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You Don't Know Me (Like You Did Before)

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Louis' POV

I sit, a bottle of beer in my hand, and watch. A party was hosted for One Direction, celebrating our new album, and currently, there are many celebrities that I should be talking to and getting to know, but I can't. People shuffle around the club, (which was rented out for the night), holding drinks in their hands and chatting away happily to fellow stars, yet I sit here in a chair all alone. I could get up, and have fun partying and getting plastered with my band mates, but I'd whether just sit here and get wasted all by myself.

 

Anything that involves talking or interacting with another human being doesn't sound very pleasant to me. No one knows why I'm being cranky, and snapping at them when they so much as say a word to me. Well, some know, specifically Niall, Zayn, Liam, Josh, and El, but they're just nice enough not to say anything. I'm thankful of that, they are one of the things I still appreciate. Harry is here. Of course he is, with Nick fucking Grimshaw hanging off his arm. Nick-I-Hate-Him-So-Much-I-Want-To-Punch-Him-But-I-Can't-Because-He's-Harry's-Boyfriend-Grimshaw. And so I sit here by myself and watch Nick and Harry party and have fun, while drowning in my misery and self pity. I'm a poor excuse of a person.

 

Everyone knows about Harry and I jumping into each others arms when we were put together as a band. That was the start of our friendship. Except, when I first met Harry, it was like love at first sight. Of course, not really, I don't believe in love at first sight and all those sappy things. I just thought he was beautiful and I really wanted to know him better. And I did, get to know him better, I mean. I learned that he is from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, and he has a older sister named Gemma, and he loves cats. I learned that he is two years younger than me, he's cheeky but also shy, and he is cuddly and desperate for attention like a kitten.

 

But then I learned that I had fallen in love with him. And that was a mistake. We don't talk much anymore, to be honest. And if we do, it's short and awkward. I like to pretend we're still the best friends fascinated with each others every move.

 

You'd think I would have gotten over him and moved on, but it's been years and I can't let go. Harry doesn't even know I'm gay, which after years of friendship, I should have mentioned, but I don't want him to realize that I'm in love with him. He thinks I'm straight, which means my lingering glances don't mean anything. But if he found out I'm gay, he might discover that my staring and admiring him, isn't platonic or friendly.

 

Which, if he suspected I had feelings for him, it might make things awkward. And since I can't have him romantically, friendship with Harry is the next best thing and I value it, even if we don't talk much, so I can't have it ruined because of my stupid feelings. Harry and Nick have been friends since I don't know when and I've always hated Nick because I knew he liked Harry. I was right, and my suspicions were confirmed when they started dating two months ago. I was and still am devastated. I know I should have made a move, and told Harry I love him. But I'm scared. I don't want to ruin our (awkward) friendship. And even though I really want to, I can't ruin Harry's relationship with Nick.

 

I'm snapped out of my thoughts by someone sitting next to me.

 

I glance up from my beer. The guy has black hair and green eyes. He's not perfect, but he's hot enough.

 

"Hi, I'm Daniel." He greets in a deep voice.

 

"I'm Louis." I say.

 

Daniel looks me up and down, then asks, "Do you want to go somewhere?"

 

It's not a very good idea. Anyone could see us together. But I can feel the alcohol kicking in, and I nod. Maybe it'll make me forget about Harry, even if it's just for a little while.

 

-
When Daniel had asked if we could go somewhere, I assumed we would leave the club. Instead, he led me over to the corner of the club, where it was dark and no one was around to see us. Good enough.

 

Daniel pushes me against the wall and starts to kiss me. I kiss back until I hear someone say my name.

 

"Louis?" It's Harry. I quickly push Daniel away, and turn around to confront him.

 

But Harry is running away. I run after him, pushing through people to get to him. The door to the club swings open and I follow him outside.

 

Harry leans against the wall. "What the hell, Louis?" Harry says angrily.

 

"I-"

 

"No! You were kissing a guy! Why?" Harry yells, interrupting me.

 

"Why are you so mad? You kiss guys all the time." I growl.

 

"Yeah, but you're not gay." Harry points out.

 

"Like you'd know anymore." I say.

 

"I would know if you were gay, Louis. We've been friends for years, and you used to tell me everything. I'm pretty sure I would know." Harry says, and he smirks.

 

"You don't know me anymore..." I whisper and my voice cracks. I miss him.

 

Harry rolls his eyes, "What are you playing at? I know everything about you. When you're lying you avoid eye contact and you repeat your words without noticing. When you're nervous or uncomfortable you also avoid eye contact, and you play with your hands like they're the most interesting thing in the world. You play with your hair when you're embarrassed, and you look all around the room like you're not paying attention. I know you better than you know yourself."

 

I take a deep breath, "Just because you know how I react when I'm feeling certain emotions doesn't mean you know me."

 

"Okay. What don't I know about you?" Harry asks, frustrated.

 

"You know what? You act like we're the best of friends! Well, we aren't! You don't know me anymore. We haven't had a real conversation in over five months! If we were best friends you would know I'm gay! And you would definitely know that I'm head over heels in love with you!" I slap my hand over my mouth in an attempt to cover up the words but there's no going back now.

I watch him freeze in place, his expression turning blank.

 

"What?"

 

I feel myself pale. He did hear it. Shit.

"N-nothing."

 

"Lou. Tell me." Harry takes a step closer and he's so close I can feel his warm breath on my cheek.

 

"No."

 

"Tell me."

 

" Fine! I said that I'm in love with you." I blurt it out as fast as I can, my cheeks heating, and my heart beating so fast I'm surprised it hasn't exploded yet.

 

There's a sharp intake of breath, and then, "Do you mean that?"

 

"Yes..."
"Why didn't you tell me early?" Harry asks, and he lets out a frustrated sigh.

 

"You're with Nick." I say.

 

"That's why you haven't told me this earlier?"

 

"No...yes. Well, partly."

 

"Partly?"

 

"Can we not talk about this?" I say harshly.

 

"You just told me you're in love with me, Louis. I think I deserve to ask some questions."

 

I flinch. "Don't say it like that."

 

"Like what?" Harry asks, confused.

 

"Like that. Don't just toss the fact that I'm in love with you around like it's a casual greeting or some shit."

 

"Lou. Just, why haven't you told me before now?"

 

"I wasn't going tell you. Like, ever. Maybe when I was on my death bed, but, yeah. I didn't even mean to tell you now. It was...an accident."

 

"But why? Why didn't you want to tell me?"

 

"Because I didn't want it to ruin our friendship. And because you're with Nick. And I hate him so much but you like him..."

 

"Louis...?" Harry says softly. "Look at me."

 

I shake my head.

 

Harry grabs my chin and tilts my head up, making me look him in the eyes.

 

God, his eyes are so wide and so green, and it feels like he's staring into my soul, which is cliche but true.

 

"What?" I say quietly.

 

And then his lips are against mine, and I let my eyes flutter shut and kiss him back. His lips are so soft and warm, and I've thought about this a lot but it's so much better than I could ever imagine or expect, and I just want to latch myself onto him and never let go, and..

 

Suddenly, I remember that this isn't supposed to be happening. Because Harry....Harry has a boyfriend, and no matter how much I hate Nick, I can't let Harry cheat on him with me. And I, well, I can't do that.

 

I put my hands on his chest and push him away.

 

Harry looks at me confused and I feel like yelling at him for kissing me when he obviously doesn't feel the same way. He has Nick and I'm not going to let him use me.

 

"Why would you do that?" I ask, venomously.

 

"Kiss you, you mean? I've wanted to do it for a long time." Harry says, and then he fucking grins.

 

I sigh deeply. "Harry, you're dating Nick."

 

Harry's grin fades as the realization sinks in. "Oh..."

 

"I'm not going to willingly help you cheat on Nick, no matter how much I dislike him."

 

Harry grimaces. "Surrrreee. Well, you just cheated on Eleanor, and you kissed me back. Why the hell are you even dating her if you're gay? You can't just lead her on! So don't tell me anything about cheating when you're doing it yourself!"

 

I stomp my foot and instantly feel embarrassed by the childish action, but I voice my opinion anyway. "This isn't fucking about Eleanor. I'm not leading her on or any of that shit. She's a beard! And she knows it. We're friends not fucking lovers and we must be pretty good actors if we fooled you or maybe you're just stupid because by now, even the fans can tell that El and I aren't dating! And you know what else?

 

The fans see how I look at you. They know I'm in love with you and have been since forever. They're right about everything except for us being in a relationship, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't play with my feelings by kissing me when you have a boyfriend.

 

Even you're boyfriend knows I'm in love with you and that's why we dislike each other. You act like you can just barge in on my life and say all this stuff about knowing me, when in reality you know nothing about me! We haven't really been friends since the Take Me Home album.

 

So don't pull this bullshit. You're not my best mate, and you haven't been for awhile. Zayn is my best friend because he's actually here for me when I need him. Liam, Niall, El, Josh, Ed, even our mums see the way I've pining after you for all these goddamn years, and I don't need any useless hope of you feeling the same way."

 

And then I run away, back into the club and don't look back, letting the tears finally fall.

 

-

I hide in the bathroom for awhile until Niall comes in and drags me out. He asks what's wrong and I tell him the details of my conversation with Harry and he puts on his sympathetic face, and says all the stupid and totally unhelpful things like, "It'll get better," or, "I'm sorry," and, "You'll get over him eventually," which results in me feeling even more like crap.

Niall and Zayn beg me to, "Stay and have a good time. You need it."

 

Zayn comes over to me, "It will be okay. He's an arse. He doesn't deserve my Lou. You're special and unique, and he doesn't deserve to even be loved by you." Zayn whispers, and then I hug him tightly, and if I cry into his shirt, well, that's between us.
So I do stay. It's around 2AM when I decide I'm ready to go home. I say my goodbyes to the boys (excluding Harry because I haven't see him since I yelled at him and ran away.)

 

Then I walk to my car except someone calls out to me, "Louis?" Harry whispers, uncertainty clear in his eyes.

 

"What do you want?" I snap impatiently.

 

"M'sorry." Harry says.

 

"Sorry's not enough."

 

"Lou, you misunderstood the kiss."

 

"I think I understood it perfectly." I say sassily.

 

"So you know that I'm in love with you, too?" Harry asks, a glint of mischief and certainty in his eyes.

 

"W-what?"

 

Harry laughs, and I wonder how he's so calm about declaring his love while I was a jittery mess just thinking about it.

"I've been in love with you since we met in the bathroom. You were so affectionate and clung to me like a lifeline. I thought you felt the same way as me. But then you started dating Eleanor and all my hope went down the drain. I hoped you would break up.
But then I decided I had to get over you. And I tried and tried. But I failed multiple times because whenever I was with someone else I couldn't help but compare them to you. How much better you were. Then there was Nick. And I knew he liked me.

But I was so hung up on you. Eventually, I decided to date him. And it was easier. I thought, and I knew, that I could eventually fall for him if I tried hard enough. But then I caught you kissing that guy, and then you tell me you're in love with me,"

 

Harry pauses to take a deep breath, "and suddenly I'm back at square one. I love you so much..." He whispers.

 

I can't help myself. I kiss him. His hands come to rest on my waist and he kisses me back. It's like the first kiss, but it's better because this time I know that he actually loves me and isn't trying to use me.

 

"Do you want to be with me? Like date me?" I mumble against his lips.

 

"I do. I've wanted to since I was sixteen." Harry agrees.

 

"What about Nick?" I ask

 

"I broke up with him. I told him I thought we were better off friends."

 

"How'd he take it?"

 

"He was upset, of course. But he said he still wants to be friends."

 

"That's good?"

 

"Yeah, it is." Harry confirms.

 

I pull away, but his hands stay on my waist. "Finally I can actually introduce you to people as my boyfriend." I say.

 

"I want everyone to know that you're mine." Harry says.

 

"You do know we can't come out, right?" I ask, worried.

 

"I know."

 

"And we probably won't be able to until the band breaks up?"

 

"I know."

 

"And I still have to pretend that I'm in love with Eleanor."

 

"I know. But I don't care, as long as I have you.."

 

Harry grabs my hand, and we head towards my car to go home.

 

"Lou?" Harry says softly.

 

"Yeah?"

 

"You know how you said that I don't know you? I do know you. I know we haven't talked in a while, but I still know everything you ever told me. And what I don't, you'll just have to help me learn to know. Together." Harry says.

 

"Together." I repeat, "I like the sound of that."

 

"Me too." Harry agrees.

"I love you." I tell him, just because I can.

 

"I love you, too, Lou."

 

And then we finally go home, hand in hand. And with Harry by my side, I actually feel whole again. Because Harry has been and always will be my home.