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meet me in the hallway

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Niall’s nervous. His hands are a bit shaky and sweaty, which he hides by shoving them into the pocket of his rust-orange jacket, and his insides are an absolute mess.

He wasn’t gonna do this. He wasn’t gonna make it a big thing, him coming to see Harry perform with his little entourage- He wasn’t gonna make Harry worry and fret about Niall being there, about giving Niall and his friends the perks, about making sure that everyone is well taken care of – in fact, he was literally just going to sit up in the nosebleeds and then shoot him a text after to tell him he’s around- Honestly, he was.

And yet here is. Back stage. In the hallway between dressing rooms and loos. His mates are all around, talking to members of Harry’s team, and Lou’s down at the end of the hallway talking to Sarah and fretting over her hair – and it all feels very…surreal. Feels like old times. Feels like he should be getting ready to sling a guitar over his shoulder; like when the light goes on for the stage and the curtain goes down, that he should be going out there with Harry – like he used to.

Except that that’s not what this is. He’s not here to be on stage, he’s here to watch Harry do what he does best and he’s excited. But he’s also nervous; not for Harry, but rather…for himself.

A hand wraps around his wrist, tugs his hand out of his pocket and then pulls him backwards. He glances over his shoulder as he all but stumbles after Harry – knew it was Harry from the minute his fingers touched his pulse – back down the hallway to his dressing room. A quicker glance back over his shoulder in the other direction tells him that nobody notices that he’s just disappeared, and a smirk settles across his lips. (They will, though. They’ll notice – and then they’ll notice that Harry is nowhere to be found either, and they’ll know. They know, but Niall doesn’t care.)

And, well- Now it really does feel surreal, feel like old times. He feels like he’s 19 again. Feels like his heart is going to beat out of his chest.

Harry’s hands are on him the second the lock clicks on the door. He pushes Niall up against the door, one hand on his hip whilst the other clutches at the back of Niall’s neck. He slips one knee between Niall’s thighs, presses the length of his body against Niall’s. And Niall expects a kiss, expects Harry to capture his lips and snog him senseless – but he doesn’t. Instead, he just…stares and gazes. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Niall breathes.

“I almost thought you weren’t gonna make it.”

“I’m here, aren’t I?”

Harry hums.

Niall cards a hand back through Harry’s hair and smiles sort of fondly. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, H,” he whispers.

And, well, it’s true. He’s seen Harry perform hundreds of times, has a vault in the back of his mind full of memories of watching Harry do what he does on stage – but this is different. Seeing Harry perform his own solo show is different. He’s seen videos online, has watched at least a dozen of them, but he knows from experience that videos don’t do Harry Styles justice and, well, Niall has sort of been looking forward to the whole experience for weeks now. The whole world could have gotten a memo that it was ending today, and he still wouldn’t have missed this; it’s the only place he’d want to be. (There’s a secondary reason for that too, but he tries not to think about it too much.)

“Not even for a date?” Harry asks. His voice sounds like he’s just teasing, but there’s something in his eyes – something Niall can’t quite figure out – that says otherwise.

Niall’s breath gets caught up in his throat, then. It wraps itself into a ball and stays there, making it harder for him to breathe. “Harry,” he mutters, as a warning. “Don’t.”

“I’m just saying-“

“Don’t,” Niall whispers. Not now, he doesn’t say. “Just…”

Harry smirks, leans in to press his lips against Niall’s jaw. “Just what?”

“Just kiss me,” Niall breathes.

And that’s what Harry does. Kisses him. Owns him. And Niall lets him, melts into him, clings to him.

It’s like fireworks, like every fiber of his being is exploding. He’s on fire. He’s flying and he’s falling at the same time – and he doesn’t even care that he can’t really tell the difference. In a way, it’s all the same anyway because he’s screwed either way. It’s a mistake and he should be pushing Harry away, telling him no. He should be going back out there, joining his mates to watch Harry’s show and support his friend, and leave it at that. But instead he pulls Harry closer. Kisses him deeper. Moans low in his throat when Harry gets his hands on the top button of his jeans.

And then Harry’s on his knees as he works Niall’s pants down his hips and over his arse and Niall doesn’t care enough about his stupid trousers to tell him to get up, so he pushes a hand through Harry’s hair instead. A shiver runs up and down his spine when he feels Harry wrap a hand around his cock – and a gasp escapes his throat when he feels Harry’s breath fan around his tip, and then he hisses-

He hisses, and his toes curl, and his stomach gives a bit of a tug because Harry’s mouth is warm and wet and perfect.

Harry’s mouth is sinful. Harry knows exactly what Niall likes and how he likes it. He also knows exactly how to get Niall off especially quickly, like when they’re strapped for time just before a show and they’ve locked themselves in a dressing room at the venue so that the lads can’t just walk in on them – again.

And that’s what it is. It’s quick. And it’s a bit filthy, the way Harry looks up at him and blinks; the way Harry smiles around Niall’s dick because he knows that Niall is close; the way he swallows Niall’s length all the way down his throat over and over; the way he moans and closes his eyes when Niall’s cum fills his mouth. It’s raunchy, the way Harry shudders and comes in his pants with a choked off groan. It’s dirty, the way Harry pulls off and then pulls himself to his feet and kisses him so that he can taste himself on Harry’s tongue.

And, yeah- Harry knows exactly what he likes. Almost to a fault.

Harry’s breathless when he pulls away, and Niall is panting, short of breath. Harry turns away, then, but Niall stays leaning against the door, watches Harry cross the room to where a table has been set up with all of Lou’s – Harry’s – hair products and makeup. He watches Harry grab two water bottles, and then catches the one Harry tosses him with both hands.

“Mully told me you were just gonna sit up in the rafters,” Harry says, then, as he leans back against the table and unscrews the lid for his water bottle.

Niall rolls his eyes. “The ‘rafters’ is a bit of a stretch.”


Niall shrugs. “Didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.”

Harry raises an eyebrow. “I reckon going through the front door and all the way up there would draw more attention, a lot quicker, to you than this,” he says.

And, well, he’s not wrong.

“Did you want to see me but not actually see me?”

Niall shakes his head almost too quickly. And, oh, how little he understands. “Harry-“

“Styles!” comes a voice through the door behind Niall’s head. It’s Jeff, Niall realizes immediately. “Stage in five, bro.”

“I’ll be there in three,” Harry calls back. He turns, then, and Niall watches silently as he rifles through one of Lou’s bags sitting on the table.

“Your friends are waiting for you, Horan.”

Niall almost winces as Jeff addresses him, and swallows hard around the lump in his throat as Jeff walks away from the door. It’s not that Jeff doesn’t know; he’s Harry’s manager, and one of his best friends, so of course he knows. And it’s not even that he was expecting Jeff not to notice that they’d both disappeared. It’s just- It still sort of takes him back when Jeff makes it so obvious that he does know.

“Here,” Harry says, then, and Niall looks up just as Harry hands him a pack of gum. It’s peppermint – not that it matters which flavour it is. Niall can already smell it on Harry’s breath.

Niall pops a piece out of the package and then into his mouth. He still feels like he should explain, though, so he steps forward. “Haz, I-“

“I know,” Harry whispers, smiling softly. “I’m just- I’m glad you came.”

And, well, maybe the less Niall says the better after all. So instead he smiles, and pulls Harry in for a hug.


Mully and Willie are waiting for him when he returns to where he left them.

“That didn’t take long,” Mully hums, a playful smirk playing on his lips.

“Shut up,” Niall mutters as he walks straight past them, hands stuffed deep into his pockets. They both fall into step behind him. “It was his idea, not mine.”

“Yeah, but you went.”

“Shut up.”

“What kind of gum is that?” Willie asks, feigning innocence.

Niall rolls his eyes. “I swear to-“

“There you lads are,” Mark says, standing right beside the entrance they’re about to walk through to get to the sound pit.

“Sorry, Jarv,” Mully says, clapping a hand over his shoulder. “Horan was a little busy getting dicked-“

“Jesus!” Niall snaps, whacking the back of his hand against his mate’s shoulder. (Only right now he’s regretting the fact that they’re friends.) “I wasn’t- That’s not what happened. And shut up.”

“Ah,” Willie hums. “So you just got a blowie, then?”

Niall groans as he pinches the bridge of his nose. “I swear to God-“

“But then why do you have gum?”

“I hate all of you,” Niall mutters as he walks through the entrance. He finds Lou standing at the back of the pit with Lux – Lux, who’s so much bigger than the last time he saw her, and who smiles and waves at him excitedly when she sees him. The lights are dim, so nobody notices as he walks across the pit to stand next to them. And, for the most part, he ignores the others because while Lou obviously knows, she knows to her keep her mouth shut too.


People began to notice that he was there mid-way through the concert. Fans tried to get his attention. And perhaps if it were any other show, if it were any other artist he’d gone to see, he would have acknowledged them – would have stopped for photos after the show had ended, but it’s Harry. It’s Harry, and that should make it easier, should make it that much more fun – because they’re friends and bandmates for fuck’s sake – and yet the idea of it, of talking to fans after watching Harry perform, is far too daunting. So, instead, he all but runs backstage, leaving a group of screaming girls to call out his name behind him.

He’s mingling now. And, once again, it feels like old times, with Mark and Lou and itty bitty Lux chatting away at him. The only real, distinct difference is the fact that Harry’s new bandmates are there, lingering and mingling – and talking to him, telling him they love his stuff, swapping stories of Harry’s antics. And Niall sees it. He sees why they get along so well. He understands why Harry chose them, for this. And as much as it makes his chest feel tight, he’s happy for Harry. He is.


He’s with Mully and Willie, about to pack it in and say goodbye to everyone else, when he feels a hand clap against his shoulder. The hand squeezes – and then Harry’s there, smiling at Mully and Willie, thanking them for coming, running a hand through sweaty hair. And then he’s looking at Niall.

“Hey,” he breathes.

And Niall reckons he should have been prepared for the way Harry falls right into his space. He thinks he should have expected Harry’s arms to wind right around his shoulders. And, yet, his breath catches in his throat as he’s caught off guard. He’s out of practice.

“I’m really glad that you came, Ni,” Harry says, resting his chin on the tip of Niall’s shoulder. It’s like he has no shame. (He’s never had much, though, has he?) “And I’m even more glad that I could actually see you.”

“Yeah,” Niall whispers. “Me too.”

“I’m having people over,” Harry says as he pulls back, pushes his hands into the pockets of his colourful trousers. “And I want you to come.”

Niall blinks, licks his lips; ignores the way Mully looks back at him, despite pretending not to listen, pretending to be engaged in a conversation with Willie and Mark. “I dunno, Harry. I-“

“Come onnnnn,” Harry whispers, practically begs. “Come on. It’s been ages since we hung out.”

“I- I have a lot to do tomorrow,” Niall says. “Have to get ready for the iHeart stuff coming up.” It’s a weak excuse, though, because it’s nothing that his assistant, Tara, can’t handle.

“Oh, please,” Harry scoffs. “You’ve had everything ready for ages, Niall, and we both know it. I know how organized you are.”

And, well, he isn’t wrong.

“If you really don’t want to come, then-“

“It’s not that I don’t want to,” Niall protests. He just doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

“Then come,” Harry coaxes. “It’ll be fun. Just like old times.”

And, well, the thing is- That’s what Niall is afraid of – of things being a little bit too much like old times.


The house is full. At least, it is in regards to what Harry had just called “having people over”, anyway.

Niall has spent of the night out back, beer in hand, mingling. He’d lost Mully and Willie in the crowd ages ago, and he’s been more or less avoiding Harry. He’s really good at making conversation with people he doesn’t know – on a daily basis – and, somehow, talking to people he knows the name of but doesn’t know personally seems a lot easier anyway.

That is, until the crowd begins to dwindle as Harry’s party-goers begin to leave. That’s when it gets harder and harder to avoid being caught alone with Harry.


In hindsight, he probably should have been one of the first to leave – as opposed to being the literal last. He should’ve known that Harry would try to stop him – and, more than that, he should have known that both Mully and Willie were going to leave him there, giggling amongst themselves.

And now here he is, face-to-face with Harry freaking Styles, separated only by the large island standing between them in the kitchen. There’s a lump in Niall’s throat, his heart feels like it’s trying to beat out of his chest, and he’s almost certain that his stomach is going to fall out of his arse. He’s nervous. He’s so fucking nervous.

“I was so nervous tonight,” Harry says, pushing himself away from the edge of the island. He comes around the edge closest to where Niall is standing, reaches for the refrigerator door handle and pulls the door open. “Like, obviously, I get nervous before every show but I was especially nervous for this one.”

Niall licks his lips, swallows hard around the lump in his throat. He’s afraid to ask why, so he opts not to.

“The thought of you being in the audience tonight, Ni-“

“Don’t,” Niall murmurs, looking away as Harry turns around to face him, water bottle in hand.

Harry’s brow furrows. “Don’t what?”

“Don’t talk. I’m tired of talking.”

“We’ve barely spoken,” Harry points out.

“Exactly.” Niall closes the distance between them before his brain has even really registered what he wants to do, as if his body – his heart, perhaps – is in total control. In what feels like a heartbeat, maybe less, his lips collide with Harry’s and it’s- It’s soft, at first, and Niall finds himself thinking that Harry’s mouth is exactly as soft as the last time they did this. It’s tentative, as if his own mouth is just trying to reacquaint itself with Harry’s. And then it’s hard, and it’s passionate, and it’s desperate.

Harry’s kiss is intoxicating. The way his lips move, the way he bites, the way he moans, the way his hands cup Niall’s face to keep him close- It makes Niall’s knees buckle, makes him feel like putty between Harry’s fingers, makes him feel hot all over. Harry is all that he wants, all that he needs.

He’s tired of forcing conversations. Of talking about things that don’t even fucking matter anymore. He’s tired of awkward silences, of pretending like everything is normal, of acting like they’re just friends that haven’t seen each other in a while.

Besides- They both know why Harry asked him to stay even — especially — after everyone else had gone, and it wasn’t to talk. The last thing he wants to do is talk.

Suddenly his back is against the edge of the counter, and Harry’s lips are on his neck, and Niall is panting, trying to catch his breath. He’s half hard, straining against the zipper of his jeans. He groans when Harry sucks at a particularly sensitive spot on his collarbone and Niall reminds himself, sort of absentmindedly, to let Harry leave any marks – at least none that would be seen by anyone else.

Niall’s knees are literally about to give out when Harry pulls away- Harry, whose lips are all red and shiney, whose eyes are blown out lustfully, who grins like a goddamn Cheshire cat as he slips a long finger through one of Niall’s belt loops and pulls him out of the kitchen and towards the stairs. And Niall follows, easily, despite the small voice in the back of his head telling him not to – that it’s a mistake, that he’s going to regret it, that it isn’t going to fix anything. He doesn’t need it to fix anything though, is the thing. He just- He needs it, regardless of how much he knows he’ll hate himself after.

He catches but a glimpse of the room around him before Harry pushes him against the door as it closes. And he allows himself but a moment to remember the last time he was here; things were messy, then. Complicated. And yet they were so much simpler, then, than they are now.

He’s written nearly a whole album about what it’s like to love, what it’s like to be loved and to be heartbroken by Harry Styles, since then – and he’s performing said album all over the world, in five countries already, giving people this idea that he’s a fucking mess of a broken human being, and yet here he is.

Here: pinned between Harry fucking Styles and a hard place, mere feet away from where his heart had broken, once – twice, three times – and he doesn’t want to be anywhere else. (Perhaps he’ll write a song about this, too. Put it on his next album. Maybe it’ll even be the last song inspired by him.)

“Where’d you go just now?” Harry’s asking when his voice breaks through Niall’s thoughts. His nose brushes against Niall’s, his breath fans across Niall’s jaw.

“Nowhere,” Niall breathes- And then he’s surging forward, and he’s kissing Harry deeply, hungrily, desperately. He doesn’t want to think any more than he wants to talk. He pushes Harry back, makes quick work of pulling Harry’s shirt up over his head before starting on his own as he makes his way towards the bed on the other side of the room.

Harry reaches out to grab Niall’s shoulders, spins him around and then back towards him, flush against him until he’s breathing against Niall’s mouth. And then it’s quick, the way they undress each other with fumbling, clumsy fingers, like they can’t get naked fast enough, as they stumble through the room. Once upon a time, this would have been considered fun. They would have been laughing, teasing each other, poking each other. It’s happened more times than Niall can even count, more than he’d even like to remember.

He’s naked when he flops back on the bed, and so is Harry as he stands at the edge of the mattress, gaze gliding over Niall’s body. In the beginning, when Harry would stare at him like so, he’d been embarrassed. He’d flush, from head to toe, and he’d grab the sheets to cover himself up and then he’d reach out and drag Harry over him so that he wouldn’t have a choice but to stop staring. Now, even back then, he lies still and he stares right back, lets his own gaze roam Harry’s frame. It’s been ages since he’s seen Harry, let alone seen Harry like this, and apart from a few new tattoos, he’s still…perfect. Beautiful.

He hates it. There’s literally nothing worse than someone you used to know looking just as attractive as the day you fell for them.

“You gonna stand there staring all night, or are you gonna fuck me?” Niall finds himself asking as he pushes himself up onto his elbows.

Harry smirks, quirks an eyebrow – and Niall would like nothing more than to snog the smug look off his stupid face. “Just admiring the view,” he says.

“Should I just get myself off, then?” He punctuates the question by grabbing hold of his dick, fingers wrapped around the base. He’s done it a handful of times, before; gotten himself off while Harry watched, as per Harry’s request. And he’d always enjoyed it well enough to do it again, if that’s what Harry wants right now-

Harry growls a no, swats Niall’s hand away as he crawls over top of him. He catches Niall’s mouth in a kiss, bites gently at his bottom lip, licks into his mouth. He grinds down, and Niall just about chokes on Harry’s tongue when he feels Harry’s dick, long and thick and hard, alongside his own – which only makes him harder, so much so that it hurts. “No touching,” he breathes as he pulls back.

And, well- Niall’s okay with that too, mostly.

“Turn over,” Harry mutters, pushing himself back. Niall does as he’s told, rolls over and bends his knees, whilst Harry reaches towards the top drawer of his bedside table.

Niall’s head is down, his ass is up, and he swears that if Harry doesn’t hurry the fuck up that he really is going to get himself off, ‘no touching’ himself be damned- He stops thinking suddenly, then, when a hand comes down on his left arse cheek, stops breathing when the hand squeezes and pushes his flesh back, and then-

There’s a finger, cold and slick, on his hole, rubbing gently at his rim – and Niall just barely holds back a mewl. His breath is caught in his throat and he has to wrap his fingers around the sheets to keep from touching himself because it’s been so, so long since he’s done this and he’d known that he needed this- He just hadn’t known how much until now.

Harry opens him up slowly. One finger; two fingers- And Niall doesn’t want to beg, doesn’t want to give Harry the satisfaction, doesn’t want Harry to know exactly how much he wants this – wants him. So he stuffs the corner of one of Harry’s pillows into his mouth and clamps his teeth around it in a vain attempt to keep from slurring out a plea. He can’t help the moans, though; can’t stop the grunts and the groans that escape him.

“Ready?” Harry asks, his voice thick and rough with lust as he runs a hand up Niall’s spine and into his hair. He’s only two fingers in, but he knows- He knows what Niall likes, and he probably knows what Niall needs.

And, Jesus, does Niall need it; needs the stretch, needs the burn, needs to feel it in the morning, needs to have something to hold onto, to remind him that it’s real. This is real. “Mhm,” Niall groans, mouth still very much around the corner of the pillow.

“Can’t hear ya,” Harry says, giving his fingers a curl – and Niall swears that he hears the smirk in his voice as he pushes his hips back against Harry’s hand.

“Yeah,” Niall struggles to say more clearly. Even as he gets rid of the pillow, it’s like his mouth has forgotten how to speak. “‘m ready.”

Harry pulls back, and Niall bites back a whine at the loss of Harry’s fingers. He hears the crinkling of the condom wrapper he’d seen Harry pull out of his drawer earlier, and his chest aches a bit when he thinks, briefly, that there had been a time when they hadn’t needed to use condoms.

Niall turns over, then, spurred by a wave of jealousy that bubbles in the pit of his stomach, and takes the condom from between Harry’s fingers. He avoids Harry’s gaze, but can feel it watching him as he slides the offending rubber over Harry’s long, hard dick. Harry hisses, because he’s sensitive – he always gets really sensitive when he doesn’t touch himself, and Niall finds himself smirking as he gives Harry’s cock a tug. He pushes him back, then, until Harry’s lying sprawled across the mattress with his head at the foot of the bed. And he continues to pump his hand as he crawls over him.

He wants to be in charge, all of a sudden. He wants get himself off; he’s desperate for it. He has half a mind to get himself off on Harry’s dick and then leave, to leave Harry to fend for himself – because he deserves it, but he knows that he won’t, knows that what he wants more is to get Harry off too. He wants it so badly. Wants to know that he’s the reason Harry feels good. Wants Harry to remember him like this; confident, in charge, the one that’s going to draw out the best orgasm of his life.

He lowers himself slowly. Hangs his head between his shoulders, bits his bottom lip, struggles to hold back a moan threatening to burst through his ribcage. He revels in the stretch, craves the burn, fucking loves the way Harry’s dick feels opening him up. In this moment, he doesn’t think he’s ever loved anything more; it’s never been this way with anyone else. He hears Harry hiss, the further down he sinks, feels him squeeze one hand over Niall’s thigh and the other over his hip – and Niall sort of hates the way his heart sort of skips a beat at the noise.

He gasps, just slightly, as he bottoms out, his arse cheeks pressed firm against Harry’s thighs. And he stays, keeps still for a moment, catches his breath. He makes the mistake, then, of looking at Harry- At Harry, who’s staring up at him in a way that makes the butterflies in his stomach come to life, makes him feel nervous in the way a crush might, despite the fact that Harry’s dick is literally inside him. He looks away quickly, focuses his gaze on that stupid butterfly tattoo – and then he starts to move.

He lifts himself up slowly, then pushes himself down. He does it again. Bites the inside of his cheek to keep from groaning out loud. And again. His pace starts out slow, until he moves faster – until he’s riding Harry’s dick fast and hard, head thrown back, the sound of skin slapping on skin being the only thing he can hear. Because as quiet as he is, as quiet as he’s forcing himself to be, Harry is somehow quieter and, for some reason, he’s actually okay with that.

It feels good. It feels so fucking good, and Niall hates that he’d almost forgotten what it felt like. He fucking loves it. Everything feels so fucking incredible – the way he fucks his hips down, the way Harry meets him thrust for thrust, that it sort of takes him by surprise when Harry curls a hand behind his neck and pulls him down. He gasps as Harry catches his lips in a kiss, one that’s bruising and real – one that makes him stop moving because it’s like he’s forgotten how to do two things at once. Harry continues to thrust, keeps bucking his hips up and bringing them down – all the way in and almost all the way out, in and out. And, Jesus fuck, Niall wants to touch himself, wants to pull himself off like this, wants to chase the orgasm he feels bubbling in the pit of his stomach. But even more than he wants that, he wants to drag it out, wants to make it last as long as possible. So he thrusts his hands into Harry’s hair to keep them busy as he starts to move again.

“Fuck,” Harry groans, lips moving against Niall’s as he pulls back. Niall stays close, though, keeps their foreheads pressed together as Harry breathes harshly against Niall’s mouth. “Fucking hell, Niall.”

And Niall loves the way he sounds. Loves how fucked-out he sounds, how hoarse his voice is. Loves that it’s because of him.

“Let me hear you,” Harry murmurs, thrusting up as he cards a hand through Niall’s fringe to push it away from his eyes. “C’mon, Ni, lemme- I wanna hear you.” He follows up with one particularly hard thrust – and this time Niall can’t keep back the moan that crawls up his throat.

And- Fuck. Fuck.

“Fuck,” Niall gasps, burying his face in the crook of Harry’s neck.

Harry stops moving, and Niall whines. He pushes himself – and Niall – up, and then in one fluid move, whilst he’s still buried deep, deep, inside, he flips them over. He pins Niall to the bed and drives in deeper, drives him up the bed.

Niall’s head nearly hits the headboard. Harry pulls out, and when he fucks back in, Niall finds himself choking on a gasp. The angle has changed, allows for Harry to go deeper, to brush, just slightly, against his prostate in a way that makes Niall feel it without really feeling it – yet, and it’s certainly for the better.

Harry drives into him at a mad pace – fast and hard, and whatever Niall thought about holding back all the sounds he could make before is forgotten, long gone. He moans without abandon, chokes on groans, gasps when Harry teases him by pulling all the way out and rubbing the tip of his dick along Niall’s rim, cries out, desperate and relieved, when he slams back in – all the while clinging to Harry’s shoulders, raking his fingers down Harry’s back, grasping for Harry’s arse.

And Niall loves it. Has missed it. Has missed Harry, though that’s the last thing he ever wants to admit to – even now, especially now.

They didn’t have sex like this very often, before. Not towards the middle/middle-end, anyway. Their sex was passionate, and it was fun; it was sweet, and it was loving; it was rare that it was this desperate (like they would both drown without it), though- That it was this kind of animalistic. And yet-

It’s still intimate. It’s passionate, and it’s so fucking intimate – despite Niall’s efforts to keep that bit of himself out of it.

He can’t help it, is the thing. Because it’s Harry. God, it’s Harry-

“God, Ni- You feel so good,” Harry all but growls, biting at Niall’s collarbones. He smooths his tongue over the spot where his teeth had just been, and then he sucks – and Niall’s cock, untouched and neglected, twitches against his stomach. Harry’s gonna mark him up, gonna leave bruises wherever his mouth can reach, and that thought alone just about makes Niall come. “You’re so good.”

And- Niall doesn’t really have a praise kink but, well, that goes straight to his dick too. It feels good, knowing that Harry wants him, that Harry wants this, just as much as Niall does – even if Niall won’t say it.

He forces himself to stop thinking, then. Lets himself get lost in the way Harry feels, in the way Harry touches him, in the way he kisses him; lets himself get lost in the ecstasy of it. He pushes his head back against the pillow, matches Harry’s pace thrust for thrust. He whimpers, he moans, he lets out shallow breaths, he shivers and quivers, and- It feels so good. It feels incredible, like Harry is literally spitting him in two, like he’s taking him apart piece by piece. And he loves it. He loves it.

“Please,” he breathes, sinking his teeth into Harry’s shoulder. He’s not even really sure what he’s pleading for, he just knows that he needs more.

Harry pulls back far enough to press their foreheads together to look at him. “Please what?”

He surges forward, captures Harry’s lips between his own and kisses him hard. He runs both hands through Harry’s hair and tugs, just the way Harry likes. “Please, I-“

“Please what?” Harry presses. He’s smirking, though, which means he knows what Niall wants. He’s just teasing.

Niall chokes on a breath as Harry slams into his prostate. The pleasure is blinding, goes straight to his cock as it rips a sharp cry from Niall’s throat. He’s close. He’s so fucking close-

“C’mon, Ni,” Harry murmurs. He’s still as he uses one hand to steady himself and the other to push his fringe back. “Tell me what you want.”

He wants to snap that he wants to come – and perhaps he could have 20 minutes ago, but his brain has sort of turned to mush now and forming sentences is harder this way.

“You want to come?” Harry coaxes, like he knows that Niall can barely form coherent thoughts let alone speak them.

Niall nods, chokes on a “please” as he bucks his hips up against Harry’s. He needs the friction. Needs Harry.



It doesn’t take much longer. Just a few shallow, hard thrusts against Niall’s prostate before he’s sobbing, coming hard, almost violently, untouched, white streaks spurting from the head of his still untouched cock and landing on his stomach, up his abs and towards his chin. It’s bliss. It’s ecstasy. It’s the greatest release, the most beautiful relief.

Harry keeps fucking him; pulls out slowly, and pushes back in hard. He’s chasing his own orgasm, now, and Niall clings to him, curls his legs around Harry’s hips; lets him use him – until he’s coming too, a growl ripping itself from his throat as he buries his face in Niall’s shoulder. The condom around his dick keeps Niall from feeling the full effect of it inside him, but he’s just had one of the best orgasms of his life so he relishes in the feeling of Harry twitching within the confines of his arms instead.

Needless to say, he’s glad that he stayed.


The post-orgasm bliss doesn’t last long. Not at all. Not nearly as long as Niall wishes that it could.

He watches Harry roll away from him. Watches him push himself to his feet slowly. Watches him, naked and sweaty, as he walks across the room towards the ensuite bathroom, his bare feet slapping against the hardwood floor, echoing around the otherwise silent room. He knows what Harry is doing- Knows that he’s just throwing the condom in the bin, knows that he’ll probably grab a cloth out of the closet on his way back into the bathroom-

And that’s when Niall decides – or, rather, realizes – that he needs to go. He has to leave. Because when Harry comes back into the room, he’ll run the cloth over Niall’s stomach and he’ll toss it in the dirty laundry bin and then he’ll crawl over Niall’s body and he’ll curl up against Niall’s side – and it’ll be just like old times, again, and he can’t- He can’t do that.

There’s a lump in his throat as he thumbs out a simple message on his mobile, and there’s a sick feeling in his stomach, and a little ball of nerves settled within the confines on his chest as he pushes himself onto shaky legs. He gathers his clothes quickly, and ignores the way his heart beats rapidly in his chest. He uses his own boxer briefs to wipe away what he can of the sticky cum from his torso before he pulls them up over his hips, and he’s just pulling his jeans up his legs when Harry comes back into the room.

Harry freezes mid-step – Niall sees him out of the corner of his eye as fastens the button. There’s a cloth in his hand. (Niall almost smirks.) “Wh- What are you-“

“I gotta go,” Niall murmurs. He avoids Harry’s gaze, pulls his shirt over his head.

“Wait- You’re leaving?”


Harry’s brow furrows in confusion. “But I thought you were gonna stay the night.”

“I can’t, Harry.”

“Well- Why not?”

Niall sighs. His go-to answer would be that he has things to do the moment he wakes up. The real answer is that if he stays the night then he might never want to leave — and he can’t go back there. He can’t lose his mind like that all over again. He can’t. He’s already stayed too long.


“I figured I should get out of here because she might show up,” is what he finds himself saying, instead of either other option.

Harry blinks, taken aback. “Camille?”

Niall scoffs. “Nah, the other model you’re dating.”

“She won’t,” Harry says.

“Yeah? Why’s that?” Niall presses, as if he’s looking for a specific answer. And maybe he is. Maybe he already knows the answer. Maybe he still knows Harry after all.

Harry closes the distance between them, and Niall forces himself to keep his gaze trained on the floor. “If you have a problem with me just say it-“

“Fine,” Niall snaps, lifting his gaze just as Harry pulls his boxers over his hips. “I have a problem with you.” He makes for the door, then, with his heart in his throat.

“Well- Wait, Niall-“ Harry stutters – and Niall can hear him moving after him. “Can we at least talk about it?” He gets to Niall before he can open the door, curls an arm around his elbow and turns him around; it’s not his fault that Niall goes easily, per say, but Niall still blames him.

Niall shakes his head, shrugs out of Harry’s grip. “What’s there to talk about? You got what you wanted.”

“And what is it that you think that I wanted?”

Niall rolls his eyes, because of course Harry is going to act like it isn’t obvious. Like he’s oblivious to the fact that Niall knows him; all of him, every nook and every cranny. All he wanted was to go to Harry’s show, see him perform live and then go home — and behave himself. That’s it. It was never supposed to be anything else. Why did Harry have to complicate things?

“Sex? Is that what you think I wanted?”

Niall scoffs as he walks around Harry, back towards the center of the room. It’s safer here, out in the open as opposed to being between Harry and that hard place, again. “I know that’s what you wanted.”

“You don’t even know the half of it,” Harry snaps back. He grabs his own jeans and his own shirt off the floor and tosses them both in the hamper.

Niall cocks an eyebrow. “Really? I don’t?”


“Because I know you, Harry, and that’s all I’ve ever needed to know,” Niall hisses – and then it’s like the floodgate that leads right to all of his unspoken thoughts opens up, and he can’t stop them from rushing out. “I know that you pretend that you can be exclusive with someone until you can’t, so you pitch the whole open-relationship thing for whenever you feel like having a shag with someone else — and do you know how I know that? Because I’ve been in both places with you far too many times.

“And I know that that’s why you asked me to come back with everyone tonight. Because if I was already here, then it would be harder for me to say no. You wanted one thing tonight, Harry, and you got it. So just- Let me leave.” (He hates that it sounds like he’s pleading.)

And he almost makes it. He almost makes it through the bedroom door – though he hadn’t even known that he’d been moving – before Harry speaks again, and stills all his movements until he’s standing, frozen-

“I asked you to come back with everyone because I wanted to hang out with you,” Harry says, and his voice is soft. Like butter. And truthful. Like that one, singular time that he had told Niall that he loved him in the middle of the night, when he’d thought that Niall was asleep. “I wanted to spend time with you because we haven’t done that in ages, and- You’re the one that made this about sex, Niall.”

And, well- Maybe Harry has a bit of a point, in that Harry had tried to start a conversation and Niall had, more or less, refused to let him talk. Hadn’t wanted to talk. Had wanted to shag Harry’s brains out, and then be done with it – once and for all. But, still- Harry’s the one that gave him a blowie in the dressing room earlier. Harry started it. This is Harry’s fault.

“You’re the one that snogged me,” Harry continues. “You’re the one that got me into bed. I might have asked you to stay hoping that, eventually, things would lead back here — but you’re the one that initiated it because that’s what you wanted. You didn’t want to talk to me. You didn’t want to talk at all.”

Niall snorts. “Can you blame me?” he finds himself asking. He almost regrets it immediately after, when a flicker of what looks like pain flashes in Harry’s eyes. “Maybe I was just giving you what you wanted sooner rather than later, instead of beating around the bush.”

“Or maybe you needed a good shag that you could turn around and blame on me.”


It’s not entirely true, though. Not really. It’s just that- Harry makes him sort of...crazy. Out of his mind, like. Harry makes him want Harry more than he’s ever wanted anybody else — so much that all reason, and thought, and ration goes out the proverbial window. He needed the shag because he wanted — needed — Harry. He’s blaming Harry because he’d almost gotten away without it, and he would have if Harry hadn’t persuaded him (rather easily, not that Niall will ever admit to it out loud) to come back here.

“I asked you to stay because I miss you, Ni.”

Niall’s gaze snaps towards where Harry is standing, clad in nothing but the boxers Niall had peeled off of him before, and settles on his face. Hard. Brows furrowed, jaw set. “Are you serious?”

Harry nods.

“You miss me?”

“I mean- Yeah-“

Niall laughs, then, except it isn’t funny and nor is his laugh genuine. It’s sour. Bitter. He can feel it in his vibrating in the bones of his chest. “I can’t figure out what’s worse. That you actually just said that, or that you only seem to miss me when I’m standing right in front of you.”

Harry’s brow furrows in confusion, and he tilts his head. “What?”

“I get the whole missing-someone-when-they’re-right-in-front-of-you thing, believe me,” Niall says, because Harry is the main culprit of that. “But, you- This is something else entirely.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You had every opportunity to not have to miss me, Harry!” Niall finds himself yelling, throwing a hand out in frustration. “You could have taken any of them. You could have called me, or emailed me, or you could have texted me like a normal person, or you could have come over, or- Or you could have not pushed me away in the first place. You had all the chances in the world to fix what you broke, you just didn’t take them.”

Harry blinks, like he’s taken aback. He runs a hand through his hair, and then over his face as he sighs. “I thought we were on the same page.”


“When I said- When I told you that I thought that we should take a break, you- You agreed with me. And then you left, so I thought… I thought we were on the same page.”

Niall bites at the inside of his cheek as he shakes his head. “Did you listen to Flicker?”

“Of course I did,” Harry says, immediately. He’s looking at Niall as though Niall has three heads. “It’s an incredible album-“

“The song, Harry,” Niall sighs. His stomach does a somersault. “Did you listen to the song?”

Harry blinks. “Yeah, I-“ he cuts himself off, licks his lips.

Niall doesn’t think- Or at least, he hopes that he doesn’t have to tell him when he wrote it, or what it really means, for him to get it.

Harry bites at his lip, before he speaks again. “You left before I could leave you,” he concludes.

He’d known that he would get it, but it still makes his chest ache when Harry says it. He’d left, then, because he knows that he would have lost himself completely if he hadn’t. “You were already leaving,” Niall mutters. “I just- I just left too.”

“Then- We’re both to blame, and yet you blame me,” Harry mutters, folding his arms over his chest.

“You’re the one that wanted it!” Niall shouts. The force of his own voice shocks even himself, as he stares at Harry’s wide eyes. He takes a breathe, in part due to a vain attempt at trying calm his nerves – but also, mostly, because he can’t breathe.

“Go on,” Harry tells him. “I know you’re dying to rip me a new one, and you just started so you might as well finish.” He walks across the room, then, to the chest of drawers next to the walk-in closet, and Niall watches him pull a clean shirt over his head.

Niall licks his lips, shakes his head as he pinches the bridge of his nose. “You’re the one that wanted it,” he says. His voice is soft this time. Less angry and more…defeated. “And- I get it, okay? I get it now, and I got it then, but- I didn’t want it.”

“Then why-“

“Because how was I supposed to say ‘no’, Harry?” Niall wonders, although it’s a rhetorical question. “How was I supposed to be that selfish?

“I knew what you’d wanted- I’d known it for weeks. And I wasn’t stupid. I knew where you were coming from – I knew that carrying on the way we were, that in between the movie and the music and then eventually our tours, there was no way that it would have worked- I got it, I just-“

“What?” Harry presses, when Niall cuts himself off.

Niall swallows hard around the lump in his throat. “I didn’t want to lose you.”

Harry scoffs. “And, what- You think I did? You think I wanted to lose you?”

Niall shrugs. “You didn’t try very hard to keep me in your life-“

“I was busy, Niall-“

“So was I! I was busy too, I just also tried to make time for you- Time that you didn’t seem to give a damn about.

“I tried texting, I tried calling – I tried fucking emailing you- I tried to at least remain friends with you, but you just…” He trails off; hates the way his chest tightens. This is why he didn’t want to do this. It’s why he didn’t want to talk about it. It just hurts. A lot. Still.

Harry sighs. “I just- What? What did I do?”

“You didn’t care,” Niall mutters.

Harry licks his lips, runs a hand through his hair. “I cared, Niall. I just- I didn’t know if I could do it. I didn’t know if I could face you, if I could see you and not – fall back into things with you. I didn’t know if I could handle just being your friend.”

Niall nods as he bites at the inside of his cheek. He hates the way that twists his stomach into knots. They’d always been friends, is the thing, but they’d never truly been just friends. There had always been something more between them, something deeper. Something they both tried to deny for the better part of the first two years of One Direction, before- Before it all got a little too undeniable.

“I didn’t know how to just be your friend, Niall,” Harry whispers, taking a step closer to him.

“Yeah,” Niall breathes. “So you avoided me instead.”


“And then you met her,” Niall adds, and even he can hear the bitterness in his own voice. He doesn’t know what surprises him most, then; the sourness in his tone, or the fact that he’d actually said it.

Harry sighs. “Niall-“

“Speaking of,” he continues, “did she know about this? Is that why she didn’t come tonight? Or did we just get lucky?”

Harry rolls his eyes. “Why do you keep turning this into a fight?”

The real answer is simple: it’s because Niall doesn’t know what else to do with it. He’s scared of what it could lead to if he lets his guard down – again. What he says, though, is only half of it: “I told you that I didn’t want to talk.”

“Is this how it’s gonna be between us from now on, then?” Harry asks, folding his arms across his chest once more. “You, always mad at me; us, always fighting?”

Niall shrugs. It’s all he can muster, at the moment, because he feels like if he tries to talk he’s just going to start sobbing.

Harry’s in front of him, then. Directly so. Niall startles when he lifts a hand to his cheek, and he sucks in a breath when Harry brushes his knuckles against Niall’s skin, before curling his fingers around the back of his neck. “I’m sorry,” he murmurs. “I’m sorry that I fucked up, I’m sorry that I fucked off, I- I just didn’t know what else to do. I never meant to hurt you, Ni. You know that, right?”

Niall nods, despite his better judgment, as he tucks his bottom lip between his teeth. Deep down he knows that it’s true, despite everything. Despite his anger and his bitterness, even.

“I thought that you coming tonight meant that we could just- I thought it meant that we could move on, from everything, you know? I thought that if you were coming to see me, then it meant that we were gonna be okay-“

“Haz,” Niall murmurs around the lump in his throat; tries to interrupt. He reaches a hand out to grab his shirt, wants to tell him that that is why he’d come, that he hadn’t meant for things to end up like this – but Harry keeps talking-

“I thought it meant that you were okay, and that- That we could sort things out, maybe…” He finishes softly, smiles sadly.

“What about Camille?” Niall asks, and his stomach turns over.

Harry shrugs. Drops his hand and then stuffs both of them into the pockets of his joggers. “It’s not that serious,” he says. “It’s not like it was with us.”

“Does she know that? Because even if you and I don’t…” He trails off, because as outlandish as the possibility of it seems, he doesn’t even want to think about the other outcome, let alone talk about it. “You should make sure she knows that.”

Harry nods, licks his lips. “Yeah. Okay.”

“Okay,” Niall whispers. “I should go.”


“Yeah. I can’t stay, Harry,” Niall murmurs. He hopes that Harry understands. And, if the nod Harry gives him is anything to go by, he thinks that perhaps Harry does, truly, understand. Maybe Harry even feels the same way, now.

Harry lets him walk past without incident, trails after him – through the hall, down the stairs, towards the front door. A set of headlights is visible through the side window panel, and Niall wonders, briefly, how long Mark has been waiting for him.

Niall’s heart aches, a bit, when he reaches for the door handle. He doesn’t want to leave, is the thing. What he wants is to drag Harry back upstairs, pull him back into bed, and hide under the covers until the end of time. He wants to pretend that the rest of the world doesn’t exist, that it’s only him and it’s only Harry; wants to pretend that if he stayed tonight, there wouldn’t be any consequences come morning. But he can’t. They can’t.

Harry’s hand curls around his, holding it still against the handle, and Niall looks up at him slowly. A crooked half-smile tugs at Harry’s freshly bruised lips as he leans in closer – and Niall’s breath catches in his throat. There’s a small sense of pride that tugs at his heartstrings for knowledge that he’s the reason that Harry, still, looks so fucked out; he doesn’t even want to know what he looks like, how Mark will see him, and he wonders, briefly, if the bruises Harry sucked into his skin are visible yet. Harry’s lips are soft when they touch Niall’s, and his kiss is tender. Sweet. Almost innocent, in a way. Unlike any other kiss they’ve shared tonight; unlike anything they’ve shared in a long time. Niall’s heart beats the same, though; quick, and a little bit stutter-y – like it’s trying to hammer its way through the bones of Niall’s chest to get to Harry’s.


“You alright?” Mark asks, once Niall is settled in the passenger seat next to him, seatbelt stretched across his chest, where his heart still feels like it’s running a marathon.

Niall nods as he looks out the window, watches the world around him pass him by. “Yeah,” he replies. “Thanks, Mark.”

Mark knows. He knows everything, always has. Knows how Niall is, how he gets, what he’s like. But he doesn’t judge, and he doesn’t push, and he doesn’t pressure. He just lets Niall sit in silence, lets him be with his own thoughts. He’s there if Niall needs to talk about it, and he’s there if Niall just needs silent company.

And Niall is alright. Mostly. Now.

At first, he’d thought that this whole entire night was just one big, collective mistake. Now, though, he’s not so sure. It was…therapeutic, is the thing. It felt good to get that all out in the open with Harry. It feels good, now, like he finally has the closure he’s been looking for.

It also, maybe, feels like a beginning.

And he’s sort of alright with that.