Basketball is the worst. If there’s anything that Harry Styles is sure of, it’s that he absolutely hates basketball. It’s by far the most boring sport to watch, he thinks ("What do you know? You literally watch golf on tv for fun," Niall always says, which is a fair point). He’s been listening to the squeaking of the players’ shoes against the smooth court for half an hour now, rolling his eyes and smiling every time Niall shouts into his ear about whatever great pass just occurred.
Harry is bored. And a bit hungry, but mostly bored. It was by no thought of his own to come to this game - one of the biggest of the Lakers’ season, apparently. He’s front and center courtside, which is why he’s been training his face to look like he’s at least half excited to be there, because that’s the whole point of this thing, isn’t it? Harry needed to be out and about at a family friendly event, looking happy and single and not at all attached to whatever headline was running about him last week. Niall got to choose the events they attended, a reward for putting up with Harry, and obviously he chooses Harry’s own personal hell, every single time. Harry loves him quite a lot, but at the moment he’s pretty sure that Niall is both the worst best friend and manager in the world.
“Man, this is great,” Niall shouts, fixing his snapback and pushing his hair from his eyes. He turns his face to Harry and elbows him in the ribs. “Having fun yet?”
Harry gives Niall a toothy grin and nods, making sure to keep his eyes void of emotion. “I’m getting pretty hungry.”
Niall scoffs. “The half time dinner thing is in, like, thirty minutes--” He cuts himself off to shout profanities when a Los Angeles player falls just in front of them. “Don’t even think about it,” he adds, glancing over at Harry, who has begun pouting his lower lip. Always effective, he’s learned.
Harry sighs loudly. “The nachos are so good, though, Ni. We could split ‘em.”
It only takes three more minutes of convincing before Niall is heading towards the concessions area with specific instructions not to come back without nachos and a coke. Harry loves Niall.
He pulls out his phone when Niall leaves, sending a quick text to his mom and checking his email. He’s lost in an email from a locally based photographer when he hears, or rather feels, someone plop down in the seat next to him. Nobody had been sitting there for the entire first half of the game, but the two previously empty seats beside him are now occupied by two guys, two really attractive guys. Harry tucks his phone away in his coat pocket and tries to get a good look at them without blatantly turning his head - the one directly next to him is squirming in his seat while carefully balancing a plastic tray of nachos on his knee. It takes a lot of self control on Harry’s part not to reach out and steal a nacho, reminding himself that he’ll have some of his own in a few minutes - if Niall hurries the hell up.
“How much do you think we missed?” the one next to Harry says suddenly. The boy is smaller than Harry, he can tell even sitting down, with long brown hair forming a floppy quiff on top of his head, like he’s been running a hand through it all day and now it’s decided to stay put. It’s so long that the hair near the nape of his neck is curving toward his ears or flipping out in different directions. Harry briefly wonders if it’s longer than his own hair. Probably not.
“I dunno, bro. ‘s your fault, anyway, couldn’t wait for a fuckin’ snack,” the other boy, with darker hair and features, responds. He’s unfairly pretty, Harry can tell from the glances he’s sneaking in their direction, avoiding making eye contact at all costs.
Harry doesn’t recognize the two of them, which is strange. He is usually very familiar with anyone sitting courtside or front row at these types of things - the owners will sit celebrities that are already friendly near each other so that all of the photos taken look fun, instead of two people looking bored. Last week at a fashion show he was sat next to Kerry Washington, and he nearly passed out. She knew him, his whole name, and even told him that she loved his latest single. He’d really struggled for air at that; it’s still strange to him, even after a couple of years of this, that people he previously only saw on television and in magazines know his music now, want to be photographed with him.
“Did he hear you?” Harry hears someone say. It seems far off, until he shakes his head and focuses his eyes on the very confused faces of two men looking directly at him, seemingly awaiting a response, to what Harry isn’t sure. Right.
“Sorry, what?” he says, smiling shyly and shaking his head again.
The smaller boy laughs brightly. His eyes crinkle with the smile and isn’t that just adorable. “Jesus, you really zoned out. I asked how much we’ve missed.”
Harry lifts his wrist, checking the silver watch there. “Like, half an hour, I guess? I don’t know, it’s felt like 3 hours,” he mumbles.
The boy laughs again, like he genuinely thinks Harry is joking, and better yet, that it was funny. Harry makes a mental note of this to tell Niall when he comes back. “I mean, it’s great and all just-- Not my thing, I guess,” he adds.
“Me neither, got dragged along by my boss slash best friend,” the boy motions at his friend. Friend and boss, then. “He held courtside tickets in front of my face, begging me to come with him, and I was like, ugh, if I have to, you know?” he whines exaggeratedly, and Harry claps a hand over his mouth, laughing. The boy’s eyes are so blue, and they’re twinkling with satisfaction that he’s made someone laugh. Harry wonders if the basketball game is even still happening, since the blood rushing in his ears is all that he can hear.
“Louis, seriously,” the boss says, putting down his drink. “You’re such a dickhead. Hey man, I’m Zayn.” He reaches around the boy between them, Louis, to offer a hand to Harry. It’s a formal greeting for someone you’ve just started chatting to casually at a sports event, but Harry takes his hand happily and shakes it anyway. He’s the type to walk into a room and shake everyone’s hand before an interview, and he appreciates the sentiment.
Louis must notice Harry’s hesitation, because he rolls his eyes and mock whispers, “He’s literally always in boss mode, sorry. He doesn’t do casual very well.”
Harry laughs again, nodding. “Right. ’m Harry.”
“Louis,” he responds. “We can skip the handshake.”
Zayn elbows Louis quickly before grunting and turning his attention to the court. Zayn’s more gorgeous than Harry had thought, now getting a good look at him unabashedly. He’s got tan skin that seems to be completely blemish or mark free, with dark hair and long eyelashes. He’s got quite a good amount of scruff on his face, making him look older than he probably is. He’s in slacks and a white button up, the edges of black ink tattoos peeking out from under the rolled cuffs of his sleeves.
Louis nudges Zayn’s side, nuzzling against his shoulder and laughing until Zayn smiles. Louis has different features than Zayn, the edges of his face forming sharp lines and soft curves all in one. He’s got scruff himself, the perfect amount for Harry’s liking, and he’s in a black t-shirt with tight black skinny jeans and black vans. Harry thinks he looks effortlessly cool and casual, and absolutely delicious. He’s laid eyes on him for a few minutes, tops, and Harry is already struggling.
“You would not believe the fuckin’ line up there, oh my god,” Harry hears from behind him, and he turns to see Niall settling in his seat again. His hat looks like it’s about to fall off and the hair underneath it is sticking to his forehead a bit. Harry isn’t sure if he went to the concession stand or the Amazon, but either way he’s holding nachos and Harry could just kiss him right on the mouth.
“There was a little kid in front of me,” Niall continues, “that wouldn’t stop crying the entire time we were waiting, like, I honestly thought I was going to start crying too. He also smelled like fucking piss, so that was-- Oh, hi.”
Harry looks up from the nachos now placed in his lap to see that Niall is looking over Harry’s shoulder. He turns back to Louis and Zayn, and laughs out loud at the looks on their faces. They’re both munching silently on their snacks, staring wide eyed at Niall, clearly listening in. Harry laughs again before pointing at the two of them and looking at Niall.
“Right, this is Louis,” Harry gestures. “And this is Zayn. We just started chatting when you were gone--”
“Hi, ‘m Niall,” he interrupts, waving dumbly. Niall smiles like he’s just heard the best news, and reaches forward to shake both of their hands, blushing when he shakes Zayn’s. Louis raises his eyebrows and smirks, glancing over at Harry.
“Nice to meet you, bro” Louis says, before mumbling to Harry, “What is it with handshakes?” Harry giggles into his hand, shaking his head.
The four of them make small talk for the rest of the first half, Harry eating his nachos happily and listening to Louis and Zayn banter next to him. Niall takes a picture of Harry with cheese sauce all over his mouth and posts it to Harry’s instagram, immediately getting thousands of likes. His fans are nothing if not dedicated, buying his music and tickets and keeping up with him daily on social media. Sometimes he thinks that they know him better than he knows himself.
Harry’s been in Los Angeles for a couple of years now, finally moving to the city from his hometown when his first album really picked up speed. He’s on the cover of gossip magazines more times than he’d particularly care for, and has been the topic of E!News’ segments more times than he can count. It’s wild and sometimes a bit maddening, but he wouldn’t trade it for anything. He loves being famous, aside from the parts that would drive anyone crazy, and loves being able to reach out to people in a way that he wouldn’t get to sitting at home with his parents. He’s on his second album now, has been in the studio for months recording and writing with people he never would have dreamed would want to write with him. Niall has been with him since the beginning, from his first single to his first nomination, the two of them practically living out of each other’s pockets and Niall keeping Harry sane.
Louis taps his arm suddenly and leans over, his mouth close to Harry’s ear. Harry gulps.
“Look at number sixteen,” he shouts over the noise of the crowd and points to the court. Harry’s eyes follow and land on a player who’s down on one knee tying his shoe, everyone running around him. “What an idiot.” Louis laughs, his breath tickling Harry’s ear. Harry tucks his chin against his chest and laughs.
“Do you think he uses the bunny ear approach?” Harry asks once Louis leans back in his seat, and is delighted when Louis bursts into laughter, slapping a hand against his thigh.
Harry and Louis start making it a bit of a game, to pick out a player on the court and make up a funny story about them - what they ate for breakfast that morning, what they’ll be doing in the locker room later. Louis is hilarious, Harry learns, and he feels like his cheeks are going to crack from smiling so wide. He also keeps leaning into Harry to say something in his ear, or grabbing his arm when he thinks of something particularly funny, which is fine. Louis and Niall switch seats just before halftime begins, giving Niall a chance to talk to Zayn, but mostly giving him someone to talk to besides the back of Harry’s head.
For halftime and the third quarter, Harry and Niall head to a VIP room for drinks and a small meal, mingling with a few other A-List people that Harry recognizes and Important Business Men. Harry poses for pictures with people that will bring good press, making small talk briefly with Selena Gomez, who he didn’t even realize was here. Niall eats half of Harry’s food as well as his own, because Harry is distracted. Louis and Zayn snuck in just after everyone sat down to eat, to Harry’s surprise, and they’re sat just two tables away from where Harry and Niall are seated.
“You look like a puppy,” Niall says with a mouth full of spaghetti as they’re finishing up their entrees.
Harry quirks an eyebrow, glancing sideways at him for a moment before returning his attention back to where Louis is putting small pieces of bread on Zayn’s shoulder. Harry is visibly keeping count on his hands, finding it harder to control his laughter with each new piece that Zayn doesn’t notice.
“What d’ya mean?” Harry responds finally, shoving a piece of garlic bread into his mouth.
“Staring at that guy like a lovesick puppy, I swear,” Niall laughs.
“‘m not,” Harry mumbles, furrowing his brow. “He’s just cool. I like meeting new people.”
“Really? Never knew that. I thought you were a hermit,” Niall deadpans, before laughing loudly when Harry rolls his eyes and looks down at his plate. “Oh c’mon, bro, I’m just kidding. Him and his friend are cool.”
Harry nods, looking back up at Louis, who catches his eye and makes a face, sticking his tongue out. He’s so pretty, is the thing.
It’s six in the morning when Harry’s phone rings. For the third time.
He groans and rolls over, smushing the phone underneath his bare chest. Whoever it is can wait. Whoever it is also happens to be an asshole, apparently, because the phone rings again after only a few seconds of silence.
“Fucking--” Harry grumbles against his pillow, pulling the phone from under him and tucking it under his ear. His face is pressed against the screen and he’s probably drooling on it a little, but. “What?”
“Harry,” Niall - of course it is - says, out of breath. “We’ve got a tiny, like, super small problem.”
Harry’s eyes should spring open dramatically, or he should at least roll over at the alarming tone to Niall’s voice, but he literally cannot move. His limbs feel like dense pieces of jello and he’s just so comfortable in his bed.
Harry and Niall left the basketball game in a rush as soon as they finished dinner - right after Niall got a phone call that they were needed in the studio immediately to fix some tracks that got fucked by some bad equipment, or something. They barely got to say quick goodbyes to Louis and Zayn, saying it was nice to meet them and to enjoy the rest of the game enough for the two of them. “Sorry man, I wanted to stay too,” Niall had said quietly while they were en route to the studio. Harry had nodded with a tight smile and looked out the window.
It’s not like Harry really cared. He didn’t stay awake last night stressing himself out over the fact that he was too much of an idiot to remember to get Louis’ phone number before leaving abruptly with barely any explanation. It’s not a big deal, really.
Harry didn’t fall asleep until four in the morning, his mind unwilling to stop thinking of blue eyes and a witty tongue, but that’s neither here nor there.
“Have you googled yourself yet this morning?”
Harry scoffs. “Did you call at six in the morning to see if I’ve masturbated yet? Because the answer is no, Nialler, but since I’m up now--”
“Harry-- Christ, no,” Niall squawks, sounding horrified. Harry smiles smugly to himself. “I meant, literally, have you seen anything yet? Like on the internet?”
“Seriously, you just fucking woke me up. So, no, I haven’t seen--”
“You may wanna take a look,” Niall says quickly, and Harry thinks that it sounds like he’s smiling. Or maybe he’s full-on laughing - it’s before sunrise and Harry can barely hear his own thoughts correctly.
“I’ll look later, promise,” Harry grumbles, pressing the end button on his phone and tossing it onto the pillow opposite his. He moves to roll over - to continue the slumber that he was so rudely woken from - when his phone dings repeatedly, signifying a text message.
He pulls the phone too close to his face, wincing at the light before pulling it back and opening the - ah, a picture - message. It’s from Niall, who apparently works very quickly, and Harry yawns while the picture loads.
When the screen finally brings up the picture, both of Harry’s eyes open wide for the first time that morning. He starts to cough, choking a bit on his own spit, and rolls onto his back to collect himself. After rubbing his eyes a few times to adjust to the light, he scrolls through his phone more coherently. The pictures - there are multiple being sent to him now - are of him at the basketball game yesterday, obviously taken by a professional photographer, but--. It isn’t just of him, the photographer made sure to include Louis in the frame - they’re sitting fairly close, Louis leaning against him to whisper something into Harry’s ear and Harry is laughing, clearly delighted. Elated, even. He thinks he looks like an emoji or a cartoon character, his mouth open wide and his eyes shut tightly.
“Oh shit,” Harry whispers into the dark of his bedroom, scrubbing a hand over his face. He pulls up the internet on his phone, typing Harry Styles into the search bar and choosing the first article that mentions a basketball game.
There are so many pictures. None of them are incriminating, obviously, just a ton of high quality shots with Louis and Harry talking and laughing courtside. Niall is included in less than half of the frames - christ, the ones he is included in, he’s actually watching the game, meanwhile Harry is leaning over talking to Louis or eating nachos, stealing some of Louis’ when he finished his own. Right, that about sums it up, then.
Niall’s laughing hysterically when he picks up the phone, approximately 20 seconds later.
“I told you, dickhead,” he says once Harry tells him to shut up repeatedly. “I fucking told you. God, okay. Do you have that guy’s’ number?”
“No!” Harry yells, then promptly decides that it’s too early for yelling, much too early. He winces at the sound of his own tired voice. “No, Niall, if you remember correctly, I was rushed out before I could get it.”
Niall sighs. “Right. Okay, yeah, right.”
There’s silence on the phone for a few beats, before Niall whispers, “So, did you look at the articles?”
Fuck. Harry groans and puts a hand over his face, flopping onto his back. “No, oh my god. I just looked at the pictures. Tell me.”
“Looks like you’ve got a new boyfriend, man,” Niall says, chuckling awkwardly when Harry doesn’t respond or laugh. “Like? It’s nothing major, just some gossip shits you know, it doesn’t really matter--”
“Can you find his number for me?”
Niall pauses. “What?”
“His number, like. I want to call him. Or text him, whatever. He had no idea and now-- Christ. Everyone’s going to hound him, god, I’m so stupid.”
“Hey, no,” Niall’s voice gets softer. “It isn’t your fault. So some people will ask him if he’s dating a big celebrity, it’s not like you’re so fucking horrible to be linked to, you know--”
“Okay, yeah, I’ll find his number.”
Harry thanks Niall, his voice slow and sounding like he’s about to fall asleep any moment, which he does as soon he hangs up and shoves his phone underneath his pillow.
It’s three days later when Niall texts him an unknown number - not something completely unusual, since he sends Harry the number for radio interviewers or photographers all the time. He sends I’m the besttt ;) immediately after, though, which--. That makes Harry pause. It’s Louis’ number. Niall did it, he found him.
Los Angeles is quite big, it turns out. When Harry had asked Niall to find Louis’ number, or at least his last name, he figured he would have it that day. How many people named Louis could there be in one city? A lot, apparently. Very much a lot.
“That’s him?” Harry asks when he calls Niall a few minutes later. He stirs the sauce that he’s been making for the last hour, bringing the spoon to his mouth and tasting it. Perfect.
“Yeah, man,” Niall sighs. “Took me long enough to find him. He works downtown. I don’t know why, but I didn’t even think to look for that Zayn guy instead.” He laughs nervously, and Harry rolls his eyes. “Much less common name, and all.”
Niall huffs. “And you’re welcome, Harry Styles, for slaving over this task for the last three days. Oh thank you so much, Niall,” he mocks, making his voice deeper. “You’re the best manager and personal fucking assistant I’ve ever had, even though I don’t pay you for that.”
“To be fair, you’re the only manager I’ve ever had.”
“I hate you.”
Harry laughs and turns the stove off completely. He hops up to sit on the kitchen counter, the back of his feet knocking loudly against the cabinets underneath. “You adore me.”
“I do. Now call him, idiot.”
Niall hangs up on him, which is rude, and Harry returns to the dinner he’s making. He’ll call Louis right after he eats, definitely.
It’s four days later when he finally calls Louis.
He’s nervous, is the thing. At this point, articles have been coming out every single day, every hour, even. They keep using the same photos from the basketball game, and every gossip website is trying to post the most in-depth analysis on how the two of them ‘got together’. Harry’s people haven’t commented, of course they haven’t because they never do, and everyone has taken that as immediate confirmation. When Harry was photographed leaving the studio with a half-unbuttoned shirt two days ago, the headlines asked if Louis had been in there with him. Even Louis has gotten photographed out to lunch, Harry’s noticed. It’s getting absurd. Louis doesn’t look upset in the pictures, really, mainly just confused. There’s a video of some old creep with a camera yelling at Louis as he leaves a restaurant, asking if he’s ever caught Harry in bed with someone else.
The journalists in this town are nothing if not thorough, really.
Harry owes Louis an explanation and probably an apology, for dragging him into this mess. His friend Ellis still gets asked about him sometimes, and it’s been a year since they went to lunch together (once, as friends, at a pizza parlor in their hometown).
The phone rings three times before Louis picks up, and Harry is just about to hang up when Louis quietly says, “Hello?” He sounds tired, Harry thinks.
“Hi, uh--” Harry clears his throat. “Hi.”
Louis doesn’t say anything, and Harry can hear him breathing. This is terrible, fucking awful. Harry wants to bury his head in the sand.
“It’s-- well, it’s Harry. From the basketball game?” he tries again, his voice coming out a little less timid.
“Hey Harry,” Louis says, and he sighs. It sounds a bit like relief, but Harry won’t let himself think that for more than a second. “How’ve you been?”
“Well, not too bad, I guess.” Harry laughs under his breath. “Sorry, I know this is unexpected. I just wanted to--”
“We’ve had a pretty shitty relationship, you know,” Louis says suddenly, and he’s laughing. Its a wonderful sound. “Haven’t heard from you in a week. The kids are starting to ask about you.”
Harry puts his face in his hands. “I’m so sorry. I should’ve told you this was probably going to happen. I don’t know, we we just having a good time, at least I thought so, and it felt weird to randomly mention that you may possibly be in the papers the next day.” He scrubs a hand over his face, and laughs weakly into the phone. “Fuck, I’m sorry.”
“Why were we in the papers, anyway? Like, don’t get me wrong, you’re cute and all--” Harry perks up at that. Louis thinks he’s cute. “Are you some hot-shot or something? Never heard of you.”
Harry’s face falls and he scrambles for an answer. “Well, uh, I’m kinda--? I don’t know, like, I make music sometimes--”
Louis bursts into laughter at that before it’s muffled by what Harry assumes is his hand. “I make music sometimes, oh my god. I’m fucking with you, of course I know who you are, man. I don’t live under a rock.”
Harry lets out a breath, smiling. Louis knew the entire time who he was, and acted like he was just a normal guy the other night - didn’t even bat an eyelash. “Right. You knew and you didn’t say anything?”
“What was I supposed to say? ‘Hey man, you’re famous’? You didn’t bring it up so neither did we, I don’t know. You just seemed chill.”
“Fair enough,” Harry agrees, nodding as if Louis can see him.
He’s playing it cool - Harry wants to tell Louis how nice it is to hear that, honestly. He’s so used to people using him as bait for likes on instagram or a promotion for whatever they have going on at the moment, using him as a name and a brand and forgetting that he’s Harry, and not #harrystyles. It’s not like it bothers him, not really, to take pictures and help people out when he can - meeting people is one of the reasons he loves his job (if you have to call it that) so much. It’s just. It’s nice, is all, to talk to someone like Louis and maybe be just Harry to him.
“Anyway, I’ve got your poster up on my wall and everything.”
And that’s. Okay.
“What?” Harry asks with a smirk. That isn’t what he expected Louis to say at all.
“I didn’t buy it,” Louis says with an indignant scoff. “Zayn bought it to put up at one of our parties last year, as a joke, and I just never took it down. Adds a nice ambiance to the living room, I think.”
“Sure, yeah. Wouldn’t want to throw off your feng shui.”
They laugh, Louis repeating ‘feng shui’ fondly and Harry can practically hear him smiling and shaking his head. It’s silent for a minute, neither one of them knowing where the conversation is supposed to go.
“How bad’s it been?”
“I mean, you know, it’s been really tough being linked to one of the hottest celebrities of the moment. No perks, whatsoever.” Louis deadpans and Harry rolls his eyes.
“Shut up.” Harry’s been laying on his side on the couch since he picked up his phone to call Louis and he rolls over to lay on his back. He props his feet up on the footrest and toes off his boots, his feet thanking him silently for the relief after a long day. “I saw, like, a video of you leaving lunch and they were asking you all of these questions--”
“Yeah, fuck, that was making me so mad.” Louis’ tone changes, and he does sound genuinely angry. “What’ve you done to piss them off so much? ‘s unreal. They can’t talk to you like that, Harry.”
“Yeah, well,” Harry mumbles. “What’d your friends say?”
“Zayn thinks it’s fucking hilarious,” Louis says and Harry laughs. Of course. “He said he didn’t even think about it when we were at the game that night. I didn’t either, really, other than knowing who you were. Like, I didn’t expect this, or anything--”
“Hey, no, I know that--”
“You just seem so normal, I didn’t even think about it. ‘m sorry if this has fucked things up for you, or something.”
Louis is so nice, Harry thinks as he bites down on his bottom lip. And pretty, he’s pretty too. With his feet propped up and the unavoidable blush that’s surely creeping onto his cheeks, Harry probably looks like the billboard for a teenager talking to their crush. It’s what he feels like, a bit.
“Nah, just didn’t want you to hate me,” Harry says honestly.
“Christ, it isn’t your fault, man,” Louis says softly. “Sorry if, like, your girlfriend-- uh, or boyfriend isn’t too pleased.”
Harry raises his eyebrows. “No boyfriend.”
“Oh,” Louis says, sounding surprisingly delighted before clearing his throat. “Well that’s one good thing.”
Harry’s cheeks are going to melt off, god, his face is on fire. He turns back onto his side, taking a deep breath. “I was thinking, if you wanted, I’d like to take you to dinner or something. To make up for any trouble I’ve caused, I mean.”
Louis hums thoughtfully. “That would be nice, yeah. To make it up to me.”
He’d quite like to make it up to Louis. With sex, preferably, or lavish presents and vacations and more sex, but--. Dinner.
“And since I had to leave so quickly the other night, it’s only fair.”
“It’s only fair,” Louis agrees. “You’ve got a lot to make up for, then.”
Harry’s got a few ideas, but he thinks that dinner is probably a good start.
It’s not like he goes on dates very often, not often enough to draw up any sort of statistics, but Harry is pretty sure he’s being stood up. Possibly. He’s on his second glass of water, and the waitress keeps giving him side-eye looks when she walks past the table. To be fair, it’s only ten minutes or so past the time that him and Louis had decided on for dinner, but. Harry’s nervous, gulping down his water like he honestly can’t get enough of it.
“Will someone be joining you, Mr. Styles?” Alberto, the head chef, asks when he visits Harry’s table a few minutes later.
Harry laughs, standing from his chair and giving Alberto a warm hug. “Told you to call me Harry, haven’t I?”
Alberto pats his shoulder when Harry sits back down, and Harry gestures to the empty seat across from him. “I’ve got someone coming. Thanks for this table, by the way,” Harry says, motioning around the room. “I really appreciate you clearing out a little bit of a private space for us.”
“Of course. Can’t promise there won’t be any of those pigs trying to take your picture when you leave, though.” Alberto sighs, his shoulders slumping. “You two can always use the back exit if you need to. Might step in something on the way through the kitchen, but it’s better than nothing.”
Harry gives the older man a genuine smile, and nods. “Thanks, man. You’re the best.”
He really is - When Harry moved to the city, he started coming to Malibu on the weekends more often than not, and this quickly became his favorite restaurant. He’d met Alberto on his first visit, always a fan of complimenting the chef personally, and since then he’s always made time to talk with him when he comes in for a quick lunch or dinner with a friend.
“Let me know when you’re ready for your favorite appetizer,” Alberto says with a chuckle and a wave over his shoulder as he heads back towards the kitchen.
Harry sips down the rest of his water, pulling out his phone and sending Niall a nervous text before pocketing it again. When he looks up from his lap, he sees Louis at the front of the restaurant talking to the hostess. Harry makes a sound in the back of his throat, his eyes roaming over Louis’ body and the outfit he’s managed to paint directly onto his body, apparently. He makes eye contact with Louis and waves him over, Louis motioning something to the hostess before walking towards their table in the back of the room.
It’s dark in the restaurant, and their table is sectioned off by two half-walls, so Harry ducks his head for a moment to shut his eyes tight and breathe deeply a few times before Louis approaches him. Harry’s wearing a half-unbuttoned plaid shirt and black, tight jeans. He’s wearing his favorite boots and also his favorite Alexander McQueen scarf wrapped around his head, pulling his hair back and out of his eyes. It matches the colors of his shirt, which he gave himself a little pat on the back for earlier. His long hair is poking out from underneath the scarf, his curls looking extra springy tonight.
Harry fastens one extra button on his shirt, suddenly feeling very self-conscious. What if Louis doesn’t like his outfit? Oh god.
“Were you undressing at the table already, babe?”
Harry’s cheeks flame at the pet name, and he nearly chokes when he looks up to see Louis pulling back the chair across from him. He looks even better this close, and Harry licks his lips without realizing he’s even moving his face. Louis is wearing black jeans too, impossibly tighter than Harry’s, with a dark red scoop-neck shirt that’s hanging deliciously so to reveal his collarbones and the tattoo directly under them. His hair is different than last time, this time swooped across his forehead, perfectly styled to stay up and out of his eyes while still looking soft. Harry wants to reach out and run his fingers through it.
“Not quite yet,” Harry says with a laugh when Louis is settled. “Hi.”
“Hi, fuck, I’m so sorry. Traffic was a bitch on the way in, and then I passed the place, had to be four times.”
Harry looks down at his lap, grinning. Louis looks as nervous as Harry feels - it’s cute.
“‘s alright, you’re here now.”
Louis grins. “I am.”
“This place is fine, right? Sorry, I didn’t even think to ask if you liked sushi--”
“Yeah, ‘course.” Louis rolls his eyes. “Love sushi. This is pretty fancy, Styles.”
It’s a nice restaurant, but nothing too special, Harry thinks. Regardless, it’s his favorite, and it’s private enough that he doesn’t have to worry about the photographers like Alberto thought he might, and nobody can hear their conversation. It’s nice.
“If I knew any better,” Louis continues, “I’d think you were trying to woo me.”
“Too bad, man,” Harry says, shrugging with a smile on his face. “Your intuition must be a little off.”
Louis tries to suppress a smirk, pushing his tongue against his bottom lip. He picks up the menu, clearing his throat. “So, what’s good?”
When they made plans a couple of days ago, Harry told Louis that he knew a place in Malibu by the water that they could go to without a crowd, and also mentioned that it was one of his ‘go-to’s in the city. Louis had said “It’s a date” once they chose a time on Saturday night to meet up - Harry is fairly sure that this is a thinly veiled date, Harry only using the ‘let me make it up to you’ excuse so that he could see Louis again.
“I get the bigeye tuna roll, usually. Get the spicy version if I’m feeling brave.”
“Well,” Louis says, humming. “That sounds good. We could get a regular and a spicy and split it-- I mean, if, uh, you want to do that.”
Harry nods happily. “Perfect, yeah.”
“Oh god,” Louis practically moans.“they have sorbet. We have to get some of that later, too.”
“Actually, uh--” Harry frowns.
“What? Wait, sorry, I’m not expecting that you pay or anything, christ. I’m not trying to rack up the bill--”
“No, no,” Harry says, holding up his hands. Louis looks like he’s about to start sweating. “I was just going to take you to my favorite frozen yogurt place down the street, if you were up for it.”
“Oh.” Louis smiles softly, his eyes twinkling. He’s really quite handsome, Harry thinks, now that he gets to look at him straight-on for more than a minute as opposed to the side of his face (no complaints there, either) like at the basketball game. It’s not like he didn’t know that Louis was good looking, because, fuck, he knew. It’s just that there’s something different about the easy smile Louis is wearing and the quiet voice he’s talking in, now that they’re in a different setting.
They’re silent for a moment, before Louis whispers, “Really trying to woo me, then.”
A bit, maybe.
They order when the waitress stops by the table again, handing over their menus and falling into easy conversation. Louis tells Harry that he works for some corporate office in the city under Zayn, whom he loves very much and lives in the same apartment complex as. His family lives in Utah in a small town near the bottom of a mountain, and he moved to Los Angeles a couple of years ago when he was twenty-two, right after college, to live in a big city and do something with his degree. Harry listens intently, nibbling at their appetizer (Alberto brought it out, introducing himself happily to Louis) while Louis tells him pieces of himself.
“Sorry, I’m rambling.” Louis says, shoving a hand through his hair, fixing it just so. “What about you, hot-shot? How’d you get here?”
Harry wipes at his mouth with his napkin, hiding a smile. “Well.” He huffs. “I was twenty when I moved out here and started this whole thing,” he lifts his hands, gesturing at nothing in particular. “Been a couple of years and they still want me in the studio, so I guess I’m doing alright.”
“More than alright,” Louis says. “Your music is so sick, Harry. Really suits you, I think.”
Harry loves hearing this, truly. It’s always been his dream to make music for anyone that will listen, and the fact that him and his guitar have gained any sort of fanbase is beyond wild to him.
“Thanks, I like to think so. ‘s all I’ve ever known how to do.”
“Did you do the whole school thing? Or were you already working towards this?”
Harry nods at the waitress taking away their now empty appetizer plates. “Yeah, I mean--. I don’t know, I always knew this was it for me, you know? I started talking with the record label when I was a year out of high school, and then I moved here that next year and started recording. Been doing it ever since.”
“A hot-shot, indeed.”
“Shut up,” Harry groans. “‘m not.”
Louis sets him with an unimpressed look. “I have four younger sisters, just so you know, and every single one of them thinks they’re going to be your first wife.”
“Well they’re in for quite a surprise,” Harry deadpans, and Louis splutters, water dribbling down his chin.
“God,” Louis says, wiping at his mouth. “Yeah, they are.”
Harry raises his eyebrows and smirks, but doesn’t get the chance to respond before their entrees are being set before them. It looks just as good as every other time, and Louis must agree if the look on his face is any sort of hint.
“Fucking amazing,” Louis says after his first bite, and Harry feels weirdly proud. He probably owns a portion of this restaurant, anyway, with all of the meals he’s bought.
They eat in comfortable silence, each of them pitching in comments on the food or telling each other small parts of their lives when they don’t have a mouth full of sushi. Harry almost chokes on a particularly large piece of tuna when Louis tells him the story of his first day at the his current job (he spilled coffee all down his front and had to wear one of Zayn’s extra shirts from his closet, effectively circulating a rumor in the office that the two of them were sleeping together).
“That was amazing,” Louis says with a pat to his stomach. The waitress brought the check fifteen minutes ago, and Harry finally picks it up (after slapping Louis’ hand away and giving him a very intimidating look when he tried to argue) and pulls out his wallet, putting a fifty dollar bill paired with a few singles on the table. Louis grimaces and groans. “You really don’t have to pay. And you really didn’t have take me somewhere this nice, Styles. I was going to forgive you for making people think we were dating, you know.”
“And I’m a pretty easy date, really. Which, this is a date, by the way. And you’re definitely wooing me. Just so we’re clear.”
Harry’s face is going to split in half from smiling so wide. “I knew that. Both things. Just so we’re clear.”
“Oooh.” Louis raises an eyebrow. “I take it back then, you smug bastard.”
They both erupt into laughter, and Harry feels like he is going to burst. This is so easy, feels like he’s known Louis for weeks, or years.
“I don’t know, I didn’t want this to be tomorrow’s headline or something. Just wanted to have a quiet dinner with you.”
Louis smiles shyly and doesn’t respond, but the blush that creeps up his neck is response enough.
“So,” Harry says with a clap of his hands. “Fro-yo?”
Louis continues to smile down at his lap for a moment before looking up at Harry. “Yeah, fro-yo.”
The frozen yogurt was a great choice, Harry decides. He also decides that you can tell a lot about a person depending on what toppings they get. Harry gets vanilla flavored yogurt with bananas and blueberries on top, sometimes adding coconut shavings when he’s feeling particularly indulgent, like tonight.
“God, you’re weak,” Louis says, looking over at Harry’s cup of dessert. They chose to take it with them and eat while walking back to their cars, which are still parked at the restaurant a couple of blocks away.
Louis’ cup is filled to the brim with chocolate frozen yogurt, topped with every kind of sprinkle and chocolate based topping, and a cherry on top. It says a lot, Harry thinks.
“What? I like fruit,” Harry pouts.
“Big up on the coconut shavings,” Louis says with a wink, putting another spoonful into his mouth.
Harry is about to tell Louis that he loves a good bowl of fruit, sans frozen yogurt, when he feels a tap on his shoulder. He turns and sees a young girl, probably thirteen or so, holding her phone to her chest. “Hi,” she says nervously. “I just wanted to know if I could get a picture? ’m sorry to bother you. You’re one of my favorites.”
Harry smiles at her broadly and shakes his head, lifting his arm for her to fit herself next to him. She moves slowly to stand next to him. “No problem at all, babe. What’s your name?”
“Emily.” She’s shaking a bit, Harry can tell, so he gives her shoulder a good squeeze and motions to Louis.
“Would you mind taking a picture for us, Louis?”
Louis shakes his head quickly, reaching for Emily’s phone and counting down from three to take a picture.
“Perfect, there ya go,” Harry says, turning to the girl after Louis has handed her the phone again. “I’ve gotta run so that I can eat this before it melts.” He holds up his yogurt and she giggles. He looks over at Louis who is rolling his eyes fondly, and suddenly gets an idea. “Hey, could you do me a favor?”
“Yeah, of course,” she says, nodding.
“Could you, like, not post that on twitter or anything for a few hours? Trying to have a quiet night.”
She continues to nod, holding up her phone. “I promise, I won’t. Thanks for even stopping.”
“No problem, it was nice to meet you!” Harry says, giving her a quick hug and waving before turning to continue their walk. Louis waves at Emily, mumbling a goodbye and following in step next to Harry.
“Well wasn’t that cute,” Louis says after a minute, scraping at the bottom of his yogurt cup. They’re nearly to the cars now, the gravel of the restaurant’s parking lot crunching underneath their feet.
“She was sweet, yeah,” Harry agrees. “I like meeting people like that. Just didn’t want a hundred people waiting here if she tweeted that we were headed that way.”
“A hundred people? Giving yourself a lot of credit there, hot-shot.”
Harry bumps their shoulders together, causing Louis to miss his mouth with his spoon and smear chocolate frozen yogurt on the side of his mouth and some of his cheek. Louis scoffs. “Really.”
“Shouldn’t be so messy, Louis,” Harry sing-songs, walking ahead of Louis when he stops to wipe at his mouth. He reaches his car, just on the edge of the parking lot, and turns to wait for Louis, who is stomping along behind him. Harry laughs and shakes his head. “Okay, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Forgive me?”
Louis stands in front of him, holding his now empty cup in one hand and putting the other hand on his hip.
“God, okay,” Harry leans back against his car, twirling his keys on his finger. “What if I get off the spots you missed?”
“What?” Louis rubs at his mouth with the back of his hand, completely missing the swipe of chocolate on his cheek. “Get it off.”
Harry laughs and pushes off the car, walking the two steps forward to come nearly face to face with Louis, leaning to the side to set his empty cup on the ground. He stands straight again, sighing like he’s put out, before reaching out and wiping at Louis’ cheek with his thumb. He places the rest of his hand against Louis’ face and neck, his fingers brushing the end of his hair. Louis squeaks, probably at the cold feel of Harry’s hand after holding a frozen treat for the last ten minutes, and stares up at Harry.
Harry swipes his thumb across the spot a few times, humming appreciatively at the soft feel of Louis’ skin. It feels hot underneath Harry’s cold fingers, and he wonders what the rest of Louis’ skin feels like - his stomach, the small of his back.
“Get it?” Louis asks quietly, his voice sounding strained. Harry can relate - he can feel Louis’ breath on his chin, could easily tilt their foreheads together.
He pulls his hand off of Louis’ face and inspects further. “Mm, good as new.” Harry ducks his head down and places a light kiss to the spot on Louis’ cheek.
When he pulls back, Louis’ eyes are closed. He opens them slowly and cocks his head to the side. “Any more spots?”
Harry’s lips curl into a smile, and he nods. “Maybe a couple.”
Louis hums, rocking back on his heels and raising his eyebrows. Harry wants to kiss him, for at least the tenth time tonight. He really, really wants to kiss him.
“Maybe here--” Harry says, kissing the warm skin just next to Louis’ mouth, lingering longer than the first time. “And here?” He asks, his lips an inch away from Louis’.
“Yeah, there,” Louis responds quietly, and Harry can practically feel the words against his own mouth.
Harry laughs once before leaning forward that much more to connect their lips together and kiss Louis like he’s wanted to since he saw him courtside. Louis’ lips are as warm and soft as Harry would have imagined, moving slowly against Harry’s and parting after a moment to let Harry swipe his tongue against his lower lip. Harry lifts a hand to hold his hip and pull him in closer, then hears Louis’ frozen yogurt cup dropping onto the gravel. He laughs against Louis’ mouth, but it gets caught in his throat whenever Louis’ arms move to circle around Harry’s waist, his hands fitting in the small of his back and pushing in closer to his body. They slot together perfectly, in Harry’s opinion.
Louis rolls his hips once and Harry whines against his mouth, deepening the kiss before chasing Louis’ mouth when he starts to pull back. “Alright, alright,” Louis says, smiling. “Parking lot, right.”
Harry frowns, “It’s a very nice parking lot.” Louis is right, though, of course he is. Someone could walk by with a camera phone at any moment - or anyone, really, because regardless of his celebrity status, he probably shouldn’t be caught dry humping someone in a parking lot like a teenager - and it’s getting late.
Louis tucks his face against Harry’s neck. “Thank you for tonight, Harry.”
“When can I see you again?” Harry asks when they step away from each other, not caring that it sounds on the verge of desperate. Louis pulls his car keys from his pocket, pushing a button that makes a far-off car beep.
“Soon,” Louis says, smiling. “Very soon.”
He leans forward and kisses Harry hard, wrapping an arm around Harry’s neck and pulling him down into the kiss. They’re breathing heavily when they finally break apart, Louis standing on his tip toes to place light kisses across Harry’s cheeks. “Soon.”
He starts walking towards his car, turning his head once when he’s halfway there to smile at Harry and give a short wave. Harry should get in the car, or move, do anything. He feels like his feet are made of cement at the moment, and he isn’t exactly sure when that’s going to let up. Louis has got a great ass, which is something he hadn’t noticed before, and he watches the way his hips sway the entire time Louis is walking towards his car, christ. When he opens the door and gets inside, Harry finally turns to slowly settle into his own car, letting the sounds of the radio clear his head for a moment before he starts driving.
As things normally go in Harry’s life, he’s whisked away to the other side of the country at the most inopportune time. Niall knocks on his door at nine o’clock in the morning after his date with Louis, telling him they need to pack a bag and get to the airport in an hour. Harry completely forgot that he had to record in New York for two whole weeks - he’s meeting up with a handful of writers and people he’s been dying to collaborate with. He’s stoked, buzzing out of his skin to get there and really set things in motion for this next album, it’s just.
He texts Louis that morning before he boards the plane: i’ve got to go to nyc for a bit :( flying out now.. see you when i get back?
He doesn’t get anything in response before he has to switch his phone into airplane mode a few minutes later. Harry sets his neck pillow just right and puts in his earphones, listening to songs that definitely to not remind him of Louis, not at all.
He has a message from Louis when his phone comes to life as soon as he lands in New York.
:( boo. have fun i guesss ;)
Harry laughs, throwing his carry-on bag over his shoulder and replying right away: will do :) almost missed my flight.. niall had to come get me. forgot all about this trip
He’s in the car that Niall has called for them when his phone buzzes again. other things on your mind? tsk tsk
Harry rolls his eyes and pockets his phone, turning to Niall to hear his schedule for the next couple of weeks while they drive to their hotel. His days are apparently going to be packed with meetings and recording sessions, some of the days not ending until late at night. Harry will be dead by the end of it, but he’s still buzzing, if not a little less when he hears how busy he’ll be.
The first week passes by in a blur, as he expected it would, getting to work with people he’s been longing after in a creative sense for years. He texts Louis all day, every day, when he can. Louis works during the day, of course, and the time difference is a couple of hours, but it puts Harry in a great mood every day. It really makes him smile when he gets a picture of Louis eating cereal at ten o’clock at night, which is seven o’clock for Louis (meaning it’s definitely his dinner - Harry isn’t surprised, since Louis told him the other night that he can’t cook for shit).
Things are very casual and fun. Neither one of them bring up kissing - or their date at all, rather. Louis does send a string of drunk texts on the first Friday night - Harry gets them when he’s relaxing at his hotel room, two texts full of emojis and one somewhat coherent text that reads misssss s yo u :( (( come home hott y shotttqtty - which neither of them mention in the morning.
It’s two in the morning the next Wednesday, Harry’s time, when his phone rings. He’s up late watching The Kardashians of all things (he’d been browsing the hotel’s channels and landed on that, not watching it but not Not watching it either) and pats the bed mindlessly trying to find his phone without dragging his eyes from the television.
When he puts the phone to his ear, he clears his throat and answers a bit groggily, “Hello?”
“Harry, hi-- Oh fucking shit, I’m sorry. I forgot about the time difference, oh fuck--”
Harry smiles, picking up the remote and flicking off the television before sinking himself further into the bed. He pulls the duvet up to his chin and hums. “Who is this?”
“Uh, it’s-- It’s Louis,” Louis stammers nervously, and Harry can’t help but laugh into the phone. “Oh fuck off.”
“Sorry, sorry. It’s alright, I’m still awake. Hi.”
“Oh,” Louis breathes, sounding relieved. “Good. That’s, uh, good.”
Harry rolls his eyes. “What’re you doing up this late?”
“It’s only, like, eleven here. What are you doing up so late?”
“Couldn’t sleep,” Harry says with a shrug, forgetting that Louis can’t see him. Right. Thousands of miles away.
Louis sighs into the phone, and Harry can hear the rustling of what he assumes to be sheets - they probably look about the same at the moment, splayed across the bed lazily and tucked under the covers.
“Did I tell you that people knew we were together the other night?”
Harry gulps and hums curiously, so Louis continues, “Yeah, that girl posted the picture obviously, but she did wait until later, bless her. Anyway, people were asking her on twitter who you were with and she said, quote, ‘that guy from the basketball game’. Which I’m assuming is me, unless you’ve been making the rounds at sporting events.”
Harry laughs, too loud for the quiet of his hotel room, and shakes his head at nothing. “No, you absolute brat. You’re the guy from the basketball game.”
“My claim to fame. You aren’t the only celebrity here, Styles.”
“Right, right. Did you go through her twitter?”
“Yeah, ‘course,” Louis says, no shame in his voice. He splutters when Harry doesn’t respond immediately, explaining, “I got a google alert of new articles and one of them linked to it.”
A google alert. “A google alert for what?”
“Fuck,” Louis swears before mumbling something that Harry doesn’t quite catch.
“What was that?”
“Harry Styles,” Louis says louder, sounding much like a grumpy toddler who has been caught. “Just wanted to keep up with any articles that might be talking about us, or whatever.”
Harry frowns. “Don’t read that shit, god, it's awful.”
“I already turned it off, don’t worry. You’re popular, did you know that?” He laughs. “Plus, I don’t know how people seek out this shit. They must have nothing better to do.”
Harry didn’t realize that he was covering his mouth with his hand and grinning, but. He definitely is. “Any good gossip, Lou?”
“Well they’re convinced we’re a full on item now, with the secret yogurt date and all,” Louis responds with a sigh.
“I mean, mostly true. It was a secret yogurt date.”
“Oh, we’re some sort of item now?”
Harry’s face heats up, and now it’s his turn to splutter. “No! I mean, like, we’re -- I don’t know, we’re whatever, I wasn’t trying to--”
“I’m joking, babe.”
Harry slips the phone between his head and the pillow, pulling his now free hands to his chest and pausing. “Oh, well.”
“When do you come home?” Louis asks suddenly, the sheets rustling louder in the background. Harry thinks he’s settling in bed for the night, and the image of Louis tossing and turning, unable to sleep and calling Harry is a pretty fantastic one.
Harry welcomes the change of subject - he appreciates that they’re both meekly attempting to keep up the facade that they’re not already in too deep (after one date, honestly). “Two days? I’ll be home Friday, I think.”
“Great,” Louis yawns. He pauses before adding, “Miss ya."
Harry bites his lower lip. “Miss you, too. Soon.”
“Soon,” Louis repeats.
They’re silent for a moment before Louis delves into a story about his day at work, Harry hanging off every word. They talk, pausing only to yawn and plug their phones into the wall, until one - or both - of them drops off to sleep. When Harry wakes up, the call is still connected, and he can hear small snores coming from Louis’ end. He hangs up before rolling over in bed and putting his face in his hands.
It’s three days later when Harry is back in his regular recording studio, and he can’t be happier. It’s a small studio right near Niall’s house - he’d wanted somewhere extremely private and low-key for Harry to record in, and it works. It’s nice to be back home, as well. He’d landed in Los Angeles yesterday pretty late, going to bed almost immediately and not waking up until Niall called him relentlessly to remind him of his session at noon.
“Want to run that verse again?” Liam, a producer, says from behind the glass into the microphone, and Harry nods. “Alright, I’ll put it on in a few. Take a break for a second.”
Harry sees Niall slap Liam on the back, the two of them sharing a joke that Harry can’t hear from inside the booth. He pulls out his phone and starts to pull up Twitter when he gets a new text.
word on the street is that you’re back on home turf :)
Harry had texted Louis late last night, after he had already fallen asleep, to let him know that he had arrived home safely. Louis must have just woken up. He smirks as he reads the text, thumbing his reply quickly.
yep, back at recording studio already haha save meee
He adds a few disgruntled emojis for emphasis. He looks up at the few people behind the glass of the booth, fiddling to pull off his headphones. He leans into the mic. “Actually, do you think we could take lunch?”
Liam shrugs and stands, pressing a button on the table. “Sure. We’ll meet back in an hour or so. Don’t break anything if you stay in here.”
Harry nods, waving while the others file out of the studio. He stays put in the recording booth, picking up his phone again and texting Louis: i’m pretty busy today with this, but they’ve all just gone to lunch if you want to swing by here :) i can order something for us to eat
Louis responds almost immediately with a rather unimpressed looking emoji, and Harry laughs into his hand. He’s about to reply when another text from Louis comes through. just kidding, i’d love to ;) text me the address
Harry pitter-patters around the booth while he waits, sitting on his stool and reading over some of the lyrics Liam had printed off and set in there for him - some of the new stuff he wrote in New York last week. He sends Louis a picture of himself giving a dopey smile and a thumbs up, clearly anticipating his arrival. Harry is playing it cool, really. Until three minutes later when he hears a knock coming from the studio door and he jumps off the stool so fast that it falls to the ground.
“Hi,” Harry says when he opens the door after straightening himself out. He moves aside and lets Louis in, giving him a smile before walking ahead of him and leading him to their area for the day. “Welcome, welcome. What’s that?”
Louis lifts a paper bag to Harry’s eye-level. “Picked up some McDonald’s. See, I can provide too.”
Harry laughs and thanks him before leading them to the main studio space and gesturing for Louis to take a look around.
“This is sick,” Louis says quietly, running his hand lightly across the switchboard while Harry puts the food on the chair in the control room. Louis is wearing cut off jean shorts and a scoop-neck Joy Division shirt that hugs his waist in all the right places. Harry wants to fit his hands into the curves of Louis’ body, and is thinking about just that when Louis calls his name.
“Hmm?” Harry hums, snapping his eyes back up to Louis’ face. Louis smirks. “Sorry, right. And this is the booth,” Harry says dramatically, gesturing to the separate room, walking in.
Louis follows behind him, letting the door shut just as Harry is starting, “Don’t let that door shut--”
Louis’s eyes widen and he turns quickly, trying to catch it just as the door clicks into place, the loud sound making Louis gasp. He looks back at Harry with still-wide eyes and fish mouths.
“Okay, well. That locks from the outside when you, uh, shut it all the way.”
“Fuck,” Louis says, barely more than a whisper. He pushes his hair away from his forehead and laughs nervously. “Well, at least we’ve got the food.”
Harry shakes his head, a smile creeping onto his face slowly, and points to the McDonald’s bag sitting on the chair outside the door.
Louis puts his face in his hands and groans. When he looks up again, Harry is full-on laughing, sitting himself down in the stool. They’re silent for a moment, Louis fiddling with the bottom of his shirt, still standing by the door.
“Want to hear some of this?” Harry asks, startling Louis and lifting the lyric sheet up nonchalantly.
Louis’ eyes widen again. “Really? ‘course, yeah, fuck.”
“I don’t have, like,--” Harry waves his hands in the direction of the control board. “Won’t sound good without any music but I can sing the melody, I think.”
“You don’t have to--”
“Want to.” Harry nods once, defiantly. Louis smiles in return, stepping a bit closer and shoving his hands in his pockets.
“Alright then, hot-shot. Show me.”
So Harry does.
He clears his throat and starts off with the first verse, slow and soft. The song is one of his slowest, and he’s thinking of just pairing it with his acoustic guitar. The lyrics are some of his favorites, and he hopes Louis is listening, really listening. It builds to the chorus, his voice coming out stronger and he glances up at Louis. He’s watching him intently, and Harry wonders briefly if he’s even breathing. He keeps singing, forgetting the lyrics for a moment and chuckling, lifting the paper in front of his face again. Louis takes a few steps towards him, nodding for him to continue but Harry shrugs.
“Don’t quite have the rest down yet, but, you know,” Harry says. “I like it. Wrote it with the guy from The 1975 when I was in New York. Do you know ‘em?”
Louis nods. “They’re so cool. Guy’s hair is fucking amazing.”
“It is, yeah. He was over from Europe last week and I took the chance when I could.”
“Don’t blame you, god. The song is great, Harry,” Louis says, his voice soft as Harry’s ever heard it.
He nods in response, tucking his chin against his chest in an attempt to hide the blush that’s undoubtedly creeping up his neck. Louis walks towards him then, stopping when his thighs are brushing against Harry’s knees. Harry opens his legs a bit wider, letting Louis stand in the space between them.
“You like it, yeah?” Harry asks, looking up at Louis finally. He’s taller than him, like this, and it makes Harry incredibly small. He doesn’t quite mind.
“So nice,” Louis says. “Your voice is incredible.”
“You’re such a charmer.” Harry rolls his eyes, pushing at Louis’ hip but keeping his hand there once Louis laughs and regains his footing.
“Not quite as charming as you.”
“Hmm,” Harry hums. “True.”
Louis starts to scoff indignantly but is cut off when Harry leans up to kiss him. He makes a quiet sound against Harry’s mouth before seeming to melt into it, leaning into Harry and pushing closer to his body. Harry squeezes at Louis’ hip while simultaneously swiping his tongue against Louis’ lips in a silent question - one that is answered readily by Louis opening his mouth for him and deepening the kiss.
He makes a sound low in his throat when Louis starts to slowly push his hips forward rhythmically, meeting with Harry’s crotch every time. It’s almost too subtle to notice, aside from when Harry can feel him press into him, and he isn’t even sure if Louis realizes he’s doing it.
Harry moves his hand slowly to ruck up Louis’ shirt the slightest bit, rubbing his thumb against the skin there. It’s warm, much like he assumed it would be, but he can feel goosebumps rising on Louis’ skin where he touches him. He likes that Louis is reacting to his touch physically, like he can’t help but roll his hips forward and that his skin is rising on it’s own at the feel of Harry’s fingers. It gives Harry a headrush, his lips seeming to move automatically against Louis’ now. Louis hands are in his hair, rubbing the smallest circles into his scalp. Harry loves that more than anything, probably, and he scoots forward on the stool to meet Louis’ hips more readily when he pushes forward again.
The brand new knowledge that Louis is hard when their hips meet is dizzying, Harry humming and breaking away from the kiss abruptly. Louis makes a sort of whimpering noise, which, fuck. They’re pressed so close now, their chests touching, Harry pulling Louis’ hips in with the hand still resting there. Harry moves his mouth to Louis’ neck immediately, peppering kisses there before he licks a hot stripe against his skin and bites down and kisses more hungrily. Louis whines and pulls gently at Harry’s hair, so Harry moves quicker, kissing Louis’ neck and sucking a bruise into the skin. When he stops to look at Louis’ neck, the place he’d been kissing is already marked, red and purpling around the edges and all because of Harry. It’s enough to make his head spin.
“Harry,” Louis whispers when Harry tucks his face against Louis’ neck, breathing hard. He removes one hand from Harry’s hair and trails it down his chest, stopping at the top of his jeans. Harry whines quietly against Louis’ skin, pushing his hips up involuntarily.
Louis’s fingers play with the button of Harry’s jeans and he sucks in a breath. “Yeah?”
Harry’s brain is shouting three hundred versions of the word yes, including in Spanish and also on a billboard in neon lights. He settles for a breathy “Yeah, yes,” mumbled against Louis’ neck. He brings up the hand that was previously resting on his thigh to press against the small of Louis’ back, slowly moving his hand down to his ass. If Harry thought Louis’ ass looked incredible (it does), it’s no comparison to the way that it feels. He bites down against the skin of Louis’ neck again, groaning when Louis finally pops the button of his jeans. He unzips them almost immediately, seeming frantic now.
“Ah,” Louis lets out a breathy moan when Harry palms at his ass, and he moves to reach a hand into Harry’s jeans.
Harry hears a loud, frantic knock on the recording booth’s door - just as Louis’s hand comes in contact with his hard cock through his briefs, honestly - and he is fairly sure that steam starts coming out of his ears. He presses his face against Louis’ neck and groans in frustration loudly. “You’re fucking kidding me.”
Louis turns his face and breathes a laugh against Harry’s hair, moving quickly to button his jeans again and sort him out before stepping back.
Harry looks past Louis to see Niall standing at the glass door, wide-eyed and shaking his head. He’s never hated Niall more than in this moment.
Niall opens the door after a moment of standing there while Harry squirms in his stool. “Are you serious?” he asks with a smirk when he comes in.
“No, are you serious?” Harry asks, his voice low and rough. Louis adjusts himself in his jeans and laughs quietly before turning to face Niall. “We got locked in.”
“The rest of the guys are right behind me,” Niall starts. “Better be glad I found you and not them. Liam would’ve had your head.” He turns to Louis, sticking out a hand. “Good to see you again, Louis.”
Niall looks down at his own hand, pulling it back slightly and looking between Harry and Louis. “Is it safe to shake his hand?” he asks Harry.
Harry kicks out a leg against Niall’s, grunting. “I’m going to kill you.”
Louis laughs loudly and takes Niall’s hand. “Hi, Niall.”
Niall laughs. “I can’t believe you were about to hook up in here, christ.”
“About to, yes,” Harry says through gritted teeth, and Louis giggles.
Niall shoos them out of the booth then, and when they get back into the control room the rest of the group is filing back in. Liam’s got mustard on his shirt, and Harry points at his chest with a smile. “Brought me back some lunch?”
Liam rolls his eyes and huffs, telling Harry to shut up. His eyes flit to where Louis is standing behind him and he raises an eyebrow. Harry makes introductions, explaining quietly in Louis’ ear who everyone is once they all busy themselves. He tells him everyone’s secrets, Louis laughing into his palm and leaning his body back against Harry. Soon, Liam shuffles Harry hurriedly back into the booth, saying that they just have one more song left. Louis agrees to stay and listen, so he sits with Niall, talking and watching Harry while he records.
It’s the best session Harry’s had in months.
The next week passes by quickly, Harry spending most of his days in the studio and a few of his nights at events or doing interviews to promote his upcoming album. He gets asked about Louis exactly four times, each time deflecting the question with a very sincere compliment to the interviewer, flustering them into skipping onto the next question. It’s fine, Harry thinks.
Much like the last couple of weeks, he talks to Louis pretty much all day, every day. Louis comes by the studio a few times, bringing lunch or just stopping in to listen while Harry records and talk to Niall. He brings Zayn with him one day, smirking at Harry through the glass when Niall blushes like crazy upon seeing him. Harry asks Niall about it later, but the only response he gets is, “He’s nice, yeah”. Harry doesn’t push it.
On Friday, Louis text him: so i was thinking
Harry smiles down at his phone and types back never a good idea, babe
Louis sends a crying emoji, making Harry laugh, before he texts again. since u finally have a day off...i think it’s my turn to take you out. tomorrow? if you’re up for it :))
If he’s up for it, Harry thinks. He snorts and shakes his head, because, obviously.
And so Louis tells Harry to meet him in Malibu the next day at noon, near where they had dinner the first time. Louis says that there’s a parking lot where they can park their cars - Harry assumes that means they’re going to the beach, maybe. Louis didn’t tell him to pack his swim trunks, though, so he’s lost. He’s excited, regardless. It’s even more exciting to him that Louis seems to have this all planned, saying that it’s a surprise. Louis is pretty great, Harry thinks.
When he gets to Malibu on Saturday, he’s wearing a white t-shirt and tight blue jeans with his favorite pair of brown boots. He’s donned a solid olive green head scarf, his curls looking unruly underneath. He gets out of his car to wait for Louis, sliding on his Ray Bans and pulling out his phone and scrolling mindlessly through twitter. The lot is pretty far off the street, so he isn’t too worried about anyone seeing him. He’s been able to dodge paparazzi and fans for the most part the last couple of weeks - aside from while he was in New York City, that was madness - using the back exit of the studio and leaving in a car with tinted windows. It’s not like he’s avoiding fans, really, he just likes to lay low sometimes. He can go a week without anyone seeing him and asking for a picture, if he’s careful. It helps that his fans are usually fairly cooperative, waiting to post photos and not giving out his location most of the time. However, It’s a Saturday in Malibu which usually means a lot of people, regardless of how private Malibu can be, so Harry will have to be a bit more cautious.
“Expecting someone?” A voice comes from behind him, and Harry startles, turning around.
It’s Louis, thankfully. He’s in tight black jeans that make his legs look so amazing that Harry want to drool, embarrassingly enough. He’s got a t-shirt on, some band that Harry doesn’t recognize, the neck stretched out enough that Harry can see the very top of his collarbones. Louis takes off his sunglasses and smiles, and Harry thinks he looks absolutely delicious.
“You look amazing,” he says when Louis gets close enough.
He gets a brilliant smile in return, and earns himself a discreet kiss on the cheek. “Not bad yourself, hot-shot.”
Harry blushes and pockets his phone. “So.” He claps his hands together, smiling. “What’re we doing? If you say the beach, I hate to tell you that I’ve got no trunks with me. Looks like I’m going nude.”
Louis raises an eyebrow. “Oh, you wound me. That would be terrible,” he deadpans. Harry laughs and Louis smirks, continuing, “Think I could live with that, definitely.”
“Hmm, maybe next time,” Harry says, making Louis’ eyes light up. “Seriously, though. What are we doing? Tell me.”
“Has nobody ever surprised you with anything, like, ever? Jesus, you’re like a kid--”
Harry pouts and Louis sighs dramatically. “God, fine. C’mere.”
Louis turns and starts walking from the direction he seemingly came from, looking over his shoulder and beckoning for Harry to follow him. They walk across the lot, stopping in front of a motorcycle parked on the edge of the pavement. Louis swivels around to face Harry, nearly knocking into him when Harry doesn’t stop in time. He raises his eyebrows and smiles wickedly, like he’s challenging Harry.
“I know, I’m full of surprises. Meet my baby,” Louis says, patting the engine of the bike. It’s a sleek, black motorcycle, a lot like the ones Harry has seen at the shops he goes to when his friend Cal’s bike needs a tune up. It’s got a silver ‘L’ decal on the right side of the engine, with a few extra tweaks that make the bike perfect for Louis. There are two helmets on the seat of the bike, and Harry looks over at Louis with bright eyes.
“Are we riding this?”
“If you’re down for it, yeah,” Louis shrugs. “It’s really nice today, I thought we could just ride up and down the coast for a bit before we go eat dinner later.”
Harry’s face must look like a mix between pure excitement and horror, because Louis laughs so hard he doubles over. “God, your face.”
“I’ve never actually been on one before,” Harry explains. “But I’d love to.” He pauses, biting his lip nervously. “Won’t people see us? Being chased by paps on the road is, like, my least favorite thing.”
Louis lifts one of the helmets, leaning up on his tip toes to fit it over Harry’s head. It slides on easily enough, despite his thick hair and head scarf. Louis steps back and admires Harry for a moment, nodding once in approval.
“Glad it fits. Fuck, you look so good,” he says, pulling at the end of Harry’s scarf that’s peeking out from underneath the helmet. “And no, that’s the best part.”
“Well, I don’t know,” Louis says, looking down at his feet. “I was thinking, like? If we have on helmets when we ride, nobody will know who we are, you know? You’ll just be a guy on a motorcycle, like me.”
Harry wants to cry. Louis gets it, he really does. He looks nervous, like he isn’t sure if he’s possibly read things wrong, so Harry knocks his hip against Louis’.
“That sounds pretty fucking perfect, really,” he says. He realizes that he still has the helmet on which probably looks ridiculous and not very hot at all, but Louis smiles anyway.
Louis puts his helmet on after a moment, which does look incredibly hot on him, his body looking amazing when he swings a leg over the bike’s seat and settles himself. Harry has to restrain himself from climbing into Louis’ lap, which is a feat in itself.
“C’mon, Curly,” Louis says, patting the seat behind him.
Harry thinks this is the hottest proposition of his entire life, maybe. His knees nearly buckle, but he pulls himself together and straddles the bike behind Louis. He tries not to think about the fact that his crotch is essentially pushed up against Louis’ ass, but.
“Okay, you have to hold onto me,” Louis says over the low roar of the engine once he’s turned the bike on.
Not a horrible proposition either, Harry thinks. He wraps his arms around Louis’ middle, knocking their helmets together by accident when he forgets that he has a rather bulky headpiece on at the moment. Louis laughs and knocks his head into Harry’s, mumbling something that Harry doesn’t hear.
Harry tightens his hold on Louis, scooting forward. He’s scared, a bit.
Louis pulls out of the parking lot slowly, looking both ways (a point for safety, Harry thinks) before driving out onto the main highway. He starts out fairly slow, but quickly starts to pick up speed. Harry can feel the end of his scarf whipping against his helmet, and the wind kicking up the back of his shirt. It’s warm and sunny in Malibu, the sun heating his back and arms. Louis drives the motorcycle effortlessly, passing other cars carefully and making it a smooth ride. Harry loves it, feels like he’s weightless.
“Y’alright?” Louis yells back to Harry when they’re at a stop light.
Harry turns his head to the car next to them in a turning lane with a teenage girl in the driver’s seat. His first instinct is to shield his face and turn away, hoping not to be seen. But he doesn’t, remembering that he’s wearing a tinted helmet. She looks over at him, glancing at the two of them on the motorcycle before turning back to face the stop light without a second glance. Harry isn’t too egotistical to think that every teenage girl in the entire country knows who he is, but it feels good. It’s like he’s a nobody at the moment, on the back of a bike with a guy that he has grown pretty fond of, and it feels amazing.
“Yeah, ‘m great.” Harry moves his hand to splay across Louis’ stomach, digging his fingertips into the soft skin there.
Louis leans back into him for a second before the light turns green, and then they’re off again. They drive up and down the highway on the coast for what feels like hours, enjoying the sunshine and talking at stoplights. Louis takes Harry by some of his favorite Malibu stops - the place where the water is the bluest, apparently, and the diner where he had his first job. They stop at Louis’ favorite part of the beach, getting off the bike for a break and to see the water. They roll their jeans up and walk through the most shallow part of the water, Louis splashing Harry the first chance he gets (“You had to have seen that coming”, which, Harry did).
It’s getting closer to dinner time by the time they get back to the area where Harry’s car is parked. Louis turns his head at a stop light and gets Harry’s attention. “What d’ya want for dinner? I’m getting a little hungry.”
Harry nods, even though he’s pretty sure Louis can’t see him. “I’m cool with whatever.”
“What’re you in the mood for?”
Harry thinks for a moment, shrugging. “Kinda just want a greasy burger, to be honest.”
Louis laughs, tossing his head back and knocking their helmets together. “I can do that.”
They drive for another half hour or so, finally pulling off of the main road and into an In-n-Out parking lot. Harry can’t stop staring at Louis’ arms while they ride around - they’re so tan and look perfectly lean when stretched out to grip the handlebars, the muscles underneath his skin flexing when he fidgets and taps his fingers.
Louis turns his head once they’ve parked. “Is this alright? It’s not, like, fancy--”
Harry smiles inside his helmet, and he’s glad that Louis can’t see him for once. He probably looks like he’s going to devour Louis alive. “This is great, yeah. We can go through the drive-thru if you want, actually.”
“Ironically, you’re the most low-maintenance date ever,” Louis laughs. He pauses for a minute, pulling out his phone and checking the time. It’s nearly 5:30, jesus. Harry didn’t know they’d been out so long. “We could get some food and take it back to my place if you want? It’s like fifteen minutes from here.”
Harry nods excitedly, or what he hopes translates as excitedly with a gigantic helmet on his head, and wraps his arms back around Louis’ middle. They get double cheeseburgers from the drive-thru, getting an extra order of fries to split between them when they get back. They put the bag of food in the storage compartment on the back of the bike and make their way over to Harry’s car, Louis dropping him off and telling him to follow him to the apartment so that they don’t have to come back and get his car later.
“It’s not like I chose to!” Harry says around a mouthful of fries while Louis tosses his head back in hysterical laughter.
“The thought of you having to be out to dinner with these people is amazing,” Louis says. Harry’s been telling Louis stories of his less-than-favorite publicity outings, and Louis is absolutely delighted.
Harry’s always been upfront with his fans about who he’s actually dating and his preferences, but the articles written about him like to twist things, making a mountain out of a molehill more times than not. He’s had to do his fair share of stepping out with up and coming artists, making people talk about if they’re dating or just friends. It's just a celebrity thing, part of this life. He doesn’t mind much, it usually makes for good stories later.
Harry covers his face with his hands, groaning. “I know, god.”
“Just have to get seen with someone at dinner or an event and suddenly you’re dating,” Louis says, swallowing his last bite of burger. “That’s so absurd. Just because you’re photographed with someone doesn’t mean you’re--”
Harry gives Louis a look, chewing his mouthful of fries. Louis rolls his eyes, smiling.
“Okay, but not every time.”
“I remember seeing pictures of you, like, sometime last year.” Louis brings his drink to his lips, taking a long sip and wiping his mouth. “It was some blonde girl that you stepped out with, I don’t remember. An actress or something.”
“Yeah, that was one of the worst,” Harry laughs, leaning back on the armrest. They’re sitting across from each other with their legs pulled onto the couch, their bag of food between them.
Louis’ apartment is small and cozy. It’s an older building, so it has a vintage feel that Harry loves. He’s got it decorated better than most young adults Harry knows - Louis explains that Zayn had to come over when he moved in to help him make it look nice - and it feels safe and like home (there’s a smell when you step through the front door that’s like cinnamon apples, and it reminds him of his mom’s apple pie). Louis gave him a small tour when they walked in, tossing his keys into a bowl that he keeps by the door. He skipped over a tour of the bedroom, giving Harry a coy look before leading him towards the couch so that they could eat. Harry tripped over his own feet when he followed Louis after that.
“I remember I had to take her to the tattoo parlor with me,” Harry says, remembering that particular publicity stunt. He’s truly had some of the worst. “Like, we weren’t dating, obviously. I’d just been dancing in a club with some guy a month earlier. Not sure who was buying that,” he laughs.
Louis nods, “I remember that! Oh my god.”
Harry shakes his head and laughs. Louis leans up and gathers up the wrappers from their burgers and puts them in the bag everything came in, setting the handful of trash on the coffee table next to them.
“Which one did she go with you to get?”
Harry hums, lifting his shirt enough to reveal the black ink on his hip. “This one.”
Louis shifts in his seat, staring at the tattoo.
“I like it,” Harry says, rubbing a thumb across the skin of his hip. “I haven’t even seen all of yours, just the ones on your arms.” Harry gestures at Louis.
“Hmm,” Louis says with a smirk. “Maybe if you’re good.”
Well that sounds like a challenge if Harry’s ever heard one.
“I’m good all the time,” he says airily, reaching out and putting his hands on Louis’ thighs. He tenses for a moment at the unexpected touch and takes in a sharp breath.
“I doubt that.”
“I am,” Harry says, frowning. “I’m an angel.”
He’s started rubbing circles with his thumbs into Louis’ jeans, pulling him closer slowly while they discuss Harry’s innocence. He hasn’t gotten to spend uninterrupted time with Louis since their first date, really, and he’s itching to touch him now that they’ve got the entire night. Itching to do a lot more than that, honestly, but touching is a good start.
Louis scoots closer, his knees touching Harry’s now. “I seem to have a gravitational pull, all of a sudden.” He’s smiling, looking up at Harry through his eyelashes.
Harry gasps. “Weird.”
He pulls Louis onto his lap in one swift motion, and Louis squeaks before looking down at where he’s sat, confused. He narrows his eyes at Harry. “How did you even do that? Fuck.”
“It was the gravitational pull, you just said.”
“Right,” Louis scoffs. “You’re too much.”
“Mmm.” Harry tilts his face up, his lips brushing against Louis’ chin. “You like it.”
“I suppose I do.”
Louis leans down and kisses him for the first time that day, and it’s like a pipe has burst in Harry’s head and he’s already dizzy with it. He misses Louis’ lips the second they aren’t on his, which is ridiculous, and it’s been too long since the last time he got to properly kiss him. They get frantic almost instantly, Louis clearly feeling the same sense of want (need) that Harry does and licking into Harry’s mouth as soon as he gets a chance. Harry moans low in the back of his throat when Louis sucks at his tongue lightly. He’s half hard already, honestly, and it doesn’t help when Louis starts shifting in his lap.
“I’m not letting you leave here tonight,” Louis says when they break apart, trailing kisses down to Harry’s neck. “Just letting you know.”
“Fine by me,” Harry says, gasping when Louis starts to suck a bruise into his neck. “Fuck.”
Louis starts to move his hips in a circle and rock down, and Harry’s eyes nearly roll into the back of his head. He probably shouldn’t be this turned on just from kissing and a little movement, but he doesn’t care at all, not when he lifts his hips just slightly from the couch and gets a fantastic new angle. Both of them groan in unison, Louis biting down particularly hard on his skin then licking over the same spot and blowing on it slowly. Harry shivers.
“Beautiful,” Louis says, admiring his work.
Harry fits his hands around Louis’ waist, lifting his shirt so that his palms are flat against skin. He starts to shove the shirt up, trying his hardest to focus on anything aside from the way Louis is rocking down into his lap. “Can I--”
“Don’t know why you haven’t already,” Louis says shortly, bringing his head up to dive back into kissing Harry on the mouth. Harry smiles into the kiss, unsure of why he ever thought he’d have the upper hand in this.
He lifts Louis’ shirt up and off easily, tossing it to the side. Louis kisses his nose once before kissing him hard, all tongue and teeth and Harry’s mind is swimming. He puts his hands under Louis’ thighs, gripping them tightly once before lifting Louis off his lap and laying him flat on his back. Louis gives a huff of frustration at no longer being kissed, and pouts at where Harry is rising to his knees opposite him on the couch.
Harry makes quick to take his own shirt off, throwing it behind him and leaning forward to hover over Louis. He fits easily between Louis’ legs and holds himself up by his hands on either side of his head. Louis smirks, clearly pleased by the sudden change of position, and lifts his hips, picking up where they left off. This time it’s even better, in Harry’s opinion. He can feel how hard Louis is now, and the rubbing of their cocks together even through jeans is incredible.
He reaches a hand down to flick open Louis’ jeans, unzipping them quickly. Louis nods while Harry kisses him, giving him silent permission. Harry snakes a hand into his jeans, shoving them down just enough to get a hand around his dick through his briefs. Louis lets out a small grunt when Harry breaks their kiss to breathe, continueung to palm at Louis needily.
“Wanna get my mouth on you,” Harry whispers into his ear, groaning when Louis nibbles lightly at his earlobe. “Please, please.”
“So polite, hot-shot,” Louis practically mewls, rolling his hips up into Harry’s hand. “Would love that.”
Harry grins against Louis’ temple, moving quickly to kiss down Louis’ chest, spending an extra moment on his nipples - kissing and licking at them until they’re hard and Louis’ breaths are coming shorter and shorter. He shoves Louis’ jeans down as best he can and sits up to pull them off of his ankles completely. Harry leans back down, settling himself in a comfortable position, and pulls at the waistband of Louis’ briefs, biting softly at his stomach and kissing until he reaches the base of Louis’ cock. Louis reaches down to push his briefs down more, letting them rest at mid-thigh. His dick is nothing short of beautiful, as Harry probably could have guessed, and his mouth waters instantly, desperate to feel the weight of it on his tongue.
“Harry--” Louis’ words get caught in his throat when Harry takes him down suddenly in one go, swirling his tongue around the head before he comes off with a pop. “Fuck, god--”
Harry doesn’t give him time to breathe, really, just goes right back down and picks up a rhythm, using his hand to compensate for anything that he can’t fit in his mouth. He tongues at the slit and uses his tongue on the underside of his cock, focusing on that solely when Louis moans loudly and shifts his hips.
Louis reaches down and fits a hand into Harry’s curls, finding the back knot of his head scarf and using it as a grip. Harry hums around his mouthful when Louis starts to pull on the scarf just a bit, getting some of Harry’s hairs tangled in his fingers and creating a nice tugging feeling. Harry sucks him down more enthusiastically, quickening his pace and twisting his wrist when he strokes up his dick.
“Harry, god--” Louis whines, lifting his hips off the couch, shoving himself further into Harry’s mouth. Harry opens his mouth and relaxes his throat, welcoming it happily. Louis moans when he hits the back of Harry’s throat, his sounds coming out muffled. Harry looks up at him and sees that he’s hiding his face against his arm, biting at the skin. He’s mumbling something incoherent, and Harry slows for a moment to suck and kiss at the head of Louis’ dick - giving himself a second to breathe.
“So good, baby,” Louis says into the crook of his elbow, his voice wrecked. He pulls his face from his arm and looks down at Harry, groaning at the sight. “So pretty like this.”
Harry hums happily, licking his lips. He circles his tongue around the head once before taking him down nearly to the hilt, causing Louis to grab at the back of the couch, trying to find some sort of grip. Harry moves quicker, his hand covered in spit, and he reaches his other hand down to palm at his own cock, now straining in his jeans. He’s so unbelievably hard, just from this.
“Fuck, babe.” Louis whimpers once, moving to sit up. “Harry, baby. You have to stop,” he says suddenly, sounding torn.
Harry looks up at him and furrows his brows, keeping his mouth on him to show that he doesn’t mind, that he wants Louis to come. Louis shakes his head quickly. “No, no, you’re gonna make me come too fast,” he whines and laughs weakly. “Not yet.”
Harry lifts off and sits up, pouting.
“Are you honestly pouting?” Louis asks, incredulously. “You’re amazing, god.”
“Want you to come,” Harry says, crawling back up Louis’ body, kissing him. His lips are swollen and a bit tingly, surely slick with a mixture of his spit and the taste of Louis. Louis hums into the kiss, licking out against Harry’s lips before pulling back.
“Would have, trust me.” Louis kisses him again, biting his lower lip and sucking it into his mouth. “Your mouth is incredible.” He says, nipping at his lip again.
Harry laughs, giving Louis a kiss. “Do you want to show me the bedroom now?”
Louis nods, tucking his face against Harry’s neck and wrapping his arms around his neck. Harry is a sucker, honestly.
Harry lifts Louis from under his legs and wraps them around his middle, standing up and getting his footing. Louis kisses at Harry’s neck while he walks, yelping when Harry tosses him gently onto the bed in Louis’ room. Harry crawls in after him, moving up his body and straddling him on all fours, leaning down to kiss him like he hasn’t been doing it for the last hour.
Louis pushes at Harry’s shoulder, surprisingly strong for his small frame, and shoves him until he’s rolled over and laying flat on his back. Harry grunts in response, not sure why they aren’t kissing anymore, moving to get back up.
“Uh uh,” Louis tuts, shifting so he’s propped up on his elbow next to Harry. “My turn.”
Harry raises his eyebrows, watching with fervor as Louis moves until he’s straddling Harry’s waist, resting his hands on his chest. He leans down and kisses Harry’s collarbones until he’s trailing his mouth down the length of Harry’s torso, stopping when he gets to the top of his jeans. “These need to go,” Louis mumbles against the denim, unbuttoning them and shucking his pants off quickly (rather impressive, for how tight they are), tossing them and Harry’s briefs to the floor once he’s naked.
“Gorgeous,” Louis starts, kissing Harry on the mouth again. “So fucking gorgeous.”
Harry deepens the kiss, finally getting the friction he’s craved when Louis rolls his hips slowly. He breaks the kiss and lets his mouth drop open and closes his eyes, the rub of their unclothed cocks making him crazy. It’s so sweet, and Louis moves his hips expertly, quickening the pace when Harry starts to moan.
“Ah,” Harry gasps when Louis slows his pace. “Ah, Lou--”
“I know, baby,” Louis says, hushing him with a kiss. He moves to bite at his neck, running his hands up and down Harry’s sides. “So pretty like this, did you know that?” he says against Harry’s skin.
Harry shakes his head, overwhelmed. He’s biting at his lip so hard that he thinks he’s going to start drawing blood - he just needs Louis to touch him.
“Love your soft skin, Harry, baby,” Louis says, kissing across Harry’s chest. “Wanted to touch you since you had your shirt unbuttoned at the dinner table like you were just asking me to mark you up. It’s like you wanted that.”
Harry whines, biting more harshly at his lip, "Did.”
“What was that?” Louis asks, moving his tongue slowly around Harry’s nipple.
“Did--” Harry chokes when Louis sucks it into his mouth. “I did want you to.”
“Well now I have,” Louis says softly, reaching up two fingers to press into the deep bruise blooming already on Harry’s neck. Harry nods, pushing his neck into the touch. Louis is going to be the death of him - he is actually, definitely going to die.
Louis continues to kiss down his torso, stopping at his stomach and licking a long stripe across his abs. “So fit, too. Don’t know how anyone keeps their hands off of you.”
Harry’s fucking losing it, fisting a hand in the sheets and feeling himself get harder from this, from all of this attention on him. He can feel Louis’ eyes everywhere and he wants to shy away and cover himself, but he can’t - he feels frozen.
“You have all of these soft places too,” Louis starts, running his hands down to Harry’s hips, gripping. “So lovely.”
He kisses the thicker skin at Harry’s hips, biting at them lightly when Harry starts to shift. He can see that Louis’ dick is hard and leaking onto the sheets - Harry just wants to get his mouth on him, wants to do anything.
Louis uses his tongue to trace along Harry’s hip bone, biting and kissing at the top of his thigh. “Your legs look so good in those tight fucking jeans you wear, but god--” he punctuates his last word with a kiss to Harry’s leg. “Look so nice like this too. Could do this all day.”
“And your ass,” Louis starts, and Harry groans, turning his face into the sheets. “Such a nice ass, did you know that, too, hot-shot?”
Harry shakes his head, burying his face into the sheets even more. He feels like his skin is on fire, melting off the bone everywhere that Louis has touched, kissed, bitten. He’s going mad with it, wants to just move his hand to stroke lazily at his cock, but he’s enjoying this too much. Louis is too, if the way he’s rutting his hips against the bed is any indication.
Louis slides a hand under Harry’s ass, squeezing and palming at it for a minute, smiling when Harry gasps and arches his back. He moves from Harry’s body for a minute, reaching up and digging around in the bedside table. He comes back with a bottle of lube and Harry nearly chokes. Yes.
“Gonna make you feel good, okay?” Louis asks, kissing Harry’s hip again. He’s never felt so focused on, and it’s making the best kind of buzz run through his body. Louis is so beautiful, so amazing - knowing that he thinks all of this of Harry’s body is enough to send him over the edge already.
“Okay,” Harry nods, not trusting himself to say much more. His voice is absolutely wrecked, mostly from sucking Louis off before but also from feeling so hard he’s going to come any minute.
“And this,” Louis says as he slicks his fingers up with lube. He lowers his mouth to hover just over Harry’s dick, and it takes all of Harry’s willpower not to thrust his hips up and shove in between Louis’ pretty pink lips. “This is incredible.”
Louis kisses a line up Harry’s cock starting at the base, taking the head into his mouth and sucking gently. He moves his tongue across the tip teasingly, and Harry nearly cries out. He’s shifting his hips now, desperate for what he knows is coming.
He’s so focused on not coming immediately that he barely notices when Louis starts circling a wet finger around his rim, dipping in just an inch every few seconds. Harry arches his back and rolls his hips down, trying to get Louis to give him more, but Louis takes Harry into his mouth fully then and that’s the end of that.
It’s so much all at once and Harry doesn’t know what to focus on first: Louis’ hand is running up and down his sides, stopping to grip and pinch at his hips every so often, his hips are moving against the bed where he’s laying in between Harry’s legs, his mouth is on his cock, and his finger is now up to the first knuckle in his ass.
“Lou, more,” he whines, lifting his face from the sheets.
Louis pulls off of his dick slowly, licking at the head before burying his face against Harry’s hip.
“Oh,” Harry gasps when Louis finally slides his finger in all the way to the second knuckle, moving in and out slowly and sucking at the skin of Harry’s thigh. There’ll be a bruise there tomorrow, no doubt.
Louis doesn’t waste a lot of time before adding a second finger, moving both fingers in a steady rhythm and driving Harry absolutely crazy.
“Love your body, Harry, fuck,” Louis says, quickening the speed of his fingers, making Harry moan loudly. He moves his wrist to get a different angle, biting down hard when Harry cries out. “Can’t get over it.”
“Fuck, Louis,” Harry says in between breaths. He feels like he can’t get enough air in his lungs. His cock is laying hard and leaking against his belly, and he wants to come, he needs to. He feels overwhelmed, not sure that he’s ever felt this close to coming without something working his cock. “‘m close, god--”
“Shh, s’alright,” Louis whispers, kissing against Harry’s stomach. He adds a third finger, so slowly, making Harry groan the entire time he pushes in. Louis breathes out against his skin, pushing his hips down harder against the mattress.
“Can you come just from this?” Louis asks, shoving his fingers in quickly to make sure Harry knows what he’s talking about. Harry bites his lip and nods, making a sound low in his throat when Louis twists his wrist. “God, that’s so--. You’re so fucking hot, Harry.”
Harry’s breathing heavy, his chest rising and falling. He can feel the sweat building on his forehead and the familiar feeling rising in his gut, and he’s pushing his hips down to meet Louis’ fingers every time Louis thrusts into him. Louis crooks his fingers again and moves in and out quickly, finally hitting the spot that he’s been searching for, making Harry shove his hips down and gasps.
“Ah, god, there,” Harry pants. “There.”
Harry’s vision nearly blurs completely, Louis rubbing against his prostate relentlessly and gripping at his hip, pressing his thumb against his hip bone.
Louis breathes out harshly against Harry's thigh. "I'm gonna come, Harry, fuck." He bites down hard at the skin beneath his lips, whining. "Fuck, I'm--"
Louis’ starts to whine louder until he’s moaning without holding anything back, and Harry can feel him freeze between his legs, his motions slowing as he lets out a long groan. “Oh god,” Louis breathes quietly, suddenly moving his fingers faster and kissing up and down Harry’s side. “Come on, baby.”
Louis is still panting, and knowing that Harry did that to him without even really doing anything is what ultimately sends him over the edge. Harry rolls his hips down just a few more times before he’s coming, spurting onto his belly and letting sounds escape his lips that he might be embarrassed of if it were anyone but Louis. His legs are shaking and Louis is peppering kisses over his thighs, holding him steady with a hand still on his hip. He keeps whispering things like “so pretty” or “so beautiful” and Harry feels like he’ll never stop coming. He does finally, Louis thrusting his fingers in and out slowly through the aftershocks, pulling his fingers out when Harry breathes out harshly.
Louis wipes his hand on the sheets next to Harry, crawling up the opposite side and kissing Harry’s shoulder. They both breathe for a moment, Harry letting his eyes flutter closed and resting his head against Louis’.
“Hi,” Louis says after a minute, shifting so that he’s pressed against Harry’s side.
“Hi,” he responds, smiling. He briefly wonders if this is what total bliss feels like.
“That was amazing.”
“It was,” Harry agrees with a nod. “‘m sorry I couldn’t finish you off.”
Louis lifts his head, looking Harry in the eye. “Are you joking?”
Harry pouts. “No?”
“That was, like, the most turned on I’ve been, ever. God, it was definitely you that got me off, trust me,” Louis says, kissing Harry’s shoulder again and resting his head there when he’s done.
Harry smiles up at the ceiling. Louis makes him feel so unbelievably normal and so extraordinary at the same time, is the thing.
“When can we go again?” Harry asks after a few minutes of silence, and Louis laughs against his skin, the sound bouncing off the walls.
“Soon,” Louis responds quietly, still laughing.
Harry will definitely hold him to that. “Soon.”
Harry’s on his second jack and coke, and he’s lost Louis. He went to the bathroom for four minutes, maybe five tops, and he’s lost him. There are so many people here, from workers to volunteers to celebrities and hosts. It’s a lot.
He spots Zayn across the room sipping a glass of wine and walks over to him. “Have you seen Louis? I’m about to go up there.” Harry gestures towards the stage, where there’s a line-up of five men standing.
Harry signed up for this celebrity auction before he met Louis a few months ago, and now it’s too late to back down. Louis understood - it was for charity and mostly harmless fun. He agreed to it after Harry explained, as long as he could come as his proper date and make very intimidating faces at whoever bet enough to win a date with Harry Styles. Harry was fine with that, it was always a bit hot when Louis got a little bit of jealousy under his skin.
“Haven’t seen him, bro. But--” Zayn shrugs. “I also lost Niall and Liam ten minutes into this thing, so.”
Harry claps a hand against Zayn’s back and smiles at him. “Always very helpful, thanks man.”
Zayn laughs and takes another drink of his wine just as the announcer on stage taps loudly against the microphone. “Our next bachelor up for grabs is Harry Styles, our very own musician of the year.”
Harry shoots Zayn a worried look, mouthing “Help me” before making his way towards the stage. Louis is somewhere in the room, he just isn’t sure where. Maybe he stepped out, not wanting to watch his boyfriend get bought out like a prize. It wouldn’t surprise him - Louis always gets very protective over Harry, shielding him with his body when they’re in front of photographers and, more than once, leaving nasty anonymous comments on any website that writes shitty articles about him.
“Hi, Harry, how are you doing this evening?” the host, Ryan something, asks.
“Not bad, a little nervous.”
Ryan pinches his cheek. “Isn’t he adorable folks? Alright, we’ll start the bidding at--”
“One thousand dollars!” A voice yells from the back of the room. Harry looks in that direction but the lights shining on him make it impossible for him to see anything that far back.
Ryan gasps, patting Harry on the back. “We’re off to a good start! Do I hear fifteen hundred for a date with this nice guy?”
Someone towards the front raises their hand, smiling at Harry. He gives them a wave, recognizing them from previous events. He’s starting to feel a little sweaty.
“Two thousand!” Someone from the back calls, and it seems like it’s from a different area, but Harry can’t be sure.
It goes on like this for the next couple of minutes, the bid getting up to ten thousand dollars. Harry’s shocked - last year someone got a date with him for sixty five hundred, but then again, that was before his new album came out. He’s gained a lot of attention since then.
“Fifteen thousand dollars.” A voice towards the middle of the room yells, their voice deep and gravelly, unrecognizable. Harry squints, trying to make out a face, but he can’t see anything at all past the front row.
“My god, fifteen thousand,” Ryan shouts delightedly, sounding a little bewildered. “That’s the highest bid this year, Harry! Anyone want to challenge that? Anyone?”
Harry looks around the room, wiggling his body a little and giving a dazzling smile, making everyone laugh. He might as well work it.
“Anyone? Going once, going twice, sold! If you’ll come up to the front to claim your bachelor, please.”
Harry waits patiently for whoever has bid on him to come forward. He shuffles his feet and ducks his head to flatten down the bottom of his tux. The crowd starts ‘aww’ing suddenly, and Harry looks up to see Louis making his way up the stairs of the stage. Harry’s face goes hot, a genuine smile nearly splitting his face.
“Well would you look at that,” Ryan says, putting a hand on Harry’s shoulder.
“Did you really think I was gonna let someone steal this one?” Louis says into the mic, making everyone sigh dreamily, clearly in awe of how cute Harry Styles’ boyfriend is. He knows already, but it’s still nice.
“What a bargain,” Louis yells, wrapping an arm around Harry’s waist and kissing his cheek. Harry absolutely preens, blushing hot underneath Louis’ lips.
“You two are so cute,” Niall yells from the front row, and oh. There he is.
Harry laughs, pushing his face against the side of Louis’ head.
“Off with the two of you, shoo shoo,” Ryan jokes, pushing them lightly towards the exit staircase. “Up next is Robert Pattinson!”
Harry rushes off the stage, pulling Louis by the hand towards the back of the room where it’s a lot darker. When he gets there he pulls Louis in front of him, twirling him around so that his back is against the wall. He puts his hands up next to his head, caging Louis in, and grins down at him.
Louis giggles. “Yes?”
“You think you’re so cute, don’t you?” Harry asks, shaking his head.
“I do, actually. And so do you.” He leans up and kisses Harry’s nose, right on the tip. Okay, he has a point.
“True. You’re such a brat, god. Where did you even get fifteen thousand dollars?”
Louis raises an eyebrow and shrugs.
Harry leans in closer to Louis, inches away from his face. “Hmm?”
“Might have gotten your credit card from your wallet when you went to the bathroom,” Louis mumbles, giggling at the end.
Harry groans, resting his forehead on Louis’. “I should have known.”
“Well it’s only fair. And now you get to take me on a date.”
“How is it exactly--” Harry asks, pausing to kiss Louis’ cheek. “That I paid, yet I’m the one taking you on a date?”
Louis presses his mouth to Harry’s lips once, leaning into him again right after and giving him a full on kiss, biting at his lower lip when he pulls away. Harry breathes deeply. “Fair point.”
“Because you love me.”
“I do,” Harry says, because there’s no fighting that, really.
“And you love to spoil me.”
“Right again,” Harry sighs, defeated. He doesn’t know why he ever thought he would be anything but a pile of mush when it comes to Louis - he’s weak as hell. In his defense, Louis is very pretty and also gives him the best sex of his entire life, so. It’s fair, Harry thinks, definitely.
“I’m thinking burgers,” Louis says happily, smiling up at Harry. “I don’t want to run down your bank account, you know.”
Harry looks at him for a moment, smiling like a dope and shaking his head lightly. Louis makes him feel like the most important person in the world while simultaneously making sure that he stays grounded and feels like he can be a nobody when he wants to be. He’s everything Harry needs him to be, and he loves Louis so much that it makes him feel a little nauseous sometimes.
In a good way.
“I think I can manage that. We might have to skip the fries this time, though,” Harry says apologetically, smirking when Louis giggles against his shoulder.
“You’re too good to me, hot-shot,” he whispers, wrapping an arm around his neck and pulling him into a kiss.