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what a wicked thing

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            Harry didn’t know when he started to have feeling towards Louis, but he knew how it all started –how they got into this mess before any kind of feeling and they were just benefiting from each other. But in the end it’s always been Harry and Louis or Louis and Harry, so he didn’t know anything else other than that. Except for Zayn and how much his presence would change everything between Harry and Louis wasn’t always clear. Sometimes it would drive Louis mad so he would be even needier than usual, that’s where Harry would get lost in his feeling and do everything he can or he can’t but would still try. But he also realized Louis would feel upset by Zayn or his behaviours towards Louis, so he would push every person away –including Harry.

            The current tour they were having around the world had been the worst for Louis ever since they started the band. He’s never felt this tired and drained before so he wanted to take a leave for at least a week, that way he wouldn’t bother any of the boys with his lack of sleep or wouldn’t disappoint any fans with his attitude. The team didn’t agree with a leave –not for a week or even for a single day. They also considered the fact that if they’d let Louis have a leave, other boys would want some time off in the future too since Louis had one. Although none of the boys was opposed to the idea of Louis having some time off for himself, Louis thought it was rational and fair that they’d want to take a leave as well.

            However, that wasn’t the only reason behind. Louis was so tired and restless that he almost reached to the point where he could just leave to somewhere else without telling anybody. Zayn had different plans for him so he decided to stay even though he could black out any moment.

            “So are you saying that you’ve been tricked into staying and you just gave up on taking some time off for yourself, getting some rest?” Niall asked, looking more confused than he already was.

            “I wouldn’t say I was tricked, I had an offer.”

            Both Niall and Harry frowned. “An offer?”

            “Yes,” Louis said like it was no big deal. “If I accepted the offer, I said I wouldn’t take a leave or try to have some time off.”

            “What was the offer though?”

            “Zayn decided to ask me on a date,” Louis said while smirking, knowing how much of an excitement it is not only to him but also to his friends.

            Niall was the first one who almost choked on his drink. “Are we talking about the same Zayn who’s been the double asshole he was this morning?”

            Louis rolled his eyes at that, “Yeah, of course,” he said confidently. “I mean, I’ve never thought he would actually do it but then he came up to me and asked if I was available for a date on Wednesday.” He got all dreamy eyes and blushed at the thought. “Then he wanted me to stay as long as the tour goes on if I was to go on a date with him. I totally accepted it.”

            Harry couldn’t say anything, he was happy that Louis was happy but the thought of happiness with Zayn didn’t make sense at all. Zayn wasn’t just an asshole, he was pretty awful towards anything and he never understood Louis’ obsession with him. Instead of talking rude towards Zayn to Louis’ face, he remained his silence to keep Louis as happy as he was now.

            “Where’s he taking you?” Niall asked curiously.

            Louis smirked, seeming thoughtful. “It’s a surprise,” he said. “He is going to pick me up and we’ll go together to the place.”

            Niall wiggled his brows at Louis, smirking as well. “Mysterious.”

            “Very,” Louis said in agreement. “But I hope after this date, it will all come to an end. All this mysterious type and edgy style shit.”

            Yeah, sure, Harry thought to himself, almost saying it out loud, but only worse while laughing. He frowned at himself in order to keep himself in control. Louis didn’t mind his silence nor presence, however.

            “Would you guys help me out with the outfit I’m going to wear?”

            Oh, Lord.

*

            Louis came up at his door, surprisingly. But it wasn’t the first thing that made Harry surprise because if Niall was busy or not at his home, Louis would come to his door without a single thought. What actually surprised Harry at first was that he was here, at Harry’s house door even though it was after his date with Zayn. Then it all hit upon Harry’s mind before Louis started to cry and place himself between Harry’s embrace. Harry held him tighter and closer to his every sob. He wanted to punch himself in the face as his mind keep yelling I KNEW IT WOULD GO LIKE THIS. I KNEW IT WOULD GO LIKE TH-

            No, Louis needed him. Not only because he needed to be comforted but Louis also deserved it. Louis has always deserved the best and Harry actually would always try everything he can. So he pulled him inside slowly, without letting go of his embrace on Louis. He pushed the door closing by kicking his foot on it. When he realized that Louis couldn’t stop crying, he picked Louis up like a bridal style and laid both of them on his bed. He cuddled Louis, put his head on his chest while brushing Louis’ hair softly.

            Harry continued to do his actions in order to make him relax and feel a bit better as he could, Louis stopped sobbing but he still was crying shakily. There was no much to do except to be there with him because he knew what Louis needed, he wouldn’t want to talk or open it up about it –maybe to Niall, but certainly not to him. He didn’t bother even saying “Hello?” or anything, just hummed peacefully while holding Louis tight, stroking his hair carefully as if he is a piece of glass which could break into million pieces with a simple touch.

            Louis seemed to calm down, he stopped crying and his breath got slower. Harry slowly checked Louis’ figure under his chin, he was asleep. He sighed deeply. He didn’t need to move or he wouldn’t dare to move. He knew Louis had trouble sleeping so he’d kill himself if he needed to rather than waking Louis up.

            It was silent, he was holding in his own breath in order to hear the way Louis breathed. He usually found himself useless and hopeless if the subject was about Louis –anything about him. The other boys were aware that he somehow had a crush on Louis but Harry wasn’t even sure if it was a crush or a simple platonic love he had since he was 16. Louis was his hero and he was gorgeous too, he simply admired the boy he was currently holding in his arms. So it was nothing, he tried to remind himself, it’s nothing but a simple platonic crush. He wasn’t sure if it was soothing or not but he tried his best because he knew Louis would never like him like that.

*

            Louis was still upset but he also decided that he didn’t hate Zayn. Harry was so confused but he understood how insecure Louis must’ve been to blame himself rather than Zayn. It seemed pretty ironic for Harry to be mad at Louis for something like this because practically, he was doing the same thing with Louis. Things he’d get so mad and would tell people that “I’d never done that for a person”, he was doing every single thing he could list to Louis. But it was Louis. It wasn’t an excuse nor a good one, but the only explanation he could give was this. It was Louis who deserved everything and Harry would happily give up on everything for him.

            There was no tension too. They had a meeting this morning –and it was three days after the date incident between Zayn and Louis, nobody seemed to catch the tension because Harry was almost sure that there was no tension. Zayn didn’t act extra of an asshole to Louis or anybody, it was no less as well. Louis was smiling at him and Harry knew him well enough to consider that one as a genuine one. Nothing has changed. Louis was still obsessed with Zayn and Zayn still had no feelings back for Louis, Harry still had a crush on Louis and Louis was just clueless and had no feelings to give Harry in return.

            “Does it ever bug you?” Liam asked, after the meeting while they were going down the stairs, to the garage.

            “What?”

            “I don’t know,” Liam shrugged. “Louis’ obsession over Zayn.”

            Harry frowned, almost felt anxious. “Why would it bug me?”

            Liam had no change on his face. “I feel bad for Louis and the way Zayn treats him. He practically is using Louis’ feelings for his own good.”

            “He has nothing to give in return,” Harry replied to him coldly. He wished he wasn’t so bitter about this situation. Words left his mouth before he could think of them properly, made him seem bitter, more than he already was. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be harsh.”

            Liam shrugged. “You weren’t wrong, though. Louis has to realize that too.”

            Liam’s statement made Harry feel awful. He sometimes couldn’t help himself but think things like these too but it felt unfair for Louis. Because they never say it in front of Louis or to his face directly. Gossiping about this always made him uncomfortable, thinking in the head was too much as well. He wouldn’t know how he’d felt if some people were talking about him and his crush on Louis in the same way. It was totally unfair for Louis.

            “Maybe Zayn has to realize some things too.”

            Liam paused before going through the door of the garage. “He’s already aware of Louis’ feelings for him.”

            Harry cut his eyes at him, it bugged him more that Zayn stated it like a question towards him. “Yes, but is he aware how much he is hurting Louis?”

            “Even Louis is aware of that, but do you think he cares?”

            Harry felt a lump in his throat, harder to swallow more than ever. Louis cared too but he cared more about Zayn. He was practically adoring him like he’s a God or a King and Harry knew he wouldn’t be able to become any of the things for Louis. He didn’t say anything more before getting into his car. He took a glance at Liam’s car before he took off, he was buckling his belt. He took a deep breath in and couldn’t remember if he ever released it until he came to his house or not.

*

            Louis decided to talk to Harry about the date incident he had with Zayn on a Saturday night. It was out of nowhere. He wasn’t sure what to at first, thought maybe Louis was drunk and he might be taking advantage of him. But, no –he was pretty much sober and barely finished his first beer.

            “I’m not even mad at him,” Louis said bitterly, eyes low at his beer can. Harry didn’t understand if he was embarrassed by himself or of Harry, either way, it felt painful in his stomach. “I guess I’m feeling mad at myself –furious.”

            Harry cleared his throat before straightening up his posture, looking stern at Louis. “And why is that?”

            Louis shrugged, he still didn’t look up to Harry. “Because what he said was actually true.”

            “But you were crying when you came back,” Harry stated in a low voice, wasn’t sure if it was more of a question rather than a statement.

            “Yeah,” Louis said while finally looking up Harry, directly into his green eyes. “Because it’s always harder to face the truth which he didn’t even need to sugar coat to me.”

            Harry didn’t understand –yes, Zayn told him the hard truth but what exactly he knew about Louis this hard as a truth? They weren’t as close as Harry and Louis were with each other. Zayn knew Louis had an obsession with him but Louis already knew it himself and he also knew Zayn didn’t feel the same way. So what was the big deal?

            “You’re confused,” Louis stated while squinting his eyes at Harry and Harry wasn’t sure if he was making fun of him. “And you’re right to be.”

            There was a pause. “So are you going to tell me?”

            Louis shrugged again, lowered his eyes and ran away from Harry’s glance at him. “You already know. Everybody knows.”

            “You’re upset, though,” Harry said in a low voice, not knowing what to exactly say to him.

            Louis laughed, bitterly. “Yeah, no shit.”

            Harry sighed. The sigh didn’t mean he’s lost his patience or anything and he hoped Louis didn’t take it that way, he was just frustrated about what made Louis this upset. “I don’t think I know, Louis.”

            “I don’t deserve to be with anyone, Harry,” he said in a shaky voice and Harry could tell that he didn’t intend it to come out that way. He probably wanted it to come out firm as it sounded. “Not just with him, with anyone.”

            Harry shook his head. “You deserve everything.”

            Louis smiled, tears starting to fill the corners of his eyes. “Of course, you’d say that.”

            “Because it’s the truth.”

            Louis gulped while blinking away the tears. “It’s okay,” he said breathlessly, trying his best and not to cry. “I know it, he knows it –everybody knows it.”

            Harry frowned, feeling more frustrated now. “I don’t know it.”

            “I know.”

*

            Louis was everything. He knew it from the first day they’d met. They got along pretty quick and well, the chemistry they had was sometimes too much for both of them. Harry never knew how to take things easy and slow until he realized him and Louis weren’t on the same page about what they had. Louis had a girlfriend when they first met –a girlfriend he didn’t even love. That was weird for Harry but then he was 16, so he didn’t question it further because he never had an actual, serious type of relationship before. Louis was older than him too, so he’d know. Because Louis was everything Harry had adored in his life.

            At first, it was hard to expect his first biggest crush not loving him back. Harry was pretty good looking too, for a 16-year-old, he pretty much got all the attention on himself at X Factor. It was pretty much the same at school as well, every girl or boy he’d asked out accepted his offer right away. It was different with Louis. There was not an actual rejection but Louis clearly wasn’t on the same page with Harry, he didn’t have feelings back.

            Harry felt heartbroken until he turned 17 –or was it 18? He sometimes wasn’t even sure if he was still heartbroken. Because it wasn’t a person he planned to ask out and after the rejection, he never saw again; It was Louis who he had lived with or still was in a band with. They were pretty much glued to each other unless Zayn was in the picture. Everybody knew it was unhealthy, Louis knew it too and not just for Louis but for all three of them.

            “Has Louis ever spoken to you?” Niall interrupted his thoughts by asking a question.

            Harry frowned before answering. “What do you mean ‘spoke to me’? He’s always talking to you guys.”

            “Yeah, but did he talk to you about Zayn or the date?” Niall rephrased his question, looking stern at him.

            Harry shrugged and lied. “No.”

            Niall sighed. “It’s so strange, I’ve never seen him this upset before.”

            “He’s not mad at Zayn.”

            “Yeah, I know,” Niall said, placing his guitar right next to the sofa they were sitting on. “That’s what bugs me the most. I mean he’s clearly heartbroken over something but not even mad at Zayn?”

            Harry really didn’t want to say it, because he knew how it’d sound like but still went for it. “He’s never mad at Zayn.”

            That made a pause for Niall, he almost stopped what he was thinking before to look at Harry side-eyed. “Does that bother you?”

            “No,” Harry lied again.

            Niall didn’t seem to buy it, but he also had no intentions of questioning him. So they started talking about the new song they were working on. Harry wasn’t sure if it was better when Niall didn’t try to make him talk about this subject or not so he simply interrupted him. “You’re not going to ask anything further?”

            Niall raised his brow at Harry, completely turning his face to him. “Should I?”

            “I don’t know,” Harry shrugged, feeling distressed.

            “Look, it’s none of my business unless you want to tell me,” Niall said in a gentle voice, but it was also assuring. “So if you want to tell me something, I’m always here to listen.”

            Harry nodded, “Okay.”

            Niall bit his lip, looked like he was unsure what to do. “Do you want to talk about it?”

            “I’m not sure,” Harry shook his head, his breath was stuck in his throat.

            “Is it something about Louis?”

            “I’m not jealous,” Harry said straight away. He wasn’t sure why he got defensive all of a sudden and how he was bursting out to Niall. “I’m not.”

            Niall’s face didn’t change, didn’t even flinch. “I didn’t say you were, I’m not even sure what you’re referring to.”

            “Zayn,” Harry answered quickly. “I’m not jealous of him, I’m just mad at him but not because I’m jealous of him.”

            “Well, that makes two of us, mate,” Niall simply said. “I’m mad at him as well, whatever he’s done to Louis made Louis pretty upset this time. I’m not happy with this.”

            Harry didn’t answer to him this time, Niall took that as a safe sign so he grabbed his guitar again. Glanced over Harry’s anxious figure before grabbing the papers as well. They worked on the song, without talking about Louis or Zayn or just Louis in general. Harry knew Niall would never bring the subject up again, even if Harry tried to. It was somehow comforting for Harry, he was grateful.

*

            It was another meeting day where they’d all come to the studio at a pretty early hour. Harry would usually be the first one who’d come to the studio before all of the boys. Louis would be the latest, he sometimes would actually get there almost late or just after the meeting has started. Nobody but the management blamed him though, everyone was aware of his sleeping troubles. Zayn was early today too which made Harry feel anxious through his stomach.

            “Morning,” Harry said coldly before looking down at his phone, scrolling.

            “Good morning,” Zayn replied back before seating himself.

            Silent. Dead silent. Neither of them spoke to each other because it wasn’t hard to imagine how it’d end up with fighting. Harry was tense for the past two weeks –two weeks after the date incident. Louis didn’t seem to mind having Zayn around, but Harry, he simply despised his existence and Zayn wasn’t dumb, he was totally aware.

            “Just chill, man,” he said in his thick Bradford accent all of a sudden. Harry almost felt the electric currency on his brain, about to flash up and burn down the whole studio. “Take it easy.”

            Harry blinked at him after looking up. “Excuse me?”

            “I know you hate me, but keep it cool, y’know?” He actually looked pretty chill too.

            Harry cut his eyes at his figure. “I don’t hate you.”

            “Whatever you say,” Zayn replied back. “Just- don’t be this tense. It’s not healthy for the people who are around.”

            Then Harry felt his eyes twitching –both of his eyes. “Don’t tell me what to do,” He said first, making Zayn smirk as if he made him achieve something. “And your existence isn’t healthy for people who are around you, check on that.”

            Before they could go on with their argument, Liam and people from management chimed in the room. They were all aware of the sudden tension in the room. Harry was glaring at Zayn, almost threatening. So Liam decided to sit right next to him, to keep him in control, just in case. The meeting started after everyone arrived and it went on just like that. Harry wasn’t sure if he was listening to the conversation between Niall and Julian about the album writing process, the only thing he could hear was his heavy breathing through his nostrils. He didn’t stop staring at Zayn. He really despised his whole existence but he wasn’t jealous of him. He had no reason to be jealous of this toxic person right in front of him.

*

            Louis and Harry were both packing up things before they left to LA, it was a quiet and chill Wednesday evening. Harry bit his lip, his head was full of thoughts and he thought he could burst out any moment. “Did he take you on a date just to upset you?”

            Louis stopped his motions before looking at Harry confused. Harry couldn’t understand what Louis was confused about, was it because Harry was the one who asked or the fact that Harry was still thinking about this after almost three weeks.

            “No, he was actually pretty sweet.”

            Harry tried not to sigh or raise his voice at Louis. “He made you upset.”

            “He was sweet at first,” Louis restated what he had told earlier with a stern voice, giving Harry a funny look. He was still confused. “Then I told him to act normal, like himself.”

            Harry frowned. “So he decided to act like the asshole he is and break your heart?”

            “I wouldn’t put it that way,” Louis said while he was continuing to pack up his things. “Just forget about it, anyways, Hazza.”

            Harry bit his lip, he wasn’t sure if he could. “I’m not sure if I could.”

            “Well,” Louis smiled when he turned back to Harry, right next to his suitcase. “You should because even I moved on.”

            “It’s not fair,” Harry said bitterly.

            Louis gave him another funny look, Harry could almost say he was amused or pleased with Harry’s attention. “For you or for me?”

            Harry cleared his throat, tried to not look deeply into his blue eyes before could properly collect himself again from his eternal crush. “For you, of course.”

            Louis shrugged. “I really don’t mind, Harry. Nothing he ever said to me was wrong, he was right.”

            “As far as you told me,” he said in a choking voice, not breathing properly. “He wasn’t right and everybody doesn’t know or think that you don’t deserve to be with anyone. You deserve everything; Everything in this universe.”

            Louis let go of the clothing he was holding in his hands and walked closer to Harry, hugged him tightly. “Thank you, Harry.”

            “You know that I’m not just saying this, right?” He asked while hugging back to Louis, holding him even tighter.

            “Yes,” Louis replied, voice muffled into Harry’s sweater. “Thank you.”

            Harry traced his fingers gently on his arm, trying to calm himself down. “I’m just telling you the truth you should actually know. You’re worth everything to me.”

            Louis didn’t say anything back to his statement, just hugged him tighter and let them stay like this for a while –it was definitely more than ten minutes. Harry started to wonder if Louis was able to feel the way his heart was racing faster and faster underneath his tiny figure. Harry could feel his pulse from head to toe and started to get anxious if Louis could tell his heart was beating faster in each minute. Either way, Louis didn’t seem to mind at all, so they kept on standing and hugging each other in the middle of Harry’s apartment.