There are few boundaries that Louis and Harry hadn't crossed in their many years of friendship. As children, they were completely inseparable. For the entirety of their first summer as friends, Anne and Johannah were lucky to have them apart for a few hours. They played all of the same sports despite Harry's inability to do anything with his feet and Louis sang in the choir even though Harry's voice had always been much more powerful than his. They were even each other's first kiss because they didn't want to be inexperienced when it came to the real thing. For years, their closeness was admired by those that watched them move, like the other was a part of them rather than a completely different person. Their families became extended family of their own and nothing ever changed.
When Harry turned sixteen he wasn't just Louis' anymore though. He became a superstar after winning a television competition show and with the prying eyes of the world, it was hard for them to be as openly each other's as they were before. Louis was hidden from the cameras even though he barely left Harry's side. He took classes on the road while Harry sang his heart out. Nothing could separate them. Not the stress of earning a degree through constant changing time zones nor the screaming public while Harry became the world's next heart breaker. The thing was, Harry only wanted one person, and that person was his best friend.
When he became so public with his life, Harry seemed to barely keep anything to himself. Over the years he learned how to hide certain aspects but almost everything seemed to come to light eventually. One of those things was the constant question of his sexuality. Though he never said he was one or the other, the world seemed to believe that he had to label himself, and if he didn't, he was a coward. It made him sick to his stomach. To think that people would force him to define something he didn't even know about himself. He knew he was in love with Louis and had been for a long time, but that didn't mean he didn't notice when a woman was breath taking. He had kissed both men and women and it bothered him that the world didn't seem to believe that was okay. That if he publicly kissed a man or didn't talk about a woman in every interview, certain people wouldn't listen to his music. It made him question every part of himself and often he found himself on the phone with Louis, crying, wishing the world were different.
The night of Harry's first show ever at Madison Square Garden, the world's most famous arena, Louis eased every part of Harry's heart. Harry never doubted he would.
"H," he hears Louis call from across the hall. He would be getting on stage in just ten minutes and he couldn't seem to calm his heart rate. Turning around and seeing Louis' familiar smile, he finally felt like he could breathe. So he let his own smile form as he quickly walked over to him. Louis wrapped him up in a hug, the warmest kind. The one that felt like home. "I'm so proud of you, you know?"
"I know, Lou," Harry said easily, he'd never doubted that.
"Got you something."
When Harry pulled back, Louis reached into his pocket and brought out a decent sized black box. He grinned at Harry before opening it to reveal a silver chained cross pendent. It was sparkling, dazzling even. Harry had never seen anything more beautiful. So he gently pulled it up and said, "Louis, this is gorgeous."
"I saw it when I was window shopping yesterday. I know how hard it's been for you lately, to accept that who you are is exactly who you are meant to be. I saw it and knew you had to have it. Harry, He wouldn't allow you to feel what you do about a man or a woman if it wasn't right. Whoever you end up with is going to look at you, see your strength in this pendent and wish they could be as strong as you are. He loves you. He made you who you are for a reason." Louis gently wiped a fallen tear from Harry's cheek and quietly said, "Now show them who you are."
Harry didn't know what to say so he just turned around as his heart beat out of his chest and asked, "Can you put it on?"
When the cool piece of metal hit his upper chest, he already felt stronger. So he turned around and buried his face into Louis' shoulder. No one made him feel stronger. No one ever would. Louis knew him inside and out, better than he knew himself. With Louis' necklace around his neck, he had the best night of his life. His performance gave him a peace he had never even hoped to find. Seeing Louis sit front row with his Mum, Robin and sister was the greatest image he could ever hope for. In those precious moments he knew he'd never love another person like he loves Louis Tomlinson. With Louis smiling back at him, he thought the feeling might just be mutual.
The thought went away as time only made Harry feel worse. It even got to the point where he only wore shirts that would cover the cross completely. When Louis visited, he was quieter than usual and they barely ever slept next to each other. Harry would stay out and sleep on the couch claiming that he didn’t want to wake Louis up when he came back. Louis, of course, noticed the distance. He just didn’t say anything because he knew Harry would come to him when he was ready.
But Harry didn’t. He hoovered over Louis’ contact that night, but instead, scrolled and clicked on his Mum. When she answered he whimpered out a, “Mum, I don’t know what to do.”
“Oh, baby,” she had said softly into the speaker. “Tell me what’s going on.”
He spoke for close to a half hour about how alone he felt. How he didn’t feel like he could be himself despite Louis’ promise that was all he ever had to be. How he was scared of being so unaccepted if he were to not only tell the world how he felt, but tell Louis. He could feel them slipping apart and even if it was his fault, he couldn’t figure out how to fix it. He told her of his fears of being openly religious while also supporting a community that wasn’t accepted by the church. He spoke about his friends that he couldn’t trust. He told her how he didn’t know what to do without Louis.
“But Harry,” she said after he caught his breath, “You aren’t without him. He’s just waiting for you to tell him what you need.”
“I’m so scared, Mum. He doesn’t love me like I love him and I’m scared that he’ll hate me for loving him.”
“Oh, baby. You know how much Louis loves you. We both know he’d never do that. It’s always so nice to be loved. You need to talk to him.”
“I don’t know how anymore,” he whimpered.
“But he will, won’t he?” She was right, of course. But Harry didn’t call. He was too scared to face Louis after being so scared to talk to him. Louis would be so disappointed.
At the end of June in 2013, Louis showed up at Harry’s door. Harry barely opened it before the door was being pushed in and then slammed shut and then Harry was looking at Louis. Louis in all his tanned, stunning perfection. He really felt like he couldn’t breathe.
“Hey stranger,” Louis said.
“Lou,” Harry said softly.
“Want to tell me why you didn’t show up to my graduation?”
Harry swallowed, leaning against the wall. He hadn’t known how to be there when he’d barely talked to Louis in months. So he says, “I’m busy.”
“Sitting around this beautiful place, yeah?” Louis asked. When Harry didn’t say anything in response Louis continued with, “H, I didn’t come here to yell. I’m not even mad. Like, you missed my graduation, so what. I'm just so worried about you. I gave you your space and now I need you to tell me either what I did wrong or tell me how to help make this space you've put between us go away.”
When Harry met Louis’ eyes and saw only worry, he couldn’t hold it in anymore. He fell into Louis’ arms and began to cry. After six months without his touch, it felt like coming home. Louis rocked him back and forth for two hours. He went in between rubbing his back, petting his hair, pressing small kisses to his forehead and just holding him tightly to his chest. Louis was the only person that had ever been able to truly calm Harry down.
“I’m so sorry,” Harry finally mumbled once he could talk. “I’m sorry for cutting you off, I thought it was best. I thought I had to.”
“Why, Harry?” Louis asks, his voice confused. “Why would you ever think you had to do that?”
“Because, I like men and I shouldn’t and I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable. I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. They'll all hate me if I tell them what I feel.”
“Where would you ever get the idea that you make me uncomfortable?”
When Harry met Louis’ eyes again, they looked hurt, and Harry hated himself for making Louis look like that. So he said, “Everyone. They said me being all cuddly with my friends, especially my male ones, was weird and unacceptable. So many people told me that I was too much. I was so hurt and I couldn’t hurt you. Not you. I need you, Louis. I missed you.”
“You never had to be without me, love,” Louis whispers as the tears start to flow out of Harry’s eyes again. They sit like that for hours as Louis tells Harry of all of the beautiful things God does. Of all the love he spreads and the safe spaces he creates. Louis tells him how the people who believe that anything other than love matters are the ones who need help, not Harry. He tells him that God wouldn't create this kind of love if he didn't intend to accept it and love it just the same as all the rest. How only the opinions of those close to him matter. Harry let Louis hold him and wished he could be as strong as him.
Around midnight Harry asks, “How did you get so strong?”
“I had a good friend beside me always making sure I was completely myself,” Louis said with a smile, pushing Harry’s curls out of his face. “You’ve got that inside you too, H. You always have. You just let the world take root inside of you. Let me back in and don't let them take you away. It's always been you and me.”
“I don’t know how,” Harry admitted.
Louis grinned, picking up Harry’s hand and pressing into the pressure point between Harry’s thumb and pointer finger. He caresses it for a few seconds before saying, "Right here."
Harry looks at their hands and asks, "What about it?"
"A cross, right here. Whenever you're scared of the world or what it has to say about you, you can send me a picture of your hand wherever you are and I'll know you need me. You don't even have to say it."
"It can be ours," Louis says softly, pressing a kiss to Harry's hand. "One day I'll be asking you how the cross is doing instead of you sending me a picture of it because you'll be stronger than you can even believe right now."
The next day, Harry gets the tattoo.
For almost a year, Harry sent a picture of his hand to Louis twice a week. Whether it was his team telling him he had to be something he wasn't or his friends giving him weird looks when he cuddled a little too close, he just felt so out of place in his world. Louis eased every single one of his worries and Harry wished that he had never shut him out for those six months. Especially when the texts about his fears became less frequent and became fun again. Back to their easy, happy and loving friendship. By the end of 2015, Louis was asking Harry how the cross was doing rather than the other way around. Harry sang his heart out almost every night, his hair long and flowing beyond his shoulders, his nails painted and his smile the most radiant it had ever been. Even when he began searching for men or women who were interested in him, things just got better. Their friendship was the strongest it had ever been.
Harry's favorite year was 2017. Louis would wish him a good morning no matter where he was in the world and every two weeks or so, would ask about the cross. Harry knew those were the days that Louis missed him and so, often, he'd take pictures of his hand around something and then a few days later Louis would text him a selfie of him and that exact item with a mind blowing grin. His favorite time was late July. He'd taken a picture of his hand around some sunflowers and when Louis got home that night, he'd sent a picture Lottie took of Louis sitting on his couch with sunflowers on every single flat surface in his flat. He had smiled so happily that the woman he had been seeing for the last three months gave him a kiss on the cheek and told him to pursue his best friend instead.
That's when the thoughts of Louis truly began. He knew he'd had an overwhelming slightly concerning crush on Louis for most of his life and for a time, had been completely in love with him, but he'd never let the thoughts manifest. Not until that summer at least. And when it started, it didn't stop. Louis didn't even sense a difference because they'd been flirting with each other openly since they were kids and holding hands because it just made sense at the time.
Harry began to get a lot needier, facetiming Louis every other day and not hanging up until Louis told him he loved him at least twenty eight times. He sent more gifts, put more effort into making Louis smile and really, just lit up his entire world with the light that was Louis. Interviewers asked about the person that was making Harry so giddy but it was really just himself. He had this whole plan for the next time Louis came out to see him and couldn't stop thinking about it.
The thing was, everything he did, Louis just smiled and brushed it off as something they'd always done. They had been such a couple for so many years that nothing got Louis' blood boiling, it seemed, even if he reciprocated every single one of Harry's touches. There was never a hesitation in his movement and there was always a softness in his eyes.
On a particular night, Louis had cuddled into Harry's chest and whispered, "This is the Harry I always knew you could be. I'm so proud of you, H." Harry had gently pressed their lips together as they'd done many times before and Louis had sighed into it, but he didn't push it further. He only cuddled closer and closed his eyes. That night, Harry listened as Louis slipped into sleep and knew that Louis would always just be his best friend. He'd learn to accept that eventually.
In June of 2018, he still hadn't accepted it. He would be playing his biggest show ever in just twenty four hours and couldn't seem to calm down. He was so keyed up from his show last night and had all of this tension he couldn't seem to push away. When he got to the hotel he'd be staying at for his time in New York, that's when everything seemed to change. The room was dark and empty and Harry's entire body ached for someone to relieve his tension. He'd blame what he did next on that forever.
His phone signaled a text so he unlocked it to read "hey h, missing you. what's the cross up to this evening?" from Louis. His entire body shook with an unkindled energy and he groaned as he realized what that energy was. He threw his bag to the floor, pulled his pants down and wrapped his hand around his cock. He didn't even think about what he was doing. He snapped a picture where you could easily see the cross, pressed send and proceeded to get himself off to the thought of Louis and his pretty lips wrapped around him. He could barely breathe when his orgasm hit him. It came on so strong that he nearly fell down. He had to grip the wall just so he felt like he was grounded somewhere in the world rather than on a different planet.
That's when it hit him just exactly what he had done.
He barely slept as he waited for a response from Louis. And when he did finally pass out, it was restless sleep. Louis had never once made things awkward between them and had always reciprocated any feeling Harry had ever had. He never made Harry feel invalidated and while he knew that wouldn't change despite what Harry had sent him, he still had his fears. Especially when he woke up and still had nothing from Louis. So he sent out a quick "If I wasn't getting the right signals and overstepped, I'm sorry." hoping that'd be enough to ease whatever tension built overnight in their friendship. He hopped in the shower after that.
When he got out, he went to his phone and saw a new message. He was relieved to see it was Louis and opened it to read "shut the fuck up harry i'll be at your hotel in 20 minutes" and Harry's eyes went wide. He checked the time and before he could even comprehend that he got the text twenty minute ago, there was a knock on his door.
He was still in a towel and had just gotten out of the shower and really shouldn't be opening the door, but he was almost one hundred percent sure it was Louis, so he chanced it. And he was right. He opened the door and watched Louis' eyes darken the second he laid eyes on Harry.
"So not only did you decide to randomly send me a picture of your hand around your dick last night," Louis began, pushing into the room and shutting the door behind him, "But you have also decided to be wearing only a towel when I walk into your hotel room the morning after. What the fuck, Harry?"
"I just got out of the shower," Harry says dumbly.
"Um, hi," Harry says, tightening the towel around his hips and watching as Louis' eyes follow the movement. "What are you doing here?"
"I was going to surprise you for your show tonight," Louis explains, his eyes still on Harry's hands. When they finally met Harry's again it was clear just how affected he was. Harry had never seen his eyes so dark. Usually, they were a blue that could compare to the soft color of the Caribbean Sea, but now they were as dark as the deepest part of the ocean. "But, you changed the rules."
"Changed the rules?"
Louis had gotten closer and Harry's breath hitched at the feeling of the heat of Louis' body so close to his own. Louis fingers pressed into Harry's hips, teasing the top of the towel. Harry felt like he couldn't breathe. All he could think about was what he had gotten off to last night and Louis was so, so close. Louis finally said, "I've wanted you for years, Harry. I've wanted to know what you felt like," he whispers, his hands squeezing Harry's hips. "What you sound like," he continues, unwrapping the towel from Harry's waist and letting it fall to the floor. The feeling of the cool air hitting Harry's dick was enough to make him hiss and his eyes go unfocused. Louis already had him feeling wrecked and he hadn't done anything. "What you taste like."
Louis pulls Harry to him so Harry's naked body is pressed to Louis' clothed one. Harry knew that was unfair but he didn't even care when Louis' hands cupped his ass and his lips began to move up Harry's neck. He bit, sucked and soothed for what felt like hours but probably was only thirty seconds in reality. His entire body was buzzing with arousal and disbelief. This was Louis, the only person he'd ever wanted to have like this. Louis was making him feel like this. He groaned as Louis bit a little harder, soothing it over with his tongue afterwards.
When Louis finally pulled away a bit he rolled his hips to give them both some friction and threw his head back at the sensation, forcing Harry to reach out to catch him. Louis' eyes met his again as he asked, "I can't go back if we cross this line, H."
"Never want to go back again," Harry responded, pulling Louis back to him and finally pressing their lips together in a bruising kiss. For all the times Harry had thought about what this would feel like in the last few months, he'd never thought it'd feel like this. Every part of his body burned with the need to be closer, to taste more. Louis tasted like his favorite wine, like the sweetest fruit on the table and he kissed like the world would end if they didn't press closer. Harry never wanted to kiss another person again.
Harry realized just how naked he was when Louis pulled his shirt over his head and reattached their lips. His dick kept pressing into the fabric of Louis' joggers as his hips moved into Louis', and while the friction was nice, their chests pressed together had Harry weak in the knees. He wanted Louis to be pressed to him everywhere, skin against skin. So when he pulled away from the kiss and felt Louis begin to mark up his neck again he whimpered, "Need these off, off."
He made quick work of pushing Louis' joggers down his thighs and fell to his knees to pull them the rest of the way off. He realized just how close he was to Louis' dick then and made quick work of pulling his boxers down too. He couldn't control the satisfied sound that left his lips having Louis in front of him like this. He barely had time to think before he was wrapping his left hand around Louis' length and looking up at him. Louis was watching him, his lips slightly parted. When their eyes met Louis said, "Look so good on your knees for me."
Harry loved the praise and felt Louis' hand in his hair, pushing him closer to what Harry wanted. So he licked right into Louis' slit, making him tremble above Harry. It made him reconsider, and he pulled Harry with him until his back hit the wall before Harry began to slide up and down Louis' cock. He hollowed his cheeks, moved his tongue as he could and bobbed his head to meet his hand where he couldn't yet get his mouth to move.
Louis was panting above him, his eyes shut and his teeth biting harshly into his bottom lip. Harry watched as his body trembled knowing he was the one making Louis feel so good. It spurred him to do better and soon, his nose was pressed to Louis' stomach. His eyes watered with the feeling of Louis hitting the back of his throat but the broken moan that fell from Louis' lips made it all worth it. He began to chant Harry's name like he would lose it at any second, so Harry took him down a few more times before slipping off and kissing up his stomach and neck. He licked at both nipples on his way up but soon, Louis was tasting himself on Harry's lips as they kissed, and kissed, and kissed some more. Harry never wanted to stop kissing Louis again.
"Harry, fuck," Louis finally said when Harry's pointer finger started rubbing over Louis' hole. His head banged against the wall where Harry had closed him in, their legs slotted together and their hips shamelessly pushing into each other's. "Fuck, have wanted this for so long. I can't believe you didn't know."
"I thought you were just being nice when you used to hug me close," Harry whimpered as Louis pressed his hips particularly hard into his. He could barely form a thought. "I didn't know you wanted this too. Been yours since we were kids."
"You going to fuck me like I'm yours, then?"
"Fuck, Louis," Harry said, pressing his dry finger slightly passed Louis' rim. That got a deep moan from Louis and Harry said, "Yes, yes. You're mine."
"Always have been," Louis says, pressing into Harry's finger. "Come on, come on, we can talk about love later, okay? Just need you to fuck me."
"Fuck," Harry whimpered as Louis got himself to the first knuckle of Harry's finger. "Need lube, don't want to hurt you."
"Don't you dare get a fucking condom," Louis scolds as Harry pulls away. He goes to grab the lube from his bag that he always packs even though he barely ever uses it. "I swear if you think you aren't doing this bare after all these months of teasing, Harry. I'm about to make you feel so good you'll never be able to look at another person again. Fuck, I need you in me."
"Louis," Harry whines, "Shut up or I'm not going to even be able to make it to that part."
"Get the fuck over here," Louis says, his eyes watching Harry pour lube onto his fingers and rub it in so it's not so chilly. When Harry gets close enough, Louis lifts his leg and hooks it over Harry's arm. "You're going to open me up like this and fuck me against this wall, do you understand?"
"Yes," Harry groans out, Louis' words going straight to his cock. "Fuck, Louis, you have got to stop talking."
"Get a move on, Styles." He doesn't stand a chance against Louis. So he presses his lips to Louis' again and swallows the groan as Harry easily slips his finger all the way into Louis. He moves slowly, opening him up at the angle Louis made. When Louis begins to press against him, he adds a second. The second causes Louis to lose his ability to kiss back, so Harry's lips begin to press burning kisses into Louis' neck. Scissoring his fingers inside him until he found the spot that had Louis' moans turning into high pitched whines of pure satisfaction. When the third is added, Louis stills Harry's hand with one of his own and fucks himself on Harry's fingers. Harry had honestly never seen anything sexier than watching Louis fuck himself on Harry's fingers. Harry was absolutely sure Louis would be the death of him. "Okay, H. Come on, fuck me now."
Who was Harry to argue? He pulls his fingers out of Louis and watches as Louis wets his hand and begins to stroke Harry in an obscene way. The drag of his hand alone makes Harry crumble, but when he began to speak, Harry didn't think he'd ever be able to breathe properly ever again.
"Look at me, right here, H," Louis says, and Harry does. "You're going to fuck me into this wall. You aren't going to cum until I do. You're going to make me feel good before you are even close to being allowed to let go, do you understand?"
"You first," Harry agrees without even thinking. It had always been Louis first, anyways, hadn't it? This side of Louis, the one that had to be obeyed, it was Harry's favorite side and he'd just met him. "Want you to feel good."
"That's right, baby," Louis says, "Now catch."
Harry lifted Louis up easily, pressing him to the wall. Their lips found each other and Harry's cock caught on Louis' hole instantly and they both groaned at the sensation. Harry said, "God, want to make you feel so good, Louis."
"You're going to," Louis responds matter of fact, "So hot, H. Love that you can hold me up with one arm."
Harry had let go to line himself up with Louis' hole and when he finally began to press inside his arm began to shake. Not from the weight of Louis, that was nothing, but with the immense amount of pleasure he was sure he had never felt before. Pressing into Louis like this felt like the first sip of water after running a 5k. It felt like he was meant to be there. And when he was finally pressed inside, his ears finally made out the sound of Louis' breath of air.
"Good, Lou? Okay?"
"Amazing," Louis responds, his voice softer than it had been since he walked into the room. "God, it just feels right to have you like this. Need you to move, H. Need you to fuck me."
So Harry does. He presses his lips to Louis' and begins to snap his hips up into him at a burning pace that might just set the world on fire. For a few minutes, all that was heard was the slap of skin against skin and the groans of the two of them. But suddenly, Harry hit that spot inside of Louis, and he yelled out.
"Fuck, Harry, yes," he yelled as Harry continued to press into it. "Yes, H. Fuck, right there. Right there. Fuck me so good, baby. Give it to me so good."
The praise only spurred Harry to get deeper and faster. He couldn't feel his legs. He didn't even know if he was upright anymore. All he knew was Louis was yelling, groaning and it was all because of Harry. He kept pounding into him until suddenly, Louis' entire body tensed and he squeezed Harry's cock. For a moment, Harry only saw stars, and then Louis was spilling between both of them. His body shook with his orgasm and Harry could barely focus enough to fuck him through it, his mind going blank with the need to cum, with the need for release. His eyes found Louis' and he pleaded, pleaded for that release.
"So good for me," Louis said when he finally caught his breath. "Want to feel you, H. Let go. Fill me up. Make me yours."
Harry barely stayed standing. He didn't know how he kept Louis pressed into the wall as his orgasm hit him. He doesn't remember anything in the moments after. All he knows is when his eyes finally focus, it's because Louis is wiping his oversensitive dick. He groans at the sensation, knowing it's twitching because Louis' mouth is so close to it. Louis smiles up at him, "Hey, H."
"Louis," Harry whimpers.
"Shh, baby," he says, quickly finishing up and throwing it on the floor. "It's okay, I've got you."
"Come here," he says.
Louis smiles, lying next to Harry on the bed and propping himself up his elbow. He kisses Harry's cheek before saying, "Hi."
"Hi," Harry whispers back, pulling Louis closer so he can wrap his arms around him. "Are you okay? Did I hurt you?"
"Not even a little bit," Louis says reassuringly. "Best I've ever had."
Harry grins, "I can't believe you flew here."
"I was going to come anyways," he says, his hand tracing Harry's butterfly. "I can't believe you sent me a picture of your dick."
"Me either," Harry laughs. "I thought you were mad, you didn't respond."
"It took me about five minutes to pack up a bag and get on a plane, Harry. I can't believe you had no clue how much I wanted you."
"I can't believe you didn't know how much I wanted you," Harry shot back.
"We're idiots," Louis says easily, finding Harry's left hand. He presses a kiss to the cross, "I always knew this would be my favorite tattoo of yours, from the very second I convinced you to get it."
"It's how I convinced you to be yourself, yeah? To know that this was okay."
Harry smiled at the memory, of how far he's come just because of the reminder on his hand. He meets Louis' eyes, "You know, I've loved you since you got me my first cross. The first time I played Madison Square Garden."
"I've loved you since I was eighteen, Harry. That first moment you stepped on that stage and sang for the world. I even told Anne I'd marry you one day. I'm so proud of you, of everything you've accomplished."
"I know, Lou," Harry says easily. Pressing a kiss to Louis' lips. "Can you believe it took us this long?"
"I've always been yours, Harry. I never doubted we'd find our way here."
"Even after all these years?"
"Yeah," Louis says, kissing Harry. He cups his cheek and keeps it closed mouthed and soft. "I guess you could call it a religious experience, waiting on the world to get you to send me a dick pic."
"Oh my, God," Harry says. Louis would absolutely be the death of him.