can go and make that at your own café.”

Harry's friend, an alpha by the smell of it, gapes at Louis, clearly taken aback the omega's back talk. “The power went out at ours so we had to close early. And cmon, I got inspired by one of our customers today. It actually smelled pretty good when she ordered it,” Harry says humming, looking slightly down at Louis. “Please? Just this once. I'll do the dishes for a month?” He suggests as if he didn't do them in the first place.

“You already do them,” Louis has to point out, just has to. “But if I get full control of the telly for the next month then I will consider it,” he hums thoughtfully, not really thinking that Harry would agree to it.

“Wait- you two know each other?” Harry's friend asks, looking between the two. Well he wasn't the smartest, Louis takes notice.

Harry smiles bright as ever, clearly pleased about the change of subject. “Yes this is my roommate Louis. Louis this is my coworker Mitch,” he introduces them, with the ridiculous smile on his face. “I can't believe I didn't think of introducing you before,” he says more to himself than anything.

“Hi, nice to meet you,” Mitch says holding his hand out for Louis who bites his lip.

“Sorry I don't shake hands, there's just too many germs and stuff,” Louis answers, doing his best to sound apologetic. Luckily Mitch doesn't question it just pulls his hand back and shrugs. “But hi it's nice to meet you too,” he says to clear up the air. “So what can I get you. Anything reasonable?” He asks glancing at Harry so the alpha would know that his request was absolutely insane.

Mitch furrows his brows and looks between them as if there was an interesting puzzle to solve. “Do you have any chai tea? If not then I'll take a coffee,” he asks turning to look at the omega while he orders.

“How about a chai latte?” Louis suggests. “I can give you chai tea if you'd prefer that over the latte, but then again they are basically the same thing,” he hums thoughtfully.

“Chai latte sounds good. Can you make it to go please?” Mitch asks, smiling as Louis agrees. So not staying then. The alpha holds out his card when Louis gives him the grand total. Louis swipes the card before making his drink, taking his sweet time with it. He wanted it to taste good and no, it had nothing to do with the fact that the alpha seemed nice. He reminded him of Niall a bit for some reason. He also had the awkward and shy vibe to him so it immediately was something Louis liked.

When the drink was ready he gave it to the alpha with a more genuine smile now. He blinks a few times when Mitch says goodbye to Harry before walking away without the latter alpha. What? “You're not going with him?” Louis asks looking away from Mitch's back.

“Nope, I thought that I'd stay here and hang out with you till you got off,” Harry explains smiling. “And before you say how you can't hang out because you're at work, I'd like to point out that there aren’t all that many customers here. You can spare a bit of time talking to me.”

“And the reason that I can't do that at home?” Louis asks raising his eyebrows. He wasn't as annoyed as he might have seemed, more curious than anything. Harry was a character that wasn't as easy to read as other people. It was challenging and fascinating at the same time.

“Because when we're at home you avoid me by staying in your room,” Harry says simply, moving to lean against the counter so their faces were closer together. “So if I get on board with your demand of getting control of the telly will you make me the drink?” He asks changing the subject once more.

Louis squints his eyes but agrees in the end, but only in the name of getting control of the telly. Not because of Harry's puppy eyes even though a part of his brain tries to tell him otherwise. The drink was surprisingly easy to make, it only took some calculating to get the perfect ratio of vanilla and caramel into the drink. When it's ready he feels weirdly proud of himself. “So are you planning on just standing there and staring at me while you drink?” Louis asks amused as a minute passes in quiet.

“Sorry what? I didn't hear you, I was too focused on the flavour. How the hell is this so good?” Harry asks, sounding genuinely curious about it. Ah that's a sound Louis loves.

“It has so much sugar in it that it makes your brain think that it must be good,” Louis throws a wild guess. “You rarely eat any sugar so that might be it?”

“So you're basically saying that this is not actually good?” Harry raises his eyebrows.

“Yeah something like that.”

“Someday I'm going to make you taste this. Not today though because I'm going to enjoy every single bit of this,” Harry declares with a determined look in his eyes. “Hmm but enough of this. I dare you to play twenty questions with me,” he says, changing the subject once again. This was what? The third time he had done it in fifteen or so minutes? That must be a record of some sort.

“Twenty questions? What even is that? Is that a real thing?” Louis asks trying to find any traces of memory regarding that game. Nothing.

“It's basically a game where we ask each other questions and the other one has to answer honestly,” Harry explains.

“And how's that any different from a normal conversation?” Louis asks furrowing his eyebrows, making a valid point in his opinion. “Do you lie if I ask you something when we are not playing or something?” He questions.

“No it's just- never mind,” Harry says shaking his head and taking a gulp of his drink. “Do you want to go first or do you want me to?” He asks trying to get the game going.

“Why do you want to play with me?” Louis asks raising his brows, starting with a simple question.

“Because I want to get to know you,” Harry answers without any prompting. “And I feel like this is the easiest way to do so,” he adds with a tiny shrug of his shoulders.

Louis gets confused, “What do you mean by that?”

“Hey, it's my turn to ask a question,” Harry grins playfully. “So why did you agree to play with me if you think that it’s silly?” He asks humming, taking a sip of his drink while he waits for Louis to react in some way.

That was actually a good question, because Louis didn’t have an answer. He did indeed think that it was silly but he went for it anyways. For what? Because he was curious? “I don't know to be honest. I guess I'm just curious and wanted to see what you would come up with?” He says with a light shrug. He was feeling quite twitchy all of a sudden so he moved to make himself a cup of tea. “So what did you mean by you thought that this was the easiest way?” He asks looking over his shoulder, ignoring how Harry's eyes were on his bum apparently.

“Huh? Oh curiosity killed the cat or how does the saying go?” Harry chuckles lightly, looking up at Louis’ eyes. “Well I mean, you're quite… how can I express this without offending you… you're quite scary? Well not scary but like intimidating in your own way. I would never dare to disturb your alone time, that kind of scary,” the alpha struggles with his wording. “And like that's why I couldn't have asked you to do this at home-”

“That's not what I-”

“I was getting there. You are also the most competitive person I've ever met so I thought that making it a game would make you more willing to try it,” Harry explains smiling. “Did that answer your question?”

"Mhm it did,” Louis has to admit. “I don't know why you'd say that I'm competitive though,” he hums taking a small gulp of his tea, hissing slightly as it was too hot. His tongue was hurting so he subtly tries to stick his tongue out to cool it down without Harry seeing.

Harry laughs rather loudly at that, attracting the attention of their two customers. He smacks his hand over his mouth and glances at the table, apologizing with a charming smile before awkwardly turning back to Louis. “So that might have been the funniest thing I've ever heard,” he says shaking his head. “But yeah, on the first or second day of us living together we were in the living room watching a game show or something and you literally said yes under your breath when I got the answer wrong and you got it right. I swear that I saw you do a bit of a happy dance as well.”

“As if you were any better,” Louis huffs under his breath. “It's your turn to ask the question,” he hums changing the subject. He was so not competitive.

“What's your favourite colour?” Harry asks humming, looking genuinely curious to know such an insignificant thing.

Sure, Louis was open about his color blindness but this wasn't the kind of setting he wanted to talk about it. As if there was a setting he did it happily. “Is that really what you want to spend your question on? Asking about my favourite colour?” He asks playing it off coolly.

“Yes actually. I need to know what colour flowers you want inside the house,” Harry says seriously, determined look in his eyes. Okay so he was passionate about this.

“Blue or yellow. Those should be easy enough to find yeah?” Louis suggests, just throwing random colours in the air. It didn't matter anyways. “I care more about the breed than the colour anyways.”

“What kind would you like in the house then?”

“Myanmar. Have you heard of those? They are really beautiful, Barbara used to bring them all the time,” Louis smiles at the memories. They were truly stunning flowers. “But yeah enough of the flower talk,” he hums before Harry could go into detail of how much he knew about flowers or something. “Are you ready to admit some really embarrassing stuff?” He asks with a playful smile.

Harry pretends to roll up his sleeves as he matches the look with Louis’. “Bring it on.”

-

He never thought that he could forget how much he loved To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee but apparently that was possible. It was such a beautifully written book about human behavior- innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. It was one of the few works of fiction he rather enjoyed reading, so it came to him as a shock that he had forgotten about even owning it. He had found it on his bookshelf among many others while he was cleaning. The act had stopped rather quickly though as he opened the book and started reading.

His room was a mess from the reorganizing so he had moved to the living room with his favourite blanket, shocker, and made himself comfortable. He was so focused on the story that he wasn't even craving for tea, which was a rare thing. Another thing that he was ignorant towards was that he was not home alone- Harry was there as well. He was quite certain that Mitch was with him but then again he hadn't left his room in a few hours so what did he know, right?

Not even the fact that he had pulled his glasses on before he had started, the ones that always slid down his nose when he was facing down, could pull him away from the all consuming words.

It seems to me, that love could be labeled poison and we’d drink it anyways.

Louis can't help but huff as he reads those words, shaking his head unconsciously. He agreed with Atticus as he did with most of the things that he did or said. To him, Atticus represents morality and reason in the book so it's naturally the character he feels most connected to. Well, as connected as you can feel to a fictional character. He had read the line a few times already but it still made him huff slightly.

242 pages later, Louis felt the couch dip down next to his feet, making his position change the slightest. He furrows his brows and pouts slightly, determinedly ignoring when Harry says his name and pokes his shin. He continues to do so even when Harry repeats his name multiple times and continues to poke his leg. Not even when the alpha gets down on his knees next to him, and almost pushes his face against Louis’ cheek, just staring at his profile, did he pay attention to him. He would finish this book, even with the alpha uncomfortably close to him. Not sparing a glance he slightly moved closer to the cushions and away from the alpha, getting a bit more space. Harry didn't move with him, luckily.

The alpha did however continue to poke and call his name, his spirit not deterred. “Lou, acknowledge me,” he whines, poking the omega's thigh. “Louuu.”

“I'm reading,” Louis mumbles under his breath, loud enough for Harry to hear him properly. He wanted to focus on this, Harry could wait a while. “You can entertain yourself while I read,” he points out.

This comment gets him about a minute of peace and quiet until Harry, once again, pokes him, this time at his cheek. This causes Louis to sigh and turn to look at Harry for the first time since he entered the room. The smile on Harry's face isn't apologetic in the least, more childlike happiness than anything else. His hair was mussed softly on his forehead and his eyes were looking a bit hazy as if he had just woken up. “Hi,” Harry says with a soft murmur, placing his chin on Louis’ arm. “Can we cuddle? I know that you don't like touches but I need to cuddle something and I broke my body pillow-”

“How do you even break a body pillow? More importantly where did you even get one? Don't they sell those in heat stores only?” Louis asks humming, keeping his voice just as soft and gentle as Harry. It fit the atmosphere.

Harry just shrugs, “I like to hold things when I sleep so I just went out and bought one. It shouldn't matter that it was from a heat store,” he comments lightly. “And I cut a hole in it while I was clipping my nails. I had to throw it away,” he admits with a slight pout on his lips. “The thing is that I don't sleep that well without it. I'm used to it by now.”

Something about the alpha being so childlike and vulnerable made Louis sigh and give in. “I'll make you a deal. Let me read this and then I'll cuddle you. Sound good?”

“How many pages you have left?” Harry asks clearly not sure if he was happy or disappointed with the offer.

“Well I'm on the page 256 and there are 281 pages in the book. Do the math,” Louis says while looking back to the book. “I read 20,000 words per minute if I can focus with no distractions so,” he mumbles as he scans over the words, reading slower than his max speed. He sometimes read that fast, but most of the time he liked to take his time with it even if it didn't take long even then.

Louis can see from the corner of his eye how Harry pretends to lock his lips and throw away the key, leaning his chin against Louis’ arm while he does so. The omega lets him, barely noticing the weight against the crook of his elbow as he continues to read. He finishes in less than ten minutes, placing the book on the coffee table, ignoring how Harry basically jumps up and settles next to him onto the couch again.

“I didn't know that you needed glasses,” Harry says as he stares at Louis with his big eyes. “They suit you somehow.”

Louis raises his eyebrows as he removes the glasses, “Thank you? I mean if that's a compliment or something,” he chuckles lightly, lifting the blanket a bit. “So should we watch some telly while we…” he trails off gesturing between them. He made it sound dirtier when he didn't say cuddle but he knew that Harry would understand him.

“Sure, whatever you want,” Harry says nodding biting his lip. “I'll probably fall asleep at some point so,” he shrugs lightly. “Also I think that I should get settled first? I mean it would be easier for you to come and lay down in front of me, right?”

“Yeah that makes sense,” Louis hums, getting up with a slight struggle as his feet had fallen asleep from being in the same position for a while. He cracks his back while he stands up, looking at Harry who lays down onto the couch and moves against the cushions so Louis had plenty of room to climb in front of him. And he did like they had agreed, taking the blanket with him as he lays in front of the alpha, facing away from him. He left a space between them, not necessarily needing to be closer and sure as hell not making the first move to get them close.

Harry did wrapping his arm around the omegas waist and pulling him slowly closer, giving him time to say no. Louis didn't. Instead he picked up the remote and turned on the telly switching channels to find something good. He had to admit that it was quite relaxing to be there in Harry's arms, all warm and cosy. Not even the heavy breathing against his neck felt all that uncomfortable, more like soothing, almost. They had grown somehow closer after the café prank, the alpha seeking him out a few times a day just to talk. And the weird part was that Louis didn't mind all that much, he was curious and amused to see what Harry would come up with next. The small questions and the ongoing banter was something he found enjoyment in.

He settles for the same baking show he had been watching with Harry earlier, Zumbo's Just Desserts. He settles for the next episode, lowering the sound so Harry wouldn't be too disturbed if he wanted to sleep. He felt a small squeeze on his waist, a silent thank you from the alpha. Halfway through the episode the arm across his waist goes limp and the breathing against the back of his neck gets slower and heavier. In other words Harry falls asleep.

Louis stays up for a while longer, sleepily watching the show, relaxed against the alpha's body. At some point Harry wiggles his arm under Louis’ head, turning his bicep into the omega's pillow. And well, Louis may or may not have fallen asleep in his arms and if he did so what?



Chapter Text

To be or not to be, to feel or not to feel. Why was he even thinking about this? The questions didn’t even make sense in his loud mind as he strolls down the quiet and empty streets. It was a peaceful Sunday morning, barely past six am, and he couldn’t sleep. He didn’t know what caused him to wake up so early, adding one more thing to the endless flow of questions he couldn’t shake off his poor mind. The omega was so used to knowing the answers or at least getting them by focusing on what mattered, all superfluous things aside. And yet, his mind wandered to the times when the alpha would brush past him or touch him more than the situation would require. He was used to being smart, but as he was walking down the street, he was lost.

The tea in his on-the-go mug was getting cold and starting to taste bad but Louis didn’t have the heart to throw it away. The old lady behind the counter of the old café, the only one that had been open at that hour, had been too sweet and had taken her time brewing it so he just couldn't. He downs the last few gulps of the cold beverage as he gets to the park , throwing the empty cup into a trash bin, then continuing his way across it. He knew where he was heading, even though he wasn’t sure if he would actually end up there. It was early after all and he didn’t want to disturb.

Somewhere along the way he ends up where he was heading, stopping by the front door and taking a deep breath. He wasn’t anxious per se, he had no reason to be after all, but there was still an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. He raises his now fisted hand above his head and knocks on the door three times, each knock loud and clear. There is some bustling behind the door before it opens, a familiar face coming into view. Louis flashes a light smile, “Sorry, I hope I’m not disturbing you,” he says quietly, looking at the small bundle in the alpha’s arms. Another familiar face.

“Oh please, not at all. Come in,” Luke says, stepping aside and letting Louis enter. “What brings you here? Not trying to make you feel bad but you usually only visit on the holidays,” he tilts his head to the side curiously.

Louis shrugs, “No offence taken mate. I don’t know exactly why I’m here, but I was walking around and recalled that you usually start preparing breakfast about now. And well, I thought I could help since I have nothing to do,” he explains, suddenly feeling silly for even coming.

“Yeah, that’d be nice,” Luke smiles. “Do you want to hold Bella while I cook or would you prefer being behind the kettle?”

“I’d say the kids would prefer if I had nothing to do with the actual cooking,” Louis chuckles softly, smiling at the small baby who is placed in his arms. Bella was a newbie at the place, only eight months old, being there for seven of them. Her mother couldn't care for her so she had taken her here. “Well hi darling,” he coos softly as the little angel blinks at him. “Let's go keep Luke company while he makes you guys food, yeah?” Bella was the only kid who didn't start crying when they saw him. That's why Louis liked her so much.

While the alpha cooks Louis spends his time with Bella, giving her some statistics about babies, such as you're kind of a lucky girl not to be born in May, it's proven that babies that are born in May are the heaviest, the way Bella had smiled at that one had been truly amazing. He didn't say that he couldn't get along with the rest of the kids at the place, they were just older and a bit wary about hat he was doing there. Half of the time Louis didn't even have an answer for that.

“Has anyone left here?” Louis asks at some point as Bella falls asleep with his pointer finger in her mouth. It was kind of a pacifier or something, he guesses.

“Nicky and Tom left a month after you last visited. They went to the same family so it was nice for them,” Luke says humming. “You remember how close they were,” he comments offhandedly, focusing more on the breakfast than on the omega.

Louis makes a considerable noise, looking back down at the baby. Nicky and Tom had been basically joined at the hip, always doing things together. It was no wonder that they had been adopted at the same time, two cute five-year-olds weren't the hardest ones to find a good home to. The older ones, on the contrary, had gotten used to staying at the orphanage.

“Bella's birthday is coming up, you should come,” Luke says softly, looking at the two. “I'm sure that she would love that.”

The omega almost wants to point out how she wouldn't even remember him, that babies couldn't form a memory or remember things before they're four years old, but he keeps it to himself. “I might do that, send me the details yeah?” He hums honestly, not seeing what the problem would be. Bella was adorable.

Once breakfast is ready and it's time to wake up the kids, Louis takes it as his cue to leave. Luke wonders why so soon, but Louis explains that he has something to attend to. It was a lie, but a necessary one. Like always, Luke had more problems getting the kids to eat and focus on their daily tasks whenever Louis was there. The kids were more rowdy on those days so it did more harm than good. The omega was a bit reluctant to give Bella back as he's led to the door but once he gets on the other side of it and it’s closed, he feels lighter. He's not sure if that makes him a bad person or not.

 

To say that he's surprised to see a stranger sitting on his couch when he gets home is an understatement. Especially when he's completely sure that she wasn't there when he left three hours ago. He also knew that Harry didn't have anyone spending the night which only stirred the confusion even more. Closing the door behind him, he steps further into the flat, staring at the stranger who didn't even seem to notice him entering, her focus on the TV. His eyebrows are furrowed as he walks further into the room, shooting up as the woman smiles at him bright as ever.

“Hi you must be Louis,” she says happily, patting the spot next to him on the couch. “I would get up and hug you or something but Sherlock is on and there is no way I'm missing out on this.”

Louis timidly walks toward the couch, sitting on the other end of it instead of next to the woman. She was an omega, Louis was now sure of it after having a whiff of her scent. She had almost white hair that reached her shoulders. She was skinny, but not overly so, rocking a light and basic shirt. What stood out to Louis the most however was her dark lips.

“Are you finished analyzing me?” She asks without even looking at the other omega, her voice knowing. “Don't worry I don't find it offensive, I was told that you might do that,” she continues with a hum.

Louis furrows his brows, “Who told you that?” He asks, even though he was already putting the pieces together.

“I think you already know,” she points out glancing at him with a tiny smirk on her lips, and yeah. She was definitely Harry's sister, that smirk had to run in the family.

“You're Gemma, Harry's sister,” Louis hums, settling into the couch more comfortably. “I didn't know that you were coming over,” he comments.

“This was an extemporaneous trip I didn't even tell Harry that I was coming over,” she explains with a shrug. “Over the years I've come to realise that if I want to see how he actually lives his life, I have to come unannounced. Otherwise he'll change everything he thinks that I don't approve of.”

“Do you think that he would've made me stay somewhere else during your stay if he had known?” Louis asks curiously. He didn't know how shocking this was to Harry's family. That their son was living with an unmated omega without engaging in any relations with him.

“Oh please that would've been the first thing he'd do. Not because it's against our traditions, but because he sucks at hiding his crushes and he hates it whenever I tease him about it,” Gemma says laughing slightly. “So, I guess I should apologize in advance for the comments I'll be making but sadly that's not my style.”

“Oh, but he doesn't have a crush on me,” Louis says humming. “That would be ridiculous. I've seen his type. He hangs out among the blondes and he likes them petite. I'm not saying that he's not attracted to me since I can clearly smell it on him, but a crush on me? Nah that's not just possible.”

Gemma laughs again. “God he wasn't kidding when he mentioned living with an analyst. You just happen to be way more fun than I originally dared to think.”

Louis chuckles quietly, not sure how to exactly react to the comment. Like was it a compliment or an insult? Her tone didn't give anything away. “Is Harry on his usual run?” He asks, suddenly realising that Harry must have let Gemma in at some point. The door had been locked and she didn't have the key.

“Well I can't go as far as saying that it's his usual run since I don't live with him and don't know what is his usual time is now, but yeah he's on a run,” Gemma says with her eyes on the telly again. “Is he still as insane about running as he was when he lived at home?”

“Well I wouldn't go as far as saying that since I don't know how he was in the past, but he runs every morning for about an hour,” Louis says using Gemma's words.

“Touche,” she hums, clearly pleased about something. “So care to tell why you smell like a baby? Is there something I should tell my brother when he comes back?” She asks not even glancing away from the screen. Louis’ eyebrows furrow at the question, denial on the tip of his tongue when he remembers where he was before he came back home.

“I don't have a secret baby if that's what you think,” he says with a small huff. “I just have my things that you nor Harry need to know about. I haven't even told my mother about it so, excuse me for not telling you,” he says, deliberately keeping his voice light. He didn't want to offend her even though the words were quite harsh. She didn't seem to mind however.

“I get it. As long as it's not going to get my brother in trouble, you're fine,” Gemma says simply, leaving the matter there. “So, what do you say about us pulling a bit of a prank on my brother when he comes home?” She asks mischievously, pausing the telly.

Louis raises his eyebrows intrigued. “I'd say that you found yourself a partner in crime.”

 

Louis swears that he has never laughed as hard. It had been quite bad actually seeing as Harry had actually cried but when Gemma had started laughing as well it had been a lost cause. They had covered Gemma in fake blood and made it seem like she had been stabbed. She had apparently seen a tutorial of some sort on the internet so they had given it a go. Harry had fallen for it completely, rushing to his sister and trying her pulse and everything. It should've been a dead giveaway for Harry that it was a prank when they had moved the carpet and everything in order to keep them away from the blood.

They didn't let it go too far, or well it depends who you ask. When Harry was dialling 999 Louis had appeared from the kitchen and Gemma had opened her eyes. If Louis were to bet on it, he'd say that the greatest spook they got from Harry was at that moment. And when later that night Harry stole the remote and hid it in the bathroom, they had it coming.



Gemma and Louis became fast friends after that. She wasn't staying with them long as she needed to get back to her mate. She made sure to emphasize that she would've been fine going a few more days without him, but he had voiced his concern and she didn’t want to be mean. So she would be leaving the next day, after just hanging out with them for two days. And what a fun two days they had been. After the murder prank they had been taking turns doing small things; such as putting mayonnaise into the alpha’s shampoo and then to his conditioner, as they realised that he would be rinsing the mayonnaise off almost immediately.

Harry had been mad at them at first but when he noticed how much fun the two omegas were having he let it go. Not without changing Louis’ favourite tea first, making the omega cry like a dying whale, and texting to their mother from Gemma’s phone, saying how she was pregnant. That one had actually backfired when Anne had been gushing about it and saying how Harry should find someone as well. Ah good times.

“Gemma, what do you think about going for some tea?” Louis asks humming as he changes his clothes in front of his closet. Harry was at work so it was up to Louis to keep her entertained. Not that he hadn't been doing that otherwise.

“Hey, what about me?” Niall asks loudly, kicking Louis’ feet from where he was sitting on the edge of the bed. “Have you forgotten about me already? It has been two days!”

“No I haven't forgotten about you. I just know that you'd love to go for some tea since Barbs is still against you drinking it at home,” Louis answers matter of factly, fixing his shirt. “So Gems, how about it?”

“Who is Barbs and why doesn't she let you drink tea?” Gemma asks curiously instead of answering the omega.

Louis sighs, getting ready for the long rant that was bound to happen. And it did, Niall explained the whole story behind it and by the time it was over the omega could swear that Gemma looked a bit bored. Good so he wasn't the only one who found the story exhausting. “Also she is his mate in case you were wondering,” Louis hums because Niall hadn't gotten to that part yet and it didn't seem like he was any time soon.

“Oh that makes sense now,” Gemma hums shaking her head. “But yeah some tea would be great. How does the idea of showing up to Hazza’s work and maybe scandalising him a bit sound?” She asks wiggling her eyebrows.

“You know what? You might be my new best friend,” Louis smiles brightly, and if he ends up under Niall and being tickled it was worth it.



Before Gemma left, she sat Louis down and gave him a whole speech about how he should open his eyes and do something about Harry. Apparently, his obliviousness was driving the alpha mad, according to his sister anyways. Louis of course had defended himself saying, how he didn’t actually think that Harry had feelings for him, repeating how physical attraction didn’t equal emotional connection. He had gotten a whack to his head and a mouthful on why she thought so. And well she did have some good points but it didn’t make him believe the words she said.

It had been sad to see her go as it had been so much fun to have her around but he got over it quickly. Well at least he didn’t mourn about it days on end. Louis had gotten some really good prank ideas from the alpha’s sister and he was planning on putting them into action. A few of them were in need of a companion but most of them he could do by himself. He would just need to wait for the right time to do them. Harry was on his toes around him at the moment since he and Gemma had been pretty brutal, so he needed to give him a false sense of security before striking.

They had been living together for a month now, and Louis had gotten used to it- kinda. Like not having to make dinner anymore or having his clothes washed for him was great but the little things like not always having the telly for himself or just having some fruit in the fridge these days. He has never been big on eating sweets or unhealthy but he had lost a few pounds during the time of them living together. Which wasn’t that bad even though he had been happy about his body before. What he was trying to say was that living with Harry didn’t turn out to be that bad at the end.

 

-

 

The plan was more than simple, it was child’s play. There was nothing that could go wrong, nothing to be feared. That was exactly why Louis was so god damned nervous. Like, who got nervous over a little speech at their mother's brunch? There would only be family members and a few of his mother's friends, celebrating the lovely weather. It was their version of a midsummer party, held a couple of weeks later than it should. School was starting in three weeks and that made Louis ecstatic. He couldn't wait to get back to his classes and seminars.

The party was starting at six (quite late for a brunch but that was a part of the thing), which left him six hours to get dressed and arrive at his mother's house. Oh and of course, write the speech. Yeah so he might have procrastinated more than he should've but he still had plenty of time to get it done. Right?

At first, the plan was to get a train home the night before and help his mother with the preparation and stuff. This changed when they realised that it was actually forty pounds cheaper to just get a train the same day at one o’clock. It was Friday, so that made it weird. But anyway, back to the speech. As the party was an annual thing, almost like the Christmas dinner, everyone attending could be considered family. So no one would be expecting anything out of the ordinary. And yet Louis prides himself on being the best speech giver so he had to ace this one too.

He planned on getting the speech up and going, or at least started, on the train as it was a bit over an hour and half ride. He had spent a bit extra on a first class seat as Niall wasn't coming with him so he didn't have anyone to keep him occupied. And like have you seen the first class seats? Way better than the coach, definitely worth the splurge unlike on planes were the first class looked exactly the same.

Since Harry wasn't home, Louis was showering in the main bathroom instead of his ensuite. One of the reasons was that the water pressure was better in the other shower and well, truthfully speaking Harry's hipster shampoo and body wash smells heavenly. For an alpha he had a weird preference for the scents. Not that Louis was complaining. He had a feeling that the alpha knew about him borrowing them whenever he wasn't around even though he had said nothing about it. Yeah he was still that polite.

He steps out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his head like a turban, fixing it slightly as it was almost falling off. He had learned the trick from watching Harry getting ready on the weekends when he had time to get ready in peace. He hated to admit that it was a really useful skill considering that it dried his hair faster and made his hair softer than when he blow dried it.

Even though Harry wasn't at home he still hurried to his room, so no one could get a glimpse of his naked form. It was weird how he liked being naked just as much as the next person, he just didn't get how people walked around their houses wearing nothing but their birthday suits. Like what if someone came in? Or you had to answer the door? Or better yet, if your house caught fire and you had to evacuate? Too many risks in Louis’ opinion.

He makes  quick work of getting dressed and packing his overnight bag, then rushing to the kitchen to make himself a decent cuppa for the journey. The water is just finished boiling when the door opens and Harry steps in with a yet another friend. Louis swears that the alpha knows the whole of England. He makes a court nod toward the duo as they pass the kitchen before going back to preparing his tea. He expects Harry to take his company straight to his room like he always does but this time he stops in the doorway. Great.

Don't get him wrong, their relationship had gotten better since the café prank, which Harry still had no idea that was done by yours truly, but he still felt weird when the alpha had a friend with him and stopped to talk. He doesn't pay anymore attention to the two, instead finishing up the tea. It was almost done anyways.

“Where are you going?” Harry asks humming, lightly poking the overnight bag Louis had left by the doorway.

“Finally had enough and want to move out? Well luckily I have an empty room in my flat if you're interested,” Harry's friend chimes in coming into the room, passing the alpha. And by the smell of it he was one as well.

“No thanks,” Louis says with a fake smile, looking at Harry. “I told you, I'm going to my mother's,” he says humming. He could see the other alpha look between him and Harry and just as he was about to ask him what was so interesting, the alpha opened his mouth.

“Oh, trouble in paradise? Harry what did you do to drive your omega into leaving the flat? Did you tell him that you're not as experienced as people think?”

Your omega?

Louis raises his eyebrows at the stranger, not even bothering to ask him to elaborate. Instead he looks at Harry, “She has that  brunch remember? I'll be back tomorrow at some point, depending on what time we have lunch,” he clarifies. “Anything else?”

“Oh yeah you told me that last night when I was heading to shower, right,” Harry snaps his fingers in realisation after a moment of thinking. “Um well I hope you have a fun time out there! Do you want me to pick you up from the station tomorrow? It won't be any trouble at all.”

“You don't even have a car,” Louis deadpans. What was going on? Why was Harry acting like this?

Harry huffs, “I could borrow one,” he says as if it was obvious. “Cmon I want to pick you up! It's only good manners,” he insists with a small pout.

Louis looks between the duo, first to his friend and then to Harry. There was something going on that he couldn't quite place. “If it means that much to you then I guess it's fine,” he says sighing, turning around to catch his travel mug and transferring the tea into it.

Expecting an answer he glances over his shoulder, only to be almost hit by Harry's chest as he comes in for a hug. He stills at the contact furrowing his brows as Harry sways them slightly from side to side. While he does this he is blocking his friend's view of Louis. The omega had no idea what was going on. He could smell it on Harry how much he liked this so he relaxed just slightly so it wasn't as bad.

“I need to go now or I'll miss my train,” Louis says after a moment, pulling back with enough of force that Harry let him go.

“Have a safe trip and I'll talk to you when I pick you up tomorrow,” Harry promises. Louis could hear the hidden words of, I'll tell you what that was all about , later.

“I will. It was nice to meet you,” he lies lightly watching the alpha's friend, giving him a fake smile before leaving the apartment with his tea, bag and mess of thoughts. Totally the best time the write the speech yeah?

 

The speech? Yeah the speech was amazing, he absolutely killed it. The crowd had been laughing hard, which could've been partly because of the wine they had been consuming, but it had been a success nonetheless. Actually the whole brunch had been great, the food was delicious, the company was great and none of his mother's friends tried to pinch his cheeks. That was the first time in his lifetime. Good times.

By one am all the guests had left, leaving Jay and Louis in charge of the cleaning. Dan had offered to help but Jay had made him go to bed, saying how she wanted time to talk with Louis. And it had been nice to have a proper conversation with just the two of them for the first time in a while. For the most part it was light hearted. So, the only thing that could possibly be keeping him up was the weird thing with Harry, but hey he would get some answers the next day. He would remember to ask.

 

At five o'clock his train arrived at the station, and five minutes later he was standing at the entrance, looking for Harry. He had texted the alpha what time he would be there and Harry had been eager to respond with some smiley faces and thumbs up. Louis kinda expected the alpha to be there already when he arrived but instead he waited for ten minutes before Harry came in panting. Apparently he hadn't gotten the car he was promised so he had ran there. The omega didn't comment on it, instead just giving his bag to the alpha and starting to make his way home.

Harry catches up easily, swinging the bag over his shoulder and falling into step with Louis. It was silent for the first few moments before the alpha clears his throat and asks about the trip. It was clearly just because he wanted to fill the silence but it was fine with Louis. It was slightly awkward for some reason. He tells Harry about the brunch, maybe over exaggerating the success just a tad bit, but Harry didn't seem to get suspicious.

He naturally leaves out the part when he talked about the alpha with his mother. The feelings he had been feeling recently had driven him crazy so he had asked his mother about it. She had given him some good advice and tips, and he was ready for some conformation. But not now. When they were at home, away from the prying eyes of curious people.

They arrive home in about twenty minutes, Louis excusing himself to make some tea as Harry brought his things to his room. The work could've been distributed between them differently, but neither of them cared. Louis had nothing to hide in his room after all. The water was just starting to boil when Harry came back, taking a seat in front of the counter and leaning his chin against his palm. “So you probably want an explanation, huh?” He hums, drawing random patterns against the countertop with his free hand.

Louis makes himself comfortable standing against the kitchen counter and nods. “Yeah that would be great.”

Clearing his throat, Harry manages to look a bit sheepish, furrowing his eyebrows slightly. “Yeah um so,” he starts looking down to his doodling hand. “Could we have this conversation while drinking tea?” He asks looking up shyly. He gave out a vibe that he was trying to buy more time before spilling his guts but the omega pretended not to notice.

“Sure,” Louis hums, glancing to the kettle. He didn't know what to say to start another conversation so he started with how he would talk to Niall. “Want to hear some random facts?” He asks, looking back to the alpha. He hadn't been able to share these facts yet and it was quite boring to be the only one knowing them.

Harry raises his brows but nods eagerly. “Yeah, that sounds great.”

“Okay, so did you know that banging your head against the wall burns 150 calories an hour?” Louis asks with a bright grin. “Or that pteronophobia is a irrational fear of being tickled by feathers? Oh! And that the oldest your mom joke was discovered on a 3,500 year old Babylonian tablet in Iraq in 1976. The tablet has since been lost but the text remains preserved,” he shares.

“How the hell do you know these things?”

“Well I quite enjoy knowledge in any and every form so I just know random stuff,” Louis explains with a shrug. “And I have a photographic memory so I easily remember random facts. Like during your lifetime you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools. I thought that it was more,” he says thoughtfully.

Harry looks at him with an expression that Louis couldn't quite place. “You're kind of incredible, you know that?” He smiles softly.

“I'm one of a kind,” Louis says proudly nodding. The sound of the kettle whistling let them know that the water was done and made the omega turn around to start brewing the tea. Harry usually liked the tea he made so he did it as he always would, placing the cuppa in front of the alpha on the counter before leaning against it on the opposite side. He was ready to hear what the thing from the previous morning was about.

Harry takes a sip of the tea, sighing in content, then looking up at Louis carefully. “So,” he starts, “Luke and I have been friends for a while yeah?” He says as if Louis was supposed to know this. “And he has been on my ass about my dating life for a while now. Like why I don't have anyone and stuff like that, you know?”

“Actually I do,” the omega hums, even though it was a rhetorical question. “But go on.”

“Yeah so when I told him about living with you, he immediately assumed that we were dating. He's kind of  traditional in a sense so he didn't think we'd be living platonically. But yeah the point is that he thinks that we are dating and like… I didn't tell him otherwise?” The alpha says biting his lip.

“And why is that?” Louis asks quietly, his heart beat picking up for some reason. What was happening? Why were his palms sweating? Why did he actually care what Harry was about to say?

The alpha actually looks away shyly, cowering away as if trying to make himself look smaller. It was so unlike how he usually acted. “You are beautiful and sexy and you know that's how I feel, it's no secret, I am attracted to you,” he says quietly, not noticing how Louis blushes on the word sexy. “And like… I know that Luke would've seen the beauty I see and would've made a move… and I didn't want you to like, fall for him or like his attention.”

“Why?” Louis asks. He needed the alpha to get straight to business. The mug felt heavy in his hands so he put it down and focused on the alpha completely. He needed to know.

“Because I like you. I don't want you to be with other alphas,” Harry says looking away. Louis repeats the same question again, urging the words to come from Harry's mouth. “You know why,” the alpha says shaking his head.

“But I need you to say it,” Louis whispers his voice shaking slightly. This was not happening. What the hell was going on? This was not him, he never acted like this.

“Because I want you to be mine, okay? Every time you walk around the house in your oversized pyjama shirt with your glasses on my heart skips a beat. Every time you greet me in the morning grumpy because you haven't gotten your morning tea yet, I literally swoon. And when you tell me your weird facts or talk about your family and Niall, you look so excited and fond that it actually makes me want to do and learn things with and from you-”

“That's just physical attraction,” Louis cuts in. “I- you didn't describe my looks, I know that but you're only attracted to my body and face. You- you wouldn't, you don't like me. I'm a difficult personality- you just, no. You wouldn't want to be in a relationship with me, that's not true.”

“But I do! And you know that I do, you can smell it on me and I know it- what are you doing?” Harry asks furrowing his brows as Louis stands up straight and determinedly walks over to him.

Louis has never kissed an alpha before- hell the only person he had kissed on the lips was his mother. He kissed his siblings on the forehead multiple times a day when he saw them but not on the lips. He knew how it went however, so he was determined and confident as he grabbed Harry's face and connected their lips. He jumped slightly as Harry stood up abruptly and grabbed his waist, pulling him close, towering over him. The omega could smell the attraction and want radiating from the alpha and mixing with his own scents.

He pulls away after five or so seconds looking up at Harry's eyes. He suddenly really wanted to know the colour of them. “There you have it,” he says calmly. “You don't feel any sparks- oh hell no!” He slaps the alpha's cheek hard as the alpha tries to lean in for another kiss like he had seen people do in movies. “You don't pull moves like that with me, I'm not one of your previous flings,” he huffs moving his hands to his hips. Harry's hands were still holding his waist even though he was scrunching his nose in pain.

“Sorry,” the alpha mumbles pouting. “But you don't seriously expect me to believe you? No wait, that's not right,” he shakes his head. “Fuck, you made my brains all squishy with that kiss and you still think that I don't want everything with you?” He huffs. “I want all of you.”

“Show me then,” Louis says challengingly, stepping away from Harry's hold, ignoring the puppy eyes he was getting. “I'll give you two weeks to woo me, to show me that you're serious. If you make three mistakes or don't convince me, we'll be just flatmates, okay?” He says sternly, making it clear that these were his terms.

Harry thought about it for a second maximum before sighing. “Are you at least going to tell me the mistakes I could be making?” He asks furrowing his brows.

Louis smiles so bright that his teeth show. “But what would the fun be in that?”

Chapter Text

“He's what now?”

Louis rolls his eyes, “You heard me loud and clear Ni,” he comments. “But since you seem quite upset for some reason, Harry and I are courting. Or well Harry is courting me, if you want to put it in proper terms,” he says analysing his friend's face.

“But how did this happen?” The blonde asks, furrowing his brows. “And it doesn't upset me, I'm just confused because you didn't even tell me that you liked the alpha,” he explains humming.

“Well I didn't think I did until he was complimenting me and saying stuff. And then I went ahead and kissed him-”

You kissed him?!-”

“Stop acting like I robbed a bank!” Louis exclaims, looking around to see eyes on them. He couldn't blame them, they were putting on quite the show for their customers. “You act like I have never done anything with anyone before,” he huffs.

Niall gives him a pointed look. “That's because I know that you haven't,” he says rolling his eyes. “Like I said I'm just confused.”

Louis sighs and leans against the counter. It was just after rush hour so they had time to talk about this. How the whole thing had even come up, Louis couldn't even remember. Not that it mattered that much. He just needed to get Niall on the same page as he was. “But when you think about it, is it really that odd?” Louis asks. Sure he had never shown any interest in mating or finding anyone, alpha or omega, but he hadn't been trash talking about the idea either. To him, it felt natural that he was giving it a go. Harry was a good alpha and if he actually cared for him like he said that he did, then he would be an excellent partner.

“It is really that odd,” Niall says softly. “I don't want you to get this the wrong way, okay? Like I'm happy for you, Harry is a nice guy and everything. But like I said, you haven't shown any interest in him. Or at least not to me,” he says trying to hide the hurt in his voice. The last thing Louis wanted to do was to upset his best friend.

“But I did express the thoughts,” Louis says keeping his voice light. “Remember the one time I commented how caring he was? Or how seeing him act around Gemma made me feel something in my stomach?” He says quietly. He sucked at talking about his feelings. “And surely you were able to smell it on me. The attraction. There's no denying that.”

“Yeah I could,” Niall agrees. “But physical attraction doesn't automatically mean that you have feelings for the person. Hell, for some time I was attracted to Liam! It doesn't mean that I had feelings for him,” the alpha comments, borderline rambling. “But yeah, now that you mention it, I should've seen it coming,” he admits.

Louis flashes a smile, “So you're okay with this? Your opinion matters to me quite a lot,” he says. And it was true. Niall was basically living in his pocket and had been for their whole lives. His opinion mattered almost more than his own.

Niall huffs and crosses over to hug him. “Of course I'm okay with this. Like I said, I'm happy for you and Harry is great. I'll just have to give him a little speech, you know, the usual if you hurt my friend I'll track you down and stuff like that,” Niall jokes.

“Drop him straight into the deep end?” Louis giggles hugging the alpha back.

“Without any safety equipment,” Niall chimes happily. “So how long has he been courting you for?” He asks curiously, keeping the omega in his arms. Not that Louis minded one bit. He loved Niall cuddles.

“Two days,” Louis hums. “Well this is the second day of the whole courting thing. I gave him two weeks to woo me,” he explains with a shrug. He didn't know how in depth he was supposed to go with explaining the whole thing so he kept it light for now. He'd go into detail if the alpha asked him to.

“And has he? Been wooing you, I mean,” Niall asks pulling back to see Louis’ face. He always did that, broke a hug, if he thought that the subject was something Louis would lie about. It was easier for him to tell if Louis was lying when he saw his face.

Louis shrugs, “I mean… yeah? Like I said it's only been two days and he has been working on both of them so we haven't been able to see each other that much. He did bring me breakfast in bed on both mornings though, so that's a good start yeah?” He bites his lip. “Fuck Ni, I have no idea if I should be wooed or not,” he complains.

“I don't think that anyone can tell you what you get wooed over except you,” Niall points out. “You may not even be wooed about the same thing when two different people do it. I don't know what it is but it's true,” he hums.

The omega groans and a small pout forms on his lips. “Fine, I guess I'll have to just wait and see what is going to happen,” he says stepping away and breaking the contact. “It would just be nice to know if I'm being wooed over something stupid.”

“Well if you are, I'll only tease you about it a little bit,” the alpha chuckles, patting Louis’ cheek as he passes him in order to go to the counter. He serves the next customer with ease, not mocking the alpha who orders a chocolate frappe without any coffee and with extra sugar and with soymilk. He would save his comment for Louis to hear later on.

While the blonde does his job, Louis goes around the floor, picking up dirty dishes and wiping the tables clean. Their boss had gotten some lame idea about keep the chairs straight and under the table when no one was seated, so that's what Louis spent like five minutes doing. Straightening out chairs. Not very exciting work. The thing was that the customers didn't even care. One time a customer asked Perrie if she had OCD when she was straightening them out. She had found it funny and went along with it, earning a proper tip from the old man. She had felt bad afterwards as she didn't have the disease and planned on apologizing to the man when she saw him again. Louis hadn’t seen her in a bit so he didn't know if she had managed to do it yet.

He gets the floor done eventually, grabbing a newspaper from one of the vacant tables and rounds back to the counter. A headline catches his eye, making him curiously flip through the pages eagerly.

How to snatch the alpha of your dreams and how to make sure that they are a prince and not a frog.

Being single isn't for everyone. Do you want a strong hand to hold? The faint smell of cologne as you hug your alpha or the fantastic musk? Or just someone to make you feel special. If you long for an alpha but seem to be having trouble getting one, read this article for some helpful hints to get you on your way to finding true love (and a nice, warm cuddle partner). This may not work for everybody (almost guaranteed that it does!), but these are some helpful tips to help you with your love life! Plus, as promised, we give you advice on making sure they are the one for you!

Louis wants to snort at how simple and easy they make it seem. It doesn't stop him from reading the tips though.

Tip 1) Meet new guys!

Before you can find the mate of your dreams, you'll have to meet some alphas. Sure, you can try to get into a relationship with an alpha you already know is decent or you can go out and meet new ones. Make sure that they've got a great personality, that they are smart and, of course, good looking! Meeting new alphas is easy, you just don't want it to be too fake. Join a club or go to a new café. Talk to the alphas and dip your toes into the dating pool!

Tip 2) Make sure that they're not in a relationship

As some omegas do as well, some alphas have been known for having multiple flings at once. Before getting in too deep, try to find out if they have someone else waiting for them at home. If they do, then run in the other direction, honey! There's plenty of other alphas out there.

The tips were quite weird and unhelpful in Louis’ opinion and they didn't even answer the question in the headline. He purses his lips as he reads the rest of them, finding one that could actually work at the very bottom.

Tip 23) See if they're jealous

 

Now we all have our own preferences. Some omegas enjoy a jealous alpha and some don't. What I advise you to do is to have an alpha you trust scent you. Now here me out. This is the most efficient way to see if your alpha is jealous. In order to smell like an alpha you have to have been in close proximity to them for a long period of time. So, have someone scent you and see how your boo reacts. Whether jealousy hits or not, you can see if it aligns with your preference.

And that, well. That was a jackpot. He knew what he wanted. “Hey, what do you say about scenting me? Just to see what Harry would say if I came home smelling like another alpha?” He asks as Niall comes to him and looks over his shoulder at what he was reading.

A slow grin finds its way on Niall's face as he responds, “I think that he is going to recognise my scent, but hell, I'll give it a shot.”

 

Turns out that Niall was indeed right. Harry didn't even comment on it, just asked if he had had a fun time at work with Niall. So much for testing him.

When Louis said that he wanted Harry to show him that he was serious, he wasn't expecting, well, this. This was the third morning that Harry has woken him up with breakfast in bed. And yes, he was talking about a full English breakfast here, not just a piece of bread and some juice. He had gone all the way. And like it was delicious and sweet but maybe a bit unnecessary. Like he could easily feed three people with the amount of food he had in front of him.

Unlike on the previous two mornings, today Harry sits down with him on the bed after planting a soft kiss onto the omega's forehead. Again, this was one of the things that had happened twice before now. It was a sweet gesture that made his heart swoon a little. He would never admit that out loud even though Harry could most likely smell it from him anyways. Since Harry had gone all the way with the food, and the amount of it, Louis shares bits of it with the alpha. It's hard to ignore the delight that Harry is radiating at the gesture so he doesn't even try. It was cute. Also on some primal level, an omega sharing their food with an alpha was a sign that they approved said alpha to be their mate. It was an old tradition that was long gone but still apparently present in this moment.

At first Harry sits on the foot of the bed, but after a few moments he inches closer until he's sitting right beside the omega, leaning against the headboard. The closeness made Louis’ body go rigid for a moment until he smelled the familiar scent of Harry and relaxed. From there onward they ate in comfortable silence, glancing at each other once in a while.

When Louis is full, he pushes the tray toward the alpha, glancing between him and the tray, signalling that he could have the rest. He watches as Harry eats the rest of it in peace, then stands up, takes the tray and leaves the room. The omega makes himself more comfortable on the bed, assuming that Harry would be back. And even if he wouldn't be, getting comfortable wasn't a bad thing.

Harry does come back with two cups of tea, smiling at Louis sweetly as he hands over one of them. “Thank you,” Louis smiles lightly, taking a sip of the hot beverage. It was so good. “The breakfast was delicious by the way, even though you didn't have to do it,” he says softly. He appreciated it, he really did, he just didn't want Harry to think that he was a spoiled brat or something.

“I know, but I wanted to,” Harry grins as he sits down next to Louis again, leaving no space between them. “Did you have anything planned for today? If I remember correctly you didn't have work today, right?” He questions hopefully.

“Yeah I'm off today and nope, nothing planned. Is it safe to assume that you have something in mind?”

“Oh yes. I've planned out the perfect day if I do say so myself,” Harry says grinning. “If you don't mind I’d like to keep the details to myself. You know, to keep it a surprise,” he smiles.

Usually Louis wasn't the biggest fan of surprises, but the look on Harry's face made him feel otherwise. He could give it a shot. “Okay but it better be good. I don't let just anyone surprise me, you know.”

Harry grins brightly with a determined look in his eyes. “Trust me, you will be wooed and surprised in a good way,” he says with a wink. “But yeah, finish your tea and we'll get going,” he adds with another wink and a blown kiss. And if Louis throws a pillow into Harry's face to hide his blush it wouldn't be a surprise.

 

After they had finished their teas and changed into some normal clothes, the duo heads outside into the cool air. The sun was out but it wasn't scorching, just the perfect kind of a weather. They walk side by side, their forearms brushing against one another once in a while. Louis could sense that Harry wanted to hold his hand and he wondered why he wouldn't. Maybe Harry was afraid that Louis would decline the offer, who knows. The omega kind of wanted to hold his hand though but he wasn't the one to make the first move.

So strolling down the streets Louis enjoys the sun, wondering what they were going to do today. He knew that Harry was a romantic by heart but the information didn't give him that much to work with. He had a feeling that they would stop for some tea at some point at least and maybe grab something to eat afterwards.

“Are you excited?” Louis can't help but ask a few moments later as he glances up at Harry who has the proudest smile on his face.

The alpha looks down at him and the smile only widens. “Me? Yeah, can't remember the last time I was this thrilled,” he says honestly, with no shame at all. It was one of the traits Louis liked a lot about the alpha. “Are you? Excited I mean,” he asks biting his lip.

“I have to admit that yeah, I am,” Louis replies humming. “I have a feeling I know at least two things we are going to do today and neither of them sound bad so,” he shares.

“Oh I promise you, what we are about to do hasn't crossed your mind, darling,” Harry chuckles wrapping his arm around Louis’ shoulders and pulling him closer. Louis’ heartbeat picks up at that and he can't help but flush. He would blame his nature. “But I have a feeling you'll love this as well,” he grins.

“Well I sure hope so. This is supposed to woo me after all,” Louis teases, sighing softly in relief as Harry got the joke.

“Trust me, I haven't forgotten my job here,” Harry says softly, laying a kiss on the omega’s temple.

“Good,” Louis hums, closing his eyes for a second, enjoying the soft touch. “You seem happier today. Like from something other than just the date. Can I ask what it's all about?” He asks curiously, hoping that he wasn't overstepping any lines.

“I mean why wouldn't I be happy when I have the cutest omega here under my arm?” Harry says cheekily, clearly enjoying Louis’ reaction. “And it's a beautiful day too so who couldn't be happy about it?”

Getting too flustered by the words Louis decides to change the subject. “Can you give me a hint about what we are going to do?” He asks clearing his throat. His voice sounded breathier than usual.

“What would be the fun of that?” Harry asks with a dumb grin on his face. “It'll be fun, I promise.”

 

Cooking class. That's apparently what Harry considers to be fun. And not just any cooking class, a cooking class for couples. And even more specifically, for mated people. When Louis points this out, that they are not mated, Harry explains that the chef had made an exception with them after he had explained the situation. Which only told Louis that the alpha had been serious about getting them in there. He didn't know if he should be offended or not. He knew that Harry had joined Niall in the Louis can not cook to save his life club but he didn't seem to mind being the one cooking. Like why bother teaching the omega how to cook if he was planning on sticking around?

Louis didn't have any time to voice these questions because he was rushed to the changing rooms to be fitted into  proper gear. Omegas and alphas were in different locker rooms, so Louis didn't even bother to make small talk with the people in there. They would most likely ask about the absent mating mark at the juncture of his neck and shoulder and he didn't feel like sharing. The omegas there were really gushy and excited about the class, whispering how happy they were to teach their mates to finally cook. It only took Louis a moment to realise that these omegas were probably housewives and husbands. It was a fading trend for the omega to stay at home to clean and cook for their alpha but some of the more spoiled people still preferred it. Yeah, he definitely didn't want to talk to them.

The chef was an alpha, quite sturdy and filled with muscle, still managing to look rather impressive and not gross. He reminded Louis a bit of Liam without the puppy eyes and the radiance of kindness and good will. Not that the chef seemed mean by any means, he just seemed to have more authority. Harry noticed him staring, nudging his side and raising his brows at him. The chef was talking so he didn't dare to speak. Louis just flashes a playful smile and nudges him back before turning his attention back to the class.

Today on the menu was three courses. First a light vegetable soup with some fancy sounding bread, for the main course chicken stuffed  with mozzarella cheese, wrapped in parma ham with a side of homemade mashed potatoes. The main course sounded almost as good as the mango mousse they were doing for dessert. Well they could choose what they wanted to do between mango and raspberry-chocolate mousse, so it depended on if Harry had a preference. Louis surely didn't, they both sounded rather exquisite.

“If you have any questions or concerns during the class just raise your hand and I'll be there. My name is Hugo so call me if I miss your hand,” the chef, Hugo, finishes his speech and gestures to the end of the classroom. “In the back you can see everything needed to make these courses. Go on, be brave you can start now,” he hums.

Louis turns to Harry as he finishes, raising his brows. “Do we have a recipe or something?” He asks biting his lip. It would definitely help the cooking part.

“Yes, under the counter,” Harry nods, bending over slightly to pull out a stack of neatly organised paper. “That was like the first thing he told us. Didn't you hear or were you too impressed by his muscles to focus?” He asks playfully, but with a hint of seriousness lacing his tone.

“I don't know if you have noticed, but he looks kinda like Liam without the puppiness,” Louis says softly. “Haz I'm here with you, yeah? Why would I be looking at that guy?”

Harry flushes slightly and looks away, “So,” he clears his throat, “do you want to make raspberry-chocolate or mango mousse?” He asks, dismissing the conversation fully. He seemed kind of embarrassed about it so Louis didn't push it.

“I was actually planning on asking you. Which one you think we could pull off better?” Louis asks, hinting that he'd like to make the one that was easier. He wanted something sweet so he didn't want to mess it up. Then again he could always just convince Harry to do it. That shouldn't be too hard.

“Well, I feel like the mango mousse would go with the whole course a lot better you know? Like the chocolate mousses are usually quite heavy despite their light texture so I'd say the mango one? If that's okay with you?” The alpha suggests lightly.

“As long as you promise to make it, then yes,” Louis says trying his luck at getting away with the baking part. To his luck, Harry agrees with a knowing smile and continues onward.

Together they move to the back of the classroom, picking up a basket to put all the ingredients in. They divided the task in half, getting everything picked up faster. They're done basically at the same time, meeting in the middle before walking down to their cooking station. It all goes smoothly up until the point where Harry asks Louis to separate the eggs in the bowl. He has trouble even cracking an egg so he was sure that he was going to mess this up. And he was right. He had managed to ruin four eggs before Harry had taken over with a laugh and saved the last two left.

Because of the egg catastrophe Harry asks Louis to focus on mixing the soup so it doesn't burn while Harry makes the bread. And it sounds easy enough so Louis is happy to do it. They make it through the second course like this, Harry giving the omega the easiest tasks until the chef comes to them.

“This is interesting,” Hugo comments with a hum, looking at the two of them. Harry was preparing the chicken while Louis watched the potatoes. “Can I ask how you came to the decision of dividing the work like this?” He asks curiously.

Louis looks at Harry who was already opening his mouth, deciding that he could speak up. “I don't know how to cook and Harry does and we both want to eat at the end of the class so it's easiest this way,” Louis says flashing a smile. “Don't worry, I'm learning!” He says realising that it was a cooking class. “I've never made mashed potatoes before so this is a new one for me.”

“He's not lying, for the time we have been living together he has not made one meal,” Harry chuckles lightheartedly, meaning no harm. Not that Louis was taking any offence. “And his old roommate would say the same thing if asked. I mean he did make me a bowl of cereal once,” he adds as an afterthought. “He makes a killer tea though, like the best you've ever tasted.” Okay and he's rambling now, great.

Louis to the rescue.

“And we don't mind, this works for us,” Louis flashes another smile.

Hugo didn't seem that impressed. “Okay so how about we do this. You,” he points at Louis, “are in charge of the dessert. Your alpha can only assist when you ask him to but he can't take over. If he can't walk you through it with his words then I'll come and help.” His voice didn't hold any suggestion in it. It was more like an order.

“I guess so,” Louis mumbles looking back to the potatoes. He hated when alphas used their position to order people around. It was no different than omega bosses telling their subordinates what to do, but at the moment, it felt different.

Hugo hums pleased, leaving the two to continue their main course. Harry looks over his shoulder to see that the chef was out of hearing distance. “We can try and get away with this,” he says quietly. “Whenever he isn't looking I can do as much as I can and when he is, I'll just be very specific with everything. Does that sound okay? Because if you want to make the whole thing, I'm here for cheering you on.”

Louis could have a worse alpha courting him, definitely. Not that he was yet convinced that Harry actually liked him instead of being just attracted to him. “You're the greatest, you know that right?” Louis says smiling, kissing Harry's shoulder. “We should try the sneaking thing. It's always more fun, don't you think?” He grins. “Also Hugo is a bastard so.”

Harry seems to be happy of the reaction. “Then sneaking around it is,” he smiles. “I have a feeling that he'll be watching us like a hawk though, so we need to be extra careful and creative.”

“Lucky for you, I can do both.”

 

Turns out that Hugo wasn't the one to stalk them, no. He put his right hand guy, Gabe or something, to stick with them like glue. He didn't even bother to be discreet about it, just standing there and staring pointendly every time Louis was trying to get Harry to do something.  Grant was okay looking, a bit younger than the two but clearly confident in his own skin. He didn't seem as much of a dick head than Hugo so it was at least a bit nicer to have him around. Minus the whole hawking thing.

Making mousse was a reasonably simple thing when it comes to making dessert but since Louis was a rookie, it turned out to be almost impossible.

“There is a really expensive stirring thingy, why do I have to whisk?” Louis asks frustrated, placing a hand on his hip and staring the alpha down. “Even the other people are using the thing!” He exclaims pointing around the room. Harry had trouble deciding whether to be amused or defending Louis’ honour it seemed based on the look on his face.

“That's because everyone else knows how to whisk already,” Gareth says pointing out the obvious. “And this is a cooking class. Do you have a machine like that at home?” He asks raising his eyebrows.

Louis is ready to sass him and lie that, yes, they do in fact, when Harry chimes in. “Similar but not as fancy as that. It's more for like smashing potatoes and stuff,” he says. “I'd die for a machine like that. It's beautiful.”

The omega glares at him with intent, letting him know that this was not cool. “And how do you know that I don't know how to whisk?” Louis raises his brows. “Since we don't have a machine at home.”

“I know because Hugo told me that you never cook so I can assume. You can always prove me wrong and just whisk. If you can I'll let you use the machine,” the alpha says smugly.

“Fine,” Louis says huffing, turning around to face the cream that was staring back at him mockingly. He didn't even know what to whisk with, never mind how to do it. He turns to Harry subtly and beckons him to come closer. “How do you whisk?” He whispers quietly, glancing at the stalker behind them.

“Well, you first take the whisk,” the alpha teases, handing the tool to the omega. “And then you kind of flick your wrist? Like swirl it around so the cream gets fluffy- damn this is hard to explain,” he chuckles scratching the back of his head.

“I can show you,” Gale says from behind him, stepping close. He doesn't ask for permission before he is getting close to the omega, wrapping his arms around him and taking the whisk. He doesn't get a chance to wrap Louis’ fingers around the tool before Harry is already stepping in. His eyebrows are furrowed and all the playfulness is gone from his eyes.

“That's my job, don't you think?” Harry says darkly, moving to step between the alpha and the omega. “This is a couple's course after all,” he points out. “So why don't you get your filthy hands away from my omega and we won't have a problem. You hear me?”

The silence fell upon them faster than Niall bursting  into laughter when Louis fell on his bum at their grade eight graduation party. The two alphas shared some kind of a staring contest of dominance, neither of them stepping down. It stops when Hugo comes into their eyesight, Harry letting out a small growl as he steps back, taking Louis with him. He continues to glare at the alpha over his shoulder as he steps behind Louis and moves his hands so he was handling the whisk.

“So just like this,” he says quietly, his voice tight as he starts doing the motion with his hand, controlling the pace and movement. “Do you think that you can continue it from here?” He asks softly, nudging his nose against the omega’s hair.

Louis doesn't know whether he says no for his or Harry's sakes but he does it anyways. He was slightly shook from what just happened and the familiarity of Harry's scent was calming. He had never been one for touching, so a strange alpha doing it to him was definitely not a good experience. He closes his eyes and let's go of the whisk, wrapping Harry's arms tighter around his body and snuggling close. Harry sighs against his temple, planting a soft kiss there.

“Are you okay?” He whispers, keeping them close together. His words held so much caring and emotion that it made Louis emotional.

“I don't know,” Louis answers honestly, equally as quiet. “I will be though, that's what I know,” he says softly. “Thank you.”

“Anytime,” Harry whispers. “How about we finish up in here and just leave? I kind of lost my appetite.”

Louis pulls back enough to look up to the alpha over his shoulder and nods. “Me too. Let's just get out of here.”

And true to their words they end up finishing the mousse (well Harry does all the work) and leaving. They didn't bother letting Hugo know about it either, neither of them feeling up to it. As they are leaving, Harry promises that he has other things planned as well so they agree not to let this one thing just ruin their day. And well, it's easier than Louis thought when Harry takes his hand and keeps him close.

-

“Did you know that dogs can detect the source of a voice in four degree accuracy?” Harry asks proudly, thinking that this one would get Louis. The rest of the day had been splendid, after the class they had walked to the park and gotten some smoothies. Then they had taken a park yoga class, which, Louis has to admit was kind of fun. He'd maybe even consider trying it again sometime, with the right company, that is.

After the yoga class they proceed to go to three different restaurants for their lunch. It wasn't as bad as it sounds, they stopped at one place for starter, then another one for the main course and lastly for the dessert. It had been fun and the first time Louis had ever done something like that. Of course when he told Harry this, the alpha had been smug. He had also promised to take Louis out similarly some other day.

How they got to the point where Harry was trying to outsmart Louis was a mystery though. “Yes I did know that. I stumbled upon the knowledge in my physics class a few years back. It was truly interesting,” Louis says slightly amused. It was a commonly known fact, or at least he thought so.

“Okay hmmm… well did you know that the northern lights cause infrasounds?” The alpha tries again, but yet again failing.

“That's like a given. Again, physics class, maybe sixth form?” Louis says humming, thinking back to it. “Yeah I'd say that was sixth form definitely.”

“Is there anything you don't know?” Harry asks shaking his head, as he looks down to the omega. His eyes held the same type of wonder that Niall's did when he got all smarty pants. His words not Louis’. “We've been doing this for like twenty minutes and I haven't gotten a single fact down that you wouldn't already know.”

“That's because you only state the simple facts. They're easy,” Louis says grinning. “I mean I don't know everything but I'd say that I do know quite a bit.”

Harry shakes his head once again and just chuckles. “One day I will find something that you don't know and then I can be smart in your eyes,” he says teasingly.

“I already think that you're smart though,” Louis points out. “A lot smarter than some people I know. Like you're studying law, right? I would be really disappointed if you weren't smart,” he jokes. He couldn't really say that he was smarter than Niall because the blonde was smarter than he looked and seemed.

“Well thanks,” Harry laughs softly. “I'm determined to find something you don't know though. And when I do I'm going to be happy,” he says proudly.

“I promise to bake you-”

“I'd rather if you don't,” Harry interrupts chuckling. “I mean I just witnessed your cooking skills and frankly I don't want any salmonella or anything.”

Louis knew that he was joking but he still got just a tiny bit offended. He slaps Harry's arm and decides not to comment on the matter anymore. He had never given anyone salmonella thank you very much, nor did he ever plan on doing it. “Anyway, did you-”

“Louis!”

The omega stops and turns around abruptly at the sound of a familiar voice calling him. He forgets that Harry is next to him for a moment, waving back at the small pack coming toward him. He pats the heads of the boys he's more familiar with and hugs the braver ones. Since all the caretakers at the orphanage are alphas it was rare for them that they got proper caring omega touches. Which, Louis hated when it was being pointed out, was in their nature. He gets up from the ground as the hugs stop and holds his arms out for Luke.

“Hi guys, what brings you out here?” Louis asks once he has briefly hugged the alpha. “Shouldn't you have someone here with you to keep these monsters at bay?” He asks jokingly, getting some groans from the children.

“Nadia is at the shop getting some snacks and water, we're having a picnic because it's such a nice day out,” Luke explains, the kids cheering at the mention of food. They weren't starving or even hungry, but getting something that wasn't homemade was a treasure for them.

Louis can't help but smile at the bundle of joy in Luke’s arms, making grabby hands at him. “She has been fussy all day, can you please take her for a moment?”

Louis can't say no to that. He takes Bella in his arms, baby talking her slightly and bopping her nose. And it's really embarrassing but he only remembers Harry when the alpha clears his throat behind him. “Oh! Yeah, um everyone, this is Harry. Harry say hi to everyone,” he says bouncing the baby slightly. The small pack choruses the hi to the alpha and Harry smiles at them, hiding his confusion well.

Luke glances at Louis and raises his eyebrows. Louis didn't consider him a friend per se, even though that's what he kind of was. He still didn't want to share any details of the situation. At least not yet. “So where are you guys planning on settling down?” Louis asks to fill the awkward silence.

“Next to the playground!” Mila, one of the most energetic eight year olds exclaims. “Luke didn't want to take us there at first but we convinced him!” She says brightly.

“Oh what did you do to convince him?” Louis asks smiling.

“We did our homework!” Gabriel grins. “Well the rest of us did, Lucas was texting his girlfriend,” he says pursing his lips as if he didn't know how to feel about that.

Everyone chuckles as the thirteen year old blushes hard and complains how it wasn't true. They continue the happy chatter easily, turning out that Harry was amazing with the kids, playing some kind of a tapping game with a few of them. It all goes south however when Bella decides that Louis wasn't paying enough attention to her, speaking for the first time ever;

“Mama!”

Chapter Text

“Mama!”

Harry's eyes are burning on him before Louis can even comprehend what had just happened. He looks down at the baby in his arms, who is beaming at him at full force now that she has his attention on her. He then looks up at Harry who looks mad, confused and turned on at the same time. Which...what?

“Did she just?” Harry asks with his voice tight, staring at the baby in Louis’ arms as if he was trying to solve the biggest mystery of the century. “Louis?”

“This is not what it seems like,” Louis says looking at the alpha. That seems to be a mistake since the moment he turns his gaze away Bella gets more anxious and starts chanting mama and basically crying. The omega in him won't let him just ignore it, so he focuses back on the baby, bouncing her around lightly and speaking softly in her hair.

“It's not what it seems like,” Luke repeats, taking over the situation as Louis calms down the baby. “She's an orphan and always surrounded by alphas,” he starts calmly. “She's a baby and always surrounded by the scent of alphas. Do you get what I mean?” He asks furrowing his brows as Harry's face didn't even twitch.

“How could I when you only repeat the same words,” Harry says, clearly getting worked up. “Can someone just explain what is going on please? Are you two like secretly mated and raising a baby together?” He asks looking between Luke and Louis.

Louis huffs at that, shaking his head because the alpha was being ridiculous. “No. You could smell it on us, smell it on Louis if that was the case,” Luke says, his tone underlying some amusement. “Do I have to spell this one out for you?”

“Yes.”

“No.”

Harry and Louis say at the same time, glancing at each other. “Yes Luke,” the omega says, focusing on getting the child to calm down.

Luke takes one look at Louis before gesturing Harry to follow him. Louis knows that it's because he doesn't want the kids to hear the conversation that was about to unravel. Luckily the omega had good hearing, meaning that he heard snippets of the conversation, such as he's the only omega some of these children have been around and he never talks about this. He would've loved to hear what was Luke's perspective on why he didn't tell anyone but that part went unheard.

It's a five-minute conversation before the two alphas come back, both looking thoughtful. By that time Louis has managed to calm down the little bundle in his arms, looking at the two approaching. “Is everything clear now?” He asks humming, trying to make it seem like he was talking to the both of them when in reality he wanted to know what Harry thought. One look at said alpha told him that Harry understood.

“Yes, took some hardcore convincing on my part but everything is clear and good now,” Luke says with a teasing tone as he pushes Harry's shoulder. He then walks toward the omega, whispering under his breath as he gets close enough. “You still have some talking to do,” he hums.

“Can we go now Lulu? We want to play,” one of the kids begs pulling Luke's leg until he looked down.

“Yeah let's go tire you little beasts out,” the alpha chuckles, turning to Louis and holding his arms out for the baby. When the omega raises his eyebrows Luke chuckles, “You know Bella would probably want to come with us,” he smiles.

“Oh yeah,” Louis nods, handing the almost sleeping baby to his friend, but not before kissing her forehead. “I'll come around for her birthday. Just text me the details and I'll be there,” he promises.

They bid their goodbyes and when they were out of sight Louis turns to Harry and bites his lip. Harry wasn't looking mad anymore, more confused again. “So…” Louis starts clearing his throat.

“Well this explains why you smelled like a baby when Gemma was around. It had been driving me crazy but I didn't want to ask about it,” Harry says, interrupting before Louis has the chance to continue. “So… you work with orphan kids?” Louis nods, sensing that Harry had more to say. “That's cool, I mean it's really awesome. I'm sorry for like accusing you of being mated to your friend. It wasn't my place and yeah, I'm sorry.”

“I'd like to say that I get it but at the same time I don't,” Louis says biting his lip. “Like she called me mama which was a huge shock to all of us by the way, so I can see why you got the idea. However I don't know where you got the idea that I was mated with Luke. You have seen my neck, there is no mark there,” he says softly. He was having some mixed feelings about this so he opted to be soft, at least at first. “But I forgive you. I'd be stupid not to for something like this.”

Harry steps closer at that and hugs the omega warmly. “I don't know what got into me. My inner alpha just sees you as someone they like and immediately get jealous. I hate that part of my nature but I can't help it… I promise to work on it okay? And if there's anything I can do to make it up to you, please tell me.”

“You recognised it, that's all I can ask for for now,” Louis says softly, taking Harry's hand in his, linking their fingers. “But how about we move past this and have a great rest of the night? It has been great so far so why ruin it?” He hums smiling, coaxing a smile from Harry as well. He meant what he said, he didn't want to ruin the day with something dumb like this.

A dimple appears on Harry's cheek as he leans in and kisses the omega's forehead light as ever. “That sounds like a solid plan,” he says as he pulls away, squeezing their intertwined fingers lightly. “So what would you like to do? Or shall I be the one deciding?”

Louis bites his lip as they continue walking, wondering if he had anything specific in mind. “I'd say that dropping by work and saying hello to Niall wouldn't be too bad?” He suggests, hoping that the alpha will go with it. He knew that Niall and Harry were on a friendly level with each other but on a deeper level he wanted them to be genuinely friends.

So when a soft smile finds its way on Harry's face, Louis knows that he doesn't mind. “Will we get a discount off our tea?” He asks playfully wiggling his eyebrows, making Louis laugh softly.

“Only if we ask nicely.”

-

A well known fact was that Harry wasn't shy about his body or anything else that came to the alpha himself. He loved to walk around the house naked without a care in the world, without worrying that Louis was going to see him. The omega wasn't like that, he enjoyed his privacy. He had no problems with his body, he just didn't like showing it off every chance he got. Like Harry.

And like, they hadn't been talking about it exclusively but Louis thought that Harry got that. So he was surprised when the alpha entered the room while he was in the shower singing his lungs out and dancing like a stupid person in love. Well not in love, more like a stupid person infatuated with someone.

He smells the alpha before he hears him, squeaking loudly and almost tumbling down. “What the fuck?!” He exclaims covering himself with his hands as there are as no shower curtain. “Excuse me? This is why I don't shower in the main bathroom! You are supposed to knock before you enter!”

“Sorry baby, I just needed to get me some lotion. You have the one that smells like coconu. It’s the best,” Harry explains with a hum, rummaging through the cabinet. “You look cute wet darling, it might be my new favourite look on you,” he says glancing at the omega and throwing him a wink.

Louis splutters as he blushes hard, the words taking him by surprise. “You should- where are your manners. You should knock! You- Harry!” He doesn't know what to say. “Can you not look at me like that?”

“Like what?” Harry asks with a smug look on his face, smirking at the omega. “And you didn't lock the door so I didn't think that you'd care that much. And we are courting darling.”

“I didn't think that I'd have to. I'm in my own room,” Louis says coughing. He rolls his eyes and gives him a look. “You know like what! Like you see me naked or something,” he says without thinking about the situation too much. He can see the exact moment Harry realises it though, shooting him a look that says that he shouldn't comment on it.

The alpha just smirks but luckily doesn't point out the obvious fact. “Like I said you're sexy, how couldn't I look at you,” he says, way too cliché for Louis’ taste.

“Yeah well now that you've got the lotion you can go now so I can finish showering,” Louis says blushing again, nodding toward the door.

“Mhm how about I shower with you,” Harry says smirking as he wiggles his eyebrows, leaning against the cabinet. “I could help you wash your hair and stuff,” he says with a low voice, his eyes trailing up and down the omega’s body, biting his lip.

Louis huffs and tries his best not to get affected by the intense gaze. “So this just took fifteen points off your courting score,” he says trying to sound as disappointed as possible. He didn't mean to say that outloud, he was mostly kidding but then again not. He had a scoreboard of some sort, like in his head at least. Like it had seemed like a good plan when he had started it in the first place but it had been working quite well so he had been continuing it. Well at least until now.

“I have a courting score?” Harry asks amused, chuckling softly. “Can I ask how many points I have right now?” He asks tilting his head to the side. He was teasing, that much was clear.

“None of your business,” Louis says pursing his lips. “But if you don't want any more points taken from your tally board, then I suggest that you go,” he says nodding toward the door. It was getting quite chilly in the room, seeing as he wasn't in the water anymore.

“Okay, okay, I'll go,” Harry says with a satisfied smile, for some reason, walking toward the omega slowly, shushing him as he opens his mouth to question the move. He stops by the omega, smirking at the sound of his heartbeat picking up. He kisses Louis all slow and sweet, cupping his cheeks lightly. He pulls away with a stupid smirk on his lips, leaning on to whisper into his ear, “That should add some points to the tally board,” and then leaving.

Louis is breathing kind of heavy as the door closes behind the alpha, his cheeks flaming red. He shakes his head and forces his heartbeat to slow down. He returns to his shower, mumbling under his breath something intellectual as he stands under the water. He would have to get back at Harry, he just didn't know how yet. But he would find a way. Oh, he would definitely find a way.

-

Finding a good prank was hard. He was kind of sad that he had done the finding someone you love dead with Gemma because now he had nothing good in mind. Nothing came up from searching the internet either, most of them being some dumb gold-digger pranks or something. None of them were good enough for him to pull off. So he had stick to the small ones for now.

Like this morning, he had put Harry's keys under a glass filled with water and left it on the counter. It had bit him in the ass though as Harry had grabbed it and left, leaving the mess for Louis to clean up. He should've seen that coming. So after he finishes off cleaning he sits down and makes himself a cup of tea. He pulls out his ancient laptop and logs into YouTube pulling up prank videos. Again.

There's one that catches his attention. It's not something as great as what's he's looking for but it's a start. So he decides to give it a go, getting himself some tape and wandering into Harry's room. He looks around for a charger, picking it up from the floor as he notices it. He continues to look for more stuff that Harry uses daily, gathering all the stuff onto the bed. He blushes slightly as he finds a pack of condoms under the bed, leaving them there and continuing his search. When he's satisfied with all the stuff he has; headphones, charger, sunglasses etc, he searches for something to make him tall enough to reach the ceiling.

From the cleaning supply closet, he finds what he was looking for. He and Niall had purchased a step ladder back in the day when they were moving and promptly forgot bout it. Now it came in handy, so Louis mentally pats himself on the back for buying it as he drags it to the alpha's room. It takes a while, taping all the things to the ceiling, but when he's done, it's worth it. There was no way that Harry would be able to notice them right away, not with the way Louis made sure the stuff was flat against the surface.

He lowers himself onto the floor again, looking up with a grin on his lips. This was going to be even better than he had thought. He cleans up after himself, making sure that nothing was out of the ordinary, excluding the stuff on the ceiling of course. Once he is satisfied with the work he leaves the room, turning off the lights as he does and taking the ladder back.

Louis then walks back to the kitchen, drinking his now cold tea and returning to YouTube. He was determined to find some big prank to pull off, but for now he was looking forward to seeing Harry's reaction to all of this. And when the reaction ends up being him getting kissed up against the wall, well. He has had worse things happen to him. He was falling for the courting alpha and it scared him. Luckily, it was in the best way possible.

-

“Oh fuck, why did I agree to this?” Louis asks biting the inside of his cheek as he didn't want to bite the dirty chair under him. He seriously had no idea why he had agreed to this, but he was a man of his word so here he was. Remind him not to take any bets with Niall.

“I'd recommend you to stay still mate, unless you want a smudgy picture on your skin,” the tattoo artist, Tim, a petite omega, tells him with an amused voice. “You have tattoos on your skin already, I'd think that you would have a higher pain tolerance for stuff like this.”

“Thanks Tim, appreciate it,” Louis says huffing, wincing as the needle continues to pierce his skin. He had tattoos, yes, but he didn't have one on his ass. Why did he agree to this again? “Can I at least know what it it's going to be?” He asks whimpering slightly. Tim had just started with the design, but he hoped that it'd be over soon.

“Nope! That's the price you have to pay when it you don't know a thing,” Niall says way too happily, standing right next to Louis, his hand on the omega’s shoulder. “Remember this the next time you go all Sherlock Holmes on me.”

Louis rolls his eyes despite the pain, huffing out a breath of air. “Well excuse me if I know things that are actually relevant. Not some comedy show trivia,” he says defensively.

“Knowing the six main characters in F.R.I.E.N.D.S is not trivia, it’s common knowledge,” Niall says, Tim voicing his agreement. “You're just a sore loser that's all mate.”

The conversation and the bet had gone something like this:

Louis flops down onto Niall's couch with a dramatic sigh, staring at the ceiling. He had been bored out of his mind for the whole day, especially after Harry had left for work. He had cleaned the kitchen before deciding that he needed to get out, so he had appeared on Niall's doorstep twenty minutes later. Niall being the awesome friend he was, took him in and made him tea, promising him some company.

“Well someone is dramatic,” Niall chuckles as he comes into the living room with a pot of tea and two mugs. Barbara was out of town visiting her family, hence the alpha's tea-drinking.

“No I'm just bored,” Louis complains. “I have read every book I know and done all the extra studying I had planned for the summer. I have literally nothing to do and too much knowledge in my head. I know everything,” he pouts, glancing at Niall. It wasn't true, he didn't know everything that's just how it felt. He had tried to study some biology but stopped when he realized he already knew everything that the book had to offer.

Niall raises his eyebrows at the omega and huffs. “Oh yeah? If you're so confident then why don't we make a bet out of this?” He asks smiling happily. He was up to something, but Louis was too interested in the idea to notice it.

“Oh yes. What are we betting on?” Louis asks curiously, sitting up to take a cup of tea in hand. “Like a science competition?” He asks sipping on the tea.

“Well kind of, yes,” Niall says nodding, taking a sip of his tea as well, sighing in contentment. “So I ask you questions, say twenty? And if you get all right, you get to decide a tattoo on me and if you get one wrong, I get to decide your tattoo. Up for it?”

Louis thinks about it. He was confident in his knowledge of things and he was bored okay? This was exciting, so there was only one option for this.“Okay, go ahead, ask,” Louis says smiling, getting ready for the questions. He didn't feel too nervous about it.

“When was the first bio weapon used?” Niall asks fist, smiling as if it was a hard one, but really, it was an easy one.

“No one knows for sure, but it's estimated to be used between 1346-1347 in Kaffa. They placed dead bodies that were affected by the plague over the wall surrounding the city, infecting the people there,” Louis answers confidently. He had been reading some history- and biology books, like he said. Apparently it was a good decision.

The alpha looks really surprised when Louis gets that one right, clearing his throat before asking another one. He asks seventeen more questions, the omega answers every question correctly feeling more confident with each answer. He is ready to celebrate his success when Niall goes in for the final blow;

“Name the six main characters in the TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S.”

And well the rest is history.

“I'm not a sore loser,” Louis says huffing, tilting his head so he could see what Tim was doing. “Is there a lot of it left? It feels like I've been here forever,” he asks trying to sense what figures are being drawn out but failing completely. It was hard when your whole ass was sore.

“I can't tell you anything. You would be able to guess the design by the colour of it or something,” Tim laughs while doing the tattoo. “Based on what Niall has been telling me about you, you're quite amazing,” he says, some admiration in his voice. “And I might add that you have quite the ass on you. Damn your alpha must be pleased.”

“He doesn't like those kinds of comments,” Niall warns the omega. Louis has to remember to thank him for it. “But yeah his alpha is very pleased with it. He can't keep his eyes off it.”

“I don't have an alpha,” Louis defends blushing slightly. “One is courting me, but it doesn't mean that I have one,” he says glaring at Niall over his shoulder. He might have to rethink the whole thanking thing.

“You smell like one strongly,” Tim chimes in happily. “If I didn't know that you were an omega, I could've been fooled by the pure strength of the smell,” he chuckles, earning a pat on the back from Niall. Louis still didn't know how the two had found each other, but they were close, that much was clear.

“Well I live with one,” Louis says in a tone that says end of discussion and surprisingly the two comply. He lays there for another ten minutes before the buzzing stops and Tim wipes the ink for the last time. “Is it done?” He asks glancing over his shoulder. His ass was stinging like crazy but he tried his best to ignore it. And that wasn't going so well, he might add.

“Yeah, do you want to stand up and see it?”

Tim doesn't even have time to finish his question before Louis is on his feet already, walking toward the mirror. His palms are sweating as he turns around and looks over his shoulder, holding his breath when he looks down. The wind gets knocked off his lungs when he sees the design, his hands flying to his mouth in shock. He didn't know what he was expecting, but it wasn't this. He had had faith in Niall, knowing that he wouldn't do anything stupid but this was beyond words. This was magnificent.

He slowly moves his hands in awe, hovering them over the fresh ink, careful not to touch the raw skin. He turns to look at Niall who is looking at him anxiously, gesturing him to come over in order to hug him. As soon as they get their hands around each other, Louis buries his face into Niall's neck and breathes in deep. “I fucking love it. Thank you,” he says, his voice thick with emotion. “How did you…?” He trails off, knowing that Niall would get his question.

“Hey I've known you since forever essentially. I know what you like and what you would like on your skin.”

“Why my ass though? Now I can't show this to anyone,” Louis asks, suddenly feeling confused about the placement of the tattoo. He wanted his family to see it, but it didn't feel proper to pull his pants down in front of them, if you get what he means.

“Well I'd like to say that it's as private as you keep your body, you know? Like not for everyone to just see, but for you to show to the people you care enough to let close,” Niall says softly, squeezing the omega in his arms. “So you love it?” He asks jokingly, already knowing the answer.

“I fucking adore it,” Louis huffs, pulling away to look at it again. It was a simple one, seven circles forming a bigger one, with two small doves in the middle of it. In the middle of each of the smaller circles, were letters, respectively; E, D, D, P, F, L, J, one of each of his family member. Ernest, Doris, Daisy, Phoebe, Felicité, Lottie and Jay. Even though Dan was important to him, he appreciated that Niall left him out. The girls and Ernest were his world and the alpha knew that.

“I might have to let you choose my tattoos in the future as well. This is amazing,” Louis continues in awe as he looks back at Niall. “Thank you."

“You're welcome,” Niall says grinning. “Though Tim did all of the work here so you might want to thank him as well,” he jokes nudging the omega’s shoulder.

Louis turns around and walks over the the other omega, holding his hand out to shake the other omega's hand. He was willing to suffer from the germs in order to show his appreciation for the tattoo. Tim was smiling as Louis thanks him profusely, telling him that it was his pleasure. That he had enjoyed doing it and would be more than happy to do another one in the future. And well if the omega could take another one then he wouldn't mind coming back here. He didn't know Tim but he seemed nice enough, just like most of the people Niall liked. He had a great sense of people and Louis trusted his judgment. Yeah that might have sounded like he was talking about a dog instead of his best friend but sometimes it happened.

Niall handles the payment and after that they go for a walk, Louis complaining how his ass was sore and Niall making fun of him. It was nice to spend time with the alpha after not seeing him in a few days, being all caught up with Harry. They make a deal to have a movie night the following weekend before they part with hugs. When Louis arrives back home and comes to the kitchen, Harry asks him why he was limping. Louis decides to keep the alpha in the dark rather than let him know, enjoying the attention he receives. Yeah, the alpha had changed him quite a bit. For the better or worse? He hadn't decided yet.

 

-

Louis couldn't help himself. It was a part of his nature, his gender, and frankly those were something he couldn't control. These feelings usually came right before his heat though, so he was confused, he wasn't supposed to be close to the ummmm… Event. He is staring at the alpha in front of him with yearning eyes and wet lips. He had been feeling all squirmy all day, his stomach filling with want every time he got a proper sniff of the alpha. The symptoms were bubbling, making it hard for him to stop staring at Harry.

The alpha didn't seem to notice the drooling nor the staring, just hanging out on the couch with the telly on. Louis instead was sitting behind the counter, his tea long forgotten next to him. He was quite sure that he wasn't releasing any pheromones because Harry wasn't showing any signs of smelling him. It was driving him quite crazy, the alpha ignoring him, making him feel irrational feelings. He was smarter than this, he knew it deep down but in this state of mind, he wasn't all that rational.

“Harry?” Louis calls out eventually, licking his lips as Harry turns to him, his heart fluttering. On some primal level having Harry's attention on him felt like the best thing ever. “I think… I think that you should go away for a few days. Spend some time with your friends and spend the night there,” he says, hating the words as soon as they came out of his mouth.

Harry looks more than confused as he listens to the omega, pouting slightly. “Why? Have I done something? I'm sorry darling if I have offended you, please don't kick me out. Can we talk about it?” He asks pleadingly, standing from his seat and walking to Louis. “Talk to me.”

“No you haven't done anything,” Louis says shaking his head, breathing in deep as Harry's scent becomes more prominent. “Nothing wrong,” he whimpers softly, closing his eyes. Okay he was definitely going into heat, there was no other explanation for this.

“Louis? Darling are you okay? You seem a bit…” Harry trails off, reaching over the counter to touch Louis’ face, cupping his cheek. He furrows his brows even more as the omega snuggles into the touch.

“Mhm… what? Oh, um I think that I'm close to my heat. Like- I'm sure it will be full blown by the time the sun sets,” Louis explains, looking at Harry under hooded eyes, licking his lips. “So I need you to go, so I can run this out.”

Harry bites his lip, glancing down to his feet before returning the eye contact. “Um I might have a suggestion? And I want you to be open minded about it,” the alpha hums softly, tracing the high point of Louis’ cheekbone with his thumb.

“Yeah? What's that?” Louis asks humming, really content with the touch of his alpha. Well not his alpha, but basically the same thing, at least in this situation.

“I want to spend your heat with you.”

And that… that was a suggestion, difficult one to say no to.

Chapter Text

“You um,” Louis starts, his voice coming out high and raspy, his eyes lulling shut as the alpha rounds the counter and comes to stand next to him. He lets himself be manhandled a bit, so Harry can create a place to stand between his legs. The alpha’s hands find themselves on the omega’s thighs, rubbing small and calming circles into the muscle. “You’d want that?” He asks breathlessly, opening his eyes again. He could feel himself slipping under the familiar haze, fighting against it with all his will. This conversation shouldn’t have been taken place under these circumstances but it wasn’t like there was any other choice.

“I would love to do it,” Harry murmurs with a low timbre, nosing the omega’s neck softly, scenting him. “I could make you feel so good, darling.”

Louis whimpers softly, tilting his head to give the alpha more access to his neck, contently sighing as the alpha nibbles on the sensitive skin. He wanted to let himself go, give Harry his permission to take him to bed and make him feel good as the alpha promised he would do. But he didn’t want to lose his virginity while under the control of his nature. He wanted to be clear minded when that would happen. And he plans on telling this to Harry, but as he opens his mouth the only thing that comes out is, “Please.”

He wraps his legs around Harry’s waist as the alpha picks him up and carries him toward the bedroom. The omega moans as Harry sucks a bruise on his neck, his senses exploding like fireworks, wanting more. He isn’t surprised when he finds himself on his back on Harry’s bed instead of his own, the overpowering scent of the alpha calming him down. Their lips meet in a passionate kiss, Harry’s body mounting his as he climbs onto the bed.

Harry settles between Louis’ open legs, grinding down against his achingly hard dick, while kissing his neck feverishly. Louis tries his best to meet the alpha’s thrusts, his heart beating a mile a minute in his chest, as he’s getting more and more desperate for release. Slick has dampened his pants completely, his hole starting to hurt from being empty and neglected. He can’t form any words to let Harry know this, to tell him that he needs more, proper contact, instead pulling away and whimpering pathetically. The alpha seems to understand though, pulling away enough to take off both of their shirts and pressing their chests together skin on skin.

The newly found contact leads the omega to his release, making him cry out and cum in his already ruined pants. Harry licks his neck comfortingly while his hands trace down his body, coming to stop on the edge of his pants. He growls in question as he fiddles with the joggers and all Louis can do is to nod and give him his permission. The pants come off swiftly, followed by Harry’s soon enough. leaving them completely bare and pressed against one another.

Louis is a complete mess by now, grinding and whining with the intent of trying to get Harry to do something, to take care of him and give him the sweet release he was after. His cock was already hard again, trapped between their bodies, as Harry continued to rub his hips instead of moving his hands to somewhere the omega really wanted them. His silent prayers for more were answered as Harry slowly brought his hand around his aching cock, releasing some of the tension. The alpha’s lips trailed back to his lips, kissing him slow and all-consuming, making the omega’s head spin. He’s out of it, but at the moment he doesn’t care all that much.

He is brought back to reality when the front door opens and someone comes inside. Louis immediately whimpers as he recognises the scent, knowing that he needed to get his head together. He had completely forgotten that Niall was supposed to come over. “Louis?” Said alpha calls out with a weird tone in his voice, making Harry snarl, pulling away. It was a natural reaction, very alpha so it was no wonder that Louis was getting turned on by it in his state. “Lou… Are you okay?”

“Don’t answer,” Harry groans, working his hand feverishly on Louis’ cock, making the omega’s eyes roll to the back of his head. “You’re mine, not his,” he almost whimpers as he bites down on the delicate skin on his neck. “You’re mine.”

Louis is too out of it to actually answer, especially as he cums as soon as the alpha bites down on his neck. He rides out his high, his mouth permanently open and letting out soft puffs off air as the alpha chases his own release. It doesn't take him long to get there and after a few moments they're laying on top of each other, their naked bodies tightly pressed together. Harry is panting almost as hard as Louis, his mouth open and wet against Louis’ neck, marking the skin there.

“Louis?” Niall’s voice comes from outside of the bedroom door, his voice wary. “I’m going to come in now,” he says, causing Harry to snarl again, wrapping his arms around the omega’s pliant body and pulling him even closer to his chest, covering him up.

When Niall enters the room, the snarling only gets louder as Harry pulls a blanket over their bodies. “Go away,” the alpha orders, staring at Niall with crazy eyes. “Get out! He’s mine,” he growls loudly, almost crushing Louis against his chest.

“Harry, just listen to me for a second,” Niall says as calm as he can be. He had smelled Louis in heat multiple times before but it didn’t mean that he wasn’t affected by it at all. “Lou’s in heat. You don’t want to take advantage of him, right?” He continues despite Harry’s warning growls. “Look at him. How do you think that he would feel about this later if you were to do thi?. To give in to his begging when it’s not hundred percent him asking?”  

Harry lets out a pained whimper, licking Louis’ neck like a dog. Louis realises what’s going on- Harry is going to leave. He starts crying out and holding onto the alpha with everything he has, his cock painfully hard on his stomach, leaking. He relaxes as Harry scents him, his senses going all blurry and sated, letting go of the alpha. “I’m so sorry,” Harry whispers against his lips before he drags himself out of the bed, covering the omega up. After Louis is all tucked in he rushes out of the room, still stark naked with Niall following him.

A few moments later the door of their apartment opens and closes with a loud thud. Louis knows already that it’s Harry but a part of him still hopes that the alpha has just thrown Niall out of the flat and would be right back. But that part is silenced when Niall comes back to his room with lots of water and food. He appreciates his friend but in his heat stated mind he wasn’t as appreciative. Especially when he doesn’t know how to feel. A part of him is proud and happy that Harry did the right thing, but the bigger, uglier part of his brain was crying out how his alpha abandoned him when he needed him.

He didn’t know which was the right feeling.

-

 

After four days of fingering himself and rolling around in Harry’s scent, Louis’ heat finally subdues to a point where he can shower and lazily jackoff. He even feels energized enough to eat something more nourishing than bananas or energy bars. And after the fifth day has ended, he is clear of all of the heat. On the first morning post-heat, he sits down on the couch with a cup of tea in hand and pulls out his phone. Harry had texted him every day, apologizing to him and promising that he would come back as soon as Louis’ heat was over. At first Louis was planning on spending one more day alone, without the alpha, but he was feeling lonely and in need of company.

Louis: My heat is over. You can come over

Louis: Also, you owe Ni an apology…

He hits send and locks his phone. He, surprisingly, remembered much from the time he spent in bed with Harry, every touch and every word basically. So yeah, he might have been able to recall everything that happened with Harry during his heat. It didn’t mean anything, right? It was just more memorable as it was his first time that close to an alpha, in heat or outside of it. He had two choices of how he could handle the situation. He could either play it cool and use logic, or then he could freak out and make everything awkward. It was obvious which one he wanted to choose, but when it came to Harry, nothing was easy or clear.

He gets an answer twenty minutes later, and ten minutes after that Harry is already back. Louis is taken aback by how horrible the alpha looks. He looks like he hasn’t slept in days or eaten for that matter, and it’s quite obvious based on the smell that he hasn’t bothered showering either. His eyes are tired but sated when he looks at the omega, wordlessly gliding over to him and pulling him into a hug.

Despite the underlying smell of sweat, the overwhelming scent of alpha takes over Louis’ senses. “I missed you so much, you have no idea,” Harry mumbles against Louis’ hair, breathing him in. “I’ve already apologised to Niall. He forgave me after I swore that we didn’t do anything. I wouldn’t have forgiven myself either if I had lost my self-control around you.”

“I’d say that biting down on my neck, getting me off and calling me yours multiple times is pretty close to losing one’s self-control,” Louis chuckles awkwardly, letting himself relax into the alpha’s arms. “But I missed you too yeah? And what happened is in the past. We can just move past this, no need to make it weird,” he says softly, pulling away with a smile. Something flashes in Harry’s eyes but they are quick to recover to their tired mode. When he nods to confirm, Louis continues, “Great. So how about you go make yourself comfortable on the couch? I’ll let you cuddle me while you sleep,” he suggests softly.

“Can we take the bed? My back hurts a bit,” Harry murmurs.

“I um… I haven't changed the sheets in your bed yet…” Louis says biting his lip as he pulls back a bit. He could see the arousal flash behind Harry's eyes at the suggestion that he could still smell their scents mixed together in the room. It's gone as fast as it came so he continues, “So we can take my bed, if that's fine? It smells like me and I haven't changed in a while so it might-”

“Darling, you have the best scent I've ever smelled. I don't mind being around it, quite the opposite, really,” the alpha says softly. “Just take me to bed and let me cuddle you.”

And well, even if it wasn't Louis’ idea, it would've been a really hard thing to say no to. So without prompting he leads Harry into his room, kicking aside some of his clothes as they make their way onto the bed. He makes Harry lay down under the covers while he fetches his ancient laptop, setting it down while he moves under the covers with the alpha. He lets Harry arrange his body so it was the comfiest for him and even before Louis’ laptop has opened, the alpha is already sleeping with his nose pressed against Louis’ neck. And when Louis found himself smiling at the alpha, he realised one thing. He might be more into the boy than he had thought.

 

-

 

Definitely an alpha. Confident, comes from money, spends it as well. Has an okay job, hates his boss and sleeps with his colleague. Left-handed, has played a sport as a kid, football or basketball maybe? No, hands show signs of working with his hands. Hmm… oh yes, of course, he's a cricket player, definitely, would explain also the running figure. Recently moved to a new apartment, has a cat- no two of them, one white and one orangish. Works out, but only takes care of his upper body and abs, so he doesn't wear shorts. Has a big ego and a big, expensive car, maybe a Range Rover?  Uses self tanning products instead of using a solarium, so he cares about his health-

“Lou? Are you there?”

Ordered a black coffee but added sugar and cream once handed to him. So he wants to be in control as well. Obviously. The bags under his eyes tell that he doesn't get much sleep, more often than not.

“Louis!”

Louis snaps out of his analysis, standing up straight again and looking at Niall who is staring at him. “Fucking finally. I waited for like two hours for that response,” the blonde huffs.

“Oi, stop being dramatic,” Louis rolls his eyes. “Now that you have my attention spill it,” he says, he’d rather listening to what Niall has to say than argue about something neither of them cared about.

“I asked if you wanted to take your break now,” Niall says placing the wet rag to the counter. “It's like an hour before the rush hour begins,” he points out.

It was Saturday, the clock nearing twelve pm. The biggest rush hour always started between twelve and one and lasted at least until four. Perrie would come in at one, followed by Jesse who arrived at four. Louis would get off at three, depending on whether he was needed longer or not. Their rush helper had taken a sick leave so they were all working longer hours to make up for the lost shift. But yeah the bottom line was that there was still an hour and Louis wasn’t all that hungry.  

“I mean, I’m not hungry yet,” he says biting his lip as he turns fully toward the blonde. “Harry made me a big breakfast before I left. I swear that he is trying to make me fat. He’s obsessed with my stomach pudge and it’s getting weird,” he says huffing, finding it kinda sweet. Not that he’d say that outloud, of course.

“You looked like you were in pain just moments ago and your stomach was rumbling, so I thought I'd offer,” Niall says with a shrug. “He just fantasies about you being pregnant. That's why he likes your stomach so much,” he adds nonchalantly as he mimics Louis’ position leaning against the counter. “He apologized to me by the way, like five days ago? I think. You were in heat that's for sure.”

“He apologized before I was out of heat?” Louis asks surprised. He hadn't asked about it from Harry after he had sent the text. He knew that Harry would do the right thing and apologize but before Louis could even mention it? Wow.

“Yeah? Why do you sound so surprised? You’re the one who’s been telling me all about how amazing Harry is,” Niall says amused, looking at Louis expectantly.

Louis rolls his eyes and stands up straight so he can nudge Niall’s shoulder. “I don’t know what you’re implying and I don’t care enough to ask,” he says honestly, keeping his tone light. “Now I need you to help me out with something,” he says humming.

“Yeah? Does it have something to do with Harry?” Niall asks, sounding way too excited considering the subject. Should Louis be worried that there might be some kind of a bromance going on? Harry seems to be fond of the blonde as well, but then again who wouldn’t be right? Niall is a charmer. “Because I swear that I would give you some killer advice on that matter.”

“No, it’s not about Harry,” Louis says, trying to hold back the need to roll his eyes. “What am I missing?” He hums, tilting his chin against the alpha sitting in the cafe, the one he was analysing just moments ago. He fills the blonde in of all the things he had figured out already, watching how Niall’s brows furrow.

“Um, he has a ring on his finger?”

Louis’ eyes snap to the man faster than light, staring into his left hand. True to Niall’s words, there was a golden band snugly placed on his left ring finger. How could’ve he missed that. It was right there. This might change everything.

“I’d say that other than that everything seems to fit the picture quite perfectly,” Niall continues, oblivious of Louis’ flabbergasted demeanor.

“How the fuck did I miss that?” Louis asks pouting. “I'm losing my mojo, I can feel it,” he says frowning. “It's because of Harry isn't it? My brain isn't as sharp anymore because he has been appealing to my omega nature. Well fuck that,” he huffs annoyed.

Niall suddenly breaks out laughing, hard, clutching onto his stomach as he nearly bends over from the force of it. Louis frowns and tilts his head to the side, trying to figure out what was going on. “What's so funny?” He asks as his brain doesn't seem to get it quite right. The alpha doesn't stop laughing though in order to answer the question, instead wiping his eyes and shaking his head. Louis gets frustrated waiting so he turns on his heels and goes to clean the floor. He murmurs under his breath angrily as he scrubs the tables clean, even though they are already pretty much spotless from Niall's visit just minutes before.

He earns some glances from the few customers but none of them seem to be too disturbed by his scrubbing so he keeps at it. When he eventually runs out of tables to clean he walks back behind the counter, where Niall has calmed down. Louis doesn't restart the conversation, instead walking to the tea section and pulling out his favourite.

“Would you make me a cuppa as well?”

Louis hums as agreement, pulling out a second mug which he places onto the counter as well. “Has Barbs gotten more chill with the tea recently?” He asks curiously. For the past few days even before Louis’ heat, Niall had been drinking a lot more tea than when Barbara had first started her coffee revolution.

“Actually I’ve kind of turned her into a tea lover,” Niall chuckles, sounding pleased. “She was complaining about nausea and coffee smelling horrible, so I made her a cuppa and it helped. Like she demanded me to make her some this morning! I don’t know what’s happening but I’m not complaining.”

“You know she might be pregnant?” Louis turns around, forgetting the tea for a while. “Like you guys are sexually active- don’t give me that look- so it wouldn't be such a shocker, yeah?”

“Shut up, I'd know if she was pregnant,” Niall says with a light tone. He didn't seem angry per se, more like he was in denial. “She's going into heat in two weeks and that'll prove you wrong.”

The omega simply shrugs and changes the subject. Even though he was pretty certain that Barbara was pregnant he wasn't going to fight about it with Niall. He might be wrong after all and knowing his friend, he knew that Niall would want to be certain of the fact before getting too excited.

So they drop the subject of pregnancy and talk about their studies and what they were going to do after the summer was over. Which wasn't that far away anymore. After they lay that to rest they continue profiling the customers in the cafe until Perrie comes in. She walks in as they are arguing about whether or not the old couple are actually married or just on a date. She sides with Niall, which causes Louis to mumble under his breath and go back to the floor.

 

-

 

Louis couldn't go home. He didn't feel like he could at the moment. The funny thing was that nothing had even happened. Nothing that should make him feel like this anyways. It had started out as a normal night with Louis walking home from work when he had seen Harry. It wasn't what you'd think, he was alone just walking in the same direction as Louis. And for a moment Louis could see it. Them living together, mated, always coming home to each other. But as soon as the moment passed, panic settled deep in his chest.

He had never been dependant on anyone else but himself. Even when he was young it was never like that with his parents. Of course he was like that in the first years of his life but he quickly learned how to take care of himself. He was so used to getting by on his own that the thought of being codependent was scaring him.

So he couldn't go home. He didn't want Harry to pick up on his thoughts and make his own assumptions when Louis didn't even know what to do with his feelings. He didn't know whether or not he wanted to stop this thing between him and Harry. The two weeks were pretty much up at this point, so he would have to see what Harry wanted to do. If he still wanted him or not.

His first instinct was to go and ask if he could sleep at Niall's but he knew that Barbara had planned a romantic dinner for the two so that was out of the question. He didn't want to worry his mother by showing up late at night so he crossed that idea from the list as well.

Due to the fact that he wasn't that close with his other friends he finds himself entering a small pub quite far from his flat. He walks to the counter and orders something sweet. The bartender looks at him for a moment before starting on the drink. Louis knows that being vague about what he wants is annoying as hell but he doesn't drink often enough to know what he likes.

The drink that is put in front of him ends up being pink, costing him a tenner. He is tempted to tell the bartender that he knows that the tequila he put in it was only seven pounds a bottle, so the drink is really overpriced. But he bites his tongue and sips on the surprisingly good drink. He had no idea what it was called if it even was on the menu, but he could happily drink another in the future. Maybe tonight even, depending whether or not his heart stopped racing.

There are three most common things that make your heart beat faster. One, was sex. Some scientists were so sure that one reason why sex was so enjoyable was because it made your blood flow faster and gave your cells oxygen more frequently. Louis didn’t know what he felt about that, mainly because he didn’t have firsthand knowledge on the act nor the study. The second one was dancing, which, much like the first one, was a physical activity and therefore reasonable. Stress was the third most common cause of an elevated heart rate. Emotional stress was something that many experienced more than once a week, which would be surprising if you didn’t know the condition of the world. Despite it being common it was also worrying.

Louis sets the drink down onto the counter after a few sips, then turns around to face the room. There weren’t too many people there, it being Tuesday night and all. The pub was clearly favoured by the elderly, seeing as Louis was at least ten years younger than the next youngest person there. Excluding the bartender, who seemed to be close to his age. He had turned his phone off while walking, knowing that Harry would be blowing up his phone when he didn’t arrive home soon. He would let him know that everything was okay- at some point. Right now he needed his head completely clear of the alpha.

So he turns to the method he had been using a long time to clear his head. Profiling. He starts off easy, his eyes locking onto a lonely man sitting in the far corner of the bar.

Recently divorced, never been mated however. Bad self-esteem issues, which don’t look current. In his late thirties. Works a decent job which he likes from time to time. Not alcoholic but is really ashamed to be here- either a close friend to someone who has a drinking problem or was raised on sobriety. Doesn’t own any pets, parents have most likely passed away. Has recently been abroad, if the tan covering his skin is anything to go by. Beta, and a proud one.

It gets boring after a while. Louis frowns to himself as he turns to the next person, trying to get something interesting out of them. But she turns out to be quite boring as well. Happy, newlywed and someone who approaches every day as a new possibility type of a person. Someone who loves company and is continuously the life of the party. Someone who Louis couldn’t stand to be around at the moment.

The anxiety comes back with great force when he sees her husband come back to her and pull her into a loving hug. He feels like he can’t breath as he turns around and faces the bar again. He downs the rest of the drink with one go, coughing as the liquor burns his throat. His watery eyes meet with the bartenders, and before he can order another one, the man behind the counter gets to work. When the drink is placed in front of him and he goes to pull out his wallet, the bartender stops him.

“Looks like you’re having a bad one so it’s on the house,” he explains as Louis raises his eyebrows at him.

“You have no idea,” Louis lowers his gaze as he chuckles humorlessly and shakes his head. His eyes meet with the bartender’s as he chugs half of the drink down, then holding the glass up. “Cheers mate,” he hums.

“Do you want to talk about it?” The bartender asks softly. “My name is Alfie if that makes it any easier to pour your heart out,” he says jokingly.

“Give me enough drinks to get me drunk and I’m all yours,” Louis says mockingly rolling his eyes. “Did you know that it is a built in need for alphas to comfort an omega in distress? So even if you hated my guts you would still ask me if I was okay? Same thing for omegas- that’s quite fucked up, innit? Like we are biologically made to be co-dependant and mate and breed! It’s just- I want to be my own person! I don’t just want to be seen as a fucking omega when I’m so much more-”

“Really true,” Alfie interrupts him calmly, with an amused and delighted look on his face. “But you know that I’m a beta, right? So I’m asking because I’m genuinely interested.”

“You’re a beta,” Louis repeats, his eyes wide. He feels his body slump all of a sudden, all the energy from his outburst completely gone. “Of fucking course. Never mind the fact that I’m losing my mind, but now apparently I can’t even scent for shit. Fuck me, honestly.”

“I never expected you to be so vulgar,” Alfie laughs, leaning against the counter. “But I kinda like it. You’re unapologetic and sassy and I feel like you should tell me all about your problems. You definitely have my attention.”

Louis purses his lips and looks the man up and down. “Do you promise to give me a proper answer if I do?” He asks, watching as the beta nods. “And provide me drinks?” He hums, earning another nod. “And telling me that I’m right even when I’m not?” He gets yet another nod from the beta and that settles it. “Alright. Better get comfortable then because you’re about to hear a whole fucking lot.”