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But I'm Only Human (And I Bleed When I Fall Down).

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Harry wasn't an idiot. He wasn't gullible enough to believe that everyone was going to love him, hell, he was expecting for people to not like him. But they did, they loved him and the band all through X Factor and beyond, as they furthered their career. Their first album went through the roof, and suddenly he was living his dream alongside his best friends.

And his boyfriend.

He and Louis had always clicked, and nobody could deny the chemistry between them. Before they'd admitted to each other how much they liked one another, days would be filled with flirting that they insisted wasn't flirting, cuddles and awkward touches that neither knew the other was more than okay with. Once they began dating, they only became that much closer, and they became each other's rocks. At the end of the day, they would be there for each other no matter what, and it was something Harry appreciated more than Louis would ever know.

And now they had their second album out. And Harry should be elated.

But he wasn't.

"Haz, you ready love? Interviewer is ready when we are," Louis asked, snapping Harry out of his Twitter bubble, immediately removing the frown from his face.

"Yep, been waiting for you," Harry teased as he got up from the sofa, giggling when Louis gasped.

"How dare you!" Louis gasped, gently booping Harry's nose as he walked past him, grabbing his hand as he walked past Louis, dragging him along behind him. As soon as they reached the set for the interview, they immediately dropped each other's hands, knowing they weren't allowed to do anything of the sort anymore. They'd been in for a meeting with Simon just the week before for apparently being too affectionate on stage. Louis had always been a fan for bending the rules a bit, but as soon as Louis found Harry in a panic attack following that meeting, he'd agreed he would tone it down and play along, even if it was only for Harry's benefit.

"Ah, nice of you to join us! So is it just Zayn and Liam we're waiting on now?" The interviewer greeted them both by shaking their hands as they chose stools that meant somebody would be sat between them, as to not rouse suspicion.

"Yeah, Liam's just told me they're coming, Zayn was having a bad hair day," Niall chuckled as he locked his phone, and soon Zayn and Liam appeared, meaning the interview could start.

Harry tried to push his thoughts to the back of his mind, knowing he had to focus and be present for this interview so Simon wouldn't go further to cover them up. Anything that he or Louis did wrong, was always punished through their relationship, even if their mess up was completely unrelated to the relationship they had.

The current punishment was Eleanor. Louis had been 'dating' her for a year or so, and it was beginning to take its toll, but as Simon had threatened before, this was only the start if they didn't get their act together.

Harry couldn't risk it getting worse.

"Harry," Liam muttered to him as he nudged his arm gently, getting his attention. "Focus man," Liam said gently as the interviewer spoke to Zayn about the new album. They knew vaguely about the things Louis and Harry had been threatened with, after one too many outbursts from the pair, but never enough detail for the others to get mad.

"And Louis, how's Eleanor? How long have you been together now?" The interviewer asked sweetly as Harry tried his best to keep his facial expression neutral. He could see Louis put on a smile as Liam nudged his foot against Harry's as subtly as he could.

"Yeah, she's good thanks. Been nearly a year now," Louis said, and anyone who knew him could see how unhappy he was talking about her. Harry noticed his foot tapping repeatedly against the stool leg, one of his nervous ticks. Probably because he knew what was on the line if he fucked up management's little PR stunt.

"Nearly a year, wow! You must be planning something big for her for your anniversary then," She replied with a wink as Louis chuckled nervously.

"Well yeah, but I can't say, she might be watching!" Louis tutted as the rest of the boys laughed awkwardly with him. Harry didn't.

He zoned out after that. His mind went back to the tweets he had read.

Louis had reassured him so many times that it didn't matter what haters said, only what the fans thought, and if they didn't like it, then it didn't matter as long as he did. But Harry was a people pleaser, and even though he tried his hardest not to, he couldn't help but care about what people thought of him and his music and his style and his relationships. Every little bit of his life, he felt he needed validated, he felt he needed people to approve of and that clearly wasn't going to change any time soon.

"Well, I think that's about all that we've got time for today, thank you so much for coming down to talk to me!" She ended as they all thanked her before she did her little outro. They all stood and shook hands with her again before walking back to their dressing room.

Harry went to go and sit on the sofa again, immediately pulling out his phone and resting his cheek in his hand. He didn't jump when Louis settled on the arm of the sofa above him, placing his hands gently on his shoulders.

"You on Twitter again?" Louis said softly, creating a little bubble around the two of them in the chaos of the dressing room as the other three boys took their time getting changed and scrubbing the makeup off their faces. All four of them had noticed Harry wasn't quite himself, and if anybody would be able to get through to him, it was definitely his boyfriend.

"Mhm," Harry hummed as he leant his head into Louis' side inside, smiling slightly as he reached a hand around to play with his curls.

"You're not looking at the hate again, right? Because you know they're all wrong," Louis murmured, a frown of concern on his face as Harry closed the app and locked the phone. He rested it on his thigh and closed his eyes as he focused on Louis' hand gently carding through his hair.

"No, just seeing what was going on," Harry sighed, surprised when Louis didn't see through his lie.

"Alright, tell me if you feel bad again though, yeah?" Louis asked. Harry had been known to let his feelings pile up without telling anyone over the past couple of years, til he'd break and suddenly he'd be out of action for a few days as a minimum, barely able to get out of bed. Louis would spend those days cuddling him, and bringing him food (and if he spoon fed him on the really shit days, nobody had to know) and loving him. He refused to see a doctor of any kind though, even though they all thought he probably should. They all knew the problem ran deeper than him wanting everyone to like him at this point.

"Yeah, promise," Harry mumbled before he felt Louis sighing and moving away from him slightly, causing him to open his eyes again.

"Where you going?" Harry asked quietly as he sighed, pressing a kiss gently to the top of Harry's head as he ruffled his curls.

"They've scheduled an appearance with Eleanor for a couple hours, I'm sorry babes. At least you get to go back to the bus, yeah?" He said, smiling at Harry as he watched his face drop, making him look even sadder than he did before. They refused to call his appearances in public with Eleanor dates, because that's not what they were, no matter how much Simon pushed it.

"I get it, it's fine. Text me when you're on your way back?" Harry asked as Louis stood up, nodding before blowing him a kiss and following one of the drivers out of the door.

"Movie marathon then when we get on the bus?" Niall suggested when he saw Harry's face go back to the way it was before Louis had the chance to speak to him. They'd seen that face many times before, it was his masking face, and whilst he used it a lot in interviews, he suddenly seemed to use it a lot in private as well, which worried all of them.

Harry nodded without taking his eyes off his phone, not even a peep of a smile.

_________________________

It had been a few hours since Louis had left, and they'd gotten through three movies so far. They'd all changed into comfier clothes, all in sweatpants and some variation of tshirts or hoodies. It was no surprise to anyone when Harry emerged from the back of the tour bus wearing one of Louis' hoodies which was too big for him, but he didn't appear to care.

"Which one now lads? Harry, you haven't picked one yet, what do you want to watch?" Liam asked as he crouched down by the DVD cupboard as Harry opened his eyes. He had pulled up the hood of the hoodie, lying down against the arm of the sofa.

"I'm not too bothered. Someone else pick," He yawned, rubbing his eyes. He always found the best way to get through Louis' appearances was to sleep so he didn't have to think. Unfortunately, he'd been unable to sleep, so the tweets ran races in his head, and soon thoughts of Louis and Eleanor together joined the race.

"I think I'm gonna go get some things from the shop around the corner. Anybody want anything?" Harry asked as he stretched and got up. The three boys shook their heads as they went back to the discussion of what DVD to watch, so Harry slipped away to the back of the bus unnoticed, pulling on some trainers as he sat on the bed to lace up his shoes. Once it became apparent that neither Louis or Harry could sleep without the other, and with a large majority of their nights being spent on this bus, the five boys converted the games room they had at the back of the bus into a small bedroom with a double bed just about big enough for the two of them. Simon had demanded they returned it to the way it was, but none of them ever had.

Harry often felt bad for having a comfortable, spacious bed whilst Liam, Zayn and Niall slept in uncomfortable bunks, but the three boys always insisted they never minded. Harry still felt bad for it.

"How you doing Haz?" he heard, not bothering to look up from the laces as he heard Niall's voice.

"Fine, just tired," Harry said with a small smile, tucking his phone into his pocket as he stood up and Niall walked towards him.

"You don't have to lie, Harry. This whole situation is shit for both of you," Niall reminded him.

"I know, but moping won't solve anything will it? Just gotta get on with it," Harry shrugged with a forced smile, squeaking in surprise slightly when Niall pulled him into a tight hug.

"You don't have to bottle up because Louis isn't around, we're all here for you, okay?" Niall said firmly as Harry nodded and returned the hug before pulling away and leaving the bus.

He made sure to walk quickly, keeping his head down until he got somewhere that was quiet enough. He felt his phone buzz in his pocket as he stopped in a small alcove, tucked away enough that nobody could see him. He looked at the phone, seeing it was Louis, letting him know that the appearance was finished and that he loved him. Harry didn't bother replying, instead bringing up his contacts and pressing call on Simon's contact.

"Good afternoon, Simon Cowell," He greeted.

"Hi Simon, it's Harry. Do you have a minute?" Harry asked as he bit on his lip nervously, leaning against the dirty wall behind him.

"I suppose so, depending on the topic." Simon replied as Harry sighed.

"I know you said I couldn't go to a doctor and get referred to a therapist or get medicine or anything because it would mess up touring too much, and put the band at risk-"

"-And all of that still rings true Harry. Now, is this relevant? Only, I have other things to be doing," Simon replied, sounding irritated.

"What about if I used my paychecks to employ a therapist to come on tour with us? Then, I could get some help so I'd be able to do more interviews and appearances, and I wouldn't be risking the band," Harry suggested, trying to spin it so it would be beneficial to Simon. It went silent for a moment as Harry waited for his response.

"Are you kidding? And what happens if somebody catches wind of you having a therapist on tour with you? It would ruin the band even more, and you don't want that, right? Not to mention, I sign your paychecks, so if I get even any whiff of you doing anything of the sort with the money, I won't sign them. I will not let you ruin this. Oh, and just so you know, if you tell any of the boys about this to try and get them to change my mind, it won't work, and I'll just increase touring time, decrease breaks for them to go home. Up the workload as such. Am I clear?" He said sternly as Harry swallowed back a sob.

"Uh yeah. Sorry for wasting your time," He said quickly as he hung up the call and pocketed his phone again. He rested his head against the wall, closing his eyes as he tried to focus on his breathing so his tears didn't fall. The last thing he needed was to be photographed with red eyes as he made his way back to the bus.

He took a few minutes to compose himself before pulling his phone back out. His phone had glitched in his pocket, and had brought up the Twitter hashtag he had been looking through earlier that day. He couldn't help but keep scrolling, straight past the positive ones, and the ones defending him but straight to the critiques, the negatives, the hate. He couldn't help it, but he just found himself getting more and more upset as he realised how much he was letting everyone down. The band couldn't even have a member that keeps himself together, constantly having to look after him, Louis probably felt as if he had a child rather than a boyfriend, the fans hated his vocals and writing in the new album, his family would be disappointed, his old friends would be laughing.

He felt like a failure.

He knew he had to get back to the bus before anyone got too suspicious, so he quickly rubbed at his eyes and walked as fast as he could back to the bus. As he kicked off his shoes and walked into the living area, he saw Louis stood in the small kitchen area making a cup of tea. He was quick to walk up behind him and wrap his arms around his boyfriend, nuzzling his face into the crook of Louis' neck, letting his smell ground him again.

"Hey honey. What did you pick up from the shops?" Louis asked quietly as he bobbed the tea bag, quickly getting out a mug to make another cup of tea for Harry.

"Oh, uh, I forgot? I got there and forgot what I wanted so I came back," Harry chuckled nervously as he carefully let Louis go so he could move easier with the kettle.

"You silly sausage," Louis chuckled affectionately, making Harry blush.

"How was Eleanor?" Harry asked quietly as he took the tea thankfully and Louis turned around to lean his butt against the counter.

"Boring as hell, like always. She can't even bring herself to look happy, which is fair enough, but c'mon. She's being bloody paid enough," Louis muttered as he looked away from Harry.

"Why'd you bring her up anyway? You usually hate talking about it," Louis frowned in confusion as Harry shrugged.

"I don't know."

__________________________

"I think I'm gonna go to bed," Harry announced later that evening, even though the sun was still shining outside. It made everyone frown in confusion.

"Did you want me to come with you?" Louis asked, and Harry was grateful that he didn't question his choice.

"Nah, I'm good. You stay and keep playing. See you in a bit?" Harry asked as he pressed a kiss to Louis' cheek and he nodded hesitantly.

"Night boys," Harry called as he left the living area, hearing the faint chorus of replies as he shut the door to the small makeshift bedroom. He sighed, finally letting his act fall as he let the quiet calm him, no longer having to hold up a mask over his emotions. He sighed as he quietly got ready for bed, brushing his teeth and stripping off his clothes before climbing into the bed that felt much too big without Louis to warm him up and cuddle him.

Still, he made do.

____________________________

He didn't understand how he had come to this. He had woken after a couple of hours, needing the loo. Somehow, he'd gone to the loo and had found himself now looking through Twitter again, trying to hold back his tears. He knew he didn't need to in here, he had the door locked, but he also knew the walls were thin, and if he got too carried away with himself, somebody would hear him.

He had tears dripping slowly down his cheeks by this point, falling onto his phone screen as he thought over the past few days and their events. He knew the final push was Simon threatening to not sign his paychecks. He knew Louis wanted him to see somebody, all of the boys wanted him to see somebody, and he knew he should. He almost wanted to, despite the fear, because he knew the four of them will be there for him, but they didn't know that Simon was the reason behind him not getting the help he knew he needed.

And now he was controlling how he spent his money, and he'd had enough.

The last thing he wanted in this moment was to be alone, and in a way, he wished Louis had some sort of telepathic communication system with him, so he wouldn't have to ask Louis to come away from his game to soothe him.

He knew it was unrealistic, and he knew that if he wanted some comfort, he would have to go and interrupt their evening. It was always much easier to cope with when Louis was around.

So, with that thought in mind, he got up from the toilet cover he had sat on, and unlocked the door, not really bothering to wipe his eyes as he silently made his way past the bunk area, hovering at the threshold between the living area and the bunk area. Nobody had noticed his presence, all of them laughing at some joke Louis had made about winning FIFA over Niall.

Harry felt his ability to speak go, getting more and more wound up as he stood there silently, trying his hardest not to let out a sob and startle them all. But again, he didn't have telepathic communication with Louis. He had to say something.

"..Lou?" He croaked out, almost as a whisper, his tears only increasing when Louis didn't hear him over the laughter and shouting.

"Lou?" he said a bit louder, feeling his voice crack on the single word, as he tucked his hands into the sleeves of Louis' hoodie, not being able to say anything as the room went silent, Louis' attention instantly going to Harry. He didn't even question why Harry was crying as he got up and quickly made his way over to his boyfriend. Harry clutched onto Louis as if he was his lifeline, burying his face into his shoulder as he let the tears fall silently onto the shoulder of Louis' shirt.

"Shh, it's alright sweetheart," Louis whispered. The other three boys watched silently as the room fell silent, the only noises being Harry's occasional quiet sniffles and the sound of Louis quietly whispering into Harry's ears.

Louis turned his head to look at the three boys, pointing in the direction of their bedroom as they all nodded. Without a word, Harry felt Louis leading him somewhere in the bus, and he could only hope it was away from the other three boys. He hated looking weak in front of them.

Once he heard the door close, he lifted his head slightly before letting Louis go, sitting on the bed and resting his face in his hands, trying to wipe away his tears.

"What's wrong my angel?" Louis asked quietly as he crouched down in front of Harry, resting a hand gently on his thigh.

"I-I lied to you earlier, I'm so sorry," he mumbled after a moment as Louis frowned.

"When did you lie to me?"

"When you asked if I was looking at the fan's opinions again, I-I was, I'm sorry," Harry said as he bit his lip, trying desperately to stop his tears, but both he and Louis knew it was pointless.

"Shh, that doesn't matter. You told me, yeah? No need to apologise," Louis reassured him as he cupped his other hand to Harry's cheek, soothingly rubbing his thumb across his cheekbones.

"I-I just want them to like what we're doing, and they don't, and it's just really shit," Harry sniffled as Louis sighed, getting up as he titled Harry's chin up so he was looking at him.

"I know it is, but it's only a very small minority," He said before pulling away to pull off his tshirt and jeans and sit down in the center of the bed, opening his arms as Harry crawled into them until he was straddling Louis' hips, his entire body pressed to Louis' bare skin. Louis somehow always knew what would ground him, and currently, physical contact was probably his best bet. He sighed as he tried to make himself smaller, resting his head on Louis' chest as they wrapped their arms around each other.

"I miss you when you go out with her," Harry mumbled, and he felt Louis tense slightly beneath him. "And I know it's not your fault, and I know you're only doing it so I don't have to, but it doesn't mean it isn't a crappy situation," He continued, not raising his voice from the mumble it had dropped to.

"I don't want you to have to deal with a beard on top of everything else you deal with, Haz, it wouldn't be fair. I always miss you though, I have a little Harry place I go to in my head whenever I have to go out with her," Louis, said making Harry giggle a little bit, causing Louis to smile at the sound of his laugh.

"I'm sorry. If I was stronger, you wouldn't have to have the beard, I would've been able to do it-"

"Hey, now none of that. I love you, and you already are strong. You know I'd do anything for you, or for us, and if having a beard is one of those things, then I'll do it. Whatever it takes to keep you happy and to keep this going," Louis promised, making Harry blush a bit.

They lay in silence for a bit after that, Harry not really knowing what else to say. He focused on the rise and fall of Louis' chest as he rubbed his hand slowly up and down his back. He knew he should mention Simon and therapy to Louis, but he didn't want to make him mad, not when it was so peaceful in their own little bubble in the back of the bus.

Louis had to know. It was unfair to keep dumping all of this on Louis, but he simply couldn't keep it all bottled indefinitely. The only thing holding him back from telling Louis was the threat of increasing their workload. He knew it would have a negative impact on him, he struggled as it was, but he knew that was only because he wasn't allowed to get therapy or drugs. But increasing the workload so that the others couldn't see their families regularly? He couldn't let that happen just because he wants treatment.

He spent another half an hour deliberating over the issue in his head, and before he knew it, his voice was blurting it out anyway.

"I need to tell you something," Harry said suddenly, not moving from where he had settled, not being able to see Louis' face.

"Thought you'd fallen asleep love," Louis said quietly stroking his hand through Harry's hair again since he knew he was awake. "What do you need to tell me?"

"I don't know if I can tell you." He said sheepishly. "I don't want you guys to hate me," He added as Louis fell silent, making Harry's anxiety levels only increase.

"Hazza, I could never hate you, and neither could Liam, Zayn or Niall. We love you, nothing's gonna change that. But if you're hurting and you're not telling any of us, it's only gonna make things worse, yeah?" Louis reassured him as Harry shrugged, sitting up a bit and twisting his body so he was facing Louis, who looked worried again. Harry reached out silently with his thumb, gently smoothing over the worry lines on his forehead.

"But you guys do know everything. I-I just-" Harry cut himself off as he couldn't figure out what to say, groaning in frustration as he rubbed his face, determined to get the words out.

"They can't know I said anything to you, okay?" Harry asked, as Louis nodded, uncertain of who 'they' were, but if it would get Harry to say what was bugging him, then he'd agree.

"I want to get help. Y'know, like therapy, or meds or something. Something to stop this being so regular, because it's shit for everyone," Harry started as Louis smiled.

"That's great, baby. We can find someone in the next city we stop in," Louis said as Harry shook his head.

"It's not that easy. Can I just talk for a minute? Did that sound too rude? Shit, I'm sorry if it did-"

"It didn't Haz, chill. You don't have to ask permission to speak," Louis reminded him softly as Harry looked down at his hands that were clasped with Louis' resting in their laps.

"I wanted help after like, the second time I felt really shit. Y'know the one where I didn't move from our bed for four days for fear I would do something shitty?" Harry asked as Louis nodded, not interrupting him.

"Somehow, word got to Simon that I was going to look for some help, and he called me in for a meeting on my own." Harry looked up at Louis nervously, noticing Louis looked angrier than before at the mention of Simon.

"He basically told me that I couldn't get help, because if it got out that I was on meds, or seeing a therapist, then it could cause a scandal and ruin our careers. He told me it was selfish to risk the band for superficial things, and that I should just man up and deal with it like the rest of you do. Then he made our schedules busier so I wouldn't have time to see anyone, and it made everyone feel crap because we didn't get a break at all so I left it alone," Harry said, pausing for breath and he felt Louis' grip tighten on his hands out of anger. Harry hoped it wasn't directed at him.

"When I went out earlier, it wasn't to get anything from the shop. I wanted some space, and I needed to call Simon again. I had an idea whilst I was waiting for you to come back, that I could use some money from my paycheck to employ somebody like a therapist to come on tour with us. Then, I could get help but not disrupt the band. I'd pay for everything the therapist needed, so it shouldn't have been any extra bother to anybody but me," Harry said.

"Let me guess, he said no?" Louis asked lowly as Harry nodded.

"He said that, again, it could create a scandal if word got out about us having a therapist on tour with us. Then he reminded me that he signed my paycheck so he controls how I spend it, and if I spent it on anything of that kind, he would stop signing my paychecks. Then he threatened to up our workload again so none of you could go home to see your families and I don't wanna do that to you all again, not after everything you've done already." Harry sighed, almost deflating slightly as he let some of the tension go out of his back.

"I know I should be able to cope, Lou, but I-I can't and I don't wanna h-hurt you because one day everything just becomes w-way too much," Harry sniffled as his tears began to fall again, and Louis could feel his heart physically ache as he pulled his boyfriend closer to him again.

"He and I are going to have to have words," Louis muttered as he sat up so he was surrounding Harry even more, to make him feel even more protected.

"No, no, no Lou, you can't do that, that's when he'll cut breaks, you can't, you promised," Harry gasped, babbling quickly, not stopping for breath as what Louis said registered in his brain. Louis automatically forgot his anger, going into caring Louis mode again.

"Alright, okay, angel, I won't say anything now, not if you don't want me too. Take some deep breaths my love, I'm not gonna do anything right now, okay? Shh now, c'mon," Louis murmured to Harry as he slowly rocked them from side to side, knowing the motion soothed the younger boy in his arms.

"We'll figure something out, Hazza, I promise. You are not sacrificing your health anymore, not on our watch," Louis sighed, as Harry made sure every part of his body was touching Louis in some way.

"We probably should tell the boys though, lovely. I know you don't want to, but then we can decide on a plan as a band, and you know we're more likely to succeed as five rather than two," Louis spoke as Harry thought it over, before nodding slightly.

"Not now though, wanna sleep," Harry yawned, clearly the exhaustion of his emotions had started to catch up with him.

"Okay, we can do that baby." Louis said quietly, pulling the duvet set over them, but not bothering to make Harry move. If he wanted to sleep straddling Louis all night, Louis didn't care. As long as he slept.

It didn't take long for the both of them to fall asleep, Louis fighting the sleep until he knew Harry was asleep on top of him. Once he knew Harry was dead to the world, only then did he stop stroking Harry's hair, interlinking their hands as he slowly closed his eyes.

__________________________________

"You what?" Liam asked angrily as he paced the living area, trying to process what Louis had just told the three of them. Since they didn't have a concert until the evening, they had all taken the opportunity to sleep, Louis and Harry even longer since Harry woke up a couple of times with nightmares of what Simon was going to do to him now.

Once they had emerged from their room, they had made the three boys sit down with them. As they had discussed, Louis gave them a general recap of what Harry had told him the night before.

"Yeah, it's fucked up, and obviously we have to fix it," Louis sighed as Harry's grip on his hand tightened.

"No fucking shit! Is it even legal for him to do that?" Liam asked, the anger evident on his face and Louis knew from one look at Harry that he was worried the anger was directed at him.

"Calm down Li, getting angry now isn't going to help anything," Niall sighed, clearly having picked up on Harry's face also.

"Sorry, Harry. I'm not mad at you, promise," Liam deflated slightly as he sat on the floor, rubbing his face in frustration.

"Harry wanted to just continue as we were since we still have a long time in our contracts with him," Louis shook his head as Harry blushed, not liking the attention.

"Haz, there's no way that's happening. If you want help, you're going to bloody get it. You forget there's five of us," Zayn said with a smile, that Harry weakly returned.

"Even if you go undercover, we'll sort this," Niall joked slightly, gaining a small giggle from Harry who sat forward so he could tuck himself under one of Louis' arms.

"There's nothing you can do for a minute, so can we just forget about it for now? I just wanna forget about it for now, makes me nervous now that you all know," Harry murmured as they all nodded.

"I heard about this TV show that's apparently quite funny we could binge this afternoon if you want?" Niall suggested as everyone chorused their agreements.

Soon enough, they were all settled with food, drinks and blankets as Niall set up the TV. Zayn had spread himself out in an arm chair, Niall and Liam occupying the sofa and Harry and Louis snuggled up in the loveseat, Harry half draped over Louis.

As he focused his energy on the TV show, which actually was fairly entertaining, he felt a strange sense of calm wash over him. He knew his thoughts wouldn't just go away, and he knew he was likely to have an episode in a couple of days. He knew the Simon issue wouldn't disappear (no matter how hard he wished).

But he had three brothers and an incredible boyfriend on his side, who all loved him and cared for him, and that really did make all the difference.