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Selfish Devotion

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Harry sighs, rolling his way out of bed, he feels a bit stuffy because it’s winter, he’s in London, and he hasn’t been using his humidifier.

“Harry? What time is it?” Kendall sits up, squinting. She runs her hand through her dark, soft locks; Harry can’t help but smile at how stunning she is, even after a long ten-hour sleep.

“It’s nearly twelve, Ken. You have your shoot in an hour so you should get up and at it soon, love.” Harry knows he can’t keep this up, trying to be normal with Kendall, because the truth of it all was that no matter how much he wanted to be in love with her and to just forget him, he couldn’t.

Kendall gets up out of bed and walks over to Harry, putting her hands gently on his chest, and sighs. “I wish sometimes, that you wouldn’t make that face. I can never tell what you’re thinking, but it makes me feel uneasy.”

Harry wants to scoff at her, but he can’t. He wouldn’t, because she was the victim here, truthfully. When he thinks all day about marrying his best friend, having kids and growing old with someone who isn’t his girlfriend, really, it makes him uneasy too.

“I’m just uh, tired.” Harry averts his gaze, because obviously that was a lie, but if he doesn’t meet her eyes, then it’s just as much the truth as it isn’t.

He walks away, knowing she’s a little confused, but knowing she won’t ask anything more about it. He felt like he was cheating on her somehow, emotionally. Truthfully, he should break things off with Kendall, keep her out of his feelings for Niall, but he can’t seem to let go of the connection he has with her. He knows he wouldn’t be able to stay friends with her, because nobody really ever ends up being mates with their ex, it’s just a saying.

He’s about to go find Kendall when his phone goes off.

‘From: Nialler’

‘Mornin handsome. You ready for our run?? Be there in 5! Cheers x’

Harry curses, forgetting he made plans with Niall to go for a winter run. As friends... Sweaty friends. Sweaty, hot friends. Friends.

Harry took a deep breath, heading downstairs to see if Kendall was getting ready yet.

“Babe?” He hears as he reaches the bottom of the stairs.

He looks up, she’s wearing a different outfit and her hair is in a bun, water and keys in hand.

“Shit that was fast, Ken.” Harry remarks, realizing it’s only been ten minutes.

“I wanna get there early to discuss the shoot with the director, also I didn’t set this one up, Mom did, so I’m gonna go see the layout of things.” She tells him, leaning in to kiss him in the cheek. “You got any plans?”

Harry coughs a little, unintentionally, “Yeah, I’m going out for a run with Niall any minute now, we’ll probably go for some food after, we’ll see though.”

Kendall noticeably deflates, nodding apathetically, what seemed like to herself.

“Do you not like Niall?” Harry questions, feeling defensive all of a sudden. Niall is really important to him, and Kendall is a part of his life, so, although it may be completely selfish he feels compelled with a need for her to like him.

“No, it’s not that, it’s just that whenever he’s around you kind of push me to the side. Look, I get he’s your best friend but, we’re together, and it’s be nice if I didn’t have people coming up to me and asking if you guys are dating all the time.” She admits sheepishly.

“People think we’re dating?!” Harry thinks he might sound a little too happy, but his heart was racing at the thought of it.

“Listen, we can continue this... weird conversation later, just- Bye, Harry.”

Harry felt a tense air left in the dust of her short departure, but he left it be for a later him problem.

He wasn’t left to himself for very long, barely finishing a long sigh before he heard his front door open. “Feeling up for a run still?” Niall calls, walking into the kitchen in search of Harry.

Harry turns around, the wind knocked out of him when he sees Niall wearing his favourite Adidas trackies and a hoodie that Harry was pretty sure was also his. He wanted Niall to wear his clothes forever, except for when he‘s naked, because that’s fine too, Harry thinks.

“Harry? You ready?” Niall waves a hand in front of Harry’s face, snapping him out of his trance.

“Oh um, yeah.” Harry snaps back to reality, grabbing his keys and water. He thought maybe they’d drive to one of Harry’s favourite trails, mostly because it’s more isolated which means less likely there’ll be paps and more alone time with Niall.

“We driving?” Niall laughs a little, causing Harry to blush.

“Yeah, Just trust me. Okay?” Harry says, leading the way out of the house.

“You’d better not be plotting to kill me, Styles.”

X

Harry could be running a lot faster and farther than he is. He’s aware that Niall has knee problems though, and he doesn’t mind slowing down to consider Niall’s feelings, sympathizing with him.

“Thanks for waiting up Har, I really appreciate it.” Harry shrugs bashfully, he never needs to think twice about putting Niall first.

~

“Harry! Slow down! You know I have asthma!” Kendall calls from five feet behind him.

“Sorry Ken, wasn’t even thinking, just let my feet guide me.” Harry chuckles.

He sticks with Kendall for a while, trying to be conscious of her breathing problems, but it was often he got lost in thought and didn’t think about her feelings in the process.

~

They run for just over an hour, taking walking breaks every now and then.

“Do you want to go and eat somewhere?” Niall asks, looking up at Harry, chuckling as an afterthought. “You’re really sweaty, Haz. Jeez, it’s minus fifteen out here, anything I sweat freezes.” He jokes.

Harry blushes, wiping his forehead, “suppose that run was a bit long wasn’t it? Just get lost in time sometimes.” ‘When I’m with you’ he thinks as an afterthought.

Niall scrunches his nose, “You never answered my question, Hazzy.”

Harry’s knees buckle, and he feels his heart beating faster in his chest at the nickname, “You pick the place and I’ll drive us there.”

“Why do you always let me choose? Kendall tells me when you two go out you’re a pain and a half, anything but agreeable.”

Harry stops, a small, hopefully unnoticeable lump forming in his throat, “When do you and Kendall talk?”

Niall heaves a sigh, as if he’s readying to tell Harry some big secret of his, “Promise you won’t get mad.”

“I’ll be more mad if you don’t tell me, Niall. You’re making me nervous.”

It takes a minute for Niall to speak up again, he looks like he’s scared to speak, “On my birthday, after you bought me the necklace, which I loved by the way, a lot; Kendall got really drunk. It was a few days after my birthday actually, when you were out doing promo somewhere, God knows where. Well she called a car and came to my house, she was mad and drunk and it was aimed at me, she started yelling at me, telling me I was dense and that you were in love with me and any day now you were going to leave her, and it was all my fault. That’s why I asked, because that’s one of the things she yelled at me about, how you always let me choose, but when it comes to you and her you’re not as easy going.” Niall finishes, looking anywhere but at Harry.

Thank god they’re in the middle of a barren running trail fifteen minutes out of the city, with no paps, because Harry felt too many emotions at Niall’s revelation to be able to contain himself, when he let out a giant sob, sitting in the dirt and putting his head in his arms.
“I’m so stupid, Niall.”

Niall’s frozen, trying to process Harry’s reaction, he’s not an easy person to read.

“Why am I doing this to her? She’s the sweetest girl, and I love her, I do. But she’s just not-“ Harry pauses, thinking for a split-second before he decides to finish his sentence, “She’s not you.”

“Harry- I.”

“You know what Niall, just forget it, okay? This is all too much for me right now, let’s just go home, cars about five minutes that way.” Harry gets up, walking a fair bit ahead of Niall.

It’s silent for two minutes before a sharp yell of “No.” breaks Harry from his thoughts.

“No?” Harry turns around confused.

“I understand that you’re in a relationship but you can’t very well just tell me you’re in love with me and then just tell me to hold on till you clear your fucking head, or conscious, or whatever.” Niall yells, he’s close to fuming, and Harry’s heart is so broken and full at the same time.

There’s an intense staring match, and Harry doesn’t know what to say, and neither does Niall anymore, apparently.

“Fuck you Harry.” Niall curses, and Harry thinks he’s about to stomp away, when unexpectedly his lips are on Harry’s, passion filled, angry, loving; too many emotions, but Harry can’t get enough.

“We-“ Harry tries in between kisses “we can’t.”

“I know.” Niall, un-tenses, pulling away sadly.

X

The ride to Niall’s is silent, and tense, and yet halfway through the trip, Harry feels Niall engulf his hand into Harry’s larger hand, and he allows himself to smile about it for a second.

“You’re gonna have some thinking to do, huh?” Niall jokes sadly when Harry pulls up to his flat.

“Really? About what? My feelings are pretty set in stone, Niall.” Harry sighs, meeting his eyes for the first time since after they kissed.

“Yeah well, then I’m gonna have some thinking to do. And I’m not in any position to tell you what to do, but what you said before about Kendall, you’re right; she’s a good person Harry.” Niall doesn’t say further, but Harry gets the point.

Harry laughs a little “I don’t even deserve her, so I won’t be surprised if you decide I’d make a shitty boyfriend.”

Niall shakes his head, leaning over to kiss Harry on the cheek, “We’ll talk, okay? We just both need some space now, I think.”

Harry nods, and then watches Niall disappear into his house.

X

Harry cries when he gets home, a lot. He feels so relieved yet, so guilty. He honestly wishes he could just love Kendall like he does Niall, it would make everything easier.

And when Kendall gets back to Harry’s flat, he’s still sad, and is trying really hard not to cry.
“I don’t deserve you, Kendall. You deserve someone better.” He says. She’s barely gotten in the door, but his feelings have just been eating at him all evening.

Kendall purses her lips, and sets her bags down. “You suck, Harry. I saw this coming but I loved you, so I stayed, my god I hate that I love you.” Shes frowning, tears pooling in her eyes, “You love him, right?”

Harry splutters a sob, and nods, letting her hug him, as they consoled each other for severely conflicting reasons.

“You should be yelling at me, telling me I don’t deserve you. Because I don’t, Kenny. I wish more than anything that I thought you were the one, because let me tell you, I don’t want to lose you.” Harry kisses her forehead as she cries.

“I’m going to call Kourtney, she’s in town, and she’ll come get me.” Kendall says sadly, sniffling and walking away to get her things.

“Ken.” Harry says softly, and she turns around. “I know I‘ve been selfish and I’m sorry.”

Kendall nods, accepting his apology but not understanding or forgiving him, which is as much as he expected.

X

It’s not like Harry’s been ignoring every person he knows on purpose. He just needs some time to think for himself. But he’s become very aware that a week is too much time to have isolated himself, when Louis Tomlinson of all people practically breaks down his door.

“Jesus Lou, what’s wrong?” Harry asks, right after opening the door to let him in.

“You look shit, Harry.” Louis grimaces, walking further inside.

“Thanks Louis, did you just come over to tell me that? I do have mirrors you know.” Harry scoffs, a dry laugh following.

Louis takes a deep breath before walking over to Harry and pulling him in for a hug. “Niall told me what happened.” He says, and that’s when Harry loses it. He starts crying into Louis’ shoulder. He feels too much like he’s let Niall down to reach out but Niall kissed him, so he also feels like an arse.

“Harry, why are you still beating yourself up? I’m not going to tell you you handled the situation well, because you didn’t. But you and Kendall are over, and yeah break ups suck. But the person you’re in love with practically threw himself at you days ago and now you’re here, dodging his calls, and pretending he doesn’t exist. That’s shit, mate. Get over yourself and go get your boy before he gives up on you.” Louis says firmly, giving Harry a soft look of encouragement.

“I’m a selfish eejit, aren’t I?” Harry laughs a little, a real laugh, for the first time in days.

Louis laughs with him, “You are, but we all have our moments. Remember El and I broke up for nearly two years because I cheated on her, and tried to excuse it. But that doesn’t mean we’re bad people, it just means we’re people who fuck up royally sometimes.” Louis shrugs. “Sorry I’m not good at the pep talks, Niall probably should’ve talked to Liam first.”

Harry smiles at Louis “No, I needed some tough love. I’m gonna need a day or two to get my shit together, but you’re right, I’m not being fair to Niall and I need to fix that.”

X

It’s the next evening when Harry’s making his way to Niall’s flat, nervously tapping the steering wheel. He stopped to get Niall’s favourite Guinness and a box of baileys chocolates for him.

He’s gone over nearly a million scenarios in his head as to what he was going to say, and nothing sounds right. He supposes he’ll just have to wing it.

He really thought about what Louis said. He was being selfish not only with Kendall, but now with Niall too, and he really needed to just stop pitying himself.

With his heart racing and his hands shaking, he parks the car, each move he makes after that feels like it’s in slow motion, till he gets to the door. It takes him a
minute to work up the courage to knock, and when he does it’s soft, and he hopes he doesn’t have to knock again.

Thankfully Niall open the door. “Harry?” He looks shocked to see Harry in the flesh, staring up at him with soft eyes and tight lips.

“I know you’re probably mad, b-“

“I am, but just put a pause on your apology.” Niall says, and immediately his lips are on Harry’s, ravishingly he grips the back of Harry’s neck, jumping up for Harry to lift him, and that’s when he hears the sound of a bottle breaking and another soft thump. Looking over Harry’s shoulder he gasps “You broke my fucking Guinness.”

“How do you know that was for you?” Harry asks smugly.

“Cause you’re hopelessly in love with me; But all this talking is kind of ruining the mood for the ‘I don’t actually forgive you, but I do sex’ we were about to have.” Niall laughs, as Harry sets him down.

“Sorry, pet.” Harry says, his heart filling with regret, for the sadness he caused Niall the past couple days. “Not just for ruining the mood, but for being a selfish prick. I’ve never been really good at relationships in any capacity, but um, I want to be better; for you.” Harry swore he wouldn’t cry, but he’s choking up at how full his heart feels, looking into Niall’s eyes.

“I feel like I’m being proposed to, you sap.” Niall jokes.

Harry gets an idea though, and it’s apparent to Niall, Harry can tell when Niall starts shaking his head humorously. He gets on one knee, and takes Niall’s hand. “Harry don’t you propose to me you idiot of a hopeless fucking romantic. We’ve got a few things to sort out first, like a first date might be in order?”

“Niall Horan,” Harry goes about his plan anyways “We met when we were just young, sixteen if I remember right. You wanted to be ‘an Irish Justin Bieber’ and I wanted to get the hell out of Cheshire-“

“You love Cheshire.”

“That’s not the point. Just let me have my romantic speech, I’m on my knee for God’s sake.” Harry clears his throat “Against my better judgment I let myself fall in love with you, and did I ever get fucked in the ass.”

“So romantic.” Niall scoffs.

“Well, all I’m saying is, it’s hard being one of the millions of people who love you, because I want to be number one to you. So Niall Horan, as you mentioned earlier, a first date is in order. I know I’ve been a complete idiot up until now, but I also know you wouldn’t have kissed me twice now, if you didn’t feel a hint of the same way. So, will you go on a date with me? Remember, I’m asking nicely.” Harry smiles.

Niall shakes his head at Harry “Get the fuck up, Styles.”

Harry stands up quickly his heart racing in his chest. The surrounding air feels thick and with how long Niall is silent for, he thinks it may be a sort of payback for how much of an ass he’s been.

Niall breaks into a smile a few seconds later, pulling Harry in for a soft, tender kiss. “When you propose to me for real one day, you better be able to top this apology.”

“I’m hoping to god that means yes?” Harry smiles.

Niall shakes his head, attacking Harry’s lips again, “Yes.”

Harry’s ready for it this time when Niall’s jumps, he grasps him steadily and backs him into the wall, “Bedroom?” Harry inquires.

“You know the way, Styles.”