Tonight, was gunna be perfect. Zayn had used his all of his creative might to plan the most incredibly romantic evening for his better half. The reservations had been made – dinner for two at the cute little Italian bistro that Harry loved – and their bedroom looked like every Valentine’s Day Hallmark movie ever made had exploded in it. Zayn had adorned almost every flat surface with candles and coated the bed in rose petals, complete with a heart in the middle. He knew it was stupid and corny, but Harry loved stuff like that. He loved when Zayn was just as dorky as he was.
It was their three-year anniversary, and Zayn wanted it to be as beautiful and amazing and as sweet-as-a-cupcake as Harry. And…it was also the night that Zayn was going to finally make Harry his forever. Tonight, was the night Zayn was going to propose.
He had been working on this plan for months. Zayn had made sure the restaurant had set aside the perfect table, the one that Harry always insisted on because you could see the lights of the city dotting the night sky through the window. He also made sure that their food would be ready when they arrived; of course, Zayn had ordered all of Harry’s favorites. Plus, he had the owner select the perfect bottle of wine to complement their meal – that one had cost him a little extra, but the owner was totally on board with his favorite gay couple finally committing, so most of it was on the house anyway.
Then, after they finished wining and dining, Zayn planned to take Harry on a romantic moon-lit walk down by the river front. Once they made it to the square, Zayn would get down on one knee and ask Harry to trust him with his heart for the rest of their lives.
Afterwards, they would make their way back to the flat, where he and Harry spend the rest of the night intertwined in their bed. Zayn couldn’t wait.
He was standing in their adorable little kitchen fiddling with the sleeves of his shirt and waiting on the kettle to boil for his tea. Zayn was practically bouncing with nervous energy as he waited for Harry to get home from work. The anxiety was killing him, and the ring in his pocket felt like it weighed like 50 tons.
Suddenly, Zayn heard Harry’s keys in the front door, and all that nervous energy went straight to his hands. He practically spilled the scalding hot water all over himself and the counter, his hands were shaking so hard. He also started to chew on his bottom lip, which he knew Harry would scold him for as soon as he got in the door.
Finally, the door squeaked open, and he heard Harry shuffle in. Keys dropped in the bowl on the little side table next to the door. Shoes toed off and set next to Zayn’s scuffed trainers. Bag dropped on the couch. Let their evening begin!
Harry could not wait to see his boyfriend, and forget about how awful his day had been. Zayn’s arms had been the safe refuge he’d longed for all day…and it had been a LONG day.
He finally managed to get the front door open and set his stuff down in its usual place. Now he was in search of his Zayn and those beautiful lips that always tasted subtlety of mint toothpaste and the wine flavor Zayn used in his vape.
Just when he started to relax at the feeling of being home, he stubbed his toe on the corner of the couch...There really was no escape from this hellish nightmare of a day.
“Fuck! Son of a bitch…that hurt!” Harry whined in a mix of frustration and pain.
Harry’s resolve had officially crumbled, and he could no longer stop himself from crying.
“Zeeeeee…” Harry meekly called into the dimly lit flat.
Just then, Zayn came rushing around the corner, face contorted in extreme concern. Harry had fallen face-up over the couch arm and was clutching his right foot like he had just been shot. Zayn wasn’t sure if he should laugh at how adorable and ridiculous Harry looked, of if he should grab the first aid kit and prepare for surgery.
Harry looked over to his so-called, loyal boyfriend smirking at his pain while hovering at the end of couch. That’s when Zayn saw the real tears in Harry’s eyes and knew that there was definitely something else wrong.
“Hazza, babe, are you okay?!” Zayn asked, suddenly very alarmed. He knelt down next the couch and cupped Harry’s face in his slightly rough hands, just as Harry’s tears started to flow steady.
“Zaynie…I had…the worst…day…” Harry managed to get out between sobs.
“Shhhh, shhhh, babe. S’gunna be okay. You’re at home with me now, Hazza. I’m not gunna let anything else hurt you,” Zayn cooed as he slid onto the couch under Harry, resting Harry’s head in his lap.
“What happened, Haz?” Zayn asked as gently as he could, while carding his fingers through Harry’s curls.
Being in Zayn’s lap with his hands in his curls had calmed Harry down, almost in record time. Honestly, he wasn’t sure why he had such a massive meltdown, but, as usual, Zayn was like a warm shot of tranquility to his system.
Harry sniffled and wiped the tears from the cheek not against Zayn’s abs, finally ready to tell Zayn about his day. That’s when he noticed that Zayn seamed particularly overdressed, especially since he thought Zayn had been lounging around the flat all day.
“Why are you *hiccups* all dressed up?” Harry asked innocently. That’s when he remembered it was their anniversary. Harry had been so excited to celebrate with Zayn tonight, until he got to work and all hell had broken lose. Now he felt so stupid for not remembering.
Zayn was about to respond to Harry’s question, when Harry started panicking again.
“I’m so…sorry Zee! I can’t…believe…I forgot our…anniversary!” Harry squeaked out as he started to cry again.
“Harry, s’okay. Babe, you obviously had a rough day. Why don’t you just tell me what happened?” Zayn soothed as he stroked Harry’s cheek with the pad of his thumb.
Harry quieted down and leaned into Zayn’s touch. Finally, his breathing slowed, and he stopped hiccuping. He looked in to Zayn’s hazel pools that shown clear with concern, and his heart warmed. In that moment, Zayn was all he needed.
“Well…it’s a long story. So much went down today, I don’t even know where to start.”
“Just start at the beginning Hazza. I want to hear everything.” Harry took a deep breath and started recounting the horror show that was his shit day at school.
Harry was a sixth form English teacher at the boarding academy just outside the city. When he started, it was like a dream come true and, on most days, he truly loved his job. But, being an openly-gay male teacher in an all-boys prep school practically invited the little shits to torture him.
Normally the little delinquents kept their hijinks on a pretty basic level – throwing paper at him while his back was turned or making crude jokes at his expense in class. Today, however, Harry was sure they were trying to give him an actual heart attack.
During second period, two blokes on the soccer team got into a fight over some girl the both shagged, and Harry almost got punched in face trying to pull them a part. In fairness, he really had no business getting between the two, but he figured, as the teacher, is was part of his job description.
Then, during lunch, he was walking towards the table he normally sat at with the other staff members during his lunch duty when a fifth form boy “accidentally” tripped and spilled both of their lunches down the front of him. The little bastard could barely contain his laughter as he offered a half-hearted apology to Harry. Thankfully, the other teachers jumped to his aid and helped him get cleaned up. They also made sure the little twat that decorated his sweater with mystery meat had a nice chat with the headmaster.
As his sixth period students trudged into the classroom, he could barely contain his excitement to get home. He had had to walk around the rest of the day with a Picasso of food stains on his jumper, and he was just ready to celebrate his special day with Zayn.
A little while later, Harry was wrapping up his lecture on the importance of paying attention to grammar, but, just as he was finishing a terrible comma-related pun, he caught a whiff of something… burning?
He sincerely hoped that he had actually fallen and struck his head at lunch, and that this was some trauma-induced hallucination…sadly, that was not the case. A few moments later, Harry locked eyes with the school’s resident bad boy, who was currently wearing the tell-tale smile of a successful delinquent. Then Harry spotted the miniature wildfire he had started in the waste basket next to him.
The rest of the afternoon was such a blur. It had felt like the longest three hours of his life, but, at the same time, Harry felt like he was having an out-of-body experience. Watching from above as the fire alarms went off and all the students fled from the room. Watching as the headmaster scolded Luke for setting fire to a classroom. Cringing as the headmaster also laid into Harry for not keeping a better watch over “the impressionable young minds he’s been entrusted with.”
When it was all over with, Harry felt completely numb. He knew he was lucky to still have a job, and even luckier to have Zayn waiting for him at home. But it wasn’t until he was in Zayn’s arms that he finally felt like he was back in his body and like the world made sense again.
Zayn had sat and listened to Harry’s story in a constant state of horror. He had kept one hand in Harry’s curls and the other on his cheek, listening intently as he recounted the gory details. Zayn felt so bad that Harry had a such a rough time, and on their anniversary no-less. He also couldn’t believe that someone would actually start a fire in a classroom…
“Hazza, m’sorry those little pricks gave you such a hard time,” Zayn said bending down to kiss Harry’s forehead.
“I love you Zee,” Harry said smiling at the simple gesture.
“Tell you what, the rest of the night is all about you. We can do whatever you want, babe.” Zayn smiled down at his other half, completely abandoning his plans for the evening. He figured that they could save the grand gestures for another night; right now, Harry’s feelings were more important than his romantic fantasies.
Harry started to consider his options, but then he remembered Zayn’s clothes.
“Wait, so why are you all dressed up? Did you plan something for our anniversary?” He asked, sitting up and looking at Zayn quizzically.
“Don’t worry about it Haz. It’s totally not important. We can do whatever you want tonight. How about we stay in, order take away, and watch some cheesy rom-coms?” Zayn teased, finger-walking his hand up Harry’s thigh.
Harry chuckled at Zayn’s not-so-subtle advance and smacked his hand away. He nodded in agreement to Zayn’s modified plans and cuddled into his side. Zayn wrapped his arm around Harry’s shoulder, then crinkled his nose at the whiff of something that smelled vaguely like dog food.
“How about you change out of those clothes, and I’ll grab some snacks and get the movie set up?”
Harry sat back suddenly, gaping at Zayn.
“Are you trying to say I smell bad?” Harry asked, faking offense and smacking Zayn in the chest.
Zayn laughed, one where his eyes crinkled and his tongue did that thing where it poked between his teeth a little. “Yeah, kind of babe.”
Harry bounced up off the couch and stomped towards their bedroom. Zayn continued to chuckle, until he remembered the explosion of candles and petals Harry was sure to notice. He shot up and sprinted after Harry, but it was too late.
Harry was standing in the doorway of their room with a hand over his mouth, stunned by the amazingly sweet gesture of his boyfriend. “…Zayn…this is…so, so incredible.”
Harry was truly at a loss for words. Then, he realized this seemed a little overboard, even for Zayn. Don’t get him wrong, Zayn was an amazing boyfriend, and Harry’s best friend as well. They fit perfectly together. And, Zayn did sweet little things for Harry all the time. But this was on a whole new level. “Zee…I…”
“Shh,” Zayn said, gently putting a finger on Harry’s lips. Zayn laced his free hand between Harry’s fingers and guided him further into the room. “Harry, I love you.”
“I love you too, Zee, but,” Harry started to say before Zayn cut him off.
“Harry, I really wanted today to be special. I’ve kinda been working on this for a while…Hazza, I was going to make tonight the most amazing and special night we’ve ever had. Dinner at Gino’s, then a walk along the banks, and…”
“Zayn…were you gunna do, what I think you were gunna do?” Harry mumbled, his emerald eyes already starting to get glassy.
Still holding Harry’s right hand, Zayn slid down on one knee. He reached into the pocket of his skinny jeans and pulled out a simple white-gold band.
“Harry Styles…I want the world to know that you are mine, forever. You are my other half…and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
Harry, couldn’t even speak. His heart was simply overflowing with happiness, and his brain could no longer form words. But the ear-to-ear smile, and the tears streaming down his face were good enough for Zayn. He slid the ring on Harry’s finger and got up to hug Harry.
Finally, Harry figured out how to work his mouth again. “Yes! Oh my God, yes!” Harry squealed as he embraced Zayn.
Zayn chuckled into Harry’s ear, as Harry continued to squeeze him in a bone-crushing hug. “Ya know, you still kinda smell like mystery meat, Haz.”
“Shut up, you arse,” Harry laughed, pulling back and smacking Zayn in the chest again. Then, he leaned forward and finally got that kiss he’d been waiting for all day.
After a long shower together, and some not-so-quiet shower sex, Harry was laying against Zayn’s chest on the couch, perfectly content. They were watching a really cheesy comedy and playing with each other’s fingers.
Zayn placed a gentle kiss to Harry’s curls. Harry, craned his head up to see Zayn’s hazel eyes smile down at him.
“Whatcha thinkin’?” He asked quietly, his voice a bit raspy from their earlier activities.
Zayn leaned down and captured Harry’s pink lips in a deep kiss. When they finally came up for air, Harry’s emerald pools were still looking at Zayn, waiting for an answer to his earlier question. Zayn ran the pad of his thumb across Harry’s cheek, as he looked past Harry’s face and into his soul.
“M’ just thinking about how I get to grow old with you, and how many more nights like this are in our future.”
Harry nuzzled his face into Zayn’s chest once again, wearing a big dopey grin.
“I love you Zee.”
“I love you too, Hazza.”